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.

Latest Articles Written

Which U.S. Combinations Are Qualified for WEG 2018?

Tryon International Equestrian Center, site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Photo by Sportfot.

We are 201 days away from the first horse inspection on Sept. 12 at the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center. A total of 52 U.S. combinations have already qualified for WEG since the qualifying period began on Jan. 1, 2017.

To qualify for WEG, U.S. combinations must achieve an MER (Minimum Eligibility Requirement) at one CCI4* or one CCI3* and CI3*. Horses and riders must qualify as a pair. A qualifying score must have:

  • A score of 45.0 or better in dressage (all scores from 2017 of 65.0 or better will count retroactively following the removal of the coefficient)
  • No cross country jumping penalties (one frangible device can be activated)
  • No more than 75 seconds over the optimum time at three-star level and no more than 100 seconds over the time at four-star level
  • No more than four rails in show jumping

For pairs who still need a CCI to qualify, the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event on April 26-29 will offer the first opportunity to do so. For pairs still need a CIC3*, Red Hills will provide the first opportunity in the U.S. on March 8-11.

Kentucky CCI4* is also the first of seven remaining selection trials for the U.S. WEG team:

  • Kentucky CCI4* April 26-29
  • Badminton CCI4* (GBR) May 3-6
  • Jersey Fresh CCI3* May 10-13
  • Tattersalls CCI3* (IRE) May 30-June 3
  • Bramham CCI3* (GBR) June 7-10
  • Bromont CCI3* (CAN) June 7-10
  • Luhmühlen (GER) June 14-17

The U.S. WEG team is expected to be named the week after Luhmühlen. Nominated entries must be submitted to the FEI by Aug. 13. Definite entries are due to the FEI on Sept. 3.

The U.S. Eventing Selection Procedures and related documents are available on the USEF website.

U.S. COMBINATIONS QUALIFIED FOR WEG

HORSE RIDER QUALIFIED AT
Back to Business Katherine Coleman 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
2017 Chatsworth CIC3*
Ballylaffin Bracken Kristin Schmolze 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Bonito Boyd Martin 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
Boris O’Hara Will Coleman 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
Captain Jack Savannah Fulton 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Carlevo Buck Davidson 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
Charlie Tango Heather Morris 2017 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
2017 Galway Downs CIC3*
Chatwin Frankie Thieriot-Stutes 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Galway Downs CIC3*
Congo Brazzaville C Mara DePuy 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
Cool As Ice Jennie Brannigan 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
Cooley Cross Border Kim Severson 2017 Blenheim Palace CCI3*
2017 Cappoquin CIC3*
Cooley On Show Sharon White 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
Covert Rights Colleen Rutledge 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Morven Park CIC3*
Da Vinci Code Kylie Lyman 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Carolina CIC3*
Danger Mouse Caroline Martin 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 The Fork CIC3*
DeLux Z Kurt Martin 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Deniro Z Liz Halliday-Sharp 2017 Boekelo CCI3*
2017 Blenheim Palace CIC3*
Donner Lynn Symansky 2017 Badminton CCI4*
Fernhill Revelation Phillip Dutton 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
2017 The Fork CIC3*
Fleeceworks Royal Tamie Smith 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
Harbour Pilot Hannah Sue Burnett 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
High Times Jen McFall 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
I’m Sew Ready Phillip Dutton 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Indy 500 Andrea Baxter 2017 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
2017 Blenheim Palace CCI3*
Jak My Style Buck Davidson 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Morven Park CIC3*
LCC Barnaby Lillian Heard 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Mettraise Erin Sylvester 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
OBOS O’Reilly Will Coleman 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
P.S. Arianna Madeline Backus 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Paddy the Caddy Erin Sylvester 2017 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
Park Trader Buck Davidson 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Richland Park CIC3*
Pebbly Maximus Caroline Martin 2017 Boekelo CCIO3*
2017 Houghton Hall CICO3*
Polaris Sara Moore 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
Revitavet Capato Jordan Linstedt 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
RF Demeter Hannah Sue Burnett 2017 Blenheim Palace CCI3*
2017 Aachen CICO3*
RF Scandalous Marilyn Little 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
Rubens D’Ysiuex Sara Kozumplik-Murphy 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 The Fork CIC3*
Share Option Lillian Heard 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Sir Oberon Ellen Doughty-Hume 2017 Galway CCI3*
2017 Chattahoochee Hills
Sound Prospect Allie Knowles 2017 Pau CCI4*
Steady Eddie Boyd Martin 2017 Burghley CCI4*
Stella Artois Jennie Brannigan 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
Super Socks BCF Matt Brown 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Tight Lines Will Coleman 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
Tsetserleg Boyd Martin 2017 Bromont CCI3*
2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
Tsunami Sally Cousins 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Under Suspection Hannah Sue Burnett 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
Unmarked Bills Chris Talley 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
Vandiver Doug Payne 2017 Blenheim Palace CCI3*
2017 The Fork CIC3*
Veronica Lauren Kieffer 2017 Badminton CCI4*
Wembley Tamie Smith 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
2017 Twin Rivers CIC3*
Z Phillip Dutton 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials kicks off today in Thomson, Georgia. Photo by Kelsey Briggs.

Fresno Park kicked off the U.S. FEI season last week in California, and this week the East Coast follows suit with Pine Top Advanced, which also runs a CIC2* and CIC1*. New U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander is continuing his tour of our major venues and led a course walk for riders yesterday at Pine Top. Good luck to all competing in Georgia this weekend!

National Holiday:  National Skip the Straw Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Advanced CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

Double Olympic eventing champion Michael Jung won the CSI5*-W 1.40m in Gothenburg yesterday aboard the 10-year-old Westphalian mare fischerChelsea (Check In x Argent). His jump-off time of 55.13 seconds was a full 3.2 seconds faster than second place. Just another day in the life of The Terminator! [Jung Wins Gothenburg CSI5*-W]

Stuart Tinney has been named Chef d’Equipe for the Australian eventing team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. The Rio Olympic team bronze medalist was notably left off the latest training squad and said he hopes to “offer several decades of experience to bring Australia to the podium at WEG.” Rod Brown and Nelson Pessoa have also been appointed show jumping coaches for the Aussie eventers. [Tinney Named WEG Chef d’Equipe]

The Future Event Horse Program took center stage yesterday at the USEA Educational Symposium in Ocala. FEH judge Chris Ryan spoke about what he looks for in a broodmare and offered advice on choosing the right mare and stallion match for breeding top class eventing prospects. Dr. Shauna Spurlock also presented on conformation. The day concluded with a session on FEH judging standards. [FEH Educational Symposium]

Jen Roytz has been named the new executive director of the Retired Racehorse Project. Steuart Pittman, who held the title since the organization’s inception, will step down from his leadership role but remain involved as board chair. [Roytz Named RRP Executive Director]

Has your horse shredded his turnout rug beyond repair? The SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Blanket made from heavy-duty 1000 denier nylon is tough enough to stand up to even the most accomplished blanket-shredders. But if your horse does manage to destroy it, SmartPak offers a 10-Year Indestructible Guarantee. [SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Blanket]

WEG 2018 Will Feature World Equine Expo and WEQx Games

Photo courtesy of Tryon International Equestrian Center

Mark Bellissimo has promised to pull out all the stops at the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center, with the inaugural World Equine ExpoWEQx Games and World Horse Day all set to run concurrently during WEG between Sept. 11-23.

“All of our countries were discovered on the back of a horse. The horse and other equines have been partners in humanity for over 4,000 years and remain a significant economic enabler in most developing countries with millions of equines supporting hundreds of millions of lives,” Mark said.

“These amazing animals continue to provide sustenance, transportation, security, entertainment, friendship, therapy, and sport throughout the world. The love of the horse is universal and profound. The opportunity is to better package the spirit of the horse and make it known and accessible to a broader audience.”

The collective event theme of “Celebrate the Horse, Celebrate the Sport,” intends to honor and highlight the unique connection between horses and humans across the world.

The World Equine Expo will be an annual event intended to create a platform to honor, celebrate, and promote horses and horsemanship through a trade fair; demonstrations; educational seminars; clinics; panel discussions; an equine art and film festival; and “conversations on topics critical to raising awareness, and strengthening, innovating and expanding global equestrianism.”

The expo will also include the WEQx Games, a spectator-driven series of exhibition competitions meant to highlight the “accessibility, diversity, athleticism and passion for horse sport for athletes of all ages with the ultimate goal of finding formats that promote personal, spectator, and commercial interests in equestrian sport.”

Tryon is working in collaboration with the FEI and USEF to “refine the formats” of the WEQx Games and will release more details shortly. In addition, World Horse Day will also take place on Thursday, Sept. 13, alongside a charity gala.

“World Horse Day will be the ultimate celebration of the horse, an animal that has supported humans since the beginning of time,” Mark said. “While often an unsung hero, this incredible animal is overdue for its turn in the spotlight. World Horse Day honors the horse and its unparalleled contribution to our world.”

Visit www.tryon2018.com or follow the Tryon2018 Facebook page for the latest news and updates on WEG. Are you planning to attend WEG this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Will We See Michael Jung at Kentucky and Badminton in 2018?

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST at Kentucky 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

With the 2018 season’s first CCI4* just 62 days away, speculation is ripe as to which horses and riders we will see competing at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

With World Equestrian Games team selection on the line, riders will be looking to prove themselves early in the season, including reigning FEI World No. 1 Michael Jung. Will he return to Kentucky with three-time winner fischerRocana FST in pursuit of a record fourth consecutive victory? Will 18-year-old double Olympic champion La Biosthetique Sam FBW, who is now retired from championships, return to Badminton in the hopes of repeating his 2016 win?

German team trainer Hans Melzer shared some insights into competition plans for the season as we look ahead to WEG. Most of Germany’s top combinations who are already qualified for WEG will forgo a spring CCI and aim for the German National Championships Meßmer Trophy CIC3* at Luhmühlen in June instead.

Our friends at Buschreiter.de have published season plans for many of Germany’s top riders as they aim for WEG, which will take place Sept. 12-16 at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Reigning European champions Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob will plan to contest Kreuth CIC2* in April, Wiesbaden CIC3* in May, Luhmühlen CIC3* in June, Aachen CICO3* in July and Strzegom CIC3* in August.

Other top German riders will likely follow the same plan, with the notable exception of Michael Jung. “We are expecting most riders to compete in the CIC*** Meßmer Trophy,” Hans told Luhmühlen in an interview. “Only Michael Jung is considering taking La Biosthetique Sam to Badminton and fischerRocana to Kentucky instead.”

The reigning queen of Kentucky, fischerRocana FST is already the only mare in history to win the same CCI4* three consecutive times. If she returns to Kentucky again in 2018 to defend her crown and wins, she would become the only horse in history to win the same CCI4* four consecutive times.

As to whether fischerRocana FST will also reprise her role as Michael’s WEG mount — she won individual silver at the 2014 WEG in Normandy in her CCI4* debut — the 13-year-old mare is undoubtedly a front-runner.

Hans also confirmed that two of Michael’s top mounts will return to action this season following recovery from injuries: 2015 European Champion fischerTakinou and Lennox 364, who qualified for WEG with a fifth place finish at Saumur last year.

“Outside of the Olympic squad we have a number of promising horse-rider combinations who stand a chance to compete at the WEG. They will compete in Luhmühlen’s CCI4*, as this could provide them with the necessary qualifications for Tryon. Felix Etzel, Marina Köhncke, Jörg Kurbel, Anna Siemer and Falk-Filip-Finn Westerich are candidates to take this route,” Hans said.

“It’s certainly possible that one or more of these riders could be selected, as Sandra Auffarth, Bettina Hoy, Michael Jung, Ingrid Klimke, Andreas Ostholt, Kai Rüder and Josefa Sommer only have one horse each on this level. At the moment, Andreas Dibowski is the only one who has got three horses which could be contenders for the games.”

Michael has ridden on every major team for Germany since making his senior team debut in 2009 — and won an individual medal at each one. His slot on the team seems all but guaranteed; the question remains which horse he will ride at Tryon.

We hope to see Rocana at Kentucky and Sam at Badminton! Go Eventing.

[Luhmühlen on the way to the World Equestrian Games and the European Championships 2019]

Join the U.S. Eventing Team for a Night Out in Aiken Next Week!

The USET Foundation’s “Triumph in Tryon” gala raised over half a million dollars for U.S. equestrian teams last month. Photo by Phelps Media Group.

Following on the USET Foundation’s successful World Equestrian Games fundraising gala in Wellington, Florida last month, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team is set to hold its own fundraiser in Aiken, South Carolina next week.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly toward supporting the U.S. Eventing Team in the lead up to the 2018 World Equestrian Games, which will be held Sept. 12-16 at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

All are invited to join U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander and 2018 WEG Director of Eventing Jim Wolf for “Triumph in Tryon” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Bruce’s House at the Aiken Horse Park.

Top riders from the U.S. eventing team will also be in attendance as Erik outlines the USEF Eventing High Performance program’s path to Tryon, and Jim gives an insider’s look at eventing at WEG.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for food and drinks, and the evening is expected to be a fun and informative night out in support of the U.S. Eventing Team.

Tickets are available for $60 and can be purchased at this link. If you wish to pay via check, call the USET Foundation officers to reserve your seating. Checks can be mailed to USET Foundation, P.O. Box 355 Gladstone, NJ 07934.

Will you be attending Triumph in Tryon in Aiken on Feb. 27? Let us know in the comments below! Click here for more information and directions to the Aiken Horse Park. Go Eventing.

[Triumph In Tryon Tickets]

Struggling with FOMO? Buy Tickets to Great Meadow International!

Jan Byyny and Inmidair at the 2017 Great Meadow International. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We have 29 days to go until the start of spring, and for eventers spending the winter in colder parts of the country where you’ve forgotten what grass looks like, that might as well be an eternity. You’ve done more circles around the indoor than you can count, planned your 2018 eventing season with alternative scenarios A to Z, and you’re desperate to go cross country again.

How do eventers combat the winter doldrums? By planning trips to the biggest events in the country, of course! If you’re searching for a summer road trip, look no further than North America’s only eventing Nations Cup leg, the Brook Ledge Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan, in The Plains, Virginia. Ticket sales officially opened last week!

The Nations Cup CICO3* at Great Meadow will be held July 6-8, 2018. Located in the heart of Virginia horse country and only 50 miles from Washington, D.C., attending Great Meadow International is the perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway. Going to the event is a fabulous excuse to explore the rich horse history of Middleburg and beyond, not to mention grab a beer with friends at favorite local watering hole The Red Fox.

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready at the 2017 Great Meadow International. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Not only can you watch the top event riders from all around the world compete at Great Meadow International — Great Britain has sent a team for the past two years — but U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander has also named Great Meadow a U.S. team prep event ahead of the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon. More than 15,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance, and you definitely don’t want to miss out.

This year Great Meadow has a new sponsor in Brook Ledge Horse Transportation. The Meadow Market is receiving a complete overhaul for the 2018 event, with a new layout featuring a stage for demonstrations and mini educational lectures. There will be live music throughout the weekend in the beer and wine garden overlooking the main arena. You can also win prizes and special discounts through the Meadow Market Scavenger Hunt — stay tuned for more details!

Great Meadow is renowned for tailgating during the famed Virginia Gold Cup, and has now added tailgating overlooking the arena for both days of competition at the Nations Cup. Both the ringside tailgate spaces and reserved ringside boxes will give a prime viewing spot for the Bareback Puissance on Friday evening, which is free and open to the public following the first horse inspection.

Colleen Loach and Quorry Blue d’Argouges representing Canada at Great Meadow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage kicks off on Saturday morning in the main arena with world class footing from Attwood Equestrian Services, followed by show jumping in the evening. The competition concludes on Sunday with cross country and the prize giving. Live music will be on stage throughout all three days of competition, with plenty of shopping, food and drink, and activities for the whole family.

With the Great Meadow International box office opening last week, now is your chance to purchase discount tickets at early bird pricing, which will be available through March 31. General admission is $25 for a one-day car pass or $40 for a weekend car pass, and parking is free. Click on the following links to purchase tickets: General AdmissionRingside Boxes, TailgatingVIP Tent.

Click here to view the full event schedule. Be sure to follow the Brook Ledge Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit the event website to lean more. Will you be attending Great Meadow this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Great Meadow Links: Website, Schedule, Tickets, Vendors

Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy Returning to Ocala for March Clinic

Joseph Murphy teaching at Horsepower Equestrian. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Following his successful cross country clinic in Ocala, Florida earlier this month, Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy has announced he is making a return trip to Horsepower Equestrian on March 11-13 to get horses and riders tuned up for the competition season.

Whether you want to build confidence on cross country for yourself or your horse, sharpen your jumping skills, or simply have a fabulous time riding with one of Ireland’s best, there is something for everyone at Joseph’s clinics.

The three-day clinic is open to riders and horses of all levels, from Beginner Novice to Advanced, and all will walk away having gained an immense amount of knowledge and new tools to use on cross country going forward for the season.

“I assess the riders and the horses and see what level I can get them to in their training in a short space of time,” Joseph said. “When the riders go away from the clinic, I want them to have the tools to be able to progress their horses from what I have done to what they can do on their own.”

Lisa Hickey and No Pips at Joseph Murphy’s February clinic. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Joseph certainly challenged riders in his February clinic, and he said he was delighted with their progress and is looking forward to returning. “Some of them were out of their comfort zone because of what I was asking them to do, but I thought their attitude and reaction was really good.”

Feedback has been very positive from the riders who participated in Joseph’s February clinic. Click here to read EN’s full clinic report. Read on for a sampling of what other riders had to say:

Jeanie Clarke: “Best cross country training I have ever had. It’s about riding, thinking, reacting, confidence and athleticism. Do it.”

Marcea Funk: “Every rider was challenged on becoming a better class of rider for the horses. Joseph found all our weaknesses quickly and proved how important it was mentally to stay focused, especially with how challenging our courses are becoming.”

Julieann Prettyman: “Joseph gave me the confidence to not only ask harder questions and jump bigger things but also to make mistakes and embrace them as part of the learning curve with the younger horses.”

Jimmie Schramm: “He methodically worked with every pair as he would if he were training his own horse, ticking off the boxes of what the horse and rider were proficient at and what needed to be addressed and worked through.”

Jean Thomas and Connor at Joseph Murphy’s February clinic. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The cost for Joseph’s clinic on March 11-13 is $150 for one day, $290 for two days and $420 for all three days; the facility fee for Horsepower Equestrian is included. Lessons are small group sessions and approximately 80 minutes long. Auditors are welcome!

Riders who return for multiple days will be challenged with different exercises building on the previous days. Only early morning sessions will be available on the third day, which will focus on simulating a competition type of scenario.

For more information or to book, email [email protected] and include the level of horse and rider. Limited stalls are available and can be reserved by contacting Liz Halliday-Sharp at [email protected]. Spots are expected to fill quickly, so don’t wait! Join the clinic event page on Facebook here.

Many thanks to Al Sharp and Liz Halliday-Sharp for hosting at their stunning facility. If you haven’t yet ridden at Horsepower Equestrian, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. The cross country course designed by Pan American Games course builder Greg Schlappi is one of the best private facilities in Ocala.

Learn more about Joseph on his website and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Go Eventing.

Equestrian Australia Names 2018 National Eventing Squads

Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Equestrian Australia (EA) has named its 2018 national eventing squads in three categories — the Gold Squad, Green Squad and Generation Next Squad — with U.S.-based Aussie Ryan Wood named to the Green Squad.

Rio Olympic team bronze medalists Shane Rose, Sam Griffiths and Chris Burton are all listed on the 2018 Gold Squad.

The Gold Squad is for riders with medal performances at the most recent World Equestrian Games (WEG) or Olympics and considered capable of a medal performance at the upcoming WEG or Olympics.

Ryan Wood, Sammi Birch, Emma McNab, Katja Weimann and Megan Jones are listed on the 2018 Green Squad.

The Green Squad is for riders with current results at the CCI3* and/or CCI4* level and demonstrate a capability of medal performances at the upcoming WEG or Olympics.

Andrew Barnett, Olivia Barton, Emma Bishop, Andrew Cooper, Isabel English, Shenae Lowings, Robert Palm, Amanda Ross, Katie Taliana, Gemma Tinney, Hazel Shannon and Emma Mason are listed on the 2018 Generation Next Squad.

The Generation Next Squad is for riders who have not recently represented Australia at the WEG or Olympics, including individuals with proven emerging talent and proven performances and results at CCI2* level and above.

EA Eventing Selector Georgia Widdup commented, “We currently have a very strong group of senior horse and rider combinations headed for WEG, which is a major milestone in the journey towards Tokyo 2020.”

“Beyond our more experienced and high profile athletes, the depth of talent in Australia’s eventing ranks is immense, and we are focussed on ensuring that we help them to realize their full potential.”

EA High Performance Director Chris Webb added, “The pool of riders and horses that we have to draw on for potential medal outcomes at WEG and in Tokyo is very encouraging. We have robust programs in place to give them every opportunity to deliver to the very best of their ability.”

Equestrian Australia is expected to announce the WEG eventing coaching team next week.

[Equestrian Australia Names National Eventing Squads]

USEF President, CEO Issue Direct Address on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

Embed from Getty Images

Following a presentation on the SafeSport initiative at last month’s USEF Annual Meeting, the organization released a letter today from President Murray Kessler and CEO Bill Moroney stressing that “the safety and welfare of our members, especially our children, is of paramount importance.”

The U.S. Center for SafeSport was created by the USOC in March 2017 as an independent organization to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Olympic National Governing Bodies. Any Olympic sport, equestrian included, falls under the SafeSport umbrella.

In addition to providing training and education, any participant in equestrian sport can report sexual misconduct to SafeSport to be investigated. Read on for the full letter from the USEF, and please share this important information with fellow members of the equestrian community.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department:

Dear US Equestrian Members,

The safety and welfare of our members, especially our children, is of paramount importance to US Equestrian.  This is why we are writing directly to every member and to the parents of our junior members.  We believe it is vital to the sustainability of the sport we love, to deliver Safe Sport information and resources directly to our members.

US Equestrian has partnered with the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and assisted in the development of the policies that support it. This partnership and the Safe Sport Initiative bring you consistent and reliable reporting processes, in addition to resources and support. Not only is reporting the right thing to do, it is critical to creating a safe environment for athletes and members. Sexual and non-sexual misconduct have two distinct reporting processes:

  1. All sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport by phone 720-524-5640 or online at www.safesport.org
  2. All non-sexual misconduct or violations of the Safe Sport Policy should be reported directly to US Equestrian.  Reports through US Equestrian can be submitted using the USEF Incident Report Form, or by email or phone to Sonja Keating, General Counsel, [email protected], 859-225-2045, Sarah Gilbert, [email protected], 859-225-2022, or Emily Pratt, [email protected], 859-225-6956.

Both the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and US Equestrian will accept anonymous reports, but please note that it can be very difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.

It is essential that all members educate themselves regarding Safe Sport. Not only to understand when and how to report, but also to recognize the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. To further your education and participation in this movement US Equestrian provides numerous Safe Sport Initiative resources on our website at www.usef.org including the following:

  • Safe Sport Training – FREE to everyone! Three modules that take just under ninety minutes to complete initially, with refresher training every two years;
  • A banned list that identifies the person by name and reason for their ban;
  • Coming later this summer, US Equestrian will launch our trainer/instructor/coach directory and registry to help individuals, parents, athletes, and others in our sport find the professionals within our industry who have completed the Safe Sport Training and accreditation;
  • The U.S. Center for Safe Sport has partnered with RAINN to provide a 24-hour victim services hotline, reached at 1.866.200.0796

In addition to the resources offered by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and US Equestrian, it is extremely important that you are aware of legislation awaiting President Trump’s signature, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. It requires amateur sports organizations and its members to report sex-abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department within 24 hours. Failure to do so is a crime.

US Equestrian is dedicated to bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible and part of the joy of horses is making sure you have the resources available to assist you in making safe choices.  Please contact our legal department which handles all Safe Sport inquiries at [email protected] should you have any questions or need assistance.

Sincerely,

Murray S. Kessler, President

William J. Moroney, Chief Executive Officer

[Safe Sport – Keeping Our Sport Safe for All]

[Time Is Up: SafeSport Polices Sexual Abuse in Olympic Sports]

Valentine’s Day Giveaway: Treat Yourself With SmartPak Hadley Breeches

Enter to win a pair of Hadley Full Seat Breeches from SmartPak!

It’s February 14! Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or some other version of the holiday, we have a special giveaway to treat yourself today. We’re teaming up with SmartPak to give one lucky EN reader a pair of fabulous Hadley Full Seat Breeches.

SmartPak’s Hadley breeches are made of a special 4-way stretch fabric that makes them comfortable and durable to wear all year long. I have cross country schooled in them on hot days in Florida (photo evidence!) and also ridden in them on cold, windy days in Pennsylvania, and I’ve found them equally awesome in all conditions. The stretch fabric is also stain and water resistant.

My Hadley breeches still look brand new after countless machine washes — just lay flat to dry! — and I also love that they have front and back pockets, both deep enough to hold your phone. The Hadley Full Seat Breeches come in eight colors: Black, Navy (my fave!), Charcoal with Black, French Blue with Dove, White, Dark Spruce with Navy, Ocean with Navy, and Leaf Green with Chocolate.

The Hadley Full Seat Breeches retail at $129.95, with the Hadley Knee Patch Breeches at $119.95. Use code LoveSP2018 to save 20% off all SmartPak apparel and tack through tonight. If you haven’t tried Hadley breeches yet, now is your chance to win a pair for free! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST tonight, and we will announce the winner in Thursday’s News & Notes. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Information given in the Rafflecopter widget, including email addresses, may be shared with the corresponding sponsor at their request. You will also be signed up for our weekly EN eNews email newsletter, if you aren’t already. Don’t worry — you’ll just wonder what you’ve been missing out on — and you can unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

Joanie Morris Loses Super Bowl Bet to Buck Davidson

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On Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, USEF Managing Director of Eventing and lifelong Patriots fan Joanie Morris lost a Super Bowl bet to lifelong Eagles fan Buck Davidson.

Per the terms of the bet, Joanie had to tell EN why the Eagles are the best football team. If the Patriots had won, Buck would have had to do the same for the Patriots in a press conference at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

This is not the first time Joanie has lost a football bet. Exhibit A:

Without further ado, take it away, Joanie!

5 Reasons Why the Eagles Are the Best Football Team
By Joanie Morris

1. Because the Eagles have the most creative rally cry in football, the one where they spell their own name. E-A-G-L-E-S

2. Because aside from Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton and possibly one or two other people — everyone else told me that the only team they like less than the Eagles is the Patriots.
CC: Jonathan Elliott

3. Because they represent a city and not a six state piece of heaven in the North East.

4. Because their victory exposed the fact that Jon Holling bet on a team other than the Green Bay Packers.

5. Because Buck Davidson is so overjoyed by this victory after a lifetime of pain and suffering as an Eagles fan that he won’t even mind paying Jon Holling the $50 that Jon made betting me on a team other than the Packers (!!!).

Internal Confidence Is King at Joseph Murphy’s Ocala Clinic

Joseph Murphy is returning to Horsepower Equestrian in Ocala in March, likely mid-month, for another cross country clinic. Dates will be confirmed soon. All levels welcome! Email [email protected] or WhatsApp +44 7799 096204 to reserve a spot. 

Lisa Hickey thanking Joseph after riding in the clinic with her 11-year-old Thoroughbred No Pips. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“You must think very strong in yourself as a rider. Think you can do it, and if you can’t, find a way to make it happen.” That is just one of many memorable quotes from Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy during his cross country clinic at Horsepower Equestrian in Ocala last week, and it captures the key theme that emerged over the three days: Internal confidence is king.

Joseph taught groups with experience ranging from Beginner Novice to Advanced level. After watching them jump through warm-up exercises, he quickly pinpointed strengths and weaknesses. He then coaxed each rider to challenge their own perceived limits of their ability, methodically preparing them to tackle more complex combinations and intricate questions as the lesson progressed.

The number of riders who jumped a certain type of fence or combination for the first time — and came away with beaming smiles — made this clinic a smashing success. I watched riders competing at Novice level jump through Preliminary combinations like total pros. I watched young horses grow up considerably over the course of one hour and mature by leaps and bounds when they returned for multiple days.

There is a bit of magic in the way the Irish ride cross country, and after auditing and riding in Joseph’s clinic, I can certainly say that extends to the way he teaches. Horses and riders consistently walked away from the clinic with an incredible confidence boost thanks to riding with one of Ireland’s best.

Joseph has an intriguing background. He grew up in Mullingar playing GAA football and only started riding when he was 16 years old. He cut his teeth catch riding for the Westmeath Fox Hounds, later earning his jockey license and winning at point-to-points. It was only when he met Danish event rider Dot Love that he started eventing, and he competed in his first three-day event at 23 years of age.

He has represented Ireland at the last four European Championships, as well as competed at the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 World Equestrian Games. He competed in his first CCI4* in 2011 and has since completed 19 four-stars, with multiple top-15 finishes at Badminton, Burghley, Luhmühlen and Pau.

Watch the video above of him riding Sportsfield Othello at Tattersalls CCI3*. Joseph is balanced, light and allowing in the way he rides cross country. His style is bold, and he expects riders to come into his clinics ready to rise to the occasion. A word to the wise: Do not ride in a clinic with Joseph if you don’t want to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and in some cases way out of your comfort zone.

Using myself as an example, I rode in a Training group aboard Jimmie Schramm’s former Advanced horse Bellamy, who at 18 years old is no longer competing at the upper levels and now enjoys taking off with me out of the start box at the lower levels. We had completed one recognized Training prior to Joseph’s clinic.

I’m extremely lucky to be riding this horse, and in my excitement over talking about Bellamy with Joseph, I made the grave mistake of telling him the horse was an experienced campaigner that had gone around Kentucky CCI4*.

My lesson was the last of the day, and I spent the morning auditing other lessons so I knew what to expect. After watching him send the Novice group through a combination of sizable tables, I started getting a bit nervous. When he started sending the Training group that rode before me over an Intermediate table with a sharp left-hand turn to a triple brush, I was expecting him to have constructed an exact replica of Becher’s Brook by the time I got on for my lesson.

Joseph showing me the line to ride down the mound to the angled brushes. Photo by Grace Foster.

Joseph made it clear from the start that he expected us to ride accurate, straight lines at the correct pace. After riding around like a headless chicken through the first few warm-up exercises — all I could think about was where on the course he’d constructed that Becher’s Brook replica — I started seeing good distances and things clicked into gear. And that is when Joseph decided to let the former Advanced horse relive the glory days.

He explained each line he wanted me to ride through different tricky combinations with almost clinical precision. “Find the line, hold the line” had become our mantra for the clinic by this point. Joseph made me believe I could do it, and the stars aligned for what was easily the most educational cross country lesson I have ever had.

We jumped a slew of challenging questions: a double of corners followed by three strides to a sharply angled brush, an up bank out of water with two strides to a narrow triple brush followed by four strides on a bending line to a table I had sworn I would never jump about a month prior, and an angled brush combination on two strides off a mound. Here’s a video of Bellamy tackling the angled brushes:

I went on to compete at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials at the weekend, and the fences on my Training course looked considerably smaller following my afternoon spent on Joseph’s playground. When I went out of the start box on Sunday, it was with a sense of confidence that can only come when you have taken on an immense challenge and come out on the other side feeling like you can conquer the world.

I am just one of the many success stories from Joseph’s clinic. Every single horse and rider I watched came away with a new set of tools to use with their horse on cross country going forward. The clinic proved especially helpful for horses and riders struggling in a certain area.

For horses with a bad habit of stopping at fences, Joseph explained that timing is critical when it comes to encouraging them to jump. “It’s the moment of being one second faster and then giving them a kick that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. Your timing has to be perfection.”

He stressed our responsibility as riders, especially when it comes to ensuring that you present your horse to a jump in such a way that he is able to clearly read the question. “It is really important to make sure the horse sees the fence,” Joseph said. “If he stops because he couldn’t see the fence, that’s a rider error.”

Jean Thomas rode two days with Connor, her 5-year-old Connemara/Irish Sport Horse. Photo by Jenni Autry.

When one rider got off her line to a fence, resulting in an awkward jump, she said, “That was my fault,” to which Joseph replied, “It usually is our fault, isn’t it?” He added, “Be there when he needs you to put your leg on and help him. You have to be more proactive and keep the horse’s confidence up.”

In many cases, Joseph gave riders the chance to problem solve on their own, waiting to give them a specific piece of advice to see if they could figure it out first. When riders asked about striding in a combination, he would ask them how many strides they thought it should be. He is a strong believer in riding off feel rather than a number. “Let your eye do the calculation, then make your decision. You know from feeling what it’s supposed to be.”

If riders struggled with a certain line or combination, Joseph had them repeat it until they got it right. He would not settle for mediocrity or anything less than what he knew each rider and horse capable of achieving.

“Keep doing it until you’re confident he will take you down to the fence and you have an eye to make the distance happen,” Joseph said, adding, “If you leave a box unchecked, you’re going to get found out. Go through your program and become conscientious.”

Jimmie Schramm rode Eclaire, a 7-year-old German Sport Horse mare owned by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, ahead of the mare’s move up to Preliminary at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials, and said she found the clinic educational for both herself and the horse.

“What I appreciated and noticed about Joseph is that he did not care what level the horse and rider were going. He watched each pair and assessed them as they warmed up through certain exercises and then challenged them appropriately,” Jimmie said.

“For most people I saw the challenge was way past what they thought themselves capable of, and more often then not the pairs overcame these challenges and left the clinic extremely confident. He methodically worked with every pair as he would if he were training his own horse, ticking off the boxes of what the horse and rider were proficient at and what needed to be addressed and worked through.”

Julieann Prettyman rode Cooley Mullingar, her 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse, in my group at the clinic ahead of their move up to Training level at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials.

“I have a talented young horse and sometimes I feel like I’m afraid to challenge him and ask tougher questions since he is still fairly young. Joseph gave me the confidence to not only ask harder questions and jump bigger things but also to make mistakes and embrace them as part of the learning curve with the younger horses,” Julieann said.

“His positive, gritty, ‘get it done’ attitude and methodical teaching pushed us to do things I never thought I could do, and without a doubt we left the clinic a stronger combination as a result.”

Whether you want to build confidence on cross country for yourself or your horse, sharpen your cross country riding skills, or simply have the time of your life jumping angles and combinations you never thought possible, Joseph is your man.

Following his successful clinic in Ocala, Joseph is already planning to return to Horsepower Equestrian in March, likely mid-month. Final dates will be confirmed soon. Email [email protected] or WhatsApp +44 7799 096204 to reserve a spot. All levels welcome! He is also looking to schedule clinics in other parts of the U.S. this year, so get in touch if you’d like to host Joseph.

Learn more about Joseph on his website and be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We wish him all the best in the 2018 season and beyond! Scroll down for more photos from the clinic. Many thanks to Al and Liz Halliday-Sharp for hosting at their stunning facility, and to Andrew McConnon for helping to organize. Go Eventing.

Chris Burton to Campaign Robyn Fisher’s Betawave

Robyn Fisher and Betawave at Le Lion d’Angers in 2016. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Robyn Fisher announced today that her three-star mare and Le Lion graduate Betawave will be campaigned by Chris Burton for the foreseeable future, representing Australia and competing overseas.

“Leta,” a 9-year-old Holsteiner mare (Linaro X Wavelength, by Wodan) bred and co-owned by Carol Singh, has already arrived in England at Burton Eventing’s base near Surrey and will compete with Chris for the foreseeable future.

The arrangement fell into place after Robyn met Chris at Le Lion d’Angers in 2016, where the mare represented the U.S. at the FEI World Breeding Championship for Young Horses.

“I feel very lucky to have been Leta’s partner to this point in her career, and I am incredibly excited to watch her continue her education with Chris,” Robyn said. “Chris rides every horse in his barn himself every day and loves his horses very much. He is a kind and patient rider with an equally amazing team, who I know will provide impeccable care of Leta.”

Chris Burton riding Betawave at his base in the UK. Photo courtesy of Robyn Fisher.

Carol added: “Robyn has done such an incredible job with our mare so far, already surpassing dreams I had for her when I bred her. Chris riding her is like icing on the cake for me, and I could not be more excited to see where they go together.”

Robyn campaigned Leta through the CIC3* level, placing third at Twin Rivers last year. Chris plans to run the mare at several Intermediates first to develop their partnership before aiming for a CIC3* and CCI3* in the spring.

“I truly can’t believe my luck,” Chris said. “It isn’t every day you get offered the ride on a nice three-star horse. When Robyn sent the videos of Betawave, I thought she looked like a super jumper and lovely horse. Since landing in the UK she has turned out to be more special than I thought. It is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I only hope I can do the mare justice in the upcoming 2018 season.”

We wish Chris and Leta all the best as they compete in 2018 and beyond. Go Eventing.

Controversy Continues to Swirl Around The ARK at JFK

Stalls at The ARK at JFK Import Export Center. Photo courtesy of The ARK.

Controversy continues to swirl around The ARK at JFK Import Export Center in New York. The $65 million facility, located in Cargo Building 78A at John F. Kennedy International Airport, began providing equine import and quarantine service in September 2017. The ARK was expected to revolutionize the import process for horses and other animals flying into the U.S.

The state-of-the-art facility lists amenities that horse owners dream about at night: climate-controlled stalls, non-slip flooring, natural lighting, filtered air, 24/7 observation and care provided by an experienced equine staff, plus a bio-security program overseen by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  The Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital is located only six miles away from The ARK, with veterinarians on call for emergencies.

Horses can be unloaded from the plane and settled into their quarantine stalls at The ARK within minutes. In contrast, horses that quarantine at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 40-year-old facility in Newburgh, about 90 miles north of JFK, are immediately re-loaded onto trucks for an additional two-hour ride, having already endured a transcontinental flight.

Considering the laundry list of amenities and close proximity to JFK, one would think that more flight brokers would start using The ARK for import and quarantine. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, the 48 climate-controlled stalls have seen paltry traffic since the facility opened its doors to horses. Instead, the vast majority of horses flown into JFK are still being trucked to Newburgh for quarantine.

Kristen McGowan, Director of Equine Operations, walks a horse through the state-of-the-art facilities at The ARK. Photo courtesy of The ARK.

John J. Cuticelli Jr., who owns The ARK, filed a $426 million lawsuit last month against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that oversees the airport. The ARK’s lease with the Port Authority reportedly grants them “exclusive rights” to handle the quarantine for horses and other animals coming to the airport from overseas. The lease also specifies that the Port Authority “must use reasonable efforts to cause other providers to cease their provision of the exclusive services.”

The New York Times extensively examined the legal controversy in a piece last month, saying The ARK’s owner “does not know whether he has stumbled into some bureaucratic nightmare with the Port Authority, a turf war between government agencies, or is the object of a boycott by livestock shipping agents and transporters.”

Not all shipping agents are boycotting The ARK. Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, which flies horses through its wholly owned subsidiary Horse America, has been a staunch advocate of The ARK from the start. Horse America imported the first horse to the facility on Sept. 1, 2017, Parker Miller’s mare Superstorm Sandy, who evented to the one-star level in England and came to the Millers from Blyth Tait’s yard.

Scarlette Gotwals, Director of Flight Operations at Horse America and a licensed veterinarian, said Horse America’s experience while importing Superstorm Sandy for the Miller family made The ARK their go-to choice for import and quarantine.

Dr. Scarlette Gotwals with Superstorm Sandy, the first horse to be imported at The ARK. Photo courtesy of Horse America.

“When the mare got to The ARK, her temperature was normal and gum color was good, but you could sense that she just wasn’t quite right. The equine team at The ARK confirmed that. I spoke to Marcie Miller, Parker’s mom, and she authorized us to take any measures necessary,” Dr. Gotwals said.

“We got her on GastroGard right away. We were able to start feeding her small, frequent meals because of The ARK’s 24-hour care. She was a different horse the next day. If she had come off the plane and gone on a trailer straight to another import facility, it could have been a different story.”

Multiple flight brokers have also called into question the experience and qualifications of The ARK’s staff of horse handlers. When asked for comment, The ARK told EN their equine handlers and staff are avid riders and horse owners with extensive experience in managing equine facilities.

“In the case of Superstorm Sandy, we were able to be proactive because her behavior was caught by the staff,” Dr. Gotwals said. “The equine staff at The ARK immediately informed us of their concern for Sandy.”

Kristen McGowan, director of equine operations, previously co-managed a 150-stall show barn on Long Island. Krissy Sommermeyer, who equine quarantine manager, worked at an eventing barn in New Jersey and co-managed an 80-stall show barn on Long Island. Shannon Walker, equine export manager, previously worked at a Thoroughbred breeding facility in New York, as well as the USDA New York Animal Import Center.

“If the owners were aware of the difference between The ARK and Newburgh, I think many would send their horses to The ARK,” Dr. Gotwals said, “but owners may not be made aware they have a choice. We prefer to place the owners in the driver’s seat to quarantine per their preference.”

Several prominent shippers have been vocal about why they continue to use Newburgh as opposed to The ARK. While traffic around JFK has been cited as a major concern, release times for horses at Newburgh are only offered at two times: 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 10:15 a.m. on weekends. Trucks line up on a first-come, first-served basis to pick up their horses at Newburgh. If trucks miss both release times, they must return the next day.

The ARK is flexible with release times, which can be scheduled during lighter periods of traffic. One of Horse America’s clients wanted to pick up his horse at 7 a.m. the day following the release due to a conflict in his schedule, and The ARK happily accommodated his request.

Dr. Scarlette Gotwals, right, with Judy Krajewski, a Horse America employee, and Superstorm Sandy, the first horse imported at The ARK. Photo courtesy of Horse America.

“When horses enter the country at JFK it means the horses deal with the traffic either way — immediately after they arrive from a 6 to 8 hour flight spent in a standing jet stall and sit in traffic to get to Newburgh, or directly from The ARK two days after their quarantine at the time you choose,” Dr. Gotwals said. “We need to start thinking of what is best for the horse, not what is convenient for the transport picking the horse up.”

Alison McGowan told The New York Times that when she imported two horses from Europe last year, she asked the shipper to take the horses to The ARK. When she discovered that the shipper planned to take the horses to Newburgh instead, she canceled the flights and scheduled with Horse America to ensure her horses would import through The ARK.

“For me as a horse owner, I would never ship horses halfway across the world on a long flight and then put them on a trailer for two hours to quarantine,” she said. “The ARK is outstanding. I’d rather have a state-of-the-art facility providing the best care.”

While Horse America strongly recommends The ARK, their “putting the owner in the driver’s seat” philosophy means they still give their clients the choice of having their horses taken to The ARK or Newburgh.  Horse America charges $2,650 for import services and quarantine at Newburgh and $2,950 at The ARK — a $300 difference.

“Brad Gotwals, my husband and president of Brook Ledge, has always made it a point to find the most efficient routing, safest design for horse vans and the best drivers with the goal of seeking solutions to put the horses first,” Dr. Gotwals said. “We’ve carried that same spirit through to our flight company, Horse America, and I will apply the same values and principles in flying horses as we do with the ground transportation.”

Staple Aiken Venue Paradise Farm Listed for Sale

Paradise Farm. Photo courtesy of Meybohm Real Estate.

Paradise Farm, a staple eventing venue in Aiken, South Carolina, is on the market to be sold following owner Lellie Ward’s decision that she is ready to downsize after running the facility for more than two decades.

Lellie purchased the 110-acre farm in 1997 when she returned home to Aiken after a four-year period of training in England. “I had outgrown the little stable I was in, and a friend of mine showed me this property. Even though I had lived in Aiken all my life and grew up here, I never even knew the property existed,” she said.

“I first saw the property from the back gate, and the view of what is now the cross country field showed what I knew would be an amazing gallop. The field is about 80 acres and rolling hills, and it reminded me of Wylye, a venue in England where the British team used to train with Lady Hugh Russell. I never thought I would buy 100 acres of land in my whole life.”

Paradise Farm. Photo by Lellie Ward.

Lellie sold her Advanced horse, The Travelling Man, to Bruce Davidson in order to purchase the property that became Paradise Farm. “I wanted to make it a training and conditioning facility and a venue for events,” she said. “It’s an extremely amazing gallop for fittening horses.”

She put up schooling jumps in the cross country field, which ultimately led to hosting horse trials. Paradise Farm hosted its first horse trials on Sept. 25, 2011.

“We started doing events twice a year, then three times a year, and now we have 17 shows on the calendar.” Lellie said. “It’s morphed from just being a big, open field. I was so lucky that the footing is at least 30-year-old established turf. It’s just the right amount of rolling hills.”

Paradise Farm. Photo by Lellie Ward.

Lellie has taught a slew of students in the Aiken area and beyond over the years, all of which learned to ride over terrain thanks to the rolling hills at Paradise Farm.

“I prepared several horses for both the long format and short format at Rolex, and I never had to leave the farm to do their fittening work,” she said. “The other amazing thing is the cross country course is one big field. From a training or owner standpoint, you can see 99% of the course from one center vantage point by the water jump. It’s a great venue for videoing and watching the horse’s training program.”

The cross country field has 80 portable fences that can create a variety of different courses from Starter to Preliminary levels, as well as a large water jump. “It would be a super venue to host the Intermediate and Advanced levels if someone wanted to take it to that point,” Lellie added.

Paradise Farm. Photo courtesy of Meybohm Real Estate.

The facility also has two barns, one with 12 stalls and the other with six stalls, and three 200-by-200 foot arenas. “The property can host dressage and hunter/jumper shows in addition to horse trials, which makes it a versatile facility with multiple income sources,” Lellie said.

“It’s a magical place. It has a wonderful aura. All the big riders come here and do their fittening work before they go north because the footing is so good. I really do get a lot of pleasure out of watching people at the farm, especially seeing them grow and become more confident. It’s been extremely rewarding and a wonderful ride. I hope the next person who has it enjoys it as much as I have.”

Paradise Farm is for sale for $1.2 million and listed with Meybohm Real Estate. The property also features a four bedroom, five bath farmhouse. The full address is 4069 Wagener Road, Aiken, South Carolina 29805. Click here to view the full listing. Contact Suzy Haslup at 803-215-0153 to schedule a showing.

Phillip Dutton to Compete in Great Charity Challenge Tonight + Live Stream

Riders wear costumes for the Great Charity Challenge, which awards funds to local Palm Beach County charities. Photo by Meg Bank/PBIEC.

Phillip Dutton will jump under the lights tonight at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, as part of the Great Charity Challenge, riding on a team with his daughter, Olivia Dutton, and longtime owner and supporter, Caroline Moran.

The Great Charity Challenge (GCC) started in 2010 as a way for the equestrian world to give back to the local community in Wellington. Top riders from around the world wear costumes and jump in a relay competition to benefit local Palm Beach County charities. To date, the GCC has distributed $10.8 million to more than 200 charities.

GCC teams consist of two junior/amateur riders and one Olympic or world-class rider. This year 29 teams will compete in the GCC. Each team is randomly paired with a charity that serves Palm Beach County. The winning team will receive $150,000 for their charity, and every charity will win a guaranteed minimum of $15,000.

Kent Farrington riding in the 2016 Great Charity Challenge. Photo by Meg Bank/PBIEC.

Phillip’s team is paired with the Elder Affairs Program of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach. The program promotes dignity for the elderly, providing comprehensive guardianship and case management services for the economically disadvantaged and those without adequate community support.

Phillip is riding Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide, owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran. Olivia is riding the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott, a 19-year-old Irish Sport Horse and the reigning USEF National CCI4* Champion. Caroline is riding her own Jackson, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood.

The GCC has a different theme each year, and the teams of riders don costumes accordingly. This year’s GCC theme is “Hollywood,” and tonight we will see riders dressing up as characters from classic films. (Spoiler alert: Phillip’s team will be Singin’ in the Rain.)

GCC also holds random drawings and awards grants to other deserving charities not paired with teams, with more than $1.5 million set to be awarded in all for 2018. Click here to view the full list of charities and donations since the GCC began in 2010.

Horseware Ireland founder Tom MacGuinness in at 2016 GCC. Photo by Meg Bank/PBIEC.

You can watch the GCC live stream starting at 6:30 p.m. EST tonight at this link. The GCC is a blast to watch, so we strongly encourage all EN readers to tune in and enjoy an evening of show jumping for a good cause.

Click here to view the order of go and charities paired with each team. Phillip’s team goes second to last in the order. Each team will jump one round, with the top teams returning for a jump off to determine the final standings. Good luck to all competing in the GCC!

If you are local to the area, general admission and parking are free for the GCC at 13500 Southshore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414. The evening will also feature on-site dining options, carousel, petting zoo and plenty of activities for the whole family. Click here for more information on the GCC.

Phillip and Olivia are in Wellington for the next two weeks to train with Richard Picken in show jumping and Scott Hassler in dressage. Phillip has Fernhill Cubalawn, I’m Sew Ready, Fernhill Revelation and Z in Florida. Scroll down for a video of Z jumping yesterday in a 1.20 meter class at the Palm Beach Masters at Deeridge Farms.

Carolina Horse Park Rolling Out Major Footing Upgrades

Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon at Carolina International 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Carolina Horse Park is rolling out major improvements to footing at the Raeford, North Carolina venue, both in the main competition arena and on the cross country course. Best of all, the footing upgrades will be complete in time for the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC and Horse Trials on March 21-25, one of the most anticipated events on the East Coast spring calendar.

Jane Murray, co-chair of the Carolina International Executive Committee, said the event has diligently collected feedback from competitors, who made it clear they wanted to see improvements to the footing. CIC3* and CIC2* dressage will now take place on new arena footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces, as well as show jumping for the National divisions.

“The Carolina Horse Park and the Carolina International have worked hard to solicit and listen to competitor feedback, and we deeply understand the importance of taking action and moving ahead to improve our events year over year,” Jane said. “We have heard the need to improve our footing in the main competition arena and on the cross country course, and we have devoted significant resources and investment in both of these areas.”

A large portion of the warm-up arena will also receive new footing, which will allow horses and riders to have consistent footing when going from warm-up into the main competition arena.

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF at Carolina International 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

In investing in the infrastructure at the Carolina Horse Park, Nick Attwood, founder and CEO of Attwood Equestrian Surfaces, hopes to do his part in establishing Carolina International as the premier spring event on the road to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“My first time at the Carolina Horse Park was when Will Faudree asked us to be a part of the inaugural Carolina International. That was five years ago. We felt an instant connection to the team that puts this show on, the competitors and the facility. It was just brilliant from day one,” Nick said.

“As our commitment to the park grew, we knew the one thing we really wanted to do is upgrade the arenas to provide first-class footing for all those world-class competitors, but we couldn’t do it alone. With the help and support of Gavilan Farm and Setters Run Farm, we were able to put this project together so there would be the very best footing for the 2018 event.”

Installation of the new arena footing is set to begin next week, with the project expected to take about three weeks. The footing will then have three weeks to settle before horses move in for the competition. Attwood Equestrian Surfaces will also be the sponsor of the CIC2* as part of the collaboration on the footing project.

Jane said the new footing would not have been possible without Nick’s generosity. “With Attwood Equestrian Surfaces establishing the footing in our competition arena and corresponding warm-up area, as well as all of the improvements we have made to the cross country footing, we are most excited about 2018 and the significant enhancements our competitors will experience.”

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights at Carolina 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

A mammoth amount of work has also gone into the footing on the cross country course over the last nine months. The Carolina Horse Park has consulted with turf experts in the steeplechase industry, using penetrometer and soil moisture meter tools to measure the compaction rate and moisture levels of the footing.

Vehicle access has been prohibited on the galloping lanes and areas around the jump complexes, and the Carolina Horse Park grounds team continues to monitor the the most problematic areas daily to ensure optimal footing for Carolina International in March.

Cross country course designer Ian Stark visited the venue last week alongside course builders Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert and said he is thrilled to see the significant improvements to the footing.

“This year the CIC3* course will be run in the opposite direction than it has the last few years,” Ian said. “We believe the change of direction will allow for the use of the best terrain and footing the Carolina Horse Park has to offer, therefore providing a great fitness test as horses are prepared for their spring CCIs.”

Doug Payne and Vandiver at Carolina 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Entries open Feb. 6 for Carolina International, with National divisions offered at Training through Advanced levels, along with the CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1*. EQSportsNet will once again live stream all three phases of the CIC3*, as well as show jumping and cross country for the CIC2*.

This event offers renowned hospitality and this year is launching the Carolina Club, with premium viewing locations for dressage, show jumping and cross country. Patrons and sponsors will enjoy televised broadcasting, breakfast and lunch, a formal Friday luncheon, open bars and access to the Saturday night party.

Click here for more information on tickets and attending Carolina International. Admission is free for spectators. We hope to see you there in March! Go Eventing.

 Carolina International Links: WebsiteSchedule, Omnibus

Mighty Nice Will Be Sidelined for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice at Kentucky 2016. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Phillip Dutton announced today that his Rio Olympic bronze medal partner Mighty Nice has sustained a soft tissue injury in training, which will sideline him for the spring season and ultimately the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon.

“With the final U.S. selection trial for the World Equestrian Games being held in June, Happy will not be able to qualify before the cut off date,” Phillip said. “His welfare is always our top priority. We will give Happy all the time he needs to return to form and plan to have him back out competing in the fall.”

Mighty Nice, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by the HND Group and affectionately known as “Happy” in the barn, last competed at Plantation Field International Horse Trials in September, where he finished ninth in the CIC3*.

Happy was meant to qualify for the World Equestrian Games at the Fair Hill International CCI3* last fall, where he finished as USEF CCI3* Reserve National Champion in 2015. However, Phillip’s fall in a cross country school several weeks prior, in which he broke his collarbone and sustained a collapsed lung and fractured ribs, prevented him from competing in a fall CCI.

“While we are all sad to have Happy on the sidelines during a major championships, this is also an exciting opportunity for my younger horses to step up,” Phillip said. “I am extremely fortunate to have a strong string of horses competing at the highest level of the sport in 2018.”

Phillip plans to have at least two entries at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in I’m Sew Ready, owned by John and Kristine Norton, and Z, owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran.

Phillip also hopes to aim the Revelation Group’s Fernhill Revelation for a spring CCI4*, following his top-1o finish at the Tattersalls International CCI3* in Ireland last year.

Fernhill Cubalawn, owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt and Caroline Moran, last competed internationally at the Great Meadow CICO3* in 2016 and is set to return to competing this season. He is entered in the Open Intermediate at Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials later this month.

Record Number of Trainers Accepted for 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover

Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and Gin Joint, winners of the Field Hunter division at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover. Photo by Heather Benson.

The Retired Racehorse Project announced today that a record 794 trainers have been accepted to compete at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, held Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The record number of trainers highlights the growing popularity of the Thoroughbred Makeover, which accepted 578 trainers in 2017 to give a 37% increase in trainers that will compete in 2018.

“The feedback on applicants from the selection committee was overwhelmingly positive, and we’re thrilled to welcome another class of quality trainers to this special community we’ve created,” Kirsten Green, RRP’s Director of Operations, said.

“Over the coming months, each of these 794 talented trainers will invest hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the future of their chosen horses. When you add all that up, that’s a pretty remarkable impact on the value of these horses.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover is a training competition open to professionals, amateurs and juniors, in 10 different disciplines: barrels, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunters, polo, ranch work, show hunters, show jumpers and freestyle. A winner is crowned in each discipline, and then spectators vote for the horse that most inspires them to become America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.

Of the 794 trainers, 231 have entered to compete in the eventing category, including Elisa Wallace, Sally Cousins, Cathy Wieschhoff, Richard Picken, Nick Larkin, Clark Montgomery, Erika Nesler, Natalia Neneman, Jacob Fletcher and Maya Simmons. Click here to see the full list of accepted trainers.

In addition to four-star event riders, the trainers also include U.S. Dressage Federation gold medalists, A-circuit hunter riders, Grand Prix show jumpers, high-goal polo players, decorated barrel racers and prominent members of the racing industry.

The trainers represent 40 states and the District of Columbia, as well as three Canadian provinces. Professionals make up 46% of the trainers, with 42% declared as amateurs and 12% declared as juniors. The youngest trainer is 11 years old, with the oldest trainer 71 years old.

The 2017 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Old Tavern with trainer Charlie Caldwell. Photo courtesy of Retired Racehorse Project.

Polo player Charlie Caldwell, who trained the 2017 overall winner Old Tavern, said to him the Thoroughbred Makeover is about “quietly and patiently giving my horse a chance to succeed” in a second career after the racetrack.

“Winning the Makeover came with national support, which definitely encouraged me to continue my interest in making my own polo ponies,” Charlie said, “but more importantly, the true winners of the Makeover were the hundreds of Thoroughbreds who have and will continue to find careers after racing. This competition brings great awareness to our horse community.”

A new website dedicated exclusively to the Thoroughbred Makeover launched today at www.tbmakeover.org. Accepted trainers can now manage their entries on the website and can now start registering the horses they intend to compete.

The horses selected to compete will all have a maximum of 10 months of retraining by the time the Thoroughbred Makeover takes place in October. About one-third of the horses that compete will also be available to purchase through the Thoroughbred Makeover Horse Sale. Asking prices at the 2017 sale ranged from $3,000 to $30,000, with an average sale price of $9,100.

“The Thoroughbred Makeover has clearly engaged the commercial and recreational sides of the horse industry in the important work of transitioning these horses to secure futures,” RRP President Steuart Pittman said.

“It has also become the greatest horse shopping event of the year. Nowhere else in America can buyers view hundreds of sport horse prospects at reasonable prices with proven soundness and a solid foundation of training. The 2018 Makeover will be bigger and better than ever.”

Click here to read more information about the trainers selected to compete in the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover. We wish the best of luck to all the trainers!

[794 Trainers Accepted to Compete at 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover]

Event Rider Masters Announces 2018 Series Calendar

The 2017 Series Championship Prize Giving with Gemma Tattersall (middle), Sarah Cohen (right) and Sir Mark Todd (left). Photo credit to Event Rider Masters.

Event Rider Masters has unveiled the 2018 series calendar, with three legs in the United Kingdom and three legs in continental Europe, including a new leg added at Concours Complet d’Arville in Belguim.

The 2018 Event Rider Masters prize fund of £350,000 makes it the richest series in the sport. With a prize fund of £50,000 for each UK leg and €57,000 for each European leg, the riders also compete for an additional £50,000 prize awarded to the 2018 Series Champion.

The 2018 Event Rider Masters series calendar is confirmed as:

May 12-13 – Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials – Derbyshire, England

May 18-19 – Internationales Wiesbadener Pfingstturnier – Wiesbaden, Germany

June 23-24 – Concours Complet d’Arville – Arville, Belguim

July 7-8 – St. James’s Place Barbury Castle International Horse Trials – Wiltshire, England

July 14-15 – Haras de Jardy – Marnes-la-Coquette, France

August 25-26 – Blair Castle International Horse Trials – Perthshire, Scotland

“I enjoyed the pressure of the 2017 series and cannot wait to set my season around the 2018 series with my team of horses,” 2017 Series Champion Gemma Tattersall said. “The new event at Arville will be a challenge, and the even mix between UK and Europe will definitely increase the International competition within the series.”

All legs of the series will once again be streamed live for free on eventridermasters.tv, incorporating SAP technology like the Spectator Judging app for dressage and live virtual tracking of riders on cross country. We also expect to see EquiRatings return as the Official Statistics Providers.

Henrike Paetz, SAP’s Global Head of Equestrian Program, said, “ERM is a great way to demonstrate SAP’s approach to sports sponsorship. The innovations we are creating with ERM are an exciting way to bring fans and media closer to the sport and showcase the power of SAP technology.”

Chris Stone, CEO of Event Rider Masters, said the 2018 series will continue to “push the boundaries” of how eventing is showcased to the world.

“The expansion into mainland Europe with the addition of Arville embraces the truly global nature of eventing and will definitely make the competition more intense,” Chris said. “With the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September, we are expecting to see international eventing superstars and their teams using the competitive ERM series as part of their build up.”

Click here to read the full announcement about the 2018 series calendar. Go Eventing.

Follow Event Rider Masters: www.eventridermasters.tv
Twitter: @EventRiderMstrs
Facebook: @Event Rider Masters
Instagram: @EventRiderMasters
YouTube: www.youtube.com/eventridermasters

$15,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix Invitational Returning in March

Kurt Martin and Anna Bella at the 2015 Eventing Prix Invitational. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The $15,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix Invitational is set to return in March at Southern Cross Equestrian in Reddick, Florida. With a $1,000 1.15m speed class on March 5 and a $15,000 1.30m class on March 6, the Eventing Prix Invitational offers a perfect opportunity for top riders to jump the colored poles ahead of Red Hills International Horse Trials.

Ocala Horse Properties is returning as the title sponsor for the fifth consecutive year, and Matt Varney said it is one of his favorite shows to sponsor. “It feels like a big picnic and everyone has such a great time. Max Corcoran and Scotty Keach do such a fantastic job of hosting the show, and the facility has a great atmosphere for it.”

Marc Donovan is returning once again as course designer, and we can expect a very exciting two days of show jumping action. The show kicks off on Monday, March 5 with the $1,000 1.15m speed class, in which invited riders can bring two horses.

The $15,000 1.30m class will take place Tuesday, March 6 in a team format. To be eligible to compete, riders must have competed at the Intermediate level or higher in the last 12 months, or have won a CCI4*. Horses must have competed at Intermediate level or higher in the last 24 months.

The first round in the 1.30m class will determine the team results, and the top 10 combinations — or all pairs that jumped clears in the first round — will return for the second round jump off.

We already have a sneak peek at three of the teams that will compete:

Lauren Keiffer
Kurt Martin
Will Coleman
Mara DePuy

Selena O’Hanlon
Jessica Phoenix
Holly Jacks-Smither
Colleen Loach

Sara Kozumplik Murphy
Joe Meyer
Bobby Meyerhoff
Sharon White

The Eventing Prix Invitational is free to attend and open to the public, and spectators are encouraged to bring a chair and a picnic. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase on the grounds.

Tables in the ringside VIP tent are available at $600 for six seats with food provided by Celebrations Catering. Contact Denise Goya at [email protected] or 617-224-6325 to reserve a table. There will also be an after party with live music and culinary master Joe Meyer manning the barbecue.

Additional sponsorship opportunities for the Eventing Prix Invitational are still available. Those interested in supporting the event can contact Max Corcoran at [email protected] or 540-295-4326.

If you can’t be in Ocala to watch the Eventing Prix Invitational live, Joel Wiessner of EQTV Network once again will be live streaming the competition, and you can watch right here on EN. We hope to see you there! Southern Cross is located at 13440 NW Highway 225, Reddick, FL 32686.

Kentucky Three-Day Event Has $14.2 Million Economic Impact

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti at the 2017 Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

It’s called the “Best Weekend All Year” for a reason. A recent study from the University of Kentucky found that last year’s Kentucky Three-Day Event resulted in a $14.2 million impact on Kentucky’s economy.

More than 80,000 spectators from all 50 states attended the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2017. More than 80% of those who attended the event traveled from states outside Kentucky, and 35% were recurring visitors who had attended the event for more than six years. Just under 70% of visitors stayed for three nights or more during the event and spent $244 per day.

Mary Quinn Ramer, president of Visit Lex, said the event “is a sell-out weekend for Lexington’s hospitality community. It’s always a great pleasure to welcome riders and fans from across the globe to the Kentucky Horse Park every April. Our hotels, restaurants, and shops all appreciate the business generated during the three-day event and have come to know the fans and competitors as friends over the years.”

Lori Saunders, executive director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, said the event “has always been one of the busiest weekends in Georgetown. All of our lodging options are booked to capacity, and many of the event guests visit our location attractions. From our downtown shops and galleries to places like Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center, our community definitely feels the impact of this world-renowned event.”

While the local economy gets a big boost from the Kentucky Three-Day Event each year, charitable organizations also benefit from the mammoth impact of the competition. Equestrian Events Inc., the non-profit that organizes the event, has donated over $900,000 to local charities, such as New Vocations, Equine Land Conservation Resource and Kentucky Equine Humane Center.

The Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky Horse Park Foundation have received more than $1 million in gifts and contributions from Equestrian Events Inc. over the last 40 years.

“A big part of our mission here at Equestrian Events is to donate to charities both local and national, equine and human,” Stewart Perry, president of the EEI Board of Directors, said. “We’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful, lasting relationship with the community, and it’s very important to us that we, in return, support the community that does so much for others in need. It brings us great joy to be able to give back to the community and support so many wonderful charities.”

The event has also named an “Official Charity of the Year” since 2014 to raise awareness and financial support for a local charity. Past charities have included Central Kentucky Riding for Hope in 2017, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in 2016, Horses and Hope in 2015, and Partners For Youth in 2014. The 2018 Official Charity of the Year has not yet been named.

Other fundraising efforts during the event also benefit the Official Charity. The fourth annual “Head Up Heels Down 5K” will take place on Friday, April 27 at this year’s event, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Official Charity. Riders competing at the event also visit the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital to spend time with patients undergoing treatment.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1978 World Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park, which developed into the Kentucky Three-Day Event. The Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event will be held April 26-29, 2018. Will you be there? Let us know in the poll below!

[Equestrian Events Inc. Makes Big Strides for “The Horse Capital of the World”]

Documentary to Chronicle Extraordinary Story of Kim Walnes and The Gray Goose

Kim Walnes and The Gray Goose at the 1986 Raynella Horse Trials in Australia. Photo by Peter Gower.

“I am a very ordinary person, who happens to have had a very powerful dream.”

Kim Walnes and The Gray Goose’s journey to the top is the most unlikely story. A young mother who didn’t start eventing until she was 28 years old, Kim competed in her first horse trials with “Gray” when he was an unruly 6-year-old.

Two years later they were competing at the Advanced level, and heads turned when they were the only pair to make the time on the Intermediate course at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1979, which had hosted the World Championships the year prior.

That speedy cross country run earned them an invitation to train with the U.S. Eventing Team in Europe. Kim and Gray finished second at Rolex in 1981, and they won the event in 1982 to become the new National Champions and land a spot on the U.S. team for the World Championships at Luhmühlen. Despite breaking two vertebrae in her back in a jump school six weeks prior, Kim and Gray won individual bronze and boosted the U.S. to a team bronze medal.

That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their story. Kim and Gray also competed at Badminton in 1983, were named alternates for the Olympics in 1984, finished second at Boekelo in 1985, and represented the U.S. at the 1986 World Championships in Australia. They were fitting stunt doubles when Hollywood went looking for a gray Advanced level event horse for the film Sylvester.

While the documentary covers the fascinating aspects of Kim’s life, it also details the tragedies she has faced, including the shocking murder of her daughter. American filmmakers Sybil Miller and Tory Kelly have teamed up to tell Kim’s story, and project organizer Julie Johnson said she hopes Kim’s fans will support the production of the documentary, called The Mother Goose Project.

“Kim’s fans all know why she is called ‘Mother Goose.’ The captain of the eventing team for the USA, Jack Le Goff, nicknamed her this because she had such a special bond with The Gray Goose, her only horse, and because she usually had both her small children, Andrea and Brian, near by no matter where they traveled in the world. That is a rare thing for any world-ranked sport woman, but somehow Kim managed it with her usual positive energy,” Julie said.

“(The documentary) has something for everyone — edge-of-seat excitement with death-defying sport scenes from World Championship and Olympic level events; positive, uplifting and thought-provoking interviews about how we might want to better experience our own lives; a taste of what it’s like to rub elbows with Hollywood filmmakers; inspiration for those who have dealt with the same kind of pain Kim has had, both with her near-fatal car crash and the rehab to build up her broken body; as well as what most of us would see as insurmountable grief and despair from the shocking murder of her only daughter.

“So many of us have gone through less dramatic peaks and valleys and yet handle the experiences badly, but Kim is always looking ahead and remaining centered, true to herself and open and humble when reaching out to help others.”

The filmmakers are hoping to raise $10,000 Canadian, or about $8,100 USD, to fund the first phase of the project. Donations can be made through Kickstarter, and there are only 18 days left to raise the funds needed to move forward with the film. There are a variety of rewards for donating, including a week of training with Kim herself.

“No one is making any money from this film,” Julie said. “We just want to see this beautiful, inspiring story of a very brave woman told.”

Click here to donate on Kickstarter. You can read more about Kim’s life and incredible adventure with Gray on her website. You can also watch footage of Kim and Gray in the video excerpt below from Riding for America.