The first oxer of the course is set right out of the corner by the in-gate (there’s a dotted line set generously at about the middle of the ring). From Fence 1 to the vertical at 2, straight up the long side of the ring, is five longish strides.
Of course, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex doesn’t have a wide array of singing slot machines, gaudy red carpets, or drinks on the house, but it definitely doesn’t sleep. Just like a casino, there are no windows and no clocks.
Hi everyone, I’m Grace Powers. I’m 16 years old, a junior in high school, and I live in Connecticut. I train at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, N.Y., with Frank Madden and Stella Manship and I leave for Harrisburg, Pa., today to compete in the Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals for the first time. I'll be blogging about it all for the Chronicle.
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.”
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.
Schaefer Raposa was supposed to ride fourth to last in the second round, but her horse, Charlie Z, pulled a shoe in the schooling area. Maybe it was that little bit of extra time or maybe it was just written in the stars, but Raposa came in as the last of the riders in the second round and put in a flawless trip, and judges Chrystine Tauber and Jimmy Torano said it was the coolness with which Raposa entered the ring and the precision she showcased that put her right on top.