Daisy Farish is leading the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals East at the end of the first day of competition at the Gladstone headquarters of the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation.
The 15-year-old Lexington, Ky., resident won today’s flat phase on Ganjana with a score of 92, and finished second in the afternoon gymnastics with the same score. Vivian Yowan, another Lexingtonian, tied with Sophie Simpson for eighth on 87 in the first phase, then topped the ranks in gymnastics with a 93 to stand second. The scores from gymnastics were multiplied by 1.5 to give Daisy a total of 230 to Vivian’s 226.5. Standing third is last year’s ASPCA Maclay winner, McKayla Langmeier, on 226.13, followed by Taylor St. Jacques (224.75) and T.J. O’Mara of Rumson in fifth with 223.25 Sophie is sixth on 222. One of the favorites for the class, Lucy Deslauriers, was fourth in the flat phase but had a refusal at the last fence in the gymnastics and is 53d on 148.50.
The four-part competition, considered by many the most rigorous event of its kind, continues at 9 a.m. Sunday, with all of the 57 competitors jumping a course. At 1:30 p.m., the top riders will compete in the “Final Four,” with each jumping a course and then going back over it on all of the other finalists’ horses.
The idea of the Talent Search is to discover riders who could represent the country internationally. Previous winners include McLain Ward, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who was on the silver medal squad in Rio last summer, and Charlie Jayne, the reserve rider for the 2012 Olympics and 2014 World Equestrian Games, as well as Andre Dignelli, who has coached a number of equitation finals winners and trains Daisy, along with Jodie Bailey, and Vivian as well.
Admission is free. If you can’t make it, the competition will be livestreamed on the USEF Network.