Littlestown, Pa. – Sept. 3, 2016 – After a successful collegiate career, Samantha Schaefer dominated in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur Hunter Classic at Swan Lake Quentin Fall Classic. The Westminster, Maryland native swept the Amateur Owner over-fences portion of the division in the wake of earning top honors in the classic.
“Classified has really been a key to getting me back into showing and competing in the amateurs,” Schaefer said about her 11-year-old mount. “I took some time off to focus on my academic and collegiate career.”
Schaeffer and the chestnut Hanoverian have been working together for two years, beginning their partnership in the fall of 2014. The duo had the highest scores in the classic, scoring an 88 and 86 in the first two rounds, totaling a score of 174 points. The pair led the division by nearly 10 points, with their closest contender scoring a total of 164.5 points.
“Classified has been my go-to horse and is my security blanket right now,” she shared. “Every time I show him, he wins. He’s that horse you can always rely on and you always know what you’ll get. He’s a really good boy and dependable. He wants to win. There is no drama with him.”
She continued, “Two things make him stand out; he’s quiet and a beautiful mover. He looks to win. You can have a horse with a lot of talent, but if they don’t understand their job or how to win, they’re no good. He has that extra will to win.”
Heading into the day, Schaeffer had no plan in place, but instead let Classified’s talent do the work.
“We didn’t want to ask him to do too much,” she explained. “We tried to keep it low key, and I think it worked out well. He was very smooth and went around very nicely. The jumps are nice and the ring is big at Swan Lake. It invites the horse to jump well. They do a nice job.”
Experiencing Swan Lake for the first time was the winner of the $1,000 NAL/WIHS/M&S Child/Adult Hunter Classic, Samantha Ruttura.
Not only did the full-time sales and marketing guru ride away with the blue ribbon aboard Cakewalk, but she also took home third place with Quinn.
“This is my first time showing here,” Ruttura explained. “It’s great to come out with a win. Swan Lake is beautiful and has a great atmosphere.”
The Long Island, NY native rides with Louise and Christina Serio and boards her horses at Derbydown Inc. in Pennsylvania. The mother-and-daughter duo have Ruttura’s horses in a phenomenal training program that gives Ruttura the confidence to ride and show.
“I live in Long island, and the horses live in Pennsylvania,” Ruttura explained. “It makes it hard to get out as often as possible, but they’re in a great program. Once I get over my nerves, they’re great!”
Ruttura has been working with Cakewalk for about a year and half and earned the money-class victory with a total two-round score of 151 points. The adult rider slid into the third-place slot with a total two-round score of 147.5 aboard Quinn.
“They both ride differently, but not drastically,” Ruttura explained. “They’re ride is straight forward and quiet. Quinn has a longer stride, so I have to think about going slower on him. Everything came together well on that last round with both of them.”
Expanding on how she rides Cakewalk, Ruttura said, “She’s a really fun horse. She’s sensitive, so you have to make sure you ride her the way she likes. She’s really brave and jumps beautifully. You just have to get a light canter and stay with her. She’ll do the rest.”
Sharing her final thoughts on her first Swan Lake outing and victory, Ruttura concluded, “The course was beautiful and the lines rode nicely. I really just wanted to go in and be consistent. They did great and stepped up. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
The 2016 Quentin Fall Classic will come to a close on Sunday, September 3. Each hunter division will finish their respective jumping phase, as well as an under saddle class before pinning an overall champion.
Find more about the Quentin Fall Classic online at www.swanlakehorseshows.com.
Featured Sponsor: Noble Outfitters
Noble Outfitters is an all-encompassing equestrian brand, offering a range of quality English and Western products ranging from breeches, show shirts, and footwear, to accessories, bags, animal care products, and barn tools. Noble Outfitters supplied Swan Lake with $5,000 worth of ring backpacks for winners.
“At Noble Outfitters, we believe in encouraging youth to participate in equestrian events, which teach responsibility and provide meaningful learning experiences,” Marketing Manager Julia Scrivani said. “We are committed to donating 5% of our profits to equestrian-focused youth programs via our Noble Tomorrow program, and we are happy that we were able to give back to the horse community and support many talented young equestrians at the Swan Lake Horse Shows.”