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To The Nines Jumps To The Top In $5,000 WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge


October 10, 2010

By Tricia Booker

Upper Marlboro, MD —Oct. 9, 2010 – When Tracy Fenney and To The Nines entered the ring for the $5,000 WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Johnson Horse Transportation Inc., Fenney had a plan mapped out.
Course designer Mike Rheinheimer had set a challenging course in the Prince George’s Equestrian Center Show Place Arena, which featured tight rollbacks, a trot jump, a hand-gallop fence and abundant floral

“I knew a bunch of the people behind me were going to give it a go, so I knew I couldn’t just be conservative. I had to take some chances,” said Fenney. “With all of the flowers they had out, some of the horses were spooking, so he was really good about being brave and he handled it well.”

To The Nines, 6, a gray Oldenburg, didn’t let her down. With an 87.33, they led the victory gallop over Valor and Olivia Esse (86.83) and Best Man with Melissa Dodderidge (85.66).

The class was open to the top 30 riders in the WCHR Handy Hunter National Standings, the champion and reserve champion from each of the Regional Handy Hunter standings and to the top four riders in the 3’6” handy hunter classes at the Capital Challenge.
The judges emphasized promptness and tight turns when presiding over the class, with precedence being given in that order. And with her extensive grand prix show jumping background, Fenney made the rollbacks look smooth and effortless.

“I did the inside turn from fence 1 to 2. That was my least favorite part,” said Fenney. “I think it was because of the flowers and rocks; they didn’t quite know where they were going. But after that, he was probably as good as he could be.”

Owners Kenny and Didi Mackenzie, Flower Mound, TX, shared a dream show this week with trainers Fenney and Mike McCormick. To The Nines earned the championship in section A of the first year green division, won the EMO Trip of the Show-Professional and the Derby Down Trophy awarded to the highest-scoring hunter round by a professional in the professional divisions. In addition to his Handy Challenge victory, To The Nines also collected the WCHR Handy Hunter National reserve championship.

“I can’t say enough about how she rides,” said Didi. “You just love to watch her ride your horse. She’s amazing.”
Didi accompanied Fenney and McCormick to Germany horse shopping last year, and they imported the elegant gray in December.

“They’re really good friends and have done so much for me,” said Didi. “I can’t say enough nice things about Tracy and Mike. I owe everything to them for this horse and my other horses I’ve had.”

Didi and Kenny bring their mobile shop Quail Hollow Tack to the Capital Challenge each year, and Didi said the show is a highlight of her year.

“I try my best to qualify each year,” she said. “I’m a big supporter of the WCHR, and I love seeing the hunters here. I love the jumpers, don’t get me wrong, but they always get the front page and the hunters don’t. I love it when the hunters are showcased.”
Sanmorino and Lisa Williams also took centerstage to collect the WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge National Championship after claiming sixth in the Handy Hunter Challenge. Williams made the trip to the Capital Challenge from Victoria, BC, extremely worthwhile when she also earned the EMO Trip of the Show-Amateur-Owner award for her stellar performances.

Action continues at the Capital Challenge Horse Show on Sunday with the $2,500 WCHR Pony, Children’s and Junior Challenges (Oct. 10).

Professional, Junior and Amateur Riders are invited to compete at the Capital Challenge Horse Show by qualifying through the WCHR National program throughout the year. A rider's top four WCHR shows count toward awards in these divisions: Professional and Emerging Professional, Junior, Amateur Owner (3'6" and 3'3"), Adult Amateur and Pony. Riders are then invited to contest WCHR Challenge Classes, and the WCHR presents its national awards for 16 divisions at the Capital Challenge, and regional awards are also decided.

For full results please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

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