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Leslie Threlkeld


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Who Jumped It Best? Carolina International CIC3*

“You’re going to sit back and ride this confidently, or you’re going to cry for your mommy.” That was course designer Ian Stark’s advice for negotiating the huge log drop at the Ship’s Quarters water complex at Carolina International.

And the riders did sit back and ride, but whether your horse dropped in quietly or launched up and out, the key was to quickly organize for the B element, a big brush corner at the top of a mound. It was a test of bravery, communication and good footwork, and it was an awesome complex to sit and watch.

Check out these seven CIC3* competitors and decide which horse and rider pair present the best overall picture. Then vote in the poll below for who you think jumped it best.

Carolina Links: Website, Final Results, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Instagram

Will Faudree and Hans Dampf. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Maya Simmons (stirrup-less!) and Archie Rocks. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Maya Simmons (stirrup-less!) and Archie Rocks. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Maya Simmons and her 9-year-old Thoroughbred Archie Rocks were having a good round on their first Advanced cross country course at Carolina International, but after they dropped into the first water complex, something unusual happened. Look closely and you’ll see in the above photo that Maya has lost both of her stirrups, which will in a few strides fall completely away from her saddle and land with a thud in the galloping lane.

In an awesome display of determination and athleticism, Maya chose to continue on anyway. To the wild cheers of the onlookers, they made it most of the way around the course until Maya popped out of the tack at the tricky coffin combination, but it gave us all a great thrill and was the ultimate inspiration for strengthening that lower leg by practicing regularly without stirrups.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Carolina International CIC and H.T.: [Website] [Live Stream] [Results] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

Poplar Place Farm March H.T.: [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

To better understand how contact patterns may contribute to the spread of disease, researchers have attached small radio frequency identification tags to horses and their handlers at several equine facilities in Canada. The tags record who comes in contact with who and for how long. The detailed contact pattern data gathered from the study will be useful in many areas of equine research. [Study Tracks Real Time Contact Between Horses and Humans]

The organizers and officials at the Burgham International Horse Trials in the UK made the difficult decision to cancel the weekend’s competition, which included a CIC3* and CIC2*, due to weather conditions that made the footing inadequate. Patricia Clifton, the FEI Technical Delegate, said, ‘…their whole approach has been so wonderfully positive with nothing but the interests of the athletes, horses and owners at heart. How lucky we are to have organising teams like this.” [Burgham International Cancelled]

Thoroughbred racehorse trainer Bob Baffert once believed that if he could make it to Rillito Park on the “on the grits-and-hard-toast circuit,” he’d be set for life. Now 64, he’s a Hall of Fame trainer whose many victories include the World Cup in Dubai and a sweep of the Triple Crown of racing with American Pharoah. He has a new star student in his barn, Arrogate, the heavy favorite for this year’s World Cup. [Hard Work, Failure and Passion: How a Horse Trainer Made It]

Monday Video:


It was a great wrap-up to a fabulous 2017 Carolina International, enjoy highlights from the CIC3* cross country!

Posted by EQSportsNet on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lizzy Jahnke and Princeton Jump to Victory in Poplar Place CIC3*

Lizzy Jahnke and Princeton. Photo by Jenni Autry. Lizzy Jahnke and Princeton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Poplar Place Farm hosted a Beginner Novice through Advanced horse trials plus CIC*, CIC2* and CIC3* competition this weekend in Hamilton, Ga., and Lizzy Jahnke and Princeton, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Light Speed Equestrian, were the ultimate winners of the CIC3*, finishing on their dressage score of 57.1. They were second after the first phase, but they delivered a fault-free show jumping round and went clear and fast on cross country, finishing three seconds under optimum time, to secure their first FEI win.

“He is an incredible horse with a captivating personality and the biggest heart,” Lizzie said. “I’ve been working really hard on the dressage and it’s been getting better and better. There’s still lots of places to make improvements but I was really happy with the test overall. The show jumping was fantastic. I had a forward smooth round. He just went in the ring and jumped out of his skin.

“The cross country was great as well. I was a little worried about the first water as we had a bounce of two houses going in and that’s something I hadn’t done before, but everything rode really well. He’s a really fast horse and he’s incredibly rideable, so I knew if I let him go I could be close to the time.”

Princeton, also known as “Kiwi” had been previously campaigned by another Lizzie (Green) of New Zealand. Lizzy Jahnke partnered with the gelding with the help of Joe (also a Kiwi) and Ruthie Meyer. In the last year-and-a-half Lizzy and Princeton have made their way up the levels. In two weeks they will head to The Fork followed by the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in May with the ultimate goal of competing in the USEF CCI3* Championship at Fair Hill International in October.

“Overall it was a great weekend,” Lizzy summarized. “The weather was perfect and we even got a little rain overnight which helped soften up the footing. Poplar Place does a great job having everything organized and it’s a beautiful venue with lots of terrain.”

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Joe and Madison and Theresa Foote, are entered for Rolex Kentucky next month and had a good prep run at Poplar. A 59.3 positioned them in third place after dressage. They show jumped double clear over Jan Brodkin’s course and added 5.2 time penalties on the Tremaine Cooper designed cross country course to finish in second over all.

Joe and Chantil Ruud’s Johnny Royale finished fifth in the 8-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred’s first CIC3* appearance, adding a rail and 6.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 65.2.

Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage moved up from sixth after dressage, adding no jumping or time penalties to their initial score of 66.8 in their very first CIC3*. EN has followed Chelsea and “Dante’s” special partnership as they progressed up the levels. Click here to read more about Chelsea and her 18-hand Thoroughbred/Percheron cross.

Jennie Jarnstrom and her 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Penelope were first after dressage, but a rail and some time penalties on cross country dropped them down to a fourth place finish overall. William Hoos and the Harpeth Valley Equestrian Team’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Celtic Rhythm finished sixth.

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Karl Slezak picked up two big wins this weekend. He and Katlyn Hewson’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Cascum Marco were the only pair in the CIC2* to finish on their dressage score to win on 55.6. Karl also won the Advanced division with a final score of 54.9 riding his own 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Wishes in the gelding’s first Advanced competition.

Ashley Hays and her 9-year-old Holsteiner Call It Courage were sixth after dressage in the CIC2*, scoring 59.8. They moved up to third after show jumping and added 3.6 time penalties on cross country to finish second overall on 67.4 in their very first two-star. Jackie LeMastus and the very experienced Tatton Winter round out the top three, moving up from eighth with a final score of 82.9.

In the CIC*, Autumn Schweiss and her 8-year-old Belgium Warmblood Jive About Wonderland finished on their dressage score to win on 49.9. They were the only pair to show jump double-clear, and a clear and fast round on cross country gave them the win with nearly 10 points to spare.

Denise Goyea and her 9-year-old Oldenburg mare Highlife’s Je T’aime took the early lead on 49.4. While they didn’t add any jumping penalties on show jumping or cross country, time faults in both phases resulted in a second place overall finish in the pair’s first FEI appearance.

Elissa Gibbs and A Proper Gentleman, Kathleen Fitzgerald’s 12-year-old Sport Horse, were ninth after dressage, but a one rail show jump round and double-clear cross country moved them well up the standings to finish in third place.

Congratulations to all the horses and riders at Poplar Place. Click the link below for complete scores. Go Eventing.

Poplar Place Farm March H.T.: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Liz Halliday-Sharp & Matt Brown Win Carolina International CIC2*/CIC*

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp’s Deniro Z has won his second two-star this spring with a wire-to-wire win in the Matt Faudree & Attwood Equestrian Surfaces CIC2* at Carolina International. The 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood took the lead in a huge division of 62 starters on a dressage score of 41.7. A double clear show jumping round gave them some breathing room for cross country, where they added only 1.6 time penalties today for a final score of 43.3.

Deniro has had an impressive career so far, with numerous national wins and four international wins since 2016. Liz told EN last month that she was hoping to syndicate Deniro and is excited to announce that they do have new owners for him and she he will be staying in her barn.

“He’s just unreal. It’s funny because I think he’s really kind of coming into himself. We weren’t really sure what kind of horse he’d be. He’s always been a sale horse and he’s become this really awesome dude,” Liz said. “I really think he’s a top horse… I think the two of us get on very well, which is important, and it’s nice when you’ve produced them from the beginning to really know the horses.”

Deniro came to Liz in the summer of 2015 from Francis Whittington. He had little experience, but won his first event and showed promise on cross country. He kept winning and kept progressing from there. “Each level you challenged him, he said ‘okay, I can do that.’ He’s very much his own person, but he really likes the party. He gets it and he likes to compete. He nearly always goes in the ring and delivers.”

Niro will head to the Ocala CCI2* next month. Liz’s next goal with him this year is to do the Blenheim Young Horse CIC3* for 8/9 Year Olds. “He nearly could do an Advanced now, it’s just solidifying him at each step of the way.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars’ 15-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Demeter redeemed themselves from a fly by at Red Hills two weeks ago with a clear round and two time penalty points to secure a second place finish today on a 47.2.

Hannah Sue said she had walked the course this morning with Karen O’Connor and formulated a plan with the help of Demi’s former rider Marilyn Little. “I stuck to that plan and it worked really well,” Hannah Sue said.

“It’s very different to how I ride my other horses in cross country. They go in the contact in the gallop and she doesn’t like that at all. By fence 5 I figured that out. Then she took a breath and was so much fun. I had a blast. Everything rode great and she felt like my horse… I felt like I could have run around Kentucky.”

Coming third was Kylie Lyman and Joan Nichols’ Cooley Ice, who made a steady march up the leaderboard throughout the weekend. They started in seventh with a 49.2 and finished on that score for third place. Bobby Meyerhoff and his own Fortuna also finished on their dressage score of 53.7, vaulting up the places from 28th after dressage to ultimately claim fourth. Will Coleman and the Conair Syndicate’s Soupcon du Brunet made a similar leap, going from 17th to fifth with only four time penalties to add to their dressage score of 51.6.

Only four two-star competitors rode double-clear on cross country today: Arden Wildasin and Kineo, Tayler Stewart and Ideal Contini, Bobby and Fortuna, and Kylie and Cooley Ice. Bobby and Kylie were the only two riders to finish on their dressage score. Way to go!

Kylie Lyman and Cooley Ice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

After a minor injury in 2015, the Blossom Creek Foundation’s BCF Belicoso has returned to competition in excellent form. Scoring a 37.5 for a tie for third in dressage, Matt Brown piloted “Holden” to two double-clear jumping rounds to win the Landmark’s Young Event Team CIC*.

“After he was an alternate for the Pan American Games, he had a fairly minor tendon injury and we gave him a lot of time,” Matt said. “I think the break and the time rebuilding him was actually really good for him because he feels a lot stronger. He doesn’t have the base of fitness obviously so we need to take our time and build him up, but he’s just a super horse to have in the barn.

“His dressage I think has come along the most because we’ve been doing a lot flat work during the rehab. I was really happy with his dressage test and this event i actually wasn’t freaking out the whole time cross country worrying about him. I let him gallop a bit more. He feels great. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

The plan is to run Holden at another Intermediate or two-star at Fair Hill before targeting a CIC3*. “I’m going to really try to get him as fit as I can. He’s the opposite of Super Socks BCF and needs a lot of fitness, so that will be our primary goal this year: get him really fit and confident and see where we go.”

Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Contessa hunted down the top spot throughout the competition, moving from second after dressage to third with 2.4 time and finally settling in for second place after a double clear show jumping round today. Valerie Vizcarrondo and Favian added one rail to their score today to finish on 41.8 in third place.

Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle moved up from 13th after dressage to finish fourth on a 45.8, having added two second of time on cross country and another 2 second today in show jumping. Will Faudree and Michel 233 round out the top five, finishing on their dressage score and moving up from 22nd after dressage.

That wraps up the FEI divisions at Carolina International. The national divisions finish up tomorrow with the Advanced show jumping first thing in the morning. But the EN team isn’t done yet! We’ll be back with more from #CICIC.

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso Move Into First After Cross Country in Carolina CIC*

Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The CIC* competitors were the first to tackle Ian Stark’s cross country course this week at the Cloud 11 ~ Gavilan North Carolina International in Southern Pines, NC and the big, imposing course had its effect on the leaderboard.

Out of 65 horse and rider combinations to leave the start box today, eight went double-clear. One of those was Matt Brown and The Blossom Creek Foundation’s BCF Belicoso, who moved into the lead on their dressage score of 37.5.

Boyd Martin and Long Island T, the leaders after dressage, picked up 8.4 time penalties and dropped to sixth place. Boyd and Contessa, owned by Densey Juvonen, Gloria Callen, Fernanda Kellogg and Kelly Morgan, added 2.4 time penalties to sit third after cross country.

Valerie Vizcarrondo and her own Favian moved into second with a double-clear round and a two-phase score of 37.8. Clayton Fredericks and FE Vindus, owned by Clayton, Eckart Siewert, Amanda Bernhard and Diana J. Crawford, crossed the finish line only one second over optimum time and are fourth with 39.4. Jennie Brannigan and Tim and Nina Gardner’s FE Lifestyle were two seconds over time and move into fifth with 43.8.

Lucia Strini and Plain Dealing Farm’s MTF Cooley Classic added 3.6 time and moved up from 11th to seventh after cross country carrying a score of 45.5. Will Faudree and Michel 233, owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, posted a double clear round, making a huge move from 22nd after dressage to eighth on 46.0.

Katherine Christopher riding Lisa Borgia’s Frodo of the Shire and Lizzie Snow riding Dan and Diane Snow’s West River were tied for 24th after dressage. Both went double-clear on cross country, crossing the finish in 5:46 seconds. They will head to the final phase tied for tenth place.

Tomorrow will as busy as today, with the CIC2* and CIC3* running cross country and the CIC* finishing up in the show jumping ring. Click here for a full schedule and click here for all of EN’s Coverage of the 2017 #CICIC.

Now here’s a photo gallery of the rest of the CIC* top 10 after cross country. Go Eventing.

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Valerie Vizcarrando and Favian. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Contessa. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Clayton Fredericks and FE Vindus. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lucia Strini and MTF Cooley Classic. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Will Faudree and Michel 233. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Elena Hengel and Roll of Thunder. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Katherine Christopher and Frodo of the Shire. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lizzie Snow and West River. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z Hold Tight to CIC2* Lead at Carolina International

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and her 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Deniro Z jumped double-clear over Marc Donovan’s show jumping course this morning to retain their lead in the Matt Faudree & Attwood Equestrian Surfaces CIC2* at Carolina International. They will move forward to cross country on a 41.7.

“Dinero was great. He went in and sort of lit up in the ring. I don’t think he breathed on a pole,” Liz said. “He’s quite a forward moving horse so I think the course really suited him. He’s obviously a big jumper and really scopey so you do have to make sure you keep the back end coming. He’s a great horse, he tries really hard.”

Liz and Elarona, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, sadly did not repeat their clear round effort from the CIC2* at Pine Top last month, and they dropped outside of the top 20 after dropping three rails in show jumping today. Liz said she still believes she’ll be a big time horse for the future.

“She was just hunting at the front rails a bit. She is very tricky anyway; she’s a very difficult horse to ride. She jumped amazing in warm-up. I thought everything was good to go and then she was quite a different ride in the ring. It would be a lot more atmosphere and everything than she’s ever seen. I’m not worried. She’s a great jumper and there’s a lot more to come from her.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter posted a beautiful double-clear to move into second place on 45.2. Hannah Sue and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars are a new partnership, but you wouldn’t have known it watching their lovely, fluid round today.

“She’s so fantastic in the show jumping. It’s really fun. She was jumping so high in warm-up and then got in the ring and got a bit tense, but she knows her job and reads the rails really well. Marilyn (Little) has obviously done a really good job training her in that phase.”

On cross country tomorrow, Hannah Sue plans to take it easy and continue working on their partnership. “I’m going to start out slow and make sure we have communication. It’s not the goal to win this event. We’ll see how she feels. If we’re gelling really easily right off the bat then we’ll pick up the pace a little bit. It’s all just getting to know each other.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cornelia Dorr and her 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding Louis M dropped a single rail that moved them down only one placing. They are now tied for third on 48.4 with Phillip Dutton and Corazon, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by David Garrett, who jumped a clear round to move up from sixth.

Kylie Lyman and Joan Nichols’ 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse Cooley Ice had a fault-free trip to move up two places to fifth place. They move forward to the final phase on a 49.2. Close behind on 49.7 is Emily Beshear and the Deep Purple Eventing’s 11-year-old mare Silver Night Lady, who moved up from tenth to sixth with a lovely clear.

Boyd Martin and Tura Lura, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Gloria Callen and Nancy Hathaway, are seventh on an even 50.0. Allison Springer and Lord Willing, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate, moved up from 14th to eighth and move ahead on their dressage score of 50.6.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monaco, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned and bred by Jacqueline Mars, are ninth on 51.1.  William Coleman and the Conair Syndicate’s 11-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Soupcon du Brunet round out the top ten with a clear round for a 51.6, moving up from 17th after dressage.

There were 23 double-clear rounds out of 61 horses that jumped in the CIC2*. Laura VanderVliet’s Magnum’s Martini pulled up halfway around after he partially dislodged a front shoe. Laura’s partner Nilson Moreira da Silva dashed into the ring and had the shoe off in seconds. Morgan McCue unfortunately parted ways with Abecca GS at the second element of the triple combination, but she was up quickly and horse and rider walked out together.

The CIC3* is show jumping right now and the CIC* cross country will get underway at 3:00 p.m. Stay tuned for more from Carolina International!

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Liz Halliday-Sharp & Boyd Martin Take Command of CIC2*/CIC* at Carolina

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Liz Halliday-Sharp’s Deniro Z and Elarona finished first and second, respectively, in the first CIC2* attempt for both horses last month at Pine Top Farm, and they’re in a good position to repeat their impressive performance this weekend.

On the final day of dressage for the Matt Faudree & Attwood Equestrian Surfaces CIC2* at Carolina International, 9-year-old Deniro posted a score of 41.7, vaulting into the lead ahead of overnight leader Cornelia Dorr and Louis M with a 44.4. Liz and 7-year-old Elarona scored 45.0, squeaking into third ahead of Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter on 45.2.

“I was thrilled with both of them. They both tried really hard,” Liz said. “Elarona can be a little tricky in the mouth and challenging in warm-up but she was very good in the test. Both horses are figuring out they go down the centerline and do their job. They enjoy it and it’s pleasure to ride them.”

Show jumping is still to come for the CIC2* tomorrow, and both of the Dutch Warmbloods were double-clear at Pine Top on the grass, which may prove to be a good prep for Marc Donovan’s course on natural ground here at Carolina.

Liz was just having a first look at Ian Stark’s cross country course when we spoke to her this afternoon, but she said she will probably go for it with Deniro to prepare for his next outing at the Ocala CCI2*. Elarona is still green at the level, she said. “She’s very brave, but it’s the rideability we’re working on for her. We’ll go for a good, solid, positive run and keep getting her confidence up.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Elarona. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding Louis M is a horse EquiRatings calls a “first phase freak” for his proficiency in the sandbox. Eventing 25 Developing Rider Cornelia Dorr, 19, is having the experience of a lifetime learning from this talented horse, previously ridden to the CIC3* level by Pia Münker of Germany.

“Before I got him, dressage was one of my weakest phases and he’s helping to make it one of my strongest ones and helping me to know what is correct, what’s not and how to ask for things and teach things correctly,” Cornelia said. “It’s amazing riding him and it’s a really cool feeling. He definitely doesn’t give it to you; you have to ask correctly and well, but he’s such a teacher.”

Cornelia and Louis finished 13th in their first FEI event at Plantation Field last September and won the CCI* at Hagyard Midsouth the following month. Carolina is the pair’s first two-star together and they’re kicking it off right to sit second after dressage in a huge division of 62 starters. They had a small bobble when Louis cantered in the first half-pass, but Cornelia was quick to excuse him.

“I wish I had gotten him a bit more in front of my leg going in and that’s why I had the one mistake,” she said. “I think I just had my leg way too far back and he’s so sensitive. That was a bit too bad, but he’s so good and I love riding him.”

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by Jenni Autry.

In fourth place after dressage is Hannah Sue Burnett and the crowd favorite RF Demeter, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars. they scored a 45.2, which is 0.3 points better than at Red Hills two weeks ago, but Hannah Sue felt it was a significantly improvement.

“I feel like every time I ride her she and I click more and more. I felt really good about today,” Hannah Sue said. “The canter work is more tough for me–I feel like she gets away from me a little–but in the trot I feel like I can really start to push. I thought it was quite a bit better than Red Hills but I’m really happy with her. I think we’re progressing.”

With seven years of experience competing at the CIC3* level and above, RF Demeter is an experienced horse and Hannah Sue is forcing herself to adapt to the mare’s style. “I’m not training this horse, I’m training myself to ride this horse. It’s really challenging and exciting to see if I can do it,” Hannah Sue said.

“I hope I don’t disappoint everyone but at the same time she has nothing to prove at all. I’m just studying all the tape I can find of Marilyn and ‘Demi’ and I talk to Marilyn a lot. She’s been really helpful. I don’t intend on busting around this weekend. I want to get to know her and make her happy. She’s a sweet horse and I want to do right by her.”

Hannah Sue Burnett and RF Demeter. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

In the Landmark’s Young Event Team CIC*, Boyd Martin holds the top two positions. The Long Island T Syndicate’s Long Island T held his overnight lead on a 35.5 and his barn mate Contessa is not far behind on 35.8.

Long Island T is an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding campaigned at the two-star level for several seasons by Canadian Olympian Peter Barry. Boyd and “Ludwig” ran around several horse trials this winter but this will be their first FEI appearance together.

“Long Island T is a new horse for me and is taking a bit of time to get the hang of, but I feel like we’re getting a bit of a partnership now,” Boyd said. “In the jumping dept he’s completely the opposite of my style. He likes a lot more support to the fences, so I’m working hard to adjust my riding to suit him.”

Boyd said Ludwig is “absolutely sensational” on the flat and in today’s eventing world, horse and rider combinations need to be higher on the leaderboard after the first phase to stand a chance at a major championship so Boyd is “trying to pick the horses that not only jump and gallop but also have extravagant movement and presence in the dressage.”

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd plans to use tomorrow’s cross country as a schooling round and won’t likely run for time. With Contessa, however, he will “probably have a bit more of a crack at it.”

Boyd described the 8-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Densey Juvonen, Gloria Callen, Fernanda Kellogg and Kelly Morgan, as a feisty mare who seems to prefer the FEI events that take place over more days than a regular horse trials. “I think she could be a big time horse. She’s green, hot, a little nervous. She doesn’t like to be rushed. She likes to settle in and get a feel for the rings.”

Tied for third place in the one-star on a 37.5 is is Matthew Brown with BCF Belicoso and Lynn Symansky with Neptune. BCF Belicoso is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by the Blossom Creek Foundation and is competing in his first FEI event back since Jersey Fresh in 2015. Neptune, an 8-year-old Anglo-Trakehner owned by Lea Hansen, is making his first FEI appearance.

Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The CIC2* and CIC3* will show jump tomorrow morning, and the CIC* will run cross country in the afternoon. Dressage starts for the horse trials divisions. It’s going to be a busy day!

Click here to read Jenni Autry’s report on the CIC3* dressage. Follow EN on Instagram for tons of extra photos, and stay tuned for much more from Carolina International.

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Carolina International: Day One Snapshots

In what will develop into a busy week at the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC, today felt fairly low key. It was only the first of three (yes, three) days of dressage, and while each of the CIC divisions got underway, the majority of horses and riders are still arriving and settling into the barns.

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Smile! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Greeting neighbors. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Just a sip, thanks. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

It was indeed a blustery day, with the wind whipping the flags around and sending us all to our vehicles for extra layers.

USEA’s Shelby Allen bundling up against the wind. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Wandering around the grounds during breaks, I inadvertently created a #DogsofEN collection, Carolina edition:

Robert Costello closely watches a student in the arena. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Jon Holling and his dog share a moment. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Press officer extraordinaire Allie Conrad and her pack of sweet pups. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Laine Ashker and a little helper assisting in the barn area. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Here are a few extra snaps from the CIC2*…

…And the CIC*…

And shoutout to these next two riders for their careful color coordination, with subtle pink and elegant blue points in their outfits to complement the ear bonnets. Nicely done!

Mikaela Kantorowski and Ringfort Swan Song. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Erika Nesler and Right Above It. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Be sure you click over to Jenni Autry’s review of the standings at the end of the day, including quotes from the leaders and a heavy dose of “girl power.” Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Coverage from the 2017 #CICIC, follow us on Instagram for more photos and Chinch adventures, and stay tuned for much more!

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram, EN’s Coverage

Sneak Peek: The Fork Horse Trials at Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Fork Horse Trials will take place at its new home at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the first time April 5-9, 2017. Mark Bellissimo of Tryon Equestrian Partners and his team have been busy converting the neighboring White Oak golf course into a world class Advanced and CIC3* cross country course. EN was invited for an exclusive sneak peek at the new track last week and to learn more about the vision for the course. Thanks to TIEC for the tour and thanks for reading. Go Eventing.

The view from "spectator's hill." Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The view from “spectator’s hill.” Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“I’ve played golf once in my life, but every time I see a golf course I want to gallop down the middle of the fairway,” Tremaine Cooper said. For the Advanced and CIC3* competitors at The Fork Horse Trials coming up April 5-9 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, they’ll get the chance to do just that.

Tremaine has co-designed all The Fork’s cross country courses with Captain Mark Phillips, but the highlight of this event will be the new Advanced and CIC3* track built on neighboring land that was once the Arnold Palmer-designed White Oak golf course. As TIEC is the host site for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the course’s debut next month will give us a preliminary look at what’s to come for WEG.

While the course seems to have a natural flow, transforming a golf course into a top level cross country track was no easy feat. “The best courses design themselves,” Tremaine told EN. “There are beautiful gallops on the fairways, but connecting them all was the challenge. It was a little tricky with the river down the middle, but they widened all the bridges and they were reengineered so they have a nice line through them.”

Some of the existing terrain lends itself to certain types of jumping questions, but in other areas sand traps had to be filled in and tee boxes knocked out. “There isn’t as nice of turf on those areas, but they’re putting down their special footing mix on the newer ground. In the future it will be gorgeous.”

The massive new water complex. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The massive new water complex. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

One benefit to the golf course’s infrastructure is the built-in irrigation system that will be extremely valuable for maintaining the footing over time. During the event, you may notice the seemingly random placement of potted plants and other decorations. These may be covering sprinkler heads, drains and other irrigation equipment.

Besides the pressure of getting ready for WEG, The Fork has long been a critical prep event for Rolex-bound competitors. “It’s our responsibility to give them a good run before Rolex, and that was definitely in our minds when putting everything together. Hopefully we’ve accomplished that.”

The cross country course is just one of many projects taking place at TIEC in the lead up to WEG, but it’s clear that no expense has been spared to develop a proper track for the eventers.

“The team as a whole at Tryon, including Mark Bellissimo, they’re such long term visionaries,” said The Fork Organizer Shelley Page (who was an absolute trooper to give me a tour on a freezing, windy morning last week). “They don’t just look at the here and the now, they’ve already moved years down the road and are building at the far end of the vision. It’s really exciting to be involved in that kind of positive forward thinking.”

The bird’s eye view of the new cross country track on the former White Oak golf course. Image courtesy of Tremaine Cooper.

On cross country days, hospitality areas open to the public will be set up on multiple sections of both courses with convenient walking paths connecting them. On the new Advanced/CIC3* course, old golf cart paths are conducive to easy touring of the whole track, and a large hill by the lake has been cleared for spectators, where they can see much of the course from one location. TIEC always welcomes spectators free of charge, and with plenty of restaurants, shopping and kid friendly activities, The Fork will be a great outing for the whole family.

The Fork is utilizing the USEA’s new Volunteer Incentive Program website to organize the small army of volunteers necessary to pull off an event like this one. Anyone interested in signing up to help out can get more information at this link.

EN will be on the ground at The Fork to bring you all the news you need to know from the event.

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks + Server Updates

First show of the season and poppy was outstanding! She even brought home the Blue Next stop Texas Rose! #eventingallheart

A post shared by Samantha Tinney (@samanthatinney_eventing) on

It was Barb Crabo, in an interview at the 2013 AEC at the Texas Rose Horse Park, who said, “just get a nice book on tape and drive.” She wasn’t speaking to me specifically but I took her advice anyway, and I now spend much of my time on the road to events listening to books. Tonight, as I pulled up to the house returning home from Pine Top Horse Trials, I finished listening to “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, a true story about the U.S. 8-oar rowing team that won gold in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

It was a difficult time in World History, but the bulk of the story focused on the development of the University of Washington rowing team over several years and how they learned to overcome their personal struggles and work together. In the end, it was uninhibited trust in each other, harmony as a team, and unyielding determination that led to their success. My final thought as I turned off the engine was how similar that concept is to the relationship between horses and riders and all the partnerships like that that we witness every weekend. Go Eventing.

ATTENTION: EN’s servers are undergoing some upgrades and maintenance today, so we will be experiencing some downtime. Please bear with us as we have a lighter posting schedule than usual, and we will be back up and running very soon.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Exmoor H.T. [Website] [Results]

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Results]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Results]

Coming up on 3/21: Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Monday News and Notes:

Heads up Area V, a USEA Town Hall Meeting will take place at the Texas Rose Horse Park HT on Friday, March 31, 2017. Meet in the indoor arena 90 minutes prior to the competitor’s party. This is the second year Town Hall Meetings will take place around the country as a place where eventing enthusiasts can give their input on topics from eventing costs, to education to the future of the sport. Every voice can be heard in an open and respectful forum and the input will be compiled for consideration by the USEA. [Area V Town Hall: check this post here for firm details]

Katie Mays and Margot Luria are the first 2017 recipients of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. This award encourages riders for safe and appropriate cross country technique at events around the country, and Katie and Margo were rewarded by judge Janis Linnan for their performances at Pine Top Horse Trials February 23-26. The next Charles Owen Technical Merit competition will be at Coconino July 8-9. [Learn more about Katie and Margot and see the full schedule]

“Beneath a canopy of massive oaks, shrouded in Spanish moss, light dances on the dapples of an impressive bay at the starting gate.” The Tallahassee Democrat offers a colorful review of the 2017 Red Hills International Horse Trials. [Beneath the Oaks at the Red Hills Horse Trials]

Willberry Wonder Pony, the legacy of Hannah Francis, is gearing up for Badminton 2017. An event on April 11 will benefit the Willberry Wonder Pony charity, which raises funds for cancer research, will feature Badminton-bound event riders, course designer Eric Winter and will feature special talks and a live auction. [Willberry Does Badminton]

Monday Video: Black Horse Eventing on their way to taking second place in Intermediate Pairs at the 2017 Exmoor Eventing Hunter Trials.

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Employment Opportunities Around the Eventing Nation

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN each week. 

Sport Horse Nation is a classifieds site for more than just horses and saddles for sale. Real Estate and Rentals are a popular category when snowbirds start making their way South for the winter. Professional Services is a place where riders, trainers, clinicians, massage therapists, saddle fitters, graphic designers, social media managers and other experts advertise their businesses. We even have a Stallions section, created at the request of stallion owners wanting to distinguish their studs during the breeding season.

Then we have Employment Opportunities, the category from which we’ve pulled our featured listings this week. We’ve chosen a few random current listings to show you in this post (we’ve included the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information), but be sure to click over to the Employment Opportunities category page to view more equine industry job opps. Available positions range from rider to groom to working student to intercollegiate coach.


Working Student Required

An exciting opportunity has arisen for ambitious rider’s to experience life at Fredericks Equestrian International which is the base to 2 Olympic eventers in Ocala, FL. Immediate opening for a reliable, motivated and positive individual to work alongside our team to assist in all yard duties.The right candidate will be extremely motivated to learn about ALL aspects of an eventing program , a hard worker, and a good team player. Duties will include all daily chores, grooming, tacking, bathing, clipping, show grooming and travel, and depending on experience the opportunity to ride additional horses. Candidate must have own transportation. This is for a full time (6 days a week) live in position, we will provide accommodation and lessons both at home and shows. Working Students with a horse are required to pay a discounted training board rate. Position located in Ocala, FL.

Photo courtesy of Julie Hagen via Sport Horse Nation.

Photo courtesy of Julie Hagen via Sport Horse Nation.

Working Students- Start here first!

There are many working student positions out there. Many with upper level riders where you work hard, long hours and don’t ride anything on the bit very often, and some have to pay for board and/or housing. Well, Bascule is different. A range of FEI level trainers in Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping for our students. We have designed our program around riders who want to improve their skills; riding, training and management. If you want to find out if you have what it takes to make it in this business, come interview and see why we are called a “launch pad” for knowledgeable horsemen.

Yes, you clean stalls, water buckets, aisles etc…but you also ride 4 cool horses per day, get a minimum of 4 lessons per week, go schooling xc, compete in dressage shows, derbies and events. You aren’t grooming for anyone but yourself. Nice, livable furnished housing, internet, utilities, board for a horse all included. Our students also receive commissions on sale horses that they ride and compete, as well as a weekly stipend to pay for gas, food, shoes etc. Perfect if you want to take a “gap year” or hate college and know you can work hard to make a place for yourself in the industry. We also hire full time staff from our Resident Student program, and help year long graduates find good paying positions elsewhere. Position located in Poolesville, MD.

Photo courtesy of Karen Fulton via Sport Horse Nation.

Photo courtesy of Karen Fulton via Sport Horse Nation.

Job Opportunity as Barn Manager

Full Moon Farm is in search of a very special person to become our new Barn Manager. The candidate must have demonstrated skills in ALL aspects of horse care, facilities management, employee relations, and general client relational skills. Riding is NOT a requirement. This person must be fun, upbeat, and understand interpersonal relations. A non-smoker is a plus. Please email a resume to Karen at [email protected] Salary commensurate with experience. Position located in Finksburg, MD.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Furlong via Sport Horse Nation.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Furlong via Sport Horse Nation.

Groom for private barn

Full-time groom needed for private barn and breeding farm with dressage, event and fox hunting horses. Must ride at least to nov/Tr level.
No large pets. Salary, housing and benefits. Farms in NJ and FL.

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

New Zealand Names 2017 Eventing Squads

Mark Todd and NZB Campino. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Mark Todd and NZB Campino. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand has announced its 2017 high performance eventing squads, with five lists included in a tiered squad structure focused on long term development and major international championship teams.

The High Performance Squad includes horse and rider combinations being aimed towards the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC. The High Performance Futures Squad consists of combinations that have proven three-star performances with the potential to medal on the international stage. These combinations are being aimed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Future Potential Recognition Group recognizes riders with the skill, knowledge and expertise to produce a horse to high performance level. These riders are actively training and competing horses of future potential but have not attained the performances required of the High Performance Squads. However, these riders may participate in select squad training sessions and events on targeted horses. Shoutout to U.S.-based Kiwi Joe Meyer for being named to the Future Potential Recognition Squad!

ESNZ’s Talent Development and Talent ID programs target New Zealand-based riders. The Future Potential Recognition, Talent Development and Talent ID Squads are listed here.

All but the Talent ID Squad, which is named only once a year, will be re-evaluated in June based on performances over the next several months.

The High Performance and High Performance Futures Squads are:

High Performance Squad

Sir Mark Todd – NZB Campino owned by New Zealand Bloodstock and Todd

Sir Mark Todd – Leonidas II owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Todd

Jonelle Price – Classic Moet owned by Trisha Rickards and Price

Jonelle Price – Faerie Dianimo* owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Price

Tim Price – Ringwood Sky Boy owned by Robert Taylor, Varenna Allen, Price and

Tim Price – Bango owned by Numero Uno Syndicate

Blyth Tait – Bear Necessity V owned by Ronnie Bartlett and Tait

Clarke Johnstone – Balmoral Sensation owned by the Johnstone family

Caroline Powell – Onwards and Upwards owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford and Powell

High Performance Futures Squad

Jonelle Price – Cloud Dancer* owned by the Marley and Me Syndicate

Tim Price –  Xavier Faer owned by Trisha Rickards and Price

Sir Mark Todd – Kiltubrid Rhapsody owned by Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald

Jesse Campbell – Cleveland owned by Jesse Campbell

Jesse Campbell – Amsterdam 21* owned by Gary Harding

Dan Jocelyn – Dassett Cool Touch owned by Therese Miller and Jocelyn

Jock Paget – Angus Blue owned by Joe Gianamore

*denotes current short-term injury

[Depth of Talent in Revised Eventing Squads]

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Lift tickets for sale at the show office! Photo courtesy of Brian O'Connor. Lift tickets for sale at the show office! Photo courtesy of Brian O'Connor.

It’s not often there’s a snow delay at an event, but the conditions were such that the Ground Jury at the Southern Pines Horse Trials in North Carolina opted to cancel cross country on Sunday. It’s always a tough decision for officials to make, but we know they do it for the benefit of the competitors and applaud them for it. There’s always another show!

Weekend Action

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Results]

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Results]

Full Gallop March II H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

The Ocala Jockey Club is looking ahead to the second annual international three-day event this November. Shelley Page has come on board as the organizer for the CIC3*, CCI2* and CCI* competition November 16-19. Mike Etherington-Smith will design the CIC3* cross country while Clayton Fredericks is in charge of the one and two-star courses. Learn more at [OJC Set for November]

Eventing teams from colleges and universities around the country are gearing up to compete at the USEA Intercollegiate Championship at the Virginia Horse Trials in May, and the students are hard at work fundraising to make it happen! The Auburn Eventing Team is hosting an online auction to raise money to send teams to the Championship. Last year they we were able to raise enough money to pay the entry fees and stabling for a full team of four. This year they are trying to field two teams to give more of their members the opportunity to compete. They are currently seeking items to auction, from gift certificates to lessons to tack and other equipment or equine services. For more information or to donate directly, contact [email protected].

The Horseback Ride “N” Ruck March is an annual event that is held in order to raise funds for organizations that provide assistance to Veterans in need. In March 2017, Friend of eventing Margaux Gebers and Jeffry Silba will be traveling across the Western Texas, Trans Pecos Plains, covering 550 miles in 30 days to bring awareness, aid, and assistance to veterans, those who have gone too soon and their families. [Ride ‘N’ Ruck Facebook] [Ride ‘N’ Ruck Go Fund Me]

Monday Video:

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: 3 Preliminary Partners for the Junior or Adult Amateur

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN each week.

In this edition we’re featuring reliable partners suitable for the junior, young rider or Adult Amateur to take to Preliminary. We’ve included the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Western Samurai. Photo courtesy of Leah Breakey via Sport Horse Nation.

Western Samurai. Photo courtesy of Leah Breakey via Sport Horse Nation.

Western Samurai – Prelim JR/YR or AA horse

2008, 16.1hh TB gelding. Very brave and honest, scoring high 20s to low 30s in dressage. Has shown to the preliminary level and is a wonderful training packer. A quiet temperament makes Sam perfect for a JR/AA looking for a fun, confidence boosting eventing partner to move up the levels. Located in California.

Ombudsman. Photo courtesy of Elissa Gibbes via Sport Horse Nation.

Ombudsman. Photo courtesy of Elissa Gibbes via Sport Horse Nation.

Proven JR/AA Event Horse, Prelim potential

Ombudsman is a sound, brave, athletic ten year old TB. Bud is a 16.2hh bay gelding. Bud has competed successfully through novice eventing and is schooling training level. He has been competing with a junior rider. He is a good mover and easy to put together, he is honest and brave to his jumps, with good lead changes which makes it easy to maneuver to the next jump. He holds a consistent rhythm to his fences and typically jumps clean. He has the ability to move up the levels with a motivated YR or AA. Bud is an athletic horse with a lovely balanced canter. Bud has clean legs, no prior injuries or health concerns. We are looking to find him a long-term home, serious inquiries only. Additional video and pictures available on request, including XC videos. Located in Florida.

Delilah Z. Photo courtesy of Jennie Jarnstrom via Sport Horse Nation.

Delilah Z. Photo courtesy of Jennie Jarnstrom via Sport Horse Nation.

10yo 15.1hh Swedish Mare w/ Prelim Miles

“Delilah Z” is a 15.1hh 10 year old Swedish Warmblood mare by Papillon Z, competed successfully through Prelim with professional. Also taken numerous students from B/N through Training. Top places almost every start. Three uphill, balanced and very nice gaits. Superb jumper. Clean legs, no health issues. Great for farrier, clipping, shipping, ties to the trailer all day long at the show. Loves kids! We have used her a lot in our lesson program and she has graciously taken the role of teaching the kids and furthering their education. Located in Florida.

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

Alexandra Baugh Makes Her Move With Ballingowan Pizazz

Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz at NAJYRC. Photo by JJ Sillman. Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz at NAJYRC. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Baugh made the long anticipated move up to the Intermediate level at Pine Top Horse Trials last month, exactly a year after the first event with her new partner, Balligowan Pizazz. They were well prepared and Alexandra couldn’t have been happier. She and “Mango” took an early lead with a 31.7 in dressage. With one rail in stadium and a handful of time penalties across the country, they won their first Intermediate together with a handy 17.2 penalty points to spare.

Alexandra’s story starts like many little girls with a wild obsession for horses. She took her first riding lessons at age four as a birthday present. At 8, her grandmother took her to watch Rolex cross country and she was instantly hooked on eventing. Alexandra said, “I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, but I didn’t know anything about the sport. I went back to my trainer’s farm and started jumping and never looked back.”

Alexandra was competing at Preliminary level when she met Mango. Her pony Curioso was going to be maxed out at the one-star level, so her trainer Jorge Montalvo encouraged the family to start looking for Alexandra’s next horse. Her mom, Kelly, said when Alexandra rode Mango for the first time, “She was in love. The stars aligned and the angels were singing.”

Mango, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse, went to the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara with Shannon Lilley and was campaigned at the three-star level with Michael Pollard. Given the gelding’s experience, there was a learning curve for Alexandra. Dressage, she said, was a particular challenge.

“Curioso was an unbelievable pony and amazing at dressage, but he was no Mango,” Alexandra said. “When I got Mango he was so sensitive that I had to focus on being steady and more consistent and precise, which I think has made me a much better rider overall. He’s an unbelievable teacher.”

Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Alexandra and Mango won their first Preliminary/Training event together in February 2016. Later that spring they finished on their dressage score for seventh place at the Ocala CCI* and qualified to represent Area VIII at the NAJYRC in the summer, where they again finished on their dressage score and earned fourth place individually.

The pair spent the remainder of the year competing at Preliminary and Intermediate/Preliminary. “I was just trying to get to know him, making sure we established a connection and really get the basics down. My coach really wanted to make sure that I knew him well enough before he sent me out on an Intermediate course and make sure we understood each other so we wouldn’t make a communication error that would put us at risk.”

The patience paid off when they produced a foot-perfect performance at Pine Top. “The weekend was just amazing,” Alexandra said. “I felt really in tune with Mango and he was amazing, of course.”

Pine Top’s Derek di Grazia designed cross country course is known for being a true test of both bravery and accuracy, but Alexandra and Mango had done their homework.

“We left the start box and I felt like he took me to the first fence and together we rode the entire course. All the lines rode great, he listened very well and it just seemed like he was really enjoying himself out there, which makes it more fun for the both of us.”

For parents, watching their kids move up can be nerve wracking to say the least, but knowing her daughter was riding an experienced horse was a comfort for Kelly. “It gave me the confidence to think about letting her move up and go for her goals,” she said.

“You want your kids to live their dream and the best thing I can do is make sure she’s paired with a horse that’s a good match, safe and can teach her while she’s still learning. I’m very proud of her. She’s worked hard for every single thing she’s done.”

Kelly also wants to thank Alexandra’s longtime coach Jorge and the Dreamfield Farm family for their support, mentorship and training. “He goes above and beyond just coaching. He takes all of his students under his wing and treats them as his own children. I can’t thank him enough as a parent. I trust him implicitly and his whole family is like family to us.”

Looking ahead, Alexandra would like to return to NAJYRC again this year at the one-star level and if all goes according to plan, move up to two-star in the fall. Alexandra hopes that Mango will one day take her to Rolex or a spot on a U.S. team, but she and Kelly both agree there’s no hurry. “I just want to do my best and see where it all takes me.”

Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Alexandra Baugh and Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

The “r” B&C/CD Training Program for prospective officials took place this weekend at Sporting Days HT in Aiken. Such a training session is a requirement for individuals seeking to become a USEF Technical Delegate, Judge or Course Designer, but auditors are also welcome. If you ever have a chance to observe a training session, it is an incredible learning opportunity especially if you are an organizer, venue owner or coach. By the end of it you will have much better understanding (and appreciation) for the work done by officials, it will change the way you walk and evaluate courses, and you’ll be more educated about the sport in general. If you’re interested in becoming an official, click here.

Weekend Action

3/1 Full Gallop March H.T. [Website] [Results]

Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. [Website] Results]

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Results]

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

Think you can guess the top finishers at tomorrow’s $15,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix Invitational? As part of a fundraiser, the Canadian Young Riders are offering you the chance to pick your favorites at the competition at Southern Cross Equestrian in Reddick, Florida. Tickets to play are available at the event, which is free and open to the public. Click here for more information and a look at the entry list.

The second annual USEA Intercollegiate Championships returns to the Virginia Horse Trials in May. Colleges and universities from around the country are expected to field teams of collegiate riders to compete for top honors and the coveted Spirit Award. School pride, camaraderie and friendship runs strong at this team event, not to mention the competition is fierce, with last year’s victors winning by just a fraction of a point. There are no qualifications to compete, but your school must be a registered affiliate with the USEA. Don’t miss out! [USEA Intercollegiate Championship Returns to VHT]

Show jumper Laura Kraut retired her beloved partner Cedric at the Winter Equestrian Festival on March 3. Together they took the show jumping world by storm and brought home a team gold medal from the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games, among many other accolades throughout their career together. Laura looks back on some of her favorite memories. [Laura Kraut Relives Fondest Memories of Superstar Horse]

Young Thoroughbred racehorses are likely to have multiple sets of x-rays done by the time they are two years old. This affords scientists the opportunity to track radiographic abnormalities over time, and one common find it an abnormality in the stifle. Click the link to review the results of one researchers case study. [Stifle Abnormalities in Young Thoroughbreds]

Monday Video: Lainey Ashker and Flagmount’s Spartan rocking the Intermediate course at Rocking Horse.

Spartan’s (redeeming) intermediate xc GoPro from rocking horse HT

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Friday, March 3, 2017

Who Jumped It Best? Pine Top’s Training Level Hammock

We’re back with another edition of Who Jumped It Best from the recent Pine Top Horse Trials in Thomson, Georgia. Check out these Junior Training and Senior Training Riders over the imposing Hammock. Put on your George Morris hat and decide which horse and rider combination you think presents the best overall picture and then cast your vote in the poll below!

Thank you to official photographer Hoofclix for providing photos for all of our Pine Top coverage.

Pine Top: Website, Results, Instagram, Twitter, EN’s Coverage

Natalie Miller Epstein and Fanta. Photo by SCH/

Natalie Miller Epstein and Fanta. Photo by SCH/

Anne Hambleton and Should Expect. Photo by SCH/

Anne Hambleton and Should Expect. Photo by SCH/

Katie Mays and The Queen Bee. Photo by SCH/

Katie Mays and The Queen Bee. Photo by SCH/

Devyn Schranz and Third Time's The Charm. Photo by SCH/

Devyn Schranz and Third Time’s The Charm. Photo by SCH/

Sophie Tallman and Monty's Revenge. Photo by SCH/

Sophie Tallman and Monty’s Revenge. Photo by SCH/

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Oboe’s version of flirting…

A post shared by Will Coleman Equestrian (@willcolemanequestrian) on

It was another amazing weekend at Pine Top Farm full of sun and smiles. The FEI divisions knocked out all three phases on Friday, and some of those same competitors drove all night to compete at Three Lakes in Ocala the next day. Now that’s dedication! If you missed it, check out EN’s coverage of the event here and see what Chinch was up to on Instagram. Mark Lehner and the Hoofclix crew kindly provided photos of the competition each day for our posts. Pictures of all riders in all phases can be viewed here.

After the first two February Pine Tops I always feel like now we really hit the ground running with the Spring season. We’ve seen the Advanced horses have a run to knock off the rust and some of the up-and-comers take a crack at a new level. Next comes Red Hills, Carolina, The Fork, Rolex… and EN will be there at all of them. We’re looking forward to a great year!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Advanced CIC & H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes February H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Monday News and Notes:

If you’re in Ocala on Monday or Tuesday, auditors are welcome at the Canadian High Performance clinic with jumping genius George Morris and dressage master Christilot Boylen at Wentworth Farm. Top names like Jessica Phoenix, Selena O’Hanlon, Kyle Carter, Colleen Loach, Lesley Grant-Law, Lisa Marie Fergusson, Diana Burnett, Jessica Payne and Tik Maynard will be riding. The clinic runs 8:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. both days at 10690 NW 125th S., Reddick, FL 32686.

The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club has partnered with the Tryon International Equestrian Center to manage and produce the 71st annual Tyron Block House Steeplechase. This year’s race will be on April 15 with the highest total purse of the events history equaling $150,000. Hosted since 1988 at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) in Landrum, SC, the historic race will now be held on a new one-mile track in Columbus, NC. [Historic Tryon Block House Steeplechase Sets New Course]
Faced with a $3 billion deficit, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed to cut $30 million of state funding to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, home of the New Bolton Center, one of the busiest large animal hospitals in the nation. Directors at the school are optimistic that the cuts will not be included in the final version of the budget. [Budget Calls for Cuts to New Bolton]
The USEA’s ICP/FEH/YEH symposium took place in Ocala, FL last week with Chris Burton and Chris Ryan among the lineup of clinicians. The USEA covered the seminars in detail, which you can read about here, here and here.

Monday Video:

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Pony Power!

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN each week.

We’re pony lovers here at EN so we’re bringing back another power packed pony roundup for this week’s SHN Spotlight. We’ve included the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Batman. Photo courtesy of Susie Beale via Sport Horse Nation.

Batman. Photo courtesy of Susie Beale via Sport Horse Nation.

USEA 2016 Pony of The Year- Dream Event Pony For Sale

Batman is a soldier of a pony, lives to work, and well understands his job- that being to win. Batman took his 12 year old rider to USEA Beginner Novice Rider of the Year in 2016, won AEC’s, and was USEA Pony of the Year. He has that “look at me” quality in dressage- steady, soft, but still very expressive. Doesn’t miss a distance in the stadium, and loves leaving the start box- just point and shoot your way through the flags. This is a dream pony for a young eventer. Batman has plenty of experience to show you the ropes in style and bring home lots of ribbons along the way. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to own a once in a lifetime pony. Located in Georgia.

Mischief Managed. Photo courtesy of Cyndi Crosby via Sport Horse Nation.

Mischief Managed. Photo courtesy of Cyndi Crosby via Sport Horse Nation.

Fun, safe Eventing Pony perfect for small AA or Junior

Mischief Managed is a 2006 14.1 Arab Cross competing at the Novice level. She has three lovely gaits, lunges, ties, loads, stands for farrier, and has great ground manners. Training level dressage, jumps 3-foot courses. She is a bold and safe XC mount and has never received a XC penalty. A safe mount for a junior, or a petite amateur rider to learn the ropes of Eventing. Price negotiable to the perfect home. Located in North Carolina.

2017 Competition Highlights
7th – Sporting Days HT, Novice Division

2016 Competition Highlights
American Eventing Championships, Beginner Novice Division
1st – Heart of the Carolinas HT, Beginner Novice Division
5th – Full Gallop Farm August HT, Beginner Novice Division
5th – Paradise Farm HT, Beginner Novice Division

Experienced Superstar BN Event Pony

Accomplished 10 year old medium event pony. Confidence building mount. Fantastic USEA BN record/ consistently on nat’l leaderboard – schools novice with no issues. Good jumper. Super cute grey mare. Dream pony club mount. Good home a must. Located in Area VIII.

Heavenly Colors. Photo courtesy of Josh Schwartz via Sport Horse Nation.

Heavenly Colors. Photo courtesy of Josh Schwartz via Sport Horse Nation.

We featured Heavenly Colors last year, but she is still available and her price has been reduced! Click here to learn more about this sweet Beginner Novice eventing pony!

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

EN’s Got Talent: Courtney Cooper and Tender Bravissimo

Courtney Cooper and Tender Bravissimo. Photo by LT/ Courtney Cooper and Tender Bravissimo. Photo by LT/

It’s difficult not to notice the stunning gray gelding galloping by on cross country, but then to see him fly high–just for fun–with perfect form, you’ll whip out the order of go asking yourself, “Who is that?” That is Tender Bravissimo aka “Whiskers”, an 8-year-old Holsteiner with scope to spare over fences and genuine affection for every person he meets.

“He’s every girl’s dream horse. He is beautiful and he has giant, big eyes and bats his eyelashes at whoever walks by. He’s a total ham,” Courtney Cooper said with obvious adoration in her voice. “He’s just a nice horse to have around. If you’re standing in front of his stall, he’ll put his head over your shoulder and wrap his head around you. He’s snuggly and cuddly.”

He’s also an incredible, all-around athlete with a promising future. Less than a year after Courtney imported the gelding from Ireland, he was crowned the 2016 Training Horse Champion at the USEA American Eventing Championship, and he completed his first Preliminary level horse trials this month at Pine Top Farm.

Courtney had gone to Ireland looking for young prospects and sales horses. Jonathan Reape introduced her to Whiskers, who had been competing in the 1.10m jumper ring. “I thought he would make a nice sales horse. He was a good type,” Courtney said. “He came over and sort of started putting it all together. I thought, ‘maybe he should stay around a while.’”

Whiskers’ first horse trials was at Stable View in Aiken February 2016 where he finished 11th on a score of 33.0. After one more Novice he moved up and Courtney kept him at Training level for the remainder of the year.

Courtney was coming back from a leg injury when she bought Whiskers, and Boyd Martin advised her to take her time with her comeback but also to make sure the horse was really solid in each phase before considering a move up to Preliminary.

Looking at the horse’s record you can see a significant progression in his efficiency at the level. Early on he didn’t quite understand jumping into water and had the occasional rail in show jumping, but with experience he continually improved until he consistently scored in the 20s and finished without adding any jumping or time penalties.

“It wasn’t until he went to the AEC that he sort of put it all together. He went in dressage and put down the test he’s really able to put down. On cross country he was very businesslike, looking for the flags and focusing, and in show jumping he was great. He hasn’t looked back.”

At the AEC, Courtney and Whiskers topped a division of 47 starters on their dressage score of 22.5. They picked up two more Training wins before the end of the year, and after a prep run this January they made the big move to Preliminary at Pine Top. A 31.1 in dressage, clear show jump round and clear cross country with some time earned them a tenth place finish.

“I’m not going to say we don’t have things to work on, but he was well within himself,” Courtney said of Whiskers’ first Prelim run. He may have jumped big over some fences like the trakehner and the hammock shown above, but he met the fences in stride and marched on to the next question.

“He was having fun with his job. He came off the course feeling like a smarter horse for having been out there and he came back happy as can be. I think that’s the other mark to pay attention to, whether the horse consistently keeps coming off courses going, ‘I understand the questions you asked and I’m happy.’”

Courtney said there is no time constraint on Whiskers’ education and he will compete at Preliminary until he is solid in all three phases. “The plan is to make sure that the same parameters we followed at Training level are met before we move up. He has to be proficient in all three phases and not have an inkling of a question when he does his work.”

“He has scope for days, a good gallop and trainability, which is so important. I would love to say he’d be an international caliber team horse–all the pieces are there,” Courtney said. “I’m taking my time and really trying to get his education consistently in order and will continue working with good people on a regular basis. But the world is his oyster. I think there are a lot of things this horse could do and my job is to not screw it up.”

Whiskers is owned by the Dare to Dream Team and there are still some shares available. The goal of the syndicate is to get people involved so they can enjoy the journey without an overly expensive buy in. If you’re interested in more information about joining the syndication, email Courtney at [email protected]

Liz Halliday-Sharp Dominates at Pine Top With Two CIC2* First Timers

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by MWL/ Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by MWL/

Liz Halliday-Sharp was thrilled with Deniro Z and Elarona this afternoon at Pine Top Farm, as they finished first and second respectively at their career CIC2*. Deniro Z, a 9-year-old KWPN gelding, led the 27-horse division from the start and finished on his dressage score of 42.5. Elarona, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, marched up the leaderboard from fourth place after dressage to finish behind her stablemate on a 52.8, adding only a few time penalties to her score.

“Elarona is very green at the level and she was fantastic. It’s been a steering and rideability issue with her but she’s really talented and we’re starting to get there,” Liz said. “And Deniro is just a machine. He makes me smile every day. He’s such a competitor. He loves the party and brings his A-game every time.”

Deniro has traveled with Liz between her home in England and her winter base in Ocala the last two winters, and in the U.S. he has finished in first or second every time out at the Preliminary, one-star and Intermediate levels. Liz believes he’s is a world class horse and is hoping now to syndicate him. He and Elarona will target the April CCI2* in Ocala to round out their spring season.

In the CIC3*, Liz and Fernhill By Night had a fly by at an angled hedge early on course but he “flew around the rest and made it feel like Intermediate.” The goal for Liz and Deborah Halliday’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse this spring is Rolex Kentucky. “He feels great, I just need to get him tuned up.”

Kerry Torrey and Zumba secured third place in the CIC2* behind Liz and her two young stars. A 49.5 in dressage put them sixth and a rail on Chris Barnard’s show jumping course dropped them two places. However, Kerry and her 11-year-old Hanoverian produced one of only a few clear rounds inside time the time to move up and finish in the top three in the horse’s first CIC2* attempt.

Kerry Torrey and Zumba. Photo by LT/

Kerry Torrey and Zumba. Photo by LT/

The stunning 9-year-old Oldenburg stallion Sandro’s Star took home the CIC* win with Chris Talley in the irons. Bred by Vicki Bauer in the United States, Sandro’s Star made history as the first American-bred event horse to compete at the prestigious Bundeschampionat in Germany as a 5-year-old. He began building his eventing resume there with Dorothea Feld and returned to the States last year. He is now owned by Hannah Salazar and is standing at Zaragoza Acres in Virginia.

Chris and Sandro’s Star kicked off their new partnership with a second place Preliminary finish at Pine Top earlier this month. They would have won then were it not for a handful of frustrating time penalties. Today, the pair took the early lead on a 40.9 dressage score, jumped a beautiful double clear show jumping round and then left the start box on a mission. They powered around the Derek di Grazia designed course without a moment to lose. They picked up 2.8 time penalties, but they had room enough to spare to secure the win. The shouts and cheers from their fans as they galloped for home was uplifting.

Will Faudree and Michel 233 finished second in the one-star on a 47.0. Will and the 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables won a Preliminary division at Pine Top two weeks ago and followed that up with a very competitive performance in the horse’s one-star debut, adding one rail and a single second of time on cross country to their dressage score of 42.6.

Third place went to Liz and MSH Cooley Twilight, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse making his FEI debut. The pair scored a 44.7 in dressage and picked up a rail and some time but secured a good finish on a final score of 51.9.

Chris Talley and Sandro's Star. Photo by ED/

Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star. Photo by ED/

Thank you so much to Hoofclix for providing photos this weekend. Be sure you visit their website to view more gorgeous photos and purchase your competition pictures from Pine Top. Chinch is up to no good staying busy and you can follow along with his adventures on EN’s Instagram. Stay tuned for more from Pine Top! Go Eventing.

Pine Top: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores, Instagram, Twitter, EN’s Coverage

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Pine Top CIC3* Cross Country Course Walk

13C option - Tiki Head 13C option - Tiki Head

We’re set and ready to go here for a one-day CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC* and Advanced horse trials today at Pine Top Farm in Thomson, GA. Dressage will begin bright and early at 7:40 a.m. EST followed by show jumping at 11:00 a.m. and concluding with cross country at 12:45 p.m.

Chris Barnard is the show jumping course designer and he has put together a flowing course in a grass arena with some terrain for an extra element of difficulty. Chris debuted several lovely homemade show jump standards and painted rails at the event two weekends ago that we are pleased to see here again this weekend.

As always, the cross country courses here at Pine Top look absolutely immaculate thanks to course builder Rob Mobley and farm owners Glenn and Janet Wilson and their team. Designer Derek di Grazia has once again designed a big, imposing course with enough technical questions but no shortage of gallop space between. The CIC3* course is 3,625 meters long with 34 efforts and an optimum time of 6:22.

There are some new fences on course including frangible vertical rails at the coffin complex at 13 and a new brush rail combination at 7. Also making their first appearance on course are narrow tree trunks hand carved into emotive tiki faces by chainsaw art extraordinaire Tyson Rementer. The impressive hammock is returning as a standalone element at fence 8, and we’re seeing a new route through the redesigned mound complex at fence 4.

There are 13 horses entered in the CIC3*. Maggie has made her predictions for the top placings and the statistical reasons why, which you can read up on here. Chinch is on site so be sure to follow his adventures on Instagram and stay up-to-date on the latest news on Twitter. We’ll be back with a full report tomorrow evening. Go Eventing.

Pine Top: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores, Instagram, Twitter, EN’s Coverage

Weekend Instagram Roundup: Eventing In Paradise

Over 250 horses competed from the Starter to Preliminary level at Paradise Farm’s first horse trials of the year in Aiken, SC.

Boyd Martin picked up a Preliminary win with The Fonz Himself on a 23.2 and a Training victory with Zoran on a remarkable 16.4! Both horses are owned by Bonnie J. Stedt. Kevin Keane and Vindakova also produced an impressive performance, winning Friday’s Open Preliminary on their dressage score of 18.6.

Francesca Broggini and Cooley High Flyer were the winner’s of the competition’s largest division, the 26-horse Open Novice. The pair led from the start on 23.3, marking this horse’s third consecutive win.

Congratulations to all the competitors! Check out full results at the link below and enjoy a roundup of your posts from Paradise Farm.

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Results]

First dressage test together in the books! #KillineyHill #eventing #dressage A post shared by Zara Flores-Kinney (@thefeanarion) on

Cross country time for @dpequestrian & Quincy (@janemd4902) PJ w/ @jesshampf and Douglas w/ @liv.wall

A post shared by Courtney Carson (@courtlee26) on

The calm before the storm Thursday night. #eventing #paradisefarmfebruaryhorsetrials #ridebetter A post shared by Sarah Lohnes (@lohnes.sarah) on

Team spirit

A post shared by Kristin Schlachter (@silverhorneq) on

Our crew A post shared by Skyeler Icke Voss (@skyevoss) on