Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 24, 2020 – Ring 6 at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw 48 horse-and-rider combinations challenge the WIHS Jumper Phase on Friday afternoon. The course, designed by Steve Stephens, consisted of 10 obstacles, including two one-stride combinations and a water jump. Riders were expected to complete the course within the time allowed of 74 seconds. Taylor Griffiths-Madden and her own mount Mac One III came out on top in Section A with a high score of 90. In Section B, Mimi Gochman and Heroy Von De Hei, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, took home the first place ribbon with a score of 87.
Griffiths-Madden and Gochman both earned the blue ribbon by executing the rollback and two long bending lines in precise fashion. Griffiths-Madden, trained by Frank Madden, has been riding the 10-year-old Anglo European gelding for just over one year. “He’s just a really great dude,” said Griffiths-Madden after claiming the blue ribbon in Section A.
Gochman, trained by Stacia Madden and Beacon Hill Show Stables, and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding have been partners since 2017. Gochman earned third place in the WIHS Hunter Phase earlier in the week, securing her second place for the WIHS Overall during Week Three.
Hallie Grimes and Juice Wrld, owned by Royal Sport Horses, finished second place in Section A with a score of 85. Layla Kurbanov and her own Calberon B earned a score of 82 to claim third place. In Section B, Sophia Mitchell and her horse, Cassano, claimed the second place prize with a score of 83, and rounding out the top three in Section B was Haley Hamilton aboard her own Edelman with a score of 81.
Equitation competition will continue Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8:00 a.m. with the Ariat National Adult Medal and the SFHJA Adult Medal in Ring 7.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Taylor Griffiths-Madden – WIHS Jumper Phase Section A winner
On the course:
“I really liked it. It was just a nice, pretty straight forward course, and it was good for [Mac One III]. I think it was a little tricky from jumps three to four, because you really needed to be in the time allowed, Then you had to get back to the skinny, black vertical and then riding up to the eight-stride line. The rest of the course I thought was pretty nice.”
On her horse:
“Mac One III is 10 years old this year and I got him last year. Missy Clark got him with me, and she’s been helping me with him. He’s just a really great dude. He has a white eye, and everyone knows him because of his cool eye.”
On her plans for the 2020 WEF season:
“I’ll just show him in the equitation classes. I usually do two weeks on and one week off with him and then I catch ride everything else. I’ll compete in the jumpers too – I ride in the [Low Junior Jumpers] next. I also usually catch ride in the junior hunter divisions and even in the jumpers.”