LIVE UPDATES: Region 5 ASPCA Maclay Championship at the National Equestrian Center

With the Maclay Finals a little over a month away, young riders all across the nation aspire to qualify for the illustrious championship with the hopes of making their mark on equitation history. Jumper Nation is LIVE from the Region 5 ASPCA Maclay Championship being held in Lake St. Louis, Missouri at the National Equestrian Center. The course is set, the riders have concluded the walk and the ring is being prepped as we type! Refresh your screen for live, play-by-play updates on who is rising to the top.

Photo by Morgan McAllister

9:21PM And your 2018 Region 5 ASPCA Maclay Champion is Alexandra Pielet! I hate to say “I told you so,” but I did predict that it was common sense that this pair would be on top! Way to go Alexandra!

9:15PM Who are your top ten? We are about to find out!

  • 10th- Samantha Meyer
  • 9th- Hannah Dodd
  • 8th- Abbygale Funk
  • 7th- Alexa Aureliano
  • 6th- Emma Crate
  • 5th- Caroline Ellis
  • 4th- Ashley Vogel
  • 3rd- Natalie Jayne
  • 2nd- Hallie Grimes

9:11PM The smiles are real, y’all. These kids are ecstatic to know they are qualified for finals for 2018.

9:09PM The top 20 have been called back and are entering the ring for the line-up! Placings to follow.

9:04PM They just announced that the top 20 will move on to the Finals in Kentucky at the National Horse Show. We are awaiting results!

8:53PM The final group of the night consists of Hallie Grimes, Alexandra Pielet, Ashley Vogel, Abbygale Funk, Alexa Aureliano, Hannah Dodd, Samantha Meyer, Natalie Jayne, Emma Crate, Caroline Ellis and Aubrienne Kysiewicz-Bell

Photo by Morgan McAllister

8:45PM Our second group is now entering the ring. In group two we will see Amanda Traphagan, Bella Kay, Carson Ruff, Tess Lenihan, Sydney Hott, Kierston Antoniadis, Elizabeth Nestor, Emily Bell and Isabella Baxter. NOTE- There was one other rider in this class but we were unable to identify them.

8:36PM They are bringing back the top 32 riders for the flat phases. The first flat group of the night includes Catherine Moorhead, Hannah Hoch, Miranda Seade, Arabel McFarland, Bay Noland-Armstrong, Mackenzie Altheimer, Brooke Brombach, Ella Domenicone, Madeline Hoffman, Madeline Ryan and Stella Swaar.

8:29PM The jump-crew is now rearranging fences for the flat phase. We will resume commentary when the first group enters the ring.

8:26PM Last on the list for round one is Ella Domenicone with Caruso. Very nice horse with a cute jump and lively expression. Very workmanlike duo. They have a slight rub at fence 3 but deliver a nice rollback to 4. Caruso acted as if he may be a bit bold to the in-and-out but Ella kept him packaged up nicely and they made easy work of it. They had a trot step at fence 7, but cleared it and wrapped up their round with a great final fence.

8:23PM Mary Roskens is our second-to-last rider of the first phase with Far Hills Farm’s Figaro. They hung out a bit and had a different angle to fence 2, but made their way over it. The horse jumped the Queenie rolltop beautifully and gave a big effort over the last fence to finish out their round.

8:21PM Up next are Cassidy Spencer and Chief, who take the first fence a bit deep but come back to the second with ease. They are making quick work of the course, but Chief has a look and a stop at the Queenie rolltop. They circle back around to it and have the top rail down. Cassidy ends the course on a postive note with a great jump the final three fences.

8:18PM Mackenzie Altheimer enters the ring aboard Stallone for one of our last trips of the first round. This horse has a really cute jump on him, but they take a sideways step before the final fence (another victem of the ASPCA wall) before jumping it a hair tight. Overall, a smooth round that Mackenzie may be able to recover from in the work-off.

8:16PM Thunderstruck is our next entry and he is ridden by Mia Gradick. This flashy bay is easy on the eyes. They come in tight to fence 2 but came back nicely to jump fence 3 with style. A bit bold, but effective, to the in-and-out. Unfortunately, this pair has a rail at 8 but finished with a beautiful jump to fence 9.

8:13PM Our next horse gets the award for the cutest name of the night: Howie Doin’, ridden by Savannah Hemby. Not only is his name cute, but he jumps just as well. Savannah rides in a very workmanlike manner with several exceptional turns throughout her course. Sadly, the horse hangs a leg at the final fence and has it down.

8:11PM Sydney Hott and Aparola are next up and the pair opts for the long approach to fence 1, which played in their favor. They come in a bit slow to the barn fence but executed the in-and-out without hesitation. Random thought: this horse has some killer dapples! They finish out their trip with a great last fence followed by cheers from the audience.

8:08PM Now we will see Madeline Ryan who is riding Tracey Ryan’s horse, Delano. This horse has a great presence as he enters the ring. They have a great ride through the first five fences with a little hiccup at the Queenie rolltop. Madeline doesn’t let that get in her way, however, and has a nice ride to the bending line to wrap up the course.

8:06PM Rider number 235 is Abbygale Funk with Santa Rosa Camelot. They slice fence 2 in an effective manner which puts them in a great spot for fence 3. The crowd let out a disappointed gasp as they have a rail down at fence 5b.

8:03PM Caroline Ellis is up next aboard Victorino Z. They have a forward ride through the in-and-out which rode nicely. This horse appears very gamey and ready to jump anything you put in front of him. They have a consistent ride through their first course of the night.

8:01PM The next pair is Brooke Brombach and Cresus du Val du Geer. They have a bit of a jig as they trot around the ring but enter their canter nicely. A hair deep to fence 1. The horse has a light tap on fence 5b of the in-and-out, but they maintain their steady, yet forward pace and have a beautiful ride to the final bending line of the night.

7:59PM Hannah Hoch enters the ring riding E.V. Comander. We saw this horse earlier in the Dover Saddlery Medal and he was fun to watch. He is a soft, forward ride but grows a bit bold to the in-and-out. Sadly the pair has the back rail down at fence 7.

7:57PM Up next is Kara Raposa with C’est Blue and it is becoming apparent that I have a thing for grays. This horse is so handsome and has a jump to match his good looks. They rode stylishly throughout the course with only a small tap on fence 8 to mention. Overall a great ride!

7:55PM SWS Questionnaire is a stunning bay ridden and owned by Bella Kay. They jumped the Queenie rolltop really cute and had a balanced rollback to fence 8. They wrapped up their round with a smooth jump over the last.

7:53PM Giselle Grinch is our next rider with Casino who plays a bit after landing from fence 4. The pair came into the in-and-out a little rough, but made it through and recovered well to the next fence. Giselle is a crowd favorite as apparent by the cheers as she made her courtesy circle wrapping up her round.

7:50PM Another JN favorite of the night, Isabella Bleu Baxter, is next up aboard Cousteaux. They have a very even pace throughout the first 3 fences and rollback to the barn jump nicely. This horse is cute and seems eager to jump around. Isabella executes each fence with ease and puts in a phenomenal trip. They do have a slight hop off of the lead coming to the last fence but corrected it nicely.

7:48PM Now we see Tess Lenihan riding Cool De Reve. Small rub to the barn fence and has a GORGEOUS change following the in-and-out. This horse has a lovely expression with forward ears throughout the course. They finish well and should be happy with their trip.

7:46PM Emily Bell is riding a super cute grey named Oti who jumps super at fences 1 and 2. They were stunning in the in-and-out. Very nice round! The horse was light on his feet and the rider looked poised. Very interested to watch their work-off later tonight!

7:44PM Next up is Emma Crate riding A Picobello Star Z, who has what might have the cutest face of the night. They demonstrated an impeccable amount of scope over fence 1 and make their way around nicely. Emma rides very straight throughout her lines and makes good decisions throughout her round. One to watch for sure!

7:41PM Madeline Hoffman is the owner and rider of the next entry, Castiel (Side-note: I love this horse’s Supernatural-themed name). They have a bold approach to fence 1 but recovered to the second. They jumped the barn jump gorgeously. This horse has spectacular knees! They have a small rub to fence 8 but move out nicely to 9 and finish strong. Could be one we see return depending on how the rest of the night plays out.

7:38PM And we are back with Hallie Grimes and Thrift Shop resuming the action here in St. Louis. Hallie takes Thrift Shop around for a chance to see the ring before picking up her canter and heading to fence 1. They had a nice rollback to fence 2 and jumped fence 3 effortlessly. The trip continues on with a sense of ease and simplicity. This duo is very well-balanced. They do have a rub on the second-to-last fence of the night but rounded out their trip with style. Andre Dignelli’s signature “whoops” could be heard in the background.

7:26PM We are taking a short break for a ring drag and will be back to you once the competition resumes.

Photo by Morgan McAllister

7:24PM The 22nd rider of the night is Alexa Aureliano with Showcase, a mount we drooled over earlier in the day. They come into the first few fences very well. This horse makes easy work of these jumps. They have a beautiful ride back to the barn, but a deep distance to 5b in the in-and-out. Alexa and Showcase finished strong and are another we are putting a star by on our list.

7:22PM Elizabeth Nestor makes her way into the ring aboard Fresco Darc Gold. They had a bold entrance to the barn jump, but the following in-and-out was smooth. Nice path to the final fence resulting in a massive amount of cheers from one section of the stands. Great round!

7:20PM We will see our second Natalie of the night as one of our Jumper Nation top picks, Natalie Jayne, enters the ring on Cinzano. This duo came in second earlier today in the Dover Saddlery Medal and still appear to have juice left for the Maclay. Great ride through the in-and-out. They appear super light throughout the entire course and deliver a jaw-dropping course. We imagine we will see her back again later tonight.

7:17PM There is a small pause before Natalie Stoyko enters the ring on Natalie Jayne’s Lausbub. First impressions upon entering the ring: this is a very nice horse with a beautiful trot. He has a strong first fence but a heartbreaking stop to fence 2. They circle back and make their way over it, however. But unfortunately, suffer another stop at the barn fence ending their round for the evening. We think you are a beautiful rider, Natalie!

7:15PM Next in the ring is Alexandra Pielet riding Common Sense. They had a small rub on the barn jump, but nothing that shook them off their game. Gorgeous trip. Not to be “punny” but it was “common sense” for Alexandra to pick this horse for her Maclay round. Okay… I’ll stop now.

7:13PM This is horse number 17 of the night, Re Chiste, with rider Carson Ruff. The duo rode the in-and-out beautifully. Disappointing rail at the last fence of the course. Otherwise, this round was going so nicely.

7:10PM Dravin Kennedy is entry number 16 riding her own Divine Comedy. Nice forward approach to the first fence with a small hiccup in the approach to fence two, but they overcame it and jumped it nicely. Good effort through the in-and-out with a tight rollback to fence six. The last three fences where exceptional and the crowd seemed to agree. Dravin’s name is on our list of favorite rides tonight.

7:08PM St. Louis native Ella Reinauer is up next on Chaciara. The duo had a slight communication error on fence 2, which was a bit iffy, but they recovered well on the approach to fence 3. Their final bending line was executed really nicely and they exited the ring in great form.

7:06PM This is Hanna Dodd aboard Clearview, who has a big lofty canter. Sucked back a bit to fence 2 and had to have a big effort over 3 as a result. Took the longer track to fence 6, the Queenie roll top. Great last fence to wrap up the round which resulted in cheers from the crowd.

7:04 Another gray enters the ring for trip number 13. This is Miranda Seade riding Canago. The pair went all the way to the opposite end of the ring to get their start and have a nice first fence as a result. The horse looks strong going around the ring but Miranda packages him up nicely. Slight rub to fence 7, but overall they had a nice even, forward pace throughout the course. One we are marking on our list to watch.

7:01PM Riding First VDL is Arabel McFarland and let me just say, I love this horse. Such a pretty grey with a lovely canter. Sadly, missed the hind change after fence one. Lovely approach to the final few fences.

6:59PM Amanda Traphagan will be next with Cornelius. They immediately spooked upon walking past the ASPCA fence at the end of the ring. They had a nice rollback to the barn fence with an unfortunate rub where the horse just hung his front legs a bit. The pair chose the inside track to the final fence and finished nicely over the oxer.

6:57PM Now we will see rider number 345 Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell and Early Winter. The pair came in a bit tight to fence 1 and long to fence 2. They are going around with a bit more pace than the first few competitors and had a hard rub on fence 5, the barn fence.

6:55PM Erin Floyd’s mount Bazzi was a hair spooky entering the ring, but she got him going forward. Slight rub at fence 7, but came back to 8 quite nicely. Finished well, its a shame that he had the spook at the start of the round.

6:53PM Now entering the ring is Jaden Porter and Dragonfly’s Corleone B. They took fence 3 fairly deep which resulted in a decent rub. They had to jump pretty hard out of the in-and-out and had a bit of a spook after fence 7. All that being said, it was a confident round with a few minor blips.

6:50PM Next on the docket is Samantha Meyer riding Mary Jane King’s, Heartbeat Z. The second fence on the course, the birch, was picture-perfect. Samantha had a beautiful round with no hiccups. She is on our radar for the top riders depending on what is to come as the night goes on.

6:48PM Bay Noland-Armstrong is up next on Quantico. She opted for a larger circle to get her pace to fence 1, which came up a bit short. The pair had a heartbreaking rail at fence 5b, but came back with an impressive effort the next fence.

6:46PM Catherine Moorhead enters the ring riding Casino Royal owned by Catrine Golia. She had a great ride to the first fence, staying out along the rail for a hair longer to get a good approach. Rode a really nice line to the Queenie fence but unfortunately incurred the first rail of the night at fence 8.

6:44PM Now we have number 408, Ashley Vogel aboard Baldeur. The pair had a slight rub on 5A, but handled the B element very well. Rolled back from fence 7 to 8 nicely and also chose the inside path to the final fence.

6:43PM Next up is Stella Swarr riding Anos Veros who delivered an over-exuberant effort to fence number one. Stella was the first rider to go inside the tree cluster heading towards the final fence and it was executed nicely.

6:40PM Kierstin Antoniadis is second in the ring aboard Vagrant Z, a beautiful bay we are drooling over in the stands. She had a pretty hard rub out of 5B, but otherwise delivered a very nice trip.

6:37PM Rider number one is Anna Robson of Dallas, Texas riding her own Viceroy. Anna was delivering an EXCEPTIONAL first round until she had an unfortunate drive-by to the final fence which, no surprise, faces the ASPCA wall we predicted might cause some issues.

6:30PM Course designer Scott Starnes has opted NOT to include the notorious ASPCA wall in this year’s design. Instead, the element has been used as decoration at the end of the ring which we predict will result in a few unsteady looks from the horses in today’s showdown.

Photo by Morgan McAllister


6:22PM The ring crew is dragging the new footing here at the NEC in preparation for the first rider. Photo of the course attached below.

Photo by Meagan DeLisle

6:02PM The course walk has begun! There is a huge crew of riders, 44 to be exact, here aiming to qualify for the Finals at the National Horse Show in October. Riders on JN’s radar include Natalie Jayne of the Chicago area, St. Louis Native Isabella Baxter, and Kierstin Antoniadis who trains with the legendary Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm.

Photo by Morgan McAllister