Kate Samuels
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Kate Samuels


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About Kate Samuels

Kate Samuels is an avid 3-Day Eventer who currently competes at the Advanced/3* level with her wonderful Selle Francais gelding, Nyls du Terroir. A rider since the tender age of three, she is a young professional in the sport learning as much as she can from various mentors, both equine and human. Kate has worked for Eventing Nation since 2011, and has enjoyed every minute of it. She brings a lifetime of experience with horses as well as a wealth of knowledge gained through competing at the top levels of the sport. When not riding through the boiling hot, freezing cold, rain or snow, Kate enjoys baking pies, photography, and finding ridiculous videos on the internet.

Eventing Background

USEA Rider Profile Click to view profile
Area Area II
Highest Level Competed Advanced/CIC3*

Latest Articles Written

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Weekend pole inspiration! Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’ve been getting really into complicated pole and cavaletti exercises this spring, in an attempt to build strength on my horses, keep their brains engaged, and do flatwork without doing dressage. This one was particularly tricky. Come off the left, canter down over the center poles, turn left and transition into trot, turn left over the middle trot poles, turn right, pick up canter, canter down the center poles, turn right, transition to trot, and trot the center poles. Then start it all again! You’re welcome.

National Holiday: National Coconut Cream Pie Day

News From Around the Globe:

Lots of Badminton memories coming up this weekend, but can we really top the time that Mark Todd rode around cross country clear with ONE STIRRUP? The year was 1995, and a young 39-year-old Mark was bopping around on Bertie Blunt when a third of a way around, his left stirrup snapped off. Committed to continuing, he figured out a way to hitch his leg up on the pommel during galloping stretches and put it down before and over fences. Absolute legend, don’t miss the video. [Mark Todd, 1 Stirrup, Badminton XC]

Mary King’s newest homebred has had a terribly rough start to life. The last foal of winning CCI5* mare King’s Temptress, his dam was put down on April 18 suffering from peritonitis. Luckily he found a foster mare locally, however she died from a freak colic just this week on the 4th of May. Vinnie has now found a third mother to love him, and he seems to be quite a tough little lad, taking it all in stride. [Heartbreak Again for Mary King’s Foal]

Speaking of Mary King, can we throw it back to her first Badminton victory? The year was 1992, the horse was the stunning King William. Through an unbelievably wet and muddy cross country course, the pair triumphed that year to record her first victory at the level, beginning the storied career we know now. [Mary King Wins Badminton]

Helmet safety: let’s talk about it. While helmet awareness is at an all time high, studies still show that 88% of riders who suffer from concussions from a fall were wearing helmets at the time, which leads us to the question, how can we make helmets safer? COTH got a tour of the MIPS research facility in January to learn more about how they’re working on developing new technology for equestrian helmets, and it is fascinating. [Helping Brains, One Liner At A Time]

Best of Blogs: Building Confidence: Brandy & Fancy

Featured Video: Earlier this week 2019 winner Piggy March (neé French) penned this poetic ode to Badminton — here’s another bit of lyricism for you.

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Summer sights. Photo by Kelsey Briggs.

You know, it feels like summer in the way that I have a rocking farmer’s tan from Monday, but also I live in Virginia, which means that it’s going back down to 32 this weekend. Don’t put your heavyweight blankets away until at least June folks because you just never know!

National Holiday: National Roast Leg of Lamb Day

News from Around the Globe: 

The 2020 FEI NAYC for dressage and jumping has been canceled as well. It was announced a while ago that eventing has been canceled, but as the disciplines have been split over location, the dressage and showjumping was still slated to take place until yesterday. A heartbreaking decision for so many young riders, but without qualification competitions and with considerations for travel during this uncertain time, an understandable one. [NAYC Dressage and Jumping Canceled]

Today marks the beginning of the virtual competition Mega May Eventing. A host of contenders including Princess Anne on Doublet and Pippa Funnell on Primmore’s Pride will be among those taking on the challenge for charity. During the time when Badminton Horse Trials should have run, LeMieux is running its virtual “event” in aid of NHS Charities Together and British riding schools. [Mega May Eventing]

Bored on quarantine and out of baking ideas? Make some healthy banana treats for your horse! With just a few ingredients, our friends at Horse Nation have whipped up an excellent recipe that your ponies are sure to enjoy. [Banana Horse Treats]

Best of Blogs: How to Reopen Safely

Featured Video: 



Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

A little flashback to my favorite Syd Kent in 2013. Photo by Mike McNally.

I’ve discovered the most amazing thing this week: my dog finds both bell boots AND lost shoes in the field and brings them to me. I mean, how could this be more perfect for a horse farm? I didn’t train him, he just decided one day and it’s pure magic. Check out the winners of 9th Annual Top Dog “Barn Helper Edition” Contest, presented by World Equestrian Brands, here.

National Holiday: National Chocolate Parfait Day

News From Around the Globe:

Interested in being part of the conversation about how the eventing community reopens for competition? The USEF is hosting a webinar on Monday about just this topic, and this is a good opportunity for trainers, exhibitors and competition managers to understand how to work together to create the safest possible environment for everyone, as we look ahead to restarting 2020 competitions as early as June 1 with a phased regional approach in line with local and state government restrictions. [Register Now, Space Limited]

Millbrook Horse Trials is customarily the beginning of our fall calendar for the upper levels, but this year will it just be the beginning of the 2020 calendar? As of right now, Millbrook is still planning to host their event July 30th-August 2nd, and keeping an eye on national COVID updates. Hopefully by the end of the summer we can all see each other again! [Millbrook Horse Trials]

People might not be having birthday parties right now, but that doesn’t mean horses can’t! Any self respecting horse owner has baked a proper carrot cake and popped a party hat on their horse once or twice, and we’ve got 16 photos of horses celebrating birthdays. [Sweet 16 Birthdays]

Best of Blogs: Moving Forward in Frozen Time

Featured Video: Reminiscing on fun times at Millbrook!

Millbrook Horse Trials 2020 from Marion Latta de Vogel on Vimeo.

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

It’s fluffy baby season! Photo by Katie Pinner.

I’ve recently cultivated an amazing dressage Spotify playlist, and it is populated with dance beats. I know, maybe not the expected music, but I feel like it’s actually perfect. It keeps you in a good mood even when circles get rather boring, and suits the incredible spring weather I’ve been enjoying. In weird times like this, it’s important to find happiness in the smallest of places, even if it’s just a playlist.

National Holiday: National Oatmeal Cookie Day (also it’s National Raisin Day but NOT National Oatmeal Raisin Day I guess)

News From Around the Globe:

Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Q&A with Phillip Dutton: Last week Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) asked us to submit questions for Phillip Dutton — he answered them via a THIS Instagram story — check it out here!

Get your inspiration for the week with this in-depth interview with none other than Karen O’Connor. Karen chats with the crew from Major League Eventing about everything from bullying in school, stories of Queen Elizabeth and Jack LeGoff, and battling depression as a professional rider. Get your podcast on! [Major League Eventing]

Did I mention that it’s fluffy foal season? I don’t think you need more reasons to look at ridiculously adorable and beautiful foals, but I’m giving you one anyway. [12 Utterly Gorgeous Foals]

We don’t get to enjoy the Kentucky Derby this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relive past performances. Top amongst them has to be the 2009 upset of Mine That Bird, coming from literally nowhere and blasting past everyone in the absolute slop to take the top honors. Coming in at 50-1, he is one of only 9 geldings to win the race, and later finished 2nd in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont. [Mine That Bird 2009 KY Derby Video]

Best of Blogs: The Childhood My Mother Gave Me

Featured Video: In this episode of “The Long and Short of it” Jon Holling takes us cross country schooling on the farm with Prophet.

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Social distancing is a little hard with this one! Photo by Sara Kozumplik Murphy.

Yesterday, I was referred to as a “pro” at quarantine. I wish I could say this is the first time in the past few weeks that somebody has casually mentioned to this to me, but it is most definitely not. I also have this feeling that I should be a little offended, but I am not at all. And they’re right, I am a pro at quarantine, and while I miss a lot of things (competing) I’m doing alright with my ponies and my hobbies and my hacking.

National Holiday: National Hairball Awareness Day

News From Around the Globe:

All of the Kentucky memories are flooding in. In 2010, before going viral was a thing, Josh Walker took a special photo of a young pony clubber patting Karen O’Connor’s Mandiba after dressage at Kentucky. That young pony clubber, Keely Bechtol, has continued to pursue her equine passion, fueled in part by that special memory. [The Pat Seen Around The World]

Who doesn’t remember Tullibard’s Hawkwind from 2012 Kentucky? I certainly remember watching Jordan Linstedt Granquist, a relative unknown from the west coast, and seeing how she trusted Jack so much on that cross country course. That year was particularly rough for cross country, and while they racked up 79 time penalties, they went clear and our hearts were filled. [Tullibard’s Hawkwind Proved the Naysayers Wrong]

Talk Nerdy to Me:  13 Perfectly Horsey Quotes From Books

Weird horsey records, you got me. The longest horse, the shortest horse, the oldest horse, the tallest horse, the highest jump by a mini horse, the oldest winning racehorse (19!), the fastest 10 meters on HIND LEGS!? Okay, this is too weird. [22 Flabbergasting & Bonkers Horsey Records]

Not sorry at all:



Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

TBT: Who wore it better? Will on Wednesday or Boyd on Sunday? 2017 Kentucky jogs, photos via the Chronicle of the Horse.

We’re all feeling some pain this week as we miss our annual celebration at the Kentucky Horse Park, but if there’s one thing eventers know how to do, it’s make the best of a crummy situation. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying everyone’s nostalgia posts of Kentucky events gone by, and yesterday was full of amazing jog photos. *Almost* as good as new jog photos.

National Holiday: National Picnic Day

News From Around the Globe:

If you’re suffering from Kentucky withdrawals this week, trust me when I say that the EN team is with you 100% of the way on that. We’re working hard behind the scenes to bring you the best Virtual Vendor Village ever and there is plenty of vintage Kentucky content coming your way from all outlets to hold you over. [EN’s Virtual Vendor Village]

The USEF Network will be doing a live re-broadcast of the cross country phase from 2012 Kentucky on their Facebook page Saturday at 10 am ET. In celebration of the event’s history as well as a salve for the gaps left behind by this year’s cancellation, you can view on-demand coverage of previous years in their entirety here. If you’re not already a USEF member, use promo code ENLRK3DE to access.

Badminton Horse Trials will also be doing a re-broadcast of previous years’ competitions — and they want your help deciding which years to show. You can vote for your favorite year (good luck choosing just three!) here.

On lockdown? Missing your usual horse learning opportunities? Luckily there are lots of online resources that have stepped up to offer various master classes of all disciplines, so you can barely miss your instructor and your competitions at all. Check out our favorites. [Keep Learning]

Don’t miss the Taylor Harris Insurance Services Q&A with Phillip Dutton this week! For more details, check out their Facebook or Instagram page for chances to win some THIS swag as well.

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Dramatic spring in VA. Photo by Sarah McGovern.

My thoroughbred has an unerring ability to get a stupid injury on the few days surrounding his birthday every single year, and sure enough, his birthday is in two days, so he’s got me a lovely abscess this year! Last two years they were scalp lacerations though, so I suppose this is progress. And at least he’s not missing a competition because of it! He can take his sweet time with this abscess, and keep his shoe off for a week if he pleases.

National Holiday: National Bat Appreciation Day

News From Around the Globe:

Ah, Shetland ponies. Both a gift from God and a curse from the Devil all wrapped up in one extremely hairy, tiny little mischievous package. I myself started on a Shetland at the ripe age of 3, and she was everything a tiny tot could have dreamed of, and also quite skilled at dumping me. Here are some ridiculously adorable fancy show Shetlands that rocked the competitive world last year. [7 Charismatic and Cute Shetland Ponies]

With the 2020 World Cup Show Jumping Finals canceled, we’re taking at trip down memory lane with some fantastic previous winners. Even the eventing folk surely remember Shutterfly, who won in 2005 with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, despite only jumping two cross rails in warmup and then becoming unraveled due to the close proximity of other horses and unable to continue. Notoriously delicate in the mind, but brilliant in the ring, Shutterfly was Meredith’s horse of a lifetime. [Shutterfly The Brilliant Spook]

Considering a career change within the horse industry? You don’t have to be a groom or a rider to have a lifelong career in horses, as there are many other essential jobs that require just as much expertise. From broodmare manager to bloodstock agent, there are lots of ways you can fit into the equestrian world from the ground. [5 Equestrian Jobs You Might Like]

Featured Video: Brentina, Debbie, and Aretha …what more could you ask for?

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

View this post on Instagram

Easter surprise!! 🐰🐰Aubrey will be a big sister in September!! 🌸🌸

A post shared by Andrea Davidson (@andreadavidsoneventing) on

Big congratulations to Andrea and Buck Davidson! A little dose of happy news each day is important during these trying times, and we wish them all the best with their growing family. Aubrey and the pooch look very excited for their little sister!

National Holiday: (Ironically) National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day

News From Around the Globe:

The FEI has clarified their decision around virtual competitions, saying that it is off-limits for FEI judges to participate in them, and use of any FEI tests without further compliance with FEI rules such as drug testing and welfare assessments is also not allowed. So much for getting creative, I guess? [FEI Rules Against Virtual Competitions]

The great show jumper Flexible won our hearts with his style, and won countless grand-prix level events well through his teens. Now, he’s just about cloned himself in his son, Dawson’s Gold, who is also in Rich Feller’s barn. Rich’s son Christopher is taking on the ride, as the 6-year-old is quite electric, and not only looks like his sire, but acts like him too. [Flexible Lives on in Dawson’s Gold]

The British Groom’s Association has created a video showing how coronavirus can spread around the barn. Even if you’re being super careful and practicing social distancing, it’s easy to forget how many common surfaces we have in the barn. Watching this video could help keep you and your barn friends a bit safer. [Don’t Pass It On]

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Good finds on a hack. Photo by Kate Samuels.

This time is awful and hard and stressful in so many ways, and the way I survive is trying to get the most satisfaction out of the little things. The spring weather is absolutely brilliant, my horses are fat and happy on new grass, and I get to do a lot of hacking through the woods and fields, which everyone enjoys. And sometimes I find half a deer skull, which I take home and my dog really enjoys that as a chew toy!

National Holiday: National Unicorn Day🦄

News From Around the Globe:

Best of Blogs: Now Is The Time For Horse People To Take Care Of Each Other

When eventers can’t compete, they get creative. Enter, the virtual CCI5* three day event. The entrants will video and ride their dressage tests, which will be streamed and judged live, and then the show jumping and cross country phases will be completed by the riders … on foot. Don’t worry, the trot-ups will also be included, and the whole thing is a charity event for the COVID-19 related NHS fund. [Top Riders Gear Up for Virtual Event]

Bored? See if you’re smarter than a 12-year-old Pony Club C+ rider. Take this quiz on your knowledge, and hope you get it right! [Pass your Pony Club Rating]

What does the equestrian life look like during this pandemic? We’ve examined what this means for businesses, what it means for boarding barns/boarders and what it means for those who school and lease horses. But what are the implications of COVID-19 for those of us who own our horses, keep them on our own properties and are their primary caretakers? Send us your personal experiences and thoughts for this glimpse into the world today. [Horse Nation Wants Your Feedback]

Alex Titan, a brazilian Physical Education master degree student, needs our help. His research is about emotional development through equestrian practice, and your response to his survey could provide valuable information. Here are the links: [Brazil] [English] [Spanish] [French] [Portuguese] [Italian]

What we’re watching: A new episode of The Jon & Rick Show airs today at 6 p.m. EST, featuring special guest Dr. Mark Hart and  more. [Watch]

And! A new Athletux Instagram Live Q&A session featuring Liz Halliday-Sharp. The topic: “Finding the Perfect Bit For Your Horse.” Tune in at 12 PST/3 PM EST on Liz’s Instagram @lizhallidaysharp. [Watch]

What we’re listening to: What Did You Miss? USEA Podcast Episodes #250 – #254

Featured video: 

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Cali Johnson doing some magical roping on a young horse at Morningside. Photo by Morningside Eventing.

Despite this being the weirdest time in the literal world, this part of the year is my favorite. The magical time when the grass is coming in, everything is really bright green and the trees are poking out their first leaves, and the weather is usually pretty delightful. If you can, take a chance to enjoy some of the little things like sweet spring grass and budding flowers, as silly as it sounds.

National Holiday: National Tweed Day

News From Around the Globe:

Staying positive during this pandemic is tough, but maybe positivity isn’t what you think it is. Everyone on social media might be tempted to only post happy thoughts and photos, in an attempt to counteract the global feeling of dread, but it’s important to remember that it’s also okay to feel crummy. It’s okay to miss your horse, miss competing, miss your normal way of life. It’s also okay to appreciate the good things, even when they’re small. [Staying Postive with COVID-19]

During a time when many are only thinking about their own survival, one woman has dedicated herself to ensuring the survival of a neglected horse. Horse Nation brings us the story of Esther and Regal, a 20-year-old quarter horse gelding, who has a body score of 1 and is only 629 lbs. Faced with a long uphill climb, Esther is determined to use her time for good, and help this little gelding get back on his feet. [The Rehabilitation of Regal]

What does the equestrian community look like around the world? COTH readers sent in photos and stories of how they’re occupying their time with or without their horses from countries all over the globe. From the US, to Ireland, and all the way to Australia, it’s comforting to know we’re all in this together. [COVID Across the Globe]

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurances Services (THIS)

Liz Halliday’s Blackie adopted a mini to accompany him on trot sets during the pandemic. Photo from Liz Halliday.

Well, days of the week are becoming challenging at this point, and Virginia is on shelter-in-place orders until June 10th, at which point I don’t really know how well I’ll be doing with time and space in general. I thought about setting the day of the week as part of my morning alarm, but that seemed like what a crazy person would do, so I’m not there. Yet.

National Holiday: National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

News From Around the Globe:

Working a horse at liberty is always a cool thing to watch, but how do you even get started with that? How about literally starting a horse under saddle at liberty? This whole thing sounds crazy and confusing, but then I read DeAnn Sloane’s blog on Horse Nation and everything was cleared up. [Ponying to Prepare for a Liberty Start]

If you’re able to ride, now is the time to work on those niggling details you’ve been neglecting. How about the rein-back? It challenges many a horse and rider, and it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Take a look at the official protocol for riding and teaching rein-back from the German Equestrian Federation. [Backing Up the Right Way]

A question that many horse women are familiar with: how to integrate baby and barn? Sometimes it’s seamless (with the assistance of real family and barn family) and sometimes it doesn’t quite work out the way you imagined, and horses fade into the background. COTH blogger Karen Hopper Usher thought she would raise her baby in the barn, but reality has been different so far. [On Briefly Considering Getting Out of Horses]





Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Just a little cute Tsetserleg face to cheer you up. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Now is a really good time to finally get into those stretching and strengthening exercises you’ve been putting off forever because nobody really wants to do at-home workouts. But guess what, those things help your riding a lot! Especially if you don’t ride several horses a day, get you some online pilates classes and open those hip flexors! Thank me later.

National Holiday: National Spanish Paella Day

News From Around the Globe:

A new task-force has been established to deal with the daunting mission of rescheduling the Olympic Games for next year. The first goal is to establish dates available, and it has been mentioned that spring is a possibility. Along with that, they need to find facilities for the athlete village, and reorganize contracts with all of the collaborating forces. [Rescheduling the Olympic Games]

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, Horse Nation writer Ashley shares her account of how a major concussion affected her life.  If you haven’t had a concussion due to riding, you almost certainly know somebody who has. Some are minor, some are fairly severe, but all of them affect your overall health for the future. [A Fish Called Dory: A Concussion Story]

The UK is taking steps to offer financial relief to self employed individuals, including equestrians. Economic effects of the Coronavirus are ranging far and wide, but self employed equestrians have been largely left to hunker down and hope they can keep feeding the horses. UK government has proposed a relief bill that will offer up to £2,500 per month for at least three months. [British Equestrians Get Financial Relief]


Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

He’s ALWAYS blinking. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I know that the world is in total upheaval at the moment, and there are more pressing concerns, but also it’s hardcore shedding season right now and I need thoughts and prayers. I let my retired horse grow a full coat this winter, and didn’t clip it at all, and lord help me, it’s like the never ending black hole of hair. I got blisters on my fingers from using the shedding blade so much every day, and I don’t think he looks even remotely less hairy.

National Holiday: National Spinach Day

News From Around the Globe:

How are boarding and lesson barns around the country handling COVID-19? It’s definitely a challenge, as more objects in a barn are shared than you might think, and keeping distance between riders as well as keeping hands gloved at all times is tough. Some barns have shut down, and others have come up with mandated practices. Riding is technically non-essential, but a lot of us would disagree with that definition. [To Ride or Not To Ride]

Able to ride, but out of ideas for training? With just four jumps you can make a wide variety of fun exercises, including my favorite, the circle of death. Make the most out of this time away from competition by getting in some extra ride-ability to the fences. [5 Easy Jumping Exercises]

Italy is having the worst time of it, and COTH blogger Jess Morton is reporting from the front lines. She’s been on full lockdown at home with her family for over two weeks now, and unfortunately her horses are boarded down the road, so she hasn’t seen them. There will be at least two more weeks of lockdown, and Italian police are paroling the streets to make sure that people stay inside, and riding is definitely not essential to them. [The View from Italy]

Daily dose of Madden education:


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Can’t resist a throwback. Photo by Jenni Autry.

In the grand scheme of things, missing a competition isn’t really life changing. However, I’m not alone in saying that not being at Carolina International this year is a little sad, and not only because I’m missing seeing friends like EN alumni Leslie Threlkeld and Jenni Autry dressed up like ’80s maniacs. Here’s hoping we can come out of this pandemic stronger and smarter than ever.

National Holiday: National Ravioli Day

News From Around the Globe:

If you find yourself losing track of what events have been canceled, check out EN’s updated list hereYou can view all of our content related to the COVID-19 outbreak here. Other pages to bookmark: the USEA’s rolling list of event cancellations and responses to COVID-19 and the USEF coronavirus resource hub.

What do you do when all your seasonal competition plans are delayed? Will Faudree is here to say, maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. Here to tell you all that there are definitely cool and fun aspect of all this weird forced vacation. Use this pandemic shutdown to get your dressage scores down, develop a new hobby, and keep up relationships via FaceTime. [Faudree Finds the Silver Lining]

Ready for your new equestrian challenge? Check out the Gaucho Derby, run in stunning Patagonia and created by The Adventurists, who are the masterminds behind the Mongol Derby. On the 5th of March, 24 riders lined up for 10 days of riding over the most incredible terrain you’ll ever see, with extreme weather and extreme endurance riding. Don’t miss these insane photos. [Marie Griffis Wins Inaugural Gaucho Derby]

Horse people, we’ve been practicing social distancing for years. In this photo challenge, we prove our exceptional skills at keeping at least six feet apart from, well, almost everybody, even our horse friends. [Social Distancing On Horseback]

Featured Video: In lieu of this year’s event, let’s take a #FlashbackFriday romp around Carolina International 2019 with Doug Payne and Vandiver!



Thursday News & Notes From Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Instinct says the milk bar is somewhere around here…Photo by Coldspring Nurse Mares LLC.

This week I realized that the way I live my everyday life is not actually that far from surviving the COVID-19 protocols. I’m not a hermit or anything, but I’m not super large group social, I work from home, I buy things that I use regularly in bulk because I’m lazy, and I make the vast majority of my food from scratch. I mean, like really from scratch. While y’all are unable to find flour or bread at the store, I’m literally milling flour from wheat berries and making sourdough bread. Don’t @ me, okay, it’s delicious, and also currently very handy.

National Holiday: First Day of Spring!!

News From Around the Globe: 

With lots of time on your hands staying at home and distancing yourself from others, you can finally get to reading some of those books you haven’t had time for. Luckily for you, Horse Nation has a certified book-junkie on staff, and she’s come up with your must-haves for the spring and summer reading season. [Must-Read Horse Books]

Feeling more of a movie vibe than a book reading vibe? The Chronicle knows where to get you right in the feels, with the best horsey movies to watch this week (and maybe next). Honestly, I’m not ashamed to say that Secretariat winning the Belmont makes me tear up every time. [Best Horse Movies]

Figuring out how to practice safety protocols for COVID-19 and keep going to the barn can be a challenge. Lots of items in and around the barn are shared, especially if you’re at a boarding barn. Play it smart, read this Q&A from Horse & Hound on how to keep safe but still enjoy your time with your horse. [How to Horse While Coronavirus Abounds]

Seeking some great terrible horse jokes? No worries, we got you covered. We’re all going a little stir crazy over here. [Horse Jokes To Make Your Whole Family Hate You]


Something we can all feel good about, a Novice cross country round with none other than Neville Bardos!


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Packy McGaughan. Photo by Mike McNally

We are deeply saddened at the loss of a great influence in the eventing world, as Patrick (Packy) McGaughan passed away Thursday night in his sleep at the age of 56. Packy was known for his humor, his passion for coaching, and his honest evaluations of the sport of eventing and competitions at home and abroad. He rode with Jack LeGoff on the US Team in the ’80s, and helped win a Team Gold in the 1987 Pan American Games. He will be deeply missed. [Packy McGaughen 1963-2020]

National Holiday: National Good Samaritan Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

As major sporting organizations around the world continue to announce suspensions, postponements and cancellations due to the spread of the coronavirus, the equestrian world is feeling the effects as well. We are receiving updates from major competitions like Carolina International and Kentucky Three-Day Event that they are still planning on going forward, but all competitors who feel even a little sick are encouraged to PLEASE stay home, and everyone is to practice lots of hand washing and social distancing at competitions. Keep an eye on our continuously updated list here: [Equestrian Events Canceled or Modified]

Two jumps and a simple but difficult exercise from the reigning world champion? Sign me up, I’m all about minimal jump setting for maximum results. Ros Canter shows you how to achieve a number of training goals with horses of all levels with just two jumps in your ring, and gives you goals for both horse and rider as you proceed. [Ros Canter’s Useful Jumping Exercise]

Eventing legend Blyth Tait has retired from the sport for the second time, at the age of 58. He was considering a fifth Olympics at Tokyo later this year, but upon consideration, realized that he was happier to hand the reins over to young talents than pursue another overseas adventure. Blyth won team and individual gold at the 1990 WEG on Messiah, individual gold in the 1996 Olympics on Ready Teddy, won team and individual gold in the 1998 WEG, team silver and individual bronze in the 1992 Olympics, as well as two wins at Burghley in 1998 and 2001. [A Legend Retires]

Featured Video:

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Just living my best dog and pony life in the warm spring weather. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I got excited about a warm spring day this week and had an afternoon free, so I set out with my dog and my thoroughbred, and hit the trails. Lucky for me, I have access to a few thousand acres of trails right out my backyard, and it was so perfect. Unluckily, a group of angry dogs from another farm resulted in a detour that made the ride slightly, uh, longer than expected. Like three-and-a-half hours long. My horse needed a day of rest after his day of hacking.

National Holiday: National Girl Scout Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Pine Top Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Tamie Smith has announced the retirement of 2018 top 15 Kentucky finisher Wembley. The 17-year-old Dutch gelding, owned by Kevin Baumgartner, was originally competed by Tim Price before heading stateside, where Kevin competed him through four-star and Tamie through five-star. “When you decide a horse needs to retire typically it is because they are lame or just very old. Wembley isn’t that old yet, and he’s sound, but Kevin and Gretchen have decided that Wembley proved more than he needed to and how better to retire a horse than when they are sound and happy.” [Next Level Eventing]

In honor of International Women’s Day, EquiRatings is airing a full week of interviews with women in eventing sport. Guests thus far include: Sue Baxter, who has been on the Ground Jury at all six of the world’s 5* events; Pippa Roome, magazine editor of Horse & Hound; and EN’s own Leslie Wylie. [Equiratings Podcast]

Heading to Kentucky in April? You and a friend might just win a chance to walk the 5* show jumping course with a rider, a renowned owner or trainer, or an equestrian celebrity on Sunday prior to the competition! Thanks to Hagyard Pharmacy, this could be your life. To enter, you just have to like Hagyard Pharmacy on Facebook, and fill out a short survey. [Enter to Win Showjump Coursewalk]

What are the chances of equine twins? Low. The chances of TWO sets of equine twins from the same mare?? Teeny teeny tiny. But Irish Sport Horse mare Destiny delivered a healthy pair of twins in 2018, and again this year. Both times, the twins were not perceived on the pregnancy scans, but came as a surprise. [Mare Has Two Successive Sets of Twins]

The effects of COVID-19 have begun to impact the equestrian world, and leave our competition season in question. We have compiled a list of competitions that have been modified or cancelled across the globe, categorized by country. We will keep this updated so you can plan accordingly. [Events Cancelled/Modified Due To COVID-19]

All eyes are on the Tokyo Olympic Games — will they go ahead as scheduled? Haruyuki Takahashi, a member of the Organizing Committee, expressed the possibility of the Games being postponed to the summer of 2022 in case of extreme necessity. [Japanese organizing official discusses possibility Olympics could be postponed 1-2 years]

Best of Blogs: Your Trainer, Translated

Featured Video: Nearly $100,000 has been raised in the past week and a half toward the implementation of frangible technology nationwide thanks to YOUR incredible generosity. Let’s keep the momentum going. [USEA Frangible Fence Research] [Frangible Fences for Eventing US GoFundMe] Speaking of Jon, tune in at 6 p.m. tonight for a new edition of The Jon and Rick Show, with special guests Elisa Wallace and Timothy Harfield.


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Brandenburg’s Joshua, now 25, checking in from retirement at Hickory Hill! His career highlights include top five finishes in the 2003 Pan Am Games and Kentucky in 2006/2008, and a top 10 finish at his final five-star at Kentucky in 2009. Photo via @StephenBradleyEventing IG.

Red Hills weekend! A definitive weekend for so many horses and riders on the eventing circuit, and truly a destination event. I have been only twice, once as a groom and once as a competitor, and it’s an event like no other. The cross country there is its own kind of test, and is the first sneak peek we get of up-and-coming stars of the year. Can’t wait for Saturday!

National Holiday: National Oreo Cookie Day

U.S. Weekend Preview: 

Red Hills International H.T. (FL) [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm March H.T. (SC) [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Southern Pines H.T. (NC) [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Every horse person’s nightmare: a car crashing directly into the back of your horse trailer. June Russell lived that nightmare in June of last year traveling through Idaho with three horses in a four-horse slant trailer. A distracted driver went straight into the back at 80mph, killing one horse, and severely injuring the other two. June’s tricky show jumping mare was in the furthest stall, and miraculously recovered from her injuries. [Healing Home on the Range]

Former president of the FEI, Princess Haya, has been in hiding in the UK since April of last year. While the details were murky for many months, it has now been revealed that she fled there in fear of her life and the life of her children after many months of terror from her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai. [Princess Haya Escapes to England]

New year, new Retired Racehorse Project Makeover! Aubrey Graham has participated in the makeover for the past two years with young, lightly raced, red, and spicy Thoroughbreds, but her 2020 entry bucks all the trends. Vanderboom Ridge is a 2011 model, 17.1 hands, bay, ran 49 times, and is quiet as the day is long. Join them on Horse Nation as they blog their journey to the makeover! [Aubrey and Boomer: Road to RRP 2020]

Jamie McAllister, a Michigan eventer who rides with Jon Holling in Ocala during the winter, has created a t-shirt sale fundraiser for frangible technology to be used throughout all our areas at the Preliminary and above. “I travel all over the place and I would love to see our sport in the news for positive reasons and not for  tragedies,” she says. “Frangible technology isn’t the answer to all accidents, but it’s a good start.” [Order]

Featured Video: Summer’s coming, baby! Are you ready? That’s right. Despite the cold, wet, snow/rain/mud that has been plaguing many of us, summer is coming, and getting your body beach-ready can be quite the issue, especially when you spend all day in the barn.

Fortunately, Jordy Wilken and Roeland Disch here to give us some ideas on how to stay in shape and get ready for summer. — DeAnn Sloan


WOHEOOEEE 20.000 volgers!🎉🤩💙 Suuuuper bedankt allemaal! Om dat te vieren geef ik 3 keer een By Jordy eventingshirt weg 🍀 Van harte gefeliciteerd @x_sannie_xx , @kimdior.k en @jessicadobbe1 😃 Stuur je mij even een PM met je adresgegevens en welke maat je graag wilt hebben? Heel veel plezier ermee en op naar heel veel goede crossen 🙋🏼‍♂️🏇🏽

#byjordy #byjordyacademy #teambyjordy #eventinglife #eventing #instahorse #eventer #eventersdoitbetter #eventinghorse #jumping #equestrian #twohearts #horsesofinstagram #eventershavemorefun #horseriding #jumpinghorse #eventersofinstagram #allroundhorse #fourstareventing #crosscountry #horka #graziozosaddlery #ecostyle

Posted by Jordy Wilken eventing on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Nahhhh nobody has done this. No way.

The weather is the perfect kind of spring weather this week and I am living. It. Up. Baths for all the hairy horses, hacks through the woods and over the rivers, obsessively cleaning and conditioning all the tack I own, subsequently realizing that I own an insane amount of tack, and overall just enjoying the fact that I don’t have to wear twenty five layers. It’s the small joys in life.

National Holiday: National Cheese Doodle Day

U.S. Weekend Preview: 

Red Hills International H.T. (FL) [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm March H.T. (SC) [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Southern Pines H.T. (NC) [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Applications now open for the 2020 Wilton Fair International Grant! Open to riders under 27-years-old and younger competing at the CCI4* level and above, and be willing to apprentice with an approved trainer in Europe within 12 months. Intended to offset costs of living, training, and competing abroad for a talented young rider as they learn, and one incredible opportunity. Deadline is March 30th. [Wilton Fair International Grant Application]

At the heart of the bluegrass state sits Transylvania University, one of the top 100 liberal art schools in America and home to Transylvania University’s Eventing Team. Head coach, Tanya Davis, works round the clock at her barn, Three Day Farm, to keep the team in top shape. Transylvania University, fondly known as “Transy,” was founded in 1780, making it the 19th oldest university in the country. The eventing team was founded in 2012 as a varsity sport at Transylvania. [Transylvania Eventing Team]

Chelsea Smith has used her passion for horses to sustain her through struggles in her life, like most of us. For years, she’s been trying to start a family with her husband Mark, and through this journey, discovered that she has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, making fertility difficult. PCOS is related to nutrition and stress, so no more ramen noodles on the road at competitions for Chelsea, but at the same time, riding was her stress release. [Horses Help Smith Remain Positive]

New year, new ways for your horse to find dumb ways to hurt himself. We never want it to happen, but let’s face it, horses will be horses. Luckily, with the experts at Taylor Harris Insurance Services on your side, you can be prepared and protected should the worst come to be. Fill out a quote request in less than five minutes, and sleep easier tonight. [THIS Insures Top Eventers]


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Find someone who looks at you like Kim Severson looks at her horse. Photo from Kim Severson Eventing.

Don’t forget to catch the action today and tomorrow at the $50,000 LiftMaster Eventing Grand Prix at Bruce’s Field! We’ll be following along and giving reports, and you can always tune in to the Live Stream if you’re not in Aiken to see it in person. You can see the entry list here, it’s a star studded field!

National Holiday: National Public Sleeping Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Twin River Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Rocking Horse III H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm March H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Jacquie Brooks may be an Olympic dressage rider, but she’s also made a name for herself in helping Event riders of all levels. She’s incredible in her ability to break down training horses into achievable steps, and train a wide variety of horses and riders. Here, she tells about the simple fundamentals that make both dressage tests and jumping courses work smoothly, no matter what level. [The 7 Basic Skills For Fundamental Flatwork]

The Virginia Horse Trials has been a standard part of east coast eventing calendars since 1989. Held twice a year and created by Brian and Penny Ross 31 years ago, the event is famous for the cross country hills, and the enormous facility at the Virginia Horse Center. Hosting levels from Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate and including  CCI*, CCI2* and CCI3* levels as well, it’s an absolute destination competition. [USEA Events A-Z: Virginia Horse Trials]

Get your lotto tickets ready, this might be your next farm. The Old Farm is 60 acres in Berkshire, England, and pretty much ticks all the boxes. While the farm hasn’t been operating as a horse farm recently, it has all the structures including two large barns, tons of fenced in fields, and loads of hacking. Only £3M, not too bad right? [Wantable Farm of the Week]

Misty of Chincoteague was the book of my childhood, and I can’t be the only one. The real story of Marguerite Henry discovering Misty with the Beebe family is not much different than the fairy tale of the book, but has lots of interesting details that you may not know. If you’re a fan like me, you’ll enjoy this. [The True Story of Misty of Chincoteague]


Can’t wait for tomorrow’s cross country action? Relive last year:


Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Be the cover of the calendar! Photo courtesy of MD Horse Trials.

Want to be the cover photo for the next Maryland Horse Trials Loch Moy Farm Calendar? You can be the star of the show — just submit a jumping photo of yourself and your horse competing at Maryland Horse Trials (bonus points for a logo banner) to this post on their Facebook page. Brb, searching to see if I have any cool ones from last year.

National Holiday: National Toast Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Twin River Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Rocking Horse III H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm March H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Tune in at 6 p.m. tonight for The Jon and Rick Show,  this week joined by USEF Developing Athlete Alex O’Neal. It’s sure to be an entertaining evening! [Jon and Rick Show]

One of the beautiful things about dressage is your ability to manipulate gaits with good training. Take it from somebody who rode a horse with a pony trot for many years, there are wonders to be achieved by training different things in the trot, and it can be modified from a rather plain pony gait into something more useful for the upper levels. International dressage judge Stephen Clarke gives advice on how to approach different types and improve their gaits with exercises. [How To Get the Most Out of Your Trot]

How do you compete in jumpers with little to no central vision? Wren Blae Zimmerman started suffering eyesight loss at just 17, learning soon after that she had Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, which destroys your central vision, leaving you with some peripheral vision intact. Not only this, but she started riding after college, and was immediately determined to try jumping. [The Horse Lends Me His Eyes]

A relaxed horse is a good partner, and relaxation is sometimes elusive. Tik Maynard thinks of relaxation and tension on a 1-10 scale, and believes when your horse is above a 3 on that scale, they’re not in a learning mindset. Figuring out what the physical signs of relaxation and tension are for your horse could be integral to improving your performances together. [How To Determine If Your Horse is Relaxed]

You can now register for the 9th edition of the FEI Sports Forum, which will take place April 6-7 at the IMD business school in Lausanne (SUI) and is open to all members of the equestrian industry and interested individuals. Since being launched in 2012, the Forum has become an essential tool in the FEI’s decision making process and an important platform for dialogue and consultation with the community. The deadline to register online is March 23. [Register]

Best of the Blogs: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Doesn’t Deter Pearce-Dean

Featured Video: Intro spotlight! Randi Koehn and Wall Street won the Introductory B division at Fresno County Horse Park (Feb. 14-16), leading from start to finish on a score of 29.2. Here they are cross country, courtesy of Ride On Video.

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Just some buddies together on a chilly barn day. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Even though now the calendar has many more events prior to Pine Top, I will always think of Pine Top Advanced as the first big event of the year. It’s the real, old school first Advanced of the year, anyway. Also, the two times in my life when I have been the coldest have also been at this competition, which tells you something about the wisdom of trying to go south to stay warm!

National Holiday: National Sticky Bun Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Farm Adanced H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop February II [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Irish Olympian Padraig McCarthy recently lent his wisdom to riders in Aiken for a two-day jumping clinic. With one day of show jumping at Five Henry Stables and one day of cross country at Full Gallop Farm, riders from Novice to Advanced learned about his emphasis on holding one track between jumps, establishing a bouncy canter, and keeping confidence through all exercises. [Clinic Report: Padraig McCarthy]

College students take note! Brook Ledge Horse Transport is giving one lucky student a round-trip horse ticket to anywhere from anywhere for the next college year! Open to any incoming or current college student under the age of 24, this opportunity is perfect for the young equestrian who doesn’t have the means to get their horse to a far away college. You don’t even have to be on an equestrian team to qualify, so check it out! [Brook Ledge 2020 Road Scholar]

We’re all suckers for horse movies, let’s face it. Even though they always feature excessive whinnying (PLEASE STOP), we just can’t help ourselves. This year, we look forward to Dream Horse, which is the true story of a Welsh bartender who rallies her whole small town to chip in money towards breeding and racing an unlikely champion racehorse. [Dream Horse Comes to Theaters in May]




Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

If this isn’t the perfect post-clear-cross-country photo I don’t know what is. Photo by JJ Sillman.

The grass is coming up since winter never really happened in Virginia, and the daffodils are fully popping out of the ground, and honestly I don’t trust it. I still can’t believe we are just going to slide right into spring without some kind of retribution in the form of a horrible snow storm in late March. Maybe in April I’ll stop being suspicious, but for now I’m waiting.

National Holiday: National Love Your Pet Day!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Farm Adanced H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop February II [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News from Around the Globe:

Important Bit Update: The FEI has confirmed that the French link mouthpiece is no longer permitted for FEI dressage tests. French link mouthpieces are still permitted for USEF National eventing competitions. Annex 1 of the USEF Rules for Eventing will be updated to include an illustration of the French link mouthpiece. Click here to view the full 2020 FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress FAQ.

As if you need another reason to go to Badminton this year, Valegro will be making an appearance! The 18-year-old superstar gelding will be leading the Parade of Champions on Thursday prior to the start of dressage for the event. [Valegro To Delight Fans at Badminton]

Florida Horse Park is on a quest to raise money for an Advanced course! They’ve raised something in the ballpark of $13,000 to date and are hoping to raise $75,000 by April 30, to go toward jumps, ground work and additional irrigation. Can you help? The Florida Horse Park is a non-profit 501(c)3, so every donation is tax deductible. They are also selling “jumps” for $2,000 — you (or your business!) can choose paint colors and perhaps even include a logo. Email [email protected] for more info. [Florida Horse Park]

Dating an equestrian can be an adventure to say the least. We can boggle your mind with our ability to back up a ridiculously huge trailer into a very small spot, we require little more than a beer and a pizza at the end of the day to keep us happy, and we can definitely help you move. However … there are some things about our lifestyle that might startle the muggles. [5 Reasons To Date an Equestrian, and 5 Reasons Not To]

High level hunter derby classes are amazing to watch, but the lower levels of that sport definitely get some flak for being, let’s say, less than exciting. Riders within the hunter world are even condemning the quest for the comatose hunter horse, and asking for a return of emphasis on learning to ride instead of only wanting to compete and win ribbons. [Hunters Past Present and Future]

Best of the Blogs: When Your Friend Stops Riding

Featured Video: The countdown is on … 49 days until the opening leg of ERM 2020, Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International (April 10-11). [Event Rider Masters]