Wellington, FL – March 4, 2016 – The Ariat National Adult Medal took place in the Rost Arena on Friday morning. Eleven horse and rider combinations competed over a first round course, with the top four returning for a second round test. While the first round proved challenging for many of the exhibitors this morning, Paige Hortman Blevins and her mount Upgrade shined. Hortman Blevins earned a top score of 82 in the first round aboard the 13-year-old gelding owned by Jumping Spring LTD.
Hortman Blevins, who rides with Troy Hendricks at Kimber-View Stables, was the last rider to challenge the test. The other three riders, Jordyn Katz, Nicole Lyvere, and Fiamma Gonzalez-Perotti, proved to be formidable competition, riding solid and efficient rounds in the test. Hortman Blevins kept her cool and rode a beautiful test, which allowed her to hold on to the lead and secured her the win.
Hortman Blevins has a great deal of experience catch riding horses. This week she competed with Upgrade, a gelding from Castlewood Farm. That the pair did not have much experience together as a team was not evident in today’s rounds.
“I’ve been doing the Ariat Medal for the last year on any horse that we could find. I don’t have a horse of my own, so whatever sales horses Troy has, I show,” she stated. She also competes in the Adult Amateur Hunter division and other adult equitation classes.
Hortman Blevins lives in Doylestown, PA, with her husband of three years and her 13-year-old stepson. She works full-time as a United States Air Force pilot and as a pilot for Delta Airlines. Her husband Chris is a U.S. Air Force Pilot as well. A somewhat flexible work schedule allows Hortman Blevins to commute down to Wellington to compete at WEF. “I came down here in the jump-seat. I have to sit in the cockpit with my saddle in my lap, but it’s a free seat so it works!” she laughed.
Hortman Blevins hopes to qualify for the Ariat National Adult Medal Final, which is held each year at The Capital Challenge Horse Show. “It was a goal last year to qualify, but I didn’t have a horse of my own,” Hortman Blevins explained. “Eventually I would like to qualify for Capital Challenge and for Marshall & Sterling Finals.”
Hortman Blevins was thrilled to end her two weeks competing at WEF with a big win. “It’s awesome to be provided with such a nice horse,” she said.
Hunter, jumper, and equitation competition continues on Saturday, featuring the crowning of the Equestrian Sotheby’s Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under champion. The $35,000 1.45m Classic will take place first thing in the International Arena. Saturday also features the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Wrapping up a busy day in the International Arena will be the Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations’ Cup classes, with their first rounds in the afternoon and their second rounds in the evening. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Lauren Fisher and Callie Seaman for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.