Fuqua and Grand Remo in the 2021 WCHR Peter Weatherhill Hunter Spectacular (Photo by Elegant Equus Photography)
Atlanta, GA (March 6, 2021) – Kat Fuqua attained in just a week what many top professionals rarely achieve: victory at the international level in two very distinct disciplines. Thirteen-year-old Fuqua was one of the top 3 Juniors jumping with the pros in the $50,0000 WCHR Peter Weatherhill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular during week 6 of the Winter Equestrian Festival with her multiple Horse of the Year Champion Grand Remo, finishing just out of the top 12 under the training of Jimmy Torano, JET Show Stable. She then flew to her hometown of Atlanta for a two week break, but not quite. She and the aptly named KWPN Dream Girl rode an FEI Prix St. Georges test at the Atlanta Olympic Equestrian Park, earning their final required score for their USDF Silver Medal.
Each hunter division during WEF 6, including the ponies, horses, Juniors, and professionals, awards the best in class; the Champion and Reserve Champion of the divisions at 3’6″ and above are invited to compete in Saturday night’s prestigious Hunter Spectacular, an honor for riders of any level. Fuqua qualified as the top World Hunter rider that week for the second year in a row. In 2020 she rode Champion Cornell 22 and Reserve Champion Consent with the top professionals in the spectacular. This year she once again improved upon her previous performances, scoring 85, 83, and 80 with Grand Remo. Finishing 16th out of 32 top world Champions, Fuqua could not rest on her laurels in the hunter arena.
Back at her home Collecting Gaits Farm in Atlanta, Fuqua changed gears and core competencies to school her FEI dressage horse Dream Girl with trainer Jason Canton. The trio, plus Kat’s parents, ventured to the Good Horseman Spring Show at the Centennial Olympic Equestrian Center in Conyers, site of the 1996 Atlanta Games. Having only first debuted officially in dressage in 2020, Fuqua’s training has nevertheless been dressage based from day one. Under Canton’s tutelage, the pair received their Bronze Medal in 2020 and competed at the US Dressage Festival of Champions as their fourth show ever. On February 28th in Atlanta, Fuqua and Dream Girl were the Champion FEI JR/YR, Reserve Champion FEI rider, received their second score required to for their USDF Silver Medal in the FEI Prix St. Georges, and won the class with a 66.324%.
“Kat has that versatility to swap from upper level dressage to international hunters with ease,” said Canton, himself a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist since 1988. “It’s been really interesting to teach her to hone those aids for a completely different discipline.”
“I’m really proud and happy with my results in the Spectacular,” said Fuqua. “It’s been my goal to compete in that class since 2017, and I’m so proud of Remo and how we have progressed. Dream Girl really is a dream, it’s been really fun and good for my riding to try new things and learn different techniques. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to ride and show as much as I do, and to have the support from my family and trainers.”
With 2020 drawing at a close, Fuqua also racked up numerous USEF Horse of the Year (HOY) awards in January, and kicked off a series of wins with her new equitation horse. Consent was 2020 USEF Horse of the Year Grand Champion Junior Hunter 15 & Under and Horse of the Year Champion Small Junior Hunter. Grand Remo won both 2020 USEF Horse of the Year Champion Large Junior Hunter and Horse of the Year Reserve Champion Junior Hunter. At the 2020 National Horse Show, Kat also cleaned up in the hunters, taking National Grand Junior Champion, Large Junior Champion 15 & Under, and Small Junior Champion 15 & Under.
Kat Fuqua’s passion for horses is reflected not only in her highly decorated, multi-discipline results, but also in the joy and dedication she shows each time she swings into the saddle. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia and under the guidance of trainer Jimmy Torano for hunter/jumpers and Jason Canton for dressage, every aspect of Fuqua’s riding, training, and show career reflects a unique ardor for equines and horse sport. She balances her equestrian lifestyle with attendance as a full-time 7th grade student at Holy Innocence Episcopal School and takes pride in developing alongside her horses. In addition to riding, Kat enjoys spending time with her school friends and her favorite subject is French.
For more information on Kat Fuqua (pronounced foo-quay), visit her website at www.KatFuqua.com.