Edited Press Release
San Juan Capistrano, CA – July 31, 2022 – Following two days and three rounds of competition, junior rider Makenzie Damus and amateur Peggy Munkdale rode away with victories in the California Professional Horseman’s Association (CPHA) Junior and Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Finals, held during the Blenheim Racing Festival.
The CPHA Finals, held on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, saw 50 juniors and 20 amateurs riding in the first two rounds of competition in the Grand Looke Arena at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA. From there, the top 10 amateurs and the top 10 juniors each returned for their respective third and final round.
“The first round, I thought the course was really nice,” said Damus, who earned the CPHA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final victory aboard Bruce Wayne. “It was inviting for everyone. I liked the long, bending lines because there wasn’t a true number for anything. It was kind of what was best for your horse.”
Damus finished the first round with a score of 263.5, putting her in a solid third-place position. A second-place finish in the second round with a score of 259.25 then helped her slide up into second overall going into the final phase.
“Round two was a bit more technical, and there were more inside turn options, which helped make riders stand out more,” said Damus, who trains with Tasha Visokay at Ingenium Farm in Moorpark, CA. “A couple of lines had the option to be either six or seven, so I thought that that helped distinguish riders as well.”
In the third phase, Damus turned in a seamlessly smooth round that showcased Bruce Wayne’s adjustability and the pairs slick rollback turns.
Judges Shane George, Jim Dahlquist, and Spencer Chapin awarded Damus with scores of 88.5, 89, and 90, for a third-round total of 267.5 and the overall winning score of 790.25. Finishing in second place with an overall total of 772.50 was Bella Primavera riding Carrico Sun. Third place went to Jake Endicott with a score of 769.25 aboard In the Stars.
“I’ve worked really hard with this horse over the past year. My trainer, Tasha, she’s really played a huge role in winning this Medal Final,” concluded Damus, who heads next to the North American Youth Championships in Michigan where she will represent Zone 10 on the junior team. “It’s a great privilege to be able to compete in these classes against top riders. I’m just really grateful for the opportunity.”
For full results of the CPHA Junior Medal Finals, visit https://blenheim.showgroundslive.com.
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The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria.
Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.