October 4, 2013–Twenty-eight entries lined up to compete in the $5,000 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge. With equal scores of 88 in both rounds, Greg Crolick and Adrienne Marciano’s Grey Street jumped to victory with a total 176. Close behind in second place was Jamie Taylor on Cipriani. They received scores of 87 and 88.66 for a total of 175.66. Taylor Adams and Taken were third with a score of 174.99, while Jennifer Bliss rode Poker Face to 171.83 and fourth place. Fifth place went to Trentino and Megan Young, who scored 170.50.
Crolick hails from Bloomfield Hills, MI, and admitted that he doesn’t fit the typical expectation of a “Developing” professional. “This year it was weird to be qualified as a Developing Professional because I’m 41 and have been doing this a while,” he said with a laugh, “but I met all of the qualifications. Hopefully, next year I’ll be in the Professional Challenge.”
Staying relaxed was on the game plan for this class, since it was more of a hunter classic-style course. Crolick explained, “I have a tendency to get aggressive when I’m in there, like a handy derby. So in this type of classical hunter round, you need to be a little quieter and be a little more subdued.”
He has been riding Grey Street, a 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding, since January. The horse was originally imported from Europe to be a jumper by Seth Vallhonrat. When he knew he was qualified for tonight’s class, Crolick chose Grey Street immediately.
“He’s a wonderful horse,” Crolick said. “Just the way he canters across the ground, he’s so pretty between the jumps. The whole picture looks so consistent and nice. And I know his mind-frame walking in there will be dependable. I know him the best.”
Crolick was happy to be a part of the class. “I think this class really highlights the rider and how the rider goes in the ring. It’s nice to have your peers at the gate whooping for you and congratulating you and you’re in competition with them,” he related. “Outside of that, this helps for your profile as a professional moving forward.”
He continued, “Even though I’ve been teased this whole week about why I’m in the Developing Professionals, it’s all fun banter. It means a lot (to win). Last year I was here watching it and this year I’m doing it. I’m glad I was here and had a great outcome. It worked out really well.”