Harrisburg, Penn. – Oct. 21, 2017 – Caroline Michele Dugas, 16, of Birmingham, Ala., was in the clouds after taking the victory on Skyfall in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children’s Jumper Final, sponsored by Equifit, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund.
“It’s very exciting. I cried when I realized that I won. It’s incredible,” said Dugas. “I have the best horse in the whole world, he’s amazing.”
The top 27 in the nation who qualified for the Final rode in reverse order of ranking, with the ten clear rounds moving forward to the jump-off. Four horse and rider combinations negotiated double clears on the Bernardo Cabral-designed course. The first to go clear was Lauren Miller, 16, of Dunkirk, Md., and Casseur in a speed round time of 33.424 seconds. Emma Pell, 13, of Winchester, Va., went two seconds faster on Ari 55 to stop the clock at 31.694 for third place. Dugas and Skyfall raced around the course to finish on 27.550 seconds with two qualifiers still to ride. Mia Albelo, 11, of Coral Gables, Fla., and Cassandra Dreams came within a whisker defeating Dugas, going clear in 27.622, for second place. Dugas believed that ignoring her trainer’s advice was the key to victory.
“My trainer said that I should do eight strides to the last fence, and I told her that I thought seven was good. I thought that would save me some time,” said Dugas. “I thought my time would hold up, but at the end I was worried. The last two riders were on it. They were great competitors.”
Dugas has had Skyfall for almost two years and she believes that the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding was born to jump.
“Last year we were just trying to qualify for NAL or Washington and we did well at both. Jumping is his favorite thing in the whole world. He would not want to be doing anything else,” said Dugas. “It means the world to win here, I’m so excited.”
The NAL hosts National Finals annually at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, and West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in Las Vegas, NV. Both Finals include the following five divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper Presented by EquiFit, Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper.
$10,000 NAL Children’s Jumper Final, Sponsored By Equifit
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | TA:64 / JO Faults | TA:38
1. Skyfall / Caroline Michele Dugas / Caroline Michele Dugas / 0 | 59.559 / 0 | 27.550
2. Cassandra Dreams / Mia Albelo / Mia Albelo / 0 | 59.071 / 0 | 27.622
3. Ari 55 / Emma Pell / Emma Pell / 0 | 57.699 / 0 | 31.694
4. Casseur / Lauren Miller / Lauren Miller / 0 | 61.240 / 0 | 33.424
5. Camera Ready / Isabel Harbour / Fit To Print Farm / 0 | 59.569 / 4 | 27.011
6. King Chacco / Alexandra Duvin / Alexandra Duvin / 0 | 57.252 / 4 | 28.974
7. Valotti VDL / Cayman Szegda / Cayman Szegda / 0 | 59.518 / 4 | 29.249
8. Vindicator / Reid Arani / KS Sporthorses, LLC / 0 | 62.250 / 4 | 31.654
9. Dollar Di Ribano / Jayna Suoninen / Jayna Suoninen / 0 | 61.973 / 4 | 34.723
10. Unsomnie De La Roque / Dakota Champey / MDHT Equestrian, LLC / 0 | 62.707 / 12 | 34.556
11. Dinletto RK / Kelly McInerney / Kelly McInerney / 1 | 64.272
12. Golden Dream / Gigi Moynihan / Christy Moynihan / 1 | 64.519