Taking a 'Schott' at Holiday & Horses CSI4*
Callie Schott and Garant. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
A lot of pressure can come with taking over the ride of an already established mount. Just imagine if the former rider of your horse was Beezie Madden.
But Callie Schott, 37, is among the best riders for the task, given that she worked for Madden as a young professional and is now training under their tutelage while assuming the role of head rider for Southern Arches.
When Madden, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup Finals Champion, stepped away from the top level of the sport last summer (She is still seen in the show ring but has switched her focus to developing horses and riders), Southern Arches acquired the very talented Garant for Schott.
At CSI4* Holiday & Horses—the final international competition in Wellington before WEF 2023—Schott (USA) and Garant will be among the event's top contenders. It's been just over a year since Schott took over the reins, and since the pair was last seen in Wellington, their partnership has grown by leaps and bounds.
Schott missed much of 2021 while recovering from a shoulder injury, and when she and Garant lined up in Wellington for WEF 2022, they needed to find their footing. The pair finished fifth in a CSI2* Grand Prix in March, but they boasted just one other top 10 finish from nine starts during the winter and spring seasons in Wellington. Only twice did they jump above 1.50m, and both times resulted in rails.
In the six months that have followed, the pair won their first CSI5* Grand Prix; finished top five in another five-star grand prix event at Ottawa (CAN); and most recently finished as runners-up in a CSI3* Grand Prix at Tryon. That's not a bad rate of progression.
Indeed, in 23 starts since April, Schott and Garant have averaged less than a rail (3.42 faults) and a finish position of 18. According to Prixview Next Gen data, they are jumping clear nearly 40% of the time this year; they are clear in 75% of their jump-off starts as well.
How do those measure up with Madden? In her 2021 starts with Garant, the pair averaged 2.95 faults and a finish position of 20. They jumped clear 28.57% of the time and in 60% of their jump-off attempts.
It's safe to say, Schott is more-than on the right on track.
Prixview Next Gen: What should you watch for with Garant? The 11-year-old gelding is undoubtedly stronger off the right lead (57.14% of his faults this year have come off the left lead), and if he's going to have a rail, it's most likely going to come up front (64.29% of faults). But while many combinations struggle at skinny verticals, this is a strength of this smaller-built chestnut. He hasn't had a rail at the element this year, and has had a plank down just once.
Add Schott and Garant to your selections in this week's Prixview's fantasy offerings at Prixview.com/fantasy.