West Coast Weathers The Storm To Take Team Gold In U.S. Pony Jumper Championship

Aug 11, 2017 - 10:35 PM

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 11  

If the team final round from the U.S. Pony Jumper Championship had a theme song, it would have to be Timber by Kesha.

It was a rough night for the little equines and their riders in the Alltech Arena—seven teams of four riders and one team of three contested the championship, but only two teams had enough pony/rider pairs complete the course and finish a team. Rails, refusals and run-outs came often over what proved to be a tough course in the Alltech Arena, but the west coast team from Zone 10 showed their grit to come out on top with the win.

“It feels really good,” Zone 10 team member Avery Kim, 15, said. Kim rode Joel to two double clear rounds in the team final.

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Avery Kim and Joel helped their Zone 10 team to victory with a double clear effort in Friday’s team competition. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Joining Kim on team double clear was her teammate Tabitha Okitsu and Spoot De La Jourlais. Okitsu was also clear in the opening round (Kim had 4 faults) and will go into Saturday’s individual final tied for first place.

“I’ve had Spoot since December and he’s just the perfect pony, I love him,” Okitsu, 15, said.

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Spoot De La Jourlais jumped superbly for Tabitha Okitsu. They are tied for first heading into Saturday’s individual final championship. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Caroline Mawhinney and Silver Dream were the third score that counted toward the team’s winning effort (the team championship at U.S. Pony Jumper Championships is run like a Nations Cup competition with two rounds over identical courses where teams drop their highest fault score in each round).

Mawhinney had the distinction of riding the oldest equine on the team—Silver Dream is 23!

“She came from Europe and she’s amazing, she takes care of me,” Mawhinney, 11, said. “When I mess up she’ll take care of me.”

Mawhinney added that for 23 years old, Silver Dream was “Very awake!”

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The 23-years-young Silver Dream and Caroline Mawhinney were members of the gold medal-winning Zone 10 team. Photo by Ann Glavan.

Sydney Flashman and Karamel were the drop score for the team after being eliminated for refusals in both rounds, but Flashman kept a good team-player attitude about the situation.

“It’s taken a couple years to sort of figure her out and we’re still working on everything,” Flashman said. “She’s really a good girl and a sweet heart, and it gets tough but I know once we figure it out we’ll be a good team.”

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Sydney Flashman and Karamel. Photo by Ann Glavan.

The silver medals went to the combined Zone 1/3 team of Katherine Dade riding National Treasure, Isabella Cheers riding Park Avenue, Kiley Ahn riding Root Beer Float, and Lydia Philbrick riding Raisin A Ruckus.

The bronze medals were not able to be awarded because there wasn’t a third team with three riders able to complete the course.

Click here for full results.

Important Links: COTH’s What You Need To Know  |  All of COTH’s 2017 USEF Pony Finals coverage  |  Live streaming  |  Daily results

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The gold medal winning team from Zone 10. From left: Tabitha Okitsu, Sydney Flashmen, Avery Kim, and Caroline Mawhinney. Photo by Ann Glavan.
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Kiley Ahn and Root Beer Float had just one rail down each round of the team competition on her way to helping her Zone 1/3 team to a silver medal finish. Photo by Ann Glavan.
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Lydia Philbrick and Raisin A Ruckus rode for the Zone 1/3 silver medal winning team. Photo by Ann Glavan.
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Isabella Cheers was thrilled with her round on Park Avenue. They were a part of the Zone 1/3 silver medal effort. Photo by Ann Glavan.
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Katherine Dade gave National Treasure a big hug after their silver medal finish with the Zone 1/3 team. Photo by Ann Glavan.

 

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