In this week’s What the Pros Use Interview, we sat down with Christine “Chris” McCrea to talk horses, superstitions and riding couches. That’s right – riding couches.
Christine “Chris” McCrea is known as a consistent performer in the show-jumping arena. Chris began riding in 1985 at a local stable in her hometown of Suffield, Connecticut, where she competed in area pony and junior classes. She had a successful junior year, which was capped off by winning the 1996 Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals. Following this win, Chris earned her bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Connecticut. Chris continued to ride while attending college and burst onto the Grand Prix circuit in 1999.
Since 1999 Chris has steadily risen through the show-jumping ranks within the U.S. and on the International circuits. She has earned multiple top-ten finishes at home, including a 9th place at the 2003 $75,000 Cosequin Florida Open CSI-W; 1st at the 2004 $25,000 Littlewood Grand Prix; 1st at the 2005 $10,000 Masters Mini Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival, 1st at the 2006 $100,000 National Indoor Finals for the Marshall & Sterling League; 1st at the 2006 $50,000 Grey Goose Vodka World Cup & Grand Prix qualifier at the Hampton Classic, and 1st at the 2006 $100,000 Wachovia securities American Gold Cup World Cup qualifying Grand Prix. So far in 2007 Chris was a finalist in the 2007 Las Vegas World Cup and took 6th place at the $75,000 Idle Dice Grand Prix in Wellington, Florida.
Chris’ domestic wins have led to her selection for the USET Developing Riders Tour in 2004 and the Samsung Super League Tour in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In 2005 she placed in the Grand Prix of Budapest and was part of the second-place team in the Nations’ Cup in Lumen, Belgium. In 2006, Chris successfully represented the United states in Rome, Italy, Lucerne Switzerland, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Dublin Ireland. Each tour proved to be a success for Chris. She capped off the tour in Dublin where she was awarded with the Longines Press Award for Elegance.
In 2007 Chris and Vegas were a member on the winning Nation’s Cup team at Hickstead and took 2nd place Nation’s Cup team in Dublin.
Chris recently finished 11th in the 2008 Olympic Trials, placed 2nd in the $75,000 I Love New York Grand Prix, and 3rd in the $75,000 Hermes Grand Prix.
Chris and her horse Vegas finished 2008 with a 1st place win at the $100,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of Syracuse.