Double Down gave Elizabeth Adelson of Tulsa, OK a belated birthday present with a win in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children’s Hunter Finals at the 66th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Adelson just turned 14 last week and she had even more reason to celebrate in Harrisburg after receiving a score of 90 points in the first round of competition, the highest of the 29 qualifiers in the class.
“The first round was my highest score of all time,” said Adelson. “I was really happy, almost crying. I was thankful for my horse because he was really good.”
That score put her in the lead for the second round, with the top 12 returning in reverse order of merit. Nicole White, 15, of Moorestown, NJ and Wahlberg were in second place with a first round score of 86.00 points, so they competed before Adelson. When White received another score of 86.00 points, Adelson began to feel the pressure.
“I liked watching the others go because I like to compare the scores, but the pressure was definitely on,” said Adelson. “When Nicole got an 86, I felt some pressure.”
Adelson received a lower second round score of 82.50 points, but her overall total was 172.500 points to White’s 172.000, which was good enough for the blue ribbon.
“I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Adelson. “He was perfect. I couldn’t ask for him to be any better.”