2020 Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Huntseat Medal FinalsOctober 6, 2020
This year proved to be a challenge for the equestrian industry as a whole, and the Board of the 39th edition of the 2020 Massachusetts Horsemen’s ‘Days of Champions’ Huntseat Medal Finals rose to meet it. With just weeks to go before the start date, Covid19 safe distancing required a move to an outside show venue if the competition were to run at all this year. In a heroic effort of everyone involved with the Days of Champions, it was decided to rent Fieldstone Show Park in Halifax, MA, and move the show from its traditional Northampton Fairgrounds base.
In a heartwarming award ceremony honoring the 2020 MHC ‘Person of the Year’, Jay Sargent, received cheers and tears from all present as her many achievements in the industry were detailed by her husband, announcer John Barret.
Beautiful blue sky fall days with bright sun, a wash of fall colors in the trees, inviting courses with colorful jumps, and perfect temperatures with no rain made for one of the best DOC Finals ever. Show Chair Felicia Knowles and manager/course designer Tom Hern, with Secretary Charlene Brown and Sandy Crowe, produced a well-organized and smoothly run competition that saw 94 Adults, 82 Juniors, and 65 Mini Medlars compete. Exhibitors should visit the official photographer for the 2020 Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Medal Finals, Jess Windurst’s website to order photos.
Warmup day was Thursday, allowing everyone to settle into the new venue.
Adult Medal Day
Friday dawned bright and sunny as Adult Medal day, with 54 exhibitors in the 18-30 Amateur Adult Final, and 40 to compete in the Adult Over 30. Rising to the top in the 18- 30 Adult Medal, Champion Jessica Oswald riding with Armand Chenelle moved up to win the class with Reserve Champion Jillian Maclean, trained by Jennifer Ritucci placing second.
Next up, the Adult Amateur Over 30 Medal Champion Julia Gildea trained by Patricia Harnois, riding beautifully throughout, winning her open eq, called back on top in the second round and the test to win the Medal.
Reserve Champion went to Ruth Walker riding with Gregory Prince.
Junior Medal Championships
Saturday brought the highly coveted Junior Medal Championship competition with 82 to show. Riding to the top with a win in her open eq. and called back on top in the test Junior Medal Champion Blake D. Rowan also trained by Patricia Harnios won the day.
Reserve Champion Juliette Earley, another trained by Armand Chenelle, held her second-place position from the callback.
Mini Medal Day
Sunday morning began in the fog but cleared nicely as the day went on. Moving up from eighth in the second round to second in the callback, Mini Medal Champion Isabel Hunt, trained by Sheryl MacLeod, went to the top!
Reserve Champion Baylee D. Rowan, another trained by Patricia Hanois, moved up from fourth in the callback.
New this year, the Adult Mini Medal was well received with 22 exhibitors to compete in the Class. The Adult Medal was tightly contested throughout the top two.
The inaugural 2020 MHC DOC Adult Mini Medal Champion is Cheryl Smith who trains with Tom Hern.
Riding to Reserve Champion, Leah M. Shedd who trains with Amber J. Vera held onto second place in the callback.
The Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council would like to thank the Exhibitors, Officials, Trainers, Parents, Support Staff, Fieldstone Show Park, and all who helped make this a successful 2020 Medal Finals.
Visit Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council on the web for more information.
By Melody Taylor-Scott