Horseless Jumping

“Summer Pasquantonio, a 10-year-old competitive horseback rider, was focused as she warmed up for her class on a recent Sunday. When it was her turn, she confidently picked up her canter and turned toward the jump in the center of the ring, gaining momentum and clearing it effortlessly. Her pony was nowhere in sight. Ms. Pasquantonio was competing in a ‘horseless horse show,’ an event that allows two-legged participants to gallop over a course of miniature jumps, imitating the 1,000-pound animals and top riders they idolize. ‘I jump higher on my feet than on my pony,’ Ms. Pasquantonio said at the American Gold Cup Horse Show, held in North Salem, N.Y. She nailed each landing in bright green socks. It is hardly horseplay. Horseless jumping events are galloping their way onto the major horse-show circuit, landing on programs of important equestrian events. They are also roping in some serious young riders. Even a few Olympians.” w/ photos + video

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