Oct 22, 2023

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Connor Go All the Way in USEF CCI3*-L National Championships

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Connor. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photos

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."

Lauren Nicholson and Larcot Z.

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."

Savannah Fulton and Cash Point finished third.

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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