In the last six months, Aldergrove’s Kassidy Keith has felt a difference in her nine-year-old stallion, Fenelon WF.
The bay Irish Sport Horse took his first U25 win in August at tbird’s CSI2* Summer Fort Festival, and on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the CSI3* BCHJA Fall Finale at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park, he and his rider were again best in the CSIU25-A MarBill Hill U25 1.35m—the pair’s first foray into the FEI U25 division.
The duo comfortably crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ speed track more than four seconds in front (63.15) of runners-up Reid Pankewicz and Barack (67.21 seconds). Carly Stevens and VIP des Majuros were third (68.62).
“He’s really starting to follow me. He’s looking where he’s going now, [when] before he didn’t pay attention,” Keith said. “Our partnership has flourished over the last six months. He’s really turned out to be a very cool horse.”
On Friday, another strong performance by the pair at tbird saw them take second in that day’s CSIU25-A MarBill Hill U25 1.40m, less than a second behind winners Jarne Francken and Gogolinus.
READ ALSO: Aldergrove’s Kassidy Keith wins at tbird
Elsewhere, Langley-based rider Kyle King and 9-year-old Ittolo swept right to the top of the leaderboard on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the CSI3* tbird 1.40m.
Last to go in the 33-horse field, the pair crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ speed course in a much-the-best time of 56.09 seconds. James Chawke and Gamble finished second (58.55 seconds), just ahead of Conor Swail and Nadal Hero & DB (58.71).
The win marked the first FEI victory of Ittolo’s career; the bay made his international debut exactly a year ago in Langley.
“I got [Ittolo] two winters ago,” King said. “Last year, I rode him in this same class, and he got a ribbon. We moved up really fast—maybe too fast. He’s bold and brave, but the ride-ability wasn’t really there.”
Some calculated moves up and down the levels for Ittolo have resulted in a more confident, mature, responsive horse, nicknamed the “Honey Badger” in the barn. The athletic bay—“a character,” as King says—is full of happy, excitable energy and usually gets his way.
The five-day BCHJA Fall Finale concludes the annual FEI calendar in Langley on Sunday, Sept 24.
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