Green Cove Springs, FL – September 7, 2010 – Seventeen-year-old Molly Braswell, of Ocala, FL, celebrated her birthday this weekend with an exciting victory in the ASPCA Maclay Southeast Regional Championship. Competing at the 2010 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show in Green Cove Springs, FL, Braswell topped 44 competitors to earn the Region 3 title for the 2010 season. Region 3 includes riders from the Southeastern states of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.
The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. From each Regional Final a percentage of all winners will advance to the year-end National Championships. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2008 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, and in 2009 Zazou Hoffman, of Santa Monica, CA, was named the winner.
The first Regional championship to be held this year, the Region 3 competitors showed over a 12-fence course designed by Michael Rheinheimer. Judges Bob Crandell, Steve Wall and Tony Sgarlata then chose three groups to move into the flat phase, and it was Molly Braswell who came out on top after the final deliberation. Braswell trains with Christina Schlusemeyer and Bob Braswell and began riding the 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding El Campeons Danish, owned by Elizabeth Dove, this year.
“Danish is amazing; he is really, really smart,” Braswell smiled after her win. “I was a little nervous because I had to go second and there was one line that was a bit of a challenge for me, but it all went really well. I was actually surprised that I won; I was just very happy.”
Braswell finished tenth at Maclay Finals in 2009 and has made it her goal to win the prestigious championship title this year. Growing up riding and training with her father, she has looked up to McLain Ward as a rider and hopes to ride that well someday. She has also shown successfully in the hunters and jumpers and is looking forward to a great indoor show circuit this fall.
Braswell will go on to compete at the indoor finals at Capital Challenge, the PA National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, and of course the Maclay Finals in Syracuse. “I am going to work on everything I can until then and keep practicing and hopefully getting better every day,” she concluded.
The Regional Championships for Regions 5, 6, 7, and 8 will all be held on September 18th throughout the country. Region 2 will compete on September 25th and the championships for Regions 1 and 4 will conclude on September 26th. The 2010 ASPCA Maclay National Championship will be held on November 7th at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 127th National Horse Show. For more information, please visit www.syracuseinvitational.com or www.nhs.org.
REGION 3 TOP 10 RESULTS
1 Molly Braswell, Ocala FL El Campeons Danish
2 Abby O’Mara, Rumsen, NJ Urco
3 Chase Boggio, Canton, GA Calito 7
4 Catherine Billings, Tallahassee, FL Figaro
5 Elizabeth Golian, Atlanta, GA High Rise
6 Meg O’Mara, Rumsen, NJ War Eagle
7 Kaitlin Porath, Camden, SC Icarus
8 Jennifer Delman, Greensboro, NC Cavaliver Forever
9 Julianna Fischer, Wellington, FL Salvadorable
10 Nicole Walker, Aurora, Ontario SS San Remo
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