Thursday in the main hunter ring at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), adult amateurs concluded competition with the second and final round of the $5,000 NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter Classic where Virginia local Fay Knelly claimed the victory aboard her own long-time partner, Last Hurrah, riding to an impressive combined score of 173.5.
Returning in reverse order, Knelly entered with an 88, the second highest score of the first round, and executed a second round score of 85.5. Her 173.5 high-point total proved unbeatable through the final ride to secure the blue ribbon and cooler.
“I’ve had him 10 years and I am just thrilled to still be able to ride him, so there was no pressure, it’s just fun,” Knelly shared. “When he was younger and I was going for points that was different, but now we’re just having fun.”
“He doesn’t like to have a ribbon on the bridle and he lit up at the end of the class, which is why I didn’t ride him in [for the awards]. He can do that. He was bred to be a jumper and he still has his spunk. It’s hard to know he’s 15,” joked Knelly.
Knelly of Boyce, Virginia, and the Oldenburg gelding completed a successful week of showing after capturing the champion tricolor ribbon in Section B of the Adult Amateur 50 and Over Hunter division upon winning bother over fences classes Wednesday. They were awarded the Lynn Nelms Memorial Trophy, donated by her Haymarket Veterinary Service family and the championship cooler donated by Terri G. Wheeler for their winning efforts. Knelly has been attending the UCHS for over 25 years and also claimed the same champion award with Last Hurrah in 2016.
Bridgett McIntosh and her own Styliczed delivered a second round score of 84 for a total of 171, but were just shy of Knelly’s winning score and settled for a second place finish. Third place was awarded to Martha Ingram aboard John & Stephanie Ingram LLC’s Ice Time with a total of 169.