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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Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Sunday am Starbucks run ☕️ #aqhaproud #sundayfunday

A post shared by Cody Cali (@ridingonroan) on

Um, can we say #goals? For real, if I thought my horse would keep it together long enough for me to go to Starbucks, I really do think my life would be complete. And then my Starbucks tab would increase exponentially. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…

Events Opening This Week:

CDCTA Spring H.T. (VA, A-2), Pine Hill Spring H.T. (TX, A-5), The Event Derby & Clinics at Fresno County Horse Park (CA, A-6) The Fork CIC3*/CIC2*/CIC1* & HT (NC, A-2) Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3) Spring Bay H.T. (KY, A-8), St. Johns H.T. (AZ, A-10)

Events Closing 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)

News & Notes:

The USEA Young Horse Symposium is currently underway in Ocala, and there is a lot to learn when it comes to handling and educating young event horses. Chris Ryan was the featured headliner of yesterday’s Future Event Horse seminar, and the USEA has a great recap on the day here.

If you’re one of our UK readers, you definitely want to check out Elite Horse Owners’ Ambition Open Day in Devon this coming Saturday, February 25. Featuring a guest appearance by Mary King and EHO rider Tim Cheffings, the event will spotlight the Ambition syndicate for potential owners. [Ambition Open Day]

The 2017 FEI Sports Forum will be held April 10-11 in Switzerland, where jumping, eventing and endurance experts will discuss key topics pertaining to equestrian sport. The eventing sessions will feature David O’Connor and Giuseppe Della Chiesa and their thoughts on risk management. The sessions will be streamed live on as well. [Inside FEI]

Tuesday Video:

Monday Videos from Tredstep Ireland: Catching Up with Blackfoot Mystery & Shamwari

Boyd Martin posted video updates on two of his top horses, his WEG 2014 mount Shamwari 4, owned by the Shamwari 4 Syndicate, and his Rio Olympic partner Blackfoot Mystery, owned by the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate.

Neither horse has competed since 2016, when Shamwari finished 12th at Rolex Kentucky and Blackfoot Mystery finished 16th individually in Rio.

Get an update on what Boyd’s plans are for the coming year for these two heavy hitters. We can’t wait to see more from both Shamwari and “Big Red”! Need more Boyd in your life? Check out the Windurra USA Fan Club.

Who Jumped It Best? Rocking Horse Intermediate

It’s time for another edition of Who Jumped It Best? featuring some Intermediate combinations from Rocking Horse Winter II this weekend. Thanks to our favorite friendly neighborhood wearer of hats, photographer JJ Sillman, we have a selection of action shots to present for your votes. You know the drill, vote for the pair who presents the best overall picture.

Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Lee Camiolo and Caharron V.E. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Lee Camiolo and Caharron V.E. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Charlotte Collier and Clifford M. Photo by JJ Sillman,

Charlotte Collier and Clifford M. Photo by JJ Sillman,

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Cornelia Dorr and Louis M. Photo by JJ Sillman.

RH Cosby Green

Cosby Green and Takine de la Barbais. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Lizzy Jahnke and Lanzz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Lizzy Jahnke and Lanzz. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Joe Meyer and Fashion Forward. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Joe Meyer and Fashion Forward. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Saturday Video: Rocking Horse Winter 2 Advanced Water

RNS Video is back at it with a great montage from the first Advanced of the Ocala season. Check out the Advanced pairs as they tackled the water complex at Rocking Horse yesterday.

In case you missed our report on the Advanced and Intermediate divisions this weekend, click on over here to catch up.

Thanks to RNS for capturing great videos for all of us to enjoy! Visit RNS Video’s website to order videos of your own rides and be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel and find them on Facebook.

Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

What’s in Your Ring? Presented by Attwood: Angle It with Buck Davidson

What’s in Your Ring? is an EN series sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Bikini Martini DF demonstrate a tricky angle with Buck Davidson. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Bikini Martini DF demonstrate a tricky angle with Buck Davidson. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson visited Southern California in January for a much anticipated two-day clinic at the beautiful Copper Meadows Eventing facility in Ramona. The weather has been soggy here on the West coast of late, so much so that it made preparation for the clinic nearly impossible.

Thankfully, the Copper Meadows crew was hard at work preparing the footing for Buck, and riders were able to enjoy a brief reprieve from the rain on perfect footing. It was a great way to get a tune up for the upcoming season, and Buck was definitely up to the task.

On the first day of the clinic, Buck set up an intriguing series of angled lines criss-crossing the middle of the jump arena. As we scurried about to get the course set the night before, most of us were scratching our heads wondering exactly what Buck had up his sleeve.

“Surely he doesn’t intend to make us all jump those angles?” we wondered aloud. Well, that was definitely his intent, even for the lower level horses and riders.

Graphic via Canva.

The distance should be walked as one stride middle to middle at an angle.

Buck’s angled lines consisted of a four-fence question spaced at three, one and two strides. On the opposite diagonal, the angles were set at three strides. Buck varied the obstacles with verticals and square oxers so that the line could be jumped from either direction.

To begin, Buck put the fences down to crossrails, even for the upper-level horses, so as to introduce the exercise in a non-threatening manner. Buck pointed out that he’d rather have the horses make mistakes when it was easy to correct, so he had riders just trot through the lines, letting their horses peek if they needed to.

From there, Buck raised fences incrementally as the horses progressed. Because of the varying distances between each fence, the riders needed to focus on both accuracy and impulsion in order to make the striding work. If a horse came off of the line or lost impulsion coming in, the entire line was sacrificed or the rider was left to try to over correct.

The really interesting thing about these angles, as tough as they looked at first glance, was that the horses that were going Beginner Novice and the horses who were Advanced horses all got something out of it. I didn’t see any horses or riders who were overfaced, even with the technicality of the exercise.

Instead, Buck broke it down so that it was doable right from the beginning and was patient if anyone had trouble. He is a big believer in setting both horse and rider up for success, and it showed in his patient and encouraging teaching.

The idea of positioning your horse exactly where he needs to be to simplify what you’re asking of him was paramount throughout the clinic. Being aware of your aids — not telling your horse to go in a crooked line and then pulling them off of that line in an attempt to achieve straightness, for example — can help you more effectively communicate with your horse.

In all, the clinic was very educational and it was a privilege to see Buck in his teaching element. I think I can speak for all of the auditors and riders when I say that we all learned a lot and were lucky to have the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the sport. The fun thing about the angles is that they may look intimidating but they are totally doable, so definitely try it at home!

A Horse Husband’s Survival Guide to Dating Eventers

Dating a horse girl is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. We put in long hours at the barn and have no qualms about coming home covered in hay, slobber and various other unmentionables. We spend hours watching videos of ourselves riding and constantly ask our significant others to hold things (horses, bridles, lead ropes, saddle pads …) or handle the video camera.

And we’re constantly bemoaning our sore bank accounts as we continue to shell out money for shoes, shows, tack and everything else that doesn’t involve household products (what are responsibilities?).

So what’s the secret to dating an eventer? Surely the men out there who meet us have no idea what they’re signing up for when they first get hooked. Most of us feel we should wear a sign that says “Run for the hills!” on a first date before we launch into a 20-minute speech about how awesome Michael Jung is. No wait, Michael Jung is definitely at least second date fodder.

I took the liberty of asking some well-established horse husbands for their sage advice on how to survive a relationship with an eventer. Ladies (and gents!), pass this along to any potential partner. If they take any of these nuggets of wisdom to heart, they just might be a keeper. If not, well, at least our horses love us.

Here’s what our much-loved horse husbands had to say:

Josh Autry (HH to Jenni Autry): “At shows bring her a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night. And she will still love you even if you don’t understand dressage.”

Gamal Awad (HH to Hawley Bennett-Awad): “Golden rule for being with an equestrian: Horses come first. Husbands, well, maybe make the list. If there is room after cleaning tack.”

Tommy Bateman (HH to Leslie Wylie): “Picture yourself actually doing what she does — it’ll terrify and amaze you.”

Eric Caravella (HH to Holly Payne-Caravella): “For a non-horse guy, dating an eventer can seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, her expectations of your horse knowledge are low. So, if you take an interest in the sport and somehow manage to use ‘oxer’ or ‘lead change’ properly in a sentence, she’ll be amazed.”

Timothy Harfield (HH to Elisa Wallace): “Being in a romantic relationship with a horse person is really no different than any other romantic relationship. The rules are the same: listen, work to understand their perspective, and don’t neglect the ‘little things’. Also power tools. And food.” (Read more on

Brian Rutledge (HH to Colleen Rutledge): “I have it easy because Colleen hasn’t been around for the last six years on Valentine’s Day because she is down south. But I got smarter as the years have gone by to at least send her something down there, be it flowers or candy. I was stupid at first and never sent her anything, and boy I still hear about that years later. Horse women remember everything. You get smarter as the years go by and try to stay on their good side!”

Dave Smith (HH to Tamie Smith): “If you want to impress her, figure out how to tell the brown horses apart.”

Mike Stutes (HH to Frankie Thieriot Stutes): “Don’t talk to her right before cross country, unless she talks to you. Make sure you have anything she needs, even though you won’t know what that is. And never try to give her riding advice.”

Eric Yeh (HH to EN’s Maggie Deatrick): “Have your own hobby. Mine is working.”

So let’s have a collective toast to all of those long-suffering horse husbands (and wives!), including those who said “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” and picked up the sport themselves. We may scratch our heads wondering what’s so lovable about us when we’re so over the top obsessed with our horses, but we appreciate each and every one of you! Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Horse love for the win!

Horse love for the win!

Valentine’s Day News & Notes from Cavalor

Now this is a gift we can get on board with! Photo via Rolex Kentucky on Instagram. Now this is a gift we can get on board with! Photo via Rolex Kentucky on Instagram.

And so begins another Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as Singles Awareness Day for many. I have always had mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. Even in a relationship, I kind of feel guilty for professing love all over social media for the whole world to see because it just feels like an obligation today. But, one thing I won’t turn down are Rolex tickets, so I mean if someone wanted to step up and do that, I’d celebrate Valentine’s Day all day long. Until tomorrow, at least.

Speaking of which, you can get your (and your significant other’s) Rolex tickets right here.

Events Opening This Week:

Twin Rivers CCI,CIC & H.T. (CA, A-6) Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (FL, A-3) Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (TX, A-5) Morven Park Spring Horse Trial (VA, A-2) Full Gallop Farm April H.T. (SC, A-3) Galway Downs International Horse Trials (CA, A-6)

Events Closing Today:

Full Gallop Farm March I H.T. (SC, A-3) Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials II (SC, A-3) Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. (FL, A-3) Twin Rivers Winter H.T. (CA, A-6)

News & Notes:

Stable View Farm recently hosted a clinic with William Fox-Pitt, who seems to be on a whirlwind U.S. tour. In this recap on the USEA website, there are several “Fox-Pittisms” to take home with you. We quite enjoyed the list! [William Fox-Pittisms from Stable View]

We’re still longing for the palm trees and sunshine that were synonymous with the Wellington Eventing Showcase earlier this month. Now we can continue to relive the fun with this beautiful photo gallery. [Wellington Eventing Showcase Gallery]

In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out this list of ways being an equestrian prepares you for dating. We knew some of these skills would come in handy one day! [5 Ways Equestrians Are Prepped for Dating]

Eric Smiley is returning to Aiken for two eventing clinics in March. One of a select few to hold the qualification of BE Master Coach, Eric is a world-class trainer, FEI official, coach of the 2012 Belgium Olympic event team and one of the founders of the International Eventing Forum. The clinic dates are March 2-7 and March 14-19. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Tuesday Video:

Check out Cavalor rider Zach Brandt and Vasilev at Ocala Winter II as they prep for their first Advanced run together:

Sharpen Up with This #GOTD from Laine Ashker

As the season gets into full swing, it’s time to really start honing in on all three phases so as to do your best this year. Thanks to many helpful hints from top riders, such as Laine Ashker’s #GOTD exercises, we can have some new tools to work with as we leg up for a great 2017 season.

We’ll keep adding more training tips and advice as they pop up, so feel free to add yours to your social media using #ENGOTD. Here’s to a rockin’ 2017!

Sunday Videos: Ocala Winter II Highlights

We’ve got the best seat in the house for this weekend’s Ocala Winter II Horse Trials, presented by the Brian Cox Farm Team thanks to The Horse Pesterer. Videos from all three phases this weekend are available for our viewing now.

If you’re having a lazy Sunday (just kidding, since when do eventers have lazy days?), here’s a perfect way to pass the time:

What Winter? Pine Top and Ocala Intermediate Recap

Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey. Photo courtesy of Joan Davis/ Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey. Photo courtesy of Joan Davis/

Some heavy hitting Intermediate divisions wrapped up competition today both in Georgia and Florida at Pine Top and Ocala. I think we can officially say that the 2017 season is in full swing, and we’re getting a good look at many horses who are aimed at the big time this year.

First up in Ocala, Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen picked up a win in one of two Open Intermediate divisions. Clark added just one second of time on cross country to finish on a 23.3, a score untouched by the rest of the division. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z finished in second, which they held down in all three phases, followed by Jessica Phoenix and Abbey GS.

In the Open Intermediate B, Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey went wire to wire for the win on a final score of 35.9. This is a newer ride for Buck, who won his last Preliminary outing at Rocking Horse last month. Kurt Martin with DeLux Z were good for second with just time added across country, and Caroline Martin with Islandwood Captain Jack moved up from eighth into third thanks to the quickest cross country trip of the division.

Ocala Winter II Horse Trials: [Live Scores]

Moving to Pine Top Intermediate, Waylon Roberts and Boyd Martin are your Open winners for the weekend. Waylon picked up the win in the A division aboard HH Lancaster, who won the Stable View Prelim with Waylon last month. Boyd was good for second and third in the A division with Ray Price and Tura Lura. Not to be outdone by himself, Boyd also picked up fourth in the A division with Bonito.

Courtney Cooper posted on her Facebook that she was absolutely thrilled with Who’s A Star in the homebred’s first Intermediate outing of the year. After winning the dressage, the pair went on to finish fifth in the A division.

Boyd cleaned up the Open Intermediate B division with Tsetserleg and Kyra, finishing the two just .2 penalties off from each other for a neck and neck final finish. Mara DePuy and Conga Brazzaville C added some time on cross country to finish third in the division.

Pine Top Intermediate: [Live Scores]

Ballynoe Castle RM: Training Level Packer

Team Reggie! Buck Davidson, Kathleen Murray, Cassie and Carl Segal. Photo via Kathleen Murray. Team Reggie! Buck Davidson, Kathleen Murray, Cassie and Carl Segal. Photo via Kathleen Murray.

Buck Davidson’s head groom of many years, Kathleen Murray, has had the ride of a lifetime with Ballynoe Castle RM. The USEA’s all-time leading points earner and the holder of countless eventing accolades, “Reggie” is a fan favorite and a much loved pet at BDJ Eventing.

Because of the dedication Kathleen showed to the Irish Sport Horse gelding throughout his career, both Buck and owners Carl and Cassie Segal thought it fitting to say “thank you” by giving her the ride on Reggie this winter.

Kathleen and Reggie’s first competition together came this past weekend at Rocking Horse Winter I, where they competed in the Training Rider division. Leading through the first two phases, Kathleen’s watch unfortunately failed to start when she left the box on cross country, causing her to pick up some time penalties. Nonetheless, it was a great weekend (and a weird role reversal!) for the whole BDJ camp who came to cheer this pair on.

Like a pro! Photo courtesy of John Clarke.

Like a pro! Photo courtesy of John Clarke.

“I was pretty nervous,” Kathleen recalled. “But I also feel like I know Reggie so well that even though I haven’t ridden him as much, aside from trotting and hacking, I could know what to expect. As soon as he goes in that ring, he knows his job. I think the work in our test was probably better than anything at home — at home, he just trots around like a pony!”

In a twilight zone worthy role reversal, it was Buck who stepped up to pick up the grooming backpack for Kathleen this weekend, even coming to the show early on dressage day to take Reggie for one of his “nature walks” that Kathleen always did before dressage for Buck.

Put (my studs in), Coach! Photo via Kathleen Murray.

Put (my studs in), Coach! Photo via Kathleen Murray.

“He took it very seriously,” Kathleen laughed. “We have a lot of different things we do, and he nailed all of them. He even put my studs in for me and got my horse ready for cross country. For dressage, he knew exactly who was in front of me and what ring I was in, so I think he had been studying the program.”

On cross country, Kathleen said Reggie came out of the box like he was going Advanced. “He definitely thought we were going Advanced, but once we got over the first jump you could feel him say, ‘Oh, OK. Training level. Got it,’” she said. “Unfortunately, my watch never started and because we’d started off quick, by the time I realized my watch hadn’t started I thought maybe I would come in too fast so I slowed down.”

The BDJ crew follows Kathleen and Reggie on cross country. Photo courtesy of John Clarke.

The BDJ crew follows Kathleen and Reggie on cross country. Photo courtesy of John Clarke.

Regardless of the time penalties, Kathleen still came off the course with a big smile on her face — and she gets to do it all over again at the Ocala Horse Properties Horse Trials next month. Once the winter season comes to a close, it’s time for the grand finale: the test ride at Rolex Kentucky. How has that practice been going?

“Well, we’ve been focusing more on the Training level frame,” Kathleen said. “Obviously, the CCI4* test is much different, but we will definitely be practicing it.”

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Maggie Baker and Blue Stockings celebrate a great finish in the Intermediate Rider division at Rocking Horse this weekend. Photo courtesy of KER. Maggie Baker and Blue Stockings celebrate a great finish in the Intermediate Rider division at Rocking Horse this weekend. Photo courtesy of KER.

Our friends at Kentucky Equine Research sent us this great story on Blue Stockings, one of their former research horses who just finished the Intermediate Rider division at Rocking Horse with rider Maggie Baker this past weekend. Blue Stockings participated in digestion, palatability, and exercise physiology trials before moving on to be a sport horse. How great to see “Barney” doing well in his next career!

Events Opening This Week:

Pine Top Spring H.T. (GA, A-3), MeadowCreek Park – The Spring Social Event (TX, A-5) Exmoor Horse Trials (FL, A-3) Copper Meadows Winter H.T. (CA, A-6)

Events Closing Today:

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

News & Notes:

Adjustablity is a very important factor to establish in event horses, and it’s important to do it early on. In a new article on the USEA, Carly Easton discusses different exercises that are helpful for introducing adjustablity to the young event horse. [Introducing Adjustablity]

Get to know West Coast superstar High Times! In one of the latest installments of Behind the Stall Door, the Chronicle of the Horse goes behind the scenes with Jennifer McFall’s upper level mount. Billy sure is a character! [Behind the Stall Door: High Times]

Does your horse make a habit out of chewing wood? Several factors can influence a horse’s habits, and this Q&A column from The Horse answers some questions on what causes this and how you can prevent it. [Horses That Chew Wood]

Tuesday Video:

A few helpful winter tips from Cavalor:

Rolex Kentucky Prize Money Boosted to $400,000

Michael Jung with his parents Joachin and Brigitte. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Michael Jung with his parents Joachin and Brigitte. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Equestrian Events, Inc., the producing company for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, has just announced that prize money for the 2017 event has been raised to $400,000 up from $350,000 in 2016. The winner’s portion of this purse will be $130,000, making it the richest CCI4* event in the world.

“For more than 35 years, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event has been an important event on the international equestrian calendar,” Lee Carter, Executive Director of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) said in a press release today. “We want to keep it there and continue to bring the world to Kentucky. Thanks to the loyalty of our partners, sponsors, but most of all tens of thousands of fans and spectators who travel in to enjoy equestrian sport at its best, we are able to expand our support and promote the sport of Eventing.”

The $400,000 up for grabs this year is also in addition to the $350,000 that is awarded to the Rolex Grand Slam winner should they consecutively win Rolex, Badminton and Burghley. To date, just two riders have won this coveted prize, including Michael Jung in 2016.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the “Best Weekend All Year” in Lexington this April, and we’ll be bringing you more updates on Rolex as it gets even closer. To buy your tickets, click here.

Watch William Fox-Pitt’s Preparations for Wellington

It’s big news that Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt will be competing in the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase next weekend. William will be piloting Steady Eddie, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Gretchen Wintersteen, Pierre Colin and Denis Lahey and ridden by Boyd Martin.

Steady Eddie, who is currently for sale, completed his first CCI4* at Rolex Kentucky in 2016 and most recently finished third in the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* last fall.

William will also be riding another of Boyd’s sale horses, Nancy Hathaway and Gloria Callen’s Tura Lura, at Stable View this week at the Preliminary level. “She’s a high quality horse with a lot of talent,” Boyd wrote on his blog. “I usually do a prelim to start the two-star horses off in the year and she should do well with William as her pilot.”

We’re looking forward to seeing William compete stateside this year! What do you think EN, will William dethrone Boyd at the Wellington Eventing Showcase?

Five Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Clinic Experience

William talks to a Preliminary group at Copper Meadows. Photo via Athletux Equine. William talks to a Preliminary group at Copper Meadows. Photo via Athletux Equine.

Riding in or auditing a clinic with an upper level rider can yield a myriad of good results. It’s a prime opportunity to learn as much as you can if you are a student of your sport, and you’ll always come away with a few new tools to utilize in the future. If you have a clinic coming up, here are a few pieces of advice on how to maximize your learning experience and get the best experience possible.

1. Come with an open mind.

Not every clinician will bring training practices that you are familiar with or agree with. This is perfectly ok — as we all know, there are many schools of thought when it comes to training horses. One coach might tell you to ride with short reins to encourage steady contact, the next may advise you to loosen your reins to make the horse think on its own more.

While you likely have several ideas of best practices for you and your horse, it is still beneficial to come with an open mind to a clinic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a clinician have a rider try something unfamiliar to have it yield excellent results. Those “lightbulb” moments during a clinic are what we all strive for, and being open to new theory makes those possible.

2. Be ready to help out.

If you’re on the ground during the clinic or have time in between your rides, head into the ring to help out with jump crew or manure removal. Being close to the clinician and able to hear everything he or she is saying is wildly beneficial. You can get a look at what type of exercises you might be practicing in your group, or if you’re just helping out you can file the exercises away to try on your own.

Not only will you have the best seat in the house to watch the happenings, but you’ll also earn massive brownie points from the clinic host and organizer for being a helping hand. A clinician should never be picking up jumps that are knocked down, there should always be someone in the ring to help pick up poles or raise and lower fences. This reflects well on the organizer, and you’ll burn some calories to boot!

3. Look your best to feel your best.

Everyone gets a few nerves when they’re preparing to ride in front of a big name. Make sure that your tack is spotless, that your horse is appropriately clipped with a pulled mane and that your hair is neatly tucked into your helmet. Treat a clinic like a show in terms of turnout, as this not only makes a favorable impression but helps boost your confidence as well. Err on the side of conservative when choosing your saddle pad and attire, and go for the professional look rather than the “I just pulled my horse out of his pasture and threw him on the trailer” look. Trust me, this will make a world of difference when it comes to your confidence level heading into the ring.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

In a recent clinic with Buck Davidson, I found myself asking several questions as to the reasoning behind the instructions he was giving. Hearing him explain his theory was very interesting, and I found that I was able to really understand the “why” behind his teaching rather than just taking it at face value.

Of course, be aware of the situation and don’t interrupt the clinician or the riders to ask your question, but you should feel comfortable asking questions to clarify something you don’t fully understand. Be a sponge and absorb as much information as you can.

5. Be coachable.

Listen to what the clinician is telling you to do while you ride. Don’t make him repeat himself 12 times before you register that he is talking to you. Do your best to remember your jump course so that you don’t repeatedly go off course. Even if you’re unfamiliar with a concept, ask a question or try a different approach.

The entire point of a clinic is to learn. I’ve seen people arguing with a clinician or giving attitude, and my jaw about hit the floor with shock at the level of disrespect. While you may not ever use a particular exercise again, at least have the courtesy to give it a fair shot. And you never know, that exercise you’re not sure about may end up being a very useful tool for your horse.

A clinic is not meant to put massive pressure on you or your horse. A good clinician should push you out of your comfort zone without overfacing you or your horse, and they should have a good way of explaining what they want you to do. Hold up your end of the bargain, and you’ll find that the learning opportunities are endless, even if you are not riding.

Do you have any best practices to add to the list? Discuss them in the comments!

Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM Strut Their Stuff at Rocking Horse

Thanks to our friend The Horse Pesterer, we can now watch the official debut of Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM, who will be competing together in Ocala in anticipation of Reggie’s last hurrah in his retirement ceremony at Rolex this spring.

Heading into cross country today, Kathleen and Carl and Cassie Segal’s Reggie lead their Training Rider division on a score of 28.3 after adding a double clear show jumping round to their weekend.

We’ll be refreshing scores on Event Entries all day to find out the end result of this dynamic duo’s first event together, and we know Kathleen is in the capable hands of coach and this weekend’s groom Buck Davidson.

Go Reggie!

Sunday Links from One K Helmets

The season is just starting, Joe! Photo by Michelle Zhuraviev. The season is just starting, Joe! Photo by Michelle Zhuraviev.

It’s so nice to have live scores to stalk every weekend again. Although, as Leslie Wylie pointed out earlier, the length of time in between seasons seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Nonetheless, it’s time for the horses to start getting legged up for the start of competition. Here on the West Coast, riders are gearing up for the first event at Galway Downs next weekend, and I know we are all hankering to get out there after the crazy amounts of rain we have had!

Weekend Score Watch:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm January H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Stable View Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test [Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

Adult rider? You can definitely relate to this.

Here is a great laugh for your Sunday on truth in advertising.

Florida friends: Be on the lookout for this stolen horse.

Let’s catch up with the action on the hunter/jumper scene at HITS Coachella.

Sunday Video:

Watch Arrogate dominate his opponents in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup, officially the world’s richest race with a $12 million purse.

Back At It: Opening the Pipes at Rocking Horse Winter I

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s time to kick off the Rocking Horse winter season down in Florida, and many of the nation’s top horses as well as some new faces are out to stretch their legs in the first event of the season in Altoona.

The Intermediate divisions at Rocking Horse finished up their competition today, while the Preliminary and below levels will finish later today and tomorrow. A total of four Intermediate divisions competed this weekend, so it is a busy one for riders, grooms, officials and volunteers!

Buck Davidson with Copper Beech, Kylie Lyman and Da Vinci Code, Daisy Trayford and Normandy Soldier, and Liz Halliday-Sharp with Deniro Z are your Open Intermediate division winners, all finishing within or very close to the optimum time across country today to cement their victories.

As is such with the early events of the season, these first runs are typically used to knock any winter rust off and identify any issues that will need fixing before moving on. Other horses are moving up a level this year, and Rocking Horse gives both horse and rider fair opportunities to move up throughout their winter series, with fair yet challenging tracks each time out.

Nonetheless, it’s great to see some familiar faces out and about — including supergroom Kathleen Murray and Ballynoecastle RM, who are running Training level together this weekend in a role reversal with coach Buck Davidson.

Buck Davidson... super groom? Photo by David Frechette.

Buck Davidson… super groom? Photo by David Frechette.

Kathleen and Reggie are currently tied for first following dressage and will complete their competition tomorrow. Stay tuned for a full “Reggie Report” to come on Monday!

Julie Wolfert takes a moment to reflect before hopping on her Intermediate ride, Lacey Messick's Secondhand Rose. Photo by Becca Hunt.

Julie Wolfert takes a moment to reflect before hopping on her Intermediate ride, Lacey Messick’s Secondhand Rose. Photo by Becca Hunt.

We’re looking forward to seeing much more from competitors all around the country as the season gears up in earnest. As always, don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts to be included in our weekly competition round-ups!

Rocking Horse Winter I: [Ride Times][Live Scores]

Tapner Eventing Mourns Loss of Kilronan

Paul Tapner and Kilronan. Photo by Jenni Autry. Paul Tapner and Kilronan. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Paul Tapner announced this morning that his veteran partner, Kilronan, was put to sleep yesterday after a struggle with a condition that affected his spine and nervous system.

Kilronan, a Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Captain Fred and Penny Barker, represented Australia in multiple CCI4* competitions, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, where he finished 14th individually. He and Paul also completed Burghley twice and Badminton three times, including a fourth place finish in 2014.

The Tapner Eventing Team posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

Tapner Eventing Team are sad to share the news that Kilronan was put to sleep yesterday. His health and soundness had rapidly deteriorated over the winter months from a condition affecting his spine and central nervous system.

Kilronan had been part of Team Tapner since 2009 when he was purchased by Captain Fred and Penny Barker for Paul to campaign. He was a highly sensitive soul in the stables whose full trust he only ever gave to his long serving grooms Rowan Collins and Georgina Tapner, giving them both much joy and pride to care for him. His sensitive nature completely vanished when he launched out of a XC start box, transforming into an exceptionally talented and brave XC horse, with an ability to make it all seem easy and effortless during his partnership with Paul.

Kilronan was an extremely successful Event Horse with numerous wins at every single level of British Eventing , alongside numerous wins at FEI 2* and 3* levels. He completed Badminton CCI4* three times, Burghley CCI4* twice and represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy 2014. His highest achievement at 4* level of 4th place was at Badminton in 2014. Tom amassed a huge 1160 British Eventing Points during his career. Tom had been retired from 4* level of competition during 2016 and we had planned to campaign him at 2* level this year with young rider Ben Edwards .

Kilronan has given many fond memories to his owners Fred and Penny Barker, but one tale which stands out, is from his XC round at The World Equestrian Games in Normandy. As he effortlessly sprinted over the final few fences on a XC course where so many horses had failed or struggled in the dire conditions, in the riders, grooms and owners CCTV tent there was a surge of support from many who were watching him, giving rise to many loud cries echoing around the tent of “GO TOMMY GO!”

The team here at EN would like to extend their condolences to the Tapner team on the loss of such a special team member. Rest in peace, Kilronan.

Horse and Rider Pairs for $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase Announced

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Jenni Autry. Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The list of horse and rider combinations who will contest the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase next weekend at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has just been announced. In total, 38 pairs will compete for the grand prize, including several visitors from other federations.

The entries are as follows:

Angela Bowles (USA) – Bliss III
Angela Bowles (USA) – Novelle
Jennie Brannigan (USA) – Cambalda
Jennie Brannigan (USA) – Catalina
Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) – Harbour Pilot
Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) – Under Suspection
Buck Davidson (USA) – Carlevo
Buck Davidson (USA) – Petite Flower
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) – Steady Eddie
Clayton Fredericks (AUS) – Houdini
Clayton Fredericks (AUS) – Foreign Affair
Savannah Fulton (USA) – Captain Jack
Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) – Fernhill By Night
Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) -Deniro Z
Dan Jocelyn (NZL) – Cruising Guy
Dan Jocelyn (NZL) – Dukes UP
Sara Kozumplik-Murphy (USA) – Ruben D’Yseiux
Marilyn Little (USA) – RF Demeter
Marilyn Little (USA) – RF Scandalous
Kylie Lyman (USA) – Lup the Loop
Kylie Lyman (USA) – Da Vinci Code
Boyd Martin (USA) – Long Island T
Boyd Martin (USA) – Welcome Shadow
Joe Meyer (NZL) – Clip Clop
Joe Meyer (NZL) – South Paw
Doug Payne (USA) – Lysander
Doug Payne (USA) – Vandiver
Holly Payne-Caravella (USA) – Never Outfoxed
Colleen Rutledge (USA) – Escot 6
Kim Severson (USA) – Cooley Cross Border
Allison Springer (USA) – Arthur
Erin Sylvester (USA) – Mettraise
Erin Sylvester (USA) – Paddy the Caddy
Mark Todd (NZL) – Devil Munchkin
Mark Todd (NZL) – L’Alezane
Elisa Wallace (USA) – Simply Priceless
Ryan Wood (AUS) – Fernhill Classic
Ryan Wood (AUS) – Powell

Notably, we will see William Fox-Pitt and Sir Mark Todd competing in Wellington for the first time aboard catch rides. William Fox-Pitt will pilot Steady Eddie out of Boyd Martin’s string while Mark Todd will ride two horses: Sable Giesler’s Devil Munchkin and The L’Alezane Syndicate’s L’Alezane, one of Sara Kozumplik Murphy’s rides.

Other exciting entries include New Zealand’s Dan Jocelyn, returning for a second go at the Showcase aboard Cruising Guy, who you may recall just won the Indoor Eventing at the Royal Winter Fair with Michael Jung, as well as Alexander O’Neal’s Dukes Up.

We will see riders from the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand next weekend in what should be an exciting competition in Wellington. EN will be live on the scene for this event, so keep it locked right here for much more!

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: How to Train Horses, Kiwi Style

I think we’re all just a tad bit envious of Jock Paget showing off his training techniques for his horses — on the beach, in New Zealand. No big deal, really.

Nevermind that most of the U.S. is currently either locked in ice or drowning in massive rainstorms. Nevermind that most of us don’t have the luxury of quiet beaches to gallop our horses on. It’s fine, Jock. We aren’t jealous at all. We promise.

Don’t worry, if Jock posts an ad for a working student, we’ll let you know. After we apply ourselves, naturally.

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

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

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

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Photo via Buck Davidson Eventing on Facebook. Photo via Buck Davidson Eventing on Facebook.

We’re relieved to report that no one was harmed when a roof was ripped off of one of Buck Davidson’s barns at his Ocala, Florida base on Sunday. Buck confirmed to EN that the damage was strictly structural and that there were no injuries. “I am so thankful that all of the people and horses are totally fine,” he said. “We got incredibly lucky. The roof can be replaced, horses and people cannot. If anyone is good at putting on a roof and isn’t too busy, I think we have a job for you! We dodged a bullet.”

Events Opening This Week:

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

Events Closing Today:

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)

News & Notes:

The Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association annual meeting is approaching on February 4! To be held at the Four Points Sheraton in Lexington, Ky., the annual meeting will feature a cocktail hour and awards banquet. There will also be a member discussion forum in an ongoing effort to improve the equine community. [Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association Annual Meeting]

Are you heading to Ocala this winter? Be sure to stop by and check out the USEA ICP Symposium and Young Event Horse Symposium that will be taking place in February. These are great educational opportunities for professionals and amateurs alike, and the USEA is always continuing to find ways to educate their members on various aspects of the sport. [USEA ICP and YEH Symposiums]

Do pre- and probiotics actually help your horse? There are people who will argue both sides, so this column from The Horse might help clear up any questions you might have. [Pre- and Probiotics for Horses]

Tuesday Video:

Not necessarily eventing related, but this video from McLain Ward on his bit choices is pretty interesting:

Fab Freebie: Up Your Style Game with a C4 Skinny Belt

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

Happy Monday, EN! We’re here to help with your beginning of the week blues with a new Fab Freebie coming your way thanks to our friends at C4 Belts. On this week’s giveaway, we’re teaming up with C4 to give away a brand new skinny belt to one lucky reader!

Because you can never have enough C4. Image via C4 Belts.

Because you can never have enough C4. Image via C4 Belts.

So, you know the drill by now. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to submit your entries, and check back here in Friday’s News & Notes to find out if you are our lucky winner. So get to scheming: what would your preferred color combination be?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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