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Sally Spickard

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About Sally Spickard

Living the dream as a professional internet stalker and EN reporter.

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C4 Photo Challenge: Eventers Love Color!

Colors galore! Photo by Colleen Peachey. Colors galore! Photo by Colleen Peachey.

It’s a widely known fact that eventers are almost too obsessed with color coordination. You call it a sickness, we call it a labor of love. Say what you will, but whenever you glimpse that perfectly coordinated pair out on cross country, you get a little weak in the knees, just admit it.

To that end, we know that C4 completes the outfit of virtually every eventer out there, and now it’s time to show us your level of color OCD! We’re starting a new photo challenge for your chance to add a new C4 belt to your collection! Here’s the scoop:

Submit a photo in one of the following ways during the entry period showcasing your color coordination as well as your C4 hardware. This month, we’re selecting BLUE as the color we want to see. Navy blue, sky blue, royal blue — you name it, we want to see it!

Ways to submit your photo:

Email it to en.contest@gmail.com with the subject “C4 Blue”

Tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #C4ColorLove

Entries are due no later than Saturday August 15 at 8 p.m. EST.

Get those photos submitted and keep an eye out for them right here on EN!

If you need to add to your C4 wardrobe this year, we’re also offering an exclusive promo code this month! Simply use “ColorLoveC4″ at checkout to receive 10% off for the month of August.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Pan Ams Cross Country

While we may not have had any streaming whatsoever of the Pan American Games, we can at least enjoy some of the artfully produced highlight videos from creative YouTube users such as Abby Avaria!

Abby used photos and a few video clips to create a picture of what cross country day at the Pan American Games was like, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching it. There are quite a few opportunities to identify some of the horses — how many can you name?

Bella Mowbray Joins Ranks of Relocated Aussies with Eyes on Rolex 2016

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard. Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

As with many Australians who have relocated to the States, Rolex was what caught Bella Mowbray’s eye when she made her first trip to the U.S., and it’s been a goal of hers ever since.

Bella and her 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Star Vision, packed up and moved to the West Coast in April of 2014 to continue their eventing career. The pair enjoyed success in Australia through the three-star level and has now completed their first FEI event here in the States with a fifth place finish in the CCI3* at Rebecca Farm.

“I’ve pretty much been riding since day one,” Bella said. “My mother is a dressage rider and my grandmother was a dressage judge, so I originally started out in dressage. But then I borrowed a friend’s horse to win a High Point trophy at my school, where they had an eventing rally. After that I was hooked!”

Bella eventually went to work for Ryan Wood and spent a large part of her teenage years working and riding for him. Bella made her first trip to Rolex with Ryan and also was able to spend some time at Phillip Dutton’s, and she knew that this was a place she wanted to be and that Rolex was a goal she wanted to work toward.

“Rolex was sort of the goal that prompted (the move),” Bella said. “I was able to visit California to do some touristy things, and I was hooked on the eventing and also the quality of life there.”

California became Bella’s end destination, where she now bases at Chuck and Peggy Moore’s Graceland Equestrian Center in Castro Valley. Originally, Rolex this year was Bella’s goal with Star Vision, whom she has had since 2009.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

“Unfortunately, getting my visa sorted took more time than I thought, so I ended up spending four months (back in Australia) over Christmas,” Bella said. “So that really set us back. So basically this year we’ll continue to work on show jumping and come back with the goal of Rolex in 2016.”

Bella certainly had a good first CCI3* run at Rebecca Farm, jumping clear on a tough Ian Stark cross country track on which Star Vision looked right at home.

“He’s a super cool guy,” Bella said of her horse. “He’s just gotten better and better with age, which is phenomenal. He really takes care of me and he loves his job. I’m very lucky to have a horse who loves what he does at the upper levels.”

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Though Bella and Star Vision competed through the three-star level in Australia, Bella elected not to run their first CCI4* at Adelaide. “It’s a really spectacular event, but the track there just doesn’t suit my horse,” she said. “We did well in the two-star there, but I think he does better with more open space. I liked the Rolex track for that reason. I would love to have run at Adelaide but I think Rolex will suit him better.”

For this year, Bella will continue to keep her gelding’s confidence in top form as she looks ahead to the long trek to Kentucky in the spring. “For me, it’s just about keeping him really confident,” she explained. “I’ll probably go Galway Downs and a couple of Advanced as a lead-up next year, but he’s pretty simple. He keeps his fitness really well so I’m lucky.”

Bella has settled in well to her new life here in the U.S., and we couldn’t be happier to have her. She plans to keep her citizenship with Australia to continue representing them in competition, and we’ll be looking forward to seeing this pair work toward their debut in Kentucky next spring.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

After Burghley entries went live yesterday, I got to thinking about the OTTB and how much of an impact these horses have had on our sport. There are two OTTBs from the U.S. entered at Burghley this year, Donner and Anthony Patch. It’s pretty insane to think of how much untapped potential is sitting on race barns all over the country, just waiting for the right person.

You may not be looking for a Burghley mount (but if you were, there’s probably one out there somewhere!), but the OTTB is one of the most omnipresent breeds in eventing, and with the right eye and a good amount of hard work and patience, you just may find your partner of a lifetime, no matter what your ambition is.

Here are three more OTTBs to get your shopping started this week!

Photo via CANTER Mid Atlantic.

Photo via CANTER Mid Atlantic.

Our first featured horse this week is Echo Bye, a 2010 15.3-16 hand gelding who is available through CANTER Mid Atlantic. Echo Bye (FantasticatArcades Echo, by Eastern Echo) raced 16 times and earned nearly $50,000 during his time on the track.

Echo Bye is said to be adorable, smart and suitable for any discipline. You’ll love his photos, which seem to give a good clue to his friendly personality!

Echo Bye on CANTER Mid Atlantic

Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Fintest on Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Fintest on Facebook.

Our next horse this week is this lightly raced 2012 mare, Ocala Princess. Estimated to finish growing at 16.1-16.2 hands, Ocala Princess (PurgeFreei, by Honor Grades) raced six times is a lovely girl who will look even more majestic when she’s filled out with more muscle.

This filly has had many compliments on her movement and is said to be sound, just without a desire to be a racehorse! Snatch this one up quick!

Ocala Princess on Finger Lakes Finest

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Our final horse this week is a 2010 mare standing 16.1 hands by the name of Russian Tweed. This girl is Canadian bred and raced eight times. Russian Tweed (Harris TweedGal Luvs the Grass, by Bucksplasher) has the makings of being a jumper (or perhaps an eventer!) with her flashy looks and temperament.

Russian Tweed on CANTER Michigan

Thursday Videos: Cross Country Action Clips from Rebecca Farm

Good friend of EN Chesna Klimek was out and about at Rebecca Farm this weekend, and she took some great video clips of the cross country action. We didn’t have a live stream at this event, so here’s a glimpse at some of Ian Stark’s challenging course and how the riders tackled it.

We also have some great recap videos from Ride On Video, which you can view on their YouTube channel here. Here’s the recap from cross country day:

Anyone else ready to go back?

EN’s Got Talent: Kelly Pugh and Corazon

We hear all the time about horses at the top of the sport, but what about the next generation of equine talent? EN’s Got Talent introduces the future superstars of the sport, interviewing riders about how they’re tackling training with these youngsters. Have you spotted a spectacular young horse at an event you think should be highlighted in this column? Tip me at sally@eventingnation.com.

Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard. Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The 8-year-old KWPN gelding owned by David and Candace Garrett is aptly nicknamed “Toddy” in the barn, after Sir Mark Todd, who won the Olympics the year he was born. He’s got the big shoes of his namesake to fill, but Kelly Pugh’s newest ride, Corazon, is well on his way to making big dreams come true.

Earlier this year, Kelly went on a horse shopping trip with the Garrett family as well as her mother and trainer, Dayna Lynd Pugh, who were also looking for a new ride for their daughter, Holly. “We usually go to Ireland, but this time we decided to try England,” Kelly recalled.

Using Mike and Emma Winter as their agents for the trip, the group saw many quality horses, making the end decision quite difficult for Kelly, who was new to the concept of shopping for a horse for herself.

“I’m not super used to trying horses,” Kelly said. “All my life, I’ve ridden whatever I’ve been given, so it’s a different experience trying them.”

Kelly found several horses she liked, making her decision all the more difficult — until she sat on Corazon.

Corazon, who is by Vaillant, was a former ride of New Zealand rider Lucy Jackson. He had been ridden by an amateur who started a family, leading Lucy to take over the ride and take the horse through the CCI2* level. Prior to the sale, Lucy was preparing to move Corazon up to the Advanced level.

Kelly has previously ridden to the three-star level aboard Copycat Chloe, and her goal with this trip was to find a new horse to potentially take her back to that level and beyond.

“I kind of went with a list (of criteria),” she said. “I found several horses that I liked, but when I sat on (Corazon), I just knew. People talk about getting ‘that feeling’ and that’s what I had, the one where you just don’t want to get off.

“I wanted something that enjoyed its job and was confident. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time with other horses trying to ‘convince’ them that they wanted to do this — I wanted something that really wanted to do it.”

Corazon matched Kelly’s selective criteria, and he was soon on his way to California where Kelly bases her business. After arriving in the States in May, Kelly set to work getting to know her new horse, thanks to the support of her owners, David and Candace.

“David and Candace are phenomenal owners,” Kelly said. “They don’t put any pressure on. They want me to do well, but they trust my program and what my plan is, which is great.”

On a spur of the moment decision, Kelly decided to take Corazon to his first U.S. event, the Prelim division at Shepherd Ranch. “Toddy” added just four jump penalties in the show jumping to take home fourth place after scoring a 27.3 in the dressage, so the partnership definitely started off on the right foot.

From there, it was on to Montana to contest the CCI* at Rebecca Farm. Kelly played it conservative leading up to this FEI debut in the States, but she was starting to figure out that she had a very competitive horse underneath her.

“I’ve realized that as we get into the ring he lights up more,” Kelly said. “I think he wants to do well as much as I do, which is a really nice feeling.”

Next week on EN’s Got Talent: We’ll learn about Kelly and Corazon’s experience at Rebecca Farm, where they took home the CCI* win, as well as their plans for their future together.

Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day: One K Giveaway Alert

One K rider Laine Asker celebrates her stadium round with Anthony Patch. Photo by Rare Air Photography. One K rider Laine Asker celebrates her stadium round with Anthony Patch. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day is coming up on August 1, are you ready? Retailers all over the country are gearing up for a big sale to promote helmet wearing, and we’re excited to announce a flash giveaway in honor of #IHAD!

We’ve paired up with One K to give away the ever popular Black Matte Suede helmet in honor of International Helmet Awareness Day — because what better way to stay safe than with a brand spanking new helmet?

You'd look good in this. You know you would.

You’d look good in this. You know you would.

This giveaway will go quickly, so use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Entries will close at 12 a.m. EST on Saturday, August 1 and we’ll announce the winner in Saturday’s News & Notes.

Good luck to all entrants and don’t forget to check the retailer list for the best helmet deals near you on Saturday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Information given in the Rafflecopter widget, including email addresses, may be shared with the corresponding sponsor at their request. You will also be signed up for our weekly EN eNews email newsletter, if you aren’t already. Don’t worry — you’ll just wonder what you’ve been missing out on — and you can unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: South Farm HT Recap

We are loving this recap video from South Farm HT in Ohio thanks to Chris Gable and Sam Lasko Films! With all of the hustle and bustle of the big summer events on the calendar, we can’t forget about each and every other event running throughout the weekends, and we love seeing these recaps coming our way.

Look out for cameos from riders such as Jennie Brannigan and Kelly Sult-Random, as well as many others. Don’t forget to send us your recap videos from your local event!

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Burghley Entries Go Live: Three Americans Entered, Closing Date July 31

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry. Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We got a preview of the Burghley entries today, and while the entries don’t close until Friday we still have a good picture of who will be contesting what is widely known as the biggest, baddest CCI4* in the world.

Three U.S. riders (and one U.S. based Irish rider) will be making the trip to Burghley this year: Laine Ashker, Colleen Rutledge and Lynn Symansky. Tim Bourke, riding for Ireland but based in the States, will also be heading across the pond.

Both Colleen Rutledge, who will be taking Covert Rights abroad, and Lynn Symansky with Donner received competition grants to assist with the costs of the big trip.

Colleen Rutledge and her 9-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding received a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant for Burghley, having completed the horse’s first CCI4* at Rolex in April. This pair finished 11th in Kentucky, an impressive debut for Colleen’s up and coming horse.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Lynn Symansky and Donner, a 12-year-old OTTB gelding, also completed Rolex this year in 12th place overall. This seasoned pair will be contesting Burghley for the first time but have completed Rolex twice, Pau once and also represented the U.S. at WEG in 2014. Lynn and Donner received a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant for their trip to Burghley.

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Laine Ashker and her 16-year-old OTTB gelding, Anthony Patch, are making their first trip overseas since the Olympic test event in Hong Kong in 2007 for their fifth CCI4* start. Laine is currently fundraising for her trip overseas, and you can find out more about contributing here.

All three of these U.S. pairs have proven themselves competitive at the top levels and definitely have the ability to make a statement on dressage day at Burghley. It may be big, bad Burghley but the U.S. will be well represented with accomplished riders this year.

Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality. Photo by Rare Air Photography.

Ireland’s Tim Bourke, who resides in Virginia, will be taking his own Luckaun Quality, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, to Burghley for their third CCI4* start together. This pair completed Rolex in 18th place this year after having an unlucky go at their first attempt in 2014.

A total of 69 entries have, to date, been published on the list — we still expect more to come as the closing date nears and will post a final entry update once all entries are posted.

There are several other pairs worth noting in the early going, including the last three years’ winners, Andrew Nicholson and Avebury, 2014 Badminton winners Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, and 2014 Rolex winners William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero, who also finished fourth in Kentucky this year.

You can view the list of received entries here — you’ll need to click on the “Received Entries” section at the top of the page to access the list.

Stay tuned for many more updates from Burghley! Go Eventing.

Who Jumped It Best? Rebecca Farm CCI3* Cross Country Edition

We’re still going through a bit of Rebecca Farm withdrawal, so we decided to put together one last edition of Who Jumped It Best? for you. We’ll be publishing a final gallery of photos this week, but in the meantime we have a collection of photos from the CCI3* cross country.

I camped out at the main water complex — which was super intense — for the day and was able to see how the combinations handled these Ian Stark questions. Generally this water rode tough but well; I didn’t see a ton of hairy moments here, just lots of concentration and quick thinking! If you missed out on any of our Rebecca Farm coverage this weekend, never fear, you can catch up right here.

Take a look at the following photos from this complex and vote for your favorite overall impression! As always, eternal EN karma to the winner — we all know how big of a deal this is! Good luck!

Avery Klunick and In It to Win It. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Avery Klunick and In It to Win It. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

David Acord and Reigns of Justice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

David Acord and Reigns of Justice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

James Alliston and Tivoli. Photo by Sally Spickard.

James Alliston and Tivoli. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Kiyomi Foster and Tasman Sea. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Kiyomi Foster and Tasman Sea. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Sydney Conley Elliott and Cisko A. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Sydney Conley Elliott and Cisko A. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Camilla & Remington’s NAJYRC Win

Camilla Grover-Dodge and Ron and Densey Juvonen’s Remington XXV took home the individual (and team!) gold medal for Area II at the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships a couple weeks ago, and now we’ve got the full recap of their win thanks to RNS Video. RNS has been uploading a ton of footage from Young Riders over the past few days, so check out their YouTube channel here to watch much more.

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Monday News and Notes from Event Clinics

Until next time, Montana! Photo via Lisa Takada. Until next time, Montana! Photo via Lisa Takada.

Another busy event weekend is in the books, and by the time you read this I will hopefully have made it to my 5:45 a.m. flight. Also known as way too early. With an expletive in between. You get the idea.

It was all worth it, though. I had so much fun this weekend and got to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. What more could you ask for? In all seriousness, it was a really great event. Thanks again to the Broussard family for putting together such a great destination and also to Nancy and Caroline Dein, the McFall family and everyone else who was so hospitable to me throughout my stay!

Weekend Results:

#RF: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, Instagram, Twitter

Stoneleigh-Burnham Summer H.T. [Scores]

Horse Park of New Jersey II H.T.  [Scores]

Cobblestone Farms H.T.  [Scores]

Monday News:

Eventer Izzy Taylor is going to become a jockey! Ok, maybe not forever, but she’s going to take a shot at it, J Brannos style, for charity in this year’s Magnolia Cup. This is an all ladies race that raises money for Amref Health Africa. We can’t wait to see the video! Go get ‘em, Izzy. [Izzy Taylor to Race for Charity]

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an eventing teenager in Germany? You know, that one place where that one guy named Michael Jung lives? Well, thanks to the Chronicle’s latest blogger, you can now get an inside scoop. I’m just waiting for the post that features a stint riding with Michael Jung. Life made. [Eventing in Germany]

Trailering our horses means transporting precious cargo. Some drivers just don’t get that, which is why they all need to read this article. You’ll probably want to share this on your social media to spread the knowledge. You may not be able to fix stupid, but knowledge is still power. [Open Letter to Non Horse Drivers]

Monday Video Break:

Just because it’s Monday and we all need a bit of inspiration:

Rebecca Farm Final Wrap: ‘You Don’t Have to Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here’

Dani Sussman and Kaptain America. Photo by Sally Spickard. Dani Sussman and Kaptain America. Photo by Sally Spickard.

I’m going to start this recap by leaving this here:

Now that we’ve got that over with, it feels a bit like last call at the bar when you really don’t want to leave but the fun has come to an end. That’s the best way I can describe the final day here in Kalispell, which I’ve already called into the higher ups at work to reserve my spot covering it for, well, forever.

The non-stop action came to a close today with the FEI divisions show jumping and the Training, Prelim and Intermediate riders finishing out their show jumping as well. Stadium day always goes by in the blink of an eye, and now here I sit wondering where the weekend went!

For our final wrap-up from the weekend, watch the footage above from Ride On Video, then read on to this big congratulatory list of all of the winners who were crowned today:

Intermediate:
Dani Sussman and Kaptain America (25.0)

Prelim:
A: Sara Mittleider and Harry Houdini (30.6)
B: Karen Whitfield and Rivoletto (35.9)

Training:
Junior A: Ryley Siclair and Athens (32.6)
Junior B: Alyssa Hammel and Ben (23.5)
Senior A: Karen O’Neal and Lifestyle S (23.4)
Senior B: Julie Goodwin and Dee Dee Chaser (29.8)
Senior C: Barry Tyerman and Coal Man (37.4)
Senior D: Jordan Linstedt and Dandy Longlegs (27.5)

Congratulations once more to all of our winners and everyone who competed this weekend. This is a huge event, and everyone deserves a big round of applause for the hard work it took to get here. I can’t wait to be back next year!

#RF: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, Instagram, Twitter

Kurt Martin, Tamie Smith Big Winners at Rebecca Farm

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Sally Spickard. Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Well that’s a wrap on Rebecca Farm 2015! The three-star divisions show jumped concurrently this afternoon, making for an exciting finish for both the CIC and CCI riders.

The course took many, many prisoners today. Four of the eight completing riders left all of the poles up in the CCI3* and just two jumped without knocking any in the CIC3*.

It was not the day for overnight CCI3* leaders Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. They never really got into a good rhythm together, resulting in six rails on the ground and a drop out of first place for Buck.

“Dirk” has a show jump record dotted with rails, including six down at Rolex this year, so we know Buck continues to work to find an improvement for Sherrie Martin’s Irish Sport Horse.

Buck had his usual positive demeanor in the press conference following show jumping, knowing that he and The Apprentice would be back another day. “Obviously I’m disappointed,” he said. “I didn’t come here to be third, but on days like this I always say turn on CNN and my life is not that bad.”

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and we’ll have to see if we can make it better,” Buck continued. “I thought I was onto something last year when he was jumping well and it’s sort of fallen apart this year but we’ll have to go back and find it. That’s one thing about this sport is you’ve just got to keep working and trying different things.”

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The door was open, though, and Kurt Martin had already jumped a beautiful clear round to really lay the pressure on thick from second place. Kurt received a Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant for this trip, and he’s sure to be all smiles in the press conference to have made such a successful trip.

“I think (Delux Z) was a bit overwhelmed, he was spooky and I’ve ridden him long enough to know that that’s how he’d be going in,” Kurt said. “It wasn’t my smoothest round, but I think he trusts me. When he spooks, he jumps higher so that’s definitely a good thing. I’m really proud of him, and to put it all together at your first attempt and finish on your dressage score is not easily done.”

Kurt and Delux Z are the sole pair to finish on the dressage score here in the CCI3* on a final score of 47.0. From there, it wasn’t too much of a contest as second placed James Alliston and Parker lowered three rails for a three day total of 62.9.

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Parker’s round today was also a bit surprising, but as I said before the course was very tricky and asked a lot of both horse and rider. There was little room for error, and unfortunately many fell victim to the smallest of mistakes.

James was still pleased with Parker today, though. “It was a bit of a disappointing end to the show, it really wasn’t the best show jumping round honestly, but I’m still delighted to be second,” he said.”

David Acord and Reigns of Justice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

David Acord and Reigns of Justice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Both David Acord and Bunnie Sexton produced the other two double clear rounds of the division. David Acord gave Reigns of Justice a very enthusiastic “Good girl!” halfway through, and Bunnie was equally pleased with her “Ecko” after her lovely round.

Poor Kiyomi Foster and Tasman Sea were having a lovely go of things in their second CCI3* when things came to a sliding stop at the triple bar at 6A. Tasman Sea decided he’d prefer not to get to the other side, leaving Kiyomi to pick her bruised ego up off the ground. Such a bummer, but we know they’ll be back to fight another day.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

In the CIC3*, it was a no contest as Tamie Smith and Mai Baum ran away with the win despite having one rail down, the pesky plank at the railroad crossing. I’m excited to hear Tamie’s thoughts on her ride today in the press conference, as she’s sure to be thrilled. She is preparing to go back East with Alex Ahearn’s German gelding this fall, so this was an excellent prep and guage of where this newer partnership is.

“(Show jumping) is kind of his trickiest phase,” Tamie said. “He’s so careful and spooky and he hasn’t had a lot of experience at this level. He was very good at the one-star and Intermediate level, but when he went up to two-star and Advanced and three-star now, it’s been a bit of a struggle.”

The rail that came down, a plank, was on a flat cup that Mai Baum barely touched, which Tamie attributed to a slight disagreement on the distance. “He’ll leave from a gap sometimes and sometimes he wants to add. Susie Hutchinson came over and worked with me last month, and she said ‘when you’re on that decision, you need to add,’ and then I had the rail. But we’ll get to know each other and I think he’ll get more confident as we keep going. But he was phenomenal … he jumped really well.”

Barb Crabo and Eveready. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Barb Crabo and Eveready. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Barb Crabo and Eveready had perhaps my favorite and one of the smoothest rounds of the entire day, making the three-star course look easy much as Barb did with Over Easy in the two-star. Barb picked up just one time penalty but she’s still good for second place on a final score of 70.2.

Jen McFall and High Times. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Jen McFall and High Times. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Jen McFall and High Times also had a lovely round, but some hard rubs finally gave way to two rails down towards the end of the course. Jen’s planning to run a couple of combined tests as a part of her prep plan for Blenheim, so we know she will be working hard to get Billy’s show jumping as close to perfect as it can be before she goes to England. Overall, this pair looked fantastic all weekend — really one that is beginning to come into their own.

Once again, I can’t congratulate all of these hard working and gracious riders enough on a great weekend, and thank you to all of the support staff who has made this, without a question, my favorite event to cover.

Go Rebecca!

#RF: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, Instagram, Twitter

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Heather Morris and Charlie Tango Triumphant in Rebecca Farm CCI2*

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard. Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard.

We’re going to start calling Tamie Smith “The Pressure Cooker” (or something more funny) because she’s certainly good at laying the pressure on thick this weekend. As she did in the CCI*, she once again delivered a double clear round, this time aboard Dempsey, to put the pressure on her business partner and best friend, Heather Morris.

Heather and Tamie exchanged high fives as Tamie exited the ring, and Heather settled an exuberant Charlie Tango for a beautiful round to clinch the win. They did pick up one time penalty, but it was still within the breathing room Heather had to still take first.

Tamie Smith and Dempsey. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith and Dempsey. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Charlie Tango, owned by Team Express Group LLC, now picks up his second consecutive win at the CCI2* level, proving himself to be a very serious competitor for Heather. This pair will finish on a score of 43.7 and will have plenty of celebrating to do this evening.

Tamie and the West Coast Dempsey Syndicate’s Dempsey also delivered a clear round to end on their dressage score in his CCI2* debut. This horse finished sixth in the CIC2* at Copper last month and continues to deliver under pressure for Tamie. This pair will take home a final score of 49.4.

Barb Crabo and Over Easy. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Barb Crabo and Over Easy. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Barb Crabo and Over Easy picked another of the double clear rounds today for third place overall on a final score of 52.8. Over Easy is a fun jumper to watch, and this pair made Richard Jeffery’s course look like child’s play.

The top three are the only to have double clear rounds — the rails were falling for the remainder of the division as the course became bigger and more technical. There was an interesting option at fence two on course consisting of either a narrow vertical or a normal width, set at different angles.

Fence two on the CCI2* course. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Fence two on the CCI2* course. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The choice was the riders’, and the left hand turn to the next fence, a big oxer, was to be taken into account. I did see a handful of riders take the option (the wider fence) for what were perhaps green or particularly strong horses.

In all, we saw 10 riders complete the division today after Fleur de Lis (Tamie Smith) and Guinness St. James’ (Amber Levine) were withdrawn overnight. I’ll be adding a gallery from the day to this post later on, so stay tuned for more!

We’re set to kick off the three-star show jumping in about 30 minutes. The orders of go have been combined, so we’ll be seeing both the CIC3* and the CCI3* riders in reverse order — fifth place and then fifth place and so on. I’ll be live tweeting the action over on @eventingnation, so follow along for the latest updates!

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Kelly Pugh and Corazon Take It Home in Rebecca Farm CCI*

Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard. Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The pressure was certainly on Kelly Pugh as she entered the main arena here at Rebecca Farm. A large crowd had gathered and second placed Tamie Smith and Under Wraps had just put in a flawless clear round. Kelly had not a rail in hand to spare, but she needn’t have worried as she, too, jumped a beautiful round to clinch the CCI* win.

Many of the CCI* pairs ended the weekend on their dressage score, and Kelly and David Garrett’s Corazon finished on a final score of 41.3. This weekend was Corazon’s first U.S. FEI competition, having campaigned in Europe previously, and he’s certainly one to keep an eye on for the future. I feel an EN’s Got Talent coming on…

Tamie Smith and Under Wraps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith and Under Wraps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith had a tense morning at the horse inspections, but she shook it off and jumped a beautiful round aboard Beth Lendrum’s Under Wraps for solid second place on a three-day score of 43.0. Tamie has been very pleased with Under Wraps throughout the weekend, who she says keeps improving on a daily basis.

Ruth Bley and Silver Sage. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Ruth Bley and Silver Sage. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Ending their weekend in third are Ruth Bley and Silver Sage, her own 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding. This pair has quite a few one-star miles under their belt, and this weekend’s score of 48.3 is one of their lowest to date.

Auburn Excell Brady and Royal Lux. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Auburn Excell Brady and Royal Lux. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Auburn Excell Brady and Royal Lux enjoyed a nice move up with a rare clear round that landed them in fourth up from eighth after cross country. Auburn and R. Lawrence Sawyer’s Royal Lux picked up two time penalties on course today for a final score of 49.0.

Amanda Hund and Pik Pilot. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Amanda Hund and Pik Pilot. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Jetting up the board from tenth place to finish in fifth are Amanda Hund and her own Pik Pilot, who are contesting their first CCI* here this weekend. This pair will also finish on just their dressage score for a total of 49.4.

Richard Jeffery’s course was definitely tough, which is to be expected. The earlier morning light may have caused some of the fences to become “bogey” type fences, and clear rounds were hard to come by as time went on. Particularly tricky were the liverpool as well as the “railroad crossing” jump which featured a pesky plank that preferred to live on the ground.

I have more photos to add from this division as a gallery, so I’ll add that to the bottom of this post once I am able to. Congratulations to all finishers on a successful weekend!

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Rebecca Farm Open Intermediate Show Jumping Gallery

I was able to stop by the main arena on my way back from the jogs to catch some of the Open Intermediate show jumping. I was lucky enough to catch the top 10 or so, and I really must give eventually winner Dani Sussman a virtual pat on the back for a superb round.

The rails were flying left and right all the way up through the end, and Dani entered with plenty of pressure to execute a clear round — something just one other pair had managed to achieve.

Though Kaptain America gave a couple of jumps a hard rub, the crowd drew in a collective breath when they left up the liverpool, which was one of the more problematic fences on course. What a finale, and big congratulations on a job well done to Dani, who was the sole competitor in this division to finish on her dressage score.

I was able to catch a few moments of action from the Intermediate this morning, so please enjoy this brief gallery! Go Eventing.

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All CIC3* and CCI3* Pass Final Rebecca Farm Horse Inspection

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

It’s a chilly morning here in Kalispell, and the horses are looking fantastic and fresh for the show jumping, which will be held this afternoon for the CCI3* and CIC3*.

The jogs began at 8 a.m. this morning with the CCI*, where three horses were held. Robyn Fischer’s Betawave and Anna Stein’s Zaboomafoo were both passed upon reinspection, and unfortunately Patience O’Neal’s Hollywood Diva was withdrawn from the hold box. It was an emotional moment for Patience, who had been in fourth place overnight.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

There were a few tense moments in the CCI2* inspection as Tamie Smith’s Dempsey was held and asked to re-present for the ground jury. After much deliberation and a second pass during reinspection, Dempsey was passed through to show jumping to big sighs of relief from the onlookers.

Tamie Smith’s other CCI2* ride, Fleur de Lis, was withdrawn before the jog and not presented.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sally Spickard.

No horses were held in the CIC3* and CCI3* jogs, although Rebecca Buehler’s Brighton was withdrawn from the CIC3* and not presented. The horses all look to be in great form and were beautifully turned out thanks to the polish of the hard working grooms behind the scenes.

Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard.

I’ll be adding a gallery of photos from the jog later on today, but unfortunately I’ve forgotten my laptop charger at home today so I need to conserve battery! I also have a small gallery from the Open Intermediate show jumping, which Dani Sussman and Kaptain America have just won, so keep an eye out for that.

We’re set to kick off the CCI* show jumping at 10:30 a.m., followed by the CCI2* at 12:50 p.m. and, finally, the CIC3*/CCI3* at 2:30 p.m. We’re ready for an exciting finish here at Rebecca Farm, so stay tuned for many more updates! I’ll also be live tweeting the three-star divisions, so be sure to follow us on Twitter @eventingnation.

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Who Jumped It Best? Rebecca Farm Open Prelim Edition

I had a chance to run out and catch some Prelim cross country yesterday and watched several pairs jump through the Western Town complex. It’s quite an entertaining little series of jumps, although I’m sure the horses and riders see their line and not much else!

I caught a few shots from the Open A division for your perusal here. I apologize for the slightly off timing for a couple of them, but vote for your favorite overall impression in the poll below! Remember, EN karma is a really valuable prize. Just trust me.

Christian Eagles and Play Ruff. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Christian Eagles and Play Ruff. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Marc Grandia and Severe Flying. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Marc Grandia and Severe Flying. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Martha McDowell and Nabouco De Lessay. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Martha McDowell and Nabouco De Lessay. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Nikki Lloyd and Paloma Paz. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Nikki Lloyd and Paloma Paz. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Sara Mittleider and Code Name. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Sara Mittleider and Code Name. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Saturday Rebecca Farm Wrap-up: Three Days Conclude, Busy Cross Country Day

Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Sally Spickard. Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Put another notch in the calendar — Rebecca Farm is passing by entirely too quickly! Today is the second to last day of competition, and I think we’re all a little sad to see the end coming up, as tired as we may be!

We wrapped up several divisions today while the upper levels tackled cross country. I was able to get around and check out some of the Prelim as well as the Training Three Day action today, so I’ll give you a quick rundown of the winners and leaders from the day.

Starting with the Intermediate, Dani Sussman and Kaptain America held their lead after laying down a double clear cross country. This pair has seamlessly stepped back up to the level after spending 2014 at Prelim and remain on their dressage score of 25.0 to have 7.5 penalties in hand in tomorrow’s show jumping.

I must also give a shout out to second placed Ashley Loucks and Dominic Q, who jumped from ninth to second with another double clear. Just three pairs made the time in this division, so naturally they were rewarded with moves up the board.

We do have one MR on the score sheet from this division, Madison Hogan and Happenstance. From what I have been told, both are ok tonight — they fell in the main water complex on course.

Moving onto the Prelim divisions, I’ll list out the leaders for you here. The Prelim generally seems to have ridden well, and the Junior and Young Rider entrants deserve a round of applause as everyone in that division completed!

Here are your Prelim leaders heading into tomorrow’s show jumping:

Jr/YR: Anne-Sophie Levesque and Eskapade (27.8)

Open A: Sara Mittleider and Harry Houdini (26.6)

Open B: Sarah Haff and Defensive Player (31.1)

The Training Three Day divisions show jumped today, most of which I was able to see. Side note, it’s really nice that most everything is within just a couple minutes’ walk — it makes us media folk quite happy!

The T3D show jumping was quite tricky, and we saw some fresh horses who looked as if they could go out and run another long format event right then and there. Many of these riders are young, and I was really pleased to see some great horsemanship and team spirit among this group.

Show jumping was definitely influential, so we did see some last minute shuffles on the board. Here are your Training Three Day winners:

A: India McEvoy and Eloise (27.2)

B: Sophie Tice and Mojo (34.5)

C: Karen Bristing and Moonlights Ranger (37.1)

Also wrapping up today were the Novice Three Day and Novice divisions. We’ve got several winners to announce here, so let’s get to it

N3D A: Jordan Good and Pikture This (30.9)

N3D B: Bonner Carpenter and Get Busy (22.3)

Junior A: Genevieve Kirsch and Fleeceworks Cinco (25.8)

Junior B: Lilly Linder and Pele (23.3)

Senior A: Kate Chester and Orca (25.3)

Senior B: Julie Simard and Azarius (28.8)

Senior C: Lauren Boriotti and Slingshot (28.0)

Senior D: Leigh Mesher and Finally DG (28.0)

Senior E: Sara Mittleider and La Paz (23.0)

We wrap up Rebecca Farm tomorrow beginning with the Final Horse Inspection for the FEI divisions at 8 a.m., followed by show jumping for Training through CCI3*. Go Eventing!

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Kelly Pugh Hangs On to Rebecca Farm CCI* Lead

Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard. Kelly Pugh and Corazon. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The 50-strong CCI* division has just finished cross country, and it was Kelly Pugh and Corazon who jumped double clear to remain on their dressage score of 41.3 and, subsequently, in the lead heading into show jumping.

This is Kelly’s first FEI event with Corazon, owned by David Garrett, who has proven himself to be a solid citizen after today’s run. This pair doesn’t have much in the way of breathing room in the show jumping tomorrow; less than a rail separates Kelly from second placed Tamie Smith and Under Wraps, who also ran double clear.

Tamie Smith and Under Wraps were one of the last to go, and she was thrilled with how well he ran today. “He’s just such a quality, sweet horse,” Tamie said. “It’s so fun to be on the young ones and see them gain confidence as they keep going out.”

Owned by Beth Lendrum, Under Wraps is under Tamie’s care until he sells and gaining more confidence and experience with every outing. They’ll remain on their dressage score of 43.0 for second place overnight.

Third after cross country is still Auburn Excell Brady and Pinotage, who also easily made the time to add nothing to their dressage score of 45.8. Auburn also has a second ride who is in the top 10 in Royal Lux, who just barely came home over the optimum time for two time penalties. Royal Lux will take eighth place into show jumping on a score of 49.0.

Patience O’Neal and Hollywood Diva ran a fast and clear round and were rewarded with a move up the board, from sixth to fourth, on a score of 47.6. Hollywood Diva is a 14-year-old KWPN mare owned by Barbara Flynn who is a newer ride for Patience. This is their first FEI competition together; they most recently finished fourth in the Intermediate at Whidbey Island.

Anna Collier and The Green Machine round out the top five, moving from seventh to fifth on a score of 48.0. The Green Machine is contesting his second CCI* this weekend and looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself as he rounded the turn to the last group of fences today.

The CCI* course rode quite well overall, 25 of the 42 finishers completing double clear runs. We did see a few tired horses coming around to the last, but overall it seems the horses were fit and running well through the end.

We’re just wrapping up the press conference for the CCI3* now, so I’ll be updating all of my reports throughout the rest of the day with quotes and more photos. Once again, I can’t thank everyone here who is working so hard to run a smooth and seamless event. Hats off to each one of you!

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Tamie Smith and Mai Baum Keep Hold of Rebecca Farm CIC3*

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard. Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith left no stone unturned today on cross country with Mai Baum, her third ride of the afternoon. This pair has a healthy lead over the rest of the field, not quite making the time but still remaining on a score in the 40s.

I saw Tamie and Mai Baum through the two water questions near Spectator Hill, and they looked alert and every bit the professional pair they’ve become together this year. They had the fastest round of the day, picking up just 8.4 time penalties to add to her dressage score. This pair has quite a bit of breathing room in the show jumping tomorrow.

“Wow,” was the first thing Tamie said when asked about her ride on Mai Baum. “He’s a freak. He really is. He is an unbelievable horse.”

Tamie told us that she’ll head back east with “the Black Stallion” to aim for the CCI3* at Fair Hill in October.

Remaining in second place are Barb Crabo and Eveready, who picked up 16.4 time penalties for a two day score of 16.4. This is another pair who looked keen and fit throughout the course and never seemed to have any trouble.

Jen McFall and High Times. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Jen McFall and High Times. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Blenheim-bound Jen McFall and High Times will take third place into tomorrow after picking up some time on course, but they still looked to be having a pretty cracking round. Jen has been pleased with how well “Billy” seems to be growing up over the last few months, and this weekend will be a great gauge for the finishing touches before the big trip to England in September.

Anna Collier and Gleaming Road will also remain in their original position, fourth place, with 16 time penalties, the second fastest of the day behind Tamie and Mai Baum.

Completing the top five in the CIC3* are Alyssa Phillips and Bliss II, who jumped from 10th to fifth with 17.2 time penalties added.

Three pairs did not complete the course. Ashlynn Muechel and Morning Star retired after two stops at the water at 11, and Anni Grandia and Chaos retired after some trouble at fence 7, a keyhole to a brush.

Allison Sparks and Mystic Mojo are currently shown as eliminated, but this may be changed after an appeal. Allison was originally held up at fence 22 for continuing on with too many refusals, but she said she planned to appeal a 20 assessed I believe at fences 4 and 5. We’ll keep an eye on the scores and update you accordingly!

In all, the CIC3* seemed to ride fairly well, the time being the biggest concern. The water at fence 13 AB rode a bit sticky throughout the day — it came after a steep downhill approach following a drop log. Just one rider who completed picked up any jumping penalties, so overall the course rode quite well.

As always, I have photos of the top riders to add, so I will update this post as soon as the FEI divisions complete. We’re beginning the much larger CCI* division here in just about 10 minutes.

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Buck Davidson and The Apprentice Lead Rebecca CCI3* after Dramatic Cross Country

Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard. Buck Davidson and The Apprentice. Photo by Sally Spickard.

It was a dramatic day for the CCI3* riders here on Ian Stark’s course at Rebecca Farm, and we’re heartbroken for dressage winners Jordan Linstedt and RevitaVet Capato, who had a spill at fence 23, the Stone Oxer. From what we have heard both Jordan and Capato are ok, but their unfortunate elimination has slotted Buck Davidson and The Apprentice into first place.

“(The Apprentice) actually did it easier than I thought he was going to,” Buck said. “I found the time to be quite easy. I was a little worried about the last water, but he dug in and tried there. I’m very happy with him.”

Buck was quick to thank the Broussards as well as the hard workers who have been making improvements to the ground and who have done so much to promote the sport. “As transportation gets easier, the country gets smaller,” he commented. “We can’t have ‘East Coast eventing,’ ‘West Coast eventing,’ and ‘Texas eventing’ — it has to be USA. It’s a benefit for the sport that everybody gets to see everybody, and for me to come out and ride different courses, it’s good for me.”

Buck showed every ounce of experience he possessed during a very hairy moment at a big, airy oxer at fence 14. The gathered spectators held a collective breath as Buck and “Dirk” got the job done and kicked on for a double clear round. When asked about that moment in this afternoon’s press conference, Buck just laughed and said he was trying to keep things exciting for the spectators watching. Mission accomplished!

Additionally, this is a particularly exciting day for this horse, owned by Sherrie Martin, as it’s the first time he’s made the time at this level. Well ridden, Buck!

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Sally Spickard.

A good number of the riders had no trouble making the time today, and Kurt Martin with Delux Z was one such. I saw the riders come through the intense water complex here at Spectator Hill, and it’s a very technical series of questions that Kurt did quite well with. He said yesterday that he was looking out for his horse, and he certainly did a great job managing his ride as Delux Z looked full of run at the finish.

“(Delux Z was focused and went around really smoothly,” Kurt said. “I think it was as good as he’s ever gone. I think it’s all coming together.”

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

James Alliston and Parker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

James Alliston and Parker moved up to third with another of the double clear rounds. This is another experienced pair who had no trouble making the time and looked smooth everywhere I saw them. Parker looks fighting fit and quite ready to continue his season after finishing 15th at Rolex in April.

“I probably went a bit too quick really,” James said. “But (Parker) did it easily. He’s a very fast horse. He’s been super sound and he’s a really great horse for me.”

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Bella Mowbray and Star Vision also had a great run, moving up to fourth place despite picking up some time at the water by taking the alternate route. I plan to try to catch up with Bella at some point this week — we must get to know our new Aussie friend!

As with the CCI2*, the final water at fence 22 caused a lot of issues. One rider, JM Durr with Esprit de la Danse, was eliminated on refusals here, where others picked up 20s. James Alliston retired Tivoli here after picking up one refusal. Buck Davidson also pulled Petite Flower up shortly after starting — he said yesterday that she has been dealing with some shoulder discomfort, so he will save her for another day.

I have much more commentary to add from this division, as well as press conference comments, but the CIC3* is about to begin so I will have to return to this this afternoon!

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