Leslie Wylie
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Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: TR&HC H.T. Prelim Helmet Cam

“Hilly,” warns the Omnibus description of Tryon Riding & Hunt Club H.T.’s cross country course. “Horses must be fit!”

Indeed, the course is run on a sort of horse trial Heartbreak Hill; the first half literally just goes up and up and up. Emily Cox’s helmet cam video from last weekend’s event offers a great perspective …


… and she and FR’s Check It Out Now look to have had a great trip. The pair finished 6th in the Open Prelim division — congrats, Emily and “Billy”! Check out this video of their round:

“This was Billy’s first prelim and my third,” says Emily, one of several University of Georgia Event Team riders we spotted at TR&HC H.T. “The previous two attempts I’ve made at this level did not end well, so for Billy to jump clean in cross country and stadium exceeded all my expectations for him. He’s such a cool horse with the best attitude and, as you can tell by his ears, he truly loves his job.”

This was Emily’s first time using a helmet cam and it slipped her mind to turn it on until after fence #4. She walks us through the rest of the course:

“Billy only had one green moment on the course at fence 7A and B. He was going a little too forward at A and I couldn’t quite get him back for the turn to B. However, I was able to get him back and make some quick maneuvering to avoid crossing my path. The rest of the course he was perfectly on point to every fence. His greenest moment on course was when he spooked hard at the tent at the finish flags and I nearly came off, but I’m not too concerned with that.”

Emily Cox and FR's Check It Out Now.

Emily Cox and FR’s Check It Out Now.

At this same show last year, Emily and Billy completed their last Novice, placing fourth in a large division.

“I really enjoyed the course and the facility so I was excited to come back at another level,” Emily says. “Billy has progressed so quickly since last year. His did his first Training in March and six total and jumped clean on cross country at every one of them, with the last few seeming a little too easy for him.

Emily Cox and FR's Check It Out Now.

Emily Cox and FR’s Check It Out Now.

“It was a no brainer to move him up this weekend, and I’m glad I did. He hit every fence out of stride in stadium and cross country and I couldn’t be more proud of him. At Training and Novice, stadium was our least favorite phase — he would often get nervous and distracted in the ring and not quite pay attention, making it a little bit of a struggle to keep him together and picking up his feet.

“However, our stadium this weekend was by far our best and he was 100% on in the ring. He’s got quite a bit of work to do to be more competitive in the dressage at this level, but we’ve got a few weeks before our next outing at Paradise Farm to try and get a lower score.”

Emily Cox and FR's Check It Out Now.

Emily Cox and FR’s Check It Out Now.

Emily has owned Billy for two years now, having purchased him from Kyle Carter in 2014 (hence the Five Rings prefix). Emily says that while it took a while to figure one another out, it feels like they are now officially a team.

“This weekend solidified my faith in Billy that he’s really got what it takes to do this job,” she says. “For now we’ll keep building up his prelim experience and hopefully qualify for Red Hills and Virginia in the spring.”

Best of luck to Emily and Billy! Go Eventing.

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Presque Isle Downs End of Meet Showcase is Basically Black Friday for OTTB Shoppers

In the market for an OTTB? You’re in luck. This Saturday’s Presque Isle Downs Showcase in Erie, PA, is to OTTB shopping what Black Friday at Wal-Mart is to doorbuster deal-hunters (hopefully without all the hair-pulling, fistfights and human stampedes. Although, if the right OTTB at the right price came along I can see things getting a bit ugly….)

Just kidding. Everybody wants the best for these ex-racers, who instead of returning to the track next season will be looking for new homes and new careers. Could one be your next event horse?

 Somebody PLEASE go snatch up this guy, Succesful Brothers (Invasor (ARG) - Contagious (GB), by Polar Falcon). Ooh la la! Photo via CANTER PA.

Somebody PLEASE go snatch up this guy, Succesful Brothers (Invasor (ARG) – Contagious (GB), by Polar Falcon). Ooh la la! Photo via CANTER PA.

The showcase is organized by CANTER PA, which released a preliminary preview of 27 available horses earlier this week — you can check it out here. CANTER notes, “This is our current list but we will continue to work with trainers leading up to the event so we expect some additions and possibly a few retractions. This is just a taste of the event we planned — hope to see you there!”

If you’re not in the area, take heart: contact info on the horses will be released the day of the showcase to accommodate out-of-state buyers while still being fair to those traveling to the event.

Here’s a sneak preview (for larger photos, video links and more information on each more, have a look at the preview):

The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Presque Isle Downs & Casino (8199 Perry Hwy, Erie, Pennsylvania 16509). For more info email [email protected] and check in with the event’s Facebook page for all the latest updates.

‘What’s in Your Ring?’ with Leah Snowden

“What’s in your ring?” is a new EN series in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs.

Leah Snowden and Ormolu. Photo by Vics Pics.

Leah Snowden and Ormolu. Photo by Vics Pics.

It’s easy to spot Leah Snowden on a cross country course in her signature pink gear. I’m always envious of this Kentucky gal’s get-up and impressed by her riding — she brought both her Prelim horse, Ormolu, and her Intermediate horse, Ivy League, up the levels herself and has had success with them both.

Most recently Leah won the Open Prelim division at Flying Cross Farm earlier this month on Ormolu. “Lou Lou” is a Selle Francais by Baloubet Du Rouet out of a Dutch Grand Prix show jumper named Charmed.

In addition to eventing — their fall plan is to do Jumpstart H.T. and Hagyard Midsouth H.T. then a one-star — the pair has been moonlighting in the show jumping ring, where they’ve been quite prone to winning!

“She is a very careful jumper,” Leah says of Lou Lou. “Very smart and brave and she figures out jump exercises quickly. She also loves cross county and is quick thinking and is the perfect size for me.”

Her Intermediate horse, Ivy League, recently finished 3rd at the River Glen Summer H.T. and also won the Thoroughbred Initiative Program (TIP) award at Champagne Run H.T. in July. Both horses are owned by her husband, Bill.

Leah Snowden and Ivy League. Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.

Leah Snowden and Ivy League. Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.

Leah trains out of Valley View Farm in Midway, KY, and Split Rock Farm in Paris, KY. The exercise she shares with us today is courtesy of four-star rider Allie Knowles, who you’ll recognize as the trainer in the videos.

What’s in Leah’s ring? “Eight-foot canter poles to 21-foot one-strides with tall crossrails to encourage straightness.”

Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.

Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.

Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.

Photo courtesy of Leah Snowden.


How to ride it: “This exercise will back off the horse at first so the rider will need to send the horse through forward while staying relaxed. Once the horse is comfortable going through the grid off both reins we add in the oxer three-stride to vertical off the left rein after going through the grid. Make sure the rider keeps his or her hips to the inside and turns the horse off the outside leg (not by pulling the horse with the inside rein, which could make the horse crooked).

Then add: vertical two-stride to oxer two-stride to vertical.

Then add: oxer bending line to three-stride to vertical.

Then add: triple-bar three-stride to vertical two-stride to vertical.

All combined:

What she likes about it: “The exercise works in turning horse from outside aids and making sure the rider keeps his or her hips to inside. Don’t pull on the inside rein. Work on riding forward out of turns and the straightness of the horse.

“The exercise really builds confidence in both horse and rider and also will help with a horse that needs to be more careful. My horse is the opposite — he’s very careful but over-jumps — but it helped by having me be able to put leg on and push through and lengthen her stride to help cover distances.”

Many thanks to Leah and Allie for sharing, and best of luck!

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]

Doug Payne Had a Busy Weekend in Jumperland at Tryon International Equestrian Center

Saturday Night Lights at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Saturday Night Lights at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Tryon International Equestrian Center‘s Saturday Night Lights series is a pretty neat deal. Being a free event with loads to do for the whole family, there’s always a big community turnout, including but not limited to the centerpiece Grand Prix.

I skipped over there on Saturday in time for the tail-end of this week’s showdown, just missing Doug Payne’s 8th place round on Courtney Alston’s 10-year-old KWPN mare Botanja. Luckily he posted a helmet cam video!

Anja, owned by Courtney Alston, jumped great to finish 8th in the Tryon International Equestrian Center $25k #grandprix #helmetcam by Cambox ISI USA #jumper #showjumping #tiec #amazing #underthelights

Posted by Doug Payne – DPEquestrian LLC on Sunday, September 25, 2016

In addition to jumping the monster jumps with Anja, Doug used the Tryon Fall I as a final show jumping prep before Stable View Oktoberfest Horse Trials this weekend. Lysander, who will be making his Advanced debut at the event, demonstrated that he is up for the challenge, finishing 1st and 2nd in his two 1.20 meter jumper classes.

Big Leo’s winning 1.20m jump off from @tryonresort this morning #showjumping #tiec #jumper Looking great ahead of his first advanced next weekend!

Posted by Doug Payne – DPEquestrian LLC on Friday, September 23, 2016

Vandiver, who will also contest the Advanced at Stable View, got a solid school in via the $5,000 Suncast Welcome Jumper Classic.

Doug scored yet another couple wins on Marshall M. Dillon in the 7-Year-Old Young Jumper 1.30 meter classes.

Marshal on this way to win the 1.30 m 7 year olds this am and Big Leo an impressive double clear in the 1.20m to set the…

Posted by Doug Payne – DPEquestrian LLC on Friday, September 23, 2016

Having evacuating his own saddle for a brief moment, he also coached student Catherine Winter and Coquette to a 3rd-place finish in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Huge congrats to Catherine Winter & Strudel 3rd place in the Tryon International Equestrian Center $2,500 National Hunter Derby!! #hunter #showhunter #notbadfornotridingforamonth

Posted by Doug Payne – DPEquestrian LLC on Saturday, September 24, 2016

Doug, you sure are a man of many hats (er, helmets?). He has a whopping eight horses entered at Stable View, a hometown event for this Aiken local, and we wish him and Jess the best of luck!

View the Stable View entry list here.

Go Eventing.

#EventerProblems Vol. 90

This is the hashtag that never ends / Yes it goes on and on my friend / Some eventers started griping on social media / and they’ll continue complaining forever just because / this is the hashtag that never ends …

Here a fresh batch of reader-submitted troubles that only eventers will understand.

Inventive way #341 to remove a fly mask. #eventerproblems #flymask #nicetrytho

A photo posted by Haley Mac Johnson (@maclbee) on

When your horse aspires to be a stripper. Somehow he jumped right out of his bridle PC Alyssa Kelly

A photo posted by Liz Comer (@gallery_by_liz) on

It looks so pretty, right up until I step out of the car at the barn… #cleanboots #eventerproblems #leathersmellssogood

A photo posted by Rebecca-Becky Johnson-Rose (@greytoesrose) on

Well, someone decided to get out of trot sets early today. #eventerproblems #twohearts #quarterhorsemare

A photo posted by Katherine Ozburn (@katherineozburn) on

Jump school day and your horse is more interested in napping. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by @jennon1980 on

❤️ rough morning for Brew! #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Smith Equine Media, LLC (@smith.equine) on

The things you find in the outdoor… #eventerproblems #eventerlife

A photo posted by Kate Drake (@katedrakevt) on

#horsegirlstyle #eventerproblems #funbonnets #sparkles

A photo posted by @couragehasopinions on

When your student crashes a jump and crafts a personalized apology with word art #eventerproblems

A photo posted by emilie claire (@emilieclairie) on

This color shirt was better suited to the desert. Happy’s level of pigpen + humidity = this. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Stephanie Church (@stephlchurch) on

Yeah, that’s half the beet pulp that I’m wearing there. #feedinginthedark #ibetigetupearlierthanyoudo #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Emilie Reinhardt (@e.r.eventing) on

Chai loves water! he’s not grey any more! #bobnexttoprider #areyoureadyeventing #eventerproblems

A video posted by Danielle Beaver (@eventingbeaver) on

Whoops #eventerproblems #eventing.

A photo posted by Anna Rose (@annapierannunzi) on

I may not have been riding but I sure got my workout in ❤

A photo posted by Meri Jane (@meri._.jane) on

Clear round donut. Got 2 of the 3 phases sorted #eventingjunkie #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Kate (@mackate3kids) on

Don’t forget to tag ‘em on social, y’all! Go Eventing.

Germany Co-Coach Chris Bartle Seeks to Succeed Yogi Breisner as Team GB Coach

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.

Chris Bartle, who coaches the German Eventing Team alongside Hans Melzer, has announced his intent to succeed Yogi Breisner as head coach of the British Eventing Team. He is one of several candidates applying for the position, with initial discussions to take place next month.

German Olympic Committee for Equestrian CEO Dr. Dennis Sounder responded: “We are very surprised and saddened by his decision to apply for this position. In particular because we agreed early on that Chris Bartle and Hans Melzer would go until the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 as a coaching team. But we will respect the decision, sit down quickly and think through alternatives for the future, to prepare for the worst-case scenario.”

Since British-born Bartle joined Hans 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.

“That was a very difficult decision for me. I feel a tremendous bond with the team, the riders, the support team in Warendorf and especially with Hans Melzer, with whom I have for 16 years been working successfully,” Bartle said. “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.”

[Chris Bartle überlegt, als Co-Bundestrainer der Vielseitigkeitsreiter aufzuhören]

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: ‘Kix’ the Mini Tackles Combined Driving

Combined driving is basically eventing on wheels. There are three phases — dressage, marathon and cones — and like our sport it’s a real test of athletic well-roundedness.

The marathon phase is the combined driving equivalent of eventing’s cross country, testing competitors’ speed, agility and skill over a series of obstacles of “hazards.” Drivers are scored on how quickly they are able to navigate the course, with penalties points given if too much time is spent at an obstacle or if the team finishes outside optimum time.

If there was a co-efficient for cuteness, however, this duo who competed at the recent Shady Oaks Combined Driving Event, held Sept. 16-18 in Lodi, CA, would have had it in the bag.

Bonnie MacLeod, of Marble City Minis, competed in the Prelim Single VSE division with “Kix,” who is off-the-charts adorable (and also clearly a straight baller — he didn’t bat an eyelash at the cross country hazards).

Here’s a replay of their weekend from our friends at Ride On Video:

Go Combined Driving.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Talk about OTTB pride! A recent thread on the OTTB Connect Facebook group turned into a show-and-tell of tattoos featuring Jockey Club numbers.

You guys are the best (and craziest). In the market for a Jockey Club number with tattoo potential of your own? Here are three OTTBs that caught our eye this week.

Photo by Tracey Buyce courtesy of New Vocations.

Photo by Tracey Buyce courtesy of New Vocations.

Jacob’s Here (Roman Ruler – Borrowing Base, by Personal Flag), or “Mulligan” as he is called at the barn, is just about as easy-going as they come. This 2011 16.3-hand gelding’s race career ended when he sustained an injury to his pastern during a race. The cut is all healed now though, and Mulligan is ready for a job and a forever home. He transitioned seamlessly to his post-racing lifestyle and could play in turnout all day with his buddies.

Under saddle Mulligan is eager to please and hard-working — praise goes a long way with this guy! He enjoys being ridden both outside and in the covered arena, and confronts new situations boldly. He would excel in any discipline with the right rider.

Mulligan comes from exceptional athletic bloodlines, too. He was sired by Roman Ruler (2002), who earned $1,220,800 in just 10 career starts and won a Grade-1 stakes race.

View Jacob’s Here on New Vocations.

Photo courtesy of Maker's Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo courtesy of Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

If you’re someone who loves teaching equine preschoolers, this irresistible 3-year-old is for you! This 16.3-hand baby gelding Tizn’t a Saint (Tiznow – Evil, by Hennessy) is innocent and a tad uncoordinated still with his big body and long legs, but makes his trainers smile every time they work with him because of his “try” and his desire to please.

Although he started in two races Saint is learning at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center where to place his feet, how to be mannerly, and how to speak English (“walk,” “trot,” “canter,” “woah,” “back” and of course “good boy!”). When he matures physically and mentally he will be a real head turner of a horse, but for now he is in his adorable horse “toddler” phase.

 View Tizn’t a Saint on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo by Stephanie Moon courtesy of New Vocations.

Photo by Stephanie Moon courtesy of New Vocations.

Take a Bow (Utopia (JPN) – Cherokee Lady, by Cherokee Run) is a 2012 16.0-hand mare who is described as “just a nice mare to work with and have in the barn.”

She is kind with a little bit of baby curiosity to her personality, loves attention and just does her job under saddle. Despite answering her friends while she was working, she didn’t miss a beat. She has a forward trot and a very nice rhythmical canter that is lovely to ride and she seems to just do her job always with a pleasant attitude. Turn out with her two pasture buddies is uneventful and she has no vices.

“Bow” came to New Vocations after torquing her ankle in her last race, but her x-rays were clean. It was suggested that she be given 30-60 days off before going back to the track.  At that time the decision was made for her not to return to the track since she was not competitive enough to continue racing her and she came to New Vocations for a few months of down time. She has been back to work for a month now and she will be suitable for any discipline for an intermediate level rider and up.

View Take a Bow on New Vocations.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Flying Around Training at Flying Cross Farm H.T.

I’ve only had the pleasure of competing at Flying Cross Farm H.T. once, and it was three or more years back, but I’m determined to make it back up there again! Located outside Louisville, Kentucky, the ambiance was lovely and low-key, and the cross country course offered a wide variety of questions that were wonderfully educational for my horse at the time. I also always savor the opportunity to show jump on grass (there’s even a bank option on course) — doesn’t a little bit of terrain keep things a bit more fun?

Flying Cross Farm held its annual event this past weekend, featuring Beginner Novice through Prelim divisions, and it was a success by all accounts. Lucky for us there were a few helmet cams present, including this one from Thomas Kimmel and Vital Eight (“Thomas”), who won the Training Rider B division on a score of 36.70:

Congrats, Tom and Thomas!

Flying Cross Farm H.T. [Website] [Scores]

Equi-Jewel’s high-fat, low-starch formula safely increases the calories needed to fuel optimal performance. Research shows that when fat is utilized as an energy source, performance horses have more stamina and recover faster from intense exercise.


Click here to sign up for KPP’s Nutritional Minute. 

The Horse That Matters to You Matters to Us®


Paul Tapner Leaving Career as Professional Event Rider to Work for ERM

Paul Tapner and Indian Mill at Aachen 2015. Photo by Jenni Autry. Paul Tapner and Indian Mill at Aachen 2015. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Paul Tapner as an ammy adult eventer? Yep! The 43-year-old Australian four-star rider is “stepping sideways” from his career as a professional eventer to working full-time for the Event Rider Masters (ERM) series.

He will be assuming the position of digital and technical manager for the series, which just wrapped up its inaugural year at Blenheim Palace. He was already involved in the live streaming of the 2016 series in addition to participating as a rider — he finished third overall in the 2016 ERM standings.

Paul told Horse & Hound that it was a difficult decision but “The ERM was always on my mind as my exit plan.”

He intends to continue riding and competing at the top level as as well, telling H&H, “I’m greedy, I want to have my cake and eat it! … I don’t want to be riding round BE100s, I enjoy riding at three- and four-star level; I’ve said I’m not going to be competing at elite professional level, but I will be an elite-level amateur rider.”

“You’ll hopefully still see me kicking around three and four-stars. I think cold turkey would have been doable for me — just not for everyone around me!”

Yes it’s true Paul is stepping sideways.
It’s time, eventing is emotionally and physically demanding. Paul is now more…

Posted by Tapner Eventing Team on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

You do you, Paul! Enjoy that cake, and Go Eventing.

[Four-star eventer calls time on riding career]

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Going, Going … But Not Gone at GMHA

Ava Wehde & Butts Leonie Prelim Save from WOA on Vimeo.

Ava Wehde wasn’t about to let a little gravity keep her from a blue ribbon at the GMHA September Horse Trials over the weekend. When she and her horse ran into trouble at the second to last cross country fence, she somehow clawed her way back into the saddle and finished the course.

“My horse Butts Leonie and I went into cross country in the lead with a 28.6 and I really wanted to stay on!,” Ava says. “We did end up winning, only adding 2.4 time faults to our dressage score!”

Ava, of Plainfield, NH, is 21 years old and has been eventing since she was nine. Leonie is a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare and half-sister to Andreas Dibowski’s Olympic team gold medal winning mount FRH Butts Leon.

“I’ve had Leonie for about a year and a half and we have built up a wonderful partnership, as demonstrated in the video!” Ava says.

Many thanks to Ava for sharing! Video courtesy of Brian Hoar.

Check out final scores from GMHA here.

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#EventerProblems Vol. 89

As long as you keep posting ‘em, we’ll keep publishing ‘em! Here’s your latest batch of hardcore eventing struggles.

OTTB. 3 degrees. Rain. Dressage. This was expected #eventerproblems #albertaeventing #roncartierprotography pic Ron Cartier

A photo posted by Brittany DesCotes Eventing (@bdescotes) on

When your horse has burrs but hates having her forelock combed. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Lizzie Harder (@eventerlizzie) on

Apparently, corners make Priscilla angry. #restingbitchface #corners #ottb #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

Any volunteers for tack cleaning? This humidity… #cleaningtack #bridles #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Anchor Equestrian (@anchorequestrian) on

This nominal construction item nearly killed us last night. Big brave event pony… #eventerproblems #ottb #turnandburn

A photo posted by Samantha Bell (@samantha.bell089) on

When Slimer (or an abscess) takes over… #whoyagonnacall #slimertotherescue #eventerproblems @kjanicki215

A photo posted by Erica Spradling (@xbetterbesocialx) on

Being washed is not his favourite activity #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Kate (@mackate3kids) on

Spending more time prepping horse meals than I do for myself. #ironhorse #eventerproblems #equestrianlife

A photo posted by A. Fix | Iron Horse Eventing (@ajackfix) on

when your aim is just a liiiiiiittle bit off… #confusedhorsey #ismellitwhereisit #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Kelley Smith (@kelleygram) on

Don’t forget to tag ‘em on social, y’all! Go Eventing.

Tryon International Equestrian Center to Host 2017 AEC

Overlooking the dressage arenas and some barns at TIEC. Photo by Leslie Wylie. Overlooking the dressage arenas and some barns at TIEC. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

If you didn’t make it to the 2016 American Eventing Championships at Tryon International Equestrian Center, you’ll get another shot next year. The USEA has announced that TIEC will host the next edition of the AEC on Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2017, with the Colorado Horse Park named as host site for 2018.

Historically, the AEC stays at the same location for three years, but in an effort to facilitate participation and accessibility on both sides of the country, the USEA and the Tryon Equestrian Partners agreed that the Colorado Horse Park would host the championship one of the three years. While the 2017 location of the AEC has been available to all of the USEA Areas and Organizers through the regular calendaring process the USEA is seeking to dispel any confusion with this release.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The announcement comes as no surprise considering the eventing community’s positive response to the facility and its potential at the 2016 AEC. We look forward to seeing TIEC continue pushing outward in the development of its cross country tracks in its quest to become one of the U.S.’s premier eventing venues.

Our only beef: The 2017 AEC is the same week as Burghley, again. Guys! You can’t keep doing this to us! It’s cruelty! Maybe next year one of TIEC’s jumbo screens can air the Burghley live stream? It could be the world’s largest Burghley viewing party … just a thought!

[American Eventing Championships to Return to Tryon International Equestrian Center in 2017]

Tuesday News & Notes from Cavalor

Photo via the Rocky Point Farm Facebook page. Photo via the Rocky Point Farm Facebook page.

Definitely the most exciting thing I saw on social media yesterday was this brilliant repurposing of a polo ball holder, posted on the Rocky Point Farm Facebook page: “Great friend Nikki has brought this over from the polo field. Apparently they actually use it to put extra balls in. It is perfect for two bottles of wine. Who needs a flask?” I found it for sale here.

Here are your news and notes:

Events Opening This Week:

 Willow Draw Charity Show (TX, A-5)  Rocking Horse Fall H.T. (FL, A-3)  Full Gallop Farm Fall H.T. (SC, A-3)  Galway Downs International Event & H.T. (CA, A-6)

Events Closing This Week: 

 Waredaca H.T. and Classic 3 Day Event (MD, A-2)  Woodside International Horse Trials (CA, A-6)  The Event at Skyline (UT, A-9)  Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials (TN, A-3)  Radnor Hunt H.T. (PA, A-2) FEH Qualifier at Loch Moy Farm (MD, A-2)  Feather Creek H.T. (OK, A-5)  Spokane Sport Horse Farm Fall H.T. (WA, A-7)  WindRidge Farm Fall Horse Trials (NC, A-2)  Heritage Park H.T. (KS, A-4)  Course Brook Farm Fall Horse Trials (MA, A-1)  Las Cruces H.T. (NM, A-10)  The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm(MD, A-2)  Kent School Fall H.T. (CT, A-1)  FEH Championships at Loch Moy Farm (MD, A-2)

Equestrian Canada president Jorge Bernhard has filed a lawsuit against Shandiss McDonald, the widow of Jordan McDonald, who died while competing in England in June 2014. The suit involves a horse, Rockfield Grant Juan (“Juan”), whom Bernhard owns allegedly in partnership with the McDonalds. According to public transcripts from the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, Bernhard wants to take full possession of the horse and is seeking $600,000 in damages.
[EC President Suing Canadian Eventing Widow]

Reminder: 2017 USEA Worth the Trust Scholarship applications are due Oct. 3. There are two scholarships available: a $3,000 Amateur Young Adult Scholarship for riders between the ages of 16 and 25, and a $2,000 Adult Amateur Scholarship for eventers 26 and up. Both can be applied toward a variety of training opportunities including clinics, working student positions, private or group instruction or even learning to officiate or working with a course designer, Technical Delegate, judge, veterinarian, etc. with approval from the scholarship panel. [2017 Worth the Trust Scholarship Applications Due Oct. 3, 2016!]

The USEF is now accepting applications to host the 2017 and 2018 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The disciplines of dressage, endurance, eventing, show jumping, and para-dressage will be offered with applications accepted from organizers wishing to host one individual discipline championship, a combination of discipline championships, or a championship combining all five disciplines. Contact Mark Coley at [email protected] for a copy of the bid packet. Bids are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on Oct. 11, 2016.

The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium is looking for volunteers! To be held Oct. 27-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park, a minimum of four hours of volunteering will get you lunch, admission and a tee shirt. Sign up here.

Did you know that it’s National Equine Veterinarian Week? SmartPak, Henry Schein Animal Health and the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners (NEAEP) have partnered to launch this special week of recognition, to be held annually the third full week of September. It is being observed for the first time September 18-24, 2016, so be sure to show your own horse doc how much you appreciate them with a note or fruit basket or — if you’re anywhere near as high maintenance a client as I am — maybe a large bottle of really nice scotch. [Does Your Horse Doc Rock?]

“Best of Craigslist” is one of Horse Nation’s longest-running facepalm catalysts, and the latest edition is no exception. If you’re in the market for a “Quarter Horse guelding,” an “Arabin cross,” a “buskin” or a “Frisian,” HN has your hookup. [Best of Craigslist, Volume 46]

Kent Farrington’s win in the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W at Old Salem Farm on Sunday had quite the surprise ending. After galloping through the timers, Gazelle spooked and ejected Farrington from the saddle. No worries, though! Farrington stuck the landing, caught his horse and took a bow for the crowd. Jumper Nation has the full report. [Kent Farrington Falls Off, Still Wins American Gold Cup]

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: A ‘Weeeee!’ Moment at Groton House Farm

Anna’s GoPro video from today’s XC. Lots of fun!

Posted by Kerry Hargraves Kreppein on Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Groton House Farm Fall Classic is a fun intro to the sport for green horses and just-getting-their-feet-wet riders. This unsanctioned three-phase event in Hamilton, Massachusetts features Elementary and Beginner Novice divisions as well as dressage-only divisions.

Among this year’s competitors was the Junior Elementary team of Anna Kreppein and El Brio, who had a great go. Anna, age 13, did a super job of navigating and talked to her horse the whole way around — it’s fun to get to ride along! And haven’t we all had the urge to let out a big “weeeee!” out there?

Anna is a student of David Wilson at Flying High Stables in South Hamilton, Massachusetts; El Brio (aka. Toby) is one of David’s horses and he is obviously awesome. Competing at Groton House has been her major goal for this year. We would say, mission accomplished!

For information on upcoming events at Groton House Farm, visit the website here. Go Eventing!

What’s in Your Ring? with AEC Novice Horse Winner Ashley Phillips

Ashley Phillips and Bayani Slade, 2016 AEC Novice Horse champions. Photo by Ryan Hall.

Ashley Phillips and Bayani Slade, 2016 AEC Novice Horse champions. Photo by Ryan Hall.

“What’s in your ring?” is a new EN series in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs.

First up, we’ve got Ashley Phillips of Timberway Farm in Maryville, TN. This young professional is fresh off a great week at the 2016 American Eventing Championships, where she won the Novice Horse division on Bayani Slade and also enjoyed a successful Prelim Horse result on Theodoir. Ashley has brought both horses along herself with the help of dressage trainer Cathy Fox and eventer Peter Atkins.

Bayoni Slade, who goes by “Donovan” around the barn, is an OTTB (Doneraile Court x Klegenfurt) that she got four years ago directly from his breeder’s farm. They’ve had some setbacks, including a lengthy rehab when Ashley’s upper-level horse kicked him in his cannon bone which resulted in a hairline fracture last year.

“I have taken his training slow to ensure his confidence moving up the levels,” Ashley says. “He is an extremely talented horse that can be difficult to focus and relax. We have worked hard all season to get him strong in his hind end and relaxed in the show ring.”

Ashley Phillips and Bayani Slade. Photo by Ryan Hall.

Ashley Phillips and Bayani Slade. Photo by Ryan Hall.

Everything fell into place at the 2016 AECs, where they added nothing to their dressage score of 25.3 to dominate an extremely competitive division.

“We went for it in dressage which paid off and the judge commenting ‘bold test.’ I mean it is AECs so why not go for it?!” she says. “Cross country the next day was a breeze, and I had to be careful of my time as to not go too fast. Donovan ended up going double clear in stadium and securing at least second place. I burst into tears when I found out he had won his division. I was overwhelmed with the fact that my little OTTB could be the top in his division at a championship. I am hoping this is just the beginning for this guy and we can continue moving up the levels proving that OTTBs can compete with the best and dominate.”

What’s in Ashley’s ring? “The main grid consists of a bounce, one stride, two stride, to a bounce. I also have a bounce set up beside the grid so that I can do the bending line bounces.”

Photo courtesy of Ashley Phillips.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Phillips.

What she likes about it: “I love incorporating gridwork into my coursework to keep the horses sharp and adjustable. With my upper level horse, I will do the bounces and then bending line to the vertical or oxer, trot through the grid, canter down my three stride line, then trot back over my bending line bounces. There are unlimited options with this set up! I can cater to what each horse needs without rearranging my arena daily.”


Demonstration, please!

Many thanks to Ashley for sharing and best of luck to her and her talented horses!

Do you have an exercise to share, or is there an eventer you would like to nominate for the “What’s in Your Ring?” series? Email me at [email protected]

Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Have you been following Valerie Ashker’s ride across America? Her goal: to raise social awareness of the strength, stamina, courage and versatility of OTTBs after their racing career.

Accompanying her on her journey are the thoroughbreds Solar Express (JC Bold Badgett: Damascus – Anne Campbell, by Never Bend), age 17, and Primitivo (JC Monashee Mountain: Danzig – Prospectors Delite, by Mr. Prospector), age 7, whom Valerie has evented through Training level.

So far they’ve traveled over 1,700 miles since departing California on May 9, with Virginia being their final destination.

You can keep up with Valerie’s journey via her blog here, Facebook here or show your support by donating to their GoFundMe campaign here (any surplus funds raised not used on travel will be donated to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance).

Photo via Valerie's 2nd Makes Thru Starting Gates GoFundMe page.

Photo via Valerie’s 2nd Makes Thru Starting Gates GoFundMe page.

More proof that OTTBs are capable of anything! Here are three more ex-racers who are looking to become something special. Can you help?

Photo via CANTER California.

Photo via CANTER California.

Babinda (Boomerang – Timely Image, by Image of Greatness) is an 11-year-old 15.2 mare.

“Haiku” is described as gorgeous and lovely but somewhat challenging: a lovely uphill mover with First Level dressage training, and a brave and careful jumper — they say she will jump anything! She also loves trails with the right companions. Thrives on jumping, loves to be groomed and have her bottom scratched. Very social, expressive and opinionated. Excellent ground manners, always sound.

Prefers to live in pasture and grass would be a huge bonus. Has some minor maintenance issues, struggles with anxiety in some situations and still a bit green for a 11-year-old. She needs a gentle and light rider and an experienced assertive handler. Not suitable for a beginner, needs to be with a professional or very experienced amateur working with a trainer.

View Babinda on CANTER California.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Miz Sweet (Noonmark – Sweet Tzipora, by Wheaton) is a 2011 16.3h bay mare.

If ever a horse was aptly named it is Miz Sweet! Her trainer raves about what a sweet and kind mare she is, and Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds got to see her sweetness for themselves as she begged for treats and enjoyed their pats and scratches. They report she is also very pretty and that the photos do not do her justice, so you need to come see this big, sound, sweetheart for yourself.

She had one win and in 42 career starts has found that second win elusive. Her trainer says she is sound and her legs are clean. She had raced just a couple days before her photo session and showed no ill effects, jogging prettily and politely with balanced movement. The trainer also said Miz Sweet is easy to work with and very nice to ride.

View Miz Sweet on Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Frequent Reward (Good Reward – Mon Queen, by Maria’s Mon) is a 2009 15.3-hand mare.

She is described as a good jumper and a great eventing prospect who has the ability to do it all! She jumps courses and has a good, easy lead change. Likes to work. Sweet, green, inconsistent but willing. Has been a successful lesson horse but wants her own person to bond with and prefers an experienced rider as she’s sensitive. A mild cribber when stalled. Located in Plymouth, Michigan.

View Frequent Reward on CANTER Michigan.

Product Review: Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth

Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth. Photo by Leslie Wylie. Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

If you ever bought into the skinny-belt-over-a-shirt trend (guilty as charged) you understand the importance of a comfortable girth.

Cute and trendy, especially if you have a six-inch waist. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Cute and trendy, right? Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Halp, this is cutting off circulation to the lower half of my body. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

But sometimes “cute and trendy” can feel like “Help, this is cutting off circulation to the lower half of my body.” Photo by Leslie Wylie.

I get why some clever horses hold their breath when we’re tightening their girths — the sensation of having your ribcage strangled by a narrow band of leather isn’t pleasant. That’s why I’m a fan of the Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth.

It’s made of a hibiscus webbing that’s soft on sensitive skin, and it passed muster on my thin-skinned mare who sometimes requires a sheepskin girth cover. It’s super flexible and has a bit of cushion to it.


Photo by Leslie Wylie.

And equine athletes will appreciate its single-end elastic and ergonomic shape that widens beneath the belly to distribute pressure over a broader area, giving them the freedom to run, jump and do their thing.

Photo courtesy of Horze.

Photo courtesy of Horze.

Unlike my little leather belt, which limits my ability to move, eat and breathe.

That's more like it! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

That’s more like it! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Exercising in the girth, my very discerning mare felt uninhibited and unimpinged. Yet while it’s as comfy as your favorite pair of sweatpants, it’s also a hardworking piece of tack. The stainless steel roller buckles are plenty sturdy, and as someone who lunges her horse in a neck stretcher before almost every ride I appreciate the convenience of the center D-ring.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Speaking of convenience, here’s something you should know about me: Taking care of stuff isn’t my forte. I am low maintenance to the max — see two-day old ponytail in selfie above — and I require my tack to follow suit.

This girth fits the bill, big-time. You can just hose it off after every ride, wipe it off or let it air dry, and boom: it’s good to go.

And the price! Oh, the price. You’d be hard pressed to find a schooling girth of this quality anywhere else for $39.95. The Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth is available in brown and black, and there’s a dressage version as well.

All things considered, I’d give the Horze Dallas All Purpose Girth two thumbs up. You can check it out online here, along with Horze’s full line of gear for horse and rider.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Fjord Power at the AECs

We loved watching Erika Nesler rocking around the American Eventing Championships Beginner Novice cross country course on Corgi Hill Benson, a 6-year-old Norwegian Fjord (MVF Erlend—Corgi Hill Brynja) owned by Lisa Samuel. The pair turned in a double-clear round and turned a few heads in the process as well, no doubt!

Love this Fjord pony!,” Erika wrote on her Facebook page yesterday. “Corgi Hill Benson, owned by Lisa Samuel, has introduced me to a whole knew groups of eventers and horse enthusiasts … they’re our Fjord Family. Whether it’s lead line lessons, teaching youngsters to jump, trotting his mother around USDF tests or ‘galloping’ XC this little pony has touched many, many hearts. Love him! And I’m super thankful for the family he’s introduced us to.”

The Chronicle of the Horse had a great write-up on their AEC adventure — you can check it out here.

Photo via Lisa Samuel's Facebook page.

Photo via Lisa Samuel’s Facebook page.

Erika is competing in the Doug and Cindy Howe’s Right Above It in the Plantation Field CIC2* this weekend, and we wish them the best!

Go Eventing.

#TBT Video from Nupafeed: Some Inspiration for the 2016 Plantation Field Legends High Jump

Photo via Public Domain. Photo via Public Domain.

Plantation Field pioneered the concept of an eventing bareback puissance, and this year they’re upping the ante once more with the new Legends High Jump.

Three legends of eventing, foxhunting and steeplechasing will face off against three young rising stars in an unforgettable high jump competition on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The winners will take home $1,000 in prize money courtesy of everyone’s favorite vet Dr. Kevin Keane and Sports Medicine Associates.

Who’s going to be this year’s winner?

As inspiration to all the 2016 Legends High Jump hopefuls, we present this video of the original high jump legend Capt. Alberto Larraguibel Morales. This Chilean Army officer set the official FEI record at Viña del Mar, Santiago, Chile on February 5, 1949, riding Huaso (formerly “Faithful”), which still stands today. The height: 2.47 m (8 ft 1.25 in). 

Keep an eye on Eventing Nation throughout the weekend as Jenni Autry and Leslie Threlkeld keeps us updated on all the action live from Plantation Field.

#PlantationField: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesCompetitor ScheduleGeneral ScheduleLive ScoringUSEF NetworkEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Update on the USEA Collapsible Fence Study + Survey

A table on the 2016 Richland course featuring a frangible device. Photo by Leslie Wylie. A table on the 2016 Richland course featuring a frangible device. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Thanks to the concern and generous donations of USEA members, a renewed research study into collapsible and deformable fence construction is now well into its first year. Dr. Suzanne Smith of the University of Kentucky was commissioned to head up the study, and she and her dedicated student team have released an update on their work thus far.

Dr. Smith outlined the study’s plan and its objective yesterday in a USEA Foundation memo:

To understand and take into account the variability of the many conditions and situations that lead to rotational falls, we will use a Monte Carlo simulation similar to those used in weather forecasting. The computer models developed will enable us to consider thousands of different combinations quickly.

Our goal is to understand this complex motion thoroughly, and thus how to best prevent the conversion of forward momentum into a rotational fall for various fences. The model incorporates approach speed and direction, contact force and duration, horse and rider weight and size, among others.

Now, however, the study needs our help with a significant aspect of the research effort.

Our progress to date has been to bring together the best information available on each aspect of the motion. Unfortunately, one of the key pieces — horse size and shape — has very little information available from previous studies.

We decided to ask the eventing community for help with a “citizen science” survey that requests a few measurements of eventing horse size, weight, and rider height/weight. This survey aims to help us understand the sizes and weights of Eventing horses and riders to use realistic information in our study of collapsible and deformable fences to improve safety.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and requires taking a few simple measurements of your own horse. You can access the survey directly at this link.

EN joins the USEA Foundation in thanking all those who have demonstrated support for this research effort, an important step forward in the effort to create a safer sport.

[USEA Collapsible Fence Study Update]

Copper Meadows Marked a Milestone Weekend for Gina and Taylor Miles

Photo courtesy of Gina Miles. Photo courtesy of Gina Miles.

The mom-daughter duo of Gina and Taylor Miles had a big weekend of firsts at Copper Meadows!

Gina won first, literally, in the CIC2* on Lanacapri, an 8-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Liza Jane Macnaughton. The pair moved steadily up the leaderboard from fifth after dressage to first on the wings of double-clear cross country and show jumping rounds.

Taylor, age 10, accomplished a big first as well, finishing sixth in her first Beginner Novice horse trials on Philippa, a horse she’s been riding since literally before she was born.

“I was pregnant with Taylor when I was riding and competing Philippa!” Gina says. She imported the Holsteiner mare from Germany as a 5 year old and campaigned her through Advanced, and now, at age 18, Philippa is showing Gina’s daughter the ropes of eventing.

Photo by Hoof Prints, courtesy of Gina Miles.

Photo by Hoof Prints

Taylor first competed at Intro this year in February at Fresno and has been wanting to move up to Beginner Novice, but the pony she was riding wasn’t quite scopey enough to do the level.

“Taylor started showing Philippa this winter, riding her in the .65 at Thermal, but I was reluctant to let her take her out cross country as Philippa does still have a lot of scope and I was worried that Taylor was too little to be able to control her out in the open,” Gina says. “After riding ponies that needed a lot of ‘kick,’ she has had to transition to one that has more of an engine! But after we schooled the cross country at Twin Rivers, we decided to give it a go!”

Photo by Hoof Prints, courtesy of Gina Miles.

Photo by Hoof Prints

The pair ended up having a super weekend, performing a poised dressage test and jumping clear around both cross country and show jumping. It’s fun to watch Philippa in a mini version of her element, ears pricked and looking quite happy to be back out with a job to do! And Taylor has clearly been taking direction well from her 2008 Olympic individual silver medal winning mom/coach.

“She kept her nicely under control and actually had time penalties in both jumping phases which is just fine,” Gina says. “Philippa has always been a little difficult to get on the bit, so Taylor will struggle with that a little until her legs get a bit stronger and she gets more coordinated with her aids, but for right now she is really enjoying jumping her and riding her cross country. It is so great to see Philippa a horse that I absolutely adore taking such good care of Taylor out there on course.”

Photo by Hoof Prints, courtesy of Gina Miles.

Photo by Hoof Prints

Go Gina and Taylor. Go Eventing!

#EventerSolutions: Getting by with What You’ve Got

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. Be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #EventerSolutions on social for inclusion in future editions!

When buying new everyday riding boots means sacrificing your next entry fee…. Good enough. #soghetto #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Kaitlyn Streeter (@kaitlyn.eventing) on

So far my day has consisted of fixing stalls and pulling shoes… Fix it Sam over here. #eventerproblems #bosslady

A photo posted by Samantha Bogan (@ssammalla) on

When your boyfriend hurts his wrist…and all you have is horse supplies. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by allysittybittybarn (@allysittybittybarn) on

When you accidentally leave your boot pulls at home and all your friends have zip ups… #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Shannon Daily (@skichamonix) on

Dual fitness work–road walk in hand. #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #hot

A photo posted by Helen Donnell (@helendonnell) on

Sadly, for some things there simply is not solution:

Got a brilliant and/or ridiculous #EventerSolution? Tag it on social!

Go Eventing.