Kimberly McCormack Wins 2007 ASPCA Maclay National Championship at Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament
RELEASE: November 8, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
Photo by Randi Muster (Kimberly McCormack and Sundance)
On November 3 at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament, Kimberly McCormack of Clermont, NJ, took home the prestigious title of national champion in the 2007 ASPCA Maclay National Championship. McCormack rode Sundance to the title and trains with her sister Kristy McCormack, Missy Clark and John Brennan. Elizabeth Lubrano of Glenmoore, PA, finished as the reserve champion, while Shelby Wakeman of Westlake Village, CA, was third.
The first-round course was designed by judges George H. Morris and Linda Hough. It posed a challenge for many of the riders. It featured different looking jumps, such as a leaf-covered wall with no standards and an arch jump.
"The course was a little harder in the morning than in the afternoon," Hough acknowledged. "We didn't want to play down to the group. We wanted to play up, and I think we accomplished that. It's such an amazing thing to sit there and watch these wonderful animals."
There were 153 riders in the opening round, which began at 6:30 a.m. After the first round, 30 riders were called back for the flat phase. They were split into groups of 10. After the flat phase, the judges chose 18 riders to return for a second jumping round. The top 18 for that round were:
—Jennifer Walters and Opportunity
—Hayden Warmington and Obelix S
—Matthew Metell and Oliver
—Kate Salzman and Ricochet
—Melissa Barton and Jack & Coke
—Cathy Rolfs and Timeless
—Stephanie Underwood and Narcis Z
—Tatiana Dzavik and Littlefoot
—Carly Anthony and Apollo
—Shelby Wakeman and San Francisco
—Lucy Davis and San Marcos
—Mallory Olson and Patriot
—Katherine Newman and Double Diamond
—Kimberly McCormack and Sundance
—Elizabeth Lubrano and Golou II
—Emily Gardner and Almost Famous
—Michelle Morris and Eventual
—Maria Schaub and I-Toon
The second-round course had 11 numbered jumps that were on a track that featured rollback turns. It also had the arch jump and an ivy wall with standards. It was a straightforward course that required a precise eye for the jumps.
Wakeman was placed ninth after the flat phase. Going into the second round, she wanted to impress the judges. Her horse, San Francisco, jumped flawlessly and did not touch any of the jumps. Wakeman made great, neat turns and put in a solid second round. She moved up seven spots to finish in third place. After her round, Wakeman said, "I really didn't have anything to lose. I just wanted to go in and have a good round. Hopefully it would all work out."
McCormack was fifth going into the final jumping round. She rode her horse Sundance and was not fazed by the demanding course. She made a great, thoughtful turn from fence two to three, was flawless from the one stride to fence 6, and rode the whole course with style. It seemed at that point that no matter what the outcome, she would move up in the standings.
Lubrano followed McCormack on Golou II. Lubrano waited for the easy distance to fence 2, but finished the rest of the course without fault. She would have to wait for the final three riders to see where she placed. "I thought I was a little deep to the second jump," she said afterwards. Lubrano would move up from fourth place to second in the final standings.
A rail at fence 9 would move Gardner, who was standing in third place at the time, down to fifth place in the standings at the end of the class. Morris, currently in second place, would drop to sixth place after she had a couple sticky jumps on course.
The final rider on course was Schaub, who has already won three major equitation classes this year. Riding I Toon, Schaub is no stranger to the pressure of leading a class. However, it was not Schaub's day to win. She pulled a rail at fence 3, had a hard rub at 6, and had a long distance to fence 8.