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Sally Spickard

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Michael Pollard Shows Off Dressage Skillz at Rocking Horse + Twin Rivers Scores

Michael Pollard and Halimey at Carolina International in 2014. Photo by Sally Spickard. Michael Pollard and Halimey at Carolina International in 2014. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Michael Pollard and two of the Chatsworth Stud stallions, Songline and Halimey, packed a one-two punch today in the Open Intermediate B division at Rocking Horse. Songline, an 11-year-old Trakehner, won the day with a jaw-dropping 18.3, followed by stablemate Halimey, a 10-year-old Trakehner, who scored a 20.8.

Michael’s certainly no stranger to wowing the dressage judges, and he completed the day with a first and third finish with just time penalties added aboard both stallions. Halimey will take home the blue with just 1.6 time added, while Songline took third with 11.6 time added.

Buck Davidson and Quasar moved up from third to second with a quick footed cross country run, adding 2 time penalties for a final score of 27.2. Quasar was out for his second run of the year, coming off a fourth place finish in the Intermediate at Rocking Horse I last month. Buck’s remarked in the past about how professional this horse is, and he seems to have finished in top form today.

Moving up from ninth to fourth overall are Kylie Dermody and Da Vinci Code in their fourth run of the year. Da Vinci Code is an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Joan Nichols, and he and Kylie have enjoyed much consistency since beginning their partnership over the winter.

Fans of The Flying Deer will be pleased to see him back in action in his first event since WEG. Lynn and Donner scored a 26.7 in the dressage and added 6.4 in what was surely a walk in the park for the seasoned campaigner to round out the top five in the B division.

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

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Kylie Dermody also enjoyed a top finish in the Open Intermediate A division, taking home the win aboard Lup the Loop on a final score of 34.2. This pair skipped around cross country to come home double clear. Also owned by Joan Nichols, Lup the Loop picks up his third win of the young season this weekend.

Kylie will also celebrate a fourth place aboard Cooley Ice in this division, just inching over 40 penalties after another double clear cross country run this afternoon.

Whitney Mahloch and her own Military Mind, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, made short work of their first run of the season, finishing just barely in second place on a score of 34.7. This pair had a solid 2014 season at the Intermediate and two-star level, so we can’t wait to see what’s on their agenda for the new season.

In third place in the A division are Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Delta Queen, who just stepped up to the Intermediate level at Rocking Horse earlier this month. Sharon White and Severn Sky round out the top five in fifth place after moving up from eighth after show jumping.

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Sable Giesler was the winner of the Intermediate Rider division aboard Evil Munchkin (best name ever?). This is Evil Munchkin’s first run since completing the CCI2* at Fair Hill in the fall, and the pair added 10 time penalties to their dressage score to finish the day on a 41.3.

Rachel Wilks and River King, a former ride of Emily Beshear’s, bounded up the board from 10th to finish in second after the quickest cross country round of the division. This pair also completed the CCI2* at Fair Hill last fall and have gotten off to a great start so far in 2015.

Area IV shout-out! Jordynn Sahagian and Nestor also enjoyed a move up in the standings, shifting from sixth to complete the top three after cross country completed. This was their second run of the season; they opened up their year with a win in the Prelim at Ocala earlier this month.

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Meanwhile on the West coast, best friends Tamie Smith and Heather Morris are holding court in the A and B divisions of Intermediate at Twin Rivers.

Tamie is riding Alex Ahearn’s Mai Baum this weekend and, if her videos from schooling the German gelding with David O’Connor this week are any sign, the gelding looks to be in top form. Tamie and “Lexus” earned a 20.7 in the dressage to take the lead over Tamie’s other ride, Fleur de Lis.

Tamie and Mai Baum have been busy forming a partnership this year, as Tamie has taken over the ride for Alex Ahearn while Alex is at college. We’re sure we’ll be seeing some great things from this pair!

The Team Milton Syndicate’s Fleur de Lis is running his first Intermediate of the season, having had a good pipe opener with a win at Fresno earlier this month and will take a score of 24.4 to follow his stablemate into cross country tomorrow.

In third place are Elizabeth New and Fleeceworks Mystere du Val, who are coming off of a third place in the Open Intermediate at Fresno. Elizabeth is a young rider from Texas who has had some great successes with Fleeceworks Mystere du Val at the Intermediate level. They’ll be on a score of 29.4 heading into cross country.

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

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Leading the Open Intermediate B division are Heather Morris and Company Team Express’ Charlie Tango. Heather’s been partnered with Charlie Tango since he was competing at the lower levels, and they’re now out for their third Intermediate run this weekend after winning the Preliminary Horse division at AECs last fall. Charlie Tango earned a 26.1 to take into the final two phases of competition.

Tamie Smith is hot on Heather’s heels with Sunsprite Syrius, another young talent for Sunsprite Warmbloods. Syrius is making his Intermediate debut this weekend and is off to a great start with a 26.9 in the dressage. Tamie will likely be looking for education out on James Atkinson’s cross country course tomorrow.

Derek di Grazia and his own Ringwood Justice round out the top three in this division on a score of 28.7 — lots of scores in the 20s this weekend! Derek moved Ringwood Justice up to Intermediate last spring, bringing home several top 10 finishes in his subsequent starts.

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Friday Videos from World Equestrian Brands: Celebrating the Highest Scoring U.S. Horses

It’s not often that a company can say it’s supported the highest scoring eventing horses in the U.S. for nine years running, but that’s exactly what World Equestrian Brands has done.

The company outfits both Buck Davidson and Carl and Cassie Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM and also sponsored Kim Severson and Linda Wachtmeister and Plain Dealing Farm’s Winsome Adante during their historic run. Ballynoe Castle RM took over the U.S. Highest Scoring Horse title last year with 1,377 points, just edging Winsome Adante’s 1,355 points.

Kim and “Dan” are well known in eventing households, winning Rolex in 2002, 2004 and 2005, as well as clinching World and Olympic medals. Buck and “Reggie” have represented the U.S. on two WEG squads and have completed Rolex three times, in addition to Badminton and Burghley.

The prestigious brands represented by World Equestrian Brands — Amerigo, Vespucci, Mattes, and Equilibrium — have served both Buck and Kim well in their tenure as the top eventing pairs in recent U.S. history. Join us in celebrating these two greats with these videos of highlights in their respective careers.

 

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

OTTBs are among the most prominently represented breed in the eventing world. Each day, hundreds of ex-racehorses find themselves at the end of their racing career and in need of a new home. Luckily, organizations such as CANTER, New Vocations, Recycled Racehorses, and many more are always on alert for new horses that are ready for second careers. Each week, we'll be bringing you a few OTTB ads that caught our eye. Keep an eye out here for your next eventing superstar!

We have to be honest — this whole window shopping deal is difficult! It’s so hard to not pick up the phone when we come across an OTTB we love. All the more reason for you to give one of our featured horses a new home! Chinch is a great enabler, so if you need any help with convincing, he’s your guy.

Photo via After the Races.

Photo via After the Races.

We’re definitely crushing on our first horse this week, a 5-year-old liver chestnut mare. Standing at 16.1 hands, Twin Kisses (DelfrereSteady Anna, by Steady Growth) raced 25 times, winning once. Her last race was at Penn National in December, and she’s now available for purchase through After the Races in Nottingham, Pennsylvania.

“Besos” is clean legged and sound and is said to be fit for any discipline. She’s a mannerly girl and can turn out with any herd. We would love to see this uphill, leggy girl go to an eventing home — make it happen, EN!

Click here for Twin Kisses’ listing at After the Races.

Photo via Second Stride Inc.

Photo via Second Stride Inc.

Keeping with our chestnut theme, Seton Hall is an 8-year-old gelding available for adoption through Second Stride Inc. in Crestwood, Kentucky. Standing 16.1+ hands, Seton Hall (Lion HeartNew Jersey, by Kingmambo) raced 28 times and earned over $160,000 on the track. His last race was in August 2014, and he’s been enjoying hacks around the farm and socializing since retiring.

Click here for Seton Hall’s listing on Second Stride Inc.

Photo via CANTER Mid Atlantic.

Photo via CANTER Mid Atlantic.

Diverging from our chestnuts this week, this guy’s got plenty of white to get you noticed in the show ring. Jerek Deter (baseball fans, this one’s for you!) is a 16 hand, 5-year-old gelding available through CANTER Mid-Atlantic on a farm near Mountaineer Park in West Virginia.

Jerek Deter (Thunder GulchEmpress Lil, by Grindstone) raced 31 times, most recently on Valentine’s Day, and has won a little over $63,000 in his career. He does have a small osselet on which he is said to be sound, and he’s ready to take on a new career.

Click here for Jerek Deter’s listing on CANTER Mid Atlantic.

Scott Hayes Aims to Bring Big-Name Clinicians to North America

Happy participants and auditors after a successful William Fox-Pitt clinic. Photo courtesy of Scott Hayes. Happy participants and auditors after a successful William Fox-Pitt clinic. Photo courtesy of Scott Hayes.

Aspire to inspire. It’s a simple motto, and it’s the theory behind Scott Hayes’ business model for SH Productions Inc. By integrating his background with event planning and passion for equestrian sport, he’s created a unique business centered around taking educational clinics to a whole new level.

When William Fox-Pitt landed in Vancouver to teach a clinic in Canada earlier this month, Scott had every detail covered. Fresh off of a 10-hour flight, William was whisked off to a 4-star hotel and treated like a VIP all weekend. Not to mention, he flew first class.

Hundreds of auditors and more than 30 horses and riders came to learn from William, and Scott accommodated all of them with ease. The result? A fantastic educational opportunity for all involved and a happy clinician who was able to do his job in a well organized environment.

Anky van Grunsven during her clinic organized by Scott.

Anky van Grunsven during her clinic. Photo courtesy of Scott Hayes.

Building the business

Scott cut his teeth early in his career by managing a top-notch equestrian facility housed in a private equestrian community. “I was the general manager, and the idea came to me to put on world class events there. We had the facility for it, so there would be a huge draw for people to come,” Scott said.

I’m a ‘go big or go home’ type person, and when the board of directors didn’t want to take on the financial risk of the events I was envisioning, I asked their permission to go ahead and plan it on my own.”

Scott set the bar high, eyeing Anky van Grunsven, the renowned dressage rider, as a potential clinician to introduce to the Canadian equestrian community. “I wanted to bring a world class clinician to an area that perhaps wasn’t getting as much attention,” Scott said. “I felt like there was a niche in the market.”

After securing permission from the board to plan the clinic, Scott worked furiously to pull off the event. Having already secured dates with Anky, he had just three months to bring his vision to reality.

“That was a big risk,” Scott said. “In three months, I created a company and went all out in planning. (Anky) had a very high price tag, and there were a lot of ends to be met. But in the end, everything went off without a hitch. Everyone who came learned something and found her training methods to be clear and concise. They all wanted her to come back the following year.

The view from an auditor's table at Scott Hayes' William Fox-Pitt clinic in Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Scott Hayes.

The view from an auditor’s table at Scott Hayes’ William Fox-Pitt clinic in Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Scott Hayes.

Joining the eventing ranks 

Having recently ventured into event horse ownership, Scott decided to make an eventing clinic his next marquee event. Keeping with his “go big or go home” theme, Scott targeted William Fox-Pitt, contacting his assistant in an effort to secure dates for 2015.

“I was very persistent with William’s assistant. That’s what I will always tell someone looking for advice — you’ve got to be persistent, while making sure you’re not annoying. The saying ‘patience is a virtue’ really is true when dealing with top-level athletes. Due to their demanding schedules, securing dates is the hard part — the rest is easy,” Scott said.

Scott set dates for William’s clinic in Vancouver and also created sponsorship opportunities for the clinic to reduce costs. For the facility, Scott chose a large indoor arena where William could bring in cross country fences. “I wanted William to have access to everything he needed,” Scott said. “I also want to support all the facilities I can, so it just depends on what the event requires.”

Scott also had prospective riders apply for their spot in the clinic. Since he kept entry costs as low as possible, he created more of an invitational model, screening applicants and selecting qualified combinations to ride with William.

Auditors were welcomed, and VIP tables were made available for those who wanted to view the clinic as up close and personal as possible. “My philosophy for pricing is evolving. The costs for these events is extremely high, and it’s not fair to rely on the riders to cover everything. I look at it as a presentation, a learning opportunity for everyone, especially the auditors,” Scott said.

“I try to keep the cost for riding as low as I can — I rely more on the community surrounding the event to support. Whether it’s corporate sponsorships or auditing tickets, it’s a way to involve everyone and spread out the costs.”

Graphic via Scott Hayes.

Graphic via Scott Hayes.

‘Aspire to inspire’

Scott hopes to continue planning events that will provide unique opportunities for education and, subsequently, inspiration. “My motto is ‘aspire to inspire,’ and I want people to be inspired by what they’ve seen,” he said. “These clinicians have worked hard to get where they are, and I want the events to be an inspiration to improve every facet of your life.

His next big clinic venture is the West Coast Dressage Symposia with Charlotte Dujardin on May 1-2 in Surrey, British Columbia. Once again, Scott has pulled out all the stops to make the event one that attendees will be talking about for months to come.

VIP tickets and auditing packages were made available, and accommodations were made for Charlotte and her best friend, Ian, to make a vacation out of their trip to Canada. “I want the clinicians to leave our events and remember it. I want it to be a memorable experience for them, because I think we have a lot to offer here,” Scott said.

What advice would Scott give to event and clinic organizers based on his experiences? “Delegate,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m still working on, but that is what personal growth is about. You have to be willing to accept the help that people offer. At William’s clinic, I almost felt as if I wasn’t doing enough because I had delegated enough that I didn’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.”

In the grand scheme of things, Scott has found his niche. Education is an integral part of any equestrian pursuit, and Scott’s aim is to provide those opportunities in a unique way. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so rewarding. After all, it’s only two or three days you have to get through! It’s all well worth it in the end.

To learn more about upcoming opportunities from SH Productions Inc., click here

EN’s Got Talent: Santos Shows Promise as a Future Star

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.

Boyd Martin and Santos schooling at Stable View Farm in Aiken earlier this month. Photo by Jenni Autry. Boyd Martin and Santos schooling at Stable View Farm in Aiken earlier this month. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Last week on EN’s Got Talent, we got to know a little more about Santos, the newest upper-level prospect in Boyd Martin’s barn. Bearing a striking resemblance to Neville Bardos in both looks and demeanor, Boyd is thrilled to have the opportunity to build a partnership with the 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding.

Boyd and Santos’ first competition together was at Full Gallop in Aiken, South Carolina, at the end of January. “Our first event was nearly disastrous,” Boyd said. “He did very well in the dressage and show jumping, but on cross country, I was a bit on cruise control and didn’t give him the best line into the water, so he had a bit of a peek there. So it wasn’t great, but we went and schooled a few times before our next event at Paradise Farm, and he was spot on.”

Indeed, the young gelding found his rhythm with Boyd in his next outing at Paradise, winning his Open Training division on his dressage score of 24.8. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves,” Boyd said. “We’re not setting the world on fire yet, but we’re improving each day.”

Boyd’s general training philosophy is to spend a year at each level to ensure his horses don’t have gaps in their education as they progress. Many riders designate a level to spend more time on, and for Boyd, it’s Intermediate.

“I used to do a year at each (level) and then take them Advanced,” he explained. “But I’m finding myself spending more time at Intermediate and two-star level now. You see basically the same questions as an Advanced course in that you’ll have a corner to a corner or a one stride into the water to a narrow out. The difference is that instead of two strides corner to corner, you’ve got six strides corner to corner, and so on. So the horse can be a bit greener and you have more time to show them where to go and educate them.”

What about the potential for Santos to go up to the Advanced level? Boyd would like to think that his newest charge has the makings to be a four-star horse. “Four-star horses have that look about them, that championship look. I’m not sure that’s very technical, but you can tell when you see it.”

“You have to ask, honestly, if this horse has the ability to gallop for 12 minutes,” he continued. “That’s a big question. Not many people in the world know the feeling of galloping a tired horse coming to the last fence, and I’ll tell you it’s an awful feeling and one that I sincerely try to avoid at all costs.”

Boyd’s got high hopes for Santos, and his full Thoroughbred pedigree will certainly give him a leg up in the question of stamina. For now, he’ll continue fine tuning the skills the horse will need to be successful in the future. “His dressage is world class, and cross country will come very easily to him because of his style,” Boyd said. “I’ll be gently chipping away at the show jumping;I’m pretty confident in this guy.”

Santos also adds some personality to the barn, always hanging his head over his stall door to observe the happenings around him. “He’s always happy to be there,” Boyd said. “When you hop on, he’s a character. If it’s cold and windy, he’ll jump around a bit — he doesn’t mind jumping up in the air! He’s definitely a bit quirky.”

We can’t wait to see more from Santos as his education continues to progress, and Boyd is thrilled to have the support of Gloria Callen and Ron and Densey Juvonen in his quest to develop his next upper-level partner.

Wednesday Videos from Kentucky Performance Products: Pine Top Prelim Helmet Cam

Brendan Quinn competes his Percheron cross, Smoke, at the Preliminary level and the pair stepped out for their first Prelim run of the year this past weekend at Pine Top. Braving cold weather and a bit of rain, Brendan and Smoke made easy work of the course as evidenced by his helmet cam above.

They added 8 time penalties in show jumping to finish fifth in the Jr/YR Preliminary division — a great start to the season! Brendan also captured some footage of his show jumping round:

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Snag a Working Student Job with These Listings

Working students have all the ... fun? Photo by Meg Kep. Working students have all the ... fun? Photo by Meg Kep.

With the spring season reaching full swing, many eventers are beginning the search for working students once again. Working students are an essential part of any equine operation, involving themselves in the day to day work that goes into maintaining top horses.

Working for a rider affords you the opportunity to learn from a professional while also building your resume and sense of responsibility. It’s hard work, that’s no question! In the end, though, you’ll walk away with one of the best character building experiences of your life. We’ll be updating this post throughout the next few weeks as new listings are added.

Riders and trainers: If you are searching for a working student or groom, please email sally@eventingnation.com so we can add your listing to our post.

Go Working Students!

Open Working Student Positions

Lisa Barry (FL): Lisa Barry Equestrian is looking for a special person to join our team! The ideal candidate is an eventer who is self-driven, hard working with attention to detail. Must be trustworthy, responsible, eager to learn, and respectful. The working student has the opportunity to learn all aspects of breaking, training and competing event horses from babies through the 3* level. This job includes barn chores, tacking/untacking, grooming at home and at events, etc. in exchange for lessons on your horse, help training your horse, coaching at events. Student also receives a stall and/or place to live. Riding opportunities based on experience. If qualified, this person could have the opportunity to groom at prestigious events like Fair Hill and Rolex, with the hope of traveling to competitions in Europe in the future. Must have own vehicle and health insurance. Located in Ocala Florida. Contact lisa@lisabarryequestrian.com. Visit lisabarryequestrian.com for more info on our program.

Bascule Farm/Lillian Heard/Dick and Julie Hagen (MD): We have a very successful year long resident student program. We are currently looking for a strong novice level or above rider to be sponsored to compete young and more advanced horses in starter and recognized trials in 2015. Housing, field board for one horse, 4 lessons a week, competitions/hauling/coaching and $100/wk. Check out our website and fill out an application if interested in interviewing.

Kyle and Jen Carter (FL): We are looking for a barn manager and also have an opening for a working student, both starting in April.  We have a busy event barn with horses from green thru CCI****, learn all aspects of the business from selling to training and competing. Accommodations plus room for one horse. Minimum of 6 month commitment.  Please email at fivering@hotmail.com.

Mara DePuy (SC/VA): Mara DePuy has an immediate opening for a working student in Aiken, SC until March, when they will move north to Round Hill, VA. Fantastic opportunity for one-on-one education from one of the best. More details and contact information can be found at MaraDepuyeventing.com

Elysian Hills Equestrian Center (VA): Elysian Hills Equestrian Center is looking for working students for the summer of 2015 or long term. Working students at Elysian Hills spend much more time in the saddle than the average working student, often getting several lessons each day. In addition to caring for the boarders, horses in training, and breeding stock, working students are responsible for riding several horses a day that vary in experience from green broke to seasoned horses who have competed through intermediate. Working students have the opportunity to take lessons from renowned international event riders on a weekly basis, as well as compete in local and recognized shows throughout the area. There is no minimum age for the position, but working students must be responsible, independent, and self-motivated. This the perfect opportunity for dedicated riders who do not have the finances to back them. Students may choose to live in a shared apartment on the farm or commute. There is a possibility to bring your own horse. Please Contact Lucy Gordon at blgordon13@yahoo.com for more information.

Sinead Halpin (FL/NC): We at Sinead Halpin Eventing are looking for a working student to start right away in Florida. We will be in Ocala till the third week in March then head to North Carolina until Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Perks of the job… great horses, great people, plenty of lessons and competitions BUT this is a HARD job with long hours, little sleep and requires a self-motivated dedicated applicant. Please email me at Sinead@sineadhalpin.com if you are interested.

Kelli Temple (VA): Working student position for Kelly Temple Eventing opening April 1. Come work and train with Olympic rider, Kelli McMullen Temple – We are looking for a motivated, energetic and enthusiastic student who’s interest is in eventing.  Position requires 6 days of work in exchange for board of one horse, lessons, coaching and transport to shows.  We are located just outside of Middleburg, VA on a 60 acre farm with an outdoor jumping ring, covered arena and full x-country schooling course. Our team prides itself on individual attention and a positive learning environment – ideal for the dedicated rider. For more info pls contact Kelli akmtemple@hotmail.com or visit our website - www.kellitempleeventing.com.

Kismet Farm/Tracy Bowman/Jolie Wentworth (CA): Top California event barn, Kismet Farms, is looking for an eager working student for the 2015 season. Responsibilities to include barn chores (no mucking!), turn outs, and riding. Working student will receive frequent lessons with head trainer Tracy Bowman and 4 star rider Jolie Wentworth. Plenty of horses in the barn to ride if you don’t bring your own, but personal horses also welcome. Plenty of learning, schooling, and showing possibilities and plenty of saddle time! Modest living accommodations provided. Please contact Tracy for additional details at 925-917-3276kismetfarms1@gmail.com or visit www.kismetfarms.net.

Jeffrey Kohler – Combined Driving (Ontario): Working Student position available at Relhok Farm Barrie Ontario. Full service training facility for riding, pleasure and combined driving, specializing in ponies. 22 stalls, wash stall, 2 grooming stalls, tack room/viewing room, 70×180 indoor, 100mx40m outdoor ring, 135 acres with hacking. Looking for ambitious, self starting, reliable and dedicated working student. Responsibilities to include stalls, grooming, turnout, tack cleaning, feeding, light lawn care etc. Different arrangements available from onsite apartment to living off site. Stall available for student’s horse or pony. Opportunity to ride and for carriage driving. Travel to shows all over Ontario and the US training/coaching in carriage driving. Availability to show if qualified — on the line, under saddle and Carriage Driving. Please contact Jeffrey Kohler at  jeff@relhok.ca.

Sean McQuillan (VA): McQuillan Equestrian is looking for a special candidate to fill their open working student position starting in March. Located at Kilfinnan Stables in Warrenton, VA, McQuillan Equestrian is dedicated to the sport of eventing and providing top-level training to both horses and riders. Our ideal candidate has a good work ethic, strong time-management skills and a keen interest in learning, as well as their own method of transportation. You must be able to work well with others, take direction and have a great attitude. Practical experience with horses is a must, and experience with young horses and a familiarity with eventing would be helpful. We maintain a 6-day workweek with consistent barn hours. Most days will consist of riding for the first part of the day with routine horse management and the availability of a lesson in the afternoon. Traveling to shows and events should be expected. In addition to riding, you will have a behind-the-scenes look at the horse management and veterinary side of our business, and gain experience in helping to manage a successful training operation. Housing will be provided and board for one horse is a possibility. Must be at least 18 years old. If you are interested in our working student position, please send a resume and a riding video to Kendra McQuillan: kilfinnanstables@gmail.com. For more information about McQuillan Equestrian, our facilities and our horses, please visit our website: www.kilfinnanstables.com.

Playland Farm Equestrian Center/Glenda Player (MD): Playland Equestrian Center (Union Bridge) is currently seeking long and short-term working students to be a part of the Playland team. All working students are required to be at least 18-years-old. Long-term working students stay for a minimum of six months, and receive free housing at the farm and board for one horse. Short-term working students generally come for the summer or spring break, and receive board at a reduced rate.   All students are encouraged to bring their own horse if they have one. Depending on the students’ skill level, students may receive the opportunity to work several horses a day, whether it is in-hand or under saddle, including their own horse in addition to other farm and operational tasks. Lessons/coaching/showing opportunities also available. Limited housing available on the farm. Salary to be discussed with applicant. Apply Today! Visitwww.playlandequestriancenter.com for more information.

Denise Rath (FL): Denise Rath at Grey Fox Farm in Ocala, FL has an immediate opening for a full time working student. This is a great opportunity for somebody who wants to do some riding & competing, as well learning the day to day operations of a large barn. In exchange for your hard work we offer nice accommodations, board for your horse & daily lessons. For the right person we can offer the rare opportunity of a free lease on one of our horses with advanced level experience. Please send resumes to mlundberg81@gmail.com or drath@greyfoxfarm.com

Monday Videos from Tredstep Ireland: Emily Beshear Takes On Pine Top

Tredstep Ireland rider Emily Beshear and Deep Purple Eventing’s Shame On the Moon stepped out for their first Advanced run of the season at Pine Top this past weekend. The pair took second place into cross country in the Advanced B division and picked up 12.8 time penalties to finish the weekend in 13th place.

“Delta” stepped up to the Advanced level after winning the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh last May, culminating the year with completing the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3*. The 9-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare has continued to impress Emily with her elegant presence and confident nature in the jumping phases; we’re sure we have much more to see from this mare.

Check out Emily and Delta’s first Advanced outing of the year with these videos, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer.

Horse Sport Ireland Names 2015 High Performance Squad

Clare Abbott and Euro Prince at WEG. Photo by Jenni Autry. Clare Abbott and Euro Prince at WEG. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Senior Eventing High Performance Manager Nick Turner has selected his squad for the 2015 season, stocking it full of well qualified participants with the goal of the Summer Olympics in Rio looming in 2016.

The 2015 Irish High Performance Eventing Squad is as follows:

Clare Abbott & Euro Prince (ISH)

  • Euro Prince (ISH) – 2003 chestnut gelding by Lougheries Quiet Man (UNK) out of Miss Tullydraw. (UNK). Breeder: Dr. Cormac McKay. Owner: Dr. Cormac McKay

Aoife Clark & Fenya’s Elegance (ISH)

  • Fenya’s Elegance (ISH) – 2004 mare by Ricardo Z (ZANG) out of Fenya (ISH) by Good Thyne (TB). Breeder: P J Hegarty. Owner: P J Hegarty

Fraser Duffy & Fernhill Revelation (ISH)

  • Fernhill Revelation (ISH) – 2006 bay gelding by Warrenstown You 2 (ISH) out of Hallo Noble Girl (ISH), by Hallo (SF). Breeder: Ronan Tynan. Owner: Carol Gee.

Sarah Ennis & Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH)

  • Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH) 2004 gelding by VDL Ricochet [was Romke] (KWPN). Owner: Horseware Products LTD, Niki Potterton and the late Orla Ennis

Ciaran Glynn & Killossery Jupiter Rising (ISH)

  • Killossery Jupiter Rising (ISH) 2005 bay gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of Seshta Flight (ISH) by Laughton’s Flight (ISH). Breeder: June Atkinson. Owners: Laura Glynn & Emily Fleming.

Mark Kyle & Jemilla

  • Jemilla – 2006 bay mare by Mill Law out of Jessica XIX by Louella Moschallah. Owner Shelagh Moorley.

Joseph Murphy & Westwinds Hercules (ISH), Electric Cruise (ISH) and Sportsfield Othello (ISH)

  • Westwinds Hercules (ISH) – 2005 bay gelding by Ramiro B (BWP) out of Westwinds Clover (ISH) by Porter Rhodes (TB). Breeder: Alice Keogh. Owner: Alison Schmutz & Andrew Tinkler.
  • Electric Cruise (ISH) – 2001 gelding by Cruising (ISH) out of Kilnamac Sally (ISH) by Clover Hill (RID). Breeder: James J Ryan. Owners:Noel Good & Jill Andrews & Annette O’Callaghan & Michelle Nelson
  • Sportsfield Othello (ISH) – 2001 Bay Gelding by Ricardo Z (ZANG) out of Moy View Lady (ISH) by Ring of Ford (TB). Breeder: John Kenny, Owners: Jill Murphy, Alison Schmutz & Andrew Tinkler

Austin O’Connor & Ringwood Missippi (ISH), Kilpatrick Knight (ISH) and Balham Houdini (ISH)

  • Ringwood Mississippi (ISH) – 2002 brown gelding by Mark Twain (TB) out of Clogh Pride (ISH), by Townrath Pride (ID). Breeder: Andrew Doogue. Owner: Kate Jarvey.
  • Kilpatrick Knight (ISH) – 2005 bay gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of Golden Choice (ISH) by Golden Trump (ID). Breeder: Joan J Dolan. Owner: Mrs W Foster. Rider: Austin O’Connor (IRL)
  • Balham Houdini (ISH) – 2004 bay gelding by Warrenstown You 2 (ISH) out of Mimi (ISH) by Hallo (SF). Breeder: Ronan Tynan. Owner: Austin O’Connor and Kate Jarvey.

Sam Watson and Horseware Lukeswell (ISH)

  • Horseware Lukeswell (ISH) – 2005 bay gelding by Puissance (ISH) out of Gentle Servant (ISH) by Kings Servant (ISH). Breeder: Teresa Walsh. Owner: Sam Watson and Horseware Products Ltd.

Nick took a few minutes to chat with Irish Horse TV on his nominations, giving us some insight into his decisions:

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

There are so many quality Thoroughbreds looking for new homes each day, it’s supremely difficult to pick just a few of them to feature this week. Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as CANTER, New Vocations, Recycled Racehorses, and many more, these horses are getting a chance at a second career after their time on the track is up.

Time after time, you’ll hear event riders endorsing the OTTB as their breed of choice — why not join the ranks yourself? Don’t forget: the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover is still accepting entries! You can find more information here. Happy shopping!

Photo via CANTER Texas.

Photo via CANTER Texas.

For all of you Texans out there, this one’s for you! Dapper Devil is a 9-year-old, 16.1hh gelding — but don’t let his age scare you away! He’s described as a “been there, done that” type of guy and raced 73 times, earning almost $350,000 with 30 placings. Not too shabby!

Dapper Devil (Crafty C.T.Due Elegance, by Devil His Due) is available through CANTER Texas and is ready to move onto a great second home. Click here to visit his listing.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

We’re re-listing this handsome guy, Fotografia, who had his adoption fall through and is now back with Finger Lakes Finest. Fotografia (Western Expression - Picture, by Roar) is 8 years old and stands 16.3-17hh. He’s already got some retraining under his belt, so you’ll get a head start with this quiet and handsome guy! You can find more information by visiting Finger Lakes Finest here.

Photo courtesy of New Vocations.

Photo courtesy of New Vocations.

Our last horse this week is available for adoption through New Vocations in Lexington, Kentucky. Conga Forty (Congaree - Yahk Forty, by Lear Fan) is a 4-year-old mare standing 15.1 1/2hh. She raced just three times and retired sound, although a trailer accident left her with some scarring on her right hind leg. It’s said that the scarring will not affect soundness if kept protected.

“Conga” looks like she’s got that competitive gleam that many of us are always looking for — she’s sure to not last long! Visit her listing on New Vocations here.

Catch Up On Pine Top Action With These Videos

If you missed out on the cross country action from Pine Top yesterday, never fear! The Horse Pesterer was out on course yesterday to grab some videos, and there’s a whole playlist waiting for us now. Who needs Netflix when you have The Horse Pesterer, anyway?

Pine Top Advanced CIC and HT: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive Scores@eventingnation

The Advanced divisions ran cross country yesterday — and some show jumped as well — on what looks like a beautifully presented course on an equally beautiful day. Check out these videos from the day’s action, and click here to view the full playlist.

Where Are They Now? High Society III, Presented by Merial

We’re pleased to introduce a new series presented by Merial which will catch up with horses who have retired from a successful eventing career. If you have a horse you’d like us to profile, please email sally@eventingnation.com. This month, we check in with Jessica Payne’s former four-star ride, High Society III. 

Jessica Hampf (Payne) and High Society III at The Fork in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Jessica Hampf (Payne) and High Society III at The Fork in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Jessica Payne (then Hampf) was on top of the world when she and her OTTB partner, High Society III, joined the ranks of the four-star riders in 2010. Together, she and the now 19-year-old gelding completed Rolex three times, improving on their result each time, culminating in a 19th place finish in 2012.

Representing Canada, Jessica and “Trevor” also completed numerous three-star competitions, including the CCI3* at Blenheim. After a successful upper level campaign, Jessica made the decision to retire Trevor from competition at the top of the sport. “He was getting older, and we hadn’t made the Canadian team,” Jessica recalled. “He was a horse of a lifetime for me, and he owed us nothing.

Jessica knew Trevor would still want a job, so she competed him in the jumper ring at the 1.35m level after retiring him from eventing competition.

Jessica Payne and High Society III at Rolex in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Jessica Payne and High Society III at Rolex in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Wendy Luce was a student of Doug Payne’s, having previously sent one of her hunters to Doug for training. Wendy went on to own event horses, which Doug trained and competed, and was entertaining the idea of taking up the sport herself.

“I’ve ridden hunters basically my whole life,” Wendy said. “I was exposed to eventing through Doug, and I was quite taken with it. I never thought I’d ever do it myself!”

Through Doug and Jess, Wendy met Trevor, who she fell in love with after her first lesson on him. “Jess told me I could try Trevor, as he was retiring from upper levels,” she said. “I sat on him and I just fell in love. Everything just fell into place — I’d never be eventing if it weren’t for him.”

Having ridden Trevor for so many years, Jessica knew he was the type who liked to take care of his rider but wasn’t sure exactly how he’d adjust from galloping at four-star speed to cantering around Beginner Novice courses.

“Whenever I left the start box, I knew he’d take care of me no matter what happened,” Jessica said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect at the lower levels — I thought he’d maybe want to go fast on cross country, but he got time penalties! From the beginning with Wendy, he’s gone in all three phases in a rubber snaffle and leaves the start box quietly and carefully.”

All smiles after Wendy and Trevor's first cross country together. Photo by Fred Luce.

All smiles after Wendy and Trevor’s first cross country together. Photo by Fred Luce.

Wendy credits Trevor with boosting her confidence as a rider. “He never says no,” Wendy said. “The things I always felt I could have done better in the past, I’m doing better now because he’s given me the confidence to do so. He’s taught me to use my body more than my hands, and it’s been a really good learning experience.”

Last year, Wendy and Trevor completed three Beginner Novice events and have plans to step up to Novice in 2015. “My objective is to place in the top five at our Novice events,” Wendy said. “I’m working very hard on the dressage in order to achieve that goal. I’m mainly excited to just continue on with him and keep learning.”

Jessica, for one, is happy her partner has found his niche in retirement. “I think he likes the adjustment,” she said. “He doesn’t care if she makes a mistake, he’s got her back. She was competing him a year after he ran Kentucky the last time — he’s just so willing to show her what to do.”

Wendy and Trevor competing at Millbrook. Photo by Fred Luce.

Wendy and Trevor competing at Millbrook. Photo by Fred Luce.

Wendy’s done everything from hunter derbies to trail rides with Trevor. She’s thankful to have found a horse that she can continue her education on. “Although I’ve found dressage ‘challenging’, I’ve learned a lot about my position…and that’s helped my riding across the board.”

There is a wonderful Espirit de corps in eventing that I just never experienced in the hunter show realm — a group of people who truly love what they are doing, love their horses, and enjoy being together in the effort.”

You’d never know Trevor was 19, and we’ll certainly be seeing more from this happy couple, romping around their Novice courses without a care in the world. “I’ve had a lot of horses in my life,” Wendy said. “But I’d have to say that this one is really like a soulmate.”

Saturday Videos: Pine Top Advanced & CIC Dressage

Many a brave soul was out bracing against the cold temperatures in Georgia yesterday, as the Advanced divisions ran through their dressage tests. Our good friend, The Horse Pesterer, caught many pairs’ tests on video, the full playlist of which you can check out on his YouTube channel here. The CIC pairs also ran their competition in a one-day format, with Marilyn Little and Will Faudree taking home the respective blue ribbons.

Pine Top Advanced CIC and HT: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive Scores@eventingnation

Here’s a smattering of dressage videos for your viewing pleasure. Many thanks to The Horse Pesterer for the great videos! Stay tuned for a full recap from the Advanced divisions later this evening.

 

Promising Talent at Royal Palm Farm Sidelined During Monensin Monitoring

Tension bubbles under the surface at Andrew Palmer’s facility in Eufaula, Alabama, as worried owners keep a watchful eye on their horses. Last month, Royal Palm Farm discovered that its feed had potentially been affected by the recent ADM Alliance Nutrition contamination controversy, and their worst fears were confirmed when feed samples sent to Auburn University came back showing signs of monensin.

Since then, the 32 horses affected have been closely monitored and undergone further testing to determine their risk level from the exposure to monensin.

Kathryn and Baratheon in December 2014. Photo by Tiffany Palmer.

Kathryn and Baratheon in December 2014. Photo by Tiffany Palmer.

Baratheon, or Linx as he is known at home, a coming 3-year-old Trakehner stallion prospect, is one of the horses on a holding pattern. Owner Katheryn Krische purchased Baratheon’s dam in foal, not expecting to have a stallion prospect at the end of the day. “He was literally born in my arms,” Kathryn said. “I didn’t really have any intention of having a stallion at that point, but halfway out I knew he was a colt, and he was just so special.”

Baratheon earned Premium Foal status — as well as 9s in general impression, conformation and movement — at the 2012 American Trakehner Association inspection and was ranked ninth for Current Year Colts in Dressage Sporthorse Breeding.

Kathryn did not have the facilities to support raising a young colt, so she contacted Andrew to find out if she could Baratheon to Alabama to grow up.

“I knew it would be a great situation for him,” Kathryn said. “I’m just so pleased with how Andrew and Tiffany take care of him. I know Andrew is very conscientious, and Linx has a tendency to hurt himself, so we have a running joke that Andrew only calls me when something is wrong.”

Lynx at one month old with Kathryn's husband, Tom.

Lynx at one month old with Kathryn’s husband, Tom.

When Kathryn received a phone call from Andrew earlier this month, she was in shock to hear that the ADM controversy had reached Royal Palm Farm. “I’d read about the contamination … I just never thought it would happen to me,” she said.

Kathryn did her best to quell her initial fears that her horse would be rendered a pasture ornament — or worse — due to the effects of monensin. She took comfort in the efforts of Andrew and the team of researchers and veterinarians assisting her with the blood samples and testing.

Baratheon successfully underwent an echocardiogram after his second blood sample sent to UC Davis came back with his troponin levels at .13, and continues to undergo monitoring with the hope that he will make a full recovery. He’ll continue to undergo weekly tests to ensure his health is progressing.

Now, Kathryn is thankful for her time spent on the internet finding out more information about the ADM controversy.

“I’m just upset — they need to step up and acknowledge responsibility. The troponin tests, the cardio tests — none of that is cheap. The echocardiogram doubled my budget on that one horse for the month. It would just feel a lot better if they’d take responsibility. At this point, it’s just a question of whether or not he’s been robbed of his future,” she said.

Nancy Katheryne Webb and Cardinali.

Nancy Katheryne Webb and Cardinali.

Nancy Katheryne Webb also owns a horse at Royal Palm Farm, a 10-year-old Trakehner stallion formerly campaigned by Andrew named Cardinali. Nancy Katheryne took over the ride on Cardinali last February with her eyes set on NAJYRC in 2015.

“I was hoping to do Young Riders before I turn 21, since I missed the 18 deadline,” Nancy Katheryne, 19, said. “We were planning to do a one-star this spring in preparation, but now we aren’t able to do a whole lot.”

Cardinali was another affected by the ADM contamination, causing his early spring plans to be put on hold. Although the troponin levels in the first test for Cardinali came back normal, the second test revealed slightly elevated levels.

“There is so little research on the short term effects (of monensin), so we really had no idea how this would affect him,” Nancy Katheryne said. “We’ve done echocardiograms and stress tests, and those are coming back good right now. But the results could change in a month, and that’s the scary part — we just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

While advising veterinarians told Nancy Katheryne that Cardinali was fit enough to complete a full event at Training level, she withdrew him from the Preliminary division at Rocking Horse last weekend, electing instead to run a combined test to save him from the exertion of running cross country. Cardinali will continue to undergo tests to determine whether he can return to running cross country.

“It’s just terrifying. You hear about these things happening, but you never think it’ll happen to you,” Nancy Katheryne said. “Even when we sent our feed off to be tested, I think we were still in denial. These horses have done absolutely nothing wrong and are suffering from it. It’s so hard to see them just sitting and not able to do much, if any, work. It’s hard to not have answers.

Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the ADM monensin controversy.

Jessica and Joel Phoenix Welcome Daughter Jordan Marie

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Facebook was a-twitter this morning with well wishes and congratulations pouring in for Canadian rider Jessica Phoenix, who welcomed a baby girl named Jordan Marie this morning.

Big brother Jacob with his new sister. Photo via Jessica Phoenix on Facebook.

Big brother Jacob with his new sister. Photo via Jessica Phoenix on Facebook.

The Phoenix Equestrian Team has been soaking up the sun in Florida and has members competing this weekend at Pine Top, but Jessie made it home in time to deliver a happy and healthy baby girl. We’re personally loving this card Jessie’s team gave her in preparation:

Jessie card

Photo via Phoenix Equestrian Team on Facebook.

…but wait! There’s more:

Jessie card 2

Photo via Phoenix Equestrian Team on Facebook.

Creative, right?

Please join us in congratulating Jessie and her family on their lovely new addition. We’ll be looking for her in the saddle soon enough!

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Let’s Get to Know Caroline Martin

PRO has released the latest edition of their behind the scenes series, “Faces of Eventing,” featuring Caroline Martin.

In her interview, Caroline tells us all about her first horse and what’s it like to train full time with coach Buck Davidson. Interestingly enough, Caroline Martin met her upper level partner, Quantum Solace, while spending time in Nicaragua.

Caroline also reminisces about her experience on the gold medal winning Area III NAJYRC CH-Y2* team and walks us through a typical day in her life. “I learn a lot by watching,” Caroline says about life at Buck’s. “I feel like that’s a major part in riding.”

Thank you to PRO for such a great, informative video series!

Golden Button Challenge Releases Statement on 3 Horse Fatalities

Image via the Golden Button Challenge's Facebook page

Image via the Golden Button Challenge’s Facebook page

We were very sad to learn that three horses died last weekend at the Golden Button Challenge, a cross-country race near Tewkesbury, England, organized by the Ledbury Hunt that covers three miles and 25 obstacles, including ditches, brush and rail jumps. Sixty-four riders started the race, but only 39 finished.

The Golden Button Challenge was returning after a three-year hiatus and was patronized by multiple accomplished hunt, race and event riders. You can view helmet cam footage of the race here and video below.

One horse suffered a broken back after falling on course and was humanely euthanized by onsite veterinarians. Two others succumbed to what is believed to be cardiac episodes following the finish of the race. Overall, 39 out of 62 starters completed the race.

The Golden Button Challenge released a statement yesterday, saying the Ledbury Hunt examined the following aspects of the competition:

  • Consulted the riders of the three horses, other competitors, the clerk of the course, stewards and other officials. Only a handful of the riders were newcomers to similar types of races.
  • Looked at the 25 fences, in particular those at which falls occurred, and considered the ground conditions and the weights carried by horses.
  • Took account of the number of starters and finishers, plus those who fell, were brought down or unseated their riders, and also those who remounted, as well as the distance of the challenge and the pace at which the event was run.
  • Race favorite Zoe Gibson led until the 11th fence, when another experienced rider, Catherine Atkinson, took over. The winner, Dominic Gwyn-Jones, led from the 18th fence, so experienced competitors set the pace.
  • Of the 62 horses that started, 39 (63%) completed the course. The ground conditions varied around the course; following three dry weeks, the course was considered “soft.” William Fox Grant, who finished second, said, “The course was fantastic and it was beautiful going for the middle of winter.”

The horse that broke its back did so at a hedge and ditch fence that had an optional longer route. The vet team was able to euthanize the horse very soon after the fall.

One rider, a previous Golden Button Challenge competitor, fell on course and was airlifted to the hospital as a precaution; she was released later in the day with injuries. She finished second in the previous running of the Golden Button Challenge and had taken part in other similar hunt rides.

“The Golden Button Challenge is an enormously popular rural event that has attracted a vast crowd and a maximum field of runners in each of the six runnings. It was accepted in advance that all owners and riders would ensure their horses were fit and ready for a three-mile gallop across country and were responsible for the welfare of their mounts during the event,” the organizers said.

“After considering all aspects of the event the organisers could find no cause for the sad loss of three horses. However, future entry forms will stress the need to ensure horses and riders are fit to compete in a test of this nature. The organisers would like to express their sincere sympathies to the riders/owners and grooms of the horses who did not return to their stables.”

EN has also spoke to one of the riders who lost her horse due to a cardiac episode after completing the race, which she said was “immensely well executed” and thanked the organizers for their hard work. She released the following statement and photo and asked that we not use her name:

Photo used with permission

Photo used with permission

“I had a fantastic ride around on my superstar ex-Advanced eventer — he flew everything and loved every second. No one can doubt his fitness, as he probably finished more full of running than any other horse there that day. You should have seen him gallop up the last hill and wing the final fence — I couldn’t pull him up!

“But as some of you are aware, I sadly lost my superstar Georgie from a heart attack five or so minutes after he completed the course … but these things happen — if your time’s up, your time’s up — and, in my opinion, no better way to go. He was an old boy and had a great life, and I’m delighted he went out on a high doing what he loved. As you can see from the picture, he absolutely loved the game and was smiling with pricked ears posing for the camera literally seconds before he passed away.

“The Ledbury Hunt dealt with the situation as quickly and professionally as they could in the circumstances, and we could not be more grateful, and I hope that you will all join me in raising a glass tonight to the most outstanding horse and character I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. My one and only Georgiepone.”

Information on previous injuries or fatalities at past runnings of the Golden Button Challenge have not been released at this time; we will update this post if more information becomes available.

What do you think of the organizers’ response to the three horses fatalities, EN? Would you still support future runnings of the Golden Button Challenge? Or, do you agree with us that three horses are way too many to lose in one single sporting event? 

[Golden Button Challenge – Review Statement]

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: William Fox-Pitt Clinic Helmet Cam

Bloggers Row writer Jessica Kerschbaumer and her OTTB mare, Hard Sun, were one of the pairs who participated in the recent clinic with William Fox-Pitt in Vancouver earlier this month. Jessica can always be trusted to strap on her helmet cam, and we weren’t disappointed!

“Sunny” is your typical red-headed mare, but Jessica reported that she had some lovely moments with William and that she was thrilled to have some more tools in her toolbox for the upcoming season, when the pair hopes to step up to Intermediate.

Thanks to Jessica, we have nearly 30 minutes of helmet cam footage from William’s clinic, also known as your daily distraction from work. You can catch up on the reports from Chelan Kozak on the Vancouver clinic using the links below.

[WFP Day One]

[WFP Day Two]

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You can count on Kentucky Performance Products to provide affordable, high-quality, research-proven products that carry a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Not sure which horse supplement best meets your horse’s needs? We are here to help.  Contact us at 859-873-2974 or visit our website.

Interested in e-facts about equine nutrition and horse health information?  Click here to sign up for KPP’s nutritional minute.

 

EN’s Got Talent: Boyd Martin and Santos

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.

Boyd Martin and Santos schooling at Stable View. Photo by Jenni Autry. Boyd Martin and Santos schooling at Stable View. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The chestnut gelding with the white face and white eye caught a few eyes at Paradise Farm in Aiken last weekend. With the always recognizable Boyd Martin in the irons, a few onlookers thought perhaps they were looking at the old campaigner, Neville Bardos, out for a spin.

While the resemblance is uncanny, it’s a different talented chestnut that Boyd piloted to a win in the Open Training division that weekend — a six year old Thoroughbred by the name of Santos.

Initially intended to race, Santos ended up as a liquidated asset when the original owners went bankrupt, and he was eventually re-started as a 3-year-old with Jil Walton. At the end of his 3-year-old year, Santos transitioned to Erin Kellerhouse in Temecula, California, where she competed him in some Young Event Horse classes before making his Novice debut in 2013. “He’s always been a pleasure to ride, and he has one of the best canters I’ve ever sat on,” Erin said.

Santos is sired by Athlete, who carries the famed Saint Ballado in his line. Santos carries excellent movement and an exuberance for jumping, making him an athletic prospect which was evident in his consecutive top three finishes in the Young Event Horse divisions and a third place finish at the 4-year-old Championships in 2013.

Erin competed the gelding through Training level, completed the 2014 AECs and picking up a sixth place in the 6-year-old YEH class at Galway in October. It was at Galway that Boyd, in town to compete Trading Aces, decided to take a spin on the horse, who was offered for sale.

“Caitlin (Silliman) had found out he was for sale, and had flown out to try him,” Boyd said. “She brought the videos back to me, and while he maybe wasn’t quite suited to Caitlin, I was intrigued. I liked the look of the horse, with his movement and jump. So when I went out to Galway, I inquired whether he was still for sale, and watched Erin ride him.”

When Boyd first tried Santos, the horse quickly ticked all of the boxes, although he checked in a bit on the small side. “I was a bit nervous about the size,” Boyd recalled. “He measures 16 hands with quite big shoes on, but he rides big, if you know what I mean. He’s got a big step and there’s a lot of horse out in front of you. I don’t look too ridiculous on him — I’ve galloped a 15.2 horse around a four-star, so it’s just about having the right balance and the right step.”

I’m a sucker for a really classy looking Thoroughbred, and unlike a lot of Thoroughbreds out there, he moves like a dressage horse. On top of that, he looked like a bit of a handful on cross country, which may have turned a few others off but it inspired me. Size is something I’m willing to overlook if every other box is ticked.”

Boyd decided to move forward with the purchase, and his longtime supporters Gloria Callen and Ron and Densey Juvonen stepped up to support the new prospect. “I’m so fortunate to have a core group of owners who support me and back me, even with a younger horse,” Boyd said. “There’s no question in my mind that young horses coming through is the formula for success. They’re the secret to longevity in this sport.”

Santos moved from sunny California to the freezing cold in Pennsylvania in December, and Boyd set about forming a partnership with his new ride. “He’s young, and we’re not in a hurry with him,” he said. “Erin did a sensational job producing him to where he was when we got him, and he’s very well educated. For me, it’s about building the trust and getting to know each other at the start.”

Next week on EN’s Got Talent, we’ll learn more about Boyd’s competition plans for Santos this year, as well as his outlook on the future for the talented gelding. 

10 Fun Facts About Veronica Presented by Merck Animal Health

We're thrilled to have welcomed Merck Animal Health onboard as a sponsor here at EN, and we're celebrating by getting to know a few mares who have had success on the ever popular Regu-Mate. We're kicking off this series with Team Rebecca's Veronica, piloted by Lauren Kieffer.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry. Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Jenni Autry.

EN: What are Veronica’s nicknames around the barn?

Lauren: We call her “The Troll” in the barn — she’s certainly not the most snuggly horse. She likes her people, but pins her ears until you give her what she wants and then the ears come back up when she gets it.

EN: How is she with other horses?

Lauren: The horses who aren’t scared of her she gets along with fine. If she senses that they’re scared of her, she’ll kind of use that to her advantage. She’s definitely an alpha mare!

EN: What was your favorite part of Rolex 2014 with Veronica?

Lauren: Finishing the dressage and peaking at the right time was a pretty good high. I’d also have to say that finishing all of the phases and realizing we’d delivered, especially after the show jumping with all of our crew at the entrance to the stadium, was pretty gratifying.
Lauren's cheering section after her clear round at Rolex with Veronica. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Lauren’s cheering section after her clear round at Rolex with Veronica. Photo by Sally Spickard.

EN: When you first began your partnership, what was your biggest struggle?
Lauren: I’d ridden her off and on for so long, so I kind of knew what she was about. It was more about reaching an agreement where I kind of let her do her own thing but when I did pipe up, she knew I was worth listening to.
It was about having faith in each other. I already knew her quite well — I always rode some of Karen’s horses and Veronica was always my favorite.
EN: What is your favorite thing about her overall?
Lauren: Just her personality. She’s such a tough mare. She really fights for it and she’s such a mentally competitive horse. There are a lot of horses that are super talented, but at the end of the day you have to have that four-star mentality — that’s what I respect about her: she’s going to fight for it whether it’s right or wrong. I’m very appreciative to Team Rebecca for allowing me to have the opportunity to ride her, she’s such a talented horse and it’s been a great experience.

EN: A lot of upper level horses are eccentric. What are Veronica’s quirks?

Lauren: She very much wants to be in charge of everything. She’s going to win walking out to the field. She’s just a bit undisciplined. She’s been in the program so long — sometimes you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You just kind of go with the flow at this point.
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica at Plantation Field. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica at Plantation Field. Photo by Jenni Autry.

EN: What is the biggest improvement you’ve seen in Veronica over the last couple of years?

Lauren: I would say our show jumping. She’s an aggressive mare, which makes her great cross country but can make it a bit of a struggle in the show jumping. Thanks to all of our work with Scott Keach and David O’Connor, that’s been our biggest improvement. She’s certainly become more rideable in the show jumping.
EN: If you could compete at any event with Veronica, what would it be?
Lauren: I would think Badminton. She seems like the horse I’d like to take around my first Badminton. She’s tough and competitive, and I think she’d eat that course up. That is certainly is not a track you’d want to take a horse who is wishy-washy to.
EN: If Veronica were a person, what type of person would she be?

Lauren: She’d probably be like a female wrestler — one of those diva fighters. She’d be the one who would bite you while you were down; I don’t think she’d be a very fair fighter!

EN: What has been the best thing about using Regu-Mate?

Lauren: It makes such a huge difference in these mares’ lives that are very hormonal. It gives them some kind of consistency during their competitive season so they don’t get stuck competing while they’re going through changes. I’ve been really pleased with the results and consistency she’s shown while we’ve used Regu-Mate.

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Would You Attempt the Golden Button Challenge?

If you haven’t yet heard of the Golden Button Challenge, held at Manor Farm in Gloucestershire, is a cross country race over an original steeplechase track covering about three miles and about 28 (humongous) natural obstacles. The Challenge ran successfully for several years before taking a brief hiatus and relaunching in 2015.

Luckily for us, two members of Pearson Eventing in the UK donned helmet cams for their jaunt through the English countryside over Valentine’s Day weekend. One rider, William Fox-Grant, even got up to finish in second place — no small task after watching this course unfold!

So our question to you, EN, is: would you take your chances on the Golden Button Challenge course? Or would you prefer to be one of the many spectators lining the track, armed with a stiff drink and a camera? You tell us!

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

SpectraVET is committed to providing only the highest-quality products and services to our customers, and to educating the world in the science and art of laser therapy.

We design and manufacture the broadest range of clinically-proven veterinary therapeutic laser products, which are represented and supported worldwide by our network of specialist distributors and authorized service centers.

 

 

Eric Bull Embraces Forward Progress in Course Design

Eric Bull on course at Fair Hill. Photo via ETB Equine Construction on Facebook.

Eric Bull on course at Fair Hill. Photo via ETB Equine Construction on Facebook.

Eric Bull has always had a curiosity for the way things are built. Growing up in New York riding and competing in the hunter/jumper world, Eric didn’t anticipate involving himself with horses when it came time to choose a career. Instead, he elected to take a job working for a construction company which handled high end residential and commercial work.

His time working with both horses and the construction industry proved useful later on, when he was asked to help with the design and build of the course at Fitch’s Corner. “All the while, I planned to get out of both horses and construction, at least from a working standpoint,” Eric ruefully recalled. “Now, I’m firmly planted in both!”

Sure enough, thanks to his work at Fitch’s Corner, Eric found himself returning to course building in the late 90s after a brief stint in the insurance industry.

“The professionalizing of course building and design was just starting to come into its own, and I found a lot of people were asking me to build fences,” he said. “It wasn’t just farm hands building fences anymore. It was a good time to get into it.”

Eric got his first “big break,” so to speak, when he had the opportunity to work with Tremaine Cooper and Jamie Emerson on the Fair Hill course. “Jamie was becoming interested in architecture and home building, so I was coming in at a good time. I built with him that first year, and then I was left to work with one of the best groups and designers I could ask for.”

Eric eventually began working with Derek di Grazia in 2000, when the two were named the official builder and designer for the course. Eric commented on the importance of the relationship with the course designer, highlighting communication as a key factor.

“Every designer has a different way and different preferences,” he said. “Most of it is a conversation. When you’re a builder, you’re expected to be a part of the conversation and not just a passive listener who does what they’re told.”

“Good designers will give you the big picture, and your job as the builder is to go in and fill in those pieces that make up the big picture. For that reason, you tend to work with a lot of the same designers, you have a trusting relationship and can communicate with each other to reach the end goal.”

Course design has been on the move since Eric came onto the scene, with more and more portable jumps appearing on courses as opposed to fences fashioned from fallen logs or permanent materials. “It’s definitely been an evolution,” Eric said. “The sport has really come a long way in the last five years — there’s been a lot of change on the design side.”

“Given the new safety technology that’s available, those old-fashioned ‘scary’ type fences are much more successful now than they were 10 years ago,” he continued. “And, of course, portables became all the rage 10 or 15 years ago. It took us awhile to figure out the best way to implement them. But now we can utilize the terrain to make a fence more or less inviting. A basic portable fence can be made much more serious of a question by putting it on a hill, whereas a trickier fence can be made to be more inviting by putting it on level terrain. There’s more options now.”

Building Wellington

Wellington Eventing Showcase winners Boyd Martin and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Wellington Eventing Showcase winners Boyd Martin and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Eric was excited to have the opportunity to build Capt. Mark Phillips’ course at the Wellington Eventing Showcase at the end of January. “There’s been a lot of attempts to bring something like this to the sport, such as Express Eventing, which I can’t really speak to as I haven’t worked on one before, but Mark is a genius and wanted to really showcase the sport. It was a legitimate course, at a legitimate speed.”

Taking into account that the Showcase was held at the beginning of the season, when many horses were likely not fitted up to the level they’d be at by the end of the spring, Mark wanted to showcase Advanced level questions without running the horses off their legs.

“Most of these horses hadn’t seen a jump since Fair Hill, in most cases, but you saw them come out and jump the same way they ended the season last year. They were jumping well, and the course was technical enough without them having to be at the top fitness level. He put all the questions you would typically see on that course: ditches, water, banks, everything.”

A huge draw for this particular event was its accessibility, which has gotten rave reviews from those in attendance. “You got a lot of people who’d never experienced eventing before, and they got to experience it from the comfort of a ‘luxury’ experience with great food, a bar, and a seat where they could see 80% of the course. Then you could walk across the way and watch show jumping or dressage. As far as showcasing is concerned, this is the best I’ve ever seen.”

What about the future of event formats such as that run at Wellington? “At the end of the day, eventing is an Olympic sport. The Showcase is not an Olympic level competition, and I think it will continue to be more of a ‘sideline’ sport in that it’s spectator friendly but is not the High Performance level that you see at Kentucky. If it’s something that owners want to be involved in, I can see it being a great introduction to event horse ownership.”

“If (the Showcase format) is its own secondary sport, it’s a great way to teach people about the sport. If owners start getting involved, they may learn that it’s not too far off from the ‘real’ sport, and it would be a good segue into diving into the ownership aspect of the traditional event horse.”

From a building perspective, this was one of the most enjoyable experiences of Eric’s career to date.

“That weekend was about getting the formula right and making it a proper three phase showcase. Safety was paramount, as always, and most of Mark’s decisions were made towards making it a bit softer for the horses without worrying too much about shaking up the board. I think that’s where it’s only going to be a showcase — you’re still going to have to go to Kentucky to be the best horse and rider. But it still showed the true makings of the sport, and it exposed more people to it which was a big goal.”

Does Eric plan to make a trip to Wellington an annual event should the opportunity present itself? “I’d be happy to do one of those events 40 weeks out of the year,” he joked. “It’s a great step in the evolution of the sport, and I’m happy I was able to be a part of it.”

To learn more about Eric, visit ETB Equine Construction’s Facebook page here

And the Best Smoochin’ Selfie Belongs To …

The Smoochin' Selfie winner: Christa Mays, who submitted this photo of Kim Meier and her horse Bart! The Smoochin' Selfie winner: Christa Mays, who submitted this photo of Kim Meier and her horse Bart!

Happy Valentines Day, EN! We hope you’re getting in some serious quality time with your horse today — we all know who makes the better Valentines date here! Earlier this week, we asked you to send in your “smoochin’ selfies” in honor of Valentine’s Day.

We received well over 50 entries, and it was exceedingly difficult to come up with 10 finalists. We slipped an extra one in — Chinch is very bad at decision making — so we have 11 finalists to present for your vote.

You all voted for your favorite over the weekend, and we’re pleased to announce the winner of the Smoochin’ Selfie contest: Christa Mays, who submitted this fantastic photo of Kim Meier and her horse Bart.

Christa will receive an 8-pound bucket of Neigh-Lox Advanced from Kentucky Performance Products and a bucket full of other Kentucky Performance Products goodies. This may have been the closest vote in EN history, so congratulations, Christa!