This marks Granato’s first trip to the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, and with one win already under his belt, it is proving to be a great venue for him and the 11-year-old Mecklenburg gelding. Granato has taken his time with Carlchen W, and his patience has paid off with a breakout year thus far in 2019, including a victory in the $208,200 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington CSI4*-W earlier this year at the Palm Beach Masters Series. The duo continued to showcase their partnership and talent with a world-class jump-off effort to lead the lap of honor on Friday.
“I was really happy with him in the jump-off. We started a little slow because he got a little bit fussy coming to the first jump, so it was not totally planned. I knew the six-stride was going to be steady for him if we came in too big, so I just built my canter for the first line. From there, it really was just knowing the horse well and some luck on my side. Everything came up out of stride in a great rhythm and he rode perfect for me today. It worked out really smooth.”
On Carlchen W’s progression:
“He has come on really strong through this entire winter. He’s really gotten consistent at the 4* and 5* level — he had a great WEF. I did a 3* a couple of weeks ago in Kentucky and that was our warm-up show after Mexico for here. He just has such a drive, I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a horse like Carlchen — that has as much drive to go in and win as I do. He’s been really special to me.”
On the UCHS:
“I love the venue, it’s my first time here. I’ve been trying to get here for two years, so I’m glad we made it! [Carlchen] felt phenomenal today. I think the venue is beautiful. I love it — all of the rings are great and the course designer has done a great job, I like Alan Wade’s courses. It’s an interesting new ring to ride in and he’s doing a nice job building through the week. I am having a great time.”