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Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Mini-Bourke sighting! Photo via Bourke Eventing FB page, by Jane Jennings. Mini-Bourke sighting! Photo via Bourke Eventing FB page, by Jane Jennings.

It’s spring (at least it feels like it) which means it’s time for the next generation of eventers to start attending shows. Timothy Bourke was spotted with a tiny auditor in tow as he coached students out at an event last weekend and it surely won’t be the last time we see this tiny spectator this spring.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

If you’ve ever thought doing trot sets in two point with your stirrups jacked up was hard, think again. Captain Guy Disney has made history as the first one-legged jockey to win a race under Great Britain’s racing rules. Captain Disney, who lost his lower right leg while serving in Afghanistan, has been racing for a number of yeas after eventually managing to successfully petition for an amateur jockey license. Last Friday, he won a race at Sandown Park to make history. [One-Legged War Veteran Makes History]

If you are a Young Rider or Junior with plans to compete at NAJYRC, mark your calendars. Area declarations are due on March 1st through USEF accounts. All riders for 2017 must submit an Area Declaration if they wish to compete at the NAJYRC Championships held at Rebecca Farm in July. [NAJC/CICOY Declarations Due March 1]

Christina Appling and AB Amelie got to take home the blue in their first ever Intermediate run. Dipping their toe into the water for the first time in the Intermediate Rider division at Rocking Horse last weekend, ‘Emily’ surprised even Christina with a great dressage test and followed it up with typical strong jumping phases to take the win. The pair has been together for nine years and have made it up every level together. [Winner of the Week]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The other day I realized that my schooling helmet, which was once upon a time my fancy show helmet, was purchased around the same time I bought my horse as a five year old. That horse is now fifteen, and I’m thinking that a ten year old helmet (lucky as it may be, since I have never *yet* fallen in it), probably isn’t the best idea to protect my noggin. Enter the new One K Defender, which is ventilated for my sweaty head in the summer and easily cleaned on a daily basis. [SmartPak]

The MR vs. RF Conundrum: When Rules are Rules for a Reason

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld Photo by Leslie Threlkeld

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter fell together at the Wellington Eventing Showcase earlier this month, with the incident broadcast live to thousands of people and available on instant replay to thousands more. Without a doubt, RF Demeter’s shoulder hit the ground and it was immediately apparent that the pair had incurred a mandatory retirement, or MR to indicate a horse fall. Yet the final results online read RF for rider fall.

This is a problem.

In the past two calendar years, EN has confirmed 12 incidents of horse falls being recorded as rider falls in official USEF and FEI records at three-star, four-star and Advanced events in the U.S. These incidents have been verified through photographs, videos and first-hand accounts confirming that the horse’s shoulder made contact with the ground. At least two of these incidents resulted in serious injury to the riders.

Why does it matter whether a rider fall (RF) or horse fall (MR) is the final recorded result if elimination is the consequence for both outcomes?

The rules don’t differentiate falls for posterity’s sake or to shame anyone. The rules differentiate because there are extremely differing levels of consequences between the two types of falls. The rules differentiate because in our quest to reduce horse falls in the sport, we first must collect data.

There are two primary reasons for differentiating between types of falls in results databases. The first is to collect data on how, when and why horse falls, and particularly rotational falls, occur. In order to have any meaningful conclusions, we must be able to trust that data. With as endemic as this issue has become, we can no longer rely on the accuracy of the results.

The second reason is to put the brakes on any pair having recurring issues and require them to re-establish their qualifications at a lower level. While the FEI does not differentiate between horse and rider falls for the purpose of reverse qualifications, the USEF rules do have more stringent requirements regarding horse falls. Two horse falls within 12 months require horses to step down one level. (For a more complete discussion, revisit The Elephant in the Room: Reverse Qualifications).

One of the aforementioned 12 whose MR was incorrectly recorded as an RF went on to have a second MR within 12 months. If the first horse fall had been properly recorded as an MR, the two falls would then have triggered the USEF’s loss of qualifications procedures, requiring the horse to drop back down to the Intermediate level.

Instead, the horse was then entered in his first four-star competition, where he fell a third time. Only then did he encounter both the USEF and FEI re-qualification requirements, having triggered both due to being eliminated three times in 12 months.

This was a fall that could have been prevented. Thankfully, both horse and rider walked away each time.

RF Demeter is now in a similar situation. Her fall at the Wellington Eventing Showcase was her second in 12 months, having also fallen at Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in April 2016. If the showcase was a sanctioned USEF Advanced competition and the result was properly recorded as an MR, she would now be required to run two Advanced or CIC3* competitions to regain her CCI4* qualifications.

Because the Wellington Eventing Showcase is not recognized or sanctioned by any governing body, no official results will be recorded with either the FEI or the USEF. For all intents and purposes, the results shown online are the official final scores for this competition. They will not become a part of RF Demeter’s official show record and will not have any consequences that would have occurred if the showcase was a recognized horse trials or FEI event.

Yet the consequences are just as real.

If we are serious as a sport about improving safety and preventing horse falls, we must be brutally honest with our results. We cannot sweep any MR results under the rug, passing them off as rider falls in an effort to make our sport appear safer to the outside world. If we want any real progress on safety, we cannot contaminate the data with false results. And if we want to actually try to save horses and riders from these falls, we must be able to implement the rules designed to protect them.

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Aubrey Davidson enters her first leadline class at HITS. Photo via Andrea Davidson Eventing FB page. Aubrey Davidson enters her first leadline class at HITS. Photo via Andrea Davidson Eventing FB page.

Watch out Buck, the third generation of Davidsons is ready to take her spot at the top! Well….maybe there’s a few more years to go if the size of that helmet is any indication. Keep a close eye on this one, she’ll likely have every bit of her line’s guts and courage, which will be formidable indeed. #whoruntheworld

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Florida’s version of RRP is coming to a facility near you! If you are in Florida through March, anyways. The Florida Thoroughbred Transformation Expo will be held March 24-26th at the Florida Horse Park, showcasing the OTTB. Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbreds are eligible as long as the horse raced or worked after March 1, 2013, with no restrictions on when training began. Disciplines vary from the traditional Olympic disciplines to hunter, polo, barrels, and working pony/race pony, all with $36k in prize money up for grabs. [Florida Thoroughbred Transformation Expo]

Lissa Green is very quickly rising out of her mother’s shadow. Despite her mother Lucinda winning Badminton six times, Lissa never had her own horse until she hit the age of 20. As she’s about to tackle her own first Badminton this spring with Malin Head Clover, Lissa tells us a few things we may not know about her. [A Fascination with Criminal Psychology]

As if Rolex didn’t have enough options for food and drink, the organizers are now throwing a beer garden into the mix. Marla & Oscar’s Beer Garden will be located in a prime position, across the road from the Head of the Lake. Named for the famous office dogs of EEI, the beer garden will be serving food alongside beer from three local microbreweries. [Marla & Oscar’s Beer Garden]

SmartPak Product of the Day: One of my favorite, and necessary, items of tack, the ThinLine Sheepskin halfpad has been a life saver as my young horse has gained muscle along his topline in the past year. With the ability to shim (with yet MORE ThinLine material!), my saddle has been able to contend with 17.1 hands of gangly squid throughout his growth. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Opie Winston and Whiskey look right at home on the cross country course at Full Gallop. Photo courtesy of Amanda Wilson. Opie Winston and Whiskey look right at home on the cross country course at Full Gallop. Photo courtesy of Amanda Wilson.

Eventing season is in full swing down in Area III, with events not only on the weekend but also running during the week most weeks. Stable View and Full Gallop, which is running today, have both adopted the British style of offering horse trials for the lower levels during the week so riders can concentrate on their upper level horses and events on the weekend. While our country might have trouble sustaining this model year round, it’s the perfect opportunity for the riders to make good use of their time while in the south!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Have you been reading William Micklem’s safety series on EN? The final column, entitled “Safety and Us,” will be released Thursday ahead of the Eventing Risk Management Summit on Feb. 10-12, which will bring together course designers, technical delegates, judges and national safety officers at Tattersalls. Click to read through all the parts so far, and stay tuned for the next column on Thursday: part onepart twopart threepart fourpart five.

Thowback Wednesday: USEA Horse of the Year Award. Did you know that the very first horse to win the USEA (formerly USCTA) Horse of the Year title in 193 was named Duck Soup? Or that the perpetual trophy, first awarded in 1987, is named in honor of Casar, a stallion ridden by the great Bruce Davidson? Can you guess which horse is the only one to have graced the trophy multiple times? [Trophy Tales]

Late winter is full of anticipation and last minute panic for those waiting to compete in the spring. British Eventing has compiled a list of twelve signs that the spring season is nigh. Are you desperately looking for show clothes you tossed in your closet after your last event last fall? Are you putting reminders on your calendar for the farrier to add stud holes? It might be turning to spring… [12 Telltale Signs]

Since coming east, Matt Brown has been quietly putting in the work to make it to the top. After following a leap of faith, Matt and his wife Cecily, made the move east to follow his dream of making the Olympics. The decision has paid off, as in the past eighteen months, he’s competed at Boekelo, Rolex, and Aachen, topping it off with a win at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* last November. With three top horses and some promising young talent in the wings, as well as support from Cecily and his supportive owners, Matt is determined to make sure his sacrifice of moving away from California counts. [No Secret to Brown’s Success]

Ocala is hosting a series of Wine and Cheese Seminars this winter. With seminars already planned for today, February 8th, as well as February 22nd and March 8th, the Ocala Jockey Club invites you to join them for a fund and educational night. Tonight Danny Warrington will be demonstrating how to fall using his LandSafe system. Admission is $10 for the lecture and free appetizers, with wine and beer available for purchase. More lectures will be announced as they are determined. [Join the OJC for Seminars]

SmartPak Product of the Day: With the season in full swing, the doggos are out in force on cross country walks. We all know that one dog who will always lay in the muddiest puddle no matter how cold it is. Now you can use a water bottle and this simple nozzle to rinse your pup off before letting him back in your vehicle. [SmartPak]

Who is Qualified for Rolex 2017?

Photo via EN's Instagram Photo via EN's Instagram

With the Advanced season set to begin with the Wellington Eventing Showcase this weekend, anticipation begins to build for what is currently the biggest event in North America — the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The possibilities are thrilling at the beginning of the competition season, and EN is here to offer you a preview of which horses are qualified to compete at Rolex each spring.

Currently, there are 79 horses fully qualified and at least 14 who have achieved qualification but need to renew their 12-month requirement with a CIC3* in the spring. Additionally, 12 Canadian horses are qualified but must achieve their National Federation requirements within three months of the competition date. Finally, there are 11 horses that have obtained the necessary CCI3* to compete at a four-star, but need additional CIC3* to complete the number of required qualifications.

We make no claims that this is a complete list. Only horses that competed at least once at the Advanced, three-star or four-star levels in North America in 2016 or were listed on 2017 High Performance Training Lists were evaluated for qualifications. Additionally, American riders based overseas are on this list, but not other nationalities. As a side note, Micheal Jung has already announced his intentions to bring two-time winner fischerRocana FST, as well as his 2015 European Champion fischerTakinou, to contest for a three-peat.

If anyone knows of a horse who is aimed at Rolex but has not competed at these levels since 2015 or before, please let us know so we can properly update the list by emailing [email protected]. Similarly, if you know of a horse on this list that has been retired, sold or is otherwise not competing at this level anymore, please update us. We have updated the list with news as it has come in during the off-season.

For a full explanation of what constitutes a qualified pair for the four-star level, read EN’s guide Know Your Qualifications: CCI4* 2017 Redux for more details. Along with FEI requirements of completing the qualifying shows, National Federations may add their own requirements, which apply to their riders no matter where they are based.

For instance, US Equestrian requires that one of the qualifying results be within a year of the desired competition date. Equestrian Canada requires the completion of a qualifying Advanced or three-star within three months of the competition. Other National Federations have no additional requirements, like New Zealand. Horses are subject to the rules of the National Federation of their rider.

Riders with the following nationalities are based in the U.S. and currently competing at the Advanced and 3* levels:

  • Australia: Horses must have another Advanced or CI3* MER in addition to FEI requirements if not ridden by a Category A rider. Category A riders must have two additional Advanced or CI3* MER in addition to the FEI required CCI3*.
  • Brazil: No additional NF requirements.
  • Canada: Must have one MER at an Advanced or CIC3* within three months of competition date (this is the 2016 document, as 2017 is not available).
  • Great Britain: Horses ridden by Category C, D, or uncategorized riders need an additional Advanced or CI3*. Horses ridden by A riders need an additional CI3* as well as another Advanced or CI3*. Category B riders have no extra BEF requirements.
  • Ireland: Horses ridden by Category C, D, or uncategorized riders need an additional Advanced or CI3*. Horses ridden by A riders need an additional CI3* as well as another Advanced or CI3*. Category B riders have no extra BEF requirements. (this is the 2016 document, as 2017 is not available).
  • New Zealand: No additional NF requirements.

Riders representing Ecuador, Mexico, Netherlands and Puerto Rico are also based in the U.S., but their National Federation requirements are not published online. If anyone has information regarding qualifications for these federations, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

Many of the pairs listed below have more than sufficient qualifying results. We have listed only the most recent shows that achieve qualification for them, plus the date of the show that most recently satisfies the 12-month requirement. One asterisk before the show name indicates one stop on cross country. Two asterisks indicates a frangible penalty. When possible, we used shows with clear cross country rounds.

As noted in the above Know Your Qualifications link, FEI Category A and B riders do not need to satisfy the full gamut of qualifications, and may take advantage of modified paths to qualification. These pairs are still listed below and denoted with a (B) or (A) next to the rider name to denote that the horse is qualified due to the rider categorization. If the rider does not have the (B) or (A) next to their name but is a B or A rider, that indicates that the horse is fully qualified through the traditional pathway.

Also, all of the horses listed below are qualified with their current rider. If a rider change occurs, the new rider will not be able to compete the horse at Rolex this spring.

For a review of what entails an MER up to this point in time, please revisit Know Your Qualifications for a complete explanation. Going forward, MER requirements are stricter and can be viewed in the Know Your Qualifications: CCI4* 2017 Redux link.

Horses and Riders Fully Qualified to Compete at Rolex 2017

Anthony Patch

Rider: Laine Ashker

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2012 Fair Hill CCI3*

A.P. Prime

Rider: Leah Lang-Gluscic

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Red Hill CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Bromont CCI3*

Arthur

Rider: Allison Springer

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2012 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2012 Rolex CCI3*

Basco

Rider: Bonner Carpenter

  • 2016 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2014 Woodside CIC3*

Blackfoot Mystery

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Rio Olympic Games 
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Captain Jack

Rider: Savannah Fulton

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

Carlevo

Rider: Buck Davidson (A)

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2015 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*

Castle Larchfield Purdy (PUR)

Rider: Lauren Billys

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Cecilia (MEX)

Rider: Daniela Moguel

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Morven Park CIC3*

Cisko A

Rider: Sydney Conley-Elliott

  • 2016 **Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Clip Clop (NZL)

Rider: Joe Meyer

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Cooley Cross Border

Rider: Kim Severson

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Morven Park CIC3*

Cooley On Show

Rider: Sharon White

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

Copper Beach

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Crackerjack

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Luhmühlen CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

DeLux Z

Rider: Kurt Martin

  • 2016 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Dempsey

Rider: Tamie Smith

  • 2016 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2016 Blenheim CIC3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Donner

Rider: Lynn Symansky

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Burghley CCI4*

Downtown Harrison

Rider: Jon Holling

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2015 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2012 Boekelo CCIO3*

Dunlavin’s Token

Rider: Bobby Meyerhoff

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Escot 6

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Eveready

Rider: Barb Crabo

  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Galway Downs CIC3*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2011 Galway Downs CCI3*

Fernhill By Night

Rider: Liz Halliday-Sharp

  • 2016 Burgham Market CIC3*
  • 2015 Hartpury CIC3*
  • 2015 *Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2014 Boekelo CCI3*

Fernhill Classic (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Fernhill Cubalawn

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Fernhill Fortitude

Rider: Jenny Caras

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Bramham-U25 CCI3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Fernhill Fugitive

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2016 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Goodknight

Rider: Jolie Wentworth

  • 2016 Copper Meadows CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CIC3*
  • 2013 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2012 Galway Downs CCI3*

Hans Dampf

Rider: Will Faudree (B)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*

Harbour Pilot

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett

  • 2016 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2016 Aachen CICO3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2014 Rolex CCI4*

High Times

Rider: Jen McFall

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2015 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI3*

Houdini

Rider: Katie Ruppel

  • 2016 *Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2013 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

I’m Sew Ready

Rider: Phillip Dutton (A)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Carolina CIC3*

Indy 500

Rider: Andrea Baxter

  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Galway Downs CIC3*
  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI3*

Landioso

Rider: Mackenna Shea

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Galway Downs CIC3*

Landmark’s Monte Carlo

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2015 Boekelo CCI3*
  • 2015 Blenheim CIC3*

LCC Barnaby

Rider: Lillian Heard

  • 2016 Millstreet CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Loughan Glen

Rider: Clark Montgomery

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bramham CIC3*
  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Luhmühlen CCI4*

Luckaun Quality (IRL)

Rider: Timothy Bourke

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Burghley CCI4*

Manoir de Carneville

Rider: Sinead Halpin

  • 2016 Millstreet CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Rolex CCI4*

Meadowbrook’s Scarlett

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2016 Boekelo CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Mettraise

Rider: Erin Sylvester

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*

Mighty Nice

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2016 Rio Olympic Games
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*

Mr. Candyman

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Muggle (BRA)

Rider: Nilson Moreira da Silva

  • 2016 Barbury Castle CIC3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2015 *Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Never OutFoxed

Rider: Holly Payne-Caravella

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Park Trader

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2013 Fair Hill CCI3*

Parker (GBR)

Rider: James Alliston

  • 2016 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2016 Woodside CIC3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*

Pebbly Maximus

Rider: Caroline Martin

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Carolina CIC3*

Petite Flower

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Carolina CIC3*

Pfun

Rider: Will Faudree

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven CIC3*
  • 2016 *Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CIC3*

Powell (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood (B)

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

P.S. Arianna

Rider: Madeline Backus

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 *Red Hills CIC3*

Revitavet Capato

Rider: Jordan Linstedt

  • 2016 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2016 Woodside CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*

RF Demeter

Rider: Marilyn Little

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2015 Morven CIC3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*

RF Eloquence

Rider: Elinor O’Neal

  • 2016 Boekelo CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

RF Scandalous

Rider: Marilyn Little (A)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*

Rise Against

Rider: Bunnie Sexton

  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Shame on the Moon

Rider: Emily Beshear

  • 2016 *Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*

Shamwari 4

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2014 WEG CCI4*
  • 2014 Luhmühlen CCI4*

Share Option

Rider: Lillian Heard

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2013 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2013 Richland Park CIC3*

Simply Priceless

Rider: Elisa Wallace

  • 2016 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*

Sir Oberon

Rider: Ellen Doughty-Hume

  • 2016 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*

Sir Rockstar

Rider: Libby Head

  • 2016 Hartpury CIC3*
  • 2016 Badminton CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Sound Prospect

Rider: Allie Knowles

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Spring Easy

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Steady Eddie

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*

Super Socks BCF

Rider: Matt Brown

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Boekelo CCI3*

Tactical Manuever

Rider: Ashley Johnson

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

The Apprentice

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Carolina CIC3*

Tight Lines

Rider: Will Coleman (B)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*

Truly Wiley

Rider: Kelly Prather

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

Tsunami

Rider: Sally Cousins

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Richland Park CIC3*

Under Suspection

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

Vandiver

Rider: Doug Payne

  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Vermiculus

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 Boekelo CCI3*
  • 2015 Wellington CIC3*

Veronica

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Aachen CIC3*

Vilas County (NED)

Rider: Werner Geven

  • 2016 Poplar Place (September) CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place (March) CIC3*
  • 2015 Poplar Place CIC3*

Welcome Shadow

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Pau CCI4*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Z

Rider: Phillip Dutton (A)

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Canadian Horses Fully Qualified (Need a CIC3* or Advanced within three months of Rolex)

A Little Romance (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2014 Bromont CCI3*

Abbey GS (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (B)

  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*

Bentley’s Best (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (B)

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*

Foxwood High (CAN)

Rider: Selena O’Hanlon

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CIC3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2014 Rolex CCI4*

Honor Me (CAN)

Rider: Lisa Marie-Fergusson

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Irish Rhythm (CAN)

Rider: Rachel McDonough

  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*

Jollybo (CAN)

Rider: Hawley Bennett-Awad (A)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*

Kelecyn Cognac (CAN)

Rider: Waylon Roberts

  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*

Madison Park (CAN)

Rider: Kyle Carter

  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2013 Bromont CCI3*

Manny (CAN)

Rider: Diane Burnett 

  • 2010 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2010 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2009 Wit’s End CIC3*
  • 2009 *Rolex CCI4*

More Inspiration (CAN)

Rider: Holly Jacks-Smither

  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2015 Red Hills CIC3*

Pavarotti (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2014 WEG CCI3*

U.S. Horses Needing Additional CIC3* To Complete Qualifications

Caeleste

Rider: Will Faudree (B)

  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CIC3*

Campground

Rider: Erin Sylvester (B)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*

D.A. Duras

Rider: Lauren Kieffer (B)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 *Bromont CIC3*

FR’s Trust Fund

Rider: Kyle Carter (B)

  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Poplar Place CIC3*

FYI

Rider: Lillian Heard (B)

  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*

No Remorse

Rider: Buck Davidson (A)

  • 2016 *Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*

Soupcon du Brunet

Rider: Will Coleman (B)

  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*

Who’s A Star

Rider: Courtney Cooper

  • 2014 *Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2013 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2013 The Fork CIC3*

Woodstock Bennett (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood (B)

  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Wundermaske (ECU)

Rider: Ronald Zabala-Goetchsel (B)

  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Quillota CIC3*
  • Needs Two CIC3*

U.S. Horses Qualified But Need a CIC3* within 12 months of Rolex

Ballylaffin Bracken

Rider: Kristen Schmolze

  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2013 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2013 Plantation Field CIC3*

Catalina

Rider: Jennie Brannigan (B)

  • 2016 *The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*

Center Stage

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 *Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*

Courage Under Fire

Rider: Katherine Coleman

  • 2015 Tattersalls CIC3*
  • 2015 Ballindenisk CCI3*
  • 2014 *Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2014 Blair Castle CIC3*

Covert Rights

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*

F.I.S. Prince Charming

Rider: Lisa Barry

  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2014 Bromont CCI3*

Fly Me Courageous

Rider: Sara Kozumplik-Murphy

  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC38
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Gleaming Road

Rider: Anna Collier

  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2015 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI4*

Mai Baum

Rider: Tamie Smith (B)

  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 Copper MEadows CIC3*
  • 2015 Rebecca Farm CIC3*

Master Frisky

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2015 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Quantum Solace

Rider: Caroline Martin

  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2014 Carolina CIC3*

Ringwood Magister

Rider: Tiana Coudray

  • 2016 Burgham CIC3*
  • 2015 Burgham CIC3*
  • 2013 Badminton CCI4*
  • 2011 Blenheim CCI3*

Sparrow’s Nio

Rider: Allie Sacksen

  • 2016 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

VS McCuan Civil Liberty (AUS)

Rider: Kate Chadderton

  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CIC3*

Win the War

Rider: Jessica Bortner-Harris

  • 2015 *Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Poplar Place (September) CIC3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2015 Poplar Place (March) CIC3*

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

My youngster at his first show at Bruce's Field yesterday. Photo courtesy of Matt Brown. My youngster at his first show at Bruce's Field yesterday. Photo courtesy of Matt Brown.

One of the late Bruce Duchossois’ most lasting contributions was the creation of Bruce’s Field and subsequent donation to the Aiken Horse Park Foundation upon his death. The facility named for him now offers regular schooling jumper and dressage shows throughout the winter. The world class footing and bustling grounds allow our horses and riders to get exposed early to atmosphere and pomp without the high-stress environment. As always, thank you Bruce, we remember and thank you in so many ways.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Website]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

If you’ve ever lost your nerve after a bad fall, you aren’t alone. Alice Dunsdon, who last year became the first person to contest all six four stars in the world on the same horse (and complete five of them!), once upon had this very issue. After a nasty fall in an Intermediate that involved facial reconstruction for her lip and upper jaw, Alice was absolutely terrified to jump again. Check out what finally did the trick to re-gaining her confidence. [Who Do You Think?]

Susan Thomas has found her niche as a trainer. Despite recently winning the A/I division at Full Gallop with Fly N Bayou and the Preliminary with Cash Performer, Susan was most excited about the performances of her students, a group of mid-to-late teens. Susan has focused on that age range after realizing how much she enjoys seeing them grow into adults, and has found success in her own riding as well as she prepares for the move up to Advanced. [Susan Thomas Shares Her Passion]

The Life and Times of Kilronan. In tribute to the great Kilronan, who sadly passed last weekend, EquiRatings has dug into their database and put a spotlight on his career. [A Modern Eventing Great]

Are you an eventer? Do you live in Georgia? Do you attend Augusta University? If you can answer yes to all three of those questions, drop everything and throw your name in the ring to form an eventing team. Contact Rachel Land today!

SmartPak Product of the Day: The best time to buy winter clothing is at the end of winter, when everything is marked down. And when SmartPak runs a 20% off brand apparel, it’s definitely time to pick up one of these parkas for what could be considered a steal. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

The love and support for Lee Lee is growing throughout the equestrian community. Photo courtesy of Ellie Glaccum. The love and support for Lee Lee is growing throughout the equestrian community. Photo courtesy of Ellie Glaccum.

Lee Lee Jones has a vast equestrian community, as demonstrated by the #teamleelee photos that keep pouring in. Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Hounds roots for her with a giant banner, led by Annie Jones herself. Annie is Lee Lee’s grandmother, as well as a strong supporter of eventing through ownership of some of Phillip Dutton’s most famous top mounts. With matriarch’s like Annie leading the charge to support Lee Lee, she’ll have all the cheerleading she needs as she recuperates. Go #teamleelee.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Full Gallop Farm January H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Time to rally one more time, Eventing Nation! We were game for EquiRatings, we dominated at USEF, and now it’s time for COTH end of the year awards. Mighty Nice is up for COTH Horse of the Year and both Phillip and Boyd grabbed nominations for Horseman of the Year. Go forth and vote, EN! [Who Do You Think?]

If you live in California, Chris Burton is coming to teach a clinic near YOU. On February 27th and 28th, the Speed King (as dubbed by EquiRatings) himself will be in hopefully sunny California, teaching a clinic at Fresno County Horse Park. Slots are still available to learn from the man who won Burghley this fall and was first after cross country at Rio. Contact the organizer right away if you wish to participate. [Chris Burton Clinic]

Behind the Stall Door with High Times. California living has been good to Jen McFall and her superstar Hight Times, aka Billy. A horse who feels turnout is best enjoyed only for short periods of time, Billy is addicted to rolling and super fresh water. A bit spooky, he’s not what you’d expect from a four-star horse, but if he sees a cross-country fence, he’s a wild man. [Behind the Stall Door]

Eventing Podcast: Badminton Special. The EquiRatings team digs deep into the annals of history to determine who reigns supreme at Badminton. By rating riders on the number of times they finished on their dressage scores (FODS, the new gold standard!), the ER team discovers who conquered the jumping phases at Badminton more than any other rider. [Eventing Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: Growing up in a lesson program at a hunter/jumper barn, Eskadrons were always the gold standard of boots in my world. As I was busy rolling up bright red or yellow polos, I eyed the Eskadrons of the boarders longingly. Now too, they can be mine, and for an affordable price. [SmartPak]

Know Your Qualifications: CCI4* 2017 Redux

Photo via EN's Instagram Photo via EN's Instagram

As the beginning of the 2017 season approaches, one thing on everyone’s mind is who might be aiming for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this spring. The qualification requirements have been similar for many years, requiring a single qualification at the CCI3* level, as well as one or, in more recent years, two CIC3* runs.

With Rolex running prior to any North American CCI3* events, that meant that pairs had to have that all-important CCI3* qualification in hand before Jan. 1 if they wanted to compete at Rolex the following spring. The qualification path was the same for all save the difficult-to-reach Category A riders, who were exempt from running a CCI3* with the horse if the horse had completed the qualification with another rider.

At the end of 2016, things changed.

The FEI introduced a more complicated qualification path that took into account the amount of experience each rider had at the top levels. The requirements were made more rigorous for each category, and the days of catch rides at the four-star level are officially over.

The new qualification rules, though introduced in the 2016 FEI Rulebook that published at the beginning of the 2016 calendar year, did allow a grace period to obtain additional qualifications, and did not require the rule to be enforced until July 1, 2016. Four-star events prior to the July 1 date had the option to enforce the new qualification requirements or to allow one last chance to compete under the old path.

Badminton uses a point system to wait-list entries, and Luhmühlen had already started requiring extra qualifications to compete for Categories C and below in 2015. Rolex chose to run one last time under the old qualification rules. Therefore, this coming Rolex will be the first time most North American-based pairs will run under the new qualification system.

As a further twist, the FEI introduced more stringent qualification requirements to achieve a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER), explained below, in the 2017 FEI Rulebook. All MERS previously obtained under the old criteria still stand; the new criteria will only be used to obtain new MERs starting Jan. 1, 2017.

The new MER requirements are:

  • Dressage: Score 67.0 or below. (This is equivalent to a 55% score for pure dressage.)
  • Cross country: No jump penalties. The activation of a frangible pin for 11 penalties may still obtain an MER. For three-star and below, no more than 75 seconds (30.0 time penalties) over the optimum time. For four-star, no more than 100 seconds (40.0 time penalties) over the optimum time.
  • Show Jumping: No more than 16 jump penalties. Time penalties are not taken into account.

Important things to remember when thinking about four-star qualifications:

  • MER requirements must be obtained as a pair.
  • The USEF adds an additional requirement to the mix, that one of the qualifications must be met within a year of the competition date. This is a USEF requirement and applies only to American riders; other national federations (NFs) may have additional requirements to those of the FEI as well.

As a final note, if you find it too difficult to keep track of what you need and when, the FEI database is extremely useful as a quick check. The database provides not only a quick way to look up the Eventing Category of each rider, but also note which levels each rider is qualified with each horse he or she has competed within the FEI system.

Simply search for the athlete, click their name, then click on “View Athlete Details” in the upper right-hand corner of the profile. Scroll down to the bottom and on the left is a list of all the horses with which the athlete might be qualified.

For example, Lynn Symansky's Athlete Details displays that she is a Category A and shows each horse she has competed with and to what level she is qualified to enter with them.

For example, Lynn Symansky’s Athlete Details displays that she is Category A and shows each horse she has competed with and to what level she is qualified to enter with them.

Alternatively, each horse also has a similar section under their Details page that includes a table of what level they can compete with which category rider. Note that this information applies to FEI requirements only and additional USEF or other NF requirements may not be fulfilled. Contact your NF directly if you are at all concerned about having completed all necessary NF requirements.

Meanwhile Donner's profile displays what level he is qualified to compete at with each rider who has competed him at FEI levels as well as showing what level he is qualified to compete at with each category of future rider.

Meanwhile Donner’s profile displays what level he is qualified to compete at with each rider who has competed him at FEI levels as well as showing what level he is qualified to compete at with each category of future rider.

CCI4* (Category C/D/Not Categorized)

  • Option One:
    • Two MER at CIC3*, achieved as a pair.
    • Two MER at CCI3*, achieved as a pair.
  • Option Two:
    • One MER at CIC3*, achieved as a pair.
    • Three MER at CCI3*, achieved as a pair.
  • One of the four MER may have 20 cross country jump penalties.
  • One of the four qualifications achieved within 12 months (USEF).

CCI4* (Category B)

  • Option One:
    • Qualify using the Category C/D/NC path.
  • Option Two (Abbreviated Path):
    • Three MER at CIC3*, achieved as a pair.
    • One MER at CCI3*, achieved as a pair.
  • One of the four MER may have 20 XC jump penalties.
  • One of the four qualifications achieved within 12 months (USEF).

CCI4* (Category A)

  • Option One: 
    • Qualify using either the Category B or Category C/D/NC path.
  • Option Two (Abbreviated Path):
    • One MER at CCI3*, achieved as a pair
  • Both horse and rider must have achieved an MER at the 3* or 4* level within the past twelve months, but not necessarily as a pair (USEF).

Currently, there are only five CCI3* competitions in North America, with Jersey Fresh and Bromont in the spring, Rebecca Farm in the summer, and Fair Hill and Galway Downs in the fall. Rolex is currently the only CCI4* but plans are in the works to host a fall CCI4* at either Great Meadow or Fair Hill beginning in 2019.

By comparison, Great Britain and Ireland held a combined eight CCI3* events in 2016, while mainland Europe held another six. Having such a large number of CCI3* events in a much smaller geographic footprint allows the European-based horses and riders to gain significantly more experience as well as tailor their paths to suit each horse, or to re-route to another qualifier if a mistake is made early on course.

The smaller number of CCI3* events available in North America creates a serious obstacle for obtaining qualifications for riders on this continent. As a result of the schedule, pairs have historically tended to make the move up to Advanced either in the winter season or the summer months, with intentions to make a spring or fall CCI3*.

Those who move up in the winter have the advantage of having multiple chances to gain both CCI3* MER in one year. Categories C and D and non-categorized riders can generally gain their CCI4* qualifications through Option One in one calendar year. Only category B and A riders who move horses up in the fall will be able to obtain qualification for the following Rolex, and it can be tight to complete all of the qualifiers in one season.

While initially this may put pressure on some riders to contest a CCI3* in the spring before they feel totally comfortable at the level, eventually the addition of the fall four-star should not only mitigate that issue, but also the issue of riders contesting a four-star before they feel ready.

With only one North American four-star, riders can feel pressure to go and compete at our premier event if the horse is sound and they are qualified, regardless if their spring performance is rocky. A fall four-star offers the chance to sit back and re-group without waiting an entire calendar year to try again, relieving some of the pressure to compete.

The USEF requirement that one of the qualifications must be met within a year of the competition date adds another element to the mix. While this is no problem for those newly qualified, it can pose a dilemma for riders who entered Rolex the previous year, did not obtain an MER and perhaps gave their horses the fall off from FEI competition. These riders need to obtain an MER at a CIC3* the following spring, prior to Rolex. Luckily, Rolex itself can be used for the year requirement, so long as it is completed with an MER.

We will not see all the qualified pairs come down the centerline in the Rolex Stadium this spring. Some of the pairs will sit out due to illness or injury to horse or rider. Some will fail to meet the final qualifying requirements. Others will simply decide to remain at the three-star level for another year. However, simply qualifying is a huge accomplishment, and there’s always 2018.

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Stylin' in Aiken. Photo by Maggie Deatrick. Stylin' in Aiken. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

One of the toughest things about winter for me is the absence of horses. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to board with a wonderful barn and more lucky still to have the means to send my boys south when my barn migrates down to Aiken for twelve weeks. On the one hand, it’s nice to be able to live a little less structured, be able to put in long hours on a project to earn recognition and spend all my waking weekend hours vegging out in my house with my husband. On the other hand, not knowing what is going on with their training on a daily basis drives me a little bit nuts and every text and photo gets way more attention than it really deserves. Still, absence and idleness rekindles my competitive fire so I’ll be ready to hit the ground running in April.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Re-live William Fox-Pitt’s keynote speech from the USEA Convention. If you couldn’t make it down to Tamp for the USEA convention last December, the USEA wants to make sure you don’t miss what he had to say. Since watching this video means I didn’t have to be taunted by the Florida beach while it rains down buckets, I’m game. [WFP Recounts His Remarkable Recovery]

Tattersalls will be holding a Young Event Horse Qualifier. The Tattersalls July show, which currently consists of show jumping, in-hand and ridden showing, working hunter, and side-saddle classes, will now add the qualifier open to four and five-year-old horses who aim to qualify for the Dubarry Young Event Horse Championship held concurrently with Burghley. [Tattersalls]

Badminton is the gold standard for scary looking fences. Horse & Hound has compiled a series of the scariest fences Badminton has offered in it’s long history. Tiger traps, elephant traps, footbridges, and open rail oxers all feature prominently, as do giant ditches. [Badminton’s Hairiest Fences]

Eventing Podcast: Listener’s Choice. Do you have a trend you’d like the EquiRatings to dissect, examine, and expound upon? Are you curious about dressage session bias, or the comparative difficulty of making the time at different event? Let the ER team know! [Eventing Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: If you have a horse who chronically loses his shoe, abscesses, or  requires hoof soak on a regular basis, rejoice! Woof has come up with this ingenious glove for a hoof, allowing you and your horse to breathe a sigh of relief as you soak their hoof easily, or save duct tape by the roll. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Even aged champions like their breakfast. Photo via USEF High Performance FB page. Even aged champions like their breakfast. Photo via USEF High Performance FB page.

There is nothing better than a former champion living happily in a long retirement. Julie Gomena won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1994 aboard Treaty, pictured above eating his breakfast at a stately 31 years old. We owe so much to these horses who give us our hearts and the best years of their life, and they’ve earned their happy, lounging lifestyles. I don’t know many top riders who don’t have that horse they ‘owe everything to’ hanging out in one of their pastures, often babysitting some youngsters, other times just passing time with other famous pensioners.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Three Lakes January H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Attention all Master Amateurs! In 2017, Stable View will be hosting, the Mary Alice Brown, DVM Amateur Master Rider Series, established by Lynn Coates Holmes. The series will honor the Amateur Master rider who has the lowest cumulative penalty score in 2 of 3 Beginner Novice events from the January, March, and June horse trials. [Announcing the Amateur Master Rider Series]

Think you’re up to coaching an international team of eventers? Today’s your lucky day, as Horse Sport Ireland has officially opened the search for a Senior High Performance Director, including the position of Chef d’Equipe. If eventing isn’t your thing, the same position is open for the show jumping team. Applications are due on January 23rd. [Horse Sport Ireland Moves to Recruit]

Jennie Brannigan’s string is on the rise. Thanks to a strong year from the younger horses in her string, Jennie walked away from the convention with $55,000 in grant money to further the career of her promising two star horses. After first riding at the three-star mount with her Young Rider mount Cooper, Jennie and Cambalda have dominated the level for years. Now she’s poised to step a whole new crop of talented mares up to the top with the help of a strong team backing her. [Ocala Rider Profile]

Eventing Podcast: Young Guns. In this episode, the EquiRatings team highlights young riders in various parts of the world who might be particularly prominent in the sport in the next few years. The premise is riders born in the 1990s and 2000s, which sadly cuts me out of the picture, but includes names like Caroline Martin and Jenny Caras. Of course, their European counterparts are particularly strong, so be sure to tune into the antics of the ER crew as they showcase the next generation. Also, Diarm eats his dinner. [Eventing Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: In case you live under a rock, it’s been really, really cold lately. I am definitely on team ‘office job’ at the moment, although it did take the entirety of my morning commute for my truck cab to start warming up, by which point I had arrived. If you love your barn workers, working students, and generally any brave soul who cares for our boarded horses in the winter, you’ll buy them this heated bucket to make it through the winter. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

The first of the mini American Pharaoh's we'll be seeing this spring! Photo via Victor Espinoza's FB page. The first of the mini American Pharaoh's we'll be seeing this spring! Photo via Victor Espinoza's FB page.

With the advent of the new year, that means new Thoroughbred babies! While most of the world looks at these bundles of legs and wonders if they’ll be the next Triple Crown winner, I wonder if we’re looking at the next Donner or Courageous Comet. Dream big, little colt, whether it’s for your first career or your second.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Voting for USEF Equestrian of the Year and USEF International Horse of the Year closes at midnight EST tonight, and both Phillip Dutton and the HND Group’s Mighty Nice are up for a title. Votes from the public play an integral role in deciding who will win the titles. We freely admit to being biased and we think both Phillip and “Happy” deserve to win. So come on EN, take a few seconds and go vote!

Click here to vote for USEF Equestrian of the Year

Click here to vote for USEF International Horse of the Year

Because most Brits stay home for the winter season, they’ve developed some pretty good training methods for winter. Nicola Wilson, who events out of her family’s yard in Yorkshire, has a few tips she sticks to for the winter season. Developing a good base level of fitness, praising good behavior, and and lots of hacking on hits and river banks are amongst her top tricks. [Nicola Wilson: 9 Top Winter Training Tips]

Blog Rewind: The Plea of the Ruined Horse. Although it was written two years ago, the sentiments jumper trainer Rebecca Young is a good reminder as we bring in the new year. There’s always pressure to jump higher, show sooner, put square pegs into round holes. Sometimes our ambition gets in the way of what’s right for the horse. [Do Better]

Eventing Podcast: The 2017 Preview Show. In this episode, the EquiRatings team spends some time discussing who is hot for 2017, whether they are established four-star competitors or exciting three-star horses poised for stardom. If you haven’t started to tune into this series, you are seriously missing out. [Eventing Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: With the so-called Great Migration well underway, all of our lovely, clipped horses are now headed for warmer climes…and sand. While sand is has the advantages of  brushing right off unlike mud, it can cause skin issues with some of the more tender-skinned horses. MTG is the absolute best for getting rid of rain-rot and fungus in my experience, and has the added bonus of smelling exactly like bacon. [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Why do top professionals choose footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces?

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

When the baby horse gives the trainer the gift of being a pig pen for Christmas. Photo by Bryn Byer. When the baby horse gives the trainer the gift of being a pig pen for Christmas. Photo by Bryn Byer.

Sometimes the warmer temperatures around this time of year feel like a relief after the first cold snaps of the season…and sometimes those warm fronts bring their frustrations in the form of mud. Everywhere. Thinking about clipping because the days are warmer? Too bad, you’ll spend the entire day rinsing off horse hooves and blankets instead of giving anything a proper bath and clip. Thinking about tacking up quickly? Forget it, you’ll spend 20 minutes trying to brush mud out of the hair between your horse’s ears. They’ll end up with mud in places you never believed could have mud. Aiken cannot come quickly enough!

News From Around the Globe:

It takes a really special horse to go from a winner at Royal Ascot to a high level para dressage mount. With Julie Frizell, a Grade IV British para rider in the irons, Namibian has done just that, qualifying for the championship twice in two years. The 17.2 hand son of Cape Cross won the classic Queen’s Vase at the Royal Ascot in 2011 before becoming part of Godolphin’s rehoming program. [From Royal Ascot winner]

Have you ever sat on a horse and just clicked with them? Blogger Paige Cade recently went to Frankfurt on a whim, part vacation and part wishful shopping. Knowing she couldn’t really fund the horse she was about to try, she tried to talk herself out of it the entire drive to the stables. She tried to find any fault with him to find a reason to walk away. After wistfully posting the video of him on social media, a couple of generous clients offered to become investors, and a dream became reality. [Unicorn Found]

A foundation in honor of Olivia Inglis has been established in New Zealand. Olivia tragically died earlier this year in a cross country accident, and Equestrian NSW created a scholarship fund to further the training end education of  young eventers. The fund raised over $167,000 and so a foundation was formed to manage the trust, with the added goal of investing in high-impact safety initiatives. [Olivia Inglis Foundation Established]

 

 

FEI Softens Stance on $1,000 Name Change Fee for Passports

Photo via the FEI Photo via the FEI

The FEI has softened a controversial name change policy implemented earlier this year, which charged a $1,000 fee for changing the name of a horse to anything other than the breed registered name and adding a commercial prefix or suffix.

The current FEI Horse Name Change Guidelines, which were updated on Aug. 1, 2016, now allow the use of a “National Sport Name.”  The following criteria define the National Sport Name of a horse:

  • The horse is not yet entered in the FEI Database.
  • The National Sport Name differs from the birth name.
  • Horses 7 years and older must have competed with the National Sport Name at national level horse trials for at least 12 months. Horses 6 years and younger are exempt from this requirement.

Under these conditions, the use of a National Sport Name will not incur the $1,000 name change fee.

Any complete change of name to a horse already in the FEI database will incur the fee, as will any commercial name. Commercial names include a company or brand, a stable, a group of people or an association, or a person. For examples, read the FEI Horse Name Change Guidelines.

Shortening a name will incur a $200 fee, as will adding breed association initials, non-profit association and non-commercial initials, and the breeding farm name or initials to a birth name.

Note that not all national federations have updated their passport applications to reflect this change yet, but the most current version of the guidelines are currently in effect.

[FEI Horse Name Change Guidelines]

EN’s Year in Review: Top Five Pairs in Show Jumping for 2016

This series highlights the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star and four-star levels from 2016. While we often recognize greatness over all three phases in our sport, EN believes we should also recognize strength in each phase. This series aims to give that recognition, highlighting horses and riders who have had particularly strong years in one phase.

We’ve already looked at top cross country horses and dressage powerhouses among the American and U.S.-based horses. Today we pay tribute to the top five show jumping horses of 2016.

To be considered for EN’s Top Five, we first began with horses with at least three show jumping rounds at this level who had no rails the entire year. We then ranked the horses according to the number of rounds that were jumped clear, with the horses who jumped the most clear rounds ranking higher.

Then the level of competition was considered, and the horses tied for number of runs were ranked according to the level of their CCI (or if no CCI was completed). Finally, if a tie still existed, we turned to time penalties, using that as the final tie breaker. Here we go!

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard.

FIFTH PLACE: Charlie Tango

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 4 (No  CCI)

As the only freshman horse at this level on the list, Charlie Tango displayed an impressive ability for the show jumping phase this year for a horse at such an early place in his career. He proved he could show jump both before and after the cross country phase, finishing the year with absolutely no faults in this phase with Heather Morris in the irons.

Right off the bat, this young horse proved he could jump after cross country with a double clear round in the Advanced at Galway Downs in March. Two weeks later he clocked in a clear round prior to the cross country at Twin Rivers, followed by a double clear in his first CIC3* at Copper Meadows in June. He finished the year with another clear round at the fall edition of the Copper Meadows CIC3*.

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

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

FOURTH PLACE: Cooley Cross Border

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 4 (1 CCI3*)

In just his second year at the level, Cooley Cross Border managed to improve upon his almost flawless record from 2015, which included only two instances of one lone time penalty. This year, he continued his remarkable string of clear rounds and this time did it double clear each time. He has yet to have a rail at this level in his entire career.

Although he didn’t compete at this level until Millbrook, Cooley Cross Border put in a strong statement by delivering in a double clear round after running cross country. He and Kim Severson repeated that feat at the American Eventing Championships before heading to Morven Park CIC3*, where he jumped double clear again, this time before cross country. These two rounded out the year with a strong double clear at the Fair Hill CCI3* for the second year in a row.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

THIRD PLACE: Veronica

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.25

Number of Rounds: 4 (1 CCI4*)

Veronica’s strength in this phase is long established, last having dropped a rail in 2014. Although she is careful, she does incur a very occasional time penalty on her otherwise perfect record. Starting with the Advanced at Red Hills, Veronica proved jumping after the cross country phase was no issue, winning the division clear and inside the time. She then repeated that feat at The Fork CIC3*.

Then at Rolex CCI4* Lauren Kieffer and Veronica put in a very clutch clear round with their only time penalty of the year on a day when many rails fell. Their final show jumping round of 2016 came at Great Meadow CICO3*, with a double clear helping seal the deal for a team spot for Rio.

Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

SECOND PLACE: Share Option

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Rounds: 4 (1 CCI4*)

Like Veronica, Share Option is an extremely experienced horse with established strength in the stadium phase. With the same number of clear rounds this year and both completing a CCI4*, Share Option gained his edge over Veronica with a record completely devoid of either rails or time penalties.

Lillian Heard and Share Option started the year out early at Pine Top Advanced with a clear round before cross country. At Carolina International, he repeated the double clear after cross country in the Advanced division. Next up was The Fork, where he again jumped clear in the Advanced before repeating the feat at Rolex.

Colleen Rutledge and Escot 6. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Colleen Rutledge and Escot 6. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FIRST PLACE: Escot 6

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.29

Number of Rounds: 7 (1 CCI3*)

Escot 6 tops our show jumping list this year thanks to a prolific season of clear rounds. Although his record isn’t completely pristine due to two time penalties in one of his rounds, he still has two more clear rounds inside the time than his nearest competition.

Escot 6 and Colleen Rutledge began the year with clear round at Pine Top CIC3* before heading to Carolina International CIC3*, where they jumped a clear round but incurred two time penalties, their only penalties in this phase all year. They returned to staying inside the time at The Fork CIC3*

At Richland Park CIC3*, Escot 6 proved he could also jump a clear round after cross country. The mud at Morven Park CIC3*, the length of the Fair Hill CCI3* course and the grind of a long season at Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* all proved no match for him, as he churned out three additional double clear rounds.

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Jack the Elf has this grid thing down. Photo via Destination Farm FB page. Jack the Elf has this grid thing down. Photo via Destination Farm FB page.

The Elf on the Shelf has become an ubiquitous holiday tradition in many households, with everyone trying to top each other for creative and inventive ways in which to pose Santa’s little helper. My favorite has to be the Destination Farm Elf on the Shelf, who joins in clinics, jump shows, and farm potlucks with apparent enthusiasm for his barn family.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Christmas, obviously.

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

The USEF has proposed a significant rule change to fence construction to improve safety. Thanks to the studies implemented by the USEA and fundraising efforts, research now indicates that impact on the front rail of open oxers in either upwards or downwards force in the vertical plane can alter the trajectory and cause a fall. The USEA has proposed a new rule to the USEF that would require MIM clips on all front rails of open oxers and either MIM clips or reverse pinning on back rails. The wording of the rule does allow the development of future frangible technologies other than the MIM clip to be used once developed. [US Proposes Extraordinary Rule Change]

If you’v ever wanted a backstage seat to a four-star, here’s your chance. Horse & Hound is offering a chance to win press accreditation to the Badminton CCI4*. Potential photographers must submit three photos to be evaluated and a winner will be chosen to receive the press pass. [Taken a Great Eventing Photo?]

Daniel Clasing and Kaitlin Spurlock are tackling a topic often ignored. While most eventers go after already broken horses for their sport horse prospect, the popularity of the unbroken sport horse is growing daily. Daniel and Kaitlin discuss some strategies for using groundwork to establish a relationship with your young horse. [Establishing a Relationship]

SmartPak Product of the Day: It’s time for the great migration south, which means everyone should make sure all of their travel gear is in order. One of my requirements for long trips is for my horses to wear a fly mask to protect their eyes from any bits of hay or straw that might get whipped through the wind. With one horse who can get a bit claustrophobic if I close up the trailer entirely except for windows and vents, protecting those eyes is an absolute necessity. [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Why do top professionals choose footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces?

Good Footing – Attwood Equestrian Surfaces from Bold Horse Media on Vimeo.

EN’s Year in Review: Top Five Pairs in Cross Country for 2016

Welcome to the second post in our series highlighting the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star and four-star levels from 2016. Recently we highlighted the top five dressage powerhouses among the American and U.S. based horses. Today we pay tribute to the top five cross country horses of 2016.

To be considered for EN’s Top Five in this category, we first began with horses that completed every cross country round they started and incurred no jump penalties or frangible penalties in any of their starts — in other words, a perfect jump penalty record for 2016. The horses also needed to have completed at least three cross country rounds this year, of which at least one must be a CCI, to be considered.

We then ranked the horses according to who averaged the fewest number of time penalties across the country.

Timothy Bourke and Luckaun Quality. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

FIFTH PLACE: Luckaun Quality

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 5.73

Number of Runs: 3

This Irish duo has long been known for prowess on cross country, with Luckaun Quality’s enormous stride making it easy for this pair to lope across the country and still come home inside the optimum time. Although “Obie” ran only three times this year, he showed strong consistency in his pace.

Luckaun Quality began his season at the Carolina International CIC3*, putting in a solid run with 5.2 time penalties. He repeated his performance at The Fork CIC3*, again clocking in only 5.2 time. At Rolex in the mud, this horse demonstrated he had no problem with rough conditions, clocking in 6.8 time penalties, one of the faster rounds of the day.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

FOURTH PLACE: Tight Lines

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 4.70

Number of Runs: 4

Although the winner of the 2015 Fair Hill International CCI2* didn’t move up to the top levels until July, he made a statement with Will Coleman in the four cross-country rounds he posted in the latter part of the year. Beginning with 7.2 time penalties in a clear round at his very first CIC3* during Great Meadow, “Phish” then put himself on the map by throwing down a 3.6-penalty round in the mud at Richland Park CIC3* to take the win.

Next up Will took him to the Plantation Field CIC3*, where he eased up a bit for 8.0 time penalties before posting a double clear round in his very first CCI3* at Fair Hill International. Keep an eye on this one, folks.

Katherine Coleman and Longwood at Bramham International. Photo by Libby Law Photography

Katherine Coleman and Longwood at Bramham International. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

THIRD PLACE: Longwood

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 1.60

Number of Runs: 6

One horse who may be flying a bit under the radar is Longwood, who is ridden by British-based American rider Katherine Coleman. Longwood spent the spring season competing in the U.S. before heading back to Katherine’s home base in England for the rest of the year.

Beginning with a smashing run of only 3.6 time penalties at Red Hills in the CIC3*, “Woody” emphasized his ability by then posting one of only three double clear rounds in the Carolina CIC3*. He finished up his American trip with another double clear round at The Fork CIC3*.

Back to England in May, Longwood continued his streak with double clear rounds at Houghton Hall CIC3* in May and Bramham CCI3* in June. This pair finished the year with a more sedate pace at the Gatcombe Park CIC3* in the Event Rider Masters division, clocking in 6.0 time penalties.

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

SECOND PLACE: Parker

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 1.52

Number of Runs: 5

Parker once again demonstrates his incredible consistency across the country by placing second in our rankings for the second year in a row. Unlike last year, Parker did accumulate a few time penalties at the beginning of the year but finished it out in his typical style.

Beginning the year at Twin Rivers in the Advanced, James Alliston took an easier pace across the country to accumulate 4.0 time penalties. Next up was Parker’s sixth consecutive appearance at Rolex, where he posted yet another clear round with only 3.6 time penalties, tying for the fifth fastest round on a day when not one horse made the optimum time.

Parker then returned to his tradition of double clears for the remainder of the year, knocking off Rebecca Farm CCI3*, Woodside CIC3*, and Galway Downs CCI3* all without any cross-country penalties. This horse is a beast.

Mark Burke and Prince William. Photo by Tim O'Neal.

Mary Burke and Prince William. Photo by Tim O’Neal.

FIRST PLACE: Prince William

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.0

Average Seconds Under Optimum Time: 5.00

Number of Runs: 4

Prince William made his first CIC3* start of the year at Rebecca Farm CIC3*, where he and Mary Burke put in one of only two double clear rounds of the division, six seconds under the optimum time. Mary then took Prince William to Aspen Farms for the Advanced division, where they won Prince William’s debut at the level the previous year. This year they again won after clocking in four seconds under the optimum time.

Next up was their first CIC3* win at Woodside, where Prince William came home five seconds within the time. At Galway CCI3*, Prince William put in his final double clear round of the year with a round five seconds under. Despite being withdrawn prior to show jumping, Mary and Prince William had a perfectly flawless year in the cross country phase.

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

This time of year should be easy and fun, with parties and candy and Christmas movies. While I do get all three, I also get dumped on at work since everyone else realizes they have to use their vacation or lose it before the end of the year. Meanwhile I use all my vacation time as any sane person would, going to horse shows throughout the year. Obviously my way is the right way but instead of sitting on the couch watching The Santa Clause and It’s a Wonderful Life while stuffing my face with cookies and eggnog, I am sitting at work stuffing my face with cookies and candy.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Trying to stay warm and dry is the only thing on the agenda.

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

With cross country on hiatus, we have to get our adrenaline inducing videos elsewhere. Enter the puissance competition. Horse & Hound has collected a set of videos representing the record help in Britain, the puissance wall record, the bareback puissance wall record, and of course, the infamous Chilean horse Huaso who holds the world record of 8′ 1″. [Nerves of Steel]

British Eventing has joined other national federations in banning non-protective headwear in the dressage phase. Although still legal in FEI competition, as in the United States, top hats and hunt caps will no longer be permitted for national level competitions in Great Britain. [British Eventing Calls Time]

Valegro may be retiring but don’t expect Charlotte Dujardin to sit on her laurels. With a whole string of horses coming up the levels, Charlotte is looking forward to proving she is capable of producing multiple team horses. While she admits none of them may ever top Valegro, she still has a busy schedule ahead as she aims to make the WEG team in 2018…and perhaps take the time to get married. [Charlotte Dujardin Looks Ahead]

Alan Davies has had the experience of a lifetime, traveling all over the world with Uthopia and Valegro. Alan has been able to watch not only the horses grow and change throughout their career but has witnessed Charlotte blossom from shy to self-assured as she became an Olympic champion. [Groom Spotlight]

SmartPak Product of the Day: For anyone who knows a horse crazy kid who is just itching to start riding, I’ve found the perfect gift! SmartPak bundles a helmet, paddock boots, and gloves all in children’s sizes together for one low price. This is the perfect start kit for a budding equestrian…although it may be prudent to get the permission of their parents first! [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Why do top professionals choose footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces?

Good Footing – Attwood Equestrian Surfaces from Bold Horse Media on Vimeo.

EN’s Year in Review: Top Five Pairs in Dressage for 2016

Welcome to our Top Five of 2016 series! Like last year, this series will highlight the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star and four-star levels from 2016.

While we often recognize greatness over all three phases in our sport, we should also strive to recognize strength in each phase. This series aims to give that recognition and highlight horses and riders who have had particularly strong years in one phase or another.

Today’s Top Five will highlight the horses that had the five lowest dressage averages in 2016. To be considered for EN’s top five, the horse must have performed at least three dressage tests at these levels. All U.S. horses were considered, regardless of where they are based, as well as all horses who competed at least twice on U.S. soil.

These averages include Advanced scores that have been converted into FEI scores to allow for direct comparison. I’ve included the average in terms of both FEI and USEF scoring, but both scores include all Advanced/3*/4* tests from the year.

As a side note, nine American horses averaged below the all-important 45.0 mark this year. That’s down from 15 horses who dropped below 45.0 last year. However, another eight American horses have an average between 45.0 and 46.0, so the future looks promising.

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FIFTH PLACE: RF Demeter

FEI Average: 43.23

USEF Average: 28.82

Number of Tests: 4

Marilyn Little played it conservatively with her horses this year, competing the extremely experienced RF Demeter only four times. Aiming big with Rolex CCI4* as their first start at the top level for the year, they followed that up with a second place finish at Great Meadow CICO3* and Fair Hill CCI3*, with a start at the American Eventing Championship sandwiched in between.

RF Demeter began the year by putting in a personal best four-star score of 42.5 (FEI) at Rolex. Remaining extremely consistent, these two then scored a 43.8 (FEI) at Great Meadow and followed it up with a 28.0 (USEF) at the AECs. They ended the year with a score of 44.6 (FEI) at Fair Hill, ultimately putting them in second behind Marilyn’s second ride, RF Scandalous.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FOURTH PLACE: Harbour Pilot

FEI Average: 42.91

USEF Average: 28.61

Number of Tests: 5

After a long hiatus, Harbour Pilot returned to the scene and proved he was better than ever. Harbour Pilot and Hannah Sue began the year by leading the field after dressage at Red Hill CIC3* with a score of 40.4 (FEI). After knocking out a 26.1 (USEF) at The Fork in the Advanced, they headed back to Rolex Kentucky and put in a solid 43.2 (FEI) in their first four-star start since 2014.

Harbour Pilot spent the rest of the year traveling overseas, starting with Aachen CICO3* in July, where he held up against overseas competition with a 45.6 (FEI). For his final start of the year, he knocked out a 41.7 (FEI) at Blenheim CCI3*.

Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Jenni Autry.

THIRD PLACE: Arthur

FEI Average: 40.53

USEF Average: 27.02

Number of Tests: 6

Another horse who had most of 2015 off, Arthur was once again a familiar name on the scoreboards this year. In his first start of the year at Carolina CIC3*, Arthur ended up in a three-way tie for first place on a score of 43.4 (FEI). It was the highest he would score all year. Next up was The Fork Advanced, where he scored a 25.9 (USEF) in dressage before withdrawing prior to cross country. At Rolex CCI4*, he put in a 39.7 (FEI), only 0.2 points off his personal best at the level.

Taking the summer off, Allison waited until the AECs Advanced Championship to compete Arthur again, where they once again led after the dressage with a 25.3 (USEF). Following that, they contested the inaugural Advanced division at Stable View, scoring a 27.7 (USEF).  A run at the new Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* rounded out their year, where they scored a 41.7 (FEI) to tie for third place after dressage.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

SECOND PLACE: Loughan Glen

FEI Average: 40.18

USEF Average: 26.79

Number of Tests: 5

Loughan Glen slipped from the top spot this year after an uncharacteristic test at the Rio Olympic Games. Despite that, he performed consistently near or below his overall career FEI average, which is sub-40.

Clark first competed Glen at Belton CIC3* this year, putting in a slightly high score of 42.0 (FEI). They regained some of their swagger at Chatsworth CIC3* in the Event Rider Masters divisions with a 39.5 (FEI) before really hitting their stride at the Bramham CIC3* with a 36.5 (ERM). At that point, they made the trip over to American soil to take the win on their dressage score of 36.3 (FEI) from day one at Great Meadow CICO3*. As mentioned, a very surprising 46.6 (FEI) at the Olympic Games pushes their overall average into the 40s, leaving the door open for another to reign as top dressage diva of the year.

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

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

FIRST PLACE: Fernhill By Night

FEI Average: 37.80

USEF Average: 25.20

Number of Tests: 5

This horse can throw down a test with the best of the best in the world. Although those tests did not translate into wins, Fernhill By Night gains the distinction of being the best American horse on the flat for 2016.

Liz Halliday-Sharp once again brought ‘Blackie’ over to America for the spring season, first contesting the Red Hills Advanced division with a 26.6 (USEF) on the flat. Next up was an Advanced division at The Fork, where they scored an astonishing 19.4 (USEF). At Rolex, Fernhill By Night performed a personal best of 43.0 (FEI) at the four-star level before withdrawing prior to cross-country.

Back in England, this pair continued to lay down sub-30 scores with a 38.9 (FEI) at Houghton Hall CIC3* and a 38.1 (FEI) at Burgham Market. His competition season ended there, as Liz spent the rest of the year recovering from a tragic fall that took the life of Blackie’s stablemate, HHS Cooley.

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

All the hooks for all the tack. Photo by Maggie Deatrick. All the hooks for all the tack. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

I’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and trips to the hardware store over the past month in an attempt to alter my trailer tack room so it no longer had only six measly hooks. And behold! Victory is mine! I have finally unlocked the secret to adding hardware to the trailer: self-drilling sheet metal screws and a well-charged power drill. My trailer now has twenty-two useful hooks and there are plans in the works to add more hooks, baskets, and grommets on the other unused walls.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

That’s a wrap for 2016! The only thing to occupy you this weekend is…

USEA Convention [Website] [Schedule]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Watch out dressage divas, Blackie is back! Fernhill By Night is back on American soil for his yearly dosage of sun and sand. Generally a polite soul, Blackie nonetheless knows he is the master of his domain, and apparently never lets you forget to feed him…even if you already have. [Behind the Stall Door]

If you were wondering why Boyd and other top riders were taking a turn behind the bar at the AECs, wait no longer! The answer is the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” fundraiser run by Brooke USA. Top riders took turns bartending to raise money to buy troughs for donkeys in Ethiopia, where troughs are being built to give working equines lifetime access to water. [Boyd Buys a Drink]

In case you missed it, don’t expect to see Zara Tindall competing next spring. Zara is expecting her second child, and as a member of the Royal family, we can shortly expect to see the mainstream media start to speculate on the size of her baby bump. Zara’s first daughter, Mia, was born before Zara and High Kingdom represented Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games. [Zara Tindall Expecting Second Child]

The USEF George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions are practically their own holiday tradition. Held in the days just after the new year and streamed live on the USEF Network, the sessions were once chance to see The Master in his element, shaping and molding (and yelling at) the next generation of riders. Although George Morris no longer runs the sessions, the quartet of clinicians teaching this year include Anne Kursinski, Beezie Madden, Lauren Hough, and Laura Kraut. [USEF Announces Riders and Clinicians]

SmartPak Product of the Day: There’s still plenty of time to buy those gifts for your friends, barn family, and trainers! SmartPak continues to run a 15% off sale, and has plenty of gifts available. For instance, this Rambo throw allows you to match your horse, just as you’ve always dreamed! If you bring it to the office, you can be reminded of your dapper pony every time you use it to warm your lap. [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Why do top professionals choose footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces?

Good Footing – Attwood Equestrian Surfaces from Bold Horse Media on Vimeo.

FEI Unveils New Four-Star Dressage Tests for 2017

Photo by Leslie Wylie. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

After eight years, two World Equestrian Games, two Olympics, and dozens of four-star events with the 2009 FEI 4* dressage tests, the FEI has finally rolled out new 4* tests for 2017. You can find the new 2017 FEI 4*-A test here and the 2017 FEI 4*-B test here.

The new tests feature many of the same movements as before, strung into new sequences. In the trot, riders will still need to contend with shoulder-in on the centerline or quarter-line, eight-meter circles, and medium and extended trots. The half-pass in trot receives a bit more emphasis in the 2017 A test, now requiring horses to traverse across three-quarters of the arena width instead of only half. However, they are given an extra letter in arena length to accomplish this, so the angle of the half-pass does not change.

In the walk, the most significant change is the omission of the half-pirouette. Introduced to the horses first as turn on the haunches in the 2* tests, the half-pirouettes feature prominently at the 3* level now. However, neither of the new 4* tests require this movement.

The most surprising changes come in the canter tour. Previously, both tests featured the counter-canter heavily, utilizing 2-loop, 3-loop, and 5-loop serpentines dotted with flying changes to demonstrate self-carriage and obedience. Counter-canter is a movement heavily emphasized for eventers, beginning in the Prelim tests and remaining a key part of the tests as they rise through the levels. However, the 2017 4* tests have absolutely no counter-canter work.

Instead, the new tests rely on featuring the flying change in varying degrees of difficulty. In addition to the traditional short diagonals with flying changes over the centerline, the A test showcases flying changes off the medium and extended canter diagonals while the B test introduces a flying change straight on the quarterline following a half-pass across three-quarters of the arena. Straightness and obedience will be key to executing these new changes with high scores.

Finally, a 20-meter circle at the canter “allowing the horse to stretch forward and down” will be part of both new tests. Although riders are familiar with the ‘stretchy circle’ at the trot in the Training level tests, the ‘stretchy circle’ at the canter has not yet been part of our tests.

Rolex will be the first four-star to implement the new tests. Stay tuned later this week for a sneak preview of Marilyn Payne’s take on the new tests at the USEA Convention.

 

FEI Releases 2017 Rules for Eventing

Photo by Eric Swinebroad Photo by Eric Swinebroad

The FEI has quietly released the new Rules for Eventing for 2017. For those who have memorized the rulebook word for word, you can check out the clean version here. If you’re like most people and need to see the red mark-ups to fully catch all of the changes, the marked-up version is here. All FEI eventing rules can be accessed at this link.

While there are several minor changes, we are outlining the highlights in this post. We strongly recommend that each rider read through the rules themselves.

WEG Moving to Three-Star Cross Country

Following the recent decision at the FEI General Assembly in Tokyo to codify the Olympics as four-star level for dressage and show jumping with a three-star technicality level over a four-star length course for cross country, the FEI has officially followed suit for the World Equestrian Games.

This means that the 2018 WEG in Tryon, North Carolina will become the first world championship venue to officially run in this format, followed by Tokyo in 2020. Additionally, only a maximum of five athletes from each nation will be allowed to ride, instead of the previous six. Teams will still consist of either three or four riders, unlike the new format for Olympic teams.

What does this ultimately mean for the sport? The CCI4* level will now be the pinnacle of eventing. Without championships at the highest level difficulty of the sport, will less of an emphasis be placed on team competitions? Will riders maintain horses for teams separately than horses for four-stars? Tell us what you think in the comments below, EN.

Tighter Requirements for MER Qualifications

The FEI has also updated the requirements for obtaining an MER (Minimum Eligibility Requirement) at international events. Previously, the MER requirements were the same for all levels and were as follows:

  • Dressage: Score 75.0 or below (This is equivalent to a 50% score for pure dressage.)
  • Cross Country: No jump penalties, and no more than 90 seconds over the optimum time (90 seconds over equates to 36.0 time penalties. The activation of a frangible pin for 11 penalties still resulted in an MER.)
  • Show Jumping: No more than 16 jump penalties. Time penalties not taken into account.

The new MER requirements will be:

  • Dressage: Score 67.0 or below. (This is equivalent to a 55% score for pure dressage.)
  • Cross country: No jump penalties. The activation of a frangible pin for 11 penalties may still obtain MER. For three-star and below, no more than 75 seconds (30.0 time penalties) over the optimum time. For four-star, no more than 100 seconds (40.0 time penalties) over optimum time.
  • Show Jumping: No more than 16 jump penalties. Time penalties not taken into account.

These new requirements will go into effect for 2017; all MERs obtained in previous years will be counted according to the rules in place at that time. Riders will not lose any previously earned MERs.

Missing a Flag on Cross Country

After a series of high-profile eliminations due to missing a flag over the past two years, the FEI has implemented what it hopes will be a solution to the issue. Previously, missing a flag on cross country resulted in elimination from the event. Riders were permitted to stop and ask the fence judge if they had made it inside the flag and could re-present for 20 penalties, but the fence judge could later be overruled by officials.

Under the 2017 rules, missing a flag will now incur 50 jumping penalties, not elimination. If a riders are unsure whether they made it inside the flag, they may continue on and risk incurring 50 penalties if the officials determine the horse’s shoulders were not inside the flag.

Alternatively, riders can still re-present to the jump or jump an option, incurring 20 penalties. The second option allows you to use the competition as a qualifier for a higher level if no further stops are recorded; incurring 50 penalties for a missed flag will not secure a qualifying score.

Additionally, asking for clarification of jump penalties from the fence judge is now considered unauthorized assistance and is no longer permitted.

Indoor Eventing Rules Created

The FEI has brought indoor eventing under its umbrella with the addition of Annex I: Indoor/Arena Cross Country Rules. Indoor eventing will now be classified as an FEI-sanctioned eventing class if it is held as part of an FEI jumping or dressage indoor competition.

Under the new 2017 rules, only Category A or B athletes may participate in FEI-sanctioned indoor eventing competitions. Lower categories will be permitted if the rider has obtained three MER qualifications at the three-star level in the two years prior to the class.

Cross country obstacles at FEI-sanctioned indoor eventing competitions will be limited to two-star size and difficulty. Speed, distance and the number of efforts will be adjusted based on the size of the arena. Officials must include a listed FEI eventing judge, and the course must be designed by an FEI 3/4* eventing course designer.

Other Rule Changes

  • Definite entries for FEI events must be made no later than four days preceding the beginning of the event. This will be the final selection of horses and riders participating. For championships and CIOs, substitution of horses or riders may only be done in accordance with the rules for those championships.
  • To be promoted to FEI 3/4* judge or technical delegate, officials must now have judged at an event outside of their own country during the previous two years.
  • At CIC events when there is no formal first horse inspection, the horses must jog briefly during the in-barn examinations.
  • It is no longer a requirement that the dressage ring be closed during each dressage test at FEI competitions.
  • Rowels on spurs may now be vertical as well as horizontal.
  • Body protectors are required any time a cross-country fence is jumped on competition grounds, including during schooling.

What do you think about the new rules, EN? Do you like the new requirements for MER qualifications? What about the reduced difficulty on cross country for WEG? Will the implementation of 50 penalty points for missing a flag work well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[FEI 2017 Eventing Rulebook]

[Full listing of all FEI rules for Eventing]

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Christmas in Middleburg parade in 2012. Photo by Maggie Deatrick. Christmas in Middleburg parade in 2012. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

If you are anywhere within driving distance of Middleburg this weekend, you should absolutely check out the festivities for Christmas in Middleburg. Featuring a tree lighting, a parade with a full complement of foxhunters and hounds, and a pageant on Sunday, it’s an absolutely surreal experience. I was lucky enough to be part of the crowds in 2012 and 2013, and absolutely loved every minute of it.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Moving day is here! Hawley Bennett-Awad has had a banner year thanks to gaining the ride on the feisty mare Jollybo, and it looks like the exciting news keeps coming. Hawley has announced she will be relocating to the Copper Meadows facility, a fantastic facility that hosts horse trials up through CIC3* a few times a year. [HBE to Relocate]

Stable View is kicking off its 2017 season by offering competitors a 30% discount on entry fees for all divisions at the Aiken Opener Horse Trials on Jan. 14-15, 2017. The Aiken Opener will run over the new cross country course as a one-day for Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. Entries opened yesterday. [Stable View Aiken Opener Horse Trials]

And now, for your daily dose of cute. If you like photos of adorable Shetland ponies, today is your lucky day. The book ‘Shetland Ponies’ will be debuting at Olympia, and features photos of the furriest Shetlands imaginable in a 400 page book, along with their complete 2000-year history. [Sheltand Pony Book]

Best of the Blogs: Advice to Present and Future Barn Kids. Now headed off to college, Meghan Holland has made the most of her time as a working student. She’s listed a few (twenty!) tips for future working students. Quite honestly, almost every single one of her tips is quality life advice, even if you don’t have plans to become a barn fixture in the near future.  [Advice to Present and Future Barn Kids]

Tim Jones has spent his career making it work. As a hand therapist, Tim has found himself quite in demand throughout the years and eventually ended up in the eventing mecca near Frederick, MD. With the help of Sharon White and Tim Bourke, he recently competed at Intermediate for the first time with his horse Ironman, while also bringing his young horse Teflon up through the levels. All this while balancing a successful therapy practice and raising two kids with his wife. [Amateurs Like Us]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I’ve plugged these blankets before, and I’ll plug them again thanks to their amazing customer service. I bought my horse a medium SmartPak Ultimate turnout about six weeks ago. This weekend, it was absolutely destroyed. Thanks to the SmartPak 10 Year Guarantee on these blankets, they are replacing with a brand new blanket, absolutely free of charge. #worthit [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video: Why do top professionals choose footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces?

Good Footing – Attwood Equestrian Surfaces from Bold Horse Media on Vimeo.

By the Numbers: Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*

The stage is set for the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International! Photo by Jessie Mazzoni. The stage is set for the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International! Photo by Jessie Mazzoni.

Happy Thanksgiving, EN! Usually the U.S. season for the upper levels is complete after Galway Downs, but starting this year the Ocala Jockey Club is offering a chance for a final CIC3* run before the year’s end.

Being held over the Thanksgiving weekend certainly hasn’t deterred a healthy three-star field. With Mike Etherington-Smith designing the CIC3* cross country and Richard Jeffery creating the show jumping, Equiventures and the Ocala Jockey Club have really pulled out all the stops in order to create a world-class event.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Field

  • The field consists of 22 horses ridden by 18 riders. Five riders — Buck Davidson, Leslie Law, Joe Meyer, Doug Payne and Ronald Zabala-Goetschel — have two mounts each.
  • Of the 17 riders, 15 (89% of the field) have completed at least one CCI4*.
  • Of the 22 horses, 10 (46% of the field) have completed a CCI4*. Two more have started a CCI4* but did not complete.
  • Five horses will be attempting their first CIC3*. Only one, Zach Brandt’s mount Vasiliev, has not yet run an Advanced horse trials.
  • Two horses are paired up with their riders for the first time at this level. Rubens D’Ysieux will compete with Sara Kozumplik-Murphy after previously campaigning under Mikki Kuchta. Leslie Law will take the reins on Charleston VI, who competed earlier this season with Lexi Scovil.
Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Dressage Divas

To no one’s surprise, Allison Springer and Arthur have the best overall dressage average in the field, averaging a 42.3. Although their highest score since 2010 (48.3) came doing this test at Carolina International in 2015, this pair is a solid bet to be leading the pack after the first phase.

Arthur’s closest challenger will likely be Carlevo. Buck Davidson stepped this horse up to the level last year, and while the cross country phase has been a work in progress, the flat scores have been there from the get-go. With an overall average of 43.5, Buck and Carlevo will be contenders from day one.

FE Bowman has a brief record at this level, having only started at two Advanced events, but he has averaged the FEI equivalent of 46.4 thus far. Clayton Fredericks will make sure this horse is a factor in the standings right from the start. This will be the horse’s first attempt at this particular dressage test.

Jon Holling and Downtown Harrison are definitely a threat to top the leaderboard after the first phase. With scores that range from high-30s to mid-50s, Downtown Harrison could be a wild card for a top placing after dressage.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Petite Flower is one of the best show jumpers in the country, putting in clear rounds almost 80% of the time. With Buck Davidson in the irons, she’s competed at 11 shows where show jumping was held before cross country; 10 of those rounds were double clear.

Jon Holling and Downtown Harrison have had only one rail down in seven show jumping rounds at this level since 2013. That one rail came at Boekelo CCIO3* after a wet cross country day. With show jumping first up in the schedule, don’t expect to see a rail from these two.

Vandiver began his partnership with Doug Payne by racking up six double clear show jumping rounds in a row. Although their record since Rolex has been slightly marred by an occasional single rail, these two are still one of the best show jumping pairs in the field.

Escot 6 shines in the jumping phases, with show jumping leading the way. Although he and Colleen Rutledge occasionally had a rail during the first year of his Advanced career, he hasn’t touched a single pole at this level for the entirety of 2016.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cross Country Machines

Petite Flower struggled at first at this level but turned it around completely in 2015, going clear in nine of her 10 runs since that time, including two Rolex completions. When Buck and Flower run clear, they run quick, averaging only 5.2 penalties over the optimum time. They’ve finished in the top two placings three of the four times they’ve run double clear across the country.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop have one of the fastest average times across the country in the field, clocking in at only 6.0 time penalties when running clear, which they very consistently do. Although they ran double clear across the country for the first time at the Fair Hill CCI3* in October, they have averaged closer to 9.2 time penalties in CIC3* divisions.

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF are another very quick pair across the country, accumulating on average 7.2 penalties on a clear run. Like many of the pairs, their average CIC3* pace is slightly slower, but they have run double clear on multiple occasions.

Colleen Rutledge is known for her strong cross country game, and Escot 6 is no exception. Although a bit less consistent in putting in clear rounds than others horses mentioned, he nonetheless runs very quickly when he does come home with no jumping penalties, averaging 7.2 penalties overall. Although they’ve only run double clear once in the horse’s career at this level, they most recently came in only four seconds over the time at Fair Hill CCI3*.

When Doug Payne took over the ride on Vandiver nearly 18 months ago, he cautiously steered the horse through obtaining the necessary qualifications to compete at Rolex last April. After Rolex, Doug put the pedal down, and this pair have gone from an overall average of 8.4 time penalties in their time together to an astounding 2.0 time penalties in their last four runs. Keep a close eye on this pair for one of the quickest rounds of the day.

PREDICTED WINNER: Doug Payne and Vandiver

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF
  • Buck Davidson and Petite Flower
  • Jon Holling and Downtown Harrison
  • Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie
  • Allison Springer and Arthur
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner