Kate Samuels
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Kate Samuels

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About Kate Samuels

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

Eventing Background

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

Latest Articles Written

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Just having some fun in the snow! Photo courtesy of Jen Vanover.

I just booked a ticket to Flooooorrriiiiddaaaa! OK, so it’s only for three days in Wellington, but I’m hyped about it. Honestly, the biggest problem right now is trying to find clothes that would be OK in the 80 degree weather. Do I even own summer clothes anymore? Right now I’m inside and I’m still wearing three layers. I’m sitting directly in front of my gas stove, and I’m glad I have thermal tights on. This is my life, you guys.

National Holiday: National Popcorn Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

The USEF Annual Meeting is underway Jan. 17-20 in Lexington, Kentucky. The highlight of today’s proceedings will be this evening’s Horse of the Year Awards Dinner, and a big congrats to McLain Ward on his 2o17 Equestrian of the Year honor received at last night’s Pegasus Awards. We’ll be keeping an ear out for any eventing news! [Website] [Live Stream] [Meeting News] [Schedule]

Waredaca is adding a Preliminary Three Day to their roster for 2018. With the addition of the Prelim level, Waredaca becomes one of only three venues to host Novice, Training and Prelim in the classic format. The Classic is a formative experience for young riders, amateurs and professionals alike. Led by Eventing legend Eric Smiley, Waredaca Classic competitors are treated to three days filled with instruction, insight and inspiration. Eric, with the help of an experienced team of dressage judges, event organizers, technical delegates, vets and more walk riders through every piece of the long format. We’re talking dressage test demos, cross country and show jumping course walks, mini steeplechase clinics, Q&As with vets, top riders and more! [Waredaca Upgrades]

Hot on Horse Nation: Pam Hardin, Para Equestrian: A Little Spice & A Whole Lot of Purpose

New Bolton is under a self imposed quarantine after a horse at the hospital tested positive for equine herpes myeloencephalitis (EHM). The vet practice has cancelled all elective equine appointments pending further instruction from the state veterinarian. On Jan. 16, a horse recently admitted to the hospital for non-neurologic signs tested positive for EHV-1 and ultimately displayed signs compatible with EHM. Of particular relevance to the larger equine community, this horse had a non-traditional presentation for EHM, including a low-grade fever and several days of normal temperature prior to developing neurologic signs. [New Bolton on Lockdown]

Waradaca Classic Preliminary 3 Day!

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

TBT to the time Boyd tried to be a human barricade to get a young horse over a ditch. And failed. Photo courtesy of Boyd.

I stay north for the winter (unfortunately for me), so I’m mostly doing a lot of legging up for a variety of horses, and a lot of riding down dirt roads or around indoors. I don’t mind it, mostly you just set your big yellow watch and do the walk, trot, canter thing, listening to whatever podcast you’re into at the moment. However, the frequency of these kind of rides has increased since the ground has been frozen for weeks, and I’m literally completely and utterly out of podcasts. I subscribe to like 15 and I’ve listened to ALL OF THEM. All of the episodes. I’m going nuts!

National Holiday: National Winnie The Pooh Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

The USEF Annual Meeting is underway Jan. 17-20 in Lexington, Kentucky. A General Session meeting takes place this morning, followed by council and committee meetings in the afternoon and the Pegasus Awards Dinner this evening. We’ll be keeping an ear out for any eventing news! [Website] [Live Stream]

Almost a year to the day since the explosive announcement that Larry Glefke and Kelley Farmer were being suspended from the USEF, today our sport’s governing body announced that they acknowledge their mishandling of the blood samples, and all suspensions and fines will be lifted, and the trainer and rider now have full standing in the sport once again. Ultimately, the final settlement ensures that not only will there be no consequences for the prohibited substance found in the horse’s system, but also that there will be little recourse for US Equestrian’s failure to effectively test and prosecute cheaters. [Jumper Nation: Glefke & Farmer Go Free]

Bruce Springsteen has donated tickets to his Springsteen on Broadway show in order to raise funds for the US Showjumping Team to compete at the WEG. The show has been sold out since it began it’s run in October 2017, and runs through June 2018. The package includes several tickets as well as a backstage meet-and-greet with The Boss himself. As a longtime showjumping dad to Jessica Springsteen, it’s not the first time he’s raised money for equestrians, having raised $600,000 for the Rio team in 2016. [The Boss Raises Money for WEG]

Hot on Horse Nation: Shade Shifters: Why Horses Change Color

Don’t forget! WEG volunteer applications are now being accepted! Snag yourself a front row seat to some of the most amazing displays of equine athleticism this year, and lend at hand this fall at the Tryon World Equestrian Games. Check out this link for more info on how you can become a volunteer. [Volunteer as Tribute]

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

American Pharoah statue debuted at Oaklawn Park yesterday! Photo courtesy of Pioneerofthenile FB.

National Holiday: National Marzipan Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

The Equestrian Canada (EC) Eventing Committee has announced the 2018 High Performance Squad. The National Squad is made up of Colleen Loach, Jessica Phoenix, Selena O’Hanlon and Kathryn Robinson, while the Development Squad includes some ten other riders, most of which are based in the United States. [EC Eventing Committee Announces High Performance 2018]

Show Jumping World Number One Kent Farrington also lays claim to riding the highest earning horse for 2017. His fabulous mare, Gazelle, tops the charts with a whopping $1,236,012 in earnings for the competition year. The daughter of Kashmir Van Schuttershof and Diva ‘ter Elsen’ had victories at Spruce Meadows, Madrid, Wellington and notably Geneva, where their Grand Prix victory in December came with a whopping paycheque of $409,740. In comparison, the highest earning event horse was Nereo with $171,741. [Gazelle is Highest Earning Horse in 2017]

Best of Blogs: Jim Wofford: Now’s Your Chance

Attention all Lexington Kentucky residents! Emily Williams’ top hunter derby horse, Tybee, was stolen from the barn yesterday before the grooms served breakfast at 6:15 in the morning. A tack trunk with his name was also taken. He is a 17 hand, 10-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding with a blaze and four white socks, so hard to miss! [Hunter Derby Gelding Tybee Disappears]

Hot on Horse Nation: 44 Horses Loving the Winter Wonderland

All hail Nate Chambers:

 

Thanks for letting me sing my way into First Class @americanair 😂🙌🏻😜 #americanairlines #upgradedseats #delayedflightperks #travelstories #travel #karaoke #temptations #noshame #ainttooproudtobeg #FLtoVA

Posted by Nate Chambers on Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Charlotte teaching dad about yoga! Photo via Will Coleman Equestrian FB.

Yesterday, I went to work with my OTTB, Turkey, after he had some time off through the holidays (whoops!) and he’s been eating all this lovely alfalfa and gaining weight, and he got his neck chiropracted, so he’s feeling great. A little too great. In fact, he was bucking and rearing and pronging around so much on the lunge line, I realized that I’m in big trouble! If he ever does that under saddle I’ll be shot to Timbuktu! Let’s just say I love lunge lines right now.

National Holiday: National Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day (real life y’all)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

The E25 Training Sessions with Leslie Law are well under way in Ocala, FL. With some tough days of dressage behind them, they moved on to jumping, with more challenges on the way. The overall message? “Seize every opportunity—you can’t ever stop trying to be better because the reality is you’re never good enough,” Law said. “There are so many ways to learn, and I think it depends a little bit on the type of person you are and how you learn.” [Seizing the Opportunity with Leslie Law]

Interested in working with OTTBs in one of the best organizations in the country? You’re in luck! Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is hiring interns! MMSC is the gold standard in thoroughbred reschooling. Based at the Kentucky Horse Park, their horse centered reschooling program ensures that every horse adopted out has a solid foundation and goes to the right home. They do a lot of groundwork, desensitization, therapies and under saddle work. A barn intern would have the chance to be hands-on and learn what goes into correctly retraining thoroughbreds, as well as what it takes to run a busy barn! [Apply Here to Be MMSC Intern]

Sadly, Mary King’s amazing mother passed away this week. Mary’s mom, Jill Thomson, was thoroughly un-horsey, but went out of her way to help Mary on her way to greatness in a sport that was quite foreign to her. From forcibly removing her IV drip at the hospital in order to drive the lorry to competitions for Mary, to caring for her children during injuries, Jill was a powerhouse and a legend in her own right. [Mary King’s Mother Honored]

“At my old job, men at the executive level wouldn’t bother to learn my name. They’d call me ‘pencil skirt,’ ‘pretty girl’ or ‘Hey, you with the good face!’ I guess those hard times did prepare me for my new life on the show pony circuit as a very pretty show pony because I’m getting the same lines over and over again. I guess in that way the corporate world has prepared me well for life as an award-winning filly.” [I Was Told I Was Too Pretty To Be A CEO. Here’s Why I Became A Show Pony Instead]

Hot on Horse Nation: Confession to My School Horse

The Badminton countdown begins:

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

I feel ya, bruh. Photo by Libby Head.

Anyone from Vermont, please tune out now, because I’m about to complain about the cold. Look, I’m from Virginia, where it gets pretty cold but not like, I’M DYING level cold. This whole week it’s been hovering around 1* at night, which is just out of control. I mean, how do people live like this? WHY do people live in places where it’s like this in the winter?? What kind of penance are you serving from a past life? Good god, I can’t even.

National Holiday: National Whipped Cream Day

News From Around the Globe:

“The question of whether or not to blanket your horse at arises frequently this time of year. The temperature is prone to unexpected dives, and many horses are sporting some sort of body clip. You may have seen the wonderful When-to-Blanket flowchart posted on the Facebook page of The Equine Program at Auburn University that’s been making the rounds of social media. The intentionally convoluted diagram illustrates the volume of information that horse people must consider when making the blanketing decision. The answer is less black-and-white than it is furry shades of grey.” [COTH To Blanket or Not To Blanket?]

Oh, New Year’s resolutions. These are just a pile of rules that are made to be broken, right? We all attempt to make them, and some of them are about our horsey habits. Mine is always to start writing down what each of my horses does every day in greater detail, but that never happens after a few months. Sometimes you also want to clean your tack every day, but who has time for that unless you have slaves working students? [6 Horsey New Years Resolutions That You’ll Definitely Break]

FBF: Yesterday, I didn’t Know About Equine Jock Straps

Hot on Horse Nation: Trip Review: Riding Mules in the Grand Canyon

Interested in participating in the ICP Symposium in Ocala mid-February? The USEA is looking for demo riders and horses to ride with Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier at Longwood Farm this spring. You can apply here to be considered for a rider position, or fill out an application for your young horse to be used as well. [USEA Wants You]

 

 

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Real photo from South Carolina. Photo by Megan Stauch.

You know, when I wake up and it’s 1* outside in Virginia, the only thing that comforts me (aside from my Carhartt overalls and eight layers of clothes) is the knowledge that it’s also freezing in South Carolina and Florida. Sorry, snowbirds, but it’s somehow deeply hilarious to me that it’s snowing in Florida and everyone is losing their damn minds. I’m sure I’ll regret this in two weeks when it’s 75 and sunny down there but snowing up here….

National Holiday: National Spaghetti Day

News From Around the Globe:

Changes are abounding for the 2018 Eventing calendar, starting with some of our first events of the season. The Pine Top CIC3* has been removed, with them concentrating on their popular Advanced division, but Bromont has added a CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC* to their dates, eyed as a possible last outing for horses heading to the WEG. Five Points HT, which was off the calendar due to the AEC in 2017, is back for this year, and later in the year we have a CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC* added to the roster at Stable View. [Changes to 2018 Calendar]

Argentinian photographer Ramon Casares has created an amazing exhibition showcasing the beauty of the polo pony.  With his distinctive use of light, shadow, and an intuitive feel for his animal subjects developed from his time as a zookeeper, Casares’s images of polo ponies illuminate the equine athletes of the sport of kings in a spectacular and emotive fashion. [Fine Art of Polo Ponies]

Current popular question: when exactly is it too cold to ride? While we each have our personal cutoffs (mine is 10 degrees), there is a combination of science and common sense that should guide you during the winter weather. There are lots of factors to consider, such as the footing, your horse’s fitness, and respiratory concerns to think about before proceeding. Are you prepared? [Too Cold to Ride? Using Common Sense & Science]

When it comes to winter, a lot of us struggle to keep weight on our hard keepers. In a sport that has so many Thoroughbreds, this is a common struggle amongst eventers. Many horses do really well with the grass during the summer months, but as soon as that disappears, their ribs become more apparent. Feeding for weight gain is something like an art, but you can follow some simple rules to help you stay on track. [Feeding for Weight Gain in the Winter]

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA TRUTH. Photo via HorseAddict FB.

You know, there is nothing like a little winter weather to make you realize that your life as a horse person really ISN’T as glamorous as people think. All my cubicle friends say, wow, it’s so great that you work outside with animals on such beautiful farms all the time! I’m so jealous! Meanwhile I’m waking up seven days a week at 6:30 at the latest, half the year it’s pitch dark when my alarm hits, and I’m wearing 7-8 layers looking like the Michelin Man while my snot LITERALLY freezes INSIDE my nostrils while I do hours of grunt labor. Yeah guys, glamour galore!

National Holiday: No Interruptions Day (Last Day Of Work Of 2017!)

News From Around the Globe:

With the holiday season and the cold weather, it’s time to consider using an occasional bran mash in your horse’s nutrition. Mashes are a good way to get some extra hydration in your horse, as well as help their hindgut continue to move when it’s cold and they’re eating a lot of dry matter like hay. Horses tend to not drink as much when it’s chilly, and their consumption of grass goes down a lot in the winter, so a bran mash is frequently used alongside regular feeding programs to help them stay healthy. [How and Why to Use Bran Mashes]

While most of America thinks of only the glamour of the Kentucky Derby when it comes to racing, the rest of us know that most Thoroughbreds come from the Claiming category. Claiming races are the bread and butter of the sport, and their frequency is one of few things that hasn’t changed in the past decade. According to the Thoroughbred Times Racing Almanac, roughly 65.6 percent of races in America were either claiming or maiden claiming races in 2006. Crème de La Fete, John Henry, Lava Man, Seabiscuit, Stymie, Princequillo, and Charismatic all ran for a price at some point in their lives and went on to fame either because of their resumes or in spite of them. [Claimers: Examining the Business]

Scientists studying the equine genome are trying to find the genes responsible for making horses run faster and jump higher. Genetically engineered horses designed to be faster, stronger and better jumpers will be born in 2019 after a breakthrough by the same laboratory which clones polo ponies. Scientists from Argentina are focused on boosting the myostatin gene sequence which is crucial to muscle development, endurance and speed. [Scientists Crack Equine Genome]

TBT Y’ALL!

 

 

Thursday News & Notes From Nupafeed

Photo via Lynn Symansky

He is beauty, he is grace, he is Miss United States….wait, oh, that’s just Donner making normal deer faces. Did you vote for your American Deer in the Equiratings poll? Equiratings Horse of the Year is underway, with the pressure on as 2017 draws to a close. The final will include a North American champion….can it be Donner? I might be biased, but….I think you should vote in the most patriotic way possible, for an American made OTTB with goofy faces galore.

National Holiday: NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CANDY DAY

News From Around the Globe:

The snub on Andrew Nicholson continues, as he is left off the nominations for the Halberg Sportsmanship Awards, despite delivering one of the most epic comebacks this year with his win at Badminton. Following a near career-ending injury in 2015 that paralyzes 98% of individuals with the same diagnoses, Andrew came back to become the oldest winner of the competition alongside his long-time partner, Nereo, who was simultaneously the oldest horse to win Badminton as well. [Why is Nicholson Not Nominated for a Halberg?]

Ros Canter enjoyed an epic 2017, but is determined to bring even more heat in 2018. Placing 6th overall in FEI year-end rankings, the 31-year old placed in the top ten of each four-star she competed in this year, topping it off with an individual fifth place and team gold at the European championships this fall. She’s aiming for a good result at Badminton in the spring and then hopefully on the short list for the WEG at Tryon in the fall. [Ros Canter Takes on 2018]

The USEA Worth The Trust Young Adult Scholarship wine is….Melissa Baumann! Entering the 18th year, the Worth The Trust Scholarship (named after a wonderful mount of KOC’s) provides financial support to young adult amateurs and amateurs in pursuit of continuing education in three day eventing. Melissa exemplifies what we hope to find in young adult amateurs, and will enjoy a significant sum courtesy of the USEA to help her towards her goals in the upcoming year! [Worth The Trust 2018]

 

Don’t you know it:

 

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

The merriest reindeer of all! Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky.

Donner wins Round 1, Leg 3 of the Equiratings HOTY contest! Are you following the contenders on the Equiratings Facebook feed? You can also read more about our favorite reindeer on his official page, chronicling his accomplishments for the year. He’s up against a good crowd though, with Foxwood High, fischerRocana FST and Nereo to name a few. Can’t wait to see who caps them all in #ERHOTY17!

National Holiday: National Date Nut Bread Day

Day 22: “So, good news, I saw a dog today”

News From Around the Globe:

Equestrians Institute Horse Trials in Cle Elum, Washington (Area VII) is held twice a year, at the end of May and the end of September, at the Washington State Horse Park, and offers Beginner Novice through Intermediate level competition. Equestrians Institute also hosts dressage shows, hunter paces, clinics and combined driving events at different venues throughout the region and supports local sport horse breeding programs. [USEA Events A-Z]

You don’t have to understand the complexities of Twitter to get these #EquestrianProblems. Now that we’ve been updated to 280 characters per tweet, we can really get into the nitty gritty of real life equestrian problems. From brooms in public places to random earplugs you find in the laundry, nothing says you’re a horse person more than random thoughts that bind us together in the real world as well as the online world. [13 Equestrian Problems on Twitter]

“Dear Santa, I’m writing to let you know I’ve been a very good boy this year. You see, I’m a dressage horse, and I’ve been doing some reading so that I can be the very best dressage horse in the entire world. I keep coming across this thing called the training pyramid so I figure it must be important for optimum dressage-ing. Upon careful examination, I have determined that I’m fulfilling all of the requirements listed in the training pyramid, and Santa, because you might not be familiar this with whole dressage thing, let me explain.” [A Letter to Santa From The Very Best Dressage Horse]

Have you ever dreamed of writing about your sport for a living? Do you have a perspective and a direction for the hunter jumper universe that you want to share? Are you a self-motivated, well-spoken individual who isn’t afraid to put in the hours for a dream and a paycheck? Jumper Nation is hiring! [Jumper Nation Employment Opportunity]

Congrats to Ava D., our day 11 winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways! Ava will receive a Pro II Plus helmet from Charles Owen. Tune in to EN today for your next chance to win a prize from one of EN’s awesome sponsors.

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Photo by Kim Nordstrom Perry.

The Horse Park of New Jersey recently held a photo contest and received nearly 400 entries, including this gem above.  The grand prize winner, Kathleen Ryan, received a free membership to the Park for 2018. Kim Nordstrm Perry was the winner of the horse division, and with such a completely ridiculous little adorable gremlin like that smiling with such nice teeth, how could she not win??

National Holiday: National French Fried Shrimp Day

Day 21:  “I’m sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR.”

News From Around the Globe:

In February of 2018 the USEA will once again combine three of its educational programs – the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), the Young Event Horse (YEH) Program, and the Future Event Horse (FEH) Program, for a full week of fun and education. The multiplicity of these USEA offerings creates an opportunity for riders, instructors, judges, horse owners, horse breeders, and friends of the sport to witness, discuss, ask questions, and receive feedback related to informed breeding, high-quality handling, and ridden training of young horses. [Sign Up!]

Zenyatta’s son Cozmic One is slated to compete at the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project. His best result as a racehorse was a fourth place at Del Mar in July of this year, but the son of Zenyatta and Bernardini is ready for his second career under the guidance of none other than three-time winner of the RRP Isabela de Sousa and her team. [Zenyatta’s Son Ready for RRP 2018]

Best of Blogs: Changing the World: Thunder’s Story (see video below too!)

Five-year-old Tylon Pittman made a very important 911 call this week, as he was extremely concerned that the Grinch was planning to steal Christmas. Once he learned on the internet that the Grinch was legitimately going to ruin everyone’s holiday, he dialed up 911 and let the operator know about the threat. [Grinch Thwarted Again]

Congrats to Paige B., our day 10 winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways! Paige will receive an AirMesh Body Protector by Airowear. Tune in to EN today for your next chance to win a prize from one of EN’s awesome sponsors.

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Snow Pony! Photo courtesy of Taylor Harris Insurance FB.

Okay guys, this weekend is the last chance to get your holiday shopping in order. I personally spend all year adding to my Amazon wish list of random things that I know my friends and family will enjoy, and then I completely forget to actually buy things until the very last minute. Now is the time! Get my crap together! Don’t forget anybody and remember them two days from Christmas like last year!

National Holiday: Cat Herder’s Day (honestly I don’t even know)

Friday News & Notes:

The USEF has issued a statement clarifying the winner’s prize at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. According to USEF, the flight in question is part of the contractual sponsorship agreement between Dutta Corp and USEF for the naming rights to the CCI3* National Championship held at Fair Hill. The Dutta Corp/USEF CCI3* National Championship is held within the CCI3* at Fair Hill and awards the flight to the U.S. combination that wins the USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship. While Canadian Selena O’Hanlon won Fair Hill in 2017, Will Coleman won the 2017 USEF National CCI3* Championship as the highest placed American. Will was announced as the flight winner at the conclusion of Fair Hill. [USEF Statement]

Dear significant others of horse crazy people: We’re here to help. We know it can be daunting to buy stuff for your horse crazy SO, because the stuff they like is so weird and so specific and god forbid you buy the wrong horsey stuff. That’s why Horse Nation has compiled a fool proof list of Christmas gifts to get you through the holidays. [Christmas Gift Guide for the Clueless]

The Essex Horse Trials at Moorland Farm in Far Hills, New Jersey (Area II) hosts one USEA recognized event each year on the last weekend in June and offers Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. After running for three decades from 1968 to 1998, the Essex Horse Trials had become a must-attend fixture on the national and international eventing calendar – drawing the sport’s top riders, plenty of fans, and the embrace of a community much-attuned to equestrian pursuits and the social scene surrounding, in particular, Essex. After many years off the calendar, Essex returned in 2017 with levels through Preliminary and plans for upper level expansion. [USEA Events A-Z]

Best of Blogs: Winter Survival and the Art of Not Caring

If you had a chance to spend a day with Carl Hester, wouldn’t you? Lucky duck Kerri Vuolo got the chance to attend a clinic with Carl in Maine recently, and watched the entire day with rapt attention. They started with a four-year-old and as the day went on, went up the ages of horses to the top, so that the spectators could see the progression of the young horse. As Carl is well known for building his horses from the bottom, this is what he wanted to emphasize, the training journey along the way. [A Day with Carl Hester]

Congrats to Maia K., our day four winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways! Maia will receive a Deluxe Dressage Friction Free Saddle Pad from Success Equestrian. Tune in to EN later today for your next chance to win a prize from one of EN’s awesome sponsors.

Sports swap!

 

 

 

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

The Diesel Boy is really enjoying his holiday! Photo by Molly Sue Kinnamon.

I spent all of yesterday driving my horse several hours down the road to Virginia Tech so that he could see an ophthalmologist, and I always really enjoy when new people meet my horse. Can we have his medical history? Sure, I’ve owned him twelve years, how far back do you want to go? Is he going to behave to have his eye inspected? Nope. Do you think we should sedate him? Yes, and please, give him the maximum, trust me, he’s the opposite of a cheap date. No, seriously, he’s like a really good cross country horse, which means he’s literally the most stubborn horse alive and no amount of sedation will convince him to do something he doesn’t like. Good luck!

National Holiday: National Bouillabaisse Day

News From Around the Globe:

Selena O’Hanlon won Fair Hill CCI3*, but it turns out that she didn’t win the free flight from Dutta Corp. In the most confusing news of the week, it seems that the flight we all thought went to the winner of the CCI3* is in fact reserved for the highest placed American rider in the division, and as Selena is Canadian, she did not win it. The “grant” is awarded by the USEF, and Dutta Corp does not make the selection criteria, unfortunately. However, Selena’s owners and supporters will be pitching in to ship her and Woody to Badminton next spring regardless. [Confusion Over Fair Hill CCI3* Winner]

Winter is for honing your skills with circle exercises! In this excerpt from the full educational video, Gina Miles demonstrates an exercise for maintaining line and balance over four small jumps on a circle. There are five levels to the excercise that Miles demonstrates on her own horse. You can access the full video by signing in at EventingTrainingOnline.com. [Eventing Training Circle Exercises with Gina Miles]

Has Charlotte DuJardin found “Mrs Valegro” in Mount St John Freestyle? I mean her name alone must bring some sort of good luck for that particular part of her job, right? She gave an exhibition at Olympia this week with Emma Blundell’s super exciting nine-year-old mare that simply raised goosebumps for everyone watching. This mare is truly something amazing, and Charlotte thinks that she’s her mount for the 2018 WEG. [6 Reasons Mount St John Freestyle is the Next Valegro]

Hot on HN: Let’s Discuss: What’s Your Winter Riding Weather Cutoff?

Congrats to Jordan Gandy, our day three winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways! Jordan will receive a prize pack from World Equestrian Brands, including a Mattes Ear BonnetHamag Number Holder and bag of Equilibrium Crunch-Its. Tune in to EN later today for your next chance to win a prize from one of EN’s awesome sponsors.

Mount St John Freestyle earlier this year:

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Thoroughbreds running loose at Saint Luis Rey Downs. Photo courtesy of Ashlie Campbell.

I’ve included a video below that I just watched, and it’s shaken me to the core. It is of Saint Luis Rey Training Center, and the grooms trying desperately to get the horses out of the burning barns. The fires in California reached the training center yesterday, however horse trailers were not allowed to travel there until it was basically too late. The grooms were turning all the horses loose in order for them to have a better chance of survival outside of the burning barns. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, and I just don’t have words. I’m not a “thoughts and prayers” type of person because I believe action speaks louder than a Facebook comment, so I’ll be spending my time searching for ways to give to relief funds related to this natural disaster.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleConvention Program, Live StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

National Holiday: National Brownie Day

News From Around the Globe:

Seventy-five percent of Saint Luis Rey Training Center burned down yesterday, with the majority of the horses set loose on the property to escape the burning barns and palm trees surrounding the buildings. It is unclear at this time how many equine and human casualties. Some trainers had vans ready for horses to evacuate, but were halted by sherifs due to fires on the roads. [Saint Luis Rey Training Center Burns Down]

For some good news regarding Thoroughbreds, we go to COTH blogger Chanda Boyle, who recently rediscovered why Thoroughbreds are so amazing and wonderful. Historically a show hunter rider, Chanda has spent the past two decades working with warmbloods and warmblood crosses, but recently switched back to the breed she dreamed of when she was a child: the Thoroughbred. [I Had Forgotten About The Thoroughbred]

Scumbag of the week goes to Penn National trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez, who just received a measly $500 fine and a 45-day suspension for failing to treat one of his horses for a shattered sesamoid. Silent Ruler was listed on CANTER after being “injured” in a race on August 26th, but with no diagnostic details. When an interested horse person went to look at him, she found him clearly in distress and non weight bearing on a right front ankle, and immediately reported it to the track vet. [Penn National Trainer Gets Measly Suspension For Animal Cruelty]

Courtney Cooper is hosting her second annual holiday auction online, and you can find some pretty neat stuff. She’s got tack from Success Equestrian, Voltaire, Dy’on and VTO Saddlery, entries and cross country waivers for multiple competition venues, lessons with a variety of top trainers around the country, and even $500 worth of vet services from the famous Kevin Keene! [C Square Farm Fundraiser Auction]

Posted by Leo Tapia on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

For real though. Photo courtesy of The Horseaholic FB.

Alright well December is already traveling at an alarming speed, and the holidays are right around the corner! I thought I was on top of my game, and did some Christmas shopping for friends in October, and then failed to do any since then. Face palm. Now I’m in a slight panic, seeing as I haven’t actually done much of anything, and I need to get my rear in gear!

In other news, the USEA Convention starts today in Long Beach, California! The convention will be live streamed for the first time thanks to Ride On Video, with the first meeting kicking off at noon PST. Click here to access the live stream.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleConvention Program, Live StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

National Holiday: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

News From Around the Globe:

Planning on going to the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring. Get your tickets today as prices go up at midnight EST! [Buy Tickets]

We’re sad to report the passing of legend Bill Steinkraus, who died on November 29th at the age of 92. Bill was undoubtedly one of the greatest riders of all time, winning individual gold on Snowbound at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, team silver in the 1982 Munich Olympics on Main Spring as well as team silver in 1960 in Rome on Riviera Wonder, and team bronze in 1952 in Helsinki on Hollandia. He competed on five Olympic teams for the United States, and will be sorely missed. [William C. “Bill” Steinkraus]

Eventing might be over for the year in the US, but it’s still poppin’ down in New Zealand this weekend with Puhinui International CCI3*. Ten combinations are set to start today, including Olympian and Badminton winner Jock Paget, who will be riding Heelan Tompkin’s Snow Leopard in the horse’s first CCI3*. I wouldn’t bet on Jock though, as he might be leaving mid-competition seeing as his wife is overdue to give birth! [All Roads Lead to Puhinui]

Just to put you in the Christmas spirit….did you see these photos from the Christmas parade in Middleburg? If you’re not already familiar, let me tell  you, it is a sight for horse lovers’ eyes. [Christmas in Horse Country]

Sorry, fans of homeopathy, but Britain’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s says it’s all hokey. Saying that homeopathy is not “based on sound scientific principles”, they stated, “We would like to highlight our commitment to promoting the advancement of veterinary medicine on sound scientific principles and to reiterate the fundamental obligation on our members as practitioners within a science-based profession, which is to make animal welfare their first consideration. In fulfilling this obligation, we expect treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles. Veterinary surgeons should not make unproven claims about any treatments, including prophylactic treatments. [Homeopathy Not Scientifically Sound]

Remember Consensus? He completed Rolex with Julie Norman Shamburger in 2015 and now he is rocking around Prelim with a young rider!

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

G’morning Turkey! (And less than enthusiastic Pepe too). Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’m super excited to say that I’ve decided to apply to participate in the Retired Racehorse Project for 2018 with my newest pony, Turkey. He had some time off that I didn’t plan, but you know, life happens, and you get busy dealing with other stuff, so last week I checked the eligibility requirements and was thrilled that he just squeaks in under the wire! I’m pretty pumped about this challenge, and I know that lots of people participate year after year, so I’m hoping to learn a lot and maybe even show off in a new and fancy way!

Interested in participating? Today, Dec. 1, is opening date for trainer applications. Get more information here.

National Holiday: National Pie Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

The round table discussion about eventing safety continues with more than a little help from the outside world. Not only do we have some of the top minds in the equestrian industry on board, but we’re getting input from Jackie Stewart from Formula One Racing, leaders from ski racing, Suzanne Smith from NASA, engineer Dave Vos from Google, Engineers Mats Björnetun and Anders Flogård of MIM Construction Frändefors Sweden, Roy Burek from Charles Owen, and many more. [USEA Safety Summit Round Table Part 4]

I don’t even need to introduce Laura Kraut or why you should read these tips from her about how to be a better rider. Did you know that when she was a kid she had to learn to ride her horses without a bridle or halter around a course of poles? She also thinks that the most important thing is to “stay in touch with your ‘why'” when existing in the horse world. Read more to find out what that is! [Laura Kraut: Finding Your Why and Three More Keys to Mental Success]

The “New World stilt-legged horse” has been identified as an entirely new genus of extinct horse. Haringtonhippus francisci fossils have been found in Alaska, the Klondike area of Canada, Nevada, Wyoming and Texas. The stilt-legged horse is described as thin-limbed and lightly built; prior to this study, the stilt-legged horse was thought to be a relative to the Asiatic wild ass or onager, perhaps a subspecies of Equus. Studying the DNA preserved in the fossil record, however, proved that Haringtonhippus francisci diverged from the ancestors of Equus an estimated four to six million years ago. [New Genus of Extinct Horse Discovered]

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Frosty horse mornings. Photo courtesy of Whistling Ridge.

Warning: weather complaints coming. You know what’s really great? When it’s quite literally 70 degrees during the day, but also 32 at night. This makes everything SO simple in horse land, and I just adore it. Would you like to be tied to your farm 24/7 because of constant blanket changes that are necessary on different levels for all horses in varied arrays of clipped? Would you like your car to turn into a mobile jacket wagon? Please, move to Virginia in the winter! It’s the best!

National Holiday: Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day (is that a thing??!)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

If you’re going to take advice from anybody, make it Chris Bartle. He’s helped top riders transform into medal winners at the top levels of the sport, but he knows how to teach you from the ground up as well. Read more to find out his advice on each phase….[Chris Bartle’s Top Tips for Modern Eventing]

Top level rider Katie Wherley is having a cool online auction to raise funds to support “Grateful Heart”, who was this year’s USEA Future Event Horse 3-Year-Old Filly Champion. She’s got some amazing things up for grabs, everything from homemade apricot truffles, to therapeutic blankets, and an entry to MDHT. With over forty items to choose from, you won’t be disappointed. [Katie Wherley Winter Fundraiser]

Did you know that SmartPak has thirteen single-ingredient supplements? Me neither, until I read this quick blog. Actually, I love the simplicity of single-ingredient supplements, and they function true to form. Looking for some cool calories? Try 99% Fat. Antioxidants? SmartPak’s Vitamin E supplement. [Smart & Simple Supplements]

Black Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Just doing some light stalking of my boy Leo at the Thanksgiving hunt! Photo by Kate Samuels.

So, I only had two Thanksgiving feasts yesterday, which is down from three the previous years, so I think I only put on like twenty pounds instead of the usual thirty? That’s good, right? I had a traditional jam with the family (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes etc) and then a slightly non-traditional meal with one of my oldest friends and her family (duck, hasselback potatoes, brussel sprouts), and now I need to spend a few days lying down and digesting. JK, I have to ride horses. And find a bigger belt. Thank god riding pants are stretch waist!

National Holiday: BLACK FRIDAY

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Saratoga Boot earned $267,372 in his 73 starts, and now he’s heading for the 2018 RRP.  Racing from ages 2 until 10, the gelded son of Storm Boot compiled an impressive 16-10-13 record. His trainer wanted him to find a proper home after so many years of hard work at the track, and his jockey got in touch with Joy Campbell to give the war horse a good home. Joy competed a younger horse in the RRP 2017, but was specifically looking for an older horse with miles to use for her partner next year. [Rider Teams Up with 73 Start War Horse]

From working on a vegetable farm to afford her first horse as a child, to competing at Preliminary and Prix St Georges, Sandra Holden has done a little bit of everything in her horsey career. In a fascinating story about how she’s developed as a rider with both great instructors and great horses along the way, the USEA has featured Sandra’s tale in their new series “Now On Course”. [Now On Course: From Cross Country to Sandbox]

Hot on Horse Nation: HN Staff Gives Thanks

If you’ve never seen the Blessing of the Hounds on Thanksgiving Day, you’re missing out!

 

 

Thanksgiving Day News & Notes from Nupafeed

Happy Thankgivinnnnnggggg!!! From Pepe with love. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Ok so not to brag or anything, but my friends and I are kind of a big deal when it comes to Thanksgiving. As the most important holiday of the year, we’ve been planning the menu to end all menus, and it’s a little off the beaten path for 2017. Roast duck with port wine glaze, cheesy hassleback potato gratin, roasted butternut squash, brussel sprouts braised in cream, garlic lemon green beans with toasted bread crumbs, homemade rolls, and a cocoa stout layer cake with malted buttercream icing. NBD guys, we just over here practicing for our inevitable cooking show.

National Holiday: National Espresso Day (so you can get up and cook/bake/interact with people all day)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

To nobody’s surprise, Alan Davies has received the FEI Best Groom award, in recognition of his devotion to Carl Hester and Charlotte DuJardin’s horses throughout the years. Alan has been nominated for the past three years, narrowly missing out each time, so he was thrilled to finally take home the title. We all know he kept Blueberry looking fantastic, and it’s a delight to see him honored! [Alan Davies: Super Groom]

There’s a reason why we keep reading what Jimmy Wofford writes, and its because the man has a way with words. On this Thanksgiving Day, take a trip back in Jimmy’s past to hear about the greats that inspired, taught, and influenced him and many others in their journey to the top of horse sports. [Silverbacks of the Sport]

How far will you go to afford yourself some saddle time? “When I start to complain about money to my non-horsey friends, they’re like, ‘Why don’t you just sell the horse?’ I have to say, ‘That’s not an option!’ You don’t say that to a horse person! She’s my friend, and I’m responsible for her. I’m willing to put up with a lot to make sure I keep her happy and that I have her in my life. It’s not something I can imagine my life without. Other horse people understand,” Kellie Benn said when she reflected on fitting her mare, Penny, into her busy life. [Amateurs Like Us: Night Shift Plus Shoestring Budget Equal Saddle Time]

Hot on Horse Nation: Photo Challenge: Giving Thanks to Our Horses

Best of Jumper Nation: An Open Thank You Letter to My Trainer

Really throwing it back to Pine Top in 2010 for their Thanksgiving HT!

 

 

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

When you’re literally the cutest Turkey that has ever existed. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Do you ever feel like maybe you own the cutest horse in the entire world? I do. Twice over, really, because Nyls is the original model horse, but his little protege, Turkey, is actually the cutest pony head alive. His winter assignment is to be my lesson couch, as I’ve decided to take him around in the trailer to sit on while I teach lessons in the afternoons. He’s only four, and about two months off the track, so it’s a good excuse for him to see different places and hang out and have to watch other horses running around and doing stuff. He’s like a giant dog, really, and also a very comfy way to teach!

National Holiday: National Homemade Bread Day (IT’S MY HOLIDAY!)

Major Events This Weekend:

Mitsubishi Motors Australian International Three-Day Event [Website] [Entries] [Live Scores]

Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day International Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

News from Around the Globe:

Allison Springer Eventing has an immediate opening to join the team as the head groom. This job offers the opportunity to groom at the top levels of eventing with a great string of upper level event horses competing internationally. The head groom will have the opportunity to travel to events around the country and potentially the globe. [Be Allison Springer’s Head Groom]

Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, presented the Area VIII Young Riders Program a generous $2,000 donation to support their goal of attending the 2018 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). [EEI Donates to Area VIII YR]

Nine-year-old jumper Caracas had an occasional weird jump and slightly high fever when he went into Rood & Riddle in Wellington FL, but they discovered a 27 pound tumor in the horse’s abdomen. With only a 5% chance of survival, he beat the odds and is now back in the equitation ring winning ribbons. [Life Saving Surgery with 27lb Tumor]

Best of Blogs: No More Metal Saddle Racks

 

It was Oliver’s birthday this week, so let’s relive Ballaghmor Class winning Burghley for him this fall: 

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Photo by Shannon Brinkman, shared by Ocala Jockey Club 3 Day Event FB.

There is something completely entrancing about photos from the jog where the horse is staring directly at the camera. Forget the people, that’s not interesting to me, but horses? When they seem to know exactly where the camera is on the runway? Totally wonderful. Hat tip to Shannon Brinkman who alway seems to find this shot no matter where she is.

National Holiday: National Fast Food Day

Major Events This Weekend:

Mitsubishi Motors Australian International Three-Day Event [Website] [Entries] [Live Scores]

Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day International Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

News from Around the Globe:

Action from Ocala Jockey Club Three Day Event kicks off today. A deep field has assembled for the CIC three-star and CCI two-star divisions, with more than 170 riders from 10 countries competing. Riders representing Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Great Britain, Hungary, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the United States are scheduled to compete, said Page. The 2016 Olympic individual bronze medalist, Phillip Dutton, has seven rides. [Ocala Event Has International Flavor]

Get a mule, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Smokey Joe is a mule who is also an incredible klutz. “He’s very surefooted when he wants to be — “wants” is the key word. Yes, he can climb mountains, navigate narrow trails and rock hop without taking a wrong step or missing a beat, but on flat ground he trips over his own four feet. See, he has an insatiable appetite. I really should have named him “Hoover”: not after the president, after the vacuum.” [Hot On Horse Nation]

Remember Billy and Blaze? I grew up reading the iconic books of C.W. Anderson, based on 1936’s Billy and his amazing pony Blaze, who conquered a ton of different situations together. They’re making a movie! And you can be in it! Tomorrow they’re shooting a scene at the Warrenton show grounds and looking for extras. Click here to find out more: [Billy & Blaze Casting Call]

 

 

 

Product Review: Horseware Ireland Rambo Cozy Fleece

The Rambo Cozy Fleece looks and feels stunning on any horse. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Brrr, it’s getting cold in here! With freshly clipped horses abounding, it’s time to dig out the warm and toasty rugs for the incoming winter weather. Most of our horses are still in full work, which means they’re now naked and getting baths after sweating from their workouts. This is where the Horseware Ireland Rambo Cozy Fleece comes in, and you’ll never want for another winter fleece again.

If ever there was an aptly named blanket, this is the one. Let me tell you, cozy doesn’t even begin to describe the texture of this blanket. I want to steal it from my horse and wrap up in it myself! It is literally the most snuggly. The Rambo Cozy Fleece is made from high quality double bonded, anti-pilling fleece and features a stylish and snug padded collar to keep in the warmth.

This blanket is perfect for when you’ve finished your ride and it’s just too chilly for a light irish knit to do the job. It is warm and cozy, but it’s not overbearing and heavy. It’s great for using both in the barn, or in the trailer traveling to a show or a lesson. Because of the special anti-pill material, you also don’t have to worry about this fleece falling apart on you, or turning into a strange surface over time.

The Rambo Cozy Fleece features the classic cut and design that we all know and love from Horseware, and includes double front closures and cross surcingles to keep it well fitted and properly adjusted for movement around the stall.

I also admit that I really love the royal blue color, as it tends to look handsome on almost all colors of horses, and the detailing of the checkerboard pattern on the inside gives it an extra pop.

The rolled neckpiece on this blanket is also really wonderful, as it keeps the warmth in and goes a little further up the neck than most coolers. This is a wonderful feature for horses with big shoulders like mine, because he always falls prey to the dreaded slip back with lower cut blankets, leaving his chest open and exposed to the clasps in the front.

I love this blanket, and highly recommend it without reservations. It’s also on sale right now for $179 through Horseware Ireland, but can also be found at many of your local tack stores.

 

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

 

When your horse is trying to figure out how to horse (insert eye roll). Photo by Kate Samuels.

Ok, I can’t be the only one who is already planning what to bake for Thanksgiving, can I? I feel safe in saying that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, mostly because of gravy and stuffing, TBH. I’m from a southern family too, so basically you have to starve yourself for days beforehand and afterwards in order to cope with the caloric intake. That’s normal, right?

National Holiday: National Vanilla Cupcake Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

River Glen Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Unfortunately, we can confirm that the B-sample from Julia Krajewski’s horse confirms the A-sample. The tests confirmed positive for Firocoxib, also known as Previcox and Equioxx. For now, Julia has 21 days to decide whether she accepts an administrative sanction or requests a hearing before the FEI Tribunal regarding her situation. [Samourai du Thot Drug Results]

What happens when your girth snaps in two over a CCI2* fence on cross country? Ginny Howe found out the hard way, when her girth simply popped and split apart while she was riding Echo P at Osberton. Despite the unusual tack malfunction, she jumped the fence and kept galloping for a bit until she realized the saddle had slipped rather far back. Luckily, she was able to safely pull up! [Video: Girth Breaks on XC]

Hot on Horse Nation: TIP Youth Ambassadors of the Month

Hot on Horse Nation Pt 2: If Horse Sales Texts Were Honest

 

First peek at Lauren Keiffer’s new mount, Hindine! (please peep the Michael Buble on the speakers)

 

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Virginia in the fall is literally unreal. Photo by Carly Eddahri.

I know that it’s already snowed in lots of places this fall, but I live in Virginia, and I was hoping to keep hold of my southern status a little longer. Unfortunately, Virginia decided to skip fall this year, and go straight from 80 degrees to 20. Sometimes both in one twenty-four hour period! No, I’m not busy changing blankets every four hours, why do you ask?

National Holiday: National Scrapple Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

River Glen Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Did you know that Nereo and Armada are full brothers? Bred by Ramón Beca and sourced by Andrew Nicholson, these two look-alike blood brothers each have a fantastic record at CCI4* and below. In fact, they are the only two horses in the world to have posted 15 clear cross country rounds at CCI3* and CCI4* each. Armada has four clear and inside the time rounds at Badminton on his record, but his brother Nereo has three, one of which was a win this spring. [Equiratings: Blood Brothers]

Zara Tindall might be actual royalty, but she’s earned her place at the top in the Eventing world too. Having won an individual gold and team silver at the WEG in 2006, Zara remains one of the top competitors in our sport, and was kind enough to look back on her career and share her thoughts with The National for this interesting article. [Zara Tindall on Inspiring Women and Horses in Her Life]

Eric Winter has big plans for Badminton 2018. Having enjoyed his inaugural year as course designer this past spring, Eric wants to bring old style cross country back to the forefront at the famous venue, and plans to give it a big facelift for 2018. [Badminton Cross Country Changes]