Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 5, 2016 – One young rider among 175 of the nation’s rising stars will be crowned the winner of the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Championship presented by Chansonette Farm at the 2016 CP National Horse Show. On Saturday, 15-year-old Brian Moggre of Flower Mound, Texas, took his first step towards realizing that dream.
This year, the championship will be spread over two days of competition, with the first round of jumping taking place on Saturday, Oct. 5, and the flat phase and second jumping phase occurring on Sunday, Oct. 6. In addition, further testing may be requested by the judges on Sunday.
On Saturday, Moggre’s confident ride on Viceroy impressed judges Diane Carney and Rachel Kennedy, boosting Moggre to the top spot after his trip, which fell 89th in the order. Moggre retained his hold on the lead for the remainder of the class, which wrapped up almost 100 trips later.
“Finishing today in the lead is amazing,” Moggre expressed. “I did not expect it. I didn’t even think I would qualify for finals, so coming here and being on top is crazy. I never expected it for sure.”
Moggre and Viceroy successfully navigated several tricky elements on course, which included executing a tight right turn off the rail to an in-and-out, an S-shaped bending line across the center of the ring and two difficult brick-wall skinny obstacles.
Maclay Course Round 1
Many young riders’ Maclay dreams were dashed at the first brick-wall skinny, which riders jumped as the B element of a one-stride combination. If the riders jumped into the combination with too much pace, the second fence proved to be problematic. The in-and-out sitting just a few strides off the rail also caused the same problem for a number of competitors.
“When I walked the course at 5 this morning, it woke me up for sure,” Moggre laughed, speaking of the challenging track. “I trusted my horse and believed that he would be able to do what we needed to do. He was able to execute our plans. There were some spooky jumps in there, and it reminded me of a jumper course, but at the same time, it still had some hunter aspects.”
Impressively, this is Moggre’s first year competing in the equitation, and he’s only been riding Viceroy since July. Viceroy is owned by Moggre’s trainers, Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney. Despite being a new partnership, the pair has had success in both the hunter and equitation rings, including a victory at the Region 4 Maclay Championships.
“Viceroy is amazing,” Moggre said. “He’s one of my favorite horses, and I couldn’t be happier to ride him. Since he is more of a hunter-type equitation horse, he is able to get down the lines. I felt comfortable coming out of the corners today; that’s one of his strengths.”
Before Moggre’s round, the talented Hunter Holloway went eighth in the order and quickly moved into the lead. The winner of last weekend’s Washington International Horse Show equitation championship wowed the judges once again with her efficient and smooth round, as she was the first rider to complete the course without any major hiccups. She finished the first round of the competition sitting in third place.
Lucy Deslauriers was the 14th rider to go and the second rider to deliver a textbook round, passing the course’s various tests with graceful ease. Deslauriers moved into the top spot, which she would hold for more than 70 rounds until Moggre overtook her. Deslauriers will head into Sunday’s tests sitting in second place.
“I watched both Hunter and Lucy,” Moggre said. “Hunter is a good friend, so I made sure I didn’t miss her round. Lucy rides amazingly, so I figured whatever she would do, I had to do it better! Both of them had really nice trips, and they are really nice people, so being in the top three with them is an honor.”
Heading into Sunday’s rounds, Moggre said his plan is to continue to give his best effort and let the cards fall where they may.
“It’s hard getting to the top, and it’s even harder to stay there,” Moggre said. “Either I’m going to win it, or I’m not. I’m going to go all out. If it doesn’t work out, there’s next year, and if it does work out, then it’s amazing.”
The ASPCA Maclay National Championship will resume on Sunday at 1 p.m. with the flat phase followed by the second over-fences round. For live updates throughout the day on Sunday, tune in to www.phelpssports.com.
The ASPCA Maclay National Championship has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden (1987) and Nicole Shahinian Simpson (1992). The 2014 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Tori Colvin of Loxahatchee, Florida, and in 2015 McKayla Langmeier of East Granby, Connecticut, won the title.