VREA's 1st rider select
Connecticut native Cassie Sanger has already made quite an impression on the sport of eventing in her Young Rider career. Cassie grew up riding with Darrah Alexander, who she credits with being pivotal in guiding her development as both a rider and a horsewoman by teaching her the value of hard work and dedication.
After spending some time on ponies as a child, Cassie’s first horse was Danger Mouse, an upper-level eventer that she leased from Caroline Pamukcu. Although Mouse had accrued a long list of accolades with Caroline, he was a quirky horse that wasn’t particularly easy to ride. Still, once Cassie figured him out Mouse’s experience proved to be invaluable, cruising up to CCI2* level and winning Reserve Champion at the 2021 American Eventing Championships in Kentucky. From there she acquired Redfield Fyre as a recent import to the U.S. and began cementing their partnership as they progressed up the levels. Wanting to add to her string, in early 2022 Cassie got Fernhill Zoro, a small horse with a big heart that she felt an instant connection with. By the end of the 2022 season Cassie and Zoro finished third at the prestigious CCI3*L at Maryland, which along with her successful season aboard Fyre helped her clinch the 2022 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year title.
In early 2023 she based with Leslie Law in Ocala, FL, participating in the U25 camp, moving up to the Advanced level, and tackling her first CC4*S. Impressing the selectors with her proficiency in all three phases as well as her cool competitive nature, Cassie was selected to her first team experience and invited to compete overseas as part of the U.S. Eventing European Development tour. Traveling to Strzegom in the summer of 2023 as a member of the U.S. team at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S was an experience that Cassie described as a dream come true. The team, which also included Jenny Caras, Andrew McConnon, and Caroline Pamukcu, brought home second place, with Cassie delivering a solid performance in her first appearance abroad.
In the meantime Cassie’s family relocated to Delaware, which prompted Cassie to move her horses to the farm of current coach Caitlin Silliman, near Unionville, Pennsylvania. Recently named to the 2024 U25 Emerging Athlete Program, this talented, ambitious young rider already has an incredibly impressive resume, and the continuation of her journey looks just as promising.