Taylor Bradish Wins USEF Advanced Single Horse National Championship
Monday, October 11, 2021
Taylor Bradish of Windsor SC drove Katydid Duchess, a 2009 Welsh Pony cross mare owned by Jennifer Matheson. Duchess was supposed to be a pony but grew to just over the legal size, so has been competing in the Single Horse division facing much larger competitors. But what she doesn't have in size, she has in speed and handiness, making the pair to be a force to be reconned with in the marathon.
Photo: Taylor Bradish and navigator Maggie O'Leary with Katydid Duchess on a roll in the marathon. ©Taylor Pence/US Equestrian
After posting the second-best score in the dressage phase, Bradish and Duchess showcased their skill in the marathon, finishing with the top score in that phase on Saturday. “I was happy with some of the [marathon] obstacles, not with all of them," Bradish commented. "I made some mistakes. It’s a difficult course for us because we don’t have hills in South Carolina where we’re from. Being here in hilly New Jersey was a little bit difficult, but she handled it. She’s super-fit which is great.
It Takes A Team
Bradish came into the weekend with a recent ankle injury, which she says made her question whether she’d be able to compete at all. But she credits a fit and ready horse and great teamwork with her successful outing, despite the challenges. We’d like to extend a special thanks to Jennifer Matheson for supporting and sponsoring us. Thank you to Maggie O'Leary for navigating for us and keeping us safe. Huge thank you to Ty Golden for stepping up and being Duchess’s personal groom and grazing buddy all week. I couldn’t have done it without all of the support."
A Nail Biter
Her marathon result moved her closer to the leader after the dressage, Carrie Ostrowski, putting the pressure on with just 3 points (one ball) separating the two. The rain came on Sunday creating slippery conditions, in the grass arena at the Garden State show grounds.
A solid cones round on Sunday gave them a final score of 142.47 and a second USEF National Championship in the division. "I was quite happy with the cones. It was slippery with all the rain, and I slid into two balls, but I was very close to making the time. It was definitely a nail-biter!”
Goals for 2022
Bradish, aiming toward qualifying for and competing in the FEI World Driving Championship for Single Horses next year in France with Duchess and returning to the National Championship in 2022 to keep the streak going.
“It feels really good [to defend the title],” Bradish adds. “I’m very pleased with the horse; she just keeps getting better and better at every show. I feel like, even from last year, I would have beat myself this year. "