Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

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About Jenni Autry

Originally from San Diego, Jenni discovered eventing thanks to the Bedford Hunt Pony Club in Virginia. After working in both newspapers and magazines, she joined the EN team in 2012 and became managing editor in 2014. She travels extensively covering the U.S. Eventing Team and has reported at the Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and Olympic Games. She lives with her husband and three cats in Pennsylvania.

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North America Leads Charge for Mandatory Use of Frangible Technology

Photo courtesy of ERA International

Following a strong statement from the United States Eventing Association calling for the mandatory use of frangible technology on certain types of cross country fences, Canada has now also expressed support for the movement to place North America firmly at the forefront of the fight to bolster safety in eventing.

“The time has come to take a stronger stance on the usage of frangible technology in the sport of eventing,” the USEA said. “We as the leaders of the sport have the moral obligation to say that the time for use of all currently available safety technology is now.

“With that in mind, the USEA Cross-Country Safety Sub-Committee strongly recommends that the FEI mandates rather than strongly recommends that all open rail fences, gates, oxers and oxer corners must be built using reverse frangible technology. The time is now.”

The Canadian Eventing Committee has also called for frangible technology on all open rail fences, gates, oxers and oxer corners, with Peter Gray, committee chair, telling Horse-Canada.com: “There are still too many serious accidents in the sport that I would err on the side of caution and require frangibles.”

UK course designer and builder David Morton has long called for more widespread use of frangible technology. He penned a passionate open letter earlier this month following the death of 29-year-old Maxime Debost in a rotational fall at the Châteaubriant CCI1* on Sept. 23, 2017.

“Rotational falls are horrific for all concerned,” David said. “67 families (since 1993) can testify to the heart break, countless more riders have suffered major trauma from falls, which have been life changing for some. The statistics prove that frangible technology does work and is reducing the number of traumatic accidents.

William Micklem, who has written extensively on the topic of safety for EN, said, “There are obviously many factors relating to safe cross country riding apart from the design and placement of the fences themselves. This includes the skill and experience of the rider; the training and experience of the horse; the current physical and mental ability and health of rider and horse; the advice or instructions that are given to the rider; and the footing and weather conditions.

“Using frangible technology will not alter the fact that a horse and rider will still need a progressive education, and will still need to be judged according to their ability to jump a specified height and width and combination of fences at a specified speed. All the fundamental demands of cross country riding will remain despite frangible technology.

“Yet we are still told by some that frangible technology is not in the spirit of the sport, or will encourage riders to take more risk. Therefore it is bad for the sport. But when there has been a fence without frangible technology, where a rider has died as a result of a rotational fall, that could have had frangible technology, who can say in these circumstances that it was better for the sport that they died.”

The FEI said in a statement that approximately 3,500 frangible devices are currently in use at international events around the world, and “not all of these countries have the immediate resources and knowledge to support the correct implementation of frangible technology.”

“It is the FEI’s role to provide the necessary educational and logistical support to national federations to enable them to source approved devices, ensure their correct use and ultimately decide when the time is right to make their use compulsory so that frangible technology is used effectively worldwide,” the FEI said.

“It is important to note that frangible devices are one element in a wide spectrum of risk management initiatives and, while they are clearly an important component, they will not in themselves eliminate all risk from the sport.”

The FEI General Assembly will be held in Uruguay from Nov. 18-21, with voting taking place on rule changes that will go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2018. David Morton and William Micklem are encouraging other National Federations to join the U.S. and Canada in supporting a rule change to require the mandatory use of reverse frangible technology on all open rail fences, gates, oxers and oxer corners.

How can you help? SHARE this article and ask your National Federation to show support at next month’s FEI General Assembly for the mandatory use of frangible technology on cross country courses. Click here to find contact information for all National Federations.

EN Exclusive: A USA Homecoming for New Coach Erik Duvander

Erik Duvander at the Puhinui International Three-Day Event. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

A new era for U.S. eventing is set to begin with Erik Duvander at the coaching helm. The USEF announced last Friday that Erik has been hired as the new U.S. Performance Director for Eventing. He officially stepped into the position on Monday, Oct. 16.

Erik comes to the U.S. High Performance program following a tenure with the New Zealand Eventing Team that spanned a decade. He did not put his name forward to renew his role as High Performance Coach following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where the New Zealand team finished fourth, and his contract with the team expired in October 2016.

The New Zealand team enjoyed a surplus of success under Erik’s tutelage. He served as a team trainer from 2005 to 2008 and took over as High Performance Coach and leader of the team in 2009. Under Erik’s guidance, New Zealand won team bronze medals at both the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington and the 2012 London Olympic Games. Andrew Nicholson and Nereo also won an individual bronze medal at the 2010 WEG.

Erik’s new appointment as head of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team is a homecoming of sorts, as he was born in Chicago and spent his early childhood in America. His family moved when he was 6 years old from the U.S. to Sweden, where he started his eventing career.

Erik moved to the UK when he was 22 to work for Mark Todd. He represented Sweden at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he finished 57th individually, and at the 1994 World Equestrian Games at The Hague, finishing 15th. His pinnacle career achievement came when he rode on the Swedish team that won gold at the 1993 European Championships at Achselschwang, Germany.

After retiring from competing, Erik transitioned to coaching, working with the Japanese, Swedish and New Zealand eventing teams. He now takes over the role of U.S. team coach from David O’Connor, who served in the role from 2013 to 2016 before transitioning in December to USEF Eventing Technical Adviser, a role he was meant to hold through the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

David resigned from the role in May to focus on advancing safety and global risk management in eventing. The USEF opened the application process for U.S. Performance Director for Eventing in July, and Erik was unanimously recommended for the position by the Eventing Sport Committee’s appointed search group.

Erik Duvander at the Kentucky Horse Park with Lucy Jackson in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

A new era

Erik kindly spoke exclusively to EN about his new appointment from his home in New Zealand. “I’ve always been a great admirer of the American team,” he said. “What really struck me was when America won the World Championships at Burghley in 1974, both team and individual gold medals. I was a young boy then and learning about the sport, and I saw America as a great powerhouse in eventing.”

After deciding not to put forward his name to renew his role as New Zealand’s coach, Erik went on an extended teaching tour, spending six months in the U.S. this year and traveling from coast to coast to teach lessons and clinics.

“I’ve met many of your top riders and the next generation of top riders, and I believe you have top horses in this country. I met with enthusiastic owners, and there are wonderful people backing the riders,” he said.

“I feel ready to work with the U.S. team from the experience I’ve had coaching in the past. I love a challenge. After this year being away from High Performance, I am ready to get back into it. I love the sport. I love the horses. It’s the environment I thrive in. When the opportunity came to apply for the job, I had to go for it.”

Erik is back home in New Zealand now but will be traveling to Kentucky later this week to check in at USEF Headquarters in Lexington before hitting the road and going around the country to continue the process of getting to know the riders and horses.

“The next step is to go out and see the riders. I need to listen to their needs and hear them and try to create a picture of where we need to go from here onwards. People have asked me, ‘Will you do what you did with the New Zealand team?’ I don’t believe you can. I think you have to be respectful for the history of the country, the culture and the experience the riders have had to get the best out of them.”

Erik began working with the New Zealand Eventing Team in 2005 as a trainer, and the program started to truly thrive when he officially took on the role of High Performance Coach in 2009 ahead of the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

“I had five goals when I became New Zealand’s coach. First, I wanted to create the best team culture where the organization, trainers, leaders and riders worked together to achieve results. When I took over the New Zealand team it was in disarray. I switched it from everyone working as individuals to creating a culture where everyone worked together in harmony and drew on each other’s experiences,” he said.

“Second, I set a goal to win team medals, which we did at the 2010 World Games and 2012 London Olympics. I wanted to be a part of New Zealand winning team medals, but my third goal was to see Andrew win a medal individually, which he hadn’t done up until that point. He’d been the backbone of the New Zealand team for such a long time and made sacrifices for the team. My role is about setting it up to make that possible,” he continued.

“My fourth goal was to develop the next generation of competitive riders for New Zealand, which we did with Tim Price, Jonelle Price, Lizzie Green, Jock Paget, Jesse Campbell and Clarke Johnstone, who all won three or four-star competitions while I was coach. The fifth goal was to win CCI4* events. I’m very proud that we were able to win 10 CCI4* competitions with five different riders.”

 

Returning to the podium

As for his goals for the U.S. team, with the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon less than a year away, Erik said his immediate focus in his new role will be leading the team to the best possible performance on home soil.

“It’s a short time to make big changes, and you wouldn’t want to make too many changes. The focus will be more on improving the detail in the last 11 months going in. During this period of time, it’s about reading the landscape and understanding the bigger picture and where it needs to go. I’ll be trying to grasp that before WEG and then roll out a longer term plan.”

Ultimately the pinnacle goal will be to return U.S. eventing to the podium. The U.S. last won a medal at a major championships when the team took bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The team last won a World Equestrian Games medal in 2002 at Jerez. The USA has not completed a team at a major championships since the 2012 London Olympics.

Does Erik feel that pressure to return the U.S. team to the podium? “I feel pressure every day, and I always put a lot of pressure on myself. I am competitive by nature. It’s a good motivator. It’s very important at these big competitions that a nation does well, so it is important now that I’m attached to the American team,” he said.

“The goal is to create an environment where riders can develop and thrive. It’s a tough sport. There has to be enough joy in it. There are a lot of knocks on the way. It has to be an environment where they enjoy working and can develop and the horses can develop.”

As for whether Erik will move to the USA, that decision is still up in the air. Erik, his wife Stephanie, who is a native New Zealander, and their three children currently live in Auckland after moving back from the UK, where the New Zealand team and coaches relocated in 2011 in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics. Their children, Luca, 15, Finn, 13, and Stella, 11, are attending excellent schools in Auckland.

“Our kids are thriving here in their new schools. They had moved around quite a lot in the UK and then back again to New Zealand. We need to see how this first year goes up until the World Games. If we felt ready to move to the USA then there is a high chance. They are open-minded and excited about the possibility.”

The EN team would like to send our heartiest welcome to Erik, who you will be seeing out and about in the U.S. very soon. He will also be leading the USEF High Performance sessions at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California in December, and as always EN will be bringing you all the latest High Performance news from the USEA Convention. Go Eventing.

Calling All Golfers! Ocala Tournament to Benefit Lee Lee Jones

Lee Lee at home surrounded by lots of love.

Are you going to be in Ocala, Florida during the week of the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event? Do you love to golf? Sign up to play in the #LeeLeeStrong Golf Tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Ocala Country Club. All proceeds will benefit Lee Lee Jones’ medical fund as she continues to recover from a traumatic brain injury.

Following her riding accident on Dec. 22, 2016, Lee Lee spent nearly eight weeks in the ICU at Christiana Hospital. She then spent seven months at Bryn Mawr Rehab Center undergoing daily physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Lee Lee returned home to True Prospect Farm on Sept. 8, and has made amazing strides in the five weeks since she has been home. She still has intensive therapy at Bryn Mawr Rehab Outpatient Center three days per week and has also started hyperbaric oxygen therapy. She will also begin music therapy later this month, as research shows these alternative treatments have very positive effects on traumatic brain injury recovery.

Lee Lee has medical aids who support the family with her care for 14 hours per day. All the care and treatment Lee Lee is receiving wouldn’t be possible without your generous support and donations. All proceeds from the golf tournament in Ocala will go to Lee Lee’s medical fund.

What: #LeeLeeStrong Golf Tournament, presented by Terry Welsch of I Love My Horse and Buck Davidson

When: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, starting at noon, shotgun four-person scramble

Where: Country Club of Ocala, 6823 SE 12th Circle, Ocala, FL 34480

Cost: $100 per player includes lunch, golf cart, and beer and wine at the awards ceremony

How to sign up: Email Terry Welsch at [email protected] or call 727-871-5728. Spots for players are limited, so please call or email Terry to sign up as soon as possible.

If you can’t attend the golf tournament, there are other ways to support Lee Lee. Tee box and banner sponsorships are available for the tournament. Contact Terry if you are interested in sponsorship.

You can also donate directly to Lee Lee’s medical fund through GoFundMe or send a check to the Cordelia Elizabeth Jones Support Trust c/o Evie Dutton, 248 Hood Road, West Grove, PA 19390.

Thank you to ALL for your continued support of LeeLee. Please share this post so we can spread the word about the golf tournament. You can also share the promotional flyer using the link below. #TeamLeeLee #LeeLeeStrong

[#LeeLeeStrong Golf Tournament Flyer]

Selena O’Hanlon & Foxwood High Claim Historic Fair Hill CCI3* Win for Canada

How special to have 1956 Canadian Olympian John Rumble (right), who owns Foxwood High along with his wife Judy (left), in attendance to support Selena O’Hanlon! Tim Dutta (center) presented the Fair Hill Bronze Trophy alongside Trish Gilbert. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High made history today at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, becoming the first Canadian winners of the CCI3* in the 28-year history of the event in Elkton, Maryland.

Leading after dressage on a personal best of 38.4, Selena and Foxwood High slipped to second place after adding 1.6 time penalties on cross country. They jumped clear in show jumping today, but added 3.0 time penalties on Sally Ike’s course to give overnight leaders Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights a rail in hand. Colleen ultimately had three rails down to give Selena the win.

To put this historic moment for Canada into perspective, we had EquiRatings dig into the numbers. In addition to being the first Canadian winners of the Fair Hill CCI3*, it has been three years since a Canadian won a CCI3* event anywhere in the world.

In the last decade, Canadians have won four CCI3* events: Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice at Bromont in 2009, Jessica Phoenix and Exponential at Jersey Fresh in 2013, Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance at Bromont in 2014, and now Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High at Fair Hill in 2017. That is some serious girl power!

The Fair Hill victory is the third international win of Selena’s career and the second for Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse bred by Epstein Equestrian (Rio Bronco W X Evita II). As for how it feels to take such a big win: “Exhilarating. I’m super excited for the horse at this level. It was personal bests all the way through,” Selena said.

“We started show jumping by Braille. which leads to rails usually. I took the time it took so I didn’t have rails, which was the goal. It all worked out in the end.”

Selena has worked tirelessly to improve her show jumping with “Woody,” training at home in Canada with Jonathon Millar, son of Captain Canada himself Ian Millar.

“Verticals are our nemesis. He keeps jumping the oxers better and better. Time has always been a question for this horse. He has a big step. When we very first started eventing him, I couldn’t fit strides in, so I left them out,” Selena said.

“I’ve started to work on inside turns and taking the tightest lines possible. I was determined to get a clear round at the cost of the time today, and I will keep working on that at home and working toward getting the strides, getting the time and jumping clear.”

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines, a 10-year-old French Thoroughbred (Urgeon X Merindole, by Tel Quel) owned by the Con Air Syndicate, jumped one of the eight clear show jumping rounds inside the time to move up to finish in second place on 46.3 and become the USEF National Three-Star Champions.

“Yesterday on cross country I was thrilled with how he ran. He made it feel like it was well within his capability. Today he tried his heart out. His biggest attribute is he gives 100% all the time,” Will said. “He’s not the simplest to ride, but he’s always trying. As long as you can harness that in the right way, he can do great things. Now I have to try to reproduce it over and over again.”

Will had four rails down last year here in the CCI3* with Tight Lines, who won the 2015 USEF National Two-Star Championship here at Fair Hill. He has worked diligently on his show jumping with Richard Picken, and the hard work paid off today. Will and “Phish” were one of only two combinations in the CCI3* field to finish on their dressage score.

“I spent a week with Boyd (Martin) and Phillip (Dutton) at a jumper show in Kentucky, and I’ve been jumping him once a month at A-rated jumper shows since Kentucky,” Will said. “The practice of going in the ring has been really good. It’s a testament to our progress.”

Will Coleman had a fantastic weekend at Fair Hill, also winning the USEF National Two-Star Reserve Championship with the Off the Record Syndicate’s Off the Record. Click here to catch up on all the action in the CCI2* show jumping finale at Fair Hill.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg, a 10-year-old Trakehner (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) bred by Timothy Holekamp, jumped clear and inside the time to move from fifth up to finish in third place on 47.3 and become the USEF National Three-Star Reserve Champions.

“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,” Boyd said. “I think he’s a proper four-star horse, but the biggest thing is he’s such a gutsy trier. This weekend he impressed me in every single phase. I think I’ve got myself another four-star horse.”

Boyd picked up 1.2 time penalties on cross country with “Thomas,” which moved them up to fifth from 12th place after dressage. They finished seventh at the Bromont CCI3* over the summer in the horse’s debut at the level, but Fair Hill is a different animal.

“This was the first real test I’ve ever had with him. This place is an epic event — a big course, a massive hill, a test of endurance. I didn’t set out too hard and wasn’t sure how he’d respond,” Boyd said. “In hindsight I could have been 20 seconds faster. Saying that, I never in my wildest dreams expected to be sitting here on Sunday afternoon. It proved to me he has the endurance, gallop and stamina.”

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Buck Davidson and Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo jumped clear and inside the time in show jumping to finish in fourth place on a final score of 47.5. Buck finished two rides in the top 10 and very nearly finished on his dressage score with Kathleen Cuca’s Jak My Style, adding just 0.4 cross country time penalties to complete on 48.3 in sixth place.

Erin Sylvester and Frank McEntee’s Paddy the Caddy were the only other pair in the field to finish on their dressage score, moving from 20th after dressage up to finish fifth on 48.2 and win the award as the highest-placed American Thoroughbred.

Ryan Wood and Summit Sporthorses’ Powell jumped clear and inside the time to finish in seventh place on 49.1. Kurt Martin and DeLux Z, owned by Bill and CJ Martin, added 1 time penalty in show jumping to complete on 49.7 in eighth place.

Colleen Rutledge and her own Covert Rights had three rails down to finish in ninth place on 51.8. Jordan Linstedt and Barbara Linstedt’s RevitaVet Capato added one rail and 2.0 time penalties to round out the top 10 on a final score of 56.4. “Capato” also received the award as the Best Presented Horse in the CCI3*.

Click here to view final scores for both the CCI3* and CCI2*. Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius won the CCI2* earlier in the day. Click here to read the final CCI2* report. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Fair Hill coverage, and thank you to ALL who have followed along with us this weekend. Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteFinal CCI ScoresYEH Final ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius Dominate USEF National CCI2* Championships

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius are your 2017 Fair Hill National CCI2* Champions! Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius jumped a flawless clear show jumping round over Sally Ike’s course today to win the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* and become the new USEF National CCI2* Championships here in Elkton, Maryland.

Tamie and “Syrius,” a 9-year-old Trakehner (Titulus X Slytely Cinnamon xx, by Silent Fox xx) bred by Lori Whitley and owned by Pamela Duffy and Donald Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods, led from start to finish to complete on their dressage score of 40.9.

“He was perfect in every phase, and I couldn’t have asked him to be any better. He show jumped today like a million bucks,” Tamie said.

“It’s always good to be in the winner’s circle and is really special for this horse. The owners have a small breeding farm in southern California, and Pam is very diligent about breeding the horses and which horses she acquires for the sport. Don is a huge volunteer in U.S. eventing. I’m really happy for them, and it’s been a long road to get here.”

Syrius has never finished outside of the top two in any of his nine completed international competitions, and he has now won five FEI events to give him a 56% win rate. Keep your eye on this one as he steps up to the Advanced level next year!

“He’s always been a very competitive horse ever since I started riding him as a 5-year-old,” Tamie said. “I’m hoping he keeps climbing the ladder. He has all the ingredients to be a top horse.”

Will Coleman and Off the Record. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Will Coleman and Off the Record, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse (VDL Arkansas X Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio) owned by the Off the Record Syndicate, jumped a clear show jumping round to complete on their dressage score of 49.9 and finish second as the USEF CCI2* National Reserve Champions.

“Anytime you finish a three-day event on your dressage score I think it’s a major accomplishment,” Will said. “This horse has done it twice this year, which I’m really proud of. He’s been consistent this year; that’s something we can hang our hat on, and we’ll keep trying to get a little bit better.”

Matt Flynn and Get Lucky jumped clear today to finish third on 50.4, adding just 0.4 time penalties to their dressage score on Derek di Grazia’s cross country course yesterday. The 9-year-old KWPN (Van Gogh X Ranna, by Wagenaar) owned by Flynn Sport Horses also finished third in the Fair Hill CCI2* two years ago.

“I was really happy wth him in all three phases,” Matt said. “I was disappointed to be 1 second over (on cross country), but for him I’m thrilled. It’s his second CCI2*, and he’s been third here before, so it was nice to repeat.”

Get Lucky also received the Best Presentation Award for being the best presented horse at the first and final horse inspections as determined by the CCI2* ground jury of Wayne Quarles and Kellie Towers.

Matt Flynn and Get Lucky. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, 21 of the 53 show jumping starters (40%) jumped clear rounds inside the time over Sally Ike’s show jumping course.

Jenny Caras and her own Fernhill Full Throttle, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Cyrano X Euro Glory, by Euro Clover), finished in fourth place on their dressage score of 51.0.

Tamie Smith and Matt Flynn both finished two horses in the top five on the CCI2*. Glock Pullman, an 11-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding by Coriall, finished fifth on his dressage score of 51.2. Wizzerd, an 8-year-old KWPN (Wizzerd WV X Amai, by Oklund) owned by Flynn Sport Horses, finished ninth on his dressage score of 55.9.

Colleen Rutledge and her own UNO, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harry the Hat X UN, by Cavalier Royale) bred by Jane Sleeper, finished sixth on their dressage score of 53.1. UNO, who is 15.3 hands, also received the Small But Mighty Award, which is given in memory of Judy Thayer to the smallest horse that completes the CCI2*.

Jennie Brannigan and Tim and Nina Gardner’s FE Lifestyle, a 7-year-old German Sporthorse (Leo von Faelz X Berina A), finished seventh on their dressage score of 53.9 to win the USEF National Young Horse Championship.

Kevin Keane finished as the highest placed amateur rider with his own Sportsfield Candy, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Condios, completing in eighth place on their dressage score of 53.9.

Lindsay Beer and her own Kennystown Frankie, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Frankfort X Kennystown Lass), had one rail down in show jumping to finish 10th on 56.0. They finished as the highest placed Canadian pair and won the Palmaccio Trophy.

Looking to other special awards presented in the CCI2*, Alarmaball (Hook and Ladder X Shesabull, by Buckaroo) finished as the highest-placed Thoroughbred in 11th place on his dressage score of 56.3 with Nita Sanfillippo.

Sophie Click and Fernhill Rising, her own 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Cyrano, won the USEF Young Rider CCI2* Championship, finishing in 16th place on 58.4 with one rail down in show jumping.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M, her own 12-year-old Rheinlander (Lissabon X Angelique M, by Abanos), won the Young Rider Reserve Championship with three rails down in show jumping to complete on 60.1 in 22nd.

Click here to view final scores in the CCI2*. CCI3* show jumping starts at 1:30 p.m. EST, so stay tuned for much more! Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteScheduleSJ Ride TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Final ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

79 Horses Move On to Show Jumping at Fair Hill

CCI3* ground jury member Les Smith gives a thumbs up as overnight leader Covert Rights is accepted. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Seventy-nine horses will move on to show jumping at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International following this morning’s final horse inspection here in Elkton, Maryland. All 53 horses were accepted in the CCI2*, with no horses sent to the holding box.

In the CCI3*, Tamie Smith’s mount Wembley was sent to the holding box and accepted after re-presenting. Nilson Moreira da Silva’s mount Muggle was not accepted. Clayton Fredericks withdrew FE Ophelia prior to presenting. Twenty-six horses in all will move forward in the CCI3*.

Looking ahead to show jumping, CCI2* leaders Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius have a rail in hand over Cornelia Dorr and Louis M, with 12.2 penalties separating the top 10. In the CCI3*, Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights do not have a rail in hand over Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High, with 9.3 penalties separating the top 10.

Every winner of the Fair Hill CCI3* in the past decade has added no more than one rail to their finishing score, with seven of the 10 winners jumping clear. Six of the last seven CCI3* winners won on rail-free rounds. Click here to read EN’s analysis on which pairs in the CCI3* field are most likely to jump clear rounds today.

CCI2* show jumping starts at 10 a.m. EST. CCI3* show jumping starts at 1:30 p.m. EST. Both divisions will jump in reverse order. Click here for ride times. There is no live stream, but you can follow live scores here. Stay tuned to find out which pairs will be crowned the USEF National CCI3* and CCI2* Champions!

Fair Hill: WebsiteSchedule, SJ Ride TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Final ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights Jump to Fair Hill CCI3* Lead

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

After 25 combinations — more than 40% of the field — made the time in the CCI2* at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, the question remained whether the clock would prove as catchable when the CCI3* combinations took to the course later in the afternoon here in Elkton, Maryland.

As always, Derek di Grazia’s three-star course shook up the leaderboard, with just four of the 36 starters (11%) making the optimum time of 10 minutes. Colleen Rutledge and her Maryland homebred Covert Rights, an 11-year-old Clydesdale/Thoroughbred (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation), flew home clear and 12 seconds inside the time to take the lead on their dressage score of 39.8.

“He’s just the most fun on cross country because you don’t have to tug,” Colleen said. “You don’t have to do anything. You just point him at the fences and he rolls with it. That makes him so incredibly fast because I don’t have to worry about slowing down to the fences. He’ll bring himself back. That is probably one of the most fun cross country runs I’ve had in a long time.”

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse (Rio Bronco W X Evita II), led after dressage on a personal best score of 39.4 and picked up 1.6 time penalties on cross country to slip to second place on 41.0.

“He was on form full of running right to the end,” Selena said. “The easy galloping fences in between where I should have just been able to gallop out of stride, I ended up wasting too much time at just straight forward galloping fences.”

Will Coleman and Tight Lines, a 10-year-old French Thoroughbred (Urgeon X Merindole, by Tel Quel) owned by the Con Air Syndicate, won the CCI2* here at Fair Hill in 2015 and is poised for a top finish in the CCI3* this year thanks to jumping one of the four clear rounds inside the time to sit third on 46.3.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“He never lacks run or gallop. He’s an animal out there. Most of the trick is getting him to be rideable and settle; I thought he did a pretty good job of that here. It was a hard course. I thought it was a really proper test,” Will said.

“It’s a testament to the cross country riding in this country how well it rode today, because I do think it was a difficult three-star. I have ridden in a lot of three-stars around the world, and I would put Fair Hill at the very top in terms of difficulty. I think we’re building something positive here in this country. I think this event plays a huge part in that, and I hope we can continue it.”

Looking to the rest of the CCI3* leaderboard, Canada is having a fantastic competition so far, taking two of the positions inside the top five. Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Anthony Connolly and Skye Levely, made the time to move from 14th to fourth on 46.6.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg, a 10-year-old Trakehner (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner, jumped clear with 1.2 time penalties to round out the top five on 47.5. Click here to view full scores for the CCI3*.

Erin Sylvester and Frank McEntee’s Paddy the Caddy, winners of the Rebecca Farm CCI3* over the summer, were the only other pair to make the time. The 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred (Azamore X Slamy) moved up to seventh place on 48.2.

The CCI3* definitely caused its fair share of drama. Five riders fell from their horses, but we thankfully have no major injuries to report. Will Coleman and Boris O’Hara fell at fence 20 and were thankfully up on their feet right away. Click here to relive all the action in EN’s live updates.

The final horse inspection is at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow, with the CCI2* trotting up first, followed by the CCI3*. Show jumping for the CCI3* is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. EST. Stay tuned for much more from Fair Hill. Go Eventing.

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Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius Untouchable in Fair Hill CCI2*

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius remain atop the leaderboard in the CCI2* at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International after delivering a clear round inside the time on Derek di Grazia’s course to stay on their dressage score of 40.9.

“I didn’t know what to expect because he’s never been in an environment like this before. He’s only competed Intermediate level on the West Coast,” Tamie said. “He didn’t question one thing; he was spot on everywhere. I couldn’t have asked for him to be any better.”

Tamie and “Syrius,” a 9-year-old Trakehner (Titulus X Slytely Cinnamon xx, by Silent Fox xx) owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods, have one rail in hand going into show jumping tomorrow.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M, her own 12-year-old Rheinlander (Lissabon X Angelique M, by Abanos) and this year’s Young Rider CICO2* silver medalists at Rebecca Farm, also jumped clear and inside the time to remain in second place on their dressage score of 48.1. She also piloted Sir Patico MH, better known as “Hugo,” to a clear round inside the time to move up to fifth place on 50.9.

“Hugo and I have a wonderful relationship and know each other inside and out,” Cornelia said. “I felt really confident with him. He was straight and keen. It was nice to feel that on him and then be able to make tighter lines on Louis. They both felt super fit.”

Will Coleman and Off the Record. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Will Coleman and Off the Record, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse (VDL Arkansas X Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio) owned by the Off the Record Syndicate, also made the optimum time of 8 minutes, 57 seconds to move from fifth up to third place on 49.8.

“He was feeling the 9 minutes by the time we got to the finish, but that’s part of why we bring them here — to progress them and build up their level of fitness,” Will said. “He’s been consistent, and that’s what we’re going for with all of the horses this year — trying to build consistent performances across all three phases.”

Cornelia Dorr has two horses inside the top 10 of the CCI2* after cross country, as does Tamie Smith, who also jumped clear and inside the time with Glock Pullman to move from 10th up to seventh place on 51.2.

Matt Flynn has two horses inside the top 20 after cross country. He jumped clear and just 1 second over the optimum time with Get Lucky, a 9-year-old KWPN (Van Gogh X Ranna, by Wagenaar) to move up to fourth place on 50.4.

Matt Flynn and Get Lucky. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the rest of the CCI2* leaderboard, 25 of the 59 starters (42% of the field) made the optimum time. We had perfect going this year for cross country day at Fair Hill, but was the time too easy to make?

Will Coleman weighed in: “I think there was a lot of galloping out there, and I think for developing the horses that was fine. I don’t think we need to take their heart out at this level. It was a 9-minute track. You still had to go out there and get it done.

“I thought it was more technical than the two-star last year. I thought it was a proper test, and I don’t think the results are misleading or imply it was easy. I think it was a pretty good group of two-star horses, too.”

With that in mind, please join us in congratulating all of the combinations that made the optimum time in the CCI2* today:

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius – 1st, 40.9
Cornelia Dorr and Louis M – 2nd, 48.1
Will Coleman and Off the Record – 3rd, 49.8
Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH – 5th, 50.9
Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle – 6th, 51.1
Tamie Smith and Glock Pullman – 7th, 51.2
Lindsay Beer and Kennystown Frankie – 8th, 52.0
Woodge Fulton and Brave New World – 9th, 53.0
Colleen Rutledge and UNO – 10th, 53.1
Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle – 12th, 53.9
Brandon McMechan and Oscar’s Wild – 13T, 54.1
Kevin Keane and Sportsfiel Candy – 13T, 54.1
Sophie Click and Fernhill Rising – 16th, 54.4
Erika Nesler and Right Above It – 17th, 54.7
Tayler Stewart and Ideal Contini – 18th, 55.8
Matt Flynn and Wizzerd – 19th, 55.9
Nita Sanfillippo and Alarmabull – 20th, 56.3
Will Faudree and Michel 233 – 23rd, 58.3
Alyssa Peterson and Stormin’ Truth – 27th, 59.4
Kaelen Speck and Sweet Rebellion – 29th, 60.0
Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise – 31st, 61.6
Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey – 32nd, 61.9
Sarah Finkel and Deep Sea – 33rd, 63.1
Sydney Solomon and Early Review C – 35T, 64.1
Grace Fulton and Wild Orange – 39th, 66.7

Click here to relive all the action from the CCI2* cross country in EN’s live updates, and be sure to cast your vote in the poll for Who Jumped It Best. The final horse inspection is tomorrow at 8 a.m. EST, followed by CCI2* show jumping starting at 10 a.m. EST. Go Eventing.

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Fair Hill CCI3* Live Cross Country Updates

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hello from Fair Hill International! The misty rain that drizzled down throughout the morning here in Elkton, Maryland has fizzled now to give us perfect conditions for cross country. The CCI3* starts at 1:15 p.m. EST. There is no live stream, but we will be running live updates here on EN. Keep refreshing this page.

Click here for a fence-by-fence preview of Derek di Grazia’s CCI3* cross country course. The CCI2* rode extremely well, with 25 of 59 starters (42%) making the optimum time. The optimum time on the CCI3* course is 10 minutes. Click here to follow live scoring.

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1:12: Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound will be our first to leave the start box at 1:15 p.m. EST. Here we go!

1:27: Jessica Phoenix completes clear with 14.4 time penalties on Bogue Sound.

1:30: Buck Davidson finishes clear with 4.8 time penalties on Park Trader.

1:34: Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal are home clear with 12.8 time penalties.

1:35: Will Coleman has fallen with Boris O’Hara at fence 20. They are both OK. No hold on course.

1:40: Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude have parted ways at fence 22. They are both up and OK and walking off the course.

1:46: Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue d’Argouges are home clear with 7.6 time penalties.

1:47: Heather Morris and Charlie Tango have been eliminated on refusals at 9A, the first of the corners.

1:49: Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights are home clear and 12 seconds inside the time! They will sit no lower then 2nd overnight.

1:58: Clear with 5.2 time penalties for Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato!

2: Ryan Wood and Powell complete clear with 8.8 time penalties.

2:05: Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills are home clear with 4.8 time penalties.

2:09: Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy are home clear and five seconds inside the time, our second pair to make the time in the CCI3*!

2:15: Ashley Johnson and Tactical Maneuver complete clear with 26.0 time penalties.

2:17: Clear with 1.2 time penalties for Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg.

2:21: Daniela Mougel and Cecelia are home clear with 22 time penalties.

2:26: Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse complete clear with 12 time penalties to add.

2:27: Emily Beshear and Silver Night Lady had a runout at fence 16B. Clear on second attempt. They completed with 20 jumping and 20.4 time penalties.

2:33: Jessica Phoenix is home clear on Dr. Sheldon Cooper, her second of three rides in the CCI3*, with 10.4 time penalties.

2:37: Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac stormed around clear and inside the time by 18 seconds! The fastest of the day and our third pair clear and inside the time.

2:41: Just one second over the time for Buck Davidson and Jak My Style!

2:45: Michael Walton has parted ways from Woodstock Wallaby at fence 7. He is up and OK.

2:46: Kurt Martin and DeLux Z completed clear with 4 time penalties!

2:50: Sara Moore and Polaris complete clear with 13.6 time penalties.

2:52: Jennie Jarnstrom has fallen from Penelope at fence 1. They are both OK.

2:54: Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality have picked up 20 jumping penalties at the Farm Yard Corners at fence 9.

3:01: Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality complete with 20 jumping penalties and 3.2 time penalties.

3:02: Whitney Mahloch has fallen from Military Mind at fence 16. They are both ok.

3:04: Alexis Helffrich has fallen from London Town between fences 4 and 5. No injuries!

3:10: Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C complete clear with 16.8 time penalties.

3:14: Ronald Zabala-Goetschel has retired Wundermaske at fence 6.

3:18: Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia are home clear with 12.4 time penalties.

3:25: Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High are home clear with 1.6 time penalties to slip to second place behind Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, who will lead overnight.

3:30: Nilson Moreira da Silva and Muggle complete clear with 11.6 time penalties.

3:34: Tamie Smith and Wembley are home clear with 13.6 time penalties

3:37: Will Coleman and Tight Lines complete clear and inside the time! 6 seconds under and our fourth pair to make the time.

3:41: Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are home clear with 12.4 time penalties.

3:46: Buck Davidson and Carlevo complete clear with 7.2 time penalties. That’s a wrap on cross country! Stay tuned for the full report.

 

 

Fair Hill CCI2* Live Cross Country Updates

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius jumped clear and inside the time to hold the CCI2* lead. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning from cross country day at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International! More rain fell overnight in the Elkton, Maryland area to give us perfect going today. The CCI2* will set out first on Derek di Grazia’s course starting at 9:30 a.m. EST and scheduled to run through 12:40 p.m. EST. The optimum time on the CCI2* is 8 minutes, 57 seconds.

There is no live stream of cross country at Fair Hill, but EN will be running live updates for both the CCI2* and CCI3*, which starts at 1:15 p.m. EST. Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Follow live scoring at this link. We are wishing safe trips for all! Go Eventing.

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9:30: Waylon Roberts and Mindful are away as our first on course!

9:39: Our pathfinder is home clear and 7 seconds over the optimum time to add 2.8 time penalties.

9:41: Allison Springer and Fernhill Casano had a refusal at Fence 4, the Duck Pond, and then Allison fell from the horse on their second attempt. They are both OK.

9:47: Sally Cousins and Wizard are home clear with 17.6 time penalties.

9:48: Overnight leaders Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius are home clear and inside the time! 6 seconds inside to hold the lead.

9:50: Cassandra Wallskog has had refusals at Fence 4, 7 and 8 to result in elimination with Feine Loesung.

9:52: Arden Wildasin is home clear with 5.6 time penalties on Il Vici.

9:53: Rebecca Brown and Dassett Courage had a refusal at Fence 4 at the Duck Pond. She also picked up two refusals at 6B to result in elimination.

9:54: Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH are clear and inside the time by 27 seconds!

10: Woodge Fulton is on course now, going out of order due to Esstoga Tune throwing a shoe in warm up.

10:04: Kristen Bond and Enough Already are home clear with 20 time penalties.

10:07: Matt Flynn and Get Lucky finish just 1 second over the optimum time!

10:09: Woodge Fulton and Esstoga Tune are home clear with 4.4 time penalties.

10:13: Elena Hengel and Roll of Thunder are home clear with 25.2 time penalties.

10:16: Daniel Clasing and MW Gangster’s Game complete clear with 8.8 time penalties.

10:18: Colleen Rutledge and UNO are 7 seconds inside the time! That is our third clear round inside the time so far in the CCI2*.

10:24: Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle complete clear and 16 seconds inside the time — our fourth clear inside the time so far!

10:27: Annick Niemuller and FE Black Jack picked up a runout at the water at fence 11. Clear on second attempt.

10:28: Clear with 1.6 time penalties for Molly Kinnamon and The Diesel Boy!

10:30: Alex O’Neal and RF Eloquence are home clear with 2.4 time penalties.

10:34: Annick Niemuller and FE Black Jack completed with 20 jumping penalties and 10.4 time penalties.

10:37: Clear with 19.2 time penalties for Ashley MacVaugh and Latino H.

10:40: Megan Traynham and Lord Lombardi are home clear with 31.6 time penalties..

10:43: Will Faudree and Michel 233 are our fifth pair home clear and inside the time!

10:44: Waylon Roberts and Born Ready have had a runout at fence 13.

10:45: Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise are home clear and inside the time — our sixth clear and inside the time!

10:49: Waylon Roberts and Born Ready complete with 20 jumping and 8 time penalties.

10:51: Emily Hamel and Corvett are home clear with just 2.0 time penalties!

11: Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle stormed around clear and inside the time, the seventh pair to make the time.

11:01: Lindsay Beer and Kennystown Frankie are home clear and inside the time — our eighth pair to make the time so far.

11:07: Sally Cousins and Christopher complete clear with 19.6 time penalties.

11:09: Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey complete 1 second inside the time to become our ninth pair clear and inside the time.

11:14: Sarah Finkel and Deep Sea are home clear and inside the time — our 10th!

11:15: Erika Nesler and Right Above It stormed around clear and inside the time — the 11th pair to make the time!

11:19: Jordan Thompson and Femme Fatale complete clear with 10.0 time penalties.

11:24: Nita Sanfillippo and Alarmable completed clear and 33 seconds inside the time, the 12th pair inside the time and the fastest of the day by far.

11:25: Emily Beshear and Olney Uncle Sam picked up a refusal at the Duck Pond at fence 4. Clear on second attempt.

11:26: Sydney Solomon and Early Review C complete clear and inside the time — lucky number 13 clear and inside the time!

11:28: Kendal Lehari and Dunhallow Cool Ceilidh picked up 20 penalties at the Duck Pond at fence 4. That first water complex is causing its fair share of trouble on the two-star course.

11:30: Kendal Lehari and Dunhallow Cool Ceilidh picked up a second runout on course at fence 8.

11:34: Holly Payne Caravella and Bruisyard Hall also picked up 20 jumping penalties at fence 8.

11:35: Kendal Lehari picked up a third refusal on course at fence 24, which sadly results in elimination.

11:37: Jorgen Olijslager and Northern Quest Lady’s Man picked up 20 jumping penalties at fence 13.

11:39: Jorgen Olijslager picked up another runout on course in the Main Arena and has elected to retire.

11:41: Two pairs have withdrawn before cross country: Anna Loschiavo and Prince Renan and Sarah Shearin and Volturno’s Evening Star.

11:45: Brandon McMechan and Oscar’s Wild are home clear and inside the time for Canada — our 14th clear and inside the time!

11:48: Will Coleman and Off the Record are clear and inside the time, the 15th to beat the clock. They will sit no lower than third place overnight.

11:55: Sophie Click and Fernhill Rising are clear and inside the time, the 16th pair to make the optimum time.

11:58: Tayler Stewart and Ideal Contini completed 9 seconds inside the time, our 17th!

12: Grace Fulton and Wild Orange complete clear and inside the time — #18!

12:10: Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy just stormed around clear and inside the time, our 19th to beat the clock today.

12:14: Kaelen Speck and Sweet Rebellion also made the optimum time to become our 20th pair inside the time.

12:18: Tamie Smith and Glock Pullman are home clear and inside the time — #21! She also went inside the time with Sunsprite Syrius, who currently leads.

12:21: Clear and 17 seconds over the time for Arden Wildasin and Kineo.

12:25: Alyssa Peterson and Stormin’ Truth are also home clear and inside the time, our 22nd to make the time!

12:27: Woodge Fulton and Brave New World are the 23rd pair to make the time.

12:30: Matt Flynn and Wizzerd are three seconds inside the time — the 24th pair to beat the clock.

12:33: Cornelia Dorr and Louis M are home two seconds inside the time, the 25th pair to make the time! They will sit in second place overnight.

12:36: Allison Springer and Business Ben completed clear with 5.6 time penalties. The CCI3* will start at 1:15 p.m. EST. Stay tuned!

No One Can Catch Tamie Smith & Sunsprite Syrius in Fair Hill CCI2*

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

No one could catch Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius, a 9-year-old Trakehner (Titulus X Slytely Cinnamon xx, by Silent Fox xx) owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods, on the second day of CCI2* dressage at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, making them our leaders on 40.9 heading into cross country tomorrow.

“He’s an always-come-to-work type of horse, and he did that yesterday,” Tamie said. “I’m thrilled to still be in the lead. I always feel like the two-star here is almost a three-star with the terrain and technicality. It’s serious. I haven’t really seen a two-star harder than Fair Hill. … I think he’s up to it and ready to go.”

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tamie and “Syrius” will have 18 seconds in hand over Cornelia Dorr and Louis M, who delivered the best test on day two to sit in second place on 48.1. Cornelia and Louis, her own 12-year-old Rheinlander (Lissabon X Angelique M, by Abanos), won silver in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships CICO2* at Rebecca Farm over the summer.

“He was slightly behind my leg throughout the test, and it was a little bit more difficult than our test at Young Riders,” Cornelia said. “I think I didn’t quite have him up there with me. He was super and as always did his job, so I’m very happy with him.”

Cornelia walked Derek di Grazia’s course with USEF Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law this afternoon and said she feels ready to tackle the challenge with both Louis and Sir Patico MH, who sits seventh in the CCI2*.

“The tougher questions are towards the end, so I think it will be interesting to see how the horses’ minds are still working towards the end and if they get leg-weary or not. It will be a good test for me and my horses. I just have to keep kicking!”

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing, who sat in second place yesterday, now sit in third on 48.3. The 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate won the Bromont CCI2* over the summer in his debut at the level.

“I have three wonderful young horses in the two-star,” Allison said. “I think my most correct test was my last ride of the day on Business Ben. I think all the two-star competitors and spectators are scratching their heads a bit about the judging in that ring. I am scratching my head that the scores were so high. There were a lot of tests in the 50s that should have been in the 40s.”

While “Liam” won Bromont, where Derek also designs, the CCI2* course at Fair Hill is about a minute longer. “Derek is so smart. He’s got us galloping right to the end, and jumping into that last water is always tough,” Allison said.

“There’s nothing out there that’s unfair. It will be interesting to see what sort of horse you have at the end of it. I’m excited about these young horses and really excited to see how they handle the course and how they come out tomorrow.”

Looking to the rest of the CCI2* leaderboard, Kristen Bond and Liz Bond’s Enough Already sit fourth on 49.7, with Will Coleman and the Con Air Syndicate’s Off the Record rounding out the top five on 49.8. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2* after dressage. Many thanks to David Frechette for recording videos today!

The CCI2* will kick off the action tomorrow on cross country day starting at 9:30 a.m. EST. While there is no live streaming at this event, EN will be running live updates. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage so far at Fair Hill. Go Eventing.

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Selena O’Hanlon & Foxwood High Sail to Fair Hill CCI3* Lead on Personal Best

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Selena O’Hanlon has been chasing a dressage score in the 30s all season with John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High, progressively lowering her marks at three-star level in their three FEI appearances leading up to the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. Today she nailed it, scoring 39.4 to deliver a career personal best with “Woody” and lead the CCI3* at the conclusion of dressage.

“Foxwood High felt a little bit fitter in the ring today, which is great because he put it to good use. Being that much older he’s started to become more rideable in the ring,” Selena said. “The horse has been leading up to this, and I’m super excited to break into the 30s.”

Selena has been training diligently at home with Canadian dressage Olympian Christilot Boylen. David O’Connor, who has been teaching a series of clinics for the Canadian eventing team, warmed her up today for her test.

“At this stage there are no good ideas before you go into the ring, but sometimes it is good to have someone on the ground to say the elevation is enough and the suspension is enough, because I think that separates the top five from the top 10, which is what I’ve been trying to go for. It’s been trying to sustain the elevation and the suspension throughout the lateral work.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s cross country, speed always matters at Fair Hill, and Selena and “Woody,” a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse (Rio Bronco W X Evita II), have made the optimum time in their last two international runs at Plantation Field CIC3* and Great Meadow CICO3*.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights will be breathing down their necks, sitting in second place after dressage on 39.8. “CR,” her Maryland homebred 11-year-old Clydesdale/Thoroughbred (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation), have now scored in the 30s in three of their last four tests at three-star level.

“He’s my homebred and I love him to pieces, and he can go out there and perform,” Colleen said. “It’s polishing the little details. It’s getting his walk to be slightly more relaxed. He tries so incredibly hard; he almost tries too incredibly hard to do what I want. That’s what makes him so amazing.”

Colleen and CR have won two CIC3* events in as many months, finishing first at Richland Park and Morven Park, but Fair Hill is a different beast. “It is never a dressage show. It’s a true Derek (di Grazia) course. He uses the terrain in every fence. It’s an open, bold course. I’m looking forward to it.”

We saw two tests in the 30s in the CCI3*, which gives us five total tests in the CCI3* over the last decade at Fair Hill, according to EquiRatings. In a major nod to girl power, those tests in the 30s have all been delivered by women: Tamie Smith (38.5 in 2014), Jessica Phoenix (39.2 in 2014), Selena O’Hanlon (39.4 in 2017), Karen O’Connor (39.6 in 2009) and Colleen Rutledge (39.8 in 2017).

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The men couldn’t quite catch the women today, with Ryan Wood and Buck Davidson settling for equal third place on 40.3. That means we have North American-bred horses in the top three spots on the leaderboard, as Ryan’s mount Powell, an 11-year-old Oldenburg (Pablito X Dinara, by Donnerwerth), was bred in New Jersey by Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses.

Powell’s score of 40.3 is a career personal best for this pair. “He’s really rideable in the ring, and he’s flashy,” Ryan said. “We were able to go through mistake-free. It’s exciting to be riding an American-bred horse and to have him at this level.”

Ryan described Derek’s course as “relentless,” adding that he “has questions going all the way to the end. You need a fit horse and to stay sharp.” Click here for a fence-by-fence preview and drone flyover video of the CCI3* course.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo have completed CCI3* events at Tattersalls in Ireland and Boekelo in the Netherlands, but they’ve never completed one on U.S. soil. Sitting tied for third place on 40.3, Buck is looking to check the Fair Hill box this weekend with the 10-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC.

“He’s sort of always hovering right around 40 (in his dressage scores). He’s very consistent and a beautiful mover. He’s getting stronger and more mature as we go. I was very proud of him,” Buck said. “In the first halt, I probably stood there too long and he took a step back. That was my fault. If that’s the worst thing that happens all weekend, I’m happy.”

Buck thinks the optimum time of 10 minutes on the CCI3* course will be tough to catch. “I think the time is going to be much more difficult than it was last year. That first water is always more difficult than it looks,” he said. “That last water is always a heartbreaker; so many people’s dreams are dashed there. You don’t have a lot of horse at that point.”

Looking to the rest of the CCI3* leaderboard, Heather Morris and Charlie Tango round out the top five on 41.9. Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia sit sixth on 42.0, followed by Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti in seventh on 42.6, Tamie Smith and Wembley in eighth on 44.2, Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C in ninth on 44.4, and Kurt Martin and DeLux Z in 10th on 44.7.

The CCI3* winner at Fair Hill has come from inside the top five after dressage in nine of the last 10 runnings of the event, according to EquiRatings. The dressage leader has gone on to win in both 2015 and 2016. Will the trend hold true for a third consecutive year in 2017?

Click here to view full scores in the CCI3* after dressage. CCI2* cross country runs first starting at 9:30 a.m. EST, followed by CCI3* cross country at 1:15 p.m. EST. Click here for cross country ride times. There is no live stream for cross country tomorrow, but never fear — EN will be running live updates!

Many thanks to David Frechette, AKA Thehorsepesterer, for filming videos at Fair Hill. Click here to view all of his videos from the event so far. Go Eventing!

Fair Hill: WebsiteScheduleXC Ride TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Erik Duvander Named New US Eventing Performance Director

Erik Duvander. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

The USEF just announced that Erik Duvander has been named the new US Performance Director for Eventing. He will take up the role on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

“It is a great privilege and responsibility to be chosen as the U.S. Eventing Performance Director, a role that I believe holds the highest regard within our sport,” Erik said.

“Having spent the last six months in the United States, I have seen a lot of quality athletes and horses. I have met some truly dedicated horse owners. I also know that the US Equestrian has an excellent group of people, and most importantly, all are working towards a common goal. I am looking forward to working within this community and taking on the challenge of putting together the best prepared combinations for the WEG at Tryon in September 2018 and also with a longer view to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”

Erik joins US Equestrian with more than 30 years of High Performance experience. He transitioned from competing into a coaching role after representing Sweden at the World Championships and Olympic level. Since then, he has coached teams and individual athletes to World Championship and Olympic medals, working with Japan, Sweden and New Zealand.

He most recently coached New Zealand to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a team bronze medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

“US Equestrian and our U.S. Eventing Team are gaining an experienced leader in Erik Duvander,” US Equestrian President Murray Kessler said. “His work with both teams and individual athletes is an important asset that will aid in the continued development of our event riders as they set their sights on the WEG and work towards their goals. We are excited for this sport and what is to come.”

Erik was selected and recommended for the position through the US Equestrian Eventing Sport Committee’s (ESC) appointed search group. The search group included representatives from the ESC, the Eventing High Performance Working Group, the United States Olympic Committee, two eventing athletes, USEF Director of Sport Will Connell and USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris.

[US Equestrian Announces Erik Duvander as New Eventing Performance Director]

Jennie Brannigan Withdraws Twilightslastgleam from Le Lion D’Angers

Twilightslastgleam and Jennie Brannigan with Nina Gardner and Jo Whitehouse when he was named 2014 Young Event Horse East Coast 4-year-old Reserve Champion. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tim and Nina Gardner’s Twilightslastgleam was notably absent when the Le Lion d’Angers entry list went live earlier in the week, and Jennie Brannigan confirmed today that she withdrew him from the competition.

“We had some concerns about him having a potential injury brewing and decided that his future is bright, he is young, and to give him a break and bring him out 100% next spring. We are so grateful to the USEA, Timothy Holekamp, and Chris Turner for the opportunity. I am also grateful to my vet Mary Griffin for looking out for the horses so diligently,” Jennie said.

“It is wonderful to have owners that make the right call for the horses and I have to say that this was a very tough and close one to make. My heart breaks for them, but I know Comic will make them smile quite a bit in the future.”

“Comic,” a 7-year-old Thoroughbred (National Anthem x Royal Child), received the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Grant to compete in France, and the USEA confirmed to EN that the grant will not be awarded to another horse this year. The funds will instead remain in the grant account to be used in 2018.

The grant, founded by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner, enables the highest scorer of the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championship to travel to Le Lion d’Angers and compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses as a 7-year-old if the horse obtains the proper CCI2* qualifications.

Comic was the 2014 Young Event Horse East Coast 4-year-old Reserve Champion and ranked third in the overall standings that year. He then placed seventh at the 2015 Young Event Horse East Coast 5-year-old Championships and was ranked 13th overall in the nation.

We are relieved that Comic will be back out competing next spring and wish the best of luck to the competitors heading to Le Lion. We have four North American entries in the competition. Click here to see the entry list.

Fair Hill Lunch Update: Colleen Rutledge Cracks 30s with Covert Rights

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to the second day of dressage at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, where we’ve already had an exciting morning of action with the CCI3* underway. Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, her Maryland homebred 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding, scored 39.8 to hold the lead at the lunch break.

Colleen and Covert Rights have now scored in the 30s in three of their last four tests at three-star level. Their score of 39.8 is the fourth score in the 30s at the Fair Hill CCI3* over the last decade, according to EquiRatings. Colleen and Covert Rights join Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti (39.2) and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (38.5), who both scored sub-40 in 2015, and Karen O’Connor and Mandiba, who scored 39.6 in 2009. Girl power!

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We have two American-bred horses currently topping the CCI3* leaderboard, with Ryan Wood and Powell, an 11-year-old Oldenburg bred in New Jersey by Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses, scoring a career personal best of 40.3 to sit in second place.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Team Express Group, are leading the way for the West Coast contingent, also delivering a career personal best of 41.9 to sit in third place. Click here to view full scores in the CCI3* at the lunch break.

Looking to the CCI2*, the top three from yesterday remain unchanged with 10 horses still to come after the lunch break. Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius still lead on 40.9, with Allison Springer and Lord Willing in second on 48.3, and Kristen Bond and Enough Already in third on 49.7. Click here to read about yesterday’s CCI2* dressage action.

Will Coleman delivered the best CCI2* test of day two so far with Off the Record, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Con Air Syndicate. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2* at the lunch break.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaMS6NaHwwh/

Today is jumping day in the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships. The 4-year-olds already jumped this morning, and Kristen Bond and Bea Ready, a KWPN mare (Cicero Z Van Paemel x Tizora) who led after dressage yesterday, have been crowned the winners. The 5-year-olds are jumping now, so stay tuned for more. Click here to view YEH scoring.

We have 16 horses still to come in the CCI3* after the lunch break, so check back later in the day for photos and quotes from our leaders. Be sure to check out EN’s preview of Derek di Grazia’s cross country course. Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Jumping TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Tamie Smith & Sunsprite Syrius Soar to Fair Hill CCI2* Lead

Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Tamie Smith is making her trip across the country count at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, scoring 40.9 with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius to lead the CCI2* by more than seven marks at the halfway point of the division here in Elkton, Maryland.

“It’s cold and the wind was up when I was going, but he’s always been a very consistent, workmanlike horse,” Tamie said. “I had Cecily, Matt Brown’s wife, help me a little bit on the ground. Having somebody was really helpful. He went in and did everything and nailed his halts. Overall, I thought the test was really consistent.”

While we had beautiful weather yesterday for the first horse inspection, today dawned cold and rainy, which is more more in line with the weather we traditionally see for Fair Hill. The drop in temperature and electric atmosphere in the main arena combined to create a challenging environment for some horses.

Tamie said she had one hairy moment during her test when a spectator cheered loudly for a horse in the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, which were running in the other ring alongside the CCI2*.

“He’s really sound sensitive. He could buck me off at any time,” Tamie laughed, “but he went right back to work. I was really proud of him for not losing it in there.”

Sunsprite Syrius, a 9-year-old Trakehner (Titulus X Slytely Cinnamon xx, by Silent Fox xx), has an eye-popping FEI record, winning four of his eight completed international runs on the West Coast and never finishing lower than second place in the others.

Now he’s come east to take on the best in the country in the USEF National CCI2* Championships. “Syrius” led his CCI2* debut at Rebecca Farm over the summer, jumping clear and inside the time to remain on his dressage score of 40.0, but did not move on to show jumping due to studding himself on cross country.

“Thats why we brought him here,” Tamie said. “You can’t replicate Fair Hill anywhere in the country. We’re going to find out what he’s made of.”

Syrius will need to dig deep on Saturday, as course designer Derek di Grazia has once again built beefy tracks for both the CCI2* and CCI3*. Tamie, who won the CCI3* in 2015 with Mai Baum, also has two horses in the CCI3* in Fleeceworks Royal and Wembley.

“It’s really big and technical. The first water is a big brush into the water. I think that’s going to ride tough, more so than it has in the past. From a boldness standpoint, it really sets the tone. From there, the coffin is tough. I think the time looks like it’s going to be very hard to make,” Tamie said.

“There are a lot of rollbacks on the two-star track. If you’re not efficient, you’re going to lose time. It will be fatiguing. We couldn’t have asked for a better rain overnight and earlier in the week, so I think the ground will be good enough.”

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing sit in second place in the CCI2* on 47.7. The 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate won the Bromont CCI2* over the summer in his debut at the level.

“Liam” hasn’t place outside of the top five in his international appearances since then, finishing third in the Richland Park CIC2* and fourth in the Plantation Field CIC2* in the lead up to Fair Hill, so definitely keep your eye on him this weekend.

Kristen Bond and Enough Already, a 9-year-old KWPN (Winningmood Van de Arenberg X Zandora X Landor S) owned by Liz Bond, sit in third place on 49.7. “Drake” finished seventh in the Ocala CCI2* last year before Kristen took time out of the saddle to welcome her daughter, Berkley.

Kristen is starting her Fair Hill weekend off with a bang, as she’s also leading the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships with her own Bea Ready on a score of 41.45%. In the 5-year-olds, Waylon Roberts and Wil Celtic Charlie lead on 43.36%. Stay tuned for our full YEH report!

Kristen Bond and Enough Already. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s action, 30 more horses will make their way down centerline for the conclusion of CCI2* dressage, with Wayne Quarles and Kellie Towers serving on the ground jury. Dressage for both the CCI2* and CCI3* starts at 9 a.m. EST. Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound will be first out in the CCI3*, with Rob Stevenson, Les Smith and Gretchen Butts on the ground jury.

If you’re just tuning it to EN, be sure to check out EN’s preview of Derek di Grazia’s cross country course here, plus a drone flyover video from Jamie Rees. Stay tuned for much more from Fair Hill! Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Land Rover Signs On As Title Sponsor of Kentucky Three-Day Event

Photo courtesy of Land Rover North America

Following eight years as Official Vehicle and five years as Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, Land Rover announced today that it will become the new title sponsor. The event will be rebranded as the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“Land Rover has a long-established connection with equestrian sport and we have partnered with the Kentucky Three-Day Event for eight years now,”Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, said. “Expanding our partnership with this title sponsorship will further strengthen our relationship with the equestrian community, an important audience for the Land Rover brand.”

Land Rover replaces Rolex Watch USA as the title sponsor of the event. Rolex served as the title sponsor for 36 years, beginning in 1981 when the competition was still known as the Kentucky Horse Trials. The event announced in May that it would be known as the Kentucky Three-Day Event, with Rolex no longer serving as the title sponsor.

“Land Rover is the perfect brand to step into the Title Sponsor role of the Kentucky Three-Day Event,” Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI) Executive Director Lee Carter said. “The committed support of a sponsor like Land Rover and the loyalty of our fans and the broader eventing community are what make this event the best weekend all year.”

Land Rover now serves as title sponsor of two of the world’s six CCI4* events, as the company also sponsors the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford, England.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will take place April 26-29, 2018. The Ultimate Stable Experience, which includes a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment with live farrier displays, will return in the sponsor village for all attendees. The seventh annual Land Rover Tailgate Challenge will also return in 2018.

[Land Rover North America Announces Title Sponsorship of Kentucky Three-Day Event]

All Pairs Pass First Horse Inspection at Dutta Corp Fair Hill International

Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hello from an unseasonably warm Elkton, Maryland, where the first horse inspection kicked off the action this afternoon at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. All pairs passed to give us 61 combinations in the CCI2* and 36 combinations in the CCI3*.

We normally have damp, chilly weather for the USEF CCI3* and CCI2* National Championships at Fair Hill, not to mention a mammoth amount of rain leading up to the event. This year has seen bizarre Indian summer weather stretch far into October to give us one of the warmest and driest renditions of Fair Hill in recent memory.

In the CCI2*, Waylon Roberts’ mount Born Ready was sent to the holding box and accepted upon re-presentation. In the CCI3*, Buck Davidson’s mount Carlevo and Sara Moore’s mount Polaris were both sent to the holding box, and both were accepted upon re-presentation.

No rest for the weary! Les Smith, on the left, was also on the ground jury for Boekelo at the weekend. We both flew from Amsterdam to the East Coast on Monday morning and now here we are at Fair Hill. Les joins Gretchen Butts, center, and Robert Stevenson, right, on the CCI3* ground jury. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fair Hill is one of five CCI3* competitions in North America. It serves as a key event for combinations aiming for the Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring, as Derek di Grazia designs the cross country courses at both venues.

There is something sacred about this event. It is the culmination of a season for many. It is the culmination of a lifetime of dreams for others. Simply to be here is an honor, and I love watching the support crews of all the different teams on the Wednesday of Fair Hill.

Marley Stone Bourke, who is competing Quality Pop in the USEA Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old Championships here at Fair Hill, stood ringside with her 8-month-old son, Senan, while proud papa Tim Bourke trotted up his star four-star partner Luckaun Quality.

Marley Stone Bourke and Senan. Photo by Jenni Autry.

I’ll confess upfront that I’ll be cheering loudly for Sara Moore and Polaris this weekend. After delivering a personal best dressage test at the Plantation Field CIC3* last month, they are seeking another qualifying score here at Fair Hill this weekend.

All of us stood with our hearts in our throats when Polaris was sent to the holding box during the CCI3* horse inspection. As tense minutes ticked by and the remainder of the horses made their way down the jog strip, we waited for Sara to re-present Polaris, or “Larry” as he is known to his friends.

Sara’s mom, Lindsy Gumbiner, walked back to the jog strip, faithfully recording video as Sara jogged with Larry once again. When Brian O’Connor spoke those coveted words — “Accepted!” — Lindsy turned to me and wisely said, “It is never easy.”

Sara Moore and Polaris. Photo by Jenni Autry.

No, it is never easy. This sport takes everything we have and more. And yet that’s what keeps us coming back. It is the ultimate test, for horse and rider but also for those who support us. That is what makes eventing at the highest level of the sport so special. That is what makes Fair Hill special.

I’ll let the rest of the photos do the talking. Scroll down for a gallery of my favorite photos from today’s first horse inspection. Dressage starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow for the 4-year-old Young Event Horse division, followed by the 5-year-olds and CCI2* both starting at 11 a.m. EST. Keep it locked on EN for more from Fair Hill. Go Eventing.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderSchedule, CCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Your Guide to the 2017 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International

Tamie Smith, winner of the 2015 event with Mai Baum, returns to Fair Hill this year. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We barely have time to wash the mud off our boots after Boekelo because the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International is upon us! The action kicks off tomorrow with the first horse inspection starting at 1 p.m. EST, and EN will be bringing you coverage of the CCI3*, CCI2* and USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships all week long. Read on for what you need to know.

Fair Hill: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage TimesYEH Dressage TimesCCI Live ScoresYEH Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

What: The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International is one of five CCI3* events in North America and serves as the USEF National CCI3* Championships and USEF National CCI2* Championships. Fair Hill is a key event for riders hoping to aim for the Kentucky CCI4* the following spring, as Derek di Grazia designs the cross country course for both venues.

When: The full event schedule is available at this link. (Please check the link for the most updated version of the schedule, as frequent changes are being made.)

Wednesday, Oct. 11: First horse inspection at 1 p.m. EST
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8 a.m. EST start for YEH 4-year-old dressage. CCI2* and YEH 5-year-old dressage starts at 11 a.m. EST.
Friday, Oct. 13: 8 a.m. EST start for CCI3* dressage and the remainder of CCI2* dressage, as well as jumping for both Young Event Horse divisions
Saturday, Oct. 14: 9:30 a.m. EST start for CCI2* cross country, followed by CCI3* cross country at 1:45 p.m. EST
Sunday, Oct. 15: Final horse inspection starting at 8 a.m. EST, followed by CCI2* show jumping at 9:30 a.m. EST, then CCI3* show jumping at 1 p.m. EST

Where: Elkton, Maryland — the site of a newly proposed CCI4*, which if approved by the FEI will become the second CCI4* event in the U.S. and the seventh in the world.

Who is competing? We have 63 combinations in the CCI2* and 38 combinations in the CCI3*. While Phillip Dutton is noticeably absent due to a broken collarbone, we still have U.S. Olympians Boyd Martin, Will Coleman and Mara DePuy; Canadian Olympians Jessica Phoenix, Selena O’Hanlon and Colleen Loach; Australian Olympian Clayton Fredericks, and many more big names lining up. Click here to view the entry list.

Why should you go? Aside from offering an all-star lineup of some of the top horses and riders in the country, Fair Hill offers a slew of fun things you don’t want to miss. The Craft Beer Festival is at the top of our list, with more than 20 beers available to sample on cross country day.

The Gore Running Wear 5K will also take place Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. Each 5K entrant receives two tickets to the Craft Beer Festival, plus two General Admission tickets to watch cross country. Click here to register.

There are numerous other special activities taking place throughout the weekend, including dog agility and frisbee dog demonstrations, performances from the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team and DVCTA Quad Squad, plus a Kids Corner with face painting and crafts.

What’s new this year? If you don’t want to splurge for tickets to the VIP Tent, Fair Hill has added more prime viewing options. You can join the Fair Hill Club to receive special parking for Saturday and Sunday, covered seating overlooking the Main Arena and access to food available for purchase.

Fair Hill has also added Lawn Box Seating for Sunday, which includes VIP parking, special lawn seating for six people overlooking the Main Arena, and access to food available for purchase. You can also bring your own food.

If you go: Online ticket sales have ended, but you can still purchase tickets at the gate for General Admission, the Craft Beer Festival, VIP Tent and Fair Hill Club. Click here for ticket information.

Pau CCI4* Entries Go Live with Four North American Combinations

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect are one of three American combinations entered at Pau. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hot off the presses! Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* just released the entry list for this year’s event, which will take place Oct. 25-29 in Pau, France. We have three American combinations and one Canadian combination entered.

Boyd Martin will return with Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack, who sat in sixth place after cross country last year at Pau but was not accepted at the final horse inspection. They won Stable View Advanced as their final prep run for Pau.

Buck Davidson is competing Carl and Cassie Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach, who is hot off a win in the Plantation Field CIC3*. They ran a combined test at Morven Park as their final prep run before heading to France.

Allie Knowles will make her overseas debut with Sound Prospect LLC’s Sound Prospect. They most recently won the Advanced at Morven Park and also finished ninth at Richland Park CIC3* earlier in the summer.

Hawley Bennett-Awad will represent Canada aboard her own Jollybo, coming off a 14th placed finish in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final at the American Eventing Championships.

We also will be following along with American-based Kiwi Joe Meyer, who is riding Theresa and Madison Foote’s Clip Clop. They also competed in the packed Advanced division at Stable View, finishing 13th.

There are 58 total combinations entered at Pau. Interestingly, no German riders are entered to compete this year. France brings forward a strong contingent at their home CCI4*, with past winners Maxime Livio and Astier Nicolas both entered. Click here to view the full entry list.

[Pau CCI4* Entry List]

Who Jumped It Best? Boekelo Show Jumping Edition

In the aftermath of a muddy, exhausting cross country day at Military Boekelo CCIO3*, the sun mercifully peeked out from behind the clouds to give us a welcome respite from the rain just in the time for the thrilling show jumping finale in Enschede, Netherlands.

After putting in a mammoth effort the day before, we definitely saw some tired horses for the final phase, but overall they jumped beautifully on the new all-weather arena Boekelo unveiled this year. Boekelo has seen a 20% clear show jumping rate on average over the last seven runnings, according to EquiRatings, but the clear rate climbed to 34% this year, and the fantastic surface to jump on definitely played a role.

With that in mind, take a look at these photos of horses giving it their all on Marinus Vos’ show jumping course. Since a three-day is all about the resilience of these incredible athletes, today we are only judging the horse form over the fence, not rider position. Vote for who you think jumped it best in the poll below. Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lydia Hannon and Tierro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Benjamin Massie and Une Eau Vive Dubanier. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Astier Nicolas and Vinci de la Vigne. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tim Price and Cekatinka. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Blyth Tait and Dassett Courage. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Mark Todd and McClaren. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Price Wins Battle of the Tims at Boekelo, Liz Halliday-Sharp Finishes 16th

Tim Price and Cekatinka. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We saw a thrilling finale at Military Boekelo CCIO3* after what can only be described as a dramatic morning here in Enschede, Netherlands. Following a grueling cross country day in the mud that saw only 50% of the field jump clear, seven horses were withdrawn prior to the final horse inspection, including Alex Hua Tian’s mount Don Geniro, who set in second place.

That moved Tim Lips and Bayro up into second to battle it out with overnight leaders Tim Price and Cekatinka for the win. Tim Lips last won Boekelo, which serves as the Dutch National Championships, in 2007, and the crowd went absolutely wild when he jumped clear to put the pressure on Tim Price, who could not afford a rail with Cekatinka.

The 11-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri X Katinka, by Julio Mariner xx) was nonplussed when she trotted into an electric atmosphere and jumped a beautiful clear round to clinch the win for Tim Price on 43.7.

“I’m super proud of how she jumped,” he said. “She was a little tired in the warm-up, which is typical in a three-day, but was starting to show me how much she delivers in the ring in a performance environment. She used the applause from the previous rider to her advantage. She realized it was something to work at, and she really excelled.”

The question now becomes whether Tim will keep the ride on the mare, as he was only meant to temporarily take the reins during his wife Jonelle’s pregnancy. “She’s Jonelle’s horse, ultimately. She suits her. She’s a great one for her. She’s been a pelasure to ride. She’s healthy and came through the event great, which is half the battle. We’re happy and excited about next year.”

Tim Lips ultimately had to settle for second place with Bayro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Casantos X Vanya, by Corland), but took the title of Dutch National Champion thanks to being the highest-placed rider from the host country.

Alexis Goury and Trompe l’Oeil d’Emery, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Imprevu de la Cour SF X Dagana de Vauberon SF, by Fury de la Censa), moved up to third place this morning following Don Geniro’s withdrawal and finished in the same spot on 46.1 after jumping one of the 23 clear rounds on Marinus Vos’ course.

The past seven runnings of Boekelo have seen an average of 1 in 5 jump clear show jumping rounds at Boekelo, according to EquiRatings. But those years were all held on grass prior to the installation of an all-weather arena for the 2017 event. Horses jumped beautifully on the surface today to give us a 32% clear jumping rate.

Tim Price led New Zealand to a win in the Nations Cup Final on a final team score of 160.9, followed by Germany in second on 174.3 and Australia in third on 203.7. Great Britain did not complete a team at Boekelo and ultimately relinquished the Nations Cup series lead to Germany, who sat only 10 points behind Team GB heading into Boekelo and take the 2017 title thanks to their podium finish.

Team USA, led by Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law, completed all three of our riders to finish seventh out of 11 teams. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL X Zonne-Trend by French Buffett xx), finished 16th of the 68 combinations that completed the event, adding one rail today for a final score of 59.0.

“I tried to give him a little room and a lot of power, which usually suits him to a square oxer like that. I knew that was the last big question for him, and I think he just tipped it out of a bit of greeness,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way he jumped, though. He jumped better than he did at Blenheim, and he’s never run this long in his life and never in the mud.. I couldn’t have asked for more from him really. He was prefect all weekend.”

As for what’s next for “Niro,” first he’ll enjoy a long vacation and then gain more mileage at the three-star level during the 2018 season. “We’ll maybe aim for a four-star at the end of next year, but I’d like to give him a chance to find his way. He moved up so quickly this year. He just did his first CCI* less than a year ago, so I think the right thing for him is to give him time, and hopefully we’ll have a really special team horse some day.”

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus, her own and Sherrie Martin’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Nazar X Kelshamore Lady), had two rails down in show jumping to finish in 32nd place on 63.4 in their Boekelo debut.

“I was surprised when the first rail of the triple went down. It definitely wasn’t his fault. Maybe I could have put more leg on, but it was one of those ‘what if’ rails,” Caroline said. “When I jumped the liverpool, I was a little bit on a left to right line because the turn was tight, and going to the oxer I didn’t keep the rhythm. That was 100 percent my fault. I’m disappointed, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the horse was really good all weekend and did everything I asked.”

As for Caroline’s thoughts on her first Boekelo: “It rained a lot! I’m really proud of how he did on the cross country. I came here really wanting to have a good cross country run, so I did what I wanted to. Thank you to Ms. Mars for the grant and letting me get my feet wet overseas again. I’m glad I got to do another senior team, especially since it’s my first year out of Young Riders. Hopefully I keep improving each time I come over.”

Katherine Coleman and Kalai LLC’s Back to Business II, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Harlequin Du Carel X Moxella, by Quick Star), had two rails down to complete the mare’s second CCI3* in 66th place on a final score of 83.9.

I went to half halt a bit, and she really goes against my hand and is fighting me so much that she’s not paying attention to the jumps. She started off really mega and built a bit as the course went, and then went against my hand and was too busy fighting me to pay attention to the jumps. That’s been a theme with her in both the jumping phases. We’ll sort that this winter and try to play with bits.”

This is Katherine’s second time competing at Boekelo, and she said she will definitely be back. “They make it fun for the masses, which then draws a big crowd. Someone who’s not horsey can come here and absolutely enjoy themselves all weekend. I think that’s key for event organizers in general to get more interest in the sport — to make it appeal more to the masses.”

It’s definitely been a very muddy and wet Boekelo, and while we saw some sore horses following cross country, we are relieved to report that no horses or riders suffered any major injuries this weekend. We have much more to bring you from Boekelo, including a special edition of Who Jumped It Best, so stay tuned! Go Eventing.

Boekelo: WebsiteFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Watch the Military Boekelo CCIO3* Live Stream

Boekelo is providing an English live stream this year for the first time in the history of the event! With commentary from the dynamic duo of Diarm Byrne and Nicole Brown, be sure to tune in to hear stats from EquiRatings and analysis from special guests.

The first group of show jumping starts at 11 a.m. local time/5 a.m. EST, and Katherine and Back to Business II are third in to jump. Caroline and Liz will both jump in the final group of the top 30 starting at 2:45 p.m. local time/8:45 a.m. EST. Click here to view the starting order.

Boekelo: WebsiteLive ScoresShow Jumping Starting OrderLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram