September 19, 2015 -- Savannah Jenkins jumped out to the early lead yesterday at the 2015 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West hosted by Blenheim EquiSports after completing the flat phase and gymnastics phase of this two-day competition. She will head into today's jumping phase with a two-phase score of 202 hoping to make the ride-off against three other competitors in the 21-person field. Eve Jobs sits in second place with a two-phase score of 196.5 and Ransome Rombauer and Megan Hilton are tied for third with 194.5.
During Phase I, judges Alex Jayne and Debbie Stephens put the riders through a nine-movement individual test designed to demonstrate their effectiveness at preparing a horse on the flat. The competitors were also critiqued on position and use of aids. Each element was worth 10 points for a combined score out of 100. In Phase II, the riders applied the skills from Phase I to an intensive gymnastic course, which included a trot fence, bounce, and several combinations. Phase II was also scored out of 100 with a multiplier of 1.5 and was added to the Phase I score for an overall score.
Saturday, the 21 finalists will return to the Grand Prix Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park for a jumper-style competition in Phase III of the Talent Search Finals West. Following Phase III, the top four riders will return for Phase IV, which will test their ability to navigate a shortened course on not only their own mount, but those of the other three finalists. At the conclusion of Phase IV, the judges will determine the winning rider, trainer, and best horse of the 2015 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West.
For complete Phase I and II scores, go to USEFconnect.com.