Student Places First in National Equestrian Competition

Jacqueline Pisani
In a remarkable display of poise and skill in a young rider, Jenna Blocher ’20 of Southington won the World Championship and was Reserve Grand National Champion in Equitation at The Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show in Oklahoma City, OK held from October 8-17.
Fittingly, Blocher’s horseback riding story starts even before her birth. Her parents first met at a stable where both her parents had high-ranking show horses. Later, after the couple married, they built a barn on their property. Blocher first sat on a horse at three years old and started competing by age five. At eight-years old, Blocher proved her dedication to the sport, and her parents bought her first horse named Stewie, a world champion Morgan show horse. As Blocher advanced in her riding skills, the family acquired a more competitive horse named Whispering Warning aka Diesel that she rode at the Grand Nationals and rides every weekend at her show barn Legacy Stables in Cap Cod. She continues to ride Stewie at home every day.
Prior to Oklahoma, Blocher won all her Championship classes in the New England shows and the New England Regionals. Although she won an impressive array of awards, initially Blocher was hesitant to compete in Oklahoma so she could focus on her schoolwork. From the urging of her trainers, Blocher decided to take on the challenge.  Competing at the Morgan Grand Nationals with equestrians from across the nation and Canada, in Blocher’s initial class she placed second in the Equitation Qualifier, which was Reserve Grand National Champion and fourth in the World Championship class. Next came the Pleasure qualifier, and Blocher came away with a disappointing nine out of 20 entries. Blocher didn’t believe she had a chance to reverse her standings, but dug deep and focused on doing her best. After an excellent showing, Blocher was awarded first place, “World Champion” in her division! Blocher said, “I couldn’t believe that they called my name! I felt like I was in a dream. Even though I received ribbons, roses and a plaque, I couldn’t believe I had won until six hours later.”
Blocher is setting her sights on the future. Although she doesn’t intend to show in Oklahoma any time soon, she is considering a World Cup competition in South Africa when she reaches 17. “It takes a lot of work to get to that level.” Blocher maintains that finding the right balance between schoolwork and riding is the key to success. An “A” student, Blocher makes certain that her homework is completed at school and long term assignments are started early so she can do what she loves: spending time with her best friends, Stewie and Diesel.
 
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