Leslie Wylie
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Weekend Instagram Roundup: Full Speed Ahead at Fresno County Horse Park H.T.

What in the world is that in the background of this Fresno County Horse Park H.T. photo? Answer: It’s the construction of a high speed rail viaduct, for a train that will connect L.A. and San Francisco in two hours 40 minutes. Pretty cool, and right in line with the Park’s train theme!

Although it was initially thought that the rail would run through the Park’s stabling area, it turns out that the construction has done little to interrupt equestrian activity at the venue. Fresno County Horse Park, formerly known as Ram Tap, is the second longest continuous three-day event in the country, with effuse credit owed to real estate developer and low-level eventer John Marshall for his heroic efforts to preserve the event.

As an East Coaster, FCHP looks like an entirely different planet. The sepia earth, the industrial “steel forest” backdrop … I mean, it’s no Rebecca Farm, but there’s something striking about it nonetheless.

#Sunset over the 'steel forest' at Fresno after a great day of #eventing Can't believe the 2017 season ends tomorrow!

A post shared by Blue Clover Eventing (@blueclovereventing) on

Fresno County Horse Park’s final event of the year was held over the weekend. Congrats to the winners! View full results here.

Here are a few of your Instagram photos from the weekend that was!

Whatever you do, don't touch the brush. PC: @nicolegizelle #eventing #blmmustang #crosscountry #greenhorse

A post shared by Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership (@diyhorseownership) on

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her number one fan helps her number one fan #gypsycamp

A post shared by Kenzie Wilkinson (@kennywilky) on

WR Eventing had an awesome weekend at Fresno to finish off the season! Caroline and Quinn had a super weekend to put another great Novice under their belts! Megan and Beau ended their show season to take home second in SR BN! Mickayla and Turbo continue to set the bar high finishing 3rd in SR BN! Tanisha was a good sport and catch rode Tori's horse Cooper to bring home a 5th in SR BN despite the fact that she hasn't jumped in over a year. We thought she looked great! Tori and Zara had their Eventing debut together to bring home 2nd in Intro A. Good baby horse! Tori also did a catch ride on Gracie the adorable Gypsy Vanner. Gracie was super all weekend and everyone loved her. She is ready for her kid to take her for a spin next! We finally convinced Summer to come out of retirement after 10 +years being out of the show ring. She did spectacular to pilot Teake around her Eventing debut at Intro to finish 5th! So proud of the team this weekend, we can't wait to come out and rock it next year!

A post shared by Webb Ranch Eventing Team (@wr_eventing) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbsbc0Eg6q-/

Well done to all. Go Eventing!

Wire-to-Wire Win for Clarke Johnstone at Australian International 4*

Clarke Johnstone (1st), Sonja Johnson (2nd) and Stuart Tinney (3rd). Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

New Zealand’s Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation clinched a definitive win in the 2017 Australian International Mitsubishi Motors CCI4*, leading the division from start to finish. In today’s show jumping finale they left nothing to chance, turning in a textbook round.

“I have said this before, he is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to be riding him,” Clarke said of the 13-year-old NZ Warmblood gelding owned by the Johnstone family. “He has been focused all weekend. I always knew he was a great jumper and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last three days. I would like to thank the event organizers for putting on a wonderful event in the beautiful Adelaide Parklands and I hope to come back next year to defend my title.”

Megan Jones and Kirby Park Impress were the only other pair to jump clear around the course, securing them a 2nd place finish. Despite controversy about about a revoked 50-point cross country jump penaltyStuart Tinney and War Hawk rounded out the top three, moving into the spot vacated by Sonja Johnson and Misty Isle Valentino who were relegated to 5th after dropping three rails.

View CCI4* results here.

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

The RM Williams CIC3* saw another wire-to-wire win in Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill, who finished on a score of 61. They had a rail in hand heading into show jumping today but didn’t need it, claiming the title ahead of 2nd placed Shane Rose and Swiper and 3rd placed Andrew Cooper and Lagoes Choice.

“Adelaide had some time off eventing, focused on dressage, and I was not sure if he was going to get back into the three phases,” Christine said. “He is a remarkable horse who has the skills and determination to be able to adapt himself to any situation. When we decided to enter the Australian International, we came to win and I knew he had the capability to do so. He had a great dressage, a solid cross country and although he is not the best at jumping, he did an amazing job. I’ve had a great weekend and am delighted to have got the win.”

View CIC3* results here.

Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill. Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

In the Horseland CCI2*, Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo took the title on a final score of 55.3. Show jumping was an influential phase, with only two out of 20 pairs jumping clear and inside the time. Emma had one rail down to switch positions with the leaders going into show jumping, Chelsea Priestly and Skansen Purist, who felled two.

“Marcus and I are a relatively new combination and I am thrilled with how everything came together this weekend,” Emma said. “He is a wonderful horse with a fabulous temperament, and he showcased his potential in front of an energetic crowd. Australia International is a wonderful event and is a pleasure to be a part of.

“After being in 5th place following the dressage, I knew we had to have a strong cross country over a challenging track and to back this up in the jumping. Marcus performed really well and I am proud of the way he managed all the phases, and I am over the moon to get the win.”

View CCI2* results here.

Australian International CCI4* Top 10: 

Australian International 3DE Links: WebsiteFinal ResultsFEI TV

Clarke Johnstone Maintains Lead Through Australia International 4* Cross Country

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation are still sitting atop the CCI4* leaderboard at the conclusion of Australia International’s cross country day. The pair added 8.8 time faults to their winning dressage score and will head into show jumping on a 54.7.

“It was right up there,” Clarke remarked. “It was hard.”

The Mike Etherington-Smith designed cross country track wound its way from the main arena down through the trees, creeks and lakes of the beautiful Adelaide Parklands. Check out a Cross Country App preview of the CCI4* course with audio from Mike and Sam Griffiths here.

Clarke and the 13-year-old NZ Warmblood gelding owned by the Johnstone family have a well-established partnership; Balmoral Sensation was his 2016 Rio Olympic mount, where they finished 6th. They finished 3rd at their first four-star together, the 2015 Australian 3DE, and 6th at their most recent outing at the level at Badminton last year.

“He is always pretty wild before the cross country,” Clarke said. “He is always pretty wild before the cross country. I could hardly control him this morning at the first warmup, but once he gets out of the start box he is completely focused, 100%. He doesn’t notice anything at all except what is in front of him. I am really lucky to ride that horse.”

Sonja Johnson and her young but talented Misty Isle Valentino rose from 14th position after dressage into 2nd on the wings of a clear round with two time faults. Sadly, the horse she left the box in 2nd place on, her longtime partner Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison (“Ben”), sustained an injury during the gallop from the penultimate to the final fence on course after which they retired. Sonja later reported on her Facebook page that it was a rupture of the medial retinaculum, a hock ligament, and that the outlook was favorable. “The vets have been great,” she wrote. “I have been told horses have recovered and gone four-star again.”

Sonja rode the latter first and Misty Isle Valentino second, and commented on her day of mixed fortunes: “I think it was a pretty exciting run for a young horse and I wanted to do him justice and stayed focused, but I must admit that my first question when I crossed the finish line with Valentino was ‘How’s Ben?’ even though I knew there was nothing else I could do. He was in good hands with the Australian team vet Nathan Anthony and his owner (Nikki Harwood).”

The 3rd and 4th positioned pairs had big leaps up the scoreboard as well. Stuart Tinney and War Hawk moved from 15th to 3rd having just two time faults, while Andrew Cooper and Tasman Park Ovation moved from 16th to 4th with one of only two fault-free rounds of the day.

Fourteen of 20 cross country starters completed the course, with a small scattered handful of problems throughout. The biggest troublemaker was the ABC combination at fence #8, the Horse Deals Hayracks and Double Corners, which course designer Mike Etherington-Smith called “a real rider fence” and “one of the more difficult combinations on course.” It was the site of four refusals and one rider fall. View the cross country fence analysis here.

It was a bittersweet day for Adelaide International, as the event’s director of 10 years and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gillian Rolton passed away in the mid-afternoon after a two-year battle with cancer. As a rider, official, organizer, selector and coach, Gillian was an incredible figure in both the Australian and global eventing community. We thank Gillian for all of her contributions to the sport, and the entire EN team sends its most sincere condolences to the Rolton family today.

The Australian International 3DE continues with show jumping tomorrow. Best of luck to all competitors!

Australian International 4* Top 10 After Cross Country:

 

Australian International 3DE Links: WebsiteCross Country Results, Show Jumping Order of GoScheduleFEI TV

 

 

 

Australian Eventing Olympic Gold Medalist Gillian Rolton Passes Away at 61

Michael Jung accepts his ribbon from Gillian Rolton at Luhmühlen 2014. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Join us in honoring the life of Gillian Rolton, who passed away today at the age of 61 following a battle with cancer. Her passing came at 3 p.m. during cross country day at the Australian International Three-Day Event in Adelaide, of which Gillian has been event director for the past 10 years.

Gillian competed in two Olympic Games, at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. She helped Australia to team gold at both Games riding Peppermint Grove. Her first gold at Barcelona was a milestone in Australian eventing as she became the first Aussie female to medal at any Olympic Games or World Championships. Memorably, in the 1996 Games, she broke her collarbone and ribs when Peppermint Grove fell cross country but remounted and completed the course.

Gillian was a member of the Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame, in 2000 was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, and was one of eight flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the 20000 Sydney Olympics. After retiring from competition, her dedication to the sport continued as a coach and official, serving on the ground jury at the 2012 London Olympics and heading the jury at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. She has also been active as the EFA National Young Eventing Rider Squad coach as well as an Australian eventing team selector.

Gillian had been battling endometrial cancer for the past two years. When the cancer was discovered to be terminal in September, she was admitted to the hospital in Adelaide, where she continued her work on the organization of this year’s Australian International 3DE from her hospital bed. We are glad she lived to see this year’s event successfully and happily underway.

We thank Gillian for all of her contributions to the sport, and the entire EN team sends its most sincere condolences to the Rolton family today.

Clarke Johnstone Leads Australian International 4* Dressage + XC Course Preview

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

New Zealand’s Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation are heading up the leaderboard at the conclusion of Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3DE dressage. Their score of 45.9 was good enough to top the 20 horse field.

It was a wet and windy day in the parklands of Adelaide, and Balmoral Sensation had a nearly 24-hour journey from New Zealand, but the pair made the best of it.

“He is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to be riding him,” Clarke says. “He had a slight issue earlier on, but we worked through this and, overall, I thought the test went very well.”

Clarke and the 13-year-old NZ Warmblood gelding owned by the Johnstone family have a well-established partnership; Balmoral Sensation was his 2016 Rio Olympic mount, where they finished 6th. They finished 3rd at their first four-star together, the 2015 Australian 3DE, and 6th at their most recent outing at the level at Badminton last year.

“Taking everything into consideration, I am very happy to be in the lead at this early stage,” Clark says. “He is a great jumper, with a lovely temperament and I am looking forward to what we can both produce over the next two days.”

Of the event itself, Clarke noted that it is the only 4* in the Southern Hemisphere and an important event for 2018 World Equestrian Games selection. “The location of the event is unlike any other in the world and its proximity to the city makes it extremely unique. With a great crowd, I would go so far as saying this is my favorite event in the world.”

In second we’re looking at Australia’s Sonja Johnson with Parkiarrup Illicit Liason (49.5), with another Aussie Megan Jones and Kirby Park Impress (49.6) rounding out the top three.

Check out this Cross Country App preview of the CCI4* course with audio from Mike Etherington Smith and Sam Griffiths. A special thanks to assistant course designer Sylvia Williams-Roberts for the course recording.

Australian International 4* Dressage Top 10: 

Australian International 3DE Links: WebsiteDressage ResultsXC Order of GoScheduleFEI TV

North Americans Strike Gold at Ireland’s Goresbridge Sale

The top-grossing sale at Goresbridge was Gurtea Mattie Clover, who was purchased for €130,000. Photo courtesy of the Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale.

It’s been a busy past couple weeks for event horse shopping in Ireland, between the Monart Event Horse Sale (see EN’s roundup of North American acquisitions here) and the Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale, both of which were held in Co. Wexford.

The Gorebridge sale took place Monday through Wednesday of this week and featured a range of bright young prospects, including top grossing sale Gurtea Mattie Clover, a 5-year-old full brother to Nicola Wilson’s four-star mount Annie Clover, who was purchased by Gerard Alan Kemp of the UK for a hefty sum of €130,000 — that’s over $150,000. Woof!

The sale was well attended by U.S. and Canadian buyers and advisors, and we can’t wait to see their new mounts in action. Here is a roundup of North American Goresbridge purchases!

Carrie Meehan procured the handsome Cougar’s Crest:

Teresa Loughlin is bringing home GRC CU Chulainn, who looks to have plenty enough scope!

Cormac Kennedy purchased two fun-looking, well-bred youngsters:


We look forward to following Daniel Clasing and his two new redheaded rides:

Love the chrome on Raina King‘s new ride:

Katlyn Hewson of Canada found an awesome prospect in this 4-year-old:

Check out the hops on this one, now proudly owned by Mimi Falb:

Who can pick up their knees higher? Michael Nolan and Robin Walker picked up this high-flying 3-year-old:

View complete sales results here. To all those horse coming stateside, welcome!

 

2028 Olympic Talent Watch: Carsynn Oakes, Age 9

The 2028 U.S. Eventing Team is already out there somewhere, and it’s up to us all to nurture their talent and their big dreams. “2028 Olympic Talent Watch” is an (adorable) new series in which we identify junior eventers who are already exhibiting the heart and the guts to lead American eventing to glory in the (distant) future. Any short-stirrup riders you know come to mind? Email us their story at [email protected]

Photo courtesy of Emily Oakes.

You might say that Carsynn Oakes, age 9, was born to ride. Shortly after she was born her [north Texas?] eventer mom Emily would tuck her into her stroller and take her to the barn with me where she would nap and play while Emily rode.

As she got older, being contained to the stroller was too much and Emily would allot her an end of the arena where she’d play in the dirt with dump trucks and shovels until she finished her ride. “She’d often trot, canter, and gallop in circles on her imaginary horses, Buck and Eyeball, or
get into trouble with her imaginary dog, Jumper, and cat, Meow-Meow,” Emily recalls.

By the time she was 3, she’d spend her time in the round pen with Pooka, the Oakes’ now 24-year-old Welsh/Pinto pony. Sweet Pooka soaked up the attention as she led him around, loved on him, or shared her bubbles with him.

Photo courtesy of Emily Oakes.

At the ripe old age of 4, Carsynn become one of the few people Emily trusted to feed her small herd as she knew the amount of feed, hay, and supplements needed for each horse in the barn. Emily recalls a time when she left Carsynn with her grandmother, as she had to go to a parent night for her older son. She was pleasantly surprised to come home and find the stalls clean and the horses happily munching on hay — Carsynn had coached her grandmother through evening chores.

Carsynn helping out around the barn: 

“I also recall my dad’s surprise when, at 3 years old, she schooled him on why we fed beet pulp to my upper level eventer and it why it had to be soaked first. She also shared why he had to be given Cimetidines before each feeding. Dad was a bit flabbergasted that a 3 years old, she could even pronounce those words, much lesss know what they were!”

“Carsynn’s friends and teachers will only ever call her sweet, but at home we see a strong willed, hard-working, driven, perfectionist,” Emily says. “Carsynn has goals! She waited patiently to begin to work towards them while I navigated grad school and the horses rested for a few years. But now that the time has arrived, she not only helps care for her pony and the rest of the herd daily, but hurries to finish homework after school so that we can haul to an evening lesson or clean tack and bathe her itchy pony before a show. She’s the first to jump to help unload feed and never hesitates to lug a bag of bedding to a stall when needed.”

Over the summer, the Oakes family returned from a nine-day vacation to find Carsynn’s pony dehydrated and colicking. Carsynn walked and stood with her pony under the fan in the barn aisle until the vet arrived. Dr. Mary, the vet on call, remembered caring for Pooka two years prior when he colicked in the spring, and shared that Carsynn had left her a letter that thanked them for taking care of her pony while she was at school and prepared them for what her pony Pooka would do, and how upset his much larger buddy Connell would be and that he would likely get in the way and try to help.

“She was right about all of it,” Dr. Mary recalled. After the vet oiled Pooka and gave him fluids, she went to Emily and said “He loves her. He really does.”

Photo courtesy of Emily Oakes.

“And she loves him equally as much,” Emily says. “They seem to know each other inside and out, and as his previous owner said in a post after their first horse trial together, ‘He looks out for her, and she looks out for him.’ Carsynn knows how lucky she is to have him and knows that no matter how wonderful her next pony is, and Cheese and Crackers is truly sweet and wonderful, no pony will ever be like Pooka to her.”

Currently, the Oakes are repainting standards and jump poles, and let Carsynn choose the colors. She insisted upon teal and purple, not only because they are her favorite, but because they honor her grandmother who recently lost her battle with ovarian cancer.

“Grandmommy wanted nothing more than to see her girl ride her pony and loved seeing the confidence that blossomed in Carsynn as soon as she began regular lessons,” Emily says. “I remember Beverly telling me how she held back tears one evening that she and Carsynn came upon a jumper show on TV and enjoyed it together. ‘Someday, you’re going to watch me do that, Grandmommy.’ I hope her colors never change and that she always rides in honor of her Grandmommy.”

Carsynn has had a busy fall, passing her D2 rating with flying colors as a member of Silver Stirrups Pony and preparing to go for her D3 rating in December. This young lady works hard and she is one tough cookie!

Let’s Discuss: How Do You Deal With Daylight Savings?

Each week in “Let’s Discuss” we open a different topic up for discussion. Have a discussion starter? Email it to [email protected]

Yesterday at around sunset about four cars came careening into the parking lot of the farm where I board my pony, all of us girls with day jobs racing to squeeze in a few minutes of ride time before it got dark. I swear one of them, Kathryn Greenfield, had a leg out the door before her car was even stopped. It was full-on nighttime by the time we got off our horses. Short winter days are bad enough without making them shorter with daylight savings … can we please just keep it “spring forward” year-round?

Which brings us to this week’s “Let’s Discuss” question: How do YOU deal with daylight savings? From rearranging your schedule to DIY solutions to working in the dark (see Kate’s Instagram photo above), let the idea swapping begin in the comments section below!

 

#EventerSolutions: DIY Nation

You’ve got problems … we’ve got solutions. Or, at the very least, we have a harebrained idea and some duct tape. Here are a few of the best examples of eventing DIY-itude we’ve seen of late!

'Icing' post ride, Alberta style! #eventersolutions #albertahorsetrials #itwasminus20too

A post shared by Renate Price (@love.laugh.ride) on

Thanks, mystery person at work, for all these treats for the barn! #score #eventersolutions

A post shared by Lisa Colburn (@xkyaliix) on

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BZAIKTCnEtX/

When the boots are broke, but you are too… #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #atleastitsblack

A post shared by Brooklyn Currier (@caladoniacaraway) on

Go Eventing.

Weekend Instagram Roundup: Smiles for Miles

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVgjtEjHiY/

I’ve got to kick off this week’s edition with a hopefully blush-inducing shout-out to my rider/writer buddy Lisa Slade, whose OTTB mare “Skittles” got her first taste of the cross country rainbow at River Glen H.T. Skittles’ path from the track to the startbox has been a pretty epic journey, literally (by all accounts she put on quite a show between cross country warm-up and the box) and figuratively, but Lisa knew she had something special on her hands and stuck with it. That big, shiny ribbon is well-earned — congrats, ladies!

Here are a few more of your award-winning smiles that lit up the Eventing Nation over the weekend, from River Glen in Tennessee [Results] …

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbaONWHlXbz/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbbFN8GnqV9/

Transy teams placed 1st and 6th competing against 11 teams including D1 teams!!

A post shared by Transylvania U. Eventing Team (@tuequestrian) on


… Poplar Place in Georgia [Results] …

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbZ_cAmH3N5/

Savvy and I rocked our first horse show! #superpony #i❤️mypony #Savvy #poplarplacefarm

A post shared by Nora Jane Gray (@norajaneeventing) on



… and Texas Rose Horse Park [Results].

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbagr6NDhYA/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbaPbbwluYz/

The only one to finish on her Dressage score was my baby girl #eventing #prelim

A post shared by Bill (@olddollarbill) on

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Congrats to all. Go Eventing!

#DogsOfEN: Gettin’ Doggy With It

Where there are horse people, there are dogs — and we love showing them off! Here’s your latest batch of canine Instagram pics. Be sure to tag your ‘Grams with #DogsOfEN for inclusion in a future edition!

Della loves coming to horse shows! @majykequipe #WindermereRunHT @goeventing #dogsofEN

A post shared by Out and About (@outandabout_echo) on

Ready for winter ❄️ like it's his job #jackrussellterrier #jackrussell #farmdog #dogsofen #thuglife

A post shared by Paige (@pmontyeventing) on

Rise n shine! These two in the morning, so hard a life. #lifeofadog #rufflife #barndogs #dogsofEN #wyattdawg #nykie

A post shared by Siobhain O'Connor (@strydereventing) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaXaYlVB8hE/

Happy doggo with his Jamie #dogsofEN

A post shared by megmurfey (@megmurfey) on

"What?" #ifitfitsisits #sampsoneatspuppiesforbreakfast #blueheeler #australiancattledog #dogsofen

A post shared by Ashley Loeffelholz (@amloeffelholz) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZtml91l5Ys/

Gazpacho clears the bank! #dogsofen #scatteredacreseventing #scatteredacres #bravedog

A post shared by Rachel Pie (@joeytheeventer) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZpcwh9B4Gb/

The best timer around #evenifhedoesnthavethumbs #horseshowsidekick #dogsofen

A post shared by Rachael Ann (@ralene2) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZhaWFVDdZM/

Piper's first barn trip was exhausting! #dogsofen #gsp

A post shared by Ashley Betz (@ashbetz) on

Go Eventing.

#EventerFailFriday: The Struggle Is Real

Welcome to#EventerFailFriday, a support group for sharing your most strugglebus moments. From slightly sticky moments to full-on bombs, join us in celebrating the fact that every road to success is paved with a few potholes.

Here’s a showcase of your latest submissions!

"MOM!!! What are you doing?! You're making us look bad!!!!" #eventerfailfriday #eventerproblems #thiswasnottheplan

A post shared by Megan Milligan (@meganm614) on

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#eventerproblems

A post shared by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

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Go Eventing!

North Americans Source New Mounts at Ireland’s Monart Event Horse Sale

The Monart Select Elite Event Horse Sale, held in Co. Wexford, Ireland, Nov. 7-8, is among the equestrian world’s most well curated auctions. Every horse in the catalogue has been selected by a panel of four-star event riders — Polly Jackson (GB), Niall Griffin (IRL) and Bill Levett (AUS) — and vetted by former Team Ireland vet Marcus Swail. Previous sale graduates have gone on to big things, one U.S. import example being Charlie Tango, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse purchased at the 2011 sale, who has had several top finishes at the three-star level with Heather Morris.

Being a clearinghouse for top-notch prospects, the auction is well attended by a who’s-who of European eventers. Among the 2017 shoppers: Oliver Townend,Gemma Tattersall, Emily King and Sam Ecroyd of Britain; Kai Ruder and Jorg Kurbel of Germany; Astier Nicolas of France; Giovanni Ugolotti of Italy; and Austin O’Connor, Michael and Trish Ryan of Ireland, among others.

We were excited to see several North Americans in the mix as well!

Katlyn Hewson-Slezak of Canada is coming home with the highest bid-upon horse, FLS Piltown Bay [video], who sold for €29,000.

“This is our third trip to the Monart Sale and we love coming!,” Katlyn says. “We have just sold last year’s purchase to an exciting up and coming young Canadian rider and are looking forward to watching them progress. As for my purchase this year, I am keeping hold of him and will produce him with the top levels in mind.”

Karl Slezak purchased Hot Bobo [video] 

… and FLS Major Bounce [video]:

“We love the Monart Sale and we were able to get a really good feel for the horses again this year,” Katlyn says. “The opportunity to try as many horses as we did was really valuable and I am very excited about my new boy’s future, he’s a really sweet horse and the vendors were happy to talk us through anything we wanted to know.”

Avery Klunick will be bringing this flash youngster home to California [video]:

Ryan Wood picked up two good-looking 3-year-old prospects to bring along, which he does so well [Master Brooklyn video, Ballymurphy Bob video]:

Britain-based Canadian Kathryn Robinson purchased this event horse/tail supermodel prospect [video]:

Jane Jennings, who sources and sells sport horses out of High Valley Farm in Unionville, PA, is clearly a sucker for greys [Unnamed video, MBF Syndicate video]:

Jackie Molina succumbed to a crush on this handsome Romeo [video]:

And Ann Taylor snagged this dreamy dappled 3-year-old [video]:

Looking forward to following all of their careers stateside! Click here for complete sale results.

Another major auction, the Goresbridge Go For Gold Select Event Horse Sale, is set to take place Nov. 13-15, also in Co Wexford, Ireland. Check out EN’s preview of the 2017 sale here.

 

 

 

 

Michael Jung Says Badminton 2018 Next for La Biosthetique Sam FBW

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Whispers about the future of Michael Jung’s super horse La Biosthetique Sam FBW have been swirling following a remark he made at a press conference in the lead up to Stuttgart German Masters. Michael clarified to Horse & Hound that his 17-year-old partner will continue competing, with an eye on Badminton 2018 and without the demands of team competition.

The double Olympic champion was meant to conclude his season at Pau CCI4* following a surprise late entry last month, but Michael elected to withdraw Sam before dressage when he wasn’t quite right before their test.

Michael also retired Sam on course at Burghley after the horse incurred the first jumping penalties of his illustrious international career. Forgoing championships means Sam can still compete at the highest level “so he doesn’t have the pressure” of needing to complete for the team, Michael explained. Click here to read his full comments on Horse & Hound.

Sam was meant to take a step back from competing at championships last season, but a late injury to fischerTakinou saw Michael once again look to his longtime partner for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. At 16 years old, Sam received the call up to defend his Olympic title and delivered, finishing on his dressage score to win individual gold for the second time in his career.

In addition to his two individual Olympic gold medals, Sam also won individual gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. He also has Olympic team gold and silver medals, won individual and team gold at the 2009 European Championships, and finished as the 7-year-old Reserve World Champion at Le Lion d’Angers in 2007.

We look forward to continue cheering for Sam at the biggest competitions in the world.

[Michael Jung on his superstar’s future: ‘If Sam feels well, he’ll do Badminton 2018’]

Let’s Discuss: Gender Equality and Eventing

We’ll be sharing comments from this “Let’s Discuss” thread with the organizers of the Celebration of Women in Peak Performance Equestrian Sports Luncheon, to be held Friday Nov. 17 during the Ocala Jockey Club International Horse Trials.

On the surface, eventing looks like a pretty level playing field: After all, the equestrian disciplines are the only Olympic sport where men and women compete equally (with the exception of one sailing event). But that doesn’t mean it’s all fair play and feminism for us lady riders.

Dig a little deeper and the cracks start to show, especially for female riders trying to make their way into the top of the sport. Why is it that women comprise a disproportionate percentage of lower-level amateur riders, then get stuck somewhere on their upward climb? It requires a incredible level of commitment for women to get to the top and stay there. As Nina Gardner, an owner for Jennie Brannigan, says, “Challenges don’t seem to be related to lack of interest or lack of talent, but at least partially due to challenges in financial and other support for women riders.”

Regardless of whether we’re contesting four-stars or Novice events, many female riders have encountered challenges somewhere along the line due to our gender. Of course, there’s the eternal dilemma of balancing horses with motherhood. There’s that creepy farrier who won’t stop hitting on you, the salesman at the truck dealership who is trying to rip you off because he assumes you have no clue, or the wealthy owner who offers you the ride on their upper-level dream horse … but there’s a catch. Despite the huge strides we’ve made in recent decades (see Amanda Ronan’s excellent “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The First Ladies of Eventing“) there are still male-heavy power structures, louder-than-thou male voices and other assorted variations on on the patriarchal theme within our sport.

The topic of this week’s Let’s Discuss is “Gender Equality and Eventing.” Want to weigh in? Engage your community in the comments section below.

We’ll be passing your comments from this thread along to the organizers of the Celebration of Women in Peak Performance Equestrian Sports Luncheon, to be held Friday Nov. 17 during the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. Admission is included in VIP packages, for riders and officials at the event. Separate admission for luncheon only may be purchased for $45/ticket.

The luncheon will be a celebration of those women who have made the journey to the top successfully, as well as a discussion of the current process and support system for women riders to succeed at the highest levels. Come to get inspired and to discuss ideas to do even better! Learn more here.

Product Review: Tipperary 8700 Sportage Hybrid Helmet

The brand new Tipperary 8700 Sportage Hybrid! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The original Tipperary 8500 Sportage is ALMOST my dream helmet. After trying out multiple brands and reading approximately one million reviews, I bought one to ride the Mongol Derby in this summer, and it ticked all the boxes: ventilated, lightweight, comfortable, good-fitting and, most importantly, super safe. A couple riders got taken out by concussions during the race, and we were all hitting the dirt left and right. I knew I needed a helmet that I could literally trust my life with — and Tipperary was it.

Case in point: a couple weeks ago one of my favorite people Laura Szeremi, whom you may know as Bad Eventer, trampled by a young horse and posted this pic:

Yep! That's a hoof print! #MindYourMelon #AHelmetSavedMyLife #Riders4helmets #NotJustBadEventer #BadEventer

A post shared by Bad Eventer (@bad_eventer) on

Yep, that’s a Tipperary 8500 Sportage. It’s highly rated when it comes to safety (sorry you had to be a crash test dummy, Laura, but so glad you’re OK!), as the high-density ABS material provides superior impact resistance without adding weight — in fact it’s one of the lightest helmets on the market. #MindYourMelon indeed, every time, every ride.

My only beef with the 8500 Sportage is a small complaint, literally: its itty bitty teeny tiny baby brim. Can I get a little shade here, please? Not only is riding with the sun in your eyes not ideal, I’ve got this 21-year-old porcelain complexion to protect.

Just kidding. My mid-30s complexion isn’t exactly porcelain, thanks to years and years of playing outside everyday with horses, often without a ballcap, sunglasses or even (gasp!) sunscreen. But it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself, and so I’ve been been in active crinkle-face prevention mode for the past few years.

I’ve been making do, equipping my 8500 Sportage with a Da Brim visor.

Tipperary 8500 Sportage with a Da Brim. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

But it’s not the sort of look you can pull off at a horse show, and I hated leaving my Sportage at home when I hit the road for clinics and events. So I was thrilled, THRILLED!, when I spotted a new and improved version of my Almost Perfect Helmet on the Tipperary website: the 8700 Sportage Hybrid.

A side-by-side comparison of the 8700 (left) and 8500 (right):

The new Tipperary Sportage 8700 Hybrid (L);Tipperary Sportage 8500 (R). Images courtesy of Tipperary Equestrian.

At first glance the 8700 looks a lot like the 8500, and all the best features are still intact: a padding system designed to create a custom fit, the cutaway profile, the outstanding ventilation, and it comes with its very own helmet bag. But there are some design upgrades, most notably a legit brim, that give it a sleeker, more elegant edge over its predecessor. Other standout new features include a convenient magnetic hook clip fastener on the chinstrap …

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… and removable comfort liner.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

And it comes in some fun color combination options perfect for pairing with your cross country gear.

I’m wearing the Black/Teal, but it also comes in Black/Black, Black/Carbon Grey, Black/Purple and Black/Royal Blue. Photos courtesy of Leslie Wylie.

I’m sure a lot of you out there already own a 8500 Sportage — it’s a hugely popular helmet, for good reason — but when it comes replacement time (at least every five years, or sooner if the helmet takes a blow) the 8700 Sportage Hybrid is an impressive upgrade.

The Tipperary 8700 Sportage Hybrid retails for $99.99 from Tipperary Equestrian. Check it out here!

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is: Donate to Improve Eventing Safety

Photo courtesy of ERA International.

The eventing community has been engaging in a tremendous amount of discourse on the topic of eventing safety of late, and that’s fantastic. We should be talking and listening to one another. But talk, of course, isn’t enough — we must back up our words with action.

And we are. To the credit of national and international governing bodies of our sport as well as dedicated individuals, a massive effort is already in place to improve eventing safety. In this Facebook post shared by Doug Payne, Denis Glaccum outlines some of the studies, programs and procedures that have been implemented both here in the U.S. and beyond.

“During the last five years there has been and continuous to be steps forward in all of these area of concern,” Denis writes.

“I think there is a considerable number of people who might be unaware of the scope and effort put forth by countless people allowing this sport to continue to develop and improve,” Doug writes. “Eventing is the safest it’s been, but continually striving to become safer still.”

Everyone agrees that safety is paramount, and that we must continue that forward momentum because where we’re at right now is not good enough. But are we willing to put our money where our mouth is? Denis considers the collective difference the eventing community “could make by writing out a $10 donation to the USEA earmarked to the various human, equine and course studies all of which are underfunded.”

“Remember,” he says, “you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”

Can you help? Doug set up a Facebook fundraiser and in less than 24 hours has already raised nearly $1,000 for the USEA. Donate here.

You can also make donations designated for safety projects directly through the USEA here.

Go Eventing.

 

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Eric Winter and Badders 2018

There’s no cross country course in the world like Badminton, and the man behind the curtain is designer Eric Winter. In this video he reflects on the 2017 edition — standout rounds, and how the course rode — and looks ahead to 2018.

His vision in designing the course comes through loud and clear. “I wanted to go back to an old-fashioned type cross country course where we really jump logs and some square bits of timber and that, to me, is cross country,” he says. “It’s not about training in the arena — there a foundation level that does that. Real cross country is about using terrain and bits of wood and training your horse to cope with those things.”

Next year, he explains, the course will run counter-clockwise, so opposite to the layout this year. Gotta keep ’em on their toes!

#EventerFailFriday: A Video Is Worth 100,000 Words

If a photo is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth … what … 10,000? 20,000? We’re going with 100,000, judging from these reader-submitted gems.

Let’s start with this video, sent in by reader Kiri Freeman and starring her best friend Karlie Slaton. Kiri explains, “Two lifelong best friends go to Poplar Place farm to get some cross country schooling in before River Glen in November. Who knew that day I would film the funniest dismount and hilarious reaction we have ever got on film. We are still laughing and she was not harmed! She got back on and did it again. #eventersdontbreak #dustyourselfoffandgetbackon Go eventers!”

Go eventers, indeed! A few more of your fails as spotted on Instagram:

Jumping into the weekend like… #failfriday #greenhorseproblems #greenhorse #eventerproblems #amynelsoneventer #hummingbirdsmendacium

A post shared by Amy Nelson Eventer Official (@amynelsoneventer) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ6dq0KHHxS/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaxJzDvB7wu/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaT13Ylns8z/

My new favorite #eventerfailfriday "OH YES YOU ARE"- haley

A post shared by @haldonann on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BafsFKunz45/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaFSXIkhx93/

Don’t forget to tag yours #EventerFailFriday for inclusion in an upcoming edition. Go Eventing!

What’s in Your Arena, Presented by Attwood: 10 Dream Indoor and Covered Arenas

Photo courtesy of Attwood Equestrian.

My husband called while I was out hacking my pony yesterday. Actual transcript of our conversation:

Husband: Whatcha doing?
Me: Riding. Ugh, it’s so gloomy and cold. I’m wearing my down jacket and I’m still freezing. And can you believe it’s getting dark already?
Husband: It’s 60 degrees out.
Me: Get out. It’s way colder than that.
Husband: No, it’s literally 60 degrees, I just looked at my weather app. And at least daylight savings hasn’t shifted over yet, so enjoy that light while it lasts.
Me: Crap.

I’m a hothouse flower, I’ll admit it. And every year like clockwork when the temps start dropping and the days start getting shorter, I start daydreaming about indoor arenas. Even just a covered arena would do the trick. Heck. Especially if it was one of these, featuring footing by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. (P.s. Have you ridden in an Attwood Arena? I think that stuff is made of ground up bouncy balls and angel wings.)

Bonus! While it’s not an indoor, check out this preview of the newly Attwood-ified arena at Morven Park. Something to look forward to riding on in the spring!

105,000 square feet of footing perfection. Photo courtesy of Attwood Equestrian.

Go Eventing.

JJ Sillman: 400 Reasons Why I Love Eventing

Photo by JJ Sillman.

The hands-down best thing anybody has posted on Facebook in recent memory is this massive 400-photo gallery by JJ Sillman, titled “Reasons Why I Love Eventing.”

“Since there is a lot of negativity going around about eventing right now, I figured I would give everyone 400 reasons why I have loved eventing all of the years I have gotten the honor of photographing it,” she explains. “This is not even all of my happy reasons, either. I have surrounded myself with the best people and I hope I will continue to be so lucky for the rest of my life.”

EN is honored to share JJ’s gallery. “I would love it to be seen everywhere,” she says. “It made me so happy to make and I’m glad it’s made others happy. I love our sport.”

Thank you, JJ, for this timely yet timeless reminder that at the bottom of it all, we all just want the same thing: happy and healthy horses, a thriving sport, and a supportive community with whom to share our smiles.

All photos courtesy and copyright of JJ Silman (click thumbnail to see full-size image):

From grassroots to the four-star level, all around the world, we ARE the Eventing Nation. United we stand; divided we fall. Let’s work together in a positive, constructive way to keep the reasons why we love this sport intact.

Photo mosaic of JJ’s gallery by EN from a photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Go Eventing.

Happy Halloween! Your Best Costumes Social Media Roundup

This pony, in case he hasn’t already crawled across your Facebook feed, wins Halloween 2017 no contest …

 

This horse is priceless to us!!! ❤️ little miss muffet and the Itsy bitsy spider

Posted by Heather Howard on Saturday, October 21, 2017

… but eventers around the country pulled out all the stops as well at costume-friendly weekend events like Plantation Field Starter Trials and Octoberfest at the Kentucky Horse Park over the weekend. Here’s a social media showcase of your photos! For more horsey Halloween shenanigans, be sure to check out Horse Nation’s annual costume contest here.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba68wIPHJS-/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba0BqKmhjAh/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bayz6vUDUHC/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba16cwvB0QK/

❤❤❤

A post shared by Emily Pestl-Dimmitt (@emilyalesandra) on

Polestar Halloween!

Posted by Mark Salser on Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ok – what am I for the Plantation Field Starter Horse Trials today?

Posted by Plantation Field Horse Trials on Saturday, October 28, 2017

Posted by Merrilyn Elise on Sunday, October 29, 2017

Posted by Champagne Run on Sunday, October 29, 2017

Posted by Champagne Run on Sunday, October 29, 2017

Posted by Champagne Run on Sunday, October 29, 2017

Posted by Champagne Run on Sunday, October 29, 2017

Posted by Champagne Run on Sunday, October 29, 2017

THE costume class. WooooooW
You guys just know how to do it. Thank you ALL for the effort. AmaZing Turnout

Posted by Jennie Jarnstrom on Sunday, October 29, 2017

It’s Halloween!! 🎃👻 What are you dressed up as today? Thank you to everyone who submitted photos with their horses in costumes! #HorseHalloween #JoinTheJoy

Posted by US Equestrian on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween. Go Eventing!

Remembering Crackerjack: A Life in Photos

From left, Lucy Boynton Lie, Mike Pendleton, Crackerjack and Boyd Martin at Pau 2016. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Emotions within the global eventing community have been running high in the wake of the loss of Boyd Martin’s mount Crackerjack at Pau on Saturday. As a unified community whose common denominator is a shared love for these incredible animals and a passion for the sport, please join us in respectfully saluting the life of an extraordinary equine athlete.

“Crackerjack had a wonderful story,” Boyd reflected in a statement. “He was bred by Lucy [Boynton] and campaigned up to Prelim by her son Colin. Unfortunately, Colin passed away and Crackers was sent to me to sell. Lucky for me Lucy decided to kick on with the horse, and what a ride it’s been. Crackers has taken me all over the world and given Lucy some wonderful memories.”

Our thoughts continue to be with Boyd, Lucy, the Windurra team and all who knew and loved this special horse. Boyd and Crackers twice contested Kentucky and Pau in addition to tackling Badminton and Luhmühlen. The look on this pair’s faces as they tackled four-star events around the world says it all …

Rest in peace, Crackers.