Lexington, KY – January 17, 2017 – The 134th edition of the National Horse Show, scheduled for the Kentucky Horse Park on October 31 thru November 5, 2017, today revealed the expert panel of judges that will officiate over the extensive Hunter divisions at this year’s show as well as the two officials who have been chosen to score the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Finals.

Judging the Maclay this year are two of America’s most respected horsemen, Mr. Ralph Caristo and Mr. Bernie Traurig.

Caristo, who operates Glen View Stables with wife Holly and daughter Heather Caristo-Williams has trained numerous champions including mounts that have won six USEF Horse of the Year and USHJA Horse of the Year honors. He has marked the card at every major horse show in America, including all the fall classics and the Devon Horse Show as well. And for three decades Caristo has served as Chef D’Equipe of the Zone 2 squad for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, claiming more Team and Individual Gold medals than any coach in the long history of that event. As a tribute to his continuing dedication to the sport, the Caristo Cup is now awarded annually to an NAJYRC Chef d’Equipe who claims the same sportsmanship, horsemanship and enthusiasm as Caristo.

Bernie Traurig is renowned for not only his riding talents, but for his teaching and coaching abilities as well. Traurig has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all three of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing. In 2009 he was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. In 2010 the California Professional Horsemen's Association honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012 he was awarded the USHJA President’s Distinguished Service Award. As a teacher and trainer, he is one of the most sought after clinicians in the country today. He served as the West Coast associate Chef d’ Equipe to George H. Morris, the former Chef d’ Equipe of the United States Olympic Equestrian Team.

The ASPCA Maclay championship will span two days over the weekend. On Saturday, all of the qualified junior riders will have the opportunity to compete in the over fences phase, as they set their sights on the most prestigious title of their young careers. On Sunday, a select group will be invited back for the flat phase, where they will test their skills under saddle. Once the flat phase is complete, the group of riders will be narrowed down even further for another over fences test. Once that phase is complete, the judges may have a small group of riders return for final testing, or they will announce the new ASPCA Alfred. B Maclay Horsemanship Champion.

Scoring the Hunters are Ms. Susan Schoellkopf of Buffalo, NY and Mr. Rob Bielefeld of Wellington, FL.

Susan B. Schoellkopf through her famed SBS Farms has trained four USEF High-score Award winners throughout her career, including Gabriel, GG Valentine, Big Bad Wolf and Kansas. Her most famous and one of the winningest hunters of all time is the amazing USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion Jersey Boy. She was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame in 2014. Schoellkopf has committed her life to providing superior quality to the equestrian community from the show ring to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC) which provides children with the opportunity to ride, who may never have had that chance. The facility’s location in Downtown Buffalo is ideal for many of the inner-city kids. She currently serves as a USEF "R" rated judge having marked the card at the New England Medal Finals, the Devon Horse Show, HITS Thermal, the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Hunterdon Cup, Junior Hunter Finals and the USEF Pony Medal Finals.

Rob Bielefeld has owned and trained horses through his own RSB Farms for more than 30 years. Rob and his clients compete in over 20 horse shows each year, including WEF, Kentucky and the Fall Indoor tour. He has been one of the nation’s more popular judges for 25 years. He judged the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, he’s judged at Devon, Washington, the Capital Challenge, Upperville, the US Pony Finals, the USHJA Derby Finals and the Hampton Classic.

For more information regarding the National Horse Show for 2017, visit the website at: http://www.nhs.org/


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