September 15, 2019 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – It is most certainly a special day when generations of riders gather to be a part of a momentous occasion. The event was the Foxfield Medal Finals, which for the first time in forty-seven years were held on a property outside of Westlake Village. Blenheim EquiSports was honored to host the 48th Annual Finals on the grass of The Oaks International Grand Prix Field in San Juan Capistrano where, after two rounds and a work-off, Kaitlin Perry led the victory gallop.
Welcoming eighteen Amateur riders and a crowd of supportive fans, including Foxfield founders Nancy Turrill and Joann Postel, the first to go, Perry and Figaro, set the pace with a beautiful round over the 3’3″ course, scoring an average of 84. Two riders in Round 1, Greta Salmon and her new mount, True Blue, and Jayme Omand aboard Cintas, scored ahead of Perry by 0.5, each with an average of 84.5, taking the top two placings in Round 1, with Perry third.
Sitting apart, Judges Chance Arakelian and Linda Allen kept an educated eye on the medal finalists as they competed in Round 2. Several riders earned solid scores of 83 or above, including Perry, Omand, Alex Maida, Alexis Graves, and Shannon Davidson.
Taking each rider’s overall average after two rounds, Perry and Omand were less than three percentage points apart, with an 85.25 and an 84.75 respectively, and were brought back for an additional third round of tests. Coming into the ring to receive no further instruction, they were asked to hand gallop fence 6, continue on to 7 and 8ab, demonstrate a fly change on the quarter line, halt and return to the line at a sitting trot. Arakelian and Allen sat together for this third round, and no scores were announced.
Perry, who traveled from Sacramento to participate, expressed her excitement at having the chance to compete on the grass Grand Prix field as an Amateur equitation rider. She was equally thrilled with her green yet wonderful partner Figaro, whom she has been bringing along with trainer Kelly Von Vleck.
As the champion, Perry will add her name to the perpetual trophy and was also awarded a pewter trophy to keep. The top three riders, Perry, Omand, and Davidson, each received a bouquet of flowers. Each top ten finisher wore a neck sash and a rider sash, plus each received a gift.
The commemorative day continued into the late afternoon. Before the Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix, a large group of past Foxfield Medal Finals champions, as well as the 2019 winner, were invited to join Nancy Turrill and Joann Postel on the field to celebrate the decades of this wonderful event.
Placing – Number – Rider – Horse – Trainer – R1 Avg/R2 Avg/Overall Avg
1. 479 – Kaitlin Perry – Figaro – Kelly Van Vleck – 84/86.5/85.25
2. 476 – Jayme Omand – Cintas – Kelly Van Vleck – 84.5/85/84.75
3. 211 – Shannon Davidson – Empire – David Bustillos – 78.25/83/80.625
4. 205 – Catherine Westling – Chenova – Tracy Burroughs – 79.5/80.5/80
5. 478 – Stacey Bacheller – Emilio – Jeni Brown – 78/80.5/79.25
6. 539 – Alexis Graves – Sheeran – Leah Von Henkle – 72.5/84.75/78.62
7. 181 – Alexandra Murray – Great Blue – Jeni Brown – 77/80/78.5
8. 731 – Alex Maida – Maximus – Robyn Stiegler – 67/86/76.5
9. 156 – Maia Aerni – Magic Blue – Lesley Bulecheck/Susan Artes – 78.5/74/76.25
10. 564 – Emma Guevara – Solo – Kost Karazissis – 70/78/74