North Stonington, CT – Tina Konyot, who is headed to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games as the United States’ Number One Dressage rider, has had a remarkable dressage career that continues to be on the upswing. While Konyot is currently focusing on Calecto V, her WEG equine partner, following the Games Konyot plans to give a young off-the-track Thoroughbred a second chance in life.
“There are so many nice Thoroughbreds out there and it is so important to give them a second career. Many have stopped racing for one reason or another, but they can go on to have wonderful lives as dressage horses, hunters, jumpers or eventers,” Konyot said.
Konyot acquired the Thoroughbred, Vegas Lord, from her boyfriend, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield. As a racehorse trainer, Attfield has achieved unprecedented success in North America, winning the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer a record seven times.
“Vegas Lord is a horse that came from Europe and now he just needs to find a new avenue,” Konyot said. “He is a very nice mover and beautiful to look at and he will be a great project for me after the World Equestrian Games.”
Vegas Lord, who is five years old, is in Canada relaxing until Konyot is ready to help him make the transition from racehorse to dressage horse. “My goal every day is to just be happy, and this will help accomplish that goal. I will start training him as a dressage horse and we will see where it goes. I believe he will make a suitable horse in the dressage world.” Konyot said, adding that as Vegas Lord’s training progresses she will see if dressage is his passion. “He may end up being a hunter or a jumper, we will just have to see what discipline he takes a liking to.”
Dressage is certainly Konyot’s passion, and she is often noted for her natural abilities with her equine partners. Konyot’s father, the late Alex Konyot, came from a family of five generations of equestrians. In addition to training his daughter, Alex trained many horses and riders to the Olympic level. Konyot not only was lucky to train with her father, but also spent five years in Europe where she was a student of Herbert Rehbein, Rudolf Zeilinger and Klaus Balkenhol, the former coach of the American Olympic Team.
Thanks to her father’s tutelage and her time spent in Europe, Konyot has dominated the dressage world for many years. In addition to the upcoming World Equestrian Games, Konyot has been named to the USET Developing List and the USET Grand Prix List. In 2004, she was short-listed with the horse, Anna Karenina, for the Athens Olympic Trials. Konyot and Anna Karenina were considered a favorite, but unfortunately Anna sustained a devastating injury that ended her career.
In preparation for the World Equestrian Games, Konyot and Calecto V swept four Grand Prix classes at the , winning the Selection Trial and cementing their place in the United States World Equestrian Games history books. For more information on Konyot, visit her website at www.tinakonyotdressage.com.