“She felt absolutely amazing. She was a little fresher than she normally is on the first day and that for sure helped me today. She is a super quick mare and besides just being fast across the ground, she also has a huge step, so I was able to do a bunch of different leave outs today and I think that really helped me,” said Leahy. “For a week like this, I really want to start off on a strong foot. It’s nice to get her forward on the speed day and then package her back up tomorrow and look to keep producing some clears for the rest of the weekend. I want to do well for my team, and individually, and I really am happy with the start today.”
Leahy has competed for Zone 5 in the Neue Schule/USEF Prix Des States Team Championship in previous years and is looking forward to a strong, educational weekend of competition. She currently leads the competition with a total of 39 points.
“The team format is great. I love prix des states, especially as a young, developing junior rider. I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to have to jog and to understand the format, but not only that, I think it’s good because our sport can be very individualized and to be rooting each other on from a teammate perspective is really important,” added Leahy. “I think that’s definitely a super experience. In the future, I’d like to be trying to make some other teams and continue on in the sport, so I think having this experience is going to set me up for more success in the future.”
The Welcome Speed Class Phase I started the week of national championship competition and will be followed by the Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship and Individual Championship Phase II beginning at 2pm ET tomorrow. The Prix des States is run in a modified Nations Cup format with the team accumulating the least number of faults at the end of two rounds securing the team gold medal. In addition to team medals, the William C. Steinkraus Style Award will be presented to the Prix des States junior jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and the respectful, dignified, courteous, and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman. The competition will conclude on Saturday with Phase III, the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper Individual National Championship to determine the individual medalists. The competitor with the lowest number of total penalties across all three phases will be crowned the individual champion.
All phases of the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships are available for viewing on USEF Network. The Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship Phase II competition will begin tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET. View the week’s full broadcast schedule here.
To view results from the 2020 Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships and learn more about the championship, click here.
View the full schedule for the 2020 Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championship here.
For photo galleries, leading ride videos, and more from the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships follow USA Jumping on Facebook, US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram, and USEF Network on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.