McLain Ward’s Catoki proved that he’s not only fast but brave. Daniel Coyle’s Oak Grove’s Carlyle hadn’t been jumping great in his last few classes and was looking to find “a bit of heart.” And Jordan Coyle’s Eristov demonstrated that he improves with pressure.
All three horses galloped down to and cleared the 6’10″ wall in Friday night’s $25,000 Defender Puissance. The class ended in a three-way tie for the puissance title at the Washington International Horse Show. The event is being at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland though Sunday.
Four horses competed in the puissance class, which started at height of about 5’4″. Over the maximum-allowed five rounds, the ring crew gradually built the wall until it was its final height.
Catoki: ‘Barely Bigger Than a Pony’
Ward and Catoki tied with Coyle to win the puissance class at last year’s Washington International Horse Show. So Ward brought the 13-year-old Westfalen stallion to the competition specifically for the class this year. Then one of Ward’s other horses had an issue and couldn’t compete in the $75,000 Speed Final right before the puissance, so Catoki competed in that, too. He and Ward had the fastest round in the speed class. With one rail down there, they finished in second in that class.
“I knew he was always brave, but he’s barely bigger than a pony. He did it beautifully last year, and so we actually brought him here just to do this class,” Ward said. “… it’s incredible. Barely any spur and the horse pulls you down there like a lion. And I think he enjoys it.”
Oak Grove’s Carlyle: ‘Tonight Was Simple’
Ireland’s Daniel Coyle said Oak Grove’s Carlyle typically jumps grand prix classes, but the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding hadn’t been in top form. “I jumped the small class yesterday, and he didn’t go great,” Coyle said. “And I jumped a small show last week at home, and nothing bad happened, but he just didn’t feel like himself. … He’s just not in the zone, not in the rhythm. So [we] decided to jump him in the puissance and see if that would give him bit of heart. And for sure, he jumped great every round. And that’s him, he’s one or the other. He’s either frantic or he just goes and does it very simply. Thankfully tonight it was very simple.”
Eristov Didn’t Like Winding Down
Coyle’s brother, Jordan, said his horse, Eristov, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, wasn’t sure about jumping the wall the first few rounds Friday night. But by the end of the class, Coyle felt they could have jumped anything. “He won a World Cup qualifier, and he was my first big-time horse,” Coyle said. “I’m thankful for everything that he’s done for me. Everything was my first with him. We gave him a break, planning to wind down and retire him, but he didn’t love that so much. We brought him to Hickstead, and he was fifth in the Hickstead Derby.”
After jumping a warm-up triple-bar oxer and making the left turn to approach the wall, Coyle brought Eristov to a walk and picked up the right lead. “He doesn’t have great balance, and that’s actually why he’s not at the top sport anymore,” Coyle said. “On the right lead, he finds himself much more steady than on the left lead. Every time I had to approach on the right lead. This was very easy for him.”
Devin Ryan (USA) and Hangover competed in all five rounds in the puissance class. But in the final round, the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding knocked the wall down. It was the horse’s first puissance class.
For complete results, click here.
The Need for Speed
A few hours earlier, Catoki and Ward had cruised into second place in the 1.50-meter $75,000 Speed Final behind Laura Kraut (USA) and the 10-year-old Calgary Tame. Kraut and Calgary Tame rode around the speed course in 57.13 seconds without hitting any rails. Ward and Catoki had three seconds added to their time of 56.40 to finish at 59.40.
Kraut said Ward’s Catoki is a faster horse, “but I think mine went fast, and I didn’t really leave too many doors open.”
Of Calgary Tame, she added, “The funny thing about this horse is I’ve had a little bit of steering issues along the way, and tonight you definitely needed all of your power steering. So I thought, ‘Well, I have nothing to lose. I’m gonna have to give it a go.’ He’s super brave. And he was just right on it for me.”
For complete results, click here.
Iwasaki Wins Hunter Phase of Equitation Final
Another close finish was in the Hunter Phase of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Final. In the end, Augusta Iwasaki led the way with a score of 91.875. Luke Jensen was second with 91.250. And Zayna Rizvi was third with 89.375.
“My plan was just to keep things as smooth as possible,” Iwasaki said of the first of three phases for the final. And consistency is also her plan for Saturday’s jumper phase, and, if selected, the work-off. “Hopefully we can keep it up for the second round and then for the third round as well,” she said.
For complete results of the hunter phase, click here.
Follow along with Practical Horseman’s coverage of the 64th annual Washington International Horse Show on Practical Horseman’s website, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you to the sponsor of our coverage, Vita Flex Pro.