Harrisburg, PA - The team from Zone 2 captured team gold with a stellar performance in the Neue Schule/ USEF Junior Jumper Prix de States Team Championship and Individual Championship Phase II at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Friday evening winning the competition with only a four fault team score. Zone 1 took the silver medal and Zone 4 won bronze.
The team of Lucy Deslauriers and Hester, Madison Goetzmann riding Wrigley, Kira Kerkorian on Nightfire 25, and Katherine Strauss aboard All In, were so impressive they snagged gold before the anchor rider entered the ring.
Following a modified Nation's cup format, the seven teams and two individual riders jumped the same course twice with one drop score permitted from each round and the top six teams moving on to the second round.
At the conclusion of the first round, Zone 2 was in the lead with 4 faults. There was a tie for second between Zone 1 and Zone 7 each with 12 faults. Zone 5 had 16 faults and Zone 4 and Zone 10/6 each had 20.
In the second round Zone 1 had a slight chance to take the gold away from Zone 2. McKayla Langmeier with Promised Land and Jordyn Freedman with Feeling both went fault free. Kelly Arani and Artani 2 had three rails for the drop score. If Ali Tritschler on Fantasy went clean, she would put pressure on Zone 2 anchor rider Deslauriers to perform well and rid them of their eight fault second round score. Tritschler had a rail down at the third from last fence to give Zone 1 a final score of 16 faults, clinching the gold for Zone 2. Deslauriers still riding for individual honors rode to a double clear and secured a final Zone 2 team score of four faults.
Zone 4 had a great second round to move them up to the bronze medal position. Louise Graves on Zavira, Helen Graves riding Armani and Victoria Colvin on Cafino all went clear, with Colvin scoring a double clear. MacKenzie McGehee on Unique only had four faults for the drop score giving them a final team score of 20 faults.
Chef d'Equipe Krista Freundlich, who was filling in for Ralph Caristo, received a great birthday present from the team.
"I thought all the girls rode great," said Freundlich. "They all really rallied to have consistent rounds. Maddie and Lucie with the double clears really helped the team. They all contributed scores that counted and I am so proud of them. They were great and it made for a fun night."
The Championship culminates on Saturday with the top 60% from Phases I and II.
Recognized as a premier equestrian event, The Pennsylvania National Horse Show runs October 8-17 and has been held indoors at the State Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA since its inception in 1945.
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