Unex Omelli has been out of major competition for eight months, but he wasted no time getting back in the swing of things at his first big show back. He and British rider Tim Gredley scooped up the top prize in the $40,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump at the Pennsylvania National with a speedy jump-off round.
The look on Tommi Clark’s face after she completed her high performance handy hunter round was a curious mixture of elation and surprise. When the announcer revealed her score, an 86, her smiles began.
Imagine being a young professional hunter rider, rubbing shoulders in the Pennsylvania National warm-up area with riders like Peter Pletcher, Louise Serio and Hunt Tosh. Then, imagine winning there.
Dana Scott just wanted to qualify for the final individual round of the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. So, when she landed from the last jump as the individual gold medalist, she couldn’t quite believe it.
Scott, 17, and her KM Whatever RV were the only pair to not have a single rail over the four rounds of competition.
As Meg O’Mara circled for the last time, having jumped her third course, a hint of a smile played over her lips. She leaned forward and patted her horse. To the causal observer, it looked like she was cool, calm and assured of her success.
“It was just about the only time I breathed!” O’Mara quipped. “When they read the test to us, I started having a mental breakdown for like 30 seconds. I didn’t know what was going on. But I decided I just had to go out there and ride. I couldn’t freeze, because that’s usually what I do.”