Lexington, Kentucky – P.S. Arianna, ridden by 21-year-old American eventer Madeline Backus, was named the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award recipient during the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4*, presented by Land Rover, held April 26-30 in Lexington, KY.
Equis Boutique, a luxury tack and apparel shopping experience, sponsors the Best Presented Horse Award at various FEI-sanctioned events throughout the United States.
The second Horse Inspection during Rolex Kentucky was held prior to the final show jumping phase on Sunday, April 30, at Kentucky Horse Park. Led by President Christina Klingspor of Sweden, the FEI Ground Jury evaluated the appearance and condition of the 40 horses that advanced to jog for show jumping competition and selected P.S. Arianna as the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award winner.
“I was very surprised when I [found out] I had won,” said Backus, who prides herself in horse care as an A-level United States Pony Club member. “It means a lot to get this award because it is all about taking care of our horses, making them as happy as possible, and looking their best. Our hard work pays off when we show up at an event like Rolex and win something that acknowledges our horsemanship. I am so grateful.”
Backus and her mother, Laura Backus of Pendragon Stud Equestrian Center in Larkspur, CO, developed P.S. Arianna, a 16-year-old bay Anglo-Trakehner mare (Ibsen x Amazing Prospect), with the ultimate goal always being Rolex Kentucky. Combined with their dressage and cross-country efforts, Backus and the horse she calls “Ari” rounded out the final top 20 in their first-ever appearance at the coveted event.
While Backus often utilizes her time spent preparing P.S. Arianna for competition as an opportunity to focus, her friend Grace Simpson accompanied her to Rolex Kentucky to help groom.
“She did a fabulous job taking care of Ari,” said Backus of Simpson, who is studying pre-veterinary science at Otterbein University. “She made this experience so much easier on me, helped me with all the touch-ups, and has the knowledge to keep Ari in top shape.”
Backus, who hails from Larkspur, CO, has been a working student for Missy Ransehousen at Blue Hill Farm based in Unionville, PA, for the past two years and helped finance her first trip to Rolex Kentucky by selling baked goods at horse shows.
“Overall, this is going to be a week that I will never forget,” said Backus. “I am so grateful for the support of my mom, Missy Ransehousen, and all the people who supported me financially through donations. To get here and complete is phenomenal.”
Backus was recognized for the Equis Best Presented Horse Award with a pair of custom stirrups from Equis Boutique partner brand Flex-On by Cesar Hirsch, co-founder of Equis Boutique.
Equis Boutique is a shopping experience for the discerning equestrian and offers the most convenient and luxurious choice for top equine brands to dress both the horse and rider. Featured brands available at Equis Boutique include Dy’on, euro-star®, Flex-On, KASK, Kentucky Horsewear, Kingsland Equestrian, Manfredi Equestrian, Parlanti, and Theria Bits.
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