Round 1 of the ASPCA Maclay Finals resulted in 30 riders being called back to flat in front of judges Billy Moroney and Jack Towell, and 24 continuing on from there to Round 2. There are familiar names at the top of the list and some missing.
Samantha Harrison is on top—the judges put her on top after Round 1 and kept her there after the flat phase. Harrison, of La Canada, Calif., trains with Karen Healey.
This pony rider with a varied background tops the test.
Valerie van der Linden has a pony at home, but she doesn’t spend much time schooling lead changes and jumping on him.
Instead, van der Linden, 11, practices braiding Snickers, tries out some vaulting moves on him and rides him in parades. Sometimes she and her family get up a game of mounted soccer, kicking a big ball around on horseback.
The course walk is at 6:00 a.m., with the first horse in the ring at 6:30 for the first round. They flat after the first round and then take a break while two jumper classes go. The second round will probably start around 4 p.m. and finish by 6:30 p.m.
Safari was back in his stall, relaxing and unbraided, but he wasn’t done quite yet. At the conclusion of the junior hunter divisions at the National Horse Show on Oct. 30, at the Syracuse International Sporthorse Tournament, he had to make one more trip into the ring to pick up the grand junior hunter championship.
“It was exciting because we weren’t expecting it,” said Caitlin Ziegler who rode the flashy bay gelding to the small junior, 15 & under, tricolor as well. “This is one of the most important things I’ve ever won, so it was very exciting.
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.
“When you get here, you have to go all out,” Lucy Davis said simply.
And go all out she did.
Davis, the lead-off rider for the Zone 10 team in the USEF Prix Des States Team Junior Jumper Championship, conquered in a nerve-wracking jump-off to clinch the gold medal for her fellow Californians—Karl Cook, Paris Sellon and Saer Coulter.
Davis’ jump-off round nearly ended as quickly as it began. After she and True Love jumped the first oxer, the game little chestnut stumbled badly, almost going to his knees.
Jessica Springsteen isn’t just a beautiful rider; she’s also a master strategist.
Sitting in third before the final test of the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, Springsteen didn’t take any unnecessary risks in her test ride. She simply put in a solid round—her third of the day—and put all of the pressure on the two riders on top, Samantha Schaefer and Zazou Hoffman.