Elli Yeager of Wellington, FL took top honors Tuesday afternoon in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search presented by The Atlantic Southampton.
Elli Yeager took the top spot in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Tuesday at the Hampton Classic. © Shawn McMillen
As with any equitation class, only the performance of the rider was evaluated by the judge, not the performance of the horse. This was a two-part test, comprised of a traditional over-fences portion, after which the top twelve returned to the ring for an under-saddle phase. Following the two tests, Yeager was awarded the blue ribbon. Alexandra Pielet of Highland Park, IL, placed second and Taylor Griffiths, also of Wellington, FL, third.
Originally from California, Yeager recently moved east, dedicated to furthering her education with top trainer Stacia Madden.
“Elli has made a very big commitment to move here to be able to train,” said Madden following the win. “She was able to spend some of the summer at Spruce Meadows training with John and Beezie (Madden) which was great for her. The first big test here at the Hamptons on the field is always a pretty big test for a horse & rider combination – she really showed the good relationship she has with her horse and all the hard work she has been putting in this summer.”
The show jumping course for the over-fences test was designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC, and included the open water and a triple combination to the final line immediately in front of the VIP tent. The judge was Scott Fitton, of Wellington, FL.
Yeager, who has been riding Copperfield 39 for six years, discussed her plan for today’s testing, and her week ahead at the Classic.
Elli Yeager, winner of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at the Hampton Classic © Shawn McMillen
“Today I was going for a good solid round to prepare him for the weekend and Saturday’s equitation championship which is my main goal,” commented Yeager. “I think he thought he was back at Spruce Meadows in this ring! Equitation is all about being smooth and invisible which isn’t always easy for me – but he’s always perfect, he doesn’t have to work on anything!
“My goal for this season is consistency – Stacia is really big on it. Stacia always says ‘Consistency is Key’ and that being consistent is better than being first. And to have fun. It’s always fun with him. I’m really lucky.”