Buenos Aires, Argentina – November 14, 2012 – Quentin Judge of Double H Farm competed in his first Nations Cup for the United States this past weekend at the CSIO-W show in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at Haras El Capricho. Judge and HH Carotino contributed clear and four-fault rounds to help the U.S. team claim victory. Judge is a professional rider and trainer at Double H Farm, owned by the Harrison Family and based in Ridgefield, CT, and Wellington, FL.
The Nations Cup marked Judge's first time representing the United States in international competition. He joined the team of Charlie Jacobs/Leap of Joy, Catherine Pasmore/Z Canta, and Alison Robitaille/Cover Girl 27. They were led by Chef d'Equipe Norman Dello Joio.
Judge knew that Jacobs had started out with a clear round. He recalled, “Charlie went clear and while I didn't get to see him go, I knew his horse's stride is similar to mine, so it made me more comfortable with the plan we made. It gave me a good sense and set us off on a good note.”
Judge and HH Carotino went clear in their first round and had four faults in the second round. Thanks to the U.S. team's strong showing, Robitaille did not have to return for a second round as the anchor rider. The U.S. finished on four faults for the win, while Canada and Argentina tied for second place with 12 faults.
“It was so special for me,” Judge said. “I've wanted to represent the U.S. on a team; that's been a career goal for a long time. It was a great start to my international career. We wanted to do well and win, but it wasn't a super high-pressure situation. Norman was there as the Chef and he's also my trainer, so I felt comfortable knowing I had his support all week. Catherine and I were just starting out, but we had Alison and Charlie there to help us along the way. Beezie (Madden) was there to coach Charlie and Alison too, and it was incredible to sped time and get feedback from her as well. It was a great group and I was happy to be a part of it.”
Starting out the week, Judge showed HH Carotino, a 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Corrado I, in the 1.40m speed class, where they adjusted to the ring and had a clear round. “Tino went really well, so we decided to wait and save him until the Nations Cup,” Judge said.
The team had to wait an extra day for the Nations Cup when it was postponed to Saturday due to rain. The team's camaraderie helped Judge and Pasmore maintain poise and confidence in their first U.S. representation. “I really enjoyed the experience. It was a very nice show and the ring was beautiful. There was a good crowd every day. We had a very good team who were all competitive and happy to be there,” Judge remarked.
Judge said that HH Carotino felt great in his Nations Cup debut too. “I think he really liked the venue and the footing was very good. It was an impressive venue with impressive jumps, which helps him,” Judge explained. “In the second round, I did an extra stride in one line and got too close to the jump for a rail, but he felt great. He tried hard to jump clear.”
Judge expressed, “As a team, everyone was thrilled with the result. We treated it as a serious Nations Cup with the best effort we could, even though two of us were inexperienced. It meant a lot individually, for Catherine and myself, because we have wanted to ride on teams and been working on it for years. Charlie had something to prove after he won the grand prix last year and the team was second in the Nations Cup. Alison has a ton of experience and she's getting back into the international ring after starting a family. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I was thrilled that my teammates and I could represent the U.S. well and make everyone proud, and I hope I have the chance to do it again in the future.”
Double H Farm will compete next at the Holiday and Horses CSI-W in Wellington, FL, on November 28-December 2, 2012. HH Carotino will get a break until the winter show season, while Judge will work on competing and getting to know the new horses in the Double H Farm string.
Photos: The U.S. team atop the podium: Charlie Jacobs, Alison Robitaille, Chef d'Equipe Norman Dello Joio, Quentin Judge, and Catherine Pasmore; Quentin Judge and HH Carotino.