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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Cambalda Returns to Competition with Erin Rose at Three Lakes

Erin Rose and Cambalda celebrate a double clear cross country. Photo by Jennie Brannigan. Erin Rose and Cambalda celebrate a double clear cross country. Photo by Jennie Brannigan.

Tim and Nina Gardner’s Cambalda officially stepped back into competition this weekend at Three Lakes Horse Trials in Groveland, Florida with super groom Erin Rose in the irons.

After Jennie Brannigan elected to let Cambalda come back into form easily, she thought that handing the reins to Erin, who has been her right hand helper with “Ping” and her other top horses, would be the perfect way to say “thank you”.

Erin and Cambalda earned a 27.8 from the judges in the dressage and went on to finish on that score to take home fourth in the Open Novice yesterday, coming home bang on optimum time. It certainly doesn’t look like Ping missed a beat, nor did his jockey who was making her return to competition after some time away.

Erin Kathleen Rose and Ping in action!

They came in exactly on the optimum time!!!

Posted by Jennie Brannigan on Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jennie will now focus on preparation for the upcoming Wellington Eventing Showcase next month with her longtime partner, whom she plans to enjoy this year at the three-star and Advanced level.

Hats off to Jennie, the Gardners and all others who had a hand in giving Erin a once in a lifetime spin on Cambalda, congratulations to Erin on a successful weekend, and a hearty welcome back to Cambalda. We look forward to seeing more as the season progresses. Go Eventing!

Mighty Nice Awarded USEF International Horse of the Year

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry. Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

On the heels of the USEF’s naming of Phillip Dutton as the 2016 Equestrian of the Year, the HND Group’s Mighty Nice has now been crowned the 2016 International Horse of the Year.

Mighty Nice, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, was Phillip Dutton’s Rio Olympic partner, helping him earn an individual bronze medal for Team USA. He also finished fourth at Rolex Kentucky in 2016, marking his third finish in the top 10 at the North American CCI4*.

The HND Group, consisting of Evie Dutton, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Michael Bombar and Kevin Keane, stepped up to support Phillip’s journey with “Happy” after his owner, Bruce Duchossois, lost his battle with cancer in 2014. Bruce is certainly smiling as a wonderful year comes to a close for a very special horse.

“Thank you so much to all who voted for HND Group’s Mighty Nice to be named US Equestrian International Horse of the Year. It’s an incredible honor and very humbling for our team and Happy’s owners, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Kevin Keane, Michael Bombar and Evie Dutton,” Phillip said.

“He’s such a deserving horse, not just in the way he competes but in how he loves life. He is a wonderful example of an event horse because while he’s not super brilliant in any one phase, he genuinely loves competing and puts his heart into it. It’s amazing what you can achieve when all that comes together.

“His late owner Bruce Duchossois believed strongly in Happy’s talent and loved this horse, and our team dedicates this win to him and also to Lee Lee. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support our family has received in the past 24 hours. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Please join us in congratulating Phillip and Happy on their 2016 haul of awards: USEF Equestrian and International Horse of the year, USEA Overall Horse of the Year and Advanced Horse of the Year, USEA Advanced Rider of the Year and EN Horse and Rider of the Year. Additionally, thanks to all who chose to #VoteHappy during the voting process for the USEF awards.

Mighty Nice, owned by the HnD Group, is the 2016 International Horse of the Year! Congratulations! #DiscovertheJoy

Posted by US Equestrian on Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kentucky Horse Park Withdraws Bid for 2022 World Equestrian Games

Photo by Sally Spickard. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The Kentucky Horse Park Commission has voted to withdraw from consideration to host the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games, a press released stated today. The Horse Park was up against Slovakia’s Samorin venue as the primary candidates for the Games. Had Kentucky Horse Park won the bid, it would have marked the return of WEG to Kentucky, which also played host in 2010.

Members of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission expressed concerns regarding potential conflicts with the long-term goals for the Horse Park as factors in their decision.

We are committed to being good stewards of the Kentucky Horse Park,” Tandy Patrick, chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, said in the press release.  “We do not think it would be economically feasible for the park to host the 2022 games.”

With the withdrawal of the U.S.’ only bid for the 2022 Games, that leaves Samorin, Slovakia as the only official bidder. It remains to be seen whether or not the bid process will be reopened by the FEI. We will post more updates on this story as it develops. For the full press release, click here.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: The Real Eventing 25 Talent

There’s no denying that the talent on the Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 lists is deeply stacked. But it wasn’t until Zach Brandt showed his true colors that we realized exactly how much talent these kids had to burn.

As our funny friend Ths Horse Pesterer states in the video: “Nothin’ but net.” Someone get this kid some more sponsorship deals, stat!

The horse that matters to you matters to Kentucky Performance Products

It’s why we do what we do.

It is why Kentucky Performance Products developed ContributeTM to provide your horse with omega-3 fatty acids that support lower inflammation and mitigate allergic reactions.

The horse that matters to you matters to us®.

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 at

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Trail riding with a border collie. Photo by Kristen Kovatch. Trail riding with a border collie. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

How are we all dealing with the snow, EN? Have you taken up skijoring yet? Given up all hope, quit your day job and moved to Ocala? Or are you one of those weird people who actually enjoys cold weather and frozen precipitation? Whatever it is you prefer, we hope your cold days are as pleasant as cold days can be, and we’re counting down the days to warm spring sunshine. In the meantime, I’ll be hunkered down watching football playoffs because that’s what I prefer to freezing my butt off in the cold!

Events Opening This Week:

Pine Top Advanced, CIC3,CIC2*, CIC1* & H.T. (GA, A-3), Three Lakes February Horse Trials at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

Events Closing Today:

Full Gallop Farm January H.T (SC, A-3), Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test (CA, A-6), Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3)

News & Notes:

The USEA Collapsible Fence Study is one year into operation and an update was given at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in December. This comprehensive breakdown from the USEA gives updates on the progress of the study and the research that has gone into the science of a rotational fall and other safety concerns. [Collapsible Fence Study Year One Report]

EHV-1 has been confirmed at a Northern Kentucky farm. A filly was brought to an equine hospital in Lexington for a neurological exam and further tests are being conducted on other horses in the area currently. [EHV-1 Confirmed in Kentucky]

Are you considering going to the USEF Annual Meeting this weekend? On-site registration in Lexington, Ky. will be available and there is plenty to learn from every discipline governed by the USEF. Definitely worth attending if you are in the area! [USEF Annual Meeting Schedule]

Tuesday Video:

Just in case you didn’t know what skijoring was…

Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Dempsey and Mai Baum sure do know how to work hard! Photo via Tamie Smith on Instagram. Dempsey and Mai Baum sure do know how to work hard! Photo via Tamie Smith on Instagram.

We’re eagerly anticipating the new season, and with one event already in the books we’re chomping at the bit even harder to see the top horses and riders back in action. Fleeceworks rider Tamie Smith posted a photo of Dempsey and Mai Baum on her Instagram this weekend, and we know these are two horses everyone is definitely anticipating the return of. Rest up, boys!

Weekend Results:

Ocala Winter I: [Final Scores]

News & Notes:

So, mantras are a thing, right? Many of us feel they are, and this list of mantras to help you out on cross country might come in handy next time you’re on course. Some of these can even be used in every day situations or in your daily rides. Hey, whatever works, right? [Awesome Mantras for Cross Country]

The George H. Morris Horsemastership Clinic wrapped up this weekend in Wellington, Fl. The Chronicle of the Horse has been doing a great job of keeping us up to speed on each day’s action, and you can read the final report (and find previous days’ reports) there. [Laura Kraut Pushes Riders to Persevere]

Job hunting? British Eventing is looking to hire an Independent Non-Executive Director to help guide the finances of the organization going forward. Applications for this position are due on February 10. [British Eventing Hiring]

Monday Video:

Catch up on all of the Ocala Winter I action over on The Horse Pesterer’s YouTube here.

Buck Davidson Cleans House at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry. Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson made the most of his Intermediate rides at Ocala Winter I, presented by The Brian Cox Farm Team, this weekend, finishing first and second and also sixth in the Open Intermediate to kick off his 2017 show season.

Buck and Carlevo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, added 1.2 time to his weekend score to win the Open Intermediate on a score of 26.6. Buck also piloted the stallion Halimey to a second place finish on the wings on a double clear cross country run to open up the pipes today. Halimey starts his season on a final score of 29.6, moving up from fifth overnight.

Leslie Law and Tre de Kernat, who most recently finished ninth in the CIC3* at Ocala Jockey Club in November, moved from sixth into third overall on a score of 31.3, adding nothing to their dressage score for a solid beginning to the year.

Leslie and Voltaire de Tre as well as Danielle Ditching Busbee and Fernhill Allure also held onto their overnight leads on today’s cross country in the Intermediate Horse and Intermediate Rider division, respectively.

Sable Giesler also was able to defend her lead in the Open Preliminary aboard Devil Munchkin, who picked up a top 15 finish in the CCI2* at Ocala Jockey Club to cap off their 2016 season. Katlyn Hewson and Fernhill Cascum Marco broke their original tie for third to finish second thanks to a double clear run today, followed by Woodge Fulton and Brave New World, who moved up two to take third overall.

Our good friend, The Horse Pesterer, is back out and about in Ocala this year and has busily been uploading his first videos of the new year to his YouTube channel. You can catch up with the Ocala action here, and we can’t wait to get this season up and running in earnest.

Ocala Winter I: [Website][Ride Times][Live Scores]

Cambalda to Start Comeback Tour with Super Groom Erin Rose

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s been over a year since we’ve seen Cambalda, longtime partner of Jennie Brannigan, out competing. After sustaining a collateral ligament injury at Pau in 2015, Jennie and owners Tim and Nina Gardner made the decision to give “Ping” as much time as he needed to recover. Now, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding is eyeing a comeback in the new year, starting with a jaunt at Novice with super groom Erin Rose in the irons.

“I take it very seriously when a horse gets injured,” Jennie said. “I’m very lucky to have the Gardners because they really are in this for the horses. I cannot say enough about them to give them credit for all they do.”

Cambalda was relocated to the Gardner’s home farm, Welcome Here Farm in Pennsylvania, under the watchful eye of barn manager Karen Hokanson. “He really couldn’t have had any better of care there, and it really gave us the opportunity to give him as much time as he needed.”

It was Erin who took charge of most of Ping’s rehab work during his hiatus. “Erin really did most of the slow work bringing him back,” Jennie said. “He’s one of her favorite horses to take care of and I thought she would enjoy the chance to get to bring him back into work.”

The Cambalda dream team. Photo via Nina Gardner.

The Cambalda dream team. Photo via Nina Gardner.

The idea to give Erin the ride for Ping’s first event back was in the back of Jennie’s mind for several weeks leading up to the actual announcement. “For Ping, I thought it would be a good way to bring him back without any pressure,” she said. “He’s a horse who has really appreciated the time off, but he’s so happy to be back at it. And for Erin, I just wanted to find a good way to show my appreciation for all that she does.”

It was Erin who saddled up for Ping’s first jump school since competing at Pau, and both horse and rider looked comfortable and happy together as they easily navigated a small course at Jennie’s Ocala base. Erin has previously competed through the Preliminary level but has most recently taken a step back from competition.

“Jennie allowing me to do more on Ping has been pretty exciting,” Erin said. “Obviously, he’s a dream to ride. I haven’t competed since 2010, so this should be interesting!”

Erin and Ping will test the waters at the Novice level at the upcoming Three Lakes Horse Trials in Groveland, Florida January 16-17. For Cambalda, it will be a good stretch of the legs as he and Jennie look ahead to their upper-level comeback at the Wellington Eventing Showcase in February.

From there, Jennie plans to take things one day at a time with her veteran partner. “He owes me and the Gardners absolutely nothing,” she said. “He’s a fantastic three-star horse and has done a lot for my career. The Gardners and I have talked about maybe targeting Carolina International or Red Hills and some other signature events this year. He excels at that level and I just want him to be happy doing whatever he is doing.”

How about playing groom for Erin and Ping at Three Lakes in a couple of weeks? “Oh, I’ll be totally nervous,” Jennie laughed. “I’m the worst. You should see me when my kids are riding. I get so nervous it’s actually pretty unbelievable.”

We look forward to cheering on Erin and Cambalda as they compete in Florida — perhaps we’ll see a face off between Cambalda and Ballynoe Castle RM one of these days?

Clark Montgomery Leads Ocala Intermediate to Kick Off 2017

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to the first score report of the new 2017 season! The southern season kicks off in earnest this weekend with the Ocala Winter I Horse Trials presented by The Brian Cox Farm Team, with divisions running from Beginner Novice up through Intermediate. Plenty of familiar faces are out to stretch their legs at the beautiful Ocala Horse Park.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen, who we’re thrilled to welcome back stateside this season, will take the first lead of the year in the Open Intermediate, earning a neat 21.7 on the flat and adding no penalties in show jumping earlier today. This is this pair’s first start together since Rio, and we look forward to seeing much more of them here in the U.S. this year.

Buck Davidson is starting off his year lightly, piloting nine horses this weekend throughout the Training, Preliminary and Intermediate divisions. He’s currently in second in the Open Intermediate aboard Carlevo on a two phase score of 25.4. Carlevo last finished in the top 10 in the inaugural CIC3* at the Ocala Jockey Club over Thanksgiving weekend.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and one of her newer rides, Rubens D’Ysieux hold down third place after the first two phases of competition on a score of 25.6 after a clear show jump round.

Looking to the Intermediate Horse and Intermediate Rider divisions, Leslie Law and Voltaire de Tre lead the Horse division on a score of 31.0 with nothing added in show jumping while Danielle Ditching Busbee and Fernhill Allure top the Rider board with a 33.8.

Buck Davidson and Be Mine. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson and Be Mine. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Show jumping shuffled the standings a bit in the Open Preliminary division, and Sable Giesler with Devil Munchkin sneaks into the overnight lead thanks to a clear round to remain on a 28.0 after two. Dressage leader Buck Davidson and Be Mine slot into second with one rail down. Katlyn Hewson and Fernhill Cascum Marco will tie for third with Shanon Baker and Ballingowan Zeal on a score of 31.3.

Cross country will complete tomorrow for all divisions. We’re looking forward to yet another season of #eventingsunnyFL, so be sure to post your adventures on social media for our winter social media recaps. Best of luck to all riders this weekend, and stay tuned for more from Ocala!

Ocala Winter I: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Escape the Cold: These Eventers Need Winter Working Students [Updated 1/7]

This could be you! After your barn duties are done, of course. This could be you! After your barn duties are done, of course.

Do you dream of fleeing the freezing cold temperatures in favor of warm, sunny Ocala or Aiken? Do you dream of California as you’re staring at yet another snowfall outside? Lucky for you, there are several eventers seeking working students this winter, and many of these positions involve warmer weather!

Take a look at our latest edition of working student listings, and if you or someone you know is currently seeking a groom or working student, please email [email protected].

Connie Arthur/Lone Tree Farm (CA): Position includes: Room for yourself and board for one horse, lessons, training, and coaching on your own horse and horses of ours, hauling to shows/ schoolings/ clinics etc., monthly stipend with possibility to earn extra money/raises through hard work, projects and sales depending on experience level

What the job entails:
6 days a week, average hours 8am-6pm. 5 full days, 1 light day, days off upon request if needed. Morning stables, turnouts and other chores and projects.
Tacking up and untacking, longeing, warming up, cooling out horses – lots of riding depending upon your experience and ability.
Fun, team-oriented learning environment, working with ICP certified instructors with years of experience in a very competitive showing barn.
Indoor arena with lights and outdoor arenas and full cross country course with amazing footing. We are outside a LOT and can ride all year round in Central California with fantastic river bottom footing. Cross country has Intro through Intermediate. Instructors are FEI level in Dressage and Eventing, you can learn here!

Come and increase your education! Great for Pony Club preps for the upper levels. Contact Connie (209-985-3354 or [email protected]) or Tracy (209-373-5240 or [email protected])

Laine Ashker (VA): Laine Ashker Eventing is in search of a head groom to begin the 2017 eventing and dressage show year and onwards! This is a paying job and eligible candidates must have references and experience. Would prefer applicants to come without any pets but do come with a big smile! Feel free to email Lainey resumes at [email protected]

Stephen Bradley (VA): Stephen S. Bradley Eventing currently has an open working student position available immediately! 6 months to a 1-year commitment would be preferred. Working students are immersed in the sport of eventing and can expect to travel to shows, assist in riding at the farm, and will be expected to help complete the day-to-day duties of an active training facility. Knowledge of eventing would be helpful, but is not required. Located in White Post, Virginia. Housing, lessons and board for 1 horse are included. Potential to become a paid position for the right candidate. If an opportunity like this appeals to you, please send a riding video and resume to [email protected]. To learn more about Stephen and his program please visit his website:

Daniel Clasing (SC): Clasing Equestrian has openings for two working students, one to start Jan 1 and come to Aiken with us and one to start April 1. Candidates must have their own car, experience working in a barn, ideally have their own horse and ambitions to ride at the upper levels, and be able to provide references. This is not a paid position, board, lessons, coaching and trailering provided. Must be hardworking and willing to learn. For more information call 540-454-6974 or message Clasing Equestrian on Facebook.

Andrea Davidson (FL/PA): We are currently hiring for a nanny/working student position. This person will be responsible for watching over Aubrey while I am riding and teaching, both at shows and at home. This individual will also have the opportunity to work in one of the top eventing barns in the US. He/she will be exposed to the highest levels of eventing including training, shows, and barn management. This position is flexible, and the person can come with or without a horse. This is a great opportunity for someone who loves children but also has a passion for eventing. Looking for a one year commitment and you must be at least 18 years of age with experience with children, horses and barn work. Ocala, FL for the winter and Unionville Pa for the summer. Private message me to send your application and if you have any questions about the position.

Will Coleman (FL): WCE is seeking one working student for the Florida season. Housing and lessons provided in exchange for work. Some light riding may be available depending on experience. Minimum 3 month commitment required. Great way to get out of the cold and gain valuable experience with a great program and wonderful team! Sorry, no room to bring your own horse. Please email [email protected] for more info!

Courtney Cooper (PA/SC): 4-star rider Courtney Cooper and her C Square Farm are looking for a great person to join the team ASAP! The team will be in Pennsylvania through the holidays before heading to Aiken for 3 months. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone looking to dramatically improve their riding and become a well-rounded horse person. With horses ranging from unstarted youngsters to the four-star level, working students will get a hands-on experience in all aspects of a successful training and sales business. We are looking for someone who wants to grow, develop and become better in all aspects of their equine education. Board for one horse and housing (in spectacular new apartment in PA) is included with a 6-month commitment. Your own horse is not required though, as we have plenty to ride here. If being able to go to shows, ride horses, and learn tons of new and cool stuff appeals to you, give us a shout at [email protected]. Please include a brief riding and work history, along with any recent riding videos.

Will Faudree (NC): Will Faudree Eventing, based at Gavilan Farm in Hoffman, North Carolina, is currently seeking a working student. Candidates must have aspirations to ride at the upper-levels and ideally have ridden through Preliminary level/1*. This would be a great opportunity for someone who aspires to one day ride on the U.S. Team. Not only will your riding be coached but you will also have the opportunity to learn how to manage and run a barn.  Candidates must have completed high school and have their own vehicle for transportation. We are looking for a mature, responsible individual that can work on a team and take initiative when left alone. Interested candidates should contact Will at [email protected] for further details.

Woodge Fulton (FL): Woodge is seeking a motivated and hardworking individual to join her as a working student. Training with and riding out of Buck Davidson’s barn with winters in Ocala and summers in Unionville, Pennsylvania. Great for learning all aspects of a top barn. Housing provided and a minimum one-year commitment required. Please text 443-821-5193. Position available immediately.

Christa Gandolfo (FL): In search of a working student to start immediately. Work is 6 days a week, 7-4 at my incredible farm, Oakmont, in sunny, Ocala, Florida…. In exchange of work (daily tasks; stalls, turning in and out, tacking and untacking, organizing the barn, daily care of horses, etc.) you will receive board for one horse and 5 lessons/week as well as free coaching at shows. Must be 18+, with your own means of transportation, and a valid drivers license. Housing can be arranged if needed! Please email me inquiries/resumes: [email protected]

Clarke Johnstone (New Zealand): We are looking for an ambitious, fun and hard working person to join our busy team when Jackson Bovill goes back to uni in February. The position is live in and your horse is welcome to come. Email [email protected] if you think you would like to join our team for more information and with some information about yourself.

Earl and Jennifer McFall (CA): Dragonfire Farm in Wilton, Ca. is currently seeking a weekend groom. Duties include tacking up, grooming, tack cleaning, etc. in exchange for lessons. For more information, please email [email protected].

Joe Meyer (FL): Looking for two more working students for the upcoming season in Ocala. Can start immediately or in January. Plenty of work, training, riding and competing. Can bring your own horse or train on one of ours. Please contact [email protected] or PM me for more details.

Ronan Moloney (SC): I am looking for a working student to go to Aiken South Carolina for February and March have the opportunity to ride some nice horses and get more show experience under them. There is room for a horse and they have a room all taken care of. For more information, please email Ronan.

Megan Moore (KY): Team CEO Eventing is looking to hire in 2017! Looking for the experience of a lifetime? One position available for either a working student or a professional groom for a small string of event horses in Lexington KY. Great facilities, no stall cleaning except at competitions, upbeat happy work environment. Must be hard worker, motivated, upbeat, with a desire to learn. Our first opening in years! Ideally looking to hire March 2017 but we can be flexible as needed. Will discuss terms with the right candidate. Inquire to [email protected].

Sarah Morton (GA): Looking for one to two working students to help at a beautiful, privately-owned farm just outside of Aiken off 78. Primarily eventing and foxhunting focus, although we’ll do the odd jumper/dressage show here and there. Opportunities to show, foxhunt, and ride available to hard working, motivated individuals. Clean, quality housing available to a good fit. NO DRAMA. Looking to fill the position as soon as possible. Very friendly environment. If you are a motivated person looking to improve their riding and stable management skills, contact me and we’ll sort out a time for you to come ride with us! Contact: [email protected]

Colleen Rutledge (SC): Colleen Rutledge Eventing is still looking for a new team member for the Aiken season! Duties include feeding, mucking, turn in/out, tack cleaning, bathing and some riding/longeing depending on experience. Housing and a small stipend or housing for you and one horse and lessons in return. Please email [email protected] for more information!

Rebekah Simmons (FL): Rebekah Simmons is looking for a full time groom, working student, or someone that can feed/turnout/do stalls in Ocala for 10 horses. please message Rebekah. Need to hire ASAP.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: This Guy Has More Scope Than Some Horses

Hold your horses, everyone. This guy is here to make us all feel bad about whatever height we’re currently schooling. Believe it or not, this athletic two-legged probably has more scope in him than a lot of horses do.

Ever since Burghley Parkour became a thing, we’ve been waiting for someone new to come along and show us how it’s done. Who’s up for challenging this guy to a jump-off?

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Instagram user jstainton demonstrates the best way to pass the winter months. Instagram user jstainton demonstrates the best way to pass the winter months.

What are your solutions to winter boredom, EN? There are plenty to choose from if you’re selective. Whether it’s gridwork, a clinic opportunity, schooling shows, or simply a fun trip away from the indoor arena, there is always something new to try. If you’re looking for some inspiration, you can check out our column, What’s Happening This Winter? to keep up with the latest in your area.

Events Opening This Week:

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

Events Closing Today:

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

News & Notes:

Courtney Cooper took some time to write a blog reflecting on her experiences in 2016. As we all know too well, eventing is a true sport of highs and lows, and Courtney is looking forward to tackling more highs this coming season. [New Year’s Reflections from Courtney Cooper]

In the latest edition of the USEA podcast, we meet and greet the new USEA President, Carol Kozwolski. Get to know Carol and her vision for the USEA as we look ahead to 2017. [Meet Your New USEA President]

Sad news from Boyd and Silva Martin this week as we learn that Aesthete, a dressage horse owned by Faye Wolfe and ridden by Silva, has passed away at the age of 16.”Stately” was euthanized due to colic this week and will be sadly missed as a staple of Silva’s string. [Remembering Aesthete]

Tuesday Video:

Check out these great winter tips from Cavalor:

EN’s 2016 Video Countdown #1: Try Not to Get Chills Watching This Badminton Video

As we neared the final days of 2016 we revisited EN's most popular video posts of the year. Here is #1, originally posted on May 8 and clocking in at 11,850 views!

Badminton has been uploading some gems to their YouTube channel this weekend, and they’ve just added two more encapsulating the feelings we all had throughout a dramatic weekend.

What moments would you add to the “Spine Tingling” category?

Check out all of EN’s 2016 Badminton coverage here.

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Picture perfect! Photo via Britt Sabbah on Instagram. Picture perfect! Photo via Britt Sabbah on Instagram.

Nothing’s like a little bit of extra motivation just in time to kick off the new season. Area VI eventer Britt Sabbah returned from Christmas vacation to find a nice surprise in her mail: a ribbon awarded for being the third placed Training Amateur rider in the Area with her Welsh cross pony, Saint Louie. Congratulations to Britt and all of the other Area award winners around the country!

Events Opening This Week:

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

Events Closing Today:

Stable View Aiken Opener Horse Trials (SC, A-3) Three Lakes January Horse Trials at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

News & Notes:

A heartwarming Christmas pony. We love a good Christmas surprise as much as everyone else, and our friends at Horse & Hound have a collection of 12 such surprises to keep the holiday spirit going. [12 Ponies of Christmas]

Remember when Reddit hosted a Photoshop battle for a photo of a girl and her horse? If you don’t, it’s worth a revisit. Check it out for your daily funny break. [Reddit Held a Photoshop Battle for This Girl]

Weight is an important factor to consider for your horse’s health. The battle against obesity in equines is an ongoing one for horse owners with very easy keepers. Check out this article on The Horse for more insight. [The War Against Obesity]

Tuesday Video:

Looking for some tips on stopping rushing horses? Check out this one from GG Eventing.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: A Pop Culture Christmas Pony

Surprise! Photo via Jade Roper on Instagram. Surprise! Photo via Jade Roper on Instagram.

If any of our readers are fans of The Bachelor or any of its counterparts, then this is the Christmas video for you.

Tanner Tolbert and Jade Roper first met as a part of the cast on Bachelor In Paradise in 2015 and have since said their marriage vows and started building a life together in Olathe, Kansas. Earlier this year, Tanner and Jade revealed that they’d purchased a property and were building a house complete with space for horses.

Fast forward to Christmas of this year, when Tanner sent Jade on the ultimate treasure hunt. It’s too cute for words, so we won’t make you wait any longer:

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Elisa Wallace’s Burghley Helmet Cam

Elisa Wallace was one of four riders at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to be fitted with a helmet cam courtesy of BBC, and now the full footage from her clear round aboard Simply Priceless is available for our viewing pleasure.

Elisa and Simply Priceless, a 15-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding owned by the Simply Priceless Syndicate, finished 14th in their first go at Big Bad Burghley, adding another CCI4* notch in their belt already boasting two Rolex Kentucky completions.


EN’s 2016 Video Countdown: #8. Boyd Martin Running Rampant Through Wellington

As we near the final days of 2016 we're revisiting EN's most popular video posts of the year. Here's #8, originally posted on Jan. 22 and clocking in at 7,835 views!

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!

EN’s 2016 Video Countdown: #9. The #RideForOlivia Mosaic

As we near the end of 2016 we're revisiting EN's most popular video posts of the year. Here's #9, originally posted on March 15 in the wake of the tragic loss of 17-year-old Olivia Inglis, who suffered a fatal accident on cross-country in Australia. #RideForOlivia

The mosaic created from photos of hundreds of thousands of riders all over the world was presented to the Inglis family this weekend at Olivia’s memorial service. The #RideForOlivia hashtag took on a life of its own, spurring riders from all disciplines and walks of life to share their photos in her honor.

This video gives us a closer look at the #RideForOlivia mosaic, as well as the sheer effort and thoughtfulness that went into its creation. We hope this brought some comfort to the Inglis family. Olivia’s memory continues to live on in equestrians the world over — we will never forget her.

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Sinead Halpin knows how to party! Photo via Sinead on Instagram. Sinead Halpin knows how to party! Photo via Sinead on Instagram.

Can you believe it’s the week of Christmas? I sure as heck can’t. It seems like Thanksgiving was barely a few days ago, and now I’m looking ahead to 2017 with saucer sized eyes. It’s insane how quickly a year can pass; it’s time to start dusting off those New Year’s resolutions! I’m not a particularly good resolution keeper, but maybe I should resolve to keep resolutions this time around. What about you, EN? What are your horse related New Year’s resolutions?

Events Opening This Week:

Stable View Winter Horse Trials (SC, A-3), Poplar Place Farm February H.T. (GA, A-3),  Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials I (SC, A-3), Galway Downs Winter H.T. (CA, A-6)

Events Closing Today:

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

News & Notes:

It’s time to vote for EquiRatings Horse of the Year, and the U.S. has one horse in the running in Rio individual bronze medalist Mighty Nice! He’s currently in a hotly contested race and needs your votes to get through to the next round. Vote for him in the Twitter poll at [#ERHOTY Voting]

Chris Burton, Leslie Law and Chris Ryan have been named as the featured clinicians for the 2017 ICP and Young Horse Symposium. This highly anticipated event will be held in Ocala February 20-22. The ICP Symposium will be held at Longwood Farm South, while the Young Horse Symposium will take place at the Ocala Jockey Club. If you’re in the area, these are definitely two events worth attending. [USEA ICP and Young Horse Symposium]

Looking to the first events of the new season, this is a good time to be looking at your horse’s fitness routine. This helpful article from Horse & Hound gives some insight on keeping a lower level event horse correctly fit. [Fitness Plan for Event Horses]

Are you a past or present barn kid? Then this great blog from The Chronicle of the Horse is for you. Take a read as Meghan Holland gives advice to the past, present and future “barn rats” that we all know and love. [Advice for Past, Present and Future Barn Kids]

Tuesday Video:

In the holiday spirit, let’s revisit one of the best horse-y commercials there ever was:

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

In case you need to up-cycle a top hat. Photo by Suzy Pettman. In case you need to up-cycle a top hat. Photo by Suzy Pettman.

It’s definitely that time of year when eventers from all over the country flock to the southern parts of the country to escape the cold. There truly is nothing like continuing your winter training regimen without worry of snow or ice derailing your plans. With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to pack up and head south (or west) for the winter to work for a top rider. What’s not to love? And if you’re a rider who is seeking some help this winter, please email [email protected] so that we can add you to our upcoming working student listings post.

Events Opening This Week:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3) Full Gallop Farm January H.T (SC, A-3) Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test (CA, A-6)

News & Notes:

Katie Wherley Equestrian, located in Maryland, is currently running an online fundraiser to help support the upcoming 2017 season. Look for exciting items such as shopping and dining gift cards, lessons with top riders and much more. The auction will run through December 15. [Katie Wherley Equestrian Fundraiser Auction]

The University of Kentucky’s collapsible fence study is seeking more input. The task force behind the study has decided to ask the eventing community for help with a “citizen science” survey that requests a few measurements of eventing horse size, weight, and rider height/weight. This survey aims to help them understand the sizes and weights of eventing horses and riders to use realistic information in our study of collapsible and deformable fences to improve safety. [Collapsible Fence Study Survey]

Are you a bran mash feeder on cold nights or long trips? While bran mash made its way into the feeding routines of many barns, it’s since fallen a bit by the wayside. This commentary from The Horse provides some insight on risks that might be associated with bran mash. [Risks of Feeding Bran Mashes]

Tuesday Video:

Check out this awesome training seasons from Daniel Clasing on starting young event horses:

Chelsea Kolman Marches On with Dauntless Courage

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

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

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

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

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

Coming of Age in Colorado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ticking the Boxes

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

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

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

Red and Blue Numbers

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

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

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

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

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

Chelsea and Dante at Midsouth. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Chelsea and Dante at Midsouth. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Born This Way

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

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

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

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

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

Events Opening This Week:

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

News & Notes:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Video:

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


Ocala Jockey Club Social Recap: All the Pretty Horses

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

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

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

A video posted by Courtney Carson (@courtlee26) on

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

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