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NOR CAL Medal Finals

Burbank, CA. One could easily guess the focus at the 2008 Nor Cal Medal Finals Horse Show, held at Brookside Equestrian Park (Oct. 8-12). One of the most popular shows of season for Northern California riders, horses and riders were out in force. "Although numbers at shows have been down, our numbers in every division of the finals were up substantially," said Nor Cal President Denize Borges. "Show manager Adrian Ward did a fantastic job keeping the event running smoothly. And that’s what it was, an event." Langer Equestrian Group produces the annual show, and Larry Langer was among the early founders of the association.

In the Nor Cal Junior Medal Finals, one of the few 3'6" medals at a local level, Haley Webster, one of the youngest riders in the class, led the field. Webster, who trains with Patty Ball, also took first place in the Onondarka Medal 12 & Under, and the PCHA Junior Horsemanship Medal 14 & Under. "The hardest part of the medal finals was at the end, when we had to do a really forward four down to an oxer," said Webster. "My horse (Giovanni) is smaller, with a short stride, so I had to really ride down the line to get it."

Kelley La Fond took the Nor Cal Senior Medal Finals, also held at 3'6", after a win in Round 1 and a third place finish in Round 2. La Fond trains with Beverly Jovais of Chestnut Hill Farm in Sonoma, and rode Sporting United to the win. "Overall the courses asked many questions, and required a range of skills, some quick thinking, and a general amount of homework," commented La Fond. "It is certainly a challenge to juggle work and family, but to be able to ride and show at this level, I am willing to do whatever I have to."

Although Emma Dake won Round 1 of the Nor Cal 3-ft Equitation Finals handily, she ran into a little trouble with a swapped lead during Round 2, ending in 9th place. But, a consistent work-off and a calm composure helped guide her to the eventual championship. "Going into the work-off, Emma was on top and my other student Jessica Tali was standing second," said trainer Nicole Bloom. "Before the girls went into the work-off, I took both Emma and Jess aside and told them how proud I was of them and that having them standing first and second was a true ‘Trainer Life’ moment for me. Both riders validated Bloom’s confidence in them by maintaining their one-two ranking.

Stevie Sorenson earned the Nor Cal Pony Medal Finals on her own Quarter/Welsh cross, Dressed For Success. Coached by Julie Keville, she moved up from ninth to first over the two rounds. "For ponies I thought the second round was pretty difficult. It had a lot of twists and turns and ponies aren’t as bendy, so I kind of rode it as a jumper course and because my pony is an old jumper, he could do it. Not going forward and being tentative is what killed a lot of people, so I made sure to move up!"

"The judges were not only very impressed with the quality of riders in the junior and senior divisions, they also commented that the show had a welcome, ‘event’ feel to it," added Borges. "It was a great note to end the year on."

The show also featured complete hunter and jumper divisions as well. Campari was the one to beat in the hunters. Hope Glynn piloted Campari to reserve championships in the Modified and First Year Green Hunters, and Helen McEvoy earned the championship in the Modified Junior/Amateur Hunters. Then Glynn led the victory gallop in the $3,500 Nor Cal Hunter Challenge. McEvoy won a second championship with her Worth the Wait in the Children’s Hunters 14-17.

In the jumpers, Garrett Warner and Excalibur were the ones to beat in the $5,000 Carolyn Day Memorial Jumper Classic, and Susan Meadows topped the field with Topper in the $1,500 Junior-Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. Barbara Philips took the tri-color in the Amateur Owner Jumpers aboard Alberta.

For complete results go to:


And for more information on Langer Equestrian Group’s show, visit http://www.langershows.com. Information about the Nor Cal Hunter Jumper Association is at: http://norcalhunterjumpers.com.

To keep current with the happenings in the hunter/jumper world, sign up for LEG UP News. At http://www.langershows.com, click on “Sign up for our E-news” and fill out the form. All the news will come right to your inbox.


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