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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