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Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Levi makes a new friend. Photo by Jessica Pye.

Levity, an off-track thoroughbred who lives in New Mexico with his owner and rider, Jessica Pye, was scoping out his digs at his new barn when suddenly Conan the Macaw came over the inspect the newcomer. It’s always adorable to see horses and barn animals like cats, dogs, or goats interact, but a moment like this is truly unique. Who has ever heard of a barn parrot?

Of course, now I will insist that my barn get a parrot.

National Holiday: National Submarine Day

Major Events:

Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Do you know what TPR stands for? If not, this article is for you! A refresher from the USEA on how to take Temperature-Pulse-Respiration, as well as going a bit further with mucus membrane and capillary refill time (CRT), this article is a good place to learn (or remember!) some basics. [How to Take Your Horse’s Vital Signs]

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. British Eventing is busy making contingency plans as they face additional cancellations due to weather. The biggest concern is getting people out to do their qualifiers, and while Belton seems to be holding up, two additional events have already been preemptively cancelled. [British Weather Forces Contingency Plans]

Sunsprite Syrius is making a mark on both coasts. Outside of the competition arena though, he’s a perfect gentleman, although he’s gotten a bit sassier after winning Fair Hill last fall. He’ll stand perfectly for grooming and loves hanging out with his human friends, but god forbid you try to introduce him to a horse friend! Syrius is a not a fan of other horses. [Behind the Stall Door]

Attwood Footing of the Week – Pinnacle

Photo by Nick Attwood.

Attwood created Pinnacle to give your horse perfect support so every step is consistent, so the horse can totally focus on the task at hand. Pinnacle is formulated from high quality silica sand and fibers, and coated with viscoelastic polymer giving you a surface that practically breathes, and bounces back from impact.

One of the many benefits of Attwood’s Pinnacle is that it requires no watering. It is also dust-free, so say good-bye to long afternoons teaching and practicing in dusty arenas. Ann M. Swinker, PhD, extension horse specialist and associate professor of equine science at Pennsylvania State University in State College says dust is actually quite hazardous to both human and animal health.

“The problem with dust is that people are actually more susceptible to damage compared to livestock, who have much bigger lungs.”

In a 2006 study Swinker conducted at Colorado State University, she found that the incidence of the respiratory infection bronchitis was 35% higher for riding instructors compared to 5.4% for the general population. In addition, the reported prevalence of asthma was 17% among riding instructors compared to 6% in the general population (American Lung Association, 2001). These statistics point to one thing: All that dust you’re inhaling when you’re working with horses is harmful to your respiratory system as well as theirs.

Attwood’s Pinnacle truly is the pinnacle of equestrian footing.

You can find Pinnacle in many of the top equestrian venues around the world including:

  • Kansas State University Equine Performance Center
  • Windurra USA
  • Stable View
  • Yellowbird Farm
  • Corwin Ranch
  • Bridlespur Farm
  • Project R.I.D.E.

Wednesday Video: David O’Connor during the 2016 winter USEA High Performance training session at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina.

By the Numbers: Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*

A date change for Chattahoochee Hills last year helped this event become a viable alternative to The Fork as a final preparation run for horses and riders bound for Kentucky, especially for those based in the south. Despite competing with the WEG test event, Chattahoochee Hills has drawn a very healthy field, particularly attractive to those who are less experienced at the level.

Keep in mind that the FEI dressage scoring has dropped the 1.5 coefficient and is now equivalent to dressage scores at USEF horse trials.

Chattahoochee Hills. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Field

  • The winner of the Chatt Hills CIC3* has led from start to finish every year except the inaugural running in 2013, when Veronica and Lauren Kieffer took the win in their CIC3* debut together.
  • Three different nationalities have won this event in the last three runnings: Great Britain (Leslie Law), Canada (Jessica Phoenix), and the United States (Buck Davidson). Buck Davidson will be attempting to become the first repeat winner of this division; he was 1-2 last year with Copper Beach and Carlevo.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

Percent of pairs expected to score in the 20s: 8.3% (two of 24)

  • If we are going to look for a winner beginning in the very first phase, Buck Davidson and Carlevo are the pair to start with. This pair has scored in the 20s in 75% of their 12 starts in 2017 and 2018. Although they haven’t hit the coveted 75% mark yet, they’ve gotten close, laying down a personal best of 38.7 (25.8 in today’s scoring) at the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* in 2016.
  • This will be the first CIC3* for FE Bowman since the fall of 2016, but judging by his two-star test at Carolina two weeks ago, he hasn’t missed a beat. He last scored a 40.2 (26.8 in today’s scoring) at the Ocala Jockey Club in 2016, and returned to lead the massive Carolina CIC2* division with Clayton Frederick through the first phase.
  • William Ward and Grando created quite a buzz when they broke into the top 10 of the CIC3* at Carolina after day one. This was only the horse’s second CIC3*, and he improved more than four points from his first Advanced start at Rocking Horse.

Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino. Photo by Kasey Mueller/Rare Air Photography.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Percent of pairs expected to go clear in show jumping: 16.6% (four of 24)

  • Cisko A is another horse who is returning to the level after a hiatus, having last competed at this level at the American Eventing Championships in 2016. He and rider Sydney Conley-Elliot have proved quite strong in the stadium phase, never having more than a rail in their career and jumping clear 57% of the time at the Advanced/CIC3* levels.
  • Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino have clinched a few top placings using this gray’s careful jumping style. Setting aside a difficult round in their first go at the level after an extended vacation, this pair have jumped clear in six of their nine rounds at this level, and twice only incurred a single rail.

Sydney Conley Elliott and Cisko A. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cross Country Machines

Percent of pairs expected to come within 10 seconds of optimum time: 8.3% (2 of 24)

  • A pair not only strong in stadium, but also swift across the country, Sydney Conley-Elliot and Cisko A are a strong bet for a fast, clear round. In six runs at this level, they have never finished more than 20 seconds over optimum time, and 50% of the time they are within 10 seconds.
  • Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino haven’t been the most consistent in this phase, but it’s now undeniable that when putting in a clear round, it’s also a very fast round. This pair has finished within 10 seconds of optimum time every clear round they’ve had.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

PREDICTED WINNER: Buck Davidson and Carlevo

Keep Your Eye On

  • Sydney Conley-Elliot and Cisko A and QC Diamantaire
  • Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration
  • Clayton Fredericks and FE Bowman

Potential Spoilers

  • Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino

Chattahoochee Hills CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

By the Numbers: The Fork at Tryon CIC3* and WEG Test Event

The Fork is running for the second year at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. This year there is quite the excitement surrounding the event, as the CIC3* is also serving as the eventing test event for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, which come to Tryon in September.

The Fork will offer the final chance for riders to get a feel for Capt. Mark Phillip’s cross country course prior to the WEG itself.

Keep in mind that the FEI dressage scoring has dropped the 1.5 coefficient and is now equivalent to dressage scores at USEF horse trials.

Photo courtesy of Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Field

  • In the last three runnings of The Fork CIC3*, the winner has been in the top two after dressage.
  • Last year, for the first running of The Fork at Tryon, there was not a single issue in the cross country phase for the CIC3* — only time penalties played a factor.

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

Dressage Divas

Percent of pairs expected to score in the 20s: 16.2% (6 of 37)

  • Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border didn’t just set a Carolina International record with their 20.8 two weeks ago. They also laid down the lowest score for a test at Advanced, 3*, or 4* for any North American pair anywhere since the Rio Olympics, and the second lowest score at those levels on this continent in the last five years.
  • Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous haven’t yet been able to hit the jaw-dropping scores that some of the other pairs have, but they’ve made up for it with consistency, scoring above 72% in 8 of their 10 starts at the Advanced, 3* and 4* levels.
  • Doug Payne‘s young ride Getaway has already made quite a splash in only two starts at this level. In his first Advanced at Pine Top, he laid down a 28.0 and nearly replicated it in his first CIC3* at Carolina with a 28.3.
  • Vermiculus came out in 2017 and shocked us by shaving nearly 10 points off his dressage average. He and Lauren Kieffer have scored above 70% (translating to sub-30) in his last four consecutive starts at these levels, including at his first four-star last spring.
  • Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights are another pair who have laid down a monstrous score, putting in a 33.3 (22.2 in the new scoring) at Richland Park last summer. That is the third best score in North America since Rio. This pair can struggle with consistency, scoring below 70% in half of their runs in the last 12 months. When they are on, they are brilliant, averaging nearly 75% when they do score above the 70% mark.
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp has a strong contender in her arsenal with Deniro Z, despite his inexperience. In five starts at the level, not only has he hit sub-30 scores each time, but his scores range only one point apart, from 28.9 to 29.8. Talk about consistency!

Katherine Coleman and Longwood. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Cross-Country Machines

Percent of pairs expected to come within 10 seconds of optimum time: 13.5% (5 of 37)

  • Longwood and Katherine Coleman are one of the fastest pairs in the world right now. In their last six runs at the CIC3* level, they came home clear and inside the time at five of them. At the only venue where they picked up time, Gatcombe Park, they still had the third fastest ride of the day at a venue that is notorious for being almost impossible to make the time.
  • Every time Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality appear on a live stream, it looks like they are just out for a lope, and every time they put in one of the faster times of the day. This horse’s massive stride helps this pair finish with one of the faster times of the day at nearly ever run, and while Tim hasn’t been pushing to make time at the Advanced/CIC3* level lately, it’s been more than a year since they finished with more than 10 seconds of time penalties.
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me have been supremely consistent at this level, with 18 consecutive clear Advanced and CIC3* cross country runs dating back to 2015. In the past year, they’ve finished 12 seconds or less over optimum time at all but one run, when they took their time over the CIC3* course at Red Hills earlier this spring.
  • It’s been 18 months since we’ve seen Fernhill Cubalawn out and about, and when we last saw him he was firing on all cylinders. He and Phillip Dutton clocked in eight Advanced/CIC3* runs between 2015 and 2016 that averaged only 6.25 seconds over optimum time. This weekend will mark his first start at the level since before the Rio Olympics.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux. Photo by Justin Black/Millstreet Horse Photography.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Percent of pairs expected to go clear in show jumping: 29.7% (11 of 37)

  • In four rounds at the Advanced and CIC3* levels, Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux have never had a show jumping penalty. Although they did have one rail at Millstreet CCI3* to mar their otherwise perfect record, they also won the Eventing Prix Invitational and the Devon Eventing Showcase in 2017, cementing their prowess in this phase.
  • Z is no longer one of the greener horses in Phillip Dutton‘s string, and he’s proven his ability to be careful from day one. In 11 Advanced/CIC3* starts, he’s only had a rail on two occasions, both of them coming at the first start of the year in both 2016 and 2017. In his first start this year, he avoided repeating the same mistake, jumping clear at Carolina.
  • Kylie Lyman and Sacramento have enjoyed a strong show jumping record together. They are another pair to have a clean Advanced/CIC3* record for all but one start, and haven’t had a rail in more than two years at this level.
  • Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti have really stepped up their game in this phase since 2017, having now jumped six consecutive clear rounds at Advanced and CIC3* levels.

Sharon White and Cooley On Show. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jack of All Trades

  • Cooley On Show continues to sit quietly behind the marquee pairs and put in solid performances with Sharon White. At Carolina, this horse broke into the 20s for the first time at the level, demonstrating improvement over his previous form. Despite having a rail, he maintained his show jumping record of never having more than one while putting in a solid but steady performance across the country. Three solid phases netted him a spot just outside the top 10, and he’ll continue to knock on the door this weekend.
  • I’m Sew Ready is another solid performer for Phillip Dutton. The horse may not have a jaw-dropping performance in any one phase, but he can consistently string three solid phases together to get top placings. With a dressage average hovering just under 70%, he’ll have some work to do after day one. A solid cross country record, despite being a tad slower than the fastest pairs, works well with his ability to show jump with no more than one rail in his Advanced/CIC3* starts.
  • Andrew Hoy brought a horse across the pond for the WEG test event, and Basmati will be doing his first CIC3* here. Although he hasn’t run at this level yet, his 2* dressage scores hovered in the mid-to-low 30s. This will be good enough to keep him in striking distance, as the horse has been solid and quick on the cross country phase at the lower levels and has had no more than one rail per show in his entire FEI career.

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

PREDICTED WINNER: Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn
  • Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux
  • Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous
  • Sharon White and Cooley On Show

Potential Spoilers

  • Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border

The Fork: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

WEG Test Event: WebsiteScheduleThursday Dressage OrderFriday Dressage OrderLive ScoresEN’s Coverage

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Allison Springer coaching Darrin Mollett riding her own Beverly’s Bebop in the warm up at Morven Park’s Spring Horse Trials last weekend. Photo courtesy of Nick Attwood.

Morven Park has been touting its new rings and top footing upgrades for a while now so I for one was curious to see them action! I had hoped to ride over them last October, but alas, it was too soon. This past weekend, competitors tested out the new top-notch Attwood Equestrian Surfaces footing and large expanded rings and goodness, do they look amazing to ride on! We have heard rave reviews from riders and trainers. Kudos to Morven and Attwood!

National Holiday: School Librarian Day

Major Events:

WEG Test Event: WebsiteScheduleOrder First Horse InspectionLive Scores

The Fork: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Chattahoochee Hills CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

CDCTA H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

About 10 days ago, I was watching the Carolina live stream and blessing the anonymous volunteer who picked up the flag in Blackbeard’s Cove 50 times. Today, she’s no longer anonymous and has been revealed as Vicki Reynolds, a mainstay at the Carolina International. Not only is Vicki Reynolds the stable manager for Carolina every year it has run, she also somehow finds time to take on jump judging at one of the most difficult combinations on course. [USEA Volunteer of the Month]

Kathryn Robinson remembers her Badminton partner Let It Bee, who tragically collapsed and died between fences at Burnham Market last weekend. Originally bought as a BE100 prospect to help build Kathryn’s confidence, ‘Bee’ was the horse who just kept going and going up the levels. The pair tackled five CCI4* and Rio together, conquering some of the biggest courses in the world. [Remembering Let it Bee]

Tina Cook is hoping to be back in time for Badminton. Tiny Cook took a tumble from Billy the Red in the Advanced at Burnham Market and managed to dislocate her shoulder. With three entered for Badminton (she’ll have to pick two only), Tina is holding her breath that 10 days without moving her shoulder will pass uneventfully. [Tina Cook Dislocates Shoulder]

Attwood Footing of the Week – Eurotex

There is a common misconception in the equestrian community that sand is sand is sand. That there is no difference from one batch to another so all you have to do is combine it with an additive and you have “footing”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

At Attwood, we carefully select the sand most suited to your environment, whether it’s hot and dry, or cool and wet, or anything in between. We then create a custom mixture of the sand, felt, fiber, water and air.

Yes, water and air. And no it is not magical unicorn fairy water and air.

The amount of water and air that we mix into the footing along with the precise amount of fiber and felt creates the balance and grip of the footing giving you a truly safe surface every ride.

This custom blend perfected for your riding conditions ensures a completely balanced product every time with a cushioning component that prevents over compaction of the surface.

EuroTex is easy to install and very popular across all the disciplines.

You can find Attwood products in many of the top equestrian venues in the United States, the United Arab Empire and Europe.

  • Stable View
  • Morven Park
  • Great Meadow
  • Embassy International Riding School
  • Windurra USA
  • Carolina Horse Park

Wednesday Video: Rave reviews for the new arenas at Morven Park!

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Juxtaposition of sun and snow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Great Migration in underway, with hordes of trainers and horses making their way back north! They have impeccable timing, because despite getting 12 inches this time last week in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the sun has been out and it’s been almost something approaching warm. Almost.

Well, at least Not Cold.

National Holiday: National Something on a Stick Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Try to warm up with thoughts of summer and plan ahead to get early bird pricing for Great Meadow! Hurry up, there’s only 3 days to get a big discount on tickets for the GMI CICO3* this summer. Tailgating is still available, also at a discount, but time is ticking. [Early Bird GMI Pricing]

Clydesdales aren’t just for Budweiser anymore. Although not originally purchased as a riding horse, Charlotte the Clydesdale is now aiming to become the first full-bred Clyde to compete in a long format three-day. Her rider and owner, EMT dispatcher Cortney McDaniel has never let Charlotte’s breed deter her from competing at Rebecca Farm. [Meet Charlotte]

Kitty King’s Rio mount Ceylor LAN is back in action. After picking up an injury in the preparation for Badminton last spring, Ceylor LAN spent the rest of the year off. Kitty hopes to have him back up to speed in time for Luhmuhlen. [Ceylor LAN Returns from Injury]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The ponies are back which means it’s time to stuff their faces full of treats to make up for all the time I missed! Time to stock up! [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Carolina International CIC3*

Carolina International hits the five year mark in 2018, having cemented itself as one of the can’t-miss spring preparation events. Like Red Hills, Carolina offers the option to choose between entering the CIC3* to run show jumping first, or to practice jumping a less-than-fresh horse by entering the Advanced division.

Ian Stark is now in his third year of designing the cross country, and he’s certainly left a mark. Since he took over, only 2.56% of cross country starters have made the time over the 3* and Advanced courses.

Marc Donovan has been the show jumping course designer here at the Carolina Horse Park since it ran as Southern Pines II, and his course over grass for the 3* is one that can catch out even some of the best jumpers.

Finally, remember that the FEI dressage scoring has dropped the 1.5 coefficient and is now equivalent to dressage scores at USEF horse trials.

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

The Field

  • In the four runnings of the CIC3*, the winner has always come from inside the top 10 after dressage: first twice and eighth twice.
  • Of the four pairs to win the CIC3*, three have finished on their dressage score. Only one pair, Allison Springer and Arthur, have added any penalties to their dressage score while still winning. They added 3.2 cross country time penalties in 2016.
  • Only one combination, Doesn’t Play Fair with Maya Black riding, has ever had a show jumping rail and still finished inside the top four at this venue.

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

Dressage Divas

  • A whopping 10 horses have dressage averages in the 20s at this level, making it likely that scores will be tightly packed after phase one. That’s more than 16% of the field.
  • To no one’s surprise, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night lead the pack, clocking in at a superb 26.5 average over the last 12 months. The last time they scored under 70% on a 3*/A test was back in May 2015. Lix is no slouch with her other 3* mount either. In four starts, Deniro Z has never scored above the 20s.
  • Cooley Cross Border and Kim Severson will be putting in a strong challenge as well. In the last 12 months, this pair has scored very consistently between 70 and 74%, saving their best two performances for their CCIs at Tattersalls and Blenheim, where they came close to cracking 75%.
  • After taking a few months off, Covert Rights turned heads when he and Colleen Rutledge laid down a superb 33.3 (under former FEI scoring) in the horse’s return to competition at the Richland Park CIC3*. That’s a 22.2 under the new scoring, easily good enough to rival Michael Jung. Although they haven’t quite returned to that dominating level, they have maintained an average in the 70-73% range.
  • Buck Davidson has a strong pair in this division as well, with stablemates Copper Beach and Carlevo sitting neck and neck. Carlevo has become one of Buck’s most consistent rides and while he can sometimes score in the low 30s, he has never scored above a 33.0 at this level. While a touch less consistent, Copper Beach can also be more brilliant, with scores in the last 12 months getting close to 75%.
  • In another field, Lauren Kieffer and Veronica would be a clear contender for the lead, but in a field this strong they’ll have to lay down close to their best over the last 12 months to take the lead. They scored as high as 34.1 at Chattahoochee Hills last April but has also flirted with sub-25 (USEF) scores at events like the Aachen CICO3* and even Badminton.
  • Keep an eye out for a few other pairs who could be wild cards. Getaway, ridden by Doug Payne, laid down a 28.0 in his first Advanced at Pine Top a month ago, while Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH scored a 29.4 in the horse’s first Advanced at Rocking Horse. RF Eloquence and Ellie MacPhail-O’Neal can lay down a stellar test, and Cornelia’s other ride Louis M is famed for his record-breaking 3* scores with previous rider Pia Münker.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Despite having just broken a streak of consecutive clears, DeLux Z and Kurt Martin are one of the strongest jumpers in the field. Up until an unlucky rail at Pine Top, they owned the longest active clear streak of any North American pair, jumping 11 consecutive clears starting in 2016 including two CCI4* and two CCI3*.
  • Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C are now a perfect 9 for 9 at the Advanced and 3* levels; although they’ve had the occasional time penalty, this pair has yet to have a rail. A 100% clear rate is tough to maintain … Can this pair keep the streak alive and surpass Kurt and DeLux Z’s streak?
  • Sara Kozumplik-Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux have jumped five rounds together at the Advanced and 3* levels together, and they’ve clocked in clear in four of them. These two have never had a rail at this level when show jumping comes prior to cross country, and they have emphasized their jumping prowess by winning the Eventing Prix Invitational last year in March, as well as the Devon Eventing Showcase last May.
  • Vandiver has really hit his stride in the show jumping since being paired up with Doug Payne, and they’ve been particularly strong when show jumping is held prior to cross country. When show jumping is first, they are 10 for 12 with clear rounds, having one rail on only two occasions.
  • Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy have been very quietly building a solid, prolific record since 2016, with the result that they are now sitting on one of the strongest show jumping records in the country. In 15 career Advanced/3* rounds, this pair has been clear in 13 of them, with only a single rail on two occasions … both at the Horse Park of New Jersey Advanced. Maybe skip that one this year, Erin?

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cross-Country Machines

  • Caroline Martin has assembled quite a resume, and The Apprentice is also extremely experienced, but together they have only four 3* runs under their belt. Despite that, they’ve gone together like peanut butter and jelly, most notably winning their first go at the 3* level last year at this very event. In three CIC3* runs, they’ve finished -1, +0, and +4 against optimum time.
  • Vandiver and Doug Payne are no slouches across the country, proof that careful horses aren’t always slow horses. They’ve made the optimum time in 50% of their A/CIC3* runs over the last calendar year, and within 12 seconds of optimum at 83% of them.
  • Luckaun Quality and Tim Bourke are another strong 4* pair with a reputation for beating the clock. Although they’ve taken their time at the Advanced/CIC3* level more recently, their “canter” around a 3* course still creates an average of only 4.2 seconds over optimum over their last five runs.
  • Copper Beach has been busy through 2017, with seven Advanced/CIC3* runs and two CCI4* completions. Buck Davidson has carefully chosen whether or not to push him for time, but when he wants to make it, he makes it. This pair has won four of their seven Advanced/CIC3* completions in 2017/2018, with all but one of those wins being helped along with a cross country round inside the time.
  • One to keep an eye on is Katherine Coleman and Horseware Lukeswell, who made the time last March in their only start together at Barroca d’Alva CIC3*. Despite the hiatus, Katherine is one of the fastest riders with her mount Longwood, and could sneak in a quick round under the radar.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Jack of All Trades

  • With such a strong and deep field, it’s perhaps not surprising that one of our strongest U.S. pairs right now isn’t at the top of the field in any one phase. Lynn Symansky and Donner aren’t exactly going to be flying under the radar, but they’ll be stalking the leaders after day 1 with a 12-month 3*/Advanced dressage average just barely missing the 70% mark. A little more likely to have a rail than not, they nevertheless haven’t had more than one rail at a 3* since way back in 2013. And although these cross-country machines can get close to the time, they will certainly have their eyes on bigger things later in the year and may choose to shelve speed in favor of another day. Even if they choose to take their time, a top 10 finish should be easy for this pair.
  • For that matter, keep your eye on Lynn’s new pairing with four-star mare Under Suspection, who finished top five at Kentucky in her first four-star last spring under Hannah Sue Burnett. Lynn catch-rode Under Suspection for the dressage phase at Great Meadow CICO3* last summer with mixed results, but her recent Intermediate results prove that they’ve formed more of a partnership already.
  • For Cooley On Show and Sharon White, 2017 was a year in which they stood at the edge of big things. They dropped their dressage average a full two points, maintaining it consistently and flirting with 70% towards the end of the year. They proved they could get close to optimum at a four-star at Luhmühlen and then kept it close at a notoriously tight track at the American Eventing Championships at Tryon, the 2018 WEG venue. They also went from leaning towards one down in show jumping to jumping 100% clear in their Advanced/CIC3* starts.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Libby Law.

PREDICTED WINNER: Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Caroline Martin and The Apprentice
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner

Potential Spoilers

  • Sara Kozumplik-Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux
  • Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights

Carolina Links: WebsiteRide TimesScheduleLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

The best pool is a pint-sized pool. Photo via Andrea Davidson Eventing FB page.

Little Aubrey Davidson had better enjoy that nice little spot of water she’s got there in the nice Florida sun, because the rest of us are a bit envious. It might be the first day of spring today but with yet another Nor’easter sliding up the east coast, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. For anyone headed north today….abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

National Holiday: National Fragrance Day

Major Events:

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Try to warm up with thoughts of summer and plan ahead to get early bird pricing for Great Meadow! Hurry up, there’s only 10 days to get a big discount on tickets for the GMI CICO3* this summer. Tailgating is still available, also at a discount, but time is ticking. [Early Bird GMI Pricing]

The Classic Three-Day has gained more and more traction in recent years. ANow a permanent fixture in our schedule, the Classic series has gotten its own handbook, a resource for both organizers and competitors. Between tips on how to ride roads and tracks and assistance in planning out time tables, this is a long waited resource for USEA members. [USEA Offers Classic Series Handbook]

NZB Land Vision sadly passed away over the weekend. Mark Todd won his first four star after his retirement aboard NZB Land Vision and remembers him as a gentleman of a horse who was a favorite of his wife. He had all the star qualities except toughness, and his body couldn’t hold up after his big Badminton win, which was also his first four-star. [Mark Todd Remembers NZB Land Vision]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I realized this winter that it was time to give up the pretense and get a pre-tied stock tie to use in times of hurry at a show. While nothing beats a nicely tied stock, it can be handy to have the grab-n-go tie available when the timetable is crunched. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Etsy is a great place for accessorizing your eventing gear. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

There’s absolutely nothing more satisfying than cruising Etsy and finding the most amazing stock-tie pin to go with your squid of a horse. Forty dollars later and I’m now not only the proud owner of a steampunk stocktie pin but also some amazing Cthulhu patches for bonnets and saddle pads and a single pin for my collar. Because what else do I have to do while waiting for the southern crowd to migrate their way north again?

National Holiday: National Pi Day (3.14159….)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Wilton Fair and Rebecca Broussard grant recipient Madeline Backus has wasted no time in utilizing the grants. Already she has made the hop over to England with her two horses and journeyed to base herself at Attington Stud with Irish team member Austin O’Connor. With two Advanced runs on the docket with P.S. Arianna to prep for Badminton, Madeline has plans to make the most of her time across the pond. [Madeline Backus Arrives in the UK]

Gemma Tattersall is playing it safe after a nasty fall in the warmup of a show jumping competition. Although she initially felt she was fine, and in fact rode a full schedule at home for two days after, Gemma soon felt something wasn’t right. Despite an MRI scan that seems to indicate all is well, she’s taken the advice of her doctors’ and pushed back her season opener by a week. [Gemma Tattersall Injury]

Frangible fixes were the name of the day at Red Hills. The Chronicle has clarified scoring for Erin Pullen in the CIC3* division after photographs emerged of Tag breaking the frangible fence at 10A. Despite the protest period being closed, the ground jury felt that due to an inaccuracy on the jump judge report, she should be awarded the 11 penalties for breaking a frangible and the scoring was revised. [Frangible Pins Cause a Fracas]

SmartPak Product of the Day: After being gifted with a horse whose stomach was made of iron, I’ve now been gifted with one who wants to live on UlcerGard. Thank goodness SmartPak carries it, which makes it easy to re-order on a regular basis. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Red Hills CIC3*

This year Red Hills has re-claimed its position as the first CIC3* of the season in North America, bringing with it a big, star-studded field. Here, you can opt to run show jumping first by doing the CIC3*, or enter the Advanced to sharpen your skills jumping after cross country, splitting the numbers slightly between the two divisions. Most of the experienced horses have been aimed at the CIC3* for this show, opting for the show jumping-first format.

Now in the third year with Mike Etherington-Smith designing the cross country, Red Hills is well into its course transformation. Chris Barnard took over the design of the show jumping last year. It’s also a good time to remind everyone that the FEI dressage scoring has dropped the 1.5 coefficient and is now equivalent to dressage scores at USEF horse trials.

Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

The Field

  • The last time a pair outside of the top two after dressage won the event was in 2011, when Allison Springer was in third on Arthur. Riders inside the top three after dressage have gone on to win the division every time in the last decade.
  • Only three riders have ever made the time with a clear round at Red Hills in its entire history; Selena O’Hanlon (A Fine Romance and Foxwood High, both in 2013), Phillip Dutton (The Foreman in 2005 and Nova Top in 2004) and Peter Atkins (Henry Jota Hampton in 2012).
  • The last horse to win the CIC3* while still having a rail down in show jumping was Mighty Nice, who won with Phillip Dutton in 2013. The CIC3* winner typically goes clear in show jumping.

Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Dressage Divas

  • RF Eloquence was lightly competed over the past year but has laid down two tests that scored over 75% out of the three competitions he’s attended. He and Ellie O’Neal are one of three pairs averaging a sub-30 dressage score over the last 12 months in this field.
  • Until the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* last fall, Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous had received scores of 70% and above from 16 of the 17 judges who had ever scored them at the Advanced, 3* and 4* levels. An uncharacteristic test in Ocala broke that impressive streak, so Red Hills will be the first opportunity the pair have to bounce back to their normal scoring patterns.
  • Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High have been on an absolute tear recently, winning their last two Advanced/3* runs at Rocking Horse and Fair Hill, and placing in the top three at Plantation Field CIC3*. This pair hasn’t been out of the top five since Kentucky last spring. They’ve now scored in the 20s in their last three dressage tests at this level, one of which was at Rocking Horse last month, proving they haven’t lost an edge over the winter break.
  • Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are perennial contenders in the first phase, and Pavarotti in particular has been Mr. Consistency over the past 12 months. In six tests at the Advanced and 3* level, Pavarotti has varied only 3.1 penalty points from highest (31.5) to lowest (28.4) scores.
  • Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato are another who have really hit their stride in the first phase, almost matching Pavarotti for consistency. Setting aside their first Advanced of 2017, they scored between 28.6 and 31.5 for six consecutive Advanced/3* starts to end last year, then came out with a bang in February and laid down a 25.4 at Rocking Horse.

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Jessica Phoenix buckled down with Pavarotti in 2017 and seriously improved their show jumping form. In the last 12 months, this pair are five for five on clear rounds at the Advanced and CIC3* levels.
  • RF Scandalous and Marilyn Little have been prolifically good show jumpers, adding nothing to their score in the stadium phase in six of their eight rounds at the Advanced, 3*, and 4* levels. They’ve only ever had one rail, adding just four penalties to their final score at Jersey Fresh CIC3* last spring.
  • Bill Hoos and Celtic Rhythm have been very strong in the stadium phase over the last half of 2017, jumping clean in four of their last five attempts at the Advanced level. They added only one rail in the last eight months at this height, incurring one rail at Stable View.

Lisa Fergusson and Honor Me at Red Hills. Photo by Diane Flowers.

Cross-Country Machines

  • The Canadians are currently dominating on cross country, with Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High leading the way. Their last four runs at Advanced and CIC3* have a combined seven seconds over the optimum, they’ve averaged only four seconds over the last year, and they haven’t been more than 12 seconds over optimum time at this level since The Fork in 2016. And, as mentioned earlier, Foxwood High is the only actively competing horse to have ever made the time at this venue.
  • Neck and neck with Selena are her Canadian teammates Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. This pair has finished clear at 20 consecutive Advanced and CIC3* dating back to 2015, and their average time at A/CIC3* has dropped from an average of 30.25 seconds over optimum in 2015 to 6.67 seconds over in 2016 and 2.17 seconds over in 2017.
  • Three pairs to keep an eye on are Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind, Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino, and Waylon Roberts and Lancaster. These three horses have struggled with consistency on cross country, but when they run clear, they have been very fast. Lancaster clocked in his first clear round at Pine Top earlier this year only six seconds over optimum, while Jacob and Atlantic Domino have averaged only 7.5 seconds over optimum in their career clears. Whitney and Military Mind have come home under optimum in three of their four career clears, clocking in with only 1.6 time penalties in the fourth clear round.

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

Jack of All Trades

  • I’m Sew Ready and Phillip Dutton fall just outside of the top tier of performers for each phase, but just barely. I’m Sew Ready hasn’t quite averaged 70% at the Advanced and 3* levels in the last 12 months but he’s been hitting that mark for the last six months. He’s not the most careful jumper in the field, but he’s never had more than one rail in an Advanced/3* round with Phillip. And although he’s only once made time at a CIC3*, he’s always come home within 30 seconds in 91% of his career clear Advanced/CIC3* runs with Phillip and within 20 seconds at 55% of them. These two will be right in the mix come Saturday.
  • Tsetserleg is another who might fly under the radar right into a top five placing by Saturday. Boyd Martin has patiently developed this gelding and was rewarded with two top-three placings at premier events at the end of 2017. Tsetserleg has yet to crack into the 20s but has only once failed to achieve a sub-35 score at this level. He’s only once had more than one rail at A/3*, yet has jumped clear his last three rounds, including a CCI3*. And excluding a horrendously muddy Jersey Fresh last spring, Boyd and Thomas have never been more than 18 seconds over optimum. This is another pair who will advanced through the ranks throughout the weekend.

PREDICTED WINNER: Selena O’Hanlon

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Amy Dragoo Photography.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready
  • Lisa Marie Ferguson and Honor Me
  • Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg

Potential Spoilers

  • Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous
  • Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind
  • Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino

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

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

What a lunch break! Photo via Madeline Backus FB page.

During the winter, educational opportunities abound with team prospects all over the world, giving amazing auditing opportunities to everyone. U25 rider Madeline Backus, who just arrived overseas to base herself with Austin O’Connor for the year thanks the Broussard and Wilton Fair grants, is taking full advantage by using her lunch break to audit team sessions with Yogi Breisner.

National Holiday: National Crown Roast of Pork Day (I have no idea what to do with this.)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Osphos should be used as directed and avoided in young horses. IDr. Larry Bramlage, world-renowned veterinarian who focuses on racehorses, has found that use of Osphos in horses younger than 5 has been very detrimental to their long-term bone health. Osphos itself warns against usage in young horses and Dr. Bramlage urges trainers and veterinarians alike to take heed of that warning. [Bisphosphonate Use Causes Delayed Healing]

If you haven’t made it to a LandSafe clinic, keep trying to find one. LandSafe is headed next to Holling Eventing on March 13th and 14th, which are a Tuesday and Wednesday. They are subsidized by the USEA and will cost $225 for members. [LandSafe Clinic at Holling Eventing]

PodCast of the Day: Risk Management. Equiratings breaks down ERQI and their approach to risk management. If you are truly interested in understanding the ERQI and what their team is trying to achieve with it, this is a must-listen. [Eventing Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: After getting sick of letting my reins get long for the billionth time, I tried these reins after reading a review. Although they are no magic fix, I definitely felt like holding these pillows in my hands was a major improvement. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes From SmartPak

It’s a rough life, being a Training horse. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

As a one-horse amateur with a full-time day job, I’ve been living ‘the dream’ this winter, flying in and out of Aiken to ride and compete on weekends while my trainer is riding my horse in-between. Sounds great, right? But I’ve quickly learned that my riding skills are deteriorating faster than I had hoped, particularly for a green horse, and I’m struggling more than ever to keep up with my fitness. Is winter over? I’m super ready for the horses to all come north again.

National Holiday: Public Sleeping Day (I am all onboard with this!)

Ongoing Events:

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Last call to book your spot to ride with Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy in Ocala! He is returning for another cross country clinic at Horsepower Equestrian on March 11-13. All levels welcome. If you are interested in riding in the clinic, email [email protected] ASAP. [Joseph Murphy Clinic]

The Brits are serious about not dawdling prior to the finish line. In case you missed it, the lower levels in Britain did not allow a stopwatch to be worn until 2017. Now that the watches are allowed, there’s been an endemic of riders slowing to a trot or a walk prior to the finish. The penalties for doing so have gotten quite still, ranging from 25 penalties, to disqualification in other divisions, to a monetary fine of up to £500! [Eventers Fined for Avoiding Time Penalties]

Best of the blogs: Nuance. Lauren Sprieser breaks down that intricate, precise feeling that comes from training dressage. Every motion has meaning and every horse has issues that must be broken down to the fundamental problem. Solving problems on the foundational level create a more educated horse down the road. [Nuance]

Lost-in-translation Spanish eventing drama, solved! In Tuesday N&N we issued a cry for help in  decoding a rather lengthy and quite exclamation mark heavy Spanish rant we noticed on the Brancaleone Team website. Reader Christine Windsor came through, offering this synopsis: “The gist of it is that FEI rules demand ‘Clean Sport’ and Spain’s eventing officials do not apply that ‘law’ equally to all riders. Unfortunately for Spanish eventers, Spanish officials are willing to turn a blind eye to total defiance of the ‘laws’ of the sport whether it is judges coaching their own kids and then judging them at the same show and giving them great scores, or designers of cross country courses coaching their own students at a venue they designed. The writer is drawing a connection to Spain’s general disdain for laws to the problems in their FEI eventing. Basically Spanish Eventing is not living up to the FEI standard of Clean Sport.” [Brancaleone Team]

SmartPak Product of the Day: Equifit has a really sharp ear bonnet that stands out from the rest of the bonnet market. With a netting base and a leather trim, the bonnet will make your horse stick out from a crowd. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from Smart Pak

Liz Halliday-Sharp under the watchful eye of Marilyn Payne. Photo via USA Eventing FB page.

While the high performance sessions are no longer quite the intense week-long training sessions they once were, they now take place over many days, at many venues. Getting to watch or audit any of these sessions can be incredibly educational, and I always leave feeling inspired to ride better myself.

National Holiday: Card Reading Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

The Horse Park of New Jersey has put some serious effort into their arenas. Choosing to forgo the latest trend in footings, the horse park has focused on grading and natural materials that hold up well over time. Their fundraising efforts are ongoing and every little bit helps to hdd materials like rubber to help upgrade the final materials. [Upgrades at HP of NJ]

Have you booked your spot to ride with Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy in Ocala? He is returning for another cross country clinic at Horsepower Equestrian on March 11-13. All levels welcome! EN confirmed that spots are filling very quickly. If you are interested in riding in the clinic, email [email protected] ASAP. [Joseph Murphy Clinic]

Cooley Cross Border may be a killer event horse but he’s a pretty chill dude at home. With a set-in-stone nap time of 10 a.m. and an affable desire to be part of things, ‘Cross’ isn’t one to worry too much about life. Once he gets to shows his friendly personalities amplifies. [Behind the Stall Door]

You may notice an unfamiliar face at the top levels this spring. Felix Vogg, a Swiss Olympian at Rio alongside his brother Ben, has brought his younger mounts out to the U.S. for the spring to gain some extra seasoning. He will be attending events like Red Hills and Carolina before heading the to the test event at The Fork. [Felix Vogg Makes His U.S. Debut]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I was recently informed by my working students that not only do they prefer single tail cords on blankets over leg straps, but we can also buy replacement tail cords and attach them to blankets that didn’t originally have them. [SmartPak]

Valentine’s Day News & Notes from SmartPak

The age of wee eventers begins! Photo via Andrea Davidson’s Instagram.

It seems like quite a lot of eventers have been procreating lately and with that comes an era of photos of wee future eventers tackling their first lead-line classes. Just look at that tiny pink Charles Owen … it almost makes me want to go buy one despite not have a child of my own!

National Holiday: Valentine’s Day! (If you do not celebrate Valentine’s, it is also National Ferris Wheel Day.)

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Check out the familiar faces hanging out at WEF. Phillip and Boyd took a skeleton crew of their top horses down to WEF on the advice of Erik Duvander. With just their top horses to concentrate, they can really work on getting them adjusted to competing in atmosphere for both jumping and dressage. [Big Names in Eventing]

Those hunters all look happy in the ring, but not all of them have happy-go-lucky personalities. Hunter champion Small Affair knows how to put on a game face that helps him win but at home he’s a bit of a grump. One thing besides his job that cheers him up is a hard peppermint…but don’t try to give him a puffy one. [Behind the Stall Door]

The weekly OTTB critique is quickly becoming an interesting regular read. This week, 4* rider Jenn McFall evaluates a 2008 gelding named Symphonic Hero, a war horse with 59 starts. [ERQI Now Available]

Podcast of the Day: The roll-out of the ERQI has arrived with some confusion as to what the rating actually means for individuals. Diarm and Sam, co-founders of EquiRatings, join the USEA for a Q&A on how best to interpret the scale. [Introducing ERQI Podcast]

SmartPak Product of the Day: For Valentine’s Day, it’s 20% off all SmartPak brand merchandise, which means it’s a perfect time to re-stock your schooling pad collection. [SmartPak]

Who is Qualified for Kentucky CCI4* 2018?

Who will be in this stadium this year? Photo via EN’s Instagram.

With the Advanced season set to begin at Rocking Horse Winter II Horse Trials this week, anticipation will begin to build for what is currently the biggest event in North America — the Land Rover 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 Kentucky each spring.

Currently, there are 65 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 15 horses that have obtained the necessary CCI3* qualifications to compete at a four-star, but need additional CIC3* 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 2017 or were listed on the 2018 USEF Winter High Performance Training Lists were evaluated for qualifications. Additionally, American riders based overseas are on this list, but not other nationalities.

If anyone knows of a horse who is aimed at Kentucky but has not competed at these levels since 2016 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 a handy tutorial on how to check your FEI qualifications for any level with any rider, or any horse. 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. (Rules document from 2017, 2018 not available.)
  • Canada: Must have one MER at an Advanced or CIC3* within three months of competition date.
  • 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 B, 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*. (Rules document from 2017, 2018 not available.)
  • New Zealand: No additional NF requirements. (Rules document went into effect August 1, 2017.)

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 countryTwo 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 Kentucky this spring.

For a review of what entails an MER up through 2016, please revisit Know Your Qualifications for a complete explanation. For 2017, MER requirements became stricter and can be viewed in the Know Your Qualifications: CCI4* 2017 Redux link. Beginning in 2017, the MER requirements remain the same as 2017 but the 1.5 coefficient for dressage is dropped, making a dressage score of 45.0 or below the required mark to achieve for an MER.

Horses and Riders Fully Qualified to Compete at Rolex 2017

Anna Bella

Rider: Kurt Martin

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Back to Business 

Rider: Katherine Coleman (B)

  • 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
  • 2017 Chatsworth CIC3*
  • 2017 Burnham Market CIC3*
  • 2017 Belton Park CIC3*

Ballylaffin Bracken

Rider: Kristen Schmolze

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2015 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2014 Kentucky CCI4*

Bonito

Rider: Boyd Martin (A)

  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2017 Fair Hill CIC3*
  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*

Boris O’Hara

Rider: Will Coleman (B)

  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

Cambalda

Rider: Jennie Brannigan*

  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2012 Boekelo CCIO3*

Captain Jack

Rider: Savannah Fulton

  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Carlevo

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*

Castle Larchfield Purdy (PUR)

Rider: Lauren Billys

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

Cecelia (MEX)

Rider: Daniela Moguel

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Clip Clop (NZL)

Rider: Joe Meyer

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Cooley Cross Border

Rider: Kim Severson

  • 2017 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2017 Cappoquin CIC3*
  • 2017 Millstreet CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Cooley On Show

Rider: Sharon White

  • 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Copper Beach

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Covert Rights

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Burghley CCI4*

D.A. Duras

Rider: Lauren Kieffer (A)

  • 2017 Hartpury CIC3*
  • 2017 Barbury Castle CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

DeLux Z

Rider: Kurt Martin

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*

Donner

Rider: Lynn Symansky

  • 2017 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Badminton CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*

Fernhill By Night

Rider: Liz Halliday-Sharp (B)

  • 2017 Blenheim CIC3*
  • 2016 Burnham Market CIC3*
  • 2015 Hartpury CIC3*
  • 2014 Boekelo CCIO3*

Fernhill Classic (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood

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

Fernhill Fortitude

Rider: Jenny Caras

  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Bramham CCI3*

Fernhill Revelation

Rider: Phillip Dutton (A)

  • 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*

Happenstance (GBR)

Rider: James Alliston (A)

  • 2017 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2017 Woodside CIC3*
  • 2017 Galway Downs CIC3*

Harbour Pilot

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett*

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
  • 2017 Millstreet CIC3*
  • 2016 Blenheim CCI3*

High Times

Rider: Jennifer McFall

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*

Houdini

Rider: Katie Ruppel (B)

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2013 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

I’m Sew Ready

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Indy 500

Rider: Andrea Baxter

  • 2017 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Galway Downs CIC3*

Inmidair

Rider: Jan Byyny

  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2014 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2014 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2013 Fair Hill CCI3*

Landioso

Rider: Mackenna Shea

  • 2017 *Burghley CCI4*
  • 2017 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2017 Galway Downs CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Landmark’s Monte Carlo

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2017 Hartpury CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2015 Boekelo CCIO3*

LCC Barnaby

Rider: Lillian Heard

  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Millstreet CCI3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*

Longwood

Rider: Katherine Coleman

  • 2017 Houghton Hall CIC3*
  • 2017 Burnham Market CIC3*
  • 2017 Barroca d’Alva CCI3*
  • 2016 Bramham CCI3*

Luckaun Quality (IRL)

Rider: Timothy Bourke

  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Mettraise

Rider: Erin Sylvester

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

Muggle (BRA)

Rider: Nilson Moreira da Silva

  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Barbury Castle CIC3*
  • 2015 *Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Never OutFoxed

Rider: Holly Payne Caravella

  • 2017 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

OBOS O’Reilly

Rider: Will Coleman

  • 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2015 Kentucky CCI4*

P.S. Arianna

Rider: Madeline Backus

  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Paddy the Caddy

Rider: Erin Sylvester

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CCI3*
  • 2017 Fair Hill CIC3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*

Park Trader

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Kentucky CCI4*

Pebbly Maximus

Rider: Caroline Martin

  • 2017 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2017 Houghton Hall CICO3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

Pfun

Rider: Will Faudree

  • 2017 *Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven CIC3*

Polaris

Rider: Sara Moore

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Powell

Rider: Ryan Wood (B)

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Fair Hill CIC3*

RevitaVet Capato

Rider: Jordan Linstedt

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

RF Demeter

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett (A)*

  • 2017 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2017 Aachen CICO3*
  • 2017 Barbury Castle CIC3*
  • 2017 Luhmühlen CIC3*

RF Scandalous

Rider: Marilyn Little

  • 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Rise Against

Rider: Bunnie Sexton

  • 2017 Woodside CIC3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Share Option

Rider: Lillian Heard

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2015 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2013 Fair Hill CCI3*

Silver Night Lady

Rider: Emily Beshear (B)

  • 2017 *Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

Simply Priceless

Rider: Elisa Wallace

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*

Sir Oberon

Rider: Ellen Doughty-Hume

  • 2017 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*

Sound Prospect

Rider: Allie Knowles

  • 2017 Pau CCI4*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Steady Eddie

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2017 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*

Stella Artois

Rider: Jennie Brannigan*

  • 2017 Millstreet CCI3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2017 Fair Hill CIC3*

Super Socks BCF

Rider: Matt Brown

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Tactical Manuever

Rider: Ashley Johnson

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

The Apprentice

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

  • 2017 *Bramham CCI3*
  • 2017 Houghton Hall CICO3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*

Tight Lines

Rider: Will Coleman

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*

Truly Wiley

Rider: Kelly Prather

  • 2017 *Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Tsetserleg

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

Tsunami

Rider: Sally Cousins

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2015 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Under Suspection

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett*

  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*

Vandiver

Rider: Doug Payne

  • 2017 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*

Vermiculus

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2016 Boekelo CCIO3*

Veronica

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

  • 2017 Burghley CCI4*
  • 2017 Badminton CCI4*
  • 2017 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Rolex CCI4*

Vilas County (NED)

Rider: Werner Geven

  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Poplar Place CIC3*
  • 2013 Fair Hill CCI3*

Wundermaske (ECU)

Rider: Ronald Zabala

  • 2017 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Quillota CIC3*

Z

Rider: Phillip Dutton

  • 2017 Ocala Jockey Club CIC3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Tattersalls CCI3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

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

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 (A)

  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CIC3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Bentley’s Best (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (A)

  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2016 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Chattahoochee Hills CIC3*

Bogue Sound (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*

Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (A)

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*

Foxwood High (CAN)

Rider: Selena O’Hanlon

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2014 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*

Honor Me (CAN)

Rider: Lisa Marie Fergusson

  • 2017 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*

Irish Rhythm (CAN)

Rider: Rachel McDonough

  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Galway Downs CCI3*

Jollybo (CAN)

Rider: Hawley Bennett-Awad

  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Rebecca Farm CCI3*

Kelecyn Cognac (CAN)

Rider: Waylon Roberts

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*

More Inspiration (CAN)

Rider: Holly Jacks-Smither

  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2016 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Pavarotti (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Great Meadow CICO3*
  • 2017 Kentucky CCI4*

Qorry Blue d’Argouges

Rider: Colleen Loach

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Horses Needing Additional CIC3* To Complete Qualifications

BCF Belicoso

Rider: Matt Brown (B)

  • 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2015 Twin Rivers CIC3*

Campground

Rider: Erin Sylvester (B)

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

Cool As Ice

Rider: Jennie Brannigan (B)*

  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CIC3*

Danger Mouse

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*

Deniro Z

Rider: Liz Halliday-Sharp (B)

  • 2017 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2017 Blenheim CIC3*

Fleeceworks Royal

Rider: Tamie Smith (B)

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2017 Twin Rivers CIC3*

Jak My Style

Rider: Buck Davidson (B)

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2017 Plantation Field CIC3*

Johnny Royale (NZL)

Rider: Joe Meyer (B)

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 Poplar Place CIC3*

No Remorse

Rider: Buck Davidson

  • 2017 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 *Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2016 Pine Top CIC3*

Parker (GBR)

Rider: James Alliston

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

Rubens D’Ysieux

Rider: Sara Kozumplik-Murphy (B)

  • 2017 Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*

Wembley

Rider: Tamie Smith

  • 2017 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2017 *Bromont CCI3*
  • 2017 Twin Rivers CIC3*

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

Blackfoot Mystery

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2015 Plantation Field CIC3*

Escot 6

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

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

Gleaming Road

Rider: Anna Collier

  • 2016 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2015 Rebecca Farm CIC3*
  • 2015 Rolex CCI4*
  • 2014 Galway Downs CCI3*

Goodknight

Rider: Jolie Wentworth

  • 2017 Twin Rivers CIC3*
  • 2016 Copper Meadows CIC3*
  • 2013 Galway Downs CCI3*
  • 2012 Galway Downs CCI3*

Hans Dampf

Rider: Will Faudree (B)

  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2016 Morven Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*

Loughan Glen

Rider: Clark Montgomery

  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2017 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2015 Blenheim CCI3*
  • 2015 Luhmuhlen CCI4*

RF Eloquence

Rider: Elinor O’Neal

  • 2016 Boekelo CCIO3*
  • 2016 Plantation Field CIC3*
  • 2016 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Shamwari 4

Rider: Boyd Martin

  • 2016 Kentucky CCI4*
  • 2016 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2014 WEG – Normandy CCI4*
  • 2014 Luhmühlen CCI4*

Sparrow’s Nio

Rider: Allie Sacksen

  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2017 Pine Top CIC3*
  • 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*
  • 2014 Fair Hill CCI3*

Spring Easy

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

  • 2017 The Fork CIC3*
  • 2017 Carolina CIC3*
  • 2016 Richland Park CIC3*
  • 2016 Jersey Fresh CCI3*

Who’s A Star

Rider: Courtney Cooper

  • 2017 Red Hills CIC3*
  • 2014 *Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2013 Jersey Fresh CCI3*
  • 2013 The Fork CIC3*

* These riders are provisionally suspended.

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

This can be yours! (For a bid somewhere in the vicinity of $250k.) Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

As a kid, it wasn’t eventing that captured my attention but horse racing. The glamour and the history drew me in and the scrappy jockeys in bright silks held my attention. I wanted nothing more in life to be a jockey, the first female jockey to win the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Classic, and then the Dubai World Cup. Preferably on a horse I saved from the sales as a foal and then personally conditioned with the help of a crusty Hall-of-Famer trainer. Sound familiar?

National Holiday: Wave at Your Neighbor Day

On-going Events:

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

For the low expected final bid of $250,000, you can own the Triple Crown trophy presented to Laz Barrera. Barrera trained Affirmed to Triple Crown victory, the last to do so for almost forty years until American Pharaoh came along. The trophy is being auctioned off now online, with bidding open through February 24th. The opening bid is only $62,500…. [Triple Crown Trophy Auction]

In case you missed it, the long-awaited ERQI is available in your USEA Online Portal. CNow before you enter an event, take a moment to check out your horse’s ERQI to make sure you’re entering an appropriate level. Red means you’ve got a high risk for the level, orange is an elevated but acceptable risk, and green is good to go! [ERQI Now Available]

Not everyone makes it south for the winter, but the entries are already opening for events further north. That means an inundation of entries at dressage schooling shows and eventing derbies, a flurry of SOs asking what this charge to Event Entries is on the credit card, and riders riding through all kinds of weather now matter how unpleasant. [Eventing Season is Just Around the Corner]

SmartPak Product of the Day: As snow turns to rain, its time to go from winter overpants to rain overpants. No one wants to be riding through 40 deg storms but as the season starts, sometimes we’re forced to do things we hate. These should make it slightly more bearable. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Courtney Cooper knows it takes a village. Photo via Courtney Cooper’s FB page.

Like Courtney Cooper’s barn, the working students at my barn are absolutely the lifeblood of my trainer’s operation, keeping things flowing smoothly on a daily basis. Being a working student is a tough job, for those with grit and tenacity, with long days and lonely days off. So thank the ladies and gents who know the ins and outs of your horse better than you!

National Holiday: Backwards Day

On-going Events:

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

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

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

National Holiday: National Peanut Butter Day

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

The USEA trophy for Adult Amateur of the Year is named in honor of Col. Allen D. Smith. Col. Smith was an avid amateur who chaired Area V in the 90s and was serving his second term on the USEA Board of Governers when he suddenly passed away at age 64. The award for our nation’s highest ranking amateur honors his legacy to the sport. [Trophy Tales]

Be extraordinarily careful when working around horses while they are still on the trailer. British eventer Anna Cheney was bandaging her horse on the trailer to stay out of poor weather before traveling home when the young horse panicked. Anna suffered some broken bones but is expected to make a full recovery due to the fact that she was still wearing her helmet when the incident occurred. [Horsebox Accident]

The Meyerhoffs stress the importance of a variety of footings. Eventer Bobby Meyerhoff and his wife, jumper-rider Danica, stress that mixing up the types of surfaces the horses ride on can be more beneficial in the long run to keeping the horses sound. A variety of surfaces puts the stress on different portions of the leg, instead of pounding on the same structures day after day. [Change Your Footing]

Best of the Blogs: A Hollywood Story

SmartPak Product of the Day: I know it seems warm-ish out there right now in some parts of the country but don’t worry…winter isn’t over yet! If you’re stuck in a cold or snowy climate for the next couple of months, think about some pants to go over your breeches and boots to keep you dry and warm. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Lainey Ashker giving a clinic in exotic Costa Rica. Photo via Laine Ashker’s FB page.

Does anyone else unable to see their horse on a daily basis obsess over photos and videos your barn friends send you? One of the girls at my barn sent me half a photo of my horse’s nose yesterday and I can’t stop staring at it. It’s my lifeline until I see that face again.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

National Holiday: National Peanut Butter Day

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

One of the coolest things I ever got to do was go away for pony camp in Vermont one summer. Now GMHA is offering an eventing camp for kids of all ages above 9! You can bring a pony, have lessons twice a day, and hang out in Area I in the summer to get out of the heat! [GMHA Junior Horsemanship Clinic]

Time to remember which divisions you and your horse are eligible. With the season underway, don’t forget to check the eligibility rules when picking out your divisions. If you’ve completed an Intermediate, maybe don’t enter the Rider division at Training, or you might find yourself delegated to competing as HC. [Rule Refresher]

Laura Graves hosted a masterclass as part of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. One of her mantras is that training isn’t pretty. You have to allow the horse to make mistakes in training in order to learn, she says. [Keeping Horses and Riders Honest]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I talk about these blankets all the time because they are durable, fit well, warm, and have a great warranty behind them. And bonus, they are on sale regularly, including right now! [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

First XC jump of the year is done and dusted! Photo by Maggie Deatrick

It may have been cold for Stable View down in Aiken but since it’s a lot colder up in Philadelphia, I wasn’t complaining. Much. OK, a little, when I realized my show jumping jacket is made of technical fabric and therefore really designed for hot weather, not cold. And maybe a bit when the water jumps had a skim of ice on them for cross country day. Just a bit of complaining, really.

National Holiday: Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Does it make sense to head south for the winter? For trainers like John Michael and Kimmy Durr, it does if you’re willing to shut down your entire northern operation. They’ve shifted the horses vacation to take full advantage of the competition and sales opportunities of the Florida season. [Wintering In Florida]

Entries for the Retired Racehorse Project are up 38%. 812 applications were received this year, up from 512 last year. The applicants came from 40 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and D.C., while the trainers themselves were 13% junior, with the remainder split almost evenly between professionals and adult amateurs. [RRP Trainer Applications Increase]

If volunteering is your bag, then pay attention to the WEG request for volunteers. The Tryon WEG Volunteer Management Program is fielding inquiries from prospective volunteers. In the next phase, the volunteers will fill out an application and by April 1, Tryon will begin notifying volunteers who have been accepted. [WEG Volunteer Portal is Open]

SmartPak Product of the Day: If full coverage is your deal in the winter, check out this beautiful Asmar jacket. With lots of length, it might even be full enough to prevent you from needing to wrap five horse blankets around yourself while teaching! [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

The squid is super pleased with himself after a stellar XC schooling. Photo by Maggie Deatrick

T-minus two days until I am on a flight (again) to Atlanta (again), about to drive to Aiken (again). But this time it will be for an event! I haven’t flown out to an event since my college days, so I am feeling very hunter-princess indeed as I fly in just to take the reins and glamorously jet out again after the show. I won’t feel so glamorous trudging through the airport parking lot at 1 am Monday morning, looking for my car, but such is the price we pay as amateurs. I can live with a little bit of sleep deprivation.

National Holiday: National Take the Stairs Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

The one and only Joseph Murphy will be offering a clinic in Ocala in early February. Despite being a cross-country savant himself, Joseph decided it never hurts to learn from the best and spent some time picking up some tips from Michael Jung and Christopher Burton recently. Sign up now for his clinic to gain not only some Irish expertise but maybe a little bit of Jung’s advice, secondhand, as well. [Joseph Murphy Ocala Clinic]

Don’t expect to see Zara Tindall at Kentucky this spring. Zara and her husband Mike Tindall have announced they are pregnant again, due this year. Zara nd Mike have a 3 year old already, and this child would be 19th in line to the throne, after the child that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting. [Zara Tindall Expecting]

Like many Americans unable to head south, the Brits are focusing on the basics of fitness over the winter. Nicola Wilson reveals some of her favorite winter tips, like spending time hacking and trotting before thinking about spring gallops, and feeding on the ground to stretch the top line. [9 Winter Training Tips]

Boyd Martin got to live every 90s girl’s dream of joining up. Working with Monty Roberts at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Masterclass, Boyd joined up with one of Monty’s homebreds. Afterwards, he did an eventing demonstration with some of Erin Kellerhouse’s young event horses, using humor to provide entertainment to the crowd. [Boyd Martin Joins Monty Roberts for Masterclass]

Prepare for the 2018 competition season by attending the 16th Annual Weekend Equestrian Program to be held January 27-28 at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, CT.  Over 50 presentations will be made on a range of topics including, but not limited to, colic, wounds, vital signs, dehydration, Lyme disease, USEF drug testing, and improving your test scores.  Specifically for eventers, talks will be offered on the new 2018 USEF dressage tests, conditioning for the lower levels, the warm-up at a competition, and how to improve the stadium phase.  For more information, including information on schedules and registration, go to [Dressage4Kids].

SmartPak Product of the Day: With as cold as it has been, insulated bucket covers might help ease the pain a little. These guys from SmartPak are even on sale, so buy them now so the next cold spell your horses all have less-frozen water! [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Working students in the wild have been known to search out sources of warmth in the winter months. Photo via Destination Farm FB page.

For the first time in my eventing career, I will be competing at the very first horse trials of the year, which happens to be held at Stable View this year. Originally my plan was to ride through New Year’s but the arctic temps and frozen ground thwarted that. Now I’m headed down to Aiken this weekend to take a spin on my squid so we can try not to embarrass ourselves running Novice. Turning is hard when you’re 17.1 hands worth of legs.

National Holiday: Fruitcake Toss Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

One more week…

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Margaret Hough made history when she became the first woman to win Badminton. At a time when men still looked down on women for not just competing but daring to be competitive, Margaret Hough and Bambi V dared to take the title in 1954. Margaret passed away peacefully at the age of 86. [First Female Badminton Winner Dies]

We’ve heard from some of the American riders but the Brits have big goals too. Oliver Townend, Laura Collett, and Izzy Taylor all have promising young horses and all have a similar goal: Badminton then WEG. [New Years Resolutions]

Judges wanted! If you’ve ever thought about becoming a dressage judge (or more importantly, need to escape the cold), you can still sign up for the Dressage Session I Training Program in Ocala from January 29 to February 1. The deadline has been extended to January 10. [Deadline Extended]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I ventured out from my normal boot brand this fall after wearing out too many pairs too quickly and was extremely pleased when these Mountain Horse field boots arrived. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on their looks so far and they had almost no break in time! [SmartPak]

Here’s to the Things That Were

In the fall of 2017, EN writer Maggie Deatrick and her long-time partner Divine Comedy, aka Dante, were set for a comeback to the 3* level after two years of rehabbing a tendon injury. After feeling something wasn’t quite right with him, she went down the rabbit hole of treating and diagnosing for what she hoped would be manageable arthritic changes. Ultimately a CT scan revealed a career-ending issue instead. Dante has now happily been transitioned into a pasture puff for the next couple of years, with hopes of a career as a lower level schoolmaster in the future.

Photos courtesy of Jenni Autry, Dapple Bay, Michelle Parker, and Maggie Deatrick.

Today is the first day of our second decade together. Today, things are different.

For ten years, you have been my brother in arms, my kindred spirit. You’ve given me strength, courage, and confidence. You’ve given me speed and you’ve given me wings.

But this year, things change. Our relationship as we’ve known it is over. We will never go out together again to face life and death. We have to be something else to each other now.

Your heart of a lion has outgrown your long-backed, upright-pasterned body. It can’t do what you want it to do, but you’ll keep trying, because that’s the sort you are. But I know you better than I know myself, and I knew something was wrong.

I’m devastated I found it.

I’m so grateful I found it.

It’s been hard. Ending the relationship we’ve had has been both the easiest and hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I know that in order to protect you, I had to make the call.

For a while, I couldn’t stop thinking about the things that would never be.

Ending it meant we’d never fly over the hills of Kentucky on a Saturday in April amidst cheers from a crowd of thousands. We’d never tackle the sandy hills of Carolina, an event I tried to attend for years and never managed to get to. We’d never dominate the CCI3* course at Fair Hill, a venue I knew you loved by the way your strength swelled like the rising tide beneath me at minute eight in the two-star.

But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized that the things that we did accomplish were so much greater than the things we didn’t.

You’ve brought me further than I ever imagined I could come. You never knew your conformation was ill-suited to upper level eventing. You didn’t care that you were supposed to top out at Prelim. You weren’t done there. You dragged me up the levels, bouncing over three-star tables as if they were nothing when everyone once thought you were scoped out at 3’6″. You didn’t care how embarrassed I was after you gleefully misbehaved during dressage or jumped around show-jumping by braille. You knew you’d make it up to me on cross-country day, and you always followed through.

Before you, I’d never even run Training, never placed high enough at any event to get a ribbon. At our very first event, you rewarded me with a low twenties dressage score and led from start to finish. At the end of our second year we were running Preliminary and the following year tackling FEI events, including a third place finish at one of the last long-format CCI ever held.

Together we ran over courses from Jersey Fresh to Colorado, from Maui Jim in Chicago down to Rocking Horse in Florida. We finished on your dressage score in our very first Advanced, a weekend I will never forget. We jumped the very high side of an angled brush in our second Advanced at Poplar Place when you drifted on take-off, and yet cleared it and galloped on. We had a personal best dressage at Fair Hill CCI2*, in a field 110 strong, putting us in the top quarter of the field after phase one.

You taught me patience, over and over and over, on the flat and in the show jumping. Everything you did, you did in Capital Letters, emphatically and enthusiastically, and sometimes embarrassingly. I spent an entire decade learning to be a better rider, for you.

On cross country day, you were king. Present you to the fence perfectly, you jumped economically. Give you a challenge, like an off distance or a big spread, and you would jump the moon. The feeling of power that rose like a wave under me when you were fit and fast on course meant I knew making time would be easy that day. I had to learn not to let my confidence translate into cockiness, to not make a mistake out of complacency, simply because I was sitting on you.

I didn’t know that a lone Intermediate run this fall would be our final run together, but I’m grateful to have had one last taste of flying on your back. After two long years of patient rehab after a tendon injury, I thought that run was a taste of what would be coming, not a finale to a long career. It was easy for you, even after a long hiatus.

The tendon is strong as iron now; I’m proud it wasn’t what ended your career.

All these things we did together, you and I. These memories are the things that were. I choose not to regret anything.

Here’s to Dante, the brother of my soul. You’ve given me everything you had, and been so more to me than you were meant to be.

Thank you.

EN’s Year in Review: Top Five Pairs in Show Jumping for 2017

This series highlights the top five horses and riders in each phase at the Advanced, three-star and four-star levels from 2017. 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 2017.

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 more than one rail 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.

Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

FIFTH PLACE: Paddy the Caddy

Number of Rails in 2017: 1

Time Penalty Average: 0

Number of Clear Rounds: 5 of 6 (2 Clear CCI3* Rounds)

In his second year at the level, Paddy the Caddy cemented his ability in the show jumping phase under Erin Sylvester, clocking in clear rounds at five of their six shows, two of which were CCI3*. With clear rounds in 12 of their 14 career stadium rounds at this level, these two are worth keeping an eye on.

This pair started the year quietly with clear rounds in the Advanced divisions at Pine Top and Carolina International. Coming home, Paddy the Caddy then knocked off a clear round in their first CIC3* of the year at Fair Hill. The Advanced at the Horse Park of New Jersey saw Erin and Paddy the Caddy have their only rail of the year before they moved on to a clear round in Paddy the Caddy’s first career CCI3* at Rebecca Farms, giving them the win. A clear round at Fair Hill CCI3* helped them clinch a top five position, one of only two pairs to finish on their dressage score.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shelby Allen.

FOURTH PLACE: D.A. Duras

Number of Rails in 2017: 1

Time Penalty Average: 0.14

Number of Clear Rounds: 6 of 7 (No CCI)

D.A. Duras is another sophomore at the level who really stepped up his game this year. With Lauren Kieffer in the irons, this young horse came close to a foot-perfect year, with only a single rail.

These two started the year in the states with clear rounds inside the time in the CIC3* divisions at both Red Hills and Carolina. A single time penalty at Chattahoochee Hills in the Advanced would be their only time penalty of the year before Lauren based herself in England for the remainder of the year.

Across the pond, D.A. Duras clocked off a clear stadium round in the Advanced at Little Downham before incurring his only rail of the year at the CIC3* at Barbury Castle. He and Lauren rallied for the final two rounds of the year at this level, jumping clear at both the Hartpury CIC3* and Blenheim CIC3* (8/9 year old).

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

THIRD PLACE: Z

Number of Rails in 2017: 1

Time Penalty Average: 0.14

Number of Clear Rounds: 6 of 7 (1 Clear CCI3* Rounds)

Yet another sophomore horse on this list, Z has started a pattern of needing one show to warmup before hitting home runs the rest of the year. Both in 2016 and 2017, Z had one rail at his first A/3* of the year before jumping clean for the remainder of his shows.

Z and Phillip Dutton started by incurring one rail at Carolina CIC3*. They’d clock in clear rounds at Fair Hill and Jersey Fresh in the CIC3* divisions before hopping the pond to incur the only time penalty of Z’s career thus far at the Tattersalls CCI3*.

Back for the fall, Z had clear rounds at both Millbrook Advanced and Plantation Field CIC3*, then had a short break while Phillip recovered from a fall. Back in time for the Ocala Jockey Club, a clear round in the stadium helped Z climb the ranks to finish as Phillip’s top placed horse of the CIC3*.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

SECOND PLACE: DeLux Z

Number of Rails in 2017: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.71

Number of Clear Rounds: 7 of 7 (1 Clear CCI3*, 1 Clear CCI4*)

DeLux Z co-owns the longest clear stadium streak in North American eventing, with eleven straight clear rounds dating back to his first CCI4* in 2016. Since that date he has jumped clear at every Advanced, 3*, and 4* he has competed at, including two rounds at Kentucky, one at Fair Hill CCI3*, and another at Blenheim CCI3*.

Beginning the year with clear rounds at the Pine Top Advanced and Carolina CIC3*, Kurt Martin and DeLux Z then had a clear round with four time penalties at the Advanced at Chattahoochee Hills. They were then one of only four clear rounds inside the time at Kentucky CCI4*.

Coming out strong for the fall, this pair had clean rounds again at Millbrook Advanced and Plantation Field CIC3*, then incurred one time penalty but no rails at the Fair Hill CCI3*.

Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C. Photo by Jenni Autry.

FIRST PLACE: Congo Brazzaville C

Number of Rails in 2017: 0

Time Penalty Average: 1.22

Number of Clear Rounds: 9 of 9 (1 Clear CCI3* Round)

The only freshman horse on the list, Congo Brazzaville C has stepped up to the Advanced level with a bang in 2017 under Mara DePuy. Going a perfect 9 for 9 in stadium rounds is no joke, and despite a few time penalties, this horse has established himself as the king of this phase for 2017.

These two started off the year with a clear round inside the time at the Pine Top Advanced before knocking off the same in the Carolina, Fair Hill, and Jersey Fresh CIC3* divisions. Congo Brazzaville C incurred his first stadium penalties with 6 time at Great Meadow CICO3* when Mara briefly took a detour after a particularly big effort, but the two followed it up with clear rounds inside the time at both Millbrook Advanced and Plantation Field CIC3*.

Next up they finished the year with a clear round and four time at Morven Advanced followed by a clear round with one time penalty at Congo Brazzaville C’s first CCI3* at Fair Hill.

EN’s Year in Review: Top Five Pairs in Cross Country for 2017

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 2017. Yesterday 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 2017.

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 2017. 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.

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Amy Dragoo Photography.

FIFTH PLACE: Foxwood High

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 3.43

Number of Runs: 7

Foxwood High and Selena O’Hanlon started the year off a bit slower and then ended by picking up the pace, ultimately winning the CCI3* at Fair Hill, the first time a Canadian has won the division.

These two started their season at Rocking Horse Advanced, accumulating 4.8 time penalties. At Red Hills, they had a speedy 2.0 time penalties to help win the Advanced division. Next up was the WEG venue at The Fork CIC3*, where they had a solid clear round with 4.8 time penalties. The two finished their spring season at the Rolex CCI4*, with a clear round and 10.4 time.

Foxwood High and Selena came out guns blazing for the fall season, beginning with a clear round 3 seconds inside the time at the Great Meadow CICO3*, followed by another clear round at Plantation Field CIC3*, this time 6 seconds inside the time. Their crowning achievement this fall was the win at Fair Hill CCI3*, helped by their round only 4 seconds over the optimum.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Libby Law.

FOURTH PLACE: Vandiver

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 3.37

Number of Runs: 7

Doug Payne and Vandiver had a very good year in the second phase, finishing inside the time on three occasions and finishing fifteen seconds or less over optimum all but once.

These two started the year at Pine Top CIC3*, putting in the fastest round of the day after finishing 11 seconds under optimum. Vandiver followed it up with a quick but not lightning-fast round at Carolina in the CIC3*, finishing 12 seconds over optimum for 4.8 time penalties. At The Fork CIC3*, the WEG venue for 2018, they equaled the fastest round in the CIC3*, finishing 3 seconds under optimum. Their fall season concluded at Rolex Kentucky CCI4*, where Vandiver had a very solid 5.2 time penalties.

After a break while Doug mended from a broken collarbone, Vandiver next appeared at Millbrook, clocking in a slower round with 8.4 time penalties. Doug then put the pedal to the metal for the American Eventing Championships, proving his earlier run at the venue wasn’t a fluke with a clear round 9 seconds inside the time. The pair rounded the year our with a trip across the pond to Blenheim, finishing with 5.2 penalties in the CCI3*.

Kylie Lyman and Da Vinci Code. Photo by MWL/Hoofclix.com.

THIRD PLACE: Da Vinci Code

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 3.20

Number of Runs: 3

Da Vinci Code is flying under the radar after he had a strong spring season. A clear run with only 5.2 penalties at Pine Top CIC3* marked a solid start to the year. At Carolina CIC3*, where time was extremely difficult to make this year, Da Vinci Code and Kylie Lyman came close, accumulating only 3.2 time penalties. Then Da Vinci Code established his cross-country talent over the Bromont CCI3* course, where he was only 3 seconds over optimum time.

Matthew Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

SECOND PLACE: Super Socks BCF

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 2.67

Number of Runs: 3

Super Socks BCF and Matt Brown were coming off a high in 2016 with a win at the inaugural CIC3* at the Ocala Jockey Club, and clearly had a goal in mind. Choosing to run at a slower pace in their first run of the year, they accumulated 7.6 time penalties at the Pine Top CIC3*.

That would be the slowest they’d go all year. At Carolina, they pressed the pace in the Advanced and managed the fastest round of the day over a hard-to-make-time track, finishing only one second over optimum time. At Rolex, Super Socks BCF became a super hero after finishing with the second fastest round of the day, fastest of all the American riders.

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

FIRST PLACE: Chatwin

Jump Penalties: 0

Time Penalty Average: 0.27

Number of Runs: 3

Chatwin had an abbreviated year due to his rider’s growing family, but Frankie Theriot-Stutes quietly assembled a supremely solid spring season with this young horse.

This pair began the year at Twin Rivers, running clear in the Advanced division while finishing 7 seconds under the optimum time. They continued the pattern at the Galway Downs CIC3*, this time finishing 17 seconds under optimum en route to a clear round.

After a monsoon at Jersey Fresh caused Frankie to withdraw prior to the cross country, Chatwin re-routed to the Bromont CCI3*, where he finished only two seconds over the optimum time in his first CCI3*, marking the third-fastest round of the day.