Kate Samuels
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Kate Samuels

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About Kate Samuels

Kate Samuels is an avid 3-Day Eventer who currently competes at the Advanced/3* level with her wonderful Selle Francais gelding, Nyls du Terroir. A rider since the tender age of three, she is a young professional in the sport learning as much as she can from various mentors, both equine and human. Kate has worked for Eventing Nation since 2011, and has enjoyed every minute of it. She brings a lifetime of experience with horses as well as a wealth of knowledge gained through competing at the top levels of the sport. When not riding through the boiling hot, freezing cold, rain or snow, Kate enjoys baking pies, photography, and finding ridiculous videos on the internet.

Eventing Background

USEA Rider Profile Click to view profile
Area Area II
Highest Level Competed Advanced/CIC3*

Latest Articles Written

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

A Thoroughbred enjoying a hose on a hot day. Photo courtesy of Allie Conrad.

A Thoroughbred enjoying a hose on a hot day. Photo courtesy of Allie Conrad.

I saw this picture that Allie Conrad posted yesterday, and I just had to share it. I thought that we could all use a little cheering up, as a pall has fallen over the eventing community at the sudden loss of Seema Sonnad. I met Seema a few times, and always had pleasant and friendly interactions with her, but I knew her more from the glowing stories I heard from all her friends. Seema helped so many in a multitude of ways, and always did it with a smile. There are simply no words to express the loss that we all feel, and how many of us will still look for her in the warmup arena, clipboard and smile ready to go.

In the spirit of Seema, we encourage you all to put forth her energy as you go about your days, and try to give back whenever and wherever you can. We hope that her good heart will continue to benefit the world for a long time to come. [In Memoriam: Seema Sonnad]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Poplar Place Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

IEA H.T, T3D & N3D  [Website] [Entry Status]

Colorado Horse Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Tattersalls is streaming live world-wide all weekend. Tattersalls is holding a CCI3* and CIC3* this weekend, and the entire thing is being streamed live from start to finish. Buck Davidson will be contesting the CCI3* while Caroline Martin, Katherine Coleman and Rebecca Howard are all entered in the CIC3*. Brianne Stanley is also in the CIC1* YH. The streaming does require a one time log-in process. [CCI3* Leaderboard] [CIC3* Leaderboard] [Live Streaming Schedule]

Magnetic therapy….yay or neigh? Dr. David Ramey has a special way of writing things with no nonsense added, and his most recent article is on the topic of magnetic blankets and such. If you use magnetic therapy on your horse, do you know why you do it? Do you know where the therapy theories came from? Regardless of where you stand on the efficacy and use of such therapies, this is worth a read. [Magnets Are For Refrigerators]

International Velvet…almost as good as National Velvet? I had no idea that Tatum O’Neal (playing the main character Sarah Brown) had to learn to jump 3’6 in two months! That’s pretty impressive. Horse Nation found an excellent documentary on the making of International Velvet, and how they got Bill Steinkraus to coach the actress. Love the authenticity! [Making of International Velvet]

The flies have gotten so bad already this summer that I’m having to use bonnets just to work my horses on a daily basis.  I like my super fancy custom bonnets for competitions, but it’s important to have a smart looking durable bonnet for home and lessons and such. This is where the SmartPak Custom Crochet Ear Net comes in, because you can still get your colors (or just some bling!) and don’t have to worry about spending a pretty penny. [SmartPak Bonnet of the Day]

Congrats to Tiffany Morey, the winner of EN’s giveaway for a Sportz-Vibe Massage Therapy Blanket courtesy of our awesome sponsor Horseware Ireland! We hope Simon and Lilly enjoy their new massage blanket. You can read all about Sportz-Vibe in our extensive product review at this link. [Sportz-Vibe]

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Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Caroline Martin and the infamous Nacho all bundled up at Tattersalls in Ireland.

Caroline Martin and the infamous Nacho all bundled up at Tattersalls in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Caroline.

This weekend, I’m becoming a girl for a whole night and doing an incredibly not-horsey thing: going to my college roommate’s black tie wedding! All I ever do is have my hair in a messy bun or stacked inside my helmet, and all I ever wear is a variety of riding pants with shirts that are sweat proof and a sports bra. This weekend I’m treating myself to the full girl situation: hair did, nails did, fancy dress, and I even made an effort to tan my ghostly legs. I might even pass for a “normal” girl!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Poplar Place Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

IEA H.T, T3D & N3D  [Website] [Entry Status]

Colorado Horse Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Tattersalls is streaming live world-wide starting today. Tattersalls is holding a CCI3* and CIC3* this weekend, and the entire thing is being streamed live from start to finish. Buck Davidson will be contesting the CCI3* while Caroline Martin, Katherine Coleman and Rebecca Howard are all entered in the CIC3*. Brianne Stanley is also in the CIC1* YH. The streaming does require a one time log-in process. [CCI3* Leaderboard] [CIC3* Leaderboard] [Live Streaming Schedule]

There is almost nothing better than an awesome view from the back of your horse. We are not alone in our desire for “between the ears” photos, as the British have taken up the idea as well. Horse and Hound discusses the best places for hacking and soaking in views in England, and shows us the pictures! [Best Hacking in England]

Could American Pharoah win the Triple Crown, misspelled name and all? Despite the fact that somebody bungled the Jockey Club naming process for this colt, he’s looking surprisingly good coming off the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He had his first work this week, running an easy 1/2 mile in 48 seconds. Trainer Bob Baffert thinks he’s looking fine, and the colt with ship out on Tuesday if all goes well. [American Pharoah Impressive In First Work]

Oh, the things horses can get themselves into….Intrepid four-year-old gelding Archie thought that perhaps he wanted to jump out of the horse section of the horse box, and into the storage section. Little did Archie know that this was a terrible plan, and he would become stuck halfway between both sides. The fire brigade had to be called to cut Archie loose! [Gelding Gets Stuck in Horsebox]

This is incredibly cool, to watch the speed of the horse and the heartbeat of the rider along with the helmet cam!

Video Content AnalyticsNow we can capture and analyse key statistics, combing video and data logging. Here’s our latest project from the National Three Day in Taupo, New Zealand. A big thanks to the guys involved: Nik Eliadis, Samantha Felton Samantha Felton Eventing , Andrew Leiataua, Rainer Hagspihl. (Click HD for best quality.)

Posted by Equestrian Live NZ on Monday, May 25, 2015

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Where Are They Now, Presented by Merial: Morgan Booth and Twizzel

We’re pleased to introduce a new series presented by Merial which will catch up with horses who have retired from a successful eventing career. If you have a horse you’d like us to profile, please email sally@eventingnation.com.

Morgan Booth and Twizzel. Photo courtesy of Brant Gamma. Morgan Booth and Twizzel. Photo courtesy of Brant Gamma.

There aren’t a lot of young riders who can say that they’re sitting on an Olympic horse, but then again, there aren’t a lot of nineteen-year-old horses who can say they’ve been to the Olympics and back again to teach a young rider how it’s done. However, such is the story of Morgan Booth and Twizzel, who completed the Virginia CCI* this past weekend in style, finishing in third place overall in a division of 39 starters.

After Twizzel completed the 2012 Olympic Games, he returned home to Will Coleman’s Tivoli Farm in Virginia to take a vacation for the rest of the year. Will wasn’t sure what was next for the Westphalian gelding, as the pair of them had pretty much done it all at that point. Partnered together since 2006, Will and Twiz have completed Barbury CCI3*, Luhmuhlen CCI4*, Rolex CCI4*, Fair Hill CCI3*, and of course the Olympic Games.

“He was sitting at home with me, and we kept him in work, and he was looking great,” said Will when I talked to him on Saturday. “He just kept hanging his head out of the stall and saying, ‘Give me something to do!’. Obviously he wasn’t going to be capable of what I wanted to do, but Morgan was in need of a horse that could show her the ropes, and the stars just aligned”.

“Morgan is a very deserving, very wonderful kid, and Twizzel LOVES his new job. He has always considered himself to be the focal point of attention, and he couldn’t be luckier to be around the Booth family, as they love him dearly and take exceptional care of him. I couldn’t be happier.” Will told me all this with a big smile on his face, and you can see that it’s clearly fun for him to watch his old friend be successful with a new jockey.

Morgan and Twizzel pulled the final rail to drop to third place in the CCI*. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Morgan and Twizzel pulled the final rail to drop to third place in the CCI*. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Morgan is a local Charlottesville girl (whoop whoop!) and has been going out to Will’s barn to help out since the age of eleven, but has been more fully immersed in the training program for the past three years. In 2012, she became more serious about her eventing career, and started working with Will consistently.

Last year, after struggling with her horse at the time, Morgan was feeling a little defeated, and was given the opportunity to sit on Twizzel for lessons at Tivoli. After seeing that the two of them got along really well, Will suggested the Morgan take Twiz to an event, and so they entered the Training at Millbrook in August of 2014.

“That was his first event since the Olympics, and his first time out of the start box since London.” Morgan spoke to me from her tack room on Saturday as Twizzel was icing in the stall next door. “It was basically like hanging on to the stallion of Cimarron, and it was pretty adorable because he loves it so much, but he was stronger than any horse I had taken cross country before. Then I missed a jump in show jumping the next day, still in disbelief that I was actually sitting on THE Twizzel.”

Taking a four-star horse down to the Training level is no easy feat, and Twizzel was convinced for a while that it was a joke. He was accustomed to landing off a jump on cross country and going full speed away at a gallop, and that was simply not required at this level. “It was a bit of a process to teach him to stay steady for smaller jumps, but he got used to it, and he got used to the fact that I’m a totally different rider than Will, and he’s been really good about it all.”

Morgan and Twizzel dominating cross country. Photo courtesy of Erica Stevens.

Morgan and Twizzel dominating cross country. Photo courtesy of Erica Stevens.

Twizzel stayed home in Virginia this winter with Morgan and her family, during which time he constantly wondered when they were going to take him to Florida, because he’d never been left behind before. However, this time alone helped their relationship grow stronger, and helped them form a better understanding between one another.

One of the biggest challenges for Morgan has been learning how to channel all of Twizzel’s power on the flat, but she’s found help in Katie Coleman. “Will knows [Twizzel] inside and out, but Katie knows what it’s like not to have three mile long legs, so between the two of them, I get really good instruction,” said Morgan. “He’s only 16.1, but he rides really big, he moves really big, and he’s extremely wiggly, so there’s a lot to keep together.”

Convincing Twizzel to take it down a notch for the smaller jumps on cross country was also a process, and one that Morgan says she is still working on even now. “He’s can be a bit strong on cross country, but it’s not that he’s fighting, he just really wants to go and he knows his job. He’s such a good cross country horse and he loves it so much, but he’s just going, no matter what, and he can be a bit over confident at times.”

The last time that Twizzel competed at the CCI* level was in 2005, exactly a decade ago, so in a sense he’s had to rewind the clock and remember things that he hasn’t thought about in a very long time. “This is his 41st FEI competition, which is absolutely ridiculous!” said Morgan, and I have to say that I quite agree. To complete 41 FEI competitions is no mean feat!

“We joke that once he’s fully retired we will have to bring him to the events and hack him around, because he loves to parade about and pretend everyone is there to look at just him. He’s an older guy, but he still thinks its a blast, and he loves to be out. He thinks he’s the king of the world.”

Morgan & Twizzel placed third overall in the CCI*, and won the award for the highest place young rider. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Morgan & Twizzel placed third overall in the CCI*, and won the award for the highest place young rider. Photo by Kate Samuels.

After sitting in second place all weekend on their dressage score of 43.2, the pair completed show jumping, just knocking the last fence for one rail, which dropped them from second place into third overall. Morgan finished the weekend as the highest placed young rider in the CCI*, as well as qualifying for NAJYRC.

“He has been great for my riding, because he’s not the easiest, and he’s used to a great ride from Will, so I know when I ride well and I know when I make mistakes. However, he’s so willing and I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”

“The plan is to hopefully go to Young Riders for the CCI* in July. We did a vet check [Saturday] and he looks great,” explained Morgan. “I get the most nervous competing him because he’s so talented, and I want to do well for Will and I don’t want to make mistakes. Will loves the horse so much, I don’t want to bring shame on the family!”

After NAJYRC, the plan for Twizzel and Morgan is up in the air. She’s heading to college at the University of Virginia in the fall, and while the hometown advantage means she will still be able to ride at home and with Will, she’s not sure how the workload will affect her competition schedule. Twizz will definitely get a vacation after July, and from there, the team will have to feel it out.

“He’s not going to go Intermediate, because there is no need. He will get a vacation, and then go back to work, because that’s what makes him happy. Maybe I’ll go to some dressage shows on him, maybe a little show jumping. Whatever makes Twizzel happy, that’s what we’ll do!”

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Twizzle just officially passed the jog yesterday for his 41st FEI competition. He and Morgan Booth are contesting the VA CCI* this weekend....more on that later. Photo courtesy of WCE FB.

Twizzle just officially passed the jog yesterday for his 41st FEI competition. He and Morgan Booth are contesting the VA CCI* this weekend….more on that later. Photo courtesy of WCE FB.

With the Virginia Horse Trials well underway, I’m getting antsy to arrive and compete and hang out with everyone this weekend. For me, growing up an hour away from the Virginia Horse Center was always a gimme, but as I’ve gotten older I realized exactly how awesome it is to have such an incredible facility just down the road. I’m spoiled anyway living in Eventing Mecca Virginia, but there’s something always very special and nostalgic about a trip to the VHC. I did my first schooling horse trials there as a wee one on ponies, and won my first FEI event there with Nyls, also as somewhat of a wee one. Super psyched to get there tomorrow!

FEI Weekend Events:

Saumur CCI3*/CIC3* [Website] [Entry List] [Live Scores] [Live Stream]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Virginia CIC, CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Flora Lea Spring H.T  [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Feather Creek Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

May-Daze at the Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Coconino Spring H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

 News From Around the Globe:

We are very sad to report the death of four-star and WEG competitor Orient Express after an injury incurred at New Zealand’s CCI3* at Taupo. “Blue” competed for ten years by Clarke Johnstone, including a bronze medal team performance at the 2010 WEG and a win in the 2011 FEI World Cup Eventing Series. Blue was retired in 2013 but made a comeback after two years out of competition. Our thoughts are with Clarke and his family at this time. [Four Star Horse Dies at Taupo]

Unfortunately, Jon Holling has had to withdraw his position as coach to the Area IV Young Riders this year. Jon posted an update to his Facebook page indicating that his ill-timed broken leg from early this spring has left him with a predicament for getting his horses back into work and competing for the summer and fall. Jon has been a great mentor and coach to Area IV for many years now, and a great source of amusement each summer at the horse park for NAJYRC, and will be sorely missed in 2015! [Holling Eventing Update]

Ever wanted to go behind the scenes with World and Olympic Champion Blyth Tait? Now you can! Blyth has a rather modest yard with all the basic necessities, but none of the frills. While he doesn’t have an indoor or a horse walker, he does have an “American style” barn which he likes very much, and only six horses in training at the moment, which means lots of one-on-one attention for each animal. [Behind Stable Doors with Blyth Tait]

Let’s talk fly sheets, because unless you’re living in the arctic, you have flies already. I like to keep my horses out at night, but we have other horses that have to go out during the day, and others that are total bugaboos about flies at any time of the day. We bought two of these Amigo Bug Buster fly sheets for the day turnout horses this year, and I’ve been super pleased with how lightweight they are, easy to clean, and best of all, durable. We even use one on Viola, who is the ultimate blanket shredder of the farm! [Amigo Bug Buster from SmartPak]

Jo-Anne Gelarden and Shackleton show us how it’s done at VAHT in the Long Format Preliminary CCI* in 2011. 

 

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Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

How could you not have a stupid grin while riding a red dinosaur?

How could you not have a stupid grin while riding a red dinosaur?

Having a backup horse is a really great idea, for a number of reasons. While Nyls’ season started out great with a win at Carolina and a sixth at The Fork….it sorta fizzled after that with stupid things like foot soreness. Now we’ve got that under control, he’s ballooned up so much with the time out of full work that it looks like I’m stuck waiting for the fall season again. Le sigh. However, I have a red dinosaur to take some of the focus off old fatty pants, and he’s thriving under the extra attention! I’m heading to VAHT this weekend with him for one last run at Novice….mostly to see if he’s finally stopped gawking at jump judges on cross country. Hooray giant baby!

FEI Weekend Events:

Saumur CCI3*/CIC3* [Website] [Entry List] [Live Scores] [Live Stream]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Virginia CIC, CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Flora Lea Spring H.T  [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Feather Creek Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

May-Daze at the Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Coconino Spring H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

 News From Around the Globe:

Obviously, the biggest news of yesterday was the announcement of the US Pan American team. A massive congrats goes out to all the people involved in the success of the pairs named, and fingers crossed that everyone has good luck for the next few months at least! [US Names Pan American Squad]

The second biggest news is that American Pharaoh’s owner confirmed sale of the colt’s future breeding rights to Coolmore Stud. The Triple Crown contender will continue to race for the rest of the year, regardless of how he runs in the Belmont, and owner Ahmed Zayat will retain control of his racing career. The deal with Coolmore, which declines to disclose the amount that changed hands, includes several bonuses should the colt win either the Belmont or any other million dollar purses before he retires. [American Pharaoh’s Breeding Rights Sold]

The Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover competition is jam packed this year! With over 350 entries already for the October event, Thoroughbreds from 44 states will be traveling to Kentucky to show off their skillz. Held over three days with ten different disciplines on parade, there will be seminars and vendors and amazing fun. You can now buy tickets! General admission is free, and seminars are $25. [RRP Thoroughbred Makeover Competition]

Newly minted Pan Am alternate Matt Brown is looking to help some horses and riders while he’s based on the east coast! From Matt’s Facebook: “In an effort to earn a living while here on the East Coast Matt is available to do some teaching, riding, and half or whole day clinics depending on the location. All levels and disciplines welcome. Want some self defense lessons or need a fun way to stay fit while increasing your balance and coordination? He is also available to teach private or small group Kenpo Karate or kickboxing lessons as well. [East West Training]

If you’re not listening to Carl Hester’s tips for top horse management, I don’t know what you’re doing. Carl isn’t just any dressage rider, because as we know he’s been involved in the powerhouse that is Charlotte Dujardin and Valero from the beginning, but he also used to Event, which makes him a little bit cooler. e-Venting spent a morning at his barn, and got some pretty awesome quotes, which I think we could apply to all horses in all disciplines. Read this. [A Morning With The Maestro]

Heading to a show this weekend and feeling the nerves already? Horse & Hound knows how to lay out the seven top ways to make the best of your competition weekend. I love that “make a schedule” and “don’t look at the scoreboard” are the top two, because those are definitely part of my routine! Also, the perfectly British “don’t faff about” works its way in there as well. [Seven Ways to Optimize Competition Performance]

Pan Am contenders Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett looking very fresh at the end of their Jersey CCI3* course:

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Officially my most favorite meme of all time.

Officially my most favorite meme of all time.

 

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Fair Hill International May H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

CHC International H.T. & CIC  [Website] [Entry Status]

Otter Creek Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Sol Events at Corona del Sol H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Event at Woodland Stallion Station H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Equestrians Institute H.T.  [Website]

CCC Spring Gulch H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Congratulations to Lisa Bohm, this week’s Fab Freebie winner! Lisa is the proud new recipient of new Troxel Liberty Schooling Helmet. Way to #mindyourmelon in style, Lisa! [Fab Freebie: Troxel]

Oliver Townend has taken over Aoife Clark’s ride on Fenya’s Elegance for the upcoming eventing season. The 11 year old mare won Blenheim CCI3* in 2013 as well as Bramham CCI3* in 2014, and made her CCI4* debut at the WEG, finishing in 21st place overall. Oliver is well known for taking on horses that are more than a little tricky to ride, and after Aoife decided not to continue riding the mare, she was sent to his barn. He says that she’s “clearly not straightforward”. [Oliver Townend Rides Fenya’s Elegance]

Mary King posted an explanation of why she withdrew Kings Temptress from Badminton after dressage last week. “Gosh, bad timing. After all the excitement of getting to Badminton and doing the dressage phase, dear Tess went lame behind so I had to withdraw her just before the cross-country”. However, the issue seems to be minor, and manageable through veterinary and farrier maintenance, as Mary is aiming her at Bramham CCI3* in June. [Mary King on Kings Temptress]

Want to join the most eclectic team of eventing journalists around? Then you’ll want to enter our Fifth Annual EN Blogger Contest for your shot! We’re looking for our next victim talented writer to join our team, and entries are open until Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. EST. [EN Blogger Contest]

Congratulations to Frankie Thieriot, the winner of this spring’s OCD Rehab Story ChallengeFrankie’s article on her horse, Fric, achieved the highest number of views, and she will receive a prize pack from OCD. If you have a rehab story you’d like to submit, keep an eye out for round two of our OCD contest! [Fric Frac Berence’s Rehab Story]

If you’re a boot and wrap collector aficionado like myself, you’ll have to get a pair of these Eskadron Climatex Training Wraps. I was recently introduced to these, and while I initially thought they were just another pair of polos, I was wrong. These wraps keep the legs cooler than polos, and provide quite a bit more cushion and protection than your regular pair of polos. They also look super professional and nice, and seem to hold up well. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

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Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Dom Schramm knows how 2 ride horses, 4 realz. Photo courtesy of Dom.

Dom Schramm knows how 2 ride horses, 4 realz. Photo courtesy of Dom.

Yesterday I had the joy of starting my new once-a-week job as instructor at a local barn, wherein I give group lessons to a variety of adorable children on lesson ponies. I never got the chance to experience these saintly animals as a child, because I rode at home with my mother and my own ponies….who were probably still saints, but significantly more naughty as I remember. Ponies are the best thing ever because they always know exactly just how much they can get away with, and where to draw the line. My favorite is when the pony is absolutely not going to canter unless you are super determined to make it happen, and they begrudgingly give the kid a few strides before lapsing back into a trot. God bless ponies.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Fair Hill International May H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

CHC International H.T. & CIC  [Website] [Entry Status]

Otter Creek Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Sol Events at Corona del Sol H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Event at Woodland Stallion Station H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Equestrians Institute H.T.  [Website]

CCC Spring Gulch H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Want to join the most eclectic team of eventing journalists around? Then you’ll want to enter our Fifth Annual EN Blogger Contest for your shot! We’re looking for our next victim talented writer to join our team, and entries are open until Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. EST. [EN Blogger Contest]

Sadly, an inquest into the death of eventer Jordan McDonald revealed that his body protector did not meet British Eventing standards. Jordan was fatally injured in a rotational fall at Nunney Horse Trials last year in England, and a recent inquest proves that the cross country vest he was wearing at the time was substandard. Amongst other injuries, his fall caused a lung laceration, which could have been prevented with a better vest, and possibly increased chances of resuscitation. BE is now reevaluating rules for approval of cross country vests in competition. [Substandard Cross Country Vest]

As we well know, William Fox Pitt claimed his second Badminton title last weekend on Chilli Morning. This makes him the first stallion ever (Chilli, not William) to win the event! William last won the event eleven years ago on the incomparable Tamarillo, who William has confessed as his favorite horse ever. Click to watch the interview where he talks a bit more about Chilli and Tam and how they are similar and different! [WFP Wins Badminton]

It’s not every day you see a paint thoroughbred racehorse. Koda Chrome, already famous at the age of three, made his racing debut last week at Beltarra Track in Ohio. He finished third, and his owners have big hopes for him to beat the pants off more plain clothed thoroughbreds in the future. [Overo TB Third in Maiden]

Best of Blogs: Havarah Equestrian Sends off “Hannah Banana”

Horses (and cowboys) rescuing horses in a flooded farm. 

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Holly Payne's Santino beggs for a treat at Jersey Fresh after scoring a 46 on the flat yesterday in the CCI3*. Photo via Holly's Twitter.

Holly Payne’s Santino begs for a treat at Jersey Fresh after scoring a 46 on the flat yesterday in the CCI3*. Photo via Holly’s Twitter.

While I wish I was competing at Jersey Fresh this weekend, I realized today that while my bank account might not agree, and my competitive side definitely thinks I’m a lunatic, hacking through the woods and allowing Nyls to eat all the trees within his reach was just where I wanted to be. I mean, I definitely would rather be gearing up for a massive XC course, but just to feel him happy and sound and enjoying life is really what it’s all about. I’ll still be cheering all my friends though, and I might enter next year just to break the spell of bad luck!

#JFI3DE: WebsiteLive ScoresEntriesScheduleEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram@jenniautry

#MMBHT15: WebsiteEntriesScheduleCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageLive Jog Updates@samanthalclark

U.S. Weekend Preview:

King Oak Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Plantation Field H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

WindRidge Farm H.T.  [Website]

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Galway Downs Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Winona H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

Badminton has been around for 66 years, and do you know about all the previous winners? Fun facts to consider: Badminton has only been won by an American twice, by Bruce Davidson on Eagle Lion in 1995 and David O’Connor on Custom Made in 1997. There have been six riders to win back to back Badminton trophies. Lucinda Green still holds the record for the most Badminton wins, with six titles to her name. The event has been cancelled due to weather a grand total of four times, once due to foot and mouth disease, and in 1963 they ran it as a one-day event (what?!). [Badminton Winners Past]

Virtual cross country course walk at Jersey Fresh? Don’t mind if I do. [Jersey Fresh International CCI3*]

Badminton riders react: thoughts from everyone on their dressage tests so far. I love the classically understated relations of riders from the UK, especially when it comes to dressage. This phase is definitely part of what keeps us humble, and sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and laugh, and look forward to Saturday! Badminton reporters were on hand to get some great quips from riders up and down the leaderboard after dressage day one. [Riders Thoughts on Dressage]

Oh, did you want to stalk Nico Morgan’s photos of Badminton? Yeah, me too. [Nico Morgan Photography]

Coming into the summer months, we’re already thinking about our favorite June event…Surefire Horse Trials! Maybe it’s because I have a special spot in my heart for Jan Byyny, but it’s also because Surefire is definitely the premier summer event. This year they are running in conjunction with the Pan Am CIC3* prep trial at Great Meadow, so you can watch both at the same time! They are also having a $10,000 Intermediate challenge, and tailgating galore. Check out the video below, and the new website too. [Surefire Eventing]

Lynn Symansky is still on a high from having a great run at Rolex a few weeks ago with Donner, aka The Deer. While she didn’t feel that her performance was attention grabbing, she was super pleased with how he galloped around his first four-star back from the slog of the WEG. Lynn is always a great blogger, and a good read, so be sure to catch up on her latest COTH entry. [Some Ramblings on Competitiveness, Complacency, and the Evolution of a Deer]

Related side-note: can you tell an upper level event horse? COTH dug up some pictures of one of your favorite horses as a freshly retired racehorse. Can you guess who? [Scruffy OTTB Turns 4* Monster]

Hey, it’s fly season! Yeah, they’ve already started coming out in droves. Most of my horses go out at night because they can avoid the flies and they also are super stuffed and tired in the morning, so well behaved to ride! Joking, mostly. However, there are a few horses that go out during the day, and they just can’t survive without fly sheets. I just bought a few of these Amigo Bug Buster fly sheets, and I’m pretty impressed with them. They are lightweight, yet hardy, and seem to fit a variety of horse shapes. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Surefire Horse Trials…come on let’s go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqc9UdMdL1c

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Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Paul Tapner and Kilronan Photo by Samantha Clark

Paul Tapner and Kilronan Photo by Samantha Clark

This is a very exciting weekend, with Badminton and Jersey Fresh running at the same time! I’m particularly bummed that I’m not at Jersey, but my horse just had an ill timed hoof soreness issue that is now resolved (of course now that he missed his last week, he’s fine now!). I love looking at the jog outfits from both sides of the pond, and I have to say I was particularly impressed by the Badminton crowd. I mean, look at Paul Tapner (Dapper Tapner?). The famed photographer Nico Morgan has called him “an ungodly mutation of Ben Hobday and Ludvig Svennerstal” which made me laugh fit to burst. Right on, Nico!

#JFI3DE: WebsiteLive ScoresEntriesScheduleEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram@jenniautry

#MMBHT15: WebsiteEntriesScheduleCourse PreviewEN’s CoverageLive Jog Updates@samanthalclark

U.S. Weekend Preview:

King Oak Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Plantation Field H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

WindRidge Farm H.T.  [Website]

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Galway Downs Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Winona H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

Congratulations to Glendon Crain, the winner of our first ever Instagram contest! Glendon is the lucky recipient of a #TredstepSoloMakeover — I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say I’m quote envious! [#TredstepSoloMakeover]

USEF Land Rover Grant Recipient Matt Brown has travelled all the way across the country for the Jersey Fresh CCI3*, and he’s here to make a splash. Jersey is serving as the last selection trials for the Pan American Games, so understandably the competition will be fierce, and Matt is hoping to bring a little West Coast style to the weekend. Matt has three horses in the CCI3*, and while it is only his second run at this level, he’s definitely going to be competitive. [Matt Brown Heads East]

Did you want to watch everyone do jogs at Jersey Fresh? Don’t worry, The Horse Pesterer has you covered. As per usual! [Jersey Fresh Playlist]

Badminton Radio is an excellent way to get audio interviews on the sly as we go through the week. They already have twenty-three interviews up on the blog, including 2014 winner Sam Griffiths, course designer Guiseppe della Chiesa, William Fox Pitt, Tina Cook, Oliver Townend and more. You can even listen covertly while you’re at work! [Badminton Radio]

Dutch rider Tim Lips just barely made it to Badminton with his four star horse Keyflow NOP. Tim admits to almost throwing in the towel multiple times, after being thwarted by a ferry, general road delays for hours upon hours, his credit card getting stuck in a machine for thirty minutes, and a lack of paperwork for travel. Luckily, Tim and Keyflow did arrive, through help from the Badminton organizers themselves and a very horse friendly train. [Tim Lips’ Nightmare Journey]

Even Olympians have “splurge” foods. What do your favorite Olympic athletes crave on the long ride home from a competition? Check out if you can see the answer from a certain equestrian who just did very well indeed at Rolex. [Olympic Athletes Love Junk Food]

Horse husbands: listen up! If you’re considering taking your lovely horse crazy wife on an equine centric holiday, it could be amazing, or you could have some serious regrets. Take it from Gary Ashton Coulton, who has been in this horse husband game for some time now, and has a bit of advice regarding vacations plus horses. [Horse Husband’s Blog]

Somebody with a) a lot of Legos and b) a lot of free time, created Badminton by Lego:

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

1956 Farmington Hunt Club Horse Show: Owie Samuels, age 12.

1956 Farmington Hunt Club Horse Show: Owie Samuels, age 12.

For your Flashback Friday of the week, I present to you an awesome photo that is literally proof that horse obsession is at least partially genetic. Above is my mother, looking like a badass and having incredible equitation for a twelve-year-old while also wearing super sweet baggy riding pants, as was the style back in the day. Also, please note that saddle pads were not yet a thing in 1956, and hunter shows had what seems like pretty solid fences! Cool beans.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

MCTA H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day & H.T. [Website] [3-Day Live Scores] [HT Live Scores]

Poplar Place Farm May H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Greenwood Farm CIC/CCI & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Penny Oaks H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around The Globe:

It’s time to vote for this year’s Rolex Top Dog! We’ve teamed up with World Equestrian Brands to offer this year’s winner a Mattes Gold Half Pad with rear trim. Our finalists are as adorable as ever this year, so get to voting! The poll will close on Thursday, May 7 at 5 p.m. EST. [Rolex Top Dog Voting]

Do you know the story behind the famed three horse Badminton trophy? Designed and crafted by sculptor Judy Boyt, she based the three equines on real horses. King’s Jester for dressage, Murphy Himself for cross country, and King William for show jumping. Purely by chance, King William and Mary King won the first trophy in 1992. Also, unusually, winners of Badminton are allowed to take home the valuable trophy during their reign, and return it for polishing for the next winner. [A History of Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Trophy]

British researchers are looking into the elasticity of tendons and why they seem to stiffen with age. While the study was actually supposed to benefit humans, they used horse tendons to do the research, because of the similarities with human tendons. I’m more interested in how they think they can help us keep our event horses sound for longer, as now you will find horses competing at the highest levels well into their teens. [New Research on Old Tendons]

As Badminton draws closer, Horse & Hound is taking a look at some of the finer details of the event, including the William Miflin Memorial Trophy. Given by Sara Miflin in memory of her husband, the trophy tradition began last year, and is given to the rider who is closest to the optimum time on cross country. Many will remember the tough course of 2014, and Tim Price won the inaugural prize with Ringwood Sky Boy, after accumulating only 11.6 time penalties on that killer of a course. [William Miflin Memorial Trophy Continues]

My weird dream is to one day have a fully polished wooden travel set for competitions. This lightweight traveling saddle stand is part of that dream, and it could also double as a beautiful addition to the barn at home! With beautiful spruce wood and a dark walnut stain, who wouldn’t want to show this puppy off? [SmartPak Product of the Day]

These pictures give “rider frightener” a whole new meaning. [Are These Badminton’s Hairiest Jumps Ever?]

Law Eventing Presents: So You Want To Be A Working Student?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ1JCW6R018&feature=em-upload_owner&app=desktop

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Product Review: Professional’s Choice VenTECH Leather Girth

The elegance of the Professional's Choice VenTech Leather Girth stands out, with or without chandeliers in the background! Photo by Kate Samuels.

The elegance of the Professional’s Choice VenTech Leather Girth stands out, with or without chandeliers in the background! Photo by Kate Samuels.

At some point or another, everybody has used a Professional’s Choice VenTECH girth, and for good reason. I have used them throughout my life because I love the no-slip neoprene technology, and because of their durability, affordability, and washability. I wish I could say that I was exaggerating for effect here, but I’m simply not.

Recently, Professional’s Choice came out with a leather girth that boasts the same positive aspects of the regular VenTECH girth, but with some added factors of sleek design and an upgraded look for the show ring.

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The handy carabineer clip and small d-ring in the center of the girth make it convenient to attach breastplates, martingales or training aids. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The VenTECH Leather Girth has been carefully designed by clearly emphasizing both function and appearance at the same time. I’m a practical girl, so let’s start with the logistics of the girth. To begin with, the smooth outline of the girth follows new studies that indicate girth pressure is better distributed through a wider center section, and this is important for keeping your horse comfortable at all times.

The classic patented VenTECH non-slip neoprene liner is also front and center with this girth, and this is a large part of why this girth is successful. The liner is breathable, allowing for heat and moisture to escape during exercise. It is also non-slip, but it does not cause rubs in the least. I have used it on several horses that rub very easily, and it passes the test.

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The neoprene liner on the girth easily pulls away from the leather with a strong velcro attachment. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Even better, the neoprene liner pulls away from the leather girth so that you can easily hose it off in the wash stall, or even throw it in the washing machine! I do all my own horse laundry and tack cleaning, and anything I can find that will make those two things go faster and smoother are aces in my book.

The center carabineer clip is a nice new addition, and this favors the new design of a lot of breastplates that don’t feature their own clip. Since the center section of the girth is wider than the rest, you usually cannot fit the breastplate loop around it in the old fashion of attaching the two accessories, and a carabineer is ultra convenient for breastplates, martingales or training aids. However, should you have a breastplate with a clip, there is also a small d-ring at the base for snapping it in place.

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The patented VenTECH neoprene liner in close up. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The VenTECH leather girth also features two small side D-rings that are useful for attaching either five-point breastplates or even side reins. They are small and unobtrusive so that when you are riding, you will not even know they are under your leg at all.

In terms of fit, this girth features stainless steel roller buckles as well as triple elastic on both sides, which means you can fit it to a large variety of horses, and it is easy to tighten. I currently ride three horses who are masters at puffing out, and the need to tighten my girth on the way to the arena or while hacking is important, so both of these aspects appeal to me greatly.

As for the aesthetics of this girth, they appealed to me immediately when I pulled it from the box. The leather is soft to the touch, and comes in a lovely chocolate hue, which is flattering for almost all shades of jump saddle. This is the added touch of sophistication that I have been waiting for with my other VenTECH girths!

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To me, this is a show quality girth that I would feel comfortable taking anywhere, but it has the advantage of the Professional’s Choice durability that other leather goods may not. I would use this girth on a daily basis because of the convenience and functionality, and then be able to quickly clean it up and use it just the same at a competition.

The Professional’s Choice VenTECH Leather Girth retails for $249.95, and you can find it online at the Professional’s Choice website or at your favorite tack store.

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Kristin Schmolze accepting her award from Cesar Hirsch of Equis Boutique. Photo by Betsy Whiteman.

Kristin Schmolze accepting her award from Cesar Hirsch of Equis Boutique. Photo by Betsy Whiteman.

This year at Rolex, there was a new award to be gained, courtesy of Equis Boutique in their first sponsorship and visit to Rolex Kentucky. They presented the “Best Presented Horse” at the final jogs, which was won by none other than Kristin Schmolze’s Ballylaffin Bracken, or Rox as he is known around the barn. Anybody who has seen Rox in person (or really in photo) knows that this is no big surprise! He stands 17.2 hands, and was a stallion until the age of five, so has that lovely big neck, and what a face! Congrats to Equis Boutique on coming over to the dark side, and Kristin on winning the award!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

MCTA H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Poplar Place Farm May H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Greenwood Farm CIC/CCI & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Penny Oaks H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around The Globe:

With Rolex over, it’s time for Kentucky Derby fever!! I’m a big racing nerd, and there’s just something about the Kentucky Derby that’s so darn exciting every year. They just drew post positions, and I love hearing the different techniques and attack plans that the trainers and jockeys have. [Post Position Draw Quotes]

Whipper-in Sam Matthews is the proud winner of the inaugural Countryside Alliance’s Tumbler’s Club competition. If that sounds like a joke, it actually isn’t. Hundreds of photos across the UK and Ireland were submitted from the hunt field of spectacular falls while in action, and Sam took the top prize for his stunning acrobatics. [Horse & Hound]

An ill timed kick in the barns keeps High Kingdom out of the competition at Kentucky this spring, but also Badminton. While Zara Phillips’ Olympic mount traveled back to the UK just fine, it seems he will not be fit to compete at Badminton next week. This final withdrawal has put Mary King and King’s Temptress in the order, and that is all she wrote for the entries to the next CCI4*! [Badminton News]

Attention all riders interested in competing at Luhmuhlen or Bramham for the United States! The grant application deadline for these two upcoming competitions has been extended until Monday May 4th. Applications must be filled out and emailed or faxed to Joanie Morris by the end of the workday to be considered, and all applicants will be notified no later than May 11th. [Application Here]

Daily Racing Form in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will be publishing a new annual magazine to increase awareness of the TAA’s mission and its ongoing efforts to support Thoroughbred Aftercare on a national level and in Canada. The inaugural magazine will be over eighty pages highlighting industry contributors who are sharing responsibility for finding safe landing and rehoming the retired thoroughbreds. Readers will also enjoy stories of success within the OTTB world, and can learn about retraining thoroughbreds from a panel of experts. [Daily Racing Form Teams Up with TAA]

Best of Blogs: “Yes, Winning Is Not Everything”

 

Olivia Loiacono teamed up with Equestrian Coach to make a great video on learning gallop speeds, check out the preview below:

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Book Review: World-Class Grooming for Horses, by Emma Ford & Cat Hill

Checking out the new book. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Checking out the new book. Photo by Kate Samuels.

As far as books go, I’m a pretty rabid consumer, and while I enjoy a book to read before sleeping, I also enjoy finding books that are educational in the realm of my equestrian endeavors. This book, World-Class Grooming for Horses, has completely and utterly skipped the line and become my favorite book of all time. If I said that I was exaggerating in this statement, I would be lying.

Written by the famed Emma Ford and Cat Hill, both of whom have been professional grooms at the top level for many years now, World Class Grooming is nothing if not comprehensive. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that not only does it give detailed instruction on the basics of how to beautify and prepare your horse for any situation, but the authors fully recognize that a beautiful horse comes from proper management techniques, and the perfection is in the details.

As Phillip Dutton says in the forward, “Riding and competing (and maybe even winning) are not just about your horse looking fabulous in your lesson or in the show ring. True horsemanship requires possession of essential skills that ensure a horse that is kept happy, healthy and sound.”

With decades of experience between the two of them, Emma and Cat have outlined everything from the nitty gritty daily schedule of a working groom, to the proper way to cool out a horse after a workout, how to jog them up, how to clip, all show preparation and grooming, tacking for different disciplines, and tips on how to keep an eye on medical needs and leg soundness. With 13 chapters and 218 packed full of info, there is little about the care and maintenance of a sport horse that you will not find within these pages.

Photo courtesy of World Class Grooming website.

Photo courtesy of Trafalgar Square.

Yes, you will learn tips on how to make your horse look the most beautiful that it possibly can look on any given day. I learned to try a little baby oil in a bucket of warm water and use that on a rub rag to gather every little bit of dust on the coat. I also (finally!) mastered the shark’s teeth pattern for quarter marks, which I’ve been dying to learn for ages. I’m itching to try out the techniques for hunter braids or even a hunter tail, as the way in which they illustrate the process is the only way that I’ve ever found to make sense.

One of the best aspects of World Class Grooming for Horses is the photo illustrations, which the authors obviously spent years planning how to instruct even the most beginner of students in a way that’s easy to understand. Jessica Daily took the photos for the entire book and did an amazing job of choosing just the right way to show step-by-step visual aids for guaranteed success. With over 1,200 color images in the book, it’s hard to not be taken in by the beautiful photography.

You will learn how to take care of a horse at Rolex and hear the story from Emma about the poultice disaster of 2008 with Connaught after cross country. Cat shows you how to tie a fake tail in, and they both explain the multiple different ways to ice a horse and wrap it properly depending upon different needs. There is advice on the application and necessity of different studs, trailering preparation and tips for tough shippers, how to fold a blanket just-so, and how to polish brass until you see your reflection.

This is not just an instructional book, but a book that is filled with advice well rooted in personal experience and tried and true methods. A really fun aspect of it is the “barn gossip” sidebars, which I thoroughly enjoyed. These are personal stories from both Emma and Cat filled with names of horses that we all recognize and real-life situations that caused them to learn important facts about horse care.

I learned things about Mara DePuy’s Nicki Henley and many of Phillip’s four-star mounts that I would have never known, and it humanizes both the caretakers and the horses that we see on the international scene.

Showing off that sheen. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Showing off that sheen. Photo by Kate Samuels.

This book is one of the best instructional manuals I have ever read, because even though it is comprehensive and detailed, it is incredibly easy to digest and understand each part. The authors clearly have history as teachers, and it shows in the way that they explain methods with just enough detail. I rabidly consumed the book in one sitting and have since then gone back and re-read certain sections, learning more with each sitting.

The most important part of World-Class Grooming for Horses is the opportunity to learn at the feet of two of the greatest women in their profession. These are women who know how to run a top class barn, organize everyone and everything, and still find time for the important details in life. And, most importantly, they know that the horse always comes first.

This means that everything we do as grooms is based around the quest to find a way to bring the absolute best out in every horse. As it is with riding, the more horses you care for, the more you know about how to do it with the most efficacy and efficiency.

If you had to train a barn full of extremely inexperienced grooms and handlers, all you would have to do is have them read World-Class Grooming for Horses from cover to cover, perhaps a few times through. I can’t even express how many details and aspects of horse care went into the creation of this book, nor how approachable and instructional it was for me. It will be something that I recommend for years to come.

You can visit the book’s website at this link to find out more about this amazing work of art, which was published by Trafalgar Square Books. You can also go ahead and purchase it for the low price of $28.93 on Amazon (highly suggested!). Check out a trailer for the book below:

On Being Considerate and Well-Informed

Emily Cammock and Dambala. Photo by Kasey Mueller.

Emily Cammock and Dambala. Photo by Kasey Mueller.

With the first four-star of the year behind us, we have naturally experienced a vast array of emotions in the past five days, taking us from exhilaration to deepest disappointment and back again. Sadly, there was a pall of misery hanging over the conclusion of the event, with the euthanasia of Emily Cammock’s Dambala following a catastrophic injury on cross country.

As it often is with a tragedy such as this, there exists a need for comment and discussion of the matters at hand. Let me be plain at the front, so that there is no mistaking or mis-reading of my opinions here: Many of the comments and reactions that I read on the initial report were no less than sickening and disgusting displays of ignorance and heedlessness. The loss of a horse, at any level, is a terrible tragedy, and to instinctually react with blame and assumption serves only to reveal the writer as a thoughtless and rash human being.

It is easy, in this day and age of instantaneous reporting and unbridled personal access via social media, to forget that not everyone is entitled to every scrap of information. When we first reported that Dambala was to be euthanized, many members of the public jumped to conclusions that were neither fair nor accurate, and made judgements based on those fallacies. Simply put, it is not your right as a random person off the streets to know precisely the details that led to Emily’s decision, nor is it her obligation to divulge absolutely everything to you.

It is, however, your duty to remain compassionate and consider that there sometimes may be more to the story, especially as news is breaking. It is your duty to reserve judgement and impassioned speculation until the point at which you can make an educated and informed decision. To assume the worst and to hide behind the relative anonymity of a computer screen only serves to embarrass yourself.

To those of you who recklessly jumped to conclusions and publicly decried Emily’s decision to end her partner’s suffering, shame on you. The fact that your actions were loud enough to make her feel like she had to justify her actions is awful, and we as a community should have treated her with more respect and humanity.

There is no one more aware of the risks that we ask our equine partners to take than the riders at this level. There is simply no way to compete a beloved partner at the highest levels of the sport and not share an incredible bond with them. The magic of flying over a seemingly impossible fence while feeling the line of communication grow stronger is something that cannot be explained, only experienced. You will never find a fellow competitor or professional who will feel anything other than empathy for the loss of such a partner.

Last spring I found myself writing a similar defense, upon the death of Conair at The Fork, when a group of armchair experts much like the ones from yesterday took it upon themselves to throw blame upon Will Coleman, the sport of eventing, the course designers and everything in between. I said it then, and I stand by it still: Your typed accusations lead me to believe that you have never met an event rider, as you seem to think us a cruel, insensitive and unfeeling group of people.

Emily Cammock did not euthanize her partner of over five years for convenience, nor did she do so because he would no longer be useful as a competition animal. Emily showed deep love for the horse by making a compassionate decision to end suffering that would only increase with time. To keep a horse alive and suffering is not kindness; it is selfishness.

While I hope that there will be no occasion to write about this again, I know that inevitably tragedy will strike our community at some point. My only request is that members of the public step back and consider their actions and comments before writing them, and can manage to be ashamed of behaving in a way that they would never dream of doing in person. Next time, when typing an accusation or assumption, imagine a human being in a terrible situation in front of you, rather than a blank computer screen, and proceed from there.

Whirlwind Weekend Social Media Finale

As it always is with this particular weekend at the end of April, the range of emotional experiences has been, for lack of a better phrase, off the hook. With highs and lows to the furthest reaches of possibility, nothing can quite touch the magic of a four-star competition in Kentucky. Whether you were a spectator, competitor, sponsor, owner, groom, or in any capacity involved in the journey, we thank you for joining us, and we hope you had as much fun as we did. The best part of it all for me is seeing how much respect the riders give their horses for this incredible feat they have accomplished together.

#RK3DE: WebsiteEntriesScheduleRide TimesLive ScoresHow to Watch LiveEN’s CoverageUltimate Guide to RolexCourse PreviewTwitterInstagram

 


 

How good does it feel to bring your homebred to Rolex Kentucky and jump around clear? This good!

Posted by Professional Riders Organization (PRO) on Sunday, April 26, 2015

 
Posted by Professional Riders Organization (PRO) on Sunday, April 26, 2015

 


 

Austin

 


 

 


Boyd


 

 


 

Elisa

 


 

Tim

 


 

Phillip

 


 

Allie

 


 

Will

 


 

laine

 

Dressage Day Two News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

"No Lunging"

“No Lunging”

Of all the photos that popped up on social media yesterday, from big grins to happy tears to exceptional extended trots and perfect square halts….THIS picture is officially the most popular one of the entire day. By a long shot. Of course, it’s courtesy of Dom Schramm, who is official head cheerleader for his wife Jimmie this weekend, but clearly also has some extra time on his hands. Dear Dom: please make my dreams a reality and convince either Michael Jung or WFP (or both!) to re-enact this photo. You will beat Kim Kardashian and totally break the internet with that one.

#RK3DE: Live ScoresWebsiteEntriesScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkFEI TVEN’s CoverageUltimate Guide to RolexTwitterInstagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Fresno County Horse Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

It’s officially Rolex Contest Week! We’ve got so many prizes to give away this year, we had to dedicate an entire page to our Rolex contests. Be sure to check this page each day for the details on contests to enter while you’re at Rolex. Good luck! [Rolex Contest Page]

Outside of Rolex, the biggest news from yesterday was the FEI tribunal findings on Maxime Livio from the WEG. In short, the FEI decided to disqualify not only Maxime from the WEG, but the entirety of the French eventing team, which effectively moves the Canadian team up one slot and completes their qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games. This is good news for both Canada and the US, as we were planning on duking it out at the Pan Ams for one available Olympic spot, and now there won’t be bad blood either way! [Maxime Disqualified from WEG]

Want to quickly re-live the glory of yesterday with your early morning coffee? The USEF Network is not only streaming live, but offering replays of all the individual tests! We’ve gathered the top five for your convenience. Watch and learn! [Top Five Thursday Dressage]

Leslie Wylie loves breaking out her calculator, it makes her feel smarter than us neanderthals who can only spin words into magic and lose our minds when numbers enter the game (me). However, good thing we have her, because she’s awesome at making math happen AND making sick graphs. [Rolex At A Glance]

Whether you’re at Rolex or not, you can agree that it’s time to visit SmartPak for some new summer clothes to ride in. I’m a big fan of the ventilated shirt, because I spend all day from 7-7 outside riding, teaching, and doing things that make me sweaty and gross at the end of the day. With a FITS short sleeve breeze shirt though, I look better doing all these things, and I don’t get quite as sticky and uncomfortable as my day wears on. A warm weather must-have! [SmartPak Product Of The Day]

 A little Ralph Hill + Head of the Lake from 2014…

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Dressage Day One News & Notes from SmartPak

Laine Ashker winning the official Best Dressed title! Photo courtesy of Lainey's Instagram.

Laine Ashker winning the official Best Dressed title! Photo courtesy of Laine’s Instagram.

On a scale of 1-10, how dangerous do you think it is to try to ride all my horses today while simultaneously streaming the Rolex live-feed on my phone? I mean, as long as I’m not jumping, it should be ok right? Doing trot sets and walking up the mountain one-handed seems like a fair price to pay to watch Rolex like a nerd. I just hope my horses are looking where they are going…!

#RK3DE: Live ScoresWebsiteEntriesScheduleRide TimesUSEF NetworkFEI TVEN’s CoverageUltimate Guide to RolexTwitterInstagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Fresno County Horse Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

It’s officially Rolex Contest Week! We’ve got so many prizes to give away this year, we had to dedicate an entire page to our Rolex contests. Be sure to check this page each day for the details on contests to enter while you’re at Rolex. Good luck! [Rolex Contest Page]

Badminton has just released their official draw of order. With not a single American amongst the over 90 (yeah, you read that right, NINETY) entrants, and the excitement of Rolex upon us at the very moment, it’s hard to remember Badminton is just a week away! Nick Gauntlett is entered on Doug Payne’s old ride Crown Talisman, and you will see Jock Paget on the exceptional Clifton Promise, Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd, Mary King and many more. [Badminton Entry Draw]

After the conclusion of dressage, New Vocations’ farm in Lexington Kentucky is hosting a Thoroughbreds For All extravaganza and dinner. Organized by the Retired Racehorse Program’s Steuart Pittman and New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program’s Anna Ford, the festivities and educational panels will run from 5-9 pm, just 15 miles from the Horse Park. Laine Ashker will be one of the speakers, as well as international dressage rider Reese Koffler-Stanfield and Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship. Tickets can be purchased online for $35 and benefit the RRP and New Vocations. [Purchase Tickets Here]

Best of Blogs: A Traveler’s Guide to Lexington, Kentucky “Blossoms In Springtime”

The USEF Network is bringing us wonderful videos all week, so here is Liz Halliday Sharp and Fernhill by Night:

 

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‘Teach Me How To Hunter’

Shanti and me taking over the Hunter/Jumper world. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Shanti and me taking over the Hunter/Jumper world. Photo by Erica Stevens.

If you were to ask me how and when I started riding, I’m one of the few who literally never delved into the hunter world. I mean, ok, I did leadline classes when I was three and four, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count. If three-day eventing had leadline, I would have been all up on that. I’ve come to the age of twenty-seven, and before last weekend, had never competed in any hunter shows.

After returning victorious from The Fork with my two big champions, I got back to work with all the young horses, and was asked to help my boss, Erica, with her new horse, Shanti. Erica bought Shanti a few weeks ago, and she’s a lovely 15.1 hand, nine-year-old Trakehner mare that’s done a ton of fox-hunting and a little bit of hunter trials and such. It was my delightful duty to find out what she was like in the show ring.

It’s my firm opinion that a big part of success is looking the part. And so, my first step was to endeavor to find out what to wear and how to wear it. I texted a friend of mine from childhood who had competed in hunters all her life, and asked her if it was proper to wear a stock pin over my ratcatcher (it was not).

I dug out a shaped fluffy pad for my saddle, and ditched my breast plate. We found a D-ring bit and a plain caveson. I found some tan britches, because only full seated white pants were to be located in my regular show apparel bag.

The day before the show, I looked up official footage for the perfect five-stride line, and set up an outside-diagonal-outside-diagonal course in my arena. I decorated with fake flowers, and hopped on Shanti to practice not sitting my butt in the saddle, and going way far into the corners of the arena for literally no reason at all (other than that’s what you do).

Shanti: Low Schooling Hunter Champion of the world. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Shanti: Low Schooling Hunter Champion of the world. Photo by Erica Stevens.

When we got to the show the next morning, I realized that I didn’t really know what the different kinds of classes meant, and I was totally not familiar with the proper behavior upon entering the arena, and had a few questions that would be too weird to ask some poor unsuspecting fellow rider. Luckily, I knew the in-gate steward, our local Southern States super-woman, Rachel Miller.

I trotted up to her, “Quick! Rachel! Teach me how to hunter? I have no idea what I’m doing.”

She looked at me askance for a few seconds, and then proceeded to answer my questions. Yes, you do a circle before your first jump, but only if it’s near the in-gate. You also do a finishing circle, but again, only if you end near the in-gate. Make your strides (five), try to land on the correct leads and if you don’t get your changes without looking like anything is happening.

Try not to touch your horse’s face. Keep a good rhythm everywhere, look smooth. Don’t sit down. SMILE (the judges like it when you smile). Release more than necessary for 2’6. Stay in two-point after the fences, pretend like you’re not an eventer who is used to a mile long drop on the other side.

I got the Cliff Notes, and headed in for my first round. While it would have easily sufficed in the eventing world, it was certainly a warm up round in this world. I missed a few leads, got a bit confused with some striding (counting is hard!), and accidentally circled twice in the beginning because I didn’t like my first circle. Dear Kate: care less about the flatwork thing while you’re playing in hunter land.

The best thing about hunter shows? You can do several classes right in a row over the same course, the same jumps, and the same distances. Practice, practice, practice. If you don’t get it right, all you have to do is fix it the next time! Good thing too, because as it turns out, I needed the extra rounds in order to smooth out my hunter skillz.

However, by the third round, I finally got the course together in the way that I wanted. I got all my leads correctly, with one seamless change in the corner after the first diagonal. I got ALL my five stride lines, because I finally figured out that with a 15.1 hand horse, you have to get the perfect distance in over the first fence and then build just the slightest bit each stride to make it work. I successfully two-pointed the whole time, and overall felt like I succeeded in posing as “one of them”.

Look at her adorable little champion pony face! Photo by Erica Stevens.

Look at her adorable little champion pony face! Photo by Erica Stevens.

As it turned out, the two of us managed to scrape together scores good enough to be crowned Champions of the Low Schooling Hunter! There was a flat class included in the division, and I’m pretty sure that my immaculate walk-canter transitions really sealed the deal. Glad that flatwork came in somewhere, finally!

As an eventer, I can confidently say that the hunter world is definitely top of the list of stuff that we scoff at. I mean, how boring can you be to want to do the same course over and over and over? Your jumps aren’t even big, and what you call an “oxer” has like a three inch spread. Puhlease. Also, your horse should definitely not bend outside when cantering on the rail, that’s just not appropriate.

I still agree with these things, but having attempted to get four five-stride lines perfect while looking like I wasn’t doing anything at all, I have a new found appreciation for a job well done in this realm. I mean, I can make most courses work fine, and get over the jumps, but I do eventing, and nobody judges me on how I git-it-done sometimes.

I also realized the value of a horse that approaches and lands off the jump in the same balance and cadence. Having never owned such an animal myself, I never really enjoyed the simplicity of such a ride. It’s fun to not have to manage every stride all the time!

That being said, I went home immediately and did some gallops and jumped some properly sized fences over three feet immediately. There is no way I’ll ever convert, and would probably die of boredom if I had to compete for an entire day at a hunter show, but it’s always good to get a little taste of different styles, because you can never know where you’ll learn something new and useful for your training arsenal.

Don’t worry though, I’m going cross country schooling today, and running fast and jumping high, and definitely sitting my butt in the saddle and leaning back on drop fences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Defending Rolex Champion Bay My Hero boards a plane with Easy Target (both owned by Catherine Witt) and are headed to the Bluegrass State! Photo courtesy of Alex VT and Sharon Mephem.

Defending Rolex Champion Bay My Hero boards a plane with Easy Target (both owned by Catherine Witt) and are headed to the Bluegrass State! Photo courtesy of Alex VT and Sharon Mephem.

While everybody else is gnawing the inside of their mouth in anticipation of Rolex, I’m over here toodling around and enjoying the spring weather. I got to play Hunter/Jumper last weekend (more on that later) and we moved all the horses to the summer fields and barn this week. Occasionally, I feel bad for those who have been in Florida all winter, because the most enjoyable part of spring is the appreciation that comes from experiencing the horrible cold, wet, brown and white stuff for months on end. This is my rationalization, and I’m sticking to it.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill International H.T. & CIC [Website] [Omnibus] [Live Scores]

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

CDCTA Spring II H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

River Glen Spring H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Live Scores]

Holly Hill Farm H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

St. Johns H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

Three-time Burghley winner Avebury will miss Badminton this year, after Andrew Nicholson has withdrawn the grey gelding due to a small bone fragment that cropped up earlier in the season. Avebury sustained a small cut at Aldon and upon further inspection the team realized it was a bone chip, and he missed a bit of work due to the recovery. No worries though, he will be returning to work later in the spring and heading to Burghley again in the fall. Four times lucky?? [Avebury Withdrawn from Badminton]

Ready to walk the Rolex CCI4* Cross Country course with two of the best riders in the country? Be sure to sign up for SmartPak’s 11th Annual Course Walk, this year featuring Boyd Martin and Allison Springer to guide you through the toughest test in the country. Date and time of the walk will be announced after ride times have been determined, but you can pre-register now. Bonus: if you are amongst the first 500 entrants to visit the SmartPak booth, you win a free secret prize! [Enter SmartPak Course Walk]

Team FLAIR is going all out for Rolex week, with lots of activities planned. While Allison Springer won’t be competing anymore with Arthur, you can still enter the FLAIR drawing to personally meet up with her while at Rolex. Not only that, but you can win FLAIR gear like hats and nasal strips in daily drawings, and also check out a meet and greet signing booth with Sinead Halpin at the Bit of Britain booth on Friday at 11am. [FLAIR RK3DE Activities]

Bonus Fact: FLAIR is sponsoring a $1500 Protect and Perform Award to the highest placed rider who uses a FLAIR strip on XC and in SJ! [FLAIR Strips Rock]

Congratulations to Kaila Orr, our Fab Freebie winner this week! Lee is the lucky winner of a pair of Cadence Dressage Boots, so that she can practice her Dressage Skillz. [Fab Freebie: Ariat Cadence Dressage Tall Boots]

Spring weather means I finally get to take off my layers of many jackets! In the past year, I’ve discovered the joy of two things: 1) shirts with mesh on the underside of the arm and 2) not getting scalded and sunburned immediately following my winter hibernation. The SmartPak Sunshield shirts have been instrumental in both of these discoveries, and they are absolutely perfect for this time of year. Get you some. [SmartPak Product Of The Day]

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Aerial view of one of my favorite combinations at Rolex!! Photo courtesy of Levi Ryckewaert.

Aerial view of one of my favorite combinations at Rolex!! Also, a tiny Tyson Rementer. Photo courtesy of Levi Ryckewaert.

Spring is in the air, and the tension building for Rolex is palpable! This time next week, the first riders will be cantering down centerline, ready to decide the first part of their four-star fate. This year, there are a lot of returning champions, as well as a decently good percentage of rookies, which always makes for an interesting result. I personally feel like there are three horses in the field who have equal chances of winning this event, and maybe, just maybe, William Fox Pitt will let an American win this time. #rolexgoals

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill International H.T. & CIC [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

CDCTA Spring II H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

River Glen Spring H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Holly Hill Farm H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

St. Johns H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

This weekend is all about the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. Held in the United States for the first time in six years, Las Vegas is filled with some of the finest show jumping and dressage pairs in the entire world. Names like Charlotte DuJardin (can anyone beat her?) and Rich Fellers come to mind. I’m personally rooting for Laura Graves and Verdades (his barn name is Diddy…I mean…) to pull out a personal best and bring the U.S. back into relevance in the dressage scene. [US Competitors Ready for World Cup]

How did $150 million worth of horses fly all the way to Las Vegas? In fancy horse airplanes of course! Somehow I’m still fascinated by horses in planes, and I’m not the only one. Check out Valegro and others boarding the planes last week. [Horses Fly To Vegas]

Have you checked out the Badminton 2015 cross country course yet? With all the Rolex hype, we sometimes forget that Badminton is right around the corner as well. This year it’s all new on the cross country, with the direction changed and lots of combinations added. They’ve taken out the Vicarage Vee, the Normandy Bank and the Shooting Butt, which means three of the most recognizable Badders jumps are missing. [Five Things About Badminton 2015]

Rap music and dressage: two things you never thought to be related. Now thanks to Josh Hill, young rider extraordinaire, they are intertwined forever. Pro-tip: he’s cousins with local Eventer Justine Dutton! [Listening to Rap Makes a Good Dressage Warmup]

Up and coming Eventing star Fleeceworks Royal is taking a break from three-day action to try her hand at jumpers this spring. While Tamie Smith spends some time on the east coast vying for a spot on the Pan Am team, she has handed over the reins on this special mare to her show jumping mentor, Susie Hutchinson. Susie is already having great success, as they just won the 6-year-old Young Jumper Championship Qualifier at Blenheim Spring Classic 3. [Fleeceworks Royal Goes Jumper]

Best of Blogs: Why Is There Only One Horse In The Barn??

Close Second: 27 Things That Happen When You Own An Ex Racehorse

 

For a fun Rolex throwback…I give you Rolex 2007!

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Sarah Dunkerton and Old Man Moel accepted in the Ocala CCI**! Their support system is Event Entries super-man Rick Dunkerton. Photo via Dunkerton Eventing FB.

Sarah Dunkerton and Old Man Moel accepted in the Ocala CCI**! Their support system is Event Entries super-man Rick Dunkerton. Photo via Dunkerton Eventing FB.

We have to give a big shout out to Rick Dunkerton, who does so much for our sport with his tireless work on EventEntries.com. If you’ve ever entered an event on EventEntries, you have Rick to thank for that! He’s pictured here with his daughter, Sarah, who is competing Old Man Moel in the CCI2* at the Ocala Horse Properties International Festival of Eventing at the Florida Horse Park this weekend. Go Rick, and best of luck to Sarah!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Plantation Field H.T. [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Ocala H.T. & CCI   [Website] [Omnibus] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

FENCE H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

Pine Hill H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Twin Rivers H.T., CIC, & CCI  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

Congratulations to Kerry Flynn, the winner of this week’s Fab Freebie from Noble Outfitters! Kerry will receive a head to toe spring outfit from Noble Outfitters, just in time to hit the show ring! We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were just a tad jealous. Enjoy, Kerry! [Fab Freebie: Noble Outfitters]

We’re looking for a great inspirational story from one of our readers! Do you have a horse who has successfully recovered from EPM with the help of Protazil to return to competition? If so, email sally@eventingnation.com and we’ll see about making it a featured story of the month for our sponsor, Merck Animal Health!

As we’re gearing up for the Grand National, it’s fun to look back at the most memorable moments from times past. Red Rum’s 1977 third win is clearly at the top of the list, closely followed by the great AP McCoy winning on Don’t Push It in 2010 after trying 14 previous times. AP returns tomorrow riding Shutthefrontdoor, who is the heavy favorite. [Grand National Favorite Memories]

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Winona Horse Trials in Ohio, and they are celebrating with a photo contest! To look back through the years, everyone is invited to submit photos in these categories: action, candid, “oops” moments, professional photos, and oldest photo! You can win prizes like an equine massage, a custom ear bonnet or Equiflexsleeves for your favorite horse. [Winona Horse Trials Contest Rules & Entry]

Win a $250 voucher to Bit of Britain?? There’s not a lot better than free stuff, especially when you get to pick everything that you want! In order to enter this contest, you have to trade your helmet for a thinking cap, and create the perfect name for your dream horse using only the letter for the studs that BOB sells. Winners announced in July! [Contest Rules] [Enter Here]

Giddyup Gear has announced the beginning of their #giddyuptorolex contest! Not only can you win VIP XC tickets to Rolex, but you can also score a GoVelope Pro, some GoSocks, and some general admission tickets with access to the awesome Giddyup Gear tailgate. All you have to do is tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Pin or whatever suits you with why you want to go to Rolex, and hashtag #giddyuptorolex and #rk3de and you’re entered! [Giddyup Gear Rolex Contest]

With the debut of Game of Thrones season 5 coming up next week, it’s important to consider the horses of GOT that could still win the game. Bear with me while I nerd out right now, but don’t even pretend like I’m the only one! I really wish that Dancer would come back and kick some butt. [7 Horses That Might Win GOT]

As eventers, we are all over ice and compression therapy. One of my favorite and most simple solutions to caring for my horse’s tendons after a gallop or a jump school are the Ice Horse Tendon Wraps. These little puppies are easy to put in the freezer overnight and stay cold for a long time. The best part of these is that they stay in place firmly, so you can put them on and let the horse walk around the stall, or I like to use them after cross country schooling and they stay on in the trailer on the ride home. [SmartPak Product Of The Day]

I mean, really. Winning by ten points, I give you: Kim Severson and Cross kicking butt. 

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Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

It's finally green in VA!!! It's finally green in VA!!!

There’s nothing like the first week that it greens up in the spring. The grass suddenly takes on a brilliant bright green, the deciduous trees start to sprout little tendrils, and the cherry blossoms explode everywhere. Of course, this is also accompanied by horses that are either A) shedding B) covered in mud C) exhibiting spring fever or D) all of the above. I’ve resigned myself to being grungy, but I’m still happy!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Plantation Field H.T. [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Ocala H.T. & CCI   [Website] [Omnibus] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

FENCE H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

Pine Hill H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Twin Rivers H.T., CIC, & CCI  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

The Brits are taking over Rolex (again). Zara Phillips is making her Rolex debut, riding High Kingdom in slot number 66, with fellow rookie Francis Whittington riding a bit before her in slot 32. William Fox Pitt is entered on three horses, but only plans to run Freddie Mac (42) and previous winner Bay My Hero (82). Nicola Wilson will be first Brit in the ring with Watermill Vision in slot eight and 77 with Annie Clover. [British Coming to Rolex]

Win a $250 voucher to Bit of Britain?? There’s not a lot better than free stuff, especially when you get to pick everything that you want! In order to enter this contest, you have to trade your helmet for a thinking cap, and create the perfect name for your dream horse using only the letter for the studs that BOB sells. Winners announced in July! [Contest Rules] [Enter Here]

Giddyup Gear has announced the beginning of their #giddyuptorolex contest! Not only can you win VIP XC tickets to Rolex, but you can also score a GoVelope Pro, some GoSocks, and some general admission tickets with access to the awesome Giddyup Gear tailgate. All you have to do is tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Pin or whatever suits you with why you want to go to Rolex, and hashtag #giddyuptorolex and #rk3de and you’re entered! [Giddyup Gear Rolex Contest]

Many of your fellow Eventers participated in a study from KER this spring with their new heart rate monitor system. Now, they are offering an educational talk about the findings and it’s timed perfectly for Rolex! They tracked the fitness of dozens of Eventing horses and racehorses, and the president of KER invites you to learn. Tuesday April 21st, sign up now! [KER Fitness Gurus]

Heading to Rolex, and thinking of questions for your favorite rider or groom? You’re in luck! The PRO Rider & Groom Q & A for spectators at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event will be held one hour after the final horse completes cross country on Saturday, April 25th. Join the panel of North American and International Riders and Grooms at the Trot Up Lane.

KER is delighted to announce their partnership with Evention stars Dom and Jimmie Schramm! As Jimmie heads for her very first CCI4* at Rolex this spring, the partnership could not have come at a better time. “We have known KER and Dr. Joe Pagan for a long time, and have previously reached out to KER for assistance any time our horses weren’t looking or performing their best,” said Jimmie Schramm. “The advice we receive from KER has always been excellent and produced real results. We’re very excited to move forward with a formal partnership and spread the word to all equestrians about the resources available to them through KER.” [KER & Schramm Equestrian]

Best of Blogs: “But I Wanted A Beginner Safe Horse!”

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry. Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Another day of exciting dressage on the books! Unfortunately for me, my horse, who was lazy as all get out two weeks ago in his test, thought today was extremely exciting and used it as an excuse to practice some extra “dressage” moves in the arena. Ah well, we’ve all had those days, and I’m sure there will be more of them. Part of the beauty of Nyls is that you never quite know what you’re going to get, even in back to back events. On to jumping!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

The Fork H.T. & CIC [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

CDCTA Spring I H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Spring Bay H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

It’s time to vote for your favorite EN style Rolex ticket art! The winner will receive a T-series helmet from Tipperary, so be sure to get your votes in now. Voting will close TODAY at 5 p.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winner in Saturday’s Links post. [Vote for Tipperary Contest Winner]

Congratulations to Lee Alison, our Fab Freebie winner this week! Lee is the lucky winner of a Split Tail Rain Jacket from Kerrits, which is sure to come in handy this spring. [Fab Freebie: Kerrits Split Tail Rain Jacket]

April Fool’s day was not just for EN readers, but all over the horse world. While Horse & Hound announced that Hugh Grant would be taking over editorial duties, Dubarry revealed that they were working on a leather bra made out of the same material as their classic boots. For everyone who was taken in by an April Fool’s joke, here is a great collection of jokes that appeared this week. [April Fools Horse People!]

What could be better than John Whitaker interviewing Ludger Beerbaum? Not a lot of things, as it turns out. Show jumping legend John Whitaker took over Horse & Hound this week, and took it upon himself to interview world number two, Ludger Beerbaum about a variety of topics. Listening to two amazing riders like this is fascinating. [John & Ludger]

One of my all time favorite products: Equifit Adhesive Gel Squares. I was turned on to these by a supergroom friend of mine last year and they have saved my life since then. EquiFit Adhesive Gel Squares release a medical grade mineral oil to moisturize, soften, protect and cushion affected areas or places that are prone to rubs. I keep them attached to the back of my cross country boots so that my horse doesn’t get horrible rubs from the water and the sand. [SmartPak Product of The Day]

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