Heading into the jump-off for the 1.40m Welcome at Thunderbird Show Park’s Western Family show, 19-year-old Brooke Morin (USA) knew she had a tough act to follow. Second to jump over Joey Rycroft’s (CAN) shortened course, Morin’s coach Kyle King (USA) had set a tough standard and was leading the class.
But after his round, King turned his attention to his student and gave her insight on which she’d capitalize.
“He told me a few places to be more efficient, and I took that into consideration. I was happy he told me that!” Morin exclaimed.
She rode Strasburg Morin’s NKH Carrido to the top of the class with a winning time of 37.57 seconds, relegating her coach to second (38.25 seconds) aboard I. Zapo. Katie Kruger (CAN) finished third with Goodwill VB (38.54).
“[King] told me that [between the first two jumps], I could leave out a stride to be more efficient,” Morin explained, “and from the third-to-last to the second-to-last [jump], I could get more of a gallop and be more fluid [than he was].
“I was really happy with my turn from [jumps] one to two. I took his advice, and it worked out well,” she added. “I got a gallop to all the places that I could.”
Morin (Orange County, CA) is spending her first summer season in Canada and entered the Western Family off of her first five-star 1.50m competition at Spruce Meadows, where the pair took three top 10 finishes. Jumping successfully at the level translated to a strong boost in confidence on course.
“It went so well [in Spruce]. I was so happy,” Morin said. “It definitely gave me more confidence to be out on a big field, jumping big courses. I was confident, but [the course] was not easy, for sure.”
Morin has been partnered for “Cody” for two years, and the two have climbed the levels together, from the junior jumpers to the international show jumping ranks. After the Western Family, the gelding will remain in Canada to stable with King, while Morin will spend some time at home in California before returning to tbird in August.
“Cody is just the most amazing horse I’ve ever ridden,” Morin said. “We have a really good connection. He trusts me a lot, and I trust him. It’s all gone pretty well.”
$5,000 1.40m Welcome
1. NKH Carrido / Brooke Morin / USA / Strasburg Morin Inc. / 0/0 37.57
2. I. Zapo / Kyle King / USA / Greg Tomb / 0/0 38.25
3. Goodwill VB / Katie Kruger / CAN / Caledonia Stables / 0/0 38.54
4. Chafleur / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / Katie Harris / 0/0 40.62
5. Jericho / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / Thunderbird Show Park Ltd / 0/0 44.54
6. Coradina Z / Zoe Conlee / USA / Zoe Conlee / 0/4 37.28
7. Chic D Emma Z / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / 0/8 36.77
8. Coffee to Go / Kyle King / USA / Spruce Meadows Ltd / 4 78.85
9. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Cheryl Keith / 4 79.83
10. Crown Royal / Hayley Mercer / CAN / Hayley Mercer / 4 80.07