August 25, 2020 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Medal Final season signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall and last weekend 121 equestrians in three age sections were challenged in the equitation arena. When competing in the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation Equitation Championships, the equitation tests are uniquely built into the two rounds. Those who had put in extra hours with the counter-canter and other technical work had an edge throughout the Championships, held August 22 – 23 at the Showpark Summer Classic at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano.
The 21 & Under division, held on the expansive grass Oaks International Grand Prix field, featured sophisticated tracks designed by internationally renowned course designer Leopoldo Palacios. The courses designed by Scott Starnes in the smaller sand arena for the 14 & under and 22 & over divisions were equally demanding. Both designers worked with judges Diane Carney and James Waldman to establish the tests within the track. Some of the questions asked included a halt or walk at a designated spot in the arena, trot jumps, and counter-canter fences.
Jessica Smith Takes the Victory in the 22 & Over Section
Consistency was key for Amateur rider Jessica Smith. Riding her own Haute Couture, her average score of 86.75 from Saturday and Sunday put her into the lead going into the work-off for her division. Smith stayed calm, cool, and collected throughout the three phases of medal final competition to stay on top.
The work-off track consisted of a trot fence, two simple changes of lead, and a few roll-back turns for the four adult riders who scored an average of 80 points or higher from the first two phases of competition. As can happen when the pressure is on, the positions shifted in the work-off phase.
This was Smith’s fifth time competing in the CPHA Foundation finals, and she had made it to the work-off round three times before clinching the win, this time with ‘Vogue,’ an eight year old Dutch Warmblood who has been Smith’s partner for the past four years. Looking into the rest of the season, Smith has a few other medal finals to prepare for, including the Foxfield and PCHA, as well as the Amateur Owner Hunters and National Hunter Derbies.
Jayme Omand came into the work-off in the third spot, but the highest scoring work-off round moved her into the reserve championship position. Anne Sherwood came into the work-off in fourth place but moved up to the third position after all three rounds of competition.
As the 22 & Over Champion, Smith went home with a cooler, the perpetual trophy, and other prizes.
Young champion Katalina Considine Rickard Takes the Blue with Lost in Blue
Returning for the work-off with an average of 84.75 and sitting in the third-place, fourteen-year-old Considine Rickard impressed the judges with a smooth round in the work-off to move up and take home the blue.
Regarding the courses this weekend, Considine Rickard felt track and rideability were the two most important components. Considine Rickard and her partner for the past two seasons, ‘Blue’ are not newbies to the Winner’s Circle. “Blue is my favorite horse of all time. I met him about two years ago and it’s been love ever since. He is small but mighty, which seems to be a theme in our family.”
Looking ahead to the 2021 show season, Considine Rickard is excited to continue being competitive in the equitation classes, while moving up to a few larger classes with her jumper, Ego Stern. “This whole year has definitely been a bit different altogether, so I’m very happy to have the opportunity to show and compete in these finals here at Blenheim EquiSports.”
As the CPHA Foundation 14 & Under Champion, Considine Rickard earned the opportunity to add her name to the perpetual trophy, sponsored by Grand Prix legend Hap Hansen.
Londyn Samlaska was a close contender, coming into the work-off in second place with a two-round average of 85.75 and staying in the second-place position to earn the Reserve Championship. Coming into the work-off in the lead with an 87.375, Vivienne Wood moved into third place after the work-off round.
Payton Potter Tops the 21 & Under Section
After a gorgeous first round on Saturday that topped the class with a 94 score, Payton Potter and Khaled kept their composure to take the win overall. With a solid average of 86 and a strong work-off score, the pair galloped away with the victory, a plethora of prizes, and her name on the Barbara Worth Oakford Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by Hester Equestrian
The top four riders, who were all within three points of the leader, were asked to return for the challenging work-off round. The test included trotting an oxer, demonstrating two simple changes of lead in between the two jumps, as well as a hand gallop fence.
When asked about the technical track, Potter noted “The courses asked a lot of great questions both days. The final was challenging and technical in the best possible way.”
Khaled is Potter’s long-time partner, and the two have become a tremendous team over the years, “‘Fish is a great horse. We have been together since I graduated eighth grade, and tomorrow marks the start of my last semester of high school. We were both relatively new to the Big Eq when we started, so it has been nice to grow into it together. He is the sweetest horse and an all-around solid citizen.”
Reserve Champion Skylar Wireman came into the final round with a whopping 91.25 average but moved into the Reserve Champion position after the work-off phase. Third went to Devyn Stringfellow, who had an 89.25 average going into the work-off round. An unfortunate error in the work-off round moved Nicole McMillion and Maximus to the fourth position overall.
Championship prizes include a ribbon, rider and horse sash, perpetual and keeper trophy, flowers, a medal, cooler, an embroidered saddle pad, a stall plaque, baseball cap, and a pair of DeNiro Salento Boots, with the champion trainers also receiving a stall plaque. Reserve and third place finishers were decorated with a ribbon, rider and horse sash, flowers, a medal, a cooler, and a baseball cap. Fourth through tenth place finishers received a ribbon, medal, and flowers.
|Awards were donated by the generous sponsors, DaMoor’s Tack & Feed and Outdoor Outfitters.|
|All photos: McCool Photography|
CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 22 & OverPlacing – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Trainer
1 – 578 – Haute Couture – Jessica Smith – Durango Farms
2 – 734 – Go – Jayme Omand – Kelly Van Vleck
3 – 1358 – Cassito – Anne Sherwood – Michelle Morris
4 – 1439 – Imperatore – Mollie Hartung – Victoria LaCagnina
5 – 446 – Davinci’s Bella Forte – Belle Calkin – Archie Cox
6 – 900 – Rigoletto – Catherine Westling – Traci Burroughs
7 – 471 – Univers Theod – Alexandra Murray – Jeni Brown
8 – 340 – Just Because – Kathy Nolan – Kelly Van Vleck
9 – 708 – Close Up – Stephanie Goodson – Kate Considine
10 – 731 – Figaro – Kaitlin Perry – Kelly Van Vleck CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 14 & Under
Placing – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Trainer
1 – 700 – Lost In Blue – Katalina Considine Rickard – Kate Considine
2 – 314 – Quadro D’ag – Londyn Samlaska – Emily Esau Williams
3 – 472 – Way Out West – Vivienne Wood – Archie Cox
4 – 562 – Venice – Shiloh Roseboom – Christa Endicott
5 – 574 – Caladin Z – Presley Orzen – Courtney Orzen
6 – 557 – Freedom – Emma Post – Christa Endicott
7 – 128 – Lover Boy – Lily Grosz – James Hagman
8 – 172 – Alleto – Kylie Eynon – Devon Gibson
9 – 1468 – Quentino – Elizabeth Gray – James Hagman
10 – 521 – Beforeanythingelse – Carmen Gonzalez – Cassie Belmont
CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 21 & Under
Placing – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Trainer
1 – 327 – Khaled – Payton Potter – Dick Carvin
2 – 788 – Hot Pants – Skylar Wireman – Lisa Halterman
3 – 577 – Cosmo Petra – Devyn Stringfellow – Durango Farms
4 – 336 – Maximus – Nicole McMillion – James Hagman
5 – 428 – Cosmopolitan – Gabrielle Sokolow – Tasha Visokay
6 – 130 – Elvis 284 – Alexa Weiss – James Hagman
7 – 1551 – Carl – Elisa Broz – Cassie Belmont
8 – 908 – Novello – Emma Raith – Bridgeport Farms
9 – 723 – Calvatos Z – Stella Buckingham – Katie Gardner
10 – 747 – Quinten F – Marin Gilliland – Far West Farms