Miranda Akins
Articles Written 24
Article Views 34,643

Miranda Akins

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Miranda Akins

Mentor, OH

Latest Articles Written

USEF CCI* Eventing Champions Crowned, Long-Format Winners Shine at Hagyard Midsouth

Bethany Hutchens-Kristen and Geluk HVF. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Someone flipped a switch on the good weather at the Hagyard Midsouth Classic Three-Day Event, CCI, and Horse Trials last weekend. This time of year, competitors at the Kentucky Horse Park often face an abundance of rain, cold and sometimes sub 40 temperatures. However, the entire weekend was a perfect 70 degrees with a breeze, perfect footing and happy horses.

USEF CCI* Eventing National Championship

While the USEF CCI2* and CCI3* Champions were crowned at Fair Hill International earlier this month, the USEF CCI* Champions were determined at Hagyard Midsouth. Winning the CCI* open division was Bethany Hutchins-Kristen and her Dutch Warmblood stallion, Geluk HVF. They were the leaders after dressage with a 42.2 and held their position for the entire competition. They posted a double-clear cross country round and lowered a single rail in show jumping to win the Richard Collins Trophy.
“He has just got so much heart, he tries so hard, and he loves to compete. I think he got here and it is like show time, so that is a lot of fun. He is still a little bit green at times, but I look forward to him continuing to develop. I think the sky is the limit for him,” Bethany said of the 6-year-old. “I think the thing with this sport is you always have high expectations when you work as hard as we do and you have done your homework. You come with the expectations that you could go home with a top placing, but it is also just a little bit of luck at the end.”

Hannah Leahey and Casanova. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Finishing as USEF CCI* Reserve Champion was Hannah Leahey and Cassinova, an 8-year-old Holsteiner owned by Jackie Leahey. They started their weekend with a 47.9 to put them in fourth. They finished on their dressage score with double-clear rounds in both cross country and show jumping. Hannah was elated after her show jumping round and happily gave Casanova lots of hugs and pats.

Robin Walker and Sbt Barolo. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Coming in third was Robin Walker and Sbt Barolo, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Robin and Alston Kerr. They had a dressage score of a 48.8 which had them tied for fifth to start. Double-clear show jumping and cross country rounds moved them up.
Arden Wildasin and Watch Out, were tied for 13th on a 51.0 at the start of the competition. They made a big move up with double-clear jumping rounds to finish fourth. In fifth was Jennie Caras and Trendy Fernhill who moved all the way up from 15th after dressage and finishing on a 52.0.

Elizabeth Scheltema and Bill Owen. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Winning the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship and receiving the Harry T. Peters Trophy was Elizabeth Scheltema and Kathryn Scheltema‘s Bill Owen. Elizabeth and the 12-year-old Canadian Sport Horse started out in second with a dressage score of 45.3 but posted one of only three double-clear show jumping rounds to move into the top spot.

“I came here to get around the course and really just for the experience,” Elizabeth said. “He is pretty new to me; I have only had him a year. We haven’t shown a lot this year, so we really just wanted the experience. He was Waylon Roberts’s Pan American horse [in 2015], so he has been there, done that, so I feel very safe with him. That has been very good for my confidence.”

Colin Gaffney and Timaru. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Reserve Champion was Colin Gaffney and his 12-year-old Thoroughbred, Timaru, with a dressage score of a 45.6. Collin had a very large cheering section this weekend that all cheered with joy after he delivered a lovely double-clear round.
Taking third was Ashlyn Hayworth and her 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse Borasco. They scored a 45.3 in dressage and added just 0.8 time penalties from cross country and a rail with one time in show jumping.

Ashlyn Hayworth and Borasco. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Finishing fourth was Madeline Backus and PS On Top of the World. They scored a 50.1 on the flat, clear cross country and one rail with one time in show jumping. In fifth was Natasha Erschen and FE Grand Torino with a 50.2 on the flat, 4.8 time on cross country and a rail with two time in show jumping.
Preliminary and Training Classic Three-Day Event

Makayla Rydzik and Fluorescent Adolescent. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Cross country day shook up the standings in the long-format three-day event divisions. In the Preliminary Three-Day, only three combinations finished without penalties on endurance day, which opened the door for big moves up the leaderboard. Canadian rider Makayla Rydzik and her 9-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare, Fluorescent Adolescent, moved up from sixth place after dressage to take the lead.
In the final phase, after all the riders in the division had lowered a rail or more, Makayla delivered a beautiful double-clear round to secure their win. They were the only pair in the division to finish on their dressage score, 35.5.

Makayla Rydzik and Fluorescent Adolescent. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Training Three-Day, Michael Nolan and Kara Andrew’s 5-year-old Thoroughbred, Bad Moon Rising, started out in fifth place after dressage on 32.1. They moved up one place after endurance day, but fault-free show jumping rounds proved influential. They won the division on 32.1, just a fraction of a point ahead of the field.

Michael Nolan and Bad Moon Rising. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Hagyard Midsouth Classic 3DE, CCI, & H.T. [Website] [Results]

[Hutchins-Kristen Earns Wire-to-Wire Victory in USEF CCI1* Eventing National Championship; Scheltema Scores Top Honors in USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship]

Leslie Threlkeld also contributed to this report.

Photo Gallery: Hagyard Midsouth CCI* and Team Challenge

Megan Lynn and Have at it Playboy. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect morning to kick off the Hagyard Midsouth Classic Three-Day, CCI, and Horse Trials. A stunning sunrise greeted the Kentucky Horse Park while horses presented on the jog lane early this morning. Enjoy this bright photo gallery from Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride!
Hagyard Midsouth Classic 3DE, CCI, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Kentucky Horse Park Crowns Victors in Area VIII Championships

Hilary Irwin and Kilbeggan, winners of the Intermediate Championships. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

While many eyes were on Burghley and the American Eventing Championships last week, the Area VIII Championships were also held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The remainder of Hurricane Harvey rolled in Friday and left the upper-level competitors dancing in more of an ocean than a sandbox. Even with a downpour most of the day and night Friday, the horse park was left with near perfect footing for the cross country on a fun and challenging course.

Wendy Watson and Big Uno sharing a quiet happy moment after a lovely round in the Preliminary Championships. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

It was not a dressage show when it came to the upper levels. In the Intermediate Championships, no one made time on cross country, which was the deciding factor for the division with only five riders. The cross country course proved to be very difficult for the division as a whole, with only seven riders competing in the Open Intermediate.

Hilary Irwin and Kilbeggan won the Intermediate Championship. They had no jump faults and only 2.4 time to hold their overnight lead as the only pair in the division to jump clean with a lovely round. Alexa Ehlers and Amistoso finished second, maintaining their second place throughout the weekend, and Conor Rollins and Fernhill Tiger Con took third.

Chris Newton and Good Measure. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

The Preliminary cross country proved to be just as tough as the Intermediate. Only seven riders completed without jumping penalties. Chris Newton on Good Measure and Elizabeth Massa on Theodoor were the only riders to make the optimum time on cross country.

Lee Camiolo and Caharron V.E. won the Preliminary Championship. Starting the weekend in second place on a competitive 33.5, they remained in second heading into show jumping, right behind Avery Whisman and Stonewall Jackson.

Lee Camiolo. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Lee delivered a clear show jumping round to secure the win, as Avery sadly dropped a rail in the triple combination. Avery and Stonewall Jackson still finished the weekend in third, while Chris Newton and Good Measure moved all the way up from 12th to take second on their dressage score.

The Training Championship was very competitive throughout the weekend with a field of 38 competitors. Ashley Baehr with Run Freely and Lauren Buhrmann with Currahee took hold of a tie for the lead, both with a 27.1.

A large portion of the competitors jumped clean on a bold cross country course. Nearly all the riders in the top 20 delivered beautiful fault-free show jumping rounds. Lauren Buhrmann and Currahee ultimately took the win on their dressage score. Ashley Beahr and Run Freely had a bummer of a rail at the last fence, but still delivered a lovely round nonetheless to take third. Martha Lambert and Sutton finished second on their dressage score of 29.1.

Lauren Buhrmann and Currahee. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Alston Kerr was on fire this weekend, winning both the Novice and Beginner Novice Championships from start to finish, adding nothing to her scores. She and Sir Earl Grey won the Novice Championships on 24.5, with Residuary Trust winning the Beginner Novice Championships on 23.8. Congrats Alston!

Alston Kerr and Residuary Trust. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Madeline Bletzacker and Drummer Boy finished second in the Novice championship, adding nothing to their dressage score to finish on 28.8. Melanie Helms and R Pair A Dice finished third on their dressage score of 28.8.

In the Beginner Novice Championship, Anna Warzecha and Zolando finished second on 24.8, with Cassie Lee and Bulls First Trick in third on 27.3.

Cassie Lee and Bulls First Trick. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Great fun was had by all as the magic of the Kentucky Horse Park kept the storms at bay for the jumping phases of the weekend. Now it’s time for everyone to gear up for the fall season. Go Eventing!

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux Jump Clear to Win Millbrook Advanced

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Show jumping day at the Millbrook Horse Trials was met with sunshine and perfect 70 degree weather. The course designed by Marc Donovan was beautifully set and the tents were filled with spectators, making for a perfect afternoon.

It was a fun day, watching some riders ‘turn and burn’ like jumpers trying to make the time–which was tough. There were only 12 out of 32 riders who were able to keep all the rails up and make time. Seven of those were granted a place in the top ten, some moving up drastically on the scoreboard.

Holding the lead heading into the show jumping had been Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. A super unlucky rail at the first fence sent a sigh through the crowd. Boyd had one rail to spare with his 33.9 but sadly took two rails in the triple and then a time fault, dropping them down to 13th.

Ultimately taking the big win was Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubens D’Ysieux who had been sitting in second overnight. They produced a lovely double clear round that was effective and quick to finish on a 38.1. Sara was absolutely thrilled with their round.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

“He’s a serious show jumper. He’s actually bred to be a show jumper and it’s pretty obvious when you see him in that phase,” Sara said of Rubens, a 12-year-old Selle Français. “It’s really nice to wake up in the morning and have a horse like this to ride…so really it’s me just making sure that I don’t get nervous and make a mistake, that I jump in the middle of my lines, I get my numbers and I don’t get into my head and make a silly mistake…because if I ride at 60 percent, he’s going to go clear.”

This was Sara and Rubens’ last run before heading to Ireland for the Millstreet International Horse Trials. Sara said she will continue to work on Rubens fitness in the lead up.

“He’s quite fit right now, and I find that I like to peak and then be a little calmer before the event because you can obviously get a little bit in your head and a bit worried and work a bit too hard and break your horses down. He’s a very sound, tough horse–knock on wood–and he’s in really good shape right now.”

Sara is still fundraising for the trip and working towards syndicating Rubens to support his career at the upper levels. You can help by visiting Sara’s website and click on “Team Unicorn” to find links to shirts and more cool swag. She and her husband will also host a show jumping schooling show as a fundraiser at their farm this coming Thursday.

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Taking second in the division was Phillip Dutton and the Revelation Group’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Revelation. They jumped double clear and finished on a 38.2. Phillip was the first rider of the day to successfully make a very sharp turn after fence two to shave off time. A few riders took the master’s route after seeing his round and were able to save seconds on the clock themselves.

Phillip was in Kentucky last week jumping Mighty Nice, Mr. Candyman, Fernhill Revelation, Z and Fernhill Singapore at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Richard Picken is his show jumping coach and was there working with him for every round.

“The week in Kentucky was a lot of effort with the travel involved to get there, but it was definitely worth it, especially for Warren (Fernhill Revelation). We got to experiment with the best way to warm him up and the best way to ride him in the ring,” Phillip said. “Riding him more forward then shortening his canter stride to compact him a little before the jump really gets him in the air more.”

Phillip also took third with Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, moving up all the way from seventh after the competitors ahead of him added penalties to their score. They finished on a 39.5 with a fantastic clear round.

“He has all the pieces to be a top horse,” Phillip said of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood. “Going fast on cross country is not easy for him, so our main focus will continue to be his fitness and getting him ready to go to Pau in the fall. I was really happy with how he jumped today.”

Phillip elected to withdraw Mr. Candyman before show jumping, leaving three for him to jump in the Advanced, all of whom finished in the top six with faultless rounds. The 9-year-old Zangersheide Z, owned by Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran, moved from 13th to sixth finishing on 42.9.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Taking fourth was Kurt Martin and his and Caroljean and William Martin’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Delux Z who produced a fast clear round to move up from eighth and finish on a 39.6.

Fifth went to Emily Beshear and Deep Purple Eventing’s Silver Night Lady with a lovely show jump round with great rhythm. They finished on a 41.7.Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, owned by Sherrie Martin and Carl and Cassie Segal, had been sitting in fourth after cross country but an unfortunate rail at the double moved them down to seventh to finish on a 43.0.

Taking eighth was Boyd Martin and Tura Lura, owned by Gloria Callen and Nancy Hathaway. A beautiful double clear round with fantastic form over the fences moved them up from 14th to finish on a 43.3.

Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate’s Donner picked up a rail but remained in 9th place to finish on 44.1. Timothy Burke and his own Luckhaun Quality had a rail and one time fault to finish in tenth on a 44.2.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Taking top honors in the Intermediate A division was Allison Springer and the Lord Willing Syndicate’s Lord Willing. They were the leaders after dressage but dropped to second with a few time penalties on cross country. A beautiful round this morning moved them back up  to win on a 32.6.

Taking second was Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore who had been in third after the first two phases. They finished on a 35.5 and also produced a lovely double clear round. Overnight leaders Boyd Martin and SBF Cortez sadly had a rail but had a strong enough score to stay near the top, finishing third on a 35.7.

In Intermediate B Boyd Martin took the win on Contessa with a double clear show jump round and final score of 35.5. Kylie Lyman took second with Lup the Loop who also produced a double clear round to finish on a 39.6. Kristen Bond and Enough Already round out the top three on a 39.8 with their double clear show jump round.

Overall it was a beautiful day with some great fun at a stunning facility with wonderful riders. The park was filled with spectators who were excited to see some of the top riders in the world compete. Millbrook is a horse trials you don’t want to miss and a must  for any rider or spectator.

Until next year Millbrook Horse Trials and best of luck to all riders headed overseas to contest big events or to headed to a fall three-day!

Jenni Autry and Leslie Threlkeld contributed to this report.

#MillbrookHT: WebsiteRide Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Instagram

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie Dominate Millbrook Advanced Cross Country

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Cross country day at the Millbrook Horse Trials proved that this event isn’t a dressage show and just how extremely influential time penalties alter the leaderboard. Storms overnight and in the early morning left for a stickier track causing several combinations to ride conservatively.

Boyd Martin, however, was absolutely on fire today and in it to win it on every horse at every fence. He took the lead not only in the Advanced division, but both Intermediate A and Intermediate B. Boyd had four horses in the Advanced and was storming around with Steady Eddie, owned by Denise Lahey, Pierre Colin, and George Wintersteen, as the last rider on course when the commentators joked how it seems like you were seeing him on a new horse every five minutes.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Boyd and “Eddie” tied Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality for the fastest ride of the day, picking up only 2.0 time penalties a piece. That was enough to move Boyd and Eddie all the way from seventh to take the lead on 33.9. Boyd also sits 14th with Tura Lura, 17th with Bonito and 31st with Long Island T.

Moving up from fourth to take second was Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubens D’Ysieux. They picked up 8.4 time and had a great, bold run over a track with a lot of terrain. They go into the final phase on 38.1 leaving Boyd with a single rail in hand.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and the Rubens D’Ysieux. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Phillip Dutton was another to be busy with four horses in the Advanced. He is placed highest after cross country riding the Revelation Group’s Fernhill Revelation. Phillip and “Warren” added 6.0 time penalties to their score, moving up from eighth place with a 38.2, putting the pressure on Sara and Rubens.

Phillip is also seventh with I’m Sew Ready and 13th with Z, but had two frustrating runouts at the triple brush chevron after the water with Mr. Candyman, who had been third after dressage.

The top two after dressage jumped clear but sadly picked up more time penalties than others, dropping them well down leaderboard. Lynn Symansky and Donner had 12.4 time while Emily Beshear and Silver Night Lady had 13.2 time.

Buck Davidson and Copper Beach. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Moving into fourth is today’s trailblazers Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, owned by Sherrie Martin and Carl and Cassie Segal, adding 5.6 time penalties to move all the way from 12th on a two-phase score of 39.0.

Rounding out the top five is Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. They ran clear and fast picking up just 3.2 time and just 0.1 penalties behind Buck and Copper Beach. Jenny and “Forty” show how much the clock shook up the standings, catapulting ahead from 17th.

The scores are rather tight and it will be interesting to see how things pan out tomorrow after such a lengthy course. Some tired horses may change the standings with time penalties and rails.

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Intermediate A and B divisions time again was the biggest factor and swapped both the leaderboards around. Taking the lead in division A was Boyd Martin and Denise Lahey’s SBF Cortez, picking up just 0.4 time to move up from second.

Now sitting second is Allison Springer and the Lord Willing Syndicate’s Lord Willing, who picked up 3.6 time to drop down one placing from their lead after dressage. Third is Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore, owned by Sue and Shawn Foley, Tom Tierney and Annie Jones, who moved up from seventh with 2.4 time.

Woods Baughman and Montesquieu. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

There has to be a special shoutout to Woods Baughman as the only rider to go double-clear between both Intermediate divisions and the Advanced. He and Montesquieu, owned by Woods and James Baughman, wasted no time between fences and were very bold on course. His clear round brought him from 26th after dressage to sixth place before the final phase. Congrats Woods!

Kylie Lyman and Lup the Loop. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Intermediate B division, Boyd Martin took over the lead with Club Contessa’s Contessa, picking up just 3.6 time and moving up from fifth. Moving into second was Kylie Lyman and Joan Nichols’ Lup the Loop, moving up from third with 9.2 time. Taking third was Kristin Bond and Liz Bond’s Enough Already; they had 5.6 time to move up from tenth.

Overall it was a great day with very few problems but influential time penalties. It will be an exciting day for show jumping tomorrow. Go eventing.

#MillbrookHT: WebsiteRide Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Instagram

Lynn Symansky & Donner Dominate Dressage at Millbrook

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Dressage day two at the Millbrook Horse Trials was a battle for the top spot as new leaders took over the top three placings in the Advanced going into cross country tomorrow. Competitors weren’t just battling for their lowest possible scores, they were also battling Mother Nature as serious thunderstorms took over throughout the afternoon.

Taking the new lead in the advanced is Lynn Symansky and The Donner Syndicate’s Donner. This 14-year-old off-track Thoroughbred scored a very impressive 27.7. Donner is looking in top form as he prepares to take his second crack at Burghley in a few weeks.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In case you missed it, we pegged Lynn and Donner as our predicted winners. With his impressive cross country record, if Lynn is riding for the time she’ll be very hard to beat tomorrow.

Emily Beshear and Silver Night Lady, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Deep Purple Eventing. move into second on a 28.5. Emily deserves a sportsmanship of the year award after riding in the worst conditions of the day, while still maintaining a lovely test.

The first half of the test… Photo by Miranda Akins.

She was then sent back to the barns mid-test for around an hour until the storms cleared and then came back to re-do the end of her test which was just as beautiful as the first. Way to go Emily!

… And the second half of the test. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Taking third is Phillip Dutton aboard Bridget Colman, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, and Tom Tierney’s Mr. Candyman. The 10-year-old Holsteiner settled on a mark of  29.6. Phillip currently has three of his horses in the top ten after dressage. Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready is in 6th on a 30.7. The Revelation Group’s Fernhill Revelation sits in eighth with a 32.2.

Yesterday’s leaders Sara Kozumplik Murphy and The Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubense D’Ysieux finish the first phase in fourth place on their 29.7, and Kurt Martin is currently sitting in fifth on a 30.0 with his and Caroljean Martin’s Delux Z.

Led by Allison Springer and the Lord Willing Syndicate’s Lord Willing, the Intermediate A division finished dressage yesterday, click here to read more about this group.

Leading the Intermediate B is Lynn Symansky and The Donner Syndicate’s RF Cool Play on a 26.0. while Kristin Schmolze and her own and Janet Geiler’s Ballylaffin Bracken sit in second with a 27.9. In third is Kylie Lyman and Joan Nichols’ Lup the Loop on a 30.4.

It will be interesting to see how tomorrow pans out with more storms in the forecast. There is a lot of terrain here, and the time is tough to make. The footing still felt great out walking the course today, so hopefully the storms hold off for both competitors and spectators.

#Millbrook: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Sara Kozumplik Murphy & Rubens D’Ysieux Take Day One Dressage Lead at Millbrook

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Ruben D’Ysieux. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Dressage day one at Millbrook Horse Trials was full of sunshine and smiles from both competitors and spectators for a hot afternoon in New York. Half of the Advanced riders danced in the sandbox, as did the first division of Intermediate.

Taking an early lead in the Advanced is Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Rubens D’Ysieux Syndicate’s Rubens D’Ysieux. They were third in the ring and scored a 29.7 which remained untouched throughout the afternoon. They had a beautiful and accurate test and it will be interesting if anyone can top it going into tomorrow.

These two are looking strong in their preparation for the Millstreet CCI3*  later this month. (Click here to get your very own unicorn shirt to help this magical pair fundraise for their upcoming trip!)

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Miranda Akins.

To take second is the one and only Phillip Dutton on Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, just missing the top spot with a 30.7. They looked fantastic as a team today and will be ones to really watch this weekend as Phillip and “Jackson” are in top form.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In third is Buck Davidson with Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo. They scored a 32.2 and had some very impressive moments in the ring. Buck also has the fifth place slot with Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal’s Copper Beach who scored a 33.4.

Holding onto fourth is Boyd Martin and the Long Island T Syndicate’s Long Island T, just .2 away from Buck with a 32.4.

The guys definitely have their hands very full this weekend with each having multiple rider across the Advanced and Intermediate divisions.

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack. Photo by Miranda Akins.

The top ten are very close with less than seven points separating them. The Advanced will definitely be interesting to see how things shake up tomorrow with the rest of the pack still to come.

Allison Springer and Lord Willing. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In the Intermediate, leading is Allison Springer and Lord Willing who had a stunning test to score a 29.0. After retiring her long term partner Arthur this spring, she and Lord Willing look fantastic together and it will be great to see how the weekend pans out for them.

Taking second is Boyd Martin and Denise Lahey’s SBF Cortez who scored a 31.3 to slide into second after being the last ride of the day today.

In third is Holly Payne Caravella and Shelby Godfrey’s Bruisyard Hall who are right behind Boyd on a 31.7.

The atmosphere was definitely hard to beat today, getting to some horses mid-test with a few meltdowns. Let’s hope the rain holds out for the rest of the weekend as the rest of the Advanced and Intermediate B tackle the dressage tomorrow afternoon.

#Millbrook: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Photo Gallery: Moving In At Millbrook

Photo by Miranda Akins

No one can truly understand how incredibly beautiful Millbrook is until you’re standing on the Coole Park Farm property staring out at the acres of stunning land dotted with cross country fences. Even in my second year I am just as speechless if not more than I was last year over the view!

New York greeted many eventers this afternoon as they pulled in with a lightning storm and rain to kick off the event. However, within a few hours the clouds faded away and granted us with a stunning sunset and a beautiful evening. It’s going to be a great week here at Millbrook!

Stay tuned for much more!

#MillbrookHT: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Happiness Is a Three-Day: IEA Show Jumping Report + Photo Gallery

Corinna Garcia and Gun Slinger. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

The final day at the IEA Three-Day Event was full of smiles and sunshine. A 7:30 early morning jog in the sunrise meant riders were up and at ’em quite early to feed, braid and get ready to trot down the runway — I mean jog lane.

In the Training Three-Day all horses passed the final inspection. For the Novice Three-Day all riders had passed but unfortunately for Kathleen Neuhoff and Logan they were spun for the final day.

Tight scores in the T3D meant the pressure was on for show jumping, but overall five out of 10 riders show jumped with excellent double clear rounds. Corinna Garcia and Gun Slinger jumped double clear to win and finish on their dressage score. The overnight second place holder, Kathy Baar and Quick Car had an unfortunate rail on course but still managed to finish in 3rd.

Kathy Baar and Quick Car. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

To take second and move up from third was Natasha Erschen and FE Grand Torino. They delivered a stellar double clear.

Natasha Erschen and FE Grand Torino. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Natasha also rode Emerald Lion in the T3D and finished ninth. Emerald Lion was also awarded the “Best Conditioned” award for the weekend. It was definitely a busy weekend for Natasha but she looked great in all three phases with both her horses. She clearly did a stellar job with her horses and her own fitness work!

Training Special Awards:

  • Maggie Hilton was awarded the “Best Turned Out” award and excitedly took her ribbon saying, “I’ve been trying to win this for so many years!”
  • The “Best Cross Country” award was given to Michele Clarke and Zeus
  • The “Will Power” award was given to Trudy Pulley and Mega Tsunami
  • The “Best Conditioned” award was given to Natasha Erschen and Emerald Lion

Once the T3D was finished the ring was watered, fences changed and then it was all systems go for the Novice riders. The Novice division had nearly the same ratio of rails down, with nine out of 19 riders having double clear rounds. A clear round was a huge advantage and helped riders drastically climb the leaderboard.

To take the win in the N3D was Whitney Morris and Carry Me Home. They had started out in third after dressage and had the first place slot at the conclusion of cross country day. A beautiful double clear round guaranteed them a well deserved win!

Whitney Morris and Carry Me Home. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

With many rails taken down in the top there was quite a shake up on the leaderboard. Rebecca Geringer and Hakuna Matata moved up from fifth to take second place after delivering a stellar double clear round.

Rebecca Geringer and Hakuna Matata. Photo by Kim Geringer.

Finishing third was Melanie French and Stargazer Lily; they had a rail but were still able to stay in a top placement.

Melanie French and Stargazer Lily. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Novice Special Awards:

  • The “Best Turned Out” award went to Kasey Mueller and James Blonde.
  • The “Best Conditioned” award was given to Ina Kamenz and Hang Time!
  • The “Best Cross Country” ride was given to Scott Owens and Summer Knight who finished 4th as well
 Everyone should do a three-day at some point in their lives. Watching all the progress all the riders made in such a short period of time was so incredible. So much confidence was gained by all and everyone had a blast. There was hardly a time when there wasn’t a smile on everyone’s face as they laughed and enjoyed themselves.

Maria Temperini and The Flying Dutchman thrilled for the victory gallop! ​Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

A huge shoutout to the Indiana Eventing Association for such a well run, educational and welcoming event for riders at all levels. A three-day event is a must for any eventer wanting to learn more about the roots of our sport and better their riding. Go three-day eventing!

IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Results]

Hugs all around! Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

‘Brand New Horses’ Made On IEA Endurance Day

Corinna Garcia and Gun Slinger. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Endurance day for the Indiana Eventing Association Three-Day Event was met with blue skies, white and red flags and happy horses. The 10-minute box was full of volunteers helping out their “team,” and everyone was all smiles throughout the day despite a bit of heat.

In the Training Three-Day, everyone completed and 8 out of 10 riders finished double clear. There was some fantastic riding from everyone in the Training as they booked around a really fun course.
Corinna Garcia and Gun Slinger still have a hold on first, delivering the fastest ride of the day and taking every fence with ease. They remain on their dressage score of a 31.0 going into the show jumping. Kathy Baar and Quick Car are keeping up however, finishing cross county with a 31.4 and sitting second right behind Corinna.

Natasha Erschen and FE Gran Torino. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

There was a change up with the third place slot, as Mary McSweeney and Indian Summer had picked up 41.6 time faults throughout endurance day. Natasha Erschen and FE Gran Torino moved up from fourth after a double clear round.
There isn’t much breathing room for anyone in the top five going into show jumping. One rail or a bit of time could move things around. It will be a nail biter for sure!

Whitney Morris and Carry Me Home. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Novice Three-Day there was a big shake up after there were a handful of riders with stops and time. All but three of the 20 Novice combinations completed endurance day and half of those finished double clear.
Whitney Morris and Carry Me Home moved up from third to take the lead spot after a beautiful clean round. They are currently leading on a 29.5 going into show jumping.
Moving up from fourth to take the second place slot was Jessica Smith and Mia. They delivered a great double clear round which moved them up significantly. They’ll be riding on a 30.9 headed into show jumping.
Taking a leap up the leaderboard from sixth to third was Barbra Lyons-Sprouse and Wishful Thinking. They’ll be riding on a 31.9 going into show jumping.

Jessica Smith and Mia​. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

The Novice will be another nail biter with only seven points separating the top 10. There were very few clean rounds in show jumping for the horse trials yesterday with only four out of 18 riders going clean in the Open Training, so it will be interesting to see how the three-day riders do over a tough course.
There were big smiles and excited riders coming off cross country yesterday with newly minted endurance horses who had a blast. I heard in passing on my way to the ten-minute box, “I feel like I have a brand new horse now!”
It’s so exciting to see the progress and confidence so many riders and horses have gained over this experience. A long-format event is a MUST for any rider! Good luck to all riders in the final phase. Have fun and keep the colored sticks up!
IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]


A Gun Slinger and Ballerina Dance to Lead at IEA Three-Day Event

Haley Madden and Ballerina IK. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Dressage day at the Indiana Eventing Association Three-Day Event was full of excitement as riders prepared to dance in front of the judges. Indiana greeted competitors with another beautiful day with a little bit of heat.

The Training Three-Day riders rode their tests with the sun as it rose, starting at 7:30 yesterday morning, and then the Novice Three-Day riders followed. Both the Training and Novice Three-Day competitors had to perform for two judges, one at C and one at E.

The second pair in the ring, Corinna Garcia and Gun Slinger, took a hold of the lead in the Training Three-Day with a 31.0. Corinna and Gun Slinger have been on a winning streak lately, winning May-Daze Horse Trials last weekend and now leading the dressage at IEA!
Not far behind Corinna was Kathy Barr and Quick Car, scoring a 31.4 with a lovely and accurate test. To take third was Mary McSweeny and Indian Summer who scored a 33.7.
The Training Three-Day has 10 competitors and it will be interesting to see if cross country day will shake up the standings. One time penalty for anyone could really change the placings.

Kathy Baar and Quick Car. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Novice Three-Day, to take the lead was Haley Madden and Ballerina IK who scored a fantastic 28.5. In second and very close behind Haley was Jenifer McClain and Kodak Moment, scoring a 28.9 for their lovely test. To take third was Whitney Morris and Carry Me Home who scored a 29.5.
The top 10 are only separated by 4.8 points in this division and many riders had lovely tests this morning. The Novice Three-Day has a significant number of riders with 23 competitors this weekend. It’s definitely a wonderful group of riders who came to experience the thrill of a true long format event!
IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

IEA Long Format Three-Day Jog Report + Photo Gallery

Donald Kamenz and Unsolved Mystery. Akins/Photography in Stride.

The long format three-day event at IEA Horse Trials is underway! Indiana gave us a blessing with an absolutely lovely sunny and breezy day on Thursday as competitors unpacked their trailers and hacked their horses.

As the morning went on and it got closer to the jog time, stalls were filled with T3D and N3D riders braiding and beautifying themselves and their horses. Hooves were polished, bridles were shined and riders were dressed and excited to jog. For many, this is their first long format event and their excitement was contagious!

All horses presented at the jog passed and only one horse, Lani Zabor’s Yes Please, was sent to the hold box and then passed upon re-evaluation. The ground jury and the vets were very helpful to the riders and gave them tips on how to present at the jog. A big round of applause to them as they are really are doing a fantastic job of making this a wonderful learning experience for the riders!

On Friday all the three-day competitors will dance in the sandbox and then are given the opportunity for an optional steeplechase school with Dorothy Crowell in the afternoon. It should be a really fun and exciting weekend for everyone involved!

It’s such a great opportunity for the Indiana Eventing Association to keep the tradition of the long format events alive. Dorothy said to the riders in the competitors meeting, “Almost everyone seems to have the best cross country rides of their lives after completing the steeplechase. The horse and rider form a great team throughout the weekend.”

Best of luck to the competitors as they begin their weekend! Go eventing.

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

Clinic Report: Jackie Smith on Galloping, Pace and Steeplechase

Ashley Urbanec galloping on. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Pure Gold Stables in Salem, Ohio hosted its second annual GPS (Galloping, Pace and Steeplechase) clinic last month and it was a huge hit. While some riders were prepping for their first long format events, others came to learn and gain knowledge from trainer Jackie Smith.

Most of the horses were dancing on their toes to start from the drop in temperatures overnight, but they eventually settled and had a blast with Jackie’s exercises. Riders in the area are extremely lucky to have Pure Gold’s wonderful facility and 5/8 mile, all-weather gallop track to host unique clinics like this.

Molly Smith and Poppy clearly having fun! Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Jackie started out by helping riders develop an effective galloping position. “Instead of thinking shoulders, hip, heel, think shoulders, knees, toes. The balance should be in your thighs and you use your hip angle to slow your horse down.”

Riders started by trotting and then using their hips and their body to bring their horses back down to a halt in front of Jackie. Once they successfully were able to slow their horses at the trot they then repeated the exercise at the canter.

Brandi Podboy all smiles with Aiden. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Once warmed up riders then started to work on pace and their gallop. Depending on the experience of the group, they started at a certain pace and then built up. Riders really got to feel the speeds for their level and above. They started at marker A and had to make it to marker B as close to 30 seconds as possible; the higher the level the farther away the markers were from each other.

For example, the Beginner Novice riders started at 350 mpm to develop that pace, then 400 mpm to feel a faster speed and even 450 mpm to know how fast was too fast for their level. The galloping was really geared towards the feeling of how fast or slow the riders were going and how the perfect pace felt for each level. Nearly every rider had a light-bulb moment on how to correctly establish the right pace for their level.

Rachel Jubic and Anne-Claire Christiaen. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Once everyone in the group had the pace and galloping down, steeplechase fences were added to the challenge. The fences were standard show jump fences with barrels in the front and brush added to the top rail, which many horses preferred to jump over instead of brush through so they could show off their scope!

Laura Kosiorek-Smith and Tika flying high. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Riders then applied the pace they learned from earlier to the fences. Jackie’s told the riders: “Coming to the fence about five strides out you balance and sit up through your hips, never sitting directly on the horse’s back but just hovering above while holding in your thighs and sitting up.”

The goal was not to “pick” for the distance, which many riders were doing after riding only show jumping for the winter. For most, it was their first time seeing anything cross country related since at least October. Horses and riders ate it up, grinning ear-to-ear the whole time. Riders walked away with homework to work on pace before the first event of the season and the knowledge of how to ride steeplechase for their first long formats in the future.

A look of determination on the face of Amanda Ruane. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography in Stride.

Thank you to Pure Gold Stables for welcoming riders into their lovely facility and Jackie Smith for being a wonderful clinician. Best of luck to everyone for the start of their season!

Clinic Report: A Winter Tune-Up with Jackie Smith

Riders listening to Jackie's instruction getting ready to ride their course. Photo by Miranda Akins. Riders listening to Jackie's instruction getting ready to ride their course. Photo by Miranda Akins.

While it feels like most of the general population has migrated south for the winter, those up north are trucking through trying to stay warm and keep their skills up to par. Jackie Smith of Stonegate Farm, home of Winona and Stonegate Farm Horse Trials, has been running a winter lesson series with His Way Farm and Pure Gold Stables in Salem, Ohio, to help everyone keep up to par and get ready for the season.

Jackie traveled to the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium in Ocala this past week and had lots of new and insightful training advice to bring to the riders.

“You almost have to ride the 4-year-olds better than the four-star horses” Jackie repeated several times throughout the day, quoting ICP clinician Chris Burton. She explained to the riders at the beginning how important it was to give young horses a good start and to be adjustable.

For all levels of riders she had them warm up over lines of ground poles set at a comfortable five strides. Riders challenged themselves to get the line in distances from four strides to even nine strides, compressing and extending the canter to bring the horse back and forth and in tune to the riders’ aids.

When a horse tried to get strung out or lost its gait, Jackie hold the rider to “HALT, and mean it!” The goal was to get the horse’s balance back on the hind end to keep from running on the forehand. She even had a few riders gallop down the long sides of the arena then halt in the corner or bring the horse back down to a more collected canter.

Barbra Lyons and Willow. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Barbra Lyons and Willow. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Once the riders had successfully gotten all the designated strides in the lines, the first fence was set as a cross rail with a ground pole set nine feet out, leading to a small oxer to start. Riders trotted in and then cantered out, with the goal to stay balanced throughout the line and keep the same canter.

The riders did the exercise a few times and halted afterward if the horse ever got on the forehand or strung out afterwards. Once the horses were going well they did the same thing going the other direction.

Jackie then changed the lines so that they became an oxer to a vertical. “What do you think will change now that it is an oxer to a vertical?” Jackie asked the riders in each group. The riders replied that they would be jumping in a little bigger so they had to make sure they didn’t let their stride get too big going into the line. This is important to think about in course work and even in-and-outs at events. Riders went through the exercise and had to work a little harder to keep the stride consistent if their horse jumped in big.

Once they finished up the riders were given a small course to start. The course started with a bending line and a goal for the riders to ride straight to each fence. They then turned to a vertical, with another bending line to an oxer. They then came around and jumped another vertical with a bending line to a vertical with barrels underneath. The idea was to stay in the middle of all the fences and keep the rhythm throughout the course. Riders also halted during their course if their horse got too strong or unbalanced.

When the first course was finished successfully, they were given a new course, a diagonal fence to another diagonal fence, to a skinny, four strides to an oxer and then a roll back to another oxer. Jackie told riders to stay balanced and to make sure to ride their horses between their legs and hands to jump the skinny successfully. Riders who had a difficult time on the rollback were instructed to ride more with their outside aid and not rely on their inside hands.

Overall horses and riders finished very happy and with more homework to work on as the season comes closer. Although I can speak for everyone in the fact that we are begging for spring to come sooner! Thank you to Jackie for teaching such a wonderful clinic.

Clinic Report: Laine Ashker Brings Dressage & Jumping Full Circle

Laine Ashker teaching at Candle Light Farm. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride. Laine Ashker teaching at Candle Light Farm. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Laine Ashker was nothing short of superwoman this past weekend, teaching all day Friday at Candle Light Farms in northeast Ohio, then flying back to Virginia to support her mom Valerie in her final stop on her incredible ride across the country, then hopping on another flight back to Ohio to teach another day of the clinic.

On Friday Laine taught back-to-back dressage lessons, giving insightful advice to all riders, who varied in level of experience from Training to Beginner Novice. All horses, from big Dutch Warmbloods to adorable Haflingers benefitted from the exercises.

A method she greatly focused on was riding your horse from your seat, rather than your legs. She started this by encouraging riders to push the horses into their trot by using only the muscles in their seats, no kicking or spurring. Some riders even had their spurs taken away to emphasize riding from their seat. She encouraged riders to use their seat as more of their “go,” and for their legs to simply be guiding the horse.

“I learned from the upper levels of dressage that you physically can’t kick every stride​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ doing tempi changes or one-time changes. You have to train your horse from your seat,” Laine said. Many riders were amazed at how much easier it then was to sit the trot or get results from their aids once they practiced the exercise a few times.

Jennifer Jacobs and Chocolate practicing turn on the forehand. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Jennifer Jacobs and Chocolate practicing turn on the forehand. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Another exercise she worked on was turn on the forehand. It came naturally for some horse and rider pairs; for other it took the horses a bit longer to understand, but the horses remained very in tune to the riders’ cues. She urged riders throughout the lesson to ride softly with their aids and have quiet hands.

The flat exercises that riders worked on also tied into the jumping portion. For horses that tended to get a little faster in their trot, Laine had them focus on setting the rhythm with their posting. Slowing their post in turn slowed the horses without the riders needing to use their hands.

Jumping day was in full blizzard mode, dropping from 75 degrees on Friday to 30 degrees on Sunday with several inches of snow on the ground. Everyone bundled up in layers and broke out their winter breeches and quarter sheets. Between riders and auditors, I’m pretty sure we went through three boxes of hot chocolate and several pots of coffee!

Since the weather confined riders to the indoor arena, Laine made sure riders were going extremely deep in their corners and staying balanced in tight turns. The course she set up was very educational and made riders focus on straightness and turning with enough room to successfully jump their next fence.

Bitsy Gascoigne and Lire. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Bitsy Gascoigne and Lire. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

The course started with a grid, a single vertical with poles leading to an oxer. Afterwards, the riders had to make tight turns to the left or to the right and continue to three oxers on the long side, each two strides apart.

Laine was constantly reminding riders: “The walls are your friends.” The walls naturally slowed the riders down when using the idea of using the wall to slow down the horses and collect them again to go to the next set of fences. The riders then had a quick turn off the wall to a one stride with plank jumps; they were kept small with the idea of staying balanced to prepare for another tight turn to a barrel with guide poles.

“Widen your hands and let the horses funnel between your hands,” Laine said. “You don’t see anyone riding down to the Head of the Lake at Rolex with their hands close together.”

If riders weren’t straight to the barrel, horses either stopped or jumped to the side, knocking the poles. Straightness was necessary to successfully get over the barrels. After jumping the barrels, riders made a right turn back to the two-stride oxers, then used the wall again to slow their horses down, collect and jump another barrel.

All riders from Beginner Novice to Training completed the course with Laine’s teaching, and there was a noticeable difference for every rider from start to finish. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to take a clinic with Laine if she’s ever in your area or audit one of her clinics because they are fantastic and extremely educational.

Michael Willham and Lauren Kieffer Top Long-Format Divisions at Hagyard Midsouth

Photo by Photography In Stride.

Photo by Photography In Stride.

The final day of the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge wrapped up on possibly one of the most beautiful fall days of the year. The sun shone and although the wind was a bit strong (who needs standing plants or timers in show jumping right?) horses were content to jump around while an array of spectators were out watching the event with excitement.

Once the Training horse trials concluded, the Preliminary Three-Day competitors arrived on the scene for show jumping. The show jump course once again proved to be extremely difficult, leaving two riders eliminated and only one finishing double clear.

The winner of the P3D was Michael Willham and Fernhill Cayenne on a 28.6. Michael and the Irish Sport Horse led from start to finish and while they added 1.2 time penalties on endurance day, they were the only pair in the division to have a fault free show jump round, locking in the win. Everyone was grinning ear to ear when he jumped the last fence and threw his arms around Fernhill Cayenne. This team sure deserved this win. They obviously have a special bond and we are excited to see where they go in the future.

Second place went to Lee Camiolo and Caharron VE. They finished on a 33.1 with just one unfortunate rail in an otherwise lovely show jump round. Quite an impressive placement for a young rider only 17 years old on such a big track.

To take third was Arden Wildasin on Kineo. They moved up from fourth to third after endurance day, and just one rail down today kept their placement and a final score of 38.1. Finishing the three-day was quite an accomplishment for any of the riders as only five out of ten of the riders completed the event.

Awards were presented by none other then the legendary Bruce Davidson, who gave each rider a deserving handshake upon receiving their ribbons.

The Training Three-Day had an impressive total of 45 entries. The scores were extremely tight throughout the class, with every rider who attempted cross country completing. A rail or two was a huge game changer for any rider, dropping them nearly ten placings in some instances and double clean rounds were greatly rewarded.

The ultimate winners were Lauren Kieffer and LNDMK’s Mochachino, a pair that recently finished sixth in the USEA East Coast 5-Year-Old Young Event Horse Championships at Fair Hill International. They entered the ring at the Kentucky Horse Park as the overnight leaders. Not a sound was uttered as everyone watched their show jumping round after several riders had been adding rails. Lauren and Mochachino had one to spare but delivered a clear round regardless. They finished on their dressage score of 23.8.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Mochachino. Photo by Photography In Stride.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Mochachino. Photo by Photography In Stride.

The second place finisher was Alexandra Knowles and Ms. Poppins. They finished on their dressage score of 29.3, breaking a tie with Hannah Hubsch having finished closer to the optimum time on cross country. A clean show jumping round was a great finish for Allie on her home turf of the Kentucky Horse Park.

Hannah Hubsch and Ashbourne’s Boss also finished on their dressage score of 29.3. This pair had a lovely and very well ridden show jump round that kept them in the running with the Rolex veterans on top.

Alexandra Knowles and Ms. Poppins. Photo by Photography In Stride.

Alexandra Knowles and Ms. Poppins. Photo by Photography In Stride.

Along with the three days and CCI* running this weekend there was also a standard horse trial running as a team challenge. Scores were combined between riders on a team and were then placed by who had the lowest combined score. Teams 1-3 were rewarded each with a neck sash, and winners of their divisions received an engraved leather halter.

Congratulations to the following winning teams!

Preliminary: Team Midwest Mishmash with riders Buck Davidson, Erin Nelson and Molly Doan

Training: Team Generation Gap with riders Julia Davies, Brynna Gang, Matt Trynoski and Jennifer Bazan

Novice: Team Sock Monkies of Pendragon with riders Cora Severs, Noa Crowley, Ava Severs and Jennifer Dougherty.

Beginner Novice: Team Area 8 YR Smarties with riders Quinn Foor, Lauren Mansky, Mellissa Granzier and Acadia Hansen.

Congratulations to all riders on a fantastic weekend at Hagyard Midsouth 2016!

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Results] [EN Coverage]

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-8-36-54-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-8-32-13-pm

O’Donoghue & Lowe Named USEF National CCI* Champions, Duttons Take Reserve Titles

Meghan O'Donoghue and REHY USA. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Meghan O’Donoghue and REHY USA. Photo by Photography in Stride.

​The Kentucky Horse Park was filled with electricity today — more so than usual due to the cold brisk winds that have been blowing in — and many of the horses were dancing on their toes a little more than usual at the conclusion of the Hagyard Midsouth HT. While there were some significant shakeups in both of the top divisions, no amount of wind, chill or atmosphere was going to dissuade the combinations who led from the start from finishing their weekend on top. Meghan O’Donoghue and REHY USA are your USEF National CCI* Champions, and Sharlee Lowe on Jjamaica took the win in the USEF National CCI* Junior Championship.

In a comparably impressive hat trick, Phillip Dutton and daughter Olivia Dutton claimed the Reserve National Championship titles in their respective divisions for what is surely a memorable weekend for the family!

USEF National CCI* Junior Championship

The junior one-star kicked off at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning after the second veterinary inspection. There was a huge shakeup in the standings in the final phase, with only four out of eighteen riders delivering a double clear round. Those who could manage the day were handsomely rewarded  with a trip to the top of the leaderboard.

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Sharlee came into the ring with a little room to spare, but all the pressure in the world; she had just one rail in hand and she used it, but ultimately emerged victorious with no time faults to hang on to her lead and finish on a 54.2.

Olivia Dutton and Santas Playboy. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Olivia Dutton and Santa’s Playboy. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Olivia Dutton put the pressure on with her strong clear round and ultimately claimed reserve champion with Santa’s Playboy on a 56.9. A double clean show jump round was extremely influential in their placing as they were fifth coming into the last day.

cassandra-w1

Cassandra Wallskog and Quainton Casanova. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Cassandra Wallskog and her Holsteiner gelding Quainton Casanova too put in a beautiful and bold double clear round to catapult themselves from eighth after cross country to finish in third in a very competitive division.

Neil Donnelly and his own Fool Proof finished on their dressage score which originally slotted them 15th and ultimately placed them fourth in their CCI* debut.

Marie Limpalaer and Tamia de la Faye rounded out the top five, finishing their weekend with just a single rail and a score of 64.0.

USEF National CCI* Championship 

In the adult division, some of the top riders in the country were out on their younger horses ready to ride for the win, while others were making a triumphant one-star debut.

Meghan O'Donoghue and REHY USA. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Meghan O’Donoghue and REHY USA. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Your 2016 Hagyard CCI* Champion and National CCI* Champion is Megan O’Donoghue and REHY USA. Megan led the one star from start to finish on a 39.80 and delivered an effective and beautiful show jump round today. REHY USA, an Irish Sport Horse owned by the Ronald B. Shipka Irrevocable Trust,  showed a strong suit in the final phase with incredible scope and careful tactics to take the win.

Phillip Dutton and The Manager. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Phillip Dutton and The Manager. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Phillip Dutton and The Manager moved up from third to claim the Reserve Championship on a final score of 44.0. The Thoroughbred gelding owned by Ann Jones has been coming up the levels with Phillip since 2013 and made a big impression at his CCI* debut.  Most critically, it means matching red coolers for the Dutton clan!

Sydney Conley Elliot and Carol Stephens’ QC Diamantaire  took third after delivering a clean and sharp double clear, moving up from fifth. She finished on her dressage score of a 44.80.

Bobby Meyerhoff aboard Rascal Rap. Photo by Photography in Stride.

Bobby Meyerhoff aboard Rascal Rap. Photo by Photography in Stride.

The Fourth place slot was claimed by Bobby Meyerhoff aboard Rascal Rap after a nearly flawless show jumping round to finish where they started, on a 45.7. Bobby also finished tenth aboard Fortuna on a 52.7 with another lovely double clear round.

Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy (Irish Sport Horse owned by Robin Walker) were poised to claim the reserve championship before guttingly rattling a pole loose from the rollback fence that caused problems for multiple combinations throughout the day. They made it their only rail, however, to finish in the top five.

Buck Davidson and Victor B Z were looking poised for a top placing as well before the painted poles took their toll and added eight faults to his score, but the pair still finished in the top ten on a 52.4.

Congratulations to all the competitors on a strong outing, and the organizers of the Hagyard Midsouth Horse Trials and United States Equestrian Federation for a successful event.

USEF National CCI* Junior Championship 

one-star-b-top-ten

USEF National CCI* Championship 

one-star-a-top-ten

 Lorraine Jackson contributed to this story.

Meghan O’Donoghue & Sharlee Lowe Lead Hagyard MidSouth CCI* Divisions

Meghan O'Donoghue and Rehy USA. Photo by Miranda Akins. Meghan O'Donoghue and Rehy USA. Photo by Miranda Akins.

The ever so popular Hagyard Midsouth Team Challenge and CCI* has the Kentucky Horse Park bustling with excitement this weekend. As usual the event is filled to the brim with competitors from levels Beginner Novice to Preliminary in the Team Challenge, plus a Training and Prelim Three-Day as well as the CCI*. Today kicked off the one-star cross country while the long format competitors danced in the sandbox.

It’s no secret that Hagyard CCI* is a big challenge when it comes to cross country. Many riders had stops or unfortunate eliminations, but the top 10 didn’t change much with a leaderboard full of the country’s top professionals. Hagyard is no dressage show, with the top being a clear indication of how a clear ride across the finish line can aid them in their placing.

Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Leading after the dressage yesterday in the one-star was Megan O’Donoghue and Rehy USA on an impressive 39.80; she kept her score adding nothing after cross country todau. Megan led a clear and lovely cross country round to hold onto her first place standing going into show jumping tomorrow. Rehy USA looked super out on course and looks fit and ready to tackle a challenging stadium course tomorrow.

Irishman Michael Nolan and SBT Good Guy had a strong score of 42.70 in the dressage yesterday and added no time or jump penalties today to hold onto their second placing. They will definitely be one to watch tomorrow, as we were very impressed with his riding on course today, and he especially rode the coffin combination most effectively.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Rascal Rap. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Rascal Rap. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Phillip Dutton had a double clear ride to add nothing to his 44.00 with Annie Jones’ The Manager in dressage yesterday, and although I sadly missed the master on course due to traffic from my drive down, I bet we will see our Rio Olympic bronze medalist show everyone how it’s done in show jumping tomorrow.

Places fourth through 10 are neck and neck, and one rail for any of the competitors will definitely shake up the leaderboard. 

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In the young rider CCI* division, competitors were eager to come out of the box, as for many it was they first one-star in a finale of their fall season. They all came out ready to ride, and time penalties proved to be a huge game changer that shook up the leaderboard immensely. 

Sharlee Lowe is currently holding onto first on a 50.2 with Jjamaica after dressage, which they held on course today with a fast and efficient round that will keep them on top heading into show jumping tomorrow

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton and Brave New World had a 51.50 in dressage which had them in fourth yesterday; a clear and bold round moved them up to the second place slot. 

Savannah "Woodge" Fulton and Brave New World. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton and Brave New World. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Aisling Carroll and Joinem had a 52.70 in the dressage yesterday, which had them sitting in fith overnight. A lovely clear ride on course now has them sitting in third place.

The leaderboard after cross country is very close, so a rail or time penalties in show jumping will prove influential tomorrow. Upon watching the Preliminary competitors show jump today, it is obvious that competitors will need to be cautious of their time, as many riders had time penalties.

Olivia Dutton and Santa's Playboy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Olivia Dutton and Santa’s Playboy. Photo by Miranda Akins.

The Preliminary Three-Day competitions danced in the sandbox today, with Michael Wilham and Fernhill Cayenne holding onto first with a 27.40. Sitting close behind them on a 29.10 is young rider Lee Camiolo with Caharron VE. In third place is Jen Thompson and Lucy In The Sky on a 30.70. 

Tomorrow will be a busy and exciting day for all competitors, volunteers and judges. The fall Hagyard Team Challenge is upon us, so kick on, have fun and be safe, everyone! Go Eventing.

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8-16-41-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8-16-55-pm

Beall Spring Shamrock Wins Overall FEH East Coast Championship

beall-spring-shamrock

FEH East Coast Overall Champion Beall Spring Shamrock. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, MD was buzzing with excitement on Thursday for the USEA Future Event Horse East Coast Championship, presented by Priefert. Handlers, owners and grooms were up before the sun making sure every inch of their horse was spotless and ready to be presented before the judges. Braids were fixed, legs were scrubbed and bridles were cleaned until they shined.

A rather cold and brisk morning led to some entertaining antics from the young horses, but none the less they all strutted their stuff under the careful eye of the judges. The three year olds were judged by Robin Walker and Phyllis Dawson while the yearlings and two year olds were judged by Samantha Allan and Susan Graham White. The competition was definitely impressive, showcasing flawless trots and incredible builds on these future stars.

Stephanie Ormston’s Beall Spring Shamrock, an extremely impressive Swedish Warmblood colt by Shakespeare RSF and out of Sahara, swept the overall 3-year-old class by a huge margin, with a combined score of 86.988. Handled expertly by Martin Douzant he dominated in hand, scoring 83.175 and then went on to get an incredible score of 90.8 free jumping. This young horse (bred originally for dressage!) is most definitely one to watch as he climbs the ladder to stardom.

slim-and-trim

FEH East Coast Overall Reserve Champion Slim and Trim. Photo by Miranda Akins.

Taking second overall for the three year olds and topping the 3-year-old fillies division was Slim and Trim, owned and handled by Sabrina Morris. Slim and Trim, a beautiful Thoroughbred filly by Jump Start and out of Buff Girl, gave a beautiful performance with an overall score of 83.79. In an event filled with Warmbloods and sport horses this was a very exciting result for Sabrina and the world of Thoroughbreds. Slim and Trim had an 81.25 in hand and an 86.33 in the jump chute.

Third overall for the the three year olds was Modern Art, a Connemara Filly (ArdCeltic Art, My Little Khieba) owned by Justine Ix. Modern Art had a final score of 82.791. This wonderful filly scored a 76.375 in hand and an incredible 89.208 over fences, the second highest jump score of the day.

modern-art

Second place filly and third place overall, Modern Art. Photo by Miranda Akins.

To follow, Lambrecht ASH was the fourth placed 3-year-old with a score of 81.043, and Frame Gandalf finished fifth among the three year olds. Click here to view full FEH 3-year-old scores.

Wise Master Rubelk was the 2-year-old Overall Champion on an 80.6. This is an Irish Sport Horse by Shamelk, out of Master Ruby and owned by Ronald Zabala-Goetschel. Ronald had a total of 15 horses in the championship, six of which competed in the the 2-year-old classes and placed competitively.

Overall 2-year-old Reserve Champion was Wise Gem Twistess, a Thoroughbred cross filly by Gemini, out of Contessa Z. She is also owned by Ronald and earned a score of 77.725.

Third overall in the two year olds was Wise Bolero Du Rouet, an Argentine Sport Horse colt by Balou Du Rouet and out of Baral Obera. He finished with a 80.6. Way to go Ronald and Wise Horse Farm for a spectacular show of horses and a great turnout for the Future Event Horse series!

lanthan-lights-c-2

Overall Yearling and Yearling Colt Champion, Lanthan Lights C. Photo by Miranda Akins.

In the yearling classes, the overall Champion was Lanthan Lights C, a Hanovarian colt (Lanthan, Winter Morning) owned by Laurie Cameron. Lanthan Lights won with a 78.705 and is a very impressive prospect. Laurie has been a longtime supporter of the USEA Future Event Horse Series with several of her horses currently competing at the upper levels, and we think it very likely that this colt has an incredible future ahead of him.

The Yearling Reserve Champion was Karmas The Best, a Dutch Warmblood filly by Farrington, out of Dolly D and owned by Jason Racey. Karmas The Best had a score of 77.3.

Third overall yearling was Wise Master Rubbaldik, a Thoroughbred Cross colt by Royaldik/Master Bonnie, another great horse owned by Ronald Zabala-Goetschel. Wise Master Rubbaldik had a score of 77.025.

A huge thanks to Loch Moy Farm for a spectacular event! Always an incredible venue and great staff to keep everything running smoothly. And of course events like this wouldn’t be possible without the great volunteers and sponsors that support eventing and our future event horses.

Great job to all handlers, owners, grooms and breeders for showing us the future champions of our sport. I know on behalf of myself and the rest of the eventing community we are so excited to see them grow and develop in the following years. Best of luck!

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville Take Millbrook Advanced Win

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride. Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Advanced at Millbrook Horse Trials today was a sight to see, with spectators filling every seat in the place and an abundance of people lining the fence line and grass. The stadium ring was decked out in full colorful jumps and the sky held blue all day.

Advanced cross country leaders Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville had a stellar show jumping round. “Tate” was on his game today to help her bring home the blue with a speedy and careful round, and they finished the weekend on their dressage score of 27.1. Sinead surprised us all by taking the less popular option that a few riders had hit earlier. It payed off, though, shaving off time as she jumped it with ease.

The top three were incredibly close, and even a fraction of a time penalty would have changed the game. Buck Davidson and Doug Payne were separated by only .20 of a difference.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower laid down a double clean round; Flower was above the standards jumping her socks off clearly ready to keep her second place. Watching Buck hop from horse to horse in warm up was a sight to see as he had three mounts in the Advanced. He finished 13th with a clear round on Park Trader and was 17th with the Apprentice after some time and a few rails bumped them down from their previous place of 6th.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Doug Payne came in the ring ready to roll, presenting a clean round with his usual style and ease to keep him and Vandiver in their third place spot and finish on their dressage score of 28.3.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border sadly lost their dressage lead after accumulating 7.6 time penalties on cross country but delivered a spectacular double clean round to finish fourth with a 33.3.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kim had two horses in the top 10, as Fernhill Fearless finished ninth on a 38.0 with a double clear show jumping round.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z were on their game today, jumping clean and within the time to finish in fifth on a 36.0, moving up from ninth after dressage.

Kurt Martin and Deluxe Z. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Caroline Martin and Spring Easy had a lovely round with just one time penalty to finish on a 37.1, good for sixth place.

Caroline Martin and Spring Easy. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Caroline Martin and Spring Easy. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch sadly dropped the second rail to lose their fourth place spot but still finished in the top 10 in seventh on a 37.1.

Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne Caravella was on fire today. She delivered two double clean rounds, finishing both her horses in the top 10. Never Outfoxed finished on a 38.8 in 10th and Santino finished on a 37.8 in eighth.

Holly Payne and Santino. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne and Santino. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne and Never Outfoxed. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne and Never Outfoxed. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne and Never Outfoxed. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Holly Payne and Never Outfoxed. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

In the Intermediate ENs own Kate Samuels finished on her dressage score of a 29.0 to bring home the blue. A stellar cross country run yesterday with just 1.2 time gave them the top spot. A beautiful stadium round today secured their first place finish.

Kate Samuels and Nyls du Terroir. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Kate Samuels and Nyls du Terroir. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

There was a heartfelt win in the Preliminary as team #LAE’s own Lauren Sherrill and The Alchemyst delivered a great double clear round. This will be one pair to watch as they are AECs bound now, baby!

 Lauren Sherrill and The Alchemyst. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Lauren Sherrill and The Alchemyst. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Many thanks to Marion Latta de Vogel for sharing this Millbrook Sunday highlight video!

Millbrook Advanced Final Top 10: 

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 12.16.42 AM

Many thanks to Miranda Akins of Photography In Stride for sharing this report and her beautiful photos! 

Millbrook Horse Trials: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s Coverage

Sunrise Sights and Sounds from Friday at Millbrook H.T.

Photographer Miranda Akins was up early this morning. Her internal alarm clock is stubbornly set to 4:30 a.m. so, she says, “I took advantage of the gorgeous morning here.” 

Many thanks to Miranda for sharing. Check out more of her work at Photography In Stride and sure to follow Photography In Stride on Instagram here!

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Millbrook Horse Trials: WebsiteRide TimesLive Scores

 

Sights and Sounds from Thursday Evening at Millbrook H.T.

Dressage begins today at New York’s Millbrook Horse Trials, and as the sun set on the eve of the competition the show grounds were bustling with horses and riders getting their game faces in place.

Photographer Miranda Akins of Photography In Stride is on the scene with her lens and kindly sent us a few candids capturing the atmosphere. Be sure to follow Photography In Stride on Instagram here!

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Millbrook Horse Trials: WebsiteRide TimesLive Scores

Future Event Horses Strut Their Stuff at Loch Moy

Miranda Akins of Photography In Stride attended the Future Event Horse qualifier at Loch Moy Farm last week and kindly submitted a report and photos on the action. Many thanks to Miranda for writing, and thanks for reading!

Frame Gandalf won the 3-year-old class. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride. Frame Gandalf won the 3-year-old class. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Despite the heat and the bugs, all the babies at last week’s Future Event Horse qualifier at Loch Moy Farm in Maryland were happy and bouncing around. Even the hot weather didn’t slow these youngsters down as they gave us all a look at which horses could be the next stars of the sport.

Seven horses competed in the 3-year-old class, with Frame Gandalf, owned and handled by Martin Douzant, taking the win on a score of 80.0. The Hanoverian gelding is by the Hanoverian stallion Grey Top and out of Celine.

Two horses competed in the 2-year-old class, with Balou’Czar, owned and handled by Joanne Emblin, winning on a score of 78.5. The Zweibrucker gelding is by the Hanoverian stallion Bon Balou and out of Whimczical.

Three horses competed in the FEH Yearling class, with SF Rama, owned and handled by MaryAnn Luke, winning on a score of 78.2. The Oldenburg filly is by the Holsteiner stallion Riverman and out of Lumiere.

 Balou'Czar won the 2-year-old class. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Balou’Czar won the 2-year-old class. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Thursday afternoon started with a very educational jump chute session for both owners and horses. The horses were first asked to trot around and stretch their legs before trotting or cantering a figure 8 with the help of the jump crew. The more energetic ones were happily throwing in their lead changes while some of the others were being show offs with their expressive trots.

The horses warmed up by first being introduced to the chute with a handler and walking over the poles. They then trotted through in hand before being asked to do it on their own. When they went through, they were asked to stop at the end of the chute with a carrot as a reward before being walked back to the beginning.

As the horses started to get a hang of it, the crew slowly built up the chute, starting with a cross rail then adding fences as they went. You could see each horse learning with each step as the owners learned themselves.

MaryAnn Luke handling SF Rama. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

SF Rama won the Yearling class. Photo by Miranda Akins/Photography In Stride.

Friday the babies competed in the qualifier, many with hopes of getting a qualifying score for the FEH Championships, which will be held at Loch Moy Farm in October. While nearly everyone was tired and worn out from the heat, the babies were energetically bouncing and dancing excitedly. Everyone clearly was wanting to show off.

For those unfamiliar to FEH events, the horses are first asked to stand so the judge can review their conformation. Once that is through, they walk a small triangle, then are asked to trot a larger triangle. Once that is done, they are asked to stand again and are dismissed.

If you haven’t attended an FEH event, I highly recommend it. You learn so much, whether you are involved with developing event horses or not. Many of the young horses you’ll see are the future of our sport. Who knows, maybe that yearling bouncing around could be a Rolex winner or even go to the Olympics.

Click here to view full results from both the YEH and FEH qualifiers at Loch Moy. Click here to learn more about the USEA’s Young Event Horse Series and here to learn more about the Future Event Horse Series.