Madeline Wonsick, Lauren Plante and Danielle Harris Triumph to Win 2020 Southeast Medal Finals Equitation Team Challenge

The 2020 Southeast Medal Finals continued Saturday, August 29 for the penultimate day of hunter, jumper and equitation competition at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida. While the day featured the inaugural rounds of the highly anticipated finals, the sold-out show also showcased a variety of exciting classes outside of the finals, including the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by Josh Hanoud Team – Tropic Shores Realty, and the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic, presented by Equine Healthcare International.

Team 5, left to right: Danielle Harris, Madeline Wonsick and Lauren Plante. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.

Five teams of junior and amateur riders took to the Stampede Covered Ring for the highlight event of the evening, the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by the Josh Hanoud Team – Tropic Shores Realty. Tasked with forming and executing a plan around an equitation course without any help from a trainer, individual entries could choose to jump at either the 2’6″ or 3′ height in hopes of garnering top scores and helping their team take home the win. The composite score from each of the team’s three or four members would total a final score, dropping the lowest score for teams with four riders.

Danielle Harris on New Look. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.

As members of Team 5, Madeline Wonsick and Anabella produced the highest score for their team with an 82 for their picture-perfect trip. Teammates Lauren Plante and Lancelot rode to a score of 79, while Danielle Harris and New Look received a score of 76. As the only team with three members and no drop score, Team 5 would ultimately claim the top prize with a composite score of 237, giving them a 2 point lead.

Madeline Wonsick on Anabella. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.

Team 3 would finish in second place for their total score of 235, with efforts from Chelsea Blackie, Isabella Powell, Macie Sousa and Schuyler Dayner. Third place was awarded to Team 4, which included Mandy Desante, Emerson Myer, Madison Ramsey and Rylee Tessmer for their total score of 229.

Lauren Plante on Lancealot. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.

Of Team 5’s strategy, Madeline Wonsick stated: “My plan was really to land my leads so that we could take the inside turns and have fun! We tried to be tidy throughout the course and just keep an even pace to every jump.” 

Lauren Plate added: “My plan was to go straight to the first jump and not chip anything! Lance has been great so far this weekend, so our goal was to just have fun and ride a direct track.”

Danielle Harris said: “We kind of just went with the flow! This class was just for fun, and I really wanted to fix a few mistakes from earlier where I was getting a little close to some of the jumps. I really just wanted to get around the course and have fun, so that’s what we did!”

Earlier in the day, the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic, presented by Equine Healthcare International, took place in the Stampede Covered Ring. With riders and their ponies competing over either 2′ of 2’6″ courses, each made a valiant effort towards a consistent track that exemplified handiness and correct form over fences. Susannah Morrell and Lumiere were the ultimate winners of the class, finishing on a score of 84 from the judge. Taking second place was Lilyana Sprafford and Clovermeade Windsurfer, who scored a 78 at the completion of their round. Sophia Sisco and Good Boy rounded out the top three for their score of 76.

Susannah Morrell on Lumiere. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.

Competition at the 2020 Southeast Medal Finals will resume Sunday, August 30 with the highlight class of the day, the $15,000 Dr. Eli Farri Memorial Grand Prix, taking place at 8:00am in the Grand Prix Ring. Sunday will also feature the culmination of the Southeast Medal Finals as the second and final rounds take place for a variety of championship classes.  For more information about the 2020 Southeast Medal Finals, click here.