Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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#DogsOfEN: VHT Is Going to the Dogs

Are you heading to Virginia Horse Trials this weekend? Don’t forget to pack a costume for your dog!

Join your eventing canine cohorts in the coliseum at 6 p.m. on Saturday for a costume parade and prizes. The doggie Halloween spectacular will be followed by the competitors’ dinner party, with cash bar, at 6:30 p.m. See you there!

Don’t forget to tag your pup pics on Instagram for inclusion in a future edition. Here’s the latest edition!

Cheve says “Safety first” #dogsofEN

A photo posted by Team Chevie (@teamchevie) on

#dogsofEN Jump practice

A photo posted by Team Chevie (@teamchevie) on

#puppypalooza #puppies #pegasuseventing #dogsofEN My helpers while teaching a XC lesson!

A photo posted by Ellen Doughty-Hume (@ellendoughtyhume) on

When eventers go out on the town… #whathaveidone?! #themorningafter @bipoland #dogsofinstagram #dogsofEN #eventingnation #barndog

A photo posted by Renee Sternhagen (@renee.a.sternhagen) on

My men have very opinionated dinnertime discussions @stolbert728 #Sassy

A video posted by Isa Bryant (@isa_marie_b) on

No one is motivated this morning #squadgoals #dogsofEN #eventingnation

A photo posted by Renee Sternhagen (@renee.a.sternhagen) on

Keeper learning a new job. Horse show Secretary @ the FL Horse park last weekend. #dogsofen

A photo posted by Nancy Russell (@codynkr) on

It was a tough morning at the barn #dogsofEN #eventingnation #dogsofinstgram

A photo posted by Renee Sternhagen (@renee.a.sternhagen) on

Maggie and Jackson doing some relaxing at @fairhillint #eventinglive #dogsofinsta #dogsofen #duttfhi #horseshowdogs

A photo posted by Erin Sylvester (@erinsylvestereventing) on

New favorite #thoseearsthough

A photo posted by @ralene2 on

Leave it to me to find the puppy

A photo posted by Madison Blount (@blountmadison) on

Coco chilling this morning at the #kentuckyhorsepark #shitzupuppy

A photo posted by Kellie Bowers (@klb524) on

But then there was this. ❤️#ratatouille loves his puppy companions. #magpie #pippa #naptime

A photo posted by Nicolette Merle-Smith (@nicmerles) on

Hehe there were doggy jumps :))

A photo posted by Vegas :))) (@mylittlepaint) on

Go Eventing.

8 More Reasons to Never Let Eventers Make Scented Candles

A few weeks ago we conducted a compelling thought experiment: What would a line of eventing-themed Yankee Candles look like? Perhaps, we proposed, something like this. (See also Horse Nation’s original post on the subject here.)

My sentimental favorite from the first batch.

My sentimental favorite from our first batch.

Of course, our readers chimed in with a few more ideas for very “distinct” equestrian scents. Using Yankee Candles’ custom label creator, we brought a few of your worst ideas to life! Get of whiff of these bad boys:








And one more that we actually WOULD buy…

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-8-27-26-am What scents would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments or create your own candle here!

Go Eventing.


Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Hagyard Midsouth CCI* Helmet Cam

When it comes to cross country soundtracks, you can’t go wrong with the Rolling Stones. Well … m’kay, maybe if you’re being run off with, you should steer clear of “Wild Horses” (you ARE getting dragged away, sorry) but other than that, all good.

Lauren McDowell, of Georgetown, Kentucky, and Midas Aiko had a “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” worthy go around the Hagyard Midsouth CCI* cross country course on Saturday. The 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding jumped clear with a bit of time.

“It was a really good weekend and a stellar last show,” Lauren says. “It was our goal event this year.”

“The course rode terrific and forward riding was rewarded. We also happened to clinch our first double clear stadium round at the one-star level, which was icing on the cake!”

Well-played, Lauren and “Toby”! Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Go Eventing.

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Results] [EN Coverage]

Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge Instagram Roundup

Happy horses and happy riders were out in force at the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge, which wrapped up yesterday at the Kentucky Horse Park. From the barns to the cross country course to the secretary’s office, here’s a sampling of your Instagram pics from the weekend that was — enjoy!

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Results] [EN Coverage]

thanks for bein u Willy, u rock

A photo posted by Sydney Hagaman (@hagamannn) on

Cats by 90 [penalties] #UKDET

A photo posted by Jessica Rose (@jessrose_xo_) on

I almost forgot how amazing and fun she is on course #UKDET #GoCats #hagyardmidsouth

A photo posted by Rachel Kiczuk (@rlkiczuk) on

Happiness ❤️

A photo posted by blpoland (@blpoland) on

A Sneak Peek at the New Ocala Jockey Club Cross Country Courses

One of the showcase pieces is a carved fish in the new water feature, masterfully carved to honor the involvement of Seminole heritage on the Ocala Jockey Club property, which served as the location of Fort Drane and neighbors a burial site of Chief Emathla. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club. One of the showcase pieces is a carved fish in the new water feature, masterfully carved to honor the involvement of Seminole heritage on the Ocala Jockey Club property, which served as the location of Fort Drane and neighbors a burial site of Chief Emathla. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

Everyone is looking forward to the unveiling of the Ocala Jockey Club’s new cross country courses, which are nearly ribbon-cutting ready in advance of the inaugural event.

The inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day CIC 3*, CCI 2* and 1* Event, organized and promoted by Equiventures LLC, will be held over Thanksgiving weekend, November 24-27, in Reddick, Florida.

The CIC3* course was designed by Mike Etherington-Smith and the CCI1*/2* courses by Clayton Fredericks, all built out by Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert. The two grass dressage and show jumping arenas, designed by Richard Jeffery, are competition-ready. Rounding out the star-studded lineup is Alec Lochore, who will serve as Event Director.

The cross country design and build team. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross country design and build team. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

Mike Etherington-Smith remarked, “The footing is looking fantastic, some of the best I have seen in the USA, well done to all.”

Tyson Rementer concurred, “Speaking for the cross-country course, I am very confident we are headed toward a top class course.”

By all accounts the OJC facility sounds lovely, featuring rolling hills and old-growth Spanish-moss-laden oak trees. The cross country course description from the event’s Omnibus listing notes, “The area for the courses is very much in a traditional English style park with mature trees and flowing lines. There is significant footing prep being undertaken to make it as good as possible. There will be two water fences, excellent viewing, and all the courses run through the newly developed main arena.”

One of the many new cross-country jump built onsite. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

One of the many new cross-country jump built onsite. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses for CCI1*, CCI2* and CIC3* have been carefully improved and maintained over the last year. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses for CCI1*, CCI2* and CIC3* have been carefully improved and maintained over the last year. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The new main grass arena has been built with derby banks sloping up towards the clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The new main grass arena has been built with derby banks sloping up towards the clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The Ocala Jockey Club is a 924-acre property featuring multiple training barns, a Thoroughbred training track, rental town houses and a 9,700-square foot restaurant and event facility.

The cross-country courses wind over the miles of rolling hills of the farm, through the oak tree-studded parkland setting. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses wind over the miles of rolling hills of the farm, through the oak tree-studded parkland setting. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

“It has taken a lot of great work by this outstanding design and build team over much of the past year, and a large capital commitment by OJC, to transform some 400 of our 924-acre Thoroughbred training farm into a world class eventing competition and special events venue,” said Ocala Jockey Club President and owner Pavla Nygaard. “We are thrilled with the results and looking forward to hosting the first of exciting future special events and competitions next month.”

The competition features a $100,000 prize pool, the largest ever for a CIC3* in North America, of which $15,000 will be awarded to top-placing Thoroughbreds as part of OJC’s desire to recognize and incentivize their post-racing careers. The closing date for entries is Nov. 8. Click here for entry status.

For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club and its inaugural event, visit www.ocalajc.com.

[New ‘Fantastic’ Ocala Jockey Club Cross Country Course Nearing Completion]

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

You can’t beat a good mare. Get one on your side and she’ll do anything for you. Mix in some Thoroughbred heart and athleticism and the sky is the limit.

For this edition of the Weekly OTTB Wishlist, we’re spotlighting three mares we’d love to see sprinting out of a cross country startbox.

Photo via Second Stride.

Photo via Second Stride.

Passi D Bellezza (Spanish Steps – Bond Beauty, by High Yield) is a 2012 16.1+ hand mare. She was retired by her trainer sound but not competitive after only one win out of seven tries, and just over $6,000 in earnings.

She’s as sweet and fancy as she is beautiful. This non-alpha filly will thrive on attention and interaction with people. Under saddle she is kind and confident at all three gaits and brave over colored ground poles. Her trainers describe her as having a “team player” disposition. Well adjusted with turnout, easy to catch and handle. She loves her ears rubbed, marches right up to you if you come in her field.

This incredible sport horse prospect is looking for a new job — she loves having something to do! Located at Moserwood Farm in Prospect, Kentucky.

View Passi D Bellezza on Second Stride.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

Rockridge Shiner (Indygo Shiner – Relativa (ARG), by Parade Marshal) is a 2013 16.3-hand mare. Beautiful, big, young, sound, great mover and very sweet — this stunning filly checks all the boxes and is an exceptional sporthorse prospect.

After only six starts, Rockridge Shiner is showing that racing is not her game. Finger Lakes Finest photographed her right after a race, still glistening from her bath. She posed regally, showing off her balanced conformation, long legs, strong shoulder and uphill build. When she matures and fills out her frame, she will surely blend in with the warmbloods and may well top out at 17 hands.

Trotting right out with no post-race stiffness, she showed off lovely, light, balanced movement with the natural low head carriage and reach of a show hunter. Her groom told us she is a very sweet and kind filly, great to handle. Her trainer said she is completely sound — her connections observed nice clean legs — but just not showing enough racing ability.

She is an AP Indy granddaughter, and her dam’s sire is by Caro, and there are stout European bloodlines on her dam side.

View Rockridge Shiner on Finger Lakes Finest.


Photo via Second Stride Inc.

Peanut Bittel (Bittel Road – Repeating Star, by Manastash Ridge) is a 16.2-hand 2012 mare. This big, substantial girl wasn’t earning her way in racing. She has a lovely shoulder and smooth lines. Reported to be kind, sound and ready for a new job.

On her first ride off the track she performed well at all three gaits. Her trainer reports that she kept her cool and was fabulous. Appeared sound, sane and brave over the colored ground poles.

She has some superficial, cosmetic pinfire marks on her hind hock. Located at Moserwood Farm in Prospect, Kentucky.

View Peanut Bittel on Second Stride.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Joseph Murphy’s Pau Helmet Cam

Irishman Joseph Murphy is a get-it-done superstar when it comes to cross country — he’s got one of the cleanest cross country records in the biz. In 2016 he’s jumped clear around four different four-star courses: Badminton and Burghley riding DHI Topstory, plus Luhmuhlen and now Pau on Sportsfield Othello.

Check out this video of his trip around the latter last Saturday. Joseph and the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse, owned by Andrew Tinkler, Alison Schmutz and Jill Andrews, finished 24th overall.  You can view complete results from the event here.

Go Eventing.

Ingrid Klimke Bests 7-Year-Old Dressage Scoreboard at Le Lion d’Angers

Ingrid Klimke rides Weisse Duene during the CCI2* 7-Year-Old Dressage at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Photo by Libby Law Photography. Ingrid Klimke rides Weisse Duene during the CCI2* 7-Year-Old Dressage at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Who might we see Ingrid Klimke mounted on at the 2020 Olympics? The depth of this German superstar’s string is impressive, and she’s got an exciting one coming up the ranks in Weisse Duene.

The grey Holsteiner mare (Clarimo x Esprit V, by Romino) leads the 7-year-old Championships at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships at Le Lion d’Angers, France, on a dressage score of 36.9. She won her last two starts at the CIC2* level, at Varsseveld and Everswinkel, and we look forward to seeing how she tackles tomorrow’s big cross country test.

Great Britain’s Pippa Funnel and the Anglo gelding Billy Walk On (Billy Mexico x Shannon Line, by Golden Bash) also cut line in front of yesterday’s leaders, Austria’s Charlotte Dobretsberger and the Hannoverian mare Vally K (Valentino x Freia, by Freiherr).

There are two U.S. combinations as well as one American-owned horse in the 7-Year-Old Championships.

Tamie Smith with Fleeceworks Royal (Riverman x Marisol, by Corofino I), a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Judy McSwain, sit 30th heading into cross country tomorrow. They made the trip to France thanks to the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant.

Tamie Smith walks the cross country at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Tamie Smith walks the cross country at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Also representing the U.S. in the 7-Year-Old Championships is Robyn Fisher with Betwave (Linaro x Wavelength, by Wodan), a Holsteiner mare Robyn owns with her breeder Carol Singh. The pair finished dressage in 58th place.

Check out post-dressage comments from Tamie and Robyn in yesterday’s dressage report.

One more U.S. connection: the stallion Glücksruf (Dramatiker x Gretel, by Opernball) is a German-bred Trakehner who, although ridden by Miriam Bray for Slovenia, is owned by an American, Tim Holekamp. They are 21st heading into cross country.

Team USA Support Crew sample the local drops at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Friday 21 October. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Team USA Support Crew sample the local drops at the 2016 Mondial du Lion FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses. Friday 21 October. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Best of luck to all on cross country tomorrow! You can read Tamie’s comments about the cross country course in Wednesday’s report and check out the interactive course maps here.

In the 6-Year-Old Champions, yesterday’s leaders Kai Steffen-Meier and Painter’s Maxim, a Trakehner stallion (Phlox X Painter’s Moon, by Painter’s Row xx) bred by Graciela Bruch and owned by Welvert Stud, held fast to their overnight lead and will leave the box tomorrow on a score of 40.3.

Stay tuned for much more from Le Lion. Go Eventing!

#MDL16 Links: Website6YO XC Order of Go7YO XC Order of Go6YO Live Scores7YO Live ScoresEN’s Coverage





EN’s coverage of Le Lion d’Angers is proudly presented by Fleeceworks!

Halt Cancer at X Announces Recipients of 2016 Community Grants

Photo by Shannon Brinkman. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Halt Cancer at X, the fundraising campaign created in 2012 in memory of The Event at Rebecca Farm founder Becky Broussard, had another successful year. An incredible sum of $120,000 was raised for Halt Cancer at X at the July event, $60,000 of which will be awarded in community grants to four organizations dedicated to the fight against cancer.

“We are honored to fund such a diverse pool of organizations that are working every day to halt cancer,” Sarah Broussard, daughter of Becky, said. “It’s exciting to see that the money from these grants is going to make a difference, both in our community and at a worldwide level.”

Sarah Broussard participates in the Halt Cancer at X Challenge at the 2016 event. Photo by Noah Clayton.

Sarah Broussard participates in the Halt Cancer at X Challenge at the 2016 event. Photo by Noah Clayton.

The 2016-2017 recipients:


First time recipient Save a Sister was awarded $24,000. The Save a Sister initiative is a collaboration among Kalispell Regional Healthcare, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead City-County Health Department. Founded in 2008, Save a Sister improves women’s access to screening mammography, educates the community, and promotes breast cancer awareness. The $24,000 grant will allow Save a Sister to establish a screening and support program for women at high-risk of developing breast cancer.


Cancer Support Community of Kalispell was awarded $21,000. Cancer Support Community of Kalispell provides a full range of support services for youth and adults affected by cancer. These services include healthy excursions, cooking/nutrition classes, education, professionally led support groups and more. Last year, the organization built the Halt Cancer at X Kitchen, which hosts cooking classes and provides a welcome space for those affected by cancer to seek support and learn about food and nutrition.

Photo by Bethanne Ray.

Photo by Bethanne Ray.

Cancer Support Community of Kalispell will use funds to expand the current services they offer. The organization will also use funds to begin implementing horse-healing workshops, family-oriented camping opportunities, and a weekend retreat for cancer survivors.


A third recipient, Flathead Cancer Aid Services, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients, was awarded two grants totaling $10,000. One grant will help fund daily living expenses for breast cancer patients. The other will provide financial assistance for healthy nutritional food and supplements to those affected by cancer.


Flathead Valley Cancer Chicks received a grant of $3,000 to help expand their annual, overnight local wellness retreat for cancer survivors. A portion of the funds will also be used for publicity outreach.

To date, Halt Cancer at X has contributed more than $325,000 to national cancer research and local support services for cancer.

Ian Stark accepts a Halt Cancer at X donation at the 2016 event. Photo by Noah Clayton.

Ian Stark accepts a Halt Cancer at X donation at the 2016 event. Photo by Noah Clayton.

For more information on the campaign, visit the website here.

Go Eventing.


FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group Holds First Meeting

Photo by Leslie Wylie. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

How can we minimize risk factors in evening? What risk management initiatives need to implemented, on a global basis, to improve horse and rider safety? How can we facilitate improved communication about safety issues?

These are the most important questions facing our sport today, and the time for real answers is now — if not yesterday.

Chaired by David O’Connor, the new FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group had its first meeting on Wednesday at the FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The FEI released this synopsis of the group’s objectives and work accomplished at the initial summit:

The 19 October meeting established the framework for the group’s work, which includes investigating new ways to reduce horse falls, and identifying factors to decrease the number of serious injuries to athletes and horses using research studies from around the world relating to risk management. Other key areas for the group are the evaluation of statistical analysis gathered to date, including athlete qualifications and performance history, and a review of fence design. Safety equipment, the education of athletes and officials, and the roles and responsibilities of officials will also be reviewed.

The group will ensure worldwide communication and sharing of information, with the FEI as the point of contact for research ideas.

The Steering Group will build on the existing extensive work already done on risk management by the FEI Eventing Committee, National Federations and external parties, and will produce a list of recommendations to the FEI Eventing Committee by the end of February 2017. A presentation of the group’s findings will also be made at the FEI Sports Forum in April next year.

“The meeting was a great starting point for the group,” Chair David said. “There are a tremendous amount of questions to be asked and we are all very serious about trying to find answers to those questions. I think it is a good forward step for the FEI, building on the extensive work that has been done over the last 16 years since the Hartington report through to the recent Charles Barnett report and recommendations.

“We all love this sport and acknowledge that it carries inherent risks, but we owe it to everyone in the eventing community to do everything we can to make it as safe as possible for our athletes and for our horses.”

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “The first meeting of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group this week marks an important point in the acceleration of our efforts on safety. The sport has suffered such terrible losses this year and these affect us all very deeply. The wide-ranging expertise of the members of this group will play a crucial part in our ongoing work to make the sport as safe as possible.”

The Steering Group includes:

David O’Connor (Chair), former FEI Bureau Member and Olympic Eventing champion in Sydney 2000
Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), international cross country course designer and equestrian consultant
Daisy Berkeley (GBR), FEI Eventing athlete representative and international athlete
Rob Stevenson (CAN), former international Olympic athlete, cardiologist and Canadian National Safety Officer
Geoff Sinclair (AUS), FEI Eventing Technical Delegate and former President of the Australian Equestrian Federation
Staffan Lidbeck (SWE), FEI Veterinarian and Swedish Eventing team coach
Laurent Bousquet (FRA), international Eventing athlete and coach of the Japanese equestrian team
Philine Ganders (GER), FEI Level 3 Eventing Steward and member of the German National Federation

The FEI has made some great strides with regard to studies and data collection, and we support this smart, progressive think tank in its quest to help bridge the gap between research and real-life application.

More details about risk management in eventing research and initiatives can be found on the FEI website here.

[FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group Meets in Lausanne (SUI)]

#EventerProblems Vol. 93: More Struggle Snapshots from Everyday Eventing Life

Why do we keep putting ourselves through this stuff, over and over again?

Answer: Because it’s worth it, every time. And normal life is so overrated.

Here’s your latest batch of #EventerProblems.

The beauty. Try not to be jealous. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

What to do when you have one horse and a 1230 jog? #bourbontrail #woodfordreserve #kentucky #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Blue Clover Eventing (@blueclovereventing) on

Pretty sure we had two more strides before the jump lol #failfriday #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Emma hilt (@saddleupeventing) on

What’s in your trash can? Mine has pony fuzz and creeping indigo. #eventerproblems #equestrianproblems

A photo posted by Helen Donnell (@helendonnell) on

Skill level…awesome! Handwalking, riding and filming in the dark… No problem! #lynet #stjernedamen #eventerproblems #eventersolutions

A video posted by Lea Ditte Marsk Lauridsen (@lea_lauridsen) on

Nessie getting ready for battle #warpaint #ottb #eventerproblems #dirtygirl

A photo posted by Danielle Steinman (@danielle_steinman) on

How tillie feels about dressage today #eventerproblems #somethingtotalkabout #ottbsofinstagram #dressage

A photo posted by Kaitlyn Julio (@kaitlyndzn) on

A photo posted by nelsonmeganc (@nelsonmeganc) on

Go Eventing.

Thursday Video: Gridwork with Top British Young Rider Will Furlong

Have you practiced your gymnastics this week? For gridwork inspiration, check out these two videos from Will Furlong.

Over the past couple years Will has established his place at the forefront of the future of British eventing. He was crowned Young Rider National Champion in 2014 and 2016, was the Junior European Individual bronze medalist in 2013, and took individual and team gold at the Young Rider European Championships in 2015. Most recently he won the Hartbury CCI2* with Collien P 2 in August of this year.

Go forth and grid it up, EN. Go Eventing!

Meet Priscilla: An Eventing Mustang on a Mission

Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla. Photo by Lisa Pipkin. Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla. Photo by Lisa Pipkin.

We love Mustang success stories here at EN and invite you to join us in celebrating a new one! Autumn Pipkin, a 17-year-old Alabama eventer, has been doing a super job of showing her 6-year-old Mustang Priscilla the ropes of our sport.

Priscilla was rounded up in Oklahoma when she was about eight months old. Her original owner, Gordon Morrow, bought her at an auction and raised her with the intention of being a competitive endurance horse. Autumn credits him for laying a solid foundation for Priscilla’s training: “I feel like he and Donna West, a natural horsemanship trainer in our area, did a superb job of instilling trust and bravery in her.”

Autumn and Priscilla first crossed paths when Priscilla was 4. Gordon had begun taking lessons at the barn where Autumn had learned to ride, El Gezira Riding Academy in Harpersville, Alabama, to learn the fundamentals of classical riding in order to get an edge in the endurance world.

Photo courtesy of Autumn Pipkin.

Photo courtesy of Autumn Pipkin.

“I was out of a horse to ride, since my horse had an undiagnosed lameness that called for almost an entire year of pasture rest. Pamela Ibrahim, the owner and trainer at El Gezira, and a great friend of mine, called me at the beginning of last summer and said that Gordon had a mustang that he was going to leave with her over the summer to learn basics,” Autumn says.

“I had seen the horse move, and the image I had in my mind was a tall, chunky, grey mare outfitted in a western sidepull and racing around the arena with a prominent four-beat canter — NOT the ideal image for an event horse! I got off the phone and told my mom the news, and in a few days we made our way over to EGRA to try out my summer project. I was shocked to find when I rode her for the first time that she was soft in the bridle, sensitive to the aids, and framed herself, even in the sidepull! Her gaits soon became lovely and comfortable.”

Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla on their very first ride together. Photo by Lisa Pipkin.

Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla on their very first ride together. Photo by Lisa Pipkin.

Autumn says Priscilla’s trainability and trademark Mustang intelligence has helped her training progress smoothly. “One of the things that has always stuck out to me about her is how trusting she is of all people, and how quickly she picks up on things. She has never been afraid to try whatever is asked of her. I give a lot of credit to Mr. Morrow and Mrs. West and their methods of gentling her,” she says.

“I very quickly grew super excited about how cool my new project was, and thankfully, my mom loved her too! Her opinion has always been really important to me, since she is an excellent horseman and the biggest asset to my riding career, acting as groom, horse show mom, trainer, and so much more.”

Over the summer Priscilla progressed at lightning-fast speed. She graduated to a snaffle bit, and in two months’ time was doing leg yields, lengthenings and jumping 2’9” courses.

“When fall rolled around, It was time for Priscilla to go back to Gordon, but I kept insisting to draw out my time with her! I tried to find another young OTTB to be my future event horse, but the search was futile, and in the end, Gordon let me keep her. She is still his horse, so it is kind of like a free-lease type deal. I put shoes on her, clipped her, and set my eyes on getting back to eventing.”

Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla. Photo by Lisa Pipkin.

Autumn Pipkin and Priscilla. Photo by Lisa Pipkin.

As her first project horse, Autumn says her journey with Priscilla has been hugely educational. “I will never forget at the first Poplar schooling show I took her to, there was a horse wearing a stable sheet outside while being grazed. It had never dawned on me that it was possible she had never seen a horse wearing clothes before. That was it for the day. She was so beside herself I couldn’t even lead her out of the barn,” she says.

“She has since become accustomed to the idea of blankets. Seeing the world through her eyes has been a learning experience, as it is very different from those of generations long lines of domesticated horses. She has also taught me that you can’t put time frames on young horses. They will disprove you every time!”

The pair has successfully completed three recognized events and most recently finished third in the Novice Three-Phase division at Poplar Place Farm’s October schooling horse trial. Check out this helmet cam video of their cross country trip:

Next up on their event calendar is Chattahoochee Hills the last weekend of October followed by Poplar Place H.T. in November.

“I think she has super potential, and am bent on entering our first Training sometime next spring. I look forward to seeing the amazing horse she becomes, and I have every intention of developing her to her full potential. She has come so far in less than a year and a half,” Autumn says.

“I absolutely love when I am at shows and people come asked what the white spot on her neck means, tell me how beautiful she is, then ask if she is for sale and I have to say no, she is not. I have been watching Elisa Wallace and her mustang Hwin moving up the levels, and they have inspired me to keep hoping for big things with Priscilla.”

Best of luck to this talented and hardworking pair. Go Autumn and Priscilla. Go Eventing!

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: The Scary Log of Course Brook Farm

According to my neighbor’s front yard, which features a giant inflatable cauldron as well as a coven of motion-sensor witches that cackle when you walk down the sidewalk past them (gets me every time), Halloween is fast approaching. Which means it is time to embrace the annual cultural ritual of freaking ourselves and everyone around us out at every opportunity.

Freaking horses out is, of course, low-hanging fruit. Doesn’t take a scary costume or creepy movie to accomplish that task! Which is the plotline for this video from Course Brook Farm Fall Horse Trials, held Oct. 8 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. (Check out Abby Powell’s write-up of the event here.) 

Cross country fence judge Ann Grenier kept herself entertained by filming a short video starring “The Scary Log” as villain. Enjoy, mwah-ha-ha!

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#DogsOfEN: The Best of Your Eventer Pup Pics

Where there are horse people, there are dogs … and they deserve a moment in the spotlight, too!

Don’t forget to tag your pup pics on Instagram for inclusion in a future edition.

Enjoying the day at #fairhillinternational! #eventingnation #dogsofen #insanityinthemiddle

A photo posted by Team Millie (@teammilliedog) on

Somebody wants to be a jumper… #dogsofinstagram #dogsofen

A photo posted by Kimberly Brooke (@kimbid_ee) on

Dog on a turtle. #weldon #dogonvacation #dogpark #dogsofinstagtam #nomorehorsinaround #turtlingaround #dogsofen

A photo posted by Kayla Muller (@selcouthsporthorses) on

Rainy day at the barn = bandit is upset #dogsofinstgram #eventingnation #barndog #dogsofEN

A photo posted by Renee Sternhagen (@renee.a.sternhagen) on

Doggy photo op on the goat spool! #nicadog #darkhorsefarm #eventingdogs #dogsofen

A photo posted by Kate Jensen (@kate6917) on

Truck dog asleep at his post again. #truckdogfail #dogsofEN #heelergram #blueheelersofinstagram #ponyclub

A photo posted by Stacey Briggs (@stacey_briggs_eventing) on

When you are a thin haired dog and it’s chilly out. #barndogproblems #barndoglife #dogsofen #someonegethimablanket #baxter

A photo posted by Kayla Muller (@selcouthsporthorses) on

Macy is worn out! #dogsofEN #labrador #labsofinstagram

A photo posted by Lizzie Sauter (@lizzie_sauter) on

And because we’re equal opportunity:

Helpful Rosie, while I edit my GoPro video from a horse show. #catsofinstagram #eventerproblems #equestrian

A photo posted by allikazoo (@allikazoo) on

Go Eventing!

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

An imported Irish Thoroughbred, sound and bursting with eventing potential for … less than a grand?

Get. Out.

(Your. Checkbook.)

Meet Charlie’s Best and two other sporthorse prospect OTTBs we handpicked this week, just for you.

Photo via Second Stride.

Photo via Second Stride.

Charlie’s Best (Myboycharlie (IRE) – Salorina, by A.P. Indy) is Ireland born, bred by Sheikh Almaddah. Her Ireland born sire by Danehill was a Highweight 2-year-old colt in France. Her dam is by A.P. Indy.

She sticks just under 15.3 hands at age 2. Retired sound but non-competitive after a brief career from August through October 2016. Fabulous shoulder and uphill build. Correct conformation, sculpted face and kind, large eye. A smart filly looking for a new vocation. She should excel at any sport horse use, but that shoulder and her turf pedigree hints strongly towards jumping and eventing!

Make your next imported sport horse a true purebred Thoroughbred. This is a true rare diamond of a find!

View Charlie’s Best on Second Stride.

Photo via New Vocations.

Photo via New Vocations.

Val D’Isere (Cape Blanco (IRE) – Vadahilla (FR), by Danehill) is the picture of understated elegance. She is a classy lady with classy breeding. Val is three years old with plenty of maturing yet to do. She is the boss in her group but gets along with the five other mares. She is lovely to work around and stands very patiently for a youngster when it comes to shoeing and grooming. New Vocations reports that Val is the least vocal of their girls and loves visitors to shower her with attention. She will eat all the carrots she can get! Val does not have any stall vices.

Under saddle, she is forward-going and eager to work. Her trot is fluid and she swings through her shoulder. Her canter is green but rapidly developing style. Val feels like she is going to be an extremely athletic jumper. She was retired without any injuries after two starts when she did not show top level ability. Though she may not have had top level ability on the track, she has the makings of top level ability in the show ring. Val is best suited for an advanced rider to guide her training.

View Val D’Isere on New Vocations.

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Amazing Kitten (Kitten’s Joy – Kazen, by Tale of the Cat) is a 15.2-hand 2010 gelding by multiple graded stakes winner Kitten’s Joy, who earned over $2 million in his career. Bloodlines also include Storm Cat, Forty Niner, Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. Last raced Aug. 23, 2015 at Belterra Park. Amazing Kitten won $63,842 in 29 starts, with six firsts, three seconds and five third-place finishes. Super sweet personality. Just look at that face! He has the same white hind socks as his sire along with that shining chestnut coat. He is fairly quiet, has filled out nicely and is doing well in his training on the flat.

View Amazing Kitten on CANTER Michigan.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: The Latest from ‘Little Eventer’

There are a few things in this world that I can count on to shower me me with immeasurable happiness, and one of them is when a new photo or video from “Little Eventer” Claire Peters pops up on my Instagram feed.

To be honest, Claire is my hero: not only is this 7-year-old a total beast on cross country, she’s been known to rock a tutu while she’s at it.

Claire has had a busy fall of dazzling dressage judges everywhere …

… rocking out on the cross country course …

… and honing her show jumping skills.

“Claire has an endless supply of energy, a healthy amount of sass to handle naughty ponies, and an infectious zest for life,” mom Anne says. “She is always willing to offer sound horse management and riding advice and she will continue to invite us into her bigger-than-life world where only fun, determination and big dreams exist.”

Check out my EN profile of Claire from earlier this year here, and be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the latest.

Go Claire! Go Eventing!

#EventerSolutions: DIY Nation

Where there are #EventerProblems there are #EventerSolutions, as we horsefolks tend to be a pretty crafty, resourceful and frugal (read: broke) bunch.

In this spinoff series we spotlight some of your most inventive problem-solving masterpieces and determined DIY efforts. Be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #EventerSolutions on social for inclusion in future editions!

Cause sometimes this is how you roll at a horse show. #eventsolutions #wevealldoneit

A photo posted by Road Less Traveled Event Team (@roadlesstraveledevent) on

had to get a lil creative with the jumps today! #eventersolutions

A video posted by Sarah Hartmann (@sahart04) on

#eventerproblems #tirechanging #lugnuts

A photo posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

My massage therapist this evening, helping (?) me roll out a leg cramp.

A photo posted by Helen Donnell (@helendonnell) on

#makingyour4hheadtoheadintoa6horse #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #winning

A photo posted by Ellen Doughty-Hume (@ellendoughtyhume) on

My gorgeous trailer is residing in our condominium driveway #redneckstyle #horses #eventersolutions

A photo posted by Sage Kurten (@skeventing) on

Go you. Go Eventing!

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Watch Boyd’s Pau Test on Welcome Shadow

Boyd Martin (USA) et Welcome Shadow en direct de leur reprise de CCI**** ! #CCI4Stars #CCI4EDP #Pau #PauInside #DomainedeSers #Eventing #TwoHearts #EventingTour #FEI #FEIClassics #Horses

Posted by CCI & CAIO 4 Etoiles de Pau on Friday, October 14, 2016

Boyd has two greys at Pau this week: Crackerjack, who sits 10th after dressage (47.7), and Welcome Shadow, who is in 25th (51.9). The event will be Welcome Shadow’s CCI4* debut and Boyd sounds pleased with the 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare’s effort.

 “She’d been working really well all week, and I was getting excited about her test. She got a little bit tense and nervous when she got in the ring and got a bit curled in her frame and fell behind a little bit,” Boyd said.

“She didn’t make any big mistakes. She was green and felt like it for her first four-star test in a ring with that type of atmosphere. Scoring a 52 for her first four-star is a score to be proud of, and looking at the course we’re facing tomorrow, I think it’s going to be anyone’s day.”

Check out EN’s full Pau day two dressage report here.

Pau Links: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresInstagram

What’s in Your Ring? EN Staff Edition: Wylie’s Short-on-Time Shamrock

Photo by Leslie Wylie. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

I launched the “What’s in Your Ring?” series a few weeks ago with selfish motives, honestly, as I frequently find myself at a loss for new jumping exercises. I’m sure I’m not alone, so why not get some crowdsourcing going?

To help get the ball rolling I thought I’d pay it forward and share an excerpt from my my own personal file folder of go-to jumping exercises. I can’t remember who or where I picked this up from — it’s a classic, really — but it’s a good one.

I like it, first and foremost, because it is quick and easy to set up, ideal for those days when you’re scrambling to get a jump school in but don’t have time to drag a whole bunch of jumps into the ring. It’s also scalable enough to benefit horses of all levels.

Build it:

All you need: four poles, four standards, four ground poles, and some random object to serve as the centerpiece. I have a plastic barrel that does the trick, but you can make do with a hay bale, a cavaletti block, a mounting block, a muck bucket — anything, really.

Build it big or build it small; you could even just do poles on the ground for the green ones.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The pattern: 

A few variations on the theme, as demonstrated by my 13.99999-hand superpony Princess.

Cloverleaf — Jump, land, turn, repeat. You can make the “leaves” of your shamrock as large or challengingly tiny as you like, and mix it up between right and left-hand turns if you like, which is helpful for impetuous types (“You think you know what’s coming next, smarty-pants, but you don’t! Wait for your rider to tell you which way to go!”). Keep it going for as long as you like, or until you start getting dizzy!

This is a great exercise for rideability and jumping off turns. Do your part by thinking about turning the outside of the horse while keeping the inside legs moving. Don’t slam on the brakes but sit up and ride forward through the turn, letting the geometry work its magic on your horse’s balance.


Skinny — You can also jump across the middle in a figure-8. It’s a nice exercise for straightness, and the slightly claustrophobic experience of riding into the V produces a sharp jump.


Corner/Bounce —  In addition to going straight across, you can ride it as a corner or an angled bounce (9′-10″ for trot). Be very careful here to make clear to your horse which one it is you’re going after; for a corner, I’d recommend laying a pole across or filling in the middle to make sure your horse doesn’t attempt to put his feet down in the middle of it. Vice-versa, you don’t want him to not put his feet down in the bounce.



Do you have an exercise to share or is there an eventer you would like to nominate for the series? Email me at [email protected] 

#EventerProblems Vol. 92: A Sport of Highs and Lows

They say eventing is a sport of highs and lows — a expression very well expressed, I think, by our first #EventerProblems post of the day.

Friday fail. I don't know how I didn't come off after this! #fridayfail #hangonfordearlife #myhorsesavedmybutt

A photo posted by Amy Bowers (@ahorsiegirl) on

Here’s wishing all of you out there in the Eventing Nation more highs than lows. Without further ado, here’s your latest batch of true eventing struggles:

you **might** own a chestnut thoroughbred mare when ….. ❤️#eventerproblems #bofbnexttoprider

A photo posted by Taylor (@taylordawn_13) on

What are you doing at 5.50 Am? #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

When you're trying to turn but the racehorse says you're on the backstretch #OTTB #eventerproblems #ottbproblems #yeehaw #help

A photo posted by Angela Lenning Eventing (@a.l.eventing) on

Customer: "that looks intense is that physics?" #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Gracie Rivers (@grace_riverss) on

Too bad zip can't get comfortable… #eventerproblems #irideforwanda

A photo posted by MBH (@wyombh) on

Cold hosing is boring, says Priscilla! #ottb #eventerproblems

A video posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

That is not the foot I meant to get the Durasole on. #eventerproblems #eventerfashion

A photo posted by Becca Speer (@beccarides) on

when you empty your pockets at the end of the day…. pieces of hoof and a shoe nail #eventerproblems

A photo posted by gracelyn & carlie (@stateofgraceeventing) on

SOME horses don't appreciate the luxuries in life. #soakedalfalfa #throwitontheground #alfalfa #eventerproblems

A video posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

Don’t forget to tag ‘em #EventerProblems on social for inclusion in a future edition. Go Eventing!

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: A New Frontier for SpectraVET Cohiba

Cary Chavis and Coco. Photo courtesy of Diana Rowland. Cary Chavis and Coco. Photo courtesy of Diana Rowland.

Congrats and best of luck to Cary Chavis, proud new owner of one of the brightest young event horse stars in the country SpectraVET Cohiba!

At just 6 years old SpectretVET Cohiba (“Coco”) has already acquired quite a taste for top ribbons. Lynn Symansky purchased the 2010 Wurttemburg mare (Con Spirito x Lea) as a green 5-year-old from Germany and their partnership immediately began to flourish, starting with a win at the 2015 East Coast Young Event Horse Championships as the highest scoring 5-year-old on both coasts.

Lynn Symansky and SpectraVET Cohiba at the 2015 East Coast Young Event Horse Championships. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Lynn Symansky and SpectraVET Cohiba at the 2015 East Coast Young Event Horse Championships. Photo by Sally Spickard.

They finished 1st or 2nd in Cohiba’s first dozen starts at the Novice and Training levels, including a win at last year’s Area II Novice Championships, and most recently the pair placed 2nd at the 2016 American Eventing Championships in the extremely competitive Training Horse division. After scoring a 22.7 in the dressage — Lynn describes her as “fancy and easy on the flat” — she cruised around the jumping phases seemingly without effort: “She was great on the cross country, which wasn’t the sort of course we’re used to, and she’s a careful show  jumper.”

Check out this replay of their performance:

Cary, of Washington, D.C., has competed through the CIC2* level and is preparing for his first CCI2* at Fair Hill this weekend with another horse, Game On.

He trains with Valerie Vizcarrondo of Blue Clover Eventing, who was at Lynn’s farm trying a horse with another student when Lynn mentioned that they were contemplating selling Coco.

“I had watched her, obviously — quite an eye catcher!” Valeri says. “But what had struck me was her similarity to Cary’s current horse Game On, aka. ‘Bo.’ Cary is a very good rider and a soft rider, but doesn’t need anything super strong or quirky. She is so much his ride!”

Indeed, Cary rode the mare and they instantly clicked. After that things happened very quickly: “We had tried her, cross country schooled her, vetted her, and brought her home in no time! He went from kind of looking for another horse to owning one of the nicest ones in the country almost overnight!”

Since then, Valerie reports, “He’s had a few rides on her and they are just so perfect together. She is helping him with the nuisances of riding thanks to Lynn’s amazing job of producing the mare from the start and Coco’s appropriate sensitivity and elegant way of going. Cary is hoping to channel some of that at Fair Hill this weekend. He has a high probability of finishing on his dressage score — but dressage isn’t exactly Bo’s strong point.”

Cary Chavis and Coco. Photo courtesy of Diana Rowland.

Cary Chavis and Coco. Photo courtesy of Diana Rowland.

Cary is a dentist with a busy schedule who makes it out to the barn two to three times a week for lessons but wants as much time in the tack as his professional schedule will allow.

“Coco will be in full training with me and after Fair Hill the timing will be perfect for him to concentrate on developing a partnership with Coco while Bo goes on holiday,” Valerie says. “Our plan is for the pair to do a one-star next year!”

SpectraVET Therapeutic Lasers has played a big role in Cohiba’s journey, as the company’s owners Molly and Peter Jenkins generously sponsored the horse’s development under Lynn. The use of this therapy, which increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair, resolves inflammation, and gives pain relief in equine athletes, it is a valuable part of Lynn’s program — she reports shorter recovery and lay-up times with the use of SpectraVET.

Go SpectraVET. Go Coco. 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.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Why would a 3-year-old need a retirement fund?

Because, if it’s an ex-racer, long-term care can begin as early as age 3 and continue beyond 30. Since 1983 the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has provided long-term care for thousands of Thoroughbreds because they have no pensions or retirement plans, and their ability to do so depends on the generosity of donors like you. Click here to contribute to the long-term care of a retired racehorse via TRF.

Of course, there are plenty of OTTBs out there who are sound and ready for a brand new career — perhaps as your new event horse! Here are three that caught our eye this week:

Photo via Second Stride Inc.

Photo via Second Stride Inc.

World Is Watching (Any Given Saturday – Sweet Fourty, by Sweetsouthernsaint) is a 16.3+ hand 2011 gelding who retired sound and is ready for a new job. He is a stunning big gelding with great bone and style. Full evaluation pending.

He did have a reported successful tie back surgery February 2016. Great disposition and well started on socialization and turn out. Kind under saddle. Last raced in August, he’s still tight in race muscles, and he’ll need some time to free up his movement and get loose. Located in Prospect, Kentucky.

View World Is Watching on Second Stride Inc. 

Photo via New Vocations.

Photo via New Vocations.

Guacanagari (Unforgettable Max – Lil Mai Tai, by Lil E. Tee) is a very sweet 15.3-hand 3-year-old who is learning new things each day. His willing attitude makes him a fun ride with three steady gaits. Overall, “Guacamole” is a pretty immature gelding who will need time to develop both mentally and physically. Guac is very quiet in his group and is happy to be a follower. He is a cribber.

Under saddle Guacamole is improving each ride. He is responsive to your aids and is such a willing baby. Guac learned a fun trick from his track days which is a lovely lope that could rival a Western pleasure Quarter Horse. Some horses will do this when they don’t want to actually trot in their warm up so they will cheat and lope (aka “hobby horse”). It’s very comfortable to ride so as a rider you enjoy it even though they are cheating! Guac will get confused when trotting and think he is supposed to lope when you put your leg on. His trainers have found that he responds better when you cluck to ask for a bigger trot.

He will need an intermediate rider or above to take it slow with him so he can fully develop into his new career. He does not have any known injuries and is suitable for all disciplines.

Located in Lexington, KY.

View Guacanagari on New Vocations.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Lil Maxie (Unforgettable Max – Lil Mai Tai, by Lil E. Tee) is a 2010 16.0-hand mare who is described as very sensible and well put together mare. Her connections feel she will excel and learn any new discipline very quickly. She has no vices and goes out in a group.

View Lil Maxie on CANTER Ohio.