Gillian Warner
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Gillian Warner

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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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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.

The Weekend Update: Opening the Pipes at Poplar Park (UK) + Winners from Around the U.S.

Well, that was certainly an exciting weekend! Between all the fun (despite the sloppy weather) in Aiken, and the UK season really kicking things off with Poplar Park, Eventers were out! Catch up on the weekend here as we celebrate our Weekend Winners, and keep an eye out for an update from across the pond near the end of this post, as many big names were out to open the pipes.

Congrats to all on successful rides, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Elisa Karnavy and Foxens Little Treat, who scored a wonderful 14.0 in the Open Starter at Twin Rivers (Paso Robles, CA).

2024 $100,000 Conceal Grand-Prix Eventing Showcase at Bruce’s Field (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scores][EN’s Coverage]

Advanced Level Grand Prix (ADVGR): William Coleman and Chin Tonic HS (30.5)

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

Pre-Starter: Katherine Thornton and Carlingford Finegan (33.0)
Starter: Taylor Oxley and Shanbally Remember Me (23.3)
Beginner Novice A: Kimmy Cecere and Brooklyn (23.8)
Beginner Novice B: Kyra Caffrey and Never Gone South (24.4)
Novice: Amanda Farmer and Boyd Marden (28.9)
Training/Novice: Susan Faulkner and HelloHello (23.3)
Training: Corinna Garcia and Schillers Nav (26.9)
Preliminary/Training: Lilyana Wood and Phillip Buttons (47.1)
Preliminary: Kristi Foresman and RevitaVet Fenomenon (32.1)

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

Intermediate Rider: Michelle Mercier and Shirsheen Fun For All (29.8)
Open Intermediate: Jennie Brannigan and Pascal (30.1)
Open Intermediate – Thursday: Lauren Nicholson and I’ll Have Another (32.4)
Intermediate/Preliminary: Joe Meyer and Simple Hearted (29.3)
Open Preliminary: Jessica Phoenix and Tugce (25.2)
Open Preliminary One Day – Thursday A: Megan Edwards and Global BGK (29.5)
Open Preliminary One Day – Thursday B: Anna Loschiavo and Fernhill Maverick (30.7)
Preliminary Horse: Leslie Law and Really All Gold (26.2)
Preliminary Rider: Paige Montague and I Candy SCF (32.7)
Modified Rider: Nancy Lee and PHF Wine Me Up (27.8)
Open Modified One Day – Thursday: Stephanie Jackson and Ballycapple Fernhill (32.7)
Open Modified A: Meghan O’Donoghue and Kingcarra Cooley Diamond (26.0)
Open Modified B: Hannah Hawkins and DHI Kickodieza (27.9)
Junior Training Rider: Hannah Fatehdin and Things To Ponder (27.4)
Open Training One Day – Thursday A: Jebb Simpson and Matisse (31.2)
Open Training One Day – Thursday B: Declan Bast and Midnight Oil (23.6)
Open Training A: Meghan O’Donoghue and Carlingford Rockabilly (26.0)
Open Training B: Miranda Losey and Unkas Boy (30.2)
Senior Training Rider: Savannah Welch and Langcaster (31.2)
Training Horse: Michael Nolan and Carrick Emerald Diamond (29.1)
Junior Novice Rider: Iselin Byars and Bloomfield Pocket Money (26.7)
Novice Horse: Ashley Widmer and DS Money Heist (30.8)
Open Novice One Day – Thursday A: Joe Bowersox and Guggenheim (25.0)
Open Novice One Day – Thursday B: Caroline Teich and Fürsten Dansil (19.7)
Open Novice A: Andrew Palmer and Kronberg (23.9)
Open Novice B: Sinead Maynard and Fernhill Nico (20.6)
Senior Novice Rider A: Elizabeth Turner and US Warrior (31.9)
Senior Novice Rider B: Gina Teresi and Match Right (20.6)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Sarah Alexander and Lambrusco W (18.4)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Alyssa Cairo and EWSZ Jalando (19.1)
Open Beginner Novice A: Alexandra Du Celliee Muller and Dario RC (26.6)
Open Beginner Novice B: Margaret Stocker and Smilla’s Sense of Snow (27.5)
Starter: Morgan Dowling and C’est Si Beau (34.3)

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

Intermediate CT: Kelly Beaver and Excel Star Pluto (40.6)
Open Preliminary: Claire Robinson and Fernhill Swatch Out (39.4)
Preliminary Rider: Marty Riney and George Alexander (33.1)
Preliminary/Training: Heidi Jones and You’re Electric (45.7)
Open Training: Ryan Wood and Eiffel (28.3)
Training Rider: Ciara Barr and Billy Avon (29.9)
Training/Novice: Meaghan Marinovich-Burdick and Autograph (37.1)
Novice Rider A: Lenora Evans and Christian Grey (29.2)
Novice Rider B: Molly Casey and MoonLight Crush (27.2)
Open Novice: Ronan Moloney and Flinck (26.7)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Rianna Jefferson and Topaz (32.2)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Kelly O’Brien and B.E. Never Say Never (31.9)
Open Beginner Novice: Meaghan Marinovich-Burdick and Old Number 7 (25.3)
Greenie Beginnings: Danielle Northup and Wild Mission (26.1)

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

Advanced: Molly Duda and Disco Traveler (49.4)
Open Intermediate: James Alliston and Cora (34.2)
Open Preliminary: Tamra Smith and Sumas Tina Turner (23.2)
Preliminary Rider: Audrey Sanborn and Lex D (22.4)
Modified Rider: Grace Brownrigg and Dhaulagiri (22.1)
Open Modified: Rebecca Braitling and Freedom Hill (24.0)
Jr. Training Rider: Megan Bebb and Clara Bö (28.9)
Open Training: Auburn Excell Brady and Happy Prospect (25.3)
Sr. Training Rider: Seika Streets and Counterpoint (19.2)
Novice Rider: Sophie Stocks and Rosco (25.4)
Open Novice: Amber Birtcil and Oriental Star (31.7)
Beg. Novice Rider: Emily Hejret and Gandolph The Great (32.1)
Open Beginner Novice: Mia Roeser and Miss Magnolia (18.8)
Open Starter: Elisa Karnavy and Foxens Little Treat (14.0)

The West coast season is also swinging into full gear as we begin to see some top names and Advanced horses out preparing for their various spring destinations. You can view the full recap of Twin Rivers’ Advanced event here.

UK Highlight: Poplar Park [Website][Scoring]

We saw the UK season kick off strong with a packed field at Poplar Park this past weekend, with a field studded with some of the UK’s top riders, including all of the team members from the Tokyo Olympic British Team seen out competing.

Oliver Townend finished first in the Intermediate Section G with his 3rd place Maryland 5* mount, Paul W. Ridgeon’s Cooley Rosalent (Valent – Bellaney Jewel xx, by Roselier xx), and first in the Intermediate Section F with Olympic mount, Angela Hislop, Karyn Shuter, and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class (Courage II – Kilderry Place), followed closely by Tom McEwen and Mr and Mrs J Lambert and Mrs D Johnston’s JL Dublin (Diarado – Zarinna, by Canto) in second place. Piggy March rode to a second place finish in the Novice Section D with Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s Brookfield Kept in the Darco (Shannodale sarco St Ghyvan – Shannodale Greta) and a second in the Novice Section C with Alison Swinburn and John and Chloe Perry’s Brookfield William (Mermus R – Femme Fatale M2S). Laura Collett won the Intermediate Section H with Olympic partner, Keith Scott, Karen Bartlett and her own London 52 (Landos – Vernante, by Quinar), with a top three finish in the Novice and the Intermediate Section G.

2022 World Champion Yasmin Ingham saw her two rides in the top five in the Intermediate, with The Sue Davies Fund’s Banzai Du Loir (Nouma d’Auzay – Gerboise du Cochet by Livarot) finishing in second place, and The Sue Davies Fund’s Rehy DJ (Tinarana’s Inspector – Regy Misty, by Big Sink Hope xx) close behind in 4th.

It was also exciting to see Bubby Upton out again, as she began her 2024 season after extensive rehab following a fall and spine surgery during the 2023 season. She was in the Intermediate with Rachel Upton and the Zebedee Syndicate’s Magic Roundabout IV (Samraan – My Lady) and Rachel Upton’s Cola III (Catoki – Vanessa XII).

What a first day at Poplar Park Horse Trials, kickstarting the 2024 British Eventing Official season🐎 The weather conditions certainly put everyone to the test and on-site vets Katie and Alice went through lots of coats! Tomorrow is Ben, Alex and Annabelle’s turn, hopefully they get some drier weather🌦️

Posted by Ryder-Davies and Partners Veterinary Surgeons Equine Page on Saturday, March 2, 2024

In addition to the strong showing by the British Eventers, we saw American Alexa Gartenberg with her own Cooley Kildaire (Heritage Fortunus – HHS Clo Jo) in the Intermediate Section I. Alexa based with McNab Eventing for the 2023 season, where she completed her first 4*, and is back for an exciting 2024.

BE100 – Section J: Issy Sykes and Current Trend (27.30)
BE100 – Section K: Max Warburton and MBF Up North (28.80)
BE100Open – Section L: Rosie Ringer and Quarry Man (24.40)
BE100Open – Section M: Caroline Day and Jaldo (20.50)
BE100Ou18 – Section N: Freya Weekes and Great Guy (25.30)
BE80 – Section O: Simone Money and Crannard Pringles (28.00)
BE80Ou18 – Section P: Edith Dornan and Little Black Shadow (31.10)
BE90 – Section Q: Katie Lavin and Edgedale Blue Lady (30.00)
BE90 – Section R: Julie Horton and Topwood Merlin (30.50)
BE90Open – Section S: Tabitha Case and Seapatrick Dark Cruise (35.50)
BE90Ou18 – Section T: Olivia White and Fos Ginny (28.50)
I – Section I: Jack Pinkney and Rehy Revelation (39.00)
N – Section A: Tom Jackson and My Star Turn (31.30)
N – Section B: Tom D Crisp and Kermit (36.90)
OI – Section F: Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (24.80)
OI – Section G: Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent (27.80)
OI – Section H: Laura Collett and London 52 (32.10)
ON – Section C: Indie Vaughan-Jones and Cuffesgrange Diamond Echo (21.80)
ON – Section D: Imogen Gloag and Trinity Thanks Awfully (32.00)
ONu18 – Section E: Holly Maudlin and Pure Britannia (35.40)

The Weekend Update: Carolina Prep and More at Pine Top, Three Lakes, Full Gallop Farm

Another weekend of eventing is in the books, with plenty of horse and rider pairs out and about in the southern states. We’re inching closer to warmer weather for the spring season, as well as some upcoming competitions, like the Carolina International CCI4* in just a few weeks!

We caught up with some of the riders aiming for Carolina, and took a look back on this weekend and celebrate our Weekend Winners! Congrats to all on successful outings, with an extra shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Priscilla Pignatelli and Dittos Gold En Fury, who scored 20.7 in the Starter Rider division at Three Lakes!

Full Gallop Farm Mid February H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scoring]

Preliminary/Training: Alexandra Knowles and Fernhill Mac an Bata (29.8)
Training: Tracey Bienemann and Silver Bop (29.6)
Training/Novice: Margaret Schneck and Islandwood Border Patrol (31.7)
Novice: Cole William Horn and WillOMoor Pathfinder (24.7)
Beginner Novice A: Christine Hryzak and Sheeran (27.7)
Beginner Novice B: Fylicia Barr and Master Of Illusion (23.8)
Starter: Sophia Perry and Corona With Lime (29.7)
Pre-Starter: Katherine Thornton and Carlingford Finegan (28.0)

Pine Top Advanced (Thomson, GA) [Website][Scoring]

“I’m very pleased with how my horses went at Pine Top this weekend,” says Advanced B winner Ariel Grald, who reflected, “I’m based in Ocala for the winters, and although we have several great venues to choose from, I always make the trip to the Pine Top Advanced HT with my upper level horses… The cross country courses are fantastic and are a good evaluation of where the horses are at at the beginning of the season.”

We’ll see Ariel at Carolina in just a few weeks, with Anne Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan (Master Imp xx – Ardragh Bash, by Cavalier Royale) in the 4*S, Annie Eldridge’s Diara in the 3*S (Diacontinus – Lady Revens, by Colon xx), and Annie Eldridge’s Adagio’s Nobility (Adagio De Talma – Noble Lady I, by Heraldik xx) in the 2*S.

Andrew McConnon won the Advanced A with Jeanne Shigo’s Ferrie’s Cello (Chello III – Karelza, by Wolfgang). “I’m thankful to have my horses starting off the season looking and feeling well! I had different goals for each horse and I’m pleased with all four of them. We’re really fortunate to have Pine Top Farm on our spring calendar, I’ve been going to Pine Top for nearly 20 years. I’ve had many firsts at Pine Top, including my first Advanced many years ago. It’s always been a special event to me!”

Coming out of the winter, these early spring events have been helpful in bringing Andrew’s horses back from their breaks and in utilizing their training. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from William Fox-Pitt in England the importance of a long winter break and several weeks of long hacking before starting back into work. Most recently with the help of the USEF I’ve had the opportunity to train with Leslie Law, well as my long time coaches at home who have helped me step up my game. While I’m not on the development list this year, the opportunities over the last several years from Nations Cup teams, European tour, and access to training in that program has made a huge impact to myself and my program.”

With a recent move out onto his own, Chris Talley sought out Pine Top as an important stop in his spring for his horses and program: “This year after stepping out on my own and starting my own business I came up from Ocala, Florida and came to the second Pine Top specifically because they have the Advanced division which I wanted to target with the Allison Pratt’s FE Marco Polo (Arko Junior Pms – Elfe II, by Exorbitant XX) and my own Loughtown Cici (Cc Captain Cruise – Castlelawn Diamond Clover, by White Clover) that recently stepped up to [the level].”

“The cross country at Pine Top is why I chose to come here every year. It’s big and bold and really requires positive riding. The courses offer fair questions for this point in the season and also offers a bit of terrain which in Florida you don’t get much of.”

“It’s been a very good start to the season and all the horses finished Pine Top full of confidence so I’m excited for some big spring plans… Since establishing my own business I’ve been really happy with how the horses are going. I have an amazing group of horses and wonderful owners who have been incredibly supportive. This year I really wanted to find the fun in it again. I wanted to enjoy my personal life as much as I enjoy the horses and I’ve found the perfect work/life balance which I think the horses and their performance and reaping the rewards of,” Chris commented.

Having just moved her business back to the states from her time in England, Kimmy Cecere enjoyed her first time at Pine Top. “What a fantastic event to start the season! Both the cross country and show jumping courses were strong and rewarding.”

 

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“Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monaco (Formula One – Glamour) had a fun and easy canter around the Intermediate. [Her own] OS Hermintage (Indoctro – Elvira), who has just stepped up to the level, gained confidence throughout all three phases. The rolling hills and variety of questions set both horses up to continue on to Carolina in a few weeks,” Kimmy reflected.

Kimmy’s horses seem to be making the transition to their new base in Southern Pines well. “The horses traveled super well and they love our new base in Southern Pines,” Kimmy commented. “I have developed some great new relationships, and I’m looking forward to expanding my business!”

Advanced – 2022 USEF Advanced Test A: Andrew McConnon and Ferrie’s Cello (36.5)
Advanced – 2022 USEF Advanced Test B: Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan (29.5)
Intermediate Rider: Sara Beth Anton and Legionnaire (37.2)
Open Intermediate A: Allison Springer and No May Moon (27.0)
Open Intermediate B: Colleen Loach and FE Golden Eye (27.2)
Open Preliminary A: Ariel Grald and Adagio’s Nobility (26.1)
Open Preliminary B: Boyd Martin and Kolbeinn (27.2)
Preliminary Rider: Carlin Keefe and Point Nemo (26.6)
Modified – Open A: Fylicia Barr and Quantum Cooley (26.5)
Modified – Open B: Chris Talley and Fast Forward (25.8)
Modified – Rider A: Heidi Grimm Powell and Finntastic! (28.0)
Modified – Rider B: Molly McLaughlin and Top L’Amour WV (34.0)
Open Training A: Kim Severson and Cooley Consort (26.9)
Open Training B: Andrew McConnon and Connery Cooper Z (22.8)
Open Training C: Jane Jennings and SF Vancouver 2 (25.3)
Training Rider: Harrison Chang and JVK Fionn MacCumhaill (34.3)
Junior Novice Rider: Samantha Sibley and RHS Casallco Star (35.4)
Open Novice: Erin Kanara and Captain’s Lady (24.4)
Senior Novice Rider: Alexis Shrum and Anchorman (29.7)
Beginner Novice Rider: Nina Celeste Braun and Lagoon Macaroon (33.5)
Open Beginner Novice: Maddie Lichten and RF Luminati (28.8)

Three Lakes Winter II H.T. at Caudle Ranch (Groveland, FL) [Website][Scoring]

 

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Open Preliminary: Elisabeth Halliday and Newmarket Cooley (29.7)
Preliminary Rider: Victoria Sudkamp and Woodstock Rio (32.6)
Open Modified: Jordan Crabo and Cooley Pot of Gold (27.9)
Open Training: Stephanie Goodman and HSH Clever Z (25.5)
Training Rider: Hannah Fatehdin and Things To Ponder (26.9)
Novice Rider A: Kirsty McLeod and Celtic Sapphire (27.5)
Novice Rider B: Coco Fiorita and Oskar (22.5)
Open Novice A: Arielle Aharoni and Veni Vidi Vici (30.6)
Open Novice B: Lauren Nicholson and Sir Prize (22.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Sarah Alexander and Lambrusco W (21.6)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Jean McNamara and Pavoratti’s Soul (35.0)
Open Beginner Novice A: Lauren Nicholson and Tennyson (25.3)
Open Beginner Novice B: Macy Clark and Bailando (21.9)
Open Starter: Kristen Ayers and Counting Stars (26.7)
Starter Rider: Priscilla Pignatelli and Dittos Gold En Fury (20.7)

 

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Weekend Winners: Jumping Branch, Ocala, & Ram Tap

Way to knock it out of the park this weekend, Eventing Nation! We are celebrating some fantastic rides this weekend for our Weekend Winners, with some impressive scores.

While we saw so many low scores this weekend that would certainly deserve an extra nod, we’re floored by the almost unbelievable *5.7* that won our Unofficial Low Score Award this weekend. Special congrats to Open Introductory winner Allyson Hartenburg with Iconic!!

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

Junior/Young Rider Preliminary: Paige Ramsey and MTF Cooley Classic (33.2)
Open Preliminary: Boyd Martin and Vivantura (30.7)
Preliminary Rider: Mikki Kuchta and Special Reserve (41.7)
Junior Training: Larkyn Hendren and Castle’s Boy (35.6)
Open Training A: Allison Springer and Lickity Split (23.3)
Open Training B: Michael Pendleton and Adorrado (25.0)
Training Rider A: Samantha Reinbold and Donald Drake (32.2)
Training Rider B: Catherine Kelly and Dylano Q (32.3)
Novice – Junior: Katie Tyer and Excel Star Beholden (33.6)
Novice Rider A: Lisa Hida and Cooleys Rule of Law (34.7)
Novice Rider B: Patricia Thompson and The dark knight (33.6)
Open Novice A: Alexander Conrad and Lexington II (26.4)
Open Novice B: Alexander Conrad and Ad Lib (20.8)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Michelle Drewien and Mr Opportunity (31.5)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Rebecca Saria and Prince Caspian (30.0)
Junior Beginner Novice: Mackenzie Wendt and Castall (36.2)
Open Beginner Novice A: Rebecca Barber Tyler and Uncle Artie (25.0)
Open Beginner Novice B: Michael Pendleton and HC Work of Art (35.6)
Starter A: Sydney Johnson and Mae’s Racer (24.1)
Starter B: Yuki Igari and Poppin Good Pic (30.7)

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

Advanced/Intermediate: Alyssa Phillips and Oskar (34.3)
Intermediate Rider: Michelle Mercier and Shirsheen Fun For All (40.4)
Open Intermediate – One Day: Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis and Flower Girl (31.4)
Open Intermediate A: Sharon White and Shirsheen Ice (41.8)
Open Intermediate B: Phillip Dutton and Denim (26.2)
Open Preliminary – One Day A: Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom (29.2)
Open Preliminary – One Day B: Elisabeth Halliday and Newmarket Cooley (27.4)
Open Preliminary Seven Year Old: Katie Malensek and MRF Qwlkstep (31.5)
Open Preliminary A: Leslie Law and Countess Cooley (34.0)
Open Preliminary B: Jennie Brannigan and Kismet (27.7)
Preliminary Horse: Leslie Law and Really All Gold (28.1)
Preliminary Rider: Laurie Seely and Contefino Grande (29.4)
Modified – Open A: Ariel Grald and Obalix (26.3)
Modified – Open B: Ashley Kehoe and Daktaris (36.9)
Modified – Rider A: Adelyn Rinehart and Corona Life (30.8)
Modified – Rider B: Kate Bell and FE Velvet Black (29.3)
Open Modified – One Day A: Sophia Middlebrook and Monbeg Odyssey (27.3)
Open Modified – One Day B: Madison Temkin and Fernhill Bertus (27.8)
Junior Training Rider: Addison Hagan and FE Friday (34.3)
Open Training – One Day: Meghan O’Donoghue and Kingcarra Cooley Diamond (21.9)
Open Training Six Year Old: Madison Temkin and Fernhill Fairytale (22.5)
Open Training A: Hannah Sue Hollberg and “J” (24.2)
Open Training B: Joe Bowersox and Fernhill Finalist (28.3)
Senior Training Rider A: Robyn Harter and Gold to Blue Monteverdi (31.1)
Senior Training Rider B: Nancy Lee and PHF Wine Me Up (21.0)
Training Horse: Karl Slezak and Zenith Ruby de Rev (29.4)
Junior Novice Rider: Jaeli Uselding and My Fair Prince (31.1)
Novice Horse: Kylie Lyman and BLF Bamiro (26.7)
Open Novice – One Day A: Sinead Maynard and Lightning V/Z (29.0)
Open Novice – One Day B: Declan Bast and Midnight Oil (23.1)
Open Novice A: Jacob Fletcher and DHI Noteworthy (29.5)
Open Novice B: Ainsley Hagen and Ardeo Hennessy (27.5)
Senior Novice Rider A: Maura Tierney and Ballytarsna Dunne Waiting (28.3)
Senior Novice Rider B: Ashley Costello and Bourbon Flight (36.1)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Thomas Borthwick and Oliver’s Sword (24.8)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Coco Fiorita and Oskar (27.7)
Open Beginner Novice A: Kendyl Tracy and Bobbie Burns (22.7)
Open Beginner Novice B: Megan Sykes and Sicario Hit DF (28.8)

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

Advanced/Intermediate: James Alliston and Karma (38.3)
Open Intermediate: Megan McIver and Elle (35.0)
Open Preliminary: Tommy Greengard and That’s Me Z (29.0)
Open Modified: Alexandria Wehrman and Captain Yondu (16.8)
Open Training: Alexis Helffrich and Casanova (21.1)
Training Rider: Seika Streets and Counterpoint (29.2)
Novice Rider: Dede McCoy and Dune DeHeir (26.8)
Open Novice: Alexis Helffrich and Templeton’s Dolce Flame (25.8)
Beginner Novice Rider: Ellen Gudiksen and Kilkenny Fugitive (27.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Amber Birtcil and Meant To Bee (17.9)
Open Grasshopper: Luellen Rusick and Willow (26.6)
Open Introductory: Allyson Hartenburg and Iconic (5.7)

The Weekend Update: Winter Training Pays Off at Ocala, Ram Tap

Welcome to The Weekend Update, a new offering here on EN that will recap important prep events each Monday. While we can’t be at every event in person, we want to recognize the efforts of those out there competing each weekend around the world. This column will focus on key prep events and divisions that feature 4* and 5* horses and riders en route to major spring destinations. Keep an eye out also for our weekly Weekend Winners column, which celebrates each recognized event running in the U.S.!

Rain Never Keeps the Eventers Away at Ocala Winter I

Ocala Winter I at the Florida Horse Park attracted numerous horse and rider combinations from Beginner Novice to Advanced/Intermediate, which many riders attributed to the care and maintenance of the grounds, as well as the community the event provides. “Florida Horse Park has done such a fantastic job from punching and watering the ground to great course design,” Sinead Maynard remarks.

Alexa Thompson also appreciates the event for the opportunity it provides horses, “I have been coming to the Horse Park since 2009, and it has been really neat to see how hard everyone is working to continually improve an already great venue.” After returning from France in December after working with Maxime Livio, Ocala was the perfect event back in the states to get her horses going, and finished this weekend 2nd in the Advanced/Intermediate with Just To Be Clear (Extase – Utopia Tb, by Gran Corrado).

“The footing in Ocala is similar to what we were training on in France, so the horses seem really happy! I was quite pleased with “Karti” this weekend. It was his first event back since the 4*S at Montelibretti in Italy in November. We had goals for each phase this weekend, and it was really fun to be able to accomplish them while also walking away with a top result.”

While she may no longer be in France, Alexa’s development continues with the support of Maxime from afar, “I have been working with Maxime from afar via Pivo and loads of videos, texts, voice memos, and phone calls. He and his team feel like my French family, and I miss them dearly, but thanks to technology, I still get to have him as a resource and mentor, no matter our locations.”

Support came from riders near as well, as Sinead Maynard experienced this weekend. “My new ride, Serengethi (Sir Donnerhall – Pia Luisa M, by Pavarotti Van De Helle), owned by The Journey Syndicate, was a little wild in the show jumping. Thankfully, Ocala is filled with knowledgeable people around every corner. My friend Hannah Sue Holberg met me at cross country warm up after recommending a slight bridle adjustment. She is a genius, and I had a delightful run around the track due to her help. We are so lucky in Ocala to have such great venues and great people. These things combined are helping us to produce great horses and great partnerships!”

Partnerships are the name of the game when it comes to riding and training horses throughout all of life’s stages. We saw Jacob Fletcher taking over the ride for wife and training partner Cornelia while she’s expecting their first child. “Cornelia and I train and work together, so the transition to competing her horses has been smooth and easy. They were great this weekend, and what they do next for the rest of the spring is up to my newest owner, Cornelia!” Jacob laughs.

Jacob had Fletcher Farm’s Fabian (Up To Date – Ineke, by Beaujolais) in the Open Preliminary, and finished in 5th in the Open Intermediate with Cornelia’s DHI Qyaracolle Z (Quinar Z – Celiacolle Z, by Chellano) as well as 11th with her Daytona Beach 8 (Duke Of Hearts Xx – Sandance, by Santander H). Qyra and Daytona will be doing Chattahoochee Hills’ 3* next.

Advanced/Intermediate winner Alyssa Phillips is feeling well prepared for their first FEI of the season in a few weeks. “All [my horses] clicked in at Ocala.” After winning the Advanced/Intermediate with her own Oskar (Coriando – Nicole), she looks forward to the upcoming year, “Oskar has come out so much stronger this year and I’m really happy he’s happy… My goal with him is to go to Europe on the Developing Tour to compete on some Nations Cups to gain more team experience, so we will be building up to that!”

Final results from Ocala can be found here.

 

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West Coast Season in Full Swing at Ram Tap (Fresno)

Good venues, partnerships, and winter training also ensured good results at Ram Tap for our west coast eventers.

“The ground was awesome, and it was a great start of the season show for the horses,” James Alliston comments. James finished 1st and 2nd in the Advanced/Intermediate with Alliston Equestrian’s and Nations Cup ride Karma (Escudo II – Travita, by Lavita) and Alliston Equestrian’s Paper Jam (Paparazzo – Reely Jamin).

“They went well, and hopefully this sets them up for a good year ahead. It was great to have Paper Jam back in the game after a length layoff. We’re looking forward to having him in the lineup this year,” James comments.

Tommy Greengard had a great start to his season, winning the Open Preliminary with Andrea Pfeiffer’s That’s Me Z (Take a Chance On Me Z – Veneita, by VDL Indoctro). “I was so happy with how mature and confident That’s Me Z started off his season. I was fortunate to ride with Leslie [Law] during the U25 in January and I feel like both Z and I really took what we worked on and applied it in the ring which paid off.”

Allyson Hartenburg‘s training also certainly paid off, bringing in an almost unbelievable result in the Open Introductory with Dede McCoy’s Iconic. Allyson and Iconic scored an incredible 5.7 in the dressage, and went double clear in cross country and show jumping to finish on their dressage score. “This was Iconic’s first horse trial, and I was really pleased that he put in a nice, steady test. When I saw the score, I thought there must be a typo! I’m naturally happy that he came away with the win on an unbelievable score, but most importantly he had an educational and confidence building first show. It was an extra treat that his owner, Dede McCoy, also came away with a win on her other horse, Dune DeHeir.”

Final results from Ram Tap can be found here.

 

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Weekend Winners: Pine Top & Rocking Horse

We saw plenty of Eventers out at Pine Top and Rocking Horse, continuing to enjoy the (relative) warmth of the southern winters as the season picks up.

Congrats to all of our Weekend Winners, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Elizabeth Grandos and Solaguayre La Mint, who scored 22.5 in the Senior Novice Rider at Rocking Horse!

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

 

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Advanced/Intermediate: Allison Springer and No May Moon (33.3)
Intermediate Rider: Kiersten Miller and Rosconnell Alto (62.0)
Open Intermediate A: Andrew McConnon and Ferrie’s Cello (29.4)
Open Intermediate B: Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill (30.0)
Open Preliminary A: Lillian Heard Wood and Chilly (25.3)
Open Preliminary B: Jenny Caras and Sommersby (26.1)
Open Preliminary 2 Day: Alexandra Knowles and September Venture (29.5)
Preliminary Rider: Laura Orlowski and St. Benedict (33.7)
Modified One Day: Jane Jennings and Clarkes Sweet Music (28.5)
Modified – Open: Fylicia Barr and Kilbunny Close Call (24.8)
Modified Rider: Katelyn Smith and Lisbane Spartacus (32.8)
Junior Training Rider: Marin Swyers and Fernhill Mac an Bata (29.7)
Open Training A: Samantha Homeyer and HHS Tiger Lily (29.2)
Open Training B: Ashley Adams and Global Halcyon (25.1)
Senior Training Rider: Megan Lichty and TBS Declan Pondi (34.0)
Training/Novice: Tracey Bienemann and Silver Bop (32.2)
Junior Novice Rider: Kennan Young and Iko Wrise (25.3)
Open Novice: Julia Wendell and Must Have (31.4)
Senior Novice Rider: Allison Carey and Sea Zar Run (31.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Lily Story and You Dazzle Me (29.4)
Starter: AJ Carter and Texas Avalanche (29.7)

 

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

 

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Advanced – Test A: Woods Baughman and Hopak de Greenbay Z (37.6)
Advanced – Test B: Elisa Wallace and Renkum Corsair (35.9)
Intermediate Rider: Jesse Reagin and RCA Society Law (55.5)
Open Intermediate: Cassie Sanger and Fernhill Zoro (33.1)
Open Preliminary A: Anna Loschiavo and Fernhill Maverick (26.8)
Open Preliminary B: Lucienne Bellissimo and Tremanton (28.4)
Open Preliminary One Day: Sharon White and Jaguars Duende (25.5)
Preliminary Horse: Leslie Law and CLH Soldier Blue (33.9)
Preliminary Rider: Erin Farrell and Ataviuos (39.6)
Modified Rider: Olivia Alminde and Flagmount’s Spartan (35.0)
Open Modified: Chris Talley and Fast Forward (27.1)
Open Modified One Day: Cindy Rawson and Evening Melody (30.5)
Junior Training Rider: Ava Staton and Lamondale Graciana (22.6)
Open Training A: William Coleman and Box Como (30.7)
Open Training B: Chloe Paddack and Hawthornstud Fortunate Love (27.1)
Senior Training Rider: Julia Davis and Willmore (34.0)
Training Horse A: Sharon White and Quizas (26.3)
Training Horse B: Cassie Sanger and Never Enough (27.9)
Junior Novice Rider: Abby Williams and First Class (29.0)
Novice Horse: Kylie Lyman and BLF Bamiro (24.0)
Open Novice A: Robin Walker and Rock Island (24.4)
Open Novice B: Georgia Phillips and Tomgar Conspiracy (26.1)
Senior Novice Rider: Elizabeth Grandos and Solaguayre La Mint (22.5)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Sophia Street and Shannondale Jordi (30.3)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Alyssa Cairo and EWSZ Jalando (27.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Robin Walker and DHI Milan (25.9)

 

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From the Ground Up: The Power of Showing Up

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.

I took a breath as I stepped back from the horse. I always try to keep emotion out of my training, but I couldn’t help but let out a sigh of frustration at the situation. I had been working with the horse for a month, and yet felt like we were treading water, making no progress.

He was a bit of a tough case. Inconsistent handling, and some periods of down time made starting at square one a little more confusing — he knew just enough from the years past, but hadn’t retained all of it, or had had some holes in the training.

After we found a good stopping point for the day, I let him back in his field and took a minute to think through the process, and some options. This wasn’t the first time I had worked with a horse like this. I have started many horses that have had significant time without being handled. And the one thing that it all really boils down to is consistency.

 

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With each of these horses, I’ve found the fastest way to make progress is to do little amounts, slowly and often. Showing up to be with them — either doing a full session, working on a new skill, or even just being around them — makes a difference. It “just” takes showing up, each day, and chipping away at the progress.

There will be a few days where it feels like you’ve accomplished it all, a few days where it feels like you’ve never handled them before, and a majority of days where it feels like you make a 1% improvement each time. Some days you can spend an hour developing a new skill, some days you can only spend 10 minutes working on boundaries and awareness. Both are important, and both serve a purpose in the role and power that showing up consistently has on training.

 

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It can be hard to see, because the day-to-day improvements and subtleties aren’t always obvious to the ones that see them the most. But when you realize the horse now stands in the cross ties without supervision; when the lead stays loopy and soft walking in the indoor; when barn staff tell you how much easier they are to manage in the field; the little bits, every day are worth it.

 

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So while the days where it feels like my work hasn’t been adding up to much keep coming quite frequently with this one, I look at the successes of my consistency and dedication to the baby steps — I see Winston successfully taking a lesson kid on her first trail ride, Abbey finding comfort and confidence in her canter, and Harold stepping up into a sporty and sensible family horse.

The road had seemed long and uncertain with some of them previously. But with dedication to showing up, and a commitment to chipping away towards progress, the baby steps can turn into something truly remarkable.

Weekend Winners: Galway, Sporting Days, & Three Lakes

Galway, Sporting Days, and Three Lakes are bringing us into February. We saw Eventers in the South and the West getting out and about.

Congrats to all on successful weekends! We love celebrating these Weekend Winners with through recaps and socials. We’re also giving a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Galway Downs’ Open Novice winner Katherine Robinson and Percival ICF, who scored an impressive 16.1!

Galway Downs 2024 Kickoff H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website][Scoring]

Advanced CT: Katherine Robinson and Teki to the Limit (41.6)
Open Intermediate: Emilee Libby and Toska (43.9)
Open Preliminary: Leah Forquer and Ixxe Hedoniste (30.0)
Open Modified: Olivia Baca and MB MaiStein (31.3)
Open Training: Whitney Tucker Billeter and Balou Print (20.8)
Training Rider: Emma Pistone and Paulank Pepper Pot (29.7)
Novice Rider A: Bari Boersma and Reverie GWF (16.7)
Novice Rider B: Jennifer Miller and Bon Bon (28.1)
Open Novice: Katherine Robinson and Percival ICF (16.1)
Open Beginner Novice A: Katherine Schlatter and Adios Nonino (22.7)
Open Beginner Novice B: Chloe Smyth and SR Myconos (25.2)
Starter: Sophia Guttentag and Into the Cosmos (25.3)

Sporting Days Farm February Trials H.T. II (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Lillian Heard Wood and Cooley Gentleman (33.3)
Preliminary Rider: Brooke Kahl and Nata Montada SCF (32.9)
Open Training: Lillian Heard Wood and Bellines Quality Lady (26.7)
Preliminary/Training: Heidi Grimm Powell and Finntastic! (38.0)
Training Rider: Avery Cascarino and San Suki (28.8)
Novice Rider: Nancy Read and Classic Chrome PCH (23.9)
Open Novice A: Sarah Cousins and American Ride (29.4)
Open Novice B: Alexander Conrad and Ad Lib (23.1)
Beginner Novice Rider: Julie Wotring and Our Golden Chance (27.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Michael Pendleton and Cornmill manny (30.3)
Introductory: Libby Head and Demelza (26.0)

Three Lakes Winter I H.T. at Caudle Ranch (Groveland, FL) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Lexi Scovil and Curlieu Zephyros (28.4)
Preliminary Rider: Luciana Hackett and As Good As Cash (55.8)
Modified Rider: Sarah Newman and Hang Time (34.8)
Open Modified: Elizabeth Swire and Magnifique K (27.3)
Open Training A: Meghan O’Donoghue and Uvera Z (26.7)
Open Training B: Gabby Dickerson and Sophia Tharseo (32.0)
Training Rider: Jaclyn McElhaney and Strongest (28.6)
Novice Rider: Rachael Whiteley and Title of Honor (23.9)
Open Novice A: Jane Musselman and Corleone Tops (22.5)
Open Novice B: Bernard Morauw and VC QUESTERA (29.6)
Open Novice C: Madeline Backus and Apollo (23.6)
Beginner Novice Rider: Kirsty McLeod and Celtic Sapphire (24.7)
Open Beginner Novice A: Fanny Lee and Hitchcock’s Doppelganger (27.7)
Open Beginner Novice B: Margaret Stocker and Smilla’s Sense of Snow (22.1)
Open Starter: Priscilla Pignatelli and Dittos Gold En Fury (32.3)

More Opportunities for Paris Olympics Tickets On the Way

With less than 6 months until the 2024 Olympic Games, we’re all waiting in anticipation to cheer on our favorite athletes and Team as they’re competing in Paris.

So, what could be even better than to have the opportunity to cheer them on in person?

 

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It was just recently announced that a new surprise ticketing phase will start on February 8th, where tickets to every sport (including equestrian sports!!) will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

The new ticketing phase begins on Thursday February 8th, at 10 am CET, and will include tickets for all Olympic sports, Paralympic Games, and Opening and Closing Ceremonies. All tickets will only be available to purchase from the official website.

The equestrian sports at Paris 2024 will take place at the Palace of Versailles.

There will be a limited number of tickets, so if you fancy a trip to Paris to see the best athletes in the world in some of the most iconic venues, make sure to keep an eye on the website, and be ready for February 8th!

Weekend Winners: Full Gallop & Rocking Horse

Another weekend, another edition of Weekend Winners! We saw Eventers competing at Full Gallop and Rocking Horse, from the Pre-Starter to the Intermediate.

Congrats to all on successful rides! Shout out to all of these Weekend Winners, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Michael Nolan and Newton AK, who scored 23.6 in the Open Novice B at Rocking Horse!

Full Gallop Farm January H.T (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scores]

Training HT: Larkyn Hendren and Castle’s Boy (33.3)
Novice HT: Lauren New and Supernova (28.6)
Novice CT: Darci Phelps and FGF Tiebreak (29.4)
Beginner Novice HT: Jennifer Fox and Galloway (27.7)
Beginner Novice CT: Jacel Charles Galloway and Visionaries Protege (34.4)
Starter HT A: Stella McGuire and Lucky Clover (32.7)
Starter HT B: Sophia Simone Brady-Owen and FGF Saratoga Vintage (30.7)
Starter CT: Samantha Loomis and Worth the Wait (34.3)
Pre Starter HT: Darrelle Powell and Melody (64.6)
Pre Starter CT: Lillian Whitehead and Sweet Potato (36.6)

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website][Scores]

Intermediate Rider: Devin Robel and Gillou (31.4)
Open Intermediate A: Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley (31.6)
Open Intermediate B: Lexi Scovil and Chico’s Man VDF Z (31.8)
Open Intermediate One Day A: Bruce Davidson Jr. and Erroll Gobey (32.4)
Open Intermediate One Day B: Ava Wehde and Bonaire (26.8)
Intermediate/Preliminary: Anna Loschiavo and Fernhill One Too Many (34.2)
Open Preliminary A: Gabrielle Ruane and RHS Obora’s Goldwing (30.8)
Open Preliminary B: Madison Temkin and SH Just for Laughs (30.3)
Open Preliminary One Day: Lea Adams-Blackmore and Frostbite (26.2)
Preliminary Horse: Katie Malensek and Valeska (24.0)
Preliminary Rider: Beth Murphy and Jimba (29.4)
Modified Rider: Ella Hubert and Ardeo Dance Monkey (35.8)
Open Modified A: Tik Maynard and Kayan (28.5)
Open Modified B: Kendyl Tracy and Justified (25.5)
Junior Training Rider: Ava Applebaum and FE City Boy (26.9)
Open Training A: Madison Temkin and Fernhill Bertus (26.7)
Open Training B: Jane Stephenson and Rock Phoenix (25.8)
Open Training C: Sara Kelson and Hanslough Diamond (23.9)
Senior Training Rider: Lillianna Killpack and One New Moon (31.9)
Training Horse A: Chris Talley and Sky Moon (24.4)
Training Horse B: Jonathan Holling and Chaplain (29.7)
Junior Novice Rider: Owen Isrow and Wonderful Courage (31.4)
Novice Horse: Lindsay Bouscaren and SF Darc Justice (25.8)
Open Novice A: Robin Walker and Rock Island (28.3)
Open Novice B: Michael Nolan and Newton AK (23.6)
Senior Novice Rider: Liz Kast and Luftmann MWF (28.3)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Samantha Lovell and Bila-Shak (32.9)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Coco Fiorita and Oskar (26.8)
Open Beginner Novice A: Ava Vanselous and Nomorestorms (31.8)
Open Beginner Novice B: Sinead Maynard and Fernhill Nico (30.6)

Horsemanship Around the World: Exploration with the Argentinian Gauchos

As I stood on top of the cliff, overlooking the Gatorade blue water of Lago San Martín, it felt like my horse and I had truly found the end of the world. And it wasn’t far off, with Patagonia edging its way close to that title.

It’s hard to beat the view of Lago San Martín from the back of a horse.

As my horse caught his breath, I took a moment to soak in the postcard beauty of the landscape before turning back to the terrain so intensely unique to the Andes to continue on our exploration.

Pursuing this trip wasn’t for the faint of heart, consisting of 15 hours of flying to get to Buenos Aires, another 3 hours to arrive in El Calafate, and then a 5 hour drive to the beautiful Estancia El Condor, where our ride began. While daunting, I was surrounded by a group of explorers who were well equipped to handle anything that came our way — adventurer extraordinaire Erik Cooper, Argentinian gauchos Andy and Morita, and a diverse group of incredibly capable and skilled horsemen and women from around the world as crazy as I am to pursue something this wild.

Wild, adventurous friends make explorations to remote locations that much more fun.

Years ago when I first connected with Erik, I couldn’t have imagined myself going to some of the most remote locations you can find. From Mongolia to Patagonia, Erik’s friendship, shared love of horses, and adventurous spirit has dragged me to the corners of the world, shown me some of the most incredible views, and introduced me to some of the kindest and most inspiring people all united by the horse. While you never know what to expect on equine expeditions such as these, we’ve always sought out locations rich in adventure.

And this spirit of adventure is consistent with the history of travel and exploration in Argentina – dating back to some of the first residents and explorers of the area, it’s a history that’s still honored today. As you navigate the challenging terrain of Patagonia, imagining how exponentially more challenging it would have been back hundreds of years, you come across landmarks such as Lago San Martín, named after the Argentine general and national hero of the armies of independence against Spain, the Perito Moreno Glacier named after the explorer and surveyor, or rock paintings like the Cueva de las Manos, which dates back to 8,000 BCE and left by the Tehuelche people, who have a 14,000 year long history of habitation in Patagonia before the arrival of Europeans.

While much has changed over the thousands of years of the country’s history, the horse has remained as a constant – not only were our equine partners absolutely necessary for us to navigate this terrain today, but they’ve allowed humans to push beyond what man could do alone to cover larger swaths of land, and have allowed past and present explorers to forge through remote wilderness to find land to make livelihoods.

 

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One such explorer and resident, Santiago Radboone “The Jimmy” for the Tehuelches, has certainly left his mark on the area, seen in our trek through Estancia El Condor.

Originally born in Inkpen, Berkshire, England, in 1874, Jimmy left home to work, and found his way to Punta Arenas in 1892. After being convicted of fraud, he was arrested and placed in jail in 1904, but promptly escaped, finding his way to the woman he loved, Juana. The couple left to find land, and eventually occupied the lands of the Mackenna Peninsula, next to Lago San Martín. Here, he founded Estancia La Nana, near the border with Chile. Today, that land is part of Estancia El Condor, and the remnants of “The Jimmy’s” house sat on the land where we rode out, making our way to camp “La Nana”. Walking through Jimmy’s house showed how resourceful he had to be to make a life here with his family, as they made their way to find land and create a home in such a remote space. Staying at La Nana as part of our time at El Condor served as yet another reminder of the history we were living in and riding through.

Jimmy’s house still stands on La Nana, and carries the reminder of explorers who came before.

Estancia El Condor with Cabalgatas Andora provide opportunities such as these to connect with and explore Argentina with the spirit and soul of an adventurer. Riding along the beach, crossing rivers on horseback that soaked us from the knee down, and trekking through thick brush down steep hills turned us into a group of explorers navigating these spaces.

Another way to connect with the culture of exploration is through the Gaucho Derby, a 500km multi-horse adventure race run by the same group at the famous Mongol Derby. The high mountains of Patagonia test the skill and spirit of the horses and riders setting out in the Derby, as they trek through some of the steppe where the Tehuelche hunted, the mountains that explorers navigated, and Estancias that have evolved over the decades and centuries of the country. The Derby is coming up at the beginning of February, and you can keep an eye here to follow along with the excitement!

 

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With the extensive history of exploration in a harsh environment, and continued emphasis on equine-oriented adventure through places such as Estancia El Condor or the Gaucho Derby, Patagonia, Argentina is a wild, stunning, and remote paradise for those who want to make their way.

And that’s just it – if there’s one thing I’ve learned about navigating through Patagonia, and the story of Jimmy and the explorers and pioneers that continue to inspire adventure in Argentina, it’s that you have to make your own way, and make your life. Creating something new, bold, and inspired takes a commitment to know what you want, a willingness to push beyond the uncomfortable, and enough of an open mind to explore as you find the path. From the Tehuelche to the early explorers to travelers like our group with our trusty horses, we’re all creating the life we dream.

Weekend Winners: Ram Tap & Stable View

We saw a good weekend at Ram Tap and Stable View, with plenty of horse and rider combos getting a jump on their 2024 goals.

Congrats to all on successful weekends! We love giving our Weekend Winners a shout out, and we’re giving an extra shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Stable View Open Novice winner Ryan Wood and Ardeo Cruise with an impressive 17.8!

Ram Tap Combined Test (Fresno, CA) [Website] [Results]

Open Preliminary: Ella Garcia and Wynnville (39.6)
Open Modified: Jennette Scanlon and Zoltaire (35.0)
Open Training: Alexis Helffrich and Casanova (30.6)
Training – Dressage Only: Jessie Deeter and Munchkin (33.9)
Open Novice: Jessie Deeter and Munchen (30.0)
Open Beginner Novice: Jillian Terzian and Nehoa (27.4)
Open Introductory: Sophia Hoxworth and Tigger Too (29.0)
USDF Intro Test B: Carrie Nast and River (45.9)

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Results]

Open Preliminary A: Isabelle Bosley and Night Quality (36.0)
Open Preliminary B: Boyd Martin and Contessa (33.2)
Preliminary Rider: Marty Riney and George Alexander (36.1)
Modified Rider: Molly McLaughlin and Top L’Amour WV (38.5)
Open Modified A: Boyd Martin and Kolbeinn (29.1)
Open Modified B: Claire Robinson and Fernhill Swatch Out (27.7)
Open Training A: Sarah Kuhn and Signeur (25.6)
Open Training B: Jane Jennings and SF Vancouver 2 (25.6)
Training Horse: Booli Selmayr and Uptown Girl (28.1)
Training Rider A: Kelsey Estes and Trionfo (34.4)
Training Rider B: Samantha Reinbold and Donald Drake (32.6)
Novice Horse: Kristine Burgess and Marisol (27.2)
Novice Rider A: Sheila Wiese and Cooley Greystones (34.4)
Novice Rider B: Avery Brennan and King Pony (28.4)
Novice Rider C: Abby Buenting and Calvin (32.0)
Open Novice: Ryan Wood and Ardeo Cruise (17.8)
Beginner Novice Horse: Amanda Beale Clement and B.E. Cointreau (32.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Gemma Ciccarelli and Knockmeal Corners Liberty (31.4)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Kelly O’Brien and B.E. Never Say Never (21.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Maddie Lichten and RF Luminati (35.9)
Starter: Logan Harris and Leviticus (31.7)

Weekend Winners: Majestic Oaks

Seriously wishing I could be in Florida right now, getting an early start to the season! While temperatures around the country are dipping below zero, we’re living vicariously through our fellow Eventers down south!

For our second weekend of 2024, we saw Majestic Oaks running in Reddick, Florida. Congrats to all on successful rides, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Marilyn Payne and Rock Me Mama, who scored an epic 20.0 in the Open Novice C!

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Results]

Open Preliminary: Leslie Law and Must Be Cooley (25.2)
Preliminary Rider: Devin Robel and Gillou (25.8)
Open Modified: Liz Lund and Franklin Delano CF (30.3)
Open Training A: Vanessa Stevenson and Balboa (23.6)
Open Training B: Ariel Grald and Sunhill Cobrio (28.3)
Training Rider: Michelle McNamara and Jungle Prince (28.1)
Novice Rider A: Maura Tierney and Ballytarsna Dunne Waiting (32.0)
Novice Rider B: Afton Markoski and Paper Maker (34.8)
Open Novice A: Alexander O’Neal and Chippendale (22.8)
Open Novice B: Sinead Maynard and Lightning V/Z (28.1)
Open Novice C: Marilyn Payne and Rock Me Mama (20.0)
Beginner Novice Rider: Rachel Kim and Lolapalooza (29.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Sinead Maynard and Fernhill Nico (30.3)
Starter – Intro A: Shana Boteler and TRF Elphaba (30.7)
Starter – Intro B: Marley Bridges and Triple Magic (35.7)

Dates Announced for USEA Grooms Program 2024 Ocala Educational Series

Last week, the dates for the USEA Grooms Program Education Series located in Aiken, South Carolina were announced. The USEA Grooms Program now heads down to Ocala, Florida to the World Equestrian Center.

The 2024 Ocala schedule includes Max Corcoran, Dr. Shane Harley, and Jo-Anne Wilson and is as follows:

January 30th, 6pm: All Things Legs with Max Corcoran and guests

February 6th, 6pm: Ask the Vet with Dr. Shane Harley

February 13th, 6pm: How to Make Your Horse a More Efficient Athlete with Jo-Anne Wilson

Attendance is free and open to all, but a donation to help the USEA Grooms Group to help continue these learning opportunities are appreciated! Donations can be sent through the USEA Grooms Program Venmo (@USGroomsProgram).

The USEA Grooms Program was formed in December 2021 by USEA President, Max Corcoran, and top-level eventers Lauren Nicholson and Shannon Lilley. This program is being designed to create a holistic approach for ensuring current and future eventing grooms, the sport’s unsung heroes, receive the development and training to be top-class performers in the role. The program aims for grooms to be acknowledged and rewarded for their accomplishments, as well as to gain access to the resources for expanding their career opportunities. The program aims to provide education and resources for educating U.S. eventing grooms, with a pipeline for future candidates.

Catch Up on the London International Horse Show

There’s always so much action at the London International Horse Show, which ran this year from the 13th-18th of December. From 5* FEI Jumping, Driving & Dressage World Cups, and perfect opportunities for shopping, it’s certainly been an event on my bucket list.

Until I can make it abroad to enjoy in person, we’ve followed along with Horse&Country as well as ClipMyHorse. As the live action is winding down, there are still plenty of opportunities to live vicariously through social media posts…

From the Ground Up: Keeping the “U” in Business

We’re coming up on the two year anniversary of the launch of my business, Warner Equine. I started this column, From the Ground Up, roughly around the same time as an opportunity to follow along in the process of becoming a business owner, and living life as a young professional.

Running a business working with horses is an incredibly fun adventure. Photo by Julia Dillavou Photography.

Most of my content over the past two years have been specifically focused on the reflections I’ve had in my work… covering topics such as social media, networking, focusing your purpose, and light-bulb moments in training. The topics have covered themes and material that are on my mind and a priority in my day to day.

So it’s maybe no surprise that the topics haven’t focused much on maintaining a personal life outside of work, attempting to strike that elusive work-life balance that people always discuss… because I haven’t done a great job in doing so.

The day to day schedule can feel too structured for much flexibility – between working horses, scheduling lessons, and managing the admin work of the business, it’s easy just to keep going, and hard to get off of the farm. I’m lucky in that I love my work, and will happily fit in an extra ride or lesson where I can, but that often means being late to social engagements, foregoing that extra hour of sleep, or skipping the self-care routine I attempted to commit to because I was just too tired.

Recently though, as the cold weather has been setting in, I’ve felt the lack of time I’ve maintained for myself creep up in achey joints and a stiff body. A bit concerning for only being 24, so I finally made (and kept!) an appointment with my doctor, got a referral for some physical therapy, and start regular appointments this week.

Blocking out some extra time to care for myself physically has made me realize it’s possible to do so, and important to also find time to recharge mentally. When I take time for myself, I feel better, and can therefore put more focus and energy into my work… a shocker, I know. With that, I’ve made a bigger effort to connect with friends near and far, scheduling time for late night ice cream runs, a phone call over lunch, or spending the afternoon in non-horsey clothes wandering around town. I’m looking at getting back into kickboxing, or picking up some (much needed) cooking or art classes to try something new.

I always love a trip to NYC to visit the coolest sister!

Holding the time for myself now has made it so obvious how little emphasis I put on it the last two years. I love my work, but I am more than my work. In order to continue doing what I love for a long time, I need to make time for myself to be physically and mentally capable for what lies ahead, and create a life that’s balanced and diverse to have the energy to stay engaged, passionate, and curious.

As we continue pushing on through the winter, getting ready for the New Year and all that lies ahead, here’s a reminder to find time to give to yourself so you can continue giving to your communities. Cheers to another year of good horses, great people, and fun adventures!

Weekend Winners: USEA Year-End Awards & Full Gallop Farm

Nothing says end of the year like the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention AND a Jingle Bells H.T. running at Full Gallop Farm.

Celebrate the end of the year, with these Weekend Winners as we recap on a great year of sport, horsemanship, and all that’s to come next! Congrats to all on the year and a great weekend, with a special shout out to this weekend’s winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Sarah Forster and Caillou, who scored a 26.9 in the Novice at Full Gallop.

USEA Annual Meeting and Convention (St. Louis, MO): [Information Hub] [Awards]

Andrew McConnon and Wakita 54. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant: Andrew McConnon (The Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant awards $50,000 for the educational development of an international quality rider based on competition in eventing on the global stage).

Steve Teichman in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Wofford Cup: Steve Teichman (When selecting the Wofford Cup recipient, the selectors identify those who have given so much to the sport that they rise to the very top. They dedicate their life to the betterment of eventing. The 2023 recipient was not only someone who fit that description, but defines that description. For almost five decades, a love of art and a passion for innovation made Teichman one of the most sought-after farriers in the business, becoming the farrier to the U.S. Eventing Team).

Boyd Martin and Commando 3. Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

The USET Connaught Grant: Boyd Martin and Commando 3

The Wilton Fair Fund: Jenny Caras and Cosby Green

The Haller Scholarships for the Education of Eventing Officials: Rumsey Keefe and Katherine Cooper

The Essex Horse Trials Grant: Cosby Green

The Seema Sonnad Junior Rider Grant: Carlin Keefe

The Mike Huber Award: Rebecca Brown from Area 5

The Packy Prize Grant: Max Corcoran

The Richard Picken Memorial Grants: Olivia Dutton and Caitlin O’Roark

Kim Meier “Kick On” Memorial Grant: Dr. Kimberly Keeton

USEA Eventing Coaches Program Certification Grant: Lauren Sumner from Area II, Alicia Swinton from Area VI, Dani Sussman from Area IX, Sarah Lawrence from Area III, and Natalia Neneman from Area III

Eventing Officials “r” Training Program Grant: Rebecca Barber Tyler from Area III, Sarah Sullivan from Area VII, and Emma Hinke from Area II

Immersion Program with Sharon White: Jenny Powers from Area IX

Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant: Ashley Adams

What an amazing end to the year at the #USEAConvention ! I was so unbelievably honored to receive the Rebecca “Little…

Posted by Ashley Adams Eventing on Sunday, December 10, 2023

2023 USEF Owner Awards: Erik Markell, Chris Desino, Rob Desino, Debby Palmer, Sharon White, and Ava Chase

The USEF Julep Cup Recipients: Gloria Callan, Eric Markell, Chris Desino, Rob Desino, Evie Dutton, and Ava Chase

Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award: Scott Weide, Dave Emmons, Christel and Cyra Carlson, John Wells, and Madison Packard

Amateur Impact Award: Dan Kreitl

The As You Like It Owner’s Award: Christa Schmidt

The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award: Christina Curiale

Full Gallop Farm Jingle Bells H.T (Aiken, SC) [Website][Scoring]

I can't explain how proud I am of Sandro Street aka Sagan today. He put in a respectable dressage test AND had NO rails in in prelim Stadium round!!!! Went double clear on xc to finish 1st in his PT division today!!! Huge thank you to all my supporters and sponsors! Hygain US Full Gallop Farm Purvida Healthy Horse Kelly Wathey – Arion Horse Sport Tack

Posted by Phelps Eventing on Sunday, December 10, 2023

Starter: Margaret Schneck and Gun Point (31.3)
Beginner Novice: Maddy Hall and FGF Redemption Song (29.1)
Novice: Sarah Forster and Caillou (26.9)
Training/Novice: Jessica Schultz and Rocky Top City (28.1)
Training: Lauren Lindsay and FGF Nothing For Free (29.2)
Preliminary/Training: Darci Phelps and Sandro Street (34.8)
Preliminary: Elizabeth Harrington and Vanity’s Revenge (70.0)

LAST CALL to Vote in the 2023 EquiRatings Horse of the Year Semi-Finals

We’ve made it through the quarter finals for the 2023 EquiRatings Horse of the Year, and are onto the semi-finals. Now’s your chance to vote before the semi-final closes TODAY, December 11th at 5pm GMT (noon EST)!

Fans have narrowed it down to four impressive horses. Make sure to head over to the ERHOTY page to cast your vote to cheer on your favorite!

Semi Final 1: Ballaghmor Class v. Vendredi Biats

BALLAGHMOR CLASS:

Ballaghmor Class tallied his third five-star win this year at Burghley, making him one of only 12 horses in the history of the sport to win three or more. The win came six years after Ballaghmor Class’s first five-star victory. That is one of the longest five-star-winning careers in eventing history (second only to La Biosthetique Sam’s seven-year span between first and last five-star title).

Ballaghmor Class is arguably the most consistent five-star horse of all time, having produced ten top-five placings at the five-star level, including a second-place finish at Badminton this year. His true-to-form consistency this season has given Ballaghmor Class the highest Elo of his career as he climbed with every single 2023 result. After his Burghley win, the 16-YO passed fischerChipmunk to top the Elo table for a while. Ballaghmor Class is, simply put, a five-star warrior and absolute workman.

VENDREDI BIATS:

At the Europeans this year, in the face of tough cross country conditions and after disappointment in similar conditions just three months before (Badminton), Vendredi Biats dug in and rose to the occasion to lay down a cross country performance that was key to earning the European individual silver medal. His XC run as the team pathfinder, over tough ground, on a tough day was also critical to Team GB’s gold. A selection to any British team is hard-won but Vendredi Biats proved his mettle and punctuated his place on the team.

The Euros performance boosted Vendredi Biats’ Elo by an impressive 25 points in one fell swoop, such was the quality of the competition he bested. That makes him one of only seven horses in the world right now to have an 800+ Elo rating (802). The silver-medal performance also registered a High Performance Rating (HPR) of 106, making it one of best 4*-L/5* performances of the year.

It was Vendredi Biats’ second major podium of the year, after placing second at Luhmühlen in June. Two major placings and delivering for Team GB make it a standout year for Vendredi Biats.

Semi Final 2: Lordships Graffalo v. Colorado Blue

LORDSHIPS GRAFFALO:

Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Lordships Graffalo won Badminton by 15.0 points, the largest 5* winning margin in the modern era of the sport. He then went on to win the European individual gold by 6.7 points and that was against international competition with renowned low-scoring ability and, indeed, against one of the strongest fields on record according to the Elo Field Strength rating (second only to Pratoni 2022).

Registering a High Performance Rating (HPR) of 113, Lordships Graffalo’s European gold set the new standard for 4*/5* performances, the best HPR ever (rating starts in 2008).

We’ve seen this horse coming (it’s not even his first ERHOTY rodeo): Lordships Graffalo was the highest Elo-rated horse for his age as both a 9-YO and 10-YO and is now the highest-rated 11-YO ever (rating starts in 2008). It’s a table-topping Elo trend that mimics La Biosthetique Sam-FBW’s record. Plus, Lordships Graffalo was only the third combination since 2008 to win Badminton from the front as did a certain La Biosthetique Sam in 2016.

Lordships Graffalo is, on many metrics, one of the best we’ve ever seen. For this point in his career, he is going toe-for-toe with La Biosthetique Sam who is arguably the greatest horse of all time…for now…

COLORADO BLUE:

Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue. Photo by Sally Spickard.

This year at Badminton, we saw Colorado Blue go head-to-head with Lordships Graffalo in the cross country phase. It was Colorado Blue who was the fastest on the day in those notoriously testing conditions; 10.8 time penalties for him, 11.6 for Lordships Graffalo, and everyone else?: Twenty-one-plus time penalties. The result was a deserved climb up the leaderboard and the first Badminton podium from an Irish combination in 40 years.

Colorado Blue is in fact one of the top-rated cross country horses in the sport. His five-star XC jumping reliability puts him in the top 0.1% of horses worldwide and his five-star speed is among the top 0.05%.

Five months after Badminton, Colorado Blue went on and did it. At Maryland, he jumped double clear (XC and SJ) to produce the first five-star win for Ireland in 58 years. He had added just 1.2 XC time penalties on a day when only one horse was under the time and he was the only double-clear SJ round on the final day.

A classic sporting story – highs (Badminton and Maryland) and lows (Burghley) and when it ended with that big win, we could practically hear the whole eventing world cheer.

Click here to view the full voting on EquiRatings, and to cast your votes TODAY (December 11)!

Weekend Winners: Rocking Horse

As a rider based (year round) in Pennsylvania, I can hardly imagine getting out to event in December. This past week, I wore so many layers it was hard enough just to get on to go for a hack. That said, we see our Florida eventers enjoying their winter weather with a competition running at Rocking Horse this past weekend. I’m certainly living vicariously through them!

Congrats to all on successful weekends, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Robin Walker and Rock Island, who scored a 25.0 in the Open Novice at Rocking Horse!

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

Open Intermediate: Elisa Wallace and Renkum Corsair (34.4)
Open Preliminary: Katie Malensek and MRF Qwlkstep (26.6)
Modified Rider: Kasidy McMartin and Newtown’s Llewellyn (33.5)
Open Modified: Cemone Rovira and Monbeg Trademark (29.8)
Open Training A: Michael Nolan and Fulio (25.4)
Open Training B: Juliana Cassar and Farwest De Barbereau (30.8)
Training Rider: Lauren DeNeve and Ace In The Field (32.6)
Novice Rider: Riley Carter and FR’s Trust Fund (28.3)
Open Novice: Robin Walker and Rock Island (25.0)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider: Gillian Kennedy and Cassis 56 (30.0)
Open Beginner Novice: Margaret Stocker and Smilla’s Sense of Snow (25.6)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Samantha Lovell and Bila-Shak (30.9)
Starter: Ashley Greene and Galway Lad (52.7)

Weekend Winners: Pine Top Thanksgiving HT

Thanksgiving weekend was a bit quieter for the eventing scene, with one event running at Pine Top Thanksgiving HT. We saw plenty of eventers celebrating the holiday weekend with their equine partners, and we’re loving all of the smiles and gratitude we see coming from the event across social media platforms! We do all of this for the love of the horse, and the eventing community around us!

Congrats to all riders on successful weekends, with a special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award, Mariah Johnson and Pablo Picasso! Mariah and Pablo Picasso scored a great 24.7 in the Beginner Novice Rider A division.

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (Thompson, GA): [Website] [Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Emily Beshear and Bad Moon Rising (27.4)
Modified: Kate Brown and Kokoleka (29.3)
Open Training: Brian Kilgo-Kelly and Caspian (26.1)
Preliminary/Training: Darcy Drury and Fernhill Count On Me (80.1)
Training/Novice: Lauren Alexander and Excel Star Over The Moon (31.1)
Training Rider: Kyla Perkins and DSD Dream Big (32.8)
Novice Rider: Alexis Shrum and Anchorman (28.9)
Open Novice: Emily Hamel and N Angel of Poppes (25.8)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Mariah Johnson and Pablo Picasso (24.7)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Kalli Holderfield and Winston (35.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Darci Phelps and FGF Tiebreak (32.1)
Starter: Brittany Kuntz and Holy Redeemer (27.7)

From the Ground Up: Keeping Instinct and Intention Central

In the summer of 2022, I found myself on the back of a semi-feral Mongolian horse in the middle of a forest with a massive storm rolling in. As I noticed the darkening clouds catching up to our group, I felt my hands beginning to sweat, my heartbeat quickening, and a knot in my stomach clenching in anticipation. As my nerves grew, my horse began jigging underneath me, seeming to sense the energy shift in myself and the atmosphere.

Photo by Dulguunsuren Sergelen.

As the storm closed in, it quickly and completely wrapped around us. I heard the thunder right as I saw the flash of lightning and the rain quickly rushing over the deteriorating muddy path beneath. However, as temperatures were quickly dropping below freezing, we had to push on to find a safe place to camp for the evening. My efforts to hand walk my horse through the roots, boulders, and mud proved to be too slow as I stumbled along, keeping my fingers crossed that I didn’t break an ankle. The herder guiding me begged me to hop on, told me to trust my horse — he was made for this; he knew the terrain. I turned to my horse, forced to hand over control to him as I hopped on. Very quickly, he cut our time in half, effortlessly navigating the terrain based on instinct and experience, so long as I stayed out of his way.

That experience is just one of the countless memories I have from that two-week horse trek through northern Mongolia. I had gone on the trip as a fun, adventurous, and unique experience to push myself out of my comfort zone, and had no idea how life-changing it would become. As I reflected on the trip, and navigating those storms and terrain with gratitude for the horse that got me out safely, I realized how drastically it changed my approach to my professional life with horses too. Feeling how much my feelings and thoughts impacted my horse, AND how capable and knowledgeable he was, I was forced to consider and examine the relationships I had with instinct and intention in working with horses.

Photo by Erik Cooper.

As I considered the role that my intention had on my horses and my session with them, I began to consider: when does a session with a horse begin? Is it when I swing my leg over my horse? When I halter them in the field? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it starts before you even get to the barn – the mindset, emotions, and experiences that you have shape what comes next.

Many horse people have acknowledged experiential evidence of horses responding to the state of another being — we often say that a horse can tell when a rider is anxious, or fearful. Research has supported this evidence, suggesting that horses respond to a person’s state of being, and cues, from our heart beat, to our expressions, and our vocal cues.

Let’s try this: close your eyes, picture a day at the beach. You’re with friends and family, enjoying the gentle sounds of waves as you build a sandcastle and read a book in the shade of your umbrella. What does your heart rate feel like? Your breathing? Now picture something else: you wake up, only to realize your alarm didn’t go off. You’re late for a meeting with your new boss, and hurry to get ready only to get stuck in traffic on the way to your office. How does your body change?

Our experiences have an impact on us. But they also have an impact on the horses around us. In the study “Investigating horse-human interactions: the effect of a nervous human” by Linda J Keeling, Liv Jonare, and Lovisa Lanneborn, the heart rate of horses and handlers were observed as horses and handlers were asked to walk from Point A to Point B four times. The researchers told participants an umbrella would open as they made the fourth pass. The umbrella never opened, but heart rates in both horses and humans increased during the fourth trip between the points, when the human expected the umbrella to open. This suggests that the change in the humans’ heart rate has an impact on the horses’, and therefore the state of the horse in work.

Photo by Julia Dillavou.

Furthermore, Ayaka Takimoto, Kosuke Nakamura, and Toshikazu Hasegawa collaborated in a study that explored whether or not horses integrated facial cues with expected tone of voice. The study suggested that they do, showing that horses cross-modally recognized the emotional states of their caretakers and strangers.

Creating a space with a lower stress, comfortable environment in the training process is important, as there is evidence to show that experiencing stress can impair memory and learning in horses, as seen in Henshall, Randle, and Francis’ “The effect of stress and exercise on the learning performance of horses”.

These studies support what many horse people have already experienced: how we show up does affect how our horses feel. By recognizing the power and ability we have in setting and maintaining our feelings, thoughts, and emotions, we can set intentions going into a training session or time with our horse that will promote learning in a comfortable environment.

While we can only have control over ourselves and our intentions in the partnership, it is important to recognize the strengths, emotions, wants, and needs of the horse in effort to make it a collaborative, mutually beneficial relationship. During my experience in Mongolia, turning to, and trusting the strengths of my equine partner allowed me to pass through terrain I was ill-equipped to handle on my own.

Photo by Cody Cole.

Horses are built to travel distances, forage for sustenance, and live in a herd setting. Giving space for our partners to meet these needs of their species, around and within the work with which they do, will not only lower stress, and therefore improve learning ability, but will allow them to show up with their own strength and ability in the training process.

Based on experience and science, how we approach horses, and how we feel while we’re around horses does have an impact on what they feel, and therefore what they retain in the learning process. If we can focus on regulating our emotions and mindset as we go into our work with our horses, we can set a tone that’s confident, open, and receptive to experiencing new ideas in a way which promotes individuality and learning calmly and appropriately.

Being aware of the intention, or the mental state in which we commit to a course of action, we bring to our training sessions and our days can change the physical response a horse has, such as their heart rate, their emotional state, their general demeanor, and their learning retention. Creating such a mindset can then allow us to listen to, empathize with, and trust the instincts that the horse experiences. Encouraging these instincts to remain intact through the training process not only has helped in situations where I’ve needed a horse with the clarity and self-confidence to navigate a challenging question, but also has created space for the formation of a true partnership between horse and rider to form, allowing for and celebrating the strengths that each partner can bring to the equation.

It can be challenging to set aside time to set intentions, or encourage your horse’s instincts when days can be so full and busy. A few weeks ago, HorseClass hosted a demo day, and I was invited to discuss the importance of instinct and intention in training. I so appreciated the opportunity to discuss these ideas and provide some examples and exercises to practice looping both intention and instinct in your daily work.

For more insight and guidance on how mindfulness practices, longeing exercises, groundwork routines, and management practices can help in this process, send an email to [email protected]. This speaker series through HorseClass, which includes topics such as riding transitions, the Masterson Method, Reiki with Horses, and more, was made in effort to fundraise for Healing with Horses. Any donation towards the effort and for the recording of these demos are appreciated!

Photo by Julia Dillavou.

 

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Working with horses provides us with the opportunity to connect two individuals, with their own strengths and weaknesses, together. This affords us the chance to accomplish tasks we couldn’t otherwise do alone, cross new terrain, finish difficult tests, and gain more of an insight into who we are and what we experience.

Through science and experience, emphasizing and focusing on clarifying our intentions and encouraging instinct within the training process can help us to achieve a deeper and more collaborative relationship with our equine partners. By recognizing the power of our energy, and holding space to utilize our intentions, we can create space for our horses to explore their instincts and learn in an environment that promotes their needs and strengths.