Boris Crowned Champion at 2009 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals – West
RELEASE: September 22, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
Lexington, KY - The first of two 2009 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Champions was named at the Los Angeles International Horse Show on September 2
Theo Boris Wins Platinum Performance/ USEF Talent Search Finals - West (AC Custom Photo)
0. Theodore Boris claimed the Finals -West title on the strength of his consistent performance in the Final Ride-Off Phase - where the top four competitors after the first 3 phases start even, ride their own horse, then each of the other’s mount in turn over the same course.
The judges and course designers, US Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George Morris and Susie Schoellkopf set some challenging courses for the 37 riders entered in the Finals - West. Navona Gallegos won the Flat Phase with a solid performance on Friday. Held in the Equidome on Friday evening, the Gymnastics Phase proved daunting, but was deliberately set by the course designers to challenge specific technical skills. The course began with two sets of cavaletti exercises followed by a trot fence and continued with a four part combination which began with a massive triple bar. Boris excelled both in the Gymnastics Phase (which he won) and in the Jumping Phases, although catching Gallegos, who dominated in the flatwork and carried a narrow lead into the Final Four Ride-Off Phase, proved tough.
"As with any championship the top 20 percent are very, very good – there is a nice middle who are up to it, then there are people who are a little over their heads which is ok because it teaches them when they have failure," said Morris after the Finals - West. "I hope the courses, both the gymnastics and the jumping were a learning experience for all of them - even the good ones." Boris' consistent performances, when it came time to switch horses, meant that the 16-year-old from Culver City, CA prevailed over Cayla Richards, Jocelyn Neff and Gallegos.
"All of the final four were very, very good. But it was just his day. He is an athlete by build, he is tight on a horse, balanced on a horse, very soft but when he needs to be strong he can be strong without being rough, he has great empathy and a great eye," said Morris of the winner. "He is a natural, definitely a rider that we are looking for - that type of rider for the teams."
Cayla Richard's mount for the Finals-West, Bingo Bongo (owned by Holly Scapa), won the Gulliver Trophy for Best Horse, a prestigious honor bestowed by the judges after the ride-off.
Olympians like McLain Ward, Lauren Hough and Meredith Michaels all won Talent Search Finals in their rise to the top of the sport.
The 2009 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals – East will be held at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ on October 2-4.
For more information, please contact Amy Serridge at: email@example.com.
For final results and more information, please visit: