Wellington, FL - March 19, 2013 -
Any rider competing in equitation for his or her first time at the Winter Equestrian Festival would likely be happy to get one win or a few good ribbons, but in her first WEF appearance, sixteen-year-old Caitlin has been unstoppable. In the past three weeks alone, Caitlin's remarkably consistent accomplishments have included:
- Back-to-back overall wins in the WIHS Equitation classes, with scores in the 90's in both the hunter and jumper phases of the class.
- A first place finish in the extremely competitive ASPCA Maclay class during week seven and an impressive second place in the same class the very next week.
- Breaking the top five in the WIHS national standings.
And those top finishes just scratch the surface of Caitlin's achievements this circuit. She's continually been in the highest ribbons nearly every time out in nearly every equitation class she enters. Be it the Maclay, WIHS Equitation or the Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal classes, Caitlin has risen to the top.
|Caitlin Boyle and Loredo
"The first couple of weeks she got her feet wet, and then she just kind of lit it on fire," father and trainer Patrick Boyle shared excitedly. "She's just been so consistent and riding so solidly, it's been really fun. There have been little mistakes here and there, but it's just been like every class, every day - solid."
Success like Caitlin's does not just happen over night. It takes the right horse, the right trainer, a little bit of luck and an overwhelming amount of hard work, patience and dedication.
"Caitlin received a solid foundation in the principles of good riding from her Chicago based trainer, Kim Gardiner," relates Katie Kappler, a trainer at Messenger Hill Farm who is assisting father Patrick with Caitlin's WEF coaching.
"She started knocking at the door with a ribbon at regionals and a callback at the Maclay Finals." Kappler continued "All the building blocks were there. She had the instincts, she had the training, and she was willing to put the work in. She just needed for everything to fall into place and it would be a perfect storm and she would be unstoppable. Chance favors a prepared mind."
The right horse came in the form of Loredo, a 17.2 hand warmblood, with whom Caitlin shares a special bond, and competed with the 2012 Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals and the 2012 ASPCA Maclay Finals. "She's the kind of kid that every animal loves. No matter what she rides they just seem to bond with her, but this horse and her - they are the perfect match," Patrick explained. "He will do anything for her, and she trusts him with everything."
In the ring, Loredo makes Caitlin work hard to deliver their winning rounds. Outside of the ring, the horse could be mistaken as an oversize family pet. "He makes her ride. He's not push button, and you've got to do your homework on him," Patrick explained. "She gets him prepared well, and he just loves her. You should see these two. She'll sit in the stall and do her homework, and he's sitting there with his head up on her lap. It's goofy and hysterical."
Caitlin doesn't have to go far to find the other part of her winning team. As owner of Showplace Productions and with an extensive equestrian background, her father Patrick has trained her extensively and helped her to move up the ranks to where she is today. Like Caitlin and Loredo's, the bond she shares with her dad is a special one.
"We've got the best relationship," Patrick said. "This is something that I know how to do, but with your daughter it's different. It just seems like it's never been an issue though. It's perfect. We thrive off of each other and just have fun."
Patrick admits to being intense and competitive, but that's also what makes the relationship dynamic work so well and what keeps Caitlin striving to do even better. She loves the challenge, and there's no bar or hurdle that her dad puts down that Caitlin hasn't soared over.
"In the jumpers, I'll say things like 'well, you're not going to go as fast as that one. I'll be happy for third.' She'll say 'what are you talking about? We can beat that!'" Patrick joked. "I think from day one when she was like eight, that she's just thrived on that challenge. It's a cool thing to watch. She's just really taken it to a whole other level confidence wise."
Caitlin's confidence is the kind that comes after hours and hours of hard work put in to her riding and knowing that with dedication she can be a force to be reckoned with. Caitlin balances school and riding, and every day she can be found in their barn in Illinois, riding as many horses as she can, striving to be better.
"The hard work is finally paying off. She's been working her butt off for years to get to this level. It's one of those things where it just kind of turns a corner and it all comes together," Patrick concluded.
Caitlin's equitation placings have earned her a slot in the George Morris Excellence of Equitation class during WEF 11. Caitlin's goal is to win the class before returning home to Chicago to prepare for the summer show season.
Photo Credit: Caitlin Boyle and Loredo competing the equitation at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo By: SportFot. Photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.