Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 15
With as many people stopping to congratulate her at the conclusion of Saturday night’s Randolph College/USEF Junior Jumper Championship, Meg O’Mara could hardly get a full sentence in to the press.
But her beaming smile was enough to tell the whole story.
“He was amazing. I love this horse,” O’Mara, 17, said of Sinatra IV, who she has been riding for about two years. “He is the perfect ride for me.”
O’Mara and “Snotty” started the competition off on Thursday by aiming for a clear round. They sat in fifth coming into the team championship.
“On Friday, I just really tried to help my team out,” O’Mara, Rumson, N.J. said. Her double clear rounds certainly did her help team win the gold medal, and also proved fortuitous for her individual ranking.
Nineteen rider contested Steve Stephens’ course to fight for the national championship. While Chase Boggio put in a clear round, his carryover score from the previous days kept him from being O’Mara’s direct competition.
As seen in Friday night’s Prix Des States, the combinations on course, particularly the triple, gave competitors the most problem, but despite O’Mara’s nerves, she and the 11-year-old bay gelding kept all the poles in their cups.
“Tonight was a little more nerve wracking than last night,” she admitted, “but I knew Sinatra would be fine—he knows when it’s game day; he knows when it’s important.”
O’Mara’s Zone 2 teammate Reed Kessler, Armonk, N.Y., and Zone 7‘s Savannah Talcott, Wildwood, Miss.,, both had a rail in the final phase, and their cumulative faults were identical, thus the two jumped-off for silver. Kessler and Ligist pulled one rail but Talcott and Recover jumped around clean to clinch the individual silver medal.
And as if the work it took to become a double gold medalist in the junior jumpers (as well as riding a in the junior hunters) O’Mara’s work is not done. She will ride tomorrow in the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals—she goes 56th in the preliminary round.