Individual Medalists Honored at USHJA Zones 9 & 10 Jumper Individual Championship

Thermal, Calif.—November 11, 2019—The USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships for Zones 9 &10 concluded Sunday with a gold-medal finish for six riders in the competition's Individual Finals. The Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California, played host to the four-day Championship, which featured West Coast athletes jumping four rounds over courses in the Grand Prix stadium created by international course designer Alan Wade.

The first to top the podium was the 1.10/1.15m Children's Jumper Individual gold medalist, 12-year-old Emmeline Adamick, who completed all four rounds of competition on a perfect zero-fault score to secure the gold medal. The next three riders, each on four faults, jumped off for silver and bronze. The only clear effort in the jump-off was Lena Van Duzer, who was awarded the silver medal, and the bronze went to Amber Ayyad.

Adamick's horse was imported from Mexico and they've been competing at this level for less than six months. "I was really nervous going into this because I really wanted to do well. But I did not expect to win!"

Children's Jumper individual medalists were crowned Sunday at the Desert International Horse Park. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

Emmeline Adamick finished on a perfect zero-fault score in the Children's Jumpers. Photo by ESI Photography.

The 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateurs were a competitive group, but ultimately it was Leah Lively who cleared all four courses with zero penalties to take the gold medal. Just behind her was Jennifer Elliot, who had no rails, but accrued a single time fault, putting her in silver position. Bronze medalist Riley Thomas picked up four jumping faults with her home-bred gelding Jack Be Nimble in the Individual Qualifier on Friday but jumped clear through the rest of competition.

Gold medalist Lively imported her 7-year-old when he was 4 and the pair started competing in the jumpers this past May in the .85m division, quickly moving up to the 1.10m and ultimately securing a spot in the Championships. She credits her preparation and success in the competition ring to her trainer, Beka Swan, who strongly emphasizes flatwork at home.

"He’s just a giant Labrador Retriever who happens to go over jumps. He’s amazing," she said of Kolibrie V.

The Adult podium was topped by Leah Lively. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

Lively rode to zero faults in the Adult Amateur Jumpers. Photo by ESI Photography.

A thrilling jump-off capped the 1.20/1.25m Juniors as Eliza Broz and Erin Nichols, each on 15.2h mares, raced home on blazing fast double-clear rides for the gold medal. Ultimately, it was Broz and Colorado who were the faster of the two to land in gold medal position. Broz said she was nervous going in for the jump-off, but took advantage of going second, she said, "[Colorado] is good at tight turns and she’s fast in the air, so I just kept galloping. Erin’s time definitely put some pressure on but my horse got it done."

All three individual medalists have goals of success in the 1.30m jumpers and on through Young Rider competitions. Each have had success with their horses in the 1.20m division, but silver medalist Erin Nichols achieved a particularly quick connection with her mare, Fairy Tale.

"This is our fourth show together, so to do this and to do so well is just a dream come true," Nichols says of her 8-year-old mare. "I owe all of it to her. She’s teaching me the ropes of the higher levels and I’m really thankful for her."

Eliza Broz earns the gold medal in the 1.20m Juniors. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

Broz raced to a quick jump-off time to secure the gold. Photo by ESI Photography.

The 1.20/1.25m Amateurs followed suit with the pressure on the top three riders, who all carried fault-free scores going into the Individual Final. Of those three, Marnye Langer was the sole rider to jump completely clear, claiming the gold with Stacy Bacheller one time fault behind her in silver position. Allison Locke jumped to bronze with a four-fault effort in her final round.

Gold medalist Langer commends the program for allowing amateurs the opportunity to compete on a bigger stage: "For us older amateurs, we’re not going to the Olympics or the World Championships. This is our Olympics, and it’s really neat to have it be special, to make additional friends, to get to be in a team environment and to have the added pressure and camaraderie. It’s fulfilling and rewarding."

Marnye Langer jumped clear all week to win the individual gold medal. Photo by ESI Photography.

1.20m Amateur podium was topped by Langer. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

The 1.30/1.35m Juniors featured another exciting jump-off for gold. Rachel Long was the one who crossed the timers fault-free in the short course, capturing the gold medal. Ava Spinale rode a fast round with four faults to finish in the silver-medal position.

Long has high career aspirations as she continues her riding, with her eye set on U25 (Under 25) Grands Prix and attending the North American Youth Championships at the higher levels.

In attendance for competition and the medal ceremony, as well as serving as chef d'equipe for the Zone 9 team in the 1.30m Juniors, was Rachel Long's grandmother Debbie Long. Debbie praised the commitment of DiAnn Langer and the USHJA for putting riders like Rachel on the map, since she hails from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho.

"If it weren’t for this program, my granddaughter would not be where she is today," she explained. "We work hard, but we aren't in California or Wellington. This program has identified Rachel and given her opportunities to learn, and that’s why she’s on the podium. I thank USHJA for that."

Rachel Long puts her hometown on the map by winning gold. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

Long cleared the jump-off to grab gold in the 1.30m Juniors. Photo by ESI Photography.

The exciting week of USHJA Zone Jumper Championships was brought to a close with the 1.30/1.35m Amateur Individual Final, with Courtney Youell earning the gold medal, after a single time fault in her final round to score a total of five faults overall. Behind her in silver position was Alyce Bittar, jumping a clear round in the final, and Lauren Whitlock took home the bronze.

In discussing her experience in the Championships, Youell emphasized the importance of staying consistent over the four difficult rounds of competition that saw many faults. "You learn it counts all the way through. You just have to keep riding and not worry about anything else."

Courtney Youell dominated a difficult course in the 1.30m Amateurs. Photo by ESI Photography.

Youell tops the podium to end the week of Championships. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA.

Individual gold medalists received a variety of awards from Essex Classics and FITS Riding, a pair of Parlanti paddock boots, a medal, a ribbon and a cooler. 

Additionally, individual medalists at the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships will be recognized as 2019 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders by awarding them an exclusive 2019 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider pin that can be worn at future competitions to distinguish them. At the same time, trainers of these riders will be recognized as 2019 Gold Star Jumper Coaches and receive specialized pins that denote their title. Riders and trainers who receive the designation are also invited to attend one of the USHJA Gold Star Clinics.

All Championship competitors will be recognized as 2019 USHJA Emerging Jumper Riders. During a special orientation session during the riders meeting on earlier in the week, riders, trainers and parents received comprehensive information about how riders can advance through the sport to its highest levels. The session specifically discussed the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States.

Also taking place this week at Desert International Horse Park from Zones 9 & 10 were the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships and the USHJA Children’s and Adult Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak.

The USHJA extends a special thanks to the entire Desert International Horse Park team for hosting the Championships. For more information about the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships, click here. For more information about the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, click here.

USHJA extends gratitude to all of our official sponsorsCharles OwenCWDParlanti and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and our award sponsors Essex Classics and FITS Riding, that make these programs possible.

Children's Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Emmeline Adamick / Abracadabra / San Francisco, Calif. / Zone 10

SILVER: Lena Van Duzer / Leyla H / Fairfield, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Amber Ayyad / Beauwaniki / Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Hayley Devlin / Evan de Velroux / Tiburon, Calif. / Zone 10

5: Hannah Cowdrey / Estelle / Camarillo, Calif. / Zone 10

6: Riley Heath / Lothello / Lake Oswego, Ore. / Zone 9

7: Caroline Burke / Centuro / Atherton, Calif. / Zone 10

8: Zacko Hardin / Eminent / New Cuyama, Calif. / Zone 10


Adult Amateur Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Leah Lively / Kolibrie V / Tualatin, Ore. / Zone 9

SILVER: Jennifer Elliott / Caldiano / Oceanside, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Riley Thomas / Jack Be Nimble / Santa Rosa Valley, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Amanda Ambrose / Award Semilly / Saratoga, Calif. / Zone 10

5: Kathleen Butler / Tristan / Westlake Village, Calif. / Zone 10

6: Susan Conoby / Gama Imperator / Pleasanton, Calif. / Zone 10

7: Anneke Power / U Rascal / Woodside, Calif. / Zone 10

8: Lauren McMahon / Galina / Davis, Calif. / Zone 10


1.20m Junior Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Elisa Broz / Colorado / Freedom, Calif. / Zone 10

SILVER: Erin Nichols / Fairy Tale / Yorba Linda, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Hallie Williams / Ebony vd Bisschop / San Francisco, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Lauren Pleasance / Palascho CH / Bend, Ore. / Zone 9

5: Olivia Williams / Airforce II BerkenBroek / San Francisco, Calif. / Zone 10

6: Alison Raich / Sting Van De Withoeve / Pacific Palisades, Calif. / Zone 10

7: Sahana Ganesan / Chachas Fire / Atherton, Calif. / Zone 10

8: Katie Kehring / Mr. Miracle Man / Woodside, Calif. / Zone 10


1.20m Amateur Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Marnye Langer / Legis Air / Burbank, Calif. / Zone 10

SILVER: Stacey Bacheller / Petit Noir / Thousand Oaks, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Alison Locke / Betty Boop de Vidau / Westlake Village, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Lisa Pleasance / Funny Boy / Bend, Ore. / Zone 9

5: Selah Shepherd / Chacco Balou / Eugene, Ore. / Zone 9

6: Annie Bender / Mr. Bigshot / Camano Island, Wash. / Zone 9

7: Jerra Mays / Mr. Z / Hemet, Calif. / Zone 10

8: Susan Azad / Cassino / La Canada, Calif. / Zone 10


1.30m Junior Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Rachel Long / Pampa Helada / Horseshoe Bend, Idaho / Zone 9

SILVER: Ava Spinale / Chesterfield / Kentfield, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Amanda Gomez / Calesco / Norco, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Lisel Anderson / Caramba 70 / Mill Valley, Calif. / Zone 10

5: Trent McGee / Boucherom / Granada Hills, Calif. / Zone 10

6: Zoe Levitan / Juventus de Goedereede / Menlo Park, Calif. / Zone 10

7: Breanna Bunevacz / Calabasas, Calif. / Zone 10

8: Amelie Louise Bittar / Lara Croft B / Los Angeles, Calif. / Zone 10


1.30m Amateur Jumper Individual Final Results

Rider / Horse / Hometown / Zone

GOLD: Courtney Youell / Dexter / Snohomish, Wash. / Zone 9

SILVER: Alyce Bittar / Dublin B / Los Angeles, Calif. / Zone 10

BRONZE: Lauren Whitlock / Djin Djin / San Francisco, Calif. / Zone 10

4: Megan Kerpsack / Challenger Z / San Diego, Calif. / Zone 10