East Dorset, Vermont — Charlotte Jacobs was her own toughest competition, claiming both first and second places in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic held Sunday, August 4, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Jacobs, 18, of East Aurora, NY, took the win with Promised Land and also grabbed the second place prize aboard her own Kachina.
Jacobs had only herself to beat when she returned to the ring as the last of six competitors to advance to the jump-off. She had already posted a clear jump-off performance with Kachina in a time of 38.45 seconds when she tackled the shortened course for the second time with Promised Land. Jacobs shaved one second off of her leading time, posting a time of 37.31 seconds to take the win with Promised Land. The only other double clear round was produced by Ashley Foster, who crossed the timers in 39.08 riding Indy to finish third.
Jacobs was thrilled to win after finishing fourth a day earlier in the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed.
“It felt good,” said Jacobs, as a huge grin spread across her face. “After yesterday, I really wanted to win. I was expecting both of them to be a little bit tired (after competing in the grand prix the day before), but they were both in perfect form today. They both jumped great and I’m really happy with both of them.”
Fresh off a silver medal finish at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, Jacobs admitted to being hungry for a win. She was on track for a gold medal before having a heart-breaking rail down at the final fence.
“I’m a little bit frustrated by that still,” Jacobs admitted. “I came here with kind of an edge that I just wanted to win, win, win. It helped!”
Jacobs effortlessly transitioned between her two mounts over courses designed by 1976 Olympic silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt of Canada. She had already contested the course in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, finishing fifth with Cyrina Z, giving her a valuable practice round before taking on the higher heights in the High Classic.
“The courses rode well,” commented Jacobs. “They were very smooth and actually more like an equitation course.”
On juggling multiple mounts in the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, Jacobs remarked, “Kachina goes really hard right and Promised Land goes hard left! That’s the only difference. They have very similar strides and are both big, scopey horses. I know them both very well, especially Promised Land.”
Promised Land, known as “Peanut” in the barn, has been Jacobs’ guardian in the show ring for the last four years. Jacobs credited the big bay Holsteiner gelding with making her the rider she is today.
“Peanut’s like my protector; I don’t really know how to explain it,” said Jacobs. “He introduced me to all the big classes – the grand prix classes, the Young Rider classes, everything. He has really taken me to the next level in my riding. He’s been an amazing horse for me. So has Kachina, but Peanut especially. I’ve had him for four years now and I did my first 1.50m classes and my first grand prix with him. My first everything was on him.”
A show jumping veteran, Promised Land is now 19, but still displays plenty of character, often bucking and leaping around the course. Jacobs doesn’t view it as a vice, but as a contagious expression of enthusiasm.
“A lot of people will say ‘Oh my god, aren’t you scared?’ when he starts bucking, but I actually have a lot of fun with it. You jump the jump and you know he’s going to start bucking and leaping in the air. With him, you can go in the ring and just fly at a gallop and he’ll jump his best like that,” Jacobs explained.
Jacobs, who generously donates all of her prize money to Danny & Ron’s Rescue, will contest the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix with both Kachina and Promised Land during the sixth and final week of the 2013 Vermont Summer Festival. Jacobs hopes to qualify with either horse for the USEF Prix de States Team Championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in October.
This fall will also mark Jacobs’ debut on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Equestrian Team as she starts college in September.
“I’m really excited! It’s going to be totally different, but I’m so excited,” Jacobs beamed.
Collegiate equestrian competition does not allow riders to compete on their own horses. While she admits it will be “a little weird” to experience the new format, Jacobs is game for the exciting new chapter in her life.
In her opinion, the biggest challenge she’ll face as a freshman in college will be adjusting to a more structured academic schedule. As a junior rider, school admittedly came second to riding at times and she was free to complete her work on her own schedule.
“I think it’s going to be a wake-up call for me. I think academically, it’s going to be a little tough in the beginning because I usually did all my work on my own schedule. The riding will be different, too, but I’m really excited. There are a lot of girls on the team that I’m friends with and it seems like a fun way to go college!” Jacobs remarked.
Jacobs’ victory in the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was preceded by three other jumper classics held Sunday, August 4, at the Vermont Summer Festival. First to be crowned winner was Haley White with Tiona in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic. The $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic was claimed by Sian Walker and Victorie R while Gabrielle Hero rode Pugnax to victory in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
The Vermont Summer Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in its current Manchester location, offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. The six-week circuit will continue through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday. The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby is also held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
|1||Charlotte Jacobs||Promised Land||0:0||37.31|
|6||Alison Cooney||Toluca LS||0:8||43.48|
|7||Diederique Van Der Knaap||G & C Con Air||4|
|8||Katie Tyler||Seattle 6||4|