January 2021 - IEHJA Honors 2020 Medal Winners

by Patti Schooley

The Challenges of showing and competing in 2020 are now behind us. Yeah! New health and safety measures that were incorporated into our show venues now seem normal. Of course, riders wear a mask except in the show ring. Of course, you hang out with barn mates by maintaining a six-foot distance and wash your hands frequently. Who said you cannot have clean hands at the barn? Of course, you groom and saddle up in your stall and avoid those group cross ties. Of course, lessons are now individual or in much smaller group settings, allowing your trainer to focus more on you. Oh no! I bet you are riding better than ever. Challenge, change, and adaptation are the new normal.


IEHJA, like other associations, made the painful decision to cancel its 2020 Year End Championship Show. However, the board of directors were determined to recognize those competitors that accumulated enough points to win division championships and reserve championships. Awards will be presented, just in a new format. Stay tuned for more information. The board next asked itself “what to do about the IEHJA Medal Awards”? Medal Finals were always a big part of the Year End Show and riders had competed all year to qualify. Adapt, Adapt, Adapt!

Fortunately, the North Inland County Horse Show was scheduled for October at Galway Downs. As an IEHJA sanctioned show many of our medal riders were already planning to go. Could the board “adapt” its medal finals into an existing horse show? Of course, it could! With the help of the North Inland County show management the IEHJA 2020 Medal Finals were added to the show premium. Great prizes were acquired along with medals and ribbons. Ready to go!


Lauren Cordova receives Reserve Champion Award.

Shannon Archer 2020 Flat Medal Finals winner.

The rider response was great, with larger than normal class sizes. The IEHJA medal classes were up first in the show schedule to qualify more riders for the finals. Jasmine Baez riding Zymon beat out a field of 5 riders to win the Flat Medal class. Other place winners included Jackie Mark on Winchester, Ruby Darnell and My Cousin Vinny, Haley Peterson on Qualypso and Samantha Gossby riding Around the World. The 2’3” medal class saw Shaunessy ridden by Eden Choi win the blue with Lauren Cordova on Beckett, Amelia Kent on Everything’s Coming Up Daisies and Samantha  Gossby and Around the World completing the placements. Jasmine Baez and Sydney topped the 2’6” medal class with Pearl Baldi on Attakiss, Katie Emery and Majestic Achievement and Emma Bryson a top Biscotti completing the order.

Competition heated up for the Medal Finals. The Flat Medal Final Class fielded 11 riders with Shannon Archer and Twice the Charm winning the top spot. Close behind came My Cousin Vinny ridden by Ruby Darnell, Jackie Mark on Winchester, Aria’s Destiney ridden by Campbell Lear, Jasmine Baez on Zymon and Makenna Hull on Huey Lewis. The winning combo of Shannon Archer and Twice the Charm picked up the blue in the 2’3” Medal Final with Beckett and Lauren Cordova in reserve. Amelia Kent riding Everything’s Coming Up Daisies, Juliet L’Ansin on To the Max, Samantha Gossby and Around the World, Jocelyn Reiche riding Constant Luck and Eden Choi and Shaunessy in winning order. Fierce competition in the 2’6” Medal Finals saw Sydney and Jasmine Baez taking the blue. Majestic Achievement ridden by Katie Emery came next followed by Biscotti and Emma Bryson, Diarados Boy and Brinley Werhli and Forrest Franklin riding his own Axl Rose.

Ruby Darnell on My Cousin Vinny.

Shannon Archer and Twice The Charm wins 2’3 medal.

Congratulations to all our IEHJA Medal Classes and Medal Finals winners. Your determination and hard work paid off! Hope to see all of you and the rest of the IEHJA competitors at our 2021 shows. Check out the show calendar posted on our website, www.iehja.com. See you at the barn or in the show ring!