Kansas City, Mo. – Saturday, November 11, brought a rigorous challenge for the country’s top saddle seat equitation riders in the 2017 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals at the United Professional Horseman’s Association (UPHA)/American Royal National Championship Horse Show. Only 12 of the 21 horse-and-rider combinations in the preliminary ride-offs were called back for the final round of competition by judges Josh Greer (Ky.), Suzy Shiflet (N.C.), and John Whalen (Mass.). The stakes were high as these elite riders performed rail work and a complex individual pattern for a chance at the title and the prestigious Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy.
Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) was crowned champion in the 2017 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final aboard Chanti’s Prayer, a 16-year-old Saddlebred mare. Codeanne, in her last year of eligibility as a junior competitor, performed every test with grace and precision. After two consecutive reserve champion results in the 2015 and 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals, she emerged triumphant at long last.
Codeanne was presented with the Helen K. Crabtree and Adrian Van Sinderen trophies by 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final champion, Macey Miles, US Equestrian Director of National Affiliates for Saddlebreds and Saddle Seat Equitation, Chuck Walker, and US Equestrian CEO, Bill Moroney.
Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) claimed the reserve champion title and the silver medal with Imagine My Surprise, a 13-year-old Saddlebred gelding. In 2016, Walz earned the third place.
Full class results:
Champion: Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) with Chanti’s Prayer
Reserve Champion: Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) with Imagine My Surprise
Third: Alayna Applegate (Ewing, Ky.) with Lemon Shake Up WRF
Fourth: Malika Keglowitsch (Edmonton, Alberta) with Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful
Fifth: Nicole Rodriguez (Grand Blanc, Mich.) with Vive La Fantasia
Sixth: Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wisc.) with My Sudden Surprise
Seventh: Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.) with Madeira’s Fame
Eighth: Lauren Beck (Omaha, Neb.) with Dream Acre’s Lucy in the Sky
Ninth: Lora Becker (Sioux City, Iowa) with Royal Tryst
Tenth: Gabriella Snyder (St. Louis, Mo.) with Nuttin’ Doing