National Jousting Champions Receive Touch of Class Award; Jousters from Washington, Harford and Calvert County Recognized
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The four reigning national jousting champions – all from Maryland – yesterday received the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s (MHIB) July Touch of Class Awards at the 92nd Petersville Farmer’s Club Joust at the Petersville Farmer’s Club grounds in Brunswick.
The four Marylanders – Corey Minnick of Washington County, Malcolm Macy of Harford County, Lily Fisher-Flaherty and her younger brother, Ian Flaherty of Calvert County – swept all four divisions at the 2012 national jousting finals, which were hosted in Maryland last fall. MHIB Chairman Jim Steele presented the awards during the tournament.
“We are so proud to recognize these young people for representing Maryland and our official state sport with such distinction on the national level,” said Steele. “They truly represent the best of Maryland’s equine industry which is what this award is designed to recognize.”
“Ring” jousting, where competitors on horseback gallop 80 yards and precisely spear a series of rings with a lance, is Maryland’s official state sport. It is an athletic and cultural tradition with roots going back to when the Cavaliers of England settled Maryland as one of the first U.S. colonies.
For Minnick, 31, of Hagerstown (Washington County), it is his fourth national title in the Professional Division and second Touch of Class award. Several members of Minnick’s family compete in jousting competitions around the state.
Macy, 42, is a beef cattle farmer and custom cabinet maker from Street in Harford County. He rode his Andalusian mare, “Rosalita,” to his first national title in the Amateur Division. Macy, who grew up in Portugal, competes in a distinctive Portuguese bullfighters saddle.
Lily Fisher-Flaherty, 16, has won three Maryland state titles, but this is her first victory at the national level in the Semi-Professional Class. Both she and her brother, Ian, 10, who won the national Novice Division, ride at Tynewydd Riding Club in St. Leonard’s, a boarding and lesson barn operated by their mother, Viviane Fisher-Flaherty. The brother and sister, who live in Lusby compete with their mounts, “Sunny” and “Teddy,” respectively.
MHIB established the Touch of Class awards in 2011 to honor Maryland horses and people who achieve national and international recognition. The award is made each month and is named after the Maryland-bred mare, Touch of Class, who won two show jumping gold medals at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Winners this year have included Maryland horses and people who have won national/international championships in North American Mounted Police Competition, the Hunter/Jumper Ring at the National Horse Show, the Modern Penthalon Event at the London Olympics, the World Mounted Games Competition in Wales, national and international championships in dressage, Thoroughbred horse racing, steeplechasing, Welsh pony breeding, Tennessee Walking Horse competition, equine literature, carriage driving and now jousting.
For more information, contact MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord at 410-841-5798 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Note to Editors: High resolution photos of award presentations can be downloaded off our Flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdagdept/sets/72157634751346552/