Dan Kreitl (USA) and Kay Dixon’s Carmango (Chirivell x Templer GL XX) were the winners of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI 4*-L Eventing National Championship hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), finishing on a score of 40.0. In second place the Reserve National Champion was Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) riding Ocala Horse Properties’ Deniro Z, the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX), finishing with a score of 40.6. Completing the podium was Phillip Dutton (USA) and Anne, Caroline, and Michael Moran’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Azure (Omar x Cavalier Royal) with a score of 42.6.
It was both Kreitl and the 9-year-old Westphalian gelding Carmango’s first CCI4*-L, and Kreitl’s first FEI win, making it extra special for the pair as they edged out Halliday-Sharp by 0.6 points. It was a storybook weekend from centerline to starting box to stadium finish timers, he recapped.
“I was really happy with Carmango to get steady tests in the dressage. He’s a really consistent horse, and I was happy with him there. Then on cross-country, it was our first CCI4*-L division for both of us and it was definitely challenging enough, and took some scrappy riding, but I’m super proud of the horse. I was curious how he was going to feel today, and show jumping has never been our strongest phase, but he had a lot of jump. I was thrilled with his fitness and how he recovered.”
For Kreitl, as a non-professional competing at the highest levels for the first time, the win was surreal as he sat between Halliday-Sharp and Dutton at the Dutta Corp. press conference. “It’s amazing to end on such an epic high, and to win against these legends in the sport. As an amateur, I look up to them, and I’ve always thought someday I’d love to be able to be up there and win,” he explained. “It was kind of a pipe dream, so it’s super fun to actually get to live it out here today.”
Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Stadium in particular are known for an electric atmosphere, and this energy was just enough for Kreitl and Carmango after some hairy moments in the past, he revealed:
“I appreciate the atmosphere and the big stadium here. This horse, in Kentucky this year, spooked badly at the atmosphere, and it’s nice to be able to have venues where he can get more exposure. I think it’s a great venue for that.”
As the newly-crowned Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Champion, Kreitl is the proud new owner of a $20,000 ticket grant that will allow him to travel abroad to compete with Carmango at the competition of his choosing in 2023. He concluded that he hadn’t let himself get his hopes up by dreaming of where he would go with the ticket, but now gets to make that choice.
“I haven’t considered where I would go, because I was like, ‘let’s just cross this one step and get it done first!’ I’ve been in the lead coming into Show Jumping before, and haven’t won. I’m super excited, though, and definitely can’t wait to take advantage of this awesome opportunity to go overseas. I think it’s a gift of a lifetime, and an opportunity I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. So I’m super thankful for such an awesome, awesome opportunity.”
Karl Slezak (CAN) and his own Hot Bobo won the CCI3*-L at the Dutta Corp. Tryon International Three-Day Event with a score of 31.8 after three phases. In second place was Shannon Lilley (USA) and Kevin Keane’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Clueso (Clarimo x Caretano) with a score of 33.3. Finishing in third was Bruce Davidson Jr. (USA) and Shahrzad Khayami’s Stracathro Solitary Minstral, the 13-year-old British Sport Horse mare (Solitair x Beheshi Ahurahazda) with a score of 36.2.
After a tough three phases with lots of movement in the leaderboards, Slezak and the talented 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Hot Bobo took the win, despite Slezak breaking his hand prior to the event, he revealed
“Before I even got here I broke my hand, so I didn’t have a great start. Once I got here, and she settled in really well, I was excited. She was a little spooky on dressage day, so it wasn’t quite the test I was hoping for, but we kind of worked our way back up. I’m very excited about her. She was a rockstar yesterday [on cross-country]. She was feeling feisty today, so I had a good feeling going into show jumping.”
The pair were one of few contenders to go double-clear in the cross-country phase, with Slezak saying, “She was on fire. She’s a little on the small side, and I have had to baby her a little bit over the years. We’ve had some ups and downs. This year, though, she’s come up really, really strong and wanting it. She was all about it yesterday: she was running fast and just locking on to everything. Usually she’d spook at jumps [while] galloping by, and she didn’t care at all about anything, so I was very excited by that.”
The longtime partnership between the pair, and Slezak’s belief in his ride showed in their performance over the last three days. “We bought her as a four year old as a sale horse from the Monart Sale in Ireland,” Slezak explained, “and she was just a bit too spooky for people when they would Cross-Country school her, so I never sold her. From the get-go, I just loved her. She’s been amazing. She is actually my favorite horse in the barn, and I love her to death. Anybody who knows me thinks it’s ridiculous how much I love her.
“I’ve been so excited about her, and she’s finally had her time to shine,” Slezak beamed. “So, I hope to aim her at the Pan Am Games next year. She’s a phenomenal jumper and it doesn’t feel like there’s a limit yet. I’m very, very excited.”
While Slezak has not been to TIEC in awhile, after this weekend he aims to make it a regular stop, he shared. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. The only time I’ve ever been here before was for the test event for WEG in 2018. They’ve done a great job and it has changed so much. They’ve definitely done a great job of organizing it and trying really hard to just keep making it better for us. So that’s exciting to have a venue like this. Hopefully we’ll be back in the spring for the CCI4*-L.”
Julie Wolfert (USA) and SSH Playboy, the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (by Cit Cat) owned by Sheri Gurske, Renee Senter, and herself, won the Dutta Corp. Tryon International 3-Day Event’s CCI4*-S Division with a score of 55.3. In second place was Ariel Grald (USA) and Anne Eldridge’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Forrest Gump 124 (Amaterasu x Amerigo Vespucci XX) with a score of 55.4. Finishing in the third place position was Cosby Green (USA) riding Edie & Clay Green’s Highly Suspicious, the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (by Russel) with a tied score of 55.4, with the dressage scores being used as a tie-breaker.
Kevin Keane (USA) and his 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Sportsfield Candy (Condios x Cruising) won the Dutta Corp. Tryon International 3-Day Event’s CCI2*-L Division with a score of 25.7. Boyd Martin (USA) and the Barney Rubble Syndicate LLC’s 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Barney Rubble (Cador 5 x Glockenklang), finished in second place with a score of 27. In third was Olivia Dutton (USA) and Caroline Moran’s 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding Carlchen (Clinton x Lordanos) on a score of 27.4.
Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) took the top two positions in the Dutta Corp. Tryon International 3-Day Event CCI1*-L Division, keeping both spots throughout all three phases. Riding Deborah Palmer’s Maybach, the 6-year-old German Sport Horse (Millennium x Heraldik XX) she took the win with a total score of 22.3. Her own Newmarket Cooley, the 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, finished second with a score of 28.6 on the weekend. In third was Ashley Adams (USA) and her own 7-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, Quicksilver Grans (Camaro M x Feliciano), with a score of 29.1.
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The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes U21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the EA21 national camp this winter.
The second Young Horse Show Series (YHS) Regional Championship took place on Sunday, October 1st at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas. Formerly known as the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships, this year’s qualifiers were run by the YHS, a program established to provide U.S. breeders the opportunity to show off their young stock, as well as connect them to owners, riders, and trainers looking for U.S. bred sport horses in the hunter, jumper, dressage, and now eventing, disciplines.
Have you made plans to attend the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, from Dec. 7-10? If so, you’ll want to add the Show Jumping Building Seminar to your list of activities.
Registration for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! Join the USEA in St. Louis, Missouri, this Dec. 7-10 for a weekend of mingling with fellow enthusiastic eventers to partake in discussions about the future of the sport. This year’s event will include a keynote address by Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist and author, a celebration of champions at the Annual Awards Dinner, and more! The city of St. Louis also has so many opportunities to sight-see and explore.