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An Update From Chris Talley and Comanchee

Hey there Eventing Nation! Our favorite man and pony duo, Chris and Comanchee have sent us an update on their latest eventing adventures. Last we heard, the pair were preparing for the move up to preliminary. A lot can happen in a few short months. Thank you for writing Chris, and thank you for reading!


From Chris:

Hello Eventing Nation,

Where do I begin? It has been a while since I did an update on the super pony. In fact, I was just gearing up to do my first prelim with the little power pony… Well, let me take you back a little and catch you all up.

Tucan Tango aka “Comanchee” has been full of surprises ever since he was born. My parents purchased his Mom shortly after my first pony had passed away to help me deal with the loss when I was 11. We had no idea that she was in foal and even more so had no idea how to deliver a foal. Well, he was born a month earlier then predicted, so his mom ended up having a natural birth and thankfully everything turned out great.  But talk about a big surprise! And so from the time he was a day old I knew we had a special bond that was about to be created!

Comanchee as a little tike

As you know, Comanchee jumped around two trainings perfect and we were moving up to prelim. Well, minus a few rails, Comanchee stormed around three prelims foot perfect. I chose to do an Intermediate/Prelim at Waredaca to give us a little more challenge in the show jumping and to see how he would score in the dressage. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better. He scored a 46 which I was a little disappointed but then I thought to myself he is a pony doing an intermediate test only 7 months into his eventing career so I was pretty happy with it. He jumped a big course in a small arena to have only one down and again stormed around the cross country.

Chris and Comanchee around Fair Hill:

And the mound again:


The Big, Scary Red Numbers.
After a great show at Waredaca, and after discussing with my trainer Ryan Wood, we thought Comanchee was ready to move up to Intermediate. I couldn’t have been more nervous, as it was both of our first Intermediate, and the course at Loudon was sure tough enough. We had a much better test putting in a 40.4 which minus a few silly mistakes was much improved from our I/P test. The show jumping was on the side of a hill and left us with 3 rails and  some homework to work on but I am always glad to have homework because that’s what makes us continue to become better and better. Once again Comanchee proved to have endless scope and a heart of gold as he stormed around the big track, batting an eye at nothing! I obviously didn’t run for time with the intention of just getting around, and HE DID! I can’t say I’m surprised as he has always tried so hard with everything I ask.


In to the Future…
As of right now we are headed to our home event Plantation Fields in the Junior Open Intermediate. And then we will head to Virginia in the fall for another Intermediate run. My goal is to shoot for the two star at the North American Young Riders in 2013. We will give the super pony some rest and relaxation after Virginia and then start him back up going into Aiken, with a run at Prelim and then move back up to Intermediate. We’re planning on running in the two star at The Fork as well as Bromont,  and then shoot for Young Riders, however I completely feel  that the welfare of the horse is the most  important so I will listen to him and let him decide how far he wants to go. As I see it right now the sky is the limit.

Until next time sit back, kick on, and fly high!
Chris Talley

Comet’s Friday News from FLAIR

Becky and Comet rock my socks

Good morning Eventing Nation!

Stateside it’s all about the AECs and Courageous Comet!  You know it’s just another day at the office for Comet when he’s leading the dressage by over 5 points. NBD. Danielle Dichting and The Graduate lead the Intermediate Championship division. That’s another horse I wouldn’t mind having in my fantasy football league barn. It is football season, can’t help it.

Preliminary Horse, Preliminary J/YR, Training Amateur and Training Horse all have their dressage leaders on scores of 2s and 7s. I thought it was all about ps and qs. Doug Payne really likes his score of 22.7 because he’s leading both the Preliminary and Training Horse divisions on that score with Royal Tribute and Lysander, respectively. Not a bad score to get twice.. So far, the Training to Advanced levels all had dressage winners in the 20s. Can our Novice and Beginner Novice riders break into the teens?! No pressure. But, 230987132847 EN karma points for those that do. Not like you’d need it with that kind of score. 

AEC’s: [Website] [Live Scores] [Ride Times]

This Weekend’s US Events:

Maryland HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Aspen Farms HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

Copper Meadows HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

King Oak Farm HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Five Points HT: [Website] [Status/Times]

Bucks County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

Across the pond, it’s about Blenheim. Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo are leading the first day of CIC3* dressage on a 35.1 followed closely by Piggy French on a 36.3 with West Side. Wonder if there’s a story there.  Tim Boland leads with GV Billy Elliot. I guess I’m naming my next horse after a Broadway musical and changing my citizenship. Emily Beshear and Here’s To You are first up today in the Friday session of CCI3* dressage. MLM and RF Smoke on the Water are fourth to last today. We wish our American counterparts the best of luck! Blenheim: [Website] [Live Scores] [Entries]

Let’s get back to the AEC’s! USEventing has their Day 1 Dressage Recap. Hear from Becky while she holds COmet right after her dressage test. Their partnership is just amazing, and you can really hear how special he is to her in her voice. Doug says of his two first place dressage winners, ““They are kind of big but very light on their feet and do not act their size. They are like big puppy dogs. I am very lucky to have these guys.” Everyone keeps talking about how Hugh Lochore has changed the xc course for the better and it looks challenging, but fun. And, of course, no matter how it all goes tomorrow, the competitor’s party starts at 6:30 pm. [USEventing]

How about a photo op? Here are some lovely shots of the winning Training and Preliminary Dressage rides courtesy of the USEA. [Looking snazzy]

And the Intermediate dressage riders. [USEA Intermediate]

And the Advanced competitors. [USEA-Advanced]

Want to get 30 minutes closer to the end of your Friday workday? Check out this xc preview video from the USEA. As challenging as the xc course is, it’s not all maxed out according to Hugh. Interviews with Hannah Burnett at the water complex and Holly Payne at the bank complex also included! [USEA XC Video]

Sinead blogs about Burghley, and it’s a fabulous, albeit, short read. You can actually get a sense of her emotions, concentration, perseverance and sportsmanship in the few short paragraphs. From entering the start box to preparing to competing, Sinead Halpin is tough as nails, a class act, and a wonderful horseman. Is there anything she can’t do?! [Flawless]

Now, I have a degree in mathematics, so I don’t know English very well. Can’t communicate with words effectively. Hence all the strikeouts.. I digress. Even my math symbols can’t help me now. We have “≠” for “does not equal”, but no sign for “unequal.” And Jim Wofford is unequaled. His latest Practical Horseman article should be read by all.  Again, in math we can only say “for all”: . The first part is about too tight nosebands and doing things the way we do because that’s the fad or how it’s been not because it’s best for that horse. The second section is on correct galloping position. Educate yourselves under Jimmy’s guidance. [Jimmy is a God]

 The British Horse Society has decided to act on equine squatting or fly grazing. Basically, letting your horses graze on property that you don’t own or rent. It has been outlawed starting September 1. If a landowner complains to the police about horses fly grazing, and the complaint is founded, offenders will face six months in jail or a £5000 fine or both. [Seems legit]

There are no words for this kind of animal cruelty. Northstar, a wonderful 6 year old horse in Crawford County, PA, was intentionally set on fire. There’s a website set up to help him recover and an award for any information leading to an arrest and conviction. [Help Northstar] Thanks to Anna for the tip.

In more sad news, a barn fire in New Hampshire has left 14 horses dead. They were able to save 8 horses and a pig. Firefighters from almost a dozen towns came to help extinguish the flames on the 10,000 square foot barn. They contained the fire in under an hour. A cause is still being investigated. [Union Leader]

Found on Facebook: Liz Lund has been video blogging her way from Minnesota to the AECs. They debate what makes a good competitor’s party, how to use a turn signal, arriving at Chatt Hills, after a quick stop off at Pollard Eventing….  Here’s Natalie Johnson, Pollard Eventing’s newest Minnesota employee in the flesh! [Hi Natalie]

More FB videos: A throwback to Bounder and Jessica Pye at Richland in their first CIC3*. Enjoy! [Bounder’s xc]

Also found on Facebook: this is where Denny Emerson will be this weekend if you need him.

Top of the Tweets: Royal Tribute, Doug Payne’s ride at the AECs, taking a little nighty. [@DPEquestrian]

Best of the Blogs: Kate Chadderton of Victory Sport Horses has had a personal best day from Day 1 at the AECs.  With her horses scoring in the 30s, she’s in good position going in to xc tomorrow. [Go Kate!]


Our friends at FLAIR will are out and about at the AECs so be sure to stop by and visit with them.  Go eventing.

Natalie Johnson’s Friday News and Notes from FLAIR

photo via the lovely Samantha Clark

Good morning Eventing Nation!

I dedicate this news and notes to Natalie Johnson amidst all the Burghley coverage because Natalie has left the frigid north to take a position as a working student for Michael Pollard. She and her horse Louie are making the trek to Chatsworth, GA. Well, actually Natalie’s already there, and Louie heads there on Monday. All of us at Carriage House Farm and the entire MN eventing community wish Natalie and Louie the best! We miss you guys!

Before we head across the pond, here are the events this weekend:

KY Classique HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Loudoun Hunt HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Scores]

Silverwood Farm HT: [Website] [Ride Times]

South Farm Fall HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Scores]

Steepleview Labor Day HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Town Hill Farm HT: [Website] [Ride Times]

Corona Del Sol HT: [Website]


It’s all about the Big B across the pond. American riders Friday dressage times:

Will Faudree 9:52am

Sinead Halpin 11:10 am

Kate Hicks 11:40 am

Allison Springer 12:47 pm

Burghley: [Burghley TV] [Live Scores] [Burghley FB Page] [Burghley Twitter Feed]

The Telegraph and Horsetalk have Burghley Day 1 recaps. Of course, Ruth Edge, phenomenal dressage rider and eventer, has taken the lead on Rogersdale on a 45.5. Following them only 0.7 points behind is Jock Paget and Clifton Lush. WFP and Seacookie round out the top three. So what you need to do now is pick your favorite horse and rider combo not at the Olympics that didn’t do dressage yesterday, because they’re undoubtedly going down centerline at Burghley today. Kings Temptress, Manoir de Carneville, Arthur, Inonothing, Avebury, Parklane Hawk, Major Mileston, et al. [Telegraph] [Horsetalk] [Peterborough Telegraph]

Lots of Paralympic news! All 78 horses passed the first inspection. The four US dressage riders, Rebecca Hart, Jonathan Wentz, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick are looking sharp. Natasha Baker of Great Britain is sitting pretty in the top spot in the Grade II, but is competing as an individual. Britta Napel, of Germany, and 2008’s Individual champion sits in second. US’s Rebecca Hart sits in fourth. Dutch rider Petra van de Sande is sitting in sixth in the Grade II and isn’t happy she wasn’t able to familiarize her horse with the sandbags propped against the dressage arena to keep it in place during story weather. “This time, [familiarization] wasn’t done, and I am really annoyed with the organisers,” van de Sande said. Though the sandbags may have been a problem for some, the record crowds didn’t affect the dressage rides. Probably because the record sold out crowds only filled half the stadium. All 10,000 tickets that were made available were purchased, but the stadium seats 23,000. By lunch time on the second day, the number of spectators in Greenwich will have exceed the total number at Beijing. In carrying on the British medal style, Lee Pearson wants to add three more Paralympic gold medals to the British legacy. [Dressage Daily] [Horsetalk] [Independent] [Telegraph] [Interview with Rebecca Hart] [Mirror-Pearson Interview]

A girth responsible for the UK’s Olympic medals? The Fairfax Performance girth was discovered by Team GBR in early 2011 and was kept from the public until after the Olympics because of the belief in its competitive edge. The girth is launching at Burghley this weekend. It has been under months of testing using Pliance pads and biomechanics to determine pressure points and horse movement. The girth claims to reduce pressure points by up to 85%, increase fore and hind limb extension, and improve symmetry of movement. The girth is cut out behind the forelegs and padded in a way to encourage muscle movement instead of block it as traditional girths do. What do you think EN? [H&H]

Kentucky Governor and father-in-law to 4* rider, Emily Beshear, Steve Beshear, overrode a committee’s decision finding regulation on racing drugs deficient. The Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations voted agaisnt regulations on furosemide, commonly known as Salix or Lasix. The implementations the Governor Beshear instated go in effect today. [Horsetalk]

Molly Rosin is looking for a hard worker! Sounds like a great opportunity for someone looking to work for a top rider. Full training/board and housing or housing and a salary. [Havarah Equestrian]

You may recall my infatuation with Lauren Speiser as I frequently link to her COTH blog. Well, I knew she was a good egg because the woman is dabbling in eventing (training). She’s whipping her horses bums into shape, and she turned to Dr. Stephanie Davis, DVM, intermediate eventer. Stephanie and her horse “were third after dressage, bitches, so the girl’s got skills.” Dr. Davis’s advice on fitness and trot sets? “Don’t do anything stupid.” And now I love Dr. Stephanie too. [COTH]

For a feel good story about never giving up your dreams and overcoming obstacles, check out Mrs. Vita Pacella Banks. She is a retired teacher who had always dreamed of owning a horse. Six years ago, her husband bought her a three month old “male Friesian”. She’s been working with him in saddle seat taking first place and reserve champion among other awards and titles. This, after four years ago when she suffered a “life threatening horseback riding accident.” [Garden City News]

Best of the Blogs: Have you been keeping up with Pye Equestrian? She listened to her gut which got Bounder and her around their first CIC3* at Richland last weekend. She thanks Sydney and Kelsey for all their help over the weekend while they were competing themselves as well.  Jess felt numb and the nothing after she waled the xc course containing seven ditches. [Go Jess and Bounder!]

Ahh, I feel like I’m there: trot up like the pros.

 Go eventing.

Can’t Fire Me’s Friday News from FLAIR

Not the ideal start to an event for the Holder Event Team…

Hey there Eventing Nation!

Let’s get the last day of the work week off to a great start! I don’t usually ask for much, but please, please, please do what this guys does and send it to us! I know you know how to have a good time, EN, and take it to the next level. A kajillion EN karma bonus points for the first one sent to us. (That’s the most ever given out in one prize by the way.)

Richland is underway. Can’t Fire Me and Becky Holder were the only pair to score under 40 in the dressage in the CIC3* with a 36.3, putting them 5.7 points over second place Jan Bynny and Inmindair with a 42.00. Teddy’s stablemate, Courageous Comet, is in third with a 42.6.

Boyd Martin and Crackerjack lead the CIC2* on a 45.6.

Michael Pollard was the only Advanced competitor to break into the 20s with The Hanni Badger pulling a 26.3.

Update: USEA Thursday recap

Events this weekend:

Richland Park HT: [Website] [Live Scores]

Powder Basin HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Results]

Shephard Ranch HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Results]

Caber Farm HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Results]

Genesee Valley HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Results]

Difficult Run HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Results Page]

Valinor Farm HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Results]

Clayton Fredericks is back with a vengeance at Haras du Pin. He’s currently leading the CIC2* and CIC1* after Michael Jung pulled a rail in the CIC1*. The CIC3*-W starts the dressage test a 9:00am local time. The CIC1* xc starts at 12:00pm local. [Eventing Worldwide]

More great eventing to come across the pond as Ballindenisk Three Day starts September 13. With over 150 competitors including WFP and Zara Phillips as well as riders from the US, Australia and New Zealand all turning out, the competition is getting fierce. With the €50,000 Gold Cup going to the horse/rider combo to with the CIC3* this year and the CCI3* next year, things are sure spicing up in Ireland! [Horsetalk]

Still not ready to let the Olympics go? Chris Stafford interviews Australian Dressage Olympian Lyndal Oatley. She was sick before her test with a bloody nose! She’s enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation before heading back to Germany to get back to it. Like all good top riders, she gives her fantabulous groom much of the credit. Angelica, here’s to you. [Equestrian Life]

The Brits are always ahead of the game. Currently, their Saddle Research Trust is seeking a fundraiser to fund research into saddle fit.. If you’ve ever been seriously competitive or just a good horse owner, you know that saddle fit is important, and when they’re ill-fitting, they can cause back and lameness problems. The research is to benefit horse owners and industry leaders in order to make our equine partners happy and healthy. [For a good cause]

 Hot on HN: They want YOUr opinion! What are your favorite posts to read? We cater to you. [Vote!]

 Found on Facebook: Boyd Martin eats at Applebee’s! Celebrities… they’re just like us. Jessi Dery and Maura Daugherty are making their Richland debut and stalking all the hot riders. Paging Will Coleman!

Maura, Boyd and Jessi, and the Giants game

Spotted on SHN: Looking for an excellent working student opportunity for the next 3-6 months? Three Plain Bays has a terrific offer that shouldn’t be passed up. [Check it out]

And for your viewing pleasure, I present Emily Beshear and Here’s To You in their Blenheim Dressage Tune-Up with David O’Connor:

We love, love love, Burghley over here! They’ve got great PR.

Go eventing.

OTTB’s Friday News from FLAIR

Hey there Eventing Nation!

I’m watching Secretariat for the 92349085723rd time. Nobody makes a feel good movie like Disney/Pixar, and I’m desperately missing my big bay TB who’s living the life 1500 miles east. Even though I’ve seen this movie a gazillion times, and I’ve known the story of the Big Red Horse for even longer, I still get chills watching the reenactment go down. I know it’s a movie. Don’t worry, I’m not a blubbery mess. I’m too busy taking fashion notes. So for all you competing on OTTBs this weekend, here’s an extra super duper fast xc karma dose from EN.

Upcoming Events:

Waredaca Farm HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Erie Hunt and Saddle Club HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm August HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

The Event at Santa Fe: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

Great Vista HT: [Website] [Live Scores]

Catalpa Corner Charity HT: [Website] [Status/Times/Live Scores]

Penny Oaks HT: [Website] [Ride Times]

Great Britain continues to dominate all events involving horses at the Olympic Games. Samantha Murray won the silver medal in the Modern Pentathlon four days ago. She learned to ride horses through her grandmother. She knocked two rails and had one time penalty in the riding phase. Not too shabby for a 22 year old. [H&H]

Lots of dreaming going on at Equestrian Team GBR even after their stellar record setting Olympic year. What more could they possibly want you ask? Well, you probably want the same things too. Dreams where everyone can appreciate the beauty of the horse, where therapeutic programs can help heal humans, take our sport to big cities and entice more people in joining, where young people can enjoy the majesty of horses, etc etc. Good, good dreams that we can all help bring to fruition. The Olympic insignia has come down and everything is being prepped for the Paralympics. And, like other first hand reports we’ve heard, they thought the Closing Ceremony wasn’t great live. [Team GBR Blog]

All horses and riders have passed the most important test at the Olympic Games: The drug test. Not one horse or rider tested positive for banned substances. This is a huge accomplishment considering the drug scandals at Beijing and Athens. This Games was also the most tested. More horses and riders were tested than previous years and they were tested for more substances then before. Princess Haya says we shouldn’t feel a triumph from these results as this should be the norm, not the exception to how we treat our horses and our riders. [Horsetalk]

Remember last week how I told you I love Lauren Spreiser? Now, you’ll for sure love her too! Check out her horse’s new camp song to the tune of “Hello, Muddah, Hello Faddah” by Allen Sherman. [Camp Day 1]

Lauren’s had a great second day at Camp Barisone. Michael’s been helping her figure out how to get her horse, Midge, to better marks in his canter pirouettes as well as coming up with a game plan for her passage. Michael’s recommendation: more bend entering the canter pirouette and well schooling in the passage so every gear is available in the show ring. [Camp Day 2]

Best of the Blogs: Smartpak’s got 26 ways for you to help your horse be healthier. First off, you have to evolve you thinking and do some research and really evaluate your horse objectively. Then, make sure he’s getting the proper amount of salt and grain. Also, more turnout=better limbs and mind. Give him some time off and a buddy to go out on the town hang out with. I didn’t realize my horse spends 3% of his time wolfing down grain. [Smartpak blog]

Found on Facebook: Burghley is going to have three jumps used at Greenwich on its xc course this year! “The Planet”, “The Sundials”, and “The Olympic Games Horses” are the three lucky jumps! [Burghley HT FB Page]

A throwback to Otter Creek SJ last weekend:

That’s all Eventing Nation! Have a great rest of your Friday and Go Eventing.


Otter Creek Farm August Horse Trials Recap

Liz Lund and her students made T-shirts! Here's the back..


Howdy Eventing Nation!

I come to you with a recap from one of my favorite events in the country. Otter Creek is always a good time and last weekend was no exception! Mark, Lena, Jenny, and William Warner continue to improve the courses and facilities, add more jumps, and give the patrons a superb event. Check out past recaps to know what I’m referring to: May 2011 [Preview] [Recap] – with one of the “most amazing videos I have ever seen of show jumping” – John August 2011 [Preview/Interview] [XC Recap] [Final Recap] September 2011: [Dress Recap] [XC Recap] [SJ Recap]


Liz and her gaggle of girls


This has got to be the first and only Otter Creek in recent memory with not only no rain, but absolutely beautiful weather! Mid 70s with a slight breeze and minimal clouds. I wonder how Mark and Lena managed to pull that one off…  Although, apparently, it rained on Thursday some, but I wasn’t there, so that doesn’t really count in the recap. Dressage as always was suuuper riveting and I did something I’ve never done before. I fell asleep in the sun on the hill overlooking the dressage arenas. Judging by the scores, I didn’t miss much excitement as everyone made it through the first phase.
Cross country was all about “The Hill”. Previously, the preliminary and intermediate divisions ran down The Hill. This year, the training level also went down The Hill, which surprised many I think. It rode really well for the most part as training level had plenty of time to recover on level ground before their last fence. Most were concerned not necessarily about The Hill itself (although they were), but more to where it was placed on course. Because in order to go downhill, you must first go uphill. There was a long slow uphill followed by an even longer steep uphill before running back down. This was at minute five when many horses were already feeling the fatigue from Otter’s bumpy terrain. I saw lots of smiles on riders, and horses looking pretty pleased with themselves as they crossed the finish and made the hack back to the barns. “I can’t wait to do that again!” “Let’s head back out!” “Wow! Fabulous!” and of course “Woooohooo!!!!!!!!!!” were just a few of the comments as riders completed the courses. Otter Creek has some of the best footing around, which makes xc day even better when you’re not worried about slick concrete, deep mud, or any other bad footing problems that one usually encounters in mid summer events.

“The Hill” on the intermediate. The C element is a skinny brush


Show Jumping is always a true test at Otter Creek. The course seemed relatively straightforward, but in true Otter fashion, always gets a rider or a dozen. There were no double clears in the Intermediate or Preliminary divisions. There were seven double clears in the training level: about 22%, or 1 in 5 if you will.

Sasha Scott took both her horses around the Jr. Training Victory "Gallop"

So the results:

Ann Bower topped both the intermediate and preliminary division on Rejuvenate and Prospero, respectively.

Sasha Scott, Leigh Rettenmaier, and Gabie Fulmer each won a training division, all posting double clear sj rounds, moving up to first after xc.

Laura Olson, Jennifer Eis, and Heather Salden took the top honors in each of the novice divisions.

Jodi Joachim, Natasha Erschen, and Rachel Holen, and Marcia Miller won the blues in Beginner Novice.

Last, but certainly not least, Claire Henneman topped 17 others in the starter division for the win.


Heather Salden and Ragdoll led an exuberant victory gallop.


Liz Lund’s Training Helmet Cam:

Go Otter Creek eventing!

GB’s Friday News from FLAIR

Double gold for GB in SJ and Dressage.

Well good morning there, Eventing Nation!

A super congratulations to Great Britain for cleaning up in the show jumping and dressage and the London Games. Pretty fitting when the home team does so well. How does that go? “If they don’t win it’s a shame!” There’s no shame in the equestrian world for Great Britain right now. Super kudos to Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro scoring just over 90% to win individual gold and help TEAM GB to the team gold as well. Before we get too much further into London (can you believe the Games are almost over?!), here’s the events this weekend. If you’re stalking the men of the US Eventing Team (and you know you are. Your FB says so), they’re all at Fair Hill this weekend. It’s only a Saturday show, so make sure you get there in time…. EN sends some karma over to Ryan Wood who will be riding 11 horses from BN-I at Fair Hill!


Upcoming Events:

Fair Hill International: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

GMHA  T3D Event & N3D Event Test: [Website] [Final Scores]

GMHA August HT: [Website] [Entry Status/Times/Live Scores]

Stanton Farms HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Hunters Run HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Otter Creek Summer HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

The Summer Event at Woodside: [Website] [Entry Status/Times/Live Scores]

Colorado Horse Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]


Back to London:

In case you missed it, British dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin won the individual gold medal in dressage. She has a historic score of 90.089%. Her freestyle music was British themed and she rode flawlessly except for a bobble at the end of the test. Her horse, Valegro, was a horse meant for Carl Hester, whom she works for. But, she got along so well with the horse, she was allowed to keep the ride. Her first Grand Prix was last January. Not bad for the 26 year old phenom. [Horse&Hound] [COTH] [The Independent] [Horsetalk]

Charlotte Dujardin not only made history for Britain by winning the individual gold in dressage but she also did it while wearing a helmet. She’s been a proponent for safety by wearing her helmet in major competitions leading up to the Olympics. [Riders4Helmets]

While the British were having a fabulous week of dressage, sadly Ravel was not himself in his last competition. He’s being retired after the Games. However, this isn’t to be dwelled on too much. The horse has had an absolutely stellar career, a living legend if you will. Ravel was distracted in the arena according to Steffen Peters. [USEFNetwork] [Horsetalk]

Want to know what the dressage riders think of their rides? Here it straight from the horse’s rider’s mouth compiled nicely by Horsetalk. [Say again?]

More on London Dressage: New Dressage World Order. The USDF’s take on the events of the last few days. Namely, what happened to the Germans, Swedes, Dutch, etc that usually top the podium in dressage? [The London Eye]

I am really starting to love Lauren Sprieser. Her blogs are entertaining and educational. She recaps in 6 points the last couple days of dressage. “1. Go for broke.” Maybe that’s why I like her. I rode a dressage test so forward once that the judge wrote “gutsy” in the comments. I personally prefer forward dressage tests. And her second pint hits home also. “2. Don’t move.” I think there is nothing more than a rider making it look like the horse really does all the work. My inner DQ is going to keep a sharper eye on anything Lauren has to say. You should too. [COTH blog]

The Rollkur debate is still very much alive at London 2012. The ladies of flew in for a day at London and got creative to illegally video tape the blocked off and guarded schooling areas. There’s a chestnut horse seen more clearly than a second horse. I’ll let you be the judge. []

Not enough drama for you in London? Well, don’t forget about Abdullah Sharbatly’s Olympic qualifications or lack thereof. His first Olympic qualifying result was obtained on June 29 with the deadline being June 17.. Seems fishy. So, Horse Sport International looked into the debacle. Apparently, there’s a loophole in the qualifications process that if you’ve got enough money, you can fly someone out to hold your own qualifying trials at your farm. The Scandalous Games and so much more.  [Read more]

Check out the latest Eventing Radio show covering topics such as… dun, dun, dun… the Olympics. Join Joe Meyer, Francis Whittington, and more in this week’s episode. There’s talk about the Games, obviously, but what may be more intriguing are the thoughts on the different international programs and their successes. [All ears]


Back to the eventing world:

Across the pond, at Hartpury, Allison Springer, Sinead Halpin, Jules Stiller, and Sharon White are competing this weekend. Allison leads the Americans after day one with a 40.8 while Sinead and Tate had a personal best of 44.8, landing them in 4th and 10th respectively. Sharon and Rafferty’s Rules scored a respectable 53.1. Jules and Enjoy Me compete in dressage today. Chris Burton and Kinnordy Rivaldo lead after day one in the CIC3* on a 37.3.  [Hartpury Results]

Are you a US combination ready for Boekelo? Have you completed a CCI3*? Can you explain why you want to go and how it fits into your program?  Well, the application is due August 15! Start writing and get your app in! [USEF]

Want to be a working student for Boyd Martin?! Well, hold on to your shorts. There are a couple more questions… Are you 21 or older? Do you work hard? Can you commit to at least 6 months? Okay, well then you should apply! [Boyd’s website]

Hot on HN: The last time the US equestrian squads walked away from the Olympics empty handed was 1956 at the Melbourne Games in Stockholm… That’s the only kick I really got out of the article. Otherwise, it has some very poignant ideas that seem to (still?) hold today. [HN]

Trending on Twitter: Well, not really trending, but Plantation Field horse Trials have joined the Twitterverse. Follow them! [Tweet Tweet]

Best of the Blogs: Ryan Wood is selling lots of horses and shares in his horses. He’s sold the shares of his CCI* partner Frankie, but he’s offering up shares in Woodstock Wallaby, by all accounts a fabulous and promising young horse. [Woodstock Eventing]

Apparently you have to be a blonde Brit to win at dressage, just fyi:

Go eventing. (And Happy Birthday to Coren!!)



Friday News and Notes from FLAIR

Also not acceptable jog uniforms

Good morning Eventing Nation!

Can you believe it? It’s only been 7 days since we last spoke, and the Olympic Eventing Trials are already over! Did you pick the winner? It’s pretty obvious now… What about teams? Did your country take home any honors? What about the honor for best partying team? I didn’t know this was a division, but it’s pretty awesome! Anyway, I digress, now the Olympics are all about Dressage and their foam fingers.

Upcoming Events

Millbrook HT: [Website] [Live Scores]

Area VII YR Benefit HT: [Website] [Live Scores]

Penny Oaks HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

River Glen Summer HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Rocky Mountain HT: [Website]

Silverwood Farm Summer HT: [Website] [Entry Status]

Snowfields HT: [Website] [Times &Live Scores]

GMHA T3D Event & N3D Eventing Test: [Website] [Ride Times]

Millbrook is already well underway. Buck and Reggie won the dressage of Advanced-A on a 27.8 with Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch not far behind on a 28.4. Jennie Brannigan won the dressage of OI-A on a 20.8. Don’t worry, if you scored a 35 in this division, you’d be looking at 23rd place. Caitlin Silliman rode Quinn Himself to the winning dressage score of 24.6 in OT-A. Rumor and score sheets have it that Boyd and Phillip take no breaks as they’ll be competing at Millbrook as well.

Speaking of Olympics and dressage day, two Brits take the top honors after Day 1 of competition. Carl Hester is in the lead on a 77.720 with fellow Brit Laura Bechtolsheimer not far behind on a 76.839. Anky van Grunsven is in fifth on Salinero, her Olympic double champion. Jan Ebeling and Rafalca are in 13th after day one for the US. [Horse&Hound] [COTH] [Horsetalk] [EN]

Poor Canada is not having the best go in the eventing and dressage disciplines at the Olympics. Their hopes for team medals now lie with the Jumpers after Capital, David Marcus’s mount spooked and couldn’t recover in the 10 seconds allowed, thus eliminating them from the Dressage compeition. Who’s on the Show Jumping Team that can make Canada proud? Oh, just a team-full of hot shots: Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster and Yann Candele. (G)O Canada! [Horsetalk]

Ok, Eventing Nation. It’s serious. We need to have an intervention. What the blank are these Show Jumpers wearing to the jogs?! Forgetting your boots? Come on Rich Fellers. Breeches and jackets? While acceptable if you’ve never been to a jog and don’t know nothing bout em, but these are the show jumpers! Where are your Armani suits and Marchesa dresses? [Photos here]

This is a great article about Dr. Kent Allen, DVMs role and prognosis of the welfare of the horses during the Eventing portion of the Olympics. For the horses that jog, as always, Dr. Allen says the horse must be “fit to compete on the day”. Camilla Speirs of Ireland had the worst fall of the day, but all was okay in the end with the horse standing in his stall munching hay. He will obviously need rest. Dr. Allen was on scene and recalls, “The horse was a champ. He knew he was in a bad spot with the rider, and he didn’t try to stand up.” [The Horse]

Not competing at the Olympic Championships, perhaps something a little bit closer in Georgia instead? Well, the USEA has released a press statement listing some of the many prizes you can contend for Stateside at the American Eventing Championships. Nutrena grain certificates, Charles Owens helmets, Fleeceworks, Amerigo, WiseEquestrian, Dubarry, FITS, Omega Alpha, and many more! And, they’re still accepting sponsorships.  [USEA]

Over in Hunter/Jumper land, WelcomeBF has arrived to John Madden Sales. Assistant trainer Callie Schott has welcomed her to New York after her long trip from California. They’ve done some flat work and a low jump school around 3′ with some easy grids. They’ll be out and about this weekend in some classes in Vermont. [COTH]

Researchers at UC-Davis are much closer to finding the genetic link causing the Hoof Wall Separation Syndrome in the Connemara. It mostly occurs in foals between one and six months of age, and is still immensely painful despite the best pain management. In many cases, euthanasia is the course of treatment as the quality of life greatly diminishes. However, unaffected horses can be bred together and still foal horses with this condition, so this research is very necessary for the Connemara community. [Horsetalk]

Hot on HN: I will never get sick of these Horse Haikus. Wylie’s got one for US Olympic Dressage. [Check. It. Out.]

Found on Facebook: Ashley Adams is honoring Olympic dressage competition by riding 10 different dressage tests in seven hours. [AAEventing]

Best of the Blogs: SmartPakers Colby and Sarah have your low-down of Day 1 Olympic Dressage. [SP Blog]

And, in case you missed their video Kate posted yesterday..

Go eventing.


Let the London Games Begin! Friday Reader from FLAIR

AHHHHHHHH!!!! Can you believe it Eventing Nation?! The Olympics are upon us! I’ll try to wrap up the last several months in this Friday N&N post, but hopefully you took the day off to relax and enjoy the coverage. (And, if you’re ever in need of quick links, they’re in the top right corner of EN). Let’s catch you up!

But, before we do that, here are the Events this week on US turf:

Cobblestone Farms HT: [Website] [Ride Times]
USPC National Championship:  [Website] [Live Scoring]
Stoneleigh-Burnham Summer HT: [Website] [Live Scoring]
Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials:  [Website] [Live Scoring]
Moqui Meadows H.T.: [Live Scores]


The Opening Ceremony kicks off at 9 p.m. London time (4 p.m ET) today, and will be broadcast on NBC at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you’re weird facts, stats, and figures people like us, here’s a breakdown of the $42 million Opening Ceremony from Reuters. [Check yo facts] Tune in to see Daniel Craig James Bond and the Queen! Sadly, the US Team will not be attending, and it sounds as if Team GBR may not either as the ceremony runs so late into the night. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.


But, waaaay before that, events are already underway as the jogs start at 11 am London, 6 am ET time. This is also known as “Day 0” for those of you keeping score at home. As per the official schedule, here’s the breakdown. So reschedule you meetings, luncheons, and dinner engagements.

July 27: First horse inspection, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. local (6:00 a.m. EST start)

July 28: Team and individual dressage, 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

July 29: Team and individual dressage, 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

July 30: Cross-country, 12:30 p.m.-5:40 p.m.

July 31: Second horse inspection, 8:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Team final jumping: 10:30 a.m.-1:10 p.m.

Individual final jumping: 2:30 p.m.-3:35 p.m.


Now that we know when the events are taking place in London, let’s find out when we can watch them! Super thanks to John for putting this little diddy together to help a Nation out!

Online Streaming

NBC Online Stream

(all events, stream starts 5 minutes prior)
NBC Online Stream Schedule
NBC Equestrian Homepage

Network TV Schedules

For the U.S.

NBC Olympic Schedule

For Canada

CTV’s Olympic Schedule

For England

British Broadcast Schedule

Other Links

Full International Broadcast List by Country


Don’t forget about the Draw order! USA is second, Canada’s 9th, GB’s 17th, and last, but certainly not least, Thailand. Reasons the Draw matters? Let me count the ways.. footing, feedback from riders finishing (or not), lighting, strength of crowds, time of day, judging bias, the list goes on. [Order matters]


You can read, listen, and watch in this well put together story on Phillip and True Prospect Farm. This is Phillip’s fifth Olympics as we know, and attends on good ol’ Mystery Whisper. Evie defends Phillip, and equestrians in general, as being athletes themselves as well as their horses. Phillip rides 8 a day, runs, and keeps a healthy diet. A healthy dose of amazing talent doesn’t hurt either. They talk about why Chester County, PA is a great place to ride and train for top-level horse sport. [Phillip’s riding in the “Super Bowl”]


Now, any communication from riders, grooms, team officials is tremendously appreciated from here on out. The pressure is most definitely on, and between scheduled ring schooling times to press conferences to other obligations, writing a blog is most certainly at the bottom of the list. Here, we thank Team GBR and Will for giving us some thoughts from Thursday. They’re incredibly impressed with the platforms the rings are held on, and we have to agree, it’s “a massive engineering feat.” There’s some great pictures showing the different rings and ring construction. At the end, they thank the Lottery system for funding their training efforts leading up to the Games. This funding has paid for clothing, vet support, tickets, accommodations, physiotherapy, and more. [Team GBR is looking good]


As it is FLAIR Olympic Friday, don’t forget to check out Team Fredericks’ blog for your chance to win some FLAIR strips! Just scroll down the left side for an easy win. [Flair + Fredericks‘]


Not all of this information is correct, but the book is on sale. Read The Fire Horse, authored by Elizabeth Mitchell. While we know Neville didn’t make the US Team and is the last reserve in Boyd’s string for the Games, it doesn’t make Neville any less of an amazing horse. [We all know the story by now, and it’s a good one]


We’re gettin’ our amateur photog on here, EN! Horsetalk has started a series of Photography 101, with the first installment about horse headshots. Why are we interested? We need to make sure the photo we take of Smoky is quality enough to photoshop in our Olympic medals! Well, probably not in a head shot, but these are good tips to keep in mind. [Horsetalk]


Lauren Sprieser wonders how any beer can be lower quality than Natty Light. And, my alma mater being the home to the frat party featured in Borat, I’m inclined to agree. I digress, it’s all about keeping cool, hydrated, and alive in the summer heat. Lauren’s horse, Fender, gets that delicious beverage to keep him sweating through the summer. Lauren admits she doesn’t need help in that department, and offers advice on how to stay cool in a light n’ breezy entertaining way. [COTH blog]


Plantation Field is accepting Vendor Application forms now for their September CIC and HT. Per their FB page: “wanna SELL YOUR STUFF ???? sign up to be a vendor at the PF Trade Fair Vendor Village for sept 21,22,23- rates are beyond reasonable and it will be well worth your while! application and info here!” [Form]


Go-go Olympic eventing!


NAJYRC’s Friday News from FLAIR

Good morning Eventing Nation!

I come to you from the beautiful (understatement) Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. I have a small vocabulary because my degree is in mathematics. All we needed to know were numbers, Greek letters, and the words thus, therefore, and, then. Adjectives are a stretch. But that won’t stop me from pulling out all my big stoppers to describe the competition at NAJYRC, Olymipc outfits, and the venues of events commencing this weekend.

First and foremost, here are the events this weekend:

Hunter Oaks H.T. (IL, A-4): [Website] [Live Scores]
Fitch’s Corner H.T. (NY, A-1): [Website] [Live Scores]
Aspen Ridge H.T. (CO, A-9): [USEA Listing]
Olney Farm C.T. (MD, A-2): [Website] (HT canceled-running CT)
Aston-le-Walls (UK): [Scores]
*Over in Kentucky, NAJYRC is in full swing! I rode for Area IV at the 2005 Young Riders, and this competition will forever hold a special place in my heart. The camaraderie that team built, well we’re all still friends today with pictures to blackmail each other in the future. Team Area VI, VII, and IX are in first place after dressage in the CH2*, with Lizzie Snow and Coal Creek leading individually on a 50.7, 1.2 points in front of Teresa Harcourt on Bonza Twist of Fate. In the CH1*, Savanna Hilles and Enchanted lead on a 47.3 again, 1.2 points ahead of Victoria New with Fleeceworks Mystere du Val. Ontario and Area V are tied for first in the team placings. They’ve got a break in competition today and cross country starts Saturday. [NAJYRC Teams] [Live Scores] [USEF Coverage] [USEA Dressage Day recap]
*Elizabeth Crowder has updated us on the latest Area V activities leading up to the dressage yesterday. The 2* combinations were a little late to their jogs, everyone got their groove on at one of the parties while groom Lindsey busted out 6 back handsprings across the arena dancefloor not to be outdone by the gymnasts vaulters. Everyone is happy and healthy and having a blast! [Fleeceworks blog]
*Do you have your Olympic Tickets yet? No?! Well, you’re in luck. Mrs. Cogdell is selling her tickets for the Olympics:
Dressage July 28th – Block 222, Row 14, Seats 635-636 for $150.00 each,
Dressage July 29th – Block 212, Row 26, Seats 355-356 for $150.00 each,
Show Jumping July 31st – Block 220, Row 24, Seats 682-683 for $235.50 each.
There are also 6 Olympic Travelcards that came with this package.  We are working to make sure that the tickets are transferable, but if you are interested please contact Pam Medlin – [email protected]
Update: The tickets have sold.
*You know that feeling when someone knows you better than you know yourself? Well that’s how we here at EN feel about Because, frankly, yes, we would absolutely meltdown if Boyd Martin was Calvin Kline’s next underwear model. More to the point, has they’re list of 10 eventers they’re keeping an eye on and cheering for in London. Now, I thought Brits only showed emotion for horses and dogs, but I guess they love the Olympics too, probably an extension from the love of horses. Opposition Buzz, Lenamore, Andrew Nicholson, WFP, Michael Jung, Mark Todd, Chris Burton, Boyd Martin, Zara Phillips and Mary King make the list. [Opposition Buzz IS the horse of our generation]
*Who doesn’t love men in uniform! I mean, Boyd’s blog. Boyd’s got the goods yet again, this time in the form of the men of the US Team getting all spiffed up and decked out for their Opening and Closing Ceremony uniforms. Boyd says that the seamstresses were admiring Will Coleman’s nice physique. Yeah, who doesn’t? On the other side of the saddle, Silva arrives to get Otis tuned up for the first phase and Mark’s got all the horses peaking at the right time. [Boyd’sblog – photos included!]
*So… about those US uniforms. To me they look typically Ralph Lauren, so I guess they nailed the look they were going for. Now that more countries have released their uniforms we can play Fashion Police! YAAAAY!! I’ve read enough of the gossip mags waiting at the airport to know my way around the fashion world (read: can guess whether a look will make the best or worst dressed list.) I have NO idea what ANY country is thinking when they put together their uniforms. It’s like a jog, no? Stylish, sophisticated, oh wait, we’re supposed to represent all of the US? Guess we should go with this. Ha. Anyway, Germany gets my pick, probably because their scarves are cuter than anyone else’s. I think France failed, and Italy was most practical. John’s pick was Spain because he’s already got a track suit just like that, well two actually. And Kate would join this discussion but she ran out to her local Nordstrom to get Ralph Lauren’s “village wear” collection. [What would Tim Gunn say?]
*If you don’t like your home country, consider moving to New Zealand. Other  NZ Olympic Athletes welcomed the NZ Olympic eventers in style. [Ch-ch check it out]
Also on their Facebook page, they’ve uploaded an Album of their most recent photo shoot for the press. What a great looking group of people. (Another reason to move there.) There’s some great formal shots, candids, and just plain cuteness. [Team Camp]
*In other less interesting Olympic news, the BBC has ascertained the rights to Olympic coverage for all the Games (Winter and Summer) from now until Summer 2020. We still don’t know where the 2020 Games will take place, but the BBC’s got exclusive rights to cover it for the UK. Their rights aren’t restricted to TV either, they’ve got mobile and internet locked down. [Horsetalk]
*GMHA has received a grant from the USEA Endowment Trust from the Le Samurai Grant. They will use the $1000 towards educating Area I Adult Amateur Riders. They’re holding a Novice and Training Three Day August 6-9, with daily evening lectures and seminars on the various topics relating to making a three day successful in all facets from competition to horsemanship. [Go GMHA!]
*Kristin Schmolze is looking for two working students. She’s hoping they can be long term and stay with KSEventing through Aiken next winter. As she says, “The longer you stay on, the more you’ll be able to learn, the more experiences you’ll have, and the more in-depth your education will be.” The position includes housing, utilities, lessons, and a reduced rate of board for a horse, although bringing a horse is not required. If you’ve got a positive attitude and a good work ethic, this position is for you! [KSEventing]
*MLM isn’t the only show jumper who can event. Trevor Breen took home the win yesterday beating out Andrew Nicholson for top honors in Hickstead’s Eventing Grand Prix. In 2009 he won the Speed Derby at Hickstead and in 2010 he was third in the Eventing Grand Prix because he went too fast. This year he went a bit slower to go clear and put pressure on the other competitors. Clearly, his strategy worked. [Horsetalk]
Your Thursday dressage recap video courtesy of the USEA:

Go eventing.

Rebecca Farm’s Friday News and Notes from FLAIR

Good morning Eventing Nation!

Lots of great events are going on this weekend! My cousin is getting married!!! WOOO! Oh, horse events? Right. Well Rebecca Farm is a biggy as well as Stuart HT on the east coast. If you’re stuck in the middle, I’ll catch you at Roebke’s Run in Minnesota this weekend. Heading south, Becky Holder is coaching good friend Ashley Keller and other great students at Chatt Hills. My first working student gig was with Dorothy Crowell and she’s at Champagne Run this weekend midcountry. Barb Crabo’s down in AZ at Cococino while good friends Lainie Ashker, Katlyn McMorris, and Chris Talley as well as my EN/HN counterparts Annie Yeager and Leslie Wylie hit up Loch Moy in Maryland. And, Torrance Watkins and Mikki Kutcha are further up the coast at Riga this weekend. Go eventing wherever you are.

Weekend Events:

Event at Rebecca Farm (MT, A-7):   [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
Cosequin Stuart CIC**/* and H.T. (NY, A-1):   [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
Coconino Classic Event & H.T. (AZ, A-10):   [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
Champagne Run at the Park H.T. (KY, A-8):   [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm II (MD, A-2):   [Website] [RESULTS]
Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3):    [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
Roebke’s Run H.T. (MN, A-4):    [Website] [LIVE SCORING]
Riga Meadow H.T. (CT, A-1):    [Website]
Rebecca Farm wins the award for most stories about an event!
Equestrian is the hardest sport in the Olympics according to Yahoo! Sports. Duh. We knew this. We’ll take a little liberty here and make a subcategory where Eventing is the hardest of the Equestrian Olympic Sports. We’re not biased. Honest. Some of my favorites: “27. Table tennis — It’s cliche to poke fun at table tennis, so I won’t go that route…. 6. Modern Pentathlon — The hardest part: Remembering which five sports to compete in.” It’s a satire, fyi. [Yahoo!]
Peter Barry was interviewed by the local news about making the Canadian London squad. He and Eddie have been working hard for the last seven years and finally made their dreams come true with daily hard work. The farm is lovely, the family supportive, the rider humble, and the horse tremendously athletic. What a duo! We’ll be cheering you on in London! [CTV Video]
Our good friends over at Equisearch have an awesome Olympic contest for those of us that win medals everyday by being crazy enough to be involved in this industry. There are three events, and you can only enter one. World-Class Mucking, Heavyweight Stretching and Freestyle Trailer Parking are the three divisions of photo entry you can compete in. Prizes include gift certificates, a ton of feed (literally) and memberships to USRider. You’ve gotta be 18 and a resident of the US or DC, among other credentials. Enter now through August 1. Good luck! [Equisearch]
Our lovely Samantha has interviewed a member of each of the Australian, US, Irish, and New Zealand Teams. Lucinda Fredericks, Boyd Martin, Will Coleman, Mark Kyle, Jock Paget and more all in one short hour of fun on the Eventing Radio Show. [ERS]
In case you were feeling old and useless when thinking of 17 year old Reed Kessler and her being named to the SJ Squad, I’m here to make you feel worse. We’ve got the eventing version: Elaine Pen of the Dutch Squad is only 22 years old. Congratulations!  I’m off to finally nail my posting diagonals and make something of my riding career. [H&H]
In other Olympic news, the Republicans and Democrats agree on something this year: it’s outrageous that the Ralph Lauren Opening Ceremony outfits for the US Olympic team are being manufactured in China. Citing poor foreign trade policy for the current state of affairs, the clothes aren’t being manufactured stateside nonetheless. Hugo Boss has been thrown around for a possible substitute since they have a manufacturing plant in Cleveland. The US, unlike most other countries, funds their Olympic Team from private funding. [ESPN/AP]
Award-winning journalist, Nancy Jaffers, has an Eventing Team preview for London. Nothing against Nancy, but there’s not a whole lot in the article that hasn’t been discussed ad-nauseum here on EN. The team is made of two anchors or Boyd and Phillip. Then Karen and Will take up the seats slated for pairs that will finish with decent dressage, while Tiana has the “risky” spot. Surprisingly, Sinead and Neville didn’t make the squad when they seemed the sure bets last fall. Nothing is final in horses. [Equisearch]
Ever wonder why you wear pants? It’s because you ride a horse, obviously! “Historically there is a very strong correlation between horse-riding and pants,” says Peter Turchin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Connecticut. The links from traditional dress of warriors before and after the introduction of horses to the cavalry can’t be ignored. The Romans skipped the pants and are the reason we wear breeches today. [When in Rome]
Best of the Blogs:
Kathleen Stiles of COTH has blogged advice about horse shopping overseas. Having known some people to do this, her evaluation seems spot on. ” I see a horse under dim outdoor lights at 10 p.m. No one seems to find this unusual. The sellers line up cars and turn on the high beams but may as well pull out flashlights.” [COTH]
Jessica Pye and Bounder had a very successful outing at Chatt Hills last weekend. The pair finished 2nd in the intermediate division. Bounder went into the dressage and was very workmanlike scoring a 34.4 on all 6s and 7s. One of only 5 double clear rounds in the sj, she opted to take off her running martingale. They had a slower go on the cross country due to the hard ground and having lost a shoe early out on course. They’re doing at least the dressage this weekend at Chatt Hills round 2. [Pye Equestrian]
We love Smartpak for so many reasons, but this latest one really hits out heart strings. Remember those foam fingers Steven Colbert enticed us with? Well Smartpak is giving one away free with any purchase! Love those guys. They think of everything. [Smartpak]
We start and finish our day with Rebecca Farm. Here’s course designer Ian Stark:
Go eventing.

Vancouver’s Friday News and Notes from FLAIR

Wrong Olympics

Good morning Eventing Nation!

It’s my first day is this wonderfully vibrant city, and I’m moving here. I’ve got a family reunion on my dad’s side, and the flight over from Philly made me think how this related to eventing. I’ve got family coming from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Toronto, California, Nevada and Australia. Basically it’s like eventing. We’re coming from all over to have a good time and share a common bond. In this case, it’s not eventing, but reminiscing over old times and having fun making new memories. When you are coming from several areas of the globe it’s hard to coordinate, much like that of an event. But in the end, it’s all worth it. So if Vancouver implodes this weekend, you’ll know why. And a shout out to Courtney Ainsworth. I met your lovely employee Susan in the immigration line at the airport. Small world.

Here are the events you’ll be attending this weekend Stateside:

Coconino Summer HT (AZ): [Website] [Entry Status]

Whidbey Island Pony Club HT (WA): [Website] [Entry Status]

Maryland HT (MD): [Website] [Entry Status]

Genesee Valley HT (NY): [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills HT (GA): [Website] [Entry Status]

University of New Hampshire HT (NH): [Website] [Entry Status]

Wayne DuPage HT (IL): [Website]

ENYDCTA/Old Chatham HT (NY): [Website] [Entry Status]

Cobblestone Farm is hosting their annual event at the end of July. Cobblestone, if you will remember, hosted a Sinead Halpin clinic earlier this year. Heather Riecker has been kind enough to send us this update:

Looking for a horse show to run before Richland Park? Cobblestone Farms in Dexter, MI, will be holding their 5th annual USEA event July 27-29. Starter through Preliminary divisions will be offered, YEH divisions as well as the Area VIII Beginner Novice and Novice Championships. This is a great course for all divisions. Our competitor’s party should be a blast this year as well, with a live band and pig roast!

Jim and Darlyn Daratony (owners of Cobblestone Farm) have hired an irrigation company to come in and set up an irrigation system that will follow the cross country course, making the ground seem like its been rained on for days. The homeowners in the Cobblestone Estates are graciously hooking up hoses to their own houses, and watering every part of the course that they can. We are still looking forward to a great show despite the drought, and are doing everything we can to provide safe footing for all the competitors and horses at this show!! Closing date for the show is July 10th… and the show is July 27, 28, 29!

This year will be Cobblestone’s second “Jump for the Cure” fundraiser in support of Cancer research. Last year we were able to raise several thousand dollars for the American Cancer Society by selling T-Shirts to support the cause. Our goal this year is to double that, so we have added a silent auction/raffle into Saturday night’s competitors’ party! There will be great auction items; an Ogilvy Memory Foam Half Pad, gift certificate from Sporthorse Saddlery, lessons from Michigan trainers and schooling passes to various Michigan cross country courses! Together we can make a difference!

If you haven’t sent in your entry yet (closing date is July 10 th), please write “Jump for the Cure” on the top! $5 of your entry will be donated to the 2012 Jump for the Cure fundraiser! For more information, omnibus listing, and sponsorship opportunities please visit

Aachen has an awesome virtual coursewalk of the event. Descriptions of each obstacle, pictures and the lines to the fences including the look of the terrain. Pretty snazzy. [Aachen course]

“Competitions drenched in privilege, like the equestrian events, should be ditched.” This is in reference to the Olympic Games still holding equestrian events. Hi. I don’t know about you folks, while yes, horses are expensive, I’ve worked for what I have and would never consider myself “drenched in privilege“, as I know a vast majority of horse owners wouldn’t. And, I’d harness a guess that most of the equestrian athletes, have worked to get where they want. Yes, money helps and lots of the Olympians have money or access to it, but by and large at the end of the day, you still have to get a half ton animal around the course. No amount of money or privilege can forgo the amount of time in the saddle and talent or work ethic required to make The Team. There are PLENTY of riders that have money, buy made horses and can’t make it around from the top to bottom levels of our sport. I get that the article isn’t centered on this one sentence and is an opinion piece, but this is still how equestrian sports are viewed, and needless to say, it hit a sore spot, and that’s my opinion. [NYTimes]

Silva Martin had a great showing at Blue Goose Dressage Show. She won several classes on several horses at several levels as well as her students. She’s also got lots of nice young  horses for sale. Five and six year olds doing second level. [Silva’s blog]

Heath Ryan is joining a class action lawsuit against the Australian government regarding the 2007 outbreak of equine influenza in the country. According to Damian Scattini, principal of the law firm taking on the case, “In Australia in 2007, the horse population was unvaccinated with no prior exposure to the virus, so the infection spread like wildfire.” The outbreak took place at the peak of the horse industry’s season causing the entire system to come to a complete stop. Ryan says, “We couldn’t move horses anywhere. We couldn’t train horses, run clinics or sell horses.” This essentially cut off all the avenues of income which was common among most horse trainers during this time. The lawsuit is set to come to court in a few months time. [Horsetalk]

Barbury wasn’t only important for those heading to the Olypmics in a few weeks. It was also the selection trials for Britain’s eventing team headed to the FEI Pony European Championships at Fontainebleau July 17-22. The squad is made up of all girls this year. Maddie Taylor (Bandalera), Janou Bleekman (Cregaan Scenic), Charlotte Bacon (Three Wells Breeze), and Annie Keir (Hotshots) have made the team. Maddie and Janou and their respective mounts rode for Britain last year. Three Wells Breeze and Hotshots aren’t newbies either as they were campaigned at the Championships in 2011 and 2010, respectively although with different riders. [Congrats girls!]

A Gem Twist clone will be standing stud in Britain starting next year. The horse’s name is Murka’s Gem who is owned by the group Team Murka. He isn’t the only clone of Gem Twist standing. The Chapot Family is standing Gemini, the 2008 clone of Gem Twist in New Jersey. If you don’t know Gem Twist, you should. [COTH]

Joey, the War horse has gone AWOL in Toronto:

That’s all for now Eventing Nation! Have a wonderful weekend!

Twizzel’s Friday News from FLAIR

Photo via the lovely Samantha Clark

Good morning Eventing Nation!

The better looking half of the Will Coleman/Twizzel partnership strutted his stuff yesterday leading the American contingency at Barbury in 7th place overall on a 47.4. Samantha Clark is bringing us amazing coverage right here on Eventing Nation. Follow her Twitter updates @samanthalclark for real time action! [Barbury CIC*** Live Scores]

Rounding out the US after Day 1 of Dressage

7.  Will Coleman and Twizzel  47.4

8.  Allison Springer and Arthur  48.2

11.  Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere  48.8

12T.  Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos  49.0

19.  Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott  52.4

22T.  Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice  53.2

24.  Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen  53.4

25.  Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville  54.0

Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper, Boyd Martin and Remington, Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister, and Will Faudree with Andromaque have their dressage performances today. Best of luck! 

Great news for event riders competing at the FEI levels. Riders will no longer be assessed penalties for breaking a frangible pin. Penalties will only be assessed at the discretion of the ground jury. The Event Riders Association had a petition with over 300 signatures that was subsequently backed by British Eventing. [Go ERA and BE]

Sam Griffiths has blogged about his June. He did mention he was “totally gutted” about not making the London squad. However, he’s got his sights set on winning Burghley. This way, he can keep his horses going in the program that’s meant for them instead of hitting up events he wouldn’t normally run. He had a wonderful 40th birthday celebration snagging the win in the CIC3* at Houghton. Unfortunately, his birthday present he received from Lucy was short lived… [Sam’s blog]

As eventers, we don’t really give a hoot about dressage, but in case you wanted to know what you are looking at while horses prance around doing ballet, check out this great article on what to look for in an Olympic dressage test. They break it down from movements to showing the pyramid to the Olympic format. At the end there’s a flashback to 2008’s Games. [Regarding Horses]

Reed Kessler has blogged about her road to the Olympics. In the latest installment, she writes about changing her mindset from a happy girl to be riding in such big classes to a professional analyzing every step. She’s clearly working hard by jumping multiple horses daily without stirrups, hitting the gym, and making the best plans for her horses and her chances. [Her 18th birthday is July 9]

Equine Canada is offering a new certification program for coaches, dubbed “Competition Coach Specialist”. The goal is to bridge the gap between the Competition Coach and the High Performance Coach. To be eligible you must be 20 years of age, have competition experience, be a member in good standing and be evaluated. They realize that quality coaching is vital to a successful competition. [Horsetalk]

The massive fires in Colorado are not near the Colorado Horse Park and haven’t affected the show schedule there. EN sends it thoughts and prayers out to all those affected. [COTH]

Plantation Field is hosting a Jumping Derby on July 27th. More details to follow. Check their FB page for updates. [Plantation Field website]

A gentle reminder in case you’re in an ice box somewhere: it’s hot out there. Take care of your ponies and yourself. (And dogs too!) The Horse has reported that the Livestock Heat-Stress Index will reach the emergency level this week in Kentucky. Other parts of the country are heating up as well. Dr. Jen from Horse Nation has a great article on keeping cool. The Horse also has a guide to cooling out.

Hot on HN: Top Ten Reasons to Date/Marry a Horse Girl. [You know it’s true]

Top of the Tweets: Nina Ligon posted a photo of Karen O’Connor and herself familiarizing their horses to the dressage area. [@Nina Ligon]

Found on Facebook: Sinead Halpin and Allison Springer reflect on their dressage riders at Barbury. Uptown Eventing also has a CIC3* coursewalk.

Best of the Blogs: Boyd recaps day 1 of his dressage rides at Barbury. He is proud of Nev for having a similar test that he did at Bromont, but was very pleased with his rideability. Otis had terrific trot work, but greener canter work. He’s getting ready to light up Remi for this afternoon’s ride. [Boyd’s blog]

Honorable Mentions:

Team Express Eventing has a new website and blog! Heather Morris has recapped 2012 so far. [Go Team Express]

Sophia Zeier is working with Laney Ashker this summer making the move from California to Virginia. She’s learning about studs, getting up at 2 am and moving up to training level. [Go girl]

That’s all for now EN. Stay tuned for more from Barbury and Samantha!


Ralph Hill Clinic Recap

Liz Lund and Dr. Jennifer Selvig, DVM on Lucy and Chief, respectively

Hello EN!

I come to you with a recap of the Ralph Hill clinic in Minnesota. Really, it’s more of a video post because I took videos of the training/prelim group over almost every jump they did. You can hear Ralph’s valuable direction in the background which is more effective than my recollection. I shall say though, a huge thank you to Julie Stenslie of Wildwood Farm for hosting the clinic and for the organizers who set up the Ralph Hill Clinic Series in Minnesota. As I drove out to Wildwood, there was a giant black cloud in front of me. Always makes for a good day of eventing when it absolutely pours from the heavens.  Julie and the team did an absolutely fabulous job of moving the jumps and making sure the footing was good for the last group of the day. And the riders did their part by riding fantastically so they only did each exercise once or twice before nailing it and moving on.

What a lovely sight as Wildwood is about 5 miles ahead.. right under the clouds.

Ralph’s clinics usually start with day one utilizing show jump exercises to get the horses jumping out of their skin well. He does a bit of flat work before hand with the riders as well getting the horses straight and pushing off both hind legs equally. I’ll let the videos of day one explain the rest. (You can see how soggy the ground was by the splashing as the riders go.)

Trotting the Jump warm up:

Cantering warm up:

Gymnastic Line:

The “V” Jump:

Last course Day 1:

Ralph’s end of Day 1 speech.

Super thank you to all the volunteers that helped throughout the clinic!

Day two held cross country, but unfortunately since it had been raining almost daily the week prior, the back 5 acres qwith all the portables was too soggy to ride across. None of that really matters when you ride with Ralph and when you have a facility like Wildwood because Ralph had ideas to use what was available to make it challenging and educational for the riders. Julie and her staff were excellent in preparing the grounds as best they could given the unfortunate amount of rain. It also rained Sunday prior to the training group again.

Mini XC course:

And the 3 stride xc line:

Skinnies and ditches:

Well folks, that should be plenty of video footage to satisfy your Sunday night fix.

Go eventing.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner’s Tuesday News from Pennfield

iHola Eventing Nation!

In case you were unaware, Eventing Nation is pretty awesome. We’ve got amazing sponsors and (3) clever and knowledgeable writers. To start things off, Jean Detert won EN’s Devoucoux Bromont contest! Congratulations! Samantha also held a contest where McKenna, Lynsey, time2fly, and Tracey all took top honors! Congratulations to all the winners! Didn’t win this time around? You’re in luck! Another awesome EN sponsor, World Equestrian Brands is hosting a contest with an Equilibrium Massage Pad as the prize! See below or click here. Good luck!

A Russian wins the second leg of the eventing World Cup series! I’m part Russian and I minored in the language in college, so I love hearing this news. Maksim Vakin rode Harley Davidson to the lead from wire to wire at Minsk in Belarus. It was a tough weekend as last year’s winner, Alena Tseliapushkina, came in second and third this year, but she doesn’t earn any points for the series as the rounds didn’t qualify. The same goes for another Russian eventer, Boris Vasilev, who placed fifth and sixth on Naftenat and Osoka, respectively, but won’t earn any series points. [Go Russians]

The always-nice-to-look-at Will Coleman was interviewed by The Daily Progress about his journey across the pond. He’s thrilled to be named to the list, but is trying to treat this like any other event. Last year, he and Twizzel took 7th in the CIC3* at Barbury Castle and Coleman feels this is an advantage. He does acknowledge that there’s a tremendous amount of talent in both the horses and riders named to the list and this will make final team selection difficult for the selectors. He also noted that placing well at Barbury isn’t necessarily the goal as the selectors are looking for something different in each of the pairs. Interesting. Go Will and Twizzel. [Daily Progress]

In more London News, the dressage version, Heather Blitz and Paragon have been named reserve for the US Team. I met Heather and Paragon in Wellington earlier this year, and they are super! Heather is as down to earth as can be and is quite the horsewoman to boot. Paragon is ginormous! Just a stunning horse especially up close and personal in his stall. Being named as an alternate is quite an honor for this pair especially since this is Paragon’s first season at Grand Prix. Look for big things from them in the future! [USDF London blog]

Heather Blitz got the spot as the reserve rider because Todd Flettrich and Otto withdrew. Flettrich has based his decision on the fact that none of the reserve riders for the dressage team have ridden in the Olympics and he didn’t want to go to England and hang out. The goal was to ride in the Olympics, and since it didn’t look too promising, the owners have decided to retire Otto in his prime. He’s going as well as he ever has and is very sound. [Happy retirement Otto!]

And even more dressage news (who made this so popular this summer?! HA!) Chris Stafford interviews Jan Ebeling about making his Olympic debut. Jan says that despite any and all attention, he always tries to make every show no matter the caliber “like any other show”. He tried to have a normal ride like at home, and it paid off! He calls his partnership with Rafalca like an old married couple. He knows where he “can and cannot go” with her, and she doesn’t quit. Jan is headed to his home in California before heading to London.  [Chris Stafford Radio]

Because all is fair in love and war, I’m throwing in the US Show Jumping Nomination List. It’s a ranked list and Flexible’s on top from his stellar rounds at Spruce Meadows. Beezie Madden’s next on the list and then Reed Kessler with Cylana. I’m definitely cheering for this pair! Reed also has Mika in the 7th position on the list. All the usuals are there, McClain Ward, Beezie’s other horses, Laura Kraut, Christine McCrea, Charlie Jayne, etc, etc. [Go US Show Jumping!]

Horsetalk has compiled a list of GB’s Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping Nomination Lists for London. I’m not a familiar with the British dressage and show jumping riders as I am with the eventers, but I’m sure they’re going to “bring it” just as hard as their eventing team will. What I’ve noticed not only on the GB lists, but almost every list, is that many riders in all disciplines have qualified several horses and not only qualified them, but have done well enough to get them nominated as well. [Go good riding]

The Alltech National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of October has added a $50,000 puissance class. Several riders had suggested the idea of adding the class, but the organizers are more excited because of the appeal it has for spectators. I mean, who doesn’t love a good puissance?! This makes the prize money for the Open Jumper division over $400,000. Not too shabby! [Horsetalk]

In the blogosphere:

Boyd’s groom-extroidonaire Lindsey Taylor has been blogging! The horses have arrived in England after 33 hours of travel. They were most appreciative to get to roll around in their fluffy stalls! After a three hour detainment in customs, the grooms that flew ahead were able to set up. They’re already team-bonding an working “like a well-oiled machine”. [Lovely!]

Young Rider Lexi Scovil has moved back to the midwest! Amid the busy summer schedule and her new job at Hunter Oaks Equestrian Center, she’s trying to get her life sorted out. (I feel you girl!) She’s got a new import from Mike and Emma Winter, and her other horse is qualified for the CCI2* at Young Riders. [LSEventing]

Kristin Schmolze has been blogging! She had a fabulous weekend at Buck’s County taking home two blues on two horses, finishing both on their dressage scores under 30 no less!  She’s riding these horses to give their owners a jump start on a successful season when they return in the irons. She was also the Rider Rep, and said it was a pleasure walking the courses with the TD and helping bridge the communication gap between riders and officials.  [KSEventing-Buck’s County]

Kristin also recapped her Bromont trip with Rox. It was his first CCI3* and Kristin was a little worse for the wear heading in to the show as she had fallen on pavement a few days prior off of a young horse. She had cracked ribs and lots of bruising and scrapes, but put in three solid rides for what was what she felt their softest xc round yet. They also jumped double clear in the show jumping. So even though her form was a bit off due to her injuries, she was clearly riding really well! [Go Kristin and Rox!]

Smartpak’s Webinar’s are full of information and they’re in real-time. So, if you’ve got a question, you can ask immediately and join the conversation. Can’t make the real time feed? Smartpak’s got you covered. In their latest webinar, Smartpak’s Veterinarian and Supplement Director talk about caring for the older horse and what changes on the outside as well as the inside with age. [Smartpak’s blog]

I leave you with Julia Krajewski and London Return’s xc round in the CIC3* at Luhmuhlen last weekend:

Go eventing.

Lucinda Green Minnesota Clinic Recap

Before you read any further, I would like to thank Lucinda for helping me write the article. I sent off my drafts to her to critique/correct because let’s face it, I have yet to master the English language and any sort of comprehension of riding theory. A huge thank you to Lucinda! Also a giant thank you to Sue Slocum for hosting and organizing the clinic.


Hello Eventing Nation!

I had the pleasure of attending my first Lucinda Green clinic ever! I drove 90 minutes each way to catch the last 45 minutes of the last group on the last day of the clinic in Minnesota. It was definitely worth it!

Lucinda has been doing clinics in Minnesota for the last several years, and this is the first time she was secured a June date instead of the usual October date. The clinic was held at Sue Slocum’s Wake Robin Farm in Waconia, MN.

Now, I’ve been stalking Lucinda since I found out what eventing was, especially after I heard her voice on the Equestriad 2001 video game as a commentator. I had to ride right by Lucinda! Since then, my stalking has taken me to Youtube videos, online horse forums reviews of her clinics, and the Lucinda Green Facebook page. Lucinda is all about developing the “fifth” leg in your horse. Everything I had always read about her was to not miss a clinic. Even on the ground auditing for 45 minutes, there is much training and theory I can take away with me. This recap is just that, a general overview of the theory and exercises presented. For more in depth theory, attend a clinic. You’ll be glad you did!

Truthfully, I missed the flat and beginning of the warmup (that whole family obligation thing, you know? Gets in the way!) I digress. In person, watching Lucinda’s style of teaching was like a breath of fresh air. She told you what needed to be achieved and praised you when ridden correctly and reminded you when you were falling in to old habits. No hand holding, but more than the usual “Good. Fine.” comments you hear from trainers. There really is no description that will do her style justice, and I could go on for days about it, so you’ll have to experience it for yourself. Back to the warm up. There was a corner made of show jumps, skinnies and barrels set up as well as some blocks. The riders would stay in the middle of their horses and guide their horse over the fences, keeping the designated gait. Once through for each rider, and she’d move the blocks to a new spot, keeping both the horses and riders on their toes (preferably heels). The fences were kept low, and the emphasis on footwork was most important. The horses needed to start analyzing the question at hand as early as possible.

After several rounds of this we moved on to the bank area. The riders were told to walk their horses up and down the banks, and then rode an exercise of skinnies incorporating the banks. Again, fifth leg training of having your horse figure out the striding and where to put his feet was stressed while the rider guided the horse and stayed balanced.

On to the ditches and trakehners next, again start with walking back and forth starting with the smaller ditch and working up to the trakehners. This made me a bit nervous the thought of walking a trakehner, but the benefits from the training completely outweigh any nerves, as the riders (and auditors) soon saw. Lucinda commented that if a horse gets lazy (mentally) and steps a foot in a ditch and there’s a bit of a disaster, they won’t do it again. The rider’s job is to stay on through it.

Water was up next, where the riders were given an option of jumping in cold turkey or walking through it first. This is one tough group that opted to test out the waters by diving in feet first. Horses and riders headed in confidently, albeit a bit cautiously, but the horses were attentive and thinking, a good sign of developing the fifth leg. Throughout the clinic at various times, Lucinda reminded the riders to keep their horses focused. When the horse is not focused, the rider is left with that horrible feeling of no connection.

After mastering each complex, the riders were told to put a course together of the jumps out in the field. Anything they had jumped the previous day and today as well as anything else they wanted to try. The giant log you see the riders take in the video is 3’6” on the one side and 4’+ on the other end.

At the end, the riders were very pleased with the results and were looking very sharp. Lucinda recapped what each horse and rider should take away from their two days together as well as some general knowledge. Personally, I’m a chanter. I need short phrase “gems” to think about as I ride. I shall share with you a few of the gems I took away:

“Why worry about striding?” This was in reference to when you see horses do so many different stride patterns within same complex. “They do what they like.”

“Keep spring coiled. Forward not flat.”

“Please don’t make it difficult. Sit late.”

“Clear your mind.”

“Ride to be in the right place on your horse.”

“Come (to the bounce question) like a set of planks in show jumping.”

“No excuses for being weak and feeble.”

And the most important for riding and for life in general:

“Never waste an opportunity.”

I shall say though, I like a trainer that’s going to give me a good swift kick in the pants especially when it’s backed by exercises that are set up to be successful. Had I been riding, Lucinda probably would have done just that. I feel that riding has gotten a bit overcomplicated as of late (in my experience due to my lack of confidence) and Lucinda gives you the tools you need in a systematic straightforward way. You will gain lots of confidence riding with Lucinda as the main point of fifth leg training is to learn how to deal with and get through the messy bits on course.

Go Lucinda and go eventing.

Kristi Nunnink’s Wednesday News and Notes from Horse Quencher




















R-Star’s victory gallop in the OI at Aspen Farms HT in WA. Photo via Action Taken Photography

Good morning Eventing Nation!!

How are your US Fantasy Eventing Teams coming now that you’ve been given 11 choices? I’m sure your boss understands why you’re not getting any work done… Seriously though, thanks to GB and Canada for taking all of the fun out of their selection process by just naming their respective teams. We’ll have talked ‘the US Team’ 12 ways to Sunday, and then we’ll need new material before someone takes things too far and chucks a laptop out the window. Thank goodness we can put the Jon Holling streaking video on repeat.  This is going downhill fast, so we’re interrupting this terrible intro to bring you to your regularly scheduled news and notes.

The Talking Horse has written a few notes about GB’s Olympic Eventing Team, the Aussies, Kiwis, US and even a shout out to EN! I have to agree, Britain’s team is definitely made of riders who can withstand pressure. Pressure to ride at the Olympics is huge enough, but compound that with pressure on home turf, and we’re talking the weight of several worlds here. Monty goes on to admire the Kiwis’ and Aussies’ grace and superb results under pressure as well. And, like many, he’s wondering at the reason the US is running all 11 shortlisted horses at Barbury. Aren’t we all? It’s the place to be in a few short weeks! [Talking Horse]

If you’ve been in horses for more than a day, you know it’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions and plans. Hawley Bennett-Awad broke in to tears while telling owners that she and Ginny made Canada’s London squad. Of course, Hawley and Ginny are one of our favorite pairs! I mean what’s not to love? A cute, talented blonde with a cuter, feistier mare. Love. Calling the nomination to the team “a big relief”, she’s hoping for at least a top ten finish, now that she’s more experienced since her first Olympic Games in Athens. In order to make the squad, she missed out on her brother’s wedding as it was the same weekend as Bromont, making it one of the toughest competitions mentally for her. She’s in California until July when she and Ginny head to Virginia for training camp then the plane to London. [Langley Times]

Lucy Wiegersma and Nicola Wilson chat with the Telegraph about not making the British Eventing Squad. It’s a very competitive squad to make and both ladies and their horses are certainly top-notch. Wilson was very diplomatic saying the selectors have done a superb job in the past, acknowledging that Opposition Buzz is a fabulous horse and made dreams come true. Wiegersma has been an alternate on the lists for the last seven years, but getting to run at the 2009 Europeans. “Beyond a joke” is her response to more than likely being on the reserve list yet again. She’s “beyond frustrated” because she knows Simon Porloe “will be a gold medal winning horse in the future”. Even with being on the reserve list for the last several years, she still wouldn’t trade him for “any other horse in the world”. [Telegraph]

As you would likely expect, those that made the unofficial GB Team are delighted! You can read their quotes of honor and excitement on Horse&Country’s website. [H&C]

Details have been released about London’s Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games. It’s a picturesque idyllic British countryside theme titled “Green and Pleasant” that will feature an abundance of farmyard animals including 12 horses and 70 sheep among others. The horses will be plowing and grazing helping to set the scene, and not in the Ceremony itself. The Creative Director is Slumdog Millionaire‘s director, Danny Boyle, and there have already been 157 rehearsals with the more than 10,000 volunteers. [Horsetalk]

In more Olympics news, the Dressage Para-Equestrian Championships are ongoing at Gladstone. Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger lead after Tuesday’s competition. These Championships are also the selection trials for the USEF  Para-Equestrian Dressage Paralympic Team. Hart has ridden in both the 2008 Beijing Games and 2010 WEG in Lexington. She’s also after her fifth national title as well. Not too shabby for a 26 year old. She’s also in fourth place in the competition on Carlingford Taldi and like most other hardcore athletes in equestrian sport, realizes the benefits of riding multiple horses because “each horse is a little different and has more strength than others.” [Blue Hill Farm]

In the Blogosphere:

Ryan Wood took two horses to Bromont and finished both in the top 20 in the CCI*. He calls Bromont a great place to introduce horses to international eventing, and it’s one of his favorite events. [Woodstock Eventing]

Doug Payne also recaps his Bromont experience in his latest podcast. He rode Tribute to 2nd place in the CCI*. [DPEquestrian]

Jessica Pye had a successful, but not ideal run at Texas Rose over the weekend. Bounder was full of go, but that’s not really necessary in the first phase… She’s still pleased with him especially his rideability on the cross country. So, if you’ve been keeping up, Millbrook Advanced is ON and now it’s a question of Chatt Hills or no Chatt Hills. [Pye Equestrian]

Hot on HN: Learning how to Canter. I’m pretty sure I learned it in a round pen. [HN]

I leave you with Stuff PonyClubbers say brought to you by the awesome DelMarVA region. “It worked yesterday…” “What time is it?” “Loose horse!”

That’s all for now. Be sure to check out one of Hawley’s other rides: Chunky’s memoirs of the last year below. Go eventing.

“Chunky” or Five O’Clock Somewhere has written a Facebook Note on how much he loves his root beer flavored Horse Quencher water! He recaps just over a year from Jersey Fresh 2011 to Bromont last weekend. He really loves the taste of the root beer Horse Quencher added to his water, and makes it a point to make sure it’s all stirred up (read: sloshing his nose in it) to his liking before he drinks a bucketful. With all the trailer rides, plane rides, and Hawley rides, he is really happy to have something to drink. His name is Five O’Clock somewhere. But, don’t just take his word for it: his siblings Gin & Juice and Spy really like it too. He “NOLs” (neighs out loud) a lot too. He’s quite a cheeky fellow. [Chunky’s blog]

Olivia Culpo’s Tuesday News and Notes from Pennfield

Olivia rocking the Dubarry winter headband.

Good morning Eventing Nation!

Olivia Culpo is Miss USA 2012. She’s also a Smartpak model! She appeared in their Save the Date Black Friday marketing campaign. She’s a sophomore at Boston University and will represent the US at the Miss Universe Competition in December. [Huffington Post] [Smartpak ad]

 Not only are there big events in eventing and racing this weekend, the dressage folks are out in force at Gladstone. The Dressage Championships are held over two weekends starting on Friday. Steffen Peters is the defending champion with Ravel. As we know, Ravel has been excused from competing in the show as it is also a Team Selection trial. Steffen will defend his title with Legolas 92 in their first East Coast competition together.  [Full List of riders]

Laura Collett and Natterjack are getting into the spirit of things! It took a team of four to paint the grey horse with the Union Flag. They used a liquid chalk and put two coats on. He was loving the attention and ate hay and carrots during the four hour application. Laura took the horse over the Stonehenge jump at Barbury Castle. Be sure to check out the video. Very impressive! [Daily Mail]

Luhmuehlen entries are up! For the US: Boyd and Ying Yang Yo, Colleen and Shiraz, Jules and Chapel Amble in the CCI4*, and Jules also has Enjoy Me in the CIC3*. [Luhmuelen entries]

Unfortunately, Stuart Tunney’s Panamera is out of contention for the London Team. She sustained an injury to her suspensory ligament at the last competition. It’ll be a short rest before she’ll be back in competition for the Melbourne Three Day. [Hills News]

The Course Designers for Normandy have been announced. Pierre Michelet is the eventing course designer. He’s previously designed Saumur, Pau, the European Championships and the Eventing World Cup courses, and is consulting on this year’s London Olympic course. [Horsetalk]

The tagline reads: “No good can come from a paint horse with a smartphone.” I rather disagree. He’s funny. [Oz]

Kim Severson has updated her blog, and she’s decided to get her own place! She’s back in Virginia looking for the perfect property to call her own. She’s put her own competition plans on hold as she’s been on a two weeks in England, one week in the US schedule helping prep Nina Ligon for the Olympics. They’re seven weeks out! [Kim’s blog]

Woodstock Eventing has announced that a partial ownership of Frankie has become available. Frankie is a fabulous jumper who has won at preliminary this season and is en route to the CCI* at Bromont this weekend. [Woodstock Eventing]

Jessica Pye and Bounder had an epic clinic with DOC. She was a little under-schooled heading in to the clinic, but hey, those are the times when you really learn. And learn she did! Make sure your horse is straight to collect, hold the reins when your horse gets fresh after jumps, and keep educating yourself in your sport. Jess and Bounder are headed to Texas Rose at intermediate and then Millbrook for advanced. [Go Jess and Bounder]

Molly Rosin gave Waredaca an A+ last weekend. She and The Diesel Boy won the YEH 5- year old division, and came in second on Alpine and 6th on Puttin on the Ritz in the preliminary. Her students also had a wonderful weekend with Maddie Parisan and EN favorite John Nunn finishing 2nd and 6th, respectively, in the Preliminary Rider division. [Go Havarah Equestrian]

Valerie V says Hello and Goodbye. She starts with a wonderful tribute to her longtime trainer, Jim Lewis. Her intermediate partner, Playtime, has also left, but moved on across the pond to his new home. And, she welcomes new working student Stacy Iacono. [Valerie’s Blog]

Doug Payne has a new podcast up. He recaps the last month or so of all things from DPEquestrian from Rolex to Virginia, and he’s currently headed to Bromont this morning. He also offers some fitness advice, and it’s not riding. [Doug’s blog]

The New York Times and ESPN have articles on drugs and medications in the racing industry. Really, this is nothing new and the debate is essentially overshadowing what a great horse I’ll Have Another truly is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about horse welfare, and doing right by the horses. I really like the ESPN article, especially, “And all the problems are exacerbated by confusion and ignorance.” Clearly, they’ve done their research, and as a horseperson, I greatly appreciate when any national media outlet does more than a Wikipedia search. [NYT] [ESPN]

June is Colic Awareness Month. The cause is simple: keep as many horses from colicing in the first place as possible. They’re doing this through education. Increasing turnout, feeding more roughage and less concentrate, and feed more smaller meals throughout the day. Share your stories, join the cause, and enter their contest. [Crusade Against Colic]

The Strzegom Youtube channel has been uploading lots of videos today. I leave you with Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon:

 Go eventing. 

Schoensgreen Hanni’s Wednesday News from Horse Quencher

Michael and Hanni Photo via Pollard Eventing FB page

Good morning Eventing Nation!

In some happier news for the Pollard Eventing family, Michael had Hanni out for her first ride since the accident that rocked the eventing world only 5 days ago. It feels like a lifetime since the news was reported. You can hear Nathalie, Michael, and Katie talk about it in an interview here. Michael and Nathalie remember the horses while Katie gives an account of the entire accident.

In more good news, Clayton Fredericks was back on a horse yesterday riding with his wife, Lucinda. He was released from the hospital in France over the weekend. He was admitted due to his fall in the CCI3* at Saumur when his horse stepped on his stomach. He’s looking forward to London and is feeling fit and healthy. [H&H]

As we know, Bromont is the last selection trial on North American soil for those US and Canadian riders to make their respective eventing teams for London. Competition commences in eight days. We know some pairs have been given passes not to compete, and some are just doing certain phases. Check the entry list here. What I want to know is why Hawley Bennett-Awad has a “:)” after her name. I like it. [Horsetalk]

Bramham is the same weekend as Bromont and our friends across the pond will be contesting what will be no doubt a challenging and beautiful cross country course. Ian Stark is designing for the third year in a row, and it being an Olympic year, and he being a former Olympian, has designed a stellar course. The preparations at Bramham Park are underway. There’s a course description and some of Ian’s comments on the course. [EventingWorldWide]

The FEI and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have teamed up to find  way to make travel abroad easier for high health, high performance horses. Most governmental laws in place to guard against infecting the general horse population of disease do not take into account the meticulous veterinary attention given to these horses. They are hoping to make a “sub-population” of these elite horses and being in this group would make traveling easier on the horses. [Horsetalk]

The British won the second leg of the FEI Nations’ Cup on home turf at Houghton over the weekend. Australia was second and Germany came in third. The Germans still lead the series while the French are in second and third is a tie between the Brits and Spain. Yogi Breisner, the British team coach is pleased with the outcome, especially being a home venue. He said the British team was out in full force considering they’ve had two months off. Piggy French won the CIC3* division and is hoping that this effort will help secure a spot for her on the London team. [FEI press release from Canada or the US]

Hot on HN: Equestrian Hipsters. I will never even be cool enough  to call myself even a wannabe poser, but this handy guide from HN will show you how to be hip, equestrian style. [HN]

Move over horse racing, trail riding is the most common use of horses in Kentucky. Ginny Grulke, the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Council, says, “It is our suspicion that there are more horses used for trail riding than any other use”. They are taking a survey to better analyze the uses and breeds in the state. If trail riding is the most common use of horses, this could increase the funding for trail development and maintenance as well as other benefits. [Horsetalk]

Watch Oliver Townend race Jason Sharp in a Subaru! The video is pretty cool actually. What I really want to know is where are they?! That’s where I’m heading.


Emily Beshear is apologetic for not updating her blog. But, she’s been figuring out her summer plans, and they are taking her to Blenheim CCI3* in September! She’s hosting some events at her farm to help fundraise. [Check it out]

Honorable Mention:

Team CEO Eventing is having their own Young Event Horse challenge. They bred 6 horses 4 years ago. Now that the horses are three, they came in from the field, had their manes pulled, bridles on and walked over poles and tarps. Super exciting for day 1! [Team CEO]

Let’s cover the three phases in eventing around the world:

Dressage at Saumur in France:

Cross country and show jumping at the Eventing Equestriad in Australia:


Go eventing.

From Horse Quencher: Human athletes experience an average 2% performance loss per 1% loss in water weight, which is likely similar in horses. But unlike people, horses lose salt evenly with water as they sweat, so their thirst reflex isn’t triggered. Until you add Horse Quencher to the bucket. Proper hydration = maximum performance.


Caitlin Henderson’s Wednesday News and Notes from Horse Quencher

Happy Hump Day Eventing Nation… wait, has anyone seen Coren lately?


Good morning Eventing Nation!

We’re halfway to Friday! The Monday blues are behind us, and we don’t have to work on Memorial Day Monday next week! Woohoo! Well, we here at EN do because John has no plans so clearly no one else does, and I’m sure most of us have horses to feed, but other than that, no real work. So, happy Hump Day.

Caitlin Henderson and Megan Wiseley’s weekend at Greater Dayton HT didn’t go quite as they had planned it. They rode their dressage tests and stadium rounds on Saturday and were excited for cross country the next day. They were staying on grounds in their living-quarters trailer. Unfortunately, the generator was too close to the trailer and the two got carbon monoxide poisoning. They spent Sunday morning in the hospital instead on riding cross country. Caitlin and our good friends at Cobblestone Farm  (and everyone at EN too) want to make sure that as eventing season kicks off for the summer, that we are all safe. Make sure your generators are a safe distance from your trailers, you have adequate ventilation, and carbon monoxide detectors. We are so happy these gals are doing fine now, and they want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. Thank you to Caitlin for the tip, we’re sending batches of EN karma your way.


In some very good news from Peter Atkins from his Facebook Page:

One of my students, Dr Bea Travis, organized for me to have a little surgery yesterday, they extracted bone marrow from my heel, spun the stem cells out and injected them into the area where the break is in my Fib. Dr Matt Parmenter from the Southern Indiana Surgery Center did the work and was very happy with the results, he said I should be good to go running and jumping (on Henny) well before L…uhmuhlen! I was also supplied with an Exogen bone healing system from smith&nephew.

If you are in Indiana and ever need a foot doctor Dr Matt is the man to go to. He was the first surgeon that actually believed me when I said I would be riding by the 1st of June and was willing to make a plan to help me in every possible way. Bea was my anesthesiologist, she owns Bea Hive Ranch where I do some clinics, Bea, Dr Matt and the surgery center all donated their time and expenses which was really cool of them.I want to send a big thank you to everyone involved in helping me get back on so Henny can go running again.


Thank you to Joan Mayfield for the tip.

It’s been raining in England. Don’t know if you’ve heard… In order to protect the royal hallowed ground of Greenwich Park, the organizing committee has built a platform covering a portion of the park that will hold spectators, arenas, and stabling. The rain has affected this construction and due to the sloppy ground, they are going to have to remove around six inches of soil and truck in gravel or use steel plates to stabilize the structure. Some of the cross country course will later be turned in to a playground area for children. [Discover Horses]

Let’s give it up for technology folks! Blenheim Horse Trials (September 6-9) is adding QR codes to their cross country fences in a virtual coursewalk. They look like this. Using your smart phone, you can scan the code and learn how the course designer and top riders would ride the fence. Super convenient especially if you can’t make the official course walk time of your favorite top rider. [Go Blenheim!]

Oliver Townend is realistic about his chances obtaining a coveted spot on Britain’s London squad. There’s WFP, Mary King, and Nicola Wilson. In an interview with The Independent, he talks about financial issues being a reason why he’s not guaranteed a spot: he’s had to sell the 10 nicest horses he’s ever sat on. The latter half of the article talks about money and making it in equestrian sports. The author, Tim Rich sums it up nicely, “Equestrianism likes those who inherit.” Although, this isn’t the rule, clearly Townend has made it from milkman’s son to #1 in the world. [The Independent]

Mark your calendars! Riders4Helmets’ International Helmet Awareness Day is in a few weeks. Riders4Helmets has teamed with retailers and helmet manufacturers to bring you a discount on Saturday, June 9. This isn’t just about saving a few bucks on a new helmet, it is also a chance to be educated on brain injuries, testing and manufacturing as well as replacement. [Horsetalk] [Riders4Helmets]

Lauren Sprieser, an upper level dressage rider, talks horse syndication and owning vs. ownership in her latest blog. For most professionals, this is a daily dilemma. If you own, you cannot lose the ride, but there’s lots of risk financially as well as performance. Can the horse go all the way? If you ride for an owner, you may lose the ride, but the financial burden is less, and so is the risk if the horse isn’t a top contender. She mentions eventing syndication as a possible alternative for the dressage world. She sums it up best, “Mostly, we work hard. We keep our heads down, ride everything that comes our way, do right by our people and our animals, and make our own luck.” [COTH]



Bad Eventer all the way. I don’t know how I have missed this, but I spent all night catching up on every entry. Such insight and hilarity.

Honorable Mentions:

Looking for something to do this Memorial Day Weekend? Boyd and Silva are teaching a clinic at Fitch’s Corner.

Ryan Wood recaps his Fair Hill weekend of 9 horses over 2 days which led to 21 rides on Sunday taking home two wins and top 10 on all horses.

Andrea Leatherman lets us in to her world a bit in her latest blog. She talks about learning curves and going crazy. Like she says at the end, either we’ve all been there or we will be. Go Andrea.

PS There’s an Andrea Leatherman clinic in June in New York.

Well, Eventing Nation, that’s all for now. I’ll catch you on the flip side. Go eventing.

From Horse Quencher: Human athletes experience an average 2% performance loss per 1% loss in water weight, which is likely similar in horses. But unlike people, horses lose salt evenly with water as they sweat, so their thirst reflex isn’t triggered. Until you add Horse Quencher to the bucket. Proper hydration = maximum performance.


Fair Hill Sunday (and some Saturday) Recap

Allison Springer in the Novice. I snapped a photo of her studying the prelim course map as she headed up to warmup, but this one captures the perfect essence of the weekend of eventing at Fair Hill. 

Hellloooooo Eventing Nation!

I am seriously the happiest girl in the world at the moment. I have found the fastest internet in all of PA… it’s at the Kennett Square Public Library. Why is this so exciting, you ask? Well, it means I can bring you videos and coverage in a timely manner.. no more incorrect videos or late uploads. SO EXCITING! Anyway, back to Fair Hill. [Full Scores]

I know it’s under water every fall, but the weather has been amazing! Fair Hill is quickly becoming a favorite venue of mine.  This title was/is held by Lamplight in Chicago. The views you have of the cross country are second to none. You can pretty much take strategic routes to see a single pair jump almost every fence on course.  Walking the courses, the footing is up to snuff with aeration everywhere on the rolling terrain.

Without further ado, here is the intermediate xc video for your viewing pleasure. The course rode well for the most part, except as you know, for fence #14. You’ve seen the pictures of the fence here, and now you can really see Boyd and Thomas fly over it. It looks like a pretty straightforward fence, just a bit on the skinny side perhaps. This fence starts at the 3:18 mark below.

And, to wrap up Saturday, before we move on to the Preliminary and Novice divisions, here’s Quinn Anderson and Sprite’s sj round in the Training. She finished on her dressage score of 52.7 ending in 6th in the Jr OT. They are a fun pair to watch, and since she commented on my last post, here’s a shout out video for you.

Now, Sunday. Another fabulous day of weather, spectating, and eventing. Let’s start with the results:

Bruce Davidson, Sr. led from start to finish in OP-A on Here’s Lola, finishing on their dressage score of 29.1. Also in this division, Allie Blyskal won the dressage on 27.3, but added some time on cross country. Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie won the OP-B adding just one xc time penalty to their dressage score of 24.6. Watching this pair on the xc, he looked like he rather lived up to his name. Jackie Imholt and Asterix won the OP-C on their dressage score of 24.6. Also in this division was Chris Tally and Tucan Tango. You may remember them from this post. They finished their first prelim in 8th! We’ll hear more from them soon.

In case you forgot how to ride, here’s Bruce in the preliminary show jumping. Flawless.


Ryan Wood was second in the OP-A with a lovely round:


Here’s the preliminary coffin:


Now the Novice divisions took over. Ryan Wood won both the ON-A and ON-B with Woodstock Bennett and Woodstock Wallaby, respectively. Both horses finished on their sub-30 dressage scores. Katie Kindley and Cosmic Messenger took home the blue with a 27 from start to finish in ON-C. As for the Junior Novice Riders, Julianna Hansen and Lauren Walling took home top honors. Congrats all!

I leave you with the novice xc video so you can ride along while your boss is looking the other direction. Fence #4 was Novice’s bogey fence. It’s shine or glare from the sun had the horses giving it a second glance and there were quite a few refusals. Kudos to the rider in the video getting it done.

Next weekend, I’ll be in New York, but I’ll catch you at the next one, EN. Go eventing.


Fair Hill Saturday Recap

Unlucky #14

Hello Eventing Nation!

Yesterday was a splendid day for eventing out in Elkton, MD. Again, like the last two weekends’ events, it was my first time at Fair Hill–it is quite a lovely venue. Since the grounds are a bit spread out, it felt quiet for the amount of competitors showing. The “big” and “little” kids were out in full force. Kim, Phillip, Boyd, Allison, Sally, Hawley, etc were out and about. [Live Scoring] [Website]

The going was terrific save a bogey #14 fence in the intermediate. Four riders fell off at this fence, and these were the only rider falls in the intermediate. The officials pulled the jump from the course with four riders to go. Boyd and Ying Yang Yo absolutely tore it up (in a good way)! Unfortunately, the rider before and the rider after “Thomas” and Boyd came unseated. All four pairs that fell got up and are reported doing well, with a laceration and hurt wrist as reported injuries. A shout out to the jump judges at fence 10–they were given the task of stopping the next rider coming through during each of the holds on the course from fence 14.

Side view

The training rode pretty smoothly, it was a fantastic course, and pretty uneventful. Again, like the other Area 2 events as of late, the weather has been perfect! I try and chat with most of the jump judges as I walk around a course, and all were happy to volunteer since it was such a lovely day. Thank you, as always, for the volunteers: we wouldn’t be here without you!

I leave you with theTraining XC round….PS If is isn’t the correct videos, send hate email to [email protected] and let her know.


More to come from today as the preliminary and novice riders are on the scene.

GO eventing.

Let’s Meet Chris Talley and Comanchee

Hello Eventing Nation! Remember the tall kid on the pony from MCTA? Well it’s Chris Talley and Comanchee. I caught up with this pair and learned more about their history together. It’s really quite sweet, and Chris so kindly wrote us a bit about himself and his horse on their way to their first preliminary at Fair Hill this weekend. Thank you for writing Chris, and thank you for reading!



Chris and Comanchee

Hello Eventing Nation,

My name is Chris Talley, I am 18 years old, from Honey Brook, PA. I have been riding since the age of 4 and have been hooked ever since. I started eventing around the age of 10, and knew that it was what I wanted to do from then on out. At the age of 12 I bought a mare, not being told she was pregnant. Well, it ended up being the best investment I ever made,  the baby that is!

Today, Tucan Tango “Comanchee”, is a mere 14.2hh and at 6yo he is getting ready to make his Preliminary debut at the Fair Hill Horse Trials this upcoming weekend. Bringing him along, we primarily competed in the jumper ring, showing up to Mini Prix by the time he was five. It wasn’t until a recent injury with my main event horse that I discovered his talent and love for eventing. He stormed around his first two trainings, making them look easy. He has proven to be all heart, with a gallop leaving even the off the track horses in the dirt.  We have our sights set on the one star at Plantation Field in the fall, with the hopes of a move to Intermediate over the winter season.  From there on out we will let this talented pony decide how far he would like to go. Please follow our journey as well as viewing competition pictures and footage on our website:

Chris and Comanchee’s really nice show jumping round at MCTA:

Until the finish flags, sit back and kick on.

Chris Talley