New Cumberland, PA - Following four rounds of jumping in the $7,500 Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championship at the 68th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show Lillie Keenan of New York, N.Y., again proved why she is considered one of the top up-and-coming talents in the sport of jumping. Riding her dual Gold medalist from the 2013 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, Londinium, the 16-year-old finished on a score of 9.5 faults to add Individual gold to the Team Silver won on Friday night with her Zone 2 teammates.
Championship competition began on Thursday with Phase I-the speed leg. On Friday evening combinations returned to jump for team honors and further individual scores in Phase II, held in a two-round Nations Cup format. The Individual Championship came to a close on Saturday as the top of the field following Friday returned to jump in the final determining round in Phase III.
Keenan and Chasonette Farm LLC's 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding entered Saturday's competition in third place with just 5.5 faults, they rolled a single pole to add four faults to their championship score and secure the National Title.
Gabriele Mershad (New Albany, Ohio) and Michael Hughes (Allendale, N.J.) performed an exciting jump-off for the Silver medal. Mershad and Skara Glen's Basel were tied with Hughes and Luxina at 13 faults following Saturday's Phase III. Mershad and Mershad Stables, LLC's 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding went first and jumped a clear round. Hughes and Christina Fried's nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare had one rail to take the Bronze medal.
Mershad presented an exemplary ride Saturday with just four faults. With five faults in Phase I and four in Phase II, the pair finished with 13 faults for the weekend.
Hughes finished with one fault in Phase I, four faults in Phase II, eight in Phase III, and one rail in the jump-off for an overall total of 17.