December 2017 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 30 November 2017 20:22

Onondarka Medal Finals Crown Avery Glenn

On the final two days of competition for the Del Mar International Season Finale, some of the West Coast’s best 12 and under equitation riders took to the indoor arena at the Del Mar Horsepark to compete in the prestigious Onondarka Medal Finals. In order to participate in the finals, riders had to qualify by accumulating at least 12 points in Onondarka medal classes held throughout the year.

Photo: McCool Photography

All 35 finals qualifiers participated in two rounds. From there the top 15 riders returned to compete in a final round followed by a work-off of the top eight. The challenging work-off requested by the judges included a simple change of lead, a trot fence, a halt, and a counter canter to the final oxer.

Avery Glynn earned the champion title with excellent rounds aboard Back In Business, a 14-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding owned by MaryKate Moulton of Mount Pleasant. The pair placed second in round one as well as round two, and then a high final round score put them first heading into the work-off, a ranking they maintained with a beautifully executed work-off course. Glynn trains with her parents, Ned and Hope Glynn, at Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma.

Finishing second was Stella Buckingham, who rode Lindenwood Farms’ 13-year-old chestnut Zangersheide gelding, Nom De Guerre. Buckingham was ranked seventh after round one but put in impressive rounds on Sunday to earn the reserve championship. Buckingham trains with Katie Gardner at Q of E Farm in Camarillo.

Rounding out the podium with consistently great rides was Skylar Wireman aboard Captivated, a 9 year-old bay Westphalian gelding. Captivated is owned by Wireman’s mom and trainer, Shayne Wireman, of Chestnut Hills Equestrian Center in Bonsall.

The Onondarka Medal Finals has a distinguished history, established with the mission of furthering principles of classical horsemanship for equestrians 12 and under.

Reports excerpted from press release by West Palms Event Management.

Lehua Custer. Photo: Susan J. Stickle

Lehua Custer’s Long & Last Minute Trip is Worthwhile

Lehua Custer of North Hollywood, felt like she’s been living in a fairy tale at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®. On Friday, Nov 10, She and her mount F.J. Ramzes traveled more than 2,000 miles to Lexington from the West Coast on a plane filled with Thoroughbreds returning from last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup for just one championship class. And they won it.

Custer and Wendy Sasser’s 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Juventus x J. Rambiance by Rampal, bred in the U.S. by Cornell University) have been on a roll all season, and after earning victory at the Great American/USDF Region 7 Championships in September the pair were ready to relax at home and enjoy their success. But there was more to come.

In a matter of days, a whirlwind fundraising campaign organized at the urging of friends raised the funds needed to fly Ramzes to Kentucky. Before she knew it, Custer found herself a long way from her home in sunny California and shivering on a frigid November morning at the Kentucky Horse Park as she prepared for the ride of her life in the Third Level Open Championship. On Friday, Nov. 10, she and her mount won decisively with a top score of 72.991%.

“We think anything under 65 degrees is cold in Southern California, so the temperature this morning was a bit of a shock,” Custer laughed. “My hands were frozen and I have no idea if I was actually doing my half-halts, but Ramzes came through for me. He loves to show, and once we were in the ring he knew his job and was just amazing. This whole event is bigger than anything I’ve ever seen, and it’s been an incredible and unforgettable experience.”

Excerpted from a USDF press release.

Lyman & Crosbie Are Maclay Top 10-ers

In a field of 177 Maclay Finals contenders, Californians Grady Lyman finished third and Emma Crosbie, ninth, at the pressure-packed competition held during the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky in early November. Grady was coached by Ken Smith and Emma rides with Emily Esau.  (See Parade of Champions, for a short profile on Emma).

Hayes Emerges at EAP Nationals

Cecily Hayes earned a stable manager spot in last year’s United States Hunter Jumper Association’s national Emerging Athlete Program finale. This year, she earned a spot in the national educational and competitive event as a rider.  She made the most of it by earning one of two spots in January’s George Morris Horsemastership Training Session reserved for EAP finalists. The EAP overall winner, Kendra Duggleby of Cleveland, also received a Horsemastership spot.

Cecily rides with her mother’s Reagan Hayes Training in Northern California and is known as a hard working, talented rider.

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