Keenan Tops Sam Edelman Equitation Class At Hampton Classic
Defeats a field of 42 junior rider over Grand Prix Ring course.
Lillie Keenan won the two-round Sam Edelman Equitation Championship, presented by The Chronicle of the Horse, at the Hampton Classic, scoring 175.5 points. Charlotte Jacobs finished second (171), and McKayla Langmeier finished third (170).
Keenan, 16, was disappointed in her first-round performance, which left her in fifth place with a score of 85.5. So she put it all on the line for round 2.
"I always put a lot of pressure on myself, and I definitely put way too much pressure on myself in the first round," said Keenan, of New York, N.Y. "I rode too timidly, and I worried too much about making everything too perfect. So I knew that if I was going to get the kind of score I needed to win, I really had to go for it and take every opportunity to put in a winning round."
Keenan rode Levistano 2, a bay gelding owned by Heritage Farm in Katonah, N.Y., where she trains with Andre Dignelli and his team. They won the $10,000 trainers' award as a result of Keenan's victory.
Keenan said that Levistano 2 is the perfect horse for equitation classes in big fields like the Hampton Classic's Grand Prix Ring. "This is the kind of class he's best in, because he has a wonderful rhythm and he likes to gallop to the jumps," said Keenan. "He really did his job in the first round, and I had to do mine in the second round."
Scoring a 90, Keenan earned the highest score of the top-placed 15 riders who returned for round 2. Leader Michael Hughes scored a 93 in round 1 but slumped to a 76 in round 2, to fall to fourth place. Jacobs stood second after round 1 with a 91, and her second-round score 80 kept her there. Langmeier added 84 points to her first round score of 86 to climb to third.
"I thought both rounds were equally challenging but not death-defying. I thought they were perfect courses, appropriate for this class," said Keenan, who on Tuesday won the 20,000 Hampton Classic Time Challenge, an open jumper class.
During the Grand Prix Ring's morning session, the husband-and-wife team of Jonathan McCrea and Christine McCrea, of East Windsor, Conn., took the bulk of the prize money in the $10,000 Douglas Elliman Open Jumper.
Jonathan rode Special Lox through the finish timers in 35.63 seconds to nip Kevin Babington on Shorapur (36.43 seconds) and Christine on Waterloo (36.48 seconds).
Second place did, however, push Babington into the lead in the race for the $30,000 Longines Leading Rider Challenge. Babington has 98 points, followed by Ramiro Quintana (94) and Mattias Tromp (85). Christine McCrea is in eighth place (65), and Jonathan McCrea is in 16th place (50).
(PHOTO) Lillie Keenan rode Levistano 2 to victory in the Sam Edelman Equitation Championship, presented by The Chronicle of the Horse, at the Hampton Classic. (Shawn McMillen photo)