Gillian Warner
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Gillian Warner

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Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Gillian Warner

As a young professional based in State College, Pennsylvania, I recently started my business to focus on training, lessons, and clinics. With national level certifications (HB/B) from the U.S. Pony Club and experience trained with Eventing Olympian and FEI Grand Prix Show Jumper, Doug Payne, as well as Canadian Grand Prix Dressage Rider David Ziegler, Eventing Olympian Mara DePuy, FEI Grand Prix Show Jumper August Torsilieri, and USEF "R” Judge and USDF Gold Medalist Ange Bean, my approach to my work emphasizes a holistic approach to training with a solid foundation in horsemanship.

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Taxiing for Takeoff: Ryan Wood and Cooley Flight Head to Luhmühlen

Ryan Wood and Cooley Flight. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The phone rang twice before I hear an accented “Hello?” on the other end. I could tell Ryan is somewhere active – the background noise brings an excitement and energy to the call. “Let me find a quiet place in the airport,” he said. Ryan was on his way to Germany, to Luhmühlen specifically, where he’ll be contesting his own and Linda Ledray’s Cooley Flight (Plot Blue – Making Moments, by Laughton’s Flight) in the 4* this coming week.

Despite this being the first time competing at Luhmühlen for Ryan, the good reports he’s heard about the venue drew him to the event. Additionally, as the last selection event for Australian riders looking for a ticket to Paris, there’s a level of excitement and anticipation to continue building on the success of 2024 so far.

Reaching this point has been a journey for Ryan and Cooley Flight, one that has required continuous commitment to horsemanship, riding, and training. Ryan, originally from Australia, came to the United States in 2008 to be based in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Eventing Country. Surrounded by some of the best, Ryan spent years working with Bruce Davidson, and with Phillip and Evie Dutton, to kick start his goals to reach the upper levels of the sport.

“Being in a place like Chester County has been instrumental to bounce ideas off of each other, and to see what it takes to get the job done. I’m forever grateful for having that platform to kick off of,” Ryan expressed.

Here, he was also able to connect with his vet, Kevin Keane, who assisted in finding Cooley Flight (“Blue”) during a horse shopping trip to Ireland. While at Cooley Farm, Ryan and Kevin found “raw and Irish looking” 5-year-old Blue to have big movement and a big, scopey jump. “He’s always been a strong cross country horse. His strength is certainly the cross country, but he’s a good show jumper as well. We’ve been spending the last twelve months working on the dressage… and are making great headway with both the horse and the jockey,” Ryan chuckled.

“The dressage has been the hold back for a better result, but it’s getting there – the trend is in the right direction,” Ryan commented. “At the last three FEI events, we’ve dropped two points in the dressage at each one. We’ll be trying to drop another two at Luhmühlen.”

“We’ve been going through huge lengths to crack through to the next level and be more competitive after the first day. This winter, I spent some time in Wellington working on the dressage with Jacqueline Brooks. Now that we’re back in Pennsylvania, I’ve been training in the dressage with Silva Martin, working with her two or three times a week.”

“We’re still keeping up on the other phases too, working with Peter Wylde in show jumping and Phillip Dutton on cross country. And we spend time on the incredible hills in the county for fitness. Chester County offers access to incredible hills and gallops that you dream about. They’re a real reason behind the success in our area in the sport, thanks to the land owners for the access to [that resource].”

Putting in the work seems to be paying off. As Ryan commented, their dressage has been improving over the last few FEI events, where we saw them score a 39 in the Nations Cup at Boekelo April 2023, a 37.7 in the 4*S at TerraNova in March 2024, and a 35 in the 4*S at Kentucky this April. After the 35 in dressage, 2.4 cross country time penalties, and a rail in show jumping, Ryan and Blue finished 11th at Kentucky.

Ryan and Blue schooling in Germany. Photo from Ryan Wood.

As Luhmühlen is the final selection event for the Australian riders aiming for Paris, there are quite a few good partnerships heading to Germany to compete. Other Australian riders include Andrew Barnett, Christopher Burton, Isabel English, Andrew Hoy, William Levett, Kevin McNab, and Kenya Wilson.“We’ll be aiming for our personal best,” Ryan responded in consideration of the competitive field.

Ryan has met up with Blue and groom Caitlin Reamy at Andreas Dibowski’s farm prior to heading to Luhmühlen. We’ll be keeping an eye on this team in Germany, as they bring forward the work that they’ve put in over the last seven years in partnership with Blue. You can follow Ryan’s journey on his Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as keep an eye on Eventing Nation for latest reports on the event.

Send Off the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team at Stable View

The excitement of an Olympic year only grows as we get closer to Paris this summer. While we haven’t heard yet about the specifics of our team members, we know they’ll all be competing at Stable View’s Summer Horse Trials June 21st-23rd as their final team outing.

This provides a fantastic opportunity for the Eventing community to come together to show their support and be part of the Olympic efforts with a toast to send off these athletes.

Stable View is providing the opportunity to purchase VIP Tickets for the toast to these athletes heading off to Paris. On Saturday, June 22nd from 11:00am – 4:00pm, Ticket Holders receive access to the Pavilion upstairs with a 360-degree view, lunch catered by Blue Collard, beer + wine, and Stable View swag! You can purchase your tickets to participate here.

Come show your support and raise a glass to the Team! Team members will line up in the arena for their send-off at some point between 11am-4pm (barring ride times), and might even stop by upstairs!

Join the Excitement of Devon’s Arena Eventing

It’s that time of year again! Devon’s Arena Eventing is coming back at the Devon Horse Show, with another course designed by Captain Mark Phillips. Devon’s Arena Eventing class combines the thrill of cross country riding with the technicality of show jumping fences throughout the course, ensuring an exciting evening ahead!

Arena Eventing Night at Devon 2022

There is nothing quite like arena eventing in primetime at Devon. ✨

Posted by USEF Network on Monday, May 30, 2022

Last year, we saw Buck Davidson & Erroll Gobey win the class. We’re keeping a close eye out for this year’s entries, but are expecting some Eventing fan favorites take a spin in effort to claim victory in the $50,000 purse.

Boyd Martin & Contestor. Winners of the 2019 Devon Arena Eventing. Photo courtesy of The Book LLC.

If you want to follow the action, you can follow the action online here, or take a look into tickets, if you’ll be in the area.

We’re working on obtaining an entry list to preview, so stay tuned as we’ll update this article if and when we receive the list!

The event will happen this Sunday, May 26th, beginning at 7:00 p.m., with a course walk and horse acclimation beginning at 6:15 p.m.

From the Ground Up: Creating Opportunities

Gillian Warner is bringing us along for the ride as she strikes out on her own to launch her business as a professional. You can catch up on more installments from this series here.

One of my favorite components of working with horses is the natural curiosity they bring to the table. Throughout the training process, I love to encourage that curiosity to ask new questions, address new challenges, and experience adventures that emerge, as allowing the horse to explore and think will only help them understand and learn.

Despite this feeling like such a critical quality in a horse, I feel like it was something I hadn’t allowed myself to develop personally in the same ways I encouraged for the horses. As my business continued to grow and develop, my schedule felt too tight for anything other than to get through the day – it certainly didn’t leave much time to explore, or even think much beyond the routine. Pretty quickly, I felt how limiting that was, and how much it was stunting my growth with the horses.

Thanks to my young thoroughbred, CC, who needed me to take that extra time with her, I started allowing myself to explore from her perspective – we looked at new jumps, poked around a new obstacle, or pawed at the tarp on the ground. Not only was it fun for both of us, but I also saw the confidence and growth that happened so quickly after taking just an extra moment to create the space to explore.

Carrying that lesson into my greater plan for the business has required constant commitment to that curiosity – it’s easy to fall back into the comfortable routine that keeps things “on track” and running. But it doesn’t allow for growth. I’ve been very intentional to create opportunities to develop my curiosity as a trainer, business owner, and horsewoman. For me, creating opportunities means working the schedule to allow for a day trip for a clinic with clients. It means applying to certificate programs to develop my understanding of animal behavior. It means connecting with Pony Clubs around the country to expand my network, and it means traveling while doing what I love.

Each time I’ve set out to create an opportunity like these, they’ve fueled me to become increasingly creative and curious. Clinics have expanded my mind and shown me new ideas and approaches that have helped the clients and horses with which I work. Traveling and learning from horsemen and horsewomen around the world have shown me diversity in practices, which I have been able to combine and explore. Reading a new book, or sharing a conversation with a new connection opens my mind to how experiences shape each of us, and helps me understand and appreciate my own journey as well.

It’s not always easy to break out of the daily routine to allow myself to explore this curiosity and these opportunities. It forces me to push beyond the perfectly scheduled day, or the weekly plan I had outlined, which has felt a little uncomfortable. It has created uncertainty as to what every day will look like, which has been something I’ve always appreciated – and quite honestly needed – before. But despite all this, that uncertainty fueled more creativity and curiosity as to how I could fill that space.

In thinking how I can commit to creating curiosity and opportunities as I continue in the development of my business reminded me of the intention I set early on in the establishment of Warner Equine. As I expressed in a previous article, my goal was to start the process, but understand that it was ok (and even good) to remain incomplete.

Committing to the continuation of the creation of opportunities will ensure that I remain incomplete, always open to evolving and growing. I’ll lean into my natural curiosity, as I encourage my horses to do, in order to develop throughout of lifetime of work, learning, and exploration. While it’ll often feel uncomfortable, the growth, fuel, and curiosity for more will keep me going.

Adult Team Challenges Coming to Stable View

We’ve seen the Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships. We’ve seen the Alumni Cup. And now, Stable View is announcing a new Team Challenge coming to you: the Stable View Adult Team Challenge.

This new Team Challenge will be offered during Stable View’s Summer Horses Trials (June 21st-23rd) as well as Oktoberfest (September 27th-29th).

Teams can be a collection of three or four members, with the best three scores on a team counting. Competitors can be riding at any level (using the USEA Intercollegiate Team Challenge coefficient system) and teams can be made up of professionals and amateurs. Each rider is only allowed to have a maximum of two horses per team.

To enter a team, please email Emma at [email protected] with your team name and a list of team members by the show’s closing date. Prizes will be announced!

Ride Along with Jon Holling in RideiQ’s VIRTUAL Clinic

Looking for some quality instruction, but have limited time or resources for a big trip? Take a look at RideiQ’s new offering of a live and virtual flatwork clinic with Jon Holling to gain some valuable insight from the comfort of your own ring.

Jon Holling and Dushi Terma. Photo by Lisa Madren.

Pairs, comfortable riding at the walk/trot/canter and through basic lateral work, are invited to register for the clinic. After participants register and provide information on themselves and their horses, Jon will craft a lesson plan and will ride through the lesson in real time with the participants while he instructs. After the ride, there will be a chat to debrief the session.

This is RideiQ’s first live, virtual clinic, and will be held on Saturday, May 25th from 11AM-12PM ET. The cost to participate is $35, and cell service is necessary to attend.

There is a cap on participants to ensure the lesson is tailored appropriately, and the debrief personal – make sure to register today to reserve your spot! You can register on Strider here.

The Weekend Update: Fair Hill Offers Starter – Advanced HT Heading into Summer Season

Fair Hill International Horse Trial ran this past weekend, offering divisions from Starter to Advanced, for all levels of horse and rider duos.

We saw ten entries in their Advanced division this past weekend, and while it wasn’t the largest group, it was filled with plenty of experienced 4* pairs.

There were a few Advanced entries this weekend that had rerouted from Kentucky – Shannon Lilley brought both Eindhoven Garette and Ideal HX after a withdrawal and a retirement at Kentucky last month, as well as Boyd Martin with Miss LuLu Herself after they withdrew from Kentucky. These pairs are all headed for the CCI4*-L at Bromont (June 13-16).

After sitting towards the bottom of the field in 7th after dressage on a 33.2, Shannon Lilley and her own Eindhoven Garette (Iowa – Rose Rouge Garette) jumped one of the only show jumping clears to slide into 3rd heading into cross country. They finished the weekend with the win in the division after the fastest cross country round of the group. Shannon started Eindhoven Garette’s FEI career in 2022 with a 15th place finish in the 1* at Tryon. Since then, they’ve developed to the 4* level, having completed three 4* events, including a 5th place finish in the 4*L at Morven this past October. This win comes after their reroute after a withdrawal from Kentucky.

Adding a rail and a bit of jumping and cross country time to their leading dressage score of 29.3, Matthew Brown and Shelley Onderdonk’s Alderwood (Flex A Bill – Calandra Z) finished on a 47.3 to clinch 2nd place. We saw these two finish three 4* events in the 2023 season, most recently with an 11th place finish in the 4*L at TerraNova in November. After a 10th place finish in the Open Preliminary at Morven and then withdrawing from the Advanced at Fair Hill in April, this is their first completion back at the level for the 2024 season.

Rounding out the top three, we saw Boyd Martin with Bonnie Stedt’s Miss LuLu Herself (Stolzenfels – Noisette). Although Boyd had LuLu aimed at the Kentucky 4*S this spring, he withdrew her to reroute to the 4*L at Bromont coming up in June. These two saw a 30.9 in dressage to sit in second, before adding a rail and some time in the jumping phases to finish in 3rd.

Braden Speck with BSF Liam and Caitlin Silliman and Ally KGO finish in 4th and 5th for your top five.

In the Open Intermediate, we saw Boyd Martin with Barney Rubble in first, and Maya Clarkson finish second with Clueso and third with Maks Mojo C. You can find results from the rest of the horse trial here from the Starter to the Advanced divisions.

Fair Hill International Recognized H.T. (Elkton, MD): [Website] [Results]

Weekend Winners: Galway, Majestic Oaks, Unionville, Queeny Park, River Glen, Tryon, & Winona

What a packed weekend! Between Badminton 5* and Tryon 4*, we’ve loved following along the reports and have been glued to socials for updates on riders tackling some of the biggest events around the world.

In addition to the events we’ve been covering all weekend, we saw multiple other events running, from Starter to Advanced CTs, all across the country. Let’s catch up with all of the action from this past weekend as we celebrate our Weekend Winners!

Congrats to all on successful outings, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award: Amber Birtcil and Nadeche, who scored a 19.7 in the Novice Horse at Galway.

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website][Scoring]

Advanced CT: Auburn Excell Brady and Galliard’s Lancer (39.7)
Advanced/Intermediate: Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve (33.8)
Open Intermediate: Taren Hoffos and Regalla (32.6)
Open Preliminary: Tommy Greengard and Purple Reign (31.7)
Preliminary Challenge: Tommy Greengard and That’s Me Z (27.7)
Open Modified: Amber Birtcil and Milagro (29.8)
Open Training: Whitney Tucker Billeter and Aspen (26.7)
Training Rider A: Stacia Lloyd and Kid A (33.5)
Training Rider B: Anastasia Keyser and Bellatrix (37.8)
Novice Horse: Amber Birtcil and Nadeche (19.7)
Novice Rider A: Jessa Hills and Year of the Kitten (24.2)
Novice Rider B: Bari Boersma and Reverie GWF (22.5)
Open Novice: Jessica DiCostanzo and Willis (25.8)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Amanda Tapocik and American Quest (29.6)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Camryn Cummings and Feeling Flirti (35.3)
Open Beginner Novice: Erin Kellerhouse and Jonty (25.3)
Open Starter: Tara Doherty and Sundance Kid (35.0)
Starter Rider: Katie Shea and Indiana Jones (30.7)

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Reddick, FL) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Kyle Carter and RHS Ciarado (26.8)
Preliminary Rider: Stephanie Jackson and Fernhill Quality Vision (35.8)
Open Modified: Vanessa Stevenson and Virgo (32.0)
Open Training: Cindy Rawson and Fourfields Classek (26.1)
Training Rider: Riley Carter and FR’s Trust Fund (31.9)
Novice Rider A: Mary DeBono and Dancing Laila (31.4)
Novice Rider B: Chase Hutchings and Finnegan’s Silver (24.7)
Open Novice A: Declan Bast and FE Limoncello (27.8)
Open Novice B: Anna Loschiavo and Connor (24.4)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Barbara Vizzi and Charismatic (22.9)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Lauren Poley and Faust (28.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Margaret Stocker and Smilla’s Sense of Snow (24.7)
Starter – Intro A: Emily Dermody and Kildare’s Buster Keaton (27.7)
Starter – Intro B: Priscilla Pignatelli and Dittos Gold En Fury (25.7)

Unionville May H.T. (Coatesville, PA) [Website][Scoring]

Open Intermediate: Matthew Grayling and Trudeau (25.8)
Open Preliminary A: Caitlin Silliman and Excel Star Vero Amore (28.2)
Open Preliminary B: Boyd Martin and Vivantura (29.7)
Modified: Boyd Martin and Cadiz 1 (27.0)
Open Training: Lillian Heard Wood and Cooley Maestro (25.0)
Training Rider: Christa Schmidt and Chakiris Star (26.4)
Novice Rider: Annie Renzetti and Molly (26.9)
Open Novice A: Matthew Brown and Suntory Gold (21.7)
Open Novice B: Ryan Wood and Ardeo Cruise (28.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Lynn Kundravi and Fox Ridge Rocket Man (36.2)
Starter: Ashley Zupan and Al Capony (34.0)

Queeny Park H.T. (St. Louis, MO) [Website][Scoring]

Modified Open – Paradox Sporthorses: Anna Banks and Primrose BMD (31.9)
Training Open – The Tack Trunk: Annie Jones and Carolina PCH (28.1)
Novice Open A – Gateway Off-Track Thoroughbreds: Jill Oliphant and Explorationist (35.0)
Novice Open B – WMD Ranch: Jessica Ptak-Hooker and Mr. Flattery (26.4)
Beginner Novice Open A – Mid-Rivers Equine Center: Mariah Johnson and Pablo Picasso (32.2)
Beginner Novice Open B – Homestead Veterninary Hospital: Sophia Lieberman and Bear Necessities (24.7)
Beginner Novice Open C – ICT Tack: Mallory Huggins and Overeasy (28.4)
Starter Open A – Snaffle Sweets: Mallory Huggins and I’m Your Huckleberry (34.7)
Starter Open B – Silver Springs Pony Club: Brynlee Newman and The Smoke Show (30.7)

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

Open Preliminary: Ainsley Slicker and Fernhill Lets Face It (42.1)
Open Modified: Gina Pletch and Charlotte La Bouff (33.2)
Open Training A: Marisa Shulman and Samurai Sam (36.1)
Open Training B: Jules Jarrell and All Dun Up (34.8)
Training/Novice: Kate Schmitz and Undaunted Rags (33.8)
Novice Horse: Deborah Snyder and Eagle Eyed Lady (30.9)
Novice Rider: Jennifer Boshart and Blaze of Charm (24.7)
Open Novice: Jhett Jenkins and Lombardi Avenue (31.9)
BNovice Rider A: Alysha Hendren and Santiago (28.8)
BNovice Rider B: Callie Blackford Winders and Worth A Chance (34.6)
Open BNovice: Margret Stiles and Amano (26.8)
Open Starter A: Sarah Younger and Cody’s Legacy (33.0)
Open Starter B: Zoë Rizzuto and Fitz (28.3)

Tryon International Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, NC) [Website][Scoring]

CCI 4*L: Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake (28.6)
CCI 4*S: Colleen Loach and FE Golden Eye (47.7)
CCI 3*L: Sharon White and Jaguars Duende (32.5)
CCI 3*S: Allison Springer and Castle Howard Romeo (40.7)
CCI 2*L: Joe Meyer and Ballygriffin Crossfield Cara (31.9)
CCI 2*S: Caroline Pamukcu and The Sequel (27.9)
CCI 1*S: Lucienne Bellissimo and Duke’s Jory (29.4)

Winona Horse Trials (Hanoverton, OH) [Website][Scoring]

Modified: Brooke Burchianti and Cooley Constellation (51.7)
Training Open: Corinna Garcia and Schiller Nav (29.2)
Novice Open A: Emily Hummel and What’s His Face SSH3 (31.4)
Novice Open B: Carol Kozlowski and Elodon Zodiac (26.4)
Beg Novice Open A: Molly Smith and Kimberlake Samuel (27.9)
Beg Novice Open B: Elliot Bizjak and N’Pressive (29.4)
Beg Novice Open C: Laura Kosiorek-Smith and Tensas Carlos (24.1)
Starter Open A: Olivia Caschera and Puttin’ On The Ritz (105.9)
Starter Open B: Sue Hines and Tarnished Justice (32.3)
Starter SGF: Provisional Scores Holly Shine and Let The River Run (29.0)

From Start to Finish, Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake Lead the Yanmar America Tryon International CCI4*-L

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

After a soggy start to the weekend, the sun came out to wrap up the Yanmar America Tryon International CCI4*-L this morning.

The top of the board didn’t give much wiggle room for change – Caroline Pamukcu maintained her lead with HSH Blake, and Will Faudree held onto second with Mama’s Magic Way. However, we saw Phillip Dutton‘s Jewelent (3rd after cross country) eliminated at the final horse inspection, with Liz Halliday sliding into third and fourth with Cooley Quicksilver and Shanroe Cooley after jumping two clears. Phillip’s other ride, Denim, picked up only 0.8 time in the jumping to round out the top 5.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Caroline Pamukcu and Mollie Hoff and Sherrie Martin’s HSH Blake (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass, by Kannan) have continued developing their strong partnership. Since winning the Pan Ams last year, this duo finished second in the 4*S at Carolina, 5th in the 4*S at Kentucky, and have now secured the win in the 4*L at Tryon, finishing on their dressage score of 28.6.

“This weekend we are over the moon,” Caroline stated. “I have always said [Blake] is such a unicorn – he gives 200%. It’s hard to do two FEI shows back to back, ten days apart, but we followed team selection. It’s the last step towards the Olympics.”

“He lost a shoe on the cross country at both Kentucky and Tryon, so I had to reinvent some lines, take some wide turns or direct lines to keep from slipping. But today I just had to go in there, take a breath, and ride a quiet course,” Caroline said. “I didn’t have to do anything crazy [with the time]. I thought it was a beautiful course, I always love riding and jumping at Tryon, it has such a great atmosphere.”

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“I couldn’t do this without my team,” Caroline expressed her gratitude. “I jumped with Bobby [Costello] this morning, talked with my coach Sharon White, and had my business partner Kelley Hutchinson in the warm up – Kelley sourced Blake for me as a five year old, and is a big reason he’s still in my barn, as well as his owners Mollie Hoff and my mom Sherrie.”

After rerouting to Tryon from Kentucky, Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic – Straightaway, by Star Regent xx) seemed to have found their way. “I of course was a bit disappointed with an uncharacteristic dressage at Kentucky,” Will reflected. “But I think his back was bothering him. We had treated it, but I think he just needed some more time. After some chiropractor work, he’s felt great in his body all week, which I feel helps them feel better in their brain, too.”

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“He recovered great [from cross country], I was kicking myself for the two time penalties [yesterday],” Will said.

Going in to show jumping, Will has sought out help with Mason’s unique jumping style, and has been working with Olympic show jumper Lauren Hough over this past winter. “Mason’s not the most orthodox [in the show jumping], and a bit excited to get there. After Burghley last year, my coach Bobby Costello and I talked about connecting with Lauren [Hough] for some help. She’s really helped me give him the time [he needs], and has also helped me change [myself] – I used to show jump with my stirrups on hole seven, and go cross country on hole eleven. My cross country stirrups are the same, but I jump on hole four now.”

“[Lauren and I] talked about the course today, and she reminded me today to move quickly but not to sacrifice a rail by going too fast. Bobby told me to equitate in the combinations – be still and quiet with your body.”

Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The winter homework with Mason’s jumping seemed to pay off, jumping a double clear in the show jumping today. “[Mason] came out feeling super this morning. I was just thrilled with him all weekend,” Will stated.

Liz Halliday certainly showed her experience and consistency this weekend, having two finish in the top 5, within 0.4 penalties of one another, finishing in third on a 35.2 with The Monster Partnership / Ocala Horse Properties’ Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer – Kylemore Crystal, by Greggan Diamond), and 4th on a 35.6 with Ocala Horse Properties’ Shanroe Cooley (Dallas – Shanroe Sapphire, by Condios).

Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“My horses were both fantastic today and jumped super clear rounds,” Liz reflected. “Both horses really enjoy big atmospheres, so it was great to jump in the Tryon Stadium! This is always an excellent spring three day event that I look forward to.”

Sharon White and Jaguar Duende. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

In the 4*S, we saw Colleen Loach and her own, Peter Barry, and Amanda Bernhard’s FE Golden Eye (Goldfever 3 x Cascade, by Contendro I) secure the win, Sharon White and Jaguars Duende win the 3*L, Allison Springer and Castle Howard Romeo with the 3*S win, and Joe Meyer and Ballygriffin Crossfield Cara win the 2*L. Caroline Pamukcu took home another win this weekend with The Sequel in the 2*S, and Lucienne Bellissimo secured the 1*S win with Duke’s Jory. You can find all final results here.

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

Weekend Winners: Stable View, Texas Rose, Skyline, Waredaca, & Windridge

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m certainly not ready to jump into another work week. Super grateful for this edition of Weekend Winners to help me enjoy the weekend recap, social highlights, and horse-show hangover. This weekend was filled with activity – a multitude of events running, the USEA Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Eventing Championships (catch up on the USEA’s coverage here!), and even some cute puppy rescue (as shared by photographer JJ Sillman).

Congrats to all on a successful weekend! Shout out to all of these winners, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Brittney Caflisch and Benmore Westonhouse Boy, who scored a 19.2 in the Open Novice at Texas Rose.

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

Advanced Dressage: Emily Hamel and Corvett (32.6)
Advanced/Intermediate: Maddie Hale and Cinzano 87 (36.0)
Open Intermediate: Hayden Wathen and Contestor (31.6)
Open Preliminary: Madison Temkin and Fernhill Bertus (29.2)
Preliminary Rider: Ashley Dodds and Lowland (31.4)
Modified Rider: Jillian Newman and Curraghgraigue freeman (25.5)
Open Modified: Cole Horn and The Wellerman (29.3)
Open Training: Natasha Quirk and First Class (26.4)
Training Rider A: Sally Davis and MFF Manhattan Affair (39.8)
Training Rider B: Rose Schild and Acording to Morgan (33.3)
Training Rider C: Callie Snow and Botshabelo MVH Z (29.3)
Novice Rider A: Abby Buenting and Calvin (29.4)
Novice Rider B: Suzanne Hillhouse and Severance Pay (31.4)
Novice Rider C: Emma Suess and On Point (32.2)
Novice Rider D: Alyson Roy and Fire for Effect (29.4)
Novice Rider E: Olivia Martinez and Super Cooper (31.9)
Open Novice A: Lara Roberts and Fernhill Show Biz (21.1)
Open Novice B: Kimmy Cecere and Brooklyn (26.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Katie Mendes and McCreary (24.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Jack Brennan and Paladin (32.8)
Beginner Novice Rider C: Isabella Henry and Fangio (31.9)
Open Beginner Novice A: Sophie Miller and Bon Fleur (27.8)
Open Beginner Novice B: Jillian Newman and Sunhill Rover (24.4)
Starter A: Kimmy Cecere and Seal The Deal (32.8)
Starter B: Georgia Ranson and Brambleridge Capability Brown (28.3)
Starter C: Sophia Brady-Owen and Overlay (37.7)
Starter D: Madeline Brechtel and Fernhill Sinatra (23.0)

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

Intermediate/Preliminary: Eva Hemb and Lexington Hall’s Bentley (57.0)
Open Preliminary: Kate Bell and FE Velvet Black (30.7)
Modified Rider: Casey Locklear and FLS Major Bounce (37.5)
Open Modified: Lauren Lambert and FE Alfonso Z (31.0)
Junior Training Rider: Ava Staton and Lamondale Graciana (33.8)
Open Training: Anna Pierce and Dreamweaver (33.5)
Senior Training Rider: Elle Snyder and Oakland Quality (33.6)
Junior Novice Rider A: Sophia Street and Classic’s Mojah (30.9)
Junior Novice Rider B: Hanna Enderlin and SF Sassafras (32.3)
Novice Horse: Alexis Lind and Elles Bay (29.5)
Open Novice: Brittney Caflisch and Benmore Westonhouse Boy (19.2)
Senior Novice Rider: Mary Hon and Deanfield Disney (35.1)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider A: Willow Lane and Bonne Fete (27.2)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider B: Stella Youngbauer and Wingman (35.3)
Open Beginner Novice A: Jackie Ericksen and Devon Ridge Indira (26.9)
Open Beginner Novice B: Sophia Peters and The Mystery Machine (30.9)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Brenda Sheets and Inigo ENF (30.5)
Starter A: Tianna Kelley and Rubin’s St Sofia (31.3)
Starter B: Taylor Geaney and High Jinx Shinx (28.3)
Tadpole: Grace Fahrenbruch and Dream (35.7)

The Event at Skyline (Mount Pleasant, UT) [Website][Scoring]


Open Preliminary: Travis Atkinson and Calzini (26.6)
Open Training: Kirsten Freed and Jasper (25.6)
Open Novice: Lindsay Wagner and GCS Ardeo Jupiter (24.7)
Open Beginner Novice A: Vicki Baker and Professor Loki (23.5)
Open Beginner Novice B: Allison Merritt and Rumors (29.1)
Open Starter: Michelle Cameron Donaldson and Danny Boy (21.7)

Waredaca H.T. (Laytonsville, MD) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Kaitlin Clasing and Butts Arthur (41.6)
Modified A: Bailey Hennings and HSH Redfield Red Sox (42.5)
Modified B: Carlin Keefe and Maybe Someday (37.8)
Open Training: Daniel Clasing and Beryl (28.6)
Training Rider: Kara Googins and Silver Bop (31.1)
Novice Horse: Kerri Long and Blue Suede Shoes (Memphis) (30.0)
Novice Rider A: Brynn Miller and Clever Deception (39.3)
Novice Rider B: Haley Miller and He’s True Brew (33.1)
Open Novice A: Kaitlin Clasing and TGS Lions Sunshine (26.1)
Open Novice B: Katelyn Duda and Big Easy Empire (29.2)
Beginner Novice Horse: Gillian Clissold and Thurman Discovery (32.7)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Elliot Bizjack and N’Pressive (28.8)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Emily Hummel and What’s His Face SSH3 (28.5)
Open Beginner Novice: Alissa Genovese and Island Fever (30.5)
Starter A: Ella Norman and Indiana Jones (36.8)
Starter B: Gina Franz and FMF Sullivan (32.7)

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

Intermediate/Preliminary: Jasmine Hobart and Dresden Green (54.4)
Preliminary: Dana Cooke and FE Damascus (34.4)
Preliminary/Training: Lisa Borgia and Silmarillion (27.5)
Training: Tarra Gakstatter and How You Doin’ (27.8)
Novice A: Alison Smith and Ruarigh (33.4)
Novice B: Louise Gillam and Wicked Worry (39.9)
Novice C: Logan Harris and Ton Of Gold (26.4)
Beginner Novice JR: Stevens Mosley and SLE Ocean Ablaze (25.9)
Beginner Novice SR1: Roisin O’Rahilly and Happy Times (25.8)
Beginner Novice SR2: Jane Demeulemester and CurraBawn Gatsby (30.0)
Grasshopper: Jasmine Hobart and Brynhild (19.3)
Introductory: Audrey Delap and San Francisco (32.3)
Intro CT: Megan Lapkoff and No Big Deal (32.5)
Starter A: Allison Thompson and Leo the Lion (35.0)
Starter B: Meredith Kapler and Le Magnifique (35.1)

Weekend Winners: New Jersey, Loudoun, Archer YEH and NEH, & University of New Hampshire

Naturally, many Eventers flocked to Kentucky this week – to compete, groom, or support. However, we saw plenty of Eventing action through New Jersey, Virginia, Wyoming, and New Hampshire this weekend as well.

Shout out to these Weekend Winners for successful outings! And an extra special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Emily Bradford and Ben-jamin’ Traveler, who won the Open Novice at New Jersey on a 22.8!

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

Open Preliminary: Alexander Conrad and Layla Q (26.4)
Open Modified: Fylicia Barr and Quantum Cooley (26.0)
Open Training: Holly Payne Caravella and Rock Me Mama (29.3)
Training Rider: Charlotte Carrajat and As Is (31.7)
Novice Rider A: Charlotte Carrajat and Late Night (Conan) (31.5)
Novice Rider B: Geneva Auckett-Stowe and Big Berry (28.9)
Open Novice: Emily Bradford and Ben-jamin’ Traveler (22.8)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Rachel Barmore and Just One More / “Travis” (31.6)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Kelly O’Brien and B.E. Never Say Never (26.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Brita Tansey and Calliope (31.9)
Starter: Lindsey Norris and Painted Arrow (32.9)

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

Open Intermediate: Katie Lichten and Fast Company (33.0)
Open Preliminary A: Michael Pendleton and Adorrado (26.1)
Open Preliminary B: Lucia Strini and DHI Kevin G (31.6)
Open Preliminary C: Michael Pendleton and Lorian de la haute Semois (31.6)
Junior Open Training: Raina LaBonte and Quite Quality (35.0)
Open Training A: Courtney Olmstead and Macalistair (30.6)
Open Training B: Michael Pendleton and Schwarzrotgold (28.9)
Preliminary/Training: Emma Jones and Union Jack (40.1)
Training Horse: Lynn Symansky and Caramba (26.1)
Training Rider A: Nanette Schumaker and La Cosa Nostra (34.8)
Training Rider B: Mary Hope and Rule of Thumb (31.7)
Junior Open Novice: Madeline Riley and Bobbie Burns (27.2)
Novice Horse: Samantha Homeyer and SISTER ACT.COM (26.1)
Novice Rider A: Emma Whitaker and HSH Golden Boy (35.3)
Novice Rider B: Mary Ann Ghadban and Capture The Spirit (30.8)
Open Novice: Katherine DeLaney and Canto Royale (27.5)
Beginner Novice Horse: Martin Douzant and Delta Dawn PVF (28.5)
Beginner Novice Rider: Katura Harvey and Captain Regan (30.9)
Junior Open Beginner Novice A: Reagan Loker and Snappy Bullet (26.8)
Junior Open Beginner Novice B: Scarlett Knull and Frenemy (29.1)
Open Beginner Novice: Michael Pendleton and Let’s Fetz (27.4)

The Event at Archer Spring Fling YEH and NEH (Cheyenne, WY) [Website][Scoring]

Novice: Elizabeth Gillmor and Felix Felicis (24.4)
Beginner Novice: Louise Walker and Get There John (26.8)
YEH 4 Year Old: Allison Deveraux Murphy and Gemini Nuerburgring (61.050)
YEH 5 Year Old: Ryleigh Leavitt and Neverland RTL (80.250)
Starter: C’Dale Jore and A Mannhattans Lady Liberty (39.7)
NEH Starter: Ainsley Barker and Mouillage (63.950)

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

Open Modified/Training: Julia Hulett and Ardeo Krafty Warren (27.3)
Open Training: Anthony Lambert and Killinick Lace (41.1)
Open Novice A: Kim Lyons and Remington (29.4)
Open Novice B: Sophia Miller and Big Platinum (33.3)
Open Beginner Novice A: Nancy Roche and Saphyra (24.4)
Open Beginner Novice B: Samantha Marcoux and Seeing Is Believing (34.3)
Open Beginner Novice C: Gabriella Johnson and Velvet Rose (32.4)
Open Starter: Faith Langley and Folk Lure (32.0)

Miks Master C and Dyri Tie for Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S Lead Heading in to Cross Country

Liz Halliday and Miks Master C. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We saw the leaderboard shake up a bit at the conclusion of dressage for the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. A competitive field was expected, with the Olympic selection committee present here this weekend, and the riders on the second day certainly did not disappoint.

After leading the first day, we saw Boyd Martin and Commando 3 slide into fourth going into cross country tomorrow. We now see a fully female top three: a tie for first between Liz Halliday with Ocala Horse Properties’ and Deborah Palmer’s Miks Master C (Mighty Magic – Qui Lumba CBF, by Quite Easy) and Lucienne Bellissimo with Horse Scout Eventing’s Dyri (Diarado – La Calera, by King Milford xx) on a 26.0, and Caroline Pamukcu and Mollie Hoff, Sherrie Martin, Deniz Pamukcu, and her own HSH Blake (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass, by Kannan) in third on a 27.3.

Liz Halliday and Miks Master C. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Liz and Miks Master C are entering their third season together. While Liz and “Mikki” have only been together since 2022, this partnership has plenty of experience together already, with three previous 4*S wins, a third place finish in the 5* at Kentucky last year (the horse’s debut at the level), and a top ten Pan Ams individual placing.

“I was pleased with Mikki, he definitely knows where he is this week… he remembers the five-star, he’s been very keen and ready to go… I toyed with the idea of doing the five-star, but I felt he proved himself here last year, and the smart thing for his health and longevity was to do the four-star. He’s a horse with so much power, and was very excitable today so I just tried to keep him calm in the warm up. Our last change was a little expensive, but the rest I was really pleased with him,” Liz reflected.

Lucienne Bellissimo and Dyri. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Despite their expensive last change, their score of 26.0 was enough to put them in the lead, tied for first with Lucienne Bellissimo Dyri. Dyri had previously been campaigned through the 3* level with Dirk Schrade before Lucienne took the ride in 2021.

“I’m thrilled with Dyri,” Lucienne commented on their dressage test, which earned them their new personal best at the level. “He’s one of those geldings who’s a little bit introverted. Every time he goes up the centerline, he loses a little bit of confidence, but today was the first time he really started to let me in to all of his work. [We have been] taking time and gaining trust.”

“I did the opposite of what everyone else,” Lucienne laughed. “I did no arena familiarization with him. Which was a risk, but it did pay off… I think if I’d have brought him in last night, he would have come in thinking a little bit backwards. Instead, I was able to put my leg on and actually ride him.”

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Pan Ams individual gold medalist Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake sit only 1.3 penalty points behind Liz and Lucienne.

“I’m not going to lie, I tried not to cry at the end. I’m so proud of my horse, and he’s only 9 this year,” Caroline said. “This weekend is his fourth advanced ever.”

Despite having limited 4* experience together, Caroline and Blake have continuously shown their competitiveness at the level, finishing in the top three in the three 4* previously contested, as well as winning the individual gold at the Pan Ams in 2023.

Outside of the top three, we see Boyd Martin and Commando 3 in fourth, Elisabeth Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver in fifth, and William Coleman with Diabolo and Off The Record in sixth and seventh, after having to withdraw Chin Tonic HS earlier this week.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

As the competition moves to cross country tomorrow, it will be an exciting day to follow. Only 5.3 penalty points separate the top ten, leaving no room for error. This year as an Olympic year is more intense than ever, and the event expects at least 30,000 people in attendance on Saturday. The CCI4*-S will be the first division of the day, starting out at 9 a.m. You can find ride times here.

Hannah Sue Hollberg and Carsonstown. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I absolutely love the course, the ground feels amazing. I think it’s tough, fence 4 at the water, and fence 6 with the coffin early on… it’s unforgiving, but it’s well built,” Lucienne stated.

There were a handful of withdrawals ahead of cross country: Tamie Smith withdrew Danito (we have reached out to her for information and will update if we receive any, but Danito hasn’t had many runs in the last bit so it was perhaps always her plans to just do dressage), Buck Davidson withdrew Cooley Candyman, which was his original plan as he is aiming for Tryon’s 4*-L in May and was using this as practice, Katie Malensek withdrew STX Mex, and John Michael Durr withdrew Blue Rodeo.

“We do this not just because we love to compete, but because we love the horses with whom we compete,” JM shared on social regarding “Stanley”. “That partnership is what drives us and brings out our best self every weekend. Sometimes that means listening to what our teammate has to say—even when it is hard to hear. For us, that means addressing the fact that while Nugget the wonder pony has been amazing, the pressure of performing in the dressage arena is overwhelming for Blue Rodeo, therefore, our team has decided to follow his lead and pursue a career in show jumping. I want to share my sincerest thanks to Drs. Anne Baskett and Bill Hay, who not only bred Stanley (Blue Rodeo), but have always put him first. They are incredible veterinarians and horse owners, and have been like family to me. I am incredibly excited for this new adventure and hope it will give Stanley an opportunity to truly blossom. Thank you all for your support. We look forward to this next chapter.”

Tomorrow’s weather forecast looks to be sunny and warm, with temperatures rising into the upper 70s in the afternoon. We’ll be covering the action at the #BestWeekendAllYear, so make sure to stay connected!

EN’s coverage of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event is presented by Kentucky Performance Products, your one-stop shop for science-backed nutritional support for all types of horses. Click here to learn more about Kentucky Performance Products.

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

Weekend Winners: Fair Hill, Masterson, Meadowcreek, Ocala, & Sporting Days

We had a packed weekend of Eventing, and we saw all riders out competing! From the Starter divisions at Meadowcreek to the YEH at Masterson to the 5* test runs at Fair Hill, it is such a pleasure to congratulate all of our Weekend Winners here!

Shout out to all on successful weekends, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Arden Wildasin and Southern Sun, who won the Open Beginner Novice at Sporting Days on a 20.0!

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

Test 5* B: Ema Klugman and Bronte Beach Z (37.6)
CT Test 4* B: Savannah Fulton and Cash Point (44.7)
CCI 3*S: Emily Beshear and Rio De Janeiro (41.3)
CCI 2*S: Gabby Dickerson and Top Carrera (26.8)
CCI 1*S: Daniel Clasing and Excel Star Aurora (37.0)
Advanced: Jennie Brannigan and Pascal (58.0)
Advanced CT: Juli Sebring and Shadow Copperwood (46.0)
Intermediate: Kim Severson and Arden Juju (40.8)
Preliminary A: Gabby Dickerson and Gortglas Lupin (30.8)
Preliminary B: Meghan O’Donoghue and Corona Life (31.2)
Modified: Victoria Miller and Contessa (26.5)
Training A: Caitlin Silliman and NK Mirabeau (25.3)
Training B: Michael Pendleton and Schwarzrotgold (24.3)

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

YEH – 4 Year old – Open: Madison Temkin and Prime Star (79.4)
YEH – 4 Year old – Open: Madison Tempkin and Fernhill Celtic Flight (81.3)

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

Open Preliminary: Camryn Chung and Carlos Santana (45.7)
Junior Training Rider: Julia Pinell and Silver Knight (33.0)
Open Training: Hannah Corlett and Mac Creiche (26.4)
Preliminary/Training: Willow Schwartz and RH Finnegan (31.8)
Senior Training Rider: Kimberly Stafford and Redfield Opium of the Paddocks (27.8)
Junior Novice Rider A: Savannah Ware and Worth The Wait (33.0)
Junior Novice Rider B: Sarah Jackson and WHF Wangari (33.6)
Open Novice: Cat McCall and Exhibit X (23.6)
Senior Novice Rider: Lorri Hart and Corys Got Game (28.6)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider A: Willow Lane and Peptos Metallic Cat (37.1)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider B: McKenzie Maxwell and Milenko (32.1)
Open Beginner Novice: Natalie Allport and Caramel Macchiato (26.2)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Leah Cairns and Trip to Cairo (35.1)
Starter A: Nancy Rinn and Remington Steel (37.0)
Starter B: Laiken Lindsey and Darcy LB (31.1)

Ocala International Festival of Eventing (Ocala, FL) [Website][Scoring]

CCI 4*S: Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Double Sixteen (39.7)
CCI 3*L: Alexandra Knowles and P.S. I Love You (36.2)
CCI 2*L: Leslie Law and Really All Gold (25.6)
CCI 1*L: Caroline Pamukcu and The Sequel (26.7)
Advanced: Erin Strader and Live and Learn (44.4)
Advanced CT: Colleen Loach and FE Golden Eye (27.4)
Intermediate Rider: Lizzie Hoff and HSH Limited Edition (32.3)
Open Intermediate: Sharon White and Jaguars Duende (27.8)
Open Preliminary: Leslie Law and Must Be Cooley (24.3)
Open Preliminary – One Day: Shannon Lilley and J-Truman (29.1)
Preliminary Horse: Chris Talley and Fast Forward (29.3)
Preliminary Rider: Danielle Downing and Dikory Doc (34.1)
Modified Open: Kyle Carter and Reddy For Raine (31.2)
Modified Rider: Ella Hubert and Ardeo Dance Monkey (28.3)
Open Modified – One Day: Mia Farley and Nikita (22.6)
Junior Training Rider: Marlo Johnson and Deadpool (32.1)
Open Training: Hugh Wrigley and FE Spiderman (22.1)
Open Training – One Day A: Ruth Rosendaul and Bonhunt Bertie (35.0)
Open Training – One Day B: Andrew Palmer and Kronberg (24.5)
Senior Training Rider: April Hays and Anteros HSH (30.4)
Training Horse: Danielle Downing and Caribe PCH (31.4)
Junior Novice Rider: Sarah Alexander and Lambrusco W (25.8)
Novice Horse: Rebecca Malcolm and Cooley Under Par (24.2)
Open Novice A: Henley Fletcher and Fernhill Kujwana (24.4)
Open Novice B: Mia Farley and Pina Colada 28 (24.4)
Senior Novice Rider A: Alyssa Cairo and EWSZ Jalando (24.2)
Senior Novice Rider B: Darci Burton and VS Correlli Surprise (31.2)

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

Open Preliminary: Kim Wendel and MBF Reality (37.6)
Preliminary Rider: Ashley Dodds and Lowland (34.3)
Open Training: Morgan Batton and Carabella (29.7)
Preliminary/Training: Sterling Pollard and Ultra T (31.8)
Training Rider: Corinne Ashton and Voila (32.6)
Novice Rider: Marissa Redmond and Turbinado VEF (28.1)
Open Novice: Morgan Batton and Caliente T (30.8)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Charlotte O’Neal and Mighty Venture (27.4)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Abby Taylor and Bollente (32.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Arden Wildasin and Southern Sun (20.0)
Introductory: Sydney Johnson and Mae’s Racer (25.3)

Ocala and Fair Hill International Offer Kentucky Bound Final Prep

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Double Sixteen. Photo by Xpress Foto.

Kentucky week has started, and while we’re so ready to jump into all of the excitement that that brings, we’ve been following along with some of our Kentucky-bound pairs as they make their final outings and preparations for the week ahead.

Ocala International Festival of Eventing and Fair Hill International offered two major stages to wrap up final preparations for horse and rider combinations making the trek to Kentucky this week, as well as offered opportunities including a 4*S, 3*L, and even a 5* CT.

Ocala’s 4* saw a strong showing from Caroline Pamukcu, who finished first with the rider and The Baltodano Family’s HSH Double Sixteen (Robin Des Pres – Azaria) and 4th with the rider and Derek Strine’s HSH Tolan King (Tolan R – Porter Rhodes Dam). HSH Double Sixteen moved up to the top position after a clear show jump and cross country round, while HSH Tolan King had one rail but also jumped around cross country with a clear.

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. Photo by Xpress Foto.

Karl Slezak and his own Pan-Ams mount Hot Bobo (VDL Arkansas – Taneys Leader) Hot Bobo finished in second, laying down a typical clear cross country for the duo, after an uncharacteristic 60 penalties at TerraNova in March. Sharon White finished in third with Shirsheen Ice (Beowulf — Candy Copper, by Regal Sting XX), owned by herself, Beth Lendrum, and Kathleen Neuhoff. Sharon and “Wolfie” added only time to the dressage score, an impressive debut at the 4* level!

Sharon White and Shirsheen Ice. Photo by Xpress Foto.

Ocala also saw a strong Advanced CT group, that was filled almost exclusively with Kentucky bound duos. As a final prep the weekend before Kentucky week, the CT offered riders the opportunity to test out their plan, and fine tune any additional details prior to running the upcoming 4* or 5*. We saw Colleen Loach and WEG mount FE Golden Eye (Goldfever I – Cascade, by Contendro I), owned by herself, Amanda Bernhard, and Maureen Lemay, secure the Advanced CT win, and will see them in the 4* later this week. We’ll also see second place finisher, Leslie Law with Jackie and Steve Brown’s Lady Chatterley (Connor 48 – Jucy, by Mytens XX) in the 4*, and third place finisher Sharon White with her own Claus 63 (Catoo—Tina II, Levisto) in the 5*.

Erin Strader and Live and Learn. Photo by Xpress Foto.

Fair Hill also offered CT options for pairs heading to Kentucky. We saw Ema Klugman with the Bronte Beach Syndicate’s Bronte Beach (Verdi TN – Dalphine, by Chopin) in the 5* CT, heading into “Bronte’s” 5* debut. In the 4* CT, we see Savannah Fulton with Nelson Warnell’s Cash Point (Cash and Carry – Up To Date 15) and Cassie Sanger with her own Fernhill Zoro (Verdi – Oronia 2, by Voltaire) and her own Redfield Fyre (Canabis Z – Tiona), all heading to the 4* in Kentucky this week.

Beyond the Kentucky prep, Fair Hill offered riders the opportunity to continue developing horses towards their 2024 goals. We saw twenty-two horse and rider combinations in the CCI3*S, with Emily Beshear and Nicholas Beshear’s Rio de Janeiro (River Dancer – Vanilla Ice) winning after clear show jump and cross country rounds. This was Rio de Janeiro’s second win at the level, the first in 2022 at River Glen with Nicholas Beshear. Ariel Grald with Anne Eldridge’s Isla de Coco (Cascadello – U-Lotti, by Guardus Limbus) came in second, with Jennie Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s Kismet (National Anthem – Ularinka, by Krack C) in third.

Good luck to all making their way to Kentucky, and those who are continuing on towards other 2024 goals!

Weekend Winners: FENCE, Longleaf, Unionville, Spring Bay, & Twin Rivers

We saw some bad weather roll through this weekend, but organizers were ready to make the most of the situation, keeping the events running safely and smoothly!

Congrats to all involved on successful weekends, and a big congrats to our Weekend Winners! As always, we have an extra special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award… which is a three way tie this weekend!
Unionville’s Open Novice A winner, Matthew Brown and Suntory Gold (21.7)
Longleaf Pine’s Open Novice winner, Kimmy Cecere and Brooklyn (21.7)
Spring Bay’s Open Novice 1 winner, Hannah Reeser and Ltl Ireland Summr Soldier (21.7)

F.E.N.C.E. H.T. (Tryon, NC) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Lauren New and Flying Again (31.4)
Preliminary Rider: Claire Strehlow and Seabanks Theygo (34.2)
Preliminary/Training: Kimberly Keeton and M-Azing (29.7)
Open Training: Morgan Batton and Betty Z (25.0)
Training Rider: Kaitlin Clark and SLE Happy Hour (28.4)
Training/Novice: Susan Faulkner and HelloHello (28.3)
Novice Rider: Kaitlyn Cobey and Sarrasin (28.3)
Open Novice: Ashley Greene and Galway Lad (27.0)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Stella McGuire and Lucky Clover (22.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Eden Miller and Cupido T (26.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Allison Thompson and Kacey (25.0)
Introductory: Jessie Chouinard and St Joe Bay (29.3)
Starter A: Naia Dawson and SF Secret Service (28.7)
Starter B: Leslie Patton and Queen of Anything (30.7)

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

Advanced CT: Ariel Grald and Isla de Coco (31.7)
Intermediate CT: Ariel Grald and Adagio’s Nobility (27.5)
Preliminary: Andrew McConnon and Connery Cooper Z (27.8)
Preliminary CT: Ariel Grald and Obalix (32.3)
Modified CT: Julie Cayer and Queenstown (28.1)
Modified Rider: Mary Nofzinger Clare and Golden King (33.3)
Open Modified: Becca Swann and Delmonico (30.2)
Open Training: Lisa Borgia and Silmarillion (25.0)
Training CT: Madelyn Reicher and CMF Cougar Roo (27.4)
Training Rider A: Allie Keresman and Will Power (37.1)
Training Rider B: Casey Gillis and Tom Sawyer (28.8)
Novice CT: McKenzie Cumbea and Unbeatable Z (37.3)
Novice Rider A: Alys Protzman and Summit (28.4)
Novice Rider B: Phyllis Hardgrove and Cooley Castle (29.2)
Novice Rider C: Lyndsay Peterson and Bellman’s Total Eclipse (31.4)
Open Novice: Kimmy Cecere and Brooklyn (21.7)
Beginner Novice CT: Morgan McEwen and Thomas Jefferson (31.3)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Gabrielle “Pook” Edgerly and Smiling Little Leela (30.3)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Madeline Moton and The Family Feud (30.9)
Beginner Novice Rider C: Roisin O’Rahilly and Happy Times (23.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Susan Beebee and Outlander (27.2)
Starter A: Alannah Mabus and Silvanus (31.7)
Starter B: Kelsie Hegeman and Bulletproof Kitten (35.0)
Starter CT: Kirsten Hiles and Beatrix SWF (23.8)

Unionville Horse Trials (Unionville, PA) [Website][Scoring]

Open Intermediate: Matthew Grayling and Trudeau (25.8)
Open Preliminary A: Caitlin Silliman and Excel Star Vero Amore (28.2)
Open Preliminary B: Boyd Martin and Vivantura (29.7)
Modified: Boyd Martin and Cadiz 1 (27.0)
Open Training: Lillian Heard Wood and Cooley Maestro (25.0)
Training Rider: Christa Schmidt and Chakiris Star (26.4)
Novice Rider: Annie Renzetti and Molly (26.9)
Open Novice A: Matthew Brown and Suntory Gold (21.7)
Open Novice B: Ryan Wood and Ardeo Cruise (28.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Lynn Kundravi and Fox Ridge Rocket Man (36.2)
Starter: Ashley Zupan and Al Capony (34.0)

Spring Bay H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website][Scoring]

Preliminary / Modified: Elisabeth Halliday and Alina Sd (26.8)
Open Modified: Elisabeth Halliday and Cooley Optimist (24.5)
Open Training: Kathy Baar and Boundless (30.6)
Training Rider: Abby Blackburn and Ballysimon Cavalier (30.8)
Training / Novice: Jackie Smith and Morrissey (26.4)
Novice Rider 1: Jill Condrey and Brady (32.5)
Novice Rider 2: Jhett Jenkins and Rockstar Parking (28.5)
Open Novice 1: Hannah Reeser and Ltl Ireland Summr Soldier (21.7)
Open Novice 2: Macy Hale and Dr. Hart (23.9)
Beginner Novice Rider 1: Cynthia van Aalst and Artful Mademoiselle (27.7)
Beginner Novice Rider 2: Danielle Northup and Wild Mission (28.2)
Beginner Novice Rider 3: Sabine Nicoson and Ashford SP (31.5)
Open Beginner Novice 1: Melanie Helms and Edelweiss du theil (23.5)
Open Beginner Novice 2: Susan Hellard and Garvey (30.6)
Open Starter 1: Hannah Reeser and Little Ireland Illusion (25.1)
Open Starter 2: Avery Derby and Kildare Connolly (27.7)
Open Starter 3: Lila Beshear and Welcome Cash (29.0)
Open Tadpole: Beth Hathaway and Iris (33.0)

Twin Rivers Spring International (Paso Robles, CA) [Website][Scoring]

5* CT: Rebecca Braitling and Caravaggio II (50.6)
CCI3*-Long: Erin Grandia and Hyacinth (38.5)
CCI2*-Long: Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild (27.4)
CCI4*-Short: James Alliston and Paper Jam (43.7)
CCI3*-Short: Elsa Warble and FE Unlimited (32.8)
CCI2*-Short: Megan McIver and Igor B (30.6)
CCI1*-Long: Mackenzie Davison and Lockdown JPL (26.2)
Advanced: James Alliston and Karma (35.0)
Open Intermediate: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz (42.6)
Open Preliminary: Rachel Brickman and Finally DG (24.9)
Preliminary Rider: Mickayla Howard and Miss Tique (32.1)
Modified Rider: Saulo Tristao and Kremer VD Falieberg (26.8)
Open Modified: Tommy Greengard and I’m All In (26.5)
Jr. Training Rider Provisional Scores: Anya Ostrovsky and Coco Cassana (32.1)
Open Training Provisional Scores: Amber Birtcil and Milagro (23.9)
Sr. Training Rider Provisional Scores: Lauren Henry and Carel Cruiser (30.0)
Training Amateur Provisional Scores: Reese Blinks and I’M Jaguar (22.9)
Jr. Novice Rider: Josephine Clark and Cinzano (22.8)
Novice Amateur: Bari Boersma and Reverie GWF (26.4)
Novice Horse Provisional Scores: Nicholas Cwick and O’Malley (29.7)
Open Novice: Tommy Greengard and Casa de Prestige (24.7)
Sr. Novice Rider: Christine Murphy and Made You Look (32.8)
Jr. Beg. Novice Rider: Michaela Smith and Cashmaker (25.9)
Open Beginner Novice A: Kaylawna Smith-Cook and Only-Else (29.4)
Open Beginner Novice B: Tommy Greengard and Optimistic Sol (22.9)
Sr. Beg. Novice Rider: Molly Johnson and Lexicon (27.1)

Weekend Winners: Stable View, CDCTA, Pine Hill, & Rocking Horse

We all certainly kept our eye on the action at Stable View’s 4* this past weekend, but what else did we see Eventers up to? From Stable View to CDCTA to Pine Hill to Rocking Horse, there was plenty of action – catch up with it all here!

Congrats to all of our Weekend Winners! We’re giving them all a well-earned shout out, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Jackie Ericksen and Devon Ridge Indira, who scored a 20.7 in the Starter Open A at Pine Hill!

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

CCI 4*S: Boyd Martin and Commando 3 (32.5)
CCI 3*S: Alexandra Baugh and Hubert Des 3 Arbres (29.3)
CCI 2*S: Boyd Martin and Fetiche Des Rouges (26.0)
Advanced: Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge (34.8)
Open Intermediate: Ariel Grald and Adagios Nobility (23.7)
Open Preliminary: Ariel Grald and Obalix (32.4)
Preliminary Rider: Summer Covar and Mona Lisa (37.1)
Modified Rider: Jacqueline Cameron and Penny Lane (31.6)
Open Modified: Mandolin Whitten and Bossanova (26.5)
Open Training A: Jennie Brannigan and Revolt (27.8)
Open Training B: Sydney Shinn and Sunshine and Whiskey (27.1)
Training Rider A: Lisa Edinger and Quinto Quest (25.2)
Training Rider B: Abigail Bennett and SM Ravin’s Treasure (35.3)

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

Open Modified: Stephanie Sills and Mille Neuf Cent (31.5)
Open Training 1: Jessica Nelson and Betterthanexpected (37.4)
Open Training 2: Abigail McGowan and Mystic Serenade (42.1)
Open Novice 1: Christine Ehlers and Cloudy Times (34.2)
Open Novice 2: James Meister and Going Tribal (33.3)
Open Beginner Novice 1: Martin Douzant and Delta Dawn PVF (30.9)
Open Beginner Novice 2: Martin Douzant and Galactic Frame Z (34.7)
Introductory 1: Addy Sheplee and Kinsale (32.0)
Introductory 2: Sara Moezie and Chastain’s Morning Mocha (30.3)

Pine Hill Spring H.T. (Bellville, TX) [Website][Scoring]

Preliminary-Open: Sierra Fishell and Galiamo (39.0)
Training-Open: Lida McAllister and Tullibards Chance Taken (30.8)
Novice-Open A: Kyli Sadler and Phantom Trip (32.2)
Novice-Open B: Kaetlyn Perkins and Urneypark Shutterfly (31.8)
Novice-Open C: Megan Correia-Bittner and Quadrillo (26.9)
Beginner Novice-Open A: Amanda Rhodes and Flagmounts Zelda (29.1)
Beginner Novice-Open B: Shelby Owen and GTB Felix Felicis (32.7)
Starter-Open A: Jackie Ericksen and Devon Ridge Indira (20.7)
Starter-Open B: Emarie Graham and Chorizo (33.0)

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website][Scoring]

Intermediate Rider: Jesse Reagin and RCA Society Law (38.6)
Open Intermediate: Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis and Flower Girl (28.2)
Intermediate/Preliminary: Arielle Aharoni and Cooley Baltic Sea (33.6)
Open Preliminary: William Ward and Phantom of theOpera (32.9)
Preliminary Horse: Lexi Scovil and Undertaker 7 (25.3)
Preliminary Rider: Nicolette Adams and Total Access (33.5)
Modified Rider: Casey Locklear and FLS Major Bounce (35.4)
Open Modified A: Sherry Pound and Dassett Choice (33.0)
Open Modified B: Sylvia Byars and CSF Dassett Decoy (27.8)
Open Training A: Audrey Ogan and Cooley Classified (25.3)
Open Training B: Lauren Nicholson and Sir Prize (27.7)
Training Horse: Lynn Symansky and Caramba (26.4)
Training Rider: Valli Corbin and Napoleon Z (29.4)
Novice Horse: Jonathan Holling and Capstone (27.5)
Novice Rider A: Darci Burton and VS Correlli Surprise (28.1)
Novice Rider B: Gina Teresi and Match Right (30.8)
Open Novice A: Liz Lund and Hillside Diamond Lad CF (26.9)
Open Novice B: Robin Walker and DHI Milan (25.6)
Beginner Novice Rider: Jack Brennan and Paladin (23.2)
Open Beginner Novice A: Kelsey Seidel and Water Mill Smooth (26.5)
Open Beginner Novice B: Paige Montague and Doograne Master (25.3)
Starter: Sarah Finkel and Pink Gin (30.1)

Weekend Winners: Bouckaert, Galway, Jumping Branch, Morven, & TerraNova

We’ve wrapped up March in style, and it’s no joke that these riders are gearing up for an exciting season ahead! Between some great results prepping for Kentucky and FEI events running at Galway and TerraNova, it was a busy weekend.

Shout out to our Weekend Winners, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award: Susan Faulkner and HelloHello, who scored 20.0 in the Novice Rider B at Jumping Branch.

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

Bouckaert Equestrian offered their Advanced/Intermediate division this past weekend, offering an impressive $25,000, and the opportunity for riders to ride through the FEI 5* Dressage Test B – prime practice leading up to Kentucky later this month!

We saw two horse and rider duos entered for the Kentucky 5* out competing in the A/I division at Bouckaert – Mia Farley with Phelps, and Buck Davidson with Sorocaima. Both seem to be set up well for the 5*, as they finished first and second in the division.

Advanced/Intermediate: Mia Farley and Phelps (35.9)
Open Intermediate: Mia Farley and BGS Calculated Chaos (27.0)
Open Preliminary: Dani Sussman and RR Simple (24.7)
Modified Rider: Jebb Simpson and Matisse (31.0)
Open Modified: Mary Bess Davis and Swell Continental (33.8)
Open Training: Julie Richards and Rossmount Aldi Hero (28.9)
Training Rider: Sterling Pollard and Ultra T (26.5)
Junior Novice Rider: Madison Zgutowicz and My Valentine (23.1)
Open Novice: Erica Addison and Full Battle Rattle (34.3)
Senior Novice Rider: Caraline Cathcart and Relentless (32.8)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider: Aubrey Sabatino and Ravishing (23.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Sophia Hand and Fernhill THE WILD CARD (24.7)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Leaha Artalona and Portlaoise Lordano (34.7)
Starter: Grace Ambrose and Sir Donatello (34.9)

Galway Downs International H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website][Scoring]

CCI 4*S: Tamra Smith and Mai Baum (27.4)
CCI 3*S: Taren Hoffos and Regalla (32.0)
Parker Equine CCI 2*S: Megan McIver and Igor B (31.7)
CCI 1*S: Fiona Holland and Joshua Tree (27.5)
Intermediate: Marc Grandia and Campari FFF (34.4)
Open Preliminary: Leah Forquer and Oakley’s Hunt SE (32.9)
Preliminary Rider: Mickayla Howard and HH Ontario (23.4)
Modified Rider: Mackenzie Davison and Lockdown JPL (27.3)
Open Modified: Tommy Greengard and I’m All In (26.3)
Open Training: Whitney Tucker Billeter and Aspen (38.6)
Training Amateur: Reese Blinks and Lowmax (42.8)
Training Horse: Amber Birtcil and Milagro (34.3)
Training Rider: Greylin Booth and Modesto RE (34.9)
Junior Novice Rider: Lauren Field and Balou’Quill (33.1)
Novice Amateur: Bari Boersma and Reverie GWF (20.3)
Novice Horse: Elsa Warble and FE Kyoto (24.2)
Open Novice: Marc Grandia and Riptide Rio (28.2)
Senior Novice Rider: Marc Grandia and Riptide Rio (35.0)
Beginner Novice Rider: Amanda Tapocik and American Quest (30.9)
Open Beginner Novice: Patience O’Neal and Chunk (26.7)

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

Open Preliminary: Matthew Ulmer and Metalbridge Knight (30.3)
Preliminary Rider: Brit Vegas and Slew the Zodiac (38.0)
Junior Training: Kaela Rudolph and Yarrow (31.1)
Open Training A: Logan Dickson and Cannonshot (27.8)
Open Training B: Kristine Burgess and Caliche Lane (30.8)
Training Rider A: Devon Sutherland and Mega Bucks (35.4)
Training Rider B: Sally Davis and MFF Manhattan Affair (30.9)
Novice Rider A: George Barker and Baltic Mahogany (31.1)
Novice Rider B: Susan Faulkner and HelloHello (20.0)
Open Novice A: Kristine Burgess and Excel Star Wildwood (25.6)
Open Novice B: Julia Wendell and Must Have (29.7)
Junior Novice: Chase Shumpert and Sea Artifacts (34.0)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Timothy Fitzgerald and Sirius (22.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Emily Hummel and What’s His Face SSH3 (32.4)
Junior Beginner Novice: Violet Hosier and Alley Angel (30.6)
Open Beginner Novice A: Claire Eiane and Shadow of Night (30.0)
Open Beginner Novice B: Madison Manley and NDR’s Mango (30.9)
Starter A: Sydney Johnson and Mae’s Racer (25.7)
Starter B: Jacqueline Cameron and Brancaster Oystercatcher (26.3)

Morven Park Spring H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website][Scoring]

Open Intermediate: Jan Byyny and Beautiful Storm (29.8)
Open Preliminary A: Kelsey Hoiness and Woodview Diamond Star (31.1)
Open Preliminary B: Rylie Nelson and Galloway Sunrise (30.0)
Junior Training Rider: Faith Genkinger and Nuclear Code (40.1)
Open Training A: Martin Douzant and Johnny Walker (28.8)
Open Training B: Jill Smith and Bon Vivant DSF (30.5)
Senior Training Rider A: Julie Bigham and Accomplice (33.8)
Senior Training Rider B: Julie Nelson and Mi Padrino (37.1)
Training Horse: Tim Bourke and Starfield dragonfly (34.5)
Junior Novice Rider: Shannon Zupan and Cricket (31.4)
Novice Horse: Courtney Waskiewicz and Chancellor (28.9)
Open Novice A: Tim Bourke and Quality Rox (31.9)
Open Novice B: Francesca Broggini and Cooley High Flyer (28.6)
Senior Novice Rider: Alice Fout and Cocolares (33.6)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider: Sarah West and Outstanding Alexander (27.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Rebecca Barber Tyler and Ranon (29.1)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Carla Abramcheck and Carrick Diamond Toome (36.7)

The Event at TerraNova (Myakka City, FL) [Website][Scoring]

CCI 4*S: Alyssa Phillips and Oskar (34.1)
CCI 3*S: Lauren Nicholson and Larcot Z (28.7)
CCI 2*S: Leslie Law and Fernhill Lottery (25.5)
CCI 1*S: Ella Hubert and Ardeo Dance Monkey (23.5)
Advanced: Hannah Sue Hollberg and Carsonstown (41.6)
Open Intermediate: Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom (35.8)
Open Preliminary: Alyssa Phillips and Keep Calm (24.3)
Open Training: Sara Kozumplik and King Kong (27.4)
Training Rider: Ava Applebaum and FE City Boy (27.9)
Novice Rider: Elizabeth Grandos and Solaguayre La Mint (26.1)
Open Novice: Michelle Mercier and NDS Jackson (27.5)
Beginner Novice Rider: Kristen Gillespy and Over The Moon (31.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Margaret Stocker and Smilla’s Sense of Snow (26.9)
Starter: Serafina Deldon and Prince Renan (27.9)

Cross Country Equestrian Offers Horse and Rider New Opportunities

In the 1990s, the sport of Eventing was changing. There were talks regarding how to make these changes, and while many agreed that changes needed to be made, not all riders and Eventing supporters agreed on how that should look. Nick Larkin was one such person.

After a remarkable competitive career, which included winning the inaugural Adelaide International Horse Trials 3-star, the inaugural Rolex Kentucky 3DE 4-star, being short listed for the New Zealand Olympic Team, and representing New Zealand at the World Equestrian Games in 1998, Nick decided it was time to step away from the sport when he saw it moving in a direction in which he could no longer see a future for himself.

“The best part [of Eventing] is always the second day,” Nick stated. “Sports are meant to be entertaining, and should be easy to understand and accessible for those participating and observing.” With a continued passion for horsemanship, entertaining sport, and accessibility for all, Nick dove deep to expand an idea originally considered in the 90s, and one that he further imagined in the mid-2000s when observing the need for post-track careers for thoroughbreds: Cross Country Equestrian.

Cross Country Equestrian is a new sport centered around cross country that offers opportunities for horses and riders. While CCE is perfect for the speed, stamina, jumping ability, mental sharpness and courage of the thoroughbred, it’s a sport that is open and designed to be accessible to everyone.

A cross country oriented sport, CCE offers all horse and rider partnerships to access equestrian competitions. Photo provided by Nick Larkin.

“Fundamentally, a CCE competition involves competitors completing a course of obstacles, scoring points for successfully jumping or negotiating obstacles and incurring penalties for errors and exceeding the time allowed… Obstacles on a CCE course are numbered sequentially and the competitor follows the course from the start to the finish accordingly. Each course has an allowed time based on the required pace and penalties are incurred for exceeding this,” Nick explained.

While it doesn’t sound dissimilar from the cross country portion of Eventing as we know it, there are some key differences, one of the biggest being: “Every obstacle on a CCE course is optional. The competitor chooses to attempt an obstacle or to “pass”. No penalties are incurred for passing an obstacle correctly,” Nick highlighted.

“Optionality of CCE has major implications beyond simply being able to skip a jump – for example: it removes often unnecessary or pointless pressure and prompts better decision-making… those choices incentivize a better understanding of ability and risk, not to mention improving those acquired (or trained) skillsets… and optionality means greater personal responsibility for all of those choices – especially safety related choices. I believe optionality will shift the current collective mindset toward one more advantageous for the horse’s welfare,” Nick emphasized.

There are three Stages (components) of CCE and a competition may include any or all of these. In multi-Stage competitions, competitors can select the stages in which they would like to compete.

The Endurance Cross Ride (EXR) – In the simplest form the EXR resembles a trail or endurance ride where competitors complete a course which involves no jumping at prescribed speeds in order to avoid time penalties. Other versions of EXR can include simpler jumped obstacles, non-jumped obstacles (such as bridges or water-crossings) and/or athletic sections which require faster speeds.

The Cross Country Ride (CCR) is the centerpiece of the sport – a course of moderate length in an open setting, with numerous obstacles. Most obstacles on the CCR course are of the fixed type similar to an Eventing XC course. A portion of obstacles are of the Knock Down (KD) type with a dislodgeable upper element that is “captive” to ensure there is no risk of entrapment or further interference.

The Jump Off Ride (JOR) begins in a demarcated area called the “arena setting” where show-jumping type obstacles with “free” dislodgeable elements. The course leaves the arena setting and continues into the “open setting” similar to the CCR course and includes the same types of CCR obstacles. A Gallop section may be included which involves no jumping.

Points are added to a competitor’s score for each successful obstacle navigated. In addition to regular obstacles, challenge obstacles are found at each level, and typically have dimensions or technicality of the next higher level and score more points.

Penalties are incurred for error such as refusals and run-outs, and for exceeding the course time. Points minus Penalties determines the final score. The simple competitive objective is to finish with the highest score. An example of the scoring is as follows:

Cross Country Ride Points

Regular Obstacle (RG) 20
Challenge Obstacle (CH) 25

Cross Country Ride Penalties

Refusal / Run-out -30
Knock Down (KD) -5
Activating Safety Device -20
Flag -5

Jump Off Ride Points

Regular (RG) 10 (Show Jumping-type) 20 (Cross Country -type)
Challenge (CH) 12 (Show Jumping -type) 25 (Cross Country -type)

Jump Off Ride Penalties

Refusal / Run-out -15 (SJ-type) -30 (CC-type)
Knock Down (KD) -5
Activating Safety Device -20
Flag -5

Time – Cross Country Ride and Jump Off Ride

1 penalty per second started

While ten levels will be offered (L1-L10), workshops have not yet gone beyond L5. L6 and 7 are expected to be added this year.

Level 1 (<60cm) is roughly equivalent to introductory level.
Level 2 (70cm) is equivalent to starter.
Level 3 (80cm) is equivalent to beginner novice.
Level 4 (90cm) is equivalent to novice.
Level 5 (100cm) is equivalent to training.

Qualifying scores need to be attained to move up to the next level. “The threshold is a score that is basically equal to the value of successfully jumping all of the RG obstacles. There’s a ‘time-penalty waiver or limit’ that allows competitors to go a bit slower, incur time penalties and yet still attain a Q-Score,” Nick outlines.

There’s also another eligibility structure called “RANKING”, that’s a quantitative measure of Eligibility based on the number of Q-Scores a horse or rider has at each Level.

“CCE is designed with substantial flexibility primarily to maximize accessibility and opportunities. For competitors, the sport allows them to mold each competition to whatever best suits their individual situation – beginner rider, green horse, developing confidence, focusing of particular skills, and ultimately, when ready, competing with others… You have the choice to do what’s right for you and your horse – you have the flexibility of passing the fence, of receiving coaching during the competition,” Nick explained.

In addition to competition, CCE workshops helps riders develop in their approach and ride in CCE competitions. Photo by JJ Sillman.

“We want this sport to be accessible for people – not everyone has the time or resources to have all of the “right” things needed for traditional equestrian sports – the horses, the equipment, the access to special training facilities or infrastructure, or the ability to leave home for days or weeks at a time. We want people to come and have fun. Most people that ride do it for enjoyment, and most of those derive that from enjoying their horse – being connected, being a team, and having fun together. We also want CCE professionals – competitors, trainers, those developing horses – to have the ability to make a good and ethical living with horses.”

CCE’s flexibility extends to venues and organizers as well, allowing for a competition that is optimized for their situation – facilities, equipment, manpower, budget, etc. in which stages are offered, how the course is set, and more. “CCE can be held in North Dakota or Mississippi or New Mexico, or Maine or anywhere in between, and it will take on a flavor of the location – CCE in south Texas will be different to CCE in Massachusetts,” Nick acknowledges.

With CCE launching in September of last year, some equestrians have expressed concerns regarding safety. “Many people who are concerned with the safety aspect haven’t seen the ways in which this sport is set up to be safe first and foremost,” Nick responded. “The courses are set up to be safer… there are things a designer can do that promote safer riding, including incorporating appropriate technical difficulty, obstacle positioning, and asking questions that require more control etc. There are rules regarding the type and positioning of obstacles in certain circumstances such as after the Gallop in JOR, and alternative obstacles and the use of innovative features such as chicanes and “Pass gates” that take more time and encourage better training and riding. Providing flexibility and choice reduces pressure and builds horsemanship. You have to choose what to do and what not to do, so you have to know your horse and the capabilities of the partnership.”

As CCE develops and evolves as a sport, facilities have already been reaching out to set up workshops and competitions. Upcoming workshops will provide a more in depth look into the sport, and competitions are expanding around the country, and inching their way towards an international debut as well. For upcoming events, take a look at CCE’s calendar. If you’re interested in learning more, or having CCE come to your area, Nick suggests that you talk to your equestrian friends and potential organizers in your area. The CCEA team will come and help get things started, but generating the interest is the first step. Hosting and attending a workshop (with or without a horse!) is a great way to understand the fundamentals of CCE and Nick welcomes everyone to come and see how CCE is safe, fun and centered on the horse. Additionally, you can take a look at CCE’s website for more information on the sport, and contact information for additional questions.

‘Somebody Get this Guy a Cowboy Hat’ – Tik Maynard Wins Road to the Horse 2024

Team Tik for the win! Photo courtesy of Paula Shook.

It was just before 9 AM, and the doors had yet to open, but the line of fans stretching down the sidewalk from the Kentucky Horse Park Alltech Arena was humming with excitement. My friend Lizzie and I were still waking up from our eight hour drive to Kentucky the night before, and while we would have loved to get a few more hours of sleep, nothing would keep us from watching the competitors work at the Road to the Horse competition.

Road to the Horse World Championship of Colt Starting brings together some of the best colt starters in the world, thousands of fans in person and online, and a panel of prestigious judges for a week of horsemanship, challenge, and excitement. While we typically see cowboys and cowgirls with a Western background in Road to the Horse, we saw the competition’s second ever English trainer participate this past weekend. Tik Maynard joined Vicki Wilson (2017 and 2018 winner) as a Road to the Horse English trainer – and winner – of the event.

Walking into the Alltech Arena, the excitement had spread like wildfire. It was impossible not to get pre-competition jitters as we wandered around, taking a look at the numerous vendors, chatting with competitors and other trainers, and meeting new friends decked out in gear of their team.

The Wild Card Competition, which selects the fourth and final competitor of the event, was on its final day. We saw Lindsey Patterson, John Baar, and C.D. Wilcox work their fillies before C.D. was crowned the Wild Card Champion to continue onto the World Championship.

The World Championships were ready to begin, as the four competitors moved their way towards the ring for the horse selection to begin. We saw American Ken McNabb, Australian Donal Hancock, Canadian Tik Maynard, and Wild Card C.D. Wilcox front and center as the colts were brought into the arena.

It was clear who the true celebrities were this week: the horses. Bred by Pitchfork Ranch, a herd of unhandled 3 year old Quarter Horses came barreling into the ring to thunderous applause. Once settled, the competitors took their turns walking towards the herd, observing which horse they’d like to choose as their partner. It was here that we saw participants form an early partnership with potential horses. As Tik moved towards the herd, he created curiosity and draw to shift the horses’ attention to him, and started his work there.

We saw Tik choose CAPERA CATT, Donal with COWBOYS LAST WAR CRY, Ken and SHINEY ROCKIN CD, and C.D. with CATS DASHIN A LENA.

In the first two days of handling, competitors focused on creating a connection with their horses. We saw C.D. and Ken rope their horses quite early on, while Donal and Tik worked with their body language to create a shift of their horses’ attention from outside of the ring towards them in the middle. Tik, who will be the first to acknowledge his limited roping experience, was the last to catch his horse with the rope, but had spent a significant chunk of time at the beginning creating a connection at liberty with his colt, CAPERA CATT.

The process continued on quite quickly. While competitors only had a few hours each day to work with these horses, we saw the entire starting process unfold in front of us. While we still saw patience and a tactful approach from trainers in this competition, this condensed format certainly expedites the process, which can be hard to do in a way that allows the horse time to process and grow in their confidence. As Tik highlighted, he doesn’t start horses in this short amount of time at home.

However, in this condensed format, we were able to see the process from start to finish, from four different techniques.

At the end of the first day, Tik and Donal had haltered, saddled, mounted, and moved around on their horses. Ken struggled with getting his horse wanting to connect with him, but was able to saddle, mount, and unmount his colt. C.D. utilized a pony horse to get closer to his pick, but was unable to halter his until the second day. On the second day, Tik and Donal rode their horses out of the round pen, while Ken and C.D. had rides around their pens. All competitors started introducing their horses to obstacles in preparation for the final day.

Despite the speed of the nature of the competition, Tik worked to spend time to allow his horse to process. “You know, the biggest thing… is to be present and go with the speed of the horse,” Tik commented. Tik was able to secure the win over the first two days.

As we moved on to the final day, I had a basic understanding of what to expect: competitors would have time to work in the round pen prior to exiting the pens to ride around the entire arena, then start an obstacle course. However, I had no idea the intensity of the obstacle course. Between pole bending exercises, roping, gates, poles, and pool noodles, these very freshly broke horses were presented with questions I think my horses would have balked at… and in an atmosphere that was absolutely humming with electric energy, clapping fans, and music. “I’ve never felt anything like that,” Tik reflected on the pressure, intensity, and atmosphere.

All competitors found success in certain obstacles, and trouble with others. Ken’s horse moved up over the platform, Tik’s horse was able to pick up the Olympic rings and drag a cart. Perhaps thanks to Tik’s jumping training, his colt excelled over the poles, but we saw him struggle with the gate.

Tik carried the soft, calm connection between him and his horse into the final day. We saw his horse turn to him instead of worrying about the atmosphere around him. However, despite all his incredibly intentional, focused work, we saw Tik’s horse buck towards the end of the obstacle course: with the shift in Tik’s weight to grab the Olympic rings, and the rings held at his side, we saw the colt’s nerves spike, and a bit of a bronc ride. Impressively, Tik was able to stay on. “Somebody get this guy a cowboy hat, he earned it!” two time Road to the Horse Champion Mike Major commented.

Although he might not have been considered a cowboy prior to this week, he’s earned the title now. Tik sees that as an opportunity to further diversify his skill set: “I think the more different disciplines, different ways of doing things, and different cultures meet each other and watch what the other one is doing… and try to look at something from a place of curiosity and not a place of judgement… I think everybody has a place to grow.”

“I always think that, when I start a horse – I hope I did a good enough job for them. The start is such an important part if their life, if not the most important part… The beginning of their experiences and emotions affects how they view the rest of their lives with humans,” Tik reflected.

Hats off to Tik, who maintained his lead from start to finish throughout the week. We now see him rocking a new cowboy hat… could he also be adding a Quarter Horse to his herd? “I think it’s a really, really special horse,” Tik said – Stay tuned for updates!

Bayou Gulch Horse Trials Brings Eventing Back to the Colorado Horse Park

Five years ago, Area IX rallied  together to fill their Eventing calendar when the Colorado Horse Park cancelled their horse trials. However, after years without one of the area’s significant facilities, the horse trials at the Colorado Horse Park are back up and running with the new Bayou Gulch Horse Trials, thanks to the new ownership of Singletree Equestrian LLC.

After a few years after the last event at the Colorado Horse Park, Bayou Gulch Horse Trials is bringing eventing back! Photo from the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials Facebook page.

The Area IX community has rallied once again in making massive efforts to reorganize and prepare for their first horse trial back this season, during an original date on the Colorado Horse Park schedule of August 3 and 4th, 2024, which Spring Gulch had filled in the Horse Park’s absence.

Heather McWilliams, registered organizer of the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials, has spearheaded a team of dedicated committee members (including Organizing Committee members Kristi Radosevich, Kristin Hardy, and Autumn Sorensen and Fundraising Committee members Britany Chism, Kayce Douglass, Carleigh Fedorka, Kristin Hardy, Heather McWilliams, and Autumn Sorensen), as well as volunteers, and community members to ensure a successful return that benefits the community as a whole. “We couldn’t do this without the support of our amazing volunteers and supporters,” Heather says. “So many people – nationwide – have memories of being at the Horse Park… so many people have given back to show their appreciation of those memories. From volunteering to revamp the cross country jumps to engaging on our Facebook page while sharing memories, the community has come together and united under having [the horse trials at the Park] back.”

Volunteers help to restore the cross country course prior to the first event back in August. Photo from the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials website.

“Footing can be a challenge out in Colorado, as it tends to be quite hard. However, the Horse Park can handle through Intermediate, which we don’t have many facilities nearby that can,” Heather says. “We plan to continue adding levels every year as we build back. We have plenty of fun terrain, interesting features, and older jumps to play with that can make these courses so exciting.”

Although Heather has only been eventing since 2011, she was addicted from the first go. “I am drawn to the partnership with the horse and the horsemanship that it takes, the perseverance to keep getting better at all of the small and large details, the tenacity it takes to keep showing up in spite of the challenges, and of course the people that Event that all encourage each other whether you know them or not, because we each know how hard it is!” Heather says. “The giving of time, treasure, and talents is an important value to my family, so being a part of this venture is just being a part of supporting the Eventing community as a whole.”

The eventing community has come together to make this a successful project, and are continuing to work to develop the vision further. Photo from the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials website.

“The plan for this season is to see these Starter – Modified courses sprinkled throughout Bayou Gulch. And I hope to see so many people thrilled to be there, making a thing of it to be there, and just enjoying and celebrating being back this year,” Heather says.

Moving forward, the Bayou Gulch Committee plans to see a new course, and a new division added each year. In spirit to what drew her to Eventing in the first place, the hope is to nurture an event space that is community oriented — “These spaces can bring in people not directly involved in equestrian sports to see a piece of our industry. By creating a community oriented event, with jumping castles, food festivals, an opportunity to pet a horse that just came through the finish flags, and more, we can bring people in to promote this sport and our horses in a location that is booming with the development of Parker and Denver.”

While the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials committees, volunteers, and community as a whole have worked hard to create a successful event, support from the larger Eventing community will help them continue to prepare for this year, and years moving forward. The Bucks for Bayou Benefit is coming up on April 13th, and will include an online auction. Donations are being accepted for these efforts, and are tax deductible. Additionally, there are sponsorship slots still available, as presenting and title sponsors – contact the Bayou Gulch Horse Trials for more information.

Weekend Winners: Ram Tap, Ocala, Pine Top, & Carolina

We had some of Team EN enjoying the action in person at Carolina, and it certainly was an exciting weekend, with plenty of horse and rider duos coming out strong – especially the ladies this weekend! If you’d like to catch up on all of the action from Carolina this past weekend, take a peek at EN’s coverage here.

However, Carolina wasn’t the only event running this weekend, and we definitely saw some strong performances and large divisions at Ram Tap, Ocala, and Pine Top as well.

We’re taking a minute to congratulate all of our Weekend Winners, and giving an extra special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award: Penny Goddard and Fernhill On The Rocks who dipped into the teens to finish on their dressage score of 18.6 to win the Open Novice at Carolina.

Ram Tap National H.T. (Fresno, CA) [Website][Scoring]

We’ve seen James Alliston and Alliston Equestrian’s Karma’s (Escudo II – Travita, by Lavita) names at the top of the leaderboard plenty over the last season, with a win at the Twin Rivers Fall International CCI4-S in September, and a win at The Event at Rebecca Farm’s CCI4-L in July. James and Karma have maintained their position at the top going into this season: we saw them win the Advanced at Ram Tap this weekend, their second win this year already.

“It was a fantastic event here at Ram Tap, with wonderful courses and footing,” James reflected. “Many thanks to Terry Hilst and the team at Ram Tap!”

Having opportunities to run at events that offer such great courses and footing is critical in leading up to the 5* season. James is aiming for Kentucky as Karma’s first 5* event this spring, and is excited about how she’s feeling leading into the last few weeks prior to the event.

“I’m hoping to do Kentucky with Karma,” James stated. “She’s feeling really good! In the next weeks, I’ll be working on [a bit of] everything! Hopefully the weather is dry for a few weeks here in Northern California so I can work on the fitness too.”

We’ll see James and Karma at Twin Rivers in a few weeks prior to their planned trip to Kentucky.

Advanced: James Alliston and Karma (36.8)
Open Intermediate: Leah Forquer and Oakley’s Hunt SE (40.6)
Open Preliminary: James Alliston and Renaissance Man (28.2)
Preliminary Rider: Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild (24.5)
Open Modified: Suzanne Miller and Kryptonite Z (22.8)
Open Training: Lauren Billys Shady and Clearsky (28.7)
Training Rider: Leah Yacoub Halperin and Rodrigue Du Granit (27.8)
Novice Rider: Daniela Zarate and Lexington DF (24.4)
Open Novice: Nicholas Cwick and O’Malley (21.1)
Beginner Novice Rider: Stephanie Engle and Swagger (27.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Lindsay Connors and Never Alone (26.5)
Open Introductory: Sophia Kuzma and Valentine (25.7)
Grasshopper: Savannah Clayton and Devon Ridge Artemas (29.4)

Ocala Winter II (Ocala, FL) [Website][Scoring]

Advanced/Intermediate: Morgan Houberg and Made To Order (42.7)
Intermediate Rider: Sherry Pound and Carnaby (37.0)
Open Intermediate: Jessica Phoenix and Alekhine (34.2)
Open Intermediate – One Day: Ali Kuhn and Little Hail (33.6)
Open Preliminary: Lynn Symansky and Idefix Van De Creumelhaeve (27.7)
Open Preliminary – One Day A: Holly Jacks-Smither and Candy King (27.1)
Open Preliminary – One Day B: Emily Bradford and LJS Lana Traveler (25.5)
Open Preliminary – Seven Year Old: Kelly Prather and Ballyneety Soldier (28.2)
Preliminary Horse: Ashley Kehoe and Daktaris (35.6)
Preliminary Rider A: Harper Padgett and Captivate (27.2)
Preliminary Rider B: Harper Padgett and Cooley Copresenter (30.2)
Modified – Open: Sylvia Byars and CSF Dassett Decoy (28.7)
Modified – Rider A: Jacquie Kelton and Miss Something Special (27.9)
Modified – Rider B: Jerry Barnette and Fernhill Thirty (27.9)
Open Modified – One Day: Hannah Hawkins and DHI Kickodieza (28.8)
Junior Training Rider: Abigail Bennett and SM Ravin’s Treasure (33.1)
Open Training: Liz Lund and Franklin Delano CF (24.5)
Open Training – One Day A: Mia Farley and Nikita (21.7)
Open Training – One Day B: Lynne Partridge and Milatour Parisol (29.1)
Open Training – Six Year Old: Elizabeth Swire and Jag’Fly JS (29.5)
Senior Training Rider A: Christina Frost and Grammi Dance (35.0)
Senior Training Rider B: Kathleen Fitzgerald and Global Pixie (30.7)
Training Horse: Karl Slezak and Ardeo On Point (24.3)
Junior Novice Rider: Caden Carter and My Mexico (27.2)
Novice Horse: Colleen Loach and Canada Post (23.9)
Open Novice – One Day A: Darci Burton and Global Bravado (24.7)
Open Novice – One Day B: Dani Sussman and Benevolence SV (24.7)
Open Novice – One Day C: Afton Markoski and Paper Maker (21.9)
Open Novice A: Liz Lund and Hillside Diamond Lad CF (30.3)
Open Novice B: Robin Walker and DHI Milan (24.4)
Senior Novice Rider A: Barbara Brogan and Red Dirt Racer (31.7)
Senior Novice Rider B: Ashley Allison and Sophie’s Story (26.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Destiny Pastermack and Liviusz (31.3)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Maggie Walston and Bila-Shak (25.9)
Beginner Novice Rider C: Sarah Alexander and Lambrusco W (22.2)
Open Beginner Novice A: Gabby Dickerson and Top Love (30.0)
Open Beginner Novice B: Abbey Heriazon and Thru The Impossible (24.1)

Pine Top Spring H.T. (Thomson, GA) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary 2 Day: Meaghan Marinovich-Burdick and HSH Bitcoin (21.8)
Preliminary Rider: Sydney Shinn and HSH Crypto (29.6)
Modified – Open: Susan Thomas and Excel Star Chimichanga (26.3)
Modified – Rider: Megan Lichty and TBS Declan Pondi (32.5)
Junior Training Rider: Maya Davis and SE Neverland (40.7)
Open Training A: Gillian Beale King and Accordingly (32.5)
Open Training B: Gillian Beale King and Drumnaconnell Kobie (22.2)
Senior Training Rider: Lisa Edinger and Quinto Quest (28.3)
Junior Novice Rider: Alexandra Multz and Ardeo Illusion (33.6)
Open Novice A: Erin Thiel and Garrybritt Archie Fernhill (25.3)
Open Novice B: Erika Adams and Townsend (26.1)
Senior Novice Rider: Abby Buenting and Calvin (25.2)
Training / Novice: Anna Cummings and Fernhill Primrose (35.6)
Beginner Novice Rider: Kelly O’Brien and B.E. Never Say Never (20.9)
Open Beginner Novice: Jennifer Treacy and In a Nutshell (29.0)
Starter: Danielle Northup and Wild Mission (23.3)

Carolina International CCI & H.T. (Raeford, NC) [Website][Scoring][EN’s Coverage]

CCI 4*S: Elisabeth Halliday and Miks Master C (22.5)
CCI 3*S: Sharon White and Jaguar Duende (28.7)
CCI 2*S: Ariel Grald and Adagio’s Nobility (25.9)
CCI 1*S: Boyd Martin and Flinterro Z (29.6)
Advanced: Dana Cooke and FE Quattro (30.9)
Open Intermediate: Booli Selmayr and Urania (30.1)
Open Preliminary: Dan Kreitl and Odyssey (28.4)
Preliminary Rider: Alayna Newsome and Quality Dynamite (29.6)
Modified A: Sharon White and Arden Augustus (27.9)
Modified B: Meghan O’Donoghue and Kevin G (25.6)
Open Training A: Becky Holder and Falkor (25.5)
Open Training B: Martin Douzant and Johnny Walker (26.9)
Training Rider: Devon Champlain and Champagne Event (31.2)
Novice Rider: Meghan Fillius and Dress Blues (30.8)
Open Novice: Penny Goddard and Fernhill On The Rocks (18.6)

Weekend Winners: Bouckaert, Full Gallop, SAzEA, & Southern Pines

We’ve been following along with Bouckaert Equestrian as they’ve been running through the 4* this past weekend, but we saw plenty of other events running with Full Gallop, SAzEA, and Southern Pines bringing Eventers out this weekend as well.

Congrats to all of our Weekend Winners across all events this weekend, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Amanda Vines and Redfield Lotte, who won the Open Beginner Novice at SAzEA with a 14.4!

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

CCI 4*S: Hannah Sue Hollberg and Capitol HIM (43.3)
CCI 3*S: Waylon Roberts and Fernhill Salt Lake (32.2)
CCI 2*S: Sherry Pound and Carnaby (29.0)
CCI 1*S: Caroline Pamukcu and Billy Be Jolly (24.1)
Advanced: Tik Maynard and SKM Lux Sonata (55.0)
Open Intermediate: Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus (57.4)
Open Preliminary A: Jonathan Holling and Fernhill Esmerelda (40.3)
Open Preliminary B: Lisa Marie Fergusson and Trinity ThankQ (38.8)
Preliminary Rider: Eileen Galoostian and Ardeo Lord Lancelot (56.5)
Modified Rider: Kasidy McMartin and Newtown’s Llewellyn (35.1)
Open Modified A: Claire Strehlow and Seabanks Theygo (29.3)
Open Modified B: Valerie Pride and Kiss My Jambo M (31.3)
Open Training: Melanie Smith and Ballynoecastle TD (26.1)
Training Rider: Greg Ragusa and Lone Star WS (28.6)
Novice Rider: Celia White and To Infinity and Beyond DASH (24.4)
Open Novice: Valerie Pride and Excel Star Je T’Aime (26.7)

Full Gallop Farm March I H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scoring]

Starter: Stella McGuire and Lucky Clover / Clover (28.0)
Beginner Novice A: Lizzie Chamberlin and KC’s Caitriona (33.2)
Beginner Novice B: Pace Deppa and Galivantor (33.2)
Novice A: Carol Kozlowski and Elodon Zodiac (29.4)
Novice B: Emma Hartzler and Southern Charm (35.0)
Training/Novice: Molly Casey and MoonLight Crush (37.2)
Training: Paula Dupuy and Madhatter (31.1)
Preliminary: Kelly Ransom and Heart of Hollywood (35.4)
Preliminary/Training: Sierra Thomas and Chambery (41.6)

SAzEA Spring H.T. (Tucson, AZ) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Paige Dinnie and Crown Royal (27.4)
Training Rider: Chelsea Luedke and Larimar (45.3)
Open Training: Paige Dinnie and Fine Dutch Chocolate (28.1)
Novice Rider: Heather Bogdan and Just Boo (24.7)
Open Novice: Michael Elmore and Delta Court (31.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Kyla Roberts and Wildflower (26.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Ande Bergmann and Kingdom Springs Rayne (32.1)
Open Beginner Novice: Amanda Vines and Redfield Lotte (14.4)
Open Starter A: Taylor Jensen and Sonrisa Bella (41.0)
Open Starter B: Barb Gasper and Carrick Diamond Legacy (34.7)
Pre-Competition: Jessicca Butorac and Te Amo Tiama (22.2)

Southern Pines H.T. I (Raeford, NC) [Website][Scoring]

Advanced CT A: Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco (31.6)
Intermediate CT: Emily Beshear and Rio De Janeiro (25.5)
Open Preliminary A: Emily Beshear and Bad Moon Rising (30.8)
Open Preliminary B: Ellie van Gemeren and Excel Star Lewiston (28.0)
Preliminary CT: Dan Kreitl and Odyssey (28.9)
Modified Rider: Susanne McDaniel and Corelli WWW (26.2)
Open Modified: Mandolin Whitten and Bossanova (24.5)
Open Training A: Rick Caldwell and Izzy Leo (24.0)
Open Training B: Caitlin Silliman and NK Mirabeau (33.3)
Training CT: Cassie Sanger and Never Enough (35.9)
Training Rider A: Samantha Reinbold and Donald Drake (29.1)
Training Rider B: Ann Bower and San Rubin (23.1)
Training Rider Junior: Darcy Dean and Oy to the World (35.5)
Novice Rider A: Ariana Schimt-Chow and Little Lauries (30.0)
Novice Rider B: Siri Carr and Foxtrot Treacle (33.5)
Novice Rider Junior: Claire Nestor and A French Connexion (32.3)
Open Novice A: Emily Beshear and Ser Dantae (26.1)
Open Novice B: Martin Douzant and Johnny Walker (27.5)
Open Novice C: Susan Beebee and Bugsy Malone (19.4)
Beginner Novice CT: Madeline Moton and The Family Feud (30.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Amy Howes Warren and Ballymores Charisma (27.5)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Renee Wheeler and Joe Frank (30.3)
Beginner Novice Rider C: Scout Spencer and Sterling’s Bailesa (29.7)
Open Beginner Novice A: Rebecca Lee and DGE Swipe Right (26.9)
Open Beginner Novice B: Jillian Newman and Sunhill Rover (24.7)
Starter A: Elena Sparacio and Sunnyside Up (30.0)
Starter B: Alannah Mabus and Silvanus (26.0)
Starter CT: Sloane Nelson and Chillie (27.5)

Jumping into 4* Season at Bouckaert Equestrian

Moving our way steadily through March, the spring season is in full swing as we jump into our big 4* season. It’s an exciting time of the year, as we see numerous horse and rider partnerships out and about, gearing up for the spring 4*-L or 5*-L events coming up, and the fast approaching Paris Olympics.

We saw some of these duos out and competing this past weekend in the 4*-S at Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. & International. The 4*-S division was packed with some impressive names, such as seven-time Olympian Phillip Dutton, individual gold medalist and USEF Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law, top five 5* finisher Mia Farley, and first time 4* competitor Olivia Dutton.

The crew at Bouckaert Equestrian worked tirelessly to ensure good footing and a successful weekend, despite rainy weather. “I could not be happier with the way the crew at Bouckaert Equestrian dealt with what were tricky weather conditions. They deserve a lot of credit for the work they did,” Leslie Law commented. “[It is] also worth noting how improved their two rings were that dealt incredibly well with all the water they had.”

“Hugh [Lochore] and the crew at Bouckaert really did an exceptional job considering the weather and conditions they were faced with. They redesigned the course to the highest parts of the property and rescheduled the cross country before the next bit of rain came through,” Joe Meyer reflected.

Hannah Sue Hollberg and Capitol HIM. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Although these wet conditions inevitably created sticky and deep points on the course, and resulted in no 4* rider finishing within the time, some riders appreciated the opportunity to test their horses in the mud. “Hugh and all the guys there do a wonderful job making the footing great, but the rain did leave a few decently muddy spots,” Hannah Sue Hollberg, who won the 4* this weekend with Christa B. Schmidt’s Capitol HIM (Con Air – O-Heraldika, by Heraldik xx), commented. “It can actually be nice to run in the mud, as we don’t get much of a chance to run in it over here, which makes it hard to adjust to conditions overseas. They did have to modify the course, so it was a bit twisty in comparison to the original plan.”

The change in course as a result of the weather asked questions that tested the horses’ and riders’ training. “[Capitol HIM] kept answering the questions, as he always does. I put myself under pressure this weekend, and held myself accountable. I try to whenever there’s the opportunity and it’s safe for the horses,” Hannah stated. “Even though “Chito” has a huge stride, he’s easy to bring back – he’s just so responsive! There was an angled question that rode a bit harder than expected – I rode off the line, and he was just so honest and added an extra stride.”

After coming off of such an exciting fall, where Hannah and Capitol HIM were the top US pair at the Maryland 5*, this is yet another top finish that shows the consistency that the two are developing together. “I knew Maryland wasn’t a fluke,” Hannah laughed. “He had placed in the top 5 at every event he entered in 2023. But it’s nice to have a result like this that shows that.”

When asked what was next, Hannah mentioned aiming her sights towards Kentucky 5*. “I’m excited, because the show jumping has become as reliable as cross country. We’re buckling down in the dressage, and it is getting better. I’m looking forward to showing everyone what he’s made of in Kentucky.”

Even in the midst of a high point with horses, we’re reminded how challenging this lifestyle can be. The night before show jumping, Hannah received word that Harbor Pilot, her 5* partner, colicked. The 21-year-old is recovering from colic surgery, and Hannah was heading right to visit him as we spoke. Please join us in sending well wishes for a speedy recovery to “William”!

Phillip Dutton and Jewelent. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Phillip Dutton also had an exciting weekend, finishing second in the 4* with his new ride, the Jewelent Group’s Jewelent (Valent – Bellaney Jewel, by Roselier). Phillip also finished 5th with Ann Lapides, Caroline Moran, Annie Jones and Neill Sites’ Denim (Dinken – Celia II, by Ibisco XX), and 7th with Caroline Moran and Anne & Michael Moran’s Azure (Omar – Cavalier Roselier, by Cavalier Royal).

“After the disappointment of Z getting hurt, I was in need of an experienced horse, and was fortunate enough to put a group together to purchase Jewelent,” Phillip commented. “Julian is a very kind, honest, and genuine horse… He’s very light mouthed and east to adjust. He went very well [this weekend] with still a lot of areas that we can improve on as we get to know each other better.”

“Denim and Azure (Sky) both had good runs,” Phillip reflected. Although Phillip had quite a busy and successful weekend himself, he was quite excited about the success of his daughter, Olivia Dutton, finishing her first 4*. “Olivia and Socs did their first 4* together, which I was really proud of.” Olivia and Sea of Clouds finished in 18th place after adding some cross country and show jumping time and three rails to their dressage score.

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Joe Meyer and the Meyer family and Theresa Foote’s Harbin (Verglas – Rainbow City, by Rainbow Quest) rode to a third place finish in the 4*, and was the culmination of efforts made over the past three years of their partnership to get to this point. “Harbin is a little superstar,” Joe stated. “Although we have only been together for a little less than three years now I feel like our partnership has really come together in the past year.” Despite a shorter partnership, Harbin is a horse Joe has known for a while as he was originally produced by his trainer in Ireland (Terry White). The Meyer’s team sourced him for their good friend Rebecca Brown, who bought him sight unseen off a video. “Rebecca had always said this was my horse and I will forever be grateful that she bent over backwards to make sure we could acquire him.”

“Harbin reminds me of Snip, my partner for the Olympics and the Worlds. He’s a small 15.3 hands, grey, feisty Thoroughbred with the heart of a lion that runs around cross country in a snaffle. In the jumping, Harbin finds the flags and does his thing,” Joe commented. “Harbin had a great finish at Tryon 4* last year, and at Blenheim. I was still struggling from broken ribs from a fall before we left for overseas and could not sit the trot at Blenheim. After Blenheim he had a very very long vacation – 3 1/2 months in the field where he turned into a feral Brumby,” Joe laughed. “I felt like he had quite the year with two long formats and overseas travel and he really needed it. He has come out this year feeling better and stronger in all three phases than ever.”

“All things going well, Harbin is headed to the 5 star at Kentucky. He will do one more 4*S at TerraNova in three weeks as his last run. It’s still early in the season and horses always throw you a curve ball when you least expect it, but right now everything is going to plan in the lead up to Kentucky.”

We also saw the return of Lesley Grant-Law and Stephen and Jackie Brown’s Lady Chatterley (Connor 48 – Jucy, by Mytens XX), who had a quiet 2023 after winning USEA Mare of the Year in 2022. She returned to the level this past weekend with Olympic gold medalist Leslie Law.

Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

“I’m thrilled with Fleur,” Leslie commented. “We had a few bobbles, just silly little mistakes in the dressage which were disappointing. However, I was thrilled with her attitude and way of going. Cross country she was amazing really! She lost both front shoes early on and had to dig very deep to get things done, and I was amazed by how hard she tried and thought she did a very good job considering.”

“She enjoyed a nice day of suntanning back in her field, and we will look forward I hope to TerraNova next.”

Outside of the 4*, Waylon Roberts and Fernhill Salt Lake won the 3*, and Australian Sherry Pound won the 2* with Carnaby. Caroline Pamukcu saw a 1st and 2nd place finish in the 1* with Billy Be Jolly in first, and HSH Talbots Hill in second. Tik Maynard won the Advanced division with SKM Lux Sonata, heading into the final few weeks leading to the Road to the Horse Competition in Lexington, Kentucky at the end of this month.

Final results from Bouckaert Equestrian can be found here.

This report has been brought to you with support from Ocala Horse Properties.