Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2024

Bollig Pursues Her Goals At HITS Arizona

This talented junior rider has already made a name for herself in Arizona.

Time, or lack of it, doesn’t seem to bother Brenna Bollig.

Between catch riding, applying to college and commuting to shows, she found a moment to claim two circuit championships during the 2007 HITS Arizona circuit.

She took the large junior hunter championship with Lisa Cohen’s In the Czone, and the small junior hunter reserve championship with Czia competing in three weeks of the circuit.
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This talented junior rider has already made a name for herself in Arizona.

Time, or lack of it, doesn’t seem to bother Brenna Bollig.

Between catch riding, applying to college and commuting to shows, she found a moment to claim two circuit championships during the 2007 HITS Arizona circuit.

She took the large junior hunter championship with Lisa Cohen’s In the Czone, and the small junior hunter reserve championship with Czia competing in three weeks of the circuit.

When Bollig took over Czia’s reins, she found immediate success with the 8-year-old mare. “I showed her before the circuit and had a few champions and reserves,” she said modestly. In fact, the pair earned the 2005 Arizona Hunter Jumper Association small junior hunter championship.

Even though Bollig, 17, does own her own horse, Alladin, she gave the mount to her younger sister, Rachael, who had been showing Czia in the children’s hunters. “I think he [Alladin] was better suited to Rachael,” she said.

Last winter, Bollig and Czia won the tricolor at the Kachina Classic and remained in the top ribbons throughout the season. Czia did double duty and was also being shown in the first year green hunter division by Renae Coates-Fiery.

Recognizing her success with Czia, Bollig’s trainer at the time, Sherry Templin, asked her to show In The Czone, a 6-year-old mare. “Since both horses are similar, both by Alla’ Czar, my trainer thought we would be a good match,” she said.

Prior to the HITS Arizona circuit, Bollig had ridden In The Czone regularly but had rarely practiced 3’6″ courses. The lack of experience did little to hinder Bollig’s performances in the juniors, although she credited the horses for the success.

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“They both have the best pace and try really hard,” she said. “There aren’t really many differences between them, and I think they are both really easygoing to the jumps.”

When Bollig entered the ring with In The Czone, the pair proved to be contenders at 3’6″. At the Kachina Classic, they swept the division and won every class for the tricolor. They were also reserve champions at the Arizona Winter Festival and consistently placed at other shows such as the Sahuaro Classic and the Tucson Winter Classic.

“I’m just so proud of In The Czone; I was really happy to be circuit champion, because I wanted to put her out there for her owner,” Bollig continued. ”Although I definitely didn’t expect to do as well as I did.”

Cohen will now take over the ride and compete the mare in the amateur-owner division.

In addition to Czia and In The Czone, Bollig found time to ride Michael and Renae Fiery’s mare Sczarlett (by Alla’ Czar) in the small junior hunters, whom she had qualified for the 2006 USEF West Coast Junior Hunter Finals. She added to her long list of accomplishments when she won the small junior tricolor at the Arizona Winter Festival.

But her success wasn’t only in the hunter ring—Bollig rode Monica Rahman’s Cyrano de Beryerac in several grand prix classes throughout the circuit and consistently placed in the top five.

Now Bollig owns Blue Shot Baco, whom she shows in grand prix classes, and Summertime, a junior jumper. She plans to compete in World Cup qualifying classes in the 2008 season.

Bollig’s parents couldn’t be more supportive of her ventures. Her father, Randy Bollig, traveled to Mexico City (Mexico) with trainer Claudio Gallo to purchase Baco last year. Her mother, Leah Bollig, travels to all the shows with her daughters.

When Bollig became serious about her jumper career, her parents moved her horses to Gallo’s farm, based out of Carlsbad, Calif. “This past year I’ve been with Claudio full time,” she said. “I’ve cut back on the catch riding to focus on my jumpers.”

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Bollig has been riding for 10 years and started at age 7 when she received riding lessons as a gift. Many of those years have been spent catch riding, although Bollig has owned a few horses. Riding with different trainers, maintaining a busy show schedule and frequenting clinics throughout the years all have contributed to Bollig’s talents.

In 2004 and ’05 she was the Arizona circuit champion in the equitation, 12-14, division; she also won the 2004 AHJA Junior Medal Finals. She was the 2006 AHJA small junior hunter champion with Sczarlett and also won the Dresden Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the high-point small junior hunter.

Amidst her many accomplishments, she was most pleased with her AHJA/U.S. Hunter Jumper Association junior sportsmanship award in 2006. She’s been named the best child rider at numerous shows but remains unassuming about her achievements.

“I don’t focus on winning. I just try and give my best performance,” she said. “It’s important that I give the horse a great round for whoever has asked me to ride.”

Bollig looks forward to her jumper career taking off, and she has high hopes for the Olympics someday.
Based out of Scottsdale, Ariz., Bollig, a high school senior, maintains a 4.8 grade point average while attending horse shows almost every weekend and missing more than six weeks of school each year. When she’s not on the road showing, Bollig flies to California every weekend to train with Gallo.

“I’ve managed to work out weekly schedules with my teachers, and I communicate with them frequently,” she said laughing.

After showing in California this past summer and fall, Bollig will remain in the area for the winter circuit and show her two jumpers. “While I plan on staying and doing HITS Thermal, I might do the second half of Tucson,” she said.

Beth Johnson

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