CPHA Junior Medal Final Winner Abby Jorgensen with family, trainers and
CPHA representatives. Photo by Captured Moment Photography
Kicking off the medal finals season, Blenheim EquiSports hosted the California Professional Horsemen's Association Junior and Adult Finals at the Blenheim Summer Classic. An impressive crowd gathered at Blenheim Farms' indoor ring for the final Round on Saturday night, August 16. Three experienced female equestrians made up the judging panel: Stacia Madden, Rita Timpanaro and Debbie Sands.
After two qualifying rounds, the top 10 juniors and top 11 adults came back to contest for the overall top prize in each of their respective final rounds. Abby Jorgensen from Woodside won the Junior section decisively, holding her second round lead. Leina King of Santa Barbara topped the Adult section.
Abby's First Finals
An impressive 55 entries contended for the Junior Medal champion ribbon.
Round 1 kicked off the events on Friday afternoon. After tackling a challenging course, the top five in Round 1 had less than a 10 point gap - Halie Robinson was on top with a 254.5 total, with second awarded to Melanie Selleck scoring 249, third to Savannah Dukes with 248, Abby Jorgensen finished fourth also at 248, and Chandler Hopper was fifth with 246.5.
The next day the leaderboard changed. After earning an 89, 88, and 87 in Round 2 on Saturday afternoon, Jorgenson headed to the Final Round with the highest Round 1 & 2 total of 512. Selleck held second with a two-round score of 509, and Robinson had the third-highest two-round total of 482. Dukes and Hopper were sitting fourth and fifth respectively.
The Final Round contested the top 10 juniors over a course that required a smooth track. The intimate indoor setting demanded accuracy. Despite the pressure of coming back on top, Jorgenson once again earned consistently high scores of 85, 88, and 90, to bring her grand total to 775 and the subsequent top call with a commanding lead. Halie Robinson earned reserve champion with a grand total of 731. Nina Vogel moved up five spots from eighth to round out the top three with a grand total of 713.
Jorgensen, an accomplished equestrian and photographer, is usually competing on a jumper and often seen behind a camera. "This is my first medal final ever," Jorgenson, who trains with John French, explained. "I thought the first course was really difficult, the second I could relax, and the third I had to stay focused, because coming in on top is difficult."
"I was a little worried but I trust my horse a lot," she continued. "I knew he would go as long as I encouraged him."
Jorgenson will attend Baylor University in the fall and will be a member of the Baylor riding team.
CPHA Adult Medal Final Champion Leina King and a calm Santa.
Photo by Captured Moment Photography
King Crowned on Foot
In the first round for the Adults, Mackenzie Drazan took home first place, Leina King was second and Serena Anand awarded third.
Like the Juniors, Round 2 and the Final Top Ten Round were both on Saturday. The adults were on their game in Round 2, scores of 85, 84, and 87, Leina King topped the round, and her total score from Round 1 & 2 of 511 sent her to the Final Round at the top of the leaderboard. Serena Anand held the second-highest Round 1 & 2 total score of 498, while Mackenzie Drazen rounded out the top three with a Round 1 & 2 total score of 497.
The final round for the Adults was similar to the Juniors, including a serpentine bending line to two sharp rollbacks at the end of the arena.
Coming back on top, King maintained her cool and earned consistent scores of 80, 82, and 81 across the board, propelling her grand total to 754 and the overall championship. Serena Anand earned a grand total of 742 and was awarded the reserve championship, while Mackenzie Drazan had a grand total of 723 and rounded out the final placings in third.
King was elated at her top placing; however her horse was even more thrilled. King's mount was so excited in the awards presentation that she led him out of the ring and did her victory gallop on her own two feet to whoops and applause.
Heading into her sophomore year at SMU, King sees riding in a new light. "It's funny now that I'm an amateur, there's so much less stress because I feel like I have so much more time," the Karen Healey student said. "I've done the final quite a few times before so I know what to expect, but I've been away at school and haven't showed much this summer. My horse, Santa, fits really well into Karen's program and is just perfect."
Press release provided by Blenheim Equisports.