Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. triumphs in WIHS Equitation Classic Final



Jenny Ross for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Photo Credit: Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. and Littlefoot. Photo © 2006 Diana DeRosa. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. Triumphs in Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic Final

Washington, D.C. – October 28, 2006 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured the WIHS Equitation Classic Final this weekend and invited 30 of the top junior riders in the nation to compete for the National Championship title. The Hunter Phase was held on Friday, October 27, at the Verizon Center, and the Jumper Phase and Final Work-Off took center stage today.

After the Hunter Phase, the top ten riders included Haylie Jayne, Jack Hardin Towell Jr., Maggie McAlary, Sloane Coles, Megan Massaro, Maria Schaub, Jessica Springsteen, Kacy McCann, Kimberly McCormack, and Nikko Ritter. The Jumper Phase, however, tested their ability over a difficult course, with tight turns and a challenging time allowed of 76 seconds. Six judges sat in pairs at different places around the arena, and three scores were given and averaged for the phase score.

Over today’s course, Ritter earned a 63, McCormack rode well for a score of 82.333, McCann finished with a 67.333, Springsteen received an 84.666, and Schaub received an 82. Massaro came away with a 83, Coles took home a 85.833, and McAlary had a great round that scored a 86.333. Towell and Jayne were the last to go, and both rode exceptionally well. Towell, who had judges’ scores of 96, 90, and 94 for an average of 93.333, was the highest score in the jumper phase and put them into the lead going into the work-off. Jayne scored an 89, 87, and a 93 for an average of 89.833.

The jumper scores were then added with their numerical score from the Hunter Phase, and mathematics indicated that Towell, who earned an 88.333 in the first round, and Jayne, who scored an 89.250, were the two highest scoring riders with totals of 179.083 (Jayne) and 181.666 (Towell). Both riders train with Missy Clark and John Brennan.

The top ten riders were then required to switch horses and compete over the same course for the Final Work-Off. After the Jumper Phase, the top ten riders were Hillary Dobbs, Kimberly McCormack, Jessica Springsteen, Nick Haness, Maria Schaub, Megan Massaro, Sloane Coles, Maggie McAlary, Jack Hardin Towell Jr, and Haylie Jayne.

After Dobbs rode McCormack’s horse Sundance, she finished with an overall score of 243.666. Springsteen returned on Jayne’s horse Ivy and had an unfortunate rail at the last jump, which gave her a total of 242.166 for her final score.

McCormack rode Dobbs’ horse and had a very tight spot to the liverpool oxer, which resulted in a score of 60, adding up to 226.166 for her final tally. Schaub and McAlary’s Mid-Accord also pulled a rail and ended up with a 73.666, calculating up to a final score of 240.832. Massaro’s score dropped down to 77.666 after she rode Haness’ horse, and her final result was a 246.249.

Sloane Coles guided Towell’s horse Littlefoot, who pulled two rails and earned a 71, giving her an overall total of 244.330. After havinga rail down, Haness and Massaro’s Simplicity unfortunately spooked and abruptly halted in the corner of the arena. Haness circled and finished, but the problems led to a low score of 33.333 and a total of 206.999.

Maggie McAlary, fresh off her win in the USEF Medal Finals at Harrisburg, rode Schaub’s horse Whimsey. She had a smooth, even trip, and was rewarded with the highest work-off score of 90.333, which gave her a total of 264.499.

Jayne rode Springsteen’s Cino to a few deep distances at the oxers, it was revealed that a score of 85.666 and total of 264.749 would take the lead over McAlary.

Towell was asked to pilot Coles’ horse, Papillon 136, and he executed the final round perfectly. The judges rewarded him with a score of 88.333, which added up for a total score of 269.999. Towell had won the championship title after three solid performances.

“It was always a goal of mine to win a final,” Towell said proudly. “Missy always told me I would, and I only had two left. I was starting to doubt it, but Missy wouldn’t lie to me,” he smiled. “It was hard. He [Littlefoot] was great in the jumper phase, and Sloane’s horse was really good in the test, so it worked out right.”

When asked about the preparation time on Coles’ horse, he replied, “You have about three minutes to flat it, and you get four jumps. All of the horses in the top ten are good horses. Some people may have an advantage if it’s their type of ride, but mine was a good horse. Sloane got a good ribbon at Harrisburg on it, so I thought it would work out.”

“All of the horses were tired,” he noted. “Some had rails, and they jumped a lot. I focused on leaving the jumps up….I didn’t have to get a 95, I just had to stay in there. That is one thing that Missy told me for a long time.”

Clark added, “Hardin is such a talent with natural, raw ability. He’s had to work hard on his position, his discipline, and he’s certainly stepped up to the plate this year. He had to learn.” She explained, “He wanted this so badly, and it’s easy for him in the hunter ring, and he’s become a very good jumper rider. He wanted a national championship in the equitation ring so much that sometimes I think he would sabotage himself….I think he learned a lot of lessons in the last 12 months, and he’s grown up a lot. He’s learned what it takes to be a real champion.”

This past week, Towell also won the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter championship and the Best Child Rider Award.

Final Results: WIHS Equitation Classic Finals

Rider, Horse, Trainers, Rounds One and Two Score/Work-off Score=Final Total Score
1. Jack Hardin Towell Jr., Littlefoot, Missy Clark, John Brennan: 181.66/88.333=269.999
2. Haylie Jayne, Ivy, Missy Clark, John Brennan, Alex Jayne: 179.083/85.666=264.749
3. Maggie McAlary, Mid-Accord, Andre Dignelli, Patricia Griffith, Kirsten Coe: 174.166/90.333=264.499
4. Megan Massaro, Simplicity, Don Stewart Jr.: 168.853/77.666=246.249
5. Sloane Coles, Papillon 136, Frank and Stacia Madden: 173.333/71=244.330
6. Heather Dobbs, Raven, Missy Clark, John Brennan: 160.333/83.333=243.666
7. Jessica Springsteen, Cino, Frank and Stacia Madden: 162.166/80=242.166
8. Maria Schaub, Whimsey, Frank and Stacia Madden: 167.166/73.666=240.832
9. Kimberly McCormack, Sundance, Missy Clark, John Brennan, Kristy McCormack: 166.166/60=226.166
10. Nick Haness, Landano, John Bragg, Don Stewart Jr.: 173.666/33.333=206.999


Photo Credit: Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. and Littlefoot. Photo © 2006 Diana DeRosa. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

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