Burbank, California – October 27, 2021 — The fall edition of West Palms Events Riders Cup kicked off at LA Equestrian Center last week starting with a clinic by Team USA Olympic Silver Medalist Jessica Springsteen to benefit Compton Junior Equestrians.Highlights of the co mpetition that followed included the $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix presented by Premier Air Charter as well as the $55,000 PCHA Jumper Championships. Read on to view pictures and results. Thank you to all our incredible sponsors for helping make Riders Cup possible and to Calamigos for providing top-notch hospitality throughout the week!
Saturday night’s $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix presented by Premier Air Charter welcomed top horse and rider pairs to navigate a technical 1.50m course set by FEI course designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) in the Hap Hansen Arena. Spectators held their breath as only four riders advanced to the jump-off: Mark Watring (PUR), Melody Liu (USA), Kasey Ament (USA), and Kyle King (USA).
Watring was first to jump off with four faults, leaving the door open. Liu (USA) put the pedal to the metal and left all the poles up in a blazing time of 44.838 seconds. Ament (USA) and King (USA) tried to catch the 19-year-old but were unsuccessful in their attempts.
Liu (USA) emerged victorious and was presented with the Hap Hansen Perpetual Trophy. It was a night to remember for the amateur rider and her own Corsari Van De Helle trained by Summerland Farms. “It’s pretty surreal going against all these professionals,” Liu commented. “It was a great night.”
Olympic Silver Medalist and Nations Cup Champion Jessica Springsteen (USA) traveled all the way from Belgium to Burbank to teach her first clinic. All proceeds from the event supported the Compton Junior Equestrians (CJE), a program dedicated to keeping inner-city youth off the street and on horses.
Participants included the West Palms Michael Nyuis Scholarship Recipients and students from the Compton Junior Equestrian Program. Over 100 auditors watched as Jessica shared her enthusiasm and positivity with the young riders.
“There can be so many ups and downs in this sport,” Springsteen encouraged the riders. “It’s about learning from your mistakes, learning from your horse, listening to your horse, and always trying to find the lesson even when it doesn’t go your way.”
West Palms Events CEO Dale Harvey was thrilled with the event. “Jessica hit it out of the park,” he commented. “What I loved most is that every single thing that happened, she put a positive spin on it. Her approach is just really amazing.”
Thank you to all the generous sponsors involved with the clinic, especially the Tull Family Foundation, Tim Anderson & Kim Nevin, and Teton Ridge! We also want to give a shoutout to Lindsey Long of Lindsey Long Equine Photography as the official clinic photographer.
Source: Press Release from West Palms Events Management
Photo: © Julia B Photography