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Horse Jumping at the National Western

Jumping events, whether they are Junior events or the prestigious 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix, are always popular with visitors to the National Western Stock Show. The first open event leading up to the Jack Daniels Grand Prix is the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake.

Hunter/Jumper events are very popular in Colorado and riders start at a very young age. The Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper preceded the Gambler’s Choice. As an indicator of the popularity of jumping events in the state, all but one of the riders were from Colorado. The young riders all had fans in the audience, and the event was closely contested.

The first and second place riders were both from Colorado. Fifteen-year-old Haley Griffis rode Cicis Angel through the course for a time of 33.729 seconds to take second place. Cicis Angel is owned by the Palmer Divide Ranch of Larkspur, Colo.

The first place winner was 17-year-old Amanda McConnell, who has been riding Hunter/Jumpers since she was five. Amanda guided A Twist of China, who is owned by Jim McConnell of Littleton, Colo., over the jumps in 31.060 seconds. Both girls are planning to attend college on riding scholarships.

Next up in the evening performance was the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. Eighteen world-class jumpers would compete on a uniquely designed course for a high energy performance with an element of risk.

The challenging series of jumps was created by top course designer Kenny Krome of Maryland. Kenny is a certified course designer and has been creating courses to bring out the best in horse and rider for over 15 years. When asked about his philosophy of setting courses, Krome said, “The most important is, obviously, safety. My job description is to design a test for the horses, so I’ve got to come up with an appropriate test for the class and for the level of horse and the level of the rider.”

Krome continued, “That’s the basic parameters that I’m working with. Here at the National Western, we have a great audience, so I’m always trying to make sure it will be exciting for the crowd and make sure we have some good stuff – some good sport, and we have a good and fair competition for everybody.”

The rules for Gambler’s Choice are very straightforward. Each gate is assigned a point value depending on it’s degree of difficulty. The course will have between 10 and 15 jumps. Riders can jump any fence, from any direction, a maximum of two times. Knocking a fence down or having a horse refuse to jump does not result in any penalties, but that fence can not be used to add to the rider’s total points.

There is no required pattern and riders may approach the jumps from either side. Although there is a starting and ending tone and riders must start and end at a time line, time becomes a factor only in the event of a tie. The goal is to accumulate the most points in the allowed 60 seconds.

The fences are not the tallest or broadest that the riders will see at other ‘open’ events at the Stock Show, but, because the riders are trying to make the time between jumps as short as possible in order to clear as many fences as possible, the horses will come at the jumps from strange angles with sometimes unpredictable results. The 100 and 120 point fences are 4-1/2-feet tall.

The Joker fence is not used during the rider’s 60 second run. Once the run is complete the rider can chose to attempt the Joker fence or pass on it. The Joker is worth 200 points and can really move a rider up in the standings. It can also move a rider down and out of contention, as it is the only fence which carries a penalty for failure to clear or for refusal by the horse. Having 200 points deducted from your score can have a major impact on placing.

The Joker fence is 5-feet tall and the fence is substantial because its six rails are placed very close together. It can be a considerable obstacle to even the world class horses that compete at the National Western.

Another interesting aspect of the Gamblers Choice is that riders can enter and compete on more than one horse. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Neb., took full advantage of that by competing on three horses owned by Blair Cudmore and placing on all three of them. Karen completed the course on Shea with enough points for sixth place, took second on Ceonto, and finished in first place riding Southern Pride. To add to the families winning total at the Gambler’s choice, Blair and Karen’s daughter Brooke placed eighth on Ocelot.

The Cudmore’s continued their winning run at the National Western with 17-year-old Brooke winning the 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix riding Ocelot from the family’s Heartland Farm in Nebraska. Even though Brooke took the top spot over her mother, Karen Cudmore had the most placings by taking second on Shea, third on Southern Pride, and 11th on Ceonto. Blair Cudmore summed it up by saying, “We really had a great National Western!”

Jumping events, whether they are Junior events or the prestigious 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix, are always popular with visitors to the National Western Stock Show. The first open event leading up to the Jack Daniels Grand Prix is the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake.

Hunter/Jumper events are very popular in Colorado and riders start at a very young age. The Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper preceded the Gambler’s Choice. As an indicator of the popularity of jumping events in the state, all but one of the riders were from Colorado. The young riders all had fans in the audience, and the event was closely contested.

The first and second place riders were both from Colorado. Fifteen-year-old Haley Griffis rode Cicis Angel through the course for a time of 33.729 seconds to take second place. Cicis Angel is owned by the Palmer Divide Ranch of Larkspur, Colo.

The first place winner was 17-year-old Amanda McConnell, who has been riding Hunter/Jumpers since she was five. Amanda guided A Twist of China, who is owned by Jim McConnell of Littleton, Colo., over the jumps in 31.060 seconds. Both girls are planning to attend college on riding scholarships.

Next up in the evening performance was the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. Eighteen world-class jumpers would compete on a uniquely designed course for a high energy performance with an element of risk.

The challenging series of jumps was created by top course designer Kenny Krome of Maryland. Kenny is a certified course designer and has been creating courses to bring out the best in horse and rider for over 15 years. When asked about his philosophy of setting courses, Krome said, “The most important is, obviously, safety. My job description is to design a test for the horses, so I’ve got to come up with an appropriate test for the class and for the level of horse and the level of the rider.”

Krome continued, “That’s the basic parameters that I’m working with. Here at the National Western, we have a great audience, so I’m always trying to make sure it will be exciting for the crowd and make sure we have some good stuff – some good sport, and we have a good and fair competition for everybody.”

The rules for Gambler’s Choice are very straightforward. Each gate is assigned a point value depending on it’s degree of difficulty. The course will have between 10 and 15 jumps. Riders can jump any fence, from any direction, a maximum of two times. Knocking a fence down or having a horse refuse to jump does not result in any penalties, but that fence can not be used to add to the rider’s total points.

There is no required pattern and riders may approach the jumps from either side. Although there is a starting and ending tone and riders must start and end at a time line, time becomes a factor only in the event of a tie. The goal is to accumulate the most points in the allowed 60 seconds.

The fences are not the tallest or broadest that the riders will see at other ‘open’ events at the Stock Show, but, because the riders are trying to make the time between jumps as short as possible in order to clear as many fences as possible, the horses will come at the jumps from strange angles with sometimes unpredictable results. The 100 and 120 point fences are 4-1/2-feet tall.

The Joker fence is not used during the rider’s 60 second run. Once the run is complete the rider can chose to attempt the Joker fence or pass on it. The Joker is worth 200 points and can really move a rider up in the standings. It can also move a rider down and out of contention, as it is the only fence which carries a penalty for failure to clear or for refusal by the horse. Having 200 points deducted from your score can have a major impact on placing.

The Joker fence is 5-feet tall and the fence is substantial because its six rails are placed very close together. It can be a considerable obstacle to even the world class horses that compete at the National Western.

Another interesting aspect of the Gamblers Choice is that riders can enter and compete on more than one horse. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Neb., took full advantage of that by competing on three horses owned by Blair Cudmore and placing on all three of them. Karen completed the course on Shea with enough points for sixth place, took second on Ceonto, and finished in first place riding Southern Pride. To add to the families winning total at the Gambler’s choice, Blair and Karen’s daughter Brooke placed eighth on Ocelot.

The Cudmore’s continued their winning run at the National Western with 17-year-old Brooke winning the 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix riding Ocelot from the family’s Heartland Farm in Nebraska. Even though Brooke took the top spot over her mother, Karen Cudmore had the most placings by taking second on Shea, third on Southern Pride, and 11th on Ceonto. Blair Cudmore summed it up by saying, “We really had a great National Western!”

Jumping events, whether they are Junior events or the prestigious 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix, are always popular with visitors to the National Western Stock Show. The first open event leading up to the Jack Daniels Grand Prix is the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake.

Hunter/Jumper events are very popular in Colorado and riders start at a very young age. The Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper preceded the Gambler’s Choice. As an indicator of the popularity of jumping events in the state, all but one of the riders were from Colorado. The young riders all had fans in the audience, and the event was closely contested.

The first and second place riders were both from Colorado. Fifteen-year-old Haley Griffis rode Cicis Angel through the course for a time of 33.729 seconds to take second place. Cicis Angel is owned by the Palmer Divide Ranch of Larkspur, Colo.

The first place winner was 17-year-old Amanda McConnell, who has been riding Hunter/Jumpers since she was five. Amanda guided A Twist of China, who is owned by Jim McConnell of Littleton, Colo., over the jumps in 31.060 seconds. Both girls are planning to attend college on riding scholarships.

Next up in the evening performance was the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. Eighteen world-class jumpers would compete on a uniquely designed course for a high energy performance with an element of risk.

The challenging series of jumps was created by top course designer Kenny Krome of Maryland. Kenny is a certified course designer and has been creating courses to bring out the best in horse and rider for over 15 years. When asked about his philosophy of setting courses, Krome said, “The most important is, obviously, safety. My job description is to design a test for the horses, so I’ve got to come up with an appropriate test for the class and for the level of horse and the level of the rider.”

Krome continued, “That’s the basic parameters that I’m working with. Here at the National Western, we have a great audience, so I’m always trying to make sure it will be exciting for the crowd and make sure we have some good stuff – some good sport, and we have a good and fair competition for everybody.”

The rules for Gambler’s Choice are very straightforward. Each gate is assigned a point value depending on it’s degree of difficulty. The course will have between 10 and 15 jumps. Riders can jump any fence, from any direction, a maximum of two times. Knocking a fence down or having a horse refuse to jump does not result in any penalties, but that fence can not be used to add to the rider’s total points.

There is no required pattern and riders may approach the jumps from either side. Although there is a starting and ending tone and riders must start and end at a time line, time becomes a factor only in the event of a tie. The goal is to accumulate the most points in the allowed 60 seconds.

The fences are not the tallest or broadest that the riders will see at other ‘open’ events at the Stock Show, but, because the riders are trying to make the time between jumps as short as possible in order to clear as many fences as possible, the horses will come at the jumps from strange angles with sometimes unpredictable results. The 100 and 120 point fences are 4-1/2-feet tall.

The Joker fence is not used during the rider’s 60 second run. Once the run is complete the rider can chose to attempt the Joker fence or pass on it. The Joker is worth 200 points and can really move a rider up in the standings. It can also move a rider down and out of contention, as it is the only fence which carries a penalty for failure to clear or for refusal by the horse. Having 200 points deducted from your score can have a major impact on placing.

The Joker fence is 5-feet tall and the fence is substantial because its six rails are placed very close together. It can be a considerable obstacle to even the world class horses that compete at the National Western.

Another interesting aspect of the Gamblers Choice is that riders can enter and compete on more than one horse. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Neb., took full advantage of that by competing on three horses owned by Blair Cudmore and placing on all three of them. Karen completed the course on Shea with enough points for sixth place, took second on Ceonto, and finished in first place riding Southern Pride. To add to the families winning total at the Gambler’s choice, Blair and Karen’s daughter Brooke placed eighth on Ocelot.

The Cudmore’s continued their winning run at the National Western with 17-year-old Brooke winning the 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix riding Ocelot from the family’s Heartland Farm in Nebraska. Even though Brooke took the top spot over her mother, Karen Cudmore had the most placings by taking second on Shea, third on Southern Pride, and 11th on Ceonto. Blair Cudmore summed it up by saying, “We really had a great National Western!”

Jumping events, whether they are Junior events or the prestigious 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix, are always popular with visitors to the National Western Stock Show. The first open event leading up to the Jack Daniels Grand Prix is the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake.

Hunter/Jumper events are very popular in Colorado and riders start at a very young age. The Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper preceded the Gambler’s Choice. As an indicator of the popularity of jumping events in the state, all but one of the riders were from Colorado. The young riders all had fans in the audience, and the event was closely contested.

The first and second place riders were both from Colorado. Fifteen-year-old Haley Griffis rode Cicis Angel through the course for a time of 33.729 seconds to take second place. Cicis Angel is owned by the Palmer Divide Ranch of Larkspur, Colo.

The first place winner was 17-year-old Amanda McConnell, who has been riding Hunter/Jumpers since she was five. Amanda guided A Twist of China, who is owned by Jim McConnell of Littleton, Colo., over the jumps in 31.060 seconds. Both girls are planning to attend college on riding scholarships.

Next up in the evening performance was the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. Eighteen world-class jumpers would compete on a uniquely designed course for a high energy performance with an element of risk.

The challenging series of jumps was created by top course designer Kenny Krome of Maryland. Kenny is a certified course designer and has been creating courses to bring out the best in horse and rider for over 15 years. When asked about his philosophy of setting courses, Krome said, “The most important is, obviously, safety. My job description is to design a test for the horses, so I’ve got to come up with an appropriate test for the class and for the level of horse and the level of the rider.”

Krome continued, “That’s the basic parameters that I’m working with. Here at the National Western, we have a great audience, so I’m always trying to make sure it will be exciting for the crowd and make sure we have some good stuff – some good sport, and we have a good and fair competition for everybody.”

The rules for Gambler’s Choice are very straightforward. Each gate is assigned a point value depending on it’s degree of difficulty. The course will have between 10 and 15 jumps. Riders can jump any fence, from any direction, a maximum of two times. Knocking a fence down or having a horse refuse to jump does not result in any penalties, but that fence can not be used to add to the rider’s total points.

There is no required pattern and riders may approach the jumps from either side. Although there is a starting and ending tone and riders must start and end at a time line, time becomes a factor only in the event of a tie. The goal is to accumulate the most points in the allowed 60 seconds.

The fences are not the tallest or broadest that the riders will see at other ‘open’ events at the Stock Show, but, because the riders are trying to make the time between jumps as short as possible in order to clear as many fences as possible, the horses will come at the jumps from strange angles with sometimes unpredictable results. The 100 and 120 point fences are 4-1/2-feet tall.

The Joker fence is not used during the rider’s 60 second run. Once the run is complete the rider can chose to attempt the Joker fence or pass on it. The Joker is worth 200 points and can really move a rider up in the standings. It can also move a rider down and out of contention, as it is the only fence which carries a penalty for failure to clear or for refusal by the horse. Having 200 points deducted from your score can have a major impact on placing.

The Joker fence is 5-feet tall and the fence is substantial because its six rails are placed very close together. It can be a considerable obstacle to even the world class horses that compete at the National Western.

Another interesting aspect of the Gamblers Choice is that riders can enter and compete on more than one horse. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Neb., took full advantage of that by competing on three horses owned by Blair Cudmore and placing on all three of them. Karen completed the course on Shea with enough points for sixth place, took second on Ceonto, and finished in first place riding Southern Pride. To add to the families winning total at the Gambler’s choice, Blair and Karen’s daughter Brooke placed eighth on Ocelot.

The Cudmore’s continued their winning run at the National Western with 17-year-old Brooke winning the 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix riding Ocelot from the family’s Heartland Farm in Nebraska. Even though Brooke took the top spot over her mother, Karen Cudmore had the most placings by taking second on Shea, third on Southern Pride, and 11th on Ceonto. Blair Cudmore summed it up by saying, “We really had a great National Western!”

Jumping events, whether they are Junior events or the prestigious 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix, are always popular with visitors to the National Western Stock Show. The first open event leading up to the Jack Daniels Grand Prix is the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake.

Hunter/Jumper events are very popular in Colorado and riders start at a very young age. The Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper preceded the Gambler’s Choice. As an indicator of the popularity of jumping events in the state, all but one of the riders were from Colorado. The young riders all had fans in the audience, and the event was closely contested.

The first and second place riders were both from Colorado. Fifteen-year-old Haley Griffis rode Cicis Angel through the course for a time of 33.729 seconds to take second place. Cicis Angel is owned by the Palmer Divide Ranch of Larkspur, Colo.

The first place winner was 17-year-old Amanda McConnell, who has been riding Hunter/Jumpers since she was five. Amanda guided A Twist of China, who is owned by Jim McConnell of Littleton, Colo., over the jumps in 31.060 seconds. Both girls are planning to attend college on riding scholarships.

Next up in the evening performance was the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. Eighteen world-class jumpers would compete on a uniquely designed course for a high energy performance with an element of risk.

The challenging series of jumps was created by top course designer Kenny Krome of Maryland. Kenny is a certified course designer and has been creating courses to bring out the best in horse and rider for over 15 years. When asked about his philosophy of setting courses, Krome said, “The most important is, obviously, safety. My job description is to design a test for the horses, so I’ve got to come up with an appropriate test for the class and for the level of horse and the level of the rider.”

Krome continued, “That’s the basic parameters that I’m working with. Here at the National Western, we have a great audience, so I’m always trying to make sure it will be exciting for the crowd and make sure we have some good stuff – some good sport, and we have a good and fair competition for everybody.”

The rules for Gambler’s Choice are very straightforward. Each gate is assigned a point value depending on it’s degree of difficulty. The course will have between 10 and 15 jumps. Riders can jump any fence, from any direction, a maximum of two times. Knocking a fence down or having a horse refuse to jump does not result in any penalties, but that fence can not be used to add to the rider’s total points.

There is no required pattern and riders may approach the jumps from either side. Although there is a starting and ending tone and riders must start and end at a time line, time becomes a factor only in the event of a tie. The goal is to accumulate the most points in the allowed 60 seconds.

The fences are not the tallest or broadest that the riders will see at other ‘open’ events at the Stock Show, but, because the riders are trying to make the time between jumps as short as possible in order to clear as many fences as possible, the horses will come at the jumps from strange angles with sometimes unpredictable results. The 100 and 120 point fences are 4-1/2-feet tall.

The Joker fence is not used during the rider’s 60 second run. Once the run is complete the rider can chose to attempt the Joker fence or pass on it. The Joker is worth 200 points and can really move a rider up in the standings. It can also move a rider down and out of contention, as it is the only fence which carries a penalty for failure to clear or for refusal by the horse. Having 200 points deducted from your score can have a major impact on placing.

The Joker fence is 5-feet tall and the fence is substantial because its six rails are placed very close together. It can be a considerable obstacle to even the world class horses that compete at the National Western.

Another interesting aspect of the Gamblers Choice is that riders can enter and compete on more than one horse. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Neb., took full advantage of that by competing on three horses owned by Blair Cudmore and placing on all three of them. Karen completed the course on Shea with enough points for sixth place, took second on Ceonto, and finished in first place riding Southern Pride. To add to the families winning total at the Gambler’s choice, Blair and Karen’s daughter Brooke placed eighth on Ocelot.

The Cudmore’s continued their winning run at the National Western with 17-year-old Brooke winning the 40,000 Dollar Jack Daniels Grand Prix riding Ocelot from the family’s Heartland Farm in Nebraska. Even though Brooke took the top spot over her mother, Karen Cudmore had the most placings by taking second on Shea, third on Southern Pride, and 11th on Ceonto. Blair Cudmore summed it up by saying, “We really had a great National Western!”


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