By Jackie Wich
Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania Eventing Team kicked oﬀ its 2019-2020 season at the annual Jump Start Horse Trials this past weekend with three days of competition at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Competing against a field of 13 other teams across multiple divisions of collegiate competition, Transylvania's four horse-and-rider combinations all had strong rides to seventh place. The 14-team field included the University of Findlay, University of Kentucky, Otterbein University, and Louisville Eventing Team among the strong list of competitors.
Friday's action began with junior Amanda Haw and her 24-year old mare, With Perseverance. Haw and With Perseverance laid down one of their best dressage scores to date in the Training Rider division. They followed up with a double clear show jump later that day.
On Saturday morning, Haw and With Perseverance sailed through the finish flags in cross country competition to secure a second-place finish.
Sophomore Maddie Cease competed with her two horses Charlie and TS Air Striker this weekend at the Novice level. Charlie was affiliated with Transylvania's team while Striker was placed on a scramble team with other horse-and-rider combinations. Both horses laid down solid dressage tests and double clear cross country rides. This was TS Air Striker's first event at the novice level and he proved to be a class act all weekend.
Sophomore Maggie Perkins and her six-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Tapperwing, had a solid outing at the mare's first oﬃcial event. Tapperwing performed a beautiful dressage test and followed up with an exciting show jump as Perkins piloted the mare around with ease. On Sunday, the pair set out for a double clear cross country ride. Perkins and Tapperwing would go on to eventually secure a ninth-place finish in a tough Beginner Novice Horse division alongside professionals.
Freshman Jackie Wich and her nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Master Miller, finished off the weekend by putting down a winning dressage test in the Training Rider division. Some unfortunate jump penalties in show jumping cost them the lead. On Saturday morning, the pair had a confident cross country performance and are looking ahead for improvement throughout the rest of the season. The showing wrapped up a successful weekend for Wich and her horse Miller, who completed their first event in the Bluegrass State.
Transylvania's Eventing Team and eventing head coach Tanya Davis, finished the weekend pleased overall and are excited to turn their eyes toward the rest of the season. The Pioneers will next compete at the River Glen Horse Trials in the Tennessee Mountains at New Market, Tennessee on November 9-10. The team will be hard at work these next few weeks in preparation for the rest of the fall season.