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Margaret Collins Earns the Junior Southeast Medal Finals with Flying Changes

September 24, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

Margaret Collins and Samy

Jacksonville, FL – September 22, 2012 – In its second day, the first Southeast Medal Finals received accolades from sponsors, competitors, trainers, family and spectators. It was a day to remember for great fun and top competition.

Today’s highlight was the evening class of 31 juniors competing over a technical and challenging course in the Southeast Medal Finals Class. The course began on the far end of the stadium with a single oxer on the short end and continued to the right a four-stride line on the diagonal. Turning to the left the track created an “S” over fence four, a vertical by the in gate, curving around to fence five, an oxer headed in the opposite direction to a turn to the right, a two-stride pair of natural verticals. The riders then had a gallop to the right to an oxer and a bending line to another two-stride, this time, an oxer to a vertical. At this point in the course, the riders had the option of several different approaches to fence nine. Some took the short route with inside turns and some went for a long gallop around the jumps. Either way, it was a tricky fence to find the right distance and many riders lost points there. After fence nine, the course’s path wound back around to the left to the final line, an oxer to vertical.

Six riders had scores in the 80s and were all asked back for a work out. The riders included were Michelle Kunz, Taylor Tanaka, Jordan Katz, Hannah Huntington, Grace Ellen Hannah and Margaret Collins.

The workout required that the riders canter fence two, canter fence 11, hand gallop to fence nine, then on the quarter line going toward the in gate, the riders were to execute two changes of lead. As it would shake out – it was the change of lead that would clinch the win. Four of the six riders performed simple changes of lead. Margaret Collins executed the course beautifully and performed flying changes. The judges gave the nod for effort and execution, awarding the Southeast Medal Finals to Margaret Collins, who flawlessly piloted Samy owned by Quiet Hill Farm.

“It was so much fun – really difficult courses, but really good competition here,” shared Collins. It’s been a great experience. Samy, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, has been her equitation horse for about a year and a half.

“She’s a dream to train,” said trainer Suzanne Muchow of Snow Kissed Stables about Collins, who has been with her since she was 8. “She bought her first pony with me, we bought her next horse, then Samy, and now we have her Junior Jumper. She’s been along with me for the whole ride. We’ve gone from little local shows to Medal Finals, last year. She got Samy last year and within four months qualified for Medal Finals. She has come so far since last year. She’s a dream to teach, she listens, she loves the horses. Margaret earned that blue ribbon. We love this show. This couldn’t prepare you any better for Medal Finals coming up in a few weeks.”

According to Southeast Medal Finals Judge, Kip Rosenthal, “This show is going to be a an important show. The ring is beautiful, the jumps are beautiful, the management has done a great job. It’s absolute first class – and believe me I’ve judged all of the finals. The top riders all scored in the 80s. The top group was very strong. It was really fun to judge. The test changed them around a little bit – but it was a very good class and a difficult course. They had to know where they were and they had to use their eyes, and land and turn and come forward and come back. It was a really super class. I feel really honored to be here the first year.”

Earlier in the day the Zone 4 USEF Pessoa Medal Championship tested 28 young riders over another of Allen Rheimhemer’s challenging courses. Four riders were asked back for the workout, including Liza Finsness, Hasbrouck Donovan, Ashton Alexander and Mackenzie Michaels. Riders were asked to jump a new course that included performing a change of lead and a trot fence.

Liza Finsness and Fedelio

Liza Finsness earned her second trip to the Southeast Medal Finals podium, to receive a medal and a ribbon. On Friday she won the Southeast 3′ Equitation Classic.

“He felt a little quieter today,” said Finsness of her equitation partner, Fedelio. He felt so amazing in the test. This is all just practice for tomorrow’s class. It is definitely a confidence booster for tomorrow.” The ASPCA Maclay Regional will be held tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., another highlight of the Southeast Medal Finals.

“It’s about experience; she’s been here a lot of years in a row and she’s done better each and every year,” said Finsness’ trainer of eight years, Alan Korotkin. “Now it’s paying off. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow!”

James Lala and Juan Gamboa aboard Partizan

In jumper action, the Zone 4 $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Championship’s two final legs were held today at the Southeast Medal Finals. The Championship was competition was in World Cup format, with faults added up from each class to determine the winner. In the end there was only one faultless horse and rider team, Juan Gamboa and Partizan, a 22-year-old Belgian Warmblood.

“You can’t believe how happy I am,” beamed Gamboa. “This is a wonderful horse and a great show! I was the only double clean. You can’t believe how proud I am of my horse! We are the oldest: he’s 22 and I’m a little over 50. My brother gave him to me six years ago. I made a deal with him: if he’ll take care of me, I’ll take care of him. He’s doing his part. Hopefully I can do my part. No spurs, no whip, just a lot of heart!”

The high-charged competition at Southeast Medal Finals continues tomorrow with the ASPCA Malay Regionals at 8:00 a.m. at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Southeast Medal Finals Fast Facts:

WHAT: The Southeast Medal Finals will be a new indoor hunter, jumper and equitation horse show attracting the top riders from USHJA Zone 4 and beyond.



WHEN: September 21-23, 2012

WHERE: The Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, FL, featuring a large indoor coliseum with 3,000 seats, two outdoor ring and 500 permanent stalls.


  • Southeast Junior 3′ Medal Finals
  • Southeast Adult 3′ Medal Finals
  • ASPCA Maclay Regionals
  • Region Three Maclay Equitation Classic
  • Florida Equitation Classic
  • Zone 4 USEF Pessoa National Hunt Seat Medal Finals
  • Zone 4 USEF Adult Medal Finals
  • Zone 4 $10,000 Children’s Jumper Championship
  • Zone 4 $10,000 Adult Jumper Championship
  • Zone 4 Children’s Hunter Championship
  • Zone 4 Adult Hunter Championship
  • Zone 4 Children’s Hunter Pony Championship


Susan Rindal – 904-655-5497 –
James Lala – 561-906-6668 –
Bob Bell – 843-768-5503 –


Hunter Judges: Kip Rosenthal, John Roper, and Third Judge TBA
Jumper Judges: Allen Rheinheimer and Fred Brown
Course Designer: Allen Rheinheimer and Joe Carnicom


Banners: 20 Eight Foot Banners to Hang in Ring
Parties: Welcome Party, Jumper Cocktail Party, Maclay Breakfast
Program Ads: Full Color or Black and White, Full Page – Business Card Size
Tables: 20 VP Tables for Six with full service
Prize Money: Adult and Children’s Jumper Championships
Cooler Sponsors: 10 Coolers Awarded to Championship Winners

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS: Please contact Equestrian Travel 855-GO-Gallop,, the official Hotel Coordinator for the Southeast Medal Finals

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