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    Californians win USEF National Jr. Jumper Championship

    From the Newstrader - November 5th, 2009 - General News

    Lucy Davis and True Love clinch California's win in the USEF Prix de States team competition for juniors.

    Al Cook photo

    Lucy Davis and True Love clinch California's win in the USEF Prix de States team competition for juniors.

    HARRISBURG, Penn. — The four team members from California’s Zone 10 might have traveled the farthest to get to the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s National Junior Jumper Championships, but the reward made it worthwhile for the junior riders. Lucy Davis, Saer Coulter, Paris Sellon and Karl Cook came from California with the intention of winning, and with anchor rider Davis turning in a clear-and-fast ride in the jump-off, they took home the title in this prestigious Prix de States team competition Oct. 9.

    The riders from Zone 10 were always in contention for the title, but the combined team of riders from Zones 1 and 8 were in the lead after the initial round.

    For Zone 10, Coulter riding Chalan went around the track fault free, while Davis on True Love and Cook aboard Notories Utopia each had a rail down. Sellon riding Troyes had two rails down and two time faults in their first round, and were the ride that was not counted.

    “I really tanked in the first round,” Sellon said. “I knew that I had to pull it together for the second round and I did.”

    The second round, following the Nations’ Cup format, was contested over the same course as the first round and nine riders managed to better their scores from the previous round. Among those were Sellon and Davis, who both turned in fault-free performances.

    For the jump-off, Davis, 16, of Los Angeles was the rider chosen to represent Zone 10 in the tie-breaker, and she came through with a clear round in a time of 33.409 seconds, but not without a mishap between fences 1 and 2. True Love seemed to stumble and Davis lost her stirrup around the corner. The pair managed to right themselves and complete the course with only one horse shoe in front–the cause of the bobble.

    “I was so nervous, but once you get to this point, you kind of have to go all out”, Davis said. “You have to just go for it. I had four faults in the first round and I was a little bit angry, and when I get angry I get really competitive–which is a good thing–it usually helps.

    Davis said her 13-year-old gelding, True Love, as known as “Lovey,” is the best. “He is so fun and so fast, and he has the biggest heart,” Davis said. “He almost wants it more than me; he is aptly named.”

    The course was challenging for these juniors. Out of 58 trips around the Steve Stephens-designed course, there were only 11 clear rounds.

    This was the 31st year of the Prix de States competition being held at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Each zone across the United States may field a team of four for the USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. The top four horse-and-rider combinations in the zone’s National Junior Jumper standings qualify to represent their zone.

    In the 31 years that the Prix de States has been held, Zone 10 (California and Nevada) has earned more championships than any other zone, with Zone 2 (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) following closely behind.

    For complete show results from the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, visit: www.panational.org

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