Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

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About Jenni Autry

Originally from San Diego, Jenni discovered eventing thanks to the Bedford Hunt Pony Club in Virginia. After working in both newspapers and magazines, she joined the EN team in 2012. She travels extensively covering the U.S. Eventing Team and has reported at the Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games, and every CCI4* in the Northern Hemisphere. As to her favorite event, it’s a toss-up between Aachen and Boekelo. She lives with her husband and three cats in Pennsylvania.

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Canada Dominates Bromont CIC2* and Both CIC* Divisions

Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Canada is dominating three of the four FEI divisions here at the Bromont CIC Three-Day Event at the conclusion of today’s show jumping action in Quebec.

Jessica Phoenix led the CIC2* after dressage with Pavarotti, but one rail down in show jumping opened the door for Bentley’s Best to move up to take the lead on 30.9. This pair won the CIC2* at Bromont in June, and the stage is set for them to repeat the victory tomorrow.

“Benny,” an 11-year-old Trakehner gelding (Hirtentanz X Hauptstutbuch Baronesse XIII, by Eichendorff) owned by the Bentley’s Best Group, has extensive experience competing at the three-star level. Jessica decided to step him back to two-star level this year to solidify his form, and she is also thinking of him as a possible mount for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“He’s done so much, but he’s still so playful,” Jessica said. “He’s playful in dressage and he’s playful in show jumping, and I want to keep him at two-star level until he’s more workmanlike. He feels really solid at the two-star level and really competitive at the level.”

As for her thoughts on Derek di Grazia’s track for tomorrow: “All three courses are serious courses. I was thinking that the three-star would be more of an easy run in the lead up to the World Equestrian Games, but there’s a lot to do out there, and it’s big. The two-star has a ton to do, and the one-star feels like if you do that well then you’re ready to move up to Intermediate.”

Boyd Martin and Contestor, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Contango X Jer’s Princess, by Killer Jer) owned and bred by Denise Lahey, jumped clear to move up to second place in the CIC2* on 32.2.

Dom Schramm and The Naked Horse Eventing Syndicate’s Bolytair B and Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy both jumped clear rounds and sit tied for third place on 32.6.

Fourteen of the 24 combinations (58% of the field) jumped clear rounds over Marc Donovan’s show jumping course in the CIC2*, but poles went flying in the CIC* divisions.

Colleen Loach and Foreign Quality. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Colleen Loach and Peter Barry’s Foreign Quality jumped one of the five clear rounds in the CIC* to move up from third place after dressage to lead on 25.9.

“Badger,” a 7-year-old KPWN gelding (Warrant X Orsina II, by Calvados), won the 2016 USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships with Tim Bourke as a 5-year-old. Peter Barry purchased him in early 2017, and Colleen started competing him soon after.

He finished fourth here at Bromont in June in his first CCI* and stepped up to Intermediate at the GMHA Festival of Eventing in Vermont last weekend. Colleen said she plans to wait to move him up to the two-star level until next spring.

“He didn’t have a lot of confidence when I first started riding him, so I think it’s important to keep his confidence level up,” Colleen said. “Now he’s starting to really trust me and go forward. He’s not a very forward-thinking horse, and I’m trying to build his trust. He’s one of the most talented horses I’ve ever ridden.”

Waylon Roberts and Aletta Martin’s Wil Celtic Charlie jumped clear to move up to second in the CIC* on 26.4. Matt Brown and Anna Honeycutt’s Fernhill Chico led after dressage on 23.4 and slipped to third place with one rail down.

Katie Lloyd and Cadence. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Katie Lloyd and Cadence are making their one-star debut one to remember, moving up to take the lead in the CIC*-Under 25 on 33.2 with one rail down.

She bought Cadence, a 13-year-old Holsteiner/Canadian Sport Horse (Camiros X N’Thabiseng, by A Fine Romance) as a saddle broke 6-year-old from Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman, who bred the mare just outside Guelph.

“My mare is fabulous. She’s a really good jumper, but she’s a really spooky horse. My sole thought when I went in the ring was ‘don’t let her gallop away’ — just keep her relaxed, calm, between the legs and hopefully make it over all the fences.”

Katie earned her undergraduate degree in animal biology from the University of Guelph and is taking a break from school before going back for her master’s degree. She hopes to study equine probiotic research in sport horses.

Originally from Dundas, Ontario, Katie now lives in Guelph and trains with Lynda Ward and Jo Young. Her ultimate goal for the rest of the season is to move Cadence up to Intermediate and ultimately aim for the Hagyard MidSouth CCI*.

But first, her goal is a clear cross country round tomorrow: “She can be a bit ditchy, so we’re going to need to kick on. She’s a very capable horse. She’s a mare that needs her head in the game.”

Cole Horn and Cooley Sligo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cole Horn and his own Cooley Sligo, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Sligo Candy Boy X Town Land Pride, by Townrath Pride), had one rail down and moved up to second place on 33.5.

Kimberley Bégin and her own Bentley, an 11-year-old Trakehner (Krusader X Bonita) bred in Canada by Robin Cruickshank, also had one rail down to move up to third on 35.0.

Only one pair jumped a clear round in the CIC*-Under 25 division — shoutout to Charlotte Collier and Fidelius 35!

Looking to the Training divisions, Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’s Get Gaudi jumped clear to hold the lead in the Open division on 22.1. Amanda Beale Clement and Megan Wilson’s BE Kilgoric Felix also jumped clear to hold the lead in the Training Young Rider division on 26.9.

Click here to view full scores following show jumping. Boyd Martin and Long Island T lead the CIC3*; click here to read the full CIC3* report from this morning. Click here to view show jumping videos courtesy of David Frechette.

Cross country day starts with the CIC3* at 8:30 a.m., followed by the CIC2* at 10:38 a.m., CIC* at 12:20 and Training at 2:44. Click here to view the full schedule. Stay tuned for much more from Bromont. Go Eventing.

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Boyd Martin and Long Island T Leap to Bromont CIC3* Lead

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous could afford one rail and 1 time penalty following their near record-setting dressage score of 19.9 in the Bromont CIC3* Three-Day Event yesterday. A knocked pole at fence 2, a vertical, plus 2 seconds over the time allowed of 82 seconds for Marilyn boosted Boyd Martin and Long Island T up to take the lead on a slim 0.3-penalty margin.

Long Island T, a 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx) owned by The Long Island T Syndicate, has had a mixed show jumping record since moving up to Advanced level in February. He jumped clear rounds in his first three starts at the level, but had a rail in two of his three rounds that followed.

“Ludwig” delivered a beautiful, speedy clear over Marc Donovan’s course on a chilly, overcast morning here in Quebec, stopping the clock three seconds inside the time and ultimately securing the overnight lead on his dressage score of 25.6.

“His show jumping is a work in progress still, but every event we go to I feel like we’re a bit more in sync with each other,” Boyd said. “He’s got a really good jump in him. The biggest thing is confidence and relaxation.”

Ludwig made a trip to the Kentucky Horse Park last month to tackle 1.30-meter classes in the big ring at the Kentucky Summer Classic, which Boyd said definitely helped bolster the horse’s confidence. “My jump coach Richard Picken has been relentless in improving him,” Boyd added, “and he’s finding more jump and more scope.”

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

U.S. WEG team combination Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, now sit in second place on 25.9 after adding 6 total penalties.

Phillip Dutton and his U.S. WEG mount Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, has now jumped clear in his last eight show jumping rounds at international level and remains in third place on 27.1.

Our three-way tie for fourth place remains after Kim Severson and The Cross Syndicate’s Cooley Cross Border, Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High, and Lynn Symansky and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection all jumped clear to stay on scores of 28.0.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lynn Symansky and her U.S. WEG team mount Donner, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by The Donner Syndicate, also jumped clear to remain in seventh place on their dressage score of 28.1.

Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C, an 11-year-old KWPN (Tangelo Van de Zuuthoeve X Mexico M, by Highline) she owns with David and Mark Clark Regamey, jumped clear to stay in eighth place on 29.6.

Phillip Dutton has a second ride in the top 10 in John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready. The 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Lupicor X Jarda, by Elcaro) is Phillip’s reserve horse on the U.S. WEG team, and also received grant funding to compete at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* in October.

Charlotte Collier and Clifford M, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cristo 5 X Naomi IV, by Carpaccio) owned by Parker Collier, jumped clear to move into the top 10 on 31.4. We wish Charlotte the very best of luck as she looks to complete her first three-star tomorrow.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Eighteen of the 31 combinations (58% of the field) in the CIC3* jumped clear show jumping rounds. Four of the five U.S. WEG team combinations jumped clear rounds, with Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg and Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’s Vermiculus also leaving all the poles in the cups to sit 13th and 14th, respectively.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s cross country, time will ultimately decide how the final results play out. Boyd Martin and Long Island T cannot afford a single second over the optimum time of 6 minutes and 28 seconds to maintain the lead. As for his plan on Derek di Grazia’s course, Boyd said he won’t be challenging the clock with Ludwig.

“Every time I sit on him on cross country, it’s about riding him within his limit speed-wise,” Boyd said. “If I try to go too quick on him, the lights go out. He’s getting in a place where I can open him up more without him switching off. He’s not really good with these twisty tracks, but I think it will be a good education for him.”

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

All the riders agree that Derek’s CIC3* course is a serious track (click here for a fence-by-fence preview). For the U.S. WEG team riders, who are using Bromont as a final outing before Tryon, the course offers a fantastic to opportunity to get the horses firing on all cylinders before heading to North Carolina.

“The course is really bold and big,” Marilyn Little said. “I think that’s great because you don’t want to tiptoe into something like Tryon. You want to feel like they’ve seen enough and they’re peaking at the right moment, and this is a course that can do that for us.”

We have a full day of show jumping ahead, with the CIC2*, CIC* and Training levels still to come. You can watch videos of today’s show jumping rounds on David Frechette’s YouTube channel. Keep it locked on EN for wall-to-wall coverage of Bromont. Go Eventing.

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Bromont CIC: Little’s Leading Score is 2nd Best in North America This Decade

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous very nearly smashed a North American record today at the Bromont CIC Three-Day Event in Quebec. EquiRatings confirmed to EN that their score of 19.9 (29.9 in former scoring) is the second best three-star dressage score in North America this decade, bested only by Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper’s score of 18.6 (27.9 in former scoring) at Red Hills in 2012.

“For scores like that the stars always have to align on the day,” Marilyn said. “Coming into this today I thought there was a possibility she could get into the teens; we eked in there. We’ve been really in sync in the training leading up to Bromont. She comes out with her briefcase every day and is so ready to work. I think we’re seeing a level of relaxation we’ve never achieved before and are able to work on more of the details in the test.”

“Kitty,” a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, is one of the five horses named to the U.S. World Equestrian Games team, and is running here at Bromont alongside her teammates for the squad’s final outing before Tryon.

This is the mare’s first FEI outing since the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April, where Kitty placed third to become the 2018 USEF National CCI4* Champion. She has one Open Intermediate run under her belt since Kentucky, when she cruised around Maryland Horse Trials last month alongside fellow WEG teammates Donner, Vermiculus and Tsetserleg.

“We chose our own path in terms of the prep so we were peaking right now and not doing too many competitions too early. I came here hoping for a really good week, and I have never felt her feel so good, and this is certainly the right time for that to happen,” Marilyn said.

“She is able to hold the balance and really stay seated and carry herself on her hocks through the entire test. Last year she would get a little fatigued at the end. Now she can carry herself through to the final halt.”

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn and Kitty have a 5.7-penalty margin ahead of Boyd Martin and Long Island T, who sit in second place on 25.6. “Ludwig,” a 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx) owned by The Long Island T Syndicate, “is a dressage machine,” Boyd said, and continues to solidify his form at this level.

Boyd’s WEG mount Tsetserleg, an 11-year-old Trakehner (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner, scored 32.3 to sit 14th at the conclusion of dressage.

“I was really pleased with his paces and his frame and the way he went. I just had heaps of little mistakes, which is frustrating — no excuses. I’ve been concentrating a lot of the four-star test (for WEG) and didn’t work on the three-star test as much, which showed up today. He’s going really well and the quality has gotten a lot better. I have to make sure the fine details — the halts, the strike-offs, the angles, the flying changes — are spot on.”

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and his WEG mount Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, were the first pair to go this morning and sit in third place on a personal best score of 27.1.

“I worked on keeping him a little more uphill than what I have before, and he handled it all well,” Phillip said. “It’s been a good preparation. We’ve been here for a few days and could concentrate on the test. It’s just attention to detail at this point. I was pleased with the way he settled, and he did his job very well.”

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

We have a three-way tie for fourth place in the CIC3*. Selena O’Hanlon leads the way for Canada with John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High on 28.0, with U.S. WEG alternates Kim Severson and The Cooley Cross Border Syndicate’s Cooley Cross Border and Lynn Symansky and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection tied on the same score.

Lynn Symansky and her WEG team horse Donner, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by The Donner Syndicate, scored 28.1 to sit in seventh place.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Our other U.S. WEG team pair, Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’s Vermiculus, scored 32.4 to put the 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding (Serazim X Wake Me Gently) in 15th place.

Looking to the CIC2*, Jessica Phoenix holds the top two spots on the leaderboard with her own Pavarotti and The Bentley’s Best Group’s Bentley’s Best on scores of 30.5 and 30.9, respectively.

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Matt Brown and Anna Honeycutt’s Fernhill Chico lead the CIC* on 23.4, with Michael Nolan and Kara Andrew’s Bad Moon Rising topping the CIC*-Under 25 leaderboard on 27.8.

We have to give a special shout out to Helen Christie, Christian Landolt and Rossana Lagunes, all of whom spontaneously formed a ground jury for the Training divisions and gave the riders the incredible privilege of being judged by a panel of three top FEI judges.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’s Get Gaudi lead the Open Training division on 22.1. Amanda Beale Clement and Megan Wilson’s BE Kilgoric Felix lead the Training Young Rider division on 26.9. Thank you to the volunteers and everyone in the office who processed those extra Training tests!

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the action on Marc Donovan’s show jumping course starts with the CIC3* at 8:30 a.m., followed by the CIC2* at 10:51 a.m., CIC* at 12:48 p.m. and Training at 2:49 p.m. Cross country for all divisions will be held Sunday. Click here for a fence-by-fence preview of Derek di Grazia’s CIC3* track. Go Eventing.

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Video: Watch Marilyn Little & RF Scandalous Score 19.9 at Bromont CIC3*

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous soared into the CIC3* lead by more than 5 marks on a career personal best score of 19.9 this morning at the Bromont CIC Horse Trials in Quebec.

This is the first FEI outing for RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, since she placed third at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event to be crowned the 2018 USEF National CCI4* Champion.

As one of five horses named to the U.S. World Equestrian Games squad, RF Scandalous is here at Bromont running in the team’s mandatory outing before heading to Tryon next month. Stay tuned for comments from Marilyn about her test.

We are just starting back after the lunch break. Click here to view live scoring for all divisions. Keep checking David Frechette’s YouTube channel for videos, and keep checking back to EN for much more from Bromont. Go Eventing.

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Japan Announces Team for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Yoshiaki Oiwa and The Duke of Cavan. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Japan is the latest team to announce their eventing squad for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, which will be held Sept. 12-16 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Yoshi Oiwa and The Duke of Cavan, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Courage II X Dysert Girl, by Ricardo Z) owned by the rider and Taeko Oiwa, with Calle 44 as direct reserve
  • Toshiyuki Tanaka and Talma d’Allou, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Opium de Talma X Belle de l’Etang, by Prince Ig’or) owned by Riding Club Crane, with Kelecyn Pirate as direct reserve
  • Ryuzo Kitajima and Just Chocolate, a 16-year-old New Zealand Sport Horse gelding owned by Riding Club Crane, with Queen Mary as direct reserve
  • Kazuma Tomoto and Tacoma d’Horset, a 11-year-old Selle Francais mare (Sandro X Palm Beach d’Horset, by Trophee du Rozel) owned by the Japan Racing Association

[世界馬術選手権大会》代表選手団発表]

Course Preview: Bromont’s CIC3* is Final Run for U.S. WEG Team

Fence 1. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Bonjour from Bromont! We are delighted to be bringing you wall-to-wall coverage from Bromont’s inaugural August CIC, which has attracted substantial entries across the CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC* and Training levels. Most notably, the CIC3* is serving as the final outing for the U.S. World Equestrian Games team ahead of Tryon. Key Canadian horses are also running here on home soil prior to the team’s highly anticipated squad announcement next week. There’s a definite excitement in the air.

We are lucky to have the dream team of course designer Derek di Grazia and course builder Jay Hambly teaming up on this Bromont track. As course designer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Derek has had a busy summer. Jay is also part of the course building team for Tokyo, as well as the course designer for next month’s inaugural CCI at Foshay International in New Brunswick, about 8 hours east of where we are in Quebec.

The CIC3* start box is set where the course usually ends, with horses and riders jumping the horse shoe that typically serves as the final fence on the CCI course for the June event. The first four fences are meant to invite horses into a flowing rhythm, with fence 4 set on a slight mound — a hint of the use of terrain that is to come later in the track.

Fence 5ABC. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fence 5 serves as the first water complex and the first question on course. Right off the bat you get the sense that Derek is demanding a bold ride around this track — after jumping up the bank at B it’s a forward one stride to the skinny brush at C. The next combination of two angled tables at fence 6 is also set on a forward one stride. Fence 7 is an inviting open oxer with an ascending back rail pinned with MIM technology. The angled brush at fence 8 is set over a ditch with a good ground line.

Fence 9AB. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fence 9 has an option that includes a time-consuming loop. The direct route takes horses and riders over a right-pointed open corner at the A element, with a right bending line to a sizable left-pointed corner at the B element. Riders will then turn left to fence 10 before continuing to circle left up the hill to the coffin at fence 11ABC. Once again the distances are set on attacking one strides, and the arrowhead brush at C invites a runout.

Fence 11ABC, with Kim Severson examining the line. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Next riders will jump a ditch and wall in the tree line at fence 12, followed by a skinny house set on the crest of a hill at fence 13. The next combination at fence 14 once again requires a bold ride, with a sharp drop on the landing side of the rolltop at A, followed by a brush at B and a right-hand turn to a brush corner at C. Fence 15 is an airy rolltop set on an uphill approach, which takes horses and riders to the second water complex at fence 16. After dropping in over a hanging log at A, riders will need to find their line to the narrow toothpick brushes at B and C and then — you guessed it — ride boldly forward to make the one-stride distance happen.

Fence 16ABC. Photo by Jenni Autry.

You definitely get the impression when walking the course that Derek invites riders to take angled lines at many of the jumps such as fence 17. Riders will turn sharply right to fence 18, which has a nice direct line on four strides to the triple bush at B if the open oxer at A is approached on a slight angle. Fence 19 is an open oxer with a not-so-ascending back rail.

A beefy table at fence 20 brings horses and riders to the final combination on course. The massive hanging log at fence 21A will demand full attention before riders loop right to jump the double brush at the B element. Then it’s a gallop home to the cabin at fence 22, the final jump on course. The CIC3* course is 3,685 meters in length with an optimum time of 6 minutes, 28 seconds.

Fence 17. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Bromont area hasn’t seen much rain recently, and the ground feels super considering the lack of precipitation. With 1 inch of rain predicted in tomorrow’s forecast, we should have perfect footing come cross country day on Sunday. The action kicks off tomorrow with dressage starting at 8 a.m. EST. Show jumping will be held Saturday. There is no live stream from Bromont, but I’m delighted to report that David Frechette is on the grounds and will be posting videos to his YouTube channel.

Keep it locked on EN for all things Bromont, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes content featuring our U.S. WEG Team. Click here for dressage start times. Go Eventing.

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Who Jumped It Best? GMHA Training Rider Edition

It’s time to play Who Jumped It Best? GMHA Training Rider Edition! Take a look at these horses and riders jumping in the rain at the GMHA Festival of Eventing in South Woodstock, Vermont. Vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for which horse and rider you think present the best overall picture over the jump.

Thank you to Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto for providing beautiful images from GMHA. Click here to view final scores from the event. Go Eventing.

Nicole Castagnozzi and Fancy Pants. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Sally Davis and Dare To Dream. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Shannon Fralley and Devil’s Gold. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Shannon Wallman Hatch and Glidawn Master. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Mickey Rathbun and Bramble. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Lakiesha Varney and Kolor Me Gone. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

EN’s Got Talent: Andrew McConnon and Bossinova

We hear all the time about horses at the top of the sport, but what about the next generation of equine talent? EN’s Got Talent profiles exciting up-and-coming young horses. Have you spotted a future superstar you think should be highlighted in this column? Tip me at [email protected].

Andrew McConnon and Bossinova. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

When Andrew McConnon moved to England to work for William Fox-Pitt in early 2016, he planned to stay for two seasons — plenty of time, he figured, to find an exciting eventing prospect to bring home when he returned to the U.S.

But after trips all throughout England, Ireland and continental Europe in search of the right horse, and with his departure date looming ever closer last November, Andrew still hadn’t found the one.

When he received a tip about a 7-year-old gelding at Helen Bell’s yard in North Yorkshire the day before he was meant to fly home to America, Andrew thought “why not?” He made the five-hour drive to meet Bossinova, a Hanoverian (Bonifatius X Dawina, by Der Lord) bred in Scotland by Stuart Adams and Christine Macmillan of Carriden Stud.

Better known as “Hugo,” the horse had competed in pure dressage as a 5- and 6-year-old and completed two BE90 (U.S. Novice level) events with Helen Bell’s daughter, Zoe Dawson, during the 2017 eventing season in the UK.

“There was something about him that I really liked,” Andrew said. “He was a little lazy in the arena, but really good on grass and on cross country. I’m normally pretty hesitant, but on the drive home I decided that if he passed the vetting then I really wanted to work with him and see where it goes.”

Andrew flew home the next day, and Hugo passed a stringent vetting soon after. The horse landed in the U.S. at the beginning of December and was soon en route to Florida with Andrew, who had decided to base his business in Ocala.

“He had a background in the dressage and I felt like that was quite strong, so I didn’t feel the need to have to school him up in that phase,” Andrew said. “I was more focused on getting to know him and getting him fit and used to the ground in the States. I spent a lot of time hacking and doing trot sets.”

Andrew McConnon and Bossinova. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Hugo made his first start in the U.S. in February at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials, where he won his Training level debut on his dressage score of 26.8. He then won his next two starts at Training level as well, both at Rocking Horse, on dressage scores of 26.1 and 23.4, respectively.

“I didn’t know how he would be off of the property, and it turned out he’s just the same if not a little bit better,” Andrew said. “The atmosphere at a competition plays to his strengths. He’s a relaxed horse, so the show helps him to have more cadence and energy in the dressage. He was fantastic in the show jumping, and I was really impressed with him cross country. I had only schooled him a couple times before his first event.”

At the beginning of the 2018 season, Andrew had planned to run four Training level events before moving Hugo up to Preliminary. Following the horse’s three consecutive wins at Training level, Andrew decided to re-evaluate his plan.

“I’m not one who wants to move them up too quickly, so it was a little unique for me,” Andrew said. “I knew Rocking Horse had a good Preliminary in March that would be ideal for a move-up, and he absolutely felt ready for it. He led the dressage by 5 points. I cut a turn in the show jumping and he barely tapped a pole behind, so unfortunately he had a rail. We took it nice and easy cross country, and he went around just as well as he had at Training level.”

Hugo finished sixth in his Preliminary debut at Rocking Horse Spring Horse Trials, taking it all in stride in his typical calm, cool and collected manner. So, as one does with a horse who oozes natural talent, Andrew decided to throw another challenge at Hugo.

“With him stepping up to Preliminary and handling that so easily, I didn’t feel like he needed to go right back out and run another one,” Andrew said. “I decided to take him to HITS to compete in some jumper rounds, and that opened up the opportunity for him to compete in the equitation arena.”

Lauren Lindner of Redfield Farm took the ride on Hugo during the Ocala Winter Celebration at HITS, piloting him to a win in a USEF Hunter Seat Medal class. Hugo took home multiple ribbons in equitation classes throughout the week.

“His flatwork is so good, and he jumps beautifully and has clean changes,” Andrew said. “He could honestly be a proper equitation horse as well, and it was interesting to see what else he’s good at. It was really fun to play owner, but also stressful!”

Following Hugo’s Preliminary debut and successful stint as an equitation horse at HITS, he enjoyed a well-earned break before returning to the eventing scene two months later. Once again Hugo started a winning streak, topping the leaderboard at the Open Preliminary at Paradise Farm in May on 33.0, followed by a win in the Open Preliminary at Chattahoochee Hills in June on 30.0.

Hugo’s summer campaign concluded on an especially high note, as he finished on his dressage score of 29.4 to be crowned the Area III Preliminary Champion at Chattahoochee Hills in July.

“The Preliminary championships course at Chattahoochee Hills had the Intermediate drop into the water and a couple other Intermediate questions, and just like he had done the whole season he answered it all really well,” Andrew said.

Andrew McConnon and Bossinova over the Intermediate drop into water at Chattahoochee Hills. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

After winning six of his seven starts in the U.S. this year, Hugo is gearing up for what Andrew hopes will be an equally successful fall season. Hugo will next return to Chattahoochee Hills, where he has already won two events this year, to contest his first CIC* in September.

Then he will go on to Stable View’s Oktoberfest Horse Trials to contest the inaugural CIC* at the venue before capping his season in the CCI* at Hagyard Midsouth in Kentucky, which serves as the USEF National One-Star Championship.

Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Andrew is aiming to move Hugo up to the Intermediate level early in the year and ultimately aim for the CCI2* at the Ocala International Three-Day Event in April.

“I see it as a long-term journey with this horse, and I really want to produce him the right way and be strategic in how I compete him,” Andrew said. “I would love to get some people on board to come on this journey with me, and perhaps add another young one like him to the string to start creating a pipeline.”

As for what Andrew thinks has made Hugo so successful in his first year of competing in the States: “I think a horse that is trainable is so much more important than flash. With a horse that is consistent each day without pounding or pressing on them too much, you can make so many strides in their training and preserve them in a way that also gets the job done.

“Hugo would be the horse that you walk past in the barn. He’s not an in-your-face type, but that changes when you’re on him. If a horse does the job and checks all the boxes, they can be really special if given the chance.”

You can follow along with Hugo’s fall campaign on Andrew’s Facebook page and on his website at www.mcconnoneventing.com. He is actively looking to syndicate Hugo. Anyone interested in more information can contact Andrew directly at 508-517-3349 or [email protected].

French Team Announced for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Thibaut Vallette and Qing du Briot ENE HN. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The French federation announced their eventing squad this morning for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held Sept. 12-16 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Sidney Dufresne and Trésor Mail, an 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Jaguar Mail X Nocturne Mail, by Iowa) owned by Iris Fleurieu and Agnès Trouble
  • Maxime Livio and Opium de Verrieres, a 16-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Ultra de Rouhet X Rosiere II, by Fragile), owned by S.C. Soixante Seize et Compagnie – Les Amis de Maxime Livio
  • Astier Nicolas and Vinci de la Vigne, a 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Esterel des Bois X Korrigane de Vigne, by Duc du Hutrel) owned by Marie-José and Philippe Gérard and the rider
  • Donatien Schauly and Pivoine des Touches, a 15-year-old Selle Francais mare (Nykias X Kanelle des Touches, by Elf d’Or) owned by Anne-Sophie Schauly and the rider
  • Thibaut Vallette and Qing du Briot ENE HN, a 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Eolien II X Henriette, by Etalon OR) owned by IFCE

[SÉLECTION EQUIPE DE FRANCE CONCOURS COMPLET / JEUX ÉQUESTRES MONDIAUX]

Australia Announces Squad for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Australia is the latest team to announce their final squad for the FEI World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Chris Burton and Cooley Lands, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cavalier Land X Clover Light Girl, by Clover Hill) owned by Joe and Kate Walls
  • Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Touchdown X Calendar Girl, by Trigerrero) owned by Steve and Dinah Posford, Jules Carter and Sam Griffiths
  • Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos, a 9-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding (Jaguar Mail X Illusion Perdue, by Jalienny) owned by Paula and David Evans
  • Bill Levett and Lassban Diamond Lift, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Easy Lift xx X Lassban Chow Bella, by Diamond Chin) owned by Elisabeth Murdoch
  • Shane Rose and Virgil, a 13-year-old Australian Warmblood gelding (Vivant X North Pole xx, by North Star xx) owned by Michelle Hasibar

The three unranked reserves are:

  • Emma McNab and Fernhill Tabasco, owned by Kevin McNab, Dom and Poppy Worcester, and Julia and Jamie Dougall
  • Rob Palm and Cassie Lowe’s Koko Story
  • Amanda Ross and Koko Popping Candy, owned by Christine Brown and Fraser Brown

This is the third consecutive time Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh have been selected for an Australian championship team, a feat achieved only twice before by Gillian Rolton and Peppermint Grove and Sonja Johnson and Ringwould Jaguar.

The Aussie WEG squad will participate in a training camp prior to departure for Tryon at Hartpury Equestrian College in Gloucester, UK.

[Australian Eventing Team for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games]

Great Britain Announces Team for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hot off the presses! Great Britain has just announced their squad for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Ros Canter and Allstar B, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ephebe For Ever X Narenca B, by Ekstein) owned by the rider and Caroline Moore
  • Tina Cook and Billy The Red, an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Balou du Rouet X FBW Simply Red, by Stan The Man xx) owned by Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson
  • Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Echo X Royal China, by Cavalier Royale) owned by Jayne McGivern
  • Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly X Ariane du Prieure II, by Papillon Rouge) owned by the rider, Jane Inns and Ali McEwen
  • Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Luso X Dream Cocktail, by Roi Danzig) owned by the rider and The Soul Syndicate

“This year’s team selection was extremely close, with great strength and depth coming through the nominated list,” Eventing Performance Manager Dickie Waygood said. “We head to WEG with a strong squad and I look forward to continuing to work with the selected athletes in the build-up, to ensure we are best prepared for Tryon.”

[Great Britain’s World Equestrian Games eventing squad announced]

Dutch Squad Announced for 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games

Merel Blom and Rumour Has It. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Dutch eventing squad has been announced for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Merel Blom and Rumor Has It NOP, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Esteban xx X Onara, by Candillo) owned by J.M.J. Blom and M.C. Blom-Muilwijk
  • Laura Hoogeveen and Quibus, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Quasimodo Z X Rupiedante Dante Z, by Rupie Star) owned by Crimould B.V.
  • Alice Naber-Lozeman and ACSI Harry Belafonte, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Heraldik xx X Zamira, by Zamiro) owned by R. van Reine & S. van Reine
  • Raf Kooremans and Henri Z, a 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Heraldik xx X Rozina van de Hertogen, by Landaris) owned by Marc Rigouts
  • Theo van de Vendel and Zindane, a 14-year-old KPWN gelding (Kreator X Oriflame, by Kingston) owned by T. van de Vendel, J.J. van de Vendel and G.J. van de Vendel

Renske Kroeze and Jane Z, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Johny Boy II X Tendre Rose, by Hornet Rose) owned by Beemdhoeve B.V., have been named the reserve combination.

[EVENTINGTEAM WEG TRYON BEKEND]

Italy Names Short List for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Pietro Roman with Barraduff. Photo by Thomas Ix.

Italy has named a short list of seven combinations for eventing at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, which will take place Sept. 12-16 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

Stefano Brecciaroli and Byrnesgrove First Diamond, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Carrick Diamond Lad X Christies Lass, by Amazing Bust) owned by Andrew Nicholson and Mary Channer

Pietro Roman and Barraduff, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Carroll House X Crested Vesta VII, by Sea Crest) owned by Antonella Ascoli

Pietro Sandei and his own Rubis de Prere, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Fedor de Seves X Cina du Logis, by Quandy du Mayne)

Arianna Schivo and Quefira de l’Ormeau, a 14-year-old Selle Francais mare (Iolisco de Quinhon X Isabella du Brilot, by Beausejour IV) owned by the rider and Thomas Bouquet

Mattia Luciani and Leopold K, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse stallion (Levistano X Annabell K, by Askari) owned by Silver Oak Real Estate Company

Clelia Casiraghi and Verdi, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Indoctro X Istannie, by Dutchboy) owned by Doretta Colnaghi

Simone Sordi on Amacuzzi, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Marcuzzi X Amara, by Maizauber) owned by Maria Giovanna Mazzocchi

Italy will announce the final squad of five prior to the definite entry deadline on Sept. 3.

[WEG2018: Completo. Sette azzurri in short list per Tryon]

Brazil Names Final Squad for 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games

Nilson Moreira da Silva and Magnum’s Martini. Photo by Jenni Autry.

With nominated entries due today for eventing at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, we are expecting a flurry of teams announcements this week. Congratulations to the following horses and riders named to Brazil’s team:

  • Henrique Pinheiro and Land Quenotte do Feroleto, a 15-year-old Holsteiner mare (Landritter X No Limit, by Caretino) owned by Ana Paula Arósio
  • Marcelo Tosi and his own Glenfly, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Presenting X Dorans Glen, by Over The River)
  • Márcio Appel and Iberon Jmen, a 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Indoctro X Landina Jmen, by Landino) owned by Samantha Tonello
  • Márcio Carvalho Jorge and Coronel MCJ, an 11-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding (Fugitisso X Cotton Girl) owned by the Jorge Family
  • Nilson Moreira da Silva and Magnum’s Martini, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Magnum X Momos Girl) owned by L & N Equestrian

Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage in the lead-up to WEG. Go Eventing.

[Convocação – Jogos Equestres Mundiais – WEG 2018 Equipe Brasileira de CCE]

FEI Confirms Tryon’s WEG Course Will Run Full 5,700 Meters

A new water complex that will be unveiled next month for WEG at Tryon. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The FEI has confirmed that the 2018 World Equestrian Games cross country course at Tryon International Equestrian Center will run the full 5,700 meters, with 42 jumping efforts set across 10 minutes. FEI Eventing Committee Chair David O’Connor was onsite at Tryon in Mill Spring, North Carolina last week to review the course.

“Preparation work on the footing has progressed greatly following a very wet spring and, in consultation with Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips and the Tryon Organising Committee, it is confirmed that the full 5,700m track is ready for the WEG Eventing Cross Country according to the technical level specified in the Eventing Rules.”

The announcement comes following concern that the length of Capt. Mark Phillips’s track would be shortened due to heavy rain delaying ground preparations in the area. Some National Federations, including Australia and the Netherlands, delayed announcing their teams as a result of uncertainty surrounding the course length.

While the WEG course will be set at the full 5,700 meters, the FEI also noted that “as foreseen in the rules, modifications can be made to the course by the Ground Jury during the event should adverse weather conditions be expected.”

It is not uncommon to see the length of the cross country course at a major championships altered due to severe weather. One notable example occurred at the 2008 Olympics, where the equestrian events took place in Hong Kong in an average high temperature of 83.1°F (28.4°C) with 82% humidity. Mike Etherington-Smith’s course was shortened from 10 minutes to 8 minutes due to concerns for horse welfare.

Two fences and an uphill climb were also removed from Pierre Michelet’s 2014 WEG course at Haras du Pin in France due to heavy rainfall, which shortened the course from 11 minutes, 30 seconds to 10 minutes, 30 seconds.

As for the conditions we can expect during the WEG at Tryon, the National Weather Service’s Greenville-Spartanburg office records an average high temperature of 84°F (28.9°C) and average humidity of 74.5% during September. The NWS told EN that normal rainfall of about 4 inches is predicted for the remainder of August and into September. Eventing for the WEG is set to run Sept. 12-16.

For more insights on Tryon’s WEG course, EN recommends listening to the most recent episode of the USEA Podcast, which features interviews with head course builder Eric Bull and course designer Capt. Mark Phillips.

The course will feature four surface changes in total. The first 8 minutes, 45 seconds will run on grass. Then the next 150 meters of the course will run on all-weather footing before going back to grass at the end of the 9th minute. The course will then run into the main arena to finish on all-weather footing.

Capt. Mark Phillips emphasized the need for a fit horse, as the 8th minute of the course is a 600-meter climb uphill, and said he thinks the optimum time will be very difficult to catch. Click here to listen to the full interview.

This article has been updated to include further details about the anticipated weather conditions during the WEG at Tryon.

‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ Rings True at Catalpa Corner

Cross country warm-up at Catalpa Corner Horse Park — complete with water splash-through. Photo by Brian O’Connor.

The film Field of Dreams immortalized the words “if you build it, they will come,” and Dr. Jim McNutt and Susan Brigham used the phrase as inspiration when they decided to host an event at their farm near Iowa City.

The Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trial first ran in 2007 and remains the only USEA recognized event in the state of Iowa. Held annually the first weekend in August, Catalpa Corner offers Beginner Novice through Preliminary divisions and has become a beloved fixture on the Area IV calendar.

Catalpa Corner is a special event for many reasons. Created in memory of their 16-year-old son, Madison Brigham, who died tragically in a car accident in 2004, hosting a horse trial became a project into which Jim and Susan could channel their grief.

Miriam Copleand won the Madison Brigham and Christian Kennedy awards this year. Photo by Derith Vogt.

“Madison was a quiet and clever soul — an avid rider who enjoyed foxhunting, tennis, history and his many friends,” Susan said. “After the devastating loss of Madison, our foxhunting friends Camie and Jay Stockhausen suggested developing a horse trial in his memory, as Iowa was lacking an event.”

The property spans about 100 acres of beautiful Iowa countryside — a mix of pasture, woods, and undulating farmland used for corn and soybeans. While the rolling terrain was perfectly suited for a cross country course, a plethora of work was required to transform the property, which had formerly served as a pig farm.

Aided by the local Pony Club and a core group of dedicated friends, Jim and Susan “cleared woods, mowed down 13-foot high weeds for galloping lanes, and ringed the corn and soybean fields with cross country jumps, banks, ditches and water complexes.”

One of the galloping lanes on the Prelim course. Photo by Derith Vogt.

Paul Welsh stepped in to build many of the permanent cross country jumps at Catalpa Corner, and the late Phil Sawin served as the first course designer at the venue.

Phil laid out a track “designed for the young eventing Iowa population of riders, which was precisely what was needed at the time,” Susan said. “The park’s repertoire of jumping challenges has grown to standard over the last decade as riders have advanced.”

Greg Schlappi serves as the current course designer and has diversified and upgraded the types of fences and questions on the course. Catalpa Corner Horse Park now boasts a covered bridge, multi-leveled water complex, three ditched natural streams, steps, banks, ditches, sunken roads and mounds.

One of Gary Keenan’s beautiful carvings on the Preliminary course. Photo by Brian O’Connor.

“The park is lucky to have a fantastic chainsaw artist, Gary Keenan, who projects his skill with every tree fall,” Susan said. “USEA officials Pattie Clement and Vicki Rauwolf have continually guided the development of the park with their professionalism.”

Camie Stockhausen, who foxhunted with Madison and helped spearhead the transformation of the property into an eventing venue, serves as Catalpa Corner’s show jumping course designer.

“The first stadium course reflected Madison’s interests,” Susan said. “There was a tennis racket jump, a foxhunting set of triple jumps, a cowboy and cowgirl jump. The current show jumping course is designed to give children and adults alike a chance to remember the joy of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Local painter and rider, Barbara Hall, greatly contributed to the artistry of the stadium jumps.

The Harry Potter-themed show jumping course. Photo by Brian O’Connor.

“Every other year a themed jump is added, and next year’s addition is planned to be a Whomping Willow and Flying Ford Anglia. Camie always uses the slightly rolling grass arena and intriguing images to provide an interesting challenge for the riders.”

After organizing the event for a decade, Susan passed the reins in 2017 to new organizer Ali Hayford, who has been involved with the event as a volunteer from the very start. Susan continues to work behind the scenes and meticulously decorates the cross country course and show grounds. Both Paul Welsh and Steve Wildman help maintain the property year-round and play an integral role in preparing for the event.

This year’s Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trial boasted 168 starters from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri and South Dakota. Susan said she expects the number of entries to increase next year with the return of their popular Starter division.

Brian O’Connor — a familiar face at events all around the country and now the voice of Catalpa Corner. Photo by Derith Vogt.

Catalpa Corner also made the financial commitment this year to wire the property for permanent announcing. Brian O’Conner served as announcer and also wired the barns so announcements could be made all throughout the property, which proved critical over the weekend.

“On Sunday we had an intense Iowa rain storm come rolling in round 8 a.m., and because of this new system we were able to get all riders and horses back to the barn and covered safely,” Susan said. “We had an hour hold, which Brian aptly made up during the day to finish on time.”

Susan also created a new cupola garden entrance for the park for this year’s horse trial, and updated the much loved “Party Barn” with new lighting and paint. The secretary’s office also received a facelift with local antiques.

The new cupola garden entrance to Catalpa Corner Horse Park. Photo by Derith Vogt.

In addition to the summer horse trial, Catalpa Corner serves the Iowa eventing community and Area IV by offering cross country schooling, a spring event derby, and a fall hunter pace and schooling show. Beneficiaries of the event have included the Eastern Iowa Pony Clubs, Miracles in Motion Therapeutic Riding Center, the Future Farmers of America scholarship program and local first responders.

For Susan and Jim, Catalpa Corner Horse Park is not only a way to remember and honor their son, but also a way to provide a wonderful venue for horses and riders to enjoy throughout the year.

“The horse park and horse trial would not exist without an extensive volunteer force that descend on the farm and perform the manual labor of love that is necessary to run this adventure,” Susan said. “Seeing everyone’s love, patience and hard work pay off is gratifying. Iowans know that, ‘If you build it they will come,’ and they have.”

Click here to view final scores from the 2018 Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trials. Mark your calendars for Aug. 3-4, 2019 for next year’s event. Click here to learn more about the venue. Follow Catalpa Corner’s Facebook page for updates.

Who Jumped It Best? Millbrook Open Intermediate Edition

It’s time to play Who Jumped It Best? Millbrook Open Intermediate Edition! Torrential rain in the Millbrook, New York area forced cross country for the upper levels to be pushed back a day. The course at Coole Park Farm drained beautifully, and horses and riders had perfect going the next morning as they took on Tremaine Cooper’s track.

Take a look at these photos of the drop into the main water complex and vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for which horse and rider you think present the best overall picture over the jump. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from Millbrook. Go Eventing.

[Millbrook H.T. Final Scores]

Charlotte Collier and Fidelius 35. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Bevin Dugan and Kemmerlin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Natasha Erschen and Gran Torino. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lila Gendal and BT Just A Rebel. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Olivia Grabaskas and One and Only. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Meg Kepferle and Anakin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Carson Richards and Fernhill Mr. Cool. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alexandra Tett and Hawk’s Cay. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caitlin Tierney and Killea Gynis View. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Heidi White and Captain Fernhill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

New Zealand Names Squad for 2018 World Equestrian Games

Classic Moet, Jonelle Price, and Trisha Rickards. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hot off the presses! The highly anticipated announcement of the New Zealand Eventing Team for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games has arrived. Congratulations to the following horses and riders:

  • Mark Todd and McClaren, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Clarimo X Toni I, by Landjunge) owned by David and Katherine Thomson
  • Jonelle Price and Classic Moet, a 15-year-old British-bred mare (Classic xx X Gamston Bobbles, by Bohemond xx) owned by Trisha Rickards and Jonelle Price
  • Tim Price and Cekatinka, an 11-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri X Katinka, by Julio Mariner xx) owned by Joanne Pullan
  • Blyth Tait and Dassett Courage, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Courage II X Cruseings Girl, by Cruising) owned by Thomas Barr, Sally Grant and Blyth Tait
  • Dan Jocelyn and Grovine de Reve, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Hermea de Reve X Erkina Jane, by Rimilis xx) owned by Therese Miller, Jo Preston-Hunt, Philip Hunt and Dan Jocelyn

The following alternates have also been named:

  • Mark Todd and Leonidas II, owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark Todd, or Kiltubrid Rhapsody, owned by Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald
  • Blyth Tait and Havanna, owned by Jane Lovell-Smith, Katherine Corich and John Ormiston
  • Tim Price and Ascona M, owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela, or Ringwood Sky Boy, owned by Varenna Allen, Robert Taylor and Tim Price
  • Caroline Powell and Up Up and Away, owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford and Powell
  • Dan Jocelyn and Dassett Cool Touch, owned by Therese Miller and Dan Jocelyn, or Blackthorn Cruise, owned by Therese Miller and Panda Christie
  • Jesse Campbell and Cleveland, owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell

[NZ Eventing Stars Named for Worlds]

Watch the Advanced Riders Tackle the Millbrook Water Complex

It’s the video we’ve all been waiting for! Watch all of the horses and riders in the Advanced division at Millbrook Horse Trials take on the water complex. This is a hot spot for spectators on the course, so Tremaine Cooper had two loops through the water to give the crowds plenty to watch.

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice Daniela Mougel’s sunglasses fly off when she jumped into the water with Cecelia. She returned on foot later in the afternoon and waded around until she found them, which elicited a cheer from the crowd!

Who do you think had the best ride through the water? Let us know in the comments below. Many thanks to R.N.S. Video for providing this footage. Go Eventing.

#Millbrook: WebsiteFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Madeline Backus Retires Four-Star Partner P.S. Arianna

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna at Kentucky 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Madeline Backus announced that she has decided to retire P.S. Arianna, her 17-year-old four-star partner. An Anglo-Trakehner mare (Ibsen X Amazing Raven) bred by her farrier Dennis Ackermann and started by her mother Laura, Madeline got “Ari” as a present for her 10th birthday.

Madeline and Ari came through the levels of eventing together, culminating in completing their first CCI4* at Kentucky last year and competing at Badminton this spring.

Madeline Backus and PS Arianna at Badminton 2018. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“My beloved Ari has told me that it is time she be retired from upper-level eventing. This horse has given me more than I could have ever asked for, and I’m so thankful for the story we were able to write together. I’m saddened by the end of this epic era, but happy to watch her begin her next chapter, which I’m thinking will involve some really adorable foals,” Madeline said.

“Thank you Ari for turning my dreams into a reality and being my horse of a lifetime. You have taught me courage, patience, heartbreak, triumph, and most of all, perseverance and belief in my dreams no matter the odds. Love you always my small and mighty mare; the past 12 years have been a spectacular journey.”

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna at Kentucky 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Ari competed at the international level for eight seasons. In addition to contesting Kentucky and Badminton, she also finished 13th at the Jersey Fresh CCI3* and 25th at Fair Hill CCI3* in 2016. The mare also represented Area IX at the FEI North American Junior & Young Championships in 2011 and 2014.

Madeline and Ari have been based in England for much of the 2018 season thanks to funding received from two grants: the $10,000 Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant and the $45,000 Wilton Fair Grant, which is given to a rider 29 and under who has not yet ridden for a senior U.S. team.

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna at Red Hills 2017. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“We will be heading back to the U.S. from England the second week of August, where Ari will live a fat and happy life on the the same grounds she frolicked as a yearling,” Madeline said.

“The more I learn about this sport, the more amazed I become at how lucky I am to have had such an incredible horse and so many influential people, mentors, friends, and companies supporting us all the way. Here’s to you, Ari, and thank you to everyone who has helped us write our story.”

We wish Madeline and Ari a safe journey home and look forward to meeting those foals. Go Eventing.

Helmet Cam: Ride Around Millbrook with Doug Payne and Getaway

Ride around Tremaine Cooper’s Millbrook Advanced cross country course with Doug Payne and Lisa Wall’s Getaway in this helmet cam courtesy of Cambox. “Flynn,” an 11-year-old Oldenburg by Contendro, added 1.2 time penalties to his dressage score to complete on 26.6 and finish second.

Only three pairs caught the time, and Doug and Flynn finished 5 seconds over the optimum time of 6 minutes, 21 seconds — 2 seconds faster and they would have won. Check out their super inside line at the water complex at the 5:15 marker in the video. Doug was the only rider to attempt it in the Advanced division and nailed it.

Doug and Flynn received a Jacqueline B. Mars International Competition Grant from the USET Foundation to compete at Boekelo CCIO3* in October and used Millbrook as a prep run. We wish them all the best as they gear up for the trip to the Netherlands. Go Eventing.

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Murphy and Martin Recovering After Falls at Millbrook

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux at Bromont 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Caroline Martin are recovering following their falls yesterday on Advanced cross country at Millbrook Horse Trials in Millbrook, New York.

Sara and Rubens D’Ysieux won Millbrook last year and were leading going into cross country this year. They fell at fence 18, a wagon; the fall was not rotational. Rubens D’Ysieux, a 13-year-old Selle Francais owned by The Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate, did not sustain any injuries.

Sara sustained multiple fractures in her spine, as well as disc and ligament damage. She was transported by ambulance to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, and will undergo surgery this morning.

“My dear friend is absolutely fine, was going like a dream, and deserved to win. As long as he is OK, life is good. There is always another day,” Sara said. “The doctors and nurses have been taking excellent care of me in the ICU at MidHudson Regional Hospital, and I’m very lucky that I received such quick and thorough help onsite at Millbrook.”

Caroline Martin and Cristano Z at Stable View 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Caroline Martin and Cristano Z had a rotational fall at fence 4, a table. The 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding was uninjured in the fall.

Caroline was also transported by ambulance to MidHudson Regional Hospital and is now resting comfortably at home in Pennsylvania. She told EN she is sore but doing well and awaiting further evaluation with her doctor.

We wish both Sara and Caroline speedy healing and would like to send a special thank you to the medical teams at Millbrook, who were with both riders as soon as possible and provided excellent care.

Click here to read all of EN’s coverage from Millbrook.

Emily Beshear and Olney Uncle Sam Clinch Surprise Win at Millbrook

Emily Beshear and Olney Uncle Sam. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Following the decision to move Advanced cross country to Sunday in order to ensure good going for the horses at Millbrook Horse Trials, we saw beautiful conditions and perfect footing for the finale here in Millbrook, New York — a welcome change from the stormy weather that plagued much of the weekend.

Time always proves tricky across Tremaine Cooper’s Advanced course, and even with the sun drying the saturated footing to provide fast ground, riders still had to be very clever with their lines to shave precious seconds. A new loop on the front of the track and a change of direction with fewer downhill stretches also created a scenario in which the time proved easier to catch this year. Three pairs ultimately bested the optimum time of 6 minutes, 21 seconds, and we saw a number of speedy rounds.

Emily Beshear and Olney Uncle Sam crossed the finish 1 second over the time to rise up from third place following show jumping to take the win on 26.1. Emily would be the first to say that she didn’t expect “Sammy,” an 11-year-old Trakehner (Sonset Seiger X Aerial, by Starman), to win this weekend, as his record has been a bit “hit or miss” since he stepped up to the Advanced level in April.

“I’ve been trying to figure out how to give him the right ride on cross country. I came to Millbrook wanting to execute a new plan,” Emily said. “He’s a little bit of a quirky horse. When I moved him up to Advanced I fell into the mode of being defensive because he’s a little careful. If I sit up and prepare a lot (before jumps) then he questions things even more. I had to work through that and decide that instead of sitting up and protecting him I am going to give him a really positive ride.”

It’s been a bit over a year since Sammy’s owner, Jennifer Ward, asked Emily to take the ride. Jennifer purchased Sammy as a 3-year-old from his breeder, Ami Howard of Olney Farm in Maryland, and produced him to the CCI* level. When Jennifer’s job as an underwriter in real estate finance left her with little time to continue competing, Emily was the obvious choice to campaign Sammy.

“It’s been a lot of fun for all of us,” Emily said, “and it’s rare for the weekend to come together like this. As for her thoughts on the course: “I was thrilled that (Tremaine) gave us a bit more room to get galloping in the beginning, especially with this horse because he can come out of the box a little too careful. It certainly was a big benefit for all of us that the organizers decided to push cross country back a day. The footing was great and I thought everything on course was quite fair.”

Sammy’s big goal for the fall is the CCI3* at Fair Hill, and Emily also plans to run him in the CIC3* at Plantation Field next month.

Doug Payne and Getaway. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Doug Payne and Lisa Wall’s Getaway, an 11-year-old Oldenburg by Contendro, added 1.2 time penalties to their dressage score to finish in second place on 26.6. Doug and “Flynn” were the only pair in the division to take the gutsy inside line at the water complex, which saved a substantial amount of time.

“He’s getting better and better,” Doug said. “There are still some jumps where he runs past the distance and doesn’t stay as well balanced, so you still need to spend a little time to make sure it’s right. But overall it’s just easy for him. He’s remarkable in that way.”

Doug and Flynn received a Jacqueline B. Mars International Competition Grant from the USET Foundation to compete at Boekelo CCIO3* in the Netherlands in October. The horse will continue competing in pure show jumping in preparation for Boekelo, and Doug also plans to run at Stable View before Flynn ships overseas.

“He just needs to get stronger and more comfortable in a big environment,” Doug said. “The more places we can find the better.”

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing jumped clear with 8.8 time penalties to finish in third place on 34.0. It was the exact confidence-boosting round she wanted for “Liam,” a 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate.

“I didn’t start my watch with either of my horses,” Allison said, explaining that she wanted to focus on a smooth round rather than go for time. “He started out a little nervous, but after the first combination he jumped every fence out of stride. … The goal is to get him ready to be competitive for Fair Hill CCI3*.

Boyd Martin and Long Island T, a 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx) owned by the Long Island T Syndicate, led after dressage but slipped to fifth after having a rail down over Marc Donovan’s show jumping course this morning. Adding 8.4 time penalties on cross country saw them finish fourth on 35.3.

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Canada’s Brandon McMechan and his own Oscar’s Wild were one of three pairs to catch the optimum time, which moved the 9-year-old Thoroughbred up from 21st after dressage to finish in fifth on 36.1 — the only pair to finish on their dressage score in the Advanced division.

Boyd Martin finished three of his rides in the top 10. Christine Turner’s On Cue, a 12-year-old Anglo European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising), delivered a solid performance in her Advanced debut, jumping clear in show jumping this morning and adding 5.6 time penalties to finish sixth on 36.5.

Ariel Grald and Annie Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Master Imp X Ardragh Bash, by Cavalier Royale), delivered a clear show jumping round and added 6.4 time penalties on cross country to finish seventh on 37.7.

Buck Davidson and Maya Simmons’s Archie Rocks, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred (Le Monde X Unbridled Diva, by Unbridled Jet), had two rails down and 1 time penalty in show jumping, but a clear cross country trip with just 0.4 time penalties as the first pair on course boosted them up to finish eighth on 40.5.

Jules Ennis and her own Cooley O, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Caricello, by Lady Glebe, by Kildalton King), added 1 time penalty in show jumping and 6 time penalties on cross country to take ninth place on 41.4.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie had one rail down and 4 time penalties in show jumping, and added an additional 4 time penalties on cross country to complete on 41.5 in 10th place. The 15-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred (Jetball X Tudnela) owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen and Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin is preparing to return to Burghley next month.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Click here to view final scores. Time penalties were the major deciding factor on the leaderboard. While 81% of starters jumped clear rounds, only 8% made the time. In addition to Brandon McMahon and Oscar’s Wild, Cornelia Dorr and Louis M (11th, 44.4) and Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise (12th, 44.7) also beat the clock.

We unfortunately saw two horse falls back-to-back very early on in the division. Caroline Martin and Cristano Z had a rotational fall at a table at fence 4. Last year’s winners Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux led after show jumping but fell at the wagon at fence 18. Both horses were uninjured and on their feet right away. Both Caroline and Sara were transported by ambulance to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie for treatment. We are wishing them both speedy healing.

Millbrook is a special event for a lot of reasons, and the team behind the scenes who run the show are second to none. Thank you to the organizers, officials and volunteers, all of whom kept smiling amidst the rain and mud. Keep checking back for more photos. Until next year … Go Eventing.

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