Megan Lane & Caravella Win Wellington CDI-W Grand Prix Special
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 11, 2014–Megan Lane and Caravella moved through the junior and young rider ranks together to their biggest stage so far and were victorious Saturday in the Global Dressage Festival CDI-W Grand Prix Special.
The win was with the best ever result of 68.980 per cent since the 22-year-old rider and Caravella (Contango x Riverman) began their senior Grand Prix career in Florida nine months ago. The pair has started start 17 times in CDIs in Canada and the United States. They scored 65.880 per cent for eighth place in the Grand Prix Thursday.
Anna Whit Watkins of Ft. Davis, Texas and Oublette were second on 63.157 per cent and Heather Blitz of Medfield, Massachusetts and Paragon were third on 60.745 per cent.
Megan, who displays a joy of riding and competing and the confidence of youth, believes she and the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare have moved to a new level since she started training last summer with the Wellington-based Oded Shimoni of Israel.
It has been a long journey since she bought Caravella from Canadian Grand Prix amateur rider Jill Irving when the horse was four years old and a hunter.
The pair competed at the junior and young rider levels, medaling six times at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships, were successful in a short stint in the Under-25 division and then moved up to Grand Prix.
“She’s the first horse for my first Grand Prix and my first horse that I’ve brought along to this point,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”
Natalie Lamping of the United States who was president of the panel of five judges said that Caravella’s passage was “a little too open in the beginning,” but that as the ride progressed, “it became more closed and got more elevation.”
“I think she did a really good job at setting the mare up and being organized in the test,” she said. “She hasn’t maxed out yet. There is a lot of room for the score to go up. Sometimes you’re limited by the scope of your horse, but they haven’t gone there yet. That was nice to see.”
Megan agreed and while she said that her piaffe and passage were a highlight she also noted that Thursday’s canter zig-zag was the best she has ever ridden. “It’s nice when that happens in the test!” she said.
When she got Caravella, Megan said, the horse “obviously had quirks. She’s not easy to work with. It took me a while to go back and let her be a horse a little bit.
Megan, who trains horses and teaches fulltime at Deer Ridge Equestrian in Loretto, is candid about her goals for 2014:
“To make the Canadian team for the World Equestrian Games.”