BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR
Katy, Texas – April 11, 2021 – Three weeks of top competition at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show concluded on Sunday, April 11, with a full line-up of junior, children’s and pony classes at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.
Among Sunday’s equitation winners were Avery DeYoung of Houston, and Anna Marie Mayes of Memphis, Tennessee.
DeYoung, 16, earned her Sunday victory in the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal aboard Landlysts Coquett, owned by AS Texas.
“This is the first week that I’ve ever ridden him,” DeYoung said of the grey 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding. “He was really, really good. He was such a cool horse and so fun to ride. For the course today, it started off with an oxer, so I knew that I needed to get a pretty good canter to start. Once I did that, all the jumps rode up perfectly; the lines were just right out of stride.”
DeYoung has spent the past four to five years training with Peter Pletcher at PJP Farm in Magnolia, Texas. She also consistently catch rides horses – including Landlysts Coquett – for Samantha Buncher of Sky High Equestrian Center, also in Magnolia.
“I really like it because it grows my riding a lot,” said DeYoung of catch riding. “Whenever I get on a new horse, I have a little bit of a feel of what it could be like because I’ve ridden so many horses. I also have the opportunity to go in a lot of different classes, so that’s a lot of fun to get to do new and different stuff.”
As a nearby Houston-native, one thing that is not new to DeYoung is the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. The high school sophomore first competed in the show roughly 10 years ago, and it’s been a favorite of hers every year since.
“I like Pin Oak because I have a lot of great memories,” said DeYoung. “I won my first championship on my pony, Bella, in short stirrup at Pin Oak when I was maybe 7, so it brings back a lot of great memories and a lot of good, fun times with all of my friends.”
For Mayes, this year marked her first visit to Katy, and to Pin Oak, but following a successful two weeks and a win in Sunday’s Platinum Performance/U.S. Equestrian (USEF) Show Jumping Talent Search, she plans to be back.
“What a great, great show!” said Mayes, who trains with Michael Tokaruk of Tokaruk Show Stables in Collierville, Tennessee. “They make it a great exhibitor and spectator show. For people who haven’t been, it’s a show you have to go to at least once. It was on my bucket list, so I can gladly say that I’ve checked it off, but it will definitely not be my last.”
Part of what made the show a standout for Mayes was her level of success with new horse, Gambit, her mount for Sunday’s Talent Search class.
“This has been his first show in the States,” said Mayes of the 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding that was recently imported by owner Brittany Kasprack. “We’re very much still getting to know each other.”
With no prior experiences to call on or expectations set with Gambit, Mayes went in with the sole goal of having a positive, enjoyable round, and it was mission accomplished.
“I haven’t done equitation in a little over a year, so we’re both kind of doing it together, which is fun,” said Mayes. “It was a great course this morning. There was a triple, and one of the great things about Gambit is that he stays so straight through the triple. It really allows me to focus on myself and my equitation, almost kind of, ‘sit still and look pretty.’ That’s definitely one of my favorite qualities about him – how straight he can stay in the in-and-outs and combinations.”
From Texas, Mayes will return home to Tennessee and will compete throughout the summer before heading to Auburn University in Alabama, where she will begin her freshman year and ride as a member of the school’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association team.
Sunday’s equitation schedule also included the WIHS Equitation Hunter and Jumper Phases and the Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal, with wins going to Carlee McCutcheon, Brooke Brombach and Peyton Addington, respectively.
To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.