Jacksonville, FL - September 19, 2014 - Youngsters Kaely Tomeu and Fidalgo Van Het Leliehof are a new force to be reckoned with, and they proved it Thursday night by winning the $5,000 1.40 Welcome Stake at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center during the first night of the Southeast Medal Finals. Tomeu, just 18 years old, and her new equine partner, who goes by the name of "Phil," is just 9 years old.
Tomeu just purchased Phil and competed on him for the first time at the Country Heir Horse Show in Kentucky. The new duo started in the Low Junior Jumpers and quickly moved up to the High Junior Jumpers at Horse Shows by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, where they won almost every class Tomeu entered.
"He's so wonderful. He's so easy; I have won more classes on him than any other horse I have ever owned," Tomeu said. She and Phil will try to continue their winning streak on Friday in the $25,000 SEMF Grand Prix with hopes of having the opportunity to ride Phil on the Prix De States team this October at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Tomeu trains with Ali Sweetnam of Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, FL.
Staying true to its name, Southeast Medal Finals offers a variety of equitation divisions, including the Wild Card Phelps Media Group Southeast Medal Final, a promising new class won by Main Street's Liberation, owned and ridden by Taylor Masters. Second in the class went to Taking Chances, owned and ridden by Zoe Stewart. Riders navigated a challenging course while demonstrating the fundamental basics of riding in a stylish, controlled manner.
Megan Eisenfelder also displayed her fine riding yesterday, going first in the order-of-go and besting a field of 13 junior and amateur jumpers in the $500 1.25m Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers on her Irish Sport Horse, Killard Horizon. "We imported him about 3 years ago. He was riding really great today, and we are really in sync right now," said Eisenfelder of her gorgeous grey gelding.
"My ride was great, and I am really happy about it. I am going to continue to show him in some small shows for practice in preparation for [the Winter Equestrian Festival] 2015," she concluded. Eisenfelder is a student of Tiffany Morrissey of East Wind Farms in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Runner up in the $500 1.25m Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers was Abbey Soffer on her Swedish Warmblood, Lundback T Hastak, trained by Shane Sweetnam and Michael DelFiandra of Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, FL.
After a full day of showing on Thursday, horses and riders return to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for Friday's classes. Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunters will strut their stuff out on the grass arena, finishing with the $1,000 SEMF Junior/A-O 3'3" and 3'6" Hunter Classics. The day will conclude in the covered arena with the $25,000 Land Rover Jacksonville Grand Prix at 7:00 pm.
The final day of the 2014 Southeast Medal Finals on Sunday will be streaming live on the web. Join us live from the Jacksonville Equestrian Center on September 21, 2014 beginning at 8 a.m.
Southeast Medal Finals Fast Facts:
WHAT: The Southeast Medal Finals is an A-rated indoor and outdoor hunter equitation horse show attracting top riders.
WHEN: Sept. 18-21, 2014
WHERE: The Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, FL, featuring a large indoor coliseum with over 3,000 seats, two outdoor rings and a turf arena plus schooling rings and 500 permanent stalls.
Located at: 13611 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32221
4-Day "A" / Jumper Level 3 USEF-Rated Horse Show
The Phelps Media Group Southeast Junior Medal Finals
$500 Southeast Adult Hunter 3' Final
Southeast Adult Medal Finals 3' - 3'3"
$25,000 Jacksonville Grand Prix
Geddaway Farms $5,000 Welcome Stake
Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship
HorseGym $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children's/Adult Jumper Classic
GGT & Eastwest Arena Construction $500 Southeast Children's Hunter 3' Final
Tenney's Custom Saddlery Southeast Children's/Adult Medal 2'6" Finals
$500 Southeast Child/Adult Hunter 2'6" Final
North Run $2,500 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic