Fitzgerald Stands Alone at the Top in MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m
Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) and Pasquinelle. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders
When Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) entered the Fort Grand Prix Arena with Pasquinelle, 12 of the 15 entries in the MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m had jumped, but none had produced a clear round over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 1.40m speed track.
Having already ridden the course once aboard Coco du Houlbec Z, Fitzgerald knew what she needed to do to improve, and she executed. She and Pasquinelle, affectionately known as “Todd,” not only jumped clear, but they would also finish the class as the only combination to do so. Stella Chernoff (CAN) and Connador finished second as the fastest four faulters (69.62 seconds), with Justine Cha (CAN) and Texas third (4/71.75).
“I know [Todd] so well, and I knew my plan, and I just rode the horse I knew I had,” said Fitzgerald, 25.
Fitzgerald and Todd have been partnered for nearly two years, and the “puppy dog”-like bay has been a shining light for his rider in the face of great loss. Fitzgerald’s former U25 mount Ceasar A passed away tragically when the gelding’s cecum—a storage site for water and electrolytes, located at the junction of the small and large intestines—ruptured in 2020. When trainer Dayton Gorsline began to search for a new mount for his pupil, international Irish show jumper Greg Broderick recommended Todd.
“He said, ‘I have [a horse] that I think might be perfect for her,’” Fitzgerald recalled. “And he was right.”
Fitzgerald initially leased Todd but ended up purchasing him outright before the lease finished.
“He came into my life, and it was kind of spooky how much we connected and how much he was like [Caesar A],” Fitzgerald said. “He’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”
Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) and Pasquinelle stand for the winner’s presentation with tbird CEO Jane Tidball. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders
$5,000 MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m
Pasquinelle / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 0 72.33
Connador / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Rach and Cattle Co Ltd / 4 69.62
Texas / Justine Cha / CAN / Christine Cha / 4 71.75
Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Gareth Graves / 4 72.51
VIP Des Majuros / Carly Stevens / CAN / Grant & Susie Stevens / 8 67.33
Coco du Houlbec Z / Emily Fitzgrald / CAN / Emily Fitzgrald / 8 69.62
Ittolo / Jarne Francken / USA / Kerri Volek / 8 73.08
Houdini / Alexis Goetz / CAN / Alexis Goetz / 8 73.4
Naxos 27 / Dylan Jordan / CAN / Miram Ameli / 16 65.31
Cella / Taylor Winther Blair / CAN / Taylor Winther Blair / 16 70.58