As well as propelling Team USA to second place in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows, Katie Dinan has also been judged as the Furusiyya Rider of the Day.
The Furusiyya Rider of the Day award is presented to the horse & rider combination that is judged to have best displayed qualities such as harmony, partnership, balance and skill throughout their two rounds; values represented and embodied by Furusiyya.
Judge of the award at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows, Kim Morrison - President of the Ground Jury, commented, "There were a few reasons why we chose Katie as the Furusiyya Rider of the Day. One: She was double clean. Two: She's young and probably a little less experienced than the other ones were. We liked that she stepped up to the plate and never once faltered all around the course. She did a great job. She was with the horse and they were a great pair."
"They're very similar mindsets, the two of them. They have a can-do, keen attitude and they feed off of each other. I don't think there's much that the two of them can't accomplish when they're both going with a positive mindset, which is what we liked about it. She had her plan, she did it consistently both rounds, the horse responded really well to whatever she asked, and you saw the results."
Quotes from Katie Dinan:
My horse, Nougat du Vallet, I've had him a little over two years and he's been a fantastic horse for me. He's been the first horse that I've been competitive at this level with. Two years ago, Spruce Meadows was our first horse show together and we were doing 1.40m in this ring. It's a little bit of a step up. Last year I brought him here and he jumped really well in the Meadows on the Green Ring, so I had a good feeling about this week. I was really excited to be named to one of the Nations Cup teams for the U.S. I feel great that he performed at his best today. He's a great guy because I know that if I ride well, he's going to rise to the occasion.
I feel very honored. I feel honored to be on the U.S. Team and to be chosen as the Furusiyya Rider of the Day in this company. It's great. This is only my second Nations Cup and I really wanted to show I belonged on the team. It's a little more pressure being on a team, so I was happy with my performance today.
There is a difference between entering into a Grand Prix and being chosen as a team member. You of course want to do well for the team, your team, and yourself, and all of those factors combine, but I just tried to stick to the plan. I knew there was nothing on this course that my horse and I couldn't do. I just needed to stay calm and poised, and he jumped great, so that obviously helps too!
He's a little bit on the smaller side, and I definitely need to set my rhythm at the beginning. That helps us establish scope over the oxers. He's really careful, so I know that I can trust him out of the rhythm and he's going to stay alert and pay attention. I think that's one of the reasons why he's so much fun to ride on this big field because it's easier in the big rings when you start out with pace. He jumps really high, so I need to keep going.
I knew that I was going to have to pay a little bit of attention at the Canadian planks and I wanted to make sure I gave him a good ride at the bicycle jump. I knew the time allowed was going to be a factor. Last week the time allowed was tight and in general the time allowed is tight at Spruce Meadows. Even though I have a fast horse, that's never something I want to take for granted.