Shawna Harding and Susan Jaccoma Square Off in Intermediaire I Competition at 2008 Gold Coast Opener CDI-W/Y

By Lynndee Kemmet for

West Palm Beach, Florida – In the Intermediaire I CDI competition at the 2008 Gold Coast Opener CDI-W/Y, the technical marks were needed to break a tie between Shawna Harding and Susan Jaccoma. Both scored a 70.10 percent, but the technical marks gave Harding the win. Harding, riding Come On III, and Jaccoma, riding Wadamur, have been neck and neck throughout the CDI competition and will be pairing off against each again on the final day of competition in the Intermediaire I CDI-W Freestyle competition.

On Friday, Harding and Come On III, a nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding sired by Come Back II, won the Prix St. Georges CDI-W. Jaccoma and Wadamur, a Hanoverian gelding sired by Sandro, finished second in the Prix St. Georges CDI-W competition with a score of 67.05.

Although Saturday’s Intermediaire competition went to Harding, Jaccoma was nonetheless thrilled with Wadamur. “I loved my ride today and I want to have another just like it, like tomorrow and the next day and into the future. He was wonderful. He was right there. It felt harmonious to me. I asked him questions in the corner, he listened, he came back. I was thrilled with it,” she said.

Jaccoma said that on Friday she warmed up the horse a bit too long and wore him out. “I did the same warm-up as last year but he’s matured and I had him out a little too long and sort of went over that place where he can be expressive,” she said. “So today, I calmed myself down. I didn’t let myself get on him too early and I liked my warm-up better. It was much more to the point. It was much shorter and he went in and was a much fresher horse.”

One thing that is becoming a trademark with Wadamur is his whinny, which he even did as he threw out a beautiful extended trot across the diagonal in the Intermediaire competition. Jaccoma said she’s learned to accept it and judges seem to have as well. “He whinnies all the time in the test. It fades a little bit as the season progresses, but it’s an expression. Last year toward the end of a test, if he did a really nice extension, he’d whinny like he was proud,” she said “But two weeks ago here, he whinnied through his whole test and I think that was an insecure thing. But today it was different. He was proud of what he did.”

Jaccoma said judges don’t seem to lower his scores for the whinnying, especially when he seems to be doing it more out of pride than insecurity because “he doesn’t change anything. His tempo doesn’t change, nothing changes. The only thing I can feel is that he pops his ribs out a little against my leg and I know it’s going to come and my inclination is to boot him,” she said. Jaccoma said it takes a lot of mental control on her part to sit there and just leave him be when she feels that whinny coming.