Abby Powell
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Abby Powell

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About Abby Powell

Abby Powell is a native of Northeastern Massachusetts who splits her time between commuting into Boston for work and caring for and riding her rescue Mustang x Arab mare, Maggie.

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Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Bays for Days

It’s happened to all of us: you’re at a new barn, happily helping with chores when a more seasoned worker hands you a lead rope and halter and says, “Can you bring in old Duchess? She’s the big bay out in the far field.”

The instructions seem simple enough, but only after you’ve trudged at least a mile uphill in the mud to the far field do you realize that those instructions were perilously nebulous. Of course, old Duchess is not the only bay in the field, oh no. There are at least two other true bays plus a very tall horse who, if you squint, could pass as bay instead of dark sorrel. Not wanting to return pointlessly empty-handed, you throw the halter over the ears of a definitely bay mare who looks to be at least a quarter of a hand taller than her pasture mates and whisper a quick prayer to the deities that be that you’ve nabbed the right one.

The funny thing is, next week you’ll be a pro at identifying all the members of that confusing bay herd. And once you’ve really gotten to know them all, they’ll look so different you’ll wonder how you ever got them confused!

This week we’ve found three bay beauties all looking for their second careers off the track. Even though they share the same coat color, they couldn’t be more different! Will you give them a chance and get to know them?

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

Verona Blue (Bluegrass Cat – Try N Sue, by Sir Harry Lewis): 2013 16.0-hand New York bred mare

Having just raced last month, Verona Blue is 2018 RRP eligible and has been enjoying a nice let down from the track along with bunch of other adoptable mares at New Vocations. She’s a sweet girl who loves attention and will happily give you cuddles in exchange for a good grooming session! With 15 starts and just 1 podium finish, she wasn’t much of a racehorse but she retired sound and is ready to learn something new!

View Verona Blue on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via CANTER California.

Don’t Keep Time (Don’tsellmeshort – It’s Twilight Time, by Suggest): 2011 16.2-hand California bred gelding

Don’t Keep Time did decently for himself on the track, earning almost $50,000 in 35 starts, but his trainer thinks he’s ready for his next athletic endeavor. CANTER volunteers thought this seven-year-old was cute and sassy, but still quiet and well-behaved. He’s sure to be a real stunner once he’s packed on some more groceries! His last race was November 2017, so he’s still RRP 2018 eligible.

View Don’t Keep Time on CANTER California.

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Deputizer (The Deputy (IRE) – For Your Enjoyment, by Quiet Enjoyment): 2014 16.1-hand West Virginia bred gelding

This unraced four-year-old is a total clean slate just waiting for the right person to come along and teach him the ropes. Even though he’s unraced, he does have registered work so he is still 2018 RRP eligible. Deputizer is a big-boned baby who has some growing into himself to do, but still seems well-balanced. With the right person to bring him along, the sky’s the limit for this one!

View Deputizer on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center. 

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Just a Bunch of Lemmings

We’ve all heard it: if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Well, as eventers, as a matter of fact yes, yes we would! Guess we’re all just a bunch of lemmings.

Area I eventer Ann Grenier put together this fun video montage from clips taken while jump-judging the bank complex at Course Brook Farm Horse Trails in Sherborn, MA, last October. It features levels of crazy from Beginner Novice through Preliminary. Can you spot any of your friends?

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo by Pam Stone.

While our warm weather compatriots are already enjoying the start of the competition season, we snowbound eventers have to entertain ourselves somehow. Actress, comedian, and equestrian Pam Stone invites fellow cold weather barn-goers to come one and all and enjoy their own competition, such as the event she calls the Manure Luge (see video at the bottom of the post!)

Maybe we can get a whole slew of events together for a sort of Winter Equestrian X Games? We just need some more events…how about the Blanket Bundling Relay? Frozen Water Bucket Weightlifting? Iced Road Apple Curling? What other events can you come up with, EN? Let us know in the comments!

National Holiday: National Seed Swap Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation Announced as Title Sponsor of The Great Meadow International FEI Eventing Nations Cup™

PODCAST: Insights from the Eventing 25 Winter Training Sessions

The Affordable Riding Act

‘I thought ‘this is going to kill me’’ — rider issues warning after being trampled in the back of her horsebox

Here’s Why a Thorough Warm-Up Isn’t Just For Your Horse

Deconstructing the Saddle Pad

Saturday Video: Introducing the 2018 Manure Luge Championship!

Calling all competitors for the 2018 Manure Luge Championship. Show us your run! Funn Farm currently in First Place! Dixie Atkins I may need to commission a trophy!

Posted by Pam Stone on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Get to Know Tsetserleg: Boyd Martin’s Small But Mighty Mount

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Shelby Allen.

It’s fitting to equate one of Boyd Martin’s newer mounts, Tsetserleg, to Clark Kent. Day by day in training he’s good, but unassuming — even mediocre at times. It’s not until he’s at a competition does the 16.1-hand gelding show his true colors and transform into Superman … but only for the right person.

“He can be a mediocre performer at the barn, but he loves his job and turns it on at shows,” says Tsetserleg’s owner, Christine Turner of Indian Creek Farm. “He would do anything for his rider — if he likes them — and he loves Boyd.”

Boyd echoes that Thomas has been a bit of a “sleeper,” only truly showing what he’s capable of in competition: “He doesn’t ‘wow’ you at home, but when he gets to a competition he grows to 17.2-hands and jumps as high as you want to jump and moves like Totilas.”

“He’s a funny little character — he’s got a bit of an awkward jump, but he’s a real trier and a pleasure to have,” says Boyd.

A ‘Dark Horse’ Prospect

Christine first laid eyes on Tsetserleg as a 5-year-old at Tim and Cheryl Holekamp’s New Spring Farm, where he was bred. A mentor to Christine, Dr. Holekamp is a longtime supporter of the USEA’s Instructor Certification Program as well as the American Trakehner Association, and their Missouri farm has been home to a number of clinics and inspections over the years. It was at one such inspection that the young black horse turned Christine’s head — but he wasn’t what they were there to see that day, nor was he even being inspected.

The Turners had originally come to the Holekamps’ farm to look at Tupelo, a 3-year-old Trakehner mare who would end up taking reserve champion at the inspection after the Turners agreed to purchase her. Dr. Holekamp had tried to pique Christine’s interest in another Trakehner gelding at the farm, but Tsetserleg, a half-brother to Tupelo out of the same dam and sired by the famous stallion Windfall, caught her eye instead. When Christine learned that Tsetserleg’s barn name was Thomas, she knew it was meant to be.

“My husband is Thomas E. Turner IV and my daughter is Tommie, so it’s very much a family name,” she explains.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Shooting for the Stars

Thomas was campaigned to the two-star level by Michael Pollard. After the 2015 season, the Turners handed the reins over to Boyd Martin. Boyd got to know the gelding over the 2016 season, competing at the Intermediate/two-star level for the majority of the season before stepping up to Advanced at Stable View in October.

Through ups and downs, 2017 proved to be Thomas’ breakout year. Things started out quite promising with an Intermediate win at Pine Top and then a 4th place finish in Advanced at the same venue a couple of weeks later. The step up to three-star at Red Hills in March didn’t go quite as planned, with Boyd taking a tumble off the gelding at a triple brush near the end of the course.

“He couldn’t make the jump at Red Hills toward the end, but it was good for him to get the experience,” Christine recounts.

But Thomas bounced back with a vengeance and zipped around the Advanced track at The Fork a month later — probably the biggest course he had seen yet, according to Boyd — and claimed 2nd. His second CIC3* attempt came at Jersey Fresh later that spring. He and Boyd added only cross country time, on an exceptionally stormy day, to take 2nd again. The trend of success continued for the rest of the season, with the pair never finishing further down the leaderboard than 7th. They ended the 2017 season with an impressive 3rd in the Fair Hill International CCI3* thus crowning him USEF CCI3* National Reserve Champion, and subsequently Tsetserleg was awarded Performance Gold by the American Trakehner Association.

The Belief Pays Off

Thomas’ current success is made that much sweeter for the Turners as they remember the journey it took to get the slow-blooming gelding to this point. Christine has always believed that Tsetserleg was destined for great things — it just took some time to find his match.

“He has had to put up with a lot of trainers that were inexperienced or never believed in him,” she says. “Here I am going, ‘Look, I know he can do it!’ but who am I to them to tell them this? He came from being something that people never believed in to being a powerhouse with Boyd.”

Though it’s taken time for the gelding to blossom into the fierce competitor and proper upper-level horse that Christine knew he was capable of becoming, the sky’s the limit for the gelding with Boyd now in the saddle.

“I think he’s a proper four-star horse, but the biggest thing is he’s such a gutsy trier. At Fair Hill he impressed me in every single phase,” says Boyd. “Chris kept telling me over the last year that this horse was capable of anything. She was right. We must never underestimate a horse’s desire! It is very hard to measure at first sight.”

Photo by Shannon Brinkman via Der Trakehner.

Looking Ahead 

2018 is already off to a good start as Boyd and Thomas are the cover boys on the January issue of Germany’s Der Trakehner magazine. If all goes well, Thomas may get his four-star shot come April at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“I leave it up to the professionals, Boyd and Erik Duvander, our new High Performance Coach, to decide what is best for Thomas and Boyd. We totally trust our rider and support them with whatever they decide,” Christine says.

“We are never let down when he says that he wants to take it easy, and we get excited when he wants to move up. We are hoping for Kentucky, but we know Boyd has a few others who may take that spot. We are just excited for whatever may happen!”

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Iron Horse Edition

Attention 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover trainers: There’s an exciting new award up for grabs this year! MidAtlantic Horse Rescue is generously sponsoring the $1,000 Iron Horse Award which will be bestowed to the top placing horse foaled in or before 2008.

Though often overlooked due to their age, older racehorses have much to offer in their second careers having already proved their durability. But at last year’s Thoroughbred Makeover, just 22 of the 305 competing horses were at least 10 years old. Can 2018 top that?

If you’re still looking for a horse (trainers have until August 1, 2018 to register their horse), fear not — we’re here to help! Here are three 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover eligible “Iron Horses” ready and waiting to show you what they’re made of.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds, Inc.

New York Tough (Good and Tough – Tulane Girl, by Valid Expectations): 2007 15.3-hand New York bred gelding

At 64 career starts, 21 wins, and almost $200,000 earned, New York Tough lives up to his name. “Toughie” is an easy-going guy as well as a hard-working athlete. Though he popped a splint early last year he has recovered to be totally sound and has been lightly restarted under saddle, but remains 2018 RRP eligible. His rider reports that he’s just an all-around good boy under saddle and isn’t spooky in the slightest. He’d make a great project for an OTTB first-timer!

View New York Tough on Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Native Britches (Native Factor – Starlet Britches, by Habitonia): 2005 Michigan bred gelding

Native Britches is another been-there-done-that good ‘ol boy who could be a suitable project for a young rider or adult amateur. He’s been so reliable for his trainer that he was used to teach riders to gallop. This lovely bay is a true war horse, proving his reliability and durability with over 100 starts. Now that he’s done with racing, his trainer wants him to find him a wonderful new home and a second career that he can be just as good at.

View Native Britches on CANTER Michigan.

Photo via CANTER Maryland.

Legendary King (Brahms – Dance Skirt, by Caucasus): 2008 15.3-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Just look at that face! Not only is Legendary King cute as a button, he’s also a real solid citizen who’s just enjoyable to be around. “King” is reported to be totally sound, but when he came back into training he just didn’t have the same zest for racing that he had throughout his 64 career starts. His connections decided that after a year of downtime on the farm, it’s time to let him move on to a new home and a new career.

View Legendary Kind on CANTER Maryland.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: One Way or Another … We’re Gonna Get to NAJYRC!

The Event at Rebecca Farm is a bucket-list competition for eventers around the country. Last year, young riders from around the country fundraised their hearts out to make the trip and compete in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships which were held in conjunction with the event. With the announcement that Rebecca Farm will again host the eventing portion of the NAJYRC for 2018 and 2019, young eventers will have two more chances to go for the gold under the big blue Montana sky — but first, they’ll have to get there!

If you need a little heart-pumping, head-nodding inspiration to get you psyched up for the big event, look no further that this video edit by Rey Jarrell, featuring the 2017 Area I NAJYRC team.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

A kindly Tufts vet student keeps Billy company while he wakes up from surgery. Photo by Abby Powell.

The curse of January strikes again. I’ve now nearly come to expect (though I am doing everything in my power to avoid) a moderately-sized vet bill within the first month of each new year.

I am now on a four year streak: In 2015 my event horse colicked and in 2016 my mini horse colicked (both instances were resolved without surgery and they are fine), in 2017 my mini horse somehow sustained an impressive laceration in an unmentionable area (got stitched up and healed up fine), and now for 2018 my goat, who’s a companion to my horses, got a urinary blockage earlier this week and required surgery.

“Billy Boomer” is just as much a part of my family as the equines, so of course I’m doing everything I can to help him through. Plus, he has a special place in my heart for playing a role in bringing my husband and I together….but that’s a story for another day!

National Holiday: National Cheese Lover’s Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Albemarle County, Virginia, Horse Tests Positive for EHV-1

Decoding the 2018 Dressage Tests

Grid Pro Quo with Will Faudree

Top Four Things You Need To Know From The USEF Veterinary Committee Meeting

Supporting Limb Laminitis Has Been the Undoing of Many Seriously Injured Horses—But That May Be Changing

‘I always do it before Badminton’: eventer who broke back faces race to be fit

Saturday Video: Ground pole inspiration!

https://www.facebook.com/inspiredressage/videos/1985462558372168/

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Three ‘Stately’ Thoroughbreds

From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam! There are many things to be inspired by in the good ‘ol US of A so of course the country’s features and regions make their way into the Jockey Club names and characteristics of our American Thoroughbreds.

This week we’re spotlighting three “stately” OTTBs ready to head home with you and start a new career:

Photo via CANTER Colorado

Rocky Mtn Freedom (Vermont – Freedom Basket, by Basket Weave): 2010 15.3-hand Idaho bred gelding

Rocky Mtn Freedom had a lovely upbringing at his breeder’s place in Idaho, where he was started on the trails and introduced to all sorts of things like bikers, hikers, and wildlife. He started his racing career as a three-year-old and ran through July of last year, racking up a total of 31 starts before retiring sound and moving into CANTER Colorado’s aftercare program. This gelding has been restarted under saddle and is just starting over fences. He’s a touch toed-out in the front but still has lovely movement and is staying sound as he starts his eventing education with his current caretakers.

View Rocky Mtn Freedom on CANTER Colorado.

Photo via CANTER Chicago

Paddybdancing (Belong to Me – Westybdancing, by West Acre): 2010 16.2-hand Illinois bred gelding

It may not be reflected in his name, but this gelding is a Chicago boy through and through — all but one of his 59 career starts were run at Illinois’ Arlington and Hawthorne race tracks. This big-boned gelding was competitive and sound enough to go on to earn almost $140,000 at the track and now he’s looking for a new sport to succeed in. As a been-there-done-that racer, Paddy is a consummate professional and barn-favorite due to his good manner and sweet personality.

View Paddybdancing on CANTER Chicago.

Photo via CANTER Maryland

California Lady (Cal Nation – Lady Krista, by Wayne County (IRE)): 2014 15.3-hand Maryland bred filly

OK, so this nice little filly has never been to her namesake state, but her name is fitting for her laid-back Cali attitude. This chill girl is sweetheart who aims to please, but made it clear that racing was not her jam. She’s sound with no vices and ready to explore a new sport!

View California Lady on CANTER Maryland

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Games to Engage Your Horse’s Curiosity with Elisa Wallace

Cold snaps and blizzard abound; odds are that you’ve been experiencing some nutty weather over the past couple weeks which is putting a damper on your winter training.

If you’re grounded from the saddle due to frozen footing or freezing air — fear not! Elisa Wallace is here to show us some unmounted games you can do with your horses that will encourage confidence and curiosity. Using pressure and release plus positive reinforcement, Elisa and her young OTTB “Sniper” show us how to make use of some interesting items to keep your horse’s brain engaged when the temperature drops.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bdv_gjbgWlL/

With the dawn of the New Year comes a new way to practice our fancy prancing – even for those of us stuck indoors in colder climates! Betterdressagescores.com is a brand new, innovative way for event and dressage riders in the U.S. and Canada to get professional feedback on their tests without breaking the bank or even leaving their home arena.

“Shows” are held at the end of each month – simply choose your test, ride and video it, and send it in with your entry. Your test will be scored and you’ll receive feedback from ‘r’ judges plus you’ll be in the running for ribbons and year-end prizes! Check it out!

National Holiday: National Rubber Ducky Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

US Equestrian Eventing High Performance Program Emphasizes Focuses on Immediate and Future Athlete Success

Camarero, San Luis Rey Responders to Receive Special Eclipse Award

Ride The Moment On Cross-Country: Day 4 Of The USEF Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program Training Session

PODCAST: Erin Sylvester: 2017 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant Winner

Zara Tindall On Four Key Figures That Helped Her Reach the Top of the Sport

Kicking Off the 2018 Season With Great Britain’s Emily King

10 Retired Racehorse Resources on TheHorse.com

Saturday Video: Speaking of Zara Tindell…

The Queen Takes Her Grandchildren Riding – 1992

Posted by NRM Horseboxes on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: New Vocations Pony Club Challenge Edition

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

Pony Club Members, Horsemasters and Riding Centers looking for a new mount have a neat opportunity to retrain a retired racehorse and take part in the New Vocations Pony Club Challenge which will be held in conjunction with Pony Club Championships East at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on July 25-29. Competitors will choose to show their New Vocation adoptee in one of six disciplines; those competing in the eventing challenge will ride a starter level combined test.

New Vocations will provide eligible USPC members with a challenge-eligible thoroughbred for free until January 31st and members have until July 2nd to register for the competition.  Not only is the adoption fee waived, but each horse also comes with a $1,800 stipend generously provided by the WaterShed Animal Fund to use towards horse’s care, training, or other expenses.

Know of a Pony Clubber who might be interested? Here are three approved New Vocations horses ready to start the challenge:

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Divine Shift (Harlan’s Holiday – Bees, by Rahy): 2013 15.3-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Don’t let that adorable face fool you, this super cute gelding is hiding some serious athleticism under that winter coat! In just four races, he managed to earn over $60,000. His racing career was cut short by a bowed tendon which has since healed very well and is cleared for jumping. “Shifty” has only had a few rides off the track since his retirement, but he’s reported to be a very willing and amicable guy who just wants to please his rider.

View Divine Shift on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Lady Sophia (Eskendereya – Vadahilla (FR), by Danehill): 2014 15.3-hand Kentucky bred mare

This regal filly is a sweet girl whose breeders liked her so much they tracked her down and brought her back to Kentucky from California when it was time for her to retire. Sophia retired sound and could be retrained in any discipline, but she’ll need an advanced and confident Pony Clubber to bring her along because she can be barn sour at times. She’s also had some downtime since returning to Kentucky and has been ridden minimally since then, so she’s RRP eligible as well!

View Lady Sophia on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Sneaky Fudge Face (Congaree – Sneaky Valentine, by Snuck In): 2013 16.0-hand New York bred mare

This is one of those horses whose Jockey Club registered name you may not want to use for their USEA registered name unless you really want to turn heads! This girl wasn’t very competitive at the track, but she has a nice sport horse pedigree with nice conformation to match. “Sneaky” is a easy-going and well-behaved girl who likes to get along with everyone. She’s as sound as they come though she does “roar,” but that doesn’t slow her down one bit.

Hard Work Pays Off for Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Chris Talley

The Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 winter training session is underway in Ocala, Florida, January 8-11. We are excited to introduce you to some of the riders making their debut on the E25 list, which can be viewed here. Today: Chris Talley! 

Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star. Photo by ED/Hoofclix.com.

Chris Talley is much more than one of the most fashionable personas on the jog strip; he’s a self-driven, industrious, talented young professional with a bright future ahead. After a successful 2017 season which saw a move up to the Advanced and three-star level, Chris earned a spot on the 2018 Emerging Athletes Eventing 25 list.

At 23 years old, Chris has already carved his own path to the top levels of the sport and immersed himself in multiple facets of the equine industry. His journey to becoming a young professional started years ago, as an even younger professional who first formed his own business at the age of 14.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Chris initially rode on the local hunter circuit before getting into eventing around the age of 12. “I think I wanted more of the thrill,” says Chris. “I started going to the open cross country schooling days at Fair Hill with my pony and got hooked on the adrenaline of it.”

Chris comes from a completely non-horsey family and can’t recall what initially got him hooked on horses. His parents tried to get him out of it because of the expense, encouraging his involvement in any other sport, but none of them stuck. Nothing bites like the horse-bug and eventually they gave in.

“I have to thank my parents for believing in me at a young age and letting me chase the dream,” says Chris. “They’re much more on the bandwagon now, but from a very young age they instilled in me that if I wanted do the horse thing I would have to pay for it myself.”

And pay for it himself he did.

At the age of 13, Chris got a job at the local Iron Spring Farm, a well-known and respected breeding facility, where he worked full-time on the weekends, holidays and during summer break. Soon after, Chris also forayed into business on his own by buying local ponies, working with them, and reselling them, and maintained this business simultaneously with his high school studies and work at Iron Spring Farm.  

Chris was able to set money aside from his sales business which he would later use to offset his cost of living while taking a working student position with Ryan Wood in 2011. After a two and a half year stint with Ryan and after he also finished up high school online, Chris was certain that he wanted to continue as a professional equestrian and decided to hold off on college.

Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills at the Bromont CCI3* jog up. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

After his working student position, Chris restarted his training and sales business — this time down in Virginia where he would rent a barn to work out of. He galloped racehorses to help finance his venture and in doing so made connections which would help him grow his business of restarting and reselling horses off the track.

Selling horses is an aspect of the business that Chris has always been drawn to. “I love matching the right horses with the right people,” he says. “And I like seeing what each horse has to offer — whether it’s a talent for hunters or jumpers or eventing. It’s fun to figure that out.”

The relocation to Virginia also set in motion the series of event that would lead him to meet Hannah Salazaar, a performance horse breeder and dressage trainer, who, with her husband Antonio Salazaar, runs Zaragoza Acres in Jeffersonton, Virginia. Working together, the Salazaars and Chris are successfully running a multifaceted equestrian facility.

Chris says that going into business with Hannah has been one of the best things for his career. “She’s there for me as a best friend, mentor, and role model,” he says.

And it doesn’t hurt to have dressage professional on your team either: “Dressage has always been my weakest phase, so it’s amazing to have a trainer to work with and always have a good set of eyes on the ground.”

Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills at Carolina International CIC3*. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Chris got his first taste of the FEI levels from his 14.2-hand pony Tucan Tango (aka “Comanche”) as they tackled the CCI1* level in 2013, but it was the OTTB Unmarked Bills that truly ignited Chris’ competitive career.

Bills himself has a remarkable story (which EN recounted last summer), having gone from the track to the three-star level within two years under Chris’ guidance. The pair tackled their first Advanced together at Pine Top last February and finished the season with five three-star completions under their belt.

Not to be outshone by his stablemate, Chris’ other top mount Sandro’s Star (Sagnol – Nostalgia’s Star xx – Envoy xx), an Oldenburg stallion owned by Hannah, stepped up to the Intermediate and two-star level this year and with top 10 placings in the majority of his events, was named USEA 2017 Stallion of The Year. With Hannah in the irons, he also claimed numerous accolades at Dressage at Devon including Champion Stallion and Highscore Born in the USA. Chris will be riding “Sandro” at the E25 winter training session this week in order to help further his partnership with the horse.

“I have always wanted to work with Leslie and see the High Performance side of everything and get my name out there,” said Chris. “I really think Sandro is such a promising horse for the future, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to work under Leslie since he’s a relatively new ride for me.”

Sandro is an American-bred and licensed stallion who was then produced to the one-star level in Europe. He holds the distinction of being the first North American bred horse to compete in Germany’s young horse championship, Bundeschampionate.

“I’m used to Billy and the caliber of horse is a bit different with Sandro,” said Chris. “Sandro is such an exceptional horse that I’m looking to get additional tools to help us enhance our performance in all three phases.”

Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star at the Fair Hill International CCI2* jog up. Photo by Jenni Autry.

After the E25 winter training session, Chris will start looking ahead to the 2018 competition season. He plans to move Sandro up to Advanced at Pine Top next month and then will spend the rest of the year working towards Fair Hill International in the fall. With both horses being relatively young, Chris is looking to have them gain further experience at the Advanced and three-star level before making an potential attempts at contesting a four-star.

“I’ve always wanted to ride at a four-star, it’s been my longest goal. Anything after that is icing on the cake,” said Chris.

“I’d like to spend this year really solidifying Bills at the three-star level,” he explained. “Cross country is Bills’ easiest phase, but as a thoroughbred he can get a little tense in dressage and show jumping. I want to make sure he’s very confident in those rings.”

Chris is also excited to begin competing another of Hannah’s horses, eight-year-old Hanoverian stallion Faramund (Fidertanz – Donnerschlag) who was originally purchased as a dressage horse, but has shown a real aptitude for eventing (“He’s a super jumper for being bred as a dressage horse and he’s really brave”) and Chris and Hannah hope to bring him up to at least the Intermediate level so that he can be licensed and approved to the American Hanoverian Society stud book.

With the breeding business booming at Zaragoza Acres, Chris will have his hands full over the next couple years bringing up babies in addition to competing at the upper-levels.

“I don’t see myself doing anything else, so hopefully it works out!”

Go Chris. Go Eventing.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Thrills and Spills of the 2017 Event Rider Masters

From May to September last year, the Event Rider Masters brought us the excitement and adrenaline of eventing from across the pond right to our computer screens. Now in its second year running, the series of seven CIC3* events across Europe puts an exciting twist on traditional eventing competition as riders gather points throughout each leg of the series. Gemma Tattersall was crowned the 2017 Event Rider Masters Champion before the culmination of the series held at Blenheim Palace.

Before we look ahead to the 2018 series, let’s take a look back at some of the thrills and spills over the course of 2017; because of course only eventers are crazy enough to make a highlight reel using ‘fail’ moments!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

We got some ❄️⛄️

A post shared by Caroline Teich (@teicheventing) on

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…ok now please make it stop thankyouverymuch. The 18″ outside my door is quite enough. And the worst part for me? I have completely thrown out my back by shoveling and can’t do anything. I’m too young for this, I swear… Right now I’m feeling very thankful for good friends who can take care of my horse for me this weekend!

National Holiday: National Cuddle Up Day

Saturday Links:

Meet Your Clinicians for the 2018 Educational Symposium in Ocala

Blinging In The New Year

‘Her heart made her’: rider pays tribute to four-star mare

What You Need To Know: The 2018 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session

Zara Tindall expecting second child

Keep Horse Barns Safe From Fire as Cold Bears Down

Tune Your Riding Position to Put Your Horse into “Drive”

Saturday Video: Working students know how to have fun on a snow day!

https://www.facebook.com/150971375061334/videos/910928879065576/

Thursday Video: Bored? Here’s How to Turn a Tangerine Peel into a Horse. You’re Welcome.

Are you snowed in from this bombo-whatever-it-is blizzard that’s whalloping the east coast today? Well, citizens of EN, you’re in luck because here’s a real boredom buster that will test your knife skills and artistic capabilities.

All you need to start are three simple materials:

  1. A round citrus fruit.
  2. An Exacto knife or other sharp implement.
  3. Literally nothing better to do.

Hidden Artwork

Wait for the reveal!Please say something about this video with one word <3

Posted by Miracles of nature on Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ya’ll, I cann’t believe that all this time I’ve just been throwing peels away when I could have been doing this. Did you try it? Post a pic in the comments and show us how you did!

Go … citrus peeling?

Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Amanda Beale Clement is a Student of the Sport

Amanda Beale Clement and Get Ready at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Amanda Beale Clement officially became a three-star rider at the Ocala Jockey Club International in November, where she was the youngest competitor in the division. That wasn’t the only big thing to happen to her last fall — she also became a freshman at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Eventing is all in the family for Amanda. Her mother, Susie Beale, is an accomplished four-star rider who owns and operates the bustling Cairn O’Mount Stables in Malvern, Pennsylvania. In addition to Susie’s long list of competitive accomplishments, her student’s many achievements speak to her passion for training and teaching which her daughter shares. The 18-year-old piloted her mother’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Get Ready to a 17th place finish in the star-studded CIC3* at Ocala, adding only time to their dressage score.

But even with a four-star rider as a mother, Amanda wasn’t interested in eventing from the get-go. Up until the age of 11, she wanted to try all kinds of other activities and sports instead. “My mom was completely supportive and I think kept secretly hoping I wouldn’t want to ride,” said Amanda. “All the other sports were much cheaper!” 

“I know how proud she is of me though; we have both worked hard to get me to this level. She is my biggest supporter, but I also have some amazing owners and sponsors who have come on board this year.”

2017 would be a big year for Amanda and it was kickstarted by being named to the USEF Emerging Athlete Eventing 18 list participating in the winter training session last January, which she says was a turning point in her riding thanks to the newfound confidence it gave her. At that time, she had only recently begun her partnership with Get Ready, known as “Brooklyn” around the barn, and rode her previous mount, Peter Pan, whom she piloted to team gold for Area II in the CH-J1* at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2015 and later competed through the CCI2* level.

“Peter Pan taught me so much and I left the January E18 session ready to take on the new partnership with Brooklyn,” Amanda reflected. She sings the praises of the lectures and demonstrations from top equine industry professionals, the group of other riders with whom she made strong friendships during the camp, and last but certainly not least, the “phenomenal teaching styles and techniques” of Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law.

“Leslie’s way of teaching immediately made sense to me and I felt completely at ease with him and his style. He is a superb instructor with an innate ability to help the rider understand the concepts that he is teaching. He is an excellent coach — he focuses on the training scale which is the basis of good riding. His dressage lessons and jump lessons are extremely helpful and positive.”

Amanda Beale Clement and Peter Pan, March 2016. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The boost of confidence that the E18 training camp provided helped Amanda to make her (and Brooklyn’s) debut at the Advanced level at Fair Hill in April, which would set them up for a very successful rest of the 2017 season. Before turning their attention to qualifying for a CCI2*, they ran Advanced again at the Horse Park of New Jersey in June and managed to knock four marks of their dressage score and 20 seconds off their cross country time from their debut at the level.

Amanda was also able to train with Leslie on a few other occasions throughout the competition season. First, at a two-day E18 training session at Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm before they contested the CCI2* at Fair Hill International, and then again during a four-day intensive training session in Florida prior to the Ocala Jockey Club International. The extra preparation with Leslie was instrumental in helping her and Brooklyn jump clean around both events, says Amanda.

Having had such success due in part to the opportunities provided through the E18 program, it was a no-brainer for Amanda to apply to Eventing 25.

“With all this under my belt I knew that I had to apply for E25. I thought it was a bit of a long shot as I am only 18 and there are so many great riders already named to the E25,” she said, “but I am so excited to be given this opportunity by the USEF.”  

As a first-year college student, Amanda also had to learn how to balance school with riding once the school year started. She admits it has been a challenge, but the feat has thankfully been made a little easier by the help and support of the people around her.

“There were days when I would be asking myself, ‘How is this going to work?’ I would have four horses to ride, a paper to write, a test and quiz due. I crammed all my classes into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which made those days long, but having Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to ride and compete was amazing.”

“There was some resistance to that schedule from the school and my advisor; they kept insisting that a freshman couldn’t do that schedule and classes had to be over all five days. I could not have done it without the help of the staff at the stable and my mom, but the schedule that I picked did work. Without that schedule and some really nice Wednesday professors the fall FEI events would have been out of the question.”

Amanda plans to ride and teach professionally after college and she hopes her major in psychology will help her along her path. Throughout the rest of her education, she’ll continue to work alongside her mom at Cairn O’Mount Stables by teaching, going to shows and coaching, and training the young horses.

Amanda Beale Clement and Get Ready at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Moving forward into 2018 with a semester of college under her belt, Amanda has plans to continue her eventing education as well, starting with participating in next week’s the Emerging Athlete winter training session.

“I know it will be another great experience and I am really looking forward to it,” she said. “I am really hoping to polish up on my flying changes! Now that I am going Advanced and three-star they are rather important — that’s where Leslie comes in!”

Amanda will then start the 2018 competition season by bringing four young horses to the new Grand Oaks Horse Trials in Florida to run in Novice through Preliminary levels. She and her mom have recently started a new venture bringing horses over from Ireland.

“I am really excited to get the new horses out competing,” she said. “This spring I will help my mom ride and compete at most of the events while also coaching our students. We have a great partnership, I am very lucky that I have an opportunity to work under her as I get my name out in the eventing world.”

Brooklyn will make his season debut the following month and will warm up with a run at Prelim before gearing up and aiming for Jersey Fresh later in the spring. Overall, Amanda wants to focus on technique and improving her skills at the upper-levels throughout the spring.

Long-term, Amanda has three concrete goals: Graduate from college, ride at the Kentucky CCI4*, and one day, represent the United States on a team.

“I love to compete, the nerves and the adrenaline of the sport is something that keeps one coming back for more. I love the challenges and the knowledge that I will always be learning something new from every horse I ride.”

Go Amanda. Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Birthday Edition!

As the New Year rings in, thousands of Jockey Club registered thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating birthdays!

The practice of having all registered horses celebrate a birthday on the same day date – regardless of their actual foaling date – dates back to 18th century England at which time it was decreed that all racehorses would be considered one year older on the first of May. Of course, there’s lots more to the history of how it eventually came to be that New Year’s Day would be the universal birthdate for thoroughbreds, and you can learn all about it in this detailed article by Nelson Dunstan that was printed in the January 12, 1948, edition of the Daily Racing Form.

Whether it streamlines the race qualifications or makes it more confusing to racing fans (or both at the same time), the January 1st rule has been accepted for quite a while. That makes for a lot of carrot cake to go around for all the birthday colts and fillies out there, these three geldings that we present to you in our Weekly OTTB Wishlist included:

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Shopping Spree (Street Cry (IRE) – Miss Shop, by Deputy Minister): 2011 16.2-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Here’s beautifully built and bred gelding that will help you start your New Year off right. “Spree” is a good-looking guy who definitely knows he’s a looker, but is still friendly and not to uptight to act goofy. Spree has already been restarted under saddle on the flat and over cross rails, and his connections at Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center say he’s a great horse to ride. His photos and videos show a horse with a ground-covering stride who’s eager to work and do what’s asked of him. Looks like he could make a super new partner for someone!

View Shopping Spree on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo via CANTER MN.

Dynamite Man (Harlan’s Holiday – Delicate Dynamite, by Old Trieste): 2014 15.3-hand Kentucky bred gelding

“Gulliver” has got a serious case of the winter woolies at the moment, so we picked a more summery photo to display above and show off his athletic conformation. This young gelding only had eight starts and came off the track sound, but very body sore. After two months away from the track he’s already much better and his sweet personality has started to shine through. Gulliver has been very lightly restarted under saddle, but is still 2018 RRP eligible for anyone interested!

View Dynamite Man on CANTER MN.

Photo via Friends of Ferdinand.

Big Bright Boy (North Light (IRE) – Irish Fantasy, by Glitterman): 2011 17.0-hand Indiana bred gelding.

This gelding was aptly named! At a towering 17-hands and with an enormous shoulder to match, “Brighty” is a gentle giant. He’s six months off the track, where he had a mediocre career, and has adjusted very well to a leisurely life of turnout and naps in the sunshine. Now that he’s settled into a new routine, Brighty is ready to find his own person to take on the world with.

View Big Bright Boy on Friends of Ferdinand.

New Year’s Day Video from Tredstep Ireland: A Mini, a Kid and a Cat Walk into a Barn…

Screenshot via Facebook.

Move over Chalupa Batman (don’t actually though — we love you forever!), there’s a new kid and pony show in town and they’ve got one extra in tow. Today we’d like to introduce you to the terrific trio of Abigail Kitner, Gallant the mini, and Dude the cat.

Abigail is a young equestrian who just turned six years old and her trusty steed is 28-year-old Gallant the Miniature horse. This adventurous youngster is having a heck of a childhood growing up in New Jersey thanks to her mom Becky Yank, who helped her daughter start climbing into the saddle at the tender age of one and a half. Abigail is enrolled in the local 4-H chapter and is already taking the local show circuit by storm in multiple disciplines.

A couple months ago, Abigail and Becky discovered that their cat, Dude, was a budding equestrian as well.

“He gets on him self whenever they are standing still,” said Becky. “Abigail is eager to see if he likes jumping, but I told her she needs to wait until the snow melts!”

Posted by Becky Yank on Saturday, December 30, 2017

Posted by Becky Yank on Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ride like the wind, Abigail and Dude.

Happy New Year from the EN Team!

Every time I hit “Save Draft” — whether it’s for a routine News & Notes post I’ve whipped together or for a rider profile that’s taken me weeks to find the right words – I pinch myself a little. Our dearest Leslie Wylie already put into words what I feel as well — that “it is an honor and a privilege to be a steward of this website.”

This team of eventing fanatics behind your computer screen is a kooky, creative, passionate bunch and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we feel #blessed to be bringing you your daily eventing fix. 2017 has been a tumultuous year in and out of our sport, and in some cases in and out of our own lives.

With another year waning and 2018 on the horizon, we wanted to take a moment to wish you a very Happy New Year from our team behind the screen by sharing what we were up to over the past year and what we’re looking forward to in the year ahead.

 

Shelby Allen

Favorite horsey moment from 2017: Visiting Rebecca Farm was one of my most memorable experiences of the year. Though the photos are incredible, they still somehow don’t do it justice. The venue’s natural beauty and the talented horses you see there, makes it heaven on earth for eventers.
Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: Adopting my dog, Franklin.
Favorite article I wrote in 2017: My favorite story to write this year was about Amanda Gantz, a converted hunter rider who two years after a breast cancer diagnosis found herself prepping for a longtime goal of competing in the American Eventing Championships. I so enjoyed talking with Amanda. Her natural grit and bubbly personality were contagious.
Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: This year he was pretty feral from start to finish! There were about 4 weeks in there when he lived out completely because he absolutely wouldn’t let me catch him…
What I’ll be drinking on NYE: Champagne of course!
What I’m looking forward to in 2018: My personal riding took a backseat this year, so I thoroughly enjoyed staying involved with the sport and working with the best team around at EN. Next year I am looking forward to making the trip to my first World Equestrian Games. Cheers, y’all

Jenni Autry

Favorite horsey moment from 2017: 18-year-old Mr. Medicott’s heroic clear show jumping round at Kentucky to become the USEF National CCI4* Champion in the final upper-level competition of his storied career. I burst into tears when he cleared the last.

Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: My husband Josh and I somehow squeezed in a trip to Holland and Belgium between The Fork and Kentucky in April. We expected Amsterdam to be our favorite destination, but Belgium stole the show. Beer and chocolate galore!

Favorite article I wrote in 2017: Out of the 328 articles I wrote for EN in 2017, these two stand out as my favorites: Phillip Dutton On Life, Lee Lee and What’s Next and In Loving Memory of John Alliston.

Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: Got knocked up! (My OTTB mare Mia is a surrogate for Stephanie Cauffman’s super mare Mistry Oak, dam to Chatsworth Third Revolution, who finished 3rd in his first CCI1* at the Ocala Jockey Club. Baby by Diamant de Revel coming spring 2018 and we are SO excited!)

What I’ll be drinking on NYE: I’ll be in Iceland because I lost the vote to go somewhere that doesn’t require me to wear thermal underwear, so I’m guessing some sort of hearty Icelandic beer. Skál!

What I’m looking forward to in 2018: Continuing to compete Jimmie Schramm’s Bellamy, the most perfect horse in the entire world.

 

Tilly Berendt

Favorite horsey moment of 2017: The moment the counter ticked over to £500,000 and Cooley Rorkes Drift was secured for Jonty Evans. It made me realize just how incredibly special the global eventing family is, and I’ll never forget that! A close second goes to the sheer amount of emotion in the collecting ring at Badminton when Andrew Nicholson realized he’d finally won it.

Favorite non-horsey moment: Did anything good happen outside of the horse world in 2017?! I mean, Prince Harry’s officially off the market now, so I’m considering this a write-off year for non-horsey joy.

Favorite article from 2017: This is such a tough one as I had some seriously great adventures with EN this year. Getting to cover Kim Severson’s Blenheim win was a real privilege, and having quality time with Chinch in France for two weeks was pretty great, too. But I’ll have to go with my very first piece, Eventing in the US vs the UK – purely because finally becoming part of the EN family was one of the most special parts of my 2017! #soppy

Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: The German Princess tries to outdo himself in the stupidity stakes on a weekly basis. Having to be escorted off the gallops at home by a very green four-year-old, because he totally and completely lost his damn mind, was a particularly shameful moment, and one which I’m not sure we’ll ever quite live down…

What I’ll be drinking on New Year’s Eve: ALL THE THINGS. Certainly all of the gin. And possibly some absolutely lethal sloegasms – that’s sloe gin and prosecco, for those of you who fancy making some bad decisions.

What I’m looking forward to in 2018: Getting back on the road with Chinch, of course! But also getting back into the start box myself, after a few years out of competition. The German Princess is also thrilled. I think.

 

Maggie Deatrick

Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: My husband and I bought our first house in October, which despite being new construction still has five million projects we’d like to accomplish. It’s been a huge bright spot for the year, a great distraction from some tough realities this fall, and it’s absolutely a blessing to have cut the commute to the barn in half.

Favorite article I wrote in 2017: My favorite articles are often a bit more controversial, as I have a chance to sneak out from behind my numbers and toss out my actual opinions. I wrote the editorial The CCI3* Debate: Does the U.S. Need More? after hearing about Richland and was gratified to see the U.S. take a step forward and add the Ocala CCI3* to the schedule for 2018.

What I’ll be drinking on NYE: Gin and tonic

What I’m looking forward to in 2018: Testing out the waters at Modified with my (not-so) baby squid by the summer, with hopefully a move up to Prelim by the fall and a T3D to cap the year off.

 

Abby Powell

Favorite horsey moment from 2017: I went to my first “away” show this fall and we stabled overnight at the GMHA Festival of Eventing. It was a fun weekend of riding and learning with friends and family by my side. Plus, I adore Vermont!

Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: One of my good college friends got married this summer and her wedding was an epic time! It was a super night of dancing and catching up with friends.

Favorite article I wrote in 2017: I have two: one happy and one sad. The happy one is A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How William Fox-Pitt’s Central Park Catch Ride Came to Be because it was such fun hearing from Anna how the whole thing came about. The sad one is In Memory of Aimee Witherspoon: Friend and Adventurer. I obviously wish it didn’t have to be written, but hearing from Aimee’s friends was truly touching and I found myself shedding tears as I typed for someone I had never met. It was the hardest, but most moving thing I’ve ever written.

Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: Since the competition season has ended and my pony, Maggie, has started to stock up in one udder. Just one. Yes, it look like she has a boob. It’s not a tick bite, not an infection, not an abscess or a cyst – I’ve tested her for the works at this point. The only thing that makes it go away is exercise; 30 minutes of trotting and it’s totally deflated. Then the next day it’s a boob again. It’s very bizarre.

What I’ll be drinking on NYE: I’ll be hanging out at a friend’s house who makes a mean sangria, so probably lots of that. And champagne.

What I’m looking forward to in 2018: I’m hoping to make the big, huge, scary step up to Novice next year. Maybe even in time for my very favorite event, Groton House Farm Horse Trials. If that happens, it will be a dream ~15 years in the making come true!

 

Leslie Threlkeld

Favorite horsey moment from 2017: My young horse did his first Beginner Novice and Novice horse trials and he was so. stinking. cute.

Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: My husband and I got engaged, married and bought a farm. It was a pretty stellar year!

Favorite article I wrote in 2017: Hello, My Name Is Inigo Montoya – I love “The Princess Bride” movie and it cracks me up that this young rider let her dad name her new horse Inigo Montoya.

Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: First or second night at the new barn he got spooked by a nasty thunderstorm and somehow chested open the stall door, breaking the hinges and all, and spent the night pulling blankets off racks and raiding the alfalfa shed.

What I’ll be drinking on NYE: We’ll be hanging out at a local brewery.

What I’ll looking forward to in 2018: I’m looking forward to testing for my “r” Technical Delegate license in August, followed by WEG taking place an hour from my house (and hopefully a medal for the home team!) and my personal goal is to compete in my first long format event in the fall.

 

Leslie Wylie

Favorite horsey moment from 2017: Jumping around Prelim cross country at the Kentucky Horse Park on my 14-hand pony Princess. The jumps were taller than she was! I came off course like, “Omg, you guys, we basically just did a four-star.” Which is true — mathematically speaking, jumping 3’7″ on her is the equivalent of jumping 4’5″ on a 16-hand horse. I hate math!

Favorite non-horsey moment from 2017: Coming home from the Mongol Derby with all my body parts mostly intact and having a moment of realization that there are things in life more important than horses. Or, at least, AS important as horses.
Favorite article I wrote in 2017: After several years of covering events all over the world, I have come to the conclusion that the most prestigious championship of them all is Jr. Beginner Novice at the AECs. I went into it this year, like, you know who’s getting top AEC billing in 2017 and every year henceforward from now until forever? These Jr. BN kids. They’ve got a smile on their face, ice in their veins, and they’re coming for us all. See “#AEC17 Not-So-Live XC Updates: Jr. Beginner Novice 14 & Under Faceoff Showdown.”
Stupid thing my horse did in 2017: That pony that ran off with all of my stuff, ALL OF IT, on day three of the Mongol Derby, never to be seen again, is on my $h!t list forever. I hope you’re having fun with that iPhone7, little pony!
What I’ll be drinking on NYE: I traditionally make some sort of champagne jello shot. Because I am a college freshman trapped in a 36-year-old body.
What I’m looking forward to in 2018: Serving the great sovereign state of the Eventing Nation to the best of my ability. No sport has more fun. No sport has better people. No sport has a bigger heart. I love you guys! Cheers to 2018.
Go Eventing in 2018.

Best of 2017 Video Countdown #1: Here Comes Chalupa

For the past 10 days we’ve been counting down the most popular videos shared on EN in 2017, and now we’re ready to crown the champion! The #1 spot goes to “Here Comes Chalupa,” which garnered 12,022 views when it was posted on January 19, 2017. And I think we can all agree that Chalupa Batman deserves every ounce of glory that the Eventing Nation can send his way!

Citizens of EN, get ready for an off-the-charts level of cuteness.

Meet Chalupa Batman (yes, Chalupa Batman, a la The League) and his rider Abbey Clark, who contested the Junior Starter Novice division at the Heritage Park Horse Trials in Olathe, Kansas over the weekend. Chalupa is a 7-year-old Shetland Pony owned by Kris Wallace, head trainer and owner of Columbia Equestrian Center in Missouri.

Just look at how those tiny knees snap to his tiny nose over the fences, look at those little bitty lead changes, and check out how he takes those fences right out of stride. What a great team!

BONUS: Tiny dressage! I give them a 10 for cuteness.

Fly, Chalupa, fly — and may you impart a love of eventing upon all the children that you teach.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The little deer that could is making us proud and has run all the way to the finals of the EquiRatings Horse of the Year! Lynn Symansky’s Donner now faces Gemma Tattersall’s Arctic Soul in the final round and needs your votes to win the crown. Head on over the EquiRatings Facebook page to cast your vote.

National Holiday: Bacon Day

Saturday Links:

PODCAST: 21-Year-Old Madeline Backus Receives $45,000 Wilton Fair Grant

8 riders you need on your radar in 2018

24 Horses Die In Folly Farm Barn Fire

Don’t judge a book by its cover: cob tackles CIC* events

11 Resolutions to Make You Better at Everything in 2018

How Paddock Size Impacts Equine Social Interactions

ICYMI: You can win a Boyd Martin Eventing 4-pack from Majyk Equipe! All you have to do is share your New Year’s Resolution here by New Year’s Eve at midnight.

Saturday Video: Bad, bad baby horse!

https://www.facebook.com/sara.kozumplik.murphy.equestrian/videos/1767094140259814/

EN’s #2017BestNine: A Year in Photos

#2017BestNine collages have become a fun way for Instagram users to celebrate and look back on a year that was. Following along on Instagram is just one of the many ways that we here at EN get you up close and personal with eventing action around the world. We love sharing the moments we have captured and bringing you as much insanity in the middle as possible!

You can easily create your own collage on 2017bestnine.com just by entering your Instagram username. If you aren’t already, make sure you follow along with EN as we head into the 2018 season!

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit your most-liked ‘grams of 2017:

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack. Photo by Kate Samuels.

#9: Woodge Fulton’s save of the day at the Wellington Eventing Showcase

Captain Jack’s hind legs just clipped the top of one of the fences on course at the Wellington Eventing Showcase back in February and popped Woodge Fulton right out of the tack — but she was not about to give up! Woodge channeled a spider monkey as she dangled from her horse, but managed to scramble back on board and power around the rest of the course. EN’s Kate Samuels captured the moment which garnered 2,003 “likes.”

 

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

#8: Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen strut to the lead of the Kentucky Three-Day Event

EN fans freaked out and liked this picture 2,011 times after Clark and Glen threw down a 33.6 to top the leaderboard after Friday’s lunch break. Oh, and in doing so they bested Ze Terminator’s score of 37.1. Now that’s some good fancy prancing! Clark and Glen hung on to the lead through the remainder of dressage and led going into cross country, which sadly didn’t quite go their way, but this photo is a great reminder that this pair is capable of hanging tough with the best in the world.

 

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Jenni Autry.

#7: Boyd Martin plays to the crowd

“I can’t hear you!” mimed Boyd Martin as the crowd cheered after his test with Steady Eddie at Kentucky Three-Day Event. Jenni Autry captured this shot of Boyd hamming it up and, ever the fan-favorite, it was liked 2,059 times.

 

#6: Phillip Dutton’s celebratory heel-click

This video, captured by the good folks at Horseware, was viewed 8,317 times and got 2,242 likes making it the top viewed and liked video on EN’s Instagram. Phillip Dutton celebrated Mr. Medicott’s acceptance by the ground jury after the second horse inspection at Kentucky with a joyous (and agile) heel-click.

 

Boyd Martin and Crackerjack at the last water complex on course at Pau 2017. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

#5: Rest in peace, Crackerjack

2,258 of you helped us send our condolences to Crackerjack’s team and connections after his tragic accident at Pau.

 

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

#4:  Reggie’s retirement ceremony

Cassie and Carl Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM, better known as “Reggie,” was retired in a heartfelt ceremony on show jumping day at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. Ridden by Buck Davidson, Reggie had achieved the honor of highest scoring US event horse of all time! 2,426 of you congratulated Reggie along with us by liking this photo.

 

Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

#3: Cornelia Dorr avoids a dunking Jersey Fresh International

It was a very rainy cross country day at Jersey Fresh International this year and Cornelia Dorr made it all the more exciting by nearly taking a swim. Her long-time partner Sir Patico MH took an awkward stride after landing and jolted her out of position, but she hung on tight and bounced back into the saddle and the pair finished the track double-clear. This impressive save garnered 2,443 likes!

 

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Jenni Autry.

#2: That feeling you get when you win the Kentucky Three-Day event three times in a row

What, you don’t know that feeling? Michael Jung sure does and he flashed that adorable smile of his after his show jumping round with fischerRocana FST clinched them the three-peat victory. Michael and Rocana proved to us once again this year that they are king and queen of Kentucky. Your 2,453 likes on this picture gave us a good feeling.

 

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

#1: A fence straight out of your nightmares

Tilly Berendt was EN’s boots on the ground at Le Lion d’Angers in France and captured this shot during the six- and seven-year-old championships. This giant spider was just one of many exceptionally decorated fences on Pierre Michelet’s whimsical course. EN readers are either bunch of arachnophobes or really appreciate the creativity of this fence (or both) because this photo was liked 2,675 times!

Thanks for following along through 2017. You better believe we’ll be bringing you more insanity in the middle in 2018!

Wednesday News and Notes from SmartPak

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

It seems that the usefulness of recycling Christmas trees as jump fillers has finally truly caught on. I’m already seeing many of my equestrian friends and acquaintances putting out solicitations on Facebook for used tree donations from their friends and neighbors. I need to get on board with this myself this year, as my pony could certainly use some more practice with brush jumps! We are definitely going to start smaller than the one above though … I think just one or two trees will do at the moment thankyouverymuch.

National Holiday: National Fruitcake Day

Wednesday News & Notes:

French event rider and Olympic gold medalist Jean-Jacques Guyon has passed away at the age of 85. Jean-Jacques’ gold came at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and even today he remains only one of two French riders to win individual Olympic gold in eventing. [French Olympic eventing hero Jean-Jacques Guyon dies at 85]

Learning to read a horse’s body language is an important part of horsemanship, but did you know that your horse has probably learned to read your body language as well? This is an important factor to take into account not only on a daily basis working around horses, but also for research studies where results could be skewed by a handler inadvertently influencing their horse’s behavior. [Body Language in Horse and Human Interactions]

Eek! Horse & Hound has curated nine favorite shots of horses and riders in some of their less-than-graceful moments. Get ready for some thrills and spills! [Ouch! 9 hairy moments from 2017 caught on camera]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I generally let my pony get fuzzy over the winter and regulate her own temperature, but over the next week or two I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands as the temperature is dropping significantly. Luckily, I have her Weatherbeeta Genero Turnout Blanket on hand to toss on her for times like these! [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Just some horses singing Jingle Bells … definitely nothing out of the ordinary …

A Horsey XMasparty

Just some horses singing Jingle Bells… What happens at the barn while you are out on Christmas Eve ;PHappy Christmas everyone, don't forget to celebrate it with your horses too! **Not too late for last minute Christmas Shopping! Get your full year Horse Lifestyle subscription now with 60% off, shop at: http://gift.horselifestyle.tv **#SecretLifesofPonies #PartyTime

Posted by Horse Lifestyle on Friday, December 23, 2016