Grace Lukach and her mare, Angel Smiling (pictured above) took third in the CPHA Junior Medal Final at the Blenheim Summer Classic. The pressure for the class is very intense, as it takes place indoors, during the evening, under the lights, before a hushed crowd. All 58 competitors participated in the first two rounds before three judges. Each judge scores each round, and the competitors are placed according to the average of those three scores. Grace and Angel received an average score of 82 after the first round, which left them out of the top ten. But, the duo came back for an amazing second round, in which they placed second – receiving an average score of 87, with one judge giving them an 89. Grace and Angel were in fourth place going into the third and final round, which included only the top ten teams. Their final round was brilliant, and the duo claimed third overall, garnering another 89 from one of the judges.
All of the courses were difficult and technical, but the final course included an “S” line (two bending lines) that could be ridden as a five stride to a five stride, a six to a five, or a six to a six. The top three finalists each happened to select a different option, (Grace and Angel rode the six to the five strides), demonstrating that each could be ridden beautifully.
Other results from the show included championship ribbons for Kingsford and Katharina Coleman (First Year Green), Lucky Mushroom and Caroline DeMoss (High Modified Hunter and Taylor Harris Insurance Medal), Grace McLaughlin and Santo (Equitation 14 – 15).
Congratulations to all competitors!