Friday, May. 31, 2024

Woodside Circuit Opener Provides A Change Of Pace For Oneto

Andrea Oneto always felt most at home in the jumper ring, but when her jumper needed a season off, she discovered hunters could be just as fun.

The 20-year-old from Stockton, Calif., took home the amateur-owner tricolor along with a big win in the junior/amateur-owner classic aboard Craig 2 at the Wood-side Circuit Opener in Woodside, Calif., June 17-21.

Oneto has been riding Craig 2 for a year, and he is her first hunter, although she’s ridden horses since she was 11.

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Andrea Oneto always felt most at home in the jumper ring, but when her jumper needed a season off, she discovered hunters could be just as fun.

The 20-year-old from Stockton, Calif., took home the amateur-owner tricolor along with a big win in the junior/amateur-owner classic aboard Craig 2 at the Wood-side Circuit Opener in Woodside, Calif., June 17-21.

Oneto has been riding Craig 2 for a year, and he is her first hunter, although she’s ridden horses since she was 11.

She ended up trying the 15.2-hand gelding on a whim. She was looking for something to lease until her mare could come back, and her trainer, Hope Glynn of Petaluma, Calif., suggested she try a really cool hunter that was available at Leone Equestrian in Elk Grove. Oneto thought it was worth a shot.

“They brought him to a show, and I fell in love with him pretty much,” she said. “I own him now. I’m excited to have him.”

She won the classic on the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Carolus 1—Zauberhaft) with scores of 84 and 89. They just moved up to the 3’6″ division at HITS Thermal (Calif.) this year, and this was their third show at that height.

“Our first round was pretty smooth, other than I almost missed a lead change and was a little bit deep to one fence,” said Oneto. “The second round was a lot better. I just felt more connected with him—more in sync generally. He backed up and jumped over the fences in a nice way.

 “I’ve always done jumpers, but he’s been really good to me,” continued Oneto. “He’s a great little horse.”
Oneto is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, and is majoring in mathematics and biology.

A Winner Since Day 1

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In the professional divisions, Olympic and Katharina Coleman cantered away with the first year green championship for owner Grace McLaughlin of San Francisco, Calif.

“He was amazing,” said Coleman, who works as an assistant trainer for Beverly Jovais at Chestnut Hill in Petaluma, Calif. “He was spectacular in the handy round today. He was really, really straight and jumped phenomenal. The hack was his best under saddle. He’s a little difficult in the under saddle. He’s pretty technical to ride. But when he does it right it’s amazing.

“He’s a great horse,” added Coleman. “He’s not spooky. He’s really brave and he’s just incredibly athletic. I hope to continue riding him into the second years and then on to the regular working hunters.”

Coleman has ridden Olympic since McLaughlin purchased him three years ago as a very green 5-year-old from Peter Pletcher. The 16.1-hand Mecklenburg gelding has been champion or reserve at almost every show since starting in the pre-green division.

“Grace [McLaughlin] is doing a great job with him,” said Coleman. “She’s learning with him, which is really nice.”

McLaughlin started showing Olympic in the juniors at this show and placed third in the junior/amateur-owner classic. Last month at the Pickwick (Calif.) show, Olympic grabbed second place in the hunter derby on the big grass grand prix field.

“It was amazing,” said Coleman. “It was late in the evening with spooky jumps, and he didn’t even care whatsoever.”

A Lucky Catch

Helen McNaught was the one to beat in the jumper classes at the Woodside Circuit Opener. She rode three horses in the $10,000 Woodside Jumper Classic and won with her catch-ride on Doug and Julie White’s Ocean Cat.

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“She’s such a trier,” said McNaught. “She was a little backed off in the first round, because it’s bigger than she’s jumped, but she’s so game.

“She was awesome in the jump-off,” she continued. “She’s like a rubber ball. She just wants to win, unless you stop her. She was a little backed off at the water in the jump-off. She got a little frightened so she landed in the water, which lost me a bit of time.”

The water jump had a rail over it, so the foot in the water didn’t cost McNaught any faults. The two tight rollbacks in the jump-off didn’t slow Ocean Cat down, although the right rollback gave McNaught a problem with her own Caballo, who placed seventh. McNaught also finished in eighth with Dondero.

This is the third show where McNaught has paired up with Ocean Cat, a 10-year-old Holsteiner cross (Canaletto S—Black Cat). Last summer Joie Gatlin rode her and showed her at the Blenheim EquiSports shows (Calif.). Gatlin was leaving to show at Spruce Meadows (Canada) and asked McNaught if she would mind catch-riding the mare.

So Ocean Cat won the 1.40-meter class with Gatlin one day and went on to win the same division with McNaught the next day. On the third day they had the fastest time in the grand prix but had a rail down.

“The mare’s phenomenal,” said McNaught with a grin. “To do that with two different riders! I love mares, and she’s a typical good mare. She tries 1,000 percent to jump the jumps.”

McNaught has relocated to Northern California. She and Duncan McFarlane operate Outwoods Farm in Portola Valley, Calif. McNaught moved to the United States in 2000, first spending three winters in Florida and then moving to Calabasas in Southern California.

She grew up in England. She and her sister started out riding on her mother’s elderly gymkhana ponies Curiosity and Spider.

She brings her “good old English training” to her new business and said she’s fortunate that their property is adjacent to the trails in the mountains above Portola Valley.

“We normally go for an hour’s trail ride, and then we work,” said McNaught. “It’s good for their legs and really good for their brains. They come to the show willing to do their jobs.”

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