Catherine Pasmore, seen at WEF 2013
For six years, traveling to Europe for the summer season was part of American show jumper Catherine Pasmore’s annual plan. The 24-year-old rider has been competing since she was five, and she’s never swayed from her goal of making it to the top of the sport.
Spending winters at her base in Wellington, Florida, USA was also part of the plan, and Pasmore was a regular face at the annual Winter Equestrian Festival. By 2015, she had a string of top horses that she competed at the CSI4* and CSI5* level with, and she became a well-known young American professional.
But for Pasmore, there’s no question that competing in Europe played a big role in helping her get there, and in April 2016, she took the big step of moving there full time, where she has now established her own business.
This season, she kept the changes rolling from her usual plan of years past; she will attend the Sunshine Tour in Spain instead of WEF in Florida, as her horses need to gain experience and it’s smarter to drive to Spain rather than ship the horses to the USA.
“This is very strange for me because my family lives in Wellington, we have our own stable there, and I have never missed the jumping season there ever before,” Pasmore says.
But in starting her own business, Europe is a good fit as there are shows of all levels every weekend within a short driving distance from Pasmore’s European stables.
Pasmore is based full time in the region at the intersection of the Dutch, Belgian and German borders that is known as a busy hub for show jumping sport and serves as the home base for many of the world’s top international stars.
“That is why I love being in Europe. There is a show of every level, every week, all within a short drive away from one another,” she emphasizes. “This is great for scouting, networking, and producing. The horses I have now need another season of experience before they are ready to be sold.”
While she’s traded palm trees for snow covered fields this winter, the weather is a small price to pay for bringing along her stable of exciting young horses in the welcoming European competition environment. Right now she is working with seven horses and is especially excited about two of them: Galdstone and Dinant.
Gladstone is a 6-year-old BWP gelding (Chellthago X Upgrade) bred by E.J. Meijer & G. Lindeboom. A small horse with a lot of character, he’s athletic, scopey and she hopes he will jump big classes in the future.
“He probably appears on my stable Instagram the most of all the horses because he is always doing something funny,” Pasmore describes. “He is so naturally athletic and is very scopey so I know he will jump big classes in the future. He is also very easy to ride so anyone who gets on will have a blast.”
And Dinant is a 9-year-old KWPN gelding (Numero Uno X H Voltaire) bred by M Stienen. Pasmore got him at the end of his 7-year-old year but he was very weak, didn’t know any flatwork and wasn’t ready to jump the 7 Year Old classes. She put that time and work on him and he is now jumping 1.35m classes.
“Spain will be a great experience for him and I hope he will be jumping his first ranking classes by the end. He should be ready to be sold by the spring,” she says. “He will be a winner for a professional or an amateur because he is so careful and so clever.”
At the moment there are a lot of good FEI shows in America which Pasmore would love to support, she in thinking in terms of her horses and her business, she knows that right now is just not the moment.
Pasmore is looking forward into the future, as she hopes to build a business big enough to be able to keep some big horses for herself and work on her own career at the top levels. But for now, the emphasis is on her stable of young sale horses, and producing them herself up to the top level in the best part of the world for a show jumping professional.