Thermal, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2021 – Equitation athletes took over the Main Hunter Ring at the Desert International Horse Park on Saturday morning during the National Sunshine Series I. On Friday, the first round of the PCHA Junior/Amateur 2’9″ Medal Finals kicked off and the second round was held Saturday morning with 14 athletes vying for the winning honors. After the final test, Molly Copeland and Crispy’s Crown Boy were named the 2021 Pacific Coast Horse Show Association 2’9″ Southern Medal Finals Champions.
Following the completion of the second round of competition, the top five athletes returned to the ring to test in reverse order of standing. During the test, the riders had to trot the first fence away from home and canter directly to the second fence in a bending line. After cantering two more fences they had to counter canter home to the final oxer.
Copeland and Crispy’s Crown Boy were ranked third heading into the test, but a smooth canter after the trot fence and a flawless counter canter quickly moved them up on the judges’ leaderboard to eventually claim the championship honors and the 2021 trophy, sponsored by Raizy Goffman.
Katherine Funk and Check Please also moved up following the test, originally ranked fourth, to claim the second place prize with a smooth and even performance. The third place honors were presented to Madalene Triolo and Autumn Gold.
Crispy’s Crown Boy, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, is a new mount for Copeland who only began riding him three months ago under the tutelage of trainers Nora and Morgan Thomas. Copeland was thrilled to earn the winning honors during such a prestigious event with her new mount and is excited about their bright future together as they continue to compete in the equitation divisions.
The USEF Adult Medal was held next in the Main Hunter Ring. This time it was Jayme Omand and Go who topped the standings after the final test. Cameron Brown and Amy Bean’s Duck Duck Goose earned the second place prize, while Darby Bonomi and Furth Bonomi Farm LLC’s Little Wing rounded out the top three.
Sunday marks the final day of competition during the National Sunshine Series I. The Main Hunter Ring will feature the Amateur-Owner Hunters as they conclude their divisions to determine this week’s championship honors.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Molly Copeland – PCHA Junior/Amateur 2’9″ Horsemanship Finals Winner
On the test :
“I pictured a bird’s eye view of the course in my mind because we couldn’t see it. I was really thinking thoroughly about how I was going to map it out – what track I was going to take – and I think it worked well. The trot fence was the hardest part, but my horse executed it beautifully.”
On Crispy’s Crown Boy:
“He’s very feisty and he loves carrots. He’s just an angel. He’s a little lazy. I’ve had him for three months and we do the equitation. He really adjusted me to bigger jumps. I felt really comfortable on him the first time I sat on him. He’s taught me well!”
On the Desert International Horse Park:
“The facility is really, really nice. I like the shade!”