St. Jacques Takes The Lead At The Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final—East

Oct 7, 2017 - 6:47 PM

Gladstone, N.J.—Oct. 7

It’s been a long day for competitors in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final—East, and things only get tougher from here on out.

First riders endured a grueling 30-minute flat phase, where the judges asked for all the usual suspects, plus haunches in, a flying change in front of the judges, lengthening at the canter on the long side of the ring and collecting on the short side. Oh and about a third of the work was performed without stirrups as the sun beat down relentlessly.

WEB 1 Taylor St Jacques Charisma COH_9810
Taylor St. Jacques topped both today’s phases on equal scores of 94. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

Judges McLain Ward and Jimmy Torano took their job so seriously and kept riders working so long that show officials moved Phase 2 of the competition back half an hour.

Check out loads of photos from today.

That phase, the gymnastic portion, counted for more than the flat (there’s a multiplier of 1.5) and riders had their work cut out for them there, too. Though the jumps weren’t maxed out in height, riders had to demonstrate how their flatwork translated into the jumping ring, with demands to lengthen and shorten stride throughout the track. Riders had to ride one line in five strides the first time and six the second, and four in-and-outs of varying distances comprised of oxers, verticals or a mix of both posed another challenge.

web Course MapIMG_6276
The course map for today’s gymnastics. Judges McLain Ward and Jimmy Torano designed the course with input from T.D. Anthony D’Ambrosio. Go ahead, try this at home!

But one rider shone all day long: Taylor St. Jacques. The Glen Allen, Va., rider scored an eyebrow raising mark of 94.0 in both phases aboard Charisma, putting her a full 7 points ahead of Jordyn Rose Freedman. Alexandra Pielet and McKayla Langmeier round out the top four.

WEb 2 Jordyn Rose Freeman Finnick COH_9732
Jordyn Rose Freeman and Finnick stand in second. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

Tomorrow everyone comes back in reverse order for the final two phases: a jumping round and then the final phase, in which riders all ride the same track four times aboard each others’ horses.

Order Of Go IMG_6278
Tomorrow’s order of go begins with the lowest scoring rider.

Check out photos from today, and stop back tomorrow to check out how things ended up.

For more in-depth coverage from the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final, check out the October 23 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine

USEF members can watch the live stream on usefnetwork.com, where you can also find results.

Keep up with the inside scoop on horse sports by following The Chronicle of the Horse on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at @chronofhorse.

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