Sally Spickard
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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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Sunday Video from Nupafeed: Devoucoux Indoor Derby

Another indoor derby has come and gone as the Devoucoux Indoor Derby came and went last night.

It was Karim Florent Laghouag and Punch de l’Esques who were the big winners of this indoor derby, finishing with a final time of 128.49. In fact, it was all French riders at the top of the board, with Spanish rider Albert Hermoso Farras picking up fourth place.

Check out some action:

 

Wonderful Welly World: A Social Media Wrap

I feel like Happy Gilmore!!

Posted by Boyd Martin on Sunday, February 7, 2016

It was an exciting weekend we will not soon forget down in Wellington for the $75,000 (soon to be $100,000!) Eventing Showcase. Boyd Martin took home the top honors once again, this time aboard the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate’s Blackfoot Mystery. The strapping chestnut OTTB gelding made quick work of the Captain Mark Phillips cross country yesterday to seal the deal over Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights.

There is plenty of social media to catch up on from the weekend, so let’s get started:

I couldn't have been happier(unless,of course, I had won all the money) with Boris at the #eventingshowcase. He's a real…

Posted by Pollard Eventing on Sunday, February 7, 2016

This is Win the War aka Bug. We love him and his owner Jessica Bortner-Harris. He did fabulous!

Posted by Sunni Ball on Saturday, February 6, 2016

Really could not be happier with this guy who tried his heart out on his best behavior in Wellington :)Thank you so…

Posted by Lynn Symansky on Sunday, February 7, 2016

This guy … ❤️

Posted by Sinead Halpin on Saturday, February 6, 2016

Love Jennie! She's a true horsewoman and I can't wait to see what 2016 brings her and the team

Posted by Rebekkah Redden on Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ride Along with Doug Payne and Vandiver at the Wellington Eventing Showcase

Doug Payne donned his helmet cam for yesterday’s exciting cross country phase at the $75,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase. Doug piloted his own and Debi Crowley’s Vandiver, or “Quinn”, to a 12th place finish overall in a strong and competitive field.

As is Doug’s style, he dubs over his helmet cam with commentary and analysis of his ride and the course — a super way to learn about each question and the horse Doug is on.

Check out Doug’s helmet cam for the rider’s eye view we’ve all been dying to see. We’re especially excited to see how that VIP tent looks as you gallop through. Thanks to Doug for posting this awesome perspective!

#EventingShowcase: Website, Final Scores, XC Course Map, EN’s CoverageTwitter, EN’s Instagram

Wellington Cross Country Open Thread: Boyd Martin & Blackfoot Mystery Win!

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery take the win! Photo by Jenni Autry. Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery take the win! Photo by Jenni Autry.

We’re all set to go for the exciting finale at the Wellington Eventing Showcase. This morning proved to be a total nail biter of a second phase as the leaderboard shuffled to put Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery into the lead.

Now we move onto Capt. Mark Phillips’ exciting cross country course, complete with a true shock-factor question that involves a gallop through the VIP tent. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest from the cross country finale right here on EN!

Live Stream: 1 p.m. Sat: Cross Country

3:33 p.m. EST: Here are the final top five. Stay tuned for the full report!

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3:33 p.m. EST: He’s done it again! Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery WIN!

https://gyazo.com/d293e8aee25bbf6cc5f10474ac911141

3:31 p.m. EST:

3:30 p.m. EST: Good so far:

https://gyazo.com/364a9aba49b73b78cb814499203a7c9f

3:29 p.m. EST: Alright, here we go! Can Boyd make it a back to back win?

3:28 p.m. EST: Big huge pats for CR as Colleen comes home four seconds under the time! “Oh my God, he is phenomenal!” Colleen tells Jimmie.

https://gyazo.com/f14c969b127350679535e43be1f7dc2a

3:26 p.m. EST: Colleen’s got the pedal to the medal and really means business out there aboard Covert Rights.

3:25 p.m. EST: Colleen is “balls to the walls out there,” according to Dom.

https://gyazo.com/f4d942f8e1360f5d5790903384528211

3:24 p.m. EST: Ok, this whole weekend has just been a Kiwi Master Class! What a class round from Dan Jocelyn and Devil Munchkin. Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights are the penultimate pair of the day!

3:23 p.m. EST Kick on, Dan! Second catch ride of the day on Devil Munchkin.
https://gyazo.com/69443a2fb67f393a947577e4ecc144b5

3:21 p.m. EST:

3:17 p.m. EST: That Arthur gallop tho…

https://gyazo.com/e6437e510d9cb899c765bae8054ee7f3

3:16 p.m. EST: We’re getting closer and closer! Allison and Arthur are on course.

3:11 p.m. EST:

3:09 p.m. EST: Go Reggie, go!
https://gyazo.com/bfc975aabf658287cea3390f30e9cdbb

3:06 p.m. EST: Jennie is home with a big fist bump aboard Catalina! Next up are Buck and Reggie.

3:06 p.m. EST:

3:03 p.m. EST: Jennie Brannigan is back on course with Catalina.

3:01 p.m. EST:

3:00 p.m. EST: Marilyn Little and RF Demeter are total cross country pros. Looking good so far.

https://gyazo.com/1beeb04bc5ed132359726db8ac923b4b

2:57 p.m. EST: Smooth and clear for Lynn and Donner!
https://gyazo.com/e44b619098dc1c15a8901ec7f3cba7fd

2:56 p.m. EST: Flying Deer time!
https://gyazo.com/548506239868be6d52be0b857932b7ca

2:52 p.m. EST: Oh no! Quite a tumble for Hannah Sue and Cooley Dream. Both are up and appear to be ok.

2:50 p.m. EST:

2:49 p.m. EST: Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream are on course!

https://gyazo.com/6dcf91d2cd5c64c7e53f37290030f71d

2:49 p.m. EST:

2:45 p.m. EST: Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Catchascatchcan are our latest starters.

https://gyazo.com/b95b0cf37a08a0f451d3be158b6fdc0c

2:44 p.m. EST: Clear with time for Michael Pollard! He’s got a newer ride in Boris as well.

2:44 p.m. EST:

2:40 p.m. EST: Michael Pollard and the very lofty jumping Boris O’Hara are the next pair out on course.

2:39 p.m. EST: Clear and inside the time for Tim and Novelle.

2:38 p.m. EST: Looking strong, Tim and Novelle! This mare is flying.

https://gyazo.com/8737110e03c7a616c008456485388ef7

2:37 p.m. EST:

@dpequestrian through the #tent at the #eventingshowcase in #wellington

A video posted by Allie Conrad (@alliemcboobles) on

2:36 p.m. EST We are into the top 15 now with Tim Price and Novelle, his second catch ride of the day.

2:35 p.m. EST:

2:35 p.m. EST: Vandiver leapt out of the tent and is home clear!
https://gyazo.com/61d6de007a17528bc943bf847bb765b3

2:34 p.m. EST:

Tate is still my favorite and a xc monster !!!!

Posted by Meg Kep on Saturday, February 6, 2016

2:32 p.m. EST
https://gyazo.com/66ddc08ea7a6a8bfb91c59296341f378

2:31 p.m. EST:

2:31 p.m. EST: Doug Payne and Vandiver are out on course. Liz came home clear with time on HHS Cooley.

2:30 p.m. EST:
https://gyazo.com/76916604a36ecadea7ef8509621963d7

2:29 p.m. EST:

2:28 p.m. EST:

Ok that’s ridiculous and #awesome #wellingtonshowcase #Eventing #eventingshowcase

A video posted by Allie Conrad (@alliemcboobles) on

2:27 p.m. EST:

2:26 p.m. EST: Liz Halliday-Sharp and HHS Cooley are our newest starters.

2:25 p.m. EST: Welcome Shadow takes a flyer at the skinny down the hill but they’re home clear!

2:24 p.m. EST:
https://gyazo.com/e098d94f691a0072e766fdf7c8483859

2:23 p.m. EST:

2:22 p.m. EST: Boyd and his first ride, Welcome Shadow, are on course!

2:22 p.m. EST:

2:21 p.m. EST: Phillip and Cuba absolutely skipped home! Definitely one of the fastest of the day.

https://gyazo.com/0b3dfdc1e8975b8804c653483bb6f1be

2:20 p.m. EST: #SchrammoQuotes: “He ain’t muckin’ around here.”

2:19 p.m. EST: Phillip and Cuba catch some air and look like they’re enjoying themselves early on.

https://gyazo.com/28a3e4790384e1bb91f59911c7b15421

2:18 p.m. EST: Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn, his first of two, are on course!

2:16 p.m. EST: Jessie and Bentley’s Best are looking cracking as they head for home!

https://gyazo.com/b86b75a8ccf14226d13aad7903cfad65

2:15 p.m. EST:

2:14 p.m. EST:
https://gyazo.com/6c80f52bb758ba05bf260ffa7c283715

2:14 p.m. EST:

2:13 p.m. EST: Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best are our newest starters!

2:12 p.m. EST: Joe Meyer and Clip Clop bring home our second clear of the day! “He was fantastic!”

2:11 p.m. EST:

2:09 p.m. EST: Joe and Clip Clop have perhaps the nicest ride so far through the double corners.

2:09 p.m. EST: Joe Meyer is back at it again, this time with Clip Clop.

2:08 p.m. EST: She’s made the time! By .32 seconds, wow. And on a horse that is definitely a new ride for her, formerly ridden by Heath Ryan.

https://gyazo.com/0dacb6be4d5f52491aaeab62b05e1e6b

2:06 p.m. EST: I wish I would’ve caught this a shade earlier, but Jennie really wants that time! She got in her jockey position for a moment as she really opened Aspire R up.

https://gyazo.com/5cf71e4a5db473a0633998ae8db1ad79

2:05 p.m. EST: Aspire R gets “a little flicky flick from the whippy whip,” in Dom’s colorful terms, as a reminder from pilot Jennie Brannigan.

https://gyazo.com/7ae7712d311d036d089e9fb61fa4bb99

2:03 p.m. EST: 11 seconds over the time for Ryan and “Skippy”, who “skips along like a kangaroo,” according to Ryan. Jennie Brannigan and Aspire R are out on course now.

2:01 p.m. EST: Ryan and Woodstock Bennett are super accurate as they make their way around course. He is slipping a bit around a couple of these turns – it will be interesting to see how the footing holds up as it handles more horses.

https://gyazo.com/17199efff5f4e9028d232261c9f91320

2:00 p.m. EST: Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett are our newest riders on course.

1:59 p.m. EST: “I glad I made it that far,” Buck says of the VIP tent “runway” as he comes home clear aboard Carlevo. Dom overhears Buck telling his groom that it’s a bit slippery out on course. Stud it up, riders!

https://gyazo.com/ab923f7cd37cc78fca108adcdf6d8418

1:57 p.m. EST: Buck took a very interesting route to the double corners but he made it work and he’s clear through the water aboard Carlevo! #gobuckgo

https://gyazo.com/686f8655004954bf3d021708d223023f

1:55 p.m. EST: Kyle has to duck a bit more than the others to get through the tent but he’s home clear! “I was hoping someone was going to hand me a drink as I came through the tent!” Someone get the man a drink! Buck Davidson and Carlevo are our next starters.

1:53 p.m. EST: Kyle still looking strong through the last half of the course.

https://gyazo.com/e42c9400ba7a2e4fa55b5bf3437f20ee

1:52 p.m. EST: Kyle and FR’s Trust Fund take the long route through the double corners.

https://gyazo.com/cc45fc3046df443caa8702f63a6d21c7

1:50 p.m. EST: “It was tough to keep him focused … no better horse to ride cross country!” Allie says to Jimmie after her clear round. Kyle Carter and FR’s Trust Fund are next out.

1:48 p.m. EST: Allie and Sounder looking bold and strong so far.

https://gyazo.com/fdf14d7adc1f5ee1d70b60180f99ec03

1:46 p.m. EST: Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect are our next starters.

1:46 p.m. EST: “I’ve never ate so well in my life,” Selena says of this weekend.

1:45 p.m. EST: Selena and Woody are home 14 seconds over time.

https://gyazo.com/f3e08f3d4617c142e2f0954786e57dc6

1:44 p.m. EST: Correction, Dan Jocelyn and Win the War had 4.8 time penalties. Still the fastest so far.

1:43 p.m. EST: Look at that Woody gallop!

https://gyazo.com/68ba109d43035039aed56b9fd68d9e6c

1:41 p.m. EST: “He’s just a game, good jumper. One too many whoas coming down the hill — whoops,” Colleen tells Jimmie. Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High are on course!

1:41 p.m. EST: Colleen and Escot 6 have a drive by at the skinny coming down the hill.

1:40 p.m. EST: As Dom put it, “That horse can seriously, seriously jump.”

https://gyazo.com/1696e4e33acbccc7da543f31c700b678

1:38 p.m. EST: Remember, Colleen was the only one to bring home two double clear show jump rounds earlier. Can she repeat on the cross country course?

https://gyazo.com/767473819a83b1e1a478ce96f3ef39d3

1:37 p.m. EST: Colleen Rutledge and Escot 6 are our newest starters.

1:35 p.m. EST: Dan and Bug are our first double clear of the day! “He gave me a great ride, he felt like a very experienced horse,” Dan said. Owner Jessica Bortner-Harris will be thrilled.

1:35 p.m. EST: Hang on, Dan!

https://gyazo.com/f2dcbe4fc238d45e92afec06936d1a49

1:33 p.m. EST: Dan and Bug are catching some air out there!

https://gyazo.com/b02b089b827aa96bc04567a4cdaab048

1:32 p.m. EST: Dan Jocelyn and Win the War are out next.

1:32 p.m. EST: The optimum time is 3 minutes 53 seconds. Sinead and Tate are home clear just a shade over time.

1:31 p.m. EST: Joe Meyer and South Paw are our fastest of the day so far with 6.4 time picked up.

1:29 p.m. EST: The French Princess looks to be having a blast out there.

https://gyazo.com/9059ed8a3469f0c16cd35c3bc90196d8

1:28 p.m. EST: This should be a treat. Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville are on course.

1:28 p.m. EST: The tent is really not impressing these horses at all. Jessie and A Little Romance are home clear and Jessie says she’s “amazing.”

https://gyazo.com/098bedba1a27998f820d096f804e8e95

1:26 p.m. EST: Jessica and A Little Romance are quick footed around this course.

https://gyazo.com/f7657cd519d9a642349e2a260bb57b30

1:24 p.m. EST: Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance are our new starters!

https://gyazo.com/3402abcb373c6f2d556d393d8e99df63

1:20 p.m. EST: Allison says Cascani has not gone Advanced yet so this was a big test for him. He certainly stepped up to the plate! Erin Sylvester and Mattraise make it through a scrappy save at the corners and are well on their way.

1:16 p.m. EST: Allison and Cascani take a forward five through the double corners.
animation

1:14 p.m. EST: Allison Springer and Cascani are now on course.

1:13 p.m. EST: Be sure to check out our course preview with photos here.

1:12 p.m. EST: Tim and Clasico Z call it a day after two more stops at the big ditch and brush. Bummer.

1:11 p.m. EST: Tim and Clasico Z have a runout at the second corner early on course. Clear on the second attempt.

1:10 p.m. EST: “He never looked at the tent, I didn’t think he would,” Joe Meyer says to Jimmie after he pulls up. Tim Price and Clasico Z are our next starters.

1:09 p.m. EST: The skinny arrowhead before the VIP tent takes a victim in Joe Meyer and South Paw. Through the tent question.

1:08 p.m. EST Sinead Halpin has withdrawn Grey Area.

1:06 p.m. EST: Next up, Joe Meyer and the lovely stallion South Paw.

1:05 p.m. EST: Ok, the tent thing is pretty cool. Madison Park was just casual about it. “These people are here for me, right?”

1:01 p.m. EST:: And we’re underway with Kyle Carter and Madison Park!

1:00 p.m. EST: Here is a look at the course map.

Screenshot_24

Bailey Moran Furthers Her Education by Heading West

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo by Dan Moran. Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo by Dan Moran.

There is always something to be said about a young rider with a thirst for education. Bailey Moran, a Texas native, is on a quest for knowledge this winter as she spends the off-season months training with Tamie Smith in Murietta, California.

Another big goal in spending the winter with Tamie is to take another cracking at stepping up to Advanced level with her 11-year-old Irish Sport horse gelding, Loughnatousa Caislean. Bailey and “Leo” last tried to complete an Advanced event at Rocking Horse last year, but things didn’t go according to plan.

“It was probably about the 15th fence on cross country — a skinny out of the water — and I just completely missed and ran him right into it,” Bailey said. “He jumped it anyway because he’s a good boy, but I was so out of the tack that I just popped off.”

Bailey had been working hard to prepare for her move up, working with her longtime trainer Donna Kinney as well as Joe Meyer. But the blip that she had at her first try at Advanced was enough to give her confidence a bit of a shake.

“It got to me enough that I got backed off with my riding,” Bailey said. After giving her goals some thought, Bailey reached out to Tamie Smith, whom she had met at the 2012 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention.

“We had immediately hit it off and clicked. (Tamie) was so gracious and friendly, and (my family and I) have gotten to know her,” Bailey said. Tamie was able to give Bailey a few lessons in Texas, and from there the idea was born to travel to California to spend more time under her eye.

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo credit to Storey Crenshaw.

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo credit to Storey Crenshaw.

Bailey made the decision to take Leo to California with her, intending to have another go at Advanced in 2016. “The plan is for me to run him Intermediate at Galway this weekend and then for Tamie to take him Advanced after that. We’re both so new to this — neither of us have done this before — so I think Tamie giving him the brave ride he needs will really give him confidence.”

Now that Bailey and Leo are preparing for their first California event this weekend, she says she’s feeling her mojo coming back. “I texted my parents the other day and told them how nice it was to be excited and feel prepared for an event,” she said. “Tamie has really worked on getting my base stronger — putting me in the position I need to be to ride effectively.”

Bailey is also fortunate to have a great mentor and coach back in Texas in Donna Kinney. “Donna has been amazing — she’s like a second mother to me,” she said. “She has been in consistent contact with Tamie to find out what she needs to work with me on when I go back. She’s a true student of the sport and is always looking to learn new things.”

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Bailey Moran and Loughnatousa Caislean. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Another advantage of competing in California is the array of events to choose from on the calendar, even early in the season. “It’s nice here because if you run and things don’t go as well as you’d like, it’s easy to re-route,” Bailey said. “It really gives us the ability to be flexible with Leo’s schedule and not push too hard.”

Now that she’s settled into her new routine at Next Level Eventing, Bailey feels right at home. “The minute you walk into the barn, you’re welcomed by family,” she said. “It’s very drama-free, and everyone just wants the best for you. It’s a great environment to be in, and I’d definitely love to come back sometime.”

We wish Bailey and Leo all the best with their plans for 2016 and are thrilled to hear that their trip to California is going so well!

Go Eventing.

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Photo by Sally Spickard. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Being down here in Ocala for the winter is quite a surreal feeling if we’re being honest. To be surrounded by great riders and beautiful horse farms no matter which direction you look — it truly is eventer’s paradise. It’s also more than a little intimidating to be here among all the greats with a green horse. But as several people have shrewdly said, it makes you step up your game and want to be even better for being immersed in this world. That’s my daily tidbit of inspiration for you: surround yourself by others who are just as dedicated and hard working as you, and watch your own skill set blossom.

Events Opening This Week:

 Pine Top Spring H.T. (GA, A-3) Feather Creek Farm H.T. (OK, A-5) Copper Meadows Winter H.T. (CA, A-6)

Events Closing Today:

Fresno County Horse Park CIC & H.T. (CA, A-6), Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. (FL, A-3) Paradise Farm H.T. (SC, A-3)

Tuesday News:

Looking to add a little color to your eventing wardrobe? Look no further than this week’s Fab Freebie featuring a colorful cross country pinny holder just for you. It’s high time someone thought of this idea! [Fab Freebie: Color Cross Country Pinny Holder]

Please join us in congratulating Bridget Parker, who has officially taken the reins at the Nunney International Horse Trials. Held in Somerset, Nunney is a staple event on the European calendar, and organizing is no small undertaking. Bridget is an Olympic gold medalist who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. [Nunney International Horse Trials]

FLAIR Nasal Strips will be offering free applications at Galway Downs this week! Beginning on Thursday, you can set up an appointment with a FLAIR representative for your free application. Appointments may be made by calling 612-913-1395.

We’re loving the USEA’s Grid Pro Quo series, and the latest one features tips and tricks from Tim Bourke. You can use this suggested exercise for any level to focus on quality of jumping and responsiveness to aids. [Grid Pro Quo: Tim Bourke]

Tuesday Video:

Speaking of grid work, here’s another #GOTD from Laine Ashker:

Finally! A long overdue #GOTD and although it may look simple and easy you better think again! Set up three barrels…

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: What a 15.2 Dressage Score Looks Like

Flashy boy Oskar performing his winning 15.6 dressage test yesterday! Love this special horse- wish I could keep him!

Posted by Liz Halliday on Sunday, January 31, 2016

If you’ve ever wondered what a dressage test worthy of a 15.2 score looks like, here’s your answer. Liz Halliday-Sharp piloted HS Oskar, a 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Coriando, to a win in the Training Horse C division at Rocking Horse Winter I Horse Trials this past weekend in Florida.

Oskar certainly had his fancy prancing shoes on. If you’re in the market, this lovely horse is for sale! You can view more information on Liz’s sales page here.

[Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. Results]

Fab Freebie: Win a Colorful Cross Country Pinny Holder!

Photo courtesy of Jon Sonkin. Photo courtesy of Jon Sonkin.

It’s time to get geared up for the 2016 season! We’re here to help with the ongoing needs of the color-conscious eventer, and thanks to Jon Sonkin we are offering up a brand new product in cross country equipment: a color pinny holder to completely top off your coordinated look out on course.

These stylish pinny holders come in an array of colors: green, red, black, purple and blue. There is literally something for just about every eventer out there, and they’re definitely catching on.

Justine Dutton models her new custom colored pinny holder. Photo via Justine on Facebook.

Justine Dutton models her new custom colored pinny holder. Photo via Justine on Facebook.

The holders are also available in custom colors through special order and are durable, comfortable and feature extra support on the lower strap to ensure your pinny doesn’t go flying when you get up to speed.

Prices for these pinny holders are $50 for a standard solid color, $65 for any two colors, and $100 with some added bling to spice things up. To order your own, email Jon here.

In the meantime, we’re teaming up with Jon to give away a solid colored pinny holder in this week’s Fab Freebie! You can use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and we’ll announce the winner in this Friday’s News & Notes. Good luck!

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.

Brand New Eyes

Photo by Sally Spickard via EN on Instagram. Photo by Sally Spickard via EN on Instagram.

There is something to be said about attending a horse trial at the beginning of the season. Perhaps I am sentimental or overly emotional, but it just doesn’t get much better than watching some of the country and world’s best out and about in the early goings of a fresh season.

Walking around Rocking Horse Winter I today, there was a palpable excitement in the air. Relief that the 2016 season is officially in full swing, happiness in the glow of a warm Florida afternoon, glee on the faces of riders who are tackling a pipe opening cross country run.

Out on the Intermediate cross country course, scores of horses and riders galloped past on a day when clear rounds were prominent and the rust got knocked off on the way back to the finish line.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM, who are perhaps one of the best relationships to witness between horse and rider, gleefully galloped across the finish, with Buck all but dropping his reins and letting Reggie finish up on his own.

Diane Portwood and Cinerescent bounced around the course, Diane encouraging her mare the whole way round.

I’ve said it many times before and I will say it again — eventers are a whole different culture. The casual conversations between competitors, the helping hand always offered to hold a horse or give a leg up, the bustling of working students and grooms who help even the busiest of riders have a smooth day — everything just feels brand new and fresh at this time of year.

Here in Ocala, it’s easy to look ahead and see a promising 2016. The season is just starting, and it’s as if the whole word is there for the taking.

So here’s to new beginnings, fresh starts and brand new eyes. We can’t wait to see what 2016 brings, and we’re thrilled to be here with you every step of the way.

Check Out This Insane Hunt Derby — Would You Try It?

6 months since Falsterbo, hope to be back this summer, Sydsvenskan Falsterbo hunting 2015.

Posted by Fanny Nilsson on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Talk about a good challenge! The Sydsvenskan Falsterbo Hunting is a show jumping and cross country cross held in Sweden. The class is designed for horses and riders with one-star experience. Fanny Nilsson posted her helmet cam from her 2015 round and we think this is pretty neat.

There is a lot to take in once you leave the main arena as the track takes you through what appears to be the trade fair and even the dressage ring. Talk about insanity in the middle.

So, EN, what do you think? Would you give this a shot?

#FlashbackFriday: How the Buck Does He Do It?

In honor of the first Rocking Horse event of the new year, we're bringing back one of our favorite posts from the archives. Enjoy!

A depiction of a typical event weekend for Buck Davidson. Illustration by Lindsey Kahn. A depiction of a typical event weekend for Buck Davidson. Illustration by Lindsey Kahn.

I was perusing the ride timetable for the Rocking Horse Winter I Horse Trials this weekend, and I couldn’t help but stare at Buck Davidson’s ride times for a few minutes. If I’m being honest, I think I went a little cross-eyed trying to make sense of it all. As has become a Buck tradition it seems, the man had 9 rides this weekend.

That’s 27 trips in the saddle. While I do understand that Buck is a consummate professional, I immediately felt weak and fatigued at the thought of 9 rides crammed into 36 hours.

Then I looked past the sheer number of rides to the timetable of how this all went down. After numerous graphs and diagrams, I eventually gave up on trying to make sense of how this was going to happen successfully. Take a look for yourself (this has been updated for the 2016 Rocking Horse I times!):

Buck's ride times for the first Rocking Horse of 2016.

Buck’s ride times for the first Rocking Horse of 2016.

Makes you a little dizzy, doesn’t it? Since we were feeling at bit lost at the thought of how many working students it would take to make this operation run, Lindsey and I put our heads together and thought we would pay tribute to Buck: the man, the myth, the legend. As Lindsey so thoughtfully illustrated above, it would only make sense to have some sort of map like this drawn out ahead of time so that everyone involved knew where they had to be and when.

Buck, we don’t know how you do it. We don’t know how any of you pros do it, actually. Give me one horse and three ride times and I already have enough anxiety to last me a full week. So thank you, Buck, and every other pro and working student out there who make our heads spin with the sheer amount of dedication you show to your job. We salute you!

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo courtesy of Kim Keppick. Photo courtesy of Kim Keppick.

There is still so much snow on the ground! We’re still seeing numerous photos of various stages of snow removal, as well as a few of people and their horses out enjoying (is that the right word?) the drifts. EN reader Kim Keppick sent us this “between the ears” shot from Virginia, courtesy of Joey Snider of Hume, Virginia. Keep digging, everyone!

Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter I HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times

Full Gallop Farm January HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

News & Notes:

Did you know it’s a common colic myth that if your horse is passing manure, he’s fine? According to a new article from Kentucky Performance Products, veterinary surgeons are saying this may not necessarily be true. Passing manure does not rule out the possibility of a blockage higher up. [KPP Nutritional Minute]

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino in Sunland Park, New Mexico has suspended racing after some horses were diagnosed with EHV-1. To date, there have been 12 confirmed cases. The quarantine could have other effects on the track, as the March Sunland Derby is a Derby prep and could be affected. [Sunland Park Has EHV-1 Outbreak]

Uceko, one of Kent Farrington’s top show jumpers, has got to have one of the most adorable faces there is. Don’t let his sweet face fool you though — he’s a fierce competitor in the ring. The Chronicle of the Horse got to know him a little better in their latest Behind the Stall Door installment. [Behind the Stall Door: Uceko]

SmartPak Product of the Day: Traveling down to Florida has been a tricky challenge when it comes to blanketing. I am a bit of an overpacker, so I packed almost every blanket I have for my horse. What has really come in handy the most, though, is my Amigo Jersey Cooler. I picked this up recently and am absolutely IN LOVE with it. The jersey knit is really top-quality and doesn’t give the impression that it will pill or deteriorate. This thin layer provides just enough protection from a slight chill after a good work. At this affordable price, I definitely recommend it! [Amigo Jersey Cooler]

And lastly…

Are Puissance’s with width challenges instead of height the next big thing? This girl is already preparing:

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: The Making of an Olympian

As if we hadn’t embarrassed Boyd Martin enough in the last few days … First, he runs wild through Wellington while filming a commercial, and then his wife Silva sent us this video of Boyd back when he was just a kid cantering over logs in a field.

Meet Willy, Boyd’s childhood pony. Willy is a solid citizen who happily carries Boyd all over the property, including over a course of makeshift cross country jumps. (Please note the posters that Boyd hangs in Willy’s stall to keep him “motivated” to compete.)

As any good cross county course designer would, Boyd picked out names for all the fences on his course. We decided to start a reader poll in favor of the best fence name, so vote for your favorite below!

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Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Photo via Joe Williams on Facebook. Photo via Joe Williams on Facebook.

Ok, so I know this is not necessarily eventing-related, but hear me out. The barn my coach and I are renting stalls from in Ocala this winter is home to a couple of accomplished Mustang Makeover trainers, Joe and Colby Williams. This past week, they each brought home a new mustang to start fresh with and have 100 days to put in as much training as they can.

Joe’s mustang mare, Maybelline, is literally the most sane horse I’ve ever seen. So sane, in fact, that he was able to ride her on the first day she arrived. It’s insane to see how responsive she is to training, and it’s been really interesting to see first hand. Stay tuned for a full blog series following these mustangs over on our sister site, Horse Nation!

Events Opening Today:

Southern Pines H.T. (NC, A-2) Red Hills International Horse Trials & Trade Fair (FL, A-3) Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (SC, A-3)

Events Closing This Week:

Pine Top Intermediate Horse Trials (GA, A-3), Full Gallop Farm February H.T. (SC, A-3) Ocala Horse Properties Winter II H.T. (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News:

The USEA’s Grid Pro Quo series is an excellent resource for education and new ideas to spice up your training. The exercises can be made as high or low as desired, which is great because it’s useful for horses and riders of all abilities. Check out the latest edition featuring advice from Holly Hudspeth. [Grid Pro Quo with Holly Hudspeth]

We all know the risk that our gray horses run for melanomas. It’s a scary thought and unfortunately all too common in our fair skinned friends. There may be some good news out there, though, as testing is underway for the canine melanoma vaccine and its effectiveness on horses. [Canine Melanoma Vaccine Testing]

Superstar Valegro’s equally superstar groom, Alan Davies, was awarded the British Grooms Award last week in honor of his service to his charge. Congratulations to Alan! [British Riders and Grooms Honored at British Breeders Awards]

Tuesday Video:

I don’t know about you, but this is a much more exciting reveal than a fashion runway any day. Check out the new line of products coming up from Professional’s Choice in 2016!

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Snowstangs

Elisa Wallace picked up a new mustang this past week in Jacksonville, Fl. to train for a client, Ginny Grigsby. Azogar, or “Ozzie”, is a 9-year-old from the Kiger HMA and he is already off to a great start in his new surroundings with Elisa.

This appropriately titled video blog catches up with Elisa and Ozzie as they begin their work together. The camera follows as Ozzie is picked up and brought back to the farm in Georgia and begins his training.

Be sure to follow Wallace Eventing for more updates from mustang land!

West Coast Riders Learn from the Best at Trifecta Event

Hawley Bennett-Awad and High Duty school the Galway keyhole with Ian Stark. Photo via Hawley on Facebook. Hawley Bennett-Awad and High Duty school the Galway keyhole with Ian Stark. Photo via Hawley on Facebook.

The third annual Trifecta Event at Galway Downs was held this weekend to knock the rust off for the upcoming season. Eventers of all levels ventured out to learn from Ian Stark and Boyd Martin.

The clinic also coincided with the West Coast ICP Symposium with David O’Connor and a Sport Psychology seminar with Shannon Thompson. Area VI also held their Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet — in all, a very busy weekend!

High Duty was super today!! Thank you Ian for a great lesson!!… https://t.co/fmJEYvZN9D

Posted by Hawley Bennett Eventing on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Organized by Robert Kellerhouse, the Trifecta Event is a popular winter event for riders seeking education. Seminar topics throughout the weekend included fear and performance anxiety management as well as a Q&A session with keynote speaker and clinician Boyd Martin.

Britt Sabbah's Saint Louie shows off his spoils from a successful 2015. Photo via Britt on Facebook.

Britt Sabbah’s Saint Louie shows off his spoils from a successful 2015. Photo via Britt on Facebook.

We’re looking for reader submissions on the Trifecta Event! If you attended and would like to submit a clinic report, we’d love to share it with our readers! You can email it to tips@eventingnation.com.

SmartPak Presents ‘Ask A Non-Rider’

We know horse equipment looks weird to the ordinary human. We get it. SmartPak does, too, and they decided to make an entire new video series on this concept. They’ve started the series by presenting some non-riders with a sleazy. From there, the non-riders try to figure out exactly what the item is.

The responses are pretty hilarious — a tutu for horses, yoga outfit for horses, swimwear … the list goes on. Enjoy!

Major Snowstorm Continues to Wreak Havoc on East Coast

Phyllis Dawson's crew digs their barn out of 39 inches of snow. Photo via Phyllis on Facebook. Phyllis Dawson's crew digs their barn out of 39 inches of snow. Photo via Phyllis on Facebook.

So. Much. Snow. That seems to be the theme of the weekend as #Snowpocalypse2016 slammed the East Coast that has claimed as many as 14 lives and left thousands digging out from beneath huge snow drifts.

One of the biggest concerns with this much snow is the collapsing of roofs under the additional weight. Horse people all over have been working hard to keep snow cleared from their roofs to the best of their ability. A barn in Poolesville, Md. was reported to have partially collapsed, displacing over 30 horses.

The big dig at Summerwind Farm in Damascus.

Posted by The Equiery on Sunday, January 24, 2016

The blizzard has passed with no further snow in the immediate forecast, but it’s still left many travelers stranded and a lot of snow to dig out from underneath.

Several areas have declared a state of emergency following a shutdown of many services such as travel and road clearing due to hazardous conditions. As Monday begins, most cities are beginning to the arduous process of cleaning up.

But hey, we’re all resilient individuals. We’ve survived more than one #Snowpocalypse, and we can do it again! If you are in need of assistance with clean-up or supplies, please post in the comments here and we will get the word out for you. Stay tuned for a special edition of #EventerProblems, and let’s all stay strong!

Go Eventing.

Equestrians Band Together In Aftermath of Old Friends Barn Fire

We’re relieved to report that the horses who were in the barn that caught fire at Old Friends retirement farm in Kentucky were safely evacuated yesterday. Blood-Horse is reporting that Alphabet Soup and Archie’s Echo were in the barn at the time of the fire and were brought to safety.

The horses were led to safety this cold January morning by a brave farm volunteer who went into the burning structure…

Posted by Old Friends on Saturday, January 23, 2016

The fire came on top of the massive winter storm that has left many feet of snow in its wake, and firefighters had to struggle through snow drifts to get to the fire.

In a press release issued yesterday, Old Friends confirmed that no horses or people were injured in the blaze. Now, supporters of the retirement farm have put together a GoFundMe account to assist with the costs of rebuilding the damaged and lost structures.

In operation since 2003 and founded by Michael Blowen, Old Friends supports retired Thoroughbreds and has housed the likes of Silver Charm and Game On Dude. The farm attracts many visitors who wish to visit famed horses in their retirement, and the foundation continues to support the Thoroughbred breed and the horses who need a soft place to land.

The EN team extends its best wishes and relief that no one was harmed in what is one of a horseman’s worst nightmares.

[Old Friends Barn Destroyed By Fire]

[Old Friends Support GoFundMe]

4 Things You Can Do While Surviving Snowpocalypse

We get it. There are multiple feet of snow on the ground and you’re really only doing the bare minimum to get by until the thaw. Historic amounts of snow are pounding the East Coast this weekend, and horses and people alike are feeling the ill effects.

So after your horses are safely tucked away in their shelter, here are a few things you can do to pass the time while you wait for the fluffy white stuff to disappear and wonder why you didn’t hop on the Florida bus when you had the chance.

1. Get your education on.

A quiet day at home is always a good opportunity to learn something new. While it may be too brutal outside to get any riding done, you can still have your to-do list ready to go for the next time you hop aboard.

2. Can’t jump outside? No problem.

Come on, you’re telling us you’ve never set up a “course” of “jumps” in your basement? We call shenanigans. Trust us, we won’t judge you. We might even join you.

3. Better yet — grab your unsuspecting indoor pet and show them a whole new world.

4. If you’re still feeling ambitious, we challenge you to a snow horse making competition:

Go ahead and try and top that.

In all seriousness, we hope you all are staying safe and warm with your horses during this big blizzard. Spring will be here before we know it! Stay strong, eventerland.

Saturday Video from Nupafeed USA: More Sydney Olympic Footage

We’re bringing you more Sydney throwback footage thanks to our good friend, David Robinson, also known as harveywetdog on YouTube.

Last week, we looked back on Ingrid Klimke and Karen O’Connor’s brilliant rounds. Now we take a look at Matt Ryan riding Kibah Sandstone as well as Ian Stark with Jaybee.

In the end, it would be Australia who would take home the team gold medal, followed closely by Great Britain. Check out these nail biters of rounds as the final riders for each team head out on course.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Leslie Law on Rein Slipping

Lesley Leslie Grant-Law at Eventing 18.

Posted by David Frechette on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Leslie Law has been hard at work instructing the E25 and E18 riders in Ocala for the last couple of weeks, and our good friend Thehorsepesterer has been working just as hard to bring us video footage of the clinics.

This interesting video features Leslie’s thoughts on slipping the reins over cross country fences. It’s a technique that we often see, but Leslie thoughtfully explains his opinions on it in this short lecture. As always, he’s very clear in his explanations and definitely leaves you with a lot of food for thought.

Check out Thehorsepesterer on YouTube for more from sunny Florida!

Why Is Boyd Martin Running Rampant Through Wellington?

Some ridiculous videos of Boyd Martin galloping about on foot through Wellington have surfaced on social media this week, which left us wondering why. Has he officially lost his marbles, quit riding, and decided to start on-foot eventing? Is he trying to be more zen and get in touch with his horses’ brains by spending time in their shoes?

Not quite, but he was putting on a show for an upcoming promo for the Wellington Eventing Showcase, which will be held the first weekend in February at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

“I flew down on Wednesday to do a promo with Mark (Bellissimo),” Boyd said. “It was basically me ‘interviewing’ Mark, stealing his car, and other funny things.”

Evidently, the cross country course for this year’s Showcase will run through the VIP tent, which is where the inspiration for this video came from:

Mr. Boyd Martin hahah. Another reminder of why eventers are the best group. Credit: Esp_wef snapchat.

Posted by Jj Kansas Jayhawk Sillman on Thursday, January 21, 2016

But why stop there? The ridiculousness continued as Boyd ventured to the arena:

Reasons why I love eventers haha Boyd Martin everyone! Hahaha Credit: Esp_wef on Snapchat

Posted by Jj Kansas Jayhawk Sillman on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It was a Boyd takeover on the Equestrian Sport Productions Snapchat (follow them @esp_wef), and now we’re anxiously awaiting the finished product. Don’t forget, EN will be in attendance at the Wellington Eventing Showcase, so stay tuned for much more from Wellington!