Two local horse riders and their trainer, Kristina Dulashaw-Swank ’98, traveled over 450 miles round trip to show their quarter horses at a four-day national-level horse show in Columbus, Ohio. Dulashaw-Swank accompanied Hannah Stanley and Taylor Hoffman to the event, a show so competitive that only about 10 to 15 percent of the riders go home with ribbons. Dulashaw-Swank is owner and operator of KDS Performance Horses, located in Derry, near Keystone Park.
Stanley, who has been showing horses since she was four, competed in the eight-year-old division with her horse, Zips Iron Tiger, winning her Hunter Under Saddle class.
“This class is judged on how well the horse moves out with proper cadence and flat knees, said Dulashaw-Swank. “It is important that the trot covers ground as if they were out on a hunt.” The first-place win qualified Stanley to compete in the Championship class, where she won the Overall Reserve Championship of all of the Walk/Trot age divisions. Her prize was an embroidered portable wheelbarrow.
Hannah Stanley, Kristina Dulashaw-Swank, and Zips Iron Tiger
Stanley also placed third in Western Pleasure, which is judged on how the horse stays controlled and collected while going slow with a consistent head set. Additionally, she placed fifth in Horsemanship and sixth in English Equitation, which are both evaluated on how well she sits as a rider. Finally, she placed seventh in the Western Showmanship class, where she had to maneuver the horse through a predetermined pattern. In all, the youth won six ribbons which were almost as tall as her.
Hoffman showed her quarter horse, Im Chapter Too, in the nine-year-old group. She placed third in a very competitive English Showmanship class and fifth in the Western Showmanship class. Her classes involved performing a pattern where she maneuvered the horse from the ground. She was required by the judge to walk, trot, stop, square the horse’s feet, and pivot her horse’s hindquarters, all in about forty seconds with no errors.
Taylor Hoffman and Im Chapter Too
Both horses and competitors are in full training with KDS Performance Horses. Dulashaw-Swank has been training horses professionally for over eleven years while earning many accolades along the way at national level shows. The horses are stabled on ten acres with a “million dollar view” in all directions. The picturesque facility has a beautiful horse barn with an indoor riding arena, tack room for storage of all of the riding equipment, a feed room, and a loft for hay. The horses graze daily in the white-lined fence often seen lining Kentucky farms.
The newly-constructed facility has openings available for boarding, training, or lessons. People interested in showing or boarding their horse or wanting advice should call Dulashaw-Swank at 724-539-7276 or visit the website at www.kdshorses.com.