March Update

Hello to everyone!

This month has been a long but very exciting one. I am fresh off my first ever CIC*** win at Carolina International aboard my newest ride, The Apprentice, otherwise known in the barn as Dirk. As always I can’t thank my team, including my parents, my coach Leslie Law, my staff, including Sally Robertson who received the groom of the year of the award this past weekend and of course my sponsors! Without all of the continuous support we would have a hard time accomplishing the goals we have set out to achieve this year.

 Caroline and The Apprentice at the Carolina CIC3*. Photo by Jenni Autry/EN

Caroline and The Apprentice at the Carolina CIC3*. Photo by Jenni Autry/EN

The month began with a trip to Tallahassee Florida, to compete at Red Hills International in the first FEI and big event of the year. I had Dirk, Gary (Cristiano Z), James (Islandwood Captain Jack), and Picture (Picture Perfect), all in the two star. It was my second show on Dirk and on an upward trend, he finished fifth in a big division with just 5.6 time penalties on xc to add. The other three all finished respectively in 6, 26, and 28, with it being all of their first run at the two star level. I couldn’t have asked for Gary to be more perfect coming in with one of the fastest times in the two star. Picture and James were both a bit more green resulting in jump penalties but gave me solid runs. It was Mouse’s (Danger Mouse), first three star and he was perfect. We had one run out in the third element in the water due to a huge jump in and a piloting error, but his finish gave me a new three star horse!

Just a short week later, we packed everything up again and headed to Raeford, NC for Carolina International and Under 25 lessons with Leslie to start the week. Dirk was beyond perfect, I am so excited for our future as a team! Paddy (Spring Easy) ran around his second event of the year and first big prep for Rolex.  Rory (Pebbly Maximus) and Landon (Effervescent) both had their first outings of the year in the Intermediate. They finished sixth and seventh with confidence building clear rounds.

The most exciting news of this month is that I have received the Karen Stives Developing Rider Grant to travel overseas to the Under 25 CCI*** at Bramham this year. 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 US Equestrian'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. This will be my second time competing overseas at Bramham and I cannot wait to return from a successful outing!

 Caroline and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USET

Caroline and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USET

Thank you again for everyone's support and commitment to my horses and I. Lets make this month better than the last. We are looking forward to competing at the Fork, Ocala International, Rolex Kentucky and shortly after that we will be back in Pennsylvania to ride at Jersey Fresh.

Caroline Martin