Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Cross Country Jump Judge Stereotypes

Washington State eventer Robin Loch had us in stitches with her latest YouTube video parodying cross country jump judge stereotypes. Any of them ring familiar? Be sure to subscribe to Robin’s YouTube channel, EventerGirlProbs, and you can follow her on Instagram as well!

All friendly ribbing aside, massive thanks to all the hardworking volunteer jump judges out there who make our eventing world go round! You guys are what it’s all about.


The horse that matters to you matters to Kentucky Performance Products; that is why you can count on them to provide supplements that meet the challenges facing your horse.

Fight back against an energy crisis that can impact condition and performance.

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The fat found in rice bran is an extraordinary source of dietary energy. In fact, fat contains more than two times the energy that carbohydrates and proteins do, thereby fueling horses more efficiently. Fat is considered a “cool” feedstuff because it does not cause the hormone spikes that lead to excitability. Adding Equi-Jewel is rice bran to your horse’s diet allows you to decrease the amount of starchy concentrates (grains) you feed, reducing the risk of colic and laminitis resulting from grain overload. Equi-Jewel is an excellent source of calories for horses on low sugar and starch diets. The horse that matters to you matters to us®.

Not sure which horse supplement best meets your horse’s needs? Kentucky Performance Products, LLC is here to help. Call 859-873- 2974 or visit KPPusa.com.

Gas Station Kismet: The Eventing World Is a Small World After All

A serendipitous gas station meeting. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

Chandra Bratton, her daughter Tori and a couple horse-crazy friends were stopped for gas on the way to the barn when a truck and trailer pulled in behind them. Chandra teased, “Surprise girls, your new ponies just showed up!”

Squeals of shock and excitement followed as they turned around. The girls pondered what kind of horses were inside, and Chandra told them to go ask the lady behind the steering wheel. They hemmed and hawed — she was a stranger, after all — but curiosity eventually got the better of them.

The trailer driver, as it turned out, was Florida-based four-star rider Jennie Jarnstrom, accompanied by her working student Cora Frisby.

Cora recalls, “Jennie asked them if they knew what eventing was, and all three girls nodded excitedly — they were Pony Clubbers! We told them we were heading to Phillip Dutton’s in Aiken, and they told us they had recently attended a Pony Club grooming clinic that his groom Emma Ford taught.”

By now the girls were starstruck and giddy. They were talking eventing with a big-name rider who trained with Phillip Dutton! Jennie dazzled them further by opening the trailer and introducing them to her three bay mares Lily, Penelope and Khelsia.

Everyone agreed that it was a small world, wished one another safe travels, and their separate ways.

That night one of Jennie’s out-of-town clients, Ashley Price, sent her a Facebook message. The morning that Jennie and Cora had left for Aiken she had messaged a Facebook friend, Chandra, whose daughter Tori does eventing, and told them that they needed to take a trip down to Florida to train with us.

“Turns out Chandra, Tori and her friends were the group that we met at the gas station!” Cora says.

The connection had already been made. Jennie invited Chandra and Tori up to Aiken to watch some of her lessons with Phillip, and they happily made the three hour drive.

Jennie on Calicia Z during her lesson with Phillip. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

“It wasn’t Disney but for a little girl that loves all things horses, it was even more magical than Disney,” Chandra says. “I couldn’t make it up if I tried. Within 48 hours of meeting, we were blessed to be invited by Jennie and welcomed by Phillip Dutton to watch her private training lessons. Upon arrival we stood in the middle of two groups being put through their paces on the cross country field, one group getting instruction from Phillip Dutton and the other group from Boyd Martin. To be in the graces of such accomplished riders was just incredible.”

Phillip, Tori and Jennie on Lily. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

“But let me tell you about Jennie … she is so incredibly accomplished and talented,” she continues. “Watching her ride was mesmerizing and she concentrates with a beautiful smile on her face. We were able to watch her ride two of her three horses she brought up with her. The horses had completely different personalities and she rode both with so much glamour and grace.

“She greeted us like we’d been friends forever and put Tori to work helping her and her gem of a working student Cora. Tori was on cloud nine, watching, holding, walking, helping tack and untack these big, beautiful girls. She even got to sit a spell on Lily. Keep an eye for that one — she’s going to do grand things soon, and the darling Cora is going to be doing even grander things. Still in awe!

Tori taking a spin on Lily. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

Tori and Cora leading out Flower Girl (Lily) and Penelope. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

“We even got to stop and chat for a few with Emma Ford as she was getting off work early, and she remembered Tori immediately. The whole day was perfect and we are so thankful for everything.”

Cora called it “gas station kismet,” and noted that serendipitous moments like these proof that the eventing community has some of the biggest-hearted people in the world.

Tori and Penelope. Photo by Chandra Bratton.

“Everyone knows being a working student can be a hard gig and we’re happy to make jokes about all the wine and ice packs we go through, but at the end of the day this is what it really amounts to: incredible opportunities, adventures, ‘good people finding good people,’ and indulging in what we all have in common — a love of horses and sport,” Cora says. “In the nearly two years I’ve been working for Jennie I can’t even begin to list all that she’s done for me and all the experiences and education I’ve accumulated during the journey. It’s truly a blessing. Here’s to many more!

Sometimes it pays to talk to strangers — especially when that stranger is an eventer!




Weekend Results Roundup: Pine Top, Ocala II, MeadowCreek, Copper Meadows

I think Madison & Tate are having a good time at Pinetop in Georgia! #lifewithgirls

A post shared by Mark Hinman (@markjhinman) on

Stuff is happening out there in the Eventing Nation! This past weekend saw four horse trials: Pine Top Spring H.T. in Thompson, Ga., Ocala Winter II H.T. in Ocala, Fla., MeadowCreek Park H.T. in Kosse, Texas, and Copper Meadows Winter H.T. in Ramona, Calif. Many thanks to the organizers, staff, sponsors, volunteers, competitors and everyone else who makes these great events possible.

A few notes from the weekend that was:

  • The lowest finishing score of the weekend belongs to Bobby Meyerhoff and Lumumba (22.9), winners of the Novice Horse-A division at Ocala. Congrats to “The Donovan Group”! Here’s what that pretty dressage test looked like:


First Win for “The Donavan Group” Lumumba you made our man Donavan proud!

Posted by Bobby Meyerhoff on Sunday, March 18, 2018

  • At MeadowCreek, Angela Bowles won Prelim/Training with Rocktop Dreamer and Open Beginner Novice with Woodstock Classic Rock. At Pine Top Colleen Rutledge won Prelim/Training with Cooley Ironic and Training/Novice with C Me FlyWaylon Roberts won Open Prelim-B with Rio De Janeiro and Open Training A with Wil Celtic Charlie; and Courtney Cooper won Open Training-B with Caia Z and Open Novice-A with Excel Star Kenzo. Sounds like Courtney and her C-Squared crew had a big and busy weekend!

What a way to finish up our Aiken season….Pine Top was a great event with cared for footing and great volunteers…

Posted by Courtney Cooper on Monday, March 19, 2018

  • The name game: Shout-out to all the Irish horses out competing on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend! A few that jumped out at us: Irish Beginnings, Bantry Bays Dublin, Celtic King, Paddy Tap, Cooley Kildaire, Wil Celtic Charlie, Celtic Sapphire, Kildare’s Chesca, Foxdales Celtic Charm, Guinness X, Nearly Irish, Irish Jig Dancer, River Dance and of course all the Fernhills and Cooleys. Find your Irish eventer’s name in our St. Patrick’s Day edition of Event Horse Names. Other name trends for the weekend: fancy cars (Ardeo Porsche, Bentley, Lexus, Maserati) and, my personal favorite, (arguably!) bad puns: Maria Franchella‘s Grand Marneigh and Julie Wolfert‘s Iowa Lot Of Money taking the cake!


Your weekend winners:

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Results]

Open Preliminary-A: Boyd Martin & High Aspirations (28.9)
Open Preliminary-B: Waylon Roberts & Rio De Janeiro (30.0)
Preliminary Rider: Alexis Mazzatta & Shigatzi (32.4)
Jr. Training Rider: William Kidwell & Woodlands Silver Star (32.9)
Open Training-A: Waylon Roberts & Wil Celtic Charlie (29.8)
Open Training-B: Courtney Cooper & Caia Z (26.4)
Preliminary / Training: Colleen Rutledge & Cooley Ironic (28.3)
Sr. Training Rider: Daniela Theurel & Hacker (31.0)
Jr. Novice Rider-A: Alyssa Brooks & Coinjock (31.7)
Jr. Novice Rider-B: Campbell Jones & Sophie (27.4)
Open Novice-A: Courtney Cooper & Excel Star Kenzo (29.1)
Open Novice-B: Heidi White & FE Lobo (28.8)
Sr. Novice Rider-A: Jenny Tucker Brinkley & Guinness X (26.4)
Sr. Novice Rider-B: Marlena Schlerman & The Golden Ticket (30.7)
Training / Novice: Colleen Rutledge & C Me Fly (32.4)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Lauren Kloek & Scarlett (34.7)
Open Beginner Novice-A: Madeleine Duggan & Senor Dehere (28.3)
Open Beginner Novice-B: Mike Pendelton & Miss LuLu Herself (34.7)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Karen Dronzek & Sportfield Jinx (23.1)

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Results]

Advanced Combined Test: Liz Halliday-Sharp & Fernhill By Night (33.8)
Intermediate Rider: Reagan Lafleur & Bella Van Bruxvoort (43.6)
Open Intermediate-A: Shanon Baker & Ballingowan Zeal (35.0)
Open Intermediate-B: Anna Loschiavo & Spartacus Q (28.1)
Open Preliminary-A: Andrea Davidson & Escariz Du Rona (28.9)
Open Preliminary-B: Lauren Kieffer & Landmark’s Apollo (28.8)
Preliminary Horse-A: Hallie Coon & Captain Chacco (32.2)
Preliminary Horse-B: Bethany Hutchins-Kristen & Geluk HVF (25.7)
Preliminary Rider-A: Madeleine Carey & Nick (38.5)
Preliminary Rider-B: Rylee Gailey & Dukes Up (35.8)
Open Training-A: Conor Rollins & Fernhill Tiger Con (26.4)
Open Training-B: William Coleman & Chin Tonic HS (28.6)
Training Horse-A: Justine Dutton & Arctic Tiger (32.5)
Training Horse-B: Jessica Phoenix & Venice (34.9)
Training Horse-C: Clarissa Wilmerding & Some Star Somewhere (27.1)
Training Rider-A: Cherye Huber & Sam I Am (32.0)
Training Rider-B: Kimberley Bégin & Bentley (29.8)
Training Rider-C: Lauren Chumley & Avatar’s Jazzman (30.0)
Novice Horse-A: Bobby Meyerhoff & Lumumba (22.9)
Novice Horse-B: Stephanie Cauffman & International Anthem (24.1)
Novice Horse-C: Susannah Lansdale & Constitutional (27.6)
Novice Rider-A: Elizabeth Posillico & Hill Dancer (29.5)
Novice Rider-B: Christa Schmidt & RF Overdressed (30.2)
Novice Rider-C: Cathy Blackmon & Hideaways Special Delivery (26.0)
Novice Rider-D: Lisa Hickey & No Pips (24.3)
Open Novice: Kurt A Martin & Derry Connorsseur (25.7)
Beginner Novice Rider-A: Emeline Gilbert & Herr Winzig (26.3)
Beginner Novice Rider-B: Raina King & Killegar Mr.Cool (32.8)
Open Beginner Novice-A: Holly Jacks & Open Meadow (29.3)
Open Beginner Novice-B: Melanie Helms MD & Turn Signal (25.3)

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Results]

Intermediate / Preliminary: Julie Wolfert & Djabouti (37.0)
Open Preliminary: Natalie Lester & Flagmount’s Patronus Charm (33.3)
Jr. Training Rider: Hannah Darden & Rooster (39.9)
Open Training: Rene Rios & One Lark One Legend (34.6)
Preliminary/Training: Angela Bowles & Rocktop Dreamer (35.1)
Sr. Training Rider: Kendall Baker & Demitasse (32.7)
Jr. Novice Rider: Camdyn Rahe & Orange Crush (36.7)
Open Novice: Priscilla Bohot & Tannin’s Adara (33.1)
Sr. Novice Rider: Nancy Thompson & Made It In Style (28.3)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Margaret Morris & Trump Lion (38.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Angela Bowles & Woodstock Classic Rock (23.3)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Janet Taylor & Zarpazo (32.3)
Starter: Elle Snyder & You Have A Friend In Me (32.5)

Copper Meadows Winter H.T. [Website] [Results]

Advanced – Intermediate: Tosca Holmes-Smith & Fiat (99.7)
Intermediate-Open: David Koss & Erusa (38.2)
Jr./YR Open Preliminary: Harper Click & Rubia (36.3)
Preliminary-Open A: Megan Sykes & Classic’s Mojah (45.3)
Preliminary-Open B: Tamra Smith & Fleeceworks Ghost (30.3)
Jr. Training Rider: Lexie Barrow & Hershey’s Kiss This (35.5)
Sr. Training Rider A: Karen Bristing & Moonlites Ranger (37.8)
Sr. Training Rider B: Cricket Wood & Illuminare (35.0)
Training-Open: Auburn Excell Brady & Whitethorne Ailton (32.1)
Jr. Novice Rider: Julia Brittain & Haiku (30.2)
Novice-Open: Gina Economou & Giacomo (26.2)
Sr. Novice Rider: Rebecca Huth & Tiger III (29.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Deborah Rosen & Tumbleweedprincess (37.9)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Kate Vorobieff & Mr. Perfect (31.7)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Kathi Michel & Bedazzled (31.1)
Introductory: Zoe Zeller & Countess Marguerite (30.8)

Congrats to all. Go Eventing!

Sunday Videos from Total Saddle Fit: Ocala II Advanced CT & Open Intermediate Winners

Lower-level competition is still underway today at Ocala II Horse Trials, but Training through Advanced combined test divisions have already wrapped. Here is video of the Advanced CT and Open Intermediate division winners, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer!

Advanced Combined Test: Liz Halliday-Sharp & Fernhill By Night (33.8)

Open Intermediate A: Shanon Baker & Ballingowan Zeal (35.0)

Open Intermediate B: Anna Loschiavo & Spartacus Q (28.1)

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Look for a complete list of winners on Eventing Nation tomorrow!

Go Eventing.

Specifically for eventers, the StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth now comes in two shades of brown to match monoflap jump saddles! Let your horse move more freely and breathe easier by using the same girth as Tamra Smith. See them all here: totalsaddlefit.com.

Event Horse Names: St. Paddy’s Day Edition

Can you find your "Irish" named USEA-registered event horse in this word cloud? Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

Can you find your “Irish” named USEA-registered event horse in this word cloud? Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

Just as you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, there’s a fair amount of Irish cultural appropriation inherent in the naming of event horses. In fact, over 350 eventers registered in the USEA horse database have the word “Irish” in their name, maybe or maybe not also possessing the Irish blood to match.

Of course, there are plenty of Irish breeds in the mix: I counted 84 Irish Sport Horses, 42 Connemaras, 21 Irish Draughts and three Irish Hunters.

The Thoroughbreds, of which there are several dozen, get a pass as well as Irish racing lines aren’t uncommon on this side of the pond.

But a few of breeds listed … well … the Irish moniker might be a reach. Among them: a Pony of the Americas named Bailey Irish Creme, the Selle Français Irishman De Losgue, American Warmblood Irish Banshee, Saddlebreds Irish’s Sparkling Rose and Captain’s Irish Ladd, Mustangs Irish Joker, Irish Melody and Lucky Irish, and several breeds with a country-other-than-Ireland in their name (examples: the Hungarian Warmblood named Kiss Me I’m Irish, the Dutch Harness Horse named Irish Symphony, etc.)

But hey, Irish is a state of mind, right? And it’s a spectrum as well, with some horses wearing their homeland on their sleeve (Totally Irish and Shamelessly Irish) and others admitting a less direct connection (Something Irish, Stonybrook Mostly Irish, Touch of IrishIrish By Proxy). 

Rachel McDonough & Irish Rhythm. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Fun fact: Rachel McDonough’s four-star partner Irish Rhythm was actually born in Canada. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The most popular “Irish” name in the book is, simply, straight-up Irish. Sixteen horses in the USEA horse database are registered by that name.

Irish drinking references aren’t far behind, with 10 horses registered as Bailey’s Irish Cream or some spelling variation thereof, plus another three named Irish Cream and four named Bailey’s Irish Dream.

Killian’s Irish Red is the namesake of eight horses, with Irish Red claiming another four.

"I'm in love with a ginger!" Katherine McDonough plants one on her red-headed ISH Irish Red. Photo courtesy of Katherine McDonough.

“I’m in love with a ginger!” Katherine McDonough plants one on her red-headed ISH Irish Red after winning their Beginner Novice division at Jump Start H.T. Photo courtesy of Katherine McDonough.

Brenda Casey’s Killian’s Irish Red. Photo courtesy of Brenda Casey.

Others inspired by alcohol: Irish Stout (three including one very cleverly named Percheron!), Irish Whisky (two), Irish Brew (two), PL Irish Kahlua, Irish Bouncer and Irish Pub.

The USEA Horse Registry includes a whopping 33 horses named Guinness and several other variations on the theme. These horses are stout; they’re fighters; and when it comes to cross country, they’ll drink you under the table any day of the week.

Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

Additional favorites include Luck of the Irish (10), Kiss Me I’m Irish (seven), Irish Lad and Irish Jig (five apiece), and Irish Rose (four apiece).

My top picks: Irish You Well, because I can’t resist a good pun …

Martha Deeds’ Irish You Well, who was imported from Ireland. Photo courtesy of Martha Deeds.

… Tall, Dark and Irish for sex appeal; and Irish Elvis — um, what?!

Are you the owner of an Irish or “Irish” horse? Send them our St. Paddy’s Day regards and post their photo in the comments section below!

In case you missed them, check out these previous editions of Event Horse Names: Authors, Books & CharactersBattle of the BoozeThe Empire BusinessMonster TrucksCelebritiesSnowSt. Paddy’s DayFourth of JulyPumpkin PartyChristmasWhat’s For Breakfast? and Valentine’s Day.

Eventers Take Top 2018 Equestrian Canada National Award Honors

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High in the 2018 Red Hills CIC3*. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Equestrian Canada (EC) has announced its 2017 National Award recipients and eventers topped multiple categories. The recipients will be honored during the 2018 Awards Reception, taking place April 7 at the EC Convention in Ottawa, ON.

Join us in congratulating …

Equestrian of the Year – The Dr. George Jacobson Trophy
Selena O’Hanlon

Owner of the Year
John & Judy Rumble

Canadian Bred Horse of the Year
Foxwood High
Owner: John & Judy Rumble
Breeder: Hugh Graham

Go Team Woody! 2017 was a fantastic year for the 15-year-old Canadian Sport Horse, by Rio Bronco W out of Evita II and bred in Canada by Hugh Graham of Epstein Equestrian, ridden by Selena O’Hanlon and owned by John and Judy Rumble.

In addition to Selena and Woody’s historic win in the Fair Hill International CCI3*, becoming the first Canadian combination to do so, they won Red Hills Advanced, finished 11th at Kentucky CCI4* as the highest placed Canadian pair, placed fifth in the Nations Cup at Great Meadow CICO3* and finished third in the Plantation Field CIC3*. Woody finished outside the top 10 just once in the 2017 season, which saw him named 2017 USEA Advanced Horse of the Year. He was also nominated for 2017 EquiRatings Horse of the Year and was voted 2017 Eventing Nation Horse of the Year in a decisive victory.

The pair is already on a roll for 2018, having been named to the 2018 Equestrian Canada Eventing High Performance National Squad and finishing fourth at last week’s Red Hills CIC3*.

Congrats to Woody and all his connections!

Tosca-Holmes-Smith-Fiat in the Intermediate division at Twin Rivers Winter Horse Trials earlier this month. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Junior Equestrian of the Year – The Gillian Wilson Trophy, Presented by Asmar Equestrian
Tosca Holmes-Smith

Tosca Holmes-Smith of Chase, BC, is the 2017 recipient of the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award, given to a junior who has excelled in competition while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship and dedication to equestrian sport. Fun fact: Tosca’s sister Carmen won the award last year!

After first moving up to the FEI level in 2014, Tosca has represented Canada at NAJYRC for the past three consecutive years, with 2017 proving to be one for the books. Partnered with Fiat (Cats at Home x With Approval), a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Ali Holmes-Smith, Tosca claimed the individual gold medal and led the Canadian Junior Team to a bronze medal finish in the CH-J 1* division. Tosca kicked off NAJYRC 2017 with an eighth place finish in dressage on a score of 47.2 penalties, then shot up to third after a double-clear effort on cross country. She ultimately claimed victory on her dressage score after sealing the deal with a foot-perfect show jumping round.

NAJYRC was a crowning achievement among a list of many accolades Tosca earned in 2017. She also finished the season as the Horse Trials British Columbia (HTCB) Intermediate Champion aboard Fiat, plus picked up the Preliminary Young Rider Champion title aboard Tom Riddle, a 12-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding also owned by Ali. In addition, Tosca was the recipient of the 2017 HTBC Young Rider of Distinction Perpetual Trophy, dedicated to the memory of Jordan McDonald.

Known for her kindness, positivity and great sense of humor, Tosca was described by her nominators as having “blossomed into an exceptional elite athlete who is a kind and willing soul, and always willing to pitch in a hand to help her fellow young riders.” Tosca is also well known for always putting her horses first. Whether in the saddle or the stable, the horse’s well-being is always the number one priority for Tosca. Congrats, Tosca!

Other 2017 EC National Award recipients include:

Gold Medal Award
Susan Grange

Lifetime Achievement Award
Susan Grange

Volunteer of the Year, Presented by Henry Equestrian
The Centaur Red Team

Canadian Breeder of the Year, Presented by John Deere
Karyne Lord

Equestrian Canada Health & Welfare Award
Dr. Mary Bell

Equestrian Canada Media Award – The Susan Jane Anstey Trophy
CBC Sports

The 2018 EC Awards Committee is comprised of Carla Robin (Chair), Jennifer Anstey, Michael Boyd, Erin Lundteigen, and Karen Sparks. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the Brookstreet Hotel on April 7 and will feature a reception, presentations, including the 2017 Year in Review, as well as a live band and Brookstreet’s renowned food and hospitality. For more information, visit the EC website here.

[Equestrian Canada National Award Recipients Announced: Come Celebrate at the 2018 Awards Reception!]

#EventerFailFriday: The Struggle Is Real

Happy #EventerFailFriday! All aboard the strugglebus, choochoo! Here we go … don’t forget to tag your strugs on Instagram for inclusion in a future edition!





Go Eventing.

Classic EN #TBT: Boyd Martin Live Blog (2009)

Overgrown Pony Clubber: Boyd in 2013. Photo by Jeff Beshear.

During last week’s soak in the Eventing Nation Hot Tub Time Machine, we revisited EN’s very first live bog, er, blog, a hit-or-miss feat of experimental sports journalism broadcast from cross country day at Fair Hill 2009 during EN’s first week of existence. A few days later, John took another stab at live blog technology to host an interactive Q&A session with Fair Hill CCI3* winner Boyd Martin.

The near decade since this interview has been a wild ride for Boyd, who has since represented the U.S. at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was the top-placed rider at both the 2010 and 2014 WEG.  The wisdom he dispenses in this 2009 interview, however, is timeless, as is his sense of humor.

After a brief technical glitch, wherein John’s name was showing up as “Boyd” …

… it was full speed ahead. You can check out the original blog here, or enjoy the edited-for-length highlight reel below!

John: Alright, sorry about that, lets jump right in and talk about your big win at Fair Hill. You finished dressage on Neville Bardos in 16th, with a lot of big names in front of you. Did you think you could win Friday night, or when did you think you had a great shot at winning?

Boyd: When the heavens opened and it started pouring with rain and all of the overweight, shiny showponies started withdrawing before cross country.

John: Sweet, let me ask this, how did Neville feel in all that mud?

Boyd: He traveled across the mud on Saturday as softly and smoothly as Michael Jackson moonwalking.

John: Pretty damn smooth then. Alright, let’s try a few questions from our viewers.

Comment From Guest: How did you first meet Silva? (For you John, you owe me.)

John: Yeah, I need all the advice I can get in that department. So how did you land such a great catch?

Boyd: I had a broken leg at the time, long hair and no real direction in my life. Then I saw the light in the dark when this long legged, German supermodel-dressage rider landed in my backyard in Australia. John, you just have to treat ’em like a lady.

John: It’s amazing how you produce so many great horses. I remember you telling me about you really believe in taking the time to develop horses. You said you took about a year at each level with Neville and Thomas (Ying Yang Yo), could you talk the development process for a few moments?

Boyd: Johnny, the fastest way to produce a horse is to go slow.

John: Karen told me once that Phillip’s secret to making the time is that he can collect without slowing down. I can see that in your riding as well, so let me ask you, what is a pointer that can help riders at the lower levels make the time safely?

Boyd: Get rid of any bit that you’ve got that isn’t a snaffle and work on slowing the horse in front of the jump with everything but your hand.

Comment From lsa: We saw you do it at FHI, we see you do it so often, what is the key to safely making the time around really tough cross country courses?

Boyd: Well Isa, feel what’s happening underneath you, roll with it … if he wants to run, let him run, if he wants to slow down, let him slow down.

Comment From yound and dumb: What advice does Boyd have for a young trainer trying to make it? How does he find owners and supporters?

Boyd: I’m still trying to work this out. This is a long, hard goal that everyone has but one thing is for sure, you have to work hard and be honest.

Comment From pizz: Was it cool to ride for the U.S. for the first time officially?

Boyd: It was wonderful knowing that I had the Stars and Stripes behind me.

Comment From Guest: Why did you come to the U.S. instead of England like most NZ’ers and Aussies?

Boyd: I think America in the sport of eventing is getting bigger and better every year and I felt that England is over-populated with too many riders … and all English people are a bunch of whingers.

Comment From No Fear: What’s your favorite beer?

Boyd: Non-alcoholic beer only, I can’t be trusted on the hard stuff.

Comment From LisaB: One Aussie in the entire universe that doesn’t drink, John?

John: For all you Pony Clubbers out there. Boyd’s secret to riding success is temperance and a great work ethic.

Comment From Rugby Grey Horse: I believe the work ethic part.

Comment From Terrey Hills Pub: Just a reminder, Boyd, you and your mates are still banned.

Comment From Lochinvar Pub: Here too, Boyd.

Boyd: Sounds like we’ve got a few Australian viewers online who know me from my old life.

John: Folks, theres noooooo way I can publish some of these comments, but for the record, they are hilarious

Comment From NZTB: Could you ride a NZ TB or would that be blasphemy?

Boyd: I’ve ridden plenty of NZ TBs. I especially like the Sir Tristam bloodline in NZ. Tough horses that are good jumpers (Ying Yang Yo).

Comment From LisaB: You seem to have quite a few young horses, how do you know they will be good eventers? What do you think is the key to a successful horse?

Boyd: I try and pick out good moving, rangy horses that have a good attitude and a good jump — it takes some time to work out if they’re the real thing.

Comment From Terrey Hills Pub: Hey Boyd — a mate of your called Craigie just rode a horse into the bar here. Says you lent him the frogman’s gear. Should we serve him? It’s only 10:17 am.

Boyd: Let Craigie have one beer, as it’s late in the day for him. Mongrel.

Comment From bucked naked: I’m curious what Boyd thinks of the short format CCI versus long format. It seems Neville would have been a great long format horse.

Boyd: Well it is what it is … there’s no use wondering about CCIs long or short. Nev’s won a long format two-star and now a short format three-star, a good horse is a good horse, good riding is good riding, the winner should still be the winner.

John: Your parents were both Olympians (Dad cross country skiing, and Mom speed skating I think), what would it mean to follow in their footsteps?

Boyd: I’m my own man, Johnny. I don’t think my Mom and Dad would mind if I was a busker down at the Circular Quay playing a guitar for spare change. I love what I do and I chose this path because it’s what I’m into (and not busking).

Comment From Circular Quay Buskers A$$: Stick to the ponies son. Your singing voice is dreadful.

Comment From Ginna: Boyd, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

Comment From Jen: For a young rider how would you recommend getting started in the horse industry?

Boyd: Honesty, integrity and the urge to ride any horse that comes your way despite its height, color and attitude.

John: You and Phillip both have scary good eyes. I have watched you jump thousands of jumps and you almost never miss. In a few sentences, what is the key to having a great eye.

Boyd: Well Johnny, I think that I probably jump 50,000 fences per year. Slowly but surely, it becomes subconscious, I suppose.

Comment From Auntie Jan: Oh Boyd I just want to say you are wonderful.

Boyd: Ohhh, Auntie Jan, what time is it there? Please don’t mention any of my childhood stories.

John: The power of the internet, bringing people together, incredible.

Comment From Kentucky Blue: Is it true you escaped from the ambulance after your fall at Rolex in 2008 and got back on Ying Yang Yao before the EMTs got to you?

John: I’ve heard this story a couple of times, you took a hard fall and it would be like you to try to hop right back on.

Boyd: To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much from that day as I had a few head injuries but some call me a human pigeon … always looking to return back to my nest.

Comment From TG: Boyd, for daily riding, do you have a preferred bridle set up, and do you have anything unique for your own set up for working horses?

Boyd: Snaffle — keep it simple. The softest bit that the horse you’re riding will allow, no tricks, no gadgets. Just classical training.

Comment From Rugby Grey Horse: Can you tell us the backstory about Nev — what was he like as a young horse, how old was he when you got him, did he race and was he any good as a racehorse? When did you know he was a good jumper?

Boyd: I had a broken leg in nine places at the time and my good mate Gordan Bishop was trying a horse that a racehorse trainer was trying to ditch. Gordo didn’t think the horse had the ability but I liked the look in Nev’s eye. He was $500 and he came with his own headstall so I thought bugger it. I’ll take a chance, no vet check, no ride — I just took him. The first time that I took him out was a jumping day and I unloaded him off of the trailer and he took off for the hills. It took me two days to catch him and he still had his shipping boots on. I knew that he was a good jumper when he jumped the six foot wall in the round yard when I was trying to start him up.

Comment From Becca: Do you offer working student positions at your stable?

Boyd: The working students that go through the barn come out with hair on their chests … they’re ready for Afghanistan when I’m done with them.

Comment From TG: Have you ever worked with a horse that is ADD in cross country, but lovely in dressage and show jumping? If so, other than time what helped most?

Boyd: Well TG, you’ve got to get inside your horses head, get a feeling for what makes him tick. I recommend sleeping in his stall for a night or two. You’ve got to bond with him.

Comment From Becca: Do you think that listening to music while you ride is beneficial?

Boyd: The music I recommend is music like AC/DC, Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana to get yourself into a nice settled mood.

Comment From WI Girl: I know that in the months of November/December, a lot of event riders do gymnastics and dressage training to prepare for the winter show season. Is there anything as riders that we should work on especially?

Boyd: WI girl, keeping yourself mean … I like to keep myself mean in Nov/Dec. — running barefoot in the snow, riding dressage outside with no shirt on. It’s easy to fall into taking the easy road and sitting in front of the fire and not being out there training your horses.

John: Alright Boyd, I promised to only take an hour of your time and we are well past that now, its been a blast, is there anything you would like to say before we wrap up?

Boyd: I’d like to thank all of the people that have taken the time to join us on eventingnation.com. I’d also like to thank Jeff Beshear for being a sponsor of this new website. I’d also like to say Good Morning to all of the Australian viewers back home. Thanks for having me on here, Johnny. I’d love to do it again sometime.

John: We would love to have you back Boyd, thanks for joining us and don’t be a stranger. Goodnight everyone, thanks for coming.

Go Eventing.

Is a Booth in the 2018 WEG Vendor Village Worth $9,000+?

The Trade Village at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

One of the best parts of big events, IMO, is the vendor village. I love to wander around and buy/lust over/eat/drink all the things. For exhibitors, it’s a win-win. They have the opportunity to get their product in front of its target horse-loving audience, who may or may not have had one too many Bloody Marys and be susceptible to expensive lapses in judgement.

The golden ticket destination for equestrian vendors in 2018 is, of course, the World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center in September. With an estimated attendance of 500,000 over the course of two weeks, the vendor village will be prime shopping real estate.

It’s also rather expensive.

A Breakdown of Cost

Here’s what you’re looking at for a booth in the World Equine EXPO Vendor Village throughout the 13-day duration of the event:

9′x10′: $8,118.34
10′x10′: $9,020.38
18′x10′: $16,236.68
20′x10′: $18,040.75

Additional fees apply for prime location: $533.75 for a corner, $1,067.50 for an end, and $2,135 for an island. A 48’x10′ bulk trailer space will run you $26,644.80. RV parking spots are $1,868.13 for the duration.

Not included is pricing for power, which starts at $170.80 for 500watts / STD 110v svc through $2,401.88 for 24-hour heavy duty motor/machinery needs. Additional fees for lighting, wifi, flooring, walls, build outs etc. is not yet available.

Advertising is another add-on. If you want your business listed in the printed program, that will cost $213.50 extra, or $320.25 with your logo. Full-color ads in the program are $2,688.75 for a half-page or $4,803.75 for a full page.

Entrance tickets are also extra — a 13-day discounted employee pass costs $249.80 — although one parking pass is included.

Find more WEG vendor information and an application here.

Bottom line:

To get your foot in the door as a WEG vendor, with the smallest available spot ($8,118.34), minimal power ($170.80), a basic program listing ($213.50), and a couple employee tickets ($499.60), you’re looking at $9,002.24 … plus travel expenses and the cost of lodging for two weeks.

Is It Worth It? 

To recall, there was quite an uproar about trade fair pricing in advance of the 2010 WEG in Lexington. Despite fees ranging from $10,000 to $17,500, all 300 spaces sold out. Once WEG was underway, vendors complained that there was very little traffic into the trade fair due to inadequate signage, upon which games officials rerouted the main gate exit through the trade fair. 2018 WEG organizers have already clarified that the vendor village will be located between the two entry and exit points to the venue, through which all attendees must enter and exit.

2010 WEG vendors expressed a mixed bag of reviews. “Their success varies widely,” an article in the Lexington Herald-Reader, “Vendors Take a Big Risk at WEG,” reported. “Booths selling equestrian gear and souvenirs seemed to be doing well; high-end jewelry and other expensive items not directly related to riding or caring for horses — not so well.”

Bottom line:

With half a million spectators coming through, you’re going to get traffic, but will you do enough sales to balance out the hefty vendor village price tag? That’s the $9,000+ gamble.

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Trade Fair. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

In Comparison

Vendors have plenty of options when it comes to where and how they market their products to the equestrian world. Start-ups and vendors on a budget may find that setting up a tent at a local horse trial is a great way to get their feet wet, and many bigger events have been working hard to draw both horsey and non-horsey spectators.

Looking at spring events: Last week’s Red Hills International Horse Trials, which expected to draw about 20,000 spectators over the course of the event, made 10’x20′ spaces available for $400-$450 including power and a lighted tent. Jersey Fresh International (May 9-13), another community-minded event, offers options ranging from a $150 for a 10’x10′ bring-your-own-tent setup to $510 for a 20’x20′ four-sided tent, or vendor/sponsor packages for $1,250 . Electric is $55 extra. Carolina International (March 21-15) ranges from $350 for a 10’x10′ bring-your-own-tent space to $800 for a premium 20’x20′ space with four-sided tent. A bit further into the calendar year, Great Meadow International (July 6-8) has some affordable options, ranging from $500 for a 10’x10’ to $1,600 for a 20’x20′ space; tents are included, electric and program ads are extra. Many other opportunities abound — visit event websites for details.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (April 26-29) is another price point up:

Indoor Booth Space Rental
10’x15′: $1,750
20’x20′: $3,875
20’x30′: $4,950
30’x30′: $6,450

Individual Tented Space Rental
10’x10′: $1,450
20’x20′: $4,400

Outdoor Exhibition Space
20’x20′: $2,200

The rentals include: space for four days, two parking passes, four worker passes, one 20-amp electrical circuit, link on event website, listing in program, discount on program advertising. Tables, chairs, pipe and drape, wifi and telephone lines are extra. Find more information and an application here.

Bottom line:

From start-ups on a shoestring budget to established retailers, there’s a perfect trade fair fit for everyone somewhere. Find your place in the world and go get ’em!

#EventerProblems Vol. 134 from Ecovet: Adventures in Self-Medication

Earlier this week I finally went to the doctor about an infection that wouldn’t clear up, despite putting myself on a course of expired SMZs my friend found in her tack truck and was about to throw away. “Hey, can I have the rest of those?” I asked just before they hit the trash can. Score!

When my doctor asked where I’d gotten antibiotics, I stuttered that I had a few left over from something else, and she raised an eyebrow but said nothing. But I know I’m not the first horse person who has self-medicated via some variation on this theme — I mean, we’re used to treating our horses for every ailment under the sun, and so it’s not a huge leap to doctor ourselves, right?

I don’t recommend borrowing your horse’s meds; I think those SMZs gave me a stomachache more than anything. But there are other ways to treat what ails us, both physically and emotionally. From caffeine, ice cream and wine to borrowed ice wraps and assorted therapeutic goops, we do what we must to make it through the day — ditto for our horses, except hopefully sans the booze bit. Exhibit A:




When you find a beer hidden in your tall boot… #eventerproblems #ridersofinstagram

A post shared by allbetsareoff82 (@allbetsareoff82) on


Go Eventing.

Red-Headed Mare, Represent! Boyd Martin and Kyra Make the Move to Advanced

Boyd Martin and Kyra at the 2018 Red Hills H.T. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Boyd Martin’s ride Kyra may be new to Advanced level eventing, but she is already a veteran EN headline maker.

The big redheaded mare first caught our attention way back in 2013, when she turned in a score of 16.4 in a division of Preliminary at Ocala Horse Trials with Michael Pollard (see “What Does a 16.4 in Dressage Look Like?”) Michael found Kyra, a now 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood (VDL Ulando H x Wellesley), in Canada as a young horse and produced her through the two-star level under the ownership of Christine Turner, winning CIC2*s at Poplar Place and Chattahoochee Hills in 2014.

In 2016 Boyd took over the ride, and their partnership was a match made in heaven. Kyra was always a hot mare, Christine said, and “Boyd was the only one who could tame her.” She recalled almost not recognizing the mare when she went to see her at Boyd’s farm — the once fire-breathing dragon was now purring like a kitten with Boyd in the tack. “It was a trust issue,” she said. “He’s such a good horse person.”

Over the past two years Christine has become a major owner for Boyd. In addition to Kyra, her 2018 Red Hills horses included Tsetserleg, who finished 10th in the Red Hills CIC3* and On Cue, who completed the CIC2*. Boyd said of Christine, “We really get along. She’s right up my alley, an awesome person and very supportive. I’m thrilled to be riding her horses.”

We’ve seen a lot of promise from Boyd and Kyra since. Last year’s top results included a 2nd in the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh and a 4th in the CIC2* at Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy, and they’ve also moonlighted in arena eventing at Central Park and Devon. They made the big move-up to Advanced at Pine Top two weeks ago, finishing 7th with clear jumping rounds and just a bit of cross country time.

Boyd then entered Kyra in the Advanced at Red Hills, hoping it would be a softer alternative to the CIC3*. “I was horrified when I walked the course and saw it was pretty much the same track and honestly thought it could be the end of me,” Boyd said with mock drama. “But to her credit, she ripped around and gave me a fantastic round. It’s only her second Advanced and I was trying to make it little bit easier for her by putting her in the Advanced and not the CIC … but she proved to me that she’s ready to do the CIC3*.”

Mare has hops! Boyd Martin and Kyra at the 2018 Red Hills H.T. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

“She’s by far the most spectacular jumper I have in my barn,” Boyd reflected after cross country day. “She’s very careful and today was by far her biggest test. She’s very sharp, a great jumper, and almost a bit too careful … but today she really gave me a cracking round around the cross country.”

The pair scored a 35.4 in dressage to begin their weekend in 5th, collected 12.8 time faults on cross country (a notoriously difficult track to make time around) to move into 3rd, and then had one rail down, good enough to finish in 2nd place overall.

“She’s a bit of a surprise package,” Boyd says. “When I first got her she was really, really careful – almost too careful – and initially I wasn’t quite sure if she’d make an Advanced event horse just because she didn’t want to touch the brush. But she’s found a bit of braveness and we’re starting to build a partnership, and I’m thrilled. She ripped around the course. I think she could be a four-star horse, but I also think she could be very competitive at the short-format CICs.”

Second-place Boyd Martin and Kyra with winners Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac in the Red Hills Advanced awards ceremony. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

In addition to her eventing career, Kyra is a working mom. “She’s been a very feisty redheaded mare and obviously she’s got some jump, so Christine bred her to a French stallion, and we’ve got that 3-year-old,” Boyd said. “I said to Chris I’d love a little bit more blood in the horse, so we bred that 3-year-old to an American Thoroughbred. We’ll have Kyra’s grandbaby in June, and that should be hopefully a Thoroughbred-ier version of Kyra.”

Best of luck to Kyra & Co.!


Middleburg Horse Trials Announces Move to Great Meadow

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

Middleburg Horse Trials has a new home! The long-running and popular event will be moving to Great Meadow in The Plains for 2018 and beyond.

Organized by Middleburg Orange County Pony Club (MOCPC) as a fundraiser for its club, Middleburg Horse Trials takes place this year on June 9-10. It will be a busy summer for Great Meadow, which will once again host a FEI Nations Cup leg at Great Meadow International (July 6-9) in addition to weekly Twilight Polo matches, monthly Twilight Jumpers, and a Pony Club rally in addition to other events.

Organized by Middleburg Orange County Pony Club (MOCPC) as a fundraiser for its club, Middleburg Horse Trials takes place this year on June 9-10.

“We are so excited to be moving the Middleburg Horse Trials to Great Meadow,” says organizer Max Corcoran. “With the purchase of new land by The Great Meadow Foundation, it has opened up the opportunity to have another horse trial in addition to Great Meadow International. It is a top-notch facility that is very historic and special to the equestrian community.”

The event will run its usual levels of Beginner Novice through Prelim, with courses designed by David O’Connor and built by John Wells. David says, “We are excited that the historic Middleburg Orange County Polo Club will be moving their event to take advantage of the fantastic facilities at Great Meadow. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the venue.”

Show jumping will take place in the state-of-the-art arena with adjacent warm-up arena, both with footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. Dressage will run on established turf.

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

Although the venue has changed, the same great MOCPC organizing committee will reconvene joined by the organizers of GMI to stage the event. “There are a few of us from the Great Meadow International (GMI) who will be part of both competitions,” Max explains. “David O’Connor will be the course designer — he knows that land better than anyone; Darrin Mollett, the organizer for GMI, will also be part of our team; and I run the show jumping and safety for GMI. The MOCPC has a tireless group of parents who have been working to continue this horse trials — it all wouldn’t happen without them.”

The Great Meadow Foundation has an established history as an eventing host, tracing back to the ’80s when its events attracted the biggest name riders of the sport. After a brief hiatus, high performance eventing returned to Great Meadow in 2014 after the Foundation purchased the adjacent Fleming Farm exclusively to run eventing competitions. After initially running a USEF training session to prepare the U.S. Eventing Team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, the Great Meadow International (GMI) was born. GMI hosted a CIC3* in 2015 and then later became the first venue outside of Europe to host a leg of Nations Cup of Eventing, which still runs today.

Here are some great vintage photos from the event back in the day — Bruce Davidson Sr., Jimmy Wofford, David O’Connor, Steve Teichman … we spot a few familiar faces!

Moving the event will be costly, and MOCPC is working on acquiring funds to establish the cross country course. The Club will be running fundraising events leading up to the horse trials, says Max: “The MOCPC will be co-hosting some clinics to help fund a new water jump — we hope everyone will keep an eye out for more information.”

Middleburg Horse Trials entries open on April 24 and close May 22. Get those entries in early, as the event is expected to fill up quickly! Click here to sign up as a volunteer — volunteers will receive a voucher for free cross county schooling on Monday, June 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Weekend Results Roundup: Red Hills, Southern Pines, Full Gallop


Congrats to Christina McKitrick and Lotte Lenya Q, whose finishing score of 19.3 in Open Training at Southern Pines was the lowest in the country this weekend! Blue looks good on you, lady.

Here’s a random stat: Of the 41 divisions that were run across three events at Red Hills, Southern Pines and Full Gallop this past weekend, 39 of the winning pairs were either 1st or 2nd after dressage. The only two that weren’t were 3rd or 4th after dressage. Do what you will with that, but I interpret the lesson as this: It’s harder now than ever before to jump your way up the scoreboard, so we all best be working our bottoms off on the flat!

I’ve been giving out a shout-out to my favorite horse names of the weekend. This go-round, I’ve got to give it up for T-Rex, ridden by Maya Simmons in Open Novice A at Southern Pines, because it makes me think of this, and dinosaurs playing soccer on horseback just never gets old, does it?

Battle of the surnames! The Fernhills take it this week, with 23 representing across three events: Fernhill Fierce, Fernhill Fifth Avenue, Fernhill Choc, Fernhill Cayenne, Fernhill Tito, Fernhill Choco Royale, Fernhill Flutter, Fernhill Above and Beyond, Fernhill Full Throttle, Fernhill Mystery, Fernhill Wishes, Fernhill Fortitude, Fernhill Singapore, Fernhill Hustler, Trendy Fernhill, The Fernhill Fox, Fernhill Athena, Fernhill Vanguard, Fernhill Copas, Fernhill Feel Happy, Fernhill Valarchin, Fernhill Romeo and Fernhill Bijzonder. The Fredericks Equestrian contingent was coming in hot, though, with eight: FE Capricino, FE Black Ice, FE Always In Time, FE Stormtrooper, FE Charles Owen, FE Mississippi, FE Santos and FE Whole Lotta Rosie. The Cooleys were on the map as well, with five — Cooley Off The Record, Cooley Dream, TKS Cooley, Cooley Cross Border and Cooley Almighty — and 10 Full Gallop Farm horses made a strong showing on their home turf: FGF Little Black Dress, FGF Struck By Luck, FGF Rienzi, FGF Robin Hood, FGF It was all Good, FGF The Badger, FGF Rich Chocolate, FGF Full Gas, FGF Screenplay and FGF Sweetpuddin.

Without further adieu, let’s list off the weekend’s big winners!

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Results]

CIC One Star: Leslie Law & QC First Class (30.5)
CIC Two Star: Jenny Caras & Fernhill Full Throttle (28.5)
CIC Three Star: Marilyn Little & RF Scandalous (36.0)
Advanced: Waylon Roberts & Kelecyn Cognac (45.6)
Open Intermediate: Will Coleman & Cooley Off The Record (27.8)
Open Preliminary: Sara Kozumplik Murphy & Delta Queen (27.1)
Preliminary Rider: Janelle Phaneuf & Strattonstown Lewis (40.5)

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Results]

Advanced Combined Test: Ariel Grald & Leamore Master Plan (34.8)
Intermediate Combined Test: Caitlin Silliman & Ally KGO (32.1)
Open Preliminary-A: Kathy Cain & Legal Limit (26.3)
Open Preliminary-B: Will Faudree & Caeleste (22.5)
Preliminary Combined Test: Ariel Grald & GHF Gosling (33.3)
Preliminary Rider: Cassie Plumb & Coco (31.3)
Preliminary Rider Junior: Katherine Christopher & Frodo of the Shire (28.8)
Open Training-A: Christina McKitrick & Lotte Lenya Q (19.3)
Open Training-B: Kelli Temple & Carmella (24.8)
Training Rider-A: Katherine Nolan & Prince of Power (26.4)
Training Rider-B: Mary Clare & Furl the Main (29.3)
Training Rider Junior: Austin Skeens & Rocmaster (30.5)
Novice Rider-A: Liza Bunce & Chancellor (30.2)
Novice Rider-B: Joan Howard & C Me Go (30.7)
Novice Rider Junior: Kaley Crosby & Valentino (23.8)
Open Novice-A: Laine Ashker & Dealin’ Diamonds (28.6)
Open Novice-B: Linden Wiesman & Innisfree (21.7)
Beginner Combined Test: Rena Rhodes & Tucker (33.90)
Beginner Novice Rider: Amy Potts & Southern Sass (29.3)
Beginner Novice Rider Junior: Emily Worth & My Lady Raisa (27.0)
Open Beginner Novice: Kimberly Rushton & Brit’s Party Favor (25.3)

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Results]

Intermediate: Sarah Cousins & Christopher (53.9)
Intermediate/Preliminary: Allie Sacksen & Sparrow’s Nio (47.2)
Preliminary-A: Allison Springer & Unbridled Numbers (40.8)
Preliminary-B: Pamela Wiedemann & Made To Order (36.7)
Preliminary/Training: Monica Fiss & Old Fashioned Love Song (35.9)
Training-A: Allison Springer & Crystal Crescent Moon (27.9)
Training-B: Daniel Clasing & La Zingara (30.7)
Novice-A: Jyl Lavera & Class Action (28.1)
Novice-B: Teagan Lapuk & Sportsfield Goodwill (25.5)
Training/Novice: Hannah Simmons & Ducati III (41.9)
Beginner Novice-A: Jeannine Buhse & Good Juju (31.1)
Beginner Novice-B: Sara Siegel & FHF Screenplay (25.6)
Starter: Carey Adams & Doncella (34.7)

Congrats to all! Go Eventing.

Power Couple Waylon Roberts & Jenny Caras Earn Twin Wins in Red Hills Advanced, CIC2*

#Jenlon? Jaylon? Jenaylon? Wayly? Wanny? Wenny? … hmmm, we’ll keep thinking on it. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Waylon Roberts and Jenny Caras have been an item for about four years now, and it’s pretty stinking cute. In the media tent they got into a little lover’s quarrel about whether or not it’s weird to put sugar in spaghetti sauce (Waylon says yes; Jenny says no) and on the inside I was like, “just stop, I can’t even.” They’re forever posting adorkable Facebook pictures of themselves holding hands in front of waterfalls, being holiday-spirited at ugly Christmas sweater parties, and of course doing horsey stuff together.

And now they can add a new selfie to the collection, of themselves holding up matching shiny blue ribbons at the 2018 Red Hills International Horse Trials. Waylon bested the Advanced with Kelecyn Cognac, having led the division from wire to wire; Jenny ticked the box of her first FEI win with Fernhill Full Throttle in the CIC2*.

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

To be fair, I’m sure #Jenlonlife isn’t all rose petals and heart emoji. Being a twentysomething horse professional is tough, staying on your game is exhausting, and there are as many lows as there are highs. Jenny and Waylon are lucky to have one another as partners, for support in and out of the saddle.

“It’s so fun because we bounce ideas off each other,” Jenny says. “And I never feel like he’s just telling me what I want to hear with the horses. He’s going to be real, and that’s really important. We’ve been together long enough the gloves are off.”

“I’m a little frightened of her sometimes!” Waylon laughs.

They’re based with Phillip Dutton in Aiken and Chester County, Pennsylvania, and while they’ve got separate barns now they are working toward a more integrated program in the future. They’ve been toying with the idea of reorganizing their operations to put the upper-level horses in one barn and client and sale horses in another, and are working to get their staffing situation wrangled. PSA to ambitious young riders, they’re in the market for working students!

Waylon and Jenny say they get more nervous for one another at events than they do for themselves — “I’m a wreck!” Waylon says — but that they can be competitive toward one another, too. “I’m super competitive against Jenny, but we’re just pushing each other to get better,” he explains.

Waylon Roberts and Kelecyn Cognac. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Their hard work paid off with twin wins at Red Hills. Chris Barnard’s course was open and galloping, so kicking on without compromising balance and rideability was the name of the game. “We’ve ridden a few Chris Barnard courses this year, and every one has been tight on the time,” Waylon says. “You have to keep moving, but it’s a risk that you take. He is a master at making you stay careful but keeping the class interesting.”

Waylon had a rail in hand and used it, picking up a time penalty as well, but he said “Dan” was super overall. The horse has struggled with show jumping in the past, first with Kevin McNab, who competed him through the three-star level, and then with Heidi White. Waylon has had the 15-year-old Australian Thoroughbred, owned by Anthony Connolly and L. Skye Levely, for four years, and has been working with Richard Picken to sharpen him up in the show jumping phase.

“He wants to be careful, he’s just not the most orthodox of horses,” Waylon explains. “He’s a big horse and he’s a sensitive horse — he’s got a Thoroughbred mind on him. He remembers everything, and he takes everything very personally so you’ve got to work it through with him. But he keeps getting better. He’s 15 now but he keeps getting better so I’m really excited about him. [Richard] has been super and he knows the horse really well now.”

Next up for the pair is the Carolina CIC3* and then, fingers crossed, Kentucky. Best of luck, Waylon and Dan!

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Full Throttle. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Jenny and “Pongo” were in third heading into CIC2* show jumping, turned in a double clear round, and rose to first when leader Caroline Martin and The Apprentice felled a couple rails and dropped to fourth. Jenny has had “Pongo,” a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cyrano—Euro Glory, Euro Clover), for three years, and they’ve been on the doorstep of an FEI win for some time now.

“The win means a lot to me,” Jenny says. “I’ve never won an FEI class, so I’m really happy. He’s kind of been knocking on the door last fall at a few events, so for it to come through, it feels great. He’s so consistent.”

“He jumped great. I don’t think he touched a rail. He’s a really good show jumper naturally. For some reason I was more nervous today than usual. He let me make a couple of mistakes, and he forgave me for them, so I was really happy with that.”

Pongo looks like a fun ride — he’s on the smaller side and has a sporty little way of going, and Jenny has done a great job of figuring out his buttons and quirks.

“He’s a very careful horse, but when I got him he was very stiff,” Jenny says. “I think he didn’t have the best life before [Carol Gee, of Fernhill Sporthorses] got him. She bought him off somebody who maybe had a bit of a hard time. He seemed like he was a little roughed up. He’s really grumpy in his stall and pins his ears and bites and kicks the wall. Everybody that comes in the barn doesn’t want to be around him, but he’s the sweetest horse. He would never do anything. You walk in there and give him a scratch, and he’s like your best friend. Because he’s so sensitive like that it took me a long time to build a partnership with him.”

“He’s been a little tricky because he’s quite careful, so it’s taken me a bit of time to figure him out,” Jenny says. “Now we have a pretty good partnership going. Last year was his first year at Intermediate, then he finished off the season great. He likes to win I think. He tries his heart out — I’m just along for the ride!”

Cheers Team #Wayly!


Advanced Final Top 10

CIC2* Final Top 10

CIC1* Final Top 10

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Sunday Video from Total Saddle Fit: Cuteness Afoot at Red Hills

“Everyone acts like we’re imaginary but we know we’re real.” Photo by Leslie

In addition to Serious Eventing Stuff, there’s plenty of cuteness happening here at Red Hill International Horse Trials. Redemptive Love Farm has an amazing booth with a pony ride carousel, a farm tent where you can play with puppies or cradle a baby bunny in your arms like a baby, llamas wearing little outfits that say “Kiss Me,” and real live unicorns.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

But this video definitely takes the cute cake! Say hello to Annabelle, of Tallahassee, and her pony Flower Dash.

Annabelle, Tallahasse, FL., rides Flower Dash for her chance to accumulate points to attend WEG this Sept in Tryon, NC.

Posted by Red Hills Horse Trials on Saturday, March 10, 2018

Go Eventing!

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Specifically for eventers, the StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth now comes in two shades of brown to match monoflap jump saddles! Let your horse move more freely and breathe easier by using the same girth as Tamra Smith. See them all here: totalsaddlefit.com.