Articles Written 283
Article Views 606,880

Maggie Deatrick


Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Maggie Deatrick

Latest Articles Written

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Laine Ashker demonstrating the mechanics of taking a selfie. Photo via Laine Ashker’s FB page.

Today is a very special day, Eventing Nation! It is National Selfie Day, which means it is an absolute must for you to take a selfie with your horse, around your horse, on your horse, you name it, post it to Instagram, and tag it as #eventingnationselfie. If you’re unsure how to take a good selfie, you can always check out Laine Ashker’s Facebook page for inspiration.

Oh, it is also the summer solstice today, the absolute longest day of the year. Which means there are plenty of hours with amazing light in which to take your selfies.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Groton House Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Surefire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Inavale Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Arrowhead H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Honey Run H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Want to work for EN? We are now accepting entries to our 7th Annual Blogger Contest, which is your opportunity to show us your writing chops for a chance to work for us. This is your time to shine, so let’s see what you’ve got! Entries are due this Friday, June 23. [7th Annual Blogger Contest]

The latest episode of the Eventing Podcast went live this morning taking a look back at the last big CCI of the spring season, Luhmuhlen. First-time four-star winner Julia Krajewski joins Nicole and Jenni to talk about her fairy-tale weekend with both her top horses, one in each division. [Luhmühlen Review Show]

Speaking of Julia Krajewski, she joins four other familiar names as primary candidates for the German European team. The usual suspects are all on the list, with Michael Jung, Bettina Hoy, Andreas Dibowski and Julia all named with two horses while Ingrid Klimke is named with one. [Germany Names Likely Squad]

SmartPak Product of the Day: One of the best things you can do in the summer is keep your skin covered up from the sun’s rays. A looser fitting white long-sleeved shirt will help deflect the UV rays and Tailored Sportsman happens to make one out of a wicking fabric with mesh under-arm panels to keep you cool while you ride. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News and Notes from SmartPak

Gabriella Booth and Prairie Delaney, winners of Training A at Larkin Hill. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

One of my favorite things this time of year is seeing photo after photo of people having a great time out at events every single weekend. Now that school is out, all those eventing students and teachers are free to spend their summers as they please, which means the number of riding photos crossing my feed increases exponentially. While I have no problem staying inside in the air conditioning during the worst heat, seeing those pricked ears and happy hearts gives me a daily boost.

Luhmühlen Links: Website, Entries, ScheduleLive ScoresEN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Great Vista H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

Silverwood Farm Spring H.T. [Website]

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

Golden Spike H.T. [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

If you haven’t tried a Classic Series long format event, you’re missing out. The Heart of the Carolinas event makes the Classic Series the main focus of their May event, running a T3D, N3D, BN3D. This years winners traveled as far as Georgia and Virginia to compete at this growing event. [The USEA Classic Series is the Backbone]

The latest episode of the Eventing Podcast went live this morning reviewing an influential weekend at Bramham and previewing the next CCI4* of the season at Luhmühlen. There is a Horseware Rambo Fly Buster Vamoose Fly Sheet up for grabs for the listener who correctly predicts the winner! Follow the Eventing Podcast Facebook page for the contest announcement. [Bramham Review & Luhmühlen Preview Show]

I grew up absolutely idolizing Rachel Weisz after her role in The Mummy, and it turns out she can ride too. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have her own scary riding moments though, as a recent incident while filming My Cousin Rachel shows. The stallion she was riding had been trained how to ‘die’ after being on the set of Game of Thrones, and Rachel accidentally cued him to ‘die’ in mid-gallop, resulting in an unplanned controlled fall while riding sidesaddle. [The Horse I Rode was Trained to Die]

The Bromont streaking tradition is back. Five years ago, Jon started a tradition for the winners of the CCI3* at Bromont by streaking in front of the famous Bromont sign. Sadly, this tradition has not been strictly upheld…until now. Jordan Linstedt bravely picks up the torch for a new generation of Bromont winners. Warning: This video is not very mildly not safe for work. [You Only Live Once]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I talk a lot about flies and fly control, and it’s because I always seem to guess wrong on what I do to control them for my boys. I’ve finally resorted to just buying all the options under the sun and handing them barn, trusting them to do what’s best when it’s best. These fly boots will help keep the stomping to a minimum on days when the bugs are more unbearable than the heat. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Bromont CCI3*

Bromont is the final big event of the spring season, with the remainder of horses who haven’t done Rolex, Jersey, or gone overseas generally taking a shot at it. Many of the horses who come here are often finishing up their first season at the Advanced and 3* level, opting to gain as much experience as they can before testing their mettle at the final CCI3*.

The front of the Bromont cross-country course. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The Field

  • Over the past two years, the cross country completion rate has averaged at 88%, nearly 13 percent above the world-wide CCI3* rate of 75.4% since 2015. The percentage of clear cross country rounds is a whopping 73.9%, well over the world-wide rate of 59.3%.
  • Only one horse has ever broken into the thirties in dressage in the CCI3* division. Loughan Glen and Clark Montgomery scored a 39.0 en route to winning the division in 2011. No one has ever completed on a score in the thirties.
  • The last year that a winner led from start to finish was 2012, when Jonathan Holling and Downtown Harrison led after the dressage with a 46.0, then went on to win the event.

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin are strong contenders to lead the field in dressage, having scored a career high in their last start at this level. They’ve scored between a 41.8 and a 42.1 in three of their four 3* starts, with similar or better scores in their two Advanced starts.
  • Powell and Ryan Wood are also going to be vying for the lead on day one. Although they have yet to score below a 43.6 at the 3* level, their highest score is a 48.9 in seven starts.
  • A full third of the field is expected to score in the forties, meaning scores will be tightly clustered after the first phase.

Kylie Lyman and Da Vinci Code. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cross Country Machines

  • Erin Sylvester and Campground have a clean cross country record at the Advanced and 3* levels after a solid fall season. This pair has shown a proclivity for knocking nearly 25 seconds of time off their pace between CIC and CCI runs.
  • Ryan Wood and Powell are another pair who have shown a much quicker pace at the CCI level. Despite averaging 17.3 time penalties at the CIC3* and Advanced levels, this pair has accumulated only 2.4 time penalties at CCI runs throughout the horse’s career.
  • Da Vinci Code has only three cross country runs under his belt at this level, but he has yet to clock in a time more than 13 seconds over the optimum. With a round inside the time at his only CCI with Kylie Lyman in the irons, they finished double clear and proved they could increase the pace from CIC to CCI.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Sara Kozumplik-Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux have jumped four consecutive clears in their five total international outings and have cleaned up on the unrecognized scene, winning both the Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix and the Devon Horse Show Eventing Showcase.
  • Kylie Lyman and Lup the Loop have clocked in seven clear rounds in nine attempts at the Advanced and 3* level. Only two rails mar their entire international record.

PREDICTED WINNER: Ryan Wood and Powell

Ryan Wood and Powell. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Jennie Brannigan and Cool as Ice
  • Sara Kozumplik-Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux
  • Tamie Smith and Wembley
  • Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin

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

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Wembley surveys his kingdom. Photo via Tamie Smith's FB page. Wembley surveys his kingdom. Photo via Tamie Smith's FB page.

Bromont, one of the events on my bucket list, kicks off today with jogs, while Bramham hosts a few of our riders over in England. Regardless, keep your eyes locked here to follow Leslie Threlkeld’s EN coverage all weekend as we follow the North American pairs competing all over the world this weekend.

Bromont Links: Website, EntriesEN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Bramham Links: Website, Entries & Live ScoresEN’s Coverage

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website]

Valinor Farm H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

The Middleburg H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

Roebke’s Run CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

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

Camelot Equestrian Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Aspen Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Derbyshire Farms H.T. [Website]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

We continue to send well wishes to Emily Gilruth, who has returned home. After a lengthy stay in the hospital following her harrowing fall at Badminton, Emily Gilruth has happily returned home. A healthy amount of rehabilitation has helped her progress and we continue to wish her the best in her recovery. [‘Thank You’]

You only need some imagination to create some good cross country fences. While everyone dreams of having that huge field filled with gorgeous custom cross country fences at all levels, the reality is that most of us have to make do. Hore & Hound lists a few ways to create and practice cross country hazards without spending a fortune. [How to Make Your Own Jumps at Home]

Podcast Alert: Eventing Podcast Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. Our very own Jenni Autry is in the house– literally. The whole team recaps Tattersalls and looks ahead to Bramham, where we will have a few Americans representing us. [The Tattersalls Review/Bramham Preview]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I’ve been doing a lot of one day events lately, and there’s nothing I hate more than getting up early. So of course in order to save the extra 30 minutes of sleep, I prefer to braid the night before, douse the braids in QuikBraid, and slap a lycra hood over top to keep the shavings out. The bonus is how adorably dorky it makes my horse looks. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

#sleepingsam. Photo via EquiRatings Instagram.

If you haven’t been following the EquiRatings Instagram, you are missing out. Apparently data crunching is exhausting because #sleepingsam is becoming a trend. Sam Watson has been spotted catching a nap on every mode of transportation in several different countries, and we’re beginning to think it’s time to hold a #whereswaldo contest to see who can catch him at it first.

Jenni, Sam and Diarm will all be together today at Tattersalls, where the action kicks off with the first horse inspection. Be sure to follow EN’s coverage all weekend as we follow the North American contingent competing in the CCI3*.

Tattersalls Links: Website, Entries & Live Scores, Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

GVRDC Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Poplar Place June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Colorado Horse Park CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Everyone both hopes and dreads having the opportunity to mimic the great Mark Todd. Who doesn’t want to replicate his iconic Badminton round on Bernie Blunt? Here’s a list of others who have tried after tack malfunctions of various types on course. My personal favorite is the bridle that came off in the middle of the jumper round, while the rider was able to finish because the horse held onto the bit in his mouth. [8 Terrifying Moments]

It’s not always easy to balance being an amateur and an upper level eventer. That’s why Elizabeth Barron decided to take a break from competing while she concentrates on making partner at her law firm. After a strong competition career including a brush with making the Pan Ams team, Barron realized with the help of her trainer, that it was ok to just train and not to worry about competing. [From Team Dreams to Amateur Goals]

Podcast Alert: Eventing Podcast Previews Tattersalls. The usual suspects are back to preview the international cast for Tattersalls. It should be quite interesting to follow from this side of the pond with a healthy American contingent. [The Tattersalls Preview]

SmartPak Product of the Day: Depending on where you are, there’s either rain or bugs…or possibly both. The bugs are usually really bad in between the rain, so it’s almost impossible to turn the horses out without a fly sheet to keep off the worst of the insects. I really like this one from SmartPak, as it’s lightweight enough to keep my horse cool. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Our thoughts are with Paddy Young and his family, as well as Kieran Norris. Photo via Paddy Young GoFundMe page.

The equestrian community is a family, and sometimes that means we have to band together to help one of our own. Jockeys Paddy Young and Kieran Norris suffered falls at the Radnor Hunt races this past Saturday. Norris suffered a fractured occipital condyle and is now home resting, but expected to recover fully. Young is still hospitalized with a brain injury, and a GoFundMe has been set up to assist with quickly building medical expenses. [Young and Norris Injured at Radnor] [GoFundMe]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

Flora Lea Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website]  [Ride Times]

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Equestrians Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Coconino Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

If you think you’re too old to event, think again. British grandmother Denise West has finally won her very first event– at age 69. After getting out of horses as a kid, West picked up riding again as an adult and started competing after finding her horse Emo. She won for the first time in her life at the BE-80 level at Millfield, equivalent to our Novice. [Grandmother Scores First Win]

Have you ever debating sending in a photo for George Morris to rate? Well, go do it. And then go become the champion of everything. So we can look back on pictures of you as a wee rider, with form even George Morris can barely fault. Yes, I’m looking at you Michael Jung. [Throwback Thursday]

Speaking of adults getting back into the game, Karen Burks and Tim Terrific took the win at Fresno. Another adult amateur who rode as a kid and got back into riding and competing as her children grew up, Burks and her partner ‘Teo’ found their way to a win in the Novice Three-Day out West. As an architect, Burks has to balance her riding with her day job, but manages to make it work. [A Terrific Win]

SmartPak Product of the Day: If you like having an organized trailer, barn, or house (we’re not judging), getting one of these whip holders is a must. They keep your whips handy in perfectly parallel lines to one another, are easy to snap whips out and in, and are easy to install. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

The dude is not impressed. Photo by Maggie Deatrick

The weather has been totally nuts, ya’ll. First it was raining and fifty all weekend, then we finally got our spring weather….on Monday. Two days of that and we’re due for heat in the 90s, pretty unusual for this time of year. But I know you guys down in Texas are laughing, I’ve suffered through enough Texas summers to know that 90 is a cold spell. The plus side is all this rain means the ground is absolutely perfect and the flowers are gorgeous.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website]

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

After quite a bit of public backlash regarding Badminton, Lynn Symansky has responded. Certainly various aspects and performances of Badminton deserve to get a hard look. But as horsemen first, eventers and competitors second, we should never give anyone a hard time for playing it safe on a day when they aren’t given the right cards. Lynn’s performance at Badminton is an example of how to swallow your competitive desires on a day when things are clearly not going your way. [Being a Hero vs Being a Horseman]

Sometimes, a trainer isn’t always the best fit for you. How do you know when it’s time to cut your losses? Adult amateur Lindsey Long gives us a hard truth in her latest blog; trainers aren’t Gods. Sometimes a bad fit can be revealed by someone who tears you down instead of builds you up; other times they put too much of the onus of solving problems on you. Think hard about what you are asking of a trainer and whether the relationship is a good one or not. [50 Ways to Leave Your Trainer]

Pamero 4 has moved from Laura Collett’s yard to Gemma Tattersall’s. After being short-listed for the British Rio Olympic team last summer, Pamero 4 and Laura Collett headed to Pau where they sadly fell only four from home. Pamero 4’s owner, Clive Smith, was contemplating getting out of eventing but decided to stay in the game with a new rider for now. [Pamero 4 to Gemma Tattersall]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I’m one of those people who is always overheating in the summer. Despite that, I’m also one of those people who always needs to wear gloves. The Roeckl Summer Gloves with a mesh back make a massive difference in keeping me cool when the heat hits, for reasons I can’t quite fathom. You’d think that just your hands cooler wouldn’t have a such a huge impact on the rest of your body but it’s the difference between me wilting halfway through a ride or making it through multiple rides on one day. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Jersey Fresh has shaken things up this year with a new course designer in Capt. Mark Phillips and a schedule change for the CIC divisions.

As one of five CCI3* events in North America, Jersey Fresh usually gets a strong contingent of entries in the quest for team qualification. But in a non-championship year and with Jersey Fresh not listed as a 2018 World Equestrian Games qualifier for the U.S. for 2017, many riders have sought to test their mettle overseas instead.

The field here is largely greener than usual, including horses that have yet to attempt a four-star or who have re-routed from the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Jersey Fresh Links: Website, Dressage Ride Times, Schedule, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

The famous Jersey Shore at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Field

  • The field in the CCI3* this year only has 16 pairs, which makes it the smallest CCI3* field at this show since 2012, when Phillip Dutton won on Mystery Whisper.
  • The leader after dressage has won four of the last five runnings of this division. Will the tradition continue?

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Chatwin has five CIC3* and Advanced starts under Frankie Theriot-Stutes and their highest score is a 42.1. This will be their first start out east at three-star level.
  • Phillip Dutton’s ride Mr. Candyman is no longer the green Advanced horse he was last year. Since 2016, he has averaged 49.7 on the flat.
  • Park Trader’s three-star average over the past 18 months is 50.3, but it has slowly been creeping downwards in his last two FEI starts. Buck will be hungry for a strong start with this horse after early trouble at Rolex.

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

Cross Country Machines

  • Although Mr. Candyman did struggle at this venue last year, he comes back with five consecutive clear cross country founds at the level, including a clear and inside the time at Fair Hill CCI3* in the fall.
  • This will be the first time Chatwin is tested at this level, taking on both his first CCI3* as well as East Coast terrain. In three West Coast CIC3* runs, he averages only nine seconds over the optimum time, but the extra distance will be a different test.
  • No Remorse is a greener mount for Buck Davidson, but with five starts at the level, only a single stop in this division last year mars her record. When she goes clear, she comes in within 30 seconds over optimum time.

Lizzy Jahnke and Princeton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Princeton and Lizzy Jahnke have been perfecting their stadium skills, jumping clear in all three of their CIC3* starts together. Those three starts also happen to be their most recent three starts.
  • Chatwin shows up here yet again, proving his strength in all three phases. He and Frankie have incurred only one rail in five rounds, although time penalties could be a factor.
  • Danger Mouse has proven a promising ride for Caroline Martin, already proving to be a jumping bean. In four rounds at the level, he and Caroline have had only one rail. All four of their rounds were prior to cross country, changing the equation for them this weekend.

PREDICTED WINNER: Phillip Dutton and Candyman

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Candyman. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On…

  • Buck Davidson and No Remorse
  • Daniela Moguel and Cecelia
  • Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin
  • Dom Schramm and Bolytair B
  • Tamie Smith and Wembley

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Tik Maynard finished 4th in the Rolex 5K! Photo courtesy of Rob Stevenson.

One of the unsung moments of Rolex weekend is the annual 5k that is held on Friday night. Literally thousands of people decide that they’d like to have a nice light run on the same weekend they trek back and forth multiple times over a four-star cross country course. My Facebook feed was filled with photos of people smiling, running and generally having a good time at what has become a treasured addition to Rolex weekend.

In other news, Badminton begins today with the first horse inspection at 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. EST. You can watch live thanks to the free live stream on the Badminton website!

Badminton Links: Website, Entries, Schedule, Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Lynn Symansky has learned the Plan A, B, or C don’t always last past the first engagement. After missing out on heading to Badminton last spring, then surviving multiple plan disruptions this spring, Lynn has decided to stop answering the question “How’s Donner?” Now that they are finally in England, Badminton is finally becoming a reality. [Ready to Check Badminton Off My Bucket List]

Speaking of Rolex hangover, here’s some hair of the dog to take off the edge. The gents from EquiRatings sit down with our very own Jenni Autry as part of the Horseware Eventing Podcast to review the week we just had at Rolex. If you haven’t been tuning in on the regular to listen to their insight, it’s a good time to start. [The Rolex Review]

SmartPak Product of the Day: It was so buggy last Saturday that even my thick skinned boy was having trouble with concentrating despite a liberal coating of fly spray. That made me realize I had to dig my fly masks out of the trailer. I love these Cashel masks; they are super durable and come in every configuration. The older horse who runs super hot but has a white nose prone to sunburn gets the mask with no ears but a nice nose cover while the young one hates bugs in his ears but doesn’t mind his nose being uncovered. Custom configurations for the win! [SmartPak]

Show Jumping Powerhouses of Rolex

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but as much of this weekend has felt like there’s almost a foregone conclusion to be had. We’re in familiar territory, as Michael Jung heads the leaderboard going into the final phase for the third year in a row. fischerRocana FST has a rail in hand, and she may need it today, as several stronger show jumpers stalk her in the placings.

The riders listed below are the best show jumpers currently inside the top twenty, ordered by reverse placing which is the order in which they will jump. All of these horses average half a rail or less, meaning they trend towards jumping clear.

#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

Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lillian Heard (USA) and Share Option: Lillian Heard and Share Option will be show jumping at their fourth consecutive Rolex today, and they’ve jumped clear each time except for their debut in 2014, where they had one rail. This pair is a very strong bet for a clear round and could easily move up inside the top twenty.

Current Place: 20th

Current Score: 76.0

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

Madeline Backus (USA) and P.S. Arianna: This young pair are confirmed one or none jumpers. They’ve had clear rounds in three of their six 3* starts and only one rail in the other three. P.S. Arianna and Madeline are as likely to go clear as not, but will add at most one rail to their score.

Current Place: 19th

Current Score: 75.5

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Kurt Martin (USA) and DeLux Z: Kurt and his ride DeLux Z are some of the best show jumpers around, with 10 of 13 three- and four-star rounds jumped clear with only one rail in the remaining three. They put in one of only four double clear stadium rounds here last year and haven’t had a rail since. Finally, these two have yet to have a rail at a CCI3/4* in the four they’ve completed.

Current Place: 15th

Current Score: 68.3

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready: I’m Sew Ready is another one-or-none horse with Phillip in the irons. In the seven 3* starts they have together, they’ve had a rail in only three of them, with the other four clear. In their only CCI start, they jumped double clear at Fair Hill CCI3* last fall.

Current Place: 10th

Current Score: 60.1


Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Sofie Van Olmen.

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Under Suspection: As many of the others listed here, Under Suspection is also a one-or-none ride, with three clear rounds of five three-stars with Hannah Sue in the irons. Although they had a rail at their first CCI3* together at Rebecca Farm, they followed up with a clear round at Fair Hill last fall.

Current Place: 5th

Current Score: 50.8

Maxime Livio in the Luhmuhlen CCI4*. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Maxime Livio (FRA) and Qalao des Mers: Maxime used Qalao’s show jumping prowess last fall to catch Rocana and win his first CCI4* title at Pau last fall. He’ll need it again as one of only two riders within shouting distance of the great Michael Jung. He’ll need Rocana to give him some help with more that one rail, which is unlikely but still possible from her.

Qalao des Mers is almost always a none horse. He has only two flaws in seven starts (four of which are CCI3/4*), one of which was two rails in his very first CIC3* at Blenheim, and the other a single rail at Aachen CICO3* in 2014. At the CCI level, he is flawless.

Current Place: 2nd

Current Score: 44.6

Cross Country Powerhouses of Rolex

Hooray, it’s cross country day! The cross country consists of 28 numbered obstacles (45 total jumping efforts when taking all the direct routes) across 6,340 meters of the Kentucky Horse Park. The horses will have to cover the distance under the optimum time of 11 minutes, 17 seconds, or they will incur time penalties, 0.4 added to their score for each second they are over. For a full preview of the course, check out our course preview here.

Derek di Grazia of the United States is the course designer for here at the KHP since 2011. Derek di Grazia currently designs many courses in North America, including both Bromont CCI3* and Fair Hill CCI3*, two big qualifiers for this event. He has also been designated as the course designer for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

The horses listed below fall into two different categories: either horses a bit down the order after dressage who are supremely consistently clear and fast across the country, or horses currently ranked near the top who are very fast when they do run clear across the country. With the weather being hot but clear, there will almost certainly be a larger percentage of horses who make the time compared to the past two years.

At a four-star level, a cross country run that is clear and inside the time could potentially move you up many places. Here are our projections of horses who will make the biggest moves up the leaderboard tomorrow…or maintain their place at the top.

#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

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

James Alliston (GBR) and Parker: The trailblazer today is also the master of the Kentucky Horse Park, the indomitable Parker. This pair has completed nine CCI3/4* cross country rounds clean and inside the time, three of which were at Rolex. This pair has another two Rolex completions as well, both under ten seconds above optimum. One of them was from last year, where no one made the time. There is no surer bet today than Parker and James for a pair who will end the day still sitting on their dressage score.

Ride Time: 10:00 a.m. EST

Will Coleman and Obos O’Reilly. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Will Coleman (USA) and OBOS O’Reilly: These two don’t have a recent FEI record, but prior to OBOS O’Reilly’s hiatus, they were one of the fastest pairs on the circuit. Their last three consecutive runs were all clear and inside the time, including their four-star debut at Rolex in 2014 and a run at Blenheim in 2015.

Ride Time: 10:16 a.m. EST

Maxime Livio and Qalao Des Mers. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Maxime Livio (FRA) and Qalao des Mers: Our French visitors have a short but sweet record demonstrating their capability across the country. Six total three- and four-star runs, four of them clear and inside the time. The only shows these two have had time penalties at was Qalao des Mers’ move up to the CIC3* level, and the infamously muddy World Equestrian Games at Caen.

Ride Time: 11:08 a.m. EST

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and Fernhill Fugitive: Fernhill Fugitive has quietly gotten better and better behind his higher profile stablemates over the past couple years, and last year was actually the highest place of Phillip’s rides after cross country. As trailblazer last year, Fernhill Fugitive posted one of the fastest rounds of the day, making time look obtainable on a day it was not meant to be.

Ride Time: 11:52 a.m. EST

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery (USA) and Loughan Glen: Our leaders after dressage tend to enjoy either feast or famine in the second phase; either they go clear and fast and maintain their lead or they have a blip, adding that and time penalties to put them out of contention. With an average of 2.4 time penalties over CCI courses when running clear, they could have a couple time penalties and still maintain their lead.

Ride Time: 12:28 p.m. EST

Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Under Suspection: Although this is Under Suspection’s first four star, she is incredibly seasoned at the three-star level, having three CCI3* under her belt with two riders. With Hannah Sue, this dynamic duo averaged four seconds under the optimum time in their two CCI3* starts last year.

Ride Time: 12:40 p.m. EST

Michael Jung and fischerRocana. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana FST: Instead of talking about all the times Rocana has made the time, let’s talk about the few times she hasn’t at the CCI level. First, the infamous World Equestrian Games in France. She was two seconds over the optimum at Rolex last year, the fastest on a day when no one made the time. And she was one second over a Pau in the fall. That’s it.

Ride Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Doug Payne (USA) and Vandiver: When their partnership first commenced, Doug rode Vandiver conservatively, opting to get to know the horse at a slower pace through their first four-star together last spring. After Rolex, he pushed the pedal to the medal, and they’ve averaged only three seconds over optimum in their FEI events in the last twelve months.

Ride Time: 1:24 p.m. EST

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and Mr. Medicott: Phillip and Mr. Medicott have two CCI4* runs together. In the first, they had one lone time penalty at Pau in 2013. The following spring, Mr. Medicott and Phillip made the time at Rolex. A clear run inside the time would be a fitting finale to this champion’s career.

Ride Time: 1:44 p.m. EST

#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

Dressage Powerhouses of Rolex: Day Two

We’re now entering the second day of competition at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which means another full day of fancy prancing. Although we saw quite a few phenomenal horses yesterday (and you can view the results here), there’s a higher volume of must-watch tests today.

Click here to see the order of go with ride times and here for all the details on how to watch live.

The competitors will be performing the 2017 FEI CCI Four-Star Test A, which is brand new for this year. This will put old favorites and Rolex Rookies on a totally level playing field as they navigate through the test for the first time. Since Rolex is the first four-star to be held each year, no one has yet seen how the test rides in competition yet. Check here for a summary in all the ways in which this new test differs from the old.

Judging the competitors will be Christina Klingspor of Sweden, who presides over the ground jury. Nick Burton of Great Britain and David Lee of Ireland join her as members of the ground jury.

#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


Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Fernhill By Night: Right off the bat we’re starting with a trio of can’t-miss rides, so don’t be late to the Kentucky Horse Park this morning! Fernhill By Night is always a heavy hitter on the flat and is one of the few U.S. horses to regularly lay down sub-40 scores. Although they haven’t yet hit that mark at the four-star level yet, Fernhill By Night and Liz have hit the 30s at the three-star level four times in the past three years, with a low score of 36.1 at Breda CIC3* in 2015.

Aiming for: Top 3

Ride time: 9 a.m. EST

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo By Nico Morgan.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and Fernhill Fugitive: Fernhill Fugitive really started hitting his stride in 2015, stringing together a series of eight consecutive FEI starts with scores in the 40s. Last year at Rolex, he laid down a 43.1 as one of the first horses to go, and although his form hasn’t been quite as on point this spring, there’s good reason to believe he could be competitive.

Aiming for: Top 5

Ride Time: 9:08 a.m. EST

Buck Davidson and Copper Beach. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson (USA) and Copper Beach: The strongest of Buck Davidson’s three rides on the flat, Copper Beach has started gaining more consistency lately, with scores predictably in the 40s. In his very last prep event for Rolex, Copper Beach had a breakthrough, breaking the 40s mark and laying down a personal best of 38.7 at the Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*.

Aiming for: Top 5

Ride Time: 9:16 a.m. EST

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery (USA) and Loughan Glen: Surprise! Loughan Glen and Clark Montgomery are good on the flat. No, but really they are considered one of the most competitive pairs in the world on the flat. However, Glen has struggled a bit with consistency lately, meaning his scored have vacillated from a personal best of 32.2 at Pine Top CIC3* earlier this winter up into the 40s. For any other pair a low 40s is a great day, but these two are capable putting in a score that would rank on the all-time leaderboard of four-star dressage tests.

Aiming for: The lead

Ride Time: 10:32 a.m. EST

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Kim Severson (USA) and Cooley Cross Border: After coming out swinging in his debut at the three-star level with what is still his personal best score of 41.3 at the 2015 edition of Plantation Field CIC3*, Cooley Cross Border was slowly creeping up in scoring with every FEI run. However, Kim seems to have pressed the reset button in his final CIC3* at The Fork, plummeting their score from low 50s down to 43.7. It’s anyone’s guess how the atmosphere will affect this precocious horse in his four-star debut.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 11:36 a.m. EST

Zara Phillips and High Kingdom. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Zara Tindall (GBR) and High Kingdom: High Kingdom has been around a long time, and when he laid down one of the worst scores of his career at Aachen last summer after a long layoff, it was tough not to wonder if this might be the end. But Zara and High Kingdom proved that was far from reality when they executed one of the best scores of their three- and four-star career, a 43.1, at Belton CIC3* just a few weeks ago.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 11:44 a.m. EST

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana FST: In case you have been living under a rock, there’s this German guy who is pretty good on the flat. And he’s riding this horse who is pretty good on the flat. In 2015 and 2016, fischerRocana FST strung together five straight tests in a row that scored under 36, four of them under 35. Finally, at the end of 2016, there was a weakness: a 43.8 at Pau CCI4*. Which horse will show up today?

Aiming for: Top 2

Ride Time: 12:00 p.m. EST


Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Tim Price (NZL) and Ringwood Sky Boy: This horse has a lot of talent but is less consistent than some of the others on this list. With scores as low as 38.7 at a four-star, he can certainly throw it down on the right day. But he also regularly ranges up into the high 40s and even occasionally the 50s on a bad day. With some luck (and the universe owes Tim Price some of that after an abysmal 2016),  we could see these two at the top of the leaderboard.

Aiming for: Top 5

Ride Time: 2:02 p.m. EST

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and Mr. Medicott: Realistically, these two are not going to crack the top unless they have a really stellar day. Their best score as a pair came at Pau CCI4* in 2013 with a 44.2, but they more regularly scored in the higher 40s. Mr. Medicott has been out of the game for a while, and in his only recent start he scored a 54.7 at The Fork CIC3*. But regardless of what these two score, this test is a must-watch as we witness the end of an era with a horse whose career ranges all the way back to the Hong Kong Olympics.

Aiming for: Top 15

Ride Time: 3:04 p.m. EST

#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

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

I’ve been pretty fortunate to have an upper level horse who thinks jogs are the most boring thing ever who I sometimes have to convince that no, this is not stupid, and yes, now that you’re motivated, you still need to listen to my snaffle bit even if I’m not actually on him. Still, hijinks are generally at a minimum, so I have to laugh when I see what looks like horse-shaped kites making their way down the jog strip.

Events This Week:

#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

Fresno County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Don’t miss this special bonus column from EN guest writer William Micklem! Does size matter? William examines horses in history that might have been overlooked due to their small size had it not been for their extraordinary athletic ability. [Does Size Matter?]

For real. Download the EN App. This is your final reminder to download it. Actually no, just kidding. You’ll be repeatedly reminded for a while. [App for iOS] [App for Android]

PRO officially is being incorporated into the ERA umbrella. Effective as of now, the Professional Rider’s Organization will now become the North American branch of the Eventing Riders Association. The ERA membership will be open to all riders, with three different levels of membership to fit everyone’s needs. [ERA of NA Announces Launch]

Here’s just a big list of links you might have missed. [A Maxime Livio Photo Gallery] [Missing Maya] [7 Reasons Why You Don’t Have to Be Sad You’re Missing Rolex] [It Inspires You To Be Better] [You Don’t Ride the Papers] [Faudree Is Back] [Badminton First Timers: Katherine Coleman]

The horses at Rolex are so shiny, you could almost use them as a mirror. I’ll let you in on a huge secret product that all the grooms use in the lead-up to Rolex to get that high-definition shine and dapples for days. It’s elbow grease. That’s right, with a bit of forearm strength, a little rubber curry comb, and some daily dedication, your horse too could look ready to tackle a four-star in April. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Hey Smarty Pants! Play KER Equine Nutrition Trivia at Rolex XC

Are you an equine nutrition whiz kid? Visit Kentucky Equine Research (KER) at tailgate tent D212 on XC to test your knowledge and win prizes! Even if you don’t want to play, step into the KER “lab” at D212 for free water, food, and fun giveaways.

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) is an international equine nutrition, research, and consultation company serving horse owners and the feed industry. Serious science goes into everything KER does, from its consultation with horse owners and feed manufacturers to its own product line.

Whether we’re helping you select the right feed and supplements, explaining healthy horse diets, or offering practical, science-based advice, KER is your one-stop solution to equine nutrition issues.

Dressage Powerhouses of Rolex: Day One

Welcome to the 2017 edition of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event! Yesterday marked the beginning of the competition, with the first horse inspection occurring in the afternoon and today we’ll have the first half of dressage. Click here to see the order of go with ride times and here for all the details on how to watch live.

The competitors will be performing the 2017 FEI CCI Four-Star Test A, which is brand new for this year. This will put old favorites and Rolex Rookies on a totally level playing field, as they navigate through the test for the first time. Since Rolex is the first four-star to be held each year, no one has yet seen how the test rides in competition yet. Check here for a summary in all the ways in which this new test differs from the old.

Judging the competitors will be Christina Klingspor of Sweden, who presides over the ground jury. Nick Burton of Great Britain and David Lee of Ireland join her as members of the ground jury.


Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready: With Phillip in the irons, I’m Sew Ready has shown strong consistency in the first phase with regular flashes of brilliance. His strongest performance at the three-star level came at Jersey Fresh CCI3* in 2015, when he and Phillip laid down a 42.4 before the ride came back to Kristin Bond. When I’m Sew Ready and Phillip were re-united in late 2016, they left off where they began, clocking in a 43.4 at Plantation Field CIC3*.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride time: 10:34 a.m. EST

Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Courtney Cooper (USA) and Who’s A Star: Make sure to tune in after the second break to see Courtney and her homebred gelding, known for their ability to really excel on the flat. Consistently in the mid-to-high 40s, Courtney and Who’s A Star will be looking to improve their test from their rookie debut last year. In their last FEI outing at Red Hills CIC3*, they laid down a 46.3, their second best test at this level.

Aiming for: Top 15

Ride Time: 11:44 a.m. EST


Maxime Livio and Qalao de Mers at WEG. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Maxime Livio (FRA) and Qalao des Mers: French horse Qalao des Mers is the highlight of Thursday afternoon, and should not be missed. Although this pair has yet to strike the 30s, they’ve scored under 46 in five of their six starts at the three- and four-star levels.

Aiming for: Top 5

Ride Time: 2:02 p.m. EST

Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer (USA) and Vermiculus: A bit of a wild-card on the first day, this little Anglo-Arab has come out swinging in 2017, dropping his dressage average by a whopping ten points over his 2016 average. Whether he can continue the momentum into his first four-star is anyone’s guess but scoring a personal best of 43.3 at Chattahoochee Hills in his final prep run can’t hurt — nor can having the two-time winner of the USEF CCI4* Championship Trophy in the irons.

Aiming for: Top 15

Ride Time: 3:20 p.m. EST

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jessica Phoenix (CAN) and Pavarotti: Pavarotti has improved on his dressage score with every four-star appearance, last scoring a 44.7 in Rolex 2016 before withdrawing prior to cross country. As the final ride of the day on Thursday, a full grandstand will create a lot of atmosphere, but this veteran of the World Equestrian Games should take it all in stride.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 3:28 p.m. EST

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

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Even the pups will be representing Team Flaxen at Rolex next week. Photo courtesy of Diane Finkelstein. Even the pups will be representing Team Flaxen at Rolex next week. Photo courtesy of Diane Finkelstein.

T-minus one week until Rolex officially commences with the jogs and Facebook is slowly starting to fill up with videos and photos of final prep work. For some that includes last lessons, gallops, icing, and holding their breath. Others are busy coming up with ways to display their support for their favorite riders and horses. One thing is undeniable … the moment is at hand!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Plantation Field April H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Beezie Madden’s ride Cortes ‘C’ is going to live the good life as a retiree. John and Beezie Madden take their retirement responsibilities seriously, while letting their former champions be horses. With fuzzy coats, mud, and freedom in abundance, horses like Coral Reef Via Volo, Authentic, and now Cortes ‘C’ enjoy a European style retiree barn where they get looked at daily without needing to be handled. [Living the Good Life]

It isn’t every day an amateur tops the field at a CCI2*. That’s just what happened to Julie Anne Boyer at Twin Rivers though, with her 8 year old thoroughbred High Decorum. A former police officer, Julie Anne found ‘Declan’ on the track as a four year old and has brought him through the levels herself. [Winner of the Week]

Madeline Backus is living the fairy tale with her mare P.S. Arianna. Bought to be her first horse after graduating from ponies, ‘Ari’ has grown up with Madeline, ushering through the levels of eventing to compete at their first Rolex next week. Although fitness has changed the mare from affable to fiery over the years, Madeline relates to her as if they are siblings. [Kind of Like a Fairy Tale]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I may have plugged this helmet only a month ago, but after only ten rides in it, I found myself in need of another one after a particularly nasty spill on Easter Sunday. Despite being almost brand new, I found enough dirt on it to convince myself that it was already time to retire that helmet from service. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Badminton bound! Photo via Elisa Wallace's FB page. Badminton bound! Photo via Elisa Wallace's FB page.

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and thoughts of Rolex and Badminton are quickly overtaking my daily thought processes. That means it’s April all right, and as I try to pick what I’m wearing for the day, determined on whether it’s 40 and blowing or almost ninety with blazing sun, I’m crossing my fingers for great weather in Lexington and England the day of.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Send some “feel better soon” jingles to Bobby Meyerhoff, who is in the hospital after a fall cross country schooling. He suffered two fractured ribs and pneumothorax. “They are monitoring me overnight and re-cat scanning in the morning,” Bobby updated on Facebook. “Hopefully the air will reabsorb and I can get released in the morning.” Take care, Bobby! [Bobby Meyerhoff Facebook]

If you’ve ever had that panic induced by Google after the vet has left, you’re not alone. Blogger Natalie Voss can relate, as she had a ringbone scare with her mare Jitterbug. When the vet mentioned ringbone but had to come back to x-ray, she pulled out her phone and Googled her way into the worst possibilities. Most of us eventers have probably had that same panic. [The Existential Crisis]

Even if you’ve had a string of bad luck, you probably don’t have anything on Dani Evans. After a fall in November in which she broke her right ankle and leg and dislocated her right shoulder, Dani was finally back on a horse on March 10. It was short lived though, as a stumble and fall in her first run cross country resulted in another broken leg. Join EN in sending well wishes to Dani for her recovery. [Dani Evans Breaks Same Leg Twice]

Best of the Blogs: A Yankee In Paris. Bigger isn’t always better, as blogger Carleigh Fedorka tries to explain. With a true 17.3 gray ex-racehorse affectionately dubbed ‘The Elephant’, Carleigh has had to make an adjustments to make him fit in her life….literally. A bigger trailer, new tack and among other things, stronger abs as they work harder to collect to a twelve foot stride, come with a gentle giant. [Big Horse/Little Human Problems]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I’m in constant need of bell boots, to the point I consider them somewhat semi-disposable. To counter the issue of bell boots lost in the field, I buy the sturdiest ones I can find in the brightest colors, so as to better spot them out in the grass. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*

A date change for Chattahoochee Hills has turned this event into a solid option as a final preparation run for horses and riders bound for Rolex, and more attractive for pairs based in Florida as opposed to driving north for The Fork.

Despite healthier numbers this year, many of the more experienced horses have been aimed at the Advanced division. This means the CIC3* is a bit more openly contested this weekend amongst those less established at the level.

Chattahoochee Hills. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Field

  • The field in the CIC3* jumped from only three pairs last year to 20 for the 2017 edition.
  • Since hosting the first Chattahoochee Hills CIC3* in 2013, the winner of this division has led from day one, save for the very first running. The winner of that inaugural 2013 edition? None other than Lauren Kieffer and Veronica making their first CIC3* start as a pair.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Carlevo has been a force in the first phase with Buck Davidson, scoring sub-45 in five of his seven career three-star tests.
  • Lauren and Veronica have scored within a point of 43.0 in either direction in all of their CIC3* tests since 2014.

Ellen Eoughty-Hume and Sir Oberon. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Veronica is no slouch in the stadium department. She and Lauren have put in thirteen clear Advanced or CIC3* rounds out of sixteen in their partnership together.
  • When cross country runs after stadium, Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon have jumped rail free 80% of the time at the CIC3* level.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo. Photo courtesy of Hope Carlin.

Cross Country Machines

  • Despite their short partnership, Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo have already created strong expectations for the cross country phase. Their slowest pace in three runs is only 12 seconds over the optimum time.
  • When Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind jump clean across the country, they make sure to do it quickly, with an average pace of eight seconds under the optimum in three clean runs.

PREDICTED WINNER: Lauren Kieffer and Veronica

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On

  • Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo

Potential Spoilers

  • Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind

By the Numbers: The Fork CIC3*

The Fork has long been a staple in the U.S. spring calendar, and this year brings many changes to the iconic event as it swaps venues in North Carolina. Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring is now serving as host instead of the The Fork Stables in Norwood.

Tryon has been expanding their cross country course to what was previously a golf course in preparation for the World Equestrian Games next year, and this will be the first real preview of what the track will look like.

Additionally, a few changes to the spring schedule means that The Fork is no longer the only viable option as a final prep run for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

In previous years, The Fork was the only three-star or Advanced held between two and four weeks out from Rolex, but Chattahoochee Hills now falls on the same weekend, while Fair Hill has moved their date from one to two weeks prior to Rolex, creating three options for riders headed to Lexington.

Photo courtesy of Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Field

  • The field in the CIC3* this year will only have 24 pairs, which makes it the smallest CIC3* field at this show since the FEI began keeping records in 2006.
  • The past two winners were sitting in second place after dressage. Will this be the year that someone can lead wire-to-wire? Or will the winner come from behind again?

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • In all three of her three-star starts on American soil, RF Scandalous has scored 41.5 or lower in dressage. In her only overseas start at Boekelo, she and Marilyn Little scored a 45.5. An average of 41.4 would put this pair at the head of the pack on day one.
  • Caroline Martin and The Apprentice began their career together with a bang thanks to a dressage score of 44.3 two weekends ago at Carolina International. That equaled The Apprentice’s previous best CIC3* score, which came at The Fork with Buck Davidson in 2015.
  • Cooley Cross Border has a strong average at this level of 44.8 but seems to pull his best scores in the Advanced divisions, knocking off the FEI equivalent of a 40.7 at Carolina. His three-star scores have been creeping upward with every start though, sneaking into the 50s at Pine Top CIC3* in February.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Cooley Cross Border has only one rail in 11 stadium rounds marring his perfect jump record at this level. He and Kim Severson have occasionally picked up one lone time penalty but are otherwise perfect in this phase.
  • Vandiver and Doug Payne are a good bet for a flawless stadium round, having jumped 10 of their 12 Advanced or CIC3* starts completely fault-free.
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive added to their strong stadium record at Carolina, where a clear stadium round inside the time matched the five other faultless stadium rounds they’ve had in the past two years.
  • RF Scandalous, The Apprentice and Rubens D’Ysieux all have yet to touch a rail at this level with their current rider in either one or two jump rounds.

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy of JJ Sillman.

Cross Country Machines

  • Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage may only have two Advanced/CIC3* starts under their belt, but they’ve been flawless across the country at both, finishing clear and inside the time.
  • Never OutFoxed and Holly Payne shine in this phase, finishing 16 seconds or less over optimum in every clear CIC3* or Advanced run they’ve had in the past two years.
  • In the past two years, Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive have only once had more than eight seconds of time penalties at the three-star or Advanced level.
  • Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High have clocked times below this field’s average pace in each of their CIC3* starts since 2015.

PREDICTED WINNER: Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On…

  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive
  • Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border
  • Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver

Potential Spoilers

  • Caroline Martin and The Apprentice

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Buying really cool hats. Photo via Equine Bonnets FB page. Buying really cool hats. Photo via Equine Bonnets FB page.

When the horses are away, the credit card will play. Every year while my horses are south, I’ve made some purchases that I might have held off on if I were busy. Two years ago, I created a new show jumping look by breaking the bank on a sharp coat and breeches. Last year I went all out and bought a second horse (ok, that one was somewhat planned). This year I managed to keep it reeled in, walking away with only two sharp bonnets for the new(er) horse with no forelock.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Ever wanted to go back to summer camp? At the O’Connor Event Camp, you can relive the summers of your childhood spent at camp from June 26 to July 1. Held at Sandy River Equestrian Center, the camp will focus on horsemanship, groundwork, and riding with lectures from guest speakers. [O’Connor Event Camp]

This dynamic duo is a staple at shows in North Carolina. Susan and Van Firth started volunteering after their daughter started eventing but kept at it when they realized how good they were at it. Mainstays at many events in Area II, this pair can often be found in the cross-country warm ups with emergency kits full of anything a rider might forget. [Athletux Volunteer of the Month]

The popularity of the Retired Racehorse Project grows every year. For the first time, a demonstration will be held at the Plantation Field International event, with guests like Phillip Dutton and Graham Motion demonstrating the versatility of the thoroughbred. Held three weeks prior to the RRTP Challenge in Lexington, the demonstration will give a taste to those unable to make it to Kentucky to spectate. [Plantation Field Announces Partnership]

SmartPak Product of the Day: One thing that always seems to walk away in short order, no matter which barn you’re at, is lead ropes. Sometimes it’s nice just to have a solid supply of extras lying around to grab if needed. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Galway Downs CIC3*

As the East Coast enters full swing of the spring season, the California scene is starting to heat up as well, with a healthy division entered at Galway Downs this weekend. With a handful of West Coast-based riders intending to use this as a final prep for Rolex (or Badminton!), we’ll be keeping a sharp eye on Galway.

Ian Stark has been the course designer at this venue for a number of years, even as his popularity is heating up out east. Known for a propensity for ditches, open logs and rider-frighteners, his courses reward forward, bold rides.

Photo courtesy of Galway Downs

The Field

  • In the past two years, about 85% of the field at this show has finished cross country with no jumping penalties. That’s well over the international rate of clear cross country rounds, which is 66% over the same time period.
  • In 2014, 22% (three pairs) in the field finished on their dressage score. In 2015, no one managed to finish on their dressage score.
  • The past two winners were in third or fourth place after dressage. Will this be the year that someone can lead wire-to-wire? Or will the winner come from behind again?

MacKenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Alleyn Evans for official event photographer Shannon Brinkman Photography, courtesy of Rebecca Farm.

Dressage Divas

  • Chatwin only has four starts at this level but he’s managed to improve his dressage score just a touch with every test. Most recently he and Frankie Theriot-Stutes proved they can strike in the 30s with the FEI equivalent of 38.1 in the Advanced at Twin Rivers earlier this month.
  • Over their lengthy career together, Mackenna Shea and Landioso have proven themselves as strong contenders in the first phase. They’ve scored in the mid-40s for their last 11 starts in a row.
  • Although Charlie Tango’s resume is much shorter than Landioso’s, he and Heather Morris have already proven a similar reliability on the flat, notching off four mid-40s scores in their four three-star starts.
  • Both Glock Pullman and RevitaVet Elijah could pop up into the first few placings after day one, having both scored the FEI equivalent of 42.3 at Twin Rivers in the Advanced. This will be RevitaVet Elijah’s second start at this level with James Alliston, while Glock Pullman and Tamie Smith will be having their second start at this level as a team.

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Charlie Tango and Heather Morris have an almost perfect show jumping record since they moved up to Advanced last year, marred only by two time penalties in their last outing at Twin Rivers.
  • Master King II is another horse who has proven he can leave all the colored sticks up. He and Leah Breakey are a perfect three for three of double clear stadium rounds at the Advanced level.
  • In 25 stadium rounds at the Advanced, three-star and four-star levels, Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against have never had more than one rail in a stadium round. Ever.

Amber Levine and Carry On. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Cross Country Machines

  • Carry On and Amber Levine are machines at this level, having never finished more than 15 seconds over optimum time when putting in a clear cross country round.
  • Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against have never had a stop in the 18 Advanced and CIC3* starts in which they left the start box.
  • Glock Pullman and RevitaVet Elijah both showed they can hit the optimum time at Twin Rivers.

PREDICTED WINNER: Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On…

  • Amber Levine and Carry On
  • Heather Morris and Charlie Tango
  • Mackenna Shea and Landioso

Potential Spoilers

  • James Alliston and Revitavet Elijah
  • James Alliston and Happenstance
  • Tamie Smith and Glock Pullman

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Lisa Marie Fergusson was one of those who trekked back to the gloomy northern weather after Carolina. Photo via Lisa Marie's FB page. Lisa Marie Fergusson was one of those who trekked back to the gloomy northern weather after Carolina. Photo via Lisa Marie's FB page.

I’ve eagerly been waiting all winter for everyone to come back, and that time has come on all of a sudden. The migration is well underway, with some riders coming back directly from Carolina, others making a pit stop south again before driving north, and others hanging on in the sun until after Rolex.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Jennie Brannigan keeps expanding her repertoire. Not satisfied with only eventing, Jennie has been known for her moonlighting as an exercise ride and on rare occasions, jockey. Having already tested the waters as a flat jockey, Jennie expanded her horizons last weekend by piloting Joshua G in a timber race the day after Carolina. [Jennie Brannigan Gets Her Feet Wet]

What’s the big deal about Badminton? Horse & Hound has compiled a basic guide to everything Badminton, perfect to hand to your significant other when he keeps asking you why you’re suddenly obsessed with a sport that’s not quite tennis. [Badminton Horse Trials Visitors’ Guide]

Things often seem to happen all at once when things start falling into place. After sweating all winter over selling her two upper level dressage horses, blogger Lauren Sprieser was down to the wire as the Florida trip ended. Then, someone called asking if they could try her third level horse, and oh by the way, did she have an experienced horse for a young rider. Within a week, both horses sold to the same barn. [Funny the Way Things Work Out]

SmartPak Product of the Day: It’s spring, which means warm temperatures, rain, and mud. All of that leads to rain rot, and it’s time to bust out my favorite cure for such fungus-y issues as you may have. As a bonus, it smells like bacon! [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Carolina International CIC3*

Carolina International is now entering its fourth year, having grown leaps and bounds into one of the can’t-miss Rolex preparation events. This is another show that offers the option to choose between entering the CIC3* to run stadium first, or to practice jumping a less-than-fresh horse by entering the Advanced division.

Like Red Hills, Carolina experienced a change of course designers last year, with Ian Stark picking up his first East Coast venue in the spring. While quite prevalent out west, Ian Stark had previously only designed at Richland Park east of the Mississippi.

Marc Donovan has been the course designer here at the Carolina Horse Park since it ran as Southern Pines II, and his courses are known to challenge even the best pairs and shake up the standings.

The famous Stonehenge complex at the Carolina Horse Park. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Field

  • In Ian Stark’s first year of designing, the cross-country completion rate improved from 89% to 92% — but the percentage of clear rounds fell by 15%, and the percentage of pairs who made the optimum time dropped from a whopping 31% down to 5%.
  • In 2014, 27% (seven pairs) of the field finished on their dressage score. In 2015, that percentage dropped to 9% — just one pair.
  • The past two winners of this division were either sitting first or tied for first after dressage. Will that pattern hold this year?

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

Dressage Divas

  • Clark Montgomery and  Loughan Glen just threw down a personal best score of 32.2 in their last start, leading from the first phase to win the Pine Top CIC3*. With 90% of their CIC3* tests since 2013 hitting in the 30s, they’re a good bet to be leading the field heading into show jumping.
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night really started hitting their stride on the three-star tests last year, pushing their average down into the high 30s over their last three CIC3* starts. 
  • The winners of last year’s event, Arthur and Allison Springer, will have their work cut out for them if they hope to catch the lead this year. Although they haven’t hit the 30s on a three-star test since 2012, these two frequently flirt with the very low 40s.
  • Carlevo, Harbour Pilot, Anthony Patch, Cambalda and Cooley Dream all have averages that fall below 46.0, clustering together within a three-point range. The top five will truly depend on what the judges, Christina Klingspor and Robert Stevenson, are looking for this weekend.
  • Congo Brazzaville C, ridden by Mara DePuy, could make a splash in his rookie debut at the CIC3* level. These two scored the equivalent of a 44.0 in the horse’s Advanced debut at Pine Top last month.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Hannah Sue Burnett’s mount Cooley Dream has only three runs under his belt at this level, but he has yet to have a single penalty in the stadium phase.
  • Phillip Dutton’s young mount Z has only had one rail in five stadium rounds in his budding Advanced/three-star career thus far. When show jumping is held first, he is a perfect 3-for-3 on clear rounds.
  • Doug Payne has improved Vandiver’s stadium phase beyond recognition. Together they have incurred only one rail in eight rounds when stadium comes first.  
  • Despite a rough round at Rolex last spring, Fernhill Fugitive is actually one of Phillip’s best show jumpers. At the three-star level, he hasn’t incurred a rail in almost two full years, having last had a rail at The Fork in 2015.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cross Country Machines

  • Covert Rights is making his first appearance since The Fork last spring. His average pace puts him coming in just a fraction under optimum time on a regular basis. But with this being his first run back, Colleen Rutledge might choose a slower pace this weekend.
  • Never OutFoxed and Holly Payne Caravella have secured a spot on the wait list at Badminton and we are crossing our fingers they make it in. These two have finished under optimum time in five of their last nine CIC3* or Advanced runs, an impressive rate of double clears.
  • Loughan Glen and Simply Priceless share the next quickest spots, with both averaging only 2.8 time penalties in this phase when running clear over Advanced and CIC3* courses.
  • Other speedsters include Fernhill Fugitive and Luckaun Quality, both of whom average under 10 seconds over optimum time at this level.

PREDICTED WINNER: Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by CFD/

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch
  • Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda
  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive
  • Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready
  • Phillip Dutton and Mr. Candyman
  • Kurt Martin and DeLux Z
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver
  • Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner

Potential Spoilers

  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night
  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Finally arrived! Photo via Jordan Linstedt's FB page. Finally arrived! Photo via Jordan Linstedt's FB page.

Jordan Linstedt definitely wins the prize for the farthest distance traveled amongst the competitors of Carolina. Jordan arrived at the Carolina Horse Park on Monday with her Rolex horse Revitavet Capato in tow, with the plan of competing at Carolina and the Fork in preparation for Rolex. Soon we’ll see a few other West Coasters joining her out here in search of tough final prep runs before the big day.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Poplar Place CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Stone Gate Farm needs you to help them help the Area VIII Young Riders. On Saturday night of their May recognized horse trials, Stone Gate Farm is organizing some horse races…on bouncy balls. As the event gets closer, more details will become available on the event, but for now, they need your help in naming their colorful bouncy ball mounts. Check out the event and vote for your favorite color-themed names. [Saturday Night at the Races]

In England, it’s not uncommon to see some pretty famous equine faces out hunting. In the winter, even some prominent active equine athletes get to stretch their legs out in the field, with top hunters, racehorses, steeplechasers, and eventers making appearances. Lenamore still gets out for a good leg stretch, while Lebowski and Merlot’s Magic find time in between competing at the 3* and 4* levels to get out and about. [10 Famous Horses Spotted]

What does it take to become Colorado’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred? A chestnut thoroughbred mare with a willing attitude, apparently. Chita, a 6 year old mare owned and ridden by Ashley Gubich, won the title at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo this past weekend. Chita can do anything from jump bridleless and without tack with Ashley to taking care of her 3 year old son as he learns to ride. [Churchita the Unicorn]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The Piper breeches have really branched out their selection as their popularity has bloomed and their latest selection includes new silicone knee patches. Silicon patches are grippier and stronger in my experience, so I’ll definitely be trying a pair of these breeches out. [SmartPak]