Brown Lives the Dream at Longleaf
Sarah Brown, a junior at The O’Neal School, had a dream come true last weekend at the Longleaf Horse Trials.
After nine years of training in the sport of eventing, Brown won the Beginner Novice Rider Division aboard Melanie Wyatt’s Townsend Hill.
Out of 27 entries consisting of adult and junior riders, Brown scored a 27 in the dressage phase.
“The 27 in dressage is something I’ve never experienced,” said Brown, who has been riding Townsend Hill, a 16-year-old Irish thoroughbred, for the past five months. “My old horse, McCauley, would get 45 at best in dressage. When I saw the score, I was blown away.”
A clear cross-country round left her tied for third place the first day of the two-day event.
“Townsend can be a little nervous,” Brown said. “Mel warned me that he would be nervous in the start box, and he was. He was jigging in place and wouldn’t go in. By the time we got to fence five, he was settled.”
Brown went clean in the stadium jumping phase on Sunday, with two riders to go after her. The two riders dropped a rail, leaving the first-place ribbon to Brown, who trains at the Foxtrack Training Center.
“When the riders dropped the rails, the entire Foxtrack crew turned around with their jaws dropping, knowing I had won,” Brown said. “The fact that we got to do a victory gallop was cool.”
Heather Jans and Rickoshea were less than a point behind in second place. Jans and Rickoshea have won numerous awards, including 2010 Beginner Novice Horse of the Year.
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