Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 16
Luke Jensen grabbed the lead in the first round of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal Final and never let go. He and his dependable equitation partner Jamaica put in two slick trips and a lovely test to win the day over Skylar Wireman. Kate Egan moved up in the second round to qualify for the four-rider test, finishing third, and Isabella David took fourth.
“I can’t say how grateful I am,” Jensen said after winning the class. “The team we have and the people around me and the other competitors and of course my horse. I couldn’t even name every single person that’s been a part of my journey and everyone involved in my life.”
Wireman moved into second before the test, which included two counter-cantered fences off tight turns, a trot jump and a hand gallop to the last jump. Riders entered the ring and were read the test and handed a piece of paper with the test written on it. Then riders exited through the out gate and came back one at a time to compete. They were not able to watch each other ride.
Wireman put in a slick round—as did Jensen—forcing judges Karen Healey and Mark Jungherr to make a tough decision between the top two in the class of 231 entries.
“Skylar landed the [counter] leads and had to work pretty hard to hold them,” said Healey. “I think [she] got a little bit four-beated on the turns, just a little bit. And Luke did a beautiful job with it. And I think that they were both very, very close to the end.”
Jensen, 18, is a working student for Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run, which owns Jamaica.
Watch Jensen and Jamaica’s second-round test, courtesy of USEF Network:
“I started riding him at the beginning of the winter season in Wellington, so I showed him through the year,” said Jensen, of Denton, Texas. “I was lucky enough to show him at [Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals—East] last week, and do the final four there. We’ve built a great bond. I do all of his care at home, so we’ve kind of developed a very nice, important friendship that carries over in these moments. It’s special.”
Wireman is also a working student, working for Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm, as well as her mom in Bonsall, California. She made up Famous, her horse for the class, herself.
“He came to me as a 1.30-meter jumper and we kind of converted him into an equitation horse,” the Bonsall, California rider said of the Dutch Warmblood owned by MKT Investments, LLC. “I’ve been with him for just over a year, and I do all his care at home. I take care of him, and I think that, again, we have a special bond because he knows me and I ride him every day. … I treat him like he’s my own, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to do this final with.”
Kate Egan tacked up Ypaja Kashmir for the class, whom she leases from Emil Spadone, her trainer at Redfield Farm.
“He came to us during the winter circuit, about in February, and he came to us to be an amateur jumper,” said Egan, 17. “He was a little too slow to do that, so we took him over to do the equitation, and from the start he was absolutely amazing at his job, and ever since I’ve just been competing on him.”
Find results here. Want more Pennsylvania National? The Chronicle will be on the scene through grand prix night bringing you photos and stories. Plus see more analysis from the Pennsylvania National in the Nov. 7 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.