Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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#EventerProblems, Vol. 53

And they just keep coming. Here are 30 more of your deepest, darkest struggles.

If you missed them: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52.

Working out at #brouhahafarm @shaken__not__stirred #fearless #eventerproblems #monkeystrength A video posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

#eventerproblems trying on shoes for a wedding in your breeches, #smartpak boxes and dog toys are inevitable as well.

A photo posted by Lizzie Sauter (@lizzie_sauter) on

Newly painted fences+grey horse= leopard appaloosa #floridalife #eventerproblems #startscrubbing A photo posted by Hannah Ernst (@hannahernst36) on

#horseshowlife #eventerproblems #horseworldproblems

A photo posted by Eventing and Dressage (@izzy_the_eventer) on

This explains our relationship pretty well. #eventerproblems A photo posted by taylør |-/ (@eventer480) on

Dressage lesson time. Let’s do this! #texan #horsetrainerproblems #eventerproblems #equestrianproblems #brrr A photo posted by Becca Speer (@beccarides) on

#whyInowhavesaddlecovers #eventerproblems #barncat #barncatproblems A photo posted by Kate Drake (@katedrakevt) on

Got #EventerProblems? Tag them on social for inclusion in a future edition!

Go Eventing.

Which Hogwarts House Would Your Event Horse Be Sorted Into?

Screenshot from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Screenshot from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potterheads have been going nuts this week about Pottermore, a sorting hat quiz that decides which Hogwarts house you should belong to. Unlike the billion other Harry Potter-themed quizzes that have surfaced on the Internet over the past 15 years, this one is the real deal, created by J.K. Rowling herself.

You know the drill: answer a few personality questions and the sorting hat determines whether you’re in Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw from your responses. I don’t know how accurate it is — I got placed in Slytherin but have always identified as more of a Ravenclaw — but it’s still fun to take.

This pony is clearly in Gryffindor. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

This pony is clearly in Gryffindor. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Morever, it got me to wondering what the sorting hat would say about our event horses? Here’s your chance to take the quiz and find out!

Where did your horse end up? Do you agree? Share in the comments below!

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: The Glory of the Irish Clip

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder. Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Full disclosure: I hate body clipping. HATE. IT. But today I want to share with you a body clipping secret that changed my life forever.

The Irish clip.

While it’s certainly appropriate and necessary for some horses to get an all-over shave, many can get away with a clip that keeps them warm but makes it easier for them to cool out after working up a sweat.

Until I discovered the Irish clip, I usually just went the whole hog on my horse, not necessarily because he needed it but because the only thing worse than full-body clipping is trying to make trace clip lines look halfway straight and symmetrical. Especially after you’re a couple beers into the six pack you brought to the barn because you hate clipping so much. But I digress.

The quality of my life improved dramatically when I discovered the Irish clip (so simple! so quick! so hard to screw up!) from my then Tryon, NC-based eventing buddy Kaitlyn Jansen.

I was in love even before she pointed out the clip’s powers of optical illusion. The climbing line can make horses appear more uphill and — this part is top secret — if you add an ever-so-slight curve to the neck it can even make them look a bit rounder. A clip that might even earn you an extra dressage point or two? Sign me up!

Kaitlyn in turn had adopted the Irish clip from another Tryon equestrian, Annie Lane-Maunder.

Annie didn’t invent it, of course, but she did import it. Annie has evented for 55 years through all the levels, in North America and in England, and since settling down in Tryon has inadvertently become the area’s Irish clip evangelist.

She says, “I’m pretty sure that Kaitlyn would have gotten it from me since no one in this area had seen it until I moved here 17 years ago!” At one time, Annie says, she had 22 horses in her barn, “all with the Irish clip!”

Some photos of Annie’s horses sporting her signature clip over the years:

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Photo courtesy of Annie Lane-Maunder.

Want to give it a go? Check out this tutorial (beware: there’s some traditional trace clip demo-ing in there too — eek!):

Thanks for spreading the good word, Annie! Go Eventing.

TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Is Taking It to Florida

Photo courtesy of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program. Photo courtesy of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program.

There’s plenty of crossover between our world and the jumper ring this time of the year, with many snowbird eventers hitting up the winter horse show circuit to up their game. Thanks to the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, we’ve now got one more reason to work some some straight-up show jumping into our pre-season schedule.

Launched in 2012, TAKE2 funds prize money and awards in hunter and jumper classes restricted to Jockey Club registered Thoroughbreds. The goal is to highlight the success of Thoroughbreds as show horses and help further create a market for OTTBs.

Since its inception the Program has developed from a startup initiative offered at just a handful of AA-rated shows in New York, New Jersey and Texas to a still-expanding juggernaut that encompasses 23 states. 2015 was a big year for TAKE2, with a big boost coming from the introduction of the new USEF-approved C-rated Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper Divisions as well as its introduction of the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League. The League is a member-based initiative that rewards participating members with the chance to win a total of $30,000 in year-end awards.

2016 promises to be TAKE2′s biggest year yet, as there are already more than 240 horse shows on the calendar committed to hosting TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper divisions.

Florida’s two biggest winter horse show circuits –  the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and HITS in Ocala — are expanding their partnerships with the Program this year. Both will offer TAKE2 classes every week of the 2016 12-week winter season; the hunter divisions include two to four classes over 3’0″ fences and an under-saddle class, and jumper divisions include one or two classes over 3’3″ fences.

Both HITS Ocala and WEF are popular destinations for eventers, and in a sea of warmbloods it’s great to have this opportunity for our up-and-coming OTTBs to shine amid peers while gaining experience for the upcoming season.

“It’s hard to believe that just four years ago, TAKE2 was a fledgling program offered at just eight horse shows in three states,” TAKE2 President Rick Violette Jr. said. “The support from both the Thoroughbred industry and the hunter/jumper community has been overwhelming.

“More horse shows have signed on, more Thoroughbreds are competing. Most important, because the popularity of the Thoroughbred in the show ring is growing with professionals and amateurs alike, it’s becoming easier to find good homes for retired racehorses, and that has been our goal since day one.”

League members earn points in affiliated USEF Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper Divisions. The membership fee for the 2016 season is $50 per registered Thoroughbred. The deadline for enrollment is one week following the final day of the horse show where points are earned. To sign up, go here.

Learn more about TAKE2 and check out the full schedule of events here.


Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Trot, Trot, Trot… JUMP

Jumping from the trot is an important exercise — and harder than it looks. It’s a good test of rideability and a common deal-breaker on handy hunter courses, with horses rushing the last few steps or, alternately, losing engine power which manifests in a weak, puke-y effort.

Trotting jumps goes a long way toward reinforcing the concept of “power, not speed,” with walking jumps being an even more extreme tutorial. Walking jumps is a fairly common practice in show jumping and has been successfully employed by eventers as well. I definitely remember jumping from the walk in a Lucinda Green clinic some years ago and the exercise greatly benefiting my eventer at the time, whose motto when it came to jumping was “LET ME AT ITTTT.”

Of course, we weren’t jumping anything near as large as this:

Another sneak peek…2015 NA 70-Day Stallion Test Champion Silver Creek’s Vindication during training of the 70 Day Stallion Testing. #NAbred #perfect3yroldstallion #fromatrot #SilverCreekInternational #believeinthedream

Posted by Summer Day Stoffel on Sunday, January 24, 2016

And certainly not with this stallion’s degree of overachievement! (If you’re in love, you can read more about Silver Creek’s Vindication here.)


What are your thoughts on jumping from the walk/trot? Do you incorporate it into your own training program?

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin

Before we embark upon our weekly OTTB shopping (or at least window shopping!) spree, a quick reminder that the deadline for 2016 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover trainer applications is next Monday, Jan. 31. To find out if you and your ex-racer are eligible and for entry/competition details, check out the website or my quick-reference guide for eventers.

Don’t have a Makeover project yet? There’s still time! While you must turn in your trainer application by Jan. 31, some trainers will already have horses identified and others will begin a search after they are approved.

Here are a few Makeover-eligible OTTBs to get the ball rolling.


Photo via RRP Classifieds

Our first featured horse this week is Moon, Jockey Club alias Moon Director (Malibu MoonSocial Director, by Deputy Minister), a 16.1-hand 2012 gelding. He is eligible with RRP because he has published times on the track but never raced. He sounds like a great candidate: “He is a blank slate and retains everything, as he is very intelligent.

Located in Yulee, Florida.

Click here to see Moon Director on RRP Classifieds

Photo via CANTER Illinois

Photo via CANTER Illinois

Chestnut mare beware? Pffft, whatever. La Activa, a 5-year-old, 15.2-hand redhead (Indygo ShinerSlick Road, by Mud Route), is BUILT, with a barrel that is going to take up a lot of leg, plus an uphill build and nice shoulder. She was lightly raced (13 starts) and her trainer describes her as “very calm” when she has access to turnout, doesn’t crib or kick and is good with kids. Sounds like a horse that should transition well into post-racing life!

At age 4 La Activa had a chip removed from her knee and while her trainer describes her as sound on it, she just hasn’t done well running on the dirt at Hawthorne. As such, this girl is looking for an exceptional new home away from racing.

Located at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago.

Click here to see La Activa on CANTER Illinois


Photo via CANTER PA

Sleeping Tiger is a 2008 17.1-hand gelding (Lite the FuseUrban Sprawl, by Concern) is described as a prime choice for the RRP Makeover. Tiger’s trainer can’t say enough great things about him, raving at what an incredibly clever and willing prospect he is. Solid and leggy boy, would be make an awesome eventing prospect and has just been started off the track. On his first ride post racing, he hacked out nicely in a field under western tack, making him about as versatile as they come. No known issues or vices: “Just the nicest horse!”

Located in Pennsylvania.

Click here to see Sleeping Tiger on CANTER Pennsylvania

Tiny George Morris Is Kicking Butts & Taking Names

Have you checked out Eventing Nation’s hot-off-the-presses new sister site Jumper Nation yet? If not, you should — here’s a sampling of what we’ve got going on over there. The hunter/jumper world has some “insanity in the middle” too, you know. Exhibit A….

Riders, watch your back! An eight-inch talking action figure is stealing the show this week at two different winter circuits. Tiny George Morris has been sighted barking commands at everyone within earshot at both HITS Thermal and WEF, with his “Elf on the Shelf”-style antics cropping up on social media.

Check it out:

You don’t ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn because I ride better than you.

A photo posted by George Morris (@georgemorrisdoingthings) on

Up two and a little wider. #georgeatthermal #hitsthermal A photo posted by @misssteimle on

Always on the move. #georgeatthermal #hitsthermal

A photo posted by @misssteimle on

#georgeatthermal #hitsthermal A photo posted by @misssteimle on

George practices balance at Thermal. #georgeatthermal #hitsthermal

A photo posted by @misssteimle on

Break your ankles or I’ll break them for you. #heelsdown A photo posted by George Morris (@georgemorrisdoingthings) on

Where can I find some talent around here? #bueller #wherethehorsesat #traineveryday #perfectpracticeistheonlypractice #WEF2016 A photo posted by George Morris (@georgemorrisdoingthings) on

What do you suppose life-sized George Morris thinks about all this business?

The man, the myth… #legend #georgemorris #WEF2016 #wefchallengecup

A photo posted by @noellefloydmagazine on

At least Beezie Madden is a fan!

Want to order your very own Tiny George Morris? Place your order on the Chronicle of the Horse today. Even better, 100% of the net proceeds from your purchase will raise funds for equestrian-based charities.

For more hunter/jumper news, show results and features, check out Horse Nation’s brand new sister site Jumper Nation! 


#EventerProblems Vol. 52

What’s your problem? Our #EventerProblems series gallops onward at 570mpm with the airing of 30 more reader-submitted grievances.

Typical. #eventerproblems #gypsyvannerhorse #gypsyvannersofinstagram #hollandequestrianfarm

A photo posted by Samantha Bogan (@ssammalla) on


#eventerproblems #dressagetestlearning #freewalk @little._.warning


A video posted by Helen Brew (@helen_brew) on

#eventerproblems ? more like #eventersolutions A photo posted by Kate Drake (@katedrakevt) on


Because all the cool kids clean their tack on a Friday night… Right?! #eventerproblems


A photo posted by @katetbush on

Death by horse hoofs #eventerproblems A photo posted by Cyndi Boogaards (@caboog) on

How to tell if I am stopping by the barn by the contents of my purse. #lifewithhorses #spoiled #eventerproblems A photo posted by Maru Arosemena (@maru.arosemena) on

How to make your washer filthy in just one load. #eventerproblems A photo posted by Mallory (@mallorayyyy) on


Holy cow buttons ( hasn’t jumped anything in 3 weeks ) #eventerproblems


A video posted by Analise O’Brien (@analiseskyler) on


What makes you say I’m a horse person? #creativedrying #eventerproblems


A photo posted by @eventer79 on

If you missed them: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51.

Got #EventerProblems? Tag them on social for inclusion in a future edition!

Go Eventing.

Eventers of the #Snowpocalypse

Kate Samuels' Nyls kicks up his heels in the white stuff. Photo: Kate Samuels Kate Samuels' Nyls kicks up his heels in the white stuff. Photo: Kate Samuels

East coast eventers had quite the exciting weekend when Mother Nature decided to bury us alive in snow. Of course, we don’t fold that easily.

Exhibit A: this photo Phyllis Dawson sent us from Purcellville, VA. She explains, “Windchase barn staff and boarders spent all day today shoveling off the roof of the barn; a lot more to go tomorrow. By my calculations there was over 360 tons of snow on the roof, a bit less now thanks to a terrific staff and group of friends helping. We expect to be shoveling for several more days!”


Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson.

Here are a few more images of eventing’s horses, humans and dogs we spotted floating around on social media over the weekend.

Digging out the roof #snowwod

A photo posted by Megkep (@megkep) on

Why yes, that is my pasture gate!

A photo posted by Sara (@selieser) on

Everything is white…except my horse’s legs #eventerproblems #winterwoes

A photo posted by Abby (@ashequine) on

#eventerproblems #snowmageddon2016 #thesnowistallerthanme #goonwithoutme #basculebabes #thisishowandydied

A video posted by Andy Armstrong (@andyjaneee) on

“The horses are fed” #snowmageddon2016 #eventerproblems #basculebabes #ilovemyjobiswear

A photo posted by Andy Armstrong (@andyjaneee) on

#butdidyoudie #eventerproblems

A photo posted by ttops (@ttops) on

At least some fun was had this morning

A photo posted by Steph M Jenkins (@srbequestriansports) on

My version of milk and bread…..#equestrianlife #eventerproblems

A photo posted by leah allen (@ewsequestrian) on

Snow days done right ❄️ #gocats #eventerproblems

A video posted by Erin Johnson (@erinclodagh) on

NC storms, you’re so beautiful yet so destructive #ncstorm2016 #ice #whatsthiscrap #winter #beautiful #eventerproblems

A photo posted by Caitlin Romeo Eventing (@woodlawnfarmeventing) on

Snow gallop #ottb #magic #ottbsofinstagram #snowmageddon2016

A photo posted by Ellie (@skip916) on

Have a snow photo to share? Post it in the comments or email to tips@eventingnation.com. Go Eventing.

Jumper Nation: Voltaire Design Introduces First Smart Saddle

Image courtesy of Voltaire Design. Image courtesy of Voltaire Design.

EN’s new sister site Jumper Nation checked out Voltaire Design’s new “smart saddle,” Blue Wing. Unveiled this week at The Breakers in Palm Beach, it includes built-in technology that tracks data from your ride via mobile app.

From the Voltaire Design website:

Blue Wing is the first ever connected saddle. Equisense technology allows Blue Wing to track the time spent at each gait, at each hand, the rhythm and the quality of the symmetry of horses.

Among other things, the mobile application will allow you to view the calendar of your sessions and have information on the intensity of each session and how many jumps each horse had.

xequisense-1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jN4HZ5WFJJOther features:

Blue Wing is the lightest Voltaire saddle ever made.


Flexible tree points allow maximum freedom of shoulders, while Smart RideTM technology moves with the horse.


From the gullet to billets and stirrup leather keepers, the saddle is completely customizable with accents ranging from brushed aluminum and carbon to blue or brown alligator leather.


Sounds totally cool. The Blue Wing is expected to become available in May 2016 — we can’t wait to see it in action! “Like” Voltaire Design on Facebook for all the latest updates and check out the website for more details.


Go Jumping.

For more hunter/jumper news, show results and features, check out Horse Nation’s brand new sister site Jumper Nation!


Rio Rescinds Olympic Equestrian Venue Contracts: Should We Be Worried?

View from the cross-country course at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Deodoro, Brazil. Photo by Leslie Wylie. View from the cross-country course at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Deodoro, Brazil. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Leaving the Aquece Rio Olympic Test Event last August I had plenty of concerns (such as: “Is this taxi driver going to mug me on the way to the airport?”) but whether or not the equestrian venue would be complete in a year’s time wasn’t at the top of my list.

There was still plenty to do at the site in Deodoro and of course there’s a big difference between a modestly attended 18-horse CIC2* and an international championship with tens of thousands of spectators, but things seemed to be well on track.

Panorama of the main arena. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Panorama of the main arena. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

From the stabling to the arenas to the cross-country course, there was a positive buzz about the place from the athletes and national federation delegates in attendance. (I rounded up impressions from various course designers, chef d’equipes, team managers and riders here.)

So it came as a surprise to read news reports this week that, just six months before the opening ceremonies, Rio’s mayor has annulled contracts with the companies building both the equestrian and tennis facilities.

A statement released yesterday by Rio City Hall indicated that slow construction was to blame: “The rescinding of the (equestrian center) contract is due to non-compliance or incomplete compliance with contractual clauses and deadlines.”

Additionally the mayor’s office is imposing 10.16 million real ($2.4 million) fine on equestrian venue constructor Ibeg.

Panorama of the cross-country course. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Panorama of the cross-country course. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Ibeg responded that the slow pace of work on the equestrian venue was due to late payments made by the mayor’s office.

“Ibeg repudiates the decision to cancel the contract and will seek compensation through the courts for financial losses caused as well as the damage to our public image,” Ibeg said in a statement.

New contractors will be hired to complete the projects, and a spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizing committee said they were “confident the venues will be finished and delivered as planned.”

Did Ibeg take its foot off the gas after the Test Event? Or is this just the latest example of shady Rio politics?

There’s no way to know for certain. But it is a good reminder that transparency may be a rare luxury in coming months as we begin our countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games.

[Associated Press: "Rio rescinds contracts for Olympic tennis, equestrian venue"] [Reuters: “Mayor promises Olympics venue delivery after annulling contracts”]

Olympic Equestrian Venue Photo Gallery

Click here for more images plus coverage and commentary from the Aquece Rio Olympic Test Event.

As for the Olympics themselves, Eventing Nation is over-the-moon to announce that we have been accredited to cover the Olympic Games live from Rio! EN’s fearless leader Jenni Autry will be bringing us all the action as it goes down Aug. 5-9. And, of course, there will be plenty of exciting developments to report on between now and then, so keep it posted here!

Go Eventing.


Thursday Videos from Zoetis: Andrew Heffernan Clinic Highlights

For a rider to be in control of his or her horse, says Dutch Olympic eventer Andrew Heffernan, “They need to be in control of both ends of the horse.”

It might sound like a dumbed-down statement but if you think about it, doesn’t it seem like we’re always wrestling with one end or the another? The horse is behind our leg or against the bridle, or more likely both, and coaxing them into submission is like trying to sync up two men in a horse suit.

Andrew Heffernan and Millthyme Corolla. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Andrew Heffernan and Millthyme Corolla. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Andrew does a good job of keeping complex concepts simple at this eventing clinic for Dutch trainers held at the KNHS Center in Ermelo, The Netherlands, last week.

The two horses participating, ridden by Joyce van de Kuilen (purple sleeves) and Sanne de Jong (grey sleeves), are both green but responsive as Andrew advances his “control both ends” motto from flatwork to progressively more demanding jumping exercises.

23 Events, 13 States, 6 Countries, 3 Continents: A Year in the Life of Chinch

Photo by Leslie Wylie. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

We put EN’s furry correspondent through a lot in 2015.

To recount just a few of his misadventures, he was groped by gold medalists, kidnapped by national champions, stuffed into trophies, carried on victory gallops, dangled upside down by USEA presidents, concealed in Toddy’s top hat, snuggled by team coaches, strapped onto stick horses, strangled by FEI stewards, wet-willied by dogs, force-fed booze, abandoned on the backs of donkeys, left for dead in buckets of beer, given the stink-eye by people who just don’t get it, dressed in ridiculous outfits, eaten alive by cross-country jumps, pitched into trakehners, perched between horses’ ears, carried around in beer cartons, driven out of his job by a hedgehog, propped up at press conferences and mobbed by fans.

And throughout it all, we shamelessly pimped him out on social media, exploiting his complete and total inability to defend himself against our paparazzi tactics. Because, you know, he’s a stuffed animal.

Over the course of 23 events dispersed across six countries and three continents he racked up approximately 10 gazillion SkyMiles, all of which we intend to cash in when we fly him all over God’s green earth all over again in 2016.

As a bit of closure for the year that was, let’s take a moment to look back at Chinch’s 2015 travels. You can zoom in and out of this map to see which events he attended and where, and we rounded up an Instagram post from each event below.

Wellington Eventing Showcase (Wellington, Florida)

Who will take home the blue at the inaugural $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase?

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Red Hills International (Tallahassee, Florida)

Chinch gets some love from the leading ladies of #RedHillsIntl A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Carolina International (Raeford, North Carolina)

Zoe’s Bank should ride very nicely for the #carolinaCIC 3*

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

The Fork (Norwood, North Carolina)

3* show jumping is underway at #thefork A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Rolex Three-Day Event (Lexington, Kentucky)

Future EN Party People of America. #goeventing #rk3de

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Jersey Fresh (Allentown, New Jersey)

Chinch is signing autographs in the #jerseyfresh VIP tent if anyone wants to stop by to say hello! A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Bromont CCI (Bromont, Quebec)

Le Chinch… VIP wherever he goes. #bromontcci #goeventing

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Luhmühlen CCI4* (Luhmühlen, Germany)

Great Meadow International (The Plains, Virginia)

We’re under the lights at #LandRoverGMI!

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

NAJYRC (Lexington, Kentucky)

Pan Am Games (Toronto, Ontario)

It’s go time #PanAmGames

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, Montana)

Well he’s a little up the neck but he seems confident…ish. #crosscountryChinch #RebeccaFarm A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Millbrook H.T. (Millbrook, New York)

@bdjeventing celebrates the #MillbrookHT win with Chinch!

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Aquece Rio Olympic Test Event (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Straight chinchillin’ down here in Rio. #olympictestevent #rio2016 #1yeartogo A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Nations Cup (Aachen, Germany)

EN is under the lights at #Aachen2015!

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Richland Park H.T. (Richland, Michigan)

“Chinches of the Corn” #richlandpark #chinchstagram #goeventing A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Plantation Field International (Unionville, Pennsylvania)

American Eventing Championships (Tyler, Texas)

Everything is bigger in Texas. #AEC15 #chinchstagram A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Military Boekelo CCI3* (Boekelo, The Netherlands)

Sheep #1: Dude, what is that thing? Sheep #2: I dunno, man. I just don’t know. #chinchbomb #chinchstagram #Boekelo

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Fair Hill International (Elkton, Maryland)

Pau CCI4* (Pau, France)

Still life with Le French Chinch. #chinchstagram #pau2015

A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

USEA Annual Meeting and Convention (Washington, DC)

Chinch is in the house at the USEA Convention! Stay tuned all weekend for EN’s coverage #useaconvention A photo posted by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Where will Chinch’s world travels take him in 2016? Keep up by following EN on Instagram at goeventing!

Go Eventing.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Fun with Flooded Arenas

One man’s flooded arena is another man’s water training gift from above — especially if that man (or woman) is an eventer.

A year or two ago a video was circulating around of Olympic, World Equestrian Games and European Championships Gold Medalist Ingrid Klimke schooling a baby event prospect around a flooded arena. (A German journalist/Ingrid acquaintance later explained to me that it had been flooded on purpose to improve the footing, the mechanics of which I don’t understand, but that’s the backstory in case you were curious.)

In any case it’s an interesting video; you can see the 3-year-old gaining confidence as he goes, and as for introducing a greenie to the splish-splash of water it doesn’t get much ideal that that!

We follow Fine Fellow: Folge 17Fröhliches Aquatraining! Ingrid Klimke und ihr Youngster Fine Fellow beim Wassertreten im Dressurviereck.

Posted by pferdia tv on Monday, August 4, 2014

I was reminded of the Ingrid footage when I saw a video of Doug Payne riding some up-and-coming eventers around a rather underwater course at the PSJ Aiken Winter Classic II in Aiken last weekend. Conditions aren’t always going to be perfect, but so long as the arena base is firm a few puddles never hurt anyone and may actually be good practice! Doug’s mounts keep their eye on the prize and undoubtedly left the show a bit more seasoned than they arrived.

Doug won the 1.10-meter class on Flagmount’s  Mischief, owned by Robbie Peterson, who made his Prelim debut at Morven Park in October.

He also placed 4th in the class on Galaxie, owned by Lanier McRee.

When nature hands you lemon, make lemonades! Go Eventing.

Event Horse Names, Part 6: Snow Edition

Snow-related horse names registered in the USEA Database. Compiled by Leslie Wylie. Snow-related horse names registered in the USEA Database. Compiled by Leslie Wylie.

It’s been a hot minute since our last edition of “Event Horse Names” but the cold weather coupled with lack of actual eventing news to report has me feeling inspired to pick it back up.

In previous posts we’ve compiled lists of USEA registered horses named after literary references, breeding empires, monster trucks (who wants to leave the start box on a horse named “Death Sentence”? not me!), celebrities and booze (it still fills me with delight to know that there are horses out there competing under the names “Free Beer Tomorrow,” “Bar Tab” and, for an eventing Clydesdale, “Miller Genuine Draft.”)

Today, in honor of Winter Storm Ilias which currently has people here in the south losing their freaking minds, we turn our gaze toward USEA-registered horses with the word  “snow” in their names.

A few fun facts:

  • You might assume that if a horse is named after snow, it would have some white in its coat, right? Like this iceberg gray mare, Snowy’s Olivia, owned and competed at Training level by Mallory Tevini.
Marllory Tevini and Snowy's Olivia. Photo by Marcie Lewis, courtesy of Mallory Tevini.

Mallory Tevini and Snowy’s Olivia. Photo by Marcie Lewis, courtesy of Mallory Tevini.

Mallory says that while she doesn’t know the exact story behind her horse’s name, “I could definitely take a guess and assume that ‘Snowy’s’ came from either the soft off-white color of her coat or possibly when she was born in Washington, it could have been snowing immensely.”

But while the majority of the “snow” horses are indeed either gray, roan or spotted, a significant number of them — 21 out of 57, or 37% — are actually chestnut, bay or black.

  • Another statistic that might make you scratch your chin: 17 out of the 57 horses, or 29%, call Florida or California their home. Not exactly states known for wintry weather.

Mallory and Snowy’s Olivia, of Santa Rosa, Calif., are one example; another is Elizabeth Hansen, of San Francisco, and her former thoroughbred event horse Snowden.

“Snowden” is Gaelic for a snowy hill or mountain, which Elizabeth suspects was the source of the horse’s name: “I believe it was her breeder who nicknamed her Snowden because she is grey (white) and big as a mountain (17.2+ hands).”

  • Bruce and Patti Springsteen — yes, THAT Springsteen — are known for being involved in the jumper world as their daughter Jessica is a successful international Grand Prix rider. But according to the USEA Registry, they own or owned at one time a gray Connemara event horse named Snowy that competed at the Beginner Novice/Novice Level. The last result I saw for them was from 2009.
  • The most popular “snow” name in the USEA Registry is Snowy River, of which there are four listed (five if you count Snowy River Red), followed by Snowflake, Snow Angel, Snowshoes and Midnight Snow (two apiece).
  • Among the most accomplished “snow” event horses was Snowy River, owned and competed by Olympian Phyllis Dawson in the latter half of the ’90s. A Thoroughbred gelding by Babamist and bred by Bruce Davidson, the pair represented the United States Equestrian Team in the Open European Championships at Burghley in 1997 and was the alternate horse for the USET World Championship team in 1998.

“Snowy,” as he was known, passed away in 1995 at the age of 19 and is fondly remembered as one of Phyllis’ all-time favorites. She also competed Snow Creek, Snowy’s full sister, through the Preliminary level before selling her to a rider in Mexico.

Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson.

Phyllis Dawson and Snowy River. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson.

  • Among the most accomplished “snow” horses of all time, of course, is “the $80 champion” Snowman, the ploughhorse meat market rescue who became a champion show jumper in the ’60s. His life has since been commemorated in a book, a Breyer horse model in his likeness, and was made into an award-winning documentary last year.
Courtesy of Docutainment Films.

Courtesy of Docutainment Films.

  • The FEI Horse Registry contains 94 “snow” horses representing a range of disciplines, six of which are actively competing.

Do you have a request for a future edition of “Event Horse Names”? Email me at wylie@eventingnation.com.

Go Eventing!


USEA’s Top 10 ‘Nailed It’ Instagram Pics of 2015

You can tell when a rider knows they just had the ride of a lifetime — it’s written all over their face!

Throughout last year the USEA did a bang-up job of capturing those moments at events around the country and sharing them with us via Instagram. It’s impossible not to look at these photos and not feel a pang of joy well up in your own heart.

We rounded up our top 10 favorites. Have a look and be sure to follow the USEA on Instagram at useventing.

Lisa Barry gives F.I.S. Prince Charming a big hug after their first 4* test #USEA #rk3de

A photo posted by @useventing on

Laine Ashker moves into 2nd place with Anthony Patch on a 44.2! #USEA #rk3de A photo posted by @useventing on

William Fox-Pitt scored a 38.5 on Bay My Hero! #USEA #rk3de A photo posted by @useventing on

Photo or no photo, those moments will be branded in their memories forever.

Do you ‘Gram? Follow the USEA at useventing and Eventing Nation at goeventing.


Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Keep Your Distance to Keep It Safe

Hunting vicariously through the UK’s Pearson Eventing is one of our favorite off-season pastimes here at EN — we posted another of Alice’s always-thrilling helmet cam videos just weeks ago. So it was with a sharp inhale that we learned she and her horse Chocky took a tumble while out with Ledbury last week.

The fall takes place about 2:25 minutes in:

Alice was checked out by paramedics, having been knocked unconscious briefly, but both horse and rider are thankfully alright. From Horse & Hound’s follow-up on the incident, however, it was clear that the outcome could have been much worse.

From H&H:

“The accident was also caught on camera by photographer Viki Ross and several horses can be seen landing inches from Alice and Chocky… Alice is now warning others to take care not over-crowd fences out hunting, to avoid a more serious accident in the future.”

Advice worth heeding! Keeping your distance isn’t just a courtesy — it helps keep everyone safe.

Have a video to share with Eventing Nation? Send it our way to tips@eventingnation.com.

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4 Things You MUST Do When in Ocala

Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge over I-75. Used with permission from the Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Photo by Sky Storms. Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge over I-75. Used with permission from the Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Photo by Sky Storms.

Last week we gave all you snowbirds preparing to spread your wings and fly, fly, far away from here to Aiken a list of things to eat, drink, see and do while in town. This week we’re migrating even further south to Ocala, Florida.

Disclaimer: While I’ve spent way more time in Ocala than I have in Aiken, most of it was as a working student a.k.a. I was always too busy riding or performing slave labor to get off the farm. Like, I think I maybe went to see a movie once. So I called into some advisory backup from my eventer buddy/Ocala green card holder/person with a life Mary Hollis Baird — thanks, girl!

1. Trail ride over the Interstate. 

Looking to rev up your hack routine? The Cross Florida Greenway is a 110-mile nature corridor that doesn’t brake for anything, including I-75. Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and wildlife have safe passage thanks to a landscaped land bridge, the first of its kind in the United States. It’s about two miles out from the Land Bridge Trailhead, which offers parking for trailers as well as a horse wash-down area.

The trail is open 8 a.m. until sundown year-round and there is no usage fee. For more information visit the website here.

Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge over I-75. Used with permission from the Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Photo by John Moran.

Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge over I-75. Used with permission from the Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Photo by John Moran.

2. Buy a racehorse.

OK, maybe not. But as Mary Hollis puts it, thoroughbred sales are a great place to “go look at expensive thoroughbreds run fast” — which beats a movie any day, really.

The first Ocala Breeders Sale of the season, the Winter Mixed Sale, is held January 27-28 and includes a variety of horses included those of racing age. The 2-Year-Old-in-Training Sales are March 15 – 16 and April 19-22, with scheduled hours to watch their workouts during the week. More info at the website here.

A much more feasible alternative: Buy an ex-racehorse.

I can personally vouch for this one. There are diamond-in-the-rough OTTBs floating around all over Ocala. I discovered “Whitey Cornbread” via a Craigslist post, bought him on-site (which was a trailer park), took him home, got him going and re-homed him with a lovely young rider who gave him a fancy new name and evented him through Training. Look how cute they are!


Shannon Menestrina and “Whitey Cornbread.” Photo by Sarah Elizabeth Photography.

3. Hit The Beach.

On Sunday nights eventers and jumpers collide at this bar/club called The Beach to party post-Grand Prix, or whatever else happens to be going on that weekend.

“Sunday Funday,” as it’s dubbed, usually features a DJ, 50-cent wings and “woo woo” shot deals to help you forget how many rails down you had and assist you in making even worse mistakes throughout the night. Hot tip from my Ocala insider: “Also The Beach has a stripper pole that they put on the dance floor sometimes and I have now seen more eventers dancing on a pole than I ever thought.”

What happens in Ocala stays in Ocala, y’all.


Via The Beach Ocala Facebook page.

4. Take a farm tour.

Ocala and Lexington are perpetually duking it out over the title of “Horse Capitol of the World” and it’s not surprising: both are home to horse farm after horse farm, many of them in the Barbie Dream Barn category.

Ocala/Marion County is home to more than 600 thoroughbred farms alone, spread out across some 70,000 acres. If you’re in the mood for a self-guided tour the tourist bureau can set you on the right track.

The area also boasts a weirdly large population of Gypsy Vanners, the massively hairy colored cobs that I’m pretty sure keep Show Sheen in business. Baby gypsies are the cutest, let me tell you, and baby season is about to be in full swing. Squee!

Do your tender heart a favor and stop by one of the breeding farms for a tour. Ocala-based Gypsy Gold first imported the breed into the U.S. in 1995 (I was kidding about the Show Sheen but the farm’s owner really DID invent Quik Silver) and it’s a mecca for Gypsy Vanner enthusiasts.

They offer two-hour informative walking tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. At $30 a pop it’s a bit pricey, but the tours are rated #1 on TripAdvisor and have a five-star rating and frankly I’m not surprised. Can you really put a price tag on those curly-cue foal tails? Book a tour here.

Photo: Thomas Quine/Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo: Thomas Quine/Flickr/Creative Commons

What’s on YOUR Ocala must-do list? Share in the comments!

#EventerProblems, Vol. 51: ‘Let It Snow’ Edition

How are you holding up out there, Eventing Nation? Staying warm? Staying dry?


A photo posted by Summer Burgess (@smerkiejoe) on

You don’t have to answer that. We know that times are tough, and to cheer you up we wrote you a little song. It’s just like “Let It Snow,” but way more depressing. Here we go!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

And of south-bound friends…

Off to Ocala! Are we going for a weekend or a month? I can’t tell! #eventerproblems #justcallitbeingprepared #teamBDF

A photo posted by Kelly Schutz (@byrandomchance) on

… you’re spiteful

But there are horses to groom

And places to go

Oh please no

Oh please no

Oh please no

I would say that’s one #dedicateddad true #eventerproblems kid wants to ride, dad wants to survive the cold.

A photo posted by Bridget And Company (@masoneventing) on

Oh, your flu shows no signs of stopping


And the pipes are close to popping

But at least it’s not 17 below

Oh please no

Oh please no

Oh please no

#nofilter #mindyourmelon #eventerproblems #toomanyhashtags

A photo posted by Summer Burgess (@smerkiejoe) on

When you finally get to ride

How you’ll hate going out in the storm

And you’d better hold on tight

Because that ground doesn’t look very warm

#whyyoulistentoyourtrainer #eventerproblems #oopsididitagain #ugh

A photo posted by Kate (@kate.suggs) on

On the inside you’re slowly dying

And the forecast has you sighing

But event season is just around the corner, so

Let it snow

Let it snow

Let it snow

If you missed them: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50.

Got #EventerProblems? Tag them on social for inclusion in a future edition!

Go Eventing.

And Now Entering the Ring … Jumper Nation

Photo: Creative Commons Photo: Creative Commons

It’s always been our goal here at Nation Media to give the people what they want. You tell us what’s important to you, and what we can do to help you be a more informed, inspired and in-the-know member of the eventing community, and we’ll try our best to make it happen.

A while back we started hearing some rumblings from our friends in the hunter/jumper world. They wanted what we had: a one-stop source for discipline-specific news made available in a timely manner, intermingled with dashes of color commentary.

These days we’re all more crunched for time than ever; nobody has the time to go scrounging around the Internet trying to figure out what’s going on. And while the sport’s PR outlets do a bang-up job of cranking out horse show reports, a lot of it never sees the light of day.

Rather than letting it drift away in the cyber-breeze, what if someone came along and raked it all up into one big tidy pile?

We’re excited to roll out the red carpet for the newest member of the Nation Media family: Jumper Nation.

JN-logoCustom-curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts, the site features aggregated horse show news, results, rider profiles, videos, training tips and much, much more. Its mission is to be a virtual in-gate for the h/j world, a place where riders and fans can gather to watch, learn, sympathize, laugh and cheer one another on.

We’re still getting warmed up so please excuse the construction, and we’re letting readers dictate which direction to take things so expect a fair amount of evolution over the next few months. On the bright side it already looks a lot spiffier than Eventing Nation v. 1.0, which I’m pretty sure John built himself on his iPhone 1G.

So go check it out, and pass the word on to your hunter/jumper buddies, and be sure to get hooked up with JN on social as well.

Thanks for your support as we push outward into new equestrian media frontiers. We couldn’t do it without you.

2016 EN Gallop Poll: Tell Us About Yourself!

Photo by Leslie Wylie. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

“Gallop poll,” haha. Get it? Bad puns aside, it’s time for the smart, good-looking citizens of Eventing Nation to stand up and be counted.

The EN team is on an eternal quest to make this the best eventing website in the land, and the more we know about our readership the better we can shape the site into exactly what YOU want it to be. Help us out by answering a few questions  — it only takes a minute and we’ll send you a great big heaping scoop of EN karma in return!

Last but not least, how can we improve your EN experience? Feel free to contribute your comments and suggestions in the comments section below or you can email them to tips@eventingnation.com. All feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in our survey. Karma’s in the mail!

Go Eventing.

East Coast Eventing 25 Training Sessions Underway at Meredyth South

The East Coast edition of the Eventing 25 training sessions kicked off yesterday at Ms. Jaqueline Mars’ picturesque Meredyth South Farm in Ocala, Florida.

The five-day clinic includes mounted lessons under the guidance of Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law…

U25 Developing Riders working on show jumping today with coach, Leslie Law at Meredyth South.

Posted by USEF Eventing High Performance on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

… lectures on the ground …

U25 lunch lecture with Max Corcoran on traveling overseas and stable mangement at Red Tail Ridge Farm South.

Posted by USEF Eventing High Performance on Monday, January 11, 2016

… and, of course, various assorted shenanigans.

Zach Brandt was doing something to impress the ladies, not sure what?Then Jenny Caras put him to the test. And he failed…

Posted by David Frechette on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The USEF High Performance Eventing Facebook page has been doing a great job of posting photos from the sessions, so be sure to keep an eye on that. What a tremendous educational opportunity for some of our country’s most talented rising stars.

2016 Eventing 25 Riders:

Madeline Backus (Larkspur, Colo.)
Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.)
Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.)
Savannah ‘Woodge’ Fulton (Ocala, Fla.)
Alexandra Green (Loudon, Tenn.)
Avery Klunick (Midland, Texas)
Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Lexi Scovil (Ocala, Fla.)
Chloe Smyth (Poway, Calif.)
Lizzie Snow (Southern Pines, N.C.)
Mackenna Shea (Temecula, Calif.)

Excited that I am apart of this program and what an incredible opportunity. Doors always open when you need them the most. #GoUSA

Posted by Alex Green on Monday, January 11, 2016

The East Coast E18 training sessions take place next week, Jan. 18-22, also at Meredyth South. The West Coast E25 and E18 will be held simultaneously Feb. 1-4 at Tucolota Creek Ranch in Temecula, California.

[Complete Roster of E25 and E18 Riders] [Training Session Dates and Locations]

NZ Eventing Mourns Loss of Jonelle Price’s Four-Star Partner The Deputy

Jonelle Price and The Deputy. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jonelle Price and The Deputy. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Our hearts are with Jonelle Price and her team as they face the recent loss of Jonelle’s four-star partner The Deputy.

A tribute by Jacky Green about the big, dark Irish Sport Horse, known as “Hero” around the barn, announced the news on Equestrian Sports New Zealand last night: “2015 saw Jonelle Price having to make the heartbreaking decision to say good bye to her four star partner The Deputy.”

She went on to describe Hero as “not just Jonelle’s top horse for so many years, he was her friend and everyone at Mere Farm loved and respected him.”

Jonelle Price and The Deputy. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jonelle Price and The Deputy. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jonelle produced Hero from Novice to the four-star level and together they successfully tackled some of the toughest courses in the world, turning in two top 10 finishes at Burghley (5th in 2013 and 9th in 2014) as well as clear cross-country rounds at Rolex and Badminton.

Owned by Tim Morice, Jan Morice and Lucy Sangster, the horse was 14 when he passed.

We are deeply sorry for Jonelle’s loss and will miss watching their special partnership in action.

[Equestrian Sports New Zealand]