Jamie Mann finished her day at the Washington International Horse Show at Capital Centre last night the same way she began it 13 hours earlier -- with a winning ride.
Mann, 25, of Smithfield, R.I., won three blue ribbons during yesterday's competition. The first came at 9 a.m. when a gelding named Pathfinder won in the First-Year Green Working Hunter class.
Shortly afterward, Mann came back into the ring for the Second-Year Green Working Hunter class and won on First Impression, a 7-year-old chestnut mare. Both horses are now leading in points in their divisions. The championships will be decided this afternoon.
Mann said it is not the long hours that are most difficult, but the riding style change that is necessary when competing in both the hunter classes, where the horse's form is judged, and the jumper events, where the horse's jumping faults are scored.
"They are completely different forms of riding," Mann said. "You have to be perfect with the hunters; it's a consistency factor. The jumpers are harder; it takes more precision; you don't just have to sit there and look right."
Mann was one of 10 riders of an original field of 17 to faultlessly complete a course of 13 jumps in the open class for individual national riders only. They were riding for the Ben O'Meara Trophy and $5,000.
Mann took home $1,500 after completing a timed, jumpoff course in 37.25 seconds without knocking down any of eight barriers. She was the first to go against the clock and her time held up.
Leslie Burr, the final entry in the jumpoff, placed second on Friar Tuck after she finished with no faults in 37.91.
Mann started to ride at age 5 when she and her mother Jody began taking riding lessons together. She credits her success to her mother. "She went out and bought books and read them and taught me everything," Mann said. "Then she went out and took on horses to train to help finance my interests."
Mann said about the Capital Center competition: "My strategy this week is looking towards Sunday's class (the President's Cup). My horse needs to get in the jumpoff. Each time he does, I try to improve and teach him how to cut the turns and be quicker."