Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024

Lady Calido Cleans Up At Twin Rivers

Robyn Fisher knew there was something special about a broodmare she first tried in 2003, even though she was four weeks in foal. At the time, she did not have the funds to purchase the mare but asked the owner to call her as soon as she weaned the foal. A little over a year later, Fisher got the call, and this time she was prepared to buy her.
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Robyn Fisher knew there was something special about a broodmare she first tried in 2003, even though she was four weeks in foal. At the time, she did not have the funds to purchase the mare but asked the owner to call her as soon as she weaned the foal. A little over a year later, Fisher got the call, and this time she was prepared to buy her.

“I wasn’t sure how she would respond to the work, nor did I know how she would take to the cross-country,” said Fisher. “Luckily, she has an incredible work ethic and loves her job. She looks for the fences on course, and the more challenging questions I ask of her, the better she answers.”

She proved that as she continued her winning streak, this time at the Twin Rivers CCI**, April 21-23 in Paso Robles, Calif.

The pair moved up to the preliminary level in 2005, and by the end of the year won their first one-star. “She ran around the CCI* last November like it was novice. I knew she was ready to move up. Her first outing at intermediate was quite an eye-opening experience for her, but after she understood the questions, she has been a superstar,” said Fisher.

Their victory at Twin Rivers marks the fourth consecutive win at intermediate for Fisher and “Cali” this year. They led from the get-go with a dressage score of 44.4.

But Fisher noticed a slight change in Cali’s behavior the morning of cross-country. She could tell the mare was coming into heat and wondered if it would affect her performance.

“She came out of the box a bit sticky, but by fence 5 she was in her groove–reins looped, looking for the fences,” said Fisher who came off cross-country clean and fast. “Sunday morning was a different story though. She was throwing herself against the walls squirting.”

The change in her normal behavior made for an interesting show jumping warm-up, and again Fisher wondered how it would affect their performance.

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“She had her own agenda that morning, and I tried really hard to go with the flow and not interfere, but I did a bit much and pulled two rails. The only other time she has pulled rails with me was a year ago this month, so I think she is affected by the cycle,” said Fisher, who finished on a score of 52.4, still 10 points ahead of second-placed Jolie Sexson and Killian O’Connor.

Worth The Wait
Kelly Prather and the Irish Sport Horse mare Ballinakill Glory were sixth in the order of go out of 40 starters in the CCI*.

“The dressage took all day, and it was kind of nerve-wracking sitting there waiting, hearing them announce scores,” said Prather, 22, of Bodega, Calif.
At the end of the day, Prather, who rides for and trains with Andrea Pfeiffer, of Petaluma, Calif., found herself in first place with a score of 42.9, 7 points ahead of second place.

“She is very reliable in the dressage. She has great movement and really likes to go in there and show off,” said Prather.

Owned by Pfieffer, Ballinakill Glory was found two months before Prather left Ireland, where she had been working for two years. Ballinakill Glory (Mark Twain–Ballinakill Popsy) was an unbroke 3-year-old, but Prather decided she couldn’t leave without her.

The pair ran intermediate at the Twin Rivers event in March and earned a second place at the Galway Downs CIC** (Calif.). But Prather wasn’t qualified for the CCI** so decided to go for the CCI* at Twin Rivers.

“The course was a little longer than we are used to. The optimum time was 7:22, and there were a few extra jumps we hadn’t done before,” said Prather. “But she’ll jump anything. From the day she started eventing she just loves to jump. This was a really nice one-star course.”

Twenty-seven of the 40 starters completed with no jump penalties.

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The pair finished the phase with no penalties added to their score, maintaining their lead over Tory Smith and Bantry Bay V (49.6).

The mare proved herself again in the show jumping with a double-clear round to secure the win.

“She is very reliable in show jumping too. The course was pretty big, but it was a nice course,” said Prather who plans to compete in the CIC** at Rebecca Farms (Mont.) in July.

More Mare Power
A third mare, Tiger, an 8-year-old Draft–Thoroughbred owned by Gayle Brackett, came out ahead in the open preliminary division under the guidance of Erin Kellerhouse.

In a division plagued by difficulties on cross-country, with only three of 26 starters going double clear, winning was no small task.

Kellerhouse was satisfied with the score of 36.3 that they received for their dressage, placing them in sixth. “My goal was to get her dressage as close to as good as it is at home,” said Kellerhouse, who runs Swift Ridge Eventing in Temecula, Calif. “It was a steady, obedient test but there is room to improve, make it more exciting to watch.”

Despite the problems that arose on cross-country, Kellerhouse and Tiger made the course look easy.

“A lot of people had trouble at the fourth jump, a coffin,” said Kellerhouse, who forgot to start her watch but still managed to garner only 1.6 time penalties. “I haven’t been on a horse in a while where you can just float the reins at the jump. She is so adjustable; I put my leg on and she goes and comes back to me just as easily.”

Kellerhouse and Tiger, along with Cricket Wood and Magical Mariner, put in the only double-clear show jumping rounds in their division and moved them up to the top spots.

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