It’s an exciting day for Tim and Nina Gardner and their homebred Thoroughbred Twilightslastgleam, as the horse has received the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Grant to compete with Jennie Brannigan at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses in France next month.
The grant, founded by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner, enables the highest scorer of the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championship to travel to Le Lion d’Angers to compete as a 7-year-old if the horse obtains the proper CCI2* qualifications.
Comic was the 2014 Young Event Horse East Coast 4-year-old Reserve Champion and ranked third in the overall standings that year. He then placed seventh at the 2015 Young Event Horse East Coast 5-year-old Championships and was ranked 13th overall in the nation.
Twilightslastgleam, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred (National Anthem x Royal Child) better known as “Comic,” is the second American-bred horse to receive the grant, which awards $17,500 to horses bred in the USA and $8,000 to imported horses. Judy McSwain’s Holsteiner mare Fleeceworks Royal, who received the grant last year, was bred in the USA by Charlotte Wrather.
Comic finished third in the Jersey Fresh CCI2* in May and was named the National Intermediate Reserve Champion at the American Eventing Championships last month. He finished third in the Plantation Field CIC2*-B at the weekend on a personal best dressage score of 45.8.
“I love that, knock on wood, the past couple of events he’s been very good in the show jumping, and he laid down his best test,” Jennie said. “For being a Thoroughbred, he’s a nice mover and he’s 7 so the strength of the dressage is hard but he’s getting there.”
Nina Gardner is thrilled to have Comic heading to France. He started out in race training, as all of her homebred Thoroughbreds do, but it was clear he didn’t want to be a racehorse. After starting his eventing training at True Prospect Farm with Phillip Dutton and Waylon Roberts, Comic then joined Jennie’s program.
Stephanie Cauffman took him to his first YEH competitions as a 4-year-old before Jennie started eventing him at Novice level in 2014. Famed jump jockey Willie McCarthy also competed Comic at a Novice event that year.
“Most of our Thoroughbreds in the past were sold to be racehorses, but I have always tried to breed an all-purpose Thoroughbred that would have a life beyond racing and could possibly do something other than racing, so this means a great deal to me,” Nina said.
The EN team extends hearty congratulations to Tim, Nina, Jennie and the entire team behind Comic and wish them the very best of luck as as they travel to France for Le Lion d’Angers, which will be held Oct. 19-22, 2017.