Halifax, Mass.—Sept. 21, 2020—Over 150 competitors took to the ring at the New England Equitation Championships to vie for the inaugural USHJA 3'3" Hunter Seat Medal Final - East title on Saturday, September 19. Following three rounds of competition at Fieldstone Show Park in Halifax, Massachusetts, Isabella David found herself on top and collecting the tricolor aboard her own Contelido.
A technical first course designed by Tom Hern, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, sorted the Medal riders, leaving the top 25 to be called back for a second round that would shake up the leaderboard. Heading into the second round, David sat in fifth with a score of 82.75, but added an 85 to move up to the second place slot on a total of 167.75. Madison Frankel and Kingston's impressive second course moved them from sixth to first with a combined score of 168.5, less than a point ahead of the eventual winner. Jordan Gibbs and Limitless finished the second round in third on a 167.5, and Sadie Rutkowski and Berlini Z sat in fourth with 164.3.
The top four were then called back to test, which included trotting and hand galloping fences, to decide the final placings. In the end, David wowed judges Tammi Provost of Westfield, Indiana, and David Wilber of Ocala, Florida, to move into first. Frankel took the reserve title while Rutkowski and Gibbs shuffled, earning third and fourth, respectively.
"Contelido is new to me—I got him in June—and he's just the best. He's so good," David said of her mount. "I was really happy with all of my rounds. It feels really good [to win.] I am really happy."
David, of Holmdel, New Jersey, rides under the tutelage of Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables, Inc. A veteran competitor in USHJA events at only 16, David contested multiple EMO Insurance/USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal classes earlier this year with great results aboard Contelido and took third in the 2019 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championship - East with Wellspring's Roxstar.
As champion, David received a ribbon, sash, cooler, keeper trophy, a gift from Straight Arrow, an Essex Classics Show Shirt, a certificate for FITS Breeches and a Charles Owen Helmet. Frankel also received a certificate for FITS Breeches as reserve.
The USHJA 3’3” Hunter Seat Medal serves as a stepping stone for equitation riders, providing an opportunity to qualify and compete in a national equitation final at fence heights of 3’3”. The Medal is open to Junior Active Members of the USEF and USHJA, who have not competed in any of the following National Equitation Finals with fences at 3’6” within the same competition year, including: ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals (East or West), WIHS Equitation Classic Finals, Jump Canada Medal Finals or the North American Equitation Championship.
The USHJA extends special thanks to the entire New England Equitation Championships team for hosting the USHJA 3'3" Hunter Seat Medal Finals - East. USHJA also thanks Official Sponsors CWD, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; Championship Sponsors Straight Arrow and Charles Owen; and Awards Sponsors Essex Classics and FITS Breeches. To learn more about the USHJA 3'3" Hunter Seat Medal, visit ushja.org/HunterSeatMedal.
Photos by Anne Gittins Photography (top) and Terisé Cole/USHJA (bottom).
Placing - Name - Horse - Trainer
1 - Isabella David - Contelido - Stacia Madden
2 - Madison Frankel - Kingston - Andre Dignelli
3 - Sadie Rutkowski - Berlini Z - Sarah Barge
4 - Jordan Gibbs - Limitless - Stacia Madden
5 - Cara McFadden - Contigo 37 - Stacia Madden
6 - Haley Edwardson - East - Keirstin Johnsen
7 - Sofia Moskowitz - Royal Dashmir - Laura Bowery
8 - Mark Leone - Heer Aldus - Mark Leone
9 - Lauren McCaulley - Reign - Stacia Madden
10 - Blake Rowan - Vidarco - Patricia Harnois
11 - Isabel Charlson - Cento Forever - Kenneth Langmeier
12 - Chloe Fares - Blue Monday - Kenneth Langmeier