Youth Fair horse show brings out family and friends

August 10, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Competition in the English-style riding division for juniors kicked off the horse show Thursday morning at the 60th annual Berkeley County Youth Fair.

The grand champion of the division was Maria Coe, 13, who rode Bella Baloosa, a 7-year-old mare.

This is the first year Coe competed in the fair show and her third show ever, she said.

"This is awesome," said Coe, who will be an eighth-grader at Hedgesville Middle School.

Nine girls ranging in age from 9 to 14 competed in three English-style riding events - Pleasure, Equitation and Hunter Hack - which included trotting, cantering, walking and fence jumping to see how the horse responded to the rider's commands.

Jennifer Brown, 14, rode a 7-year-old paint named Gambler of Perfection and placed sixth in all three events.

"It feels really great to place," she said. This was her first year riding Gambler, Jennifer said.


Jennifer had family members and friends in the bleachers cheering her on.

Jennifer's mother, Wendy, said her daughter has been riding for six years and spends about two hours every day riding and taking care of her horse, which boards at Pleasant Ridge Farm on Arden Noville Road.

Jennifer will be in ninth grade at Musselman High School this fall.

Family friends, Wanda Waters and son Ethan Waters, attended the show to support Jennifer and Olivia Lemaster, 11, who also competed in the events.

Olivia and her mare, Logan, won third place in Hunter Hack, which was jumping two 18-inch high fences.

"I worked really hard to place, and it feels really good," she said.

Olivia wore pink ribbons in her hair and Logan wore a pink ribbon on her tail. Logan also boards at Pleasant Ridge Farm.

Olivia said she will be a sixth-grader at South Middle School.

Olivia's grandparents, Lynn Palatucci and Marlene and Frank Gray, and her uncle, Jeff Noll, attended the event to watch the competition.

Palatucci said Olivia began riding at 8, and has been riding Logan for two years.

She said Olivia won the Showmanship competition Tuesday.

"It's all about presentation," Wendy Brown said.

Cathie Dodson is the trainer for both riders. After the competition Dodson said, "Both Jennifer and Olivia improved, and they always strive to do a little bit better each year."

Fathers Michael Brown and Tony Lemaster helped set up the fences for the competition.

"It's something we can do as a family," Olivia's mother, Beth Lemaster, said.

Junior English-style winners:

· First place, Pleasure competition, Davie Dick

· First place, Equitation, Emily Keller. Keller was also the Grand Champion Reserve.

· First place, Hunter Hack, Maria Coe

Grand Champion Winners in Thursday's Horse Show:

· Junior English Division: Maria Coe

· Senior English Division: Brandy Orsini

· Walk, Trot, Jog Division: Katie Stoneburner

· Junior Western Division: Emily Keller

· Senior Western Division: Amy Rhoe

· Junior Gaited Division: Aaron Cooley

· Senior Gaited Division: Amanda Chapman

· Junior Contest: Emily Keller

· Senior Contest: Kaila Welsh

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