Leslie Wylie
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Pre-Game Sights & Sounds from Red Hills International Horse Trials

The eagle, er, chinchilla has landed at Red Hills International Horse Trials 2018! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Greetings from Tallahassee, a city with many attributes: state capitol, home to Florida State University, birthplace of rapper T. Pain, and also the band Creed was formed here, whoa.

As you can already tell, Jenni, who has historically covered Red Hills, has the weekend off, so you’re stuck with this girl! Personally, I’m happy to be here — I haven’t been to Red Hills in a solid eight or so years ago, back when cross country was held on a completely separate piece of property you kind of had to hack to. All I really remember is coming off course feeling like I’d had the raddest ride ever, full-speed ahead through some sort of cross country pinball chute, despite the fact that I got lost no fewer than twice and racked up a million time faults.

The venue is gorgeous — all live oaks and pine with sunlight streaming down through the Spanish moss that hangs like party streamers from the trees. The event organizers pull out all the stops to put on a good show for competitors and spectators alike, and I can’t wait to watch the action unfold.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The weather on Thursday was sunny and slightly crisp, with temperatures to rise into the 70s over the next few days. Looks like zero percent chance of rain through Saturday then thunderstorms on Sunday, but what do meteorologists know, fingers crossed for sunshine from start to finish.

Clayton’s boggin, tho. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

I tooled around the show ground yesterday, snapping photos of folks settling in for the weekend ahead and practicing their tricks.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Oh my god, you guys, I have a new girl crush: CS Carrera, a flash little mare ridden by Julie Richards and owned by Sher Schwartz, who is competing in Open Prelim. Despite being just a shade over 15 hands Carrera was OWNING that warmup ring — they call her the “Little Princess” and it’s easy to see why! Move outta the way, boys, royalty coming through!

Julie Richards and CS Carrera. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

She’s by Contendro 1 out of Beaulieu’s Cayenne, also owned by Sher, whom Julie competed through the CCI3* level. Cayenne and Carerra were tight-knit and even ventured out to events together when Carerra was just learning the ropes (there’s a sweet photo of them at the AECs together in 2014 here). When Cayenne later died in a pasture accident, I’m sure both the mare and her humans were heartbroken. So it’s extra special to see Carerra out following in her mum’s hoofprints and doing really well for herself, always finishing at the top of the scoreboard mix. She deserves to win everything all of the time, IMO.

Plus, the pair more than reminds me of Julie and another totally rotten little stinker, her brilliant late 2004 Olympic mount Jacob Two Two. Julie, for all her mile-long legs, does love those cheeky ponies!

On a related cute note:

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Th cross country course is all dolled up and ready for walking, replete with wildlife. We’ll be along shortly with a full course preview — you can check out our preview of the preview, so to speak, here.

A new addition to this year’s course: live humans as course decoration. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

“Excuse me, sir, do you have a license to be fishing here?” Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Dressage takes place for all divisions today beginning at 8 a.m. Keep it here for all the latest!

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

 

Classic EN #TBT: The Great ‘Live Bogging’ Non-Miracle of Fair Hill 2009

A great moment in EN typo history.

Live blogging, AKA posting real-time updates as a competition unfolds, comes standard in EN reporting these days. We try to do it for all the big events, especially on cross country day, as live scores alone never tell the whole story. You see someone picked up 20, but what happened and where? We can fill you in on those sorts of details. Readers appreciate it because they can follow the action at a glance, especially when there’s not a live stream to watch (or if watching live streamed horse shows for hours at a stretch is frowned upon in your workplace), and they’re great for tiding folks over until we can get a full report up at the end of the day.

Ten years ago, however, live blogging was not “a thing” yet, at least not in the horse world. Following events in realtime wasn’t something people did. If we wanted a nitty-gritty play-by-play, we hovered over the mailbox until our next Chronicle issue was delivered. An equestrian media outlet or two had played around with live blogging, like the Eventing Radio Show, which tried it at Kentucky, and it was being used in other sports.  John, baby publisher of newborn website Eventing Nation, discovered the live blog concept via ESPN and wondered if it might translate to the eventing realm.

John circa 2012. Photo used without permission from John’s Facebook page.

In October 2009, when EN was the tender age of three or four days old, John marched off to Fair Hill to launch his website in earnest and see if the live blog concept might catch in our sport.

John outlined his gameplan in this post:

“Barring any unforeseen problems, I will be sitting by the XC and typing as fast as I possibly can about who is on course, what jumps they are at, what happens at those jumps, and any other exciting developments.  My typing will appear–as I type it–right onto the Eventing Nation homepage.”

But unforeseen problems there were aplenty. After a day of highs and lows, he reflected on EN’s live blog debut:

“Today’s live blog was a truly extraordinary experience.  On one hand, I was freezing cold, very wet, felt like no one was reading, felt like I was misspelling every word, felt like I was boring, felt l was writing too little about each jump, felt like I was providing too little commentary,  etc.  On the other hand, when I stopped after 3.5 hours of madly typing, I saw that our traffic was through the roof, and that I had received some wonderful support.”

By traffic “through the roof,” John meant 156 live blog views, which I have charted above against one of our most-viewed cross country live blogs ever, the 2016 Rio Olympics. Fair Hill doesn’t even show up. It’s pretty cute. But go on, baby John!

“In one incredible moment, about three hours in, my computer battery finally started to die.  It was at 3% power and I was about to retreat to a plug, which would mean I could only hear Brian’s announcing but not see any of the action.  Just then, Karen started on course, with Phillip soon to follow, and I thought what horrible timing! I decided to stay out on course and keep typing until the bitter end.  My battery ran out, and then my computer kept going.

I live blogged on 0% power for 10 minutes.  I thought it was an Eventing Nation miracle, but I have since been informed that computers have two batteries, the main one and a small backup, who knew.

“At any rate I woke up at 5am and I need to get some sleep.  Because Eventing Nation does not exactly have a travel budget, I brought a sleeping bag and I am planning to camp out in my truck for the night.  But, if I don’t freeze to death, I look forward to seeing you at the live blog(s) tomorrow.  The factors that will influence my decision to live blog the jog and CCI2* are basically the weather and battery life.  I am also concerned that I might make people angry if I live blog the jog.  If someone were to break out a hairdo like Jon Holling’s combover in the first jog, I would not be kind.  Jon knows I kid because I love, so please check out the Holling Eventing website to make him happy with me again.

“Thanks for visiting Eventing Nation.”

Lots of things have changed since that fateful Fair Hill in 2009. John and his little baby “bog” are all grown up. Over seven million readers have visited EN since then. We reporters (usually) don’t have to sleep in our cars anymore. Facepalm-worthy headline typos are fewer and further between. We’re a little more cautious about making fun of people’s hair. But at our core we’re still the same website we’ve always been. We’re still out there at the events, typing furiously, swearing at our laptop batteries, trying our best to make you feel like you’re hunkered down in the middle of the action, too.

Red Hills International? There’s an App for That!

The future is now! Red Hills International Horse Trials has released its very own app, containing all the important info that you get in your competitor packet and then, if you’re like me, immediately proceed to lose. Including but not limited to …

  • Maps: Access CrossCountry App course maps for the CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1* courses and see where you are on the track in real time. Click on the fence number for a photo and, for the CIC3*, commentary from designer Mike Etherington-Smith. A venue map is also included, so you never again have to wander about looking for the restrooms when you were supposed to be on your horse five minutes ago.

  • Schedule: For competitors and spectators alike, Red Hills is a flurry of activity. The Schedule feature helps you keep track of what is going on when and remind you which day to wear your fancy hat.

  • Ride Times and Live Scoring: The app keeps it all in one place, and that place is at your fingertips! Extra handy if you have seven horses to ride like Will Coleman.

Other features include a listing of vendors and exhibitors on-site, which you can visit to earn points and climb the leaderboard, as well as links to social and Eventing 101 info for non-horsey spectators who are enjoying themselves but maybe not 100% sure what is going on.

Download the Red Hills app for iOS

Download the Red Hills app for Android

Don’t forget to download the EN app while you’re at it for all the latest coverage of Red Hills 2018!

Download the EN app for iOS

Download the EN app for Android

 

 

This ‘ISO Horse to Lease’ Is Honesty at Its Most Hilarious

Internet horse commerce just never gets old.

What may be the best ISO ad ever was posted to Facebook yesterday, as seen on the North Georgia Equine Tack/Farm Exchange page. Read the original post here!

“Casually ISO: first horse for teenage boy to LEASE (that means we’re not interested in buying right this very second).

“MUST (that means not optional):

“Have 4 legs that consistently work, even if one/all require(s) occasional maintenance. Legs ugly as sin but still work? Sounds great.

“Not have potential. I don’t want potential. I want “been there, done that, maxed out, have the t shirt.”

“Be at least 15.1 hands. That’s 61 inches. At the withers. Determined by an object that has increments for inches.

“Ride English and jump up to 2’6.” Could be a great English horse and has potential to be a 1* horse? Nope. See above about “potential.” I don’t care if the horse has the movement of an ostrich and is barely making it over Beginner Novice. That sounds like a winner to me.

“Maintain its sanity on both trail rides and at schooling show venues. If it needs a downer to leave the property, I’m not about that life.

“Not have one foot in the grave. Let’s be honest, teenage boys want to go fast, so a horse that will not trot unless beaten within an inch of his life is not going to work.

“Not be a spiteful shit who demands perfection. This horse needs to have a PHD in staying between the ground and a beginner rider’s bum. Needs to appreciate comedy – would prefer one who does stand up (not to be confused with rearing) on the weekend.

“Things that don’t matter:

“Breed. We don’t discriminate (unless it’s gaited – nothing gaited).

“Color. All horse lives matter.

“Sex. Mare. Gelding. Trans. Whatevs.

“Age. We already have the equine cast of Grumpy Old Men at our place, and I hear there is another open role. I don’t like baby humans and I also don’t like baby horse (brains).

“Here’s what you should know: Mom is a neurotic helicopter horse mom, so top notch treatment is guaranteed. Horse would live at home (still trying to convince my husband to let me bring them in the house). You would have pretty much daily updates via assorted forms of communication — I annoy myself with so many updates.

“Seriously though, we’re not interested in your 6yo, 1.5m horse that you want to lease out for $10k a year. I wish…but not right now. I need school-master, broke to death, has maintenance issues, ugly as sin, out of shape, you really don’t care about money but want him to have a great home. Oh, and not across the continental US from GA because I only do a 6 hour radius due to sweet tea.”

Here’s hoping they find their perfect lease — that will be one lucky horse!

#EventerProblems Vol. 133 from Ecovet: Gone Mad in Michigan

It’s that time of the year when spring seems sooooo close yet also sooooo far away. And in some parts of the country, it feels even further —  more like soooooooooooooooooo far away.

Michigan, for instance.

Snow, snow, go away, come again another … year. Photo by Brittany Weber.

Michigan eventer Brittany Weber posted these photos on Facebook earlier in the week with the explanation, “Things we do in Michigan to stay sane at the end of winter….”

Photo by Brittany Weber.

Photo by Brittany Weber.

Photo by Brittany Weber.

Photo by Brittany Weber. Also pictured, Katie Payne.

Yep, you guys look TOTALLY SANE to me.

Hang in there, Michigan! And take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Here are a few more ways eventers are making the most of the waning days of winter:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeGySKTj8H7/

Go Eventing.

Weekend Results Roundup: Twin Rivers, Rocking Horse, Sporting Days

Through rain, hail, and sun we had a pretty good weekend!!!

A post shared by Lia & Donovan (@ld.eventing) on

Eventing’s tough mudders came out to play at Twin Rivers H.T. over the weekend. The Paso Robles, California, venue got the beatdown from Mother Nature — a drenching rain the whole week leading up that resulted in flooding, mud and standing water, and culminated in a grand finale of hail. And yet, they still managed to pull off the event.

Event coordinator and resident trainer Andrea Baxter reflected on Facebook, “What a weekend … reminded us that it’s easy to run a good show when you’re dealt a hand full of aces to play … not so much when you get 2s. Anyways, thank you to everyone who helped us make lemonade out of lemons. Everyone kept smiling and most of all, had a safe and fun experience. Seriously took a village — volunteers standing in hail, officials allowing us to make decisions, competitors staying calm and optimistic, staff to work their asses off, teamwork to keep everyone and everything running smoothly.

Eventing tough. Everyone who made it through the finish flags was a winner, but here are the ones who went home with blue ribbons:

Advanced – Tamra Smith & Wembley (39.1)
Open Intermediate – Heather Morris & Charlie Tango (33.3)
Jr. Preliminary Rider – Sarah Ertl & Utah B (35.7)
Open Preliminary – Jennifer McFall & Stoneman (27.4)
Preliminary Rider – Megan Sykes & Classic’s Mojah (27.6)
Jr. Training Rider – Devon Hughes & Paint By Numbers (35.7)
Open Training – Rebecca Braitling & Frankie (30.2)
Sr. Training Rider – Molly Gibbons & Zero Gravity (32.3)
Training Horse – Auburn Excell Brady & Whitethorne Ailton (25.0)
Jr. Novice Rider – Katherine Hill & The Pied Piper (31.1)
Novice Horse – Shannon Harger & King of Hearts (30.7)
Open Novice – Anne Thompson & Tanqueray (29.5)
Sr. Novice Amateur – Golly Martin & Kaptain Jak (22.9)
Sr. Novice Rider – Amanda Zeddy & Power Puff (25.2)
Jr. Beg. Novice Rider – Pip Hayes & Fuerst Nino R (26.9)
Open Beg. Novice – Madeleine Scott & Automatic (30.0)
Sr. Beg. Novice Rider – Tania Senter & Petra (32.5)
Introductory A – Emily Schmitz & Beau Soleil (38.3)
Introductory B – Debbie Fosmark & Larapin II (30.0)

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. [Website] [Live Results]


Rocking Horse III in Altoona, Florida, saw about a gazillion competitors contest approximately one million divisions. Mega-props to organizer Jeanne Merrill and show secretary Rick Dunkerton, who both deserve a stiff drink.

Winners, PLUS some bonus categories:

  • Best smooch:
  • https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf6LtWEHEBT/

  • Lowest finishing score: 22.6, scored by Tik Maynard & SW Taleyo in Novice Horse B (22.6)
  • Best horse name: The Brave Little Toaster, ridden by Isabel Turner in Sr. Novice Rider-B
  • Favorite moment: Clark Montgomery loaned the ride on his four-star veteran Loughan Glen to Kelsie Bricker, who gave him a beautiful ride to finish 4th in Open Novice A on a 28.6. Sunday also happened to be Kelsie’s birthday!
  • Intermediate Rider – Kimberly Keeton & Keysoe (37.9)
  • Open Intermediate – Caroline Martin & Pebbly Maximus (32.7)
  • Open Intermediate (1 day) – Lynn Symansky & Under Suspection (30.3)
  • Open Preliminary-A – Bethany Hutchins-Kristen & Bronte HVF (26.9)
  • Open Preliminary-B – Jessica Phoenix & Eric GS
  • Open Preliminary (1 day)-A – Jordan Linstedt & Staccato (22.9)
  • Open Preliminary (1 day)-B – Get Gaudi (29.6)
  • Preliminary Horse-A – Kurt A Martin & Compromise Elsewhere (25.6)
  • Preliminary Horse-B – Hallie Coon & Captain Chacco (29.4)
  • Preliminary Rider-A – Emma Joan Green & McDreamy (29.2)
  • Preliminary Rider-B – Maddie McElduff & Lamondale Graciana (32.4)
  • Jr. Training Rider – Georgia Dillard & Galileo WP (25.9)
  • Open Training-A – Sam Kelly & Robinstown Ballivor (27.3)
  • Open Training-B – Andrew McConnon & Bossinova (23.4)
  • Sr. Training Rider-A – Emily Szokol & Franco SSF (30.0)
  • Sr. Training Rider-B – Chantil Ruud & Landmark’s Ginger Rogers (33.6)
  • Training Horse-A – Maya Black & Miks Master C (27.3)
  • Training Horse-B – Sharon White & Juneau (26.4)
  • Training Horse-C – Sinead Halpin & Stakkato Bronx (22.7)
  • Jr. Novice Rider – Hannah Page & WHF Wilhelmina (25.2)
  • Novice Horse-A – Nicole Carroll & Crisscross PCH (25.7)
  • Novice Horse-B – Tik Maynard & SW Taleyo (22.6)
  • Novice Horse-C – John Michael Durr & Gotta Have Faith (26.9)
  • Open Novice-A – Dani Sussman & Windchase Radiance (24.5)
  • Open Novice-B – Zachary Brandt & City So Cool (26.9)
  • Sr. Novice Rider-A – Susan Martin & Canadian Exchange (27.9)
  • Sr. Novice Rider-B – Alston Kerr & Sir Earl Grey (29.1)
  • Sr. Novice Rider-C – Cora Frisby & Don Tirso Q (27.9)
  • Jr. Beginner Novice Rider – Dale Olivia Hubbard & Isadora (28.7)
  • Open Beginner Novice-A – Stephanie Cauffman & Revonne (27.3)
  • Open Beginner Novice-B – Jamie McAllister & Shotgun Willie (24.0)
  • Sr. Beginner Novice Rider – Alston Kerr & Stolen Silver (25.8)
  • Rocking Horse III H.T. [Website] [Results]


    Sporting Days in Aiken is one of my favorite events. Friendly courses, friendly faces, friendly sport. Your winners, PLUS some:

    • Lowest finishing score: 19.3, scored by Vantastic ridden by Doug Payne in Open Novice-A.
    • Best horse name: Bradley Cooper, among the best celebrity horse names ever, ridden by Rebecca Lee in Open Preliminary-A
    • Favorite moment: Own it, girl!

    thanks for putting up with me and all my purple crazies

    A post shared by allison sharkey (@allisonsharkey) on

    • Intermediate Combined Test – Tiffani Loudon-Meetze & Class Happening (32.4)
    • Intermediate/Preliminary – Jan Byyny & Inmidair (24.2)
    • Junior Young Riders Open Preliminary – Olivia Dutton & Icabad Crane (32.8)
    • Open Preliminary-A – Phillip Dutton & Sea Of Clouds (27.8)
    • Preliminary Rider – Michael Pendelton & R Valentino Himself (29.8)
    • Junior Open Training – Rylie Galbraith & Zeta (32.3)
    • Open Training-A – Meaghan Marinovich & Subtle Punch (27.5)
    • Open Training-B – Meaghan Marinovich & London ROF (25.9)
    • Open Training-C – Elizabeth New & Newmarket Auto (33.4)
    • Prelim/Training – Erin Risso & Devon Fantasie (32.0)
    • Training Rider – Stephanie Davis & Cooley Quality Q (24.3)
    • Junior Open Novice – Campbell Jones & Aura CF (26.8)
    • Novice Rider-A – Elizabeth Kantra & Vegas Run (28.6)
    • Novice Rider-B – Anne Wilson & Call Me Waylon (32.7)
    • Open Novice-A – Doug Payne & Vantastic (19.3)
    • Open Novice-B – Jessica McCabe & Third Regiment (33.3)
    • Open Novice-C – Carol Kozlowski & Wild For Summer (28.6)
    • Open Novice-D – Valerie Vizcarrondo & Diablo Guapo (33.1)
    • Beginner Novice Rider-A – Susan Luria & Hastening Lily (30.3)
    • Beginner Novice Rider-B – Jordan Golen & Cellar Door (36.8)
    • Junior Open Beginner Novice – Rebecca Hagy & Boogaloo (23.8)
    • Open Beginner Novice-A – Jasmine Hobart & Strongest (31.3)
    • Open Beginner Novice-B – Valerie Vizcarrondo & Slick Moves (23.3)

    Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Results]

    Congrats to all. Go Eventing!

    A Rough-Cut Sneak Preview of Red Hills CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1* Cross Country

    Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

    The 20th anniversary edition of Red Hills International kicks off later this week, March 8-11, at Elinor Klapp Phipps Park in Tallahassee. The cross country track is always a sight to see, a mossy-green scenic tour through open spaces and woods of live oak and pine — riders have been known to pick up billowing bridal veils of Spanish moss along the way.

    Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

    The 2018 edition marks Mike Etherington-Smith’s fourth year as designer of the CIC3* and Advanced courses; the CIC2*, Intermediate, CIC1* and Prelim courses are designed by David O’Conor. Shout-out to builders Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert for their work in creating a course that melds seamlessly with the landscape.

    Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

    “Over the last few years I’ve been working with the team here at Red Hills to create as much versatility within the venue as possible, to give the opportunity to turn the course around, do some changes of direction and give a slightly different feel to the course from year to year,” Mike explains.

    EN outlined a few of the changes last week, the biggest being that the courses are turned around for all levels. Competitors have other improvements to look forward to as well. “Massive amounts of work have been done by the team here in improving the footing and opening up the rides … it looks so different now to when I first came here,” Mike says.

    Let’s have a first look, courtesy of the good folks at CrossCountry App. There is audio from Mike on the CIC3* — thank you for the recordings, Jane Barron! We’ll be along later this week with an updated gallery of the fences, dolled up, flagged and ready for action — Red Hills has already posted a few photos on its Facebook page here.

    CIC3*

    CIC2*

    CIC1*

    Elsewhere on the grounds, preparations are well underway! Hosting an event takes a village, and we salute everyone who is hard at work behind-the-scenes this week at Red Hills.

    A total of 39 combinations are entered to contest the CIC3*, which will serve as the first major competition on the 2018 calendar for U.S. and Canadian combinations as we look ahead to the World Equestrian Games at Tryon. Click here to view the entry list.

    The action starts Friday, March 9 with dressage for all divisions. Both show jumping and cross country will take place for the CIC3* on Saturday, March 10, along with cross country for all other divisions. Sunday, March 11 will feature show jumping for all remaining divisions. Click here for the full schedule.

    Tickets for spectators can be purchased on the Red Hills website.

    #EventerFailFriday: So Extra

    Being “extra” is a phrase that linguistic pioneers of the Internet have been bandying about lately, meaning over-the-top, excessive, dramatic, etc. Example:

    I don’t know what is going on in that GIF, but I think we can all agree that it qualifies as extra. Here are a few of your most extra moments:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BZsczoDn3Uy/

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

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BM9E5NfjnAj/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BeI0zL7H76Q/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BPfne0cjFv3/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BdSPlnjHp2Q/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BYzRg1ynyTw/

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

    Stay extra, EN. Go Eventing!

    20 More Eventing Rules to Live By

    Even more port-o-potty pro tips, coming right up! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

    Earlier this week I listed out some unwritten, unspoken lessons I’ve learned while participating in this magnificent sport (see “Never Look Down in the Port-a-Potty and Other Eventing Rules to Live By“). I invited our readers, a veritable wellspring of wisdom and truth, to chime in.

    My #1 rule, regarding port-a-potties, was immediately debunked by reader Danielle E., who commented, “But if you don’t look into the port-a-potty, how can you be sure no one’s there??” She then linked to this traumatizing story about a Colorado peeper who was sentenced to prison after hiding in the tank of a port-a-potty to spy on women at a yoga festival.

    No more talking from you, Danielle E.!

    But the sage port-o-potty advice didn’t stop there. At last three readers shared first-hand experiences of dropping personal items in the port-o-potty.

    • Take your keys out of your pants pocket before squatting (good Lord — never actually SIT) on the PP. Especially when you are in charge of your friend’s truck keys… — Amy L. 
    • Never drop your phone in the potty. #truestory –Sarah D.
    • Always take your phone out of your back pocket before you drop trow in the porta-pot. –Polly M. 

    And there was was this bright-side observation:

    • Feel proud that you can put on white breeches and a white shirt in a porta-potty. –Briana T.

    We are a talented bunch, indeed. And wise. Here are a few more reader-submitted eventing rules to live by:

    • Modesty is an overrated quality when it comes to quick clothing changes between phases (even more so when riding multiple horses). –Elizabeth P. 
    • The all else fails rules:
      1) leave with your horse and come back with your horse
      2) there is no crying in eventing
      3) don’t scare the spectators
      4) on Monday morning, nobody cares –Susan B.
    • Have everything broken down and packed into the trailer. When you are done with your last ride take your horse back to the stall (where you left shipping boots, one bucket of water, one brush). While your horse chills in the stall for a bit go throw your tack into the trailer and pull your trailer out of the lot … go get your horse and leave! We used to get stuck for hours at the Kentucky Horse Park while everyone was packing up … total gridlock! –Brenda J. 
    • Always go left shoulder to left shoulder in warm up. Do not park in front of a warm up fence to chat with your trainer. Don’t take things personally. –Christy P.
    • Some of the nicest people I ever met wore on trail rides. –Terry R. 
    • Share! Tack, blankets, hay, dodgy bits on cross country, locations of the best bars. –Elizabeth P. 
    • Never thank a volunteer as you are approaching an Intermediate doghouse hanging diagonally over a ditch with running water in it. Chances are you won’t get over that jump. –Polly M.
    • Always pack an extra of everything, including all four shoes with studs in them. Pack the rain gear in spite of the weather report, and extra batteries for your cross country watch. –Polly M.
    • As I learned this weekend: If your horse comes off the trailer with three shoes, and you’re CERTAIN that in your not-enough-coffee morning daze you did check, look through the poop piles in the trailer. It might be in there! #myhorseistalented –Helen K.
    • Always tell your rival “have a good ride.” Because eventing is hard enough. Don’t make it catty. And if on a fluke they get hurt … you will NEVER forgive yourself for not being kind. –Amy N.
    • Bring dogs/kids/non-horsey people we love them, keep dogs/kids/non-horsey people on leash (figuratively as it is frowned upon to tether clueless non-horsey S.O. to one’s self). –Elizabeth P. 
    • If you have two of something small but important, bring both. Related, if the nice person stabled next to you forgot their stock pin/cross country watch/pinny holder and you are done using yours for the day (or have an extra), consider loaning yours out temporarily. It takes a village! Besides, you never know when you might be the person who needs a stock pin at 4:30 on Friday after all the upper level riders are done. –Alex N.
    • If the field where the trailers are parked is very muddy and you think you might get stuck … you probably will. So don’t even try and park somewhere safer even if it means a lot more walking! –Christine G.
    • Be a good citizen in the warm up area. –Laury P.
    • Definitely wine. –Jennifer K.

    Go Eventing.

    #TBT Video from Nupafeed: 1950s-Era Windsor Horse Trials

    Have you guys been watching Netflix series The Crown? It’s sooooo good, and the horsiness of the royal family makes it even more fun to watch.

    Real life Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret all make cameos in this 1950s-era film reel from Windsor Horse Trials — Margaret is on horseback, of course. Set against the backdrop of Windsor Castle, it’s a highlight reel of all three phases, including some effortless-looking cross country performances by the Olympic champions and Badminton winners of the day, and plenty of spills as well, usually followed by remounts and do-overs. One rider loses his helmet somewhere on course but doesn’t let that slow him down. “This guy’s lost his cap but at least he’s kept his seat!,” the narrator cheerfully observes.

    Oh, the bad good old days.

    If you’re slightly obsessed with the royal horse gal set like me, check out Natalie Voss’ story “All the Queen’s Horses” in the new March/April of UnTacked magazine. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth II has received more than 26 horses as royal gifts over the years!

    Go Eventing.

    Get Your Advanced Kentucky Tickets Today! Prices Increase at Midnight

    Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

    You know you gotta be there, it’s the beginning of the month, maybe you just got paid … carpe diem! Today is your last chance to get 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event tickets at advanced purchase pricing.

    Advanced prices end at midnight tonight, Thursday, March 1. Some ticket options will also change:

    • All ticket prices increase.
    • Group pricing will not be available.
    • 3-day and 4-day Ground Admission passes will not be available.
    • Glamping will not be available.
    • Patron Club and Kentucky Club combination tickets will not be available.
    • Discounted advance-purchase programs will not be available.

    A new ticketing system, unveiled for the 2018 event, has made the process of buying tickets even simpler. Purchases that in the past we’ve had to call in, like group tickets, can now be easily be done online.

    The event takes place Wednesday, April 25 through Sunday, April 29. You can view the provisional schedule here.

    New this year is Saturday’s CSI3* $225,000 Invitational Show Jumping Grand Prix, to be held after cross country country, and Friday’s $35,000 1.45m FEI ranking class, held after Friday’s dressage. There is no charge for the Grand Prix or ranking class tickets, but seats must be reserved through the ticketing system ahead of time.

    Order your tickets today at www.KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets!

     

     

     

    Hallie Coon and Caroline Martin Selected for 2018 Karen Stives European Tour

    Hallie Coon and Celien. Photo by Jenni Autry.

    Congratulations are in order for Hallie Coon and Caroline Martin, who have been selected by the USET Foundation as the recipients of the 2018 Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grants.

    Hallie and Caroline will spend a month in England on the Karen E. Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour, competing at the Houghton Hall CICO3* (May 24-27) and Bramham CCI3*-U25 (June 7-10). In addition to training with USEF Emerging Athletes Coach Leslie Law, who will coach them at both competitions, the riders will further their education in between the two events by visiting the yards of Carl Hester and William Fox-Pitt as well as steeplechasing training facilities.

    The opportunity is owed to the generosity of the late Karen Stives, who donated $1 million to the USET Foundation to create a fund that would give up-and-coming U.S. riders valuable international experience.

    Competing on the tour will allow Hallie, of Brunswick, Maine, to make her overseas debut. “I’ve done the standard trip up to Bromont, but that’s hardly outside the U.S.,” Hallie says. “I’m floored that we get to compete against the best Under-25 riders in the world, as well as everyone else in the class and be able to compare yourself to them.”

    She’ll take Celien, an 11-year-old Dutch mare owned by Hallie and Helen Coon. “She’s my three-star mare and she’s great because she really handles the atmosphere well,” Hallie says. “She’s always cool and collected, so she’ll travel quite well. I’m very excited.”

    Hallie says she was surprised and thrilled to receive the grant: “I never thought I would have this opportunity, but we’re so lucky to have this funding and it was so generous for Karen to have left this for us. It’s just a great opportunity to have as Under-25 riders. I don’t think we’ve really had this much support in the past and I’m just really lucky to be doing this at the time I am. I’m really looking forward to it.”

    Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus at Bramham in 2017. Photo by Adam Fanthorpe.

    This year marks Caroline’s third consecutive receipt of the grant. She says, “It’s been a really great season so far. I had really good luck last year with two of my horses, Pebbly Maximus and Danger Mouse.”

    The Ocala-based rider continues, “Being able to win this and represent my country is just incredible. I’m really proud to represent Karen Stives on the international stage and to be able to keep getting support from my country and the education competing overseas is unreal. It’s great to spend the month over there with a horse. Being able to be trained by Leslie Law for the entire time is really a great honor.”

    [Hallie Coon and Caroline Martin Awarded 2018 USET Foundation Karen Stives Endowment Fund Grant]

    ‘Never Look Down in the Port-a-Potty’ and Other Eventing Rules to Live By

    Photo by Leslie Wylie.

    The official rulebook is important, but there are a few aspects of eventing you’ve just got to learn on your own. Here are a few unwritten, unspoken lessons I’ve learned, a few of them the hard way:

    • Before you put your horse on the trailer, especially if you’re heading to a faraway event, take a moment to jog him and check his shoes.

    • Know how to change a flat.

    • Make copies of important paperwork and keep them in a binder in your truck.

    • Get to know the people stabled next to you. It’s a great way of making connections and friends.

    • Make checklists — ESPECIALLY if you’re not a checklist-type person.

    • If you think you need an hour to get ready, give yourself an hour and a half.

    • A smile at the judge might not help, but it can’t hurt!

    • Be nice to the show secretary and officials. They don’t get paid enough.

    • Thank every volunteer you see. Without them, there would be no eventing. If you have a few spare hours between rides, volunteer yourself.

    • Expect the best but ALWAYS have a backup plan.

    • Try not to get eliminated for something dumb, like forgetting your spurs in the Intermediate test or cruising past a jump.

    • Dump your manure at the back of the manure heap. Don’t be “that person.”

    • Never use new products or equipment for the first time at an event. It can be tempting, I know. DON’T.

    • If the course looks big, walk it again. Defying all laws of physics, jumps grow smaller with each successive course walk.

    • If after several course walks the course still looks big, grab a go-cup of wine from the competitor’s party and give it one more try.

    • Have a start box ritual, whether it’s visualization, a prayer, a mantra or just a deep breath.

    • When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with sitting up and closing your leg.

    • Unhook your vest before dismounting!

    • Call your mom/significant other/etc. after cross country. They worry.

    • When you have a bad day, don’t act like it’s the end of the world. Because it’s not.

    • When you have a good day, remember that you didn’t get there alone.

    • If you feel like dancing at the competitors’ party, you ought to.

    • SERIOUSLY, THANK EVERY VOLUNTEER YOU SEE.

    • And whatever you do, never ever look down in the Port-a-Potty!

    What would you add to the list? Leave your “rules” in the comments section below.

    Go Eventing!

    2028 Olympic Talent Watch: ‘Maeve the Brave’ Is Coming For Us All

    The 2028 U.S. Eventing Team is already out there somewhere, and it’s up to us all to nurture their talent and their big dreams. “2028 Olympic Talent Watch” is an (adorable) new series in which we identify junior eventers who are already exhibiting the heart and the guts to lead American eventing to glory in the (distant) future. Any short-stirrup riders you know come to mind? Email us their story at [email protected] This week’s edition features Maeve Callahan, age 10.

    Photo courtesy of the Callihan family.

    California duo Maeve “the Brave” Callahan and Lady Viking turned heads last year, tackling their Introductory courses with signature focus and determination and earning the USEA 2017 Area VI Intro Junior Champion award.

    Maeve, age 10, and her flea bitten grey Quarter Horse “Freya” currently compete at the Introductory, with an eye a move-up to Beginner Novice later this year. She trains with Auburn Excell and Rebecca Farley of Excell Equestrian in San Juan Capistrano, California.

    Photo courtesy of the Callihan family.

    In addition to riding, Maeve is a talented child actor, associated with the South Coast Repertory Acting Conservatory in Costa Mesa. She had her acting debut in A Christmas Carol this winter, in which she performed the role of Tiny Tim.

    Currently, Mauve is sidelined with a foot injury — no fun for an active kid! We wish her a swift recovery and happy return to the saddle soon!

    Photo courtesy of the Callihan family.

    #EventerFailFriday: Life’s a Ditch

    After a long hiatus, #EventerFailFriday is back with a vengeance! This week’s theme: Horses for whom this shirt does NOT apply.

    No shirt for you, ditchy pony! Available from DappleBay.com.

    Because they’ve got just one deep, dark, scary problem.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BY4NAwon_RZ/

    #eventerfailfriday

    A post shared by Sonja Hanlon-Barker (@painthorze) on

    Little Arrow didn’t realize that was a bright blue tarp in the previously empty Liverpool until she was halfway over it, so she thought it would be a good idea to land half on it and throw in a buck for good measure to express her feelings. We’re also looking for a new saddle for her as hers slides to the right quite a bit due to her uneven shoulders, which she’s learned to use to her advantage. And honestly I just wasn’t expecting that from her since she was being a star that day. 😂 Regardless I’m still super happy with her progress and how well she’s doing considering she only started jumping consistently a couple months ago. • • #arrow #failtuesday #eventerproblems #eventersofinstagram #3daze #naughtpony #jumping #andfalling #horsesofinstagram #equestrianlife #babyhorse

    A post shared by Adele Wong 🇨🇦🇸🇬 (@eventing_raffetouille) on

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bel6lIGnIgL/

    It feels good to be back, EN. Bring on the fail. Tag your own horsey struggles on IG with #EventerFailFriday!

    Go Eventing.

    Product Review: HWH20 Collection by Horseware

    Leslie Wylie and Pixie Pumphrey setting off into the icy monsoon race organizers described as an “BIBLICAL.” Photo by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby.

    The most ridiculous rain I’ve ever encountered was on day two of the 2017 Mongol Derby. It felt like we were galloping through a hurricane, with visibility reduced to a stride or two in front of us. It seemed like it wasn’t just pouring down from above but blowing at us sideways and rising up from the ground as well. Alternate caption to the above photo: “Hang on, I’m Ubering us a Noah’s Ark.”

    Coupled with the sub-zero windchill (one of the horse stations actually blew over, sending over 40 ponies skittering off into the hills), the monsoon was a recipe for hypothermia, which ended up taking sidelining several riders and taking one American out of the race completely.

    If I hadn’t had top-of-the-line rain gear, I would have been toast. Soggy toast. Toast that got tossed into a pond and floated around for so long that even the ducks were too grossed out to eat it. Thankfully I was kitted out in a jacket from Horseware’s HWH2O Collection. Created from waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric complete with taped seams, with the HWH20 Jacket I could ride into the storm with confidence that if I died (not out of the question!) at least it wasn’t going to be because of the weather.

    HWH20 Jacket. Image courtesy of Horseware.

    Speaking of dying, did I mention that these ponies were semi-feral? One invaluable pre-race pro tip I received was to choose my rain jacket with extreme care, in the understanding that these equines don’t take kindly to any sort of flutter-flapping or noisy crinkling. This gal, for instance, didn’t fare too well:

    The HWH20 Jacket, on the other hand, is lightweight yet has enough structure so it won’t be billowing about, critical whether you’re straddling some bug-eyed, fire-breathing descendant of a Mongol war horse or you’re taking a rainy-day jump lesson on a scary-fit event horse. The fabric, a breathable stretch woven polyester, is silky soft and not restrictive or rubbery feeling at all. Even on the stretches when it got warm, I never felt like I was getting sweaty or suffocating in there.

    When it was cold, the jacket’s cut was generous enough to allow for layers yet still form fitting. I don’t care if you’re in Wellington or lost on the steppe, nobody wants to look like they’re riding around in a garbage bag! The reflective silvery accents were a nice touch. If I’m going to die, I at  least want to look fresh-to-death doing it.

    Packability was a major perk as well. The jacket squished down into its own pocket, so it took up minimal space in my saddle bag.

    Of course, ultimately, even the best rain jacket in the land could not save me from myself.

    Oops! Luckily, I caught up with a jacket before the next storm rolled through, phew. A few more items of HWH2O gear that were clutch before, during and after the Derby …

    HWH20 Poncho. Image courtesy of Horseware.

    The HWH20 Poncho offers full-body rain protection. It drapes down to just above the knee, so paired with some wellies or waterproof boots you’re good to go anywhere the sun don’t shine. This poncho is as at home at the barn as it is out in “the real world.” I don’t know if it’s the elegant drape or what, but walking down the street in this makes me feel like the heroine of a French spy movie. The oversized front pocket is perfect for stashing stuff you don’t want to get wet — wallet, phone, check for the farrier, adorable baby marsupial … hey, I don’t know your life!

    It also packs down into its own pocket, trés handy. Also available in a pretty grey.

    HWH20 Pullups. Image courtesy of Horseware.

    Rain pants! How have I never owned a pair of these before? When it comes to staying dry, why do we prioritize the top half of our body and leave the bottom half hanging?! HWH20 Pullups are perfect for slipping on over your breeches for rainy-day barn chores or a drizzly hack. An elastic strap slides over your boot to keep them from riding up, and the full-seat cut keeps you comfy and free to do your thing in the saddle.

     

    HWH20 Bag. Photo courtesy of Horseware.

    This! Bag! You guys! I used the HWH20 Bag as my Derby finish line bag so I’d have a stash of clean, dry clothes, some non-goat/mutton post-race victory snacks (read: chocolate bars and wine), and a few other essentials to get me through finish camp. But since then I’ve used it on camping trips and as a horse show bag — it’s basically a totally waterproof backpack, making it perfect for hauling out to the ring or the cross country finish no matter what the weather. Non-manufacturer-approved don’t-try-this-at-home-kids #protip: I’ve also used it as a portable beer cooler.

    Horseware has been keeping our horses warm and dry for years, and now we humans can get in on the action, too. Bonus that the HWH20 line is a great value, and even better — it’s all currently on sale!

    HWH20 Jacket ($130 $125)
    HWH20 Poncho ($130 $120)
    HWH20 Pullups ($130 $120)
    HWH20 Bag ($70 $65)

    Check out the complete HWH20 line here. Go Horseware. Go Eventing! 

     

    USEF: Failure to Report Suspected Sexual Abuse & Misconduct Is a Crime

    Logos via US Equestrian and U.S. Center for Safe Sport.

    Following a letter issued to members yesterday (see “USEF President, CEO Issue Direct Address on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct“), the USEF has posted an update regarding previously pending Senate Bill 534, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.

    The Bill went to the President’s desk after passing the House and Senate in late January. It was signed into law on Feb. 14 and is effective immediately.

    An explanation of the law via the US Equestrian Communications Department:

    Senate Bill 534, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 has been signed into law, becoming effective immediately. The bill imposes a duty on amateur sports organizations, including US Equestrian and its members, to report suspected sex-abuse to local or federal law enforcement or to a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department, within 24 hours. Failure to report is subject to criminal penalties.

    The bill amends two federal statutes: the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 and the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978.

    Within the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, the bill extends the mandatory duty to report to US Equestrian members and participants, who must report suspected sexual abuse to authorities within 24 hours. An individual who does not report the suspected sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties. Additionally, the bill extends the statute of limitations for victims to bring a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator and allows a claim for punitive damages.

    The bill also amends the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 in several ways. Firstly, it designates the U.S. Center for SafeSport to serve as the independent national safe sport organization. This designation includes the responsibility for developing policies and procedures to prevent emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of amateur athletes. The bill also modifies the obligations of amateur athletic organizations, including National Governing Bodies (NGBs) such as US Equestrian.

    These organizations must abide by all policies and procedures to prevent any type of abuse. They also must comply with all reporting requirements, establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between athletes who are minors and an adult, offer and provide consistent training to members who are in contact with minors, as well as establish ways to prohibit retaliation against the victim.

    Importantly, under the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Code and US Equestrian’s Safe Sport Policy, members of and participants in US Equestrian-licensed competitions and sponsored programs are required to report any suspected sexual misconduct to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, regardless of when and where the misconduct occurred.

    “US Equestrian, as the NGB of equestrian sport, puts the safety and welfare of our members and horses first,” says US Equestrian President Murray Kessler. “The safety of our children is of utmost importance and US Equestrian supports the passage of this bill and sees it as an important step towards making our sport safe and enjoyable for all. We have taken many necessary steps to educate our members on the importance of the Safe Sport, but the work has only begun. We value our partnership with the U.S. Center for SafeSport and look forward to connecting our members to the resources that it has to offer.”

    View this FAQ for more information on the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. For more information about the U.S. Center for SafeSport or the Safe Sport Policy, contact Sonja S. Keating at [email protected].

    Visit the USEF Safe Sport page here and the U.S. Center for Safe Sport website here

    [Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 Signed Into Law]

    [Safe Sport – Keeping Our Sport Safe for All]

    [Bill Protecting Athletes From Abuse Signed Into Law]

     

    Kris Belford Ferguson’s Memory Lives on at Fresno County Horse Park

    Photo courtesy of Kris Belford Ferguson’s family.

    In October 2016, Area VI lost a beloved member in Kris Belford Ferguson. Kris was a loving wife, devoted mother of two children, friend to all, and woman of many talents who harbored a lifelong love of horses and eventing in particular.

    When she was overcome by cancer, friends within the eventing community sought a way to honor Kris’ memory. Earlier, Janice Barr had hatched an idea to to have a memorial cross country fence built at Fresno County Horse Park and worked with Kris to design it. A GoFundMe raised over $3,000 to turn their dream into reality, and the fence debuted on the course last year.

    Sketch of the memorial fence. Courtesy of Janice Barr.

    Photo courtesy of Janice Barr.

    A perpetual trophy was also founded in Kris’ honor, to be awarded annually to the first year Preliminary rider who acquires the most points. Janice explains, “Kris always wanted to compete as a Preliminary rider but didn’t have time to make that happen.”

    The trophy will be awarded for the first time tomorrow at this weekend’s Fresno County Horse Park H.T. Kris’ family will be in attendance at the award-giving.

    The inaugural recipient is Jaya Mayne of Costa Mesa. Jaya is 15 years old and started eventing four-and-a-half years ago. She trains with Lisa and Brian Sabo and says, “Thanks to them and my parents, they are the reason that any of this is possible.”

    Jaya’s horse is Graf Gerhardt, AKA “Gary,” an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding she has owned since he was 6. They began competing at Prelim together last year, and she says the move-up was a steep learning curve — everything felt like it was coming up 10 times faster, she explains.

    Jaya Mayne and Graf Gerhardt. Photo courtesy of Jaya Mayne.

    “However, in doing this level, it really put us on the edge of our seats,” she says. “It forced Gary and I to grow as partners through all the aspects of this sport. I learned, and still am learning, that being a ‘shy’ person is not what is going to get you through this sport. It requires someone to think and ride as the leader. With that being said you have to know when to trust your horse which is very important.”

    The pair has had several top finishes at the level, including wins at Copper Meadows last September and Galway Downs earlier this month. Jaya’s goals for 2018 are to successfully compete through the one-star level, earn her C2/HB Pony Club rating, and represent Area VI at NAJYRC this summer.

    Jaya says that while Gary is “not the most affectionate horse in the barn, so to speak,” the two of them share a special bond that helps us get through the ups and downs of training: “We are absolute best friends. Everyday he greets me with a big smile in hoping of getting some treats … his big personality and humor around the barn is always something that can brighten your day. It’s hard to explain in words how strong our relationship has become over these past two years.”

    Jaya Mayne and Graf Gerhardt. Photo by EK Photography.

     

    Jaya describes winning the perpetual trophy as a tremendous honor. “My aspirations are to always be someone like Kris Belford Ferguson because of the amazing things and people she touched with her life,” she says. “I can not thank everyone enough for this amazing opportunity and wish to always be like Mrs. Ferguson in her character in this sport and community.”

    Best of luck to Jaya, and many thanks to the eventing community for their dedication to honoring Kris’ memory. Janice says, “This perpetual trophy will be awarded for many years to come, so Kris Belford Ferguson’s spirit will be with us always.”

    Event Horse Names: Valentine’s Day Edition

    We eventers heart our horses! I mean, like, we heart-heart them. Even though they don’t always heart us back.

    Based on a true story. Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

    So it’s no surprise that there are a gazillion event horses out there with sweet mushy-gushy lovey-dovey names. Here’s a word cloud created from a few we pulled up from the USEA horse registration database:

    Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

    Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance, sired by A Fine Romance. Photo by Jenni Autry.

    Pretty cute. But my favorite subgenre of Valentine’s Day appropropriate event horse names?

    Fun fact: There are actually three horses named “Better Than a Boyfriend” in the USEA database. Nice work, ladies. Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

    Happy Valentine’s Day out there!

    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 Party, Christmas and What’s For Breakfast?

    2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Releases Provisional Schedule

    Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

    Sure, we still have a few months of pesky winter to suffer through, but in our hearts it’s already springtime in Kentucky and the birds are singing and the four-star horses are galloping past. Here’s the just-released provisional schedule to give you something tangible to cling to as the countdown to the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event begins.

    It’s mostly business as usual, but there are a few debut activities to look forward to. New this year is Saturday’s CSI3* $225,000 Invitational Show Jumping Grand Prix, to be held after cross country country, and Friday’s $35,000 1.45m FEI ranking class, held after Friday’s dressage. There is no charge for the Grand Prix or ranking class tickets, but seats must be reserved through the ticketing system ahead of time. Speaking of tickets, you can get yours here.

    Wednesday, April 25
    1 p.m. Cross-Country Course Open to the Public
    3 p.m. First Horse Inspection — High Hope Inspection Lane
    4:30–6 p.m. Competitor Arena Familiarization — Rolex Stadium


    Thursday, April 26
    7 a.m. Gates Open
    8 a.m.–5 p.m. Hospitality Tents Open (Hospitality Ticket Required)
    8 a.m. Dressage Test Ride — Rolex Stadium
    8:30 a.m.–Noon Dressage Tests Begin — Rolex Stadium
    8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sponsor Village & Trade Fair Open
    12:45–2:30 p.m. Demonstrations and Exhibitions — Walnut Ring unless otherwise noted
    1:30–3:40 p.m. Dressage Tests Continue — Rolex Stadium
    4:30–6 p.m. Arena Familiarization — Rolex Stadium
    6:30–9 p.m. Barley, Barrels, and Bluegrass Dinner – The Livery (Ticket Required)


    Friday, April 27
    7 a.m. Gates Open
    8 a.m.–5 p.m. Hospitality Tents Open (Hospitality Ticket Required)
    8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sponsor Village & Trade Fair Open
    8:30 a.m.–Noon Dressage Tests Resume — Rolex Stadium
    10:45 a.m.–4 p.m. Demonstrations and Exhibitions — Walnut Ring unless otherwise noted
    11 a.m. Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Horse Inspection — High Hope Inspection Lane
    1:30–4:30 p.m. Dressage Tests Continue
    6 p.m. Kentucky Invitational CSI3* $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup 1.45m — Rolex Stadium
    6:30 p.m. The Head Up Heels Down 5K. Portion or proceeds go to the 2018 official charity, Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass. (Register to walk/run here.)


    Saturday, April 28
    7 a.m. Gates Open (including Land Rover Tailgating)
    8 a.m.–5 p.m. Hospitality Tents Open (Hospitality Ticket Required)
    8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sponsor Village & Trade Fair Open
    8:30 a.m.–10 a.m. Prince Philip Cup Mounted Games — TBD
    8:30 a.m.–2:15 p.m. Demonstrations and Exhibitions — Walnut Ring unless otherwise noted

    10 a.m.–4 p.m. Cross-Country Test (Horses start every 4 minutes. There will not be a 1½ hour lunch break.)
    11 a.m. Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Autograph Signing
    Noon Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Course Walk — Rolex Stadium
    3:30 p.m. Kentucky Invitational CSI3* Opening Ceremonies — Rolex Stadium
    4:30 p.m. $225,000 Kentucky Invitational CSI3* 1.60m — Rolex Stadium


    Sunday, April 29
    7 a.m. Gates Open
    7:30 a.m. Non-Denominational Worship Service — Pavilion between Stonelea/Claiborne Rings
    8 a.m.–3 p.m. Hospitality Tents Open (Hospitality Ticket Required)
    8 a.m. Second Inspection of Horses — High Hope Inspection Lane
    8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Sponsor Village & Trade Fair Open
    9:30–11 a.m. Champions Live! — Kentucky Club
    11 a.m. Jumping Course Open for Competitor Inspection — Rolex Stadium
    11:30 a.m. Presentation of the Teams of the USPC Prince Philip Cup — Rolex Stadium
    Noon Opening Ceremony & Presentation of Officials and Flags — Rolex Stadium
    1 p.m. Jumping Test Begins — Rolex Stadium
    3 p.m. Presentation of the Awards — Rolex Stadium

    For more information, visit the website here.

    Consensus Collapses, Dies at Ocala Winter I H.T.

    Julie Norman and Consensus. Photo by Kasey Mueller.

    We are heartbroken to report that Consensus, an 18-year-old Thoroughbred/Hanoverian gelding owned by Julie Norman and ridden by Adriana Beruvides, collapsed and died this afternoon on the Prelim cross country course at Ocala Winter I H.T.

    The USEA released the following statement:

    “The Equiventures Organizing Committee regrets to announce the death of Consensus, an 18-year-old Thoroughbred/Hanoverian gelding (Contucci x Miss Me Not 2823) owned by Julie Norman and ridden by Adriana Beruvides.

    “Consensus was competing in the Open Preliminary division, collapsed during the cross-country phase between fences 16 and 17 and died of natural causes. Beruvides was attended to on site and then was transferred to Ocala Regional Hospital for further care.

    The Organizing Committee of the Equiventures Horse Trials and the USEA wishes to extend its deepest sympathy and condolences to all of Consensus’ connections.”

    Consensus, known around the barn as “Thomas,” was campaigned through the four-star level by Julie Norman, with whom he completed the 2014 Kentucky Three-Day Event. The story of their partnership is a star-crossed one: She came across him being marketed as a dressage horse, and while he was 8 years old, had only ever jumped a few crossrails, and was quite the bucker, Julie was dazzled and set to work on her new event project. Her faith paid off and they steadily advanced up the levels, eventually tackling the biggest tracks in the country.

    More recently, Julie handed the reins to student Adriana, whom Thomas has shown the ropes through the Prelim/one-star level over the past couple years, even contesting the NAJYRC 1* in 2017.

    Our deepest sympathies to Julie, Adriana and all those whose lives Thomas touched.

    Friday Videos from World Equestrian Brands: EA’s How-To Guide to Fitting MIM Clips

    When it comes to eventing safety Equestrian Australia (EA) has led the eventing world by example. Several governing bodies have cast their support for mandatory use of frangible technology on certain types of cross country fences, but Australia was among the first to put its money where its mouth is.

    In December 2017 EA instated a rule change effective Feb. 1, 2018, wherein frangible devices must be utilized “on those fences in 1*/2*/3*/4* courses in Australia (National and FEI events) where the materials fit the specifications for use of a frangible device.” To support the mandate, EA’s Making Eventing Safer Fund distributed $45,000 toward the rollout of frangible devices at all EA events across Australia, with funding to be matched by State Eventing Committees, meaning a total of $90,000 was earmarked for improving safety.

    The U.S. has followed suit: In 2017, a new rule — EV140.9 b — was implemented requiring organizers to include frangible technology in the construction of oxers at the Modified level and above. As we reported earlier this week, USEF will be continuing its Eventing Frangible Technology Grant Program in 2018 in partnership with the USEA. Through the program, organizers of USEF-licensed events that offer divisions at Prelim and above may apply for a grant to supplement the cost of frangible devices for their cross country courses.

    So we’re well on our way to safer cross country obstacles. Now it’s time to talk brass tacks: How do we install these things? EA has released a helpful series of videos to guide us through the process.

    First up, some MIM clip 101:

    How to fit the MIM system to tables:

    Post and rail system:

    Gate and wall system:

    Keep up the good work, EA and all those fighting the good fight for a safer sport. Go Eventing!