By Jane Carlton
After three rounds of intense competition at the New England Horsemen’s Council (NEHC) Junior Medal Final, held on October 23 in West Springfield, MA, Abigail Brayman of Charlestown, RI, emerged as the 2016 champion. The 17-year-old was one of 187 horse and rider pairs to contest the Kenny Krome-designed course, taking the challenge with her larger-than-life mount, Cassini. Ava Stearns went home with the reserve champion ribbon.
NAL Children's Jumper, Adult Jumper, and Low Jr/AO Jumper Finals Completed at Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Bailey Doloff, Sykesville, MD, who just turned 18, and his little dynamo Wishlea Star Dasher, took the win in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children's Jumper Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show presented by the Lindsey Maxwell Charitable Fund. In the NAL Adult Jumper Finals, Dean Dignelli, 27, of Katonah, NY, riding Redefin won. Emily Smith from Valparaiso, IN, and Morning De Reve were the only ones post double clear rounds to take first place in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Final.
Topping a class of 71 riders in the Amateur Adult Medal Final, 24-45 was at the New England Equitation Championships in West Springfield, MA, was North Kingstown, RI, native Natalie Hartley. With a first round score of 86.83, Hartley returned for the second round of competition sitting in second behind Elysse Ruschmeyer of South Glastonbury, CT. Riding in reverse order, the top 18 riders showed over a shortened course to determine the top ten placing riders with the top five riders seperated by less than two points. Hartley earned the championship ribbon with after recieving the highest second round score of an 85.50 for an overall score of 172.33.
In second was Melissa Groher of South Glastonbury, CT, with a combined score of 169.25 followed by Sara Wytrzes of Plymouth, MA, with a 168.58.
The venerable George Morris has said it time and time again: there’s no option for a jump other than going over, under, or through. I have to agree with Sir George on this front (and oh so many others), not only on a riding level, but also a psychological one.
By Bridget Braden
Riders need their core to develop a solid neutral position between the shoulders and the hips. The prayer crunch is a great exercise to teach just that. The same muscle recruitment you use to do this exercise will stabilize you in the saddle.