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ReadySupp Boss on Her Emotional Rolex Experience

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Katherine and Courage Under Fire in action at Rolex

When asked to describe the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day-Event ReadySupp’s co-founder and Managing Director Katherine Coleman had two words, “Totes emosh!”.

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Katherine with her sisters

The 32 year old New Orleans native returned home to compete on home turf for the first time since leaving for England and chose the biggest challenge of her career yet to do it.

Katherine left the US five years ago to pursue an eventing career and was thrilled to return under the bright lights of Rolex for her first four star challenge with her 13 year old ISH mare Courage Under Fire (Meg).

“I wasn’t even sure we’d get to go to Rolex until the week before. Meg fell in quarantine, she pulled two shoes off in the cross country at Carolina and it wasn’t looking hopeful. The she ran well at The Fork finishing 5th in the advanced so we thought we’d give it a go!”, Coleman said.

“The event was emotional, being away from home for five years and then returning to ride at Rolex after all the hard work made it really special”.

With the support of nearly 40 riding friends and many family members including her mother, father and sisters, Coleman admitted feeling the pressure of such a big event, but once underway acknowledged that ‘it was more fun to have everyone all there!”.

The Kentucky Horse trials, which has been running since 1976 at the Horse Park and is now in it’s 40th year is the USA’s most formidable 3DE and is key to US team selection (particularly for World Championship and Olympic Teams), which is ultimately Coleman’s long-term goal.

kat_deressageOn day one of Rolex, “The dressage was a little disappointing, it wasn’t a great test but we were unlucky to go very early on, she bucked in a change and swished her tail a lot but was not as tense as some other horses, if we had gone on Friday it might have been slightly more favourable.” Coleman said.

The cross country was a different story. “Meg was awesome, she was on a mission! We had been having a few issues with corners so I was a bit worried when I saw there were five on the course! I’m not going to lie, I was nervous and we’d had a few stops in training over skinny brushes and we had a runout the day before the cross country so it was nerve wracking. On the day we just jumped some big oxers and then went!

We had a bit of an unfortunate time in the start box as we didn’t hear the starter, no one shouted for us and we were walking around for a minute or so. I still don’t know what happened but several other riders complained of starter issues there, so I don’t just put it down to a rooky error. That was a bit of a shame.

The horse was amazing on the course, she has such a big heart. After we jumped that last corner I thought “We’re going to jump clear!”, and I took my leg off a little and relaxed, then we had a run out at a seemingly straight forward fence! A big learning curve for me, but I was thrilled with her otherwise foot perfect round.” she said.Kat_xc

Katherine upped sticks and took her team to Florida in February this year in order to prepare for Rolex and in the run-up kept a busy schedule training and competing. Longwood, Katherine’s plucky 3* horse really benefitted from his time at Ocala show jumping at a venue with a big atmosphere and is now jumping more clears than ever.

Coleman was impressed with the scene in Florida, “Especially at Ocala, where the million dollar showjumping festival really draws everyone there for winter.”

While in the USA her other horses had some encouraging results across several states with two wins at Rockingham in the Novice and Pre-Novice, a 7th in the 3* at Carolina Horse Park (as one of only two inside the time), a 4th in the CIC1* and a 9th in the CIC3* (finishing on her dressage score) at The Fork. Two of Katherine’s horses didn’t run at The Fork as the ground was so hard and she said, “There were also several horses who ran at The Fork who didn’t run at Rolex as a result of the hard ground. I don’t know why they weren’t watering or aerating the ground, that would have helped.”

Several good results on home turf pre-Rolex have put Katherine in good stead for Nations Cup selection, which she is hopeful for at Houghton in May with her bay gelding Longwood.

Now the team, including super groom Caz Hewer, are back in the UK and focused on events in this country and Europe, although with only five days of rain during their entire trip in the USA Hewer is no doubt dreaming of a return to The Sunshine State.


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