Harrisburg, PA. – October 18, 2012 –Tim Gredley’s victory in the $40,000 Pennsylvania National “Big Jump” Open Jumper class, sponsored by Wilmington Trust, a division of M & T Bank, was all the more impressive because he had just returned to the sport after a hiatus of two years. Riding Unex Omelli, his mount for the last decade, the British rider posted the fastest of the four double-clear rounds to take top honors at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Thursday evening. The 26-year-old was especially pleased with his performance.
“I kind of gave up the sport for two years and only started again in April,” said Gredley. “It’s been a bit of a long road back, so I’m really happy with the win here.”
An international field of 36 riders from eight nations took part in the event. The Alan Wade designed course yielded nine riders who qualified for the jump-off by going fault free in the first round.
Katie Dinan of Wellington, FL went first in the jump-off and set the pace on Nougat Du Vallet with a clear round time of 35.56 seconds. Megan Edrick of Reddick, FL then incurred eight faults on Cadence. Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT, and Wannick WH also went clear but in a slower time of 36.96 seconds. Sean Crooks of Wellington, FL, had rails down for 16 faults on Armegedon and Marie Hecart of France collected eight faults on Myself de Breve. Charlie Jayne took over the lead, but it was short lived. The Elgin, IL resident posted a clear round in 35.00 seconds on Chill R Z, but then Gredley went next and saved real estate on one of the turns to trip the timers in a blistering time of 34.56 seconds. The final two riders, Jill Henselwood of Canada and Patricia Griffith of White Plains, NY, attempted to surpass the leader, but instead accumulated eight faults each. Gredley was satisfied with his strategy.
“When you have a horse for so long you know what you can and can’t do,” said Gredley. “To be honest it wasn’t the perfect jump-off course for my horse because when he gets ahead of me it’s quite hard, but it was a good go for him and I’m happy.”
Some riders might worry about using up their horse in the jump-off before Saturday’s $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National, but Gredley thought it might actually help his horse.
“Some people find it hard when they have raced their horse before a big class, but with my horse it actually pumps his blood up a little bit, so I’m not worried about it, said Gredley. “I jokingly said to someone and said I want to win both classes, so I’m halfway there.”
Competition at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg continues through October 20. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S., hosting horses and competitors from across the country with 20,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $420,000 in prize money, the show features Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Pessoa/USEF National Hunter Seat Medal Finals, the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships and the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the horse show offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
Details are available at the horse show’s website at www.panational.org or by calling the horse show office at 717-770-0222.