Jaden Olson, 21, of Parker, Colorado, demonstrated her consistency and her nerves of steel as she posted top scores in both rounds of the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, and held the lead to take home the blue.
“My plan going into the first round was just to execute a smooth, flowing course. There were a lot of related lines, so I had to be accurate,” said Olson, admitting she felt the pressure going back in on top for the second round.
“There was a high score right before I went in, so I had to lay it all out there,” said Olson, who went on to explain her strategy. “I went straight to the first jump, and I did a tight inside turn back to the second to last fence. I executed to both of my plans how I wanted them to go. I just tried to keep my nerves in check as much as possible because it is a pressure-filled situation.”
Olson knew she wanted to execute the hardest plan she could but do it “well and smooth.” She added, “That was the hardest thing, just thinking how to stay calm and still execute under the pressure.” Olson posted a first-round score of 89 and solidified her win with a second-round score of 91.3.
Olson rode Conradical, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding that she purchased when it was only five years old. “I’ve had him for a very long time, and we have built a very good partnership,” said Olson, who admits he was wasn’t always easy. “When I first got him, he was a little bit of a troublemaker in the barn and while riding him. Now he is quite perfect, and he’s actually for sale, which I’m sad about, but I am moving to London after I graduate this spring.”
Olson admitted it is time to move on, and Capital Challenge was their “last hurrah.”
The young adult trains with Mary Ann Thomas at Ashwood Farm as well as at Four Seasons Farms in Georgia. This was her first time competing in the Ariat Finals but thanks to the unique situation of the past 18 months, she was able to make it a goal.
“I had more flexibility in my schedule because of COVID-19 so I was able to qualify, and I just thought I might as well do it,” said Olson. “I had the horse to do it on, and he was awesome.”
Earlier in the day, Lindsey Tomeu and Nightfall won the WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge.
Final Results: Ariat National Adult Medal Finals
1 CONRADICAL JADEN OLSON
89.00 91.33 180.33
2 COPPERTONE TRACEY GORIN-BYRNE
87.50 87.33 174.83
3 ANTIDOTE SYDNEY SMITH
88.00 82.16 170.16
4 CONSTANTIN JORDAN ALLEN
87.00 80.33 167.33
5 CHECK IT OUT 5 CASEY ZURAITIS
81.83 84.00 165.83
6 AUDI 2000 Z CLAIRE STEVENSON
85.33 80.00 165.33
7 ROCKINGHAM DOMINIQUE MUNGIN
82.33 81.33 163.66
8 EASTON ELIZABETH CHENELLE
82.00 78.66 160.66
9 APPLEWOOD MADELYN VAN TIEM
84.33 76.33 160.66
10 QUESO GRANDE MADISON BUSEY
82.50 69.33 151.83