Gold Coast 7 Concludes Series
RELEASE: October 28, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Marnye Langer
On October 16-19, Gold Coast 7 finished off the 2008 season with a bang. In addition to sponsor Markel Insurance Corporation awarding the series’ championships, the show hosted the CPHA Children’s & Adult Regional Finals and CPHA Regional Horsemanship Finals.
After the first two rounds, Malina Munshi was in first place going into the Children’s & Adult Finals work-off. Despite "nerves running through me," she maintained her lead. Munshi was concerned about the approach to the last jump. "That was a difficult track off the rail to the jump," she said. "The track was offset." She and Lucky Barney, a Holsteiner gelding, negotiated the track perfectly to capture the championship ribbon.
She has had Barney for two years, since he was five, and before she bought him he had never jumped. Working with the trainers at Elvenstar, she has brought him along gradually. "His name fits his personality," she said. "Barney has the funniest personality. It’s the best thing about him. He’s a fun horse to be around, and forgiving. He’s my best friend." Munshi used to be a soccer player but switched to riding. "Riding takes a lot of self determination," she said. "I can show my athleticism and my ability to be focused and determined."
Despite her win, Munshi thought that Anne Marie Mueller, the reserve champion, had a better work off. "Hers was smoother," she said. However, the judges rewarded Munshi for her consistent riding over two rounds and work-off. Amateur rider, Mueller rode Lexington (owned by Jessica Singer), a horse she never rode before. "My trainer (Kim Tasker) found me the ride," she said. "The horse I normally ride was just recovering from a splint. They said ‘just try it.’ We really clicked, and he’s a lot of fun to ride. I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride in the medal finals and then we ended up getting reserve riding a horse I didn’t know."
After the first round, Muellner was in seventh. Of her first round she said, "I was really nervous, but then I decided to lighten up and enjoy myself. I got a lot of nerves out of the way before I went into the work-off. He did a beautiful halt and cantered straight to the skinny. The kids are so good. It’s hard being an amateur against all the young and strong kids." She finished fourth in the second round, and then a strong work-off gave her the reserve championship.
Muellner’s Trakehner/Thoroughbred-cross, Amuse Me, won the pre-green hunter championship with Patrick Spanton in the irons, and then Mueller rode to reserve champion in the "B" adult amateur hunter division. "He’s still a little green," she said. "He’s a beautiful mover and willing. He’s really light and easy to ride. He’s a good match personality wise. He jumps beautifully; you just have to stay out of his way. With Patrick riding him, it’s a beautiful picture."
Erica Borchetta (trainer Carolyn Culligan) won the CPHA Horsemanship Class riding McGregor, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood she has had for almost two years. Eighth after the first round, she worked her way up to third by the work-off. Although the CPHA Horsemanship Medal is designed for beginning level riders, they are rigorously tested at the finals, and especially in the work-off. "We came out of the line, jumped the first fence the opposite way, did a hand gallop, and turned right to a hand gallop," explained Borchetta of the test. Despite the difficulty of the test, Borchetta stated matter of factly, "I was quite prepared for all of that. There was a spot in each round that I would like to go back and do again but not in the work-off!" There is no doubt she has her eye on more difficult classes and will undoubtedly be prepared for whatever is asked of her.
Borchetta looked a long time for the right horse. Finally, after looking all over California for a horse, she found McGregor at Thermal. "As soon as he trotted out, we knew he was the right guy," she said. "I’m an adult. As