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

Fitness Trials and Tribulations: Galloping the Warmblood

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A magical water dinosaur. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Ah, the never ending quest for the perfect fitness regimen for our event horses. Will we ever know the ultimate answer? Will we ever be as adept as Michael Jung at literally anything? The answer to both of these questions is probably no, but that does not mean that we cannot continue endeavoring for greater success. When it comes to formulating a fitness program for every horse you ride, the answer is always changing and growing as to how we can create the perfect balance of fitness, soundness and sanity.

I’ve always ridden OTTBs or very high-blood warmbloods, and so Leo, my Hanoverian gelding, was really my first adventure into the lands of real warmblood fitness. Not only did he come to me as a 6-year-old with no base fitness to speak of for his entire life, but he actually didn’t know how to gallop. At all. Add to this that he’s a heavy sweater, and a dramatic breather, and I thought maybe he was dying any time I did a trot set or god forbid a baby canter set.

With the Thoroughbreds, we don’t even really start to think about fitness until the cusp of Preliminary, especially if they raced. Maybe they do some trot sets at Training level, but for the most part, they have a pretty good sense of how to cover the ground efficiently, and they’ve had a base level of fitness as youngsters that really comes back quickly. If there is one thing I’ve learned, there is certainly something to be said about riding a horse that’s been fit before in its life.

Last summer, I set out to really conquer this fitness thing with Leo. I was running him at Novice and looking to move up to Training, but I was honestly worried about the galloping and especially at one-day events, I wasn’t sure he could make it through all three phases in one day without lying down and expiring at my feet with dramatic flair. Enter, Kentucky Equine Research and the KER ClockIt Sport app.

Admission: I am a human fitness idiot. I literally can’t run 50 feet without tripping over myself and getting a cramp, and I’m barely able to avoid drowning in a swimming pool. However, I understand horse fitness to an extent because I’ve ridden at the track for many years, and had a horse at the upper levels for a number of years, so I had a general idea of how they should feel, but when it comes to science, I’m a noob.

The KER Clockit Sport kit includes the Polar Equine Heart Rate monitor and a bottle of ultrasound gel which is used during application of the electrodes. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The KER Clockit Sport kit includes the Polar Equine Heart Rate monitor and a bottle of ultrasound gel which is used during application of the electrodes. Photo by Kate Samuels.

So, I heard about the KER ClockIt App, and thought that maybe it was time I upped my analytical skills in the way I was training my horses, so I ordered the heart rate monitor, downloaded the app, and put in a call to the founder and president of Kentucky Equine Research, Dr. Joe Pagan. If you’re gonna figure out how to use something, why not just go right to the source?

Joe spent about two hours on the phone with me, delightedly explaining all of the features of the new app and website for the KER ClockIt Sport, and his excitement surrounding the project was palpable. I can’t begin to explain the vast ways in which you can put this project to use for your horses, but you can check out my original post for a taste.

So I began tracking trot sets and gallop sets with Leo, and found, to my surprise, that he wasn’t dying during gallops; he was actually doing very little cardiovascular work, but he FELT like it was a lot of work. Warmblood drama. A really great part of the ClockIt app is that you can watch heart rate and speed in real time on your phone as you are galloping. (If you are coordinated enough, that is, and your horse isn’t bolting, which wasn’t really a problem here … )

Henceforth, I could make observational measurements about how hard Leo was breathing, how much he was sweating, how slow off the leg he was, and how coordinated or uncoordinated he felt underneath me and compare them in real time to his heart rate and his actual speed. This was really illuminating for me, and I think it really enhanced my understanding of the work he was doing. I was able to modify my speed or length of gallop more on the numbers that I wanted, and less on how sympathetic I was to his terrible plight.

Along with the real-time benefits, I was also able to record several weeks worth of gallops as he moved up to Training and kept going through his season. The records of these gallops still exist on the website, and I can go back any time and compare them. If I were to record new ones today, I could say where he is on HIS fitness scale, knowing what I felt last fall. I know the exact workouts because I use the same gallop fields today, and I can see on the KER ClockIt site where I was on the GPS, so I could replicate a workout precisely and compare the numbers afterwards.

The KER ClockIt system is easy to apply to your horse and seamlessly fits into your tack without being obtrusive. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The KER ClockIt system is easy to apply to your horse and seamlessly fits into your tack without being obtrusive. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Ultimately, I found the KER ClockIt Sport app to be especially useful for Leo, but it also really opened my mind for a greater view of fitness in general, and a new way to think about the fitness puzzle. I would highly recommend it to anybody (and do on a regular basis) who is learning to feel gallop speeds and fitness levels on different horses, as well as just adding to the arsenal of information that you have on your horse.

Do you know what your horse’s resting heart rate is at different times in his fitness year? How long does it take him to recover from a gallop up a hill? Do you get more of a workout from a steep hill and a slow pace or a long haul on the flat?

While we might never know the perfect fitness regime, the KER ClockIt Sport app helps us modify our general themes to each horse, depending on his or her needs. With more facts and science on our side, we can only improve the way we prepare our sport horses for their jobs, and be better informed on how to keep them happy, sound and primed for the challenge.

Click here to download the KER ClockItSport app and get started on your own fitness journey with your horse.

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

A Little Romance! Photo courtesy of Phoenix Equestrian Team.

A Little Romance! Photo courtesy of Tally Ho Photography.

Check out this throwback photo of Jessica Phoenix’s feisty upper-level mare, A Little Romance, doing her very first eventing competition years ago! Seen here ridden by Jennifer Pejic, who started the mare on her way to stardom, do you think she knew what a special beast she was riding? She still has the same expression over cross country fences, although she might not be able to see over some of them on the approach!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website]

Fair Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Spokane Sport Horse Farm Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

News From Around the Globe:

Each year the Instructor’s Certification Program (ICP) brings in phenomenal instructors to host two symposia, one on each coast of the country. This year’s symposia features U.S. Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor who took instructors through “The Progression of Horse and Rider.” Laura Powell recapped her experiences in a three-part series of the West Coast Symposium, hosted by Galway Downs for the USEA. This issue is on the progression of both horse and rider for the cross country phase. You can also see Laura’s posts on dressage and stadium. [David O’Connor Talks Cross Country]

Phillip Dutton is into the racehorse owning business as he joins the West Point Thoroughbreds partnership that owns Grade I winner Ring Weekend (Tapit). Ring Winner returns this Saturday to Pimlico to run for trainer Graham Motion, with whom Phillip has partnered with before in a few thoroughbred endeavors for Eventing, including his 2014 RRP winner, Icabad Crane. “It’s really neat to be involved with a horse of this caliber trained by Graham. I’ve worked with a number of Thoroughbreds over the years and this is a great opportunity to get to know more about racing.” says Phillip. [Phillip Dutton Owns A Racehorse]

US lawmakers are now on a clear path to passing a provision that would prevent horse slaughter plants operating on American soil. The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday adopted an amendment that would bar the US Department of Agriculture from spending any funds to inspect horse slaughter facilities. While horses have not been slaughtered on US soil for nine years, they are still shipped in their tens of thousands each year on long-haul trucks to Canadian and Mexican slaughter plants. [US Bid for No Slaughter]

Luhmuhlen is a quieter affair this year after the excitement of Badminton, but Great Britain has high hopes for team riders competing at the German event. Particularly exciting are Izzy Taylor and KBIS Briarlands Matilda, as well as Oliver Townend riding Black Tie, both of which retired on course at Badminton but have excellent competitive records at the 4* level otherwise. As the last four star to impress the selectors with for Rio, many hopes lie in a good performance at Luhmuhlen. We are also looking forward to the return of Andrew Nicholson riding Perfect Stranger and Qwanza. [Luhmuhlen Looming]

The time came for me to replace my Dubarry boots this week, after I wore them aggressively for three or four years, it was time to say goodbye as they became more and more waterlogged as I walked cross country courses. I was sad to see them go, but I got the new styled Dubarry Longford Boot and I LOOOOVVVVEEE it. It’s tapered a bit more than the original boot, and so it’s super chic, sleek, and totally stylish for pretending to be a normal person out on the town. As we’ve been getting an absurd amount of rain here in Virginia, this couldn’t be a better time to be sporting these lovely boots. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Anything McLain Ward:

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

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Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sometimes all you need in your week is long hacks in the woods alone with your horses (and maybe some neighborly cows). That’s exactly what I’ve been doing this week. Along with all my regular work, I’ve been spoiling myself by taking regular strolls on my favorite red dinosaur, who thoroughly enjoys the slow pace. Nothing like some quiet time alone to reflect and be thankful for what you have.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website]

Fair Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Spokane Sport Horse Farm Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

News From Around the Globe:

A Celebration of Life Service for Philippa Kate Humphreys will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at Thornapple Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are suggested to Millie’s College Fund. [Obituary for Philippa Humphreys]

Clark Montgomery enjoyed a 9th place finish at The Dodson & Horrel Chatsworth International Horse Trials CIC3* last weekend, but sadly his triumph was tinged with sadness as he lost his long time groom Karen Hughes to her battle with cancer on Monday. Karen was a career sport horse groom, and one of the best in the business, and will be missed deeply from the community. Clark is looking ahead to Rio with Loughan Glen, who he says has come out in 2016 “like a beast.” [Road To The Olympics: Clark Montgomery]

Thanks to the generosity of The Broussard Charitable Foundation, the Rebecca Broussard Developing International Riders Grants have been established to assist and encourage the development of world-class event riders at the highest levels of the sport. These grants will be awarded to offset some of the travel and training expenses in the pursuit of achieving the qualities of an international rider with the skills necessary to represent the United States of America in eventing. This fund has been separated into three types of grants: Travel Grants, National International Rider Grant and Global International Rider Grant. These grants are available to any rider who has not already represented the U.S. at any international CCIO3* or CCIO4*. [Broussard Grants Available]

Japanese dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who at the age of 75 would have been the oldest athlete ever to take part in an Olympic Games, has missed out on qualifying for Rio 2016 after his horse became unsound. Had he competed at Rio, Hoketsu would have overtaken the previous oldest Olympian, Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, who participated in the 1920 Antwerp Games at the age of 72, winning a silver medal. Austrian dressage rider Arthur von Pongracz de Szent-Miklós und Óvár was also 72 when he competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics, placing fourth in the Men’s Team Dressage. [75-year-old Misses Olympic Qualifications]

COTH Blogs: Amateurs Like Us: Being A Horse Mom is Good Preparation for the Real Thing

KER Service of the Week – KER ClockIt Sport Mobile App

Did you know that most horses doing typical arena work aren’t getting into the heart-rate zone needed to improve their fitness? Are you looking to get your horse into the conditioning zone?

The KER ClockIt™ Sport mobile app, developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), takes the guesswork out of measuring equine conditioning programs. By tracking individual horse’s intensity and duration of exercise, horse owners and trainers can condition and feed each horse appropriately for the work they’re actually performing.

Interested in downloading the app? It’s free and available for both iPhones and Androids.

Using KER ClockIt Sport to record your rides not only gives you valuable insights to your horse’s fitness, but now you can also win a great prize! Share your ClockIt sessions for a chance to win the KER and Eventing Nation Share Your Sessions Sweepstakes. For more information, visit the website.

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

EN's own Leslie Threlkeld and Cindy DePorter causing trouble down at Southern 8ths Three Day. EN's own Leslie Threlkeld and Cindy DePorter causing trouble down at Southern 8ths Three Day.

We are in the midst of a crazy three week cycle right now, with Rolex gone, Badminton underway and Jersey Fresh just around the corner. I can’t even imagine the riders who compete at all three! I’m just tired keeping up with it all and watching it from home, but to ride two four-stars and a three-star back to back to back (and some on multiple horses, ahem, Boyd) just seems like a superhuman feat.

Anytime somebody tells you that “the horse does most of the work,” you now officially have legal license to punch them. (Note from Jenni: EN’s lawyers do not recommend that you actually punch someone.)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Heart of the Carolinas 3D & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

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

News from Around the Globe:

Attention Jersey Fresh competitors! Due to a record number of entries this year, some of the dressage will run on Wednesday, May 11. The complete CCI2* division will do dressage on Wednesday, May 11, starting around 1 p.m. A portion of the CCI3* division will also do dressage on Wednesday. The first horse inspection for the CCI2* and CCI3* will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday started with the CCI2*. The briefing will most likely be held Wednesday evening after dressage in the Member Tent. Full schedule (tentative) and updates available at www.jfi3d.com.

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI4* is Lauren Kieffer. Lauren rode her mount Veronica to a second place finish overall and as the highest ranked American rider, ultimately earning her the trophy. This is her second time receiving the Pinnacle Cup after being the top placed American rider at Rolex in 2014. When she received the Pinnacle Cup in 2014, she was also riding Veronica, her seasoned 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca. [Top Placed American Lauren Kieffer]

Hoping to watch Badminton action this weekend? If you’re in the states, you’ll need the free live stream link (or an FEI TV subscription), iron will and strong coffee to wake up that early, but that will give you total access to the weekend’s events. (All times below are Eastern Standard Time.) [FEI TV] [Free Live Stream]

  • Friday May 6: 4:50 am – 1:00 pm dressage day 2
  • Saturday May 7: 7:20 am – 1:00 pm cross-country
  • Sunday May 8: 7:20 am (morning session) and 10:35 am (top 20 riders) show jumping

The competition at Badminton is tougher than the Olympics, says director Hugh Thomas. A bold statement, for sure, but probably not far off the mark. Despite the withdrawal of several top riders, the quality of the field is enormous, as are the cross country jumps. “It is an individual event for the best whereas the Olympics is a team competition and some of those team members would not get into the starting line-up at Badminton.” [Badminton Tougher Than Olympics]

Not only can you live stream Badminton this weekend, but you can also cheer on friends at The Heart of the Carolina’s Three Day Event with their live streaming! All three phases will be available on demand, as well as replays and individual videos with commentary from Sally O’Connor and announcer Charles Pinnell. Tune in! [HOTC Live Stream]

The Kentucky Derby is upon us! Along with all the eventing excitement, we have the first leg of the Triple Crown kicking off this weekend. Are you all read up on your contenders? ESPN did a great little video on past Derby contenders and their barnyard buds. Think goats, chickens, cats and pigs. You won’t regret this. [Thoroughbreds & Companions]

Bonnets: they’re all the rage nowadays. I think we should start auctioning off Michael Jung’s dressage bonnets, honestly, because those things must be magical. Speaking of magical, have you heard of the Schockemohle Silent Ear Bonnet? The ears are lined with neoprene to help block out buzzing distractions while you are fancy prancing. It’s a bit more pricey than your average fly protectors, but can you really put a price on a better dressage score? [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Badminton 2014 highlights:

A Rolex Style Social Media Dressage Conclusion

The original Rolex master herself: Kim Severson riding Sharky! I mean, Sparky.... Photo by Michelle Dunn.

The original Rolex master herself: Kim Severson riding Sharky! I mean, Sparky…. Photo by Michelle Dunn.

A whirlwind two day packed full of action and you ask, what more coverage could you possibly want from your favorite Eventing and Insanity news source? Well, never fear, we are here to do a bit of social media stalking for your enjoyment as well. Do not refrain from delighting in these posts from riders, grooms, owners and fans as we all journey through Rolex weekend together!

Vandiver

While the riders walk their course feverishly tonight, the super grooms and the horses take to grazing on the luscious Kentucky bluegrass. And maybe a little bit of cross country eyeballing from Doug Payne’s mount, Vandiver.


 

Photo by Brook Martin.

Photo by Brook Martin.

Is there a stylish baby competition going on here at Rolex?? Maybe. Nox just upped the ante by sporting a custom SmartPak hoodie.


 

McFall

Michael Jung: eventing champion and excellent at posing for photos. He’s gotta be practiced by now right?


 

tate

#TeamTate had a pretty good day, with the French Princess putting in a 47.6 for 18th place after the first phase.


 

lainey

Sir Anthony Patch was ready for cross country today! Lainey dealt with the shenanigans with her usual smile on her face, after all, what are ya gonna do? Albert, behave yourself!


Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Matchy matchy much, boys? Australian duo set out to kick ass and take names on Fernhill Cubalawn and Shamwari.


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After kicking butt in her second Rolex dressage test on Simply Priceless, Elisa Wallace changed tact to do a mustang demo with Rune and Fledge, to the delight of the crowds. Check out the video here!


Photo by Brooke Schafer.

Photo by Brooke Schafer.

Ellen Doughty-Hume’s Sir Oberon knows the best way to prepare for cross country at Rolex is to REALLY enjoy a nice massage after dressage.


AP

Seriously though, these horses know how to relax and get spoiled. Leah Lang-Gluscic’s OTTB AP Prime enjoys his equivibe while getting pampered by his posse.


Who let Joan loose on the @rk3de_official trade fair?! #eventing #rk3de

A video posted by Doug Payne (@dpequestrian) on



 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

At the end of the first day of dressage at Rolex Kentucky, friends of Roger Haller gathered to celebrate his life and acknowledge the immeasurable impact he had on the sport of eventing throughout his many years of involvement. There were several speakers, who told stories of Roger’s contributions as a rider, judge, designer, committee member, how serious he was about the sport, how he could always be counted on for a joke, and how he loved his wife, Ann. There were many tears and laughs alike. Rolex Press Chief Marty Bauman (pictured) told the large audience who gathered to celebrate Roger, that instead of focusing on the fact he is not with us at Rolex this year, we should remember how lucky we all were to have had him in our lives. 

#RK3DE: WebsiteScheduleEntry List & Ride TimesLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s Rolex GuideEN Tailgate InfoTwitterInstagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

News From Around the Globe:

Want to win an exclusive clinic with Tamie Smith at your farm? If you’re attending Rolex, there is still time to enter our Inaugural Rolex Scavenger Hunt, presented by Fleeceworks. Please review the rules before entering, and you can enter by emailing your team members and Instagram usernames to sally@eventingnation.com. Sign up soon — you want to have enough time to complete the tasks! [Fleeceworks Scavenger Hunt]

Who has inspired you throughout your riding career? We’re giving you a chance to recognize the important people in your life with this year’s Tredstep Ireland Pay It Forward challenge. Nominate a friend on Instagram for your chance to win a Solo Pro Show Coat for both you and your nominee! We’ve extended our entry deadline to Sunday, so get those nominations in! [Tredstep Pay It Forward Challenge]

Be sure to follow us on Instagram this weekend (and always, really) for chances to win great prizes from our sponsors each day. We’ll be posting a new daily Instagram challenge each morning, so keep an eye out for your chance to enter. [EN on Instagram]

In shocking news, Carl Hester’s Olympic mount Uthiopia has been slated to be auctioned with no reserve as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Partnered with Uti for 11 years now, this move is distressing for Carl and he is already seeking backers to help him assure that the horse is able to stay in his yard. To be sold alongside jewelry and luxury cars at a bank auction is simply disrespectful to the 15 year old athlete, and everyone is worried for his welfare as the Auction draws near. [Uthiopia to Auction]

Leah Lang-Gluscic rides at 9:48 this morning, which meant yesterday she got to feast her eyes on the cross country course. She’s video blogging for Chronicle of the Horse this weekend, and made one just for all y’all on the course and how she feels AP will tackle it come Saturday. [One of Many Rolex Course Walks]

Boyd Martin’s Steady Eddie makes his 4* debut at Rolex this weekend, but what’s his story? Originally bred in New Zealand but sold to Australia, the gelding raced a total of 36 times under the name Big Jet, garnering only 6 wins with earnings of about $30,000. Boyd saw him on a trip home as the horse was out in a field, and liked the looks of the scruffy boy, and hopes this weekend will prove him right in that foresight! [Retired Aussie Racehorse at Rolex]

Speaking of which, Boyd blogs from Rolex Day One! He’s quite pleased with both Eddie and Shammie as they put in good performances in the square box, and shares his thoughts on the road ahead. [Boyd & Silva Martin Blog]

Former Eventer turned Show Jumper Scott Keach made history this week by getting named to the Australian Show Jumping team for Rio with his horse Fedor. Scott has broken the record for the longest time between Olympic rounds, as he represented Australia in Eventing 28 years ago in Seoul. Now he switched disciplines and is back at the top level and ready to get competitive in Rio. [Scott Keach Makes History]

Waredaca’s Classic Three-Day Event and Fall Horse Trials is excited to announce the creation of ‘3-2-1 GO! End Breast Cancer’ in an effort to raise funds that will directly support research efforts at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Waredaca is proud to be hosting an event in which funds will be benefiting a wonderful cause that provides innovative, integrated, high quality, and cost-effective care to those suffering from cancer. Waredaca’s first fundraising event will occur on Thursday, May 19th at the Waredaca Brewing Company where $1 of every pint sold plus 100% of the tips and money raised from the silent auction from this event will be donated directly to the Johns Hopkins Breast Center. The event will feature a silent auction with items such as: a lesson with Olympian, Stephen Bradley; a clinic entry at Waredaca with U.S. Eventing Team Coach, David O’Connor; an Under Armor prize pack complete with items from their new line, and much more! [Waredaca Classic Three Day]

Guess what? Now is the PERFECT time to buy your desired winter riding gear because SALES at SmartPak are the best. I know it seems bizarre to be buying a winter coat and some badass boots right now as we are approaching summer, but let’s be real, you want them anyway, and you’ll definitely use them in just a few short months. Or, if you’re in Vermont, you can use them now. SmartPak has amazing seasonal clothing sales, and you can get insane markdowns, so check it out for sure. [SmartPak Winter Riding Gear]

Go Shammie!

https://youtu.be/vBifn-lx56U

Dressage Day One News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Day one is upon us!! The best weekend all year! I’m not lucky enough to be attending Rolex this year, but all week there’s an extra skip in my step and I can almost feel the collective excitement of my community radiating around the world as all eyes are on Kentucky. This special weekend in April is always delightful, but as an Olympic year, this can truly be a make it or break it occasion, with some dreams truly manifesting on Sunday. Mostly, we want to know, will he or won’t he? Michael Jung. Two time champ? Back to back?

#RK3DE: WebsiteScheduleEntry List & Ride TimesLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s Rolex GuideEN Tailgate InfoTwitterInstagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

News From Around the Globe:

Rolex course walk with the master of Kentucky himself, Bruce Davidson Sr? Sign me up! If I was there, I would be all over this. Bruce is taking everyone and anyone on a course walk starting at Friday at 4 pm sharp to benefit the Area VIII young rider team, so meet him at the cross country start box!!

Four Rolex riders took time out of their busy schedule to visit the Kentucky Children’s Hospital prior to the start of the event. Doug Payne, Jessica Payne, Lauren Kieffer and Allie Knowles, met with the young patients at the children’s hospital to bring them souvenirs from the event.“It was just amazing to come here and meet these incredibly brave young children, who are dealing with physical issues that make my worries about competing this weekend seem tiny,” said Doug Payne, of New Hill, N.C. “I don’t know how else to describe it, except that their courage was inspiring. They’re amazing kids who we’ll all be thinking of from now on. It was an unforgettable experience.” [Eventers Visit Children’s Hospital]

Majyk Equipe is raffling off Blackfoot Mystery’s 2016 Rolex cross country boots directly following the action on Saturday. The company has been working hard on a new design for boots, and they are debuting this weekend! “The new Color Elite boots will allow eventers to be color coordinated from head to toe while still relying on the quality and technology that Majyk is well known for.”  The boots will be available in four signature colors: Atomic Orange, Azure Blue, Scarlett Red and Tiffany Turquoise. The new styles are made from high grade lightweight TPU bonded with a fine mesh material designed to repel dust and dirt. The inner, proprietary bio foam liner is fused with an impact protective layer and is perforated to keep cool. The ‘four way flex’ inner strike guard is designed to flex with a horse’s natural movement but form a hard wall when struck. Added to this, the boots feature a new ‘Forever Clean’ coating that helps to preserve the boot and allows mud and dirt to be quickly rinsed off. Boyd will be picking the winning ticket on Saturday night! [Details on Entering Here]

EN is delighted to host an online auction on behalf of Carolina International for a beautiful custom jump, with proceeds benefitting Hearts 4 Heroes United States. H4HUS provides equine-assisted and canine-assisted therapy to U.S. veterans and active duty military suffering from physical and psychological impairments. [Auction]

Retired Racehorse Project is throwing a hoedown after Rolex cross country, and you’ll want to be there.  Hagyard is hosting the hoedown for the benefit of the RRP, where a $50 admission (or $35 for RRP members) will get you an open bar and live music from the Steve Norman & Shades of Grass band. Starting at 6 pm just a few short miles from the Horse Park, the Hoedown promises to provide a full-evening’s worth of entertainment alongside the likes of Phillip Dutton, Rosie Napravnik, Chris McCarron and Graham Motion. [Hoedown for Hagyard] [RRP Rolex Activities]

 

KER Service of the Week – Nutrition Advisors

Nutrition advisors at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) have an abundance of resources available to help you with your horse’s nutrition.  They provide educated insight into horse management and are able to fine-tune diets for your horse and troubleshoot any feed-related problems that may occur, such as tying-up, lack of appetite, and delicate hooves.

Have a question about your horse’s nutrition? Just share a few details here and a KER nutrition advisor will be in touch.

 

Ze winner?

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Rolex or Bust!!! Photo submitted to us by rabid Eventing fan Margie Kinsinger.

Rolex or bust!!! Photo submitted to us by rabid eventing fan Margie Kinsinger.

At this time next week, the second day of dressage will be underway at Rolex! Rain fell overnight in Lexington, and we’re just a few more storms away from having perfect going on the cross country course. Of course, we’re also hoping for dry weather for EN’s 4th Annual Insanity in the Middle Tailgate. If you missed all the details on the tailgate, click here. (And check out these awesome EN beer koozies!)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

CHC International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website]

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

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Retired Racehorse Project is throwing a hoedown after Rolex cross country, and you’ll want to be there.  Hagyard is hosting the hoedown for the benefit of the RRP, where a $50 admission (or $35 for RRP members) will get you an open bar and live music from the Steve Norman & Shades of Grass band. Starting at 6 pm just a few short miles from the Horse Park, the Hoedown promises to provide a full-evening’s worth of entertainment alongside the likes of Phillip Dutton, Rosie Napravnik, Chris McCarron and Graham Motion. [Hoedown for Hagyard] [RRP Rolex Activities]
Are you a past competitor at Millbrook Horse Trials, or are you planning on competing at Millbrook Horse Trials this summer? Do you want to be featured on our social media pages? If you or someone you know has competed at Millbrook HT and wants to be featured, send us a PM on Facebook with a picture of you and your horse, and a few sentences about yourselves, including when you competed at Millbrook. In return, we’ll promote you on our social media pages in our new #FeatureFridays series! Whether you are just getting ready to compete in your first Horse Trials, or you’re an old pro at eventing, our competitors help make Millbrook Horse Trials what it is, and we want to get to know all of you. [Millbrook FB]

The inaugural International Lesson Horse Day takes place on April 26, 2016, and we’re celebrating by teaming up with Absorbine to name the World’s Best Lesson Horse! You wrote mini-essays and sent us your photos of your beloved lesson mounts — we received over 70 entries and read each one. There were countless stories of equines of all ages, shapes and sizes helping riders young and old on their equestrian journeys in every step of the way. Vote now!!! [Hot on Horse Nation]

EN is delighted to host an online auction on behalf of Carolina International for a beautiful custom jump, with proceeds benefitting Hearts 4 Heroes United States. H4HUS provides equine-assisted and canine-assisted therapy to U.S. veterans and active duty military suffering from physical and psychological impairments. [Auction]
Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.comfor a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

Back on Track sheets are the bomb dot com. There is no denying that these things are awesome. If you go to any competition, you’ll see them out in spades on the top horses. The best buy is definitely the Back On Track Mesh Sheet because you can use it even during the hotter months and your pony won’t get sweaty as well as relaxed. Also, for a limited time only, SmartPak is offering a free set of four Back On Track polo wraps with your purchase of the sheet! Get at it! [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Get ya ready for Jersey Fresh coming up!

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Truth.

Truth.

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed today, (let’s be honest, I was hacking a horse while doing this) and all I saw was jump videos of horses gearing up for Rolex next week. I love getting sneak peeks into the final preparations for the biggest weekend of the year in North America, and totally take some of the grids and combinations into my own ring too! While I don’t think I’ll be able to attend Rolex this year, I’m pretty sure between the live stream and the EN coverage that I’ll be pretty darn plugged in. Trot sets while watching the live stream? Yep, totally happening.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website]

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

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

We are sad to report that Tim Price’s Wesko has sustained an injury that will keep him out of action for the rest of the year. Tim says that the horse has a “significant soft tissue injury”, and is hopeful that after a long period of rest and rehabilitation that he will be able to come back to the top levels of the sport. However, for a horse that has been so competitive at the 4* level and thus far gone his whole career injury free, this is a devastating blow to Tim and his whole team. His hopes for Rio now lie with Bango, a 10 year old gelding who is entered at Rolex next week. [Wesko Out For The Year]

Flash floods struck Harris County, Texas this week, with hundreds of horses needing to be rescued. I can’t even tell you how many videos I saw this week of heroic people donning life vests and swimming into raging rivers to help exhausted horses get to land. Most of the horses were able to be rescued, despite the horrible conditions. [Flash Floods Near Houston]

Is that horse you’re considering buying really suitable? An ambitious new website in England hopes to change the way buyers find the proper equine match. “Right Horse Right Home” provides an improved search functionality, an application process and a detailed horse wanted ad facility. In an effort to make finding the right horse easier, buyers, for the first time, can search easily for horses with specific criteria that might otherwise be omitted – innocently or intentionally – by sellers. This includes “good to hack alone”,  “good to hack in company”, or “good with noisy/large vehicles”, and other practical criteria. [Finding the Right Horse]

KER Product of the Week – Bio•Bloom™ PS

Show season is here! Get your horses ready to shine on the centerline with Bio•Bloom™ PS. Developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), Bio•Bloom PS is a dual-action horse supplement designed to promote and maintain healthy skin, coat, and hoof condition from the inside out.

Bio•Bloom PS contains biotin, methionine, iodine, and chelated zinc at levels shown to improve hoof growth, including development of strong hoof wall.  Bio•Bloom PS  produces a soft, shiny coat and healthy growth of mane and tail, and includes essential amino acids and fatty acids for optimal coat condition.

Bio•Bloom PS is the best for improving hoof and coat quality,” says Jimmie Schramm. “It puts a great shine on all of our horses and really helps them to grow new, healthy hoof which is so important for the babies as well as the upper level horses. Every horse in our barn in on Bio•Bloom!” This month only, you can save 15% on Bio•Bloom PS and EO•3™ marine-derived omega-3s when you buy direct with code SHINE416 on KER’s online shop. (Offer expires April 30, 2016. Only valid in the United States.)

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

But actually.

But actually.

Shout out to all those crazy riders who returned from The Fork and went right down to Ocala 3-day to run a CCI, I couldn’t have done it! They have a CCI* and a CCI2* there this weekend thats positively packed with horses and riders, as well as offering an Advanced CT for riders looking to get a tune up right before Rolex. A little sneak peak of the action coming in a few weeks! With a whopping 89 pairs in the CCI*, it’s gonna get competitive down in Florida!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Ocala 3-Day Festival CCI & H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

FENCE H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

We spend so much time thinking about our equine partners’ fitness, but what about ours? Equal parts fitness fiend and chipotle champion, Lainey Ashker, sat down and chatted with Rider Fitness to discuss what keeps her in top shape to tame the beast that is Al. Lainey has a nutritionist that helped her change her lifestyle and diet to suit her needs, and gave her some tips for success. Also, sometimes she runs without pants (wait, what??).  [Rider Fitness]

Badminton isn’t interested in cancelling due to wet weather, despite the sloppy conditions this season. While Badminton has fallen victim to terrible spring floods before, they’re confident this year that things will dry up just in time for the big week. Wet weather caused Badminton to be cancelled in 2012, when the team decided to call off the event on the Monday before the event. The weather also led to cancellation in 1987, 1975 and 1966, while in 1963 the event ran as a one-day event due to ongoing poor weather. They’ve moved the cross country tracks to avoid the wettest parts of the park this year in hopes of avoiding such a tragedy. [Badminton Will Not Cancel]

What’s springtime without foals? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Horse Nation has your back with seven photos of ridiculously adorable wobbly legged babies of the furry four hooved variety. Because what else do you want to start your day with? [Foal Photos]

Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.com for a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

We’ve all got one chubby at the barn that is a danger to himself with the spring grass coming up. It might be your companion pony, the lower level quarter horse, or even your greedy eventer, but everyone has a horse that has to be muzzled to prevent obesity. There are a lot of choices, but the Tough One Deluxe Easy Breathe Muzzle is the toughest wearing, most impossible to remove through houdini moves, and softest on the face. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

Day one CCI* leader in Ocala, Alex O’Neal and DJ, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer:

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

The struggle is real. Photo by Maggie Dupler.

The struggle is real. Photo by Maggie Dupler.

Yesterday, I brought home chickens as a surprise for my mother, and popped them and their new coop into an empty stall in the barn. They’re still little, so they’ll stay there for a week before moving into their outdoor pen, but the side effect is that the horses get to stare at them when they’re stabled during the day.

One of my horses thinks that they’re terrifying little monsters, and the other one (Nyls) thinks that maybe chickens are the most entertaining thing he’s ever seen. Chicken TV! Next thing you know, he’ll have a traveling show chicken, just like some upper level horses have a traveling mini horse. Can you get a yellow card for a loose chicken at a show? Hmm …

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Ocala 3-Day Festival CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

FENCE H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

The USEA has announced a new member rewards program. This new program offers unique cost savings exclusive only to USEA members. Members will receive substantial discounts on insurance, hotel and travel accommodations, online marketing tools and much more. [USEA Rewards Program]

Lynn Symansky has chosen to compete at Rolex this spring with Donner instead of heading across the pond to Badminton. After receiving a Land Rover/USEF competition grant to go to Badminton, we were expecting a flying deer in England. However, as he travelled quite a bit last year and hopefully will be doing some more travel later this summer (!), Lynn has chosen to keep the All American Deer on the local 4* circuit. [Lynn Symansky Equestrian]

We are sad to report that Ballylaffin Bracken has been withdrawn from Rolex. Kristin reported yesterday that Rox has sustained a bone bruise, and while he will be back in action later this year, he needs time right now to heal and won’t be able to make a return visit to Rolex. This pair completed Rolex in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Rox is looking forward to some R&R and a fall three day. Best wishes to Kristin and Rox, and we will be sad not to see their faces in Kentucky. [Kristin Schmolze Equestrian]

Would you use a “smart bit” on your horse? In the age of fitbits, technology is now promising to give us a smart bit that measures a horse’s fitness in real time. The smart bit will alert the trainer when the horse’s biostatistics deviate from predetermined physiological set-points, in order to predict and prevent injuries from occurring. Data provided by the bit would include real-time biometric data streams, a composite of the horse’s energy level, and alerts when a racehorse’s physical condition is less than optimal. [Smart Bit Technology In The Works]

Very unfortunately, super mare Zenyatta’s newborn foal has passed away. Lane’s End released a statement yesterday confirming that her 2016 War Front colt died due to complications of meconium aspiration syndrome. Meconium, a foal’s first manure, is typically passed during the first 12 to 24 hours of life. However, it can be expelled while a foal is still in the uterus. If this happens, a foal can aspirate feces during its first breaths. Meconium aspiration can lead to severe pnemonium, systemic infection, and death. [Zenyatta’s Foal]

foxhunt_3_26

KER ClockIt™ Session of the Week – Foxhunting

This week’s KER ClockIt™ Sport session illustrates a Thoroughbred gelding on a 2.5-hour foxhunt. The horse’s speed is depicted in orange, while heart rate is depicted in purple. Overall, the horse spent about half the session walking and half trotting, cantering, and galloping.

When we look at heart rate, the horse spent about 15 minutes above a heart rate of 70%, of which 3 minutes were in the 80-90% range (yellow on the graph). In this zone, there begins to be a significant level of anaerobic energy generation and blood lactate starts to accumulate. This is the zone where many human athletes train to improve fitness.

Using KER ClockIt Sport to record your rides not only gives valuable insights into your horse’s fitness, but now you can also win a great prize! Share your ClockIt sessions for a chance to win the KER and Eventing Nation Share Your Sessions Sweepstakes. For more information, visit the website.

The Fork CIC3* Cross Country Course Walk

Photo by Kate Samuels Photo by Kate Samuels

Tremaine Cooper’s courses at The Fork are always an impressive challenge, and the nature of this event is to use max height and max spread in a way that might makes you worry a bit on the first walk, but ultimately rides well with a confident and bold horse, and maybe some sticky spray.

This year, Tremaine has reversed the direction of the course, as most recently we have started heading up the big hill behind the water complex right off the bat. A lot of the combinations are similar as they were in 2015, but I feel like this year’s course flows a bit better and is better able to give a confident run to horses heading towards bigger things in just a few weeks.

The first fences are max height and spread, with number one in particular being a very decently sized obstacle. You have to come out of the box attacking on a big, forward stride, and I love this type of design personally, as it really gives you and your horse confidence. There is a combination at 4ab, but it’s still in the same theme of a good forward galloping ride, and it’s not until 6abc that we encounter something that might catch a few riders out.

Photo by Kate Samuels

Photo by Kate Samuels

The Uwharrie Bank Complex is a newer element to the course in the last few years and can ride either beautifully or shake up the leaderboard. The mound comes right up at you, and a good distance in is necessary, as some horses peek a bit on takeoff due to the keyhole and sloping landing side, but you’ve got to keep your eye up and onto the next two elements.

The angled brushes at B and C come just three strides after the keyhole on the mound, and are two strides apart from one another. This should look easier for the accomplished pairs, but I can certainly see the opportunity for trouble here as well.

After that we have two good galloping fences, one of which is fairly solid and leads right into the first water combination. Lucky Clay’s Duck Pond is an ABC combination with a decent rail into the water on a left bend to a right-handed brush corner, followed by a funny duck as you’re leaving the water.

Photo by Kate Samuels

Photo by Kate Samuels

It looks like there is plenty of room, but there are only five forward and attacking strides to the corner and two more to the angled duck. This will probably be more forgiving than it seems, as you can also change your tactics depending on how your horse jumps in. I imagine a few pairs will put six strides in there, and while a corner in the water does invite the odd runout or two, it attracts the horse’s eye and should be a good jump to ride up to in the end

Leaving the spectator area, we have the classic angled ditch and brush that always seems to ride best when you don’t walk right up to it on your course walk. The second water is directly after this and is almost the same obstacle as last year. The aqueduct-type fence had its debut last year and claimed a few unsuspecting victims, and might just do the same this year. It’s a type of fence we don’t see that often into water and requires a pretty aggressive ride. (My horse adores water, and even he peeked at it in midair last year.)

Photo by Kate Samuels

Photo by Kate Samuels

After another max height max spread table to give a little breather, we have the coffin combination, with a rail one stride to an angled ditch followed by two strides to quite a narrow and tall triple brush. This is a true test of accuracy and bold riding, especially on horses that might be a bit prone to peeking into the ditch and stalling over that element. There is a black flag option for the C element for the few that catch a run-out here.

Whereas the first part of the course is more big and open and galloping course, the next few fences come up quickly. After the frangible upright rail coming out of the woods, we have the new sunken road, which features a hanging rail on a bending four strides with a skinny stump that mimics the style from Rolex.

To give the horses a bit of a break mentally, we head up the hill to a few big galloping fences and a very bold effort combination at the top. Riders will want to make sure that they still have enough gas in the tank for the giant table on a bending three strides to a very skinny table that is five-and-a-half feet wide, so you can’t be holding back or chipping in if you want a good smooth ride.

Photo by Kate Samuels

Photo by Kate Samuels

This will be a test for the horses as they might be beginning to feel a bit tired, and the riders will really have to hold their line and get a good stride in over the A element and keep their legs on for the very wide table at B.

A good long gallop follows this, to a nice cabin before we enter the VIP tent area again near the first water. The big table going down the hill will surely provide some fun for spectators, and as riders we are immediately thinking of the Shotgun combination, which is directly in front of the tent. The striding is pretty open between A and B, but with horses at the end of the course and their strides a bit elongated, it should ride well. Scroll down for a full gallery.

Cross country for the FEI divisions and for Advanced is not until Sunday, and all other national divisions compete in this phase today, so stay tuned for all the updates from Jenni as the weekend wears on! If you haven’t already, check out the drone flyover video of the CIC3* course, which shows you all the jumps with a commentary from Tremaine himself.

#TheFork: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Chinch was ridin' dirty today on Bad Pony. Check our Instagram for updates and hilarity!

Chinch was ridin’ dirty today on Bad Pony. Check our Instagram for updates and hilarity!

Another long day of competition on the books! Day one of dressage here at The Fork is done, and we’re having a ball. The weather is great so far, but please pray for a little overnight rain for our ponies’ legs on cross country! As so many of the pairs here are preparing for Rolex in just a few weeks, tensions can be high, and caution is necessary when running the cross country course. We have to wait until Sunday, so we’re hoping for a bit of rain!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Live streaming hits the UK this spring with Belton CIC3*! With lots of Badminton bound horses and riders on the entry list, including William Fox Pitt, Andrew Nicholson, Jock Paget and Mark Todd, there’s sure to be an incredible competition. Anybody anywhere can have access to the cross country action through this live stream. [Belton CIC3*]

The future of equestrian sport is facing a reality check, according to Olympic Press Committee member Alan Abrahamson as delegates met to debate the direction of the sport at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne. Francesco Ricci Bitti, who will be standing unopposed for the presidency of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) later this month, was also adamant about the need for change. “But don’t do it only for the Olympics, do it for your sport. Find a compromise between the values your sport represent and the changes you need to make to make your sport more attractive. Be aware that the Olympics, the most attractive product of multi-sport in the world, has to change globally.” [Olympic Debate Serves as Reality Check for Equestrian Sport]

Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.comfor a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

We all know one….the bell boot destroyer horse. If he/she is yours, I feel your pain. The horse that you put in the stall with bell boots and ten minutes later one is shredded. The one that you purchase $50 bell boots for and they only last a week. It’s the worst. These Davis Bell Boots may look simple, but they have proved to be the hardiest little suckers out there, in my experience. They’re extremely durable, and also affordable! [SmartPak Product of the Day]

This stuff:

https://youtu.be/1oSgwjE-Bcs

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Could I be more of a nerd? No. No I could not. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Could I be more of a nerd? No. No I could not. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Well, we’re here at The Fork, one of the biggest events of the year. Due to the timing of the event, you’re sure to see all the big names out and about this weekend, looking for one last good round before the-event-that-shall-remain-unnamed in April. Dreams can be fortified or broken here on cross country day, as the course is usually challenging and the competition tough. I’m running the Advanced this weekend with my old partner (who already saw the warmup for cross country and proceeded to snort and prance for 20 minutes), and I’ll be doing a course walk tomorrow for your viewing pleasure. Two days of dressage stretch before us, with the honorable Jenni Autry at the helm. If you see her, bring her some sunscreen and maybe some wine.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Following the Rio Olympics this summer, Great Britain’s eventing chef d’equipe Yogi Breisner will be stepping down. Since taking charge eight months before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, his reign includes Britain winning four successive Olympic team medals – three silver and a bronze – five European team titles and the 2010 world team gold in Kentucky. Team GB has confirmed that they will begin the search for his successor in the fall. [Yogi Breisner Stepping Down]

What’s happening at The Fork? USEA has compiled some fast facts for your quick consumption about this Gold Cup competition. How many competitors in the CIC3*? Who designed the cross country? Get set, GO! [Gold Cup Fast Facts]

There’s still time to register to audit the Sinead Halpin clinic in Kentucky next weekend! All the riders and horses have applied and been grouped, but spots are available for auditing. Held at Antebellum Farm in Lexington on the 16-17th, this clinic will not be open to the public, so if you want to check it out, pre-register to audit here. [SHE Clinic in Kentucky]

Time for the weekly H&H eventing quiz! This time we’re testing your knowledge on Eventing Jesus himself, none other than William Fox Pitt. We’re delighted that he’s back in the competition ring, and H&H decided it was a perfect time to put him on their quiz list. No biggie guys, but I got a perfect score, sooooo, top that! (This just means I’m more of a stalker than you, really). [H&H Eventing Quiz]

Lesson horses might actually be the saviors of the world. Which is why Horse Nation is promoting the first annual International Lesson Horse Day on April 26th, and celebrating with an essay contest! Those careful old schoolmasters who taught us as much about persistence, responsibility and other life skills as they did about actual horseback riding. On International Lesson Horse Day, we celebrate those tireless troopers working steadfastly day after day to bring up the next generation of equestrians, whether they’re turning circles on the lunge line in the humble dusty arena of the local lesson barn to schooling upper-level riders in advanced maneuvers in the greatest schools in the world. If you want to win about $400 in Absorbine products, enter this essay contest!! [Horse Nation Essay Contest]

 

 

KER Service of the Week – Educational Resources

With so many variables to consider, feeding and managing horses can get complicated quickly. Never fear—Kentucky Equine Research (KER) is here to help you stay on top of the latest. KER offers a variety of educational resources for horse owners, including the Weekly Feed Newsletter, an ever-expanding library of articles, published research, and even the full text of reference volumes!

KER’s Equinews.com is a reference site for all your horse feeding and management questions, updated daily! You can also get the latest in equine nutrition, health, and management delivered straight to your inbox every week with the award-winning Weekly Feed newsletter.

Advances in Equine Nutrition is a compilation of selected papers from past KER nutrition conferences. These papers cover a broad range of topics and contain a wealth of information related to equine nutrition, veterinary medicine, and exercise physiology. The volumes showcase papers from international authorities on nutrition, sports medicine, and veterinary topics pertaining to the horse. The full text of all four volumes is available on KER’s website.

For the serious science reader, the quantity of published research derived from studies conducted at KER rivals that of leading universities. Areas of study include digestibility, product development, equine health, behavior, performance, reproduction, and more. Check out KER’s collection of published research.

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Be careful out there today folks.

Be careful out there today folks.

I’m a pretty skeptical person anyway, but on today of all days, I’m suspicious of everything. You could tell me that the sky is blue and the horses need poop cleaned from their stalls and I might squint an eye at you and raise an eyebrow anyway. However, I have several VERY gullible friends, and I fully enjoy taking advantage of them today in various devious ways. And no, I didn’t just blow my cover, because they’re that gullible. Mwuahaha!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

News From Around The Globe:

The biggest news of the day comes from the ever intriguing Andrew Nicholson, who has announced his intentions to ride for Australia in the coming years. Following his highly publicized tiff with Eventing NZ and subsequent self-removal from any team activities, Australia seems like the only natural choice. The Aussies are delighted with his decision, and are hoping to fight ageism within the Olympic sport by fielding the oldest team for Rio, including Andrew, Stuart Tinney, Andrew Hoy, and Bill Levitt. [Andrew Nicholson Swaps Countries]

The great and notorious Calvin Borel has decided to retire from horse racing after 33 years. A Hall of Fame and triple Kentucky Derby winning jockey, Calvin retires with 5,146 career victories – 27th-highest total in North American history – and purse earnings of $127,087,376. He rode his first winner in 1983. [Goodbye Bo-Rail]

Admit it, you’ve asked yourself if you have a telepathic horse before. How is it that sometimes you have a horse that just seems to KNOW what you’re thinking and see into your soul? No, your horse isn’t a fortune teller or a telepath, but horses are incredibly adept at reading minute body language and intentions through muscular tension (or lack thereof). They can sense rhythm changes in your breathing, and have a keen sense of touch, especially with quiet riders. [Can My Horse Read My Mind?]

Fleeceworks Fernhill is having a baby, and we want you to guess the due date! We’re teaming up with Fleeceworks to give away a brand new Bamboo Contour Cross Country Pad to the winner of this contest. Entries close on April 5, and you can find more information here

How much do you know about Badminton? With the entry list released and the excitement building, its time to take this week’s Horse & Hound Eventing Quiz. (I got 8/10!) [The Ultimate Badminton Brain Buster]

No need to wonder if this is April Fools, it’s just Craigslist. [Believe It Or Not]

Oh no. The Flies are here. Just this week they appeared in Virginia and Nyls is already pissed. He’s standing at the gate in the morning as soon as the sun comes up shaking his head like he’s being tortured by the two flies that got up early enough to annoy him. Time to break out the fly masks. This Crusader Fly Mask is by far the best, with the ears protected and a durable design that lasts for even the toughest candidates. You can get it customized with a name if you want to feel real fancy, or get fun colors in pony sizes. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Teamwork makes the dream work:

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

My view on my little champion.

My view on my little champion.

Phew! I am just now recovered from a wild weekend at Carolina International. I’m telling you, I don’t know how riders go back to back to back weekends! I have to go to sleep at 8pm for a few days straight just to recover from my four days in a row of 4am wakeups. Sometimes, I think I might be 80 years old. Good thing old Nyls agrees to still cart my ancient body around and sometimes takes my suggestions about things.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

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

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

News From Around The Globe:

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) has released the list of nations who are qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Countries sending teams includeAustralia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and United States. Individuals hail from Belarus, Belgium, Chile, China, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Puerto Rico, Spain and Zimbabwe. [Road to Rio]

Celebrating the expansion of their Kentucky retraining facility, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program will host an Open Barn and Barbecue at their new location on Mereworth Farm in Lexington. Just 7 miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, the event will be held on Friday, April 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will toast the opening of Phase One, which includes the Whirlwind Poppy Barn and the John A. Hettinger Arena. A Southern-style buffet dinner will be available, and attendees will be able to listen to live music while touring the barn, meeting the horses and mingling with acclaimed jockeys. Touring the facility is free; tickets for dinner and drinks are $20. [RSVP Here]

Secretariat’s annual birthday celebration kicks off this weekend at The Meadow where he was born. Penny Chenery will be in attendance, as well as Secretariat’s great-great-grandaughter, Groundshaker, who is the last horse bred and raced by Mrs. Chenery and will be beginning her retirement this weekend. [Secretariat’s B-Day Party]

Team USA asks, who were the first women to win gold medals in each sport in the Olympics? For equestrian disciplines, it was eventer Mary Ann Tauskey, who won team gold in the 1976 Olympics aboard Marcus Aurelius. Check out this throw back Thursday! [Women in Sport]

 

KER Product of the Week – KER•Flex® for Joint Health

KER•Flex®, a palatable powdered joint supplement developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), contains high-quality glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate to help with joint maintenance and minimizes wear and tear.

KER-sponsored eventer Lisa Barry uses KER•Flex to support joint health in her upper-level horses. “Between putting in the miles for conditioning and variable terrain and footing, eventing can be hard on a horse’s joints. I rely on KER•Flex to support joint health and performance. There are lots of joint products out there, but nothing compares to KER•Flex,” Lisa explains. “Because it’s backed by Kentucky Equine Research, I know it’s the best joint supplement for my high-performance horses.”

The results of research trials conducted at KER’s research farm, as well as advancements in equine nutrition from institutions around the world, are applied in KER-affiliated products and feeds. KER also performs routine in vivo quality control studies to ensure that all KER-affiliated feeds, ingredients, and supplements are free from prohibited substances. KER is certified by FAMI-QS, an international quality and safety certification system for the animal feed industry, as well as other governing agencies. See KER products.

This is everything:

 

 

 

 

Who Jumped It Best? Carolina International CIC* Edition

Not only did Carolina International have three days of dressage this year, but they also have three consecutive days of cross country action, which got underway today with the huge CIC* division. With 77 starters and 68 finishers, Ian Stark’s course rode well for the brave at heart, but caused it’s fair share of trouble as well. I camped out at the Weldon’s Wall late in the course, which rode boldly on a slight angle off a downhill gallop. Let’s see who jumped it best!

#2016CI Links: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesScheduleLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Will Coleman & Cooley Off The Record. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Will Coleman & Cooley Off The Record. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Kristine Burgess & Regatta. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Kristine Burgess & Regatta. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Babette Lenna & Marketscan. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Babette Lenna & Marketscan. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Cornelia Dorr & Sir Patio MH. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Cornelia Dorr & Sir Patio MH. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sydney Soloman & Early Review C. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sydney Soloman & Early Review C. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Brigitte Aikelin & Evening Melody. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Brigitte Aikelin & Evening Melody. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Gabby Dickerson & Phineas Flynn. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Gabby Dickerson & Phineas Flynn. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Dana Cooke & Ophelia. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Dana Cooke & Ophelia. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Advanced Dressage Wrap-Up from Carolina International

Kylie Lyman and Lup The Loop scored a 28.5 for 2nd place. Photo by Kate Samuels. Kylie Lyman and Lup The Loop scored a 28.5 for 2nd place. Photo by Kate Samuels.

While all eyes are on the CIC divisions here this weekend at Carolina International, there is a strong contingent of competitors at the national level with 25 riders contesting the Advanced. Some of the division did their test during my ride, so I missed some of the combinations, but was able to catch a good selection of riders before and afterwards.

Buck Davidson is leading the pack with the very experienced Petite Flower, who is contesting her second Advanced of the year after taking a break from competition following Rebecca Farms CCI3* last summer. They looked wonderful in warmup, and I can see how they scored an accurate and brilliant test to garner a 25.4, which puts them a full 3.1 points ahead of the next closest rider. With a division that is as tightly packed as the CIC3*, this shows just how good Buck and Flower were looking this morning.

The range of scores is very close, with all but five riders placing in the 30s, which means that the competition isn’t over yet. Kylie Lyman had a very rhythmic and relaxed test on the big moving Lup The Loop to score a 28.5, which puts them right behind Buck. Lillian Heard has four rides in this division, but her best placement was with Rolex bound LCC Barnaby with a 29.6 to put them in 3rd place. They are closely followed by Boyd Martin riding Crackerjack for a 29.9 and Welcome Shadow for a 30.7.

Boyd Martin & Welcome Shadow, 30.7 for 5th place. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Boyd Martin & Welcome Shadow, 30.7 for 5th place. Photo by Kate Samuels.

This division does their cross country course tomorrow much later in the afternoon, starting at 3:25 p.m. Their course differs significantly from the CIC3* course, but is nonetheless challenging as well. They do show jumping on Sunday starting at 8 a.m. in reverse order of standing.

Advanced Top 15:

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#2016CI Links: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesScheduleLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Ian Stark’s Carolina International CIC3* Cross Country Course Preview

13ab: The ultimate rider frightener on course. Photo by Kate Samuels (with help from a slightly taller Jon Holling)

13ab: The ultimate rider frightener on course. Photo by Kate Samuels (with help from a slightly taller Jon Holling)

Ian Stark has a reputation for designing big and bold riding cross country courses, and the brand new course here at Carolina International certainly lives up to that ideal. It was my first time walking one of his courses, and I was highly intrigued as to what I would find.

Let’s just say that if you have a horse that isn’t fond of ditches, or tends to jump huge and run off after big drops, you should probably just stay in the Sagmae Competitor’s Lounge and pour yourself a few beers. However, bold and accurate rides reminiscent of the old days will be richly rewarded, and horses that complete this course will be well prepared for bigger tests to come.

The course starts off immediately, about six strides from the start box. When Ian wants you to attack the course, he means instantly, and the idea of coming out of the box with an avidly ambitious horse is precisely what you have to do from the first second. While the first fence is not enormous, it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at, and I imagine that a few horses might be surprised to find it right under their noses so quickly.

The riders get a good gallop going over the next three fences, taking the route around the gallop track until they encounter the first real question at 5ab. This newly created hollow combination features a deceivingly small A element with an airy face, landing on a rollercoaster drop bending line to quite a decent brush chevron on a forward stride at the crest of the hill.

It might seem straightforward, but I can see a few pairs who aren’t aggressive enough early on having an issue here. There is a black flag roll top to the left for the B element, which shows that Ian shares my vision of trouble at this combination, but is dedicated to providing a safe alternative to completion.

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Photo by Kate Samuels

The first water combination is the classic Carolina International combination, and it comes pretty early on at fence 7abc. Coming off a fairly square right turn, the A element is an airy log with some interesting bark work for spooky horses to gawk at, forward three strides over a little house in the water, and a bending four strides to a relatively nice right handed brush corner at the lip of the ramp out onto land. I say relatively nice corner only because I know that worse ones are coming later.

After that, we quickly proceed to the tobacco barn combination, which looks a lot more frightening than I imagine it riding, although sometimes it can be awkward for a few horses due to the change in lighting that comes along with jumping into a barn and out over a skinny but decent sized B element.

Stonehenge makes an appearance again this year; as one of the signature combinations at this competition now, it seems to consistently ride well. This year they have two very decent airy corners coming off a straight gallop on a forward stride, which seems again to invite a straight, accurate, and bold approach.

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Find Chinch! Photo by Kate Samuels.

At 11ab, we encounter an intriguing question, where the A and B elements are so far apart you wonder why they are not separately numbered. However, it seems that as you continue on the course, this is simply to set you up for questions that are similar in nature. The theme of this course is a) jump ditches and b) jump very large obstacles with a sizable drop on the landing side while maintaining control and accuracy for a following question.

Fence 11 is one that makes an appearance almost every year on the Advanced course, and the horses almost always balloon over it and tend to roll down the hill more than a little on the landing. The B element of this question is a little on the understated side, but it has a ditch underneath it, and I think horses will look at it a bit more than the riders expect.

Of course, the biggest concern of every rider that I spoke with is fence 13ab in the brand new water complex. With a whopping log at the top of an uphill ramp suspended over a very deep ditch as your entrance to the combination, I couldn’t even get a proper picture of the B element from the takeoff side of the fence.

I had to get Jon Holling to hold my camera above his head and press the button haphazardly, hoping we could include both elements at once. Once you’ve properly gotten over A and Jenni has taken your picture with pure terror on your face, it is then your duty to gather your horse on a long rein down the slope on a bending five strides to a fairly beefy corner in the water.

But wait! No breathing yet! Fence 14 immediately follows this, with another proper rider frightener — a big brush ditch and wall that you might not want to get too close to when you’re walking the course. See Jennifer Holling for a size perception check.

Modeling by the lovely Jennifer Holling.

Modeling by the lovely Jennifer Holling.

After that we run downhill to fence 15ab, which is another test of your ability to land on a large drop and stay accurate and bold in a distance that’s just long enough to get disorganized. The B element is a lovely brush keyhole with, what else, a little ditch dug under it just in case. I think this should ride well though because if you’ve gotten this far, your horse should have had a few experiences with this question already, and they should be fairly broke to the aids at this point.

From there we proceed around the lake in a new path hitherto unused, with a tricky skinny chevron as a standalone on an uphill approach that might ride a little oddly as it has no context and follows such bold efforts as 13-15. The last real question on course is the coffin at 18abc, which features a relatively small jump in, bounce over the ditch and then one quick stride up and over the C element. With horses feeling maybe a little tired, and a little bit overwhelmed mentally, the sharpness of both body and mind required at this question will be a true test. If you think this coffin looks doable in comparison to the rest of the course, don’t worry — Ian confirmed to EN that his new coffin combination will be ready next year to keep the riders awake at night.

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Photo by Kate Samuels

There are lots of elements to this course that I’m not familiar with, and I don’t think I’m alone. When you hear that Ian Stark designs courses that Murphy Himself would have delighted in, believe it. And then go watch videos of Ian riding Glenburnie and Murphy Himself on cross country, and you’ll understand why he designs these attacking, positive courses that maybe frighten the riders a bit more than the horses.

You can also here Ian’s own perspective on the course over on CrossCountry App, where he gives audio analysis of each fence in a guided tour recorded by course builder Tyson Rementer. Click here to listen to the audio, and keep scrolling for a fence-by-fence preview of each fence on course.

#2016CI Links: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesScheduleLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Swimming pools ftw. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Swimming pools ftw. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Today I am on my way to my hands down favorite event of the year, Carolina International. It’s just a short five hours from my house, but I feel like I’ve already missed so much with the record three whole days of dressage. That just goes to show you how popular this event is! I’m also totally excited to see the Ian Stark 3* course. While I’m only running the Intermediate, I’ve been dying to have a go at one of his courses for years now, but he’s only been available on the west coast, so this will be a delight. Nyls prepared for the weekend in his usual way, by spending an inordinate amount of time standing in the river up to his belly and taking deep breaths. I think it’s horse meditation.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Carolina International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Live Feed]

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

Stable View Winter II H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Ryan Wood helped make Powell’s debut at the 3* level a successful one, leading after day one of dressage at Carolina International. The 10-year-old gelding has a background in dressage before his career with Ryan, so the first phase comes naturally to him. The plan is to have competent rounds in the jumping phases, setting him up for an educational CCI3* later in the season. Jessica Phoenix on Bentley’s Best stepped into second place and Buck Davidson had a good ride on The Apprentice for provisional third. Keep coming back for more updates as the next two days unfold. [Carolina International Day One]

Want more photos from Carolina International CIC3*? Your wish is my command. [USEA Gallery, Day 1]

You know you want to read George Morris’ autobiography. Jumper Nation has gone ahead and given you a little sneak peak, in case you were on the fence about the endeavor. My favorite quote is “I’m a genius in my field….when it comes to my profession, I know I’m a genius”. Head on over to get the full goods. [Jumper Nation]

How well do you know Captain Mark Phillips? Horse & Hound has a wonderful new series called the “Eventing Geek Quiz”, and since we all know that Eventers are geeks for random facts, this seems perfect. Take the test and find out just how clever you are! [Mark Phillips Eventing Geek Quiz]

You know those creepy soft finger looking things that are on the bottom of foal feet? Yeah, they’re technically called “eponychium”, not soft creepy finger things. They serve to protect the uterus as the foal is born, and disappear within 24 hours. Horse Nation has the in depth story on these weird little things. [What The Muck is That]

Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.comfor a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

KER ClockIt™ Session of the Week – Spring Conditioning

This week’s KER ClockIt™ Sport session illustrates a horse’s first day of conditioning sets for this season. The rider started the session as she and her horse were walking over to the rolling field. She reports the first canter set was faster than normal because her horse felt fit and raring to go! Between being the warmest day of the year so far at 77 degrees F and having some winter coat left, her horse was foamy after the session.

Tired of interminable trot sets? Using KER ClockIt Sport to record your rides not only gives valuable insights into your horse’s fitness, but now you can also win a great prize! Share your ClockIt sessions for a chance to win the KER and Eventing Nation Share Your Sessions Sweepstakes. For more information, visit the website.

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Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Life is so exhausting. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Life is so exhausting. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I hope you all had a wonderful St Patty’s day yesterday! I went hunting in the morning for a fantastic last hunt of the season, and I think my tweed has a little bit of a green tinge, so that served me well. I did forget to wear anything actually green, but luckily an obliging horse with a mouth full of grass slimed me early on in the day, so I’m pretty sure that counts, right?

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule]

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

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

News From Around The Globe:

Congratulations to Chelsea Smith, this week’s Fab Freebie winner! Chelsea will receive a triple color custom browband from Highland Browbands, and we can’t wait to see what colors she chooses. Thanks to Highland Browbands for putting on this week’s Fab Freebie! [Fab Freebie: Highland Browbands]

British Eventing has gotten jealous of our live scoring technology and looks to be upgrading this year. Live scoring could soon be rolled out across all BE competitions and the organisation is currently trying to find or develop a system to display scores on-screen at competitions and upload them to the Internet. At the moment, most events rely on scorers calculating and writing marks out by hand onto paper scoreboards. [BE Goes Live]

Spots are still available with Lucinda Green at the renowned Win Green Farm in Virginia! A two day Cross-Country Clinic with six time winner of Badminton, World Champion, Olympic Silver Medalist and world renowned clinician Lucinda Green. Lucinda is appreciated for her ability to impart confidence in both horse and rider at all levels – beginner novice through advanced, amateur or pro. [Get Your Cross Country On]

Two horse crazy girls won the competition to design a jump at the famed Badminton Horse Trials this spring. Eight year-old Lyla Mainwaring and Chloe Spence-Gray, 15, won the competition to design an element of World Horse Welfare’s Garden Gate fence as part of its Charity of the Year status at the iconic event. Both girls’ amazing illustrations will be brought to life as real jumps at the prestigious event in England. [Young Riders Design Badminton Jumps]

Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.comfor a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

Nothing is better than shining up your browband and your bits for a show. While there are lots of options out there, nothing screams blingy and shiny like this Herm Sprenger Diamond Paste. Diamonds you guys! Have your horse accouterments shining like diamonds. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Boyd Martin on the Road to Rio:

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Happy looking....happy! At the High Performance Training sessions. Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing.

Happy looking….happy! At the High Performance Training sessions. Photo courtesy of Cindy Lawler.

The week following spring Daylight Savings time….the worst, am I right? I always feel like I’m underwater for at least a week while my body tries to figure out why I’m getting up an hour earlier and working for a full hour more at night. It’s light so late now, which is nice, but also means that I can still conceivably be working in the barn, so that’s what I do. Waking up when it’s dark though? Not my jam. No thanks.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule]

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

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

News From Around The Globe:

Andrew Nicholson returns to competition this weekend for the first time since his severe neck injury last fall. He has six horses competing at Preliminary and Intermediate at Aldon this weekend, just to make sure he “remembers what to do”. (I think you will, Andrew). He’s aiming to be right back at the top level, having entered three horses at Badminton. His WEG and Olympic campaigner Nereo is entered, as well as three time Burghley winner Avebury alongside the slightly less experienced Qwanza. [Andrew Nicholson Aims for Badminton]

A German study has found that horseback riding builds character and promotes social development. 411 riders were compared with 402 non-riders of similar ages, income brackets and gender distribution, finding that the riders “were generally more determined, enthusiastic, structured and balanced than their non-riding counterparts. They also showed greater leadership, were more assertive and competitive, and demonstrated greater resilience.” We knew it. [Horse Riders Have the Right Stuff]

Does your horse have an inspiring story about coming back from a serious injury or illness? OCD Pellets wants to hear all about it! Send in your rehab to tips@eventingnation.comfor a chance to win an OCD prize pack (2-month supply of OCD Pellets, 1-month supply of COS Canine, and an OCD Pellets hat and T-shirt). Entries close Monday, May 2, 2016, and the story that receives the most views on EN will win. [Contest Details]

New Vocations is having an open barn and barbecue at their new location in April! As a celebration of the expansion of their kentucky retraining facility, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is inviting everyone to join them 5:30-8:30 pm on Friday, April 29th. Once complete, the New Vocations at Mereworth facility will encompass two 15-stall barns, indoor and outdoor arenas, and an office. This project comes as a response to the number of retired racehorses in need of rehabilitation and training for second careers. Tickets are on sale now. [New Vocations]

Enter now to get a rare chance to ride with Bobby Costello in a personalized clinic! Riding with the Chairman of the USEF Eventing Selection Committee, which selects the team for the Olympic, World, and Pan American Games, can only be described as a rare and extremely valuable opportunity. Robert Costello brings his competition history as an Olympic veteran and Pan American gold medalist to his teaching by offering clinics that challenge and educate riders and horses of all levels. On Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, Costello will be offering a jumping clinic at Irish Manor Stables in Stockton, New Jersey. Saturday’s sessions will focus on flatwork with cavaletti and gymnastic exercises to prepare for Sunday’s coursework sessions. [Enter Online Here]

Who Jumped It Best isn’t just for Eventers anymore….now the show jumpers are subjected to our scrutiny! Just in time for Saint Patrick’s day, Jumper Nation has rounded up photos of the Irish team kicking butt at WEF this spring for an all Irish competition of classy jump photos. Let’s just say, the jumps are bigger, but the styles are….a little more unconventional. [Jumper Nation]

KER Service of the Week — MicroSteed™ Ration Evaluation

Do you have questions about your horse’s diet? Need expert feeding advice? Try KER’s free online ration evaluation wizard to ensure your horse is getting the most from its diet!

Developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), Microsteed™ online ration wizard makes choosing the appropriate feed type and amount for your horse a simple process. The program uses a detailed description of the horse to determine its nutrient requirements, then recommends appropriate feeds. You can also contact a KER nutrition advisor directly for a custom analysis and report. Get started!

Lexi Scovil Ready to Attack 2016

With the naming of the 2016 Eventing 25/18 Training Lists, there are a lot of talented young riders who are ready to take the eventing world by storm. We continue our profiles of these riders this week with Lexi Scovil.

Lexi and Charlie in the dressage. Photo by Lively Manor Photography.

Lexi and Charlie in the dressage. Photo by Lively Manor Photography.

Lexi Scovil has only partnered with Charleston VI (Charlie) for a year this spring, but that hasn’t stopped them from making their mark on the eventing world, and landing their first spot on the Eventing 25 list. Beginning in May of 2015, together they haven’t placed outside the top five in any horse trials, and completed their first CCI2* as a pair at Fair Hill in the fall.

Originally hailing from Mequon, WI, the 24 year old now lives and trains in Ocala, FL, under the direct tutelage of the indomitable Leslie Law. As a full time working student for the Law program, Lexi is able to have access to some of the best education in the country, and highly values her everyday opportunities there. She has worked for them for a year and a half now, and loves every minute of it. She credits much of her success to the generosity of spirit that both Leslie and his wife Lesley embody.

“He’s very open about his training process and he’s happy for me to incorporate pieces from other programs I’ve worked with into my own system,” she says. “He honestly and freely discusses his experiences and philosophies in riding, teaching, and running a business. I love that he’s not opposed to changing tack or bits or boots if they can help you, but he emphasizes good basic training over using gadgets and shortcuts. He’s very positive in his lessons but I rarely come out of a lesson feeling like I haven’t improved in a noticeable way, especially in the dressage.”

Lexi has competed several other horses at the upper levels, including an individual bronze at the 2012 NAJYRC CCI2* with Sky Show and an Advanced horse trial before that with her previous mount, Laugh Out Loud. However, with Charlie, she hopes to have found her first solid three-star mount.

Lexi & Charlie in the show jumping. Photo by Lively Manor Photography.

Lexi & Charlie in the show jumping. Photo by Lively Manor Photography.

“He has massive amounts of scope and he loves the job so he just gives me incredible confidence to the bigger fences,” says Lexi. Charlie also has an amazing personality in the barn that belies his 17.2 frame. While he is very goofy and playful on the ground, he is all business when it comes to competing, and gives her 110% every time they go out.
While she already enjoys Leslie’s training on a full time basis, the experience of the U25 Program has been a wonderful new experience for Lexi. The opportunity to watch other lessons and form relationships with the other girls in the program has been a great advantage. “It’s really reassuring to sit down with a bunch of people at similar ages and levels and hearing that everyone encounters the same difficulties and insecurities. The whole group is incredibly supportive of each other and quick to offer compliments or suggestions to help each other. There is really that sense of community that we all love about eventing.”
As far as plans for the future, Lexi is wisely calculated going forward. The pair is aiming for another CCI2* this spring at either Ocala or Jersey Fresh, and hoping to improve their dressage scores for the next competitive edge. For the fall, she hopes for a move up to Advanced, and then to prove that Charlie has the heart and the talent for the three-star level going forward.
“I think I have the same hopes and dreams as every other kid in the program; we are all here to try to make it on future teams and in medals, but I really just love riding a talented horse and doing my best to develop it to its maximum potential.”
Lexi & Charlie at Ocala this spring:
https://youtu.be/iDwV4S_HA1A