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Shelby Allen


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Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Thinking of all the things she could roll in… Photo by Shelby Allen.

Let’s all say a silent prayer for grey competition horse owners. As a two-time victim of this harmful attribute, I so empathize with you. You bathe and bathe and bathe and they never quite stop looking yellow? After the umpteenth spa session, you tuck them (sleazy and all) into a spotless stall, only to arrive in the morning to see them somehow covered in poop. Grey horse owners, we salute you!

National Holiday: National Blueberry Pancake Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

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

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Sunday Links: 

Grid Pro Quo with Lainey Ashker

The Affordable Riding Act

British showjumpers stripped of titles after positive dope tests

Non-GMO horse feed: It’s not necessarily safe

Signs of ivermectin resistance seen in small strongyles on large British stud

What do cross-country colours actually mean?

Eventing Ireland increase entry fees for 2018

Sunday Video: This came up on my timeline today and I just have so many questions.

Long Live the Three-Day! Waredaca and HOTC Add P3D Divisions

Novice Three-Day competitors Emma Keahon and Wil’Ya Love Me on course at the 2015 Waredaca Classic Event. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The USEA Classic Series is growing! Both Waredaca and Heart of the Carolinas recently announced that they have both added Preliminary Three-Day divisions to their seasonal events. Joining the ranks of the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day, these are the only three events to host this challenging competition at the Preliminary level. 

The Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event, hosted at Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield, South Carolina, is the only venue in the country to offer Beginner Novice through Preliminary long format divisions through the USEA Classic Series. USEA President Carol Kozlowski, Holly Hepp Hudspeth and Kim Keeton, DVM, have been named as 2018 clinicians.  

The Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event & H.T., October 25-28, 2018 in Layonsville, Maryland, offers Novice – Preliminary long format divisions alongside their horse trials.

While we could carry on all day about the benefits of a three-day, I think Waredaca said it best in a Facebook status: 

“It’ll leave you with goosebumps on your arms, sweat running down your body and elation in your heart. It will push you to your limits, at times scare the bejeezus out of you, but at the end of the three days, it’ll leave you and your horse bonded in a way you haven’t felt before.”

There’s a lot of talk about the value of the long format event…about how “back in the day,” that–that was real eventing; when cross country/endurance day was at the heart of the sport; when riders had to practice a different kind of horsemanship. Ask anyone who’s contested the Classic and they’ll tell you there’s truth to these claims. No event, championship or otherwise, can come close to the experience of completing a long format event.”

With the adoption of the short format, many missed their chance at experiencing the blood, sweat and tears of training for a three-day, but, thankfully, the USEA stands as the long format’s biggest advocate, and remains the only national association to continue offering the traditional format.

Go eventing.

Eventing Flourishes in Southern Arizona with New Horse Trial in 2018

Three cheers for eventing in Southern Arizona! Photo via Southern Arizona Eventing Association’s Facebook page.

We are very pleased to wish a warm EN welcome to Area X’s newest event, Southern Arizona H.T.! Held at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tuscon, Arizona, the inaugural competition will take place March 24-25, 2018.

Though this event is brand spanking new, it’s creation is years in the making. It all starts with George and Nina Masek who owned Grass Ridge Farm in Sonoita, Arizona.

They faithfully served their eventing community for decades, and their Grass Ridge Farm H.T. was a staple on the Area X calendar. Following their deaths, the last of their farm’s namesake competitions was sadly held in 2014. The Grass Ridge Equestrian Foundation (GREF) then set out to ensure the sport’s future in southern Arizona.

Grass Ridge Farm H.T. Photo via Southern Arizona Eventing Association’s Facebook Page.

“‘GREF’ was tasked with the unfortunate reality of wrapping up operations, but wanted to preserve the Masek’s legacy and eventing in Southern Arizona in same way,”  explained Marian LaLonde, President of the Southern Arizona Eventing Association. It was the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one and from there, the Southern Arizona Eventing Association (“SAzEA”) was born. The GREF Board worked to preserve the jumps and equipment and passed the torch to SAzEA and a new Board of Directors who accepted the mission to find a new home to continue eventing in Southern Arizona.”

The SAzEA explored their options for an eventing hub, eventually finding a home at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tuscon, Arizona, where 60 acres have been allotted by the Southwestern Fair Commission for a cross country course.

Check out a tour of the Southern Arizona H.T. venue:

In addition to the spacious cross country track, which is being designed by Adri Lea Doyal, the fairgrounds also boasts permanent stabling, hundreds of RV hookups, accessibility to the beautiful city of Tucson and close proximity to Interstate 10.

“This is a dream come true and SAzEA is the story of how a collaborative effort consisting of an amazing group of board members, coordinators, builders, trainers, donors, supporters, family members and invaluable volunteers can make a positive difference in our sport!” Marian continued.

One of the many beautiful jumps that will be featured at the March Horse Trial! Photo via Southern Arizona Eventing Association’s Facebook page.

“We are so pleased to be able to provide another venue for the training and education of our Pony Clubs, Young Riders, and Adult Riders who are all part of keeping the sport of eventing alive. We look forward to seeing everyone in March for our first annual Southern Arizona Horse Trials and future Arena Eventing or clinic events in 2018.”

“We are dedicated to continuing to improve and expand the course and to offer new and exciting opportunities for our sport in the years to come. We are so grateful for the fantastic amount of enthusiasm and support we have received and we are especially appreciative of all of the encouragement and generosity from our donors, exhibitors and trainers in Area X. This project was a huge undertaking and those of us on the SAzEA Board didn’t fully appreciate what we were getting ourselves into, but we have learned that it pays off to dream big. At long last, it is finally time for all of us to KICK ON AND RIDE! See you all soon!”

Southern Arizona H.T.: Website, Omnibus



Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: You’ve Never Seen Galway Downs Like This

Each winter, the Galway Downs Equestrian Center in Temecula, California hosts a clinic to raise funds for facility improvements, specifically to the cross country course, in the current year. Over two dozen trainers came forward to help the 20th annual fundraiser which lead to a hugely successful and busy day!

Chris Gentile perfectly captured the hustle and bustle with his drone footage, which gives a perspective of Galway that even the most regular competitors haven’t seen.

Thanks to all those who supported this fantastic Area VI competition!

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 Cecilia Sacksen/Saddle Creek Photography LLC.

Belated congratulations are in order for Allie Sacksen who became a mother earlier this month. Her precious daughter Anastasia Louise looks right at home with her mom’s four-star ride Sparrow’s Nio. Congratulations to this crew!

National Holiday: National Handwriting Day

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

Events Closing This Week:  Ocala Winter I Presented by Ocala Ranches. (FL, A-3)  Full Gallop Farm February I H.T. (SC, A-3)  Pine Top Intermediate H.T. (GA, A-3)

Tuesday News:

The Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA) is looking for a summer intern! This opportunity will have an intern working alongside the GMHA staff and learn the ins and outs of running dozens of horse shows in a variety of disciplines. Sounds like a great way to dive into the horse show world. [GMHA Summer Internship]

Ready to show your school spirit? Today the USEA released a lineup of horse trials hosting Intercollegiate Team Challenges in 2018. Ocala Winter I will be the first up, followed by 13 other opportunities for teams to go head to head. [Get Ready to Show Your School Spirit at the 2018 Intercollegiate Team Challenges]

Charlotte Dujardin believes in the importance of hacking! All of her horses have four schooling days a week, two hacking days and one day off. She shared more of these pearls of wisdom at her recent masterclass in Kentucky last week. Don’t worry – she also updated us on Valegro who is enjoying being ridden four days per week. Charlotte’s fiance Dean Golding even took him for a spin on Christmas Eve. [Ride Forward To Create Enthusiasm Says Dujardin On Day 2 Of Masterclass]

Tuesday Video: 

‘Bringing Joy, Embracing Change’: US Equestrian Annual Meeting Report

This weekend US Equestrian wrapped up its 2018 Annual Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky. Under the theme, “Bringing Joy, Embracing Change,” this organization brought nearly 30 breed and discipline groups together under one commonality: a love for horses. The atmosphere was optimistic throughout the weekend as accomplishments were celebrated and new goals were set for the coming year.

US Equestrian Strategic Plan Update

One year ago, USEF unveiled its new identity as US Equestrian along with a radical new plan to, “bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible,” and according to them — it’s working.

US Equestrian has seen a 28% increase in membership to bring the total member count to 105,000, with 27,000 of those holding a new fan membership.

Looking forward to 2018, US Equestrian has pledged to continue to improve member benefits with more perks and discounts as well as better member communication.

“You gave us a $750,000 investment last year to get started,” said US Equestrian President Murray Kessler. “That means by the end of 2018 we will have delivered a 500% return, but we’ll have that benefit every year going forward because we’ll be at a new level. That’s huge.”

[Strategic Plan Update: It’s Working!]

Moderated Forums

The Moderated Forums explored the many topics including the SafeSport Initiative and a proposed coach register.

The SafeSport Initiative is a tool for equestrians to educate themselves on recognize and reduce abuse in our sport. US Equestrian also noted that they will refer any claims of sexual misconduct to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a nonprofit organization which serves the 47 U.S. Olympic National Governing Bodies. US Equestrian retains jurisdiction over other non-sexual misconduct reports.

Many disciplines have their own instructor certification programs, but there has been a call to create a central coaching register within US Equestrian that carries across disciplines. To be included, coaches would need to undergo concussion and basic first-aid training, SafeSport training and background checks. US Equestrian’s Director of Sport Programs, Will Connell, who is leading the charge for this cause, stressed that this registry would not replace existing discipline registry, like the USEA’s Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), but instead would link multiple sports together.

[Annual Meeting 2018’s Moderated Forums: The SafeSport Initiative]

[Annual Meeting 2018’s Moderated Forums: A Proposed Coach Register]

Year End Awards

Though there were no eventers picking up year-end awards this year, we are proud to celebrate the achievements of many talented equestrians, including McLain Ward who earned the Robert P. Strub Trophy as the 2017 USEF Equestrian of the Year during the Pegasus Awards.

McLain enjoyed huge successes last year with wins in the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5* at WEF and the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska with Double H Farm and François Mathy’s HH Azur, who additionally was titled International Horse of the Year. The 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood impressively did not pick up a single fault in team competition last year.

Longtime eventing supporter Jacqueline Mars and eventing journalist Nancy Jaffer were also awarded Pegasus Medals of Honor.

  • International Horse of the Year: HH Azur, 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Double H Farm and François Mathy.
  • National Horse of the Year: Cuba, 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by John and Stephanie Ingram
  • International Horse of Honor: Verdades, 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Laura Graves and Curt Maes
  • National Horse of Honor: Co Fan S, a 15-year-old Friesian gelding owned by Little River Friesians
  • National Horse of Honor: Winding Oaks Tom Foolery, a 14-year-old Welsh cross gelding owned by Katie Whaley

To see a complete list of award winners, click here.

To watch more videos from the 2017 Annual Meeting, click here.

[McLain Ward Wins 2017 USEF Equestrian of the Year Title at Pegasus Awards]

[HH Azur and Cuba Win 2017 Horse of the Year Titles]

Inter-Discipline Discussion

US Equestrian opened an Affiliate Roundtable discussion to collaborate ideas and open communication between all 29 of USEF’s breed and discipline affiliates. membership growth was a hot topic, and discussion was lively as affiliates brainstormed ways to grow membership across disciplines. Their are plans in place to explore more marketing opportunities especially with the FEI World Equestrian Games approaching.

[Breeds, Disciplines Share Ideas at Affiliate Roundtable]

Collegiate/Young Riders

US Equestrian named Rebecca Farm as the host for the Eventing Adequan® FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North in both 2018 and 2019, pending FEI approval. The Championships will coincide with The Event at Rebecca Farm July 18-22, 2018.

Old Salem Farm will host the 2018 Dressage Adequan® FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, as well as the 2018 and 2019 Jumping Adequan® FEI North American Junior Children and Young Rider Championships.

Collegiate programs also got their moment for discussion on Friday. United States Eventing Association (USEA) as well other collegiate and scholastic organizations met Friday to discuss ways to retain riders at ages 18-24 where membership usually dips for all disciplines.

To additionally solve the issue of a dwindling number of licensed officials, USEA CEO Rob Burk also suggested proposing a curriculum  for college equine studies programs where students could work toward their judging/officiating/designing requirements while in school.

[US Equestrian Announces 2018 and 2019 Host Sites for Adequan® FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North]

Shoulder Relief Sunday Video from Total Saddle Fit: Eventing Pura Vida

Lainey Ashker traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica this week to teach her first international clinic at the La Finca Equestrian Center. During her trip, she took a spin around the Center’s Novice Derby aboard Leonor Muñoz Ortiz’s Simpatica. The 19-year-old Rheinlander mare was only recently introduced to eventing after a competitive career in show jumping, and from the looks of it she’s definitely a fan! Watch her round: 

Go Costa Rica eventing!

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Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

The cross country course at Grand Oaks. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s a beautiful weekend in Weirsdale, Florida for the first ever Grand Oaks Horse Trials. Our own Jenni Autry is enjoying the southern weather and competing this weekend. She’ll get the chance to challenge Clayton Frederick’s cross country course this morning – Good luck to Jenni and everyone at Grand Oaks!

National Holiday: National Granola Bar Day, National Hugging Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sunday Links:

Baltimore County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus

COTH Horse Show Dad: A Very Young Rider (Does Her Own Chores)

Ward And Dotoli Take Center Stage At USEF Pegasus Awards

‘I always do it before Badminton’: eventer who broke back faces race to be fit

Thoroughbreds evaluated before and after racing in US heart study

Equine Melanoma Vaccines

Stallion Collection Schedules Affect Mare Pregnancy Rates

Hot on Horse Nation: ‘5 Things I Learned Horseback Riding’

Sunday Video:

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: David O’Connor Back in the Saddle

If you’ve been paying attention to the east coast eventing scene through the fall, then you heard a familiar name called over the show speakers. David O’Connor has officially ended his competition hiatus, piloting a few horses at local events including Michelle Donlick’s Tremolo with whom he finished 6th in the Open Preliminary at Rocking Horse last November.

In Tremolo’s sale ad, Lauren Kieffer jokingly notes that he’s “currently competing with an old man,” but we’d say they look pretty spectacular. Check out their rides, courtesy of the generous David Frechette aka The Horsepesterer!

Go David O’Connor. Go Eventing.

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

I hope you all enjoyed a long holiday weekend! Temperatures are looking on the up and up this week, so I am going to take the opportunity to enjoy some more time in the saddle. I hope you are too.

National Holiday: National Fig Newton Day

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

Events Closing This Week: Sporting Days Farm H.T. I (SC, A-3) Galway Downs Winter H.T. (CA, A-6) Stable View Winter Horse Trials (SC, A-3) Three Lakes February I H.T. at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News: 

Daren Chiacchia had a big year in 2017 with three of his rides: Ballzauber, Adomat and Guardiola each earning top finishes. His string is proficient across many levels, being recognized by both the American Trakehner Association (ATA) and US Dressage Federation (USDF). Catch up with Darren: [Darren Chiacchia Earns ATA and USDF Honors]

Was your New Year’s Resolution to participate in a long format event? Let’s check the calendar! There are quite a few offered at Beginner Novice – Preliminary level, including a new P3D at The Heart of the Carolinas. [Experience the Thrill of the ‘Chase in 2018 at a USEA Classic Series Event]

I am a horse owner who prides herself on making my gelding ‘matchy matchy.’ And like any good intending rider, I can go a bit overboard, into the realm that this owner would describe as ‘spendy spendy.’ Give yourself a few moments to read this hilarious piece – trust me, you’ll be glad you did. It’s equal parts hysterical and relatable. [Skint Dressage Daddy’s guest blog: matchy matchy? More like spendy spendy…]

Shelly Francis is officially my favorite person. Not only did she accomplish back to back wins at 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival aboard Doktor, but her realistic responses at the following press conferences had me rolling including her explanation about missing the awards presentation: “Some people might think I’m a chicken but I’d like to live a bit longer” [Shelly Francis Is the Hero Every Press Conference Needs]

Tuesday Video: Caroline Martin and The Apprentice at last week’s E25 Winter Training Session

Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Baby horse cuddles! Photo by Shelby Allen.

The only thing that got me out of the house yesterday was seeing these sweet babies! These yearlings are almost like dogs, and have become very social! Their snuggles warmed my heart on such a cold day. I’m so impressed with the rest of you who were ambitious in the cold.

National Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Hat Day

U.S. Weekend Action: 

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News: 

Izzy Taylor announced this weekend the loss of top horse Trevidden last year. Owned by Dr. Patricia Turner, “Joss” suffered a seemingly minor injury at the Burghley Horse Trials last fall, and underwent surgery 8 weeks later to correct the issue. Sadly, he had to be euthanized shortly before Christmas. [‘I Loved Him the Moment I Saw Him’: Farewell to ‘Incredible’ Event Horse]

Three horses have tested positive following the Delhi CCI*, November 27-30. Black Beauty, ridden by Sarvesh Singh Pal, tested positive for  the anabolic agent boldenone and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam. The horse Cantolina, who won the event, tested positive for boldenone. Golden Boy, ridden by Raj Kumar, also tested positive for boldenone. [Alleged Anti-Doping Rule Breeches in Eventing]

Get Ready for Winter Indoor Inspiration! Courtney Cooper shares her favorite grid that she says can be adapted for both greenies and experienced horses. [Grid Pro Quo with Courtney Cooper]

Monday Video:

Weekend Instagram Roundup: Season Opener at Stable View

3, 2, 1… GO Eventing in 2018! Stable View hosted the first competitors of the year at their January 13-14 horse trial. Despite the chilly weather (for Southerners), the event had a great turn out of riders hoping to get an early jump on the season.

Congratulations to the first winners of 2018:

Junior Young Rider Open Preliminary: Jessie Schwartz & WHF Kitaro (25.9)
Open Preliminary: Tiffani Loudon-Metze & Hap (23.9)
Preliminary Rider: Tawn Edwards & All of Indy (39.9)
Junior/Young Rider Training: Dylan Philipps & Fernhill Fierce (30.5)
Open Training: Mike Pendelton & The Fonz Himself (20)
Training Rider: Sierra Shurtz & Zach Eyed Pea (33.6)
Junior/Young Rider Novice: Malik Hogan & Top Vision (31.1)
Novice Rider: Jane Manetta & George (31.9)
Open Novice: Courtney Cooper & Seraphina (27.6)
Beginner Novice Rider: Deirdre Stoker Vaillancourt & Eluca (30)
Junior/Young Rider Beginner Novice: Carly Blank & Take Your Time (30.3)
Open Beginner Novice: Amy Wise & Ruger (26.2)

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Live Results]

Here’s what y’all ‘grammed:

Go Kimora and @haydenjeventing! #nirvanaequestrianathlete #teamcorrectconnect

A post shared by Jill Henneberg (@nirvanaequestrian) on

Go @haydenjeventing and KIMORA!!!

A post shared by Jill Henneberg (@nirvanaequestrian) on

Here’s some of me and Remy’s show jump round from today!!

A post shared by Karli Wright (@wrighteventing) on


Go eventing.

From Coast to Coast: Meet Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Sophie Click

The Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 winter training session wrapped up this week in Ocala, Florida, January 8-11. We are excited to introduce you to some of the riders making their debut on the E25 list, which can be viewed here. Today: Sophie Click!

Sophie Click and Hot Wheels. Photo by Shelby Allen.

2017 was a year of coast-to-coast success for 18-year-old Sophie Click as she earned the title of highest placed Young Rider in both the Fair Hill International CCI2* and Galway Downs International CCI2* on opposite ends of the country. For this achievement, she was kindly rewarded with a spot in the 2018 Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Program.

“It felt like everything I had worked for was finally paying off,” She smiled. “I really worked so hard to get where I am and it just felt really good to get that.” She’s made it here aboard her two talented horses: Hot Wheels, a 15-year-old Paint (Three Alarm Fire x High Mountain) owned by Sophie and her mother, Amy, and Fernhill Rising, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Cyrano x Tallys Eagles Wings).

“Wheels” transformed Sophie from an eager kid to an earnest competitor as they’ve made their way through the Advanced level together with three FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championship appearances along the way.

“I got him when I was 12 and he was for my mom actually, but I ended up riding him. It was a really good match. I think everyone kind of underestimated him, but he’s just a really good horse. He loves cross country and he loves to show, and he tries so hard. I think he would do anything for me. We just have a really good partnership,” she said. Sophie and Wheels finished 4th in the CCI2* at Galway Downs in November.

Sophie Click and Fernhill Rising at Fair Hill. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Fernhill Rising or “Stan” is a newer ride, but in their twelve months together they’ve accomplished a great deal she believes, adding that he “surprised me past anything I could’ve hoped for.” They finished 16th in the CCI2* at Fair Hill, winning the USEF Young Rider CCI2* Championship.

“It felt amazing to be the top young rider. All the young riders are competitive with each other and I think all that time leading up to Fair Hill that I spent on the East Coast really paid off. That was our goal all season to get to Fair Hill and be successful and it all worked out,” Sophie commented.

Originally from Snoqualmie, Washington, Sophie grew up riding in the Pacific Northwest, but this year she took a chance and went east with her trainer Jordan Linstedt. “I’m very thankful that she took me under her wind and brought me out there. I met so many people and it was very amazing to travel with a four-star rider.”

Sophie Click and Hot Wheels. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Through the fall she trained with Bobby Costello before accepting a working student position with Lillian Heard. “Being on the east coast was such a new experience because I didn’t know anybody and it was all different,” she said. “I think growing up eventing on the West Coast taught me so much, but I think the next level is eventing on the east cost and that’s why so many riders, like Jordan, go east to prepare you for upper level events.”

With the winter training camp behind her, Sophie has her eyes on becoming even more competitive in 2018 while maintaining that her number one priority is “keeping my horses healthy and happy.”

“I’m really excited to be a part of the Under 25 program. Just to be on that list and get the training and lessons that come with it,” she beamed. “I’m really excited to get to know everyone in the program and to be a part of that community.”


Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Showing is baaaaack! The first show of the year kicked off yesterday and Stable View, and I for one am so excited for this year to start. Except for the warm up – I don’t think anyone truly looks forward to that experience. Nevertheless, with the World Equestrian Games on the horizon, it should be a very exciting spring season!

National Holiday: National Dress Up Your Pet Day (Please send along any photos of this celebration!)

U.S. Weekend Action:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sunday Links:

Know Your Treats: Some Natural Ingredients Can Cause Accidental Drug Positives

‘As Soon as The Bell Rings I’m On My Way Here’: How A Charity Brightens Lives Through Horses

Grid Pro Quo with Courtney Cooper

Ride The Moment on Cross Country: Day 4 of the USEF Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program Training Session

Alleged Anti-Doping Rule Breeches in Eventing, Endurance Announced by FEI

Identifying Physical vs. Psychological Issues in Horses

Tricks of the Tail

5 Things To Do With Your Horse When You Don’t Want to Ride

Sunday Video:

Saturday Video: Can’t Stop Volunteering

“I got this feelin’ inside my bones”

“It goes electric, wavy when the first horse goes”

Who among us doesn’t love a good eventing-themed remix? Loyal British Eventing volunteers Elin Stenberg, Alix Copping & Helen Bowler certainly do. They’ve mixed up an epic remix to Justin Timberlake’s “Cant’ Stop the Feeling!” Listen up and remember to thank a volunteer!

It gets off to a great start:

I got that stopwatch ’round my neck now

I’ve got that clipboard in my hand

Feel that hot tea in my body and that cake… cake

It keeps picking up:

Out in the fields with our radios

Nowhere to hide when the good weather goes

When we’re here we can watch our heroes

So just imagine, just imagine… 

And they bring it home with the chorus:

Nothing I can see but you when you prance, prance, prance

Feel a good, good creeping up on you

So just prance, prance, prance, come on

All those things I could be doing 

But you prance, prance, prance

And ain’t nobody leaving soon so keep prancing

To all the volunteers who spend their weekends watching us prance, we sincerely thank you!

The Sky’s The Limit for Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Clara Cargile

The Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 winter training session wrapped up this week in Ocala, Florida, January 8-11. We are excited to introduce you to some of the riders making their debut on the E25 list, which can be viewed here. Today: Clara Cargile!

Clara Cargile and White Indian. Photo by Sportfot.

For Clara Cargile, a love of horses was hereditary. Growing up on a ranch in west Texas introduced her riding at a young age and from there the infatuation only grew.

“I’m from a ranching family,” she said. “So when I was young my dad wanted all my siblings and I to learn how to ride so we could be competent riding at the ranch. He wanted us to learn good horse management so that we could understand that these are live animals. It’s not just play with them and put them away, you have to take care of them. ”

She began taking beginner lessons in town before joining her local Pony Club, which would be her formal introduction to eventing. “I went to all the rallies on my pony and then started doing recognized shows. That’s how I got into eventing and I’ve been riding ever since,” she smiled.

In 2012, Clara met her new partner White Indian, a striking grey Irish Sport Horse (White Clover x Indian Kitt) who would propel her up the levels of the sport. “Worzel” was sourced from Nick Campbell’s yard by her trainer Mike Huber and his assistant trainer at the time Heather Morris.

“I’ve had him for five and a half years. I bought him in the summer of 2012. My old horse maxed out at training and I needed something that could teach me the ropes at the Prelim/one-star level,” Clara said. “He had only done some Prelim when I got him, so we’ve really grown up together. I had him all through high school and now college. We’ve been through it all together.”

Clara Cargile and White Indian. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

“In the barn he’s quite a character. He’s kind of like a dog. He loves to be social,” Clara grinned. “Under saddle he takes some convincing to tell him what you want to do, especially on the flat. He changes every single day. I get different types of horses every day with him. He has a big personality kind of all the time.”

They found quick success in competition, and less than a year after he arrived Clara and Worzel were completing their first CIC*. They continued honing their skills and polishing their performances, moving up and becoming competent at the two-star level even earning individual silver in the CICY2* at the 2016 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.

2017 was another big year for the duo. They made their Advanced debut early in the season before Clara relocated Worzel to Jennie Brannigan’s barn in Pennsylvania. This set the 20-year-old up with an impressive balancing act between riding and also maintaining her studies at Texas Christian University where she is currently a junior. 

“It’s a feat. I don’t get to ride every single day. I’m constantly flying back and forth to ride and then going back to school. It’s hard because whenever I’m a school I think I need to be riding, and whenever I’m riding I’m thinking about this assignment due next week,” she described. 

“It’s a lot of balancing and it’s a lot of sleepless nights, but I have an incredible team behind me and I have a lot people that really make it work for me – my parents, my coaches and everyone in between that really makes it possible.”

When I’m at school I’m not worried about ‘oh is Worzel getting taken care of?’ because I know he is and I know that they’re riding him super well. And when I come in they focus a lot on honing in on the time I have there. It’s definitely difficult, but it’s totally worth it.”

Clara Cargile and White Indian at Plantation Field. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

Their fall season on the East Coast took them to many new venues including Plantation Field and Morven Park before cementing this year’s success at the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2*. Finding herself named to an E25 Emerging Athlete was the cherry on top of a super year.

“It was really exciting. This was my first year to apply to any of these teams, so I wasn’t expecting much you know having one horse and mostly being out in Texas for the majority of the time, so it was really exciting when I got that email,” she beamed.

Clara shared that in having this opportunity, she sees the potential in a long term career with horses. “I used to always say that I never wanted to be a professional, but now as I’ve gotten older and now that I’m based on the East Coast I think that’s something I really want. Especially being around the other Under 25 riders and watching them,” she said.

Working with USEF Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law at this week’s training camp has been an exciting start to this journey for Clara, one which she says extends beyond lessons in the arena.

A big part of the camp is learning about, ‘Ok so you have the talent to be a good rider, but outside of riding what does it take to become an international competitor and be successful as a business person?’. It’s a lot of horse care and everything. He’s so knowledgeable. He can give you so much advice and it’s like a mentorship program. Whenever he’s coaching you he gives you different tools that you hadn’t really thought out.”

“[The Emerging Athlete group]  ranges in experience, but it’s really inspiring. As Leslie says, it’s the pipeline to the U.S. teams. Ultimately I do want to represent the U.S. on an international stage, so it’s really motivating to come to these camps because it encourages you that ‘ok I can do this and this is something that I really do want.’ My main goal, along with so many people, is to one day be on one of those U.S. teams. To be named to the Under 25 team is really exciting because it’s a step to that.”

Go eventing. Go Clara!

Social Media Roundup: Eventing 25 Winter Training Session

US Equestrian’s Eventing 25 athletes have just wrapped up their winter training session in Ocala, Florida. These 15 riders have spent the last four days riding and learning with USEF Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law as well as US Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander and FEI Show Jumping Course Designer Chris Barnard.

Here’s what went down on social media:


Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Dressage Warm Up Strategies for a Supple Horse

Was earning better dressage marks your New Year’s Resolution? Then this video is for you. Major League Eventing focuses on flatwork in episode three of their “Major League Training” video series. Dressage trainer Sally Lofting shares her game plan for working through tension in warm up. Her student, Sue Petley demonstrates on Venitia Starr, an 8-year-old Lusitano who currently competes at third level.

We’ve so enjoyed following along with the Major League Training series. If you missed any so far, check out Episode 1 with Richard Lamb and Episode 2 with Erika Nesler.

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.

Maya Black Returns to the East Coast with Big Dreams & A Hopeful Heart

Maya Black and Mowgli at the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2*. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

After a year spent in the Pacific Northwest, we are excited to welcome Maya Black back to the East Coast!. After a rollercoaster of emotions and achievements in 2016, Maya spent the last twelve months on her home turf to reflect and reenergize her career ambitions. Now she’s back and ready to make 2018 her own.

2016 was a whirlwind year for Maya: between winning the Fork CIC3*, earning a top three finish at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and being named traveling reserve for the United States Olympic Team, all aboard Dawn & Johnathan Dofelmier’s quirky Holsteiner Doesn’t Play Fair, the sky was the limit.

A few months later when it was announced that “Cody” would be returning to the Dolfelmier’s where Dawn would take over the ride, Maya decided it was time to go home. “Losing the ride on Cody, and an even longer friendship with the Dofelmiers was certainly a life-changer and the biggest reason for me returning to the West Coast,” she recounted.

“It made me question the path I wanted for my riding career and life. It wasn’t my riding ability which I doubted. It was more my ability to hold my own in this world as a professional, living within the hub of the sport, while working and competing for that chance to one day represent my country.”

So she brought her operation back to the West Coast where she set up shop at her family farm and reconnected with old students family, and friends. “Anyone who has ever had a chance to visit Whidbey Island knows that it is a very special place. My family farm, while nothing fancy, has been a place where I’ve enjoyed and had success bringing along young horses over the years,” Maya said.

“I really wanted to spend time with my family who I hadn’t seen much in the past few years. I also wanted to reconnect with the Area VII eventing community. I really enjoyed the opportunity to teach students old and new during my year back in Washington,” she continued. “I am excited at the prospect of returning on a monthly basis for clinics. It means a lot to me to be able to give back and pass along what I know to those willing to learn.”

One of my favorite things over these past few months has been the opportunity to help others learn- horses and people. I love learning; the specific subject doesn't really matter. But when it's about my passion, which has anything to do with horses- I'm all in. I got the opportunity to ride my horse Mowgli in a super clinic last week with Erik Duvander. I loved it. So simple and basic in so many ways, which made it so challenging and successful. Riding with him, reminded me of why I love teaching- For the love learning and having something I can give. I've had so much pleasure teaching more over these last 6months. There has been some wonderfully consistent weekly students, regularly scheduled days around the Seattle area and afew away clinics with completely new faces. Thank you to everyone who makes my passion fun and rewarding. If anyone is interested in having me out for a clinic or lessons, near or far- contact me. (potentially room for 1-2 more horses in training as well). I have had afew weekends come available to teach over the next few months, so let me know and we can try to work it out! Thanks to Volte Farms for the use of some of these pictures. #cwd #ecogold #customsaddlery #charlesowen #airowear #revitavet #phoenixbodyworks

A post shared by Maya Black (@mayablackeventing) on

 Her homecoming gave her the chance to regroup, refocus and reconnect with the local community – and now she’s back and more driven than ever.

“I thought long and hard about this over the past year. After a lot of self reflection, I realized that the only thing I could do was to continue to strive to be the best person I can be – a person who is kind, honest and genuine, and over time I hope [my career] will come full circle again,” she explained.

Aside from personal reflection, Maya admits that she also misses the thrill of competing at the highest level. “Being away from the top level made me want to come back east. I missed working toward a big goal. This led me to my decision of returning to the East Coast, this time wanting to make a go of it and establish a proper business. I am moving forward doing this the only way I know how – by being me.”

Maya Black and Mowgli. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Maya has touched down at the beautiful Mardanza Farm in Ocala, Florida alongside Brian and Sara Murphy. With her she’s brought her own off-the-track Thoroughbred, Mowgli. This promising young horse capped off his successful Intermediate season with a top ten finish at the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2* last month.

“I’m really looking forward to what 2018 has to bring, especially with my up-and-coming horse, Mowgli. He’s a beautiful mover with a careful jump and is an incredible cross country horse. As talented as he is, he is also such a trier and the most cuddly horse I’ve ever had. He’s got the biggest personality,” she smiled. “He knows to smile for the camera as soon as he sees my phone out and is quick to pin you up against the stall wall with his head to demand that you rub his ears. I think he is the real deal. I’m hoping to syndicate him so that I can afford to continue on with him, as I think he could have a very exciting future.”

Maya is open for business! She shared with EN that she’s eagerly taking new students and new horses in for training and sale. In addition, she is looking to build her string of horses for the future. Interested parties should email Maya for more information. We are looking forward to following her journey.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo by Shelby Allen.

I’m continuing the theme of this week’s Daily News & Notes by saying it’s still cold! Enough is enough. I want to get the feeling back in my toes again. I want to be able to ride without feeling like I’m the bundled version of the Michelin Man. I want to stop riding with hot hands inside my gloves. Please, I live in the south, we’re not built for this.

National Holiday: National Bobblehead Day

Sunday Links: 

Take A Gymnastics Lesson With Kent Farrington At The George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session

Zara Tindall Expecting Second Child 

In Memoriam: Charles T. Colgan

Horse Blanketing FAQs

New Event to Showcase British Stallions

How Do We Talk About Politics at The Barn

Team #NoGoals

Sunday Video: When you and your bestie go outside in this weather:

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Skijoring at Rebecca Farm

Skijoring is the newest winter craze for adrenaline junkies. It’s the exciting combination of skiing and horseback riding. Here’s a little intro for the skijoring ignorant…

Rebecca Farm announced earlier this year that they would throw their hat in the game to host their first skijoring competition. Basically, a skier is pulled behind a hell-bend horse with the goal of navigating an obstacle course in the quickest time possible. Their competition was a huge success, and here are some exciting clips:

Next year we’re going to have our work cut out for us @randallkaarre

A post shared by Sean Keller (@doublekmustangs) on

Aside from the traditional open divisions, there was also a costume class and this adorable demonstration that seems a little more up my alley:

Have any of our northern EN readers tried skijoring? Would you give it a go? Let us know in the comments. I’m picturing a Chinch-sized pair of skis in the near future…

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.

You guys it’s been cold lately. I live in Georgia for a reason. Sure, the summers are brutal and you might melt, but this is supposed to be the time of year when we bask in mild summer sun as we enjoy regular winter rides in t-shirts. Yesterday it didn’t get above freezing and I did not sign up for this!!

In other news, my alma mater won the Rose Bowl yesterday, so consider this my obligatory GO DAWGS.

National Holiday: National Buffet Day, National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

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

Events Closing This Week: Poplar Place Farm January H.T. (GA, A-3) Grand Oaks H.T. (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News: 

Were you feeling a little… groggy doing the barn yesterday morning? Maybe dehydrated? Headaches? You weren’t the only one. [8 Things That Only Happen When You Do The Horses With A Hangover]

One of my biggest takeaways from Pony Club I still have are good bandaging skills. And consistent guilt about not cleaning my tack often enough. But bandaging can be tough, and doing it wrong can have consequences. There are many reasons you may want to wrap, so make sure you’ve got the practice down pat.  [Bandaging Fundamentals]

Horse people tend to use phrases that make absolutely no sense to the outside world. Listeners may know each word individually, but combine them and any sense of understanding is lost. Getting your horse to ‘lift through his back’ is one of these, but turns out this phrase technically doesn’t make any sense from a physiological standpoint either. [‘Lifting The Horse’s Back: Another Meaningless Equestrian Phrase]

Tuesday Video:

Donner Crowned 2017 Equiratings Horse of the Year


Hip hip hooray! The Donner Syndicate’s Donner has earned the title of Equiratings Horse of the Year! For those who have followed him since his humble beginnings in the sport under Lynn Symansky, this announcement comes as no surprise. Donner is America’s sweetheart who always shows up and shows out, donning the red, white and blue proudly on the world’s biggest stages.

Getting to this final result was a nail-biting process with over 35,000 votes tallied in. But with each leg he handily progressed – beating the likes of greats like FischerRocana and Arctic Soul. 

There’s no doubt to Donner’s athletic abilities. Anyone who has seen him run cross country (or made his way down a jog strip for that matter) can attest to this. He shows the true power of a good old fashioned Thoroughbred. He may never make it easy for Lynn on the flat… but he’s got a heart of gold across country.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

This year was one of true success for Donner. He earned a personal best (45.5) at the formidable Burghley Horse Trials. He showed that ‘nothing runs like a deer’ against Capt. Mark Philipps’ cross country where he picked up only 3.6 time penalties. Donner capped out the weekend with he best CCI4* result to date for sixth place.

Though 2017 is the crowned jewel of his eventing career so far, Donner’s consistency is what cements him as a remarkable horse. Equiratings reported that the deer has posted 100% completion rates in seven of the eight seasons he’s competed at FEI events, leaving him with a 96.9% completion rate for his entire international career.

The face only a mother, and the entire U.S. eventing fanbase, could love. Photos courtesy of Lynn Symansky.

“Overwhelmed and deeply humbled by all of the support that came together for Donner, especially in the company of such incredible athletes in this year’s #ERHOTY17,” Lynn posted to her Facebook page.

“Donner truly has the best fans in the world. Thank you to every single one of you for the love and support, and for helping this failed racehorse turned winning event horse earn the recognition he deserves.”

For those who voted to help our hometown-ish hero to victory, thank you! We’re looking forward to watching what he accomplishes in 2018.