Wellington, Fla. – March 3, 2017 – Nearing the end of Week Eight at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), well-known junior rider McKayla Langmeier and Zapfier won the blue on Friday morning in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3* competition. Langmeier only recently started showing Zapfier, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Missy Clark, during WEF Week Two.
The challenging 1.20m course, designed by Alan Wade for the Week Eight Talent Search 3* class, was held in the Denemethy Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The open water jump and triple combination proved to be a challenge for the majority of the riders but not for Langmeier.
Watch highlights of McKayla Langmeier and Zapfier’s winning round!
“Our plan going in was obviously to be smooth and under the time-allowed,” said Langmeier. “Zapfier is super brave and he really doesn’t look at anything — he is really experienced in the equitation ring. He did the USET Finals so I know that nothing is going to spook him at a show.”
During the flat phase, riders were asked to demonstrate a working trot both sitting and rising, a working canter, an extended trot, an extended canter, transitions to the walk from both gaits and a counter-canter in each direction. Langmeier and Zapfier claimed the title with equally smooth rides over fences and on the flat.
No stranger to the equitation ring, Langmeier won the coveted ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in 2015 riding Skyfall. Langmeier’s mother and trainer, Linda, of Kelianda Farm, also won the prestigious equitation final in 1983, and the pair made history becoming the first-ever mother-daughter duo to both win the ASPCA Maclay National Championship. The 16-year-old from Connecticut recently finished third in the 2016 Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final with Skyfall, and won her first FEI competition just last year aboard Classic Care in the 1.45m West Canadian Cup at Spruce Meadows. After a great finals-qualifying win during WEF Week Eight, Langmeier hopes to continue showcasing her abilities in the equitation classes.
Securing second place was Annabel Revers and her veteran mount Quax, a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Beechwood Stables LLC.
Rounding out the top three was Yasmin Rizvi and Canny Windsor Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Peacock Ridge LLC.
Each show offering the USEF Talent Search class is ranked between a 1* through a 3*, with a 3* being the most challenging. Riders who seek to qualify for the East Coast finals must ribbon in a 2* or a 3* class and accumulate 90 points. For both the West and East Coast finals, a rider will be automatically qualified by winning a 3* class.
During the remaining four weeks of WEF, the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search is offered Week Nine at a 1* ranking. Week Twelve is the last to offer a 3* class and Weeks Ten and Eleven are ranked as 2* classes. This leaves one final chance throughout the 2017 WEF circuit for a rider to automatically qualify for the finals.
Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3*
1. Mckayla Langmeier
2. Annabel Revers
3. Yasmin Rizvi
4. Samantha Cohen
5. Abigail Brayman
6. Taylor St. Jacques
7. Emma Callanan
8. Elli Yeager