Team Medals Awarded at Inaugural USHJA Zones 3 & 4 Platinum Jumper Championships


Mill Spring, N.C.—July 12, 2019— Today, Team Champions were crowned at the inaugural USHJA Zone 3 & 4 Platinum Jumper Championships at the Tryon International Equestrian Center during Tryon Summer 5. Four teams, two from Zone 3 and two from Zone 4, competed in a Nations Cup format over a 1.40/1.45m track designed by FEI Level 4 Course Designer Bernardo Costa Cabral. 

Stepping it up in Round 2, Zone 4, Team 4 edged out Zone 3, Team 2 with three clean rounds to remain at their Round 1 score of 12 faults. Notably Zone 3, Team 2, who finished as Silver medalists with a total of 16 faults, only had three riders and didn’t have the luxury of a drop score. Also a three-rider team, Zone 4, Team 3 rounded out the podium with a total score of 26 faults to earn the Bronze. 

Leading the teams at the championships were Zone 3 Chefs d'Equipe Sandra Ruiz, Gail Thompson and Brooke Kemper, and Zone 4 Chefs d'Equipe Kim Land, Shawn Russell and Megan Thiel.

Podium Finish

Medals and ribbons were awarded to the top three teams, with the gold medal team receiving embroidered coolers. Medalists pictured above with Chef D'Equipes and Eric Straus, General Manager of Equine Operations for Tryon International Equestrian Center.

BRONZE: Zone 4, Team 3 Final Score: 26
Rider / Horse / Hometown / Status

  • Brittni Raflowitz / Baloumina Du Ry / Wellington, Fla. / Professional
  • Faith Davis / Da Vinci / Gurley, Ala. / Amateur
  • Nicole Loochtan / Caiman Des Sequoias / Riviera Beach, Fla. / Amateur

GOLD: Zone 4, Team 4 Final Score: 12
Rider / Horse / Hometown / Status

  • Marquee Cincotta / Granaat / Odessa, Fla., / Professional
  • Ashley Pace / ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z / Atlanta, Ga. / Amateur
  • Jesse Smith / Charles Pinckney Windsor Z / Wellington, Fla. / Amateur
  • Lauren Balcomb / Verdini D'Houtveld Z / Citra, Fla. / Professional

SILVER: Zone 3, Team 2 Final Score: 16
Rider / Horse / Hometown / Status

  • Shelly Zimmerli / Chardonay Haras Des Barrages / Fairfax Station, Va. / Junior
  • Katelynn Butler / MTM Catoki's Clever / Mechanicsville, Va. / Amateur
  • Sandra Zimmerli / Geronimo 132 / Fairfax Station, Va. / Professional

Gold Medalists talk about their horse and the team experience:

Cincotta: Granaat is a really good guy. He has some quirks in the schooling ring and getting him in the ring but once I’m in he'll do anything for me.

It was a very good experience to ride on a team. And it was a lot of fun. It was nice to get to jump it again, because then if you didn’t do things perfectly you get to do it again over the same track.

Pace: I've had ZZ Top, that's what we call him, for a couple of years now. He’s been a really good horse for me to move up on and get to do some bigger classes.

Riding on a team was a really good opportunity. I knew Marquee going into this but I just met Lauren and Jesse.

Smith: Charles Pinkney is a Zangherziede but he was born in Middleburg (VA). He’s a first homebred actually. He was my trainer’s first Grand Prix horse, but now he’s taking me up the scales.

I didn’t really know anyone on the team, so it’s been a lot of fun. A really great learning experience

Balcomb: I actually bought Verdini as a six-year-old to be a 3-day horse but he started jumping too well so here we are show jumping! 

It’s been a great experience getting to know everyone. Especially for me because I don’t know too many people. 

What's Next

Riders will have a mandatory rest day Saturday before competing in the Individual Championship on Sunday. The Individual Championship will be held as an overlay on Sunday's $25,000 Jumper Classic (American Standard).

Also taking place this week at the Tryon International Equestrian Center are the USHJA Zones 3 & 4 Jumper Team Championships, for 1.10/1.15m Children's and Adult Amateur, 1.20/1.25m Junior and Amateur, and1.30/1.35m Junior and Amateur jumper riders.

USHJA extends special thanks to Eric Straus, JP Godard and the entire Tryon International Equestrian Center team for hosting the USHJA Zones 3 & 4 Platinum Jumper Championships.

New for the 2019 competition year, the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships marks the highest level of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program and is open to qualified juniors, amateurs and professionals competing at 1.40/1.45m fence heights. Platinum Championship competitors will be recognized as 2019 USHJA Platinum Jumper Riders, and received comprehensive information during the riders meeting about 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.

Thank you to USHJA official sponsors, Charles Owen, CWD, Parlanti and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and Platinum Jumper Championship award sponsors Essex Classics and FITS Riding, for their support of these Championships.

For more information about the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships, including qualifying information, deadlines and Championship specifications, visit

Release by EqSol for USHJA

Photo: Sportfot