Tina Konyot is a true horse person. She grew up around horse, her parents grew up around horses, and so on. In fact, her grand father was scouted by Ringling Brothers to come to America and do the equine circus acts. How cool is that! Her father was also one of Robert Dover’s first trainers so to say dressage is in her blood is an understatement. What really makes her special from many other “dynasty riders” (riders who grew up with famous riding parents) is that Tina went off to Europe for 5 years to learn. She wanted to get better and wanted to train with the best in the world.
Clearly that was a good move because when she came back in 1999 with a young stallion named Justice she started right at the top earning a 7th place finish at the selection trials for the 2000 Olympics. Since that time she has kept busy winning on a variety of horses and making the short list for the 2004 Olympics with the mare Anna Karenina.
Tina Konyot and Calecto V have been competing together since 2007 and have gotten better and better. I was at Devon last year when she won the Freestyle with a 72.60%. I know that she was over the moon excited after that win. And after being there she was without a doubt the best on that night. Since then the pair has only gotten better. If you watch the videos of her from last year and her from this year you can see that Calecto’s gaits have gotten much bigger and they also just seem much more confident.
Even cooler? Tina OWNS Calecto V!!! Very, very few top riders own their mounts. Most need sponsors or even syndicates to afford the horse, let along competition fees. I LOVE the fact that she owns her own top horse!
The pair is on a real hot streak as of late. They won 7 Grand Prix’s already this year! At the Kentucky Cup in April they got a 76.25% on their freestlye, which hopefully is a foreshadowing of what they will do at WEGs this year! The pair also won the 2010 Collecting Gaits/USEF festival of champions making her a lock for the team. If anyone out there is going to WEGs and needs to interview riders you should try to get a hold of Tina for an interview. Yes, she is a fantastic rider, but she is also REALLY funny and has a great sense of humor. She is just someone you would want to hang out with, and that comes across in interviews.