Text Wins Horse of the Year
The 17-hand New Zealand Thoroughbred Text is a lot of horse to handle for a 17-year-old junior event rider.
O’Neal School senior Mikaela Kantorowski said the big horse often lacks confidence over fences, especially in the cross country phase.
“He gets really scared if he’s not sure on his feet — like when he’s going downhill,” she said. “You have to make sure you balance him and give him confidence.”
But Kantorowski and Text have overcome the challenges over the past year, winning the 2012 NCDCTA Horse of the Year award in the novice junior division.
Text became Kantorowski’s ride a year ago, after competing up to the 2-star level with his previous owner.
Kantorowski, who has evented since she was 8, said Text’s fancy movement on the flat is a huge asset.
“He’s such a high-caliber horse. He’s taught me a lot,” she said.
Highlights of the combination’s season include wins in the novice division at the Southern Pines Horse Trials in March and at the Surefire (Va.) Horse Trials in June — resting on impressive dressage scores of 32 and 28.5, respectively.
They also moved up successfully to training level, winning the division at the Maryland Horse Trials II at Loch Moy Farm in July.
Although Kantorowski originally bought Text to help her qualify for the 2013 North American Junior & Young Riders Championships in eventing, she’s decided to sell him at the end of this year.
“He needs a strong, confident ride all the time, which I can give him,” she said, “but he’s not the ideal Young Riders horse.”
For now Kantorowski is trying out potential new rides, while taking a short break from intense training and the show ring.
“I can actually hang out with my friends, go to basketball games after school,” she said, laughing. “It’s pretty weird.”
But she hopes to find the perfect equine match soon — she’ll be moving up to preliminary level for the first time next season.
“It’s a daunting task,” she said. “But for now, I don’t want to rush things. I’m keeping my options open.”
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