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Bevins Takes Top Honors in 2014 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final





A field of 10 competitors vying for the 2014 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final title kicked off the evening session at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show on July 9. At the end of the class, held at the famous Red Mile Race Track in Lexington, Ky., history was made as Caitlin Bevins was named the winner of the 2014 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. Bevins (Rotterdam, N.Y.) rode her and Tamra Lynch's Morgan horse, The Wizard, to top honors under the tutelage of Jaisen Von Ballmoos. Her win was especially exciting because she is the first rider to ever win the Final riding a Morgan in the 14-year history of the Final. The win was all the more meaningful for Bevins as she has owned "Oz" since he was four-years-old. The pair quickly began competing in equitation classes, taking a break when Bevins was in college, but began pattern work again in January to aim for the Final. Bevins and The Wizard put their 11-year partnership on display, earning much acclaim for their performance.  
 
"We came here with very little expectation, all we wanted to do was have a fun experience," Bevins said of her plan for competing in the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. "We did better than we could have imagined. I had so much fun and had a clean pattern. It felt great to present the Morgan breed." 
 
Bevins and The Wizard have been training with Von Ballmoos for a year-and-a-half and have excelled in his program. Bevins hadn't shown pattern work in about 10 years, but her hard work leading up to the Final paid off. 
 
"Oz is a great partner for me. He knows his job and if I ever rush or get anxious, he gets upset with me," Bevins explained. "With him, I don't have an opportunity to get anxious. I thought he could hold his own, and I knew going in the goal was to have fun and a wonderful time. Winning is just icing on the cake." 
 
A very talented group of riders from across the country performed on the rail, and completed an individual pattern created by the judges for the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final supported by Zubrod Stables. The judging panel consisted of James Hale, Brooke Jacobs, and Nancy Troutman. 
 
The Reserve Champion and 2014's Silver medalist in the Final was Katie Moeller riding Virtual Volcano. Moeller (Chesterfield, Mo.) received the Bronze medal at the 2013 Final, rising in the placings this year. The Bronze medal was presented to Kaitlin Kelly (Anchorage, Ky.) riding La Zingara. 
 
The American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) equitation medal was established in 1937 by the fourth President of the AHSA, Adrian Van Sinderen, as part of his strategy to connect horse people across the United States. 
 
In 2001, the tradition of the medal program was extended to the adult amateur exhibitor by offering the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. The Final was created for adult amateur riders to continue to participate in the discipline of saddle seat equitation. Since its inception, the event has been held at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show. 
 

For more information about the Medal Final, contact Jennifer Mellenkamp, USEF Director, National Affiliates at jmellenkamp@usef.org or (859) 225-6955.

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