Elkton, Md.—Oct. 22—It was a start to finish win in the 2023 USEF CCI3*-L National Championship for Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Connor (Connor 48 x Galwaybay Merstona), a7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, and Luann McElduff. The pair had a fault-free weekend to finish on their dressage score of 25.4.
"It's emotional for me just to remember his first jump school, his first flat school, and then all the way to this moment," said Pamukcu. "We were so close last year to winning the Young Horse World Championships [at Le Lion] that for him to win the USEF National Championship is amazing."
HSH Connor has had a busy season with four wins prior to this victory at the Maryland 5 Star. His hard work has earned him some time off, according to Pamukcu.
"He is getting all of his shoes pulled right now. He's gonna go out in the field with his buddies, he's gonna go out and deal with Kings Especiale [who just finished second at the Morven Park CCI4*-L in Virginia] and out with [HSH] Blake after he gets back from the Pan Ams. He is going to have about two months off in the field to get furry and fat and have a good time with his buddies."
Also holding steady to their placing throughout the week was Lauren Nicholson (The Plains, Virginia) and Larcot Z, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars. They acquired no additional faults in the final phase to also finish on their dressage score of 28.6.
"Larcot is probably one of the most fun horses I have had in the show jumping," Nicholson stated. "He is so willing and brave, but he is such a freak about being careful, he makes the job easy. He is a pleasure to ride, and I am so grateful to Mrs. Mars for stepping up to get him because I think he is a horse of a lifetime."
Show jumping did prove influential in terms of which pair would round out the top three. After starting the week in eighth place following dressage, Savannah Fulton and Nelson Warnell's 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding Cash Point (Cashandcarry x Up To Date 15) inched up to seventh following their double-clear cross-country round. It was their double-clear show jumping round, however, that would really make an impact and move them up to third place on their dressage score of 31.4.
"I've had him since he was 4, and I feel like, with this sport especially, it's really hard to put three things together all in a weekend, especially with a baby [horse]," she shared. "The goal for the weekend was just to make the time on cross-country. Yesterday was just fabulous, and if he came out this morning really tired, I would just have been proud of him for doing well yesterday. So the fact that he was able to jump well today and finish well was really exciting."
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“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.
To accompany the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, USEA Educational Partner STRIDER has prepared Digital Resources to Maximize Education & Access for the Eventing Community. In keeping with the USEA’s mission to expand the sport of eventing, this webinar outlines ways in which digital tools can be leveraged to increase access and education across equestrian opportunities. As part of STRIDER’s popular Professional Development Webinar Series, this presentation aims to provide a quick overview of best practices and digital tools used across the equestrian industry to boost growth.