Monday, Jun. 3, 2024

Online Uses High Speed To Win At Showplace Spring Spectacular II

Kate Reuter’s fastest is best in Illinois.

Two years ago, Kate Reuter (née Bomgaars) made the decision to declare herself a professional. It’s paying off, as she rode Online to the top of the $50,000 Wachovia Securities Grand Prix during the Showplace Spring Spectacular II in Wayne, Ill., on June 17-22.
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Kate Reuter’s fastest is best in Illinois.

Two years ago, Kate Reuter (née Bomgaars) made the decision to declare herself a professional. It’s paying off, as she rode Online to the top of the $50,000 Wachovia Securities Grand Prix during the Showplace Spring Spectacular II in Wayne, Ill., on June 17-22.

For the jump-off, Reuter said her plan was to go as fast as she could go clean. “Sometimes I can’t go as fast as somebody else, but that’s just me. It’s my personal best, and it’s what I can do. Today, my personal best was better than everybody else!” she said.

Reuter and Online were almost a second faster (41.09) than Addison Phillips and Regina V (42.46). Charlie Jayne and Cashmere were the other double-clear pair, stopping the timers in 44.00 seconds for third. Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z had the fastest time of the day (40.51 seconds) but a rail for fourth place.

Originally from Rochester, Minn., Reuter, 27, now resides in Oconomowoc, Wis. Reuter rode with Laura Kraut for nine years before going out on her own.

“There’s no better place to get experience in show jumping and be tossed right into the elite status of show jumping than riding with Laura,” Reuter said. “I learned so much about what this business is all about. When I graduated college, I spent two years riding as an amateur with her, and then I segued into a different avenue of riding. My dad does a lot of breeding, so I started to break young horses and bring them along. I needed to stay closer to home and not travel, so I went off on my own with all the great knowledge from Laura.”

Reuter spent three more years as an amateur, concentrating on breaking babies, teaching them, and competing in the amateur divisions. During this time, she worked with Frank Gombolay, who taught her “the foundation, the training, the programs, getting the horses physically fit, and getting your mind right,” she said. Since Gombolay took a job in Tennessee, Reuter has trained for the past six months with Mike Henaghan, who recently moved from California to Chicago, Ill.

Reuter purchased Online (Concorde—Anna Paola, Argentinus), a 12-year-old stallion, eight years ago sight unseen from Europe. Online has an active breeding schedule in addition to his grand prix competition.

Showplace Tidbits

•    The Hope family sponsored both the high point junior hunter trophy for week 1 and overall high point junior hunter trophy for weeks 1 and 2.  In a twist, the Hope family presented the week 1 trophy to their very own daughter, Caitie Hope.
        “It feels really cool to win an award like this.  I finally got everything together; usually I have at least one thing wrong but to finally get it together feels really good,” Hope said.
        Caitie walked out of the ring after receiving her trophy and had to turn around and come back to present the next award to fellow competitor Laura King-Kaplan, who won the overall high point junior hunter trophy for the two weeks.
        Hope was successful earlier in the week when she and La Paz raced to the win in the junior/amateur-owner jumper speed derby.

•    Addison Phillips of New York City, N.Y., rode Cernunnus von Hof, an 11-year-old stallion, to victory in the $10,000 Canterbury Farms Open Jumper Welcome Stakes. Phillips just finished her first year at Harvard University (Mass.), and she hadn’t shown regularly since April. “I was kind of figuring out how to balance it. I’m pretty rusty, so it was nice to do well. It was mostly him!” she said.

“He’s incredibly well-broke and smart. It’s more just me staying out of his way, getting him there right,” she said. “He will always jump clean as long as I’m not in his way. He has incredible heart; he tries so hard. I’m so lucky to have him because he’s just a true winner.”

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In addition to his talent, Online also has a winning personality. “He’s very well-behaved, even with constantly breeding him. He bred three weeks ago before we came to the horse show,” Reuter noted. “He ships with mares. Sometimes he gets really happy, but he’s got such good personality. He’s a true man. You respect him and he respects you.”

Good Luck

Haley Waters had a secret strategy for her win in the children’s/adult jumper classic aboard Rocky. “I’ve fed him a four leaf clover before each class,” Waters said with a smile.

Along with a little luck, Waters had talent and experience on her side as she topped the field of 56. Waters, 12, is the daughter of grand prix riders Chuck and Dana Waters, and she has had help in her short career from trainers Mark Tompkins, Christina Schlusemeyer, Bibby Farmer and Mary Moricoli.

The Waterses purchased Rocky, a 10-year-old warmblood gelding, from top international show jumper Ludo Philippaerts. Rocky was originally Philippaerts’ son’s junior jumper.

Haley started showing in walk-trot classes when she was 5. Her mother Dana said, “I think she was the most well-attended walk-trotter in the universe. Haley’s been blessed to have lots of people know her grow up in the horse world. She’s really had a lot of positive feedback.”

From there, Haley moved up to the pony hunters. She still rides a medium and a large pony, although she has found that she loves the jumpers. “I like that the judge doesn’t get to decide who wins,” she said.

Haley has taken all those years of experience to heart, as she made a quick decision in the jump-off that made the winning difference. Her parents had told her to make two outside turns, but Haley chose to make an inside slice to a jump.

“I was supposed to go around, but I saw the other way,” she said.

“She saw the inside turn and did it on her own, which is great. Once you’re in there, you have to choose for yourself,” Dana said.

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Big Strides

Alexandra Morefield depended on a long stride and footspeed to bring her to the top of the low junior/amateur-owner jumper classic.

“I was watching to see what turns [the other riders] did and how many strides they did because my horse has a really big stride. I can leave a lot out. He was amazing. We flew!” she exclaimed.

Morefield rode Sir Hawkins, a 7-year-old warmblood gelding originally from the Czech Republic, to the blue. The 16-year-old from Elburn, Ill., has been riding for 10 years and trains with Steve Schaefer.

Morefield bought Sir Hawkins—who is more than 17 hands—last year. “He was just so big and he had a gorgeous face,” she recalled. “It’s like riding a powerhouse; it’s so cool.”

Morefield and Sir Hawkins competed in the children’s jumpers last year and made the move up to the low juniors this winter. “He has matured a lot since last summer. He’s not as spooky and looking outside the ring. He pays a lot more attention to me,” she said.

Morefield herself has worked on becoming a better competitor. “I have strengthened my mental capacity, and I have a lot better focus now. I was always kind of okay, but now I’m good at focusing. I know my plan and I ride my plan better,” she said.

Morefield will enter her junior year of high school in the fall and is considering graduating early to attend veterinary school. She wants to attend a college with equestrian programs and ride on an intercollegiate team. Her long-term goal is to be a grand prix rider and trainer. To do that, she said, she needs to “ride as many horses as I can and spend as much time in the saddle as I can,” she said. “I need to watch and learn and listen to everything, just absorb completely everything around me. I really just like watching everybody go and seeing what they do.”

Jennifer Wood

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