Athletes Jump for Gold in 2023 USHJA Zone 1 and 2 Jumper Team Championships at HITS Saugerties
Saugerties, N.Y. – July 30, 2023 – HITS Saugerties showcased exciting talent this week, highlighting the USHJA Child/Adult 1.0/1.05m Individual and Team Jumper Championship for Zones 1 and 2. Over three days of competition and qualification gave valuable experience to the up-and-coming athletes, culminating with the Team Final on Saturday and the Individual Final on Sunday. It was Abigail Davis and Out Of Sight who ended up on top of the podium in the Individual, while the team competition gold medal went to Team Milton.
Abigail Davis and Out Of Sight. Photo by: ESI Photography
“Going into this round I was pretty stressed out because I set a high expectation for myself. My horse has a lot of blood so he really needs me to be patient, but he is very good at coming back to me. In the jump-off, I just let him gallop and do his thing. I love his personality in the barn and how he is always there for me when I ride him and how he just wants to win,” said Davis.
Kayden Marsh and Bijoux Vincenza. Photo by: ESI Photography
Davis and Out Of Sight, owned by Lisa Campi, seized the gold medal after winning the team and individual qualification in round one on Friday afternoon. The pair also helped their team Abdullah get the silver medal after producing two clear rounds. The individual silver medal went to Kayden Marsh and Bijoux Vincenza and the bronze individual medal went to Marilyn Sommerville and Gizmo.
Marilyn Sommerville and Gizmo. Photo by: ESI Photography
The gold medal-winning team, Milton, with team chef Taylor O’Dell consisted of Winter Tietjen and Jett B, Marcellina Vitale and Remirévo, and Tatiana Basch and In Style. Basch and In Style led the team with two clear rounds and zero scores, while Tietjen produced four faults in round one and zero faults in round two.
“The riders are still being coached by their regular trainers, I am more there to help with scorekeeping questions and uncertainly if there are any technical questions about the course – but definitely more of a team manager in this capacity,” explained O’Dell. “Understanding the scoring format is very different from what most of these riders have ever experienced, so just educating them on the format and scoring is in my opinion the biggest thing while getting to know everyone and really get that team feeling in a sport that usually feels very individual.”
USHJA Zone 1 and 2 Team Jumper Championship finalists. Photo by: ESI Photography
O’Dell continued, “They are fast – the gold and silver teams were tied with 4 faults over two days which is amazing. They were both very fast – the winning team with their times from yesterday were cumulatively only 3 seconds faster. The biggest thing for the last day is making sure there is still some gas left in the tank – showing three days in a row is tiring on any horse. For the riders coming in from the gold team they are going to be pretty pumped up and need to keep riding confidently.”
The zone championship team competition allows younger and up-and-coming riders to participate in team competition by showcasing their dedication, skill, and passion, much like the top professionals in the sport.
USHJA Child/Adult 1.0/1.05m Individual Jumper Championship finalists. Photo by: ESI Photography
This championship recognizes team aspects and individual achievements in the equestrian sport. The USHJA Child/Adult 1.0/1.05m Individual Jumper Championship supports the platform for young and promising riders to gain valuable experience, as well as an opportunity for lessons learned for these up-and-coming equestrian athletes, as they continue to progress in their careers and move onto the Young Rider competition.