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

The Conclusion of Dressage, As Told By Social Media

France: where even the cows are patriotic. Photo courtesy of FFE Equipes de France FB. France: where even the cows are patriotic. Photo courtesy of FFE Equipes de France FB.

The two days of dressage are officially over! I’m thrilled to report that Team USA did us proud, and currently stand in bronze medal position after the first phase. Our reporters, Jenni and Leslie, are doing an incredibly admirable job, especially considering the conditions that they are operating out of, and I take my hat off to them! I love looking at social media during the day and catching the riders personal posts and reactions; it’s a wonderful insight into the experience of riding at the WEG. Check out some highlights!


This one is definitely one of my favorites …Team USA: where everyone stands with their hands on their hips while walking cross country!

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.


Second favorite: Maxime Livio an Qalao des Mers during their final halt. If that doesn’t tell you how well these horses are holding it together in the atmosphere, I don’t know what does!

Photo courtesy of Maxime Livio's FB.

Photo courtesy of Maxime Livio’s FB.


Hawley Bennett definitely wins an award for one of the biggest smiles after she and Ginny put in their best test at this level to date. If I had to tackle that course tomorrow, I think I’d pick Ginny as my mount!

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett's FB.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett’s FB.


Check out this perfect TEN halt from Lynn Symansky and Donner! So into this pair, probably another horse that I think I would choose to battle the mud on Pierre’s course tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.


Selena O’Hanlon had her best test to date with Foxwood High, and is totally thrilled with Woody’s performance. This is his second CCI4* after his debut at Rolex this spring.


The sun came out for competition today; check out this early morning view of Sparky and his groom Lisbeth out for an early walk.

Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.

Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.


Sadly, one of my all time favorite pairs and an extremely competitive combination were withdrawn in the warmup for dressage. Victoria has had a rough year, with a hoof bruise that kept her out of Badminton, thousands of dollars of tack stolen from her this spring and then this at the WEG.


Maybe it’s just a Canadian thing, but Jessie Phoenix is in the competition for biggest post dressage smile as well. Pavarotti was such a good boy!

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Yeah Blyth! We love Eventing Geeks!


I think to say that Jock Paget’s comeback is one of the best stories of the WEG is a little bit of an understatement. How much he and his team suffered through the past long months — to come here and be successful would be the sweetest return.


“We wouldn’t be in bronze medal position without all of our owners and supporters! Here they are on a course walk with the team coach while the riders have a final look at the course individually. Go Team USA, and thanks to everyone who helps make it possible.”

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.


Sparky says, “LET’S GO CROSS COUNTRY NOW!” I’m pretty sure he is amongst the population of horses that are plenty happy that dressage is over and done with.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.


And finally, the saga of terrible situations at WEG comes to a full halt: the bathrooms are closed for the media. I mean….really??!! WHAT?!


Let the cross country games begin!!

Photo courtesy of Bea Di Grazia

Photo courtesy of Bea Di Grazia

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Pirate takes in the English countryside. Photo courtesy of Meghan O'Donoghue

Pirate takes in the English countryside. Photo courtesy of Meghan O’Donoghue

While all the WEG madness is happening, lets not forget the select group of amazing Americans who are sequestered at Maizey Manor preparing for Burghley next week! I might be more aware of the upcoming Burghley than others because….I’M GOING and if you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited about it. Ironically, I think I might be having better weather in England than poor Jenni and Leslie are enduring right now. However, just in case I jinxed myself by saying that, I’m also packing all the rain gear I own, and more.

 [WEG Entries] [WEG Schedule] [Results] [Dressage Ride Times]

[Jenni’s Interactive Guide to Every Single WEG Eventing Competitor] [WEG Course Walk]

North American Weekend Preview:

Town Hill Farm H.T. [Website]

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

Chattahoochee Hills CIC1*/2* & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Times] [Live Scores]

Silverwood Farm H.T. [Website]

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

The Event at Woodland Stallion Station  [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

KY Classique H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Times]

FEI Global Weekend Preview:

Queensland International 3DE (AUS) CCI2*/1*, CIC3*/2*/1*  [Website]

Mexico City (MEX) CIC/CCI1*

Durazno (URU) CCI2*/1*, CIC2*

Firle Place International (GBR) CIC1*  [Website] [Entry Status]

Schwaiganger (GER) CIC2*/1*

Turnier (GER) CIC1*  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

Interested in going inside the WEG vet facilities? Each of the five competition venues has its very own veterinary clinic, with specialists in equine internal medicine, fractures, and treatment of colic. These clinics are open 24/7 for the duration of the games, so that competitors have access at any time. The Horse has the story. [Inside WEG Veterinary Clinics]

Unfortunately, yesterday’s action was marred by the death of a Costa Rican endurance horse, as well as several rider injuries. Dorado, a 12-year-old Arabian gelding from Costa Rica, and his 37-year-old rider Claudia Romero Chacon ran head-on into a tree during the first loop of the endurance race, which took place near Sartilly. Dorado died instantly, although a necropsy will be performed. Two other riders were injured, including one rider who fractured a femur in a fall. [Costa Rican Horse Dies at WEG]

Horse & Hound is getting into the spirit. We posted an article on how dire the situation was at the WEG, and H&H posted an article that is, well, just ten pictures of mud at the WEG. [10 Pics of Mud at WEG]

Endurance competitors had a rough day overall, with only 38 of 174 starters finishing. Bahrain, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, Uruguay, the United States, and Belgium, for example, each got only one competitor home, while Germany, New Zealand, Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan and Norway failed to even get one finisher. [Endurance Elimination Rife]

Finally! Charlotte DuJardin’s GP test, in entirety!

FlairBuck Horizontal

 

A Social Media Recap Of Dressage Day One

 

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett.

Day one of the dressage phase is officially concluded, and we still have much more to come tomorrow! Unluckily for Jenni and Leslie, there is too much mud, not enough food, and the bathrooms are locked at 7pm. However, as you can see above, Ginny Juice is keeping a sharp eye on Shamwari warming up for dressage, as both of them compete tomorrow as the anchors for their respective teams. Our results were pretty awesome today, and despite the weather and the terrible hospitality, the spirits are high, and Team USA is doing well. Let’s check out what everyone has been putting on social.

Also, you guys should check out Normandy on Pinterest. It’s pretty sweet. [Normandy on Pinterest]


Ugh, how many times can I swoon in one day? When these two are involved, the answer is a lot.

 


Fair question guys, fair question.


Woah woah woah, what’s this I see? A smile? From Phillip? Dutton? That like, never happens!

Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing FB.


Clever little Annie is right! Nicola Wilson sits in 8th place after dressage with Annie Clover in their first WEG together.


Take a bow, Tate, don’t feel any pressure or anything!

Photo by Jenni Autry.

Photo by Jenni Autry.


Wesko may or may not be in the running for the cutest horse at the WEG. Do you agree?


Fun fact: WEG 2014 marks 36 years since Sir Mark Todd’s first championships. The first was in 1978 in Kentucky.


What’s Selena up to, you ask? Just casually hanging out in the ditch and brush on cross country. Note: Selena is not a midget, despite what she might look like in this photo.

Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


Jessica Phoenix did a great job with Pavarotti today, getting a lovely test out of him for a 50.2. But seriously, lets talk about those quarter marks, aren’t they impressive?

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Eventing superstars: they’re just like us! Ingrid Klimke brings her daughter to an interview at the WEG.


Can you guess what kind of people are staying at this hotel? Here’s a hint: muddy Dubarry boots.

Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.

Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.


Dear people who are tagging @michaeljung on Twitter….that’s an interior designer. The real Michael Jung is on Facebook! Translated from his FB: fischerRocana has given her best! I had a great feeling and we have received 40.7. Now it will keep fingers crossed for all the other Germans!”

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Photo courtesy of Michael Jung’s FB.

Go Eventing.

#WEG2014: WebsiteLive ScoresDressage Ride TimesSchedule & ResultsEN’s CoverageEN’s Guide to EventingFEI TVFEI TV’s YouTubeWEG FacebookEN’s InstagramFantasy Eventing@eventingnation

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett's IG.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett’s IG.

First of all, check out this adorable photo of Hawley posing on a very large skinny jump. Second of all, if you haven’t seen the course walk that our hard working Jenni Autry ran around yesterday HERE because Pierre Michelet’s course is ca-razay! I’m glad we have invested in giving our American riders experience with his style, because it’s certainly nothing that we have over here in the states. There are so many twisty turny, complex, skinny and precise combinations I can’t even name the number. Phase one starts today! Dressage GO!

 [WEG Entries] [WEG Schedule] [Results] [Dressage Ride Times]

[Jenni’s Interactive Guide to Every Single WEG Eventing Competitor] [WEG Course Walk]

North American Weekend Preview:

Town Hill Farm H.T. [Website]

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

Chattahoochee Hills CIC1*/2* & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Times]

Silverwood Farm H.T. [Website]

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

The Event at Woodland Stallion Station  [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

KY Classique H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Times]

FEI Global Weekend Preview:

World Equestrian Games (FRA) CCI4* [Website] [First Horse Inspection]

Queensland International 3DE (AUS) CCI2*/1*, CIC3*/2*/1*  [Website]

Mexico City (MEX) CIC/CCI1*

Durazno (URU) CCI2*/1*, CIC2*

Firle Place International (GBR) CIC1*  [Website] [Entry Status]

Schwaiganger (GER) CIC2*/1*

Turnier (GER) CIC1*  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

Photo galleries of the WEG Eventing jogs? Yes please! [Phelps Sports]

WEG, WEG, WEG! By now, your entire family is probably sick of you talking about nothing but WEG. Stick with EN this week to figure out how to annoy them even more! [How to get the most out of EN during WEG]

Speaking of family, you know how your significant other always drives you nuts discussing his fantasy football picks? Here’s your chance to show him what it feels like (and maybe for you to understand his or her enthusiasm). SmartPak is sponsoring our very own Fantasy Eventing Team League and you could win a $100 SmartPak gift card! And really, any kind of card to SmartPak is just money in the bank, so you should enter. [Draft Your Own Fantasy WEG Team]

Laura Graves has had a fairytale journey to the WEG, and produced her best performance at her first team competition. Just in her first year at this level, Laura is the youngest member of the US dressage contingent at the WEG. The partners of 12 years produced a personal best Grand Prix score of 77.157% to finish in eighth place. [Graves Produces Career Performance]

After placing second in the Grand Prix and helping Germany win team gold, Isabell Werth has withdrawn Bella Rose from further competition at the WEG. Twelve hours after completing her test yesterday, the mare suddenly came up lame, and it was determined that she was suffering from inflammation of the laminae. Werth immediately withdrew her from the Grand Prix Special, which is reserved for the top thirty competitors. Bella Rose is the seventh dressage horse to be withdrawn or eliminated from competition due to lameness concerns in the last week. [Bella Rose Withdrawn]

If you are a Harry Potter nerd like me, start your morning off right. [CLICK HERE]

 

Day two highlights!

SmartPak-Logo

 

Let The Games Begin! A Social Media Celebration

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Tell me that you looked at that picture of Kim and Sparky and didn’t “Awww” in your head. Try to  tell me that! The games have officially begun, with 98 horses progressing to the next stage: the tiny rectangle of death dressage! We are on full WEG lockdown, with two reporters on the ground, and one in the states who is trying to exist on French and American time zones simultaneously. By that I mean that Sally is sleeping approx 4 hours a night for the next five days, which should make for some progressively more hilarious live blogs from her. Bless her, up at 2:30 am every day to keep up with all the happenings!


Tate the French Princess is at home in Normandy, and looking quite spiffy! I heard that he even behaved himself on the jog strip today, which is basically unheard of.


What an iPhone note. Casual but serious.


Team USA looking snazzy in their official blazers.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.


Look at Team Canada! Lookin’ sharp guys!

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett's IG.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett’s IG.


What you may not know is that this outfit, impeccably modeled by Max, was the original Canadian jog ensemble. I kinda wish they had stuck to it?

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett's IG.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett’s IG.


Pavarotti is excited for his very first CCI4*!!

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Um, hello tiny and adorable Michael Jung! Not only do you use the most smileys on Facebook, you have the best pre-jog smile.


The New Zealanders brought the style today, check out how swift Tim Price and Wesko look cruising down that jog strip! 10541368_956655777684029_3452657215841329663_o


Apparently Nereo is SO over jogs on Wednesdays, he was looking to jog as fast as possible and right back to the stables. He’s like, “You guys, I’ve already been to a WEG as well as an Olympics, and this is pretty boring, can we get on to the important stuff?”

Photo courtesy of Eventing NZ FB.

Photo courtesy of Eventing NZ FB.


Here’s a promise: by the end of this weekend, you will all be as obsessed  intrigued with Maxime Livio as I am, if only because I will slowly but surely bombard you with photos of him and his horse. Here is his horse Qalao and his groom Matou taking a “petite selfie” before jogs.

Photo courtesy of Ecurie Livio FB.

Photo courtesy of Ecurie Livio FB.


I have to say, I really love Ireland’s jackets too. I love all the fashion!! I can’t help myself! Check out Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just A Jiff.

Photo courtesy of Camilla Speirs Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Camilla Speirs Eventing FB.


After jogs, everyone went in for some real ring familiarization, getting a taste of the competition ring before it all begins.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.


From a different perspective, this dressage arena looks pretty tiny? I hope there are not too many spectators, because it does not look built to hold a huge crowd.

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke.

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke.


Team USA Settles In at Haras du Pin

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett

The skies let up a little bit today, offering only a tiny reprieve from the rain in Normandy. However, temperatures remain chilly, and the forecast doesn’t offer much hope for the week. At least the ground won’t be firm on Saturday? This could certainly make for some interesting jogs tomorrow (ahem, TATE) and even more interesting dressage tests in the coming days. Team USA is all settled in, and everyone enjoyed a hack and a light flat today, getting to know their surroundings.


Six person team is RIGHT Sinead!!


Tate out for a school. Photo via USEF High Performance Eventing Facebook page.

Tate out for a school. Photo via USEF High Performance Eventing Facebook page.


And, really, it wouldn’t be a true social media roundup without a groom selfie…

Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.

Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.


Meanwhile, the Canadians were enjoying some (more) rain in Normandy today. Somehow I don’t feel the umbrella is helping all that much…

Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


And we can’t forget about all-natural horse treats. Sign us up!

Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the triumph that was Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro’s masterful performance in the dressage today. Look at those smiles (and those medals!)!

USEF Announces Team and Individual Competitors for World Equestrian Games

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

On the eve of Team USA’s arrival at Haras du Pin, the USEF has officially announced both Team and Individual riders for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Four horse and rider combinations will compete on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and an additional two combinations will compete as Individuals.

The following combinations will comprise the team, listed in alphabetical order:


Buck Davidson and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s BallyNoe Castle RM
BallyNoe Castle RM is a 2000 Irish Thoroughbred gelding.

Phillip Dutton and the Trading Aces LLC’s Trading Aces
Trading Aces is a 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding.

Boyd Martin and the Shamwari 4 Syndicate LLC’s Shamwari 4
Shamwari 4 is a 2002 Hanoverian gelding.

Lynn Symansky and her own Donner
Donner is a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding.

Additionally, the following two horse and rider combinations will compete as Individuals, listed in alphabetical order:

Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville Syndicate’s Manoir de Carneville
Manoir de Carneville is a 2000 Selle Francais gelding.

Kim Severson and her own Fernhill Fearless
Fernhill Fearless is a 2000 Irish Sport Horse gelding.

 

Congratulations to all the riders, and good luck as they proceed into the competition this week. Go USA!

 

North American Horses Explore Haras du Pin

You guys, a double rainbow to start the week of WEG competition? How much luckier could you get? All of the teams are officially on campus, so to speak, and installed in the barns. Jenni and Leslie are en route to France, and will arrive early in the morning and hit the ground running, so hopefully by the time you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll see news from Normandy!


Lookin sharp, Boyd! Super groom Lindsey Taylor takes Boyd and Shamwari for a little walk and a graze. Boyd does the walking, Shamwari does the grazing.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

 


From USEF High Performance: We made it! Horses travelled great thanks to Gelisen Horse Transport. Thanks to our grooms for the most efficient move in possible and to everyone who makes this possible. Manoir de Carneville is enjoying his new digs, he’s right at home in France! Thanks too to our alternates: Hannah Sue Burnett, Marilyn Little and Meghan O’Donoghue for their support as well as all the staff and volunteers who make this possible for our riders! We are ready.”

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

 


Team Canada all grazing and bundled up against the cold and rain!

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

 


Team SHE is keepin’ it real.

Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.

Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.

 


Team USA is all settled in, but the weather seems to be leaving something lacking. Cold and rainy? Come on France, we want perfect weather for our WEG!

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.


 


Meanwhile, back in Chantilly, the team alternates are holding the fort down as they prepare for Burghley next week. Harbour Pilot is working extra hard.

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Taylor.

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Taylor.

 


Pirate is preparing for his third CCI4*, and first Burghley ever! He is hanging out in Chantilly with William and the other alternates.

Photo courtesy of Meghan O'Donoghue

Photo courtesy of Meghan O’Donoghue

 


Can you recognize what horse that is under several blankets and all wrapped up?? The one and only Gin & Juice!!

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad.

 


Most importantly, Team Vet Christiana Ober has her young son Lucas along for the ride, and can officially claim to be the youngest accredited member of the WEG!

Photo courtesy of Christiana Ober.

Photo courtesy of Christiana Ober.

 


If you happen to be in Normandy and you’re looking to recognize an EN writer, I can almost guarantee you that both of them will look like this for the next six days.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

 


And you thought I was kidding.

The Great Migration + WEG Social Media Updates

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB. Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB.

Move-in day: It’s not just for college freshman this weekend. Horses and riders from literally all around the world headed to the stables at Haras du Pin to officially begin their WEG week. Most of the teams arrived and set up shop today, but Team USA had their final gallops and are departing early tomorrow, as the journey from Chantilly is quite short.


Uh, yeah, we agree Meg.

Meg


Kim is (rightly) super excited about all her custom USA gear from Charles Owen — lookin’ pretty sharp, Kim!

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.


Ginny says, “Please take a selfie for me, and then let’s go to France!”

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad


Kilrodan Abbott is psyched to represent Canada! Team Canada packed up and shipped out today.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


The Australian horses started their journey today, traveling on the Portsmouth Ferry along the way. Thanks for the update, Shane Rose!


Badminton winner Sam Griffiths is taking his lovely mare, Paulank Brockagh, to the WEG. She’s a real beauty, and one of my favorites for sure.


The French eventing team arrived at Haras du Pin today! Fan favorite (OK, my favorite) Maxime Livio shared this pic of his horse, Qalao des Mers. Translated from his Facebook: “Qalao and Matilda have arrived on the lands of Haras du Pin. The whole team is installed! Next meeting Wednesday for the vet visit!”

Photo courtesy of Écurie Livio FB.

Photo courtesy of Écurie Livio FB.


The German eventing team arrived today as well, and according to Michael Jung, took care of priorities first. And by priorities, I mean the horses began stuffing their faces full of delicious French grass as soon as possible. Don’t worry, he didn’t forget a smiley face. Translated from Michael’s FB: The whole team has arrived in France. Rocaná feels right at home and the head directly on the grass “inserted” ;)  Tomorrow the trainer and riders will go once in the large stadium to Caen to get an overview.”

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung's FB.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung’s FB.


Check out Spain’s sweet setup! They arrived today and put all the fixings up in their stable. Looking very nice Spain!


I know this isn’t strictly Eventing related, but still. I mean, is this fate?


Most importantly, everybody is trying to be cool like and get their own Chinch. John Kyle, we can see your scheme!

WEG Has Begun! A Social Media Review

Team USA checks out the Stadium arena prior to the opening ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky. Team USA checks out the Stadium arena prior to the opening ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky.

If you didn’t watch the World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremonies, a) what is wrong with you and b) you seriously missed out. I’ve seen some Olympic opening ceremonies that were put to shame by what just happened in France. I mean, it was absolutely mind bogglingly awesome. If you missed it, you should definitely check out Sally’s live thread of the action HERE, because holy cow.


I mean, really. I think the French take their horse sports seriously. Princess Haya did say that they are the biggest contributors to the FEI, with the most competitions per country, so that’s pretty significant.



Meanwhile, back in Chantilly before the action of the night, Team USA members Lynn Symansky and Donner enjoyed an early morning jump school with team show jumping coach Silvio Mazzoni.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB.


And Hannah Sue, preparing for Burghley the following week, took Harbour Pilot (William) out to the gallops and gave us an awesome tour of the absurdly beautiful surroundings.


Canada had a pretty awesome day too, starting with some final gallops at Barbury …

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

And of course a video, courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


… and then some work on the official jog outfits, clearly put together by the boys …

Photo courtesy of Colleen Loach.

Photo courtesy of Colleen Loach.


And of course we can’t finish the day without relaying a very special message from Ginny to all her fans out there!


Great Britain! Where have you been?! Why aren’t you guys tweeting more! At least Harry Meade is letting me know what’s up.


While we are at it, look at this adorable sign that Harry Meade came home to today. I mean, could this get any cuter?


The German team also enjoyed a last canter uphill before departing for Normandy. From Ingrid Klimke’s FB, loosely translated: “Last canter work on the mountain. It felt good, but the clouds have not let the sun shine through. The Rodderberg is just great, with long stretches uphill. The footing was great and the new large outdoor boxes created by Karl Schneider have made FRH Escada JS feel very comfortable. We are ready for the next adventure! Tomorrow morning we are going to Normandy!”

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke.

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke.


Michael Jung, clearly not wanting to lose his title of “rider who uses the most smiley faces on Facebook,” gives us this update: “Today Rocaná had great fun because work was located on the mountain romp :)”

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung.


And in closing, this pegasus.

 

Friday Night Social Media Roundup: Two Days To Go!

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Eventing FB.

Donner says hello from France! As the only American-bred OTTB competing at the WEG, Donner is working extra hard to prove that his breed is the best out there. Ex-racehorses for the win!

It is now officially two days from the beginning of WEG, and both North American teams ship out to headquarters at Normandy on Monday. Several other countries have suffered last minute losses, but our riders are doing us proud and everything is going incredibly well (so I hope I don’t jinx it!).


Most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIM! Two WEG team members with birthdays in the same week? How is this possible!

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky.


Check out Team USA’s awesome custom Ride Safe bracelets (plus the ladies are rocking patriotic nails)!

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.


Team USA took a break today from training to watch the racehorses gallop in Chantilly, which is ridiculously beautiful. They have a two-mile gallop in the forest, and it could not be more picturesque if it tried.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.


The U.S. grooms took advantage of their time in France by taking an afternoon trip to Paris, which I can tell you is never a waste of time.

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Taylor.

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Taylor.


The Canadians loaded up today and went off property to have a proper show jumping school, practicing full courses and full height.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett.


 

Check out Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti, that horse loves jumping!

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Ginny wants to be sure that you don’t leave her out of the jumping fun, because if there is anybody who loves jumping the most of all, it’s Gin & Juice!

Photo courtesy of Sarah Braun.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Braun.


Team Ireland is looking very spiffy and ready to go! I’m personally rooting for Aoife Clark and Camilla Speirs….Irish underdogs!


Andrew Nicholson is debuting his new book after the WEG at Burghley, but his NZ teammates get an early copy. All of them are lining up to get autographs!

Photo courtesy of Eventing NZ FB.

Photo courtesy of Eventing NZ FB.


Not to be outdone, those Australians are pretty snazzy looking! Everyone is posing for their team photos, what’s up USA? Where is ours?


Michael Jung is recovering from his (and our) disappointment of the withdrawal of Sam and moving forward with fischerRocana, a promising young mount. I present to you, Team Germany!

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung.


And to cap off your Friday night social media roundup, I give you Scha Scha, stealing the Team USA lorry. Look. At. That. Face.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

View from the top of Maizey Manor's gallop! Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

View from the top of Maizey Manor’s gallop! Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.

Happy Friday, everyone! We are officially four days away from the beginning of the Eventing WEG competition!! You ever have one of those weeks that is inexplicably longer than all the others, where you wake up on Wednesday SURE that it has to be at least Saturday already? That was me this week, and even though it’s Friday, I feel like my life is moving in molasses speed. Maybe that’s because as soon as next week hits we will all be running around like crazy with WEG and Burghley right in a row? Perhaps this is the universe helping me find some “balance” or something like that.

North American Weekend Preview:

Richland Park CIC2*/3* & H.T. [Website] [Times] [Live Scores]

Huntington Farm H.T [Website]

Steepleview H.T. [Website] [Times]

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

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

Colorado Horse Park CCI1*/2*, T3D, & H.T.  [Website] [Live Scores]

FEI Global Weekend Preview:

Blair Castle (GBR) CCI1*/2*/3*, CIC3*  [Website] [Live Scores]

Parcayacu (ECU) CCI1*

Outdoor Helvoirt (NED) CIC1*/2* [Website]

Hamm (GER) CIC1*  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

Totilas is out, Sam is out, and now two more Dutch dressage horses have been withdrawn from the WEG. Edward Gal’s Glock’s Undercover as well as Danielle Hijkoop’s Kingsley Siro NOP have suffered last minute injuries that will keep them from competing. Undercover suffered a minor spinal injury that will heal in a week at most, but is currently experiencing inflammation and slight pain, and will be saved for another day. Kingsley Siro also failed the final vet check, and it seems that he struck himself during training this week. [Two Dutch Entries Withdrawn]

Hold the phone: if you’re near Middleburg VA this Saturday, you HAVE to go to the Morningside Bareback Puissance. In fact, bring your horse and compete! They have a 2’6 bareback speed class, and then a bareback puissance that goes as high as possible. Do you think we can beat Lainey Ashker’s record of 5’1 at Great Meadow? Not to mention there will be food and wine vendors present, and $2,000 in prize money for the competitors! [Morningside Bareback Puissance]

Laura Graves is one of my favorite riders to follow at the WEG, even though she’s not an Eventer! She stunned everyone this summer, breaking into the big time with her horse Verdades, and earned her way to Normandy along with the US dressage stalwarts. She’s blogging from France about her experience, and it’s fascinating to follow along! [How Plans Change]

Win a One-Year FEI TV Subscription! Win a one-year FEI TV subscription valued at $79.99 just in time to watch the World Equestrian Games! All you have to do is sign up to receive EN eNews, our weekly newsletter. We are drawing five lucky names this morning! [Click to Enter]

So, after many years and far too many sweaty headed days, I finally took the plunge and bought a new helmet. What I love about buying a helmet now as opposed to even five years ago, is that different companies recognize that not all heads are shaped equally! I have a long and thin head, if you will (although that sounds terrible), which means that I always end up having to put fillers on the side so my helmets won’t fall off, and usually end up with the super stylish “forehead dent” after a long day of riding. Thanks to the selection at SmartPak, I found the perfect size and fit in a brand new Samshield! What’s cooler than looking sharp and minding your melon? [SmartPak Helmet Selection Beats Them All]

Did you know that if you sign up for the FLAIR newsletter, you can receive awesome Eventing specific news? As one of the best advances of recent times, FLAIR strips have really changed the way we help our horses breathe on and recover from cross country. By reducing airway resistance during exercise, FLAIR Strips help prevent fatigue related injuries, help protect the lungs from injury and bleeding and promote optimal athletic performance. Check out their site and sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive great promotions and news! [FLAIR Strips Rock]

In honor of Sam, who will not be attending to defend his title, let’s reflect on his cross legged success in 2010. 

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Five Days To Go! A Social Media Collection

Lynn & Donner. Photo via USEF High Performance FB.

Lynn & Donner. Photo via USEF High Performance FB.

Today was a jump school day for some of the riders from Team USA, as show jumping coach Silvio Mazzoni has officially arrived in Chantilly to help out with preparations in the last week leading up to the WEG. Canadian riders, while still looking significantly chillier than their American counterparts, also enjoyed a jump school today with Clayton Fredericks, and then topped the day off with some team bonding on the canals!


We cannot go any further without acknowledging the disappointment of today, Michael Jung has officially withdrawn the defending champion, La Biosthetique Sam FBW. It would have been such a treat to see him try for a double World Championship! Translated from Michael’s FB page:

“Without SAM for the World Cup :’( Sure that all have noticed… Sam suddenly has a warm hoof and is a bit lame, so we had to make the decision not to take him to the World Cup unfortunately. This has of course hit me like a blow, and I could imagine nothing better than to ride with Sam for the team and to take into attack the project “title defense”.

But now is the time for fischerRocana! We will give everything and now hope even more for your support! This morning Rocaná completed a good dressage training and today Sam and Rocaná had a nice walk at noon. As you can see in the photos Sam is also in a good mood and does not understand why he is only walking :)”

Photo via Michael Jung's FB.

Photo via Michael Jung’s FB.


Kim is getting ready for her fourth WEG appearance, and Sparky is getting ready for his first. Look at that confident face though, he can’t WAIT to kill some cross country next Saturday!

Sparky looking handsome! Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Sparky looking handsome! Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB.

Sparky would also like you to know that he travels with a lucky stall sign, given to him at Fair Hill last fall by Shannon Brinkman’s young daughter. It’s a portrait!

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.


Well wishers will be glad to know that Mighty Nice, “Happy”, has arrived safe and sound in Chantilly, fully recovered from his minor colic scare of last week. He will spend his time in France preparing for his big Burghley debut the week following the WEG.

Happy taking a stroll in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

Happy taking a stroll in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.


Phillip is having a great time with Trading Aces, or Oscar. Their relationship has been a short one, but very successful so far, and they are getting along very well!

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.


If you’re worried that Team USA is working too hard, don’t! They are still finding ways to have fun, like visiting the Museum of the Horse in Chantilly.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue's FB.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue’s FB.


Ginny is ready to practice her fancy dressage moves with Annabelle Scrimgeour! She’s wearing her beautiful Frilly Fillies thinking cap, and Hawley is wearing her own Charles Owen thinking cap!

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Awad.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Awad.


All of Team Canada got to go on a very cool canal boat trip today, and it looks like they had a blast!

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Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Eventing

Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


I love following the German team on social media, because aside from the Americans and Canadians, they are the most active! They also win the award for the highest percentage use of smileys. Translated from Ingrid Klimke’s FB page:

“Today we made loose dressage work in the square and got valuable tips from Chris – lovely in the sun with best conditions in a relaxed atmosphere. What a joy to work this way! Dream Job!”

Photo via Ingrid Klimke's FB.

Photo via Ingrid Klimke’s FB.


Five days to go!!

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

No, that photo above doesn’t have a horse in it, but doesn’t it remind you of countless early dew-laden, mist covered mornings spent at the barn? Super groom Liz took that picture at 6am in Chantilly, on her way to tend to Sparky in training camp for the WEG. I love the little rock wall, a new and interesting way to do it!

North American Weekend Preview:

Richland Park CIC2*/3* & H.T. [Website] [Times] [Live Scores]

Huntington Farm H.T [Website]

Steepleview H.T. [Website] [Times]

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

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

Colorado Horse Park CCI1*/2*, T3D, & H.T.  [Website] [Live Scores]

FEI Global Weekend Preview:

Blair Castle (GBR) CCI1*/2*/3*, CIC3*  [Website] [Entry Status]

Parcayacu (ECU) CCI1*

Outdoor Helvoirt (NED) CIC1*/2* [Website]

Hamm (GER) CIC1*  [Website]

News From Around The Globe:

The big news of yesterday is that popular dressage mount Totilas is officially withdrawn from the WEG, with what has to be the worst timed splint in the entire history of splints. Totilas made a great comeback this year after several years of languishing in the sidelines, and blew everyone out of the water in Aachen. However, the German equestrian federation says that he had a “pain reaction” to an existing splint injury, and would be withdrawn. [No WEG for Totilas]

Stop the presses: if you’re near Middleburg VA this Saturday, you HAVE to go to the Morningside Bareback Puissance. In fact, bring your horse and compete! They have a 2’6 bareback speed class, and then a bareback puissance that goes as high as possible. Do you think we can beat Lainey Ashker’s record of 5’1 at Great Meadow? Not to mention there will be food and wine vendors present, and $2,000 in prize money for the competitors! [Morningside Bareback Puissance]

Win a One-Year FEI TV Subscription! Win a one-year FEI TV subscription valued at $79.99 just in time to watch the World Equestrian Games! All you have to do is sign up to receive EN eNews, our weekly newsletter, and we’ll draw five names Friday morning. [Click to Enter]

Ruth Edge’s four star mare Marsh Mayfly has officially been retired from competition. Together, they were 17th at Burghley in 2006 and 2nd at Luhmuhlen in 2009. “Flower” retired to the lower levels, running at the CCI2* level for a while before becoming a Preliminary packer for her owner. At the age of 17, she now retires to produce beautiful babies! [Marsh Mayfly Retired]

Richland week! One of the most highly anticipated events of the years, even the locals are getting into it. With riders from Novice to CIC3* level, there are hundreds of horses and riders gathered from all parts of the United States. To quote this local article, “the most amazing thing about watching that spectacle may not be something that even crosses your mind — the fact that there are humans riding on their backs.” Wait, there are riders too? Sorry guys…I had to. [Richland Horse Trials]

Shine Bright Like a Diamond to win! We’ve teamed up with Professional’s Choice to give away three Quilted Dressage Pads. How do you win one? We want to see you glammed up and sparkling, Rihanna style, so send us your creative photos or videos for your chance to win! See post for entry details. [Shine Bright Like a Diamond]

Remember that time Mary King did a one-two punch at Rolex? That was pretty sweet.

 

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Hot on Social: One Week Away and Counting from #WEG2014

6AM in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

6AM in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

One week from today is officially the start of the World Equestrian Games for the eventing competition. Jogs will be held in six days! I can’t even imagine the combination of focus and excitement that is happening overseas right now; it must be a crazy feeling to know that you and your horse are going into a competition with this kind of hype. Things are still going swimmingly in Chantilly as well as at Maizey Manor, with all the horses getting in lots of grazing time, extra spoiled attention time and, of course, time for work!


Sparky positively loves the French grass! Here he is getting a little early morning turnout in the dew laden grass, and looking happy as a pig in mud.

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.


Quiz: Which bay with no markings is in this photo practicing his fancy dressage moves?

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.

That’s right, it’s a Deer! Look at that lovely halt; good job, Donner (and Lynn, you’re alright too)!

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Buck and Reggie are getting to spend some quality time together in Chantilly. One of the best parts of championship preparation is that it is one horse, one rider, and one groom — and the horse gets ALL the attention ALL the time! I bet Reggie is loving that.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.


Ginny says, “I think France is that way!”

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett-Awad


Michael Jung is off to training camp a little later than the North American contingent, but I suppose when you’re the defending World, Olympic and European champion, you get to make your own rules! Fun fact: Michael Jung loves using smiley faces. Celebrities, they’re just like us. “Los gehts ins Trainingslager nach Bonn :)” Translated: “Here we go into training camp in Bonn :)”

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung's FB.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jung’s FB.


On second thought, maybe the smiley face is just a German thing? “Wir sind gut in Bonn angekommen und FRH Escada JS genießt das saftige Gras. :-):-):-):-):-)” Translated: “We arrived well in Bonn and FRH Escada JS enjoys the juicy grass. :-):-):-):-):-)”

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke's FB.

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Klimke’s FB.


Two things can be understood from this photo: 1) Chilli Morning must be very tall to be equal heads with WFP, and 2) Swoon. William and Chilli hanging out after a successful Team GB schooling yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Fox-Pitt Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Fox-Pitt Eventing FB.


Looks like the sun finally came out in England, although they are still wearing a suspicious amount of clothing — when Canadians recognize that it’s cold, you can be sure that it’s chilly.

Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti ready for Dressage 101. Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon.

Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti ready for Dressage 101. Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon.


Don’t forget New Zealand! They worked hard on the flat yesterday at Rectory Farm with Isobel Wessels. My personal favorite is Wesko; I mean, look at that face!

Richland Park CIC3* Competitor Preview

Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon. Photo by Jenni Autry. Emily Beshear and Shame on the Moon. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Despite the impending madness of WEG that is almost upon us, it is necessary that we tip our hats to tradition and continue with our ritual of previewing important U.S. competitions. Richland Horse Trials is one of the most illustrious events of the year, and while I have never been brave enough to trek all the way up to Michigan, I have heard that it’s well worth the travel hours.

One of the only competitions that is able to offer such an array of levels, this year Richland has horse trials divisions from Novice to Advanced, as well as a CIC2* and a CIC3*. Maggie already gave you a little taste of the CIC3* as well as the Advanced in her ridiculously awesome statistical prediction posts, but I’m here to tell you a little more about all of the entrants and their mounts.

Richland Links: [Website] [Entry List] [CIC3* By The Numbers]

Lisa Barry & F.I.S Prince Charming: Lisa and Peanut are one of my favorite pairs, as the bond between the two of them is obvious when you watch them go, and it’s clear that they are having a blast and a half. Peanut is an excellent jumper, with a ton of flair from his tail over every jump. They have been running at the Advanced level for two years now and finally got their chance at a CCI3* this spring, placing second at Bromont just a few months ago. This will be Peanut’s first run back after that effort, and it should be a breeze for the two of them.

Emily Beshear & Shame On The Moon: Delta is a really lovely mare, and Emily is thrilled to have another Advanced level player in her barn. The winners of this year’s Jersey Fresh CCI2*, Delta moved up to Advanced at Horse Park of NJ, placing 8th. She recently ran at Millbrook in the very competitive and packed Advanced division, finishing in 21st place with a score of 60.3. This is her first effort at this level, and I think they will be competitive after dressage, but time penalties on cross country will put them down the placings. However, this is a super mare for the future, and Emily will be correctly taking her time to prepare her for the next step.

Maya Black & Doesn’t Play Fair: Maggie predicted that this pair will take third place as the weekend comes to a conclusion, and I don’t plan on disagreeing with her. Maya and Cody are only in their first year at this level, but have already racked up an impressive record. In their previous experiences with this dressage test, this pair averages a 49.3. They have jumped clear over Marc Donovan’s show jumps at Carolina, the one time they’ve seen his course design. The pair hasn’t seen an Ian Stark course at this level yet, but have yet to earn a jump penalty on cross country, coming home with an average of 9.6 time penalties. They should end up in third near 58.9 penalties if Maggie’s predictions are correct.

Jessica Bortner-Harris & Win The War: Jessica and Bug are the quintessential “girl finds OTTB and they magically move to the highest level together” story, and that’s why they have so many fans. They have both been working really hard this year, and I’m delighted in seeing them improve. Bug is a freak of nature jumper, and while they have been working at this level for a few years now, they are just starting to put some of the integral pieces together differently. While their recent results don’t reflect the progress they’ve made, I truly believe that they can put together a much better score for three good phases in the near future and get a good result. Whether it’s this weekend or next, Jess will still finish with a hug for her superstar chestnut.

Tim Bourke & Luckaun Quality: Tim and Obie were all set to do their first CCI4* this spring at Rolex, and in heartbreaking fashion made it literally to the third to last fence when Obie hit the jump and slid to the ground, unable to complete the course. Since that time, the horse has had tie-back surgery, and I’m willing to say it went well, as he returned to competition at Millbrook in the Intermediate and had the only double-clear cross-country round of the level. Obie still isn’t much of one for the dressage, but he’s a great jumper, and it will be lovely to see him back out here at the top level where he belongs.

Sarah Dunkerton & Matapeake. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sarah Dunkerton & Matapeake. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sally Cousins & Tsunami III: One of the most experienced pairs we have competing here this weekend, Sally and Sue had a nice romp around Rolex this spring, finishing in 18th place with just two rails to add to her dressage score. Sue isn’t too terribly fond of the dressage, although I will say that she seems to be slowly and begrudgingly accepting it, but she’ll jump around this track no problem and have a good first run back at the level to prep her for the fall season.

Sally Cousins & Knight Lion: Sally’s second ride is a new one to her, having only acquired him this spring and begun their competitive career together in May. They’ve run a handful of Intermediate HTs together with good results, and this will be their first attempt at the bigger stuff, as well as Knight Lion’s first CIC3*. He completed one Advanced last spring with Buck Davidson in the irons, but this will certainly be a new challenge for the both of them.

Sarah Dunkerton & Matapeake: Sarah and Petey have made the trek for their first effort at the CIC3* level together. They have three Advanced HTs under their belt, with Pine Top this spring as their move up, Carolina International as their second and The Fork as their third — each finished with clean cross-country trips. They continued on to win the Chattahoochee Hills CIC2* this spring, and have been competing at Intermediate since then. They could very well be a sleeper hit here this weekend, but I think they’ll be pleased with a good confident round for their first three star.

Lauren Ferguson & Mainway’s Dry Ice: Another pair attempting their first three-star this weekend, Lauren and Dice have completed one Advanced horse trials at Chatt Hills in May, where they finished in third place with a 70.2. As a new pair to the level, they’ll be thrilled with a safe, clean round to gain some more experience in their first CIC3*.

Katie Frei & Houdini: Barring any mini horse escape situations, Katie and Houdini have the potential to do well here this weekend. They completed their first CCI4* together this spring at Rolex, where Hewie finished in 34th place with a stop on cross country and an unfortunate five rails on Sunday. However, he has a good record at the CIC3* level, and despite running into some trouble a few weeks ago at Rebecca Farm, I think they could bounce back to their old form. They were 5th here last year in the Advanced division, so they have some experience with the course that will help them on their way.

Becky Holder & Can't Fire Me. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Becky Holder & Can’t Fire Me. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Jodi Hemry & In Style: Jodi and Styles are joining the club of CIC3* first-timers, as they also moved up to the Advanced level this spring, completing four horse trials before this first test at the three-star level. Styles has yet to accept the necessary evil of dressage, and so their initial score will leave them out of the competitive zone, but he’s a super honest and clever cross-country horse who will undoubtedly bring Jodi home safely as they conquer their first three-star course.

Becky Holder & Can’t Fire Me: Winners in 2012 and seventh last year in this same division, Becky and Teddy certainly know their way around the course. They’ve been a bit unlucky this spring, with Becky dislocating her knee while walking the course at The Fork keeping them out of action for the season. They returned with an Intermediate win at River Glen a few weeks ago and will be looking for some redemption here at Richland. They certainly have all the pieces to put together a competitive performance, and I expect them to finish in the top 10.

Jon Holling & Zatopek B: Maggie is predicting that this horse will finish in fifth place, and while I would like to agree with her database, I have a feeling that Zak lost a little of his mojo this spring at Rolex, and I’m not convinced that he’s gotten it back yet. They had a very scrappy round in their first CCI4*, ultimately retiring and re-routing to Bromont, but were yet again thwarted by a stop on cross country. I will say that he has not had issues at the Advanced or CIC3* level, but I’m unwilling to bet my hat on him right now — or until he proves me wrong and finishes in the top five anyway.

Jon Holling & Proper Timing: Jon’s second mount, while almost equally experienced at this level, tends to fly a little below the radar. They’ve had a little bit of an inconsistent record, retiring at Fair Hill CCI3* in the fall, but making it around Bromont CCI3* this spring in good form, finishing in 10th place on a 76.2. They recently won the Chatt Hills CIC3* and ran the Intermediate at River Glen as their first one back from Bromont. Dare I say a sleeper success?

Phillipa Humphreys & Rich N Famous: I fell in love with this horse a tiny bit when I saw him at Millbrook a few weeks ago, because who can resist a flashy pinto warmblood that’s running Advanced? This pair is new to the Advanced level, having just moved up at the Horse Park of NJ horse trials and recently completing Millbrook in 28th place with a final score of 69.4. I think they have all the right pieces to be competitive in the future, but this weekend will be about a successful and safe trip around their first CIC3* together.

Philippa Humphreys and Rich N Famous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Philippa Humphreys and Rich N Famous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillipa Humphreys & Sir Donovan: We all know Donald well, as he was ridden through the CCI4* level by Katie Frei before being sold to Peter Barry and campaigned by Boyd Martin. Phillipa acquired Donald this spring as another mount to gain more upper-level miles on in addition to her other mount. Donald knows his way around the Advanced level and can pop around no problem, and I expect they’ll have a good trip here together in their first CIC3*.

Kevin Keane & Fernhill Flutter: As our fan favorite flying veterinarian with his wonderful horse, Butterfly, Kevin is a newly minted Rolex veteran! This pair finished in 28th place at Rolex this spring on a score of 97.2, and they’ve been running at the Advanced level since 2011, so this challenge will be well within their grasp. They were most recently 11th at Millbrook, finishing with a rail and some cross country time to add to their dressage score of 35.

Avery Klunick & In It To Win It: This pair has been competing at the Advanced level since 2013, but really started consistently showing at the level this spring, when they completed two Advanced horse trials, one CIC3* and then placed 21st at Bromont CCI3* with a three day total of 107.4. This is a great horse for Avery to gain more mileage on, and while they won’t be competitive in their placing, I expect they’ll get around clean and safely.

Kendal Lehari & Totally Frank: Maggie has predicted this pair as your “sleeper” in the division, but I think Frank might be out of the surprise ranks now. He has certainly flown below the radar, but it’s no secret that he’s an absolute freak of nature jumper and a cross-country machine. They are new-ish to the level, having moved up this spring, but they completed Bromont CCI3* in 7th place this spring, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a jump penalty on their record. Now Frank, keep your head down in the dressage!

Nilson Moreira da Silva & Muggle: I will always love this horse because of his Harry Potter name reference! Nilson and Muggle are getting experience at the level together, having moved up through the ranks quite quickly from Preliminary this time last year to a newly minted Advanced pair. They were second together this spring at the CHC International CIC3* and recently completed Millbrook in 22nd place. This will be a good challenge for the two of them, and while I expect their dressage will keep them out of the competitive placings, they will have a good time on the cross country.

Michael Pollard & Mensa. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Michael Pollard & Mensa. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alyssa Peterson & Music Man II: Shout out to my Young Riders homie Alyssa! An incredibly down to earth and industrious lady, Alyssa is thrilled to have a horse competing at the Advanced level again, and Music is quite a cool gentleman. They just moved up to this level at Millbrook a few weeks ago, but tromped that tough course to finish in 17th place in a competitive division. This will be their first CIC3* together, but with the guidance of Sharon White on their side, they will be sure to do well.

Michael Pollard & Mensa: Maggie has predicted this pair as the 2014 winners of Richland CIC3*, and it’s not hard to see why. Michael and Mensa average a 47.3 when performing this dressage test, which should put them in the top three, but not first place, after the flat. Mensa generally has one rail over Marc Donovan show jumping courses, and averages zero jump and 4.8 time penalties for Ian Stark cross-country courses. This should give him a final score of approximately 56.1, which according to the database should be good enough for first!

Kelly Prather & Blackfoot Mystery: Kelly took over the ride on this big red horse last year, and they just recently moved up to the Advanced level, winning their first attempt at the Horse Park of NJ with a 30 on the flat and just a rail to add. They also completed the Millbrook Horse Trials recently, incurring a stop on cross country and finishing in 32nd place. This will be their first CIC3* together, and while it’s clear that they have all the pieces to be a very competitive pair for the future, it’s too soon to tell if they’ll put it all together this weekend.

Colleen Rutledge & Covert Rights: Maggie predicted that this pair will finish inside the top five here this weekend for a repeat performance of last year’s Richland CIC3*. CR averages a 50.4 when performing this test, which puts him solidly in the top group after dressage. However, after some time off following last season, he came out swinging at Millbrook with a 28.8 (equivalent to a 43.2), so could end up on top if his new form stays consistent. On Ian Stark courses, he tends to jump clean, with only 6.8 average time penalties, and while he does tend to add one rail in Marc Donovan show jumping, he ought to finish solidly around 60.8 penalties.

Allie Sacksen & Sparrow’s Nio: Allie and Neo had a fairytale run at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* last year, finishing on their dressage score to clinch the win on 47.8. They did their first CIC3* this spring at Fair Hill, finishing 7th on 91.5 with quite a few rails in show jumping. That phase continues to be their nemesis, and if they can leave all the poles in the cups n Richland, they have the potential to finish on a very competitive score.

Mackenna Shea & Landioso: Another one of Maggie’s predicted competitive pairs, Mackenna and Landi completely have the power to ruin everyone’s day and bring the West Coast heat. They had a fluke fall at Jersey Fresh this spring, but rebounded to finish 9th at Bromont. They are incredibly strong in the dressage and will probably lead the way there, so the rest all depends on their competitiveness in the jumping phases — so, you know, no pressure, Mackenna.

Sharon White and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sharon White and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Rebekah Smith & Jazz King: This pair completed their first Advanced at Millbrook last year and loved it so much that they waited for their second Advanced at Millbrook 2014, where they recently finished in 15th place with a 53.3 at the end of the weekend. This will be their first CIC3* together and their third attempt at the Advanced level, so it will be a whole new challenge for them. Jazz is a wonderful, honest type and a great jumper, and he is sure to be careful with Rebekah as she runs her first three-star.

Julia Wendell & Cavendish: These two have been competing at the Advanced level for many years now, and this lovely big gelding certainly knows his job. They aren’t competitive in the dressage, but Julia and Cavendish have more than enough experience to get them safely around this course and finish with a smile.

Sharon White & Under Suspection: Sharon is very lucky to have two really nice competitive horses at this level, let alone this one division. Pippy has been selected by Maggie’s database to just sneak in there behind Michael and place second this weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes out on top. They average a 50.4 performing 2009 FEI 3* B, and the mare has a clear show jumping record over Marc Donovan courses, with no jump or time. While the pair hasn’t yet tackled an Ian Stark cross-country course, they average only 7.6 time penalties with a clear round at the Advanced and CIC3* level.

Sharon White & Wundermaske: Sharon was one of the riders who got just a little bit too close to 8b at Millbrook, but she got closer than most, almost taking off her kneecap. In true Sharon form, she iced it a bit and got on her second mount to turn in a clear round, despite some understandable discomfort. Patch just came out of his first CCI4* and won the dressage at Millbrook with a phenomenal 25.3. If he can repeat that performance and have the steady jumping that we have come to expect from him, he might give his stablemate a run for her money.

Amanda Wilson & Cool Decision: This pair was 29th here last year in this division after their spring 2013 move up to the Advanced level. They were 10th this spring in the Fair Hill Advanced with a 135.9 and most recently 18th at Jersey Fresh CIC3* with a 123.8 as a three day total. The Richland course is nothing to scoff at, and it will be a good challenge for this two as they work on getting their cross country mojo back in order.

Another Great Day at Maizey Manor, Chantilly for North Americans

Kim & Sparky on the gallop track. Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB. Kim & Sparky on the gallop track. Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

We all saw earlier this morning the proof of the ridiculously gorgeous gallop track in Chantilly that Team USA got to use, and yesterday I introduced you to the very important Scha Scha, who is currently acting as team mascot. The great news is that everything seems to be moving along smoothly for Team USA in Chantilly, and also for Team Canada in England. I hear it’s a little bit chillier in both of those locations, which is maybe why we haven’t seen any ALS Ice Bucket Challenges — hint hint, guys!

All Things WEG: Website | Definite Entries | WEG Facebook | @normandie2014 | EN’s Coverage | EN’s Preview


Check out the grounds at Normandy — looking windy, but ready for some horses and riders!


Canada did the switcheroo with USA today, as they galloped yesterday and flatted today, while our team did the reverse! Here’s a quick video of Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti, aka Rotti, warming up on the flat before a lesson.


They also had a quick jog practice, which Selena O’Hanlon’s Woody thought was a great opportunity for some snuggles. And yes, that is Selena’s official WEG jog outfit, socks and all.

Photo by Sara Braun.

Photo by Sara Braun.


Drumroll please … Phillip speaks! Not one to be snapping iPhone pics wherever he goes, we’ve been waiting for updates from the Dutton camp, and now you have it.


Tate: “OHMYGODOHMYGOD”

Sparky: “Whatever. Calm down, princess.”

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Kim Severson Eventing FB.


Can you guess why these two horses are referred to as The Twinzies? William and Donner head out on a gallop earlier this morning.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB.


What’s better than a rider’s-eye view of the Deer and the gallop track? Nothing I tell you, nothing! Video courtesy of Lynn Symansky.


Lynn seems to be having a blast in Chantilly, and we are all riding along with her! Go Lynn and Donner!!

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Sue.


It must actually be freezing in England; look at Gin & Juice all snuggled up in her winter clothes!

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Eventing.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Eventing.

 


We’re with you, Frankie.


What do the grooms do when stranded in a gorgeous country with only one horse each to look after? Get dressed up and go out together, I suppose!

#groomselfie by Meg Kep.

#groomselfie by Meg Kep.


And as a last note, let’s not forget those brave souls who drove varying crazy distances to get to Richland Park for this week’s competition! An awesome photo from the front of the farm to finish the day:

Sally Cousins’ Weekly Training Tip: Mental Strength

We are delighted to host Sally Cousins as our newest guest blogger, as she shares her wealth of knowledge with us in the form of weekly training tips. We hope these nuggets of information can be integrated directly into your program at home and can influence the way you ride and train your horses. Be sure to check out both the Sally Cousins Eventing website and keep up with her on Facebook.

Photo by Kasey Mueller

Photo by Kasey Mueller

From Sally:

About 10 years ago, I sat down with Phillip Dutton and asked him what I could do to be more competitive. The first thing he told me was to “never underestimate how long it took me to get mentally strong enough to be this good.” He didn’t say I needed better horses, more lessons or more money. None of those things hurt, but they will not take the place of mental strength. I think other sports focus more on this than eventing, but we need to realize how integral it is to our success.
After that conversation, I have carefully watched what other riders do to work on their mental strength. It is certainly not easy, and it definitely takes practice. Some of the competition performances I am most proud of are the ones where my life was a mess, but I was still able to mentally change gears and ride well.
I have seen riders change all their clothes midday when their day wasn’t going well, and it gave them a new mental start to their day. I know some riders listen to certain music while walking the course. Other  riders sit quietly by themselves to go over their ride strategy. Some riders prefer company and have a group of friends that provide support at competitions.
I tend to do best spending some time alone to focus. I also have developed the ability to change my thinking by saying to myself “don’t go there” when I am starting to be distracted by outside influences. I don’t think it matters what you do, as long as it works for you.

North Americans Begin European Training in Earnest

Photo courtesy of Meghan O'Donoghue Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Meghan O’Donoghue Eventing FB.

Team USA has arrived, unpacked and settled into WEG headquarters for the near future in Chantilly. They have a precious few more days before the Games begin next week, and they are keeping everything and everyone moving smoothly while making a few last-minute improvements.

Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate are hanging out with Team USA before  WEG as they prepare for their first Burghley together directly afterwards. “Team USA is all settled in @ this beautiful farm in Chantilly. Pirate handled the trip really well and we are ready to start training tomorrow. Thx again to everyone that is making this possible!”


Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.

Photo courtesy of Meg Kep.

Most of the riders had a good flat school today with Coach David O’Connor, warming up their post-flight muscles and getting down to the nitty gritty.

Photo courtesy of Meghan O'Donoghue.

Photo courtesy of Meghan O’Donoghue.


Most importantly though, everyone should know that Team USA has now taken on a new mascot, and her name is Scha Scha and she desperately wants to get in the car and hang out with the ladies.

(videos courtesy of Hannah Sue)


Don’t worry about Team Canada, because while they may not have an awesome fat bulldog, they do have Clayton Fredericks to keep them entertained. They know how to keep their Coach on his tip-toes and have devised a special sort of workout just for him! Step one: Get your four-wheeler stuck somewhere.


Step two: photobombs?

Photo via the Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo via the Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Actually, Team Canada seems to be having almost a little too much fun at Maizey Manor, despite the cold and drizzly weather. Can we just take a moment to talk about this gallop hill? I think this is what my dreams are made of.

Jessica Phoenix & Peter Barry gallop up the hill. Photo via Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Jessica Phoenix and Peter Barry gallop up the hill. Photo via Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.


Love me some Team Canada gallop videos!


Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Storandt.

The view ain’t too bad from the groom’s quarters in Chantilly, though; I gotta tell you that I can’t decide who deserves more of my jealousy.


Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Blauth-Murray.

Buck likes to re-live his childhood jockey days, but this time he’s riding a CCI4* event horse, and he’s in France at the Chantilly Racecourse.


Photo by Caroline Martin.

Photo by Caroline Martin.

And to top it all off, I literally do not know how this photo went unnoticed, but everybody should enjoy Buck wearing a tiara.

They Have Arrived! A Social Media Collection

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The barn full of Team USA horses in Chantilly, France. Photo courtesy of USEF High Performance FB Page.

The travel is officially over! Yesterday was a long, long day for horses, riders and most importantly, grooms, as they shipped all of Team USA over to their stay over farm in Chantilly, France. Team Canada is at Maizey Manor, in England, for training before they head to Normandy later next week. The great news is that all of the horses traveled well and are excited to be overseas, where they undoubtedly know that a big competition is coming soon. Even better news is that the grooms and riders recovered enough to post fun stuff to Facebook and Twitter!


 

Horses on a plane! Photo courtesy of the USEF High Performance FB Page.

Horses on a plane! Photo courtesy of the USEF High Performance FB Page.

All the USA horses traveled on planes to get to Brussels, and then hopped on a van to head to Chantilly, where they will stay in training until they travel to Normandy.


 

View of the Indoor in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

View of the Indoor in Chantilly. Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

Another beautiful view of Chantilly from Liz Storandt.

Another beautiful view of Chantilly from Liz Storandt.

Kim Severson Eventing’s top groom Liz Storandt is on her first overseas grooming trip, and is now officially Sparky’s slave for life, as he enters his first competition for the United States. Fun fact: This is Kim Severson’s FOURTH World Equestrian Games — do you know what the other three were?


 

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team FB.

Team Canada seems to be suffering from a little bit of travel mania (judging from Jessie Phoenix’s crazed expression), but they are thrilled to be trying on their new Canada gear. All new clothes! Everything with red maple leaves!


 

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Awad's Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Hawley Bennett Awad’s Instagram.

Gin & Juice traveled like a champ — she’s used to it at this point! Pop quiz: How many CCI4*’s has Ginny completed? Answer: SEVEN!! She’s heading for her eighth one in Normandy, and her second WEG appearance. What a mare!


Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB Page.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky Equestrian FB Page.

Donner the deer is already fueling up on energy by taking a nap in Chantilly! Can he make it three for three with another double clear CCI4* cross country round? He’s determined to rest up for the occasion. “Donner is all settled in Chantilly after his long journey. Thanks to Kendyl for the photos and taking such good care of the Deer.”


 

 


Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing.

While Mighty Nice is hanging out stateside for a few more days to recover from a mild colic episode, Trading Aces traveled to France with the rest of the group, ready for his WEG debut.


Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

Photo courtesy of Liz Storandt.

What’s worse than the enormous packing effort required this past week? The UNPACKING and ORGANIZING that the grooms are now in charge of for the near future! I take my hats off to these ladies and their incredible skills. Above you see Meg Kep and Kathleen Bluth carefully transporting some of the gear to the barns.


 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Photo courtesy of Selena O'Hanlon

Photo courtesy of Selena O’Hanlon

Throwback Thursday is one of my favorite trends on social media, and it doesn’t get much better than this picture of Selena O’Hanlon and Colombo at the 2010 WEG, which she posted yesterday to her Facebook. Selena’s 2014 WEG partner, Foxwood High, or Woody, is headed to England as we speak, and I thoroughly hope that her second WEG trip ends with a similar picture of jubilant domination! Go team Canada!

Events in the US:

The Event at Santa Fe [Entry Status/Times]

Erie Hunt and Saddle Club H.T. – CANCELLED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER AND GROUND CONDITIONS

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

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

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

Events Abroad: 

Somerford Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Hambach Horse Trials: [Website]

Tamworth International: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around The Globe:

In 2007, if somebody asked Sinead Halpin what the skinny chestnut gelding she had just bought would become, she certainly could not have predicted his future success. Tate, as he is known worldwide, has put Sinead on the map following several top ten CCI4* finishes, but he certainly did not begin his journey with impressing the world. Shortly after purchasing him, he found a disliking to a loose palomino hunt horse and kicked a leg through a door, severing his hind extensor tendon at William Fox-Pitt’s yard. His “frenchness” still comes out, especially when his paddock is too small, too large, there are cows, metal bits, cracks in the concrete, or strange lighting. Check out this hilarious and entertaining account of Tate’s journey to the top. [Tate's Tale]

What are Andrew Nicholson’s keys to success? I think we’d all like to know! Horse & Country has a great video that outlines what Andrew’s training regimen involves. In this fascinating extract from FEI Road to Normandy, leading eventer Andrew Nicholson shares some of the secrets to his success – including developing a routine, bringing on young horses, avoiding spookiness and getting into a horse’s mindset. [Andrew Nicholson: Routine Is Essential]

Alex Brown, a horseman who gained notoriety following the breakdown and rehab of the famed Barbaro, has channeled his fame into an overall focus on equine welfare. After Barbaro’s passing, Alex’s social media efforts skewed more toward the focus of engaging and educating the equine-loving community about advocacy for and activism on behalf of retired racehorses, or those racehorses in need of retirement. Collectively, the Fans of Barbaro have been involved with the rescue and/or retirement of hundreds of seasoned campaigners who were nearing the end of their careers and have donated significantly to equine aftercare and laminitis research. [The Renaissance Horseman]

The FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix Competition has concluded, with Portuguese photographer Filipa Scarpa named champion. The FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix competition, aimed at uncovering photographic talent around the world in 2014, the Chinese Year of the Horse, was launched in May by the Fédération Equestre Internationale with Action Images/Thomson Reuters, asking amateur and professional photographers to submit images that capture an aspect of equestrian sport and lifestyles in a memorable and eye-catching way. This photo certainly is magical! [FEI Photo Contest]

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The Trip To Normandy Begins! A Social Media Roundup

Ingrid Klimke is enjoying the surf in Normandy already! Photo courtesy of Ingrid's FB page. Ingrid Klimke is enjoying the surf in Normandy already! Photo courtesy of Ingrid's FB page.
Team Canada is officially on the move, and Team USA had their final rides on the home front before shipping out tomorrow, so the trip has officially begun! Normandy here we come! Luckily for us, all the riders are just as excited as we are (if not more so!), and they are keeping us up to date with photos and tweets galore, and I’m here to collect them. Let’s check out what everybody is up to!

Hannah Sue Burnett and Emily Dufort take a break from packing the trunks at USET headquarters. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Emily Dufort take a break from packing the trunks at USET headquarters. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Can you even imagine the packing efforts it requires to send that many horses and riders overseas? How many trunks? How many blankets, wraps, boots, sheets, saddle pads, oh my goodness!


 


Super groom Sara Braun getting ready to go to the airport with Gin & Juice! Photo via Hawley Bennett-Awad's Instagram.

Super groom Sara Braun getting ready to go to the airport with Gin & Juice! Photo via Hawley Bennett-Awad’s Instagram.

Fun fact: Sarah Braun asked Hawley for a photo op four years ago at the Kentucky WEG, and now she’s heading with Ginny to Normandy as the head groom! A cool story for sure.


 

Team Canada loading up! Photo via the Phoenix Equestrian Facebook page.

Team Canada loading up! Photo via the Phoenix Equestrian Facebook page.

Seems like Team Canada has enough of their own packing to do!

USET Headquarters! Photo via HSB Eventing Facebook page.

USET Headquarters! Photo via HSB Eventing Facebook page.

An inside glimpse into the famous USET Headquarters is something that not a lot of us get a chance to enjoy, but Hannah Sue has been excellent at showing us what it looks like, and it is very neat, to say the least!

Boyd Martin and U.S. training camp. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Boyd Martin and U.S. training camp. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Boyd, posing as usual!

Coach David O'Connor closes the last trailer. Photo via Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Coach David O’Connor closes the last trailer. Photo via Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

The packing is officially done! What a relief, hope they didn’t forget anything!

Michael Jung and Sam galloping up the hill! Will they be crowned champions again??

Foxwood High is dressed for the road! Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Duarte's FB page.

Foxwood High is dressed for the road! Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Duarte’s FB page.

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

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It must be a horse girl thing, because I know that I’m not alone in this, but something about a custom made leather product just makes my heart sing. I don’t care if it’s a belt, a pair of chaps, or even a sweet wallet, I just can’t get enough of them. I just picked up my new riding belt and while it is simple and classic, I can barely take my eyes off it! It’s the small things in life, isn’t it?

Events in the US:

The Event at Santa Fe [Entry Status/Times]

Erie Hunt and Saddle Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

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

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

Events Abroad: 

Somerford Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Hambach Horse Trials: [Website]

Tamworth International: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around The Globe:

In the wake of the FEI clearing both Jock Paget and Kevin McNab, Kevin has called for new rules that would protect the innocent from this type of career ruining accusation. While he still stands firmly with the anti-doping regulations, Kevin says that he would like the FEI to take a stronger initial investigatory role, implementing methods that would enable them to find innocence earlier and resolve such an issue at a faster rate. [Kevin McNab Calls for Protection of Innocent]

The US has finally announced it’s official team for the Show Jumping competition at the WEG! In alphabetical order, they are: Lucy Davis riding Barron, Kent Farrington riding Voyeur, Beezie Madden riding Cortes ‘C’, and McLain Ward riding Rothchild, with Margie Engle with Royce Royce as a traveling reserve. Wait until the last minute, why dontcha! [US Show Jumping Team]

The sixth annual Mongol Derby has concluded, crowning Sam Jones of Australia as the winner. Sam is only the second woman to ever win, and the first Australian! The forty year old mining operator rode alone for the majority of the race, and took some risky chances that paid off in the end. The Mongol Derby is 1000 km (about 622 miles) in length, over wild Mongolian territory on small Mongolian horses. Check out this interview with her post-win, which includes details on the Mongolian horses (they bolt a lot) and times when she thought she might poop her pants (direct quote).  [2014 Mongol Derby Winner]

We all seek the full and muscular neck on our horses, but how do you get one? A lot of people think it is about manipulating the neck into a position that moves the muscles, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. The author of this article, in her search for the perfect method, had an epitome early in her quest. “I found I could influence the neck’s position from the haunches rather than from the reins”. Read more to learn more! [Developing A Full, Round Neck]

Hamilton BioVet is offering a free two-month trial to the lucky winner who shared the story of why their horse would benefit from the UltrOZ Therapeutic Ultrasound System. We need you to help us decide the winner! Be sure to vote for your favorite finalist by Thursday, August 14 at 5 pm! [Vote for UltrOZ Trial Winner]

 

 

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