She and Lisona made 6’10” look easy to win the $25,000 class.
The Puissance is a Washington International Horse Show tradition and crowd-favorite event. It was 21-year-old Jessica’s second attempt at the class, her first being in 2012, and an exciting debut for her mount, the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Lisona.
“I doubt she has done a Puissance before, but she has so much scope and she is actually better the higher the fences, so we had a feeling that this would be a good class for her,” Springsteen said in a Jennifer Wood Media press release. “She gets impressed by it, and she felt like she was just flying over the wall.”
“I felt confident,” Jessica explained. “She is such a scopey and brave horse that I knew nothing disastrous would happen. Classes like this, you kind of have to have fun with it, so we were all just having a good time. It is important to have a brave horse that wants to do it and she did. I think she enjoyed it actually.”
Jessica had some good WIHS momentum coming into the class, having already won the $10,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake aboard Davendy S as well as the $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice with Lisona. “Winning definitely gives you confidence. Your spirits are high, but you can’t get overly confident. That is one thing I have learned in this sport,” she remarked.
Riding to a Puissance wall is much different than cantering up to a regular jump, she says, and it’s not exactly intuitive. “I didn’t know you had to ride a wall that size differently,” she admitted. “It is so big that you just want to gallop down to it, but you are supposed to go really slow and get close to it so that they kind of climb over it. That is kind of the opposite of what your instinct is telling you to do, so it takes a couple of times to really learn how to ride it correctly.”
The WIHS Puissance record is 7′ 7 w/2″, set in 1983 by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, New York, riding Sweet ‘N Low. Fittingly, Anthony was the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this year.
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