Win­ner’s CIR­CLE

Practical Horseman - - The Complete Hourglass -

Sev­er­son Vic­to­ri­ous at Blen­heim

Amer­i­can Kim Sev­er­son and The Cross Syn­di­cate’s Coo­ley Cross Bor­der emerged from a field of 84 starters to win the SsangYong Blen­heim Palace In­ter­na­tional Horse Tri­als CCI*** in mid-Septem­ber in Eng­land. The pair got off to a strong start, plac­ing third after dres­sage with a score of 37.8. They main­tained their po­si­tion after cross coun­try by putting in a dou­ble-clear round. Then a dou­ble-clear show-jump­ing round moved Sev­er­son and the 10-year-old Ir­ish Sport Horse geld­ing into first place. Four U.S. horse-and-rider pairs fin­ished in the top 25.

“I feel a lot younger than I did when I got here, think­ing that I won it 16 years ago,” said Sev­er­son, re­fer­ring to her 2001 vic­tory with Win­some Adante. “This win made the whole sum­mer worth­while and all the trav­el­ing back and forth worth it.”

U.S. Jumpers Earn Sil­ver

The Her­mès U.S. Show Jump­ing Team of Lau­ren Hough, Laura Kraut, Beezie Mad­den and McLain Ward earned the sil­ver medal at the Longines FEI Na­tions Cup™ Jump­ing Fi­nal at CSIO***** Barcelona in late Septem­ber. The U.S. squad fin­ished on four faults be­hind the Nether­lands.

“Last year third, this year sec­ond. It was tremen­dous,” said U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Rid­land. “Beezie is on a young horse, a new com­bi­na­tion, and it is fab­u­lous. Same thing with Laura—that is a rel­a­tively

new com­bi­na­tion. And the other two [Hough and Ward]: per­fec­tion. We knew we were com­ing with a good team. There is no ques­tion about that. We had four vet­eran rid­ers out there, but the com­bi­na­tions them­selves were rel­a­tively new, and we really couldn’t be hap­pier.”

First to go for the U.S. con­tin­gent, Hough and Oh­lala paved the way with a clear trip after a long wait due to tech­ni­cal issues with the sta­dium lights. “I’ve ac­tu­ally never had that hap­pen be­fore,” said Hough of the com­pe­ti­tion de­lay. “I had to get the horse ready twice, and it was a lot of sit­ting around. I had to stay fo­cused with­out let­ting that ner­vous en­ergy bunch up too much. But [Oh­lala] was ab­so­lutely per­fect. I’m thrilled, I’m ab­so­lutely thrilled.”

An­chors Ward and HH Azur also put in a clear and fast trip to se­cure the sil­ver medal. “It felt like Rio all over again,” said Ward. “In that sit­u­a­tion, you fight to be the best you can be on the day—that is my job, par­tic­u­larly as an­chor, to be able to han­dle that. I knew that the time was go­ing to be the fac­tor, so I tried to think about that on my round, and Azur per­formed beau­ti­fully. She felt really good. She felt bril­liant the other day, bril­liant to­day, maybe even bet­ter.”

Robin­son, Lang­meier Win USEF Tal­ent Search

It seems it was only a mat­ter of time un­til Halie Robin­son and McKayla Lang­meier won a USEF Tal­ent Search Fi­nal. Both rid­ers had per­formed well in pre­vi­ous years’ com­pe­ti­tions. Each had been re­serve cham­pion and had other solid fin­ishes, but the top spot had re­mained elu­sive. Then per­sis­tence—com­bined with a good bit of skill in the sad­dle—paid off this year.

Rid­ing El­ven­star’s Cara­cas 89, Robin­son won the Plat­inum Per­for­mance/USEF Show Jump­ing Tal­ent Search Fi­nals West, Sept 24. Lead­ing after the first three phases, she was one of the top four rid­ers asked to com­pete over a short­ened course on her own horse and the horses of the other fi­nal­ists. “Our win­ner was clear and away the win­ner,” said USET Tal­ent Search judge Andre Dignelli. “She rode beau­ti­fully through­out all phases: ac­cu­rate and she has a beau­ti­ful style.”

Lang­meier, aboard her vet­eran part­ner Sky­fall, owned by Linda Lang­meier, clinched the Plat­inum Per­for­mance/USEF Show Jump­ing Tal­ent Search Fi­nals East, Oct. 8, in Glad­stone, New Jer­sey. “It’s nice to fi­nally win after be­ing so close in the past,” she said. Lang­meier earned the top spot on the podium with a cu­mu­la­tive score of 331 in the fourth phase. Tay­lor St. Jacques, who took an early lead in the com­pe­ti­tion with Her­itage Farm, Inc.’ s Charisma, fin­ished sec­ond on a score of 326.

Boyd Tops WCHR Pro Fi­nals

In a bat­tle of the best, Liza Boyd won the $5,000 World Cham­pi­onship Hunter Rider Pro­fes­sional Fi­nals, Oct. 6, at the Cap­i­tal Chal­lenge Horse Show in Up­per Marl­boro,

Mary­land. The event fea­tured the coun­try’s top six pro­fes­sional hunter rid­ers com­pet­ing in three rounds. For the first two rounds each rode a bor­rowed horse that had been do­nated for the class. Then they rode a horse of their own for the fi­nal handy round.

Boyd earned an av­er­age score of 90 in the first round, which put her in sec­ond place, and an av­er­age score of 90.50 in the sec­ond round. In the fi­nal round she rode her vet­eran mount O’Ryan, owned by Stella Stys­linger, to fin­ish at the top of the leader­board.

“We had to go for it in the handy,” said Boyd. “Ev­ery­one was amaz­ing in the handy. I was ac­tu­ally prob­a­bly the most ner­vous on O’Ryan—which I thought was go­ing to be the op­po­site go­ing into it—but I think Tori [Colvin] really put the pres­sure on us go­ing first and do­ing those really, really hard turns.”

Hunt Tosh and Bet­see Parker’s Gotham took the re­serve cham­pi­onship ti­tle after an out­stand­ing handy round.

Lau­ren Hough and Oh­lala had a dou­ble-clear round.

McKayla Lang­meier and Sky­fall

Halie Robin­son and Cara­cas 89

Kim Sev­er­son and Coo­ley Cross Bor­der

Liza Boyd and O’Ryan

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