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Press Release


Catherine Billings rode Figaro to the win in the Region 3 ASPCA Maclay Qualifier at the 2009 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show.

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Catherine Billings Wins Region 3 ASPCA Maclay Qualifier

Written by: Jennifer Wood
Client: National Horse Show
Release Date: 2009-09-10

New York, NY - September 10, 2009 - The first regional qualifying competition was held this past weekend for the 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championships. The winner of the Region 3 qualifier, held at the 2009 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show at the Agricultural Center in Green Cove Springs, FL, was Catherine Billings of Tallahassee, FL.

The Region 3 qualifier is for the Southeast Region of Alabama, Washington D.C., Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championship will be held at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament on October 28-November 1, 2009.

Billings is 15 years old, and this was her third time competing at the Region 3 qualifier. She won over 50 other competitors in the class. She has shown at the National Championships for the past two years in Syracuse, and she placed 10th at last year’s Region 3 qualifier.

Billings rode her horse Figaro, a nine-year-old Argentine Warmblood gelding, to the win. She has been riding Figaro over a year, and the horse was showing in the Pre-Green division when she started with him. They moved up together through the equitation ranks. Billings trains with her father, Rob Billings, as well as Bob Braswell and Christina Schlusemeyer.

Of her win at the Region 3 qualifer, Billings remarked, “It was really shocking to me. I never thought it would happen. It was quite an experience.”

Billings said that she has been working on improving with Figaro, and she hopes to do well this year and is excited for the National Championships. “I hope to improve from last year and would like to make it to the second round,” she said. “I’d like to thank Amanda and Lauren Schweppe, and Bob and Christina for helping me with him and helping me improve.”

The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2008 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ.

There are seven remaining regional qualifiers for the ASPCA Maclay National Championships. They are:

Region 1 (Northeast- CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
September 20, 2009, at Grand Fall Classic in Westbrook, CT

Region 2 (East- NJ, NY, PA)
September 19, 2009, at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY

Region 4 (Midwest- IL, IN, KY, MI, OH)
September 19, 2009, at Kentucky National in Lexington, KY

Region 5 (Central- AR, IA, KS, LA, MO, MN, ND, NE, OK, SD, TX, WI)
September 12, 2009 at St. Louis National Charity in Lake St. Louis

Region 6 (Mountain- AZ, CO, NM, UT)
September 12, 2009, at High Prairie Fall Classic in Parker, CO

Region 7 (Northwest- AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
September 12, 2009, at NorthWest Autumn Classic in Monroe, WA

Region 8 (West- CA, HI, NV)
September 12, 2009, at Oaks Blenheim Fall Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA

2007 ASPCA Maclay Region 3 TOP 10
1. Catherine Billings, Figaro
2. Chelsey Zulia, Convent 8
3. Carolyn Van Houten, El Campeon’s Danish
4. Amber Henter, Triumph
5. Chase Boggio, Graphiq
6. Taylor Adams, Almost Famous
7. Taylor Brown, Legato
8. Caroline Spogli, Superfly
9. Paulena Johnson, Prosecco 24
10. Mahala Rummell, George Bailey

For more information on the ASPCA Maclay National Championships and its qualifiers as well as the National Horse Show Association of America, please visit

For details on the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament, please visit

Photo Credit: Catherine Billings rode Figaro to the win in the Region 3 ASPCA Maclay Qualifier at the 2009 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show. Photo © Flashpoint Photography. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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