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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If Horses Could Text, Part One

We've all seen Texts from My Dog and all of the other hilarious text conversations out there. If our animals were able to send us text messages, what would they say? Fortunately, we've dug up some great examples, and will be sharing more throughout the winter. Do you have a funny text message to add? You can send it to sally@eventingnation.com.

We’ve all, at some point, experienced a sassy horse who has their own opinions on what they should and should not be required to do. What would happen if our horses could express their feelings via text message? Admit it, we’ve all had the conversations in our head already.

Many thanks to Tor Heard Eventing, who posted our first edition of horse text gems on their Facebook page.

Horse Text-1

Horse Text-1-2***

">Horse TextHorse Text 1***

">Horse Text 4Horse Text 4-2***

Horse Text 2***

Horse Text 3

Guatemala Leads the Way After Central American Games Cross Country

Pedro Gutiérrez  (MEX) Racques Biats. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson. Pedro Gutiérrez (MEX) Racques Biats. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson.

Medal positions remained unchanged after the cross country competition yesterday at the Central American games. Guatemala leads the way in gold medal position on a cumulative score of 148.10 over Mexico, who is close behind on a score of 150.6. Venezuela remains in bronze medal position, bringing home three riders clear for a score of 156.9.

Venezuelan coach Sara Kozumplik-Murphy sent in her thoughts on yesterday’s competition:

What a day…It’s hard not to be disappointed that Natascha and Peekie didn’t have their fairy tale ending today, but they were still fabulous. A small mistake by Natasha certainly shouldn’t take away from the horsemanship that she showed.

She rode amazing 90 percent of the time, made one mistake, and learned a lot…go eventing! We have been blessed with the fabulous teachers we have had in Tatton Winter, Clifton Peekachu, and Irish Diamonds; thank you to the ponies!

Alasca also stepped up to the plate for Juan (Larrazabal), despite being the least experienced horse of the bunch. He came home the second fastest round for Venezuela with .4 time penalties.

All of our riders rode exceptionally well and put in very good rounds on a course that took its toll. I loved the cross country that John built, it was a true, fair test, and we are headed into tomorrow in a strong position having had 3 clear rounds and one 20…go Venezuela!

Guillermo de Campo and Quelite moved into the lead from third after dressage with a double clear run around John Williams’ course, holding a score of 49.2. He’ll go into holding the tiebreaker between himself and Stefanie Brand Leu and Claudius, who are also on a 49.2 as a result of a handful of time penalties.

The course rode well for those who completed, with four out of 16 picking up one refusal, seven pairs coming home double clear, and five clear with time. Eight pairs were eliminated on course, and one elected to retire.

The eventing competition will conclude today with the show jumping at 12 p.m. EST. With a Pan American qualification on the line, all competitors will have their best game faces on as they look forward to the day’s competition.

[Day One Report]

[Day Two Report]

Central American & Caribbean Games Links: [Website] [Entries] [Results]

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Emily Rusinyak’s Reatta HW Euthanized After Pasture Accident

Emily Rusinyak and Reatta HW. Photo via Emily on Facebook. Emily Rusinyak and Reatta HW. Photo via Emily on Facebook.

The EN team is extending its condolences to Emily Resinyak, whose lovely mare, Reatta HW, broke her leg in what appears to be a pasture accident last night. Reatta HW was transported to Auburn University this morning for evauluation, but unfortunately it appears that the injury was too extensive and the mare was euthanized.

Emily and Reatta had just completed their CCI3* together at Fair Hill, finishing in 37th place. This pair worked with Julie Richards, and Emily has brought the dark bay Oldenburg mare up through the levels since starting out at Training level in 2012.

Emily posted on her Facebook page that “she’s not just a horse, she’s my best friend.”

We’ll update this post with more information as we receive it, but in the meantime, please keep Emily and all who knew and loved her wonderful mare in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Reatta.

Shiraz Returns to Work, Aiming for Rolex 2015

Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz. Photo by Jenni Autry. Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz. Photo by Jenni Autry.

One of the most popular chestnuts on the scene, Shiraz, has officially made his return to work after suffering a shoulder strain at Rolex this spring.

Colleen Rutledge and “Luke” went over to Sharon White’s farm last week for some lessons with Jimmy Wofford, and Luke looked positively gleeful as he bounced through some simple exercises.

Colleen and Luke will be targeting a return to Rolex in the spring, just needing to get a CIC3* under their belts in the spring as a qualifier.

We’re thrilled that Luke is back in full work, and we know Colleen’s large fan base will be cheering this pair on as they look to take on their sixth four-star competition to date.

To tide us over, we dug through the archives and found some video highlights of Colleen and Shiraz’s partnership through the years:

Mary King Focuses on Efficiency, Sharpness On Final Clinic Day

Photo courtesy of Valerie Durbon for Eventing Nation. Photo courtesy of Valerie Durbon for Eventing Nation.

Mary King’s clinic at Morven Park, hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged Clinics wrapped up yesterday with the various groups doing a bit of jumping. Although there were just a handful of jumps being used, Mary came up with several exercises that focused on accuracy and sharp communication rather than using a long course.

The USEA posted a great recap of the clinic, in which Mary emphasizes the two primary responsibilities of the rider: effectiveness as a rider and having a horse that is responsive to the leg. Mary highlighted the importance of being methodical and precise in what riders asked their horse, as consistency was the best formula for success later down the road.

Mary used a triple combination to test riders, asking them to jump just the first and last jumps, swinging around the middle fence using smooth turns. She also had the riders jumping the middle fence on a figure eight, another exercise that would tattle if the riders did not have a responsive enough horse or if they were not utilizing their position enough.

Mary also used a barrel in between two standards as a skinny fence and an airy corner along with a bounce to help riders work on getting their horses on their hind end and responding to leg aids. It’s interesting to observe how much adjustablity comes into play, even with just a few fences to get over.

Thanks to Valerie Durbon, our eyes on the ground, we’ve got four minutes of video footage that shows many of the exercises Mary implemented yesterday:

Mary will be teaching her second stateside clinic this weekend in Midway, Ky., and we’re sure it will be a wonderful learning experience for all who are riding and auditing. If you are in attendance, you can send us your reports, photos, and videos at tips@eventingnation.com.

Many thanks to Valerie Durbon for contributing her wonderful photos from this week’s clinic.

[Day One Recap]

[USEA Recap]

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Winter Clipping with Evention

As winter sets in, it’s a great time to set about preparing for the impending cold weather by clipping your horse. A sweaty horse in the cold weather is not only time-consuming but, more importantly, dangerous. To avoid the problems that can arise with a horse who has long hair and a lot of sweat from a good workout, Evention TV has some clipping tips for you.

Some clipping novices may not realize that there are other options for clipping aside from a full body clip. These clipping styles eliminate long hair on the areas where a horse may be more prone to sweat, and look attractive when done properly.

Since Jimmie Schramm is apparently the resident clipper over husband Dom, she provides a visual tutorial on one of her favorite winter designs, the quarter sheet clip.

Are you a clipping connouseiur? Don’t forget to submit your artwork for your chance at eternal EN fame. We’ll be showcasing our favorite clip jobs throughout the winter, so send your photos to kate@eventingnation.com.

Learn the Ins and Outs of YEH Evaluation at Ocala Symposium

A three-year-old chestnut stallion struts his stuff at a YEH Symposium. Photo by Ivegotyourpicture.com A three-year-old chestnut stallion struts his stuff at a YEH Symposium. Photo by Ivegotyourpicture.com

The Young Event Horse series here in the U.S. is a growing program, and one that is an integral part of producing the next generation of eventing stars. All over the country, young horses who exhibit promise for the future are put through their paces to measure their talent for competition in the sport.

This February, a three-day symposium, “Evaluation of the Young Event Horse Prospect”, will be held in Ocala. Well-known authorities on the subject such as Marilyn Payne, Susan Graham White, Robin Walker, and David O’Connor will be present to discuss the evaluation of these young horses.

It’s a great educational opportunity for those who are interested in becoming more involved with Young Event Horse competition, and will be free for USEA members. Non-members can pay a $50 fee to attend the symposium. A classroom segment will be held at the Marriott Courtyard in Ocala along with demonstrations at both Longwood Farm and Meredyth Farm South.

Those interested in obtaining certification for both Young Event Horse and Future Event Horse judging will be able to do so through this symposium as well. The event will be held February 16-18, 2015 and those interested can register using this form.

Come out and enjoy the warm weather while learning about a vital part to ensuring the continued growth and improvement of the sport. Go Eventing!

[Young Event Horse Symposium in Ocala]

Team Venezuela Ready to Soar in Central America [Update]: Dressage Scores Added

Francisco Mendoza, General Ruben Rojas, Sara Kozumplik-Murphy, Gabriela Suarez, and Natascha Barrientos. Photo from Sara Kozumplik-Murphy. Francisco Mendoza, General Ruben Rojas, Sara Kozumplik-Murphy, Gabriela Suarez, and Natascha Barrientos. Photo from Sara Kozumplik-Murphy.
The eventing segment of the Central American Games has gotten underway, with the 26 riders presenting their horses to the ground jury yesterday and riding their dressage tests today. Sara Kozumplik-Murphy is coaching the Venezuelan team this weekend, and the stakes are very high for the team as a medal will ensure a slot to compete in the Pan American Games in Toronto next year.

“I have been involved with Venezuela Eventing for a little over a year,” Sara said. “I was working without a roadmap for the first few months. The Bolivarian Games in Lima were definitely trial by fire! I was quite naive, and had no idea that there were going to be so many obstacles to overcome in order to produce a team that would work together.
Team Venezuela turned out for the first horse inspection. Photo via Sara Kozumplik-Murphy.

Team Venezuela turned out for the first horse inspection. Photo by Hector Garrido.

“Nothing ensures defeat so completely as a bad feeling within a group that should be supporting each other. Having said that, I am extremely lucky that General Ruben M. Rojas, who runs the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation, read all of my emails after the trip and not only listened to my ideas for our team but stood behind them 100 percent.
“This year (General Rojas) has given me an excellent Chef d’Equipe in Francisco Mendoza, and they also enabled me to hire Max Corcoran and Katie Strickland to run the barn. I believe that this year we have it all: riders who are working happily together towards their common goal, excellent horses and a seriously good support system behind the scenes.”
John Williams is the cross country course designer, and Sara was kind enough to send in photos from her team’s course walk, which you can view in the gallery below. Her initial impression is that John has designed a great course that will really test the horses and riders.
Sara also reported that all of the Venezuelan riders trotted up well and were sent through to today’s dressage competition.
After the first day of competition, it’s a Venezuelan rider on top of the leaderboard. Natasha Barrientos and Clifton Peekachu scored a 44.8 for the overnight lead, one of just three pairs to break into the 40s today.
Guatemalan rider Stefanie Brand Leu and Claudius earned a 45.6 nod from the judges for second place, followed by Mexico’s Guillermo De Campo and Quelite who scored a 49.2.

Less than 20 penalties separate the top 10, making for an exciting competition out on the cross country course tomorrow. Be sure to check out John Williams’ course, photographed by Sara, to get an idea of what the horses and riders will be tackling tomorrow.

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Central American & Caribbean Games Links: [Website] [Entries] [Results]

Learning with Mary King at Morven Park

Photo courtesy of Valerie Durbon for Eventing Nation. Photo courtesy of Valerie Durbon for Eventing Nation.

Mary King is teaching a clinic hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged Clinics at Morven Park this week, imparting wisdom coming from many years as an international competitor. Mary did some work with younger horses and riders competing at varying levels yesterday, working on quality of gait and adjustablity with each student.

Friend of EN Valerie Durbon is in attendance this week and has been kind enough to share her beautiful photographs as well as video from the clinic, for which we are very thankful. The USEA has also been documenting the clinic on their Facebook page, so be sure to check there throughout the day for more from the clinic.

Mary spends much time emphasizing efficiency and keeping the horse active behind when working on transitions and adjustablity. She also touches on fitness and how it affects her training style throughout the year.

Drawing on her personal experiences and preferences, Mary had many valuable pieces of advice for riders and auditors alike.

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Many upper level riders are in attendance this weekend, including Allison Springer with her new horse, Mr. Sydney Rocks. We got a glimpse of Allison in action with Mary this morning:

Many thanks to Valerie and the USEA for keeping us updated during this great learning experience. Please enjoy Valerie’s photos from yesterday’s session in the gallery below. You can view more of Valerie’s work by visiting her website.

 

Weekly OTTB Wishlist Presented by 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!

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a great time to be looking for your next prospect. Who doesn’t love buying themselves a Christmas present with four legs? Whether you’re looking for a fun all-around horse or a prospect with upper level potential, be sure to check out the OTTB listings scattered about the web. Plus, you’ll have all winter to work on forming a bond and getting ready for the spring season!

Photo courtesy of CANTER PA.

Photo courtesy of CANTER PA.

Our first featured horse this week is listed with CANTER PA. This cute girl was very settled when CANTER volunteers took her listing, which bodes well for a horse with a good brain. Secret Skills (AptitudeAdinatha, by With Approval) is a 2006 mare who stands 15.3 hands tall and raced 51 times, winning six times. She’s been retired sound and is eager to find her new home, hopefully with an event rider!

Click here to check out Secret Skills’ listing on CANTER PA.

Wittle Wu Wu. Photo courtesy of New Vocations.

Wittle Wu Wu. Photo courtesy of New Vocations.

This adorable mare, Wittle Wu Wu (CorinthianMattiebluebreezing, by Dixieland Band), is available for adoption through New Vocations in Lexington, Ky. She’s a 2011 model and is 16.2 1/2 hands, making her a tall and elegant prospect for her second career. This mare is unraced, a clean slate for her new owner.

Wittle Wu Wu likes to be the center of attention and is described as “incredibly fun” to ride. Click here to check out her listing on New Vocations.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Our final featured horse this week is Bellardo (Bellamy RoadMiss Valid Storm, by Valid Appeal), a 2010 16-hand gelding who strikes a strong resemblance to his sire, Bellamy Road. Bellardo raced 25 times and came home with two wins. He last raced at Thistledown on Nov. 16, so this boy will likely do well with some let down time in his new home.

Bellardo has some minor ankle rounding, but is believed to be sound for any discipline. He sure is a handsome man, and we think he’d make a great project horse for someone.

Click here to check out Bellardo’s listing on CANTER Ohio.

Michael Jung Wins Seventh German Masters Indoor Derby

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Julia Rau. Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Julia Rau.

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST didn’t miss a beat in yesterday’s German Masters Indoor Derby at Stuttgart, easily taking home their second win in a row against a tough field of competitors and his seventh overall victory at this competition.

The duo scored 66.81 to win handily over Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision, who stopped the clock at 69.51. Michael and his World Equestrian Games individual silver medalist torched the course, which was predictably twisty and demanded accuracy over solid cross country obstacles and show jumping fences.

Watching Michael’s ride, he keeps his mare well in hand throughout the course, allowing her to come forward to the distances and smoothly collecting her back for a tight turn. The ride was smooth and efficient, as you can see in the video below:

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet, who finished 4th individually at WEG, turned in a solid run for third place with a time of 70.12. Other notable names such as Sandra Auffarth, Laura Collett and Tim Price also competed in the indoor derby, with Tim being the highest placed of the bunch in fourth place on a time of 70.76.

Two pairs were eliminated: Sven Lux fell from Chica B and was immediately up on his feet, while Stuart Fitzgerald missed a jump with Dream On Doni. Two combinations retired on course. In all, 17 of the 21 starters completed the course.

As another indoor derby wraps up, much discussion has been taking place on social media regarding the safety of this type of competition and whether or not it presents a good representation of eventing. The FEI has made several recommendations regarding the regulation of indoor competitions since The Royal.

What do you think about indoor derbies, EN? Is this type of competition a good way to spread awareness about eventing? Or do you think the risks outweigh any benefits? Should changes like what the FEI has suggested be made to boost safety at these competitions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

German Masters Links: [Website] [Results]

Wednesday Video from KPP: BBC’s Jonathan Agnew Learns to Ride

BBC anchor Jonathan Agnew is learning to ride with UK eventer Jo Ward in preparation to commentate on the equestrian events at the 2016 Rio Olympics. And, luckily for us, he’s documenting the whole experience via helmet cam. After learning to trot and canter, he experienced his first fall when his horse took off with him in a field. Hilarity ensues:

We’re glad to see the fall didn’t damage his sense of humor: “I’m a proper rider now!” Yes you are, Jonathan! Welcome to the world of riding. You can watch his first two riding lessons here and here. He’ll surely be ready for his first BE80 next season. Come to the dark side, Jonathan. We have margaritas!

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Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Michael Jung’s German Masters Win

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Julia Rau. Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Julia Rau.

As the German Masters at Stuttgart approach tomorrow, we’re gearing up for more indoor action featuring some big names in the sport. Will Michael Jung defend his title, or will a newcomer take home the title this year?

We dug into the archives and found a video of Michael’s winning run last year; skip ahead to the 1:40 marker when the round actually starts. His future WEG individual silver medalist fischerRocana FST looks game and raring to go, and can we talk about some of those hairpin rollback turns he executes flawlessly?

The cheering from the crowd makes it sound more like a reining competition! It’s definitely a far cry from galloping around the countryside hunting the flags. We found a few more videos from the German Masters in years past, which you can check out below:

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Five Thoughts Eventers Have During Dressage Lessons

Wintertime. For most of us, that word is synonymous with indoor arenas, layers upon layers and dressage boot camp. It’s a great time of year to really hone in on those pesky leg yields that have been evading you this season or to get your transitions on point to really impress the judges in the little white box.

Whatever your goals are, more often than not we eventers approach the thought of endless dressage lessons with something other than pure excitement and closer to pure dread. We thought we’d illustrate these emotions for you in GIF form:

1. Lack of Motivation

"Try and make me go!"

“Try and make me go!”

It’s well below freezing out, your bed is awfully warm, and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Say goodbye to motivation, EN. Bundle yourself up in as many pieces of clothing as you can manage, don your muck boots and a hot cup of coffee, and get out there! Those 20-meter circles aren’t going to spin themselves.

2. Anxiety

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“My right leg goes where?” The impending sense of doom when you realize your leg needs a lot more work than you originally thought. Suddenly you begin questioning your existence as an eventer, because you clearly can’t remember which aid does what anymore, and the FEI still hasn’t responded to your requests to remove dressage as a phase from the sport.

3. Frustration

so-mad-i-could

Knowing what needs to be done, yet somehow not being able to execute it is one of the most frustrating feelings. Whether your base of fitness or your knowledge is just not quite where it should be, or if you’re just having one of those days, we all know how it feels to want to crush a soda can out of sheer frustration while trying not to scream four-letter words.

4. Clarity

sudcla

You’ve been struggling for the past 45 minutes, your lesson is about to end, and you want to end on a good note. Suddenly, the stars align, your aids seem to come together, and you realize that you actually do know what you’re doing. That imperfect shoulder-in you’ve been drilling? All at once, it’s the easiest thing you’ve ever done, and you finally are able to memorize the feeling of correctness. Which then leads to…

5. Satisfaction

Fierce

Your lesson is over, you nailed it, and you feel like you could take on the world. You hop off, immediately planning your indoor dressage show schedule for the winter and chattering excitedly to your coach about signing up for more lessons. Two a week? Sure, why not! You’ve got this. Until next week.

Monday Video from Tredstep: Mustang Magic with Elisa Wallace

Team Tredstep rider Elisa Wallace recently added a new Mustang to her stable, a gray mare named Hwin she’s training for the 2015 Mustang Magic competition in Fort Worth, Texas, in January. Elisa is known for her training skills thanks to many demos done with her other mustangs, Fledge and Rune, and now Hwin is getting ready to follow in their hoof prints.

Elisa has been video blogging her training with Hwin, starting with day one, documenting the mare’s reactions and getting her to the point where she is ready for full training. It’s really interesting to watch Elisa’s training methods at work with Hwin, who seems to take everything in stride.

Do we have any Hwin fans out there?

Lauren Billys Wins at Fresno County Horse Park + Other Scores

Katelyn Gurbich and Kaptain Jak competing in the Preliminary Rider division at FCHP. Photo via Lauren Billys on Facebook. Katelyn Gurbich and Kaptain Jak competing in the Preliminary Rider division at FCHP. Photo via Lauren Billys on Facebook.

It’s about that time of year when we’re all wishing we were on the West coast or in Florida (or somewhere else warm), and we’ve been looking at all of the West coast eventers’ social media pages longingly as we freeze our toes off in the Polar Vortex.

Fresno County Horse Park ran Intro through Preliminary divisions, and Lauren Billys aboard Ballingowan Ginger were the winners of the Open Preliminary division. The pair scored a 23.0 in the dressage and went on to finish on that score to finished ahead of David Robel and High Light in second place.

Bea di Grazia and Ringwood Isabelle finished their weekend in third place on a score of 36.5. This is the Irish Sport Horse mare’s first run at Preliminary after running primarily at Training this year.

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Scores]

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Ocala Horse Properties kicked off their winter series this weekend, and Leslie Law with Unborn de Lelo took home the win in the Open Preliminary A division, finishing on their dressage score of 22.7. This Anglo-Arab gelding owned by Beatrice Ray-Herme is nearing the end of a full year competing at Preliminary, as Leslie usually likes to give his young horses plenty of time at the level before eyeing a move up.

Kyle Carter and Sayyida were good for second place on a score of 23.2, followed by Michael Pollard and Tsetserleg on a 29.2.

Ocala Horse Properties Fall H.T. [Website] [Scores]

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In the B division of the Open Preliminary, Shanon Baker and Lansdowne lead wire to wire to finish on their dressage score of 26.8, a comfortable lead over second-placed Daisy Trayford and Exmoor Denver on a 35.1. Shanon and Lansdowne are coming off of some disappointing results in two CCI* attempts and will likely feel a big boost of confidence from a solid outing this weekend.

Jamie Alnwick and Factor Five bring up third place with a score of 59.7.

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Cathryn Green and Coin Toss III took home the win in the Open Intermediate at River Glen in Tennessee, which was sure to be a bit on the chilly side this weekend. Cathryn had 15.2 time on cross country but was still able to move up from second place to finish on a score of 55.0. This is the pair’s first Intermediate win.

Selena Pope and Vanity finished their weekend in second place on a score of 60.9. Selena and Vanity have been very successful at this level, not finishing out of the top five in eight completions.

Rebecca Gall and Can Ya Dig it were the third place finishers with a final score of 64.4. This was this pair’s second start since moving up to Intermediate at Otter Creek in September.

River Glen Fall H.T.  [Website] [Scores]

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Planning a Trip to Rio in 2016? Sign Up To Volunteer!

The next Olympic cycle will be upon us before we know it. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are approaching, and EN is already outlining our plan of action to bring you the best eventing coverage there is.

There is plenty of advance planning going on for the Olympics, and they’re asking for volunteers to sign up for their duties by December 15. Volunteers will enjoy exposure to the Olympic grounds, plenty of Rio swag, provided meals on working days, and the once in a lifetime experience of working behind the scenes at the Olympics.

If you’re interested in being a Rio volunteer (we’re sure there will be equestrian opportunities!), here are the qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years old by February 28, 2016
  • Must be available for 10 days during the Olympics and/or Paralympic Games
  • Have completed basic education – this is not mandatory
  • Have availability during the selection and training process, which will take up to three full days

Visit the Rio Volunteer page here to find more information about the volunteer opportunities available, and don’t forget to sign up by December 15.

 

Watch America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest On Demand

Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane. Photo by Maggie Kimmitt. Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane. Photo by Maggie Kimmitt.

Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane were the triumphant winners of this year’s Retired Racehorse Project America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred competition, showing off their impressive adjustability to seal the deal.

The Retired Racehorse Project has uploaded videos of the competition to their Vimeo channel, making them available on demand so we can check out the other great Thoroughbreds and their newly learned skills in their second careers.

Complete with commentary from judges Ross Peddicord, Diane Crump and Chris McCarron, the videos provide education and entertainment for OTTB and equine enthusiasts across multiple disciplines.

Be sure to stop by the RRP Vimeo channel to view all of the videos on demand. Go OTTBs!

FEI Proposes Changes to Indoor Eventing

Tik Maynard and Dutch Times. Photo by Mackenzie Clark for BenRadvanyi.com.

Tik Maynard and Dutch Times. Photo by Mackenzie Clark for BenRadvanyi.com.

The FEI has made some recommendations based on its Risk Management policies for Indoor and Arena Eventing, which has been growing in popularity in recent years.

The primary recommendation from the FEI is that these competitions should be designated as three-star competitions, meaning that horses and riders would have to meet the same qualification criteria. A three-star course designer would also be used to design the track.

There are also three competition formats that have been proposed for these events:

1. Indoor/Arena Derby: Competitions will be run with a time limit as opposed to a time allowed. This would decrease the risk of falls and errors caused by a rider’s attempt to make the time. Many opinions have been voiced regarding the number of falls at the recent Indoor Eventing Challenge at The Royal, many of which touch on concerns that the time allowed factor caused many of the falls. As another rule of this format, all jumps would be required to have a rail over the top line.

2. Indoor/Arena Eventing with Style Valuation: There would be no time factor at all in this format, and the horses and riders would jump cross country obstacles and points would be assessed based on style. Existing national rules and regulations would be used for judging.

3. Indoor/Arena Eventing in Two Phases: Cross country obstacles would be used in the first phase, with an optimum time designated by the course designer. There would then be a jump-off  of 6-8 fences for the second round, which would include obstacles that draw similarities from cross country jumps but that would be constructed to be able to be knocked down.

The elimination of the speed factor has been a commonly heard request from both riders and observers, and the FEI’s recommendations seem focused on promoting safety over speed.

What are your thoughts on these recommendations, EN? Do you feel they will help attract more riders and make the competitions safer? Do you think Indoor Eventing is just fine the way it is? We want to hear your opinions in the comments!

You can read the latest FEI update containing the Indoor Eventing recommendations by downloading it here.

Jessica Manson Edges Out Megan Jones for Adelaide CCI4* Victory

Jessica Manson and Legal Star. Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson/FEI. Jessica Manson and Legal Star. Photo courtesy of Julie Wilson/FEI.

Jessica Manson entered the show jumping arena in Adelaide with plenty of pressure. She had a rail in hand, but the rails were flying all day and just three pairs had gone clear or had just one rail down. Second placed Megan Jones and Kirby Park Allofasudden had just laid down a double clear round to put the pressure on the 22-year-old to finish the job.

She had no need for her rail in hand, though, as she jumped a clear round to take home her first CCI4* win aboard Legal Star, her Australian Stock Horse. Jessica had three rails down last year at this event, so she knew that this was the time to rise to the occasion.

Charlotte Price and Kinnordy Gambia. Photo via the Australian International Three Day on Facebook.

Charlotte Price and Kinnordy Gambia. Photo via the Australian International Three Day on Facebook.

Megan Jones and Kirby Park Allofasudden finished on a final score of 70.7 in second, well ahead of third placed Soigne Jackson and Gold. Katja Weimann and BP Cosmopolitan were the owners of the only other double clear round, finishing in fifth place. Katja jumped all the way up from ninth place after cross country with her double clear round to improve upon her 10th place finish here last year.

Jessica Manson and Legal Star are all smiles. Photo via the Australian International Three-Day on Facebook.

Jessica Manson and Legal Star are all smiles. Photo via the Australian International Three-Day on Facebook.

It was a great eventing weekend Down Under, and it was great to see so many newcomers to the level out competing for the first time. Congratulations to Jessica on her big win – we can’t wait to see more from this talented pair.

Go Eventing Down Under!

Adelaide CCI4* Links: WebsiteEntriesOrder of GoLive ScoresFEI TV@aus3de

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Watch Videos from Ocala Horse Properties Winter Series Kick Off

Ocala Horse Properties kicked off their winter series this weekend, running divisions from Beginner Novice up through Preliminary. Many riders have already begun their southern migration for the winter, and Ocala is always a hot spot for eventers from all over the country.

The Horse Pesterer is on the ground in Ocala this weekend and is in the process of uploading videos from the weekend so far. We also got a sneak peek of the new covered arena that is under construction, which looks like it will be a great addition for future competitions.

Photo via The Horse Pesterer.

Photo via The Horse Pesterer.

Be sure to check out the full playlist of videos here, as more are being added as we speak. Many thanks to The Horse Pesterer for sharing his videos. Go Florida eventing!

Ocala Horse Properties Fall H.T. [Website] [Scores]

 

We Love Volunteers: Maryland Combined Training Association

Without the volunteers who tirelessly work each weekend to make an event run smoothly, our sport would not be much to speak of. These hard working individuals are the backbone of each and every event, and we want to share the stories of these volunteers in our new series. This week, Beth Collier sent in this great story about volunteering at Fair Hill. We would love to hear more! Do you have a volunteer story you'd like to share? Send it to sally@eventingnation.com.

Burt standing next to his saved flag. Photo from Beth Collier. Burt standing next to his saved flag. Photo from Beth Collier.

From Beth:

When I’ve competed in horse trials, there are always wonderful volunteers who make it a great day. So, I volunteer at events to make it a great day for someone else. Plus,  it’s a great way to learn all the rules. Here is one of my favorite stories:

Husband Burt and I were cross country jump judges for the Preliminary division at the Maryland Combined Training Association Horse Trials at Shawan Downs, north of Baltimore.

We had a big corner jump, although there was a non-corner option. Phillip Dutton came by and his horse whacked the corner flag and ran out. The flag was broken off and we didn’t have a hammer or nails or a twist-tie.

Phillip came to a screeching halt and almost fell off. He turned around and said, “Can you set up the flag?” I was thinking about how we didn’t have a way to easily fix it and the next horse will be coming in two minutes.

So, Burt tried to prop the flag up but it just tilted over. So, he stood there and held the flag for Phillip. The volunteer coordinator later asked me if I had taken a photo, and I said, “No, because I thought I was having either a stroke or a heart attack!” Burt said he only held the flag because of his faith in Phillip’s experience as a top rider!

This Adelaide Helmet Cam Proves That City Park Eventing is Great

Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire in the CCI4* Adelaide 2012. Photo by John Lechner. Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire in the CCI4* Adelaide 2012. Photo by John Lechner.

The cross country at the Australian International Three-Day Event in Adelaide is run through Victoria Park, which is nestled right in the heart of Adelaide, located in South Australia. This park, which is a popular destination for area residents on a sunny day, plays host to many sporting events throughout the year, and the Adelaide event is always a popular spectator attraction.

Victoria Park

One thing we noticed while watching the live stream of cross country yesterday was how well the course was laid out with the park’s natural layout. Course designer Wayne Copping integrated the ponds and streams in the park to create water questions, and even wrapped the course around a playground in the center of the park.

Spectators were lined up along the galloping lanes and at the big questions all day, even braving rain to see the CCI4* riders go. Cars drove past on the roads bordering the park, most likely wondering why there were horses and their colorful riders gallivanting about the park.

While we realize that this park-like environment isn’t feasible in many locations, particularly in the U.S., we still hand it to the organizers of the Adelaide event for their creativity in bringing the sport to a city where more people can come out to watch.

Be sure to check out this helmet cam from the 2012 event, complete with commentary, of Natalie Blundell & Algebra for an idea of how the course is laid out in Victoria Park.