Articles Written 1,154
Article Views 2,835,136

Leslie Threlkeld


Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Leslie Threlkeld

Latest Articles Written

The Barn Isn’t a Safe Place Anymore

To ride or not to ride? Well, that question has been answered for me. As of 5 p.m. Friday, March 27, the barn where I board my horse, Beau, was closed to visitors in response to the COVID-19 threat.

The same day, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a statewide, 30-day, stay-at-home order — an order that permits outdoor activities. The decision to close the barn had been made several days prior to the Governor’s announcement based on recommendations by the NC Horse Council, which advised “to cease all unnecessary operations and activities, engage in horse care activities ONLY, and close your facilities to all but essential staff.”

To some it may seem like an obvious choice to close the barn, but it was an agonizing decision for our barn manager, who debated and considered every angle for days. She knows as well as we all do that the horses are family. They are also our peace, our emotional relief, our escape, our therapy. But the barn isn’t a safe place anymore. We’ve already been on restricted hours to minimize contact between barn staff and boarders. Now, the barn is off limits entirely (except in the event of an emergency), and we don’t know for how long.

It sucks. And I’m sad. Like, really sad. But the whole world sees the importance of minimizing contact with one another, and our boarders are all for it. Not one of them expressed anger at the decision. On the contrary, they applauded the barn manager making that call.

At least half of the boarders who come to the barn regularly are over 60, and some boarders are essential employees who have been working in their offices since the start of this mess. My own part-time job in town has remained open, and while our blessed little community is trying to support small businesses, the risks of those interactions cannot be entirely eliminated, no matter how often we sanitize all the things.

As much as we consider the barn to be a sanctuary, it is not immune to COVID-19. Think about how many things we touch there, from halters to stall doors, all the gates and latches, the hose, the bathroom door, brooms, pitch forks, buckets. It is impossible to keep everything clean enough to protect each other and ­– above all – protect the barn staff. Because if they go down, what then? The fear of the barn staff or other boarders getting sick far outweighs the frustrations of not being able to ride.

When we first got the news that the barn would be closed to boarders, my initial reaction was passive: “Yea, that felt inevitable. Bummer, but I get it.” The next day, as I planned my last visits to literally say goodbye to Beau for who knows how long, I got really, really sad. Until now, the pandemic hasn’t affected a whole lot of my day-to-day routine. I felt a little bit like I was watching everything unfold from a distance, safe in my little mountain town. But it’s here now. It’s all around us.

I’m not just sad for myself (In fact, it feels very selfish and silly to be sad about not being able to go to the barn to see my horsey, given the realities other people are facing around the world.) but this whole tragic situation. I feel sad for the medical professionals who can’t hide from danger at home, for those unlucky individuals who are sick and afraid, for the innumerable businesses that have had to shut down, likely to the detriment of their future.

I’m also feeling some shame, because I was one of the people early on who felt fairly underwhelmed by the threat of the virus and was pointedly annoyed by the media hype. Don’t @ me. I know now I was wrong.

But not all hope is lost. There are many reasons to feel a lot of pride. We’re seeing communities big and small come together to take care of each other. Locals are calling into small businesses, buying gift cards and advancing big tips. Farmers and restaurant owners are giving free meals to children who are missing out on their school lunches. Major corporations like Ford, Tesla, and Dyson are restructuring their assembly lines to manufacture much needed medical supplies. In the clutches of a global pandemic, it’s the humanity we’re witnessing that gives me hope.

So even though I’ll miss Beau tremendously, I think I can manage to be “horse-less” for a little while. By all of us doing our part and making the most of these – let’s be honest – shitty circumstances, we’ll come out the other side better for it, with renewed motivation and appreciation for what we have.

#Foalspam: A Cure for Quarantine Blues

Fey and Bonny in April 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Fey and Bonny in April 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Back in 2015, I started blogging about breeding my maiden mare, Cor de Fe (Cor Magnifique – Leap of Faith, Malthus) with the help of Mary Quarles at Ketchen Place Farm (KPF). We had teased and covered Fey without incident, and she got pregnant easily. In fact, she got pregnant twice but both times slipped the pregnancy within 60 days. We were perplexed but not discouraged. After the second time, we decided to hold off on a third attempt and try again the next year. The blog I hoped would bring readers along a journey to a live foal stopped there.

It wasn’t until 2017 that we bred Fey again, this time to a different stallion on the farm ­– a big, kind Thoroughbred named Corollary (Expensive Decision – Kristin S., Kris S.). I did not blog about it this go around — call it superstition. Fey took immediately and this time held on to the pregnancy without issue. She carried the foal to term and gave birth to a beautiful filly on March 6, 2018. The dam is chestnut and the stallion was bay, so we were surprised when the filly was born a mousy gray color. We named her Bon Cor, which means “good heart” and call her Bonny for short. She’s a bonny lass indeed.

You never really know how a mare is going to be as a mother until she’s faced with a foal at her side. I was delighted and relieved when Fey grasped the responsibility immediately. With Bonny, Fey was attentive, protective (but not excessively), and very proud. She looked after the filly and taught her to love people, but she didn’t take any crap. By the time Bonny was ready to be weaned, Fey said “sayonara” with little drama. Today Bonny is an awkward, hairy two-year-old, but you can see the athletic outline of a well-bred sport horse underneath.

Bon Cor (Corollary – Cor de Fe, Cor Magnifique). Bonny is two days old in this photo, resting during her first field trip outside in March 2018. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

We were delighted with Fey’s first foaling, both in terms of her handling of the pregnancy, easy birth, and mothering skills. However, we did not breed her the following year when Corollary passed away unexpectedly. His death left a chasm both in the breeding program and the hearts of the Ketchen Place family. He was not just a foundation stallion but a member of the family. He was incredibly gentle with horses, humans, kids, and kitties. He could be trusted and relied upon to make the sometimes stressful act of live cover a relatively easy affair. His memory lives on, of course, in his offspring. They are fulfilling the dreams of their amateur owners as well as making a name for themselves climbing the levels of the sport. Preserving the memory of special beings such as Corollary is the gift given by successful breedings.

In the fall of 2018, Ketchen Place Farm acquired a new stallion called Gran Duque, a Thoroughbred by Rock Hampton (Storm Cat) out of Emeldir (Royal Applause). Sourced from the racetrack by Zeb Fry of Little Kentucky Farm, I was hired to photograph “Des,” who was intended to be sold as an event horse. His castration had been scheduled, but I was really impressed by, well, everything about him. Knowing KPF was looking for a new Thoroughbred stallion to incorporate into their breeding program, I encouraged the two parties to connect. KPF liked the stallion’s pedigree, rich with known sport horse producers and European influence, and especially appreciated his friendly demeanor. So the deal was done.

Gran Duque (Rock Hampton – Emeldir, Royal Applause) in September 2018, not long off the track. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Fey was one of two KPF mares bred to Des in early 2019. Des turned out to be a natural at his new job and both mares became pregnant. They foaled within a week of each other in March 2020. Eighteenkaratgold, a Thoroughbred mare, had a pretty bay filly named Elwing (any Tolkien fans out there?). Fey, a Thoroughbred/Holsteiner, had a big, dark bay colt.

Elwing (Gran Duque – Eighteenkaratgold, Borrego) in March 2020. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Once again Fey is proving to be a great mom, validating my intentions for her when I purchased Fey from her breeder, Elisa Wallace, when she was four years old. I bought her specifically because of her bloodlines and had been harboring an interest in her since she’d been born. Fey is out of Elisa’s four-star eventing mare, Leap of Faith, who sadly passed away last fall. Fey is also a product of the breeding program at the barn where I first started eventing as a kid.

Nancy Gosch, of Newnan, Georgia, was one of the first in America to breed sport horses specifically for eventing. She bred Fey’s sire, Cor Magnifique, who was the culmination of decades of careful pairings. Mrs. Gosch’s program can be traced back to the great steeplechaser Cormac, a stallion who has had more of an impact on eventing than is generally known, but I won’t jump on that soap box just now. If you’re interested to learn more, I wrote a feature article about Mrs. Gosch and her horses for Eventing USA in 2014.

Cor Michael (Gran Duque – Cor de Fe, Cor Magnifique) just four days old, March 2020. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Back to Fey. I have a book of names, so I already had a name picked out for her second foal if it were a colt. And I was really, really hoping for a colt. Some people honor their loved ones with tattoos. Me? I name horses after them. Fey’s colt is called Cor Michael, which is a play on Carmichael, my late grandmother’s maiden name and a nod to our family’s Scottish ancestry. “Cor” of course is the prefix honoring Fey’s pedigree.

You know the old saying about leading horses to water? Well, you also can’t make them foal at a time that can be exactly predicted, and it is almost never convenient. Both times Fey has foaled at a polite 9-ish in the evening, but when she decided she was ready, there was little time to spare. Mary’s descriptions of both events have been similar: “She was acting normal then laid down quietly. So I thought I’d go take a peek and darned if there weren’t feet sticking out.” Sadly, I’ve missed both births. The first, I was driving on the interstate on my way to the farm. The second, I had tucked into dinner moments after checking the foal cam. But honestly, it’s okay. Fey was in good hands.

Five years ago, I had a young mare with a family history close to my heart and a dream to keep that heritage alive. I also had no experience breeding horses. I was volunteering at a local event when I met Mary, and we arranged a photoshoot for her homebreds. Since then Mary has become one of my dearest friends and the person who has made the dream of having Fey-babies a reality. Her expertise and attention as a breeder has so far led to two successful, uneventful pregnancies. We are so fortunate to have two beautiful youngsters from Fey, but I am more grateful that Mary has taken such good care of my girl from the start. I am so excited for the futures in store for Fey’s offspring and the legacies of their ancestors that they will carry forward.

It goes without saying that these are trying times. Equestrian sport has come to a standstill and the whole world balances on the hopeful success of social distancing, clean hands, and functioning healthcare systems. We are all making sacrifices now for the sake of the future, but long days in quarantine can be dark, boring, and downright lonely. I encourage you all to find silver linings, look to the bright sides of life, and check in with each other often. If you still need a pick-me-up, remember it’s foal season, and #foalspam is headed your way! Breeders, don’t hold back. We need all the cute we can get!

Allison Springer, Francesca Spoltore Crowned USEF Two-Star Eventing National Champions

Allison Springer and Crystal Crescent Moon, USEF Two-Star Champion. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Australia’s Ryan Wood defended his title in the VHT International CCI2*-L, winning the A division for the second consecutive year with Ruby, a 10-year-old Oldenburg owned by Summit Sporthorses’ Ltd, Inc. They were tied for the lead through the first two phases and clinched the win with a fault-free show jumping round, finishing on 29.5.

“She warmed up super. I didn’t jump too many warm-up jumps because she felt fresh and was trying really hard, so I thought we’d keep it for the ring and it paid off,” Wood said. “I’m very proud to ride for [Ruby’s breeder] Ilona English. To breed a horse and get it to an international level is one thing but then to win is pretty awesome.”

Ryan Wood and Ruby, winners of CCI2*-LA. Photo by Brant Gamma.

As the highest placed American in the CCI2*-LA, Allison Springer and Crystal Crescent Moon take home the USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championship and the Richard Collins Trophy. They scored a 30.0 in dressage and added no jumping or time penalties throughout the competition.

“He’s my little brown unicorn. He’s really fast and trainable. I think he’s going to do great things,” Springer said. “He was perfect in dressage. He’s like a little dirt bike cross country, and he put in a great show jump round. He’s very careful and scopey and just a fun horse to ride.”

The 6-year-old Connemara Cross is owned by his breeder, Nancy Winter. Springer has known Crystal Crescent Moon since he was a foal. He was started under saddle by Cathy Wieschhoff and partnered with Springer early in his 4-year-old year. Springer said, “It means a lot to me and it means a lot to Nancy because it’s so fun watching them come up and do their thing.”

Jan Byyny and Unbridled Numbers, USEF Two-Star Reserve Champion. Photo by Brant Gamma.

The Reserve Champion title went to Jan Byyny and Unbridled Numbers, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Kaylin Dines. They scored 30.1 in dressage and were double clear in both cross country and show jumping.

Francesca Spoltore and her 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse Millstreet Mitch won the CCI2*-LB division, the USEF Two-Star JR/YR Two-Star Eventing National Championship, and the Harry T. Peters Trophy. Leading the way after dressage, they dropped to second with 4.0 time penalties added across the country. In the final phase, the pair clinched the win with a double clear show jumping round.

“He was amazing jumping in there. He didn’t feel tired at all. He helped me out a little in one of the lines and he was so good today,” Spoltore said. “My plan when we bought him was to take him to the three-star short at NAYC next year. Hopefully we will bring him out at Prelim next year, move up to Intermediate and get my qualifiers for Young Riders.”

Francesca Spoltore and Millstreet Mitch, USEF JR/YR Two-Star Champion. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Spoltore has only been partnered with “Mitch” for four months and are still getting to know each other. “He was amazing this weekend. It was the best he’s been, the best we’ve been together. So for only four months, it was a good finish.”

Jackie LeMastus and Lup the Loop, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by James LeMastus, moved up from seventh after dressage to finish second and take home the Reserve Champion title in the JR/YR Championship.

Jackie LeMastus and Lup the Loop, USEF JR/YR Two-Star Reserve Champion. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Woods Baughman and Masterel topped the CCI3*-L leaderboard from the start. The Chris Barnard-designed show jumping course saw no clear rounds in the division, but Baughman had some breathing room to take the win despite 8.0 penalties added to their score.

“Show jumping can be his weak point. Today it didn’t matter too much and we got lucky. It helped that we had a rail in hand going in. That took a lot of pressure off,” Baughman said of the 10-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Denis Glaccum and Sharon White. Baughman partnered up with Masterel at the beginning of the year.

Baughman was delighted with Masterel’s dressage test, which tied them for the lead with a 32.1. Of their double clear cross country Baughman said, “He’s so honest to the jumps. If he sees the flags he will jump.”

Woods Baughman and Masterel, winners of CCI3*-L. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Mikki Kuchta and Special Reserve led the inaugural CCI1*-L for the first two phases of competition, but lowered two rails in show jumping, dropping them to second. Adding four faults to their final score and winning the class was Cassie Sanger and her 10-year-old Thoroughbred Born Ready. They moved up from second after dressage and cross country, finishing on 34.3.

“This is my first FEI and I’ve had ‘Red’ for about a year, so it’s exciting to win this,” said Sanger, who just turned 15. “It took me a while to get my rhythm going [on cross country] and I was a bit slow so I had to go quicker at the end. Today I was waiting to see a distance but after I had a rail I clicked in and kept riding forward.”

The CCI1*-L is the Modified (3’5”) level run under the international long format rules, with show jumping being the final phase run in reverse order of standing. VHT is currently the only event in the country to offer the CCI1*-L.

Of the division Sanger said, “It’s a great building block to get to the two-star and Prelim levels. It’s a great in-between.”

The winning team in the Intercollegiate & Alumni Team Challenge was the alumni team from University of Georgia and Fresno State. Cindy Phillips, Kim Keeton, and Kimberly Steinbuch won on a team score of 87.3. The University of Virginia Orange team took second, while Randolph-Macon College teams claimed both third and fourth place. View full team scores at this link.

“That concludes another incredible week at Virginia Horse Trials,” VHT Organizer Andy Bowles said. “Thanks to everyone for coming and enjoying this beautiful venue. We hope to see you back in the spring.”

Virginia 3DE & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Ryan Wood and Jane Jennings Tied for CCI2*-L Lead at Virginia Horse Trials

Jane Jennings and Kontessa M. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International continued Saturday with all phases running concurrently on the sprawling property. Six dressage arenas, two cross country courses, and a show jumping arena accommodated this year’s record entries.

Following cross country, dressage leaders Jane Jennings and Ryan Wood remain tied for the lead in the CCI2*-LA. Both combinations went double clear to remain on 29.5. Should both combinations show jump clear on Sunday, Wood and Summit Sporthorses Ltd, Inc’s 10-year-old Oldenburg Ruby would win the tiebreaker, as they crossed the finish line one second closer to the optimum time.

Ryan Wood and Ruby. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

“All the questions rode well today. It was a fitness test but a lot of horses made the time. The ground was great, the temperature was ideal,” Wood said. “We’re sitting in a good position for tomorrow. It’s going to be a nail-biting finish. Hopefully Lady Luck is on our side. Ruby is a good jumper, but after cross country anything can happen.”

As the highest placed American in the division, Jennings retains the lead in the USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championship with her 9-year-old Oldenburg mare Kontessa M. Jennings was delighted with today’s performance.

“She ate up the course. We lucked out with the rain earlier this week; the footing was perfect. Because we’re still building our partnership it was a really confidence building round,” Jennings said. “She’s a new horse and a different kind of ride for me, but all our hard work is paying off. I was worried about the hills but she was on form. I live in Unionville, PA, and I use Boyd Martin’s famous hill to condition and prepare.

“She’s good show jumping and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I just need to ride well and stay focused.”

Kelsey Ann Quinn and Dandy Longlegs. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

The top two after dressage in the CCI2*-LB switched places following cross country. Dressage leader Francesca Spoltore and Millstreet Mitch added 4.0 time penalties, dropping to second. That left the door open for Kelsey Ann Quinn, 17, and Julie Quinn’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred Dandy Longlegs to move into the lead with a double clear round.

Friday’s tie after dressage in the CCI3*-L was broken Saturday by Woods Baughman and Masterel, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Denis Glaccum and Sharon White, who produced a stellar double clear cross country round.

Mikki Kuchta and the 6-year-old Thoroughbred Special Reserve remain in first place in the inaugural CCI1*-L after a double clear cross country round. They sit on a two-phase score of 29.7.

Phillip Dutton dominated the CCI3*-S, taking the top three positions after the final phase with Lee Lee Jones’ Fernhill Pick Pocket (36.4), the Sea of Clouds Partnership’s Sea of Clouds (45.2), and Fernhill Mystery (45.4), who is owned by Bridget Colman, Caroline Moran, Thomas Tierney, and David Vos.

Sara Shulman and her own 12-year-old Thoroughbred Not for Nothing claimed the CCI2*-S, moving up from eighth after dressage to win after two fault-free jumping rounds.

Currently leading the 18-team Intercollegiate & Alumni Team Challenge is the combined University of Georgia & Fresno State Alumni team, which joined forces in honor of their shared mascot, the bulldog. Cindy Phillips, Kim Keeton, and Kimberly Steinbuch have a team score of 84.51. View the team scoresheet at this link.

Virginia 3DE & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Jennings & Spoltore Take Charge of USEF Two-Star National Championships at VHT International

On a brisk morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the first horses started down centerline Friday at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International. Following the first phase of competition, Australia’s Ryan Wood and USA’s Jane Jennings are tied for the lead in the CCI2*-LA division on a score of 29.5.

Ryan Wood and Ruby, tied for lead in CCI2*-LA. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Wood is riding Ruby, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Summit Sporthorses Ltd, Inc. The pair won this same division last year and also won the CCI2*-S last spring at The Fork at Tryon.

“She’s feeling great. She pulled out a cracking test today,” Wood said. “I’m excited for her owner and breeder Ilona English, who stuck with this horse and believed in her since she was a foal. She won the two-star here last year and her brother Powell also won the two-star here [in 2014]. She’s from New Jersey but she’s bred a bunch of Virginia winners.”

Cross country course designer Carsten Meyer has set a testing two-star track for Saturday. On the rolling hills of the Virginia Horse Center, endurance plays a heavy role.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fitness, thankfully, because it’s a serious track out there for the two-star. There is lots of terrain and it’s a long course at 7 minutes, 38 seconds,” Wood said. “Ruby is a really honest jumper and she’s seasoned at the level. We’re looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.”

Jane Jennings and Kontessa M, tied for lead in CCI2*-LA. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Jennings and Kontessa M are fresh off a win at Morven Park’s CCI2*-S. As the highest placed American rider in the CCI2*-LA division, she and the 9-year-old Oldenburg mare currently lead the USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championship.

Francesca Spoltore and Millstreet Mitch, leading the CCI2*-LB. Photo by Brant Gamma.

Leading the way in the CCI2*-LB division and in the hunt for the USEF National Two-Star JR/YR Championship is Francesca Spoltore with Millstreet Mitch. With a leading score of 31.4, Spoltore, 19, and her 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding got a positive start to their first international competition as a pair.

“He was really super today. He’s really trained on the flat. It’s been me learning how to get the perfect test out of him,” Spoltore said. “That’s probably the best test he’s had. I was able to get him uphill and he grew a lot in there.”

Spoltore and “Mitch” partnered only four months ago. He arrived at her trainer Alex Green’s barn to be sold and he was the perfect fit to help Spoltore gain competition miles at the level. The plan for tomorrow’s cross country is to try and stay up on the minute markers early.

“I’m not super fast on the cross country, especially since I don’t know him that well. The times I have run him I’ve just been learning how to ride him,” Spoltore said. “I’m hoping I can go quick tomorrow. It’s a very long course and the terrain here guts them a little bit by the end.”

The CCI3*-L also has a tie for the top spot after dressage. Woods Baughman and the 10-year-old Masterel, a Thoroughbred owned by Denis Glaccum and Sharon White, sit in equal first on a score of 32.1 with John Michael Durr and Becky Brown’s 13-year-old CDE, Tilikum.

Mikki Kuchta and Special Reserve, leading the CCI1*-L. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Earning the best dressage score to lead the inaugural VHT CCI1*-L are Mikki Kuchta and Special Reserve. They scored a 29.7, a solid start to the 6-year-old Thoroughbred’s first international competition.

The remainder of the national horse trials divisions, from Modified all the way to Starter, will begin their competition Saturday while the international combinations tackle cross country.

[Jane Jennings and Francesca Spoltore Take Charge of USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championships at VHT International]

Virginia 3DE & H.T.WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive Scores

Virginia Horse Trials International Kicks Off With Spooky Horse Inspection

Pleasant Humphrey and his unicorn (Will Faudree). Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International kicked off Thursday with the first horse inspection for the CCI1*-L, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L divisions. Sixty-five international horse and rider combinations presented to the ground juries, and 61 will move on to the dressage phase.

All horses presented in the CCI3*-L were accepted. In the CCI2*-LA, Brittany Crandall and Cooley Almighty were sent to the hold box but opted to withdraw. Jessica Shull’s Valleyofthesun was held but sadly not accepted on re-presentation. In the CCI2*-LB, Rachel Ziemann and Highland Storm were held and withdrew without re-presenting. Olivia Hayes and Astrana De La Galerna were also held but later accepted. In the CCI1*-L, Claudia Iannucci’s Gregory the Great was held and withdrawn from the hold box. Mellisa Warden’s Deadpool was held but accepted on re-presentation.

Mellisa Davis Warden’s Deadpool is ready to take on the inaugural VHT CCI1*-L. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Vanda Stewart (IRL) and Robyn Fisher (USA) presided over the inaugural CCI1*-L. The ground jury for the CCI2*-L includes Nicki Herbert (GBR) and Aniko Vincze (HUN). The CCI3*-L ground jury of Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride (USA) and Marilyn Payne (USA) got into the holiday spirit, arriving at the horse inspection wearing matching witch outfits.

What a “witchy” ground jury. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Announcer Brian O’Connor is hoping for a call up to the Washington Nationals. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Many competitors took advantage of the first jog falling on Halloween and dressed up for the occasion. We saw spooky fascinators …

Arden Wildasin donned a spooky fascinator. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Samantha Bertin and Cresendo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

… a masked man …

Can you name the masked man? (Answer: Bobby Meyerhoff!) Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

and a unicorn onesie take a pass down the jog lane.

An Intercollegiate & Alumni Team Challenge taking place this weekend includes competitors of every level competing in a friendly team competition. Seventeen teams from 11 schools with both current and former students participating make up the complete roster. Team entries can be viewed at this link.

With around 580 horses set to compete, this is the largest VHT International to date. The competition gets underway Friday with the international, Intermediate, Modified, Preliminary, and Novice dressage. Preliminary will run cross-country, and Advanced/Intermediate and Intermediate will show jump.

“It’s thrilling for our team to have such a positive turnout,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles. “We’ve worked hard to put together a fluid schedule and present an excellent competition. We are grateful to everyone for coming. We wish you all good luck and great rides.”

Virginia 3DE & H.T.Website, Entry StatusRide TimesLive Scores

Virginia Horse Trials International to Host U.S. Debut of CCI1*-L Level

Isabel Finemore and Rutherglen, winners of 2018 USEF JR/YR CCI2* Eventing National Championship. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Virginia Horse Trials International (VHT) is pleased to announce that it will host the first CCI1*-L in the United States at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2019. The CCI1*-L is the Modified (3’5”) level run under the international long format rules, with show jumping being the final phase run in reverse order of standing. VHT is currently the only event in the country to offer the CCI1*-L.

“We are excited to be adding the CCI1*-L to our international offerings at Virginia,” VHT Organizer Andy Bowles said. “It’s a great introduction to FEI competition at the Modified height, and it fits perfectly with our mission at Virginia to provide competitors with positive growth opportunities. We ran two large national Modified divisions at both the November 2018 and May 2019 competitions, so we’re hopeful that the interest in the CCI1*-L will be positive.”

VHT will also host the USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship for the second consecutive year. Both adult and junior/young rider (21 and under) titles will be awarded. The Championship will run concurrently with the CCI2*-L division, and the Championship titles will be given to the highest placed American rider in each age group.

Back by popular demand is the Intercollegiate and Alumni Team Challenge. Whether currently in school, recently graduated, or graduated any number of years ago, riders are invited to don their school colors, chant fight songs, and enjoy a healthy dose of school rivalry.

“The intercollegiate team challenges have always been one of our favorite components of VHT,” Bowles said. “We realized that recent grads were wanting to stay involved and alumni wanted to get in on the fun, so we are happy to host a team challenge with a mix of current and former students.”

Teams may be made up of alumni only, current students only, or a mix of both. Teams of mixed levels will have coefficients applied to account for the level of difficulty. Scramble teams may be formed with multiple schools. Send your team roster and any questions to the team coordinator, Leslie Threlkeld, at [email protected].

In addition to the CCI1*-L and CCI2*-L, VHT’s fall edition offers CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, and the CCI2*-S, which was offered for the first time at the May event. National competitors have a broad choice of Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate, including national Modified, and a Starter level for newcomers to the sport. Bowles, Carsten Meyer, and David Taylor will design the tracks on two separate cross-country courses, and Chris Barnard returns as the show jumping course designer.

Come for the competition, stay for the extras. Prize money is once again on the table for the FEI competitors, as well as special awards for Best Conditioned horse and Best Turned Out rider, ribbons through tenth place, and additional gifts and prizes. The top three finishers of every national horse trials division receive discount coupons for future entries. Finally, everyone is invited to a complimentary supper at the Saturday night competitor party.

Entries for the VHT International open Sept. 17, 2019. Find entry information at or the USEA Omnibus listing.

Links: Website | Omnibus | Facebook | Instagram

[CCI1*-L Debuts at Virginia Horse Trials International, USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship Returns]

Best of 2018 Video Countdown #5: ‘That’s Just a Well-Trained Horse’

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 10 most popular videos shared on EN in 2018. The #5 spot goes to “‘That’s Just a Well-Trained Horse’,” which garnered 6,806 views when it was originally posted on January 28, 2018.

With all the careful training, schooling and preparation we provide our horses before competitions, we can only hope they not only love but understand their job. Then ideally when their rider makes a mistake, the horse can pick up at least some of the slack and carry on (with or without us).

Paula Kobylarz-Wehde sent us this video of her daughter, Ava Wehde, and her Hanoverian mare, Butts Leonie R, on cross country at Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. yesterday. After a parting of ways at the first element of the water complex, Butts Leonie R proved just how well she knows her job, completing the combination on her own and galloping on, looking very keen to keep jumping.

“That’s just a well-trained horse,” videographer David Frechette observed. Indeed!

Paula assures us that both horse and rider are absolutely fine and Ava is laughing about the whole thing. Cheers, Ava, for being a good sport. Go Eventing.

USEA Inducts Seven New Members Into Hall of Fame

Karen O’Connor was inducted into the USEA Hall of Fame. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

At Saturday night’s USEA Hall of Fame Gala, seven individuals were inducted into the USEA Hall of Fame during a colorful ceremony in New Orleans. Nina and Tim Gardner, Karen O’Connor, Capt. Mark Phillips, Marty Simensen, Howard Simpson, and Kerry Millikin’s Thoroughbred Out And About were honored as the newest members, joining a special group of horses, riders, owners and others who have greatly influenced the sport of eventing. Congratulations to the inductees and we thank you for your loyalty and love for eventing.

Photo Gallery: Eventers Celebrated at USEA Year End Awards Ceremony

Frankie Thieriot Stutes received, among many other year-end awards, the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The USEA Year End Awards ceremony at the Annual Meeting and Convention is always an emotional time when the eventing family comes together to celebrate the achievements of the past year and honor those who have contributed so much to the sport. This year was no exception.

One of the most notable moments was when USEA President Carol Kozlowski delivered a heartfelt speech as she described Mike Winter’s passion for eventing and his efforts in furthering the sport through governance. Tuning in via live stream, Mike was able to witness the standing ovation for his service to the sport, for which he was honored with the USEA President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

EN congratulates all the winners for their accomplishments and applaud the eventing family as a whole for another amazing year. Click here to view a complete list of award winners. Click here to follow along with all of EN’s coverage of the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention.

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Stinna Kaastrup’s Incredible Para-Dressage Journey

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Danish Para-dressage rider Stinna Kaastrup and her mount Horsebo Smarties completed a test that would secure them the Grade II Individual Para-Dressage individual gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Despite an error, the judges rewarded Stinna and Smarties top marks for their incredible consistency, accuracy and harmony.

Their lovely performance was even more impressive due to the fact that Stinna does not have legs. She also does not ride with any sort of strap anchoring her to her saddle. All who watched the ride were in awe not only of Stinna, but also of her beautiful relationship with Smartie and their obvious trust and care for each other.

Stinna was born without legs and started riding for physical therapy when she was very young. But her disability has never held her back. She says she lives a very normal life and has big dreams for the future.

Need to support strong, sound bones in layups or young horses?

Ask your vet about BoneWise™.


• Maintains optimal levels of bone density when horses are confined to their stalls.
• Delivers a readily digestible, natural source of calcium and trace minerals necessary for optimal bone development.
• Supports enhanced bone mineral content and bone turnover that encourages the swift repair of microdamage.
• Supplies yeast cultures that support improved mineral and vitamin digestibility.
• Sustains vitamin D at levels necessary for healthy bone development.

For more information, visit

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Photo courtesy Donna Younkin.

The Horse Park of NJ recently hosted a Turkey Trot (for horse and rider), and ran a photo contest as part of the event. Michaela Schock won the “Individual Category” with this photo. The judges picked this photo as the winner, and it also surprised some of them as they were seeing this newly installed memorial bench for the first time!

National Holiday: Cyber Monday

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Annual online Holiday Auction offers a chance to own racing history, memories and sentiment aplenty. Memorabilia featuring legendary horses like Secretariat, Cigar, Seattle Slew, John Henry and Ruffian, and programs from famous racetracks like Saratoga, Belmont Park, Keeneland, Aqueduct, Delaware Park, Monmouth Park and Del Mar top the list of diverse items along with halters and horseshoes worn by famous racehorses. The auction concludes on Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m. ET. [Shop Now!]

Turkey coma? Been eating pie for breakfast since Friday? Yea. Me too. And it only gets worse from here as the holiday eating season won’t slow down until after Valentine’s Day. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get back on track and be fit for the start of the 2019 eventing season. [Five Trainer-Approved Ways To Get Back On Your Fitness Routine]

“I think it’s important the Training Three-Day isn’t just something amateurs or young riders are involved in, but remains so useful for professionals with up-and-coming horses to learn about the sport.” Rebecca Braitling stresses the importance of the long format in the wake of a big win. [Winning Before Winter for Braitling in the Galway Downs Training Three-Day]

The 2018 Horse Radio Network Holiday Radiothon is today! Tune in on Monday Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.; EN’s Leslie Wylie and HN’s Kristen Kovatch are co-hosting the final hour. You can listen live here  or on the free Horse Radio Network Phone App — search Horse Radio Network in the IOS or Google Play store. Call in for a chance to win over $4,000 in Prizes on Radiothon Day: 435-272-1997. [HRN Radiothon]

Monday Video:

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Five Horses for Sale for the Buyer on a Budget

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN each week. We include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

So you splurged on new breeches and that show coat you’ve been eyeballing for months on Black Friday (so many deals to be had!). But coming up fast is the secret Santa drawing at work, holiday travel expenses, and last-minute gifts for the non-horsey family and all your cousins’ kids. But you are in the market for a new horse to kick the 2019 eventing season off with a new partner and big goals, and you’re feeling the tightening of the belt with all the inevitable holiday spending. You don’t have to rob a bank to find you’re next partner in crime. Here are five horses for sale for $10k or less.

Fritz. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Fritz William, sweet and talented 16.3 TB gelding

“Fritz” is a 10 year old, 16.3 OTTB gelding. He is very sweet and aims to please his rider. Good mover & brave jumper. Has schooled through BN cross country with talent for much more. His owners life changes have put him on the back burner & he is just now coming back into work after several months off. He is very happy to have a job and truly gets better each ride. Great personality & tons of potential, Fritz is going to make someone very happy! Loads & stands for vet & farrier like a champ. Located in Georgia.

Not Guilty. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Experienced Training/Preliminary Schoolmaster

NOT GUILTY – Training/Preliminary Schoolmaster. 2003 dark brown Sport Horse Thoroughbred gelding by Joint Verdict, 16.2 hands, unraced and bred to Event. This experienced campaigner has competed extensively up through the Preliminary level, and knows his job. He is well schooled and talented, and is a super mount to gain experience on. He is sound and fit, and ready to take you up the levels. Located in Virginia.

High Fashion. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

High Fashion- training level event horse

High Fashion; 2012 Holsteiner/Thoroughbred Mare. “Wendy” is by the impressive sire Riverman out of Fashion Plate by Aristos B. Wendy is a very impressive mover and jumper who has yet to tap into her real potential. She is super athletic and elastic. She is currently competing at the training level. Located in West Virginia.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Big, bold, jumper

Only selling to reduce herd, 2007 American warm blood, Big bodied bold jumper, excels at cross country, stadium jumping, dressage skills (application of those skills questionable) scores well on movement. Amazing traveler, loads like a pro in anything he will fit on. Takes a med/wide tree saddle and wears front shoes. He baths, clips, stands for farrier. Lots of go when it comes to jumping, can ride bareback in a halter on trails, crosses water like a pro. Located in Ohio.

Loki. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Loki: 8 yr old gray unraced 16.1 TB gelding, quiet & sweet, $4k

For Sale: Mistaken Gamble (Loki). Athletic, quiet, sweet, willing, push ride, amazing brain. 8 yr old handsome 16.1 grey Thoroughbred gelding, tattooed but never raced. Loki is green on the flat but WTC around quietly and is learning about proper contact, he has a nice soft mouth and will go into a lovely headset. He has a lot of potential for some great flatwork with his huge shoulder and nicely balanced build, just needs time to develop more strength. However, put some jumps in front of this guy and even with limited jumping experience, he knows exactly what to do! He is very calm but keen and brave, with great natural form and plenty of scope, he will jump anything you point him at. Currently easily cruising around 2’6”- 2’9″ courses. With continued consistent experience over the winter, I have no doubt he’ll be doing 3ft courses easily and confidently in no time. Put some miles on this guy and the sky is the limit- I think his ideal job would be a 2’6”-3’ hunter, but he’d also be happy to play around in jumpers or lower level evening as well. He can take a joke and doesn’t hold grudges. With just a bit more experience, this horse will be a wonderful schoolmaster type to pack an inexperienced rider safely around a course. He hacks out around the property and on trails in a group like a pro, or nicely alone with a confident rider.

Loki is very brave and calm under saddle but is still a bit green, so he would do best with an intermediate AA or a teen in a good program, but would also be a fun project for a professional to develop. He would also make a wonderful future school horse, as he knows he job, has a great brain, and is very forgiving under saddle. He is an easy keeper for a TB and is fine living inside or out- he is low in the pecking order though so probably wouldn’t do well in a large or particularly fractious herd. He can be comfortable barefoot, but prefers front shoes when in work. Loki is an incredibly sweet horse that will try his heart out and really bonds with his rider. He’s the type of horse that wants to follow you home, crawl in your lap, and be read bedtime stories while sipping hot cocoa. He’s willing to settle for plenty of love and treats at a nice barn though. Good home a must. Located in Wisconsin.

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

Sunday Video from Total Saddle Fit: 84 Amazing Eventing Moments in 2018

Thanksgiving marks the waning of another eventing season. Already we’re penciling in competition plans for 2019, and the Great Migration south for winter is soon to commence. But before we throw our hands up and welcome another year, another opportunity to achieve our dreams, we have a (good) habit of looking back on the previous year’s trials, tribulations and triumphs. Through all the ups and downs we experience in life and in riding, the constant for us all is the love of horses. It’s what fuels us and keeps us coming back for more, year after year. What are your favorite moments from 2018?

From Joan Davis of Flatlands Foto, here is a look back at Area I’s year in eventing.

Specifically for eventers, the StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth now comes in two shades of brown to match monoflap jump saddles! Let your horse move more freely and breathe easier by using the same girth as Tamra Smith. See them all here:

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Meet the 2018 FEI Awards Winners

2018 FEI Awards Winners. Photo by FEI/Liz Gregg.

Equestrians were honored last night at the 2018 FEI Awards presented by Longines in Manama, Bahrain. Congratulations to everyone for their well earned recognition for their excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. Let’s meet the winners.

World Champion Simone Blum, who became the first woman in the history of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ to win individual gold, received the Fosun Best Athlete Award.

“I am very proud to be the Fosun best athlete, I think it’s a dream of every rider,” Simone said. “A lot of really good riders got it before and to the people I want to say thank you a lot. It was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and supporters. Thank you.”

USA’s Lee McKeever took the award for FEI Best Groom. Lee has groomed for McLain Ward for 30 years and shared some of his biggest victories including team gold at WEG in Tryon.

French eventer Victor Levecque received the Longines Rising Star Award. At only 20 years old, he already has a long list of accolades, including with European medals, including two gold medals and five French national champion titles to his name.

Ten years after winning the Rising Star Award, Alex Hua Tian of China, along with Philip Wong, accepted the FEI Solidarity Award for the Horsemanship charity programme in China.

The Against All Odds Award was presented to Leila Malki from Palestine. She is a role model to young women in her country and encourages women and girls to get involved in equestrian sport.

Go Equestrians.

[FEI Awards 2018]

Need to support strong, sound bones in layups or young horses?

Ask your vet about BoneWise™.


• Maintains optimal levels of bone density when horses are confined to their stalls.
• Delivers a readily digestible, natural source of calcium and trace minerals necessary for optimal bone development.
• Supports enhanced bone mineral content and bone turnover that encourages the swift repair of microdamage.
• Supplies yeast cultures that support improved mineral and vitamin digestibility.
• Sustains vitamin D at levels necessary for healthy bone development.

For more information, visit

Monday News and Notes from Fleeceworks

Is it ever too early to get into the Christmas spirit? Nah. But let’s all take a second and admire the fact that Lainey Ashker’s lipstick matches her bowtie. We expect no less. Happy holidays!

National Holiday: Equal Opportunity Day

Major Weekend Events:

Ocala Jockey Club: WebsiteResultsLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

Eventer Mackenzie Rollins and the team at Mill Creek Equestrian Center in Topanga, Calif. were faced with evacuating 70 horses due to raging wildfires. Jane Arrasmith Duggan was in Kentucky at the USDF Finals while the barn she works out of, Ironhorse Ranch, burned down. These riders and many others have stayed strong in the wake of tragedy thanks in large part to the support of their community. [‘It Restores Your Faith In Humanity’: How Equestrians Showed Up For California Wildfire Evacuees]

Erm, okay. I know horses do dumb stuff. But eating wire? Apparently that’s a thing. An action once considered a death sentence, researchers now say that if caught early and treated surgically, horses who ingest wire could survive the ordeal. The question I suppose then is, how do you stop a horse who ate wire from doing it again? [Surgery Can Save Horses That Eat Wire]

Sarah goes to the barn, loves on her horse, grooms him, picks his feet, sits down to enjoy a lunchtime sandwich while watching her horse graze in the field. But wait! Sarah forgot to wash her hands. Does she care? Nope. Have you probably done the same? Yep. [Girl Picks Out Horse’s Hooves…]

It’s the thick of foxhunting season, and while we all like to think the winter months will be full of tallyhos, stirrup cups and hearty post-hunt breakfast (arguably my favorite part), inevitably foxchasers experience a few, err, inconveniences as penance for playing hooky to go hunt on a Thursday morning. [7 Problems We All Encounter Hunting]

The Horse Radio Network Radiothon is one week away. Tune in on Monday Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST. You can listen live here  or on the free Horse Radio Network Phone App — just search Horse Radio Network in the IOS or Google Play store. Call in for a chance to win over $4,000 in Prizes on Radiothon Day: 435-272-1997. [HRN Radiothon]

Monday Video: Looking for something else fun to do this winter ?

Horse racing, on skis, on a frozen lake

Horse racing on skis. On a frozen lake.

Posted by CNN International on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: James Koford and Adiah HP Get In the Groove at USDF Freestyle Champs

Put on your dancing shoes and get down to this jazzy freestyle by James Koford and Adiah HP. For the second consecutive year, they won the Grand Prix open freestyle championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals in Kentucky last weekend (they also won the Grand Prix open championship). Their freestyle music was a last-minute change, but you wouldn’t have known it as Sherry Koella’s 11-year-old Fresian mare grooved around the arena. In fact, the tune was an homage to Adiah’s owner, who once made her living as a magician and performed to this very music!

“I am so pumped! She’s getting so mature – now she goes in the ring and gets excited, but I can channel that energy,” James said. “I saw her in a clinic four years ago and thought she was the most fun horse I’d ever seen, and I had to sit on her. Now she’s gone on to do everything I’ve asked and more. She’s like my dirt bike: I just get to run around and have fun, without stress or drama. It just gives me goosebumps because it’s so much fun to get on a horse like this that loves to go in the show ring.”

And here’s a fun fact: James is a former eventer who ran around Kentucky twice. Check out this incredibly entertaining recollection of that experience in an interview with James from the EN archives.

[Adiah HP Makes Magic At U.S. Dressage Finals]

[USDF Press Release]

[Jim Koford – Onward and Upward]

Need to support strong, sound bones in layups or young horses?

Ask your vet about BoneWise™.


• Maintains optimal levels of bone density when horses are confined to their stalls.
• Delivers a readily digestible, natural source of calcium and trace minerals necessary for optimal bone development.
• Supports enhanced bone mineral content and bone turnover that encourages the swift repair of microdamage.
• Supplies yeast cultures that support improved mineral and vitamin digestibility.
• Sustains vitamin D at levels necessary for healthy bone development.

For more information, visit

Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

From left: Gail Mink, Jimmie Schramm, Joseph Murphy and Trebuchet after during the clinic at Kealani Farm last week. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy is returning to Kealani Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 1-2 to teach another of his highly popular clinics utilizing indoor cross country and show jumping exercises. The clinic also coincides with the USEA Area II Annual Meeting in nearby Kennett Square. Joseph will speak about how he got his start in eventing during the afternoon training symposium on Saturday. Check out Event Clinics for all the details.

National Holiday: Happy Hour Day. Also my mom’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Moon Farms H.T. [Website] [Results]

River Glen Fall H.T. [Website] [Results]

Poplar Place Farm H.T. [Website] [Results]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Results]

Monday News and Notes:

Horses and mules were the primary means of achieving military mobility during the First World War. The British Army alone employed over a million equine throughout the conflict; the American military employed over 1.25 million equines. Check out the FEI’s tribute to these soldiers who served alongside the British and Allied forces. [The Unsung Heroes of WWI]

Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland hosted their first Beginner Novice Three-Day Event at the Maryland Horse Trials in early October. Ella Lucas, who won with her mount Truthful Saint, pointed out that all 12 entries completed the competition. “This was a richly rewarding experience for everyone that took part.” [Memories Made in Maryland]

Nearly 16 years after he was rescued from a pregnant mare urine facility in Canada, Cheval Noir went down centerline in the Grand Prix freestyle open championship at U.S. Dressage Finals. Rider Pam Wangenheim-Hawkins gave him more than one second chance at life and he has returned the favor in spades. [From PMU Rescue Foal To Grand Prix Dressage]

Keeping insurance on your horse can mean the difference between, well, the worst case scenario and the opposite of that. But horse insurance isn’t the same as people insurance. There are major differences in what is and isn’t covered. So if you’re considering insurance for your horse or don’t totally understand what it covers, read this! [‘But I Thought My Insurance Covered That!’]

Monday Video: A beautiful partnership in action.

Bridless Reining – Dan Huss & Ms Dreamy

The #AQHAWorldShow is full of excitement and success, but this moment from the senior reining finals is sure to warm the hearts and spirits of horse-lovers everywhere.

In the middle of Dan Huss’ run with Ms Dreamy, the bridle broke. Instead of stopping, Dan scooped up the hardware and kept on trucking – making this a once-in-a-lifetime moment on a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

This is also Ms Dreamy’s final run before her retirement. What a way to go out – ears up and all.

Posted by American Quarter Horse Association on Saturday, November 10, 2018

Let’s Discuss: Your Favorite Winter-Wear

Working students in the wild have been known to search out sources of warmth in the winter months. Photo via Destination Farm FB page.

There’s no getting around it now — winter is coming. In fact, for some of our readers, it may have already arrived. We think a lot about dressing our horses for cold weather, but what about us? It’s no fun doing barn chores in with frozen fingers and toes, but it’s equally miserable being so bundled up you can barely move your arms and resemble the Michelin man, or worse, whatever this is:


Poate aveti nevoie de o geaca de iarna!

Posted by Ade Andreea on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My go-to OOTD on the coldest days of the year is a thermal base layer, an insulating fleece layer, and then a really good quality, heavy winter coat. Add a cozy scarf and some kind of ear cover that fits under my helmet (I have a thin balaclava that I love. It keeps my nose and cheeks warm in the worst of the wind), and it’s not so bad.

But in all honesty, I may live in the mountains and we don’t have an indoor, but it still doesn’t get that cold here. We have readers who deal with feet of snow for months on end and literally frigid temps. So let’s here it from the people who really know — how do you layer up for comfortable (as possible) riding in winter? How do you stave off frozen fingers and toes?

Let us know in the comments (Your fellow readers will thank you).

Sunday Video from Total Saddle Fit: In Honor of the Horses Who Have Served

As you know, eventing’s roots are in the military. A sport once reserved for cavalry officers and their mounts is now a worldwide hobby and profession for people from all walks of life. On this Veterans Day, as we remember the men and women who have served our country throughout history, let us also remember the horses who served along side them, for they are heroes, too.

Never forget.

Specifically for eventers, the StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth now comes in two shades of brown to match monoflap jump saddles! Let your horse move more freely and breathe easier by using the same girth as Tamra Smith. See them all here:

Be A Hero: Get CPR Certified

It’s likely that every one of us knows a friend or family member who has suffered a heart attack, and it may have been life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) that gave them a second chance at life. Luckily you don’t have to be a medical professional to administer CPR, but it is important to learn how to do it properly.

The USEA has partnered with Trio Safety CPR + AED Solutions to educate members during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, December 6-9, 2018. There they will offer a session that will serve as a skill check for the completion of the American Red Cross First Aid CPR and AED course.

“Stop Heart Attack powered by Trio Safety CPR + AED is proud to work with the members of the USEA to provide special pricing for equipment and training that can be lifesaving when seconds count,” said Rusty Lowe, an Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Stop Heart Attack + Trio Safety. “Please consider registering for the American Red Cross First Aid CPR + AED class conveniently offered online prior to the Convention, allowing you to complete training and written testing online and have practical skills tested on site (approximately 30 minutes) in New Orleans, saving you valuable time!”

If you want to to get certified, complete an online class prior to Convention and then be sure to attend the practical skills portion during Convention. Click here to register for the online class. It only costs $50 and it could mean life or death for someone who needs your help in the future.

If you’re are not going to be at Convention, don’t worry. Stop Heart Attack + Trio Safety can teach all over the country! Visit for more information.

[Trio Safety CPR + AED Solutions Signs on as Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention]

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Young Prospects Ready to Take on the World

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN each week. We include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

One item on my bucket list is to go to a young horse sale in Europe. I don’t necessarily want to come home with a horse, I just want to go and see one of these sales — experience the excitement, the possibilities, the auction (don’t cough, don’t move, don’t even blink!). But honestly, I don’t have to go very far to see a nice selection of youngsters. In fact, here’s five right now!

Jake. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Fancy 4 yo Cruising ISH with show miles

Imported 16.2h, 4yo ISH/TB (Cruising & Clover Hill). “Jake” has all the right pieces to be a competitive upper level horse, yet easy and chill enough for a YR or Ammy to bring along. Brave, Scopey, and can take a serious joke. Good in the mouth and sound. Competing Novice level Eventing, has shown up to 1.0m jumpers. Nice enough to be an Eq horse. Comes with clean X-rays. **Placed 3rd in a big Novice Horse group at VAHT November 3/4th finishing on his dressage score of 31. Located in Kentucky.

Silver Dollar’s Cruiser. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Exceptional Young Prospect

Silver Dollar’s Cruizer is a stunning coming 2 year old gelding. Foaled 5/1/17, He is sired by Blue Ridge Monroe (Connemara) out of a grade Tobiano mare. He should finish out at around 15’2′. Cruizer has 3 lovely gaits and is sure to be eye catching as he continues to mature. Cruizer has had a wonderful up bringing clips, loads, ties, bathes and is up to date on all vaccinations and coggins. He placed first at The National Dressage Pony Cup in yearling geldings/colts and was Reserve Champion young horse gelding/colt. He would excel in any direction but with his movement his calling may be in Dressage or he will be the one to get you the dressage score in eventing. He has his lifetime USEF number. Located in Ohio.

Hold On To Me. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Fantastic Young Sport Horse Prospect

Hold On To Me 2014 17 + Hd Reg. TB Gelding – Danzig grandson with other impressive sport horse bloodlines. “Holden” is a handsome, uncomplicated prospect and could go in any direction or discipline; dressage, eventing, hunter/jumper or fox hunter. He has three lovely gates, large stride and a lovely jump. Classic and correction conformation with fantastic large feet and bone. This guy is something! Great in the arena or the field and hacks alone or with a group. Great to trailer, shoe, clip, tack, etc. Wonderful prospect for serious amateur or professional. Located in North Carolina.

Bella. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

MHC Reba Joe Jack: All-Around Fun!

MHC Reba Joe Jack: 2015 14.2h bay Quarter Horse mare. Are you looking to have some fun? Look no further than “Bella!” This cute mare is a quiet, easygoing ride that can do a little bit of everything. She hacks out quietly and is jumping 2’ courses with scope for more. She would be a super Pony Club or 4-H horse, or for the petite adult that’s looking for something safe and fun to ride. Located in Pennsylvania.

Shegotmorethaneven. Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

5 year old Thoroughbred Mare

For your consideration: Shegotmorethaneven; 2013 Thoroughbred Mare; 16.1 hands. Uphill, naturally balanced Mare with unlimited potential and possibly one of the most athletic horses I have been able to sit on. She is 60 days restarted after a year of down time from the track with a strong base in dressage. Walk, trot, canter, and jumping small courses. Easy to have around the barn, easy keeper, and no vices. Located in Virginia.

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

What’s Happening This Fall? [Updated 11/21]

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

What’s Happening is EN’s guide to lessons, clinics, schooling shows and other riding and educational opportunities during the fall. It’s free to post a listing. Just email the date, location, contact information and any other details to [email protected]. (Note: This is a list generated solely from submissions. If no one sends us the details of your event, it won’t be included.)

Location Quick Links: Area I | Area II | Area III | Area IV | Area V | Area VIArea VII | Area VIII | Area IX | Canada

Area I

Check back soon!

Area II

Dec. 1-3: Clinic with Irish Olympian Joseph Murphy
Indoor clinic combining show jumping and cross country exercises at superb venue Kealani Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania. The afternoon session on Saturday, Dec. 1 will also serve as the training symposium for the USEA Area II Annual Meeting. A portion of clinic fees will be donated to the David Foster Injured Riders Fund to support Jonty Evans’s ongoing recovery. Sign up on Event Clinics.

Dec. 1-2: Phillip Dutton Clinic at Quail Roost Farm in Rougemont, NC
Click here to view the flyer. Please contact Holly Hudspeth ([email protected] OR 703-727-2753) for more information.

December 16: Phillip Dutton Jumping Clinic
Hosted by Trevi Manor, Lothian, MD (Anne Arundel County, just south of Annapolis). Start your winter riding goals off right with challenges and homework from Phillip Dutton — learn the secrets of the training program of a six-time Olympian with multiple medals! Small groups of 2-4 riders; Beginner Novice up to Advanced levels are anticipated (pending rider interest). Contact Cherie at [email protected] for more information and to sign up.  Free to Audit! More information about Trevi Manor available at and check Facebook page for clinic ride times the week before the clinic.

Area III


December 5: Stable View Schooling Hunter & Jumper Show
These shows are held the first Wednesday of every month! The show begins at 10:00 AM. Fences start at 2’3” and work up to 3’9” for the Jumpers, and the Hunter divisions run 2’ through 3’3” . These shows are a great opportunity to practice your stadium rounds!  Class entry fees range from $30-$50 with up to $2,000 in prize money awarded. Please contact Stable View at (484) 356-3173 or [email protected] for more information. Enter online via

December 12: Stable View Schooling Dressage Show
This show is the perfect chance to practice both USDF and USEA tests! The show begins at noon unless entries warrant. Each test is $35. Please contact Stable View at (484) 356-3173 or [email protected] for more information. Enter online via

December 10-13: Kai-Steffen Meier Clinic
Kai-Steffen Meier, the 2018 USEA ICP and YEH featured clinician is returning to Ocala December 10-13 for an exclusive clinic offering private and semi-private lessons only in all three phases. No big, impersonal groups – lessons revolve around what you and your horse need to succeed in training and competition. Great environment for problem horses or professionals who have no free time. Sessions are available from one to all four days to cater to you schedule. Stabling can be arranged as well as lodging.  Please contact Kimberly Kojima at [email protected] or 802.238.2360 to reserve a spot.

December 15-16: POP 3Phase Schooling Show
Florida Horse Park,

December 28-30: Bringing Safety to the Forefront Clinic Series, Ocala, Florida
Buck Davidson, LandSafe Equestrian and Mike Pilato have merged for an upcoming series of clinics nationwide! Join us for 3 days of excitement in Ocala December 28-30th 2018. Buck Davidson- Known worldwide for his accomplishments at international competitions. He is equally as well known for his grittiness, determination and ‘stickability’. This clinic will focus on the latter of these skills that he has developed over a lifetime of riding. LandSafe Equestrian- The fastest growing equestrian clinic in the country that provides participants with exercises to develop their muscle memory to reduce their rider risk in a fall scenario. Mike Pilato- 28 years practicing NATA certified Athletic Trainer. In 2002 Mike started research and developing the concept of the ‘equestrian as an athlete’. Athletes in other sports have had long term access to sports medicine and conditioning professionals who can evaluate them as an athlete. Now the same level of care and knowledge is available to the equestrian. Clinic Price Includes
– 2 Lessons with Buck Davidson
– Level 1 LandSafe Clinic
– A customized program for each rider developed by Mike Pilato
– A simple Breakfast & Lunch Friday and Saturday
– One Dinner Saturday night prepared by Chef BDJ
– Shavings and Stabling from Thursday evening (12/27) through Monday morning (12/31)
For more detailed information about this clinic please visit and click on the clinic tour dates tab. [Register on Event Clinics]


Area IV

Check back soon!

Area V

Check back soon!

Area VI

Check back soon!

Area VII

Check back soon!


December 15-16: MSEDA Annual Meeting
MSEDA Annual Meeting, Awards Banquet and a clinic with Lynn Symansky. The Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet will be on the 15th in Cincinnati at the Holiday Inn Eastgate. Lynn Symanksy will be the speaker. Discount Hotel rooms for members until 11/23. On Sunday the 16th Lynn will be our clinician at Majestic Farm. Details can be found at

Area IX

Check back soon!


Check back soon!

Want to see your lesson, clinic or schooling show listed here? Email [email protected].