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Diana Gilbertson

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Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Ladies and gentlemen, he’s back! Again! Who’s he, I hear you cry! Only Shane Rose, the very same Shane Rose who was left pretty badly smashed up after a seriously heavy fall back in March. A whopping eighteen breaks in total, including his femur, pelvis, three in his elbow and various bones in his back left him bed bound and unable to weight bear for four weeks.

For lesser minded individuals, that would have put an end to the Olympic dream but Shane, who had confirmed his Olympic Qualification before the fall, just used the short time frame as the focus and incentive for his recovery.

Now he is firmly back in the saddle and competing in an Olympic Qualifier this weekend, over in his native Australia. Consider our minds blown: that is what we call a remarkable – miraculous perhaps – recovery. Mr Rose, we salute you. See you in Paris!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Golden Spike H.T. (Ogden, UT) [Website] [Entries/ Ride Times/ Scoring]

Cobblestone Farms H.T. I (Chelsea, MI) [Website] [Entries/ Ride Times/ Scoring]

Middleburg H.T. (The Plains, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

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

Apple Knoll Farm H.T. (Millis, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Major International Events

MARS Bromont CCI (Quebec, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Dressage Times] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Bramham International (West Yorkshire, UK) [Website] [Entries/ Ride Times/ Scoring]

FEI Nations Cup Avenches (Aveches, SUI) [Website] [Entries/ Ride Times/ Scoring]

Friday News and Reading

It’s giveaway time! EcoVet is giving away a bottle of their amazing fly spray. The first fatty-acid fly repellent for horses, this unique fly spray is veterinarian-approved and used by 5* eventers across the USA.

Winning is easy! Simply fill out the form in our June 10th ICYMI newsletter. Sign up for our weekly newsletter here because free is every equestrian’s favorite price.

This year marks the 140th Anniversary of Horse & Hound Magazine, and to mark the occasion, they are looking back at various equine legends. So far they have covered Jeanette Brakewell’s quirky superstar, Over to You, and this week it is the turn of dual Badminton winner, High and Mighty. It’s always fun to take a trip down memory lane, and even more so when it involves revisiting stories like these. Keep it coming, H&H!

It’s always fun when top fashion houses look to the horse world for inspiration for their collections It seems barely a season goes by without riding boots and jodhpurs, in some form or another, frequenting the catwalks – all in the name of fashuuun, darling. But when – and why – did this merging of the two worlds begin? It’s a fascinating history and actually, when broken down like this, one that makes perfect sense.

The EquiRatings Eventing Podcast are spoiling us this week, with a slew of top quality content. Two particularly standout shows are this audio masterclass (is there such thing?!) with two utter legends, Andrew Hoy and Christoph Hess, and if that wasn’t inspiration enough, then wrap your ears around the latest Horse of a Lifetime show with Sarah Ennis, telling the story of Horseware Stellar Rebound, aka “Rocket.” A reminder of what makes our sport – and horses in general – so bloody special, and motivation -if it’s needed – to keep going, even when we don’t feel like it.

How has it been a month since Badminton?! Time is flyyyyiiinnnggg by, but for the delightful Lucy Latta, who finished runner up on her first ever run at 5*, I have no doubt that the memory is still as fresh as ever. Such was the fairytale of that result that she made it onto the national news in her native Ireland. Enjoy this flashback to Badminton, in Lucy’s own words. A story that I for one, never tire of hearing.

Sponsor Corner

The USEA/USEF Summer Horse Trials at Stable View is the final outing for the US Olympic Team hopefuls! Come and watch the best of the best tackle Stable View’s course before they fly off to France 🥖🍷 VIP ticket holders receive access to the Pavilion with a 360-degree view, lunch catered by Blue Collard beverages, and Stable View swag! More details here!

Weekend Watching

Some good news to start your weekend off right. Remember the horrific incident that saw several Household Cavalry Horses running through the streets of London, covered in blood?! Well, they have all made a full recovery, and making the most of their time in respite care. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?

We are pleased to announce that the soldiers and horses injured in London, are continuing to make remarkable progress in their recovery.

For the horses, this is thanks in no small part to the excellent in-house care they’ve received from our own dedicated veterinary surgeons and the amazing specialist support provided by The Horse Trust.

Three of the horses injured in the incident are now back on duty and are looking likely to take part in the King’s Birthday Parade. Vida and Quaker are resting in the country but look set to return to work in due course.

Three of the injured soldiers are back on duty and two are continuing to recover but are also expected to make a full return to service.

We are so thankful for everyone’s concern and expressions of support, and for all those involved in their care.

Read more ⬇️
https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/news/2024/06/cavalry-horses-injured-in-london-given-respite-care-by-the-horse-trust?utm_source=BritishArmy_Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_subject=HorsesLondon&utm_campaign=People

Posted by British Army on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

 

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British Eventing has announced that there will be a collective silence held at all British Eventing events this weekend, including Millstreet in Ireland. A chance for everyone to stand quietly together and reflect, BE ‘ask members and supporters, whether at an event or at home, to join us at 12 noon to stop and take 2 minutes to reflect on Georgie’s life and quietly send thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.’ Since then, all events running in the U.S. this weekend have been invited by USEA CEO Rob Burk to join British Eventing in solidarity with a silence at 12 pm on Saturday (6/1) in whatever time zone they are in. We would encourage all competitors at events around the country this weekend to join us in observing a moment of silence in honor of Georgie Campbell and all other riders we have lost along the way.

In the words of Georgie’s loving husband, Jesse, “when you’re out competing this weekend, please just smile at each other, don’t feel awkward about laughing, and above all, try and love everything and everyone.”

💜🤍🕊️ Go Eventing.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Carriage House Farm Combined Test (Hugo, MN) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

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

Essex H.T. (Gladstone, NJ) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring H.T. (Geneseo, NY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

GMHA June H.T. (South Woodstock, VT) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

IEA Horse Trials (Edinburgh, IN) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

MCTA H.T. at Shawan Downs (Cockeysville, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ocala Summer H.T. I (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

The Spring Event at Archer (Cheyenne, WY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

European International Events

Millstreet International Horse Trials (Nations Cup) (Co. Cork, Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Scoring] [Free Live Stream NC Dressage 1] [Free Live Stream NC Dressage 2] [Free Live Stream NC Show Jumping] [Free Live Stream NC Cross Country] [Complete Live Stream – CMH]

Outdoor Horst (Kronenberg, The Netherlands) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

It seems that the weather these days is ever worsening, with extreme conditions making the headlines on an almost daily basis. With this in mind, the FEI have provided a helpful guide to dealing with all eventualities, including helpful suggestions for an evacuation plan.

We all know how important it is for us to stretch pre and post workout, but what about our horses? Here are some handy techniques to keep your equine counterparts as supple as possible.

How’s this for entrepreneurship? Not the usual outcome of a Pony Club rally, but successful nonetheless!

It’s giveaway time! EcoVet is giving away a bottle of their amazing fly spray. The first fatty-acid fly repellent for horses, this unique fly spray is veterinarian-approved and used by 5* eventers across the USA.
Winning is easy! Simply fill out the form in our June 10th ICYMI newsletter. Sign up for our weekly newsletter here… because free is every equestrian’s favorite price.

Sponsor Corner

Delta Airlines is offering discounted tickets to riders, owners, and grooms who are going to the Summer Horse Trials at Stable View! In order for the discount to apply, you must book between June 20-24, 2024 and fly into Augusta, GA (AGS), Charlotte, NC (CLT), or Atlanta, GA (ATL). Use event meeting code NM3QW. Registration closes June 4th! Register now.

Weekend Watching

Fresh from another sterling 5* performance at Badminton with Copper Beach, Cosby Green heads to Millstreet this weekend. She spoke to The Irish Horse Board about her stable full of Irish horses, and what makes them such great Eventers. I’m sure many of you out there would agree with Cosby – there’s nothing quite like an Irish horse.

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Guess who’s back, back again?! Yes, she’s back – tell a friend. Ok, ok I’ll stop now, but forgive me for sharing exactly what went through my head when I saw this post from Caroline Pamukcu, announcing her return to the UK, after a brief hiatus.

Once again basing with Pippa Funnell, her mentor when she was first made the trip overseas (almost two years ago), Caroline is one of a few lucky riders over here in Blighty as part of the USA Eventing Development Tour. Welcome back, Caroline! Sorry about the rain but we hope you have fun nonetheless; we’re looking forward to following your adventures over here, along with the rest of Team USA over here on the tour!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Flora Lea Spring H.T. (Medford, NJ) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Spring Coconino Horse Trials (Flagstaff, AZ)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

USEA MDHT YEH/NEH Qualifier (Adamstown, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

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

UK International Events

Bicton Arena International (1) (Devon) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

European Events

Equestrian Festival Baborówko (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring] [Live Stream – CMH]

Friday News and Reading

Well, well, well, if it isn’t yet another podcast recommendation from me. But, stop rolling your eyes now, this one is a little different to the usual content from me. Instead of the EquiRatings Podcast, this week I want to draw your ears to the latest ‘Path to Paris’ episode from Equestrian Sports New Zealand, featuring Monica Spencer. We all know I love a Kiwi, and this lady stole my heart when she first broke onto the worldwide scene in Pratoni. I’d love to see her name on the New Zealand Olympic Team sheet, and she is certainly doing all she can to make it happen!

A little bit more Kiwi Olympic content for you. Told you I was a big fan. This time the spotlight is on our Badminton champ, Caroline Powell. She’s also a potential one to watch in terms of tan Olympic call up, 12 years after she and Lenamore helped Team NZ to Team Bronze, back in London 2012. With the UK longest just announced, I can’t wait to see who makes the list for the Kiwi contingent.

I frequent find myself having to do a little refresher course in studs. There’s just so many to choose from, and so many options – studs front and back? Outside and inside? Short, long, none? It’s never simple, so thank you Horse & Hound, for this neat little guide for those of us who are still struggling to get their head around it all. V, v helpful. Shall save and favourite, immediately.

Sponsor Corner

Photo by Shelby Allen

There’s less than two weeks left to enter the Stable View Summer Horse Trial! Registration closes on June 4th. Levels include Beginner Novice through Advanced. Get one last event in before the summer heat really kicks off in July and August! Register here.

Weekend Watching
Dunno if you heard, but there’s something pretty happening over in Paris this Summer. No big deal, just the Olympics. You know, that little gymkhana with a few decent(ish) riders. Venue is pretty cool, though – none other than the Palace of Versailles, which is itself steeped in Equestrian history – learn all about it with this nifty little video.

The Debrief: The Road to the Badminton Podium with Lucy Latta

Welcome to The Debrief, where we’ll recap the experience of a rider or equestrian following a big result or otherwise memorable competition or achievement. Click here to read more editions of The Debrief.

At the beginning of Badminton week, Lucy Latta was more famous for her family connections than her riding career. Her cousins are Irish eventing superstar Esib Power and Grand National Winning Jockey Robbie Power, and while she and RCA Patron Saint – “Paddy” – have completed at such prestigious competitions as Blair and Blenheim (both in the CCI4*-L, 2023 and 2022 respectively), she was still a relative “unknown”.

Now though, she is almost as talked about as the eventual winner of Badminton 2024, Caroline Powell. Despite an inauspicious start, she recorded the fastest cross-country round of the day, and ended the weekend in second place, just two penalties behind Caroline.

We caught up with Lucy a few days after her sparkling CCI5* debut to find out a little more how she makes it all work, the journey to the Badminton podium, and what comes next after pulling off such a dream result.

Tell us a little about your relationship with RCA Patron Saint, and how your partnership came about.

So, it is through a family connection; Lesley Crampton owns Paddy, and her husband, David, was in college with my dad, so that is how the connection came about. She thought of me to ride Paddy, way back at the end of his six-year-old year, when he was only at pre-novice level. He’s taken time – he’s such a big horse – so it’s taken time for him to develop and get strong enough to do the dressage and the show jumping at 4 and 5* level, but he has always been a really great cross-country horse, from day dot.

Much has been made of your family’s rich equestrian heritage – your cousin Esib Power is a successful eventer in her own right, while her brother Robbie is a successful jockey, and of course your grandfather rode around Badminton [William Powell Harris completed both Burghley and Badminton in the early 70’s] But what of your own riding – and eventing – career? When did it all start, and was it always eventing that you wanted to do?

Gosh, it feels like it’s been a very long time! I originally did show jumping on 12.2hh ponies, and I had a lot of experience at a young age doing that. I moved to eventing because I was lucky enough to have a pony who took me to the Pony Europeans. Together we won a medal of every colour, and it gave me early exposure to the pressure of top-level competition. From there I moved into Juniors – I was on the gold medal winning team at the Bishop Burton Championships. So again, that was all great experience.

Then moving into Young Riders, I had a lovely horse, DHI Broadway, but unfortunately, he was plagued a little bit with injuries. So I missed out on all three years of Young Rider Europeans through injury. In all honesty, that was a real eye opener for me, and the difficulties of the sport. I was in College at the time, so that actually made me even more determined to keep up with my education, and the “work” side of my life.

Irish Team Gold, Bishop Burton Junior European Championships 2014. Photo courtesy of Lucy Latta

Again, the fact that you balance your eventing career with a full-time job as brand manager for White Claw drinks has been zoned in on a lot, but was there ever a time when you considered making eventing your career?

No, there wasn’t really. I never wanted to give up the sport but I always wanted a small team of nice horses to compete, but also to go to college and work as well. I’m quite fortunate in a way – and I know that sounds odd to say – that COVID happened: because of the way that the world of work has gone, with being able to work from home, I never had to make the decision between a none-equestrian career and horses. I’m lucky that the timing was right for that shift in the way the world works.

Paddy is currently your only horse. Have you ever had more than one horse at a time, and would you like to make your string bigger?

Yes – my second horse actually only retired last year and at one point I had three horses on the go. It’s never gotten to more than four, and it’s just the way it worked out that I retired my second horse last year, through injury, so that’s how it ended up with me just riding Paddy.

I would love a couple of extra horses, but I would definitely be really selective about what I would take, especially in terms of time management. It’s a lot to juggle [riding] with work and everything, so yes, I would be quite selective with what I would take in.

Lucy and RCA Patron Saint, Badminton 2024. Photo courtesy of Lucy Latta

As for your “other” career, was this a job that you had always wanted to do, or did you come into this role through a similarly organic process?

Well, I did a Masters in marketing, and graduated in 2020 – peak COVID! So I was in the sphere of marketing anyway, and I was working in the pharmaceutical industry, which wasn’t really an area I was interested in, but then I got the opportunity to move into the drinks industry. White Claw isn’t necessarily that well known over here in Ireland and the UK, but over in the U.S. it is an extremely well-known brand, with a massive turnover and it’s a really fun brand to work on too, so I jumped at the chance to move across.

Is there such a thing as an “average” working day for you, or is each day different?

My days are a little bit different depending on whether I’m working from home or whether I am in the office. Work from home days are actually quite nice: in general, we’re able to start at 10:00AM – normally it’s 10:00AM to 6:00PM, obviously if days are busier, and there’s more work to be done, we might be working longer hours, but they are quite flexible hours. So on those days, I’m up and I do the horses in the morning so that I can start at 10:00AM and then work through to 6:00PM or whenever you finish.

The days in the office are little more hectic though. All through the spring when I have to ride in the mornings in Wexford, it’s more of a 5:00AM start to feed and then ride Paddy super early before coming in and getting changed and driving up to Dublin for work, and still be at my desk for 10:00AM. Depending on traffic, that is quite a long drive – it takes 2 hours. So those days are quite long, but I am fortunate in that I have a place to stay in Dublin, so I do stay up there on those nights. But yes, it is a lot of early mornings and driving on the days I am in the office.

You moved Paddy to your cousin Esib’s yard in the build-up to Badminton, but where do you normally keep him?

It’s all a bit complicated! For most of the year, I keep him at the family home – and have done for like the last five or six seasons. But this year, maybe four or five weeks before Badminton, I moved him in with Esib up in Meath, just for a little extra help and guidance – she’s done Badminton six times! So I moved him up there to train, and it’s actually a little bit closer to Dublin for me, so not quite as much driving – though still about an hour!

After Badminton he’s back at home, having his break – he’s out having some grass! – and then after a few weeks I’ll probably move him back up to Meath to train with Esib again and focus on the next events.

When did you decide to step Paddy – and yourself – up to the next level, and aim for Badminton, both of your first 5*?

So we were at Blair [August 2023], which was very hilly, really soft, a proper cross-country track, and he jumped really well – he was double clear there – but I didn’t really dream of 5* or Badminton before that. It was only when I was walking the course with Caroline Moore, and she was like “what’s your plan after this, are you thinking Badminton?” This was before I had even done the cross country [at Blair] and I was just like, “can I do this first, like I’m not even qualified yet!” I was thinking, “Gosh she’s very confident in me!”

But the way it worked out, I got my qualification, and the way he went around that track just gave me a lot of confidence. I spoke to my cousin; she is really great at giving me guidance and advice on where to run the horses and how to prepare them, so she was the one that suggested that the way he had gone around the CCI4*-L at Blair, and then at Blenheim, two proper 4* tracks, he would be able to do Badminton. From there we committed to it and leave no stone unturned and go for it, and then it came off!

Lucy Latta and RCA Patron Saint. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Other than training with your cousin, did you change anything else in preparation for Badminton, and your 5* debut?

I think the biggest change really was that I didn’t actually compete in Ireland this year. Irish events typically don’t start until the end of March and this year – due to the weather – it was even later. So we had made a plan after Blair last year that we would just commit to the first events that were on. So we went to Oasby (7th March) – I was planning on doing Lincoln (15th March) but again, because of the weather, I didn’t end up going [to Lincoln] but I still stayed over for the week to train with Caroline Moore.

So yeah, I did a full week with her, did my Open Intermediate at Oasby, then was training with my cousin, then went back over [to England] to Burnham Market (12-14th April) to get a really good run, which was perfect timing, like three weeks before Badminton.

So that was the main change – really committing to going over to England and getting the tracks and to the events that were actually on over there. If I hadn’t planned to do that and stayed in Ireland, the events wouldn’t have been on, and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to go to Badminton.

To come second on your Badminton – and 5* – debut is a dream come true, but what would you say was the highlight of the week for you?

The cross country for sure! Like that feeling of being out there…I wanted to give it a crack. I thought he was well capable of doing it, but you also have to ride with your head when you’re out there on the cross country. I knew I had set out at a good pace, but I knew I’d have to keep an eye on how much was left in the tank if I needed to back off him and let him take his time coming home. I was fully prepared to do that, but he just kept picking up, he kept meeting the questions. All of the combinations felt really easy and fluent, and he just gave it his absolute all.

Could you sum up the feeling of crossing that finish line in a few words?!

I think the first word is definitely proud. Proud of Paddy and how he tackled the track, and the way he dealt with it: he didn’t feel any different to how he felt at any other events, and it is daunting going out there on that track!

Then another word I would use is just elated! I was just so, so happy that I was able to pull it off, and that I’d been brave enough to go for it!

Lucy and Paddy, Badminton 2024. Photo courtesy of Lucy Latta.

You say that everything felt very easy, but were there any “hairy” moments out there on the cross country?

Honestly, hand on heart, no! I’m dying to get the full cross country video and see it back because it felt very smooth from start to finish. What I was really thinking about, was about minute eight, when you’re starting to come back up the hill: I wasn’t looking at my watch anymore, I was just wanting to ride what was underneath me. I knew he’d stay galloping but if I needed to back off the pace to let him come home at his own comfortable gallop, that was something I was really conscious of, but he just kept picking up for me.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Yeah, I would go back and change the way that I rode to fence three in the show jumping! Exactly that – I just didn’t get my line quite right, I met the fence too close, and I didn’t give him the chance he needed to jump it. Easy mistake to make, but very, very costly at the end! I won’t let it take away from the week overall, but 100% I would go back and change it if I could.

Lucy Latta and RCA Patron Saint. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Were you at all nervous before your show jumping round? To be third overnight at your first Badminton is an amazing achievement, but it must have been accompanied with quite a lot of pressure?

Yes, as you say, it was an incredible achievement to be sitting in third overnight, and I was able to enjoy it for the day that it was. Once I knew that Paddy was feeling good in himself, I was just like, “take a breather and enjoy it.” Obviously, on Sunday, to get through the trot-up was the first port of call, and then I walked the [show jumping] track, before the morning horses jumped. I knew then, when I was walking it, that it was a serious track; the distances were all extremely short, which is very difficult for horses to do after an 11-minute cross country. So instantly, I was like “this is going to be tricky.” It was big and it was wide – it was fully up to height, so I knew it was going to be a tall order. Also, the crowds – it wasn’t too bad in the morning – but when I was warming up, the crowds cheering after everyone jumped, and then the almost deathly silence when people are actually jumping – there is a serious atmosphere in there. So, I just was just like “keep your head on, stay focused and try to keep your cool, and do the best that you can do.

Were you able to have any quiet time with Paddy once the event had finished, and the press conferences were all over?

The press conferences and everything went on for a while, and it was great, but I went back down to the stables after that and got to have a chat with Paddy in his stable. He loves a cuddle, and to chat! He’s like that most days – he loves the attention, he’s an absolute sweetheart in the stable. But he knew he’d done a great job!

You briefly mentioned “the next events” earlier – do you have a plan for the rest of the season? After finishing on the podium at Badminton, do you dare to dream of Paris?!

It [the next event] all really depends. The Irish team for Paris will be selected – I think – the second week of June, so if we get the call up, that is like the dream! But if not, I’ll reroute and focus on Burghley. I think he would be really suited to that course the way that he went around Badminton. So, one of those will be the overall aim, whichever way it works out, and then he will have a couple of smaller runs in between to prep for one of those.

Prior to your amazing result at Badminton, were the Olympics something you even dared to dream about?

I mean, we had some really good results [before Badminton], but it’s obviously really competitive [Olympic selection] with only three slots, it makes it so tough to make an Olympics and I kind of thought what with just having the one horse, and the fact that I am not really doing it full-time, I probably didn’t really dare to think too much about it. I just kind of wanted to focus on what I was doing, stick to my plan, and do that to the best of my ability, but to come second at Badminton, that really threw my name into the mix, which was wonderful. I mean, I didn’t dream on my 5* debut, that I would come second!

Has the result changed anything for you, other than a potential Olympic call up?!

Not really, it’s just back to the grindstone! Obviously, I was delighted with my horse, and very proud of how he turned up all week. He was exceptional on Saturday and that’s a day I will never forget. That cross-country round is probably going to be the round of my life – he was just phenomenal. Even the way he handled the dressage – he’s never been in that big of an atmosphere. The way he came out and show jumped – it was a really difficult track and for him to have gone so fast the day before and to come out and still jump like that the next day was just really exciting for the future. It was just a dream week!

Looking again to the future, after everything you learned at Badminton, is there anything in particular that you will be focusing on in your and Paddy’s training?

That’s the really exciting thing about last week; obviously it was a brilliant week, but there is still so much to work on! That was only our first 5* test, and the first one in that atmosphere, and he did some really nice work, but there’s still stuff to build on there, and a lot of things that me and Esib want to work on. I think he really does have the potential to do a smart test. It’s just a matter of working on how to bring out the good work that he can do in the actual arena. So definitely lots to work on in the dressage, and then we will keep working on the show jumping, as we have been for the last six months to a year, so hopefully that keeps on improving. Lots to work on, as always, with eventing!

After such an unbelievable Badminton debut, what advice would you give to your younger self, who must have dreamt of this moment?

Stick with it and keep the mindset of wanting to keep improving. Make the mistakes, that’s all part of the process, but keep wanting to make that 1% difference all of the time. That mindset is what is going to get you through the grades. Take your time to get through the grades though, and just keep trying to improve little by little, in small bite sized pieces.

Pony Europeans in Arezzo, Italy. Photo courtesy of Lucy Latta

While Paddy is on holiday, how are you filling your spare time?

Well, I am actually enjoying a little break from riding now, which is quite nice, but I don’t want to not ride for the full three weeks he’s going to be off, so I’ll go volunteer with my cousin Esib; she’s got a lot of horses in so on the weekends she will be glad of the help! My brother also trains racehorses and stuff, so I ride them out whenever I have the free time, too. So I am keeping my self busy – I will have a break this week but then back to riding, and normality after that!

Whether it be Paris or Burghley that is next for this incredible pair, one thing is for sure: Lucy Latta is no longer an unknown name, and her version of ‘normality’ may never be the same again!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

With the thrills and spills of Badminton still fresh in all of our minds, complete with stories of both heartache and triumph, these words from last year’s Kentucky 5* winner, the wonderful Tamie Smith, seem particularly pertinent. With horses, as we all know, there is a low to accompany every high, and nothing can ever be taken for granted. But, as Tamie says, that’s what makes the big results even more special, and one lady who knows that all too well is Lucy Latta, the latest darling of our sport. A one horse girl, with a full time job to juggle alongside her eventing career, all of the long hours and sacrifices finally paid off for her and RCA Patron Saint – Paddy – this last weekend, with 2nd place at their first 5*. A dream come true, indeed, and one that most definitely needs celebrating, not just for being an amazing result in itself, but also because, as Tamie says – and has first hand experience of herself – you really never know what is around the corner….

U.S. Weekend Preview

Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (Fairburn, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times]

Fair Hill International Recognized H.T. (Elkton, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Berryville, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

Spring Gulch H.T. (Highlands Ranch, CO) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

The Vista Spring YEH/NEH Qualifier (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

European International Events

LONGINES Whitsun Tournament Wiesbaden (Germany) [Website] [Times] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

Some good news from this side of the pond to start your weekend right. After much to-ing and fro-ing, the live export of horses for slaughter is finally going to be banned. As Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, says, this is an historic moment in the welfare of equestrian friends, and a massive step in the right direction. Three cheers for those who have campaigned tirelessly to reach this point: it’s been a long road, but the end is in sight.

I know Badminton reached it’s climatic finale over a week ago, but I am still soaking up all the related content, and boy is there plenty still out there. Horse & Hound are doing a sterling job of providing even more information about the prestigious event and its competitors, just when you think you know it all. Like this roll call of all of the prize winners you might not know about – shout out to Emily Gibson and Lily Wilson, Pippa Funnell’s grooms, who won the grooms’ award. Alex Bragg came away with a pretty big haul, too. If that isn’t enough, then here’s a few extra deets about the winning mare, Greenacres Special Cavalier. A mare you have to sweet talk?! Hands up who isn’t surprised.

Speaking of Badminton, as I am sure you are all well aware by now, this year’s competition marked yet another 5* completion for Boyd Martin. In adding this one to his incredible roster of 5* completions, Mr Martin has of course done what only one other rider has before him (Tim Price in case you were wondering): ridden around all of the 7 current 5*’s in the world. But another combination hot on his heels is that of Jessica Phoenix and the much beloved Wabbit. With four of the seven top events under their belt, Jessie and Wabbit are well on their way to pulling off the same feat, and no offence Tim and Boyd, but to complete all seven on the same horse is a new level of awesome.

Missed your chance to get your hands on Olympic tickets?! Well, I have some excellent news for you; the official resale ticket platform is LIVE. But be quick if you want to grab your ringside pass – I reckon any available tickets will be snapped up like hotcakes, even for the more obscure sports. Paris is the only place to be this Summer.

Sponsor Corner

Have you entered the USEF/USEA Summer Horse Trials at Stable View yet? Registration closes on 6/04! All levels welcome, from Beginner Novice through Advanced. Register soon to beat the late fees. Register now.

Weekend Watching

Before I leave you to enjoy your weekend, just a bit of wisdom from one of the Greatest of All Time: Queen Lucinda Green. So that’s why my OTTB spends hours stood stock still with his head up in the air…

Friday’s News & Notes from Stable View

Well folks, Mars Badminton is well underway now: we are on to Day 2 of dressage – in fact we will be almost done with dressage by the time those of you in the States get round to reading this…onwards to the exciting part! As I write, the Stars and Stripes make up two thirds of the podium, with Boyd Martin in second and Tiana Coudray in third, while Bubby Upton sits in first place on a score of 27.3. 5*’s also throw up the odd fairytale ending, and wouldn’t that be one for the record books, if Bubby lead from the off, having been unable to walk just a few months ago? What.A.Girl.

Another young superstar – who also happens to be from the US – sits in 9th place overnight. That’s right, Cosby Green, who has been based with Tim and Jonelle Price since last year, has got her first Badminton off to a flying start, although with half the field still to perform their test, that may well change but still, 33.7 is a decent score to be setting out of the start box on.

With hot favourites Ros Canter and Izilot DHI still to go, as well as dressage supremos Tim Price and Vitali, that leaderboard could be looking very different by Friday evening, but as we all know, this ain’t no dressage competition, and by Saturday evening, it could be looking very different again!

There are just two American riders left to strut their stuff between the white boards, and you can find their times below:

Grace Taylor and Game Changer – Friday – 5:48am ET / 11:48am CEST.

Allie Knowles and Morswood – Friday – 6:40am ET / 12:40pm CEST.

One thing that is for sure: you’re going to want to keep it locked and loaded on EN this weekend, to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Once again, Cheg Darlington is taking one for the team and bringing you all of the action, all weekend, with her live updates. If you want to catch up on yesterday’s dressage action, then jump on over here, and if you want to double task and watch it all as it happens, whilst reading Cheg’s excellent updates, then make sure to subscribe to Badminton TV.

Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the cross country ahead of Saturday either: Tilly has provided us with a thorough preview, as always, complete with a little insight from the designer himself, Eric Winter.

Other than that, all that remains is for us all to hope with all our might that the sun continues to shine at Badminton, and to do what we do best….Go Eventing!

MARS Badminton Horse Trials [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Tickets] [Radio Badminton] [Livestream] [Cross Country Course] [Form Guide] [Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Coverage]

U.S. Weekend Preview

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

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

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

Queeny Park H.T. (St. Louis, MO) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

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

UK International Events

MARS Badminton Horse Trials (Gloucestershire, UK) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Tickets] [Radio Badminton] [Livestream] [Cross Country Course] [EN’s Coverage]

European International Events

International Marbach Eventing (GER) [Website] [Timetable] [Entries] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading
MARS Badminton Horse Trials isn’t the only event piquing my interest this week. Yes, that’s right, I can openly admit to feeling a little flutter of excitement on Monday too – though not as much as I did for Badminton, I can assure you – as the annual Met Gala got underway in New York. The theme this year, was ‘The Garden of Time,’ and while some of the attendees nailed that brief, some, as always, missed it altogether. One young lady competing here at Badminton certainly wouldn’t have looked out of place on that red carpet though: Helen Bates’ trot up outfit had a distinctly floral theme, and I am here for it. Someone get that girl a best dressed prize, asap.

Speaking of Helen, she is one of several Badminton first timers competing this weekend, and she is getting allllll of the publicity. The eagle eyed amongst you will see that she took over Eventing Nation’s Instagram story (@goeventing) yesterday, and she was also the first guest on the new season of the wonderful Eventing Weekly. Guaranteed to make you chuckle, this podcast is always worth a listen, and Helen is her usual brilliant self. Good luck this weekend, Helen!

Helen also made the headlines over at Horse & Hound (in case you hadn’t realised, I am a BIG fan of Helen Bates), in one of their many first timer pieces. Head on over to Horse and Hound to find several others, including India Wishart and Max Warburton. A chance to get to know some of the lesser known names on the entry list this week.

It will be of no surprise that I am going to offer you yet another podcast recommendation – and that it is of course, the Eventing Podcast from EquiRatings. But they are bringing alllll of the Badminton content this week – they even rival that which we provide. Well almost. But seriously guys, there’s a banging preview show, and daily ‘diary’ shows – check out Wednesday and Thursday’s here! They always pull in great guests, from owners, to grooms to riders, as well as behind the scenes insights. Honestly, you need to subscribe, even just for this week.

While you’re subscribing to podcasts, you might want to check out the offering from Horse and Hound this week. They have a long running podcast which is always excellent, but this week they, like the Eventing Podcast, will be bringing you daily shows, again with added insight and analysis. Honestly, it will make you feel like you’re at Badminton too! I mean, maybe you are, in which case it will just help you relive it all again…

If added analysis is your thing, or if indeed, you are just an absolute Eventing nerd, which let’s face it, we all are, hence why we are here, then don’t miss the EquiRatings form guide. Packed full of stats and evidence based predictions, if nothing else, the guide will provide you with a tonne of facts to wow your Eventing pals with. Unless of course, they have already read it, in which case they will be a little less impressed.

If you are one of the lucky ones to actually be at Badminton this week, then make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a very special visitor. Her Majesty The Queen is to grace the hallowed Badminton turf with her presence on Sunday, to present the trophy to the eventual winner, as part of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations. Never mind the cross country, you best get practicing those curtseys guys…

Final thing from me before I dive headlong back into Badminton. Just in case you worry that us Eventers are all a bit too strange, and that perhaps you should start to pursue another, more sensible hobby, then check this out. A little dated it may be (remember when a 5* was actually a 4*), it’s still all the verification you need to crack on, keep kicking, and Go Eventing!

Sponsor Corner

The 2024 USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Eventing Championships was a great time for everyone involved. Which team was your pick to win? Don’t forget to tag @stableviewaiken in your social media posts!

Weekend Watching

Back when Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class were still in the running to win the Rolex Grand Slam this weekend, I stumbled across this video, of the legendary Pippa Funnell, inaugural winner of that much coveted prize, the Triple Crown of Eventing. Still one of only two ever winners, Pippa’s winning of the prize culminated at Burghely, not Badminton, but all the chat about Oliver’s chances had me reminiscing over that epic day. Now that Oliver has withdrawn, there will be no Grandslam won, or indeed lost, this weekend, but still, it’s worth reliving Pippa’s own win, if nothing else than in homage to the great lady herself, who has two horses in the lineup this week. What a phenomenal sportswoman she is. Go Pippa!

Back to Badminton: Bubby Upton Defies the Odds, Again

Bubby Upton and Cola III. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

For U.S. readers, the name Bubby Upton may not be as familiar as others, but in her native UK, she is already – at the tender age of 25 – a household name. A Junior and Young Rider medallist, she is also a two-time winner of the National U25 Championship. Bubby’s name is not only synonymous with success; she is also well known for her grit and determination, having broken her back not once, but twice, and made a spectacular comeback on both occasions.

That first break – of eight vertebrae and a collar bone – was in Summer 2021, but Bubby was back in the saddle – and winning – just a month later. The second break, which came last August, was altogether more serious, leaving Bubby’s spine – and her career – hanging by a thread. Yet once again, she has defied the odds, and is on the entry list for Badminton this weekend, just 9 months after she was told she may never ride again.

We are not here to talk about her injuries though. Much has been written about her fall in August, the surgery that followed and the intensive rehabilitation programme that has allowed her to reach this point. Now though, Bubby is looking to the future, though she is keen to reiterate just how lucky she has been: “It is always at the forefront of my brain how lucky I am to have survived and come out the other side,” she says emphatically, and our conversation is littered with variations on this point, an indicator not only of Bubby’s incredible work ethic, but the reasoning behind it, too.

This ability to focus on the future, rather than to dwell on her misfortune (not that she ever refers to it as such), has provided Bubby with the drive to continue, even when the smallest of tasks seemed nigh on impossible: “Every step, trying to get my right foot forward and then my left was such a challenge, so going into the place that I had previously felt so strong and so fit [much of Bubby’s rehab took place at the Injured Jockey’s Fund (IJF) gym, Peter O’ Sullevan House, the same place she trained at before her accident] was tough. That was one of the few times I felt deflated and demoralised. But the next day I went straight back in, and focussed on recovery and that helped reaffirm how lucky I was and made me positive again.”

Similarly, as soon as her surgeon gave her the go ahead to get back on board, Bubby and her team were already tentatively starting to plan for the season to come: “The rough plan, right back from when my surgeon told me I could ride again [in November] was to do my first competition at Burnham Market. As soon as the surgeon told me I could ride again, I was already thinking – when can I compete again? Ash Wallace [head of strength and conditioning at Team GB] said that Burnham at the end of April would be a realistic target, so obviously we are a little ahead of schedule!” That is quite the understatement – at the time of writing, Bubby has just completed a very successful run at Burnham Market, marking not her first but her fourth competition this season, including two top ten International placings at Kronenberg. Little wonder then, that Bubby’s name features on the entry list for Badminton.

Bubby Upton and Cola, Badminton 2022. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Speaking to Bubby just a few days after Kronenberg, where she took both the win in the CCI3*-S as well as the runner up spot in the 4* aboard Cola – I wonder if, perhaps even in the earlier days of her recovery, Bubby dared to envisage an altogether more ambitious plan for the 2024 season?

“Obviously when I got back in the saddle, it [Badminton] was not on my mind at all because I was almost having to learn to ride again, and it was just the sheer joy of being back on board, and working with my horses again. That was enough for me. But then as each week went by, I got a bit stronger, and was able to do the things I hadn’t been able to do – things like rising trot and sitting in canter – and before I knew it I was back doing some dressage and jumping for the first time. Badminton was still not the definitive goal – except maybe subconsciously, in the back of my mind. But then I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t pressing with every ounce of my body to get back there: it’s the absolute pinnacle of the sport, and everyone’s dream to ride around there. So, I guess that while it wasn’t necessarily ‘the plan,’ it was certainly one of the biggest driving forces when I was pushing hard in the gym, rather than just to settle for the easy road, and just been happy to be back competing.”

Unsurprising then, that Bubby has managed to defy the odds once again – as previously indicated she is well ahead of the early targets she and her team had set. Instead of the mooted Burnham Market, she actually started her season a whole month earlier, at Poplar Park. “I knew if I could push the plan forward, then maybe I could give myself a chance of being ready for Badminton. Week by week it seemed that my riding was getting better, and I was more and more comfortable being back in the saddle. Then before I knew it, I was ready for Poplar Park, and I actually entered Badminton while I was out in Kronenberg (20-24th March).”

However, that is not to say that she will definitely be leaving the start box in May, for as she is quick to point out, “I’m not one that wants to go, just to have a canter round. That is not my mindset, not how I operate.” One only need look at Bubby’s 5* results to date to understand what she means by this. Fiercely competitive, she already has an impressive record at the level, with a slew of top 10 placings, including 8th place at Badminton last year. Indeed, the entry was not a forgone conclusion, hence the eleventh hour entry. “It was very much down to how I performed in Kronenberg – did I still have it?” she laughs. As it turns out, yes, she definitely does! “It was just the most incredible week – in some ways it felt like I was riding better than ever, while I am still a bit rusty in others. But I definitely felt like I still had that instinctiveness, as well as the love for what I do, and the hunger for success. That has never ever wavered.”

I suspect that those close to Bubby may not have been surprised to hear that she had somewhat different plans driving her recovery than those they had prescribed – even if they were initially alarmed! “When I told my mum, I was actually having a conversation with Katie Dutton, my head girl about it [Badminton]. I said ‘I still want to go to Badminton with Cola,’ and my mum was very much like, “ Oooh, don’t you think we should just see how we go, even if we just got to Bramham instead?’” Understandable caution from a loving parent who has just witnessed their child survive an horrendous fall, but Bubby remained undeterred – “She quickly realised I wasn’t going to change it as my goal- ” and it would seem that that goal is about to become reality, with Cola and Bubby’s names firmly on that start list.

Still, as she intimates, her the level of expectation that she has for herself remains as high as ever, and her running at Badminton relies upon how confident she is in her riding in the weeks preceding the event. “I am not going to go unless I feel like I am 110% ready in my new circumstances.” Such pragmatism is typical of Bubby, who seems wise beyond her years – hardly surprising given all she has been through. Happily, it seems that she is already passing the ‘readiness’ tests that she has set herself – as she says, Kronenberg was intended as a key indicator as to whether or not she was on track for the Badminton challenge, and two top ten placings surely proved that to be the case.“ I wanted to use it [Kronenberg] to see if I could cope with things like big drop fences, and all of the things that I haven’t done since having had half of my spine made of metal. All of the little things – my reactions, as well as seeing if I still had that bravery and hunger for success. Cantering round an event like Poplar Park is a totally different ballgame to running for the win around a 4* track. It is fair to say that I have missed that feeling more than words can describe, so to feel that buzz again was just so special.”

Bubby Upton once again becomes the British under-25 national champion with Magic Roundabout IV. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

While the love of the sport has clearly not waned at all since her accident, there are of course, other things to consider now too – namely Bubby’s physical fitness which although much improved, looks altogether different to how it did pre-accident – something that she is the first to acknowledge. “How I cope physically – in terms of the pain threshold – is a big indicator for me now, too.”

Although she is reluctant to go into too much detail regarding the daily struggles she still faces in terms of the residual pain from her accident and the resulting injuries – “there’s pain 24/7, but it’s a very small price to pay, given the severity of the break,” – she is very frank about the day to day sacrifices she is prepared to take in order to make the Badminton dream become reality.

“I am having to back off in so many different areas at the moment. As a team, we have sat down and targeted Badminton, so now anything that doesn’t help lead there is not a priority. That is really hard for me, though. I am someone who has always felt that if there is time in the day, I will do something, but I just don’t have the physical capacity to do everything anymore. We have had to restructure the way we do things now because everything we do has an impact on my back, and therefore the pain that I have to manage. So I guess we just have to be a bit more practical, and keep asking – is this going to help towards the end goal, or not? And if the answer is no, then we have to prioritise the things that are. It’s not going to be forever, but if we are to make Badminton – a goal that is in itself defying the odds – a feasible option, then prioritising that is something that we are going to have to do at the moment.”

Of course, reducing her day to day activity on the yard isn’t the only change that Bubby is having to make; she may be back in the saddle, but the rehabilitation continues, and is in itself is gruelling enough, “It’s very turbulent week on week in terms of how my body feels, and we have to react to that on a day to day basis, regarding how much pressure we can put on in the gym. Sometimes we have to back off and stay in the pool, other times we can load a little harder. But I have physio three times a week to complement the rehab, which is five days a week – whether that be hydrotherapy, or cardio, or just mobility work. There is a lot of it, but it’s fine – there was always a lot of strength work but now it’s for a whole different reason.”

Bubby Upton and Cannavaro. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Anyone that follows Bubby on Instagram will see how hard she is working, for she often shares clips of the work that she is putting in behind the scenes, work that would put the most physically fit among us to shame! All of this, plus the prospect of another operation in November mean that though she may be back in the saddle, and already making another extraordinary comeback, the road to recovery still stretches out before her.

“I have another surgery, to remove the top and bottom layers of the metal structure that I have in my spine. They think that they will leave the middle section, although that isn’t confirmed yet – I have another scan in July, and a decision will be made from there as to how much of the metal work can be removed. My surgeon is apprehensive about removing the middle element of the metal structure because there is a worry that without them, my spine may collapse,” she explains, unflinchingly.

It is remarkable – and testament to her incredible inner strength – that Bubby is able to be so matter of fact about the life changing impact that her accident has had – and continues to have – on her day to day life, but one gets the impression that her gratitude to be back doing the thing that she loves overrides any of long lasting impact that her injuries have had. Indeed, she continues to be optimistic about what the future – and the planned surgery – may hold. “At the moment, there are a lot of restrictions created by the metal work, so by reducing it, that will massively help, so I am really looking forward to that!”

Moving away from her own preparations for ‘the big B,’ her love for Cola – the horse she was 8th with at Badminton with last year – is palpable: “he had an amazing run in Kronenberg, and he feels on fantastic form.” Their partnership has a long – and successful one.

Cola arrived on her yard in 2016, and together they have come up the levels together, as Bubby explains: “He was my young rider horse in 2018 and 2019. Throughout his career he has been a horse that has continuously amazed me – every time he steps up he seems to take it in his stride. He is a hilarious character – he definitely knows that he is the King of the yard! He is a horse that I owe so much to, he has made my dreams come true, in ways that I never thought possible. We bought him as a horse to do Juniors and Young Riders on, and yet he has gone on to take me around my first Badminton and Burghley. Hopefully we will make many more memories together too. I adore every single horse on my yard, but he is extra special; we have been through so much together.”

It is understandable then, that it is Cola that Bubby has chosen to make her to return to Badminton on. I seems that he is somewhat like an old pair of slippers, and a horse that she knows inside out -and he her – as Bubby confirms: “Every time I get on him, particularly for the cross country, I just feel totally at ease. I know that he will try his absolute heart out for me, and it is up to me to do him justice, because I know that he will give me his all every single time.”

Bubby will undoubtedly ‘do him justice;’ her results so far this season are testament to the fact that she has lost none of her talent, and despite all that she has been through, she remains as fiercely competitive as ever. “I don’t think I will ever lose the perfectionist that is inside of me – I’ve had that since before I can remember. That will never go, no matter what I do – I always want to be the best, so even now, I am hungry for success, and even more determined than ever.”

Her accident has also imbued her with a renewed sense of perspective, an awareness that can only come from such an incident: “When I have has a bad day, and it feels pretty rubbish, I have a much better perspective. Before, I would have spent so long beating myself up about the tiniest of mistakes and dwelling on it. Now, after what I have gone through, I allow myself to analyse it, learn from it, and then move on because I know that in the bigger picture, it is not the end of the world.”

Again, I am struck by Bubby’s prudence – and can’t help but feel that the adversity she has faced have only made her even more of a force to be reckoned with. Some might interpret this that she has a ‘point to prove,’ but to assume that would be to misinterpret the ambition that drives Bubby – and the incredible passion for her horses that lies beneath it all.

Now that Badminton is just around the corner, does Bubby have any specific goals in mind – given that ‘a canter round,’ is, as we have established, not in her remit? “I’m not really a one for putting a number or a placing on things – I feel that takes care of itself. I can’t control what anyone else does either. For me, I just want him to jump really well, and I control what I can – take care to ensure I give him every chance possible, dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’- then hopefully the result will take care of itself.” Remember what I said about a wisdom beyond her years?! A top 20 result would not be out of the question then, I suggest? “Hopefully not, no,” she smiles, and if anyone is deserving of that, it is Bubby. To reach 5* takes years of hard work, setbacks and resilience and as this tenacious young lady has demonstrated she is well versed in all of these things, and has the necessary talent to go with them, too.

As for the future, Bubby is already considering who she might take to Burghley, and it seems she cannot wait to start to incorporate her young horses back into her daily schedule once Badminton is ticked off the list. Amongst them is It’s Cooley Time, who the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted as the winner of the CCI3*-S in Kronenberg, and the runner up at Burnham Market.

“I think the absolute world of him. He’s taken a lot of time, because he was incredibly sharp as a young horse, but he seems to have really matured and developed in the last couple of years.” The tentative plan for him then, is Blenheim 8/9 year old class, Bubby also cryptically reveals that she has a “very exciting new horse – watch this space with him!” A good result at Badminton won’t see her resting on her laurels, that’s for sure: it seems she is keen to make up for lost time!

Happily, Bubby’s accident has not led to any added nerves: if anything, the thrill of competing – especially at the big events – has increased tenfold: “It has a totally different feel to it now. Going to Kronenberg, I felt like a kid going to my fist International again. That excitement within has been reignited all over again! Even entering Badminton is beyond belief – let alone if I am actually able to drive in those gates and leave the start box.”

Again, Bubby’s gratitude is tangible – not just that she is back out competing, and at the very highest level – but also for those around her who have helped her get to this point.

“It’s been such a huge team effort to get to this point. It simply would never have been possible without my surgeon, without the support of the British Eventing Support Trust (BEST), the Injured Jockey’s Fund, my incredible family: some of the very few people who saw the reality of the situation and saw me at my lowest. To be in this position really does feel too good to be true.”

Typical of Bubby to be so modest – there is no doubt that all those people and organisations helped her along the way, but what of her own strength of character and incredible resolve – she alone has put the work in and physically made it happen, I remind her. “Yes, but also without the opportunity to have this road to recover on, I wouldn’t have been able to do that work to get here, so I really do count my lucky stars every day and every single morning that I wake up, I am super grateful,” she says, with obvious emotion.

Whether it is the luck of the stars or the courage within her – or perhaps a bit of both – one thing is for certain: Bubby Upton is back, and better than ever. Broken bones, what of them?! Badminton, watch out. Bubby and Cola are coming for you, and I can’t wait to see it.

Bubby Upton and Cola III. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

EN’s coverage of MARS Badminton Horse Trials is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products, your go-to source for science-backed nutritional support across all types of horses, disciplines, and needs. Click here to learn more about what KPP can do for your horse — thank you for supporting our wonderful sponsors!

The MARS Badminton Horse Trials: Website | Box Office | Entries | Timetable | Course Preview | Live Stream | EN’s Coverage

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

If you can remember as far back as last Friday, you will remember that Jessica Phoenix and Meghan O’Donoghue were asking for a little help with their Badminton campaign, or more to the point, in paying for their trusty steeds’ flights over here. Well, as you can see, Palm Crescent and Wabbit have made the flight to the UK, and are settling in nicely. Meghan and Jessica have now joined them too, basing with Team Price at Chedington Equestrian ahead of Badminton next week.

Yes, hot off the back of Kentucky, we have just one week to go (actually less now, ‘cos it starts on Wednesday) before we dive right back in to 5* MADNESS. I don’t know about you, but I CAN’T.WAIT. I mean, admittedly, it took me until Wednesday to recover from the excitement of Kentucky, but there is no such thing as too many 5* is there?!

You might want to get a Badminton TV subscription set up, to make sure you catch all of the action as it unfolds, starting with the first trot up on Wednesday afternoon. Standby for yet another edition of the Golden Chinch awards, arguably one of the best parts of of any 5*….There’s loads of other behind the scenes footage on there, as well as coverage from previous years’ event too. It is an INVESTMENT, I’m telling you.

Oh, and we will be bringing you top tier coverage, as per usual. Make sure you add these links to your favourites, grab your favourite snacks and set yourself up for another week of fantastic sport!

MARS Badminton Horse Trials [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Tickets] [Radio Badminton] [Livestream] [Cross Country Course] [EN’s Coverage]

U.S. Weekend Preview

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

Stable View Local Charities H.T. + USEA Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Eventing Championships (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

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

Windridge Farm Spring H.T. (NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Osberton International I (Nottinghamshire) [Info / Schedule] [Entries / Scoring]

European FEI Events

Jardy Standard Show (France) [Info / Entries]

Pratoni del Vivaro Standard Show (Italy) [Info / Entries]

Sopot Standard Show (Poland) [Info / Entries]

Friday News and Reading

It’s nearly time for the USEA Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Championships, happening this weekend at Stable View! While we’re sad not to be there in person, you can bet the USEA will have tons of content coming your way to celebrate these hardworking young riders of the future. Click here to follow the USEA’s coverage. We’ll also be running press releases from the competition here on EN to help you keep up. Meet the teams here and check out the live stream on Horse & Country here.

Would it even be Friday News and Notes if I wasn’t adding in a podcast recommendation?! I mean, I can’t help it if the EquiRatings Eventing podcast is constantly churning out brilliant shows. This week, our very own Sally Spickard is the guest, reviewing all of the action from Kentucky – the best weekend all year. She and Diarmuid also did a mini episode on Friday night reviewing all of the action from the dressage, so if you want to relive any of that action, they are both well worth a listen. Oh, and if you need a show to prepare you for next week’s event, then there is also a new episode of their ‘Horse of a Lifetime’ series. This time, Piggy March is talking about her phenomenal horse, Vanir Kamira, winner of both Badminton and Burghely. I defy you not to cry.

Speaking of Vanir Kamira, and er, Badminton, she is the latest horse to feature on the Badminton Facebook series ‘Where are they now?’ Turns out that she, like Wesko, has turned her hoof to a new career and is competing with 13 year old Annabelle Wesley in Children on Horses dressage classes. They’re doing pretty well, too – together they have been longlisted for the dressage youth European Championships, in St Margarethen, Austria (16-21 July). Is there no end to this mare’s talent?!

Gosh, Vanir Kamira is getting a lot of coverage here, but this is EXCITING NEWS. Laura Collett – also a Badminton winner – has a couple of Vanir Kamira’s babies…..enter Billy, out of Vanir Kamira, by Jaguar Mail. I mean wow – I can’t wait to see what this guy is capable of! As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Laura has also welcomed his half sister, Bella to her yard. This little lady is by Chilli Morning. Seriously, London 52 better watch his back: the young guns are coming up behind you, and my GOODNESS have they got some talent running through their veins.

I am sure you will all have been and had a sneaky peek at Eric Winter’s Badminton course by now. But, if you want even further assessment of the trickiest fences facing competitors next week, then who better than Eventing royalty, Nicola Wilson, to talk us through them?!

Another appeal to your charitable side now.This time on behalf of Kiwi horsewoman Penny Pearce, who is having, quite frankly, a diabolical time of it. Last year, she lost everything to a Cyclone, and now she has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, which requires a lot of expensive treatment. If you can spare anything, I am sure she will appreciate it. Join us in sending Penny and her family our very best wishes. Everything crossed she manages to get the treatment she needs, and that her luck takes a better turn very soon. Our thoughts are with you and you family, Penny.

Fancy making your equine pals some yummy treats for the weekend?!Well, we got you covered; here are a few recipes to get you started. I mean, why not make them all?! It is the weekend after all.

Sponsor Corner

The prizes are being revealed for the USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships at Stable View! Get a sneak peek at these prizes donated by Equestly.

Weekend Watching

Well this is fun! A whistle stop tour of the early history of Badminton Horse Trials. We’re talking proper vintage here…enjoy!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Ok gang, heeeeerrrrreeee we go, Dressage Day Two at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, aka The Best Weekend All Year! Pictured looking fly on the trot strip are your current 5* leaders, Yas Ingham and Banzai de Loir, who took the lead late yesterday afternoon with a score of 26. Her compatriot Kirsty Chabert and Classic IV is in 2nd place with a score of 31, while Germany’s Malin Hansen-Hotopp with Carlitos Quidditch K sits in 3rd place, just .1 of a penalty behind Kirsty, on 31.1. If you missed any of yesterday’s action, then head on over to 🌟 EN’s Ultimate Guide🌟 where you will find everything you need to know (and a bit more besides). If you want to get a blow by blow account of yesterday’s dressage action, then I suggest you check out my good pal, Cheg Darlington’s live updates. She’ll be back on it later to day – 5* dressage starts at 12.30 pm (ET) (not the previously advertised 1pm), so make sure you scratch all your afternoon appointments and get settled in for an action packed day.The USA’s Sharon White and Claus 63 will be the first ones up the centre line today, and we’ve still got last year’s runner up, Tom McEwen and JL Dublin to come, so that leaderboard could well see a change at the top…

One last thing before I leave you to go and check out alllll of the coverage we have Eventing Nation: if you do nothing else today, I would highly recommend giving Tilly’s infamous Golden Chinch Awards a read. Sure to make you giggle – or spit out your beverage of choice – it’s good to see our resident fashion critic hasn’t lost her touch.

Now, off you trot to open multiple tabs on your browser:

🌟 A Glance at the 5* Combinations

🌟 Our Epic 5* Form Guide

🌟 The Low-down on the Runners and Riders in the 4*-S

🌟 Our Guide to What’s Happening at the Horse Park

Oh, and remember to check out my gal Cheg’s live updates – not just for today’s dressage session, but all weekend. She’ll be bringing you all the action as it happens for both the 4* and 5* cross country, as well the 5* grand finale on Sunday. I reckon this one will go right to the wire, so make sure you stay with EN all weekend, so you don’t miss a single second.

There will be daily round-ups of every phase, as well as a cross country preview – complete with the riders’ reaction to the course. In case you haven’t got the memo yet, here is that link to all the coverage you will ever need to The Best Weekend All Year.

Don’t forget to check out our socials too – there’s loads of great Instagram content happening courtesy of our team on the ground too @goeventing, not least of all a TREMENDOUS effort from Zach Brandt in Sally’s Swiftie challenge.

Oooh ooh, I almost forgot! Don’t forget to nominate your fave Kentucky #Supergroom – they could win some pretty cool prizes, and let’s face it, they definitely deserve some extra treats!

Enjoy the show, my friends: here’s the link to the livestream – the perfect accompaniment to Cheg’s live updates which is available on ClipMyHorse TV / USEF Network. If you don’t have a ClipMyHorse account or a USEF account, you can sign up for a FREE Fan Membership, which will give you access to the live stream at no cost. Click here to sign up. ClipMyHorse members (including those overseas) can click here to access the live stream.

Now then, let’s GO EVENTING!!!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Tickets] [Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage]

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

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

The Event at Archer Spring Fling YEH and NEH (Cheyenne, WY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

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

International Events

Ballindenisk International (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Timetable] [Eventing Ireland Facebook Page]

Friday News and Reading

So we all know I love a theme, and with that in mind, I am going to *try* to keep this Kentucky heavy. I mean, given the amount of content out there, it really shouldn’t be too hard. SO with that in mind, it seems sensible to kick off with a Kentucky Preview. Yes, yes I am aware we are already well in the midst of the dressage, but still! Tis always fun to have a general overview of an event, and my pals over at the EquiRatings eventing podcast have, of course, just done that. A fun listen, with lots of predictions – some of them wilder than others – it’s the perfect accompaniment to this weekend’s action!

Lucky enough to be going to Kentucky Horse Park in person?! Oh how I envy you! One day, I WILL make it there, but for now, I shall have to be content with watching from home. As for those of you making your first trip to the Best Weekend All Year, here is a handy guide to the event. Tips on where to get the best bourbon chicken (what even is that, asks the Brit in the room), what to bring (a poncho seems to be top of the list), and how to make the most of the event – as in get there as soon as you can, leave as late as you can. Even Boyd Martin has a suggestion for you. Be sure to bookmark this page and make sure that you really do have the Best Weekend All Year!

Ok, so this isn’t actually Kentucky related, but it is 5* related, so technically that still counts?! If anything, I am already thinking of the post-Kentucky hangover we will no doubt all be suffering from come Monday. Here I have the perfect antidote: a glimpse of the next big 5*, coming hot off the heels of Kentucky….Badminton, baby! (sorry not sorry). What better way to whet your appetite than a look at the actual cross country course that riders will face there in May?! It will be available on the cross country app and the Badminton Horse Trials website as of tomorrow – complete with insights from the course designer himself, Eric Winter and some guy called Mark Todd? IDK, never heard of him…

Another tenuous link to Kentucky, but a link nonetheless. 3 time winner of the 5* at Kentucky, and a regular feature on the podium over the years, William Fox Pitt is looking for a rider to join his team. What an opportunity! Run, don’t walk, if you fancy this. I reckon they’ll be an insane amount of applicants for this one.

Ok. Bear with me on this one, in terms of the ‘Kentucky theme’ that I promised. Jessica Phoenix WAS on the start list at one point, with the wonderful Wabbit. I know this, because she was on my list for the form guide at one point. However, she was cross entered at the afore mentioned Badminton, too, and ultimately went with them instead. BUT, she needs our help! She and Meghan O’Donoghue have started a fundraiser to help with the cost of actually getting their horses to the event. To compete at a 5* -especially one as iconic as Badminton – are what dreams are made of, but they’re also a bloody expensive endeavour, so any financial help you could afford to help these two ladies along the way would be very much appreciated. Plus, it’s always fun to see high profile US/Canadian riders flying their flags over here in the UK. Wishing you and your horses the safest of travels ladies, and the best of luck when you get here!

Sponsor Corner

Big news from Stable View! Show Jumping at the May Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships will be sponsored and streamed by Horse and Country!

Weekend Watching

Seems a bit pointless to post anything here, other than the link to the Kentucky livestream. But if you do get bored with all of that action (I mean, what is actually wrong with you if that is the case?!) then here is another option for you: an interview with Kirsty Chabert, who is out there in Lexington this weekend with Classic IV, aka Betty. Another (slightly flimsy) link to the Best Weekend All Year – told you I’d keep it Kentucky themed didn’t I?!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

So, I don’t know if you heard, but there is just one week to go before a certain event kicks off. Yep, that’s right, the countdown to the Defender Kentucky Three Day Event is ON, with horses arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park from all over the world. Amongst them is JL Dublin, last year’s runner up, who will be vying for another crack at the coveted title.

He and Adam Short – right hand man to Dubs’ jockey Tom McEwan, and the friendliest person in our sport – made the trip to the States on Wednesday evening, and further updates from Tom confirm that they have both arrived safely in quarantine. Other British based horses, riders and grooms who have made – or will soon be making the trip across the Atlantic – include Maryland runner-up Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent, Kentucky 2022 runner up– and current World Champions – Yas Ingham and Banzai de Loir, as well as Kirsty Chabert and Classic IV and Irish rider Susie Berry, who will be making the trip for the first time with Clever Trick, her ride at last year’s European Championships.

With last year’s winners Tamie Smith and Mai Baum amongst the most notable absences on the start list, the battle for the 5* crown is wide open. The victor this year will take home more than a 5* title though: given that the Paris Olympics are also within spitting distance, a win here would make them almost a dead cert for Olympic team selection, too. Whatever the outcome, it is sure to be The Best Weekend All Year (in the States at least), and we can’t wait for this time next week, when it will be well underway. Ready, set, let’s GO EVENTING!]

U.S. Weekend Preview

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

Masterson Equestrian Trust YEH/NEH Qualifier (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

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

Major International Events

Adelaide Equestrian Festival [Website] [5* Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

UK International Events

Kelsall Hill International [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

European International Events

Strzegom Spring Open II [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News & Reading

Back here in Britain, the 5* countdown is also on, for the 75th Badminton Horse Trials. As part of their build up for this special anniversary year, they have been revisiting previous runners to find out what they are doing now. So far we have seen Ringwood Sky Boy enjoying a second career as a dressage champ, and this week it is the turn of Classic Moet. She is enjoying her retirement with owner Trisha Rickards, having had two foals – both mares – by the late, great Upsilon. Future Badminton winners? You heard it here first.

More 5* news! This is quickly becoming a 5* themed update, but surely there is no such thing as too much as far as 5*’s are concerned?! This time, it is relating to the other big British event, Burghley Horse Trials (5-8th September 2024). There is just a week to go until the box office opens for the event, with some exciting new additions this year, including reduced ticket prices for 12-16 year olds, and the chance to have a bougie breakfast and/or lunch in the new Avebury restaurant. If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, then check out this sneak peak into course designer Derek di Grazia’s plans for the 2024 course. Adelaide this weekend, Kentucky next, Badminton the week after and Burghely edging ever closer…I think I need to go and lie down in a dark room before the excitement gets too much for me…

Another week, another shameless plug for the EquiRatings Eventing Podcast. In keeping with the apparent 5* theme that we have going on here, it is centred around that there Kentucky, with Diarm Byrne and Frankie Thieriot Stutes delving into the US/Europe rivalry that we are about to see play out at the Horse Park. A fascinating listen, it only adds to the insane level of anticipation I am feeling for this time next week…someone pass me a drink would you please?!

A pause from 5* shenanigans, now, and a more sombre note to finish As I type, the Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final is well underway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. However, in a bold move, the World of Showjumping – usually the go to for all things jumping – has announced that they will not be covering the event. In this statement, they explained their momentous decision, and I must admit, I admire their integrity – and whole heartedly agree. It’s like the football World Cup in Qatar all over again, whereby many high profile sportsmen and public figures were openly at odds with the event being hosted by a country whose human rights are so disparate to those of the majority of the Western World. Riyadh is similarly lacking in human rights, with women subject to numerous restrictions, and the country has been listed ‘deadly’ for LGBTQ people, too. If only more of us were brave enough to stand up for what we believer. World of Showjumping, I salute you.

Sponsor Corner

The 2023 Spirit Award Champions at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship: University of Kentucky. USEA/Shelby Allen photo

Next up on Stable View’s calendar of recognized horse trials are the USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships! Competitors– registration has officially closed. Ride times will be posted on 5/2. Remember, definite team rosters must be submitted by April 29th! They’ve got some amazing prizes for the college championships, including VTO Saddlery pads and FITS gift certificates. Spectators– come cheer on your favorite team! 📣 More info here.

Weekend Watching

Aannnd we’re back to all things 5*. Given that Australia’s 5* is now well underway, it seems only appropriate that we wrap up with a course preview from the other side of the world. So enjoy this sneak peak into some of the challenges facing riders over in Oz this weekend, as presented by dual World Cup and Beijing Silver Medalist Clayton Fredericks. Be sure to follow the rest of the action over at Horse & Country (subscription required), and check out this handy guide to see where you can check the entry list and live results. Have a fabulous weekend – and whether in this hemisphere or the South, Go Eventing!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Well, here we are, another week down and another week closer to Badminton Horse Trials. I am giddy with excitement already – the start list is full of first timers as well as experienced 5* riders and horses, all vying to lift that trophy.

Still, the rain continues to pour here in Blighty, and so I can only begin to imagine the difficulties that the organisers are having to face to combat the wet. But then again, they are an experienced team, led by none other than Jane Tuckwell. Jane took over as Event Director in 2020, having joined the team waaaay back in 1974, so if anyone is capable of pulling off a successful Badminton, despite the constant deluge, then it is Jane. Here, she gives a fascinating insight into a typical day in the life of Event Director of the prestigious event, which celebrates it’s 75th Anniversary this year. Although, as Jane points out, no two days actually are the same – the only constant is that they are very, very busy, especially at this point, with just weeks to go before the event kicks off.

I’m not sure I could handle the stress of it all, but I guess being surrounded by such a capable team helps to at least disperse it evenly! If you want further behind the scenes access, then do delve into Jane’s ‘Director’s Blog’ over on the Badminton Horse Trials website. There’s a whole load of posts – some of them dating back two years – giving a first hand account of what it takes to pull off one of the most famous events in the world.

If that isn’t enough, then remember to subscribe to Badminton TV where you can access footage of previous events as well as a whole load of other content, including the special 75th Anniversary special, which premieres tonight. I will certainly be watching!

U.S. Weekend Preview

F.E.N.C.E. H.T. (Tryon, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

Unionville Horse Trials (Unionville, PA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

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

International Events

Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International (Norfolk, UK) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

North Holland Horse Trials (The Netherlands) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News & Reading

Ever catch yourself muttering away to your horse? I’m certainly guilty of it…in fact I can safely say I speak more to my four legged friends than I do to any of my two legged friends. They just GET me, you know? Well, maybe they don’t, but at least they keep their opinions to themselves. According to Horse and Hound, these are the six instances when you are most likely to chatter away to them. I am certainly guilty of 1 and 2. In fact, being able to vent to my horses has probably saved me a lot of friendships…or at least avoided several massive arguments…

No this is not a late April Fools. I must admit, when I first saw the lead picture in this article, I was utterly bewildered. But it turns out this did actually happen: a horse appeared to join several surprised passengers in waiting for a train in Southwest Sydney, Australia. After doing a little more research, it seems that the poor guy was just trying to escape the rain – like the rest of us! Still don’t believe me?! Well here’s the CCTV footage to prove it. Fear not though, the horse was taken to a safe place by a more traditional means of transport, and the trains continued to run with no further disruption. *DISCLAIMER* The links here contain MANY a terrible horsey pun. Consider yourself warned.

It seems that I have become some what of a cheerleader for the EquiRatings Eventing podcast. But they are constantly churning out brilliant podcasts, and this week is no different. Not only have we been gifted over an hour of the Queen that is Lara de Liedekerke-Meier in a ‘When Nicole Met…’ show, there’s also a deep dive into the major contenders at this weekend’s Burnham Market – and if that is still not enough, then there’s another ‘EquiLume Special‘ out, this time with Phillip Dutton. Seriously guys, if you don’t already subscribe, then what on earth is stopping you? (I promise I don’t get paid for this promotion. I am just a huge fan of the show, and think you should be too).

Do you know which colour OTTB fetches the highest price? Nope, me neither, or at least I didn’t until I read this intriguing article, based on Madalynn Camp’s thesis for her Illinois State University Master’s degree, which centred around an investigation into the factors that contributed to retired racehorses having a successful second career. Turns out if they are chestnut or grey, they are worth more on the ‘retrained racehorse’ market. Who knew?!

MIM clips. Love ’em or hate ’em , they’re here to stay, contributing as they do to making our sport safer for both horse and rider. If you have ever been curious as to just how they do this, then wonder no more, as international course designer David Evans explains a little more about them here.

Ok, so this is an awkward one, bearing in mind Eventing Nation is a US publication, and thus I am assuming that the majority of those reading this will be American. But still! Bear with me. The British Equestrian Federation Fund are running a ‘Path to Paris’ Prize draw, with the aim of raising money for British Equestrian teams heading to Paris this year. I am aware that Team GBR are rivals to Team USA but even so, there are some super cool prizes up for grabs, including a Stevensons Brothers rocking horse, which just so happens to be a replica of Lordships Graffalo. So even if you just buy a single ticket (it won’t even cost you $5) then you could be in with a chance of winning some epic prizes. Besides, we’re all friends here, right?!

Sponsor Corner

Boyd Martin and Commando 3. Photo by Cora Williamson for Liz Crawley Photography.

The Stable View CCI4*-S wrapped up last weekend! Boyd Martin and Commando 3 led the CCI4*-S at Stable View from start to finish, ending on a score of 32.5. Didn’t have a chance to watch the show in person? Catch up on all the action here.

Weekend Watching

I was one of a lucky few to get a ticket for this super special ‘Badminton Preview,’ held at a very swish hotel on Tuesday evening. Hosted by Irish Olympian Sam Watson, as part of Badminton’s 75th Anniversary celebrations, the all star panel was made up of 5* superstars Laura Collett, Harry Meade and the utter LEGEND that is Ginny Leng, as well as course designer Eric Winter, Event Director Jane Tuckwell, and Team GB’s Richard Waygood. A incredible evening, full of insights, tips from the top, as well as funny stories and memories of Badmintons gone by – not least of all from Ginny. An incredible horsewoman, her list of accolades is endless so enjoy this throwback to her appearance on ‘This is Your Life:’ possibly one of the only equestrian athletes to have ever made it on there!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Ariel Grald and Diara. Photo by Shelby Allen.

It’s day one at the Stable View spring 2*/3*/4* and H.T., happening in Aiken, SC! A stacked roster of competitors awaits (you can view Stable View’s preview of the event here), and we’ll be keeping keen eyes on the 4*-S division in particular as Kentucky/Badminton and Olympic selection looms. We kick off this morning with dressage, presided over in the 4* division by Peter Gray and Jo Young. Show jumping will follow this afternoon beginning at 3:24 p.m. for the 4*. You can view the full schedule and ride times here.

There is no live stream this weekend (though stay tuned, as Stable View will have a live stream for several other events this year, including USEA Intercollegiate Championships and their Oktoberfest 4*-S in the fall!), but we’ll be bringing you nightly reports on the 4*-S division here on EN. In the meantime, you can keep up with live scoring here. You can also sneak a peek at this year’s cross country, designed by Helen West — who is assisted this year by outgoing designer Capt. Mark Phillips and will be taking over designing the top levels at Stable View going forward — here.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Stable View Spring 2/3/4* and H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

CDCTA Spring H.T. (Ruckersville, VA) [Website] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Pine Hill Spring H.T. (Bellville, TX) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Friday News and Reading

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will see that Kentucky entries have been released, and it is a very exciting line up indeed! Heading back to the States for another crack at the 5* are the 2022 runners up, Yasmin Ingham and Banzai de Loir – also the current World Champions. So enjoy this insight into what drives Yaz, and what it takes to get to the top. The first in a new series from Le Mieux, keep your eyes peeled for the next episode with another top rider from the sport.

Speaking of Kentucky, the guys over at EquiRatings have kindly provided another ‘reaction show,’ similar to the one they released after the Badminton line up was revealed. I personally just LOVE the insight that they offer, and the extra dimension that the stats add to the podium predictions. Spring 5* season is such an exciting time, and the perfect antidote to the seemingly endless winter that we are currently ‘enjoying’ here in the UK.

If you need more eventing chatter in your ears, then EquiRatings have also just released an episode with the absolute boss that is Liz Halliday . Host Nicole Brown chats to Liz about her plans for this season, as well as her thoughts on the season so far. It is of no surprise that Liz has her eyes firmly on the prize, be it Kentucky 5* or Olympic Team Selection. I’d put my money on another cracking season for Liz and her team of unicorns, and I would also bet on her making that team, too.

Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions will welcome a new member this month. David O’Connor’s legendary partner Custom Made is to be posthumously inducted , and buried in the Memorial Walk of Champions. Together, David and ‘Tailor’ won Kentucky, Badminton and Olympic Gold, bringing home the first US eventing medal in 25 years. The ceremony will be held later this month, when I am sure there will be many a happy memory shared.

Badminton Horse Trials celebrates their 75th Anniversary this year. As such, there are a number of ‘added’ extras in the pipeline, including a special ’75 Years of Badminton’ documentary. Featuring insight from riders past and present, course designers, organisers and many more, it will be released on April 12th, so make sure you sign up to Badminton TV.A minuscule investment for the hours of coverage that you will find there, including this brilliant looking documentary!

At Sport Horse Nation we want to help every horse find the perfect home and every rider find their unicorn. We value your input to guide us in this journey. Please take a moment to complete this survey.

Sponsor Corner

Stable View always runs a well-organized event — case in point, this guide to everything you need to know if you’re competing this weekend!

Weekend Watching

Recognise this old guy? Yep, that right there is Ringwood Skyboy. With his long term buddy Tim Price, Ozzie has 18 5* starts under his belt, including 5 top 20 Badminton finishes, and now, at the grand old age of 21, he has turned his hand to dressage, with his new jockey Emma Duffy. I think we can all agree he looks bloody brilliant, and happy as ever. Just the kind of thing we like to see!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Recognise that handsome little face?! Yes, that is none other than a baby faced London 52 – you know the one, multiple 5* title holder and Olympic gold medal winning partner of the incredible Miss Laura Collett. The two of them are back in action at the Thoresby Spring Carnival of Eventing this weekend – keep up with all of the action over at H&C. There’s a whole slew of top names in the CCI4*-S, so it will be a very exciting weekend indeed, come rain or shine!

OR if you’re (West) Stateside, and want to go and see some actual real live action, why not head on down to Galway Downs or the Event at Terranova? At the former you will catch sight of last year’s Kentucky winners Tamie Smith, while at the latter
US based Kiwi Monica Spencer is giving Artist a pipe opener ahead of their run around the 5* at Kentucky.

The International eventing season is really starting to hot up now, with entry lists for both Badminton and Kentucky released – I think I might have to go and have a little lie down, such is my excitement at it all!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (Fairburn, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

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

Jumping Branch Farm Spring H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Morven Park Spring H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

The Event at TerraNova (Myakka City, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

International Events

BEDE Events’ Thoresby Eventing Spring Carnival (UK) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

When the entry list for Badminton was released on Monday, I had SO many thoughts on it all – so many first timers, so many exciting combinations, a few notable omissions (Lordships Graffalo, where art thou?!) and just SO MANY POSSIBLE OUTCOMES!! So it was nothing short of wonderful to have Sam and Diarm over at EquiRatings put a podcast out almost immediately afterward which helped to calm my racing mind. They were able to provide a much more coherent summary of the entries, and pose some interesting questions along the way, including the all important one…who will take the coveted Badminton title this year, with all recent winners (horses, that is) absent from the start list. Will the girls make it five years in a row, or will the boys rise to the top again? I can hardly wait!!

Eventing Nation readers, we need you. Don’t panic, it’s nothing major – we could just use a little help in finding the #Supergroom of the winter season. They sure as hell deserve all the recognition they can get – and some more besides – because as I am sure you will all agree, it’s these heroes that make it all happen, day in, day out. So if you have someone in mind, then head on over here and cast your votes. Don’t dilly dally though, nominations close April 4th, with the winner crowned April 5th.

The Kiwi contingent enjoyed a super successful weekend out in the Netherlands last weekend. Olympic qualification was the name of the game, and both Caroline Powell and Tim Price achieved just that, on two horses apiece. Tim also finished second in the CCI4*L, an added bonus this early in the season, and a placing that will only enhance his chances of a spot on that Olympic team…

Sponsor Corner

Looking to help out your local eventing community? If you’re local to Aiken, consider volunteering at Stable View! Our sport runs on volunteers. Register as a volunteer here.

Weekend Watching

Kentucky and Badminton are but a heartbeat away, so it seems only right to ring in the weekend with a little 5* action – enjoy this throwback to last year’s Burghley Horse Trials, where Holly Richardson and Bally Louis made their 5* debut, jumping round the seriously tough track with ease. Holly and Louis are on the start list for Badminton, where hopefully they will smash it once again.

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

I know you guys in the US have been enjoying some pretty exciting eventing competitions already, but over here in the UK we still haven’t had and REALLY big fixtures. Well, to be honest, we’re kind of struggling to have any fixtures at all, thanks to the incessant rain.

But we must think positive, so it is all eyes on the Thoresby Eventing Spring Carnival, which runs in just a few weeks time, over Easter weekend. The first International of UK soil this year, the entry list is super exciting, with Tokyo Gold medalist Laura Collett, current World Champion Yas Ingham and reigning Badminton and European champ Ros Canter just some of those in the line up.

Thoresby provides an ideal prep run for those heading to Badminton Horse Trials, but this year it also perfect for those with their eyes on Olympic selection too – hence a strong International presence on the start list too!. It’s lining up to be a very exciting weekend, indeed!

The spate of cancellations in recent weeks is symptomatic of a wetter than usual start to the year (I feel like I mention it at least once a week these days), although I seem to remember that last year’s eventing season got off to a similarly shaky start. Indeed, Thoresby 2023 was almost victim to abandonment, after biblical down pours left the going unthinkably deep – even in the dressage arenas. Still, the team at BEDE events managed to keep the show on the road then, so it will take a lot to stop them this year, too.

Besides, miracles do happen, so here’s hoping the sun will put his hat on for the next fortnight, and we can enjoy a bumper bank holiday weekend, undisturbed by the threat of abandonment for once… s

U.S. Weekend Preview

Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]
March Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, TX)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

European Events

Outdoor Horst (Kronenberg, Netherlands) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Schedule] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Other Events

Road to the Horse (Lexington, Kentucky) March 21-24 [Website] [Schedule] [Competition Format] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

There is a plethora of talent over here at Eventing Nation – I often wonder how on earth I landed myself amongst such an accomplished team of writers and equestriennes. Fake it until you make it, right?! Following on from last week’s shout out to the incredible Taleen Hanna, it is now the turn of Tilly Berendt to take to the stage. *Drumroll please* The latest subject of the HiHo Silver blog, Tilly is the one that led me to EN in the first place, having come across her work elsewhere, and followed the trail right on back to here, where she is one of the mainstays. Not only is she an exceptional wordsmith, Tilly is also pretty handy behind a camera too, and it is she that y’all have to thank for the European eventing content- and this is just one of the outlets for her work. I first met Tilly at Burghley in 2019 when she gave up some of her already stretched time to sit down for a drink with me, and I can confirm she is as kind and generous as a human as she is talented as a writer. A round of applause for Tilly please – when I grow up I want to be just like you!

Do you know a young eventer with more grit and determination than those twice their age? If the answer is yes, then why not nominate them for the 2024 Hannah Francis Award, set up in memory of the inspirational Hannah Francis, a young rider who sadly lost her life to osteosarcoma -a particularly aggressive form of bone cancer – in 2016. Hannah was one of the bright young stars of the sport, and even after her diagnosis, she was determined to pursue her dreams, refusing to let the cruel disease and gruelling treatment stop her from chasing them. She set up the Hannah’s Wilberry Wonder Pony charity to raise money for vital research into osteosarcoma, and to help other seriously ill equestrians achieve their dreams. If you know of someone as resolute and single minded as Hannah, then why not go ahead and give them a nomination, and maybe help their dreams come true.

Have you entered the Lucinda Green ‘See-a-Stride’ challenge? yet?! If not, why the hell not? At best, you stand to win up to $5000 in cash money, and at worse, you could learn an awful lot from one of the best riders the world has ever seen. Don’t walk, run to The Lucinda Green Academy and sign up now. Could change your life. Or at least help you see a stride…

All eyes are on Kronenberg this weekend, with the who’s who of eventing headed to the Netherlands to give their top horses a leg stretch before the season’s major events kick off. Tim Price, Caroline Powell and Dan Jocelyn head up a strong Kiwi contingent, and France, Ireland and Great Britain all have a host of riders out there representin’, too. Some of the combinations out there this weekend will be chasing that all important Paris Qualification, too, so a good run here is essential! You can follow all of the action live over on clipmyhorse.tv, or keep up with the live scores here. The season is hotting up guys, 2024 LET’S GOOOOO!

Sponsor Corner


And that’s a wrap on Stable View’s Eventing Academy until July! Congratulations to everyone who came home with a blue ribbon and everyone who maybe didn’t get first, but still gave it their best go. Now the countdown begins until the April $60,000 CCI4*!

Video Break

Planning a fresh new ‘do soon? Take some style tips from Laura Collett, who went for a chop with celebrity hair stylist Lisa Farrall, as part of Team GB’s ‘A Cute Above’ series. Laura chats about her her life and career with horses – including her life threatening accident a few years ago – all while having her locks lopped off and restyled. A unique concept for a chat show, though it kind of works…?!


Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Congratulations to our very own Taleen Hanna, who is one of just two 2024 AHP Equine Media Student Award Finalists. How lucky are we to have such a talented young writer as part of Team EN?!

Taleen will get the chance to travel to the 2024 AHP Return to Horse Country Conference, May 16-18, 2024 in Lexington, Kentucky, where she will get to meet various leading equine media professionals, associations and businesses.

We will have to wait until May to find out if our girl is going to be crowned the winner, though – May 17th to be precise, which is when the 2024 AHP Equine Media Student Award Winner will be announced, as part of the Special Awards Reception. Please join us in wishing her the very best of luck and keeping all available limbs crossed for her, too! We have another genius in our midst, guys, and you saw her here first!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Carolina International CCI & H.T. (Raeford, NC) [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Cross Country Maps] [Live Scores] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage]

Ocala Winter II (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Pine Top Spring H.T. (Thomson, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ram Tap National H.T. (Fresno, [Scoring]CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

International Events

FEI Eventing Nations Cup Leg 1 (Montelibretti, Italy) [Website] [Timetable] [Entries] [Live Scores] [Dressage Day 1 Live Stream] [Dressage Day 2 Live Stream] [Show Jumping Live Stream] [Cross Country Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

Ready to rock and roll and get your 2024 eventing season underway?! If it stops raining long enough in the UK to allow it, I know I am! Take a look at these tips to help you get started in the best possible way, with advice on everything from your approach to Spring training, to horse fitness. A must read for anyone revving up for Eventing 2k24…and a reminder to never neglect the basics.

Mia Farley has got herself a cool new pony! Not only does the latest addition to her string throw a pretty nice shape over a fence, she’s got an excellent name too. Meet Pina Colada – we can’t wait to see what you achieve together!

Equine hydrotherapy seems to be playing an increasingly important role in the fitness programme several of the top horses – Team Price, amongst others, have a water treadmill at their yard – and it has long been talked about as a useful tool for injury rehabilitation, too. If you’re curious about the science behind the benefits of hydrotherapy, then enjoy this deep dive (excuse the pun) into all things water based, including the reasons as to why it is being heralded as one of the best things that you can do to help your equine pals back from injury.It’s not all good though; as with everything, equine hydrotherapy requires specialist knowledge, and indeed, can do more harm than good if certain practices and guidelines are not followed. The key takeaway? Proceed with caution, and always seek help from qualified professionals. Kind of the same as asking for help from an adult when you were a kid, no?

Great Britain may not be fielding a team at this year’s FEI CCI3* European Cup, but they will be back with a bang next year. Talk about planning ahead: Team GB have already announced that Kylie Roddy – who finished in 5th place at Pau last year – will take charge as Chef d’Equipe, whilst David Sheerin will take on the role of Chef de Mission. Led by such an experienced pair, the team is already off to a winning start. Another competition to look forward to already, and we’ve barely started on this year!

Horse & Country are bringing all the goods this year! They have just secured partnerships to bring us all of the action live from not one, but two 5*’s – both the Adelaide Equestrian Festival and The Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials. H&C will be streaming all of the action from the Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International this weekend too. So if you’ve not got a subscription yet, what are you waiting for?!

Don’t forget to make your nominations for The Ride EquiSafe Crappiest Weekend Award. We’re looking for the rider who has been knocked down multiple times only to stand right back up again, get back in that start box, and give it another go, no matter what. And after all, what’s life without a little sense of humor?
The winner of this contest will receive a Ride EquiSafe Fall Club Pin, a $250 gift card, and a big round of applause from the eventing community. To nominate a rider competing at Carolina this weekend, simply fill out this form before March 16th. The winner will be chosen on the last day of the Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International CCI4*.

Sponsor Corner


Fun fact: Boyd Martin was a telemarketer before he started eventing ☎ AND he wakes up everyday at 5am. Apparently he doesn’t need sleep! Learn more fun facts about Boyd in this interview series taken at his winter base of Stable View.

Weekend Watching

As part of their build up to the Paris Olympics, the Eventing Podcast has gifted listeners with a two part special on the 2000 Sydney Olympics – the last time we saw a ‘proper long format’ in Olympic eventing, complete with Roads and Tracks and a 5* cross country track. The perfect inspiration for this weekend’s video for you all – a throwback to those games, featuring both Ingrid Klimke and Karen O’ Connor. Those were the days!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

Last week saw the British Eventing season kick off in fine style – despite some testing weather conditions, but that is to be expected over here in Blighty at this time of year. Helen Bates’ Carpe Diem was certainly happy to be eventing again, fresh off the back of his 5* debut in France last Autumn. When I spoke to Helen in the depths of Winter, she had her sights firmly set on another 5* with her special ‘Demon.’ Will she be lining up for Badminton? We will see, and there’s not long to wait now! I’m not sure about you, but I am already beside myself at the thought of the Spring 5*’s, on both sides of the pond. Eventing Nation will, of course, be bringing you all of the action as it unfolds…the countdown is ON!

International Holiday: Happy International Women’s Day! How lucky are we to have a sport in which men and women are considered equal?! Still, in honour of IWD, I hope you enjoy this special edition of News & Notes, dedicated to the women of our sport.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. International (Fairburn, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Full Gallop Farm March I H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

SAzEA Spring H.T. (Tucson, AZ) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Southern Pines H.T. I (Raeford, NC)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

International Events

Land Rover Horse of the Year (Hastings, New Zealand) [Website] [Program] [Equestrian Schedule] [Eventing Schedule] [Eventing Live Scores] [Live Stream]

Friday News and Reading

As Tilly mentioned on Tuesday, eventing royalty Ingrid Klimke is a strong contender for the German dressage team this year in Paris, with the return of her Grand Prix superstar, Franziskus FRH. But that won’t stop her from aiming for a spot on the eventing team, too. Speaking at a masterclass last week, Ingrid made it obvious that she had not ruled the possibility of competing in both disciplines out, with a plan to get SAP Asha P qualified for the Olympics. With Ingrid’s prowess and experience, I for one, would not be in the least surprised if she pulled it off. In fact, I’d put money on her finishing in a podium position in both disciplines, too.

There is no doubt that the top of our sport is dominated by women at the moment; the reigning European, World and Olympic champion are all women, and four of the world’s 5* titles are currently held by women, too. But it hasn’t always been so, and one of the women responsible for shaking up the status quo, way back when, was Lana DuPont Wright . She made history as the first woman to compete at the Olympics in eventing, and she did so in fine style: she and Mr Wister helped the US team to win a Silver medal. If Ingrid needs any inspiration, she need look no further than Lana, who was also successful in a second discipline, winning Team Gold in the World Pairs Driving Championships, later in her career. That’s what I call Girl Power!

I leave you with a delve into the life and career of one of the most decorated women in the recent days of our sport, Ros Canter. She is the latest guest on Dan Bizarro’s podcast, offering a fascinating insight into her approach to the sport – “it is just a job” – as well as her hopes for an Olympic medal. I seem to be putting money on a lot of things this week, but Ros on the podium in Paris is another bet I am willing to place.

Sponsor Corner

Only ten more days until registration closes for the Stable View $60,000 CCI4*! Interested in watching the event in style? Snag your VIP ticket here.

Weekend Watching

Here in the UK, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, so enjoy a sneak peek behind the scenes with one of the most successful mother-daughter duos in our sport, Mary and Emily King. Join me in raising a glass to all of the Mums, Moms, Mummys, Mothers – and everything in between. You are all wonderful, and should be celebrated everyday, not just Mother’s Day!

The Debrief: Nicole Brown on the Best Job Ever!

Welcome to The Debrief, where we’ll recap the experience of a rider or equestrian following a big result or otherwise memorable competition or achievement. Click here to read more editions of The Debrief.

In this edition, we spoke to the ‘voice of eventing,’ commentator, presenter and podcast host, Nicole Brown, on how she managed to turn her love of the sport into a full time career, and how volunteering at her local horse show led to her becoming the voice behind some of the biggest events in the world, and landed her opportunities that her younger self could only ever have dreamed of.

Nicole Brown, podcast host, commentator, presenter…THE voice of Eventing.

Obviously you are now a very well known commentator, especially in the UK. But where did the journey begin; how did you end up with a career as a commentator?

So, I used to event – not terribly successfully I might add – and I absolutely loved it. Then, when I was about 18, I sold my horse to go off to University, but I wanted to stay involved in the sport. I offered to volunteer at a local horse trials, which was in the same village that I lived in, and I happened to be working with a guy called Paul Elliott. He organised horse trials, but he was also a cross country controller. We got talking, and I mentioned that I always wanted to have a go at commentating, and he suggested that I come along and give it a go. I did, and I totally and utterly fell in love with it.

Did you think at that point that you could make a career out of it?

No, not at all! It was only ever something that I just loved doing, not a career move. As I say, I wanted to stay involved in the sport. I loved the sport and it was one that I really wanted to give something back to. I became really passionate about telling a story and, I guess, sharing the excitement and explaining the action as it unfolded was really important to me, in order for us all to be able to go on this journey.

There’s nothing quite like the emotion of sport, and you never know what’s going to be happening – especially in our sport. It’s a really immediate, reactionary discipline.

So no, I never dreamed that it would be something that would take me to as many places as it has taken me and give me as many opportunities as it has. It only really started as a hobby, and it has grown and grown from there!

When did it become apparent that you actually could make a career out of commentating and presenting?

My first big break was the Event Rider Masters series which kicked off in 2016. I was involved in that, and there were a couple of people who really gave me an opportunity –Paul Tapner and Alice Fox Pitt in particular – and took a chance on me when I wasn’t overly experienced. That really was the start of more of the TV commentary and TV coverage side of my role. I was stepping away from the live event commentary, and into the livestream and more produced content. So that series was an enormous stepping stone to be able to give me opportunities to see if it was something I was really quite good at, and if it was something that I still loved doing. It was very different: a different environment, different pressures, that sort of thing.

But it was actually at Gatcombe Horse Trials in 2016 – lot of people were away in Rio and so we had a bit of a reshuffle with the crew – and I was basically the anchor for the commentary for the livestream that whole weekend, for all of the different phases. That was the first really big opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone – and it was very much outside of my comfort zone – and to get stuck in to that level of opportunity. Then from there, I got asked to do Burghley Horse Trials for the BBC, for the Red Button Coverage, literally just a few weeks later at the start of September. Another huge opportunity, especially as a female voice, because there wouldn’t be that many of them around at that time, particularly at that sort of level.

So, Burghley 2016 was my first BBC production, beside the brilliant Mike Tucker and Ian Stark who were absolutely incredible – very, very, very kind and generous, and welcoming. That was a real dream come true, because I had grown up listening to these brilliant broadcasters, watching these brilliant riders, and now I was all of a sudden in a position where I was talking about them. That was a HUGE step for me – 2016 was definitely a sort of sliding doors year – if you can have a sliding doors year?!

It is obvious from listening to you on The EquiRatings Eventing Podcast how passionate you are, and how much you love our sport, and want to tell the story of our sport. Could you tell us a little about the role of the podcast in bringing the Eventing community together?

The podcast is very much about giving people a space to have those conversations, because you wouldn’t necessarily have that many close friends that are going to care that much about who wins Badminton. You might have, but you also might not, and everybody might look at you and think, “who is William Fox Pitt?! I don’t even know who that is!” So it gives really passionate people a chance to get involved in the sport, and get immersed in the story, and educate themselves as well, but with a really nice group of people. The listenership is a really lovely community, so that’s great: it’s part of what we set out to do.

The podcast has been going for quite some time now; how did it come to be in the first place?

So, as I say, I had been working in 2016 on the Event Rider Masters Series, and I had worked alongside Diarmuid Byrne [one of Nicole’s co-presenters] throughout that season, and we had become quite good friends – I think they [Sam and Diarmuid, founders of EquiRatings] appreciated the data geek inside of me, ready for release. I would very much manually look at my own numbers in my own mind: that was how my brain worked. I was really looking to understand a lot of stuff that EquiRatings were bringing to the sport at the time, so not only was I hugely interested in what they bought to the table, but we got on really well.

They approached me at the end of that year with the idea of starting a podcast; they felt there was a gap in the market for previewing and reviewing events, and giving a real platform to the sport of eventing, and wondered if I would be interested in hosting it with them. I had never really listened to podcasts at that point – podcasting has grown enormously, even over the last few years, but at this point, it was still very much something that was quite new.

There were a few around, by all means, but it wasn’t something that we were as familiar with as we are now. Still, when they asked if I was interested, I said “sounds great, I absolutely would be, let’s investigate it and see how it all works.” So we did; we learned how to record, how to edit, how to publish – all things that were well outside of our comfort zone. I can do the talking bit, but when it came to the technical side, I was very much going, “how does that work?!” So we were very much self taught from the beginning in that respect, and we loved the process. We also loved the reception to the show, and it has just grown and grown since then!

Of all the stories that you have told on the Podcast, are there any – or even just one in particular – that really stands out?

For me, the stories that really stand out are where people talk really openly, really honestly, and where, as interviewer, I feel like I can dig a little deeper, and find out more than what is on the surface, and what they might ordinarily talk about. It is a massive compliment as an interviewer when you speak to somebody and they give you a very frank, very honest and open answer. It’s easy to talk about the successes, it’s easy to talk about when things have gone well. But if they are prepared to make themselves vulnerable, and talk about those moments when things haven’t gone well, and haven’t gone to plan – because that is life at the end of the day – those are the conversations that really stand out for me.

I find it fascinating to get inside somebody’s head, and really find out what makes them tick. There are different ways of approaching different people, so it’s really hard to pin it down to just one person. Instead, for me, it’s about telling an inside story that listeners might not have appreciated before.

As we mentioned, you have spoken to some of the biggest names of the sport on the podcast, from Lucinda Green to Liz Halliday Sharp, and everyone in between. Similarly, you’ve worked with legends like Ian Stark and Mike Tucker at live events, but what would you say has been the highlight of your career, thus far?

I loved the Event Rider Masters series – which ran from 2016 – 2019 – because it was a format that brought the sport to a really exciting place. It was a huge opportunity, and I absolutely loved it. There was a brilliant team of people, some of the best horses and riders in the world, and a really exciting competition. As a story teller, that’s the dream, because there was always something happening, and it was very exciting – very fast paced.

Other than that, Burghley 2016, my first opportunity to work for the BBC and alongside Ian and Mark was huge….I’m not going to be able to give one answer, because there have been a few! I would say, working at places like Badminton and Burghley is always a highlight. You go to these events as you grow up, watching these top names and riders, and you don’t really dream it could be you behind the scenes one day. So yes, those big 5*’s hold a very special spot.

You still do a lot of work for lower level, grassroots events, too. How does commentating at those events compare to the bigger ones?

Those kind of events are very much what I started talking about at the beginning of my career, so they still hold a very special place in my heart. There is still something really magical about telling those stories, as well, because the grassroots level is the foundation that our sport is built on, and I love that side if it.

I’d be lying if I said that the 5*’s and the big shows weren’t special, because they absolutely are, and they definitely do stand out. There’s not many of them in the calendar, so you really do appreciate them and enjoy them. Every time I go I pinch myself and think, I am really lucky to be able to do this job.

Describe your job in 3 words (if you can)!
My job….Best. Job. Ever.

What is the VERY best bit about your job?

It is probably the opportunities I get to see things behind the scenes. So often, we take for granted what we see on our television screens, or what we see at an event as a spectator, and I don’t underestimate how fortunate I am to be able to see everything that goes on behind the scenes of an event. Everything from the organisers and the huge effort that they make to put on a brilliant event, to the grooms, to the owners, to the mum juggle with the riders (something that I can really relate to). Getting that opportunity to see the ‘nitty gritty’ – and tell the story of that ‘nitty gritty’ – is the big pitch.

Have you got any bucket list interviews – or events – that you would still like to tick off the list?

I have never been to Aachen, in person, and I have never done the Olympics, on the ground. I would love to do an Olympics.

Bucket list interviews…not at the moment: there’s nobody that stands out right now. I would love to tap into other sports, and other great minds outside of the Equestrian world, and how we can learn from them, and find out what makes them so successful.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your guts – it is all worth it.

You wear a lot of hats – mother, wife, podcast host, commentator, presenter – how difficult is it all to juggle, and how do you find the balance between work and family?

I think any mum will tell you, it is difficult. Whether you are working, not working, there is such a juggle with everything. I certainly feel guilty for being at work/not being at work. Getting that balance right is really difficult. However, I think it is worth persevering to get the balance. Ultimately, we can all only ever do our best in life – we all only ever want the best for our families. Still, the juggle is hard, the juggle is real. There are times when you question it, but at the end of the day, you’re doing it for the right reasons, and I think you have to stay true to that. I am really fortunate – I love my job, and working definitely makes me a better mum, and being a mum definitely makes me better at my job.

Have you any spoilers you can share in terms of what is next for the podcast, and where will you be starting your season as commentator?

In terms of the podcast, we have got some very exciting plans in the pipeline building up to the Olympics in Paris, and we will be a big part in telling the Olympic story. But I can’t give too much away!

We will also have another Inside Kentucky series that will kick off in the middle of March, bringing you all the behind scenes action, as well as much coverage as we can on the ground there, and at other big events.

For me personally, my first big show will be Badminton – early spring – which I am very much looking forward to.

Finally, a question you often like to ask your guests on the podcast – Ones to Watch!
Could you give readers an American and a European combination – or two – that you think will be worth watching?!

I’m going to say Caroline Pamukcu – Pan American Games Gold medallist in 2023 – and HSH Blake – don’t discount them from the Olympics conversation. They will come out firing this Spring. The horse that I would say that you really need to keep an eye on – it’s another one of Caroline’s, and I think he is a future star – is the reigning 3* USEF National Champion, HSH Connor. I think he has won seven of his 13 International starts, he has all the ingredients he needs. He was the individual Silver Medallist in Lion d’Angers as a 6 year old as well, so he has travelled in the past too – he is the real deal.


Another one – and a rider that perhaps US audiences may not know or have heard a huge amount about – is young British rider Bubby Upton, who has excelled coming up the levels right through from Pony/Junior and Young Riders. She has a whole haul of medals from various different Championships at that level, and now she has been really impressive following her step up to 5* level, too. She was the Bramham U25 Champion last year, with a horse called Magic Roundabout, last summer, too.

Unfortunately, she had a really bad fall last August, and so has had to take some time out on the side-lines, but her rehab has been going really well. She is back riding, back training and it is all very much all systems go for the start of the season. She is a very fierce competitor and has some lovely horses, and I think she is definitely one that may not be on your radar right now, but should be!

You heard it hear first, and if you want to hear about other horse and rider combinations that Nicole would tip for the top, go and check out the Eventing Podcast, as well as the USEF Eventing Podcast, which Nicole also hosts From top rider interviews, to behind the scenes access at all of the big events – and much, much more besides – these podcasts have something for everyone. Keep your ears peeled for Nicole’s expert commentary at all of the big events this season too!

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

I know no-one needs an excuse to get on their horse and go for a hack, and indeed, there is nothing much that could make that feeling any better than it already is. Regardless of this, I am here to offer even further incentive, one with a potential to save lives. Yes, that’s right; sign up for ‘Canter for a Cure,’ an initiative set up by the Bone Cancer Research Trust, and help to raise money for the charity, allowing them to continue to conduct research into bone cancer, and their mission to find a cure. All you have to do to take part is cover 50 – 250KM on horseback, throughout the month of April, and raise as much sponsorship money as you can in the process. It is completely FREE to sign up, and all of those who take part will automatically receive a free T-Shirt. There are other goodies on offer, depending on how much money you are able to raise, and you can take part from anywhere in the world.

By signing up, you could be helping people like young Dylan Ward, a small but mighty young dressage rider with big dreams. Diagnosed with metastatic Ewing sarcoma two years ago when he was just seven, he is not letting his illness – or his rigorous treatment plan – stop him from realising those dreams, taking three wins at the Riding for the Disabled Association National Championships last year. He has already signed up for the Canter for a Cure challenge – so the rest of us have no excuse! Visit the Bone Cancer Research Trust website to find out more, and to sign up for the most fun and worthwhile ride you will ever go on.

U.S. Weekend Preview

2024 $100,000 Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Showcase at Bruce’s Field (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Ride For Charity Teams] [Ride For Charity Online Vote] [Volunteer] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage]

Full Gallop Farm March Wednesday H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

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

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. (Paso Robles, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

International Events

Portuguese Spring Tour (Mata do Duque) [Timetable] [Entries] [Scoring] [Portuguese Eventing Association Facebook Page] [More Info]

Friday News and Reading

We’re almost three months into 2024 already, but it is never too late for a fresh start. If that is what you are looking for and you’ve got a good work ethic and a thirst for knowledge, then you might want to give reigning Pan American Games champion Caroline Pamukcu a call. She is on the hunt for a working pupil, to start almost immediately, and there is accommodation included. Sounds like an amazing opportunity for the right candidate, and we have no doubt there will be masses of applicants, so don’t dwell on it too long. You never know, this could be the first step on your journey to the upper echelons of eventing. At the very least you’re guaranteed to learn a hell of a lot, from one of the very best riders in our sport.

It seems there are an ever increasing amount of opportunities to improve your riding and learn from the best in the business, and here we have yet another. Caroline Moore, trainer to the stars – including Ros Canter (you know the one, European Champ, won a couple of big ones last year?) – is the latest one to provide an online training platform for the masses. For a menial monthly payment, members of the Performance Mentoring Programme will have access to hours and hours of training videos and content, as well as the opportunity to see top riders in training with Caroline. There will also be a chance to go behind the scenes at big events, and course walking opportunities with eventing superstars. Sign up here, now!

So I don’t know if you have heard, but 2024 is an Olympic year. Ha, who are we kidding? Paris 2024 is where it is at, baby, and the conversations as to who will be taking the medals home have already started. So too, has the training, and Richard Davison, dressage trainer to some of the top British riders offered a sneaky little insight into the most recent World Class Performance programme training sessions with Team GB. All we can say, is WOW, and also, stop already – the excitement is TOO MUCH, and there’s still a good few months to go before we get to see the action unfold. I don’t know if my heart will stand it.

Ready for me to reveal another name to remember for the future? Well then, say a big hello to tiny Annabelle Hague, who, along with her equally diminutive pony, Timmy, managed to clear a massive ditch and brush in fine style over the weekend. Not sure Timmy will make it through to Badminton: at 27 years old, he might need to retire before tackling the Vicarage Vee, but with a seat like that – at just 11 years old – there will surely be no stopping Annabelle.

Excitement is building for the Conceal Grand Prix Eventing Showcase this weekend, with some big names vying for the $100, 000 prize pot. If you want to learn more about the event, including how it came to be in the first place, then give the EquiRatings podcast a listen. Diarm and Nicole go behind the scenes at Bruce’s Field with event director Joanie Morris, before dissecting the entry list, and picking out their predictions for the top spot. Who do you think will take home the bounty? Not long until we find out – make sure to stream follow the coverage here on Eventing Nation, and over at Horse & Country TV, too, where you can see the action as it unfolds. 2024 is happening – we are all about to Go Eventing!

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Weekend Watching

Cosby Green made her 5* debut on Copper Beach in Pau last year, and she is gearing up for a big year in 2024 too, it seems. Based with Tim and Jonelle Price for another season, Cosby tagged along with Team Price on their recent trip to Spain for the Sunshine Tour, and certainly reaffirmed herself as one to watch in the process. This time though, it was UFO Quidam who caught our eye, finishing on the podium in the CSI 1* Grand Prix on the final day. 5* eventer, and now International show jumper too?! Dayum girl, you got skills.

Friday News & Notes from Stable View

 

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As the weekend rolls around once more, I hope you all have wonderful things planned; some of you may even be taking a little time to recharge your batteries ahead of another hectic week. I know that I did just that last weekend, taking myself off on a little ‘staycation,’ and reconnecting with my non-equine interests. As Andrew Hoy points out, it’s not always easy to find the much talked about ‘balance’ in life, especially where horses are concerned. But just like our beloved equine counterparts, ‘Recovery and Rest’ days play their part in the path to achieving our goals, too. I doubt many of us are as lucky as Mr Hoy, and get to enjoy said rest days sunning ourselves in Dubai – I know I certainly didn’t need my passport last weekend! – but even just a day out of your normal routine can work wonders, both mentally and physically. So why not take some time for you this weekend, and head into Monday refreshed and raring to go. And if you get the chance to do that in Dubai, even better!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Full Gallop Farm Mid February H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
Pine Top Advanced (Thomson, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
Three Lakes Winter II H.T. at Caudle Ranch (Groveland, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Friday News and Reading

We eventing fans sure do love a live stream and EN’s one-stop hub is where they’re all at. We’ve compiled this list and its accompanying global map to assist you and cut down on confusion and frustration when it comes to eventing live streams. We’ll be updating this as new live streams are added and you can request the addition of a live stream by emailing [email protected]. Eyes on, and go eventing!

It was Ian Stark’s birthday yesterday. You know the one: all round eventing legend, and designer of some of the world’s best – and toughest – cross country courses, including Maryland. Take a trip down memory lane courtesy of Horse & Hound, who have managed to condense his remarkable life and career in an easily digestible article. Happy (belated) Birthday Ian!

In the build-up to competition, so much of our time is spent focussing on the physical side of training, and mindset is often neglected as a result. However, as Nicky Pennie points out on the latest edition of the Grassroots Show from the Eventing Podcast, it is just as important to have a strong mental attitude as well. In learning how to harness your nerves in the correct way, you will not only improve your results, but inevitably add to the overall enjoyment of the experience. A really great listen for anyone that has ever suffered from nerves or self doubt (I will put my hand up on that one), full of useful tips and tricks for turning the negative thoughts around – and there’s even a discount code for Nicky’s ‘Supercharge Your Riding Masterclass, if you want to delve even deeper into your mental approach.

5* season is almost upon us, and no doubt selectors will have their attention firmly fixed on the entries list, ahead of the Paris Olympics. Riders lucky enough to have more than one potential Olympic star in their stable have an added opportunity to showcase them at Badminton this year, as the entries system has been altered slightly, to allow riders the chance to ride three horses, rather than two, as in previous years. Burghley Horse Trials allows riders to enter three horses, but Badminton has previously been so oversubscribed, it was only fair to limit riders to two horses. But last year, there was no waiting list – a first time for the event – hence the new entry system. How wonderful it must be to have three 5* runners in your stable – I’m sure most of us would be happy with just one!

On a more sombre note, the Kiwi Eventing Community suffered a big loss this week. Helen Thomson, an integral part of the Eventing Taranki committee, and a great contributor to our sport over the years, died in hospital on February 2nd. Contributing to many events as a judge, she was a much relied on volunteer, and one that New Zealand Eventing were more than aware they were lucky to have. Indeed, volunteers like Helen are few and far between, both overseas and closer to home, and selfless characters like Helen are a gift to our sport. Without them, it would be hard to run any events at all. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her, and the Kiwi Eventing community as a whole. Rest in Peace, Helen – our thoughts are with your family and loved ones.

Just when we thought it was all over… As most of you will be aware, Shane Rose caused a little bit of a furore last weekend when he chose to showjumping in a mankini. Cue eventing making national news, albeit for all of the wrong reasons, and Shane having to ‘step down’ from competition while he was investigated (for what, exactly, I am still not sure). Anyway, after an overwhelming rally of support for Shane from fans all over the world, the ‘case(?!)’ against him was inevitably dropped, and normality resumed. But for Tim Palmer, the whole situation should never have come to pass and he has decided to resign from his position as chairman of Equestrian Australia’s integrity committee as a result. Who knew that such a scrappy piece of material could cause such upheaval?!

In this ever changing world we live in, climate change is an increasingly hot topic (no pun intended, honest). So if you are concerned about the impact that you – or your horse – are having on the environment, why not work out their carbon footprint?! The brains behind Agria Equine Insurance have developed a handy little tool to allow you to do just that – and if you want a point of comparison, then their brand ambassador, current European and former World Champion, Ros Canter, has shared her own results. Every little helps!

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We don’t usually highlight winners of dressage competitions on Eventing Nation… but how can we not congratulate the winner of the highest Dressage Score for Thoroughbreds during the USEF/USDF “I LOVE Dressage” Show at Stable View when he has a show name like Why is the Rum Gone? Congratulations to Bridgette Miller and her wonderfully named horse on their win at Stable View.

Weekend Watching

It’s not eventing, but it is still one hell of a story, and one hell of a winning round, and it never fails to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and bring a tear to my eye. A fantastic display of horsemanship, the culmination of a long career characterised by grit and determination, and proof that dreams really can come true, no matter how may setbacks you encounter along the way. A fairytale ending for Nick and Big Star, I for one can’t wait to see how many more of these we will encounter in Paris, but for now, I hope you enjoy this throwback to Rio 2016. Keep dreaming, keep fighting, and as ever, Go Eventing!

 

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Friday News & Notes from Stable View

I never really understood the meaning of that much quoted proverb, All Roads Lead to Rome. No matter, because this year, all roads actually lead to Paris, and one horse starting out on that road is Pippa Funnell’s 2019 Burghley winner, MGH Grafton Street, who was recently sold to Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa . Yoshi and his family are moving close to Pippa’s yard, so that ‘Squirrel,’ as he is known to his pals, can stay in the same routine – a deal breaker for Pippa and his connections, who were keen to do what was best for the 16 year old 5* winner. Certainly one to watch in the build up to Paris, and an amazing opportunity for Yoshi to benefit from Pippa’s tutelage, too. Smart move!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Jumping Branch Farm H.T. (Aiken, SC)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ocala Winter I (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ram Tap H.T. (Fresno, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

International Events

Portuguese Spring Tour (Mata do Duque) (Feb 17 – 20 and Feb 28 – Mar 3) [Timetable] [Entries] [Scoring] [Portuguese Eventing Association Facebook Page] [More Info]


Friday News and Reading

Sticking with the Paris theme, the brains behind EquiRatings and The Eventing Podcast have taken a deep dive into who we should be keeping an eye on in 2024. Their ‘Riders to Watch’ podcast starts out with a really interesting discussion as to who the predicted front runners are for Paris, and provides a nice insight into who they think might shine this season – including some up and coming names that you may not heard of….yet. Will they get it right? Who knows, but it’s all starting to getting very exciting.

Speaking of rising stars, Cosby Green is certainly one of the brightest out there. Currently enjoying her second season based with Tim and Jonelle Price in the UK, Cosby is making the most of the opportunities available over the pond, not least of all a jaunt across to Spain for the Spanish Sunshine Tour. Not only has she been able to develop her own and her horses’ training while she has been with the Prices, but she has also benefited from a mindset shift, too. Set to return to the US at the end of this year, this young lady has her eyes on big things, and I defy anyone to stand in her way.

Well this is a wonderful initiative. In what seems to be an increasingly scary and difficult world, the good guys over at World Horse Welfare have launched a Help for Horse Owners support service. Lord knows we need all the help we can get, but this is aimed specifically at those struggling with the rising costs of keeping and caring for horses, and the mental health implications that may follow. A shining light in what seems to be a constant barrage of doom and gloom.

Want to support a good cause, while having fun with other horsey folks? Well, look no further. The British Eventing Support Trust have organised a virtual online quiz, aimed at raising funds that will allow them to continue to provide mental and physical health support to their members. There are prizes on offer too, so why not get a team together and settle down for an hour or two of fun and frolics, all in the name of charity. Who knows, you might even learn something new.

Last one from me before I sign off for the weekend, and I will leave you with another much quoted saying, though this one is a lot easier to understand than the first. Ever heard the old chestnut ‘No foot no horse?’ Well even if you haven’t, it’s certainly one worth remembering. Luckily, February is International Hoof Care Month, and for that very reason, farrier Chris Martelli has provided some advice as to how to keep your horses hooves as healthy as possible. Farrier to the stars, including none other than Lauren Nicholson, Chris certainly knows his stuff, and the tips he offers here are easily digestible, and serve as a good reminder as to the little things that we can do to help our horses stay in as good a condition as possible, from head to toe.

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What is the Stable View staff up to now? Go behind the scenes with the staff to see what it’s like to handle the day-to-day organization of the iconic venue.

Weekend Watching

Just in case you had forgotten this absolute show of horsemanship from Harriet Biddick, here you go. It would be remiss of me not to give Eventing Nation’s very own Tilly Berendt a shout out for capturing this iconic moment on her own camera too. That particular photograph earned her the Kit Houghton Photo of the Year Award at the 2023 BEMA Awards – and rightly so I am sure you will agree. All that remains for me to do now is to wish you a very happy weekend. Go Eventing – though please do check your tack first…!