Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 8, 2019 – Gloomy skies set the stage for Friday morning’s Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* during Week Five of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Despite the weather, things were made a bit brighter for Emma Crate and her horse, A Picobello Star Z, as she walked away from the class with a blue ribbon. Close behind Crate was Alexandra Pielet and Mimi Gochman, taking the second and third place spot, respectively, with their combined over fences and flat scores.
The 1.15m to 1.20m course designed by Nick Granat tested the 22 riders over a series of 10 fences, including a triple combination and open water obstacle. Judges were looking for riders to complete the course in under 73 seconds without knocking any rails down, while showcasing style, function and proper execution. With minimal issues at the usually troublesome open water jump, the primary struggle of the course was keeping all 10 fences intact through the lines that required a great deal of adjustability. Twelve riders returned for the flat phase, where they were expected to demonstrate correct position and seat as they worked their horses through a counter-canter, extended trot and working sitting trot.
Crate, trained by Richard Herrera, showed great control and precision in her over fences ride. The horse-and-rider pair have been together for two years now and have had great success in the equitation ring, placing in the top six of Region 5 ASPCA Maclay Regionals in 2018. Crate hopes to continue her success in the equitation ring with the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding and move up to the medium junior jumpers with her other horse, Google.
Pielet and Co-Pielet LLC’s Common Sense took the second place spot. Pielet and the 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood have had a successful season thus far, winning the Week Three Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*.
Gochman came in third place with Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Kaskade, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. Gochman regularly competes in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search under the instruction of Beacon Hill Show Stables’ Stacia Madden.
Equitation competition continues at the Winter Equestrian Festival with the THIS National Children’s Medal on Saturday at 8 a.m. in the South Ring.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
On her horse:
“My horse’s name is Pico and I have had him for about two years now. I got him at the end of March last year. With the USET, something I really focus on with him is getting him in front of my leg and a little bit bouncy before we go in the ring because he can get a bit flat, especially over some of the higher jumps. I prepared him really well this morning by halting and then asking him to go forward again. These downward transitions made it so that in the course today he was right there when I needed him.”
On Friday’s course:
“I came in and got a very good pace to jump one and he jumped that perfectly. The six-stride line was a bit long, so when I landed and had that big pace he covered it really nicely to the skinny. He was excellent to the water!”
On the rest of 2019 WEF season:
“I am doing the low juniors right now on my jumper, Google. We are planning on moving up to the mediums!”
Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*:
Place / Horse / Rider
1. A Picobello Star Z / Emma Crate
2. Common Sense/ Alexandra Pielet
3. Kaskade / Mimi Gochman
4. Acido 7 / James Faloni
5. Bournedale / Emma Fletcher
6. Kasarco O.H. / Savannah Hemby
7. Contelido / Sophie Gochman
8. Concierge / Adam Edgar