Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

Tracy Tackles Her Goal With A Win At Colorado Horse Park CCI


The third time’s a charm for Anisa Tracy. Her third attempt at achieving a qualifying score for the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships, to be held in Lexington, Va., in August, proved
victorious at the Colorado Horse Park CCI*, May 30-June 3 in Parker, Colo.
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The third time’s a charm for Anisa Tracy. Her third attempt at achieving a qualifying score for the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships, to be held in Lexington, Va., in August, proved
victorious at the Colorado Horse Park CCI*, May 30-June 3 in Parker, Colo.

Tracy, 17, rode Tigger, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred-cross gelding, to the win. The former student of Colorado trainer Jim Moore of Prestige Training, Tracy now trains with Karen and David O’Connor in Virginia. “We packed up and headed to Virginia right after the Colorado Horse Park event,” said Tracy.

Her toughest competition at the Colorado CCI was her 14-year-old sister Kendyl, who placed second behind her in the CCI* on her horse Mr. Incredible.

When the girls were younger, their parents, Meryl and Mauri Tracy, decided to enroll them in “Pony School,” an elementary school that used horses and ponies as a means for education. The girls grew up learning about and riding horses every day. One day they decided to test their skills and entered a competition. Having no show background they did not place, but the competition bug bit hard.

“We wanted to start competing, but I think my dad wanted us to more! The horses who won the class were Saddlebreds, so he bought us Saddlebreds and we started showing and winning,” said Anisa. The girls eventually decided they wanted to jump, and the lure of cross-country brought them to eventing just a few years ago. 

They found Moore, who helped them find horses more suitable to eventing, but got off to a bit of a rough start. “In our first event, Kendyl fell off at the first jump cross-country and broke her leg,” said Anisa. “But we were still hooked.”

Of the 10 starters in the one-star, five were Area IX young riders hoping to get a qualifying score to compete as a team at the NAJYRC. The heated sibling competition started in dressage, as the Tracy girls stood in first and second with Anisa earning a 49.3 and Kendyl a 49.6.

Anisa was thrilled with the cross-country course for the one-star.  “My favorite was the Indian Village,” she said. “It was three jumps on a left turn at the bottom of this big hill. Tigger was pretty strong coming down to it so I almost had to trot. It’s just so exciting to have such a great course so close to home.”

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The 2007 event hosted new courses designed by David O’Connor and built by Greg Schlappi, including a brand-new course for the one-star.

“I think we may have only jumped a couple from the prelim course we ran last fall,” said Anisa, of Elizabeth, Colo., who won the junior preliminary division at the 2006 event.

Putting the pressure on each other with clean trips around the course, the Tracy girls incurred exactly the same time penalties on cross-country, adding 2.8 points to their scores.

But Kendyl took some of the pressure off when she and Mr. Incredible pulled three rails in show jumping. With rails in hand going into the phase, Anisa and Tigger pulled only one rail to secure the win. “The course was pretty challenging, definitely maximum height, but it was a really fun course,” Anisa said of the show jumping.

Area IX young riders Holly Hillenbrand and Sarah Huebner also received qualifying scores and will join Anisa and Kendyl as a team for the NAJYRC.

Besting the field of 19 in the open preliminary division, Jessica Borchers and her 10-year-old Oldenburg-Thoroughbred cross Windover cleaned up the competition, winning by a margin of 18.4 points.

“He is a very special horse,” said Borchers, who lives in Fort Collins, Colo., but has spent the past two summers training with the O’Connors in Virginia. “He did not put a foot wrong the whole weekend.”

Off to a good start, the pair earned a 22.6 on their dressage test—the lowest score of the competition and 5.2 points ahead of second-placed Kaitlyn Chambers and Enchanted. “He was very consistent in the test,” said Borchers, who recently graduated from high school.

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A clean and fast trip around the cross-country course increased their lead. “The cross-country course was awesome!” said Borchers. “It was a very galloping course but with enough technical questions to make it challenging.” Even with four rails in hand, Borchers and Windover secured the win with a double-clear show jumping round to end on their dressage score.

Borchers says her experience working with the O’Connors has really begun to pay off. She plans to return to Virginia for the summer and take a year off before going to college to compete her horse.

Sweeping both divisions of Young Event Horse classes, Mike Huber of Bartonville, Texas, won the 5-year-old class and took second and third in the 4-year-old class as well.

“I’ve never ridden in one of these classes and it was a lot of fun,” said Huber, who rode his wife Cherye’s homebred gelding and last year’s U.S. Eventing Association Novice Horse of the Year, Vavoom, a Dutch Warmblood-Thoroughbred cross, to win the 5-year-old class.

His second and third in the 4-year-old class came on Poncho Villa, a Selle Francais gelding owned by Michelle Taylor of Shreveport, La., and Gallywinter, an American Thoroughbred gelding owned by Madison Buchanan of Dallas, Texas.

“The classes were held in the Derby arena so they took full advantage of the banks and brought in some portable cross-country jumps,” said Huber.

“They even placed the jumps right at the base of the hills to really test their balance. Our 4-year-olds competed for the first time the weekend before, so this was only their second outing. They grew up a lot over that week. They kept improving and gaining confidence—it was a great learning experience.”

Heather Messner

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