Thermal, California, USA – February 05, 2023 – Katie Laurie (AUS) arrived in the desert during Desert Circuit IV in winning fashion. Her first week proved fruitful for her, taking the win Sunday in the $50,000 Brown Advisory Grand Prix CSI 2* aboard Carissa McCall’s Cera Caruso.
Alan Wade (IRL) built a course suitable for a talented field of 27 international athletes, and ultimately 10 of them were able to jump it clear. In a stacked jump-off, Laurie was able to ride closer to the end, but she knew she still had some quick pairs following her.
In the end, only three pairs produced double-clear rounds, and of those, Laurie was the quickest, jumping the short course in 35.70 seconds.
“I’ve ridden ‘Elvis’ for a long time,” Laurie remarked of Cera Caruso. “They’re really good owners of mine: Mike and Carissa McCall from New Zealand. He’s quite the character. He’s pretty wild in the warmup, but he always gives it everything in the ring, so he’s a very trustworthy great partner. He’s so quiet at home but he’s so excited at the horse show.”
Vanessa Mannix (CAN) set an early time to beat of 36.46 seconds with Valentino d’Elte, finishing second due to this time and leaving all the poles up too.
Third place was awarded to Skylar Wireman (USA) and Citoki, due to their clean scorecard and a final time of 38.70 seconds.
For Laurie, the strategy with the 15-year-old Australian Warmblood (Casall x Capone) is simple, and they’ve opted to let him go his own way with less equipment, including no martingale. “He’s easy in the ring,” she continued. “I keep it very simple. He likes to go his own way so I just leave him to it. He likes to clear the jumps and that’s the main thing. The type of horses have changed a bit; they’re a bit smaller and faster and lighter, and it suits them to go that way.”
Despite being quite easy in most ways, Elvis likes to add some flair when Laurie and her team least expect it. “He’s an escapee in the stables,” she joked. “If you’re slow with the door, he escapes, and if he’s out he knows he’s not meant to be so he just runs.”
Laurie, originally from New Zealand, made the move with her family to Canada almost exactly three years ago, allowing them to escape the cold and spend a good bit of time in the desert, where Laurie and Elvis have won at the CSI 5* level.
“There are so many things,” she said about her fondness of DIHP. “The rings are great, there’s so much space to go hack, and they make it really nice and friendly for competitors. There are a lot of things to like here.”
Laurie, mother of two, knows her kids’ upbringing is looking vastly different from her own back in New Zealand, but she’s enjoying every step of the journey, allowing them to explore new activities and enjoy their surroundings. “They do a lot of different things,” she said of her kids’ activities. “They love skiing; that’s their new thing. The rodeo scene where we are is big, so they’ve done a few junior days. Who knows where that will go. They do the goat tying and untying, and barrel racing and stuff. We do have a goat now named Pumpkin.”
Final Results – $50,000 Brown Advisory Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Katie Laurie (AUS) & Cera Caruso: 2008 AWHA gelding by Casall x Capone, Katie Laurie – 0 / 0 – 35.70
2) Vanessa Mannix (CAN) & Valentino d’Elte: 2009 SF gelding by Castronom Z De Hus x Windsor, Vanessa Mannix – 0 / 0 –36.46
3) Skylar Wireman (USA) & Citoki: 2006 HOLST gelding by Catoki x Chambertin, Shayne Wireman – 0 / 0 – 38.70
4) Robert Blanchette (IRL) & Chardonnay: 2011 WESTF mare by Comme Il Faut x Jus De Pomme, RTS LLC – 0 / 4 – 37.52
5) Kyle King (USA) & Odysseus: 2011 AHHA gelding by Osilvis x Riverman, Patricia Vasey – 0 / 4 – 37.63
6) Zoe Brown (USA) & CHASE: 2007 HOLST gelding by Colman x Coriander, Harley Brown Equestrian, Inc. – 0 / 4 –44.58
7) Savannah Jenkins (USA) & Comrado: 2011 DSP gelding by Como 25 x Coronado 3, Proper 12, LLC – 0 / 8 – 37.63
8) Chandler Meadows (USA) & CASIANO: 2014 Anglo European gelding by Casino Berlin x Iroko , Chandler Meadows: 0/12/38.36
9) Ali Ramsay (CAN) & Conrado 12: 2013 ZANG gelding by Cardento x Diarado, Ramsay Equestrian LLC – 0 / 19 – 61.12
10) Skylar Wireman (USA) & D-Laloma: 2008 KWPN mare by Colandro x Quidam De Revel, Shayne Wireman: 0/WD
11) Tracey Epp (CAN) & Quaoruce B: 2014 OS stallion by Quaprice Bois Margot x Indoctro , Tracey Epp – 1 – 82.52
12) Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) & Asquinelle: 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Centaurus x Feliciano, Emily Fitzgerald – 3 – 84.59
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas for Desert International Horse Park (DIHP)
Photos: © DIHP / HD – High Desert Photo / TB – Tori Bilas Photography / MG / ON