November 12, 2016 - Few have won the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation. Now, Macey Miles and Harlem's Wild and Wonderful join the coveted list of Triple Crown winners. They earned this feat after taking the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final presented by Elisabeth M. Goth at the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA) American Royal National Championship Horse Show on Saturday. The Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation includes winning the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup, the Good Hands National Championship, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. As the winner of USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final, Miles will have her name engraved on the Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy, alongside a prestigious list of prior winners dating back to 1937. She also earned the Helen K. Crabtree Perpetual Bronze.
"I had to work really hard; you only get one shot at the Triple Crown. This has been something I wanted since I was five-years-old and knew what equitation was about," said Miles after winning the last leg of the Triple Crown. "I looked up to so many riders above me, including those who won it before me. I worked as hard as I could, and Sarah Barclay, my riding instructor, helped me get through it all."
Coming into the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final was not easy for Miles (Rockport, Ind.). She faced immense pressure and stiff competition, joining young women who have been a part of Gold medal-winning Saddle Seat World Cup and Young Rider Teams. She also brought an inexperienced horse, her own six-year-old American Saddlebred, Harlem's Wild and Wonderful. For this being the gelding's first year in equitation competition, he fooled a lot of people.
"I don't think it would have been earthly possible for this horse to come this far in such a short time. My dad has worked night and day with this horse and has brought him to his full potential," said Miles.
A group of 23 combinations began the USEF Saddle Seat Final with preliminary ride-offs on Saturday morning. Miles and Harlem's Wild and Wonderful stood out to the judges of Michael Craighead (Fresno, Calif.), Gary Garone (Richmond, N.H.), and Cindy Mugnier (Belchertown, Mass.) early.
"I thought it was a really great [preliminary] pattern, and it was one everybody could do. There was a lot of transitioning, and I thought riding without stirrups would set me apart from everyone else. I was praying we would get through it, and we did; he did absolutely awesome," said an excited Miles.
The combination advanced to the afternoon session for additional rail and pattern work, along with 11 other combinations. As the nerves crept up on Miles, she settled down after the first cantering figure eight and trusted her partner to get them through.
"I have been practicing these movements ever since I can remember, and I liked all the elements. He was absolutely great, and he did not let me down," said Miles.
Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) claimed back-to-back Reserve Champion honors with Cedarledge Farm's CH EG Chanti's Prayer. With solid performances in front of the judges, Codeanne was awarded the USEF Silver medal. The Bronze medal was awarded to Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) riding her own CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered.
Full class results:
Champion: Macey Miles (Rockport, Ind.) with Harlem's Wild and Wonderful
Reserve Champion: Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) with CH EQ Chanti's Prayer
3. Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) with CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered
4. Faith Robbins (Carmel, Ind.) with Heir's Encore
5. Madison Stringer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with My Kind of Lover
6. Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.) with CH EQ Madeira's Fame
7. Lora Becker (Sioux City, Iowa) with Royal Tryst
8. Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wis.) with CH EQ Final Act
9. Kaeley Arterburn (Carlsbad, Calif.) with CH EQ La Zingara
10. Gabriella Snyder (St. Louis, Mo.) with Nuttin' Doing
The USEF is appreciative of its class donors for helping make the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final possible: Elisabeth M. Goth (Lexington, Ky.), Mary Anne Cronan (Louisville, Ky.) Cynthia Knight (New Orleans, La.), Dr. Catherine McNeese (Austin, Texas), and Carol Reams (Frankfort, Ky.).