BY KATE PETTERSEN AND SABRINA BRASHARES FOR JENNIFER WOOD MEDIA, INC.
The Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* took place on Friday morning in Ring 6 with 26 riders competing for the top honors. In the end, Dominic Gibbs and Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15 impressed the judges in both the over fences and flat phases of the class to take home the blue ribbon.
Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, CO, has become a popular name to watch for in the equitation classes with his partner Cent 15. The pair is going into their third WEF season together under the tutelage of Beacon Hill Show Stables.
“My mom and I brought him over from Europe, originally thinking he would be my high junior jumper, but he told us that he likes the equitation,” commented Gibbs of the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Carenzo. “He has been a wonderful mount for me and has taken me from being an average 3’3” rider to a very seasoned 3’6” rider. He’s been a great help for me in my equitation career and a wonderful partner to have.”
All riders were asked to complete the over fences portion of the class and the top 12 combinations then returned for a flat phase. Although Gibbs described his mount as a little “spicy” in the first round, the judges were still very pleased with the performance.
“It’s one of his first shows out, and I’m glad to see his enthusiasm so early in the season!” described Gibbs. “We have many more weeks to go so I’m glad he was happy to be showing.”
Gibbs is determined to continue his equitation success and assure that he qualifies for all of the year-end finals.
“My main focus with Cent 15 is also to place well in the WEF Equitation Challenge during Week 11,” he explained. “Mainly I just want to keep him happy, healthy, and at the top of his game. I hope that this is a signal for a good year to come!”
Second place honors went to Eva Fisherman, of Brookline, MA, and Boldly Stated, owned by Can We Keep It? LLC. Hollis, NH, resident Amira Kettaneh and Leigh Kettaneh’s Automatic rode to a third place finish in the class.
Competition will continue on Saturday with the $37,000 CaptiveOne 1.50 Jumper Classic, the Hermès Under 25 Welcome and the Hermès Under 25 1.40 classes taking place on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village. For hunter competition, the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 and Over will come to an end with the naming of the champion in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.