The top 30 in the nation who qualified for the Final rode in reverse order of ranking; with 14 moving forward to the tie-breaking round. Six horse-and-rider combinations negotiated double clear rounds over the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course. Eliza Kimball, New York, NY on Available Ohio, owned by Carly Hoft, held the target time of 33.344 seconds until Debney, who went fault-free and faster, in 32.536. Since Debney was the top qualifier, she was the last to go, which she felt was an advantage.
“I actually like being last in the jumpers because I can see what everyone else did and make changes to my plan if someone else was successful on the course,” said Debney. “My plan was just to go smooth. My horse is naturally pretty fast so if you get her riled up she gets crazy because she wants to win, so we just wanted to go as smooth as possible.
“She is so sassy, but that’s what makes her so amazing. She just wants to win all the time. I think that’s what makes the difference, because she just has a good attitude about it as well.”
The NAL hosts West Coast Finals annually at the International Jumping Festival hosted by Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano, CA, and the National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA. Both Finals include the following five divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper Presented by EquiFit, Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper.
The NAL qualifying period runs September 1 through August 31. NAL competitions are open to all who wish to compete, however points are only awarded to current members. For more information regarding the North American League, please call (717) 867-5643, email to NAL@Ryegate.com or visit www.ryegate.com