Ottawa, ON - Alexandra Perry of Vancouver, BC obtained a hard-fought win on Nov. 5 in the 2013 Jump Canada Medal Final at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
After smoothly completing the initial over fences phase, which featured 11 obstacles set at the height of 1.10m, and included multiple broken lines, tricky angles, and both one- and two-stride combinations, Perry was called back into the ring as part of the top eight riders for the flat phase aboard her 17-year-old Westphalian gelding Alezan 7.
The judges put all eight riders through rigorous testing in the flat phase, which accounted for 40 percent of the overall marks (with 60 percent awarded for the over fences phase). The top four riders from the flat phase were then asked to move forward into an additional jumping test over a shortened course.
The following riders joined Perry in the testing phase: Jessica Blum of Gormley, ON, Savanna King of Calgary, AB, and Dannie Murphy from Charlottetown, PEI.
The four riders lined up and were called on to complete the test one-by-one. Challenges within the test included cantering directly from the line up to the first jump, and counter-cantering a jump.
In a rare occurrence, at the completion of the first test, the judges asked for their top two riders-Perry and Blum-to participate in a second test, this time involving hand-galloping a jump, halting, and trotting directly back to the line up.
At the end of this year's four-part Final, Perry was given the top spot, followed by Blum in second place, King in third place, and Murphy rounding out the top four.
"I thought it went pretty well. (My horse) was better than expected, and felt really good," said Perry, who has been partnered with Alezan for two years.
As for her win, Perry commented, "This has been my goal for a really long time, so I will try to figure out another bigger, better goal for next year." She went on to explain that her short-term goal is to move up the 1.45m jumper level on the California circuit this winter.
Perry's coach, Canadian Show Jumping Team veteran Laura Balisky, was also overjoyed by the win.
"I thought Alexandra was awesome. She was really accurate and rode really well," said Balisky, who co-trains Perry with her husband Brent at their facility, Thunderbird Show Stables, in Langley, BC. "In the second test I think she really proved that she could walk right out of the line up and be really clear with what she was doing. I was really proud of her."
In recognition of her win, Perry was awarded a gold medal, a cooler, and a jacket from Jump Canada, and was presented with the Leslie P. Usherwood Memorial Trophy in an awards ceremony attended by Leslie's daughter and granddaughter.
The Jump Canada Medal Final is held annually at the Royal Horse Show. Qualifiers took place throughout the season at Equine Canada sanctioned competitions in four regions: British Columbia, the Prairies (AB, SK, MB), Ontario, and the Atlantic (QC, PEI, NB, NS, NF). At the completion of all qualifiers, a combined total of 25 riders from all four regions are invited to contest the final.
For more information on the Jump Canada Medal, visit www.equinecanada.ca.
2013 Jump Canada Medal - Final Results
Placing / Rider / Horse / Hometown
1 / Alexandra Perry / Alezan 7 / Vancouver, BC
2 / Jessica Blum / Carnell / Gormley, ON
3 / Savanna King / Rubix / Calgary, AB
4 / Dannie Murphy / Dalvey K / Charlottetown, PEI
5 / Megan Champoux / Euro / Aldergrove, BC
6 / Sarah Barker / Denver / Hamilton, ON
7 / Haley Stradling / Duvel / Aldergrove, BC
8 / Chelsea Walsh / Famous / Calgary, AB