Carmel Valley 16-year old Lindsey Klein and her grey Dutch Warmblood Winston recently competed at the Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association (GSDHJA) Championship show held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, winning the Jean McGinnis Open Equitation Challenge. Lindsey and Winston bested 54 horses and riders during the first round competition and then again against the top 15 riders to win the Open Equitation Challenge.
In addition, they were also the champions in the Working Hunters (3’6”) Classic, Junior/Amateur Working Hunter(3’3”) Classic, Equitation Over Fences 14-17 year olds, and the Reserve Champion in the GSDHJA Hunter Derby(3’3”).
Since achieving most of her goals on the county level, this past year Lindsey decided to see how well she could compete on the “A” circuit. She showed in several shows in San Juan Capistrano and Del Mar and her points qualified her for the CPHA Foundation Jr. Medal Finals in San Juan Capistrano and made her first appearance at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Hunter Seat Medal Finals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Oct. 15.
She and her horse, Captain Darco of Wellington, Fla., had a beautiful round but were not among the top 10 finalists. “It was so much fun being among the top riders and the most stunning horses in the country,” Lindsey said. “I learned so much and I can’t wait to come back again next year.”
Lindsey, a Torrey Pines High School junior, first started riding at the age of 6 and began showing locally when she was 10 years old. She has devoted the past six years to perfecting her horsemanship skills and rising in the levels of competition around Southern California.
Equestrians typically spend four to five days at the barn riding, schooling and working their horses and Lindsey is no different. Training at Flower Hill Farms, she is focused and goal-oriented and would like to compete at the NCAA level for one of the top equestrian colleges.
“Lindsey’s confidence and attention to detail makes her a pleasure to coach,” said Hailey Flowers, trainer and owner of Flower Hill Farms.“I am always impressed by her ability to beautifully execute our plan with the amount of pressure competition puts on the riders. I am so proud of the rider she is today.”