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Product Review: Ariat Olympia Breeches

The Ariat Olympia – your new favorite breeches. Photo by Kody Laseter.

Finding the perfect breeches that look the part while standing up to the demanding lifestyle of an eventer can be a tall order. Where many other pairs fall short, the Ariat Olympia breech steps up to the plate.

As shallow as it sounds, I’d like to start by saying these pants are simply smart looking! Durability and comfort rank near the top of my list, but those never seem to matter as much when your breeches make you look frumpy. The Schoeller®-Prestige material gives a flattering silhouette without restricting your freedom of movement.

The detailing brings these breeches to the next level. Also note the V in the waistband for stretch and comfort. Photo by Kody Laseter.

The double stitching on the pockets and suede full seat/knee patches offer a unique and polished look. While we’re on the subject, these pockets rock! When I first upgraded my iPhone, I couldn’t securely fit my it in my pocket, but that was never an issue with my Olympias. The size, as well as the stretchy fabric, means my entire phone fits securely in my pocket, giving me peace of mind when I’m riding.

 

No detail is overlooked in the Ariat Olympias. Photo by Kody Laseter.

These breeches have a mid-rise fit with a waistband that feels snug, but not constricted. This is thanks to Ariat’s V3 technology. You can focus on your riding while the stretchy V in the waistband allows you freedom of movement without the awful gaping some other breeches give you.

While style and durability are admittedly my biggest draw to these breeches, comfort is also a priority high on my list. Made of cotton twill, the fabric is fantastic. This is my most breathable pair of breeches – a must if you spend your summers riding in the south. The stretch it offers is just not just appreciated – it’s necessary if you’re an adult amateur like me that can’t guarantee that you’ll always ride in a conventional (stay in the saddle) way.

Photo by Kody Laseter.

The Ariat Olympias come in both full seat and knee patch. Made of Clarino™ material, these offer traction without sacrificing weight, flexibility or breathability. The CFS™ Calf Fit System also provides a snug fit to a variety of calf sizes while staying in place.

Best of all, these breeches last! While I just got the new black pair, my brown knee patch pair is 5 years old and they still look just a striking as the season I got them.  These are my longest lasting breeches, making them well worth the cost.

Breeches that still shine after five years of use. Photo by Kody Laster.

The Schoeller®-Prestige material maintains its stretch over time without sagging, giving you a polished look over many years. Schoeller also employs their “self-cleaning” Nanosphere technology to keep these breeches looking their best. The fabric is finely-structured, preventing dirt and water from adhering to the material.

The fabric is soft to the touch and gives the right amount of stretch. From the waistband down to the calves, they stay in place making it easy to wear them all day. Because of the comfort, durability and style, these are my go to for clinics, lessons or any opportunity where I need to look and feel my best.

Ariat Olympia breeches are available in both knee patch and full seat options beginning at $209.95. You can purchase them directly from Ariat. Click here to explore all the technology that goes into Ariat products.

Snapshots from the 2018 USEA Educational Symposium

The USEA has just wrapped up the 2018 Educational Symposium in Ocala, Florida. Hosted at both the Ocala Jockey Club and Longwood Farm South, the four-day Symposium spotlighted the USEA Young Event Horse, Future Event Horse and Instructors’ Certification Programs.

It started with a two-day ICP Symposium led by clinicians Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier. With the ICP debuted two new certifications, the YEH Instructor and YEH Professional Horse Trainer certifications, in 2017, the focus of this year’s ICP sessions was on the training of the young event horses.

Flatwork was Monday’s emphasis, with lectures and training for two groups of horses 4-to-5-year-olds and 6-to-7-year-olds. Tuesday these same groups took to fences as Leslie Law encouraged them to stay focused on forward riding. EN sadly wasn’t able to attend, but thankfully the USEA’s Jessica Duffy was on the scene taking extensive notes — check out her great reports: Day 1 and Day 2.

The YEH program took its turn on Wednesday, focusing in on the program’s many changes in 2018, including the increased significance of galloping/jumping to a horse’s overall score and improvements in cohesion of championships across the country. They also introduced Lucinda Green and Sally Ike as this year’s championship judges. Check out the YEH recap here.

Thursday went to the FEH program, which focuses on yearlings, 2-year-old and 3-year-old horses. This session featured a conformation discussion led by Dr. Shauna Spurlock as well as instruction and insight into young horse theory with Chris Ryan, Robin Walker and Susan Graham White. There’s a new Central Championship in 2018, making it even easier for owners to get their young horses involved.

Huge kudos to the USEA, who are fervent supporters of education in our sport, for offering this opportunity. Here are a few more snapshots from the Symposium we spotted on social media!

USEA SymposiumWebsiteFEH/YEH RegistrationICP RegistrationSchedule

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfdfRQGlfxA/?taken-at=14427898

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfZnAr3l6CB/?taken-at=14427898

 

Get Excited for 2018 with This Fun Video from Fresno

Ellie Leonard (@girlwiththe.camera) was on site at the Fresno County Horse Park in Fresno, CA last weekend armed with her camera, and she captured some incredible moments from the West Coast’s first International Event of the year. She’s put it all together in this video that is the perfect hype for the year ahead!

Get excited, EN.

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

Mike Etherington-Smith Talks Course Changes for Luhmühlen CCI4*

Mike Etherington-Smith looks to put his mark on Luhmühlen this year. Photo by Thomas Ix.

After his Luhmühlen CCI4* debut in 2017, cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith is looking at the venue with fresh eyes this year. The event has released plans for 2018 that include a much beefier track in terms of difficulty and size.

“Last year was really all about getting a feel for the course, the terrain, and the layout and how the event works. Now I am getting more familiar with the venue and the opportunities that present themselves I am feeling more comfortable,” Mike said.

“The courses will be a bit more intense this time and I am starting to use changes of direction to create a different feel. I am a great believer in looking afresh each year at the overall layout and route of the courses to explore what can be done better and whether we are making optimum use of what there is.”

Mike Etherington-Smith and course builder David Evans laying the groundwork for 2018. Photo by Thomas Ix.

While he agrees that a CCI4* is the ultimate test, he also values his courses as learning opportunities. “I obviously hope that the best will come out on top yet at the same time I must recognise that some will be doing their first four-star. The experience must be a positive one that sees horses grow as they go around,” he explained.

Now in his second year, Mike is keen on giving the course his own distinct flavor. First up to achieving this is building new fences that boast an enchanted magic that Luhmühlen is famous for – a job that will fall into the capable hands of course builders David Evans and Carl Fletcher.

Other major updates will be seen at both water complexes. The DHL water will show a completely different look, and riders can say goodbye to the island which historically centered this element.

“We have built a number of new fences, but the primary changes are at the two water fences, where we have done a lot of ground work. There are several reasons for this not least to give a different flavour to these fences and the questions being asked, but also to give spectators something different to see,” Mike continued. “We need to look at the overall package and ensure that the courses continue to develop, offer new questions, and add variety. I also have the European Championships very much in mind with these developments”

Of course the 2019 FEI European Eventing Championships, which will be held at Luhmühlen, Aug. 28- Sept. 1, 2019, are hot on the radar, but Mike is staying tight-lipped on his plans for the cross country.

“I am not going to give away anything at this stage other than all roads are leading to the Europeans,” he shared. “I have pretty much designed that course and am working backwards from it without hopefully giving anything away.”

We will wait and see! Until then, check out a behind the scenes peek at preparations for the 2018 Luhmühlen CCI4*:

[Luhmühlen on the way to the World Equestrian Games and the European Championships 2019]

Tuesday Video from Nupafeed: One Farrier’s Pet Project

Ernest Woodward is a farrier on the west coast who often uses unique video angles as a tool to treat his client’s horses as precisely as possible. He watches horses in motion under saddle, following along with his camera for a comprehensive view.

Talented with his traditional trade, Ernest has branched off into capturing many disciplines in a unique light. Get up close to take off on cross country at Galway Downs, get an aerial view over barrels and slide along with Steffen Peters in half pass in today’s cool video presented by Nupafeed.

Tuesday News & Notes from Chillax

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfY0RQslRyk/?taken-at=1025903445

Area III Young Riders closed out their weekend with pitchforks in hand. They’re mucking their way to Rebecca Farm for the 2018 NAJYRC. Despite the weariness from also competing over the weekend, these girls have their eye on the prize. We are looking forward to watching them get there!

National Holiday: National Love Your Pet Day

Events Opening This Week: The Fork CIC3*/CIC2*/CIC1* & HT (NC, A-2) Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3) Spring Bay H.T. (KY, A-8) CDCTA Spring H.T. (VA, A-2) Pine Hill Spring H.T. (TX, A-5)

Events Closing This Week: Red Hills International H.T. (FL, A-3) Southern Pines H.T. (NC, A-2) Full Gallop Farm March H.T. (SC, A-3)

Tuesday News:

DOC is back! He’s taken over a few rides this winter and earned himself some blue ribbons too 18 years after earning a gold medal. His plan at the moment is to do a CCI2* this spring, but first he’s got to re-gain his qualifications. [David O’Connor’s Competitive Streak Is Back]

We’d like to wish a warm EN welcome to Swiss eventer Felix Vogg! Normally based in Radolfzell, Germany, the 2016 Olympian decided to fully embrace a warm weather with a relocation to Florida this winter as he prepares for the World Equestrian Games. Rocking Horse was his first U.S. competition, and he’s already taken home a win. [Now On Course: From Switzerland to the States for Felix Vogg]

Breastplates can have “a ‘significant’ effect on the way a horse jumps,” according to a new study. The results showed that horses with breastplates had a much steeper jumping arc, landing much steeper than those without. Researchers then argued that this arc makes for “cramped” jumping. [Breastplates change the way horses jump, research finds]

Tuesday Video:

Which product does Olympic medalist Phillip Dutton trust to keep his horses calm and focused at the biggest events in the world? Chillax. Learn more.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Not even a year old, Charlotte Coleman has mastered Blue Steel. What a cutie! She’s certainly keeping busy this weekend watching dad compete at Rocking Horse Winter 2. They are hosting a massive event this weekend as our Florida friends keep the busy winter season rolling.

National Holiday: National Drink Wine Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

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

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Sunday Links: 

Former riders in the running for medals at Winter Olympics

Grid Pro Quo with Tamra Smith

Rosie Fry’s eventing blog: thank you and goodbye

Dry boot system a good option for cooling legs of laminitic horses – study

The Evolution of Thoroughbred Aftercare

Pennsylvania Rider Takes Part In Emerging Athletes Training

Barn 10 at Belmont Park Placed Under EHM Quarantine

Sunday Video:

‘Winter’ Wonderland: Sights & Sounds from Paradise Farm’s February HT

Susan Thomas and Frankly My Dear. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Sunny & 75 in February? Yes, Please! Welcome to winter in Aiken.

Paradise Farm hosted a bustling one-day event Friday with Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. It was a full day practically running from sun-up to sundown with all three phases making it a true three-ring circus.

Ryan Wood and Fernhill Flame. Photo by Shelby Allen.

In Friday’s Preliminary division, Ryan Wood was the big winner aboard Curran Simpson’s Fernhill Flame. The striking 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse is now sitting on two consecutive wins in his first introduction to the level.

Kate Brown and Carnaby. Photo by Shelby Allen.

In all, it was a spectacular day in Aiken. As usual, Lellie Ward’s farm was fantastically turned out (it’s for sale!) with inviting, yet challenging courses with features that make the courses feel world-class – like the Helsinki on the Novice course pictured above.

Happy horse jump on a sunset course walk. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Admittedly, it has been a few years since I’d been to Paradise, but my visit on Friday makes me wish I had a horse to take back myself!

Doug Payne and 4-year-old Camarillo, who was tackling his first Beginner Novice. Photo by Shelby Allen.

This is such a fun time of year to be in Aiken. Events feel especially busy with the influx of snowbirds to the area, and you get to see all kinds of their rides from top horses kicking off the season, to babies learning the sport for the first time.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

As a University of Georgia alumna, it was also super to see a group of students sporting their red and black on the cross country course!

Lindsey Beer & Timothy. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

Overall, it was a super event, with much of the credit going to the competition’s hard working volunteers. Following a successful one-day yesterday, Paradise Farm is holding a two-day horse trials this weekend. The chinchillas would like to wish good luck to all those riding this weekend!  Go eventing.

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Tuesday Video from Nupafeed: Boyd’s Week in Wellington

Boyd Martin spent the last week underneath the palm trees, but he wasn’t on vacation! He spent last week in Wellington, Florida, splitting his time between the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), really cracking down on his homework before the season gets fully underway. He brought along his upper level string including Shamwari, Steady Eddie, Tsetserleg, Long Island T and Contessa.

“The last ten days I’ve spent in Wellington, Florida with five of my upper-level horses. Phillip Dutton and I were encouraged to do this exercise from our new High Performance coach Eric Duvander and I must say it’s been a humbling experience jumping against the pros and competing at the AGDF 5* dressage show among some of the best in the world but I’m also inspired, and it’s going very well,” Boyd said in a blog post.

“Phillip and I have been working with dressage trainer Scott Hassler from Maryland for the past year. We’ve been training with Scott monthly up north and daily down here in Florida. Our jumping coach Richard Picken also made the trip with us and has been schooling us at our stable and coaching us in the classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).”

He worked through second and third level tests, earning 71% twice with Long Island T on third level test 3. Here’s what his week looked like:

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day from your horse! Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

Yesterday’s weather was just fantastic! We saw nearly 70 degrees in Georgia and it finally stopped raining. I rode in a t-shirt! In February! While I don’t think obsession with weather is exclusive to horse people, I do find myself checking my weather app way more frequently than my non-horsey friends.

National Holiday: Fat Tuesday

Events Opening This Week: Morven Park Spring H.T. (VA, A-2) Galway Downs International H.T. (CA, A-6) Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (FL, A-3) Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (TX, A-5) Full Gallop Farm April H.T. (SC, A-3)

Events Closing This Week: Sporting Days Farm H.T. II (SC, A-3) Twin Rivers Winter H.T. (CA, A-6) Full Gallop Farm February II H.T.(SC, A-3) Rocking Horse III H.T. (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News: 

Leslie Law’s ideal show jumping is no more than seven jumps. He says keeping it short and sweet is ideal, but can be difficult for riders who lack confidence. The goal is to get the horse to loosen his shoulder, which begins in the flatwork session of your ride – a crucial component that can’t be overlooked! [Leslie Law: Warm Up For Stadium Jumping In Seven Jumps]

Heads up Training level competitors! The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is back for a ninth year. This prize recognizes amateurs who demonstrate appropriate and safe cross country riding at designated events around the country. Each rider receives feedback on their ride to help educate the principles of safe cross country including the gallop, jump preparation, execution of the jump and rider position. [Charles Owen Technical Merit Award Returns for 2018]

No hoof, no horse. We all know this, which is why we love our farriers! Besides having a physically intensive job, farriers are also practicing a delicate science as they evaluate the balance and angles of each of your horse’s feet. [“No hoof, no horse”: The farrier’s three basics of equine foot care]

Tuesday Video:

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Pine Top + Ocala Intermediate Recap

It was a big weekend in Area III as heavy hitters came out swinging at both Pine Top and Ocala, and we can safely say the winter season is well underway in the southern states.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z at Ocala Winter I Horse Trials. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Over 500 competitors  gathered at the Florida Horse Park for Equiventures’ Ocala Winter I presented by Ocala Ranches, which gave way to four competitive Intermediate divisions. The first open division was won by Katie Ruppel aboard her up-and-coming star Foreign Affair (34.5), and the second open division went to Liz Halliday-Sharp and her own Deniro Z (24.3).

Clayton Fredericks made the jump from fifth to first by the end of the weekend in the Intermediate Horse division with Kingfisher Park’s FE Stiff Upper Lip (32.4). They added only .8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score. Following in second is Clark Montgomery and his promising new ride Caribbean Soul, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Maren Foster. Finishing on a score of 32.5 they were the only Intermediate pair to come inside the time on cross country this weekend in Ocala.

The fourth and final Intermediate win belongs to Anna Loschiavo and Prince Renan, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Rodney Oakes and Gina Giudici-Oakes, who led start to finish in the rider division.

Selena O’Hanlon showed that her Fair Hill winner Foxwood High is feeling fine this season, winning the Advanced combined test with a dressage score of 25 and one rail down.

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Pine Top Intermediate

Speaking of three-star superstars, Cooley Cross Border also earned himself a blue ribbon Georgia with Kim Severson across in the Advanced/Intermediate division. They finished on a score of 24.9.

Intermediate A was had by Allison Springer and The Lord Willing Syndicate’s Lord Willing who led from wire-to-wire on 32.4. Following in second is Waylon Roberts & Lancaster (35.7), and Tim Bourke in third with Quality Time (38.8).

Doug Payne was the winner of the second Intermediate division aboard Lisa Wall’s Getaway on a final result of 40.8. Keeping the sibling rivalry alive, Holly Payne Caravella finished second with CharmKing (41.5).

Kerry Torrey and her own Zumba lead the Intermediate rider division from start to finish. Tipping one rail and accruing a handful of cross country time penalties for a final result of 37.2. Maddie Lichten and Yarrow took second place (43), and Marley Stone-Bourke finished third with LVS Dassett Charisma (49.1).

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sunday Video from Total Saddle Fit: Eventing Sunny Florida

It was a busy weekend at the Florida Horse Park as competitors geared up for the Ocala Winter I Horse Trials presented by Ocala Ranches. You’ve got a front row seat to watch some of the blue ribbon rides thanks to David Frechette! You can find even more videos from all phases of competition on his YouTube Page, The Horsepesterer (make sure to subscribe while you’re there!).

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Intermediate Horse: Clayton Fredericks & FE Stiff Upper Lip

Intermediate Rider: Anna Loschiavo & Prince Renan

Open Intermediate B: Liz Halliday-Sharp & Dinero Z

Open Preliminary A (Weekend): Leslie Law & QC First Class

Open Preliminary A (Friday One-Day): David O’Connor & Cooley Dream

Specifically for eventers, the StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth now comes in 2 shades of brown to match monoflap jump saddles!  Let your horse move more freely and breathe easier by using the same girth as Tamra Smith.  Them all here: totalsaddlefit.com

What’s In Your Arena? Up Your Circle Game

Photo by Lainey Ashker.

Have you gotten dizzy practicing Werner Geven’s Circle of Hell that we shared a few weeks ago? You’re in luck because we’ve got an even bigger challenge for you today: Meet the Circle of Hell’s big, bad brother.

Lainey Ashker shared this gem as part of her #GOTD series. Like Werner, she describes the task as “deceptively simple,” but if you tried the Circle of Hell in your arena, then you know that it’s anything but!

Essentially, you start on the circle with four rhythmical strides in each of the ‘slices,’ then you take it out to surrounding oxers, which are set on an outside line with two of the verticals set on the circle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bet9GK_hlCu/?taken-by=laineyea

“This deceivingly simple jumping exercise hones outside rein effectiveness and the rhythm of the canter! I also like how supple the horses become at the end of the workout!” Lainey said. 

She also filmed an entire lesson helping a few students of all levels work through this tricky exercise, which you can rewatch here:

Go eventing.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Have you gotten really into the winter Olympics? I have, and it’s getting me so excited for the World Equestrian Games this year! Sure I didn’t know anything about figure skating earlier today, but now I’m very confident about the technical movements in figure skating. Happy Winter Olympics!

National Holiday: National Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sunday Links: 

Area III Young Riders Seeks NAJC/CICOY Coach

Grid Pro Quo with Robert Costello

Vegan riding boots step out in the horse world

New Bolton Center Lifts EHV Quarantine

Hang On to Your Hat: An Insider’s Guide to Eventing in 2018

22 showjumping tips from the top to unlock your success

Nature of warm-up affects showjumping performance, researchers find

Sunday Video:


Rider Falls Will Result in Elimination Under New British Eventing Rule

Photo by Kate Samuels.

British Eventing has implemented a new rule eliminating any rider who suffers a fall during competition. 

This change comes after continued following of concussion research and recommendations from healthcare professionals, BE Medical Officers, and organizers and officials.  It will be enforced for the 2018 season, which begins March 3, 2018.

“Post fall assessment of riders may require a thorough physical, mental competence and neurological assessment,” Judith Johnson, BE Chief Medical Officer, said in a statement.

“This is a time consuming process may need to be repeated after a period of time in order to make a clinical decision whether that rider is fit to compete again that day. We have a duty of care to our members which, in the light of recent guidelines on concussion management, has led to this rule change.”

This update replaces the current rules allowing riders to continue on after a fall in any phase. In dressage, a rider would not be eliminated and only, “penalised by the effect of the fall on the execution of the movement concerned and in the collective mark.”

As part of an earlier 2018 rule change, after a fall in show jumping, the clock would be stopped, allowing the rider to remount and incur a six second time penalty. On cross country, riders would be allowed to remount only once they were evaluated by onsite medics.

“Whilst every effort has been made to enable a rider to continue after a fall in a safe manner, BE and event organisers have worked incredibly hard to provide standards of safety and medical provision for all BE events that are as high as possible and this rule change is essential to ensure that rider safety is maintained,” said BE National Safety Officer Jonathan Clissold.

British Eventing rules now fall in line with FEI and USEF rules regarding the rider falls in the show jumping and cross country tests for Training level and above.

Here are the key points as outlined by BE:

  • Riders who fall during their dressage test or anywhere on course in the show jumping or cross country phases will be eliminated and unable to continue.
  • Riders who fall in the warm up of any phase or before passing through the start of the show jumping or cross country must be checked by a doctor before continuing.
  • Multiple horse riders who fall off must undergo a fit to ride assessment carried out by the event doctor before being allowed to ride subsequent horses.
  • A competitor who falls at any stage of the competition must be checked by the event doctor before continuing or leaving site. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure compliance with these rules.

[Important change to rider falls and medical checks]

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Cross Country Schooling for Young Horses

Take a trip to Ocala this afternoon with Major League Eventing as they share Joe Meyer’s philosophies on introducing young horses to cross country in episode four of their “Major League Training” series.

Follow along with Joe as he teaches two students on green horses, conquering introductory cross country fences including ditches and water. This episode is a must for anyone bringing up a young horse in the sport (I’m looking at you, one of the 794 Thoroughbred Makeover trainers accepted for eventing!).

Be sure to subscribe to Major League Eventing on YouTube, so you can be the first to see their next videos and like them on Facebook as well!

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

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

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

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Photo by Shelby Allen.

When your barn pup decides to be poorly behaved while you’re playing horse holder, you get creative. A rein quickly becomes a leash with optional stopper attachment. Then of course you’re in charge of two creatures, so hang on tight.

National Holiday: National Frozen Yogurt Day

Events Opening This Week: Poplar Place Farm March H.T. (GA, A-3) Carolina International CIC and H.T. (NC, A-2) Stable View Spring H.T. (SC, A-3) Southern Arizona H.T. (AZ, A-10)

Events Closing This Week: Three Lakes February II H.T. at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3) Pine Top Advanced, CIC2*, CIC1* & H.T. (GA, A-3)

Tuesday News:

Thanks generous financial backing from the USEA, US Equestrian will continue their commitment to deformable fence technology in 2018. Organizers can apply for a grant to receive frangible pins at little to no cost, aiding their compliance with EV140.9 b with requires all oxers at Modified level or above to be pinned with a frangible device. [USEF to Continue Eventing Frangible Technology Grant Program in 2018 with Continued Support from the USEA]

The best way to battle ulcers is to prevent them. While an Omeprazole treatment like Gastroguard is arguably the most effective, even the addition of alfalfa can help by lowering the acidity in the stomach. [Ulcer prevention the key to keeping your competitive horse happy]

Four horses have tested positive for EHV-1 in Ohio this week. Two of the horses raced recently at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino, in Washington, Pennsylvania, and the other two are at the University of Findlay. Horse owners in the area should stay alert to their horses condition, and are advised to check their temperature daily. [Four Ohio Horses Test Positive for EHV-1]

If you’re anything like me, you’ve blindly wandered around a jumper show excited about the schooling opportunity but not sure of much else. Here’s your guide to jumper classes. [What Are All These Show Jumping Classes? Jumper Tables Explained]

Hot on Horse Nation: #TBT: Colts vs. Broncos: Horse Nation Wins

Tuesday Video: The highest score ever earned at Global:

4 Reasons Why You Should Attend the 2018 USEA Educational Symposium

Robin Walker discusses the introduction of the canter and free jump at the FEH Championships. At this year’s symposium, attendees will learn how to properly prepare young horses for free jumping. Photo by USEA/Caroline Culbertson, used with permission.

The USEA’s Young Event Horse, Future Event Horse and Instructors’ Certification Programs are teaming up again this year for the mega USEA Educational Symposium, Feb. 19-22, 2018, in Ocala, Florida. Whether you have close ties to these programs or you are just looking for an awesome opportunity to learn, this symposium definitely has something for you!

Learn from World-Class Instructors 

For an affordable fee, you can learn from a few of our sport’s top teachers including Leslie Law, Kai-Steffen Meier and Chris Ryan. You’ll experience both engaging classroom sessions at the beautiful Ocala Jockey Club followed by riding demonstrations at Longwood Farm. Watching and learning the progression of both instructors and young horses is an extremely beneficial way to strengthen your own riding whether through new exercises or new ways to think about training. Instructors include:

ICP: Kai-Steffen Meier and Leslie Law
YEH: Kai-Steffen Meier and Leslie Law, with Marilyn Payne teaching the new YEH scoring system
FEH: Chris Ryan, Shauna Spurlock, Susan Graham White

View the complete symposium schedule here.

Kai-Steffen Meier and TSF Karascada M at Badminton 2014. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Explore the New Changes to the Young Event Horse Program

The USEA Young Event Horse Program rolled out some major changes last month including an entirely new scoring system. The conformation section has been removed from qualifying events, increasing the emphasis on the jumping/galloping portion. Class structure for the YEH program can be found here.

Anyone with ties to YEH, including judges and participants, have been encouraged to attend to make sure they are prepared to comply with the new additions.

Strengthen Your Understanding in All Phases of Horse Development

Whether you want to find your next top horse or make sure the basics are truly there with your veteran partner, the experts at the USEA Symposium have a wealth of knowledge to share. The Future Event Horse portion will cover appropriate conformation, bloodlines and behavior that are ideal for eventing. The Young Event Horse Program and the Instructors’ Certification Program will cover training and teaching techniques that you can carry with you in your own riding.

Florida Weather 

Escape the cold weather for a educational holiday! It’s Ocala in February … enough said.

The ICP portion of the symposium runs Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 19-20, YEH will be Wednesday, Feb. 21 and FEH will be Thursday, Feb. 22.To attend, you must register for the FEH/YEH and the ICP portions separately. Click here for Young Horse registration. Click here for ICP registration.

USEA Symposium: Website, FEH/YEH Registration, ICP Registration, Schedule

[Save the Date For the 2018 USEA Educational Symposium in Ocala]

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo by Stephanie Rhodes Bosch Jenkins.

They are never to young to learn about helmet safety! Stephanie Rhodes Bosch’s daughter, Izzy, demonstrates how important it is to mind your melon, even if you’re riding a unicorn! Too cute.

National Holiday: National Homemade Soup Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Sunday Links:

Ever wondered how a hunt kennels works? Go behind-the-scenes with the Belvoir Hunt

Grid Pro Quo with Sally Cousins

Ray Dance Beat The Odds With Charlotte Jorst

Concussion issues can linger for years, New Zealand study finds

Showjumper banned for five years after ‘damaging sport’s reputation’

Association implores horse owners: Don’t break your vet

Behind The Photo: Who Needs Wings When You’ve Got Springs For Feet?

Saturday Video: Dakota The Super Pony is Back!

You may remember the a certain darling pony from her impromptu catch ride for Mark Todd last fall. To jog your memory…

The stunning 12hh Dartmoor cross is named Dakota, and she is loved by a young girl named Millie who is a quite talented rider herself!

Dakota made the rounds on social media last fall, becoming an instant sensation, and now she’s back with a new rider in tow – none other that Pippa Funnell. Pippa took a spin on the handy pony following a demo clinic in Aberdeen, UK.

“A lot of fun was had including riding Millie Lawson’s little Dakota. What a lovely lovely pony. A true school mistress putting up with amateurs such as Sir Mark Todd and myself. She was 11.2 but after my weight she is now a Shetland.
Thank you Millie,” Pippa shared on her Facebook page.

A pony clearly worth her weight in gold.

Go Dakota.

Michael Jung Sweeps Devoucoux Indoor Derby at Bordeaux

Photo courtesy of the event at Bordeaux.

In traditional fashion, Michael Jung has pulled out yet another impressive victory in our sport, this time in the Devoucoux Indoor Derby in Bordeaux.

He and Maria Stein’s 8-year-old Hanoverian Corazon just edged out frenchman Maxime Livio, their win secured by only 39 hundredths of a second.

The course was well designed and a pleasure to ride. There were many options to do short-cuts, it was very interesting,” Michael said. “The crowd here is amazing. They are cheerful and fair play as they encourage even the foreign riders.”

“It is a very nice class,” he continued. “I appreciated the fact that the horses had the opportunity to explore the course beforehand as we had the chance to ride it in the morning. That way, when they entered the arena in the evening, the fences were already a little familiar. It is an impressive show for them.”

He took a few moments Friday night to celebrate his win, but then it’s back to business for Ze Terminator as he must, “concentrate on the coloured fences again,” with fisherChelsea entered in tonight’s CSI5*. Also in tow this weekend is fisherSolution, who finished 25th in last night’s 1.50m class.

Michael is keeping his show jumping sharp this weekend as he prepares for his show jumping team debut for Germany next month in the Abu Dhabi Nations Cup CSIO5* in the United Arab Emirates.

Maxime finished just shy of the win aboard Boleybawn Prince, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by a Mr. Prasert, Mrs. Kanchanaporn and Ms. Arinadtha Chavatanont. Maxime got the ride on this promising gelding by Colin Diamond last year, finishing 14th in the CCI2* at Le Pouget. Watch their trip around the indoor derby here:

 

For complete results for the indoor derby, click here.
Tonight all eyes will be on the Longines FEI World Cup™, where top riders will be looking to qualify for the final in Paris, April 10-15, 2018. You can watch live on FEI TV beginning at 2:30 EST. The FEI World Cup™ Driving Final will follow at 5:20 EST.
 International Jumping de Bordeaux: WebsiteStartlist & Results, FEI TV

Rest In Peace, Hollywood

Kelly and Reggie at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by Lisa Tossey.

We are saddened to share the news that Kelly Sult-Ransom’s OTTB powerhouse Hollywood passed away today at the age of 25.

By Mighty Adversary and out of Reckless Knight, Reggie raced under the name Mightyreckless. Despite the blood of racing legends Native Dancer, Nasrullah and War Admiral running through his veins, he didn’t excel on the track. After 12 starts and less than $700 earned, he entered the next phase of his life where he met Kelly.

It was love at first sight for 13-year-old Kelly, and despite Reggie’s nasty reputation, she and her father, Mark Sult, started training the young ex-racehorse. It was not smooth sailing initially — at their first event they were eliminated at the water — but Kelly didn’t give up.

Kelly and Reggie. Photo by Lisa Tossey.

She kept believing in her cheeky OTTB, and her persistence paid off. Soon they were tearing around at the Advanced level and earning a 6th place finish in the two-star at at NAJYRC in 2007. The following year they made their four-star debut, finishing 14th as the highest placed young rider at the Kentucky Three-Day Event.

After four more successful completions at the CCI4* level, Kelly retired Reggie sound and happy, taking pride in the OTTB that she and her father trained themselves all the way.

“He was my heart horse who started everything for me! Brought so many people together and brought smiles to everyone around him,” Kelly said in a Facebook post. “He was a quirky dude that I will never forget and will thank him daily for everything he has done for me!”

“He gave me wings to fly around Rolex four-star four times and gave me so many opportunities to be at the top of the sport while giving me his heart through everything! I LOVE YOU REGGIE!”

Go Reggie.

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: A Little Trot Through the Water

Hang on tight! This Tuesday video may give you some sympathy whiplash. I’ve seen some eager beavers on their introduction to water, but none so eager as this…

Hats off to Margot Curtis for sitting this wild ride, and, like any respectable rider, for asking if her friend caught it on video. She’s definitely put herself in the running for the 2018 EN Stickability Award!

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