Kimberly McCormack finished her last Washington International Horse Show in the junior jumpers by claiming the division championship with Sheila Burke’s Jamison today, Oct. 25.
“Floyd” competed internationally on the grand prix circuit with Burke before McCormack took over the ride. The two paired up at the beginning of this year and have been competing in the high junior jumpers ever since.
Although 16-year-old Floyd has plenty of experience, he and McCormack still work on improving each day. “He’s a small horse, so we need a lot of energy. We work on keeping his blood up and making sure I don’t drop him before the fences, which I tend to do sometimes,” she said.
She pointed out that although the horses were tired today after their third consecutive day of competing, Floyd still put in a full effort for her. “He was super all week. At Harrisburg he pulled a shoe in one class and it was his first time indoors in a few years, so it didn’t go as well as it did here. Here he was just perfect,” she said.
McCormack, Clermont, N.J., said she’s taking a year off from school before going to college and is spending the time participating in a variety of activities. “I’m actually doing a marine conservation program in the Indian Ocean in January,” said McCormack. “We do a lot of diving and then research the coral. It’s kind of random, but I’m excited.” After her program is completed she’ll head to Wellington, Fla. to continue riding.
She said that her sister Kristy, who trains McCormack along with Missy Clark and John Brennan, had participated in a similar program during her year off before school and encouraged McCormick to pursue something she enjoyed. She hopes to head to college next fall. “I’m pretty sure I want to come back to the [equestrian] sport in some manner,” she said, “but I definitely want to go to school first.”
While McCormack won on her experienced mount, Scott Stewart took home the win in the Invitational Hunter Derby on his least experienced horse. World Time, Stewart’s 6-year-old first year green horse, put in two stunning rounds to receive average scores of 90.33 and 91.66 and take home the blue.
Six riders returned to the second round of the derby, a handy course. Stewart originally planned to make an inside turn after the in-and-out, a turn that catapulted Jessica Springsteen and Tiziano to the lead before Stewart’s ride. “He just jumped up so high and nice that I thought it would look rough to go inside,” he said. “I knew [Springsteen] had gone inside, but I still think handy courses should flow, and I knew it would be better for me to go outside, so I did.”
Shawn Casady made his debut in the Washington Pony Equitation Final a winning one, edging out 27 other competitors to take blue over Jessica Donatelli.
To prepare for his first ride in the Final Casady took a lesson with Joe Fargis and rode in a clinic with George Morris. “He rides 10 or so horses and ponies a day,” said Casady’s trainer, Bill Shaub. “He works really hard and puts a lot of time into riding.”
Casady, Harriman, Tenn., rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s Liseter Clever Star to the win. “He used to start out a little slow, so we’ve been working on starting out with a good pace and keeping it through the whole course,” said Schaub. “The pony likes a soft ride and Shawn is a soft rider.”
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