Tina Konyot & Calecto V, Katherine Bateson & Nartan, Todd Flettrich & Otto 1, 23, in 1st of 4 USA Selection Trials
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GLADSTONE, New Jersey, Aug. 7–Tina Konyot and Calecto V consolidated their position as the second ranked American combination Saturday in winning the Grand Prix that is one of four competitions to select the USA team for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next month.
Back riding only a week after competing in Europe, including the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, Tina and the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion by Come Back II scored 74.894 per cent, their highest ever on a day when seven of the 15 combinations in the National Grand Prix championships received marks of at least 70 per cent.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington, Florida, on Nartan, the 15-year-old KWPN gelding acquired from Jeanette Haazen of The Netherlands by Jane Clark just four months ago as a WEG prospect, placed second on 71.872 per cent with Todd Flettrich of Wellington on Cherry Knoll Farm’s Otto finishing third on 71.404 per cent. Lauren Sammis of South Orange, New Jersey, on Sagacious HF, the 2007 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver medalist combination, placed fourth on 70.723 per cent.
Steffen Peters and Ravel, the top USA combination, have been given a bye from this competition and will join their team mates at this historic facility an hour from New York City in early September before heading to Kentucky.
Saturday’s competition counts for 30 per cent of the total, the Grand Prix Special on Sunday for 25 per cent, a second Grand Prix next Saturday, Aug. 14, for 30 per cent and the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle on Sunday, Aug. 15 for 15 per cent.
Tina, of Palm City, Florida, said that while her score was the highest she has ever received the ride “wasn’t my best.”
She said that Calecto was tired from competing in Europe, traveling home and the quarantine and had ridden him for the first time only a week ago since coming home.
Tina owns the horse herself and has no sponsors so it has been a “real struggle” competing at the top level. A grant of $30,000 from the U.S. Equestrian Federation was supplemented by friends contributing another $20,000 to make the trip to Europe where she competed at Fritzens as well as Aachen. She has not yet bred Calecto but is considering doing so in the future
She said she had received offers from Europe of more than $1 million (€753,000) for Calecto but she would “never in a million years” sell him.
“He is the closest friend in my life,” she said. “He will be like my other horses and live with me for the rest of his life.”
Katherine Bateson-Chandler competed in only four Grand Prix before coming to Gladstone and was still building a relationship with Nartan.
The difference in height between her at 5 ft. 8 ins. (173cm) and Jeanette Haazen 5 ft. 1 in. (155cm) led to Nartan doing “flying changes all over the place” when she first started riding him because her leg was in a much different place.
Jeanette came to Gladstone to help Katherine.
“It’s a lot of responsibility when someone buys a horse right before the WEG on your word that you can make it work,” she said. I absolutely had trepidation.”
Todd Flettrich described himself and Otto, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Rambo, as “A” type personalities.
Interruptions to their warm up created some tension that caused mistakes during the first part of their test and scores as low as 58 per cent, but they fought back to finish on 71.404 per cent.
Also, he said, Otto went through a miserable three-day quarantine on his return from Europe where new rules prevent riders and owners from having contact with their horses, which he said should be changed considering the cost of the horses.
|H: Lamping – USA||C: Rockwell – USA||M: Yukins – USA||B: Mechlem – GER|
|Rider||Ctzn||Horse||E %||Rk.||H %||Rk.||C %||Rk.||M %||Rk.||B %||Rk.||T %||Pl.|
|Konyot, Tina||USA||Calecto V||75.106%||1||73.404%||1||75.319%||1||73.830%||1||76.809%||1||74.894%||1|
|Sammis, Lauren||USA||Sagacious HF||71.702%||4||71.489%||3||69.149%||7||70.638%||4||70.638%||4||70.723%||4|
|Blinks, Susan||USA||Robin Hood||68.936%||6||71.489%||3||69.787%||6||70.426%||4||71.489%||3||70.426%||5|
|St Jacques, Pierre||USA||Lucky Tiger||69.574%||5||71.277%||6||70.213%||5||70.426%||6||70.000%||6||70.298%||6|
|Morse, Leslie||USA||Tip Top 962||68.298%||8||67.234%||10||67.021%||10||68.085%||10||67.234%||9||67.574%||10|
|Harding, Shawna||USA||Come On III||65.745%||12||65.745%||11||67.447%||9||68.085%||10||66.170%||12||66.638%||11|