Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 14
Sofia Cady did not exactly expect to earn a podium spot in the individual USEF Junior Jumper National Championship. She came into the final round on Saturday night at The Pennsylvania National Horse Show in sixth, but after the top five riders from yesterday’s phase all brought rails down, Cady’s smooth, clear trip over Nick Granat’s technical course catapulted her and Deleyn to the top of the leaderboard.
“I just wanted to have a nice last round on her,” said Cady, 18, of Austin, Texas. “She really helped me deliver tonight and I’m really proud of her.”
Cady has had a slew of top placings over the past few years, including a gold medal in last year’s Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper Prix Des States, but this is one of the few titles that has eluded her.
Earlier this fall, Cady was a member of the U.S. young rider team at the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final in Belgium.
“That [final] was the most pressure I’ve ever felt. Everything after that [final] has been about controlling my nerves. Tonight, I was able to channel that concentration going into the final round, really just jumping the jumps and following a plan rather than just going for a result,” said Cady, who trains with the teams from Brookside Pine Farms and Oakland Stables.
Hunter Champey, 18, of Bedminster, New Jersey, claimed the silver medal with High Hopes SFN, also jumping six spots from her original seventh place position with a clear round.
“Going in today, I really did not expect a podium [spot]—I just wanted to get a clear round,” said Champey. “He jumped incredibly and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
15-year-old Taylor Cawley posted a clear round to climb seven spots to snag the bronze medal in her first junior jumper national championship. The Wellington, Florida, rider began showing in the high junior jumpers this year on Corlencia BC, the horse she medaled with.
“It was a technical track and the biggest out of the three days, so I really wanted to have a nice clear round,” she said. “I came into today in 10th, so I didn’t feel a ton of pressure. Of course, I was hoping to move up, but I had no idea I was going to be on the podium. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
Find full results here. Check out all the Chronicle’s coverage from the Pennsylvania National here. Check out the Oct. 30 issue of the Chronicle of the Horse magazine for analysis from the competition.