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USEF Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal Finals

Kels Annabelle Bonham is Victorious

Kels Annabelle Bonham was riding in her fourth and final USEF Medal Finals, and she just wanted to ride well and make the first cut. With 274 riders listed to start, making the cut to the top twenty-five is an accomplishment in itself. Bonham rode early in the order of go and judges Alex Jayne and Tammy Provost put her at the top of their card and she stayed there until the conclusion of the competition.

Bonham (Okalahoma) started with riding with venerable equitation trainer Missy Clark earlier this year, and she got the ride on Sundance (K. McCormack, owner) last year’s winning horse. Bonham kept her cool and she put in a flowing, accurate ride in the second round, a straightforward hunter-type course. She went into the work off still in the lead and held it through the test that required a counter canter, several challenging turns, and concluded with a trot fence.

Bonham is a freshman and the Savannah College of Art and Design, and she will head to Syracuse in a few weeks for the Maclay Finals, once again aboard Sundance.

Unfortunately, California riders who normally find themselves among the top places had a tough day. Normally accurate, highly competitive riders like Tina Dilandri, Shelby Wakeman and Michelle Morris all made mistakes. "They just made errors," said their trainer, Karen Healey. "They did the hard parts of the course really well, and then each had a problem in the same line, but for different reasons. It just wasn’t their day." Other California riders couldn’t put the rounds together to get in the top ten, except for Zazou Hoffman, who has a permanent residence in California, yet she rides most of the year with Missy Clark. Hoffman dropped a rail in the final round and wound up seventh.

Complete results of the 2008 USEF Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal Finals are online at:


Open and Amateur Hunters take center stage this next week, and Tammy Chipko will be among the California riders vying for honors.

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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