Traverse City, MI - The USEF Talent Search Medal sponsored by Fox Meadow Farm, Inc. of Temperance, MI took place today at Horse Shows by the Bay. The blue ribbon was awarded to Caitlin Ziegler and Charleston Z as the pair proved to be the best both over fences and on the flat.
"Charleston Z is amazing. We have had him since he was five years old and I was nine, and he has always been perfect. I started doing him in the Children's Hunters and then I've been doing the Junior Hunters and Equitation with him," said Ziegler.
The judge asked a lot of the horse and rider combinations today. The course tested the rider's ability to lengthen as well as shorten their horse's stride. It started off with a broken line, followed by a combination to a five-stride. After cantering through the turn, horse and rider were asked to go forward for a four stride and then quickly turn to a quiet one-stride combination. The course ended with a nice, easy broken line. On the flat, they were asked to demonstrate the walk, trot, canter, as well as lengthening of stride at the trot and cantering on the counter lead.
"The course was interesting because there were either really short lines or really long gallops with a lot of distance between the jumps so you really had to show that you could go forward and then get them back," commented Ziegler.
Second place honors went to Meghan Caraway and Quick Step. Third was Samantha Olivia and SS Couture. Fourth was Anna Levy and I've Been Thinking. Fifth went to Caitlin Creel and Calvin 46. Rounding out the top six was Marissa Monforton and Vito.
Competition continues tomorrow at Horse Shows by the Bay II. For more information, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com
Photo Credit: Caitlin Ziegler and Charleston Z at Horse Shows by the Bay. Photo (c) 2010 Katherine Sarasohn/PMG.