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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Frisen Bookends Podium in MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Sutton Friesen (CAN) and Ilanca. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry


Langley, BC — Early in the starting order of the MarBill Hill U25 1.40m, Charlie Jones (GBR) took more than six seconds off the leading time, making a strong statement.


It quickly became apparent that it was going to take a big effort to best the Birmingham, England native and Katie Harris’ Macho-Blue PS. More than halfway through the class, Sutton Friesen (CAN) came closest to his 65.23-second time, but she was still nearly two seconds behind the mark with Adare Ya To (67.5s).


But she also had a second chance.


With just four riders left to contest Colm Quinn’s (IRL) speed track, Friesen swept to the top of the class with her second mount, not only taking the win with Ilanca, but also crossing the timers almost two seconds faster than Jones (63.85s). Jones settled for second, with Friesen bookending the podium with Adare Ya To.


“[Both of my horses] are really quick. [Ilanca] is super careful, so I can challenge her a bit, too—especially to the verticals, which is really handy,” Friesen shared. “She jumped amazing today, and she’s pretty much game for whatever I ask her to do. I had a plan to do a couple of the leave-outs, and she was perfect.”


Friesen and Ilanca have been partnered for the better part of the last year. Normally partial to geldings, Friesen decided to sit on the mare when she was brought out as an “extra” horse at a trial, even though Friesen was at the farm to look at other horses.


“We got along right away. She gave me a really good feeling, and I loved her instantly,” she said. “I think that when you’re riding a mare, it takes a little bit longer to connect with them, but once you do, you have a best friend for life.”


Friesen felt that connection really start to come together over the winter in Florida. It’s been a trust building process, but Friesen is now heading toward her biggest goal—August’s North American Youth Championships (NAYC)—with confidence.


“I’ve been wanting to do that for a really long time. I just haven’t had a horse,” Friesen said. “I’m really excited to feel like I have a good horse that will help me get to that level.”


In the meantime, she’s enjoying a Langley homecoming.


“I grew up about three hours from here. I used to come [to tbird] all the time when I was younger, and it is really my favorite show,” Friesen expressed. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s nice to be back.”


MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ilanca / Sutton Friesen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0 63.85

2. Macho-Blue PS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Katie Harris / 0 65.23

3. Adare Ya To / Sutton Friesen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0 67.5

4. Qualobet DW / Skylar Wireman / USA / Shayne Wireman / 0 68.05

5. Esi Jet Set / Carly Stevens / CAN / Susan Stevens / 0 69.87

6. Nico 1427 / Kylie Martens / CAN / Kylie Martens / 0 71.28

7. Kristalic / Charlie Jobes / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses / 0 71.36

8. Ecolano vs Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 4 66.62

9. Febvre de Lusse / Tanimara Macari / MEX / Tanimara Macari / 4 67.01

10. Canberre / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 4 71.16

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