We’re here in Lexington, Kentucky, yet again for the ASPCA Maclay Final, where 178 of the country’s top junior riders aspire to win one of the most elusive equitation titles.
We’ll try and post every 10 riders or so, with updates on how the course is riding, who has done well, who hasn’t, etc. Please don’t expect an account of every rider’s trip, but we’ll try to keep you up-to-date! Scroll down to see the most recent posting.
Disclaimer: We’re providing this as a service to those who are interested, and we’re just recording our observations. We’re not judges, just reporters who have watched the Maclay Finals in their entirety for the past 17 years. You may not agree with our notes, and that’s fine—we’re not putting them out there as the authoritative word, but as information for those interested. That said, read on!
1. Ava Stearns (Acer K)
2. Charlise Casas (Conthacco)
3. Ellie Yeager (Copperfield 39)
4. Emma Fletcher (Conspicuous)
5. Sophie Gochman (Class Action)
6. Hannah Hoch (Carlson 83)
7. Erin Floyd (Any Given Sunday)
8. Savannah Hemby (Kasarco O.H.)
9. Tanner Korotkin (Zapfeir)
10. Alexandra Pielet (Common Sense)
There will be additional testing for six riders. They’ve removed fences 4ab and 9. The riders who will test in reverse order of preference are: Elli Yeager, Sophie Gochman, Hannah Hoch, Charlise Casas, Emma Fletcher, Ava Stearns.
Canter directly to fence 1
Counter canter fence 11
Canter fences 12a and 12b to fence 13 in six strides.
Canter fence 8
Hand gallop 5 with the longest approach
Exit ring at the walk
Elli Yeager is a bit weak to fence 11. Shegets her counter canter with a flying change and takes her time to get the halt. She showed a definite change for the hand gallop.
Sophie Gochman finds the first fence right out of stride and gets the counter canter with a flying change. Her horse comes back easily for the halt, but he never really stands still. She gets a nice hand gallop early and that final fence is gorgeous.
Hannah Hoch does a transition to the counter canter through the walk, but she’s weak to fence 11. Her horse also moves a bit in the halt, but she gets immobility before continuing. She’s got a great open hand gaop as well, but the horse swaps out.
Charlise Casas got the counter canter through a simple change and has a nice halt. Her horse hits 8 pretty hard, but she’s got her leg on immediately for that hand gallop. He jumps the final fence huge!
Emma Fletcher has a nice open stride and she lands the counter canter lead. She’s a little tight to 13, but she gets a halt quickly, but he’s not super square. She really used her horses big stride here for the hand gallop. He swapped off at the end.
Ava Stearns wastes no time getting a nice catner to the first and has a beautiful flying change to the counter lead. Ava has a lovely, quiet halt. She land son the counter lead after 8 so she has to change that before she can really get her galop. She moves up to the final fence though and it’s a lovely trip.
Catalina Peralta dropped own a few places after struggling with the flying lead changes on the flat. She has to cluck in the one-stride at the first diagonal line and then half halt hard on the out. She finishes nicely.
Emma Paycna picks up a canter straight from the in-gate and uses her circle to make sure her horse is in front of her leg. He looks a little at the first, so she sits down and finds it on a nice stride. They are closed to 3 and are a light tight to 4ab. Her rollback to 7 is lovely, but she chips fence 9. The horse swaps to the final fence.
Jordan Toering develops u nice open canter on her way to the first fenceHer horse raps fence 4a and then she has to settle going to fence 5. Her horse ducks left a little over fence 7. Her final line is beautiful.
Jordan Allen finds the first fence right out of stride and is bold to fence 4a. Her horse lands heavy after 9 and trips, but she finds her way to 10 OK. Her last line is always lovely and flowy.
Katy Merchant is a little sticky in some of her distances and her horse ads in 4ab, knocking the rail at B. He then crawls over fence 6. He drops the front rail of 8a, and her last line is great.
Alexa Aureliano picks up a quieter canter, but it’s nice and open. She does a lovely job negotiating he first inside line, as it’s a big adjustability question. She knocks the rail at fence 9 and gets crooked to 12a.
Augusta Iwasaki rides a nice wide track from two to three and gets a nice jump from her horse. He rubs the rail at six, but it stays up. She has to really gallop to make 8and 9 work, and he taps the rails some. He hits every fence in the last line, but nothing falls and everyone was excited by that round.
Alexis Ortiz is more conservative than some going to the first fence, and she gets a little weak to the in of 4ab. Her horse breaks to a trot on the rollback to 7 and then has a rail at 9.
Juliette Joseph wastes no time picking up a good canter and she finds jump 1 well. She takes out the front rail of 4a, adds and loses her stirrups over b. She has to circle to regroup before jumping 5. She knocks down the final fence as well. That’ll be disappointing for her.
Erin Floyd finds the move up to the fist fence. Her horse drifts down the line to 5, but she does her best to keep him straight in the air. She makes an obvious move up on the way to 8 and is now riding on a very open stride. Her last line is lovely, and Sunny gets a little playful due to all of the cheering.
Tanner Korotkin is so quiet in his body, that he lets his horse show it’s best. He finds the nicest line to 4ab that we’ve seen so far and it makes the rest of the line easy. He lands on the outside lead after 7, so he needs to take a bit more time in that turn than some others have. He really lets thehorse gallop from 12b to 13 and it works out beautifully.
Nora Andrews finds a great distance to fence 1 and then picks up a stop at 2. She rides hard on second approach and gets it done. She’s not taking the next fence for granted either. They’re too bold into 4ab and then the horse stops and slides through the b and she falls off. But she’s up quickly and has caught her horse.
Ashley Vogel has lovely first fence and finds the next two fences easily. Her horse jumps big at all elements of the first diagonal line, but she gets him back for 6 and 7. The knock the rail at 9. She has to quiet down the last line while we’ve seen others really pick up the pace.
Kaitlyn Lovingfoss is another West Coaster. She’s got a big, open stride to the first, but then had to quiet right before it to make the distance work. She gets in tight to 4a and 5. Her turn from 9 to 10 could have been smoother and then she gets tight to 12ab.
Sophie Gochman meets the first few fences easily, but she has to cluck in the one stride at 4ab. He lands a bit short off of 10, but canters away nicely to meet the next fence beautifully. That earns quite a lot of applause.
Elli Yeager finds a nice open stride to the first fence and never has to take back. She gets a quiet distance to fence 3 and then clucks down 4ab to 5. It’s hard to tell form this angle, but 6 might not have been a great jump. She takes a nice inside track to 10. . That was another really nice round.
Hannah Hoch takes a more conservative pace to 1 and it works out, but she doesn’t have enough going to 3. She has to do a lead change after 7, but it gives her the apace to nicely open her horse’s stride to git the three in nicely.
Taylor Griffiths is opting for a stronger canter, and she’s able to find the first fence easily. She gets tight to 5. Mac takes the front rail of 8 down and she really goes for it at 10, but then she’s got to do a fair bit of collection for the turn to 11.
Alexandra Pielet has a lovely open stride on her way to the first and she’s able to hold it for the next couple of fences. He hits 8 hard, but it stays up.He jumps big at 11 and her last line flows nicely.
Charlise Casas looks great over the beginning of the course and then she gets tight to 5 and her horse gives her a fantastic jump. He rattles 12a hard, but it stays up and the rest is smooth sailing.
Savannah Hemby marks the start of our top 5. She’s making the first part of this course look pretty easy, and it definitely isn’t. She does have to close her hand to get the distance to 10, and she rides that last line like a simple gymnastic exercise.
Isabelle Song has a nice, open stride to the first, but her horse knocks down the back rail of that oxer. He has the habit of landing a little short, which makes the long lines harder. He runs up underneath 10 which gives her an awkward jump. He also knocked the front rails at 8 and 13.
Ava Stearns’s horse looked tense in the flat, but he seems relaxed again for the second round. She has a nice canter to the first and finds it out of stride. He gets a little crooked to 6, but she keeps him on it, but he also drifts left at 7. Her final fences are beautiful. She gets a ton of applause.
Emma Fletcher looks like she’s going super slow, but her horse is so big and has such an enormous stride that it’s easy. He hangs a little awkward in the air at 5, and he smacks 8 hard, but it stays up. He walks down that final line like it was nothing. That’s another one that got people excited.
Breanna Bunevacz is a little more conservative in her opening canter. She has a miscommunication to 4a and the crowd gasps. After that bobble though she does a really nice job.
Second Round Order Of Go (Reverse Order Of Preference)
THE SECOND ROUND COURSE
We still have a dotted line, but riders have a bit more room to work this time around. They’ll start on the left lead, to a single green oxer set midway up the outside next the VIP. Then they turn left to the race track rails, on the inside in six or seven strides, rolling back to jump the other side off the right lead. Riders then open their right rein to head down the inside diagonal line: a wide, white oxer with wings, one stride to a vertical of the same description, down to the wingless oxer with a coop underneath, but it’s not quite as wide this time, in four strides. They continue through the corner and jump a vertical set on an angle on the short side before rolling back around to the ASPCA barrel vertical, which is now set facing the out-gate. They’ll then take a right to jump oxer to vertical up the outside in three strides. Another right turn will take them to the inside section of the track rail before rolling back to the left over the other side. They’ll continue down on the left lead, jumping the two military style white boxes with a rail on top in one stride. The finish down the line over the National Horse Show oxer in five strides.
Libbie Gordan will kick us off this morning. She got a hair tight in the second line and her horse tapped the out fence. She came into the second in-and-out on an angle and the distance was a bit awkward, but she should be happy. Isabella Griffin’s horse refuses fence 3 on the first attempt. Tjhey have an awkward jump at the maclay vertical and he knocks it over. Then she’s too slow to fence 7, and he slides over it breaking the pole. One more rail at the last to finish her round. Anna Robson is riding a beautiful bay with a big jump, but she’s staying with him. He settles as the course goes on and is giving her an easier jump. She gave him a lovely, tactful ride, so she should be happy with that! Kierstin Antoniadis picks up a refusal at the first fence. What a shame! She cowboy kicks a little to get him over it on second attempt. She finishes by giving him a nice educational ride. Grace Belmont is here on the Leo Conroy Grant. Her horse is impressed at the first fence and she ends up underneath fence 2. She smooths things out as the round continues. Devon Thomas didn’t have the start she wanted when her horse tried to jump to the side of fence one, but he goes over it. She finds some tight distances throughout the course, and has trouble keeping him straight. She has a rail at fence 9. Molly Hutchison looks to be on a young horse, as he’s a beautiful dapple gray. He’s a little wiggly, but she gives him a nice ride. Madeline Schaefer brought In The Know, the horse her sister Samantha Schaefer does in derbies this year. He knocks over a section of the long, track rail fence at 3. He gives it a better jump the next few times through, but has another rail at the last. Avery Glynn is still young, but she’s had good results so far in her equitation career. She’s a hair tight to fence 7. He whacks the final fence and pulls the rail, but that was a lovely ride. Elizabeth Woods comes to us from Nebraska. Her horse looks impressed and is jumping quite bit down the first line. He settles some and she’s able to ride him forward. He steps off the lead behind after 6, and she’s tight to 8. The rail falls again at the lst. We might b e seeing it fall a lot today, as it’s black and hard to see.
Molly Canfield should be pretty happy with the first half of the round. She has a rail at 8, and has a little trouble with straightness at 11ab, but otherwise there were very few mistakes. Hensley Humphries has a refusal at the first fence. It’s got a white washed coop underneath the rails and a lot of horses have been stopping. He puts on the brakes at fence 2, ending her day early. Sofia Roberts was a little under paced to fence 1, but she steps it up after that and the jumps get smoother from there. Another rail at the last. Dominic Gibbs won big at Capital Challenge earlier this fall in the eq, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles this course. He gets tight to the first and again at 8. Not a bad ride! Georgia Murray’s horse hits the brakes at fence 1 twice, so her day ends early. Julia Hasler’s horse hesitates at fence 2 and stutters in the air. She gives him a good ride for the rest of the course, but has that last rail down again. Alexander Alston gets deep to fence 2. It improves from there, but that chip will keep him out of the standby. Breanna Bunevacz comes to us from California and has had a lot of success out there. She has no major mistakes, so we may be seeing her later. The crowd certainly liked her round. Jordan Toering has to make a pretty obvious move up in the first line, and then has to half-halt to fit in the strides in the second diagonal line. Overall, a nice round! Alexandra Ryden’s horse gets stuck in the air at the first fence and brings down the back rail. They’re deep to six as well.
Alexia Rule’s horse says no thank you to fence 1 on first attempt, but she rides hard the next time, and he gets over it. She rides hard for the rest of the course to make sure he stays in front of her leg. Clara McDanniel won her Maclay Regional. She has some trouble at fence 6 and there were a few bobbles throught the round. Emma Catherine Reichow has had a great year, and she won the Talent Search—West already this year. She’s got a different horse today, and they’re deep to the first. She has a pleasant trip around the remainder of the course. Audrey Schulze’s horse hits the second fence hard, and both rails fall. Her distances for the rest of the course are a bit inconsistent. Dominika Silvestri find a tight distance to the first and then has a stop at the second. She finds a few tight spots throughout the course. Anna Marie Mayes has a rail at fence four and knocks a barrel off of 6 as well. She also has a rail at 11a and 12. James Faloni is riding a beautiful dark pay that looks like he’d be fun to ride. The horse peaks some at fence 7 and taps several rails, but they all stay up. Alexa Leong has a lot of good results in the jumper ring. They’re tight at 7 and 8, but no other major mistakes. Sophia Sanders has an adorable horse with a good jump, so she’ll have some nice pictures from today. She drops the rail at 7 as well as 12. Sofia Ippolito’s horse is sticking his tongue out which is kind of hilarious to watch. She gets her lead change late between 4 and 5a, so she has an uncomfortable jump at the in. That black rail at 12 falls again!
Elizabeth Nestor raps fence 2 and then nearly loses her canter in the second diagonal line, but she kicks on and makes it happen. Lauren Kate Siullo gets close to the in at 5ab. She too has the rail at 12. Mia Boemio has to ride hard to fence one and then has the rail at 2. Her horse stpps at the second fence at 5ab and she nearly falls but saves it. She’s clear on her second trip through. Reeve Skykes has a rough jump at 3 and then picks up a refusal at 4. She puts it back together to finish on a good note. Charleez Simcik’s horse looks to be a bit up this morning. He stops at the first. When she approaches again, he gives her a big jump. They have another stop at 8, so that’ll end her day. Zayna Rizvi has already had some top 10 finishes in finals this year, so she’ll be looking to do that again here. The rail falls at 11a, which is a shame because otherwise that was a lovely trip. Alexis Seiden is a little inconsistent in her distances. She also has the final rail, and then her horse spooks at a plant on her courtesy circle. Kennedy McCaulley should go home pretty pleased with how she rode the first half of the course. They’re tight to 8 which pulls the front rail. Sydney DeGrazia has a refusal at the first fence, but gets over on her next try. They have the front rail of the oxer at 8 and another rail at 12. Aristea Santoro has a little peak at the first fence and then is tight at 4. Her horse breaks to trot in the corner on the way to 7.
Portia Muenke is the first of five before our first drag break and standby list. She fights a tight spot at 7 and then has an unfortunate stop at 10. Her last few fences were nice and smooth to end on a good note. Emmanuelle Greenberg’s horse stutter-steps at 2. The rail at 12 rolls in the cups, but stays up. Sophie Bluhm has the front rail at fence 2, another one we’ve seen come down a lot this morning. They’re close to 5a, and then have another rail at 8. That pesky black rail fails again. The jump crew will be busy today. Madison Mitchell finds a quiet distance to the first fence, but it works for her. She then gets a huge jump at 8 and 9. Her horse settles again, but he knocks 12 out of the cups. Sophee Steckbeck is the final rider for this group. She was third at Talent Search earlier this year. She’s quiet to the first and then has to ride up to get out of the line. They have a swap out right in front of fence 4. The rest of her trip is pretty nice.
18 Breanna Bunevacz
19 Jordan Toering
45 Sophee Steckbeck
9 Avery Glynn
36 Zayna Rizvi
14 Dominic Gibbs
38 Kennedy McCaulley
7 Molly Hutchison
11 Molly Canfield
1 Libbie Gordon
42 Emmanuelle Greenberg
3 Anna Robson
29 Sophie Sanders
Riders 46- 50
Morgan Budovsky’s horse is looky at first, swapping off before fence 2 and staring at fence 3. Coming back at it for fence 9, he stopped. Maggie Bresch’s horse elects to not jump fence 1 on the first approach but goes over it the second attempt. She gives him a nice confident ride throughout the rest of the course. They also have that last fence down. Tessa Brown is riding a horse that seems to suit her quite well. She has to take a couple tugs before fence 8. Addison Piper is riding a gorgeous chestnut with white up his stifle. I will take him home, please. She’s bold to the first fence and is rewarded for it. She did an excellent job answering the judges’ questions and we’ll be probably seeing her later today. Brynn Kuhnell has already had a good week with a tricolor in the junior hunters, so she’s hoping her luck will hold up. Her horse nearly stops at fence 2, but ends up jumping, but he does stop at 3. Too bad! He stops again at 6, so she’s done for the day.
Stella Buckingham gets a big jump at both 1 and 2. She’s also got a horse that suits her every well. She’s close to 8, but it’s another wise good round, and she gets plenty of applause. Sophia Gianoulis is riding boldly and it works for the first line, but gets her tight to fence 3. Her horse taps the rail at fence 8 but keeps it in the cups. Alivia Kohus’shorse declines to jump the first fence, and she nearly falls as they slid into it, but she hangs on. She gives him a pat as she waits for the jump crew to reset. He says no again, so she’s dione. Isabelle Song won the Maclay at Devon this year and it’s easy to see why. She’s very careful and tactful in her riding. . She had no major mistakes, so she should make the cut to come back. The crowd agrees. Erika Jakobson gets underneath the first fence. Tad and her horse really has to jump up to clear it. It’s not the smoothest round we’ve seen this morning, but she doesn’t have many major mistakes. Mia Wayneis under paced to the first fence and has to really ride up to make it up the line. She then gets a late change on the way to 5ab, which makes that distance tight. Her horse then ducks out at 11a and again says no at the final fence. Hannah Rohrbach comes from Colorado. She had some hesitation up the first line, but she’s riding more forward now which is making the distances easier. Her horse swaps up the second diagonal line. A rail at the last as well. Katherine Lenkart had a good go for the first part of her course and takes the front rail at 8. They’re also tight to 11a and then have 12 down. Ashleigh Scully’s horse jumps her loose a little at the first, but he carries a pleasant expression the whole way around. The rest of her round is really nice. Jorand Girard rides really hard at the first fence and her horse gives her a massive effort over it. He’s a lovely gray that looks like a joy to ride.
Madison Frankhauser’s horse spooks coming in, and she has to give him a really positive ride to the early fences. He twists over 8 when they get deep. She gave him a tactful ride. Bella Kay’s horse is looky which is making their distances less than ideal. He trots after fence 3. Her distances are inconsistent, and she has the rail at 12. Julia Stonewon the Maclay Regional out in California. It looked like she had a good canter to the first but her horse stops once and then runs out the second time. Disappointing. Maura Lautenbach has a swap up the first line. Her horse stops hard at 3 and nearly gets her off. She rides it well on the second approach. They finish well despite a rail at the last. Tanner Korotkin is another one to keep an eye on. He’s forward to the fences and is very aware of where he’s putting his horse. His position is lovely as well. He gets lots of applause, and it’s well deserved. Colleen Gilmore has a few bobbles and tight distances but there’s no major mistakes. Nora Andrews had a plan for the course and she’s sticking to it. Her horse doesn’t look like he has the easiest jump to ride, but she’s staying with him. She should be happy with that. Emma Moulton is putting in a very nice trip. She’s had to take a couple sharp pulls to half halt, but her distances are good. Emma Crate doesn’t have the first fence she wanted, as her horse stuttered in the air. She also knocks down fence 7. He does the same thing at the last fence. Jordan Allen was second at Medal Finals at Harrisburg. There’s not too much to say abourt her course. It’s smooth, well-ridden and she answered every question. But the last fences falls, and that’s truly disappointing.
Charlise Casasdid well in the junior jumpers yesterday. She’s got a lovely jumping horse. She’s doing a great job witht his course. She gets lots of clapping. Celia Cram, who you can read about along with her sister Liza, will be our next rider. Her horse looks at the first fence , but jumps and then he says no to fence 2, but jumps on second approach. But he stops again at 3, and their day ends. Natalie Jayne’s horse swaps all the way down the first line, but she digs in and makes it happen. He stops at 6 though. She gets though it though.
Mimi Gochmanis riding fan favorite Kaskade. They have a swap at the first fence. They have another swap before 9. She circles before 11ab. The last jump falls as well. Rylee Shufelt is from New Mexico and won her Maclay Regional last year. Her horse is hesitating some in the air, but she’s finding all the jumps well. Her horse pulled a shoe, so jump crew runs out to get it. Grace Debney got underneath the first fence a tad, but she’s finding everything else out of stride. She also drops that final rail. Brennan Clare has a really nice first line. So far that line has been separating the riders from the get go. She waps off on the beding line to 5ab. She finishes well. Addison Reedhas a stop at the second. She had a few giths pots, but she finished nicely. Emma Fletcher won Medal Finals. Sheis riding Conspicious, who nearly died after indoors last year. Read COTH’s Back From The Brink: Conspicuous Goes From Deathbed To Maclay Finals.This horse is huge and he’s tapping several of the rails, but they’re staying up. She’s very consistent in pace throughout the course and earns lots of claps after that ride. Abigail Lefkowitz finds a short spot to 4 and the really rides forward to 6. The second half of her course is really consistent.
Jackie McDonald is doing a good job with a horse who is jumping like he’s a little impressed with the atmosphere. She gets close to 8 and takes the front rail. They rattle fence 12, but it stays in the cups. Emily Perkins’s horse really snaps his knees. He carries a pleasnt expression, which completes the beautiful picture she’s creating in this round. Every movement is very deliberate, and he’s right on the aids. An unfortunate rail at the last. Alexandra Pielet is riding her lovely equitation horse Common Sense. He taps a few rails, but not hard enough to drop them. That was a nice round. We’ll be seeing her again.
Luke Jensen is a working student, and he’s got a lovely, type-y horse. The first fences are lovely, but it’s not as smooth to 4. The latter half of the course is nice and smooth. Ella Frey finds the first four fences beautifully, but gets close to 5a as well as 9. Sophie Transou has a very attractive bay horse. They’re putting in a good round so far, so now she just needs the second half to match. They have the rail at 8. Katy Merchant picks up a nice forward canter to the first and is committing to it. That was another well-ridden round. Katherine LeBaron is another one who’s riding boldly to the first. 5a falls which is the first time we’ve seen that today. They also have 12 down. Lilly Clarkson has some straightness issues to fence one, but gets it done. She doesn’t seem to be entirely on the same page as her horse, but nothing major. They also have the last down. Ella Domenicone is our final rider before our next standby. Her horse nearly stops at fence 1, but then goes and pops her out of the tack in the air. She recovers after a circle The rest of her round is quite nice.
54 Isabelle song 54
18 Breanna Bunevacz
79 Emma Fletcher
19 Jordan Toering
71 Charlise Casas
83 Alexandra Pielet
65 Tanner Korotkin
87 Katy Merchant
70 Jordan Allen
67 Nora Andrews
45 Sophee Steckbeck
82 Emily Perkins
59 Ashleigh Scully
9 Avery Glynn
80 Abigail Lefkowitz
49 Addison Piper
36 Zayna Rizvi
48 Tessa Brown
75 Rylee Shufelt
14 Dominic Gibbs
Electra Hamilton can’t complain too much about her round. There were a few obvious moves on her part, but otherwise pretty good! Ava Stearns has been second twice this year, at Washington and Talent Search. He’s got a beautiful mount in Acer K, who she obviously has a good rapport with. Every adjustment she makes is seamless and that got plenty of well-deserved applause. She’ll be back for the flat. Sage McFarland has a runout at the first fence. She has another stop on second attempt. Ty Simpson gets close to fence three. He finishes with a nice trip. Hannah Hoch has a rub at fence 2, and a nice ride to 3 and 4. Other than the rail at 12 you really can’t find too much to criticize in this round. Sophia Mitchell has a swap to fence 2. Her horse pulls the front rail of fence 8 with his hind legs.Her horse says no to fence 12, and she has to circle. He jumps it on reapproach, but take the rail with him. Grace McReynolds is putting in a round that a lot of people would be jealous of. You really can’t fault her for much there!
Sophie Gochman has another popular equitation mount, Class Action. Her round is going really well so far, maybe a tap at 5b, 8 and 11, but they’re very light. She gets a lot of applause, no surprise there! Samuel Gleason has a great first line and then his horse takes a good look at 3 and stops. He gets over it the second time, and isn’t taking anything for granted now. They have the fence down at 8. Emma Borders might have her hands full. Her horse is looking around some and then swapped off behind in their opening circle. He’s definitely impressed and is swapping a lot, but she’s giving him reassurance and he’s jumping. She didn’t have an easy ride, but she handled it well.
Alexander Goet’s horse takes exception to the first fence before he even tryies to approach it, but the horse goes. However he’s not so lucky at 2 and as a stop. The horse thinks about stopping again but goes. He’s going to have to ride hard for the rest of this course. They have the rail at 8. Madison Hughston has to ride pretty hard up the first line but she gets it done. Her horse poops down the second diagonal line, which makes the distance not quite work, and he takes a trot step to 10. They knock down 12. Alexis Ortiz was a little under paced to fence one, but she’s putting it together. That one stride is tight and we’ve seen a lot of horses twisting in the air. Savannah Hemby has a horse that suits her well. They make the first half of the course look a lot easier than it is. Ellie Beardis well prepared for this course. She’s riding smart and her horse is right with her. She whacks he last fence though and it falls. Caroline Passarelli didn’t have the first fence she wanted, and then it takes her a minute to get the lead change after 3. She too has the final fence down. Ella Bostwick had a really nice round with no major mistakes. Alexa Aureliano is another rider we should keep our eye on, and so far she’s showing why. She’s quiet in the tack and everything has been very smooth. It was a very pleasant ride to watch, and we should see her again. Juliette Joseph was the Chronicle’s One To Watch for Medal Finals. She’s another one that’s come well prepared and knows exacrtly where she is at every point. If we’re getting picky she was tight to fence 11a, but it was a beautifully ridden course. Maeve O’Donovan is brave to fence one, but it doesn’t quite work out for her and she adds. She’s smoothing things out though and it’s a really good trp. She’s bold at 11a and ends up pulling the rail at 11b.
Hannah Dodd also put in a really nice trip. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see her again too. Reghan Wickochil has a stop at the first fence. He stops again and she heads out. Maggie Hill has had a fantastic indoor season in the hunters, winning a championship at every single one with Cassanto. She picks up a good pace on her opening circle and meets fence one well, but is a little tight to two. She finds her rhythm again and is doing a really nice job. But she kicks up the second line and gets there on a half step. She also finds a deep one to 11a. Jaden Porter had a swap and chip to 2 and it looked like she had a hard time getting her rhythm back. She also got tight to 11a. Spencer Toohill is another Leo Conroy Grant recipient. She’s a little weak to fence 1and her horse plays a little on the backside in response. She’s found a good pace now and things are working out better. Jennifer Staniloff has a nice-looking horse. He’s got a great canter and give her a great jump at the first fence. Her distances have been pretty bold, but these two are on the same page. She will go home happy with that ride. Cayman Szegda is another rider who is opting to be bold and it’s going well for her. She wasn’t super straight over fence 7 though. The have the final fence down. Hera Ballard’s horse refuses fence 1 and jumps really high when she tries again, but then he slams on the brakes at 2 , but she stays on. Zoe Brown has been weak at the base of some of these fences, so her round hasn’t been as smooth as she’d like it to be. Ashley Vogel’s round is another than ranks up there. There’s been a few mistakes and rubs, but all very minor, but it may be enough to keep her out of the top.
Mackenzie Cianciolo really moved up the first line. She then has a rail at 8 and 12. Ned Cunniffe clearly knows his horse well. They’re on the exact same page at every fence. A hair tight to 5a. He has to really add leg at 7, but gets it done. That was a really nice round. Vincent Desiderio is only 13 years old, but he looks very poised and professional in the tack. He’s another rider that’s riding boldly. It could be a smoother trip, but he’s not making many mistakes. Even if he doesn’t come back this year, he’ll be one to watch for the future. Emma Raith has a nice, conservative trip, but she has the last rail down. Andrew Elhindi is riding a big, expressive. Horse. He’s a very quiet rider and is doing wonderful job. He gets a huge jump over 8. They have a bit of a miscommunication at 11a, but he covers it well. Austin Krawitt has a very attractive gray. He guns the horse up to the base of 2 and they take the poles out. They then stop twice at 3. Kyla Sullivan is a little weak at 1 and then really bold at 2. She and her horse don’t seem to be entirely in sync, but nothing major. She’s young, and we’ll definitely see here in future years. Alexandra Sharpis going early. They announced that Catalina Peralta will ride a little later and 129 was a scratch, but we have no name. Alexandra’s horse has some serious hops. She’s doing well to stay with him. She should be pretty happy with that.
Taylor Griffiths’s horse gave a little spook trotting in, but they’re back on track and focused as they begin the course. She has a great team of trainers behind her, and she’s clearly ready for the challenge. They do have a rail at 11a. Sheridan Johnson rides up and finds two beautiful distances up the first line, but then she picks up a refusal at 3. Things aren’t quite as smooth for the remainder of her course. Gigi Moynihan is doing a great job so far with this course. There’s not much to say abut that, we’ll probably see her again too. Skylar Wireman is an accomplished catch-rider from California. She was fourth at the West Coast Talent Search which is a huge accomplishment for being so young at 14. She finds herself deep at fence six and then they pull the rail at 7. Her horse then stops at 9, and she gives him a pat while the jump crew resets. She finishes well, but also has the rail at 12. Tessa Downey will be our last before our third standby. She slows down to fence 1, but makes it. Her horse then jumps over his shoulder some at 3 and they have some miscommunication at 6. This is another young rider who we’ll see in the future.
Skylar Fields’s horse has the most adorable belly spot. Some inconsistencies will keep them out of the top. Hallie Grimes won at Devon this year, and she’s got a smoothness to the round. There are a couple small bobbles as it looks like this horse doesn’t have the easiest change, but everyone looks very pleased. Emma Pacyna won the Ronnie Mutch out in California this year. She’s makes it look pretty easy. Her horse does swap out on the second diagonal line. Peyton Potter has a super cute horse. They had a miscommunication on the distance to six. The rest of their round was good.
Kaitlyn Lovingfoss’s distance to the first fence was a hair off, but she cantered out of the line beautifully. She looks very relaxed in the tack. Augusta Iwasaki is another one to keep your eye on. She’s always one to contend with, and she’s young too. She does Vanderpump in derbies too, so you know he’s brave. A little tap here and there, but it’s a really smooth course. Aerin Hopkins is riding an adorable pinto. He’s not loud, but very attractive. Too bad, they have a stop at the first. One more, and they’re done. Eliza Kimballhas a bold first jump before toning it down a little for the second half. It’s a smooth round with no major mistakes. Elizabeth McCool’s horse stops and says no way to the ASPCA fence at 6 as she’s doing her opening circle. She has to ride defensively for the first few fences, but he’s jumping, and he does that problem fence from the other direction no problem. The top rail at 12 falls again. Hope King has a stop at fence 1.She finishes with a rail at 12. Samantha Weinerman is a light tight to 3 and 4. Her horse has a big extravagant blaze. They’re a little crooked through 11ab. Texie Loyd’s pace is getting away from her a little bit which is making her distances inconsistent. She hits the last jump hard. Ava Ellis is a little tight to 4 and gets long to 6. The rest of her trip is quite nice. Sophia Ahearn gets an enthusiastic jump at one and two and then it looks like she had trouble getting him to turn to three. This horse looks quite game. She has a rail at the end. Marcus Cmolaau’s horse soars over fence one and then they get tight to the next one . Things smooth out, and they don’t hav e any major mistakes.
Laila Klinsmann’s horse thinks about stopping at the first, but she gets him over it. The rest of her round is quite smooth. Madison Nadolenco is long to 4 and then tight to the first combination and pulls the rail of 5a. She also has the rail at 11b. Jamie Souccar Young has a swap down the first line, and she does a short turn from 3 to 4 that works for her. Her horse is tapping the poles though, so she’ll need to be careful to the last. She rattles it, but it stays up. Sydney Berube takes down the rail at 5a and she’s weak at 8. She finishes nicely. Natalie Sanders’s horse is looking hard at the fences in the air and it’s making it hard for her to keep her position. Elli Yeager brought her reliable partner Copperfield 39. She’s got a bold ride up the first line, and he’s jumping beautifully. This is another rider who always looks like she’s in control of ever stride. That was a really nice round. Catalina Peralta is out of order, but now she’s in the ring on a really pretty gray, who looks like he might be a little impressed. He’s game though and she’s doing a good job managing him. Ansley Wright is trying to ride really forward, as it looks like he’s a little backed off. They have a miscommunication at 2 and swim through it, breaking a pole in the process. Super ring crew to the rescue to reset the fence. Camryn Halley may be a scratch. Farah Rizvi has a very pleasant looking horse that, is always listening for the next cue. He’s tapping the top rails of some of the fences, but everything’s stayed in the cups so far. The final rail comes down in what was a nice, consistent trip. Madison Ryan had a swap to the first and again to 6 which made their distance iffy. He’s really looky and is swapping a lot.
Lauren Jorgensen’s horse picked up the canter before she wanted him to, and he seems distracted. They have a miscommunication at 6 and then he jumps huge at 8 and throws her onto his neck. They have the rail at 12. Melanie Duntonnearly has a stop at 1, but she kicks on and has an awkward fence. She’s having to ride hard to make things happen today. A few more inconsistent jumps at the finish. Erin Floydis riding Any Given Sunday, who was ridden to several equitation wins by Hunter Holloway.He’s jumping pretty big as well at the beginning, but is leveling out. They had a top 6 finish at the Medal, and they have a good round here, so we should see them again. Elizabeth Cramis riding boldly up the first line. We saw her sister go earlier, but she didn’t finish he course. They swap up the second diagonal and pull the rail at 8. Charlotte Murray came out from California and was second at the USHJA Jumping Seat—West Coast final. She has a really pleasant horse. A little tight to a couple, but otherwise a good ride. Clare O’Brien is riding a very shiny looking chestnut. He slides into fence 1. He declines to jump on second approach, so they head out. Emily Lucibello gallops up the first line, but gets a swap out in the process. Her horse also seems to be a bit backed off. They’ve had several swap offs. He stops at 9 and is spooky as they circle, but he jumps it. Ellie Ferrigno won the Talent Search East this year. She’s on a different horse thans he’s ridden for the rest of the finals. This is Clover, who she did in the high performance this week. He’s jumping out of his skin! They have the front rail down at the oxer at 11a. Paige Matthies won the Ronnie Mutch at Devon this year and was third here last year. She had a swap off to fence 1. It’s a nice round, so that swap is a shame. Eva Fisherman is doing a good job answering the questions of this course and has no major mistakes.
Sophia Pilla has a miscommunication with her horse at fence 2. They also have a rail at the last. Olivia Broder has a bold ride up the first line and get huge efforts out of her horse. She has a swap to 10 and then a rail at 11a and 12. Blair Spencer is riding Kori D’Oro, who Cooper Dean rode during his equitation days. They’re drifting some in the air, so she’s having to over correct on landing at times. Then they have a miscommunication at the last. Hailey Royce rode her first grand prix at 13. Her horse is a very stylish jumper, but he twists at 3 when they get tight. It’s not a bad round, but it probably won’t be enough to make it to the next round. Arabel McFarland has a bit of an awkward first jump, and her horse is being casual over the fences. They pull the front rail at 8. Chloe Doherty is a scratch. Brook Brombach doesn’t have the jump she wanted at fence 1, and she knocks the rail at 5a partially out of the cups. Rollin Sykes tries to move up to fence 2, but ends up with two refusals. Gwneth Babington is going to finish he first round. She’s riding Skyfall who McKayla Langmeiere won with in 2015. She clucks to the first fence, and they nearly have a miscommunication at 6. She gets a lot of applause.
The Top 25
Judges worked riders the first direction at the rising trot and sitting trot before asking for a working canter, a lengthening of stride and then a working canter again. They then had to perform a flying change to the counter lead in front of the judges. After the counter canter, they returned to the walk and reversed. They were then asked to drop their stirrups and pick up a working canter and then a lengthening of stride, back to a working canter. Once again they performed a flying change to a counter canter in front of the judges. They then returned to a rising trot, followed by a sitting trot.