Born: September 12, 1961
Hometown: Palm City, Florida
Tina Konyot and Calecto V at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)
For Tina Konyot, horses are truly second nature. Her family spans five generations of horsemanship and circus ring performance. Konyot’s grandfather, Arthur Konyot, occupied center ring in the acclaimed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He then trained horses owned by numerous celebrities and was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1974. Konyot’s father, Alex Konyot, also a member of the Circus Hall of Fame, started an equine training facility in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In the course of his more than 80-year career, he played a role in guiding multiple young riders to huge successes including six-time U.S. Olympian Robert Dover.
Konyot began riding at a very young age and has been honing her skills ever since. In the 1990s, she spent five years training and showing in Europe: two years as a student of Herbert Rehbein, then Rudolf Zeilinger, and after that, Klaus Balkenhol. Konyot returned to the U.S. in 1999 with the young stallion, Justice, to compete in the final Olympic Selection Trial where they finished seventh. Early in 2000, Konyot won the Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W.
In 2004, Konyot partnered with Sally Miller's mare, Anna Karenina, winning the Grand Prix at the Florida Dressage Classic in Wellington in only their third outing. The pair were short listed for the 2004 Sydney Olympic Games and finished seventh in the Selection Trials.
Konyot began competing Calecto V in early 2007, and the big black stallion has gone from strength-to-strength in just a few short years. In his first Grand Prix Freestyle, Konyot guided him to the win at the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage at Devon in September of 2009.
The pair was on a tear in 2010, winning eight Grand Prix, seven of those consecutively. In February, they won the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2010 Wellington Classic, followed by wins in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special a month later at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby.
In April at the Kentucky Cup CDI3* Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games test event, the pair captured the Grand Prix and were then awarded their highest score to date in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
In July, Konyot and Calecto V traveled to Germany to compete in the prestigious CDIO Aachen, where they placed tenth in the Grand Prix Special and eighth in the Freestyle.
The pair then returned stateside to contest the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions. Konyot and Calecto V dominated the Grand Prix division winning all four tests on their way to being crowned the National Grand Prix Champion.
That fall they represented the U.S. at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, where they helped the U.S. to a fourth-place finish and qualified for the Grand Prix Special.
In March 2011, Konyot and Calecto V were second in the Grand Prix Test, behind WEG teammate Steffen Peters, at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by Polo Club International. The following night they earned a third place finish in the Freestyle. In the fall, the pair finished second in the Grand Prix Test, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle at the Collecting Gaits Farm/ USEF Dressage Festival of Champions.
Konyot and Calecto V started off 2012 by winning the Grand Prix Freestyle and finishing second in the Grand Prix Test at the Gold Coast Opener. At the WEF Dressage Classic, the pair took top honors in the Grand Prix Special and placed second in the Grand Prix Test. Konyot and Calecto V’s 2012 continued to impress going into the summer as the pair contested the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and Selection Trials for the U.S. Dressage Team in Gladstone, New Jersey. The pair won the third round, the Grand Prix Test, with a score of 80.149% and finished second in the other three rounds to finish second overall in the Grand Prix Championship for the second year in a row. Later that summer, Konyot and Calecto V represented the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Konyot teaches and trains at her farm in North Stonington, CT, and at her parents’ farm in Stuart, FL.