Abby Powell
Articles Written 75
Article Views 182,845

Abby Powell

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

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

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Mother, daughter, and horses take a water beak during XC schooling. Photo via Anna Freskgard on Instagram (@afreskgard)

Remember the intrepid little Swedish eventers Edwina and Tusseman? Well, Edwina has a new ride on Fabian, an 18-year-old Shetland Pony being leased to her. The adorable little chestnut has competed up to P70 (Pony, 70 cm jump height) in recognized competition and will be teaching Edwina the ropes of eventing. You might be wondering what happened to Tusseman… Don’t worry – one of Edwina’s neighborhood friends is riding him and the two are taking lessons together. We can’t wait to follow along with their adventures!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Kent School Spring H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Fair Hill May H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

CCC Spring Gulch H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Saturday Links:

Jennifer McFall: Smashing the Self-Doubt

Eventing: More than a Sport

2017 Preakness Stakes: Field Preview & Poll

Prizes and Free Entries to Claim at the USEA Intercollegiate Championships Next Week

Max Corcoran: How to Ice Your Horse After Cross Country

From Sterilization to Stitches: Handling Horse Wounds

10 Tips for Better Dressage Trot Lengthenings

ICYMI: Finding Volunteers: The Most Formidable Obstacle on Course

Saturday Video:

Relive some of the action from Jersey Fresh International (including cross country in the POURING rain) in this great recap video:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

My girls! Photo by Abby Powell.

Once a year I get to have all my animals in the same place and it’s pretty cool to have my whole herd together, if a bit of a circus. I’ve got my event pony, a miniature horse, a goat, and a dog. The dog is with me pretty constantly (except for at work) and my event pony is boarded. The mini horse and goat live at my parent’s house in the neighboring town, but I load ’em up in the trailer once every spring for an annual trek over to the boarding barn so that I can avoid paying an extra farm call for their shots and the mini’s teeth floating. I’m just a regular dog, pony, and goat show.

International Weekend Action:

The Event Rider Masters 2017 [Event Rider Masters Live Stream] [Ride Times & Live Scoring]

U.S. Weekend Action:

Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Winona Horse Trials  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Plantation Field May Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

WindRidge Farm Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Casting Stones: We Are Our Own Worst Critics

Here’s to the Barn Moms

Event Rider Masters kicks off at the 2017 series Chatsworth International Horse Trials

It Takes a Team to be on Top of Dressage at Jersey Fresh International

British Eventing introduces Regional Volunteer of the Year Awards

Eventer forced to abandon round after Freejump stirrup breaks

Healthful Horse Barns

Saturday Video:

Thanks to EN’s good David “The Horsepesterer” Frechette for this video of CIC3* leaders Marilyn Little & RF Scandalous’ dressage test:

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo via Will Faudree Eventing on Facebook.

The happiest thing in my Facebook News Feed at the moment might be all the adorable baby pictures! Not human babies – baby horses, of course. They’re way cuter if you ask me. Big congratulations are in order for Will Faudree, Jennifer Mosing, and family, who welcomed a filly out of Will’s former competition partner, Andromaque (“Missie”) over the weekend!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Jersey Fresh International Three-day Event [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Spokane Sport Horse Farm 2nd Annual Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]
Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Galway Downs Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
Winona Horse Trials  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
Plantation Field May Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]
Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]
WindRidge Farm Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]
Grindstone Mountain Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

Shanghai Joe remains under veterinary care and is resting comfortably as his team awaits for swelling to subside before assessing the extent of the horse’s injuries. “Nugget” galloped back to stabling after Shane Rose fell during Badminton cross country and injured a forelimb when he slipped on a gravel path. EN sends best wishes for a speedy recovery. [Shane Rose Eventing on Facebook]

Talent and heart aren’t always readily apparent. When Matt Brown purchased the austere gelding Fernhill Flaxen – now known as Super Socks BCF – he had no idea he would be his horse of a lifetime. [What’s in a Name?]

Haven’t we all gotten hooked on this sport because we love jumping? I’d venture to say it’s likely. But we certainly all haven’t found our way from riding reining horses to training with Bunnie Sexton. [From Sliding Stops to the Start Box, South Dakota Native Takes Up the Reins on A New Discipline]

SmartPak Product of the Day: My very favorite tool in my grooming tote right now are my HandsOn Gloves for Grooming. I particularly love them because they allow me to have so much more dexterity than a regular rubber curry; I can use the tiny nubs on the fingers to gently curry out the nooks and crannies of my pony’s lower legs and use the larger dimples on the palm to massage into her haunches. And since there’s one for each hand they make currytime twice as efficient! [Smartpak]

Friends of UNH XC Looks for Support as Area I Season Kicks Off

UNH in years past. Photo via Friends of UNH XC on Facebook.

While much of the eventing community cast their gaze towards Lexington, Kentucky, for Rolex, competitors in the Northeast flocked to Durham, New Hampshire, for the first sanctioned Area I event of the year. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Horse Trials marks the official beginning of the season and after long New England winters, it’s always a much anticipated event.

In recent years, however, the UNH cross country course, and by extension the horse trials, have been in danger due to budgetary pressure from the University. Additionally, the cross country course has weathered over the years and is in need of a major overhaul. With no money received from the University for upkeep of the course, it relies solely on schooling fees and facility rentals to finance its repairs and renovation.

Event secretary Liz Oertel Johnson and Chair of the Horse Trials Committee Christina Keim enjoy the course. Photo via Friends of UNH XC on Facebook.

In order to preserve one the longest running remaining Area I events, the Friends of UNH XC was founded in early 2016 to help raise money to put towards an overhaul of the cross country course. When last we checked in with the Friends after the fall horse trials last year, they had hosted a successful silent auction over the competition weekend as well as a few fundraising events such as clinics and derby crosses put on by generous individuals and organizations over the summer. At last week’s event there was another silent auction running throughout the event in addition to a raffle for cross country schooling season passes.

The Friends are now one-fifth of their way towards their goal of raising $50,000 towards renovating the course. “We have a long way to go, but if everyone gave something, we would be there,” said Rachel Greene-Lowell, one of the Friends co-chairs.

Photo by Abby Powell

If you want to help preserve the UNH course for generations to come you can make a donation (write ‘Equine Cross Country Fund’ on the designation line) and stay tuned for announcements of upcoming fundraising events.   There is also still time for local stables organize their own clinic or other event to benefit the cause. In particular, the Friends are also looking for businesses and farms to sponsor a jump; with a $1,500 donation a fence on course will have a sign with the business’ or farm’s name on it, plus they will be included in the program and announced over the loudspeaker at the event. The push to secure funding to upgrade and update the course is a push to secure the future of this event in Area I and to preserve the land for the enjoyment of generations of equestrians to come.

As the season up North is just kicking off, now is the time to get involved. Denny Emerson writes, “I hope we can understand that when we talk about the ‘they,’ as in ‘They need to improve Area I events,’ the ‘they’ is really ‘us.’ Help out. Give money. Give support. The choice between having or losing these top events like UNH is ours to make.”

Thanks to Rich Sorensen we can all enjoy a taste of the action at the water complex from the weekend of competition:

Rolex Rookies No More: Holly Jacks-Smither Reflects on Her First Four-Star with More Inspiration

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

It’s only fitting that Holly Jacks-Smither’s first four-star mount is an off-the-track thoroughbred; OTTBs have been a way of life for Holly since a young age. She started breaking and galloping young horses for a trainer when she was 12 years old, met her husband Bruce Smither while galloping racehorses on the side, and now she’s brought one all the way from four-year-old to four-star.

Holly has known More Inspiration (Inspired Prospect X Gentle Buck) since he was a two-year-old on the track. When “Morris” retired from racing as a 4-year-old his trainer contracted Holly to restart him and help sell him. While they couldn’t find a buyer for Morris, Holly took a liking to the bay gelding while working with him and wanted to buy him herself, but couldn’t afford to at the time. Her grandfather ended up purchasing him for her for $2,000.

Though he hasn’t been the easiest horse to bring along, Morris has always been a promising talent with an enthusiastic personality. “I’ve never been bucked off a horse more than him,” Holly said. “Not maliciously — he’s just fresh. He leaps, cracks his back and squeals. He’s a pretty happy horse, and I like having a happy horse!”

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

While flatwork was never Morris’ strength, he was a very talented jumper. Due to his careful jumping style, more than one person has encouraged Holly to sell him as a pure show jumper. While bringing him up through the levels, Holly began to suspect he had upper-level potential and never gave up on him as an eventer despite the naysayers. Though they’ve had mixed results throughout their history, particularly at the two-star level, Holly stuck with him and they made their three-star debut together in early 2015.

That same year, the pair finished 12th at Jersey Fresh thereby qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team and a few months later Equestrian Canada extended a last-minute invite to Holly to compete for Canada at the FEI Nation’s Cup in Aachen. The short notice meant that she had to finance the trip herself, but Holly knew it was an experience she couldn’t pass up. Holly and Morris both came back to North America with a newfound confidence after having completed the toughest test of their careers thus far. “He’s really stepped up to the plate after the international experience,” Holly said of her mount.

With her first overseas competition under her belt, Holly declared her intentions to be considered for the Canadian Olympic team and structured her winter and early 2016 training and competition schedule around trying to achieve that goal. Back in the States, Holly and Morris rode their high from Aachen to finish fourth in the CIC3* Plantation Field at Plantation Field a month later.

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration at Aachen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We actually saw Holly and Morris initially on the Rolex entry list last year, but the pair withdrew about a week ahead of time opting to route to Jersey Fresh CCI*** instead. “I didn’t want to go to Rolex just for the sake of going to go to Rolex or completing a four-star when the real goal was the Olympics,” said Holly, “and of course the team coach has a lot of say in what we do.”

Unfortunately, Holly took a spill in the main arena portion of the cross country course at Jersey Fresh. She and Morris were able to bounce back and finish 12th at the Bromont CCI*** a month later, but ultimately the pair was not selected to represent Canada in Rio.

Despite the initial disappointment, Holly didn’t let not making the team get her down for too long. She relished spending the remainder of the summer with her students in Ontario and over the winter she and Morris prepped to come back strong by training with Buck Davidson in Ocala.

They placed in the top five in the Advanced divisions at Richland Park and Plantation Field last year. Early this season they claimed top ten finishes in Advanced at Pine Top, Red Hills, and Chattahoochee Hill. This year on their way back to Ontario from Ocala, Holly decided they were ready to make a quick stop in Kentucky.

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Out of all the phases, Holly was most nervous for the first one. “Once dressage was done, I was like ‘OK, I can do this,’” she said. “For our first four-star test, I wanted it under 60 and we did that.”

Though the course was imposing, Holly was confident in her and Morris’ partnership and preparation as she looked ahead to cross country. “We’ve answered every question at some point in our career, just not all together,” she said, but she wasn’t expecting to run into an equipment issue that she’s never dealt with before.

After slipping her reins over the A element of the question at the first water complex, the Frog Pond, they slid through her fingers when she tried to gather them back up on her way to the B element. Without enough contact, Holly wasn’t able to guide Morris over the rest of the combination and the pair picked up penalties for crossing their tracks as they rerouted over the option.

Holly still had trouble gripping her reins throughout the Head of the Lake, but navigated it without issue and while galloping away was able to take off her gloves and stick them in her pocket, hoping bare hands would be better able to grip the reins, but it didn’t help. Holly guesses that she had somehow gotten grease on them.

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration into the Head of the Lake. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“If Morris was a strong horse we would have had to pull up. Thankfully he’s not so I figured as long as I could get enough contact to guide him and point him in the right direct we could keep going.”

“You kick yourself now for taking the option because you want to be competitive, but it’s our first four-star and he’s amazing and I didn’t want to make him do something he couldn’t do,” Holly said. “He came home sound and happy and this horse owes me nothing. He carried me around — I didn’t help him.”

Morris’ careful jumping came in handy in the final phase on a day when rails were falling left and right, keeping all of them in the cups but one and just barely not staying inside the time. Holly was thrilled with her horse, particularly after having tackled their longest cross country course to date the day before.

“I’ve never felt him get tired before, but when we got the final water I felt him start to fade a little. The fact that he came back the next day and performed so well and was all business was just amazing. It was definitely a confidence building weekend.”

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

“I think he just gets better and better. Flat work will always be a bit of a struggle, but I’m excited for the future. He’ll be right up there with the top horses with a little more experience.”

When asked what’s next for her and Morris, Holly says she’s going to defer to Coach Buck Davidson, who was an invaluable mentor to have in her corner over the winter and throughout Rolex. “I can’t say enough good things about Buck,” said Holly. “He has a lot of faith in Morris and it was really good to work with someone who loves my horse as much as me.”

After a confidence building weekend, we’re sure to see more of Holly and More Inspiration. Even without the Olympics on their resume thus far we find Holly’s tenacity, faith in her horse, and their journey from track to four-star, well, inspiring.

Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Lean back! Photo via Ingrid Klimke on Facebook.

If I were standing next to a drop higher than my head, expecting to ride it the next day, I don’t think I’d be smiling; but then again, I’m not Ingrid Klimke. To put it further into perspective (as if you need more proof of how big these fences are) she’s 5’8″ – that’s a pretty average human height (and 2″ taller than myself I might add). I think I’ll stick to Beginner Novice for the time being, thank you very much, but you can bet I’ll be glued to the Badminton live stream today! Watch live here.

Rides times for the North American contingent:

  • Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo: 11:30 a.m. BST/6:30 a.m. EST
  • Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot: 12:06 p.m. BST/7 a.m. EST
  • Katherine Coleman and Longwood: 1:26 p.m. BST/8:26 a.m. EST
  • Lynn Symansky and Donner: 1:58 p.m. BST/8:58 a.m. EST
  • Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless: 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. EST
  • Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee: 2:46 p.m. BST/9:46 a.m. EST
  • Lauren Kieffer and Veronica: 4:22 p.m. BST/11:22 a.m. EST

#MMBHT Links: Website, Entries, Order of Go, Schedule, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

MCTA H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Heart of the Carolinas 3DE & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Poplar Place H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Penny Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

The Event at Skyline H.T. [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Badminton Horse Trials: Riders’ Superstitions and Secret weapons

Tracy Bowman and Jolie Wentworth of Kismet Farms Announce New Facility

Rolex Kentucky Proves Amazing Event for Black Country Saddles Team

‘It’s Bizarre’: New Dressage Test Divides Opinion at Badminton

Introducing Liverpools to Your Young Event Horse with Sharon White

Tricks of the Trade With Caroline Martin’s Groom Sally Robertson

USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor Program

Saturday Video:

How did Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless settle into the Badminton grounds prior to their dressage test? Plus a Badminton history lesson:

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Fourth place overall and Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Champion Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott. Photo via Phillip Dutton Eventing on Facebook.

Well, what a weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted (and I actually wasn’t even at the event!) but, man, do I love the excitement of the Best Weekend All Year. We’ve talked a lot about Ze Terminator and Queen Roxy thus far, and for good reason, but let’s take a second here to also appreciate 18-year-old Mr. Medicott. This was the horse’s third competition since he sustained a tendon injury at Rolex 2014, but you’d never know it just judging by the way he ran this weekend! #Legend

#RK3DE Links: Website, ResultsEN’s Coverage,  EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fresno County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Results]

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: [Website] [Results]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

Four out of the five Rolex Rookies that left the start box on cross country day finished the course and each of them had an assortment of thoughts running through their heads afterward. [You Just Finished Your First Four-Star Cross-Country—How Does It Feel?]

After the final jog yesterday, Jimmy Wofford hosted the premier Champions Live! event featuring Phillip Dutton, Silva Martin, and Melanie Smith Taylor. Each imparted some words of wisdom and experience on attendees.  [Champions Live: Top Takeaways from Experts Phillip Dutton, Jimmy Wofford, Silva Martin and Melanie Smith Taylor]

It’s a big job, but somebody’s gotta do it, and year after year Derek di Grazia has created a challenging and educational cross country course for competitors. Hear what he has to say about creating four-star courses and what he anticipates as he looks ahead to designing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. [From RK3DE Champion to Course Designer: Derek di Grazia on Cross-Country]

Monday Video:

Relive the winning moment – I recommend just letting this play on repeat all day to help cure your post-Rolex blues:

Rolex at a Glance: Show Jumping Stats

We’ve just witnessed history, EN, as Michael Jung just became the first person ever to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event three times in a row and on the same horse. I’m not even mad he won again — he’s such such a likable guy who so clearly loves his horses. It gives me a good feeling!

Michael just squeaked out the win too, keeping all but one rail up over a course that challenged many to stay quick and straight. As we close out Rolex 2017, lets take one last look at the quick stats.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Final Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

 

And to sum it all up:

Go Eventing.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex 2017 at a Glance: Cross Country Stats

Before we wrap up the weekend with the final phase today, let’s take a look back at some quick stats from yesterday’s cross country at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Though more riders made the time than in recent year’s past, Derek di Grazia’s technically challenging course saw fewer completions overall.

We’re thankful for an exciting day of sport; though some competitors walked away disappointed, everyone walked away healthy and unscathed. Take a glance at the summary of the results below and catch up on the full report here. The final horse inspection is at 8 a.m. EST.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Keep it locked on EN as we keep you up to date with the exciting conclusion!

Go Eventing.

Rolex 2017 at a Glance: Dressage Gear

Once again we’re taking a closer look at who wore what in the sandbox over the past two days. Though we’re not exactly tracking trends per se, it’s interesting to see that certain gear is more commonly or rarely used. Check out these statistics from dressage!

Go Eventing.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN Tailgate, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Angie Bartelt and Patrick Madore got engaged while walking the cross country course on Thursday! Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! Photo courtesy of Carol Anne Parker.

The best day of the #bestweekendallyear is HERE y’all! If you’re catching the action in person, don’t forget to stop by EN’s 5th Annual Rolex Tailgate at tailgating spaces S240 and S241, near the jog strip and announcer’s tower overlooking the infield to hang with Chinch, enjoy some libations, and win some swag! In addition to food, freebies, and fun, we’ll have #TeamLeeLee stickers available for purchase with proceeds benefitting Lee Lee’s medical and rehabilitation costs.

Don’t forget to set aside a little of that money you’ve slated to spend at the trade fair to bid on some of the incredible items donated to the online auction to support Lee Lee. There is an absolutely stunning number of items to browse though and bid on.

Oh, and I would be remiss not to ask: have you downloaded the EN app yet? If not, seriously, what’s your excuse? It’s beautiful and can send you notifications the second a new post is up, so while you’re out walking around XC you can instantly get EN’s coverage right there on your iPhone or Android! [App for iOS] [App for Android]

Here’s wishing all the competitors safe and speedy rides today!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN TailgateEN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fresno County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Saturday Links:

Rolex Weekend Guide from EquiRatings

Key Combinations On Course At Rolex Kentucky CCI****

Q&A: Veteran Rolex Three-Day Event Groom Emma Ford

Courtney Cooper: No Sleep Until Cross-Country

Q&A: Allison Springer on Arthur’s Retirement

The Anglo-Arab Sport Horse: Get to Know Lauren Kieffer’s Rolex Mount, Vermiculus

How much pressure is involved in designing Badminton’s famous cross-country course?

Help Eventer Jess Smart Find a Cure

Saturday Video:

Prep yourself for today’s action with a course preview from the designer himself:

Rolex 2017 at a Glance: Meet the Riders

We already took a closer look at the field of Rolex 2017 horses, now let’s break down the stats on their riders!

Keep it locked on EN for all your Rolex coverage! We’ll keep bringing you fun facts and lots more throughout the weekend. Is there a stat you’d like to see in a future edition of Rolex at a Glance? Let us know in the comments!

Go Eventing.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex 2017 at a Glance: Meet the Horses

It’s that time again to bring you a more in-depth look at our 2017 Rolex Kentucky competitors. Does riding a bay horse mean you’ll be more likely to compete at Rolex someday? No! Is is still fun to see the stats? Yeah! We’ll start you off today with some quick facts about this year’s equine athletes.

Stay tuned for more throughout the competition!

Go Eventing.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Entries, EN’s Coverage, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Dangerous! Photo via Practical Horseman Magazine on Facebook. Dangerous! Photo via Practical Horseman Magazine on Facebook.

I hope everyone in Eventing Nation is ready for a thrilling next few weeks. This is one of the most exciting times of the year, I think. The obvious reason being that the Best Weekend All Year is just a short seven days away at this point (but who’s counting?) Then once it’s over and you’re having full on Rolex withdrawal, don’t worry – Badminton is just around the corner with your next four-star fix! So buckle up, EN, it’s time to go eventing!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field April H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

River Glen Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event to Premiere “Champions Live!” Event

First-Person Perspectives from the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover

Getting Ready for Rolex: By the Numbers – A Look at Conditioning and Prep-Work

‘Will only date four-star eventers’ — and other online dating profile blunders

What’s Behind Shipping Horses Overseas for Competition?

University of Kentucky Finishes First at FENCE Horse Trials

ICYMI: Allison Springer’s Top Mount Arthur Retires Due to Heart Condition

Saturday Video:

Can Micheal Jung and Fischerrocana FST make it three for three? We’ll find out soon enough! In the meantime, let’s take a look back at their foot-perfect XC run from last year:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Just a casual bareback and hack on a 4* eventer through the English countryside! Photo via Elisa Wallace on Facebook. Just a casual bareback and hack on a 4* eventer through the English countryside! Photo via Elisa Wallace on Facebook.

Yesterday my pony and I took our first XC jumps of the season and we were both pretty thrilled – it couldn’t have been a more perfect or beautiful day to get back out there after a long winter. She was raring to go too; I actually don’t think I can recall a time where she was stronger in the bridle than she was yesterday. Despite being a little strong and maybe not being at her most maneuverable, it was a pretty cool feeling to be able to tell just how much she was enjoying running and jumping outside again! You and me both, pony.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores] [Live Stream]

Saturday Links:

Fair Hill International Names Ann Haller Competition Manager

University of Alabama Earns First Collegiate Victory at Chattahoochee Hills

Nine things you need to know about this year’s Badminton cross-country course

Rescues Will Compete to Help Horses on ‘Help a Horse’ Day

Study seeks to identify priorities for future research into Cushing’s disease

Meet Four First-Timers at the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Olympic medallist says final farewell to top hat

Get Close & Personal with The Heels Down Magazine 5* Rolex Experience to Benefit Young Riders

Saturday Video:

What do you get when you cross a event horse with a chinchilla? Wonder no more:


Saturday Links from Tipperary

Nope, not exactly the best footing... Photo via TSAS Combined Test Committee. Nope, not exactly the best footing... Photo via TSAS Combined Test Committee.

Rain, rain, go away…because I’d really like to be riding somewhere besides the indoor today! My first event of the season, a two-phase hosted by the University of New Hampshire (UNH), was supposed to be this weekend, but it unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the condition of the grounds. It’s a bummer, but it’s definitely a wise call. We had so much rain and snowmelt over the past week and a half that the arenas are in no condition to be ridden on at the moment! Here’s hoping that ground dries up a bit before UNH’s recognized horse trials – the official start of the Area 1 season – in a couple weeks!

U.S. Weekend Action:

The Fork CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

CDCTA Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Spring Bay H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Saturday Links:

New Cross-Country Course to be Debuted at Tryon International for the Fork Horse Trials

Befriending the Competition: How Top Riders Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends

Modifying Muscle Patterns to Build a Better Equine Athlete

Twenty Questions With British Eventer Emily King

Outcry over three-legged pony fitted with prosthetic limb

How to Teach a Horse to Cross Water

Building Courses And Moving Mountains At The Fork CIC***

Saturday Video:

Take a quick ride around the Training course at The Fork with Doug Payne and Mitchel:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Food trucks plus eventing? YES PLEASE. Photo by @sweetd67 on Instagram. Food trucks plus eventing? YES PLEASE. Photo by @sweetd67 on Instagram.

Twenty years ago today an April Fool’s Day blizzard dumped snow up the East Coast from Maryland to Maine. My region, Eastern Massachusetts, got the worst of it with a whopping 34 inches. I remember it well because my school district declared a very rare triple snow day! That storm was no joke (pun absolutely intended).

Today on April 1 it isn’t really looking very spring-like out my window, but I guess I should at least be grateful that there isn’t a full blown blizzard right now. The whole snow day thing is really great as a kid, but now I’m just itching for show season to start. I’m super jealous of everyone in areas whose season has already started — and I’m particularly envious of those at Galway Downs right now with that gorgeous California scenery, lovely California weather, and, oh, FOOD TRUCKS.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]  [Live Scores]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores] [Live Stream]

Saturday Links:

Fun, focus and footwork: must-have cross-country riding advice from Lucinda Green

U.S. Athletes Share Their Superstitions Ahead of FEI World Cup™ Finals

‘I hope it makes him proud’: four-star rider takes on fundraiser in memory of fiancé

Springtime: Equestrian Expectation vs. Reality

Lessons with Silva Martin

Special Shirt, Girth Help Evaluate Horse, Human Interaction

Saturday Video:

Here’s a hearty dose of ‘Insanity in the Middle’ for you.  This drop known as the “Bridge” was an element on course at the CNC 1* in Mafra, Portugal last weekend.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Lee Lee Jones and Evie Dutton cheer on Carolina International competitors from afar via livestream. #LeeLeeStrong. Photo via Phillip Dutton Eventing on Facebook. Lee Lee Jones and Evie Dutton cheer on Carolina International competitors from afar via livestream. #LeeLeeStrong. Photo via Phillip Dutton Eventing on Facebook.

It’s another busy day at Carolina International! The actions starts early as the first horse leaves the start box at 8:00 AM sharp for the Open Intermediate division, but for those of us not on the grounds we can catch the live stream of the CIC2* division starting at 10:00 AM EST, followed by the CIC3* division at 1:00 PM.  And as always, EN will be keeping you up-to-date with more in-depth coverage from the event. Keep it locked here!

Weekend Action:

Carolina International CIC and H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Stream] [Schedule] [Orders of Go] [Live Scores] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

Poplar Place Farm March H.T.: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

ICYMI: Carolina International CIC3* Cross Country Course Walk

6 reasons it’s okay to be a little bit nervous when you go eventing (you’re not alone)

Horsepeople At 15 And At 30

Sport horse science: Inside a high-tech equine lab

Saturday Video:

Here’s a different perspective on dressage! Good for checking geometry, no?

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Happy St. Patrick's  Day from Marley, Tim, and Senan Bourke! Photo via Bourke Eventing on Facebook.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Marley, Tim, and Senan Bourke! Photo via Bourke Eventing on Facebook.

Another St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone and I still have yet to have a green beer, can you believe that? I did wear green though, albeit not on purpose — I just have a lot of green in my wardrobe, OK? It’s one of my favorite colors, so there’s a high probability on any given day that I’ll be wearing it. Green is only my second favorite color to blue, and bright royal blue is my cross country color. Yes, a single color. I have yet to find a way to satisfactorily incorporate both blue and green into my XC wardrobe (#eventerproblems), so if anyone has any ideas hit me up!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Exmoor H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/RideTimes/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

First 2017 Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards Earned at Pine Top Farm

An Equestrian in the Weight Room

Study: Post-Exercise Snacks Benefit Horses

‘I’m glad I invested in safety equipment’: rider’s face trampled in gallops fall

Dealing with Dressage Test Anxiety

Saturday Video:

Speaking of Ireland, and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day yesterday, check out this promo video for Tattersalls International Horse Trails & Country Fair 2017 coming up in just a few short months!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

'My Lucky Day', one of William Fox-Pitt's rides at Tweseldown earlier this week, seems to have gotten wind of this whole 'My Lucky Day', one of William Fox-Pitt's rides at Tweseldown earlier this week, seems to have gotten wind of this whole "Spring Forward" thing. Photo via Gary Horner on Facebook.

It’s nearly here – that magical time of the year when we start to get a little extra daylight at the tail end of the day. For equestrians like myself who do the majority of their riding in the evening, the beginning of Daylight Saving Time is basically a holiday. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead before you go to bed tonight! And if you aren’t lucky enough to be catching all the action at Red Hills International in person, don’t forget check out EN’s coverage right here.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Australian Olympian Clayton Fredericks shining at Red Hills

Consider yourself an eventing geek? Put yourself to the test with Horse & Hound’s Mark Todd quiz

Top Tips for Helmet Care

19 Signs You’re an Incurable Eventing Nut

Kentucky Horse Park Looks Toward Correcting Financial Mismanagement After Audit

Calming a Nervous Horse with Lateral Movements

Saturday Video:

Get pumped for XC day with this montage of last year’s 3* water complex at Red Hills from RNS Videomedia:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Carrots from adoring fans! Photo via Charlotte Collier on Instagram. Carrots from adoring fans! Photo via Charlotte Collier on Instagram.

As soon as I flip the calendar from February to March, my brain immediately goes into horse show planning mode. During the winter I don’t dare let myself think too seriously about an upcoming show season schedule for fear that it will make the cold months feel that much longer. But once March rolls around I tell myself that it’s completely permissible to start marking up my calendar with every event that I think I might want to hit.

Up here in Area I I’ll still have to wait until the end of April for the recognized events to start, so I’ll have to wait a while longer still to actually leave the start box, but I do love putting pen to paper and scheming about the spring and summer months. It’s funny how just getting through February makes the upcoming season that much more tangible!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Gallop March H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

USEA Intercollegiate Championship Returns to Virginia Horse Trials in May

Can Sport Horse and Racehorse Practice Be Ethical?

The Importance of Riding in a Stretching Position

Fearful of a Runway? Gallop to Confidence: Tips for Improving your Galloping Experience

Balancing the Horse: A Closer Look at Posture, Part I and Part II

Best of Blogs: Riding and the ‘R-Factor’

Saturday Video:

Take a ride around yesterday’s Intermediate XC course at Rocking Horse with Lainey Asker and Flagmount’s Spartan:

 

10 Questions with Selena O’Hanlon, Presented by Omega Alpha

Selena O'Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry. Selena O'Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Elite eventer Selena O’Hanlon is an established upper-level competitor, having represented Canada at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games in years past.

She and her mother, Morag O’Hanlon, an accomplished eventer in her own right, operate O’Hanlon Eventing at Balsam Hall in Kingston, Ontario where the OHE team keeps a busy training, teaching, and boarding business running year-round. This time of year, however, Selena can be found getting a jump on the season at Sweet Dixie South, a premier base for eventers in Ocala, Florida.

Selena was on the cusp of competing at her second Olympics last year, this time with Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding owned by John and Judy Rumble, but a rollercoaster of a selection process ended with them ultimately not making the trip to Rio.

Now after a quiet fall season, Selena is getting back into the swing of things with Foxwood High as well as working on bringing along some younger prospects. She was very kind to take some time to catch up with EN and answer a few questions between her busy training schedule.

EN: What are your plans for Foxwood High (Woody) this year?

Selena: “We’ll do a few events this spring to get us ramped up for Rolex in April. We had a great start to the season finishing fifth in the Advanced combined test at Ocala with a clear jumping round. I knocked some rust off and hope to keep climbing the leaderboard.

“Then at Rocking Horse the following week Woody was a rockstar in the Advanced B division. We broke our breast plate clip where it attaches to girth on the first water. I had to reach down and grab it at the gallop then carry it in my right hand for fear of it hitting him in the eye. Every time we did a big drop I had to let it go and grab it again after which gave us some time faults. Looking forward to Red Hills next.”

EN: Do you currently have any up-and-coming young horses that you’re excited about?

Selena: “I have a 5-year-old old OTTB called Benny (AKA Plenty of Benny). He is a lovely gentle giant who loves to snuggle and gives excellent head cuddles. He is going to be my next super star!”

EN: After the complications surrounding the naming of the Canadian Olympic Team last year, how have you regrouped and moved forward after ultimately not making the trip to Rio?

Selena: “Woody’s owners, John and Judy Rumble, have been very understanding and supportive during that difficult time. This year his owners and I will make the decisions surrounding his program and what events he will run leading up to Rolex.”

Selena O'Hanlon and A First Romance before the fall at The Royal. Photo courtesy of Alec Thayer.

Selena O’Hanlon and A First Romance at The Royal. Photo courtesy of Alec Thayer.

EN: You’ve participated in the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge at the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair multiple times now. What’s the most challenging thing about that event? What’s the most fun thing about it?

Selena: “The challenge is competing so late at night, indoors with lots of lights and noise on a horse you don’t normally ride. The fun is seeing my fellow teammates and friends and having everyone coming out to cheer. And also the great food!”

EN: Your mom is quite an accomplished eventer herself and you two work together closely to operate O’Hanlon Eventing. What is one of the biggest lessons she’s taught you as an rider and trainer?

Selena: “To listen to each horse, ride with your mind, and that patience is the only way forward.”

EN: The weather in Ocala is pretty hard to beat, but what’s something you miss about Canada while you’re in down south over the winter?

Selena: “My mum! And I also miss working out at the Kingston Athletic Therapy Centre with a trainer and other top athletes who are generously sponsored by KATC and also being treated by their wonderful therapists/osteopaths.”

EN: During the off-season, what are some of your favorite things to fine-tune or work on to prep for the upcoming competition season?

Selena: “When riding in our indoor I like to focus on straightness using the mirrors. I also like to go back to the basics with gymnastics and foot work and take some pressure off the horses with smaller fences and No Stirrups November.”

Selena O'Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

EN: What’s your most memorable competition moment so far?

Selena: “I have two: one is winning the team silver medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the other is taking two horses, Bellaney Rock and Foxwood High, to Rolex in 2014.”

EN: If you could ride any famous event horse — past or present — what horse would you choose and why?

Selena: “Eagle Lion would be amazing since I knew him well and have looked after him for my long-time friend and coach Bruce Davidson. Eagle had muscles on his muscles; he was a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. He was brave and was the perfect size for excellent maneuverability, plus he was an easy keeper and a beautiful bay with kind eyes and a cheeky personality on occasion. I followed his career and had all his posters (signed no less by the godfather of eventing himself). A legend through and through!”

EN: Which Omega Alpha product is your favorite and why?

Selena: “I would say RegenerEQ because I have seen it make huge transformations in all different types of horses — all the way from my 5-year-old OTTB Rumshaker who needed to relax, bulk up, and recuperate after leaving the track, to Foxwood High who needs it to help him through long trips all over the world for various championships. It helps in so many ways with stress, ulcers, weight, muscle, tissue restoration, and even their coats improve.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Tank tops and shorts while fence judging in February? Sign me up!  Photo via Pine Top Eventing on Facebook. Tank tops and shorts while fence judging in February? Sign me up! Photo via Pine Top Eventing on Facebook.

It seems that much of the East Coast has been getting spoiled with unseasonably warm weather over the past few days, and Thomson, Georgia, where this weekend’s biggest event at Pine Top Farm is taking place is no exception. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen already took home top honors in the CIC3*, but there’s still a weekend of fun ahead for the Prelim through Advanced divisions. Get out there and enjoy the weather, everyone!

If you’re in Ocala on Monday or Tuesday, auditors are welcome at the Canadian High Performance clinic with jumping genius George Morris and dressage master Christilot Boylen at Wentworth Farm. Top names like Jessica Phoenix, Selena O’Hanlon, Kyle Carter, Colleen Loach, Lesley Grant-Law, Lisa Marie Fergusson, Diana Burnett, Jessica Payne and Tik Maynard will be riding. The clinic runs 8:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. both days at 10690 NW 125th S., Reddick, FL 32686.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Advanced CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes February H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Angela Bowles on Novelle: The Most Unlikely Horse Of A Lifetime

4 Ways Equestrians Totally Jump the Gun on False Spring

How to stay focused on competition day — even when things go wrong

Celebrating The Sport At Historic Pine Top Farm

Miss anything from the USEA ICP/FEH/YEH symposium? Here’s the recap

Female Equestrians Needed for Study on Breast Health

Badminton’s new course builder reveals major changes

Saturday Video:

Flashback to Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights’ winning XC run at the inaugural Pine Top CIC3* last year: