Despite a two-month layoff from riding, Nina Montross of Bedford, NY, and Caprifol impressively captured the $10,000 North American League Children's Jumper Finals at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Tuesday.
The talented 14-year-old high school freshman was on an equestrian hiatus in order to attend Westminster School in Simsbury, CT.
"I was nervous because I had not ridden in two months," said Montross. "But I was really excited and just happy to be back riding. I got up early this morning and rode before the class and that was really the first time I did it in a couple of months. I wasn't expecting to win it, but I was hoping."
The field of 30 yielded seven for the jump-off. Emily Sheveland and Lyla were the first to go and incurred four faults with a rail down. Belle Fulmer and Godspeed then laid down the gauntlet with the first clear round in a time of 44.718 seconds. Noah Buehler, the 2011 NAL Pony Jumper Champion, quickly put their score to rest going without fault on Shane in 43.315. Autumn Janesky had a rail on Peper Gold and Stephanie Novas also incurred faults riding Fast Break. Then Caprifol entered the ring with Montross. The NAL year-end division leaders raced around the course leaving all the rails intact in a time of 40.187. Thomas O' Mara, Jr. and Pistol, the last to go in the jump-off, also had a rail, declaring Montross and Caprilfol the winners.
"I have had my horse for almost two years and she so fast. She's a little speed demon," said Montross. "She is my favorite. I love her and my other horse Ohio. They are both really fast horses. That's what I like about them."
The North American League (NAL) offers year-long Series in six divisions – Children's Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children's Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The NAL includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada and features two year-end finals: National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show.
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