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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Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF Win Rebecca Farm CIC3*

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF after the win! Photo via Rebecca Farm's Facebook page. Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF after the win! Photo via Rebecca Farm's Facebook page.

It was a tough day on the show jumping course for competitors in the CIC3* at Rebecca Farm this afternoon. Of the 14 riders who completed the weekend, just three left all the rails up. Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF produced one such double clear round, cementing the win.

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against were also able to go double clear, and Bunnie should be thrilled with her weekend after expressing her delight with a “foot perfect”cross country round yesterday and posting a clean round today as well. The pair finished in eighth place on a score of 97.9.

James Alliston and Mojo were able to hang on to their second place after show jumping, knocking three rails but having enough in hand to remain in second. Jordan Linstedt and Revitavet Capato steadily moved up the leaderboard all weekend, finally finishing in third place with two rails down in show jumping.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice dropped one place to finish fourth overall, picking up 20 penalties to finish on a final score of 77.9. Hawley and Ginny will now set their sights on heading to Normandy with the rest of Team Canada.


In the CCI2*, Matt Brown again came out on top, this time with Happenstance. Matt led after cross country and had one rail down to clinch the win overall. Show jumping was tough in this division as well, and there were no double clear rounds.

Tamie Smith and Twizted Sister picked up a second place, and Kaitlin Veltkamp and Flashpoint D retained their third place finish. Dana Chase and Aerolite were the fourth place finishers, and that rounds out the division as the other pairs did not complete the weekend.


Marc Grandia and Fernhill Eagle finished out their weekend in the CIC2* in first place, knocking one rail on another influential show jumping course. Ashlynn Meuchel and Morning Star also had a rail down for second place overall, and Taren Atkinson with Gustav retained their third place position after show jumping to take home the yellow ribbon.


Rounding out the FEI divisions in Montana, Tamie Smith picked up the win in the CCI* with Sunsprite Syrius. I was able to see Tamie and Syrius at the American Eventing Championships last year, and it’s exciting to see this young horse continue to progress under Tamie’s tutelage. It is also worth noting that this was a very large division, with 35 pairs entering the ring to show jump today.

Ruth Bley and Silver Sage jumped double clear to finish in second for the weekend, and Lauren Billys with Jitter Bug were able to move from seventh after cross country to third overall with just one rail.

Event at Rebecca Farm Links: [Website] [Live Scores] [EN's Coverage]



Great Quotes from Premier Equine Insurance

Photo by Sally Spickard. Photo by Sally Spickard.

I think we’ve all aspired, at some point in our lives, to be just like Phillip Dutton. Phillip has found himself at the top of the sport after competing in the big leagues for well over 20 years. What can I say? One would be remiss to not have a role model such as P-Dutty himself.

How do you end up as one of the best in the sport? Hard work, of course. That whole “hard work pays off” is a statement that is thrown around a lot, but the truth remains that it is unequivocally true. So the next time you’re down on your luck, or you feel more than a little discouraged, just remember that this is a sport of both ultimate highs and heartbreaking lows, and at the end of the day the hardest workers are the biggest winners.

Go Eventing!

If your horse is your prized possession, think about protecting it with personalized insurance care from Premier Equine Insurance. As with any investment, it is important to protect our horses in the event of an accident. Premier Equine Insurance is a family-owned company that is dedicated to bring you personalized and prompt attention. Owned by husband and wife David and Kirsten Buffamoyer, Premier Equine Insurance has three locations to serve you and is just one phone call away at all times. Be sure to stop by or call in for your FREE quote and consultation today!

Saturday Social Media Wrap-up

Photo from Great Meadow via Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch's Facebook page. Photo from Great Meadow via Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch's Facebook page.

Once again, it’s a busy weekend around Eventing Nation. Way to make me feel unproductive today, Facebook – since when does that happen? We’ve got Rebecca Farm and Great Meadow running this weekend, as well as several events and shows in between.

It seems that there are lots of smiles happening in Montana today as cross country competition continues and some divisions get ready to show jump.







How’s that for some chainsaw talent?

Meanwhile, many other competitors are gathering for Great Meadow, including the Bareback Puissance competitors.



And don’t forget, there’s always plenty of action to catch up on everywhere else as well! Ever wanted to know what a four-star event horse looks like with a racing exercise rider up? Look no further…





Team USA Featured on Local Fox News

Click image above to view video.

Click image above to view video.

Holly Davis, of Fox News DC, headed out to The Plains, Va., to meet the eventers on the USA’s WEG squad yesterday morning, providing two great video clips featuring WEG members Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Sinead Halpin, Kim Severson and Lynn Symansky. This weekend at Great Meadow is a wonderful opportunity for both eventing fans and non-horse people alike to get up close and personal with some of the superstars of the sport. Fox did a wonderful job of making the segments entertaining — and Holly even got to take a ride on Karen O’Connor’s former mount, Mandiba.

Click image to view video.

Click image to view video.

I have to give shoutouts to Sinead Halpin for being a pro leadliner and Lynn Symansky for demonstrating that even flying deer can dance (as if we didn’t already know this). Don’t forget, Great Meadows kicks off today, so if you’re in the area, be sure to head out and check out the WEG team in action.

Jenni will be on site this weekend to bring us the inside scoop (Jenni, I’ll put in a good word for you to get a leadline round on Mandiba too!), so stay tuned for much more from Virginia.

Go Eventing!

Hawley Bennett-Awad Snags Rebecca Farm CIC3* Lead

The CIC3* leaders, left to right: Jen McFall, Matt Brown, and Hawley Bennett-Awad. Photo via the Rebecca Farm Facebook page. The CIC3* leaders, left to right: Jen McFall, Matt Brown, and Hawley Bennett-Awad. Photo via the Rebecca Farm Facebook page.

Hawley Bennett-Awad scored a personal best in the dressage with Gin & Juice today, scoring a 47.1 to go into the overnight lead before tomorrow’s cross country phase. Hawley’s excitement was palpable as she posted on her Facebook page that she was thrilled with how the event was going so far. As we all know, Ginny is a cross country beast and is likely raring to get out on cross country for her first run since Rolex.

Hawley doesn’t have much in the way of breathing room, however, as Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF are hot on her tail after scoring a 47.3. This horse is hot off of a win in the Advanced division at Woodside in May, and Matt is certainly ready to bring his A game this weekend during the jumping phases.

Jen McFall and High Times round out the top three, scoring a 49.8 in what looked to be a lovely test based on a short video Hawley posted on her Instagram page. Jen has been working hard with a fit Billy, and she commented a couple of weeks ago that the horse really seems to have come into his own since competing at Rolex. This will definitely be another pair to keep an eye on this weekend.


Lauren Billys and Ballingowan Ginger scored a 51.2 to go into fourth place overnight, and Barbara Crabo with Over Easy will lie in fifth on a score of 53.5.

Event at Rebecca Farm [Website] [Live Scores]


The CIC3* division is positively stacked with talent, and it seems that Rebecca Farm is most definitely the place to be this weekend. We’ve got Chesna Klimek who has graciously sent us coverage posts from the weekend so far and who will be sending much more from Montana as the event progresses. In the meantime, be sure to check out her preview of the CIC3* cross country course.

Also, here is a great explanation of the course from designer Ian Stark:

Go Rebecca Farm!

The View from Rebecca Farm Presented by World Equestrian Brands

EN loves photos shot between the ears! If you happen to be out for a hack, are riding in some obscure place or just take some cool photos aboard your mount, send them to [email protected] with a quick blurb about the photo’s story. This week’s View comes to us from Vanessa Buso from Rebecca Farm in Montana.

From Vanessa:

Hacking around the beautiful roads at Rebecca Farm this morning with the canola fields and breathtaking mountains in the background!! This view certainly made the drive from Florida worth it!

How Do You Fly 60 Horses from Belgium to China?

We all know that there are a ton of logistics to handle when it comes to shipping horses overseas. From travel itineraries to health concerns, every detail is managed and looked after when a horse has a flight booked. FedEx is one such company that handles shipment of horses, and this great promo spot gives you a look into the management of 60 show jumpers shipping to competition in China.

One of the big equine transportation companies well-known in the eventing world, The Dutta Corp, often uses FedEx as its carrier when handling overseas travel for horses. In an interview with NPR leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London, CEO Tim Dutta explained that flying 50 or more horses to Europe was definitely no easy task.

“Most horses, I anticipate, will be going from Newark airport in New Jersey to Stanstead, in England. We’ll be flying on an MD-11, and the carrier, we expect, is going to be Federal Express,” he told NPR.

Tim also commented on the way the horses deal with traveling, as they are sensitive animals who prefer a routine. “Most horses that travel around the world are used to it. They are just like a frequent traveler at any airport; they know what is going on,” Dutta said to NPR. “But even though they are superstars, we do have some horses that do not like to travel, that are worriers — that worry about the noise, or the sound, or the pressure.”

You can read much more from Tim Dutta’s NPR interview here.

We definitely appreciate the steps that companies such as Dutta Corp and FedEx have taken to ensure the well-being of such precious cargo. We can rest easy knowing that our horses will be well taken care of on an international trip, thanks in large part to these two companies!

Throwback Thursday Presented By Ice Horse: And the Riders Are…

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Each Thursday, we will be bringing you some vintage eventing photos and posts. Do you want to show us your first horse or a photo of your early riding days? Email [email protected]

Who do you recognize? Who do you recognize?

I’ve been spending the day thinking about storylines for the teen movie that appears to be pictured in our throwback photo today. Is there a love connection going on? More than one? Since all of them were Young Riders, perhaps there is a “horse show mom” story brewing behind the scenes. All I know for sure is that this would likely have been a huge hit and a teen classic!

Did you guess any of the pictured faces? I worked with Laine Ashker to identify the riders, and while there was one we are still trying to confirm, their identities are as follows:

From left to right:

Tara Ziegler

Rebecca Simmons

Emilee Libby (still pending confirmation!)

Will Coleman

Skyler Icke

Jennifer Libby

Ginny Bryson

Jessica Oxendine (in front of the truck)

Laine Ashker

Laine said she officially feels old after seeing this photo again (she was 16 in the photo), but it’s always great to take a walk down memory lane! More than a few of these riders are now household names in the eventing world, so this photo is also inspiring in its own right.

Classic pictures and videos are priceless, but today’s innovations make it so much easier to keep our horses feeling and performing their best. They may be black and white, but Ice Horse’s line of products deliver a full spectrum of cold therapy. Check out the Ice Horse Evendura ice compression wraps, the Big Black Boot for concentrated hoof cooling and Ice Horse continuous cooling machines. All products are available for purchase through the banner above, so don’t hesitate and stock up now!

EN Book Club: ‘The Riding Horse Repair Manual’ by Doug Payne

Welcome to the EN Book Club! We’re always looking for new riding and training resources to add to our libraries. Today we’re taking a look at The Riding Horse Repair Manual by Doug Payne, which is available for purchase at this link. Have a book you’d like us to review? Email [email protected].


“The reality of riding is that someday, one day, you’ll have a horse that stumps you — he won’t go forward; won’t accept contact; or he rears, bucks, spins or ducks out. When that day comes, you’ll want Doug’s advice on hand … It will save you time and money, and it may help you see that your ‘problem horse’ isn’t a ‘problem’ at all — just a challenge worth meeting.”

Doug Payne’s latest contribution to the world of publishing begins with the above testimonial from dressage rider, trainer, and judge Linda Zang. The Riding Horse Repair Manual is the latest book to hit the shelves that deals with the subject of training difficulties. The biggest takeaway that Doug stresses throughout the book is that training issues can usually be remedied.

Many times, riders find themselves with a horse who has some sort of training issue right off the bat. In many cases, this can be attributed to improper training or riding experienced previously, and Doug’s goal is to give the reader tools to help the horse enjoy its job again. “Nearly always, such problems can be fixed with correct riding and retraining so these horses can be ‘reclaimed,’ and enjoy their intended job,” Doug says in first chapter of The Riding Horse Repair Manual.

The book goes on to address several different situations in which a rider may experience training issues. Doug begins by going over some guidelines for starting a green horse correctly, from groundwork to building a good foundation in the saddle. With a horse with little to no previous training, it is imperative to lay a good foundation to prevent any sort of behavioral issues from cropping up later.

Still, there are countless horses who come to us after training from another person, and here is where behavioral issues often come up. Doug begins his advice on addressing and rectifying these issues by suggesting a general assessment on the horse. Is the horse sound? Perhaps a behavioral issue is coming from a physical problem than needs to be addressed. Are you a rider who can fix the horse’s problem? Are you at the right barn that will be the best environment for you and your horse? All of these questions and more need to be asked when you are faced with training issues.

The Riding Horse Repair Manual goes on to then address specific potential issues. Everything from evading contact to refusing a jump is addressed, with illustrated examples on what Doug suggests to remedy the issue. Doug also remains cognizant of the fact that one solution may not be the end all, be all answer for every horse and rider. To that end, several solutions are presented for each problem.

Doug also recognizes that different things may cause the same problem in different horses, so varying possibilities for causes are also mentioned. This approach gives readers the ability to really examine the horse’s behavior and match the behavior to a possible scenario presented in The Riding Horse Repair Manual.

Another area of emphasis in the book is that of rider strength and position. While a horse may present a certain training issue, a rider may be inhibiting progress (inadvertently) by using incorrect or insufficient aids. Doug highlights the importance of ensuring that you as the rider are doing your best to set your horse up for success, something that all riders should be constantly aware of as they work through any sort of issues.

Overall, The Riding Horse Repair Manual is a great read and a handy tool to have in your training arsenal. Whether you are wrestling with a herd-bound horse or dealing with a horse who lacks self confidence, chances are that a solution can be found in this book. Doug does a wonderful job of speaking objectively about the varying problems that can arise when dealing with horses and helping riders work through them correctly.

You can pick up a copy of The Riding Horse Repair Manual by visiting this website. We definitely recommend this book for riders of all levels and disciplines, and would like to thank Doug for taking the time to put together a great resource.

Vote for the Tipperary T2 #mindyourmelon Contest Winner

Check out all the ventilation on the Tipperary T2. Photo by Lorraine Peachey Check out all the ventilation on the Tipperary T2. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

In honor of Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day on July 12, we launched a contest in partnership with Tipperary to win one of their awesome T-Series T2 helmets. We’ve already reviewed the helmet here and given it two thumbs up, and you can check out more features of the T2 on Tipperary’s website. We asked you to send us your inspiring #mindyourmelon stories, and you delivered!

Without further ado, we present the 10 finalists for your voting consideration. Each story is inspiring and a great testament to the importance of helmets. Read through, and cast your vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for the winner of the Tipperary T2 helmet! Voting will end on Sunday, July 26 at 5 p.m. EST!


Is it the Big Dipper or the Little Dipper?

Bethany Siehr:

I took a winter off eventing to improve my dressage (and hopefully see less “star gazing” and “upside-down neck” comments on my dressage tests). I scored a working student position with an upper-level trainer in Wellington, Fla. Let’s call her “Amy.” This is her story.

I was grooming for Amy at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W in 2010, and we had arrived early to set up and get some horses worked. As I was searching for our stalls, I was excited to see we were stabled next to Courtney King-Dye.

Amy had taken some lessons with her earlier, and she answered my questions even though I was just lower on the food chain a working student. I immediately liked her. The next day, we arrived at the show, and all of Courtney’s stalls were still empty.

It wasn’t long before we found out about what happened (read about it here). Amy and I were stunned. We sat absorbing the impact of such a tragedy until we could not avoid the clock any longer. As I handed Amy her next horse to ride, she asked, “Can I borrow your helmet?” Amy bought a helmet that day on the show grounds and has worn one every day and every ride since.

Photo by Sophia Bromund.

Minding my melon in Iceland! Photo by Sophia Bromund.

Joan Davis:

I’ve always been one to “mind my melon” when riding. I had a nasty fall in 1978 jumping my Prelim horse over a teeny warm up fence. The result was a nasty head and neck injury, plus short-term amnesia. If I hadn’t been wearing an approved helmet, I would not be writing this today.

Doctors told me no more riding, but I continued for 20+ years competing through the CCI* (long format) level! In 2001, I aggravated the initial injury, and it was no more riding for me. Words cannot describe the depression that followed.

I have stayed connected to the eventing community as an official photographer. Fast forward a dozen or so years. While photographing in Iceland last month, I had the opportunity to ride an Icelandic horse.

Amazingly, those gorgeous tolting creatures did not aggravate my neck at all! It seems, after thinking I would only be able to capture moments of other people riding, I may be able to ride again after all. My old riding helmet was tossed years ago. A new helmet to “mind my melon” is the first step to see if I really can get back in the saddle again.


Kelleyerin Clabaugh:

After investing $150,000 of tuition into my melon, I started thinking I should invest in a helmet. Compared to when I was a kid, helmet technology had improved, and they weren’t so awful looking or uncomfortable. I bought the lightest, most ventilated one I could find.

On the day I forgot to put the breast collar on my mare, I fortunately did not forget to grab my helmet. A few miles out, a couple dogs popped out of the tall grass. My mare jumped into her teleporter and reappeared five feet to the left.

I amazingly remained in the saddle, but the saddle did not remain on top of my horse. I found myself sitting in the tack underneath my horse staring between her front legs. I had about one second to figure out what to do. I let go and fell to the ground under my horse and assumed the fetal position. Freaked out by this unusual dismount, she then jumped over me, striking my head with her shod hind hooves.

Fortunately, my helmet cracked instead of my skull. Buying a new helmet was a small price to pay for a poignant lesson. Never forget your breast collar when riding a witherless horse. And never forget your helmet even when you are just going for a walk.

Lynsey Ekema:

The show was in three days, and it was our first recognized event moving up to Novice! My trainer had prepped us, and we felt more than ready for our level … but this day, I apparently needed a reminder on how on top of your game you need to be in our sport at all times. Simply, I got popped out of the tack in our jump lesson.

My guy made the right decision, and I was not there with him. In those slow milliseconds in meeting the ground, I remember the sound of my helmet cam shutting off itself and the resounding thud of my helmet hitting the ground. After my breath came back to me, my poor husband pointed out the 10-foot skid mark I had made. As I think about it now, my back pain was a brutal reminder of our sport.

It hurt, yes, dear God it hurt, but my head did not. This was a reality check I needed. I became driven to succeed as a safe and prepared rider, to always do my best by my horse and everything I can’t leave behind. Three days later, we won our first event in Novice at Paradise Farm! But if I had not been wearing a helmet …

Using my helmet to elevate my leg after my fall!

Using my helmet to elevate my leg after my fall!

Kendra Lynch:

I recently took a nasty spill off a horse on June 18, 2014. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet, and its structure may now be compromised. Unfortunately, I ended up breaking my tibia. With all my hospital bill,s a shiny new helmet would brighten my day and get me ready for when the doc gives me the OK to do some arena riding. I can’t stress enough how proud our group is to be avid helmet-wearers!


Jess Kavanagh:

I #mindmymelon because my horse is a tank who wouldn’t even flinch to a marching band between her legs. I #mindmymelon because every once in awhile, something extra scary comes by. I #mindmymelon because that scary thing always comes after her when I’m bareback in the field.

I #mindmymelon because I want the chance to stand up after flying off, get back on and show Holly that that piece of farm machinery can’t hurt her. I #mindmymelon because we’ve been improving so much over the last year, and we can’t improve if I’m living in a hospital bed. I #mindmymelon because my family has generously provided me with the gift of my horse, and I would never want them to have to pay for my medical bills after severe brain damage.

I #mindmymelon because I never thought I could love a horse so much, and I won’t throw that all away over such a preventable injury. And finally, I #mindmymelon because helmets are one of my favorite riding accessories (hello, fun helmet covers).

I #mindmymelon because there IS a helmet out there that fits you properly and is flattering. And, I #mindmymelon because it doesn’t have to break the bank to protect my head and my future with Holly.


Sarah Micola:

I don’t remember too much of my accident, but I do know my helmet saved my melon. It was about 15 years ago, and I was taking a lesson on one of the riding facility’s ponies. We were jumping during the lesson, and my reins broke; off I went. I landed in a crumpled mess under the pony.

I regained consciousness just in time to have the base of my skull stepped on. I was rushed to the local ER for treatment. I was able to walk out of there with only a serious concussion. The doctors told me had I not been wearing my helmet, the outcome would have been a lot worse (permanently paralyzed or worse). When I finally looked at the helmet,  there was a perfect imprint of the hoof in the back of it. I held onto it for years as a constant reminder of why I will never ride without a helmet.

Lorie Richards:

My daughter has been riding for years, and as a single mom I can’t afford a lot of newer equipment for her. Recently, she was at Middleburg Horse Trials and riding in the Preliminary division. She has always been very stickable when it comes to issues at fences, until this event.

Her horse stopped, and she fell head over tea kettle, so to speak, and it was all caught on tape. This has been only the second time she has had a rider fall, and the first time she fell, she landed on her feet. This time she was really lucky to be wearing a helmet because she landed on her head!

She has had severe concussions from a kick to the head, which a helmet saved her, and in field hockey. Being a single mom, I know she should have a new helmet after a fall, but at the moment, I can’t afford to get her a new one. It would be great to win a new helmet for her.


Belinda Macke:

I grew up riding western (no helmets ever!), but when I got my boy as a 2 year old, he had definite opinions on what he wanted to do (jump things), so we switched to English. Unfortunately, no one in first barn pressed the helmet importance unless jumping was involved.

When my tall, leggy guy was 4, he tripped as I asked for the canter, and I ended up sailing past his big shoulder thinking, “Oh [crap], this is going to hurt!”

A massive seizure, a skull broken into eight pieces, two golf ball-sized hematoma, two resuscitations, ribs broken down my right side and a torn rotator cuff followed. I’m completely fine now, seven years later, but you will NEVER see me without my helmet again because while lightening may not strike twice, big falls do!


Gene Gartner:

Some 15 years ago I was travelling on business. I was about to give a presentation to another company when my cell phone rang. It was the local emergency crew calling me to tell me that they were taking my wife to the hospital with a broken collarbone and head injuries.

They said that she had been riding her horse, and that’s all they knew. Luckily, she had been wearing her helmet. Our best guess is the horse had spooked when bitten by a horse fly. He pitched my wife into a board fence, which broke her collarbone and helmet in five places. Because of the helmet doing its job, she got away with only a concussion and the broken collarbone.

I guarantee we are never on a horse without a helmet.

Announcing Your Fourth Annual Blogger Contest Winner!

*Actual prize may differ. *Actual prize may differ.

It’s been a wild ride for this year’s Blogger Contest! We had four truly amazing finalists, and we definitely had a difficult time choosing a winner, especially after seeing how incredibly close the votes were in the final poll. After much deliberation, we are very pleased to announce the winner of this year’s contest:

Maggie Deatrick!

Maggie’s skill with numbers and statistics and excellent analysis of this year’s WEG team positively blew our minds, and we’re thrilled that she’s bringing her talents to the EN team. She’s got this crazy brilliant idea to build some sort of database with rider scores and all sorts of other numbers that we can’t fathom, so get ready to have your minds blown, EN!

For those of you who became diehard fans of Rolex Husband, Wendy Angel, and Lynn Marie Garvin — never fear! All three have agreed to come on to the team as bloggers as well. They will be starting to write for us immediately, so stay tuned for much more from this year’s talented field of finalists.

Rolex Husband has been cracking us up on Twitter since his wife dragged him to Kentucky this year, and if you aren’t already following him, you should do so immediately here. That’s just a sneak peek of the hilarity he’ll be bringing to EN. And it’s also nice to have some testosterone on the team again since John abandoned us to to join the circus.

Let’s not forget that Wendy Angel singlehandedly facilitated a sponsorship for this year’s U.S. World Equestrian Games team in her round 2 contest entry. Balls of Steel not only manufactures a very cool product in whiskey and spirit chillers, but the company also donates 15 percent of its profits to testicular cancer research. Bravo, Wendy! (And don’t forget to use coupon code “GO-WEG” for free U.S. shipping!)

And we’re still laughing about Lynn Garvin’s assessment of how the U.S. WEG horses would fare on a night out at the pub: “Sparky brings the tall drinks to the table and, despite suffering from short man syndrome, also brings the laughs; Reggie makes friends with everyone in the bar and ends up buying the rounds; and Oscar quietly nurses his Jameson in the corner until someone wants to scrap in the parking lot, at which point he kicks everyone’s butt in the name of the USA, and then orders another drink.”

Many thanks once again to all who entered our Fourth Annual Blogger Contest this year. We are consistently amazed at the support and love that you all show EN on a daily basis, and we truly could not do this without your readership and participation. Much love, EN. Much love.

Relive all the glory of this year’s Blogger Contest by reading all the entries of this year’s talented pool of entries here.

Go Eventing.

Throwback Thursday Presented by Ice Horse: Guess the Riders

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Each Thursday, we will be bringing you some vintage eventing photos and posts. Do you want to show us your first horse or a photo of your early riding days? Email [email protected]

Who do you recognize? Who do you recognize?

With this year’s NAJYRC in the books, it seemed fitting this week to revisit some Young Rider competitions from years past. We found this gem from the 2001 NAJYRC and thought we’d challenge you to see who you recognize! Here’s your hint: The group is from Area II.

Think you’ve got the faces correctly identified? Post your guesses in the comments and check back later for the reveal! We think this looks rather like a 90′s teen movie poster — what do you think?

Classic pictures and videos are priceless, but today’s innovations make it so much easier to keep our horses feeling and performing their best. They may be black and white, but Ice Horse’s line of products deliver a full spectrum of cold therapy. Check out the Ice Horse Evendura ice compression wraps, the Big Black Boot for concentrated hoof cooling and Ice Horse continuous cooling machines.


Wednesday Video from KPP: David Ziegler’s Winning NAJYRC Cross-Country Trip

David Ziegler firmly put his name on the radar with a dominant performance in the CH-Y** division at NAJYRC this year. We were able to catch up with David this week and get his input on the weekend, which was a resounding success and a fitting last hurrah for his seasoned partner Critical Decision.

Thanks to RNS Video, we’re now able to see David’s double-clear cross-country run that solidified his gold medal position going into show jumping. It’s quite fun to see this pair in action, as BG clearly knows where he is — he ran around the course at Rolex three times with Missy Ransehousen in the irons — and David rides him very well.

Jan Byyny Withdraws Inmidair from U.S. WEG Squad

Jan Byyny and Inmidair at the Carolina International CIC3*. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jan Byyny and Inmidair at the Carolina International CIC3*. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jan Byyny has announced on the Surefire Eventing Facebook page that Inmidair has been withdrawn as an alternate from the U.S. World Equestrian Games squad due to an acute soft tissue injury in his foot. Jan posted the following statement today:

I regret to tell everyone that I am withdrawing Inmidair (JR) from the nominated entries for the WEG. He sustained an acute soft tissue injury of the foot that will require a period of rehabilitation.

I was so happy and excited to be named as an alternate for the WEG. It was such an honor to be included with the other amazing riders and horses, and to have a chance to represent my country. I am also so thankful I was awarded a Land Rover Competition Grant and given the opportunity to go to either Burghley or Blenheim.

I cannot thank all my supporters enough, those who have cheered me on and been there with JR and me through thick and thin. I am so sad and disappointed for him, myself and my whole team, but JR’s soundness and well-being are always my first priority.

I want to wish the U.S. Team great luck in Normandy, they are training well, we have a really strong group of horses, riders, owners, supporters and of course, an excellent coach in David O’Connor. I will be there to support and cheer you on. Good luck this weekend at Great Meadows, what a fantastic opportunity to have everyone there at such a great venue.

Jan had a steller spring season with Inmidair, a 1999 New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding owned by Jan and Dick and Jo Bynny. Their spring culminated with an alternate slot on the U.S. WEG team, and Jan immediately expressed her excitement for the selection. It was also announced last week that Jan had been named as a recipient of a Land Rover Competition Grant to compete at either Burghley or Blenheim this fall.

This news comes as a huge disappointment for Jan, but JR is certainly receiving the best possible care as he rehabilitates from his injury. The EN team extends our heartfelt support for Jan, who is a consummate horsewoman and a true competitor.

We will post more updates on this story as they become available.


Fitch’s Corner Boasts 250 Entries + Flatlandsfoto Photos

Fernanda Kellogg kindly sent in this recap of Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials, which took place last weekend in Millbrook, N.Y. Many thanks to Fernanda for writing, and thank you to Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto for sending in photos of the winners. Do you have a recap from a recent event? Send it to [email protected].

Preliminary Rider B winners Alison Lindsay and Darrah Promise

Preliminary Rider B winners Alison Lindsay and Darrah Promise. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

From Fernanda:

Fitch’s Corner is the premier lower-level event that upper level riders-love. On the farm of Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels in Millbrook, N.Y., 250 horses came to compete, shop at the market with 50 vendors, and party at the relaxed competitor’s welcome party and kick the night away at Saturday night’s Blue Jean Ball.

The theme of the weekend was the Chinese Year of the Horse. Spectators entered the shopping court thought a huge 12-foot tall pagoda. The Derek di Grazia cross-country course and the Chris Barnard stadium course each had pagoda-style jumps.

The Chinese banquet at Saturday night’s Blue Jean Ball, sponsored by Berkshire Mountain Distillers, was a traditional feast of Asian delights, and a bar offered drinks inspired by the Far East. The huge party tent was decorated by New York City designer Darren Henault, with a cloud of 800 melon and raspberry colored oriental lanterns hung from the tent ceiling, and riders and friends danced to DJ Flo, also from New York City.

The following day, a new group attended the spectator luncheon with Champagne Goerg and dim sum and more Chinese fare complete with fortune cookies. The weekend benefits the Millbrook Rescue Squad, the award-winning EMT first responders.

All photos courtesy of Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto:


Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Fitch’s Corner Training Helmet Cam

We love seeing your helmet cam videos from the weekend’s competitions! EN reader Abby Clutz sent in her GoPro video from her run at Training level at Fitch’s Corner this past weekend. Editor’s Note: Abby, I love your horse’s name! Hey Jude? Doesn’t get any better!

Do you have a helmet cam or other video you’d like to share? Send it to [email protected].

Why SpectraVET?

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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.

David Ziegler Hangs On to Win NAJYRC CH-Y**, Area III Takes Home Gold

It definitely came down to the finish line for the CCI2* riders at NAJYRC today. Double clear rounds were few and far between, with three out of 13 pairs producing faultless rounds.

David Ziegler entered the ring with a comfortable 13.9 point lead, meaning he had three rails in hand should they be needed. David and Critical Decision ended up with three rails down to finish on a 58.3, still more than enough to win the 2*. This is certainly a rider to watch, as we noted earlier that he also competed in the Dressage portion of NAJYRC this weekend and is clearly a jack of all trades. Critical Decision is quite the experienced mount, running around Rolex three times previously with Missy Ransenhousen.

Calvin Ramsay and Flintstar ended a phenomenal weekend highlighted by a steady move up in the standings. After sitting in 15th after dressage, the pair turned in a faultless cross country round as well as a double clear show jumping to end up in silver medal position individually.

April Simmonds and Impressively Done win one of my favorite rounds of the day, knocking just one rail to take home bronze individually.

Area III, leading after cross country, claimed two of the three double clear rounds to clinch the team gold medal and score a repeat win in the CH-Y**. Area V & VI moved up from third after cross country to secure silver, and Ontario took home bronze with just two members remaining on their roster after cross country. Area II, IV & VIII round out the team standings in fourth place.

NAJYRC Links: [Website] [Schedule] [NAJYRC Entry List] [CH-J* Ride Times] [CH-Y** Ride Times] [Live Scores]


Alexis Nelson and Total Eclipse Clinch Win in NAJYRC CH-J*, Area II Wins Team Gold

Area II riders enter Rolex Stadium for the awards ceremony. Photo via the NAJYRC Facebook page. Area II riders enter Rolex Stadium for the awards ceremony. Photo via the NAJYRC Facebook page.

It was all Area II today in the show jumping phase of the CCI* at NAJYRC. Alexis Nelson entered Rolex Stadium sitting in second place individually on her dressage score of 49.4. She and Total Eclipse executed a flawless round, coming home with no jumping and no time faults to add nothing to her score over the weekend.

Sitting in gold position after cross country, Moira de Ste Croix-Laframboise and Blue Ben had two rails down to end their quest in fourth place – still a valiant effort from this pair who had an otherwise lovely round.


Moira’s rails left Alexis sitting in gold medal position, handily winning the division by 5.6 penalty points and helping clinch Area II’s team gold medal. Thanks to some great riding by Area II riders, the team added just 8 faults to their cumulative score, ending the weekend on a total of 165.9.


Rails fell all throughout the course, which was twisty and challenging in its own right. In all, we saw just nine double clear rounds from the 30 competitors. My internet connection for the live stream was more than a bit spotty, so I unfortunately missed enough of each round to know which fences came down the most, although I did see a lot of the triple elements come down throughout the day. I also apologize for the lack of screen capped photos, as they turned out way too grainy for use.

Clara Cargile and White Indian were able to move from sixth to third after producing a double clear effort. Grace Fulton and Wild Orange clinched a fifth place finish, moving from 25th after dressage to 11th after cross country. Margret Schaeffer and Grey Area delivered one of my favorite rounds of the day, albeit with one rail down, to finish in sixth place.

Area II led after cross country and clinched the gold medal today, improving from their bronze medal in 2013. Area V added no penalties today for silver, and Area VIII added 16 penalties to move from silver into bronze.

NAJYRC Links: [Website] [Schedule] [NAJYRC Entry List] [CH-J* Ride Times] [CH-Y** Ride Times] [Live Scores]


The final team standings for the CH-J* are as follows:

1. Area II – 165.9

2. Area V – 190.5

3. Area VIII – 196.9

4. Area IV – 202.3

5. Ontario – 208.6

6. Area VII & IX – 233.5

7. Area I – 1143.4

8. Area VI – 2060.4

9. Area III – 3000.0

Sunday Video: Laine Ashker’s MDHT Helmet Cam

Laine Ashker had her veteran partner, Anthony Patch, out to stretch his legs in the Open Preliminary at Maryland HT this weekend. Laine and Al picked up third place in the Open Preliminary-C division after scoring a 24.6 in the dressage and adding 8.8 time on cross country. Laine will head to Millbrook next in her preparation for the American Eventing Championships this fall.

All CH-J* Horses Pass Inspection, 13 Move On to Show Jumping in CH-Y** at NAJYRC

Patience O'Neal and Markus. Photo by Tamie Smith. Patience O'Neal and Markus. Photo by Tamie Smith.

The final horse inspections have concluded in Lexington, and all CH-J* horses will be moving on to show jumping, which begins at 12:30 pm EST. In the CH-Y**, the live scores showed a withdrawal from Madeline Parisan and Hope to Star, so the 13 remaining horses trotted up and will be moving on to the finale in this year’s competition.


With Madeline’s withdrawal, Areas V & VI will now move into silver medal position, replacing Areas II, IV & VIII on a total score of 258.3.

The USEF Network is live streaming from Rolex Stadium this morning, beginning with the Junior and Young Rider Individual Show Jumping competition. Eventing show jumping is set to kick off at 12:30 pm, and you can find the live stream here.

NAJYRC Links: [Website] [Schedule] [NAJYRC Entry List] [CH-J* Ride Times] [CH-Y** Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Germany Names WEG Eventing Squad

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Jenni Autry. Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Jenni Autry.

With the conclusion of CHIO Aachen yesterday, the final German WEG squad has been announced this morning. Last month, Germany named its long list for the Games with the intention of naming the final team after Aachen.

The final squad members include top three Aachen finishers Sandra Auffarth, Ingrid Klimke, and Michael Jung. As noted below, Michael has been named with either Sam or Luhmühlen second place finisher fischerRocana. The final decision on Michael’s mount will be announced on a later date, but suffice to say he will be well mounted regardless of the final decision.

The final WEG squad for Germany is as follows:

Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo
Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam or fischerRocana
Ingrid Klimke and FRH Escada JS
Andreas Ostholt and So is et
Dirk Schrade and Hop and Skip
Peter Thomson and Horseware’s Barny


Bettina Hoy and Designer
Andreas Dibowski and Butt’s Avedon
Ingrid Klimke and Horseware’s Hale Bob

Saturday Video: ‘Along for the Ride’ Episode 4

This week is a special extended episode of Evention TV‘s docu-reality series, Along for the Ride. Dom is shopping for his next prospect while Cold Harbor takes a bit of a holiday, and the Schramms are busy planning Dom’s 27th birthday extravaganza.

Will Dom find a suitable horse for his next project? Is Jimmie a pushover? What exactly is a Redneck Pool? Find out in this new episode!

MMC Eventing: Advice on Being a Top Working Student

Working students are essential to the inner workings of an eventing barn. Is this a job you've considered looking for? If so, MMC Eventing has some great tips for what an event trainer is looking for when they are searching for potential working students. Many thanks to MMC Eventing for allowing us to post their blog here, and thank you for reading.

Being a working student should be rewarding. Photo via MMC Eventing. Being a working student should be rewarding. Photo via MMC Eventing.

From MMC Eventing:

Want to be a working student?  Want to know what it takes to excel at it.  Read the following advice.  It is all important.

The decision.  First you must decide if being a working student is something you are even interested in.  KNOW it is going to be the toughest thing you have ever done in your life.  You will get out of it, what you put in.  Are you a timid person/rider?  Do you hate asking questions?  Will a person yelling at you bother you?  Do you learn easily?  Does criticism upset you?  Do you have a boyfriend?

Any one of those, alone, can make it tough.  If you add them together, it makes it very tough.  After you have made the decision… think of what you want in a working student position, then write down what you need.  Remember, there are lots out there who want to do the same thing.  The top riders only have so many openings.

You have made the decision that you can afford to do this, and want to do this.  Now how do you go about getting the BEST possible match?  Decide what you think you need to work on, then start asking around.

Do you need to know how to manage a huge barn?  Are you good enough, and already at a level that working with an Olympic rider is top priority?  Would you be better starting with someone smaller, who has more time to devote to you?

Make a list, and make a call. Don’t send an EMAIL.  Pick up a phone, and call.  If you are serious about this, you have to come across as being someone of VALUE.  That you CAN do this.

That you will ADD to that person’s atmosphere.

The interview.  LEAVE THE PHONE AT HOME.  Don’t go broadcasting you are trying so and so and having an interview.  Watch what is on your Facebook page.  Lot of pics of you partying…clean it up. We LOOK.

Dress appropriately.  Be prompt.  Bring the required items.  Send a video ahead.  No point in wasting anyone’s time. If you cannot ride Preliminary, and they need that skill, don’t waste their time. Say yes ma’am, no sir, etc. Have them tell you to not do so. Remember, this person is very busy. Answer HONESTLY. More on honesty later.

You are going to be a working student. YAY. Now for the pointers on HOW TO BE INDISPENSABLE to the rider.

    1. Every single time that a working student works on the day they arrive, voluntarily, they have been a fairly decent working student.  When you get there, don’t expect someone to roll out red carpets.  Believe me, you are on a “SHOW ME you are VALUABLE” stage.  Jumping in, even fresh out of an 18 hour road trip, shows me you mean business.
    2. WRITE IT DOWN.  At night, write down the things you learned during the day. I don’t just mean things to help you, but things to help them.  Write down the horses, their names, anything of value you were told. The person who can come on the second day of their stint, and say names of the horses, usually gets a lot out of the experience. There is nothing more irritating then having someone asking ten times the same question.  Or “forgetting” they were asked to do this or that.
    3. Pay attention to detail. YES, detail. Do not leave the supplements at the bottom of the bucket you just emptied, get them out. Do make sure that the feed buckets are clean after you scrub them out. Take that rag, and wipe out the bucket before dumping water…These little things, mean a lot, and show me you care, and take pride in your work.
    4. WORK SMART, and FAST. Don’t walk from point A to point B with nothing in your hand. Have you ever NOT seen something that could be put away?  Walk fast. I have had back surgery, and if I can out walk a working student, they usually don’t make it more than a week. Don’t just carry a single bucket of grain if you can carry 6, or use a cart. Walking back and forth is tiring. It’s also especially time consuming.
    5. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. I have had to institute a no-phone policy during the day at my facility. This is due to one young lady and her Mom who texted the entire day to one another. Explain to friends and family that you love them, but if you are on a phone the entire day, it is immensely time consuming, and disrespectful.
    6. BE RESPECTFUL. Why bother coming otherwise. No one enjoys being disrespected. KEEP your OPINIONS to yourself. You aren’t there to tell the rider what you think of their riding, training methods, etc. You are there to learn theirs. You can take what you learn home and use it, or not. That is your choice.  But don’t go into someone’s barn, and tell someone they are doing it wrong.  When you have gotten to where they are, and they come to your place, go for it.  Until then…
    7. Get up early, stay late, and volunteer. I love the student who says, I CAN HANDLE THIS, I got it.  And then has it.
    8. Put in what you want out. Running a facility is NOT an easy thing. It’s not easy for the owners, the riders, the grooms. I guarantee you….you give your best, you will take something home with you. Learn. I had a student recently come in, and she left riding exactly like she came in. It wasn’t that she didn’t get lessons. It wasn’t that she didn’t sometimes do it during the lesson.  It had to do with, she thought she knew more than everyone else. IF you are taking the time to be a working student, and going thru all the crap….try to learn.
    9. Stay. Yes, that is right, STAY. If you have committed to someone that you will stay for a month, a year, whatever.  DO SO.  The only person you are hurting if you leave is you. The rider has more coming down the pipeline. But you are the one hurt the most.  Not only can that rider no longer give you a reference…but you just became a quitter.
    10. Be responsible, and honest. I recently asked my students if they were brushing our horses’ tails.  We only brush when at a show, other times we use our fingers to pull out bedding, and leave it at that.  Two of the three working students admitted they had been brushing tails, and promised to not do it again.  They had forgotten this.  The last one, in front of the other two said she had been using her fingers and show sheen. Unknown to me, she was lying. When she left, I found out she had lied.  Once you are known as a liar, it will be very very tough to get that trust back.  This young lady left early, but had I found out and she had still been there, my respect for her would have been nil. Along with those same lines….admit to your mistakes.  Guess what, we all make them.

I have always said, it isn’t if you make a mistake, it is how you handle it, and fixing it that matters.   I have one young lady who put boots on our stallion.  They grew very wet, and fell down as she was riding.  She was unaware, and when pics were viewed later, there they were, down around the ankles.  Instead of making excuses, she simply said, I am sorry, I should have been more aware.  As did the photographer. Fortunately there wasn’t any damage, and instead of trying to make excuses, they earned a lot of respect for being so honest.

Last: Don’t expect everything. That’s right. Don’t expect everything. Some days just go to crap…other days you may get the world.  Expect to be treated with respect.  Nicely. Don’t expect it to happen all the time.  Don’t expect to ride the top horse in the barn.  I don’t care if you are the best rider I have ever met. It’s risky putting someone on one of the best horses we own.

If you are blessed to get to walk that horse for it’s morning hacks, take that for the compliment it is.  There is nothing worse, than for a trainer to find out, that a student is upset they aren’t getting to ride the top horses.  Years and years of work go into the making of a top level event horse.  One small step can ruin that horse…but if you stop expecting…then you will find lots of surprises in store!!!

These are some great pointers…run with them.  And go be the next big working student.