Local rides to Top 10 finish at prestigious National Equestrian Final

Geoffrey Hesslink, above, will compete in four national finals this month.

Geoffrey Hesslink, above, will compete in four national finals this month.

Seventeen-year-old Shelburne resident Geoffrey Hesslink placed eighth at the Platinum Performance USEF/Show Jumping Talent Search East Coast Finals in Gladstone, N.J. Oct. 4-6.

The Platinum Performance Show Jumping program is designed to educate and test riders to develop show jumping skills, laying the groundwork for future international success. Classes are held across the country with the Finals held each October. The Finals set a more difficult set of standards than required in other competitions, thus helping to prepare riders for berths on future United States Teams.

The USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals attracts the nation’s top junior and young riders in head-to-head competition and tests the rider’s skills in the show jumping arena. The Finals focus on skills that are judged on execution and technique as they relate to performance. Riders must show that they understand and can successfully solve problems presented to them as they compete in four varied and difficult phases, with each phase weighted based on difficulty.

Competing for his second consecutive year, Hesslink’s consistent and successful performance in each phase earned him a Top 10 finish in this prestigious event. He improved his score with each round, finishing the final and most difficult round with the 5th highest score. Hesslink has been riding nearly nine years and trains at Heritage Farm in Katonah, N.Y. This is the first of four National Finals that he will compete in this month. The other competitions include the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, and the National Horse Show.

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