O'Mara and Donovan win $10,000 Children's and Adult Jumper Championships

Washington, D.C. - October 22, 2008 - The 2008 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) opened jumper competition today with the $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship.

Meg O'Mara, 13, of Rumson, NJ, and Raya de la Cour were the winners in the Children's Jumper Championship. They were one of 15 pairs to advance with a first-round clear to the jump-off. O'Mara went seventh in the jump-off and lowered the leading time to 23.900 seconds with another clean round. The last to go in the jump-off was Zoe Glassman on Nobilis. They were clear in 24.078 seconds to finish in second place.

Of her jump-off round, O'Mara said, "The first person did the inside turn without a problem when we watched her go, so we decided that Raya could do it no problem. She is a small horse and she is really compact, so she can do really tight turns."

O'Mara was very happy with her win on Raya and said she had a feeling she would do well. "It was so much fun. I usually get really nervous and start pulling a lot, but I told myself, 'You know what? I am just going to ride well and get over the jumps.' And I did, so it was good," she said smiling.

O'Mara has owned the 13-year-old mare only since this January and calls Raya her "perfect match." O'Mara trains with Mary Babick and Mary Donner and was excited to compete again at the WIHS.

"This show is really nice," she said. "I love the stadium. I have never ridden in the jumpers in this ring before, so I was a little confused about how I was going to be able to do all the turns because the ring is narrow. But, I got in there and it seemed bigger and they set the jumps really well, so it was good."

Adult Jumper Championship
Kenzie Donovan, 19, of River Hills, WI, piloted Max to win the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship. Donovan and Max were the fastest clear round in a jump-off of 12 competitors. They crossed the finish line in a blazing time of 22.656 seconds to take the lead over Olivia Fry Weeks and Atman, who were quick in 23.407 seconds.

Max, an 11-year-old gelding, stands just over 15 hands. "Max is fast with a deceptively long stride," she Donovan. "He is a really fast turner. He can go from nothing to a huge stride in no time and turn in the air. We say that he has a little jet pack because he can just gallop right up there." 

Donovan has been riding in jumper competition for less than a year, and had a hiatus during the summer to recover from a broken leg. She was eager to get back in the saddle, and the pair accumulated enough points to qualify for the championship with only a few shows.

"Max has been teaching me a lot. We have come a long way," she said. "It means so much to me to win this class. I never dreamed that I would win my first year here doing the jumpers and to be so successful is great."

Donovan is a student at Georgetown University and trains with Cody and Emily Williams. "My trainers have been so great and taught me so much," she said. "I give them so much credit for finding me such a good horse and really talking me through everything, giving me such good advice and being enthusiastic and supportive."

Amateur-Owner Jumpers
The final jumper class of the day was the opening competition for Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Only three horses were clear to contest the jump-off and the winner was Whitney Weeks on Subliem. Marley Goodman and Ronya were second, while Catie Boone and Naleida finished third.

See complete results.

Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper Championship

1. Raya de la Cour, Meg O'Mara: 0 faults/23.900 seconds
2. Nobilis, Zoe Glassman: 0/24.078
3. Chloe, Tilden Brighton: 0/25.080
4. Valfee des Hazalles, Karen Polle: 0/25.439
5. Pink Floyd, Elizabeth Allen: 27.301
6. Words of Wisdom, Ashley Foster: 0/27.658
7. Mio W, Kimberly Saul: 0/28.706
8. Carrera Z, Stephanie Dubois-Emond: 4/23.096
9. Lucky Line M, Annie Davidson: 4/24.828
10. PF Lucy in the Sky, Dani Paradysz: 4/25.330
11. Piccolino, Ali Boone: 4/27.138
12. Rebound, Stephanie Dubois-Emond: 8/23.861

Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship
1. Max, Kenzie Donovan: 0/22.656
2. Atman, Olivia Fry Weeks: 0/23.407
3. Fenway, Ahmed Alali: 0/24.782
4. T Naralda, Hayley Carlson: 0/25.802
5. Picon, Tracy Scheriff: 0/26.276
6. Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay, Emily Colella: 0/26.854
7. Flip, Laurie Kutz: 0/28.459
8. Kick the Clouds, Rebecca Forbes: 4/23.236
9. Foxy Lady, Jenny Kobriger: 4/24.330
10. Filibuster, Emily Colella: 4/24.693
11. Whisper, Kristin Elysse Stolp: 4/24.938
12. Changes in Latitude, Kelly Ford: 6/37.136