Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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#DogsOfEN: Noah’s Bark

Stables are often home to a menagerie of animals, including the occasional uninvited guest.

Had a surprise guest while organizing blankets today! 🐍😨#eventingsunnyfl #eventerproblems

A post shared by Zoe Crawford (@crawfordeventing) on

We see you creepin’, little raccoon guy. And of course there are the usual suspects, like cats …

… the unusual suspects, like this pig on a leash …

.. and dogs poorly disguised as other animals. We’re on to your tricks, Woody!

Happy Easter from the Liedle Clan!!! #woodythewonderdog #DogsofEN #dogsofinstgram

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Now back to your regularly scheduled canine programming:

#radar agrees on how to finish the day. #eventerproblems #dawntodark Great day of rides and lessons!

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Aww , he loves his horses #jackrussellsofinstagram #jrtsofinstagram #dogsofen #ottb #chestnutmare

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Relaxing at our first XC clinic of the year! #sheltie #mazda #dogsofen #eventing #thoroughbred

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I followed the horse for 3 miles today! can you spot me? #bassethound #basset #bassethoundsofinstagram #babythoroughbred #eventer #eventing #trailride #dogsofen

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#springtime #picnic lunch with Nova <3

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Horse Show Sheppy #barndog #germanshepherd #gsd #dogsofinstgram #instadog #dogsofen

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Just a dog enjoying a stick on a beautiful day! #labsofinstagram #dogsofen #macydog

A post shared by Lizzie Sauter (@lizzie_sauter) on

@mereward82 is my new cross country partner! #bassethound, #dogsofen #eventing #bassethoundsofinstagram #basset

A post shared by TheAdventuresofOticusMaximus (@theadventuresofoticusmaximus) on

Barn dog is supposed to be white. #dogsofen

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Go Dogs of Eventing.

#EventerProblems Vol. 115: Brave Enough to Fail

Charlie Chaplin once said, “Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” In that sense, horses and the people who ride them are among the most courageous beings on earth.

From the everyday to the epic, here are a few of your bravest fails:

#eventerproblems #tbstallion #uphill

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Why drop off a bank when you can launch? #DemiLogic #EventerProblems #Eventing #OTTB #kadieykampeventing

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Just a little left behind 😂😂 #failfriday #OTTB #ottbofinstagram #eventers #eventerproblems #jump #springfever

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A little #tbt to a good #fail at a Marilyn Payne clinic. #eventerproblems

A post shared by Emily (@may_as_well_event) on

How not to jump into water (and how to quickly cool off during XC schooling) #eventerproblems

A post shared by Hannah Schofield (@hannah2ana) on

#textsfromthefarrier #hedoesntgetpaidenough #eventerproblems

A post shared by Megan Howe (@meganandmillie) on

Dear George, Round bales are food, not bedding. Good thing you dance fancy and jump bravely. #eventerproblems #farmgirlcrossfit #KREstrong

A post shared by Stone Ridge Eventing (@stoneridgeeventing) on

Go Eventing.

That Moment Your Rolex Tickets Arrived & You Lost Your Mind Completely

Chinch and 11 of his best stuffed animal friends are Rolex bound!!!! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

If you want to see an eventer leap into the mailman’s arms and smooch him on the face, be hanging out by the mailbox on the day Rolex tickets arrive. Step two in the freak-out-with-excitement process entails arranging tickets carefully on a table and snapping a photo for Instagram, as per the following:


A post shared by Ali Welborne (@simply.dashing) on

Look what finally came in the mail!!! – – #beatweekendoftheyear #rk3de2017 #rolex #eventing

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Ahhh got my Rolex tickets in the mail today!!! So excited!!!!! #rk3de2017 #rk3de #rolexbound #eventing

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They’re here!!! 🐎#rk3de #rk3de2017 #rolexbound #ticketporn #lexingtonherewecome #equestrianshoppingspree

A post shared by Heather Jones || RedLabel (@redlabelpatterns) on

Our tickets have landed. 7 weeks to go 🙌🏼 @the900facebookpony

A post shared by Hillary M. (@equestrianathart) on

Go to Rolex! Go Eventing!

What’s in Your Arena? With Harry Meade, Presented by Attwood

What’s in Your Arena? is an EN series sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs.

Harry Meade is one of Britain’s leading event riders. He represented Great Britain as part of the silver medal winning team at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, has completed Badminton nine times, last year finishing in 3rd place, and is the youngest rider to have ever received an Armarda dish, awarded for five Badminton completions.

The UK’s Horse & Rider Magazine supplements its publication with a fun and educational YouTube channel, which is totally worth subscribing to for its video tutorials, interviews and more. One recent series featured Harry Meade’s “Clockface Exercise” — watch, take notes and set it up in your own home ring!

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

Go Eventing.

Badger Hill Farm – Attwood Equestrian Surfaces from Bold Horse Media on Vimeo.

#EventerProblems Vol. 113: Can You Spot the Horse Girl?

There’s nothing abnormal about these scenarios, right?


We sure know how to stand out in a crowd. Here’s your latest batch of #EventerProblems!

Spot the horse girl catching last call. #eventerproblems

A post shared by Natasha Laurenson (@tashalovescake) on

Mum always told me to colour inside the lines #tanlines #eventerproblems

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When it’s a late night and you gotta learn your dressage test #eventerproblems

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When ur nails match 😍 #KillineyHill #equestriansofinstagram #manipedi #nailsofinstagram #eventerproblems

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When eventers baby shower…. (Not by me 😅)

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I’m a bit of a hoarder 🙈🙈🙈 #eventerproblems #goeventing #usequestrian #usea #usef

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Go Eventing.

#EventerProblems Vol. 113: Written All Over Their Faces, Part 2

Horses can’t talk and yet they manage to express themselves just fine, thankyouverymuch. Hang around them long enough and you’ll have no trouble reading them loud and clear just by looking at their face.

Time for another round of “Written All Over Their Faces” (see Part 1 here). Can you tell what these horses are thinking?

When you’re so tired the floppy lip starts #eventerproblems #floridalife

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When bae is in NO mood for your b.s. #restingmareface #OTTB #eventerproblems

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Running like a maniac without control? It wasn’t me! #oldandnaughty #oldfool #eventerproblems #lynet

A post shared by Lea Ditte Marsk Lauridsen (@lea_lauridsen) on

Abby says “What the #!$@ is on my head”

A post shared by alicia b swinton (@alicia.swinton.eventing) on

Hail? Wtf? We are going on a hack! #crappyweather #eventerproblems #lynet

A post shared by Lea Ditte Marsk Lauridsen (@lea_lauridsen) on

Exactly what one needs on a Friday afternoon after a long stressful week! #horseselfies #perfecttiming #eventerproblems

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“Do I have something in my teeth?”

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When Abby is exhausted from her first big show we get moments like this…❤

A post shared by alicia b swinton (@alicia.swinton.eventing) on

But sometimes, a facial expression just doesn’t cut it …

“Go away lady!” #nottoday #justwannaeat #eventerproblems #lynet

A post shared by Lea Ditte Marsk Lauridsen (@lea_lauridsen) on

Go Eventing.

Badminton Draw Order Announced, Lauren Kieffer First Up Centerline

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monte Carlo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monte Carlo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The order for the 2017 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI4* has been drawn! Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo landed the #1 spot, so they’ll be trailblazing not only for the six-strong U.S. contingent but for the entire 85 horse field in Gloucestershire, England.

Coming LIVE from the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials office in Gloucestershire, we bring you the drawn order for this year’s competition 3-7 May 2017

The draw includes Multiple Horse Riders & Waitlisted Riders

Posted by Badminton Horse Trials on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waitlisted riders were included in the draw, bringing the total number of entries to 111 although only 85 will compete.The names of riders who will be competing two horses were drawn first.

View the complete official draw order here. This is where the U.S. contingent landed:

  • #1. Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo, a 2006 16.2-hand Irish Thoroughbred cross gelding (Formula One X Glamour) owned by Jacqueline Mars
  • #15. Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot, a 2003 16-hand ISH gelding (Cruising X Shanon, by Catch On Fire) owned by Jacqueline Mars
  • #40. Katherine Coleman and Longwood, a 2002 16.2-hand ISH gelding (Limmerick X Cavale De Or, by Cavalier Royale) owned by KC Eventing Ltd.
  • #50. Lynn Symansky and Donner, a 2003 17.0-hand American Thoroughbred gelding (Gorky Park X Smart Jane, by Smarten) owned by the Donner Syndicate
  • #60. Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless, a 2001 16.3-hand Australian Thoroughbred gelding (Waterford Road X Faux Franc, by Twig Moss) owned by the Simply Priceless Syndicate
  • #99. Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, a 2002 16.1-hand KWPN mare (Pacific X Kimbel, by Ferro) owned by Team Rebecca

Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master were originally entered but have since withdrawn after a fall on the Advanced cross country at Burnham Market H.T. last weekend. Rebecca told Horse & Hound, “Riddle Master came into this season feeling super, but the eventing gods were not with us in the lead-up to Badminton. Skin infections and a foot bruise left us short of runs and then we had an uncharacteristic fall at Burnham Market. We are both fine, but sadly Badminton was not meant to be this year.”

Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against withdrew from the waitlist, as they’ll be heading to Rolex instead. UK-based Canadian Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee are presently #3 on the waitlist, so there’s a good chance we’ll see them in the starting lineup.

Fourteen nations will be represented in this year’s competition. Michael Jung’s sole entry La Biosthetique Sam FBW, with whom of course he won Badminton 2016, was 38th in the draw so will likely do his dressage test on Thursday afternoon. With Jung looking to defend his title amid an entry list stacked to the roof with the world’s best horses and riders, this year’s edition should be especially intense!

Badminton 2017 takes place May 4-7. Learn more or purchase tickets by visiting the website here.

[Badminton Draw Order]

Weekly OTTB Wishlist From Cosequin: 50 Shades of Grey

Sure, you might have to burn through some purple shampoo to get there, but when a glistening grey event horse come striding up the centerline? Nothing classier.

Here are three grey OTTBs that have popped up on CANTER of late we’d love to “scrub” the competition with!

Photo via CANTER PA.

SW Morning Glory (Unbridled Energy – S W Betster, by Corridor Key): 2013 16.1-hand Pennsylvania-bred mare

Leggy! With a refined build, this Unbridled Song granddaughter shows the athleticism expected with that line. Very lightly raced, this girl is retiring with only six starts and no known issues or vices. As a bonus, her trainer started her on the farm, she’s been ridden around the fields and is good in the tack. She has been with her trainer her entire career, so he can give you a complete history. Liked by all in the barn, this girl is just waiting to shine.

View SW Morning Glory on CANTER Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of CANTER Southern California.

Storm Caution (Under Caution – The Andes Storm, by Illinois Storm): 2009 16.1-hand Thoroughbred gelding

Last raced July of 2016, Storm Caution was restarted almost a month ago. Wonderfully minded with a good foundation started under saddle. Currently being introduced to small jumps. One of the least spooky horses you will ever come across, he is naturally balanced and not hot, with no vices. He recently passed his flexion tests and had his teeth and feet done.

View Storm Caution on CANTER Southern California.

Photo via CANTER Northern California.

Outdoorsman Gene (Mizzen Mast – Chester Place, by Chester House): 2009 16.0-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Wow! What a cutie! His trainer states that “Gene” is retiring sound after a full racing career. This guy has dapples for days and a forelock and tail that are seriously to die for. CANTER reports that he seemed super level headed, too — absolutely no fuss when they took him out for photos.

He is nicely bred with one of the CANTER track volunteer’s favorite sires, Cozzene, up close. A lovely prospect that could probably go any direction! Located at Golden Gate Fields outside San Francisco.

View Outdoorsman Gene on CANTER California.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Jersey Fresh Cross Country Sneak Peek

The Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event has a new designer for 2017 in Capt. Mark Phillips, who has been hard at work updating the CCI3*, CIC3*, CCI2* and CIC2* tracks. During a recent visit to the venue to place the jumps and set the lines and distances, he shared a preview of what riders have to look forward to this year.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the course,” Marks explains in this preview video. “I’ve been particularly thinking about the flow to make it ride easier and smoother for the horses and riders.”

This year’s tracks will get to stretch their legs a bit, thanks to an additional 600 meters of running room thanks to additional acreage adjacent to the Horse Park of New Jersey gained following extensive negotiations with state, county and local entities. While not too many new fences have been built, the direction has been reversed over some, and the courses will no longer run through the main arena as they have for the past two years.

The famous Jersey Shore water complex is getting a makeover, with the island being lowered by a foot to make it softer and more attractive for the horses as it shows up early in the course:  “The island in the water was to be honest pretty ugly, and it didn’t really work for the horse trials or the driving people … we don’t want half the field going home from the water jump.”

“As a course designer you’re trying to make the cross country as fair as possible for the horse, so the horse has every chance to get its legs out of the way of the fences,” Mark says.

The 15th annual Jersey Fresh International Three Day Event will be held May 10-14, 2017.

In the meantime, get a sneak peak at the Jump for Jersey Eventing Derby, presented by Rowsell Equestrian Design, taking place this Sunday, April 23, at the Horse Park of New Jersey. The event, which benefits the Jersey Fresh International, features a combined show jumping and cross country course in the Grand Prix ring. Starter through Novice levels are offered. Find more information and entry forms here.

Keep an eye on www.jfi3d.com for all the latest!

Weekend Instagram Roundup: Easter ‘Bunny’ Edition

What is white (more or less), has mad hops, and has been spotted jumping around with glee on Easter Sunday?

Easter Bunny assessing the field

A post shared by Lisa Cauley (@ldc734) on

Actually, the Easter bunny wasn’t what we had in mind. Check out these grey horses and their riders seen bouncing around at events around the country –Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Results], Ocala CCI & H.T. [Results] and Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Results] — this weekend.

Amber Levine and Shannondale Fionn

The Easter Bunny found our barn aisle! #easterbunny #egghunt #ponywantsallthethings

A post shared by Amber Levine (@amber_n_levine) on

Laine Ashker on Flagmount’s Spartan and Doug Payne on Flagmount’s Mischief

Skyeler Voss and Argyle

Laura Szeremi and Quatar Z

Lexie Samuels and Grey Max

A respectable score of 56.6 in dressage today for Lexie and Max in the Ocala CCI* …on to xc Saturday!

A post shared by Julene B. Samuels (@julene.samuels) on

Maggie Baker and Blue Stockings

Another perfect weekend on the best horse ❤

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Aidan Trimble and Catch Of The Day

Olga Antipova and Queen S

#eventing #twinriversranch #goingfast

A post shared by Olga Antipova (@leljaolga) on

Mallory Tevini and Snowy’s Olivia

Simone Tranfaglia and Finnegan’s Wake

Jennifer Wooten-Macouzet and Patina DCF

Happy late Easter. Go Eventing!

#EventerSolutions: Do Whatcha Gotta Do

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

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

Oh, look the hotel has a built in boot drying rack! 😂 #eventerproblems #majykequipe

A post shared by Nicole Hetzel (@corgicreek351) on

Putting my 4 year degree to use… 💻photoshopped the colors on my soon to be new saddle. It’s in the making and I just couldn’t wait to see it! 💙🔶🏇🏽 You also know you have your priorities straight when you put things back at the grocery store because of their price or duct tape your jeans together…but find a way to pay a pretty penny for a new saddle 🙈 ‼️So worth it though‼️ (Not because of the colors) ⏯I’ve struggled for years with saddle fit for me. Always felt I was fighting my position.. I found out during crossfit, that my femur is long for me height. I casually was talking to Andrea at Stubben and she had me briefly ride in one. Then let my jump in the Zaria Optimum at our local show.. 🎵”Now I’m a Believer”🎶 I know saddle fit is important for the horse, Rugby isn’t typical event horse being a square little Morgan with no wither & large shoulder) My saddle’s seem to fit ok, but this truly made a difference for my horse and myself! I’d hoped it would make a difference in my leg that I was always seeming to a fight. It did that and even more! Rugby was jumping even better and I was able to ride at my best and not struggle with my leg. I had no idea how much it has affected me until I actually rode in the Stubben saddle. Can’t wait for what this season brings and tackling the Training XC course with the super pony💙🔶 #forthepony #eventerproblems #lifedecions #stübben #photoshop #priorities #morganhorse #eventersolutions #zariaoptimum

A post shared by Kathleen (@katb350) on

No 4 wheeler, no tractor, no problem. #eventerproblems #eventersolutions #toofaraway

A post shared by Sam Bielawski (@redmarechronicles) on

Towel rack, or splint boot drying rack? #whynotboth #eventerproblems #eventersolutions

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Twine is like the barn version of duct tape!

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Who needs a cold hose? #eventerproblems #eventerproblemsolving

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There is a reason we have to wear double bell boots 🙈

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Oh noooooo!! #guessitstimefornewgloves #eventerproblems #horsepeopleproblems

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On these occasions I am glad I hoard winter clothing and horse coolers in my car #eventerproblems

A post shared by Erinn Tobin (@etobin89) on

Go Eventing.

Friday Video From World Equestrian Brands: How Cool Is This Jump Safety Feature?

There is a huge movement within our sport to seek out ways to improve horse and rider safety, and nobody is putting more time, effort and brainpower into it than David O’Connor.

As chair of the FEI Risk Management Steering Group, he spoke earlier this week at the FEI Sports Forum 2017’s Eventing Risk Management Session along with Giuseppe Della Chiesa, chair of the FEI Eventing Committee, and Sam Watson and Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings. The session is well worth a watch and available on YouTube here in case you missed the live stream.

We just spotted this video The Horse Pesterer posted from Rocking Horse Spring H.T. a couple weeks back. In it David demonstrates an innovative cross country jump design he created, featuring a front lip created from blocks that give way upon impact. Very smart!

Eventing Sponsorship Matters or, Why I Just Gave Land Rover Literally All of My Money

Thank God it isn't the Thank God it isn't the "Ford U.S. Eventing Team." Photo by Leslie Wylie.

I’ve never held back on sharing with you guys how much I hate my truck. HATE. IT. Like, I feel rage boiling up inside me just talking about that dumpster fire piece of … poop.

It’s a 2004 Ford F250 with one of those notoriously lemon-y 6.0 liter Power Stroke diesel engines. It’s given me ulcer after ulcer since I bought it, and my deepest life regret is that I didn’t sink it in the lake a long, long time ago.

Recently, at long last, our abusive relationship came to an end. The guys at the diesel garage, who love me for financing their kids’ college educations, gently informed me that my truck was living on borrowed time. Transmission, turbo, fuel injectors, other assorted vital vehicular organs–they were all doing the death rattle.

Broken down, again, on the way to an event. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Like a divorcee desperate just to get out alive, I put my head on the truck’s steering wheel and made one last plea: “You can have the house, the kids, my bank account, all of it. Just get me to the dealership so I can trade your garbage a$$ in, preferably for this Land Rover Range Rover I really, really, REALLY want.”

I should have been more specific. The truck did, in fact, make it to the dealership; it just died right there on the spot, not even bothering to turn over when they went to check mileage on the odometer.

Well-played, truck. I hope you burn in hell.

On to the cheerier part of this story! Goodbye, truck spawn of satan. Hello, SUV of my dreams.

I’ve never been much of an autophile, nor an anglophile, but I do love me some eventing. And by extension, I guess, I like anglophile autos that love eventing. Namely: Land Rover/Jaguar.

The Jaguar Land Rover Bromont Three-Day Event. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Ah, Jaguar. I distinctly remember the moment I fell head over heels in love with you. It was the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont CCI3* in 2014, where I got a driving lesson in this sweet Jag convertible. The subject: driving scary fast on Canadian backroads. I was so afraid we were going to hit a moose! But we didn’t!

It really does suit me. Photo courtesy of Leslie Wylie.

My Land Rover encounters go back even further. Land Rover is a massive patron of equestrian sport — from events like Rolex, Great Meadow and Burghley to national teams and individual riders …

Lynn Symansky and Donner at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… and when at a Land Rover-sponsored event I always try to squeeze in a test drive. Moguls, boulders, teeter-totter bridges … the appeal for adrenaline-junkie eventer types is obvious.

Here’s a special memory from the 2016 American Eventing Championships:

But never did I ever imagine that I would actually purchase a Land Rover myself. In fact, I always accepted the sweet LR logo ballcap they give you at the end of the test drive with a twinge of guilt. The brand, I figured, was out of my league.

Until … the moment arrived when I actually needed to buy a new vehicle. And I realized that, if I had to give somebody my money, it was going to be a company that cares about and supports the sport I love. (And of course the product is not too shabby, either!)

Of course, there’s no way I could afford a new Rover. I mean, let’s be real: I write about horses for the internet for a living, so I’m pretty sure I’m nowhere near the tax bracket of Land Rover’s target demographic. But an older, higher mileage model? Doable-ish.

And thus I became the proud owner of a 2009 mafia-funeral-procession black Range Rover. I actually prefer the older, classic body style — it’s so stiff-lipped British yet sexy, like Benedict Cumberbatch.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

With a tow capacity of 7,700 pounds, once I get a hitch and equalizer bars on board it should be perfectly competent pulling a lightweight bumper pull. (Hauling my 14-hand pony in my old four-horse felt pretty ridiculous, anyway.) The interior is posh, albeit already well on its way to being trashed completely with dirty horse stuff, and there are So. Many. Buttons.

It took me forever to find the parking brake, but thanks to my extensive Land Rover offroad test driving experience I do know which mode to be in for driving off an actual cliff. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

While I’m sure it was cutting edge in 2009, the navigation system now looks a bit dated and Oregon Trail-esque, but being a “mature” vehicle has other perks. Exhibit A: six-CD changer, yo! Which I fully intend to stock with various assorted rap medleys, because rolling up to the barn in this thing makes me feel like a total gangster.

Yo, it’s all good, Range Rover all wood:

What I want Land Rover /Jaguar and other generous sponsors — of events, of riders, of horses, and even of little ol’ eventing websites like this — to know is this: Your support matters. We don’t take the effort and expense you put into us for granted. We see it all around us, and we appreciate it more than you know.

And hopefully the relationship is beneficial to you as well. Riders are consumers, just like anybody else; we all have the power to decide how to where to spend our hard-earned money. And when it comes time to make those decisions, eventing sponsors are going to be right there at the forefront of our minds.

On that note, I guess it’s time for me to start saving up for that 1980s model Rolex watch …

Go Eventing!

Watch the Live Stream of Twin Rivers FEI Divisions, Courtesy of Ride On Video

LIVE from Twin Rivers Ranch International Event

Twin Rivers Spring Three-day Event & H.T. is underway in Paso Robles, CA, and thanks to our friends at Ride On Video we can all follow the action as it unfolds! Watch the live stream via the embed above or click here.

All phases of the CIC 1*, 2* and 3* divisions will be streamed, with the possibility of others being streamed as well depending on viewership.

Cross Country schedule in Pacific Time:

Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Thursday Video from Standlee Hay: Inside the Lorry With Badders First-Timer Shane Rose

A new video goes “inside the lorry” with Australian eventer Shane Rose, who is inarguably one of the most tenacious figures in our sport, in the runup to his first trip around Badminton Horse Trials.

As an athlete Shane has enjoyed both highs — including a team silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and a win in the Adelaide CCI4* in 2015 — and lows. Twice previously after being named to the Olympic team horse injuries kept him from competing. He had already arrived in the U.S. in preparation for the 1996 Games in Atlanta when his mount, Mr. Joe Cool, went lame. He also missed the 2012 Games in London when his mount that year, Taurus, sustained a shoulder injury at the start of the competition. Then, at the 2016 Games in Rio, the cross country course got the better of him and his mount, CP Qualified, as it did for many competitors.

Competitive setbacks are one thing, but Shane has been confronted with higher-stakes challenges as well — of the life-or-death variety. In addition to having his thyroid removed after contracting cancer, over the course of the last 15 years Shane has broken both arms, twice; broken both his legs; underwent a tracheotomy and some facial reconstruction after getting kicked; and, in 2015, broke five ribs, punctured a lung, suffered a split liver and had a severe bacterial infection.

And yet here Shane is in 2017, still standing, still fighting, still loving his sport, and now gearing up to tackle this year’s “swashbuckling” Badders track. If that isn’t the heart of eventing, what is? Here’s hoping the stars align for this unflaggingly enthusiastic and hardworking athlete at Badminton 2017.

Go Shane. Go Eventing!

Megan Lynn and The Natural E Lead Day 1 Ocala CCI1* Dressage

After a big win in the Red Hills CIC1* last month, Megan Lynn and Elevate Event Team’s The Natural E have come out swinging once again at Ocala International 3-Day Festival of Eventing. Their score of 38.1 took the day one dressage lead in the CCI1* division, which saw 26 rides today and will continue tomorrow with another 29 tests.

Shout out to the owner of 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding’s (Linardo X Camelott Af Ommestrip, by Come Back II), Karen Isberg of Kentucky Performance Products, whose line of natural vitamin-E supplements inspired the horse’s name!

“He was a good boy today, I’m very happy with him!,” Megan says. “I wasn’t sure how this test — being test A, not test B like at Red Hills — was going to go with him. He can anticipate sometimes and the movements seem to come faster in this test, but he was great. I love this horse!”

Watch Megan’s test, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer:

And here’s #2 Hannah Sue Burnett and Cougar Bay, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Jacqueline Mars and Christa Schmidt:

Best of luck to all Ocala competitors this weekend! CCI2* dressage begins tomorrow at 8 a.m. We’ll keep you posted on all the latest!

Ocala CCI1* Top 15 After Day 1 Dressage: 

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Just me and the bugs!! #volunteering #coppermeadows #eventing #horse #love #me #jumpjudge #7&8

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There are plenty of worse ways to spend a beautiful spring day than chilling in the middle of a field watching event horses thunder past. Twin Rivers Spring CCI and H.T. has put out a desperate plea call for volunteers at its event today through Sunday in Paso Robles, California. For every two hours you help out, they’ll give you a $20 certificate which can be used for any facility use fee or Twin Rivers show. Young Riders can also work for their Young Rider hours.

To sign up for positions, as well as check in and out from your phone, visit the new website launched by the USEA and sponsored by Sunsprite Warmbloods, eventingvolunteers.com. Area VI also now has a volunteer leaderboard to recognize the effort that volunteers put in, with awards to be given out at the end of the year, so set up a profile at eventingvolunteers.com today!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Some light reading to get you through your day:

Charles Owen issues Recall on 4Star Cross Country Helmet with chrome buckle

Farrier wins unique Badminton and Grand National double

How to nail the showjumping warm-up at a one-day event

6 clever ways to market your horse on Facebook

At 21 years young, Rich Fellers partner Flexible to retire

Have a great ride today, EN. Go Eventing!

Badminton Unveils ‘Swashbuckling’ 2017 Cross Country Course

Badminton Horse Trials has just unveiled a preview of its 2017 course, and we advise not having a look until your lunch has digested!

Eric Winter’s debut Badders track looks to have a distinctly old school feel: “It greatly resembles the swashbuckling tracks of the 1970’s, but with the advantage of 21st century safety technology. Unlike many modern courses there is a deliberate lack of superfluous decoration with most fences using massive rustic timber … If there was one word to describe the 2017 course it could be ‘chunky.'”

For the real-deal virtual course walk experience, be sure to check out CrossCounty App. In addition to photos and illustrations of each obstacle, its Badminton preview features audio, drone flyovers and video walkthroughs with Eric and British eventer Harry Meade. Check it out online here and be sure to download the app today!

If you’re pressed for time, here’s a 10-cent tour via press release:

Starting as ever in the main arena over the ASX Starter, this year riders head in a clockwise direction over an inviting roll top brush the Rolex Rolltop. There is a new look to the Keepers ditch with a large but inviting table Keepers Question and another single fence Mike Weavers Haywain.

The first real question comes with the four part Savills Staircase, rails, two steps down and an angled brush away. A gallop towards the House then introduces a very substantial table Countryside Birch, where the brave can angle it and save several seconds cutting inside a tree on landing.

Eric has put The Lake complex earlier than recently as he felt he could then make it a bit more of a challenge. First come the L200 Pickup Trucks, then a massive drop into the water, a right turn to a wooden cottage out and a brushed up log. (There are time consuming alternatives here).

Instead of pockets of relentless action there is a flow to the course which next takes in an uncompromising white parallel in front of the House, the Offset Oxer then ahead to the Shogun Hollow, two wide corners with a dip between.

A longish gallop follows down to the Vicarage Ditch where Eric has reintroduced an ’80s classic, the KBIS Bridge. It is then left to the Outlander Bank with an even choice of cottages on the top and right to another ’70s tribute act, a spectacular revamp of a thick rail over the ditch the Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner

It is up one of the few inclines in Badminton Park to the Hildon Water Pond with a single tree trunk in, another in the water and a sharply angled log away. Here again there is a very long ‘scenic route.’ Down the hill again to the let up Sheep Feeder and another place to make up a bit of time in the approach to the familiar Mirage Pond, two angled hedges with the pond between on quite a tight distance.

Another relatively simple, but maximum size rustic spread, the Devoucoux Oxer follows before coming back into the Deer Park through the Phev Corral, up the mound to a very upright set of post and rails then down into the ranch’s ‘yard’ where riders can choose either the left or right side of the post and rail funnel on a tight angle.

Back to the front of the House to the Event Mobility Dining Table (named for the event’s Charity of the Year) followed closely by the Joules Corner, a hedge to set riders up for a double of angled boxed brush corners.

Horses then get their feet wet for the last time, splashing through to an old type vast, ‘Burghley’ bullfinch, the Wadsworth Lakeside

Most of the serious questions have been asked by now and the two log piles in the Irish Horse Gateway Huntsmans Close are much kinder than in recent years but to ensure riders don’t just go flat out alongside the road Eric makes them go back and forward across the fence line over two upright World Horse Welfare Gates. The Horsequest Quarry starts with a big brush on the flat, down into the dip and over a choice of broom head ‘skinnies’ and up a steep slope to an upright wall.

The last few relatively ‘kind’ obstacles start with the double of FEI Classics Hedges, then the Rolex Trunk whose approach is through a spinney and back into the arena. And we finally come to the Mitsubishi Final Mount, for which on Eric’s instigation the design was put out to public competition. Of 13,000 votes on line nearly 4,000 went for Tots Hanson’s carved saddles.

The entry list for the 2017 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI4* was released in late March, and we’re excited for the opportunity to root for a big North American contingent this year, including six U.S. and one Canadian pair.


Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot
Katherine Coleman and Longwood
Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica
Lynn Symansky and Donner
Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless


Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master

The waitlist includes Bunnie Sexton (USA) and Rise Against, who are now five away from being accepted (although all signs point to them being Rolex-bound), and Kathryn Robinson (CAN) and Let it Bee, who are eight away from being accepted. Who knows …

Fourteen nations will be represented in this year’s competition. Michael Jung’s sole entry is La Biosthetique Sam FBW, with whom of course he won Badminton 2016. With Jung looking to defend his title amid an entry list stacked to the roof with the world’s best horses and riders, this year’s edition should be especially intense!

Badminton 2017 takes place May 4-7. Learn more or purchase tickets by visiting the website here.

[Badminton 2017 Cross Country Course]

#EventerProblems Vol. 112: OK Everybody, Just Try to Act Normal

Just kidding. We know acting normal is not in your skill set, and here in the great sovereign state of Eventing Nation that is A-OK. Take it away, EN!

What do I fear the most in life? Brand new white britches. #stayclean #fei #eventing #eventerproblems

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#horseshowlife #eventerproblems @jaylyn_b #sleepytime

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While in Haida Gwaii… #SeeingXcountryJumpsEverywhere #eventerproblems #flyingdreams

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I found a horse and rider to add to the scene! #onetrackmind #eventerproblems

A post shared by Jessica Solo (@precision_stride_eventing) on

And so begins the process of breaking in new boots. #owthathurts #eventerproblems

A post shared by Heather Norman (@atltarheel13) on

I feel like I earned my beer tonight…. #butthehorsesarefed #eventerproblems

A post shared by Kelsey Jenkins (@jenxkels) on

String bikini or tail bag? #eventerproblems

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Springtime #eventerproblems. Someone leaves a helmet for two days and a bird has taken over.

A post shared by Wendy Angel (@ridingwithscissors) on

Oh the things you will hoard #eventerproblems #bellbootsfordays #onlytwomatch

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Go Eventing.

Tuesday Video From SpectraVET: Hunt Field Marriage Proposal!

Congrats, Brit and Adam! Photo courtesy of Brit Vegas.

OTTB enthusiast and eventer Brit Vegas got asked the question of a lifetime over the weekend while out with North Hills Hunt over the weekend.

Um, yes!

Brit, of Lincoln, Nebraska, retrains anywhere between 30 and 50 Thoroughbreds each year for a living. She is a veteran of the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover and brings a horse to Lexington, Kentucky, to compete every year. The horse she was hunting over the weekend is a 5-year-old OTTB named Born to Jump, whom she got from West Virginia’s Mountaineer Race Track a few months ago.

Born to Jump and Brit with her engagement ring. Photo courtesy of Brit Vegas.

Brit’s OTTBs typically find their niche in eventing, jumping or field hunters. A horse she pulled from the track in September named Scotch and Water will start at Training level this year, and Brit thinks he has Intermediate potential. She has been fox hunting for about 10 years and has been whipping for North Hills Hunt for the past two.

Her new fiancé (congrats, kids!) Adam Gengenbach is a vet with whom she owns an equine performance horse veterinary practice. He does the vet work, and she schedules all the appointments, does the billing and assists with appointments when necessary.

“I knew pretty much on my first date that I wanted to marry this man, which was odd for me,” Brit recounts. “I have never been the person that ‘had’ to get married. I was content with life as it was.”

Photo courtesy of Brit Vegas.

Adam had previously ridden as a team roper but jumped into the English disciplines with both feet and just completed his second year of fox hunting. “First order of business was to teach him to jump a horse, which came naturally as he was a saddle bronc rider and bareback rider in his younger days. He had natural balance and a super positive attitude towards learning something new,” Brit says.

Adam must have felt pretty confident that their budding relationship was something special, too.

“Apparently Adam bought this ring about a month after we dated and has been waiting for the right moment for awhile now,” Brit says. “He has actually had it is in pocket for a few hunts, I’ve heard. I am the proactive one in the relationship, and he is the procrastinator so this makes full sense to me. He was waiting until the absolute last hunt of the season.”

Brit says she was completely shocked, but that the proposal couldn’t have been more perfect.

Photo courtesy of Brit Vegas.

“He proposed in the sandhills of Burwell, NE, which happens to be our favorite hunt country,” she says. “I was surrounded by my closest friends, horses I love and the hounds.”

Brit’s 8-year-old daughter was supposed to be present but stayed home at the last minute, as she didn’t want to miss a nature walk at school: “Had I known the plans for the weekend I would have had her there, as she and her Welsh/quarter pony also hunt.”

Photo courtesy of Brit Vegas.

Alas, ’tis the nature of surprises, Brit! Nonetheless, she says, “It was one of the most magical moments of my life, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way. Hunting is our life, the one thing we ALWAYS make time for.”

As for the wedding, Brit and Adam already have a date in mind: Sept. 16, 2017.

“And don’t worry everyone, I’m not pregnant,” Brit says. “I just don’t want to be engaged for a year and a half!”

Go Brit and Adam. Go Eventing!

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

SpectraVET is committed to providing only the highest-quality products and services to our customers, and to educating the world in the science and art of laser therapy.

We design and manufacture the broadest range of clinically-proven veterinary therapeutic laser products, which are represented and supported worldwide by our network of specialist distributors and authorized service centers.

Eventers Celebrate the Epic Partnership of Kyle Carter and Madison Park

Kyle Carter and Madison Park. Photo by Shannon Brinkman. Kyle Carter and Madison Park. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Kyle Carter and Madison Park are among eventing’s most beloved old married couples. Over the course of the past decade, they’ve ticked box after box: a top five finish at the 2007 Pan Am Games, anchor cross country trips at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, and nine starts at the CCI4* level. In 2016, at age 18, “Parker” cruised around his fourth Rolex Kentucky start.

What was next for the war horse? Kyle had been batting around the idea of an encore performance at the Kentucky Horse Park or a trip to Badminton. As recently as earlier this year, when the pair finished 16th in the Advanced at Rocking Horse Winter II, nothing seemed off the table.

Yesterday evening, however, Kyle delivered a “state of the union” address via YouTube video announcing Parker’s retirement–from the multi-starred levels of eventing, at least:

“We have been getting asked a lot of Parker’s plans this spring and probably should have announced it sooner. We’ve decided to retire him from top level competition. Thank you to his many fans, our great sponsors, my family and of course most of all to Parker–you’ve changed my life. Looking forward to growing old together, it’s all sailboats and margaritas from now on!!”

On behalf of EN, here’s wishing Parker all the best! We look forward to watching him romp around the lower levels, or romp around pastures, or however else he wishes to enjoy his golden years. You do do, Parker.

Relationships as long and storied as that of Kyle and Parker are an inspiration to us all. And what a class-act horseman Kyle is for granting his partner the dignity of a happy, well-timed and well-deserved (semi!)retirement.

Kyle Carter and Madison Park at Rolex 2016. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Since the announcement Kyle’s teammates, fellow eventers and many fans have been paying to tribute to Parker’s remarkable career on social media. Here are a few of their praises, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Stop by to leave a kind word for Kyle and Parker here.

“WEG 2010 team mates Kyle and Parker have reached the end of an era! It was an honor to be on a team with Kyle and Parker, and to see first hand the meticulous horsemen the Carters are.” –Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch

“Congrats Parker and Kyle Carter for many amazing years!!! Love to see riders know when the time is right and know what’s best for the horse!!! Retiring sound and happy is pretty awesome.” –Hawley Bennett-Awad

“A legend. You’ve earned it Parker.” –Selena O’Hanlon

“Oh sure! Put the horses needs above your own competition goals … Well played. Well played.” –Chelan Kozak

“He could write a book … Kyle Carter wouldn’t want us to read it. It would make Kyle seem soft. What a lovely and long lasting partnership. Love it! #doingrightbyhim” –Jill Henneberg

“This is great Kyle!! Congrats on such an amazing career for Parker and for his continued career here on out! Big thanks for everything you do in this sport!” –Alex Green

“Class act, what a war horse Parker is!” –Meghan O’Donoghue

“Good on you both!! He deserves to spend his days with you! Too risky to have something happen!!! What an iron horse he has been!!! Congrats!!!” –Liz Millikin

“Impressive. You, Jenn & team are amazing.” –Hilda Donahue

“Al and Parker have cigars and aged port coming!!!! Love these DUDES.” –Valerie Ashker

“Great plan. Best thing for the horse is always what is best.” –Ashley Giles

“It’s the easiest ‘hard’ decision ever huh? Well done man. Congrats Parker.” –Angela Bowles

“Happy Retirement P! We went to unbelievable places together! I was so blessed to be chosen to be part of your adventure, I have so many fond memories of spending time together and have a special spot in my heart for you.” –Jennifer Paige

“I feel privileged to have watched you both in person at 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2007 Rio Pan Ams. The definition of cross country machines” —Kerri McGregor

“Kyle, for pretending to be a hard assed meanie pants you really do have a soft spot for your horses. A true horse person always takes care of the horse that has taken care of them. So much respect for you and Parker! All the best Parker!” –Emery Reagan

“No one can ever question your dedication to your horses or love for the sport. Good thing you’re getting rid of him though, one bay was marring your string of chestnuts.” –Lauren Romanelli

“Lots of love to Parker and the whole Five Ring family. What a journey he has taken us all on. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.” –-Pearl Macgregor

“What a special horse… and clearly a one of a kind relationship! So much respect. Congrats Parker!” –Laura Beaty Craven

“Congratulations Parker and the Carter family! Enjoy your ‘retirement’ Parker!” –Regan Albertson Howlette

“Such a classy move Kyle Carter. Parker is lucky you have his best interests at heart. Good luck in the future to you both.” –Clare Marie Pinney

“Such a hard choice to make but so good on you to make the right decision for his health! You guys are a great team and so happy to see how much you love him.” –Madi L. Hunter

“I’m glad he’s semi-retiring sound and happy, and still with you and the rest of Five Ring. But please post the video of when you tell him there’s no cross country the day after that dressage show..;)” –-Jess Eh Tee

“Congrats to Parker. Enjoy your retirement. As always, great horsemanship on choosing to go out on high with a happy horse. Love.” –Dana Lacy

“All class:) so much love and respect for those that put these amazing athletes first. To definitely be admired. Thanks for sharing your boy!” –Julie Foley

“Beautifully said Kyle. You have Always been a class act and it’s wonderful to see someone thinking of their horse’s best interest!” –-Andrea Malatestinic

“Thank you, from Parker’s many fans and admirers.” –Lynda Clary-Burke

Go Parker! Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist From Cosequin: 17+ Hand Edition

In last week’s edition of “OTTB Wishlist” we singled out three available “small but mighty” Thoroughbreds. This week we’re swinging in the opposite direction!

Here are three tall, dark and handsome OTTBs we’ve love to see in a cross country startbox:

Photo via CANTER Maryland.

Etchy Sketchy (Etched – Perfect Colours, by Accelerator): 17-hand 2014 Maryland bred gelding

This guy should catch the eye of anyone with a vision for what a horse could be. He is a sound, 17-hand 3 year old (and possibly still growing!)  and when you look at his frame and imagine him with a good polish and some groceries, can you see the potential?

At the end of his last race, after the finish, he was pulled up too quickly and his gangly legs slipped out from under him and he took a tumble. He got right up and was fine, but track rules are that any horse that falls on the track gets vanned off — good rule! The vet examined him and he did not sustain any injuries, but after that incident his connections decided that he wasn’t showing much potential as a racehorse anyway and rather than put the gangly youngster through more racing, they’d see if they could find him a new career. He is very sweet and has no vices.

Located at Pimlico Racecourse.

View Etchy Sketchy on CANTER Maryland.

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Arcane (Artie Schiller – Blending Element (IRE), by Great Commotion): 17-hand 2010 Kentucky bred gelding

This Legacy horse will turn your head and take your breath away upon seeing him. Arcane is big in every way — body, movement, personality and presence.

He knows it too! And like many beings who are blessed with these attributes, he uses his gifts to get what he wants. On the surface, this can be off-putting, like coming across a big black grizzly in the woods. But don’t be fooled — this proud horse is a true teddy bear inside, yearning to be loved. When he finds the right mate who offers him a consistent routine and a regular “honey-do” list, Arcane, with his exceptional abilities and outstanding presence, will be spectacular.

View Arcane on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Noble Cornerstone (Noble Causeway – Besige, by Polish Numbers): 17.1-hand 2011 New York bred gelding

The Secretariat Center says that it has had many nice horses come through its Horse Centered Reschooling Program over the years, but that this guy may just be the finest exemplar of a Thoroughbred that they’ve ever had grace its barn. Noble Cornerstone has it all — height, balance, conformation, brains, and most importantly, heart. A winner of $326,000 in 19 starts on the track, this spectacular horse has already proven his athleticism at the track. Whatever he does, Stone is destined to be a rock solid performer in his next career.

View Noble Cornerstone on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Graeme Thom Resigns as New Zealand’s High Performance Eventing Manager

Graeme Thom. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Graeme Thom’s role as Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s High Performance Eventing Manager will be sadly short-lived. Having been recently appointed in January of this year, the flare up of an old back injury has forced Graeme’s resignation.

The Canadian underwent a spinal operation in December 2015, which he thought had successfully subdued the injury’s symptoms. Since they resurfaced, Graeme has been sidelined for weeks, and his doctor has strongly advised against travel.

Graeme shared with Equestrian Sports New Zealand:

“It is a huge disappointment to me,” he said. “I don’t wish to put the New Zealand team at risk through me being unable to do my duties at a critical juncture on the road to the 2018 World Equestrian Games …”

Thom said he was saddened by the repercussions his resignation may have on athletes, owners and support personnel. “ESNZ has created a pathway to excellence from New Zealand to Europe and the rest of the world,” he said.

“Incredible athletes, dedicated owners, highly-qualified coaches and best of breed support personnel. This would not be possible without the unparalleled support of High Performance Sport New Zealand. No one could have asked or wanted for a better opportunity than I.

“I am sorry I will not be able to fulfil my duties and obligations. That said, it is with unbiased empirical analysis, mixed with some hands-on subjective expertise that I am certain medals will be forthcoming in 2018 … that’s where my money is.”

Graeme will stay on to complete administrative items and intends to still help the team, where possible, in its WEG preparation. Meanwhile the search is on for a new eventing manager.

Feel better soon, Graeme!

[Thom Resigns]