Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie

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Watch the Preliminary Challenge at Woodside Live

Fifty-two competitors are preparing to contest The Spring Event at Woodside Preliminary Challenge in Woodside, California. Featuring $15,000 dollars in prize money for both the horse and rider divisions, it’s an annual destination event for the West Coast set, and this year we all get to follow the action live thanks to Ride On Video.

All three phases will be live streamed on the website, or you can watch via the player embedded below. The first rider of the day, James Alliston, is trailblazing his way up the centerline as we speak.

Ride On Video Live Interactive – The Spring Event at Woodside Preliminary Challenge

The competition continues on Saturday, with competitors navigating Ian Stark’s challenging cross country course first thing in the a.m. …

… followed by a show jumping finale late in the day. The top 10 horses in each of the divisions will show jump in reverse order of standing, with the Saturday Evening Gala taking place ringside. The schedule:

Friday

Prelim. Challenge Horse dressage: 8:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT

Prelim. Challenge Rider dressage: 1:15 – 4:20 p.m. PT

Saturday

Preliminary Challenge cross country: 8 – 9:50 a.m. PT

Preliminary Challenge show jumping: 4:45 – 5:50 p.m. PT

Preliminary Challenge top 10: 6:20 – 7 p.m. PT

We can’t wait to see how the weekend unfolds! Go Eventing.

The Spring Event at Woodside: WebsiteEntries, Ride Times, Schedule, Results

Day 1 Houghton Dressage: Gemma Tattersall Leads, Katherine Coleman 22nd

Photo via FEI. Photo via FEI.

The Houghton International CIC3* FEI Nations Cup dressage kicked off today in Norfolk, England, and a Brit currently sits atop the leaderboard: Gemma Tattersall, riding Chico Bella P.

Gemma and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare scored a formidable 32.7, giving them a nearly nine point lead over second positioned Sam Griffiths and Beaurepraire Nemo of Australia. While they aren’t on the Great Britain Nations Cup team for this competition, the team selectors may be wishing they’d put them on it by the end of the weekend between their guns blazing dressage start and consistent jumping record.

Gemma is on fire this spring, fresh off a third place Badminton finish, and Chico Bella has been knocking at the door all year having placed second at in the Barroca D’Alva CCI3* in Portugal in February and sixth in the Belton CIC3* the following month. Here at Houghton they’ve laid down the best test of their career and with their track record of clear cross country and careful show jumping rounds they’ve set a high bar for tomorrow’s competitors.

Katherine Coleman and Longwood trailblazed for Team USA today, scoring a 57.7 for 22nd place. Katherine had Longwood, her 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, in the States this spring as she prepared another mount, Courage Under Fire, for Rolex. While here they collected three top 15 CIC3* results: 15th at Red Hills,  seventh at Carolina International, and ninth at The Fork. They finished the later two events on their dressage score. 

The remainder of the U.S. squad, Tiana Coudray riding Sambuca F and Liz Halliday-Sharp riding Fernhill by Night, will do dressage on Friday.

In addition to the CICO3* Liz is competing Deniro Z in the CCI1*, where they are currently tied for 7th after dressage. Tiana is currently in 26th place with her CCI2* mount, Aloha.

Houghton International Day 1 Dressage Results: 

Screenshot via bdwp.co.uk.

Screenshot via bdwp.co.uk.

 

#HoughtonIntHT: Website, Ride Times, Results, Course Walk

#DogsofEN, Vol. 5: Put a Saddle on That Thing

Legitimately though, these dogs have mad hops. Maybe events should start offering a special canine division?

Who can jump better, my horse or my dog? #germanshepherd #thatbasculethough

A photo posted by Katherine Mackin (@khmackin) on

Oopus doesn't understand the difficulty with corners. #jackrussell #jrt #terrier #eventers

A photo posted by Allie Conrad (@allieconradphotography) on

Think I can get him qualified in time for Rio? #yellowdogs #arethebestdogs #dogsofen

A video posted by @ralene2 on

Slo-mo Indy #dogsofen

A video posted by @ralene2 on

Learning to swim in the water complex. #newestlittlejumpjudge #Archie #littlereddog #eventingpup #DogsofEN

A photo posted by Rachael Walker (@doubleshot_equestrian) on

#wheee #slomo #horsenation #dogsofEN

A video posted by Liz Rodriguez (@earnold89) on

This dog. #hesthebest #dogsofen

A video posted by @ralene2 on

Don’t forget to tag your photos #DogsofEN for inclusion in an upcoming edition!
Go Eventing.

6 ‘Outside the Frame’ Jumps on the Houghton Cross Country Course

CCI1*/2* Fence #9: CCI1*/2* Fence #9: "Picture Frame." Photo courtesy of crosscountryapp.com.

It’s hard to take a bad picture at these British estate events with their built-in breathtaking backdrops of palaces, castles and just plain old “houses” like this one, Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, England.

Course designer Alec Lochore capitalized on the latter’s pretty-as-a-picture setting for this week’s Houghton International Horse Trials, which is headlined by a CICO3* FEI Nations Cup division.

His ability to think “outside the frame” is apparent throughout the 2016 CCI1*, CCI2* and CICO3* tracks. A sampling of his most creative creations:

CICO3* Fence #6: "Laptop"

CICO3* Fence #6: “Laptop.” We are SO doing one of these for EventingNation.com.

CICO3* Fence #20: "Saw Bench." That's one way to cure a left drift!

CICO3* Fence #20: “Saw Bench.” That’s one way to cure a left drift!

CICO3* Fence #17: "Kent Seat." Very inviting. Photo courtesy of crosscountryapp.com.

CICO3* Fence #17: “Kent Seat.” Very inviting. Photo courtesy of crosscountryapp.com.

CICO3* Fence #13AB: "Meridian Line." Be sure to head east over this one.

CICO3* Fence #13AB: “Meridian Line.” Be sure to head east over this one.

CICO3* Fence #14: "Sundial." A good reminder to check your watch.

CICO3* Fence #14: “Sundial.” A good reminder to check your watch.

Here are the full course walks via our friends at CrossCountry App, as recorded by Jane and Nigel Clark for Musketeer Event Management.

CICO3*

CCI2*

CCI1*

You can download the courses and get this invaluable app yourself at CrossCountry App,

The draw for the FEI Nations Cup took place last night (watch here) and the team order is as follows:

France: Denis Mesples, Geoffroy Soullez, Didier Dhennin, Matthieu Van Landeghem
USA: Katherine Coleman, Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp, Tiana Coudray (see team details here)
Netherlands: Renske Kroeze, Eef Hamers, Althea Bleekman, Jordy Wilken
Australia: Sam Griffiths, Andrew Hoy, Kevin McNab, Tim Boland
Great Britain: Izzy Taylor, Laura Collett, Coral Keen, Sarah Bullimore
New Zealand: Caroline Powell, Jesse Campbell, Mark Todd, Tim Price
Germany: Josefa Sommer, Peter Thomsen, Josephine Schnaufer, Bettina Hoy

The CICO3* dressage starts at 2 p.m. local time today, with Denis Mesples and Oregon de la Vigne first into the arena.All CCI1* and CCI2* horses passed yesterday’s first horse inspection.

For entries and ride times, visit the Houghton International Horse Trials website.

Go Eventing!

Mike Etherington-Smith Named New Course Designer at Luhmühlen

Photo by Jenni Autry. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Turniergesellschaft Luhmühlen announced this morning that Mike Etherington-Smith will assume the role of course designer in 2017.

The position is handed off from Captain Mark Phillips, who has been Luhmühlen’s course designer since 2005, its first year as a CCI4* event. In 2013 his contract was extended by three year’s and will end after this year’s event (June 16-19).

Event director Julia Otto recalls, “Before Mark was appointed course designer in 2005, he acted as TD (technical delegate) for two years. When I collected him from the airport for the first time in 2003, he asked me straight away, when Luhmühlen would become a four-star competition. From that moment on, we worked together to develop the event and transact our goal.”

“I’m deeply grateful for his long-standing support,” she says. “In addition to his outstanding work as Luhmühlen’s course designer, he always saw the big picture and considered the interests of our sponsors and the media. Even after the change, his great input in developing the cross country, the landscape and the tracks will continue.”

The outgoing course designer reflected, “Luhmühlen has always been a special place for me, as a rider, an official and obviously more recently as Course Designer. Julia Otto and her team have always been the most supportive and have produced a wonderful atmosphere in which to work. I can only thank her and her partners for their belief in me over the years and I feel privileged to have been able to help make Luhmühlen the special event that it is today.”

“I would also thank David Evans and his team for the wonderful work they have done in building the fences and helping to improve the footing. I am sad to be leaving but look forward to seeing how Mike develops the course in the future, particularly with the new tracks through the woods before the Meßmer Teich.”

Captain Mark Phillips. Photo by Thomas Ix.

Captain Mark Phillips. Photo by Thomas Ix.

Incoming Mike Etherington-Smith, 61, needs no introduction. His resume includes British events Chatsworth and Blenheim, Adelaide, Rolex, the 2010 WEG in Lexington and the 2000 and 2008 Olympic tracks in Sydney and Hong Kong respectively.

“I am truly honored to have been asked to become the course designer at Luhmühlen, one of the highest profile and best organised events in the world with a superb reputation, and I am very much looking forward to working with Julia Otto and her excellent team,” he says. “Mark has done a terrific job and I hope that I can continue his good work in further developing the courses that have proved to be so popular and successful.”

Julia Otto says she is looking forward to the collaboration: “We trust his great experience and are excited about working with Mike. It will be interesting to develop the cross country even further.”

Mike Etherington-Smith. Photo courtesy of Luhmühlen.

Mike Etherington-Smith. Photo courtesy of Luhmühlen.

On behalf of the EN team, as a sendoff to Capt. Mark and a welcome to Mike, we offer this timeless video of Chinchwürst, Chinch’s alcoholic German uncle, smashing face-first into every jump on the 2015 Luhmühlen cross-country course. (Or at least 50% of the course. We felt morally obligated to cut him off after about his 10th concussion.)

Better luck this year, Chinchwürst.

Luhmühlen 2016 entries are live, with 40 horses and riders entered in the CCI4*. Boyd Martin and Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack are the sole four-star entry for North America. For more information visit the website here

Go Eventing.

[New Course Designer for Luhmühlen 2017]

 

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Phillip’s New Ride in the Derby

Commanding Curve (#17) on the heels of 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome as they cross the finish. Photo by Bill Brine/Creative Commons. Commanding Curve (#17) on the heels of 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome as they cross the finish. Photo by Bill Brine/Creative Commons.

Phillip Dutton likes OTTBs with a good “track record,” you might say, his newest project being 2014 Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve.

Now 5 years old the gelding has been retired sound from racing and, as we reported this morning, will begin retraining for a second career in eventing with Phillip.

Commanding Curve (Master Command – Mother, by Lion Hearted) was bred in Kentucky by Tom VanMeter. He was initially purchased by Bradley Thoroughbreds for $60,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale, then bought by current owner West Point Thoroughbreds for $75,000 at the 2013 OBS April 2-Year-Old in Training Sale.

He retired earlier this month with an overall record of 2-2-2 from 16 starts and earnings of $609,378.

“He took his partners and our team on a great ride and gave us the thrill of a lifetime when he was rollin’ turning for home in the Derby,” said West Point president Terry Finley in a statement on the West Point website. “We haven’t been able to recreate the magic of Derby day on the racetrack, and owe it to him to retire sound with the ability to move on to a second career. His partners came from coast to coast with backgrounds ranging from investment bankers to school teachers, but for only a modest investment they all experienced the highest of racing’s highs together.”

“I’m proud of him,” trainer Dallas Stewart agreed. “He ran the race of his life on the day it mattered most and it took a world beater in California Chrome to beat him. He’s a big, strong horse with a great mind and I’m excited to see what he can do in his second career.”

Phillip also recently bought shares in West Point’s race horse in Grade I winner Ring Weekend, who is trained by Phillip’s friend Graham Motion.

As a final send-off from the track, let’s take a look back at that little race Commanding Curve almost won a couple years ago:

Can’t wait to see that gallop out on the cross country course!

Go Eventing.

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Eventing Is Art for Joan Porter Jannaman

"William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero," finished portrait (16 x 20" oil on linen). Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

With its drama, color, motion and form, it’s no wonder Joan Porter Jannaman considers eventing among her favorite muses. We met the Hendersonville, Tennessee based artist, whose paintings have been featured on multiple covers of The Chronicle of the Horse and can be found in public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad, at Rolex last month, where she was taking in the sights and sounds of the weekend.

Joan took a moment to speak with us about her most recent work, a portrait of William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero, her inspiration, and her background as both an equestrian and an artist.

Tell us about the painting you’ve just completed of William Fox-Pitt. 

The painting of Bay My Hero with William Fox-Pitt was done because I’m such a fan of him as one of the great representatives of the sport. I started out planning to do a painting of Bay My Hero alone because a few years ago I had done one of Parklane Hawke, another great horse owned by Catherine Witt.

"Parklane Hawk," in the collection of Catherine Witt of Cheshire, England. Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Parklane Hawk,” in the collection of Catherine Witt of Cheshire, England. Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

I changed my mind to include Mr. Fox-Pitt after he had that serious fall last year and was on the mend. Of course his reputation as an athlete is known by all, but watching him at Rolex being so calm and kind and such a gentleman with young people running up to him for an autograph, it just leaves a great impression of his character as a person and not just an eventing “celebrity.”

As far as the painting itself is concerned, I used a photo as reference that I shot at the Head of the Lake in 2014. Of course I used artistic license for the background, wanting it to reflect a general feel of the spring in Kentucky at the Horse Park. I wanted the painting to have the feel of a portrait of them both rather than a painting about the activity of the event itself.

William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero. Photo by Joan Porter Jannaman

William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero. Photo by Joan Porter Jannaman

The sport of eventing has clearly captured your interest in terms of inspiration. Why is that?

My background with horses was between the ages of eight through 18. Lessons spanned continuously over those 10 years at Highland Stables, a local farm in the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware, a 100-acre slice of horse heaven for many riders who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to live a childhood full of ponies and horses. I had many wonderful teachers over those years, but during my later high school years my teacher was Maria Holcomb, who had graduated from the riding instructor’s program at Morven Park in Virginia.

She was the one that turned our attention toward combined training in the early ’70s. Until then we were showing at local junior hunter shows in southeastern Pennsylvania. So my eventing experience had just started when I went off to college and my serious riding days ended.

My infatuation with the sport continued through reading The Chronicle of the Horse, etc. through the years. So I am a long-time fan of the sport and am in awe of the range of skills it takes to compete.

"Karen and Theodore O'Connor," inspired by the pair's top finishes at Rolex in 2007 and 2008.  Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Karen and Theodore O’Connor,” inspired by the pair’s top finishes at Rolex in 2007 and 2008. Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

Which came first in your life: horses or art?

Art came first since my father was an artist and that was always an influence in our household. However, when I discovered that horses existed in this world, there was no thinking of anything else from that moment forward! I think back on my childhood with horses and riding and I’m so very thankful for all the life lessons they taught me and the joy it created.

Do you have horses in your life now?

No, I don’t have any horses of my own at this time. I live vicariously through my horse owning friends and clients!

"Warm Up at Rolex," inspired by Blair King and King's Whisper at Rolex 2008.  Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Warm Up at Rolex,” inspired by Blair King and King’s Whisper at Rolex 2008. Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

It’s so neat that you get to combine your two passions. How do the two complement each other?

Any horse lover out there understands the inherent beauty in the equine subject and the combining of art and horses is as old as human efforts drawing on cave walls. My best advice to any artist is to be inspired by what you love and what you know and it’ll show through your work when you truly love your subject.

What’s your favorite type of equine art to do: portraits? action shots?

I always seem drawn toward the “behind the scenes” kind of ideas, gravitating towards those moments before or after the big race or competition. The times when a horse may just lift his head and look toward the late afternoon sun and it takes your breath away. I am drawn toward the quiet moments with horses when I’m thinking of ideas.

"Two for Lunch." Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Two for Lunch.” Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

It must be difficult to get all of the little details right: the look in a horse’s eye, or the animation of its movement captured in freeze-frame. What does your process look like? 

My process is rooted in many years of drawing and just observing. I’ve always loved the details. A stint as an archaeological illustrator reinforced this, as it was important to get the details right. Life drawing is an important part of this but the reality of working with animals is greatly helped with photography for obvious reasons. I try to work from my own photo references whenever possible because having been there and seen the idea start in my mind’s eye helps with the personality of the outcome.

Photography is an art in and of itself. I have never professed to be a great photographer but I use photography to gather information for my paintings. I may combine multiple references to sketch out the idea in a small drawing on paper.

With small paintings I will just start blocking in with paint and continue to refine and develop as it goes along. For larger paintings I will start by drawing the main equine subject on a large sheet of paper.

I do not trace from the photo in any way. I’m not sure that people care about that, but it matters a lot to me that I have not tried to shortcut the eye, brain, hand connection. Does that take longer? Yes it does, but it gives me much personal satisfaction knowing that this is the process that I used. Drawing is definitely a “use it or lose it” kind of skill. I feel that an artist’s style is developed through their physical action of seeing, processing and drawing. That way each artist develops their own style.

After the drawing and transferring it to the canvas, I approach the painting in a very classical way. I work on a few paintings at a time because I use layers of paint and wait for it to dry a bit in between. I work with my values of light and dark mostly until toward the end, adjusting the colors at that time and adding subtle changes with glazing.

I do have a degree in Art Education; however, the years of workshops with artists that I admire has been the most help to me as I continue to strive to improve my painting. That process is a lifelong pursuit.

"Laura Linback and HH Dauphin." Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Laura Linback and HH Dauphin.” Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

Have you done any equine pieces that have special meaning for you?

I seem to fall in love with every horse I paint. I think that I mentally adopt all of my subjects. Each commission is really a labor of love.

However, a few years ago I worked on a project with Elizabeth Letts (the author of The 80 Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired the Nation) and her main real life character in the book, Harry de Leyer. We wanted to develop a painting that was out of our imaginations of an image of Snowman, who had passed many years ago.

The three of us gathered lots of photos and I put together an idea for a painting that was not really based on a photo but of a memory. In the painting I included Harry as a young man looking into Snowman’s stall. Harry described him in a way that photos couldn’t really capture. I still choke up thinking of the inspiration from this story.

The painting is now in the collection at the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park. We presented it to them in a ceremony honoring Harry and Elizabeth at the Hats Off Day celebration at the Horse Park. Tom Riddle of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital made it all happen when he created the opportunity for their Grand Prix show Jumping Charity event. My husband and I still talk of the wonderful weekend spent with Harry and Elizabeth as a truly special memory.

"Listening." Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

“Listening.” Courtesy of Joan Porter Jannaman.

 

View more of Joan’s work at her website, LakehillStudio.com.

Go Eventing.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Libby Head

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com). Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

After storming around Badminton earlier this month, Libby Head and Sir Rockstar are settling in for a summer in England. The pair is based in Gloucestershire at the yard of New Zealand eventer Tim Rusbridge, where they’ll be training with an eye on Burghley this September.

There are so many Libby supporters among our readers, we thought we’d try to get to know her on a “deeper” level… enjoy!

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com).

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

What’s been the hardest thing to get used to about life in England?

I would say the driving. Driving on the left side of the road, while also getting used to the smaller than average lane, has been a real challenge! Rocky would say getting used to being turned out in the rain.

What can we usually find in your fridge?

There may not always be food, but there will usually always be beer!

Who is your favorite Game Of Thrones character?

Jon Snow, since the beginning and always.

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com).

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Beetlejuice.

Do you follow any other sports?

I don’t really follow any other sports, but I will always be a fan of UGA football. Go dawgs!

Do you have any horse show superstitions?

I try not to, just because I usually will forget to follow them!

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com).

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

A dog person all the way. Cats are mean!

What is one item of horse gear you can’t live without?

A hair net. They are kind of like hair ties — great until you lose them, then I don’t know what to do!

What goes through your head when you’re in the startbox?

I try and block all the crazy stuff out and focus on the present, like remembering to start my watch.

If you could take a cross-country spin on any horse in the world, who would it be?

Charisma. He’s small like Rocky with all the heart!

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com).

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

Best of luck to Libby and Rocky as they continue their adventures abroad! And and many thanks to Pam Cunningham and Moncie Evans of EquusPix Photography for allowing us to share their beautiful Badminton photos.

Go Eventing.

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix  (equuspixphotography.com).

Libby Head and Sir Rockstar at Badminton 2016. Photo by EquusPix (equuspixphotography.com).

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: FEH Jump Chute Clinic at Dragonfire Farm

There’s nothing like watching a young horse discovering “the joy of jumping” through a gymnastic chute. For owners, it offers a first glimpse of their natural jumping ability as well as their bravery, work ethic, and ability to think on their feet.

It makes sense, then, that the 2016 USEA FEH Championships is introducing a mandatory free jumping competition for the 3-year-old horses in addition to the standard in-hand class, as announced earlier this year. The USEA is helping horses and their handlers gear up for the new phase with educational opportunities like last weekend’s free jump chute clinic at Dragonfire Farm in Wilton, California.

The two-day clinic, led by Willy Arts and Robin Walker, incrementally guided 13 eventing hopefuls on a journey from ground rail to gymnastic. You can read Kate Lokey’s in depth recap of the clinic on the USEA website here, listen to Robin and Jen McFall discuss it on the USEA podcastand check out these videos and more on Instagram!

Weeee!

Keep your eye on the USEA FEH page for upcoming jump chute clinic opportunities, including free jumping clinics at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland, on July 7 and October 5. They also have a helpful “Introduction to Free Jumping” video here.

The FEH West Coast Championships will be held Friday, September 23, 2016 at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles, California, followed by the East Coast Championship at Loch Moy on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

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USEF Names Nations Cup Team for Houghton CICO3*

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Today the USEF named the U.S. Nations Cup team for the Houghton International Horse Trials CICO3*, taking place May 26-29 in Norfolk, England.

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will compose the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team (in alphabetical order):

Katherine Coleman (Wiltshire, England) with her own Longwood, a 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Tiana Coudray (Hungerford, England) with Jatial, Inc’s Sambuca F, a 2006 Westphalian mare

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, England) with Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill by Night, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Ann Taylor will serve as the Chef d’Equipe.

For entries and ride times, visit the Houghton International Horse Trials website here. For more information on the FEI Nations Cup series, click here.

Houghton is the third event on the 2016 Nations Cup calendar, with France and Ireland tied for the lead after Fountainebleau (March 24-27) and Ballindenisk (April 22-24). This weekend will be the U.S.’s first Nations Cup entry of the year.

Remaining Nations Cup competitions:

Strzegom CICO3* (POL), June 23-26

The Plains CICO3* (USA), July 8-10

Aachen CICO3* (GER), July 24-27

Vairano CICO3* (ITA), Sept. 15-18

Waregem CICO3* (BEL), Sept. 23-25

Boekelo CCIO3* (NED), Oct. 6-9

For more information on the FEI Nations Cup series, click here.

[USEF Names Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for Houghton International Horse Trials CICO3*]

#EventerProblems, Vol. 73

When it comes to #EventerProblems, we here at EN can hang with the best of ‘em.

That’s the spirit, non-horsey Kim Severson! Here’s our latest of reader-submitted struggles.

Sorry, dude… only 21 more weeks of dressage bootcamp. #19weekspregnant #nojumping #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Lydia Chiasson (@southern_fried_eventer) on

First braid job of the eventing season. 1:17 am. #eventerproblems #darkandquiet #braidingfairy #DoubleShot

A photo posted by Rachael Walker (@doubleshot_equestrian) on

The chaos of packing for your first event #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Nicole Hetzel (@corgicreek351) on

Somewhere beneath my horse there was a log! #eventerproblems #domschramm #threedayeventing

A photo posted by chmortensen (@chmortensen) on

Adventures in hauling. #eventerproblems #bestworkingstudentever #horseshowbound

A photo posted by Lisa Bauman (@skibumangel) on

Pre-Dressage nap and eat #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Nicole Hetzel (@corgicreek351) on

Brown horses don’t show the dirt they say. #eventerproblems #queenofcairo

A photo posted by chmortensen (@chmortensen) on

This seems safe! #eventerproblems

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

#eventerproblems

A photo posted by Shannon Danahey (@shadanigans13) on

If only his duct tape matched his lime green vetwrap and LooneyTunes diaper! #eventerproblems #jamesonqh

A photo posted by Dana (@craftedniche) on

#eventerproblems

A photo posted by Reagan Wiles (@rmw_eventing) on

Go Eventing.

#EventerProblems, Vol. 72

Between Rolex, Badminton and Michael Jung winning the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, the spring four-stars were just about as exciting as they come. And no matter what the medical community would have you believe, you and I both know that four-star withdrawal is real, affecting humans…

Boohoo @rk3de_official is over.#rolex #eventerproblems #teamhotmess #somuchshopping

A photo posted by Courtney Haessly (@foxridgestable) on

…and horses alike.

At least there’s one animal out there who’s grateful those stupid four-stars are over (at least until Luhmühlen in June — sorry pup!)

Of course with horses, there’s never a dull moment! Example: your latest batch of #EventerProblems.

you know that it’s spring when you have a slushie and fly spray in your cup holders #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Ava and Pony Boy (@ponyboy_eventing) on

Power washing the trailer – so much cleaner!! #eventerproblems #imsuchanerd

A photo posted by Victoria Law (@dvmeventer) on

Conversations with the hubs over our upcoming daughter. #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Courtney Due (@justjump3day) on

Trying to fit the tack trunk in a hatchback #solvingproblems #eventerproblems #showseason

A photo posted by Pam Maier (@pam_and_luke) on

Tempting. For all the reasons. #horsetrainerproblems #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Lisa Bauman (@skibumangel) on

From Madison Kendrick.

From Madison Kendrick.

And this one, I think, wins the Internet:

When the manfriend asks, “oh, is this a helmet? #eventerproblems #ummthatsamuzzle #horsenation

A photo posted by KayTay (@flyingleadchange) on

Be sure to tag your struggles with #EventerProblems on social for inclusion in an upcoming edition!

Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

We love OTTB Wishlist success stories, and a great one was sent our way this week from reader Jennifer Kessler.

Just two weeks ago Jennifer became the proud owner of Chuck’s Chuck, a CANTER California OTTB who was one of our weekly picks last fall.

Even then, when the 3-year-old gelding (Grey Memo – Lady Elizabeth, by Snuck In) was winding down his short-lived career at Golden Gate Fields, he was, as we put it, “easy on the eyes.” 

Photo via CANTER California.

Photo via CANTER California.

Amazingly, he’s managed to get even more handsome since then!

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

“His name is now Dante and he is set to be my new eventing partner!” Jennifer tells us. “Dante has proven already to have an incredible mind. He is smart, brave, and so sweet. He has been a pleasure to have in the barn, is already making strides in only about five rides with me, and is loving all of the carrots he receives from all of his adoring fans.”

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kessler.

What a looker — we’ll be keeping an eye on Jennifer and Dante for the future, for sure! Here are three other OTTBs who caught our eye this week:

Photo via New Vocations.

Photo via New Vocations.

Legions Star (Legion Field – Star Sequence, by De Niro) is a 2007, 16.2-hand New York bred mare. Better known as “Star” around the farm, this big, beautiful girl has a friendly personality and quiet nature. She is easy to handle, stands well for the farrier and vet, gets along well with other horses, and has quickly become a barn favorite. Star is more of a “tomboy” type — not mare-ish at all — and her handlers say she is very personable and enjoys grooming, bathing and bonding time.

Star transitioned into work without issue and has been enjoying getting back into a routine. She had a less then impressive racing career, earning only $35,000 in 33 starts during her four years on the track. This beautiful mare is sure to have a more successful second career with her sporthorse build, ground-covering gaits and wonderful trainability. She is very willing under saddle and picks up on new things quickly. She is sensible, brave and always tries her hardest. She’ll do best with an intermediate rider and is suitable for any discipline — looks like a fun one to bring along!

 View Legions Star on New Vocations. 

Photo via CANTER Arizona.

Photo via CANTER Arizona.

Excessive Payne (In Excess (IRE) – Sally’s Forum, by Open Forum) is an approximately 17-hand 2010 gelding who is ready for his next job.

After just 10 starts and a year or so off, “Papa” is no longer showing any desire to race. He is reportedly retiring sound and without any other known injuries. CANTER says this boy was a total flirt during his photo shoot, giving hugs and showing off his gorgeous dapples. He is an absolute sweetheart with no vices per his owner. He will do pretty much anything for a peppermint, so keep plenty in your pockets. There is definitely no shortage of character here! Papa is located at a barn not far from Turf Paradise where he is beginning his off the track transition.

View Excessive Payne on CANTER Arizona. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 5.17.35 PM

Photo via CANTER PA.

April’s Surprise (Lion Hearted – Freedom’s Road, by Mojave Moon) is a 2012, 16-hand mare who is primed with potential!

Having had just six starts on the track, here’s your chance at a nice young prospect with next to no wear or tear. Her pedigree is peppered with nice sport names that should be a good indication of her suitability in a second career. As she matures and fills out, this girl will be a beautiful find. CANTER is told this one is sweet to ride, has sweeping movement and doesn’t do anything wrong … except run slow. No issues or vices, this girl is ready to go right to work!

View April’s Surprise on CANTER PA. 

Thursday Video from Nupafeed: Nyquist Morning Workout Drone Cam

If you win the Kentucky Derby, you’re going to be the most stalked equine celebrity in the world until the Preakness Stakes — longer still if you win that, too.

Poor Nyquist can’t even take a bath in privacy:

#Nyquist enjoying the attention back at the barn earlier this morning #Preakness2016 #thoroughbreddailynews #TDN #thoroughbredsofinstagram

A video posted by Thoroughbred Daily News (@thoroughbred_daily_news) on

Creeping on 2016 Kentucky Derby winner’s morning workouts at Pimlico is as easy as the click of a mouse — looking good out there this morning, buddy! — and this year the track even has a drone in on the action. Check it out:

The latest news is that the 3-5 favorite will start from the no. 3 post in Saturday’s race. Insiders are picking Derby runner-up Exaggerator as his closest threat; he’ll start from the no. 5 post as the 3-1 second choice. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, the horse has yet to beat Nyquist in four-attempts and is a late charger, which may work against him across the Preakness’ shorter length.

Could we have another Triple Crown winner on our hands this year? Only time will tell.

Go Nyquist!

2016 Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant Applications Now Open

2015 Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant Recipient Tamie Smith, winner of last years' CIC3* at The Event at Rebecca Farm. Photo by Sally Spickard. 2015 Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant Recipient Tamie Smith, winner of last years' CIC3* at The Event at Rebecca Farm. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant applications are now open for riders who hope to compete at the The Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3* & CCI3* or to represent the U.S. in international competition.

The grants, which were established by the Broussard family to assist with some training and travel expenses for U.S. riders with international potential, have been of great assistance to the development of some of the country’s most promising riders, including last year’s Rebecca Farm CIC3* winner Tamie Smith as well as Jon Holling and Barb Crabo for whom it helped offset the expense of competing abroad. (View the list of 2015 recipients here.)

This fund has been separated into three types of grants: Travel Grants, National International Rider Grant and Global International Rider Grant. Any rider who has not already represented the U.S. at any international CCIO3* or CCIO4* is eligible.

The first grants awarded, the Travel Grants specific to The Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3* & CCI3* (July 22-24, 2016). To apply, please submit a Travel Grant Application to the USEA Foundation.

The $10,000 National International Rider Grant and the $30,000 Global International Rider Grant are also available now, but applications will not close until November 1, 2016. Please click here for more information on these opportunities.

Rebecca Broussard Travel Grants: Information | Application

[2016 Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant Application Now Available]

 

 

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: #TwoHearts for Rio

Is eventing a team sport? Technically, yes, it is — which is the premise of a new FEI social media campaign celebrating the relationship between equestrian athletes and their horses.

“The #TwoHearts campaign emphasizes the special bond between horse and rider, introducing our sport in a new way to fans around the world,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Equestrian sport is all about the connection, intuitive link and committed partnership between the two athletes, which make our sport one of the most compelling at the Olympic Games.”

Here’s a promo video:

We can expect to see more of the hashtag in coming weeks as the FEI is rolls out a series of #TwoHearts themed content via its social channels.

On other “Is it the Olympics yet? How about now?” fronts, here is a countdown clock so you can see exactly how many days, hours, minutes and seconds we have left to wait:

Go Eventing.

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Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Cathy Wieschhoff on Natural Horsemanship for OTTBs

As an eventer based in Lexington, Kentucky — the heart of Thoroughbred country — Cathy Wieschhoff has plenty of experience with OTTBs.

Retired Racehorse Project caught up with Cathy, a three-time Rolex veteran, at the Kentucky Horse Park four-star last month to discuss her natural horsemanship approach to training.

Joining Cathy was her 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover horse, Title Contender aka “Sheldon.” The 2010 Kentucky-bred gelding (Pulpit – Winter Garden, by Roy) enjoyed an illustrious career on the track and was a multiple graded stakes winner, having earned $343,153 over the course of 27 starts. He was born at Town and Country Farm in Georgetown, which coincidentally is just about 20 miles from Cathy’s own Carriage Station Farm.

Cathy and Sheldon were one of five Thoroughbred Makeover demo participants who wowed audiences at Rolex on Friday afternoon. All of their work was done in a rope halter, both on the flat and jumping under saddle and in-hand — we can’t wait to watch this pair’s relationship continue to develop!

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Looking to One Another to Make Sense of the Senseless

From EN reader Stacey Chepren: "As I was coming home from Plantation this past Saturday, only hours after the tragedy at Jersey Fresh, I looked out toward the direction of the Horse Park of New Jersey and saw a beautiful rainbow. I couldn't help wondering if it was Philippa saying goodbye."

From EN reader Stacey Chepren: “As I was coming home from Plantation this past Saturday, only hours after the tragedy at Jersey Fresh, I looked out toward the direction of the Horse Park of New Jersey and saw a beautiful rainbow. I couldn’t help wondering if it was Philippa saying goodbye.”

It’s hard to find words in the aftermath of such a tragic weekend. It’s hard even to know what to feel. But we’re navigating our way through it, this dark labyrinth of thought, emotion and action, and we’re doing it as an eventing community.

What does it mean? Why did it happen? What comes next? These heavy discussions are taking place around the country and the world. Some of them are face-to-face in barn aisles and tack rooms; others are via social media, which has facilitated an unprecedented openness of discourse in recent years.

There’s plenty out there on the internet to sift through, both of the constructive and not-so-constructive variety. When someone gets it just right, though, platforms like Facebook allow us to share these perspectives as a sort of mirror of our own, and then by a democratic system of algorithms the most-shared perspectives are disseminated further out into our network of friends.

In the wake of Jersey Fresh, the voices we’ve lifted up as being the most representative of our community have spoken not out of reactive anger but of strength, compassion and solidarity.

Below we’ve compiled a reading list of some of the most thoughtful, most shared articles and essays that have floated to the surface of our news feeds, and likely yours as well, this week. Not all of them are new or written in direct response to the losses at Jersey Fresh, but they address the same over-arching theme: We all want a safer sport.

The tough questions we raised yesterday are the ones we must raise again today. We must continue the dialogue.

Eventing Lives in the Balance by Jimmy Wofford, published on Practical Horseman with an extended version available at Jimmy’s blog here (May 14, 2008): Jimmy outlines a number of changes to the sport, ranging from format to the type of horses we are riding and differences in the way we train them, that may be contributing to the rise of cross country accidents.

It is clear in my mind: We now have an event that was designed by humans for humans rather than by humans for horses. Because of this, we have forced riders to cross the line between discipline and domination. It is sad to say, but all the changes our sport has recently endured have, each and every one, failed to produce the benefits that were predicted.

I see no way back to the classic format, because the FEI is often in error but never in doubt, and the FEI makes the rules. In addition, our present bureaucracy is deeply and emotionally invested in the mistaken belief that there is some magic rule change, if only they can write it. For them to make a massive change in their mindset is too much to expect. I only wish legendary event horses like Charisma or Kilkenny had a voice in those committees to say, “Have you really thought about what you are asking us to do?”

The Problems in the Eventing World Today by Lesley Stevenson, republished on EN from Lesley’s website My Virtual Eventing Coach (March 25, 2015): Lesley considers trends in modern course design, including the shift from old-fashioned, ramp-y tables to tables with vertical faces, that were intended to improve safety but may be having the opposite effect.

People were claiming that these forgiving fences were inviting bad and careless cross-country riding and that we needed to do something about that. So the trend unfortunately went back to putting vertical faces on the jumps … and rotational falls and deaths began to occur with more and more frequency.

We already have the show jumping phase to test the horse and riders’ ability to jump vertical faced fences cleanly. And there is always going to be some bad riding out there, unfortunately. Riders are always going to make mistakes. That will never change. We can’t legislate good riding. We can try … but it will never work. Instead we have to create a situation on cross country where they will not be as severely punished for their mistakes.

Left to Left by Carley Fedorka, republished on Chronicle of the Horse from Carley’s blog A Yankee in Paris (May 15, 2016): Whether we knew Philippa or not, Carley says, we’re all struggling to make sense of her death and the grief we are experiencing.

I will not make an excuse for the fence, I will not make an excuse for the fall. I will say a prayer for the family and friends that Philippa left behind, including a beautiful child. And I will give a strong nod to her from the warm-up arena of life, acknowledging that we have lost a great woman, a great person, and a fabulous rider. One more warm-up fence, and then off to the other side.

She got there doing something she loved, and while that is not enough to bring her back, it is enough to settle just a small amount of the heartbreak that so many are feeling.

Memories for Millie by Lesley Grant-Law, published on Horse-Canada.com (May 16, 2016): Lesley, the eventing mother of a young child herself, pens a letter to Philippa’s 6-month-old daughter Millie.

While it may have been the riding that took your mother away from you it was also the riding that made her the person she was, the passionate, driven, beautiful woman your father fell in love with and the woman that created you. 

My son is six now and almost every single night before bed I whisper to him and ask him if he understands that no matter what happens in life that he and his father are the most important things in the world to me and that I will never know a love greater than him. I do this because I know that working with the horses my chances are perhaps greater than others of injury and it is imperative for me that he knows above all else was my love for him. I guarantee to you your mother did, in some way, the same before she left out for that final event. You were so very loved.

When your mom died an entire community wept for her, for you and your father.

Where Do We Go From Here? by Amanda Chance, republished on EN from Amanda’s blog The $900 Facebook Pony (May 17, 2016):  In the face of tragedy it’s easy to feel helpless, especially when we’re not in a position of power. Amanda reminds us that we have more agency than we realize.

What can I do to help? I’m not a scientist, I’m not an engineer, I’m not an upper-level rider, I’m not a course designer. I personally can’t fix this problem. But I do know one thing: change requires money, and I’m 100 percent capable of controlling where mine goes.

Really want to help the sport of eventing? Let’s support the organizations, the events, the venues, the officials, the course designers, and the course builders that are dedicated to making everything safer for horses and riders.

As a final note, we invite readers to use EN as a safe, supportive discussion space. We are a community. We are a family. You are among friends.  

Go Eventing.

Dogs of EN, Vol. 4: Dog Daze

So much to do, so much to see, and SO much to smell … horse shows can take a lot out of a pup. This week’s edition of the new EN series #DogsofEN features canines that are hard at work, play or nap.

Tag your horsey dog photos with #DogsofEN for inclusion in a future edition of our brand new series.

Chesnut girls chilling #horses #elliegram #jackrussell

A photo posted by Laura Richard (@laurakrichard) on

All dogs must be on a leash.#DogsofEN

A photo posted by Marsha Spencer (@laces47) on

Color coordinated! Casper & Spangles, Town Hill 2015 #DogsofEN

A photo posted by Monique Anne Gaylor (@moniqueannegaylor) on

Such a good horse show dog #gsp #fairhill #recognizedht #dressage #quietasamouse

A photo posted by @chloegsp on

It’s a rough life that Cali lives. ❤️❤️

A photo posted by Jessica Bortner-Harris (@jbheventing) on

#wheee #slomo #horsenation #dogsofEN

A video posted by Liz Rodriguez (@earnold89) on

Barn time is the best time #DerpSquad #DogsOfEN @mbhorsejumper

A photo posted by @ralene2 on

Watching the rain with my two favorite boys #GladMyLessonJustFinished #DogsOfEN

A photo posted by @ralene2 on

And this week’s honorable mention goes to…

Don’t forget to tag your horsey dog photos with #DogsofEN — we want to see ‘em! Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Elite racehorses are far and few between. Watching the Kentucky Derby, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the statistic that of the estimated 21,000+ Jockey Club registered Thoroughbreds that were born in the U.S. in 2013, only 20 of them — less than one horse in 1,000 — made it to Derby starting gate.

Not all Thoroughbreds are cut out for the sport, and even the best ones have expiration dates. Many thousands of horses get sent home from the track each year due to injury or lack of speed/competitiveness, and finding safe, happy second homes for them is a massive project. Thankfully there are multiple organizations out there that are dedicated to connecting OTTBs with second careers, and there are OTTB enthusiasts like you (judging from the fact that you’re reading this!) who are willing to give them a shot.

Here are three OTTBs that jumped out at us this week!

Photo via CANTER Arizona.

Photo via CANTER Arizona.

Who doesn’t love a classic, bay Thoroughbred?

Smokin’ Padre (Stormy Jack – Prizes Are Smokin, by Smokester) is a 2009, California-bred, 16.2-hand gelding. After 23 starts (including two firsts, two seconds and four thirds), “Joe” is looking for his next career.

A female owner is a must for this boy due to a rough history with former male owners. He is a flirt with the ladies, even giving kisses for peppermints. CANTER Arizona reports that he was extremely well behaved with their volunteers, standing patiently for his photos and showing off his lovely personality.

Joe is reportedly sound and has a clean round of x-rays (as of 3/12), having enjoyed excellent care by his connections. We are told he has no vices and no other known injuries.

Located at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona.

View Smokin’ Padre on CANTER Arizona.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest.

Joshan’s Giant (Frost Giant – Ogygian’s Louise, by Ogygian) is a 2011 liver chestnut mare with a solid, balanced, 15.2-hand build and caramel dark coat, with dapples just about to emerge.

The groom raved about what a kind, wonderful horse this stunning mare is — and when a horse becomes the favorite of a groom in a big racing stable, you know it is indeed a great horse to be around! “She’s a peach,” the groom kept saying as Finger Lakes Finest took down Joshan’s listing information.

Joshan’s is ready to move on to a new non-racing career, because after hanging out at the farm over the winter (where she was great in turnout with other horses), she is letting her trainers know that she just doesn’t want to run anymore. She is getting stressed in the paddock before races, although during morning training rides she is fine. An experienced rider is recommended for her, to help her settle and learn her new job. She is described as sound on old osselets, and wonderful to handle and work around on the ground.

She has a terrific pedigree for sport and jumping and showed lovely fluid light movement for her jog video. She appears bigger than she is, and FLF predicts that she will “ride big” — just like the mighty little horse who finished third at Rolex this year. So do not let her smaller wither height deter you from giving this gorgeous young mare with huge potential a serious look.

View Joshan’s Giant on Finger Lakes Finest.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Photo via CANTER Ohio.

Sneak a Cold Treat (Snuck In – Frozen Dinner, by Formal Dinner) is a 2005, 16.1-hand bay gelding and true racetrack warhorse! A multi-stakes winner, he’s retiring sound (x-rays available) with earnings of over $412K.

Don’t be deterred by his age, “Sneakers” has a lot of miles left on his tires. He is athletic, a graceful mover, and intelligent — CANTER noticed right away that Sneakers showed above-average thinking skills. He has a very busy mind, they tell us, and he tends to want to work things out right away. Around the farm Sneakers is an easy keeper, he is quiet, goes out in a group and has no vices.

Since he came off the track CANTER has spent a lot of time desensitizing Sneakers and giving him more people skills. What they found was a very trusting horse with a very sweet temperament; they feel he has the makings of a powerful riding partner and has the potential to compete through the Preliminary level.

He’ll do best with a patient, confident and knowledgeable advanced level rider who has prior experience with green horses. Sneakers has a lot to learn but will make it worth your while, as he has raw talent and the makings of a sport horse.

View Sneak a Cold Treat on CANTER Ohio.

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Galway Downs in Slowmo

Watching horses perform in realtime, everything happens so fast that it’s hard to comprehend the countless turning cogs that ultimately produce a successful jump — or even just something as simple as a smooth transition from canter to trot on the flat.

The more experienced and educated your eye, the better your ability to deconstruct that blur of motion into an assembly line of actions that culminate in a specific result. But even the best eye in the world can’t physically slow down time in order to get a better look. A high-speed camera, however, can.

Ernest Woodward, a farrier in California, recently put together a video featuring high-speed footage from Galway Downs spliced together with film from other disciplines. Seeing the action slowed wayyyy down somehow makes it even more dramatic to watch! Thanks for sharing, Ernest!

Go Eventing.

Clark Montgomery’s Road to Rio Runs Through Event Rider Masters

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen at Luhmühlen. Photo by Leslie Wylie. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen at Luhmühlen. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The first leg of the new Event Rider Masters series starts tomorrow at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials, with England-based Rio hopeful Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen representing the U.S. in the elite field of 40 top horses and riders.

Clark told EN in February that he is strategically not competing in a CCI event this spring and is instead opting to run CICs in his quest to make the U.S. Olympic team with Loughan Glen, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft, and Holly and William Becker.

Event Rider Masters is playing an integral role Clark’s road to Rio, as he’s competing in both the first leg at Chatsworth and the second leg at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials on June 11-12, about a week before the U.S. Olympic team will be named.

Here’s Clark talking about why he’s targeting Event Rider Masters this spring:

Clark and Glen competed at Belton last month as their first key spring competition, finishing 17th after adding 7.6 time cross country time penalties and a rail to their dressage score of 42. You can watch a full three-phase video of Clark and Glen at Belton here:

With a string of wins in 2015 (Blenheim Park CIC3*, Somerford Park CIC2*, Belton CIC3*) and a sixth-place finish in the Luhmühlen CCI4* last June, Clark and Glen made a strong case for their inclusion on the team, and now they’re in the final stretch to make their bid through Event Rider Masters.

The series is intended “to be packaged specifically for television, with sophisticated commentary, innovative camera techniques and informed by statistical analysis of the kind used by other televised sports — intended to welcome and entertain new audiences as well as those already engaged with the sport.”

Even better, the entire competition will be streamed live for free on eventridermasters.tvThe CIC format spans two days, with dressage on the first day and show jumping held the next morning followed by cross country that afternoon. 

Fortunately for U.S. viewers who wish to tune in, Clark is in the latter half of the 40-entry CIC3* division. His dressage time is at 11:50 a.m. EST Saturday, with show jumping and cross country times to be posted on Saturday night.

Event Rider Masters is comprised of six legs: Chatsworth, May 14-15; Bramham, June 9-12; Barbury, July 7-10; Gatcombe Park, Aug. 5-7; Blair Castle, Aug. 25-28; and Blenheim, Sept. 8-11. A Masters Champion from will be crowned at the conclusion of Blenheim.

Not only is Event Rider Masters a boon to the sport’s accessibility but it also bolsters financial support for the riders. The series boasts a hearty prize money fund of £350,000, which provides £50,000 for each of the six classes and a £50,000 prize fund for the leading riders at the end of the series.

The field chasing that prize money at Chatsworth includes many of the names we saw at Badminton last week, including third-placed Gemma Tattersall. William Fox-Pitt, who was entered at Badminton but withdrew, will be making his first return to an FEI competition since suffering a head injury after a fall at Le Lion d’Angers last fall.

EquiRatings produced a full analysis of the star-studded field, and Event Rider Masters kindly allowed EN to publish the report in full at this link. Who do you think will take the win?

Check out EN’s feature on the series here and visit eventridermasters.tv for everything you need to know about this exciting new series. Scroll down to preview the course courtesy of CrossCountry App.

Chatsworth Horse Trials Links: Website, ScheduleRide Times, Live Scores, Live Stream

Event Rider Masters Links: Website, Calendar, Rankings, Horse & Rider Profiles

Thursday Video from Nupafeed: Get Excited for Event Rider Masters

Sure, WE know the sport of eventing is an super-sexy, action-packed rollercoaster thrill ride of elegance, guts and glory. But how do we communicate it to the masses?

Enter the newly launched Event Rider Master Series, intended “to be packaged specifically for television, with sophisticated commentary, innovative camera techniques and informed by statistical analysis of the kind used by other televised sports — intended to welcome and entertain new audiences as well as those already engaged with the sport.”

Even if I didn’t know squat about eventing, if I saw these promos I’d be ready to jump on board:

Event Rider Masters Promo – Set Your Heart on Fire from Event Rider Masters on Vimeo.

In addition to drumming up public interest, ERM is an exciting deal for riders as well, boasting a hearty prize money fund of £350,000, which provides £50,000 for each of the six classes and a £50,000 prize fund for the leading riders at the end of the series.

The ERM is comprised of six legs, the first of which takes place at Chatsworth this weekend, May 14-15 — we’ll have a full story on that, and U.S. entry Clark Montgomery, tomorrow. The other five legs: Bramham, June 9-12; Barbury, July 7-10; Gatcombe Park, Aug. 5-7; Blair Castle, Aug. 25-28; and Blenheim, Sept. 8-11. A Masters Champion from among the 40 entries will be crowned at the conclusion of Blenheim. 

Event Rider Masters: WebsiteCalendarRankingsHorse & Rider Profiles

Go Eventing.