Aug 30, 2023

Double Delight for Coleman in USEA Intermediate Championship at AEC

By Samantha Clark - USEA | Press Release
Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

Lexington, Ky.—August 30— Forty-seven horses set out on Jay Hambly’s Intermediate cross-country course at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds Wednesday afternoon, and of those 35 jumped clear, but only two of them managed to jump clear within the time.

Holding onto the overnight lead from dressage is Will Coleman, who was thrilled with his ride on both the Hyperion Stud’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera). The pair, who added 4.4 time penalties, will go into the final phase of the USEA Intermediate Championships tomorrow on a score of 29.7. In addition, Coleman also rests in second place aboard the Diabolo Group’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Diabolo (Diarado x Roulett M) who sped around with just 1.6 time penalties to rest on a score of 29.8.

“We just felt like we were playing around and having a good time,” Coleman said with a smile. “They were awesome, I’m super pumped!” Coleman was dropping Chin down to Intermediate after the horse struggled with a respiratory issue this summer and will be headed to the Pau CCI5*-L (France) at the end of the year. Diabolo was a four-star horse with previous owners Stuart and Gemma Tinney of Australia, but Will is taking some time to get to know him and to let him acclimatize to an entirely new world.

“I thought they both ran really, really well," he said. "This is just kind of a nice class for Chin to be able to do and give him a little bit of a quicker run without maybe taxing him so much, and he felt great, and I’m still getting to know Diabolo but God, he gives me such an awesome feeling on the cross-country; I’m super pumped and so grateful that I have two such nice horses to ride.”

Next on Chin's agenda will be the four-star at Stable View (Aiken, South Carolina), and then a trip to France with his stablemate Off The Record where they’ll spend some time based with Maxime Livio ahead of Pau. Coleman hopes to also do a four-star with Diabolo, and then, “next year, we’ll see…”

Will Coleman and Diabolo are in second place after cross-country.

Coleman thought the Intermediate cross-country was very similar to typical tracks that Land Rover Kentucky Five-Star course designer Derek di Grazia builds here.

“It felt a little like Derek where you are turning quite a lot,” he said. “Even though it wasn’t roped, it did feel like you were always turning, and you just had to be smooth to stay efficient on your time. I think that’s probably where the sport is going, certainly at championships now.”

Although Coleman has surprisingly never competed at Pau before, he’s hopeful that the championships here and a run at Stable View will be a good prep for both his horses, “I guess we’ll find out in a couple of months” he smiled ruefully.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Double Sixteen are in third.

Caroline Pamukcu was able to capitalize on her good dressage score from the day before, adding just 0.8 time penalties to it, to rest overnight in third on her, her mother Sherri’s, and the Baltodano family’s HSH Double Sixteen (Robin Des Pres x Azaria). In sixth place after dressage on a score of 29.4, Pamukcu was delighted with her cross-country round on this 8-year-old Irish Thoroughbred.

Pamukcu has had the ride for less than a year but knew as soon as she sat on him in Ireland that he was the perfect horse for her. “I remember getting on him and just giggling and telling my partner Kelly, ‘He’s definitely my horse, he’s so special!’ He’s unbelievable, I tell everyone he’s my secret weapon! For whatever reason it just meshed right away. It’s one of those partnerships; he suits me, he really takes care of me; we’ve had very minimal blips but they’ve been 100 percent my fault.”

Pamukcu has always had faith in this horse who she describes as tiny. “If you look at him on the ground he’s not very beautiful; he’s built a little bit like a box but he’s got the heart of a champion; he’s such a trier.”

HSH Double Sixteen raced well into his 5-year-old year, and Pamukcu said he ate up the championship track that she said rode much harder than it walked. “Huge credit to the course designer. There were lots of questions, lots of turns; it was really, really challenging.”

With an eye on the classic five-star events in her future, Pamukcu’s dreaming of Badminton and Burghley, and she says she couldn’t be happier to be sat on such a blood horse.

“He tries,” she said. “He tries harder than any other horse in my barn, and that’s the cool thing about Thoroughbreds; they give you 200 percent every time."

Since rebuilding her string, Pamukcu had specifically wanted horses with more blood, and so this ex-racehorse fit the bill perfectly. She was quick to pay credit to her friend Laila Barker who bought the horse off the track and produced him up to the three-star level, “She put so much love and care into him," she said. "She did all the work. I’m literally just putting on the finishing touches and enjoying him; she did all the groundwork. He’s very special.”

Jenny Caras and Elyse Eisenbeg’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Trendy Fernhill (ARS Vivendi x Cruising Girl) dropped a couple of places to fourth with a handful of time faults across the country.

USEA Intermediate Championship show jumping takes place in the Rolex Arena on Thursday evening starting at 6:30 p.m.

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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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