Canada’s Megan Lane & Caravella Post Personal Best to Capture Kentucky CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, May 24, 2014–Megan Lane, the 23-year-old seeking to win a place on Canada’s team for the World Equestrian Games rode Caravella to a personal best score of 72.750 per cent to capture the Kentucky CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday night.
Megan and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Contango x Riverman) overcame a shaky Grand Prix to edge past Laura Graves of Geneva, Florida and Verdades on 72.675 per cent with Canada’s Diane Creech and Devon L in third place on 72.000 per cent.
The large main stadium that was empty most of the show and a 20-minute walk from the stables to the competition arena made her horse nervous, Megan said, but she treated it as a learning experience. The absence of her coach, Oded Shimoni, had what she described as a “noticeable” effect but he was scheduled to be at the final two shows in Canada in June before WEG team selection is made.
The relationship with Caravella that was a hunter reject bought by her mother “just keeps evolving,” she said, having been her mount through juniors and young riders including medals at the North American Championships.
“I have a hard time keeping up with how much we’ve done together. It’s her trainability. We click.”
Megan said she will use a $20,000 grant she was awarded to go to Europe to train and compete for the first time even if she does not make the Canadian team for the WEG in Normandy, France at the end of August, though she is currently ranked third in the country.
She will train with Jan Bemelmans with visits from Oded and hopes to compete at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany and at Verden, Germany.
“I don’t really limit myself to how old I am,” she said of seeking to make the Canadian team when she could be riding in the Under-25 division. “I always look for progress, what’s the next step. Whether it comes sooner or later doesn’t matter.”
Saturday’s victory was the second straight Freestyle win–Megan and Caravella won the Global Dressage Festival CDI3* musical event in Wellington, Florida at the end of March.
Laura Graves and Verdades were runnerup then as the pair were in Kentucky.
Laura said that her riding has improved substantially since she started training with Debbie McDonald and now has made it into the top 15 in the country that will get her an invitation to the national championships in Gladstone, New Jersey in mid-June
Laura, who has owned Verdades since he was bought from a video at six months of age and the gelding is now the 12 years old and in his first year at Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old rider said she does not have expectations of making it into the top eight that will go to Europe to battle for a spot on the American team.
“Being his first year at Grand Prix, he is still developing,” she said. “If we don’t make the top eight he’ll have some vacation time, enjoy some time in the field.”
Grand Prix Freestyle
|CDI3* FEI GRAND PRIX FREESTYLE||E: McDonald-USA H: Christensen-DEN C: Ayers-USA M: Maurel-FRA B: Holler-GER|
|3||DEVON L||DIANE CREECH
|4||WELLNETTA||KATHERINE BATESON CHANDLER
JANE FORBES CLARK
|5||POP ART||JILL IRVING
PINELAND FARM INC
|8||DEGAS||GARY VANDER PLOEG
GARY VANDER PLOEG