Jennifer Thompson Wins 2019 USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Aiken, S.C. – Jennifer Thompson and Funnominial CG added champion to their resume in the 2019 USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship at the Katydid CDE. Thompson’s strong dressage test helped the pair earn the tricolors to finish with a final cumulative score of 156.87 penalties.
A Veterinarian and owner of Fox Woods Equine Veterinary Care LLC, Thompson travels long distances from her Wisconsin base to compete at the highest level in Combined Driving Sport.
With a banner year for Thompson (Lodi, Wis.) and Funnominial CG, her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, the duo left everything on the table for the win. In dressage, Thompson and Funnominial CG sat in second place with 55.13 penalties heading into Saturday’s marathon. The marathon saw a slight shake up in the leaderboard, with Thompson taking the lead after two days of competition with a cumulative score 146.34 penalties heading into the third and final phase, cones.
“I felt that we (Thompson and Funnominial CG) had our best dressage test yet”, said Thompson, a full time veterinarian, traveling long distances to compete at the highest level in Combined Driving. “The horse seems to be coming along well, developing both physically and mentally in the marathon. He really gives it 110%.”
Thompson’s cones phase proved to be a bit challenging as she and Funnominial CG, added 10.53 penalties to their overnight score to end with a final 156.87 penalties for the title. But the cumulative lead they established in Dressage and Marathon, kept them in first place.
Her navigator, Chad Rhinehart has been with Thompson since 2018 Katydid. "Chad has been very involved in our training and helpful in suggestions to improve our marathon." Since purchasing "Lucas" Funnominial CG in February of 2014 Thompson has taken him from Training Level to Advanced, and is now the USEF National Champion.
Taylor Bradish (Windsor, S.C.) and Katydid Duchess, Katrina Becker’s 10-year-old Welsh pony cross mare, were hot on the heels of Thompson throughout the competition. With only 0.21 penalties between Bradish and Thompson, Bradish ended the weekend in reserve with a final score of 157.08 penalties. Known for her blistering marathon, Bradish, with her Father, Ryan as navigator for the first time, pushed into the top standings.
Donna Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) and Viktor, her 11-year-old Dutch Harness gelding, put in the only fault-free cones round to secure a third-place finish with a final score of 160.84 penalties.
Defending National Champion, and leader after the Dressage Nifty Hamilton was holding her lead until the final obstacle where at the E Gate, going downhill, her carriage tipped over. She sustained a minor injury and was taken to the hospital, Her horse Makari Design and Navigator were not injured.
The FEI has awarded the 2020 World Championships for Single Horses and the 2020 European Championships for Young Drivers to France. The World Championships for Single Horses will be held 21-26 October, 2020 in Pau, France who also hosted the World Championships for Pony Driving in 2013.