Harrisburg, PA – The 75th-anniversary Pennsylvania National Horse Show came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday, October 23, as Cassandra Kahle rode Pyrenes de Louzes to victory in the $100,000 Forrester Farm Equipment Grand Prix de Penn National.
The finale event of the 10-day horse show, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, attracted an enthusiastic crowd that erupted in applause as one-by-one Kahle, Kaitlyn Williams, Laura Chapot, and Devin Ryan qualified to return for the jump-off.
Chapot was the first to return for the short course set by Manuel Esparza, but a rail down with Chandon Blue would leave the door open for the other three returners. With her own Cassio Melloni, Williams raced through that door, stopping the clock in 37.131 seconds to take over the top of the leaderboard. That lead was short-lived, however, as Kahle was the next to return, and she made short work of the track, shaving more than a second off of Williams’ time to finish on 36.012 seconds.
Coluccio and Egalini, owned by Hampton Green Farm LLC, were the final pair to return, but three rails down relegated them to fourth place and secured the win for Kahle and Pyrenes de Louzes, owned by Redfield Farm. Williams and Cassio Melloni finished in second, while Chapot and Chandon Blue, owned by Mary Chapot, took third.
“It feels pretty surreal!” said Kahle of her win. “I’m very dedicated to the sport. I love it. I do it every day, so it’s a lot of ups and downs, a lot of long days. To have a day like this come together makes it all worth it. This is such a special show. They brought the crowd, and I think the whole atmosphere just makes it that much more surreal. It’s just really quite a cool show.”
Kahle has been partnered with “Pyro” since 2016, but prior to then, she had little experience in the jumper ring, making Saturday night’s victory all the sweeter.
“I didn’t show jumpers as a junior, so walking right into the 1.40s and the open divisions was a learning curve,” said Kahle, who rides for Redfield Farm. “[When I started riding Pyrenes de Louzes], I had just started doing the jumpers. Really, he taught me a lot. He jumped a lot of great rounds for me. He told me when I was doing something wrong. Even though I may have had mishaps, he still tries every time he comes out, and he’s amazing.”
Kahle and the 18-year-old Selle Français gelding made their successful Fédération Equestre Internationale-debut at the PNHS in 2016, but, as Kahle described, “from there I had a little bit of a bumpy road getting to know indoors.
“Being able to come back here and have a strong show like this and a result like this was really extra special,” continued Kahle. “I’m just so lucky. I don’t want to sound cliché, but it takes a village. Everyone from my groom, Oscar Teranzo – he’s been with me for two years now, and he really is just so dedicated and hardworking with these horses. He takes a lot of pride with it. Dave McGarry is our show manager, and he’s worked for us for many years. It’s a great horse show, so we had a lot of customers that were here, the whole barn was here so it’s a fun celebration.”
For the win, Kahle was presented with the Harrisburg Kiwanis Club Challenge Trophy, donated by the Harrisburg Kiwanis Club. Groom Oscar Teranzo was also presented with the Moira Jane Caffarey – George L Hennessy Memorial Perpetual Trophy as the caretaker of the winning grand prix horse.
The 1.40m Open Jumper Championship and the William J. Cawley and Brian G. Cawley Perpetual Memorial Trophy went to Kaitlyn Williams and Cassio Melloni, and both the Leading Lady Rider Award and the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Brandywine Tent Rental, went to Laura Chapot.
For full results of the $100,000 Forrester Farm Equipment Grand Prix de Penn National, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.