Lexington, KY – It was a clean sweep for the U.S. when Junior and Young Rider Show Jumping Teams vied in the USHJA North American Show Jumping Championships today.
In the Junior division, the team from U.S. Zone 4 led the victory gallop with their Gold medal in tow while the U.S. Zone 2 carried the Silver, and U.S. combined Zones 1/6 took the Bronze.
Michael Hughes and Shockwave, Hayley Barnhill aboard Toucan Tango, Hasbrouck Donovan on Delilah, and Frances Land with Merlin earned the first-ever Gold for Zone 4 with a team total of only 12 faults after two grueling rounds in the Rolex stadium.
While a steady four on the outside line and a difficult water jump caused rails to come down for many, the Zone 4 team persevered. Barnhill, aboard the 9-year-old Tango, went clear for both rounds, one of only six to do so.
“It feels amazing,” said the 18-year-old Barnhill. “Zone 4 has never won a gold medal here, and it’s just awesome to be the first ones to do it.”
Team Chef Kim Land (Frances Land’s mother) could not have been more excited. “I’m really proud of them, with how they helped each other,” she said. “They’ve had their ups and downs this week and today everybody just came together and got better and better.”