Colic surgery could not stop Angela Covert and Utan, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, from continuing to collect victories in the show ring. The pair started out the weekend May 18-21 at Fox Lea Farm Spring Concours II in Venice, Florida by placing second in the $5,000 Welcome Stake, right behind Covert’s 11-year-old German-bred mare, Billie Jean. Both horses were ridden to double clear rounds.
The following day in the $25,000 Grand Prix, Covert rode Utan to an exciting win – A first place finish in the gelding’s second time back in the Grand Prix ring after colic surgery.
“We took much longer than even the surgeon suggested to bring Utan back to jumping and competing,” Covert said. “As hopeful as I was, I didn’t feel there was any pressure or expectation to have him return to the Grand Prix ring – He had already done so much for me and my career.”
“I just kept telling myself to take it all day by day,” she continued. “To win our second Grand Prix back when I didn’t even know if he would ever jump again is really exciting!”
Several weeks prior at the Fox Lea Farm Spring Concours I, Covert took second place in the $25,000 Grand Prix on Billie Jean with Utan not far behind, taking eighth place in his first Grand Prix after surgery.
Covert, a successful international show jumping competitor, has been racking up victories in the show jumping ring since the mid 1990’s. She began her winning partnership with Utan in 2009, winning the $25,000 Grand Prix on her then home soil of St. Lazare, Quebec.
The pair went on to represent Canada on the 2010 Nations Cup team in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With their contribution, Team Canada took home second place. Within the same year, Covert earned the high honors of coming in second place at the Canadian National Championships at the Royal Winter Fair aboard Unica van de Roshoeve.
Covert and Utan then returned to Buenos Aires, placing second in the World Cup Grand Prix and helping Canada win the 2011 Nations Cup. The pair again represented Canada on the Nation’s Cup team in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2013.
The pair was away from the ring in 2015 while Covert and her husband Guilherme Jorge, course designer for the 2016 Rio Olympics, welcomed their first son, Lucas, to the family. Utan spent the remainder of 2016 recovering after having colic surgery that April, but has made a triumphant return to the Grand Prix arena in 2017.
Now living and working in Wellington, Florida, Covert has set new goals for herself, re-entering the international show jumping ring and developing the finest equine athletes. While balancing her work and family life, Covert has made time to take home exciting wins in her most recent competitions.
Finishing off the Spring Concours III series this weekend, May 25-28 on a high note, Covert took second place in the $25,000 Grand Prix with Billie Jean and rode into fifth place with Utan. Looking forward, the Covert Equestrian team has their sights set on venturing up to Lake Placid to compete in the near future.