Elite Equestrian magazine September October 2020 issue

Page 40

�������� “NO HOLD BACK” in Pandemic Year! Kat Fuqua jumps from Hunters to Dressage with ease, and in her words talks about training her Champion Junior Hunters Consent, Grand Remo, Cornell22, and competing her Dressage Mare, DreamGirl.

Trainer Jason Canton finds Dream Girl in Holland and takes Kat to qualify for FEI Children’s Dressage Championship and Second and Third Level Regional Championships, and to earn the USDF Bronze Medal with scores in the 70s. Photo by Meg McGuire

About Kat… The thirteen year old, and four-time USEF Horse of the Year Champion, from Atlanta, was born to Grand Prix Dressage parents, and major sponsors of equine sports through their farm, Collecting Gaits. The little girl began sitting on her miniature ponies given as gifts at her one year old birthday, and has never stopped. Kat has racked up a list of national championship accolades that rival that of many full time professionals. She has won well over 225 division championships with her hunter ponies and horses since she started showing at age five.

EQUINE Lifestyle

Since 2014, she began learning to jump ponies with Mindy Darst, a well respected USEF Hunter & Pony Judge in Wellington, FL. United States Hunter Jumper Association started ranking Kat every year since 2015 for their Zone Horse of the Year awards for her multiple ponies and hunters. By 2018, United States Equestrian Federation awarded Five Horse of the Year awards and Grand Champion and Reserve Champion to Kat for her Large Pony Brighton, Medium Pony Finesse RF, Small JR Hunter under 15 RS Levitation, and Leading Pony Hunter Owner for the second year in a row.

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By Spring 2019 after taking home top ribbons from the indoor circuit over the years including Championships at Washington International & USEF Pony Finals, Kat hired the Hunter/Jumper Big EQ Judge and Champion himself, Jimmy Torano to polish her skills. Jimmy was instrumental in training Kat to Champion at the 2019 Pony Medal competition and to Champion for the second time at USEF Pony Finals with Prestige. Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) of Wellington awarded multiple Circuit Championship awards for the past four years including Equitation Rider under eleven, when Kat was just nine years old. Already in 2020 Jimmy

Kat with Cornell22 Champion Small Junior Hunter under 15 & Consent Reserve Champion with Trainer Jimmy Torano at 2020 WEF World Champion Hunter Rider Week. Photo by Lindsay Brown

takes Kat to win 19 division championships at JR Hunters and ponies, and is ranked 2nd in the country for World Champion Hunter Rider, and her top hunters ranked first and second, as of August 13th, third for her large pony. While her heart is in jumping, her mother focused her skills on good flat riding. “I have always made certain that Kat’s foundation is dressage based. I Even hired our family friend, Bronze Medal Olympian, Michelle Gibson to help her in 2015. When I met World Cup Grand Prix Jumper Jimmy (Torano) in 2019, and watched him ride, I knew this was the guy who good teach my daughter.” says Shereen Fuqua.

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