Kerrigan Gluch Posts First Ever Victory on Vaquero HGF to Win US Championships Young Rider Team Test
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 21, 2015–Kerrigan Gluch rode Vaquero HGF to their first ever victory to win the U.S. Championships Young Rider Team test Friday–an international effort with an American-bred Spanish horse, an American rider and an Israeli coach.
Kerrigan had what she described as “the best ever ride” in a show arena on the eight-year-old PRE stallion for a score of 69.298 per cent, a whisker ahead of Catherine Chamberlain on Avesto Van Weltevreden on 69.254 per cent and Natalie Pai on Fritz San Tino on 66.140 per cent.
The Young Rider competition kicked off all but the Grand Prix and Intermediate divisions of the Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. The festival is the annual American championships that this year were combined with the U.S. Young Horse Championships in adjacent arenas. The Grand Prix and Intermediate Championships will be staged in Wellington, Florida in December.
Conflicts in scheduling were common–the six-year-old preliminary championship class started at exactly the same time as the Championship Young Rider team test.
The 18-year-old Kerrigan is in her fourth year working at Hampton Green Farm in Wellington, Florida and Fruitport, Michigan. Vaquero Cuatrero IU was born in Fruitport and was intended for Courtney King-Dye to compete. After her accident, the horse was sent to Spain to be ridden by Daniel Martin Dockx who rides Hampton Green Farm’s Grandioso for Spain at the Olympics, World Games and European Championships.
Kerrigan, originally from Mount Pleasant, Michigan went to Spain for six weeks last year to train on Vaquero with Daniel Dockx, who had competed the horse in young horse events in Spain.
Kerrigan competed Vaquero at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington last winter and the North American Young Rider Championships in Kentucky in July.
“The test,” Kerrigan said of Friday’s test, “was his best ever in the show ring. Everything was really consistent.”
She graduated high school and is a freshman at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, an easy commute to Wellington, majoring in business that will allow her to continue riding.
Since she started training recently with Oded Shimoni, the Wellington-based Israeli, Vaquero “has gained a lot of strength through training and conditioning. I’m surprised how much he’s grown. But he still wants to do well in the show ring.”
Mickayla Frederick on Wrainier Q won the Junior team on a score of 70.315 per cent with Tillie Jones on Boegelys Mauricio second on 67.658 per cent and Kristin Counterman on Three Times in third on 67.342 per cent.