Team Lions and Team Cardinals Dominate in Markel/USHJA 1.20-1.30m Junior/Amateur Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Championship
Traverse City, Mich. – The Markel/USHJA Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Team / Platinum Jumper Championship was well underway Friday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Making its move to the Flintfields Horse Park for the first time, the championship program is a pillar of the USHJA as a stepping stone for children, junior, amateur and professional show jumping athletes hoping to advance through to the highest level of the sport. Standing atop the center of the podium at the conclusion of the 1.20m-1.30m Markel/USHJA Junior/Amateur Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Team Championships was the team made up of Olivia Lawton, Julia Cornwell and Mary Roskens, Team Lions. In the 1.10m-1.15m Markel/USHJA Junior/Amateur Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Team Championships, it was Team Cardinals that received the gold medal with Sarah Ayer, Emma Gutstein, Isabelle Burr and Ameera Fullen riding to victory.
Following Thursday’s Markel/USHJA 1.20-1.30m Junior/Amateur Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Championships 1st Individual/1st Team event, Team Lions, Pistons and Chargers were tied coming into the Team Final on a score of zero. Hungry for the win, each rider put forth their best effort in hopes of clinching the gold. In the end, Team Lions and Team Giants would post the fewest points to the scoreboard, tying on 8 faults each and forcing a jump-off to decide who would take silver and who would take gold. Lori Bridwell was chosen to ride the tie-breaking round aboard Rashmo Z for Team Giants. An unfortunate 4 faults, however, would leave the door wide open as Lawton made her way into the ring for Team Lions. Lawton had her mind set on a clear effort, and with her trusty partner Quite Like It she was able to help Team Lions secure the gold with a fault-free round. Team Giants would settle for the silver medal, while Team Pistons would end up with bronze.
Immediately following, the Markel/USHJA 1.10-1.15m Junior/Amateur Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Championship Team Final took to the Jumper Annex for a final battle for the top team spot. Team Cardinals had the obvious advantage for Round 2 as the only team on a score of zero after Round 1. A collective effort from all four riders would ultimately lead Ayer, Gutstein, Burr and Fullen straight to the winner’s circle for their consistency over the two days of competition. A tie for silver would force a jump-off for Team Badgers and Bobcats, who would put forth Renguso and Nauss, respectively, to ride the final round. Renguso was first on course for Team Badgers, putting in a clear but conservative round. For Team Bobcats, Nauss was quick across the ground with Bretzelle D’Arthenay, keeping all fences intact and ultimately claiming the silver medal for Team Bobcats to leave Team Badgers in third.
The Markel/USHJA Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Team/Platinum Jumper Championships will continue Saturday, August 7, spotlighting the $25,000 Markel/USHJA 1.45m Platinum Jumper Championship and the Markel/USHJA 1.15m Children’s/Adult Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Championship Individual Final.
HSJ | www.traversecityhorseshows.com | photo by Andrew Ryback Photography 2021