By: RandolphPR on
Aug. 30th, 2021
The year 1963 started the first of many rounds ridden under the lights in Harrisburg’s main arena for me and Chimney Sweep. Together, we would go on to win many ribbons including the championship. In 1968, 1969 and 1970, Chimney Sweep (better known as ‘Sooty’) would become the American Horse Show Association and the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association Large Pony Hunter Champion. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show became one of my favorites, in the fall, rounding out the year of competition on the horse show circuit.
In 1973, we decided it would be the year of Sooty’s retirement. What better place for the official retirement ceremony than in Harrisburg’s main arena? Chimney Sweep’s famed groom, Richard Fennelly, removed his saddle for the last time while Ringmaster Earl Wandell draped the blanket of flowers across his back. Earl had given Chimney Sweep and I our first ever ribbon in a leadline class! It was a wonderful evening to say the least, filled with stories, laughter and pride.
Moving up in the ranks with horses my father, Chuck Weiner, and I noticed a beautiful chestnut mare floating across the ring. We were head over heels and knew we had to have her. Known as Wonderful World, she was purchased. At the young age of six, she became the Small Junior Hunter Champion at the PA National Horse Show in her first year out. She went on to be the AHSA Small Junior Hunter Reserve Champion in 1970, placing third in 1971 and was also PHBA Small Junior Champion in 1970 and 1971.
Junie Kulp, my trainer, insisted I compete in the equitation division and study with Ronnie Mutch. Dedication and determination would later pay off as I was thrilled to qualify for the PA National PA National Horse Show Hunt Seat Equitation Medal Finals. Since then, it’s become my tradition each year to attend the Medal Finals.
After my junior years, I became a professional horsewoman and a USEF “R” Judge. It has been an esteemed honor to be able to make my life’s passion my career.
In 2018, I entered Brittany Sommer’s OTTB and was accepted in the Green Hunter 3’. Jackpot Lady stood 15.2 hands, raced 22 times and was purchased for $1. While she was always by far the smallest in the division, she always gave her all when it came to her jumping form. We put in a decent course until the last line when my amateur riding abilities got in the way, and I didn’t get a clean lead change. I was still thrilled to be offered the opportunity to compete at Indoors.
I hoped to get another shot at the big time, but sadly the following year we had to make the tough decision to euthanize her during colic surgery. I will always cherish my memories of riding Lady at the PA National!