Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 13
Kathy Fletcher has a thing about full moons: She doesn’t like them. But when the full moon rose last night she had a funny feeling for her daughter Emma Fletcher.
“She went to bed and she said, ‘You know what, even though it’s a full moon I think it’s going to be a good day,’ ” said Emma. “I said, ‘I really hope you’re right.’ She woke up today and she said, ‘I really think it’s going to be a good day. I’m really excited.’ I just trusted her and maybe it was just a hunch but I just kind of went with it.”
Sure enough that premonition proved timely when Emma topped the Dover Saddlery/U.S. Hunter Seat Medal Finals aboard the Dutch Warmblood Bournedale (Indoctro—Iniki).
After Round 1, Emma lay 10th overall. She nailed the tricky second round that included two counter-cantered fences off sharp turns, moving up to first heading into the test.
“I think what really nailed it for the girl that won was her turn on the haunches,” said Kip Rosenthal, who judged the class with Cynthia Hankins and Chance Arkelian. “She did that beautifully. Her jumps were very nice. And her turn on the haunches in our opinion was a real turn on the haunches.”
Emma, of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, trains with her mother and Linda Langmeier and counted Don Stewart as part of her coaching team as he co-owns Bournedale.
She elected to bring the greener “Balou” rather than her more seasoned mount because he’d been going so well.
“I ended up choosing the younger 7-year-old that has really not done this before,” said the 17-year-old. “He went to USET finals and that’s pretty much the extent of his finals career. He was feeling amazing this past week so I decided to do him. In the courses, every jump presented itself nicely. He ate up the lines; his stride is large and it just worked out really well. I’m just really excited to make my parents super proud.”
Jordan Allen, who trains with the team from Ashland Farm, took the reserve title, and she led after the first round.
“I have the Mecca of equitation horses [Quite Cassini] so that’s always nice,” she said. “And I just feel very lucky to be able to ride him. No one deserves a horse like him. It’s very exciting. The first round was one of my best rounds. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. The whole day he didn’t put a foot wrong.”
Last year’s ASPCA Maclay Finals Champion Sam Walker claimed third place.
“This is my third finals season with Waldo,” said Walker. “He’s owned by Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run. I’m really proud of myself. I went in and put in two solid rounds in the first and second round and I thought my test went pretty well so overall I’m pretty happy today.”