Sacramento International was honored to host the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association Medal Finals at the Sacramento International Horse Show during Welcome Week. Sacramento International hosted the NorCal Senior Medal Final, the NorCal Junior Medal Final, the NorCal 3′ Medal Final, and last but not least, the NorCal Pony Medal Final.
“Having medal finals in Northern California is really important because there are many kids who grow up riding here who can’t travel to the East Coast or even to Southern California for medal finals, so having high quality 3’6 finals locally is very important to them,” said NorCal Hunter Jumper Association President Jennifer Lea Lampton. “The 3′ Medal Final is a great introduction to that world, and the Pony Medal Final is equally prestigious for kids who may not be able to travel.”
Riders participated in round one on Saturday and then round two plus work offs on Sunday morning at the beautiful Murieta Equestrian Center. Scroll down to see your 2019 champions!
NorCal Senior Medal Final
Morgan Geller was named champion of the NorCal Senior Medal Final on Sunday morning. She rode Lincoln owned by Jenny Williams. Jenny Williams is also Geller’s trainer and Lincoln’s breeder.
“He’s amazing and just so smart,” said Geller. “He was awesome this weekend. It is only his fourth equitation class ever, but he cantered right around like a pro. We are really impressed and really proud of him.”
Geller, who is currently in veterinary school, rode in the equitation as a junior. “I’ve been doing jumpers for a while, but this year I came back to the equitation,” she said. “I love the equitation; it’s a great foundation.”
Taking reserve championship honors was Alex Maida aboard Henri HX owned by Sloan Lindemann. Maida trains with Ned Glynn. In third place was Audrey Poole who rode Mighty Quen owned by Lauren Morlock. They are trained by Beverly Jovais.
NorCal Junior Medal Final
Champion of the 2019 NorCal Junior Medal Final was Elisa Broz riding Clooney 62, owned by Constance Broz. Broz trains with Cassie Belmont. 11-year-old gelding Clooney 62 was also named “Best Medal Horse” by the judges, even though it was his first time doing a medal final.
“He did amazing,” said Broz. “He really was the best horse ever, honestly. He’s big and he has a big stride but he learns very quickly and he’s really sweet and willing.”
Broz bought the gelding only a month ago and he previously only did the jumper divisions. Even though the partnership is new, Broz is excited about her future with Clooney 62. She is hoping to do the Maclay and other East Coast equitation classes in the next year.
In second place was Avery Glynn on Cocon 4, who is owned and trained by Ned Glynn. In third place was Jessica Behar on her Cafe’s Deluxe. The pair is trained by Jill Humphrey.
Thank you to G2 Insurance for sponsoring the NorCal Junior and Senior Medal Finals!
NorCal 3′ Medal Final
The NorCal 3′ Medal Final saw the largest number of competitors, and was won by amateur Eva Nybo aboard her own Latte Grande PR. The pair is trained by Jill Humphrey. Nybo has had the ride on Latte Grande PR for only about a year, and he recently crossed over into the equitation.
“He’s a lot of fun, and he’s an overachiever,” said Nybo. “He tries really hard to do everything perfectly. He has a great brain and he’s so sweet with my kids. He’s just part of our family.” Nybo’s children showered Latte Grande PR with hugs as she left the winner’s circle on Sunday afternoon.
The pair’s work off was not without a dramatic moment: “After the first jump in the work off his curb chain came undone, and I thought well.. this could go all kinds of different ways. But he just took it in stride and never batted an eye,” said Nybo.
Taking the reserve championship was Alison Stern on Grey Goose, owned gy Five Fox Farm LLC and trained by Tarrone Seaton. In third place was Ava Pollioni on her own Fortisimo, trained by Toni Venza.
NorCal Pony Medal Final
In what was certainly the most adorable medal final this week, Carmen Gonzalez was named champion after a clean sweep of both rounds and the work off aboard her large pony Hiccup. The pair is trained by Cassie Belmont.
“I think Hiccup did amazing today,” said Gonzalez. “He gave me every effort he could. He’s just so awesome. He’s really comfortable and really, really sweet. He’s also very sensitive but I just love that about him.”
Gonzalez has been riding for five years, and has ridden Hiccup for a year and a half. In that time she has moved up from the short stirrup to the rated large ponies. As for future goals? “I’d like to go to Pony Finals one day; that would be fun,” said Gonzalez.
Coming in second place was Katie Durban on Catch a Wave, owned by Ella Meuse and trained by Nicole Norris. In third place was Camilla Jerng on her own Kung Fu Panda. The pair is trained by Jan Pearce.
Congratulations to all NorCal Pony Medal Finalists! Thank you to Hey & Hey Attorneys at Law for your support of these fantastic medal classes!
Lindsey Long for West Palms Events