Thermal, California, USA – February 16, 2023 – Elisa Broz (USA) just can’t stop winning, and specifically, winning the $30,000 FarmVet Open Classic 1.45m. During Desert Circuit VI, she made her third victory in the class that much more convincing, clocking in five full seconds faster than the second-place competitor. The second-place duo was Conor Swail (IRL), we might add, and he was not slow. With her 13-year-old mare Tinkerbell, Broz could not come close to being caught, despite the immense horsepower and top riders that followed her.
Broz’s immediate post-round thoughts were, “I am so thankful for Tink. She is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to have her. My coach always does a great job. I am just thankful.”
She had natural footspeed on her side, but throughout the entire round she did exactly what she had to do to be as fast as possible. “I just go out there and do my best,” she said of her speed-round strategy. “The plan was to be really tight in the corners. There were lots of rollbacks. I know by the end of it she’s usually pretty naturally fast and has a big stride, so I just let her go.”
Conor Swail (IRL) and Casturano, a newer but promising mount for the Irishman, claimed second place in fault-free fashion too, doing so in 68.902 seconds.
Kyle King (USA) secured third with Cerolino, owned by Strasburg Morin Inc, completing their clean round in 69.916 seconds.
Speed has always been the name of the game for Broz, who took to the jumpers on a small mare early in her career.
“I have always loved speed,” she said. “I was about 12 or 13 when I got my first jumper. I started in the hunters and then equitation. My first jumper was quite small and fast. I think I always knew that jumpers would be something I wanted to do. I told my coach I wanted a jumper and got hooked.”
The partnership with Tinkerbell wasn’t always perfect, but lately it’s been nothing but smooth. “When I first got her I had absolutely no control,” she laughed. “She was wild and my first round on her she was guns-a-blazing. It took some time, and finding the right bit was helpful. She has lots of heart and loves speed.
“She’s naturally very fast and a total dragon in the ring, but she’s the sweetest horse in the barn. She loves her naps. She’s on a [nap] schedule every morning,” Broz said of Tinkerbell.
With a start in the equitation, Broz credits that experience for preparing her to thrive under pressure. Earning countless wins at the top level, Broz is working her way up the DIHP open jumper rider leaderboard, and she took her first Grand Prix CSI 3* win last week.
“I think the equitation really helped me with pressure and to always remember to have fun,” she remarked of her strategy for performing well despite the pressure. “That’s the mindset I stay in. Obviously there is more pressure in certain competitions and fun isn’t the first you think of, but you have to remember that you’re here for the horses and because you love it. You trust the plan you make with your coach and the training you do at home.”
Final Results – $30,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic
1) Elisa Broz (USA) & Tinkerbell / Elisa Broz – 0 – 63.943
2) Conor Swail (IRL) & Casturano / Conor Swail – 0 – 68.902
3) Kyle King (USA) & Cerolino / Strasburg Morin Inc. – 0 – 69.916
4) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Feyon / SWS Training & Sales – 0 – 72.931
5) McKenna Norris (USA) & Billy Nala / McKenna Norris – 0 – 74.443
6) Samara Heinrichs Prak (CAN) & Peninsula Swanky / Samara Heinrichs Prak – 0 – 75.589
7) Katherine Huffstutler (USA) & Hanakine / Katherine Huffstutler – 0 – 76.718
8) Jim Ifko (CAN) & Un Diamant Des Forets / Eventyre Farms Ltd. – 1 – 82.298
9) Alison Robitaille (USA) & Jikke-Cara / Alison Firestone LLC – 1 – 82.298
10) Jamie Gornall (USA) & Chacco’s Fleur PS / Jamie Gornall – 3 – 84.465
11) Kyle King (USA) & SIG Chiari / SIG International Inc. – 4 – 67.812
12) James Chawke (IRL) & Gamble / James Chawke – 4 – 70.025
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas for Desert International Horse Park (DIHP)
Photos: © DIHP / HD – High Desert Photo / MG / ON