Katie Laurie and Cera Caruso nab another win in Traverse City
Source: Traverse City Horse Shows.
The second week of the Traverse City Spring Horse Show (TCS), presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, continued Friday, June 18 at Flintfields Horse Park. A total of 41 internationally decorated athletes took to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring for a race against the clock Friday afternoon to vie for the blue in the $36,600 Speed Classic CSI2*. In the end, it was Australia’s Katie Laurie and Cera Caruso who could not be caught, ultimately claiming yet another speed win at Traverse City Horse Shows to earn the lion’s share of the prize money.
Course designer Nick Granat (USA) offered athletes a 13-obstacle course which included multiple opportunities for athletes to really showcase the speed and agility of their horses as they searched for ways to cut corners and leave out strides to shave time off of the clock. The pathfinding pair for the first quick and clear ride was California-native Will Simpson (USA) riding Chacco P through the timers in 69.47 seconds to set the pace for those to follow. Before the halfway drag break, the lead would exchange hands to John Perez Bohm (COL) aboard Gerdinieke for their time of 68.05 seconds, with the lead being handed back to Simpson once again as he notched a time of 67.01 seconds riding Whoop De Doo.
The 15 athletes to follow Simpson after the drag break were not able to catch his quick time until Canada’s Sam Walker took to the course riding Coralissa. The duo shaved just six-tenths of a second off the leading time to take over the top spot in 66.40 seconds. Fellow Canadian Tiffany Foster would quickly overlap Walker’s lead however, as she piloted Artisan Farms LLC’s Vienna to a time of 66.16 seconds.
Coming off of a spectacular Week I of TCS, the penultimate pair to tackle Granat’s speed course, Katie Laurie and Cera Caruso, entered the arena with confidence as the winners of the previous week’s $36,600 Limitless Performance Speed Classic CSI4*. Laurie took advantage of her strong partnership with the 13-year-old Australian Warmblood gelding, as well as his big stride across the ground to turn and burn through the course, knocking nearly one second off of Foster’s time. Laurie and Cera Caruso slid into the top position after crossing the finish line in 64.56 seconds. The final athlete on course, Vani Khosla, could not quite overtake the lead with her mount Billy Mexico, ultimately finishing out the afternoon in second place on a time of 65.31 seconds. Foster and Vienna would end the class rounding out the top three.
Adding to her already impressive amount of 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus points, Laurie’s win in the $36,600 Speed Classic CSI2* allowed her to move into the top spot heading into the weekend on a total of 26 points. Israel’s Daniel Bluman held his top spot on the leaderboard to finish Friday in the second position, carrying over 24 points from TCS Week I. Foster moved into bonus money contention as she sits in the third position on 15 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. The CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus is a highly sought-after prize among the field of international competitors that attend Traverse City Horse Shows.
Katie Laurie and Cera Caruso. Photo credit: Andrew Ryback Photography
Catching up with Katie from the winners circle:
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“We are definitely loving it here. The horses have been really good and it’s been a good two weeks so far. There are really fast, really competitive riders here which is great competition. I have always been based in Australia and New Zealand, so it’s really great to be riding here against these amazing riders.”
On Cera Caruso:
“I thought it was a pretty solid 1.45m speed with a one-stride to a one-stride combination. They had to be careful. My horse [Cera Caruso] is so fast across the ground and he’s really fun to ride in the speed classes. He’s super careful so I knew I could just keep the tight lines and then I wanted to take one stride out down both of the last lines and he did it awesome.”
On where she made up time:
“It definitely paid off going near the end and watching everyone go. I think it was seven strides on the curve to the last two verticals and then the six strides to the last. He’s a little horse but he’s got a big stride and he kind of just ran down there and jumped it really good.”
On future plans:
“We’ve got this week and next week [here in Traverse City] and then we have to make a decision. My stallion [Casebrooke Lomond] is on the short list for the [2021 Tokyo Olympics] so we can’t make any more plans until we know more about that. Then Elvis, the little chestnut [Cera Caruso], is such a competitive speed horse that he will have tomorrow off and then jump the [$72,900 Four G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI2*] Sunday.”
On Traverse City:
“I have my son [Royce] here with me so every night if he’s good at the show we go to the Lake and we canoe around the lake. We’ve seen all sorts of things here and it’s been great.”