HARRISBURG, Pa. — Family Fun Day at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, on Oct. 14, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, was evident both in the main show ring and around the concourse as children and their parents enjoyed story hour, crafts, a petting zoo as pony hunters of all sizes and colors vied for championship ribbons.
For little Alexa Lignelli, New York, NY, it truly was Family Fun Day, as, with her whole family watching, she and her ponies Iparty and Rollingwoods Knee Deep were named Pony Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion. For Iparty it was a repeat win, as she had won the title in 2016.
"My PapPap and Grandma were here to watch me," said 9-year-old Lignelli. "I thought I could win again. I believed! I have improved in all my lessons, really working on my position, holding my body, and my pace on the ponies. That was my goal, and I am really happy. Henry was Reserve and he really deserves it, he is such an amazing pony, and so is Rosie."
"Yesterday we started out a little rough," said Lignelli's trainer Bill Schaub. "But she is the come-back kid. We sorted out what we needed to and we just took a deep breath and went for it."
Caroline Signorino, 12, from Basking Ridge, NJ, and Anisette, owned by Hannah Hoch, won the Medium Pony Hunter Championship. The pair won the Handy class on Oct. 13 and followed that up with another win in the Stake class the next day.
"We are on a bit of a streak right now. I won at Capital Challenge," said Signorino. "I have been riding Annie for a year and she is very sweet and very easy to ride. You can fit in any distance. She has taught me a whole bunch. I play field hockey at school, but I love riding more."
Spellbound, owned by Stella Wasserman and 15-year-old catch rider Caroline Passarelli, High Falls, N.Y., took home the Large Pony Hunter Championship, the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, Best Junior Rider on a Pony, and the EMO High Five Award, given to the pony who receives the highest numerical score throughout the Pony Hunter division. Armando Celayo received the Grooms Award for his care of Spellbound.
"This is incredible," said Passarelli. "The last time I was here was 2014 with my small pony when she was champion. I can't begin to thank Archie Cox and the Wasserman family for lending me this pony for the weekend. He is everything you could want in a pony. Stella Wasserman could not make it here to show him and so I got the opportunity, and he stepped up to the plate like he always does."
Alexa Lignelli was ranked second in the Junior Rider on a Pony standings followed by Baylee McKeever of Bewster, N.Y. and Claire Campbell of Cochranville, Pa.
The Junior Hunter Sportsmanship award was given to Leah Toscano, Chesterfield, N.J. This award is given to the rider who exhibits the highest degree of exemplary personal conduct with respect to good sportsmanship.
Further information about the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, updates, promotions, ticket information and more is available at www.PANational.org or by calling 717-770-0222.
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