Classic Eventing Nation

Swiss Olympian Felix Vogg Decides to Call America Home

Felix Vogg and Caroline Martin at WEG 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

After spending the 2018 season based in America in the lead-up to the FEI World Equestrian Games, Swiss Olympian Felix Vogg has decided to permanently call the U.S. home. He has officially set up a business alongside Caroline Martin and will be splitting the year between Ocala, Florida, and Riegelsville, Pennsylvania.

“The decision to stay in America was on one side because of Caroline, and on the other side to have the opportunity to train with Phillip Dutton and also with Boyd Martin,” Felix said.

“I like working with Caroline together. We have the same goals and the same mindset that we want to reach. It’s good to have someone every day who works with you together on the goals.”

At 28 years old, Felix already has extensive experience representing Switzerland at major championships. Following a four-year cycle of competing in the Junior & Young Rider Europeans, his longtime partner Onfire carried Felix to his first senior team at the 2013 European Championships in Malmö.

Felix Vogg and Onfire at WEG 2014. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Felix competed in his first World Equestrian Games at Normandy in 2014 with Onfire, and the 2002 Thoroughbred gelding (Hand in Glove xx X Latinana xx, by Le Bavard xx) also secured a spot on the Swiss team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

After making their Olympic debut, Felix and Onfire clinched the biggest win of their career at the Saumur CCI4*-L and represented Switzerland at the 2017 European Championships at Strzegom, which would ultimately be the horse’s final international competition before retiring.

Now Felix is looking ahead to the future of his career with an exciting string of horses he hopes to continue expanding in the U.S. His top horse, Colero, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding (Captain Fire X Bonita, by Bormio xx), completed his first championships at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

Felix Vogg and Colero at WEG 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld

Colero will now aim for his first CCI5*-L at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April. While Felix hopes to represent Switzerland at the 2019 European Championships at Luhmühlen, his most pressing goal by far is to compete at his second Olympic Games next year in Tokyo.

“I will try to go for the Europeans, but my eyes are more on the Olympics because I have to qualify again as an individual, which isn’t that easy. I need points to qualify, so I have to pick quite carefully which competitions I ride in. I have to get good placings.”

Felix has a new horse in his string in Archie Rocks, who he purchased from Maya Studenmund in December. “Archie,” an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Le Monde X Unbridled Diva, by Unbridled Jet), won the Plantation Field CCI4*-S and finished third in the Fair Hill International CCI4*-L with Buck Davidson last season.

Felix will also aim to qualify Archie Rocks for the Olympics, as well as Cayenne, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Careful X Baroness, by Bayron) he bought from Finland late last year. Cayenne finished ninth in the Strzegom CCI3*-S with Elmo Jankari last fall and will make her U.S. competition debut this winter in Ocala.

Felix Vogg and Colero at WEG 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

As for the prospect of being based in the U.S. far away from his home country while he aims for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Felix said he has always had a bit of an independent philosophy when it comes to training.

“Switzerland is a small country in eventing and wouldn’t have a lot of funding. I think the best is always to go a little bit your own way and do the best you can. At the end you should do it for yourself instead of waiting for someone to help you. You have to try to make it as far as possible yourself.”

Andrew Nicholson was recently named the new coach for the Swiss team, and Felix will train with him at competitions and as the opportunity arises. In the meantime, Felix will continue to train alongside Caroline Martin and with Phillip Dutton out of his new base in the U.S.

Felix is actively taking horses for training and sales, as well as accepting students for lessons. You can contact him directly at [email protected]. We wish Felix the very best of luck in 2019 and beyond!

Go Eventing.

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Full Circle for Erika Wager

Eventually everything comes full circle. Horse racing is an addiction, once it’s in your system it’s a part of you that…

Posted by Erika Wager Paradressage on Thursday, January 10, 2019

On Friday, August 4th 2017 Erika Wager was breezing a racehorse when she suffered a tragic accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Prior to her accident, Erika had been working as an exercise rider and assistant trainer at Belmont Park, galloping up to 16 horses daily. Even though Erika lost the use of her core and legs, she didn’t lose her passion for horses or racing. She’s back in the barn doing everything she used to do around horses and has begun riding Para-Dressage. More recently, she has embarked on a journey to the 2019 Retired Racehorse Thoroughbred Makeover with the most perfect partner: 10-year-old Green Diamond Cat, one of the first horses she galloped and one of the first horses who earned her a win.

You can follow along with Erika and Green Diamond Cat’s journey to RRP 2019 on Erika’s Facebook page. If you find their story of second chances inspiring, take a look at these three Thoroughbreds looking for a second chance of their own:

Musical Spin. Photo via CANTER PA.

Musical Spin (MEDALLIST – HEAVENLY BALLAD, BY TWO PUNCH): 2012 15.3-hand Pennsylvania-bred mare

I know there are a lot of Two Punch fans out there, so here’s one for you! This little mare in a plain brown wrapper doesn’t look like much now, but she’s been a fierce competitor in the past and maybe a change of career will ignite her competitive edge again. Musical Spin was given a nice vacation on the farm last summer and just hasn’t had the same interest in racing since being brought back to the track. Her trainer says she’s a solid citizen around the barn and would love to find her nice home where she can hopefully demonstrate the jumping ability that her grand-sire is known to pass on.

Located in Grantville, Pennsylvania.

View Musical Spin on CANTER PA

Acharnement. Photo via CANTER CA.

Acharnement (INTO MISCHIEF – EMPRESSIVE LADY, BY EMPIRE MAKER): 2015 15.3-hand Kentucky-bred mare

She’s only 15.3hh, but you sure wouldn’t know it just by looking at that beautiful uphill build and proud neck. Acharnement hasn’t been making a name for herself as a racehorse, but this Empire Maker granddaughter and A.P. Indy great-granddaughter looks ready for another shot at a new sport. This filly is reported to be sound and CANTER volunteers observed nice clean legs and a very polite personality.

Located in Berkeley, California.

View Acharnement on CANTER CA. 

Redhot Cheerleader. Photo via CANTER PA.

Redhot Cheerleader (HAYNESFIELD – CHEER CHEER, BY LORD CARSON): 2014 16.0-hand Kentucky-bred mare

“Red” may very well have the talent to succeed as an eventer. Her jog video shows a nice reaching trot and her connections told the CANTER volunteers who did her photoshoot that she’s demonstrated some scope in the past as well by jumping out of her pasture with a five-foot fence … twice. Not only is she talented, but she’s clearly driven too so potential owners take note!

Located in Grantville, Pennsylvania.

View Redhot Cheerleader on CANTER PA

#EventerProblems Vol. 168, Presented by Haygain: Snow Daze

Snow, snow, go away, come again another … year.

Oh, if only bossing the weather around was so easy. As a consolation prize, here are a few of your #EventerProblems postcards from the frozen tundra! Takes more than a little snow to keep us eventers down.

Go Eventing!

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Tuesday News & Notes from Legends Horse Feeds

Alex Tett and Fernhill Cubalawn. Photo via Phillip Dutton Eventing’s Facebook Page.

Congratulations are in order for Alex Tett who acquired the ride on Fernhill Cubalawn. Previously piloted by Phillip Dutton, “Cuba” was named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, but was substituted off the team due to a mild injury weeks before the competition. Now Cuba may get another chance with Alex, who aims to represent Zimbabwe at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Good luck to this new partnership!

National Holiday: National Blonde Brownie Day

Events Opening This Week: Southern Pines H.T.Red Hills International H.T.Full Gallop Farm March H.T.

Events Closing This Week: Full Gallop Farm February I H.T.Ocala Winter I H.T.Pine Top Intermediate H.T.

Tuesday News: 

The former director of the USEF Equine Research and Testing Laboratory, Dr. Cornelius Uboh, is suing U.S. Equestrian. He is claiming defamation and breach of contract. Dr. Uboh was terminated in 2018 as part of the USEF response to the litigation and drug testing errors of Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke. [Former Laboratory Director Files Suit Against USEF]

Olympic bronze medalist Robert Dover is set to launch his new vegan tack line next month. Inspired by car manufacturers offering luxury vegan interiors, Robert decided the equestrian world needed the same options. ROBERT-SQUARED saddles and bridles, halters, leads, riding boots and paddock boots as well as other accessories. [Olympic rider launches vegan tack range]

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has partnered with British Eventing and British Equestrian to study risk factors for injuries and illnesses in eventing. Anyone who has competed with British Eventing is encouraged to complete the survey. [British survey takes close look at eventing horse injuries and issues]

Hot on Horse Nation: The 10-Step Program for Tack Hoarders

Tuesday Video: Sound familiar to anyone?

This video gets me every time🤣

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Monday Video from Total Saddle Fit: 12 DIY Equestrian Life Hacks

We’ve seen a lot of #EventerProblems and #EventerSolutions here on EN, but there’s always room for a few more tips and tricks! Let’s meet Han, and Australian eventer and YouTube vlogger. She and her 9-year-old OTTB Fletch compete at the Equestrian Australia Preliminary level. Han has come up with 12 little tips and tricks to make your life around the barn a little easier.

Here’s what Han has to show us and where you can find them in the video:

  1. Get rubber bit guards over bit cheeks (1:13)
  2. Keep tall boots from sagging without boot trees (2:43)
  3. Quickly set specific jump heights (4:14)
  4. An alternative style of quick release knot (6:04)
  5. Neatly fold blankets so that they lay flat (8:31)
  6. Use a dressage whip as a sweat scraper (9:52)
  7. Add padding to a saddle rack to keep it from indenting your saddle (10:18)
  8. Open a bale of hay when you don’t have a pair of scissors (11:48)
  9. Tie your horse (or a hay bag) to anything safely (12:43)
  10. Easily thread a needle for sewing braids (14:09)
  11. Keep a hoof wrap on a horse in turnout(15:20)
  12. Equitation fixes for keeping your shoulders back, elbows in, and sitting without bouncing (16:49)

Things I Have Learned From My Horse

Photo by Laura Harris.

Horses have a simplicity that I envy. They do not plot, though we may joke, and they do not dwell. They live in the moment, recall their training (mostly), and often do what they are asked, simply because they are generous creatures. In this spirit, I try to be open to all the lessons that my horses have to teach me.

Things I have learned from my horse:

  • Anything worth having is worth working for.
  • Skimping on time or money will catch up with you.
  • Someone is always watching.
  •  Your horse is your mirror.
  • Having the most expensive gear won’t make you ride better.
  • Having correct fitting gear won’t perform miracles, but it will sure help improvement.
  • Often those who know the least talk the most, those who know a lot tend to be quiet.
  • Not every rider/horse/program combo is compatible.
  • ^ and that’s okay.
  • Some things transcend disciplines, but each discipline has value.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Always listen.
  • If it can’t be done at the simplest level, there is no reason to try it faster or bigger.
  • Details matter.
  • Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past. Horses change.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • You write your own story, but it helps to know the language.
  • We are capable of so much more than we realize, and so are our horses.
  • The horse has no agenda.
  • Control your mind, control your emotions, control your body, and you control the horse.
  • Bad consistency trumps unreliable good.
  • No one controls your feelings but you, and you are not responsible for others’ reactions.
  • Someone else has been there and done that, you are not alone in your experience.
  • Breathe.
  • Proper posture will never let you down.
  • The gym is your friend.
  • Sometimes you need the opposite thing you think you do.
  • The foundation is the foundation for a reason.
  • Never underestimate the power of positivity, but don’t get carried away.
  • A negative outlook is not necessarily a realistic one.
  • Drilling can be counterproductive.
  • One-hundred small steps is better than one big leap.
  • How you perform is often how you practice.
  • Things may seem contradictory, but everything has a time and place.
  • Logic wins out.
  • Tension begets tension.
  • Lax is not soft.
  • Sometimes quietness is not kind, and sometimes firmness is.
  • Every creature, from barn mouse to retiree to barn dog to lesson parent, deserves respect.
  • How high you jump, or level you ride, is not an indicator or how well you ride.
  • There is always a stall to be done or chore to see to.
  • There are many ways to do things, some better than others.
  • Be honest, because horses are tattle-tales.
  • Thank god everyone has a different ‘type.’
  • Want better? Do better.
  • You are not your last failure.
  • Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.
  • Smile. You really will feel better.

Weekend Winners: Grand Oaks H.T.

Grand Oaks Horse Trials in Weirsdale, Florida, had the monopoly on eventing action this weekend. The event took place Friday through Sunday and featured Beginner Novice through Prelim divisions, all set against a dreamy backdrop of sunshine and Spanish moss.

An extra special congrats to Lily Barlow and Big Bear’s Cepheus, who posted the lowest finishing score in the country this weekend! The pair earned a 20.3 to win their Open Beginner Novice division.

View full results here. Check out our video roundup from the event here, courtesy of David Frechette a la The Horsepesterer. Here are your weekend winners!

Open Preliminary: Lauren Kieffer & Landmark’s Mochachino (29.4)

Starting the season with a win in the Open Prelim for Ms Mars’ Lndmk’s Mochachino🎨 on his dressage score!🥇 The Grand Oaks Resort
Looking forward to the novice & training ponies tomorrow!

Posted by Lauren Kieffer Eventing on Friday, January 18, 2019

Junior Young Riders Open Preliminary: Megan Loughnane & Linford (32.2.)

Preliminary Horse: Maya Black & Miks Master C (29.6)

Preliminary Rider: Carole Schaff & Company Spending (46.2)

Penny was great this weekend, she pulled off a blue ribbon in spite of my riding mistakes! She always gives her all anytime we show. Love this horse ❤️

Posted by Carole Schaff on Saturday, January 19, 2019

Modified: Mike Huber & Deauville Beekhoeve (31.1)

Open Training: Lauren Kieffer & Hindine (22.1)

Another win today from start to finish for Ms Mars’ Hindine “Heidi🌶” in the Open Training on a dressage score of 22.1🥇!…

Posted by Lauren Kieffer Eventing on Saturday, January 19, 2019

Training Horse: Ariel Grald & Caballé (24.1)

Training Rider: Samantha Tinney & Glenbrook Cooley (30.7)

Novice Horse: Ashley Adams & Charly (27.1)


Congratulations to our coach, Ashley Adams and her young Horse Charly on winning his Novice debut today at Grand Oaks HT! #yjsflysouth #ocala19 🐝🐝

Posted by Randolph-Macon College Eventing Team on Sunday, January 20, 2019

Novice Rider: Erin Walker & Cinerescent (29.3)

“Layla rocked it today!!! I am so blessed to start the season out this way!! Today was our best show to date, Layla was relaxed and happy in dressage, I got it together for the jumping and did not embarrass us, and the xc was soooo much fun!!! I am one lucky girl to be surrounded by amazing horses and people!!” – Erin Walker via Facebook

Open Novice: Erin Kowalewski & Furst Marcko (26.2)

Beginner Novice Rider: Tessa Geven & Tullymor’s Houdini (30.3)

“Tessa & Samson enjoying Grand Oaks!” Marjolein Geven via Facebook

Open Beginner Novice: Lily Barlow & Big Bear’s Cepheus (20.3)

Super proud of these two! Lily & Peter rocked their 3rd Horse Trials from beginning to end! Peter tried his heart out and Lily showed us her awesome riding skills!

Posted by Geven Eventing on Saturday, January 19, 2019

Congrats to all. Go Eventing!

Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Photo via “If the Bonnet Fits – Custom Fly Bonnets” Facebook page.

“Sit back or die” … those are some eventing words to live by. Ear bonnets are clearly the next frontier of equestrian embroidery/subliminal messaging. What reminder would you benefit from having in front of your face constantly while you ride?

National Holiday: Squirrel Appreciation Day

U.S. Weekend Results:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Results]

Your News & Notes:

US Equestrian (USEF) has updated the USEF Rules for Eventing with the extraordinary rule changes passed at their Annual Meeting last week. These rule changes are effective as of January 1, 2019. Changes include: the whip rules in EV111 Abuse of Horses; rules about bits, ear hoods, and stirrups in EV115 Saddlery; clarification of circles in EV142 Cross-Country; and the switch from 1 penalty to 0.4 penalty per second over time in show jumping in EV153 Faults. There were also several clarifications made to the FEI star change. The USEA kindly outlined those changes for us. [USEF Updates Rulebook with Extraordinary Rule Changes]

Owners and riders are being asked to contribute to a study on risk factors for injuries and illnesses in eventing horses in Britain. Information on horses competing at all levels of British Eventing competition is being sought by The Animal Health Trust, which is working with British Eventing, the British Equestrian Federation and World Horse Welfare. Results from previous studies led by the AHT have been used to advise trainers, riders and owners about how to prevent injury in dressage and show jumping horses. Those taking part can also enter into a prize draw to win products and services valued at more than £1000. [Take the Survey]

Hot on Horse Nation: Happy, Healthy, & Horsey — Contemplating the ‘F’ Word

Just In on Jumper Nation: Lauren Hough & Valinski S Victorious in $36K Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2* at WEF

Featured Video: 

GOTD Alert: Lainey Ashker’s Latest for Horses of All Levels

Your favorite grid queen is ready to jump into the new season with another Grid of the Day. Lainey Ashker has laid out another great exercise to fine tune your jumping skills.

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Your favorite grid queen is ready to jump into the new season with another Grid of the Day. Lainey Ashker has laid out another great exercise to fine tune your jumping skills.

“Today’s #GOTD is a great exercise to hone your horse’s straightness, tight knees, steady rhythm and focus on the rider’s quiet posture to facilitate all of these things,” she posted.

She’s laid out the distances in the diagram below. Don’t forget: this is a trotting exercise.

Photo and diagram by Lainey Ashker.

She even added a video on how you can adapt this grid for your greenies. She breaks it down into four helpful stages beginning with ground poles and leading up to cross rails.

Here’s a vocal explanation on how to start your greenies over yesterday’s #GOTD courtesy of Snitch!

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Get the Most Out of Winter with These Working Student Opportunities

The annual Windchase working student polar dive. Photo courtesy of Phyllis Dawson.

The winter season is officially underway! If you’re looking for more barn time with a heaping helping of education, then a working student position might be the right fit for you.

Working for a rider is no walk in the park, but offers a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of training, riding and barn management from top professionals. Take a look below to check out the most current listings.

If you are looking for a working student, please email [email protected] and we will include your listing. This post will be updated periodically.

Phyllis Dawson (VA): Join the Windchase Team! Train with Phyllis Dawson (VA), Olympian and Level IV ICP certified instructor, and Cindy Anderson-Blank, current  Advanced competitor and ICP Level III Instructor. We are looking for a long-term working student at Windchase beginning in  the spring of 2019. Receive daily lessons, full board for your horse,  experience riding multiple horses, housing, and shipping to  competitions, a package with a value of over $3000 per month – in return  for barn work and horse care. You will be part of a top quality Eventing stable, train with an Olympic rider, and learning how to run a  successful business. Plenty of riding opportunities and daily  instruction, and  top class facilities. Check out our Web site: We are in the heart of the Area II Eventing community. Excellent facilities and extensive cross-country courses.  Bring your horse, ride and compete – or if you don’t have a horse take  lessons on ours. We are looking for dedicated students who can commit  to at least six months. Plus, we have a lot of fun! Follow Windchase  Eventing on Facebook and Instagram. Contact Phyllis at  [email protected] Phyllis Dawson, Windchase, Hillsboro, VA (540)  668-6024 – stable, (540) 668-6548 – home, E-mail: [email protected]

Twin Rivers Ranch (CA): Andrea Baxter and Bec Braitling are looking for a working student. Their program ranges from top international horses all the way down to breaking babies. Looking for someone to help us manage the barn, groom, tack, hack horses, ect. Email [email protected] or [email protected]

Leslie Law and Lesley Grant-Law (FL): Law Eventing is looking to fill either a working student or paid position. Working student would have room for one horse and receive all the benefits of full training board. A paid position would include four days per week. Contact Lesley by phone 352-410-9734 or email, [email protected], for more information.

Light Speed Equestrian/Lizzy Jahnke (FL): Light Speed Equestrian has a unique working student position available in Ocala, FL for the Winter season from November 1- May 1. We are looking for an energetic, self starter with a good attitude. Eventing, Show Jumping or Dressage experience is a must. This position is primarily a riding/grooming position but will include stall cleaning three days a week and away shows.

This is a great opportunity to compete and train in the heart of the Eventing community
at a premiere facility complete with a full size GGT dressage arena, GGT show jump arena, XC schooling facility with a water complex, banks, and ditches, a full size track and 100+ acres of pristine riding land. Our working student will have the opportunity to travel to the big FEI shows throughout the winter as well as the local circuit of both events and show jumping.

On site housing in a beautiful, fully furnished apartment and board and training for one horse are offered as compensation. This position is a wonderful opportunity to ride a group of high quality event horses ranging from novice to 3 star level. Contact LSE’s trainer, Lizzy Jahnke. for more information or to submit an application email [email protected]

Elisa Wallace (GA): Working student opportunity with Wallace Eventing. I have a barn full Mustangs, thoroughbreds, upper level eventers and sometimes dragons. Age: 18+ would prefer older/mature. I’m full horse/stall wise but might consider a pasture board spot available. There are plenty of opportunities to ride as well.

Barn duties: mucking stalls, feeding blanketing, tack cleaning etc, grooming, hacking, and and and…. Ability to drive a manual is a plus since that is our muck truck and it makes life easier. Warning. Jasper, Ga is a small town with not much of a social life. But if you love horses and know this is a lifestyle not made for the weak then send me an email! Email me at [email protected]

Jacob Fletcher (FL): 501 Sport Horses is looking to add to the team! We are looking for a motivated individual who is interested in being a working student at our Ocala location for the winter season (Jan-April). Our working students have the opportunity to work on improving their riding and horsemanship skills under the watchful eye of a 3* level event rider Jacob Fletcher. Duties include: barn chores, facility maintenance, grooming and tacking up, as well as some grooming at competitions. We will provide housing for you and your horse plus lessons and one day off per week. Previous horse experience is a must. Please send resumes along with references to [email protected]

C Square Farm/Courtney Cooper (SC): Want to learn from the best in the sales business on how to have a business and improve your riding and stable management skills at the same time? Then we have the opportunity for you! Four-star eventer Courtney Cooper of C Square Farm has openings in her working student program.

Be prepared for long hours and demanding work. In return we provide housing for you and your horse, lessons, one day off per week, and a small stipend for the right person with previous experience. This is a position with room for growth and opportunity—you will get out of it what you put in.

Applicants must be ready to work as part of a team where everyone works towards fulfilling their goals.Based in Nottingham, PA April thru December. Winter season is spent in Aiken, SC.

Nilson Moreira da Silva and Laura VanderVliet (SC): Stop dreaming about it and do it!! If you are passionate about horses, believe you have the ability to succeed and are willing to work hard to make your dreams reality if given the chance, we are willing to give you the chance. Working student position available in Aiken, SC starting immediately with international event riders Nilson Moreira da Silva and Laura VanderVliet. Position offers housing, lessons, plenty of riding and schooling opportunities for capable rider, possible competition opportunities, grooming, training and management experience. Busy competition and training business in the heart of eventing. Board options available. Interested candidates should private message or email a brief summary of experience and references to [email protected]