Skylar Wireman’s professional career is off to a flaming start. After an incredible junior career, the 18-year-old has turned professional and is lighting up the jumper ring. Saturday afternoon of Desert Circuit I, aboard Coolio 23, she took home one of the biggest wins of her entire career, and undoubtedly of her professional career, in the $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Grand Prix.
“I honestly can’t even explain the feeling,” Wireman, of Bonsall, CA, said of winning the class. “It is incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to do it with. I’ve only had this horse for a little under a year. In the jump-off there was a clear [round] before me, so I knew I was going to have to be fast and leave all the jumps up. The ride before was five seconds faster than the 4-faulters. So, I thought I had to shave time off of [Cameron Trimino]’s time.”
Though their partnership is still newer, Wireman is proving she and Coolio 23 are a match made in heaven. With her mom, Shayne Wireman’s, 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding, she already scored one win in the Grand Prix Arena in the $10,000 Welcome Speed, but solidified the partnership even further with Saturday’s victory.
The class was set up in Wireman’s favor, especially considering her confidence at higher speeds. Over Ken Krome’s course, five pairs jumped clear and advanced to the jump-off. Of those five, Wireman and Coolio 23 had the pole position of jumping last. Only one pair, Cameron Trimino and Firewall, had jumped double clear as Wireman stepped into the ring, so she knew just what she had to do. She shaved off over one second and claimed the win for herself. Trimino took second while Kyara Semrau and Carola Z took third, making the entire podium a display of teenage excellence.
Wireman has been preparing for her professional career for years, earning extensive experience as a junior with challenging horses and getting to know all sorts of rides. “With this horse, he gets a little bit excited in the jump-off,” she explained of Coolio 23. “If you think about going fast, he gets a little excited. But he turns really well. I was just planning to shave time off in the turns and do fewer strides from back to jumps.”
One of the most noticeable differences in Wireman’s tack with Coolio 23 is the gelding rides without a noseband, which is not common outside of the western world. “I used to use [a noseband] on him,” Wireman explained. “He likes to go with his mouth open and move his lower jaw a little bit. [No noseband] seems to work well for him. He loves it. He looks a little like a western horse sometimes.”
Wireman’s junior career was filled with goals, and her professional goals are just as – if not more – lofty. The young rider jumped her first CSI4* at the end of 2022, and the FEI schedule during Desert Circuit is perfectly set for helping riders like her rise in the ranks and get more comfortable at the 1.55m height. “We’re hoping to qualify for the Young Rider team this year. I’m on the older team now, so the 1.50m team. And then I’ll start competing in some more FEI [divisions],” she said.
Wireman is also now a contender for the $100,000 National Grand Prix Rider bonus to be awarded at the close of Desert Circuit Desert Circuit I concludes Sunday with the $30,000 Marshall & Sterling 1.40m Open Classic and the $10,000 Voltaire Saddlery 1.35m Open Classic.
Final Results: $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Grand Prix
1. Coolio 23 / Skylar Wireman / Shayne Wireman / 0/0/40.839
2. Firewall / Cameron Trimino / Cameron Trimino / 0/0/42.065
3. Carola Z / Kyara Semrau / Kyara Semrau / 0/4/43.216
4. London’s De Muze / Uma O’Neill / O’Neill Show Jumping LLC / 0/4/47.003
5. Chicago / Tracey Epp / Tracey Epp / 0/8/47.652
6. Quality H / Mark Kinsella / Ben Asselin / 4/77.127
7. Vaillant De Belle Vue / Tali DeJong / Tali DeJong / 4/77.676
8. Ittolo / Kyle King / Kerri Volek / 4/78.180
9. Conrado 12 / Ali Ramsay / Ramsay Equestrian Inc / 4/79.594
10. Gucci / Della White / Della White / 4/79.927
11. Clockwise of Greenhill Z / Uma O’Neill / O’Neill Show Jumping LLC / 4/79.927
12. Koddac Van Het Indihof / Joie Gatlin / Chandler Meadows / 4/80283
Lillian Muzzy and Baldeur Bring Home 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic Victory
Junior hunters took over Hunter 2 Saturday to conclude their divisions and vie for championship honors and hunter classic victories. In the Perfect Products 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic, it was Lillian Muzzy and Baldeur who took top call with a score of 162.
“I thought it was a really fun classic round,” Muzzy, of Coto De Caza, CA, explained. “I tried to keep one rhythm throughout the course. I like to make last-minute decisions sometimes, so I was just sticking to my gut and being patient.”
Baldeur is a bit of a triple threat for Muzzy, and his wisdom shows up for her when she needs it. “Baldeur is my 18-year-old,” she said of the Westphalian gelding by Balou Du Rouet. “He does everything, from the hunters to the equitation. So he’s just really amazing. Skylar Wireman found him for us at Capital Challenge two years ago. Ever since then he’s just been so good to me.
“Previously, I’ve been doing the 3’3” equitation on him,” she continued. “He was my first horse that I did the 3’3” equitation on and my first 3’3” Junior Hunter. I plan to just stick to the 3’3” with him and I’m just hoping for the best.”
Like most Californians, Muzzy echoed, “I’m really lucky that Desert Horse Park has such great weather here and that we can bring our horses to such a wonderful facility.
Blue Gets the Blue in DIHP Dog Puissance
“Puissance” is defined as great power, influence, or prowess. When we think of Puissance history, we think of the greats. Nick Skelton. Anthony D’Ambrosio. John Whitaker. Some even remember Germany’s Franke Sloothaak and Optiebeurs Golo, who cleared 2.4m (or 7 feet 10.5 inches) and still hold the record today.
That same thrill and excitement was felt Saturday in Main Hunter as DIHP let the dogs out and history was made.
Another name was etched onto the solid-gold Puissance trophy Saturday, and that name was Blue. Blue jumped nearly to the sky over the final obstacle, and owner Lauren Kolbe lived out her dreams watching him clear the highest fence set of the day.
“It feels amazing to be champions,” Kolbe gushed. “It’s the highlight of my career, for sure. Blue is such a good dog. He loves jumping.”
“Blue is 6 years old now,” she said of her Australian Shepherd. He’s getting older, but he learned to jump when he was really little. He keeps coming back year after year for this class. He loves it. We got second last year, so it was nice to come back and win.”
Blue intends to rest and save up his energy for future occurrences of the Dog Puissance to defend his title. “We’ll see how he’s feeling, and we may do the [Ariat Tails over Rails] Dog Puissance later on this circuit and next year.”
The Dog Puissance to benefit USHJA Foundation is always a crowd and exhibitor favorite, and the atmosphere was electric Saturday afternoon. “I think it’s really fun,” Kolbe continued. “It definitely brings everyone together. It brings all the dog owners together. The dogs have fun. The people have fun. It’s overall, a good, fun experience.”
Luckily for all dog owners, this is not the last Dog Puissance of the season. Desert Circuit VII features the Ariat Tails Over Rails Dog Puissance, so dogs can return to take their shot at the biggest canine honor in all of the desert.