September 13, 2020 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Blenheim EquiSports was honored to host the 49th Annual Foxfield Medal Finals on the grass of The Oaks International Grand Prix Field in San Juan Capistrano where, after two rounds and a work-off, Lanie Walkenbach led the victory gallop.
Welcoming twenty-one Amateur riders and a crowd of supportive fans via livestream video, Walkenbach and Let’s Go set the pace in Round One with a beautiful trip over the 3’3” course, scoring an average of 89.5. The second-place finisher was Emily Williams and her mount Carlo, who were just 0.5 points behind, with an average of 89. Rounding out the podium was Stacey Bacheller and Alalux, who scored an average of 86 points.
Sitting apart, judges Bill Ellis and Andrea Wells kept an educated eye on the medal finalists as they competed in Round 2. Several riders earned solid scores in the 80s, and the competition remained very close, with Emily Williams taking over the lead with a 90 average in the second round. Second-place honors in round two went to Haylee Hall and Clearing, who scored an 88 average. The yellow ribbon in Round 2 went to Rollin Sykes and Canavarro, who scored an 87.25 average.
Taking each rider’s overall average after two rounds, Williams, Walkenbach, and Hall were less than three percentage points apart, with an 89.5, 87.75, and 87 respectively, and were brought back for an additional third round of tests. The work-off included a trot fence, counter canter fence, a walk transition in between a bending line, hand-galloping an oxer, and demonstrating simple changes of lead. Ellis and Wells sat together for this third round, and no scores were announced. A beautiful and accurate effort by Walkenbach rewarded her as this year’s winner.
Walkenbach, who attends college at Texas Christian University, expressed her excitement at having the opportunity to compete on the grass Grand Prix field. “I am currently on Texas Christian University’s Equestrian team, so I just come to show when I get the opportunity. I am so thankful that I had the chance to compete in such a prestigious final.”
She was also elated to compete in the finals with her teammate, LET’S GO, known as “Pedro” around the barn. “He is one of the smartest and coolest horses I’ve ever been on. I’ve had the opportunity to ride him off and on since January and I share him with my sister Paige.”
The courses laid out across the Oaks International Grand Prix Field were technical, yet inviting. “I really enjoyed the courses today and feel they had plenty of options that asked technical questions of the riders. The test was challenging as well but I just developed a nice, strong canter right when I stepped out of the line to start the work off with confidence,” Walkenbach noted.
As the champion, Walkenbach will add her name to the legendary perpetual trophy and was also awarded a cooler and ribbons to keep.
Developed by National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Inductees JoAnn Postel and Nancy Turrill, the Foxfield Medal Final provides an opportunity for Amateur riders to shine. Known for consistently testing riders’ effectiveness and elegance over a difficult course, this Medal Final served as the pinnacle of Amateur equitation for many years. This innovative class helped pave the way for many of the Amateur Medals we recognize today.
|All photos: McCool Photography|
Placing – Rider – Horse – Owner – R1 Average – R2 Average – Overall Average
Lanie Walkenbach – Let’s Go – Walkenbach Equestrian LLC – 89.5 – 86 – 87.75
Emily Williams – Carlo – Emily Williams – 89 – 90 – 89.5
Haylee Hall – Clearing – Haylee Hall – 86 – 88 – 87
Rollin Sykes – Canavarro – R & R Stables LLC – 84 – 87.25 – 85.63
Stacey Bacheller – Alalux – Georgy Maskrey-Segesman – 86 – 83.5 – 84.75
McKinna Morris – Catokio – Dana Narayanappa – 82.75 – 84 – 83.38
Jessica Smith – Haute Couture – Jessica Smith – 81 – 82.25 – 81.63
Maria Pacifico – Grand Nemo – Noteworthy Horses – 76.75 – 80.5 – 78.63
Ashley Aycox – Svago – Victoria Lacagnina – 79 – 75.5 – 77.25
Lauren Burke – Barcelona – Lauren Burke – 71.5 – 80 – 75.75