Tag Archives: Karen Stives European Developing Tour

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