National Final U25 Champions at the 2021 Royal West Gold medalist (middle) Halle Duke, Silver medalist (left) Claire Doty, Bronze medalist (right) Stella Chernoff. Medals presented by (left to right) Breonie Mac Mahon, Nancy Burton, Lisa Auton of Devoucoux, John Anderson President of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.
Calgary, AB, Oct. 30, 2021 – Just moments ago, Alberta’s own Halle Duke was crowned Equestrian Canada’s National U25 Champion. The record setting $40,000 National Finals event consisted of three competitions, and it was Halle who ended at the top of the podium with the Gold medal draped around her neck along with the title of Canada’s National U25 Champion. The Silver Medal was awarded to Claire Doty and the Bronze Medal went to Stella Chernoff.
The Equestrian Canada U25 Championship was contested over three days, beginning with Wednesday’s $5,000 MarBill Hill Table C competition, followed by Thursday’s $10,000 Devoucoux Saddles Jump off competition, and concluded with tonight’s $25,000 Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Cup.
Riders carried their scores from Wednesday’s Table C competition into the next two phases of the Championship, where the first round scores were added to the Table C scores to determine the ultimate winner. The Table C phase proved to be the ticket to victory for young Halle, who zipped around the track in 59.18 seconds winning the event and giving her the lead with a score of zero faults. Combined with a clear round and the win in Phase 2, she carried that score of zero into the final phase of the Championship.
Alberta’s Claire Doty and Stella Chernoff with scores of 5.71 and 5.02 respectively, had to produce clear rounds and hope for some help from Halle if they wanted a chance for the Gold. Unfortunately, the two talented riders couldn’t keep pace with Halle in this evenings competition with both of them faulting in the first round, but were still able to celebrate with the Silver and Bronze Medals.
Halle was asked about the U25 National Championships being hosted at Royal West and she responded, “I really appreciate that Royal West was given the chance to host the National Finals. I’m not sure we would have been able to make the trip East this year. It was my horses first indoor competition, and I wasn’t sure how she’d respond, but of course was really happy with her performance.” added Halle. When asked about Royal West in general, Halle commented, “We show at many RMSJ horse shows throughout the year but Royal West is on a level of its own, and is really a special event.”
The U25 National Championship rewards consistency and Halle jumped three perfect rounds to finish on a score of zero overall, and John Anderson, the organizer of Royal West was asked about the first Championship now being concluded. “It was really special for me as a rider and as an organizer to be able to host the U25 National Championships. I have built my company over the years by celebrating the youth in our sport, and it doesn’t get better than the last three days for me, being able to watch the next generation rise to the top.” he added. “So many of the riders competing tonight got their start at our venue south of town, and it was great to see them competing for the honor of being crowned National Champion, and young Halle is going to be someone to watch in the future for sure.”
Royal West continues next week where National Champions will be crowned in the Canadian Hunter Derby Series, the CET Medal, the JC medal, the 1.0m 1.10m 1.20m, and 1.30m divisions, and of course the Canadian National Championship in the Open Jumper division.
Photo Credits to RMSJ Photos by Amanda Ubell Photography.