Classic Eventing Nation

Previewing the New 2018 Dressage Tests with Marilyn Payne + Videos

Marilyn Payne speaking about the new USEF dressage tests with Matt Brown and Gretchen Butts today at the USEA Convention. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The new 2018 USEF dressage tests were unveiled last month, and those in attendance at the USEA Convention today were treated to a special preview of the tests. Marilyn Payne, Gretchen Butts and Brown, who worked with Sue Smithson and Mark Weissbecker to write the tests, all gave helpful tips in a packed session this morning.

Key Changes in 2018 Tests

  • The A tests for all levels are introductory and track left.
  • The B tests for all levels are more difficult and track right.
  • All transitions and movements are mirror images in the tests.
  • Free walks and medium walks are always separated as different movement.
  • The free walks have all been extended to allow more time to show the movement.
  • Halts are always separated.
  • At Preliminary level all trot work is optional rising or sitting.
  • In the Intermediate A test, medium trot is optional rising or sitting.
  • In the Intermediate B test, rising trot is mandatory.

Marilyn’s Tips for Better Scores

  • Develop a lengthening gradually. “You don’t have to come out of the corner and blast forward.”
  • When changing rein, don’t change your diagonal in the middle of the movement. Wait until the end so you don’t disrupt the flow.
  • Getting a good score for the halt is not about simply halting square. “It’s the transition into the halt, too. If the horse is balanced in the transition and soft on the aids, then you’re going to get a higher score. And (the horse) has to stand. You should count to at least 3.”
  • In the leg yield, the horse should be parallel to the rail with just a slight flexion at the poll. The horse should not have an exaggerated bend.
  • In the counter canter loop, maintain the bend of the lead you are on.
  • If the reinback requires three or four steps, you won’t get a better score if you do four. “If you have three good steps, quit and just walk forward.”
  • In the stretchy trot circle, you want to see the horse taking the contact and stretching through his back. “It’s not how low the horse goes; it’s the quality of the stretch.”
  • In a free walk you can have a long rein or loose rein.
  • Use your corners! “Riders don’t use corners enough, and corners are very beneficial to rebalance the horse and prepare for the next movement.”
  • The medium walk should be a marching walk and the horse should over track. “So many times we see after the free walk you pick the horse up and the steps get shorter.”
  • Turn on the haunches can be up to a meter wide. “You don’t want to see the haunches stepping out. It is a turn on the haunches, so don’t do a walk pirouette because then you increase your chances of getting stuck.”

We have preview videos of five of the new 2018 tests thanks to David Frechette, Jennie Brannigan, Janelle Phaneuf and Hannah Sue Burnett. Scroll down to watch them all.

Many thanks to Sue Smithson, Gretchen Butts, Mark Weissbecker, Matt Brown and Marilyn Payne for working on the new USEF tests. Bring on the 2018 season!

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Max Corcoran: ‘Make Good Decisions!’

Max Corcoran led EN’s favorite session today! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

During a well attended afternoon session yesterday at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in Long Beach, CA, renowned groom and barn manager, Max Corcoran, reminded us to make good decisions when working with and around horses. As we all know, horses are always finding new ways to get themselves into trouble and safety is paramount. Here are some of Max’s helpful tips.

  • The horse always come first!
  • Many people don’t grow up around horses and start riding later in life so they don’t get to be a barn kid and make mistakes. Help people learn!
  • In the stall:
    • Make sure double end snaps on buckets are facing the wall so the horse doesn’t catch its nose or eye.
    • In the stall or trailer, make sure hay nets are hung up high with some way to come down, like a hay net, so they don’t get their feet caught or can break it away from the wall if it does get caught.
    • Don’t surprise the horse going in to the stall or you might get kicked! Let him know you are there before going in.
  • Leading:
    • Don’t ever wrap a lead of any sort around any part of your body.
    • If you use a chain shank, don’t loop it and make a hole for a foot to get stuck through. If you use a chain shank, don’t ever tie the horse up with the chain over its nose.
  • Tying:
    • When cross tied, make sure they can break away somehow with bailing twine or safety snaps.
    • If you’re trying something new, like clipping, take them off the cross ties for the first time.
  • Turnout:
    • Shut the gate before you let the horse go!
  • Tacking Up:
    • Attach the girth to the breastplate before attaching it to the dee rings on the saddle.
    • Always run your stirrup irons up if you aren’t on so they don’t get caught on doorways, jaws, or banging on their sides.
  • Blanketing:
    • Always do the leg straps or belly straps before the neck straps. If the horse starts moving it slips off behind them instead of in front of them.
    • Turn the chest snaps in towards the horse’s chest so it doesn’t get caught on something.
    • Always do leg straps up again after you take the blanket off so the straps don’t get caught on something or hit a horse or human.
  • Trailering:
    • Do up the butt bar on the trailer before attaching the horse’s head.
    • Always close the windows on a slant load.
    • Always keep spare halter and lead ropes in the trailer.
    • Know how to change a tire and always keep a full set of spares! Check your tire pressure often!
    • Have an emergency vet kit in your trailer and located somewhere accessible.
  • Competition Stabling:
    • Mind your space and be respectful of your neighbors.
    • Don’t put your dog on a long wire lead or retractable leash where it could go after or wrapped around a horse’s legs.
  • Vet Box Etiquette:
    • Don’t set up too early or spread out too much.
    • Be helpful.
    • Pack up when you’re done.
    • Scrape the water off the horse to facilitate cooling!
  • Warm Up Etiquette:
    • Don’t start too early
    • Share the jumps
    • Be kind to volunteers!

And so many more!

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221 Hours of Service: Meet the USEA’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Mike Smallwood

Mike Smallwood (second from left) and crew. Photo courtesy of Mike Smallwood.

Actually, to be exact, it was 221:01 volunteer hours logged at USEA recognized events, according to the program that does the tracking. Which, if you do the math, amounts to over nine days’ of Mike Smallwoods’ life in the past year — an impressive feat that speaks to his dedication to the sport.

But what of that extra one second?

Beats Mike. “Ha, the .01 … I’m not sure about that,” he says. “Just goes to show program counts every second that every volunteer has worked over the year.”

Mike, of Dickerson, Md., is known for putting his head down and getting done whatever needs to be done — no matter the job and no matter how long it takes. He’s worn many hats: safety coordinator, jump judge, announcer, jump crew, control, volunteer briefer, horse wrangler, trailer mechanic, truck mechanic, golf cart mechanic, course builder, landscaper, parking guru, cook, bartender and many more, at both recognized and unrecognized competitions. He’s always one of the first to arrive and the last to leave every day, and he’s in it from pre-event setup to post-event clean-up.

His favorite roles to play? “Safety coordinator and jump judging, but I will fill whatever role is needed,” he says. Although, he does admit to one hole in his volunteer skillset: “I think competitors would appreciate my handwriting staying away from scribe duties.”

During those other 8,538 hours and 59 seconds of the year, Mike keeps himself busy riding his horse, a bay Thoroughbred mare named Prada, running Woodstock Equestrian Park, and serving as a volunteer firefighter and chief at Carol Manor Fire Company.

Photo by Cheryl Sherman.

Photo courtesy of Alex Ambelang.

“Horses have been a part of my life, all my life, thanks to my mom,” Mike says. “I grew up riding in jumpers, then switched to western, and now it’s just pleasure and some eventing. I got into eventing through a friend, and now I am fully immersed in it.”

He got hooked into volunteering through the Maryland Horse Trials, where he started on an ambulance with the standby crew, and then grew into handling the safety coordinator position. From there, it was full speed ahead: “This year I have been to more event facilities than I think I ever have, both as a volunteer and a spectator visiting my lovely girlfriend (Alex Ambelang).”

Asks what he gets out of the volunteer experience, Mike says it’s all about the people and the great friendships he has made.

Photo courtesy of Alex Ambelang.

Mike’s achievement will be honored at the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention Year End Awards Dinner with a $1,000 check, a custom “USEA Volunteer of the Year” jacket, and crystal trophy. A special thank you to Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Eventing Volunteers program and covering the cost for every USEA recognized event.

Ever humble and gracious, Mike says he would like to thank Carolyn Mackintosh, Gena Cindric and Alex Ambelang for their support through the year, and gives a nod to his fellow volunteers. “I think all the volunteers that have given through the year and years deserve as much recognition as I am getting,” he says. “We all work so hard to do our part for a sport/community we have come to love.”

Mike urges others to embrace the volunteer spirit. “Anyone can be a volunteer; I encourage it as it’s giving back to the sport. No experience is required — every place I have been has had great coordinators and stewards who will show you the way and make you feel welcome.”

Other pro tips for volunteers: “A good pencil, and a comfortable chair.”

Go Mike. Go Eventing!

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Thoroughbreds running loose at Saint Luis Rey Downs. Photo courtesy of Ashlie Campbell.

I’ve included a video below that I just watched, and it’s shaken me to the core. It is of Saint Luis Rey Training Center, and the grooms trying desperately to get the horses out of the burning barns. The fires in California reached the training center yesterday, however horse trailers were not allowed to travel there until it was basically too late. The grooms were turning all the horses loose in order for them to have a better chance of survival outside of the burning barns. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, and I just don’t have words. I’m not a “thoughts and prayers” type of person because I believe action speaks louder than a Facebook comment, so I’ll be spending my time searching for ways to give to relief funds related to this natural disaster.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleConvention Program, Live StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

National Holiday: National Brownie Day

News From Around the Globe:

Seventy-five percent of Saint Luis Rey Training Center burned down yesterday, with the majority of the horses set loose on the property to escape the burning barns and palm trees surrounding the buildings. It is unclear at this time how many equine and human casualties. Some trainers had vans ready for horses to evacuate, but were halted by sherifs due to fires on the roads. [Saint Luis Rey Training Center Burns Down]

For some good news regarding Thoroughbreds, we go to COTH blogger Chanda Boyle, who recently rediscovered why Thoroughbreds are so amazing and wonderful. Historically a show hunter rider, Chanda has spent the past two decades working with warmbloods and warmblood crosses, but recently switched back to the breed she dreamed of when she was a child: the Thoroughbred. [I Had Forgotten About The Thoroughbred]

Scumbag of the week goes to Penn National trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez, who just received a measly $500 fine and a 45-day suspension for failing to treat one of his horses for a shattered sesamoid. Silent Ruler was listed on CANTER after being “injured” in a race on August 26th, but with no diagnostic details. When an interested horse person went to look at him, she found him clearly in distress and non weight bearing on a right front ankle, and immediately reported it to the track vet. [Penn National Trainer Gets Measly Suspension For Animal Cruelty]

Courtney Cooper is hosting her second annual holiday auction online, and you can find some pretty neat stuff. She’s got tack from Success Equestrian, Voltaire, Dy’on and VTO Saddlery, entries and cross country waivers for multiple competition venues, lessons with a variety of top trainers around the country, and even $500 worth of vet services from the famous Kevin Keene! [C Square Farm Fundraiser Auction]

Posted by Leo Tapia on Thursday, December 7, 2017

USEA Convention Thursday Roundup: The Quest for Good Footing & Beyond

The Board of Governors’ Reception at #useaconvention has some special guests!

A post shared by Eventing Nation (@goeventing) on

Hello from the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California! The festivities kicked off today at the Westin Long Beach Hotel, and as always the EN team is here to bring you behind the scenes.

While the Convention is always a wonderful time of the year for our American eventing family to catch up and celebrate the season, we would be remiss not to say that we remain extremely concerned about the wildfires blazing throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Our thoughts are with all affected by the fires, especially the horse owners who are fighting to save the lives of their beloved animals.

Read on for a summary of today’s meetings. Stay tuned for much more from the #USEAConvention, and remember you can watch many of the sessions online thanks to the live stream from Ride On Video.

The GoingStick being used on a British racecourse. Photo courtesy of TurfTrax.

Professional Horseman’s Council

Matt Brown is taking over as chair of the Professional Horseman’s Council starting in 2018, and outgoing chair Tamie Smith led her final session today before officially passing the baton. PHC tackles a variety of pressing topics in American eventing, and EN encourages professional riders who haven’t previously gotten involved with the council to do so.

Case in point: The PHC is considering using a special type of device called a penetrometer to test the quality of footing on cross country courses throughout America. Penetrometers have long been used in the racing world, with The Jockey Club mandating the use of a specific model called the GoingStick at all British racecourses since 2007.

“If we had a few strategically located devices out there, we think it could improve footing nationwide,” Tamie said. “We need to make an attempt to do this in coordination with some organizers. … We don’t want to attack anybody. We just want better ground for our horses.”

The Racing Post wrote an excellent piece on the GoingStick device, explaining that it “measures both the penetration (the amount of force required to push the tip into the ground) and the shear (the energy needed to pull back to an angle of 45 degrees from the ground). These two measures taken in combination represent a scientifically based proxy for the firmness of the ground and level of traction experienced by a horse during a race. The information is automatically stored in the GoingStick memory and an average of all readings can be provided instantly.”

While the GoingStick is a newer concept in eventing, it has been used previously by British Eventing at major events like Burghley. Click here to read about the GoingStick’s use in British racing. Click here to read a thorough breakdown of the scientific nitty gritty behind the device.

Jane Murray, co-chair of the Carolina International Executive Committee, said the concept of using a device to evaluate the quality of footing means “it’s no longer subjective. It adds an element of technology and analysis that I think is helpful for organizers.”

As for other topics addressed in the PHC meeting, multiple concerns were raised about FEI stewards attempting to enforce incorrect rules at various events in America this season. Concerns about improper stewarding should be directed to Janis Linnan, Chief FEI Steward in the US.

Click here for contact information for all of the dedicated volunteers who generously give their time to serve on USEA Committees and Task Forces.

USEF High Performance Athletes

Nosy reporters in attendance at today’s USEF Eventing High Performance Athletes meetings will have to wait two more days for new US Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander to unveil his plan for 2018 and beyond.

Erik presented his plan in a closed meeting today to the USEF Training Listed Riders & Eligible Athletes Committee this afternoon, and the plan will now go forward for approval from various USEF committees before being formally presented on Saturday.

If you’re not familiar with Erik’s extensive experience as a successful coach for other nations, click here to read EN’s exclusive interview. He spoke briefly in the open High Performance meeting today to introduced himself, saying it’s “a great honor but a huge challenge” to take on the coaching role.

He has spent the last seven weeks traveling around the U.S. meeting the riders and horses and getting to know their programs. “Hopefully I’ll be able to find the right recipe to get American riders to win at the highest level,” Erik said. “I promise you I’ll work my butt off for that.”

USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris then addressed the High Performance athletes, first speaking about the athlete drug testing that took place at the Ocala Jockey Club Three-Day Event last month.

“The FEI has hired a new company to do their testing, and the amount of testing will increase,” Joanie said. With that in mind, she is recommending that all athletes who competing in FEI competitions download the Global DRO app on their phones.

Similar to the Clean Sport app for horses, the Global DRO app allows athletes to enter the name of a prescription drug or supplement they are taking and instantly know whether it is legal for competitions.

Joanie also addressed the slew of new FEI rule changes coming down the pipeline, in particular the sweeping overhaul of the star system set to be implemented in 2019. “It is going to be very complicated as we transfer data to re-classifiy events based on the new star system,” Joanie said.

With that in mind she asked that anyone who contacts the USEF with questions regarding qualifications be mindful of the massive amount of work that will be taking place on the administrative side to implement the new star system for 2019.

Joanie also clarified that the 50-penalty flag rule is not a USEF rule, and riders can still ask the fence judge at National events if they were inside or outside of the flag. The FEI is still tweaking this rule and recently formed a sub-committee to look at re-writing it, so stay tuned for more on the flag rule.

Lastly, Joanie encouraged athletes to submit feedback about events at the National level and asked for suggestions on how the USEF could make it easier to collect this information. The idea of creating an app that allows riders to quickly answer questions about an event received positive feedback.

Get FREE Tax Money for Your Event

USEA CEO Rob Burk discussed several avenues that event organizers can take to get government grants, awards or loans to help support their event. Events that have.been able to tap into some of these funds are the American Eventing Championships at Texas Rose Horse Park, Fair Hill International, Rebecca Farm and Red Hills.

“(These funds) will not solve all your problems but is potential for additional sponsorship,” Rob said.

Fundability varies and depends on the size of the facility, number of spectators, land features, location, if you host non-profit or not-for-profit activities, and your openness to work with the federal, state, and local governments. 

Here are some tips to help event organizers find and procure these funds. 

1. Make a Business Plan. A business plan includes a cover sheet, statement of purpose, an overview of the business (description of business and market, management structure, sources of funding, SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

2. Do an Economic Impact Analysis. Examine the effect of an event on the economy in a specified area. It usually measures changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs. There are firms that can help you do that but they can be costly. Rob is looking into developing a relationship with IMPLAN to help events analyze their economic impact. 

“Having a basic understanding of the economics of running your event is important,” Rob said. 

3. Set your goals first then figure out how to get a grant or loan to help fill those needs. Don’t just find a great program and then try to shoehorn your way in if it’s not what the grant writers are looking for.

4. Determine Your Needs. What does my event need to fulfill our goals? i.e. capital, infrastructure, everything. Where is it being held? Being on private, public or preserved land is key: Bonding authority on a public property versus funding for infrastructure on private land. 

5. Investigate what programs might fit your event/property: there are grants/awards/loans from federal, state, local, public and private entities. 

  • Federal Programs: US Small Business Administration Loans and Grants, general small business loans, USDA Rural Development
  • When you’re looking for state programs, look for programs and agencies that have pertinent key word in their titles like business, commerce, agriculture, natural resources, etc. 
  • On the local level, the Chamber of Commerce is usually a really good place to go as a first step and ask if there are business incentive grants. 
  • Private programs: Examples are the USA Equestrian Trust, Home Depot-Community Impact Grants Program, Lowe’s Small Grants Program, Walmart-Community Grant Program

4. Get to Know Your Local Leaders. Invite them to your event, let them get to know the value your event brings to the community (preserve open space, tourism, local economic impact).

5. Don’t Count on These Funds. In most cases these funds are supplemental. Funding is unpredictable. View this as a bonus!

Intercollegiate Program Open Forum

Intercollegiate Committee Chair Leslie Threlkeld presented an update on the Intercollegiate Program. The Intercollegiate Program is still relatively young but has been growing rapidly and there is strong interest from college-aged riders. 

College-aged USEA members are eligible for a membership discount of $25 if their school is a USEA registered affiliate, which is a cost of $75. 

In 2017, there were 215 Collegiate Memberships and 33 colleges and universities registered as affiliates. Areas 2, 3 and 8 have the most affiliates (six or more) while Areas 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have only one or two affiliates. Areas 9 and 10 have none. Reaching out to event organizers and schools in the less active areas in order to promote the Intercollegiate program is a focus of the Committee going forward. 

In the first two years of offering affiliate memberships it was free for schools, however with 33 affiliates (an increase over the first two years) in 2017, the cost does not appear to deter schools from becoming an affiliate. An affiliate membership is required for the school to compete at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship. There are no other Championship qualifications at this time.

The 2017 Intercollegiate Championship at Virginia Horse Trials saw an significant participation increase from the inaugural year in 2016. More than 80 students from 17 colleges and universities made up 21 teams at the 2017 event. The winning team, Clemson, won tons of prizes and awards from USEA sponsors. The Spirit Award winner, Texas A&M, were given refunds on their entry fees from the Virginia Horse Trials. 

The Intercollegiate Championship and most other team challenges with mixed level teams use a coefficient system to account for level of difficulty. At the Championship, the Beginner Novice level is assigned a 1.1 coefficient. Could this discourage schools from putting lower level riders on their team? The Intercollegiate program encompasses all levels of competitors and there is a strong contingent of Beginner Novice riders participating. Further surveys and discussion will be done to determine if the coefficient system should be adjusted.

In 2017, 23 out of 33 affiliated schools participated in one or more intercollegiate team challenges. Four non-affiliated schools participated in an intercollegiate team challenge. There were no team challenges on the West Coast, however, so promotion and outreach in that region of the country is especially important. 

The Intercollegiate Committee has created a guide to assist students in forming teams at their college or university and also a guide to assist organizers in running a collegiate team challenge at their event. Those documents are available on the USEA website here and here. 

Stay tuned for a full summary of Max Corcoran’s excellent sessions on Making Good Decisions. Things are just heating up at the USEA Convention, with a full day of meetings slated to take place on Friday. Keep it locked on EN for much more from Long Beach.

Editor’s Note: Leslie Threlkeld is amazing and contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles Area Barns Burn Amidst Deadly California Wildfires

Screenshot via video

Fueled by dry conditions and Santa Ana winds, rapidly-moving wildfires are burning hundreds of thousands of acres in Southern California, threatening many homes and barns in the greater Los Angeles area.

A lack of seasonal precipitation has created bone-dry conditions in Southern California, providing plenty of fuel for rapidly-moving and unpredictably-spreading wildfires in the greater Los Angeles area. Fanned by the gusty Santa Ana winds of late autumn, four large fires and several smaller fires have burned an estimated 116,000 acres as of Thursday morning.

Thousands of firefighters are battling the Thomas Fire outside of Ventura as well as the Rye, Creek and Skirball fires closer to Los Angeles, with an estimated 300 homes and business already lost.

The Creek fire burned the well-known Middle Ranch of Lakeview Terrace, home to several well-known barns including Archie Cox’ Brookway Stables and Dick Carvin and Francie Steinwedell-Carvin’s Meadow Grove Farms. Fortunately, all horses on the property were evacuated to safety on Tuesday in advance of approaching flames.

Video from Jorge Hidalgo of Brookway Stables shows a terrifying scene, in which Hidalgo and others still on the property are sent to the riding ring as the safest place as flames take the barns around them. Conditions on the roadways made leaving impossible. Fortunately, all are now safe.

Fire is on

Posted by Jorge Hidalgo on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Getting very very bad

Posted by Jorge Hidalgo on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Video from Francie Steinwedell shows the barns — now mercifully long empty of horses — going up in flames:

So sad to see our barn go up in flames

Posted by Francie Steinwedell on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Equine evacuation centers have been set up at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, Los Angeles Equestrian Center, the Fairplex grounds and Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Many smaller farms and ranches are also opening their doors to horse owners in need.

Some farms and ranches have not been as lucky as Middle Ranch — due to the fast-moving nature of these wildfires, some larger facilities had only enough time to get people to safety. Thirty horses reportedly died in the Creek fire on Wednesday when the owners were forced to flee for their lives early in the morning with no time to evacuate stock to safety.

As fires are still raging, with only 15% estimated to be contained, few wide-scale relief efforts have been set up at this time. So far, Damoor’s Feed and Tack of Glendale, California has pledged support to affected horse owners:

While no announcement of aid has been made formally by US Equestrian, interested individuals can always donate to the Disaster Relief Fund to help fellow equestrians in need. We will continue to monitor this story as fires burn; the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday shows that winds may diminish which may allow firefighters to gain some control over the flames.

For networking and information about evacuations, visit the Southern California Equine Emergency Evacuation Facebook group. More information about disaster preparedness and evacuation plans can be found here.

Update 12/7/2017 7:14 PM EST:

Two fires at 0% containment –called the Lilac and Liberty fires — are spreading rapidly north of San Diego, threatening numerous farms and equestrian centers. Evacuation points for horses have been opened up at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Del Mar Equestrian Center, among other locations.

The San Luis Rey Downs race training facility was a scene of chaos as an estimated 50 horses were turned loose by track staff when their barn caught fire. Some horses were able to evacuate to Del Mar Fairgrounds before road closures forced drastic measures, emphasizing the speed at which the Lilac fire has progressed in just one afternoon, growing rapidly from a thousand to two thousand acres. Individual trainers have confirmed equine deaths, but with fire still active in the area both rescue trailers and individual autos are not being granted access so a total head count of loss is not yet known.

We will continue to follow these stories as they develop.

Watch the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Live Stream

Exciting news, EN! If you can’t make the trip to Long Beach, California to attend the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this weekend, you can still watch many of the meetings, forums and special events thanks to a wall-to-wall live stream from Ride On Video.

The USEA is offering three separate live feeds to cover as many of the sessions as possible. The open feed is totally free to watch and does not require a login. The other two streams are available only to USEA members who have renewed their membership for the 2018 season.

If you haven’t renewed your USEA membership yet, now is the time to do so! You will gain access to all three feeds with both the $85 full competing membership and $40 supporting membership. Click here to view the full list of sessions that will be streamed across the open and members only feeds.

If you are not a USEA member, don’t despair! A slew of sessions will be streamed Friday, Saturday and Sunday for free on the open stream, including the USEA Year End Awards Ceremony on Saturday night. Here’s a look at the full open stream broadcast schedule:

USEA Convention Open Stream – Friday, December 8

8:30-9:30 a.m. PST – Horse Ownership (Dr. Mark Hart, Kevin Baumgardner & Eric Markell)

10-11 a.m. PST – Nutrition For Our Equine Athletes (Russell K. Mueller M.S. PAS from Nutrena)

11 a.m.- 12 p.m. PST – USEA Funded Equine Health Research (Katherine Cooper & Dr. Mike Van Noy)

12-1 p.m. PST – Taking Eventing to the Next Level (Mary Coldren & Jonathan Elliott)

1-2 p.m. p.m. PST – Plans for the Fair Hill CCI4* (Ann Haller)

2-3 p.m. PST – ABCs of Entering a Horse Trial and Your First FEI (Mary Coldren & Christina Gray)

3-4 p.m. PST – Gastrointestinal Health and Management (Dr. Carey Williams)

4-5 p.m. PST – Rehabilitating Your Sport Horse (Dr. Korin Potenza, DVM, CVA & Dr. Nick Huggons)

USEA Convention Open Stream – Saturday, December 9

8-8:30 a.m. PST – Confidence, Camaraderie & Coffee (Daniel Stewart)

9-10 a.m. PST – How Rider Injuries Differ by Gender (Roy Burek from Charles Owen)

10-11 a.m. PST – Constructing a Wellness Program for the Aging Horse (Allyn Mann from Adequan)

4-5 p.m. PST – Organizers & Secretaries: Best Practices (Dawn Benson)

6:30-9:30 a.m. PST – USEA Year End Awards

USEA Convention Open Stream – Sunday, December 10

9-10 a.m. PST – Martial Arts Training to Improve Your Riding (Matt Brown)

Many thanks to the USEA and Ride On Video for providing this live streaming service. Click here to access all three live streaming feeds and the full broadcast schedule. Stay tuned for all of EN’s coverage from the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. Go Eventing.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleLive StreamConvention ProgramEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

Bromont Adding New FEI Event in August 2018

The beautiful Bromont sign. Photo via EN Archives.

Bromont has announced the addition of a new FEI event at the venue for 2018, offering a CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1* on August 17-19 in Quebec, Canada. Derek di Grazia, who designs the courses at Bromont for the June CCI, will also design the courses for the new CIC.

Sue Ockendon, Bromont’s longtime organizer, said she is offering the new CIC in 2018 to fill in the gap on the calendar created by the the cancellation of Richland Park Horse Trials.

“There weren’t any FEI events running between Millbrook and Plantation Field, so it’s an event that is needed next year. If it were successful I would continue running it,” Sue said.

“The whole team will be there, including Jay Hambly, who does a wonderful job as Derek’s assistant course designer. I wouldn’t do the event without them.”

The August CIC at Bromont is the third FEI competition scheduled to run in Canada in 2018. Bromont will host the MARS Incorporated Bromont CCI Three Day Event on June 7-10, 2018, followed by the CIC on August 17-19.

The inaugural running of Foshay International is slated to offer a CCI1* and the FEI’s new 1.05-meter Introductory level over Labor Day weekend, August 30-Sept. 2, 2018, in Lower Jemseg, New Brunswick.

The omnibus pages for all of Bromont’s 2018 competitions, including Little Bromont on June 16-17, will be available on their website.

[Bromont 2018 Dates Announced]

Kentucky Horse Park to Host 2019 & 2020 American Eventing Championships

The Kentucky Horse Park will host AEC in 2019 and 2020! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The USEA has named the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky as the host site for the 2019 and 2020 American Eventing Championships.

“It will be an honor to have the AEC hosted by one of the crown jewel facilities in our sport,” USEA President Carol Kozlowski said. “I can attest to the thrill of galloping and jumping over some of the best ground and well-designed courses in the country, and I’m eager for our members to have the fantastic experience of competing at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“Everything that makes a championship really special will be found there, and I’ll do everything I can to be competing there myself!”

Equestrian Events Inc., organizer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, and Mary Fike, organizer of the Park Equine Kentucky Classique Horse Trials, will share management responsibilities for the 2019 and 2020 AEC.

“It’s exciting to welcome the AEC to Kentucky,” EEI Board President Stewart Perry said. “Through our partnership with Mary Fike, we are looking forward to having a direct avenue to support all levels of our sport.”

Mary added: “We think it’s about time the AEC comes to the Horse Capital of the World! We are confident that the competitors who come to Kentucky will have an experience to remember at the Kentucky Horse Park.”

The AEC most recently completed a two-year run at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, host site of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. In 2018 the AEC will move to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado for one year before moving to Kentucky.

The Kentucky Horse Park will serve as the seventh venue to host the AEC. The championships were first held in 2004 at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina. In 2007 the AEC moved to Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, then Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Georgia in 2010.

The Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas hosted the AEC from 2013 to 2015 before Tryon took over as host in 2016. Area VIII will host the AEC for the first time in the history of the championships when the Kentucky Horse Park takes over hosting duties in 2019.

“I am incredibly thankful to the Tryon Equestrian Partners for their amazing efforts as the hosts of the AEC in 2016 and 2017,” USEA CEO Rob Burk said. “We are also excited to work with the same organizing team at the 2018 AEC at the Colorado Horse Park. I know the TIEC ownership, managers and staff will continue to make it a hub of equestrian sports in America.

“I am also excited to go to bluegrass country for 2019 and beyond,” Rob added. “I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of the AEC competitors as they complete the competition in the same stadium ridden in by the greatest riders in the world!”

The USEA is also “making plans to reduce the costs to (AEC) competitors starting in 2019” and said the move to the Kentucky Horse Park will not increase the cost of competing at AEC.

What do you think about the new host site for AEC in 2019 and 2020, EN? Are you excited for AEC to be hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[USEA Selects Kentucky for the 2019 and 2020 American Eventing Championships]

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

For real though. Photo courtesy of The Horseaholic FB.

Alright well December is already traveling at an alarming speed, and the holidays are right around the corner! I thought I was on top of my game, and did some Christmas shopping for friends in October, and then failed to do any since then. Face palm. Now I’m in a slight panic, seeing as I haven’t actually done much of anything, and I need to get my rear in gear!

In other news, the USEA Convention starts today in Long Beach, California! The convention will be live streamed for the first time thanks to Ride On Video, with the first meeting kicking off at noon PST. Click here to access the live stream.

#USEAConvention: WebsiteOpen Meeting ScheduleCommittee Meeting ScheduleConvention Program, Live StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s InstagramEN’s Twitter

National Holiday: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

News From Around the Globe:

Planning on going to the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring. Get your tickets today as prices go up at midnight EST! [Buy Tickets]

We’re sad to report the passing of legend Bill Steinkraus, who died on November 29th at the age of 92. Bill was undoubtedly one of the greatest riders of all time, winning individual gold on Snowbound at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, team silver in the 1982 Munich Olympics on Main Spring as well as team silver in 1960 in Rome on Riviera Wonder, and team bronze in 1952 in Helsinki on Hollandia. He competed on five Olympic teams for the United States, and will be sorely missed. [William C. “Bill” Steinkraus]

Eventing might be over for the year in the US, but it’s still poppin’ down in New Zealand this weekend with Puhinui International CCI3*. Ten combinations are set to start today, including Olympian and Badminton winner Jock Paget, who will be riding Heelan Tompkin’s Snow Leopard in the horse’s first CCI3*. I wouldn’t bet on Jock though, as he might be leaving mid-competition seeing as his wife is overdue to give birth! [All Roads Lead to Puhinui]

Just to put you in the Christmas spirit….did you see these photos from the Christmas parade in Middleburg? If you’re not already familiar, let me tell  you, it is a sight for horse lovers’ eyes. [Christmas in Horse Country]

Sorry, fans of homeopathy, but Britain’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s says it’s all hokey. Saying that homeopathy is not “based on sound scientific principles”, they stated, “We would like to highlight our commitment to promoting the advancement of veterinary medicine on sound scientific principles and to reiterate the fundamental obligation on our members as practitioners within a science-based profession, which is to make animal welfare their first consideration. In fulfilling this obligation, we expect treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles. Veterinary surgeons should not make unproven claims about any treatments, including prophylactic treatments. [Homeopathy Not Scientifically Sound]

Remember Consensus? He completed Rolex with Julie Norman Shamburger in 2015 and now he is rocking around Prelim with a young rider!