For barn mates Hazel McLean, Ruby Wall and Ashley Arnoldt, cheering each other on at the show ring is nothing new.
But sharing scores was.
Friday at Thunderbird Show Park, McLean (Northwind After Eight), Wall (Momma Citta) and Arnoldt (Light My Fire)—all of whom train with Eliza Hunt at Delta, BC’s Obsidian Hunter Jumper—joined forces to top the tbird Hunter Teams. The uniquely formatted class combines scores earned by three riders, each at a different height, from 2’6″ to 3′ and 3’3″.
The group of Wall (Velocity), Chloe Mache (Ursa Major) and Sloane Betker (Crack) finished second. Mariah Costley (Roulette), Nyha Leclerc (Ivanhoe F) and Sophia Schliessler (Jembey van’t Eigenlo) were third.
“I’m new to this team and new to the barn, so it was really nice to win something with the whole team and with these people in particular, who are just amazing riders,” said McLean, who received a score of 80 for her 2’6″ round aboard Large Pony Hunter, Northwind After Eight.
Wall, who showed at the 3′ height, led the team with a high score of 87 aboard Momma Citta, her 13-year-old Westphalian mare.
“I’d never done a team event before, so it was really fun,” said Wall, who hopes to qualify for the USEF Junior Hunter National Championships this year. “We’ve always been such an amazing team—not working together—so it was nice to be able to do this with collective scores.”
Arnoldt anchored the team at the highest 3’3″ option with her veteran partner, Light My Fire.
“Doing something team-related is not something we’ve ever done, especially up here in Canada. It was definitely really fun and new and different,” Arnoldt said. “I think it definitely brought another level of difficulty and a bit of pressure in a way where you don’t want to let your teammates down.”
tbird Picks Up the Tab for Five More Exhibitors at Spring Festival
Navigating its 50th anniversary show season, tbird is feeling grateful, nostalgic—and generous.
During each of tbird’s 10 major show tournaments, five exhibitors will be chosen at random to receive a free entry at the horse show. Throughout the course of the season, tbird will pay for 50 entries total.
After debuting at the April Season Opener, “tbird Picks Up the Tab” continued Friday with five additional lucky exhibitors learning that their show bill would be significantly lower.
Harriet Arney (Dark Reflection), Reese Washburn (Won for Love), Chloe Mache (Fanta), Lindsay Uyesugi-Lacey (Miles Dyson) and Mairead Gurney (Sporty Spice) were drawn as winners in the tbird show office.
Arney has already earned top results in the Junior Amateur Jumper 0.90m division; Washburn took the win in the Child Pony Equitation Flat; and Mache won the Thunderbird Good Hands and Seat Medal.
Uyesugi-Lacey will contest the Training I Jumper 1.10m Stake, and Gurney has entered the Open Jumper Classic 1.0m.
Every horse entered at tbird is automatically added to the draw each week. Check back in May to see who tbird picks up the tab for next!