Carlson and Violet Tatum Successfully Navigate New Career in Junior Hunter 3’6” Division

Violet Tatum & Carlson - Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

The culmination of Junior Hunter competition during the first week of the Traverse City Horse Shows Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, saw what was nearly a clean sweep for Violet Tatum of Pacific Palisades, CA, and newly-minted rising hunter star, Carlson. Under the tutelage of Archie Cox, the junior rider piloted Cox’s eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Colman to a champion finish in the junior hunter ranks at the 3’6” height. 

The pair capped off two days of top finishes as the victors of the division’s classic round with combined double scores of 84 for a 168-point total. Throughout the totality of the division’s classes, the pair earned three additional firsts and a fourth to emerge the clear winner, but perhaps even more impressive is the speed with which Carlson appears to have adapted to his new career. The mount was originally destined to become a three-day event horse, but his fate changed when Cox, a California-based trainer spending his spring in Traverse City, spotted him.

“He did one eventing show and one .80m class at Thermal, and that is where I found him,” explained Cox. “It’s very odd to come across such a good hunter in that way, but I saw him and immediately saw the potential.” 

Violet Tatum & Carlson stands for presentation with trainer Archie Cox. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Cox wasted no time seizing that potential and Carlson began his hunter career in February of the current year. Tatum was immediately asked to acquire the ride in the junior divisions and has been a steady partner for him since. 

“He is very smart and learned how to do the job incredibly fast,” detailed Tatum. “He’s very brave and has a lot of scope, so everything else just comes together. I think he might be doing Junior Hunter Finals and potentially the WCHR Hunter Spectacular, so we are very excited to see how this summer goes for him.” 

Hunter competition comes to a peak on Sunday with the featured USHJA National Hunter Derby and presentation of the Platinum Performance Hunter of the Week. Sunday’s derby also marks the first opportunity for riders to gain points towards the $5,000 Leading Amateur and Junior Hunter Rider Bonuses, which will be presented by Makoto Farms and Walkenbach Equestrian at the conclusion of GLEF IV. 

For full results, click here.