USA YOUNG HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS START WITH WIN BY EVENTING STALLION IN 5-YEAR-OLD PRELIM TEST
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 25–San City, bought unseen and no vetting at six months old as “a leap of faith” by an American eventing trainer, was ridden by Caroline Roffman to win the five-year-old preliminary test on the opening day of the U.S. Young Dressage Horse Championships Thursday.
The Hanoverian stallion by San Remo out of Bounty, a Bolero mare, was sent to train and compete with Caroline of Wellington, Florida, when Katie Wooten-Bryant of Ponce de Leon, Florida, the daugher of eventing trainer Linda Crabtree, who bought the horse, became pregnant with her first child.
Katie, aged 27, and her husband, Daniel, are the parents of a six-month-old daughter, Adele.
That has not stopped Katie from competing in eventing–she showed San City training level at the highly competitive Chatahootchie, Georgia, event–and plans to compete in the U.S. Young Eventing Horse Championships at Fair Hill, Maryland. She hopes the journey on San City one day will take her to the Rolex Three-Day Event in Kentucky, one of the handful of premier four-star events in the world.
Linda Zang, speaking for the three-judge panel after San City’s ride, began her remarks with, “Wow!” before going through the different movements that ended up with a final score of 8.9.
Donna Tella, an Oldenburg mare by Don Picard out of Gesa, owned by Hampton Meadows LLC and ridden by Werner Van Den Brand also of Wellington, was second on 8.6. Somer Hit, a Hanoverian stallion by Sandro Hit out of Rhussia and owned by Alice M. Tarjan, was ridden by Lauren Chumley of Frenchtown, New Jersey, to third place on 8.3.
These championships are for 4, 5, 6 and developing horses aged 7 and 9 years.
One of the busiest competitors is George Williams of Delaware, Ohio, who has horses in all four divisions. He is riding Betsy Juliano’s Horizon in the 4-year-olds, Sir Velo in the 5-year-olds, Betsy’s Riccidoff in the 6-year-olds and her Cleopatra in the Developing Horse.
Linda Crabtree said that when San City arrived from Germany with another horse, Bon Chance, at her farm in the Florida Panhandle the horses did not look like she imagined them.
They were muddy and the coats were shaggy.
“What have I done?” she thought to herself. “It was leap of faith.”
However, Katie took over training and riding San City and performed well enough to qualify for the four-year-old division in these championships in 2010. Later the same year, she sold Bon Chance to Caroline and the two riders hit it off.
When Katie became pregnant she sent San City to Caroline in Wellington to train and compete in dressage.
“I’m not opposed to doing dressage,” Katie laughed, “and I love to watch it. But eventing is my career.”
She and her mother had thought about gelding the horse early on, but San City has already produced four foals and displays none of the stallion traits that make him difficult to handle.
Caroline confirms the character and mind of San City, saying that he “tries every day and never says no.”
“I would take him in a minute as a dressage horse,” she said. “The horse has the potential to be great.”
Results of 5-year-old Preliminary Test