Jackie Stary Reaches Final Bracket in USEF NCEA Hunter Seat Medal Finals Midwest
Jackie Stary reached the final bracket in the USEF NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals with trainer Tina Judge Boyle (right) and USEF/NCEA representative Lauren Blazyk. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Roscoe, IL – September 10, 2022 – Showplace Productions proudly hosted the first of three Final Championships for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals. In addition to the USEF/NCEA Hunter Seat Medal Finals for the Midwest, the east coast finals will be held at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show on October 22, 2022, and the west coast final will be held at the Desert International Horse Park on November 12, 2022 during the National Sunshine Series II.
Riders competed first over fences on their own horses over a challenging equitation track to receive a numerical score from the judges. Leading after round one was Jackie Stary aboard Conenzo with a score of 86. Taylor Kogen on Carlos Z finished in second with an 83, Maggie Lawler aboard Burred Lines followed with an 82, and Emma Lackey rounded out the top four with a score of 80.
Nine riders moved on to the flat phase to receive another score from the judges to add to their jumping score. Judges Rob Bielefeld and Irving Evans put the riders through their paces on the flat, having riders demonstrate a haunches-out and a shoulder-out in addition to the sitting trot as extra tasks on the flat. Stary again remained on top with another 86, while Amelia Sedrowicz boosted her score with an 85 on the flat, and Sinead Fennelly moved up with an 84. Kogen scored another 83 to add to her jumping score. With the two scores combined, the final four to move ahead were Stary, Fennelly, Lawler, and Kogen.
The bracket phase was next for head to head competition. In this phase, riders compete on the same horse for scores and are only allowed to change stirrup irons and leathers for each change. Riders are allowed two minutes to flat and two minutes to jump before entering the ring. Stary and Fennelly rode Lawler’s horse, Blurred Lines, over a shortened course to receive a clean slate score from the judges. Stary scored a 90 and Fennelly a 73, leaving Stary to move to the next bracket, the semi-finals.
Lawler and Kogen rode Fennelly’s mount, Silver Queen, for their scores. Lawler scored 82 while Kogen scored 55, allowing Lawler to move to the semi-finals.
Stary and Lawler were now the final two riders to compete head to head aboard Kogen’s horse, Carlos Z. Stary claimed the victory with a 78 over Lawler’s score of 73.
Jackie Stary takes a victory lap. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Stary, 16, is from Oswego, Illinois, and rides with Tina Judge-Boyle at Judgement Farm. Stary was thrilled that the final was held at Ledges since she was able to celebrate with many of her close friends and trainers. It was most certainly a hometown win!
“I had a really fun time doing this class!” said Stary. “I thought it was really well organized and I really enjoyed the set-up of it and being able to ride different types of horses! I liked the course itself and I liked how there were a couple of places I was able to show off a little and do some inside turns.”
Stary commented on the final round saying, “I was actually pretty comfortable on him [Carlos Z]. He reminded me of my old equitation horse quite a bit, so as nervous as I was going into the final round, I tried to just imagine I was on him. I tried to just keep the same pace everywhere and just to stay calm.”
Stary gets to ride numerous horses at the barn at home, which has helped her immensely.
When asked if she would do the class again, Stary replied, “Yes! I plan on riding in college in my future, and continuing riding after that, and I like riding different types of horses, so I think this class in the college format with the limited schooling time is really useful for me for setting me up for my future!”
Maggie Lawler finished in second place in the USEF NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals Midwest. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Lawler, only 15 years old from Algonquin, Illinois, rides at Kinvarra Farm in St. Charles. Lawler loved the format of the class and felt the bracket phase allowed for a fair showing of skills while the first two phases showed your technical ability and your partnership with your horse.
“I really enjoyed riding Carlos Z in the final bracket,” said Lawler. “Both of the bracket horses rode very different than my horse, so it was an amazing experience to ride such well trained and nice horses.”
Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Show manager Pat Boyle offers these great opportunities to riders to prepare them for future events in their riding careers. Having the chance to ride in a large ring helps them prepare for larger competitions and other finals such as Medal Finals and Junior Hunter Finals.
Boyle himself came through the ranks as a rider and more recently, coached his own daughter, Caitlin Boyle, through medal finals and collegiate riding. He brings his experience and enthusiasm to the NCEA to offer these competitions.
The top 10 finalists in the USEF NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals Midwest. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), in concert with the mission and vision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is committed to providing collegiate opportunities for female equestrian student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while embracing equity, diversity and promoting academic and competitive excellence. NCAA Equestrian student-athletes, coaches, and programs adhere to their respective NCAA Division rules and regulations. Currently 27 colleges and universities sponsor equestrian as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women with more being added each year. More than 1,400 women are listed on NCAA team rosters across the United States.
The NCEA features a head-to-head team competition format in four events: Jumping Seat Flat and Fences, Western Horsemanship and Reining. The NCEA features a head-to-head team competition format for Single Discipline Teams (Jumping Seat) in two events: Jumping Seat Flat and Fences. Student-athletes from each team are matched to their mounts by random draw prior to each meet. Horses are designated by event to be ridden by each pair of opposing student-athletes competing head-to-head. The rider receiving the higher score from the judges earns a point for her team. The team with the most combined points from the events is the winner.
For more information visit the NCEA website.
NCEA riders will have the opportunity to compete in the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association Medal Finals this weekend before moving on to their regional medal finals and national championships.
USEF NCEA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Finals Final Four
For complete results visit ShowplaceProductions.com.
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