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Richards, Kahle, Carlson, and Ziegler Win ASPCA Maclay Regional Qualifiers

Written by: Jennifer Wood
Client: National Horse Show
Release Date: 2009-09-17

New York, NY - September 17, 2009 - Four regional qualifying competitions were held this past weekend for the 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championships. The 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championship will be held at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament on October 28-November 1, 2009.

The winner of the Region 8 qualifier, held at the Oaks Blenheim Fall Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA, was 15-year-old Cayla Richards of Calabasas, CA. Richards trains with Jenny Karazissis and rode her horse Asparagus, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, to the win.

This was Richards’ second time competing at the Regional qualifier, and this year will be her first trip to the National Championships. “I’ve never been there, so I’m excited just to see what it is like,” she mentioned. “I only get to compete back East once or twice a year. It will be nice to see all of my competition. They’re the best riders in the country at that show.”

Richards beat out 34 other competitors in her region and led the class through the jumping, flat, and work-off phases. “The course was definitely pretty tough,” Richards conceded. “There was an option to do the inside turn to a two stride, vertical-vertical, and I might have been the only one to do it. That might have gotten extra points from the judges.”

Richards believes that her win at the Region 8 qualifier will help when she travels to the East Coast. “It was definitely good practice for indoors because it was a small indoor ring like back East. That gives my horse and me confidence going indoors and knowing that we can win if we put in a good round,” she said.

Canadian rider Cassandra Kahle will also be making her first trip to the ASPCA Maclay National Championships this year. The 16-year-old from Langley, British Columbia, won the Region 7 qualifier, which was held at the NorthWest Autumn Classic in Monroe, WA.

“I thought the course was very challenging and a lot different than anything I’d ever ridden, but I had a good time doing it,” Kahle noted. “I’m looking forward to the experience in Syracuse. I’ve never been to New York!”

Kahle rode Batik, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Terry and Alicia Hayes, in the qualifier. This was Kahle’s first time competing at the Regional qualifier, since an injury last year precluded her riding in last year’s class.

“This year was the chance for me to get back to classes that I wanted to do last year,” Kahle said. “Batik’s owners were willing to pay for me to show at the Regional and the qualifying classes; it was something we agreed to work for. I really appreciate the Hayes’ support and the opportunity to ride a nice horse like Batik. We have had an amazing show season this year. Thank you also to Bobbie Reber for her support and mentorship, to my brother Colton Kahle, who is also my groom, and to my mom Natasha Brash, who is my trainer.”

Audrey Carlson repeated her win from last year in the Region 6 qualifier at the High Prairie Fall Classic in Parker, CO. The Boulder, CO, resident rode Mister Knightly, a 13-year-old gelding that she has leased since May.

“We had a really solid first round jumping, and I felt pretty confident going into the flat phase that I should be able to make the top four,” Carlson remarked. “They asked the top four riders to remain in the ring for work-off. I got nervous watching first three riders because all had good work-offs, but I was able to stay on top.”

This was Carlson’s third time competing at the Regional qualifier, and this year will be her second time at the ASPCA Maclay National Championship. “It’s really exciting but really intimidating to show at Syracuse,” she admitted. “It feels like a completely different world compared to out here. I don’t know a lot of the kids as well as I do around here. My goal this year is to have fun with each of the finals. My goal was to do well at Regionals so that I could continue because this is my last junior year. Now that I’ve done that, I can just go and have fun. I want to thank my trainer Michael Dennehy for all of his time and hard work. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

The winner of the Region 5 qualifier, which was held at the St. Louis National Charity in Lake St. Louis, MO, was 14-year-old Caitlin Ziegler of Milwaukee, WI. Ziegler rode Charleston Z, a horse that she has owned for five years and shown in the equitation, hunters, and jumpers, and she trains with Cookie Beck.

“The class went really well. I had to go last, which was good, and I got to see everybody ride it,” she explained. “I saw where the problems were and could make a better plan. It felt really good to win, and I was really excited.”

This was Ziegler’s second year at the Maclay Regionals, at which she was fifth last year. This will be her second time traveling to Syracuse.

“I’m really happy that I’m probably going to be able to do hunters, jumpers, and equitation at Syracuse,” Ziegler said. “I feel like I’ll have a chance to be a bit more competitive this year in the Maclay since I’ve already been there once.”

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 three 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

2009 ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Top 10
1. Cayla Richards, Asparagus, Calabasas, CA
2. Theodore Boris, Du Calme, Culver City, CA
3. Jocelyn Neff, Lord Loxley, Newport Beach, CA
4. Saer Coulter, Sanderson, San Francisco, CA
5. Lucy Davis, Patrick, Los Angeles, CA
6. Gabbi Langston, Azlan, Irvine, CA
7. Olivia Esse, Guns N Roses, Los Angeles, CA
8. Samantha Harrison, Triple Lutz, La Canada Flintridge, CA
9. Demi Stiegler, Vigo, Irvine, CA
10. Sophie Verges, Meant to Be, Berkeley, CA

2009 ASPCA Maclay Region 7 Top 10
1. Cassandra Kohle, Batik, Langley, BC, CAN
2. Colleen Biemer, Night Cap, Portland, OR
3. Garrett Schmidt, Imax, Bellevue, WA
4. Amanda Moore, Hyde Park, Bothell, WA
5. Alexa Anthony, Vogue, Redmond, WA
6. Kelsi Schatz, Donatello Z, Lake Oswego, IR
7. Ana Sanborn, Sky High, Monroe, WA
8. Rebecca Sexton, Dinero, Woodinville, WA
9. Stephanie Smolensky, Jericho, Richmond, BC, CAN
10. Hannah Thornton, Blackberry, Bellevue, WA

2009 ASPCA Maclay Region 6 Top 9
1. Audrey Carlson, Mr. Knightly, Boulder, CO
2. Megan MacPherson, Picture Perfect, Boulder, CO
3. Olivia Chowdry, Waking Dream, Golden, CO
4. Leighona Bernstein, Bellagio, Golden, CO
5. Brooke Kennedy, Poke, Littleton, CO
6. Clare Burchenal, Levitation, Golden, CO
7. Elizabeth Wilkins, Casper, Evergreen, CO
8. Julie Gravelle, Dante, South Jordan, UT
9. Devon Wright, Safari, Vail, CO

2009 ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Top 10
1. Caitlin Ziegler, Charleston Z, Milwaukee, WI
2. Jessy Ramljak, Trocadero, Orangeville, ON, CAN
3. Laura Baginski, Coronado, Ballwin, MO
4. Eirin Bruheim, Terrapin Station, Houston, TX
5. Kalvin Dobbs, Accord, Carmel, IN
6. Emily Auer, Armagedon, St. Louis, MO
7. Ellie Bernstein, Zerneberg, New Orleans, LA
8. Abby O'Mara, Vanguard, Rumson, NJ
9. Natalie Liberman, Bellagio, Ballwin, MO
10. Madison Leigh Games, Puissance, Silex, MO

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: Cayla Richards won the ASPCA Maclay Region 8 qualifier. Photo © Captured Moments. Cassandra Kahle won the ASPCA Maclay Region 7 qualifier. Photo © Jay Goss. Audrey Carlson won the ASPCA Maclay Region 6 qualifier. Photo © Brian Ryder. Caitlin Ziegler won the ASPCA Maclay Region 5 qualifier. Photo © CJM Photos. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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