Last year, Skylar Wireman started her Desert Circuit off with a bang, and she has repeated history in 2024, winning her first class back in the desert. Aboard Karen, owned by MKT Equine LLC, Wireman had an early draw in the $10,000 Barnwalkers 1.35m Welcome Speed, but the pair felt quite at home, blazing around the course and ultimately taking the win to open Desert Circuit 2, presented by Adequan®.

“Knowing that Karen is naturally very fast across the ground and is quick in the air, I have to think, ‘Don’t go too fast,’ because if I get too fast, she just gets too far ahead of me,” Wireman explains of how she pilots Karen around a speed track. “I did the leave-out in the last line, but otherwise I did one more stride in most of the lines than I did on my other two horses. She has a smaller stride but it’s a quick stride. She turns so well I can just trust her to jump and be right there turning, sometimes before I’m thinking about it.”

Skylar Wireman and Karen. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

She left very little room to spare, and for the rest of the class, riders were trying to catch her time of 57.146 seconds. No one could beat her, but Amanda Gomez came close with Charly-Ann, owned by Rising Star Equestrian, clocking in at 57.971 seconds, taking second. Savannah Jenkins was on the pace as well, coming up just short for third in 60.652 seconds with Forastero 2, owned by E2 Stables LLC.

Wireman has had the ride on Karen for a while now, so she knows how the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare operates, so she can place the horse where she will excel.

“When she came to be she was a lower 1.20m horse and I ended up jumping some bigger classes with her in the last few years, up to 1.45m,” Wireman remarked. “We’ve learned her sweet spot is the 1.35m and definitely the speed classes. She likes to go fast right out of the gate. Any speed event is a feature for her. We’ve also learned the 6-Bar is another strength of hers. She has a lot of scope to jump high and she’s won both 6-Bar [classes] she’s done. It’s her happy place.”

Skylar Wireman and Karen. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

It’s not just the talent that brings Karen to victory almost every time. Even when they try something new, the horse impresses them with her try and her heart.

“She has a huge heart and she wants to win as much as I do, if not more,” Wireman continued. “Every time she goes in she’s trying to do her best. In the 6-Bars we were trying it for fun last year, and she just kept going. I had never jumped that big before. She’s so good through gymnastics; its’ her specialty.”

In December of 2022, Wireman became a professional, following a superb junior career, so she’s still navigating new territory, but doing it with grace and in a winning fashion.

Skylar Wireman and Karen in their winning presentation, pictured with Shayne Wireman. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

“I’m starting my second year as a professional and last year was a pretty unbeatable year,” she said of the 2023 show season. “From winning during my first week as a pro to finishing the year winning my first World Cup Qualifier, it was more than I could have ever imagined, so I’m excited for what this year has to bring.”

Wireman has lofty goals for 2024, but she’s defied the odds in the past and can never be bet against, so her goals are within reach.

“With [my bigger jumper Tornado], I’m going to do some of the big three-stars and the four-star at the end [of Circuit],” She said of her plans for Desert Circuit with her string. “Karen will do the 6-Bar and some National classes, and I have a couple other horses we’re trying to develop and bring along. Ater Circuit, assuming we stay in the top 3 for West Coast standings, we are planning to go to Riyadh for World Cup Finals. That’s a big goal of mine and I never imagined doing it my second year as a professional, but that horse is incredible. I’m very excited for that”

Desert Circuit 2, presented by Adequan®, continues Thursday with the $30,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic.