New England Medal Finals: Day One-Adults (23-40) October 23 2010, 0 Comments

Part One: NEHC Amateur Adult Medal Finals 23-40-Year-Olds

Yesterday was an exciting start to the 34th annual New England Equitation Championships. An event with humble beginnings, the organizing committee now boasts that it hosts one of the most prestigious and well-attended equitation finals competitions in the country. With no one arguing otherwise, the four-day competition kicked off with adult equitation finals broken down by two age groups: a 23-40 division and a 41 and over division.

In order to qualify for the finals, amateur adult riders must accumulate 10 points in the NEHC Adult Medal class at member shows during a one-year period and be a member of the New England Horsemen’s Council.

Forty-seven riders competed in the first-round of the 23-40-Year-Olds NEHC Medal Final course designed by Ken Krome. The six-judge panel included Krome, Linda Andrisani, Leo Conroy, Peter Lombardo, Ellen Raidt and Danny Robertshaw.

Fifteen riders made it back for a second trip with the cut-off score set at 75.16. The top 15 came back for Round 2 poised and prepared with nothing more newsworthy than a few pulled rails at a pesky red and white oxer heading toward home that tripped up several horses.

Sean Rogers, aboard Holland Park, who returned for his second trip in sixth place, was excused for crossing over the dotted line in his opening circle, which the crowd found heartbreaking. His first trip scored a 79.33, and he was well positioned for a shot at one of the top slots.

The top four riders each had good second trips with only the No. 2 rider, Berit Barr, aboard El Paso, scoring under an 80, putting her out of contention for a spot in top four. The No. 3 rider, Nicole Nichelmann of Byfield, Mass., aboard Avenue Q, completed Round 2 with a combined score of 169.82. The No. 1 rider, Kara Delaurentis, of Stamford, Conn., aboard Cardino (owned by Jennifer Hinman), had a combined score of 170.16. The only question remaining was would there be any additional testing? The answer was yes. And what a test it was.

The top three riders, which now included Steven Violin, of Lexington, Mass., aboard Sully, were tested. They were asked to enter the ring at a walk. Canter fences 1 and 2 (a diagonal line), trot fence 3, (a rollback turn to the next fences) canter fences 6A and B (one stride), counter canter to fence 7 (the first fence of an outside line), then halt. Canter fence 8 (the out of the outside line) and exit the ring at a walk.

The counter-canter proved to be the most difficult element for all three riders. Steven Violin just picked up the counter-canter at the last stride. Nicole and Delaurentis both had good tests, smooth and accurate. Delaurentis had the cleaner halt between jumps 7 and 8.

When it was all over, Delaurentis was the winner and Nichelmann was in second.

Top 10 results:

Rider, Horse, Total Combined Score, Rounds 1 & 2

1. Kara Delaurentis, Cardino, 170.16
2. Nicole Nichelmann, Avenue Q, 169.82
3. Steven Violin, Sully, 165.33
4. Shay Meisinger, Kiss N’ Tell, 162.75
5. Kelsey Amedeo, London Fog, 161.00
6. Berit Barr, El Paso, 157.99
7. Nicki Hunsicker, Haribo, 157.82
8. Natalie Williams, Carmichael, 156.16
9. Elspeth Roake, Incognito, 155.16
10. Gwynn Ellis, Oasis, 152.99

This article was originally published in the Chronicle of the Horse.