By Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
The THIS Children’s Medal 15-17 took place in FarmVet Ring 7 on the final day of competition for the seventh week the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Shea Ehrhard, of Darien, CT, rode SRE Equestrian LLC’s Fifth Avenue to a first round score of 84.5 and then took home the blue ribbon after producing a beautifully ridden test.
The class consisted of a scored first round course and then a test for the top four competitors. Riders were told the test while in the ring and had to come up with a plan of how to best execute the course on their own. Ehrhard and Fifth Avenue navigated the technical track with ease to move from third place to first.
“The main thing I work on with him is getting him forward and in front of my leg,” explained Ehrhard. “That was definitely a test in the first round with the first line being a forward seven strides, so I was really happy that I was able to get that done.
“In the test, my main focus was to make sure that I knew all the numbers of the jumps,” continued Ehrhard. “It’s always stressful going in and hearing the test in the ring. I also was again focused on getting him forward and in front of my leg, especially going to the first jump.”
Ehrhard and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tangelo VD Zuuthoeve are still developing their partnership in both the equitation and hunter divisions. The pair shows under the tutelage of Chance Arakelian and Ox Ridge.
“I’ve had him for about a year now. We got him in Florida last year,” said Ehrhard. “Since getting him I think we have just gotten better and better; each time I show I learn more about him. He is super versatile, which I love about him. I’m hoping to stay consistent with him this season and to keep improving and having fun with him each time I ride.”
Second place was awarded to Grace Daggett, of Rockaway, NJ, and Tranquility Farm’s Lancelot. Daggett and Lancelot received a first round score of 84. Alethea Bergad, of Chester, NJ, and her own Dylano earned a score of 85 in the first round and finished in third place after the test.