Calutano Has a Winning 3’6” Debut in Traverse City

Lainie Wimberly pilots Calutano to a picture-perfect 3’6″ debut. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Edited Press Release

The 3’6” Performance Hunter division was a highly competitive one, but during week two of the Traverse City Spring Series, it was a division rookie that took top honors. Calutano, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Laurie Stevens, took the division championship Thursday with Lainie Wimberly aboard.

“He’s never shown in the 3’6” before,” Wimberly said of Calutano. “I’ve done the 3’3” Performance Hunters and the national derbies [with him]. He won a derby during the Spring Series [in Wellington]. I came here and decided to try him in the 3’6” because I have aspirations of him doing an international derby but he’s a little green.”

On day one, Calutano came out strong, with a win in the handy round and third in the under saddle out of 16 competitive entries. “I was really happy with him. He’s handling the height really well,” Wimberly continued. “He’s very consistent, very even, and very smooth in his rhythm. He’s quite a brave horse. I have my eye set on the [USHJA National Hunter] Derby on Sunday this week with him. Doing the Performance 3’6” was just a warm-up for that and I’m thrilled that in his first time doing the height, he was champion.”

Wimberly, head trainer at Brigadoon Show Stables in North Salem, NY, has had the ride on Calutano since November, and they spent the winter season in Florida getting to know each other. For just nine years old, the horse is already proving how mature he is and easily handling each task thrown his way.

“He was delightful,” Wimberly remarked of how the horse behaved during his first week of showing in Northern Michigan, even in colder weather conditions. “He didn’t shake his head, he didn’t shake his tail, he was perfectly relaxed. He handled the weather great.” 

Owner Laurie Stevens sadly won’t take to the saddle during Traverse City, but aboard Calutano she is highly competitive in the Low Adult Hunter division, scoring an 87 in Wellington against elite company.

Despite the uncharacteristically chilly day, Wimberly and her team are enjoying their time in a new part of the country. “This is our first year at Traverse City,” she said. “We’re loving it. My Green 3’3” [hunter] was reserve champion, my Performance 3’6” [hunter] was champion, and I’ve only shown the two in the hunters. We’re loving the horse show. 

“The Main Hunter Ring is a beautiful ring to ride in,” she continued of the facility at Flintfields Horse Park. “There’s plenty of areas to practice and warm up that have fabulous footing. There are nice lunging areas. We have a great tent. We’re really happy with everything; we’ve been well accommodated here.”

Showing continues Friday with the USEF/Platinum Performance Talent Search, as well as the start of the Junior and Children’s Hunter divisions. 

Original press release courtesy of Traverse City Horse Shows.