Local rider, horse become members of the Century Club

April 27, 2017 GMT

A rider from Aiken and her horse recently became members of a special group.

Judy Hinson and HTH Hungarian Rhapsody qualified to join the Century Club on Easter Sunday, which was April 16.

“It was a very special day,” said Hinson in a telephone interview.

The Dressage Foundation, which is based in Nebraska, created the Century Club in 1996, to encourage older riders to remain active in the sport.

To be eligible for the club, each rider and his or her horse must have combined ages that add up to or exceed 100 years. The rider and horse also must perform a dressage test of any level at a dressage show and receive a score from a dressage judge.

Hinson is 70, and HTH Hungarian Rhapsody, is s 30-year-old Hungarian Warmblood/Percheron cross. They completed their Century Club competition requirement at the Spring Fever Dressage Show at Stable View by doing two tests.

In Training Level Test 1, Hinson and HTH Hungarian Rhapsody finished with the second-highest score. They posted the fourth-highest score in Training Level Test 2.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to show people that we were both still healthy enough and willing to do it,” Hinson said. “Between his issues and my issues, it’s amazing that we could actually get there and accomplish this goal.”

Hinson had knee replacement surgery last year, and HTH Hungarian Rhapsody battled a sinus infection this past winter.

“When he was younger he was a really good jumper,” Hinson said. “But he hadn’t been in a show in I don’t know how long, so I had to kind of get him in shape. We had a great coach to work with on the dressage, Julia Kubicek.”

HTH Hungarian Rhapsody responded positively to the new challenge, and Hinson was especially pleased with his efforts at Stable View.

“He got irritated about getting his mane braided, but then he went in and did his job,” she said. “It was super easy to warm him up, and afterward, he marched right in and did everything that I asked of him. He was wonderful. I think he enjoyed it.”

Judy and her husband, Mike, used to have a hunter/jumper training operation, HTH Farm, in Bow, Washington. They moved to Aiken two years ago.

“Aiken is a horse paradise,” Hinson said. “I’m very excited to be living here.”

According to The Dressage Foundation’s website, there are 292 rider/horse teams that are members of the Century Club. Hinson and HTH Hungarian Rhapsody were the 289th to qualify.