Kolina Crowe was obsessed with horses as a little girl and she’s found her niche in life by working with them during the day and riding them on evenings and weekends. Kolina is an Animal Health Technologist, and she works full time for a clinic at the Northlands Park racetrack. In her spare time on evenings and weekends she rides with her own horses and trains and competes in Three Day Eventing.
Kolina’s first interaction with a thoroughbred was at the Canada Day races at Millarville (one of Canada’s oldest race meets) and when she saw the horses thunder past she was “completely wide-eyed and completely in love with the horses”. Kolina rode growing up, and she had a Warmblood gelding that she loved who was her first eventing horse. Her passion for Thoroughbreds and love of eventing have combined and she takes young horses from the track and trains them into eventers!
Sienna’s Boy, or Si, as he’s affectionately known, is one of Kolina’s OTTBs. Si is an Alberta bred gelding who didn’t really take to racing in his short time at the racetrack. Kolina didn’t know much about him at the track, except that his exercise rider told her “you should take this horse to be an eventer!” When trainer Rod Cone offered him for sale, Kolina took him home and they clicked. “I rode him almost immediately after I brought him home and I knew we were going to get along! He was kind of shy on the ground, and not very confident, but the first time I sat on him he was super responsive, naturally round and very forward. He wanted to please. I knew then how much potential he had and that all I needed to do was find it!”
They both have a strong work ethic and within a few rides they were jumping. Kolina and Si have already put on some show miles and have competed at Beaumont, Rocky Mountain House, and Grand Prairie Horse Trials and at Rebecca Farm in Montana. Si’s true nature was exposed at their first show when a bear was spotted in the jumping warm-up ring! Si bucked his way into the arena but immediately softened and jumped an exceptional round with only 4 faults. “He was phenomenal! All the horses were freaked out but when it was time for our round he was a total professional – he was soft and round and tried so hard, even though his heart was still pounding from the bear in the tree!”
“Like most OTTBs, Si likes to work. He’s shown some talent in dressage because he has to pay attention and focus. And he’s brilliant in the cross country portion. He just attacks fences and has a great attitude. He’s happy and willing and an amazing partner.”
About OTTBs, Kolina says “any horse can be a teacher because they are mirrors of us. But a thoroughbred is so sensitive and such great athletes they make you be a better horseman and a better rider. You have to put your day aside and be in the moment with a thoroughbred. They are so naturally competitive and they bring out the best in me as a rider.” Kolina and Si have also been Thoroughbred ambassadors at the Wire to Wire Equine Breed Alley during Northlands Farmfair International. Si loves the people and attention, and we love that people can get up close and personal to learn more about the breed.
Kolina and Si are taking the year off from competing. She’s focusing on training at home and building on their foundation without the pressure of competition. We can’t wait to see how far Super Si can go!
Photos provided by Kolina