Aug 31, 2023

Chin Wins Again: Coleman and Chin Tonic HS are the 2023 USEA Intermediate Champions at AEC

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff | Press Release
Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photos

Lexington, Ky.—August 31—What better way to conclude the first day of championship crowning at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds than with a show jumping session under the setting Kentucky sun? Competitors and spectators at the Kentucky Horse Park were treated to just that as the USEA Intermediate Championship came to a close Thursday evening with show jumping in the Rolex Arena. A total of 43 contestants came forward, but ultimately none could top Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera).

Coleman and Hyperion Stud’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding led the division from start to finish, wrapping up their competition week with just a few time faults on cross-country added to their dressage score. Coleman started the week out in first and third, and his third place mount Diabolo (Diarado x Roulett M) moved up to second following cross-country and also remained unscathed after show jumping this afternoon.

After their cross-country run, Coleman noted that Chin would be heading to Stable View (Aiken, South Carolina) next before making his way to France for the five-star at Pau. Coleman felt that Pau would be a good opportunity to help Chin get more five-star miles under his belt in an appropriate environment.

"He's done Kentucky, obviously, which I think has quite a bit of terrain," he said. "Maryland and Burghley have tons of terrain, and I think that maybe would have been just physically a step too far. Pau is a competition that we thought would continue to season him as a five-star horse. He's pretty good at the technical things, and he has a very big stride. I'm hoping that we can just go there and improve on our performance a little bit, we're just trying to get better."

Will Coleman and Diabolo.

In regards to his second-place mount, Coleman shared: "I'm still getting to know Diabolo. He's a little sharp in the ring, I'd like him to relax a little bit more. And I think there's a better jump in there; he's a very careful horse, but I'm just trying to get it all a little more harmonious and get him to understand that he doesn't have to give 1,000 percent. Sometimes I feel like he's trying a bit too hard."

Diabolo came to Coleman all the way from Australia. His connecting with the horse was actually a chance encounter that all started with an email.

"I suppose it was kind of random," he recalled. "I just got a video and an email. And, you know, I don't usually pay a whole lot of attention to people trying to sell you horses on videos and sending you that email. But Sharon Ridgeway is a respected agent, and she sent me the video so I took a look. I obviously know the Tinneys and who they were and had huge amounts of respect for Stuart and Gemma, so I knew he came from a very good eventing family. To be honest, I was maybe a little bit initially dismissive. But Katie [Coleman's wife] watched the video, and she said, 'I think you need to go look at this horse. This could be seriously nice.' And when she said that, I sort of looked at it a bit more closely."

Coleman, who had never been to Australia before, decided to make the trip to see Diabolo in person. His dad tagged along for the quick three-day trip down under.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Double Sixteen.

Caroline Pamukcu's 8-year-old Thoroughbred HSH Double Sixteen (Robin Des Pres x Azaria), owned by the Baltodano family and her mom Sherri Martin, also held onto his top three spot after delivering a fault-free round in the final phase.

"He's so sassy, like a Jack Russell" joked Pamukcu. "He's feral. He's awesome. He's got a heart of gold. Laila [Barker, who started the horse] did such a good job with him; she taught him how to love his job. So I'm just putting the finishing touches on him and forming a partnership."

Both Coleman and Pamukcu work out with the same trainer Coach Forbes and attribute part of their success in the saddle to the fitness programs that he builds for them. Funnily enough, their workout times are back-to-back with Coleman going most mornings from 4:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. and Pamukcu taking the 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. spot.

"He's the secret ingredient," said Pamukcu. "I've been going to him since I was almost 18, and so for me from 18 to 28 I went through a growth period mentally. The one thing that was consistent was coach Forbes. He just helped me grow up."

"I really enjoy it," Coleman followed. "I think he's helped me tremendously, and he's just an exceptional guy. What he does, you know, he really understands the human body and sports science and he's amazing."

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About the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds, is the pinnacle of the sport at the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of combinations from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. In fact, the 2021 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and now stands as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held Aug. 29—Sept. 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

The USEA would like to thank Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena Feeds; Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsor: Bates Saddles; Gold Level Sponsors: Capital Square, Horse & Country, Parker Equine Insurance, Smartpak, Standlee; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Ecogold, Kerrits, The Jockey Club; Bronze Level Sponsors: 70 Degrees, Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis, Dubarry of Ireland, Equestrian Team Apparel, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Horseware Ireland, Majyk Equipe, Retired Racehorse Project, Ride EquiSafe; Contributing Level Sponsor: CrossCountry App, Georgetown – Scott County Tourism, Lexmark, L.V. Harkness, Mountain Horse, Mrs. Pastures Cookies, #WeRideTogether; Prize Level Sponsors: Coach Daniel Stewart, EquiFit, Equilab, Equiluxe Tack, Equine Essentials, Equine Pulse Performance, FarmVet, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Horses 4 Your Consideration, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse Eventing Boutique, Jack’s Favorites, Jane Heart Jewelry, Kinetic Equine Services, LeMieux, Levade Kentucky, Mare Modern Goods, OneTouch Fly Spray, Parkmore Supplements, Practical Horseman, Sidelines Magazine, Spy Coast Farm, Strides for Equality Equestrians, and VTO Saddlery.

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