Taking advantage of the schoolmaster’s knowledge is 14-year-old Kalynn Harrington who won her first CDI class at the Del Mar National Horse Show on Friday with her horse Hassan, a darling grey 22-year-old KWPN gelding who had originally been her mother’s horse. At 14, Kalynn is in her first year of eligibility for the FEI JR/YR program which allows juniors to experience international dressage experience. Kalynn is learning the intricacies of dressage competition and the nuances of the sport itself through her experience riding Hassan along with the support of her riding mother, Whitney Harrington and of her coach, Jane Arrowsmith. The Del Mar National JR/YR qualifier was Kalynn’s second show at this level having come straight into the FEI JR Division from training level.
Kalynn said, “Hassan goes better in a double bridle and knows the fourth level. My mom had trained him through fourth. He has done dressage all his life. He has taught me everything I know about dressage: the suppling, the movements, the thoroughness. Before riding Hassan, I had only ridden my pony Cinnamon, who has more of a play pony.” Kalynn was very excited with her win in Friday’s JR FEI Team test. Her goal is to hopefully compete as a member of the Region 7 JR FEI Team in Kentucky this summer at the NAYR/JR Championships. With a smile, Kalynn says it has been interesting competing Hassan, who is by Democrat and out of Zakara. “Even though he is 22, he is very energetic in the show arena. Let’s just say he really enjoys himself in the arena!” Kalynn and her trainer Jane Arrowsmith Duggan feel Hassan’s strengths are his medium and extensions and the transitions into and out of them. If a schoolmaster at age 22 can do those well, he is a well schooled horse and as Kalynn says, “He is a great teacher!”