Classic Eventing Nation

Surprise Pau Late Entry! Michael Jung & Sam to Seek Missing 4* Title

They’ve won Badminton, Burghley, Kentucky and Luhmühlen, but there are a couple four-star wins still on the bucket list: Adelaide, which being in Australia is sort of a hassle to get to, and Pau, the French four-star that is fast approaching on Oct. 25-29.

Well, guess who just showed up late to the Pau entry list party!

!!! FLASH INFO !!!
Michael Jung vient de s’engager sur Les 4 Etoiles de Pau :o
Il sera accompagné de l’illustre La…

Posted by Les 4 Etoiles de Pau on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gotta defend that #1 world title! Go get ’em.

We’ve got three U.S. combinations set to tackle Pau 2017: Boyd Martin will return with Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack, Buck Davidson is competing Carl and Cassie Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach, and Allie Knowles will make her overseas debut with Sound Prospect LLC’s Sound Prospect. We also will be following along with American-based Kiwi Joe Meyer, who is riding Theresa and Madison Foote’s Clip Clop.

Much more to come!

[Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4*]

All North American Horses Pass First Horse Inspection at Le Lion; French Horse Spun

Tiana Coudray (USA) and G. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The first horse inspection took place in a blaze of sunshine at the FEI World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Anger today. All four North American combinations passed — despite a hold for Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver — and although some of the youngsters’ interpretation of the word ‘trot’ left much to be desired, it was largely uneventful. One French horse, Absinthe du Loir, who was to contest the seven-year-old championship with Fabrice Saintemarie, was not accepted.

Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Cooley Quicksilver. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Madison Penfound (CAN) and QEH Ocean Voyage. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The dressage will commence tomorrow at 8:40 a.m. local time/2:40 a.m. EST with the guinea pig test, ridden by Heloise le Guern. Mike Winter and Center will ride for Canada at 9 a.m. local time/3 a.m. EST, and Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver will hit the centreline at 9:14 a.m./3.14 a.m. EST. Tiana Coudray will be one of the last to contest the six-year-old class tomorrow, riding at 11.41 a.m./7.71 a.m. EST.

We’ll be bringing you all the action — and some behind-the-scenes glimpses — as it happens, so stay tuned for some #ENonTour madness!

Go Eventing — or should we say Allez Eventing?

Le Lion: WebsiteEntries & ResultsEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Tall, Dark and Handsome

Short, tall, blonde, brunette, redhead … chrome or no chrome … everyone has a type! If tall, dark and handsome is your thing then here are three CANTER USA horses who might just be exactly what you’re looking for in your next equine partner.

Lincecum (OnebadsharkP R’s Princess, by Surachai): 2008 16.0-hand California bred gelding

Hello, gorgeous! This fella has no white markings whatsoever and looks like he galloped straight out of Black Beauty. With 54 career starts, this ‘War Horse’ earned over $77,000 on the track and is now looking to retire to a new career. The CANTER volunteer who visited him said he’s got clean-looking legs and was a personable and all-around happy guy.

View Lincecum on CANTER USA.

Dark and Beau (Polish MinerMemo Lady, by Memo (CHI)): 2014 16.0-hand California bred gelding

With a name like “Dark and Beau” how could we not include this guy in this listing? This three-year-old was trained to race and showed boldness and good work ethic but just wasn’t fast enough to ever actually earn a start, according to his trainers. He does have an old popped splint on the inside left, but it sound and has great-looking feet and a lovely athletic build.

View Dark and Beau on CANTER USA.

Hanky Doodle (Cherokee’s BoySlow and Steady, by Malibu Moon): 2010 Maryland bred gelding

Not only is this guy a serious cutie, he really did well for himself on the track! Don’t let his goofy personality fool you — “Doodle” is a serious competitor and earned over $200,000 in 69 starts. His gentle and sweet personality made him a barn favorite, particularly of the trainer’s kids. Doodle has no known vices or issues and though he’s well-loved by his connections, this sporty gelding is ready for his next career!

View Hanky Doodle on CANTER USA.

Danish Equestrian Federation Cracks Down on Tight Nosebands

Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Yesterday the Danish Equestrian Federation announced a new rule regulating tightness of nosebands. The rule will require a measurement of at least 1.5 cm between the nasal plate of the horse and the noseband, and will apply to all types of nosebands beginning in 2018.

Noseband tightness has become a hot topic across equestrian disciplines in recent years as riders, officials and trainers gauge the potential for abuse from equipment. In response to this, the Danish Equestrian Federation launched a study in 2014 to explore the impact of equestrian equipment on horses.

The study, which is scheduled for publication in scientific journals later this year, included 3000 horses and examined bits, nosebands, spurs and whips across multiple disciplines.

“The tightness of the nasal band had a very clear connection to the occurrence of oral lesions,” the Danish Equestrian Federation said in a translated statement. “The tighter the nasal band was, the more mouth lesions were recorded. Equipment that started at higher level of competition had a higher prevalence of oral lesions than lower-level equipment.

“The study shows a clear correlation between tight nosebands and the presence of mouth lesions, and we do not want the use of equipment in the sport to cause lesions in the horse’s mouth.”

Measurement angles for different types of nosebands. Photo via The Danish Equestrian Federation.

The rule will take effect across all disciplines January 1, 2018. Competitors whose tack does not comply will be asked to loosen their nosebands before resuming competitions. Multiple violations of this rule will result in sanctions.

For the remainder of 2017, selected Technical Delegates will take sample measurements at competition and test measurement methods, though no sanctions will be given out as a result this year.

What do you think, EN? Should North America follow suit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

[New rule for Noseband Tightness of competition horses in Denmark]

EN Exclusive: A USA Homecoming for New Coach Erik Duvander

Erik Duvander at the Puhinui International Three-Day Event. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

A new era for U.S. eventing is set to begin with Erik Duvander at the coaching helm. The USEF announced last Friday that Erik has been hired as the new U.S. Performance Director for Eventing. He officially stepped into the position on Monday, Oct. 16.

Erik comes to the U.S. High Performance program following a tenure with the New Zealand Eventing Team that spanned a decade. He did not put his name forward to renew his role as High Performance Coach following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where the New Zealand team finished fourth, and his contract with the team expired in October 2016.

The New Zealand team enjoyed a surplus of success under Erik’s tutelage. He served as a team trainer from 2005 to 2008 and took over as High Performance Coach and leader of the team in 2009. Under Erik’s guidance, New Zealand won team bronze medals at both the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington and the 2012 London Olympic Games. Andrew Nicholson and Nereo also won an individual bronze medal at the 2010 WEG.

Erik’s new appointment as head of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team is a homecoming of sorts, as he was born in Chicago and spent his early childhood in America. His family moved when he was 6 years old from the U.S. to Sweden, where he started his eventing career.

Erik moved to the UK when he was 22 to work for Mark Todd. He represented Sweden at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he finished 57th individually, and at the 1994 World Equestrian Games at The Hague, finishing 15th. His pinnacle career achievement came when he rode on the Swedish team that won gold at the 1993 European Championships at Achselschwang, Germany.

After retiring from competing, Erik transitioned to coaching, working with the Japanese, Swedish and New Zealand eventing teams. He now takes over the role of U.S. team coach from David O’Connor, who served in the role from 2013 to 2016 before transitioning in December to USEF Eventing Technical Adviser, a role he was meant to hold through the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

David resigned from the role in May to focus on advancing safety and global risk management in eventing. The USEF opened the application process for U.S. Performance Director for Eventing in July, and Erik was unanimously recommended for the position by the Eventing Sport Committee’s appointed search group.

Erik Duvander at the Kentucky Horse Park with Lucy Jackson in 2012. Photo by Samantha Clark.

A new era

Erik kindly spoke exclusively to EN about his new appointment from his home in New Zealand. “I’ve always been a great admirer of the American team,” he said. “What really struck me was when America won the World Championships at Burghley in 1974, both team and individual gold medals. I was a young boy then and learning about the sport, and I saw America as a great powerhouse in eventing.”

After deciding not to put forward his name to renew his role as New Zealand’s coach, Erik went on an extended teaching tour, spending six months in the U.S. this year and traveling from coast to coast to teach lessons and clinics.

“I’ve met many of your top riders and the next generation of top riders, and I believe you have top horses in this country. I met with enthusiastic owners, and there are wonderful people backing the riders,” he said.

“I feel ready to work with the U.S. team from the experience I’ve had coaching in the past. I love a challenge. After this year being away from High Performance, I am ready to get back into it. I love the sport. I love the horses. It’s the environment I thrive in. When the opportunity came to apply for the job, I had to go for it.”

Erik is back home in New Zealand now but will be traveling to Kentucky later this week to check in at USEF Headquarters in Lexington before hitting the road and going around the country to continue the process of getting to know the riders and horses.

“The next step is to go out and see the riders. I need to listen to their needs and hear them and try to create a picture of where we need to go from here onwards. People have asked me, ‘Will you do what you did with the New Zealand team?’ I don’t believe you can. I think you have to be respectful for the history of the country, the culture and the experience the riders have had to get the best out of them.”

Erik began working with the New Zealand Eventing Team in 2005 as a trainer, and the program started to truly thrive when he officially took on the role of High Performance Coach in 2009 ahead of the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

“I had five goals when I became New Zealand’s coach. First, I wanted to create the best team culture where the organization, trainers, leaders and riders worked together to achieve results. When I took over the New Zealand team it was in disarray. I switched it from everyone working as individuals to creating a culture where everyone worked together in harmony and drew on each other’s experiences,” he said.

“Second, I set a goal to win team medals, which we did at the 2010 World Games and 2012 London Olympics. I wanted to be a part of New Zealand winning team medals, but my third goal was to see Andrew win a medal individually, which he hadn’t done up until that point. He’d been the backbone of the New Zealand team for such a long time and made sacrifices for the team. My role is about setting it up to make that possible,” he continued.

“My fourth goal was to develop the next generation of competitive riders for New Zealand, which we did with Tim Price, Jonelle Price, Lizzie Green, Jock Paget, Jesse Campbell and Clarke Johnstone, who all won three or four-star competitions while I was coach. The fifth goal was to win CCI4* events. I’m very proud that we were able to win 10 CCI4* competitions with five different riders.”


Returning to the podium

As for his goals for the U.S. team, with the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon less than a year away, Erik said his immediate focus in his new role will be leading the team to the best possible performance on home soil.

“It’s a short time to make big changes, and you wouldn’t want to make too many changes. The focus will be more on improving the detail in the last 11 months going in. During this period of time, it’s about reading the landscape and understanding the bigger picture and where it needs to go. I’ll be trying to grasp that before WEG and then roll out a longer term plan.”

Ultimately the pinnacle goal will be to return U.S. eventing to the podium. The U.S. last won a medal at a major championships when the team took bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The team last won a World Equestrian Games medal in 2002 at Jerez. The USA has not completed a team at a major championships since the 2012 London Olympics.

Does Erik feel that pressure to return the U.S. team to the podium? “I feel pressure every day, and I always put a lot of pressure on myself. I am competitive by nature. It’s a good motivator. It’s very important at these big competitions that a nation does well, so it is important now that I’m attached to the American team,” he said.

“The goal is to create an environment where riders can develop and thrive. It’s a tough sport. There has to be enough joy in it. There are a lot of knocks on the way. It has to be an environment where they enjoy working and can develop and the horses can develop.”

As for whether Erik will move to the USA, that decision is still up in the air. Erik, his wife Stephanie, who is a native New Zealander, and their three children currently live in Auckland after moving back from the UK, where the New Zealand team and coaches relocated in 2011 in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics. Their children, Luca, 15, Finn, 13, and Stella, 11, are attending excellent schools in Auckland.

“Our kids are thriving here in their new schools. They had moved around quite a lot in the UK and then back again to New Zealand. We need to see how this first year goes up until the World Games. If we felt ready to move to the USA then there is a high chance. They are open-minded and excited about the possibility.”

The EN team would like to send our heartiest welcome to Erik, who you will be seeing out and about in the U.S. very soon. He will also be leading the USEF High Performance sessions at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California in December, and as always EN will be bringing you all the latest High Performance news from the USEA Convention. Go Eventing.

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Tiana Coudray is ready for Le Lion. Photo courtesy of Tiana Coudray.

There’s no better between the ears than a French between the ears! Welcome to Le Lion where the grass is very green, the chateaus are rolling, and the cream of the crop is descending upon the French countryside. Good luck to all our North American competitors this weekend!

National Holiday: No Beard Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Waredaca Classic N/T3DE & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Tryon Riding & Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Windermere Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Pine Hill Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Hagyard Midsouth Classic 3DE, CCI, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Barbados is trying to put together an event teamIf you’ve got ten minutes to spare, take a listen to this short podcast, which expands on how Barbados eventers are trying to make a go of it. [Barbados Eventers]

Lauren Kieffer has a whole crop of young ones coming up behind her stars. Despite spending all summer and fall over in England, Lauren didn’t neglect her youngsters. She spent the time flying back and forth to keep them going, concentrating on their adjustability, boldness, and simply working out where their limbs are depending on their specific needs. [Young Horses Take Their Own Courses]

Boyd Martin put on a hunt cap (figuratively) the day after Fair Hill. Because finishing third in the Fair Hill CCI3* wasn’t enough, Boyd decided to drive up to Harrisburg for the Gentleman’s Hunter Under Saddle. Catch riding Right On Que, he managed to pick up a blue ribbon without blinking an eye. [He Saw, He Conquered]

Lexi Wikstrom is burning the candle at both ends. As a project manager in the construction industry who works on road widening projects, Lexi is used to being at work before the crack of dawn. She follows up long construction days with rides on her two OTTBs, who she’s been working with since 2009. [Amateurs Like Us]

SmartPak Product of the Day: Finally fall temperatures are here and with that is the tendency to add and remove layers all day long. A nice down vest can keep the body warm with the arms cool, and help regulate that temperature. [SmartPak]

Tuesday Video from SpectraVet: Fair Hill CCI3* Helmet Cam

Helmet cam alert! We’ve got the first hand view of the three-and-a-half star cross country that is Fair Hill. Mexico’s Daniela Moguel and Australia’s Clayton Fredericks both donned helmet cams to give us the tour around the beautiful Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Elkton, Md.

If you’re suffering from a horse show hangover like us, let these videos hold you over until the next one, EN!

Fair Hill: WebsiteFinal CCI ScoresYEH Final ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

SpectraVET is committed to providing only the highest-quality products and services to our customers, and to educating the world in the science and art of laser therapy.

We design and manufacture the broadest range of clinically-proven veterinary therapeutic laser products, which are represented and supported worldwide by our network of specialist distributors and authorized service centers.

Lauren Billys Collecting Supplies for Puerto Rico’s Horses

Photo courtesy of Lauren Billys.

In the wake of the devastation brought upon Puerto Rico by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Lauren Billys has started a fundraiser to aid the hundreds of horses on the island who are in dire need of assistance.

Lauren, who has represented Puerto Rico in the Olympic and Pan Am Games, explains, “When Puerto Rico was hit with back-to- back hurricanes, the island’s power, water and necessities to live have become nonexistent. As the island works through this time, there are so many places in need.

“I am Puerto Rican and have been competing under this flag for seven years. Most immediately, our friends in Puerto Rico have reached out to receive basic needs for horses that are also struggling through this time.”

Lauren has started a registry of basic horse care items that can be purchased for Lauren to ship to Puerto Rico. Alternatively, cash donations to offset the cost of shipment are welcome. Donors are instructed to purchase items off of the registry and have them shipped directly to Lauren.

Click here to view the registry.

A post-hurricane photo of a stable belonging to Lauren’s friend and fellow Puerto Rican team member for the show jumping team, Israel Lopez, and his wife Roxana Royo. Lauren notes that their roughly 60 horses need supplies to help them combat the effects of standing water and the desolation of their barn. Photo courtesy of Lauren Billys.

We applaud Lauren’s effort and urge the eventing community to help, whether through the registry or a fundraising effort such as the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

Through a joint fundraising effort with Equestrian Canada, the Pan American Equestrian Confederation, and the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, U.S. Equestrian has helped contribute to over $100,000 in aid to horses in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. Tens of thousands of pounds of hay and feed have been sent via shipping containers to the affected islands, helping to address immediate nutritional needs, as well as veterinary supplies.

Click here to make a donation to the USEF Equine Disaster Fund.

Eventers Take Top Honors on Hunt Night at Pennsylvania National Horse Show

Boyd Martin and Right On Que, winners of the Gentlemen’s Hunter Under Saddle class. Photo by Al Cook (

The versatility of eventers was on display yesterday during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show‘s Hunt Night, when a handful of our own showed up and helped Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds to the championship.

Boyd Martin, who moonlights with the Cheshire in the off-season, won the Gentlemen’s Hunter Under Saddle class. Fresh off a 3rd place finish in the Fair Hill International CCI3*, Boyd drove up to Coatesville, Pa., the following day to compete upon the suggestion of one of a fellow hunt member.

“In November and December I pretend to be a foxhunter with the Cheshire and somehow I got roped into competing in the Hack,” Boyd says. “I had no idea what it involved, but it was brilliant! I’ve never been to anything like this before. I got lent a horse and had a bit of training in the collecting ring and went in there and had a crack at the class. It was great fun.”

Boyd Martin Wins the Gentlemen’s Hunter Under Saddle

It was a nice and fun surprise to see Boyd Martin representing Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in the Gentlemen’s Hunter Under Saddle class last night at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show!

Posted by EQSportsNet on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

His catch ride was Right On Que, owned by Cheshire member Tanya Emslie of Unionville. The horse also won the Ladies’ Hunter Under Saddle title with Emslie in the saddle.

“It’s very exciting. I am so proud of my horse,” Tanya says. “It’s a great honor because there are so many beautiful horses and great riders. It’s so amazing to win and to have an Olympian ride your horse is pretty phenomenal. I am overwhelmed.”

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds Team Two, winner of the Hunt Team competition, included eventer Erika Nesler. Photo by Al Cook (

The highlight of Hunt Night is the Hunt Team competition. The three riders in each team ride over a series of fences, one behind the next, mimicking a hunt. The grand final is the final obstacle, which is jumped in unison.

Twenty teams from 13 Hunt Clubs contested the class, with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds Team Two coming out on top. The team: Joy Slater, Skylar McKenna and … three-star eventer Erika Nesler!

Erika also placed 5th out of 34 riders in the 35 & Under jumping class, riding her Intermediate mare No Doubt DSF. She called it a “crazy fun night.”

Erika Nesler and No Doubt DSF. Photo courtesy of Erika Nesler.

Other eventers representing the Cheshire: Cindy Buchanan, winner of the Prelim Amateur division at the 2017 AECs. She and The Lone Spy placed 3rd in the 36 & Over Field Hunter. Daughters Maggie and Audrey, who also event, placed 3rd and 4th in the 35 & Under class, and the three Buchanans finished 8th in the Hunt Team competition.

Well done, ladies! Photo courtesy of Erika Nesler.

Go Eventing!



Let’s Discuss: An Open Letter to My Non-Pregnant Horse Friend

Each week in “Let’s Discuss” we open a different topic up for discussion. Have a discussion starter? Email it to [email protected]

Embed from Getty Images

This week’s prompt arrived in the form of an open letter from an EN reader, who wishes to remain anonymous. She’s pregnant, and feeling alienated from her eventing buddies: “I feel like in the horse world, pregnancy is looked at as the end of the world sometimes. My ‘friends’ have definitely treated it that way.”

An open letter to my non-pregnant horse friend:

Dear Horse Friend,

I saw your weekend was full of triumphs and ribbons! That’s amazing! I tried to call you when I thought you might be on your way (since it’s a long drive and I know you have Bluetooth), but to no avail. I was surprised because this used to be a time when we caught up, but that’s OK, I know you’re busy.

Instead I stalked your weekend on EventEntries. I didn’t think you’d mind. You used to call me sometimes if you had a good round, or a bad one, and I’d like to think that I was a good listener but I didn’t expect a call. It’s funny, I didn’t expect one last weekend either.

Here’s the thing, Horse Friend: The minute I told you I was pregnant it was like a switch went off and all of a sudden you could not talk to me about anything. We all of a sudden couldn’t talk about life, not even the horses. Sure I’m not riding right now, but I still support your dream. I’m still the same human except right now I’m petting my beloved unicorn instead of competing in fall events.

So here it is. I’ve tried to text you about your horse. I’ve tried to call you to see how you’re doing. I never mention that you don’t even attempt to reach out or to ask how I’m doing or how I’m feeling. You’ve never asked how I’m handling not riding (for your information it’s killing me softly). I never needed your sympathy; I needed you to remember that I’m not broken. I’m just pregnant. In a few months, I won’t be. I’ll have a baby and I’ll have two horses and through some sort of controlled chaos I’ll hopefully find time to get back in the saddle and back competing in my subterranean division.

The difference, however, won’t only be that I’ll juggle all that with a kid on my hip like SO MANY OTHERS already do, but you will not be a part of it in any way shape or form. I’ll hopefully have found a different network of *gulp* horse MOM friends who are also somehow managing to do what I’m doing. And so help me if six months, a year, two years, 10 years down the road you call me with THAT phone call telling me YOUR wonderful news. I will wholeheartedly congratulate you, but also tell you goodbye and if you catch me on a bad day, probably give you a little piece of my mind as well.

Goodbye, horse friend. I’m sorry I seem broken or for some reason unapproachable or unrelatable to you. It’s just a baby.


Your (pregnant) Horse Friend

Notes about the author: I event Beginner Novice because I’m a chicken and because I didn’t start riding horses until I was in college (so I skipped the fearless leader stage). I have an OTTB and an AQHA both geldings. I’m lucky enough to have my horses living in my backyard in Maryland. BadEventer is my spirit animal and I like and share her posts so much she probably thinks  I’m a low-level stalker. I love Horseware Ireland stuff and have mostly hand-me-down everythings. I’m never going to the Olympics. 

The author insists that she has “every intention of getting right back in the saddle as soon as possible, dark circles under my eyes and all,” and says, “It’s not the end of the world for me” — but the hurt feelings remain.

EN readers: Can any of you out there relate, offer words of advice or share a different perspective? Let’s discuss.