We always enjoy catching up with the next generation of eventing stars (plus, we can say “we knew them when” in a few years when they’re winning medals and such), and we’re making a point to check in with riders competing in the inaugural Adequan USEF Youth Team Challenge this year. To kick things off, meet 17-year-old Jack Curtis from Area I. He and Luska Candy Clover have just completed their first leg of the Youth Team Challenge at Stable View last month, where they helped the Area I team finish first in the CCI2*-S YTC.
EN: Can you give us a little background on your riding and your horse(s)?
JC: Currently, I have two horses, one that I competed this weekend, Luska Candy Clover (who’s known as Roo in the barn), and Playmate III (who is known as Frank in the barn)! Roo is a new ride for me. I’ve just had him for a year, but it’s taken a while to get to know him and this was the first weekend where I felt that I could truly go for it. Frank is the horse who first introduced me to upper level eventing – I’ve had him since I was thirteen years old – and for me to run around these tracks on a horse I know so well is invaluable.
EN: What are your competitive goals with the Youth Team Challenge?
JC: I hope to participate in more Youth Team Challenges this year, and to be able to go to Tryon for the championships! However, going to an event to be competitive is what you train so hard for, but getting to the event where you have a team, and all support each other is a whole new feeling which is great. I think Area 1 has a lot to offer this year, so hopefully we can put it all together and come out on top at Tryon.
EN: This weekend was the first YTC at Stable View – can you give us a breakdown of how the weekend went?
JC: I couldn’t be any happier with the result at Stable View. Roo got right to work in the dressage, and put in an amazing test with room to improve which makes me all that much more excited for the future. Both of the jumping phases were phenomenal, he stayed rideable and confident which is all I can ask for! I trailered in daily to Stable View because my coach, Caitlin Silliman, has her farm in Aiken, but the communication from the team was top notch. Even when I wasn’t on the show grounds, it felt like I was because of how on top of it my team was, it was great!
EN: What’s next for you? Will you contest other YTC legs?
JC: I am going back to school for the spring, so the horses will spend time getting stronger and working on anything that needs improvement, so that they are ready to go in June! I’m looking to move Roo up to Intermediate at some point this year, and to do my first 3* on Frank. I definitely want to attend more YTC because it was a great experience that was very fun and educational.