Jessica Springsteen knows that there’s more than one way to win an equitation class.
Last year at the ASPCA Maclay Championship she proved she can keep her composure and top a class when she’s called back on top. And at this year’s Pessoa/USEF Medal Final today, Oct. 11, she showed she can win one from behind, too.
Springsteen lay third behind Zazou Hoffman and Samantha Schaefer headed into the final work-off, and when her turn came to test she put in an accurate if a touch conservative ride. When her fellow competitors faltered, she moved up to take blue at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg, Pa.
Hoffman held on to her second place position, and Tina DiLandri finished third, with Schaefer rounding out the top four.
“She does what she needs to do to win these classes,” said Stacia Madden, who trains Springsteen along with Krista Freundlich, Heather Senia, Max Amaya and Beezie Madden. “She has a great ability to think clearly and make good decisions in the ring.”
The test included a hand gallop, a counter-canter to a triple bar after a very tight turn and a halt in the middle of a broken line. Springsteen didn’t take any big risks anywhere, riding a good hand gallop and demonstrating a flying change to counter canter, rather than landing the opposite lead as she did during her winning Maclay test. She clinched the title with a spectacular halt almost upon landing from the in of the broken line.
“It was less nerve-wracking not being on top,” said Springsteen, Colts Neck, N.J., who rode her veteran partner Papillon 136 to the title. “There’s not too much time to think about anything and get nervous. “
Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals wrapped up junior weekend at the Pennsylvania National. Senior week kicks off tomorrow with professional divisions getting underway in the morning.