BONSALL — Olivia Loiacono of Bonsall, aboard her horse Subway, won two prestigious awards at Dansko Fair Hill International on Sunday: the Markham Trophy and CCI*** (Concours Complet International, level 3) “Fittest Horse.”
At age 20, riding under the guidance of gold medal Olympian David O’Connor and competitor Karen O’Connor, Loiacono competed against several other Olympians such as Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin in the championship.
Loiacono’s placing of 13th overall earned her the prestigious Markham Trophy, an award presented to the highest placed United States Young Rider in the competition by the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET).
“The honor of the Markham Trophy was fantastic and to have my name engraved next to the greatest in the sport is humbling,” she said. “And to have Subway be named the most fit horse by the CCI*** veterinarians was the icing on the cake.”
Loiacono’s placing qualifies for the CCI*** 2010 Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event on NBC April 22-25.
The veterinarians who examined each horse in competition recognized Subway as the “fittest.” This award recognizes the ultimate test of conditioning of the horse by its rider and coaches.
Through three days of competition in dressage, endurance on a three-mile cross-country course and stadium jumping, the horse and rider teams work together to show that they can compete in the most demanding levels of equestrian sports.
This year, Animal Planet featured Loiacono and Subway for 26 straight weeks in promotional spots that highlighted the television show “Faithful Friends.”
“Faithful Friends” sponsors the pair and has featured them several times in interviews and competition, starting with Loiacono’s recognition of the United States Pony Club “A” rating received while a member of Rider’s Field in Fallbrook.
Also at Dansko, Loiacono’s teammate, 23-year-old Hannah Burnett, picked up the USET Young Adult Champion and recognition for the CCI** fittest horse and won the CCI** National Championship.