Traverse City, Michigan, USA – June 18, 2023 – Katie Dinan (USA) first came to Traverse City in 2008 when she was riding ponies. Since then, she’s collected many honors at the international level of show jumping. Yet, it was with her longtime partner Brego R’N B that she clinched her first major Sunday Grand Prix victory in the $145,100 4G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI 3*.
“I’m super happy for Brego,” said Dinan. “He’s had amazing results around the world but this is our first Sunday Grand Prix win. He really deserves it so I’m happy it came together today.”
Dinan was one of seven to navigate Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first-round track clear during the Traverse City Spring Horse Shows, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. She also had two mounts in the jump-off, giving her an extra edge. With Daniel Bluman (ISR) first to go on eight-year-old Corbie V.V.Z ET, owned by Over The Top Stables LLC, the pace was set fast as the World Championship rider clocked in at 35.62 seconds.
Dinan took to the course on her first ride, Dijon Terdoorn Z, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC. She aimed to trim as much time as possible but finished in 35.70 seconds, just slightly off the pace. “Daniel Bluman is such a fast rider,” Dinan remarked. “When I saw him go first I thought, ‘That’s going to be really hard to beat.’ I thought it was pretty fast with Dijon. There were one or two places I could have ridden a little better and I was just off Daniel’s time.”
Going last with Brego R’N B, also owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, she felt she had nothing to lose.
“Brego is a horse that can go really fast if you ride him the right way,” she explained. “He has a really big stride, he’s very brave, and I knew I had to find a balance of trying to win but also staying cool and not doing something that wasn’t necessary. With him I try to remember how much joy I have riding him and how to ride the best for him.”
Dinan did just enough with her 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Namelus R x Gerlinus). Her time of 35.59 seconds edged Bluman out of the winner’s circle, putting him in second and taking first and third for herself.
“I’ve had him for five years,” Dinan said of her special relationship with Brego. “I feel so fortunate for our whole team. His groom, Lou Beudin, has taken care of him since we got him, and my coach, Beat Mändli – it’s a testament to them and their program that I have a 17-year-old jumping in these classes and feeling as good as he feels. I’m really lucky.”
They’ve conquered major grand prix classes and championships across the globe together, but the win in Traverse City still feels extremely special to Dinan. The pair has finished in the ribbons in CSI 5* events, but Dinan admits that speed is something she’s finally trusting herself with.
“He has a really big stride and he can make sharp turns. He’s not a horse that looks like he’s going super fast but if you’re efficient and you ride smart he could be just as fast as any of them. The last two years I’ve figured that out.
“He’s a horse we usually save for the big classes,” she continued of Brego. “It’s not like I’m practicing going fast on him all the time. The only time we go fast is in a jump-off, so I’m always happy to be in them and now I’m working every time on riding him as best as possible.”
Having a partnership like theirs with all the experience and still reaching new milestones is something that Dinan does not take for granted. “It gives me extra confidence going in the ring because he knows his job. He’s a horse that won’t ever let you down. These courses can be challenging enough even with that, so when you know you have a horse that’s always on your side, it makes it a lot easier. I try to enjoy all the time I have with him,” she reflected.
“I’ve been coming to Traverse City since 2021,” Dinan continued about returning to the Flintfields Horse Park. “The footing is excellent. The facility puts the horses and riders first and that makes a huge difference to us as competitors. Every year they make improvements which is something we really appreciate. Every year the show gets better and better. It’s always a huge honor to win here.”
CSI 3* competition continues during the third and final week of the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, beginning Wednesday.
Final Results – $145,100 4G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI 3*
1) Katie Dinan (USA) & Brego R’N B – 0 / 0 – 35.59
2) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Corbie V.V.Z ET – 0 / 0 – 35.62
3) Katie Dinan (USA) & Dijon Terdoorn Z – 0 / – 35.7
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography