As the last rider to go in the jump-off for the $25,000 David Yurman Show Jumping Derby, Meg O’Mara scored her “biggest win ever” ever at the 37th Annual Hampton Classic.
|Meg O’Mara and Sinatra IV (ESI photo)|
O’Mara, from Rumson, N.J., urged Sinatra IV through the jump-off timers with no faults in 41.29 seconds. The other two riders also jumped faultlessly, with Lauren Ward, of Brewster, N.Y., finishing second on Oscar 72 (42.47 seconds) and Canadian rider Wesley Newlands finishing third on Lapacco (44.36 seconds).
Even though she’d never ridden in the Hampton Classic’s Grand Prix Ring, O’Mara, 18, said she felt comfortable on the grass footing in the expansive and brightly decorated ring. The Hampton Classic is one of the few U.S. shows run on grass footing.
O’Mara was the only junior rider (18 or younger) in the jump-off of the David Yurman Show Jumping Derby, which was limited to junior or amateur-owner riders. She said she watched Newlands’ and Ward’s rounds before she started.
“Since they were both clean, I knew I really had to go for it. But Sinatra’s not so fast, so I had to really think about my pace the whole time,” said O’Mara. “But he is a really careful horse, so I knew I could keep asking him to go faster.”
O’Mara described Sinatra, 12, as a “really special horse. He acts a little bit crazy in the warm-up ring, but he’s a winner once he goes in the ring, and he likes to win. He also knows when it’s important, and he didn’t hit a rail all week.”
O’Mara also won the High Junior Jumper Championship and the Shalanno Jumper Style Award.
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