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Karl Slezak Does 'Rather Well' at Maui Jim Horse Trials
Wayne, IL, USA
Photos: Anthony Trollope/RedBayStock.com

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Karl Slezak and Rather Well
Karl Slezak of Tottenham, ON claimed the Advanced division and was the top placed Canadian in the CIC3* division at the Maui Jim Horse Trials, held July 6 - 9 in Wayne, USA.

In the Advanced Division, Slezak rode Janette Leask's 10-year-old Thoroughbred stallion, Rather Well to a dressage score of 38.3, putting the duo in seventh place. After adding just 7.2 time faults to their score in cross-country, they moved up to a third place tie. Four show jumping faults brought their final score to 49.5, and earned them the first place ribbon.

"Rather Well has a heart of gold and he tries harder than any other horse I've ridden," commented Slezak.

"I was thrilled with Rather Well. It was his first time at the Advanced level and Karl did a brilliant job with him, making it look very easy and very comfortable," said owner, Janette Leask, who went on to explain that Slezak has brought the horse along from Pre-Training all the way to the Advanced level. "The fact that Rather Well performed so well is a testament to Karl's work with him."

Fellow Canadian, Jessica Ferguson-Phoenix of Uxbridge, ON placed fifth in the Advanced division, earning a final score of 57.5 with her 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Exploring.

Riding John Rumble's 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding Foxwood Spencer, in the CIC 3* division, Slezak again found himself in third place after scoring 46 in dressage. Next up was cross-country where the pair received no jumping faults and just three time faults, giving them the lead. Despite 16 show jumping faults, the pair ended with an impressive final score of 64, securing their fourth place finish.

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Kelli McMullen-Temple and Paris II
"Although I was happy overall, I was a little disappointed with our show jumping," explained Slezak.

Next in line was Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON who finished seventh. Riding the 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Paleface, owned by his mother, Kelly Plitz, Waylon's dressage score of 57.1 put him tied for 18th place. However, after a solid cross-country ride that added no jumping, and just 7.6 time faults, the pair moved up to 11th place. With just one rail falling from the cups in the show jumping phase to add four faults, the duo secured seventh place with a final score of 68.7.

"I was really pleased with Paleface. We had one of our best dressage tests ever, thanks to a lot of help from David O'Connor," explained Waylon. "I was a little nervous going into cross-country, but he was very good, especially at the water."

Kelli McMullen-Temple, who currently resides in Round Hill, USA was close behind, finishing in 10th position aboard Paris II, the nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding she co-owns with Bob and Christine Stiller, and who will be her WEG mount in Aachen, Germany this August.

After their brilliant dressage test earned a score of 40.8, the duo was in first position. Although no jumping faults were incurred during cross-country, 22.8 time faults knocked the pair down to ninth place. It was 'vice versa' in show jumping when they added no time, but 8 jumping faults, bringing their final score to 71.6.

Ian Roberts, Waylon's father claimed 11th place, also riding his WEG mount, Napalm, the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding he co-owns with his wife and Tracey Newman. After finishing tied for 30th place in Dressage with a score of 62.6, the pair moved up to 18th place after adding just 9.2 time faults in cross-country. A clear show jumping round brought the duo up to their final 11th place position with a score of 71.8.

The final finisher for the Canadian contingent in the CIC3* division was Wendy Southam of Stouffville, ON who placed 18th with a final score of 85.3 aboard her 14-year-old Zangersheide mare, Ruba Z. The CIC3* was won by American Elisa Wallace, who had a final score of 58.1 with Jackson.

In the CIC2* division, Ryan Goss of Puslinch, ON placed 12th with Jus D'Orange, the 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding he co-owns with Alan Shinton. The CIC1* division saw Lindsay Mahon of Schomberg, ON finish 23rd with his 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Not Your Average Joe.


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