Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 14
The course for the $5,000 NAL Pony Jumper Finals may not have been to her mount’s liking, but Jessica Karsin Landis wouldn’t let that get in the way of her mount claiming blue. Oliver Twist has a notoriously short stride, so when Steve Stephens set three in-and-outs at the Pennsylvania National, Landis knew she’d have a challenge.
In the first round, the final fence on course—the out of a long one-stride—proved impossible for him to clear in a single step, but the game gray squeezed in a quick second stride and pulled his knees up high to jump out fault-free.
“I started riding him two years ago, and we spent the first year really learning each other,” said the 18-year-old. “This year’s been better. This was really a nice way to end our time together.”
While Landis acknowledged that the course wasn’t quite as hard as at USEF Pony Finals (Ky.), she posted one of only three clear rounds in a class plagued by mistakes. Only 10 of the 14 starters completed the course, with maxed-out fences and testing combinations taking their toll. Individual Pony Finals champion Sydney Shulman and Set Sail joined her in the jump-off, as did the young crowd favorites Rachael Schloo and Ever After. Landis set the tone with an efficient double clear, and when Schloo missed a turn to add up some time faults, and Shulman ticked a rail early on, Landsi finished with blue.
Landis, Greenville, N.C., will end her stint aboard the gray this year, as she’s aging out of the division. She’s been riding with Robin Tinney her entire junior career, but now she’s turned her focus toward her art studies at East North Carolina University.
We have full results and more news from Harrisburg. Junior hunters continue tomorrow, and tomorrow night’s competition will decide the USEF National Individual Junior Jumper championship. If you’re an equitation fan, don’t miss this year’s live, interactive USEF Medal Finals blog on Sunday, Oct. 17. Molly Sorge will be ringside from the first rider in the ring to the end of the final work-off, bringing you a play-by-play of all the equitation action. If you’re here at the show, you can join in the conversation on your lap top, iPad or iPhone. If you’re at home you can chime in as well, all brought to you by Wendy Soloman’s Private Tutoring Service.