I’ve had my horse for over ten years now and in that time she’s gone from semi-feral greenie to an absolute gem. In particular, her confidence over fences has come literal leaps and bounds. For years and years she’d always add a stride or do the pony shuffle at the base of the fence if we got a wonky distance, but as her confidence has skyrocketed (and as I’ve learned to stop pulling so much!) she’s become more and more likely to take the long spot. Having had this horse for so long, I forget that she isn’t a baby anymore and it still catches me off guard when she has the gusto to pick a long one that I often audibly gasp as we’re in midair over the fence!
Sponsor Corner: Did you know that a portion of your order at World Equestrian Brands is donated to FlyPups? This non-profit transports dogs from desperate situations to fosters, no-kill shelters, and fur-ever homes. FlyPup pilots also bring aid and relief to areas of natural disaster.
Morning Viewing: I have no idea what’s actually going on here, but here’s video of Ingrid Klimke show jumping while dressed up as Pippi Longstocking. You’re welcome, I guess.
If we were to measure how much we love a helmet cam by the number of “Good boys!” (or girls!) the rider shouts, then this one easily makes the top rankings. Honestly though, is there anything more heartwarming than a little baby event horse trying his heart out during his first cross country run?
Three-and-a-half-year-old Chilli Star (Coronado x A Bid For Stardom xx), an Oldenburg/ Thoroughbred bred and owned by Michelle Green at Hidden Creek Ranch Sporthorses, took on his first event at Majestic Oaks HT this weekend. With Jennarose Ortmeyer in the irons, “Legs” had a wonderfully positive experience competing in the starter division, his ears pricked the whole way ’round the course. Young Chilli Star is entered in the 2023 US Event Horse Futurity, and we look forward to following his progress!
Here’s a great clinic opportunity for anyone local to Auburn, Alabama. The Auburn Eventing Team will be hosting Swedish Olympian Ludwig Svennerstål for dressage and show jumping lessons at the end of this week. See the info above for details and to reserve a spot!
And speaking of exciting overseas clinicians, we have word from Sara Kozumplik that William Fox Pitt will be making another midwinter trip to the States. He’ll be clinicing in Ocala at the end of February, will compete in the Grand Prix Evening at Bruce’s Field again, and then will have time to teach another U.S. clinic before flying home. Get in touch if you’re interested in hosting him!
Here’s a heck of an opportunity for a lucky (and by lucky I actually mean hard working and skilled) rider out there. The Prices are hiring an assistant rider! Do you meet their criteria and think you have what it takes? Go snag that opportunity of a lifetime and let us live vicariously through you, please.
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Take a deep breath everyone, you’ve made it through another Monday. Maybe you’ve just finished sweeping up the barn after a long day on your feet or in the saddle. Or perhaps you’ve just sent a couple last emails before closing your laptop for the day. Either way, it’s time to treat yourself to a good 20 seconds of absolute zen (or, maybe just 20 seconds of absolute envy if you’re feeling a touch bitter today).
Lissa Green recently took the holiday of a lifetime, a riding safari in Kenya, and her fiancé Giorgio captured this absolutely epic video. Enjoy!
Dr. Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy in the 2022 Lexington CCI4*-S. Photo by Abby Powell.
Some big news out of one of Area II’s finest veterinary establishments: Sports Medicine Associates of Chester County (SMACC) is now under the ownership of Dr. Ashley Taylor and Dr. Taryn Gassert. Both doctors joined the establishment in 2015, which was originally founded by Dr. Kevin Keane in 2005. Dr. Keane has been a steadfast figure in eventing for many years, not only serving as veterinarian to the stars but actively riding at the upper levels – including completing the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2014 — himself.
Never fear though, Dr. Keane hasn’t hung up his stethoscope — he’ll continue to practice veterinary medicine at SMACC, just no longer as the practice owner. Congratulations to Drs. Taylor and Gassert on purchasing the business, and we hope this means we’ll be seeing you out on course even more, Dr. Keane!
As an adult ammy who usually hits the barn in the late afternoon after shutting down my laptop, I already feel like we’re over one of biggest hurdles of the winter. We’ve passed the Winter Solstice as well as the chaotic holiday season and I can now actually notice, just a little bit, that the days are getting a smidgen longer again. I don’t know about you, but that extra sliver of daylight sometimes makes a world of difference to me when I’m trying to pry myself out of my warm office chair and throw myself into a cold saddle. Once I’m in the saddle I’m always glad I’m there regardless, but goodness, that extra Vitamin D sure makes the whole process a lot easier.
Weekly Pick from World Equestrian Brands: Honestly who isn’t a little cold-backed in the winter? You might be on your own, but World Equestrian Brands has your horse covered with their Equilibrium Therapy line of products.
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We probably all have that one friend who can’t help but provide a little commentary as they video our rides, but lucky for the rider (and for us, when those involved feel like sharing their videos) that means all their remarks are caught on camera and we all get to have a good chuckle later.
Take these videos from Australian eventer and blogger Sydelle Boscarello for example, who’s friend Sarah provides some highly relatable thoughts throughout. We might laugh a bit at their commentary, but really a friend that is willing to video your rides is a very good friend indeed!
2022 FEI Eventing World Champion Yasmin Ingham celebrates after her clear round with Banzai du Loir. Photo by Tilly Berendt.
Happiest of New Years to YOU, citizens of Eventing Nation! As we close the book on a literal championship year, the EN team would like to say thank you for being here and sharing in our love for the horses, people and community that bring this sport to life. The whole team here is honored to have been your go-to source for the most insane and comprehensive eventing coverage throughout 2022 and we’re looking forward to another big year in 2023. Onwards!
SmartPak Pick of the Week: Have you got some gift certificates burning a hole in your pocket? Now’s a great time to spend ’em, since SmartPak is currently holding their winter clearance event. Get up to 75% off some of your favorite winter gear!
A very big, successful year for Caroline Martin turned out to be even more memorable than we imagined! She and Deniz Pamukcu were married one week ago on Christmas Eve and our warmest wishes go out to the happy couple. We’ll be watching out for Caroline Pamukcu on the entry lists next year!
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas I get the urge to revisit my formerly artsy tendencies and decorate some fancy-looking cookies. I envision handing them out to friends and family and having everyone be in awe of my cookie decorating skills! And then every single year when I’ve finally set aside some time to bake and decorate I remember that I don’t own any cookie cutters. If anyone is looking for a last minute gift for me, there’s an easy one I guess. They don’t even need to be holiday specific cookie cutters — I love what the baker who make the cookies in the photo above did by putting a Christmas spin on a regular horse shape!
For better or for worse, the classic long format event is no longer part of eventing at the international levels — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a valuable aspect of the sport! A number of incredible venues around the country keep the long format alive at the lower levels, providing irreplaceable educational (not to mention fun!) opportunities on the USEA calendar.
Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville, Maryland has hosted their classic format three-day event every October for the past 18 years. This year they even added a Beginner Novice classic division, in addition to their Novice though Preliminary offerings, and saw their highest numbers of entries this year. They’ve recently released this excellent promotional video for the event that explains what makes it so special and why the classic long format can be such a great experience for so many horses and riders.
Yummm…? Photo via Lauren Pileggi Friga on Facebook.
Every year about this time I see this fun little holiday barn party dessert idea floating around the internet, but this one has a nice little twist I haven’t seen before. For some extra realistic flair, add a bit of toasted shaved coconut to your chocolate, uh, nuggets, and they’ll look fresh out of the stall oven! Just please, for the love of all that’s holy, use a brand new muck fork! It’ll double as a hostess gift.
National Holiday: Happy Hanukkah! The celebration begins at tonight and continues through Monday, December 26.
Tim and Jonelle Price visit with the Motueka Pony Club. Photo via Motueka Pony Club on Facebook.
They’re not just great riders, they’re great people too. Tim and Jonelle Price took time out of their holiday home in New Zealand to attend the Motueka Pony Club end of year prize giving and inspire the young members. Plus, some lucky raffle winners won private lessons with Tim or Jonelle while they’re home on holiday as well!
World Equestrian Brands Pick of the Week: The World Equestrian Brands family spans equestrian disciplines, and WEB team riders are heating things up in their Amerigo saddles at the Split Rock Jumping Tour in Texas!
In a bit of a sick coincidence after Tilly presented you with a bunch of satisfying horsey TikToks just days ago, I’ve now found what might be the most unsatisfying horsey Instagram ever. I’m kind of sorry to share it here with you, but I do feel the need to share my suffering now.
Warning: This video may raise your blood pressure. I’m sorry to your doctor in advance, but also I claim no medical liability and all that, okay?
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Yesterday, Poplar Hall of historic Chesapeake City, Maryland held their second annual Christmas Parade of Horses in conjunction with their popular Holiday Market. Pony Clubs, hunt clubs, mounted police units, equine rescues, and local stables full of all sorts of horses and riding disciplines came together to deliver some holiday cheer to spectators packing the sidewalks.
And yes, that is Phillip Dutton riding alongside Santa Claus! Phillip was named this year’s honorary parade marshal and the parade was dedicated in honor of the late Rob Bowersox of Major League Eventing.
SmartPak Pick of the Week: Do you know a horse that’s been very good this year? Maybe it’s your horse, a lesson horse you love, or a hard-working therapy horse? Enter them here to win 3 free months of SmartPaks!
Let’s hear it for the year end award winners! I legitimately enjoy seeing the smiles of everyone lucky (and skilled, talented, and hard-working!) enough to step on stage and accept an award for a job well done all year long. I also always wonder if it starts to feel a little bit old hat to some of our very accomplished professional riders, but maybe not! You can never take anything for granted when it comes to horses, after all. When it comes to the amateurs and juniors, however, it’s always plastered all over their faces just what a big deal it is to receive one of these honors.
World Equestrian Brands Pick of the Week: You can stuff everyone’s stocking with 20% off orders of $300 or more from World Equestrian Brands through 12/14/2022 with code: 2022STUFF20! Or, you know you can buy yourself a little gift — we won’t judge!
Not one to settle for competing at the top of one sport… or two sports… Doug Payne has his sights set on competing in Grand Prix dressage with the fancy-footed Starr Witness (affectionately known as the Ginja Ninja) some time next year (TBD in conjunction with her eventing schedule!)
We’re quite familiar with Doug competing at the 5-star level of eventing as well as his routine ventures into the world of show jumping where he’ll casually jump around a Grand Prix class on a couple of horses. The next logical step is to add a third FEI discipline to his repertoire, of course!
Starr Witness, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Doug and Jessica Payne in partnership with Catherine Winter, has competed in eventing through the 4*-L level herself and sets hoof in the pure show jumping ring with Doug from time to time too, but with a dressage average of 28.2 throughout her FEI eventing career she’s a shoe-in for having a side hustle in pure dressage as well.
Tempi changes, canter pirouettes, passage and piaffe — they’ve got it all, complete with sassy tail flicks! Enjoy this video of their Grand Prix practice.
‘Tis the season to deck the stalls! Or, if you’re feeling extra festive and are blessed with a tolerant mount, why not deck the whole horse? That’s what riders in the Maryland Horse Trials Donation Cross Country Derby did yesterday. We love to see it, so tag your festive eventing photos with #GoEventing and we might share it in an upcoming News & Notes or #ICYMI eNewsletter.
Some of the upcoming prizes may or may not be visible in this photo. No, they are not Woods Baughman and/or C’est la Vie 135 — sorry 🙁 . Photo by Abby Powell.
I have to admit, I’ve taken a little peek at the future prizes for our 12 Days of Giveaways and, spoiler alert, (OK not actually — Chinch might fire me if I spoil it all) there are some seriously sweet ones coming up. But maybe — just maybe, wink, wink — there are some enviable World Equestrian Brands products on the docket. Make sure you’re checking out each days’ post to enter!
Also having a holiday themed giveaway are our friends at Horse and Rider Books. They’re celebrating the 12 Books of Christmas by posting a video each day through December 12th featuring one of their best-selling books. Pay attention to each one to unlock a secret code good for an entry to win all 12 featured books! Check our their day 1 post for details.
The winter season often means two things for pro riders: 1) it’s clinic season, and 2) it’s time to focus on the youngsters. In today’s video, we get a little bit of both as we get to audit a Boyd Martin clinic!
Emily Scott, who manages an Area I eventing barn and vlogs on her Ride & Roam YouTube channel, recently brought four-year-old Thoroughbred “Richard” out for just his second off-property experience. Piloted here by five-star rider Booli Selmayer, we get to observe a couple of exercises that Boyd uses to school youngsters and his feedback on young Richard.
On Friday I did a 5k trail run (can you call it a Turkey Trot if it’s not on Thanksgiving day?) that took place at a local cross country schooling field. We ran past fences that I’ve jumped on my pony (the photo above is the same schooling field in the spring!) and through a bit of the bordering trail system. I stepped on my fair share of old manure throughout the race, but I didn’t mind.
I wanted to give this race a little shoutout because I think it’s a really neat community effort. In this case the race supported my local trail association, but I could see cross country schooling facilities hosting running races to support other local causes or their own operations. To me it seems like a great shared use of the land.
Do you think this model would work in your area? It’s something to think about!
SmartPak Pick of the Week: SmartPak’s Black Friday sale is currently in full force! You can score 20% off select brands, plus and additional 15% off much more using the code BF2022. Want more? Spend $200 and get today’s free gift!
Small Business Saturday is honestly one of my favorite things, but then again I do seriously try to abide by the Small Business Saturday mentality year-round. If you think about it though, being an equestrian makes it pretty easy to shop small, since there are so many fantastic equestrian small businesses out there. I hope you’re supporting your favorite ones today — and the rest of the year!