Emotional Moment: Morning Star Captures Field Hunter Challenge Trophy
Morning Star, owned and ridden by Blaine Holland, captured the Field Hunter Challenge Trophy at the 78th Moore County Hounds Hunter Trials held March 6.
The trophy is presented annually to the “best” field hunter regularly hunted by the Moore County Hounds during the current season.
The 2010 honor marks the second time Morning Star has earned the Field Hunter Challenge Trophy. In 2003, Holland’s mother, Ann Compton, won the trophy riding Morning Star.
“I’m beside myself. It’s a great honor,” said Holland.
After her mother passed away, Holland took over the reins on Morning Star. Last year, Holland returned to hunting after 25 years away from horses.
“We’re both fit and over 40,” said Holland, referring to Morning Star, an aged horse. “Star is a remarkable horse. Mom had an eye for horses.”
Holland and Tayloe Compton, Ann’s stepdaughter, won the Pairs class and were second in the Team class, along with Rhonda Dretel.
Compton rode her 14-hand pony Merrylegs, who was purchased by Ann Compton for her grandchildren right before she passed away in 2008. Holland’s brother, Jimmy, and his family were at the Hunter Trials to share in the special family event.
“Mom taught me to ride, but when I got out of high school, I quit riding,” said Blaine. “After Mom passed away, Cameron (Sadler) invited me to ride one of Cameron’s horses, as I couldn’t handle riding one of Mom’s. I realized then that riding was my connection with Mom.
“Cameron suggested I ride Star. I wasn’t too interested, as I knew Star had had a number of injuries. It took a little love and a little time, but I brought Star back.
“It’s very comforting to me to be on one of my mom’s horses. I feel Mom’s energy when I’m on Star. Mom was always there for me. She was my everything. She’s with me every day.”
Holland lives in Myrtle Beach and hunts with the Moore County Hounds on weekends. Star is stabled in Southern Pines at the family farm.
“David Miller cares for Star, and Mary Cremins rides her during the week,” Holland said. “I couldn’t do it without their support.”
Other winners included Neil Schwartzberg, who rode his big gray 16-year-old Irish sport horse Spartacus in a number of classes, winning numerous ribbons. The pair was also presented with the Reynards Ridge Trophy for “most suitable horse and rider.”
“At first I was shocked,” said Schwartzberg, who commutes from New York City to his farm in Southern Pines on weekends. “I was focused on being brave enough to show, not winning. I’ve been working very hard training with Maryann Charles. I’m a weekend rider. I’m not a professional, and I’m not even a solid amateur, but I love it. I want to encourage other foxhunters to participate in the Hunter Trials.”
Botanika, also owned by Schwartzberg, was named overall Hunter Champion with Charles in the irons.
Charles has been riding the 16.2-hand Hanovarian mare for two seasons in the hunt field.
“She’s very quiet and a nice jumper,” said Schwartzberg. “Her trot and canter are as smooth as silk. Maryann’s comment to me was that, ‘The horse did all the work.’”
The Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Espresso, owned by Diane Westbrook and ridden by Savannah Russell. Reserve went to Nova, owned by Foxtrack Training Center and ridden by Kayela Smith.
The Junior Field Hunter Challenge Trophy was awarded to Chandler, also owned by Foxtrack and ridden by Kaitlyn McVeigh.
The American Sportsman Trophy, presented annually to the outstanding junior who demonstrates the sportsmanship and tradition of the Moore County Hounds, was awarded to Sarah Brown.
The Hunter Trials were judged by Sandy O’Donnell and Dr. Hildreth (Hildy) McCathy, both of whom hunt with the Millbrook Hounds in Millbrook, N.Y.
BEGINNER JR. HUNTER: 1.Holly Dolly, B. Mitchell 2.Gabby, K. Liner JR. PONY HUNTER: 1.Triscuit, T. Ellis 2.Pony Boy (Owner: Foxtrack), L. Lindamood 3. (T).Chandler (Foxtrack) K. McVeigh & Raffles (J. Pedrick) C. Kirkland 4.Nova (Foxtrack) K. Smith JR. HUNTER 13 YRS. & UNDER: 1.Espresso(D. Westbrook) S. Russell 2.Nova JR. HUNTER 14-18 YRS: 1.Merry Legs (T. Compton), E. Kirkland 2.Pony Boy 3.Chandler 4.Preacher (Foxtrack) C. Kirkland 5.McAuley (T. Hill) S. Brown 6.Legend (Foxtrack) H. Cunningham OPEN JR. HUNTER: 1.Raffles 2.Espresso 3.Chandler 4.Nova 5.Pony Boy 6.Prompt Surprise (C. Sadler) E. Kirkland JR. HUNTER CHAMPIONSHIP: 1.Espresso Reserve: Nova JR. FIELD HUNTER CHALLENGE TROPHY: Chandler AMERICAN SPORTSMAN TROPHY: Sarah Brown FIRST SEASON HUNTER: 1 Citizen Soldier (K. Riley) N. Ellis 2.Belle, C. Dowd Kamalbake 3.Old Grandad, C. Sadler THOROUGHBRED HUNTER: 1.Old Grandad 2.Steel Smile, S. Sommerson 3.Flying Carpet, N. Ellis 4.Prompt Surprise (C. Sadler) M. Cremins 5.Peyton Place, J. Tate NON THOROUGHBRED HUNTER: 1.Rebel Princess, W. Hooper 2.Merrylegs, T. Compton 3.Botanika (N. Schwartzberg) M. Charles 4.Danny O’Daly, T. Stark 5.Spartacus, (N. Schwartzberg) M. Charles 6.Shrek (A. Dretel) R. Dretel STRICTLY FOR FOXHUNTERS: 1.Peyton Place, J. Tate 2.Spartacus, N. Schwartzberg 3.Down South (Stars & Bars) G. Pearson 4.Page, B. Rainoff STRICTLY FOR HILLTOPPERS: 1.Zeke, C. Castle 2. Sampson, D. Kamelbake 3.Gabby (K. Liner), E. Demboski 4.Davia, T. Garrett 5.Leroy, L. Selbach HILLTOPPER OF THE YEAR: 1.Zeke PAIRS: 1.Merrylegs & Morning Star 2.Down South & Peyton Place 3. Page & The Sting. LADY’S HUNTER: 1.Danny O’Daly 2.Rebel Princess 3.Down South 4.Old Grandad 5.Prompt Surprise 6. Smooth Song, E. Wyatt Adams GENTLEMEN’S HUNTER: 1.Sandy Lane (E. Ellis) N. Ellis 2.Spartacus 3.Peyton Place HANDY HUNTER: 1.Steel Smile 2.Merrylegs 3.Prompt Surprise 4.Rebel Princess 5.The Sting 6.Danny O’Daly HUNT TEAMS: 1.Holly Dolly, Nova, & Raffles. 2. Merrylegs, Shrek, & Morning Star. 3.Page, Sandy Lane & The Sting. 4.Chandler, K. McVeigh; Legend, H. Cunningham & McAuley, S. Brown. OPEN HUNTER: 1.Botanika 2.Prompt Surprise 3.Danny O’Daly 4.Smooth Song FIELD HUNTER CHALLENGE: Morning Star MOST SUITABLE HORSE &RIDER: Spartacus, Neil Schwartzberg HUNTER CHAMPIONSHIP: Botanika Reserve: Merrylegs UNSUNG HERO: Susan Lindamood.
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