Junior Jumpers take their Turn at The USET Festival of Champions

The Festival Is A Change of Pace

Although there were only 11 horses competing in the junior competition, those who were competing were tough and had to face a number of challenges, especially when Saturday alternated between misting rain and torrential downpours. Their horses surprised them as well. 

In the last class after going clean in the first round Bloomberg was planning to go full speed ahead with her 10-year-old German-bred stallion Action in the jump-off. "I wanted to go for it," she explained, "but he stopped dead and yet he never spooks." 

For some reason when Action went to the far side of the arena something spooked him and Bloomberg could not get back his attention to focus on the jumps. All the other riders in the class seemed to be having similar mishaps. While she accumulated 7 faults in her winning round on Husker after "trying to be careful," and 13 faults on Action (placing them third), Phillips had 8 faults on Jewels (good for second) and Michael Morrissey had 17 faults on Gera for fourth. Yet all of these riders had gone clean in the first round.

Phillips liked the calm pace of the Festival as well. "It's a great experience and with only one ring going at a time when we are done we can watch the pros. In Florida there are so many rings going at once you simply can't do that."

Phillips, who has his black belt in karate, was pleased with Prins. "He's really easy to ride, very light in the mouth and floats over the jumps. He really liked it here, but then again he likes it most places."

While Phillips is headed to college at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, to focus on a career not necessarily in the horse world, Bloomberg is planning to take a year off to focus on her riding. "This is my last junior year and I really want to enjoy that."

Next year Bloomberg will go to Pace University because it will be near where she will be riding. She wants to keep riding while she goes to college and then after that it looks like she might be headed for a career in the riding world.