By RandolphPR for Las Vegas National Horse Show
Skylar Wireman has had a banner year filled with numerous top equitation finishes, and on Saturday, November 19, she added one final win to her illustrious junior career. Following three rounds of competition, 18-year-old Wireman and Famous rode away with the win in the WCE Junior/Amateur Medal Final, presented by the California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) Foundation.
The three-round class kicked off on Friday with a first-round, power-and-speed-style jumper course, judged on equitation. All 31 entries that completed the course were invited back for round two on Saturday, and the top 10 then immediately returned for a final, deciding round.
At the conclusion of the first two rounds, Wireman had positioned herself as the clear front runner. Judges Virginia Edwards and Julie Winkel awarded her average scores of 91 and 91.5 in the first and second round, respectively, positioning her at the top of the leaderboard with a 182.5 total.
Sitting behind Wireman in second place with a score of 173.75 was amateur rider Jayme Omand aboard Infallible.
“The first round, the time was maybe a little on the snug side,” said Wireman. “I think it was just about putting in a good, solid round and being accurate, showing a little bit of forward riding in the speed phase of the power and speed and making sure that you didn’t have time faults. The judges mentioned that they wanted to see riders for the future of our sport, so I think they were looking for someone that was efficient and not going to risk a time fault.”
Wireman continued, “The second round was a speed round, and there definitely were some time faults again. I think the biggest thing they were looking for was someone that was accurate and riding a forward-thinking canter. Then in the third round, I knew I had a pretty big lead, there was no need to take any risks. I just put in another solid round.”
That solid round was more than enough to clinch her the win, while Omand held on to second and was recognized as the highest-placed amateur. Rounding out the top three was Paige Walkenbach riding Clooney 62.
“I’ve been fourth in the class numerous years in a row,” said Wireman. “Having done it for four or five years, it definitely has been one on my list to kind of check off. It was a good way to finish my last junior year, being that that was my last equitation class ever as a junior.”
Wireman joined forces with her winning mount, Famous, roughly a year ago, and in the time since then Wireman and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding have earned numerous accolades including winning the CPHA Foundation Medal Final and the USHJA Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic – West and finishing in second in the Dover Saddlery/US Equestrian Hunter Seat Medal Final.
“He has been a very special partner for me,” said Wireman. “He’s never put a foot wrong. He’s always looking to please. He’s just really special.”
In addition to competing in the WCE Medal Final, Wireman is also utilizing the week at the Las Vegas National Horse to make her FEI debut, which she felt well complemented competing in the WCE Medal Final.
“I’ve never done the FEI, so this is my first week doing that, but it definitely has been a good thing to do. I certainly think the jumpers help you be aware of your time,” said Wireman. “This show is always one of my favorites. It’s always one of the first to go on the calendar as soon as the dates go out. I love the environment of the show. It has a very big atmosphere. It’s special for some of the lower levels as well with the USHJA Championships, and then there’s FEI; it kind of covers all the bases. There’s such a high level of quality here. It’s a lot of fun.”
For full results of all three rounds of the WCE Junior/Amateur Medal Finals, presented by the CPHA Foundation, click here.