Many area riders were honored during the annual American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia banquet Feb. 22 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon.
Liberty County riders from four barns were honored as the state’s top riders for 2013. In three classes, Liberty County riders garnered every award: academy walk/trot/canter showmanship, academy walk trot/canter equitation and academy walk/trot/canter championship.
According to Chan Sutton, President of ASHAG, the depth of the competition is very good, especially in the academy classes. Top individual honors in these three classes went to Katie Rose Martin of Dixie Stables in Allenhurst.
In performance classes, two Liberty County riders won top honors in several classes. Samantha Hocking, now riding for Gravel Hills Farms, won in country pleasure driving and was the American Saddlebred Horse Association country pleasure driving champion. Hocking also won the open English pleasure championship with Syb Van De Loeshamhoeve. In ASB hunter classes, Hocking was the reserve champion and placed in the top five in amateur country pleasure. Bunny Braun, a student at First Presbyterian Christian Academy in Hinesville who rides for Pine Haven Stables in Brunswick, won the 13-and-under country pleasure riding We Be Jammin. Braun was the ASHA Region 10 juvenile country pleasure champion and the ASHA state pleasure horse juvenile country pleasure champion. She also placed in the top five in 14-17 country pleasure and amateur country pleasure.
In both academy and performance divisions, Liberty County riders placed in the top five in multiple classes.
The 2014 season is under way. For more information regarding the programs and shows at these barns, go to the stables’ websites and Facebook pages or ashag.org.