Leslie Wylie
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#DogsOfEN: Canine Show and Tell

You love your dogs, and we love showing them off via #DogsOfEN. Remember to tag your pup pics on Instagram for inclusion in a future edition!

Walk in to the tackroom to this… Weldon is ready to go! #selcouthsporthorses #barndogproblems #helper #weldon #dogsofen

A photo posted by Kayla Muller (@selcouthsporthorses) on

Coolin’ off my other big dog out on cross country. #OJC3DE #EventerProblems #PracticeMakesPerfect

A video posted by Alexa Eleanor Ehlers (@alexa.eleanor) on

#ruhroh #lookwhathappened #groot #superchamp #badboy

A video posted by Helen Bird (@nelehdrib) on

The arctic dog in his element. Me… not so much. #Weldon #dogsofen #barndoglife #

A video posted by Kayla Muller (@selcouthsporthorses) on

The definition of the truck dog! #blueheer #heelergram #puppylife #heelers #dogsofEN #eventingdog #truckdogsofinstagram

A photo posted by Stacey Briggs (@stacey_briggs_eventing) on

#yepwedidthis #dogsofen #dogsofinstagram #groot rides #groot Elisabeth and I were quite the sight today.

A photo posted by Helen Bird (@nelehdrib) on

home is where the barn is #dogsofen #shibainu

A photo posted by Joonbug (@joooooonbug) on

This is comfy huh? #weldon #dogsofen #helayslikethisallthetime #iwanthislife

A photo posted by Kayla Muller (@selcouthsporthorses) on

The dogs feelings on the drive to OJC… #colleenrutledgeeventing #ocalabound #roadtrip #dogsofen #dogsofinsta

A photo posted by Alex Ambelang (@alexambelang) on

The hounds can’t run at the muddy barn… #horsesofinstagram #dogsofen #eventerproblems

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

Bandit and Ranger welcome in the holidays at the barn #thanksgivingtopdog #dogsofEN #eventerproblems #puremichigan

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

The adventures of ranger and Elmo on crappy barn days #barncat #dogsofinstagram #eventerproblems #ineedanewcouch #dogsofEN

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

And, because if #CatsOfEN isn’t a thing yet it needs to be:

Go Eventing Dogs.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Extreme Cross Country with Alycia Burton

Alycia Burton of Free Riding NZ makes me want to lose my horse’s tack and gallop off into the sunset — you know, just being one with my horse.

The 28-year-old New Zealander is a self-made internet phenom, with photos and videos of her amazing bridleless/saddleless jumping feats having been widely circulated on the web. She has a series of training DVD, available via her website, and is currently on tour in Australia.

Alycia and her most famous equine partner, a palomino paint freak of nature named GoldRush, recently made a stop at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre to pop over some big jumps sans tack — this photo slideshow is a must watch!

Watch more videos on the Free Riding YouTube channel here.

Trainer Applications Now Open for 2017 $100K Thoroughbred Makeover

2014 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest winner Icabad Crane has gone on to a successful eventing career, first with Phillip Dutton and currently with his daughter Olivia. Photo by Jenni Autry. 2014 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest winner Icabad Crane has gone on to a successful eventing career, first with Phillip Dutton and currently with his daughter Olivia. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Thinking about throwing your hat in the ring of this year’s Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover? Do it! The trainer application process opened today, Dec. 7, and runs through Feb. 28, 2017.

For roundabout the cost of a regular horse trial, you could not only jump-start the career of an off-track horse but also be part of the biggest OTTB lovefest of the year. The 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium takes place October 5-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park and will feature competition in 10 disciplines ranging from eventing to barrel racing and polo.

Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top three horses in each discipline.

Detailed information is available at the RRP website but here’s a fast and dirty eventer’s guide:

How do I apply to be a Makeover trainer?

The Makeover is open to all members of RPP so if you aren’t already you’ll need to join. Membership is $45 a year and has several perks including a one-year subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, a copy of Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, a free ticket to the Thoroughbred Makeover, discounts from sponsors and other benefits. Professionals, amateurs and juniors are all welcome to apply.

The next step is filling out an online trainer application, which asks for competition highlights, references, and videos of your riding skills. The application window is Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2017. See trainer forms and documents here.

There’s a $200 entry fee; if not accepted the fee will be returned minus a $25 processing fee.

Is my OTTB eligible?

The Makeover is open to Jockey Club registered horses that raced or had a published work after July 1, 2015. They must not have begun training for a second career before Dec. 1, 2016 other than a maximum of 15 allowable rides or training sessions that introduce skills specific to non-racing careers. Some trainers will already have horses identified and others will begin a search after they are approved. Trainers can contract with owners or acquire the horse themselves.

How many OTTBs can I enter? 

New for 2017, all approved trainers may enter up to two horses.

What does it cost? 

There’s a $200 entry fee; if not accepted the fee will be returned minus a $25 processing fee. Other expenses, such as stabling at the competition, are outlined here.

What if I need to withdraw my OTTB?

Trainers may withdraw a horse from the Makeover at any time using the online Makeover Horse Withdrawal Form. Trainers may replace a scratched horse with any eligible horse as late as August 1, 2017. Replacement horses must be registered with the online Makeover Horse Registration Form.

What does the Makeover competition for eventing entail? 

Format for dressage: All horses will perform USEF 2015 Beginner Novice Eventing Test A in a small arena (20m x 40m).

Note: The jumping format has changed from 2016 and will now feature a separate show jumping course and a longer cross country course. Rather than the combined jumping with only six to eight cross country fences it will feel more like a horse trials with all three phases.

Format for Show Jumping: All horses will be judged over a course set at dimensions for United States Eventing Association (USEA) Beginner Novice (2’7” maximum), Novice (2’11” maximum), or Training (3’3” maximum). Trainers will select their level with their final entry form in August.

Format for Cross Country: All horses will be judged over a cross country course of approximately twelve obstacles. Each obstacle will have at least two options, one at Beginner Novice dimensions (2’7”) and the other at Novice (2’11”). Optional fences may be offered for riders to demonstrate a higher level of training as well. Riders should jump the obstacle choice that best demonstrates the quality and level of their horse’s training. They need not jump all fences at the same level.

Finale: The top three scoring horses will compete for additional points in the finale, demonstrating basic work on the flat and jumping a course that includes show jumps and cross country portables in the covered arena.

Attire and equipment should adhere to that described in USEF Rules for Eventing.

The scoring system for eventing has been simplified from 2016 — view the new scoring guidelines here.

What happens after the Makeover is over?

Owners can choose to keep their horses at the end of the process or offer them for sale. The Makeover Horse Sale is not an auction but an opportunity for buyers and sellers to do business in a setting that allows trial rides, pre-purchase exams, and observation of horses in competition.

For much more information, visit the RRP website.

Go OTTBs. Go Eventing.

 

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Megan Van Son’s Thanksgiving Pine Top Prelim Helmet Cam

Megan Van Son and Arioso spent their Thanksgiving weekend competing at Pine Top, where they finished second in the Open Prelim division. They finished on their dressage score, 37.7, and breezed through the jumping phases, delivering double-clear cross country and show jumping rounds.

Megan has done a beautiful job of developing “Arie” up the levels herself. She purchased the 8-year-old OTTB sight unseen in the fall of 2012, when he was 4.

“He had a lot of baggage from the track and me being only 15 at the time had to work through a lot of that — it’s taken several years to develop the relationship we have, but I wouldn’t trade it,” she says.

Megan Van Son and Arioso. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

Megan Van Son and Arioso at Pine Top. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

Their partnership has encountered plenty of obstacles along the way. In 2014 he had a freak pasture accident and, long story short, had to regrow his entire hoof wall on his hind leg then deal with residual issues from that.

“I was told by many vets that he needed to be retired and that he would be fairly useless as an event horse, but I could tell from his spirit that he wasn’t done,” she says.

Megan Van Son and Arioso. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

Megan Van Son and Arioso at Pine Top. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

She moved from East Tennessee, where she grew up riding with Patti Young at Young Mountain Farm, to Lexington last year to attend the University of Kentucky, where she is a sophomore in marketing/management major as well as being in an honors social enterprise program. After almost two years off of stall rest, hand walking, and therapy (including chiropractic adjustments, which Megan says made a huge difference), this February they did their first dressage show back.

“I definitely cried after the final salute,” Megan says. “I decided to just take it one day at a time to see how much he could/wanted to do. I’m simply waiting for the day when he tells me he’s had enough, but so far he hasn’t!”

Megan Van Son and Arioso. Photo by Vince Van Son.

Megan Van Son and Arioso. Photo by Vince Van Son.

He came back stronger than ever, winning his first Training level event back at the River Glen June H.T., moving up to Prelim and winning his second event at the level, Kentucky Classique. “Arie is an incredibly spirited and opinionated guy, but he loves to show off in the ring,” Megan explains.

Megan Van Son and Arioso. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

Megan Van Son and Arioso at Pine Top. Photo by Mark Lehner/HoofClix.

What’s next for Megan and Arie? They plan to continue working through the winter, with an eye on an Intermediate move-up in the early spring.

Beyond that: “The idea of Young Riders is in the back of my mind as we move forward,” she says. “This is my last year to qualify and it would be an incredibly meaningful experience, but again, I’m just listening to my horse to see how far we can go. The way he acted at Pine Top, I’m fairly certain we’ve got a while!

Megan has already begun building up her own training, competition, and sales business — you can check out her website here.

Best of luck to Megan and Arie! 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.

Congrats to Southern California Equestrian Sports 2016 Award & Grant Winners!

Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Leslie Wylie. Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Hardworking eventers deserve all the support they can get. We’re glad to see Southern California Equestrian Sports stepping up to financially assist some of our sport’s most deserving athletes.

SCES congratulates the following grant recipient winners, as chosen by its board: Allison Springer ($2,000), Sinead Halpin ($1,250) and Lindsay Kelley ($750).

Additionally, SCES is proud to recognize SCES member Lauren Billys with a $1,500 award for her achievements while representing Puerto Rico at the 2016 Olympic Games.

SCES President David Kuhlman says, “As an organization we are dedicated to assisting riders and events for the betterment of Equestrian Sports across the United States and Globe. Each of our 2016 award winners are very deserving and we are proud to support them.”

Learn more about Southern California Equestrian Sports, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping equestrians and organizers raise tax deductible funds to help offset competition expenses, by visiting its website here.

[Southern California Equestrian Sports Announces 2016 Awards and Grants]

Let’s Discuss: Who Is Your Fantasy Ride?

Last Monday evening the Eventing Nation crew was honored to close out the final hour of Horse Radio Network’s 2016 12-Hour Holiday Radiothon, accompanied by some very special eventer guests.

The theme question of the day was “Who is your fantasy ride?” If you could take a spin on any horse, past or present, whom would it be?

Co-host Jenni got the ball rolling with her pick, Irish eventer Camilla Speirs’ 2014 World Equestrian Games mount Portersize Just a Jiff. “He’s a little Connemara cross, barely 15 hands, 16 years old, and he just looks like he would be a blast to ride around cross country,” she explained.

Wylie went full-on fantasy, naming Starlight from the 1980s animated series Rainbow Brite: “I would like to spend just one day of my life on Starlight’s back, galloping on magical rainbows, showering the world with star sprinkles and fighting the powers of darkness and taking out baddies.”

Guests Heather Morris and Tamie Smith from Next Level Eventing were up next, and they both went with eventing legends.

Heather’s pick: Priceless, Ginny Leng’s 1980s wonderhorse who in addition to winning Burghley (twice) and Badminton, picked up four team and two individual golds at the European and World Championships, and a team silver and individual bronze at the 1984 Olympic Games. Heather summed up the horse, who maintained a spotless cross country record throughout his career: “He was amazing.”

Tamie’s pick: “My fantasy event horse is Murphy Himself. I kind of like the crazy, leave ‘em out, hang on for dear life type.”

The inimitable Irish Sport Horse was first ridden by Ginny (with whom she again won Burghley) and later met his match in Ian Stark. The pair enjoyed terrific success together, completing Badminton several times, winning individual and team silver at the 1990 FEI World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, and contesting the Barcelona Olympics.

This vintage Thrills & Spills video features both Ginny (shown riding Master Craftsman, I believe) and Ian riding Murphy Himself, and captures the spirit of the era.

There was some talk of a fantasy showdown between Valegro and Totilas (“I wonder if we can teach them to jump?” Heather and Tamie mused), and then it was time for the final eventing hour guest Doug Payne.

Doug’s eventing pick was Opgun Louvo, Saundra Auffarth’s 2014 WEG champion …

… but if he could take a turn on ANY horse in the world?

“My dream horse at the moment is a horse called Good Luck, a show jumper ridden by the Irishman Cian O’Connor,” Doug said. “He is extraordinary.”

Indeed, upon further inspection this 10-year-old Belgian stallion does seem to be equipped with some sort of turbo booster.

And with that, Eventing Nation, we turn the mic over to you: Who is YOUR fantasy ride? Discuss in the comments!

Click the player below to listen to the Radiothon eventing hour (or click here to listen to the show in its entirety):

#EventerProblems Vol. 98

If I’ve learned one thing since I started compiling this series 98 (that’s a lot of #EventerProblems) editions ago, it’s that I am never alone.

For instance, this person, who posted a photo of basically a giant, puss-filled horse foot pimple on Instagram?

When you’ve been soaking and bute-ing for three days and you finally see progress. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Nicole Sharpe (@nicolegizelle) on

We may never have met, but you are my soulmate.

Without further ado, here’s your weekly dose of struggle communion:

King of the bank #ottorocket #appletreefarm #hollis #horses #eventerproblems #eventing #ottb #fallmornings

A photo posted by Apple Tree Farm (@atf_eventing) on

“It’s too early for a riding lesson!” #eventerproblems #Ottb

A photo posted by Liz G (@eliz.lynn93) on

Naughty pony in motion. #eventerproblems #horsesofinstagram #naughtypony.

A video posted by Sam Erwin (@samantha.erwin) on

I love My Grey i love My Grey i love My Grey #eventerproblems #stjernedamen

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

When you really want to be sure your horse’s naughty behavior is not due to a medical condition. #Eventerproblems

A photo posted by Yvonne Ocrant (@yvonne_ocrant) on

Putting the lid back on the can of worms… #eventerproblems #equestrianproblems

A photo posted by Helen Donnell (@helendonnell) on

Eventers be like, it’s just a one day #horsetrials #eventerproblems #ineedabiggertrailer

A photo posted by Courtney Due (@idteventing) on

Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Have a thing for gingers? If so this edition of Weekly OTTB Wishlist goes out to you. Here are three red-headed Thoroughbred geldings who are primed and ready for a new career, perhaps in the sport of eventing!

View Surge Ahead on Finger Lakes Finest.

View Surge Ahead on Finger Lakes Finest.

Surge Ahead (Purge – Arrested Lady, by Thunder Gulch): 2010 16.2-hand gelding

Looking for well balanced, clean legged, sound and sizeable? Check out Surge Ahead. Quiet enough to jog on a brisk day on a busy backside with no chain, this adorable gelding marched right into the hearts of Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds’ volunteers. His trainer reports that he can be grouchy in his stall, but in his extended meet and greet in the road between the barns he was nothing but polite, snuggly and friendly. He is reportedly excellent to work under tack — well mannered with a good work ethic. He knows his job and is happy to go to work each day.

He’s been with his current connections since early spring and has been steadily gaining weight while still in race training. He will surely fill out with a lighter work regimen. His connections are looking to move him on to a new discipline while he is still sound and clean legged. Looking for an RRP mount or your next eventer or sport horse? We could see Surge Ahead doing just that — surging ahead to the top of the ribbons in any new discipline.

View Surge Ahead on Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Photo via Second Stride.

Photo via Second Stride.

Tall Wood (Trappe Shot – Mankai Blossom, by First Samurai): 2014 16.2-hand gelding

Out of a First Samurai/Jade Hunter mare, Tall Wood is lovely in every way! This substantial boy was bred in Kentucky and came in from Churchill Downs, sound and ready to transition to a new career. Full entry evaluation is pending. He appears to be a lovely hunter, fox hunter or eventing prospect.

View Tall Wood on Second Stride.

keyforsuccess1-1

Photo via Second Stride.

Key For Success (Red Giant – Keys, by Sefapiano): 2011 16.3-hand gelding

Out of a Fappiano/Sharpen Up line mare. Retired from racing with two wins and over $72k in earnings. This big handsome fellow retired sound and ready to transition to a new career.

Mentally done with racing, he’s ready to start hacking and transitioning to a new job. Brave over colored ground poles. His trainer reports that he has a sensitive belly and does not like you to touch it mounting or brushing. He’s a large athletic horse with a huge shoulder. He should excel at three-day eventing.

View Key for Success on Second Stride.

#FlashbackFriday Video from World Equestrian Brands: 1983 Gawler Three-Day Event

I love back-in-the-day eventing footage — like this 47-minute highlight reel from the 1983 Gawler Three-Day Event in Australia. Gawler first ran in 1954 and was replaced by Adelaide International Horse Trials in 1997.

The cross country segment is bananas! An alarming number of riders fall and but are given a boost back into the saddle and continue on. The water complex (fast forward to 14:12) is particularly dicey: multiple horses and riders go for a swim, and the announcer commentary alone is priceless.

For one pair: “Whoa! Brother, he’s in trouble. And recovered brilliantly, but look at the horse — his ears are full of water. The horse will be concentrating on his ears full of water rather than jumping. Shakes his head … Whoa! Almost big trouble. It really, really worries a horse to have its ears full of water. Now he’s got his mind back on the job. Up onto the bank, and continues on.”

For another: “Horse and rider gone completely under, the horse up very quickly but the horse’s head has gone completely under. Look at him shaking the water out — horses don’t like their head underwater at all.”

#HorseFacts

Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

We’re happy to see some Thoroughbred Makeover graduates popping on up on our classifieds site Sport Horse Nation!

Here are two that did quite well for themselves in the competition, and one more available through CANTER we’d love to see in the Makeover next year.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Title Contender (Pulpit – Winter Garden, by Roy)

2010 OTTB 16.2 Black. Third place out of 75 in 2016 RRP Makeover Eventing Division.

“Sheldon” has a great mind, has competed well in the BN division of eventing. Loves to jump. He is a very good mover and scores well in his dressage. He loads and ties and is very well mannered on the ground. No vices. Great fee, still goes barefoot, no shoes.He is offered for sale after off-track training in eventing and natural horsemanship.

View Title Contender on Sport Horse Nation

Photo via Sport Horse Nation

Photo via Sport Horse Nation

Copious Reward (Grand Reward – Hana J, by Peaks and Valleys) – Amature/Junior/Pro Gelding with Scope for Prelim

“Copious Reward” is proudly offered for sale. This 2012 16.1-hand bay Thoroughbred gelding has a 10-year-old brain in a 4-year -old body. “Beau” last raced in December 2015, but after racing only 11 times he was sent to the Equine Rescue of Aiken in South Carolina. I adopted Beau in February for the Retired Racehorse Project Makeover.

Beau has proven to be an amazing and capable partner. He is quiet, brave and a fast learner. Beau has already started a career as an eventing horse, but could easily be successful in the hunters, dressage,or jumpers. He has scope and balance that I have never had in such a young horse. Beau has already completed three Beginner Novice horse trials and two Novice level horse trials. He is incredibly brave and bold on cross country, jumping ditches, banks and going through water without hesitation.

Beau is easy to handle. Self loads on and off the trailer, alone or with company. Turns out in a herd or alone, bathes, braids, clips, ties, stands for farrier and vet. Trail rides alone and with company, would most likely be great on fox hunts or hunter paces.

Beau recently traveled to the Retired Racehorse Project Makeover in Kentucky! He traveled the 18 hours extremely well, stopping at overnights on the way out and back. He handled the huge atmosphere of the Kentucky Horse Park with maturity and poise, finishing in 16th place out of almost 70 horses in the eventing division.

View Copious Reward on Sport Horse Nation

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Photo via CANTER PA.

Bebes Passion (Utopia (JPN) – Nueva Turista, by Tour d’Or) – 2010 15.2-hand mare

A classic beauty! An athletic little number, you can tell this one is a clever type with a build that would be suitable for any potential career. She is a barn favorite, which is a great sign when considering which horse to bring home. Please note, Bebe does have some ankle rounding and old pinfire marks on the inside of her left front leg; we’re told neither ever bother her and are purely superficial.

Her video is a bit short through no fault of her own, she just felt a bit happy when asked to trot so we put a kibosh on the idea. Great home is of utmost importance for this one; accordingly, she’s priced affordably to an ideal home.

View Bebes Passion on CANTER PA

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: #BehindBadminton with Eric Winter

May might seem like a long time away, but incoming Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials course designer Eric Winter is already busy executing his vision for the 2017 cross country track. In this #BehindBadminton video, Eric shares a sneak preview of next year’s course.

Eric succeeds former Italian designer Giuseppe della Chiesa, who took over the course in 2014 from event director Hugh Thomas, also featured in the video. Hugh designed the course for 24 years, from 1989 to 2013.

Eric was a natural pick for the position, being both a local — he lives with his wife and family near Chepstow, about 30 miles from Badminton — and having been involved with Badminton for many years. He served as technical delegate at the event from 2011 to 2014, and also completed the event as a rider in 1991.

And of course he is well qualified: he designed the course at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for the past 10 years, as well as courses at the Asian Games, two European Pony Championships, a European Junior and a European Young Rider Championship.

“For the last 15 or 20 years, I think, when you walk around the course you say, ‘If I was there I would do this, if I was there I would do that,’ and now all of a sudden it’s on my shoulders,” he says. “Which is a bit of an intimidating thought but I’m really looking forward to the challenge of producing a really good four-star course.”

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.

USEA ICP Program to Offer Two New YEH Certificates in 2017

Lynn Symansky and SpectraVET Cohiba, winner of the 2015 USEA YEH Overall 5-Year-Old Championship. Photo by Sally Spickard. Lynn Symansky and SpectraVET Cohiba, winner of the 2015 USEA YEH Overall 5-Year-Old Championship. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Even the best-bred youngster is only as good as the training that horse receives. In acknowledgement of the importance of early equine education, the USEA’s Instructor Certification Program (ICP) and Young Event Horse Program (YEH) will begin offering two new certificates in 2017:

  • ICP Young Event Horse Instructor, for individuals who teach students aboard young horses
  • ICP Young Event Horse Professional Trainer, for individuals who develop the under-saddle abilities and performance of young event horses by riding them as a paid occupation

The USEA explains the aim of these additional certificates:

Equally as important as sound breeding is utilization of safe, humane, experienced, and insightful on-the-ground and under-saddle training. Who, specifically, can offer positive, productive assistance to owners and amateur riders as they develop their young event horses? 

FEH’s, YEH’s, and ICP’s answer: instructors and professional trainers whose experience and skills have been confirmed in the eyes of other experienced horsemen and horsewomen who are themselves knowledgeable and experienced in the development of skilled and willing young event horses. 

Just as FEH and YEH are able to assist American breeders with the equine parent selection process and the early development of young event horses, so ICP-certified YEH instructors and ICP-certified Young Event Horse professional trainers will be able to assist American young horse owners, riders, and anyone else interested with high quality under-saddle development of their 4- and 5-year-olds, whether those horses are purebreds, crossbreds, or, more specifically, American Thoroughbreds.

Certification is available via a three-day ICP YEH Workshop, to include teaching or riding depending on which certificate is being sought. After attending an ICP YEH Workshop, YEH  instructors and YEH professional trainers may attend an ICP Assessment to be evaluated for ICP certification. Those individuals seeking the YEH Professional Trainer certificate will ride young horses at an ICP Assessment.

More information on these certificates will be available following the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention; email Email Sue Hershey at [email protected] with any immediate questions.

Don’t miss the ICP Open Meeting, to take place on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5-6 p.m., and be sure to mark your calendar for Feb. 20-22, when the ICP, YEH and FEH programs will be joining forces for a three-day educational experience in Ocala

[USEA Instructors’ Certification Program Introduces Two New Young Event Horse Certificates]

Dr. Rob Stevenson Appointed Eventing High Performance Chair for Canada

Rob Stevenson and Risky Business II representing Canada in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Photo by Elizabeth Furth.

Rob Stevenson and Risky Business II representing Canada in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Photo by Elizabeth Furth.

Equestrian Canada has announced that Dr. Rob Stevenson will become Chair of the Eventing High Performance Advisory Group heading into the next cycle of major games.

“I am thrilled that Rob has accepted this important position at a time where we need to focus on collaboration with the Eventing Committee, athletes and owners,” said Peter Gray, Eventing Committee Chair. “He is the perfect balance of experience, integrity and fairness, and comes to this position without bias or personal agendas.”

Dr. Stevenson, from Lakeside, New Brunswick, has worn many hats in the sport of eventing. As an athlete, he represented Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he finished 22nd individually riding Risky Business. Following his competitive career, he has participated in the sport as coach — he runs the performance-oriented training and boarding facility, Foshay South Eventing, with his wife Suzanne — parent, event organizer and team selector, serving on the Eventing High Performance Committee from 2001 to 2004 as c0-chair of selection.

In 2012 he was appointed FEI National Safety Officer for Canada and was recently invited to join the newly formed FEI Risk Management Steering Group, roles which uniquely play to his experiences as both eventer and cardiologist. His EN article from May 2016, “Is This Sport Safe Enough? Breaking Down the Latest Eventing Safety Statistics,” is a must-read for anyone seeking to better understand and contribute to the conversations taking place surrounding the issue of eventing safety.

Speaking to the restructuring within EC and his role going forward, Dr. Stevenson said, “My first responsibility will be to help define the roles and responsibilities — with respect to the EC High Performance program — of the Eventing Committee, the athletes and the owners, to unify the passion that we all share for this great sport.

“My involvement in a high performance sport has shaped the life that I live every day. I have had remarkable experiences in this sport as an athlete, coach, parent, organizer and sponsor. I am committed to sharing this experience with others in a way that changes their lives as well.”

Dr. Stevenson commended Committee members currently finishing their Olympic term on the Eventing Selection Panel: “Jenn Holling, Grit High, Juliet Graham and Kelli McMullen-Temple have dedicated years of their lives to the cause of developing and selecting the best teams possible for Canada. I will have much to learn from what they have achieved.”

He also recognized Clayton Fredericks, who completed his four-year contract as Eventing Team Coach in November 2016. “In this role, Clayton led Canada to team and individual medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, and top 10 placings at both the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games and 2016 Rio Olympics. Moreover, he has developed a number of young Canadian athletes who will be members of our team in future years.”

For more information on high performance eventing in Canada, visit the website here.

 

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Doug Payne’s Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Helmet Cam

Lysander has been in Doug Payne’s program since he was just three, and we’ve had such fun tagging along on his journey up the eventing ladder.

We first spotlighted “Big Leo,” owned by Kristin Michaloski in partnership with Doug Payne, back in 2012 as part of the “EN’s Got Talent Series.” Doug had recently piloted the 18-hand up-and-comer to his debut at Prelim, explaining that the lower levels weren’t doing his big guy any favors: “He’s a very talented horse, but with his height he was just tripping over the fences at Novice.” Check out some video of Leo from the beginning here

They’ve just gotten better and better since, and ticked the box of now 9-year-old Leo’s first three-star effort over the weekend at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. They scored a jumped clear cross country round with some time and felled a single rail to finish 12th in the CIC3* class. (See out EN’s complete coverage of the event here.)

Watching this helmet cam video, it’s clear what a positive, confidence-inspiring ride Leo enjoyed around the Ocala Jockey Club track with Doug in the irons. He at the finish flags with one ear pricked forward and the other swiveled back, still listening and soaking up Doug’s praise. Helmet cam provided by Cambox Sport.

And the Winner of the World Equestrian Brands Thanksgiving Top Dog Contest Is …

William, EN's 2016 World Equestrian Brands Thanksgiving Top Dog. Photo courtesy of Drea Comstock. William, EN's 2016 World Equestrian Brands Thanksgiving Top Dog. Photo courtesy of Drea Comstock.

The readers have spoken: Drea Comstock’s barn dog of a lifetime, William, is EN’s 2016 Thanksgiving Top Dog! Many thanks to World Equestrian Brands for sponsoring this fun holiday contest and congrats to all our finalists – and to our very deserving winner. 

“For nine years, William was the best barn dog that there ever was, as long as you like your barn dogs naughty,” Drea explains. “Racing around on three legs and bossing everyone equally, everyone at the barn knew him.”

“His favorite place in the world was the barn. When we were at home, he was just waiting to be able to get back. He made all of us smile, every day, whether he was chasing a coyote through the snow in his blue dog blanket like a flying ottoman, trying to herd the horses unnecessarily and only occasionally successfully, or highly inappropriately diving through your legs, nose right at crotch height, so you have to pet him.

“Unfortunately, William passed away suddenly last month. I was so thankful to have this dog with me for nine years. I couldn’t have started my own business and powered through the stress and exhaustion without my best friend.”

Some photos of William’s time ruling the roost at Dark Horse:

Drea will take home a pair of Equilibrium Tri-Zone Allsports II Boots courtesy of World Equestrian Brands! These multi-purpose boots are designed to be versatile for busy horse owners. From jumping, cross country, flatwork, hacking and turnout, the AllSports II boots can do it all. The boots retail at $114 and are available in black or white and sizes small-extra large. Click here to learn more about the boots.

FlyPups: If you’re wondering where to shop this holiday season, please consider World Equestrian Brandswhere a portion of all sales benefits FlyPups. This non-profit’s mission is trifold: transporting dogs from desperate situations to no-kill shelters and forever homes, providing aid to dogs during natural disasters, and delivering trained dogs to veterans for service and companionship — all at no charge. Visit FlyPups.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.

flypups-logo_

Go Eventing!

Listen Live to Horse Radio Network’s Holiday Radiothon (Especially When We Take Over Tonight!)

Horse Radio Network’s Holiday Radiothon is underway. Brace yourself for 12 straight hours of horsey holiday tidings, emceed by a revolving door of hosts and celebrity guests.

Because they are the baddest equestrian Christmas catladies in the land, our own Jenni Autry and Leslie Wylie will once again be hosting the homestretch of Radiothon 2016 this evening, Monday Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.

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For the final hour of the day we’ll be running our big mouths, swilling wine, snuggling cats, taking calls from listeners, and swapping Christmas stories with celebrity guests to include the double-trouble California girl duo Heather Morris and Tamie Smith of Next Level Eventing …

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Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… and Doug Payne, repeat Radiothon offender and leaper of large solid obstacles.

Photo by Mark Lehner Photography

Photo by Mark Lehner Photography

View the full schedule here – and for more information and call-in info ($4,000 in prizes are up for grabs!) visit the website here.

Ready to tune in? Click the button below!

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Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Buck Davidson & Bounce Pass in Ocala CCI2*

World Equestrian Brands rider Buck Davidson is keeping himself plenty busy this weekend as usual at the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. He has one horse apiece in the CCI1* and 2* divisions, and two in the CIC3* including dressage leader Carlevo.

His CCI2* ride, Bounce Pass, is debuting at the level. Buck and the 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, owned by Buck and Janis Smith, scored a 55.2 in their Thanksgiving Day dressage test. We look forward to watching them tackle the jumping, and in the meantime check out this video of their test courtesy of The Horse Pesterer.

#OJCInternational: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesLive ScoresFacebookTwitterInstagramLive StreamEN’s Coverage

Vote for the Winner of EN’s Thanksgiving Top Dog Contest! Presented by World Equestrian Brands

We had so many great entries for our Thanksgiving Top Dog Contest, presented by World Equestrian Brands, we had a “ruff” time narrowing them down!

Here are the 15 finalists — click on any photo to see a larger view and view the owner’s name:

And while our chinch legal team insists that the following entry didn’t “meet qualifications for inclusion in the contest,” we think this Top Cat deserves an honorable mention.

Sir Stockington Right Capstone aka Sock #thanksgivingtopdog #morecaninethanfeline #eventerproblems #dogsofEN

A photo posted by JEM (@__livin_the_dream__) on

Who do you think deserves to be EN’s Thanksgiving Top Dog? Cast your vote, via their owner’s name, below. Voting ends on Sunday, Nov. 27, at midnight with the winner to be announced on Monday!

The prize: The lucky winner will take home a pair of Equilibrium Tri-Zone Allsports II Boots courtesy of World Equestrian Brands! These multi-purpose boots are designed to be versatile for busy horse owners. From jumping, cross country, flatwork, hacking and turnout, the AllSports II boots can do it all. The boots retail at $114 and are available in black or white and sizes small-extra large. Click here to learn more about the boots.

FlyPups: If you’re wondering where to shop this holiday season, please consider World Equestrian Brandswhere a portion of all sales benefits FlyPups. This non-profit’s mission is trifold: transporting dogs from desperate situations to no-kill shelters and forever homes, providing aid to dogs during natural disasters, and delivering trained dogs to veterans for service and companionship — all at no charge. Visit FlyPups.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.

flypups-logo_

Go Eventing.

Chris Bartle Appointed Performance Coach of British Eventing Team

Gemma Tattersall stops to chat with German team coach Chris Bartle. Photo by Jenni Autry. Gemma Tattersall stops to chat with German team coach Chris Bartle. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Big news for Team Great Britain! The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and British Eventing have today confirmed Chris Bartle in a newly created role of Performance Coach as part of the World Class eventing program.

When former German Eventing Team co-coach Chris Bartle applied to succeed Yogi Breisner as British Eventing Team coach in September, the job was his for the taking.

British Eventing Chief Executive David Holmes says, “We are incredibly lucky to have found such a strong and inspirational Performance Coach to take the British eventing squad forward. As you can appreciate the process of making senior appointments involves detailed and confidential discussions and is why we have been unable to make any announcement until this time, but are delighted to announce this news today and look forward to working with Christopher as we head towards Tokyo 2020.”

Since British-born Chris joined Hans Melzer as co-coach in 2001 the German team has achieved many successes at major championships, including multiple gold medals at the Olympics Games, World Equestrian Games and European Championships.

Left to right: Peter Thomsen, Josefa Sommer, Bettina Hoy, Josephine Schnaufer and Christopher Bartle. Photo: Trevor Holt/FEI.

Left to right: Peter Thomsen, Josefa Sommer, Bettina Hoy, Josephine Schnaufer and Christopher Bartle. Photo: Trevor Holt/FEI.

In September he explained his motivation for applying for the new role: “That I would like to apply for this interesting and challenging position that might keep me well over the next four years to come closer to my home is also in the interest of my family.”

Certainly, British eventing extends him a warm and enthusiastic homecoming.

Clare Salmon, British Equestrian Federation Chief Executive, said of Chris’ appointment, “On behalf of BEF as well as British Eventing I am delighted to be able to share this news; Chris has a great wealth of knowledge and experience across all Olympic equestrian disciplines as a rider as well as achieving incredible results throughout his years with the German Senior Eventing team. We look forward to welcoming him back to his homeland and to the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Performance team in the New Year.”

The role will commence in January 2017.

[BEF & BE appoint Eventing Performance Coach]

Weekly OTTB Wishlist From Cosequin

Off-track Thoroughbreds are near and dear to us here on the EN team, as they have touched many of our lives in big ways. I want to dedicate this week’s edition of OTTB Wishlist to my OTTB of a lifetime, Rowdy Intentions, who passed away a year ago this week.

Before he carried me up the ranks of eventing as a young rider, Rowdy earned a whopping $0 on the track in three maiden claiming starts. Racing under the name Mankins (Demons Begone – Surburban Sue, by Nodouble), this plain bay Arkansas-bred gelding may not have been blessed with speed but in each race he clawed his way into the mix on heart alone.

I looked up the charts on those races, and the comments — “passed tiring rivals” at Retama Park,” and “steady advance” at Sam Houston Race Park – speak volumes about his character on the track and beyond. He always gave it his all, and he never, ever gave up.

Rest in peace, Rowdy.

As a community, let’s never give up on our mission to find a safe, happy home for each and every OTTB. Here are three that caught our eye this week!

Photo via Maker's Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

It’s easy to max out on compliments for this 16.1-hand, 2013 gelding. Maximum Max (Albertus Maximus – Jersey Glitter, by Glitterman) is the horse that everyone wants — balanced, athletic, kind, smart, willing, and GREY! His connections are so impressed with him already. His composure and work ethic, despite his youth, bode well for his future in the sport horse world. This fancy fellow was bred to race but born to shine in the show ring!

Located in Lexington, KY.

View Maximum Max on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo via New Vocations.

Photo via New Vocations.

Scarlet Lady (Noble Causeway – I’m Becoming, by Bertrando) is a 3-year-old filly who is figuring out her way through life with baby curiosity and bright-eyed wonder.

She was very shy and afraid of everything when she came to New Vocations but has been transforming into a very nice young lady before their eyes. From jumping at her own shadow to now happily showing us her cute personality, she absolutely seeks out and relies on her person to help her understand her new world. Scarlet is always looking for her person to give her guidance and protection, both on the ground and under saddle, so she will be a true partner. If she is out in the pasture she will call to you if she sees you and will watch your every move from over her stall gate, so at this stage of her life she will need an advanced rider familiar with working with babies because she still has a young mind.

She is able to advance in her training under a thought-out step-by-step program, but will get anxious and strong if confused by what is being asked of her, reverting back to the race training she is familiar with.  Softness and patience wins her over and she will try her heart out if she understands what the rider is telling her, meaning Scarlet will be the type of horse that will start right out with what she learned the day before. She has no known injuries and no vices.

Located in Marysville, OH.

View Scarlet Lady on New Vocations.

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Photo via New Vocations.

Ange Gris (Grey Dawn II – Lady Attica, by Spy Song), meaning “gray angel,” is an 8-year-old mare who stands over 15.3 hands. She ran a very impressive 52 times and has retired without any apparent injuries.

She is lower in the herd order but is not bullied. Her everyday ground manners are excellent but she can get pushy when overstimulated (for instance, the first couple days in a new place). Once she settles in she is quite sweet and personable. She does not have any stall vices.

Angel, as her trainers call her, is currently RRP Makeover eligible as she has not yet started retraining under saddle since her retirement from racing. She does not have any known limitations.

Located in Lexington, KY.

View Ange Gris on New Vocations.

USEF Explains Vote to Support Olympic Format Changes

Photo courtesy of FEI. Photo courtesy of FEI.

There’s been some earnest chin scratching in the eventing community since Tuesday’s FEI vote in support of sweeping Olympic format changes, most notably a proposal to limit teams to three horse/athlete combinations per nation with no drop score. Under the newly approved format, the active reserve can be substituted into the competition at the beginning of any phase of competition.

To quote one EN reader, and summarize the thoughts of many others: “But why?”

The USEF has since issued an explanation of its vote in favor of the proposal:

“After careful assessment with much involvement from key stakeholders, we came to the conclusion that without the change in Olympic format, it was likely that one of our Olympic disciplines would be dropped from future Olympic Games. This would be unacceptable,” said Murray Kessler, USEF President-Elect.

“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) challenged our International Federation to present format changes that would increase relevance among fans and broaden global participation or risk being eliminated. These changes do just that and while we resist change, this might even make the sport more exciting.”

The driving factors which ultimately drove the decision for USEF to vote “Yes” on the format changes included:

  • Keeping show jumping, dressage, AND eventing all in the Olympic Games
  • Agreement to protect the current format for each sport at all other major championships
  • No reduction in Team USA members as the new format includes three riders plus an ACTIVE reserve that can participate and earn medals
  • Supporting the FEI and IOC’s goal to give more countries in the world the opportunity to participate
  • Supporting the effort to make the sport easier to understand and fan friendly (the drop score was confusing)
  • Numerous other revisions to the details of the format changes that were made as the result on constructive dialogue in the various committees and forums leading up to the General Assembly vote

The USEF contingent was also able to accomplish changes or delay implementation of other proposed rules at the General Assembly that would have had severe negative unintended consequences on international sport in North America. The changes to the Olympic format along with other highlights from the General Assembly will be reviewed at the USEF Annual Meeting being held January 11-14, 2017 in Lexington, Ky.

It is unclear what other “proposed rules” the USEF is referring to in the final paragraph of its statement, and we look forward to learning more about those details at the USEF Annual Meeting.

[USEF Votes to Support Olympic Format Changes at FEI General Assembly]

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Texas Rose OI Winners Arden Stephens & Ultra T

Arden Stephens and Ultra T topped the Open Intermediate division at the Texas Rose Fall H.T., held two weekends ago in Tyler, Texas. (See full results here.)

Arden, a 17-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas, and her 8-year-old British-bred Dutch Warmblood gelding moved up to Intermediate last month at Holly Hill H.T., finishing fourth in their first attempt after a successful year at Prelim.

It’s exciting to see talented young riders like Arden coming through the ranks, and it’s been a big month for Area V young riders in particular — see this morning’s post on newly appointed Area V Young Rider coach Will Faudree here.

Young riders are the future of our sport, and it’s so important that we nourish their budding careers. We look forward to watching Arden and Ultra T continue their progress!

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Will Faudree Comes Full Circle as New Area V Young Rider Coach

Will Faudree and Pfun. Photo by Jenni Autry. Will Faudree and Pfun. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Could anything be more perfect than Will Faudree coaching the Area V Young Riders? It’s a back-to-his-roots step for the Lone Star State native, who started his career as an Area V Young Rider and has since developed into one of our nation’s brightest eventing stars.

“My Young Rider years helped pave the way for the career that I have been so fortunate to have and am honored to return as the coach for Area V,” he says.

Will grew up on a cattle ranch in Midland, Texas. He learned to ride young and caught the eventing bug while watching the 1988 Olympics, making his way up the levels with the help of trainers Kathleen Zins, Bobo Wroe, Carolyn and Harley Stimmel, Mike Huber and Carston Meyer. After high school he moved to Pennsylvania to train with Phillip Dutton.

In 2001 Will helped his Area V teammates Heidi Hewlett, Clark Montgomery and Amy Smith to NAJYRC two-star Team Gold riding the OTTB The Big Easy. He was named USEA Young Rider of the Year in 2002 and was also presented with the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy, awarded to the Young Rider who exemplifies the USET’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Since then, Will hasn’t slowed down. Now based in Hoffman, NC, he has represented the U.S. several times on the world stage and has built a successful career of helping horses and riders alike reach their full potential.

In his new role Will Faudree will be working closely with Area V Young Rider Coordinator Tayler Owen throughout the year to help build a strong program for all levels.

Congratulations, Will and Area V!