CABANA BOY RIDDEN BY CHRIS HICKEY HEADING TO HISTORIC TRIPLE AT USEF NATIONAL CHAMPS
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By KENNTH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 22–Cabana Boy ridden by Chris Hickey on Saturday convincingly won the USEF National Developing Horse Dressage Championships sponsored by the Dutta Corp. and Performance Sales International, to take a major step toward an historic triple of being the champion at five and six years old and in their first year of the developing horse series.
The Hanoverian gelding by Contucci out of a Bourdeaux mare owned by Hilltop Farm, Inc. of Colora, Maryland for whom Hickey is the official trainer scored 72.895 per cent with “O” judge Linda Zang awarding them 77.105 per cent.
Heidi Gaian of Hollister, California and on her Chicago, by Calido I by a Corleone mare, were second on 70.526 per cent while George Williams of Delaware, Ohio and Don Bailey, by Donnerhall out of a Pik Bube mare and owned by Elizabeth Juliano, were third 67.719 per cent.
Saturday’s competition sponsored was at Prix St. Georges and counts for 40 per cent toward the championship which will be decided Sunday with the Developing Horse test. The championships were inspired by the German developing horse series, Nürnberger Burg-Pokal.
An obviously thrilled Hickey said after the competition, “We’re progressing very well. We are in a good place right now.”
He saidc that Cabana Boy finds it easy to perform the work at Prix St. Georges despite being only seven years old.
The quality of horse, Hickey said, “says a lot for American breeding.”
Although some improvements could be made, he said, Cabana Boy has “extremely good balance and frame” that makes up for any shortcomings due to age.
“I’m just thrilled that he has so much power in his hind legs,” he said.
The only nervous moment in the ride was was then Cabana Boy went like “a bat out out of hell: in the extended canter and Hickey said he wondered whether he would have enough arena, but the horse came back to him fine.