By: Violet Forbes on Oct. 20th, 2017

“We have had an amazing year,” said Fabiano.  “He is an amazing horse.  He has an amazing jump and is just wonderful to ride.  I have been coming to this show since I was about seven.   I used to watch the pony hunters with my Mom.  I have been riding and showing for a long time, but I have never been Champion here.  It is like an amazing fairy tale come true.

“I could not do this without a lot of support.  My husband is super supportive, and my Mom and my Aunt have the kids today.  I have a two and a three-year-old, and they came here today, and watched my last trip.  Jill Shull has been my trainer for 20 years, and her assistant Ashley Barnhill does so much for me. Chad Keenum found Neato for us. He knew he would be an amazing fit for me. He is the key to the whole thing. 

“We only did six horse shows to qualify for this show,” continued Fabaino.  “I was on the wait list and only got notified that we were coming here on Tuesday night at 6:00, and we rallied on Wednesday, got Neato body clipped and everything packed up and showed Thursday. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen to me!”

Bacardi and Caroline Moran, Wellington, FL, won the Amateur Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship for Riders 36 Years of Age and Over.  There was no definite leader going into the last class, but Moran clinched the victory with a score of 91, the highest score achieved in the division.

“There were three of us that were tied going into the last round,” said Moran.  “I got a little angry at myself after the third class.  He didn’t do anything major, but he cut in a little bit after the line, and when I went to push him over I think I caught him a bit with my spur and he got a little sassy.  He was great all week and that was just a minor bobble. 

“So it was pretty much all or nothing going into the last round, which I have done here at Harrisburg before.  I am just happy to be here because as of last week I didn’t even get in.  This has always been a really good luck show for me.  It is one of my favorite horse shows.  I have been champion here on pretty much every horse I have ever had.  More than once I have had to go into the last round knowing it is win or lose.  Which adds a little pressure, but I ride better when there is a little pressure. 

“This is a tough division.  The top five or six in every class are super riders and really nice horses.  It is anybody’s class when you go in there.  If you win here you are really happy, because it is great competition. 

“Bacardi and I have a long history.  I bought him as a four-year-old and Havens [Schatt] brought him up through the ranks.  I started showing him when he was five.  He can be a little bit snarky.  But Havens knows how to get him ready for shows.  He felt better here this week than he has in a long time, and when he is like that I just have to get him within range and he does the rest. I haven’t ridden since the first week of August, so he is a pretty special horse."