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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Eventer Mode

Well. That was cold.

I figured the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge might be fun with a little barn twist. The challenge, for those of us who don’t use Facebook or the Internet, is a movement sweeping through social media to help raise awareness and money for ALS. Participants have 24 hours to either pour a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate $100 to help fight ALS.

If you choose the ice water over your head, then you also nominate friends, who then have 24 hours to either dump ice water over their heads or donate $100, and so on. You can also choose to dump ice water over your head in addition to donating to the cause.

I nominated Jenni, Sally, Leslie, Amy, Susan, Jon Holling, Kyle Carter, Sinead, Buck and Emily Beshear. Also, my hypothermic self forgot to thank Natalie Hummel, Ashley Kehoe and Morgan Pollard for their help with the video. Lastly, thanks to my man Hutton for the nomination.

If you want to donate to a great cause, please visit the ALS Association Donation Page

Go dump ice water on yourself for a great cause.

 

Ok, maybe cats are not ALL bad [VIDEO]

Note: The below video is PG-13 and it shows a cut needing stitches at the end.

I like to write about how dogs are so much better than cats as much as possible, so it’s only fair that I show the inferior species some love when love is deserved.  If you haven’t seen this video circling the interwebs today, it shows a cat, named Tara, channelling its inner dog and saving a child from a horrible viscous dog that is channeling its inner cat.  You can see Tara’s first televised interview here for more info.

Go cats? Go cats.

[via]

Watch Doug Payne and Tali Own The Jersey CIC3* Track

The CIC3* track at Jersey didn’t create quite the mess of a scoreboard that the CCI3* track made, but it made life tough for some excellent pairs. Doug Payne and Crown Talisman led wire to wire in the CIC3* on their way to Saumur. Allow Doug to walk you–just you!–through his ride in his dulcet tones. Take it away Doug.

[via D Peazy Equestrian]

Go Doug and Tali.

Badminton SJ Live Blog From Horse & Hound

Click below for a live blog of the Badminton competition from our friends at the Horse and Hound, and click here for the Horse and Hound’s complete Badminton coverage.  Eastern time is Badminton time -5 hours.

[Badminton Radio (Sidebar), Watch Online on FEI TV (Subscription Required), Final Inspection Results, Show Jumping Live Scores]

SJ Live Blog Coverage: The H&H team will be bringing you all the action from both show jumping sessions on the final day of the competition.

Video: Our understanding is that FEI TV will carry the show jumping world-wide for a fee, and the BBC will have online coverage for UK viewers.  [BBC, FEI]

Radio Badminton: If you can't access the FEI TV video, Radio Badminton provides live audio from the event.  Click here and look for the Radio Badminton link in the sidebar.

If the live blog doesn't work in your browser, click here.

Go eventing.

Watch Mary King Have the Best Save of the Year So Far

Stickability was an absolute necessity around Badminton’s incredibly tough XC course today. All in a day’s work for Mary King. Incredible balance from Imperial Cavalier as well. Ho hum.

Remind you at all of another great save by another great lady rider?

Posted on Youtube by bridled. For much more insanity from the 2014 Badminton Horse Trials, check out EN’s Badminton page. Go Mary.

Rolex Show Jumping Open Thread Highlights

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

Check back on EN shortly for a full show jumping recap. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the above link to the scoreboard for official scores. Posts are organized with the latest rides at the top.


William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero are your Rolex 2014 champtions with a clear round!

 


Clean so far for William and Bay My Hero


Lauren gives the glory to Veronica as they put all the pressure on William with a fantastic double clear ride. Go Lauren and Veronica!

 


Lauren and Veronica through the combination. So far so good!

 

 

 

 

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Meg Kep and the rest of Sinead’s crew cheer on Tate as Sinead completes a great weekend. This pair seems to have booked their ticket to Normandy.

 

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Boyd cheers Phillip on as Phillip and Oscar complete a strong weekend. For my money, Oscar is one of the very top horses in the country with Boyd (or Phillip) on board.

 

 

 

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Hannah Burnett caps off a strong weekend with Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot

 

 

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Selena O’Hanlon with the best weekend for Canada in Foxwood High’s first 4*. And a much deserved hug for Foxwood High! Great riding Selena!

 

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Think Ginny is tired from the cross-country? Not a chance. Hawley had to work to keep her attention.

 

 

 

 

 

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Marilyn in her comfort zone with the lovely RF Smoke on the Water – best looking round of the day so far!

 

 

 


Ruy Fonseca of Brazil is a class act and much beloved among fans and competitors alike here at Rolex. We were sad to see his weekend come to an early end with a tumble, but we’ll be cheering them on again at a top event sometime soon.

 

 

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Your leaders, still to ride, at the drag break.

 

 

 

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Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm of Canada finish a great weekend

 

 

 


Libby Head’s coach, Kyle Carter, and her cheering section are delighted by her clear round. Clear XC and clear SJ for Libby and Rocky!

 

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Kristin Schmolze thanks Ballylaffin Bracken after the first clear round of the day. Great Ride!

 

 


Amateur rider and professional vet Kevin Keane completes his first 4* while looking the best so far over the challenging Churchill vertical

 

 

 


Lillian Heard and Share option looked awesome over the FEI vertical and finished with a great round

 

 

 


Katie Frie and Houdini collected a tough stop at their first jump in the show jumping. Katie has brought this horse up through the levels and they complete the weekend with Houdini’s first 4* completion on his first 4* attempt. This horse is the real deal and this pair will be kicking butt at 4*’s in the future.

 

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Lindsey Oaks and Enchantez with a nice ride through the triple.

 

William Takes the Lead, USA Finishes Strong: Rolex Cross-Country Open Thread #2

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

This is EN’s open thread from the second half of the Saturday rides. Click here for the first half of the rides. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the above link to the scoreboard for official scores. Posts are organized with the latest rides at the top.

 

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Buck Davidson and BallynoeCastle RM — Buck had a big fist pumps and hugs for his longtime partner “Reggie.” The pair finished the day with a wonderful double clear round to cap off an exciting day of cross-country.

 

 

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Allison Springer and Arthur — This fan favorite pair ended their chances of a victory here this weekend with a runout at the third element of the Normandy Bank late on course. Allison had been working hard the entire round to keep Arthur balanced and on line. It looked like Allison just never quite saw the forward stride to the severely angled brush at the Normandy Bank. Allison worked her veteran partner home from there with 20 jumping and a few time penalties.

 

 

 

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William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero (GBR) — 12 time 4* champion, two time Rolex champion. The level of William’s helmet barely changes throughout the entire coffin as William lets Bay My Hero figure things out in perfect balance. The pair finished inside the time, of course.

 

 

 

 

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Andrew Nicholson and Avebury (NZL) — Even the very VERY best in the world have sticky moments. Andrew showed his stickability and rode on to a double clear.

 

 

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Rachel Jurgens and Ziggy — A huge pat for Ziggy after they finish a great round with just 2.8 time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lindsey Oaks and Enchantez — The local pair took a jump into the crowd after a runout at the last element in the Water Park. They would go on to finish the ride after a hold on course for their first 4* XC completion. Major props to Lindsey for handling everything this course threw out here and getting her horse home safe.

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It’s a holding 4.

 

 

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Lauren Kieffer and Veronica — What does clutch look like? How about being stopped before the HOTL for a hold on course (in your second Rolex), walking around for a few minutes, and then restarting? Lauren rode Veronica through some sticky moments like an absolute veteran and nursed the Team Rebecca mare home inside the time. They will go into the SJ in awesome position. Best wishes to Expedience, who was walked onto the trailer at the HOTL, thus causing the pause in action.

 

 

 

 

 

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Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott — “Cave” is known for being really strong on the cross-country. You can see Phillip above starting Cave off nice and steady, taking his time through the first water while maintaining complete efficiency. Phillip finished his second horse of the day easily inside the time. Think this guy knows how to ride around these hills while saving his horses?

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan Bynny and Inmidair — The crowd cheered Jan around clear with 3.2 time. Great ride!

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Lillian Heard and Share Option – Picked up a stop early when Lillian became unseated. The pair finished a good round otherwise, with some time penalties.

 

 

Thrills and Spills: Rolex Cross-Country Open Thread #1

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

This is EN’s open thread from the first half of the Saturday rides. Click here for the second half rides. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the above link to the scoreboard for official scores. Posts are organized with the latest rides at the top.

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Kate Chadderton and Collection Pass — The Aussie pair had a great save at the trakehner (above), but looked a bit rattles at the water complex a fence later and collected a runout. The later had a fall at the ditch and brush.

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Kevin Keane and Fernhill Fearless — Amateur Kevin Keane rode like a veteran, taking a few long routes and guiding Butterfly home 10 seconds over the time. It was later announced that Kevin was given 20 penalties at the Hollow. It looked to us like Kevin took the long route, but he might have crossed his tracks. Go KK!

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Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz — Double clear. No surprises there for one of the best XC pairs on the planet right now.

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Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice — GINNY!!!!! Clear and inside the time. Duh.

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Top farrier Randy Pawlak

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Alli Knowles and Last Call — This local favorite pair had an unfortunate trip on the landing to the large trakehner after a bit of hesitation on takeoff. Both appeared to be up and fine.

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Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate — What a ride for Meghan and Pirate! Well inside the time, fastest of the day so far. Meghan was thanking Pirate for a great ride two fences from home. Go Pirate!

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Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries — I kid you not. Erin got up a second after this, took off her vest, and looked completely fine. This is the worst looking fall I have ever seen in which the rider did not appear to be hurt at all. Go Erin.

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Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda — What?

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Sinead took a tumble after dismounting from Tate and appeared to grab her knee. I believe Gina Miles said on the USEF Network feed that Sinead had strained her groin in the dressage yesterday and was riding through that. We’ll update with more later. None tougher than Sinead.

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Kyle Carter and Madison Park — This pair took a tumble heading into the HOTL. Both were up quickly and walked back to the barn.

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Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville — Sinead started the course riding like her hair was on fire and “Tate” was all too happy to oblige with a huge gallop.

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Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces — Catch riding a horse who retired at Rolex last year right before a 4* and then guiding it home exactly on the optimum? Just another Saturday in Kentucky for PDutty.

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Will Faudree and Pawlow — Will makes the good horsemanship decision to retire Pawlow on course after sticking going early.

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Selena O’Hanlon and Bellany Rock — This pair just lost their line a bit to 16c in the Head of the Lake (HOTL). They finished with the one stop provisionally.

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Buck Davidson and Park Trader — Buck Davidson and Park Trader were the first horses on course. They finished with a fabulous trail blazing ride, just 6 seconds over the optimum time. Notable decisions — Buck held out really wide coming to the angled brushes at 16ab and adding in the hollow at #16.

 

 

 

 

 

Allison Springer and Arthur Own the Friday Afternoon Dressage Open Thread

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

Check back tomorrow for a new open thread for cross-country. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the above link to the scoreboard for official scores.

 

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Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice – Phillip and “Happy” showed how much their partnership has developed over the past few years. A 51.8 gives Phillip 3 horses in the top 20 going into XC.

 

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Oh yeah! Your new Rolex leaders.

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Allison Springer and Arthur – Karen O’Connor said it best: “That. Was. Awesome.” The crowd roared in support of Allison Springer and Arthur as they scored 39.5 to take the lead with just a few rides left. I have seen Arthur move with a bit more expression than he did today, but that expression usually came with a bit too much spookiness. On an afternoon when horse after horse has lost their concentration, Allison and Arthur showed their veteran partnership and stayed together throughout the test. The comeback stories roll on here in Kentucky. Go Arthur!

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What did Allison’s cheering section think?


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Sharon White and Wundermaske – The atmosphere of late Friday afternoon dressage in the Kentucky Horse Park arena claimed another pair. Sharon worked so hard to calm Wundermaske, but the horse stayed spooky throughout the test – and on the way out, shown above scattering the cameraman. It’s so fantastic to see Sharon here this weekend with two lovely horses. Sharon is a fan favorite for good reason, and all of us here at EN will be cheering her on tomorrow.

 


William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero (GBR) – Leave it to WFP to show up on Friday afternoon and show everyone what true relaxation, impulsion, and accuracy look like. The stingy Rolex Ground Jury found their 8′s on the scoring pad and gave William 44.0 to put him into 1st place with several rides left to go.

 

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Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott (CAN) – “Eddie” is my unabashed favorite horse in the field. This pair encountered the tough scoring that all pairs have felt from the Ground Jury this week. However, ask Karen noted on the USEF Network broadcast, the key is to look at where your test finishes as a percentage of the field beaten. Peter and Eddie will head into the XC with a 63.5.

 

 

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Yes, just yes.

 

Think the riders are worried about the technicality of Derek Di Grazia’s course? Look at what they are schooling this afternoon at the Horse Park. Jon Holling and Zatopek.

 


Jennifer McFall and High Times – This up and coming west coast pair had everyone in the Kentucky Horse Park grand stands riding along with them. High Times showed incredible athleticism with every movement, but Jen just couldn’t package him in this atmosphere. After a bit more experience, this pair is going to be extremely powerful in the dressage. Can’t wait to watch them jump over the weekend.

 


Now THIS is how you salute after your dressage at Rolex. Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High of Canada worked well together to finish with a 56.6.

 

What does the “Silver Fox” think about his chances agains the Rolex field this weekend?


Andrew Nicholson and Avebury (NZL) – The joke all week has been that this all-lady Rolex Ground Jury didn’t have a chance against Andrew “The Silver Fox” Nicholson’s charms. Andrew’s score improved and improved throughout the test and he finished right in the thick of things with 51.7.

 


Mark Todd and Oloa (NZL) – Oloa was overwhelmed by the atmosphere around the Kentucky Horse Park grandstands today and just never settled for Sir Mark Todd. Mark stayed as quiet as possible with his body, but they finished on 61.5. Mark now has a decision to make about whether to take this horse around Rolex on that score or re-route to another three-day with the hopes of having a better dressage test. Oloa shown in the walk out of the arena above.

 


Caitlin Silliman and “Hoku” left a few points in the arena with a 59.7. The crowd will be cheering this comeback pair all the way around tomorrow.

 

 

I want to give the entire USEF Network crew a huge shout-out. John Kyle and Karen have done a fabulous job commenting throughout the dressage. John will be joined by Liz Halliday in the first section of the afternoon session.

 

 

Friday Morning Dressage Open Thread

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

We’ll be back later with a separate afternoon open thread. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the above link to the scoreboard for official scores.
—-


Kim didn’t get Fernhill Fearless on the horse’s best day today. The movement quality and changes weren’t as good as they can be, but, as usual, Kim squeezed every single point possible out of the test with extremely accurate riding.


After her ride, Lindsey is stopped on the way out by Sandy Phillips for a conversation about her serpentines being too large


Lindsey Oaks and Enchantez gave the crowd a hometown ride to cheer for — Lindsey is based right here in Lexington, KY. Karen commented on the USEF Network that their ride was just a little hurried and would have benefitted a lot from a little more preparation before each movement.


Lauren and Veronica have each been to Rolex once before, but they are first timers at Rolex together. They had the best trot half passes of Rolex so far.


Seamless flying change for P Dutty and “Cave”


Bobby Meyerhoff’s top hat takes a tumble


Hannah Burnett works through sensitive aids on the very fit Harbour Pilot and produced some lovely movements


Jan Bynny and Inmidair leave the arena in complete relaxation after a great test

Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

We’ll be back Friday morning with a new open thread with all of the action. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the link to the scoreboard above for official scores.


Buck Davidson and the lovely Petite Flower


Sally Cousins and “Sue” Tsunami


Julie Norman and Consenus of Louisiana — First 4* after just three 3*’s — Richland, Fair Hill, and Red Hills


Sarah Bullimore and Rev Du Rouet for GBR

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The scores at the break are tightly packed

 

 


Hawley expertly riding Gin & Juice through a bit of tension

 

 

 


Alexandra Knowles and Last Call, haling all the way from Paris…Kentucky

 


Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm are part of Clayton’s great Canuck crew here at Rolex

 

 

 

 


Debbie Rosen and The Alchemyst all the way from California

 


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Doug Payne and Crown Talisman about to enter the arena

 

 


Emily Beshear and “Quincy” put down the test of their careers so far

Thursday Morning Dressage Open Thread

Dressage Links: Live ScoresScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkGuide to RolexContests

We’ll have a new open thread posted on EN for the Thursday afternoon rides. All .gifs are courtesy of the USEF Network. All score reports are provisional, so be sure to click on the link to the scoreboard above for official scores.
—-
Lunch break time. We’ll be back after lunch with a new open thread.


Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda


Michael Pollard and Mensa with a relaxed walk across the diagonal


Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville

 


Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti score 54.3 for Canada

 


Marilyn Little and RF Demeter score 51.3, putting them 0.2 ahead of William and Seacookie


Allison Springer and Copycat Chloe scored 64 provisionally


Will Faudree and Pawlow scored 49.8

 

Cats drool, right?

Hi Bloggers Row.  Jenni thinks cats are cool, even therapeutic.  I flinch at even linking to that drivel.  Assertions about cats healing people are jus the latest offenses in an ongoing campaign by the evil cat empire to suppress the light side of the force.  I think it’s pretty safe to call me the Luke Skywalker of the pro-canine Rebel Alliance.  The arguments on Team calls go something like this:

John (Luke Skywalker): “[excellent point about dogs being awesome]“

Jenni (Darth Vader): “Blah blah garble garble.  Cats!

So, Bloggers Row, help me settle this once and for all:

Go Dogs.

[Image via]

36% of Riders Strongly Agree That They Need To Channel Their Inner George Morris More

Who will be our next chinchilla wrangler? Who will be our next chinchilla wrangler?

Welcome to Bloggers Row!  WOW!  “Some really smart person must have thought this awesome place up,” you say.  “They must have some super cool plan to turn this into a fun place filled with insanity,” you say.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m just winging it.

For now, Bloggers Row is supposed to be a bit of a paradox.  It looks like EN, but most people don’t know it exists.  No one knows how you get an account to write here.  Writers have profiles, but no one knows how to update those.  This is what happens when the Team lets me out of my locker.  CHINCHILLAS, TAKE THE WHEEL.

***

Yesterday, I made a quick questionnaire for myself and other riders and posted it to my personal Facebook wall.  I asked a couple friends to share it and the questionnaire now has 730 responses and climbing.  (You can still fill it out here, if you are so inclined.)  The form asks a bunch of questions, starting with demographic info (discipline, experience) and moving to a bunch of random questions, ranging from “T/F: I need to have someone video my rides more” to “My biggest frustration as a rider is…”

I ran the questionnaire because someone was recently chatting with me about a non-horsey tech startup and they got me thinking about what types of technology might be fun/useful for horse folks.  Things like the fact that 31% of respondents who are riders live 45+ minutes away from their coach or don’t have a coach,  and the fact that 48% of respondents agreed with the statement “I wish my horse’s food and supplements were more natural” are deeply interesting to me.  I’ll be pouring over the results over the weekend along with a few fellow data geeks.

What will come of it?  Probably nothing.  Most startup ideas never even make it to the questionnaire phase (and that’s a good thing, certainly in my case!).  But if you took the time to fill out the questionnaire, I want to say thanks.  If you included your email on the form, you’ll be the first to know what develops out of this whole thing.

Until next time, Go Eventing.

Farewell Exploring — Jessica Phoenix’s Longtime Advanced Partner Has Passed Away

Photo by Samantha Clark from Rolex 2011 Photo by Samantha Clark from Rolex 2011

Our sport lost a great one on Friday when Jessica Phoenix’s long time partner, Exploring “Digby,” passed away in Florida. Jessica posted the following on her Facebook:

It’s with extreme sadness that I’m writing to let you know that Exploring, more affectionately known as Digby, suddenly passed away this morning. Words cannot convey the grief that I’m feeling right now. I have lost a true partner and beloved part of our family. Arriving at our farm in Florida, Digby was frisky and excited to be in warm weather where he could gallop and play in his paddock.  He was his spunky self, prancing around and full of attitude. When I went to him this morning, he was uncharacteristically lying down and I immediately knew something was wrong. I quickly called our vet and as we waited for her to arrive, Digby closed his eyes for the last time. The suspected cause is internal hemorrhaging and I take solace in knowing that he wasn’t in pain when he passed. We did everything we could, but unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done to save him.

I have peace in knowing that I was with him as he took his last breaths. He meant more to me than I can express and as you can imagine, we are devastated. Digby and I had an unbreakable bond. He is forever in my heart; my partner that brought me to the international level of competition and always gave his all. We trusted each other completely, travelling around the world together and accomplishing so much. Digby, we celebrate your incredible life and all your accomplishments as we say good-bye.

Sincerely,
Jessie

Every top rider has that horse who carries them to the top of the sport for the first time. Those horses inevitably save the day for their riders more times than we can count. And they inevitably don’t receive as much recognition as they deserve from the rest of us. But behind every great rider is the horse that got them there.  Exploring was that horse for Jessie.

“Digby” took Jessie around her first 3*, and to 15 advanced level FEI competitions after that. Perhaps most importantly, Digby carried Jessie around her first team competition for Canada, finishing 12th individually at the 2007 Pan Ams and part of the silver medal Canadian team. When I remember Digby, I’ll remember a model of the consummate professional and a horse that got the absolute most out of his ability. Digby made the 2008 Olympic team for Canada, but was unable to compete due to a tendon injury.  Not to be deterred, he came back and competed at the advanced level with Jessie for three more years.  You can read more about the awesome horse in this great article that Samantha wrote about Digby’s comeback. Exploring spent the final years of his career mentoring talented junior rider Alyssa Phillips up through the young rider ranks.

Eventing Nation’s thoughts and prayers reach out to Jessie, Alyssa, and the entire Phoenix Equestrian Team. Go Exploring.

Happy New Year! News and Notes from MD Barnmaster

From Abbie:

Happy New Year EN!! I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve, and that everyone is starting out 2014 on the right foot. Up-and-coming hunter riders certainly are- the 2014 George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions began yesterday in Wellington and will continue through Saturday. The USEF is broadcasting a live feed of the proceedings, and you can catch up on all you may have missed yesterday on the website. The Chronicle is also on grounds and providing written and visual coverage of the sessions. Click to check out their Day 1 writeup. [The Chronicle] [USEF Live Feed]

Several horses have tested positive for EHV-1 at a boarding facility in North Carolina. The state veterinary office released a statement saying that the horses at the farm had very little movement on and off the farm and that the premises have been quarantined since December 23. At this point the veterinarians believe that this is an isolated incident that poses little risk to outside horses, but they are still taking strict precautions. [The Horse]

It’s officially a WEG year! Are you thinking about going? Unfortunately multi-event passes are sold out for now, but single event tickets (ie, cross country only) will be put up for sale in March. Check out the official Normandy website for more information. [WEG 2014]

Jan Byyny’s former four-star mount Waterfront stepped out again last weekend at the Friends of the Animal Shelter benefit Hunter Pace in Aiken. The hunter pace was hosted by Jim and Sarah Wildasin at their Fox Nation farm and raised money to assist a new county animal shelter that will be opening in January. Avoca Equine’s Dr. Keelin Redmond rode the legendary Waterfront at the event, and from the looks of things he still going strong. Click for a photo and to read more information about the event. [Aiken Standard]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Wrapping up 2013 with Bobby Costello. Bobby joins Samantha and Jess to discuss 2013 from a High Performance perspective, and then Lynn Samansky stops by to offer a quick training tip. [Eventing Radio Show]

NYC mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that one of his first acts in office will be to ban carriage horses from Central Park. For those who don’t know, the presence of the carriage horses has been a years-long ongoing drama between animal rights activists and those who argue the horses are well-treated and an important piece of the city. At a news conference on Monday, de Blasio said, “We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City. They are not humane.” [New York Times Taking Note Blog]

Need some ideas for your New Years resolutions? Check out this week’s Idea of Order over on Horse Nation. Illustrator Morgane Schmidt lists her horse-related goals, such as spending at least 10% of her time in a relatively sanitary state without shavings and horse hair attached. [Horse Nation]

Rest in peace Lionel Dunning, accomplished British show jumper. Lionel was 75 when he died on Monday after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was still active in the horse world, and had been teaching on Monday morning before his death. Over the course of his career he was awarded FEI bronze, silver and gold medals of honor as a result of his international performances, as well as numerous national titles and Nations Cup wins.  He returned to the highest levels of competition even after suffering a very serious fall and brain damage in the 1970s. The video below is of Lionel competing in 1981 aboard one of his most famous partners, Jungle Bunny. [Horsetalk]

Boyd Martin Broke His Arm, Will Probably Miss Today’s Rides

Well damn.  That’s an x-ray of what once slightly resembled Boyd Martin’s arm.  Boyd dislocated his elbow and broke his arm on Thursday when a horse kicked him at his farm in Pennsylvania, according to Boyd’s barn manager and head groom Lindsey Taylor.  Boyd is scheduled for surgery today and there is no word yet on how long he will be out.

It goes without saying that EN sends our heartiest get-well-soons to Boyd.  This has been a tough year for Boyd on the injury front.  He rode around Rolex with a shredded ankle and had surgery on that the following week.   Between Rolex this year and competing through the spring 2011 season with an unknowingly broken wrist, Boyd’s picture is in the dictionary next to “eventing tough.”  Feel better big man, nothing can hold you down, and we’ll see you out here again soon, at least three times faster than the doctors would like.  [Picture via FB]

Go Boyd.

Update 11:35 a.m. — COTH quotes Boyd’s wife, Silva, as saying he was hand-walking one of his young horses that was coming back from an injury. “The horse spooked and he kind of spun around and kicked him in the arm.”

Update 5:03 p.m. — Boyd is out of surgery and heading home to start the recovery process.

Abigail Lufkin: Wrangling our Brains

Abigail Lufkin is a former CCI4* eventer who is now a sports psychology consultant and clinical social worker based in the Los Angeles area. You may remember seeing Abigail ride around Rolex on horses such as Lighter Than Air, Cameo or Jacob Two Two. She was a member of the 1999 Pan Am Team and was shortlisted for the 1992, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. We’re pleased to bring you a series of articles from Abigail about adapting your mental game to promote success in eventing. Have a question or topic for Abigail? Please submit it to tips@eventingnation.com with subject “Ask Abigail” and be sure to check out her site at www.abigaillufkin.com.

Abigail Lufkin and Jacob Two Two at Rolex 1999. Photo by Matt Simpson, used with permission.

From Abigail:

I am often asked, “If you could pick one thing that would most improve my mental game, what would it be?” It’s a difficult question, but perhaps the single thing I find myself discussing the most is: “focus on the things over which you have control.”

As humans, and particularly as driven, competitive athletes, we like to think we can control everything. Let me give you a cursory list of what you cannot control. You can’t control the weather, the footing, your ride time or ride order. You can’t control if other people think you are good or nice or important or what they say to you. You can’t control if the judging is fair or if your horse is having an off day. You can’t control that Betsy Bootstraps has five upper level horses to compete and you only have one.  And perhaps the most important: you cannot control whether or not you win.

When I first learned this concept, I felt relieved as it encouraged me to let go of thoughts that were causing me to feel anxious. But it turns out that refocusing our mind requires some effort. In meditation, a practice that more and more top athletes are using to control their minds, teachers talk about treating your mind like a new puppy or in our case, like a young horse. We all know the experience of riding the horse that one minute is focused and round and the next minute has stuck his head up and whipped around to get a better look at a monster jump standard beside the arena. With the young horse, we have to keep quietly and insistently channeling him forward and straight, essentially saying over and over, “go this way, go this way, focus here.” Your brain is that young horse and your job is not to be anxious or angry when it goes off in another direction, but instead to bring it back to the focus of what you have control over.

And just what do you have control over you may be asking? The most important thing you have control over is what you are going to do, how you are going to ride. You have control over setting a task or a goal for yourself for the weekend and following through on it. In the dressage, this might look something like, “I am going to ride forward from my legs to a connecting rein.” Close your eyes and feel what that is like. Now find a word that captures that feeling. Perhaps it is, “impulsion, impulsion” or “connection, connection.” It doesn’t matter what it is, only that when you say it, you have a clear body sensation of your goal. Use this word often in your training and in your visualizations. Then throughout the competition, whenever your mind “spooks” off in another direction, you take a breath, let it out, and repeat your word over and over, effectively wrangling your brain back to the present moment and on to what you are doing.

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: The Most Important Video You Will Ever See on Eventing Nation

Sure, this time slot was supposed to be filled with a post about some horses at some event.  But this is important.  This is real life.  Step aside Gangnam Style.  There’s a new king sitting on the viral song throne.  It’s called “The Fox” and it’s from Norway.  If you’re still reading these words, you’re insane.  Stop reading immediately and click on the video above.  At least three times.  I’m five listens in and it keeps getting better and better — EVERY TIME.  Thank me later and go eventing.

[via Gawker]

 

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SpectraVET is committed to providing only the highest-quality products and services to our customers, and to educating the world in the science and art of laser therapy.

We design and manufacture the broadest range of clinically-proven veterinary therapeutic laser products, which are represented and supported worldwide by our network of specialist distributors and authorised service centres.

Burghley SJ Live Blog from Horse & Hound

Our good friends at the Horse & Hound are live blogging every ride of every phase of Burghley.  They have kindly allowed to join in the fun right here on EN.  If you want to follow Burghley live online, that’s the best way.  In terms of online video, Burghley TV will be offering free on-demand viewing of every ride the same day as each ride but not live.

[Official Burghley Website]  [Entry List] [Watch FREE Burghley TV] [Live Scores & Ride Times] [Schedule]

Schedule:

Final Inspection 4am ET
1st Show Jumping Group 5:30am ET
Final Show Jumping Group 9:30am ET  (top 24 placings)

Go Burghley.