By Catie Staszak/Catie Staszak Media
Tanner Korotkin admits, the arrival of Quinn’s 33 to his streak was unexpected.
The 21-year-old was preparing to show at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show when a chestnut gelding was shipped to him — an “inspired” move of sorts — from Ocala, FL. The horse, the 12-year-old Holsteiner Quinn 33 (Quidam de Revel x Contender), would be a sale horse for him to campaign in the international classes.
Korotkin already had a formidable pair of FEI-level top mounts in Volo’s Diamond and Ideal. Quinn quickly told Korotkin that he was special in his own right.
“After a week of performance, I went straight into FEI classes,” Korotkin recalled. “And at our first FEI show, he won.”
In their first foray into Major League Show Jumping as a member of the Spies of the Coast Spies, Korotkin and Quinn earned a five-star victory in the CSI5* 1.45m Speed in Traverse City, MI. They would quickly add to that tally with another five-star win at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa (CAN). And in October, the pair topped a nine-horse field in the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds CSI3* Grand Prix in Lexington, KY, part of the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s fall hunter/jumper show series.
After returning to Wellington for the winter season, Korotkin and Quinn won both the 1.40m Open Stakes and the National Standard Grand Prix at the SFHJA Charity Horse Show – the first Saturday night grand prix of the show season winter 2022-2023.
“It’s just a clear round car, and if it’s going clear, I like to say it’s usually there to win,” Korotkin said. “I’ve always liked this type of horse. He sees the jump and he really wants to take you there. He’s so fast: you land from the jump and you’re instantly on track, galloping to the next one.
“You’re always fighting to slow him down a little bit, just because he wants to go on so much,” he added. “He’s just a really, really hot, quirky guy who loves his job.”
Quinn’s road to Korotkin was a winding one. Owner Rupert Winkelmann first encountered him in Germany and purchased him as an investment with the hope of seeing him and his then rider Zascha Nygaard Andreasen (DEN) qualify for the 2021 European Championships in Riesenbeck (GER) .
That goal was achieved, and after those championships, Quinn was imported to the US. A variety of riders have taken the chestnut reins, including Alison Robitaille (USA), who won the CSI2* with Quinn in February; Diego Javier Vivero (ECU); and Winkelmann himself. But Winkelmann wanted his mount to have a shot at a five-star campaign, so he called Shane Sweetnam (IRL) at Sweet Oak Farm to see if his horse could pair with Korotkin.
“Everybody claims to have a winner and a horse that will work [out] immediately,” said Winkelmann. “I had to convince [Sweetnam] put [Quinn] in his program and ride Tanner, but they got off to a great start right from the start. They’ve won five stars, they’ve won a three-star grand prize and now they’re winning in Wellington. I had no doubt.”
Once Korotkin settled on Quinn, it took a little convincing. But it was their win in Ottawa that really affirmed his belief in the hard-to-try horse.
“It was actually my first serious, serious course with him. It was a really big grass track with a lot of really good riders,” said Korotkin. “I didn’t know him that well, but I knew he had the ability to go clear and he had the ability to win. Once I got into the bar, I let him go and let him do his thing and he flew out there. I think he won by two or three seconds.
“I try to soften it up a little bit with my hands and open it up,” he added, “but then I have to make sure and not let it rush, because that’s the way it is.”
Put it all together, and Korotkin and Quinn have won five classes since August, ticking off stage after stage. In Wellington on Saturday night, the pair cleared another nine-horse jump, beating Sweetnam and Out of the Blue SCF.
“When you know Quinn was clear in the first round, I feel like I almost don’t beat him in the shootout because he’s so fast,” Winkelmann said. “I get more nervous watching than riding, but I actually like the show jumping because I see other people going and I think, ‘Not fast enough, not fast enough,’ and I just hope Tanner stays calm. He does that and it’s fun to watch.”
Saturday marked not only the pair’s first win under the lights, but also Korotkin’s first Grand Prix victory as a professional. While he still works with and rides a variety of horses at Sweet Oak Farm, Korotkin is now based at his family’s Castlewood farm, where he sets his own schedule with the ability to take on more horses for sale, like Quinn.
“Working for Shane has given me a lot of experience in everything, but I’m still young and have a lot to learn,” Korotkin said. “I’m learning from everyone around me, but now I’m at the point where I can implement the things I’ve learned into my own system. Doing everything on your own is another thing to learn, so I’m grateful to still have Shane’s guidance on the side. I mainly focus on myself, my horses and buying and selling.”