At CDI-W Raleigh/Capital Dressage Classic Months of Work Come Together for Jillian Costello and Kismo

Paired only since December, Jillian Costello and Kismo proved at the CDI-W Raleigh/Capital Dressage Classic that they're a good match. They won both Friday's Young Rider Team test and Saturday's Young Rider Prix St. Georges. The Friday win was with a score of 62.148 percent and the Saturday win with a score of 64.083.

"I'm happy," said the 20-year-old college student. "These rides were certainly much better than the ones I've had at previous shows." In Sunday's Young Rider Freestyle, Costello and Kismo were second with a score of 63.45 percent. Ahead of them was Alyssa Eidbo with Johnny Cash with a score of 64.75 percent. That pair also took a second in the Young Rider Prix St. Georges and third in the Young Rider Team test.

Costello trains with Lars Petersen and Melissa Taylor. It was Petersen who had Kismo in training as a sale horse when Costello bought him. "I looked at him and fell in love with him and bought him. He really tries. He's such a good boy," Costello said of the 11-year-old Danish bred gelding sired by Ritterstern.

Once she had him, she essentially "went to school" to get ready for a run for this year's North American Junior/Young Rider Championships. "We got a crash course in what I need to learn in order to pull it all together and try to qualify for the Young Riders' Championships. I have three scores but they're not quite high enough so I'm trying to get into one more show before the end date. I might have to go to Houston for that," Costello said.

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