Stats: age 31, Lewisville, Texas.
Slate River: dk. b. g., 17.1 hands, 13 years, U.S.-bred Oldenburg (Riverman—Etoile, Bonjour), owned by The Team Express Syndicate.
In 2009, after winning the Poplar Place September CIC*** (Ga.), this pair was 11th at the Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.). Last year, they were seventh in a division of advanced at Rocking Horse Winter II (Fla.). This spring, they were 15th in a division of advanced at Poplar Place March.
Jimmy’s Prediction: Slate River is one of the most talented horses here. His dressage is excellent, and he is a careful show jumper. Although Heather is an experienced rider, I suspect that Slate River’s cross-country skills are not polished enough yet to make the time at the four-star level. However, their strong technical skills will put them into the top 10, and they are a partnership to keep your eye on for the future. The U.S. selectors will be smiling and rubbing their hands as this pair gives us a glimpse of their bright future.