Friday, May. 31, 2024

It’s Jayne’s Day In The Professional Hunters

By the end of the day on Oct. 29, the front of Maggie’s Jayne’s shadbelly jacket was a little bit dirty, but it was merely evidence that she’d stayed with some remarkable jumping efforts. Her jacket might need cleaning, but the shiny tricolor ribbons and crisp new coolers she earned won’t.

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By the end of the day on Oct. 29, the front of Maggie’s Jayne’s shadbelly jacket was a little bit dirty, but it was merely evidence that she’d stayed with some remarkable jumping efforts. Her jacket might need cleaning, but the shiny tricolor ribbons and crisp new coolers she earned won’t.

Jayne rode Francesca to the grand hunter, the regular conformation, and regular working hunter championships at the National Horse Show, held at the Syracuse Sporthorse Invitational Tournament in Syracuse, N.Y. Jayne and Francesca were undefeated in the regular conformation division, winning the model, the under saddle and all three jumping classes.

“She’s just so consistent. She’s very comfortable with herself,” said Jayne. “She’s got such a big jump that I ride with my stirrups a little shorter on her, because she sometimes jumps me out of the tack.”

Jayne has had a remarkable fall, as Francesca has been regular conformation hunter champion at the Pennsylvania National and the Washington International (D.C.) before the National. Jayne also took the leading hunter rider title at the National, just as she’d done at the Pennsylvania National. “She’s just gotten better and better,” she said.

“Mrs. Thatcher wants to clone her,” Jayne’s father, Alex, said. Riders used to joke that they wanted to clone their best rides, but now that it’s a scientific reality, it has a whole new meaning.

Maddy Thatcher usually shows Francesca in the large junior hunter, 15 & under, division, but she wasn’t able to get out of school to show at the National, so Samantha Schaefer has the ride on the elegant bay mare in the junior divisions.

Jayne also rode the Thatchers’ Early Applause to the reserve championship in the regular conformation division.

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The only other rider to claim a championship in the professional divisions today was Jennifer Alfano, who rode Rock Star to the regular working tricolor and Kid Rock to the green working championship. She also claimed the green conformation reserve on South Beach.

Rock Star’s win was an emotional one for Alfano, since the charismatic bay went through colic surgery in August 2008. “Just to have him at the shows is so wonderful. To have him come back and be champion here is just amazing,” she said.

But Rock Star’s got a little competition now—the lovely gray Kid Rock claimed the green working hunter tricolor with Alfano. Both horses are owned by Jennifer Burger.

“We call him Rocky’s little brother,” Alfano said of Kid Rock, 6. “He started making a name for himself this summer. He’s always had an incredibly scopey jump, but he’s just been a little inconsistent and babyish. But this fall, it’s like a light went on in his head and he said ‘I want to win all the classes,’ ”

Alfano made it clear how appreciative she was for Burger’s support. “It’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about her. She deserves to have this kind of horse show.”

Hunt Tosh continued his grand fall indoor tour with the regular working hunter reserve championship aboard Laura Wasserman’s Overseas.

Action continues tomorrow in Syracuse with the stake rounds and championships for the junior and amateur-owner hunters, as well as the ever-popular costume class Gambler’s Choice.

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