Lexington, KY – May 17, 2013 – From May 15-19, 16-year-old Vivian Yowan enjoys the best of the best in junior equitation competition right in her own backyard. The Kentucky Spring Classic attracts junior riders from across the country to the Kentucky Horse Park, just miles away from Boggs Hill Farm, where Yowan trains with Tim and Kelly Goguen. Today on her home turf, Yowan topped the field in both the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, sponsored by Randolph College, and the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase.
The ten obstacle course for the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, designed by Bobby Murphy, opened over a straightforward line heading away from the in-gate, and it went on to test riders back and forth through tight turns and rollbacks.
“It was a good course. It was very twisty and turny,” Yowan commented following the class. “You really had to focus on all of those turns.”
Yowan demonstrated her exceptional equitation over the course aboard Sanderson, to earn her a spot as one of four riders called back to test. Along with Yowan, Addison Piper, Spencer Smith and Lizzie Vanderwalde all returned to the ring to line-up as the top four finishers following the first course.
Judges asked that each rider go directly from their place in line to jump what was formerly fence three, a vertical off of the left lead. From there, riders were instructed to ride a bending line to another vertical across the diagonal and then maintain a counter-canter around the end of the ring leading toward another vertical away from the in-gate. Riders then executed a rollback to the left to one final fence toward the gate before coming to a halt in front of the fence lining the Stonelea Ring. Adding to the difficulty of the test, all riders were asked to drop their stirrup irons.
“I’ve never had a test without my stirrups,” Yowan shared. “I really just wanted to stay on. It was tricky.”
Piper and Superfly, owned by Cavallo Farms, LLC of San Diego, CA, were the first to execute the four fence round. Piper rode Superfly through the shortened course without issue, providing an excellent example of how best to maneuver the test.
Yowan was the next to be asked to showcase her abilities, and she need not have worried about just staying on. Yowan rode the test seamlessly, cementing her spot as one of the top riders in the class. Smith tested next without issue aboard Icarus, owned by Ashland Farms of Wellington, FL, and Vanderwalde rounded out the top four aboard App For That, owned by Dasilva Investments of Ann Arbor, MI.
Following their tests it was Yowan who rode away with the blue ribbon, while Piper took the second place position, and Smith and Vanderwalde finished third and fourth respectively.
“This is only my second show on Sanderson,” Yowan mentioned. “I got him right after WEF was over, so last week we did the Pessoa Medal for the first time and finished second, and this week we won.”
While Sanderson is a new partner for Yowan, she’s seen similar success with her long-standing mount, Naf Naf, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC of Darien, CT.
“I’ve had him a long time so we have a great relationship built. He’s really lazy, but he has a big stride. Once you get him going he’s really fun to ride,” Yowan said of Naf Naf.
It was aboard Naf Naf that Yowan picked up her first win of the day, finishing with a score of 89 in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase. The WIHS Equitation Qualifier class will conclude on Sunday, May 17 at 10 a.m. with the Jumper Phase.
In addition to equitation classes, the Kentucky Spring Classic features a full array of hunter and jumper divisions. Hunter horses and riders take the spotlight tomorrow evening for the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the second in the $50,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, a seven event series that culminates with the $15,000 Leading Hunter Rider Awards.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.