Classic Eventing Nation

Halliday-Sharp vs. Payne: Stage Set for Carolina CCI4*-S Showdown

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill By Night, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Radolin x Argentina XII, by Argentinus), cruised to the dressage lead in the Carolina International CCI4*-S prior to the lunch break on 27.9 and never relinquished it.

While rainy, chilly temperatures plagued the morning session of dressage today in Raeford, North Carolina, the conditions actually suited Fernhill By Night. Last year Liz elected to only target short format events with “Blackie,” and the strategy paid off with top-10 results in all of their CCI4*-S runs in 2018.

“We’re always trying to get him really sassy for a test because he’s a really sleepy person in the ring. … We’ve been teaching him a few piaffe steps and passage — anything to make it more fun for him. … He’s 16 now and he knows his job, and as long as we get him fresh and ready he delivers a good test. It’s fun to ride him because you know he’ll bring something good to the table,” Liz said.

“His niche is never running longer than 6 1/2 minutes — that suits him just fine. I think the horse really enjoys it now. He comes to the party knowing he’s not going to get exhausted. He knows he can do it. I think he’s built on that and become a better horse. It’s nice to have figured him out that way and accepted he’s not going to do Kentucky.”

Blackie finished second in the CCI4*-S here at Carolina last year, bested only by Doug Payne and Debi Crowley’s Vandiver, who sit second after dressage on 29.0. The stage is set for a Halliday-Sharp vs. Payne showdown.

Doug Payne and Vandiver — note that Doug his holding the reins in a driving position. Photo by Jenni Autry.

“Quinn,” a 15-year-old Trakehner (Windfall II X Visions of Grandeur, by Mystic Replica xx), had a joint flush in his stifle last year after winning the CCI4*-S at Carolina and is fittingly returning to his first international competition this weekend to defend the title.

“It’s very rewarding because he’s the most genuine creature there is and wants to help you out,” Doug said. “It makes the job a whole lot of fun and fairly straightforward, especially with the jumping. On cross country he’s a seeing-eye dog.”

As for the dressage, Doug has worked with Grand Prix dressage rider Shawna Harding and U.S. Performance Director for Eventing Erik Duvander over the winter to finding better coping mechanisms for Quinn’s tension in the ring.

“He’s a horse that would get a little bit nervous,” Doug said. “We’ve tried to figure out a way to ride through the tension and take the energy and go somewhere with it rather than go hands-off and wait for something to happen.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Liz Halliday-Sharp also holds third place with Deniro Z, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Zapatero VDL X Zonne- Trend, by French Buffet xx) owned by The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties, on 29.5.

“I think he’s getting better marks for the bits he does really well because he’s really pushing from behind now. He spent a bit of time with Robert Dover in Wellington, which was really amazing to have his insight — just teaching him to sit a little bit more because he’s naturally croup-high,” Liz said.

“He’s such a wonderful horse. He has such a great brain, and he loves his job and loves me — we have a great partnership. I think when all the pieces are aligned, he’s going to be unbeatable.”

Liz has been on a roll this winter — winning two Advanced divisions at Pine Top Advanced with Deniro Z and Cooley Quicksilver, who sits just outside the top 10 in his CCI4*-S debut, plus winning the $50,000 LiftMaster Grand-Prix Eventing Invitational with Fernhill By Night.

“I’ve always been quite competitive, but I think there were a few pieces that needed to get better. A lot of it has been working with the right trainers. I tried to sit down and work out the bits that weren’t right. I think my cross country riding needed to improve. I think we’ve tried to get the horses a lot stronger. I think that’s made a big difference — working them for strength and getting them to use themselves better,” Liz said.

“Those overall building blocks of their strength and knowledge has made the horses go better, but it can always be better. At each event you learn a bit more, and having Erik’s guidance has been brilliant. My longterm dressage coach James Burtwell has also been there from the beginning with guiding me in producing these horses. I just want to be the best and I’m not, so I have to keep working hard.”

Kristen Bond and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Kristen Bond and I’m Sew Ready Reunited

Today was a homecoming for Kristen Bond and John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, who were reunited for their first international competition since 2015 and lead the CCI3*-S on 25.6. Phillip Dutton campaigned the horse for the last three seasons, and now “Jackson,” a 15-year-old KWPN (Lupicor X Jarda, Elcaro) has returned to Kristen to be sold.

“We’re so happy to have him back. He’s the king. It’s pretty surreal,” Kristen said. “(The Nortons’) goal with him is to find his next home. He still has a lot to offer for sure. He’s a super horse. We want to find the right match for him.”

Kristen took Jackson to Gulfport in Mississippi to compete in jumper classes at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic in the lead-up to Carolina, and she said they plan to go back to jump again following this weekend as they look ahead to what’s next for the horse.

Holly Payne Caravella and CharmKing, an 8-year-old Holsteiner (Cassito X O-Heraldika, by Heraldik) owned by CharmKing LLC, scored 26.3 for second place in the CCI3*-S.

“He’s a funny horse. He can be really lazy but out of nowhere can do a buck or leap or something dramatic. He did do that in warm-up (today) when I thought he was quiet, but I found that if he gets it out of his system in warm-up then he’s usually a little bit better in the ring,” Holly said.

“Today was the first day I felt him go in and be a little bit nervous but still rideable. He listened to me the whole way even though I could tell the atmosphere was affecting him.”

Colleen Loach — who has a seriously nice group of young horses coming up the levels right now — sits third in the CCI3*-S on 27.0 with FE Golden Eye, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Goldfever X Cascade, by Contendro I) she owns with Amanda Bernhard.

Andrew McConnon and Bossinova. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Andrew McConnon Bosses CCI2*-S

Andrew McConnon and his own Bossinova smoked the CCI2*-S on a 20.3, a personal best for the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Bonifatius x Dawina, by Der Lord).

“Overall he just feels stronger and more in front of my leg,” Andrew said. “He’s always good in the contact, but he’s taking me down the centerline and in the movements, which I think is where the extra marks came from. He can be economical at times. The atmosphere and a bit more going on definitely helps him.”

Hugh Wrigley and FE Santos, his own 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, sit second in the CCI2*-S on 26.5. Waylon Roberts and Michelle Koppin’s Fortunate Rebel, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse, scored 27.4 to sit in third place.

Tomorrow will be yet another action-packed day at Carolina International. Advanced dressage starts at 8 a.m. EST, with CCI3*-S show jumping starting at 9:30 a.m. EST, followed by CCI4*-S show jumping at 12:30 p.m. EST. You can watch show jumping on EQSportsNet with fabulous commentary from Nicole Brown and friends. Click here for the full schedule.

Thank you to all the fabulous volunteers and everyone working hard behind the scenes to make Carolina International one of EN’s favorite events of the year. Go Eventing.

Carolina: WebsiteEntry StatusRide Times, Start ListsLive ScoresEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Thursday Video from Ecovet: A Virtual Tour of the Carolina Horse Park

Have you been to the Carolina Horse Park, site of this week’s Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and H.T.? The 250-acre venue in Hoke County, North Carolina, hosts not only eventing competitions, but also a number of dressage, combined driving and hunter/jumper shows throughout the year. In fact, CHP is the only equestrian facility in the mid-Atlantic region with multi-disciplined capabilities suitable for championship level competitions.

The Carolina Horse Park Foundation was founded in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization by equestrian enthusiasts, and today CHP is dedicated to the preservation of open space for equestrian and recreational purposes. In addition to horse shows, it hosts other agricultural events and fun outdoor activities.

For more information on CHP and view its calendar of events, visit the website here. And be sure to keep it locked here for full reports on all the action from Carolina International 2019!

Carolina: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Did you know? Ecovet is the only fly repellent that improves insect-related skin sensitivity. Learn more at

Stable View Spring H.T. Recap + Photo Gallery

Waylon Roberts and Wil Celtic Charlie, winners of Open Intermediate. Photo by Christine Rhodes.

With 231 horses going to the start, the Stable View Spring Horse Trials on Tuesday, March 19, turned out to be a long, exciting day of eventing. This was the most entries this Aiken event has received to-date, even on a weekday between Pine Top and Carolina International!

Four dressage rings started the day at 7:45 a.m. with the Preliminary and Intermediate divisions. With the one-day format, riders then made their way over to the show jumping course designed by Chris Barnard. The new Pavilion at Stable View provided spectators with excellent views of both the show jumping and cross country courses.

The track for cross country used sections of both cross country courses at Stable View with connector lanes. Horses were able to gallop over the exceptional footing with green winter rye and celebration Bermuda. The Intermediate and Preliminary cross country courses were designed by Captain Mark Phillips, while Mogie Bearden-Muller designed the Beginner Novice through Modified courses.

With up to $20,000 of prize money on the line, the competition was fierce in all divisions. Waylon Roberts and Wil Celtic Charlie came out on top of the tough Open Intermediate division, finishing on a 39.9. Stable View offered a Modified division for the first time, and Nicholas Hinze and Dakota Blues bested 21 pairs to take home the blue ribbon and prize money.

Thirty-nine riders competed over three Preliminary divisions, with Nilson Da Silva and DeNova winning the Open division, Isabel Finemore and Craig Mor Tom winning the Junior division, and Alice Roosevelt and Get It Together topping the Rider division. The Training divisions were the largest of the day, with 57 competitors. Many riders tackled the Novice and Beginner Novice divisions, ending the day with lovely evening rides on the cross country course.

Nancy Wilson and Lagerfeld, finishing fourth in the Beginner Novice Rider division, sealed their win of the Mary Alice Brown Amateur Master Rider Series and were rewarded with a beautiful cooler sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. All first place winners received a $100 FITS voucher towards a new pair of breeches.

Congratulations to all the winners! Full results are available here.

Open Intermediate: Waylon Roberts & Wil Celtic Charlie (39.9)
Open Preliminary: Nilson Da Silva & DeNova (32.5)
Preliminary Rider: Alice Roosevelt & Get it Together (41.3)
Junior Preliminary: Isabel Finemore & Craig Mor Tom (39.4)
Open Modified: Nicholas Hinze & Dakota Blues (32.9)
Open Training: Lindsay Beer & Billy Shamrock (23.2)
Training Rider: Norah Springgate & Jaywalker (33.0)
Junior Training: Cassie Sanger & Born Ready (26.8)
Open Novice: Morgan Batton & Sommersby (24.7)
Novice Rider: Mark Hurtig & Kegan’s Irish Clover (30.5)
Junior Novice: Claudia Oppedisano & God of Thunder (31.0)
Open Beginner Novice: Erin Pullen & Koko Chanel (28.0)
Beginner Novice Rider: Beth Allen & Remastered (26.0)
Junior Beginner Novice: Kaley Chung & Rhapsody In Bay (35.5)

For more information on any of the many events at Stable View, visit

Photo gallery courtesy of Christine Rhodes and Stable View: 

#BadmintonAt70: Ride the 1969 Cross Country Course

Gird your loins, chaps: the countdown is ON to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, and we, for one, couldn’t be more excited — not least because this year is a special one. 2019’s competition is the 70th anniversary of the inaugural Badminton, and since its first running in 1949 the sport, the venue, and the characters within this epic story have changed and evolved significantly. To celebrate 70 years of brilliant Badminton, we’re going to be bringing you an extra-special inside look at the event and its rich and exciting history, every week from now until the competition begins on May 1. Consider the archives your own personal Gringotts, and EN your loyal goblin sherpas. 

This week, as we pour our time and attentions to your bumper Badminton form guide, we’re filling in the gap with help from our pals at the event — you’re in for a real treat!

If you’re anything like us, you absolutely live on the Cross Country App when the season starts. Forget wheeling your course — this GPS-powered mini marvel allows you to work out minute markers as you walk, leaving you free to plot the best possible line, take pithy notes, and snap photos of your fences and your routes. It’s great for spectators, too, allowing you the chance to do a deep dive into the courses at internationals the world over.

We’re all for the innovative use of technology, so when our friends at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials told us they were launching a course ‘preview’ that would take its users 50 years back in time, we started to get excited. When the end result dropped, we absolutely weren’t disappointed.

Richard Walker and Pasha tackle the steeplechase course. Photo courtesy of Badminton Horse Trials.

Badminton is celebrating two special anniversaries this year: one is its 70th birthday, which we’re sure we haven’t let you forget quite yet. The other is the 50th anniversary of the youngest-ever winner, Richard Walker, who was just 18 years (and 247 days) old when he triumphed with his 15.1-hand Anglo-Arab, Pasha. Remarkable Richard has seen the course change and evolve enormously throughout the last 50 years and now, he’s helping to bring those changes to life for us all via an archival, interactive course map on the Cross Country App.

The Vicarage Vee: a real pants-wetter even (or perhaps especially?) in 1969.


Want to give it a go? You can download the 1969 Badminton course directly to the app, but we recommend clicking through to the Badminton website and enjoying the experience full-screen. You’ll get to ride along through all four phases — roads and tracks, steeplechase, more roads and tracks, and finally, that beefy cross country course — with incredible archival photographs, footage, and endlessly fascinating audio clips explaining the whys, wherefores, and changes to this iconic course. No stone has been left unturned: you’ll see competitors running alongside their horses on roads and tracks, as explained by competitor and president of the Ground Jury Judy Bradwell, and you’ll head into the Formula One-esque 10-minute box with inspector Bill Bush. Then, you’ll head out on course with ’69 winner Richard Walker and learn which bits of the course really made his knees knock.

The evolution of “no thanks”.

With insights into the development of safety technology, the rise of technicality, and the evolution of the Vicarage Vee, this is your afternoon sorted. Even better? If you’re a UK resident, you can enter the 1969 trivia competition to bag yourself a Badminton polo top from sponsor Joules.

Happy app-ing!

By the Numbers: Carolina International CCI4*-S

Carolina Martin and Danger Mouse at Carolina 2017. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Now in its sixth year of running, Carolina International continues to serve as one of the most highly anticipated events of the U.S. spring season. Many pairs competing this weekend are using Carolina as a key prep run for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and other major spring long formats.

Last year Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border scored 20.8 to set the dressage record for the CCI4*-S; we are unlikely to see any pairs come even close to besting that this year. Sue Baxter (GBR) and Mark Weissbecker (USA) are the CCI4*-S ground jury. Mark is also serving on the Kentucky ground jury this year alongside Martin Plewa (GER) and president Christina Klingspor (SWE), who is leading the CCI3*-S ground jury this weekend.

Marc Donovan returns as the show jumping course designer and always designs a tough track on the turf. Ian Stark is now in his fourth year of designing the Carolina cross country course. Only one pair made the time in the CCI4*-S in 2016 and 2017, and we expect time to once again be influential.

Key Stats

  • In the five runnings of the CCI4*-S, Doug Payne and Vandiver are the only pair to come from outside the top 10 after dressage to win. Last year they sat in 12th after the first phase and were the only pair to make the time on cross country to steal the win.
  • Of the five pairs to win the CCI4*-S, four finished on their dressage score. Only Allison Springer and Arthur added any penalties to their dressage score and still won — 3.2 cross country time penalties in 2016.
  • Only one combination, Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair, has ever had a show jumping rail and still finished inside the top four in the CCI4*-S at this venue.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night have the best dressage average in the field of 27.9. Their final three runs of the 2018 season all had scores lower than that. In their five CCI4*-S runs in 2018, they never finished outside of the top 10, including finishing second in the Carolina CCI4*-S.
  • Switzerland’s Felix Vogg has a seriously exciting mare in Cayenne, who is averaging 28.0 in the first phase after two starts at the level. She scored 27.0 at Red Hills in her CCI4*-S debut earlier this month and will challenge Fernhill By Night for the lead after the first day.
  • Four other pairs in the field have a 12-month dressage average in the 20s at the level: Buck Davidson and Copper Beach, Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, and Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly.

Sharon White and Cooley On Show. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore have never had a rail down at the Advanced and CCI4*-S levels.
  • Sharon White and Cooley On Show have only had one show jumping rail in the CCI4*-S format since 2016 — at this venue last year when they finished 11th.
  • Will Faudree and Pfun are a remarkably consistent show jumping combination, pulling rails only three times in their entire international combination stretching back to 2013.

Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cross Country Machines

  • Doug Payne and Vandiver were the only pair to make the time in the CCI4*-S at Carolina last year, which boosted them up from fifth to take the win. They average 4.0 cross country time penalties at this level.
  • Canada’s Lisa Marie Fergusson and her 2018 World Equestrian Games mount Honor Me are an extremely speedy combination, averaging just 2.0 time penalties.
  • Will Coleman and Off the Record won the Great Meadow CCIO4*-S last year thanks to being one of the only pairs to catch the time. OBOS O’Reilly is also likely to shoot right up the leaderboard after cross country with an average of 2.4 time penalties.
  • Quality Time is an extremely exciting mare for Ireland’s Tim Bourke and makes her CCI4*-S debut at Carolina. She has never had a cross country time penalty in her international career, and she added just 0.4 penalties in her Advanced debut at Pine Top last month.
  • Caroline Martin and The Apprentice were the only pair to make the time in 2017, which gave her the first CCI4*-S win of her career. She also has another speed demon in Danger Mouse, who added just 2.8 time penalties at Red Hills earlier this month to finish third.

PREDICTED WINNER: Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Will Coleman and Off the Record
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach

Potential Spoilers:

  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver
  • Tim Bourke and Quality Time
  • Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse

Carolina: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

How to Watch the 2019 Carolina International Live Stream

Doug Payne and Vandiver, winners of the 2018 CCI4*-S. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International kicks off Thursday, March 21, and you can watch all three phases of the CCI4*-S, plus the jumping phases of the CCI3*-S and Advanced cross country, thanks to EQSportsNet. With fabulous commentary from Nicole Brown and guests, you can expect a fantastic show.

The live broadcast schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 21
CCI4-S* dressage: 9 a.m.-4:40 p.m. EST

Friday, March 22
CCI3*-S show jumping: 9:30 a.m.-11:24 a.m. EST
CCI4*-S show jumping: 12:30 p.m.-2:02 p.m. EST

Saturday, March 23
CCI3*-S cross country: 10-11:54 a.m. EST
CCI4*S cross country: 12:30-2:48 p.m. EST
Advanced cross country: 3-4:15 p.m. EST

To watch live, you must be a paid subscriber of EQSportsNet. The USEA has partnered with EQSportsNet to offer a 50% discount on subscriptions through the end of the year. Use the code EQUSEA2019 when signing up for a subscription to receive a Silver Access subscription for $5 per month, or a Gold Access subscription for $12.50 per month. Subscriptions can be canceled at anytime.

Gold Access offers all live event coverage and all on-demand content from every show, including individual clips of every entry and an archive of more than 23,000 videos on the EQSportsNet website. Silver Access offers all live event coverage, plus a full program video from select events.

How to subscribe to EQSportsNet

  1. Visit EQSports.Net and click on the SUBSCRIBE option in the top navigation or the drop-down in the top right of the page.
  2. There are two options for access to EQSportsNet.
    • Silver Access: Sign up to watch all live event coverage plus full program video from select events.
    • Gold Access: Sign up to watch all live event coverage and all video-on-demand content from every show, including individual clips of every entry and a total catalog of over 23,000 videos.
  3. Register using Facebook, Google, Yahoo or sign-up by entering your email address and a password of your choice.
    • You will be asked to make a payment using any of the secure payment methods of your choice. A confirmation message will appear on the webpage.

How to access the stream once you have subscribed

  1. Make sure you login, which can be done on the drop down on the top right of the homepage.
  2. Once you are logged in, you can access the stream by clicking the Carolina International banner on the homepage.
  3. When the stream is live, just press the play button in the video player and enjoy!

Requesting downloads of rides

If you have a Gold or Silver Access subscription and are an owner or rider of a two-star or three-star horse, you can request a link to download a copy of your rides for $5 each. Please fill out this form to request a downloadable file from your ride. (Note that CCI3*-S dressage will not be live steamed.)

If you have any questions during the sign-up process, please contact [email protected] or fill in a support request.

Carolina: WebsiteEntry StatusRide Times, Start ListsLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Just my favorite person on her little OTTB popping some cross country at Surefire. Photo courtesy of Skyeler Icke Voss.

With the official advent of spring, I’m happy to say that I’m seeing the first signs of grass growth in Virginia, and near the rivers, the little trees are budding, and it makes me unreasonably happy! It’s still mostly brown, and it’s still cold at night, but the days are more reasonably warm, and despite the horrible time change where I suddenly have to get up so much earlier, I’m generally more optimistic about life. Yay end of winter!

National Holiday: National French Bread Day

Major Events This Week:

Carolina International CCI & HT: Carolina: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Events This Week:

Stable View Spring Horse Trials [Final Scores]

MDHT March Starter Trial [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Poplar Place March Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March Schooling Show II [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Southern Arizona Eventing Association HT [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Thursday News & Notes:

For anybody who actually rides horses, we know that it’s more than 50% mental, and keeping your mindset under control is key. Whether you’re a top-level athlete or a happy hacker, having the right mindset while in the saddle is crucial, not only to ensure your horse or pony is going in the way you would like, but also for your own enjoyment and happiness. Two sport and performance psychology experts got together with Horse & Hound to create the top three exercises you can do to reach your peak performance. [Three Ways To Achieve Peak Performance]

New research into stem cells have shown a possibly superior treatment for horses with tendon injuries. Stem cell researchers at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) have found positive signs that stem cells originally sourced from embryos coped well in laboratory tests when exposed to inflammation. Stem cell treatment is currently used, however we usually harvest them from the individual horse, and growing them takes weeks. Embryonic stem cells can grow forever in a lab though, and can be available much more immediately. [New Stem Cell Research for Tendon Injuries]

Even though it’s spring, everyone still experiences the time crunches of life. Sometimes you wonder, I have barely any time today to ride my horse, is it even worth it? New studies are showing that yes, it is! Even a 25 minute workout can have significant health benefits for your horse. Especially if you have a pudgy pony or a horse that you’re trying to bring back into work, each low intensity ride builds and helps the long term goal of health and fitness. [Short Workouts are Worth It]

Did you know that Taylor Harris Insurance Services has eleven different fully customizable equine insurance policies? With so many options, you can mix and match for the perfect fit, and totally customize it to fit your horse, your lifestyle, and your budget. Our horses are so important to us, and it’s our duty to protect them. That starts with THIS Horse Insurance. [Find Coverage Through THIS]

Best of Blogs: There’s No Crying in Horse Shows






Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Groundwork With Gottum

Elisa Wallace is a Thoroughbred Makeover veteran and has long been a champion of OTTBs, inspiring us with their journeys from track to start box. She’s won the eventing division at the Makeover multiple times, and in 2018 added the competition’s top honor to her list of accomplishments when fas voted the horse “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred” in the Finale.

She may be jumping skinnies bareback and bridleless at the Makeover come fall, but every OTTB she has found success with had to start somewhere. In this video, we get an early glimpse at her 2019 Makeover hopeful Gottum. The 2013 Florida-bred Thoroughbred gelding (Factum – Marhaba, by Turkoman) won $5,135 in 17 starts on the track — we can’t wait to watch him progress in his new career! Here, she talks us through a groundwork session with the horse.

Equi-Jewel® rice bran

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

Equi-Jewel® is a high-fat, low-starch and -sugar formula developed to safely meet the energy needs of your horse.

Whether you have a hard keeper that needs extra calories to maintain his weight, or a top performance horse that needs cool energy to perform at her peak, Equi-Jewel can meet your horse’s needs. Equi-Jewel reduces the risk of digestive upset, supports optimal muscle function, maintains stamina, and helps horses recover faster after hard work, all while providing the calories your horse needs to thrive. 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 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 low-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

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Mud Season Edition

Everyone loves to ogle over the chestnuts and bays with chrome; they’re just so flashy and fancy. But when your horse comes in from the field caked in mud up to their hocks those white socks aren’t looking so pretty any more, are they?

Why not make life a little easier for yourself and get a horse with brown legs anyway. Not to say you don’t still have to groom them, but while your barn buddy is still slaving away trying to polish up those socks, you’ll already be out in the arena warming up.

There’s something to be said for not having any flashy leg chrome. Here are three mud season-friendly OTTBs for your consideration:

Alltheleavesrbrown. Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Alltheleavesrbrown (BIG BROWN – VICKEY JANE, BY ROYAL ACADEMY): 2012 16.3-hand Kentucky-bred gelding

This son of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown has had an interesting racing career and may be more well-traveled than you! In his 43 races, “Brown” has run at 12 different tracks spanning from Pennsylvania to California. His career seems to have been a bit hit or miss: he has a number of wins and good placings, but also did not finish (DNF) a few races. Each DNF seems to just be a result starting too fast and ultimately being overcome by the field. It doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about though — the race charts note that he was eased, loped across the wire, and walked off the course just fine each time.

Brown’s last race was at the end of February (so he is 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover eligible) and has since retired sound and made his way to MMSC where he was treated to some spa time and bodywork. The MMSC staff has found that he’s an “enthusiastic and quick learner.” Make sure to watch the video of him at liberty and check out that hock action!

Located in Lexington, Kentucky.

View Alltheleavesrbrown on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Belle Ame. Photo via Second Stride.

Belle Ame (EVEN THE SCORE – LILLY IN DISGUISE, BY GILDED TIME): 2015 16.2-hand Kentucky-bred filly

We featured this young filly about a month ago in our Second Stride Inc. edition and can’t believe she’s still available! Belle Ame is unraced but does have published workouts with the last being in June 2018 which makes her 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover eligible. Her vet exam upon arrival at Second Stride was clean, and she’s an athletic mover. This mare has a solid build and a nice sloping shoulder, plus she’s forward-thinking yet has a good brain. She has bravely popped over a small jump under saddle and was pretty pleased with herself afterward!

Located in Prospect, Kentucky.

View Belle Ame on Second Stride Inc.

Scattered Dreams. Photo via CANTER PA.

Scattered Dreams (CATIENUS – REGINA MADRE (GB), BY CADEAUX GENEREUX (GB)): 2012 16.1-hand New York-bred gelding

With 50 career starts and over $125,000 in winnings, Scattered Dreams has definitely earned his war horse status. Scattered Dreams has been a steady money maker for his connections, but he’s started to place further down in his races last year so they’re retiring now while he still has plenty to offer in a second career. This big-bodied athletic gelding could certainly make a sturdy eventer, and even though his jog video was filmed on a windy and icy day you can still see the potential for some nice and floaty movement for good scores in the dressage too.

Located in Grantville, Pennsylvania.

View Scattered Dreams on CANTER PA.

Smart Spring Cleaning Tips for Improved Stable Air Quality

This article is provided by Haygain.

Photo courtesy of Haygain.

Wednesday March 20 brings the slightly longer days heralded by the Spring Equinox and spring itself. With it comes the urge to purge, clean and de-clutter. Barns big and small benefit from an at-least annual application of serious broom, vacuum, elbow grease and re-organization. Horses benefit from it most of all, not to mention their human keepers. Easier breathing for both awaits after this task is done.

Clean air is critical to horse’s health, happiness and performance, but it’s challenging to maintain it in the equine environment. Especially so in the many parts of the country where this year’s unusually cold winter has kept horses indoors more than normal. Along with warmth, shut barn doors seal in respiratory risks found in even top-quality hay and bedding. Air pollutants have nowhere to go but round and round and into the horse’s airway and lungs.

Those nagging coughs and running noses that elude diagnosis? Poor air quality is likely the cause. There’s increasing scientific evidence proving the shocking prevalence of Inflammatory Airway Disease in horses: over 80 percent of active sporthorses have it to some degree. Most recently, a study published in The Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine established a clear link between fungi in the airways and IAD incidence. Fungi is one of those microscopic, inhalable particles borne by hay and straw.

Eliminating straw and providing horses high-temperature steamed hay were the strongest environment-related recommendations from the study’s authors when it comes to reducing fungi-related respiratory problems. Beyond that, there are many simple ways to clean up barn air and greatly reduce respiratory risks.

Photo courtesy of Haygain.

Start at the Top

Things will get worse before they get better. The first step toward clean stable air is the messy process of shaking loose dust and dirt from rafters, corners and behind and underneath piles of hay, trunks, doors, equipment, etc. Horses should be nowhere near this endeavor. Pick a day when you can turn horses out or keep them somewhere else, well away from the stable. Mind your own respiratory health, too. Consider a surgical mask or tie a bandana over your nose and mouth to keep out the big particles.

It’s a good day to wear clothes you mind getting very dirty, perhaps ruined.

Use a broom and ladder to rid the rafters of spider webs and nests. Nesting birds might seem harmless guests, but they’re also disease carriers. Plus, the straw, mud, bits and bobs used to construct their nests add to air quality challenges. Gently relocate the nest somewhere far from the barn, handling it with gloves for your own safety and to prevent your human scent from scaring away the inhabitant.

Spider webs, dust, lint and fibers are also nasty fire threats: another reason to sayonara them from the stable.

Work your way down each stall wall, looking for loose nails and baseboards, splintered wood and other dangers. Plan ahead to strip stall bedding near the end of its life cycle. Haul out loose stall mats and powerwash them outside, ideally with a disinfectant, and let them air dry completely. Examine the floor for depressions that are or could become places for urine to accumulate, with the unhealthy ammonia odors that come with that. The floor underneath waterers and stall mat seams are common wet spots. Let them dry out completely, using a fan to accelerate the process if the base is hard packed enough not to fly loose and add more dust to the air. Then level the surface by filling the holes with an absorbent base material.

Dry depressions in the floor often result from the horse pawing excessively. That could be a symptom for something as simple as boredom or as serious as anxiety, stress or physical discomfort. Monitor that behavior and ask a veterinarian about it.

Check the hardware on stall doors, feeders, waterers, etc., to ensure no sharp spurs have emerged. Test that sliding doors are running smoothly in their tracks. Moving into the barn aisle, haul tack boxes and other equipment away from the wall to remove the dirt and debris behind them. Empty trunks and storage cabinets and do a brutal round of “keep, toss or donate?” before checking that “keeper” items are in good shape. If so, clean them and return them. Do the same in the tack room and grooming area. It’s a great time to examine all saddle, bridle and other tack parts for signs of unusual wear or threat of breakage, followed by another round of “keep, toss or donate?”

Stand back and examine the big picture of each barn aisle, tack room and grooming area. Is there a “place for everything and everything in its place?” Blankets, bandages, grooming supplies? If not, consider what combination of shelving, cabinets and storage bins are needed to achieve that.

Photo courtesy of Haygain.

Keep It Clean

Getting the barn clean is one thing and keeping it that way is another. Happily, many challenges can be mitigated by proactive barn management, especially your approach to two of the biggest culprits in poor air quality: shavings and hay.

Stall conditions are ground zero for air quality. Daily removal of manure and soiled bedding is the obvious starting point, but thinking beyond that to what’s underneath that bedding is a key to long-term clean air.

The aforementioned Inflammatory Airway Disease study described wood shavings as much better than straw bedding, but “more is better” does not apply to shavings when it comes to clean stable air. People see a nice, cushy surface to support their horse’s sweet dreams, but the horse’s lungs see an onslaught of respiratory irritants that come with that deep bedding.

Padded and sealed flooring systems like those pioneered by ComfortStall® are an ideal way to reduce bedding requirements to only that needed to absorb urine. They provide plenty of cushion without compromising air quality. And, preventing urine from seeping below the flooring, as happens with individual mats, also prevents the build-up of urea and bacteria that leads to ammonia, a major airway irritant. While upfront installation costs are nothing to sneeze at, they are quickly recouped (usually in less than a year) by decreases in stall maintenance, bedding and disposal expenses. Best of all, horses and their humans breathe easier.

Absorbent base materials like D&G are better options than dirt-only flooring, and rubber stall mats are helpful except where gaps exist between them.

Moving on to hay, even the highest quality, most expensive varieties arrive with fungi, spores, bacteria and allergens that compromise equine respiratory health – and yours, too.

Checking hay before buying it, or on arrival, for discolorations or odors that indicate mold is an obvious first step. Next is storing it in a well ventilated, rodent-free area, separate from where the horses live. Bales should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation: wooden shipping pallets are handy for this.

Buying large quantities of hay often secures the best per-bale price. Balance that with the prospect of having to store hay so long that its dust, allergen and irritant content increases. Local climate and the bales’ original moisture content are the main variables that affect how long hay can safely be stored.

Steaming is the best way to rid hay of its respiratory risks. By injecting high volume steam, at temperatures exceeding 212°Fahrenheit, thermal hay steaming chests made by Haygain reduce breathable particles up to 99 percent. The process also kills mold, bacteria, fungal spores and mites that are IAD triggers.

Ventilation is a horsekeeper’s best friend in maintaining clean air in the stable. Capitalize on it by making dust, debris and cobweb removal a regular part of the barn maintenance routine, minimizing its quantity in circulating air. Horses thrive in temperatures colder than what humans generally prefer. Forty-five to 75 degrees is a comfortable range for most, so keep barn doors and windows open even if you need to bundle up yourself.

Commit to returning equipment, supplies and tools to those storage solutions determined back in the cleaning phase. Just as in riding and training horses, doing the basics right applies equally to keeping the barn clean and horses breathing easy.

Reprinting and posting encouraged and photos available on request. Haygain is committed to improving equine health through scientific research, product innovation and consumer education in respiratory and digestive health issues. With offices in England and the USA, Haygain distributes products for healthier horses to 19 countries, including its Haygain ® Hay Steamers, ComfortStall ® Flooring System, and Flexineb Nebulizer. Visit for more information.