Lexington, Ky.—Oct. 30
Growing up, Caroline Ingalls heard stories about her mother competing at the National Horse Show in saddle seat equitation during the 1970s, so it’s always been a dream of hers to compete there. She made it 10 years ago as a junior in the ASPCA Maclay Finals, but she’s been hankering to come back ever since.
Much has changed about the show since her mother competed, but through the many locations, one thing has remained the same—the prestige. While just getting to attend is a huge accomplishment, Ingalls had her eye on a championship ribbon in the amateur-owner hunters, 18-35, division.
“It was a goal that I was shooting for,” she said. “So you know, you kind of have to visualize your goals to make them happen. It was just something that would be in my dreams, so I was aiming for this, I really wanted it, and I’m glad that it happened.”
And she did it with Concerto, an 8-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cathanos—Chevelle La Feme) that she’s been bringing along for the past three years.
“I think [our partnership is] just very trusting,” she said. “He’s definitely my child; I care about him a lot more than a lot of things in my life. But, yeah, he’s really special, clearly. He’s just so sweet; he’s like a dog, literally, and he’s just really easy to love.”
Ingalls, 28, hails from Rancho Santa Fe, California, and grew up riding. She rode on the IHSA team while she attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia) before taking a break to start her career as an interior designer. She felt the pull to return though, and “Bolo” helped her do that.
“It’s been a real eye-opening experience learning to balance the corporate world with riding on the weekends,” she said. “So it’s nice that it’s paid off.
Uncatchable Catch Me
The person who named Catch Me must have had a premonition. With a clean sweep of the amateur-owner, 36 and over, division with Becky Gochman, the 12-year-old Holsteiner (Casiro I—Wonne I) proved that his moniker was an appropriate one. He was on track to sweep the high performance ribbons as well after winning two over fences classes and the under saddle, until he had a rail in the stake. But his prowess early in the division still helped him take home that championship with Scott Stewart.
“We had a very solid plan going in to where, how to ride it and we kept with the plan,” said Gochman. “He never changed his pace once, and he just again wanted to be such a good boy, and he proved himself as an amateur horse. He can do the high performance; he can do the amateurs; he likes both divisions. I am sure he knows when he wins at this point, and he loves it. He is a true show horse, and I feel lucky every day to have a horse of this caliber and cute personality at the same time; he’s adorable.”
The gray gelding is proving to be a horse of a lifetime. This was his second consecutive grand amateur-owner championship at the National, and he also took home championships from Devon (Pennsylvania), Capital Challenge (Maryland) and Washington International (District Of Columbia).
“The clean sweep does not happen very often,” said Gochman, West Palm Beach, Florida. “I feel really great about that. I did go in pretty relaxed today, but I still had the clean sweep in the back of my mind—that was kind of my goal. So, I just allowed myself to relax and just let everything happen, and it did. That was just icing on the cake. That was a lot of fun, and he’s a special horse. So, I think everything he gets, he deserves. And to do a clean sweep, just makes it more fantastic.”
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