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Freshly-turned 20-year-old Trent McGee (USA) won his first Grand Prix with the 16-year-old KWPN mare Boucherom (Guidam Sohn x Quick Star) in April.
In just four months, the pair have posted an impressive record, adding another Grand Prix victory to their resume in June and topping three U25 Classics at Blenheim.
Prixview typically logs data only at the international level, but ahead of the 50th Menlo Charity Horse Show, which this year benefits Palo Alto’s Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, we’ve pulled some data for a combination that is excelling at the national level—and must be considered top contenders for Menlo’s featured $50,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix.
Analyzing the numbers from national results this year, McGee and Boucherom are averaging just 2.14 faults in 2022 at heights from 1.30m to 1.50m. From 15 starts, the pair is also averaging a finish position in the top 6. Only once have they finished outside the top 10, and that was in their lone start at 1.50m, which came in the $40,000 Grand Prix at the Desert Circuit in January.
“When I first started riding Boucherom in 2019, I was competing in the 1.20m and was a very green rider. However, I knew that I preferred horses with as much blood as her, and it clicked pretty quickly,” said McGee, who works under respected horseman Archie Cox at Brookway Stables. “Seeing [these kinds of numbers] is a great feeling and tells me that we’re doing things right.”
The Stephen Silver Grand Prix will be held at the American Standard level of show jumping, which features of a course of fences up to 1.45m in height and spreads up to 1.60m (excluding the triple bar and open water, if utilized on course). More than 50% of the pair’s starts this year have come at this 1.45m height, and their record at the level in that span is even more impressive: They average just 1.25 faults and a top five finish.
“I’d say I’m a competitive person, and there’s no better feeling than when your horse loves to win just as much as you do,” McGee said. “She’s super light, careful, and just all-around quick over the course. It really suits how I like to ride and makes us a great match.
“Once I gained some experience at the 1.45m level, I started to think of ways I could prioritize consistency in my own riding as well as how I prepare Boucherom for competition,” he added. “Every step of the way, my team and I have studied what works best for her and have adjusted as needed.”
Consistency remains McGee’s goal as he heads fast forward to the latter half of his season.
“For the remainder of this year, I will continue to campaign Boucherom at the 1.45m Grand Prix level, hoping to maintain this level of consistency,” he said. “Looking toward my future goals, I plan to one day compete on the international level at the best venues show jumping has to offer. That will always be the dream.”
The numbers say, he’s on the right track.
Learn Show Jumping
International (FEI level) show jumping is broken down by CSI level (CSI1* through CSI5*). Each CSI level is held to a standard of obstacle height and technicality and is determined by prize money. When it comes to Grand Prix competition in the U.S., there are four standards. Any class offering $25,000 or more in prize money must be offered at one of these standards:
- Regional: 1.35m-1.40m
- American: 1.40m-1.45m
- National: 1.45m-1.50m
- High Performance: 1.45m-1.60m (Classes with this standard are almost always also international competitions)
Learn more about sport regulations from the USEF rulebook and FEI Jumping Rules.
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Feature Image: McCool Photography