Downeast Medal Finals

October 2020
Downeast Medal Finals
September 16-19, 2021
Visit our website for more information about Downeast. We welcome all feedback and suggestions: please email Ginger at

Rider Spotlight- Kaitlin O'Connor
The Downeast Junior Medal at the 2019 Downeast Medal Finals was won by Kaitlin O'Connor. Here is what Kaitlin had to say:

"Since I was young the most vivid images that I can remember are that of horses. I would play with the realistic Breyers my parents had bought for me and flip through countless coloring books and carefully draw only the images of horses. My mom would recount her memories of the horses and ponies she rode when she was young and hearing those stories I knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps and become an equestrian. 
When I was seven I decided it was time to ask the question. ‘Can I have riding lessons?’ and after weeks of asking, my parents finally yielded, and so my adventure through the equestrian world began. I started small, as all beginners do, with simply walking and trotting, but as each year passed I grew more and more advanced, working my way up to cantering and jumping. After years of riding, my parents soon determined that it was time for us to start searching for a horse of my own. 
The first horse we visited was a fifteen-year-old Canadian sport horse named Pink, who would teach me numerous invaluable lessons and is the reason why I’m the rider I am today. A few months after buying Pink, I took him to my first show. Throughout the whole day, my mom was at my side encouraging me and giving me helpful advice, and, now that I think about it, she is the reason I’m so confident in the show ring today. As my years with Pink passed by, I began to outgrow him and soon I would be looking for another horse, though my love and appreciation for him would never diminish. 
After months of searching for my next horse, and many failed trials, we went to look at a 5-year-old Oldenburg named Jimmy, who is the sweetest horse I know, and who has taken me farther into the showing world than I could have ever imagined. He helped me qualify for Mass and Downeast Medal Finals, and working with him is the reason I won my Downeast Medal Finals class. He gives me confidence in situations where, without him, I would experience hesitation and uncertainty and we have bonded as our time together has grown. 
I owe all my success to my horses, trainers, and parents who offer me endless encouragement and who, I hope, will always be there to support me. Although I won my class at Downeast, there is, and will always be, room to improve and Jimmy and my trainers at Bluestandard Show Stables are helping me every inch of the way to do just that. 
Looking forward to the 2021 show season!"
Hemphill’s Horses, Feed, and Saddlery, Inc.
Here at Hemphill’s Horses, Feed, and Saddlery, Inc., we are proud of our heritage and of the reputation we have built over the past six years. We have had the opportunity to sponsor and set up shop at Downeast Medal Finals since year one! Hemphill’s was founded by Creighton and Margaret Hemphill and grew to become an iconic institution in North Vassalboro, Maine over 30+ years. 

The new “Hemphill’s” is family owned and operated by Emily Mitchell and Bill Rafuse. Our children, Elliott, Willa, and Maggie, are growing up enjoying all things equine! Together with our family, staff, and the community at large, we aim to create a mecca for horse lovers across Maine and New England. We are stepping into a tradition of providing a one-stop-shop for all things equine with the sale of horses, tack, and feed, as well as a camp horse rental program. We have expanded our offerings to include educational clinics in a variety of disciplines, seminars on veterinary care and nutrition, a traveling tack shop, competitions, and fun family-friendly events.

Our brave and wonderful staff kept things rolling without missing a beat during the entirety of the shut down this spring since our feed business was deemed essential and our sale horses needed daily tending, too. The societal slow down in many areas has really turned into an uptick in our part of the horse industry with more people finding time for outdoor activities and time to add horses into their lives. We have loved playing matchmaker for many horses and ponies this season all up and down the east coast. 

One of our favorite things about show season and Medal Finals is seeing horses that we have had the pleasure of selling or leasing out in the show ring shining with their new people. We'll look forward to doing that again in 2021 when we are all together again at the Downeast Medal Finals! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook or come see us in North Vassalboro. We're open six days a week and we'd love to help you find your next horse or get you outfitted with tack and equipment. We do offer horse leasing programs in summer and winter as well as in-store specials for IEA, IHSA, 4H, and local barns, so be in touch if you'd like to find out more about what we have to offer!
Become a Downeast Medal Finals Sponsor:
All levels accepted and appreciated! 
Visit for more information.
For more information or to become a sponsor, please email Ginger at

Thank you to Spotted Vision Photography and Riitta Fortier for providing us with many wonderful photographs from the Downeast Medal Finals.
Bernard Klingenstein/Euclide Albert Memorial
The Cash Family
Lucky Clover Stables (207-651-1881)
Maggie Mae Memorial
My Horse Heroes Memorial
Peter N. Thompson Memorial
SeaHorse Stables
Seery Hill