PQHA Nittany Classic and Futurities

The Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association completes a successful show season.

Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal

(Credit: Rita McMullen) Scroll down to view more photos.

“The Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association would like to thank everyone for attending our PQHA Nittany Classic and Futurity Show this past weekend,” said PQHA President, Carla Weaver. “We greatly appreciate the support of all the exhibitors and sponsors throughout our entire 2015 show season.  We are so pleased to be able to offer our exhibitors such a wonderful show facility at the Centre County Grange Equine Park in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania.  Thanks go to the Grange’s continued efforts and their commitment, which included a new 150 stall barn which makes this facility one of the best show facilities in Pennsylvania.”

Weaver added “We have also seen a nice increase in our futurity in numbers and payouts of more than $7,300, which is a 30 percent increase from 2014. We hope that our exhibitors will continue to support our shows in 2016 and we will post our dates once we have them confirmed.” 

A first for PQHA this year was the addition at the shows of the PQHA Ranch Riding Series Championship, which was the idea of sponsors Joe and Julie Tylka. 

Joe Tylka says, “I have a passion for the ranch riding classes and I wanted to promote the relatively new AQHA discipline at our shows in Pennsylvania." 

Tylka provided three cash awards in the open, amateur and youth ranch riding divisions. For exhibitors to be eligible for the award, points were tallied on one horse/one rider and exhibitors had to show at all three PQHA circuit shows held in May, July and September, and the award was presented by Tylka at the PQHA Nittany Classic show Saturday evening following the conclusion of the ranch riding classes. In addition to the cash award, the series champions were presented with a trophy for the open division and engraved picture frames for the amateur and youth divisions. The idea was a success for both PQHA and exhibitors, attracting more than 40 exhibitors in the three divisions at the circuits. The winners were:

  • Open Ranch Riding Series Champion – Kim Myers, Felton, Pennsylvania, riding Sleeping Around, owned by Stacey Minoglio 
  • Amateur Ranch Riding Series Champion – Kit Gildein, Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, riding Tiny Thumbalina 
  • Youth Ranch Riding Series Champion – Parker Scott, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, riding All Tell Zipper

The series idea got more attention at the May show and PQHA was approached by Greg and Shari Duncan-Sharpe, owners of Surpassing Image, a stallion by Barpassers Image and out of Scarlets Impressive. Shari wanted to promote her stallion and liked the series idea, so she sponsored a cash award for the 2015 PQHA Junior Western Pleasure Series champion.  Exhibitor requirements for eligibility were required to show at the remaining two PQHA circuit shows in July and September and a cash award and Trophy and engraved picture frame was presented for champion and reserve, respectively, at the PQHA Nittany Classic show at the conclusion of the junior western pleasure class on Saturday evening. The winners were:

  • Champion Junior Western Pleasure Series – Ray Carmean, Orangeville, Pennsylvania, riding A Ladies Dream, owned by Christa Sherwood
  • Reserve Champion Junior Western Pleasure Series – Jim Chapin Jr., Jackson Center, Pennsylvania, riding Best To Be Cool, owned by Susan Grabski

PQHA is proud to be able to present these two awards and also proud to boast that the winners were all Pennsylvania residents, even though the competition was not limited to PQHA members and/or residents.    

“PQHA is very excited by the increase in entries at all three PQHA show circuits in 2015,” says Brenda Campbell, PQHA points chairman. Campbell also serves as a PQHA board member and assists in the PQHA show office. “The May circuit had a 30 percent increase, July Novice Show had a 45 percent increase, July Midsummer Madness circuit had a 15 percent increase and the Nittany Classic show had more than 718 entries, which was an increase of 10 percent from 2014.

“I believe we will continue to increase our numbers in 2016 due to the fabulous facility and continued improvements. Our exhibitors love the new barn and the comments we hear in the office are all positive.  PQHA loves the facility and really appreciates the Grange facility management and the hard work provided by the maintenance crews,” Campbell says.

Penn State University’s Equine Program continues to support the PQHA Futurity. 

“We are fortunate that our equine program is only 20 minutes from the PQHA show and provides our students and our horses the opportunity to showcase our equine program,” said Chris Grant, PSU Equine assistant manager. “We had two yearling longeline entries and four weanling entries, and we appreciate that PQHA offers futurities. Our students and horses did a good job, especially in a very tough class of 13 longeline entries."

Penn State was also proud of the offspring that the program has raised and sold, horsest that continue to show in the 2- and 3-year-old futurities as well as other classes at the PQHA shows.

The winner of the Non-Pro Weanling Filly Futurity and the winner of the Okie Wyatt Memorial Trophy was an unnamed filly owned by Potomac State College and the exhibitor was freshman student Sydney Ibarra of Cumberland, Maryland. This same filly was also the winner of the Open Weanling Filly Futurity and the winner of the Vicki Zipperlein Memorial Trophy with Jared Miller. Miller is the equine program coordinator for Potomac State College, located in Keyser, West Virginia. Potomac State College is a two-year division of the West Virginia University and have offered their equine program since 2003.

Miller made the two-and-a-half hour drive to the PQHA Futurity for the filly’s maiden futurity, and said, “Sydney and her family have shown at the PQHA facility before and encouraged me to enter the futurity. Thanks to a generous donation of horses to the college, we produced this filly and are excited to show her at PQHA, and we are very proud of her dual wins in these filly futurities. We also plan to show her at the West Virginia Breeders Futurity and the All American Quarter Horse Congress in October.” (Photo)

Exhibor Daniel Carlson and trainer Geno Spagnola of Harwinton, Connecticut, made the seven-hour trip to the PQHA Nittany Classic. Carlson is currently leading the AQHA year-end national standings in amateur showmanship with his AQHA world champion mare, Are You Charlie. He also brought his other show partner, Made By Charlie.

“We heard what a great facility PQHA has, and they always draw good numbers in their classes offered," Carlson said. “We are getting ready for our fall shows, which include the Congress and the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. PQHA’s staff and volunteers have all been very friendly and so far we have more than 40 points, which has made the trip very worthwhile and we want to return.”

Carlson was also the PQHA all-around amateur champion with Are You Charlie.

Show manager Ed Campbell said, “2015 was a great show season for PQHA; all three circuits have grown in size. The new barn at this facility provides exhibitors with convenient stabling next to the indoor arena. Many thanks to the Centre County Grange maintenance crew for keeping the grounds clean and the arenas in great shape; they are always ready to assist us. All of these things combine to make Centre County Grange Equine Park one of the best show facilities in the state of Pennsylvania. I am proud to have the opportunity to help PQHA with their shows in 2015. Exhibitors, if you have not attended a PQHA show, you need to add these shows to your 2016 calendar." 

PQHA offered a free exhibitors dinner on Saturday evening to show their support to exhibitors and sponsors throughout the year.

PQHA is proud to announce that during their three circuits in 2015, the Quarter Horse equine industry brought more than $1.5 million dollars into the Centre County community. This includes expenditures for hotels, food, fuel, horse expenses and miscellaneous items. 

On a fun note, another PQHA first was a surprise wedding proposal at the show. Amateur exhibitor Nicole Lynn of Smock, PA shows two horses, Dont Teez the Kat and Kelleys Escape, and trains with AQHA Professional Horsemen Alexandra and Eddie Falk. On Sunday, when Nicole returned to her stall to get her horse “Toes,” she was surprised to find her boyfriend of two years, Dustin Lerda (who was supposed to be working), in the stall on one knee. When she entered the stall, he asked her to marry him and she said YES! It was a very teary-eyed suspenseful moment for all involved. PQHA wants to wish the happy couple many years of happiness and hope they will continue to show with us. 



Credit: Brenda Lynn


Complete show results can be found on the website at www.pqha.org. The next event for PQHA will be December 4-5 for the annual meetings and Year-End Awards Banquet in State College, Pennsylvania. Details will be available on the website and 2016 show dates will be posted as soon as they are confirmed.