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  • Writer's pictureMary Thomson

Maple Leaf Stables Brings Home the Amateur Derby Win!

INDIAN LAND, SC, February 15-17, 2019 -- Local equestrian center, Maple Leaf Stables, represented Indian Land, SC well this weekend at the Triangle Farms WINTER INDOORS II “C” Horse Show. The riding competition, held at the nationally acclaimed Governor James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex in Raleigh, NC, was attended by 103 riders and 112 horses.

Owner of Maple Leaf Stables, Christie Pedder, was pleased with the results saying, “This was our first official show. Each rider had their unique challenges to overcome. We brought our abilities together and performed as a team in a very individual sport. As an equestrian training center, our goal is to find success not only in ribbons, but in a rider’s learning accomplishments from many different skill areas. This weekend we did just that.”

Mary Thomson, Hunter/Jumper Trainer for Maple Leaf Stables, had to prepare the riders for the competition. “Our students worked hard in lessons leading up to the show, practicing both their position on the horse and their jumping accuracy. I am very proud of the way our students and horses handled the competitive environment.”

In a Hunter horse show competition, the horses and riders are judged for their form and function. Just prior to competing riders must memorize a posted course of jumps. They must ride their horse over the jumps in proper order, with accurate stride spacing between the jumps, while also maintaining the horse at an even tempo. Penalties are given for minor and major faults, some of which include the horse refusing a jump or the rider going off course. The highest score goes to the horse and rider with the lowest faults.

Ms. Thomson entered three students in 18 competitive events. All three students placed taking ribbons in 13 events. Lauren Esposito, in 9th grade at Marvin Ridge High School took 1st place out of 17 entries in the Amateur Hunter Derby event. This is a remarkable win because Lauren’s competition included older riders and traditional hunter horse breeds. Lauren, 14, rode a Haflinger named Rocket. Athletic and smart, they triumphed as show favorites.

Lori Moynihan and son, Zachary were a bundle of sweet success. They had the special opportunity of competing in the same show. Zach, only 7 years old, is in 2nd grade at Kensington Elementary in Waxhaw, NC. Their personal rewards only added to the ribbons they won.

Rider Competition Class Placed No. of Riders

Lauren Low Child/Adult Equitation Over Fences 1st 14

Low Child/Adult Hunter 6th 18

Low Child/Adult Hunter 3rd 19

Low Child/Adult Equitation Flat 5th 13

Amateur Hunter Derby 1st 17 $150 award

Zachary Walk/Trot Equitation 1st 2

Walk/Trot Pleasure 2nd 2

Walk/Trot Hunter Under Saddle 2nd 2

Walk/Trot Equitation Flat 2nd 2

Walk/Trot Pleasure 1st 2

Walk/Trot Hunter Under Saddle 2nd 2

Walk Trot Division

Reserve Champion

Lori Long Stirrup Equitation Over Fences 4th 9

Long Stirrup Hunter Over Fences 4th 10

It may look easy, but riding is an athletic sport. Trainer, Thomson says, “Many people underestimate the positive impact of riding horses. The exercise of riding is aerobic and uses all muscle groups. It develops a person’s physical and mental abilities which helps in competition, but also in many areas of a person’s life.” The aerobic nature of riding offers proven benefits to the cardiovascular system. Riders experience many other health benefits like increased cognitive function, lower anxiety and increased confidence. With many families seeking exercise opportunities, the convenience and professionalism of Maple Leaf Stables is a positive addition to our community.

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