Zadie Stack Secures WCE Medal Final Victory at Las Vegas National CSI4*-W
Las Vegas, NV – November 20, 2023 – Zadie Stack has been knocking at the door of a major equitation victory all season, and on Saturday, November 18, at the Las Vegas National CSI4*-W, Stack got her win. Aboard Cetello, the junior rider earned the top call in the WCE Medal Final, presented by the California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) Foundation.
Second place went to Paige Walkenbach on Izar, and Grace Russo and Diplomat rounded out the top three.
The three-phase class kicked off on Friday with a first-round, power-and-speed-style jumper course, judged on equitation. From there, the 26 entries that completed the opening course without elimination advanced to round two on Saturday before the field was narrowed down to the top 10 for a final, deciding round.
At the conclusion of the first two rounds at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, Stack sat in third place, with judges Don Stewart and Shane George having awarded her average scores of 82.75 and 85.5 in the first and second round, respectively.
Sitting in first place, after winning both of the first two rounds, was Noah Nelson on an overall score of 174.75 aboard On Point. Russo and Diplomat sat in second place with a score of 168.875, but the final, jump-off style round would prove to be highly instrumental.
Unfortunate difficulties through a two-stride combination knocked Nelson out of top contention, while Stack’s seamless round ultimately shot her to the top of the leaderboard.
“Coming back in third, you know, it’s nerve wracking,” said Stack, who is a senior in high school in Santa Cruz, CA. “I have stuff to lose, but I just got in there and rode [Cetello] how he wanted to be ridden. I feel amazing. We’ve been close to winning before. We were reserve champions at Maclay Regionals, and I’m really happy with how this season ended. He’s a great horse.”
Zadie Stack was named the 2023 WCE Medal Final champion. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
Cetello – a 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Ella Dyson – was previously competed up to the 1.50m jumpers, which is something that Stack felt suited him well for the WCE Medal Final.
“He used to be a jumper, so I knew that this was right up his alley,” explained Stack, who has trained with Cassie Belmont at Belmont Training Stable for the past five years. “He’s only been in the equitation for maybe a year and a half. So, going in, I knew that he would get quick. Under the lights and with the jumper jumps, he gets quick. He knows his job. I knew I had to just go with that; I knew that all I needed to do was loosen my reins and let him do his thing – just let him be the little jumper that he is. Everything worked out just how I wanted it to.”
Taylor Loew received the Highest-Placing Amateur Award. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
For the win, Stack was presented with a wide assortment of awards including a gift certificate for a pair of DeNiro Salento Boots, provided by Outdoor Outfitters; a CPHA travel bag; $1,500 in Blenheim EquiSports show credit for the 2024 season; a Topline Design Ribbon Wreath custom picture frame and gift certificate; cupcakes; a cooler, courtesy of DaMoor’s Tack & Feed; and more.
The Highest-Placing Amateur Award went to Taylor Loew who finished in 10th aboard Cassini Jr. For full results of the WCE Medal Final, presented by the CPHA Foundation, click here.
Sunday, November 19, marked the conclusion of competition at the Las Vegas National CSI4*-W, host of the Marshall & Sterling Insurance / USHJA National Championships. To learn more, visit TheLasVegasNational.com.