The 2018 Southeast Medal Finals concluded Sunday, September 2, with horses and riders returning to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center to vie for championship titles. Coming off of a win in the Equitation Team Challenge, Camryn Halley and I’ll Say JSF, owned by Laura Barrett-Gurtis, brought home another blue as they claimed first place in the Junior Medal Finals sponsored by One K.
The first class of the morning, the Junior Medal Finals, drew a competitive field of young riders to the Lykes Indoor Arena. The technical course offered riders the chance to showcase their handiness and adjustability through bending lines and opportunities to take an inside track.
After the first round, Halley and I’ll Say JSF led the class with a score of 83. Madison Ryan and Caprio, owned by Jai Smith Rezac, followed close behind with their score of 81. Also in contention for the top spot was third place rider Makaylah Jones riding Zeeland, owned by Alexandra Daley, with their score of 80.
“He is so honest, kind and sweet, so whatever I ask of him he’s so willing to do it,” Halley said of her mount. “He is very forgiving if I make a mistake and is all around a really great horse. He always wants to please and loves his job! He really helps me in the equitation and it’s awesome to have a horse like him that I can have these experiences on and learn from.”
For the work-off round, the judges elected to challenge riders to compete over fences. The course remained the same as round one, however, the work-off asked riders to trot the second fence, halt after the end jump, and counter-canter to the final fence.
Halley shared her thoughts on her plan for the work-off: “I wanted to do something to stand out and set me apart from the group. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch everyone else because I was walking in the warm-up area, but I went straight to the first jump and took the inside turn to the second jump. To the fourth fence my strategy was to stay out so that I gave myself more room to approach the two-stride after the halt. After the second-to-last fence we landed the counter canter. There, I was going to do a flying change and go inside, but since he landed the counter lead I just held it and went right inside because he’s so great and balanced.”
The second round could earn any of the top three riders the leading title, but it was Halley’s impressive skill in the ring that put her on top. Halley executed a flawless round and caught the attention of the judges as she was the only rider to land in a counter-canter prior to heading to the final fence. She received the top second round score of 90 to secure the first place finish with a total score of 173.
Ryan and Caprio would hold their second place position after earning a score of 81 for a total score of 162. Rounding out the top three would be Jones and Zeeland after receiving their work-off score of 80 and a final total of 160.
Junior Medal Finals
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score
1. Camryn Halley / I’ll Say JSF / Laura Barrett-Gurtis / 83 / 90
2. Madison Ryan / Caprio / Jai Smith Rezac / 81 / 81
3. Makaylah Jones / Zeeland / Alexandra Daley / 80 / 80
4. Texie Loyd / MTM Chaperone / MTM Farm / 79 / 84
5. Caitlin Hooper / Winninton / Caitlin Hooper / 74 / 70
6. Reagan Landrum / Watch Me / Two Point Equestrian, LLC. / 38 / 80
7. Sydney Bounds / Charleston / Carter Anderson / 40 / 35