June 2019 - Rachel Long Makes Short Work of a Challenging Course
Written by by Brooke Goddard • photos: Grand Pix
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 03:59
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Up-and-coming junior rider clinches her first Grand Prix win at the Woodside Spring Classic.

by Brooke Goddard • photos: Grand Pix

Most high school seniors are celebrating their graduation with parties, but 17-year-old Rachel Long is reveling in the show ring. On Saturday, May 4, Long edged out two professional riders in a thrilling jump-off to seal the win in the $25,000 LEG Woodside Spring Classic Grand aboard her 9-year-old Chilean-bred mare, Pampa Helada.

Long, who is trained by her grandmother Deborah Long of Long Farms, claimed her first Grand Prix win. At the beginning of the year, Rachel participated in the USHJA Gold Star West Clinic with her eye on progressing up the ranks in the jumper ring.

With two professionals behind her in the Woodside Grand Prix, Long had her work cut out for her. “I knew I needed to be clear and I had to be fast enough to make them chase me,” Rachel said. The Idaho-based junior rider posted a clear round and stopped the clock in 44.330 seconds over the Megan Rawlins designed track.

Jan Humphrey on Completely Nuts (Jens Baackmann, owner) tried to chased down Rachel in the jump-off and a time of 41.887 seconds was faster, but a rail added four faults. Then, Dakoda Mower and Duanda Of The Lowlands Z (Rogue 3, owner) were the only ones between Long and her first Grand Prix win. He took a shot and stopped the clock in 42.651, but a rail put him in third. “When I saw that Dakoda had a rail, I couldn’t believe it,” Rachel said. “This is one of the biggest classes I have ridden in.”

“I love showing at Woodside and it was awesome to win,” Long commented. “It is a different venue from most of the places where we show. The big jumper ring is special with the bank, the grob, the terrain, and the tree. I also love being able to trail ride the horses around the cross-country course.”

Next up for Long is Thunderbird, in Langley, British Columbia, and then hopefully the FEI North American Junior Championships. Rachel is also in contention for a $5,000 LEGIS Jumper Rider Bonus if she wins another Grand Prix during the 2019 Woodside Series with her Pampa Helada.