Local riders are ones to watch in US Nations Cup team at Winter Equestrian Festival

  • Tanner Korotkin is one of two born and bred Wellington riders named to the US Nations Cup team that competes on Saturday (5 March) against 11 other nations at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

    Tanner, who rides for Shane Sweetnam, was largely trained by his father Alan Korotkin, a former grand prix rider and owner of locally based Castlewood Farms. “When I started riding he had to stop getting horses for himself because he wanted me to have horses. He took a step back to try and get me into the show ring,” said Tanner, 20, a sacrifice that is paying off now with Tanner’s debut riding for his country at adult level, with the 11-year old grey gelding Volo’s Diamond.

    “It’s definitely a big honour,” said Tanner. “I am very happy and thankful to have made it on to the team.” 

    US Teammate Spencer Smith grew up with Tanner in Wellington and they are joined by California’s Natalie Dean and New York City’s Lillie Keenan.  “We are all constantly showing against each other and especially here at WEF,” said Tanner. “We’ve known each other for a good bit of time.”

    Tanner and Volo’s Diamond, along with placings throughout WEF, also competed in their first 5* grand prix at this year’s WEF. “For a first five-star grand prix start for the horse and me, it went very well,” he said.

    While Tanner realises that Saturday’s Nations Cup will be a new experience, he has a plan. “I am just going to keep my head and just ride it like any other grand prix, (just this one has two rounds),” he said. “It is definitely different riding for a team, but at the end of the day, it’s also showjumping and the main goal is to jump clear rounds, so that’s all I’ve really got to focus on.”

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