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Los Angeles International Jumping Festival

Burbank, California. The Los Angeles International Jumping Festival (Sept. 17-21) kicked off with the USEF Platinum Performance Talent Search Finals West. This is the only national championship for equitation riders held on the West Coast. The judges, Cynthia Hankins and Scott Hofstetter, designed a challenging and interesting flat test for the riders.

In groups of six, the riders performed the required flat elements, as well as some additional skills including shoulder-in, haunches-in, half pass, flying changes of lead, and voltes. The top riders executed the various movements with accuracy and demonstrated their understanding of the skills. However, many riders were very weak in the lateral movements and often horses were bent the wrong way for the various tests.

Hannah Selleck leads the 44 rider competition, followed closely by Jennifer Stillman and Carly Anthony. All three riders demonstrated solid understanding of the various flat skills and rode with polish and style. Tonight, they and the rest of the field will tackle the gymnastics phase. Scores from the gymnastics phase will count 1.5 times that of the flat. The competition concludes on Saturday with the stadium jumping phase, which counts 2.0 times that of the flat, and then the ride off of the top four.

Jumpers got off to an exciting start with the $25,000 LA International Welcome Stake. Thirty-eight riders started and seven advanced to the jump off. Richard Spooner led off with Ace, but the "master of faster" had to settle for seventh when a tight slice back to the skinny vertical early in the jump off resulted in a run out. Chris Pratt (Green Sleeps Vioco - Ilan Ferder, owner) produced the first clear jump off round and a quick time of 45.55 seconds. Mary Manfredi shaved four hundreths of a second off with Chalan (Saer Coulter, owner), but her lead was short lived also. Jill Humphrey seemed to lope around the course with Esperanto (Equistar, LLC - owner), but the clock stopped at 44.51. Eddie Macken was the final rider to be able to wrest victor from Humphrey and he had the time with Tedechine Sept (Samia Staehle - owner) but a heartbreaking rail at the final jump left them in fourth.

On Saturday night, top jumpers will compete for $50,000 in the Grand Prix of Los Angeles, a qualifying event for the 2990 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. For more information on the World Cup Finals, visit: http://www.worldcuplasvegas.com.

The USEF Zones 8, 9 10 Hunter Seat Regional Medal Finals and Adult Equitation Regional Finals also are held at the Los Angeles International Jumping Festival, featuring top junior and amateur equitation riders.

For complete results, schedules, and other information, visit http://www.langershows.com.


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