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Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Good morning EN, today is yet another day of snowpocalypse across America- or at least the Northwest and East Coast. I’m currently in Aiken stocked up on a blankets and batteries, crossing my fingers that the predicted ice storm doesn’t knock out my power. Due to the promise of bad weather, the second planned High Performance Aiken training sessions have been postponed for a day. It appears that the plan is to hold the sessions on Thursday, however judging from the forecast even that seems like it will be iffy. For those interested in attending, be sure to check the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page for updates. Speaking of the High Performance page, yesterday it was posted that Silvio Mazzoni will be Team USA’s new show jumping coach. Mazzoni is an Argentinian eventer and successful Grand Prix show jumper. Best of luck to the new coach!

Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter II [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Paradise Farm [Website] [Entry Status]

Fresno County Horse Park HT [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

PSA for all organizers and Advanced competitors: Unlike other levels, the Advanced dressage test A is the more technical of the two dressage tests for the Advanced level. The USEA posted this reminder in order to allow organizers and competitors to plan their competition calendars more thoughtfully. [USEA]

Remember when the Connecticut Supreme Court took up the question of whether or not horses are “inherently dangerous” animals? The CT governor has taken the matter into his own hands. If horses are considered “inherently dangerous,” then there could be potentially devastating consequences for horse owners who would suddenly find their horses and riding operations pretty much uninsurable. In order to save the state’s horse industry, the governor has introduced legislation clarifying that domesticated horses are not wild animals, and as such not “inherently dangerous.” The bill is currently being considered by the state’s General Assembly. [Horsetalk]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Winter training. A star-packed guest list features Francis Whittington, Eric Smiley, Liam Moggan, David O’Connor, Clark Montgomery, Liz Halliday, Tiana Coudray and Tim Randle, all of whom stop by to discuss topics such as the International Eventing Forum,  Event Riders Association meeting, and the recent High Performance Training Sessions. Finally Tik Maynard gives this week’s training tip about introducing your horse to the water. [Eventing Radio Show]

A British woman had admitted to “riding furiously.” The charge, based on a law 167 years old,came after the woman was reported to have ridden by other riders on trails at excess speeds, spooking their horses while she shouted at her own. And of course like many news stories these days, this one has a social media aspect: apparently the charges were brought after a Facebook campaign against the woman in question escalated to the point that her safety was threatened. She will pay a small fine. [Horsetalk]

Help support Elyse Leduc, a Canadian rider who was injured in a serious car accident earlier this week. EquineLUX is donating 20% of its sales to Elyse’s recovery fund, which will go towards caring for her horses while she remains in the hospital. In addition, there will be an online auction that you can donate items to up until February 26 and purchase items from beginning on March 1. [EquineLUX] [Auction for Elyse Leduc]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” Hind Luxation. Dr. Lydia Gray takes on a question from a reader about what supplements will help with hind lunation. The bottom line: no supplement is a good as conditioning and a work schedule.  [SmartPak Blog]

Best of blogs: Jeanie Clarke Eventing working student Allison Kohlberg aims to compete at NAJYRC

Today’s video comes courtesy of RNS Video, who was filming out at the Ocala Horse Properties HT last weekend. Check out this footage of the Intermediate water complex from the Intermediate division that ran as a one day last Friday.


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

David teaching Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon on Monday at the Ocala Training Sessions. Photo from the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page. David teaching Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon on Monday at the Ocala Training Sessions. Photo from the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Good morning EN! The Ocala High Performance Training Sessions are underway this week down in Florida, where the weather can’t make up its mind on what season it is. As you can see from the photo above, Monday was sunny and beautiful, while photos from yesterday’s jumping session show a background consisting of rainy fog.  Today is the third and final day of training, consisting of private dressage lessons again. Check out the links below for more coverage of the training sessions and takeaways from David’s lessons.

[COTH Coverage: Dressage Day 1] [COTH Coverage: Jumping Day] [Visionaire’s Jumping Day Write up] [Videos]

Weekend Preview:

Full Gallop Farm Feb. HT (runs today, Feb. 5) [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Top [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Ocala Horse Properties Winter II HT [Website] [Ride Times]

We reported yesterday on the announcement of  Miners Frolic’s retirement due to a heart problem, and his fans across the pond are speaking out. “Henry” is the only British horse to have ever won three Olympic medals and he has many ardent supporters who are wishing him all the best. Horse & Hound has a nice round up of tweets that were sent out about the subject yesterday. [Horse & Hound]

Kitty King is one of 18 riders selected for Great Britain’s Nations Cup Squad. The squad is a list of riders capable of representing Great Britain at the six FEI Nations Cup competitions, though who lack the experience to make the Senior Squad. A team of four and an alternate will be chosen for each Nations Cup competition, a strategy that worked well for Britain last year as they won the series. Click to see the entire list, and to be amazed by how many young British three star riders exist. [Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard]

 The International Eventing Officials Club has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FEI. The FEI removed the designation of Associate Member status in 2012, and the IEOC is one of several former Associate Member bodies to sign a memorandum in order to cover “universal issues” like FEI rules, recognition, and welfare status. The IEOC consists of more than 1,000 members and is an important link between the FEI and the sport of eventing, which continues to grow. Did you know that the number of events worldwide has increased by 77% since 2004? [Horsetalk]

This week on SmartPak’s horse health challenge: put your best foot forward. The experts over on the SmartPak blog explain the three steps to healthy hooves: expert care, management, and proper nutrition. Also, remember to be patient: healthy hooves grow one day at a time. [SmartPak Blog]

The USEA has posted the 2014 Young and Future Event Horse competition schedule. Future Event Horses are yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-year-olds, while Young Event Horses classes are open to four- and five-year-olds that are under saddle. Click for a full list of this year’s classes, the first of which takes place at MeadowCreek Park HT, Feb. 28-Mar 2. [US Eventing]


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Clearly the secret weapon behind Buck's inhuman show schedule is snuggle time with his pup. Thanks to Helene Gallagher for the lovely photo. Clearly the secret weapon behind Buck's inhuman show schedule is snuggle time with his pup. Thanks to Helene Gallagher for the lovely photo.

Yesterday Sally wrote a great article — complete with diagrams from Lindsey — about how Buck manages to ride 10+ horses at an event and still stand at the end of the day. Besides having an amazing team behind him, he is clearly the epitome of a professional athlete.  Those of you that dream of the day that you can be just like Buck should check out a new and super exciting contest that Horseware Ireland just announced. The company is looking for a Horseware Grassroots Rider to join its Riders Team for 2014. Open to anyone 16 or older, the winner will land a €10,000 sponsorship deal for a year with Horseware. Click to read more about the contest and find information about entering. [Horseware Ireland]

Weekend Preview:

Poplar Place February HT [Website] [Entry Status]

Sporting Days February HT [Website] [Entry Status]

Galway Downs Winter HT [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

The FEI has announced the officials for this summer’s WEG in France. Each discipline has a different team of officials, and Europeans are heavily favored on the Eventing jury. The President of the Ground Jury, Australia’s Gillian Rolton, will lead  Ground Jury Members Alain James (FRA) and Ernst Topp (GER). The TD will be Great Britain’s Alec Lochore, and the Assistant TD will be Ataide Pereira from Brazil. Click for a full list of the officials that will be presiding over each discipline. [Horsetalk]

Meet Bailey Moran, a rising professional eventer from Texas. 18-year-old Bailey just graduated from high school, scored her first sponsor, and won both a Prelim and Intermediate division at Rocking Horse Winter I last weekend. Keep in mind, this was only Bailey’s second Intermediate run with her mount Loughnatousa Caislean, who she calls the “light of her life.” Click to read more about Bailey and how she managed to solicit her sponsor (Majyk Equipe) totally on her own. [COTH]

Will O’ Wind Farm will be the cross country venue for the 2015 Pan American Games. The games will take place in Toronto, and the farm is located nearby in Mono, Ontario. The course itself is equivalent to a CCI2* and will be designed by Wayne Copping. Dressage and jumping events will take place roughly 30km away at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Centre. [Horse Canada]

Calling all graphic designers: SmartPak is hiring! I’m mainly posting this because I wish I was qualified for this job, as working at SmartPak seems like it would be such a great deal. Click to read more about the job and its requirements, as well as to find information about the application process. [SmartPak Blog]

Eventing Nation has been nominated for two Equestrian Social Media Awards! Go vote for us in categories #14 and #15, Best Blog and Best Social Network. [ESMA Voting]

Iron Spring Farm has been named the USA’s top dressage breeder by USEF.  Breeders are ranked by totaling the points their horses earn in licensed USEF breeding competitions, and Iron Spring Farm had multiple horses that accrued points for the title last year. One of the farm’s star earners is Darling ISF, who was named Mare Champion and the GAIG/USDF Breeders Mare Champion at the 2013 NEDA Fall Festival. [Horsetalk]

Today’s video comes from Practical Horseman and features Phillip Dutton discussing the walk with clinic participants at Paradise Farm in Aiken.


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Walk The Line, Buenos Aires and Ringfort Tinkaturk at the Ocala Eventing 25 training camp. Photo via the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page. Walk The Line, Buenos Aires and Ringfort Tinkaturk at the Ocala Eventing 25 training camp. Photo via the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Good morning EN! The Ocala Eventing 25 training camp is underway at the beautiful Meredyth South farm this week, and as usual the social media gurus who run the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook account are bringing you lots of updates and photos of the proceedings. To check out more photos of yesterday’s jumping session and Monday’s dressage work, check out the Facebook page. [USEF  Eventing High Performance]

Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter I HT [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Website]

Full Gallop January HT [Entry Status] [Website]

WEG course designer Pierre Michelet has promised challenges for event riders in France. According to Horsetalk, Michelet has said there will be three water jumps, rugged and hilly terrain, and many narrow fences in Normandy (as one could expect from any four star course). “Many combinations will ask for precision and good balance, especially with the (steep) slopes,” Michelet told Horsetalk. [Horsetalk]

The Melbourne international three day event is being rebranded and relaunched as the Melbourne International Horse Trials (MIHT). The event, which features a CCI1*, CCI2*, and CCI3*, has taken on its new identity after Equestrian Victoria and  the private events company Nodding Horse Pty Ltd. announced a new agreement. MIHT will take place from June 6-9 this year and aims to be a celebration of both Victoria equestrians and the Queen’s Birthday weekend. The cross country courses will be revamped by designer Ewan Kellet. [Horsetalk]

Which horse and rider do you think had the best season last year? Don’t forget to vote for 2013 EN Horse and Rider of the Year. The polls will stay open until 10 p.m. EST Thursday night, and we’ll announce the winners Friday. [Vote]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Brazilian Olympian Ruy Fonseca and CA eventer Tamie Smith. Hosts Joe Meyer and Nate Chambers talk to Ruy Fonseca about his arrival in the US and his ride at the  Ocala X Extreme Jumping/Cross Country over the weekend. Later in the show Tamie Smith joins in to discuss West Coast Eventing and the recent Instructors’ Certification Program. [Eventing Radio Show]

Practical Horseman and EQUUS are awarding a 10-day trip for two to this year’s WEGs to one lucky winner.  And the best part is all you have to do to enter the contest is sign up for a free trial subscription to Practical Horseman. Click the link for more information about contest specifics and the details of the grand prize. [Practical Horseman]

Face the facts on joint supplements with SmartPak. SmarkPak has launched a new series on its blog called the “Horse Health Challenge” that will focus on educating readers about the facts of common equine illnesses and injuries.  This week the series addresses the issue of joint problems and the use of joint supplements. The first thing to know: joint care must start before there is a problem. [SmartPak Horse Health Challenge]

It’s time to vote for the Equestrian Social Media Awards! Not to toot our own horn, but Eventing Nation is a finalist for Best Blog and Best Social Network. Voting closes on Feb. 7. Go vote, Go Eventing! [ESMA]

Best of Blogs: Shamwari 4 made it to Aiken a couple weeks ago, and Boyd has wasted no time in getting to know him. He posted two videos of Shamwari schooling on his blog yesterday, including the clip below of Silva performing a beautiful extended trot. Click to see another short video of a jump school. [Boyd and Silva Martin]


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Eventing 25 participants enjoying an Equine Anatomy lecture from Dr. Kuesis today in Temecula, CA. Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.  Eventing 25 participants enjoying an Equine Anatomy lecture from Dr. Kuesis today in Temecula, CA. Photo courtesy of Joanie Morris.

Good morning EN! The Eventing 25/Developing Riders California sessions are underway this week at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula. On Monday participants worked on dressage with David, and yesterday all had a jumping session. Make sure to check out the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page  to see photos of the riding sessions as well as more photos like the one above, which features Matt Brown’s Super Sox BCF as the equine assistant.

Weekend Preview:

Poplar Place Farm [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Got some extra cash this month? You can get yourself down to Wellington to attend the USET’s “Soirée du Cheval” party and auction that will take place next Friday, January 24. Items that will be on the block include a VIP package to WEG, passes to the Final Sunday at the Masters, a lesson on world dressage champion Ravel, and a 4-night cruise on a private yacht in the Caribbean.  All proceeds will benefit the USET in order to benefit athletes as they prepare to compete in Normandy later this year. [USET Press Release]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: The OTTB training series. Laine Ashker and Alison Stackpole join hosts Jess and Samantha to catch up, and Alison gives them an update on Molly, her OTTB. Jon Holling also opens the show to tell everyone about his recent visit to Red Hills. [Eventing Radio Show]

New research could revolutionize equine drug testing.  According to Horsetalk, there is a group of researchers in Northern Ireland that plans to develop a new way to test for drugs in horses and cattle by monitoring the biological effects of the banned substance instead of  looking for the substance itself. Researchers also hope the test will allow for larger numbers of animals to be tested more quickly, further improving testing protocols in the future. According to the project coordinator Mark Sherry “the new test will allow testers to identify the presence of performance or presentation enhancing drugs as soon as their desired effect becomes apparent.” [Horsetalk]

The 2014 Fiscal Bill could defund USDA horsemeat inspections, meaning horse slaughter in the US could be off the table for now. Though two horse slaughter plants are pending approval in New Mexico and Missouri, this new development could once again mean horse slaughter will be essentially outlawed in the US. Blair Dunn, the lawyer who represents Vally Meat Co, the owner of the potential plants, says that the fiscal bill fails to answer the question of unwanted horses. “Still the bill does not contain the funding needed for the rescues for these horses, or to feed them, or to put them on the welfare they need,” she said. [The Horse]

Interested in becoming an eventing “r” dressage judge? Attend the first Dressage Session One Training Program in Ocala next month. The program will last for four days, from February 3-6, and all auditors and those who wish to participate are welcome to attend. Click to find out more information about registration, schedule, and accommodations. [USEA]


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

The all-new EN logo. The all-new EN logo.

Good morning EN! I feel so honored to be writing the first post many of you will see on our brand new site that has been months and months in the making. All of the EN chinchillas have been acting as design guinea pigs to help decide on the nuances of the final look, while John, Jenni, and Visionaire have been working really hard to make the new launch happen. All of us are beyond excited and we hope you are too! Make sure to check out this post to read about all our new features and the layout. Happy clicking!

Rebecca Farm will not be hosting a CCI3* at their flagship event this summer. This means that there will be only three total CCI3* events in the entire country in 2014: Jersey Fresh, Fair Hill, and Galway Downs. While three may sound paltry, in fact that is the same number of CCI3* events that will run in Britain this year. And in addition many American pairs usually make the trek up to Quebec to compete in the CCI class at Bromont, so riders will still have the opportunity to choose among four chances to contest a CCI3*. It will be interesting to see if Rebecca adds their CCI3* division back during years in which international events like the WEG won’t be stealing away entries, but only time will tell. The event will still offer a CIC3* and both a CIC and CCI at the one star and two star levels, meaning it will still be an ultimate destination event with a huge variety of competitors. [USEA]

Master Imp has been named the top sire of British event horses. The stallions are ranked by British Eventing by the number of points their progeny accumulated over the course of the yearlong competition season, and Master Imp’s offspring accumulated 1,737 BE foundation points in 2013. Irish studs ran away with the show this year, as seven of the top ten stallions are Irish-based. Many of the stallions on the BE list are also featured in the WBFSH top 10 eventing sire rankings for 2013, though Master Imp was pushed down to second place on that list by the thoroughbred sire Heraldik. [Irish Independent]

Heidi Siegmund has been awarded the 2014 young adult Worth the Trust Scholarship. Heidi wrote an application essay about a serious injury she sustained last year that derailed much of her 2o13 competition season with her mare, Sierra. Even so, Heidi managed to make comeback and accomplish her goal of competing at the Prelim level before the year ended. She plans to use the scholarship to ride with clinicians and continue to pursue her immediate goal of completing a CCI1*. Click to read her whole essay on the USEA website. [USEA]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Riding for charity, a new idea for the AECs, and wintering in Florida. Hosts Samantha and Jess start off the episode talking with Rick Wallace about eventing in Florida, and then interview Emily Roepke about her novel idea for the AECs. Finally  they are joined by Amber Warren from Justworld International, a prominent fundraising charity in the show jumping world, to discuss raising the organization’s profile in the eventing world. [Eventing Radio Show]

Calling all Area IIers: Daniel Stewart is coming back for a clinic. Daniel Stewart is a sports psychologist who has a regular column on the USEA website, and he will be hosting a clinic in Area II next month. The clinic a two-day mounted and unmounted affair titled “Sports Psychology and Rider Fitness Symposium” and will take place in Greenville, VA. Click for information about how to enter. [Area II Eventing]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” Demystifying daily dewormers. Dr. Lydia Gray takes on a question concerning feeding a wormer every day while also administering a paste wormer every other month. Dr. Gray notes that worming schedules depend on your horse’s circumstances, and that daily dewormers should be part of a larger program instead of acting as a replacement for the paste wormers. [SmartPak Blog]


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Jock Paget and Clifton Promise at Badminton. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jock Paget and Clifton Promise at Badminton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Today’s headline comes from The Telegraph, which has reported that Jock Paget has been given more time to prepare evidence for his defense over Clifton Promise’s positive drug test. Jock, who will argue his case before an FEI tribunal in March, was supposed to have gathered all evidence by yesterday, but has now been awarded a time extension through mid-January. In order to avoid a minimum two-year ban, Jock must prove he bears “no fault (or no significant fault), no negligence.” According to the Telegraph article, his lawyers are confident they have found answers that will satisfy the FEI.  [The Telegraph]

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are once again undefeated and setting records. The pair scored an amazing 93.975%  yesterday evening in the Grand Prix Freestyle class at the London International Horse Show. This shattered the previous Grand Prix Freestyle world record, set by Edward Gal and Totilas at the same show in 2010. Charlotte and Valegro’s record-setting performance followed their win a day before in the Grand Prix class, and you can see a video of that performance below. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a video of the freestyle online yet, but keep your eyes out for it! [Horse & Country]

The USEF has written a year-end round up of the grant money it awarded to eventers in 2013. A whopping $264,500 was awarded by the organization specifically to US eventers, who used most of the money ($208,000) to travel to FEI events at Saumur, Aachen, Blenheim, Boekelo, Fair Hill, Pau, and Galway Downs. The remaining $56,000 of that total was used for training expenses. Eighteen horse and rider combinations benefited from the grants, and their results at the competitions they attended are summarized in the USEF press release. [USEF Press Release]

Still looking for Christmas gift ideas? Check out this handy list of SmartPak staffers’ top picks for the holidays, with a “save” and “splurge” option for every product! The list includes both human and equine apparel with prices ranging from $20 (splint boots) to nearly $600 (the ultra-trendy show jumping helmet of the moment, made by Samshield). Happy shopping! [SmartPak Blog]

Humans aren’t the only ones with a Christmas wishlist. The Chronicle posted this list of gift ideas for your horse written by Liv Gude of Pro Equine Grooms. It includes the usual suspects like peppermints and massages, as well as other more fun ones like monograms and a new cooler. My favorite of her picks is one that is totally free: extra time spent with your favorite four-legged creature. [The Chronicle]

 3D printing has hit the horse world. An Australian team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) worked with horse podiatrists to create custom 3D printed shoes in order to help heal a laminitic pony named Holly. The team scanned the pony’s feet in order to take a precise measurement of each of her hoofs, then designed the shoes with a computer program. From there all they had to do was print the custom shoes, which were made out of titanium. Farrier and vet Dr. Luke Wells-Smith told Horsetalk that “the new shoes will work to redistribute weight away from the painful areas of the laminitic foot and give Holly, and horses like her, the chance to recover.” Click to see a video of the process and read more. [Horsetalk]

As mentioned above, here is a video of Charlotte Dujardin and her Olympic mount Valegro winning the Grand Prix class at the London International Horse show at Olympia two days ago. They scored an 84.85%, beating second-placed Edward Gal by a whopping four points.

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Kate Chadderton sent us this photo of herself on one of her mounts in MD yesterday just before leaving for a visit to Australia. I think I can speak for all of us in saying that I wish that I could go somewhere summer is just beginning!

Good morning EN! Have you made it through the big freeze? It seems like the Floridians are the only ones who have escaped the cold over the past four days, while snow and ice storms have hit everywhere from Texas to New York. Luckily, judging by national weather maps, things will be warming up for a lot of the country tomorrow with the exception of the northern Great Plains states. Need inspiration to get out to the barn? Check out both Kate and Lila’s posts about surviving cold winter temps without losing all motivation. [Kate’s 9 Ways to Survive the Winter] [Lila’s Winter Coping]

The USEF has announced the dates and locations for the 2014 USEF Eventing High Performance Training Sessions. The first session, taught by David O’Connor, will be for both the Eventing 25 and High Performance riders and take place in Temecula, CA. After that initial session there will be at least one session per week through March. They will be hosted in a variety of locations, including Aiken, Southern Pines, Ocala, and even two in the UK. Those who wish to audit should email Bryn Wells at [email protected]. [USEF Press Release]

Colleen Rutledge will be teaching a clinic in Lexington, KY on February 1-2. Interested in attending? Email Daina Kaugars at [email protected].

The USEA has announced the creation of an equine research initiative to support the health care of equine athletes. The initiative, announced at the Annual Meeting last weekend, will be a partnership with the Morris Animal Foundation and will seek to address the significant lack of funding for equine medical research. The USEA has pledged $1 per starter to the initiative, which will equate to roughtly $40,000 per year. The Morris Animal Foundation will help distribute and monitor the funds. [USEA]

Public nominations are now open for the 2014 Equine Online Equestrian Social Media Awards. Interested in nominating your favorite equestrian blog (ahem!) for an award? Fill out the nomination form on ESMA’s website before the deadline of December 20. Click to read a full rundown of how winners are chosen for each category. [Equine Social Media Awards]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: 2013 in review. David O’Connor, Joanie Morris, and PRO rider Robert Meyerhoff join hosts Samantha and Jess to discuss 2013 and how it turned out for American eventers. In addition, there is discussion of the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention. [Eventing Radio Show]

Thinking of selling an old saddle on eBay? Read this first! Stacey Kimmel-Smith recounts her horrible experience with selling tack on the online vendor, even after ten years of successful eBay sales. She learned that sales histories have no weight in disputes, that photos cannot be used as evidence, and that a “no returns” policy means the buyer will pretty much win every claim. Caveat Venditor, EN. [Horse Nation]

Ever wonder how big events attract big sponsors and vendors? Check out this promotional video intended to inspire future sponsors created by the organizers of The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. It features short interviews with actual sponsors as well as the CEO of British Eventing, Mike Etherington-Smith.


Holiday Gift Ideas: Custom Horsehair Tassels

‘Tis the season to have absolutely no idea what to get any of your friends or family, for the umpteenth year in a row. Every once in a while you find the perfect present, but especially for horsey friends, the pressure is on. Obviously you’ll be purchasing something horse-related, but does it have to be pink and have a fat pony on it? We here at Eventing Nation say NAY! That’s why this holiday season each one of our impressive staff writers is picking one unique, amazing, thoughtful and clever horsey gift to help you along during this time of stress. Happy holidays!

Image from Fredericks and Mae's website.

One day while I was being productive at work (read: online browsing) I happened to come across a small art and design business called Fredericks & Mae that fashions tassels out of horsehair and thread. According to the studio’s website, the tassel idea stemmed from the history of horsehair as a good luck talisman: children in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Arab world used to wear similar tassels to protect themselves from demons and malevolent spirits.

Fredericks & Mae’s standard tassels are made out of horsehair that comes from Mongolia via a supplier in Ohio. As someone who always loved the idea of memorializing a horse with horsehair jewelry but not so much the look of the jewelry itself, I think these are a great (and not to mention cheaper!) alternative to the usual braided necklaces and bracelets.

After a couple excited emails with the company’s founders, I found out they are more than happy to make custom tassels out of submitted tail or mane clippings. While I do not recommend going out and cutting out a chunk of your friend’s horse’s tail in order to gift a tassel for the holidays, I think these are a unique and meaningful way to memorialize a horse that may have passed on or otherwise moved out of your life.

In order to create a small tassel, Fredericks & Mae will need roughly 12 inches of mane or tail hair- they use mane hair for their standard small tassel orders, but that tail hair will work as well. They offer two other sizes of tassels, medium and large, that require larger amounts of tail hair (27-29 inches for medium, 41-43 inches for large). Ordering takes place by buying a tassel normally on their website, then indicating that you are placing a custom order in the “Comments” section of the order form.

You can also note what thread colors you would like the tassel to have there, or Fredericks & Mae will pick colors for you.  After that all you have to do is mail your hair submission to 333 Marcus Garvey Blvd, Brooklyn, NY, 11221. Pricing will be the same for standard and custom orders, so a small tassel will cost $40, a medium $140, and a large $420. Click to view more photos of the tassels and see more of Fredericks & Mae’s art and design work. Happy shopping! [Fredericks & Mae Small Tassels]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Good morning EN! Can you believe this year’s show season is officially over? The year-end 2013 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention kicks off today in Cincinnati with a full-day show jumping workshop taught by Richard Jeffery. The main event begins tomorrow with the official convention registration and more workshops and meetings, including USEF Active Athletes Open Forum and a class called “Safe Sport” led by Sonja Keating. Friday is another full day of meetings and classes, including one that sounds particularly interesting called “Eventing MBA.” Everything wraps up Saturday evening after the USEA Awards Dinner and Dance. In addition to meetings and the awards dinner, there will also be a large trade fair sand several parties to keep the festivities going. [Official Webpage] [Schedule]

The 2014 dressage tests have officially been posted on the USEA website. A group of riders, judges, and trainers consisting of Wayne Quarles, Loris Henry, Sally O’Connor, Brian Ross, Gina Miles, Jon Holling, Kerry Milliken and Lilo Fore worked together to create the new tests. According to a statement from Quarles, many of the tests retain their basic elements. “In general, the test patterns have not changed significantly, however we feel they are correct for our sport at this time,” he said in the statement. [USEA]

More trouble for FEI President Princess Haya’s husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: Top French rider Morgane Payen claims that she was offered €150,000 for her mobile phone after she filmed the handlers of a Maktoum stables-trained endurance horse, Eclipse, caring for the horse in the vet box at the Young Riders World Championships at Tarbes. The horse finished second with rider Saaed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi but was subsequently disqualified for lameness and euthanized two days after the competition.  Payne claims she has no video of illegal activity, but that she witnessed Eclipse’s handlers injecting the horse’s leg underwater while the leg was in a bucket of ice. A second horse ridden by Eclipse’s jockey Al Harbi died one month later in Sardinia. [The Telegraph]

Former U.S. Equestrian Federation executive director of sport programs Jim Wolf has announced the formation of Wolf Sports Group LLC. Wolfe left his position with the USEF on December 1 after more than 20 years on the job and will pursue his new venture, a sports marketing and event management firm. The company will focus mainly on equestrian sports and will be based out of the USET office in Gladstone, New Jersey. The USEF is Wolf Sports Group’s first client. [The Chronicle]

What do Omaha and London have in common? Both are in the running to host the 2017 World Cup Finals for both dressage and jumping. London has proposed hosting the finals in the stadiums that were built for the 2012 Olympic games, while Omaha has volunteered the Century Link Centre, which recently hosted the The International Horse Show. The Centre has also hosted Bon Jovi and Justin Beiber this year, but apparently that will not be swaying the search committee very much. While neither city has submitted a formal bid to host the finals, both have filed an expression of interest. Final bids will not be submitted until next year. [Horsetalk]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” The facts on feeds. This week’s question probes the question of feeding grain feed even though horses in the wild do not eat feed. Dr. Gray points out that horses dependent on hay instead of high-quality pasture probably will not get enough nutrients without feed. Click to read her breakdown of the feeds that are the most natural and healthy for horses that need the extra addition to their diets. [SmartPak Blog]

Today from HN: Do you remember the moonwalking #danceponydance video that took the internet by storm? The Scottish pony “Socks” is back just in time for Christmas with a dose of holiday cheer, complete with Christmas sweaters. Ever wonder how exactly one dresses a pony in a sweater? Click the link to see a behind-the-scenes video of how they managed it and find out how to enter for your chance to fly to Scotland to meet the adorable dancing pony yourself.

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Buck and Petit Flower at Richland Park in August, photo by Jenni Buck and Petit Flower at Richland Park in August, photo by Jenni

Good morning EN! It’s finally that time of year: I only have one event to “preview” for you this week. With the USEA Annual Convention right around the corner, the 2013 show season is officially coming to a close. At the convention annual year-end awards will be presented to those riders who managed to make it onto the national leaderboards, and barring any unforeseen changes it appears that Buck Davidson has established himself head and shoulders above his competition this year. According to the official leaderboard on the USEA site he will take home the Rider of the Year title with 1,050 points, followed by Phillip Dutton in second place with 497 points. It’s definitely the year of the mare over on the Horse of the Year Leaderboard, where the top title  appears to be going to Raylyn Farms and Team Demeter’s RF Demeter, followed by R-Star and Gin and Juice who currently reside in the second and third places respectively. And finally if you’re already going through winter competition withdrawals, the provisional 2014 competition calendar is now online.  Check it out and start dreaming of warmer spring weather! [USEA Leaderboards] [Provisional 2014 Competition Calendar]

Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status]

Looking for holiday gift ideas? Consider a book: Bit of Britain is hosting a virtual book signing event with both Phillip Dutton and Jimmy Wofford. For a short time, if you purchase a copy of Wofford’s Modern Gymnastics or Phillip Dutton’s Modern Eventing, Bit of Britain will send you a video of the author personally signing your book. Each book will only be signed by its author, and there is no extra charge for the signing. Click for more details on purchasing and order deadlines. [Bit of Britain]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Jonathon Holling and Jennie Brannigan. Jon and Jennie join hosts Nate Chambers and Joe Meyer for a group discussion of US eventing’s improving international success, the High Performance List, and the 2018 WEG. In addition Bruce Haskell from England joins in to discuss the indoor eventing competition at Stuttgart Masters. [Eventing Radio Show]

Don’t forget to cast your vote for your favorite homemade stirrup! We asked for you to make your own stirrup in order to have a chance to win a brand new pair of snazzy Amerigo irons, generously provided by our sponsor World Equestrian Brands. After receiving many submissions, the top 13 were picked and their pictures were posted yesterday. A reader poll will determine the winner of the prize, and voting is open until 12pm TODAY, November 27th. Vote now! [Make Your Own Stirrup Contest]

A sale to US buyer Daniel O’Hara set a new price record at this year’s Goresbridge Go for Gold sale. O’Hara came home with a seven-year-old grey gelding named Sacramento purchased for €65,000, a record high for Goresbridge.  A successful show jumper in his early career, the horse has also competed successfully through the two star level and looks to be quite a star in the making. As you’ll recall, several other very successful US eventing mounts also went through the Goresbridge sale as young horses: Trading Aces, Ballynoe Castle RM, and Mr. Medicott. Congratulations to Sacramento’s new owner! [Irish Independent]

Is Wellington the dark horse in the race to host WEG 2018? Horsetalk’s Neil Clarkson discusses why his initial thought that Bromont would be the obvious choice for the 2018 WEG may not be so certain after all. Clarkson points out that Wellington’s ability to manage the 5,500 horses that come through town every winter to participate in the WEF competitions will make it very attractive to the selection committee. The city’s application is being handled by Mark Bellissimo’s company Equestrian Sport Production, and Bellissimo has apparently already had Mark Phillips map out a route for a potential cross country course on nearby golf courses to demonstrate there would be adequate space. Click to read Clarkson’s full thoughts on the subject. [Horsetalk]

There have been important changes to both the USEF and FEI drug rules that will go into effect on December 1. The USEF has new rules prohibiting injections within twelve hours of a competition, though luckily hydrating IV fluids that are so popular with eventers at three day events will still be allowed. Antibiotics and Dexamethasone are to be the only other permissible injections. The FEI has added two new controlled substances to its Equine Prohibited Substances List Metformin, an anti-diabetic drug, and Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone. Click to read a full description of the new rules and substances.  [The Chronicle]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster


A side view of Amerigo's snazzy new stirrups

Did you miss yesterday’s big news? It’s officially a contest week on EN! Amerigo has released a new model of stirrups (pictured above) that retail for an impressive $285. Thanks to our generous sponsor World Equestrian Brands, EN will be giving away a pair to one lucky winner next week. Enter to win by creating your own stirrups and sending us a photo by next Monday, November 25. Our top picks will be posted and a reader’s choice poll will determine the winner. So the more creative the submission, the better your chance of winning! Click to check out more photos of the stirrups in action and further contest submission details. [Make Your Own Stirrups Contest]

Weekend Preview:

MeadowCreek Park H.T – The Fall Social Event [Website]

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Buck Davidson and Jan Byyny’s Inmidair top the 2013 PRO Series Leaderboards. Buck won the Rider Leaderboard title for the first time, beating out second place finisher Will Coleman after a successful trip to Galway Downs. Inmidair took home the My Boy Bobby PRO Tour Series Horse Leaderboard Award for the first time as well, a feat Jan did not expect after the horse’s struggle with breathing problems. “He’s really overcome a lot this year,” she said. The two riders will accept their awards at the PRO Awards Reception at the USEA Annual Convention on December 6. [PRO]

Rising star Meghan O’Donoghue has been awarded this year’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant by the USET Foundation. The grant was endowed in memory of Amanda by her family “with the purpose of helping provide financial assistance to an event rider who has been identified as a rider with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future.” As the grant recipient, Meghan will receive $5000 to help offset training expenses in 2014. [The Chronicle]

Planning a trip to next year’s WEG? Passes allowing access to several events are now on sale. This is the second batch of tickets (though the first that is available to the public), and it officially went on sale on Monday. 15,000 tickets will be sold in this batch, available until they run out or until March 3, 2014.  After that a third batch, which will be individual event tickets, will go on sale March 4. [British Eventing] [Official WEG Ticketing Website]

British Eventing’s inaugural cross country Course Design Scholarship has been awarded to Lucy Wiegersma and Angus Smales. The scholarship was endowed with the goal of aiding budding course designers who may not have the support, connections, or financial backing to pursue their interest in course design. The two candidates were chosen after a day of interviews and assessments, and will receive mentoring, free access to training sessions, design opportunities, and some financial support thorough 2014. [Horsetalk]

Charlotte Dujardin has been named as the 2013 FEI Reem Acra Best Athlete. Charlotte had another banner year with her star mount Valegro, winning two individual golds and team bronze at the European dressage championships in Herning. They also set a world record at the same show after scoring an unbelievable 91.250 in the freestyle class. As if that isn’t enough, Charlotte also finished on top of the FEI world dressage rankings this year- a position she has held seven times. She was presented with the well-deserved award at the FEI awards ceremony, which took place on November 7 in Switzerland. [Horse & Country]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Marcia Kulak and Allison Springer. Marcia joins hosts Samantha and Jess to talk about the Triple Crown Scholarship and this year’s winners of the Bridging the Gap scholarship. Later in the show Allison joins in to discuss her new mount Lionheart and his journey to the U.S. [Eventing Radio Show]

Do you find yourself picking hay off of everything you own? Then you will appreciate this article from, entitled, “The Top 10 Goofy Places I’ve Found Bits of Hay.” [The Horse]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

The HSBC Water Complex - Australian Three Day Event 2012, photo by EN's friend ESJ Photo

Good morning EN! After a dramatic lead-up, the Australian International Three-Day Event officially begins today with the first horse inspection. The event will feature a CCI2* and CCI4*  division, both of which present today. Tomorrow the CCI2* pairs will do dressage, and the CCI4* division begins competition Friday. The four star division is considerably smaller than what we see at the northern hemisphere four stars, which is understandable given how long it takes to fly to Australia. All of the 26 entered pairs hail from Australia or New Zealand, with the exception of Great Britain’s Charlotte Price who will be riding Kevin McNab’s Kinnordy Gambia.

AI3DE Links: [Website] [Schedule] [CCI4* Entry List] [CCI2* Entry List]

Weekend Preview:

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

Las Cruces H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

River Glen Fall H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

The Fork H.T.  [Website]

Ocala Horse Properties Fall Event [Website] [Entry Status]

According to Horsetalk, AI3DE course designer Wayne Copping plans to attend the event just a week after undergoing bypass surgery.  Luckily his job appears mostly taken care of, as Mike Etherington-Smith was on grounds in an advisory role and had walked the course with Wayne before his heart attack. As Wayne underwent surgery, Mike and was able to fill in to complete the last minute preparations of the course that Wayne was unable to do. But Event Director Gill Rolton seemed pretty positive that Wayne would make the event, “even if he has to be driven around in a golf cart.” Given what we know of the ex-Aussie eventers in the US, this kind of grit isn’t exactly surprising. [Horsetalk]

The USEF posted a press release update on the 2013 Developing Riders/Eventing 25 Program Riders and declared the redesigned program a success. Many of the selected riders had an extremely successful year, most notably Megan O’Donoghue and Pirate, who finished in 12th place at Rolex and 11th at Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in England. According to the release, the program exceeded coach David O’Conner’s expectations. “Two riders going to Europe, other ones winning two-stars, and others doing well in three-stars. To me it was a very successful program for this year,” he said. Click to read more updates on the other riders and their thoughts on the program. [USEF]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Laine Ashker gives a full report on the William Fox-Pitt clinic. Laine rode her homebred Calling All Comets in the WFP clinic held last weekend at Morningside Training Farm in Virgina, and this week she joins hosts Jess and Samantha to discuss what she learned. Amateur eventer Kathleen Sullivan also joins the conversation to discuss what she thinks of clinics, as an amateur rider, and Jess and Samantha break down winter training schedules. [Eventing Radio Show]

Do you find yourself battling blanket rubs all winter? SmartPak’s (and the wider eventing world’s) resident grooming expert Emma Ford can help: check out this blog post dedicated to helping you end the issue of hairless shoulders. Emma recommends using a hair-growth formula like Super Gro to mitigate hair loss and a towel or standing wrap on the chest closures to prevent pressure points. [SmartPak’s “Ask the Groom”]

Thinking about breeding your mare? TheHorse came up with a really useful list of all the expenditures you will face if you do so. There are a lot of hidden costs beyond the basic stud fee and vet bills that really add up over time, and the post will  open your eyes to exactly how much it can cost to bring a foal into the world these days. [TheHorse]

Horsetalk asks: Are inflatable helmets the future of riding? Two Swedish designers invented a helium-filled inflatable cycling helmet as part of their master’s thesis at the Industrial Design at the University of Lund. Watch the video below to see the helmets in action. What do you think EN, will riders of the future be wearing these?


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

This is how the EN chinchillas are eating their Halloween candy too. Photo via Buzzfeed.

So apparently the EN chinchillas are not the only computer-savvy members of the species. Buzzfeed (but seriously, what other website would pay someone to do this) managed to find SEVEN chinchillas who have their own Instagram accounts. So much cuteness awaits- click to find links to their accounts and see a lot more photos. [Buzzfeed]

Weekend Preview:

CDCTA Fall H.T. [Website]

Poplar Place Farm November H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website]

Check out the USEA’s coverage of day 1 of the William Fox-Pitt Clinic. According to the USEA report there were roughly 200 auditors in attendance to watch the proceedings, and William had a lot of wisdom to impart. Yesterday riders focused on flatwork and poles divided up by level in semi-private groups. From four- and five-year-olds to advanced campaigners, it sounds like all of the horses improved during their lessons. Click to check out specific advice William gave to riders. [USEA]

The Telegraph reports that Princess Haya is under growing pressure to resign as FEI President because of suspicions of drugging and abuse surrounding her husband’s endurance operation. According to The Telegraph, at least one national federation has already asked Princess Haya to resign due to her alleged conflict of interest. The FEI denied this as its three-day general assembly began on Tuesday. Last week in the lead-up to the meeting US endurance rider John Crandell wrote an open letter to the FEI, “alleging FEI corruption and describing a ‘cancer’ of drug abuse in the Middle East.” [The Telegraph]

William Fox-Pitt has been awarded the Tony Collins trophy as highest ranking British rider, though Andrew Nicholson has more British Eventing points. Got that? The Tony Collins trophy is awarded annually to the British rider with the most British Eventing points, and William is the lucky winner for the fourth year in a row. Andrew has actually been #1 in the British Eventing year-end rankings since 2010, but is ineligible for the trophy as he rides for New Zealand. The pair’s rivalry goes back much farther than 2010 though, as they have been the top two riders in Britain since 2000 with only one exception: in 2009, when Oliver Townend was the highest scoring rider overall. [Horse & Country], the official online education partner of the USEA, will be at Equine Affaire in West Springfield, Mass., this weekend. Check it out at booth 506 in the Better Living Center, where you can sign up for your 30-day free trial. Or go use coupon code EAmass13 for 50 percent off the first month of membership. []

The Chronicle featured Irish eventer Tim Bourke, who just recently finished in 8th place at his first CCI3* at Fair Hill with Luckaun Quality. Tim found “Obie” as a three-year-old in Ireland and brought him across the pond when he took a position with Sharon White. The pair ran their first Advanced in August at Millbrook and have been on quite a roll this fall, finishing on their dressage score of 58.6 at Fair Hill. [COTH]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” keeping ulcers at bay. Dr. Lydia Gray discusses how to deal with switching a horse from grass to hay without causing undue stress on the digestive system, including solutions like feeding alfalfa hay and limiting grain for horses not in heavy work. She also suggests several supplements that help maintain healthy digestive systems. [SmartPak Blog]

Best of Blogs: Doug Payne has arrived in Aiken

Today’s Dose of Adorable: A very rare pair twin foals were born last week at Holstein Park, a Warmblood stud operation in Australia that bred Chris Burton’s London mount Holstein Park Leilani. Check out a video of them and an interview with their breeder, Philippa Creamer.

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Makes you want to move to California. Photo via the Galway Downs Facebook page.

Good morning, EN! Today the competition officially kicks off out in California at Galway Downs with the YEH dressage and confirmation phases. Some exciting names have up-and-coming horses entered in the 4- and 5-year-old divisions, including 2008 Olympic silver medalist Gina Miles and Jennifer Wooten. The first horse inspection for the FEI divisions and Training 3-Day will take place Thursday, and dressage for those divisions will run on Friday. We have several guest bloggers who will be sending us reports throughout the weekend, so keep checking back for more coverage!

Galway Downs Links: [Website] [Entry Status/Times] [Facebook Page]

Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Virginia H.T. and CCI* [Website] [Ride Times]

Pine Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Your Wednesday News:

Lynn Symansky blogged about her Pau experience for The Chronicle. Lynn wrote that the cross country track was unlike anything she had ever come across, and that she was happy to have timed her training regime correctly so that Donner was at his absolute peak during the event. While Lynn is obviously over the moon about the performance she and Donner put down (as she should be!), like any good competitor she still sees some room for improvement. “Complacency and accepting what is merely good enough is not going to make Donner and I better or more competitive. This self-reflection is imperative to improve my own riding and all of my horses’ performances,” she wrote. [The Chronicle]

Watch out Bruce and Buck, a new eventing dynasty is rising quickly. Mary King’s seventeen-year-old daughter Emily King is “taking the UK’s eventing calendar by storm” with the 11-year-old Brookleigh. The pair won the under-21 national title and were third in the Advanced division at Gatcombe this summer. Unfortunately her star mount is for sale, and Emily is currently seeking sponsors to purchase the horse so that she can continue to compete him. Her goal is to make it to Rio with Brookleigh in 2016. [Express & Echo]

Phillip Dutton will be signing copies of his book Modern Eventing tonight in Middleburg at 6 p.m. at the National Sporting Library & Museum. The event, hosted by Paul Cronin, will also feature a presentation from Phillip on “How the Olympics Have Shaped Our Sport from Atlanta to London.” More information on his Facebook page. [Phillip Dutton Book Signing]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Hosts Nate Chambers and Joe Meyer talk with Horse & Hound’s Pippa Roome about all-things Pau, and later Annette from Hastilow Saddles answers a reader question from New Zealand. [Eventing Radio Show]

The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) has released its rankings for 2013. The usual suspects top the list: Andrew Nicholson’s Nereo, followed by Jock Paget’s Clifton Promise.  Marilyn Little’s RF Demeter sits in fourth place, and she is the only Team USA horse to make the top ten. Andrew Nicholson rides three of the top ten (the aforementioned Nereo, his Pau mount Mr. Cruise Control, and 2012 Burghley winner Avebury), and surprisingly William Fox-Pitt’s only mount in the top ten is Chilli Morning. Michael Jung’s Aachen winner Halunke FBW is listed in third place. [Eventing Worldwide]

Happy Halloween from SmartPak! Check out this blog post with some of their favorite horsey Halloween costumes. I can’t believe how bomb-proof some of those ponies are… [SmartPak Blog]

A new study has found that mature horses prefer shade to direct sunlight during summer months. Research into horses’ shade preferences was conducted by researchers at the University Of California, Davis. The study revealed that horses stood in shade 7.1% more during daylight hours than would be expected by chance, particularly during the midday hours and late afternoon. Researchers concluded that “shade provides horses significant physiological benefits, even with limited use, and when given the choice mature horses show a preference for using shade in the summer.” They also note that this study tested preference, not need, and additional studies will be needed to determine what amount of shade horses require. [The Horse]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Jump 6 on the Pau cross country course comes with impressive decorations. Photo via the Pau Facebook page.

Good morning EN! The competition at Pau officially kicks off today with CIC2* dressage and the first CCI4* horse inspection. Kate and Jenni are currently en route to France to bring you coverage from on the ground as 11 North American pairs compete in the four star. Their dressage begins tomorrow and will run through Friday. Keep checking back for coverage and photos all weekend, and good luck to all of the competitors this weekend!

Pau Links: [Website] [Ride Times] [CCI4* Entry List] [Scores] [Official Facebook]

Weekend Preview:

Waredaca H.T. and Classic Training 3 Day Event [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Holly Hill Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Heritage Park H.T. [Website]

Before continuing with the rest of the news and notes, on behalf of everyone at EN I would like to express our condolences to Sharon White, who lost her mother yesterday. Our hearts go out to Sharon and her family and we are all sending our thoughts and prayers to them during this sad time.

Sinead has written a new blog for The Chronicle about her disappointing weekend at Fair Hill. Sinead had a fluke fall from Tate late in the course, and currently she is resting up on crutches with a fractured ankle. Luckily it is only a minor fracture and she should be back in the game after only a few weeks. Best wishes for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery to Sinead!  [The Chronicle]

Meet Ellen Doughty, the Texas eventer who made the trek to Fair Hill and put down one of the few double clear cross country rounds in the three star. Ellen brought her mount, Sir Oberon, up the levels herself after purchasing him as a five-year-old. She had only gone training level before she began working him, and is largely self-taught. Talk about an impressive accomplishment- click to read more about their partnership. [The Chronicle]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: A Fair Hill recap. Sinead, Lauren Kieffer, and three star winner Jan join Samantha, Jess and guest co-host Kyle Carter to talk about their weekends at the event. Sinead also talks with Kyle about coaching at Fair Hill and the ups and downs of the breeding business. [Eventing Radio Show]

Haven’t gotten your fill of Fair Hill yet? Check out TheHorsePesterer’s YouTube channel- so far he has uploaded 132 videos from last weekend covering all three phases of the competition, both two star and three star. [TheHorsePesterer]

Reminder: The online auction benefiting Amy Barrington’s Recovery Fund ends Friday. Shannon Lilley has put together a list of great products to bid on, including SmartPak breeches, Nunn Finer bridles, a Hit-Air vest, Professional’s Choice boots, and two new entries donated by Ariat. 100% of the proceeds will go towards Amy’s Recovery Fund, which is helping to pay for her rehabilitation at the Shepard Center in Georgia. [Amy’s Auction]

Fall is here, which means one thing: Blanket season. SmartPak staff have created a helpful guide to the winter blankets they sell, breaking down which model and brand are the staff picks for a things like  durability, most coverage, waterproofing, and value. Click to check it out and outfit your horse for the cold. [SmartPak Blog]

Best of Blogs: Erin Sylvester recaps her Fair Hill weekend.


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Rick walking Elisa down the aisle.

Today we are sending a huge congratulations to everyone’s favorite eventer-turned-mustang-wrangler Elisa Wallace, who married Timothy Harfield last weekend. Yesterday Rick Wallace sent us an update on his broken wrist (which is healing, slowly) and included the above photo of himself and Elisa at the ceremony in Jasper, GA. According to Rick, Timothy is finishing his PhD at Emory and has had a significant hand Team Wallace’s very successful social media strategy. Congrats to Elisa and Timothy, and well-wishes to Rick as he continues to heal!

Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill International Three-day Event [Website] [Entry Status]

Hagyard Midsouth Three-day Event & Team Challenge H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

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

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

“The Event” at Kelly’s Ford [Website] [Entry Status]

The 25th anniversary Fair Hill International Three-Day Event kicks off today in Elkton, MD. There is quite a cast of competitors attending this weekend (check out Kate’s preview of the CCI2* field here and here) and the first horse inspection is this afternoon. Jenni will be on hand to cover the competition and will be bringing you reports all weekend so make sure to keep checking back. In addition, you can check out the FHI Blog, which is updated regularly throughout the competition. [Fair Hill Schedule] [FHI Blog]

Want to see what you missed at Boekelo? Check out this video put together by Uptown Eventing featuring lots of cross country shots and everyone’s favorite end-of-summer song by Avicii. [Uptown Eventing]

Horsetalk blogger Neil Clarkson weighed in on the revelation that Jock Paget’s Burghley mount tested positive for the sedative Reserpine. His conclusion: it doesn’t make sense. Clarkson contends that it would be very odd for an event horse to be drugged purposely with a long acting sedative like Reserpine, which is long-acting and has a somewhat unpredictable withdrawal period. Like others, he hopes answers are coming. [Horsetalk]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Boekelo winner Lizzie Brown and UK-based US rider Liz Halliday. Samantha and Jess chat with the two competitors about their weekends at Boekelo. [Eventing Radio Show]

SmartPak’s resident vet Dr. Lydia Grey tackles a question about mysterious weight loss on “Ask the Vet” this week. She points out that environmental factors (location, workload, recent moves, etc) all can play into weight loss, and feeding the proper amount of grain is key. Ulcers and teeth that need to be floated can also be culprits. Click to check out her full explanation. [Ask the Vet]

It’s time for HN’s annual horse Halloween costume contest! Got a great costume for your pony?  Send your best photos to [email protected]. Click to check out last year’s winners. [Horse Nation]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster


Team America found some promising Dutch prospects at Boekelo. Check out the USEF High Performance Facebook for more photos.

Good morning EN! Jenni has arrived in The Netherlands to cover the CCI3* at Boekelo this weekend, where Boyd Martin, Lauren Kieffer, and Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp will be representing the US in the FEI Nations Cup competition. Today competition kicks off with the first jog, and tomorrow dressage will begin. Make sure to checking back for more updates from Jenni, and check out the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook for more photos and coverage. [Military Boekelo Website]

Weekend Preview:

Greenwood Farm Inc. Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Colorado Horse Park Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Grass Ridge H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Radnor Hunt H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm [Website] [Entry Status]

Middle Tennessee Pony Club H.T. [Website]

Course Brook Farm Fall H.T. [Website]

Fall Horse Trials at the Ark [Website]

Pine Top October HT [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

William Fox-Pitt dominated Dauntsey Park Horse Trials last weekend. He won the Open Intermediate, BE 100, and regular Intermediate divisions. The Open Intermediate win, aboard Cool Mountain, came after besting a star-studded field that included World No.1 Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd, Laura Collett and Lucy Wiegersma. Over 800 combinations competed at the event over the weekend, which has run since 1972.  [Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” All about wheat middlings. Say what? According to Dr. Lydia Gray, wheat middlings are a by-product of grain that “consist of fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts, wheat germ, wheat flour, and some of the offal from the ‘tail of the mill.’” She goes on to spell out what this means for your horse’s diet. [Ask the Vet]

The Malone Family Foundation has made a generous gift of $6million to Colorado State University’s equine Orthopaedic Research Center.According to Horsetalk, “the gift will be used to establish the Leslie A. Malone Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine and will expand the Orthopaedic Research Center’s pioneering Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Program by supporting an additional faculty member and resident. ” The center is known for is pioneering research into equine sports medicine, and in 2010 it established the first and so far only residency program in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in the United States. [Horsetalk]

Think you can pull off light pink tall boots? Check out “We don’t have the tack for that” on Horse Nation. This week is the “not-your-momma’s-tall-boots” edition, and you won’t believe your eyes when you see what they are selling these days. Silver, gold, red patent leather…you get the idea. Click to see photos. [Horse Nation]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Laine Ashker, Alison Stackpole, and Jock Paget. Jess and Samantha catch up with Laine and Alison about their OTTBs, and congratulate Jock on his stellar year. They also discuss the upcoming CCI4* at Pau. [Eventing Radio Show]

Today’s video comes to us from DPEquestrian, featuring Doug and Crown Talisman at the Richland CIC3*

Rest in Peace Zoe Di Giovanni [Updated]

Zoe (second from right) and friends Elizabeth Hart, Lizzie Snow, and Alex Martone


It is with a heavy heart that I write this post to inform you all of the tragic death of 23-year-old Zoe Di Giovanni, a young eventer based in Southern Pines. Last night Zoe was riding her mother’s horse, River Breeze, when the pair fell while attempting a jump at Hobby Field. Zoe suffered extensive head and neck trauma and was killed by the fall. She was wearing a helmet at the time.

According to a family friend, Zoe’s memorial service will be on Thursday at 1pm at the Moore County Hunter Trial Fields.  Those who can attend on horseback are encouraged to do so, but all are welcome regardless. The friend described Zoe as fearless and as one of those who enjoyed life to the fullest. She also mentioned that Zoe has a Facebook and encourages those who wish to send messages to leave remembrances and condolences on Zoe’s profile.

This is obviously a terrible and sudden loss for Zoe’s loved ones and for the greater eventing community, and all of us at EN send our deepest condolences and prayers to everyone involved. We will update this post with any further information we receive.

Update: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Zoe DiGiovanni Memorial Fund” c/o Vantage South Bank, 185 W. Morganton Road, Southern Pines, NC 28387.


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

The water complex built for the Polo International Horse Trials.

So while all of our American riders are gearing up for the big fall CCIs this weekend, another fall CCI is making its inaugural debut: The Polo International Horse Trials in Kyalami, South Africa.  Polo South Africa is the title sponsor of the event, which will feature a three star and a two star officiated by well-known FEI officials Andy Bowles and Harry Payne. Clayton Fredericks will also be on hand to host course walks and share his Olympic experiences with the South African riders, who are aiming to qualify for the 2014 WEGs. Billing eventing as the “Iron-Man of Equestrian sport,” the marketing team is working hard to draw the big crowds and based on the photos on the event’s Facebook page it looks as if they have built quite a course. Click to read more about the festivities and see photos of the course under construction. Good luck to all of the South African eventers who will be competing this weekend! [Polo International Horse Trials Facebook] [Event Website] [Provisional Schedule]

Weekend Preview:

Roebke’s Run H.T [Website] [Entry Status]

Morven Park Fall H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Woodside International H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

ESDCTA New Jersey H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

WindRidge Farm Fall H.T. [Website]

Kent School Fall H.T. [Website]

Australian eventer Chris Burton won the CIC* at Ardingly Horse Trials on Nobilis last weekend in South England. The pair finished on their dressage score of 41.4, moving up from third to first over the course of the weekend. American Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp led the division after dressage, after riding a “cracking dressage test” aboard Endymion Entrechat and earning a 38.5. Unfortunately her weekend did not end well and she finished in 44th position, but here’s to hoping the pair’s dressage performance foreshadows future success. [Weekly Times Now]

Zara Phillips has not stepped out of the horse world completely during her pregnancy. Last weekend she came out to support protégée Aimee Aspinall, who rode Zara’s mount Disarm at a horse trials held at Warwick College. Zara sported a good-looking Musto vest, as Musto is an equestrian clothing company she helped launch. If you would like more info about what Zara wore to watch the ride and see photos, you can click the link to the gossip site this story came from. [Hello Magazine]

Looking to refresh your fall wardrobe? SmartPak blogger Melissa Hamlet put together a list of her fall fashion picks. From new boots to under-layers to fleece coolers, SmartPak clearly has you covered (get it??) through the changing seasons. My favorite is the Rhino Fleece Dress Sheet, both because it looks snazzy and is on sale. Also did you know SmartPak now sells Under Armour products embroidered with the SmartPak logo? [SmartPak Fall Fashion]

In light of the recent Colorado flooding, the USEA posted a timely press release about preparing for natural disasters as horse owners. Put together by American Horse Publications, it recommends making sure every horse is permanently identified with a microchip, tattoo, brands, or photographs and that a luggage tag should be placed on a halter reserved for emergencies. It includes other helpful tips about evacuation plans and preparation, and is a good read in the spirit of preparation. [USEA]

A new study has found that pastured horses stay fit. The study looked at two groups of horses over a two-week span, and found that horses on stall rest lost fitness while horses who were pastured maintained a fitness level similar to that of stalled, exercised horses and had greater bone mineral content at the end of the two weeks. The lead researcher concluded that “letting horses be horses—as in putting them in their natural setting—allows them to maintain fitness better, which may make their transition back to competition easier and likely more successful.” [The Horse]

Today’s video comes to you courtesy of Horse & Hound, and it was featured as one of Horse Nation’s “Oh Crap” Moments of the Day. After watching it, I can’t say I blame the FEI for eliminating one of the jogs from the CIC format…


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

The USEA has arrived! Photo courtesy of the USEA Facebook.

Alright everyone, the countdown is almost over: ONE MORE DAY until competition kicks off at the Texas Rose Horse Park for this year’s American Eventing Championships. If you missed Sally’s excellent preview post titled “Top 10 Reasons to Get Pumped for AECs” make sure to check it out to find out about all the cool things that will be happening this week (besides the competition, which we already know will be fierce). One cool perk that bears repeating is that AEC (and EN!) sponsor FLAIR will be handing out free nasal strips in each competitor packet this weekend. The USEA has put together a great resource webpage that has all things AEC in one place, and make sure to keep checking EN for the latest reports and competition updates. Go (American) eventing.

[AEC Homepage] [Schedule] [Ride Times]

Weekend Preview:

Jump Start H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

University of New Hampshire [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

The Middleburg H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Flora Lea Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Calling all Area II eventers: Morven Park needs more volunteers to jump judge at its October 5-6 event. This is a huge event that is the traditional final run before Fair Hill International for many pairs, and most of the East Coast’s top riders have already entered. Volunteer and snag a front row seat for the intense competition! [Morven Park]

There has been a schedule change for the October 5-6 Roebke’s Run Horse Trials. Originally it had been posted that all dressage would run on Friday, however now only CIC1* dressage will run on Friday afternoon. All other competitors will now do dressage on Saturday. In addition, the organizer has waived late fees and will accept entries until Monday, September 30. [Roebke’s Run]

William Fox-Pitt is backing Jock Paget to win the Rolex Grand Slam after Paget’s Burghley victory. According to Yahoo Sport, Fox-Pitt said “He needs to enjoy the moment. It doesn’t happen for many riders but he has brought that horse on so well and I take my hat off to him.” Paget is the first rider to win Burghley and Badminton in the same year on the same horse in 24 years. [Yahoo Sport UK]

Daniel Stewart’s sports psychology tip of the month: Get comfortable outside your comfort zone. Daniel notes that our greatest learning opportunities may lie outside of what we feel comfortable with, and we should embrace the feeling of moving outside what we are familiar with. Mistakes will happen, but they should be seen as learning opportunities. Click to read his full explanation. [US Eventing]

The Supreme Court in Connecticut will soon issue a ruling declaring whether or not horses are a “naturally vicious” species. A lower court found that horses are naturally dangerous, and the case is now on appeal to the highest state authority. The appeal stems from a 2006 case that arose after a horse at a farm bit a young child on the cheek. If the “naturally vicious” opinion is upheld, there could be serious consequences for the state’s horse industry and on the ability of equine owners to procure insurance. [Horsetalk]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Boyd and Sinead join Samantha and Jess for a Plantation Field wrap-up. In addition Jess weighs in on Clark’s exciting win with Universe in the Advanced division in Allerton last weekend. The pair is gearing up for the Pau CCI4* later this fall. [Eventing Radio Show]

Today on the SmartPak Blog: A multivitamin makeover. One of SmartPak’s signature supplements, SmartVites, has been completely revamped and released in four different formulas better tailored to individual horses. Click to read more about the supplement’s content and new makeup. [SmartPak Blog]

Best of Blogs: Erin Sylvester’s Lilybridge Eventing Plantation wrap-up.

Bonus AEC Fun: Remember Elisa Wallace’s amazing freestyle performance with her mustang Fledge which won them the grand prize at last year’s Extreme Mustang Makeover? AEC attendees will have the chance to see her perform a new freestyle with her new mustang partner, Rune, on Thursday evening.  And as if that isn’t enough, Elisa will also be riding Corteo and Ultimate Decision in the actual competition this weekend. Check out a preview of her freestyle below.


Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Amy and Gallerone at the 2011 AECs. Photo courtesy of Leslie Threlkeld/USEA

Today I’m happy to report good news from Amy Barrington’s Recovery Page: Amy’s eyes are open! While from the sound of things she has a long rehab ahead, Amy’s husband Greg reports that Amy opened her eyes and held her family’s hands on Monday. Soon she will be moving to a top class rehab facility in Atlanta called the Shepherd Center where her recovery will continue. While things are sounding hopeful, her recovery is probably going to be slow and expensive. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Amy’s recovery fund, there is now a page established in her name on the website HelpHopeLive. Everyone at EN continues to send our thoughts and prayers to Amy and her family, let’s hope for more good updates! [Donate to Amy’s Recovery Fund]

Weekend Preview:

Twin Rivers Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Northwest Equestrian Fall Gala H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Plantation Field H.T.[Website] [Entry Status]

Otter Creek Fall H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Marlborough H.T [Website] [Entry Status]

Stone Gate Farm H.T. [Website]

Stoneleigh-Burnham School Fall H.T. [Website]

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

Coconino H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Irish Olympian Aoife Clark scored her first big win last weekend just eight miles from her home base in Oxfordshire. While Clark finished 7th at the London Olympics last year at 8th at the recent British Open, this was her first CCI3* win. She told the Oxford Mail that ““to win here means a huge amount. This mare is just at the right stage to be looking at the (2014) World Equestrian Games and then Rio.” [Oxford Mail]

Ireland is on quite a roll this week: The Irish eventing teams took home the junior team gold   and the young rider team bronze at the Junior European Eventing Championships. The competition was held over the weekend at Haras de Jardy in France. Irish junior Elizabeth Hayden took home individual junior silver, and the young rider team pull off their bronze medal without the benefit of a drop score after their fourth rider was eliminated on the cross country. [Eventing Worldwide]

 Good news: Adequan is available again. Manufacturer Luitpold Animal Health announced that a shipment of the drug was released last week and should already be in veterinarians’ hands. However, supply does remain limited and will not be enough to satisfy demand. Luitpold said that it is working “diligently” to get out more product as quickly as possible while still maintaining high quality levels. [The Chronicle]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Breaking down Blenheim. Blenheim riders Clark Montgomery and Jessica Phoenix and attendees Max Corcoran and Katlin Spurlock join Jess and Samantha to talk about their stellar weekend in England. [Eventing Radio Show]

The USEA has announced a new partnership with sponsor Eventing Training Online, a provider of online video training. The website will be the “Official Online Education Partner” of the USEA, and will create exclusive training videos that will be available on the USEA website. In addition, USEA members will be offered a discount on subscriptions to the site’s services. [USEA Announcement]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” Is pasture enough? Dr. Lydia Gray discusses mineral requirements for horses that live in the pasture all the time. [SmartPak Blog]

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

The US flag flying at Blenheim in 2011, when organizers held a 9/11 tribute to honor those lost.

It is a little hard to believe that twelve years have passed since September 11, 2001, but today marks another year gone since that fateful day when thousands of Americans lost their lives.  I know we have all seen many, many memorials and tributes to those lost, so I will be brief and instead just remind you to take a moment to remember that day and to think of the families that still have a little healing left to do, even so many years later.

Weekend Preview:

Poplar Place Farm September H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Flying Cross Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Feather Creek H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

GMHA September H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Windy Wyoming H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Dunnabeck H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Loughan Glen arrived on grounds at Blenheim yesterday, along with Clark Montgomery and his wife Jess. Clark and Glen were one of the pairs who received a Land Rover Competition Grant to compete in the CCI3* this weekend. EN’s Samantha Clark will be on hand to bring you coverage from the event this weekend, and be sure to check out the USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page for photos and updates as well. [USEF Eventing High Performance] [Blenheim Website] [Entry List]

 Horse Channel has interesting updates concerning the equestrian events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. According to an article on its website, all equestrian events will be held on Yumenoshima island in Tokyo Bay. The man-made island was created in 1950s out of landfill waste and already houses the Dream Island Stadium, where dressage and show jumping will take place. “The Sea Forest Cross-Country course will be built on another reclaimed landfill island in Tokyo Bay,” Horse Channel reports. [Horse Channel]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: Christian Landholdt and Rebecca Howard. Christian joins Jess to talk about Malmo, judging, and the role of the ground jury, and Rebecca Howard stops in to discuss her fantastic ride at Burghley. [Eventing Radio Show]

Britain’s Young and Junior Eventing squads have arrived in France to compete in the FEI Young Rider and also Junior European Championships at Haras de Jardy this weekend. The Junior squad will be defending team gold, individual gold, and individual bronze (and we wonder why the Brits do so well at big events), and the Young Rider squad hopes to improve on last year’s individual bronze. [British Eventing]

This week on SmartPak’s blog series ‘Ask the Vet:’ Joint supplements, fact or fiction? Dr. Lydia Gray breaks down the studies that have been performed by supplement companies and researchers that point to the benefits of feeding your horse oral joint supplements. [SmartPak Ask the Vet]

A promising young event horse has won the 2013 Dubarry Young Event Horse finals at  Burghley for the second year in a row. Parkfield Quintessential won the four-year-old class in 2012 and took home first place in the five-year-old class this year with rider Zoe Wilkinson of EZ Equestrian. The gelding is British-bred by Quicksilber out of Carino Sun mare. [Horse and Country]

Best of Blogs: August wrap-up from Lilybridge Eventing

Leaving you with a teaser trailer produced by the Blenheim Horse Trials in preparations for last year’s event- Go British Eventing.