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Dalton Equestrian Headed to Nationals

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HALIFAX, Mass. -- Dalton resident Kenna LaBeau, 16, took home 14th place at the Zone 1 Maclay Regionals.
 
With her 14th place finish, LaBeau qualifies for the National ASPCA Maclay Finals in Lexington, Ky., this fall. ASPCA Medal Maclay Finals is where all the top junior riders in the country gather to compete for the Maclay title. 
 
Riders start competing in September the prior year to get all the points needed to make it to regionals, in Massachusetts you need a total of 33 points accumulated throughout the season.
 
The Zone 1 regional includes competitors from throughout New England.
 
“It was always a goal of mine to make it to Maclay finals, and all the work I put in is really starting to pay off,” LaBeau said.
 
LaBeau’s equine partner “Gangster” is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding imported from Holland. He was imported in 2018, and made his way to Kenna when her family surprised her with him in December 2019. LaBeau rides out of a family-owned equestrian facility, Riverbank Farm, in Dalton, where she trains with her aunt, Beth Lebeau. and also trains with Anthony Desimone out of Sherman, Conn.
 
LaBeau trains at least six days a week, and rides anywhere from three to five horses daily. She was in her first show at age 2. She jumped her first national final at 10 at USEF Pony Finals, also in Lexington. As it turns out that was only the beginning of LaBeau’s national career. She rode her other partner ‘Joli Coeur’ to 2019 Horse of the Year out of all of Massachusetts, and was also top 25 in her division at Junior Hunter Finals East Coast. Additionally, she was top 25 at The Hamel Foundation 3 '3 Medal at the National Horse Show in 2018, aboard one of her first equitation horses, “Antonio.”
 
This has been a great year for LaBeau, as she also recently began pursuing her Olympic goals in the jumper ring with the purchase of her new jumper, Ingleton Quasimodo Van Heist, a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood from Holland as well. The pair were only together for about a month before stepping into the Low Junior Jumpers at 1.20 meters. They have placed in every single class they have done together. 
 
LaBeau thinks the jumpers have helped her succeed in the ring even more because of the technicality of the courses she does in the division. She is excited to make her ASPCA Maclay Finals debut in November and then starting a new circuit once again in Florida, competing at both the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and HITS Horse Shows in Ocala. She hopes these events will be a great launching pad for her as she begins weighing her college options this year as a junior in high school. She hopes to compete for a D1 NCAA riding team in the future. 
 
“I am just so happy,” Labeau said. “I am thankful for my team and my horses for getting me here.”
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Berkshire Money Management Sponsors Match Campaign To Benefit Thanksgiving Angels

DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management (BMM) is partnering with the Thanksgiving Angels, a collaboration of 19 food pantries, organizations, and faith communities, to provide more than 1,500 Berkshire families with a full Thanksgiving meal in their own homes.
 
"We really ramped up our efforts to address food insecurity as the pandemic began," said BMM founder and CEO, Allen Harris. "In years past, the BMM team physically handed out turkeys and Wohrle's gift certificates around Thanksgiving time. But the good people at the Thanksgiving Angels have perfected the logistics behind reaching out to and feeding thousands of Berkshire families. To have the biggest impact, we decided to team up with the Thanksgiving Angels just as they began their fundraising campaign this year."
 
BMM's donation of $25,000 will help the Thanksgiving Angels double their donation dollars. The donation will be spent at Wohrle's. 
 
This year, according to the Thanksgiving Angels committee, more requests for meals have come in due largely to the impact of the pandemic and ensuing unemployment and housing insecurity.
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