The U.S. eventing season kicked off over the weekend, so that means it’s time for the first edition of Who Jumped It Best for 2019. We had fabulous weather at Majestic Oaks Horse Trials in Reddick, Florida. Take a look at these photos of horses and riders in the Open Training division and vote in the poll for which pair you think present the best overall picture. Go Eventing.
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We are delighted to announce that The Chatwin Group’s Chatwin has been named 2018 EN Horse of the Year after besting the field of five nominees and garnering more than 50% of the vote. As the only horse of amateur rider and mother of two Frankie Thieriot Stutes, Chatwin garnered international attention when EquiRatings highlighted that he was the only horse in the world to win two events at the CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) level or higher in 2018.
Chatwin, a 10-year-old Oldenburg (Contendro I X Oktav, by Oldtimer), won his last four events of the 2018 season, starting with the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) and concluding with the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI4*-L. Frankie and Chatwin led Fair Hill wire-to-wire and finished on their dressage score to become the USEF National Champions. Their finishing score of 27.3 was the lowest at a CCI4*-L in North America in 2018.
While Frankie, who was named the 2018 USEA Adult Amateur of the Year, acknowledges that she had a stellar season, she is also quick to point out that her season had a rather inauspicious start. She fell off at Twin Rivers in March — her first time hitting the dirt at an event in 14 years.
“No one remembers that I fell off early in the year, but my first couple shows were a little rough. It’s all just a matter of if you can pick yourself back up,” Frankie said. “Sometimes it’s your weekend and sometimes it’s not. This sport is about a lot of hard work and things coming together at the right time, and I was really lucky that things came together at the right time to win Fair Hill.”
Frankie said she is incredibly grateful for all the support she and Chatwin received during their fairytale season, which culminated in receiving the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant and landing a spot on the 2019 USEF Developing Potential Training List.
“I had a wonderful season and 2018 was a year you can’t dream up, but it’s what we do in 2019 that matters now. When things don’t go right, I allow myself a little while to be really upset and then I move on. I think it’s important to have the same mentality about being successful,” Frankie said.
“I’ve taken time to enjoy what a wonderful experience it was to win Fair Hill, and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to go because of the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant. How it all unfolded was pretty magical. Now I’m firmly focused on the next season and our goals.”
Chatwin has started back to work after his winter holiday and is on a path that Frankie hopes will lead to her life-long goal of competing in her first CCI5*-L at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. She was entered to compete at Kentucky in 2010 with her former upper-level partner Fric Frac Berence, but he sustained an injury two weeks prior to shipping out.
She started Athletux, an equine marketing company, soon after, and for the past seven years she has attended Kentucky to represent and support her clients.
“When I had Fric entered for Kentucky, I’d never been before — not even to watch,” Frankie said. “I have a different view of it now that I’ve stood by the ring for the last seven years and had the privilege of being behind the scenes. I have pipe dreams of all my friends who I’ve been able to watch ringside and cheer for now being able to watch me.”
While competing at Kentucky is her main goal for the 2019 season, Frankie is also thrilled to have the opportunity to compete overseas for the first time thanks to the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant.
“I definitely want to go overseas later in the year. If we go to Kentucky, that will determine so much of what the rest of our season looks like. We want to see where he measures up and how we do at Kentucky, which will decide where we end up competing overseas in the fall.”
No matter where her 2019 season ultimately takes her, Frankie hopes she and Chatwin can continue serving as ambassadors for adult amateur riders who have dreams to compete at the upper levels.
“At what point did it become this assumption that people who have a normal job can’t compete at the upper levels? If you can compartmentalize your life enough, then why can’t you? I’m not going to say it’s really easy, but it’s possible, and I’m really lucky to have incredibly supportive people in my life who are making it possible.”
Invitations have been sent out for the $50,000 Grand-Prix Eventing Invitational, and top international event riders have expressed interesting in competing in Aiken’s inaugural eventing showcase on March 1-2, 2019, at Bruce’s Field.
EN confirmed with event organizers that the following riders are interested in competing: Michael Jung, William Fox-Pitt, Astier Nicolas, Padraig McCarthy, Sarah Ennis and Anna Freskgård. If they decide to make the trip, they will need a catch ride to compete.
Australia’s Andrew Hoy has already found a catch ride and will definitely be making the trip across the pond.
The showcase is a USEF recognized competition held at Advanced level. Dressage will take place on the morning of Friday, March 1, using USEF 2018 Advanced Test B. Show jumping will follow on Friday afternoon with a course set at Advanced height and designed by Michel Vaillancourt.
Cross country will be held Saturday afternoon on March 2. Capt. Mark Phillips’s course will run across approximately 2,000 meters with 20 total jumping efforts, including a water complex and banks. Click here for a sneak peek of the jumps, all of which have an Aiken theme.
A total of $50,000 in prize money will be offered thanks to the presenting sponsor, LiftMaster: $15,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place, $7,500 for 3rd place; $5,000 for 4th place; $4,000 for 5th place; $3,000 for 6th place; $2,000 for 7th place; $1,500 for 8th place; $1,250 for 9th place; and $750 for 10th place.
Are you interested in offering your horse as a catch ride? As a USEF recognized event, horses must meet the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) to compete in a CCI-L of the same height level. Horses need three Advanced MER, plus one Advanced MER with no more than 20 jumping penalties on cross country. One MER must be from within the 12-month period prior to the competition.
All owners will receive a VIP pass and invitations to all social events. The action will kick off on Thursday eventing with a welcome party, calcutta and charity draw. Friday’s festivities will include a champagne brunch in the morning, with an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres during show jumping later in the day. A luncheon will take place on Saturday, with an open bar for awards.
If you are interested in offering your horse as a catch ride, please email Shelley Page at [email protected].
General admission tickets will be available for purchase online starting at 7 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 14. Click here to purchase tickets.
If you can’t attend Aiken’s inaugural eventing showcase, EQTV Network will be streaming all the action live.
Click here for more information on the competition. Are you planning to attend? Let us know in the comments below.
This article has been updated to include the prize money breakdown.
Ah, eventers — a half-crazed bunch of adrenaline seekers with a questionable approach to self-preservation. This hilarious illustration from Emily Cole perfectly captures the desperation to get back in the saddle as soon as possible after an injury. Just don’t fall off, right?
Emily posted the illustration on her Facebook page yesterday, and the comments are pure gold …
If you aren’t following Emily Cole Illustrations, you’re seriously missing out. She left a career as an architect to draw cartoons full-time after her illustration depicting the British gold medal show jumping team at the London Olympics garnered national acclaim.
Many of her illustrations capture the insanity of eventing …
While others capture moments that all horse people can relate to …
Emily sells her illustrations as prints, calendars, notebooks, mugs, greeting cards and wrapping paper. She ships internationally, too! Check out her online shop here.
Chances are you’ve heard about the new World Equestrian Center currently under construction in Ocala, Florida, and set to open in January 2021. With 4,000 acres reserved for the project, the World Equestrian Center is set to become the largest equestrian complex in the U.S. and plans to host shows across numerous disciplines.
This video showing a 3D rendering of what the finished facility will look like is quite simply mind-boggling. It’s like a cross between Wellington, Aachen and Disney World — the ultimate horse person’s paradise! The facility includes too many features to name, but here are a few of the highlights:
- 2,000 permanent stalls with temperature-controlled air conditioning and fans
- 3-acre outdoor stadium arena with seating for 8,000 people
- Four climate-controlled indoor arenas and 17 outdoor arenas
- A six-story, 5-star luxury hotel with 260 rooms
- A fine dining restaurant with enough seating for 500 people
- Expansive retail space with high-end boutiques
The World Equestrian Center currently sits on 378 acres of the 4,000-acre parcel of land, with 300 more acres reserved for additional construction of equestrian facilities. The residential plans for the neighboring World Equestrian Estates includes 2,400 homes, estate homes and condominiums.
Click here to check out more photo renderings of the World Equestrian Center. Can we start the campaign now to get a cross country course built at the facility?
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The ninth annual Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week wrapped up yesterday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, and luckily for us all the sessions are now available to watch on demand on USEF Network.
The clinic week is designed to identify and develop the next generation of talent for the U.S. Dressage Team. More than 20 young riders received four days of intense instruction from Robert Dover, Debbie McDonald, Jan Ebeling, Adrienne Lyle and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz.
All of the participants rode dressage tests in front of judges yesterday, and the videos of each individual test with commentary from the judges are also available to watch on USEF Network — such a fantastic learning opportunity!
You can watch a few video snippets below, then click here to access all of the Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week videos on USEF Network.
Our friends at The Chronicle of the Horse and NoelleFloyd.com also published super coverage, so be sure to check out the links below.
Between the ears Hawaii style! Nancy Jones, organizer of Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials in Maryland, went to visit her daughter and graduate Pony Clubber, Andrea Jones, and they couldn’t resist taking a sunset trail ride. Andrea is serving in Hawaii with AmeriCorps for a year, and Nancy went to Hawaii to visit her for the holidays. Nancy said it best: “A far cry from the weather in Area 2!” TRUTH!
National Holiday: National Thank God It’s Monday Day (only because I had to Ocala on Saturday!)
U.S. Weekend Results … so soon!
The first U.S. horse trials will kick off on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Majestic Oaks Horse Trials in Ocala, Florida. Let the countdown to the 2019 season officially begin!
Your Monday News & Notes:
Grand Oaks Horse Trials in Weirsdale, Florida has waived the late fee for entries, so you still have until tomorrow, Jan. 8 to enter. Due to rider request, the organizers scheduled the show to run in a one-day format and reduced the ship-in fee to $25 per day. This is a fabulous event and one I’m looking forward to competing at again this year. [Grand Oaks Omnibus]
Voting is open for 2018 Eventing Nation Horse of the Year! The EN staff nominated four horses that had standout seasons in 2018: Frankie Thieriot Stutes’s mount Chatwin, Caroline Martin’s mount Islandwood Captain Jack, Boyd Martin’s mount Long Island T, and Phillip Dutton’s mount Z. Be sure to cast your vote before the polls close on Wednesday. [Vote for 2018 Eventing Nation Horse of the Year!]
Phillip Dutton has acquired the ride on an exciting young horse in 6-year-old French champion California d’Horset. The mare also finished 5th in the 6-year-old FEI World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Angers with Yannick Dirou. [California d’Horset Sold to America as New Mount for Phillip Dutton]
Let’s get to know Krista Wilson, winner of the 2019 USEA Worth the Trust Sports Psychology Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to help amateur riders strengthen their mental game, and Krista, a school teacher in Florida, plans to use her scholarship to banish her dressage demons for good. Best of luck, Krista! [2019 Worth the Trust Sports Psychology Scholarship Winner: Krista Wilson]
The Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week just wrapped up in Wellington, Florida. As always Robert Dover shared a wealth of knowledge and nuggets of wisdom. [What Would It Cost To Hire Robert Dover As My Life Coach? 8 More Lessons From The King Of Positivity]
The 6-year-old French champion California d’Horset has been sold to America as a new mount for Phillip Dutton. The Selle Francais mare (Soliman X Palm Beach d’Horset, by Trophee du Rozel) won the 6-year-old French Championships at Pompadour with Yannick Dirou before going on to place fifth in the 6-year-old World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Angers.
Phillip confirmed to EN that the mare has arrived safely in the U.S. He hasn’t made any plans for her spring season yet aside from getting to know her and starting what he hopes will be a very successful partnership.
“She’s a fantastic athlete and ideal type for an event horse. She’s still very green having only competed at the one-star level, but I’m really looking forward to bringing her along and forging a great partnership with her,” Phillip said. “I haven’t had a really good mare in my career, so it will be fun to see how far we can go together.”
Phillip thanked the mare’s new owners, Caroline Moran, David Garrett, and Steve and Renea Willham, for their support in acquiring this exciting young horse.
Phillip is starting the 2019 season with an extended stay in Wellington, Florida, and arrived last week with five horses. He brought his 2018 World Equestrian Games mount Z, I’m Sew Ready, Fernhill Revelation, Fernhill Singapore and Sea of Clouds for an intensive two-months of training and competing in pure dressage and jumper shows. His daughter, Olivia, will also be campaigning Fernhill Finders Keepers.
Where there are #EventerProblems there are #EventerSolutions, as we horsefolks tend to be a pretty crafty, resourceful and frugal (read: broke) bunch. In this spinoff series we spotlight some of your most inventive problem-solving masterpieces. Be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #EventerSolutions on social for inclusion in future editions!
Anyone who is currently facing the frustrating winter woe of frozen water troughs will want to pay close attention to this clever #EventerSolution courtesy of EN reader Alice VanBokkelen.
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Success! While I’ve been laid up I’ve been plucking away at an insulated water tank for Buzz and Jester. They are living out 24/7 and I’m trying to avoid doing water more than once a day. This uses at 100gal tank (cracked) with two muck tubs inside. Insulated with hay and old blankets and a plywood lid. The lid will protect the insulation while also allowing some heat transfer from the sun. For the last week without the lid, this has already been doing a great job of reducing ice when compared to the non insulated water tanks we have as well. #diy #diyhorsestuff #imkindahandy #eventersofinstagram #eventersolutions
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This creative insulation trick is keeping her water troughs mostly ice-free in frigid Massachusetts — now that’s some serious eventer ingenuity!
While freezing temperatures are an unfortunate reality of winter …
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Winter problems! Frozen beet pulp! Winter solutions….warm it up in the car! Looks like I’m going to have to start making the Gingerbread’s dinner at home! #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #equestrianproblems #ottbsofinstagram #eventersofinstagram
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Frozen conditions can also have their perks …
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Welcome to another edition of the judgement-free zone known as #EventerSolutions.
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Herr Bär hatte heute seine erste Reitstunde auf Fritz, der zufälligerweise heute auch das erste Mal geritten wurde. Mr. Bears first riding lesson today on Fritz, who coincidentally was also ridden for the first time today. #eventing #equestrian #horses #pony #ponyliebe #nichtohnehelm #welshA #friedrichderkleine #fritz #herrbär #breakingin #einreiten #jungpferdeausbildung #vielseitigkeit #vielseitigkeitspferd #vielseitigkeitsreiten #flauschig #happybear #schimmelpony #usggermany #safetyfirst #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #eventerinthemaking #eventersdoitbetter *Werbung* @usg_germany
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When you redo the feed board for the year and this time you have pens to color match the feed bags!!!! Yay!! 🥳 #ironhorse #ironhorseridingacademy #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #barnmanagertipsandtricks #colorcoordinated
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When there's a #potluck at the barn, you use a bucket and baling twine to keep the cats out of the Crock Pot. #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #goeventing #stargazerfarm #eventersofinstagram #barncat #naughtycats #theywishtheyhadthumbs
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Why yes. I did bribe my mare with a Christmas sugar cookie. With Stella it’s imperative to ensure happy ears for her cooperation from the beginning. Cookies help. #ottb #restingmareface #eventhorse #astreetcarnameddesire #eventersolutions #eventer #mareproblems #christmascookies #cookietime
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Assistant trainer Friday the cat steals heat from my lap. It's mutually beneficial though. I steal her heat while I teach. #catsofEN #catsofinstagram #catnamedfriday #horses #horsetrainer #eventersolutions #winter #ENinwinter
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It’s time to kick off the voting for 2018 Eventing Nation Horse of the Year! Now in its sixth year, ENHOTY gives us the opportunity to recognize the achievements of standout horses in North America during the prior season.
This year we evaluated all horses who completed a spring and fall long format event at the CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) or CCI5*-L (formerly CCI4*) levels. (Note that the FEI’s new star system came into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. All levels have now shifted up. Click here for a detailed breakdown of the new star system.)
There were four horses that clear stood out to us. Three of them finished in the top two at two CCI4*-L events (formerly CCI3*), while one was the only horse in the U.S. to deliver clear cross country and show jumping rounds at two CCI5*-L (formerly CCI4*) level competitions during the 2018 season.
Before we unveil the nominees for 2018 EN Horse of the Year, please join us in saluting the past recipients of the Golden Chinchilla:
2017 – Foxwood High
2016 – Mighty Nice
2015 – Mai Baum
2014 – Sir Rockstar
2013 – Donner
Without further ado, read on to peruse the season highlights for our four nominees, listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to cast your vote for 2018 ENHOTY. The polls will close at 10 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 9. We will honor the winning horse on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Good luck to all! Go Eventing.
2018 EN HORSE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
10-year-old Oldenburg gelding
(Contendro I X Oktav, by Oldtimer)
Owned by The Chatwin Group
Chatwin was the only horse in the world to win two events at the CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) level or higher during the 2018 season — an impressive statistic that saw him face off against reigning World Champion Allstar B as the wildcard for 2018 EquiRatings Horse of the Year. Adding in the fact that Frankie Thieriot Stutes is an amateur rider who balances motherhood and a full-time career makes Chatwin’s stellar season all the more impressive.
In his eight completed runs at international and national level in 2018, Chatwin won five times and never finished outside of the top five. His dressage score of 22.7 at Twin Rivers was the lowest score posted at any Advanced horse trials in the country in 2018.
Chatwin won his last four events in a row, starting with the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) and concluding with the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*). Frankie and Chatwin led Fair Hill wire-to-wire and finished on their dressage score to become the USEF National Champions. Their finishing score of 27.3 was also the lowest at a CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) in North America in 2018.
ISLANDWOOD CAPTAIN JACK
9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding
Jack of Diamonds X Suir Touch, by Touchdown
Owned by Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin
The youngest of our ENHOTY nominees delivered six clear show jumping rounds at the Advanced and four-star (formerly three-star) levels during the 2018 season — more than any other horse in North America. When you consider that 2018 was also Islandwood Captain Jack’s first season at the Advanced level, it’s clear Caroline Martin has a serious horse for the future.
In his five runs at international level in 2018, “James” finished outside the top 10 only once. He finished second in his CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) debut at Jersey Fresh, adding only cross country time penalties to his dressage score. His cross country pace increased in speed in each of his last four consecutive outings, resulting in a sixth-place finish in the FEI Nations Cup at Great Meadow CICO4*-S (formerly CICO3*) with one of the fastest rounds of the day.
James was the only horse to finish on his dressage score in the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) to place second on 35.3. By far the greenest horse of the ENHOTY nominees, James held his own amongst more experienced horses in his inaugural season at Advanced level and is a horse to watch in the 2019 season and beyond.
LONG ISLAND T
12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding
Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx
Owned by the Long Island T Syndicate
As 2018 USEA Horse of the Year, Long Island T has already claimed a top honor in what proved to be a strong season that saw him rack up more top-five finishes at the Advanced and four-star (formerly three-star) levels than any other horse in the U.S. “Ludwig” battled the elements to win his CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) debut at Jersey Fresh on a record-setting weekend for Boyd Martin.
He delivered a personal best dressage score at Millbrook of 22.9, the second best Advanced score in the country during the 2018 season. Ludwig also delivered clear show jumping rounds in his final three international runs of the season, starting with a strong third-place finish at the Bromont CIC4*-S (formerly CIC3*) in an all-star field full of horses heading to the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Ludwig increased his cross country speed at each consecutive international run in 2018, culminating in adding only 4.0 time penalties to his dressage score at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3). He finished in second place at Fair Hill to take the USEF National Reserve Championship.
10-year-old Zangersheide gelding
Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z
Owned by The Z Partnership
Z was one of 12 horses in the world nominated for EquiRatings Horse of the Year thanks to one of the strongest seasons we saw from a 10-year-old in 2018. He won the World Equestrian Games Test Event at The Fork CIC4*-S (formerly CIC3*) after adding just 0.4 cross country time penalties to his dressage score. Z then went on to finish on his dressage score at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for a fifth-place result in his CCI5*-L (formerly CCI4*) debut.
After being named as Phillip Dutton’s mount for the U.S. WEG team, Z delivered a personal best dressage score of 27.1 at Bromont in the squad’s final outing, where he finished sixth. He then finished 13th in his championship debut at WEG as the highest-placed U.S. horse, adding only cross country time penalties to his dressage score and delivering the only clear show jumping round for the team.
Z didn’t have a single show jumping penalty all season at Advanced, four-star or five-star level, accumulating five clear rounds in all. That achievement is the second best in the U.S. behind Islandwood Captain Jack’s six clears, though two of Z’s rounds came over CCI5*-L (formerly CCI4*) level courses at Kentucky and Tryon. His season culminated in being named the #1 event horse on the 2018 World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) Rankings.
Many thanks to EN’s data analyst Maggie Deatrick for contributing statistics for this article.
The countdown is on for the 2019 International Eventing Forum (IEF), which will take place on Feb. 4, 2019, at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, England. Since its inception in 2004, the IEF has grown into a top pre-season educational event in the UK that consistently brings together an all-star lineup of top equine professionals.
This year’s IEF theme of “Better — Not More Education” will address the concept that not all training is created equal: “Training can only be of value if pupils are in a receptive place and educators understand what is of value to teach. So often pupils think that just because they are there and attend training, things get better! Training and trainers so often go through the motions with little perception that they are in fact making things worse, because they are confusing the message.”
The talented dressage duo of Adam Kemp and Matt Frost, who founded AM Dressage in 2009, will kick off the IEF with their session “Simple Still Works.” British Eventing Team performance manager Dickie Waygood will then speak on “Direct Riding.”
Following the lunch break, international course designer Tom Holden will team up with former show jumping world champion Dermott Lennon for “The Jumping Test” and “The Solution” in the feature afternoon session.
Tickets cost £55 at the door and £40 for groups of more than 20. Click here to book tickets.
EN’s UK correspondent Tilly Berendt and guest columnist William Micklem have covered the IEF for EN for the past two years. Be sure to revisit their coverage for a bit of light winter reading:
Eric Bull and his team have been hard at work building the cross country course for the $50,000 Grand-Prix Eventing Invitational, presented by LiftMaster, which will serve as the inaugural eventing showcase at Bruce’s Field on March 1-2, 2019, in Aiken, South Carolina.
Invitations will be extended to the top 40 riders in the world to compete in a two-day competition featuring a morning of dressage and an evening of show jumping on March 1, followed by an afternoon of cross country on March 2.
Capt. Mark Phillips designed a 2,500-meter cross country course that will include 20 jumping efforts, all of which will have Aiken-themed names and serve as a tribute to the iconic equestrian community. Click here for a sneak peek at the fences, which have names like the Carolina Bay water complex, the Banksia Bank, The Willcox table, the Hitchcock Woods Fox Squirrel and St. Mary’s Church.
When the late Bruce Duchossois purchased the land that would become Bruce’s Field in 2000, he had a vision to grow it into South Carolina’s premier equestrian facility while also maintaining its historic character and paying forward the spirit of generosity.
The Aiken Horse Park Foundation announced yesterday that the showcase will also serve as a Ride for Charity, with the riders representing local non-profit organizations. During the Thursday evening welcome party, each rider will be partnered with a charity. The winning rider will receive $2,500, with second place receiving $1,500 and third place receiving $1,000 — all of which will go to the corresponding charities. Local charities can apply to participate here.
“Because of the late Bruce Duchossois’ support of my career and the ensuing success of Aiken’s eventing community, I am particularly honored to recognize Bruce’s legacy through the creation of what will be an annual highlight to Aiken’s equestrian season,” Phillip Dutton said.
“The eventing showcase format provides a unique experience for both horse and rider while allowing spectators a close and personal perspective.”
Boyd Martin, the three-time undefeated winner of the Wellington Eventing Showcase, has also announced his intent to compete, and we are expecting an all-star entry list. The weekend will also serve as a fun-filled event for the community, with a beer fest featuring local craft beer and other activities for the whole family.
If you can’t make it to Aiken to watch the inaugural eventing showcase in person, EQTV Network will also be streaming all the action live.
A slew of sponsorship opportunities are available, including sponsorship of the one-of-a-kind cross country jumps being built for the showcase. Click here to view sponsorship opportunities and contact Tara Bostwick at [email protected] for more information.
Let’s be honest — in a sport as humbling as eventing, having the ability to laugh at ourselves is practically a prerequisite for participation. That’s why we love Australian eventer Maryanne Wallace’s comic series called Horse on the Run, which captures all the highs and lows of horse ownership and competing.
Click here to browse through her extensive list of comics — here are six only horse people will understand.
Follow Horse on the Run on Facebook to keep up with all of Maryanne’s latest comics.
As you would expect with the most-read eventing news source on the internet, heavy-hitting headlines lead the way when we tabulate which stories on EN received the most views in 2018. But as we look through the posts that captured the most clicks this year, it’s worth taking a deeper dive to remember the stories that made us laugh and cry, inspired us, and ultimately made us fall even more head-over-heels in love with the sport.
Amidst the more than 7 million page views EN received in 2018, our coverage of the FEI World Equestrian Games dominated the list of most-viewed posts. EN’s coverage of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event followed closely behind Tryon, with our coverage of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials hot on Kentucky’s heels.
It’s no secret that controversial stories dominated eventing headlines this year. Cases of visible blood and excessive whip use on cross country clocked in as the #2 and #10 most-read stories on EN this year. Those incidents ultimately spurred the FEI to introduce new rule changes that will take effect in 2019. (While we have your attention, be sure to brush up on the new rules.)
On a lighter note, celebrating April Fool’s Day is a time-honored tradition here at EN, so we were delighted to see our bogus story about the FEI unanimously voting to ban dogs from all competitions ranking as the #6 most-read story of the year.
While contentious headlines will always garner clicks by nature, one of EN’s driving missions is to celebrate the positive in the sport, especially tales of triumph in the face of adversity. The clicks on stories about Jonty Evans’s fall at Tattersalls and subsequent recovery from a traumatic brain injury rivaled our major event coverage. The outpouring of love and support for Jonty this year truly showcased the eventing community at its best.
With that concept in mind, here are a few of EN’s most-read stories of 2018 that might not have ranked in the top 10 but are very much worthy of revisiting.
On Being a Girl: An Eventer Goes Dress Shopping: We laughed until we cried while reading Rachel Skirvin’s opus about shopping for a bridesmaid’s dress her friend’s wedding. This snippet in particular had us in stitches: “What looks good on a 5’ Midwestern sausage with man shoulders and a slowly fading farmers tan? Nothing.”
The Last Ride: Cat Hill’s post about the decision to place her horse on stall rest following an injury — all the while knowing she might never be able to ride him again — so aptly captures the raw emotion of making that agonizing call. “If I’ve had my last ride on him, I will not mourn for more. I already got more than I could have ever hoped for. But I wish I had known. I wish I had been able to say goodbye to that chapter.”
As Inmidair Retires, Jan Byyny Reflects on Her Horse of a Lifetime: From aiding her recovery from a life-changing accident to becoming the U.S. National CCI3* Champion, Jan Byyny tells JR’s emotional story with touching candor: “We never know what’s going to happen in our lives, but I’m so thankful for everything he has done for me. It was JR who gave me my life back.”
This ‘ISO Horse to Lease’ Is Honesty at Its Most Hilarious: “Seriously though, we’re not interested in your 6yo, 1.5m horse that you want to lease out for $10k a year. I wish … but not right now. I need school-master, broke to death, has maintenance issues, ugly as sin, out of shape, you really don’t care about money but want him to have a great home. Oh, and not across the continental US from GA because I only do a 6 hour radius due to sweet tea.”
6 Times the WEG Vendor Village Made George Morris Die, Just So He Could Roll Over in His Grave: When I saw Leslie Wylie’s proposed headline for this post before we published it, I nervously asked her to change it for fear of backlash from readers. She told me to trust that y’all would love it, and she was 100% right. This illustrated guide to blingy boots, browbands and helmets that George would most definitely not approve of landed a spot in EN’s top 20 most-read posts of 2018.
Robin Godel’s Save of the Day at WEG: We saw some spectacular saves and valiant recovery efforts on cross country day at the FEI World Equestrian Games, but Switzerland’s Robin Godel defied gravity in making this save — with help from his horse Grandeur de Lully CH.
What were your other favorites stories of 2018, EN? Let us know in the comments below.
Thank you for trusting EN as your go-to news source. We are humbled by your support and vow to continue covering the sport with the utmost dedication, integrity and insanity in 2019 and beyond.
Happy New Year! Go Eventing.
Well this is just about the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. Daisy Murphy, the 2-year-old daughter of Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy and his wife, Jill, absolutely stole the show with her wee pony, Pepsi, on Boxing Day with the Co Down Hounds in Northern Ireland. It’s safe to say the next generation of American eventers has met their match!
If you’ve not yet ridden in one of Joseph’s clinics, you’re seriously missing out. He’s returning to the States to teach a cross country clinic on Jan. 13-15, 2019, at Liz Halliday-Sharp’s phenomenal facility, Horsepower Equestrian, in Ocala, Florida. You can sign up on Event Clinics.
National Holiday: National Chocolate Candy Day (Editor’s Note: Isn’t this every day?)
Your Friday News & Notes:
GET EXCITED! The 2019 U.S. eventing season starts in only 16 DAYS. Be sure to get your entries in for the Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. and Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks. And while you’re at it, join me in spending an inordinate amount of time pouring over the 2019 omnibus on the new USEA website. [2019 USEA Omnibus]
On that note, the trot up at Badminton is 125 days away. Event director Hugh Thomas wrote a meaty update in his Christmas blog with details on the latest site visit from course designer Mike Winter, course adviser Capt. Mark Phillips and FEI technical delegate Marcin Konarski. [A Festive Post from Hugh Thomas]
‘Tis the season once again to celebrate eventers who made us proud to be eventers in 2018. The EN staff members are busy compiling a list of eventers who inspired us this year, but we want to hear from you, too. Email your nominations to [email protected].
Let’s get to know the Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials. The event runs once a year at Percy Warner Park in Nashville on the first weekend in October. It is the oldest continuously running recognized horse trials in the U.S. [USEA Events A-Z: Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials]
SmartPak’s annual winter clearance event has arrived. Shop hundreds of new items in the clearance section — horse supplies, tack and riding apparel — at discounts of up to 50% off. [SmartPak Winter Clearance]
Friday Video: More Daisy and Pepsi … because seriously this is too much! #adorbs
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French team rider Maxime Livio will headline the 2019 USEA Educational Symposium on Feb. 18-21, 2019, at Grand Oaks in Weirsdale, Florida. The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), Future Event Horse (FEH) Program and Young Event Horse (YEH) Program will all offer training and education over the course of a jam-packed four days.
Maxime hardly needs an introduction to EN readers, having finished second to Michael Jung at Kentucky in 2017 and won team bronze at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon. (If you need a little refresher on what we love about Maxime, we’ll just leave this link right here.)
The ICP Symposium will take place on Monday, Feb. 18 and Tuesday, Feb. 19, with Maxime teaching dressage lessons on Monday and show jumping and cross country lessons on Tuesday. The USEA is looking for demo riders at Training to Advanced level for both ICP days. Email Lauren Gash at [email protected] if you are interested in applying to be a demo rider.
Auditors are welcome to watch the lessons on one or both days of the ICP Symposium. One-day tickets cost $35 for ICP Certified Instructors, FEH/YEH participants and USEF licensed officials; $50 for the general public; and $15 for children 12 and under. Two-day tickets cost $60 for all ICP Certified Instructors, FEH/YEH participants and USEF Licensed Officials; $90 for the general public; and $25 for children 12 and under.
Click here to register for the ICP Symposium.
The YEH Symposium — “From Five Years to Five Stars: Identifying the Star Quality” — will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 20, with Maxime evaluating 5-year-olds and their suitability as future five-star horses based on their conformation, movement, behavior, rideability and trainability.
The YEH symposium will start in a classroom setting in the morning to discuss and watch videos of what top international horses looked like as 5-year-olds. In the afternoon, Maxime will assess each demo horse. Demo horses will be ridden by their designated riders, and might also be selected for Maxime to ride.
The USEA is looking for quality horses ranging from 4 to 6 years old to serve as demo horses for the YEH Symposium. Contact Kate Lokey at [email protected] if you are interested.
USEA members can attend the YEH Symposium for $30, and non-members can attend for $40. Two-day tickets to attend both the YEH Symposium and FEH Symposium cost $55 for USEA members and $70 for non-members. Click here to register and purchase tickets.
Click here to register and purchase tickets for the YEH Symposium.
The FEH Symposium will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21 with a focus on hands-on assessment of young eventing prospects. Holly Simenson will lead the morning session on conformation for FEH judges, breeders and competitors. A breeder for more than 30 years, Holly is a conformation specialist and the only approved U.S. inspector of young horses for the Oldenburg Verband.
German show jumping rider Matthias Hollberg will lead the afternoon session on free jumping, studying the canter, and quality of jump and scope. He has multiple wins on the Grand Prix circuit and is well known for his prowess in producing quality young horses.
Robin Walker and Peter Gray, who judged at the 2018 FEH Championships, will also offer commentary during the FEH Symposium.
Young horses ranging from yearlings to 4-year-olds are needed as demo horses for the FEH Symposium. Please contact Kate Lokey at [email protected] if you are interested.
USEA members can attend the YEH Symposium for $30, and non-members can attend for $40. Two-day tickets to attend both the YEH Symposium and FEH Symposium cost $55 for USEA members and $70 for non-members.
Click here to register and purchase tickets for the FEH Symposium.
All eventers who made the trek to MetroStage in Alexandra, Virginia, to see announcer extraordinaire Brian O’Connor reprise his role as The Chairman in Christmas at The Old Bull & Bush have been treated to an evening of festive frivolity. I saw the matinee on Saturday with many familiar faces in the crowd, and the show absolutely lived up to the hype. As you would expect, the eventers were definitely the rowdy bunch — cheering, laughing and singing off key with gusto. It was a fantastic way to get into the Christmas spirit!
If you are spending the holidays anywhere close to the Northern Virginia area, I highly recommend seeing the show, which runs through Sunday, Dec. 30. Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday. EN readers can take advantage of a discounted friends and family ticket rate of $35. Call the MetroStage box office at 703-548-9044 and click here for more information.
Your Christmas Eve News & Notes:
SmartPak’s annual winter clearance event has arrived! Shop hundreds of new items in the clearance section — horse supplies, tack and riding apparel — at discounts of up to 50% off. [SmartPak Winter Clearance]
Skijoring at Rebecca Farm has been rescheduled to the weekend of March 2-3, 2019, due to the lack of snow on the ground and in the forecast for the coming week. The event was originally scheduled for Dec. 29 and 30. [Rebecca Farm Skijoring]
Don’t forget to cast your vote for U.S. National CCI3* Champion Chatwin in the semifinal polls for 2018 EquiRatings Horse of the Year. The polls are open until Wednesday, Dec. 26. [Vote for Chatwin]
The Retired Racehorse Project needs your help to reach its 2018 fundraising goal. All donations up to $25,000 are being matched by RRP board member Carolyn Karlson. RRP’s goal is to raise a total of $50,000 to fund 2019 programs. [Donate to RRP]
A Belgian study found that using straw for bedding and feeding dry hay can contribute to inflammatory airway disease in sport horses. Positive fungal cultures were obtained in 55% of the 731 horses used in the study. [Belgian Study Results]
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Turn your sound on! This video of Carl Hester and Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro splashing through the rain while performing a pas de deux to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Both Uthopia and Valegro competed on the British gold medal dressage team at the 2012 London Olympics and continue to look fabulous in their retirement.
For any British readers who might like to see Valegro up close and personal this week, he will be at the Liverpool International Horse Show on Friday, Dec. 28 to meet his fans. Tickets are available here.
PLOT TWIST! After Phillip Dutton and Z were defeated in Round 1 of voting for 2018 EquiRatings Horse of the Year, we thought America’s chances of repeating a victory were over. But Diarm Byrne, co-founder of EquiRatings and a loose cannon, decided to mix things up and introduce a wildcard in the semi-final round.
U.S. National CCI3* Champions Frankie Thieriot-Stutes and Chatwin will now take on World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B in the next round of voting. As for how Chatwin got the nod as wildcard, the 10-year-old Oldenburg owned by The Chatwin Group was the only horse in the world to win two CCI events at the CCI3* or CCI4* level in 2018.
To put that into perspective, out of 1,208 results recorded at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels around the world in 2018, we saw 42 winners. Frankie and Chatwin were the only pair to win twice, tasting victory at both the Rebecca Farm CCI3* and the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3*. This was also Frankie’s first season competing back at the CCI3* level since 2010.
Frankie is an adult amateur rider who only competes one horse. She runs two businesses in Athletux, a sports marking company, and Frankie Cameron, a handbag and diaper company. She is also the mom of two boys under the age of 3.
If you believe in #GIRLPOWER …
If you believe amateurs have a place in the sport …
If you want to support one of the hardest-working and most dedicated riders in U.S. eventing …
VOTE FRANKIE AND CHATWIN!
To cast your vote, simply click on their photo in the poll below.
Voting closes at 1:15 p.m. PST/4:15 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Go Amateurs! Go Eventing.
Hot off the presses! US Equestrian has just released the 2019 eventing training lists, which are structured following the new U.S. Eventing Pathway Program. Spearheaded by U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander, the program is designed to create a “culture of competitiveness” and provide a more clearly defined pathway for U.S. event riders.
The program restructured the training lists into Elite, Development Pre-Elite and Development Potential groups, and also includes the Emerging Athlete training lists. Click here to read more about the U.S. Eventing Pathway Program.
These lists were approved by an ad hoc croup of the USEF Eventing Sport Committee on Erik’s recommendation, along with input from his Performance Advisory Team. The team is made up of Erik Duvander; Leslie Law, leader of the Development Potential and U25 Program; Ian Stark, European-based eventing expert; Karen O’Connor, U.S.-based eventing expert; Derek di Grazia, universal eventing expert; and Bobby Costello, Chairman of Selectors (pending approval of the USEF Board of Directors).
The Elite Program seeks to support athlete and horse combinations demonstrating the ability to contribute to medal-winning potential at the World Championship level, measured against world-leading performances and looking to compete at the next Olympic or World Championship.
2019 Elite Training List:
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran, and Ann Jones’s 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding
Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and Donner, The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding
The Development Pre-Elite Program aims to identify and support athlete and horse combinations that have the perceived potential to meet Elite status within the next two to four years, with the target of competing on a championship team in the next four to six years.
2019 Development Pre-Elite Training List:
Liz Halliday-Sharp (Ocala, Fla.) and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 10-year-old KWPN gelding
Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Islandwood Captain Jack, her and Sherrie Martin’s nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Long Island T, Long Island T Syndicate’s 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding
Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Getaway, Lisa Wall’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding
Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Fleeceworks Royal, Judith McSwain’s nine-year-old Holsteiner mare
Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play, The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s 10-year-old German Sporthorse gelding
Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection, Mary Ann Ghadban’s 14-year-old Holsteiner mare
Frankie Thieriot Stutes (Occidental, Calif.) and Chatwin, The Chatwin Group’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding
The Development Potential Program looks to focus athletes on education aimed at equipping them with the necessary tools and skills to have the perceived talent to reach Elite status in the next four to eight years, with the goal of Pre-Elite targets by the age of 30.
2019 Developing Potential Training List:
Maya Black (Clinton, Wash.)
Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.)
Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.)
Hallie Coon (Ocala, Fla.)
Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.)
Ariel Grald (Vass, N.C.)
Alex O’Neal (Reddick, Fla.)
The Emerging Athlete Eventing 18 and Eventing 25 Program participants were announced earlier this month. Jenny Caras and Hallie Coon have been removed from the Eventing 25 Program and moved to the 2019 Developing Potential Training List.
Jonty Evans continues to make steady progress in his recovery from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a fall from Cooley Rorkes Drift at Tattersalls International Horse Trials on June 3, 2018. After spending six weeks in a coma, Jonty awoke to overwhelming support from the eventing family. He speaks candidly about his recovery in this fantastic video interview:
- “The challenges you face when you are getting better are normal. As each hurdle is overcome, you doubt yourself, and it sounds odds. Physically you’re getting closer, but mentally you feel further away because you realize exactly how much there is to do, and that can be really tough.”
- “Art (Cooley Rorkes Drift) coming home to me meant I was one step closer to things being normal again. Him being at home just meant a huge amount. To see his face over the door and to see his head in the yard at feed time is just really special.”
- “When I came out of the coma, some time later my mother and sister tried to express how much support there had been. I didn’t believe them. When you come out of the coma and into the real world, it’s very difficult to comprehend that level of exposure or support.”
Whether Jonty will return to riding and competing remains a question, but Jonty said he wants to be the one who ultimately makes that decision: “I would like above everything most of all for me to make the choice. That’s important to me — that I decide if I event again, I decide which tracks I do, I make the choice. At the moment, it’s one day at a time.”
When Carl Hester is your godfather, Christmas presents come in the form of dressage lessons on double Olympic champion Valegro. This video of Ruby Hughes, daughter of international dressage riders Gareth and Rebecca Hughes, riding Valegro will absolutely put you in the Christmas spirit.
“Christmas really is about giving,” Carl said. “I was so happy to give my 11-year-old goddaughter Ruby an early birthday gift of a lesson on the one and only Valegro.”
“Blueberry” retired from competition in 2016 and at 16 years old still remains in regular work. It’s wonderful to see one of the greatest dressage horses of all time looking so spritely and happy in teaching the next generation.
Be sure to follow Carl Hester on Instagram for more photos of Valegro enjoying his retirement. What a special horse indeed!
The deadline for all USEF members to complete their online SafeSport training is fast approaching on Jan. 1, 2019. I completed my SafeSport training last week and am checking in with a handy list of tips for those of you who still need to check this important box on your year-end to-do list.
Why should you complete your SafeSport training as soon as possible? Because you will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions, if you don’t.
8 Things You Need to Know About USEF’S SafeSport Training
1. There are THREE SafeSport training modules that you must complete: Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education, Mandatory Reporting, and Emotional and Physical Misconduct. You will receive a certificate of completion each time you complete a module, but you must complete all three to officially complete your SafeSport Training.
2. There is one exception to the Jan. 1, 2019 deadline. If you renewed your USEF membership or joined USEF on or after Dec. 1, 2018, then you will have a 30-day grace period to complete the SafeSport training.
Those who do not complete the training within the grace period will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. Points accrued at horse shows during the 30-day grace period will still count, but if you don’t complete your training within the 30 days, you will be ineligible to compete and points will not count until you have completed the training.
3. Event organizers and secretaries will have access to a combined Suspension and Ineligibility List for SafeSport to determine who has not yet competed their training and therefore cannot compete.
If you appear on the Ineligibility List but complete the training on the first day of an event, you can present a copy of the SafeSport Trained certificate to the show office to prove you are eligible to compete. If you present your certificate after the first day of the event, you can still compete but your points will not be counted.
4. The SafeSport training was developed based on the four requirements of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017:
- mandatory reporting of sexual misconduct involving a minor
- establishing reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between adults and minors
- provide training to all adult members with regular contact with minors
- prohibiting retaliation
The USEF Safe Sport Policy and U.S. Center for SafeSport Code were designed to protecting all participants in equestrian sports. USEF clarified that the organization “stands behind these policies to protect the athletes of equestrian sport, not just because a law requires it, but because every member has a responsibility to protect those who have chosen horses as their passion.”
5. In response to whether requiring SafeSport training infringes on the civil rights of members, USEF responded that the “the jurisdiction is no broader than it’s ever been in the past and no one’s civil rights are removed.
“US Equestrian is committed to creating and maintaining and educating and informing an equestrian community free of all forms of emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct. Protecting athletes and fostering an environment where existing participants and newcomers alike feel safe is of the utmost importance.”
6. USEF has released a slew of resources to help with taking the training and provide more information about SafeSport:
- Learning Center Video Part 1: Safe Sport Reporting, Training, and Resources
- Learning Center Video Part 2: Safe Sport Investigations, Interim, Measures, and Final Determinations
- USEF Safe Sport Policy
- SafeSport Training FAQs
- SafeSport Training Instructions
- Take the SafeSport Training
- Report Sexual Misconduct
7. If you have any technical issues while taking the training, contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Technical Support Help Desk at 720-676-6417. USEF recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox for the training. (I completed mine in Google Chrome on slow wifi and had no problems.)
8. Completing the online SafeSport training will be an annual requirement for all members, so once you complete your 2019 training you will receive a deadline of one year later to complete the 2020 training.
If you have any questions related to SafeSport, please contact Teresa Roper at [email protected].