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October 31, 2009

The ASPCA Maclay Finals Results

Zazou Hoffman has waited a long time to lead the victory gallop os a major equitation final and her moment came at the ASPCA Maclay Finals.

It’s been a long time coming, but Zazou Hoffman has finally won the major equitation final she’s been working toward so long.

She crumpled into tears as the announcer called Chase Boggio in second, leaving her in first, and hugged her longtime trainer, Missy Clark. “I’m just so excited this has finally happened,” Hoffman said. She was third in the ASPCA Maclay Finals last year and second in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals a month ago. Hoffman, originally from Santa Monica, Calif., moved to the East Coast to be a working student for Clark.

“I’m so thrilled for Zazou. She’s worked so hard for this,” said Clark. “She’s not just a rider; she’s really devoted to the whole of horsemanship. She’s in the barn working all day, and she got here at 1 or 2 a.m. today to get ready for this class, and she puts her own horse away.”

Hoffman was called back fourth going into the flat phase, but she moved up to second before Round 2 with her elegant work on the flat. A lovely trip in Round 2, where riders designed their own course in a take-your-own-line format, put her in first. And she held onto the lead with a flawless test. The test involved jumping a simple course of seven jumps without stirrups.

“I wasn’t too concerned about [jumping without stirrups],” Hoffman said. “We practice that a lot. But Ivy does have a big jump, so I was a little worried about getting jumped a bit loose.” Hoffman was tight as a tick in the tack, though.

“She never gave up; she was consistent and rode forward the whole day,” said Jack Towell, who judged the Maclay Final along with Billy Moroney.

This was Hoffman’s last show as a junior.

Up And Coming

Hoffman might have finished her junior years with a bang, but Chase Boggio, just 15, showed he’s lurking in the wings as he finished second behind her. “I can envision him winning in the future,” Clark said.

Boggio, of Canton, Ga., was called back in third for the flat phase, but when he got into a traffic jam with another horse during the counter-canter in the flat phase, his horse broke to the trot. The mistake dropped him to 10th going into Round 2. But Boggio rode a lovely fluid round in Round 2 and moved up to second before the test. Another solid round without stirrups in the test cemented his second place.

“This was the first time I showed the horse I was riding; I’d only ridden him for three days,” Boggio said. The Lubrano family loaned Boggio the veteran Golou II for the class. “I just wanted to keep putting in consistent round after round.”

Boggio rides with the Quiet Hill gang—Bobby Braswell, Christina Schlusemeyer and company.

Morgan Hale, of Odessa, Fla., rode very well to take third. She trains with Don Stewart and Bibby Farmer Hill. “I really liked the courses,” she said. “They were very flowing, and my horse jumps really well when he’s relaxed.”

Hale chose to ride the required trot jump in the take-your-own-line second round first. “I wanted to get it out of the way,” she said with a laugh.

“I told everyone, I really feel like she’s been knocking on the door. I really thought it was all going to happen for her today,” said Stewart.

Hale, 18, hasn’t earned a ribbon in a major equitation final before, but she was called back in seventh after Round 1 today and kept that position after the flatwork. Her second round vaulted her up into third for the final test. She kept her position beautifully without stirrups and held onto third place.

Changing Places

The judges had called Samantha Harrison back on top for Round 2 after her lovely Round 1 and solid flatwork. But Harrison’s course for Round 2 wasn’t as inspired as it could have been, and the hand-gallop that was required was almost non-existent. The conservative trip, though without major error, moved her down to fourth before they tested the top four without stirrups 

Harrison, of La Canada, Calif., trains with Karen Healey.

Catherine Pasmore was in third after the first round and the flat phase, but a hard run and some inaccurate lines in Round 2 dropped her out of the top 10.

Laura Pfeiffer rode wonderfully. She was called back in eighth after Round 1 and moved up to fourth after the flat phase. She had a lovely, fluid second round but left long to one of the fences. She ended up fifth overall.

Lucy Davis claimed sixth after a brilliant second round that included a dramatic hand gallop to the last jump.

Alexandra Arute had a bit of a disastrous second round—she was called back in sixth, but had a rail and one obvious chip to a vertical.

THE SECOND ROUND COURSE

All the jumps for Round 2 of the ASPCA Maclay Finals, which will be run in a take-your-own-line format (see course map below), are simple oxers or verticals, some lower than 3'6", with no filler but ground lines on both sides. The trot fence, identified as No. 2 on the map, is a small log fence with two rails on top, about 2'6". The vertical in the middle of the ring, identified as No. 6, is filled with brush. The verticals identified as Nos. 3 and 11 have a rolltop under the rails.

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