Thermal, Calif. – A strong contingent of 44 junior competitors at the National Sunshine Series II contested the 2023 USEF/NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Final – West. Maggie Dumrauf (Del Mar, Calif.) demonstrated her equitation skills in front of the judges across three phases of competition to clinch the title.
“It is insane, especially to be here at the Desert Horse Park,” Dumrauf said of the win. “It feels so surreal to be here. I was on my personal horse too, and she is coming back from an injury. Being on her and having that win on her means so much."
Dumrauf purchased Cover Girl, her own 2010 Oldenburg mare, in January of 2021, and she had high praise for “Loulou.”
“She is truly the most incredible horse that you could ever imagine,” said Dumrauf. “She has the sweetest personality, and you can tell she really loves her job. She knows me and I know her and I think that is why we work so well as a team.”
In addition to working with Loulou, Dumrauf regularly rode borrowed horses under the guidance of trainers Hailey Scharping and Mclane Peed at Flower Hill Farms, which she said prepared her for the final.
“That has for sure helped me with this medal final because it is all about getting on a random horse and just riding, having a feeling, going in there, and doing your best,” said Dumrauf. “I’m really thankful that I had the opportunity. It definitely helps with school too because I am going to college next year to be on an NCEA team. I think it is important to get on a variety of horses and show off your skills.”
The win was quite an achievement for Dumrauf and she said it felt especially meaningful for with the support of her trainers and friends.
“I am incredibly grateful for my barn family and my trainers,” said Dumrauf. “I have been with Hailey and Mclane since I was five years old, so this means a lot. Several of my barnmates were there and cheering me on, so it just felt like home and really special.”
Carmen Gonzalez (Santa Cruz, Calif.) was the Reserve Champion with Espoir, her own 2010 Warmblood gelding. Grace Russo (Los Angeles, Calif.) took third place with Diplomat, her own 2014 Oldenburg gelding. Audrey Carmody (Eagle, Idaho) rounded out the top four in the bracket phase with Castelino 5, a 2012 Holsteiner gelding owned by MZ Farms LLC, Catherine Muzzy, and Shayne Wireman.
Learn more about the USEF/NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals.