Jenni Autry
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Jenni Autry

Achievements

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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Allison Springer Leads Jersey Fresh CIC3* with Lord Willing

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing lead the 41-horse CIC3* division on 27.8 at the conclusion of dressage here at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in Allentown, New Jersey.

“Lord Willing is really fun to do a test on,” Allison said. “I’ve been working really hard on my cross country. He’s a careful horse, but I’m excited about him.”

Allison is looking for redemption with “Liam,” a 9-year-old Holsteiner (Lord Z X Legende IX, by Coriano) owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate, after retiring on cross country in the horse’s CIC3* debut at Carolina International in March.

“(The course is) a bit windy in areas, but I think there are some good questions and it will hopefully be a good confidence-booster. I think (course designer Capt. Mark Phillips) has done a good job of trying to improve the course here. I’m really pleased with the improvements he’s made.

Phillip Dutton and Sportsfield Candy. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton piloted Sportsfield Candy to the CCI2* win at Jersey Fresh in 2016, and he temporarily has the ride back while the horse’s usual jockey Kevin Keane is sidelined with a broken leg. “Candy,” an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Condios, scored 29.0 to sit in second in the CIC3* after dressage.

“Sportsfield Candy hasn’t been at this level very much,” Phillip said. “He’s been very well trained and prepared by Kevin Keane. It was easy to get him up there and get him competitive today.”

(We are delighted to announce that Kevin will be back walking on Tuesday, and we trust our favorite vet will be back in the saddle very soon!)

As for Phillip’s thoughts on Capt. Mark Phillips’ course: “Every event you go to has some uniqueness about it. There’s always turning and twisting (at Jersey Fresh), which we all have to learn to ride and deal with. … I think Mark has tried to make it as testing but safe as he possibly can with the ground.”

Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C. Photo by Alison Green — three cheers for our official show photographer!

Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C very nearly caught their personal best score at three-star level and sit in third place on 29.7. It is the best test “Congo” has delivered this season by 4 marks, and Mara said she called in the big guns ahead of Jersey Fresh to fine-tune their dressage.

“The flatwork has always been a weakness (with this horse),” Mara said. “I’m good at helping other people (in dressage), but not always good at helping myself, so I got some help. Thanks to David O’Connor, I’ve had three lessons in the last week, and it’s improved my score a ton in my first attempt. I owe him a lot of the credit.”

“Congo,” an 11-year-old KWPN (Tangelo Van de Zuuthoeve X Mexico M, by Highline) Mara owns with David and Mark Clark Regamey, came to her as a 6-year-old. Mara bought the horse sight unseen through Susie Pragnall, who sourced her 1996 Atlanta Olympic partner Hopper.

“I thought I was done coming back to this top level,” Mara said, “but Congo brought me back because he’s such a special horse to ride.”

Mara’s plan for the rest of the season is to kick on to the Bromont CCI3* and then apply for a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant in the hopes of taking Congo overseas to contest a fall CCI.

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the rest of the top five in the CIC3*, Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Courage II X Misty Matilda, by Clover) owned by the Fernhill Fortitude Syndicate, scored 29.8 to tie for  equal fourth with Boyd Martin and Kyra, an 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (VDL Ulando H X Wellesley, by Weltstern) owned by Christine Turner.

Looking to the CIC2*, Will Coleman and Soupcon de Brunet, a 12-year-old Anglo Arabian (Zandor Z X Bikadine, by Nouredine du Lirac) owned by The Conair Syndicate, lead on 26.8 in the horse’s first international competition back from injury in more than a year.

Thursday’s CIC2* leaders Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Caeleste, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Happygolucky, by Lucky Lionell), now sit in second place on 27.7.

Boyd Martin and The Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Star Regent xx X Donnice, by Der Clou), sit third on 28.2 in preparation for Luhmühlen CCI4* next month.

Cross country day at Jersey Fresh starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow with divisions running in the following order: CCI2*, CCI3*, CIC3* and CIC2*. Click here for start times.

Course maps for all the tracks are available here. There is no live stream for cross country, but EN will be running live updates for the CCI and CIC3* divisions.

Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from #JFI3DE thus far. Go Eventing.

#JFI3DE: WebsiteXC Start TimesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Boyd Martin Leads Both CCI Divisions After Dressage at Jersey Fresh

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

Boyd Martin is dominating both CCI divisions following dressage at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event, taking the lead in the CCI3* at the conclusion of the division this morning with Long Island T on 25.4.

The score of 25.4 (38.1 under former FEI scoring) is a personal best at three-star level for 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. “Ludwig” is stepping up to CCI3* for the first time at Jersey Fresh.

Boyd and Ludwig were the last pair in the division to go before the ground jury of Andrew Bennie (NZL), Gretchen Butts (USA), and Jane Hamlin (USA), delivering a lovely test on a beautiful, quiet morning at the Horse Park of New Jersey.

The peace and serenity of the morning made it all the more noticeable when a child started shrieking about halfway through the test. How appropriate that it was Boyd’s own son, Nox Martin, dancing around on the hill overlooking the arena while wielding a dressage whip.

“He was a star,” Boyd said after the test. “He’s very good on the flat — a great mover, nice and relaxed in the ring … But it’s a three-day event, not a dressage show, and I have a mission ahead of me tomorrow.

“I think walking the course it’s all very doable. We’ve been training really hard at the cross country … We’ve had some good runs and some scratchy ones, but I think this course suits him well.”

Ludwig picked up 20 penalties on cross country in the Fair Hill CIC3* last month, so Boyd will be looking to put them behind him as he sets out of the start box tomorrow.

Thursday dressage leaders Jessica Phoenix and Don Good’s Pavarotti now sit in second place on 28.5 at the conclusion of dressage. The 16-year-old Westphalian (Pavarotti Van de Helle X Fidelia, by Foxiland) finished 11th in the CCI3* at this event in 2016.

Boyd Martin’s homebred Ray Price, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred/Dutch gelding (Raise A Stanza X Fair Fiona, by Salute) owned by the Ray Price W Syndicate, sits third on 29.1 in his debut at the CCI3* level.

Ellie MacPhail O’Neal and Sally Crane’s RF Eloquence, a 13-year-old Holsteiner (Contender X D-Ginger, by Grundyman xx), are one of the pairs in this division re-routing from the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and sit in fourth place on 30.6.

Waylon Roberts and Michelle and John Koppin’s Lancaster, an 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse by Yavari, sat in third place overnight and now sit fifth at the conclusion of the first phase on 30.8 in the horse’s CCI3* debut.

Boyd Martin Holds CCI2* Lead with On Cue

The remaining six horses in the CCI2* also went this morning, and no one could catch Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s On Cue‘s leading score of 25.7 from yesterday. The 12-year-old Anglo European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising) is making her CCI2* debut here at Jersey Fresh.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Jump Jet, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Captain Clover X Kilmullen Cruisalier, by Cavalier Royale), delivered the best CCI2* test today to move into second place on 29.2.

Allison Springer and Business Ben, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred (Artie Schiller X Min Elreeh, by Danzig) owned by the Business Ben Partnership, sat in second place after the first day and now slot into third place at the conclusion of the CCI2* on 30.8.

Click here to view live scoring for all divisions. Keep checking David Frechette’s YouTube channel for videos from Jersey Fresh. Click here for a fence-by-fence preview of Capt. Mark Phillips’ CCI3* cross country course.

Cross country day at Jersey Fresh starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow with divisions running in the following order: CCI2*, CCI3*, CIC3* and CIC2*. Click here for start times. Course maps for all the tracks are available here. There is no live stream, but EN will be running live updates for the CCI and CIC3* divisions.

Go Eventing.

This report has been updated with quotes from Boyd Martin.

#JFI3DE: Website, XC Start Times, Schedule, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Instagram, EN’s Twitter

Jersey Fresh International CCI3* Cross Country Course Preview

The revamped Jersey Shore water complex. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Capt. Mark Phillips returns as the cross country course designer for the second consecutive year at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event. The new loop on the front of the course, which he introduced last year, provides better flow at the beginning, but at its core this is still the same twisty, winding track.

That said, historically it has not been too difficult to make the optimum time in the CCI3* at this event. An average of 33.5% of competitors made the optimum in 2015 and 2016 when we had good weather. While there are severe thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow afternoon here in Allentown, New Jersey, the morning looks clear for the CCI divisions.

EN’s data analyst Maggie Deatrick expects eight to nine riders to catch the optimum time of 10 minutes, 10 seconds on the CCI3* course. As for the fastest pairs in the field, look to Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino, Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind, and Nilson Moreira da Silva and Magnum’s Martini to challenge the clock.

The course has 32 numbers obstacles, with a slew of accuracy questions in skinnies and corners scattered throughout the track, set over 5,795 meters. Scroll down for a fence-by-fence preview of each fence on the CCI3* course.

Cross country day at Jersey Fresh starts at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow with divisions running in the following order: CCI2*, CCI3*, CIC3* and CIC2*. Course maps for all the tracks are available here. There is no live stream, but EN will be running live updates for the three-star divisions.

CCI2* co-designer Morgan Rowsell has been diligently aggravating the ground since yesterday to provide good going for the horses, so please join us in thanking him and the rest of the team here at the Horse Park of New Jersey.

Go Eventing.

#JFI3DE: WebsiteXC Start TimesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Day 1 at Jersey Fresh: Phoenix Leads CCI3*, Fredericks Tops CIC3*

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The first 20 horses in the CCI3* danced down the centerline today at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event here in Allentown, New Jersey. Jessica Phoenix and Don Good’s Pavarotti lead the division on 28.5 (42.8 in former FEI scoring) with six more horses still to come tomorrow.

Pavarotti, a 16-year-old Westphalian (Pavarotti Van de Helle X Fidelia, by Foxiland), has scored in the 20s in all of his international appearances thus far this season in his bid for a return trip to the World Equestrian Games for Canada. Jessica said she thought today’s test was one of the nicest Pavarotti has ever done.

“He felt relaxed and like he kept his hind legs underneath him more in this test than in previous tests. He’s so excited to be here and feels so fit and ready to go,” Jessica said.

“Pavarotti has been a horse of a lifetime for me. The things that the horse has done for me and the teams he’s ridden on and being so competitive every time out for me, to bring him to Jersey and have him feel this fit and ready to go is pretty exciting.”

Jersey Fresh is Pavarotti’s fifth appearance at the CCI3* level, and he finished 11th in the CCI3* here in 2016. Since then, Capt. Mark Phillips has taken over as course designer, introducing a new loop to the course in 2017 in an effort to unwind what has historically been known as a very twisty track.

“I think (the course) really flows nicely at the start … and they can get into the rhythm before you start doing circles later. There’s a lot of turning and a lot of circling back on yourself towards the later part of the course … I think with the way they’ve used the hills, fitness will be really important this year,” Jessica said.

“When you’ve been around that many courses on a horse (like Pavarotti), you feel like they are your best friend and you know each other inside and out. On cross country, anything can happen any day, but you feel really confident leaving the start box on that horse.”

Boyd Martin and Ray Price. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin‘s homebred Ray Price is stepping up to the CCI3* level here at Jersey Fresh and impressed in his test this morning, scoring 29.1 to sit in second place after the first day. “He was green and wiggly in the test, and there’s lots of improvement to be made, but I think he’s all class,” Boyd said.

This is the fourth career Advanced start for Ray Price, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred/Dutch gelding (Raise A Stanza X Fair Fiona, by Salute) owned by the Ray Price W Syndicate. He finished fourth in his CIC3* debut at Fair Hill last month.

Boyd bred Ray Price’s grandmother and mother, and has a 2-year-old sister to the horse as well. (Click here to read more about Boyd’s breeding program.) He affectionately described the horse as a bit of a “weirdo,” and said the whole family can be a bit sharp — “You wouldn’t want to take your rain coat off when you’re riding him.”

But at 78% Thoroughbred, Ray Price is also the shining example of a modern event horse: “He’s got speed, he’s got movement, he’s got heaps of jump,” Boyd said. “By the end of the year at Fair Hill I think he’ll be a genuine, proper three-star horse, and then if that all goes well I think he’ll be good to go up to (four-star) next year.”

Waylon Roberts and Lancaster. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Canada is dominating the top of the leaderboard after the first day of dressage, with Waylon Roberts sitting in third on 30.8 with Michelle and John Koppin’s Lancaster, an 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse by Yavari, in the horse’s CCI3* debut.

Waylon originally had this horse as a 4-year-old and sold him to Boyd, during which Mike Pendleton took Lancaster around his first one-star. When the horse went back on the market in 2016, Waylon jumped at the chance to get him back. Since then he has produced him though the two-star level and up to three-star, finishing seventh in the horse’s debut at the level at Red Hills.

“The horse just comes out of his stall in the right outline and shape,” Waylon said. “It’s just trying to put all the right movements together in a row.”

As for the cross country: “There are plenty of challenges out there. I think Mark has done a good job with setting it to get some of these younger horses around. I’m looking forward to tackling that on Saturday.”

Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino sit fourth on 31.7 in his first CCI3* appearance since Galway Downs in 2015.

“Domino,” a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Dunlough Striker X Atlantic Amanda, by Glidawn Diamond) owned by Frank Fletcher and Fletcher Farms, has had a cracking spring season, with the first CIC3* win of Jacob’s career at Chattahoochee Hills, plus a second-place finish at Red Hills.

Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play round out the top five on 31.9. “Coolio,” a 10-year-old German Sport Horse (Condors Champion X Roxana, by Radscha) owned by The Donner Syndicate, is another horse making his CCI3* debut at Jersey Fresh. He impressed in his first CIC3* at The Fork at Tryon, finishing seventh in a strong field.

Click here to view full scores from the CCI3*. Click here to watch videos courtesy of David Frechette, AKA The Horse Pesterer.

Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman Top CIC3*

The first 11 pairs in the 41-horse CIC3* division also went today in dressage. Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman, a 10-year-old Wurttemberger (Balloon X Concorde, by Cabaret) he owns with Amanda Bernhard and Diana Crawford, lead on 30.1 in the early going.

“He was a bit tense today,” Clayton said. “I didn’t give him as much work as I normally have and made one little error, which is a bit unusual for him. It’s a hard arena for him because he’s such a looky horse.”

FE Bowman finished 10th in the CIC3* at Chattahoochee Hills last month and is aiming for his first CCI3* at Bromont to gain his qualification for the World Equestrian Games.

“It seems like he’s been around for awhile, but he’s quite green at the three-star level,” Clayton said. “We have some bits to iron out and get right … but he’s well capable of doing it.”

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Danger Mouse, a 10-year-old KWPN by Kannan, sit in second place in the CIC3* on 30.6. We are relieved to report that Caroline said her injured foot is feeling much better six weeks post her fall at Carolina International — fantastic news!

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie sit in third place in the CIC3* on 31.2. The 15-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred (Jetball X Tudnela) owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen, Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, is re-routing to the Bromont CCI3* following early trouble on course at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Click here to view full scores from the CIC3*. Click here to watch videos courtesy of David Frechette, AKA The Horse Pesterer.

Boyd Martin and On Cue Top CCI2*

Twelve of the 18 horses in the CCI2* division went down the centerline today, with Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s On Cue leading on 25.7 in the mare’s first appearance at the level. On Cue, a 12-year-old Anglo European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising), finished third in the CIC2* at The Fork and also finished seventh in the two-star at Pine Top early in the season.

Allison Springer and Business Ben, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred (Artie Schiller X Min Elreeh, by Danzig) owned by the Business Ben Partnership, scored 30.8 to sit in second place. This is his second appearance at CCI2*, having finished 31st at Fair Hill International last autumn.

Young rider Cassandra Wallskog, 17, and her 18-year-old Oldenburg mare Feine Loesung round out the top three in the CCI2* on 34.5. Click here to view full scores in the CCI2*.

Will Faudree and Caeleste Lead CIC2*

The first 17 pairs went today in the packed 58-horse CIC2* division. After the first third of the division, Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Caeleste, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender X Happygolucky, by Lucky Lionell), lead on 27.7.

Boyd Martin is the only rider in the competition to have a horse in the top three of all four divisions here at Jersey Fresh. He currently sits in second place on 28.2 with the Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Star Regent xx X Donnice, by Der Clou), in preparation for Luhmühlen CCI4* next month.

Holly Payne-Caravella and CharmKing, a 7-year-old Holsteiner (Cassito X O-Heraldika, by Heraldik) owned by CharmKing LLC, sit in third place in the CIC2* on 30.0.

Keep it locked on EN for much more from #JFI3DE, including our full preview of Capt. Mark Phillips’ CCI3* cross country course. We also invite you to join us in doing a rain dance, as the footing could definitely use some extra rain before Saturday. 

Jersey Fresh has borrowed Fair Hill’s aggravator to work on the footing, and after Morgan Rowsell spent a significant portion of the day out working on the course, the riders are reporting that the portions aggravated thus far feel significantly better. Thank you, Morgan!

Go Eventing.

#JFI3DE: WebsiteDressage TimesSchedule, VideosLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

All Pairs Accepted at Jersey Fresh First Horse Inspection + Photo Gallery

Bobby Meyerhoff rocking a red blazer with Almanac. Photo by Jenni Autry.

All pairs were accepted at the first horse inspection here at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event on a warm, sunny afternoon at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown, New Jersey.

No horses were sent to the holding box in either the CCI2* or CCI3*, though the CCI3* ground jury of Andrew Bennie (NZL), Gretchen Butts (USA), and Jane Hamlin (USA) asked Hawley Bennett-Award to jog Jollybo twice before announcing the mare as accepted.

A total of 44 horses are competing across both CCI divisions here at Jersey Fresh: 26 in the CCI3* and 18 in the CCI2*. The CCI3* is a qualifying event and selection trial for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon.

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Jenni Autry.

While the CCI divisions are smaller than we typically see, the CIC divisions are packed with 58 in the CIC2* and 41 in the CIC3*. The 145 total competitors are the largest in the history of the event.

Capt. Mark Phillips returns as the cross country course designer this year, assisted by Morgan Rowsell as two-star co-designers. Ten new jumps will be unveiled on the CCI3* course thanks to presenting sponsor B.W. Furlong & Associates.

Chris Barnard is the new show jumping course designer this year, and Jersey Fresh is launching a new Show Jumping Sponsorship Program that will gradually introduce new show jumps for the event starting this year.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Horse Park of New Jersey will also cut the ribbon on Friday to officially mark the completion of the first stage of improvements to the Grand Prix Arena, which continues to undergo major footing refurbishments.

Dressage starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. for both CCI divisions, followed by the CIC divisions in the afternoon. Click here for dressage start times.

Keep checking back for more photos from this afternoon’s first inspection, and stay tuned for EN’s wall-to-wall coverage of #JFI3DE. Go Eventing.

#JFI3DE Links: WebsiteDressage TimesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

British Horse Society, British Eventing Release Statements on Oliver Townend [Updated]

Oliver Townend on cross country with Cooley SRS, left, and Ballagmor Class. Photos by Nico Morgan Media.

Following Oliver Townend’s official warning for “over-use of the whip” on cross country at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, the British Horse Society plans to raise further concerns about his behavior with the FEI.

The British Horse Society, which works to promote the prevention of cruelty and harm to horses, released a statement today saying, “We cannot condone the behaviour of Oliver Townend over the weekend and we will be raising our concerns to the FEI.”

Gemma Stanford, British Horse Society Director of Welfare, said: “The welfare of the horse should always be paramount. Riders at this level have an increased responsibility as they are role models and should also be setting an example for the next generation coming through our sport.

“The behaviour displayed by Oliver Townend was completely unacceptable. We strongly believe that the sanctions given to Mr Townend by the FEI were not high enough in this particular case. The British Horse Society will be raising these concerns to the FEI.”

Oliver released a statement yesterday in response to the public outrage over his use of the whip during his cross country rounds with both Cooley SRS and Ballaghmor Class.

“I’m so disappointed and upset about the way I rode. It didn’t look good and I don’t want to look like that,” Oliver said. “I fully accept the warning I received from the ground jury. My competitive instincts got the better of me and I will work hard to improve in this area.”

Click here to read Oliver’s full statement.

[British Horse Society Statement on Oliver Townend]

UPDATED 5/9: British Eventing issued a statement on Wednesday, as follows: “BE takes the welfare of all horses extremely seriously and does not condone the over-use of the whip on any horse, including the incident referred to above involving Oliver Townend.”

“Badminton Horse Trials is regulated and run under the rules of the FEI which encompasses any disciplinary procedures during the event, and the discipline given to Oliver was made by FEI Officials.

“Although issued at an FEI event, as per rule 3.8.3 of the BE Members’ Handbook, British Eventing reflects the FEI sanctions imposed on competitors, which will see Oliver’s discipline sanction recorded on the BE Discipline List.

“David Holmes; ‘Animal welfare and rider safety is of the highest priority for British Eventing and this incident will be taken very seriously by British Eventing. BE are in contact with Oliver regarding his behaviour at Badminton and, through the Discipline List, will be monitored closely at all BE fixtures.'”

[Statement Regarding Oliver Townend]

Oliver Townend Responds to Public Outrage Over Whip Use at Badminton

Cooley SRS and Oliver Townend on course at Badminton. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Oliver Townend released a statement this morning in response to the public outrage over his use of the whip during his cross country rounds with both Cooley SRS and Ballaghmor Class on Saturday at the Mitsbubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

The Badminton ground jury gave Oliver an official warning for “over-use of the whip” at the conclusion of cross country day.

Oliver’s statement reads:

“Having watched my Badminton cross-country rounds for the first time when I got home last night, I’m so disappointed and upset about the way I rode. It didn’t look good and I don’t want to look like that.

“I fully accept the warning I received from the ground jury. My competitive instincts got the better of me and I will work hard to improve in this area.

“I try really hard to give my horses the best ride possible — I try to be as fit as possible, to be as light as I can be, to sit as still as I can, to get them on the best strides and take-off points to minimise the energy they have to waste. I care enormously about their wellbeing and their welfare.

“I feel I have let my amazing team down. I am aware of my position in the sport and of my responsibility to be a suitable role model to younger people, and I apologise to them.

“I love my horses — I live for them. I am extremely proud of all four horses — Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS, and the two who went so brilliantly at Kentucky, Cooley Master Class and MHS King Joules — and of every horse on my yard.

Oliver’s whip use at Badminton has dominated national news headlines both in Britain and abroad since Saturday, provoking a debate on social media over appropriate whip use.

FEI Rule 526.3 states:

Excessive and/or misuse of the whip maybe considered abuse of Horse and will be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury according to the following principles:

a) The whip is not to be used to vent an Athlete temper.

b) The whip is not to be used after elimination.

c) The whip is not to be used after a Horse has jumped the last fence on a course.

d) The whip is not to be used overhand, (i.e. a whip in the right hand being used on the left flank).

e) The whip is not to be used on a Horse head.

f) The whip is not to be used more than three times for any one incident.

g) If a Horse skin is broken the use of the whip is always excessive.

FEI Rule 526.2 states: “Any act or series of actions that in the opinion of the Ground Jury can be defined as abuse of Horse will be dealt with one or more of the following provisions: a) Recorded Verbal Warning. b) Yellow Warning Card. c) Elimination. d) Fine. e) Disqualification.”

FEI Rule 515.3.5 states: “The Technical Delegate has the authority to warn or stop an Athlete on Cross Country course for dangerous riding (art. 525), riding an exhausted Horse, excessive pressing of a tired Horse, riding an obviously lame Horse, excessive use of whip and/or spurs (art. 526).”

The Badminton ground jury of Sue Baxter (GBR) President, Christoph Hess (GER), and Katrin Eichinger Knieley (AUT) did not stop Oliver on course with either horse and instead issued a recorded verbal warning later in the day.

Having won the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2017 and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event last week, Oliver was riding for the Rolex Grand Slam at Badminton, which awards a £255,000 bonus to a rider who can win Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in any consecutive order.

Cooley SRS jumped a clear show jumping round yesterday to finish in second place on a final score of 33.1. Ballaghmor Class added two rails down to finish fifth on 36.0.

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet added 0.4 total penalties to their dressage score across the course of the competition to take the win at Badminton on a final score of 28.0.

[Statement from Oliver Townend]

[Oliver Townend Warned for Excessive Use of Whip at Badminton]

Redpath Ransom Euthanized at Badminton Horse Trials

Alex Bragg and Redpath Ransom on course today at Badminton. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

We are devastated to report that Alex Bragg’s mount Redpath Ransom was euthanized at Badminton Horse Trials today after suffering a catastrophic injury to the suspensory ligament in his right front leg on cross country.

The injury occurred while the horse was galloping between fences 27 and 28 and was not related to a jump. Alex retired the horse on course, and Redpath Ransom was transported in the equine ambulance to the on-site veterinary clinic in the stables at Badminton. An orthopedic specialist examined the horse and determined the injury to be irreparable.

Bred in Great Britain by Anne Sturges and purchased as a foal by Adelle Brabham, Redpath Ransom, a 13-year-old Anglo European gelding (Randi Elite X Redpath River Dancer, by Euphemism) owned by Michael and Naomi Roe and Debbie Nuttal, started his eventing career with Alex as a 6-year-old.

Alex produced “Reeko” from BE100 through to the CCI4* level, completing Burghley in 2016 and Luhmühlen in 2017. The horse represented Great Britain in the Nations Cups at Ballindenisk in 2014 and Strzegom in 2017.

The EN team extends our deepest condolences to Alex, Michael, Naomi, Debbie, and all who knew and loved the horse. Rest in peace, Reeko.

[Statement regarding horse no.82 – Redpath Ransom]

 

Ocala Farms Under Threat By Proposed Highway Project

The proposed corridors for the Coastal Connector highway project on Interstate 75.

Numerous horse farms in the Ocala, Florida area are in danger of being bisected by a new interchange of Interstate 75 under the Florida Turnpike’s proposed Coastal Connector highway project.

The project is currently evaluating new transportation corridor alternatives in Citrus and Marion counties to connect Central Florida with the Tampa area via toll roads, but farms that serve the eventing community and beyond would ultimately pay the price.

A proposed corridor would slice Chester Weber’s Live Oak Farm in half, and other corridors would affect the Ocala Jockey Club, Longwood Farm, Meredyth South and Mardanza Farms, in addition to countless other private farms in the area.

The Florida Turnpike is collecting feedback on the project until May 15, and Kimberly Kojima is hoping members of the eventing community who enjoy Ocala during the winter months and throughout the year will step up and make their voices heard.

“This highway will take out many of the farms and horse-related businesses which employ thousands of people and contribute billions of dollars to the economy,” Kimberly said. “Thousands of people’s homes, livelihoods, and financial stability are in jeopardy.”

Kimberly has owned a 20-acre farm on West 236 in Ocala for nine years. Hers is one of many farms that would be impacted under the Coastal Connector project.

“Ocala is a major hub for all equestrian sports,” Kimberly said. “The results of devastating the horse industry here aren’t only going to impact Ocala. The impact will reverberate throughout the horse industry nationwide and possibly farther.”

The most recent Ocala Chamber & Economic Partnership study found that Marion Country’s equine industry generates more than $2.6 billion, or about 15-20%, of the local economy.

Local farm owner Ralph Holstein is also leading the charge against the proposed Coastal Connector project.

“It has been termed a ‘land grab’ and the proposal has already been denied by neighboring counties, but not yet by Marion County,” Ralph said.

“The committee has set a deadline of May 15 for responses; however, many land owners, leasers, and horse sport enthusiasts are unaware that this proposal has even been made, as they have already left for the summer.”

The group leading the Coastal Connector Alternative Corridor Evaluation Study to evaluate the project held a meeting on Monday at the Ocala Hilton. While more than 400 horse owners in the area attended the meeting, no opportunity was provided for those in attendance to ask questions or provide opinions.

In response, an online petition has been created for eventers and other horse enthusiasts in the Ocala area and beyond to show their opposition to the proposed Coastal Connector highway project.

A website has been set up at nocoastalconnector.org to lead opposition to the project. Sign the petition here.

Email [email protected] to provide direct comment on the project.

Click here to learn more about the Coastal Connector highway project.

[Horse farm owners say ‘Nay’ to Coastal Connector routes]

[Coastal Connector Alternative Corridor Evaluation Study FAQ]

[State gives first look at possible Coastal Connector highway routes]

Marilyn Little Responds to Outcry Following Visible Blood at Kentucky CCI4*

Blood visible on RF Scandalous’ mouth at fence 4A at the Frog Pond at Kentucky 2018. Photo by Erin Harty/Retired Racehorse Project.

Marilyn Little released a statement today in response to the public outcry on social media following the blood visible in RF Scandalous’ mouth during the cross country phase of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, Kentucky.

“First, I want to offer my sincere regret for the negative attention this has brought to the horses and sport that we all love, as well as the pressure that is being put on my personal sponsors. I could never achieve any success in this sport without my horses, my incredible support team, the people who make this sport great, and the sponsors who help me along the way.

“I tried my very best to be transparent in every possible way in Kentucky and followed our sport’s protocol in the best interest of my horse. My horse was checked multiple times by FEI officials before the start of cross country, again at the finish, and at the second horse inspection on Sunday morning, and at all times was passed fit to continue.

“I believe very deeply in following the rules our sport has in place and am beyond devastated by the comments and negative perception of how my horses are cared for. I love my horses very, very much and their happiness and wellbeing mean the world to me. I want to personally thank the officials doing their jobs to keep our sport fair and safe, as well as my sponsors and those who have stood by me at this time.”

Marilyn and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Phoebe and Michael Manders and Jacqueline Mars, led at Kentucky after dressage on 24.8 and added 8.0 time penalties on cross country.

Marilyn told EN that her groom, Katie Madruga, noticed the mare had cut her lip in cross country warm-up prior to leaving the startbox.

“I said, ‘I absolutely do not want to go out on course unless she’s 100% OK.’ We called for the vet, Duncan Peters, who immediately came over. He said, ‘Yes, it’s just a cut on the outside of her lip. It has nothing to do with the bridle.’ Her bit is wrapped in rubber, so he notified the official veterinary delegate and contacted the ground jury and the stewards. Everybody said, ‘It’s OK to compete; she’s OK.’ And it looked like the bleeding was subsiding. I left the startbox thinking all protocols had been followed and the boxes were checked and that she was OK to compete.

“She tripped on the landing from number three — perhaps that had something to do with why (the bleeding) restarted, but we also know with adrenaline and her heart beating faster, things can happen. It was very obvious from the photos that it was more on the right side, and it had nothing to do with the bit. She just bit her lip. Then, of course, the (vet) came and checked her at the finish … I’m really devastated that it happened, but I’m really glad that people were there to get it checked out.”

The FEI rule that governs blood on horses on cross country is as follows:

526.4 Blood on Horses
Blood on Horses must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Not all cases of blood will lead to elimination. In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or minor bleeding,  after investigation in consultation with the Veterinarian, the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue. The cases indicating Abuse of Horse will be dealt with according to the provision of Art. 526.2 (Abuse of Horse – Warnings and Penalties).

FEI officials released the following statement on the incident at Kentucky: “At the warm-up Marilyn and the groom went to official veterinarian Duncan Peters to have it checked because there had been some blood that was wiped clean. The vet noticed a small cut inside the lip away from the bit. It had stopped bleeding, which said to the vet that the horse had bitten herself. The bleeding stopped, the ground jury was informed, and there was no report of blood at the finish.”

Blood is visible in photos of the horse on course, and photos also show the mare’s mouth being wiped clean with a red towel after finishing the course and prior to being examined by a vet at the finish.

In response to the towel being used at the finish, Marilyn told EN: “Our sport is under a microscope, and we knew that bottom (lip) did have a cut when she left the start box, that although it had been cleared, it still did exist, and so (Katie) was just there ready just because you should.

“I’m not any different from anybody else that has a team of people there wanting to do everything they can for the horse. I do feel I am under a microscope, and that’s fair. I want everybody to see that I try to do the best for my horses, and I am 100% on board with them knowing everything they need to, so they feel comfortable, too.”

Marilyn and RF Scandalous went on to jump a clear show jumping round the following day to finish in third place on a final score of 32.8. As the highest-placed American combination, Marilyn and RF Scandalous were named the 2018 Land Rover/USEF CCI4* National Champions.

This is not the first time we have seen Marilyn and RF Scandalous win a USEF National Championship amidst controversy. Blood was visible on the mare’s mouth on cross country at the 2016 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3*, which she won to be named the 2016 Dutta Corp/USEF CCI3* National Champion. Marilyn also faced controversy at Fair Hill CCI3* the prior year in 2015, when blood was visible on RF West Indie’s mouth on cross country.

This article has been updated with additional quotes from Marilyn Little.

Vote for the Winner of EN’s #LRK3DE Majyk Shot Photography Contest!

We are excited to announce the finalists in EN’s first annual #LRK3DE Majyk Shot Photography Contest! Your challenge was to snap a photo of one of the Majyk Equipe sponsored riders that clearly showed them using Majyk Equipe boots in either cross country or show jumping.

We have some extremely talented photographers in the EN reader family! It was incredibly difficult to narrow down the submissions. Thank you to all who played along and sent in photos.

Check out the finalists below and vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for which photo you think should be the winning shot. Voting closes at Thursday, May 3 at noon EST. The lucky winner will take home a pair of Boyd Martin Vented Infinity Stadium Tendon Jump Boots from our amazing sponsor Majyk Equipe.

Good luck to all! Go Eventing.

Photo #1 – Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Alexa Bresnahan.

Photo #2 – Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Ella Detwyler.

Photo #3 – Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac. Photo by Dennis Nations.

Photo #4 – Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Erin Foreman.

Photo #5 – Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Photo by Lydia Herman.

Photo #6 – Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Zachary Mooney.

Photo #7 – Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Samantha Haynie.

Vote for the Winner of EN’s 7th Annual 2018 Kentucky Top Dog Contest!

It’s time to vote for the winner of EN’s 7th Annual 2018 Kentucky Top Dog Contest, presented by World Equestrian Brands! With beautiful weather this year at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, the dogs were out in full force at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The winner will receive a Platinum Collection Mattes Half Pad with Rear Trim in your choice of dressage or all purpose style. This amazing prize is valued at $238 and made possible thanks to our longtime partner World Equestrian Brands. Voting will close Wednesday, May 2 at noon EST.

Cast your vote for your favorite dog in the poll below. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s #LRK3DE coverage. Go Eventing!

Contestant #1 – Crickett. Photo submitted by Erin Dierks.

Contestant #2 – Bacon. Photo submitted by Maggie Hitron.

Contestant #3 – Indy. Photo submitted by Rachael Leneweaver.

Contestant #4 – Lincoln. Photo submitted by Jeanna Epping.

Contestant #5 – Rey. Photo submitted by Kristen Janicki.

Contestant #6 – Roo Frank. Photo submitted by Becky Shipps.

Contestant #7 – Xena. Photo submitted by Cheryl Parsons.

Contestant #8 – Zeus. Photo submitted by Courtney Tiedt.

Contestant #9 – Sophie. Photo submitted by Lysney Ekema.

Contestant #10 – Dog (yes, that’s her name!) Photo submitted by Shay Evans.

Watch Oliver Townend’s Path to Victory at Kentucky

Oliver Townend has now won Burghley 2017 and Kentucky 2018 with first-time four-star horses to set himself up for a shot at the Rolex Grand Slam this week at Badminton.

He gave Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class a masterful ride around Derek di Grazia’s cross country course on Saturday, and you can rewatch the full ride thanks to USEF Network.

Oliver produced “Coolio,” a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ramiro B X The Swallow, by Master Imp) from a 4-year-old. We love watching longtime partnerships come to fruition!

Three cheers for Oliver and Coolio. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteLive StreamFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

It’s a Cooley Master Class for Oliver Townend at Kentucky

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

At the conclusion of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, it is difficult to choose a headline for the outcome. Any of the following would suit …

Cooley Master Class is All Class to Win Kentucky

Stage Set for a New Rolex Grand Slam Winner

Oliver Townend Poised to Become New FEI World No. 1

It is the first time in four years that Michael Jung’s name has not been in the headline of EN’s final report from Kentucky. With fischerRocana FST here to defend her throne for a fourth consecutive title, many questioned whether the wundermare could be beaten.

But prior to today, she had only jumped clear show jumping rounds in two of her seven CCI4* completions. The numbers pointed towards Rocana dropping a pole, and that’s what happened today over Richard Jeffery’s course.

Last year Rocana could afford a pole down to still win. This year she could not. The reigning queen of Kentucky ultimately settled for second place at the conclusion of the competition, while Oliver Townend won with CCI4* first-timer Cooley Master Class on a final score of 28.7.

The odds weren’t exactly in Oliver’s favor today. EquiRatings noted that in his last 50 CCI4* appearances, Oliver had only jumped four clear show jumping rounds on the final day. But that just goes to show you that sometimes the things you can’t quantify — like heart and guts and the will to win — will prevail.

As Oliver also won Burghley last fall — with another CCI4* first-timer in Ballaghmor Class — he has now teed up a shot at becoming the third rider in history to clinch the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, a title he would take next week were he to also win Badminton.

Not only that, but EquiRatings has forecasted that Oliver’s win today — plus finishing seventh with MHS King Joules — will push him past Michael Jung in the FEI World Rankings to become the new World #1.

Oliver said he has always been a believer in Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ramiro B X The Swallow, by Master Imp) he produced from a 4-year-old.

“He’s always been a favorite at home by all the members of staff and myself. He came right at the end of a period when I had sold an awful lot of good horses … He came right at the right time in terms of when I sat on him I said, ‘This one we’re going to one way or another keep.’ I was lucky enough to sell him to Angela Hislop to keep the ride.

“He’s never really let us down. He’s just had a couple of niggles injury-wise, and at certain stages at his career we’ve often thought, ‘My God is he actually ever going to come through with what we know he can come through with?’ We know how talented he is; we’ve seen him do some very special things at the home competitions, but at certain points in his career it didn’t quite look like he was ever going to come to fruition. In his last two seasons he’s toughened up, and we’ve found a way to manage him better and learn more about him. He’s always been cheeky — always been talented, and we’re just very pleased that he’s finally come through.”

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Michael Jung could not have been more gracious about settling for second place on 31.5 with fischerRocana FST, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Ituango xx X Rose II, by Carismo) owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung.

“I’m very happy about fisherRocana. I was a little bit sad — more about me because that was absolutely my mistake. I was too far away from this fence, but my mare tried hard. It was still a good round. One down — one down too much, but I’m happy all in all; it was a very nice week again in Kentucky.”

With only two poles separating the top 10, we expected quite a bit of movement on the final leaderboard today. Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Phoebe and Michael Manders and Jacqueline Mars, jumped one of the eight clear rounds inside the time to move from sixth up to third place on 32.8. As the highest-placed American combination, Marilyn and “Kitty” are the new Land Rover/USEF National CCI4* Champions.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“She is very trusting, and she’s a wonderful horse to ride. She has an incredible sense of the moment. She knows when to turn it on. She loves performing for a crowd, so the bigger the crowd the better,” Marilyn said. “She’s a real princess, which was actually a concern early on. We wondered if she was going to be too delicate, too fragile, too careful for eventing, but she’s actually become a very courageous, brave horse and she will give you 150% of everything she has.”

The mare can be notoriously hot and fired-up before cross country, and Marilyn said she bit her bottom lip in warm-up yesterday. FEI officials confirmed that they examined the cut and cleared RF Scandalous to still leave the startbox, but blood was visible on the mare’s lips during her round.

“I said, ‘I absolutely do not want to go out on course unless she’s 100% OK.’ We called for the vet, Duncan Peters, who immediately came over. He said, ‘Yes, it’s just a cut on the outside of her lip. It has nothing to do with the bridle.’ Her bit is wrapped in rubber, so he notified the official veterinary delegate and contacted the ground jury and the stewards. Everybody said, ‘It’s OK to compete; she’s OK.’ And it looked like the bleeding was subsiding. I left the startbox thinking all protocols had been followed and the boxes were checked and that she was OK to compete,” Marilyn said.

“She tripped on the landing from number three — perhaps that had something to do with why (the bleeding) restarted, but we also know with adrenaline and her heart beating faster, things can happen. It was very obvious from the photos that it was more on the right side, and it had nothing to do with the bit. She just bit her lip. Then, of course, the (vet) came and checked her at the finish … I’m really devastated that it happened, but I’m really glad that people were there to get it checked out.”

Event officials later released a statement that “there was no report of blood at the finish,” though blood is visible in photos of the horse on the course, and photos also show the mare’s mouth being wiped after finishing the course.

Looking to the rest of the leaderboard, Phillip Dutton and Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, jumped clear and inside the time to move from eighth up to fourth place on 33.7 in the horse’s CCI4* debut.

In the previous three runnings of Kentucky, only eight pairs managed to jump clear show jumping rounds inside the time. Thanks to dry weather and perfect footing on cross country yesterday, we saw eight combinations jump clear and inside the time today.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus, an 11-year-old Anglo Arabian (Sazeram X Wake Me Gently), jumped a beautiful clear inside the time to move from 10th up to fifth place on a final score of 34.8.

Lynn Symansky and Donner, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by The Donner Syndicate, had one rail down to finish sixth on 35.5.

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ghareeb X Gowran Lady, by Cavalier Royal) owned by Tom Joule, had one rail down to finish seventh on 35.3.

Sharon White and Cooley On Show. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Sharon White and her own Cooley On Show, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ricardo Z X Jogantina, by Grand d’Espagne), jumped a beautiful clear inside the time to finish eighth on their dressage score of 35.6.

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Nobre xx X Lilli, by Lemon xx) owned by Sue Lawson and Carolyn Townsend, came to Kentucky hoping to put their four poles down at Burghley 2016 behind them. They dropped two poles today to finish ninth on 35.9.

Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Radolin X Cloverballen) owned by Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal, jumped clear and inside the time to move up from 18th to finish 10th on 36.0.

EN’s superstar data analyst Maggie Deatrick once again crunched the numbers today. The average for the field was 1.28 rails per horse, down from 2017 (1.52 rails), 2016 (1.55 rails), and 2015 (2.27 rails).

Time seemed tight today on Richard Jeffery’s course, but the average of 1.19 seconds per pair was on par with 2015 (1.03 seconds) and 2016 (1.8 seconds) and well behind the average of 2017 (2.62 seconds).

EN’s Biggest Mover Award goes to OTTB Truly Wiley and Kelly Prather, who moved up 25 places from 41st after dressage to finish in 16th place on a final score of 46.6. Click here to view final scores from #LRK3DE.

EN coined the term “insanity in the middle,” so it should come as no surprise that we are currently battling the most epic server crash in the site’s history. While we always take extra measures to boost our servers for the #BestWeekendAllYear, you fabulous readers went above and beyond and still took the servers down in a blaze of glory. Lesson learned: Never underestimate eventing fans.

Please join me in thanking Leslie Wylie, Leslie Threlkeld, Shelby Allen, Maggie Deatrick and Abby Powell for going above and beyond to bring you stellar coverage of #LRK3DE despite the uphill battle with the servers. Shout outs also go to Samantha Clark, Diarm Byrne and John Kyle for all of their help behind the scenes.

Just like it takes a village to get a horse to a four-star, it takes a village to bring you coverage of this event. EN is lucky to have the best team in the business, which wouldn’t be possible without your support as readers. Thank you for making us your official Kentucky headquarters. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteLive StreamFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

32 Horses Move to Kentucky Show Jumping After Nail-Biting Inspection

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Thirty-two horses will move on to show jumping at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day following this morning’s nail-biting final horse inspection here in Lexington, Kentucky.

The crowd gasped when the ground jury of Christian Landolt, Sue Baxter, and Jane Hamlin asked Michael Jung to jog overnight leader fischerRocana FST twice — the second time on a loose rein — before sending her to the holding box.

The ground jury accepted fischerRocana FST upon re-presentation, and then sent Chris Burton’s second-placed mount Nobilis 18 to the holding box moments later. Nobilis 18 was also accepted upon re-presentation.

Four horses in total were sent to the holding box. In addition to fischerRocana FST and Nobilis 18, the ground jury also sent Caroline Martin’s mount Spring Easy and Erin Sylvester’s mount Paddy The Caddy to the holding box. Spring Easy, who was presented by Leslie Law due to Caroline’s injured foot, was accepted upon re-presentation. Paddy The Caddy was sadly not accepted upon re-presentation.

Three horses were withdrawn prior to the final horse inspection: Mackenna Shea’s mount Landioso, Colleen Rutledge’s mount Covert Rights, and Leah Lang-Gluscic’s mount AP Prime.

Colleen said on her Facebook page: “Unfortunately, we had an uncharacteristic cross country day. While CR is ready to give his heart out tomorrow, we feel it is in his best interest to wait for another day. We will head home and CR will get a much appreciated vacation.”

Shout out to Lynn Symansky for keeping the lid on a very fresh Donner, who looked ready to go around Derek di Grazia’s cross country course again today.

Check back shortly for Leslie Threlkeld’s full photo gallery from this morning’s horse inspection.

Following the most epic server crash in EN history, we will be reporting on Facebook until further notice. Many thanks to our amazing readers for their incredible patience. The chinchillas are working hard to get the EN servers back online as soon as possible.

Show jumping starts at 1 p.m. EST this afternoon. It’s yet another beautiful day in Kentucky. Stay tuned! Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteLive StreamFinal ScoresCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Stage Set for Magic Mike’s Historic 4th Win at Kentucky

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

You just can’t get bet against Magic Mike. At the conclusion of cross country day at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, three-time consecutive winners Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST once again top the leaderboard.

Michael and Rocana, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Ituango xx X Rose II, by Carismo) owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung, completed Derek di Grazia’s course 1 second over the optimum time to move into the lead in their quest to take a historic fourth four-star win at the venue.

With dry weather and perfect going today, 11 combinations caught the optimum time of 11 minutes, 3 seconds, which is more than the last three runnings of the event combined when rain fell on cross country day. We also saw a 70% clear jumping rate, which EquiRatings noted is the highest at the venue in 10 years.

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Nobre xx X Lilli, by Lemon xx) owned by Sue Lawson and Carolyn Townsend, jumped a beautiful clear 1 second inside the time to move up one spot on the leaderboard and sit in second place on their dressage score of 27.9.

Oliver Townend was the only rider in the field to complete two horses within the optimum time. Cooley Master Class is the highest-placed four-star first-timer in the field tonight thanks to coming home 3 seconds inside the time. The 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ramiro B X The Swallow, by Master Imp) owned by Angela Hislop moved up from fifth to third on 28.7.

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Oliver said MHS King Joules, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ghareeb X Gowran Lady, by Cavalier Royal), ran away with him a bit in delivering a speedy clear 5 seconds inside the time, which moved him from eighth up to equal fourth on 31.3.

Lynn Symansky and Donner, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by The Donner Syndicate, came home 4 seconds inside the time to jump up to equal fourth and lead the Land Rover/USEF National CCI4* Championship.

Overnight dressage leaders Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous,  a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Phoebe and Michael Manders and Jacqueline Mars, added 8.0 time penalties to slip to sixth place on 32.8.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg, an 11-year-old Trakehner (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner, added 2.0 time penalties in the horse’s four-star debut and slipped down one spot on the leaderboard to 33.2.

Phillip Dutton piloted both of his horses into the top 10 on the exact same score of 33.7 to tie himself for eighth place. Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, hit bang on the optimum time in his first four-star to move from 16th up to eighth on 33.7. I’m Sew Ready, a 14-year-old KWPN (Lupicor X Jarda, by Elcaro) owned by John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready picked up 1.2 time penalties to move from 13th up to eighth.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus, an 11-year-old Anglo Arabian (Sazeram X Wake Me Gently), jumped clear with 3.6 time penalties to slip four spots on the leaderboard to 10th on 34.8.

Sharon White and Cooley On Show. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Seven horses moved up more than 15 places after cross country. Sharon White and her own Cooley On Show, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ricardo Z X Jogantina, by Grand d’Espagne), made the time to jump from 23rd to 11th on 35.6.

Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred (Azamore X Slamy) owned by Frank McEntee, jumped around five seconds inside the time to move up from 25th to 12th place on their dressage score of 35.8.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines, an 11-year-old French Thoroughbred (Turgeon X Merindole, by Tel Quel) owned by the Conair Syndicate, stormed around 18 seconds inside — the second fastest round of the day — to move from 32nd up to 17th place.

Last year at Kentucky, Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality had the fastest cross country round and finished 20 seconds inside the time. Today they once again delivered the fastest round of the day and finished 20 seconds inside the time, which moved them from 35th up to 18th place on 40.2.

EN’s Biggest Smile of the Day Award goes to four-star first-timers Sara Gumbiner and Polaris, who jumped clear with 14 time penalties in their debut at the level to sit in 30th place after cross country.

Sara Gumbiner and Polaris. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

What the Numbers Say

EN’s data analyst Maggie Deatrick crunched numbers throughout the day. The field averaged 15.58 seconds over the optimum time. Compare this to 2015 (42.24 seconds), 2016 (53.45 seconds), and 2017 (46.57 seconds) and we had a very fast course today.

The completion rate today was 83.7%, comparable to 2016 when 87.5% completed and above the 64.8% of 2015 and 73.7% of 2017. The clear XC rate rises to 69.7% though, above 2015 (46.5%), 2016 (62.5%), and 2017 (45.6%).

Four pairs posted times faster than their fastest CCI3* or fastest CCI4* rounds — Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class, Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready, Leah Lang-Gluscic and AP Prime, and Tamie Smith and Wembley.

Ten horses (I’m Sew Ready, A.P. Prime, Cooley On Show, Captain Jack, Nobilis 18, Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Honor Me, Landioso, Share Option, Tactical Maneuver) bettered their CCI4* personal best cross country time.

Kelly Prather and Truly Wiley. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The biggest movers of the day were Kelly Prather and Truly Wiley (41st to 21st) and Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack (44th to 24th), each moving up 20 places thanks to making the optimum time.

Problems were evenly spread throughout Derek di Grazia’s course. Hawley Bennett-Award retired Jollybo at fence 4A, the rails jumping into the Water Park, when the mare slammed on the brakes. Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie and Ellie MacPhail O’Neal and RF Eloquence both retired after a glance off at 6D, the open corner at the Park Question.

Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect and Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights both had runouts at the brush corner at 10B in the Rolex Grand Slam Challenge. Joe Meyer had a stop with Clip Clop at 13A, the log stump at Pete’s Hollow, and retired soon after. Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac had a stop at 15A, the first of the angled logs at the Fallen Trees.

The Land Rover Head of the Lake caused its fair share of trouble. Holly Jacks-Smither fell from More Inspiration at 18B, the brush corner in the water, when the horse pecked on landing and she couldn’t quite hang out. Lillian Heard jumped to the right of the flag at the brush corner at 18B with LCC Barnaby to pick up 20 jumping penalties.

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 had a runout at 18B and another later on course at 21D, the second of the angled hedges at the Normandy Bank. Sir Oberon crawled all over the brush arrowhead at 19B at the Head of the Lake and sent Ellen Doughty-Hume flying into the water.

Three combinations — Buck Davidson and Park Trader, Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, and Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights — had runouts at 26b, the Mighty Moguls.

Three riders fell in all, with Allie Knowles parting ways with Sound Prospect at 21D at the Normandy Bank. No horse falls occurred today, and there are no reported horse or rider injuries to give us a very safe day of cross country.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Looking Ahead to Tomorrow

No horse and rider combination have ever won four times at the same four-star venue, so Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST stand on the threshold of history tonight. Now they face the tremendous task of jumping clean over Richard Jeffery’s show jumping course tomorrow. In their seven CCI4* completions, Rocana has jumped clear on the final day only twice. She is liable to a pole, which she cannot afford to still win — and for that matter she cannot afford a single time penalty.

As we’ve been discussing all year, the removal of the dressage multiplier means scores will be much more tightly bunched in the jumping phases. After cross country, one rail separates the top five. Two rails separate the top 10. Every pole down tomorrow will prove incredibly costly in the final standings.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the final horse inspection is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. EST, with show jumping starting at 1 p.m. EST.

As is EN tradition on cross country day at Kentucky, we have been dealing with sporadic server crashes throughout the day. Please bear with us as the chinchillas continue to patch the servers back together. Stay turned for much more from #LRK3DE, including quotes from the press conference. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Marilyn Little Dethrones Michael Jung to Take Kentucky Dressage Lead

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

We said yesterday that Michael Jung’s leading day one dressage score of 27.1 would be beaten on Friday at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event — the key question was how many horses would ultimately pass fischerRocana FST.

At the conclusion of the dressage phase, only one pair managed to best the three-time winners. Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous now top the leaderboard going into cross country on 24.8, a personal best score at CCI4* level for this pair.

RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold X Richardia, by Lario) owned by Phoebe and Michael Manders and Jacqueline Mars, stayed relaxed in the buzzing Rolex Stadium.

I was excited to go on Friday afternoon. She was very businesslike and gave me a great ride. She was really looking to please and did her job,” Marilyn said.

“I knew that she was capable of putting in a great test today. We’ve been working quite hard with Bo Jenå, who is the chef d’equipe for the Swedish dressage team, over the past year and a half. I think it’s been steadily improving. I haven’t competed her so much because we’ve been focused on the training, and I thought if she put in her personal best she could be on top today.”

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Ituango xx X Rose II, by Carismo) owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung, now sit in second place on 27.1.

As for how it feels to be sitting ahead of the king and queen of Kentucky, Marilyn said: “Those feelings will come and go I’m sure, so I’m going to enjoy this very moment.”

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18, an 11-year-old Hanoverian (Nobre xx X Lilli, by Lemon xx) owned by Sue Lawson and Carolyn Townsend, sit third on 27.9.

“He stayed lovely and relaxed,” Chris said. “Of course, there can always be things that I wish I could do better, but I’m really happy with the horse, because with horses we know that things can always be worse.” (No truer words have ever been spoken.)

This is Burto’s first time being back at Kentucky since he represented Australia at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, and he said he is delighted to be back in the Bluegrass State.

“It’s a really beautiful track and it’s a beautiful place,” he said. “I walked the course yesterday on my own. I had a nice time out there and I was thinking, ‘This is one of the best courses in the world, isn’t it?’ It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

We have two Americans in the top five after dressage, with Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Diamond Roller X Whos Diaz, by Osilvis) owned by the Cross Syndicate, sitting in fourth place on 28.3.

Oliver Townend has both of his rides in the top 10 after dressage. Cooley Master Class, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ramiro B X The Swallow, by Master Imp) owned by Angela Hislop, sits fifth on 28.7. MHS King Joules, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ghareeb X Gowran Lady, by Cavalier Royal), scored 31.3 for eighth place.

As for how Diarm Byrne’s prediction that fischerRocana would be the only Thursday dressage performer still in the top 10 at the conclusion of dressage today, he very nearly called it bang on. Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg are the only other pair still holding on to a spot in the top 10. The 11-year-old Trakehner (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner now sits sixth on 31.2 in his CCI4* debut.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus, an 11-year-old Anglo Arabian and full brother to her first four-star partner Snooze Alarm, scored 31.2 to tie for equal sixth place.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lynn Symansky and The Donner Syndicate’s Donner, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten), very nearly caught his personal best at CCI4* level, scoring 31.3 to tie for eighth place.

Colleen Rutledge and her homebred Covert Rights, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation) round out the top 10 on 24.8.

How the Numbers Played Out

It was not an easy day in the sandbox for a number of combinations, with the ground jury of Christian Landolt, Sue Baxter and Jane Hamlin scoring consistently tough across the board. EN’s data analyst and stats wizard Maggie Deatrick crunched the numbers, and the judges seemed less inclined to be generous with the pairs predicted to deliver the best tests. For horses expected to score in the 20s, as a group they were +2.55% above expected. Expected 30-35 was +2.21%, 35-40 was +1.57% and 40s scored +1.17%.

The final session of dressage was scored +2.56% above expected averages for these horses and riders. The eight sessions across both days of dressage were scored +1.38, +1.93, +1.32, +2.22, +2.35, +2.58, +1.52, +2.65. There was a maximum of 1.33% between the hardest and softest scored sessions, which indicates that this ground jury was consistent in how they marked across both days. 

Each of the judges on average consistently agreed with the other two: Sue Baxter varied by 1.57% from the other two, Christian Landolt 1.29%, and Jane Hamlin 1.49%. The biggest disagreement of the competition was on Wembley, where Jane Hamlin scored him 7.25% above the average of the other two judges. No other disagreement versus the other two judge average was more than 5%.

All to Play For Tomorrow

While Derek di Grazia’s course is expected to shake up the leaderboard tomorrow, the fact that we have a clear forecast means we should see more pairs jumping clear and making the time than we have in the last three years, all of which had rain on cross country day.

RF Scandalous completed her first CCI4* at Luhmühlen last year with 6.8 time penalties on a day when more than half the field made the optimum time, so there is a question mark surrounding her speed.

“Scandalous is a great cross country horse — she’s very courageous,” Marilyn said. “She’s got nice technical ability, good footwork, plenty of scope. The footing is nice. I’m looking forward to a nice ride out there. There’s certainly a number of questions, but everything is very fairly presented, so I think that horses that are well prepared should continue gaining confidence as they course goes on, and those that maybe aren’t having quite the best day might find out early on that it’s not meant to be.”

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST made the optimum time here in 2015, and added 0.8 time penalties in 2016 and 1.6 time penalties in 2017. In short, they are a very speedy pair around Kentucky regardless of the conditions.

“I hope we can enjoy it because everything is perfectly prepared,” Michael said. “We have super ground and super weather for tomorrow. We have a really, really good course. It’s a tough course but a really nice build with many options.

“I try to go fast and clear — I’ll try for sure, but in the end we get the info from the horse from the warm up and from fences two to three, we go step by step through the course. Then we have to be open in our mind which plan we go — if we take an alternate jump if we have to go slow because also in the end we have tough combinations, we need a lot of power in the horse for the end, so we have to take care that we start not too fast.”

Click here for a fence-by-fence preview of the course. Based on the dry forecast and perfect going, EN’s data analyst Maggie Deatrick is predicting that 22.8% of the field will make the optimum time of 11 minutes, 3 seconds, so we are looking at 10 or 11 horses to beat the clock.

Only 22.4 penalties separate the leader from the last horse in the field. The removal of the dressage coefficient means scores are much more tightly bunched than we typically see, and every second of time added tomorrow will prove all the more costly.

Cross country starts at 11 a.m. EST/4 p.m. BST and will stream live on USEF Network. If you can’t watch, be sure to follow along here on EN in our open thread or on Twitter. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from #LRK3DE. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Kentucky Day 2 Lunch Update: Burto Can’t Quite Catch Magic Mike

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Of the pairs in today’s morning session of dressage here at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 had the best chance of challenging Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST‘s 27.1 leading score here

Burto came oh so close, scoring 27.9 to slot into second place with the 11-year-old Hanoverian (Nobre xx X Lilli, by Lemon xx) owned by Sue Lawson and Carolyn Townsend. That converts to 41.9 under the former FEI scoring system, which is their highest dressage score at international level since 2016.

This horse set a British dressage record of 20.1 (30.2 in former scoring) on his way to winning Burghley in 2016, but the Kentucky ground jury of Christian Landolt, Sue Baxter and Jane Hamlin have been consistently stingy in awarding big marks thus far.

EN’s data analyst and stats wizard Maggie Deatrick is once again crunching the numbers for dressage. The first morning session today was overall scored +2.35 points above the expected average scores for these horses and riders. For reference, the four sessions yesterday were +1.38, +1.93, +1.32, +2.22.

The final session of the morning got slightly tougher, with the overall average +2.58% higher than expected. Overall for the morning, the scores were +2.46% above expected, following +1.61% for the morning sessions yesterday and +1.68% yesterday afternoon. The judges are maintaining a relatively consistent toughness thus far.

Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings predicted that fischerRocana FST would be the only Thursday dressage performer still left in the top 10 at the end of today. After the morning session, we only have four horses that went yesterday still left in the top 10.

Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus, an 11-year-old Anglo Arabian and full brother to her first four-star partner Snooze Alarm, scored 31.2 to tie Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg for equal third place at the lunch break.

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Oliver Townend and Tom Joule’s MHS King Joules, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ghareeb X Gowran Lady, by Cavalier Royal), scored 31.3 to round out the top five.

Tamie Smith and Ann and Kevin Baumgardner’s Wembley, a 15-year-old KWPN (Lester X E-vip, by Cantus), sat third after the first day of dressage and now sit in sixth place on 32.1.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Looking to other combinations who cracked the top 10 this morning, Buck Davidson and Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo, an 11-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois), were first down centerline and scored 32.2 for seventh place.

Mackenna Shea and her own Landioso, a 16-year-old German Sport Horse (Legendaer I X Aspen, by Pilotek), scored 32.5 for eighth place. Click here to view all the scores and here to relive all the action from the morning in EN’s open thread.

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Looking to pairs who can still challenge fischerRocana FST’s leading score of 27.1, Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous are first down the centerline after the lunch break and are more than capable of beating that mark. Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border are also a serious threat to top the leaderboard, and Oliver Townend’s second ride Cooley Master Class is absolutely one to watch. Click here to read about the dressage powerhouses still to come.

We are dropping some serious stats on Twitter, so be sure to follow along live @eventingnation. The afternoon session of dressage starts at 1 p.m. EST and you can watch live on USEF Network. Stay tuned for much more from #LRK3DE. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Jung and fischerRocana Lead Day 1 at Kentucky … But Can They Hold On?

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST lead the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event at the conclusion of the first day of dressage in their quest to claim a historic fourth win here in Lexington, Kentucky. (If you missed it, watch a video of their test here.)

But their score of 27.1 (which converts to 40.7 under former FEI scoring) leaves the door open for the heavy-hitters still to come tomorrow. As we discussed in the lunch update, fisherRocana, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Ituango xx X Rose II, by Carismo) owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung, has scored better in the first phase in all three of her previous trips to Kentucky.

As always, Michael said the mare gave him a “very good feeling” in the sandbox today. “I think I can ride her really nice and like I wish. I had a little mistake at the halt at A before the reinback — she stood not really quiet — just a few things like this. All in all I’m happy.”

Tsetserleg checks out the atmosphere at his first CCI4*. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The entire top five at the lunch break remained unchanged through the afternoon session. Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg delivered an impressive performance in the 11-year-old Trakehner’s debut at the level to sit in second place on 31.2.

“When you finish (the test) you always wish there was one part or another that was a bit better,” Boyd said. “Overall he did as good as he could with where we are at the moment (with his training). It will get better and better, but at this point I’m very pleased.”

Bred in the U.S. by Timothy Holekamp, Tsetserleg is a son of Olympic team bronze medalist Windfall. “Ten years ago when I came to America for the first time, I saw Darren Chiacchia and Windfall. I remember watching his test here and it was spectacular,” Boyd said. “Who would have thought that 10 years later I would be riding one of Windfall’s babies?”

Tamie Smith and Wembley. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Tamie Smith sits third with Kevin and Ann Baumgardner’s Wembley, a 15-year-old KWPN (Lester X E-vip, by Cantus), on 32.1 in the horse’s first CCI4*. She said she perhaps spent a bit too much time in warm-up, which saw him get a bit tired towards the end of the test, but overall she is thrilled.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect about Wembley because he can go into the test and be quite tense,” Tamie said. “He was very workmanlike. I couldn’t have asked him to be better.

Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin’s Spring Easy, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Garrison Royal X Castlegrogan Clare, by Ballinvella), sit in fourth place on 33.3.

Phillip Dutton and Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, sit fifth on 33.7 in the horse’s CCI4* debut.

Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac lead the way for Canada and also delivered the best test of the afternoon session, scoring 34.2 to sit in sixth place. The 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Anthony Connolly and Skye Levely is another horse in the field making his CCI4* debut here at Kentucky.

Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

How the Scoring Stacked Up

As we look ahead to the second day of dressage, the question isn’t whether fischerRocana will still be leading at the end of the day tomorrow — she won’t. At least four horses (Cooley Cross Border, Cooley Master Class, Nobilis 18, and RF Scandalous) are expected to score better than 27.1 tomorrow, with MHS King Joules also having achieved a CCI4* personal best better than that mark.

That stat is courtesy of EN’s data analyst and all-around wizard Maggie Deatrick, who has been crunching numbers and tweeting about how the ground jury of Christian Landolt, Jane Hamlin and Sue Baxter performed today.

Overall, the afternoon sessions scored +1.68 above the expected averages for these pairs, in line with the +1.61 of the morning sessions. Thursday was scored +1.65 above expected averages, which indicates the judges are not inclined to be generous for tension or mistakes.

Jane Hamlin offered the highest marks this afternoon on six of 10 pairs, including all four in the final session. Christian Landolt gave the lowest marks on four of the 10 while the other two judges were lowest on three each.

The judges scored within 1% of each other on 9.52% (two) of the pairs who went today. They differed by 5% or more on 14.29% (three) pairs. In the final session, Jollybo received the largest disagreement of 6.04%, with Jane Hamlin offering 62.007% and Sue Baxter offering 56.03%.

Be sure to follow EN on Twitter to read more of Maggie’s stats.

Your top three after the first day of dressage: Boyd Martin, Michael Jung, Tamie Smith. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Looking Ahead

We will likely be looking at a very different top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of dressage tomorrow. Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings has made the gutsy call that aside from Jung and fischerRocana, none of the combinations in the top 10 after day one will still be in the top 10 at the conclusion of day two.

While Sam Watson, the other half of EquiRatings, wisely noted today that “four-stars aren’t won in the dressage, but they are lost there,” Kentucky is almost certainly not going to be a dressage show.

Derek di Grazia’s cross country course, which runs in reverse direction this year, is beefy and technical right up to the very end. (Click here for EN’s fence-by-fence preview.)

The top three all weighed in with their thoughts on the course in this afternoon’s press conference, and Michael Jung agreed that reversing the direction of the track has significantly changed the feel and flow of the course.

“The ground is perfect, also great weather, so I’m really looking forward to the cross country,” he said. “Really nice jumps, really nice build. You have a tough course — many different places with difficult jumps. Nice alternative jumps everywhere so you can choose your options; you can change your idea if you feel that the horse is tired … I really like it at the moment, but we have to walk it a few more times.”

Boyd said he thought the course is as tough as he’s ever seen it here. “I think that the first part of the course is quite forward and galloping, and I think the second half of the course, starting at the Head of the Lake, gets much more difficult. As we know the horses tire toward the second half of the course a bit. I think it’s actually going to be hard to make up time,” he said.

“Usually (Derek) gives you a nice long gallop somewhere in the last minute or two, and this year he’s kept the combinations. As Michael said, there’s not one fence out there that’s breathtaking. I think there will be trouble throughout the course.”

Tamie added that the course is technical the whole way. “The Head of the Lake will be quite influential going the direct route, and like Boyd said, we have a brush combination toward the end of the course that might catch out some tired horses. Hopefully mine’s not tired!”

The second day of dressage starts tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EST and will stream live on USEF Network. Click here to view Leslie Threlkeld’s beautiful photo gallery of all the horse and rider combinations today. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage from #LRK3DE so far. Stay tuned for much more from the #BestWeekendAllYear. Go Eventing.

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Your 2018 Kentucky CCI4* Cross Country Course Preview

Fence 1 – Red, White and Bluegrass. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is an important competition on the North American calendar in any year, but it is all the more critical in a championship year. As a U.S. selection trial for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon, all eyes will be glued to Derek di Grazia’s cross country course come Saturday.

This year’s course runs in reverse direction, which places many of the familiar combinations later on the track. The first three fences — a log called Red White and Bluegrass at fence 1, the Market Table at fence 2, and the Double Brush at fence 3 — are galloping efforts to settle horses and riders into a rhythm, and the terrain has a steady uphill climb to start.

Fence 4ABC – Water Park. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The first combination comes at fence 4ABC, the Water Park, with horses jumping in over a set of rails before making a sharp left-hand turn to jump a boat in the water, then galloping on to a second boat as the C element. Fence 5 is the Whiskey Barrel Table.

The next combination comes at the coffin at fence 6ABCD, the Park Question. After jumping in over a hanging rail at A, horses and riders will navigate down a sharp slope to the ditch at B, then turn right to jump over a house at C. The biggest challenge by far will then be quickly turning left to jump a massive right-pointed open corner as the D element. There is absolutely no margin of error at the corner, and finding the right line and holding it will be all important.

The open corner at fence 6D, the Park Question. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fence 7 is the always impressive Keepers Brush, then it’s on to a massive open oxer at Cora’s Crossing at fence 8, before the Ditch Brush at fence 9.

The next major question comes at the second water complex on course at fence 10ABC, the Rolex Grand Slam Challenge. Horses and riders will drop in over a rolltop at the A element, then gallop out of the water before turning right to jump a right-pointed brush corner at B and kicking on to a double brush at C.

Fence 12 and 13A – Pet’s Hollow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fence 11, the Picnic Table, starts a steady uphill climb to the mound complex at the furthest point of the course at fences 12 and 13. Pete’s Hollow, named in honor of chief course builder Mick Costello’s bother, begins with a massive table at fence 12 and then a very steep uphill climb to a narrow stump at fence 13A. Riders will then navigate back down the mound to a left-pointed brush corner at 13B.

Fence 14 brings the second open oxer on course, the Loblolly Pine Rails, which then leads to a combination of two angled logs set on mounds at fence 15AB, the Fallen Trees.

Fence 16, the Cedar Lodge, is set on a downhill slope that leads to the Waterview Cabin at fence 17 and then the famous Land Rover Head of the Lake at fences 18 and 19. The direct route has riders drop in over a brush at 18A, then kick on to a left-pointed brush corner at 18B. Fence 19 requires riders to turn sharply right to jump a double brush at 19A, then gallop back into the water to an arrowhead brush at 19B.

Fence 18AB – Land Rover Head of the Lake. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fence 20 is a new Trakehner, and then it’s on to the Normandy Bank at fence 21ABCD. Horses and riders will jump up the bank at 21A, bounce over the goose at 21B, then jump off the bank and turn left to a combination of two angled brushes set on one stride as the C and D elements.

The Stepped Table at fence 22 leads to the fourth and final water complex on course at fence 23, the Frog Pond. Horses and riders will jump in over a table at 23A, splash through the water and then jump a left-pointed corner at 23B.

Fence 26AB – Mighty Moguls. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Victory Brush at fence 24 and the Wattle and Daub Cottage at fence 25 lead to the Mighty Moguls at fence 26AB. Horses and riders will jump the brush at A and then navigate the undulating terrain before jumping a sharply angled brush at B. Once again, there is little room for error at B, and this will almost certain catch out pairs late on course.

The final combination comes at fence 27AB, the Cabins and Boathouse. Riders will jump the cabin at the A element before turning right to jump a massive table set on an angle over a ditch. This is far from a let-up fence late on the course, and horses and riders will need gas left in the tank here. Fence 28, the Lucky Horseshoe, is the final jump on course.

Fence 27AB – Cabins and Boathouse. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Derek di Grazia’s course is 6,295 meters in length with an optimum time set at 11 minutes, 3 seconds. It is beautifully presented, and all credit goes to builders Mick Costello, Tyson Rementer, and Levi Ryckewaert, as well as chief course decorators Sheila Woerth and Rita Boggs and the 100+ volunteers who worked on decorating the course. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Kentucky Lunch Update: fischerRocana FST is Leading Lady

Good girl, Queen Rocana! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

As expected, three-time winners Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST took their rightful place at the top of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event leaderboard as the final pair before the lunch break on the first day of dressage.

While they currently sit in first place, Michael and Rocana’s score of 27.1 (which translates to 40.7 under former FEI scoring) is their highest at the CCI4* level since 2014 and well off the pace of their personal best of 22.7 (34.1 under former scoring). In short, it’s beatable.

With the dressage coefficient removed, we are looking for horses that can score in the low 20s to challenge for the lead after the first phase. “Roxie,” a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Ituango xx X Rose II, by Carismo) owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung, is the only horse to score in the 20s so far, but we still have plenty of dressage action to come.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Looking to the rest of the morning’s tests, Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg (Windfall X Thabana, by Buddenbrock) sit in second place on 31.2 in the 11-year-old Trakehner’s debut at the level.

Tamie Smith is back at Kentucky for the first time since 2009 and currently sits third with Kevin Baumgardner’s Wembley, a 15-year-old KWPN (Lester X E-vip, by Cantus), on 32.1 in the horse’s first CCI4*.

Tamie Smith and Wembley. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Caroline Martin made her CCI4* debut here last year with her own and Sherrie Martin’s Spring Easy, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Garrison Royal X Castlegrogan Clare, by Ballinvella). She has “Paddy” back at Kentucky and improved on their test from last year with a score of 33.3 for fourth place.

Phillip Dutton and Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca X Bellabouche, by Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by the Z Partnership, round out the top five at the lunch break on 33.7 in the horse’s CCI4* debut.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

EN’s data analyst Maggie Deatrick is crunching the numbers throughout dressage, so be sure to follow her analysis on Twitter.

The pairs in the first session scored +1.38 points above their expected group average. Sue Baxter was the highest scoring judge for 50% of the riders, while Jane Hamlin gave the lowest marks for four of the six pairs. The second morning session scored +1.93 above their group expected average, with an overall +1.61 points for the morning.

The judges have an average disagreement of 3.05 percentage points per pair so far. They disagreed most on Tamie Smith and Wembley, who received 72.76 from Jane Hamlin and 65.34/65.69 from Sue Baxter and Christian Landolt.

The afternoon group is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., with Ellie MacPhail O’Neal and RF Eloquence leading off. Looking to pairs who can challenge for the lead at the conclusion of the first day, Sharon White and Cooley On Show have scored in the 20s in both of their international starts this season. Click here to view ride times and here to read about the best dressage combinations of day one.

Remember you can watch all the action live on on USEF Network with a free fan membership; click here for details on how to sign up. Follow along with all of EN’s coverage in our Ultimate Guide to the event. Stay tuned for much more from #LRK3DE. Go Eventing.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Kentucky Photography Contest: Get the Majyk Shot and Win!

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery wearing Majyk Equipe boots at Kentucky 2016. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Get your cameras ready! EN is teaming up with Majyk Equipe to launch our first annual photography contest at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

How to enter: Snap a photo at this year’s event of one of the Majyk Equipe riders during the cross country or show jumping phase and send it to [email protected]. The photo must clearly show the horse wearing Majyk Equipe boots.

Entry Deadline: Monday, April 30 at noon EST

Voting: EN will choose our favorite photos out of all the submissions and post them in a poll for voting next week.

Prize: The lucky photographer who receives the most votes will win a pair of Boyd Martin Vented Infinity Stadium Tendon Jump Boots.

There are eight Majyk Equipe horse and rider combinations in the Kentucky field:

  • Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready
  • Phillip Dutton and Z
  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie
  • Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg
  • Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo
  • Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus
  • Jennifer McFall and High Times
  • Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac

Here’s the prize that’s up for grabs:

Get snapping!

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Your Ultimate Guide to the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Chinch in the house.

It’s officially the Best Weekend All Year, and we’re here to help guide you through how to get the absolute most from your experience at the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Keep this page bookmarked throughout the week to stay up to date on all of the latest from EN’s coverage.

#LRK3DE Links: WebsiteLive StreamLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

MUST READ

How to Watch the 2018 Kentucky CCI4* Live Online

Your 2018 Kentucky CCI4* Cross Country Course Preview

Meet the Thoroughbreds of Kentucky CCI4*, 2018 Edition

Your Shopping, Signing & Course Walk Guide to Kentucky CCI4*

Kentucky 2018 at a Glance: Meet the Horses

Kentucky 2018 at a Glance: Meet the Riders

EN’s Team Picks for Kentucky 2018

Two Must-Have Mobile Apps for Keeping Up With Kentucky

6 Things You Must Do at Kentucky

The Thoroughbred Superfan’s Guide to LRK3DE

CONTESTS

EN’s #FleeceworksFan Kentucky Contest: Snap a Selfie and Win!

  • Congratulations to Ella Swales! She snapped our favorite selfie with Fleeceworks riders Mackenna Shea, Heather Morris, Andrea Baxter and Sara Kozumplik Murphy to win the Ultimate Fleeceworks Prize Package valued at $750.

EN’s Annual Kentucky Pick ‘Em Contest, Presented by Omega Alpha

  • Congratulations to the winner, Taylor Blumenthal! Only three EN readers picked Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class to win. Taylor’s prediction that Oliver and Coolio would win on a final score of 29.0 was only 0.3 penalties off their actual winning score of 28.7. Way to go, Taylor!

EN’s 7th Annual Kentucky Top Dog Contest, Presented by World Equestrian Brands

Kentucky Photography Contest: Get the Majyk Shot and Win!

WEDNESDAY

46 Horses Accepted in Dramatic Kentucky CCI4* First Inspection

Grey Skies and Bright Horses: #LRK3DE Jog Day Social Media Roundup

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Elisa Wallace, Simply Priceless Arrive at KHP

Photo Gallery: A Spectral Color Display at Kentucky First Horse Inspection

Stage Set for a Game of Snakes and Ladders at Kentucky

60 Seconds With Lynn Symansky Ahead of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky 3DE

I Woke Up Like This: EN’s Unofficial Jog Awards

Sara Gumbiner Never Gave Up on the Kentucky Dream with Polaris

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Get Your Shop On at LRK3DE

THURSDAY

Dressage Powerhouses of Kentucky: Day One

Kentucky Thursday Morning Dressage Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Kentucky Lunch Update: fischerRocana FST is Leading Lady

Kentucky Dressage Thursday Afternoon Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Watch Michael Jung & fischerRocana’s Leading Kentucky Dressage Test

Thursday Video from Nupafeed: Relive the Drama of the First Horse Inspection

A Photographer’s Notes and Image Gallery from Kentucky Day 1

Your 2018 Kentucky CCI4* Cross Country Course Preview

Return of Ze Terminator and DOC Takes Chick-Fil-A: Dressage Day One Social Media

Jung and fischerRocana Lead Day 1 at Kentucky … But Can They Hold On?

FRIDAY

Dressage Powerhouses of Kentucky: Day Two Morning Sessions

Kentucky Dressage Friday Morning Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Kentucky Day 2 Lunch Update: Burto Can’t Quite Catch Magic Mike

Dressage Powerhouses of Kentucky: Day Two Afternoon Sessions

Kentucky Dressage Friday Afternoon Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Marilyn Little Dethrones Michael Jung to Take Kentucky Dressage Lead

Mini Horses, Mimosas and Marilyn: LRK3DE Dressage Day Two Social Media

Photo Gallery + Memorable Moments from LRK3DE Dressage Day 2

Kentucky 2018 at a Glance: Dressage Gear

Flashback Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: USA on Top at Kentucky

SATURDAY

Your Guide to EN’s 6th Annual ‘Insanity in the Middle’ Tailgate, Presented by Amerigo

Dandelions in the Park

Cross Country Powerhouses of Kentucky 2018

Kentucky Cross Country Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak: fischerRocana Reigns Supreme

Sunshine and Bluegrass: Saturday Social Media from Kentucky

Stage Set for Magic Mike’s Historic 4th Win at Kentucky

Top Quotes from Kentucky Cross Country Day

Kentucky 2018 at a Glance: Cross Country Stats

SUNDAY

Photo Gallery: A Tense Final Horse Inspection at Kentucky

32 Horses Move to Kentucky Show Jumping After Nail-Biting Inspection

Show Jumping Powerhouses of Kentucky

‘They Gambled on Me to Win Money Back’: Top Quotes from Kentucky Final Press Conference

Obsessed with Oliver: Show Jumping Day #LRK3DE Social Media

It’s a Cooley Master Class for Oliver Townend at Kentucky

Photo Gallery from Kentucky’s Show Jumping Finale: Oli! Oli! Oli!