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Photo Credit: Georgina Bloomberg and Star Apple won three classes at CSIO Hamina, Finland.

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Georgina Bloomberg Wins Three in a Row on U.S. Developing Riders Tour at CSIO in Finland

Written by: Kenneth Kraus / PhelpsSports.com.
Client: Gotham Enterprizes http://www.pegasustr.org/riders-closet/
Release Date: 2007-06-20

New York, NY – June 20, 2007 – New York City’s Georgina Bloomberg, anchoring the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Show Jumping Developing/Young Rider Tour, swept to an extraordinary three victories in a row at the 3rd Annual Hamina Bastioni Horse Festival CSIO in Hamina, Finland, over the past weekend. In addition, she was a member of the victorious FEI Nations Cup team that defeated Denmark, Italy and seven strong international teams on Sunday.

Bloomberg, competing on Gotham Enterprizes’ Star Apple, began her winning streak by cruising to victory in the Six Bar competition on Friday evening. This competition features six jumps in a row that increase in height and difficulty with each successive round.

On Saturday, the winning continued as Bloomberg and Star Apple made it two in a row as they dashed home as the fastest of twenty-eight horse and rider combinations in the International 1.40m Speed class.

Her third straight win came in the Master’s High Jump class on Saturday afternoon.

“Georgina started and finished the day with wins on her young horse Star Apple, in the speed class in the morning and then the Masters High Jump class that evening, this after winning the six bar the previous night,” said Chef D’ Equipe Melanie Smith Taylor. “She was absolutely fantastic.”

It is not often that you find a horse versatile enough to compete and win in such diverse classes as the High Jump, Six Bar, and the speed class, especially in a 24 hour period. “Absolutely, that was a nice surprise,” said Bloomberg. “He’s a young horse that I’m bringing along, so it was good for him to be able to do all those things and to learn from all those different divisions. With the Six Bar, I went in assuming I would just do one or two rounds and then pull out whenever I thought it got too big, but with every round that I did, he felt more and more comfortable and it just got easier and easier for him. We ended up just going until the end. So that was a really nice surprise,” she smiled. “In the Master’s High Jump, I wasn’t expecting anything, but everyone else just started dropping like flies and he kept making it look easier and easier.”

While Bloomberg was proud of her personal accomplishments in Finland, she was most proud on the final Sunday in Hamina when the young squad of U.S. riders stormed to victory in the FEI Nations Cup of Finland. Bloomberg anchored the young squad despite what could have been a devastating injury incurred just prior to the competition. “That was a super, super day,” she smiled. “For me, when I got kicked, my first fear was the Nations Cup and that I wasn’t going to be able to ride. I thought I was much more seriously injured than I actually was. It was very painful, and it took me a few minutes to really gather myself and to be able to even use my leg again. I definitely was not at full strength, and I knew that was a huge disadvantage,” she admitted. “It was really a matter of just getting through the first round, riding the best I possibly could with my own limitations.”

As Bloomberg explained, her teammates really came through in the clutch on that final Sunday. “It’s a great thing to be on a team where you can have an off day and still be supported by the rest of your team and have them carry you when you need them too. In the end, they really stood up to all of that pressure The team really kept fighting for it, and that was a great feeling knowing that our hard work had paid off with a great victory.”

Bloomberg, now a veteran on the international scene, is competing on her fifth U.S. show jumping tour. As the veteran, she noted how important it is for her fellow teammates, most of whom are rookies to big time international competition, to get this valuable team experience. “That’s what is absolutely important at all of these shows. We are in the ring everyday, we’re doing all these different classes, but we are there as a team. Even when we aren’t competing in the Nations Cup, there’s a pretty strong understanding amongst our riders on the team that in every class, you’re representing the U.S. and you’re representing yourself,” she said. “That’s very important. There was a great, great feeling of sportsmanship on this team.”

At 23, Bloomberg is still one of the team’s youngest veterans. “You know it’s funny, I didn’t feel like a veteran until I came over to Europe and showed with people who hadn’t been here before. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you’ve learned and how much experience you’ve had until someone who hasn’t been here comes to you for help,” she expressed. “All of a sudden I realized how much I have learned from being over here in Europe. So, yeah, after this I’m beginning to feel a little like a veteran.” She added, “It’s nice to know that I’ve accomplished a lot in the last few years, but I still have a hunger to do more.”

“To be able to see everybody else do well, Sarah [Segal], Brianne [Goutal], Katherine [Miracle] and Eliza [Shuford], you really do feel proud. And when you go out there and do well, you feel like you’re representing the U.S. and that’s a very nice feeling that you don’t get when you’re at home showing against each other,” Bloomberg explained.

“The Developing Riders Tour is very important part of our international development,” Bloomberg stated. “It’s something that means a lot to me. It is important to prove to those that think there is a generation gap, or that we’re not developing young talent, it’s vital to prove them wrong and to show that we are ready, and will be ready to step in to take the place of some of our great veterans riders when they are ready to move on or retire. One of the questions we were asked at the press conferences was, ‘you guys are in the Super League, why are you here?’ We were all a little taken off guard by that question because for us, yes the Super League is very important, and that’s a number one priority, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean you step back and relax and stop working on developing a new generation of talent,” she said. “That’s really where we see ourselves, as the next step, and we see ourselves as the future generation stepping in and making sure that as soon as the top people stop riding or if something happens to their horses, that we’re ready to step in and say we’re ready. We take pride in knowing that we’re really working for the future of the sport and that we represent what show jumping will be in America in 20 years.”

Chef d’ Equipe Melanie Smith Taylor added, “I think it is such a fantastic idea to send this group of young riders over here on the Developing Riders tour because it is such a prerequisite for what they will have to do later on in their careers, in events like the Super League or World Championships. There’s just no way to get the experience of riding in Nations Cup, except just doing it. And being able to start at these smaller shows, in the FEI Nations Cup League as opposed to the Super League, it’s just invaluable experience,” she said. “You get the exact same feeling – the tension, the pressure, having to go out and do it right the first time, no second chances – you get the exact same feeling and experience that they will need later in their career. These girls really believe they can win, they believe they can do it because of the support that is there for them. There are no distractions. They have the confidence in everyone behind them, and everyone and everything is working for them. Then they have to just go out and focus on their job in the ring.”

Bloomberg then looked ahead to this week’s competition in Norway. “Drammen will be a little tougher, a little bigger in scope, and the show will be a little bit bigger. It will be more of a challenging horse show, but you know we’re also coming off a great show team-wise and individually and we all have a lot of confidence now,” she beamed. “Hopefully we’ll carry that over without getting a little silly about it. We realize that we’ve done well and we’ve been great, but we still need to keep working at it and we can’t just waltz in there and assume that because of Hamina we’re going to win at Drammen. We’re starting with a blank slate, but at the same time it’s nice to go in with that confidence and have people kind of respecting us a little bit.”

Photo Credit: Georgina Bloomberg and Star Apple won three classes at CSIO Hamina, Finland. Photo © 2007 Phelps Media Group. This photo may only be used in association with this press release.

 

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