The 2017 MHSA Junior Saddleseat Medallion Finals led off the evening session on Wednesday, September 27 at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show at the National Equestrian Center in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. After a long week of record-breaking temperatures, the cool fall temperatures were welcomed by both the competitors and the spectators. Eighteen young riders from across the Midwest qualified for the finals by showing in a MHSA Medallion class throughout the 2017 show season, and eight competed in the Finals: Gabriella Snyder, Isabella Privitera, Lillian Johnson, Haley Hildreth, Samantha Bannister, Sydney Robbins, Katherine Walker, and Randi Adams. This year’s Champion was Gabriella Snyder riding CH Nuttin Doing. Gabbi is instructed by Kent Swalla of Glendale Stables in Columbia, Missouri. The Reserve Champion was Isabella Privitera riding Walterway’s Dignitary. Her instructors are Andy and Lynda Freseth of Hollow Haven Farms in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Both girls have had amazing show seasons, each winning their age group at the World Championships at the Kentucky State Fair (Gabbi in the 15-year-old division and Isabella as a 14-year-old). In addition to showing Saddlebreds equitation, both girls also show Morgans in equitation and will be competing at the Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show in October. Katherine Walker was named the 13 and under Champion. Katherine, who still has a year to go in the 13 and under age group, also qualified this year for the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Junior Medallion Finals.

As Champion, Gabbi received a $500 scholarship to the college of her choice from MHSA, which was made possible by funds provided by Waddell and Reed Financial Advisers to the MHSA Bridlespur Kickoff Show, which has traditionally supported the Medallion scholarship program. The MHSA Scholarship Program is also supported by many most generous individual donors. She also received scholarships from both William Woods University and Stephens College, the Scott Haines Memorial Trophy, the Dean Hodge Memorial Trophy, and a Championship cooler. Isabella also received scholarships from William Woods University and Stephens College. All riders received a top ten neck sash, donated by Brenda Benner Stables, and a swag bag filled with generous donations from Stephens College, William Woods University, and Show Ring Outfitters.

MHSA would like to thank all of the sponsors of the Medallion program. Without their support, this program would not be possible. Thank you to Waddell and Reed Financial Advisors, the MHSA Bridlespur Kickoff Show, William Woods University, Stephens College, Brenda Benner Stables,  Show Ring Outfitters, and all the individual donors to the MHSA Scholarship Fund. We would also like to thank the  St. Louis National Charity Horse Show for hosting the event.

This event culminates the 2017 MHSA Saddleseat Medallion program, but we are already looking forward to 2018. Qualification for the finals starts at the Central States Fall Classic in October and will continue throughout the 2018 show season. Make sure to nominate your young equitation rider for this wonderful program!