Team Catalyst, Shelly Temple, Fran Doto and ‘Cooper’, are very proud to once again be poised to represent our country at the World Pony Driving Championships to be held in September, 2011 in Lipica, Slovenia. You may know that Team Catalyst had this honor in 2007 when the championships were held in Denmark, finishing with a silver individual medal in dressage and an overall team bronze. We were very proud to have played a part in such a strong US showing!
Team Catalyst has had continued success at major combined driving events in 2010 and 2011, most recently the Live Oak International Combined Driving Event, where we won the 2011 USEF National Championship in a very competitive class, our second National Championship in a row and third total. At Live Oak, Cooper won the coveted ‘Hanzi Award’, given to the best horse in the competition in the opinion of the judges, just as he had in 2010.
In 2007 the cost of transporting pony, people, and equipment to Europe as well as training and competition costs totaled nearly $35,000. Costs have only risen since then. With driving being a small group when compared to other international equestrian sports, our National Federation only covers a small portion of our expenses. Our ability to attend and compete at this year’s event will depend on our ability to raise the funds to do so; the bulk of which will come from private donations.
June 27, 2011 – Getting to Europe for humans isn’t as hard as it seems — passport, airplane ticket, maps, and some spending money and you’re ready to go.
However, an equestrian athlete traveling to Europe to complete for one’s nation is a tougher. Shelly Temple, 3 time US National Champion Combined Driver and member of the 2007 bronze medal team, is seeking to travel to Slovenia to compete in the World Pony Driving Championships. Her Morgan pony, Cooper, is a top form in 2011 where Temple hopes to improve upon her second place in dressage in 2007.
Getting to Europe has been Temple’s goal since 2010; however, she states, “Shipping the horse and carriages is very expensive.” The cost for Team Catalyst to compete at the World Championships is estimated to be around $50,000. Traditionally, the drivers have had to raise the majority of funds to get there and to compete. “We have worked very hard to get ready and now ask for your help to get there and hopefully win a medal for the US,” exclaims Temple.
Ocala, FL – Joe Yoder driving Jack Wetzel’s pair of Gelderlanders won his first USEF National Pair Championship Sunday at the CAI Live Oak. After finishing second in dressage and winning the marathon, Yoder went into the final Cones phase with a 15-point lead over Katherin Dancer. Three balls down incurred 12 penalties for the young man who just recently relocated from Bozeman, Montana, to Aiken, SC, to drive for Wetzel. Yoder squeaked in just under the 3 minute time allowed to secure his win. Alan Aulson moved into second place, driving his own pair of Morgan horses, after Dancer knocked down five balls and incurred time penalties.
Shelly Temple of Windsor, SC, went into cones with a narrow lead over Suzy Stafford, but managed to keep all the balls on the cones, incurring just 1.61 time penalties to retain the lead and win the USEF National Championship for single ponies. “It was a competitive class,” said Temple. “I was thrilled that my pony went so well. Jack Wetzel kindly lent me a four-wheel Spider Phaeton which made a huge difference from the two-wheeled road cart I usually drive, and it had a very positive effect.”
For the third time, LR Ami B-Line, a Morgan gelding owned, trained, and competed by Shelly Temple, has been named the USEF Horse of the Year for Combined Driving-Single Pony. Cooper was honored twice previously in 2006 and 2007.
The 2010 HOTY honor capped a successful season for Shelly and her Team Catalyst. She won the National Championship for Combined Driving Single Pony for the second time in her career. Shelly, Cooper, and Shelly’s husband, Fran Doto, won many combined driving events across the U.S. in a variety of divisions, including:
Advanced Single Pony, Laurels at Landhope, Pennsylvania
Advanced Single Pony, Iron Horse CDE, Illinois
FEI Single Pony, Live Oak International CDE, Florida
Preliminary Pair Pony, Pine Tree CDE, North Carolina
Preliminary Pair Pony, Katydid CDE, South Carolina
Shelly Temple and her 12 year old Morgan gelding LR Ami B-Line (“Cooper”) won the USEF Single Pony Champion in combined driving for the second time in four years. Held this year at the Laurels of Landhope in Kennett Square, PA, the first day of competition began with dressage. Shelly and Cooper held a comfortable lead with a score after dressage of 43.73. Shelly remarked that “Cooper was responsive and willing throughout the day.” Day two consisted of the cross country marathon with an overall distance of 16 kilometers. Shelly and navigator/husband Fran Doto drove a solid marathon to maintain their lead into day three, the cones competition. The cones competition saw Temple maintain her overall lead to follow up her 2009 reserve champion in the single pony championships.
“Cooper felt on top of his game the entire competition. He was fit and willing. We appreciate the support of our sponsors like including Charles Owens, Kombat Boots, Kentucky Equine Research, and Sheetz. Their products and services allow us to compete at a high level.”