MILL SPRING, N.C.--Katlynn Butler of Mechanicsville, Va., won the bronze medal in the inaugural USHJA Zone 3 & 4 Platinum Jumper Championships in the 1.40/1.45m division on July 14.
Over a course designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral, professional rider Lauren Balcomb of Citra, Fla., coming into the final on four faults on Verdini D'Houtveld Z, was clean to win the individual gold medal, and amateur rider Jesse Smith of Wellington, Fla., also put in a clean round on Charles Pinckney Windsor Z to win the silver with a total of eight faults over the three days.
Three riders, professional Sandra Zimmerli of Fairfax Station, Va., professional Brittni Raflowitz of Wellington, Fla. and amateur Butler were tied for the bronze medal, resulting in a jump-off.
With the only clean jump-off ride among the three, Butler won the bronze on her young horse, MTM Catoki's Clever.
BUTLER has been an avid competitor in the Zone Jumper Team Championships over the last three years, moving up a division each year.
After learning about the Platinum level at 1.40/1.45m last fall, she made it a goal to be here.
"I found out about the championships] from DiAnn Langer last year at the Gold Star Clinic," said Butler. "At that time I hadn’t gotten Clever, the horse I rode today, yet. So I wasn’t really sure how I was going to get here, but I really wanted to compete at this event."
"It’s been really great," said Butler. "It gives you something to work towards that’s not indoors or state finals. And I get to see a lot of people that I don’t normally see. Also, it’s really nice to get team experience and then also still have your own individual round you’re fighting for."
"The Platinum Jumper Championships were built to give a 1.40/1.45m Championship to professionals, amateurs and juniors across the country," said DiAnn Langer, USHJA show jumping technical advisor. "So much of our attention is focused on the Olympics and High Performance that the many professionals that make show jumping successful have often been over looked. Along with the professionals, the amateurs and juniors in the Platinum Championships are all top riders in the country. The USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships will give them the recognition they so deservedly have earned."