Articles Written 813
Article Views 1,949,346

Leslie Threlkeld


Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Leslie Threlkeld

Latest Articles Written

Photo Gallery + Notes from Bromont CCI First Horse Inspection

Marie-Gabrielle Bronsard and Canso De La Mancha. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Bonjour from Quebec! It is an absolutely stunning day here at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, and we’re looking forward to a great competition at the 2017 Pedigree Bromont CCI Three-Day Event.

It was an uneventful hour-and-a-half during the first horse inspection this afternoon. The CCI* is by far the largest of the divisions here this weekend and only one horse, Matt Kidney’s Fuzion, was held but passed on reinspection. Genevieve Faith with Burned You Too and Colin Gaffney with Timaru did not present.

In the CCI2*, Allison Springer was asked to jog Fernhill Casano a second time, but they were not held and were accepted after their second pass down the jog strip.

All other horses presented in the CCI*, CCI2* and CCI3* were accepted by the ground juries. A total of 87 CCI horses will move forward to dressage. There will be no CIC3* division this year, but there is a CIC2* division running.

Dressage gets under way at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning and we’ll have two days of dressage before all divisions run cross country on Saturday. See the complete schedule here.

Le Chinch has arrived and is already enjoying his time at Bromont. Be sure to follow his adventures on Instagram throughout the week.

EN’s resident crystal ball, Maggie Deatrick, has crunched the numbers and made her predictions. Check out her thoughts on this year’s competitive field.

Bromont Links: Website, Entries, Ride Times, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Why Yes, This Horse IS Child Safe

Pumba working in extreme circumstances…

Ok guys, the joys of selling horses. I keep being asked if this horse is “good with children” the last person asked for “a video” ??? So I have checked just incase I had accidentally advertised her in the “nannies looking for work” section. I haven’t. Anyway, today Nouveau Heights, aka Pumba humoured us…. no children or horses were harmed in the making of this video… surprisingly…

Posted by Brookby Heights International on Friday, June 2, 2017

It’s fair to ask a lot of questions when considering a horse to buy. You want to cover all the bases and make sure you’re about the spend money on the horse that’s really right for you. But sometimes, the many questions and requests can become frustrating for sellers.

The team at Brookby Heights International of New Zealand recently honored the request for a video proving that a sale horse called Nouveau Heights is “good with children,” but they took it to the extreme! After watching the shenanigans taking place in this clip, all we can say is…raise her price, she’s worth her weight in gold! Better yet don’t sell her at all, she’s too perfect!

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Mom, look what I did! Photo by Heather Scheel.

Our horses regularly provide us with some of the most facepalm-worthy moments. Heather Scheel sent us this picture of her 9-year-old OTTB Desert Lure, aka Taz, with the question, “How? Why?” We don’t have the answers but your pony looks pretty proud of himself and hoping you’ll put his hay bag back in reach soon, just so he can throw it over the door again.

U.S. Weekend Action:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Results]

GVRDC Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Results]

Poplar Place June H.T. [Website] [Results]

IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Results]

Colorado Horse Park CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

It was a record breaking win for Vittoria Panizzon in the Tattersalls CCI3* in Ireland this weekend, and five North American combinations finished in the top 12. Jenni Autry was EN’s boots on the ground at the event. She got rained on a lot so we’re really thankful for her work! Click here to catch up on all her coverage from #Tatts2017. More Tattersalls Links: Website, Results, EN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Horses spook at the darndest things. My 6-year-old Thoroughbred is fairly easy going, but he is verrrry suspicious of generators (I suppose they do sound like growling beasts in the bushes). The Horse hosted a contest asking readers to send in photos of things their horses spook at, and the submissions are hysterical. [Don’t Spook! Contest Editor’s Picks]

Chestnuts, grays, ALL the bays. These common equine colors are lovely of course, but maybe not as eye-catching as Paint or a leopard spotted Appaloosa, which scientists have come to discover were nearly phased out during the Middle Ages. A recent study revealed that while Appaloosas once outnumbered bays, these and other patterned or diluted coat colors fell out of fashion for some centuries. [Show me a sorrel to match my red velour robes”]

A video about hobby horsing is making the rounds on the interwebs. You know because you’ve been tagged in it umpteen times already. It’s a sport popular in Finland involving a stick horse, a dressage test and a jumping round and is promoted as a fun, safe and affordable way to ride horses. And guess what? Hobby-horsing will soon be making its competitive debut in the U.S. with a whole hobby horsing series scheduled this summer at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. [Hobby Horsing Hits USA with New Series at WEG Venue]

There are strong horses and then there are STRONG horses. You really only want to put so much metal in their mouth, and sometimes a change in your leatherworks may be more helpful than bitting up. Here are some alternative nosebands to consider. [7 of the Best Technical Nosebands]

Monday Video: Hold on to your hats and enjoy this ride with Lainey Ashker and Carina Erickson’s 13.3 hand powerhouse Digby on their way to a double clear round and second place finish in Preliminary at the Waredaca horse trials. Wee!


13.3 hands of pure badass! This pony knows no limits and I plan on always encouraging that way to live life! I’m honored to be his jockey while his owner Carina studies for finals! Way to finish second place in the prelim Digby! You’re a legend! #wonderpony #livelifelikedigby

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Studly Eventing Stallions

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 include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Still trying to find the perfect stallion to pair with your mare? Dreaming of breeding the next eventing super star? Check out the handsome stallions listed on Sport Horse Nation’s Stallions category page and get ready to play match maker!

R Blue Moon. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

The Experts Agree! R BLUE MOON…..

R Blue Moon is an superb choice for crossing on your Thoroughbred, Sport Horse and Pony Mares to produce for the Mid to Upper Level. In addition to excellent conformation and outstanding gait quality Blue offers desirable size, type, color and exceptional limbs and hoof quality.

Blue has been genetically profiled and recent “clean” radiographs are available by request.

Blue is proven to ship well and is siring large correct, athletic offspring from a variety of mares and breeds including: Thoroughbred, Sport Horse (WB) and Pony Mares.

ArdCeltic Art. Photo by Shannon Brinkman via Sport Horse Nation.

ArdCeltic Art Connemara Stallion Frozen Semen

Superior Quality Frozen semen. Art is a proven Sport Horse Sire, himself having competed successfully at 2* Eventing and 4th level dressage.

Hilife. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Proven Eventing Sires

Royal Palm Farm has numerous stallions available to produce your next eventing prospect. Standing the Irish Sport Horse stallion Formula One, sire of Landmark’s Monte Carlo, Landmark’s Monaco and Maserati One.

The Elite Trakehner stallion Stiletto *Pg*E* who earned his elite status through performance (Grand Prix dressage, CCI** eventer) and the performance of his offspring like CCI*** competitor Copycat Chloe. Versatile producer with offspring at the top in dressage and hunters as well.

The Grand Prix show jumper Class 1 RID stallion Crystal Crest.

Performance Silver earning Trakehner stallion Tatendrang *Ps* as well as the intermediate level eventers Inamorato *Pb*, Incantare, and Cardinali.

Also standing the Performance Bronze earning stallion Apollo Sun *Pb* competing at fourth level dressage, Hilife and Heroic Measures.

Horses for sale from yearling prospects to upper level competitors in Eventing and Dressage.

Friend or Foe. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Athletic Thoroughbred Stallion Standing in Virginia

Friend Or Foe is a 16.3 hand athletic Thoroughbred stallion by Friends Lake out of Unbridled Star who is by Unbridled. He’s a multiple stakes winner of $350,000 and would be a great cross with your eventing mare. Cooled semen available.

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.

Mackenna Shea and Landioso to Spend the Summer in Europe

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

This spring, 24-year-old Mackenna Shea was selected a recipient of the 2017 Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grant, which provides international experience to developing riders. Mackenna and Landioso, her 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding, were to spend a month in England training with USEF Emerging Athletes Coach Leslie Law and competing at the Houghton Hall CICO3* and Bramham CCI3*-U25.

Unfortunately, a bout of shipping fever shortly after arriving in England thwarted their initial plans, and Mackenna withdrew “Landi” from both Houghton Hall and Bramham. Thankfully Landi is feeling much better and Mackenna has decided to extend their stay in England so they may still gain the valuable experience of competing overseas.

With the ultimate goal of competing at the Burghley CCI4* the first week of September, Mackenna and Landi hope to compete at Barbury International Horse Trials and Asten Le Walls in July followed by Gatcombe International Horse Trials in August.
The recent announcement on Mackenna’s website states: “While this schedule is still tentative and Landioso will have the final say on whether he is up to the task, all signs have been extremely positive…. She’s so excited to extend her adventure, and she hopes this opportunity will further prepare her to continue representing the United States internationally in the future.”
We’re wishing Mackenna and Landi the best of luck from this side of the pond, and we look forward to following their journey to Burghley!

Mackenna and Landioso admire the English countryside.

Girls Rule at Second Leg of Event Rider Masters Series at Wiesbaden

From left: Sara Algotsson Osholt (SWE), Sarah Cohen (GBR), Julia Krajewski (GER). Photo by Benjamin Clark/Event Rider Masters.

It’s not over until it’s over, and it came down to the final fences on cross country that determined the winner of the second leg of the Event Rider Masters 2017 Series at Germany’s Internationales Wiesbadener PfingstTurnier yesterday.

Ingrid Klimke (GER) and SAP Escada FRH had taken the lead in dressage with a 34.6, and Ingrid was grinning ear-to-ear as she and the very experienced 13-year-old Hanoverian mare entered the final section of cross country in the arena. There was a collective gasp by spectators, commentators, and live stream watchers as Escada glanced off the second to last fence not once but twice, dropping them well out of contention of an ERM victory.

The mistake meant Sarah Cohen of Great Britain and Treason would win the day, earning their first ERM victory, a 19,000 Euro (£16,000) first prize and taking the lead in the series. Sarah and Treason, a 15-year-old British Sport Horse owned by Preci-Spark Ltd and Mrs Elizabeth Jones, produced one of a few fault-free show jumping rounds and rocketed around the cross country clear with only 3.6 time penalties to add for the fastest round of the day. They finished with a final score of 46.8, nearly eight full points ahead of the pack.

“At the beginning of the year I wanted to give the series a go. We had a good time at Leg 1, so I decided to come to Wiesbaden. I wanted to be competitive but never thought I would win! I knew Treason was fit and he just wanted to gallop and jump today. I am over the moon with him,” Sarah said.

Sarah Cohen and Treason. Photo courtesy of Event Rider Masters.

It was an all female podium for the first time in ERM series history. Joining Sarah in the awards ceremony was Germany’s Julia Krajewski, finishing second on 54.2, despite a three-rail show jumping round with Chipmunk FRH. Julia and Dr. Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff’s 9-year-old Hannoverian gelding rallied on the cross country, coming home clear with six time penalties to add, moving them back up the leaderboard and earning a 15,000 Euro prize.

“It’s very exciting to be competing in the Event Rider Masters. In my last five starts at Wiesbaden I’ve finished second and although I am not on top of the podium this is a very good result. I was disappointed with our showjumping, but Chipmunk FRH certainly made it up on the cross country today,” Julia said.

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH. Photo courtesy of Event Rider Masters.

Third place and 10,000 Euros went to Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Osholt riding Reality 39, who held tight to a podium position throughout the competition. Starting out in third place with a dressage score of 42.0, they added three time penalties in show jumping and 10.8 on cross country to finish on 55.8.

“It has been a fantastic competition this weekend. I was pleased with our showjumping but I felt the cross country wouldn’t suit Reality 39 with the twists and turns as he is a big horse, but he responded very well to the challenge and was superb today,” Sara said.

Sara Algotsson Ostholt and Reality 39. Photo courtesy of Event Rider Masters.

With two legs completed and five remaining, the competition is heating up in the 2017 ERM Series. Sarah Cohen has taken the overall lead with 51 series points for her win yesterday and a six place finish at the first leg at Chatsworth. In second is Marcio Jorje (BRA) with 37 points, finishing 9th at Chatsworth and 8th at Wiesbaden riding Colonel MJC. Great Britain’s Gemma Tattersall is third on the leaderboard having won the class at Chatsworth with Quicklook V. Betting Hoy of Germany and Julia Krajewski are tied for fourth with 28 points. Click here to see the full rankings.

See full results from Wiesbaden at this link. Watch the replay here and learn more about the Event Rider Masters series here. Barbury Castle will be the next ERM leg July 8-9. As always, you’ll be able to see all the action live and for free on

Tattersalls CCI3* Cross Country Live Updates

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s almost go time at the Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair. We’ve got three Americans in the top five in the CCI3* and today will be a big test.

The course runs a new direction this year, and being in County Meath hunting country, there is no shortage of ditches. If you missed the course preview with commentary from designer Ian Stark, click here.

We get under way at 10:30 EST with our own Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation the first out of the box. You can live stream the cross country for free at this link or keep refreshing this page to stay up to date on what’s happening across the pond.

Tattersalls Links: Website, Entries & Live Scores, XC Order of Go, Course Preview, Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

12:10 p.m. EST: That’s a wrap on the Tattersalls International CCI3*. Phillip Dutton has both Fernhill Revelation and Z in the top six with two incredible double clear rounds (fun fact: this is Phillip’s first time competing in Ireland in his entire career). Buck Davidson and Carlevo moved from third to eighth with a few time faults, Canadian Katherine Robinson and Let It Bee moved down two places to tenth, and Britain-based American Katherine Coleman and Back to Business moved up from 20th all the way to 13th with a stellar double clear. Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border had unfortunate trouble at the sunken road and ultimately retired. In the lead, still on her record score of 34.5, is Italian Vittoria Panizzon and Chequers Play the Game with Britain’s Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo knocking at the door with a 39.3. Jenni Autry will be back soon with a full report and photos so stay tuned to EN!

10:31 a.m. EST: And we’re off! Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation are on course and looking full of running.

10:34 a.m. EST: Sam Watson of EquiRatings is in the commentary box. He says he expects quite a few double-clear rounds today.

10:38 a.m. EST: Phillip and Fernhill Revelation are over halfway through and still clear.

10:39 a.m. EST: Great Britain’s Daniel Alderson pops off when Cloud Atlas glances off the C element of the Irish Field Mound at 16. They’re both fine but what a bummer!

10:42 a.m. EST: Phillip and Fernhill Revelation finish one second under the optimum time for a double clear round. Great way to start! They will hold on to fifth place at least.

10:43 a.m. EST: Buck Davidson and Carlevo are on course now and clear through 11.

10:46 a.m. EST: Laura Collett (GBR) and Cooley Again also finish one second under the time for our second double clear.

10:51 a.m. EST: Buck and Carlevo are clear with 9.2 time penalties.

10:52 a.m. EST: Sarah Dowley for Ireland runs into problems with Rubix Kube at the Irish Field Mound, picking up two refusals and wasting a lot of time getting back to the B element.

10:56 a.m. EST: Looks like Lissa Green (GBR) and Hollyfield have had a fall at 26B. We’ve no word yet what happened.

10:58 a.m. EST: Meghan Healy (IRL) and Lui D have a refusal at the second last, 26B, the angled hedge that designer Ian Stark expected would catch out a few riders.

11:02 a.m. EST: Isabella Innes Ker (GBR) and Carolyn pick up 20 at 26A and also add 17.2 time.

11:07 a.m. EST: Emily Parker and the Clydesdale cross Harelaw Wizard are clear with 2.8 time after a great exciting round!

11:08 a.m. EST: Camille Lejeune and Tahina des Isles for France bring us our third double clear. Our leader, Italian Vittoria Panizzon and Chequers Play The Game, are on course.

11:17 a.m. EST: Willa Newton (GBR) and Caja 20 are clear and three seconds under time. Vittoria Panizzon and Chequers Play the Game hold on to their overnight lead with a super double clear.

11:21 a.m. EST: Joanna Rimmer and Isaac Newton for Great Britain are also double clear. Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee for Canada having a fast, bold round so far.

11:23 a.m. EST: Ten time faults for Kathryn and Let It Bee and will go forward with 54.1.

11:25 a.m. EST: Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border are on course. They are second after dressage. Let’s go!

11:26 a.m. EST: Clare Lambert and Whitmore Way for Ireland are clear with 5.6 time. Cooley is being careful but galloping beautifully for Kim!

11:30 a.m. EST: Oh no! Cooley peaks at the sunken road at 12 and then flies by the third element after the second attempt. Kim’s pulled up and retired. Now Mark Todd has jumped the wrong oxer at 11 after a refusal at 10 and he has retired Obos Colombus.

11:35 a.m. EST: Pippa Funnel (GBR) had to work for her clear round with MGH Grafton Street but they finish just two seconds over the time. Rachel Robinson (GBR) and MJI Limmerick Bell are also clear but with 20.8 time faults.

11:41 a.m. EST: Double clear for Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. USA’s Katherine Coleman, based in Britain, is motoring with her neat mare Back to Business.

11:44 a.m. EST: Simon Vatcher (GBR) and Camblin Hill pick up 20 penalties at the second last and add another 26.8 time. Ireland’s Tegan White is on course with Texan Style, a half brother to Camilla Speirs’ pint-sized star Portersize Just a Jiff. They have an unfortunate glance off the brush in the water at 10B. Katherine Coleman is just a few from home.

11:50 a.m. EST: Katherine Coleman and Back to Business are double clear! They will surely move up a few placings!

11:55 a.m. EST: Tegan and Texan Style finish without just the one early runout at the water. Benjamin Leahy and Yasmina V finishes just two seconds over the time.. they will move well up the standings from 26th.

11:57 a.m. EST: Phillip Dutton is back on course with Z, driving fast and taking chances!

12:01 p.m. EST: Andrew James and Redhill Illisit retire after a refusal at 12. Piggy French (GBR) and Quarrycrest Echo are one second under time to move forward on their dressage score of 39.3. Phillip and Z peck on landing at the final water at 20 but they are still clear.

12:04 p.m. EST: Matthew Heath and Cooley Lord Lux pick up an unlucky 20 at 16C and Phillip and Z blaze home four seconds under time to move up to provisional sixth!

Gig’em Ags! The Texas A&M Eventing Team’s Journey to the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship

Texas A&M Eventing Team. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Texas A&M Eventing Team drove for two days from College Station, TX to Lexington, Va. to contest the 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship at the Virginia Horse Trials. With two full teams competing, they finished with one team in the ribbons and as a squad won the highly sought after Spirit Award. From morning ‘yell practice’ to wearing matching overalls to giving one another a leg up in the barns, Texas A&M showed  school pride and team work to the highest degree.

The Intercollegiate Championship swelled from 10 teams representing 10 schools in its first year to 21 teams representing 17 schools at the event last week. The USEA’s Intercollegiate program is fast growing, with new teams being formed every semester.

Texas A&M had the longest haul to the Championship, and they’ve been focused on preparing for the competition over the last year. On Saturday, before the announcement of the Spirit Award winner, EN sat down with the President of the Texas A&M Eventing Team, Kate Boggan, to learn more about their journey.

Tell us about the Texas A&M Eventing team. When was it formed and what does it mean to be a member?

We were officially a recognized student organization last January, and our organization has about 32 members. We wanted it to be a social opportunity that supports a team because eventing is not that big in Texas. You don’t have to own a horse to join our club, you just have to think the sport is interesting.

We try to get people involved even if they can’t actually compete on their own. We’ve traveled to local shows together and we have social events like a Christmas party and overalls painting party. It’s been a great way not just to bring all the eventers at our school together but also create new eventers. We have a girl here this weekend who has been a hunter/jumper all her life. She had never done an event until she joined the team and now she’s here at Championships.

We had a German exchange student join our program and we have a couple members that have more than one horse, so she was able to get some time riding on other members’ horses. That’s worked out a lot. One of our girls, Jessie, had a major surgery on her leg and it’s been a long process healing. There was a chunk of time she couldn’t ride her own horse and there was another member whose horse was in full time training, so while her horse was gone she rode Jessie’s horse.

That’s been one really cool thing that I’ve seen about the club is there is always a way to get people on horses even if they don’t necessarily have access to their own. We’ve really tried to make it a very inclusive, very inviting club.

When did Texas A&M decide they were going to make the 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship a goal?

Last year. I fell in love with the event when I was here last year as an intern with USEA. I thought it was the coolest thing seeing all these colleges come together and represent their school. When I saw this I said there was no way we were not coming the next year.

A&M has a bunch of equestrian programs. We have our equestrian team who just won Nationals, we have a men’s and women’s polo team who pretty much always wins Nationals. We have a stock horse team, a horsemanship program that goes around the state and teaches clinics, a rodeo team. Most of them are club sports the way we are but there are lots of different horse sports and they are all very active and involved.

A&M comes with a reputation of being very horsey, and if we’re representing A&M, we’ve got to go to Championships. We’ve got eight competitors here plus five other club members who came along as our cheerleaders.

How did you fundraise for the trip?

We’ve been fortunate to receive some monetary sponsorships and we’ve done a lot of fundraising throughout the year with the intention to use that money to pay for travel expenses. We did a used tack sale as our big fundraiser, and that went a long way for us.

We asked for donations of used tack, and we all went through and cleaned out our trailers and found stuff that we had been hoarding. We took the tack sale to a bunch of local schooling shows and our team challenges.

We have a couple former students who wanted to make a donation and some monetary sponsors, too. Pyranha fly spray was the biggest contributor to our travel funds and we’re so grateful for their support.

What expenses could the team cover for the student riders?

We were able to pay for all of our hotel rooms during the event. We also paid for hotel rooms and all of the horses’ stabling on our overnight stops in Alabama. Everyone is also keeping all of their gas receipts and we’ll be able to reimburse members for most of their gas.

Your team has a big sponsor banner displayed in the College Town stabling. How did you go about procuring sponsors?

It was very helpful that I interned at the USEA while we were in the process of getting this team started because it was a lot of motivation and I got to see how the USEA did a lot of their sponsorships. Kate Lokey, USEA’s Director of Programs and Marketing, walked me through how a lot of the sponsorships work. Shelby Allen, USEA’s Communications Specialist at the time and a former member of the Eventing Team at UGA, also told me how UGA did their sponsorships. So I had a lot of good mentoring over the summer.

It was hard because when we were asking for sponsors we really hadn’t done anything yet. But I tried to push our good qualities and what we could do for companies and sponsors. I sent out a ton of emails and I got way more rejections than I did acceptances, but we have 16 sponsors.

Let’s talk about Texas A&M’s amazing school spirit.

We are going hard for the Spirit Award! A&M has a reputation to uphold. We’re known for being a very traditional, very spirited school. We’re going all out for that. We weren’t quite sure how we would fare riding against all these East Coast teams, but we were going for the Spirit Award.


Texas A&M doesn’t have pep rallies, they have “yell practice”. Here’s the Texas A&M Eventing Team practicing their yells!

Posted by Virginia Horse Trials on Sunday, May 28, 2017


Aggie Spirit invading the collegiate championships in Virginia!!!

Posted by Candy Neal Baker on Friday, May 26, 2017

We’re having a blast! Gig’em Ags! #tamueventing #aggieeventing #intercollegiateeventing

A post shared by Texas A&M Eventing Team (@tamueventing) on

Saved By the Bell: USEA Intercollegiate Championships Gets Going at Virginia Horse Trials

The 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship is underway at the Virginia Horse Trials! More than 80 students from 17 colleges and universities traveled from all over the East Coast and from as far West as Texas to compete at the second annual Intercollegiate Championship.

The Intercollegiate Program became official at the USEA in 2014, but it has grown exponentially since then. There are more schools registered as a USEA University Affiliate than there are NCAA Equestrian Teams, and participation at the Championship doubled over the inaugural year in 2016, with 21 total teams vying for the Champion title this weekend.

“It is impossible not to be inspired by how quickly Intercollegiate Eventing is growing,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “Eventing is in good hands with these future leaders of the sport. When the USEA Board of Governors established the Intercollegiate Eventing Program we had high hopes for its success. I don’t think anyone thought it would be this successful so quickly!

“Congratulations to the Virginia Horse Trials for serving as excellent hosts, and congratulations to the horses and riders for working so hard to get here.”

School spirit abounds at VHT and I have to admit, the enthusiasm of the students, parents, coaches and friends is 100% infectious. We’re looking forward to an exciting week!

Virginia CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]


School spirit in excess! #IntercollegiateChampionships

Posted by Virginia Horse Trials on Friday, May 26, 2017

Our team had a great first day of competition. Lydia and Charm kicked off the day on a high note scoring a PERSONAL BEST…

Posted by Auburn Eventing Team on Friday, May 26, 2017

At the Collegiate Banquet the girls are having fun!

Posted by Transylvania University Eventing Team on Friday, May 26, 2017

YJs are here and ready to roll at the USEA Collegiate Eventing Champs! 22 teams from 17 colleges. And of course, our biggest fan, Gracie, made the trip!

Posted by Randolph-Macon College Eventing Team on Friday, May 26, 2017

Thank you so much to Lauren Kieffer Eventing for providing our team with a course walk! Looking forward to dominating the cross country course this weekend! #TerpTakeover

Posted by Maryland Eventing Team at UMD on Friday, May 26, 2017

Go Eventing.

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Novice/Beginner Novice Packers and Prospects

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 include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Whether you’re looking for a lower level packer to learn the ropes with or a young prospect to bring along, you’ll find horses of all ages with solid experience at the lower levels for sale on Sport Horse Nation. Here’s a sampling of listings from the last month!

Woodford. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Woodford – BN/N Packer

Woody is a 2005 16h bay TB. Horse and rider started eventing 1.5 years ago and have finished 3rd – USEA Chattahoochee Hills (2017), 7th – USEA Cobblestone (2016), 9th – May Daze (2016). Several firsts and seconds at Michigan TEAM (The Eventing Association of Michigan) events/event derbies at Novice. Finished 2016 Reserve Champion Novice for TEAM. Covers the distances/combinations with ease, clean lead change, quiet, no look. Woody will take care of your little one in a lunge line lesson and then will rock around a Novice course in the afternoon. He is safe out alone or with a group. Located in Maryland.

Go Go Boots. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Go Go Boots – 2008, 15.3H, Bay Thoroughbred Mare

Go Go Boots in an experienced lower level eventer with ribbons at Novice and Beginner Novice and even was a winner at unrecognized Training level. She’s easy to make round, super cute on the flat and fun to jump. Go Go Boots would be best suited for a junior, young rider or adult amateur rider. Located in Pennsylvania.

Bastian. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

TB Gelding Dressage/Eventing/Hunters

Bastian is a 13 year old TB gelding sired by Luftikus. I bought him directly from the breeder as an untouched 3 y/o. Our main focus has been on dressage and he has schooled and competed through 2nd Level. He has also competed with me at a CPED*** Dressage show in the Grade IV Para-Dressage division. His FEI passport is current. Lateral work is solid, regularly scores 7 and 8 on gaits. We’ve evented through Beginner Novice (he’s jumped up to 3’5″) and have participated in a few local hunter shows. Bastian enjoys jumping and wishes we had done more of it. Excellent ground manners, loads and trailers like a champ. Gets along well with other horses, loads of personality. Easy keeper for a thoroughbred and has great feet. Would do best with an experienced and confident AA or Young Rider. Temperament: 7. Located in Ohio.

Ocean’s Sun. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

5 y/o Novice Event horse

Ocean’s Sun is a 5 year old thoroughbred gelding. He has been shown through beginner novice and novice. Ocean’s is very brave at cross-country and very careful in show jumping. He is very good to handle. He is up to date on his shots. Very calm to ride, stands well for a farrier. Ocean’s is very fancy in a dressage ring. Ocean’s is very calm by himself and with other horses. Located in Maryland.

Modern Man. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Modern Man~ Jr/AA Eventer

Modern Man is a 2005 15.3h New Zealand TB Gelding

Mileage thru the CIC* Level. Best suited to Novice and Training level eventing. Could go keep going prelim again with the right rider. Very easy and well schooled on the flat, doesn’t pull to the fences and is careful and fun to jump. Lady’s horse. Suitable for Jr/AA. Not hot, very kind, generous horse. Extremely sound.

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.

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

You might recognize some of these Tough Mudders! Photo by Cuyler Walker.

Boyd Martin and Ryan Wood traded their riding boots for sneakers and accepted the Tough Mudder challenge this weekend at Plantation Field in Pennsylvania. It’s an obstacle race that’s all about teamwork and rising above the struggles, which sounds a lot like eventing! It looks like they had a great time at the race, and Ryan somehow found the time and energy to go win a couple divisions at Fair Hill, too. #workhardplayhard

U.S. Weekend Action:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Results]

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Fair Hill May H.T. [Website] [Results]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Results]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

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

Monday News and Notes:

The second annual USEA Intercollegiate Championships are coming up this week at the Virginia Horse Trials. Participation has more than doubled over the inaugural Championships in 2016; this time nearly 90 riders and 22 teams are hitting the road to represent their college or university in a team Championship. University of Georgia swept the leaderboard last year, winning both the Championship and the Spirit Award. Can they defend their title or will they be overtaken? [Prizes and Free Entries to Claim at USEA Intercollegiate Championships]

Three champions were crowned yesterday at the Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions hosted by the USET Foundation at Gladstone Headquarters. After watching many quality rides throughout several days of competition, President of the Ground Jury Gary Rockwell commented, “We can see some good young horses and young riders coming up, so that is our future; we need to support and encourage them and give them a chance.” [Big Winners at Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions]

The Strzegom CICO3* in Poland kicked off the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing series, and Germany is looking to claim a second consecutive victory this year. They’re on the right track with a team win this weekend and as a nation claiming six of the top 10 placings. [Germany Dominates Strzegom Nations Cup CICO3*]

Eventers have long looked to the racetrack to find their next partner in crime. Thoroughbreds are already a popular breed in polo, but OTTBs are becoming more popular on the field of play. Here are eight benefits and challenges to retraining an ex-racehorse for polo.  [Why Polo Can Be the Ideal Second Career for Racehorses]

We love nothing more than a sunny day at the barn, but the sun’s summer rays may be harmful to your horse or pony’s skin, particularly on their sensitive little noses. There are several ways to prevent sunburn, which is painful and could become infected. Listen in to this podcast to learn how!  [How to Prevent Sunburn on a Horse’s Nose and Lips]

Monday Video: The Intermediate winners from Texas Rose Horse Park.

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Toujours Prêt aka “Beau”. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

I had some ‘proud mom’ moments myself this weekend watching my 6-year-old Thoroughbred, Beau, act like a seasoned pro in his first competition. Due to my busy work schedule which often requires weekend travel, I’ve finally admitted I can’t do it all myself. This horse is the first one of mine I’ve ever ‘allowed’ to be schooled, trained or competed by someone else, as I’ve always been a bit stubborn about ‘producing my own horses’. But I’m a grown up now (supposedly), and part of being a grown up is making good decisions. Having my friend and coach John Michael Durr take Beau to his first event was a good decision. And I have to admit, it was fun playing owner/groom/photographer for the day. All the pride with none of the pressure!

Jersey Fresh Links: Website, Schedule, ResultsMillie Humphreys’ College FundEN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

International Weekend Action:

The Event Rider Masters 2017 [Event Rider Masters Live Stream] [Results]

More U.S. Weekend Action:

Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. [Website] [Results]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Winona Horse Trials  [Website] [Results]

Plantation Field May Horse Trials [Website] [Results]

Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Results]

WindRidge Farm Horse Trials [Website] [Results]

Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

Bruce Duchossois was a remarkable member of the eventing world. He was a beloved owner, friend and supporter of the sport, and his presence has been greatly missed since his passing in 2014. In his memory, a life size statue of Bruce holding his dog Chummy and leading his horse Kim’s Song was unveiled last week at Bruce’s Field. [Statue of Duchossois unveiled at Bruce’s Field]

The American Driving Society has been reinstated into the US Equestrian Federation as the USE affiliate for driving. The USE decided to no longer recognized the ADS as an affiliate association early in 2017 due to “requests for substantive exceptions that the USEF cannot accommodate.” [USE and The American Driving Society Reach Agreement]

In a moving ceremony at the Royal Windsor Horse Show yesterday, show jumping double-gold Olympic champions Nick Skelton and Big Star officially retired. Nick is a legend in the sport, having been racking up accolades and earning the respect of his peers over the last four decades. He came back from a terrible injury that could have halted his career to win on the world stage in Rio.  [Two Legends Bow Out]

Worm control is especially critical in young horses because they are less likely to develop a tolerance than healthy, mature adult equines. Learn about guidelines for parasite control in foals and yearlings in this informative article:  [Keeping On Top of Worms in Young Horses]

Monday Video: The Event Rider Masters Series is changing the game in 2017:

To Eventing Moms Everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!

For all the moms out there in the eventing nation, here’s to you! Thanks for driving us to the barn, supporting our horsey habits, being our biggest fans, building us up when we’re down and giving us a kick in the pants when we need one. Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to the best Smallzie ❤️❤️❤️ And the other amazing Eventing Moms!!

Posted by Hannah Sue on Sunday, May 14, 2017

Home is where the MOM is 🙌🏼 #happymothersday #herestoyoumom #wouldntbeherewithoutyou #literally #weloveyoutooDADS

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day ❤
Without these two women my dreams wouldn’t have stood a chance. Thank you seems a silly thing to say. Love to all the amazing Mums today and always

Posted by Sara Kozumplik Murphy on Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers Day Mama Kieffs!!!! 😘

Posted by Lauren Bliss Kieffer on Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy mom day to the coolest 😎

Posted by Lynn Symansky on Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day @joanhampf We are so thankful to call you mom 💕 thank you for everything you do for us!!

A post shared by Jessica Payne (@jesshampf) on

Happy Mothers Day! Frankie Thieriot Stutes and her little man watching Bec Braitling. #jerseyfreshintl

A post shared by U.S. Eventing Association (@useventing) on

Extending a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, even the four-legged furry ones! 💝🌷🐴 #JointheJoy

A post shared by US Equestrian (@usequestrian) on

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Six Intermediate Eventers

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 include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Maybe it’s Rolex and Badminton back-to-back, maybe it’s because the eventing season is in full swing, maybe it’s something in the water. Whatever it is, there are a ton of incredible experienced Intermediate event horses listed right now and looking for their next partner in crime!

Evening Melody. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Evening Melody 8yo TB Eventer

Evening Melody aka Harper. 8yo, 16.1 OTTB Gelding. Unraced, no tattoo. Successfully competed through CCI* and Intermediate. Harper such a joy to ride and has a puppy dog personality. Loves his job and has to be the center of attention. He’s looking for his next person to take through the levels. He would be more comfortable competing up to prelim/1* but is capable of doing Intermediate. He would make a great YR looking for something steady that will jump anything. Always scores low 30’s. Located in Kentucky.

Great Bourton. Photo by Captured Moment Photography via Sport Horse Nation.

Great Bourton- 2008 Bay 16.3 Zangersheide Gelding

Great Bourton is a 2008 bay 16.3h Zangersheide gelding. Super competitive and experienced 1* horse. Has won and placed at Preliminary and Open Intermediate consistently finishes on low 30’s dressage score. Recently finished second in the OP at Plantation Field. Solid in all phases. Very sound and a pleasure to handle. Easy to trailer, shoe, clip and a great traveler… nothing phases him. He’s new to our barn on the east coast but has been completely class to work with. Located in Pennsylvania.

Storm Watch. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Great Mover, Super Honest Successful IDSH Prelim Eventer w Advanced Potential

Storm Watch is a very handsome dark bay 7 yr old 16.2+hd registered IDSH that I bred and brought along through Preliminary. He is 3/4 TB by Brandenburg’s Windstar. He did very well last season, and should be able to do a CCI* this year, as well as move up to Intermediate. He’s already qualified to do both. I believe he has the scope to go Advanced and be very competitive. He placed in the top three in five events of his eleven total events, ribboning in all but one. He is quite a good mover with dressage scores in the 20’s and 30’s. He is schooling 3rd level with clean changes and half passes in both trot and canter. Stormy is sensitive and responsive to aids, but he is safe and allows for mistakes. He is super to have at shows, hauling and settling in well, and in general is a pleasant horse with a friendly disposition. He has zero jump faults cross country with no cross country issues and will jump whatever you put in front of him; banks, ditches, water, and skinnies. He has plenty of gallop, and is quite adjustable to his fences with a huge stride if you need it, but also willing and able to add up. He should suit a capable amateur or a pro. Could be an excellent Young Rider horse. He does have quite a jump, and might not be suitable for a rider with a loose leg. He is sound, and in full work. Located in Oregon.

Normandy Soldier. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Lease / Lease to Buy – NORMANDY SOLDIER – Advanced Eventer

An exceptional opportunity for a JR / YR / Am to take on the ride on proven Advanced eventer, Normandy Soldier (aka Vinny). 15yr old, TB gelding approx 16.0h (on his tippy toes!). Vinny has won several International events at the 2* level and too many Intermediates to even list them all – but has made it clear he does not want to play at 3* – hence the reason we are looking for someone to take him on to spend the later part of his career at the lower levels. With the right partnership and program – he’s a safe bet at 2* / Intermediate level. Absolute robot on the flat, unreal Show Jumper (jumped many clears at Adv / 3* level) – He is NOT a XC packer (if such a thing even exists past 1*?!) – he requires a rider that believes in him XC. If you are nervous XC – this horse isn’t for you! He likes pace and a bold ride – he’s amazingly safe (goes in his dressage snaffle bridle for all phases) and will happily ‘fill a gap’ if left to his own devices. He is a genuine podium prospect at JR / YR champs this year and for many more years to come. Unbelievably sound, clean legs. Never been injured his whole career. We are looking to lease him / lease to buy option is in the contract – priority will be given to JR’s / YR’s with genuine capacity to fulfill Vinny’s ability; who are in a good program with a reputable trainer. Located in Florida.

Lawnvale Irish. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Lawnvale Irish – 2008, 16.2H, Bay Thoroughbred Gelding

Lawnvale Irish is an experienced eventer that’s a true Preliminary packer. He’s received ribbons through Intermediate including a CCI1* and has recently been a winner at Novice level horse trials with an amateur rider. He’s a great mover and jumper with consistent dressage scores in the 20s. Lawnvale Irish would be best suited for a junior, young rider or adult amateur rider. Located in Pennsylvania.

Under Your Hat. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Want to go Intermediate and Advanced?

HATTIE – Intermediate Event Horse. Bay Irish Sport Horse (3/4 TB) mare, 16.1 hands, 9 years old. This beautiful mare was bred to Event – she is out of a successful four-star Cavalier mare who has jumped clear around Rolex multiple times, and by the popular TB eventing sire Harry the Hat. She is athletic, bold, and nicely sensitive, with good movement and an uphill balance. She is a terrific and safe jumper, and a cross-country machine – she has done over 15 Preliminary and 6 Intermediate events without XC penalties. She is a super Young Riders horse; she recently took an inexperienced rider to the Preliminary level; they have been in the top placings in 4 out of 5 events in 2017. She would also suit the ambitious rider who wants to go Advanced; she has the ability to move up to the 3 and 4 star levels. She could take you to Rolex! Sound, fit and ready to go. Located in Virginia.

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.

Thomas Carlile and Upsilon Produce Personal Best to Lead the ERM CIC3* at Chatsworth

Thomas Carlile and Upsilon. Photo by Benjamin Clark / Event Rider Masters.

A personal best is a great way to begin the 2017 Event Rider Masters Series, and that’s exactly what France’s Thomas Carlile and the 9-year-old Anglo Arab Upsilon pulled off today in dressage at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials. Their personal best score of 33.2 gave them a narrow lead in a competitive CIC3* division with an exciting day of show jumping and cross country ahead tomorrow.

“Upsilon is such a wonderful horse and has so much ability. We’ve really worked on strengthening him up for this phase and he certainly delivered today,” Thomas said of the stallion owned by Ecuries Carlile Complet Eventing and Scea de Beliard. “Looking to tomorrow, I believe he will only have a pole down in the show jumping if I make a mistake. It would be nice to have a bit of breathing space going out on the cross-country, but with Gemma and plenty of others breathing down our neck I doubt we’ll have such a luxury!”

There were an impressive five sub-40 dressage scores today. Great Britain’s Gemma Tattersall and the Pebbles Syndicates Quicklook V scored a personal best as well and sit close behind Thomas and Upsilon in second place on 33.7. Chatsworth is Gemma’s first FEI event back with the 12-year-old Anglo European Studbook mare since the Rio Olympics last summer.

“Wasn’t Quicklook V amazing!” Gemma said. “We’ve both been working hard on our flat work and it really came off today. We have been aiming her at this competition and there’s everything to play for tomorrow, as we want to give the French a run for the top spot of the ERM podium!”

Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V. Photo by Benjamin Clark / Event Rider Masters.

Germany’s Bettina Hoy and her 13-year-old Westphalian gelding Designer 10 are sitting in third place with a 38.4. The pair rerouted to Chatsworth after having problems early on the cross country course at Badminton last week.

“There was a big atmosphere in the arena today and Designer 10 behaved really well, I am delighted. He loves being here in England,” Bettina said. “He was strong last weekend and we had a bit of disagreement early on the course, however the result is we are now here taking part in the ERM. I hope to compete in future legs across the 2017 series with either Designer 10 or Seigneur Medicott.”

Bettina Hoy and Designer 10. Photo by Benjamin Clark / Event Rider Masters.

Rosalind Canter (GBR) and her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood Zenshera were another to score a personal best, and they are now a hair away from a podium placing with 38.7. Nicola Wilson and James and Jo Labert’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood Bulana round out the top five on 39.9, cracking into the 30s for the first time in the mare’s FEI career.

Tomorrow will be a big day, and the number crunchers at ERM’s Official Statistics Provider EquiRatings predict this won’t be a dressage show!

You can rewatch the live stream of dressage at and tune in tomorrow for finale! Show jumping runs from 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. BST/5:15-7:30 a.m. EST and cross country is from 1:45-4 p.m. BST/8:45 a.m.-11 a.m. EST.

The Event Rider Masters 2017 [Event Rider Masters Live Stream] [Ride Times & Live Scoring]

Take a Virtual Walk of the Chatsworth Event Rider Masters CIC3* Course

Photo by Hannah Vowles via Cross Country App. Photo by Hannah Vowles via Cross Country App.

The Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials in Derbyshire, England kicks of the 2017 Event Rider Masters series this weekend. Thanks to the incredible power of technology, we can get a virtual preview of the CIC3* course through the innovative Cross Country App.

This year’s Ian Stark designed course has 33 efforts with an optimum time of 6 minutes 18 seconds. The time at Chatsworth is notoriously difficult to make (only two riders have ever actually made time on cross country–click here for 9 more fast facts about Chatsworth), but the pressure is on, with 40 horse and rider combinations vying for £50,000 in prize money at this event and a chance to win an additional £50,000 series bonus.

Dressage takes place today with show jumping and cross country running in that order on Sunday. Don’t forget the entire competition will be live streamed for FREE on Go Eventing.

[Event Rider Masters Live Stream] [Ride Times & Live Scoring]

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Carmen Schatte and Lady Elvira Slay at Poplar Place

Carmen Schatte and her stunning Dutch Warmblood mare Lady Elvira attacked the cross country course at Poplar Place Farm last weekend, turning in a confident double-clear round to finish fourth in the Preliminary/Training division.

Carmen has brought Elvira along from the Beginner Novice level and in the last three years their partnership has developed into something truly awesome.

After an unfortunate elimination last fall, Carmen and Elvira dropped back down a level to regain their confidence. Now they’ve truly hit their stride, earning three wins at Novice and Training level since Thanksgiving. You go girls!

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Heart of the Carolinas Water Complex

RNS Video was on site at the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event and Horse Trials in Chesterfield, SC last week and has posted one of their famous montages of the Look at the Lake Water Complex. The horse and rider combinations seen in this video are competing in the long-format three-day divisions and have already negotiated two roads and tracks sets and a steeplechase course. They are fit, fierce and fighting for the finish line!

Long live the long format! Click here to learn more about the USEA Classic Series.

The feeling you get when it’s just you and your horse

It’s why we do what we do.

Fight back against colic and digestive upset

Neigh-Lox Advanced provides a scientifically advanced blend of ingredients that work synergistically to maintain your horse’s digestive tract in peak condition by supporting both the gastrointestinal tissues and the beneficial bacteria that populate the gut.  Maintaining a healthy digestive tract reduces the risk of colonic and gastric ulcers, colic, laminitis related to hind-gut acidosis, and oxidative stress that damages digestive tract tissues themselves.  Horses with a well-balanced GI tract have good appetites, absorb more nutrients from their diets, maintain a strong immune system, and stay healthier.

It is why the horse that matters to you matters to us. Not sure which horse supplement best meets your horse’s needs? We are here to help. Contact Kentucky Performance Products, LLC at 859-873-2974 or visit our website at

Do You Know How to Fall?

Jessica Payne gets bucked off “Punky.” Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“If you’re going to ride, you’re going to fall.”

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s when and how bad it’s going to be.”

These are phrases horseback riders of all disciplines have heard and we know them to be true. No matter how sweet and safe your horse might be under saddle, one day you’re going to unintentionally part ways.

The best case scenario is you’re on your feet and swinging back into the saddle in no time at all, but we all know just how serious the results of a fall can be.

Danny and Keli Warrington are determined to help reduce the risk of catastrophic injuries through the LandSafe Rider Fall Safety System and are traveling the U.S. teaching riders how to fall using a progressive training program.

“Our goals are to save lives, reduce injuries and increase safety education,” Danny said. “I want people to understand that they’re not victims, that they have a choice in that moment during a fall and that there is training out there.”

Eventing has seen huge strides in safety technology through advanced jump construction, frangible technology and rule changes. However Danny felt that rider responsibility was a missing link in discussions about safety. Other sports such as gymnastics and martial arts teach athletes how to reduce the risk of injury early on in their training. He wondered why riding does not do the same.

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Danny retired from competitive eventing last year and dove into researching and developing a program to reduce the risk of rider injuries during falls. He discovered that Lindsay Nylund, an Olympic gymnastics athlete and coach, had a head start with his own Horse Rider Fall Safety Training program.

“I didn’t need to rewrite the book, I needed to get people safe,” Danny said. So he and Keli traveled to Australia to train and collaborate with Lindsay, who encouraged them to take that education back to the States and start teaching.

I was invited to audit one of the LandSafe clinics at Peter Barry’s beautiful farm in Aiken, South Carolina earlier this spring. I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical, even critical, of some of the videos I’d seen from previous clinics because riders were putting their arms out to break the fall. But what they learned in the process was how to protect their head and neck and roll themselves away from danger.

The biggest takeaway for me was seeing the riders find a new awareness of their body mechanics and discover that they can have control over a fall.

“The most important thing is you, your head, your neck and your safety. I really feel like we can do more for ourselves,” Danny said. “We’re trying to give your brain something to think about during a fall and train you what to do in that ‘heart moment’ (when you know you’re going down).”

Danny Warrington and Carol Kozlowski demonstrate the brace position. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

With LandSafe, you don’t have to bring your horse along to learn to fall. Using a simulator and a careful progression of techniques, you can learn to fall in a multitude of scenarios and practice in a safe environment. Before you start throwing yourself off a hydraulic horse, you start learning specific tumbling techniques on the mat.

Danny and Keli start the clinic off with basic stretches to warm-up. Next you learn about the ‘brace position,’ which is the “root of all rolling.” In this position your wrists and elbows form your ‘crash mat,’ and you’re made to practice it constantly as both a component of rolling and as a ‘finishing move’ (even if a participant lost their balance coming out of a roll, they were encouraged to keep their hands up in the brace position rather than reaching back to catch themselves).

From simple forward rolls you move on to rolling over one shoulder. Then you incorporate a trampoline and practicing leaping and rolling. Before you know it you’re doing a perfect dive roll over a stack of trapezoid mats like a seasoned gymnast.

Keli has a high-level competitive gymnastics background herself in addition to her riding experience. She demonstrated each of the various rolling techniques and expertly spotted the riders when they got to the actual falling portion of the clinic.

Her heightened level of understanding of body mechanics thanks to her gymnastics experience has been an asset to her riding career and was a valuable example for all of us observing at the clinic.

“She knows where the ground is and how gravity works. That takes over when she gets in trouble,” Danny said.

“It helped a ton when we were breaking racehorses,” she confirmed. “I always seemed to land on my feet when others might not have.”

That’s because she has been trained to control her body in the air and “spot the ground,” and it’s now a skill that is embedded into her inherent physical responses. “When a normal rider gets in trouble, instinct takes over because they have no training,” Danny said. “You have to be trained out of instinct and into reaction and response.”

Jennifer Bozza bounces off a trampoline and into a perfectly executed dive roll. Photos by Leslie Threlkeld.

Once the clinic participants were proficient in their dive rolls and brace positions, they met Punky, a large, imposing character with a naughty streak. Built on a 24-foot track, Punky’s hydraulic gears allow him to buck, spin and unceremoniously dump his rider on command.

With one person at the controls and the other spotting on the inflatable mat, riders can repeatedly and consistently practice their fall techniques at various speeds. Danny and Keli are also teaching emergency dismounts and how to escape from a rear.

“The first time you jump off is the scariest thing you’ll ever do, but by the end of it we’re bucking and spinning and you’re just gaining confidence,” Danny said.

He stressed that the goal of LandSafe is not to teach riders to bail out, he’s teaching them to control the energy of the fall.

Watch the steady progression of clinic participants learning to roll on the mat and later fall safely off Punky in the below video. (Note: The riders aren’t wearing helmets during these exercises because Danny and Keli want riders to learn how to “clear their head and neck” as they roll without the bulk of a helmet to begin.)

Four-star eventer Jessica Payne admits to being bad at falling, so much so that it’s a running joke within her family. She, like most riders, has plenty of stories about falls that she can look back on and laugh about, but they could have been far more serious.

Both of her parents are in the medical field and her father is a neurosurgeon who of course takes neck and back injuries very seriously; Jessica said she’s been wearing air vests since before they were available in the U.S.

Her husband and fellow eventer, Doug Payne, grew up vaulting and attempted to help Jessica learn a more graceful way to fall to no avail. As soon as the LandSafe clinic came to Aiken, he signed her up.

“I’m honest about it: I’m a terrible faller. I don’t know how to do it,” Jessica said. “But today I had these ‘aha’ moments so hopefully now I have the tools to know what to do.”

Jennifer Bozza is an adult amateur who participated in the clinic. She said she felt like the fear of falling was keeping her from moving up and this clinic has helped her feel like she can allow a fall to happen and feel more in control of it.

She summed it best when she said, “I love the idea of tucking instead of splatting.”

Visit the LandSafe website for more information and to find a LandSafe clinic near you.

Rolex Kentucky Show Jumping Photo Gallery

Phillip Dutton and Mr Medicott. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Phillip Dutton and Mr Medicott. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Another Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in the books and another win for Michael Jung. Reigning champions Michael and fischerRocana FST knocked it out of the park this week to secure a third consecutive victory at Rolex, a feat never before accomplished in the history of the competition, and added another fancy watch to Ze Terminator’s collection.

Phillip Dutton and Mr Medicott were at the top of their game despite very little preparation, and this world class horse will retire from the four-star level as a USEF National Four-Star Champion. Phillip has extra reason to celebrate as this marked his 40th Rolex completion – wow!

It was an incredible week. Thank you for riding along with EN. Go Eventing!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex Kentucky Final Horse Inspection Photo Gallery

Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is something we look forward to for months but when we finally get here it always seems to fly by incredibly quickly. We’ve arrived at the final day of competition of the 2017 edition of the Best Weekend All Year.

This morning’s final horse inspection confirmed 39 horse and rider combinations that will move on to show jumping this afternoon, when we will find out if Michael Jung can make history yet again with a third consecutive Rolex victory on the talented fischerRocana FST.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex Kentucky Head of the Lake Photo Gallery

Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Where to begin about today’s cross country at Rolex Kentucky? The horses and riders displayed remarkable athleticism, the spectators were as enthusiastic as ever and the weather, as usual, was really weird.

I spent the day at the Rolex Head of the Lake, and myself and several other photographers agreed we had never seen so much action there before. A massive table at 10a immediately followed by a humongous drop into the water and then a narrow fish a few strides later. That was just 10abc. On a bending line to 11, competitors then negotiated a very large narrow brush in the water, back to dry land and over another massive narrow brush before galloping away.

There were a few riders to take surprise baths (thankfully everyone walked away safely) and some impressively scrappy rides and ‘just get it done’ moments. However there were also some absolutely lovely trips, including a few from our rookies! Check out today’s 42 finishers through the iconic complex in the gallery below.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN Tailgate, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex Kentucky Day 2 Dressage Photo Gallery

Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Dressage at the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, is complete. It is absolutely thrilling to see Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen at the top of the leaderboard ahead of reining champs Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST.

The scores overall are extremely close, with ten points separating third and 30th place. Tomorrow’s course is a monster and we expect to see plenty of combinations taking care in the high temperatures expected for the day.

It was a bittersweet end to the dressage phase as Allison Springer and her incredible partner Arthur trotted down the center line in the Rolex arena for the final time. They received a heartfelt standing ovation and the deafening applause continued as they took their final lap. We’ll certainly miss this pair.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram