National Championship Year End Rankings
Year end rankings for 2020 have been announced naming the 64 exhibitors eligible for the National Championships of Showmanship, Horsemanship and Equitation to be held at the Scottsdale Arizona Sun Circuit February 27-March 7, 2021. Due to the cancellation of many of the participating events, there were no summer rankings. Instead, the body of trainers and judges who make up the Ranking Committee considered the accomplishments of exhibitors in AQHA and APHA shows during the entire year as well their performances at the World Shows.
The wildly popular tournament style competitions have become a highlight of Sun Circuit. There are 3 elimination rounds held concurrently with regular scheduled Sun Circuit classes. Those rounds ultimately lead to the head to head battles of The Four. Prizes are awarded to the Exceptional 8 and exhibitors who make it to The Four in each class and division will receive an embroidered leather bomber jacket. Winners of the final matches will be presented a National Championship trophy buckle. Sun Circuit is excited to have The Equine Chronicle sponsoring the National Championships for Equitation in 2021. Adequan is the sponsor of Horsemanship, while is Farnam sponsoring Showmanship.
Followers of the National Championships will notice some new names in the top 25 of each class and division. An unprecedented showing year saw a number of newcomers vault onto the scene and break into the top of the rankings lists. There are also some exhibitors who had remarkable consistency year over year. Tony Anderman returns to Scottsdale in the #1 position for Showmanship as he did last year. Scott Reinartz tops the rankings in Select Showmanship and has the opportunity to defend his 2020 National Championship title. JoJo Roberson, after a Youth 14-18 Showmanship World Champion title, leads the Youth rankings.
Maria Salazar ranks #1 for Amateur Equitation, holding on to her position for a second year. Last year, Laurel Champlin was ranked #2 in Select Equitation, and has now advanced to the #1 spot. Nya Kearns is another chart-topping repeater. She ranks #1 in Youth equitation.
Time will tell if #2 ranked Natalia Devencenty can repeat her Championship performance in Horsemanship. She is out ranked nationally only by Carey Nowacek, while Select Horsemanship sees Karen Zarda in the top spot. No stranger to big wins in Scottsdale, Youth World Champion Hanna Olaussen is the top ranked Youth Horsemanship contender. But she will have to pull out all the stops to beat, Giorgia Meadows who ranked #2 and is the defending title champ.
Last year’s Tournaments proved that ranking does not guarantee advancing to The Four. Many exhibitors rose up the ranks after spectacular Sun Circuit runs to find themselves in the head-to-head matchups. One thing is certain though. Everyone who has participated in the National Championships has a lot of fun with the format. All exhibitors who made the Final Rankings list are eligible and encouraged to participate. If an eligible Youth exhibitor has moved to the Amateur division, they will automatically be eligible for that class in the Amateur. Likewise, any ranked Amateur who has moved into Select will be eligible to compete in the Select division of that class. There are no additional fees for the National Championship. However, eligible exhibitors must enter the class in the Sun Circuit Show Office.