Zone 5 Teams Take the Podium in USHJA Zones 5 & 6 Jumper Team Championships


Crete, Ill. -----  August 13, 2017 -----  Yesterday, Jumper teams faced off on a crisp August morning during the USHJA Zones 5 & 6 Jumper Team Championships at Balmoral Park.

In the Children's/Adult Amateur (1.10/1.15m) Team Championship, Zone 5's Madelyn Cardelli riding Khaleesi, Eden Fry on Cassicasca, Natalie Schaffer riding Royal Descent and Stefanie Shaw riding Diego VD Endepoel, earned the gold medal after consistent performances in both rounds of the competition.

Children's/Adult Amateur (1.10/1.15m) Medalists. Photo credit: Kristin Rover/USHJA Archives

Zone 5 Chef d'Equipe Elaine Schott said the gold medal team was a strong team of riders, which they proved finishing with only four faults over the two rounds.

After finishing the two rounds with eight total faults, Team 4's Lisa Baker riding Zyminka and Team 3's Clara Ciancuillo on Secretive had to jump off to determine which team would get silver or bronze. Both riders had fast, clear rounds with Ciancuillo coming in just a few seconds faster than Baker.

Ciancuillo, along with Sarah Korenthal riding Legacy B and Adeline Pavlin riding Ragazzo Carino, all from Zone 5, made up the silver medal team, and Zone 5's Baker, Katie Hlis riding Roc America, Margaret Martin riding Hasta, and Katherine Savarise on Dolly B, made up the bronze medal team.

In the Junior/Amateur (1.20/1.25 & 1.30/1.35) Team Championship, Zone 5's Rebecca Cohen on Last Orders HX, Kristen Franz riding Cypress, Adeline Rohrbach riding Eastpoint JB, and Molly Struve riding Aurora, earned the gold medal finishing with zero faults over the two rounds.

Junior/Amateur (1.20/1.25m & 1.30/1.35m) Team Medalists. Photo credit: Kristin Rover/USHJA Archives

Zone 5 Team 3, made up of Hannah Bilton riding Moritz W, Christie Rugh-Bileddo on Aiko Z, and Kate Shaughnessy riding Ciro, earned the silver medal with only eight faults over two rounds.

An exciting jump off between Zone 5 Team 4's Kyle Perkovich riding Roc My World and Zone 5/6 Team 1's Paige Matthies riding Peninsula Emerald Lass determined the bronze medal team. While both completed the jump-off track quickly, Perkovich came out on top after Matthies had an unlucky rail.

Perkovich, along with Celia Bresch riding Zalicia, and Isaiah Wiseman riding Nimbus, made up the team that took home the bronze medal.

"I really think the 1.20m/1.30m was such a strong group of competitors," Schott said. "It would have rivaled top competition anywhere. I think the quality of horses combined with the quality of educated riders brought this competition to a serious level. It was the best of the best."

And although they didn't make it on the podium, Zone 6 Chef d'Equipe Mark Aplin said he felt that his riders improved over the course of the day and thought the Championships were a good team building experience for them.  

"I think in general we had a lot of our riders get far better in the second round, and I was really proud to see that," Aplin said. "We definitely had some bad luck in the first round."

Aplin said they are also proud of their rider, Courtney Dickinson, riding Flying Girl, who is currently in second place individually in the Junior/Amateur (1.20/1.25m & 1.30/1.35m) section.

International Course Designer Manuel Esparza of Mexico designed the Championship courses, which received high praise.

"I thought the courses were wonderful, it was technical enough that it gave the bold riders options to show off, and for those who weren't as bold, it gave them an opportunity to stick to their plan and ride a clean round," Schott said.

"The courses were a perfect mix of technical and doable," Aplin said.

This is the first time the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships have been held at Balmoral Park, and Schott said riders were pleased with the location.

"I think this venue is a breath of fresh air," Schott said. "It is horse friendly, spacious, well-maintained. I could not say enough positive things about this venue."

"This is a beautiful facility, and Pat Boyle and his staff will only make it more beautiful," Aplin said.

On Sunday morning, riders will participate in the Individual Championships. All Individual medalists will be named Gold Star Eme rging Jumper Riders and be invited to a Gold Star Clinic early next year. Individual Champions will also receive an  EQUO  Sun Shirt, the Official Sun Shirt of the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, a pair of  Professional's Choice  Pro Performance boots, a cooler, a ribbon and a gold medal.    

For more information on the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, visit For more information on the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, visit

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