Dinan and Out Of The Blue SCF Forge A New Partnership On The Road To Paris

U.S. Olympic Jumping Team short-listed rider Katie Dinan focuses on finding the right connection with her U.S.-bred Belgium Warmblood mare.

Last year, with the retirement of her top horse Brego R’N B looming in the not-so-distant future, Katie Dinan ramped up her search to find a worthy replacement. After trying to find her next partner without success, she jumped at the chance when Out Of The Blue SCF came available.

The Belgian Warmblood mare (Verdi TN x Casa Blanca La Silla) had campaigned through her first few CSI5* classes with Irish rider Shane Sweetnam, and Dinan had always admired her. Bred by Spy Coast Farm in the U.S., “Bridie” came to Dinan’s barn last fall, and the horsewoman took her time getting to know the mare.

They started showing nationally in January, and then picked up some strong FEI results in Wellington, Florida, by late February. In April, they were named to the U.S. Jumping Team short list for the Paris Olympics this summer, and Dinan couldn’t be prouder.

U.S. Olympic Jumping Team short-listed rider Katie Dinan is proud to be partnered with U.S.-bred Belgian Warmblood mare Out Of The Blue SCF. Courtesy, Sportfot

“It was a huge honor to be recognized like that. I think it was a combination of what the horse has done and what I’ve done and our growing partnership together,” she said. “To be noticed by the U.S. team and to be on their short list was a real vote of confidence. It was great for me and for my whole team to be recognized like that. I was very happy for my horse.”

Power-House Mare

Dinan is also proud to be riding a U.S.-bred horse and noted that 10-year-old Bridie was owned by her breeder, Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm, until she was 9.

“She was still under the same ownership until she was 9, which is pretty rare and a real testament to Spy Coast and their whole movement of producing horses in the U.S. That was a fun thing to be a part of,” she said. “Bridie is an incredible horse, and I feel very grateful to ride her. She has so much power and a ton of energy. She’s got a really light canter and always looks for the jumps with her ears forward. She gives you a great feeling.”

At the end of May, the pair competed on the Nations Cup team in Switzerland at St. Gallen, but the competition was canceled due to rain. They’ve since jumped in a CSI4* at Opglabbeek in Belgium and will be jumping in one last observation event before the Olympic team is named in early July.

A Formidable Trio

Bridie and Dinan make a formidable trio with groom Lou Beudin, who’s been with Dinan for seven years.

“Lou jokes that Bridie is her in horse form. She loves taking care of her because they have the same exact personality,” Dinan laughed. “They both like to be left alone, they know what they’re doing and they’re both very good at what they do. And even though they’re both very tough, they’re also incredibly soft and kind. Bridie stepped up and filled some big shoes [of Brego R’N B] when we needed her to. It’s really fun to have this team of the three of us now.”

Dinan describes Bridie as a big, strong mare who has opinions and a tough exterior, but inside she’s very affectionate and cuddly.

“She’s the kind of horse you feel like you could ride for hours. She has blood and energy, and she loves being outside. I make sure she gets a lot of turnout time, and I take her on trail rides,” Dinan said. “Sometimes I let her gallop just to get some of her natural energy out because she has so much power. You just want to let her move.”

Varied Routine is Key

When they’re at home in North Salem, New York, Dinan likes to work on flatwork, incorporating lateral work like haunches-in to keep Bridie flexible in her body.

“I also practice lengthening and shortening her canter stride to work on rideability,” she noted. “And I always strive to ask in a quiet and sympathetic way so we have the right connection.”

Dinan describes Bridie as a big, strong mare who has opinions and a tough exterior, but is very affectionate and cuddly. Courtesy, Sportfot

Like many show jumpers, Bridie doesn’t jump much at home. Dinan keeps her routine varied between more intense flatwork, hacking and having fun galloping.

“Most of what we work on is not the jump itself. It’s about rideability, our partnership and ensuring that we’re in harmony,” Dinan said. “My coach Beat Mändli, who I’ve worked with for 10 years, helps me a lot. He’s an amazing rider in general and also does amazing work on the flat. Sometimes he rides her, and I’ll watch to see what he does.”

It Takes a Team

Dinan’s been riding at the top level of show jumping for a dozen years, but still finds something new to learn on each horse. Bridie has taught her even more about her enthusiasm for the sport.

“All of this takes a big team, and that has been a real asset for me with Bridie. I think the more you learn the more you appreciate horses—all of them. But especially the ones that really get the sport,” Dinan said. “She is super talented in a smart and brave way. She just gets her job and also has such sheer athletic ability. This has been really fun and exciting thing for me to experience a horse with so much power. I’m working on new things in my riding, like letting her use that power and learning to ride her in a way that allows her to shine best.”

Letting Bridie Shine

Whether Dinan goes to Paris or not, she’s appreciative of the opportunity to take Bridie to Europe for her development.

“For now, it’s been about building our partnership. I think the main thing for me is trusting her because she’s so talented. I try not to get in her way. She has a lot of energy and so much power, it’s about just letting her do her job. At the same time, she’s an early 10-year-old. I want to be there for her so we both build up together,” Dinan explained. “Of course, the Olympics is the biggest dream. I also hope that this is just the start of our career together given her age and our new partnership. I think we have great things to come. To have the experience of being on the short list and going to shows in Europe this summer will strengthen our foundation for future big competitions.”

Thanks to Zoetis for our coverage of the 2024 Paris Olympics, including rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more.

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