Twenty-seven combinations headed to the South Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday for the THIS National Children’s Medal 15-17. The medal is one of many top equitation classes offered for junior riders throughout the 12-week circuit at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival. Alannah Argyle of Dover, MA, captured the win aboard the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding, Norway.
Argyle was one of four competitors of the original 24 entries to return to test with the highest round-one scores. She and Lauren Reid’s Norway laid down a trip worthy of 85 points, which rocketed the pair into the early lead. The four returning riders were asked to perform the test in reverse order from the low-point rider to high-point, and when she was finally called up to task, Argyle and Norway perfectly answered each question the test asked.
Alannah Argyle and Norway. Photo © Sportfot
“My plan for the test was really just to listen,” she said. “It wasn’t a complicated set of jumps, so I knew that the small details would be what the results would really rely on. I made sure I listened to them announce the test both times and paid attention for the small details because that was where some of the other riders lost points.”
Norway and Argyle have been paired up since the end of last summer, but according to Argyle the hunt for her dream equitation horse was no easy feat.
“I was looking for an equitation horse for the longest time and having no luck,” she explained, “There was one day I think that we tried 15 horses in a day. I was really on a quest, but I knew when I found out about him that it was meant to be because I love the name Norway so much. I said to my trainer, ‘That’s the one’ before we even tried him!”
Argyle is looking forward to competing Norway in several more weeks of equitation at this level before venturing into some of the ‘big eq’ classes at the 3’6” height for the first time.
In second place was Catherine Kramer with the seven-year-old Warmblood gelding (Quaprice x Subliem Van Sint-Maarten), Odyssey. Jamie Young and Archduke were third, while Isabella Longo and Upton rounded out the top four.