Tessa Downey Wins ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Championship at St. Louis National Charity Horse Show

Tessa Downey and HH Moonshine rode to the victory in the ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Finals. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

All Photos Courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography
Lake St. Louis, MO – Sept. 20, 2021 – The long-standing St. Louis National Charity Horse Show traces its roots back to 1856. The horse show has grown to now host two separate weeks of shows, one week for Saddlebreds and another week for hunter jumpers. The show held its first grand prix in 1995 and along the way became the location for the Region 5 ASPCA Maclay Medal Regional Finals. With only a few horse shows raising funds for charities, the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show is proud to support local charities while hosting great competition.  

Tessa Downey rose to the top of the pack for the win in the ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Regional Finals.

A select number of top young riders will move on to the National Horse Show ASPCA Maclay Championships in Kentucky in November after qualifying through the Region 5 Regional Finals held this past weekend. Tessa Downey of Houston, Texas, aboard HH Moonshine, earned the lead in the victory gallop of the ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Finals after being put through the paces by judges Diane Carney and John French. Trained by World Championship Hunter Rider Peter Pletcher, Downey, 16, celebrated her first regional win. 

“I really am still in disbelief about winning. The course was challenging and I’m proud of how my horse went today and over the weekend. It’s a huge effort from a lot of people to get here and then to do well is a great feeling,” said Downey. “Thank you to Peter Pletcher and the team at PJP Farm. We worked hard and had a lot of fun this weekend. Lastly, I’d like to thank my parents, brother, and Moonshine. I had a great experience and appreciated all the effort it took by a lot of people to win the Maclay Regionals.” 

Downey has had a fantastic year, adding numerous championships and medal wins to her resume in the hunter ring as well as the equitation ring. 

Riley Hogan of Warrenton, Va., trained by Don Stewart of Ocala, Fla., finished in second place aboard Wengen with Alexa Leong, Sacramento, Calif., trained by Andre Dignelli, finishing in third place riding Showcase. 

Fifty riders in all competed for the dream of heading to the finals. The final number of riders that move on will be determined at the completion of all the regional events. 

Adding to the show’s history, The St. Louis Horse Show is proud to host the $25,000 Mary Keirle Grand Prix. Mary Keirle was a dedicated volunteer and board member for the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show for more than 30 years. 

Peter Jordan and Orage Z took the victory in the $25,000 Mary Keirle Grand Prix. 

Peter Jordan and Orage Z, owned by Outland Farms, LLC, of Dallas, Texas, took home the big paycheck in the $25,000 Mary Keirle Grand Prix on Saturday. 
Finishing in second was Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kan., and Darknight De Maluga, owned by Tal Milstein. Holloway competed as a junior in the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals and won in 2016. A regular exhibitor at the St. Louis Horse Show, she has won the grand prix several times. 

Reid Rickett and Anderas De Bornival won the $6,000 Welcome Stake. 

Reid Rickett of North Port, Ala., and Anderas De Bornival rounded out the top three places in the grand prix. Rickett also won the $6,000 Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manna Pro, with Anderas De Bornival.

Sarah Duhon and Nice To Have won the $5,000 3′ Hunter Derby.

In the hunter ring, Sarah Duhon of St. Louis, and Nice To Have, owned by Down the Line Equine, LLC, were the winners of the $5,000 3’ Hunter Derby sponsored by Sterling Thompson Equine Insurance.
Sarah Young and Well Versed, owned by Mary Jane King, rode to second place with Duhon picking up third place with another ride, James Bond. 

Horsewoman Diane Young was inducted into the St. Louis Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame. 

Young’s mother, Diane Young, of Belleville, Ill., was inducted into the St. Louis Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame. Diane Young has been a mainstay in the local hunter/jumper community, as well as in the industry nationally for almost 50 years. An experienced judge, Young splits her time between judging and teaching. 

Megan Ray and Captain Fire won the $2,500 NAL Children’s Adult Jumper Classic.

Wrapping up the jumpers, trainer Abby Blankenship of Westfield, Ind., ruled the jumper rings with her riders Megan Ray, who rode Captain Fire to the $2,500 NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic win while Taylor Landstrom won the $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic with Eleanor 3.  

The horse show is proud to support two amazing nonprofit organizations in the community: Stray Rescue of St. Louis, an organization dedicated to finding new lives for stray animals of St. Louis, and TREE House of Greater St. Louis, a therapeutic horsemanship center for people with disabilities and their families. Over the last five years, the show has proudly donated over $115,000 to these charities. The horse show strives to improve the lives of both people and animals through their events and the organizations that benefit from them. 

Through the generous support of donors, the show has a great group of auction items that can be bid on through Oct. 1.

View and bid on the auction items here: https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/86547/auctions/106693?r=1&t=all

For a complete list of results, visit horseshowsonline.com.