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- September 3rd, 2019 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

Abby Steller, Avery Glynn and Juliette Joseph prove consistency leads to wins at 2019 CPHA Foundation Equitation Championships

Special to the Horsetrader

Avery Glynn and Cocon 4 (Capturedmomentphoto.com photo)

DEL MAR—Medal final season signals summer’s end and fall’s beginning, and on Aug. 24-25, 113 equestrians in three age sections were tested in the equitation arena in the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation Equitation Championships.

The equitation tests are uniquely built into the two rounds. Those who had put in extra hours with the counter-canter had an edge throughout the Championships, held Aug. 24-25, at the Showpark Summer Classic at the Del Mar Horse Park.

The 45 starters in the 21-under division, held on the expansive grass grand prix field, rode challenging tracks designed by internationally renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge. The courses designed by Joe Lombardo in the smaller sand arena for the 14-under and 22-over divisions were no less demanding. Both designers worked with judges Bobbie Reber and Robert Robold on Day 1, while Reber and Mark Jungherr worked together on Day 2 to establish the tests asked within the track. Some of the questions asked included a halt at a designated spot in the arena, trot jumps and demonstrating the counter lead through a walk transition.

Adult rider Abby Steller topped an eight-rider work-off in the 22- over section to earn her first medal final victory. Avery Glynn, who was the previous weekend’s winner in the CPHA Junior Medal Final, led by six points when five horse-and-rider combinations from the 14-under section headed into the work-off. With another beautiful performance in the work-off, Glynn sealed a CPHA win for the second weekend in a row. On the grass field, Juliette Joseph and Efendi logged their biggest victory together yet with an average of 86 points from the first two rounds and 86 points in the work-off to take the victory in the 21-under section.

Abby Steller and Cantuccini (Capturedmomentphoto.com photo)

Consistency was key for amateur rider Steller. Riding her own Cantuccini, her average score of 82.75 from Saturday and Sunday put her in second place going into the work-off for her division. Just two points behind the leader, Belle Calkin, Steller stayed calm, cool, and collected throughout the three phases of medal final competition to finish on top.

The work-off track proved to be technical for the eight adult riders who having scored an average score of 80 points or higher from the first two phases of competition, returned for final testing. As can happen when the pressure is on, positions shifted and Steller’s choices in the work-off gave her an edge.

When asked about the work-off round, Steller noted, “I knew that making the inside turn in the rollback turn wasn’t an option for me. Going around was the best option for ‘Pasta’,” she said.

A newlywed, Steller is having a stellar year. “This is my first major win ever—it doesn’t feel real. It is an honor to compete with such amazing ladies here in this class.”

Jayme Omand came into the work-off in the third spot, but a score of 79 in the work-off moved her into the reserve championship position. Saturday’s leader Belle Calkin moved into the third spot with a total of 155.75 after all three rounds of competition.

As the 22-over Champion, Steller went home with a cooler, the Victor Hugo Memorial Trophy, and other prizes.

Returning for the work-off with an average of 87 and sitting in the lead by six points, fourteen-year-old Glynn impressed the judges with yet another smooth round in the work-off, and the highest score for the win.

In regards to the work-off round, Glynn was feeling confident. “I knew that I had a strong lead heading into the third round, so I was just looking to have another consistent round to keep the lead.”

Looking forward, Glynn is excited about continuing in the equitation with her trusty partner, Cocon 4 (aka “Calle”), and the junior hunters with King of Hearts.

“I am so grateful to my amazing trainers at Elvenstar and my parents who have made this happen,” she said. “And to Calle—she is the best teammate I could ask for.”

As the CPHA Foundation 14-under Champion, Glynn earned the opportunity to add her name to the perpetual trophy, sponsored by Grand Prix legend Hap Hansen, who was on hand to present.

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