Harrisburg, PA – October 21, 2023 – Five new champions and two grand champions were crowned in the Penn National Children’s and Adult Hunter Championships, presented by Marshall & Sterling, on Friday and Saturday, October 20-21, 2023, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA.
Earning the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship – after sweeping all three of the over fences classes in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35 – were Callie Seaman and Divine Romance, owned by Hallowell Lane Farm LLC.
“This is a really special mare,” said Seaman of the 6-year-old Oldenburg that also earned the 3’3” Green Hunter Championship earlier in the week with Laena Romond of Heritage Farm. “[Divine Romance] has had a really amazing year; she’s never left a horse show without a championship or a reserve championship. She was circuit champion in Florida, so she’s really been a gift. I bought her last year, and my other trainer, Patricia Griffith, showed her. Then, I took the reins this year.”
The Penn National Adult Hunter Championships, presented by Marshall & Sterling, are one of the newest additions to the PNHS and are one of the featured competitions held in the show’s Keystone Arena, added to use in the show in 2021. For Seaman, that venue was the ideal first taste of “Harrisburg” for Divine Romance.
“The coliseum is such a fun place to show, and then to have a younger horse in [the Keystone Arena] is a really nice way to get to introduce them to such a prestigious show in a little bit of a less [daunting] environment,” said Seaman. “Indoors is always the highlight of our season; Harrisburg in particular I think is a really important show; it’s one of my favorite venues. It’s a really meaningful show to me, and I always want to do my best when I come here.”
Earning the reserve championship behind Seaman and Divine Romance in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35 were Kendall Meijer and Out of Office.
In the Adult Amateur Hunters 36-49 the championship honor went to Elizabeth Tarumianz and Conlaro, owned by Deer Creek Farm LLC.
Tarumianz and the 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding earned two wins and a third place over fences to secure the tricolor. For Tarumianz, it was an exciting trip to the winner’s circle, as she is more often found cheering on her daughter, Ella Tarumianz, than doing the riding and winning herself.
“[Ella] was Grand Pony Champion here last year, so for me to come here this year and get a championship is really great,” said Elizabeth Tarumianz. “Usually it’s all about her, so that was really fun!
“It’s actually an interesting story, because I was not in the market for a horse,” continued Elizabeth Tarumianz. “I was fortunate enough to go to my trainers’ farm in Ocala. They said, ‘Hey, do you want to ride an extra? He’s down here for somebody else to try.’”
The rest, as they say, is history. Elizabeth Tarumianz immediately loved Conlaro, and when she found out the prospective leaser was not interested, she jumped at the chance.
“My trainer said he’s really only for lease; he’s 18 years old,” said Elizabeth Tarumianz who rides with Shadow Ridge Farm. “I didn’t care. I really wanted to put an offer in and see what they said. So, we went to the owners, and they agreed and knew I’d give him a great home. So, I bought him that day! It was a total impulse purchase.”
That impulse purchase has proven worthwhile, with Elizabeth Tarumianz enjoying the opportunity to get in the winner’s circle at one of her favorite horse shows.
“There’s just an atmosphere here that really is unlike anywhere else,” concluded Elizabeth Tarumianz. “The way they dress up the rings, the footing – they really make it special. The presentations are special; we just absolutely love it.”
The reserve championship in the Adult Hunter 36-49 division went to Maryann Zeira and Casallo.
In the Adult Hunter 50 & Over division, the championship went to Cathy Sacher and Dizzy GZ. Sacher and the 9-year-old Warmblood gelding earned a first and third over fences and a second in the under saddle to take home the tricolor. The reserve championship went to Debbie Kelly and Casero.
“This horse is a really, really special horse,” said Sacher of Dizzy GZ, a horse that she has owned for the past four years. “He’s the type of horse that is just the sweetest; he’s the favorite in the barn because he just wants to please. My trainer, Kim Buzby, is the one who picked him for me when he was 4.”
In addition to being a competitor at the PNHS, Sacher is a valued show sponsor through her company, Essex Classics.
“It’s been a great week here for me,” said Sacher. “Growing up about 80 miles from here, I used to attend the PNHS as a child. It was always a highlight on the calendar. It’s really, really special to be champion at a horse show that I sponsor and also just that I’ve always loved attending. To be here as a participant has been wonderful.”
The win in the $10,000 Adult Amateur Hunter Finals went to Caitlin Burns and Fila.
For full results of the Adult Amateur Hunters at the PNHS, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.