Mountain Star

Jenkins Places 2nd at National Eventing Competition

PRANCING+WINNER%3A+Jenkins+rides+her+horse+to+success+at+the+national+eventing+tournament.+
PRANCING WINNER: Jenkins rides her horse to success at the national eventing tournament.

PRANCING WINNER: Jenkins rides her horse to success at the national eventing tournament.

PRANCING WINNER: Jenkins rides her horse to success at the national eventing tournament.

Olivia Muir

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From the age of a very young girl and into her senior year of high school, Jhett Jenkins has dreamed of placing in nationals atop her horse. This dream came true for her on August 29 through September 2nd in Parker, Colorado. 

Jenkins has been accustomed to riding a horse ever since she can remember and has been eventing for about 8 years, all of which helped prepare her for the competition. “Preparation was tough. I had about a month after I had qualified for nationals to get ready.” 

Eventing is broken up into three phases. The first phase is dressage. Dressage, also known as show jumping, is when a rider performs a set pattern in an area in front of a judge. It is the base score for the competition. Jenkins states, “We focused mainly on my dressage. . . . The better your dressage, the easier it is to have a good weekend.”

The next phase the competition is the cross country phase. According to Jenkins, this is the  “fun stuff”. Cross country is a jumping phase that is usually held in an open field with large, solid, natural obstacles. It also includes water obstacles and ditches. The course needs to be completed in a set time limit. Too fast and a rider will be given penalty points—too slow of a ride will also result in penalty points. The rider with the least amount of penalty points wins.

The 3rd phase also involves jumping. This normally takes place in an area with flimsy jumps that can fall down. If the horse and rider knock a rail down, it costs them 4 penalty points. All of the penalty points from each phases is added together. The lower the score, the better a rider places. 

 

 

By the time nationals came around, Jenkins was more than ready. To qualify for nationals, she had to complete 3 events with no jumping penalties as well as place first in one of those events. This demanding task did not prevent Jenkins from qualifying for the national competition. 

Challenges seamed to turn up everywhere leading up to the tournament. Street, Jenkins’s horse, suffered from issues in the spring and had to take the summer off, so Jenkins had to ride a new horse, Harley. Jenkins had a month to break in the new horse by the competition. This did not phase Jenkins as she kept her competitive eye on nationals. 

“Nationals was amazing!” she said.

In the competition, Jenkins took 2nd in her division. She could barely believe it herself and said, “We had three really great phases and held our own against some incredible competition. Second! Unreal.” 

The sport of Eventing is not well known in this area because it is dominated by Western Style riding. “What I really wish people knew about is the cross country phase eventing. It’s so insane!” Jenkins also stated, “Eventing is such a tough sport mentally and physically.” Jenkins put up a strong fight at nationals and represented her community well.

 

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Jenkins Places 2nd at National Eventing Competition