Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2024

Kranda Steps Up At The Autumn Classic

Catherine Kranda, 15, of Medina, Wash., just stepped up to the junior hunter division this summer, but her lack of experience didn't stop her from taking the tricolor in the junior hunter, 15 and under, division at the Autumn Classic, Sept. 8-12 in Monroe, Wash.

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Catherine Kranda, 15, of Medina, Wash., just stepped up to the junior hunter division this summer, but her lack of experience didn’t stop her from taking the tricolor in the junior hunter, 15 and under, division at the Autumn Classic, Sept. 8-12 in Monroe, Wash.

Kranda rode Chancellor, her 10-year-old, Hanoverian gelding, to the junior championship and won the U.S. Equestrian Federation Zone 9 Junior Hunter Championship with her Holsteiner, Rock Steady. Rock Steady, by Landgraf, also took the Zone 9 Regular Working Hunter Championship with Jack Hammond on board. Both horses were purchased from John Gray and Anne Symes of European Sport Horses in Belgium by trainer John Turner of Thumbs Up Farm.

“They really know their jobs,” said Kranda of her horses. “They’re also really good natured, and Chancellor is so smooth, he’s like a rocking horse.”

Although Kranda has ridden Rock Steady for several years, Chancellor is a new mount for her this season. “We’ve been able to watch Kranda grow as a rider from the short stirrup ponies on up,” said Turner, who let Catherine decide when she wanted to step up to the juniors. “She’s always been just a great kid and a wonderful sport.”

Kranda’s mother Joyce, an amateur rider, was impressed with Turner’s knack for matching horses to riders. “They’re really happy together, and it shows,” she said of her daughter and her horses.

Jill Folkestad, who trains with Jeff and Shelley Campf and Kristen Postil of Oz Incorporated in Canby, Ore., won the Zone 9 USEF Equitation Finals.

Course designer Scott Starns set a forward but technical course that the 17-year-old easily navigated on Call Me Crazy, a 10-year-old, Swedish gelding loaned to her by J.F. Pierce Training of Bellevue, Wash.

“We got along really well. He’s an experienced jumper and is very brave,” said Folkestad of the gray gelding who was imported by owner Catherine Nelson from Joe Norick.

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Folkestad has ridden with Oz for five years. “It’s been the best experience of my life to ride with Jeff and Shelley,” said Folkestad. “They build my confidence and make me feel like I can do anything with my riding.”

Folkestad, who will ride “what is available” as an amateur her senior year of high school, is looking forward to continuing in the equitation divisions next year and pursuing a college degree full time after she graduates. After that, expect her in the amateur ring for some time to come.

Ladylike, owned and ridden by trainer Nancy Free of Brass Ring Farm in Buckley, Wash., scored the pre-green championship. Free purchased the 6-year-old, gray West-phalian last fall and took her to the HITS Desert Circuit (Calif.) circuit for her debut. Unfortunately, Free was unable to campaign the mare much this year after suffering a serious injury in April when she was bucked off a young horse.

Now, Free is back in the saddle after a three-month forced hiatus from riding in order to recover from a broken humerus, and she finds this mare especially nice to ride. “She’s very soft and amenable and really wants to do anything you ask for,” said Free, who has consistently been champion or reserve on the mare since she returned to the ring. “I’m really looking forward to riding her next year in the first year green division.”

Velvet Slippers, a 7-year-old, elegant gray mare owned by Ashley Pryde, of Medina, Wash., won the large pony championship. The mare, who is just finishing her second year on the A-rated circuit, was ridden by Carly Anthony.

Penny For Your Thoughts, owned and ridden by Alexandra Nolan of Bellevue, Wash., won the tricolor in the small pony division. This is 10-year-old Nolan’s first full year showing in the small pony division on the 19-year-old flashy black-and-white pinto mare. Pryde and Nolan ride with trainers Anne Selinger and Jodi Davis of Parkside Stables in Bellevue, Wash.

Karen Purkey of Redmond, Wash., riding the brown-and-white pinto Mr. Dress Up, took the medium pony championship. This was 11-year-old Purkey’s last year showing in the pony divisions. She plans to move up to the children’s hunters next year, according to trainer Heidi Snider of Hillcrest Training in Woodinville, Wash.

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