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Taylor Harris National Children’s Medal Finals: An Important First Step to International Champions

McLain Ward and Antares F capturing the first leg of the 2012 Taylor Harris Triple Crown at Devon. Photo By: Parker/Russell – The Book LLC.

Las Vegas, NV – March 13, 2015 – Every year, thousands of children compete at hundreds of horse shows across the nation for the chance to qualify for the prestigious Taylor Harris National Children’s Medal Finals at the Capital Challenge in the fall. The series of equitation classes gives young riders an opportunity to gain equitation experience at the 3-foot height in order to continue along the pipeline of the equestrian sport. The Taylor Harris National Children’s Medal Final is fundamental in producing top athletes. In April 2015, several of the top riders who have competed and placed in the equitation finals will ride for the U.S. to recapture the World Cup, epitomizing the journey to international champions beginning with the equitation medal finals.

“We feel that it is important to encourage and foster the talent of these young riders,” Michael Taylor, president of Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, said. “The kids’ determination is so impressive and we want to help them advance in their riding and feel confident as they reach for new levels.”

The Taylor Harris National Children’s Medal Final is a prime example of the beginning to a long and beneficial pipeline that produces athletes at the top of the sport. Taylor, Harris Insurance Services is committed to supporting the young, up-and-coming riders in the sport and remains dedicated to making the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals a special event each year.

“It is nice to see many young riders go through the children’s classes and move up to have success at higher levels in the sport,” Taylor added. “These classes give the riders great experience and help prepare them for future competition.”

Currently, Todd Minikus leads the East Coast League World Cup Qualifying standings with 81 points, while Laura Kraut is hot on his heels with a total of 77 points. Jack Hardin Towell, Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Winner (2006), sits in third with 71 points, with four-time USEF Equestrian of the Year Beezie Madden ranking fourth with a total of 62 points. McLain Ward, recognized for his perfect equitation, holds the fifth place with ASPCA Maclay Winner (1972) Leslie Burr standing at sixth.

A proponent for the pipeline of show jumping, Ward, at 14 years of age, became the youngest rider ever to win both the USET Medal Finals and the USET Talent Derby. His solid equitation is what has helped him to balance classical training and individual needs for his horses and has made him a superstar of the show jumping world.

Ward was honored recently when asked to judge the ASPCA Maclay Finals at the National Horse Show. He spoke of the value of equitation. “I look at equitation as a steppingstone to something even bigger. While some junior careers end [after the Finals], many of those that are most successful in the equitation go on to have long careers as top show jumpers. If you look at it as a stepping stone, and you see the different ways the rider has developed, the talent as well as their horsemanship and mental point of view, the most well rounded, well prepared junior wins in the end.”

Since 2008, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services has been a proud sponsor of the National Children’s Medal, acting as a stepping stone for the larger equitation classes and competitions. Every ounce of support that THIS has for the equestrian industry is reflected in the annual competition and will be mirrored once again during the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas this April.

International competitors will embark on a five-day battle of the world’s best, with the Taylor Harris Club offering unparalleled amenities during the long-anticipated Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, April 15-19, 2015.

THIS has a long history in the sport, and as the sponsors of the VIP hospitality experience, they aim to make it unforgettable. The 2015 World Cup Finals will mark the sixth time that Las Vegas has been host to the prestigious finals; however, THIS is revamping the experience with an exclusive package for VIP ticket holders that includes access to the National Horse Show Corporate Suite and the Taylor Harris Club, as well as deluxe food and beverages, wine tastings, Las Vegas entertainment and tickets to all events.

The Taylor Harris Club, presented by the National Horse Show, is only steps away from the front entrance to the Thomas & Mack Arena, offering VIP guests an extraordinary five-star experience. On top of the first-class cuisine and service provided by some of the best chefs of Las Vegas, guests will enjoy a Southern Wine and Spirits Expo complete with a sampling of an artful collection of fine wines, spirits and champagne, as well as the opportunity to interact with a master sommelier.

Whether the needs are straightforward or complex, for one horse or many, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services works with their clients to make sure they are equipped with the insurance coverage that’s right for each individual case. THIS places all policies with the highest rated and most secure insurance carriers, which are also selected for their prompt and reliable claims settlement.

Taylor Harris’s goal is protection for your horses at all stages of life, and peace of mind for you.

The action begins Wednesday, April 15, 2015 with the warm-up classes for both jumping and dressage. Actual competition begins on Thursday, April 16, with the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix at noon, followed by the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final Round I at 7:00 p.m. Competition continues the next day, Friday, April 17, with the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle Rehearsal at 7:30 a.m., the Las Vegas Dressage Showcase at noon and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final Round II at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 18, features the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final (Freestyle) at noon, followed by the Show Jumping Grand Prix of Las Vegas at 7:00 p.m. The competition concludes on Sunday, April 19, with the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final Round III at noon. All times are local time.

Spectators have a variety of ticketing options from which to choose, but the VIP package, which includes one premier all-session seat and access to the Taylor Harris Club Presented by the National Horse Show for $1,500 per person, gives guests the opportunity to watch the action unfold in style.

Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS), is a specialist equine insurance service that has been providing wide-ranging products developed from both the U.S. and London markets. THIS policies include coverage for show hunters, jumpers, eventing and dressage horses. Taylor, Harris’s expert in-house staff is on hand to help you with your selection. For further details visit www.thishorseinsurance.com or call 1.800.291.4774.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

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