East of Dallas and west of the Texas-Louisiana state line is Texas Rose Horse Park, a household name to Area V eventers. On November 9-10, Area V wrapped up the 2018 season with Texas Rose Horse Park Fall Horse Trials and awarded Kristin Curreri and Caleb McCombs the Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards.
“Nothing beats cross-country,” said Kristin Curreri, the adult amateur recipient of Area V’s Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. Curreri blames her best friend, Lacey Cloud, for introducing her to three-day eventing. “I was doing hunter/jumpers when I met my best friend, Lacey Cloud, at our kids' school in Heath, Texas in 2003. She said, ‘That's boring! You have to come event with me!’ So I did, and we've been best friends and riding buddies ever since,” said Curreri.
At 8 years old, Curreri was hooked on riding. From backyard trail riding and hunter/jumpers to reining and three-day eventing, Curreri explained, “I've been so blessed to be able to experience so many aspects of the horse world - from reining to driving to a five gaited Saddlebred - but eventing is my true love.”
“An absolute dream,” Curreri described what it’s like to ride her winning partner, Goodtimes, who goes by the barn name of ‘Jimmy’ (the main character on the TV show, Good Times). Curreri shares her love for cross-country with Jimmy, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Riverman who was bred in Poetry, Texas by Dawn Britton Merrill. “Lacey [Cloud] bought Jimmy as a youngster, but our best friend Debra Dealcuaz is the one who brought him along and made him what he is today. They passed the ride to me about 18 months ago and he's just the best horse I've ever ridden.”
A repeat offender, this is Curreri’s second time winning the Charles Owen Technical Merit award. “I love this program. I received this award one other time, several years ago, at Holly Hill and had the same reaction. I'm prouder of this than any other award I've won. Technical merit on cross-country? Yeah, I hung that up in my office.” Lastly, Curreri credited her coach, Mike Huber, for her exceptional cross-country riding skills. “I have to note that the top three adult amateurs are all coached by the legendary Mike Huber - we LOVE Mike.”
Caleb McCombs riding his longtime partner Simon Slick, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, was the junior recipient of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. Simon Slick, owned by Brenda Renick, and McCombs have years of experience together as a team and have competed up to the Preliminary level. With numerous top placings, it comes as no surprise that McCombs and Simon Slick have formed a strong, award-winning partnership over the years.
Congratulations to both Caleb McCombs and Kristin Curreri on their safe and effective cross-country rounds at Texas Rose!
About the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award
In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council in partnership with Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.
The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award. Click here to learn more about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.
The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.
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