Last fall as Ariel Grald trudged back to the barn with LBF O’Leagh’s Image at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI** (Md.) after falling off just a few fences from home on cross-country, she was understandably frustrated.
Jen Shattuck is like many amateurs in eventing. She works a full-time job as a nurse anesthetist at the Army Medical Center in Ft. Bragg, N.C., balances her time riding her horses, and volunteers at competitions whenever she can to give back to the sport she loves.
In February, Shattuck, who lives a mile from the Carolina Horse Park and volunteers there often, posted on the Chronicle’s online eventing forum asking if people would be interested in donating money to sponsor a jump at the inaugural Carolina International CIC.
Looking at the start list for today’s cross-country, you may not have bet on Marilyn Little and RF Demeter to take the win in the CIC***.
Sure, they’ve just come home from competing in Europe last year, finishing their third four-star in the top 20 at Pau (France), but “Demi” hasn’t been out competing this season, and they were sitting in fifth place after dressage and show jumping.
Michael Pollard may have given the crowd—and himself—a scare as he turned the wrong way after fence one on Marc Donovan’s CIC*** course at the Carolina International, but he quickly corrected himself and made up the time to jump a double-clear round on Ballingowan Pizazz to take the lead going into cross-country.
Six years ago, Clara Etzel thought her dressage career with More Coffee Please was over as he sat recuperating from a navicular disease diagnosis, complete with scar tissue on his collateral and impar ligaments.
Last summer, young dressage rider Ayden Uhlir was pondering her future in the sport. She was preparing to take a gap year between high school and college to focus on riding her 2013 Adequan North American Junior and Young Rider Championship double-gold medal mount Sjapoer, but she knew time was running out on her parents’ financial support of her riding career.
So Uhlir decided to send off several sponsorship pitch letters to a range of equine and mainstream companies.
Alix Szepesi still remembers the day Majco Thunder's Hattrick stepped off the trailer at her farm as a 5-year-old.
“When we first saw him, he was really narrow-chested and had a thin little pencil neck,” she said. “I remember they shipped him from the quarantine facility and they opened the door to have him walk off and he looked out and jumped out of the trailer like ‘Here I am everyone!’ He just always had this really big presence to him.”
Adrienne Lyle had to hold onto her hat as she performed her final salute with Wizard in the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO*** Grand Prix freestyle.
As the crowd went wild, Wizard, who’d held in his enthusiasm long enough, bolted forward, but it was all in good fun as her score of 75.80% gave her the individual gold medal and completed a sweep of the Grand Prix classes in the Nations Cup.
Canadian rider Karen Pavicic spends most of her time at her home base in Vancouver, British Columbia or competing on the California dressage circuit, but this year with the help of a grant from Dressage Canada, she’s come to Florida for the first time. She made the most of the opportunity, leading a Canadian sweep of the CDI*** Grand Prix aboard Don Daiquiri (69.44%) at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
Tom Dvorak rode Viva’s Salieri W to second (68.62%) while Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro finished third (67.12%).