Harrisburg, PA – October 10, 2019 – In a competitive field of 34 entries, Kyle Perkovich and Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet won Phase I of the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships at the 2019 Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS). The famed indoor show returns to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, October 10-19.
The course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD, featured twelve jumps with fourteen jumping efforts at 1.35m. Perkovich and his own Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet, produced a bold round that paid off in the end with a time of 51.289 seconds. Alexandra Pielet and Helene VE, owned by the Co-Pielet LLC, came in reserve with a time of 51.796 seconds. Maggie Kehring and Cole Haan, owned by the Kehring Family, rounded out the top three with 55.321 seconds in the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championship Phase I.
“Today felt absolutely amazing!” said Perkovich. “The course was super technical and really forced me to focus every step of the way. I did my best; I gave it my all today and I’m really looking forward to the same consistent rides for the rest of the weekend with Jag (Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet). Honestly, he was feeling great and jumping everything amazingly well. I just couldn’t be any happier.”
The Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championship culminates on Saturday with the Individual Phase III competition. Scores from the first two phases are converted into points and are carried over with the top 60 percent of competitors from Phases I and II, who have not been eliminated, eligible to take part. The individual champion is the competitor with the lowest number of combined penalties after Phases I, II and III.
Now in its 74th year, the PNHS hosts over 1,400 of the best hunter, jumper and equitation riders from across the nation – including Olympic veterans and National Champions. USEF Premier rated for Hunters, USEF 6* and FEI CSI3* rated for Jumpers, the PNHS is a designated “USEF Heritage Competition,” an honor reserved for a select group of exceptional competitions.
This year’s PNHS will host two internationally sanctioned FEI CSI3* jumper classes, designed by FEI 4* Course Designer and Olympic Silver medalist, Michel Vaillancourt. The nation’s top jumping riders and horses will go head-to-head in the $60,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump, with an increase of $10,000 in prize money over last year, and the $134,000 Grand Prix de Penn National which is held on the show’s final day, Saturday, October 19.
Junior Weekend takes place October 10-13, while Senior Week takes place October 14-19. The famed show features eight National Championships, including the Dover Saddlery/US Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Final which has launched the careers of some of the sport’s most elite riders, as well as the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual and USEF Prix de States Team Championships.
The show also features the North American League (NAL) Finals and its fourth annual Therapeutic Riding Championships, as well as unique classes such Ladies Sidesaddle and Hunt Night on Monday, October 14.