Katie Laurie Rises from Down Under to Win $50,000 CSI2* Grand Prix
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 $50,000 Brown Advisory CSI2* Grand Prix 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. Vanessa Mannix (CAN) set an early time to beat of 36.46 seconds with Valentino D’Elte, finishing second. Third place was awarded to Skylar Wireman (USA) and Citoki, decorating the podium with three nations.
“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.”
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 CSI5* level.