The American Royal has been a nationally famous name for several decades – not just in the horse world – but in the stock animal world as well. Every November, the UPHA National Championships live up the the “Royal” name. Timber Hills Farm had an especially good one in 2019.
First to compete on Monday morning was Avis Van Zomeren and Sunset’s Flying Kiss (Penny) in adult equitation. After a hiatus from the equitation world, Avis used her horsemanship to guide the showy Penny and capture the win. This is the second year in a row Timber Hills Farm has won this class, with Nadine and Penny having won in 2018.
Next to show were our non-saddleseat horses: Frenzied (Zeke) and Mozart’s Crescendo (Mo). Zeke was ridden by Sydney Robbins, and both did an outstanding job of holding their own in a qualifier with 15 other horses. Their efforts earned them a top 5 finish. Zeke and Sydney enjoyed continued success to garner a 7th place ribbon in the equally competitive and large championship.
At this show, Mo continued to surprise and excite us in the western division. In both the open and ladies western pleasure classes, Avis and he were the definition of smooth and lovely to place in top 3 ribbons. In the national championship, they finished in 4th place. We were thrilled to place this well at the Royal, and in a new division!
Avis wasn’t the only one to compete in equitation at the American Royal this year. Gracie DeRonde and Abigail Van Kooten were also strong competitors in what was arguably one of the toughest divisions of the entire show. After facing some trials in the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup, our girls used these challenges to fuel their determination and step up for their final class: the American Royal Junior Equitation Championship. Both girls displayed supreme showmanship and before the ribbons were even placed, a huge sense of accomplishment was felt. Gracie was crowned the reserve national champion and Abby earned a strong 5th place finish. We are so proud of how both our young riders handled the competition and came out victorious.
The 2019 American Royal was certainly one to remember. We take pride in how both our horses and riders stepped up to compete at the national level. Ending on such a high note fuels our excitement during the winter off, and we look forward to next show season!