Monday, Jul. 22, 2024

Janouskovec And Camelot Triumph At RMI Chateau Elan

Blair Garnett’s young hunter jumps up to championship honors in the new show season.

Moving up to the second year green division at 3'9" is often a big jump for some first year horses, but the additional 3" didn’t pose much of a challenge for Camelot.

Joy Janouskovec and Blair Garnett’s 6-year-old claimed the tricolor after winning three of the five classes at the RMI Chateau Elan Horse Show, Dec. 13-16 in Braselton, Ga.

Garnett and Camelot also gathered ribbons in the amateur-owner division, winning the hack and
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Blair Garnett’s young hunter jumps up to championship honors in the new show season.

Moving up to the second year green division at 3’9″ is often a big jump for some first year horses, but the additional 3″ didn’t pose much of a challenge for Camelot.

Joy Janouskovec and Blair Garnett’s 6-year-old claimed the tricolor after winning three of the five classes at the RMI Chateau Elan Horse Show, Dec. 13-16 in Braselton, Ga.

Garnett and Camelot also gathered ribbons in the amateur-owner division, winning the hack and
pinning in all of their over fences classes.

“It was our first show in the second year division, and he was just so good all four days,” Janouskovec said. “He loves this show; he loves being outside.”

Janouskovec, based out of Byway Farms in Carthage, N.C., has showed the Brandenburg gelding for the past year. Originally imported from Germany by Claire Kellner, he caught the eye of Janouskovec at a horse show in Atlanta in July of 2006.

“I saw him go around in the pre-greens; he looked like he was athletic with a lot of scope,” she said.

After finishing her final junior year, Garnett sold her junior hunter in hopes of finding a young amateur-owner prospect. She’s accustomed to bringing along green horses, such as she did with her previous large junior hunter, Brilliant, now owned by J.C. Kennedy.

After spending the spring competing in the jumper divisions, she tried Camelot, nicknamed “Lance,” after Janouskovec took interest.

“I knew I wanted a young horse all along, one that’s nice and that I could work with,” Garnett said. “I went down to Tampa [Fla.], sat on him once, and I knew he was the one.”

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Shortly after Camelot arrived in North Carolina, Garnett suffered an accident aboard another horse when it reared and hit her in the face, breaking her jaw in three places and most of her facial bones.

“I was in the hospital for two weeks, my jaw was wired shut, and then I was told I couldn’t ride for three months,” she said.

Janouskovec kept Camelot in shape for Garnett but showing was mostly on hold. Once Garnett was cleared by her doctor, she returned to the ring in January of 2007 and competed in the adult amateurs. By her next show in February, she moved up to the amateur-owner division.

“Even though he’s young, he stepped right up to the 3’6″ with no problems,” Garnett said.

Janouskovec also showed Camelot in the first year green division during the year. “When he’s going well, I think he’s easy, like riding a really nice equitation horse. His stride is huge, and you never have to worry about distances,” Janouskovec said.

She rides the gelding, usually twice a week, to keep his concentration. “I have to keep him tuned-in, because when he starts looking around he just forgets what he’s doing. He gets bored fast,” she said laughing.

Under the eye of head trainer Merilee Ventura, Garnett rides Camelot the remaining days. A junior at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., Garnett manages her double major in history and creative writing with the hour-long commute to Carthage to ride. “I ride as many as I can once I get to the barn, at least three,” she said.

Lindsey Chesnut also started her show season on the right foot when she collected the amateur-owner tricolor at Chateau Elan aboard Levantos. She couldn’t have been more pleased, as it was their first show after a year’s hiatus.

“I really wasn’t expecting this after all the time he’s had off,” she said.

A horse with numerous quirks, Levantos is one who can “spook at anything” and can be quite unpredictable. “I can’t ever get photographs of him because he spooks at the flash, and he spooks at the photographer outside of the ring!” Chesnut said laughing.

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Levantos didn’t mind the ring in Georgia, though, and Chesnut rode consistent rounds both days. The duo won two over fences classes on their way to the championship.

Chesnut has owned and shown Levantos for the past five years; she originally purchased him to be her junior hunter. She believes the trust between the two of them is what brings their success.

“He can be a really difficult horse to ride, and I’ve seen many people try to ride him and end up in the dirt,” she said.

However, Chesnut doesn’t let the mishaps bother her. She knows the 11-year-old, Westphalian gelding so well now that he rarely acts out, and when he does, Chesnut simply reassures him.

“He’s incredibly athletic, and at 17 hands he really has strength over 3’6″ jumps,” she said. “Holly Shepherd showed him two years ago at Gulf Coast [Miss.] in the second year greens, and he was jumping her loose. His jump is so powerful, and he really is a great horse to watch when he’s performing well.”

Chesnut is based out of Buckhead, Ga., at her family’s Triple Creek Farm and trains with Stephanie Cumming. She keeps her other two mounts, Snow Day and Status, both amateur-owner horses, at the farm alongside Levantos. Rarely does she find herself only showing one of her horses—she also earned ribbons at Chateau Élan with Status—and with all three showing again her schedule will remain hectic.

“It’s not really that hard for me to ride and show all three of them; I did this when I was a junior,” she said.

“Although all three are completely different rides, and it took me a little while to get used to doing this again.”

Beth Johnson

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