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Brett Self Claims 2015 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Title

by Kathleen Landwehr

Lexington, Ky. - A field of 15 competitors vying for the 2015 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final title kicked off the evening session at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show on Wednesday, July 8. Following the competitive field's display of equitation skills, 18-year-old Brett Self was named the winner of the 2015 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. Self (Charleston, W.Va.) rode her own Safe Harbor to top honors under the tutelage of Stephanie Lilly.


Brett Self, 2015 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final winner, on Safe Harbor (Howard Schatzberg)

When asked how it felt to be the Gold medal winner, an ecstatic Self said, "Not even real; I can't even describe it. It's the best moment ever."

After having a rough pattern with Safe Harbor in the qualifier on Tuesday, it was uncertain if Self would ride the 15-year-old American Saddlebred gelding in the Final class. However, she decided to ride her beloved partner, and it was the right decision.

"Yesterday we went in for our pattern for the qualifier and we were doing everything but the pattern; we hardly even finished the pattern," Self said with a laugh. "We were going to try and get in with another horse but he's my soulmate, I love him to death, and I figured I wouldn't want to do it with anybody else. I took my horse in there and he nailed it. It was awesome, I couldn't have asked for anything better."

The 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 judges Betsy Boone (Concord, N.C.), Paul Boone (Concord, N.C.), and Annalize van der Walt (Shelbyville, Ky.).

The Reserve Champion and Silver medalist in the Final was Reagan Upton (Birmingham, Ala.) riding Callaway's Letter to the Editor. The Bronze medal was presented to Ashley Brandies (Jesup, Ga.) riding Tender Troubadour.

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.

Results from the 2015 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final:

Champion: Brett Self (Charleston, W.Va.) on Safe Harbor instructed by Stephanie Lilly

Reserve Champion: Reagan Upton (Birmingham, Ala.) on Callaway's Letter to the Editor instructed by Barbe Smith

Third: Ashley Brandies (Jesup, Ga.) on Tender Troubadour instructed by Christy Parker

Fourth: Jennifer McGowan (Cross Lanes, W.Va.) on Man In Charge instructed by Melissa Moore

Fifth: Dr. Morgan Wolin (Chicago, Ill.) on So Smitten instructed by Stan Bodnar

Sixth: Taylor Deer (Charleston, W.Va.) on Tanbark Heiress instructed by Stephanie Lilly

Seventh: Dr. John Stutts (Louisville, Ky.) on WV He's A Phine Design instructed by Cindy Zubrod-Boel

Eighth: Kate Nichols Totterdale (St. Louis, Mo.) on Callaway's Emancipation instructed by Barbe Smith

Ninth: Katy Flynn (Manchester, N.H.) on Callaway's Born A Star instructed by Gary Garone

Tenth: Danielle Dubay Navarro (Louisville, Ky.) on Tommy Bahama instructed by John & Renee Biggins

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

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