Avery Glynn Chosen as the Recipient of the Shelby Drazan Memorial Award

Emma Pacyna and Constantinos

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Forty-eight top young equitation riders along with their trainers, friends and family, spent their Saturday night in the Indoor Arena at Blenheim Farms vying for a prize in the Region 8 section of the 2018 NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Championships. With packed stands and a sold out VIP, the excitement was palpable as the competitors took to the challenges of the evening. Competing in her first Maclay Championship, seventeen-year-old Emma Pacyna rode her handsome mount Constantinos like a seasoned veteran to take a well-earned victory.

aspca maclay ribbon awardThe Regional had three phases: A competitive jumping phase over a track designed by Jasen Shelley of Wellington that required the riders to have a solid and confident plan to execute the questions asked, which included tidy turns and adjustability; a flat phase for the top thirty-six competitors, which counted as 50% of their overall score; and finally a work-off of the top eight riders, as picked by esteemed judges Bill Ellis and Alex Jayne.

After the first two phases, the following eight were chosen to return in this order: Avery Glynn, Austin Krawitt, Catherine Tomlinson, Juliette Joseph, Ella Frey, Julia Stone, Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Emma Pacyna. These top eight were asked to ride a shortened course of five jumps, with specific instructions to execute a tidy turn, followed by a certain number of strides in a line, then to land on or demonstrate a flying change to the counter lead around a lengthy turn to a final vertical, and halt before exiting the ring at the walk.

2nd place aspca awards

Catherine Tomlinson and Elliott

As often seen in work-offs, some have shining moments and others have mishaps and placements change accordingly. Glynn was first to go, and rode a beautiful and effective track, ultimately moving her up from eighth to third place. Tomlinson, who sat in sixth, also answered the questions asked with finesse and finished as reserve champion. Last to go, Emma Pacyna maintained her smooth and composed riding style throughout the course, earning the title of 2018 Region 8 Maclay Regional Champion.

Training with Karen Healey and Georgy Maskrey-Segesman for the medal final season, Pacyna also gets solid coaching at home from her mom Michelle, owner of Fieldstone Riding Club. Clearly her homework has served her well, as this is the seventeen-year-old’s first time in the Maclay Regionals, as well as her first year competing in the Big Eq at 3’6″.

Second to last to go in the class of 48 competitors, Pacyna acknowledged that the anticipation was nerve-wracking. “Yes, I was extremely nervous. It was hard sitting there like a ball of nerves the whole time, but in the end it was so much fun. Constantinos was fantastic!”

victory gallop

Emma Pacyna and Constantinos

Nerves did not get the best of her, as she was called back in the top group of the flatwork phase and last to go in the work-off.  Pacyna thought the work-off showed off different skills well. “I liked how you could gallop to the first jump and then you had to collect your horse for the second line and then hold the collected counter canter to the last jump.”

Pacyna has only been riding Constantinos for a few months. He, too, is in his first medal final season, so the pair are evolving together. The handsome gray was crowned The Best Equitation Horse, receiving the Vigo Perpetual Trophy in honor of the Citrus Hill Farms mount that taught numerous riders to be Big Eq stars.

win photo

Emma Pacyna and Constantinos with Geoff Teall, Savannah Jenkins, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman, Karen Healey and Melissa Brandes

Before the class commenced, The Shelby Drazan Memorial Award was presented to thirteen-year-old Avery Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables. This special annual award is given to a rider who shows sportsmanship, integrity and passion both in and outside of the show arena. Glynn applied with an essay that highlighted all three, as she wrote about her academic and equestrian achievements, as well as her involvement in community service.

shelby drazan award

Avery Glynn and Cocon 4 with Melissa Brandes and Ned Glynn

While going to school full time she finds time to volunteer at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the Giant Steps Therapeutic Riding Program and also assists with the non-profit charity show her parents host for the Food Bank annually.

In her application, Glynn wrote, “I love horses and riding but my parents have made me very aware of the blessings in my life and the need to give back to our community and support those less fortunate than us.” It was this perspective that the Drazan Family looked for in the applicants, wanting to leave Shelby’s legacy encompassing charity and kindness to all.

The award, in its third year, provides the recipient with an opportunity to travel to the Indoor horse show circuit, with air and ground transportation provided for one horse and equipment. On top of the flight, provided by HE Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, the Drazan family provides $2,000 towards Dover USEF Medal entries at the Pennsylvania National Horse show in Harrisburg. Ready for the challenges of the Big Eq finals on the East Coast, the young star is not new to medal final victories, having won the 2017 Onondarka Medal Final and the 2018 PCHA Horsemanship Medal Finals.

The top 23 riders from the Region 8 Maclay Championships will be invited to compete at the prestigious NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Championships, taking place on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at the 135th annual National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

#BES2018 #ThePlaceToBe

NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Regional Championships – Region 8

Place – Number – Rider – Horse – Trainer(s)
1. 481 – Emma Pacyna – Constantinos – Karen Healey, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman & Fieldstone Riding Club
2. 116 – Catherine Tomlinson – Elliott – Olivia & Harley Brown
3. 206 – Avery Glynn – Cocon 4 – Ned Glynn & Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
4. 452 – Julia Stone – Let’s Go – Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
5. 603 – Juliette Joseph – Simply Bob – Robyn Stiegler/Citrus Hill Farms
6. 655 – Austin Krawitt – Scirocco 91 – Sandra Anderson
7. 448 – Kaitlyn Lovingfoss – Caracas 89 – Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
8. 445 – Ella Frey – Radcliffe – Jim Hagman/ Elvenstar
9. 754 – Brooke Morin – Durango – Leslie Steele & Lee Flick/Bridgeport Farms
10. 605 – Natalie Templeton – Casiro – Robyn Stiegler/Citrus Hill Farms

Photos by Captured Moment Photography ###

national horse show logoHeld during the 135th annual CP National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, The ASPCA Maclay Championship will take place on Sunday November 4, 2018. All of the qualified junior riders, approximately 175 in total, will have the opportunity to compete in the over fences phase, as they set their sights on the most prestigious title of their young careers. A select group will be invited back for the flat phase, where they will test their skills under saddle. Once the flat phase is complete, the group of riders will be narrowed down even further for another over fences test. Once that phase is complete, the judges may have a small group of riders return for final testing, or they will announce the new ASPCA Alfred. B Maclay Horsemanship Champion.
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