Lexington, Ky. – Gabriella Costantini has been unanimously crowned 2019 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final champion by the panel of judges at the historic Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show, which continues at the Kentucky Horse Park through July 13. In the last class of the morning session on Wednesday, July 10, nine of the country’s best saddle seat equitation competitors faced off in group railwork and executed individual patterns designed by judges Peggy Alderman (North Clarendon, Vt.), Kristen Cater (Dunbarton, N.H.), and Jim Cherry (Encinitas, Calif.).
Costantini (Hinckley, Ohio) rode CHNuttin’ Doing, her 13-year-old American Saddlebred gelding, to the gold medal. The pair has been a partnership for two years, and Costantini expertly navigated the individual pattern with her mount. “He was actually amazing,” she said. “He has a tendency to be a little bit slow, so our goal was to be as fast and powerful as we could be, and he delivered for me.”
Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.) was named reserve champion and silver medalist in the Final aboard Undulata’s Ol’ Rosebud ERB, Ava Perry’s six-year-old American Saddlebred gelding. Ricci and Costantini most recently competed for the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team at an international saddle seat equitation competition in New Orleans, La., where they were members of the double gold medal-winning three-gaited section.
“The [Young Riders Team experience] helped me a lot leading up to today,” said Costantini. “We were riding all different kinds of horses, so you had to adapt to the horse and patterns. It was a good opportunity to develop our skills.”
The American Horse Shows Association (AHSA), now US Equestrian, equitation medal was established in 1937 by the fourth President of the AHSA, Adrian Van Sinderen, as part of his strategy to connect horse people across the United States in saddle seat, as well as the hunt seat and Western/stock seat disciplines. Originally for riders aged 17 or under, the tradition of the medal program was extended to the adult amateur exhibitor in 2001 with the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final.
Relive the excitement of the 2019 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final on demand with USEF Network.
Results from the 2019 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final:
Champion: Gabriella Costantini on CHNuttin’ Doing, instructed by Shelly Fisher
Reserve Champion: Hallie Ricci on Undulata’s Ol’ Rosebud ERB, instructed by Erin Boggs
Third: Scott Bruggeworth (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) on King of Queens, instructed by Rick Martin
Fourth: Caitlin Ferkile (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) on Carrigan’s Encore, instructed by Adam and Desiree Clauson
Fifth: Dr. Morgan Wolin (Chicago, Ill.) on So Smitten, instructed by Jessica Cavanaugh
Sixth: Aleia Brown (Dayton, Ohio) on Jalapena Lena, instructed by Erin Boggs
Seventh: Anne Pateman (New Orleans, La.) on Cabernet’s Will Command, instructed by Barbe Smith
Eighth: Danielle Dubay Navarro (Louisville, Ky.) on Annie’s Perfect Design (self instructed)
Ninth: Bailie Deer (Charleston, W.Va.) on Soquilli’s Sir Galahad, instructed by Stephanie Lilly
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Photo by: Howard Schatzberg