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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Garner Unveils a Star in Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby

Photo ©tbird/Kady Dane Photography


Each time Lindsay Garner enters the ring with Kate Churchfield’s Coralina, she is left with fewer questions and more answers.


The 10-year-old mare only began her career in the hunter ring this summer after being imported from Germany. Thursday’s Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby was the mare’s third ever derby start.


Inexperience was not a factor. Garner and Coralina topped the class, which combined competitors at both the 3’6″ and 3’3″ heights, with a total score of 183. Laina Summers (USA) finished second with Timeless Romance (177.5), and Rodney Tulloch (CAN) was third with Fleetwood (176).


Coralina, who competed at the 3’3″ height, was the only horse to receive marks above 90 in both the classic and handy portions of the class, which brought some new natural jump elements to the Grand Hunter Arena.


“It was fun to have some different natural jumps. I think the hay bales at the beginning of the course presented a challenge, but where they were set off a nice, wide turn was really fair to the horses,” Garner explained. “My horse is new at doing this, so when she came around the corner and jumped that well, I knew we were kind of set.”


Garner felt her mount relax more and more as the course went on, and as she began the handy portion of the test, she felt confident enough to try some tighter turns.


“This is the third derby she’s done, and every time she goes in, she gets a little bit more relaxed,” Garner said. “She’s also starting to get very smart about looking through the turn, so I really felt like I could be handier with her.”


Coralina was put on Garner’s radar through agent Jett Martin, but initially—at least on paper—she wasn’t what Garner was seeking for Churchfield, who was looking for a young horse to bring along as she got back into the show ring. Churchfield specifically wanted a gelding, but Martin insisted.


“We’d already found the gelding we wanted, and [Coralina] was the last [horse] we went to see, four hours away,” Garner recalled. “She was a mare. We were like, ‘Why are we doing this trip?’ And we saw her and we said, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s perfect.'”


Coralina has taken immediately to her new job. In addition to showing an early mastery of derby competition, the mare is also already winning in the Adult Amateur Hunters with Churchfield.


“She is such a natural hunter. She always jumps beautifully. She’s very quiet. She’s very brave. She loves the hunter ring,” Garner gushed. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a horse that I’ve imported take to its job so quickly here. She just settled right in. And she’s a very, very, very, very stoic mare.”


Derbies will remain a focus for Coralina, but Garner also expects the mare and her owner to move up quickly into the Amateur-Owner divisions.


Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby 3’6″/3’3″

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Classic Score / Handy Score / Total Score


1. Coralina / Lindsey Garner / USA / Kate Churchfield / 92 / 91 / 183

2. Timeless Romance / Laina Summers / USA / Katherine Martell / 88 / 89.5 / 177.5

3. Fleetwood / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Christine Maclean / 86 / 90 / 176

4. Maestro / Stephany Powers / CAN / Guiliana Bregliano / 87 / 87 / 174

5. Velocity / Ruby Wall / CAN / Ruby Wall / 88 / 85 / 173

6. Cynergy Z / Donna Wnuk / CAN / Megan Hoodspith / 82.5 / 86.5 / 169

7. Freida M / Lindsay Linford / CAN / Julia Norman / 81.5 / 87 / 168.5

8. Carnet / Emily Cake / CAN / Emily Cake / 85 / 82 / 167

9. Cornet de Prinz / Ellie Kurtz / USA / Lauren Brummett / 90 / 76 / 166

10. Cavendish / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / 82 / 83 / 165

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