A field of 18 competitors vying for the 2017 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final title kicked off the evening session at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show on Wednesday, July 5. Following the competitive field's display of Equitation skills, 28-year-old Reagan Upton was named the 2017 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Champion. She became only the second person to be a two-time champion of the Final and the first ever back-to-back champion. Upton (Birmingham, Alabama) rode her own Oh Night Divine to top honors under the tutelage of her mother, Courtney Huguley.
When asked how it felt to have achieved such feats, Upton said, “It’s unreal. I never thought in a million years I would be national champion, then to be back-to-back national champion is so cool.”
In both 2016 and 2017, Upton partnered with Oh Night Divine to win the Final, and she is quick to praise him. “This horse is amazing,” she said. “Without him, none of this would be possible. He is one incredible animal. I’m very lucky to own him.”
Upton executed an excellent pattern as icing on the cake to her historic win. “It was phenomenal,” Upton said of the test. “I don’t know if we have ever had a pattern that clean. He was so patient. Warming up, he was really uptight and nervous, but he went in that ring and was just like, ‘I got this.’ He knew I was nervous so he took care of me.”
The talented group of riders from across the country performed on the rail, and completed an individual pattern created by the judging panel of Stephen Crabtree, Frances Crumpler, and Jessica Richardson.
The Reserve Champion and silver medalist in the Final was Aleia Brown (Dayton, Ohio) riding MLS Equestrian LLC’s Soquilli’s Harvest Moon. The bronze medal was presented to Madden Cochran (Lewis Center, Ohio) on Brad Cochran’s CH Cat’s My Daddy.
The American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) Equitation medal was established in 1937 by the fourth president of the AHSA, Adrian Van Sinderen, as part of his strategy to connect horse people across the United States.
In 2001, the tradition of the medal program was extended to the adult amateur exhibitor when the United States Equestrian Federation offered the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. The Final was created for adult amateur riders to continue to participate in the discipline of saddle seat equitation. Since its inception, the event has been held at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show.
Results from the 2017 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final:
Champion: Reagan Upton (Birmingham, Alabama) on Oh Night Divine, instructed by Courtney Huguley
Reserve Champion: Former Saddle Seat World Cup Team member Aleia Brown (Dayton, Ohio) on Soquilli’s Harvest Moon, instructed by Erin Boggs-Richey
Third: Madden Cochran (Lewis Center, Ohio) on CH Cat’s My Daddy, instructed by Shelley Fisher
Fourth: Former Saddle Seat World Cup Team member Ashley Brandies (Jesup, Georgia) on CH He’s a Royal Pepper, instructed by Christy Parker
Fifth: Cecelia Hoffmann (Bolingbrook, Illinois) on Kamunyak, instructed by Jonelle Chovanec
Sixth: Saddle Seat Young Rider Team member Anne Patemen (New Orleans, Louisiana) on Callaway’s Another Winner, instructed by Barbe Smith
Seventh: Sarah Wenzel (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) on Impressive Asset, instructed by Scott and Carol Matton
Eighth: Former Saddle Seat Young Rider Team member Zoe Schaffel (Tampa, Florida) on CH Chantilly Castle, instructed by David Chretien
Ninth: Helena Moreno-Meeks (New Orleans, Louisiana) on Will You Be My Valentine, instructed by Melissa Moore
10th: Morgan Wolin (Chicago, Illinois) on So Smitten, instructed by Chad Cole
For more information about the Final, contact Chuck Walker, USEF Director, National Affiliates at firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 225-6955.
-- via US Equestrian