Master the Wa­ter Jump

Olympic vet­eran McLain Ward led an im­promptu le••on on how to jump wa­ter dur­ing the Ge­orge H. Morri• Hor•ema•ter•hip Training Se••ion.

Practical Horseman - - Contents - By Jo­ce­lyn Pierce Photos by Amy K. Dra­goo

Olympian McLain Ward led an im­promtu les­son when sev­eral of the par­tic­i­pants rid­ing in the 12th an­nual Ge­orge H. Mor­ris Horse­mas­ter­ship Training Ses­sion strug­gled to get over the wa­ter jump dur­ing a mock Na­tions Cup com­pe­ti­tion.

The morn­ing did not go the way many of the young rid­ers en­vi­sioned. The 12 rid­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in the three-day Ge­orge H. Mor­ris Horse­mas­ter­ship Training Ses­sion were be­ing put to their fi­nal test by rid­ing in a mock Na­tions Cup com­pe­ti­tion. Head­lin­ing the quasi-com­pe­ti­tion, two-time Olympic show-jumping gold medal­ist McLain Ward be­gan the day by walk­ing Con­rad Hom­feld’s course with the par­tic­i­pants and later of­fered in­sight­ful feed­back on horse and rider af­ter each round. Just as in a CSIO Na­tions Cup, the three teams of four rid­ers would jump two rounds over the same course. The high­est score from each round would be dis­carded and the three best scores from each round would be to­taled for a team score to de­ter­mine the win­ner. But half­way through the first round it was clear that many of the rid­ers were strug­gling with Fence 7—the wa­ter jump. Ru­nouts, stops and even falls plagued the rid­ers, adding a sense of dread as each new rider can­tered through the timers to start her round. Soon the fo­cus of the day was not on which team would win, but in­stead on who could make it over the wa­ter. Chefs d’ Equipe Anne Kursin­ski, Beezie Mad­den and Kent Far­ring­ton—all Olympians—each gave their team ex­pert in­struc­tion and prepa­ra­tion be­fore head­ing into the arena to be sur­veyed by McLain, the 2017 World Cup

Olympic gold medal­ist McLain Ward walks Con­rad Hom­feld’s course with the 12 par­tic­i­pants.

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