Ocala, FL – This week’s Ocala Sunday Spotlight shines on 15-year-old Katalena Prusso of Woodstock, Georgia. This talented young equestrian is seen in every ring; hunters, jumpers and equitation. Not only does Prusso dominate the hunter ring, but she just competed in her first ever grand prix last Saturday during the $100,000 Coors Light Grand Prix. We caught up with the up-and-coming athlete to learn more about her junior career and some of the horses in her string.
WEC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My mom, Sharon Enteen-Prusso, owns Falcon Ridge Stables, so I have been riding ever since I was young. I didn’t really get into the sport until I was about 10 or 11 years old.
Once I dedicated myself to riding, I really progressed. I started showing in the pony hunters and had this incredible pony named Worth The Wait that was stunning. We won a bunch of Pony Hunter Derbies during the Winter Spectacular Show Series in 2021 and 2022.
Then I moved up to the 3’ and 3’3” Junior Hunters. My mom ended up buying me my very own hunter that was young. We did the Pre Children’s together and I learned so much. Then I got this incredible jumper, Camera Ready. That horse moved me up to the 1.10m. We won Zones and got second at Capital Challenge.
After that, I really started to develop on some client horses and my mom got me two Junior Hunters of my own. Now I am constantly showing in the derbies and just moved up to the grand prix. I’m also going to start dabbling a bit more in equitation this year, which I am very excited about.
WEC: Tell us a bit about the horses that you ride.
I ride a lot of client’s horses. They are all fantastic and I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to ride such amazing horses.
I ride a horse named Camelot that is owned by Judy Kerr. He holds my highest score of a 96, which is an unbelievable feeling.
My two Junior Hunters are Prado and Viscolano. I show Prado in the Small Junior Hunters and the derbies. Viscolano I show in the Large Junior Hunters and he jumps a ten every single time. Both are excellent movers and so much fun to ride.
I also ride a lot of young horses, which I really enjoy. It’s so much fun to watch them develop and learn each time we go into the ring together.
Gatsby’s Green Light is the jumper I ride in the High Junior/Amateurs and the grands prix. He is owned by Renee Minahan. Her daughter used to show him before she went to college, now I am able to show him, until he sells. He has taught me so much and gives me a lot of confidence. We did the High Juniors in Tryon over the summer where we got a few seconds and some other top placings.
During our first week here, we earned Champion in the High Junior/Amateurs, won the speed and were second in the Classic. We placed in the Welcome Prix the past two weeks where we got twelfth the first week and sixth this week. Then I did my first grand prix last week and I am doing the grand prix this week too. It is such an unbelievable feeling to jump that big. I also love the atmosphere during the Saturday night grands prix. It’s a feeling that isn’t even describable.
WEC: What does a normal horse show day look like for you?
Usually, I am running around from ring to ring, riding client’s horses or showing my own. I start the day with my Junior Hunters, then I will run over to the Grand Arena to do the big jumper classes. Then I run around to the other rings if I am helping with the client horses.
It’s a busy schedule, but I always have a blast. I am so lucky to have my mom as a trainer, because we constantly talk about my rounds and it’s so easy for me to tune into what she’s telling me. The team at Falcon Ridge Stables is amazing and my grooms Renne and Mauricio are incredible help and great with the horses. We are like a family, and we all have a blast together.
WEC: Tell us about your experience at World Equestrian Center – Ocala.
I love WEC. It’s still hard to believe that a place like this even exists. No matter what temperature it is outside, we have indoor arenas and barns that are always temperature controlled. I love the tunnels that connect the barns and the indoors. It’s also so much fun to hack on the paths through the trees.
Everyone here is so nice. I am grateful for everyone that makes this place possible, and I feel so lucky to be able to compete here.
Thank you, Katalena for taking the time to chat with us! We are excited to cheer you on in the hunter derbies and grand prix!