Tag Archives: Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

First Western Dressage National Champion Honored at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Photo courtesy of Rachael Harze)

Raleigh, NC (October 13, 2017) – For the first time since its inception, the Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Show offered Western Dressage as a championship class. Triple Crown® Nutrition was proud to reward Hillary Rapier and SB Heritage+ (Maranello x Abaskiss), with the coveted Triple Crown Excellence Award.

The Triple Crown Excellence Award is presented to a rider who demonstrates exceptional horsemanship on a fit and healthy mount. Rapier and SB Heritage+, nicknamed “Cricket,” were a shoo-in for the honor as they were also named Western Dressage Basic Level National Champions during the weeklong show held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The pair garnered the national championship with an average score of 69.4%. The impressive performance came after a nearly two-year layup.

For “Cricket,” the win was fitting recognition for his journey from a debilitating illness to being named a National Champion at the Arabian and Half Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.

In 2015, Cricket was diagnosed with EPM after having finished in the Top Ten in Dressage Training Level ATR with his owner, Liliana Nabhan. When Nabhan decided to put him back to work, she sent him to Rapier. “I used western dressage as a way for him to come back,” Rapier said.

“I’ve always called him a comeback kid. He’s seen the worst of the worst and he’s just has the heart and fight to not give up,” she said. “Because he didn’t want to give up, his people didn’t give up and now he’s a national champion.”

Rapier described the event as a whirlwind, especially since the decision to enter Cricket was made the day entries closed. The 10-year-old chestnut gelding had only been in Rapier’s training program for four months.

“It was the perfect combination; everything came together,” she said. “He had one shot and he cleaned up.”

Cricket is currently up for sale and Rapier will keep him in training and progressing him up through the levels until he has new owners. “His future depends on if he stays here with me under new owners or moves on with new owners,” she said. “There is nothing holding this horse back at this moment. He is strong, ready and waiting for next person to take him and continue climbing.”

In addition to winning the national championship aboard Cricket, Rapier also showed WKF Ebony Phoenix, a horse she co-owns, and was the Western Dressage Level 1 Reserve National Champion and finished third in Western Dressage Level 2.

While Rapier trains and competes in a variety of disciplines from sport horse under saddle to traditional dressage, hunters and ranch events, she starts every horse in western dressage. “When they start with that foundation, horses can go in any direction that is chosen for them,” she explained.

Winning the Triple Crown Excellence Award, which includes a tri-colored ribbon and an engraved silver tray, was an affirmation to Rapier’s commitment to maintaining healthy and fit equine partners. Coincidentally, all of the horses in Rapier’s program thrive on Triple Crown feed. Rapier has been exclusively feeding Triple Crown products for well over two years and can’t say enough good things about them.

“I’m absolutely in love with all of their products,” she said.

Based in Wayzata, Minnesota, Triple Crown® Nutrition was the first company to add prebiotics, probiotics, and organic minerals to horse feed. Today, the company continues to deliver the very best in equine nutrition with its revolutionary formulations and premium quality ingredients. Triple Crown is proud to honor success stories like Rapier’s and Cricket’s with the Triple Crown Excellence Award.

To learn more about Triple Crown, the official feed sponsor of the U.S. Dressage Team, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and the Hermes U.S. Show Jumping Team, go to www.TripleCrownFeed.com, call (800) 451-9916, or visit the company’s Facebook page or Instagram @TripleCrownFeed.

Contact: Kelly Payne
Triple Crown Nutrition
(800) 451-9916

Judith Von Duyke and Canadian Justina Win World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award

Judith Von Duyke and Canadian Justina (photo courtesy of Don Stine Equine Sports Photography)

Raleigh, NC (October 2, 2015) — World Equestrian Brands – the United States distributer of the top tack and equipment brands Equilibrium, E. A. Mattes, Vespucci, and Amerigo – travels to prestigious horse shows across the country to commend competitors for using functional tack combined with attractive, correct presentation. The company is known for giving out great prizes for competitors’ efforts. At the 2015 Sport Horse National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show, Judith Von Duyke won and was reserve in two championship classes respectively, but also the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award.

Von Duyke secured the win in the Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout class among a field of nine competitors with Canadian Justina (Canadian Love X HL Justaglitter (The Chief Justice)), a seventeen-year-old Arabian mare owned and trained by her daughter, Sarah Vas of Winfield Farm & Forge of Grafton, Ohio. Justina was broke to drive as a nine-year-old and she’s secured many national titles with Vas at the reins as well as with Winfield Farm’s assistant trainer, Stephanie Brown. Although a life-long horsewoman, Von Duyke has only been driving intermittently since April of this year. Von Duyke only had about four solid months of carriage instruction under her daughter’s tutelage when she drove through the in gate at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.

Von Duyke was happy to have remembered her training as she entered the arena. “I was most worried about making mistakes, but all of the safety instruction and hours of practice culminated in my not only doing well in my classes, but also enjoying the experience,” she said.

Although Von Duyke didn’t start riding until she was in her teens, as a child she loved to pet the milkman’s horse in front of her home. Finally, at the age of 27, she was able to own her first horse.

“Actually, it was a pony,” she laughed. “From there, I have been involved in breeding, riding, horse show announcing, competing, and enjoying the ‘ride’ as I experience the horse world with my daughter, Sarah, as she pursues her professional equestrian career.”

Von Duyke claimed the championship in the Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout class and reserve championship in the Carriage Pleasure Working class, where she was second in a field of twelve competitors. Having the best tack when competing is as important to Von Duyke as it is to World Equestrian Brands. The judges and show committee at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals noticed Von Duyke and Justina’s impeccable presentation and quality tack, and chose the pair to receive the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award. Von Duyke’s trainer and daughter agreed that a well-fitted harness and saddle is important to success.

Vas, who rides as well as drives, pointed out that Arabians are known for being difficult to fit saddles to, based on their compact rib cages, short coupling, and wide shoulders. Vas has used E. A. Mattes pads (offered by World Equestrian Brands) to help her saddles fit correctly with great results, saying that they are well crafted and easy to care for.

World Equestrian Brands is a leading U.S. distributor of world-class, high performance tack and products. Winners of the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award, chosen by show officials and USEF judges for superior attention to the detail of the competitors’ tack, are presented with an item from one of the popular brands World Equestrian Brands carries – Amerigo, Vespucci, E. A. Mattes, or Equilibrium – as well as a neck ribbon.

World Equestrian Brands is happy to recognize Von Duyke’s dedication to top-quality tack. For more information about World Equestrian Brands and the products it offers to make horses and riders look and feel like champions, visit www.worldequestrianbrands.com.

Robin Moore
World Equestrian Brands

Urban Legend+++// Is Champion at 2015 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Urban Legend+++//, owned and competed by Amy Kerr (in carriage) (Photo courtesy of Don Stine Equine Sports Photography)

Raleigh, NC (October 2, 2015) – After a dangerous carriage driving accident, Amy Kerr of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania never expected to drive again. With her own self-trained Half-Arabian gelding, though, she once again took the reins and drove to a national championship, a reserve national championship, and seven top ten placings at the recent 2015 Sport Horse National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show held at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As Kerr’s super-fit Half-Arabian gelding Urban Legend+++// showed his talent in front of the carriage and also under saddle, his physical ability stood out to the show committee and judges. Urban Legend+++// was chosen as the winner of the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award. The award, presented by TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms (the Official Therapy Plate of the United States Equestrian Federation), perfectly highlighted a successful weekend for Kerr and her horse at the Arabian national championships.

TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms, a company based in Weatherford, Texas, offers easy-to-use products for horses, humans, and other animals. Standing on the platforms can provide benefits such as relieving pain in users, speeding healing from injuries, and – as the Peak Performance Award is named – achieving ideal fitness to enter the show ring in top form.

Urban Legend+++//, known as Bandit, is an 11-year-old Buckskin Quarab and Pinto cross sired by the cremello Quarter Horse stallion True Blue McCue and bred by Wendy Bockman. Kerr purchased Bandit’s dam, a bay Arabian mare named WA Muzel (by Muzcat), while WA Muzel was three months in foal. On July 5, 2004, Bandit’s journey began with his one-and-only owner. “He was my first baby,” said Kerr. “I’m proud to say I have done all of the training on Bandit. No one else has touched him as far as training goes, so for better or worse he is a reflection of myself.”

It is quite the reflection of a superb horse-and-rider partnership, as the pair captured the National Championship in the A/HA/AA Carriage Pleasure Driving Working class and the National Reserve Championship in A/HA/AA Carriage Pleasure Driving Drive & Ride. Bandit also earned several Top Ten placings throughout the competition.

As Kerr has been dedicated to training Bandit as her winning partner, TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms is dedicated to helping horses achieve and maintain the body condition needed for health, success, and comfort. The company is happy to congratulate Kerr and Bandit on achieving such impressive fitness.

Bandit helped his owner, who had given up driving after a carriage accident with a former horse, gain the confidence needed to win at the prestigious Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. “The memory of the accident will always be in the back of my mind,” said Kerr. Kerr wasn’t sure she even wanted to teach her horse how to drive, but eventually she took a step forward and began ground driving him. “If you would have told me when he was first born that the two of us would have come this far, I probably would have told you what a tall tale you are telling. Honestly, he’s truly my once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind, jack-of-all-trades horse. He’s always willing to try his heart out for me, lets me do just about anything to him, and puts up with my silly ideas.”

Kerr works hard to keep Bandit fit, and appreciated being recognized for her efforts with the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award. “Between my half-lease and me, Bandit gets worked about five to six days a week. It could be driving one day and jumping the next, but we try to keep his mind fresh by doing new things. I always try to finish his workout with a little trail ride around the barn pastures. Bandit is on an every-other-day turnout schedule with his stable mates, and I think letting him go out and ‘be a horse’ keeps him mentally happy,” she said.

The TheraPlate Peak Performance Award distinguishes horses like Urban Legend+++// that stand out from the crowd, exemplifying the most pristine fitness and athletic ability of their breed. TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms offers both horses and people the chance to reach their absolute best athletic ability through health and body conditioning. Each TheraPlate platform can improve circulation, bone density, and muscle mass, as well as reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.

For more about the TheraPlate therapy platforms, visit www.theraplate.com or call (800) 920-3685.

Contact: Chip Kreiling
TheraPlate Revolution