USEF.org - Full Article
by Molly Sorge|Jump Media | Sep 17, 2019, 3:02 PM EST
Photo: Mark Baldino
Four years ago, Kate Baldino and Maria Muzzio were 17-year-old first-timers on the U.S. team at the FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Riders and Juniors. This year, they’re headed to Pisa, Italy, for the 2019 edition of the championships as good friends looking forward to their last competition as Young Riders.
In June, Kate, from Marietta, Ga., and Maria, from Clifton, Va., took part in the United States Equestrian Federation Mandatory Training and Evaluation Session for the 2019 U.S. Endurance Young Rider Team, and the U.S. Chef d’Equipe Mark Dial paired them up for the mock ride. Their mounts, Arabian geldings Traction and Landroval, were both bred by Dr. Tom Sayvetz and worked well together. “They went perfectly together,” Maria said. “Sometimes when you put horses together, there might be some ear-pinning or problems, but they went down the trail together with their ears perked, happy as could be.
“Kate and I really bonded in 2015 at the World Championships, and it’s cool that we’re doing our last Young Rider ride together,” Maria noted. “It’s fun that now we’re the two older girls, the role models for the younger ones...”
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