Talented Riders Top 2023 Marshall and Sterling Marshall and Sterling Insurance League Finals
The 2023 Marshall and Sterling Insurance League Finals at HITS Saugerties have come to a close, where horses and riders from all over the country came to showcase their talents in the 25 divisions featured throughout the week. Saturday concluded hunter competition as well as the presentation of the Best Adult Rider and the Grand Hunter Champion, while Sunday rounded out the Medal Finals and the best Junior Rider Awards.
Saturday featured the Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final in the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Stadium, where Laura Van Rooyen made it her goal to win the class after a 27-year riding hiatus. Rooyen, grateful for experiencing such a positive return to the show scene, credited her trainer with helping her and her horse, Uruguay, prepare for the finals.
“With the guidance of my trainer, Jennifer Tirrel, I was able to win the Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final today,” beamed Rooyen following her class. “This is my third year competing at the finals, and each year I have improved. Winning this medal makes me so happy because I have achieved a goal that I have had since my junior years and carried it into my amateur years.”
Throughout the duration of the Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final, Rooyen and Uruguay were untouchable, receiving the highest marks from the judges in every round, which amounted to a total score of 176. Angela Pomponio and Right O’Way received the second-highest score in the class, their combined total adding up to 160. Finally, Friday’s Adult Working Hunter winners, Brenda Tananbaum and Fellow, rounded out the top three with a score of 159.
At the conclusion of the Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final, the biggest honor of the week was presented to Tracie Glicker and Karrakan, who claimed their title as Grand Hunter Champion after topping the Adult Working Hunter division. Moreover, this was an extra meaningful victory for Glicker — a veterinarian outside of the competition scene — who has found that balancing life between work and being a present mother has made showing opportunities less frequent for her.
“It’s pretty exciting, considering this was the first year we actually did a lot of showing,” commented Glicker after being asked how it felt to be the Grand Hunter Champion. “I’ve had [Karrakan] for four years and I didn’t really get out – I had a lot of stuff going on being home with the kids. So, it was wonderful to get all of this accomplished this week! I think [Karrakan] is a wonderful horse and I love him.”
Sunday was competitors’ last chance to make their mark at the 2023 Marshall and Sterling Insurance League Finals, where 45 riders gathered at the Grand Prix Stadium for the Pyranha Children’s Horse Medal Final. The field was carefully narrowed down, and after returning for the final round, Isabel Henick and Double Down eventually claimed the winning title.
“I just feel proud,” concluded Henick. “I’m proud of my young horse [Double Down], I’m proud of my riding today, and I’m so thankful for my barn family and trainers that helped get me here today.”
Henick and Double Down went on to earn a 169 once they completed two rounds of competition and advanced to the tiebreaker. Greta Holmes and Gold Strike obtained the second-place honors with their score of 164.5, leaving Eliana Klane and Danton Du Houssolf in third with a 162.5.