“I couldn’t believe it,” said Mark of the win aboard her 16-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare, Heat Wave 3E (sired by Jamestown). “It’s very exciting: this is my sixth year at the Royal with her, and every time we’ve come we’ve had spotty placings. To come here and put in three consistent rounds which eventually got us the championship is incredible.” 

Sierra Mark Holds Steady to Win the 2019 National 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumping Championship

Sierra Mark of Augusta, ON, and Heat Wave 3E captured the title of 2019 National 1.40 Junior/Amateur Jumping Champions on Nov. 3 at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

The title was anyone’s to grab out of 22 entries, with the top spots constantly switching hands over three competitions that were masterfully mapped out by FEI Level 4 Course Designer, Michel Vaillancourt. The excitement began right off the bat in the Coca-Cola Coliseum with the $2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Welcome Stake on Nov. 2, where less than four seconds separated the top six in an incredibly tight jump-off race.

Mark and Heat Wave 3E had the fastest time of both the first round and the jump-off – 59.58 seconds and 40.58 seconds, respectively – but a costly rail at the last jump-off fence bumped the pair into fourth place.

Charlotte McLaughlin of Ottawa, ON, ultimately prevailed in the Welcome Stake, piloting Millar Brooke Farm’s Dublin (sired by Ugano Sitte), a 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding, clear through the course in 41.31 seconds. Close behind was Kendra Martenfeld of Schomberg, ON, and Koning Boudewijn (Gentleman x Robin Des Bruyeres), her nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. They stopped the jump-off timers with a clear round in 42.40 seconds. Susan Horn of Bolton, ON, followed right behind, clear in 43.66 seconds with Chacca Keeps II (Chacco Blue x For Keeps), Kingsfield Farm’s nine-year-old Hanoverian mare.

The final two rounds of competition were held the following day, kicking off with the morning’s $2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Speed Stake. The course was a demanding test of each combination’s stamina and focus: jump number eight, a seemingly unassuming vertical set on a rollback after a square oxer, proved particularly challenging and spelled trouble for nearly half of the competitors.

Keeping her composure to win the speed phase, Ashley McInnis of Barrie, ON, skillfully navigated Mr M (Vegas x Libero H), a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Optimal Performance Inc, through the 13 efforts in 61.25 seconds. Chanelle Sjolander of Oakville, ON, came thundering in less than a second behind, clocking 61.67 seconds on her 10-year-old Hosteiner gelding, Cuenta Atras (Clearway x Lesotho). Martenfeld and Koning Boudewijn maintained their speed to hold on to third, stopping the timers in 63.70 seconds.

Once again, Mark quietly yet confidently asserted her presence with a fifth place finish on a final time of 66.83 seconds.

By the time of the $2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Royal Stake in the afternoon, the competitors knew all too well that Vaillancourt’s courses would be more difficult than they seemed on the surface. Only two combinations rode clear to make it into the jump-off: Christine Carlsen of King, ON, and Alexandra Millar of Flesherton, ON.

Carlsen mastered the twisting jump-off route on Valhalla Equestrian’s Monchiniquie (Cristo x Coriano), a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare, to win the class jumping clear in 38.59 seconds. Millar also rode with determination on Vampyr Van De Rib (Roccossifred x Gratianus), her 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding, but a costly rail landed her in second place. While she didn’t make it to the jump-off, Mark still conquered the difficult first round to place third.

Speaking to her performance in the two Nov. 3 classes, Mark commented, “I was back with a vengeance [in the Speed class. Heat Wave 3E] was super again, very quick but had two rails, which were rider error. So then I came forward [to the Royal Stake] and said, let’s put everything together and have a good round. I came at the end of the class, so I was able to see how everyone else went and knew if I just went in and put in a nice round, I could probably get a piece of ribbon. She went in, she jumped phenomenal, had one rail – I didn’t even know she touched it, so she barely had it – but she was super fast, as always.”

Mark’s scores over the two days of competition culminated in a final score of nine points to secure her title as national champion. Martenfeld also ended on a score of nine, but was named Reserve Champion as she placed lower than Mark in the Royal Stake.

Sierra Mark Holds Steady to Win the 2019 National 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumping Championship

Kendra Martenfeld of Schomberg, ON was named the Reserve Champion of the 2019 National 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumping Championship.
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

As the national champion, Mark was presented with the Canadian Junior/Amateur Championship Plate, donated by the Equestrian Canada (EC) Jumping Committee in memory of Andre Bollinger.

Mark concluded, “I slept in my stall all week, and here we are. You don’t need all the frills and whistles to become champion. This is my Olympics, this is the pinnacle of my career, so I feel at peace now.”

For more information on the 2019 National 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumping Championship, and full results, visit www.royalfair.org.

– 30 –

$2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Welcome Stake – Nov. 2, 2019
Placing / Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner

1st / Charlotte McLaughlin / Ottawa, ON / Dublin / Millar Brooke Farm
2nd / Kendra Martenfeld / Schomberg, ON / Koning Boudewijn / Kendra Martenfeld
3rd / Susan Horn / Bolton, ON / Chacca Keeps II / Kingsfield Farm
4th / Sierra Mark / Augusta, ON / Heat Wave 3E / Sierra Mark
5th / Ayla Barton / King, ON / Dorestus / Lauren Barton
6th / Breana Zielonka / Ottawa, ON / Darino / Breana Zielonka

$2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Speed – Nov. 3, 2019
Placing / Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner

1st / Ashley McInnis / Barrie, ON / Mr M / Optimal Performance Inc
2nd / Chanelle Sjolander / Oakville, ON / Cuenta Atras / Chanelle Sjolander
3rd / Kendra Martenfeld / Schomberg, ON / Koning Boudewijn / Kendra Martenfeld
4th / Susan Horn / Bolton, ON / Chacca Keeps II / Kingsfield Farm
5th / Sierra Mark / Augusta, ON / Heat Wave 3E / Sierra Mark
6th / Alexandra Millar / Flesherton, ON / Vampyr Van De Rib / Alexandra Millar

$2,500 Junior/Amateur 1.40m Royal Stake – Nov. 3, 2019
Placing / Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner

1st / Christine Carlsen / King, ON / Monchiniquie / Valhalla Equestrian
2nd / Alexandra Millar / Flesherton, ON / Vampyr Van De Rib / Alexandra Millar
3rd / Sierra Mark / Augusta, ON / Heat Wave 3E / Sierra Mark
4th / Barbara Ruziska / Tottenham, ON / Dynamite / Barbara Ruziska
5th / Chanelle Sjolander / Oakville, ON / Cuenta Atras / Chanelle Sjolander
6th / Sara Tindale / Campbellville, ON / Djibab Van De Linthorst / Tindale Farms 

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