Harrisburg, Pa. – The exciting $15,000 USEF Prix des States Team Championship took center stage Friday evening at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Two rounds over Nick Granat’s course provided a solid test for the athletes representing their zones and vying for team medals in the 2023 USEF Junior Jumper National Championships.
Zone 10 led after the first round and maintained their lead through the second round to win the team gold medal. With guidance from Chefs d’Equipe Kelly Van Vleck and Mike Endicott, the team of Emmeline Adamick and Igelo, Ariana Marnell and Away Semilly, Cameron Trimino and Firewall, and Della White and Giggs handled the pressure at the top of the leaderboard to finish on 8 faults and added their zone’s name to the Francis Newbill Rowe Perpetual Trophy.
There were three double-clear rounds of the night, and two of the rounds came from Zone 10’s Marnell and White with the third coming from Zone 5’s Izzy Beisel and Vegas H. Marnell (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Away Semilly, Kent Farrington LLC’s 2010 Selle Français gelding, were a late addition to the Zone 10 team after moving up from the traveling reserve, but they were a stellar addition.
“I was really excited,” said Marnell. “Even though I mostly show on the East Coast now, I was really excited to be back with my West Coast people and really happy for Zone 10. It's been a long time, and I think we deserve it. The horses were great. Everyone rode great, so I'm super, super happy.”
White (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Giggs, her own 2011 KWPN stallion, were the anchor combination, and they had steady results for their team. However, White was not keeping a close eye on the scores.
“For me, being on a team is definitely more pressure, which I like because I feel like I do well under pressure,” said White. “I honestly had no idea what the scores were, which probably made it better, because if I did know what the scores were, I think I would have been a little more nervous. But going last in the ring, honestly, was fine for me.”
While most of the Zone 10 team members had previous team experience at the FEI North American Youth Championships, it was everyone’s first time competing in the Prix des States and in indoor jumper classes. Adamick, who had two four-fault rounds with Igelo, her 2013 KWPN gelding, learned to adjust to the new competition setting.
“I'm used to riding at Spruce Meadows with big grass fields, so it's definitely a different experience,” said Adamick (San Francisco, Calif.). “The past two days I've learned not to use the walls of the ring just because they're there and to just try to be as efficient and fast as possible while keeping a good rhythm.”
Trimino (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Firewall, her 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding, struggled to find their rhythm in the first round but recovered well to have a four-fault-round in their second attempt.
“The first round didn't go as we had planned, but I knew that with being on a team, I had to be strong for my teammates, for my coaches, for everyone involved,” said Trimino. “I had to be strong and go back in there and fight for a good round. I think I did that and I'm really proud that I was able to get back in there after a tough first round and be able to get it done. My horse and I finally got it together by the end, so I'm really happy that we ended on a good note.”
The team silver medal went to Zone 4, led by Chef d’Equipe Kim Land, with a score of 21 faults, while Zone 7, led by Chef d’Equipe Martien van der Hoeven, collected the team bronze medal with a score of 24 faults.
In the Individual Championship classification, Marnell and Away Semilly leads the overall standings with a score of 0.79. White and Giggs sit in second with a score of 4.12, while Zone’s 7 Carlee McCutcheon and Coco Mercedes are in third with a score of 4.56. The individual champion will be the competitor with the lowest number of total penalties across all three phases. Competition concludes Saturday with the $10,000 USEF Junior Jumper Individual National Championship starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Find out more about the USEF Junior Jumper National Championships.
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