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Get to know the 2015 Pan American Game Hopefuls from Team Slezak

It’s no secret that it takes hardwork, talent and a little bit of luck to be short-listed for the Canadian Team. This year, we’re proud to introduce not one, but two of our horses who have been short-listed for the games. Fernhill Dutch Design ridden by Karl and Fernhill Cascum Marco who is ridden by Katlyn Hewson. Both of these horse and rider combinations have had incredible fall, winter and spring seasons, have caught the eye of the team selectors and are headed to their last selection trial this week at the beautiful Bromont CCI***, where they will run the CIC** along with the rest of the horses short-listed for the team.

Both Karl and Katlyn have been listed in the  “Top Ten” most likely to be officially named to the team where they noted Karl as one of the most talented and experienced riders in the country with 70 FEI event starts and stated that while Katlyn has just completed her career first CCI2* in April, her and Fernhill Cascum Marco have been in top form all season and with their continued consistent high performance the selectors may not be able to deny them a place on the team.

While we hope they’re right when they say, “It will not be a shock if Karl is standing on the podium with an individual medal hanging from his neck this July at the Pan Ams.” We are already incredibly proud of these two horse and rider combinations and wanted to take a minute to introduce you to the ever cheeky and confident personalities of Fernhill Dutch Design and Fernhill Cascum Marco through two short “interviews” straight from the horses mouth….(and with a little help from Katlyn)


Introducing DD (Fernhill Dutch Design)

Fernhill Dutch Design enjoying his favourite daytime activity: relaxing in the field!

Where were you born? I was born in the Netherlands

When did you come to North America? I came to Florida from Ireland right before Christmas in 2013

What are your parent’s names? My Dad’s name is Vaillant and my Mom’s name is Ulaika

What is you favourite phase? Cross-Country of course!

Who are your best friends? Arctic Law and Yoshi who are my paddock-mates

What is your favourite daytime activity? Laying flat out in my paddock enjoying a sunny afternoon at home.

What are your nicknames? Mr. Deeds, D’s, Double D or Tweedle Dee.

What do you love about Karl? He always gives me tons of mints when I’m good!! I’m being a good boy now, I think…..! Mint?

What are your dislikes? I really don’t like being left inside alone! I don’t want to miss out on anything. I’m also not fond of the ice boots on my legs! It’s cold and scary!

Do you have a girlfriend? No, I’m concentrating on my career right now

Do you think you will compete in the 2015 Pan American Games and why? Yes, I really hope I will be competing at the Pan Ams this summer! I’m pretty fancy and everyone loves my sexy legs! I always jump all of the jumps and sometimes I even practice my skills in the field. People come to my gate and tell me that I don’t need to practice but I like to think I am going above and beyond.


Introducing Marco (Fernhill Cascum Marco)

Fernhill Cascum Marco attempting to take off his Irish knit blanket after a bathWhere were you born? Ireland at Cascum Farms.

When did you come to North America? I came to Aiken South Carolina in November 2011.

What are your parent’s names? My Dad’s name is Shannondale Sarco and my Mom’s name is The Dancer.

What is you favourite phase? CROSS-COUNTRY!

What are your best friends names? My mom Katlyn is my best friend! I don’t need anyone else.


What is your favourite daytime activity? Eating grass in my paddock! I also like to stare across my paddock at the ladies next door!

What are your nicknames? My mom calls me gorgeous a lot! I also get called MARCO STOP a lot! I don’t know why? I’m only asking for more treats……..I think sometimes they call me Mr. Marco and Marco Pants.

What do you love about Katlyn? Everything! She spoils me and I get everything I want!

Do you think you will compete in the 2015 Pan America Games and why? Of course! I flick my toes really fancy when my mom asks and I jump really big! I also know that I need to go fast so sometimes when my mom asks me to slow down I don’t because I know better.

What are your dislikes? I HATE bugs! They drive me crazy!! I wear my special blankets so that they don’t bit me as bad. I also hate that I don’t get fed first! I deserve to have my food before everyone else!

Do you have a girlfriend? Not at the moment. All of the girls stare at me across their paddock though.

Stay tuned for news on the final team selection which will occur on June 8th following the completion of the CIC2** at Bromont. Thank you to all of our friends, family, sponsors and supporters who have helped us and cheered us (and the entire team) on at each event along the way.


Back in Action!

Hi Everyone,

KSE has successfully completed their first show of the season at Rocking Horse Horse Trials, the horses had a good first outing and Katlyn made a successful upgrade to intermediate on her horse Marco.  Currently we are looking forward to our next outing at the Ocala Horse Park this weekend.  Follow Karl, Katlyn, Emily and myself by keeping updated on www.evententries.com (http://www NULL.evententries NULL.com).

Speaking personally, Rocking Horse was a big wake up call and helped me to sort out what I’ll be working on this season.  My main focus at Ocala will be working on getting out of the saddle and galloping in between fences.  Riding is a large component of a rider’s fitness but I recently also joined a CrossFit gym in Ocala.  I am excited to see how it will change my riding in terms of strength and stamina.  Everyone should check out the link below which demonstrates why being physically fit is important to you riding!

http://eventingconnect.today/2015/01/15/is-clayton-fredericks-also-a-vaulter-video-break/ (http://eventingconnect NULL.today/2015/01/15/is-clayton-fredericks-also-a-vaulter-video-break/)
Until next time – Rachel

Chance and I at Rocking Horse Winter 1.




Winter 2015. The Beginning….

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are enjoying your winter – whether it be in Canada or the sunny South!   I’m happy to announce that the horses of Karl Slezak Eventing have arrived safely at Spruce Stables South and are prepping for their first show at Rocking Horse in a few weeks.  Be sure to stay updated on the blog  and follow us on evententries.com!

It has been a busy few weeks getting all the horses back into a routine for show season!  We are lucky to be located kitty corner to Frederick Equestrian’s Cross Country Park.  Our first cross-country school of the season happened this week and I can say for certain that all of the horses were excited to be back out on the cross country field getting their toes wet and sharpening up their jumping skills.

This season should be an exciting one for us with 4 horses declared for the Pan American Games happening this summer in Toronto, Ontario.  And 3 horses declared for the North American Young Riders Championships held at the Kentucky Horse Park.

We cannot wait to get the winter season under way at Spruce Stables South!

Until Next Time….

-Rachel, Chance, and Isaac

The boys enjoying the sunny (but sometimes still chilly) south!


The Summer 2014 Show Season by the Numbers..

It’s been an incredible show season for Team Slezak.  Our team has grown, we’ve had many successes and most importantly each member of the team has accomplished lofty goals and had many personal bests.  Check out some statistics from our best season yet!

Team Slezak by the Numbers

124- The number of horse-rider starts at Ontario and US events this season

85- The number of top 10 finishes by team members this year

13- The largest number of horse-rider combinations competing on the same day

21- The number of 1st place finishes by Team Slezak

70%- The percentage of starts that resulted in a top 10 finish

25%- The percentage of those finishes that were 1st place

Check out the percentages for each placing on all 85 of our top 10 finishes here!

Top 10 finishes by Team Slezak.


Picture Perfect Wins for Karl and Katlyn

It was an incredible weekend at the Haygard Midsouth CCI* for Team Slezak.   Following a demanding Ontario summer season, Karl and Katlyn headed down to the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park with two of their most exciting prospects for the coming years.  Katlyn rode the 9 year-old Fernhill Cascum Marco (Marco), an Irish Sport Horse she has been bringing up the levels for several years and who had just successfully completed his first intermediate; while Karl rode the 6 year-old Fernhill Dutch Design (DD), a KWPN gelding who was imported from Ireland last January and is owned by Kirk Hoppner. Karl and Katlyn dominated both the CCI*-A and CCI*-B divisions and ended the weekend (and show season) with wins across the board.

Katlyn and Marco started the weekend off on the right foot with a beautiful and commanding lead in the CCI*-B dressage where they scored a 46.9, almost 5 points ahead of the second place finisher.  Dressage was followed by a challenging cross-country course. “ The cross-country was tough,” says Katlyn. “I knew there were problems going on out on the course and I was feeling pretty nervous as I left the start box but Marco was a rockstar! He didn’t put a foot wrong and it was definitely the best cross-country I have ever had on him!”  Katlyn and Marco wrapped up the weekend with a clear show jump performance to win the CCI*-B division. “Marco was a bit wild for show jump day; more so than I had anticipated but he knows his job and in the end he even saved me a few times”. With this win under their belt, Katlyn and Marco look ahead to the winter season in Ocala, Florida which will include several important intermediate runs as they look for a spot on the 2015 Canadian Pan-American Games Team.

Karl and DD also put in a personal best to win the CCI*-A division. This is a new partnership for Karl and he’s been working on improving their dressage scores all season. His hard work paid off this weekend, where he finished second in a very competitive field. “DD is extremely talented and willing in the dressage phase. The challenge for him, is to stay focused and to listen to me during our test. While our scores this summer have been and up down, it feels as though we’ve figured each other out and this weekend we proved that we’re a force to be reckoned with in the dressage.”  It was on cross-country day where Karl and DD took the lead. They rocked around the 1* course just within the optimum time. “He was all over it on cross-country day, DD knows his job, he knows where the flags are and he’s such a clever horse through combinations and challenging questions,” says Karl.  They followed up cross-country day with a double-clear show jump round to clinch the win! “ I’m so proud of this horse, he’s been on North American soil for less than a year, and yet he’s already such a solid contender at the international level. We’ll take each day as it comes, but based on this weekend, we’ve definitely declared for the Pan Am Games and I’m beyond excited to begin his intermediate level career this winter in Ocala.”

As Team Slezak wraps up their summer season, Karl would like to thank each and every one of his sponsors, owners, clients and supporters for their commitment and enthusiasm.  We can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!

Karl and Katlyn following their wins in the CCI*-A and CCI*-B divisions


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