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Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Tamie Smith and Dempsey giving the massive Tiger Trap plenty of room at Galway Downs. Photo by Ellie Leonard. Tamie Smith and Dempsey giving the massive Tiger Trap plenty of room at Galway Downs. Photo by Ellie Leonard.

If you ever need some perspective on life, just imagine yourself clearing the humongous Tiger Trap jump on the Galway Downs CIC3* cross country course. If these riders can jump that, then I think we can all handle just about everything life (and course designers) throw our way. Seeing this photo makes me feel better about my next cross country course, which will be approximately 1/10th the size.

Events Opening This Week:

Hitching Post Farm Horse Trials (VT, A-1), CCC Spring Gulch H.T. (CO, A-9), Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3), Kent School Spring H.T. (CT, A-1), Fair Hill International H.T. (MD, A-2), Otter Creek Spring H.T. (WI, A-4)

Events Closing Today:

Longleaf Pine H.T. (NC, A-2), Sporting Day Farm Horse Trials (SC, A-3) Holly Hill Spring H.T. (LA, A-5), Plantation Field April Horse Trials (PA, A-2), River Glen Spring H.T. (TN, A-3)

News & Notes:

Meet this month’s USEA Volunteers of the Month, Van and Susan Firth. Each month, the USEA teams up with Athletux to spotlight some of the hardworking volunteers that we see at events all around the country. You’ll love this story of Susan and Van and their dedication to the sport they love. [Volunteers of the Month: Van and Susan Firth]

Did you miss any of the FEI World Cup in Omaha this past weekend? Never fear, our friends at Horse Nation have us covered. Click here to catch up on all of the World Cup madness that you might have missed.

You may have seen the video of a harmless countryside hack gone wrong on a retired racehorse. Due to his newfound internet fame, the rider in the video, Nick Bull, got some help from Wocket Woy and the Producer, and the results are pretty entertaining. [Wockey Woy to the Rescue]

Tuesday Video:

Check out Maya Studenmund’s wild ride aboard Archie Rocks at Carolina International:

Helmet Cam Alert: Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage at Poplar Place

Kentucky’s Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage recently made the step up to the Advanced level, completing their first CIC3* in style last month. They picked up a third place finish at Poplar Place, also finishing fifth in their Advanced debut at Rocking Horse.

We’ve enjoyed keeping up with Chelsea and “Dante” and can’t wait to see what else is in store for them this season. You can find our previous stories on this pair here and here. In the meantime, enjoy this look between the ears as they tackle their first CIC3*!

California Dreaming: Galway Downs Social Media Recap

It was a wonderful weekend of eventing at Galway Downs here in Southern California. I spent the weekend working in the trade fair, and I had so much fun working with and meeting new and old friends. The eventing community is truly something special, and I’m thankful to be a part of it!

All sappiness aside, here’s a round-up of social media posts from the weekend. I will add more to these as the last day of competition wraps up this afternoon!

Galway Downs: WebsiteLive Scores

Well Twig’s officially a prelim horse! . She was a complete beast on cross country, super bold and she shot out of that start box convinced she was running the 3 star (or maybe the Kentucky Derby, lol). So a bit change will be happening soon as the better part of our round was us arguing about what speed we should go in between fences, but she was a star over everything and jumped it all with lots of room to spare Clear with just a handful of time and we moved up a bunch of spots to currently sit in 11th place. . (Maybe wearing Sunny’s 5 point big girl breastplate for the first time gave her an extra kick). . On to show jumping tomorrow! . #twiggy #likeagirl #ottb #ottbsofinstagram #thoroughbred #thoroughbredsofinstagram #threedayeventing #horses #horsetrials #horsejumping #crosscountry #prelim #galwaydowns #california #livingthedream #albertaeventing #albertaeventersincali

A post shared by Jessica K (@albertaeventer) on

Mallory Hogan and Clarissa finished 10th in the CIC1*! #eventing #usea #usef #galwaydowns @mheventing_

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Chocolate Horse Farm (@chocolatehorsefarm) on

A Horse of a Different Color: Zero Gravity

"A Horse of a Different Color" features horses and ponies that have been successful in the sport of eventing while representing a unique breed. Do you have a horse that you think would be a great feature subject? If so, tip me at [email protected]

Kenzie Wilkinson and Zero Gravity. Photo by Carol Mingst. Kenzie Wilkinson and Zero Gravity. Photo by Carol Mingst.

Walking past the warm-up arena for cross country at Galway Downs last November, I saw a girl on a gray horse getting some cross country pointers from coach Earl McFall. I watched as this pair tackled the warm-up fences for the CCI1* and found myself thinking that this pair looked like they got things done. The horse was a little gray, perhaps not the flashiest horse in the world, but I think that is what caught my eye the most about it. So I had to find out more.

Meet Kenzie Wilkinson and her Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred mare, Zero Gravity. This pair bases in Northern California, primarily training with Earl and Jen McFall of Dragonfire Farm, but spent a lot of their early days together back in their hometown in Michigan training with Philippa Humphreys.

Finding an upper level event horse wasn’t the initial goal for Kenzie when she first began riding. “I was just about to go into high school and had had a couple of horses already,” Kenzie recalled. “She came from a hunter/jumper barn in Western Michgan, and we actually tried her sister first.”

Kenzie Wilkinson and Zero Gravity. Photo by Captured Moment Photography.

Originally bred to be more of a Quarter Horse type with a Thoroughbred dam, Kenzie originally wasn’t sure the little mare would be a good fit for what she was looking for.

“My sister told me to try her, and I thought she was too small,” Kenzie continued. “I took her for a spin, and as soon as I jumped her I knew I wanted her.”

Indeed, “Bailey” is small but mighty, standing just 15.1 hands and often getting mistaken for a pony. She spent much of her initial time with Kenzie doing typical kid activities such as 4H, camping, swimming and parades. From that point, Kenzie decided that she wanted to get more serious about eventing and moved to Philippa’s program full-time.

Kenzie and Bailey completed their first recognized event at May Daze in 2013, finishing fifth in the Junior Novice division. The following year at Dunnabeck Horse Trials, the pair made the big step up to the Preliminary level, where they finished 11th.

“I really thought I’d move up to Prelim, go to college and not be able to be as serious about it,” Kenzie said. “I decided to go to UC-Davis and spend the winter working for Philly in Ocala.”

It seemed Kenzie couldn’t quite rid herself of the horse bug, so she began working with the McFalls when she returned to school and eventually stepped back up to the green numbers in the spring of 2015.

“Realistically, I thought Training level would be the coolest thing ever,” Kenzie said. “For me, getting to go Training was like going to the Olympics. Bailey is an awesome jumper, but she can be quirky and has her own ideas of how to do things, so we spent some time getting eliminated and having some trouble. But we knew she was talented. Everyone I worked with said she was a Prelim horse, so it was just a matter of one thing leading to the next.”

First one-star, check! Photo by Cori Davis.

Before she knew it, Kenzie was sending in for her FEI passport and entering her first CCI1*, the push for which she credits both her coaches as well as regular clinician Hawley Bennett-Awad. “I wasn’t sure if it was a totally unreasonable idea,” she said. “Hawley was the one who told me to get my passport and get to Galway, and I think had she not said that I would have been too scared to ask about it.”

Completing her first one-star was bittersweet for Kenzie, who rode in memory of Philippa Humphreys all weekend. “The one-star was always with her in mind,” she said. “That was always a goal she had set for me. She had a huge influence on my riding. We didn’t really get serious about eventing until we moved to her place, and then we were mucking stalls to help out and traveling to shows with her. You could definitely say that she had a lot to do with any success we have.”

The EN team continues to remember Philippa Humphreys and encourages our audience to help support her daughter, Millie’s college fund. You can find out more here. You can also learn more about the USEA’s Collapsible Fence Study here.

Frankie Thieriot Stutes Wins Galway CIC3*, Tamie Smith Takes CIC1*/CIC2*

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Ellie Leonard. Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Ellie Leonard.

Cross country day at Galway Downs was Next Level (see what I did there?) as the upper levels tackled Ian Stark’s challenge to decide the winners of the FEI divisions. Frankie Thieriot Stutes successfully completed a wire to wire win in the CIC3* aboard Chatwin, securing their first win at the Advanced level.

It was a tough week for Frankie, who received news that Eric Brandenburg, a member of The Chatwin Group, had passed away, but she was determined to make the best of it in remembrance. “It’s definitely been tough to keep it together, but it makes everything really special. Without (Eric) I wouldn’t have Chatwin,” Frankie said.

“I thought Chatwin was really good. He got a little bit strong, but he was really good through the combinations. If anything there were some gallop fences we could improve. It was a typical big Ian course, but I was able to make up some time toward the end.”

Frankie and Chatwin finished on their dressage score of 42.1 over second placed Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, who also finished with no penalties added to their original score of 46.3. Also remaining in the top three is Mackenna Shea and Landioso.

Ian’s course caused a few problems scattered about, overall presenting a healthy challenge for this point in the season to give the combinations a good springboard into the remainder of the season.

Looking to the CIC2*, Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius also clinched a wire to wire win on their dressage score of 47.2. Syrius, who is nine this year, is stepping up to the two-star level this weekend, so a win on the first outing is a big check mark for this talented horse owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods.

Tamie also took home the win in the CIC1*, where we’d like to issue a big welcome back to the Ahearn family’s Mai Baum, making his first start since his win at Fair Hill International in 2015. “Lexus” scored a 32.3 in the dressage to take a handy lead and added one rail to his score before going on to an easy breezy double clear cross country round. Look for more on the return of the Black Stallion here on EN to come later!

The Horse Trial divisions will finish competition tomorrow, so there’s still more to come from Galway Downs. I will also be updating this post with current photos. Go eventing!

Galway Downs: WebsiteLive Scores, Live Stream

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin Hold Galway Downs CIC3* Lead

Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry. Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It was a whirlwind first day of competition at Galway Downs yesterday, with all FEI divisions completing both dressage and show jumping. Thanks to the organizing efforts of Robert Kellerhouse and the fantastic team of people working hard to make this event better each time, both competitors and spectators alike are enjoying all that Southern California has to offer.

It was Frankie Thieriot Stutes and the Chatwin Group’s Chatwin who danced their way to a first phase winning score of 42.1. They continued on to jump double clear over Michael Curtis’ tricky show jumping course to hold onto the lead over second placed Heather Morris and Charlie Tango.

“My goal was just to go in and have a smooth round,” Frankie said. “Chatwin was jumping out of his skin in there for me and I am just so fortunate to get to sit on him.”

“I thought the course rode well, but you definitely had to decide where you were go inside or outside some of the trees and then get them back enough for the short distance without taking too much. I have had some incredible help lately and want to say a big thank you to everyone helping Chat and I get better.”

Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

“He was actually the best he’s ever been,” Heather said of Team Express Group’s Charlie Tango. The pair went to a dressage show last weekend to practice their #dressageskillz and that practice certainly paid off today with a 46.3 that moved them to third heading into show jumping.

“He’s such a good boy, he’s getting more confident in there,” Heather continued about her double clear show jump round. “We changed his warm-up a little bit and it’s really helped his confidence.”

Mackenna Shea and Landioso. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Mackenna Shea and Landioso produced a beautiful test to earn a 42.4 from the judges and early second place, but some time penalties bumped the pair into third heading into cross country.

“I ride with Nikki Clarke on the flat, and she told me that I really need to focus, and I felt like I rode really accurately,” Mackenna said. “He was really obedient and I think there’s room to improve.”

Less than 20 penalties separates the top 10 in the CIC3*, and Ian Stark’s course is sure to put a good early season test on the riders, a few of which are Rolex bound next month.

Looking to the CIC2*, it’s Tamie Smith in control aboard Sunsprite Syrius, who is making his first two-star bid this weekend. Tamie added nothing to her dressage score of 47.2 to hold the lead over second placed Sandra Donnelly and Belshazzar.

Belshazzar is coming off of a third place finish in the CIC2* at Fresno in February, and he’s finished outside of the top 10 just once in four starts at the level, so he’s looking like a real talent for Sandra moving forward.

Heather Morris and Team Express Group’s Get Rowdy will take third place into cross country tomorrow on a two-phase score of 51.6 on the heels of a double clear round yesterday afternoon.

Cross country is set to start this morning at 9:30 a.m. PST for the CIC1*, 10:35 a.m. PST for the CIC2* and 11:50 a.m. PST for the CIC3*. Stay tuned for much more from Temecula! Go eventing.

Galway Downs: [Website] [Live Scores]

Laine Ashker On Anthony Patch’s Retirement: ‘It’s Truly Been an Honor’

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Jenni Autry. Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The decision to retire a horse is never an easy one, and it came as an especially difficult blow for Laine Ashker, who announced the retirement of her longtime partner, Anthony Patch, on Monday.

Laine had been aiming for a return to Rolex Kentucky next month, hoping to go out with a bang on the horse that skyrocketed her career to new heights. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as the pair had some uncharacteristic trouble on cross country while contesting the CIC3* at Carolina International over the weekend.

“Al can’t speak to me directly, but I’ve known him long enough and what he has never done is quit on me,” Laine said. “I have to listen to what he’s trying to tell me, and it was the first time that he really ever told me no.”

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

After the abrupt end to her weekend, Laine had Al checked over by her veterinary team, who told her that she could still make that final push for Kentucky if she wanted to try.

“He is sound, but one thing I never want to do is go out of the start box on a horse that isn’t 110% with me,” she explained. “I really wanted to go to Rolex again, but he owes me nothing. I’m so lucky to have that horse. I wouldn’t want to go to Kentucky and get eliminated or come back with a broken horse, so I’d rather retire him now while he is sound and happy.”

At 18, Anthony Patch has become a household name for eventing fans in the U.S. and beyond, and Laine said he gave her the strength to keep going following her accident at Rolex in 2008 when she lost Frodo Baggins. For all of these things and more, Laine says it’s an honor to call Al hers.

“He’s such a special horse to have taken me as far as he has,” Laine said. “It’s truly an honor to have that little horse who has been such a great ambassador for the sport and who has motivated so many people. He represents so much hope and I’m just so appreciative that he gave that to me.”

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch at Burghley 2015. Photo by Nico Morgan.

“The night before cross country at my first Rolex after my accident, I had a mental breakdown,” she continued. “It wasn’t because I was scared — Al has always kept me safe — but I had so many demons and terrible memories. That next day, Al helped me create positive memories of that course, and we navigated it as a team. I will never forget that ride coming back.”

Laine also added completing her first Burghley to the list of her all-time favorite memories with Al. “I remember telling my mom that I hoped I’d get to ride him at Burghley one day when I first started him,” she recalled. “I had the worst preparation for Burghley, and he went out there with me having no confidence and we made it through the finish flags. It was a dream come true for me.”

Above all, Laine says she just wants to have a happy, healthy horse for as many years as possible. “I want to have the luxury of enjoying him,” she said. “I imagine he could come back and do some Preliminary or Intermediate events with someone who wants to learn how to really be competitive, and I think he will enjoy it because he’s not the type of horse who can’t have a job.”

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Ultimately, Laine is making peace with her decision to retire Al. “I’m really bummed, because even this weekend he felt like the one to beat. It will be awhile before my other horses are ready to step into those shoes, so it’s a big void,” she said.

“But I have to remember that they will get there; I just have to continue putting that time in. He stepped up for me when I had lost everything, and I know that they will eventually be able to step up to the plate as well.”

Laine has some sharp talent coming up through the levels in Flagmount’s Spartan, owned by Laine and Tera Call; her mother Valerie’s homebred Calling All Comets; and also the off-track Thoroughbred Call Him Paddy. In time, Laine knows she will once again have the horse to take her back to the very top of the sport.

At the end of the day, Laine knows the journey with her heart horse isn’t over, and she will always have the fondest memories of her time at the top with Al

“I’m looking forward to seeing him teach someone the ropes and continuing to enjoy him. What Al represents is for the kids out there who don’t have the money but have the dream. It is possible to make it and get the result,” Laine said.

“I hope people don’t stop screaming #GoAlGo and I hope they never forget him. I will never forget that feeling, and I know Al won’t either. That’s why I had to retire him. I could never take anything away from him when he’s done so much for me.”

Rolex Entry Update: Michael Jung Returns for Round Three

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

With entries closing yesterday for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, this morning’s entry status shows 64 horse-and-rider combinations, including two-time defending champion Michael Jung. The Terminator will ride 2016 winner fischerRocana FST as well as fischerTakinou, who handily finished second in his first CCI4* at Pau last fall.

Michael commented last year that Rocana really seemed to enjoy her time in Kentucky, so he tapped her and “Taki” early when he announced his competition plans for the spring. Will there be a Jung hat trick? Time will tell, but there are plenty of challengers ready to step up to the plate this year.

Also added to the entry list is France’s Maxime Livio with Qalao de Mers, who won Pau CCI4* and finished second at Luhmühlen CCI4* last year. We will also see the return of Great Britain’s Zara Tindall with High Kingdom, who completed Badminton last spring after the horse sustained an injury and withdrew from Rolex before dressage in 2015.

Buck Davidson also populates the list now with three entries: Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach, Caroline and Sherrie Martin’s Petite Flower and Carl and Cassie Segal’s Park Trader.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We’ll also see Phillip Dutton, who is entered with John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, Annie Jones and Tom Tierney’s Fernhill Fugitive as well as the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott. Phillip told EN last month that Mr. Medicott would be making a comeback this year following a lengthy rehabilitation period, and he is also entered to compete at The Fork CIC3* next week.

We’ll continue to bring you the latest updates on the Rolex entry list. With entries closing yesterday, we expect to see a few more names popping up on the list. Hold onto your hats; it’s going to be an exciting ride this year!

[Rolex Kentucky Entry List]

Jenni Autry contributed to this report.

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Everyone's favorite kid, Addie Neumeyer, and her wonder-mare Blaze completing their first Training CT. Photo courtesy of Lee Ann Zobbe. Everyone's favorite kid, Addie Neumeyer, and her wonder-mare Blaze completing their first Training CT. Photo courtesy of Lee Ann Zobbe.

We’ve kept up with 10-year-old Addie Neumeyer and her pony, Blaze, through the years, and coach Lee Ann Zobbe was kind enough to send in the latest update:

“Addie is now 10, her feet reach below the saddle flaps and she and Blaze are quite the team,” Lee Ann said. “Here they are doing their first Training Combined Test. They got a 34 of their dressage test and had the last rail down to finish on a 38. Her folks are glad she can’t do Prelim for a few more years!”

Keep kicking on, Addie! Have a fun story to share? Tip us at [email protected].

Events Opening This Week:

Winona Horse Trials (OH, A-8), Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. (WA, A-7), Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. (TX, A-5), Woodland Stallion Station H.T. (CA, A-6), Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event (NJ, A-2), WindRidge Farm Horse Trials (NC, A-2), Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. at Longview (MO, A-4), Virginia CCI/CIC & H.T. (VA, A-2), Galway Downs Spring H.T. (CA, A-6), Plantation Field May Horse Trials (PA, A-2), Grindstone Mountain Farm Spring H.T. (MA, A-1)

Events Closing Today:

Fair Hill International H.T. (MD, A-2), FENCE H.T. (SC, A-3) Twin Rivers CCI,CIC & H.T. (CA, A-6), Exmoor Eventing YEH & FEH presented by Fernhill Sport Horses (FL, A-3), Ocala International 3-Day Festival of Eventing Presented by Brian Cox Farm Team (FL, A-3), Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY, A-8)

News & Notes:

The inside leg to outside rein is a fundamental tool that is important in the training of young horses. In the latest column from Mythic Landing Enterprises and the USEA, Will Faudree walks us through the various uses of the inside leg to outside rein aid when used correctly. [Inside Leg to Outside Rein]

Permits have been secured to begin construction of the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Fl. A sister facility is already in operation in Wilmington, Oh. and the WEC in Ocala plans to play host to multiple top level equestrian events in state of the art accommodations. [World Equestrian Center Obtains Permits]

Need assistance with your equestrian business? Jackie Potts, who boasts several years with William Fox-Pitt and an FEI award for Best Groom on her CV, is striking out on her own to assist other riders with ensuring their businesses are run as efficiently as possible. And yes, it appears she will travel to the U.S.! [Jackie Potts Equestrian Services]

Tuesday Video:

Here are some highlights from the CIC3* at Carolina International this weekend:

Laine Ashker Announces Retirement of Anthony Patch

Big hugs for a 17-year-old going on 5-year-old. Photo by Sally Spickard.

It’s the end of an era for Laine Ashker and her fan favorite off-track Thoroughbred, Anthony Patch, as Laine announced the retirement of her veteran partner today on her social media.

“Al”, who is 18 this year, boasts five CCI4* completions on his record, including a 14th place finish at Rolex in 2010, his first trip around. This came after a racing career under the name Alex’s Castledream (Castle GuardAimee Alexis, by Right Mind), racing 10 times.

Laine and Al hopped on a plane to contest the Olympic Test Event in advance of the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong. They won the 2013 Adequan/USEA Gold Cup at the Nutrena American Eventing Championships at Texas Rose Horse Park, one of the most prestigious eventing prizes in North America.  Later, Laine and Al also traveled to the UK to tackle Burghley in 2015, earning them another completion. In all, this pair completed 21 FEI events and 22 Advanced Horse Trials.

We will miss seeing this pair with the ultimate partnership rock around cross country courses all over the country. We here at EN wish Al the happiest of retirements, where he has truly earned all of the broom scratches he could ever want. #GoAlGo

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Carolina CIC3*/Advanced Water

Just in time to help cure your horse show hangover, we’ve got just what the doctor ordered! Check out this fresh footage with CIC3* and Advanced pairs mixed in from the tricky water combination at Carolina International, thanks to our friends at RNS Video.

Don’t miss the thrills, the spills, and a very limber Maya Studenmand hanging on for dear life (and somehow almost completing the rest of the course!) after both of her stirrups broke on her jump in around minute marker 5:04.

Many thanks to RNS Video for continuing to put together these awesome montage videos. Enjoy!

Bobby Meyerhoff Tips His Hat to Dunlavin’s Token

Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin's Token. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin's Token. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

2017 is a bit of a swan song for Bobby Meyerhoff, who has elected to retire his partner, Dunlavin’s Token, from upper level competition following Rolex Kentucky next month. Wanting to have a happy and sound horse in his barn, Bobby has nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for “Token,” who carried him to his first CCI4* completion in 2015.

“I feel like the horse has given us his all every time,” Bobby said. “(Competing at the upper levels) is challenging for him physically, even though he’s got all of the heart and mind to do it. He’s perfectly sound, and honestly this year he’s come out feeling better than he ever has, but we want a sound horse at the end of the day.”

Token, who is 17 this year, is a special member of the Meyerhoff clan, having helped both Bobby and his wife, Danica, achieve many firsts. It was Danica who first competed Token in FEI competition, and they eventually tackled their first-three star events together in 2010 and 2011. Bobby took over the reins shortly after and has since completed Rolex twice.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“I think one of our biggest achievements has definitely been doing our first four-star together,” Bobby said. “To date, our record low dressage score was at Rolex last year, which was huge for us. But more than anything, I’m proud of the fact that we were able to put the work in to get him to fully use his potential. He thinks he’s superman.”

Bobby doesn’t have concrete plans for Token just yet upon retirement, but he knows that the horse would prefer not to retire to a big grass field just yet. He told EN that Danica might play in the jumper ring a bit or perhaps they will find another rider to learn the ropes on their special boy.

“I think right now the goal is to get to Kentucky,” Bobby said. “He’ll have a break afterward like normal and then we’ll see what he wants to do. We just want him to enjoy his years to come.”

Certainly, the best way to thank a horse who has truly been a once in a lifetime ride is to ensure their health and soundness as their careers wind down. For Bobby, this spring has been about enjoying the ride, knowing that the days are numbered.

Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“When I sit on him now, I treat it as if it’s the last ride,” he said. “It makes it that much more enjoyable. I don’t feel a lot of pressure. I know what we’re both capable of, and I’m just soaking it all in.”

Bobby and Token finished in the top 25 in the CIC3* at Carolina over the weekend, and now they’ll set their sights for their final curtain call in about a month’s time. Bobby has some younger horses progressing through the levels who are ready to step up and become his next top rides, but he’s the first to admit that Token is irreplaceable.

“He’s one of a kind. I’ve had some really amazing rides on this horse, and I definitely won’t forget any of them.”

Breathe Carolina: Cross Country Day Social Media from #CICIC

Another exciting day of cross country has come to an end, and I’d like to personally congratulate Caroline Martin for being the hero of the day and taking home her first CIC3* win on a horse she’s had for a month. Pretty badass, if you ask me.

Here’s a look at social media from the exciting final day of the FEI divisions at #CICIC:

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Donner surfed to the fastest ride of the day so far! @lynn.symansky.equestrian #CICIC

A post shared by U.S. Eventing Association (@useventing) on

#CICIC #carolinahorsepark

A post shared by Renee Mathieu (@wheelre) on

Getting some riding lessons today while jump judging at the #CICIC 🏁

A post shared by Emily Digney (@ebdigney) on

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

A tribute to a friend gone too soon, Evan Mickle. Photo via Jay Mickle on Facebook. A tribute to a friend gone too soon, Evan Mickle. Photo via Jay Mickle on Facebook.

Saturday at the Carolina International, the old Tobacco Barn on the cross country course will become the Village Smithy as a tribute to Evan Mickle, a local farrier who passed away suddenly last December. At the completion of the CIC3* cross country, there will be a dedication of a blacksmith art memorial to Evan in front of the secretary’s office. There will also be a memorial service at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club on Friday evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Our thoughts continue to be with the Mickle family as we remember a friend who is gone much too soon.

Events This Weekend:

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Poplar Place Farm March H.T.: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News & Notes:

Looking for a new job? Here’s a great opportunity for someone located in or around Leesburg: the USEA is hiring a Communications Assistant! [Communication Assistant Position]

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton is targeting her first go at Rolex with Captain Jack. The Chronicle of the HorseSpider Monkey caught up with Woodge (aka ) and her path to her first CCI4*. [One to Watch: Woodge Fulton]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The SmartPak Mobile Unit parked at Copper Meadows last weekend for their spring horse trials, and so I was obviously tempted to take a walk-through to check out the wares on display. I was really impressed with the quality of one of the latest Piper breeches with silicone grips. I’ve been a bit obsessed with silicone grip recently, so these are definitely on my list of breeches to pick up. Plus, you have to love the consumer friendly price point without sacrificing quality! [SmartPak Piper Breech with Silicone]

Friday Video:

Check out everyone’s favorite Insta-famous pony, Saint Louie, and Britt Sabbah at Copper Meadows last weekend:

 

KER Product of the Week – Nano•E®

Does your horse’s busy training and competition schedule reduce the amount of quality pasture time? Horses on the go may be lacking vitamin E.

Vitamin E levels in fresh, good-quality pasture far exceed those in good-quality hay and concentrates. Therefore when your horses are on the road consuming hay, they are likely not receiving sufficient vitamin E, which is essential for optimal antioxidant protection.

Developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), Nano•E uses advanced nanotechnology to create a rapidly available and absorbed source of vitamin E that enables administration to be timed to provide peak antioxidant protection to performance horses, especially when travelling. Nano•E provides a natural source vitamin E, found to have far superior bioavailability when compared to synthetic forms of vitamin E.

Would Nano•E fit into your horse’s diet? Ask a KER nutrition advisor today.

Sweet Carolin(a): Day Two Social Media from Carolina International

I almost feel as if we all get a bit spoiled when events start on Wednesdays; why wait for Friday to get the fun started? I’m loving following along with all of the Carolina International coverage, and it’s definitely a good thing when there are still three more days of action left from North Carolina. With that said, here are some more snippets from social media from day two:

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

The second day of dressage is underway at the 4th Carolina International! #CICIC #carolinainternational #wherethebestcometowin

A post shared by Carolina_International_CIC (@carolina_international_cic) on

Who's ready for show jumping tomorrow? The Golden Knights will be "dropping" in during the lunch break! #wherethebestcometowin #carolinainternational #CICIC

A post shared by Carolina_International_CIC (@carolina_international_cic) on

It's tough to be CR… #CICIC #naptime #workhardplayhardsleephard

A post shared by Alex Ambelang (@alexambelang) on

Favian and Willie Wiggins having a big #discussion about #cicic over a blade of grass #bromance #gossip #horses

A post shared by Blue Clover Eventing (@blueclovereventing) on

Heads Carolina: Social Media Wrap from Carolina International

Carolina International was the very first event I traveled to as a part of the EN team four years ago, and it will always have a special place as one of my favorite spring prep events. The team at Carolina Horse Park really outdoes themselves each year to make sure competitors and spectators alike have the best of the best, and it’s time to get another edition of this great event underway.

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Here’s a glance around social media from dressage day one. You can also check out dressage videos from The Horse Pesterer as he uploads them here.

When things get real 😲 #UnmarkedBills #CarolinaInternational #CIC***

A post shared by Chris Talley (@c_talley75) on

The handsome #lismakeerabrewski ready for in-barns at #carolinainternational. 😍 #carlo #teambrewski

A post shared by Gaby Ruane (@ruaneg) on

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

It’s easy to look around any given event and find a volunteer. Which makes it even easier to say ‘thank you’ to that volunteer and to all of the others whom you encounter throughout the weekend. It was quite warm this weekend at Copper Meadows, but you never saw a volunteer without a smile on their face. Be sure to take a minute to thank our volunteers — and do some volunteering yourself! — next time you’re at an event, it will go a long way!

ATTENTION: Our server updates are now complete. Thank you to all for your patience!

Events Opening This Week:

Heart of the Carolinas 3-Day Event & H.T. (SC, A-3), The Event at Skyline (UT, A-9), Heart of the Carolinas 3-Day Event & H.T. (SC, A-3), Riga Meadow Combined Test (CT, A-1), Penny Oaks H.T. (IN, A-8),  MCTA H.T., Inc (MD, A-2), Poplar Place Farm May H.T. (GA, A-3)

Events Closing Today:

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

News & Notes:

Auburn Eventing is hosting an online auction that will last until March 27th to raise funds for the upcoming year. The team is auctioning off lessons with 3*/4* riders, tack cleaner, YR Camp entry, week-long vacation at a beach house, paintings, and a show entry/ cross country schooling, and more. Help support collegiate eventing! [Auburn Eventing Online Auction]

The warm-up can be an overwhelming experience at any competition. You can use these reminders to help create the best warm-up experience for both horse and rider at your next event. A quick refresher on rules and regulations never hurt anyone! [Warm-up Reminders]

Do you know what to look for if your horse has a hoof problem brewing? Check out this advice from The Horse on how to tell if your horse has some issues coming up that can be prevented or treated earlier. [Trouble’s Afoot]

Tuesday Video:

With the start of Carolina International this week, here’s Elisa Wallace’s helmet cam from last year’s event:

 

 

 

What It Feels Like Waiting for Rolex Entries to Go Live

Chinch is not so patiently waiting for Rolex entries to go live! @rk3de_official #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

A post shared by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Waiting for Rolex entries is like waiting for Santa Claus to come — it seems like time stands still while we’re waiting to find out what big names and rising stars will be galloping across the Kentucky bluegrass. As the moment we’ve all been waiting for is about to arrive, we dare we say it’s almost better than Christmas.

Here’s a look at the cycle the EN team goes through waiting for Rolex entries to go live.

1. Patience is not our strong suit 

Seriously, once it starts getting closer to March, Rolex is just about all we can think about. Seeing riders posting photos of their entry forms on social media only fuels the fire as we desperately await the publication of the list.

2. Massive anxiety 

Names of horses and riders are spinning through your head at an alarming rate while you’re imagining your ideal Rolex entry list. Will anyone de-throne reigning champion Michael Jung? Can an American finally take the win? There’s so many possibilities … if only the list would post so you would know who will be making an appearance.

3. Obsessive compulsive refreshing

Each morning (and several times throughout the day thereafter), we load the Rolex website and begin our refreshing regimen. Every 10 minutes or so is a satisfactory refresh rate, but Chinch has been madly refreshing at a rate we’re too ashamed to admit.

4. Our inner stalker comes out in full force

We don’t have the entry list yet, but we’ve been confirming with riders all year about whether or not they will be entering. As we countdown to the moment when the entries finally post, our obsessive compulsive stalking in the results databases has already begun. We must find out every detail about the entrants’ competition history.

It surely can’t be that much longer, right? Keep it locked on EN, your official #RK3DE headquarters!

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Welcome to the world, Berkley Lisbeth Csik Bond! Photo via Kristen Csik Bond. Welcome to the world, Berkley Lisbeth Csik Bond! Photo via Kristen Csik Bond.

The EN family is thrilled to welcome Kristen and Andrew Bond’s newest addition, Berkley Lisbeth Csik Bond, who was born on February 28. Phillip Dutton will be competing Kristen’s usual ride, I’m Sew Ready, owned by John and Kristine Norton, at Rolex this year, and mom says that little Berkley already has tickets to Rolex to cheer on her future horse!

Events Opening This Week:

Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event (NJ, A-2), Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. (VA, A-2), Fresno County Horse Park H.T. (CA, A-6) University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. (NH, A-1)

Events Closing Today:

Galway Downs International Horse Trials (CA, A-6), Twin Rivers CCI,CIC & H.T. (CA, A-6) 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) Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (FL, A-3)

News & Notes:

Virginia HT has added a qualifier for the $20,000 War Horse Event Series Championship at Carolina Horse Park. The War Horse Event Series Championship will be held in November, and the qualifiers offered by Virginia Horse Trials will feature schooling events in unique formats. [VAHT Adds War Horse Qualifier]

Get to know the Adult Amateur winner of the 2017 Worth the Trust Scholarship from the USEA, Allison Murphy. Getting her start through Pony Club, Allison competes at Training level in Area IX. Take a look at her latest blog for the USEA. [Worth the Trust: Allison Murphy]

As spring approaches, it’s time to take a look at your horse’s diet. This helpful article from The Horse offers some guidance on calorie counts and proper nutrition as new forage begins to come in and the weather changes. [Spring Calories Count for Horses]

Tuesday Video:

Here’s another great West Coast recap from Fresno County Horse Park earlier this year:

Red On Right: Red Hills Cross Country Social Media Wrap

It’s been a thrilling day of show jumping and cross country action at Red Hills in Tallahassee, Fl. where many CCI4*-bound pairs are putting the finishing touches on their spring preps before moving on. We saw a lot of smiling faces and celebration today after everyone was through the finish flags, and now it’s time to take a look around social media. Be sure to use #RHHT2017 on your social media to be included on this week’s round-ups!

Red Hills Links: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, EN’s Instagram

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I'm burnt but it was so worth it. #rhht2017

A post shared by gala manning (@gala_manning) on

Final jump #rhht2017 Intermediate. Break from the vet box to catch some of the action.

A post shared by Little's Crossing (@littlescrossing) on

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Awesome day at #rhht2017 vet box with @_sarahmack_ and the rest of ISE volunteer crew.

A post shared by Little's Crossing (@littlescrossing) on

Beautiful day for RHHT #rhht2017

A post shared by Kelley Fisch (@fischk) on

Missing our 4th but loving Tallahassee in the springtime #rhht #redhillshorsetrials

A post shared by Karen Feder (@chicoryraven) on

Seeing Red: Dressage Day at Red Hills Social Media Wrap

Seriously, there is no better time of year than that time when the big Advanced and three-star events are heating up. Between that and the promise of spring (aka ROLEX!) right around the corner, life couldn’t get much better for social media stalking. With that in mind, here’s a look at the happenings around social media from day one at #RHHT2017:

Red Hills Links: Website, Entries, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Fergie conquers the 3 star at Red Hills #fergiethefrenchie #rhht2017

A post shared by justinedutton (@justinedutton) on

Don’t forget to stop by and pick up your #TeamLeeLee belt from C4!

Working hard or hardly working? That is Jenni Autry’s motto…

Jimmie Jenni

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My favorite mess of the year. #rhht2017 #allthepasses

A post shared by (@saraaaaa_green) on

Lauren Kieffer pats Jacqueline Mars' Landmark's Monte Carlo after a nice CIC3* test #Adequan #USEA #GoldCup #rhht

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Thursday Video: How to Properly Support Your Wife During Competition

When Sara Kozumplik Murphy scorched the jump off at the $15,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix International with Rubens D’Ysieux, her husband and show jumping coach Brian Murphy had to be along for the ride.

We’re all about spousal support here in the eventing world, and we think Brian just set the figurative bar even higher with his ringside antics. Go Brian!

Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the Eventing Prix Invitational.