In the News
Kelli Cruciotti and Hadja van Orshof Add a Stride and Win the $204,000 Coca-Cola® Grand Prix 4* at TIEC
Mill Spring, NC – June 9, 2019 – Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Hadja van Orshof enjoyed a first-place finish in Sunday’s $204,000 Coca-Cola® Grand Prix CSI 4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), concluding Tryon Spring 6 TR&HC Charity Horse Show Competition at the venue and taking her second FEI win of the week with a jump-off time of 49.127 seconds.
Course designer Kelvin Bywater (GBR) saw 29 entries test the first-round track, with five pairs returning for the jump-off round. Despite heavy rainfall over the past two days and intermittent rain throughout the class, Cruciotti reported that Hadja van Orshof, her own 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Darco), had “one of the best rounds she’s ever jumped,” and won despite adding a stride:
“I actually didn’t know if I was going to show until I walked in the ring. I was going back and forth about it. I saw people going before me and I’m a chicken about any unusual circumstance, so I trusted my horse and tried to ride a smart round, but not do anything too risky,” Cruciotti explained. “I was fortunate to go at the end of the jump-off, so I could watch a few, and it looked like they were being efficient, and not too risky...
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By TIEC Admin | June 9, 2019
The saying goes, “everything happens for a reason.” But when Kelli Cruciotti’s once-in-a-lifetime horse, Chamonix H, was almost lost to colic, Cruciotti was wary of the popular phrase.
With Cruciotti aboard, the 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Equest Carnute x Wotin) has a resume that only a rare group of horses have achieved. First paired five years ago, Cruciotti took over the ride from Olivier Philippaerts and moved quickly up the ranks from the junior jumpers, to the young riders, to the grand prix level. Although the duo won the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix series in Wellington, as well as the Encana Under 25 Grand Prix in Calgary, their most monumental win came in 2015 when they won the prestigious $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon—the youngest winner to ever win the class. Cruciotti and Chamonix were unstoppable, until a fateful call in the fall of 2016...
When Kelli Cruciotti won the $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix at the Devon Horse Show (Pa.) at the age of 17 she said it was a dream come true, and it was her horse Chamonix H that made it so.
It was 2015, and Chamonix was her first grand prix horse. Cruciotti was poised to turn professional out of the junior ranks the following year, joining her mother Cindy Cruciotti’s training business in Elizabeth, Colo., and it looked like she would have a great horse in Chamonix H to start making a name for herself.
In 2016, they earned the overall series title in the Artisan Farms Under-25 Grand Prix series at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.), then showed in Europe during the summer. They also won an Under-25 grand prix class at the Spruce Meadows venue (Alberta).
But in the fall of 2016, Chamonix began to colic while shipping home from Calgary, Alberta. “She was on the truck coming home from Spruce Meadows. The driver noticed she wasn’t feeling well and turned off on the exit to Colorado State University on the way home,” Kelli, 20, said. “They didn’t have any other choice; they had to do a colic surgery right away...
Kelli started riding ponies at the age of 5. Her passion and dedication, as well as natural talent, has earned her the reputation as being one of the top junior riders in the sport of show jumping.
In 2009 Kelli was Grand Hunter Champion with her mount “Q” at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and was named best child rider. Kelli continued over the next several years to add to her impressive list of accomplishments and in 2013 she was Reserve Champion at the coveted Maclay finals in Lexington, KY.
From 2013 to 2015 Kelli was in the top ten of every major equitation finals on the east coast, ending her illustrious junior equitation career by winning the USEF Pessoa Medal finals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In addition to Kelli’s equitation and hunter accomplishments, she excelled in the junior jumper ring, winning many championships and classics. In 2015 Kelli surpassed all expectations and won the prestigious Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon on her mare Chamonix H. Kelli was and is the youngest rider in the history of this class to ever do so and marked the first open grand prix she had ever ridden in.
During the same year, Kelli won several other national Grand Prix’s and was gold medalists on many junior and young rider Nations Cup teams to add to her already illustrious junior resume.
In 2016 Kelli started her professional career and continued her success. She was gold medalist on the young rider Nations Cup team and won the coveted Artisan Farms U25 series in Wellington, Florida and was awarded a trip to Chantilly France to compete overseas in the Longines Global Champions Tour. During this trip to Europe, Kelli impressed the European community by placing in several International Grand Prix’s in Eindhoven and Sentower.
Kelli finished out her international trip by competing at Spruce Meadows where she won the Encana $50,000 U25 Grand Prix as well as top placings with several other of her jumpers in various classes.
Kelli has embraced the beginning of her professional career as passionately and successfully as she has over the past 12 years. She is a dedicated, talented horsewoman that has committed her life to the improvement and success of her family’s Serenity Farm and to the industry as a whole.