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Christina Henriksen and Cisco’s Calor Z Win the 2022 USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian Communications | Oct 24, 2022, 4:00 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – Competitors enjoyed a mild and sunny weekend at the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park, which hosted the 2022 USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship. This year’s National Champion title and Richard Collins Trophy went to Christina Henriksen and Cisco’s Calor Z.

Christina Henriksen and Cisco's Calor Z
Christina Henriksen and Cisco's Calor Z, 2022 USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Champions. ©Xpress Foto

Henriksen (Keswick, Va.) and her own 2015 bay Zangersheide gelding started their event strong, with a 28.5 and second-place standing in the dressage phase. They followed it up with double-clear rounds in both cross-country and show jumping, ultimately taking the win by less than a single point.

Henriksen has been working with “Cisco” since last summer and has been focused on developing a strong partnership with him.

“Kate Walls found him last summer and I went over and tried him and loved him but felt like it was going to be a while to mold the partnership,” said Henriksen. “He is an amazing jumper, and he’s very forward-thinking. My biggest struggle with him has been containing his exuberance and his excitement for life. I didn’t compete him last fall; I focused on the training process and us building a partnership together and just getting to know each other.

“He’s an incredible athlete and I think he has all the makings to be a top horse,” Henriksen continued. “That being said, I think it’s very important to build that partnership with him now and take my time with him. The biggest thing has been getting the rideability and that’s taken 14 months, and it’s a work in progress. But he has the biggest heart and is one of the coolest horses I’ve ever had.”

Henriksen said she had the CCI2*-L championship in mind as a goal event when mapping out her competition schedule for 2022. She’d previously competed at Hagyard Midsouth in 2014 and enjoyed the atmosphere and experience there, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint. One of the highlights was competing in the Kentucky Horse Park’s iconic Rolex Stadium.

“We didn’t get to jump in the Rolex Stadium when I was there in 2014, and so to be able to walk down that ramp and compete in the stadium for a national championship class is incredible,” she said. “And the cross-country, I remember it being strong for a CCI2*-L. I did many two-stars and three-stars when I was in England, and I would say this two-star was comparable in quality and the technicality. There were some good questions that are great to ride in preparation for next year and the stuff you’ll see at the Intermediate and the three-star level.”

Cisco will get a vacation after his National Championship win, and Henriksen looks forward to big things with him in the season ahead.

“He’s very ready to move up to Intermediate,” she said. “I’ll pick and choose where we go and what we do pretty carefully under the guidance of Bobby Costello, who has been my coach for the last year and a half. Bobby’s been helping me make Cisco’s schedule this year, so we’ll sit down at some point and figure out what the plan is. But I feel this horse has all the makings to go as far as I can take him.”

Julie Wolfert and HSH Bitcoin
Julie Wolfert and HSH Bitcoin, 2022 USEF CCI2*-L Eventing Reserve National Champions. ©Xpress Foto

Julie Wolfert (Bucyrus, Kan.) finished second riding HSH Bitcoin, a distinctive 2016 palomino Irish Sport Horse owned by Meaghan Marinovich-Burdick and Michele McCarty Woods. Marley Stone Bourke (Berryville, Va.) finished in third place with Kung Fu Quality, a 2016 Thoroughbred cross gelding she co-owns with Sharon Church and Tim Bourke.

As the top-finishing young rider in the CCI2*-L, Annabelle Friend (Nicholasville, Ky.) and her 2003 Thoroughbred gelding, Fine With Me, took home the Harry T. Peters Trophy and the title of USEF CCI2*-L Junior/Young Rider Eventing National Champion. The pair finished on their dressage score of 35.9 and placed ninth overall in the class.

Results

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