Kassidy Keith of Duncan, BC earned the red ribbon in the 2015 Jump Canada Medal Final, held Nov. 10, 2015 at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Keith bested a field of 19 competitors from four Regions across Canada (Atlantic, Ontario, Prairie and British Columbia) who were invited to the Jump Canada Medal Final after finishing at the top of their Regional Final.
Partnered with Wallabee, a 17-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding owned by Jolene Benham, Keith put in a smooth, efficient trip around the initial jumping test, which featured nine jumps and 11 jumping efforts, including both one- and two-stride combinations and broken lines.
The third rider to be called back in the order of the judges’ preference into the flat portion, Keith expertly handled the tests, which included sitting trot and extended trot, and was the first entry asked to remain in the ring as part of the top four for further testing.
As the judges’ top pick after the flat phase, Keith enjoyed the advantage of being last to ride the final four test, and laid down yet another impressive round over the tricky course, which asked riders to canter directly from the line-up to a one-stride combination, followed by a trot fence, a halt, a counter-canter to an oxer, an oxer taken at a hand-gallop, and finally, a display of sitting trot back to the line-up.
“It feels really awesome to win the Jump Canada Medal Final, because I’ve come a long way since last year,” commented Keith after the award ceremony, where Jump Canada Chair Pamela Law presented her with a cooler, medal, sash, ribbon, and a Jump Canada jacket. In addition, Keith was awarded the Leslie P. Usherwood Memorial Trophy, presented by Leslie’s daughter, Victoria.
“It feels great to share the win with my mom, and have her here, because we’ve worked really hard this year for it,” Keith said of her mother, Cheryl Anne, who is one of her coaches, along with John Turner.
Keith also expressed thanks to her long-time partner, Wallabee, stating, “He was an orphan, and we’ve had him since he was four years old. He is part of our family.”
At 17 years of age, Keith is the same age as Wallabee and has literally grown up riding him. In addition to the Jump Canada Medal, the duo also qualified to compete at the Royal Horse Show in the CET Medal, Hunter Derby, and Junior Hunter.
Following Keith in the ribbons in second place was Katrina Komitsch of Calgary, AB aboard Tom Foolery, owned by Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd. Third place went to Lexi Ray from Oakville, ON riding Kimberly Janson’s Columbina Z, while Vanessa French from Thorndale, ON rounded out the top four aboard Sunday de Bromont, owned by Coralie Couture.
For more information on the Jump Canada Medal series, click here.
Jump Canada Medal Final
Placing / Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner
1st / Kassidy Keith / Duncan, BC / Wallabee / Jolene Benham
2nd / Katrina Komitsch / Calgary, AB / Tom Foolery / Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd.
3rd / Lexi Ray / Oakville, ON / Columbina Z / Kimberly Janson
4th / Vanessa French / Thorndale, ON / Sunday de Bromont / Coralie Couture
5th / Dannie Murphy / Charlottetown, PEI / Elmo / Martie Murphy
6th / Mackenzie Wray / Loretto, ON / Castor / Redfield Farm
7th / Anna Bremermann / Oakville, ON / Pretentious K / Eric Bremermann
8th / Taylor McManus / Langley, BC / Thiago / Georgia McManus