Wellington, Fla. – March 4, 2018 – Chilly morning temperatures did not stop the nations top junior riders from competing in the ASPCA Maclay and Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal on Sunday morning at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to close out Week Eight. Despite solid rounds from all athletes, it was Emma Fletcher and her own Conspicuous who took home top honors in Section A of the ASPCA Maclay. Following the Maclay, Grady Lyman won first in Section A of the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal with Quickcento.
Fletcher and Conspicuous bested a field of 31 competitors during the first round of competition, which was a technical course designed by Héctor Loyola (PUR). The course utilized bending lines and in-and-out combinations throughout. Following the first round of competition was a flat phase that saw the return of the top 12 horses and riders. Judges tested the athletes during the flat phase with extended canters, sitting trots, and a counter canter, all of which Emma Fletcher demonstrated flawlessly.
Second place was awarded to Catalina Peralta aboard Linda Bakker’s Griffins Van D’Heyboght while Grady Lyman and Quickcento captured the third place honors.
Later in the day, competitors fought for the top call in Section A of the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal. It was ultimately Grady Lyman and Quickcento who put in two consistent rounds that earned them first place. It would appear as if the odds were against the pair, as Lyman has been competing with a dislocation shoulder, an injury she sustained just three days earlier, but prior to their victory the duo turned in a flawless round that earned them third place in the Maclay.
The first round of competition in the medal saw 33 horse-and-rider combinations tackle Héctor Loyola’s technical course, but only eight would return to complete the second round test. The technical test round included a tricky trot fence in addition to requiring horses jump the final fence on the counter canter. Second place was earned by Alexandra Worthington and her own Outshine, while third place was awarded to Yasmin Rizvi and Jordan Rose Freedman’s Finnick.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Emma Fletcher – ASPCA Maclay Section A Winner
On her horse:
“My horse [Conspicuous] is 8 years old. We got him when he was 5 years old and he had a lot of issues growing into his body because he is 18.3 [hands]. He is really big! We had a lot of issues with having a lot of rails down, but with a lot of training and just him maturing he has gotten a lot better and he is such a sweet boy. I really love him.”
On Sunday’s course:
“The course was rather interesting because there was a lot of bending lines. There was an ‘S-Line’, which I felt really prepared for because I practiced some this morning. I really just focused on each side because he can get a little bit stiff because he is such a big horse. The course was really nice; it was good to ride. There were a lot of related distances and I feel like my horse was great for me throughout the course.”
On her trainer’s advice:
“My mom, Kathy Fletcher, is one of my trainers and mostly she told me to keep him going forward. That’s a big focus for us because he’s kind of a big, slow horse. She also told me to work on keeping a similar pace and not pulling down.”
Grady Lyman – Dover Saddlery USEF Hunt Seat Medal Section A Winner
“He is very new to the equitation ring. This is only his second week doing it. He is so smart and a great horse. He has a great mind too. He is really catty when it comes to the equitation; he knows exactly what to do even though he is so new to this.”
On Sunday’s test round:
“I went in to this course just wanting to put in a good round for [Quickcento] since he is so new to the equitation. I wanted to bring him up the proper way rather than trying to be slick. I thought it was a great course. It was challenging enough to where it tested us a good amount, but not too hard to the point where it would have been hard on [Quickcento]. Like I said, he has a really great mind and he did such a great job of helping me throughout the course.”
On her trainer’s advice:
“My trainers are Ken and Emily Smith. Ken just wanted me to put in a solid round that would be beneficial for this horse. We just want to keep him going in the equitation ring and do what’s best for him as a great horse.”
On competing with a dislocated shoulder:
“I dislocated my shoulder three days ago, so it’s been a little difficult competing, but today was definitely worth it.”
Horse / Rider
ASPCA Maclay Section A
1. Conspicuous / Emma Fletcher
2. Griffins Van D’Heyboght / Catalina Peralta
3. Quickcento / Grady Lyman
4. Lego / Devon Thomas
5. Norway / Lauren Reid
6. Edelman / Kate Coffey
7. Consierge / Jordan Allen
8. Clover / Samantha Cohen
Horse / Rider
Dover Saddlery USEF Hunt Seat Medal Section A
1. Quickcento / Grady Lyman
2. Outshine / Alexandra Worthington
3. Finnick / Yasmin Rizvi
4. Campreoll / Ava Ellis
5. Campino / Sophia Pilla
6. Nice / Dominika Silvestri
7. Clover / Samantha Cohen
8. Cinzano / Natalie Jayne