Klunick Turns A Near Disaster Into A Crowd Pleasing Performance At AEC

Sep 28, 2014 - 3:04 AM

At the Nutrena/U.S Eventing Association American Eventing Championships in Tyler, Texas, Avery Klunick and In It To Win It started with a respectable dressage score of 36.6 in the Adequan Advanced Gold Cup Final and accumulated 18 time penalties on cross-country. But in show jumping, they managed to add an impressive 52 time penalties and 12 jumping faults for a final score of 118. And the crowd loved every second of it.

When a refusal in show jumping caused “Winston’s” headstall to come off, Klunick, 21, made the best of a tough situation and got the bridle back on—from the saddle—and finished the course to the roaring cheers of the crowd.

“He’s usually really good in the show jumping, but I came around that turn, and I really didn’t have him straight at all,” Klunick said of her experienced advanced partner.

The course had her rounding the end of the arena by the in-gate, heading toward a vertical before the triple combination. Coming up to the vertical, Winston, a 14-year-old New Zealand Sport Horse, clearly wasn’t pleased with the set up and decided to stop.

“He stopped, and I just flew up,” the Texas native explained. Going up his neck, Winston’s bridle was dislodged from his ears, and the still-hyped gelding turned and headed for home.

Happy she hadn’t fallen off, Klunick’s next orders of business were to, first, make sure he wasn’t going to jump out of the arena and, second, figure out what to do next.

“I didn’t know if I could just keep going. I’ve never seen something like that,” she said.

Knowing she couldn’t accept any outside assistance without facing elimination, Klunick went about re-bridling her horse from the saddle.

The crowd cheered her on as she rearranged the hackamore—“If he was in a bit, I don’t think I could have gotten it back on.”—complete with the throat latch no where near his throat.

When it became clear that the young rider would continue the course, the crowd went wild, and the pair managed to complete the course in fine style.

“I didn’t want to end on that,” she said. “I’m going to [the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI*** (Md.)], and I knew I would be in big trouble if I just pulled up. I wanted to make it a good experience for him.”









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