Lorraine Jackson
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About Lorraine Jackson

Managing Editor at our sister site, Jumper Nation.

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World Equestrian Games 2018 Forum in Omaha Unveils Logo, Talks Logistics

During the FEI World Cup in Omaha Friday, World Equestrian Games officials from both the FEI and the Tryon International Equestrian Center were on hand to update the media on the state of planning, release a tentative schedule, and also introduced their new logo to fans. Sandwiched in with that news were also some of the difficulties and what fans should expect in order to make the trek to North Carolina in September 2018.

New Logo Unveiled

“We put together a new branding concept in advance of a marketing program,” said head of Tryon International Equestrian Center Mark Bellissimo. “The logo incorporates the essence of horse sport and the FEI’s #TwoHearts campaign — we worked with the FEI to develop something that really captures the horse and rider interaction.”

weg

Sport Facility Construction Update

For the performance venues, Mark says that they are on schedule to have all of the competition rings and cross country tracks completed before the end of 2017.

“We feel very comfortable here that the most important element — having the venue and the facility ready for the sports themselves — we feel very confident that we’ll have all of that covered by October of this year. So there’s no risk from a sport perspective.”

What About the Fans? 

Hospitality, traffic and parking, and accommodations are of utmost concerns to the committee, and they admit they’re having to think creatively and make certain concessions.

US Precision Construction LLC, a subsidiary of Tryon Equestrian Partners that specializes in fully fabricated multi-use structures, has been put to work designing and building a sort of “mini-Olympic village” on-site for athletes in the style of modular cabin already found at Tryon.

They’ve hired a traffic directing/parking company which will manage the massive influx of spectators expected for the two week event and shuttle systems are also part of the game plan. Thanks to eager local officials, Tryon also anticipates adding a handful of new freeway exits off of I-74 to handle those headed to the event.

The concessions? Due to the mass numbers needed to put on an event of this magnitude, officials say they’ve already booked 2,000+ rooms in nearby towns for their staff, and spectators should prepare themselves (and plan ahead) for a trek from as far out as Charlotte: a 75-mile drive.

“It’s certainly a more rural setting — the middle of nowhere but the center of everything,” said Mark. He noted Spartanburg, Charlotte, and Asheville as the nearest large scale choices with maximum accommodation. (We’re leaning toward Asheville, a 45-mile drive, which Mark noted is the “craft beer capital of the world.”)

Schedule

Finally, the committee also unveiled a tentative schedule of events, and noted that they wanted to spread things out a bit more to ensure events didn’t unnecessarily overlap.

The schedule is as follows:

September 11 – Opening Ceremonies

September 12 – Endurance, Reining, Dressage

September 13- Eventing Dressage, Reining, Dressage

September 14 – Eventing Dressage, Dressage

September 15 – Eventing Cross Country, Reining

September 16 “Super Sunday” – Eventing Stadium Jumping, Dressage Freestyle Finals

September 17 – Rest Day

September 18 – ParaDressage, Vaulting

September 19 – ParaDressage, Vaulting, Show Jumping

September 20 – ParaDressage, Show Jumping, Vaulting

September 21 – ParaDressage, Driving, Show Jumping

September 22 – ParaDressage, Driving, Vaulting

September 23 – Driving, Show Jumping, Closing Ceremonies

You can watch the full press conference below, and more information will become available on the WEG 2018 Website.

Emily Daignault-Salvaggio contributed to this story.

Best of JN: Jessica Springsteen Jumps the Arena Decor to Take CSI 5* Win at WEF

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S. PC: Sportfot

Jessica Springsteen and current top partner Davendy S slayed in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 5* earlier this week at WEF by pulling out a bit of a stunt, much to the crowd’s delight. Jessica noticed in her course walk that a clever line which crossed a decorative pool could get her a better spot to the second half of the jump-off.

(You can watch Jessica’s winning round by clicking here and then clicking the “play” button beside the name of the competitor.)

The round was set by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil – a course filled with related distances and sharp corners. Of the 54 starters, 22 saw double-clear rounds. Besides Jessica and Davendy S, the other top six combinations were all within one second of each other, proving what a competitive round it was.

Jessica and Davendy just edged out Amanda Derbyshire and Lady Maria BH, who nabbed second by cutting out a stride in the final line that no one was brave or forward enough to attempt. Kristin Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino also gave a gusty ride to claim third.

“I knew if I jumped the water, it would give me a better line to start the second phase,” explained Jessica after her round. “The other area I focused on was taking my time back to the last line because it was a really tight turn and a lot of people ran into problems there. I wanted to make sure she got her eye on it.”

Jessica and Davendy S have gained a reputation for being strong contenders in the speed classes and won the same class during week seven of the 2017 winter circuit.

Photo by Sportfot

Glowing as she spoke of her mare and top mount of three years, Jessica said, “She was so good! She always shines in these speed classes, so I was definitely planning on going for it. She was really with me in every turn and at every fence, so I’m really happy with her. Every time she goes in the ring she wants to win and loves to go fast. I just try to keep her confidence up and make her happy!”

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

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Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo by HelloGrace via Instagram

I’ve been to an awful lot of cross country days in my lifetime, and still I am positive I have never done it as well as this little lady. I hereby solemnly swear to reconsider why I don’t treat the field like a runway, and resolve to be better, fiercer, and more on fleek. (But seriously. The baby hunter boots and shades? I die. She wins.)

U.S. Weekend Action

Carolina International CIC and H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Stream] [Schedule] [Orders of Go] [Live Scores] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

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

Sunday Links:

Burgham International canceled due to weather conditions

Arrogate From Last to First in Stunning Dubai World Cup

“Whoa Shamrock!” A NSFW Ride on a Runaway Horse

Are You a Badminton HT First-Timer? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Repeated studies show shortcomings among riders in identifying lameness in horses

Jessica Springsteen Jumps the Arena Decor to Take CSI 5* Win at WEF

Sunday Video:

Social Media Roundup: Copper Meadows Shines

Nikki Ayers and Rubicon. Photo by Rachel E. Waters

Nikki Ayers and Rubicon. Photo by Rachel E. Waters

It was a perfect finish for the weekend in the land of Chill Vibes, as Nikki Ayers and Rubicon led and conquered the Advanced division wire to wire. Thanks in no small part to his genuine performance over cross country yesterday:

 Nikki had three rails in hand going into show jumping today and ultimately put two of them to use on a tricky course, but managed to keep her spot atop the leaderboard. Having now slayed the dragon at Copper Meadows, Nikki has a lot to look forward to for the remainder of the spring. “We’re probably going to do the two-star at Galway Downs – I wanted to do the three-star, but (coach Hawley Bennett) is not going to be here, and I feel it would kind of be smart to have my coach there for my first three-star! After that we’ll be headed to either Woodside or Colorado.”
Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against also maintained their position in the standings, finishing second after taking one rail down with them and making the time. Robyn Fisher and Look Again claimed third with a rail of their own.In the Open Intermediate, Taren Hoffos and Gustav put in a clutch double-clear show jumping round to take the victory today on home turf. Barb Crabo and Waterford brought down just one heartbreaker of a rail to finish a close second in the division.

In Open Preliminary, Christi Payne and Maxwell Smart were the only combination in the division to go double clear in both jumping phases, securing her victory in a loaded division on a 25.7. Barb Crabo nabbed another red aboard Madison Collin’s Pippin with a nearly flawless weekend (just 1.2 time faults in cross country) to finish on a 33.5. Third went to Leah Breakey aboard her own Master Class.

The lower levels finally got their chance to run the cross country today, and the sailing looked fine. See the full social media round-up below!

 

 

 

Guinness on Draft leaving just a little extra room for Chloe Smyth yesterday at @coppermeadows A post shared by Sophie’s Dad (@eventing_dad) on

 

Just me and the bugs!! #volunteering #coppermeadows #eventing #horse #love #me

A post shared by Ben Hall (@notthekidd) on

 

 

And this from Team SAMnYAMKA today!…. Novice level 7th out of 21…finished on their dressage score…

Posted by Marie MacAulay on Sunday, March 19, 2017

 

Odie and Lulu are packing.

Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017

 

Henri!!!

Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017

 

Odie was perfect. His rider had a rail.

Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017

And finally, this super sweet video to Hawley Bennett, Canadian Olympian now based out of Copper Meadows, who is heading to Rolex next month and is getting a lot of love from family, friends, and fans!

Go Copper Meadows, and Go Eventing.

adv oi op

Australian National Squads Include US-Based Riders Ryan Wood and Dom Schramm

Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Equestrian Australia has updated their National Squads for Eventing, with two U.S. based riders making their mark in the upper levels, and one young rider included on the Youth Squad.

Dom Schramm makes the list with the Naked Horse Eventing Syndicate’s Bolytair B, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding who has been consistently moving up the levels and making a splash since the two first paired up in late 2015.

Dom and Boly made a successful Advanced debut at Pine Top in February and followed up with another good start at Red Hills — they had clean cross country runs and finished in the top ten at both. The two are entered in the Carolina International CIC3* this coming week.

Ryan Wood also makes the list on mutliple horses, and is poised to make a splash in 2017 with these three geldings:

Fernhill Classic – An 11-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse owned by the Fernhill Classic Syndicate

Powell – An 11-year-old black Oldenburg owned by Summit Sporthorses Ltd.

Woodstock Bennett – A 10-year-old chestnut Irish Sport Horse owned by Ryan Wood & Curran Simpson

Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Woodstock Bennett and Powell have been consistent partners for Ryan with solid top finishes; Notable scores for Powell include a second place finish at Fair Hill in 2015 in the CIC3* and a win at Jersey Fresh in the CCI3* in 2016. Woodstock Bennett has been equally strong, nabbing podium spots with a win at Bromont last year in the CCI3* and finishing second at the AECs in the Advanced Division.

Fernhill Classic made his Rolex debut last year and jumped out of his skin in cross country to finish without jump penalties, and the horse is poised for another strong season, having just made a top 20 finish at the Wellington Eventing Showcase in February. Ryan confirmed to EN that “Classic” will compete at Rolex again this year.

In the Youth Squad, U.S.-based Ema Klugman and Bendigo are well positioned to be included in the future of eventing;  The pair have been together three years and this past fall claimed sixth place in a competitive CCI2* division at Virginia. The Duke University student keeps up a string of horses and a full course load with no sign of slowing down. (Read an EN feature about Ema’s fascinating life from when she was 15 here.)

The National Recognition Squad is part of Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Strategy, which was developed to encourage a higher caliber of elite performance across not only the equestrian disciplines, but all Olympic sports. In addition to the recognition squads, which have a strict criteria for eligibility, we should soon expect to see an announcement about Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Squad, which will be developed with the long range goal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Mind.

[Eventing National Recognition Squads]

Sunday Video: Horse Stretches to Make a Supple Athlete

Heaven knows I am a different person after a good yoga power session, and when I’m consistently working on my poses in class and at home, I’m a completely different rider. So why should it be any different for my horse?

Massage therapist and equine body work specialist Carol Grant – in conjunction with Grace Gerry of GG Eventing – have a great informative video on exercises you can add quickly and easily to your daily routine with your horse to help them be more fit, supple, strong, and soft, and less prone to injury. (Also, why doesn’t my yoga class include snacks? Can I get an amen up in here?)

Obviously, we recommend talking to your own vet or certified equine massage therapist about perfecting these exercises and selecting stretches that are the best for your animal, but this is a great launch point for learning more about your horse’s body and how to assist them in being the best athlete they can be.

You can learn more about Carol Grant and her ESMT business on her Facebook page, and you can learn more about ambitous up-and-comer Grace Gerry at her website.

Get to stretching, and Go Eventing!

 

Best of JN: Rodrigo Pessoa Takes the Reins of Irish Show Jumping Dream Team

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Photo courtesy of Sport Horse Ireland

Brazilian Show Jumping dynasty and superstar Rodrigo Pessoa will be the Team Manager and Chef d’Equipe of the Irish Show Jumping Team, Horse Sport Ireland announced earlier this week. Under no uncertain terms, Irish leadership made it clear this appointment was made in hopes of “delivering medals” for a team chock full of talent but somehow left off the podium at major events all too often in the past decade.

Talent and Leadership in Spades

44-year-old Rodrigo is a formidable choice for leading a team to victory; the famed rider has a gold and two bronze Olympic medals and won the FEI World Cup Final three years in a row aboard his iconic Baloubet Du Rouet.

Additionally, Rodrigo has a long history of leadership in the sport, having served as president of the IJRC and as athlete representative to the FEI for Show Jumping.

He is equally admired for his character and love of fair sport. Rodrigo was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Diploma in 2010 following the World Equestrian Games, where he offered his fellow competitors advice on riding his mount Rebozza in the final four showdown. He would go on to finish fourth, but earned the admiration and respect of fans and fellow riders.

Of his new role, Rodrigo Pessoa said: “I am looking forward to working with this very talented group of riders and horses in the near future. At the end of August we have the European Championships in Sweden where we want to have a strong team ready to battle for top positions. I want to thank Horse Sport Ireland for giving me this opportunity and hope that we will be successful together.”

Tackling a Chronic Problem for Team Ireland

The pressure will be on Pessoa and the high performance team, who despite a slew of superstars (they have more riders in the top 30 rankings than any other country in the world) failed to qualify a team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Bertram Allen secured an individual slot for an Irish Olympian by way of his global ranking, but former Irish Chef d’Equipe Robert Splaine opted to give the slot to Greg Broderick, who did not qualify beyond the opening round in Rio. He was ranked 252nd at the time of his nomination.

This was after an already devastating drama for Team Ireland in which they lost the 2015 European Championships by a single rail – a rail which they argued happened because of interference by a grounds crew member who stepped in front of Cian O’Connor’s Good Luck in the jump-off. Ireland lodged multiple protests, all of which were denied, costing them a team slot in Rio.

Interestingly, their unfortunate performances as a team have not extended to Nations Cup appearances, as the Irish have taken very prestigious CSIO titles in Wellington, Ocala, and Aachen in the past few years. But Olympic, WEG, and European Championships continue to evade them. Rodrigo will be pushing to weed out the weaknesses of timing, chemistry, and comparability in a team primed for the group spotlight.

Pessoa Still to Ride

This will not spell the end or even the pause of Rodrigo’s riding career, but he has said that coaching Ireland’s team will be his first priority. He still plans to compete his string when it is convenient, as long as the schedule permits him to still be available for the team’s needs. The timing is somewhat fortuitous in a ‘making lemonade out of lemons’ for Rodrigo, as his main five-star mount, Jordan, has been in a long rehabilitative recovery since sustaining an injury during the Rio selection trials. The Anglo European gelding may very well have another year or more of recovery, and Rodrigo’s current contract with Ireland extends through the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Horse Sport Ireland interim CEO James Kennedy shares in Rodrigo’s enthusiasm to move toward success, adding with both seemingly optimism and determination,”I wish Rodrigo the very best of luck in his new position and we look forward to a new chapter in Irish Show Jumping with a shared goal of delivering medals.”

Let the countdown to WEG 2018 begin.

[Rodrigo Pessoa appointed Senior High Performance Director of the Irish Show Jumping team]

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

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Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Travis Atkinson aboard 'Baby Max'. Photo courtesy of Sydni Nusink.

Travis Atkinson aboard ‘Baby Max’ at Skyline Eventing Park. Photo courtesy of Sydni Nusink.

One of my absolute favorite parts of my job here at “Insanity in the Middle Headquarters” is seeing an email or a Facebook post from a friend notifying me that they have something that “needs to go on Eventing Nation.” In those brief moments before the attachment has downloaded, I feel the anticipation of knowing I’m about to see someone defying mortality itself. Even more so if it’s January, February, or March. It’s high season for defying death up in here.

This treat was certainly not a disappointment. ‘Baby Max’ is actually a baby dressage horse, but his USDF certified trainer Sydni Nusink believes in the value of a good cross training now and again. Or in this case, accidentally discovering that a horse is destined for a little more cross training. Four-star prospect, anyone?

U.S. Weekend Action:

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

Exmoor H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/RideTimes/Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

Cheers! The Giddy Box proves popular with partying riders (As in… all eventers?)

Horseware Boss, 66, Qualifies to Compete at WEG 2018 in Endurance

Willberry Does Badminton: join eventing stars for exciting preview event

Platinum traces in soil may help explain mass extinction of North American mammals

The Craic Heard ‘Round the World: My Irish Sidesaddle Foxhunting Adventure

Saut Hermès CSI 5* Show Jumping Day 1 Round Up: Full Video, Epic French Showdown +More

Sunday Video: Cross Country nirvana, as demonstrated by Shelby Brost and Namaste (See what I did there?)

The Rundown: Cross Country Day at Copper Meadows

Britt Sabbah and Saint Louie at Copper Meadows Winter HIT 2017. Photo by Lisa Takada via Instagram.

Britt Sabbah and Saint Louie at Copper Meadows Winter HT 2017. Photo by Lisa Takada via Instagram.

You couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular day for cross country at Copper Meadows in Ramona, California: Temperatures loomed in the 60s and 70s for daylight hours, and the footing was ideal after a winter with above-average precipitation. Organizer Robert Kellerhouse and course designer Hugh Lochore have poured their lifeblood into a complete course redesign that keeps riders at all levels on their toes, and good, safe tests were the outcome today.

In the advanced division, time faults created a bit of a shakeup with no one going double clear, but Nikki Ayers and Andree Stow’s Rubicon managed to maintain their lead – they added 7.6 time faults to a dressage score of 29.1 to give them two rails in hand going into show jumping tomorrow.

“My plan was really just to go around clean,” Nikki told EN. “I really wanted to work on his rhythm and rideability. I felt this course was a really nice big gallopy-type course, and he’s really good with his footwork to begin with, so I figured if I can just keep a good steady gallop all the way around he would answer all the questions.”

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against are holding second in the Advanced division at the moment with a 48.3 after adding a handful of time faults as well.

“I think the course rode really well in the sense that they started off with some really straightforward concepts,” Bunnie said. “Then I was able to pull my horse up a little bit – he likes to get really strong and I let the combinations do their job. I’ll give him a hint, ‘you’re going to wait, you’re going to wait,’ and then if he’s a little bold for it, he’s got to shorten himself in the combinations because when they start getting bigger and harder, he’s going to need to have some self preservation. So he got himself in a little tight in the out part of the first coffin, and actually it did great things for him.”

Bunnie added that she appreciated having the brand new bank just installed as part of the advanced course.

“I really like the fact that they have a big down bank here. That was something that was very healing for me after Burghley, and  even though he jumped it tentatively, he was so soft and easy to get right back on track and went forward with all the confidence in the world.”

Photo by Sally Spickard.

Copper Meadows Advanced bank. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Robyn Fisher went clear on her two Advanced rides today; she jumped from fifth to third on Vicky Koss’s Look Again, and had a nice steady ride on Carol Singh’s Betawave to sit in fourth.

In the Open Intermediate, Barb Crabo currently leads the pack with Waterford (owned by the Waterford Syndicate, LLC). This is Barb’s first intermediate start with the gray Danish Warmblood gelding since joining forces over the off season; they previously had successful starts going Prelim at Fresno and Galway Downs this year.

In Open Preliminary, Christi Payne and Connie Dunham’s lovely Trakehner gelding Maxwell Smart got their season going with one of the few double clear rounds of the day to maintain their lead on a score of 25.7 going into show jumping.

There is still a lot more action to come from sunny California including more cross country tomorrow for the lower levels, but in the meantime, Copper Meadows Eventers are blowing up social media – see a good smattering of Dressage and Cross Country happenings below!

  A post shared by Vanessa Hughes (@ladyphotographic) on Mar 18, 2017 at 1:59pm PDT

  Getting cuddly here at Copper Meadows! #horses #renegadeequestrian #ottb #eventing #babysfirsthorseshow   A post shared by Lindsey Smith (@renegade_equestrian) on Mar 18, 2017 at 10:36am PDT

When the rednecks come to California… A post shared by Rebecca Bird Mortensen (@beckybuckwyld) on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:45pm PDT

  So we started out the weekend on a 31.8 and we’re sitting in 5th, with our best dressage score in Eventing in our 1st prelim. Sadly coming out of the water after a water fence we jumped and then fell/slipped coming out of the water. Up until that everything was perfect! Very proud of our first Prelim and no we weren’t eliminated. It’s considered a retirement, so Bartok didn’t do anything wrong just slipped. Very happy with this weekend, thank for everyone supporting me and making sure we were okay. Can’t wait to get to Galway! Silly stuff happens in the upper levels!! But Bartok is okay which is the biggest thing. Going to ride him later today, probably just walk and make sure he is all good in the hood. This won’t hold us back from anything just not a lucky turn u guess. :( #eventingslr #slr #eventing #prelim #13   A post shared by Mahari Blanks (@maharieventing) on Mar 18, 2017 at 11:52am PDT

 

And because Dogs need a cross country day, too:

Best of Day 1:

The legendary Axel Steiner judging dressage:

Lauren and AJ back at it. A post shared by Jay Benge (@jay.benge) on Mar 17, 2017 at 7:35pm PDT

@pineapple_lyss, getting ready for fancy pony walky time.   A post shared by Dave Bernhardt (@zbernhardts) on Mar 17, 2017 at 6:39pm PDT

Keep it locked on EN for more from Copper Meadows this weekend and around the world! Go Eventing.

Copper Meadows: Website, Facebook, Live Scores

adv intermediate prelim

Best of JN: Seringat Decides When Seringat is Done Jumping

seringat

Cian and Seringat make a grand exit. Screenshot via Facebook

Cian O’Connor has an incredible knack for picking up rides with personality. Earlier this year we got to see the pizzazz that Good Luck likes to bring to the ring after a few weeks of R&R, and this past weekend, Cian’s ride Seringat had a show of his own to share with the world.

During the opening round of the $216,000 CSI04* Grand Prix in Wellington this weekend, Cian and the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding put in a foot-perfect performance to snag a spot in the jump-off, but Seringat decided the only way to celebrate was to keep going.

Cian O’Connor – SeringatAn exuberant Seringat added in an extra obstacle during the first round of today’s $216,000 CSIO 4* after jumping clear. Cian O’Connor
Final results:
1st: Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z
2nd: Conor Swail and Rubens LS La Silla
3rd: Ali Wolff and Casall

Posted by JumpingSquad on Sunday, March 5, 2017

The proud jumping machine leaped the arena barrier to the delight of the crowd and amusement of Cian, who always seems to be extremely good-natured about his horse’s unique ways of getting the job done. The pair would ultimately finish this class just inside the money in 12th place after taking a pole down in the jump-off.

Cian and Seringat have made a real splash since joining up in November 2016, instantly finding a kind of competitive rhythm and simpatico. They were in the top ten in two grand prix classes at Deeridge Farms in February, won a Table A Grand Prix in Ocala during international week,  helped Ireland secure the win in the FEI Nations Cup in Ocala and repeated that epic performance at the Nations Cup this weekend in Wellington.

Essentially, they’ve done more in 12 weeks together than most horses and riders will accomplish in a lifetime.

As it goes in this sport, this will be Cian and Seringat’s final performance together. Just today Cian shared on his Facebook page that the horse has been sold to Norwegian legend Geir Gulliksen. Geir has competed in three World Cup finals, four World Equestrian Games, and was part of Norway’s Olympic team in Beijing. He will surely put the talented gelding to good use.

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing what other personalities emerge from Cian’s string, as they are bound to do.

Go Jumping.

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-3-10-37-pm

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna. Photo by Jenni Autry.

If you’d like to see a demonstration in the best way to “spring forward” for Daylight Savings Time, Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna would be more than happy to demonstrate. That cute little 16-year-old Anglo-Trakhener face had one of the fastest and cleanest trips of the day at Red Hills yesterday, springing them forward from 18th to fourth in the CIC3*. Also, those tidy little knees! I swoon, I pine, I perish. (I’m a sucker for tight knees and a dishy face.)

Weekend Action

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Sunday Links

Standing Ovation: Canter Illinois

FEI Pledges Support to International Gender Champions Network and Gender Equality

10 Mantras From Non-Equestrians That Could Transform Your Next Round

Popular British paralympic equestrian Anne Dunham retires at 68

The big freeze: Breakthrough as scientists chill out over frozen semen

Mary and Emily King open 300-year-old forge

Sunday Video: Mexican Eventer Daniela Moguel rocking it through the Red Hills CIC3* water complex

Best of JN: Three Great Rides From WEF You Might Have Missed

Screenshot via YouTube. Screenshot via YouTube.

When the winter circuits are rolling full steam ahead, not every great ride gets a ribbon, and not even every winning ride gets proper credit. This week we’ve curated a gallery of lovely and educational rides you might have missed from the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

To kick off the show, we’re bringing you this soft, encouraging jump-off ride from Adam Prudent aboard Volcan d’Ivraie, an eight-year-old Selle Francais/Anglo Arabian gelding owned by Plain Bay Sales. They would go on to finish third in this 1.30 m class at WEF 7:

Our second ride is this scrappy jump-off round from David Blake and Zafira, a 10-year-old mare by Cassini I, who scored the victory in the $2,000 1.30 m class at WEF 2. Zafira is owned by Pine Hollow Farm.

Our final ride comes from the hunter ring: Gavin Moylan and String of Pearls took the win in the 3’6″ young horse championship at WEF 2 with this lovely ride. String of Pearls is a seven-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Priscilla Denegre, who also happens to be Gavin’s mother-in-law.

Moylan gushed over the mare following their win, saying “She’s a mare that I found in Germany as a four-year-old with super breeding. I think it took us about two and a half seconds to decide to buy her when we first saw her. She’s the whole package; a good mover, a really great jumper, and has such a quality mind.”

We’ll continue to bring you great rides from around the country, so keep it locked on JN!

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-3-10-37-pm

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

The view over The Event at Skyline in Mt. Pleasant, UT. Photo by Lorraine Jackson

The view over The Event at Skyline in Mt. Pleasant, UT. Photo by Lorraine Jackson

Skyline Eventing Park in Mt. Pleasant, Utah hosted its first schooling show of the year today for our beloved little region, and not a one of us could believe that we were packed up and on the road before dark. We had a great turnout, prompt and talented participants, and most importantly, we were able to raise some funds for a friend and local eventer, Erin Johnson, who was injured in a house fire earlier this year and remains in the ICU. She’s making the most inspiring and hard core recovery, and being able to utilize our event to help someone so important to our community is one of the greatest gifts of running an event. We continue to wish our friend Erin a fast and epic recovery. If anyone can do it, she can!

Weekend Action

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

Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Sunday Links

California steps up disaster preparedness for horse owners

Good vibrations: Horse-riding can improve children’s learning ability, study suggests

First-Event-Of-The-Season-Bingo: How Many of These Can You Spot?

USEA Intercollegiate Championship Returns to Virginia Horse Trials in May

Weird Things I’ve Said to My Horse

Margaret Crevar: USEA’s Volunteer of the Month

 

Best of JN: Grand Prix Workhorse Michael Tokaruk

Photo courtesy of Michael Tokaruk/ Tokaruk.com

Photo courtesy of Michael Tokaruk/ Tokaruk.com

When Michael Tokaruk was 15 years old, he got the greatest gift of his life the day before Christmas: Gary Zook called and offered him a working student position for the coming summer, and it was the first of many jobs which would eventually produce a professional who loves the hard work of the sport as much as he loves the horses themselves.

We spoke as he was making the 14-hour haul from the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington to his home base in Collierville, Tennessee with a pit-stop in Ocala to do some horse shopping, and Michael was just decompressing from a long and successful stint at WEF with his talented crew and clients.

“We had a real good group of students. Some that had been there already and some that were there for the first time, but virtually everybody got some good ribbons,” Michael told JN. “We had some champions, some reserves. And we were jumping into some serious divisions. I was proud of the group and the horses. We didn’t just hold our own, and that’s not easy at the most competitive show in the world across all the divisions.”

Michael and student Arden Stephens aboard Ultra T. Photo courtesy of Michael Tokaruk

Michael and student Arden Stephens aboard Ultra T. Photo courtesy of Michael Tokaruk

A grand prix rider and coach will wear many hats in a day – teacher, trainer, competitor, buyer, boss, groom, long haul trucker and therapist – and Michael wears them all with pride. He knew from the beginning that it was a nonstop lifestyle, and one to which he is well-suited.

Michael was born into a horse loving family with a mother who rode and owned horses, and soon he and his siblings were all getting barn time of their own. By 14, he knew this was what he wanted to do with his life. His family didn’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to sink into the best horses, so he began strategizing how to trade his work ethic for an education.

“I made a VHS tape of my riding and sent it off to a list of trainers I knew from the magazines and wanted to ride with. I remember reading a Practical Horseman article about Meredith Taylor winning the AHSA Medal Finals as a working student for Ken Berkley and Gary Zook and I said ‘if she can do it, I want to do it.’”

Michael and Baton Rouge. Photo courtesy of Draper Therapies.

Michael and Baton Rouge. Photo courtesy of Draper Therapies.

Gary Zook made that fateful phone call Christmas Eve, and Michael was off to chase the dream just as he had planned. His experience with Gary – who passed away in 2012 — was invaluable in lessons, contacts and experiences, but also because it gave Michael the opportunity to dive into the full experience of the business.

“It was a dream come true for me. I tried to work hard and do the best I could and do anything and everything to ride a horse. They just kept putting me on different horses and I just kept trying harder and working harder.”

The work ethic, ability, and good attitude led to Michael connecting with Geoff Sutton, who at the time had a string of elegant junior jumpers that Michael was able to utilize and show off in his final year as a junior rider. Numerous trainers offered assistance and Michael was able to take some big equitation wins at Devon, Palm Beach, and he was in the ribbons in the Medal Finals, true to his goal.

Like many promising junior riders, Michael had intentions to go professional, but also had big decisions to make about his future. There were less programs even ten years ago than there are now (the Emerging Athletes Program, the U25 Divisions and trainer certification programs) and as a good student, higher education was looming.

With the strong encouragement of his parents, Michael pursued and completed a degree in Political Science at George Washington University in Washington D.C., but he never stopped riding during that time, and took a year off to work the barns. In the summers he worked abroad with Roeloef Bril in the Netherlands and got to see the business across the pond.

When he graduated he immediately went to work as a professional rider at Spring Mill Farm for David Pellegrini and eventually started his own business. Hanging his own shingle is a dream that has had its ups and downs since he first went pro, but Michael has always done whatever it takes to succeed in one of the toughest careers in the world.

“Not just show up and ride, but be there early mornings, late nights, every day, every night. I loved it and I still love it, I can’t get enough of it.”

Today, he passes those philosophies on to his numerous students, and his reputation and winning record have allowed him to partner with supportive owners and fellow trainers like Hardin Towell, Richie Maloney, and Charlie Jayne in producing exceptional Grand Prix horses. His only regret seems to be wishing there were time to attend every circuit in an 800 mile radius of Tennessee.

He’s coming off a great year in the Grand Prix ring, taking home wins and prize money with Cupid Shuffle, Eminem, and Baton Rouge, all of whom were sales horses.

According to plan, each of his Grand Prix mounts was successfully moved into new competition homes, which is a bittersweet part of the job. They complete the objective of moving the horse along, but Michael and his team clearly love the horses in their care. This week he acquired a new ride as a project for Richie Maloney, and plans to add to his string when the winter circuits start to wind down.

“I’ve been able to build relationships throughout my career and connect with some really great people that have faith in my riding and my program. I can take their horses on, ride them myself, represent them for sale and hopefully get them sold in a different market.”

One thing was clear from our conversation: Michael Tokaruk doesn’t take a day of his career for granted – from putting in hours as a working student and then as a hired rider to now keeping his business going for the past decade, he never took a shortcut or turned down a golden opportunity and that has made him the trainer he is today.

TSS has found a winning formula for thriving in the sport, and the 2017 season will bring a full slate of opportunities to keep the machine moving forward. Michael and his team will be regrouping at home for a few weeks before heading to the Gulf Coast Winter Classic series in Gulfport, Mississippi, followed by Pin Oak Charity show in Houston, Texas and then to the Brownland Farm spring series close to home in Tennessee.

You can keep up with Michael by visiting tokaruk.com and by following Tokaruk Show Stables on Facebook.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Sunset at Three Lakes HT in Groveland, FL. Photo by Hilda Donahue

Sunset at Three Lakes HT in Groveland, FL. Photo by Hilda Donahue

Random warm fronts, unusual flooding, and massive snowstorms ravage numerous parts of the country, and meanwhile, in Florida, it looks like this. Those of us in the Rocky Mountains still trying to get four feet of snow off the barn roofs before they cave in are totally fine with this. We’re feeling great about all our life decisions. Really.

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.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Advanced CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Sunday Links

Study Explores Whether Horses Can Sense Mental Trauma in Humans

Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Detroit Horse Power

Horses Stranded in San Jose Floodwaters On Drier Ground

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S ‘Tougher Than the Rest’ at WEF

Opportunity of a Lifetime: Groom for Lucy Davis

Sunday Video:

 

 

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo by M.Shotgun1979 on Instagram

Rider at Fresno Horse Trials. Photo by M.Shotgun1979 on Instagram

While much of the country was ravaged by strange or simply abundant winter weather, the skies held out for the fine folks at the Fresno County Horse Park on cross country day, a fine reward after sloshing through the muck in the first phase on Friday. As for the rest of us, if you’re still fighting off a foot of snow, mud, or flood water, keep your chin up. Spring is coming!

Weekend Action

Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Fresno County Horse Park CIC & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

Sunday Links

Chromie is My Homie

Fantasy Farm Thursday: Retire to Madden Mountain

Watch: Cian O’Connor’s ‘Good Luck’ Offers Up a Charming Rodeo Ride at WEF

New Ebola Treatment Derived from Horse Antibodies

The Cinnamon Comeback: Can it Help Your Horse’s Health?

Sunday Video:

Best of JN: Rider Spotlight – Nayel Nassar

“My parents had the brilliant idea that my first horse be a five-year-old chestnut mare.”

And the rest is history. With those auspicious beginnings, rising Grand Prix phenomenon Nayel Nassar has built a reputation for being a horseman, a competitor, and a mainstay on the west coast and beyond. Last week he claimed a victory which was a surprise to many – though not those who knew him and his program – when he and Lordan won the $216,000 World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Masters.

One person who was not surprised was his former coach, Laura Kraut, who took second behind the indomitable pair.

“I think he is one of the most talented young riders to come along in a while,” Laura said after the event. “It’s no surprise he’s sitting where he is.”

Born and raised in Egypt, (the country he still represents at international events) Nayel grew up in a strong local program that gave him a solid foundation for his future. In his teens when many young students get distracted, Nayel’s passion and his parents’ encouragement to persist through adversity pushed him further into the sport.

“Definitely there were lots of moments where I wanted to quit, being so young and not really knowing what following through means,” Nayel told Xmedia in a mini-documentary this winter. “But I have to say my mom and my dad were always just very encouraging. Whenever I get a little down or decided this wasn’t really for me or fell off three times in the same lesson they were really good at making sure I stayed the course just because they didn’t want me to see myself as a quitter.”

In his later teens, Nayel was able to head north to Europe and train with accomplished coaches like Markus Beerbaum and other renowned coaches to drill his competency and gain exposure to new competition. His abilities and ambition continued to skyrocket, and Nayel continued to hone in on his sensitive feel to any and every horse.

But two very special horses helped catapult Nayel into the international spotlight and launch his professional career: Raging Bull Vangelis S (“Brutus”) and Lordan. The two scopey and fearless horses brought different strengths and opportunities to the table for Nayel – where Brutus was a bit older and more experienced in the FEI ring (he was a longtime partner of British rider Robert Smith) and could show Nayel the ins and outs of the top level of sport, Lordan was a nearly clean slate for Nayel to produce himself.

Nayel took Lordan all the way from his first FEI class to contests all over the world with great success, including wins like the HITS Million, the speed class at the Longines Masters LA, and their most recent win last week at Deeridge Farms.

Recently, Nayel has also added two more potential superstars to his string in Acita 4 and Baraka. Acita 4, a ten-year-old Holsteiner mare who was third at the CSI3* in Del Mar this past fall, third in the CSI5* at Spruce Meadows, and winner at the Las Vegas National in 2015. Baraka is a ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding who was slow to come along in his early years, but this season came into his own with strong showings at Spruce Meadows, Thunderbird Park, and the Las Vegas National.

As for the still young rider’s future ( he only just recently aged out of the U25 division), Nayel plans to continue to fly mostly solo and apply the training of his youth from the likes of Markus and Laura to carve out his own destiny. He says he also thrives on the kindness and openness that exists in the sport when he receives advice and instruction from fellow competitors. Among his favorites is Enrique Gonzalez, who represented Mexico at the Beijing Olympics and 2014 WEG.

“Most people don’t know this, but I bother Enrique before every big Grand Prix by asking him what he thinks of my course plan.” Nayel said. “I even called him before the Million because I couldn’t find him! He always gives me the best advice and is the closest thing I have to a trainer out here.”

See Nayel’s full interviews on his background and the connection he was with Lordan in the mini-documentaries below, produced by X Media.

You can learn more about Nayel Nassar and stay updated on his 2017 season by following him on Facebook and subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Go Nayel, and Go Jumping.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

whenyouseeit

Pine Top organizer Janet Wilson really, REALLY keeping competitors on their toes during the course walk with a subtle trick! #whenyouseeit

If you can’t have a little fun as an event organizer by terrorizing perfectly nice competitors who have paid good money to be there, WHAT EVEN IS THE POINT. Normally you can develop a pretty health amount of fear into a rider with a few dodgy looking but impeccably built trakehners and a shiny new water complex, but if all else fails, there are always snakes. Thank heavens.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sunday Links

Fantasy Farm: Outside is for chumps: Interconnected home and barn

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 Continue Hot Streak to Win WEF Challenge Cup Round 5

Five Looks We Love at HITS Coachella

US horse racing gets guidance over hallucinogenic drug glaucine

What’s in a Whinny? More Than You Might Think, Research Suggests

Sunday Video:

Best of JN: Todd Minikus Goes on Winning Spree in Wellington

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Susan Stickle, courtesy of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Susan Stickle, courtesy of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

Wellington sure put on a spectacle of a show, as they do every year. As someone who spends a good chunk of my day covering the H/J side of Welly World, I can only imagine the novelty for spectators, owners, business professionals and sponsors in seeing the eventers jump right through the VIP tent. It captures a certain elegance of Wellington and insanity of eventing in a single, spectacular (and sometimes gasp-inducing) moment. You do you, Welly, and we’ll be watching.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Wellington Eventing Showcase: Final ScoresEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s Instagram

Stable View Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Wed 2/8 Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

Does My Horse Look Cute In These Genes?

Fantasy Farm Thursday: $3 Million California Ranch with a Side of Free Guac

Beezie Madden and Ian Millar Share California Split Win at Palm Beach Masters

The Newest Thing in Tall Boots? High-Top Kicks

Urgent appeal: Desperate times for stranded equines in Italy

Sunday Video:

 

Best of JN: Women Win the Battle of the Sexes at Winter Equestrian Festival

PC: Sportfot

PC: Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 14, 2017 – The atmosphere in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) was charged with excitement Saturday night, as the women took victory over the men in the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, during week one of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

The women's team gearing up for Saturday night's event.

The women’s team gearing up for Saturday night’s event. PC: Sportfot

The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 2, 2017, featuring competition for hunters, jumpers, and equitation, with over $9 million in prize money up for grabs. Week one concludes with Sunday’s afternoon’s $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix starting at 2 p.m. The class can be viewed live online HERE.

Teams of ten men and ten women battled it out for this year’s Battle of the Sexas title, with team captains Nicole Bellissimo and Charlie Jayne at the helm. Bellissimo led Heather Caristo-Williams, Amanda Derbyshire, Abigail McArdle, Jessica Mendoza, Schuyler Riley, Haylie Rolfe, Mavis Spencer, Alexandra Welles, and Julie Welles on her team. Jayne’s team included David Blake, Daniel Bluman, Ernest Connell, Alex Granato, Darragh Kenny, Andy Kocher, Adam Prudent, Colin Syquia, and Hardin Towell.

The men and women's teams celebrate a great night with Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions, Wellington Regional Medical Center COO Pam Tahan, Nick Sama, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics, Robbin Lee, CEO, dam Bromberg, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Emergency Services, and ringmaster Steve Rector.

The men and women’s teams celebrate a great night with Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions among others. PC: Sportfot

The contest was held in three phases, consisting of a faults converted speed round, a relay race, and a match race. The men and women were pitted against each other in each phase over courses set by 2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA).

In round one, the men led the women seven to three in the speed rounds. In round two’s relay races, the girls picked up an additional ten points, while the men earned just five, bringing the totals to 12 for the men and 13 for the women. With one point separating them, the men and women headed into the third and final round for match races, where the women took a decisive 18 points to the men’s nine. The final tally of 21 to 31 gave the women the win. They have been victorious in the event eight out of nine years – with the class in 2015 ending in a tie.

Julie Welles was representing the women for her first time in Battle of the Sexes competition and had a fantastic night with her mount Centalyon, owned by Ardencote Farm. The pair jumped fast and clear to help their team earns points in all three rounds. Welles is working for 2016 Olympic Champion Nick Skelton (GBR) and two-time Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (USA) this year, and saw the night as a perfect opportunity to give her mount some experience in an electric atmosphere.

“It was so much fun,” Welles said. “The horse I rode is a lovely horse that Nick and Laura own. He was just unbelievable. I just kick, and off I went. I rode him last winter, and I had not ridden him since.”

Welles continued, “His barn name is Smurf because he is so little, but he rides like a big horse. He is really fast, and he has a huge stride for such a small horse. We just cruised around.”

Julie Welles and Centalyon

Julie Welles and Centalyon. PC: Sportfot

Commenting on her team’s win, Welles stated, “To be honest, we were a little nervous in the beginning because the boys had a pretty stacked team. If you look on paper, the boys should have won. I guess I would say they got a little cocky after the first round when they kept beating us. Then we came back strong. Laura Kraut was like our cheerleader. She said, ‘You guys just have to win five of the match races. That’s all that you have to do.’ We kept counting down in the schooling area, screaming at the screen and cheering each other on.”

Abigail McArdle was aboard Plain Bay Sales’ Comeback de la Manade for her second year competing in the Battle of the Sexes and also had a fun night representing the ladies for their win.

“It was extremely thrilling,” McArdle declared. “The girls went in losing in the first round, and my only feat was to beat Andy Kocher. I didn’t think I could. Everyone told me I couldn’t, and then sure enough we did! I thought that was a good inspiration early on for the girls in the last round.

Abigail McArdle and Comeback de la Manade

Abigail McArdle and Comeback de la Manade. PC: Sportfot

“I think this is a fabulous event with great sponsors,” McArdle added. “Everyone has a lot of fun every year, and I think it is a great thing to keep doing. We had a huge crowd; the horses and the people all feel the excitement.”

Charlie Jayne was a disappointed team captain for the men Saturday night, and described his feeling after the class as “mixed emotions.”

“It was not a good night for us,” Jayne admitted. “We were up, we were down, and then we were so far away in the end. It’s fun for the crowd. It’s a very nice event for the sponsors – Wellington Regional Medical Center this year. We thank them every year, and we’ll keep coming back because of the sponsors and the spectators.”

Nicole Bellissimo and VDL Dogan

Nicole Bellissimo and VDL Dogan

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic hosted its first event of the circuit, with a win for Wilhelm Genn (GER) aboard Eduardo Leon’s Bugatti. Twenty-four entries started over the first round track, with eight clear rounds, and four double clear. Genn and Bugatti clocked the winning time of 37.66 seconds. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Toy Boy finished second in 39.02 seconds. Andrew Welles (USA) rode Peter Welles’ Boo van het Kastanjehof to a third place finish in 39.81 seconds, and Jeffery Welles (USA) placed fourth in 41.19 seconds riding Herbert Sambol’s Broken Heart.

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti. PC: Sportfot

The morning began with a win for Addison Gierkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Wisconsin III in the $15,000 Engel & Völkers SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class was next to go with a win for Catalina Peralta riding Wendy Peralta’s Conti. The $1,500 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumpers also competed in their speed class for week one, which saw a win for Isabella Russekoff aboard Lexus Arbuckle’s Castor van de Krananburg.

#WEF1: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramLive Results

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-3-10-37-pm

Sunday Links from One K Helmets


If one is in search of extraordinary women doing extraordinary things, one need look no further than any old day at a horse trial. For the past 60 years women have been competing as equals with men in the equestrian sports and repeatedly proving what is possible, and the mares have been doing it even longer than that! Politics aside, our sport is an incredible haven for tough girls who do amazing things, and I’m proud to be apart of one of the most equal playing fields in the world. Go Eventing.

US Weekend Action:

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

Sunday Links

Women Win $75,000 Battle of the Sexes at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival

That Time a Guy Jumped a Single Upright Sword

The Internet Adores This Goat Farmer’s Slick Dance Moves

Fantasy Farm Thursday: Rent Your Fantasy by the Day on New App ‘Staller’

Dressage rider left with partially collapsed lung and lacerated liver after fall

Sunday Video:

 

 

 

Best of JN: 7 Things You Should Stop Saying to Your Trainer Immediately

Photo by Lorraine Jackson Photo by Lorraine Jackson

Trainers put up with a lot of characters, and they (generally) do it with an overflowing amount of grace. You know that one girl in the barn who just drives you up a wall if you have to spend so much as five minutes with her in the crossties? Your coach spends 2 hours a week with her in lessons. That’s not counting shows, scheduling, and pre and post-lesson chitchat. Your trainer is a saint.

To make sure you’re not the person driving your poor coach up a wall every week, refer to this handy list of things you must not and shall not ever say to your trainer.

“But Pat Parrelli says….”

It’s great that you study other training methods through books or TV when you’re on your own time – it means you’re curious and making an effort to do right by your horse. But spending time arguing with your trainer over methodology in a lesson is a road to Hell paved in Pat Parrelli books, and a waste of time. When you’re in a lesson, completely invest in the training you’re receiving, and then make a decision how to apply it to your overall training regimen. If you’re genuinely torn about something, set up a separate time to talk to your coach about your concerns and determine a path forward.

“I know you said I’m not ready for the 1.10s, but….”

Your trainer’s job above all other things is to keep you safe. Ranging from the sentimental reasons of them liking you to the financial reasons of what it would do to their business if you were seriously hurt. Your coach wants you healthy and they also want you to succeed. If Mama says you ain’t ready for the 1.10 division, you ain’t ready. Period. Try to remember the old adage that you should show one level below what you can comfortably school at home. If you’re frustrated by your inability to move up, sit down and make a specific game plan about what’s holding you back and what you need to do to resolve them. When you’re ready, your coach will get you there.

Dropping a Bombshell at a Show

Any bombshell. Horse related, coach related, totally not even remotely horse related – if it can wait, wait. No 18-hour day is more exhausting on a human being than a trainer at a horse show. They’re dealing with dozens of mini rollercoasters happening all around them relating to whatever just happened in the barn aisle, the warm-up ring, the officials’ office. Not just out of sympathy, but for your own sake in getting a positive response, save the big talks for when you get home.

“I just bought a horse! You’re going to love him.”

I’m guilty of this one, and trust me when I say that my coach was an angel for putting up with that situation for three years. If you’re in a training program with someone you like and trust before purchasing, DON’T GO IT ALONE. It’s worth whatever finder’s fee your coach requests to come along and help you find a horse who will fit your needs and help you make not just an emotional decision, but a rational one. Not to mention, they know how to find horses who may not appear in a sale ad, but are for sale to the right owner, and those are the gems.

“Can you take a quick video of me doing this whole course again?” 

I mean, in a pinch, whatever. Do what you gotta do. But personally, I hate that I lose a round’s worth of education from my coach while they jimmy with the phone or can’t really see what you’re doing through the tiny screen. If it’s really important to get something on film, plan ahead to ask a barnmate to come in for a class or a lesson and get the video so you get the benefit of the footage and also your trainer’s expertise. Or, better yet, go in on a motion tracking camera with your barnmates, such as a soloshot and never have to worry about getting the course on camera again!

“But . . . “

One of my first coaches in my young rider days gave me a brief and phenomenal piece of advice: Shut up and ride. 21st century riders are so conditioned to be multitaskers at home, in the office, while you drive places (YIKES) that we are positively experts at being in our own heads. You’ve got to shut down your argument center, your doubt center, your inner arbitrator and JUST RIDE. Absorb your instruction like a sponge, internalize it, listen to your trainer and your body and your horse’s motion and live fully in the present learning environment. Then go home and take notes about your lesson. Arguing in lessons or resisting ideas might be slowing your progress and making tension when you could be sky-rocketing to not only success, but deeply internal satisfaction. If your coach is presenting an idea that you fundamentally disagree or struggle with, again, make time to talk about it out of the saddle and come to a consensus.

“Could you go out and take off Sally’s blanket when you get a second? Oh and give her her grain? Thanks!” 

We’ve all done it, and most trainers are happy to help out now and again, but if you’re making a habit of it, we guarantee your coach is simmering at least a little. How many students does your coach have? If they all asked him or her to do things like this every day, do you think any actual coaching would get done? This, my friends, is why the good lord invented poor working students and horse-hungry teenagers. It’s worth the $5-10 per chore to them and you to pay for a little service if you’re away and need a hand. It’s peace of mind for you, too, that it’s actually getting done.

If you feel like giving up any of the above statements will genuinely be to the detriment of your athletic career and ambitions, ask yourself if you’re with the right coach. These are mostly matters of trusting your trainer’s judgement and letting the process take over a bit. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, it’s worth pondering if the problem is them or you. Be the best Jumper Nation citizen you can be, and Go Jumping.

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

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