While 265 riders impress the judges with their calm and collected equitation skills, a beehive of activity behind the scenes at the 2012 Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals reminds us of the work that goes into a perfect round in the arena:
Meg O'Mara really impressed the judges with her confidence in all three of her rides today and won the 2012 Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals! Lillie Keenan took reserve with Sydney Shulman in third.
Since both the judges for the 2012 Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals—Geoff Teall and Bill Moroney—have strong hunter backgrounds, it comes as no surprise that the first-round course has a very flowing, huntery feel to it.
The majority of the fences—all save two red jumps—are subtle colors. Some have extensive brush ground line fill, but others have minimal ground lines, and the Swedish oxer has no ground line.
Overnight, Yasmin Rizvi got another ride added to her schedule.
Yasmin’s younger sister, Farah, was injured in a fall on the first day of the pony hunters at the Pennsylvania National, and she asked Yasmin to take over the reins on First Edition for the second day. Yasmin complied happily and rode First Edition to the small pony reserve championship. She added that tricolor to the small pony championship she collected riding her own Q2 to make a clean sweep of the division. She also captured the Best Child Rider on a Pony title.
There aren’t many “mutts” jumping around at Pennsylvania National Junior Weekend, but Wicked fits the bill.
Katie Pontone freely admits that her blue-eyed paint mare, Wicked, doesn’t have distinguished bloodlines. “She’s just a mutt!” she said. “But she’s the best.” Together, Pontone, 18, and the mare she bought out of a field just months ago topped the NAL Pony Jumper Final with the only clean round of the jump-off. They were also the top qualifiers in the NAL standings.
Kelly Champion made sure to make her trip to the Pennsylvania National count, since she’s had a rough time leading up to it. “The last two weeks of my life have been a living hell, a big blur,” Champion said. So winning the NAL Adult Hunter Final on her All In was a sweet reward.