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Local Young Rider Claims Colorado Horse Park CCI*
Parker, CO, USA
Anisa Tracy
The Colorado Horse Park CCI* Three Day Event victory gallop was led by 17-year-old Anisa Tracy of Parker, Colorado. The local young rider bested a field of professionals and other experienced adults after three days of intense competition that included dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. Finishing second was her sister, 14-year-old Kendyl Tracy. The sisters have now qualified for the North American Young Riders Championships (NAYRC) to be held later this summer.

"For us it is competing WITH each other, not against each other," Anisa said. She rode her eight-year-old Throughbred/Warmblood gelding Tigger and led the event from start to finish. Kendyl collected her red ribbon aboard Mr. Incredible, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred retrained for eventing after a first career at the racetrack. The sisters, along with other Area IX young riders, were coached by Pan American Team Gold Medalist Jan Byyny, a former Colorado resident who now calls Virginia home. Byyny will coach the Area IX young riders at the NAYRC. "I am thrilled that the girls qualified today," she said. The Tracy sisters will now head back east to work with Olympic medalists David and Karen O' Connor for a week.

Byyny praised the new courses at The Colorado Horse Park, designed by Olympic gold Medalist David O'Connor and built by the internationally recognized Greg Schlappi. "These courses are comparable to the east and west coast courses. This raises the level competition...they've really raised the bar as far as competitions with this event," she said.

Third placed rider Vicky Koss, from Haley, Idaho, echoed this sentiment. "Everything has been improved so much, I cannot believe it," she said. Koss had attended events at the park in the past, but hadn't been to Colorado in several years. She continued, "It is beautifully built. The footing has improved 100%! As riders, we are very grateful for this. Helen [Krieble, the founder of the park] is one of the great benefactors of the inter-mountain west. She is amazing and we all benefit."

Koss rode her homebred seven-year-old gray mare Look Sweet, who is by Welton Crackerjack, the only stallion to sire three different four-star event winners. "It's very fun to take them right from the beginning," said Koss, who is responsible for breaking the young horses and getting them around their first events before she passes them off to her son to compete at the higher levels of eventing.

Finishing in fourth and fifth place with Woodrow and So Quick respectively, was Steamboat Springs resident Holly Hillenbrand, another NARYC candidate. "I think this event is really going to grow," she said. "The new courses were amazing and built really, really well." O'Connor and Schlappi incorporated Colorado-themed designs into the track, including the most popular spectator jump, the Indian Village, complete with three tipis.

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