By Amber Heintzberger
Jacqueline Paxton and Sangmelina blew away the judges at the NAYRC, and came home with two gold medals. They won the individual, the team and the freestyle, with an average of 70.2. Recently Jackie also was on the gold-medal winning team at the America's Cup in Blainville, Canada.
She has had her mare Sangmelima, an 11-year-old bay, 17-hand Oldenburg mare (Sacramento Song xx x Pik Bubes Lady H), since she picked her out herself in Germany early this year. "I've always liked mares," said Jackie. "It takes awhile for them to bond with you but then they're all yours."
Jackie's mother, Janet Paxton, said, "Jackie called me from Germany and said 'I found a horse, and I've never felt this way about a horse before.' The stock market was down so we said we couldn't buy her but Jackie was very definite. She trusted her instincts. John and I made the decision to buy the horse for her and we put some of the other horses on the market."
"I think you dream about this happening. What are the odds of winning both the team and gold medal? She always wanted to break 70, and she's worked so hard all these years. I've never seen her so nervous."
This was Jackie's fourth and final NAYRC. Her freestyle was an emotional ride since it was her last competition as a Young Rider. "I can't believe I've gotten these scores," she said, grinning, "it's nice to go out with a bang."
HorsesDaily "On The Scene" at the 2002 NAYRC
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