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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USEA Convention: Board of Governors Tackle Critical Topics Facing the Sport

USEA President Carol Kozlowski speaks during the Sunday Board of Governors Meeting. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention concluded today at the Westin Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, California with the grand finale Board of Governors meeting. This was one of the meatier Board of Governors meetings in recent years, and EN has your back with all the details you need to know. Read on for a full summary of the key topics of discussion.

ICP Young Horse and FEH Update

First up, Robin Walker spoke about the new ICP Young Event Horse certificates introduced in 2017, with a successful test workshop held during the summer. “When you look at the ICP standards, they are quite high, and they are high for a reason — so you give the breeders the option of finding the most experienced people.”1

Robin also gave an update on the Future Event Horse program. The number of horses participating in FEH competitions remained stable this year on the West Coast and continues to grow on the East Coast, where competitions have now expanded into events spanning the entire weekend.

Robin said he and fellow FEH judge Chris Ryan have been impressed with the quality of horses on both coasts. “The quality of what we are seeing is improving,” Robin said. “Breeders are making better choices and doing a better job of producing young horses for competition.”

The FEH program added a 4-year-old class in 2017, with horses ridden at the walk, trot and canter in both directions, then stripped of tack and judged on conformation before going through a free-jump chute — “a perfect segue into YEH for those who choose that road.”

A new Central FEH Championships is in the process of being organized at the Texas Rose Horse Park, which is putting a jump chute at their own expense.

Robin also addresed the issue of negative feedback on judging in the FEH and YEH programs. “We are now at the point where our program has overtaken its infrastructure. It’s become apparent that more than a few of the present judges are in need of help.”

Robin proposed creating a continuing education system for judges, including apprenticing, hands-on seminars and online options for testing.

He also proposed creating a database for U.S. breeders to enter information about their breeding programs. Not only would it provide a full picture about who is breeding in the U.S., but it would also provide a resource listing to register farms, what they are breeding, whether they sell or keep what they breed, etc.

Additionally, Robin said the Young Event Horse Committee has received numerous requests to add 6-year-old and 7-year-old classed to the YEH program. A one-star and two-star championship could be held late in the season as an alternative to Le Lion d’Angers.

“It’s been difficult to hold our own against the programs available in Europe, and we feel like we’re getting there,” Robin said.

Report of the Annual Meeting

Jennifer Hardwick, USEA Senior Director of Membership Services, then gave a report on this year’s USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. A total of 361 USEA members registered for the convention this year, with 330 attending last night’s USEA Year-End Awards Dinner.

Attendance at the convention typically falls in the mid to high 300s, ranging from a low of 337 members in attendance when it was hosted in Arizona to a high of 702 members in Boston.

A live stream from Ride on Video was introduced for the first time in 2017, which prompted members to renew their membership to gain access to the full footage. Looking to viewership, Thursday had 185 unique viewers online, with 730 viewers on Friday and 498 viewers on Saturday.

There was concern that the live stream would take away from attendance at the convention, which played a factor in why the USEA delayed announcing it. The footage has been archived and will be available to watch on playback in the near future.

The 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana and will include a Hall of Fame induction. The 2019 Convention will be in Boston, Massachussetts and will also serve as a celebration of the USEA’s 60th anniversary. The location for the 2020 Convention has not yet been determined.

Morley Thomson, USEA Vice President of Admin & Finance and USEA Treasurer, said he does not think the current model of the convention is sustainable going forward, as the USEA generally carries about a $70,000 debt expense for each convention.

“It’s become a very significant debt expense,” Morley said. “I think we need to step back and look at what we are trying to do.”

The Board discussed ways to reduce the cost of hosting the convention and approved a motion to create a task force that will further examine the issue.

USEA President Carol Kozlowski added she thinks the convention “helps cement the feeling of community we have in the sport. These people are energized and they go back to their respective areas re-energized. That’s hard to put a price on.” (We agree 100%)

Education and Safety Grants

Rob Burk then gave a report on the USEA Safety and Education Grants given in 2017. LandSafe received a grant to allow Danny and Keli Warrington to travel to all 10 USEA areas and teach their rider fall safety system at a reduced cost to participants. LandSafe hosted 20 clinics with 143 participants in 2017.

The US Equestrian Frangible Technology Grant Program received $20,000 in funds to allow more events to receive grants to purchase frangible technology. Fair Hill International, Ocala International, The Fork at Tryon, Red Hills, Morven Park and Exmoor all received frangible grants in 2017.

The USEA Volunteer Committee received $10,000 to produce a jump judge training video in partnership with professional videographer Sybil Miller. Rob showed a preview of the video, which will clearly show examples of disobediences, holds, overtaking, dangerous riding and falls. (The preview video looks fantastic. Well done to the team working on it!)

The video is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 and will be posted on the USEA’s website, as well as available for organizers to purchase on DVD for a small fee.

The costs to produce the video will be higher than originally anticipated, and the USEA Volunteer Committee proposed doubling the budget to $20,000. The board approved the motion to increase the budget.

Report on Current Committee Action Items

Area Affairs: VP of Area Affairs Debra Dealcuaz said a task force is being created to look at area boundaries, and “to see what would happen if a state wanted to move to a different Area or if an Area dissolved all together.”

Volunteers: Only 74 out of 283 USEA events are utilizing the new Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), the online management portal introduced in 2017. Sunsprite Warmbloods generously sponsors VIP, which is designed to streamline the volunteer process for both volunteers and organizers. Kate Lokey, USEA Director of Programs and Marketing, encouraged events to take advantage of the program.

Young Riders: Eventing at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships is facing an uncertain future. Rebecca Farm stepped in to host the eventing portion of NAJYRC this year, and the USEA received incredibly positive feedback. The Broussards have generously agreed to host NAJYRC at Rebecca Farm again in 2018 and 2019.

Competitions: Jonathan Elliott, USEA Vice President of Competitions, gave an update on calendar discussions with the USEF and USEA areas. The Competitions Calendar & Rules Committee is suggesting streamlining the process to approve calendar changes, like adding a level to an existing competition, a date change due to unforeseen circumstances, an area calendar shift due to a loss of an event, etc. A motion to take this to the Eventing Sport Committee was approved.

Education: Jerry Schurink, USEA Vice President of Education, gave an update on new officials. Fourteen individuals passed the USEF Licensed Officials Final Examination at Richland Park Horse Trials in August, so we have 14 new officials! There are 22 potential candidates who have expressed interest to take their Final Examination in 2018.

Adult Riders: Dawn Robbins, USEA Vice President of Membership and Program Development, said there was some concern that a professional rider competed in the Preliminary Rider division at this year’s AEC. The USEF rule on eligibility to compete in Rider divisions states that competitors must not have completed an event above the next highest level in the five years preceding the date of the competition, while the AEC rules only requires two years.

The concern came that it’s allowing very experienced riders to enter the Rider level,” Dawn said. The board voted to recommend the AEC rule be changed to align with the USEF rule starting in the 2019 season.

Information Technology

Robert Winter, USEA Director of Information Systems Management, spoke about the initiative to develop a new event management software to “make the experience of entering an event easier and the management of the event easier,” as well as address the concern of the rising cost of the systems currently in use.

The timeframe to develop the new event management software is estimated at 12 to 18 months. The USEA is currently evaluating proposals with an estimated capitalized cost of $108,000 to 400,000. The development process is expected to begin in January.

EquiRatings

Last but not least, EquiRatings Managing Director Diarm Byrne gave an update on the progress made in 2017 to implement the EquiRatings Quality Index risk ratings system in the U.S. Through examining the quality of performance in the sport, it is possible to identify a portion of riders who carry a much higher risk of incurring a horse fall than the rest.

In April, the USEA announced a partnership with EquiRatings to bring further information and understanding to the risk management solutions within eventing. Since then have been a number of strategic and technical meetings between EquiRatings and the USEA, and the algorithms and processes have made huge strides in the last 12 months.

EquiRatings have now analyzed more than 10 years of historic national data in the U.S. and worked with the USEA technical team on a slew of formatting and transfer methods to ensure the quality and speed of the results and ratings being exchanged. The partnership will continue to develop in 2018 as the USEA and EquiRatings work to implement the ERQI tool in the U.S.

That’s a wrap on the USEA Convention! Thank you to everyone who followed along with EN’s coverage this weekend. As always it has been a wonderful time to sink our teeth into pressing topics facing the sport at the national level and work together in pursuit of a better sport for ourselves, our horses and the next generation.

If you have never attended the USEA Convention, EN strongly encourages you to do so. It is an incredibly valuable experience, and the more members who participate the better. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Until next year … See you all in New Orleans! Go Eventing.

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Erik Duvander Unveils 2018 U.S. High Performance Plan

Erik Duvander unveiled his 2018 High Performance plan today at the USEA Convention. Photo by Jenni Autry.

New U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander unveiled his 2018 plan for the USEF High Performance program today at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California.

“My personal view is we all need to make the program the best program in the world and a program other countries admire and riders have a desire to be a part of,” Erik said.

Read on for a full summary of his presentation.

Core Concepts

1. Identify, select and support U.S. combinations with ability and superior desire and commitment to develop the skills to win at championships and CCI4* events.

2. The belief that raising the top of the sport drives the entire athlete pool toward better performance. Success drives success.

3. Develop well structured and individual performance plans that are living documents to ensure continued development and achieve personal bests. These plans need to be realistic and owned by the athletes but supported by the USEF team. Coaching and support from the Performance Director will be provided as requested to supplement existing programs.

The expectation is that each training listed rider will have their own sustainable coaching and support team of the highest quality that will be in place regardless of their position on or off the training list. The USEF team will work closely with the athlete’s coaches, vets and farriers to provide resources and support as required.

4. These individual perfomance plans will provide clarity, purpose and focus.

5. Prepare individuals for championships and CCI4* competitions and prepare teams via the Nations Cup events. Provide USEF support for Training listed athletes at CCI4* competitions and CCI3* events (wherever possible).

6. Criteria for the training list will be published and reviewed after the World Equestrian Games.

7. Selection will be fair and transparent. There is a subjective aspect to eventing selection and some of the decisions are made based on information that is confidential. Confidentiality and mutual respect between riders, owners and the organization are critically important to ensuring the integrity of the process.

8. All stakeholders (athletes, owners, grooms, support staff, personal coaches, team staff, etc.) play an integral part in the success of this plan. Communication is critical.

9. Cross country education and improvement will remain a priority of the program as identified in 2017 while still maintaining a holistic approach to all aspects of the sport.

10. Athletes must be willing to buy in to the aims of the progam, including facilitating effective communication between the athletes own support staff (trainer, vet, farrier, etc) and the team support staff.

11. Funding is a privilege not a right, and funding will only be provided based on targets of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with athletes’ buy-in to the program

12. Performance Plan for 2019-2022 will be developed and published in the spring of 2018.

Immediate Goal – 2018 WEG

The qualifying period for the USA runs from Jan. 1, 2017 to June 17, 2018. Luhmühlen is the final selection trial.

Personal coaching plans and preparation will be agreed on with the Performance Director and funded accordingly. The majority of horses targeting WEG selection will be contesting Kentucky CCI4*. Some horses will go to Badminton and Luhmühlen or a CCI3*. Nations Cups at Great Meadow and Aachen will be used to practice competing in a team environment. Bromont is offering a CIC3* August 18-19, which may be utilized in preparation.

A top six finish will qualify the U.S. for the Olympic Games. “While we believe we are capable of achieving more, this goal will drive strategic decisions on the field of play.”

The squad of five, a list of direct reserve horses if applicable, and reserve combinations will be named following the veterinary evaluations after Luhmühlen CCI4*. Training camp details are being finalized.

“A home Games has a home advantage and disadvantage.” The eventing portion of WEG runs Sept. 12-16, 2018.

One-Year Goals: Lima 2019

The Pan American Games will run as a CCI2*. The format has not yet been confirmed as to whether it will run in the Olympic format with three team riders and no drop score or four team riders.

The strategy for the Pan Ams will be based on whether Olympic qualification is achieved at WEG. If qualification is achieved, this could increase the opportunity to send a team of developing horses/riders to gain experience at a championships.

Two-Year Goals: Tokyo 2020

A comprehensive plan will be developed and circulated in the spring of 2018. This will be the third different format in which the Olympics have been run since 2000. Teams will have three riders with no drop score.

The heat and humidity will rival Hong Kong in extreme nature. Eventing is a split venue with a satellite cross country site.

Overseas Funding 2018

Funding will continue to be considered through applications for specific competitions. Priority for funding may be given to athletes in the program if an overseas competition aligns with their goals, targets and individual performance plan.

Spring 2018 funding will be targeted for qualification and preparation of horses for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, ideally including Aachen.

There is potentially a more diverse opportunity for autumn funding. Burghley and Blenheim are inconvenient in 2018 because they fall the week before and the week of eventing at the WEG.

Funding will be given through Land Rover/USEF grants, two Jacqueline B. Mars Developing Rider Grants and two Karen Stives Endowment Emerging Athlete Tour Grants via the USET Foundation.

Training Lists

“The training lists are one of the most complex parts of the program to execute.”

There is a three-tier approach to the training lists:

  1. Elite
  2. Development – split into Elite Potential and Tier 2 Development
  3. Emerging Athletes (Eventing 25 and Eventing 18)

Riders will remain in the program as their results and progress toward meeting targets and KPIs dictate.

Training List Funding in 2018

The focus is to maximize performance, manage horses effectively and build confidence. Plans will be presented and funded in agreement with the Performance Director and as approved by the High Performance Working Group. Training days will be performance-focused.

Performance Analysis

The Performance Director will be highly involved in individual programs to identify strengths and weaknesses and make a plan to capitalize strengths and weaknesses. USEF is exploring working with sports data company EquiRatings to use their High Performance Ratings platform for performance analysis (not selection initially).

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Previewing the New 2018 Dressage Tests with Marilyn Payne + Videos

Marilyn Payne speaking about the new USEF dressage tests with Matt Brown and Gretchen Butts today at the USEA Convention. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The new 2018 USEF dressage tests were unveiled last month, and those in attendance at the USEA Convention today were treated to a special preview of the tests. Marilyn Payne, Gretchen Butts and Brown, who worked with Sue Smithson and Mark Weissbecker to write the tests, all gave helpful tips in a packed session this morning.

Key Changes in 2018 Tests

  • The A tests for all levels are introductory and track left.
  • The B tests for all levels are more difficult and track right.
  • All transitions and movements are mirror images in the tests.
  • Free walks and medium walks are always separated as different movement.
  • The free walks have all been extended to allow more time to show the movement.
  • Halts are always separated.
  • At Preliminary level all trot work is optional rising or sitting.
  • In the Intermediate A test, medium trot is optional rising or sitting.
  • In the Intermediate B test, rising trot is mandatory.

Marilyn’s Tips for Better Scores

  • Develop a lengthening gradually. “You don’t have to come out of the corner and blast forward.”
  • When changing rein, don’t change your diagonal in the middle of the movement. Wait until the end so you don’t disrupt the flow.
  • Getting a good score for the halt is not about simply halting square. “It’s the transition into the halt, too. If the horse is balanced in the transition and soft on the aids, then you’re going to get a higher score. And (the horse) has to stand. You should count to at least 3.”
  • In the leg yield, the horse should be parallel to the rail with just a slight flexion at the poll. The horse should not have an exaggerated bend.
  • In the counter canter loop, maintain the bend of the lead you are on.
  • If the reinback requires three or four steps, you won’t get a better score if you do four. “If you have three good steps, quit and just walk forward.”
  • In the stretchy trot circle, you want to see the horse taking the contact and stretching through his back. “It’s not how low the horse goes; it’s the quality of the stretch.”
  • In a free walk you can have a long rein or loose rein.
  • Use your corners! “Riders don’t use corners enough, and corners are very beneficial to rebalance the horse and prepare for the next movement.”
  • The medium walk should be a marching walk and the horse should over track. “So many times we see after the free walk you pick the horse up and the steps get shorter.”
  • Turn on the haunches can be up to a meter wide. “You don’t want to see the haunches stepping out. It is a turn on the haunches, so don’t do a walk pirouette because then you increase your chances of getting stuck.”

We have preview videos of five of the new 2018 tests thanks to David Frechette, Jennie Brannigan, Janelle Phaneuf and Hannah Sue Burnett. Scroll down to watch them all.

Many thanks to Sue Smithson, Gretchen Butts, Mark Weissbecker, Matt Brown and Marilyn Payne for working on the new USEF tests. Bring on the 2018 season!

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USEA Convention Thursday Roundup: The Quest for Good Footing & Beyond

The Board of Governors’ Reception at #useaconvention has some special guests!

A post shared by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Hello from the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California! The festivities kicked off today at the Westin Long Beach Hotel, and as always the EN team is here to bring you behind the scenes.

While the Convention is always a wonderful time of the year for our American eventing family to catch up and celebrate the season, we would be remiss not to say that we remain extremely concerned about the wildfires blazing throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Our thoughts are with all affected by the fires, especially the horse owners who are fighting to save the lives of their beloved animals.

Read on for a summary of today’s meetings. Stay tuned for much more from the #USEAConvention, and remember you can watch many of the sessions online thanks to the live stream from Ride On Video.

The GoingStick being used on a British racecourse. Photo courtesy of TurfTrax.

Professional Horseman’s Council

Matt Brown is taking over as chair of the Professional Horseman’s Council starting in 2018, and outgoing chair Tamie Smith led her final session today before officially passing the baton. PHC tackles a variety of pressing topics in American eventing, and EN encourages professional riders who haven’t previously gotten involved with the council to do so.

Case in point: The PHC is considering using a special type of device called a penetrometer to test the quality of footing on cross country courses throughout America. Penetrometers have long been used in the racing world, with The Jockey Club mandating the use of a specific model called the GoingStick at all British racecourses since 2007.

“If we had a few strategically located devices out there, we think it could improve footing nationwide,” Tamie said. “We need to make an attempt to do this in coordination with some organizers. … We don’t want to attack anybody. We just want better ground for our horses.”

The Racing Post wrote an excellent piece on the GoingStick device, explaining that it “measures both the penetration (the amount of force required to push the tip into the ground) and the shear (the energy needed to pull back to an angle of 45 degrees from the ground). These two measures taken in combination represent a scientifically based proxy for the firmness of the ground and level of traction experienced by a horse during a race. The information is automatically stored in the GoingStick memory and an average of all readings can be provided instantly.”

While the GoingStick is a newer concept in eventing, it has been used previously by British Eventing at major events like Burghley. Click here to read about the GoingStick’s use in British racing. Click here to read a thorough breakdown of the scientific nitty gritty behind the device.

Jane Murray, co-chair of the Carolina International Executive Committee, said the concept of using a device to evaluate the quality of footing means “it’s no longer subjective. It adds an element of technology and analysis that I think is helpful for organizers.”

As for other topics addressed in the PHC meeting, multiple concerns were raised about FEI stewards attempting to enforce incorrect rules at various events in America this season. Concerns about improper stewarding should be directed to Janis Linnan, Chief FEI Steward in the US.

Click here for contact information for all of the dedicated volunteers who generously give their time to serve on USEA Committees and Task Forces.

USEF High Performance Athletes

Nosy reporters in attendance at today’s USEF Eventing High Performance Athletes meetings will have to wait two more days for new US Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander to unveil his plan for 2018 and beyond.

Erik presented his plan in a closed meeting today to the USEF Training Listed Riders & Eligible Athletes Committee this afternoon, and the plan will now go forward for approval from various USEF committees before being formally presented on Saturday.

If you’re not familiar with Erik’s extensive experience as a successful coach for other nations, click here to read EN’s exclusive interview. He spoke briefly in the open High Performance meeting today to introduced himself, saying it’s “a great honor but a huge challenge” to take on the coaching role.

He has spent the last seven weeks traveling around the U.S. meeting the riders and horses and getting to know their programs. “Hopefully I’ll be able to find the right recipe to get American riders to win at the highest level,” Erik said. “I promise you I’ll work my butt off for that.”

USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris then addressed the High Performance athletes, first speaking about the athlete drug testing that took place at the Ocala Jockey Club Three-Day Event last month.

“The FEI has hired a new company to do their testing, and the amount of testing will increase,” Joanie said. With that in mind, she is recommending that all athletes who competing in FEI competitions download the Global DRO app on their phones.

Similar to the Clean Sport app for horses, the Global DRO app allows athletes to enter the name of a prescription drug or supplement they are taking and instantly know whether it is legal for competitions.

Joanie also addressed the slew of new FEI rule changes coming down the pipeline, in particular the sweeping overhaul of the star system set to be implemented in 2019. “It is going to be very complicated as we transfer data to re-classifiy events based on the new star system,” Joanie said.

With that in mind she asked that anyone who contacts the USEF with questions regarding qualifications be mindful of the massive amount of work that will be taking place on the administrative side to implement the new star system for 2019.

Joanie also clarified that the 50-penalty flag rule is not a USEF rule, and riders can still ask the fence judge at National events if they were inside or outside of the flag. The FEI is still tweaking this rule and recently formed a sub-committee to look at re-writing it, so stay tuned for more on the flag rule.

Lastly, Joanie encouraged athletes to submit feedback about events at the National level and asked for suggestions on how the USEF could make it easier to collect this information. The idea of creating an app that allows riders to quickly answer questions about an event received positive feedback.

Get FREE Tax Money for Your Event

USEA CEO Rob Burk discussed several avenues that event organizers can take to get government grants, awards or loans to help support their event. Events that have.been able to tap into some of these funds are the American Eventing Championships at Texas Rose Horse Park, Fair Hill International, Rebecca Farm and Red Hills.

“(These funds) will not solve all your problems but is potential for additional sponsorship,” Rob said.

Fundability varies and depends on the size of the facility, number of spectators, land features, location, if you host non-profit or not-for-profit activities, and your openness to work with the federal, state, and local governments. 

Here are some tips to help event organizers find and procure these funds. 

1. Make a Business Plan. A business plan includes a cover sheet, statement of purpose, an overview of the business (description of business and market, management structure, sources of funding, SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

2. Do an Economic Impact Analysis. Examine the effect of an event on the economy in a specified area. It usually measures changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs. There are firms that can help you do that but they can be costly. Rob is looking into developing a relationship with IMPLAN to help events analyze their economic impact. 

“Having a basic understanding of the economics of running your event is important,” Rob said. 

3. Set your goals first then figure out how to get a grant or loan to help fill those needs. Don’t just find a great program and then try to shoehorn your way in if it’s not what the grant writers are looking for.

4. Determine Your Needs. What does my event need to fulfill our goals? i.e. capital, infrastructure, everything. Where is it being held? Being on private, public or preserved land is key: Bonding authority on a public property versus funding for infrastructure on private land. 

5. Investigate what programs might fit your event/property: there are grants/awards/loans from federal, state, local, public and private entities. 

  • Federal Programs: US Small Business Administration Loans and Grants, general small business loans, USDA Rural Development
  • When you’re looking for state programs, look for programs and agencies that have pertinent key word in their titles like business, commerce, agriculture, natural resources, etc. 
  • On the local level, the Chamber of Commerce is usually a really good place to go as a first step and ask if there are business incentive grants. 
  • Private programs: Examples are the USA Equestrian Trust, Home Depot-Community Impact Grants Program, Lowe’s Small Grants Program, Walmart-Community Grant Program

4. Get to Know Your Local Leaders. Invite them to your event, let them get to know the value your event brings to the community (preserve open space, tourism, local economic impact).

5. Don’t Count on These Funds. In most cases these funds are supplemental. Funding is unpredictable. View this as a bonus!

Intercollegiate Program Open Forum

Intercollegiate Committee Chair Leslie Threlkeld presented an update on the Intercollegiate Program. The Intercollegiate Program is still relatively young but has been growing rapidly and there is strong interest from college-aged riders. 

College-aged USEA members are eligible for a membership discount of $25 if their school is a USEA registered affiliate, which is a cost of $75. 

In 2017, there were 215 Collegiate Memberships and 33 colleges and universities registered as affiliates. Areas 2, 3 and 8 have the most affiliates (six or more) while Areas 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have only one or two affiliates. Areas 9 and 10 have none. Reaching out to event organizers and schools in the less active areas in order to promote the Intercollegiate program is a focus of the Committee going forward. 

In the first two years of offering affiliate memberships it was free for schools, however with 33 affiliates (an increase over the first two years) in 2017, the cost does not appear to deter schools from becoming an affiliate. An affiliate membership is required for the school to compete at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship. There are no other Championship qualifications at this time.

The 2017 Intercollegiate Championship at Virginia Horse Trials saw an significant participation increase from the inaugural year in 2016. More than 80 students from 17 colleges and universities made up 21 teams at the 2017 event. The winning team, Clemson, won tons of prizes and awards from USEA sponsors. The Spirit Award winner, Texas A&M, were given refunds on their entry fees from the Virginia Horse Trials. 

The Intercollegiate Championship and most other team challenges with mixed level teams use a coefficient system to account for level of difficulty. At the Championship, the Beginner Novice level is assigned a 1.1 coefficient. Could this discourage schools from putting lower level riders on their team? The Intercollegiate program encompasses all levels of competitors and there is a strong contingent of Beginner Novice riders participating. Further surveys and discussion will be done to determine if the coefficient system should be adjusted.

In 2017, 23 out of 33 affiliated schools participated in one or more intercollegiate team challenges. Four non-affiliated schools participated in an intercollegiate team challenge. There were no team challenges on the West Coast, however, so promotion and outreach in that region of the country is especially important. 

The Intercollegiate Committee has created a guide to assist students in forming teams at their college or university and also a guide to assist organizers in running a collegiate team challenge at their event. Those documents are available on the USEA website here and here. 

Stay tuned for a full summary of Max Corcoran’s excellent sessions on Making Good Decisions. Things are just heating up at the USEA Convention, with a full day of meetings slated to take place on Friday. Keep it locked on EN for much more from Long Beach.

Editor’s Note: Leslie Threlkeld is amazing and contributed to this report.

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Watch the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Live Stream

Exciting news, EN! If you can’t make the trip to Long Beach, California to attend the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this weekend, you can still watch many of the meetings, forums and special events thanks to a wall-to-wall live stream from Ride On Video.

The USEA is offering three separate live feeds to cover as many of the sessions as possible. The open feed is totally free to watch and does not require a login. The other two streams are available only to USEA members who have renewed their membership for the 2018 season.

If you haven’t renewed your USEA membership yet, now is the time to do so! You will gain access to all three feeds with both the $85 full competing membership and $40 supporting membership. Click here to view the full list of sessions that will be streamed across the open and members only feeds.

If you are not a USEA member, don’t despair! A slew of sessions will be streamed Friday, Saturday and Sunday for free on the open stream, including the USEA Year End Awards Ceremony on Saturday night. Here’s a look at the full open stream broadcast schedule:

USEA Convention Open Stream – Friday, December 8

8:30-9:30 a.m. PST – Horse Ownership (Dr. Mark Hart, Kevin Baumgardner & Eric Markell)

10-11 a.m. PST – Nutrition For Our Equine Athletes (Russell K. Mueller M.S. PAS from Nutrena)

11 a.m.- 12 p.m. PST – USEA Funded Equine Health Research (Katherine Cooper & Dr. Mike Van Noy)

12-1 p.m. PST – Taking Eventing to the Next Level (Mary Coldren & Jonathan Elliott)

1-2 p.m. p.m. PST – Plans for the Fair Hill CCI4* (Ann Haller)

2-3 p.m. PST – ABCs of Entering a Horse Trial and Your First FEI (Mary Coldren & Christina Gray)

3-4 p.m. PST – Gastrointestinal Health and Management (Dr. Carey Williams)

4-5 p.m. PST – Rehabilitating Your Sport Horse (Dr. Korin Potenza, DVM, CVA & Dr. Nick Huggons)

USEA Convention Open Stream – Saturday, December 9

8-8:30 a.m. PST – Confidence, Camaraderie & Coffee (Daniel Stewart)

9-10 a.m. PST – How Rider Injuries Differ by Gender (Roy Burek from Charles Owen)

10-11 a.m. PST – Constructing a Wellness Program for the Aging Horse (Allyn Mann from Adequan)

4-5 p.m. PST – Organizers & Secretaries: Best Practices (Dawn Benson)

6:30-9:30 a.m. PST – USEA Year End Awards

USEA Convention Open Stream – Sunday, December 10

9-10 a.m. PST – Martial Arts Training to Improve Your Riding (Matt Brown)

Many thanks to the USEA and Ride On Video for providing this live streaming service. Click here to access all three live streaming feeds and the full broadcast schedule. Stay tuned for all of EN’s coverage from the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. Go Eventing.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleLive StreamConvention ProgramEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Bromont Adding New FEI Event in August 2018

The beautiful Bromont sign. Photo via EN Archives.

Bromont has announced the addition of a new FEI event at the venue for 2018, offering a CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1* on August 17-19 in Quebec, Canada. Derek di Grazia, who designs the courses at Bromont for the June CCI, will also design the courses for the new CIC.

Sue Ockendon, Bromont’s longtime organizer, said she is offering the new CIC in 2018 to fill in the gap on the calendar created by the the cancellation of Richland Park Horse Trials.

“There weren’t any FEI events running between Millbrook and Plantation Field, so it’s an event that is needed next year. If it were successful I would continue running it,” Sue said.

“The whole team will be there, including Jay Hambly, who does a wonderful job as Derek’s assistant course designer. I wouldn’t do the event without them.”

The August CIC at Bromont is the third FEI competition scheduled to run in Canada in 2018. Bromont will host the MARS Incorporated Bromont CCI Three Day Event on June 7-10, 2018, followed by the CIC on August 17-19.

The inaugural running of Foshay International is slated to offer a CCI1* and the FEI’s new 1.05-meter Introductory level over Labor Day weekend, August 30-Sept. 2, 2018, in Lower Jemseg, New Brunswick.

The omnibus pages for all of Bromont’s 2018 competitions, including Little Bromont on June 16-17, will be available on their website.

[Bromont 2018 Dates Announced]

Kentucky Horse Park to Host 2019 & 2020 American Eventing Championships

The Kentucky Horse Park will host AEC in 2019 and 2020! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The USEA has named the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky as the host site for the 2019 and 2020 American Eventing Championships.

“It will be an honor to have the AEC hosted by one of the crown jewel facilities in our sport,” USEA President Carol Kozlowski said. “I can attest to the thrill of galloping and jumping over some of the best ground and well-designed courses in the country, and I’m eager for our members to have the fantastic experience of competing at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“Everything that makes a championship really special will be found there, and I’ll do everything I can to be competing there myself!”

Equestrian Events Inc., organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, and Mary Fike, organizer of the Park Equine Kentucky Classique Horse Trials, will share management responsibilities for the 2019 and 2020 AEC.

“It’s exciting to welcome the AEC to Kentucky,” EEI Board President Stewart Perry said. “Through our partnership with Mary Fike, we are looking forward to having a direct avenue to support all levels of our sport.”

Mary added: “We think it’s about time the AEC comes to the Horse Capital of the World! We are confident that the competitors who come to Kentucky will have an experience to remember at the Kentucky Horse Park.”

The AEC most recently completed a two-year run at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, host site of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. In 2018 the AEC will move to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado for one year before moving to Kentucky.

The Kentucky Horse Park will serve as the seventh venue to host the AEC. The championships were first held in 2004 at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina. In 2007 the AEC moved to Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, then Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Georgia in 2010.

The Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas hosted the AEC from 2013 to 2015 before Tryon took over as host in 2016. Area VIII will host the AEC for the first time in the history of the championships when the Kentucky Horse Park takes over hosting duties in 2019.

“I am incredibly thankful to the Tryon Equestrian Partners for their amazing efforts as the hosts of the AEC in 2016 and 2017,” USEA CEO Rob Burk said. “We are also excited to work with the same organizing team at the 2018 AEC at the Colorado Horse Park. I know the TIEC ownership, managers and staff will continue to make it a hub of equestrian sports in America.

“I am also excited to go to bluegrass country for 2019 and beyond,” Rob added. “I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of the AEC competitors as they complete the competition in the same stadium ridden in by the greatest riders in the world!”

The USEA is also “making plans to reduce the costs to (AEC) competitors starting in 2019” and said the move to the Kentucky Horse Park will not increase the cost of competing at AEC.

What do you think about the new host site for AEC in 2019 and 2020, EN? Are you excited for AEC to be hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[USEA Selects Kentucky for the 2019 and 2020 American Eventing Championships]

Eric Dierks Recovering from Severe Injuries After Being Kicked in the Face

Eric and Trayce. Photo courtesy of Renovatio Farm.

Eric Dierks is recovering from severe facial and ocular injuries sustained from being kicked in the face on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 3, while doing groundwork with a young mare at his Renovatio Farm in Tryon, North Carolina.

He was immediately transported to Spartanburg Regional Hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he underwent surgery yesterday to repair numerous broken bones in his face.

“Surgery went mostly as expected, and he is following the pain and swelling factor the doctors predicted,” Trayce Doubek-Dierks, Eric’s wife, said.

Eric was wearing a helmet during the groundwork session with the mare, who was not wearing hind shoes.

“This legitimately was a freak accident,” Trayce said. “The mare had a blink-of-an-eye exuberant moment. We’ve all had thousands of those in our professional careers. I truly hope our calling is to just be a living example of safety first, everywhere, at all times.”

Eric will remain at Spartanburg Regional for several more days as he starts the recovery process following surgery. Trayce said they do not yet have an exact timeline for how long the laundry list of injuries will take to heal.

He is once again facing a long recovery period from another severe injury this calendar year. The eventing family rallied around Eric in February after he sustained second- and third-degree burns to his face and right hand when a water heater he was repairing exploded at the farm.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help offset the cost of Eric’s medical expenses. Click here to donate.

“Obviously the only way to get through this is by the fortress of love and prayer that has been blanketed over us,” Trayce said. “Thank God he was wearing his helmet and that the mare didn’t have hind shoes.”

Please join the EN team in sending well wishes for a speedy healing process. If you are able, please consider donating to help Eric and Trayce during this difficult time.

Eventers in the Offseason: Brian O’Connor Returns to Theater Stage

Brian O’Connor, center, and the cast of Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush. Photo by Chris Banks/Metro Stage.

If you event in Area II, you hear Brian O’Connor announce at horse trials all throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Eventers in the area are in for a real treat over the holiday season, as Brian has returned to his acting roots as a cast member of Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush following a nearly two-decade hiatus from the stage.

Playing through Christmas Eve at Metro Stage in Alexandria, Virginia, Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush transports the audience to 1912, when the Old Bull and Bush Public House in London is alive with British music hall songs and Christmas carols.

While he ultimately pursued a career in announcing, Brian’s background is in theater. The eventing season keeps him too busy to be involved in the theater scene year-round, but Christmas aligns perfectly with the offseason.

“I had been working with another theater group, the Providence Players, during the Christmas slot for the last few years as a director, and also doing scenic design and artistic design,” Brian said. “Since we finish the eventing season in November and don’t pick up until January or February, it works well with the schedule.”

Brian O’Connor plays the Chairman in Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush. Photo by Chris Banks/Metro Stage.

This is the first time in nearly two decades Brian has taken the stage as in an acting role, and his portrayal of the Chairman in Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush has been hailed as “dashing” in local theater reviews.

Like Brian, the play is also returning to the stage after a lengthy hiatus, as Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush previously played as a holiday staple at nearby Arena Stage 15 years ago. The play transforms the Metro Stage theater lobby into an authentic pub, and the play centers around famous music hall star Florrie Forde and her troupe of British performers celebrating the holidays.

“It’s such a fun show and the perfect thing to see around the holidays,” Brian said. “With so many eventers located in Area II, we hope everyone will bring their family and friends to come out and see the show. It feels like being in a British pub at Christmas.”

The show is expected to be packed on weekends, so Brian recommends seeing the show on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 3 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays; and 3 and 7 p.m. on Sundays. For tickets, call the Metro Stage box office at 703- 548-9044, or purchase them online.

[Christmas at the Old Bull & Bush]

USEF Releases 2018 Eventing Winter Training List

Lynn Symansky and Donner at Millbrook 2017. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hot off the press! The USEF has just released the 2018 Eventing Winter Training List.

The US Equestrian High Performance Program is designed to achieve Olympic qualification and medals in the current Games cycle, in addition to building a sustainable foundation for the success of future championships. The Eventing High Performance Program consists of the Elite, Development, and Emerging Athletes programs.

The Elite Program consists of athlete/horse combinations that have established themselves as having met the criteria, or demonstrated potential to meet the criteria required to be competitive at CCI3* and CCI4* events and championships.

2018 Elite Training List:

Matt Brown (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Super Socks BCF, Blossom Creek Foundation’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) and Harbour Pilot, Jacqueline Mars’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and Tight Lines, The Conair Syndicate’s 10-year-old French Thoroughbred gelding

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran; Mighty Nice, HND Group’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding; Fernhill Cubalawn, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, and Caroline Moran; Fernhill Revelation, Revelation Group’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding; and I’m Sew Ready, Kristine and John Norton’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Steady Eddie, Gretchen and George Wintersteen, Pierre Colin, and Denise Lahey’s 14-year-old New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred gelding, and Blackfoot Mystery, Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate LLC’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and Donner, The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

The two-tiered system for the Development Program introduced in 2017 will continue to be used in 2018. Tier 1 of the Development Program is designed to support experienced, international athletes who have horses that are on a trajectory to reach the Elite criteria in the next four years. Tier 1 also includes experienced international athletes who have horses that do not meet the Elite criteria, but remain in contention for selection for the next World or Olympic Games.

2018 Developing Tier 1 Training List:

Jennie Brannigan (Reddick, Fla.) and Stella Artois, a nine-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare she owns with Elsbeth Battel

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) and Under Suspection, Mary Ann Ghadban’s 13-year-old Holsteiner mare

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and OBOS O’Reilly, Four Star Eventing Group’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

Buck Davidson (Riegelsville, Pa.) and Copper Beach, Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Jak My Style, Kathleen Cuca and Justine Dutton’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp (Ocala, Fla.) and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding

Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Veronica, Team Rebecca, LLC’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare

Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg, Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Trakehner gelding

Kurt Martin (Middleburg, Va.) and Delux Z, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding he owns with Caroljean Martin and William G Martin, Jr.

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, a 13-year-old Trakehner gelding he owns with Jessica Payne and Debi Crowley

Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.) and Cooley Cross Border, The Cross Syndicate’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

Erin Sylvester (Cochranville, Pa.) and Paddy The Caddy, Frank McEntee’s 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding

Sharon White (Summit Point, W.Va.) and her 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Cooley On Show

Tier 2 of the Development Program is designed for athletes who have not previously attained team selection or Elite criteria that are on a trajectory to achieve Elite status in this, or the next four-year period.

2018 Developing Tier 2 Training List:

Jordan Linstedt (Duvall, Wash.) and her 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Revitatvet Capato

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (Berryville, Va.) and Rubens D’Ysieux, the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate, LLC’s 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding

Colleen Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her 11-year-old Thoroughbred Cross gelding, Covert Rights

Mackenna Shea (Temecula, Calif.) and her 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding, Landioso

Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Fleeceworks Royal, Judith McSwain’s eight-year-old Holsteiner mare

The Emerging Athlete Program introduced a new, two-tier system for 2018 that includes an accepted participants list as well as an auditing participants list for the E18 Program. The E25 participants will be announced early December.

Inclusion or exclusion on a Training List does not imply or preclude an athlete for selection for a Games and Championships. This list will be reviewed in June of 2018.

[US Equestrian Announces 2018 Eventing Winter Training Lists]

Product Review: Majyk Equipe Color Elite XC Boots for Small Horses

Big news! Majyk Equipe’s Color Elite XC Boots are now available in a smaller size for horses measuring between 14.3 hands and 15.2 hands. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Do you own a small event horse? While it seems there are a plethora of options available for event horses measuring 16 hands and up or ponies measuring 14.2 hands and below, somewhere along the way the small event horse slipped through the cracks.

Smaller horses need love too! That’s why we’re so excited to announce that Majyk Equipe is releasing a new size of the massively popular Color Elite XC Boots for smaller horses. These smaller boots are designed to fit horses measuring between 14.3 hands to 15.2 hands with medium to good bone.

The smaller size offers all of the same features of the Elite series. Majyk Equipe pioneered the concept of using a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) outer shell to create superior leg protection. The fact that the Color Elite XC Boots come in five vibrant shades — Royal Purple, Atomic Orange, Azure Blue, Scarlett Red and Tiffany Turquoise — only sweetens the deal.

The beautiful, bright color palette of the boots catches your eye, but it’s the attention to detail and advanced design quality inside the boots that really sets them apart. Multiple layers of TPU used in manufacturing the boots creates unrivaled impact protection, starting with a rip-stop TPU layer on the water-repellent outer shell of the boots.

Veronica wearing Color Elite XC Boots in Atomic Orange. Thanks to the new size, your smaller event horse can rock the boots just like Veronica. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Majyk Equipe also added their “forever clean” breathable coating to the outer shell of the boots, which makes it easy to wipe away mud, dirt and other debris. I have personally tested multiple pairs of Majyk Equipe cross country boots this season, and they somehow seem to magically repel dirt and gunk. Forever clean, indeed!

Inside the boots, a four-way TPU shield flexes with the horse’s movement but also hardens on impact to create a protective barrier. Directly behind the TPU shield, 2 millimeters of a revolutionary material called ARTi-LAGE adds an additional protective layer. ARTi-LAGE is a soft foam in its normal state, but when struck the foam alters its molecular structure to harden, which deflects impact and disperses energy.

The hind boots feature a double layer of both the flexible TPU shield and ARTi-LAGE at the front of the boot to provide additional protection for the cannon bone. The interior bio-foam lining of the boots is also designed to resist heat build-up while still allowing air to circulate through the leg.

With so many protective layers packed into the boot, you might think that they would feel heavy and stiff, but they are no heavier than any other cross country boots I’ve tried, and I actually have found them to be more flexible than my previous go-to brand. I also love the sturdy Velcro straps on all of Majyk Equipe’s XC boots. The Velcro lines up perfectly when you put the boots on — it’s those little details that set them apart.

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Blackfoot Mystery wearing Color Elite XC Boots in Azure Blue. The new small horse size offers the same great features for smaller event horses. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Considering the slew of technological and safety features built into the Color Elite XC Boots, it’s no surprise that the top riders in the USA trust these boots. Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Hannah Sue Burnett and Lauren Kieffer use these boots religiously at home and at competitions.

The Color Elite XC Boots for Small Horses are officially being unveiled to the public on Black Friday at a retail price of $99.99 for the fronts and $115.99 for the hinds. Be sure to check back to Majyk Equipe’s website on Friday to order your own pair.

Majyk Equipe is also currently offering a special promotion through December 22: one free backpack with every pair of boots you buy. Click here to view Majyk Equipe’s full line of boots.

If you’ve been on the fence about ordering a pair of Color Elite XC Boots, now is the time to take advantage of holiday savings! Majyk Equipe will be running flash sales starting on Black Friday, so be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss any announcements.

FEI General Assembly: O’Connor Elected Eventing Committee Chair, 2018 Rules Approved

Scenes from today’s FEI General Assembly meeting in Uruguay. Photo via FEI.

The FEI General Assembly Meeting kicked into high gear today in Montevideo, Uruguay, with elections taking place for a variety of different positions, as well voting for 2018 rule change proposals.

Click here for a full rundown of the day’s proceedings on the FEI blog, and read on for key changes that impact eventing.

Elections

David O’Connor was elected Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee for a four-year term (2017-2021), defeating Alec Lochore in the election and replacing Giuseppe della Chiesa. Click here to read through David’s program.

Giuseppe Della Chiesa, who finished an eight-year term at the General Assembly, was appointed as an Honorary Bureau Member.

Eventing Rule Changes

The General Assembly approved the 2018 rule change modifications for eventing. Key changes include the approval of the new proposed competition structure for implementation in 2019. The new 1.05-meter level was approved and will be introduced in 2018 and called Introductory.

Starting in 2019, all of the current star levels will shift up and and be classified as Long or Short, as opposed to CCI or CIC. The current CCI4* events will be renamed CCI5* Major in 2019.

The new levels/categorizations are explained in this chart via the FEI:

“The new competition structure has adapted to the current global level of the sport, supporting the implementation of the Olympic strategy. It is also part of the continued effort to address risk management and the cost effectiveness of the discipline together with encouraging the development of the number of nations participating in eventing.”

The dressage coefficient will also be removed effective Jan. 1, 2018, “to address risk management issues through rebalancing the importance of cross country skills.”

This will change the method of calculating dressage scores in eventing. Previously, scores were calculated by taking the percentage score, subtracting from 100 and multiplying by a coefficient of 1.5, with the resulting figure rounded to one decimal digit. Starting Jan. 1, scores will no longer be multiplied by a coefficient of 1.5.

Removing the coefficient aligns with the FEI Eventing Committee’s vision to eventually transition to positive scoring in eventing. Two positive scoring proposals will be reviewed in 2018 for implementation at a later date.

Rule changes for arena eventing were also approved. Organizing committees can now apply to hold the competition through the FEI system, or the National Federation will be responsible for the enforcement of minimum compulsory requirements.

Click here to view the full list of proposed eventing rule changes for 2018. The new rulebook will be available at this link before the end of the year.

Other points of interest

Samorin Equestrian Centre in Slovakia decided not to sign the host agreement for the 2022 World Equestrian Games and subsequently withdrawn its bid. The FEI Bureau has decided to re-open the bidding process for the 2022 Games.

The Olympic Test Event is provisionally scheduled for Aug. 10-12, 2019, with dressage and show jumping at Baji Koen and cross country at Sea Forest.

The number of women on FEI committees in 2017 has increased to 33% from 32% in 2016 and 28% in 2015.

FEI courses for farriers and grooms are in the process of being organized across the world, including in Haiti, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Sport for All projects, which promote social integration for underprivileged youth through equestrian sports, are taking place in Cambodia, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovenia, Uruguay, Zambia and Tunisia.

Click here for a full summary of today’s meeting.

[FEI General Assembly Blog]

Who Jumped It Best: Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Edition

It’s time to play Who Jumped It Best? Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Edition! Put on your George Morris hat and take a look at these photos of horses and riders jumping in to the Clubhouse Water at fence 20B on Mike Etherington-Smith’s course.

Vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for which horse and rider you think present the best overall picture. Go Eventing!

#OJC3DE: WebsiteFinal ScoresDavid’s VideosEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alexis Helffrich and London Town. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Joe Meyer and Johnny Royale. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Natalia Neneman and Weisser Riese. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Jenni Autry.

This One’s For the Girls: Burnett, Kieffer, Knowles Crowned Ocala Jockey Club Winners

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot prevailed on a tough day that saw just 45% of the field jump clear rounds on Mike Etherington-Smith’s CIC3* cross country at the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event.

“William,” a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Cruising, blitzed around to add 0.8 time penalties and move up from third place after show jumping to take the win on a final score of 42.2. Hannah and William started and ended their international season with a CIC3* victory, as they also won at Red Hills in March.

“I was trying to stay really focused on the game and not think so much about trying to win. I wanted to do a good job, go quick, and work on some of the things I’ve been working on all summer and put it together today,” Hannah said.

“I’m always picking at little things (to improve), and I felt way more in a rhythm and let him run a bit. He got kind of strong, and I was OK with it rather than trying to fight him like I have been the last couple of years. We felt like a team again; it was really fun.”

Phillip Dutton made an impressive return to competing after breaking his collarbone in September, taking both second and third places in the CIC3*. The Z Partnership’s Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide, jumped clear with 1.2 time penalties to move from fifth to finish second place on 46.3.

David Garrett’s Indian Mill, a 12-year-old English Thoroughbred gelding, jumped one of the four clear cross country rounds inside the optimum time to move from equal eighth place to finish third on 48.4.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“Z was phenomenal,” Phillip said. “Indian Mill hasn’t done this level since Aachen last year, so it was incredible to have him come out and do that” — especially considering he delivered the fastest round of the day, coming home 6 seconds inside the optimum time of 6 minutes, 12 seconds.

Phillip campaigned Indian Mill in 2016, and David’s daughter Holland competed him at the CIC1* level in 2017, finishing in the top 10 at both Pine Top and Fair Hill. Now Phillip has the ride back, though maybe not for long.

“Indian Mill is for sale if the right person wants to bid for the World Championships next year,” Phillip said. “Otherwise I’ll keep going with him and aim for a CCI4*.

Katie Ruppel and her own Houdini jumped clear with 5.6 time penalties to finish fourth on 49.7 and take the award for the highest placed Thoroughbred in the CIC3*. The Ocala Jockey Club allocated $25,000 of the $100,000 in prize money to honor the top Thoroughbreds in all three divisions, with $15,000 awarded in the CIC3*.

Kurt Martin and Anna Bella, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by the GSC Syndicate, jumped clear with 1.6 time penalties to move from equal eighth up to round out the top five on a final score of 50.0.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Joe Meyer and Theresa Foote’s Clip Clop also made the optimum time to move from 11th place up to finish sixth on their dressage score of 50.8 — the only pair to finish on their dressage score in the CIC3* field.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus capped their first international run back since the Kentucky CCI4* this spring with a solid clear round and 10.8 time penalties to finish seventh on 56.1.

Elisa Wallace and the Simply Priceless Syndicate’s Simply Priceless also ran for the first time at international level since their spring CCI4* at Badminton, jumping clear and inside the time to leap from equal 20th up to finish eighth on 60.5.

Overnight leaders Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night were one of 15 combinations to pick up jumping penalties at fence 9AB, a combination of two corners appropriately named Diablo’s Devil Corners. Liz and “Blackie” added 20 jumping and 7.6 time penalties to finish ninth on 61.6.

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise win EN’s Biggest Mover Award, rocketing up from 25th to finish 10th with a clear round inside the time to complete on a final score of 65.0. Click here to view full scores in the CIC3* from Ocala.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras Win CCI2* Wire-to-Wire

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras set the place from the start in the CCI2*, leading after dressage on 36.7, adding 0.4 time penalties on cross country, and jumping a clear show jumping round today to complete on 37.1 and seal the deal on a wire-to-wire victory.

“He’s a super horse, and he’s an amazing show jumper,” Lauren said. “He went in there and jumped great. He had a great weekend — he was calm and collected. It was a great way to end the season.”

The 9-year-old KWPN owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars has jumped clear show jumping rounds in eight of his last nine international runs (88.9%). Shout out to EquiRatings, the Official Statistics Providers of #OJC3DE, for providing data and analysis for the event.

 

Katherine Coleman and her own Monte Classico, an 8-year-old German Sport Horse, jumped clear and inside the time to move up one spot on the leaderboard and finish in second place on a final score of 40.2.

Jon Holling and the Two Doors Town Group’s Sportsfield Two Doors Down, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, finished third on 42.8, one of only five combinations in the CCI2* to finish on their dressage score. Click here for full scores from the CCI2*.

Allie Knowles and Business Class. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Allie Knowles and Business Class Take CCI1*

Allie Knowles and Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class jumped a clear round inside the time to hold their overnight lead in the CCI1* and take the win on 40.2. She has fought hard to come back from severe injuries sustained at Red Hills in March and said the win today is an amazing way to end what has been a tough season.

“In some ways it’s been the best year of my career and life yet, and in some ways its been the worst,” Allie said. “Either way, I learned a lot, and I feel like it all came together in the last month between the last trip (to Pau) and this weekend. It made all the hard work coming back from this injury well worth it.”

“Oso,” a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse, came out fresh and with plenty left in the tank to jump a beautiful clear round over Chris Barnard’s tough show jumping track. Five of the combinations sitting inside the top 10 after cross country had rails. Only 29 of the 74 combinations (39.1% of the field) jumped clear rounds inside the time.

“He’s just a cool customer, and I think he’s quite easy on himself,” Allie said. “He doesn’t try any harder than he needs to, but when it counts, he puts in the effort.”

Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s QC First Class jumped clear to move from sixth up to finish second on 43.0 and win the 6-year-old CCI1* title in the Oldenburg gelding’s debut at the level.

Stephanie Cauffman and her 6-year-old Chatsworth Third Revolution jumped clear to move from seventh up to finish in third place on their dressage score of 43.1. Click here to view full scores in the CCI1*.

Please join EN in sending a massive thank you to the Ocala Jockey Club for providing $100,000 in prize money for this event. The CIC3* alone saw $45,000 awarded to the top 10, with first place receiving a cool $27,000.

This event checks all the boxes. From fabulous footing and course design to top notch hospitality and amenities, not to mention the incredible team behind the event, the million dollar view of the sunset from the OCJ Clubhouse is the icing on the cake.

Thank you to the venue owners Erik and Pavla Nygaard for sharing your slice of heaven with the eventing community; organizer Shelley Page and co-organizer Max Corcoran for running a super event; and all of the officials and volunteers working hard behind the scenes. Go Eventing.

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Controversy in Adelaide: Was Stuart Tinney Clear?

Controversy has been swirling around the ground jury’s decision at Adelaide to remove Stuart Tinney’s 50 jumping penalties on cross country. He went on to jump a clear show jumping round with War Hawk and finish in third place in the CCI4*.

If you’re just tuning in to the debate, watch this video:

Stuart was initially given 50 jumping penalties under FEI rule 549.2 for missing a flag, which was introduced as a new rule for the 2017 season.

The rule states:

A Horse is considered to have run out if, having been presented at an element or obstacle on the course, it avoids it in such a way that either the head, neck or either shoulder of the Horse fail to pass between the extremities of the element or obstacle as flagged. In case the Horse has clearly attempted to jump the element or obstacle and may have missed a flag, the athlete can choose:

a) To represent (accepting automatically 20 penalties) , or
b) To continue on course incurring 50 penalties (no elimination) in case the
element or obstacle was not correctly cleared.

A Horse will be considered to have cleared the fence when head, neck and both shoulders of the Horse pass between the extremities of the element or obstacles as flagged.

With were-they-inside-the-flag-or-not uncertainty also surrounding Megan Jones with Kirby Park Impress and Hazel Shannon with WillingaPark Clifford, the ground jury of Christian Landolt (SUI), Sue Baxter (GBR) and Gretchen Butts (USA) reviewed video footage at the conclusion of cross country.

The 50 penalties were originally upheld for Kirby Park Impress and WillingaPark Clifford, but removed for Stuart Tinney and War Hawk. The ground jury based their decision to remove the penalties on this photo:

Cue pandemonium and outrage. The Sunday morning of show jumping saw a group of riders approach the ground jury to ask them to re-consider their decision. Hazel was represented by lawyer Kathryn Howard during an appeal that took place in the media center.

The ground jury poured over video footage and photos and were still deliberating 1 1/2 hours before CCI4* show jumping was set to begin. Finally they made their decision: Megan’s penalties would be removed, while Hazel’s would remain. They upheld their original decision that Stuart should not receive 50 penalties.

The ground explained their decision to rider rep Megan Jones, who ultimately agreed with their conclusion. You can watch Megan’s full explanation below.

Megan clarifies several key facts. First, Stuart never lodged a protest or appeal. The ground jury gave him 50 penalties and then decided of their own volition to remove the penalties.

“They discovered the horse did actually jump the fence as it’s stated in the rules: A horse will be considered to have cleared the fence when head and neck and both shoulders of the horse pass between the extremities of the element or obstacle as flagged,” she explains. “The flag went between Stuart’s horse’s front legs, but his head, neck and shoulders were inside the flag.”

Whether Stuart’s horse actually jumped the fence is not the critical question in this case. Notice that the rule does not even state horses need to jump the fence to be considered clear; horses only need to “pass between the extremities of the element or obstacles as flagged.”

The rule also does not state that the flag has to remain in its original position when the horse’s head, neck and shoulders pass through the flag. The flag can be knocked sideways and away from the fence and the jumping effort can still be considered clear, as the ground jury decided in Adelaide.

Megan said it best: “People don’t understand the rule and how it’s written and how it’s interpreted. They clearly have to change this somehow.”

The FEI General Assembly is currently taking place in Uruguay, and it’s a safe bet that the 50-penalty rule will be discussed. Based on what happened at Adelaide, it seems it would be wise to amend the wording of the rule to provide further clarity as to what is and is not considered a clear jumping effort.

As for what we should ultimately take away from Adelaide, Megan offered her perspective: “The event is about the winner, Clarke Johnstone. The event is about Gill Rolton, who just did the most amazing job getting this event going. Her legacy will live on. Let’s be positive about this and put it to bed now. He’s clear. End of story.”

108 Horses Through to Show Jumping at Ocala Jockey Club

Alyssa Phillips and Cooley Caviar. Photo by Jenni Autry.

A total of 108 horses will move on to show jumping at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event following this morning’s final inspection for the CCI2* and CCI1* here in Reddick, Florida.

The CCI1* horses presented first to the ground jury of Robert Stevenson (USA) and Jo Young (CAN). Three horses were sent to the holding box: Becky Holder’s mount Kieran, Ryan Wood’s mount Galway Blazer and Emma Vallner’s mount T Other Guy. Kieran and T Other Guy were accepted upon re-presentation. Ryan withdrew Galway Blazer from the holding box.

Two CCI1* horses were not presented for the inspection: Lauren Balcomb’s mount SL Belly and Carter McInnis’s mount Double Nine’s Domino.

All 33 CCI2* horses presented to the ground jury of Jane Hamlin (USA) and Peter Grey (CAN) were accepted. Rain started coming down just as the CCI2* inspection concluded, and conditions are starting to clear now as we count down to the start of show jumping.

CCI1* show jumping runs from 10 a.m.-1:10 p.m. EST, followed by CIC3* cross country at 1:30 p.m. EST. CCI2* show jumping will then wrap up the action at 3:30 p.m. EST.

If you are just tuning in to EN, you’re just in time for the finale of #OJC3DE! Click here to check out a fence-by-fence preview of Mike Etherington-Smith’s CIC3* course. CIC3* cross country and CCI2* show jumping will stream live on EQSportsNet.

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Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Cross Country Course Preview

Good morning from the final day of the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event! We are counting down to the start of CIC3* cross country at 1:30 p.m. EST. While we wait, take a virtual tour of Mike Etherington-Smith’s track courtesy of Lauren DeLalla, who kindly snapped photos for EN.

Overnight leaders Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night have a 6.5-penalty cushion and can afford to be 16 seconds over the optimum time of 6 minutes, 12 seconds and still win. Hannah Sue Burnett is waiting in the wings with Cooley Dream in second and Harbour Pilot, who has already won a CIC3* this season, in third. Click here to catch up on yesterday’s show jumping action.

You can watch live on EQSportsNet with commentary from Ed Holloway and special guests, plus all the statistics and facts on the field’s cross country form courtesy of EquiRatings. Last year only two pairs made the optimum time in the inaugural running of the CIC3*. How many will catch it today?

We have had perfect sunny weather for the entire competition until today, with the skies opening up this morning. We could see slick footing due to the rain, which will hopefully move quickly through the area. CIC3* cross country is NOT running in reverse order. Click here to view ride times. Go Eventing.

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Kieffer & Knowles Lead CCI Divisions After Cross Country at Ocala Jockey Club

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras jumped clear and 1 second over the time on Clayton Fredericks’ CCI2* cross country course to hold the lead on 37.1 here at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event in Reddick, Florida.

The 9-year-old KWPN owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars may be back at the two-star level to re-qualify following multiple rider falls this season, but Lauren has the big picture in mind with this horse.

“At Red Hills I got jumped out of the tack. At Bramham he slipped behind on a turn. At Blenheim we were two fences from home and inside the time, and he made a green mistake and clipped a corner. He’s such a big, brave, strong, scopey horse, and I rode him this year to be competitive. There were little blips along the way that showed up. He’s going to be an incredible horse for sure.”

As an experienced horse at three-star level, Duras handled Clayton Fredericks’ CCI2* course with ease. “He’s done a lot of big tracks this year, so it was nice for him to do something so easy for him. It rode well,” Lauren said.

“I think the waters made a bit of the wrong shape jumping in, so you had to jump it as slow as you dared. With the more experienced horses you could trust them to jump off. He was super rideable and felt brave and handled it well.”

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katherine Coleman and Monte Classico added 0.8 time penalties to slip to third place on 40.2, with Alyssa Phillips and Oskar passing them thanks to a clear round inside the time to move up to second place on 40.0.

Sixteen combinations in the CCI2* jumped clear rounds inside the time on cross country (41%). We saw three rider falls in the division, and we are relieved to report that none of the riders suffered major injuries. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2*.

Ashley Hays took a hard fall from Call It Courage when he hung a leg at 24C in the final water complex, and she was transported by ambulance for further examination. “A few years ago a fall would have seemed like the end of the world,” Ashley said. “Now, I get to load my sound horse up and get back to work.” That’s the spirit, Ashley!

Allie Knowles and Business Class. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the CCI1*, Allie Knowles and Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class took the lead on their dressage score of 40.2 with a clear round inside the time. Leslie Law, who led after dressage, parted ways with JKF Vogue at the keyhole at fence 18, which caused numerous problems throughout the day.

“I just happened to hear that Leslie fell off as I was going into the start box. I thought, ‘Don’t let that affect your ride knowing that now I have it to lose.’ That was the main thing — don’t get antsy about anything,” Allie said.

“I have a lot of confidence in him. I knew as long as I did my job he would definitely do his job. He was the fastest of my three. He took it all in stride. It all felt very easy for him.”

Business Class, better known as “Oso,” is a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse that has been with Allie since January. Buck Davidson and JP Sheffield spotted the horse, who Sophie Richards produced to the one-star level and piloted to a seventh place finish at Le Lion d’Angers last year.

Clark Montgomery and Summer Bay. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery and Leah Massa’s Summer Bay jumped clear and inside the time to move up to second place in the CCI1* on 41.4. Hannah Sue Burnett and Christa Schmidt’s Strattonstown Lewis moved up to third place on their dressage score of 41.8. Click here to view full scores in the CCI1*.

The CCI final horse inspection is at 7:30 a.m. EST tomorrow morning. CCI1* show jumping starts at 10 a.m. EST, followed by CIC3* cross country at 1:30 p.m. EST and CCI2* show jumping at 3:30 p.m. EST. CIC3* cross country and CCI2* show jumping will stream live on EQSportsNet. Go Eventing!

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Liz Halliday-Sharp Defends Her Lead in Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night delivered under pressure at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event, jumping one of the seven clear show jumping rounds inside the time to defend their CIC3* lead and remain on their dressage score of 34.0 here in Reddick, Florida.

“He jumped really super and did everything he needed to do,” Liz said. “I thought I might have been on the cusp of having time faults because I was adding (strides) early on. I had to pick the pace up and get around my corners. I couldn’t have asked him to jump any better. He gave me everything.”

Now that Liz is based back in the States for the winter season, she has reunited with her show jumping coach Richard Picken. Liz and “Blackie,” a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Deborah Halliday, had their first lesson since Kentucky CCI4* with Richard on Monday to get tuned up for Ocala.

“He’s had me working hard on keeping my lower leg strong and sitting up a lot more in my position. I think that has helped the horse’s jump,” Liz said. “Richard is great because he doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. He pinpoints the areas that need work and keeps it simple enough that you can go execute it.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hannah Sue Burnett jumped clear rounds on both Cooley Dream and Harbour Pilot to hold second and third places on 40.5 and 41.4, respectively.

Hannah and Cooley Dream, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Jacqueline Mars and Mary Ann Ghadban, have never had a rail down as a combination at international level, and they extended their clear streak to 13 in a row today. In contrast, show jumping tends to be the toughest phase for Harbour Pilot, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned and bred by Jacqueline Mars.

“I am trying to learn to fight for it a little bit more in the show jumping — especially on (Harbour Pilot) — and not just try to make it smooth, because he needs a little bit more help,” Hannah said. “I grew up doing hunters, so I’m used to trying to be really quiet and smooth. The goal for today was to fight for it, and it paid off.”

We saw seven clear rounds inside the time to give us a 22.6% clear rate, according to EquiRatings. Time penalties and rails proved costly, with 13 combinations accumulating time penalties on Chris Barnard’s course (41.9% of the field).

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katie Ruppel and her own Houdini jumped clear with 1 time penalty to maintain their fourth place position after dressage on 44.1. Phillip Dutton rounds out the top five with the Z Partnership’s Z thanks to a clear round inside the time to remain on their dressage score of 45.1. Click here to view full scores.

Looking to other pairs who delivered clear rounds inside the time, Alyssa Phillips and Bliss III moved from 12th to seventh place on 46.7, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop jumped from 16th to 11th place on 50.8, and Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous leapt from 18th to 12th place on 51.3.

CIC3* cross country starts tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. EST and will be live streamed on EQSportsNet. Stay tuned for much more on all of the CCI2* and CCI1* cross country action from today. Go Eventing.

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Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night Fly to Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Lead

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night blew their three-star personal best out of the water today at the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event, scoring 34.0 to top the leaderboard with a 6.5-penalty cushion at the conclusion of the first phase here in Reddick, Florida.

The score of 34.0 is the second best of his career for “Blackie,” a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Deborah Halliday, and the third best of Liz’s international career, according to EquiRatings. Liz and Blackie were the only pair to crack the 30s in the CIC3*, with Marilyn Payne and Mark Weissbecker presiding on the ground jury.

“I think it was one of the very best tests he’s ever done,” Liz said. “Especially in the heat, he can get pretty lazy, but he stayed with me and kept trying. I think he really enjoyed himself and had a good time, which meant that I enjoyed myself!”

This is Blackie’s first run back since Blenheim, where he finished sixth in the Event Rider Masters CIC3* section, adding only cross country time penalties to his dressage score. EquiRatings put him up as one to watch at the Ocala Jockey Club, and he looked fantastic today dancing in the brilliant autumn sunshine.

“We changed how we do things with him this year,” Liz said. “We found he ran great at Blenheim without having many runs. We try to keep him feeling as fresh as possible. He was the best he’s ever gone at Blenheim, so we’ve not run since then. I’ve just been (cross country) schooling him. Hopefully he’s going to be in the same fighting spirit he was at Blenheim.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s CIC3* show jumping, Liz said she is feeling confident. “He jumped really well at Blenheim. That was a couple months ago of course, but that was probably one of the toughest tracks we’ve jumped. He’s feeling great in his body and good in himself. That’s usually when he jumps a good round. It’s down to me giving him a good ride.”

Liz arrived 10 days ago in Ocala, where she will be based at Horsepower Equestrian for the winter season. She’s already added a new horse since then in 3-year-old Seattle Sangaree, who raced six times and retired from the track in June. Spoiler alert: He’s adorable!

Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hannah Sue Burnett has a stronghold on the next two spots on the leaderboard, sitting in second place with Cooley Dream on a three-star personal best score of 40.5 and third place with Harbour Pilot on 41.4.

With her usual coach David O’Connor away on FEI business, Hannah has been training with Karen O’Connor in the lead-up to Ocala. Cooley Dream, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Jacqueline Mars and Mary Ann Ghadban, tends to perform better at venues with atmosphere, and he perked up right away today as he entered the ring.

“He can be a bit quiet and enjoys more of a party atmosphere. I knew that all the flags and people would help me get more out of him in the ring,” she said. “Karen O’Connor helped me fix the test this last week with all three of (my horses). She always makes a really big difference. She’s really good with the details and makes me ride really accurately. That definitely showed up today.”

Hannah stepped Cooley Dream back to the two-star level this season after things did not go to plan at Carolina International CIC3* in the spring, and he is stepping back up to three-star level for the first time at the Ocala Jockey Club this weekend.

“This summer we took him to England and had a little bit of downtime,” Hannah said. “He feels better than ever. Every time I cross country school him he’s really forward. In the show jumping he is jumping through his body really well. I’m excited to see how he wants to run.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Harbour Pilot, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned and bred by Jacqueline Mars, produced a lovely test to sit just 0.9 penalties behind his stablemate in third place. A break in the extended trot cost them some marks, but “William” settled beautifully after to produce a competitive performance.

“He was more nervous than I anticipated. I went early so I didn’t ride him twice (this morning) and he got a little tense,” Hannah said. “I know him so well and I’ve gotten a lot of confidence in the last couple of years; when things start to get tense I can convince him that he wants to be quiet again, which is exciting.”

Hannah withdrew William from Blenheim after having three rails down in show jumping, and since coming home to the States she has been working with David O’Connor to develop a strategy to keep the colored poles in the cups.

“The show jumping is tough with him because he can be so strong,” Hannah said, “We’ve been working with different bits and different ways to make him softer in the bigger atmosphere.”

Ultimately Hannah said she returned home from England a better competitor after spending the summer there. “My goal was to practice competing and practice putting myself under pressure all the time with the best in the sport — and get comfortable with it. I think it’s hard for Americans. We’re given grants and given expectations to go over to events that we’ve never seen before and do better than we’ve ever done before. I think we as a country have to get used to that pressure all the time.

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Katie Ruppel and her own Houdini sit fourth on 43.1. Phillip Dutton has three rides in the top 10 in his first competition back since breaking his collarbone in September, with John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready sitting fifth on 43.4. Click here to view full scores.

Looking to how the CIC3* compared to the the expected averages for the field, scores trended -1.87 penalties lower than the marks we usually see for these horses and riders. The morning session trended -2.07 penalties lower than the expected averages, with the afternoon sessions trending -1.59 lower. Overall, 20 pairs scored below their expected average, with 11 scoring above. Shout out to EN stats wizard Maggie Deatrick for tracking expected averages throughout the season.

Female riders are dominating the three-star so far, holding the top four spots on the leaderboard, which is fitting considering today was Ladies Day at the event. Karen O’Connor, Jennie Brannigan and Bonnie Mosser all spoke during a special lunch, which focused on the unique challenges women face in equestrian sports.

If you’re just tuning in to EN, the CCI2* competitors went yesterday in dressage. Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras, owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars, lead on 36.7. Click here to read yesterday’s CCI2* report.

In the CCI1*, Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s JKF Vogue lead on 39.4, with Allie Knowles and Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class in second place on 40.20, and Clark Montgomery and Leah Massa’s Summer Bay in third on 41.4. You can view photos from the CCI1* in the photo gallery above from the one and only Shannon Brinkman.

We have a slight schedule change for tomorrow. The updated times are CCI1* cross country at 8:45 a.m.-12:38 p.m., CCI2* cross country at 1:05 -3:20 p.m. and CIC3* show jumping and 4-5:08 p.m. CCI2* cross country and CIC3* show jumping will be shown live on EQSportsNet.

Be sure to watch videos of all the action across both days of dressage on Thehorsepesterer’s YouTube channel. EQSportsNet is also posting videos on their Facebook page. Stay tuned for much more from #OJC3DE! Go Eventing.

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Kieffer Tops CCI2* Leaderboard at Ocala Jockey Club; Burnett Leads CCI1*

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras top the CCI2* leaderboard at the conclusion of dressage in the 41-horse division here at the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event in Reddick, Florida. Their score of 36.7 is a career personal best dressage score for the 9-year-old KWPN owned by Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars, and the first time D.A. Duras has ever cracked the 30s at an international competition.

D.A. Duras has competed at the three-star level for the last two seasons, most recently spending the summer competing in England. While Lauren and D.A. Duras scored top-15 finishes in large CIC3* divisions at Barbury Castle and Hartpury, they parted ways at Bramham and Blenheim. Lauren elected to step him back to two-star level to get their mojo back.

“He had a really fluid test today. He’s been in a lot of atmosphere this year at big shows, so he’s gotten really good in the big ring,” Lauren said. “He’s had some ups and downs this year, but he’s also been impressive in a lot of places too. I think he’ll come out next year and be a better horse.”

Katherine Coleman and Monte Classico. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Katherine Coleman and her own Monte Classico also delivered a personal best score of 39.4 to sit in second place in the CCI2*. That is the second time the 8-year-old German Sport Horse has scored in the 30s, the first being in his international debut with Bettina Hoy, who produced him to the one-star level before Katherine took on the ride. Well done to Katherine for channeling her inner German dressage queen!

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar, an 8-year-old Holsteiner owned by Alyssa and Julie Phillips, round out the top three in the CCI2* on 40.0, their personal best score as a combination. Oskar is making his CCI2* debut here at the Ocala Jockey Club and coming off a second place finish in the CIC2* at Virginia last month.

Oskar has two one-star wins on his international record, having won the Ballindenisk CIC1* with Liz Halliday-Sharp, who produced him to the one-star level before Alyssa acquired the ride, and the Galway Downs CCI1* with Angela Bowles, Alyssa’s longtime trainer in Texas. Alyssa has just recently made the move to the East Coast, and we would like to send her a hearty EN welcome as she settles in.

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Another rider we are over the moon to welcome to the East Coast is Maya Black! After spending the last year back home on Whidbey Island, she has officially made the move back east. Maya is competing here at the Ocala Jockey Club in her first competition back on the East Coast, currently sitting tied for 14th in the CCI2* with Mowgli on 48.3.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Strattonstown Lewis. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The first half of the mammoth 91-horse CCI1* division also went today in dressage, with Hannah Sue Burnett and Strattonstown Lewis scoring 41.8 as the penultimate pair to go to hold the overnight lead. The 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Christa Schmidt is making his FEI debut here at the Ocala Jockey Club.

Elisa Wallace and Steve and Vicki Sukup’s Riot Gear held the lead for much of the day in the CCI1* and ultimately sit second on 42.6 at the end of the day. The 8-year-old Oldenburg won the CIC1* at Richland Park over the summer and is one of many horses in this CCI1* field making his debut at the level this weekend.

Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s QC First Class, a 6-year-old Oldenburg and another CCI1* first-timer in this division, sit third on 43.0. The second half of CCI1* dressage starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. EST. Click here for ride times.

The CIC3* also gets underway tomorrow with dressage at 9 a.m. EST, and you can watch live on EQSportsNet with live commentary from Ed Holloway and statistics from EquiRatings.

We have a thrilling weekend ahead here at the Ocala Jockey Club. The farm is a training base for Thoroughbreds, and the venue owners Erik and Pavla Nygaard are renowned breeders and owners in Thoroughbred racing. (Case in point: They bred Battle of Midway, winner of the 2017 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile!)

It’s only appropriate that the event pays homage to Thoroughbreds! A total of $25,000 in prize money has been set aside for the top placing Thoroughbreds in each of the three FEI divisions. The Retired Racehorse Project will also host a showcase of Thoroughbreds available for sale in the main arena from 1-1:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-1 p.m. Sunday. Click here to view the online catalogue.

Saturday is Hip, Handsome and Hoakey Hats Day at the event to pay tribute to horse racing’s tradition of wearing hats. There will be prizes for the top entries, so if you come out to the event on Saturday be sure to wear a hat and enjoy the sprawling Vendor Village, food trucks and world-class atmosphere at the Ocala Jockey Club

Sunday is family day at the event, with bouncy horse races, stick horse races and jump courses, musical chairs, arts and crafts, face painting, a mechanical horse and much more. Click here to read more about all of the special events planned this weekend at #OJC3DE.

Be sure to follow the OJC3DE Facebook page for updates and to view beautiful photos from official event photographer Shannon Brinkman Photography. Stay tuned for much more throughout the weekend, especially as the action kicks in to high gear tomorrow with the CIC3*. Go Eventing.

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Wednesday Sights & Sounds from the Ocala Jockey Club CCI

Rylee Gailey and Dukes Up having a lesson with Joe Meyer on a stunning afternoon at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hello from the second annual Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event! EN are delighted to return at Erik and Pavla Nygaard’s stunning Ocala Jockey Club Farm in Reddick, Florida to bring you all the action from the CIC3*, CCI2* and CCI1*.

The competition is officially underway following this afternoon’s CCI first horse inspection. All 41 CCI2* horses presented to the ground jury of Jane Hamlin (USA) and Peter Grey (CAN) were accepted.

The holding box grew quite crowded throughout the CCI1* inspection, with Robert Stevenson (USA) and Jo Young (CAN) ultimately accepting all but one horse, Karen Conk’s mount Time For Roses. A total of 92 horses move forward to dressage in the packed CCI1* division.

We saw a striking sunset silhouette the horses during the late afternoon ring familiarization. Fredericks Equestrian is once again sponsoring the Competitors’ Tent for the riders, and the grounds are abuzz with excitement as we prepare to kick off the action with dressage tomorrow.

Dressage starts at 9 a.m. EST tomorrow with the full CCI2* division going tomorrow, followed by the first half of the CCI1* division starting at 9 a.m. EST. CCI1* dressage continues on Friday at 9 a.m. EST, with CIC3* dressage also starting at 9 a.m. Friday. Click here to view ride times for all the divisions.

EQSportsNet will stream CIC3* dressage and the jumping phases for both the CCI2* and CCI1* on Saturday and Sunday. Sign-up for Silver Access for $9.99 per month to watch live and access on-demand footage. Click here to watch the live stream. The broadcast schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, Nov. 17 – CIC3* dressage starting at 9 a.m. EST
  • Saturday, Nov, 18th – CIC3* show jumping starting at 1:20 p.m. EST, followed by CCI2* cross country
  • Sunday, Nov. 19 – CIC3* cross country starting at 1:10 p.m. EST, followed by CCI2* show jumping

Stay tuned for EN’s full preview of the CIC3* field and much more from #OJC3DE. Be sure to follow EquiRatings, the Official Statistics Providers for the event, on Facebook and Twitter to access exclusive analysis and stats during the competition. Go Eventing.

Ocala Jockey Club: WebsiteSchedule, Ride TimesLive ScoresLive Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Instagram, EN’s Twitter

Germany Loses Silver Medal Following Drug Test at European Championships

Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Following news earlier in the week that Julia Krajewski’s horse Samourai du Thot tested positive for the controlled medication Firocoxib during the 2017 FEI European Championships at Strzegom, the B-sample has also been confirmed as positive.

The German Equestrian Federation (FN) confirmed in a statement that Julia and Samourai du Thot will be disqualified from the 2017 FEI European Championships. Julia and the other members of the German team, Michael Jung, Ingrid Klimke and Bettina Hoy, will subsequently lose their team silver medal.

The FEI classifies prohibited substances under two different categories. Banned substances are deemed by the FEI to have no legitimate use in competition horses and/or have a high potential for abuse. These substances are not permitted by the FEI for use in competition horses at any time.

Controlled medications are substances deemed by the FEI to have therapeutic value and/or commonly used in equine medicine. Controlled medications are viewed by the FEI as having the potential to affect performance and/or be a welfare risk to the horse, and thus are not allowed to be used in FEI competitions.

The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Firocoxib, known by the trade names Equioxx and Previcox, is classified as a controlled medication by the FEI. Because it is not a banned substance, Julia will not face a competition ban.

Julia has 21 days to decide if she will pay a sanction to the FEI or appear before the FEI Tribunal to explain her case. As Julia explained in an extensive statement, she has currently not been able to determine how Samourai du Thot ingested the Firocoxib.

Following the German team’s disqualification from the 2017 FEI European Championships, Sweden will move up to receive the silver medal, with Italy moving up to take the bronze medal.