Wellington, Fla. – March 1, 2020 – Sunday morning during Week Eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw an impressive field of junior equitation riders in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class. Split into two sections of 33 and 39 riders each, exhibitors tackled a course of twists and turns that challenged horses and riders’ control and connection. Following the conclusion of each over fences round, the top 12 horse-and-rider combinations from each section were asked back to the arena for further testing on the flat. In section A, it was Natalie Jayne on Charisma who topped the leaderboard, and Jennifer Staniloff and DiCaprio 3 rode away with the win in Section B.
Beginning with an oxer-to-vertical that was set parallel to the judge’s booth, riders had the opportunity to showcase their riding style before balancing an oxer-vertical combination down the diagonal of the ring. Riders then made a quick turn back to a vertical before counting seven strides to an oxer.
After taking a moment to catch their breath, exhibitors continued to be challenged with another oxer followed by a two-stride oxer-vertical combination which caught some pairs off guard. Riders then doubled back around for a vertical before finishing the course with a bending line of seven strides that gave riders a chance to demonstrate their patience and position for the judge before concluding their round.
Following the conclusion of the over fences round, the top 12 combinations were asked to demonstrate their expertise on the flat. Judges asked for a sitting trot as well as a walk canter transition in both directions. Emerging at the top of the group in Section A was Jayne aboard Charisma, a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Heritage Farms Inc.
As the twenty second rider to take to the arena, Jayne had the opportunity to watch plenty of other combinations execute the course before making a plan for her horse. Though Charisma is no stranger to the show circuit, having campaigned with previous riders such as Taylor St Jacques, Jayne acquired the ride on Charisma only one month ago.
In second place in Section A was Tessa Downey and HH Moonshine, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Double H Farm. Rounding out the top three was Audrey Schulze on Afrojack, a 16-year-old Hanovarian gelding owned by Don Stewart.
In Section B, Jennifer Staniloff found her place in the winner’s circle after an impressive ride on DiCaprio 3, a 12-year-old bay stallion owned by Henge Hill Investments and trained by Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables. DiCaprio 3 is relatively new to both the equitation classes and the United States, arriving in America last September and showing for the first time in the equitation during the 2020 WEF season.
Coming in second place was Elli Yeager aboard Djokovic, owned by Kimberly Griffiths. Eleanor Rudnicki rode Konfessions owned by Brookside Pine Farms, LLC to third place.
Equitation competition will continue during Week Nine of WEF. Many junior riders have their eyes set on the WEF Equitation Championship scheduled for March 20 in the International Arena, as well as qualifying for the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in November.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Natalie Jayne – ASPCA Maclay Section A winner
“Charisma has been around for a long time with a lot of good riders, but I only started with him recently. I began riding him about one month ago and he’s just been amazing so far.”
On her round:
“I thought the course was a bit difficult so I was nervous going in, but [Charisma] was really good and I was proud of him.”
On her plan for the rest of WEF:
“I’ll be competing in the Equitation Championship during Week Eleven of WEF with Charisma, so that’s my main goal. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Jennifer Staniloff – ASPCA Maclay Section B winner
On DiCaprio 3:
“Dicaprio 3 is amazing. This is his first year in the equitation; he just started at WEF. He came from Europe, and I was fortunate enough to lease him from my trainer, Stacia Madden. He’s taken to the equitation so well. He’s just a natural and has picked it up so fast.”
On her round:
“I thought my round was smooth. I’ve been working on improving my position and trying to be invisible with my aides. I liked the first part of my round. Into the seven-to-seven line, I really tried to keep him straight because he likes to drift to the left. I thought it was pretty solid and seemed to work out for us.”
On her plans for the rest of WEF:
“We’re going to keep competing in the equitation. We’ve qualified for the Equitation Championship so we’ll be doing that, and I’ll just see what comes our way. I would like to try him in a hunter derby, but we’ll see what happens.”
ASPCA Maclay (Section A)
1. Natalie Jayne / Charisma
2. Tessa Downey / HH Moonshine
3. Audrey Schulze / Afrojack
4. Maggie Hill / For Side VDL
5. Hensley Humphries / Amour
6. Alexa Elle Lignelli / Cresus Du Val Du Geer
7. Mark H Leone / Heer Aldus
8. Camryn Halley / Canago
For full results click here.
ASPCA Maclay (Section B)
1. Jennifer Staniloff / DiCaprio 3
2. Ellie Yeager / Djokovic
3. Eleanor Rudnicki / Konfessions
4. Augusta Iwasaki / Vanderpump
5. Ellie Ferrigno / Constantine
6. Jackie MacDonald / Crackerjack
7. Kierstin Antoniadis / Elios
8. Anna Robson / Checkland
For full results click here.