Tag Archives: Jenny Caras

Meet Four First-Timers at the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Jenny Caras with Fernhill Fortitude. (Libby Law Photography)

The USEF’s Eventing Emerging Athlete Program is an age-restricted program that identifies and cultivates talented young riders ages 18 and under and 25 and under with the potential to evolve into future United States team candidates. They’re coached by USEF Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law. This year, four of the program’s riders are among the entries for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.

Madeline Backus

Horse: P.S. Arianna. “She’s a joy to be around and has so much personality. She’s so loving in the barn. She loves treats, and if you scratch her, she’ll groom you back. She licks you after treats. She’s super-sweet, but as soon as we need to get serious, she puts on her game face and takes on anything in front of her.”

Recent success together: 4th at 2017 Red Hills International CIC3*

Hometown: Larkspur, Co.

On Rolex: “I was a spectator when I was seven, and it’s always been a dream of mine. I’m definitely looking forward to cross-country. It will be challenging, but I can’t wait gallop up to Weldon’s Wall.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “It’s been really helpful not only to train with Leslie Law but to get to know the great riders that made the list. Being from Colorado, I hadn’t met the East Coast riders, so it’s great to spend training sessions with them.”

Jenny Caras

Horse: Fernhill Fortitude. “He’s an attention-seeker who wants to be the only one in the barn getting attention. Anybody could get on him and hack him around.”

Recent success together: 9th at 2016 Bramham Under 25 CCI3*, 6th at 2016 Fair Hill International CCI3*

Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

On Rolex: “I’m just looking forward to being there and doing my first 4*. The cross-country’s going to be a lot more technical than I’ve seen and a lot bigger, too.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “All the extra lessons and camaraderie between the riders – it all sets you up for good performances.”

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton

Horse: Captain Jack. “I know that if anything goes wrong, it’s my fault. He’s not going to let me down. He’s pretty much a pirate. He’s small and scrappy.”

Recent success together: 7th at Bromont CCI3*, double-clear cross-country at 2016 Fair Hill International CCI3*

Hometown: Finksburg, Md.

On Rolex: “My focus will be on trying to get the cross-country. It’s crazy to look at the fences… they look massive. I’m hoping when I’m there on Captain Jack they won’t look as monstrous! But I’ve prepared myself.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “Riding is a really easy sport to make it be about the individual and your horse, but the Emerging Athlete Program reminds you that the ultimate goal and the ultimate accomplishment is a team gold medal. It’s about what we have going forward as a potential team for the country.”

Caroline Martin

Horse: Spring Easy. “His nickname is ‘Child.’ He really is a kid, but he’s a good athlete and tries really hard. He definitely likes to joke around, but he’s a cool competitor.”

Recent success together: 2nd at 2016 Richland Park Horse Trials CIC3*; 8th at 2016 Jersey Fresh International CCI3*

Hometown: Springtown, Pa.

On Rolex: “Completion – that’s what I look forward to the most.”

On the Emerging Athlete Program: “If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. It’s done more than just for my riding – it’s helped me on the business aspect, too. And to be able to build camaraderie with the other under-25 riders is great.”

The only place to catch all four days of the action-packed competition is the USEF Network live stream.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

Caras Finishes Ninth at Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude (Libby Law Photography)

West Yorkshire, England – Rising star Jenny Caras put her Karen Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Grant to good use at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, the sole stop for the inaugural Karen Stives European Developing Tour. Caras had an admirable performance in her overseas debut, riding Fernhill Fortitude to a ninth-place finish in the Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI3* division. Two fellow U.S. combinations also had strong performances at Bramham with Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen finishing second in the Event Rider Masters CIC3* division and Katherine Coleman and Longwood finishing just outside the top 20 in the Equi-Trek CCI3* division.

Under the guidance of USEF Eventing Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law, 20-year-old Caras (Cartersville, Ga.) began the competition with a personal-best dressage score from the Ground Jury of PollyAnn Huntington (AUS), Christina Klingspor (SWE), and Les Smith (GBR) on her own Fernhill Fortitude. She and the 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding produced a fluid, workmanlike test to sit in sixth place on a score of 48.9. The pair boldly tackled Ian Stark’s lengthy and challenging cross-country track, collecting 7.6 time penalties. Caras and Fernhill Fortitude had a 12-fault round over Di Boddy’s massive show jumping course, which allowed no double-clear rounds in the Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI3* division, to finish in ninth place on a score of 68.5.

“It was a really big course and there were a ton of people there,” Caras said of the stage set for the show jumping phase. “We had the first down, which was my fault, and we got a bit unlucky in the triple and had two rails down there. It was a good shot in, but he didn’t seem to read it quite right. He felt like he was jumping great after yesterday, so I was really pleased with him.”

Caras handled her European debut milestone with great poise. Looking at the overall experience, Caras said, “It was a really good experience to be over here and competing against the best of the best. I am thankful that I had the opportunity.”

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen (Libby Law Photography)
Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen (Libby Law Photography)

The two other U.S. representatives laid down solid efforts at Bramham. In the Event Rider Masters CIC3* division, Montgomery (Tetbury, England) scored a 36.5 on his dressage test with Loughan Glen, Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft, and Holly & William Becker’s 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding. On Saturday, the pair had a four-fault show jumping round and a double-clear cross-country round to finish second on a score of 40.5 in a star-studded field. In the Equi-Trek CCI3* division, Katherine Coleman (Wiltshire, England) and Longwood, her own 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding, had a respectable dressage test to score 53.9. The pair climbed 28 places on cross-country day on the strength of a double-clear round, and had a 12-fault show jumping round on Sunday to finish in 23rd place.

Find out more about the competition and view results.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Martin and Caras to Represent Team USA during Karen Stives European Developing Tour

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. Photos by: Shannon Brinkman.

Gladstone, N.J. – Feb. 25, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is proud to announce that Caroline Martin and Jenny Caras have been named as the recipients of the 2016 Karen Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Grant. Martin and Caras will participate in the Karen Stives European Developing Tour, which will give these U25 athletes a chance to represent the United States on an international stage at the 2016 Rockingham CIC and Bramham International CCI3*-U25 in Great Britain.

Established with a generous $1 million gift from Olympian Karen Stives, the Karen Stives Developing Tour aims to encourage up-and-coming eventers in the USEF’s Developing Rider Program to step up and prepare themselves to represent the United States internationally in the future, strengthening the pipeline of qualified riders to create future medal-winning teams.

Under the mentorship of British Olympian Leslie Law, the two developing riders will spend a month in Great Britain furthering their education and gaining valuable competition experience.

“I’m just in awe of the generosity that everybody has shown me and the faith that they’re putting in me by awarding me this money,” said Caras. “It’s kind of a dream come true that I have people believe in me enough to put their faith behind me. I think this opportunity will make a world of a difference for my career.”

Caras, who trains with Phillip Dutton, will be bringing her 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Fortitude, or “Forty.” The proven pair claimed a number of top finishes at 3* competitions in 2015, including fourth place at Bromont and sixth place at Jersey Fresh. Aside from being the highest-placing young rider at Fair Hill, Caras and Forty were one of only nine horse-and-rider pairs to go double clear in the rigorous cross country phase.

Caroline Martin and Center Stage
Caroline Martin and Center Stage

Martin, who has trained with Buck Davidson for the past six years, will compete with Center Stage [Connor], her 10-year-old Holsteiner. In 2015, the duo placed fifth at the Richland Park CIC3* and had clear rounds at the challenging Fair Hill. The 21-year-old rider competed at the Bramham U25 in 2015 with her horse Quantum Solace, who will be competing at Rolex this year, and is grateful for the opportunity to return with Connor in a team setting.

“Karen Stives was a fierce competitor, so being named to this grant is a huge honor. It’s especially great to do it on a horse that I produced up the levels,” Martin said. “This trip isn’t just about competing; it’s about making us better horsemen. This is going to improve us drastically. We’re going to learn under the pressure of representing the United States, so it’s a good preparation for the next step, which would be competing on the senior team.”

No strangers to competing in a team setting, Martin and Caras were both a part of the 2013 Young Riders gold medal eventing team. Martin also won the individual gold medal, while Caras took home the bronze medal.

“We’re pretty good friends, so this is going to be a lot of fun,” Caras said.

Fun aside, the Bramham CCI3* is widely regarded as the toughest level of U25 eventing competition, and therefore will serve as an invaluable learning opportunity for the talented riders to put their abilities to the test.

“We’re really fortunate that we have this grant because the Bramham U25 is the highlight for U25 riders in the world,” Martin attested. “This is the most important competition we have. Sending U25 kids from the states over there to compete against the world will show us how good we are and how much we need to push ourselves. We need this so that we know what we need to work on for the future, because hopefully, at some point, Jenny and I will be on teams together.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

USET Foundation Awards Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Jenny Caras

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude at 2015 Fair Hill. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

Gladstone, NJ – January 6, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2016 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to eventing rider Jenny Caras of Cartersville, Georgia.

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. In 2015, 19-year-old Caras, with her talented mount Fernhill Fortitude, took the eventing world by storm as one of youngest riders in the country successfully competing at the CCI*** and CIC*** level.

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Pirie’s family in her memory with the purpose of helping to provide financial assistance to an eventing rider who has been identified as a rider with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future. On January 15, 2015, Robert S. Pirie, Amanda’s father, passed away. It was Mr. Pirie that made the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant possible. Amanda meant the world to Mr. Pirie, and this was his way of keeping her memory and spirit alive in the eventing community. They will always be remembered through this grant.

The recipient of the grant is a person that will benefit from the opportunity of continuing their training with top coaches and competing against the world’s best horse and rider combinations in Eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines.

“It’s a huge honor. I was not expecting it at all,” expressed Caras. “It’s really exciting, and an honor that people recognize the horses that I have and they want to give me a shot.”

As the recipient of the grant, Caras will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year. Her main target will be to travel with “Forty,” an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, to the Bramham Horse Trials in England over the summer.

“That’s my big goal for the summer,” explained Caras. “I’d really like to use this grant to open up opportunities for me to get more training that I wouldn’t have necessarily gotten without it, especially in the show jumping because that’s my weakness. I’d like to use the money to go to jumper shows and get jumper lessons to supplement everything else that I’m doing.”

After earning the Team Gold and Individual Bronze medals in 2013 at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Caras and Forty began consistently competing at the CIC*** and CCI*** level in 2015. Competing against riders with much more experience, they placed sixth at Jersey Fresh and fourth at Bromont. She also won the Markham Trophy as the highest placed young rider in the United States that had not competed at the CCI4* level during Fair Hill International.

“I started working for Phillip Dutton last December, and we moved Forty up to advanced. He handled it like a pro,” Caras said. “Cross-country goes easily for him. He jumps it if at all possible, sometimes probably when it’s not! I had a really, really good year, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Phillip Dutton and David O’Connor. Leslie Law, the under 25 coach, helped me tremendously with Forty on the flat. I’m really excited for this year and hopefully we can keep things going in the right direction.”

Beyond continuing her education with Forty, Caras hopes to be a part of the U.S. team internationally during her career. “That’s what I’ve wanted to do since before I even knew really what the sport was about,” she laughed. “I knew that I wanted to go to the Olympic Games for Eventing. It’s just something that I’ve always been working toward, and hopefully someday it will happen. It’s opportunities like this that will make it more possible for me. I’m really honored to have received this grant, and I’m really honored that people believe in me.”

Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Caras can focus on Forty’s training and preparing him for the right competitions to further his career as Caras aims toward one day representing the United States on the international stage.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386