Washington, D.C. - October 22, 2008 - The 2008 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) opened up jumper competition today, starting with the $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship. Meg O'Mara of Rumson, NJ, took the top placing with Raya de la Cour. Kenzie Donovan of River Hills, WI, rode her horse Max to first place in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship.
In the $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship, O'Mara and Raya de la Cour were one of 15 pairs to advance with a first round clear to the jump-off. O'Mara went seventh in the jump-off and lowered the leading time to 23.900 seconds with a second clean round. The last to go in the jump-off was Zoe Glassman on Nobilis. They were clear in 24.078 seconds to finish in second place.
Of her jump-off round, O'Mara said, "The first person did the inside turn without a problem when we watched her go, so we decided that Raya could do it no problem. She is a small horse and she is really compact, so she can do really tight turns."
Thirteen-year-old O'Mara was very happy with her win today on Raya and said she "kind of had a feeling" that she would do well. "It was so much fun. I usually get really nervous and start pulling a lot, but I told myself, 'You know what? I am just going to ride well and get over the jumps.' And I did, so it was good," she smiled.
O'Mara has owned the 13-year-old mare only since this past January and calls Raya her "perfect match." O'Mara trains with Mary Babick and Mary Donner and was excited to compete again at the WIHS.
"This show is really nice," she said. "I love the stadium. I have never ridden in the jumpers in this ring before, so I was a little confused about how I was going to be able to do all the turns because the ring is narrow. But, I got in there and it seemed bigger and they set the jumps really well, so it was good."
Kenzie Donovan, a 19-year-old adult jumper rider, piloted Max to the win in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship. Donovan and Max were the fastest clear round in a jump-off of 12 competitors. They crossed the finish line in a blazing fast time of 22.656 seconds to take the lead over Olivia Fry Weeks and Atman, who were quick in 23.407 seconds.
Donovan called Max, an 11-year-old gelding, her "great little horse." Standing just over 15 hands high, Max is fast with a deceptively long stride, she said. "He is a really fast turner. He can go from nothing to a huge stride in no time and turn in the air. We say that he has a little jet pack because he can just gallop right up there," she laughed.
Donovan has only been riding in the jumpers since this past winter, and she had a break this summer for two months when she broke her leg. She was eager to get back in the saddle, and the pair qualified for the championship with only a few shows.
"Max has been teaching me a lot. We have come a long way," she noted. "It means so much to me to win this class. I never dreamed that I would win my first year here doing the jumpers and to be so successful is great."
Donovan is a student at Georgetown University and trains with Cody and Emily Williams. "My trainers have been so great and taught me so much," she said. "I give them so much credit for finding me such a good horse and really talking me through everything, giving me such good advice and being enthusiastic and supportive."
The final jumper class of the day was the opening competition for the Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Only three horses were clear to contest the jump-off, and the winner was Whitney Weeks on Subliem. Marley Goodman and Ronya were second, while Catie Boone and Naleida finished third.
The 2008 Washington International Horse Show continues tomorrow with junior hunter competition in the morning. Jumpers come back to the arena in the afternoon, starting with the Amateur-Owner Jumpers and Junior Jumpers. The Open Jumpers start their competition with the $20,000 qualifier for Saturday's $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix. The fun continues on Thursday evening with a Celebrity Hunt Teams Class, an Ashley Holzer dressage demonstration, and the $20,000 Open Jumper Gambler's Choice class at 9 p.m.
For more information and full results, please visit http://www.wihs.org
Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship
1. Raya de la Cour, Meg O'Mara: 0 faults/23.900 seconds
2. Nobilis, Zoe Glassman: 0/24.078
3. Chloe, Tilden Brighton: 0/25.080
4. Valfee des Hazalles, Karen Polle: 0/25.439
5. Pink Floyd, Elizabeth Allen: 27.301
6. Words of Wisdom, Ashley Foster: 0/27.658
7. Mio W, Kimberly Saul: 0/28.706
8. Carrera Z, Stephanie Dubois-Emond: 4/23.096
9. Lucky Line M, Annie Davidson: 4/24.828
10. PF Lucy in the Sky, Dani Paradysz: 4/25.330
11. Piccolino, Ali Boone: 4/27.138
12. Rebound, Stephanie Dubois-Emond: 8/23.861
Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship
1. Max, Kenzie Donovan: 0/22.656
2. Atman, Olivia Fry Weeks: 0/23.407
3. Fenway, Ahmed Alali: 0/24.782
4. T Naralda, Hayley Carlson: 0/25.802
5. Picon, Tracy Scheriff: 0/26.276
6. Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay, Emily Colella: 0/26.854
7. Flip, Laurie Kutz: 0/28.459
8. Kick the Clouds, Rebecca Forbes: 4/23.236
9. Foxy Lady, Jenny Kobriger: 4/24.330
10. Filibuster, Emily Colella: 4/24.693
11. Whisper, Kristin Elysse Stolp: 4/24.938
12. Changes in Latitude, Kelly Ford: 6/37.136
Photo Credit: Meg O'Mara and Raya de la Cour, winners of the $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship. Photo (C) 2008 Lauren Fisher/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/children-adult-jumper-washington-horse-10-08.html">$10,000 Children's and Adult Jumper Championships Contested at 2008 Washington International Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com