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

Thursday News & Notes from Woof Wear

Pan Am team member Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook's Scarlett jumping at the CT held at Morningside Training Farm in Virginia yesterday. Photo by Maya Small.

Pan Am team member Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett jumping at the CT held at Morningside Training Farm in Virginia yesterday. Photo by Maya Small.

Today I am off on an adventure to Holland! My sister is graciously taking me with her as she goes to the dressage holy land in search of her new champion partner, and since I prefer the <$10 range for my horses, it’s my first chance to see and experience an overseas horse shopping trip. Sadly, it’s all dressage horses all the time, but I’m hopeful that maybe somewhere in one of those barns is an extra horse that just seems like it wants to do cross country and they just want to do a two-for-one deal. Hey, it could happen, so I’m bringing my helmet just in case!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Great Vista H.T. [Website]

Great Meadows CIC [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Lost Hounds Pony Club H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Fox River Valley PC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Midsouth PC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Golden Spike H.T.  [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Once again, Michael Jung is the one to beat as we head into Luhmuhlen this weekend. Michael did the unusual and took both of his four-star champions right from Rolex where they both performed acceptably (read: extreme understatement) and now to a second spring four-star. I suppose the World/European/Olympic Champion gets to do what he wants. Besides that, the entry list is stacked, and it will be a tight race for sure. Thank goodness we have Wylie on the ground to bring us all the important updates throughout the weekend! [Michael Jung is the One To Beat]

Ingrid Klimke is out to keep her lead in the HSBC FEI Classics series this weekend at Luhmuhlen. After winning Pau in the fall and just placing second at Badminton, Ingrid returns to her hometown four-star with FRH Escada JS,  her partner in the team gold and individual silver medals at European Championships in 2013. No German rider has ever won the Classics series, but Ingrid currently has a four point lead over three-time winner WFP, who is without a mount this weekend. Can she do it? [Ingrid Klimke Gunning For A Win]

That moment when The Chronicle of The Horse writes an article on one of the writers at Eventing Nation? Yep, that happened. Our girl Maggie Deatrick got her own article from COTH as she tackles Great Meadow CIC3* this weekend with her amazing horse Dante. Not only is Maggie a prediction expert extraordinaire, but she’s also has a full time “real person job”, which makes competing at this level even more impressive. Go Maggie! [One to Watch: Amateur Rider Maggie Deatrick]

Kathryn Robinson is the only European competing at the Pan American Games. Riding for Canada, but based in  Gloucestershire for many years now, she was foiled in her plans for Badminton this spring by an ill-timed broken ankle, and fortune came through in the form of the Pan Ams this summer. This will be her first team experience, and she’s hoping that it will prepare her well for an Olympic bid, which is her ultimate goal. [British Based Eventer Goes to Pan Ams]

Best of Blogs: “Immediate Opening for Barn Help….Here’s the Deal”

This is only ten minutes, and it’s worth hearing Kyle Carter speak to what goes on behind team selection. Kyle isn’t the only one surprised that he was left off the Canadian Pan American Games team. 

Wednesday News & Notes from MDBarnmaster

Addie Neumeyer riding her heart out on cross country. Photo by Lee Ann Zobbe.

Addie Neumeyer celebrating a great cross country round. Photo by Lee Ann Zobbe.

I love nothing more than a hard working kid riding their heart out, and especially when it comes to kids like Addie Neumeyer. We’ve featured Addie before, because she’s a super determined rider who also makes time to volunteer at events, and luckily Lee Ann Zobbe sent us an adorable new photo series and story as an update.

Addie just turned 9 years old, and so far this year she has volunteered at Pine Top Farm Advanced Horse Trials, at Pony Club activities, and was a member of the hospitality crew and showjumping crew at the Indiana Eventing Association Horse Trials.

Addie moved up from Starter to Beginner Novice this past weekend, and Lee Ann was on hand to shoot a fun jump sequence as Addie conquered her most feared jump on course. Look at the determination of the first shot, and the ultimate joy as she lands and gallops on! Photos included below.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Great Vista H.T. [Website]

Great Meadows CIC [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Lost Hounds Pony Club H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Fox River Valley PC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Midsouth PC H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Golden Spike H.T.  [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Massive congratulations to our very own Marilyn Payne for being chosen as the President of the Ground Jury for Rio 2016!! Marilyn announced via her Facebook last night that she will be President for the Olympic games, judging alongside Sandy Phillips and Andrew Benne, with Alex Lochore as the Technical Delegate. Way to go!

Have you entered JUMP 2015?? Um, if you haven’t, why not? Sharon White’s Last Frontier Farm is hosting it’s annual amazing super fun derby cross event and fundraiser, and you should be putting it on your calendar. Held on July 4th this year, there are divisions from Elementary through Preliminary, and awards for the most patriotic and the most orange will be available as well. It’s always tons of fun, and a great way to start your Independence Day celebrations. You can enter online through June 29th. [JUMP!]

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been stalking everything American Pharoah for weeks now. I adore this horse’s kind eye and sweet attitude, because that’s a pretty uncommon thing for horses that are that good at that level in any sport. He seems like such a lovely animal, and his athletic accomplishments cannot be denied. For the horsemen and women who work behind the scenes developing horses for the track, his victory in the Triple Crown was especially poignant, and Carleigh Fedorka wrote an incredible blog about her experience and her relationship with American Pharoah. [A Voice From The Farm]

Everybody has a few…unorthodox…tricks up their sleeve for fixing naughty hands or flimsy legs or some other weird riding habit. Chronicle blogger Lauren Spreiser posted a photo of her ghetto fabulous baling twine neck strap (to encourage low, quiet hands) and received an extraordinary response. Her follow up is this blog, which is entertaining as always. [Tie Me Up]

I’ve had a hell of a bad few months for foot soreness with Nyls, and I had to find some new solutions to helping him through some crummy luck. I ended up pulling his front shoes after a failed experiment with pads to protect his flat pancake feet, and now he’s stuck on stall rest while his feet rest and recuperate. The only problem is, he’s a nightmare to keep on stall rest, so I had to figure a way to give him some turnout while protecting his tootsies. Enter the Cavallo Simple Boot, which offers all-terrain protection and shock absorption for his bare feet. I’ve been super impressed with the durability, fit, and function of these, and I’m so glad I bought them, because they can be re-used in times of lost shoes in the future. [SmartPak Product of The Day]

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Dunlavin's Token all geared up for a gallop in preparation for Great Meadows in two weeks! Photo courtesy of Danica Meyerhoff.

Dunlavin’s Token all geared up for a gallop in preparation for Great Meadows in two weeks! Photo courtesy of Danica Meyerhoff.

Last night my baby horse was brilliant in his Derby debut, jumping all the Training level jumps and behaving perfectly! I love the feeling you get when your horse starts to understand intellectually what his job is, and has the muscle and training to back it up. No matter what level you’re competing at, that is a magical feeling. When you’ve worked long and hard for it, there’s nothing more satisfying. I think it’s moments like these, maybe doing a round at a schooling show at 7 pm, or maybe it’s at Rolex, but it’s the same “we did it!” that a little voice says in your head that keeps you coming back for more.

Bramham Links: WebsiteEntriesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s Coverage@samanthalclark

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website]

Seneca Valley PC Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm June H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Queeny Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Silverwood Farm Spring H.T.  [Website]

Aspen Farms CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Round Top H.T.  [Omnibus]

News From Around The Globe:

Congratulations to Breanna Kaho, the winner of this week’s Fab Freebie from Kentucky Performance Products! Breanna will receive a year’s supply of Summer Games Electrolyte, so her horse will be nice and hydrated this summer. Congratulations, Breanna! [Fab Freebie: Kentucky Performance Products]

The USEA has announced the addition of a free jumping evaluation at the East Coast Future Event Horse Championships. While this will become mandatory for both east and west coasts in 2016, 2015 will only require East Coast horses at Loch Moy Farms in October. The chute will be regularly configured, with two verticals to an oxer, which is not to exceed 3’6 in height. Judges will evaluate the canter quality, jumping technique, jumping ability, and scope. [USEA Adds Free Jumping to FEH]

#FBF to equestrians learning about “heat illness” and how to cope with riding in the summer months. This great article was written by Dr. David Mclean as we all prepared for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Much of the knowledge we have now about cooling horses and humans down after cross country or during the summer comes from this original research. [Heat Illness]

Famous New Zealand racehorse Bonecrusher died this week at the ripe old age of 32. Racing in the eighties, Bonecrusher was the first horse to earn over $1 million in the country, named Horse of the Year for both 1986 and 1987, and clearly the winner of the best name ever. Check out the video below of Bonecrusher, and admire his gallop stride and his striking looks! [RIP Bonecrusher]

Riding corners in your dressage test can be a real pain in the arse, until you get the hang of it. I always think of corners as little helpers that I can use to balance and bend my horse for the next movement. Need a half halt? There’s a corner for that. Need a little shoulder in soon? There’s a corner for that too. Anyway, Horse & Hound has a guide for learning how to use the corners for better marks on your dressage test. [How To Ride A Corner]

If you’re like me, you run around at shows carrying too many things at all times. Usually I am sporting something like this collection: an extra towel, some fly spray, a tail brush, a camera, an extra lens, a water bottle or two, a gatorade bottle, a coke bottle, a phone charger, and maybe my helmet. All of these things need a pretty special backpack to keep from killing each other in the bag. I love this Under Armour ringside pack, designed specifically for the horse show needs! I mean, if you’re gonna be serious about it, be serious about it and get a sweet backpack. [Under Armour Ringside Pack]

Bonecrusher!

 

Thursday News & Notes from Woof Wear

This is Boyd's new creation on the Windurra cross country schooling course. I like it. Photo courtesy of Boyd.

This is Boyd’s new creation on the Windurra cross country schooling course. I like it. Photo courtesy of Boyd.

Tonight, I am going to the local SOAR Eventing Derby Night! Oh, what’s that, you say? It’s where a whole bunch of awesome people who are influential in keeping the local eventing scene thriving get together and haul a bunch of show jumps and portable cross country jumps into a giant arena, and we have combination derby jumping rounds at different eventing levels. It’s held at night, so it’s finally cool in the Virginia summer, and there is home cooking and socializing and spectating and it’s just a blast. If only every community could enjoy the same camaraderie and competition simultaneously!

Samantha Clark is on the grounds at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials to bring us coverage here on EN all week. Lauren Kieffer and Veronica and Katherine Coleman and Courage Under Fire are in the CCI3*, and Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace are in the Under 25 CCI3*. Stay tuned for Samantha’s excellent coverage.

Bramham Links: WebsiteEntriesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s Coverage@samanthalclark

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website]

Seneca Valley PC Spring H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Full Gallop Farm June H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Queeny Park H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Silverwood Farm Spring H.T.  [Website]

Aspen Farms CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Round Top H.T.  [Omnibus]

News From Around The Globe:

William Fox Pitt has won Bramham CCI3* seven times, but he’s not yet satisfied. He’s riding Fernhill Pimms, a horse with already two CIC3*’s and a CCI2* victories under his belt. However, he does have competition from the usual crowd, and all eyes will be on Oliver Townend as he attempts to pilot the controversial Lanfranco around at a big competition. Andrew Nicholson is returning with MHS King Joules, the horse who earned Mary King a yellow card at this very event last year. [Bramham CCI3* Heats Up]

Irish biotechnology company Equinome has announced the release of a new test for the thoroughbred speed gene analysis. Four years ago, Equinome came out with the first speed gene analysis test, and they are claiming that the new procedure more than doubles the accuracy of predicting elite thoroughbred racing potential rather than using just pedigree alone. While this all sounds amazing and sciencey and exciting, I still think there’s an unknown x-factor that’s important in any horse sports, and they can’t just be reduced to numbers. [Equinome Predicts Fast Thoroughbreds]

After moving from east to west coast in 2013, Jessie Hargrave now joins forces with Tamie Smith and Next Level Eventing. Jessie was based in North Carolina for most of her career, working for riders like Rebecca Howard and Holly Hudspeth. However, she upped and took her career west and hasn’t looked back. With Jess, Tamie, Heather Morris and Nikki Hall Clarke all based in one barn, this is surely a powerhouse of a stable! [Next Level Eventing Welcomes Jessie Hargrave]

If you’re looking for the ideal low level packer, or all around enjoyable horse, how do you find that gem? Horse & Hound has a great guide for finding that horse that will safely take you around just about anything at the lower levels, and what to look for when you’re shopping. The horse that is enjoyable for many to ride is a popular commodity, and sometimes hard to find! [How To Find Your All Arounder]

A Pharoah Tale Ending……yep!

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

The Four Star Eventing Group's Butch Cassidy sits in 2nd place in the CCI* with Will Coleman at Bromont. Photo via Will Coleman Eventing.

The Four Star Eventing Group’s Butch Cassidy sits in 2nd place in the CCI* with Will Coleman at Bromont. Photo via Will Coleman Eventing.

I think this is the first time in recent memory that I’ve been super jealous of the weather at Bromont versus what I’m experiencing here at home. It has done nothing but rain all week, and while on one hand I’m thrilled (because the footing, duh!), the other hand tells me that it’s depressing to be wet for more than two days in a row. I’m gonna go ahead and say this is a sign I shouldn’t move to England or Ireland.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Gennessee Valley Driving & Riding Club Spring  H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

The Middleburg H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

Roebke’s Run CCI/CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Copper Meadows CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Derbyshire Farms H.T.  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

Congratulations to Beth Libby, the winner of this week’s Fab Freebie from Bucas! Beth will receive a lovely Bucas Buzz Off Fly Sheet — we’re sure her horse will appreciate it! [Fab Freebie: Bucas]

Surefire Horse Trials is still accepting entries at all levels for the June 19-21 event. Beginner Novice through Intermediate courses designed by Tremaine Cooper at Jan Byyny’s gorgeous farm in Purcellville, Virginia are always a favorite for locals. They’ve added a wine and beer garden and tailgating this year, too! [Website] [Omnibus Listing]

Wear purple this weekend in honor of Seema Sonnad. A movement has begun for those attending, volunteering, or competing at events this weekend to wear purple in honor of Seema, who suddenly passed away last week. Purple was Seema’s color for cross country, and she could often be seen sporting a purple polo while volunteering as well. I’ll be competing at Plantation Field on Saturday, one of Seema’s favorite events to volunteer at, and will proudly be wearing purple in honor of this incredible woman.

William Fox Pitt is back on top of world number one standings after his win at Badminton. After Michael Jung temporarily ousted him at Rolex, WFP is back on top, with a fifteen point lead. Right behind them? Oh, this American dude named Boyd Martin, he’s in third place or whatever. [William Back On Top]

The 2016 Worth The Trust Scholarships are now open for application. If you are a young amateur rider or an adult amateur looking for a opportunity to fund your eventing education, you should consider applying. Worth The Trust scholarships give thousands of dollars to riders looking for ways to get more lessons, take more clinics, learn about course design, and many other opportunities. Applications open through October 1st. [Worth The Trust Scholarships]

We all love Jon Holling, and maybe a little more than usual because of his recent videos, but do you know what he’s been up to since he broke his leg this March? While he was originally planning to go to Rolex, that didn’t actually work out, and it turns out he’s sold his 4* mount, Zatopek B in the meantime. The Chronicle of the Horse caught up with him recently to chat about everything, including #winnerswearhairnets. [Ringside Chat with Jon Holling]

The British are just killing everyone on the FEI World Rankings for ALL equestrian sports. William Fox Pitt is in first place in Eventing, Scott Brash is in first place in show jumping, and obviously Charlotte Dujardin is murdering everyone in the Dressage world. What are they drinking? How do we get some of it?! [British Are All Number One]

If there’s one thing I’m a little superstitious about, it’s my cross country whip. Everyone has a favorite style, and mine is the jockey whip. Did you know you could get custom ones with different colors and different shaped poppers?  Yeah, you can. You can also order it through SmartPak, so you know it’s gonna be awesome. [Fowler’s Custom Jockey Whips]

Thursday News & Notes from Woof Wear

This is what happens when you loan your phone to Zach Brandt. Photo courtesy of Rachel McDonough.

This is what happens when you loan your phone to Zach Brandt. Photo courtesy of Rachel McDonough.

As Bromont dressage commences today, the most important question on your collective minds should be: Who will be streaking the Bromont sign this year? We already know that Jon Holling (2012 winner streaker) is on a whole new level, but because he went and busted his leg, he’s not in the running for the naked honor. Who will it be? I’m not revealing who I’m betting on, mostly because I like to play my cards close to my chest, but also because I have a sneaking suspicion that this year is going to be a bit of a surprise victory.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Gennessee Valley Driving & Riding Club Spring  H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

The Middleburg H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

Roebke’s Run CCI/CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Copper Meadows CIC & H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Derbyshire Farms H.T.  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

Wear purple this weekend in honor of Seema Sonnad. A movement has begun for those attending, volunteering, or competing at events this weekend to wear purple in honor of Seema, who suddenly passed away last week. Purple was Seema’s color for cross country, and she could often be seen sporting a purple polo while volunteering as well.

Genesee Valley Hunt Horse Trials is extending their closing date to June 16th. Offering Intro through Preliminary, Genesee Valley offers a great event in a beautiful setting, and a fun group of people running it too! The event is a wonderful prep for Stuart Horse Trials, as it is two weeks prior. Don’t miss the chance to enter! [Genesee Valley Hunt Horse Trials]

Hannah Sue Burnett has scored a really lovely young horse from England, and is very excited for his future. Cooley Dream Extreme, previously piloted by Piggy French, has just arrived at Hannah’s barn. Already he has an impressive resume, having won several Preliminary events in England, started his Intermediate career, finishing seventh at the British six-year-old championships before finishing 2014 with a third place at Le Lion D’Angers young horse championships. [Hannah Sue’s New Ride]

Because wild speculation is a thing, let’s talk about American Pharoah and his date with destiny on Saturday. As he has become the 14th horse in the past four decades to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, do you think he can conquer the longest and hardest of the three, the Belmont Stakes? Only eleven horses in history have accomplished this goal, and none since Affirmed in 1978. AP drew post position number four yesterday morning, and he’s already the heavy 3-5 favorite for the race on Saturday. With only eight horses in the race, could we see history in the making? [American Pharoah Draws Number Four Post]

Ever wondered what it’s like to gallop a Shire on a race track? Horse & Hound’s Gary Ashton-Coulton took a hairy beast for a spin, and recorded the whole thing from the top. They look like they’re galloping in slow motion, but from the helmet cam it seems they’re covering quite a bit of ground! Hilarious to watch them try to gallop, I’m not even sure that a draft horse that big has a difference between canter and gallop. [Race Riding Draft Horses]

Best of Blogs: What Trainers Really Think

 

Paul Tapner and Yogi Bear were 2nd last weekend at the Tattersalls CIC3* (after the show jumping is the xc helmet cam).

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]

FlairBuck Horizontal

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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