LEXINGTON, Ky. — The 2017 $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Nov. 5 at the National Horse Show.
The championship began on Nov. 2 with 17-year-old Madison Goetzmann, of Skaneateles, N.Y. and Prestigious, her 10-year-old Westphalian gelding, winning the $15,000 faults-converted competition.
The Championship then continued on Nov. 3 with a $20,000 jump-off competition.
Eight out of the 20 combinations in the class went clear in the first round. Jennifer Gates, 21, of Medina, Wash. and Alex could not be beat with a clean, fast round in a time of 36.885 seconds.
Mattias Tromp, 22, of North Salem, N.Y. and Avon, Swede Ventures LLC’s 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, finished second with a clean round in a time of 37.336 seconds.
Goetzmann and Prestigious incurred four penalties due to an unlucky rail, and their time of 37.424 seconds was only good enough for seventh place that day, but the pair was still in the reserve spot in the overall standings behind Gates.
The $30,000 two-round competition on Nov. 5 served as the final leg of the championship and determined the overall standings. Eighteen combinations entered the Alltech Arena for round one.
A new course was set for round two and 11 combinations returned in hopes of a one last shot at a top placing. The new track proved difficult with no combinations going clear. Goetzmann and Prestigious, had a rail down at fence six to finish in the overall standings on six faults.
Gates and Alex stayed cool and had a clear round to finish the championship on four faults.
Goetzmann and Prestigious earned the reserve champion title for their determined effort with a final score of six faults.
U.S. Show Jumping Youth Chef d’Equipe DiAnn Langer summed up the weekend nicely, saying, “I have three incredible athletes [sitting next to me]. I met all three of them four years ago as young girls, and now you see them as young women who are so fantastic, talented at what they do, courageous, committed, and it has just been an incredible journey to watch their careers. They have all been on a team or in educational programs that we have given to help enhance their experience and I could not be more proud of what they showed us today. A big congratulations to the trainers who have done a fantastic job developing these talented athletes."
U.S. Show Jumping Assistant Chef d’Equipe Anne Kursinski added, “I think the U25 [national championship] is a marvelous invention … it is great to have that level of pressure over the four days. It is the management of the horses, the management of your nerves, and these girls, to see that under pressure is what we look for and what you have to develop. It is great doing it now, then they are going to be ready by the time they are going to the World Cup Finals or the World Equestrian Games.”
Learn more about the U25 Championships at usef.org/compete/disciplines/jumping/usef-u25-show-jumping-national-championship
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