Abby Powell
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Abby Powell


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About Abby Powell

Abby Powell is a native of Northeastern Massachusetts who splits her time between commuting into Boston for work and caring for and riding her rescue Mustang x Arab mare, Maggie.

Latest Articles Written

Monday Video: Buck Davidson Wins $50,000 Devon Arena Eventing

It was the eventers’ turn in the famed Dixon Oval and Wheeler Ring at the Devon Horse Show last night for the $50,000 Devon Arena Eventing class! Coming out on top by just 0.3 seconds after a nail-biting jump-off round were Buck Davidson and 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding Erroll Gobey, owned by Cassandra Segal, Natalie Sandler, and Lisa Darden. Watch their winning round above!

Buck and “Gobey” narrowly edged out eventual second-placed finishers Caroline Pamukcu and 2023 Connaught Grant recipient HSH Blake. Arielle Aharoni and her show jumping powerhouse Dutch Times took third place. Enjoy some additional clips from their big night under the lights below and click here for the full class results.

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

The celebrations continue for our reigning Kentucky CCI5* winner and USEF National Champion! In a lovely gesture from her proud West Coast compatriots, Tamie Smith was flown out to Woodside Horse Park for an evening toasting her and Mai Baum’s recent victory. They were even honored with a cross country jump named for them which will grace the beautiful Woodside course.

U.S. Weekend Action

Equestrians’ Institute H.T. (Kenmore, WA) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring] [Volunteer]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. (Medford, NJ) [Website] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring] [Volunteer]

Mill Creek Pony Club Horse Trial (Kansas City, MO) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring][Volunteer]

Spring Coconino H.T. (Flagstaff, AZ) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring] [Volunteer]

Tryon International Spring H.T. (including the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship) (Mill Spring, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

USEA MDHT YEH Qualifier (Adamstown, MD) [Website] [Volunteer]

Virginia Horse Center Eventing (Lexington, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Willow Draw Charity Show (Weatherford, TX) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring][Volunteer]

Woodside Spring H.T. (Woodside, CA) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring] [Volunteer]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

The Friday Show Presented By The Jockey Club: David O’Connor On Equine Sport’s Social License To Operate

China Ready for Millstreet Olympic Challenge

Fast Facts: 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship

As California Vesicular Stomatitis Outbreak Spreads, USEF Institutes New Biosecurity Protocols

Developing a Correct Stretch at the Trot

Sponsor Corner: We all know how soft mattes pads are. Now your dog can enjoy them, too! Introducing EA Mattes Dog Beds from World Equestrian Brands.

Saturday Video: Who knew Drake knew so much about grooming?

Monday Video: Join Laura Collett for a Morning Gallop

Click here if the embedded video above does not display in your browser.

Tokyo Olympic team gold medalist Laura Collett is in the thick of five-star preparation ahead of Longines Luhmühlen next month, where she’ll ride her two top horses Dacapo and 2022 Badminton winner London 52. Join them for their morning gallop work as Laura talks about her career highlights so far and her hopes and dreams for the rest of this season (Spoiler alert: her number one hope right now is it for it to stop raining and spoiling the season!)

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

What a welcome and delightful sight this is! Just over a year ago, Fleeceworks Royal suffered a career-ending injury at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Today, after surgery and a long road of rehab, she’s happy as can be turned out on pasture and merrily munching grass. After last year’s heartbreak and this year’s triumph, Tamie Smith has some great reflections on “Rory”. Click here to read them if your browser does not display the post above.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Berryville, VA): [Website] [Ride Times] [Rider Status] [Live Scoring] [Volunteer]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. (Wheeler, WI): [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scoring]

Fair Hill International Recognized H.T. (Elkton, MD): [Website] [Ride Times] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (Fairburn, GA): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scoring]

Spring Gulch H.T. (Littleton, CO): [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Volunteer]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

‘Exceptional circumstances’ force date changes for Badminton and Royal Windsor in 2024

Temple Grandin to Give Keynote Address at the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

Behind The Stall Door With: Cooley Nutcracker

The Event at Rebecca Farm Travel Grants Return for 2023!

Road To The Makeover: TB Tweenager Training Tips With Rosie Napravnik

Sponsor Corner: When you order online from World Equestrian Brands, you’re supporting a good cause! A portion of all online orders goes directly to FlyPups, an organization who works hard to deliver dogs in need to fosters, no-kill shelters, and fur-ever homes. Shop online here.

Morning Viewing: We’re already excited for a five-star week in Maryland this fall! Tickets are already on sale.

Monday Video: Queen Cue is Back, Baby

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen the winner of the inaugural Maryland 5 Star, On Cue, out and about. But if you were lucky enough to be at Tryon International this past weekend you may have caught a glimpse of her rocking around the CCI3*-S with Boyd Martin!

Now 18-years-old, the Selle Francais mare owned by Christine Turner is returning to competition and leaving the start box for the first time in over a year — she had able time off after winning Maryland in 2021 and then again after completing the CCI4*-S at The Fork in the spring of last year. Boyd is clearly very happy to back out competing with the mare, and we’re delighted that he’s shared this Jockey Cam video with us so we can join them for the ride.

Tryon International Three Day Event (Mill Spring, NC): [Website] [Results]

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

Need more LRK3DE in your life? You’re in luck, because the NBC replay is TODAY! Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell everyone you know to turn to their local NBC station at 2:30 PM Eastern to watch some eventing on mainstream television! Let’s boost those ratings!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Tryon International Three Day Event (Mill Spring, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Hitching Post Farm H.T. (South Royalton, VT) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring][Volunteer]

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Plantation Field H.T. (Coatesville, PA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Spokane Sport Horse Spring H.T. (Spokane, WA) [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring][Volunteer]

Winona Horse Trials (Hanoverton, OH) [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

Looking Back at the Top 10 Moments from the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Charlotte Dujardin: Six-time Olympic medallist wins in Windsor

Greta’s Badminton Bow

Two Weeks until Prizes, Parties and Spirit at the 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship

How a ‘horse whisperer’ can help engineers build better robots

Presenting the Vermont Eventing Challenge

Sponsor Corner: Are you ordering your next pair of Sergio Grasso boots? Follow these step by step instructions to discover your correct size with Dan Kreitl and our Sergio Grasso specialist.

Morning Viewing: And ant’s eye view of Badminton:

Monday Video: Ride Along for Contessa’s Kentucky Completion

With out biggest spring five-stars only just behind us, it’s going to take us a moment to come down from the adrenaline high that’s been keeping us running for over two weeks straight at this point. While the excitement of Badminton is extremely fresh, having just concluded this morning (anyone else having a hard time believing it’s Monday and not Sunday for that reason?) and with Kentucky over a week in the rearview mirror at this point, we still have much to cover from a quite triumphant weekend of eventing at the Kentucky Horse Park

We’re always excited to spot a rider wearing a helmet cam and we were extra excited to see Boyd Martin donning the Jockey Cam, which allows for live streaming, for his ride aboard Contessa at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for both the cross country and show jumping phases. Ride along with them through key combinations on course in the video above and listen to Boyd’s assessment of his rides aboard this newly-minted 5* mare below:

We’ll have to watch out for this pair in Maryland this fall!

Tough Mudders: Live Updates from 2023 Badminton Cross Country

The Isuzu 4 Bar at 9 will require a very positive ride.

It looks like the sun should come out today over Badminton House, but will the drizzly weather of the past couple days mean our competitors will be doing a little tough mudding across the country today? We’re about to find out and we’re going to take you along for the ride! Keep refreshing this page for by-the-minute updates on all of today’s action.

We will kick things off at 11:30am BST/ 6:30am EDT/ 3:30am PDT as our first pair on course, Wills Oakden and Oughterard Cooley, leave the start box. Full order of go can be found right here and before we start you can also familiarize yourself with the course thanks to Tilly’s walkthrough here and the course map here. Due to the previous days’ weather a few changes to the course have been made.

If you’re looking to tune into the action yourself you can do so via Badminton TV, which requires a subscription, or you can listen in via Radio Badminton.

Here’s wishing safe and swift rides to everyone today!

Badminton Horse Trials: [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Live Stream – Badminton TV] [Radio Badminton] [Tickets] [EN’s Coverage]

11:08 a.m. Thanks for joining us for our live updates today — in the sage words of my colleague and live-update partner today, Shelby Allen: “A lot happened.” Stay tuned for a full post-phase report from Tilly later. As a special treat and parting gift I leave you with one of my personal favorite parts of Badminton cross country day, Labs In The Lake:

11:01 a.m. Well, that concludes an exceptionally exciting and perhaps unexpected cross country day at Badminton. We saw exactly no-one come even really close to coming inside the optimum time and Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo will have nearly 10 whole penalty points in hand heading into show jumping tomorrow. Here’s a look at the top 10 after cross country:

10:58 a.m. Oh no, Billy Walk On is just a little unsure today. He says ‘No thanks, mum’ at the log into the MARS Sustainability Bay — apparently where he stopped on course last year. Pippa puts her hand up and calls it a day.

10: 55 a.m. Blackthorn Cruise rattles the pin on the third to last fence. Dan looks over his shoulder, but it appears to have stayed up. They jump the last and what a thrill for Dan after this horse has come back from previous injury!

10:51 a.m. We’re getting down to the last couple competitions of the day. Reigning Badminton champ Laura Collett, who sat 7th after dressage with Dacapo, withdrew before today’s phase. We would have otherwise seen them in the order between Oliver and Izzy. New Zealand’s Dan Jocelyn is cracking along on course and clear so far. Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On are our most recent on course.

10:47 a.m. Oliver and Ballaghmor Class are home clear with 21.2 time! That bumps them up from 6th into 3rd. Oliver is absolutely pumped.

10:45 a.m. Izzy is up and walking off, she’s smiled now and is looking alright — just had to catch her breath. Meanwhile Oliver is gunning for home.

10: 44 a.m. Oh no, Izzy! Izzy Taylor and Graf Cavalier both take a tumble at the KBIS brush, the same fence that caught her out earlier! Graf Cavalier is up quickly but Izzy is taking her time, just looking a little winded.

10:42 a.m. ROS!!! What a woman and what a horse!! They finished with 11.6 time penalties, to easily keep the lead!

10:41 a.m. Ros takes a (planned) long route through the quarry and has 30 seconds to get home. She’ll be over time, but looks like she can still stay in he lead.

10:39 a.m. Ros makes the big question in the lake look like child’s play. Oliver is clear through the owl hole and bank. Luc Chateau finishes a really nice round without jump penalties.

10:36 a.m. Oliver is saving seconds wherever he can and leaves a stride out to the Coronation Corral. Ros and Lordships Graffalo are clear through the MARS M.

10:35 a.m. A bit long on the takeoff through the owl hole — if Ros were any taller she’d have a face full of brush! — but clear so far for this pair and looking very good. We’ve now also got Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class on course. These are two big rounds happening at the same time right now.

10:32 a.m. Our dressage leaders Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo are on course now. This isn’t my math, but our commentators say Ros can be 51 seconds over and still stay in the lead.

10:31 a.m. We’ve completely missed Helen Martin and Andreas, but the scoreboard says she’s been unseated at fence 18. Luc Chateau and Viewns du Mont are clear halfway through the course.

10:28 a.m. A problem for Wills Oakden as Arklow Puissance as the horse takes a big pop over the ditch in the coffin and then then Wills tries to jump the c element but Arklow Puissance doesn’t. Arklow Puissance is now taking himself on a nice little tour of the course and quite enjoying himself.

10:26 a.m. Bubby is really pushing for home … sees a fantastic stride to the second to last … and she and Cola are home! Fantastic result for her with, I think, the third fastest round of the day which will shoot her into 6th for now.

10:21 a.m. Gah, Spano de Nazca gets a little deep to the first corner in the Huntsmans Close and goes out the side door instead. Georgia elects to retire there. Meanwhile, Bubby Upton are on course and clear through the first third or so.

10:16 a.m. More problems on course: Emily King very suddenly makes a decision to run past the big corner in the lake. Did she feel something off on landing from the drop? It’s unclear, but she puts her hand up and she and Valmy Biats walk off course. Meanwhile Georgia Bartlett and Spano de Nazca have a runout at 13a.

10:15 a.m. A master class as usual from WFP. He finishes his mare about a minute and half over time with her ears pricked and looking for more. They’ll retain their 8th place position not he leaderboard.

10:08 a.m. A hold-your-breath moment for William Fox Pitt at the up bank and owl hole as Graffennacht scrambles to get her feet under her. Look at how still in his body WFP stays to let the mare figure her legs out:

10:06 a.m. Harry Meade joins John Kyle in the commentary box and explains his decision to withdraw his second ride Tenareze, who sat 10th after dressage, saying that after his first run on the experienced Away Cruising he wants to save his less experienced horse for a day with better conditions. It looks like Tim Price may have made a similar decision with the young Maryland 5-Star winner, Coup De Coeur Dudevin, withdrawing even though they sat in 9th after dressage.

10:03 a.m. Arthur Duffort completes and William Fox Pitt and Graffennacht start out on course.

10:00 a.m. Ok, I’ve had to take a little minute to get my wits back about me after that swim, but we’ve got Arthur Duffort and Toronto D Aurois nearing the end of the course right now. Selena Milnes had a stop at fence 13 and we’ve just heard that she’s now retired a couple fences later. Lauren Innes (sadly sans crown) and Global Vision M are the latest to join us on course. They’re clear through the owl hole now.

9:57 a.m. NOOO, oh poor Tom, oh no. His great round so far all comes apart in the lake as he gets popped out of the saddle and then into the drink. What a good sport though, as he takes a little swim to much applause and laughter from the crowd.

9:52 a.m. Tom Crisp and Liberty and Glory have been on course for a hot minute now and have looking accurate and also fairly fast at this point. Kristina continues on and is through Huntsman’s Close now.

9:49 a.m. Another bummer for Kristina as Google just glances past the big corner in the lake. Bill also has a glance off late of course at fence 26 and elects to retire.

9:45 a.m. A bummer for Kristina Hall-Jackson and CMS Google — the horse doesn’t quite get his eye on the C element of fence 8 and comes to a stop.

9:44 a.m. Bill looks like he’s actually riding with a full airbag at this point. It either popped off at the end of that staircase or possibly through the up bank and owl hole — they had a bit of a scramble there as well.

9:42 a.m. Aw, we thought Alex and Quindiva were having what looked to be a pretty nice round, but he puts his hand up to retire at fence 18. Not sure why as of now.

9:40 a.m. Whooooaaaa… Huberthus AC takes a peak at the steps down and Bill Levett very nearly goes over his head, but rights himself in time to make it through in one piece.

9:39 a.m. Tom and Toledo complete a very stylish round and it moves them up from fifth to third at this point. Austin O’Connor still holds the fastest time of the day. Here they were at the ditch and brush late on course, still looking full of running:

9:36 a.m. Tom is continuing to have a very accurate round. Alex Bragg Quindiva also join us on course and are clear through the Coronation Corral.

9:33 a.m. OH NO! We’ve just caught sight of Kitty King and Vendredi Biats, who had sat in second place overnight, and they’ve fallen at the giant log pile. It looks like Vendredi Biats had either banked it or his hind end came down on the end of the jump, rolling them both over. They’re both up and looking fine but Kitty will be so disappointed.

9:32 a.m. Tom can breathe a sign of relief as he and Toledo clear those solar panels which caught him out last year.

9:31 a.m. Lillian and Baraby are home clear and 2 minutes over time. She should be so thrilled!

9:29 a.m. One to watch, Tom McEwan and Toledo de Kerser are on course and clear through the Coronation Corral. Meanwhile Arthur Marx unfortunately ends up on the ground after his gelding takes a peek and a funny stride to fence 13.

9:26 a.m. France’s Arthur Marx and Church’ile activate a pin at fence 6. Gorgeous job for Lillian and Barnaby through the big drop into the lake and over the corner.

9:24 a.m. We’re got USA’s own Lillian Heard Wood and the LCC Baranby on course now! So far so good and clear through the owl hole. Meanwhile Alexander Whewall opts to retire a couple fences after the lake.

9:19 a.m. Alexander Whewall takes the direct drop into the lake with Ellfield Voyager who just kind of loses steam in the water, thinks about taking the big corner at a trot and then says, ‘maybe not…’ They collect a runout there and meanwhile Aaron Millar and KEC Deakon don’t quite get straight to the C element of the coffin. KEC Deakon twists his hind end and unseats Aaron — that’s the end of their round.

9:16 a.m. Well done Katherine! She picks up 31 time penalties, but that was a fantastically classy round and Monbeg Senna comes home with her ears pricked.

9:15 a.m. Nearly home now for Katherine and Monbeg Senna …

9:11 a.m. Caroline Powell jumps the last and despite picking up 40 penalties, she’s looking thrilled with Greenacres Special Cavalier, who, even more importantly is looking quite pleased with herself in her first Badminton effort. Also on course now are Gireg le Coz and Aisprit De La Loge.

9:09 a.m. What a save for Katherine!! Some balance lost of the A element at the solar panels but check out this riding:

9:07 a.m. Katherine is clean through the MARS Sustainability bay and looks like she’s having the time of her life. Then a hugely positive effort through the bounce and owl hole! Nicely ridden!

9:05 a.m. USA! USA! Katherine Coleman and Monbeg Senna join us on course, and — oh — another stop for Caroline Powell unfortunately, this time Greenacres Special Cavalier just peters out ahead of fence 17.

9:03 a.m. Shoot – Caroline Powell was having a cracking round but Greenacres Special Cavalier second guesses the bank up to the owl hole, has a scramble up it and then a stop at the owl hold. They circle around to the option and continue on.

9:00 a.m. Oh nooooo, Cooley for Sure knocks a hind leg on the b element of fence 15, the second of the two solar panels. It bounces Greta Mason right out the saddle. She tried valiantly to hang on to her horse’s neck but ends up on the ground.

8:53 a.m. New Zealand’s Holly Swain was having a nice go, but Solo adds a stride to the MIM clipped table at fence 22 after the big M jump and they activate the frangible technology.

8:48 a.m. Impressive display of horsemanship here by Richard Jones: it looked to my eye like he and Alfies Clover were having a great go, but suddenly he slows and puts his hand up to retire after jumping the footbridge at 17. Clearly he knows his horse very, very well. Alfies Clover looks happy and has his ears pricked as he starts his hack back to the barn.

8:46 a.m. Alfies Clover gives Richard Jones a nice big jump over the big spread at Isuzu 4 bar.

8:42 a.m. Muzi Pottinger adds one stride too many in the early combination at 6ab the Joules Coronation Corral. Just Kidding catches a leg on the second upright gate and Muzi is out of the saddle.

8:40 a.m. Susie Berry has elected to retire after Ringwood LB has just seemed a little tired against the effort of today. She’s pulled up to a trot between fences.

8:38 a.m. Felix Vogg has completed with Cartania. He’s had a great round and finishes with a score of 61.5.

8:37 a.m. Caroline Clarke has fallen off at the Rolex T Bar at 11. It wasn’t the takeoff spot she would’ve liked, and Touch Too Much just seemed to shy at the ditch underneath. He tripped on landing which had her out of the saddle. The horse is enjoying a nice canter around as grounds crew is trying to catch him.

8:35 a.m. Touch Too Much took a long hard look at the spread of Isuzu 4 Bar once he was already in the air. He came down slightly on the back bar, but they carry on.

8:33 a.m. RSH Contend OR did not seem to even pick up on the ditch at 26, the Jubilee Clump Brush. Felicity made an extra effort to bend their line out to get very straight, but the horse seemed to canter right into the ditch and deposited Felicity on the ground.

8:32 a.m. “I am so relieved. That was really hard. It was hard work and the horse tried her heart out over ever single fence,” says Gemma Stevens after her cross country. She says the jumps feel even bigger than they are due to the sticky ground and warm conditions this afternoon. “She’s a chestnut mare and she fought all the way.”

8:30 a.m. The breastplate has broken for Possible Mission and Tom Rowland, but they won’t pay that any mind as they come to the last two fences.

8:29 a.m. RSH Contend OR is showing just how careful they can be with Felicity Collins in the saddle. They didn’t get anywhere near touching the frangible LeMieux Mound.

8:27 a.m. Tom Rowland goes the more direct route through the Lake, and gets it done with an extra step in the water.

8:27 a.m. Gemma finishes with her red hot Jalapeno for a current score of 55.7.

8:25 a.m. Gemma said before cross country that this wet ground wouldn’t suit her mare, but she’s got an expert rider helping her navigate this track.

8:23 a.m. Alice Casburn has finished with a minute and 10 seconds over the time after such a great round.

8:22 a.m. Gemma goes the long route at the Lake, and slips her reins with some gutsy cross country riding through the corner.

8:22 a.m. Francis Whittington finishes with over a minute of time penalties.

8:18 a.m. Alice Casburn is in the minority of riders to chose the direct route at the Lake, and she’s done it beautifully. Meanwhile, Gemma Stevens is working quite hard this morning. She fights hard through the keyhole bounce, losing a stirrup, but getting the job done.

8:17 a.m. DHI Purple Rain is a big, rangy horse, who you might expect to struggle some in the deep footing, is just finding its well within his efforts.

8:15 a.m. The Ground Jury will definitely be reviewing Francis Whittington’s effort through the corner in the Lake. The horse was just splashing through the water and it’s unclear if he properly cleared the fence between the flags.

8:10 a.m. Dynasty has run out of gas at the corner before the Lake. He looked tired coming to this one, and just banks the wide corner before sliding onto the ground on landing, sending Hector out of the saddle.

8:07 a.m. Dynasty makes a massive effort for Hector Payne at the keyhole bounce. They got there just slightly off their line, and Dynasty really made the effort to lift himself off the ground through the keyhole.

8:05 a.m. Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue finish as the fastest combination so far today. They’re just 27 seconds over the time.

8:03 a.m. There’s early trouble for Andrew James and Celtic Morning Star. The horse seemed to just shy at the big drop at the B element of the Lightsorce bp Hollow at 8. This caused them to take the pin of the first element before coming to a halt at that drop. Andrew choses to trot around and let the horse pop down the drop before putting his hand up to retire.

8:01 a.m. Colorado Blue is looking like the most fit horse we’ve seen today. He springs through the MARS M Tables and goes the direct route through the Lake successfully.

7:59 a.m. Mind your head Austin O’Connor! Colorado Blue nearly shoves his rider up through the brush in the keyhole bounce.

7:58 a.m. Commander VG looks like he’s getting a little tired, and Aistis Vitkauskas makes the choice for the long route at The Lake.

7:56 a.m. We are hearing from Harry Meade at the finish. He says he didn’t even bother with a watch today with Away Cruising, and decided to rather just ride off intuition.

7:53 a.m. What a shame, Rose Nesbitt did not get a good takeoff for the bounce owl hole with EG Michealangelo. The horse tries to skitter up the bank, but can’t make the owl hole and goes sliding into it before making an effort. It looked like he scrambled onto his knees, but Rose didn’t fall. Despite this, her airvest did deploy and we’re guessing it may have been judged as a horse fall. They both look healthy walking off the course.

7:49 a.m. Anna-Katherina and DSP Quintana P peck across the Pedigree Dog Kennel table, and they’re both on the ground on landing. Both horse and rider are quickly up.

7:47 a.m. Anna-Katherina is the first to go the long route at the Lightsource BP Pond. She gets an awkward jump out, but they’re clear.

7:46 a.m. Germany’s Anna-Katharina Vogel skips up the bounce to the keyhole. At this point, she’s about 30 seconds down on her time, which is about the norm for today so far.

7:44 a.m. Tom Jackson finishes quite a bit over the time, but what great riding from Tom. While he did have time, so has everyone else, and he really had a masterful ride.

7:42 a.m. James Rushbrooke is giving Milchem Eclipse such a positive ride, especially through the Brush Boxes.

7:41 a.m. Tom is another rider who chooses the long route at the Lake, and they get a beautiful spot to the corner.

7:40 a.m. Ros Canter in her post ride interview calls Pencos Crown Jewel “a weapon.” And that she was! Ros says the going is deep, but in hindsight says she could’ve even pushed a little more on the time. She had 26.8 time penalties.

7:39 a.m. We’ve got clarification on Izzy Taylor. She was eliminated for jumping the B element twice at the KBIS Brush Boxes.

7:38 a.m. Tom Jackson is putting forth a great effort this early in the going. Capels Hollow Drift is absolutely attacking.

7:35 a.m. Kirsty Chabert’s Opposition Loire has a drive by at the Lightsource BP Hollow, which is very early in the course. She circles around but the horse again stops, so she’s put her hand up to retire.

7:34 a.m. Harry Meade gets Away Cruising home with 37.2 time penalties.

7:32 a.m. Izzy has been pulled up. Officials on the ground allow her to get off to fix a martigale that’s come undone during her course. It’s unclear if that’s the reason she’s been pulled up or if she has been eliminated.

7:31 a.m. Izzy has a questionable jump through the KBIS Brush Boxes. At the A element, he just slightly drifted right — clambering over the fence and falling slightly on his rump on landing. She chooses to continue on, but I find it hard to believe that she will make it through here without 15 penalties.

7:30 a.m. Away Cruising also slightly crawls through the corner in The Lake for Harry Meade. He definitely won’t be breaking any speed records as he helps the horse home.

7:30 a.m. Izzy Taylor is clear through the MARS Sustainability Bay. She bends her line out to choose five strides here.

7:25 a.m. Ros is another of the riders who choses to take the slightly longer route at the Lake. Pencos Crown Jewel doesn’t quite catch on to the brush corner inside the water, but understands the assignment just in time. He does take out he flag with his hind leg, but should definitely be clear.

7:23 a.m. Tim Price finishes exactly a minute over the time — that will be 24 penalties, but he’s still the fastest so far.

7:20 a.m. Pencos Crown Jewel gets to the log in the Mars Sustainability Bay water on a long three strides, but Ros Canter sits right up and gets it done.

7: 16 a.m. Pippa Funnell completes to a huge round of applause. They’ve got her with 24.8 time penalties as the fastest so far at this early stage.

7:12 a.m. World Number 1 Tim Price has joined us on course with Vitali.

7:10 a.m. Majas Hope comes running out of his hold. He looks full of energy with a nice, big jump into the Lake. She’s only the second to go the direct route, and the first to do it successfully.

7:09 a.m. Dan Jocelyn has been restarted at Huntsmans Close. He smartly chooses the long route and he’s only got a few left to home.

7:08 a.m. Our only score update at the moment is that Wills did have 28 time penalties added at the finish.

7:06 a.m. We’re still on a hold here. Stay tuned.

6:59 a.m. We’ve got confirmation that Oliver Townend was stopped by the Ground Jury and will not continue. Forced eliminations are within the discretion of the GJ. We’ve also got Dan Jocelyn and Pippa Funnell held on course as repairs continue to be made. Tim Price has been held at the start.

6:55 a.m. What a treat to watch Pippa Funnell around this track with Majas Hope. She’s good on her time through the MARS Sustainability Bay so far.

6:52 a.m. Dan Jocelyn picks up 11 penalties at The Lake. He’s activated the frangible pin on that drop in.

6:50 a.m. Fiona Kashel comes off of WSF Carthago at the Jubilee Clump Brush at 26. The horse looked a bit tired and when Fiona went to get into jumping position, WSF Carthago just put the landing gear back down before the ditch on the takeoff side.

6:47 a.m. Oliver will be awarded 11 penalties for activating the frangible table at 19b, The MARS M Tables. Swallow Springs seemed to come to these elements a little tired and put in a big effort over the 19a table, but despite Oliver’s massive efforts to get to the b element in four strides, it’s just too big an ask for the horse. He clears the table, but lands down on top of it, especially with the hind legs.

6:45 a.m. What an effort by Swallow Springs through the KBIS Brush Boxes! Oliver gives the horse a big pat for digging deep.

6:43 a.m. Oughterard Cooley is looking a bit tired for Wills. He clambers a bit through the Jubilee Clump Brush, and Wills is carefully navigating the horse over the last few fences.

6:42 a.m. Fiona Kashel and WSF Carthago scramble through the Holland Cooper Owl Hole, but thankfully the brush is forgiving.

6:40 a.m. Wills has decided to go the slightly longer route at the The Lake, and meanwhile Oliver Townend is through the first three fences with Swallow Springs — he will be a good indicator of how catchable the time will be today.

6:35 a.m. Great riding by Wills through the MARS Sustainability water. He gets to the big log drop just a little bit off the fence, but really supported the horse exactly right to get him through the log in the water.

6:33 a.m. Wills has settled right into the pathfinder role — tackling all the combinations so far quite beautifully.

6:30 a.m. Wills Oakden and Oughterard Cooley are the first pair out!

6:25 a.m. Grab your wellies, folks. First horse is out on course at 6:30 a.m. (eastern)/11:30 a.m. local

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

Hold your horses … if you’re looking to watch some Badminton cross country today you’re a day too early! The event schedule was pushed back this year for a little thing called a Coronation, remember? Today is the second day of dressage and things will be a little broken up, as there will be a pause in the competition between 10:15am BST / 5:15am EDT / 2:15am PDT through 12:45pm BST / 7:45am EDT / 4:45am PDT while the Coronation is broadcast. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting stuff.

Badminton Horse Trials (Glos. UK)
[Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Badminton Radio] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

U.S. Weekend Action:

Catalpa Corner May Madness Horse Trials (Iowa City, IA) [Website] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Riga Meadow at Coole Park Combined Test (Millbrook, NY) [Website] [Scoring]

Stable View Local Charities H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

The Event at Skyline (Mt. Pleasant, UT) [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, TX) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Waredaca H.T. (Laytonsville, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

WindRidge Farm Spring H.T. (Mooresboro, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

Rule Refresher: New Rules Approved by the USEF Go Into Effect May 1, 2023

Behind The Photo: A Bit Of Mai Baum Déjà Vu

‘There are so many pins that you could make a dress’: riders’ reactions to the Badminton cross-country course

The Haiku Handicapper: 2023 Kentucky Derby

Sponsor Corner: World Equestrian Brands made it possible for this young eventer and entrepreneur to meet Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo! Meet Kayleigh Kendricks, creator of Galloping Goodies Treats.

Morning Viewing: Badminton dressage day one is in the rearview! Get up to speed with yesterday’s action here and watch the leading test below:

Four-Star Short Stories from a Weekend in the Mixed Zone

Dan Krietl and Carmango. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We generally focus on the big names, big winners, and the big stories that come out of a weekend like the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, but every rider that walk, trots, or canters down the hallowed ramp of the Rolex Arena has a story to tell; no matter which division they rode in and where they placed at the end of the weekend.

My main role for the Eventing Nation team over Kentucky weekend was to collect audio from riders in the mixed zone — that’s the little roped off area that they’re shepherded to after their ride to talk to the media. If you saw a lady with a stuffed chinchilla sticking out of the pocket of a sky blue Equestly jacket who was shoving her phone in riders faces — that was me. Hi!

I didn’t even speak to every single rider over the course of the weekend, but I still collected 56 audio clips averaging about 2 minutes 30 seconds each via the voice memo app on my phone. That’s approximately 140 minutes of rider audio. Much of that audio is reaction to the ride they just had; some describes their relationship with their horse and how they came to have a ride; many sing the praises of people who helped to get them where they are. Altogether, it’s the most condensed conveyance of the years-long paths it’s taken to get to the moment they stand in front of a media person.

These are just a sliver of the interesting background stories and bits and bobs behind the many competitors in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S last weekend.

Arielle Aharoni and Dutch Times. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Arielle Aharoni and Dutch Times’ Partnership is a Pony Kid’s Dream

In a way, Arielle’s relationship with Dutch Times began before the gelding was even born. Over fifteen years ago while Arielle’s mom, Christina, was horse shopping, she fell in love with a stallion at Goldhope Farm in Pennsylvania. The stallion wasn’t for sale, but Christina was told that a full brother to him would be hitting the ground in June. She bought him.

At that point, 10-year-old Arielle got a little jealous that her mother bought herself a pony but not her.

“Any ten-year-old would,” Arielle laughed. “So she bought me a really naughty, unbroken pony and said, ‘If you want to learn how to ride, you’re going to learn how to ride this thing. And then if you’re serious, you can come back and talk to me about a different horse.'”

It’s safe to say Arielle got serious. In the intervening years she rode through Training level aboard another (less naughty) pony and Christina had Tik Maynard continue Dutch Times’ education, competing him through the CCI3*-S level. Arielle took the reins in 2016 and together, they have continued on through the CCI4*-L level and have begun to dabble in the jumper ring as well — cross training that no doubt helped contribute to their double clear jumping round on the final day of competition.

“He kind of surpassed our expectations,” Ariel said. “He was only ever supposed to do two-star, maybe three-star. So we’ve made it way farther at this point.”

Dan Kreitl and Carmango. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Redemption for Dan Kreitl and Carmango

If you followed the 4* here last year, you’re likely familiar with fan-favorite amateur rider Dan Kreitl. After delivering the sole round clear and inside the time across the country in this divisions last year, Dan held the lead coming into the final day of competition.

The show jumping had been Dan and Carmango’s weakest phase by far and a fairytale ending for the Indiana native wasn’t to be that year. They garnered 12 jumping faults that day, losing the win and dropping to fourth.

As a technically amateur rider, Dan’s relatability, struggles, and genuine humbleness and hard work have made him a fan favorite and earned respect from the professionals he competes against.  Even the podium finishers of the division last year acknowledged that they wished he were sitting amongst them during the final press conference. In short, it’s hard not to root for Dan.

But his 2023 season with Carmango got off to an inauspicious start. At the Grand-Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field in early March, they knocked five rails — which resulted in compulsory retirement.

“[Show jumping] has been definitely the toughest phase for me and my horse, and we’ve been working hard, but hard work doesn’t always pay off,” Dan said. “At Bruce’s Field I was totally disappointed but actually learned a lot — there’s a lot of value in failure.”

The difference between Dan and and Carmango’s show jumping rounds in just a month is mind-blowing. After the disappointment of Bruce’s Field, they went on to record their very first double clear show jumping round of any FEI level at The Event at TerraNova later that month. On Sunday at Kentucky they duplicated that effort, leaving all the poles up in the Rolex Arena. They ultimately finished in fourth place overall for this second year in a row, but that clear round in Kentucky in front of Carmango’s owners and his family was the real win for Dan this weekend.

When asked if there was any one thing he worked on between the first week of March at Bruce’s Field and last last week of March at The Event at TerraNova where the pair recorded their very first double clear FEI show jumping round at any level, Dan said: “Honestly, my own brain. Somebody said, ‘he who thinks the slowest wins,’ and for me, I just gotta slow it all down. And a lot of times the harder I try — I want to get in there and get aggressive like, ‘Let’s go boy!’ —  [I] just run him past all of his distances. So really just trying to be relaxed about it and keep my position, but funny enough with the horse it’s literally just me chilling out and let him do his thing.”

And as for how jumping clear in the Rolex Arena felt?

“Freaking awesome.”

Hayley Frielick and Dunedin Black Watch. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hayley Frielick and Dunedin Black Watch’s World Tour Continues

We were a bit surprised to see Hayley Frielick and “Nelson”, who have completed 5*s in Maryland and Adelaide, on the entry list for the 4* last weekend. It turns out the reason why is a bit of a qualification conundrum.

“We kind of actually just snuck in to do Maryland. We could either go do another four-long, and then I’d be qualified as a C category rider, or I could wait until the new year and my rider category went up to B, and then I was qualified for five-star. So that’s what we did with Maryland, because we were so short on events in Australia with it being flooded all last year,” Haley explained.

As a result Haley has dropped back to a C category rider, but there’s a significant bright side for the New Zealander: “It’s kind of cool, because it’s giving me an excuse to go and do more events and see more of the states. Nelson’s tour of the US continues! We’ve gotten to go to Kentucky and now we can go look at [a four-star long] at Tryon and Bromont and see more of it, so that’s really fun.”

While there’s a bit of disappointment in not being able to do the 5* this weekend, Hayley energy and enthusiasm after her 4* cross country round was absolutely infectious.

“I’m bummed I wasn’t doing the five-star, but it is just incredible to be here,” she said with a huge grin. “I mean, I tell everyone back home in Australia, and you just actually can’t describe it until you’re here. You see everything on TV and you watch it, and then you finally get here and you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is insane!’ There’s Rolex signs everywhere and everything’s so fancy. And the going is just — I mean, I joke about it all the time here, because we just we just don’t get [ground] like this in Australia, so my guy thinks he’s running on clouds. It’s amazing.”

Anna Loschiavo and Fernhill That Guy Jack. Photo by Abby Powell.

Anna Loschiavo Spreads the Love for Area I

Riding Fernhill That Guy Jack, this was the Anna Loschiavo’s first time competing at the Kentucky Horse Park since the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship in 2009. Anna, a Vermont native, is a fixture of the eventing communities in both Areas I and III. Every year she splits her time across the country, with summers spent in her hometown of Bradford and winters at her southern base in Ocala, Florida.

“I love both of [the areas]. The good thing about our farm in Florida is we actually have terrain. We have a hill with about an 8% grade, so that really helps to keep our training more consistent as we come to Florida where it’s flatter,” Anna said. “Otherwise, it’s like a traveling circus. We just pick up and move twice a year. And I have a really, really great team. Emma Armstrong is my head groom and assistant trainer and she is wonderful about keeping all of our operations together.”

The number of events in Area I has dwindled significantly over the past decade or so, making it difficult for professionals to maintain their own level of competition alongside their teaching and training businesses. But Anna and other Area I professionals have high hopes for a keeping eventing alive in the area in which it all started in the U.S.

“I’ll never leave Area I in the summer; I love it,” she said. “We’re trying to do some really exciting things, actually, to keep revamping the upper level eventing in Area I, so we’re really trying to spread the word about that. We’ve got a lot of events and organizers that are really trying to make it so that Area I can be a prep for big events like this.”

Missy Miller and Quinn. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hay is Not for Horses if You’re Missy Miller’s Quinn

Missy Miller has made a lot of changes recently. For one, she’s brought her top mount, Quinn, out to California to ride and train with Tamie Smith. They’ve done all the nearly all their prep runs for this event out on the West Coast.

“Tamie has been a game changer for our program. I’ve had a lot of great coaches, great mentors, and she’s really kind of taken me under her wing. It’s super,” Missy said. “Here she is, she’s first in the five-star and she’s second [in the four-star], and she’s here with me through my entire warm-up. She’s there with me and she comes and helps me with him after and she’s just 110% — she is just a great person. I can go to her with any questions. She has changed all my riding and my entire program with my other horses at home. I’m really lucky to have her in my life.”

Another huge change? Quinn’s diet. The 13-year-old gelding had always been on the lean side, looking “like he was ready to run the Kentucky Derby.” Many had chalked it up to ulcers, which Missy treated for, but with the help of her long-time veterinarian Dr. Chad Davis, they decided to try a diet low in long-stem forage — normally the opposite of what might be the ideal equine diet. It worked — it turns out that Quinn can’t digest hay very well, so instead Missy meets his forage requirement by feeding him chaff and alfalfa pellets. Finally figuring out Quinn’s ideal nutrition program has made a world of difference in his way of going.

“Now I’m a little bit like, ‘Oh, he’s quite cheeky!'” Missy said. “I’m so lucky; this is our third year here with him. That alone, just that he’s here and he’s still willing to do it — he loves his job — it’s great.”

Jessica Phoenix and Fluorescent Adolescent. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Eventing Comes Full Circle for Jess Phoenix with Fluorescent Adolescent

Seeing Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix on a flashy piebald is a new sight — that’s because her partnership with Fluorescent Adolescent is a relatively new one. Owned and previously ridden by through the CCI3*-S level by Jess’ long-time student, Makayla Rydzik, this event was just “Lacey’s” second 4*. Jess took over the ride last fall and was thrilled with how the 15-year-old Canadian Sport Horse (Gaudi — Amelia II, by Ali Baba) handled the exciting atmosphere this weekend.

Not only does Jess have a neat connection to the mare via her student; she knows the mare’s breeders, Kelly Plitz and Ian Roberts — both Canadian Olympians — of Dreamcreast Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, very well.

“So it’s a pretty fun story,” Jess said. “Kelly was actually my very first eventing coach, and then her husband, Ian, was my coach, all the way through to the three-star level.”

Think about it: a Canadian Olympian riding a horse that was trained by her student and was bred by the Olympic-level coaches who taught said Canadian Olympian (did you follow all that?): That’s the insular eventing community at its coolest.

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Scores] [4* Scores] [Live Stream] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

Monday Video: No Words, Just Three 5*-Winning Phases

Alright just a few words, actually: What. An. Amazing. Weekend. Courtesy of USEF Network, we can relive each phase of Tamie Smith and Mai Baum‘s win at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, present by MARS Equestrian right here. Press play and get ready to get goosebumps all over again.

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Scores] [4* Scores] [Live Stream] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

It’s Getting Hot (Bobo) in Here: Karl Slezak Wins the Lexington CCI4*-S

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s probably pretty unprofessional as a journalist to admit, but Karl Slezak and the 10-year-old Hot Bobo had flown completely under my radar prior to this weekend. Heck, even prior to cross country day. But to give myself a little credit – and anyone else who didn’t see this somewhat surprise victory in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S coming — the mare had only just stepped up to the Advanced level this February. After today she now has four total Advanced runs under her girth; this was just her second CCI4*, finishing on their dressage score of 29.3.

While Karl and Hot Bobo have had some big success at previous levels — including wins in the CCI2*-L at Hagyard Midsouth in 2020 and in the CCI3*-L at the Tryon International 3-Day Event last fall — Hot Bobo likely wasn’t anyone’s pick to win this division this weekend given her inexperience at the level. It seems, however, as though her modus operandi may be to prove us all wrong. The first person she proved wrong was Karl himself who, after impulsively buying the mare at 2017 Monart Sale in Ireland, admits he initially had some second thoughts.

“We were sitting in the auction and I wasn’t really paying attention, and my wife gives me a nudge,” Karl recalled. “She was like, ‘You liked that one, she’s going cheap!’ and I just threw my hand up and we got her on the first [bid]. That never happens. Then I was like, ‘Crap, what did I buy? Is that the one that kept spinning every time a horse came at her?’ and sure enough, it was.”

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

An Irish Sport Horse bred by Dublin’s Emma Phelan, Hot Bobo (VDL Arkansas — Taneys Leader, by Supreme Leader xx) is a half sister to Will Coleman’s Off The Record. Hot Bobo, however, is 70% blood out of a full Thoroughbred dam. Between the sale and the start of the next eventing season, Karl hadn’t sat on the mare for several weeks and was getting a little worried. But the anxiety disappeared once he sat on her.

“I was fretting about what I bought, and then from day one she was spot on,” he said. “The first day I sat on her, she was on it, she was just beautiful. She was always spooky on cross country, but to ride on the flat and to jump was awesome and [the worries were] all gone, I was like, ‘thank God.’ I was terrified though, for eight weeks, I was like, ‘that’s a lot of money.'”

To her character, Karl says: “She just wants to work all the time. She just loves to please and comes out the same pretty much every day. You know, for a mare, you never know what you’re gonna get. But when mares work for you they’re amazing. And she definitely wants to please and works for me really well.”

Purchased initially with the intent of being a sale horse, that spookiness on cross country turned out to be why the mare stayed with the Slezaks, who still own her in full, as potential buyers passed her over for that reason. No longer an issue, it didn’t keep her from delivering a clear and inside the time run across country yesterday even though Karl was unsure of how the mare would handle the Kentucky crowds.

Despite the pressure of entering the arena last, Karl took a pragmatic to show jumping day.

“I definitely was nervous,” Karl admits. “But I tried to put as little pressure on myself as possible. It’s just what will be will be and usually works out better that way. And she just felt great, so I was definitely more confident going in the ring.”

And just an extra fun fact for all you sports fans out there, since it’s been a great weekend for our friends to the north: Just a day after the Toronto Maple Leafs advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time in 19 years, Karl becomes the first Canadian rider to win a division during a Kentucky weekend since Stewart Young-Black won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1992.

Big Plans for Podium Finishers

Karl plans to tackle the CCI4*-L at Tryon in just a few weeks time, while our second and third place finishers Tamie Smith with Solaguayre California and Sydney Elliot with QC Diamantaire have some plans overseas this spring.

“We’re just here to test what we have and see where we’re at, so we can go back home and practice more,” Tamie said of her 12-year-old Silla Argentina mare (Casparo — Solaguayre Calandira, by Casall) who finished just seven-tenths of a point behind. “I really wanted to make sure that she handled all of this well. And we have basically the month of May to kind of decompress and kind of get our wits about us and then go to Luhmühlen. So I’m excited about that.”

As for Sydney and “Q,” who also jumped double clear this morning to finish on a score of 34.9, they may very well be on the same plane to Germany: they’re headed over to Luhmühlen as well for a crack at the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding’s (Diarado — Lantana, by Sandro Hit) third CCI5*.

“We are like an old married couple at this point. He has just been such a wonderful horse since we got him. Everyone would want a horse like this,” said Sydney. “I thought it was a great last run for him before we head to Europe.”

Breaking it Down

Out of 35 competitors this morning, just over half the field (51.4%) left all the poles in the cups. In addition to our top three, nine other pairs (Colleen Loach and FE Golden Eye, Bec Braitling and Caravaggio II, Hanna Bundy and Lovely Assistant, Arielle Aharoni and Dutch Times, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Nutcracker, and James Alliston and Karma) jumped double clear over Steve Stephens show jumping course.

We have SO MUCH MORE still to come at you from the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian including an 5* repot we’ve been waiting years to write. What a weekend. Go Eventing.

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Times] [5* Scores] [4* Times] [4* Scores] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Tickets] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Sunday Jogs Slightly Shuffle LRK3DE Standings; Leaders Pass

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s a crisp sunny morning for the final horse inspection of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian. We’ve seen some withdrawals across both the CCI5* and CCI4*-S divisions, several horses were sent to the hold box, and one from the marquee division was spun.

The CCI5* field thinned by one overnight as Meghan O’Donoghue withdrew Palm Crescent overnight and did not present him today, leaving 25 horses to come forward and present to the 5* ground jury of Christina Klingspor (SWE), Peter Shaw (AUS), and Angela Tucker (GBR).

Tom McEwan and JL Dublin. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Our 5* field leaders, a stylish Tamie Smith and a fresh-looking Mai Baum, effortlessly passed this morning’s horse inspection. They’ll head into show jumping on their dressage score of 24.2; that gives them several seconds in hand, but no rails to spare over our second placed pair of Tom McEwan and JL Dublin. Tom and Dubs, along with all other European pairs, also flew through this morning’s jogs with no problems.

Two 5* horses were sent to the hold box: Erin Kanara’s Campground and Liz Halliday-Sharp’s Deniro Z. Campground was accepted upon representation, but Deniro Z sadly was not.

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Looking to the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S, 37 horses were presented to the ground jury of Robert Stevenson (USA) and Helen Brettel (GBR). Three pairs withdrew overnight and did not present this morning: BGS Firecracker (Mia Farley), Jos Bravo (Dani Sussman), and Cecelia (Dani Moguel)

Three horses were sent to the hold box: Sara Kozumplik’s Rubens D’ysieux, Leah Lang-Gluscic’s AP Prime (who sits in 10th place after yesterday’s double clear cross country effort), and Anna Loschiavo’s Fernhill That Guy Jack. Sara withdrew Reubens from the hold box, while both AP Prime and Fernhill That Guy Jack were both joyfully accepted upon representation. Our leaders of this division, sitting on the only sub-20 score in the field, Hot Bobo and Karl Slezak, easily passed this morning’s jog.

Buckeye Nutrition presented a Best Turned Out award for each division at the conclusion of the jogs, awarding $1,000 to the groom of the winning horse. Amber Wavryk was the winning groom amongst the 4* horses, for her care of Hot Bobo. Erin Jarboe and Hailey Burdock were recognized for their care of Chin Tonic HS.

We’re in for an exciting conclusion to the #BestWeekendAllYear today! The 4* will kick off showjumping today 10:45 AM — one rail separates the top four in this division and two rails separate the top nine. Karl and Hot Bobo have one time penalty in hand over second-placed Solaguayre California and Tamie Smith. The 5* show jumping will begin at 2:20 PM. Keep it locked here on EN, folks.

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Times] [5* Scores] [4* Times] [4* Scores] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Tickets] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

Wakey, wakey it’s cross country day at the #BestWeekendAllYear! Team EN has been enjoying having such stacked entry lists in both classes this weekend and so many entrants from overseas who we’re delighted to see out and about enjoying the venue. It’s sure keeping things exciting, and we’ll be on the edge of our metaphorical seats to see how everything shakes out over Derek di Grazia’s courses today. Here’s wishing safe and speedy rides to all pairs. Don’t forget to stop and admire the dandelions.

Keep up with EVERYTHING by following @goeventing and checking out EN’s coverage of the #BestWeekendAllYear.

U.S. Weekend Action

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Times] [5* Scores] [4* Times] [4* Scores] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Tickets] [EN’s Coverage] [Ultimate Guide]

Horse Park of New Jersey Spring H.T. (Allentown, NJ) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times][Volunteer][Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. (Durham, NH) [Website] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

Yorkshire’s Nicola Wilson determined to seize her ‘second chance’ as she prepares for emotional Badminton return

Sandra Auffrath reunites with Cornelia Dorr’s Daytona Beach 8 at Kentucky

Sydney Solomon Soaks Up Her First LRK3DE

Free Rein With: Jennie Saville

Sponsor Corner: We’ve got a special cross country day contest coming at you! Keep checking EN’s Instagram stories today to play Kentucky trivia for a chance to win a pair of Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact Boots from World Equestrian Brands.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo model the Equilibrium Tri-Zone Impact Boots at Maryland last year. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Morning Viewing: An admirable young equestrian who runs her own treat-making business won the World Equestrian Brands Meet and Greet with Hawley and Jollybo! She even made Jollybo her own special treats!

Lexington CCI4*-S Dressage Concludes with Double Dose of Halliday-Sharp and Smith + Kozumplik

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Be Cool. Photo by Abby Powell.

Dressage for the third annual running of the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian concluded this morning with a couple of changes to the leaderboard, but familiar names remain.

The top test of the day came from Liz Halliday-Sharp and 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Heritage Fortunus — HHHS Carlota) Cooley Be Cool, earning a mark of 25.5, an achingly close score to stablemate Cooley Nutcracker who retains the lead in this division on a 26.5.

“He changed behind first in his first change, which he never does, but I think he was just a bit excited. Had he not done that I think he would have been on the same score as [Cooley Nutcracker], which is super cool, because this is still his personal best at the level. I’m totally thrilled with him,” Liz said of her test.

Owned by Ocala Horse Properties and The Monster Partnership, “Dave” was sourced through Richard Sheane of Cooley Farm, as many of Liz’s horses are.

“Richard, when we found him, said this one will be a slow burner. He said he might not be a winner at the low levels, but he’s going to be a really top five-star horse,” Liz recalls, “And yeah, I actually totally agree.”

After two wins in the early season last year — one in the CCI3-S at Carolina International and the other in the CCI4-S at The Event at TerraNova — some time off over the rest of the 2022 competition season did “Dave” some good, helping him to mature.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Be Cool. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

“I think it was the making of him. He came out this year like a different horse, just more professional, lighter on his feet, and just really wanting to do the job,” Liz said. “He’s incredibly scopey, but he is very cheeky and very arrogant. So that’s kind of been the biggest training. He’s a lot like Cooley Quicksilver in that way — they’re quite similar horses like that, so it’s been a matter of sort of getting him on side and also just managing that.”

Speaking of Cooley Quicksilver, last year’s winner of this division: Liz opted not to bring him for a return trip to Kentucky to defend his title. Impressed enough by his winning performance in the Stable View 4*-S this spring and with a cap at four entries per rider over this weekend, Liz determined the gelding didn’t need the extra run here prior to taking another crack at the Luhmühlen 5* this year. This decision allowed her to bring Dave instead, who, at 10-years-old would benefit more from the extra prep and big atmosphere that Kentucky brings prior to making his 5* debut as he’ll travel alongside “Monster” to Luhmühlen this year.

Tamie Smith and Elliot V slip into equal fourth place at the culmination of the first phase. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Solaguayre California, Tamie’s mount in this division yesterday, now sits in third place with their score of 27.6. Not far behind them, however, is … Tamie Smith, this time with Elliot V, and also Sara Kozumplik aboard Rock Phantom. Elliot V and Rock Phantom both scored a 28.4 to share equal fourth place.

Elliot V came to Tamie through her student Louisa Southworth, who rode the gelding through the CCI2*-L level and then handed the reins to Tamie when it was time to go off to college. Lousia and her parents remain involved in the gelding’s future as members of the Elliot V Partnership which now owns the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Zavall VDL –Vera R).

“He’s super talented and he has all the ingredients, so we syndicated him and they stay part of it. It’s only been two years to solidify a partnership, so we’ve had our ups and downs with everything, trying to figure it all out. But he’s a super jumper and galloper and just trying to teach him the game,” said Tamie.

“It’s been a work in progress with him and getting him stronger. That big atmosphere is quite a anxious type of force, but he was so good. I’m really, really pleased.”

Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The third to last ride of the day was an emotional one. For one, Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom knocked nearly two marks off the gelding’s previous personal best at the level, dipping into the twenties for the first time.

Sara took over the ride on “Rocky,” a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Spirit House — Ballycroy Rose) roughly a year and a half ago from Nilson Moreira da Silva, who previously brought him to the four-star level. Sara and her long-time friend snap supported Edith Rameika were looking for a horse for Sara to fill the gaps between her young up-and-comers and her experienced campaigner Rubens D’Ysieux who, at 18 years old, Sara has retired from long-format events.

But the tears in Sara’s eye at the conclusion of her test weren’t really for her score; they were for longtime mentor and friend Jimmy Wofford, for whom she wore a green ribbon over heart. A patron saint of U.S. eventing, Jimmy lost his battle with pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

An emotional Sara leaves the ring after her test with Rock Phantom. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It sounds awful, but I’m kind of glad we lost him before this event because he was very proud of never missing this,” Sara told us. “He actually would have struggled to come in the COVID year because he was having quite a lot of chemo during that time. And so the year it didn’t run, he probably couldn’t have come that year. But he actually never missed it. He was here last year, and he was here the year before that. The impact he’s had on my life, I can’t describe.

Jimmy’s presence is synonymous with the Kentucky Three-Day Event thanks to his involvement over the years as a competitor, coach to so many, and commentator.

“He’s like a father figure to me, and to so many. It is a special place and he’s definitely here,” Sara said. “I think I’m only one little piece of it. You can talk to a thousand people here this weekend that would say the same thing.”

Tomorrow is cross country day and the four-star entrants will leave the start box first, beginning at 9:15 AM. As always, EN will be here to bring you along for the ride.

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Times] [5* Scores] [4* Times] [4* Scores] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Tickets] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Liz Halliday-Sharp Leads Lexington CCI4*-S Dressage Day One

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Competition at 2023 edition of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian officially kicked off this morning with the first half of competitors in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S performing their dressage tests for Bobby Stevenson (USA) at C and Helen Brettel (GBR) at E. A familiar name — Liz Halliday-Sharp — leads the division at the conclusion of today’s 4* tests but her mount, Cooley Nutcracker, is a newer name on the eventing scene in the U.S.

Owned by the Nutcracker Syndicate (which consists of Liz, Deborah Halliday, Ocala Horse Properties, and Renee Lane) “Bali” is one of the most recent additions to Liz’s string of competitions horses, having just been acquired and imported in March of last year by way of his previous rider, France’s Astier Nicholas, who rode the gelding to a top 20 finish in the 7-year-old championship, which is set at the CCI3*-L, at the FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships at Mondial du Lion.

“It was an exciting opportunity to find a nice young horse that maybe hadn’t quite won the world yet, which made him possible to acquire, to be honest,” Liz said.

“I know that Astier really believed in him, and so did we. It’s taken some training, and we still have a ways to go, but I really believe in him. I think he’s a five-star horse; I think he’s a team horse too.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Liz and Bali wasted no time starting their stateside campaign off with a bang: in their first seven competitions together they placed no lower than second, winning their first CCI3*-L together last summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm and then winning their Advanced debut at the Park Equine Kentucky Classique. The partnership that Liz has been able to build with the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Tolant R —  Ballyshan Cleopatra, by Cobra) has been key to their early successes as well as their leaderboard topping score today — a 24.5, a personal best for Bali at the Advanced/4* level.

“I think a lot of it with him is the teamwork and him trusting me, and the more that goes along, the better he is. Today was proof of that because this would have been huge atmosphere for him, and not long ago, he would have been very spooky. So he just really fought for me today. I’m totally thrilled. Today he was the best he’s ever been in the biggest atmosphere he’s ever seen. So this for me is showing everyone what this horse is going to be, and that’s so exciting.”

Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

One of the final pairs to enter at A this morning, Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California, took over second place on the leaderboard by delivering a test worthy of a 27.6 — a nice improvement over their score of 31.5 in this class last year.

While Tamie had initially entered the 2-year-old Silla Argentino mare (Casparo — Solaguayre Calandria, by Casall) in the marquee class for this weekend, she later decided to run her in the 4*-S instead. There’s no doubt that the 2022 Morven Park CCI4*-L winner has talent in spades, but Tamie opted to give their partnership just a little more time to develop before they step up to the highest level, which they now plan to do later this spring at Luhmühlen.

“I think [the four-star] course would actually suit her probably a little bit better,” Tamie said, “but she’s greener and she needs more atmosphere exposure, so we decided that that would probably be a better avenue for her.”

Prior to being imported by owners David and Julianne Guariglia, Solaguayre California show jumped at the 1.35m level in her native Argentina and then began evening under the tutelage of fellow California-based event rider David Adamo before Tamie took over the ride at the Preliminary level.

“As anybody knows, it takes time to develop a partnership … but I feel like she really fights for me now. She just keeps trying. It’s funny, because the warm up — she can be quite naughty, but she always goes in the ring and she knows she enters at A and she just knows it’s a stage. So I’m grateful for that.”

Colleen Loach and Vermont. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Squeaking in sub-30 for third place are Canadian pair Colleen Loach and Vermont, scoring a 28.9. The towering 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Van Helsing — Haptstutbuch Hollywood, by Heraldik xx) owned by Peter Barry didn’t quite meet their leading mark of 24.5 in this division here last year, but Colleen was nevertheless very pleased with his performance.

“He felt super in the trot work, great down the centerline, then when I walked, I heard a horse call from the warmup and he heard it too and he’s very reactive to that sort of thing. So he called back and then he got a little bit of tension as well. Then when we picked up the canter, he was very rideable and stayed with me.”

Colleen and “Monty” have had a long-standing partnership, having been together since the gelding was a four-year-old. The pair was selected to represent Canada at the World Championships last fall, but sadly the gelding aggravated some scar tissue in his final prep run at Bromont and the pair didn’t make the trip to Pratoni. Despite the disappointment, the veteran competitor is simply grateful to have her big chestnut happy, healthy, and ready to rock this year.

Twenty-five more pairs will finish out the 4*-S division tomorrow. Friday’s first down the centerline at 8:00 AM sharp will be reining USEF CCI3*-L National Champions Elisa Wallace and Renkum Corsair. For now here’s a look at your top 10 in this division. Stay tuned for the scoop on the 5* later this afternoon and go eventing!

LRK3DE: [Website] [5* Dressage Times] [5* Scores] [4* Dressage Times] [4* Scores] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Tickets] [EN’s Form Guide] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide]

[Click here to catch up on all of EN’s coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Tuesday Video: Now THIS is a Gallop Track

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Before we (gleefully) bombard your feed with everything #LRK3DE the rest of this week, let’s take a look at something a little different for this afternoon’s video. Go fetch yourself a napkin, because you’re about to drool over this gallop track.

Nestled in the southeast suburbs of Melbourne, Australia is Cranbourne, home to the Cranbourne Racecourse and Cranbourne Training Complex. The Training Complex is the largest Thoroughbred training facility in the southern hemisphere, boasting numerous courses and tracks, a swimming pool and treadmills, and perhaps the most enviable thing of all: the sand hill gallop track. This gallop track is no ordinary gallop track. It winds through the Australian vegetation, up and down a hill, offering equine athletes (and riders alike, I’m sure) a welcome respite from galloping ’round in circles.

Now if you’re wondering why we don’t have anything like this in America (that this author knows of, at least!), let me explain why by way of a little natural history tangent. The Cranbourne Training Complex has the geology of Melbourne area to thank for this gem. The sand hills that characterize the region are a product of millions-year-old dune fields which existed around the same time as the last great Ice Age. The sand around Cranbourne (aptly named Cranbourne sand) was well sought after in the 1800s and mined for use in urbanizing the Melbourne area as as surface soil for lawns, playing fields, and golf courses. In fact the site of the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, which borders the Cranbourne Training Complex directly to the south, was previously a sand mine until 1970. Cranbourne sand and the layers of other sands and soils underneath create a fantastically well-draining footing.

But I digress! Natural history not your thing? Just enjoy ride aboard “Ironpot” along with Max Keenan, exercise ride for Price Kent Racing, in all its scenic glory.

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands

Coming in hot — we’ve got another exciting giveaway for you leading up to the Kentucky Three-Day Event! This one is for those who’ll be in attendance at the event, because the prize is a one-on-one meet and greet with Hawley Bennett Awad and super mare Jollybo! (I guess that technically makes it a one-on-two, doesn’t it?) And that’s not all, the winner will also receive a beautiful Vespucci Double Raised Halter from our friends at World Equestrian Brands! Ready to enter? Here’s how.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fair Hill International April H.T. & CCI-S (Elkton, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Meadowcreek Park – The Spring Social Event (Kosse, Texas) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Ocala International Festival of Eventing (Ocala, Florida) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times][Volunteer] [Scoring]

River Glen Spring H.T. (New Market, TN) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times / Scoring]

Sporting Days Farm April H.T. III (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

Sharon White: Become A Self-Confident Leader for Your Horse

A Friendship With Wofford That Will Live Forever

Alcohol and Amateurs

Meet Liz Halliday-Sharp’s Miks Master C

New Vocations’ Popular Open Barn Event Set For April 28

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day beginning Tuesday, April 25 through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Sponsor Corner: Look what we made on the World Equestrian Brands Configurator tool! It’s like dress up, but for equestrians. Create the E.A. Mattes saddle pad of your dreams 😍 You can even choose the color of the horse! What colors should we do next?

Morning Viewing: One week from today we’ll all be watching Kentucky cross country! Make sure you’ve got your streaming sorted out, and mark your calendar for NBC’s coverage as well!

#TrainingTipTuesday Video: Improve Your Dressage Position

I think as event riders we focus so, so much on jump position and gallop position — and for good reason! These positions are obviously key to success and safety in this sport — but at times we can be found guilty of overlooking the importance of the first phase as we pursue our quests to become better jump jockeys and more efficient gallopers. That include de-prioritizing improving our positions when we’re in a dressage saddle.

We’ve shared many of dressage rider Amelia Newcomb‘s YouTube videos here on Eventing Nation. While she’s not an eventer, I’ve found the simple exercises and explanations that she shares in her videos to be a hugely helpful tool in my own riding as a one-horse adult amateur who doesn’t doesn’t get a lot of saddle time.

Amelia got the chance to give a lecture at the FEI Dressage World Cup in Omaha last week to explain the importance of rider position and ways to improve it. Take this video as a sign to take back your position when you’re riding on the flat and become just as confident and connected in your flatwork as you are in your jump and gallop positions.

Plus, how can scrambling eggs help your riding? Find out at 31:07.

Video: First Peek at the 2023 LRK3DE 5* Course

We are just over a week away from the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian and it’s time for one one of our favorite lead-up moments: we finally get a course preview!

Join course designer Derek di Grazia and technical delegate Philip Surl for a ‘lil walkabout and get a peek at some of the biggest parts of the five-star course and key complexes including:

  • The MARS Sustainability Bay (4ABC)
  • The Park Question (6ABC), which comes early in the course and is jumped the opposite direction from last year.
  • The Equestrian Events Trifecta (8ABC), a new combination this year consisting of a massive triple bar, table, and corner.
  • Pete’s Hollow (12ABC), which this year features three massive fallen logs.
  • The Defender Head of the Lake (16, 17, 18), where riders will drop in over a log on the left side of the lake this year, and on the way out they jump up over the bank in the middle and over a corner tucked beside a tree.

One big question remains, however: where on the course is that corgi jump?!

Want more LRK3DE info each day during competition? Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email, which will be sent each day beginning Tuesday, April 25 through Monday, May 1. Find all of EN’s latest coverage, sponsor promotions and discounts, chances to win daily giveaways, and much more! Click here to sign up.

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands


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Through his legendary course walks, his always-anticipated Chronicle of the Horse preview column, and of course his own great achievements, Jimmy Wofford became very much synonymous with the Kentucky Three-Day Event. It’s therefore only fitting that his memory be honored there this year, the first Kentucky without his earthly presence. A celebration of his life and legacy will be held on Thursday, April 27th from 6-8 PM at Spindletop Hall, just across the road from the Horse Park — and while this is an invitation only private event, we’ll all certainly be feeling the impact of Jimmy’s legacy all week, especially when we’re walking that big, tough cross country course. Take a moment to think of this sporting great as you stand at the Head of the Lake, too.

U.S. Weekend Action

FENCE H.T. (Tryon, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Longleaf Pine H.T. (Raeford, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Plantation Field Horse Trials (Coatesville, PA) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Poplar Place April H.T. (Hamilton, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Spring Bay H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Twin Rivers Spring International (Paso Robles, CA) [Website] [Entries / Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

A Bid for Bitless in FEI Competition

Graceful Transitions in Life and Riding

Bulking Up: Does Your Horse Need to Gain Weight, Muscle, or Both?

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Combats EHV-1

Daily giveaways, sponsor promotions and discounts, the latest and greatest info: Sign up for the free LRK3DE Daily Digest email.

Sponsor Corner: Did you know that each Amerigo saddle has its own identity code? This serial number can tell you everything from the seat size to when it was manufactured. Learn how to read yours here.

Morning Viewing: This is the most eventer-y barn hack I think I’ve ever seen.


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Cheers to an Impending Return to 5* for Stella Artois

Jennie Saville and Stella Artois finish up their final Kentucky prep at Stable View. Photo by Shelby Allen.

After a top placing at the inaugural Maryland Five Star in 2021, the absence of Stella Artois during the following competition season was keenly felt. The striking dark bay mare owned by the Stella Artois Syndicate is one of Jennie Saville (neé Brannigan)’s top horses, one she’s produced since the Novice level, and together they had achieved Jennie’s highest five-star placing so far in her career, finishing fourth overall and the second highest placed American combination.

Even after a triumphant clear showing, Jennie felt a tug of concern for “Toddie’s” right front tendons after the competition, but scans of both front legs immediately following Maryland – a routine practice for Jennie’s horses after any big event – appeared fine and Jennie sent the mare off on her normal postseason vacation.

It was the following spring during Toddie’s first jump school in preparation for the final running of Red Hills when Jennie felt something was not quite right. She and her team had already begun bringing the mare back from her vacation and she looked good as they brought her back into work. Toddie had spent the early part of 2022 in training with Silva Martin and at a planned dressage-only outing at the Ocala Winter I Horse Trials she and Jennie scored a stellar 23.2 in a Preliminary test.

“She’s a pretty stoic horse,” Jennie says. “I have to really pay attention to how she feels, because she won’t show anything and then something like [Boekelo] will happen.”

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

When we talk about tough event mares, we can count Stella Artois, a 15-year-old Hannoverian mare (Satisfaction FRH – Comtessa, by Contender), amongst the toughest. Jennie cites the Boekelo Nations Cup in 2019, as an example. The mare jumped a beautiful clear show jumping round to finish out the competition, despite elimination on the cross country the day before (this event was used as a test event for the new Olympic format, thus Jennie and Toddie were able to jog and jump the following day). After the competition it was discovered she had jumped that round with a ruptured muscle.

This time, just ahead of her 2022 season debut, Toddie actually showed just enough of that ‘not-quite-rightness’ for Jennie to feel that something was up. Scans revealed a tendon injury in the left front leg and her 2022 season ended before it began.

“I’m a big believer in horses getting breaks,” says Jennie. For her that always includes a generous postseason vacation period as well as an ample amount of time off for injury.

“I think a lot of people do a lot of therapies thinking they’ll get they’re horse back fast,” Jennie says. While Toddie did respond well to the Artemis Class 4 Cold Equine Therapy Laser, a therapy that Jennie says she’s seen great results with, she always considers time to be the greatest healer of all.

“Once they get hurt I’m like, ‘OK, I’m not gonna see them for a year,’” says Jennie.

Many of Jennie’s competition horses enjoy their vacations and time off at long-time supporters Nina and Tim Gardner’s farm in Pennsylvania, where they are tended to by Karen Hokanson, who treats them like her children. Jennie says she and Karen share the same philosophy when it comes to allowing horses to heal: slow and steady wins the race.

You could argue that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ applies to Jennie’s perspective on competing as well.

Jennie’s aim is to set her horses up for success at the big goal events, not to win as many horse trials as possible – a mistake she says she sees some of today’s young riders making which results in over-running their horses, but Jennie is quick to admit that she made similar mistakes at that age as well.

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois. Photo by Abby Powell.

Even when she first sat on Stella Artois as a 5-year-old at Philipp Kolossa’s in Germany, Jennie knew she’d be a bit of a tricky horse for her, but she fell in love regardless.

“The second I saw her I thought, ‘Oh wow, she’s amazing. This is the nicest horse I’ve ever found,’” Jennie recalls. “I knew this horse is too big for me and she’s going to be strong, but I love her. Her gallop is amazing and it’s very easy on itself. I wanted a horse that could gallop and could gallop easily.”

Though Toddie is a great galloper – even at 40% blood – her long back puts some extra stress on her body when she lands from a fence. Because of those hard landings and also because of how strong she is across the country, Jennie is careful to pick and choose the events that she lets the mare go all out for.

“I never take Stella to any horse trials trying to be competitive,” Jennie says. “I like to event my horses less frequently and I choose to go slower at [national] events.”

Last month, Stella Artois made her return to competition after the careful rest and rehab for that tendon injury over a year ago. Jennie first took her for an easy spin around the Open Preliminary at Rocking Horse Winter III Horse Trials followed by a showing at Carolina International in the CCI3*-S, adding only those planned cross country time penalties at both events. They then contested the CCI4*-S at Stable View last weekend, again solely adding cross country time penalties to their score, as their final preparatory event before heading to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, where we look forward to cheering them on in Toddie’s return to the five-star level.

Monday Video: The Jackie Chan Horse Movie You Didn’t Know You Needed

We’ve got something a little different for you this week to end your Monday. It may not be eventing-related, but I think we can totally get away with filing it under ‘insanity in the middle’.

Whether you’re a Jackie Chan fan or a light-hearted horse movie fan (or both — then you’ll really enjoy this), you’re in for a treat thanks to the latest Chan flick, Ride On, which hit theaters this past weekend. Full disclosure, I haven’t yet seen the film myself but the trailer did certainly make me chuckle!

Ride On is a family-friendly film that follows an aging stunt man looking to make a comeback and save his beloved horse, Red Hare, from repossession by training him to do stunts as well. Described as “gently meta” by Variety, the film repurposes footage of big-ticket stunts from prior Chan films as flashbacks to the character’s glory days. It’s as much of an homage to the stunt industry (and the dangerous career path of stunt men and women) as it is to the legendary career of Chan.