Eventers Gear Up for Tamarack
The sport of eventing evolved from a military test for a cavalry mount, so it was fitting that military members and families rose to top rankings in the season's horse trials opener here March 4 at Tamarack Hill Farm.
Camp Lejune-based Marines Abigail Grant and Calleen Kinney both earned top ribbons in beginner novice riding for owners who are deployed overseas.
Kinney and Pilikua Koa, owned by Russell and Erin Smith, won the dressage by a scant half-point over Rebel's Last Yell and Kathy Gurley, in her first outing since a hip replacement.
An unlucky stadium rail knocked Kinney back to second behind Prime Time and Carey Knouff of New Hill. Grant jumped clean with Margaret Thomas' Chancellor to finish fourth in her first event.
"These girls are gutsy and totally fearless," said Tamarack trainer Denny Emerson. "(Members of the Armed Services) are fit and disciplined, exactly the kind of people who are attracted to this sport."
U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Manny Diemer was home from Iraq for a few weeks, and watched his son, Andrew, win the junior division on The Big Easy.
Diemer, 16, earned a six-point margin in dressage and never looked back. The Big Easy, too big for polocrosse, too green to hunt, had been on the back burner at the family farm in Raeford until Andrew tacked him up this season as his second-string eventer.
"This horse needed a job," said Diemer's mother Dana. "I think he found one."
Beginner novice was the day's largest and most unpredictable division.
The top three dressage leaders in division A faulted on cross country, clearing the way for advancements. Tamarack's own Apache and Lila Gendal moved up four spots to claim the win, but Rachel Parker aboard Tamarack's young Irish breeding stallion Formula One made the largest jump, advancing six placings to claim fourth in the horse's debut.
Two open novice leaders also faulted, leaving Krista Rose of Winterville and her By His Grace in front at the finish.
The greenest group of horses debuted in the maiden divisions, but the courses were so basic it was all about dressage for them.
Tracey Smith-Oliver of Apex led the way in the senior class with her new Irish gelding Jack.
Mikaela Kantorowski of Aberdeen also held on to her lead with Ranger Heart to claim the junior class.
NOVICE: 1. By His Grace (30.5) Krista Rose, 2. Carry On (32) Caroline Young, 3. Morchant (34.5) Christian Trainor, 4. Jackson (35.2) Gussie Pearson, 5. Korengal (35.5) Andrea St. Hilaire-Glenn, 6. El's Tales (37.5) Cynthia Holbrook.
JUNIOR NOVICE: 1. Callaghan (36.5) Molly Petrauskas, 2. Quimberly (37) Samantha Presicci, 3. High Flyer (40) Harley Austin, 4. Gentle Quest (40.2) Kelly Daniels, 5. Spike Valay (40.5) Kimberly Matsko, 6. Harvey Wallbanger (48) Gracie Blackley.
BEGINNER NOVICE A: 1. Apache (31) Lila Gendal, 2. Ivan (35.3) Cathy Milligan, 3. Angelina (37.5) Kathi Hines, 4. Formula One (37.5) Rachel Parker, 5. UFO (43.5) Don Warren, 6. Jury's Out (48.7) Michelle Frazier.
BEGINNER NOVICE B: 1. Prime Time (32) Carey Knouff, 2. Pilikua Koa (33.5) Calleen Kinney, 3. Burton (38.6) Meri Hyoki, 4. Aleah (39) Cherie Laurito, 5. Classico (40.5) Doreen Schlicht, 6. Chancellor (45.5) Abigail Grant.
BEGINNER NOVICE JUNIOR: 1. The Big Easy (26) Andrew Diemer, 2. Derrymor (32) Brittany Bridges, 3. Jonson (38) Catherine Wiener, 4(tie) Whistlin Dixie (39) Jessica Hales, Mad Hatter (39) Allegra Dahlquist, 6. JJ (41.5) Becca Desper.
MAIDEN: 1. Jack (32.6) Tracey Smith-Oliver, 2. Cpt. Jack Sparrow (38.4) Stephanie Arbogast, 3. Providence's Maxwell (47.9) Karen McCollom, 4. Pink Diamond (48.9) Mary Shimko, 5. Addicks Anonymous (50) April Chester, 6. Lilly (50.5) Cathy Coats.
MAIDEN JUNIOR: 1. Ranger Heart (50) Mikaela Kantorowski, 2. One Tin Soldier (50.4) Hannah Grose, 3. Buckeye Jack (61.2) Alison Sobataka, 4. Candyland (74.7) Molly Owens, 5. Buck (76.8) Elyse Sundberg.
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