Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

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About Jenni Autry

Originally from San Diego, Jenni discovered eventing in high school thanks to the Bedford Hunt Pony Club in central Virginia. She took a break from competing to pursue college and a career in journalism. 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’s an off-track Thoroughbred fan and competes her war horse mare Miss She Gone at the lower levels. She lives with her husband and three cats in Pennsylvania.

Latest Articles Written

Graeme Thom Named New Zealand High Performance Manager

Graeme Thom. Photo by Samantha Clark. Graeme Thom. Photo by Samantha Clark.

We have big news from the Kiwis this morning, as Graeme Thom has been named Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance eventing manager. The announcement follows Erik Duvander’s departure as high performance coach last October after spending a decade in the role.

“I am extremely excited to be joining Eventing Team New Zealand,” Graeme said. “I have always admired the New Zealand teams that have done so well in the sport of eventing. What is particularly impressive is the high respect afforded the athletes both on and off the field of play. They certainly represent their nation well at every turn.”

The Canadian eventing team enjoyed many successes during the period with Graeme as chef d’equipe and David O’Connor as coach, including team silver at the 2010 Lexington World Equestrian Games and individual gold at the 2011 Guadalajara Pan American Games.

Sarah Dalziell-Clout, ESNZ high performance director, said she is excited to have someone of Graeme’s “caliber and experience” joining New Zealand’s eventing high performance team.

“His leadership and management skills combined with his understanding of the international eventing environment, particularly in North America, will be invaluable as we head into the all-important World Equestrian Games in Tryon next year.”

EN readers know Graeme well, as he was frequently bombarded for interviews in the early days of the site (sorry about that, Graeme). He is also well known on EN for having the best hair in North American eventing, a title we know he will proudly take forward in his new role with New Zealand.

Congratulations to Graeme, and best of luck with the Kiwis!

[Thom Brings Extensive Skills to ESNZ HP Eventing Team]

Fair Hill and Great Meadow Make Short List for New U.S. CCI4*

Which venue will join the Kentucky Horse Park as the second in the U.S. to host a CCI4*? Photo by Lorraine Jackson. Which venue will join the Kentucky Horse Park as the second in the U.S. to host a CCI4*? Photo by Lorraine Jackson.

The USEF Board of Directors has named Fair Hill and Great Meadow to a short list of venues being considered to host a new CCI4* in the U.S. Due to the change in location of the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the USEF confirmed that the inaugural event would not be held until 2019 if approved.

A CCI4* Task Force considered proposals from five different venues: Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland; Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia; Morven Park Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Virginia; Ocala Jockey Club in Reddick, Florida; and Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

“The USEF appreciates the very positive response from eventing organizers and the detail provided in each of the applications. The objective of the application process was to select a venue and management team that is capable of conducting and prioritizing a competition at the CCI4* level, and to ensure that the event fits into the training and competition calendar for the eventing discipline.”

If the FEI approves the new CCI4*, it will join Rolex Kentucky as the second four-star in the U.S. and become the seventh in the world, along with Badminton and Burghley in England, Luhmühlen in Germany, Pau in France and Adelaide in Australia.

With the list of potential hosts narrowed down to a short list of Fair Hill and Great Meadow, which venue would you like to see host the new CCI4*? Cast your vote in the poll below!

[USEF Announces Venue Short List for New CCI4*]

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Building Badminton

The latest #BehindBadminton video was released today, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the course as we get closer to the 100-day countdown to this year’s horse trials.

The Willis brothers have been synonymous with Badminton for three decades as the dedicated course builders, and in this video we meet James Willis. He confirms that we will see new jumps on Eric winter’s inaugural course, as well as a slightly different look for the iconic lake.

Hugh Thomas, Badminton event director, adds: “I think the greatest thing about an event like Badminton is that we have to keep moving forward all the time. We’ve got to progress; we can’t stand still. People are always asking me, ‘What’s new at Badminton?” In a sense there’s nothing new — we’re just the best event in the world — but we have to try to develop it all the time.”

Keep it locked on EN as we bring you full coverage from Badminton later in the season. Go Eventing!

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William Fox-Pitt to Compete Steady Eddie at Wellington Eventing Showcase

William Fox-Pitt — The one to beat this weekend?

William Fox-Pitt is coming to Wellington! Photo by Jenni Autry.

Big news, EN! William Fox-Pitt is competing at next month’s $100,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase aboard Steady Eddie, Boyd Martin confirmed to EN. The showcase will take place Feb. 3-4 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.

Steady Eddie, a 13-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen, Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, is one of Boyd’s top mounts who most recently finished third in the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* over Thanksgiving weekend.

“We were contacted by Team GB specifically requesting that William ride Steady Eddie,” Boyd said. “The horse has been in lightning form since last year, and we are all very excited for William to show him off in Wellington.”

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie at Rolex 2016. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

William will have the opportunity to ride Eddie the week before the showcase while teaching a clinic at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina, where Boyd and Silva Martin are based for the winter. (Clinic entry and auditor forms are available on Stable View’s website. Click here for more information.)

While we’re sure Boyd will be cheering for William and Eddie (who is for sale), he also has his own title to defend. Boyd is the undefeated champion of the Wellington Eventing Showcase, having won the inaugural year in 2015 with Trading Aces and in 2016 with Blackfoot Mystery.

Can Boyd make it a three-peat, or will a new face dethrone him? You can expect top riders representing many different nations to compete at the invitation-only showcase, and we’ll bring you the full entry list of horses and riders soon. EN will also be on the grounds to bring you all the news you need to know from the showcase. Get excited!

Donations Still Coming in for Millie Humphreys’ College Fund

Philippa and Millie Humphreys. Photo courtesy of Pete Humphreys.

Philippa and Millie Humphreys. Photo courtesy of Pete Humphreys.

It has been nearly eight months since Philippa Humphreys died on May 14, 2016, at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event, and donations are still coming in for the college fund created in support of Millie, her 1-year-old daughter.

More than 700 donors have raised $105,734 to date for Millie’s fund, which is now less than $20,000 away from reaching the total goal amount of $125,000.

An anonymous donation was made two weeks ago that really touched the EN team: “My eventing daughter asked that money be given to Millie’s fund in lieu of gifts for her 14th birthday this year.”

It’s that spirit from the eventing community that saw EN name Philippa’s friends some of the eventers who inspired us most in 2016.

Here are some other anonymous comments written to Millie:

“Dear Millie, your mother had a passion and she was amongst the fortunate few who translated that passion into a successful career and business. I hope you will have a passion and that this fund will help you follow that passion into a rewarding and successful future.”

“Millie, your mum was an amazing woman who showed us all how to live life. Please know how much we all think of you and your family. The love and admiration she showed for you was so obvious and incredible to watch. I’ll never forget her jumping off her horse and seeing you; the smile she had when she saw you, nothing else mattered.”

You don’t have to give a lot to make a big impact. As we start this new year, let’s remember to pay it forward and support one another in the #EventingFamily.

If you’d like to make a donation to Millie’s college fund, please click here.

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice Named 2016 EN Horse & Rider of the Year

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice are the 2016 recipients of the coveted Golden Chinchilla trophy! Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice are the 2016 recipients of the coveted Golden Chinchilla! Photo by Jenni Autry.

In past years EN has awarded the title of Evening Nation Horse and Rider of the Year based on popular vote. With 2016 being an Olympic year and one combination stepping up as the heroes of U.S. eventing, the names of the clear winners in our mind likely will not surprise you.

Following a unanimous vote from EN’s staff, we are excited to announce Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice as 2016 Eventing Nation Rider and Horse of the Year.

Mighty Nice, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Ard Ohio out of Sarazen, is owned by the HND Group: Evie Dutton, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Michael Bombar and Kevin Keane. “Happy” was formerly owned by the late Bruce Duchossois, whose friends stepped in after his passing to keep his dream alive.

While Bruce lost his battle with cancer before his Olympic dream for the horse came to fruition, it was clear to all of us in Rio that Bruce was watching and cheering for Phillip and Happy all the way to the podium.

Phillip hugging Happy the moment he found out they won individual bronze. Photo by Caroline Moran.

Phillip hugging Happy the moment he found out they won individual bronze. Photo by Caroline Moran.

Phillip and Happy have already received numerous accolades to honor their bronze medal performance, and Happy was named the 2016 USEA Horse of the Year at last month’s USEA Convention & Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Happy is also one of three horses nominated for USEF International Horse of the Year, while Phillip is the recipient of the William C. Steinkraus Trophy and has been nominated for USEF Equestrian of the Year. The winners of those titles will be announced at the upcoming USEF Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

As for how EN made the decision to name Phillip and Happy our 2016 EN Horse and Rider of the Year, we could simply point to this one single moment in time:

phil-happy-gif

We also crunched the numbers on their 2016 season:

  • Phillip and Happy had a 100% completion rate in their five international runs for the 2016 season, finishing outside of the top 10 only once.
  • Happy secured the third top-10 Rolex finish of his career, as well as his best Rolex placing (4th) and best Rolex finishing score (57.8).
  • They averaged a 45.2 in dressage for the 2016 season and delivered a personal best test at CCI4* level in Rio, scoring 43.6 to sit in 15th after the first phase as the best U.S. combination.
  • Phillip and Happy persevered through the toughest cross country day in modern Olympic history, pulling off a jaw-dropping save at a tricky corner combination and storming home with 3.2 time penalties, moving up to 5th place.
  • Their hard work with Richard Picken in show jumping paid off on the final day. One time penalty in the first round combined with one rail down in the second round gave Phillip and Happy individual bronze on a final score of 51.8, the best CCI4* finishing score of his career.
  • Phillip won individual bronze 20 years after winning his first Olympic team gold for his native Australia.
  • Phillip and Happy’s bronze medal is the first Olympic hardware for U.S. eventing since 2008, when Gina Miles and McKinlaigh won individual silver in Beijing.
  • Happy was one of just 11 horses in 2016 to secure two top-10 finishes in a CCI4* (4th place at Rolex Kentucky and 3rd place at the Rio Olympics).
  • At 52 years old, Phillip was the oldest athlete on the U.S. Olympic Team across all sports, proving that age is truly just a number.
  • Phillip finished the 2016 season ranked #2 on the FEI World Athlete Eventing Rankings.
Happy and super groom Emma Ford share a moment at Plantation Field during a ceremony honoring his Olympic performance. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Happy and super groom Emma Ford share a moment at Plantation Field during a ceremony honoring his Olympic performance. Photo by Jenni Autry.

In looking back at Happy’s unforgettable year, Phillip told EN: “I couldn’t be more pleased and proud for the horse and the people who have supported him. To have another accolade for Bruce Duchossois, who gave so much to me and the sport, makes it that much better.”

The EN staff also weighed in on what stood out to us the most about Phillip and Happy’s 2016 season:

Leslie Wylie: “Phillip is an anchor of the U.S. Eventing Team for good reason: We know he is going to show up and get the job done in pressure-cooker situations. He met his match in Happy, who clearly shares the same mentality.”

Maggie Deatrick: “When evaluating performance to determine our EN year-end superlatives, I noticed that Happy, despite not cracking the top five in any of the three phases, was always in the top-10 mix. Sure enough, when looking at overall finishing averages, Happy ended up right at the top, excelling by being a jack of all trades.”

Sally Spickard: “Phillip and Happy’s success in Rio is made, all at once, bittersweet and meaningful because of how much the horse meant to late former owner Bruce Duchossois. This one’s for you, Bruce.”

Leslie Threlkeld: “The image that will stick with me is not the amazing contortion to save 20 penalties at the corner or even Phillip on the podium wearing a medal, but Phillip’s arms around Happy and his face buried in his neck the moment they won bronze. That emotion is the thrill, the bond, the reward we dream of.”

Please join us in congratulating Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice as 2016 Eventing Nation Horse and Rider of the Year! Go Eventing.

Maya Black Will No Longer Compete Doesn’t Play Fair

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair at The Fork 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry. Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair at The Fork 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s the end of an era as Maya Black has confirmed that Doesn’t Play Fair will no longer compete with her at the upper levels. “Cody,” a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Dawn and Jon Dofelmier, will instead start a new chapter in his life at home with his owners in Washington State.

Maya released the following statement:

“While looking back at 2016, I can’t help but reflect on what a year of events it’s been. Winning a CIC3*, finishing 3rd at Rolex and being named traveling reserve to the Olympics … all in the same year?! That’s the stuff dreams really are made of. Now that we’ve entered 2017, I look at the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start and to allow for the next chapter to begin.

“That being said, it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that Doesn’t Play Fair has been removed from my care, marking an end to our special partnership together. Cody and I had an amazing ride together, with some incredible results. I had anticipated for us to have many years left together with more great things to come.

“The injury Cody acquired prior to the Olympic Games healed well and he was on track to returning to his previous form. However, the Dofelmiers have decided to move him back to their home in Washington where they will enjoy him. I hope he brings them the same joy that he has brought to my life.

“Cody had been my world for nearly 6 years, as I was his. He got me to my first Advanced, my first three-star win, my first four-star and my first shot at being part of a U.S. team. I will forever be indebted to him. I loved all of his quirks and idiosyncrasies because it’s what made him so special and, in return, an incredible partner and competitor.

“Above everything else, Cody has been my best friend, and I will miss him terribly. While I don’t think I will ever have a partner again quite like Cody, I am very confident that I will persevere and given the chance, I will continue to produce horses to be real competitors at the highest level.

“While losing Cody has left me with an array of feelings, I remain thankful to the Dofelmiers for their support in the past and giving me the chance to ride a certain little horse who, to all of our surprise, ended up making a lot of dreams come true. While 2016 has been a year of great highs and devastating lows, I will remain true to myself and optimistic that when one door closes, another opens.

“I want to thank all of our family, friends, coaches, sponsors and fans for cheering us on over the years and those who continue to stand by me today. I remain hopeful for the future and that you have yet to see the best from me.”

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair are third after cross country. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair at Rolex 2016. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

The Dofelmiers originally purchased Cody as a 6-year-old to be a lower-level mount for Dawn, never imagining that the little 15.2-hand Holsteiner with a quirky personality would go on to become one of the top eventing horses in the U.S.

Cody went to Maya for training, and the rest is history. They cruised through the levels and racked up numerous wins along the way, including a victory in the prestigious Plantation Field CIC3* in 2014 in their first Advanced season together. Maya and Cody also secured top-five placings in the CCI3* events at Bromont and Galway Downs in 2014.

The pinnacle of Maya and Cody’s career together came in 2016. A dominant spring season that included a win at The Fork CIC3* and culminated in third place at Rolex Kentucky saw Maya and Cody named the traveling reserve combination for the U.S. team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Pride of the PNW, Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair head in to the final day in 4th place. Photo from Maya Black Eventing on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Maya Black

While a minor injury ultimately forced them to withdraw as traveling reserve for Rio, that does not discount the fact that Maya and Cody were one of the top combinations in the country during the 2016 season.

It’s no secret that we are fans of Maya and Cody here at EN. We have closely followed their career since Cody was a plucky 8-year-old preparing for his first two-star, and it has been an honor and a pleasure to document the inspiring partnership Maya built with this horse over the past six years.

We wish Cody and the Dofelmiers all the best. Thank you for all the memories, Maya and Cody.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Gaucho

GAUCHO – Episode 2 from Christian Dior on Vimeo

Hat tip to Meika Decher for sending us this beautiful episode from a documentary series called Tales of the Wild. This episode features Jakob von Plessen. Born in Austria and raised in Argentina, Jakob discovered the nomadic gaucho way of life at a young age. He ultimately followed his love of horses to the sweeping landscape of Patagonia and never looked back.

“When we are up there in the mountains and we are on horseback, it doesn’t matter how difficult the conditions are,” Jakob says. “I still feel this constant contentment about everything. The thought of being at the right place and not needing to be anywhere else — that gives you this incredible peace about life.”

We couldn’t have said it better. Go Riding.

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Ilona English Named Leading U.S. Eventing Breeder for 2016

Ryan Wood and Powell at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Jenni Autry. Ryan Wood and Powell at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Jenni Autry.

EN has long celebrated U.S. breeders and horses bred in the U.S., and we’re excited to take an in-depth look at the top breeders and homebreds of 2016.

The USEF has released the list of the Leading Eventing Breeders for 2016, and Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses has taken the top spot for the third consecutive year. Horses bred by Ilona collected 2,099 USEF points in 2016, which is the highest number accumulated by a U.S. breeder since 2012.

It’s no surprise that Powell leads the way for Ilona and Summit Sporthorses, of Ringoes, New Jersey, with 917 points. Ryan Wood piloted the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Pablito X Dinara, by Donnerwerth) to a fantastic season that included a wire-to-wire win in the first CCI3* of his career at Jersey Fresh before going on to win the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Championship.

Ruby, who is out of the same dam as Powell, is a rising star for Ryan and Ilona. The 7-year-old Oldenburg mare (Royal Prince X Dinara) has only finished outside the top 10 once this season, with top Intermediate finishes at Red Hills, Millbrook and Loch Moy. She also finished fourth in the CIC2* at Jersey Fresh.

Another up-and-comer to keep your eye on is Ben Nevis (Bugatti Hilltop X Dinara). This Summit Sporthorse homebred is another half-sibling to Powell and Ruby. The 5-year-old Oldenburg gelding stepped up to Training level this season with a bang, winning twice at Waredaca and once at Virginia.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monaco. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monaco at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jacqueline Mars of The Plains, Virginia, has previously taken the USEF Leading Eventing Breeder title twice in 2012 and 2013 and this year finished second in the rankings with 2,011 points.

Landmark’s Monaco completed the season as Ms. Mars’ most accomplished homebred with 554 USEF points. The 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse/Thoroughbred stallion (Formula One X Glamour xx, by Flash Tycoon xx) most notably finished 3rd at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* with Lauren Kieffer.

Landmark’s Monte Carlo, who is a full brother to Landmark’s Monaco, completed his first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this year with a clear and fast cross country trip and jumped clear and inside the time in the CCI3* at Fair Hill in the fall to finish 12th.

Ms. Mars’ homebred Harbour Pilot, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising X Shannon IV xx, by Catch On Fire xx), also had a strong season with Hannah Sue Burnett, finishing 11th at Aachen CICO3* and fifth at Blenheim Palace CCI3*.

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair at Great Meadow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jenny Lucianna of Stanwood, Washington, sits third in the USEF Leading Eventing Breeder rankings with 1,186 points thanks to one special little horse: Doesn’t Play Fair. The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Camiros X Oncoeur, by Coriender) owned by Dawn Dofelmier finished third at Rolex Kentucky this year with Maya Black, plus clinched a win at The Fork CIC3* and second at Carolina International CIC3*.

Doug Payne and Lysander at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Doug Payne and Lysander at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Elizabeth “Didi” Callahan, of Oxford, Maryland, is fourth on the 2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeder rankings with 1,015 points. We have a soft spot for Didi’s 9-year-old homebred Lysander, who EN has followed closely since he was a 5-year-old running his first Preliminary.

“Big Leo,” a Thoroughbred/Holsteiner gelding (Lordship X Just For Terry xx, by Roanoke xx) owned by Doug Payne and Kristin Michaloski, won The Fork CIC2* this spring on his dressage score of 37.0 and stepped up to the CIC3* level at the Ocala Jockey Club last month, finishing 12th with a clear cross country trip.

Boyd Martin and Ray Price W. Photo by Rob Bowersox.

Boyd Martin and Ray Price W at Loch Moy. Photo by Rob Bowersox.

Windurra USA rounds out the top five with 1,013 points. Stay tuned to EN for a much more in-depth look at Boyd Martin’s breeding program, which has quietly been producing promising horses for the future. Ray Price W is currently Boyd’s leading homebred and also from the second generation of his breeding program, as he also bred Ray’s dam.

Ray Price, an 8-year-old Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross (Raise A Stanza xx X Fair Fiona, by Salute) won the first CIC2* of his career at Loch Moy this summer before going on to finish second in his first CCI2* at Virginia. Named after a hard-hitting Australian rugby player, Ray Price is definitely one to watch for the future. Did we mention he’s more than 75% Thoroughbred?

Phyllis Dawson, Colleen Rutledge, Debi Crowley, Darren Chiacchia and Rose Sullivan make up the rest of the top 10 on the 2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeder list. You can click here to view all of the U.S. breeders on the list, then click on each name to see a detailed list of which horses they bred along with bloodlines.

Congratulations to all, and thank you for your dedication to breeding quality event horses in the U.S. EN salutes you!

[2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeders]

USEF Names 2017 Eventing High Performance Training Lists

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot finished 11th Individually at the Aachen CICO3*. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot at Aachen. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Hot off the presses, EN! The USEF Eventing High Performance Committee has announced the horses and riders on the High Performance Spring Training Lists for 2017. As we discussed in our coverage of the USEA Convention, the format of the lists is changing for 2017. Here’s a detailed explanation from the USEF:

“As the programs continue to evolve following the post Rio Olympic Games review, the USEF is working to develop more detailed criteria that allows athletes, owners, and trainers to better understand what is required to be named to these lists.

“Selectors evaluated several factors to determine athletes and horses for each set of lists: current form, consistent and quality results in past competitions, potential to make a valuable contribution in a team setting, as well as suitability and age of the horse for the identified championship (where applicable).

“The athletes will work with Technical Advisor David O’Connor to set goals and determine schedules for the horses on which they were named. Athletes will receive a specified amount of funding per horse to be designated directly towards coach and/or performance support as agreed to by O’Connor and the athlete.”

This current training list is split into an Elite List and Developing List. The USEF is defining the categories as follows:

  • The Elite List is designated as athlete/horse combinations with the potential to compete at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games based on current form.
  • The Developing List is designated as athlete/horse combinations or athletes with perceived championship potential in the next four years or beyond.

The USEF also clarified that horses and riders do not need to be on a training list in order to be considered for selection for a Games or Championships. The training lists will be reviewed in June 2017.

Without further ado, congratulations to the following horses and riders!

ELITE LIST

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) with Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) with Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Thomas Tierney’s Fernhill Cubalawn, a 2004 Holsteiner gelding, and the HND Group’s Mighty Nice, a 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) with Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare, and Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett, a 2007 Thoroughbred Cross mare

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) with the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate’s Blackfoot Mystery, a 2004 Thoroughbred gelding, and Gloria Callen’s Welcome Shadow, a 2005 Thoroughbred Cross mare

DEVELOPING LIST

Matt Brown (Cochranville, Pa.) with Blossom Creek Foundation’s Super Socks BCF, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) with The Conair Syndicate’s Soupcon de Brunet, a 2006 Anglo-Arabian gelding, and Tight Lines, a 2007 French Thoroughbred gelding

Phillip Dutton with Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran’s Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding

Lillian Heard (Hamilton, Va.) with her own LCC Barnaby, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Lauren Kieffer with Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars’ D.A. Duras, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding

Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) with Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous, a 2005 Oldenburg mare

Meghan O’Donoghue (Carbondale, Ill.) with Chase and Darcie Shipka’s Palm Crescent, a 2006 Thoroughbred gelding

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) with his own and Debi Crowley and Jessica Payne’s Vandiver, a 2004 Trakehner gelding

Tamie Smith (Temecula, Calif.) with Alexandra and Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell’s Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) with The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s Donner, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding

[Eventing High Performance Training Lists Named for 2017]

Equestrian Canada Announces 2016 
Eventing NOBoundaries Riders

Annick Niemuller and FE Black Jack. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Annick Niemuller and FE Black Jack. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Equestrian Canada Eventing Committee has just announced the riders scouted as part of the Eventing NOBoundaries talent identification program during the 2016 competition season.

Eventing NOBoundaries is designed to identify high performance eventing talent for Canada. During the 2016 season, the program focused on on identifying future talent and combinations with the potential to represent Canada at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

The following riders have been accepted into the program:

  • Melissa Boutin – Ascot Corner, Quebec
  • Shelby Brost – St. Albert, Alberta
  • Krista Brown – Dugald, Manitoba
  • Carmen Holmes-Smith – Chase, British Columbia
  • Emma Johnston – Uxbridge, Ontario
  • Annick Niemuller – Goodwood, Ontario

The Eventing NOBoundaries programs seeks to “help riders understand that their efforts are being recognized by EC and encourage them to self-identify as potential future members of the Canadian Equestrian Team.”

Click here for more information on Eventing NOBoundaries. Best of luck to these riders in 2017!

12 Days of Christmas: Rhino Wug Heavy Turnout + Horseware Outfit

Enter to win this prize package from Horseware! Enter to win this prize package from Horseware!

It’s the grand finale of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas! Today we are teaming up with our fabulous sponsor Horseware Ireland to give away a Rhino Wug Heavy Turnout for your horse and a head-to-toe outfit — a jacket, breeches, base layer, hat and scarf — for you.

The Rhino Wug is one of Horseware’s most popular blankets, offering top-of-the-line quality and design at an affordable price. Featuring a durable outer shell of 1000-denier polypropylene and a silky smooth nylon lining, the rug’s thermo-bonded fiber fill retains extra loft to keep your horse warmer longer.

The Rhino Wug features Horseware’s patented front leg arches, which allow freedom of forward motion and prevents extra fabric from gathering around your horse’s legs. The no-slip design with belly surcingles and tail strap keep this durable turnout in place even after your horse lays down and rolls.

Rhino Wug Heavy 400g Turnout

The Rhino Wug Heavy Turnout will keep your horse warm and dry in even the harshest winter conditions.

We’re giving away the heavy rug, which has 370 grams of fill to keep your horse toasty and warm even on the coldest winter nights. Click here for more information on the Rhino Wug and to find a Horseware retailer near you.

The head-to-toe outfit will keep you stylish and warm thanks to a Maya Ladies Padded Jacket, Winter Nina Ladies BreechesKeela Base Layer and Knitted Hat & Snood Set. Combined with the Rhino Wug, this outfit creates the ultimate Christmas gift for one lucky EN reader!

Enter to win this grand finale prize package from Horseware using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet + SmartCookies

Enter to win a SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet! Enter to win a SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet!

It’s the penultimate day of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas, and today we have an exciting giveaway from EN’s superstar sponsor SmartPak. We’re giving away a SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet and SmartCookies, SmartPak’s new horse treats, which are receiving rave reviews from EN team horses as we’ve been testing them.

The Ultimate Turnout Sheet is SmartPak’s toughest waterproof blanket yet, made from a 1000-denier, heavy-duty nylon that resists rubs and tears, making it the ideal choice for a horse that is tough on blankets. The 10-Year Indestructible Guarantee means that if your horse does manage to destroy the sheet, SmartPak will replace it within 10 years of the purchase date — no questions asked!

SmartPak’s Ultimate Turnout Sheet also features quick-clip front closures that are easily adjustable and make switching out blankets a breeze. Two low-cross surcingles and nylon-elastic leg straps allow for freedom of movement while preventing shifting. The SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet retails at $179.95. Click here to order one for your horse.

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Your horse will LOVE SmartCookies!

Today’s giveaway also includes SmartCookies, which are new for SmartPak this season. These treats are made from a healthy base of coconut meal, beet pulp, alfalfa and flaxseed oil, and are available in two flavors: ChiaMint and Guilt-Free Carrot Cake. The ChiaMint flavor features chia seeds and peppermint, while the Guilt-Free Carrot Cake flavor includes carrots and cinnamon.

The treats are bite-sized and easily fit into the pocket of your breeches or jacket. SmartCookies retail at $12.95 for a 1.5-pound bag and $23.95 for a 3-pound bag. Click here to order tasty SmartCookies for your horse.

Enter to win a SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet and SmartCookies using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: Tredstep Ireland Medici Tall Boots

Enter to win a pair of Medici Tall Boots from Tredstep Ireland!

Enter to win a pair of Medici Tall Boots from Tredstep Ireland!

We’re into the final stretch of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas! Today we’re giving away a pair of Tredstep Ireland Medici Tall Boots, the newest addition to the popular Renaissance Collection. Designed with artful flair and superb attention to detail, the Medici Tall Boots boast meticulous craftsmanship and are quite simply gorgeous boots.

Made with super soft hand-sourced calfskin leather, the Medici Tall Boots utilize a specialized curve pattern to enhance the natural shape of the leg, creating a close contact fit and a beautiful silhouette. Finished with full-grain leather lining, a high-performing thermo-moulded insole and full-length rear zip, the boots also feature European styling and a zip guard to complete the look.

We are loving these details!

We are loving these details!

When Tredstep first introduced the concept of a tall boot that flexes with the rider’s leg, the idea that tall boots could be both comfortable and look stylish become an industry standard. The boots break in quickly and are comfortable enough to wear around the barn while also looking super in the show ring. Click here to read EN’s experience of testing the Medici boots.

The Medici Tall Boots retail at $399 and are available in both dress and field styles. Click here to learn more about the boots, and click here to view the full range of products available from Tredstep Ireland. Enter to win a pair Medici boots using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Prize Package

Today's prize package from Fleeceworks includes an Easy Care Bamboo Modified/XC Pad!

Today’s prize package from Fleeceworks includes an Easy Care Bamboo Modified/XC Pad!

Can you believe Christmas Eve is just four days away? We’ve given away some amazing prizes so far in EN’s 12 Days of Christmas, and you definitely don’t want to miss the final days as we count down to the grand finale on Friday. Today we’re teaming up with our awesome sponsor Fleeceworks to give away a prize package that includes a pad and wraps for your horse and slippers for you!

The Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Modified/XC Pad is an anatomically correct, bamboo-lined jumping pad your horse will love. The underside of the pad features a layer of bamboo fiber behind cotton/poly to wick moisture, disburse heat and provide support for your horse’s back. Bamboo is known for its antibacterial properties, and you won’t find any foam filler in this pad!

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You’ll also win two sets of Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Quilted Leg Wraps in this prize package.

Today’s prize package also includes two sets of Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Quilted Leg Wraps. These are traditional quilted leg made from cotton flannel and lined with bamboo batting, followed by a half-inch of mid-density foam. Like the pad, the bamboo in the leg wraps wicks moisture, diffuses heat build-up and provides support for the legs.

You also get a special treat for yourself in this prize package! The Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Slides are super soft and perfect for tired feet at the end of a long horse show day. The same qualities that make bamboo such a fantastic material for pads and leg wraps also makes them ideal for slippers. You are going to love these!

Your feet will be cozy in these

Your feet will be cozy in these Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Slides.

Best of all, the products Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo line are machine washable and dryer safe. Click here to check out the entire line. Enter to win this prize package, which is valued at $130, using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: KER ClockIt Heart Rate Monitor Starter Pack

Enter to win a KER ClockIt Starter Pack! Enter to win a KER ClockIt Starter Pack!

A KER ClockIt Starter Pack is everything you need to get started tracking your conditioning program with the mobile app, and today we’re giving one away for EN’s 12 Days of Christmas!

The starter pack includes a Bluetooth-enabled Polar equine heart rate monitor with thin sensors to place under the saddle and girth while riding, as well as contact gel to ensure the signal is picked up clearly (a must on hairy winter horses!).

The nodes easily fit under your saddle pad.

The thin sensors easily fit under the saddle pad and girth to track your horse’s heart rate. Photo via Kentucky Equine Research.

Using a heart-rate monitor with KER ClockIt Sport gives you an easy visual read-out of how your horse’s fitness improves over time. See examples of real sessions using a monitor and a video demo of placing the electrodes before riding — it’s quick and easy!

Use the heart mate monitor with the KER ClockIt app to track your horse's fitness.

Using the heart rate monitor with the KER ClockIt app will give you read-outs to track your horse’s fitness. Photo via Kentucky Equine Research.

EN’s own Kate Samuels relies on KER ClockIt to tell her when her warmblood Leo is really working and when he’s just being lazy. See her write-up on the app here.

The starter pack retails at $157.99 and is also available for purchase on KER’s online store. Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: Nupafeed Magnesium Supplement Prize Package

Enter to win this prize package valued at $160 from Nupafeed!

Enter to win this prize package valued at $160 from Nupafeed!

Happy Sunday, EN! It’s day seven of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas, and today we’re giving away a Nupafeed prize package valued at $160. The prize package includes three liters of Nupafeed Magnesium Daily Liquid and two Nupafeed Magnesium Concentrate Oral Syringes.

Using magnesium to manage stress and anxiety in horses is not a new concept, but Nupafeed Magnesium Supplement exclusively contains MAH (magnesium-aspartate-hydrochloride). This unique form of magnesium, pioneered by the German pharmaceutical company Verla-Pharm, has exceptionally high absorption rates to improve results.

One look at the testimonials page on the Nupafeed website will show you that countless top riders from all disciplines have successfully used the Magnesium supplement with impressive results. Here’s a look at what eventers are saying about the product:

Sinead Halpin: “I’ve noticed a huge improvement to my horses’ mental and physical well-being at home and the ability to maintain focus at competitions.”

Jen McFall: “I was looking for a product that could miraculously change a performance horse’s ‘nervous edge’ to a ‘winning edge.’ After trying Nupafeed on a few of my own horses at competitions and getting fantastic results, I am recommending this product to all of our clients at Dragonfire.”

Tamie Smith: “The difference Nupafeed has made in my horses is remarkable. Upon putting my horses on their Magnesium supplement, some of the horses who had felt anxious, specifically in competition, became incredibly ridable. It has been a game-changer for my team and is something you have to experience to believe!”

Now it’s your chance to try Nupafeed Magnesium Supplement for yourself! Enter to win the prize package using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Click here to learn more about Nupafeed’s supplements. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: Majyk Equipe Boyd Martin Infinity Stadium Jump Boots

Enter to win Boyd Martin Infinity Stadium Jump Boots! Photo via Majyk Equipe.

It’s day six of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas! The traditional song gives six geese a-laying as a gift on the sixth day, but today we’re giving away a full set of Boyd Martin Infinity Stadium Jump Boots from our super sponsor Majyk Equipe.

There’s a reason U.S. Olympians Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton and Lauren Kieffer use Majyk Equipe boots. Majyk Equipe pioneered the concept of using a thermoplastic polyurethane outer shell to create superior leg protection, and since then they have continued to perfect the design to develop some of the most technologically advanced boots on the market.

Boyd Martin worked exclusively with Majyk Equipe to design these Infinity Stadium Jump Boots, with feature a durable TPU outer shell that is vented for breathability. In addition to the outer strike guard, the boots also feature an inner strike guard made from a revolutionary material called ARTi-LAGE. A soft foam in its normal state, ARTi-LAGE hardens when struck to deflect impact and disperse energy.

This giveaway includes a full set of front and hind boots. Photo via Majyk Equipe.

Finished with high-quality snap closures and nickel plated brass studs, the Boyd Martin Infinity Stadium Jump Boots from Majyk Equipe make an excellent addition to your horse’s competition wardrobe. The boots are available in black in one size designed to fit most horses, with a retail price of $119.99 for the fronts and $99.99 for the hinds.

Additionally, today is Independent Tack Store Day! All around the U.S. local tack stores are holding special giveaways and raffles, with many different companies (including Majyk Equipe!) participating. The Support Independent Tack Stores Facebook page is hosting a raffle giveaway with more than $10,000 in shopping sprees and prizes, so be sure to check it out here.

Enter to win a full set of Majyk Equipe Boyd Martin Stadium Infinity Jump Boots using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Click here to check out Majyk Equipe’s full line of boots.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: #BeLikeIngrid

#BeLikeIngrid isn’t just a hashtag; it’s a way of life for us here at EN. That’s why we’re drooling over this video of Ingrid Klimke riding Franziskus 75 in the Prix St. Georges Special at Nürnberger Burg-Pokal in Germany yesterday. They scored 74.976% for third place in the class.

Ingrid regularly competes at the highest levels of pure dressage, and this lovely 8-year-old Hanoverian stallion (FidertanzAntara, by Alabaster) is a real head-turner. Hat tip to Nicole Brown of Event Rider Masters and Eventing Podcast for letting us know about this video!

Watch Valegro’s Full Retirement Ceremony at Olympia

It’s the video we’ll all been waiting for! You can now watch Valegro’s full retirement ceremony thanks to FEI TV. The video begins with Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performing their gold medal-winning freestyle from the 2012 London Olympic Games, which will undoubtedly give you chills.

As if that isn’t magic enough, then Charlotte, Carl Hester and super groom Alan Davies offer heartwarming comments about the one and only Valegro. Finally, Charlotte gets back in the saddle, and Valegro floats around the ring in a final farewell fit for the greatest dressage horse of our time.

Can you watch this without shedding a tear? We couldn’t! Special thanks to John Kyle, whose commentary you’ll hear in the video, for letting us know the full program was live online. Go Blueberry. Go Dressage.

[Video & Photo Gallery: Thank You, Valegro]

10 Best Dressage Scores: EquiRatings’ Review of 2016

EN is excited to be teaming up with our good friends at EquiRatings to bring you exclusive content as we review the 2016 season. Be sure to bookmark EquiRatings’ blog for must-read content packed with statistics and data analysis, and follow them on Twitter @EquiRatings. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Eventing Podcast, as the Horse of the Year episode will be out soon!

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 at Burghley. Photo by Nico Morgan Photography.

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 at Burghley. Photo by Nico Morgan Photography.

In what has been a record-smashing year for the sport, EquiRatings is delving deeper into our numbers to unearth the most impressive statistics of 2016. First up, we’re taking a look at the lowest international dressage scores.

It should come as no surprise that Germany dominates the top 10, taking eight of the slots and the lowest score of the year. One combination appears on the list twice, while one CCI4* performance made the cut and female riders swept the top five. There’s plenty to sink our teeth into here, so let’s count it down.

30.6 – Michael Jung and fischerIncantas (GER) – Radolfzell CIC*

With a win in the 6-year-old Championships last year at Le Lion d’Angers, Michael Jung and fischerIncantas were already firmly on our radar when they started the 2016 season. This duo didn’t disappoint, delivering a personal best of 30.6 at Radolfzell CIC* in April and going on to finish on that score to take the win. Remember this name!

30.2 – Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 (AUS) – Burghley CCI4*

The only CCI4* score in the top 10 for the year also obliterated the previous best at Burghley, and did we mention that 30.2 is the best CCI4* dressage score ever recorded on British soil? Adding just a handful of time on cross country preserved enough of a margin to allow Chris and Nobilis 18 to drop four poles in show jumping and still clinch the Burghley win on 49.4.

Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Photo by Jenni Autry.

29.8 – Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo (GER) – Wiesbaden CIC3*

We’d expect to see the reigning World Champions on this list, and Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo held to that standard. While they scored well off their dressage average in Rio, they dazzled at Wiesbaden in May and ultimately delivered their best first-phase performance of the year. They withdrew after scoring 29.8, but we can’t forget the magic of that test.

29.2 – Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH (GER) – Wiesbaden CIC3*

While eventing fans will be more familiar with Julia’s Rio Olympic mount Samourai du Thot, it’s her younger mount Chipmunk FRH that we’ve been tracking at HQ. He delivered two of the best dressage performances of the year, with a 29.2 at Wiesbaden CIC3* setting Julia up to take second place to none other than Ingrid Klimke and her own Rio mount Horseware Hale Bob, who appear later on this list.

29.1 – Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER) – Kreuth CIC2*

We’ve already seen Michael’s name once on this list, and it’s only fitting that he appears again with La Biosthetique Sam FBW, with whom he clinched back-to-back gold medals in Rio, becoming just the third pair in history to do so. Michael and Sam scored 29.1 in the CIC2* at Kreuth as their final prep run for Badminton, which they went on to win on 34.4. Just another day in the office for Ze Terminator.

Want to know the rest of the top 10 dressage scores of 2016? You’ll have to click over to EquiRatings’ blog to see the countdown from #5 to the best score of the year. (Spoiler alert: Female riders swept the entire top five!) Click here to read the rest, and stay tuned for much more from EquiRatings’ review of 2016 right here on EN.

12 Days of Christmas: Success Equestrian Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap Pad

Enter to win a Success Equestrian Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap Pad! Enter to win a Success Equestrian Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap Pad!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re rolling on with day 5 of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas, and today we’re teaming up with Success Equestrian to give away a Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap Pad! We’ve all dealt with saddles slipping on cross country, and the fantastic thing about Success Equestrian’s no-slip pads is they actually work.

Say goodbye to pads bunching behind your leg, saddles slipping back or riding up the neck, and over-tightening your girth. Even the hardest-to-fit horses will benefit from Success Equestrian’s no-slip design, which also features a fully contoured top line to ensure comfort for your horse and a streamlined shape to keep your horse cooler.

A look underneath the pad ...

A look underneath the pad …

An added 1.5 centimeters of open-cell, breathable foam gives extra shock absorption and stability. The air-flow, grip-bottom layer is also completely breathable and wicks perspiration thanks to the quilted, cotton-blend top layer. This design helps to prevent extra sweating under the saddle pad.

The Success Equestrian Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap Pad retails for $114.95, and here’s your chance to win one! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below; entries close at midnight EST. Click here to check out Success Equestrian’s full line of no-slip pads. Good luck!

12 Days of Christmas: Mattes Couture Custom Ear Bonnet

Enter to win a Mattes Couture Custom Ear Bonnet! Enter to win a Mattes Couture Custom Ear Bonnet!

Calling all color conscience eventers! If you’re looking for the perfect ear bonnet for the 2017 season, you’re going to love today’s giveaway in EN’s 12 Days of Christmas. We’re partnering with our amazing sponsor World Equestrian Brands to give one lucky EN reader a Mattes Couture Ear Bonnet.

Hand-crocheted from fine Egyptian cotton, Mattes Couture Ear Bonnets are available in three different sizes (cob, horse, oversize) to help you find the perfect fit. Mattes also offers 30 colors for the ear net and more than 40 color options for the binding and piping, making this one of the most customizable ear bonnets on the market. (Click here and scroll to browse the colors.)

The color options are seemingly endless!

The color options are seemingly endless!

The bonnets retail at $98, with $5 each for additional rows of piping. You can also choose a fabric patch or logo at no extra cost. Click here to check out all of the ways you can customize the Mattes Couture Ear Bonnet, then enter to win one (with two rows of piping!) using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close at midnight EST. Good luck!