A rule change effective Dec. 1 brings the amateur-owner jumper rule, JU117, into alignment with the comparable hunter rule, forbidding amateur-owner jumper riders from competing horses not owned by them at the same show. But that discussion is far from over.
The USHJA Amateur Committee is still tweaking the wording of the amateur-owner jumper rule, while concurrently the USEF National Jumper Committee has proposed a rule change to remove the word “owner” from the amateur-owner jumper divisions.
Harrisburg, Pa., isn’t the kind of place where there’s much international anything, so when the Pennsylvania National comes to town and riders from five countries book hotel rooms, locals are happy to shell out $20 a ticket to attend.
Rodrigo Pessoa and his rising star swoop into Harrisburg to take the top check.
When Rodrigo Pessoa headed back first for the jump-off of the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W aboard Let’s Fly, he knew he would have to find a way to shake off the five strong riders who would follow.
• McLain Ward was almost unbeatable this year. He won the leading open jumper rider trophy after the topping the $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump and $25,000 NAL Open Speed Final on Goldika 559, the $10,000 Gem Twist Gambler’s Choice and $5,000 Kick The Clouds Open Speed with Miss Liberty 7, and the $5,000 Southside Open Speed aboard Esplanade 7. He only loosened his stranglehold on the blue ribbons in the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National when Phillipa dropped the back rail of an oxer to finish 10th.
• When Leah DeMartini, Bronxville, N.Y., started leasing Vida Blue from Laura King, the mare had already been entered at the Pennsylvania National in the older age division, and the rules didn’t allow DeMartini, 15, to switch to the other section. But Jennifer Waxman was only too happy to fill in and pick up the large junior hunter, 16-17, and high-point large junior hunter honors along the way.
When Rodrigo Pessoa headed back first for the jump-off in the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W aboard Let’s Fly, he knew he’d have to find a way to shake off the five strong riders following him.
“When you go first with good riders coming behind you, you have to come up with something,” said Pessoa. “There was this little gap after fence 2 to go inside, and I thought if I did that it would be hard enough to be beat. I thought I had to do it and take the chance, and it worked out for me.”
Most of the riders in today’s amateur-owner hunter, 18-35, classes spent the morning relaxing and getting themselves mentally prepared for this morning’s two over fences classes, but not Darby Toben. As the Redfield Farm road manager, Toben found herself at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., at 4 a.m., checking on the horses and longeing her mounts, when most of her peers were still asleep.
The Other Brother didn’t look unusual as he galloped calmly around the ring at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show today, Oct. 16, but he felt totally different to Jennifer Gurney than her usual type of ride.
Before she got him, Gurney had always ridden and shown homebred, off-the-track Thoroughbreds. But the switch to a big-strided, easy-going Hanoverian suited her just fine.
“I normally ride fixer-uppers, so he’s a huge change of pace,” said Gurney, who trains with Gary Duffy. “It’s a huge change—but he’s really my dream horse, and we clicked right away.”