Top Five Equine Performers in Show Jumping in 2015

This series highlights the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star, and four-star levels from 2015. While we often recognize greatness over all three phases in our sport, we should also strive to recognize strength in each phase. This series aims to give that recognition, and highlight horses and riders who have had particularly strong years in one phase or another.

Welcome to the third post in our series highlighting the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star, and four-star levels from 2015. We’ve already looked at top cross country horses and dressage powerhouses among the American and U.S. based horses. Today we pay tribute to the top five show jumping horses of 2015.

To be considered for EN’s Top Five, we first began with horses with at least three show jumping rounds at this level who had no rails the entire year. We then ranked the horses according to which ones averaged the fewest time penalties in this phase. Four horses managed to complete all of their show jumping courses without any time penalties this year.

We then turned to ranking them by the number of rounds they completed clear, with the winner being the horse that jumped the most double clear rounds. For further tie-breakers, the level of show was looked at, and the horse with more CCI runs took the tie-breaker.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FIFTH PLACE: Veronica

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.17

Number of Rounds: 6

Veronica was extremely impressive this year, jumping six show jumping rounds with no rails. Of her six rounds, four were in divisions where show jumping ran last, and two of those were at a CCI3*.

Lauren debuted Veronica in 2015 at Red Hills Advanced before moving on to the Advanced division at Carolina. At The Fork, Veronica received her only show jumping penalty of the year, a single second over the time.

She then headed overseas for the Bramham CCI3* and produced another double clear round, and Veronica rounded out the fall with double clears at both Aachen CICO3* and Blenheim CCI3*.

Michael Pollard and Cyrano. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Michael Pollard and Cyrano. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FOURTH PLACE: Cyrano Z

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 3

Michael Pollard quickly entered the Pan American Games picture with Cyrano Z after a stellar showing at the Wellington Eventing Showcase in January. Moving on to recognized events, Cyrano Z jumped his first official double clear of the year at Pine Top Advanced.

He then jumped double clear at Carolina International CIC3* before hanging out at the two-star level to obtain Pan Ams qualifications. Returning to the CIC3* level at Great Meadow, the experienced gelding clocked in his final double clear show jumping round of 2015.

Marilyn Little and RF West Indie. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn Little and RF West Indie. Photo by Jenni Autry.

THIRD PLACE: RF West Indie

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 3

RF West Indie didn’t spend a lot of time at the Advanced level this year, but she quickly proved herself an excellent show jumper. She started with a double clear round at Poplar Place CIC3*, which was her move-up to that level.

At a sloppy Morven Park CIC3*, she produced yet another double clear round before moving on to Fair Hill CCI3*, where she proved that she could do the same after a grueling cross country day in her first CCI3* attempt.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen at Blenheim. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen at Blenheim. Photo by Samantha Clark.

SECOND PLACE: Loughan Glen

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 4

Loughan Glen really had a phenomenal year, despite only starting four times at this level. After taking the top spot in our dressage top five, he returns to take the second spot here. In his only Advanced of the year, this gelding started things right in the show jumping phase at Weston Park with a double clear.

He then moved onto Belton Park CIC3*, where a double clear helped to maintain his top ranking after dressage. At Luhmühlen CCI4*, he mastered the bigger heights with another double clear and then proved it was no fluke by doing it again at Blenheim CCI3* in September.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower at Red Hills. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower at Red Hills. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FIRST PLACE: Petite Flower

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.0

Number of Rounds: 5

Petite Flower didn’t compete this season after Rebecca Farm, but she still produced the most double clear show jumping rounds of any horse in the country. Beyond that, she hasn’t had a single penalty in the show jumping phase since March 2014. In her entire career at this level, she has only ever had two rails total.

Buck Davidson began the year with Petite Flower at Rocking Horse II in the Advanced before heading to Red Hills Advanced and Carolina International CIC3*, where three double clear rounds prepared her for her first CCI4*. At Rolex, she again proved her jumping prowess with a double clear round before a final run at Great Meadow CIC3* finished up her perfect show jumping year.

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