Jordan Linstedt has found herself in a familiar situation at the Aspen Farms Horse Trials. She and Revitavet Capato currently lead the pack in the Advanced division as part of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup/PRO Tour Series on a 32.7, which must feel like déjà vu since they dominated the division last year as well.
The 11-year-old, 17.2 hand Hanoverian gelding (Contendro – Annabelle), while stunning, requires a special pilot as he is very prone to spooking and becoming distracted. Luckily, the 26-year-old Washington native has learned how to use that spookiness to her advantage, building on a partnership that began when the horse was only about four years old and an unlikely eventing prospect.
“The spook is the hardest thing with him, but I felt that while it has been a negative in the past, today I used it to my benefit and it added to his trot,” said Linstedt. “He has wonderful changes but he didn’t have them today, so in places it could have been better. But, his confidence is getting better.”
Linstedt harkened back to her acquisition of the horse, which she co-owns with her mother Barbara.
“He kind of fell into my family. A lady showed up at our facility in Redmond looking for a house to rent. She had partnered on a horse in Germany but she needed help finishing the purchase.” The horse proved to be too much horse and a difficult ride for an amateur that wanted to ride for fun. Barbara assisted in his purchase, but the family had little hope for him as an event horse.
“When he came, he was three and a half and extremely difficult. He was gangly and spooky.” Linstedt got help from Tamie Smith in California and planned to sell him, potentially as a dressage horse, but she stuck with it and developed a partnership with him over time. “He has all the talent and often times the best [event horses] aren’t easy. We used to think, ‘How is he going to jump a giant ditch if he can’t even walk past a chair on the ground?’”
Emily Pestl-Dimmit typically has a very different challenge in competing her 11-year-old Bavarian Warmblood, Airlington.
“Usually my horse is lazy and I don’t have enough horse underneath me,” the 21-year-old laughs. “Today, I had way more horse than usual.”
Airlington (Abanos – Eleonore) may have had a bit more skip in his step today, and it paid off. The pair sits in second place overnight (33.5) as they head into Tremaine Cooper’s cross-country course tomorrow.
Airlington appeared to be happy, albeit a bit exuberant, to be back in competition after a pesky quarter crack kept him out of consistent competition for the past several months. Pestle-Dimmit chose to retire on cross-country at the Twin Rivers CIC3* because he still didn’t feel quite right. That was particularly disappointing, because it was the pair’s first three star. The same problem kept them from getting fit enough for the Rebecca Farm CIC3*, but they are back on track this weekend.
This pair is new to the Advanced level, having completed their first horse trials at the level at this very event a year ago, where the placed fourth. They were then invited to the winter High Performance Training Sessions and received the Beacon Charm Grant.
“The course is tougher than last year,” Pestle-Dimmitt said. “[Tremaine Cooper] took the angle out of the ditch and brush and made it wider… I’m sure [Airlington] will over jump everything until about jump 6 and then we should maybe level out.”
Rebecca Buehler and her bright chestnut Thoroughbred, Brighton, are new to the level but are coming off of a confident win in the Intermediate at Caber Farm Horse Trials. Brighton, who was originally bought out of an estate liquidation, made easy work of the Intermediate course at Aspen Farms last year. Buehler is hoping to simply complete her first Advanced.
“I’m just taking it one step at a time,” said Buehler. “I’m really happy with his test. I’ve had trouble keeping him relaxed and through in his back.” The pair scored a 34.7 for third place.
The Advanced division will run cross-country late in the afternoon tomorrow, with Karen O’Neal first on course at 4:10 p.m. Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the weekend.
About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series
Qualifying for the 2014 Adequan USEA Gold Cup began last fall with the Plantation Field CIC*** (PA) and the Woodside CIC*** (CA) and features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. The final will take place at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships September 2014 in Tyler, Texas. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.
The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors: Adequan; Standlee Forage Nunn Finer; SmartPak Equine; Nutrena; Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Point Two; Dubarry; and FITS.
The PRO Tour Series consists of 13 premier destination events in the United States and Canada in 2013/2014 featuring the best riders and most entertainment. Riders and Horses are awarded points on the PRO Tour Rider Leader Board and PRO Tour Horse Leader Board. Riders can also earn points on the PRO Tour Series at the Intermediate or two-star level for the Multi Radiance Intermediate Challenge. The 2014 Multi Radiance Challenge Leader Board Champion will win a Multi Radiance MR4 ACTIVET Portable Laser System.
The Professional Riders Organization would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2014 PRO Tour Series: Martin Collins USA, The Official Footing of PRO; Multi Radiance Medical, The Official Laser Therapy of PRO & Sponsor of the Multi Radiance Medical Intermediate Challenge ; Tex Sutton, the Official US Equine Air Carrier of PRO; SSG Riding Gloves; Finish Line Horse Products; Midlantic Ltd.; and Mythic Landing Events.