Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 17, 2020 – The third day of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began with a field of 18 riders competing in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*. Riders had to conquer an 11-obstacle course with a time allowed of 84 seconds that included a triple combination and had the option of an open water jump. After the jumping and flat phase, Emma Fletcher and her mount Uber, owned by Don Stewart, cinched the top placing. Catalina Peralta was awarded second and Mimi Gochman third respectively.
Jasen Shellev designed a challenging course for riders to compete on that held tight lines and difficult bends. Twelve riders were invited back to the flat for the judges and eleven competed. Riders demonstrated different skill sets such as lengthening of stride at both the trot and canter, and a counter canter on both leads. In the end, the judges believed Fletcher deserved the winning ribbon.
Fletcher proved to be even more impressive than just her rounds let her be. She flew in last night and asked Stewart if he had a horse for her to compete on in this class. Fletcher’s first ride on the horse was this morning and she jumped him for the first time right before walking in to compete. Fletcher’s talent to adapt to new mounts gave her the ability to earn the blue.
Peralta and Alligator, owned by Grindstone Farm LLC., took home second place. Peralta has been piloting the 13-year-old Warmblood since first competing on him at Maclay Finals in 2019. Finishing third was Gochman and Contelio, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.’s under the guidance from trainer Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables.
Equitation competition will continue at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8:00 a.m. with the NSH THIS Adult Medal in ring 7.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Emma Fletcher – Platinum Performance / USEF Talent Search 2* Winner
On the course:
“The course was lovely. There were a few quiet lines and then to the water, the seven was pretty forward. That was definitely the test of the course, I think. The first bending six to the triple combination was also very difficult.”
“I actually just flew in last night from back home and called Don Stewart and asked if he had a horse for me to do the USET on. I flatted Uber this morning and then jumped him right before I went in and that is the extent of how much I know Uber.”
On plans for WEF 2020 season:
“I’m just going to do the jumpers with my horses. I aged out which is sad. I’m going to continue to do the medium jumpers and maybe even the highs on a couple young horses I have right now. So that is the plan.”