Sally Spickard
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Sally Spickard

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Chelsea Kolman Marches On with Dauntless Courage

Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage at Fair Hill 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry. Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage at Fair Hill 2016. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It wasn’t more than a year ago that Kentucky-based eventer Chelsea Kolman and her Percheron/Thoroughbred cross, Dauntless Courage, stole our hearts. When we first met Chelsea and “Dante,” they were just beginning to get their sea legs, collecting top places at the Training and Preliminary level with a a goal to represent Area VIII at the Adequan North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

“Young Riders was our most recent goal,” Chelsea said. “I like to set goals as stepping stones so I don’t feel trapped if I don’t get to one of them.” After obtaining their qualification at Poplar Place earlier this year, Chelsea set her sights on the Colorado Horse Park and the CICY2* at Young Riders.

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage at NAJYRC. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage at NAJYRC. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Coming of Age in Colorado

“We traveled to Colorado a week early, which was tough for Dante, who isn’t used to being in a stall,” Chelsea said. Though it was difficult for 18-hand Dante, who lives out at home, to be in a stall during Young Riders, he still came out guns blazing to lead the Area VIII team following dressage.

Chelsea knew after walking cross country that it would be a tough course that would test her horse’s rideability. “It was definitely unlike any course I’ve ever ridden,” she said. “It was a long course of maxed out tables, but we all had good cross country horses. I was teamed up with Margaret Ragan and Woods Baughman, and I knew we had a good shot on cross country.”

Through her many adventures with Dante, Chelsea has gotten to know her horse like the back of her hand. “He has two ways of going: He’s either spot on and will jump exactly when I tell him to, or he will get really deep to the fences and just pop over them. Unfortunately on cross country day, the latter is what I had.”

Though Chelsea and Dante broke a frangible pin on cross country, they still went inside the time and found themselves in team gold medal position thanks to double clear rounds from Margaret and Woods. The last rider to go for Area VIII in the show jumping finale, Chelsea was feeling the pressure as she entered the ring to try to seal the gold medal for the team.

“I came to the fifth jump and my rein broke. I pulled him up and leaned over to tie it as quickly as I could. Surprisingly, I remembered where I was going after that. We had two rails after that, but that was a really big moment for me that he let me tie that rein back. It was unbelievable,” Chelsea said.

“He typically has good composure, but what people don’t realize is that he can lose his brain sometimes, and so I was fully prepared for him to try to jump out of the arena after that. It just melted my heart that he stopped. We ended up with a bronze medal, and it was definitely our team’s highest show jumping score, but I was thrilled with him.”

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage after NAJYRC Show Jumping. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Chelsea and Dauntless Courage after NAJYRC Show Jumping. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Ticking the Boxes

With Young Riders checked off on Chelsea’s list of goals, she next looked ahead to the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* in October. “Fair Hill was actually planned at the beginning of the year. I came to my coach Cathy Wieschhoff after our last Training level and told her that I wanted to take this horse to Young Riders at the two-star level. She kind of chuckled a bit, but said that if I put in the time and was consistent that she’d do our best to get us there,” Chelsea said.

“I know she believed in me, but she hadn’t known me for that long and to look at the horse he was, nobody thought he’d get there. But once Cathy saw us move up to Intermediate, she said, ‘I want you to get to Young Riders, and then I want you to take him to Fair Hill in the fall.’ So that’s been the goal.”

Chelsea is a self-proclaimed planner who likes to set her goals years in advance. “A lot of people set their sights on one thing and are gutted and broken if that doesn’t pan out,” she said. “Dante cannot handle that. He feeds 100 percent on me, and I never want to make him feel as if he isn’t good enough or hasn’t done his job. I try to set us up to succeed so that if one show doesn’t work out, we have another opportunity to get to our final plan.”

Red and Blue Numbers

Chelsea never really pictured herself as a rider at the upper levels. When she first began to catch the eventing bug, she thought she’d try to get to the Preliminary level and didn’t have ambitions to go above that. With Dante, Chelsea always promised that she’d take him as far as he wanted to go, but no further. It didn’t take long for Dante to surpass all expectations and for Chelsea to begin picturing red numbers.

“By about halfway through our Prelim year I’d planned out our whole Intermediate season,” she laughed. “I started doing cross country with him to calm his brain, and he just loved it. He was so good at it that I thought, ‘I could never take that away from this horse.’ I thought I would be content running Prelim, but I knew we had more in us.”

Fair Hill was a big goal, and fitness was a challenge for the big-bodied draft cross. Chelsea made it a priority to put horsemanship and Dante’s needs first every step of the way. “My theory on fitness is not to overdo it because he’s so big. He swims three times a week, and I have to do sprints for our gallops because his heart rate does not elevate easily,” Chelsea said.

“He never lost his shape over the fences at Fair Hill and he made the time, but he was definitely tired by the end of the course. Now that we’re starting to look at Advanced as the next step, I know we’ll need to get him even more fit going forward. But, he wasn’t fit to run the three-star at Fair Hill this year because he isn’t running three-star right now. He was just as fit as he needed to be.”

Chelsea and Dante scored 56.3 in dressage to sit in 30th place after the first phase. A double clear cross country trip boosted them to 10th place, and they added one rail in show jumping on the final day to finish in 11th place on 60.3 at Fair Hill.

Chelsea and Dante at Midsouth. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Chelsea and Dante at Midsouth. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Born This Way

At home, Dante will enjoy a bit of downtime, which includes as much time as possible in turnout getting fuzzy, before he and Chelsea go back to work to prepare for the 2017 season. “You wouldn’t even recognize him if you saw him when he’s on vacation,” Chelsea said. “I like for him to be a horse as much as possible. It keeps it fun for the horse, and you never want to take the fun out of it for them.”

Chelsea already has her plans laid out for the next season with her endlessly courageous horse. “I’m going to work my butt off to get us ready for the next level,” she said. “His heart goes to the moon and back. I know he’d do anything I ask of him, so it’s going to be about returning the favor and listening to him. I’m just going to strategically get us where we need to be because this is what he was born to do.”

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

AP Prime makes some new friends in Florida. Photo via Leah Lang Gluscic on Instagram. AP Prime makes some new friends in Florida. Photo via Leah Lang Gluscic on Instagram.

What is this white stuff I’m seeing on my Facebook over the last few days? Snow? It’s so weird to have migrated to warmer climates this year, where I likely won’t see much in the way of frozen precipitation. That said, as inconvenient and messy as it can be, I do think I’ll miss having a big winter. As eventers flock to the southern parts of the country, I think we’re all thinking the same thing: warm weather is much better motivation to keep chugging away towards those 2017 goals! Go get ‘em, EN.

Events Opening This Week:

Poplar Place Farm January H.T. (GA, A-3)

News & Notes:

George Morris stopped in Oregon this weekend to give riders plenty of homework to work on over the winter. Our friends at The Chronicle of the Horse have been keeping us up to date with daily reports from the three-day clinic, and you can catch up on day three right here. The mantra of the day? “Don’t Pull, Fix.” [Day Three with George Morris]

C Square Farm and Courtney Cooper have launched their first annual Holiday Auction to help raise funds to support the upcoming season. There are many items up for grabs, including tack, veterinary services, vacation getaways and much more. The auction will run through December 19. [C Square Farm Holiday Auction]

StartBox Scoring and Blue Horse Entries have announced full integration to improve the online entry process. Events are now able to list their dates with Blue Horse Entries, which allows riders to submit entries and payment online. Those entries will then be integrated with StartBox Online Scoring. [StartBox and Blue Horse Announce Integration]

Let’s get to know Bill Watson, the USEA’s Volunteer of the Month. In this Athletux column, we find out more about Bill, who is a well-known sight at the start box at various East Coast events. [Volunteer of the Month: Bill Watson]

Tuesday Video:

Check out this awesome instructional video featuring Phillip Dutton on introducing horses to cross country:

 

Ocala Jockey Club Social Recap: All the Pretty Horses

It was jog day at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event, and eventers turned out in droves to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve in style. What better way to spend the week than with the people and horses for whom you are most thankful? We couldn’t agree more! Here’s a quick look at social media, which has been buzzing all day with excitement for a beautiful venue and a great plan that has finally come to fruition. Best of luck to all competitors this weekend!

OJC3DE: [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule]

3/3 Accepted at the CCI* jog today! #goodponies @dpequestrian @jesshampf @liv.wall @robbie.peterson @centerlinefarm

A video posted by Courtney Carson (@courtlee26) on

we’re here!!! #eventingsunnyfl #ojc3de #travelwithwalsh

A photo posted by Jane Cook (@j.c.eventing) on

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

A beautiful view! Photo by Denya Massey. A beautiful view! Photo by Denya Massey.

Winter may be coming, but you sure can’t beat this lovely fall view from Southern Ontario, sent to us by our good friend Denya Massey. “Looking through Foster’s ears are the golden Tamaracks, a larch that is native to Canada and turns golden in the fall, then sheds its needle-like leaves for the winter,” Denya writes. “Tamarack is an Algonquian name meaning “wood used for snowshoes”. (We don’t need snowshoes yet, but needed the bonnet – the flies were biting still!)”

Events Opening This Week:

Ocala Winter I Presented by Brian Cox Farm Team (FL, A-3)

News & Notes:

This insightful column by Jon Holling is making its way through social media. In his writing, Jon speaks of safety within the sport of eventing and the standards that we should be holding ourselves to as patrons of the sport. You can get a preview of the article over at The Chronicle of the Horse here.

Neurologic horses pose a difficult question in many instances: is this horse safe to ride? The Horse tackles this topic with some helpful guidelines when it comes to determining if a neurologic horse can be ridden. [Can My Neurologic Horse Be Ridden?]

British rider Alice Dunsdon has warned against riding alone after a heavy fall schooling a horse at home. Alice was schooling a young horse when he rotated over a fence, nearly crushing Alice in the process. Neither Alice nor the horse were injured. [Alice Dunsdon Advises Against Riding Alone]

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

If you travel a lot for your job, it just makes sense to brand your vehicle or trailer. If you choose to brand your trailer, make sure that your logos will be visible not only while you are driving but also while you’re at a horse show when all of your trailer doors are open. You can even create bumper stickers with your business logo on them to hand out to your clients for their own vehicles.

Tuesday Video:

You have to see this adorable video of the next generation coming in from the fields at the legendary Billy Stud in the UK:

 

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

What a great end to a clinic! Chelsea Smith's new prized possession from Mary King. Photo via Chelsea on Facebook. What a great end to a clinic! Chelsea Smith's new prized possession from Mary King. Photo via Chelsea on Facebook.

There is nothing like a bit of extra motivation, no matter what your goals may be. A kind word from a stranger or a kick in the pants from your coach — motivation comes in many different forms. Especially with the onset of the cold weather, it’s important to keep your head down and continue to chip away at your goals. Keep up the hard work this winter, EN! We’re all in this together.

Events Closing This Week:

Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event (FL, A-3), Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials IV (SC, A-3)

News & Notes:

Join the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation to celebrate the finish of Valerie Ashker’s epic journey across the country! This Saturday, November 19th, Valerie Ashker and Peter Friedman will arrive at the Middleburg Training Center after completing their trip riding across the country on their OTTBs. Come on out and give Valerie and Peter the love they deserve after such a trip! [Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation]

Planning to brave the cold and compete this winter? The USEA can help with some insight on what to prepare for when competing in cold temperatures. Check out this latest column, presented by Athletux, for all you need to know as we get into the cold season. [Competing in Cold Weather]

We’re gearing up for the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event, rapidly approaching November 24-27. More than 40 vendors are ready to fulfill all of your shopping needs for this event that’s sure to impress, and it’s a great opportunity to kick start your holiday shopping and take in some excellent eventing. [More Than 40 Vendors Ready for OJC International]

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

Invest in logo wear for your staff, and give clients an opportunity to buy some, or even give some away to your most loyal clients. While logowear can be rather expensive, it is important that your key staff have logowear for all seasons. Be sure to incorporate your logo, slogan or sponsors.

Tuesday Video: Why does the timing of when we feed our horses matter? Check out this educational video from Cavalor!

Maya Simmons Finds Her Horse of a Lifetime in Archie Rocks

Maya Simmons and Archie Rocks at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry. Maya Simmons and Archie Rocks at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Maya Simmons Studenmund wears several hats: eventer, mother, wife. Throughout her riding career, Maya has striven to build a reputation as a horsewoman, and it wasn’t until recently that she felt she had finally found her once in a lifetime horse, an off-track Thoroughbred gelding named Archie Rocks.

Archie came to Maya early in 2015 as a 7-year-old whose racing career spanned 30 starts. He raced as Smittys Messiah (Le Monde - Unbridled Diva, by Unbridled Jet) before retiring in 2013, and Maya ultimately rechristened him Archie Rocks in honor of her grandfather, who served as a pilot during World War II.

“I bought him from Chris Talley about a year and a half ago, after a couple in Pennsylvania had him. He’d never evented when I got him, but I bought him off of a video thinking he’d be a good sale prospect. I thought he’d be at least a Novice horse.”

A mother of twins, Maya had a former Advanced horse but had since focused more on buying and selling horses rather than campaigning at the upper levels. “I thought that since I was a mom with twins, I’d just resell some horses here and there.”

Balancing Motherhood and Riding

Maya was in a motorbike accident a few years ago that resulted in a head injury, forcing her to take some time away from riding. “My husband and I decided that it was the right time to have kids, but it is so difficult as a female professional to take a step back,” she said.

“But my owners were so supportive of it; they really stepped in and took care of the horses and the business. As soon as I said I was ready to start riding again, they were right there. But I still thought I’d just sell horses, and that’s what Archie was supposed to be.”

But there was something special about Archie that Maya couldn’t quite part with. “I’ve never had a bad ride on that horse,” she said. “He’s so rideable, and I always thought he’d be a good three-day horse. That’s what you want. I took him Prelim for the first time last fall, and it was so easy for him. I thought, ‘Well, this is my horse to sell.’”

Maya made a call to longtime friend Hawley Bennett-Awad and offered Archie for sale, thinking he would be an ideal ride for Hawley. “I told Hawley I had her horse, and she told me, ‘No, this is your horse; this is your dream.’ So I took that to heart and talked to a few people and decided to keep him.”

Getting Back to the Top

It was a decision Maya has never regretted, as Archie has brought her back to the Intermediate level with an eye on moving up to Advanced in the future.

“I’m in no rush at all — he’s just 8 — but I’d love to be back at the top of the sport and competing again,” Maya said. “Intermediate is the first level that has challenged him even a little bit. The dressage is a bit hard for him since he’s a Thoroughbred, but he’s just a world class horse. You cannot buy that brain that he has. He never fights, never fusses. I could put anyone on him.”

The culmination of Maya’s hard work with Archie came at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* last month, when Archie finished sixth in a very competitive division just 18 months after starting his eventing career.

“I’d like to take more credit, but I can’t,” Maya said. “It was just so easy for him. I would have jumped him around the three-star if I could have! When you take a Thoroughbred off the track and give them something they love, there’s nothing that can stop them.”

Archie finished on a personal best dressage score of 51.1 at Fair Hill, cementing himself as a top class horse for Maya, who still has to pinch herself that she’s sitting on something so special. She’s quick to thank all who have stood in her corner throughout the journey.

“The owners backing you are huge; I could not do it without them. Being a mom, I can’t be teaching all day and running a full-scale business. But I have an amazing family support system at home. They love me and believe in me, and without them I couldn’t do any of this,” she said.

“Some days it’s hard. I find myself asking, ‘Do I push too hard? Am I crazy?’ But it works, and it’s all because I have a village, which is the only way I feel I can do both sides decently well.”

Aiming for Advanced

Maya bases in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and works with Will Faudree and John Zopatti. “I feel like I’m finally getting it all together; I finally know who my people are. You have to be in the right program for who you are, and that won’t be the same for everyone. I feel good.”

Looking ahead, Maya has decided to syndicate Archie Rocks to help her achieve her goals of returning to the Advanced level. “He’s my once in a lifetime horse, so I want to figure this out. I’ve been saying for awhile now that he’s the real deal, and I want other people to share in this journey,” she said.

“People get their once in a lifetime horse, and I hadn’t had mine yet. Many times I’ve thought, ‘Why now? Why now, when I’m 38 with two kids?’ But I realize now that this is a wonderful time. I have all of the time in the world to produce him and take care of him and enjoy him. I don’t have a million horses in training and I want to do right by the ones I do have. Every time I get off the horse, I find a way to get back on. And it makes me feel like this really is what I’m meant to do.”

For more information on joining the syndicate for Archie Rocks, please contact Maya directly.

Ballynoe Castle RM to Be Retired at Rolex Kentucky in 2017

Buck Davidson celebrates a double clear Rolex round with Kathleen Blauth-Murray. Photo by Sally Spickard. Buck Davidson celebrates a double clear Rolex round with Kathleen Blauth-Murray. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Ballynoe Castle RM, the all-time leading points earner in U.S. eventing history, will be retired in what is sure to be an emotional ceremony on the Sunday of the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event next spring, Buck Davidson confirmed to EN.

“Reggie,” a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Carl and Cassie Segal, has been a longtime fan favorite for eventing followers, and for good reason. In January 2015, the USEA announced that Reggie had surpassed Winsome Adante as the overall points leader in USEA history with a total of 1,377 points accumulated. He currently has 1,676 points.

His numerous career highlights include six CCI4* completions, including Badminton and Burghley, where he finished 11th in 2009. Reggie won the USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup at Rolex Kentucky in 2013 with a third-place finish and was named Best Conditioned Horse the follow year at Rolex in 2014 when he finished fourth.

Reggie was also a formidable CIC3* campaigner, picking up 11 top-three finishes at this format throughout an FEI career that spanned nearly 10 years. He won the CIC3* at Richland Park Horse Trials in both 2011 and 2015 and picked up the biggest win of his career in the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh last year. He also represented the U.S. at both the 2010 and 2014 World Equestrian Games.

‘He’s Just the Perfect Horse’

While his retirement plans are in place, Reggie won’t be lounging in his pasture just yet, as he’s got a new jockey who’s ready to take the reins. Buck’s longtime groom, Kathleen Murray, will take the ride this winter and compete Reggie before his official retirement. The reason for this decision? The best way Buck knew to say thank you to the person who has been behind the scenes throughout the horse’s remarkable career.

“Kathleen is going to do a few events this winter to hopefully get at least one USEA point so that she will always be on his record,” Buck explained. “I am the only rider that has ever gotten a point with him, but she is the reason for all of his success besides Carl and Cassie.”

Kathleen will not only compete Reggie this winter, but she will also be the test rider at Rolex on Thursday morning. “She is so excited and nervous,” Buck said. “I can’t wait to see her ride into that arena. She deserves it.”

Kathleen said Buck approached her about competing Reggie before Fair Hill. “I’m really excited but also kind of sad to see his career end. I’ve been with Reggie basically since the beginning, and it will be a good way to end it. Buck says he’s going to play groom for me at Rolex this time, so that will be funny.”

Kathleen will be coming off of a hiatus of several years, not having competed full-time since her former horse went to the one-star level. When asked if she’d catch the eventing bug again, she said, “I don’t know, but it will be hard not to while riding Reggie around! It will be pretty special. He’s just the perfect horse.”

‘There Will Never Be Another Reggie’

It’s been a long and rewarding journey for owners Carl and Cassie Segal, who have been longtime loyal supporters of Buck. For the Segals, owning an event horse is all about the process and supporting a sport that they love.

“It’s bittersweet for me to see him retire, but it’s great to see him retire on top of the sport and healthy,” Carl said. “It’s nice to see a horse go out in top form instead of chasing it and pushing until something goes wrong. It’s impossible to replicate — there will never be another Reggie — but our goal is to continue to enjoy the sport because we love it. Sure, we like to win and we like to do well, but you just do the best you can.”

“I think the thing that stands out to me the most is how similar Buck and Reggie are,” Carl continued. “They both work so hard and want to please. The partnership that they developed is so special. We had no idea when we bought him that he’d end up being a superstar. He and Buck are both very resilient, and that hard work really shows in the consistency of their performance and the longevity of their career together.”

Reggie will spend the winter at Buck’s base in Ocala, Florida, and will travel to Kentucky for his grand finale test ride before retiring to the Segal’s home in New Jersey alongside several other horses, including Buck’s former four-star partner My Boy Bobby.

The EN team wishes Reggie the happiest of retirements and good luck to Kathleen as she prepares for the test ride at Rolex. Our skull caps are off to you, Reggie. Thank you for the many wonderful memories.

Here are a few of our favorite “Reggie Reel” highlights from the past few years:

Behind the Scenes with BDJ Eventing and Ballynoe Castle RM
Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM Taste Victory in Jersey Fresh CCI3*
You Won’t Believe the Secret Ballynoe Castle RM Has Been Hiding
Celebrating Ballynoe Castle RM’s Highest Rank
Ballynoe Castle RM Stars in Kathleen Blauth’s Wedding

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Hawley Bennett-Awad walks the Galway Novice course with two of her rising stars. Photo by Sally Spickard. Hawley Bennett-Awad walks the Galway Novice course with two of her rising stars. Photo by Sally Spickard.

As the 2016 season officially winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on another competition year in the books. Out on the West Coast there are still a couple of events left, but Galway Downs International was the finale for many eventers. I’d like to extend mad props to Robert Kellerhouse, who really pulled out all of the stops to make this event a true destination. Even with many changes to the property, Robert showed his organizing chops and made sure all competitors, vendors and spectators were comfortable all weekend. Here’s to a job well done!

Events Closing Today:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (GA, A-3)

News & Notes:

Willow Draw Horse Trials in Weatherford, Tx. made a grand gesture this weekend, donating $10,000 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This was the second running of Willow Draw, and owners/organizers Tre and Janice Book stepped up to make the generous donation of proceeds. [Willow Draw Donates $10,000 to St. Jude’s]

Horse Trials BC is currently running a great online auction to support its Young Rider Program! The BCYR program has produced such international riders as Nick Holmes-Smith, Rebecca Howard, Hawley Bennett, Stephanie Rhodes Bosch, Danica Meyerhoff,  Dana Cooke (to name a few) – and this year we had a Gold Individual Medal winner in the CCI* Carmen Holmes-Smith. The auction will run through November 19 and includes many items that will be of interest to riders from all over North America. [BCYR Online Auction]

Next Level Eventing is currently seeking ambitious individuals to join the team in Southern California:

2 WORKING STUDENT POSITIONS: Job duties include grooming, turnout, hacking, cleaning tack, blanketing, grooming duties at competitions.

1 HEAD GROOM: Job duties include grooming and caring for top level event horses. From low level through the advanced level. Detail oriented is a must and the ability to handle high stress atmosphere. Travel to Europe and throughout the US will be part of your experience as well as high level competitions. Work alongside several experienced riders and grooms. Will train the right person, however experience is preferred. For more information, please email Tamie Smith.

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

While there is always a time and place for a traditional tri-fold brochure, before you start creating one, think about other formats that might also work for you. Info cards are a great option because they are less bulky and also a little different. Plus they can be more cost effective to print because you don’t have to pay extra for the folding.

Tuesday Video: Why does the timing of when we feed our horses matter? Check out this educational video from Cavalor!

Amber Levine and Carry On Take Control of Galway Downs CCI3*

Amber Levine and Carry On. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Amber Levine and Carry On. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

A small but mighty contingent of CCI3* horses tackled Ian Stark’s long and winding track at Galway Downs in Temecula, Ca. yesterday. The course had several new questions added this year and definitely sorted out the best from the rest in terms of fitness and preparedness.

Your new leader in the CCI3* is Amber Levine and Carry On, who re-routed back to their home state after a bumpy ride at Fair Hill International last month. Thanks to a tidy double clear round, Amber will carry a score of 48.8 into tomorrow’s show jumping. This isn’t quite enough breathing room to have a rail in hand, but Carry On is typically a good show jumper and should put in a good effort tomorrow.

Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Jordan Linstedt and RevitaVet Capato owned one of the smoothest rides of the day. Even at the final water, the last big combination before heading back to the training track to finish, this pair still looked sharp and had some gas left in the tank. Jordan and Capato are contesting their first CCI since completing their second CCI4* together earlier this year in Kentucky. These two definitely seem to be getting stronger and stronger as time goes on, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with for some time, we predict. Jordan heads into tomorrow on a two-day score of 51.8 after coming home two seconds over optimum time.

Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon made the trek all the way from Texas to run Galway this fall, and their travel efforts were rewarded with a spectacular double clear run that moved them up a spot from fourth into third on a score of 56.1. I caught up with Ellen yesterday morning, and she seemed quietly confident about what Ian had up his sleeves for cross country. Well placed confidence, indeed, and another pair that seems to get even better with each run.

The CCI3* course rode fairly well for the majority of the division, with just two riders encountering problems on course. Gina Economou and Calidore were sadly eliminated on refusals about midway through the course and Andrea Baxter picked up a 20 at fence 16, a corner combination. Overnight leaders Bonner Carpenter and Basco eased their way home, picking up 21.6 time to drop into sixth place.

Mary Burke and Prince William looked great all the way around and came home double clear to fourth overnight, but Mary announced this morning that Prince William sustained an injury noted after the completion of cross country. Thankfully he is expected to make a full recovery with a few months of rehabilitation.

James Alliston and Thomascourt Cooley. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

James Alliston and Thomascourt Cooley. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Looking to the CCI2*, Great Britain’s James Alliston and Thomascourt Cooley, owned by Sophie Hulme, hold onto the two-day lead after adding 2.8 time penalties to their score for a total of 47.3. This is Thomascourt Cooley’s debut at the CCI2* level and it’s been a solid one so far.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, another re-route from Fair Hill, are holding down second place following cross country after a spectacular clear round with 2.4 time added. James Alliston and his second ride, Revitavet Elijah, will take third place into tomorrow’s show jumping after securing one of only three double clear rounds in this division.

Angela Bowles and Oskar. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Angela Bowles and Oskar. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Angela Bowles and Alyssa Phillips’ Oskar retained their lead in a huge CCI* division. They timed their cross country just right, coming in one second over time and just managing to stay ahead of second place Maya Black and Mowgli. A single rail separates the top six and scores overall are tightly packed in the 47-horse field.

The Training Three-Day divisions concluded yesterday, with the initial leaders after dressage in both divisions winning without any added penalties over the many phases of a long-format event. Megan Noelle Wilson and Classic’s Mojah finished on 26.0 to top a field of 21 starters in division A. In division B, Megan Compton and Five O’Clock Somewhere stayed cool under pressure and show jumped double clear to finish on 31.0, a fraction of a point ahead of Kaylawna Smith and Happy Hour, who won the tie for second against her own mother, Tamie Smith and Graceland’s Liebling.

The final horse inspection will begin at 8:15 a.m. PST tomorrow, followed by CCI1* show jumping at 10:00, CCI2* at 12:30 and the grand CCI3* finale at 1:45 p.m. Come on out and enjoy the spectacular show that organizer Robert Kellerhouse has put on for us this weekend. It’s truly been a great weekend of all things eventing, and I can’t say enough about how well organized and thought out this event has been. Hats off to you, Robert!

#GalwayDowns: Website, Schedule, Ride Times & Live Scores, EN’s Coverage

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William Fox-Pitt Leaves Lasting Impression on West Coast Eventers

William Fox-Pitt chats up one of his clinic groups at Dragonfire Farm. Photo via Dragonfire Farm. William Fox-Pitt chats up one of his clinic groups at Dragonfire Farm. Photo via Dragonfire Farm.

William Fox-Pitt brought the heat to the West Coast this weekend in a two-part clinic presented by Scott Hayes Productions, in partnership with Dragonfire Farm and Copper Meadows Eventing. Beginning up north at Earl and Jennifer McFall’s Dragonfire Farm in Wilton, California, and ending down south at the Hoffos family’s Copper Meadows in Ramona, William imparted his wealth of knowledge to eager eventers ranging from rising amateurs and young riders to seasoned professionals.

If William was jet-lagged from his whirlwind trip from the UK, he didn’t show it, bringing the same energy and enthusiasm to each day of the clinic. Teaching groups ranging from Training up through Advanced, William placed an emphasis on the importance of mastering the fundamentals of horsemanship and how to cultivate a relationship with your horse.

My favorite quote from the clinic: “It’s not about being good; it’s about being nice to your horse.” William echoed this philosophy throughout each lesson. He wanted riders to work on establishing and maintaining “confident contact” from the beginning, encouraging the horse to accept the bit and reach for the contact.

Cara Julian and Wunder Schon. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

Cara Julian and Wunder Schon. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

Each day, riders were instructed to go through a normal warm-up while being careful not to ask for too much. Treating each lesson as if it were a warm-up for a competition, William advised riders to do their homework at home.

“You shouldn’t have to work on complicated things in the warm-up,” William explained. “Some people will set up angles and bounces, but if you’re working on those things in warm-up, it’s too late. The purpose of the warm-up is for the horse to be forward and into the contact and to know what’s coming next.”

William added that his horses usually jumped just a handful of fences in each warm-up phase, and only the type of fence they were about to tackle, i.e. only cross country fences for cross country warm-up, rather than show jump fences in addition. The reason for this, he explained, was because he wanted his horses to know the routine and to clearly see what was expected of them. Setting clear expectations and boundaries is helpful when you need your horse to step up to the plate and perform to the best of his ability.

William did an excellent job working through some difficulties with fresh or green horses, always quietly encouraging the riders to exercise patience. He was never impatient when a rider had an issue, rather he simply asked them to take their time and wait for their horse to settle before continuing on. The idea of encouraging horses to enjoy their jobs was prevalent throughout everything William had to say; simply put, the sport is just not as enjoyable with a horse who is sour or hates the job.

Maralee Paul and Shock Top. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

Maralee Paul and Shock Top. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

On the flip side, however, William said that it is the rider’s responsibility to ensure you hold up your end of the bargain. He used an example of Chilli Morning when he brought the stallion to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event a few years ago. He reminisced that the horse felt exceptionally quiet and willing on cross country that year.

“He was jumping bigger and bolder than ever, and I’m sitting up there thinking, ‘I’m about to win a nice three-day this weekend,’ and then it was over,” he recalled. “If I had woken up and paid attention, I would have noticed that he wasn’t into my rein and there wasn’t that connection that I needed.” He uses this example to remind riders that constant vigilance is necessary on even the best of days, lest you make a costly error.

At the end of the clinic, riders were left with an important reminder to always be mindful of what your horse needs in order to be successful. Establishing a good rhythm early on, maintaining straightness, and focusing on accuracy are all fundamentals of the sport, and William has built a very successful career by honing in on these basics.

There were many improvements to be seen on the second day of the clinic, and each rider left with a smile and perhaps a selfie or two!) and a few more tools to use in the future.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and High Duty. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and High Duty. Photo by Danielle Emerick.

We’d like to thank Scott Hayes Productions, Hawley Bennett-Awad, the Hoffos family, the McFall family and the countless others who made this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity possible. A lot of preparation and planning went into an event of this magnitude, and it truly went off without a hitch. I think we’re all feeling just a little bit closer to those big goals after such an educational weekend.

And, it wouldn’t be a complete trip without trying something new!

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

William Fox-Pitt greets the Advanced group of riders in his southern California clinic. Photo by Sally Spickard. William Fox-Pitt greets the Advanced group of riders in his southern California clinic. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Southern California welcomed the one and only William Fox-Pitt yesterday for part one of a two-day clinic. Hosted at the lovely Copper Meadows Eventing facility, William worked with groups ranging from Training level to Advanced throughout the day. Both professionals and amateurs participated, along with many auditors who stopped by for the day. We’ll have a much more detailed clinic report forthcoming, and in the meantime you can follow along with the happenings on EN’s Instagram.

Events Closing Today:

Paradise Farm H.T. (SC, A-3), Fresno County Horse Park Horse Trials (CA, A-6)

News & Notes:

You may have seen people checking into Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook as a show of support for the Native Americans who are peacefully protesting the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Many of the protesters are on horseback, and horses have been injured and killed as police violence escalates. Please consider donating to support the protestors and injured horses. [Official Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund]

The half-halt is perhaps one of the most useful devices to have handy during your rides. In this helpful column from the USEA, Whitney Weston gives some advice on perfecting your half-halt, specifically when it comes to introducing it to an OTTB. [Introducing the Half-Halt]

Meet Fairway King, the official winner of the 2016 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred competition at the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover in Lexington, Ky. this past weekend. Fairway King competes in dressage with rider Lauren Turner, and he was the best of 80 horses competing for the big prize. Congratulations to Lauren and Fairway King! [Fairway King Crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred]

Have you listened to the new Eventing Podcast from EquiRatings? The latest episode features a candid chat between host Sam Watson and Tim Price, who discusses the highs and lows of his season and his plans as he looks ahead to 2017. You can listen on iTunes or Soundcloud. [#LockerRoomTalk: Tim Price]

Come join Caroline Martin Eventing this winter in Ocala, Florida! CME is currently looking for a working student from December to April at a new facility. This is an opportunity to bring a horse and educate yourself in the barn as well as further your riding. Work will be exchanged for full board of one horse and living is included. If you are interested, contact Caroline at 484-554-9995 or [email protected].

Tuesday Video: Why does the timing of when we feed our horses matter? Check out this educational video from Cavalor!

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

The Sinead Halpin team goes for their first Ocala hack. Photo via Sinead on Facebook. The Sinead Halpin team goes for their first Ocala hack. Photo via Sinead on Facebook.

Can you believe it’s already time for the winter migration? I definitely can’t. But like it or not, wherever you look now, eventers are packing the rigs and heading south for the colder months, and Ocala is soon to be one of the most happening eventing hotspots once again. Having spent a few months in Ocala last year, I can definitely say that it’s worth the trip if you can swing it. Simply immersing yourself in the culture that eventers have adopted is a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m a bit envious of those who are making the trek again this year! Safe travels to all.

Events Closing Today:

River Glen Fall H.T. (TN, A-3) Poplar Place Farm November H.T. (GA, A-3) Texas Rose Horse Park Fall H.T. (TX, A-5), Full Moon Farms H.T. (MD, A-2)

News & Notes:

Do you have an older horse who is still competing? Taking care of our older companions is no small undertaking, as we want them to have the comfort and health that they deserve. On Thursday, October 27, The Horse will be hosting a live Q&A session with Ann Rashmir-Raven, DVM, of Michigan State University. Focusing on managing the older equine athlete, this webinar is sure to have some helpful tips. [Managing and Maintaining the Equine Athlete]

It’s just about time for Halloween, have you created your horse’s costume yet? Come on, you know you’ve got plenty of ideas stored up! No? Well, just in case, here are some great ideas for horse-y Halloween costumes. [Horse and Rider Halloween Costumes]

Our friends over at Noelle Floyd have picked Lauren Balcomb as one of the best-dressed riders at the trot-up at Fair Hill this year. Lucky for us, they’ve broken down exactly how to achieve her effortlessly chic look. How did they know eventers are fashion challenged? [Get the Look: Lauren Balcomb]

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

When putting together an e-blast, try to avoid just putting a .pdf or .jpg into the e-blast template, as this often makes it non-mobile compatible and limits the number of links you can include. If you decide to pay an outside company to send an e-blast, make sure that you are getting a custom design, and that there is a social share option so that readers can easily share your e-blast onto their social media outlets.

Tuesday Video:

Are you heading to southern California for Galway Downs this year? If you’re on the fence, check out this beautiful video featuring the best that Temecula Wine Country has to offer:

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Fair Hill CCI3* Cross Country

Caitlin Martin took a page out of Buzzterbrown’s book this weekend at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International and took a series of video at fence 13, a massive open corner on the CCI3* course. We get to see every CCI3* combination tackle this question, and it’s interesting to observe how each horse reads the question and responds accordingly.

There is always something to learn! Many thanks to Caitlin for creating this awesome video.

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Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Robyn Fisher and Betawave take in their French digs at Le Lion d'Angers. Photo via Robyn on Facebook. Robyn Fisher and Betawave take in their French digs at Le Lion d'Angers. Photo via Robyn on Facebook.

We now look ahead to this weekend’s 7- and 8-year-old Championships at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. Some of the world’s best young horses will duke it out in the CCI1* and CCI2* divisions, including two of the U.S.’ very own: Robyn Fisher with Betawave and Tamie Smith with Fleeceworks Royal. Stay tuned for much more coverage of this exciting event right here on EN.

Events Opening This Week:

Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials IV (SC, A-3)

Events Closing Today:

Full Gallop Farm Fall H.T. (SC, A-3) Willow Draw Charity Show (TX, A-5) Rocking Horse Fall H.T. (FL, A-3) Galway Downs International Event & H.T. (CA, A-6)

News & Notes:

Over 300 Thoroughbreds will compete in this year’s Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover in Lexington, Ky. To be held October 27-30 at The Kentucky Horse Park, this competition showcases the versatility of the Thoroughbred breed. Ten equestrian disciplines will be featured throughout the four-day competition, and it’s a great way to learn all about the efforts that go into re-training a racehorse. [RRP Thoroughbred Makeover]

This has to be one of the cutest stories ever told. This little boy made BuzzFeed headlines after his parents surprised him with his first pony. Sebastian saved for three years by selling lemonade for his first pony, and his dreams came true a few days ago. You have to see the story, and you might want to grab some tissues beforehand. [Little Boy Gets First Pony]

Our friends at The Chronicle of the Horse have posted a lovely photo recap of some of their favorite moments from Fair Hill. Take a look and enjoy the ultimate highs! [Smiles, Hugs and Big Efforts]

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

When putting together an e-blast for your next activity, try to keep your most important information “above the fold.” Ideally your date, location and ticket information will be at the top so that the reader sees it before needing to scroll down for more information.

Tuesday Video:

Catch these highlights from last year’s Mondial du Lion to get pumped for this weekend:

Fair Hill Social Media Wrap: Until Next Year

That’s a wrap on this year’s edition of the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, and what a thrilling one it has been. We saw a lot of ultimate highs this weekend as well as some of the lows, and we’re taking one last look around social media to wrap things up. Congratulations to all competitors who achieved their goals this weekend and we look forward to seeing what’s on tap next for all of these talented combinations.

#DuttaFHI: Website, Final Scores, YEH Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, Instagram

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I can't believe this little guy just ended on his dressage score of 55 to finish fairhill 3* in 8th. What an amazing horse ✨

A photo posted by Caroline Martin (@carolinegmartin) on

So proud of my babes! Finished 7th in the Fairhill CCI3***#duttafhi #myfavorites

A photo posted by Andi Lawrence (@andilaw9) on

Talking cross-country strategy with dad! #DuttaFHI

A photo posted by U.S. Eventing Association (@useventing) on

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#duttafhi #stadium

A photo posted by Stephanie (@smckaug) on

@mackennamshea and Sharon White looking sharp at the @fairhillint jogs this morning! #teamathletux #DuttaFHI

A photo posted by Athletux (@athletuxequine) on

The stands are filled with people who are excited to watch the CCI3* show jumping! #DuttaFHI

A photo posted by Fair Hill International (@fairhillint) on

Mr. Candyman getting ready for show jumping today! #duttafhi #phillipduttoneventing #eventing

A photo posted by Danielle Beaver (@eventingbeaver) on

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A photo posted by Andi Lawrence (@andilaw9) on

Fair Hill Social Media Wrap: This Is What You Came For

What a day! It’s always so incredible to reflect on a day such as this, when everyone is safely tucked away in their stalls and the sport has truly enjoyed a day of highs. While not everyone had their best day today, everyone made it home safe and sound, and that is the goal at the end of every day. Let’s give three cheers to course designer extraordinaire Derek di Grazia for his shrewd, challenging, yet fair course design and to the riders who navigated one of the toughest tracks in the country like the pros they all are.

#DuttaFHI: Website, Entries, Draw Order, Ride Times, Live Scores, YEH Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, Instagram

And with that, here’s a look at today’s social media posts from a thrilling cross country day at #DuttaFHI:

#duttacorp #fairhillinternational Done for the day. #viptent #fhi

A photo posted by Anthony Trollope (@trollope) on

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Clear Xc sitting in 9th heading into Sj tomorrow. #duttafhi #xc #bruisyardhall #ottb #horsesofinstagram

A video posted by Holly Payne Caravella (@hollypayneequestrian) on

Well done to sit that caught leg @rdmeyerhoff! Beautiful day for some cross country at #duttafhi

A video posted by Annette Gavin (@hastilow_usa) on

#fairhillinternational #duttafhi

A photo posted by Vann Gregory (@vanngregory) on

Fair Hill Social Media Wrap: And Now the Fun Begins

Dressage has concluded at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International and the crowns have been handed out to the East Coast Young Event Horse champions. Now as we look ahead to the next task, the formidable cross country track set forth by Derek di Grazia, we hold our breaths in anticipation of an exciting day coming up.

But, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look back around social media to wrap up dressage and the YEH Championships in style. Go Eventing!

#DuttaFHI: Website, Entries, Draw Order, Ride Times, Live Scores, YEH Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, Instagram

FINALLY!! There's WINE at the #DuttaFHI Family Meeting!!

A photo posted by Fair Hill International (@fairhillint) on

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Such a fun location for the key hole at #DuttaFHI this year!

A photo posted by Fair Hill International (@fairhillint) on

Course walk time! @kfox2284 @colleenm516 #duttafhi #crosscountry

A photo posted by Red Bell Farms (@red_bell_farms) on

My two loves…my 4 and 2 legged children @fairhillint! #DuttaFHI #groom #cyberschoolperks #rightaboveit #carter

A photo posted by Erika Nesler (@en_equestrian) on

Course looks good!!! So glad Taylor is here to share my birthday!

A photo posted by Earl, Jennifer and Taylor (@dragonfirefarm) on

And, finally, what do ponies dream of? Here’s a glimpse:

Watch and Learn: Leading Day One Tests from Fair Hill and Pau

There was some serious dressage happening all around the world today as Michael Jung took the stage with Rolex winner fischerRocana FST, leading the field at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* on a score of 43.8. The FEI Channel has just uploaded video of Michael’s test for our viewing enjoyment. Not to be outdone, Boyd Martin is holding it down for the home team aboard Crackerjack in fourth place overnight and has another ride tomorrow in Welcome Shadow.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous are your Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* leaders today, heading into day two with a leading score of 41.5. Marilyn told the press how thrilled she was to have this special mare back competing at the three-star level after recovering from an injury, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend holds.

Watch and learn, EN!

Fair Hill Social Media Wrap: Just Dance

Day one of the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International is officially in the books, and we’ve seen a lot of fancy dancing in the white box today from both the two- and three-star horses as well as the Young Event Horse competitors. Dressage will wrap up tomorrow with the remainder of the FEI divisions, while the young horses will show off their jumping chops.

There is plenty to catch up on from the wide world of social media, so without further ado…

#DuttaFHI: Website, Entries, Draw Order, Ride Times, Live Scores, YEH Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, Instagram

Not much better than young horse kisses! #DuttaFHI #YEH

A photo posted by U.S. Eventing Association (@useventing) on

It's dressage day! #fairhillinternational #eventing #CCI3

A photo posted by Andi Lawrence (@andilaw9) on

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Good grooms have it all figured out! #beerholster #braiding #groomslife #duttafhi

A photo posted by Holly Payne Caravella (@hollypayneequestrian) on

It's family meeting time for all the heavy lifters at #DuttaFHI . We gotta start bringing wine to these things…

A photo posted by Fair Hill International (@fairhillint) on

Our friendly neighborhood videographer, The Horse Pesterer, is also wandering about this weekend, and he’s already begun uploading videos from the day’s action. You can find the full playlist on his YouTube channel here.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Fair Hill CCI3* Course Preview

Alright, here we go ladies and gents! The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International cross country is a formidable, Derek di Grazia-designed beast that separates the cream from the crop each fall. It comes as no surprise, then, that this year’s course looks as beefy and challenging as ever.

Utilizing the undulating terrain that Elkton has to offer, Derek has shrewdly placed his questions throughout the course, challenging riders to make good choices while still inviting the horses to interpret the question correctly.

Thanks to this great flyover, we can now get our first look at this year’s CCI3* track. Stay tuned for a full course preview, and let’s all have a shout-out for EN blogger Holly Covey, who has helped lead the course decoration charge for several years running now. Hats off to you, Holly, and to all of the hard working people who have truly delivered their best work on this course.

#DuttaFHI: WebsiteEntriesDraw OrderRide TimesLive ScoresYEH ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

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Fair Hill Social Media Wrap: Life’s Too Short for Boring Clothes

Well, it’s that time of year again! The best of the best have gathered in Elkton, Md. for this year’s Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. It’s the ultimate fall event, and what better way to kick things off than with a veritable fashion show? Perfect button braids, glossy coats, and riders decked to the nines — what’s not to love?

In case you missed it, all horses were accepted in today’s First Horse Inspection for the CCI2* and CCI3*, and here’s a quick look at social media from the first day of the festivities. Dressage kicks off first thing tomorrow morning, and you can follow along right here on EN (as well as on our social channels) for the latest and greatest.

#DuttaFHI: WebsiteEntriesDraw OrderRide TimesLive ScoresYEH ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

A flag for every rider’s country. Beautiful afternoon at #DuttaFHI

A photo posted by Fair Hill International (@fairhillint) on

Meghan O'Donoghue killed it in this gorgeous dress and boot combination! Photo via Meghan on Instagram.

Meghan O’Donoghue killed it in this gorgeous dress and boot combination! Photo via Meghan on Instagram.

I think it's love! Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo share a moment before taking the runway .. er .. jog strip. Photo via Maralee Paul on Instagram.

I think it’s love! Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo share a moment before taking the runway .. er .. jog strip. Photo via Maralee Paul on Instagram.

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Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Draw Order Goes Live

Phillip Dutton and I'm Sew Ready. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Phillip Dutton and I'm Sew Ready. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Will Coleman and Phillip Dutton will be your Dutta Corp Fair Hill International trailblazers this weekend in the CCI2* and CCI3* divisions. The draw order was posted yesterday, giving us a glimpse at the rough order in which riders will be seen in the dressage ring as well as Derek di Grazia’s cross country course.

Will Coleman will kick things off in the CCI2* aboard Gideon, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by KBLB Event Horses LLC, as the first of his two rides in the division. Gideon will be contesting his second CCI2*, having come eighth at Bromont earlier this year. Most recently, Will and Gideon were fourth in the Intermediate at Morven Park.

In the CCI3* we’ll see Phillip Dutton and 2015 Carolina International CIC3* winner I’m Sew Ready, owned by John and Kristine Norton, as the first pairs out. Phillip has the reins back on the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding from usual pilot Kristen Bond as she prepares to have her second child, and the pair placed third in the CIC3* at Plantation Field and eighth in the Advanced at Stable View as their prep runs for Fair Hill.

Looking to the Young Event Horse Championships, Jennifer McFall and Stoneman DF, owned by Cheron Laboissonniere, will be the first to see in the 5-year-old class. The McFalls have come east to contest the YEH championships this year with three horses piloted by Jennifer and Earl. Stoneman DF was the sixth placed four-year-old in last year’s West Coast Championships.

For the 4-year-olds, Jennie Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s Dark Energy will kick things off. This pair is fresh off of a win in the Novice Horse at Bucks County last month and placed second in their last YEH class at Waredaca.

As we near the official start of #DuttaFHI, keep an eye right here on EN for our “By the Numbers” report and much more about the marquee fall event of the year. Go Eventing!

[Fair Hill International Draw Order]

#DuttaFHI: [Website] [Coldren’s Corner] [Entry Status]

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Sally Spickard. Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Sally Spickard.

We’ve officially begun #DuttaFHI week, and as we speak horses and riders are moving into the grounds in beautiful Elkton, Md. to contest the CCI2* and CCI3* divisions. Many have dubbed the cross country course at Fair Hill “mini-Rolex”, and for good reason as it’s certainly one of the more challenging tracks in the U.S. We’re getting excited to see some of the best combinations duke it out this weekend, as well as the cream of the crop of the Young Event Horse competitors.

It’s sure to be an exciting week, so keep it locked here on EN for much, much more.

Events Opening This Week:

Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event (FL, A-3) Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (GA, A-3)

Events Closing Today:

Holly Hill Fall H.T. (LA, A-5) Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3), The Virginia CCI/CIC and H.T. (VA, A-2)

News & Notes:

Portofino Equestrian Center in Clayton, Nc. is pleased to announce a Masterclass evening with Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton on Friday, November 4. Tickets are available starting at $45 for juniors and the event features a demonstration by Boyd and Phillip and a dinner with the members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Eventing Team. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Johnston County. [Masterclass with Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton Tickets]

After spending much time on the East coast competing, John Michael Durr and Kimmy Steinbach have decided to move their training and sales operation to Western North Carolina from Castro Valley, California. “Our new central location allows us the opportunity to be multi-disciplined and to focus on training and developing horses that are just starting their careers or moving to the next level as well as showcase horses that are currently competing at the top of their game,” John Michael said. Durr Eventing has many different training options available and has experience in both eventing as well as the hunter/jumper competition rings. [Durr Eventing]

Boyd Martin’s 2012 Olympic partner, Otis Barbotiere, has been sold to jumper rider Catie Boone. Otis had formerly been leased by Catie’s sister, Ali, and had success in the jumper ring since retiring from eventing. [Otis Barbotiere Sold]

Remember the horse who went viral due to his exuberance jumping a ditch? Well, he’s now headed to the Young Event Horse Championships at Fair Hill this weekend! Commando and Amanda Braun will be contesting the 5-year-old East Coast Championships this weekend — let’s hope the judges give extra marks for excitement! [Viral Video Star Headed to Fair Hill]

Weekly Business Tip from Mythic Landing Enterprises:

If you have a lot of sales horses or provide a variety of different services, but are limited in your advertising budget, you can choose 2-3 of your horses or services that give a good picture of what you have available and only post these in the ad. Then you can use text such as, “Visit our website for more information about …” to let people know that you have more to offer.

Tuesday Video:

Let’s revisit that viral video, shall we?