BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR
Katy, Texas – March 30, 2021 – Avery Erickson, 19, and Chacco Lait won the $15,000 Open Jumper Welcome Stake to mark the start of Week II of the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show on Tuesday, March 30, in Katy, TX.
With the $5,000 Under 25 Welcome held concurrently with the Open Jumper Welcome Stake, Erickson also automatically claimed victory in the U25, marking her second consecutive U25 Welcome win. During Week I of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, Erickson and Chacco Lait took the top spot in the U25 Welcome and finished in second in the Open Jumper Welcome Stake.
“[Chacco Lait] feels like he’s on a roll!” said Erickson, of her 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “He’s really giving me all he’s got, and he feels great, so I’m really happy with him.”
Erickson and Chacco Lait were one of five entries to produce a fault-free first round and one of four to jump double clear, but none would come close to catching their jump-off time of 34.805 seconds. Second place with a time of 37.583 seconds went to Jordan Gilchrist and her own Happyboy van de Doornakkers. Finishing in third with a time of 40.626 seconds were JJ Atkinson and Golden Cassini.
“I just wanted to have a nice, smooth pace through the jump-off,” said Erickson, who trains with Britt McCormick of Elmstead Farm. “He just was on it all the way. He’s got a big step even though he’s a little guy. So, I did six in the last where most everyone was doing seven.
“He’s very quick across the ground,” continued Erickson. “In the jump-off, I can kind of let him go and get a good canter, and I know he’s going to be fast. He’s very careful, so as long as I get him there, I know he’s going to try his best.”
Erickson and Chacco Lait will next contest Wednesday’s $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix, held concurrently with the $10,000 U25 Grand Prix.
Until then, Chacco Lait can likely be found napping in his stall.
“His favorite thing to do is to go take naps,” said Erickson, who also makes sure that the gelding gets out for lots of trail rides around the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. “He’s always laying all the way down in his stall just napping and relaxing.”
Also earning jumper victories in the Kirkland & Ellis Main Ring on Tuesday were Michael Tokaruk, Jordan Gilchrist and Craig Starr. Tokaruk and D’Almgravin topped the 1.25 m Open Jumpers, while Gilchrist and Serpico won in the 1.40 m, and Starr and Christian Dior were best in the 1.35 m.
Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital. Week II continues through Saturday, April 3, with feature events including the $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix on Wednesday, a $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Derby on Thursday and the Hildebrand Fund $50,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix on Friday night.