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By the Numbers: The Fork CIC3*

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

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

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

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

Photo courtesy of Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Field

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

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

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

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

Show Jumping Powerhouses

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

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy of JJ Sillman.

Cross Country Machines

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

PREDICTED WINNER: Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On…

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

Potential Spoilers

  • Caroline Martin and The Apprentice

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

By the Numbers: Galway Downs CIC3*

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

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

Photo courtesy of Galway Downs

The Field

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

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

Dressage Divas

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

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

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

Amber Levine and Carry On. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Cross Country Machines

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

PREDICTED WINNER: Frankie Theriot-Stutes and Chatwin

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On…

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

Potential Spoilers

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

By the Numbers: Carolina International CIC3*

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

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

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

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

The Field

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

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

Dressage Divas

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

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

Show Jumping Powerhouses

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

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cross Country Machines

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

PREDICTED WINNER: Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by CFD/Hoofclix.com.

Keep Your Eye On:

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

Potential Spoilers

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Wrangling ponies in the storm. Photo via NYPD Special Ops Twitter account. Wrangling ponies in the storm. Photo via NYPD Special Ops Twitter account.

Even these little guys were looking for relief from the storm yesterday. It wasn’t the biggest storm we’ve ever had, but it was certainly nasty, with howling winds and a layer of ice. Just when I think I wish my horses were home from their southern digs, Mother Nature has a way of reminding me why they stay in Aiken through the end of March.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Your event photographer might be doing more for the safety of the sport than you imagined. In a well written blog, British-based event photographer Katie Mortimore explains why she keeps the shutter clicking during refusals and falls instead of turning away. The data her photo series produces is invaluable to officials and fence judges when deciding disputes over jump or flag penalties, crucial to the determination of horse falls, and valuable to both riders as a learning too and vets and doctors when treating victims of falls. Despite not using any of these photos for financial gain, photographers play a crucial role in the growing desire to prevent accidents by providing more and more data. [Keep Clicking]

The Fork is looking for volunteers for their April FEI event. For the first year ever, The Fork is being held at Tryon Equestrian Center. As the final prep before Rolex, many of the biggest riders bring their best horses, testing them before their four-star. Buck, Boyd, Phillip, and many others are all already listed on the entry list. Come volunteer and see the best of the best go! It’s easy to sign up through the new volunteer portal, Eventing Volunteers. [Volunteer for The Fork]

Jackie Potts likely knows William Fox-Pitt’s yard better than he does. After running his yard for more than 25 years, Jackie can keep it running like clockwork even when the vet, physio, and farrier are all there at the same time. She came for a week-long job and never left. [22 Unmissable Facts]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I’m trying so hard to not just run my credit card while my horses aren’t even here, but it’s so tempting when we have awesome 15% off sales from SmartPak! Their Bloom Sale runs through Thursday night, and offers 15% off products, with another 5% if you are a USEF member. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Red Hills CIC3*

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry.

While Red Hills is no longer the first CIC3* of the season in North America, it does still draw the first big, star-studded field of the year. With the option to now choose to run stadium first by doing the CIC3*, or enter the Advanced to sharpen your skills jumping after cross country, Red Hills has made an effort to offer flexibility to riders and horses on their path to the big three-days.

With Mike Etherington-Smith taking over the design of the cross country last year, Red Hills has really stepped up the international caliber of the course. Now entering his second year, Mike will likely be pushing the design a bit as he gains more feel for the unique track and terrain this iconic event offers.

Chris Barnard is taking over the design of the show jumping this year, taking the reins from long-time designer Fuzzy Mayo. In years past, Fuzzy’s stadium course over a grassy, hilly arena stumped many of the best jumpers out there, but with the addition of a stadium arena two years ago, the difficulty of the stadium phase has vastly transformed at this venue.

Photo by Shems Hamilton

Photo by Shems Hamilton

The Field

  • Every winner of the CIC3* at Red Hills since 2013 has been in second place after dressage. Those winners were Mighty Nice, Trading Aces, Czechmate and Fernhill Fugitive.
  • No one has finished clear and inside the time on a Red Hills CIC3* track since 2013, when Selena O’Hanlon did it with two horses: A Fine Romance and Foxwood High.
  • Red Hills built a ring for their stadium phase two years ago. Since then the average number of rails incurred by the Red Hills CIC3* field has dropped below the national average.
Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Photo by Jenni Autry.

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

Dressage Divas

  • Harbour Pilot led the field after dressage at Red Hills last year in his first FEI start after recuperating from his Burghley injury. In the 12 months since, he and Hannah Sue Burnett have solidified their dominance in this phase. An average Advanced/three-star dressage score of 42.8 since their return gives them a good chance to repeat their lead again this year.
  • This year the comeback kid is Cambalda, whose past performance indicates that he and Jennie Brannigan could top the leaderboard if their form has held through his time off. This pair flirted with the 30s when they won the inaugural Great Meadow CIC3*, but more often settle closer to their three-star average of 43.9 penalties.
  • Who’s A Star lays down a strong dressage test show after show with Courtney Cooper in the irons. With a range that varies approximately 10 points within the 40s, this pair is a good bet to be within striking distance of the leaders after the first phase.
  • Keep a sharp eye on Halimey, who laid down his best dressage score for the level at Rocking Horse Winter II Horse Trials with Buck Davidson in the irons. An equivalent performance could put this pair on top on day one in this horse’s first three-star.
Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Hannah’s other mount Under Suspection is one of the strongest show jumpers in the field, having put together a completely flawless record last year when show jumping was held prior to cross country. Overall, this pair only has one rail on their record when competing together at any level.
  • When show jumping is held first, Petite Flower is in her element, jumping clean 11 of 13 times in her career. Her lone flaw in the past two years when this phase is first was at Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* last fall, when she and Buck Davidson incurred a single rail.
  • Cambalda is another notable show jumper in the field, with only one rail in their four attempts that held show jumping first in 2015. Although Red Hills stadium used to be a bit of a weak spot for Cambalda and Jennie, that all changed in 2015 with a double clear when Red Hills moved their stadium from the challenging grass field to a new arena.
Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me (CAN). Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Cross-Country Machines

  • Jennie knows Cambalda like the back of her hand, and it shows in their cross-country execution. At the CIC3* level they have a flawless jump record, paired with a speedy pace that averages only eight seconds over the time in 2015. However, Red Hills slows even the fastest of horses and these two are significantly slower at this venue than any other, averaging almost 30 seconds over.
  • Petite Flower is one of the cattiest horses on the circuit, as proven by her blazing round at the Wellington Eventing Showcase. Buck and Petite Flower have averaged only 10 seconds over the optimum time in all of their Advanced and CIC3* runs since 2015. However, like Cambalda, this mare was considerably slower in her only start at Red Hills, clocking in 25 seconds over.
  • I’m Sew Ready doesn’t have quite as extensive a resume, but benefits from having the master on board. With Phillip Dutton in the irons, this pair has averaged only 11 seconds over optimum time. However, this will be I’m Sew Ready’s first run at Red Hills, which has a proven record of slowing horses down.
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me have really picked up the pace in the past 12 months. Their average A/CIC3* pace went from 31 seconds over optimum in 2015 down to only 6 seconds over optimum in 2016. Red Hills was the slowest pace they had at this type of show last year, clocking in at 18 seconds over optimum.

PREDICTED WINNER: Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot
  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection
  • Buck Davidson and Petite Flower
  • Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready

Potential Spoilers

  • Buck Davidson and Halimey
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Bona fide event horse now! Photo by Cecily Brown. Bona fide event horse now! Photo by Cecily Brown.

The winter season is a time for the babies to get out and see the world, test the competition waters, and get their sea legs at their first event. I’m absolutely chuffed with my own youngster, who is officially a bona fide event horse, almost a year after I bought him. Sometimes plans don’t work out the way you think, and it’s so important to really give those long-legged horses time to figure out their limbs and to develop their fifth leg. My squid of a horse has really blossomed this winter and although I had to let my trainer have the reins thanks to having to stay north for my job, I rather enjoyed playing owner for a day.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes: The USEA is looking for a new Marketing Coordinator or Assistant. If you’ve ever dreamed of living and working in the heart of the eventing world in Leesburg, have it be your job to pay attention to eventing, and you are also a marketing or business major, look no further. The dream job is at hand, as long as you’re willing to endure the hardship of living in Northern Virginia. [Employment Opportunity: USEA Marketing]

If you haven’t, Charlotte Dujardin has a new prospect named Pumpkin. Last week we learned about how Charlotte found Pumpkin at a clinic in California. This week we have the prequel of Pumpkin’s story with Amelie Kovac who used the sale of her horse of a lifetime to fund the purchase of an unbroken, unproven three-year-old. [The Unruly Three-Year-Old]

This week on Eventing Radio Show: Bettina Hoy and Clark Montgomery. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Paul Tapner host both Bettina Hoy, who has taken on the role of coach and sole selector for the Dutch, and Clark Montgomery, who had an emphatic win at Pine Top CIC3* in his first 3* start after relocating back from England. [Eventing Radio Show]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The show season is in full swing and so are the pitter patter of grooms’ feet as they run to and fro the show ring, over and over. If you’re lucky enough to have someone who schlups all your grooming supplies, horse boots, towels, and water to help you operate at your best, show your appreciation by lightening their load with this Under Armour Ringside Backpack. [SmartPak]

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Virginia sunsets are tough to beat. Photo courtesy of Ellyn McMahon. Virginia sunsets are tough to beat. Photo courtesy of Ellyn McMahon.

The sunsets this year have been incredible, and thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, EN readers up in the Northeast have been able to get out and enjoy said sunsets from horseback. With opening dates for April events around the corner, the quiet drag of winter is coming to an end!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

The never ending quest to find the perfect XC shirt may finally be at an end. World Equestrian Brands has debuted their Equetech Custom Cross Country shirts that are totally customizable, and you can win one! Simply write a story in 100 words or less why you chose your particular cross country colors and email it to us along with a photo of your colors by March 3! [Show Us Your Cross Country Colors Contest]

Charlotte Dujardin got more than she bargained for at a clinic in California last fall. After sitting on the diminutive Gio for a demonstration, Charlotte knew she had to have him. At a smidge under 16 hands, he’s not her usual ride, but pack a power punch, taking the Elementary world of dressage by storm in his first show. True to Carl Hester’s habit of naming horses after fruits and vegetables, Gio has picked up the barn name ‘Pumpkin’. [Charlotte Dujardin Debuts Her New Horse]

If you’ve been waffling on whether to go to Rolex or not, now’s your last chance to buy tickets before prices go up. Advance ticket sales ends tomorrow, March 2, and starting March 3, prices will start going up. Make sure to take advantage of the early bird discount! With Michael Jung bringing back reigning two time winner fischerRocana, there’s a chance history will be made! [Rolex Ticket Sales]

SmartPak Product of the Day: With spring in the air, I’ve started digging out my 1/4 zips, which I left abandoned in my drawers in favor of warmer jackets as it got colder. These 1/4 zips are a staple for me in the fall and spring, as they keep me warm enough when I’m not moving much but breathe and wick when I start working up a sweat. [SmartPak]

By the Numbers: Pine Top CIC3*

With the advent of Pine Top CIC3* this weekend, we are officially in full swing of the season! As the only three-star run in the entire world in February this year, Pine Top also has the honor of kicking off the international scene at this level.

Traditionally used as a move-up event for Advanced horses, Pine Top is now also attracting a very competitive field of horses who will likely be headed to four-stars later this spring. Offering a three-star opens up the spring schedule to Rolex contenders, allowing them to pick and choose among the best dates and ideal venues to prepare their horses to do their best in April.

Photo courtesy of Pine Top Farm.

Photo courtesy of Pine Top Farm.

The Field

  • The field consists of 13 horses ridden by 12 riders. Only one rider, Jessica Phoenix, has two mounts in this division.
  • Of the 12 riders, 9 (75% of the field) have completed at least one CCI4*.
  • Of the 13 horses, 7 (54% of the field) have completed a CCI4*. Two more have started a CCI4* but did not complete.
  • One pair, Michael Walton and Woodstock Wallaby, are both attempting their first CIC3*. Michael competed in international show jumping up until 2013. He made his first international eventing start in 2014.
Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

Overall, this field has a surprisingly high rate of strong dressage horses, with 50% of the horses averaging under 50. Look for a closely clustered leaderboard on the top half after dressage.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen are one of the best dressage pairs in the world, so it’s no surprise that they are the heavy favorites to take the lead after the first phase. As the only pair in the field to average in the 30s, it’s unlikely anyone will be able to catch them on the flat.

Liz Halliday-Sharp has the best shot at sneaking into the lead with Fernhill By Night, who has the ability to drop down into the high 30s on a regular basis. If Loughan Glen has a bad day while Fernhill By Night has a good one, this pair could snatch the top position on the leaderboard.

With Cooley Cross Border now entering his third season at this level, his consistency and strength on the flat with Kim Severson are now well-known. His best 3* score of 41.3 was laid down in 2015 though, and he’s been slowly inching up towards the high 40s since. A return to his 2015 form would put this pair up in the top three after phase one.

Rounding out the top four is Pavarotti, who averages a 45.5. This horse excels with Jessica Phoenix in the dressage phase on a regular basis

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

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

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Cooley Cross Border and Kim Severson have an almost perfect show jumping record at this level. They have not yet had a single rail in nine show jumping rounds, and only two instances of a single time penalty keeps their record from being totally pristine.

Vandiver has proven himself quite a careful jumper with Doug Payne in the irons, as they’ve clocked in double clear in nine of 12 stadium rounds. When stadium runs first, as it will this weekend, they are particularly strong, jumping double clear 86% of the time.

Loughan Glen is another who excels at the show jumping phase, although he is actually stronger when show jumping is the last phase, with a perfectly clean record at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels. When stadium is first, he and Clark Montgomery can have an occasional single rail, but has still jumped double clear in 75% of his stadium rounds in the past two years.

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Valerie Durbon

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Valerie Durbon

Cross Country Machines

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF have a stellar cross country record, having jumped clear around seventeen of their 19 career starts at this level. In the past two years, they’ve averaged only 5.2 time penalties at the A/CIC3* level, but tend to split their runs between a fairly steady pace or a press to make the time.

Doug Payne and Vandiver have accumulated a truly impeccable cross country record in the past 18 months together and they’ve really stepped up their game following their Rolex run. This pair hasn’t clocked in a round slower than 20 seconds over optimum time since this event last year, aside from their first four star together.

Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio have never had a problem on cross country at the 3* level, and have only twice finished more than 25 seconds over optimum time. Look for these two to have a quick and clean round to move up the ranks.

PREDICTED WINNER: Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border

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

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

Keep Your Eye On…

  • Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night
  • Kylie Lyman and Da Vinci Code
  • Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver

Pine Top: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld Photo by Leslie Threlkeld

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

This is a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet the consequences are just as real.

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is Qualified for Rolex 2017?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horses and Riders Fully Qualified to Compete at Rolex 2017

Anthony Patch

Rider: Laine Ashker

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

A.P. Prime

Rider: Leah Lang-Gluscic

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

Arthur

Rider: Allison Springer

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

Basco

Rider: Bonner Carpenter

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

Blackfoot Mystery

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

Captain Jack

Rider: Savannah Fulton

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

Carlevo

Rider: Buck Davidson (A)

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

Castle Larchfield Purdy (PUR)

Rider: Lauren Billys

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

Cecilia (MEX)

Rider: Daniela Moguel

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

Cisko A

Rider: Sydney Conley-Elliott

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

Clip Clop (NZL)

Rider: Joe Meyer

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

Cooley Cross Border

Rider: Kim Severson

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

Cooley On Show

Rider: Sharon White

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

Copper Beach

Rider: Buck Davidson

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

Crackerjack

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

DeLux Z

Rider: Kurt Martin

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

Dempsey

Rider: Tamie Smith

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

Donner

Rider: Lynn Symansky

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

Downtown Harrison

Rider: Jon Holling

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

Dunlavin’s Token

Rider: Bobby Meyerhoff

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

Escot 6

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

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

Eveready

Rider: Barb Crabo

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

Fernhill By Night

Rider: Liz Halliday-Sharp

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

Fernhill Classic (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood

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

Fernhill Cubalawn

Rider: Phillip Dutton

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

Fernhill Fortitude

Rider: Jenny Caras

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

Fernhill Fugitive

Rider: Phillip Dutton

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

Goodknight

Rider: Jolie Wentworth

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

Hans Dampf

Rider: Will Faudree (B)

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

Harbour Pilot

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett

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

High Times

Rider: Jen McFall

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

Houdini

Rider: Katie Ruppel

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

I’m Sew Ready

Rider: Phillip Dutton (A)

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

Indy 500

Rider: Andrea Baxter

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

Landioso

Rider: Mackenna Shea

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

Landmark’s Monte Carlo

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

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

LCC Barnaby

Rider: Lillian Heard

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

Loughan Glen

Rider: Clark Montgomery

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

Luckaun Quality (IRL)

Rider: Timothy Bourke

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

Manoir de Carneville

Rider: Sinead Halpin

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

Meadowbrook’s Scarlett

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

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

Mettraise

Rider: Erin Sylvester

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

Mighty Nice

Rider: Phillip Dutton

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

Mr. Candyman

Rider: Phillip Dutton

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

Muggle (BRA)

Rider: Nilson Moreira da Silva

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

Never OutFoxed

Rider: Holly Payne-Caravella

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

Park Trader

Rider: Buck Davidson

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

Parker (GBR)

Rider: James Alliston

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

Pebbly Maximus

Rider: Caroline Martin

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

Petite Flower

Rider: Buck Davidson

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

Pfun

Rider: Will Faudree

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

Powell (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood (B)

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

P.S. Arianna

Rider: Madeline Backus

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

Revitavet Capato

Rider: Jordan Linstedt

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

RF Demeter

Rider: Marilyn Little

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

RF Eloquence

Rider: Elinor O’Neal

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

RF Scandalous

Rider: Marilyn Little (A)

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

Rise Against

Rider: Bunnie Sexton

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

Shame on the Moon

Rider: Emily Beshear

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

Shamwari 4

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

Share Option

Rider: Lillian Heard

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

Simply Priceless

Rider: Elisa Wallace

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

Sir Oberon

Rider: Ellen Doughty-Hume

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

Sir Rockstar

Rider: Libby Head

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

Sound Prospect

Rider: Allie Knowles

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

Spring Easy

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

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

Steady Eddie

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

Super Socks BCF

Rider: Matt Brown

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

Tactical Manuever

Rider: Ashley Johnson

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

The Apprentice

Rider: Buck Davidson

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

Tight Lines

Rider: Will Coleman (B)

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

Truly Wiley

Rider: Kelly Prather

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

Tsunami

Rider: Sally Cousins

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

Under Suspection

Rider: Hannah Sue Burnett

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

Vandiver

Rider: Doug Payne

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

Vermiculus

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

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

Veronica

Rider: Lauren Kieffer

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

Vilas County (NED)

Rider: Werner Geven

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

Welcome Shadow

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

Z

Rider: Phillip Dutton (A)

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

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

A Little Romance (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

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

Abbey GS (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (B)

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

Bentley’s Best (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix (B)

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

Foxwood High (CAN)

Rider: Selena O’Hanlon

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

Honor Me (CAN)

Rider: Lisa Marie-Fergusson

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

Irish Rhythm (CAN)

Rider: Rachel McDonough

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

Jollybo (CAN)

Rider: Hawley Bennett-Awad (A)

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

Kelecyn Cognac (CAN)

Rider: Waylon Roberts

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

Madison Park (CAN)

Rider: Kyle Carter

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

Manny (CAN)

Rider: Diane Burnett 

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

More Inspiration (CAN)

Rider: Holly Jacks-Smither

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

Pavarotti (CAN)

Rider: Jessica Phoenix

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

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

Caeleste

Rider: Will Faudree (B)

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

Campground

Rider: Erin Sylvester (B)

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

D.A. Duras

Rider: Lauren Kieffer (B)

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

FR’s Trust Fund

Rider: Kyle Carter (B)

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

FYI

Rider: Lillian Heard (B)

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

No Remorse

Rider: Buck Davidson (A)

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

Soupcon du Brunet

Rider: Will Coleman (B)

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

Who’s A Star

Rider: Courtney Cooper

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

Woodstock Bennett (AUS)

Rider: Ryan Wood (B)

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

Wundermaske (ECU)

Rider: Ronald Zabala-Goetchsel (B)

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

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

Ballylaffin Bracken

Rider: Kristen Schmolze

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

Catalina

Rider: Jennie Brannigan (B)

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

Center Stage

Rider: Caroline Martin (B)

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

Courage Under Fire

Rider: Katherine Coleman

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

Covert Rights

Rider: Colleen Rutledge

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

F.I.S. Prince Charming

Rider: Lisa Barry

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

Fly Me Courageous

Rider: Sara Kozumplik-Murphy

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

Gleaming Road

Rider: Anna Collier

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

Mai Baum

Rider: Tamie Smith (B)

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

Master Frisky

Rider: Boyd Martin

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

Quantum Solace

Rider: Caroline Martin

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

Ringwood Magister

Rider: Tiana Coudray

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

Sparrow’s Nio

Rider: Allie Sacksen

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

VS McCuan Civil Liberty (AUS)

Rider: Kate Chadderton

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

Win the War

Rider: Jessica Bortner-Harris

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Website]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Know Your Qualifications: CCI4* 2017 Redux

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

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

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

At the end of 2016, things changed.

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

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

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

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

The new MER requirements are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CCI4* (Category C/D/Not Categorized)

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

CCI4* (Category B)

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

CCI4* (Category A)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

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

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

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

Click here to vote for USEF Equestrian of the Year

Click here to vote for USEF International Horse of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

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

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

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