Bittar Claims Second Gold Medal in USHJA Zones 9 & 10 Platinum Jumper Championships Individual Final

Amelie Louise Bittar flies to her second gold medal in the Platinum Jumpers. Photo by: ESI Photography

Thermal, Calif.—November 10, 2019—The USHJA Zones 9 & 10 Platinum Jumper Championship culminated in another victory for Amelie Louise Bittar on Saturday, who rode to not only a team gold in the Platinum Jumper Team Championships but was also part of the gold medal effort in the Junior 1.30/1.35m Zone Jumper Team Championships on Friday. Held at the Desert International Horse Park, the four-day Platinum Championship featured juniors, amateurs and professionals competing at 1.40/1.45m over four rounds, culminating in the Individual Final held as an overlay with the $30,000 National Grand Prix at the National Sunshine Series II.

After going fault-free in the first three rounds and having only a rail in the Individual Final, Bittar secured her gold-medal placing while the next two medals were to be determined by a jump-off between three riders tied on 12 faults. Crystal Nelson was the fastest of the three to jump off, taking the silver medal, with Maggie Kehring taking the bronze.

Amelie Louise Bittar tops the podium in the Platinum Jumper Individual Final. Photo by: Tori Bilas/USHJA

“I thought this was a great opportunity for our careers in the future because it shows consistency,” said Bittar of her experience in the inaugural USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships. “Since it’s combined with a bigger class it’s a great opportunity to ride a difficult course and see what it’s like when we may be competing in those big classes later.”

Bittar still has a day of competition ahead of her on Sunday in the 1.30/1.35m Junior Individual Finals with a different mount.

Individual silver medalist Crystal Nelson said of her time in the Platinum Jumper Championship, “I had a great time. The team was my favorite part—meeting the team and rooting for others. This was my first true jump off with this horse so I was really excited with how well he performed.”

Crystal Nelson jumps to silver medal position in the Platinum Jumpers. Photo by: ESI Photography

New for the 2019 competition year, the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships are the highest level of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program. The Championships are open to qualified Junior, Amateur and Professionals, and offer team and individual competition at the 1.40/1.45m fence height.

Nelson was intrigued when she heard of the new competition concept, saying she participated because she “thought it would be a great learning opportunity if we were to go on to represent the United States later in higher competition.” All three medalists praised the program for how much they learned throughout the entire experience and how it will prepare them to compete at higher levels.

All Individual medalists will be designated as USHJA Show Jumping Platinum Athletes and will be invited to the Platinum Masters Training Session in 2020, which will provide the athletes an opportunity to participate in advanced workshops and training sessions with top national and international clinicians and industry specialists.

Maggie Kehring rounded out the top three in the Platinum Jumpers. Photo by: ESI Photography

In addition to earning the Platinum Show Jumping Athlete title and a spot at the Platinum Masters Training Session, the Individual Gold Medalist received a variety of awards from Essex Classics and FITS Riding in addition to a medal, a ribbon and a cooler. 

Also taking place this week at Desert International Horse Park from Zones 9 &10 are the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships and the USHJA Children’s and Adult Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak. USHJA extends special thanks to the Desert International Horse Park team for hosting these Championships.

USHJA also extends its gratitude to official sponsors, Charles OwenCWDParlanti and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and Platinum Jumper Championships award sponsors Essex Classics and FITS Riding.

For more information about the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships, click here. For more information about the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program click here

Platinum Jumper Individual Final Results
Rider / Horse / Hometown / Status / Zone
GOLD: Amelie Louise Bittar / Star Girl B / Los Angeles, Calif. / Junior
SILVER: Crystal Nelson / Cadeau / Watsonville, Calif. / Professional
BRONZE: Maggie Kehring / Cole Haan / Woodside, Calif. / Junior
4: Simonne Berg / V Cantate / Sausalito, Calif. / Amateur
5: Sloan Elmassian / Centurion / La Canada, Calif. / Professional
6: Savannah Jenkins / Belladonna 42 / Somis, Calif. / Professional
7: Lexi Burdon / Daisy Lyn / Los Altos Hills, Calif. / Amateur
8: Shelley Fellers / Cormann / Oregon City, Ore. / Professional