Temecula, Calif. – April 30, 2021 – The West Coast’s top equitation riders took over the Grand Hunter Arena Friday for the ASPCA Maclay. Thirteen horse-and-rider combinations showed excellence in position and execution in hopes of coming out on top. The young riders gave their best efforts to highlight proper style over Michael Roy Curtis’ 3’6” 10-obstacle course, but none could outshine Katie Jorczak and G-Star whose precision and ease earned them the victory.
California native, Jorczak and her newest mount, G-Star expertly navigated the technical track, turning in a picture-perfect round. At the conclusion of the over fences round, riders were invited back for further testing on the flat. Jorczakand the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by CNC-OLO Farm LLC put in a solid performance in the flat portion where the judges asked athletes to demonstrate a change in cadence in the canter, allowing the riders to show off their control in a lengthened gait as well as collection as they attempted to make a clean downward transition to the walk.
The highly experienced equitation mount has piloted many West Coast riders to victory in previous years, including top placings at Desert International Horse Park in the CPHA Foundation Equitation Medal, as well as at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in the ASPCA Maclay. Having just partnered with the gelding in January, it is Jorczak’s first season seriously competing in the equitation division, and she has hopes of qualifying for the prestigious indoor season later this year. So far this year, the winning duo found their stride during the winter season and were able to enter the spring season with confidence. Their performance in Friday’s class marks the pair’s first win together.
Earlier in the class, Gabrielle Sokolow and her own 13-year-old mount, Incandescent, were the first of the top three pairs to enter the ring. As an experienced derby horse, the Zangersheide gelding navigated the course with ease, allowing the Westlake Village, California resident to put her form and finesse at center stage. Several rounds later, Jorczak stole the show as well as the first place position, bumping Sokolow into second place.
Julia Nickl rounded out the top three aboard her own 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Zurich. The duo was the last of the top three riders to try their hand at the course. Having the advantage of watching numerous riders pilot their way around the track and noting problem areas, the pair focused on making it down the lines in the correct number of strides while also maintaining correct position and form. They made a valiant effort but were not able to eclipse the top two riders, settling for third place.
Equitation competition continues at the Temecula Valley National Premier II, presented by Interactive Mortgage Saturday, May 1, with the CPHA Foundation WCE Medal 1.10m, as well as the conclusion of the WIHS Equitation. Jumper riders also take to the ring for the week’s highlight class – the $40,000 Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Katie Jorczak – ASPCA Maclay Winner
On the class:
“I am really happy with my performance. I really tried to go in, put my leg on, and go forward. It worked out for the best, and I am just really proud of G-Star. He was a really good boy today. The course was set up nicely, although there were some big plants at the bottom of some of the fences and I think the horses were backing off of them. At the base, going through that one stride, you just had to squeeze a little bit, but overall I think it was a really great course.”
On her partnership with G-Star:
“I have had him since the beginning of the year so he is relatively new to me, but he takes really good care of me, and I am really happy with how our partnership is going. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes us!”
On her areas of improvement:
“I really have been working on staying forward and keeping my horse in front of my leg, and just thinking about the track and following my plan. I think through the bending lines I really need to make sure I use my track correctly and leave enough room in the lines so that I do not overshoot the next jump. That is something I will definitely be working on.”
On her equitation career:
“I am 16 years old, and I am now riding at Elvenstar in Moorpark with Jim Hagman. I have been there for about six months now and it is going really great. This is my first year really doing the big equitation. I did a little bit last year, but this is the first year I am really trying to go for the equitation finals. I am hoping that we can do that and maybe go to indoors, but we will see how that goes. I love the equitation because it really makes you think about your track. It makes you think about your horse and yourself and it really preps you for the jumper rings and other rings. It is really great that you get to work on your horsemanship too.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“I came here a couple of years ago and we love it here. It is so peaceful and everybody has been so nice. It is a completely different environment and we just love it.”
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. G-star / Katie Jorczak / CNC-OLO Farm LLC
2. Incandescent / Gabrielle Sokolow / Gabrielle Sokolow
3. Zurich / Julia Nickl /Julia Nickl
4. Anthem / Aedan Mooney / Brannon Loomis Mooney
5. F-8 / Hanna Meyer / Hanna Meyer
6. Wesley’s Theory / Ellie Kurtz / Ellie Kurtz
7. Herradura / Julia Smirnow / Skylark Equestrian LLC
8. Ludovic / Amand / Kristy Miller