The Capital Challenge Horse Show named two new equitation championship winners on Sunday, September 30, to conclude the show’s Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The 25th anniversary edition of the horse show continues with hunter, jumper, and equitation competition through Sunday, October 7.
Sunday’s victors were Grady Lyman of San Diego, CA, who won the Palm Beach International Academy (PBIA) North American Junior Equitation Championships, and Avery Glynn of Petaluma, CA, who topped the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals.
From a field of 138 entries, Lyman was one of the top 20 to return to the ring for a second jumping round in the North American Junior Equitation Championships. When she returned, she executed the highest scoring round of the weekend – earning a 96 from one of the three panels of judges and an average score for the round of 94.66.
“I’ve only scored about a 93 before, so to get a little bit higher than that was really, really nice,” said Lyman, who trains with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms. “It was really good for my confidence too.”
That score shot her from second place to well into the lead with an overall score of 184.99. With more than two points separating her and eventual second place finisher, Madison Goetzmann of Skaneatles, NY, who earned an overall score of 182.25, no additional testing was deemed necessary, and the win was presented to Lyman. Third place went to Kaitlyn Lovingfoss of Santa Clarita, CA, who finished in third with a score of 179.41.
“The top 20 were all within about eight points; the top four – they just had to keep laying it down,” said course designer Ken Krome. “The girl who won was just flawless. To me that put a gap on the field, and that was decisive. It’s nice to have a decisive winner.”
“It was amazing,” said Lyman of her win. “I was going to be happy either way, with whatever result I was going to end up with. We’re just gearing up for USEF Finals next week, and I wanted to have a good solid round to learn some more lessons before I go into the rest of the Indoors season.
“I did this class last year; it was my first year doing it, and it did not go as planned, so it felt good to come back here and get some redemption!” continued Lyman, who recently started her freshman year at the University of South Carolina where she competes on the school’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) team.
Lyman’s winning mount for the class was Efendi, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Don Stewart.
“I showed him a couple times this summer,” said Lyman of the gelding also shown by fellow junior competitor Brian Moggre. “Don let me use him for the week so that we could save my other horse, Cohiba VDL, for the USEF Finals next week, and then Brian’s going to gear back up and do him at Harrisburg.
“He’s a really special horse,” continued Lyman. “He’s so graceful across the ground. He has such a big stride that you get to go so slow, and he doesn’t move you that much at all in the air, so you really get to hold your position. He makes me look good; he did all the hard work.”
For the victory, Lyman was presented with the George H. Morris Equitation Championship Trophy, donated by Frank Madden and Stacia Madden. Lyman also received the Best Equitation Rider Award, sponsored by Karen Healey, and Ken and Emily Smith were given the Leading Equitation Trainer Award, sponsored by Leslie Steele & Acres West.
The EMO Equitation Trip of the Show, sponsored by EMO Insurance Services and presented to the rider with the highest scoring equitation round also went to Lyman.