Elisa Broz and Tinkerbell. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

Elisa Broz just can’t stop winning, and specifically, winning the $30,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic. During Desert Circuit VI, she made her third victory in the class that much more convincing, clocking in five full seconds faster than the second-place competitor. The second-place duo was Conor Swail, we might add, and he was not slow. With her 13-year-old mare Tinkerbell, Broz could not come close to being caught, despite the immense horsepower and top riders that followed her.

Broz’s immediate post-round thoughts were, “I am so thankful for Tink. She is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to have her. My coach always does a great job. I am just thankful.”

She had natural footspeed on her side, but throughout the entire round she did exactly what she had to do to be as fast as possible. “I just go out there and do my best,” she said of her speed-round strategy. “The plan was to be really tight in the corners. There were lots of rollbacks. I know by the end of it she’s usually pretty naturally fast and has a big stride, so I just let her go.”

Elisa Broz and Tinkerbell in their winning presentation, pictured with Trisha Shell and Allison Post of FarmVet. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

Swail and Casturano, a newer but promising mount for the Irishman, took second, while Kyle King claimed third with Cerolino, owned by Strasburg Morin Inc.

Speed has always been the name of the game for Broz, who took to the jumpers on a small mare early in her career.

“I have always loved speed,” she said. “I was about 12 or 13 when I got my first jumper. I started in the hunters and then equitation. My first jumper was quite small and fast. I think I always knew that jumpers would be something I wanted to do. I told my coach I wanted a jumper and got hooked.”

Conor Swail and Casturano. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

The partnership with Tinkerbell wasn’t always perfect, but lately it’s been nothing but smooth. “When I first got her I had absolutely no control,” she laughed. “She was wild and my first round on her she was guns-a-blazing. It took some time, and finding the right bit was helpful. She has lots of heart and loves speed.

“She’s naturally very fast and a total dragon in the ring, but she’s the sweetest horse in the barn. She loves her naps. She’s on a [nap] schedule every morning,” Broz said of Tinkerbell.

Kyle King and Cerolino. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

With a start in the equitation, Broz credits that experience for preparing her to thrive under pressure. Earning countless wins at the top level, Broz is working her way up the DIHP open jumper rider leaderboard, and she took her first CSI3* Grand Prix win last week.

“I think the equitation really helped me with pressure and to always remember to have fun,” she remarked of her strategy for performing well despite the pressure. “That’s the mindset I stay in. Obviously there is more pressure in certain competitions and fun isn’t the first you think of, but you have to remember that you’re here for the horses and because you love it. You trust the plan you make with your coach and the training you do at home.”

Katie Laurie and Cera Caruso Capture CSI4* Two Phase

Katie Laurie (AUS) and Cera Caruso. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

Cera Caruso made his return to the Grand Prix Arena Thursday for CSI4* action, finding his way back to the winner’s circle in the Morning Star Sporthorses CSI4* Two Phase with Katie Laurie (AUS) aboard.

With a relatively light week for Carissa McCall’s 15-year-old Australian Warmblood gelding (Casall x Capone), Laurie laid it all on the line, speeding to a second-phase time of 27.85 seconds. Only Vanessa Mannix (CAN) was able to come close to that time, clocking in with Carmela Z at 29.02 seconds. Matt Archer (USA) claimed third with Zibaloubet Z, owned by Rhys Farms, LLC.

“He’s only jumping today and then the 1.45m [Classic] on Saturday, so I thought it was a good class for him,” Laurie said of Cera Caruso’s plan. “He’s naturally pretty fast. I added down the first line in the first round to get him steady and jumping nicely. He can run and turn, and it’s good for him to get a win under his belt this week.”

Katie Laurie (AUS) and Cera Caruso in their winning presentation, pictured with Karrie Rufer of Morning Star Sporthorses. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

A bit excitable at times, Cera Caruso, known as “Elvis” in the barn, likes to show his personality in the warm-up and prize giving ceremonies. “He definitely knows [he won],” Laurie joked. “He’s still wild at the moment out in the warm-up. When he goes in for presentations he’s pretty happy. We keep it pretty simple and he knows his job now. He just likes to poke his nose out and be how he is.”

Laurie’s family has built a pretty impressive breeding program at home, which all stemmed from a Thoroughbred mare her father used to show at a high level. She credits the Thoroughbred line for her barn full of quirky personalities, even though Elvis is not a homebred.

“We had a really good jumping thoroughbred mare and she bred really well. A lot of the horses I’ve ended up with have ended up quirky. I just manage what we’ve got and make the best of it. They really try for you. It’s the way we’ve been able to jump to this level without a lot of money,” Laurie said.

Two of the horses that came as a result of breeding the Thoroughbred mare were Laurie’s FEI World Equestrian Games partners, Django II and Dunstan Delphi. Django II also made an appearance in Thursday’s class, preparing for Sunday’s $260,000 CSI4* Adequan® Grand Prix.

Show jumping continues Friday with the $145,100 CSI4* Pomponio Ranch 1.50m at 5:30pm.

Final Results: $30,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic

1. Tinkerbell / Elisa Broz / Elisa Broz / 0/63.943
2. Casturano / Conor Swail / Conor Swail / 0/68.902
3. Cerolino / Kyle King / Strasburg Morin Inc. / 0/69.916
4. Feyon / Kaitlin Campbell / SWS Training & Sales / 0/72.931
5. Billy Nala / McKenna Norris / McKenna Norris / 0/74.443
6. Peninsula Swanky / Samara Heinrichs Prak / Samara Heinrichs Prak / 0/75.589
7. Hanakine / Katherine Huffstutler / Katherine Huffstutler / 0/76.718
8. Un Diamant Des Forets / Jim Ifko / Eventyre Farms Ltd. / 1/82.298
9. Jikke-Cara / Alison Robitaille / Alison Firestone LLC / 1/82.298
10. Chacco’s Fleur PS / Jamie Gornall / Jamie Gornall / 3/84.465
11. SIG Chiari / Kyle King / SIG International Inc. / 4/67.812
12. Gamble / James Chawke / James Chawke / 4/70.025

Final Results: Morning Star Sporthorses CSI4* Two Phase

1. CERA CARUSO: 2008 AWHA gelding by Casall x Capone
KATIE LAURIE (AUS), Carissa McCall: 0/0/27.85

2. CARMELA Z: 2011 ZANG mare by Candillo 3 x Nissan Caretano Z
VANESSA MANNIX (CAN), Vanessa Mannix: 0/0/29.02

3. ZIBALOUBET Z: 2014 ZANG gelding by Zirocco Blue x Baloubet Du Rouet
MATT ARCHER (USA), Rhys Farms, LLC: 0/0/29.55

4. CHADORA LADY: 2013 OS mare by Chacco-Blue x Nintender
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses, LLC: 0/0/29.56

5. CALYPSO DE BLONDEL: 2012 SF gelding by Lauterbach x Kassidi
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0/0/29.95

6. COCONET: 2014 mare by Colman x Cornet’s Stern
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Wight Show Stables: 0/0/31.03

7. CHAGALL DE TOSCANE: 2012 SF stallion by Norton D’Eole x Opium De Talma
LAURA HITE (USA), HF Farms LLC: 0/0/32.73

8. TRITON HASTAK: 2012 SWB stallion by Cabachon x Winningmood
LAURA HITE (USA), HF Farms LLC: 0/0/33.84

9. KINGSTON: 2013 AES gelding by Ustinov x Insider
VANESSA MANNIX (USA), Vanessa Mannix: 0/0/35.70

10. CHAGOLOU: 2012 OS stallion by Chacco Blue x Conthargos
JAMIE GORNALL (GBR), Gornall Equestrian: 0/0/38.31

11. BERLINE DU MAILLET Z: 2011 ZANG mare by Berlin x Action-Breaker
GREGORY WATHELET (BEL), Mambour Delphine: 0/1/39.84

12. ORAFINA: 2012 KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington LLC: 0/2/40.61


Day Won Wins the Day in Green Hunters

Kaitlin Campbell and Day Won. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

If you asked Carleton Brooks, Balmoral’s new hunter Day Won showed promise from day one. The 6-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding topped an impressive field of combined Green Hunters Thursday to take championship honors during Desert Circuit VI.

“He is very smart,” Brooks remarked on the horse they discovered while teaching a clinic last fall in Vancouver. “This is his fourth horse show. He shows all the parts of a great hunter, he’s just trying to figure it out. This week he’s obviously improved. He’s only 6 years old and he’ll let anybody ride him.”

Kaitlin Campbell was the lucky one who got the reins when Day Won arrived in January. Known best for her skills in the jumper ring, Campbell’s horsemanship skills were what drew the Balmoral team to choose her to pilot this horse.

“We needed somebody who would be positive energy when we first started showing him, and Kaitlin was the best choice here,” Brooks continued. “Kaitlin’s on it. She’s fun to work with and the horses love her.”

Traci Brooks echoed the fun the Balmoral team has had producing this horse in such a short time. “Honestly, we just threw him into the big pool,” she said. “We put him right in the First Years and he’s been better and better in every class. We figured by week five he was going to start winning and, sure enough, he’s winning. He has great balance, a great canter, and a great brain. He’s going to be an awesome junior or amateur hunter because he’s so kind and sweet and easy.”

Traci recalls the clinic in the fall when they first saw Day Won, knowing they would like to have the horse as part of their operation. “He was 5 at the time, and we threw a lot of stuff at him – jumping barrels and walls – and he handled it all so well,” she shared. “In the back of my mind at the clinic I was thinking I’d love to take him home. He’s so fun and he’s so game. He’s really come into his own.”

DIHP continues to add incentives for young hunters and young horses in general, making it a top destination for trainers and owners to produce young talent.

“It’s a really conducive place to have a young horse because it’s so open and there are so many places to ride,” Traci said. “There are so many classes offered and they can go from one ring to the next, moving up the divisions depending on their timeline or level of comfort. The management is really nice about working with everyone to make that happen and taking suggestions of how to do things, how to schedule things, where to put divisions, and it’s great. They take care of the footing, the jumps are pretty, and you can get a lot of good miles here and good training at the same time.”

Hunters continue Thursday with two exciting new additions to the schedule, the $10,000 Premier Equine Rehab DIHP Under Saddle Championship and the $25,000 CWD Nations Cup Hunter Team Challenge.