San Juan Capistrano, CA – September 18, 2021 – Jayme Omand rode Go to the win in the 50th annual Foxfield Medal Final on Saturday, September 18, during the Blenheim Fall Tournament in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Finishing in second place in the 22-rider field was Stacey Bacheller riding Alalux, while third place went to Matilda Schulman aboard Elvenstar Hans.
After two rounds of competition over technical tracks set at 3’3” in the grass Oaks International Grand Prix Field by course designer Marina Azevedo, Omand held the lead on an average score of 85.25, while Schulman sat in second on 83.25 and Bacheller held third with an average score of 82.87. With all three riders within three points of one another, further testing was required, and they each were called back in reverse order of their standings to work-off in front of judges Rachel Kennedy and Mary Eufemia.
As directed, Omand entered the ring and picked up the canter directly to an outside line and proceeded to deliver a work-off ride that would guarantee her the victory. For Bacheller, a well-executed test was also enough to move her from the third-place position into second.
“[Going first in the work-off] puts a lot of pressure on,” said Omand, who trains with Kelly van Vleck. “Kelly’s always told me before I go in just to take a deep breath, stay composed and really be confident in yourself. She says to know that you know what you’re doing when you go out there and to just remind yourself that you and your horse are one and that you can go do it.”
That approach paid off for Omand who has been partnered with her winning mount, Go, for two years. “He was a little green when I got him, but we’ve worked really hard at home over cavalettis and really getting his topline strong and getting him really loose in his back,” said Omand of her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “We’ve actually gone out and done international hunter derby classes to help practice with the flow of the canter and courses like this. He’s been amazing. Honestly, he’s so brave, and he’s willing to do whatever you ask of him. He’s the sweetest kindest horse.”
Developed by National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Inductees JoAnn Postel and Nancy Turrill, the Foxfield Medal Final provides amateur riders like Omand with the opportunity to compete in the equitation beyond their junior years. The innovative class helped pave the way for many of the amateur medals in existence today, and Saturday marked only the third time the distinguished class was held outside the gates of the Foxfield Riding School.
“I love the flowing, beautifulness of each equitation course,” concluded Omand. “For me, just staying fluid and flowing forward is probably the best part of the equitation. I love that this class is on the field. It’s so fun, and I think the horses really like going out there. They jump really, really well because they build so nicely. I think that’s the best part of this class in particular.”
As the 2021 winner of the prestigious class, Omand’s name will be Foxfield Medal Finals Perpetual Trophy. Omand was presented with a Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths gift certificate and a cooler for her mount. In addition, she and each of the riders in the top three were also presented with $50 SmartPak gift certificates.
Foxfield Medal Final Results
Place – Entry # – Rider – Horse
1. 256 – Jayme Omand – Go
2. 246 – Stacey Bacheller – Alalux
3. 1012 – Matilda Schulman – Elvenstar Hans
4. 686 – Taylor Loew – Cassini Jr.
5. 254 – Makenzy Barnes – Edesa’s Donovan
6. 642 – Madison Santley – Fellow Traveler
7. 447 – Anne Sherwood – Cassito
8. 282 – Jessica Smith – All in Favor
9. 300 – Catherine Westling – Rigoletto
10. 233 – Haylee Hall – Clearing
Photos: McCool Photography