Local Riding Tandem Excels at State 4-H Championship Horse Show
Despite the heat last week, Erin Moran and her horse, Blaze, had no issues during the New Jersey 4-H Championship Horse Show. Instead, they had phenomenal success.
Erin and Blaze competed in six events, or classes, at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown and placed among the top two in half of them, which included a Grand Champion victory in Dressage Training Level 2. Erin and Blaze also were Reserve Champion for Dressage Training Level 1 and Senior English Pleasure.
“I’m very happy with how well we did,” said Moran, a North Beach resident and soon-to-be sophomore at Southern Regional High School. “It was hot for Blaze and he did a lot of work. But he listened and followed direction very well, and didn’t put up any fights. He did everything I asked of him.”
Erin and Blaze competed against 29 other riders in each class and placed 10th or higher in all of them, which she deemed “a great accomplishment, once I stepped back and looked at it from the right perspective.”
“This was my fifth time in the show, and this is the most success we’ve had,” she said. “My goal going in was to place higher than ninth in every class, and even though we didn’t do quite that well I realize placing 10th or higher in each of them was pretty good considering we were up against the best riders in the state.”
Erin and Blaze placed sixth in Senior Showmanship and Grooming, ninth in Dressage Equitation and 10th in Senior English Equitation. Moran said the Equitation classes are more reliant on scoring the rider as opposed to the horse.
“For next year, I know I have to practice more on my riding ability,” she said. “With Equitation, they’re judging the rider’s abilities, and that’s what I need to work on. I can’t blame Blaze. He did everything I asked. But I have things to improve to make us a better team, so that’s what I’ll do.”
As for capturing the Grand Champion spot in Dressage Training Level 2, Erin said she wasn’t quite sure how the judging was going until she and Blaze were announced as the winners.
“When we did the first Dressage test, I figured we were in the sixth range,” she said. “But as we went on, we got better with some of the requirements and moved up in the standings. But for a while there, I didn’t know where we stood. I was still unsure where the judge was going to place us. Then it was announced we won, and that was really exciting.
“I applauded Blaze a lot, and he definitely got a lot of cookies.”
Erin’s sister, Gwen, also fared well at the show. Gwen placed third in the Junior Showmanship and Grooming competition.
— David Biggy