Zones 9 and 10 Shine in Gold at the USHJA Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper Championships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
San Juan Capistrano, California ----  September 19, 2016 ----  Riders from Zones 9 and 10 went head to head and even teamed up to make this weekend's USHJA Zones 9 and 10 Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper Championships an exciting competition. 
 
Spread over four days with the first day including a horse inspection, riders' meeting and training session, the Championships held at Blenheim Equisports in San Juan Capistrano, California, brought together more than 30 riders for team and individual competition.

In the Adult Amateur Team Championship, the combined Zone 9/10 Team rose to the top, and in the Children's Team Championship Zone 10 riders took gold.

The combined Zone 9/10 Team (Tessa Hingston riding her own Ordensritter, Troy Christiansen riding Bridgeport Equine LLC's Van Damme, Barbara Blasko riding her own JF Justinian, and Linda Fotsch riding her own Nuage) proved to be a winning combination with Zone 9 Adult Amateur rider Tessa Hingston going double clear, helping to seal gold for the team. They finished the team competition with just 10 faults.

Adult Amateur Team Medalists. Photo credit: McCool Photography.

"This is my third championship; two years ago our team won; last year I was third so I'm happy to be back on the top of the podium," said Zone 9/10 Team member Barbara Blasko. "I love this event; I am still friends with my team from two years ago. The whole atmosphere creates such camaraderie."
 
Zone 10 Team 1 (Katie Rotunno riding her own Modena, Anne Frankel riding her own Di Nero B, Jerra Mays riding Mary Beth Molt's McSweeney, and Rory Ingels riding her own Normandee) garnered silver with 25 faults. In bronze was Zone 10 Team 2 (Alexis Georgeson riding her own Athena, Jasmine Weber-Talley riding her own Washington, and Melanie Brooks riding her own Vanotrouska).
 
The Children's team competition was close, requiring a jump off between Zone 10 Team 1 (Emma Pacyna riding Zoey Pacyna's Wonderfull, Taylor Husman riding her own Elton, Romina Fimbres riding Everardo Hegewisch's Adelante, and Alyce Bittar riding Georges Bittar's Cara B) and Zone 10 Team 4 (Keighley Bader riding her own Tilburg, Jackie Martin-Castro riding Judith Martin's The Flying Coconut, Amelia Enzminger riding her own Liberty, and Amelie Bittar riding Georges Bittar's Beirut 'B') to decide gold and silver. Alyce Bittar and Keighley Bader jumped off for their teams, and Bittar's fourth clear round of the competition beat Bader's unfortunate rail, giving Zone 10 Team 1 gold and Zone 10 Team 4 silver.
 
"Knowing I had to just go clear, my goal in the jump off was to just take my time, which I did," said Bittar who has been riding her mare for a year and a half.
  
Children's Team Medalists. Photo credit: McCool Photography. 

"No one should be leaving here not having had a great time or feeling like a winner.  This whole experience improves the riders and their confidence," said Zone 10 Chef d'Equipe John Charlebois. "Riding as a team on this beautiful grass field is no different than riding at Spruce Meadows!"

The Zone 9 Team (Brittany Komlofske riding Haven Farm's BB Delta, Hailey Holm riding her own Kilkenny Aries, Tessa Rodgers riding her own The Perfect Crime, and Reed Dinger riding her own Crazy Lady Gaga) took bronze not far behind with 24 faults.
 
Zone 9 Chef d'Equipe Beka Swan, who led the Adult Amateur Zone 9/10 combined and the Zone 9 Children's Team, summed up the experience:  "I've been a chef before, and I really enjoy being a chef.  It's a challenge to learn everyone's strength and weaknesses, but I enjoy that part and developing a strategy.  We need more team events like this, especially when parents today want their children to be a part of team sports which most of the time riding is not. So I'm glad this program is expanding; we need more events like it."

In addition to Charlebois and Swan, Zone 10 teams also received support from assistant chefs Morley Abbey, Michael Endicott, Sue Lightner, Michelle Pacyna and Michelle Parker. 
 
It was family-friendly competition between Zone 10's Bittar sisters, Alyce and Amelie, who went one-two in the Children's Individual Championship.
 
Alyce Bittar remained perfect riding a fourth clear round aboard Cara B to take home the gold medal.

Children's Gold Medalist Alyce Bittar on Cara B. Photo credit: McCool Photography.

"My horse tried very hard for me all week," Alyce Bittar said. "Yesterday was challenging because of all the rounds. During the jump off for the Team Gold, I really had to energize my horse, so I didn't go fast, but that was OK because all I had to do was go clear to win. Today she was tired to so I had to really pump her up in the schooling area. We both really worked hard all week. She was great."
 
Amelie Bittar rode Alyce's other horse, Beirut 'B', to a clear round in the Individual Championship round to earn the silver medal with just 9.735 faults over the four rounds.
 
"I've never ridden him on grass, so that was challenging, but by the end I got to know him well," Amelie Bittar said.
 
Alyce and Amelie are used to competing against each other and enjoyed the weekend.
 
"We both don't mind who wins as long as one of us does. We're happy either way. We like to cheer each other on, so it couldn't have ended any better," Alyce Bittar said.
 
Zone 10's Keighley Bader on her horse Tilburg took home the bronze medal with 12.445 faults overall. 
 
In the Adult Amateur Individual Championship, Zone 9's only Adult Amateur competitor, Tessa Hingston, had a clear fourth round with just .805 faults over all four rounds to earn the gold medal aboard her horse Ordensritter.
 
Adult Amateur Gold Medalist Tessa Hingston on Ordensritter. Photo credit: McCool Photography.
Although she was initially intimidated by the Grand Prix field, Hingston said she got more comfortable in the ring each day and said her 17-year-old horse is a seasoned campaigner.
 
"The courses all week have been great," Hingston said. "Nothing crazy, the turns were all smooth. I thought they were really, really good. I loved showing on the grass. Today the jumps did not come up as easy as they did yesterday. We had a few rubs, but my horse covered for me."
 
Hingston was also part of the gold medal adult amateur team.
 
"The team competition was really cool," she said. "I liked getting to know my teammates. I really enjoyed the entire competition," she said. "Hopefully I will move up to the 1.15m next year, but I would like to keep doing this competition if possible."
 
With just 4 faults over the four rounds, Zone 10's Melanie Brooks, riding her own Vanotrouska, earned the silver medal. Zone 10's Jerra Mays, riding Mary Beth Molt's McSweeney, earned the bronze medal with 6.145 faults.
 
Individual Champions received  Professional's Choice  boots, a cooler, a ribbon and a gold medal. As the Individual Children's gold medalist, Alyce Bittar, will also receive a spot at a 2017 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session, presented by  Dover Saddlery , of her choice.   
 
USHJA extends a special thank you to Blenheim Equisports for hosting the Championships.
 
For more information on the USHJA Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper Championships, visit  www.ushja.org/ChAAJumper . Comprehensive results follow.
 
Adult Amateur Team Results:

Gold:
Zone 9/10 Team (Tessa Hingston riding her own Ordensritter, Troy Christiansen riding Bridgeport Equine LLC's Van Damme, Barbara Blasko riding her own JF Justinian, and Linda Fotsch riding her own Nuage)
Silver:
Zone 10 Team 1 (Katie Rotunno riding her own Modena, Anne Frankel riding her own Di Nero B, Jerra Mays riding Mary Beth Molt's McSweeney, and Rory Ingels riding her own Normandee)
Bronze:
Zone 10 Team 2 (Alexis Georgeson riding her own Athena, Jasmine Weber-Talley riding her own Washington, Melanie Brooks riding her own Vanotrouska)
 
Adult Amateur Individual Results:

Placing
Horse Rider Owner City, State
1 Ordensritter Tessa Hingston Tessa Hingston Edmonds, Wash.
2 Vanotrouska Melanie Brooks Melanie Brooks Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
3 McSweeney Jerra Mays Mary Beth Molt Temecula, Calif.
4 Normandee Rory Ingels Rory Ingels Costa Mesa, Calif.
5 JF Justinian Barbara Blasko Barbara Blasko Fallbrook, Calif.
6 Di Nero B Anne Frankel Anne Frankel Porter Ranch, Calif.
7 Nuage Linda Fotsch Linda Fotsch Sausalito, Calif.
8 Van Damme Troy Christiansen Bridgeport Equine LLC West Hollywood, Calif.

Children's Team Results:
 
Gold:
Zone 10 Team 1 (Emma Pacyna riding Zoey Pacyna's Wonderfull, Taylor Husman riding her own Elton, Romina Fimbres riding Everardo Hegewisch's Adelante, and Alyce Bittar riding Georges Bittar's Cara B)
Silver:
Zone 10 Team 4 (Keighley Bader riding her own Tilburg, Jackie Martin-Castro riding Judith Martin's The Flying Coconut, Amelia Enzminger riding her own Liberty, and Amelie Bittar riding Georges Bittar's Beirut 'B')
Bronze:
Zone 9 Team (Brittany Komlofske riding Haven Farm's BB Delta, Hailey Holm riding her own Kilkenny Aries, Tessa Rodgers riding her own The Perfect Crime, and Reed Dinger riding her own Crazy Lady Gaga)
 
Children's Individual Results:

Placing
Horse Rider Owner City, State
1 Cara B Alyce Bittar Georges Bittar  Los Angeles, Calif.
2 Beirut 'B' Amelie Louise Bittar Georges Bittar  Los Angeles, Calif.
3 Tilburg Keighley Bader Keighley Bader  Reno, Nev.
4 Elton Taylor Husman Taylor Husman Valencia, Calif.
5 Adelante Romina Fimbres Everardo Hegewisch San Ysidro, Calif.
6 Pibe Pilar Schrage Pilar Schrage  Encino, Calif.
7 Frido Maylis Bonjour Maylis Bonjour San Francisco, Calif.
8 Wing Man Joelle Hylton Joelle Hylton Manteca, Calif.


Media Contact:
Megan Lacy
(859) 225-6723 

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