The Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal Finals kicks off today here at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa., at 7 a.m. The estimated start time for the final round is 5:15 p.m.
There are 257 riders—including one from Puerto Rico—riding for a chance at one of the most prestigious equitation titles around. That’s 20 fewer starters than last year.
Jack Towell and Tammy Provost will be judging today, and they also designed the course.
The Chronicle is ringside live blogging throughout the day, and you can follow along here. A full description of the first-round course is below, along with a course map and a photo of the course.
Other useful links and information:
- The order of go is posted here.
- You can watch the live feed on EQSports.net or on USEFNetwork.
- Results from all of junior weekend at the Pennsylvania National and a schedule are available on Ryegate
- Don’t forget to follow the Chronicle on Twitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse
- We will have full in-depth analysis of the competition in the Nov. 6 issue of the magazine.
- You can read about our One To Watch for Medal Finals in “One To Watch: Devon Thomas Prepared For Her First Medal Final By Winning On Arabians.”
The keywords for the Round 1 course today are long bending lines and wide square oxers. Provost and Towell have built a flowing course that’s full of traditionally decorated hunter-type jumps—verticals with fluffy brush groundlines, oxers of birch and natural rails.
There’s no dotted line, but the course map dictates “no courtesy circle,” and the first fence is against the long side in front of the judges and opposite the in-gate, heading back toward the in-gate end of the ring. It’s a simple birch-rail vertical. Riders will jump that, then swing around the short end of the ring and across the diagonal away from the in-gate to Fence 2, a brown vertical with healthy brush stuffing it.
From there, they bend left for six strides and hug the long side in front of the judges to jump a wagon-wheel brown oxer into the far corner at Fence 3. They swing around the short end of the ring and head out on the diagonal to Fence 4, an airy vertical of curved green rails with no groundline. They then ride a bending line of eight strides to a simple brown oxer set heading into the short side of the ring at Fence 5. Navigating to this fence might be a bit tricky, as they have to pick a careful line between three other fences there.
Fence 6 is an oxer-vertical one-stride set coming out of the short side on the quarter line away from the in-gate. The A element is wide, and some riders might have trouble having the right impulsion to get this combination done.
A bending line of five strides across the diagonal leads to a triple bar of birch rails at Fence 7, then rider come out of the short side to a tight turn to 8AB, a one-stride of verticals built with unusual astroturf-covered rails. From there, they canter five strides down the long side to a birch-rail Swedish oxer toward the in-gate.
Out of the short side, they head across the diagonal to a two-stride of vertical-oxer of stone wall materials at 10AB. Then it’s a sunggish six strides to Fence 11, the last fence, is the infamous white gate that ends a few Medal dreams every year—this year it has boxy green standards and a green sign emblazoned with the Dover Saddlery title sponsor logo.