Will Coleman and Tight Lines at Land Rover Kentucky CCI4*
When 2012 Olympic veteran Will Coleman finished the prestigious Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington on his dressage score with The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines, he did so in “The Dress Code.” Equiline America is proud to announce Coleman, who runs Will Coleman Equestrian with wife Katie Coleman, as the newest member of its Sponsored Rider team.
“It means a tremendous amount to both Katie and I to be a part of the Equiline team,” Coleman said. “We have admired the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into all of their products for a long time, so we are thrilled to attach our program to such a fantastic and reputable company.”
Coleman has achieved success at the highest levels of his sport from a young age. In 2001, he took home a gold medal from the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) at just 18 years old. The next year, he finished 8th at the Fair Hill International in CCI3* competition, earning him a spot on the USEF’s training list. In 2003, he became the first (and only) U.S. combination to win the Bramham CCI3* Under-25 Championship in the United Kingdom. He competed in the London Olympics with Team USA in 2012 aboard the Westphalian gelding, Twizzel.
He now runs his Will Coleman Equestrian operation out of Gordonsville, VA, and Wagener, SC, and travels to the world’s most elite four-star events. He took the time to chat with Equiline in between travels from Kentucky to Europe for the Badminton Horse Trials CCI4*.
Equiline America: How are you feeling after Kentucky CCI4*?
Will Coleman: Kentucky was a great event for us this year. My horse, Tight Lines, was sensational and finished on his dressage score in 12th place after two double-clear jumping days. He’s an up-and-coming horse, and as his dressage improves, I think he will be a top horse for me in the next couple years.
EA: What is life like at Will Coleman Equestrian?
WC: Busy! We have about 25 horses in the barn these days, and we are blessed with an incredible group of owners and clients. We are on the road 35+ weeks of the year competing, and when we are home, we start riding and training first thing every morning and usually finish by the time it’s dark, if we are lucky! It’s a blessed life with the horses. Katie and I are very lucky to be surrounded by wonderful horses and people everyday.
EA: What horses are you particularly excited about at the moment?
WC: Well, Tight Lines certainly has a bright future. He’s the fastest and probably the boldest cross-country horse I've ever had. OBOS O’Reilly is another 4* horse that will contest Badminton CCI4* this spring, so he too is at the top of the game. I have several 3* horses that are young and promising, particularly Off The Record, Soupçon de Brunet, and Boris O’Hara. Behind them are a herd of 7- and 8-year-old 2* horses, a couple very nice 6 year olds, and some young horses. We are always trying to improve our stock, but I think we have a pretty good group right now.
EA: What is your favorite Equiline product so far?
WC: I haven’t found anything that I don’t like! But the breeches are really amazing. The fit, the style—there’s nothing else out there that I would rather wear while training or competing a horse.
EA: What is something people might not know about you?
WC: I’m a huge music fan. Lots of my horses are named after songs of bands that I love. My Morning Jacket features heavily in my music pantheon, and so a lot of our young stock gets saddled with MMJ song names (Off The Record, Gideon, Tropics, DonDante, Steam Engine to name a few). I'm also a huge J Roddy Walston fan, so his tunes will probably become naming material down the line.
EA: What goals do you have for yourself?
WC: Like a lot of top riders, I want to win 4* events and a championship medal for this country, so that’s a short- and long-term goal, because every year we start working backwards from the next championship or 4*, planning the careers of the horses along those lines. For this year, I’d like to secure a top-10 to top-15 placing in the world rankings, and then continue to climb that ladder as we bring more and more of our horses up to the top level. This is probably the first time in my career that I’ve had a bonafide string of horses moving up to the top level, so it’s exciting for us. Our best certainly lies ahead.
Rapid Fire: Will Coleman
Favorite Food: Anything Italian
Favorite Movie: The King's Speech
Favorite thing to do on your day off: Hang out and relax with my wife and daughter
What would you be doing if you didn’t ride? I'm not sure. I can't imagine doing anything else!
Favorite sports team: NY Mets