Jessie Stone, who rides with Sarah Watson, had quite a weekend during the recent CHJA Medal Finals at the National Western Events Center in Denver. Not only was she the champion in the Dorothy Roberts Medal Final and reserve champion in the Ruth Ayres Medal but she earned the highest single round score by an adult during the event. All on a horse borrowed from Emily and Kristian Eichler.
The Boston native has been riding since she was five. She moved to Denver when she was 18 to attend the University of Denver where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees. She's been here ever since.
Jessie's High Point round came during the Dorothy Roberts Medal. She recalled that she knew she had to get Fence 1 in the second round of the Final perfectly and if she did that, she had a good chance to nail the entire trip.
"I went in for my second round in the Dorothy, got a good gallop, jumped the first fence exactly right and then everything else just came up so nicely," Jessie said. "I was rewarded with a great score but I think where I won the Final was in the test."
According to Jessie, who was called back in first place, almost everyone else in the work-off did the test the same. That meant she needed to stand out so instead of closing the test with a simple trot circle as asked by the judge, she trotted earlier than the others and made a "super handy trot circle."
"I think that's what won me the class," she added. "I always make a point of listening carefully to the test instructions and then thinking about what I can do to make my test stand out from the others."
It's been a while since amateur rider Kat Fentiman was in the show ring but you wouldn't know from her performance in the Columbine Adult Medal Final. Kat, who rides with Tess Harris and Dorothy Rorhbach, had over fences scores in the low to mid-80s throughout the competition on her way to the championship.
"I'm 68," Kat began. "After a nasty accident a couple of years ago, I said I would never jump again. I have such wonderful trainers who believed in me and the amateur horse of a lifetime who understands every signal I give him. This was a year of preparation and hard work (so that I could) be a contender against these great young ladies. Don't let anyone tell you that you are too old to achieve your dreams and goals."
Earning the High Point Junior Score was Sophie Mankus. Wesley Fox recieved the High Score in the Stirrup Final. The Equitation Horse of the show was Cincinnati, owned by Kelly Clevenger.
In the Horsemanship Challenge, Ali Pelzel was the winner followed by Kristin Spaulding, Kaitlyn Dwyer, Jessie Stone, Gianna Lanteri, Sydney Hoff, Jillian Jensen and Stacie Lynch. Complete results are at chja.org.