Wellington, FL - March 11, 2011 - It was a busy day for junior riders here at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3. The world's largest horse show plenty of junior riders this weekend in numerous hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions. Among the exciting classes was the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search equitation class.
Elizabeth Benson, from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, took home the blue ribbon and top prize today in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. Benson was aboard her own mount, San Remo VDL, an eleven-year-old Latvian Warmblood gelding by Sudanas.
"He's an amazing horse, with water and everything, so he's a perfect USEF (Talent Search) horse," Benson beamed about her horse. She went on to add, "He gets a little strong and worked up pretty easily, so I never have to worry about time. I just have to focus on where to get him soft and make him bend."
The class consisted of two phases, a jumping phase, and then the top twelve were called back to participate in the flat phase. The jumping phase had some tricky obstacles, including a triple combination and a water jump. There were many entries in today's class that had some trouble with the short turn to the water jump. Also, many saw some trouble with the first jump, an oxer with green roll tops off another short turn. "I thought it was really cool. I thought the water was in a good spot off the short turn; it got a lot of people, but I thought it was good," stated Benson about the course.
With 42 entries and only twelve called back to flat, the class could have been pinned in numerous ways. Sydney Shulman was aboard the Millcreek Stables entry, Eli, to take the second place ribbon. Christina Kelly was awarded the third place ribbon. Kelly was aboard the Wudina Group entry, Kennzo De Conte.
Stay tuned for more results tomorrow as competitors in the Amateur Owner Hunters 3'3" 18-35 division, presented by Martha Jolicoeur and Illustrated Properties, vie for the championship honor.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Benson and San Remo VDL win the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search during the ninth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.