Lorraine Jackson
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Lorraine Jackson


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About Lorraine Jackson

Staff Writer at Eventing Nation, Horse Nation, and Jumper Nation.

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Best of JN: Irish Boys Euphoric With European Championship Victory Sans Drop Score

Cian O’Connor
Photo FEI/Richard Juilliart

The lads from Ireland were a sight Friday night as they all beamingly took their victory gallops at Ullevi Stadium Friday night following their European Championship victory. They’ve overcome a heap of problems, curses, and strange seasons to strike at the perfect moment and take one of the sport’s most prestigious prizes.

With Bertram Allen opting not to start after a frightening fall from Hector the previous day, the Irish Team would have no drop score, putting the weight heavily on Shane Sweetnam, Cian O’Connor and Denis Lynch to have the best rounds of their careers.

Right away the window for glory started to open when the Swedes — leading after two rounds of competition — added a time fault from Henrick von Eckermann, and then saw a shocking retirement for Malin Baryard-Johnsson. This put the pressure on Douglas Lindelow and Zacramento, who unfortunately would have two rails and a time fault to drop Sweden out of the gold medal spot.

Shane Sweetman IRL
Photo FEI

With Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z leading off with a spectacular clear and setting up a momentous game plan for victory, Denis Lynch moved the chess pieces forward right after him aboard the veteran stallion All Star 5.

Denis Lynch IRL
Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson

By the time Cian O’Connor came in the ring, he knew he had a rail in hand to win it, but was deadset on bringing home a zero. Good Luck gleamed under the lights and took every moment in stride, with Cian grinning ear to ear as they took the last fence and Swedish fans erupting with joy for the boys of the emerald isle.

“Our three stallions are all very brave and scopey, and the lights nearly helped them,” said Cian on how they achieved the win. “We were quietly confident that we could do the business, and obviously Shane (Chaqui Z) had a really tough job going first… I was outside warming up when Denis (All Star) jumped clear and I thought – I have to match that now! I don’t even remember the round, it was all kind of a blur. But I do remember going through the finish!”

Peder FREDRICSON (SWE) – 823 H&M All In
Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson

Peder Fredricson went on to put in a clutch clear round for Sweden to keep them in the silver medal spot in front of their home crowd – an enormous achievement for the Nordic team.

Switzerland found only one clear round in Martin Fuchs and Clooney today, but they scraped by Belgium to take the bronze by less than a penalty point.

Martin FUCHS (SUI) – 813 Clooney 51
Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson

Germany found themselves out of the running in fifth, and the Netherlands had a redemptive day after two dismal early rounds of competition to ultimately finish sixth.

Team Gold is no doubt equally as sweet for Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa, who was hired by Ireland specifically to overcome several years of bizarrely unsatisfactory team results despite the shocking stream of talented horses and riders at Ireland’s disposal. Whatever he’s doing seems to be working.

Rodrigo Pessoa Irish Chef d’equipe
Photo FEI

“We had a good dinner last night, we got together and we said we’ll keep fighting for this,” said Denis after the win. “As you know the Irish are always better as underdogs, and we proved that, so we are very happy to be here now!”

Rodrigo echoed the sentiments that the Irish seem to love battling from behind, and Friday he focused that energy into winning rounds.

“We had this goal since the beginning of the year and our road was a little bit bumpy. We had some things that happened during the year and this week too, but we stuck together, we said we win together or we lose together and they showed a lot of determination and strength today, and I’m really proud of them for sure!”

Winning Team Ireland ,Chefd’equipe Rodrigo Perssoa, Shane Sweetman,Denis Lynch,Bertram Allen and Cian O’Connor.
Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson

Hurricane Harvey and Horses: How You Can Help

Embed from Getty Images

Texas is reeling from Hurricane Harvey, with record floodwaters in Houston displacing 30,000 people from their homes since the Category 4 storm made landfall on Friday. The death toll rose to five yesterday. More than 450,000 people are expected to seek federal aid, according to the the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The people and animals impacted by this monumental disaster are in our thoughts and prayers, and we’ve compiled information for those interested in helping Houston residents and horse owners.

To help our human friends: We suggest making a simple donation to the American Red Cross or giving blood at one of the local blood banks in your area. Blood donations are always low this time of year, and it will be even more helpful now.

The Red Cross are also some of the first groups on the ground assisting those in shelters and getting people out of their homes, so a donation can go a long way towards getting victims what they need. [Donate to American Red Cross – Hurricane Harvey Fund]

Humane Society standing by for animal rescues outside East Texas. Photo courtesy of HSUS.

To help our animal friends: There are a few groups doing rescue operations on the ground who would no doubt appreciate a little financial support.

  • The Humane Society of the United States – They have an animal rescue team on standby with horse trailers, crates, food, clean water and medical supplies to handle animal rescues in the floods and downed buildings. Your donation helps pay staffers and keep supplies stocked. They have a Harvey-specific link where you can donate directly toward disaster relief. [Click here to donate to HSUS Harvey Relief]
  • US Equestrian Disaster Relief Fund – Coordinating fundraising efforts to assist the Houston SPCA for horses and horse owners [Click here to donate to the US Equestrian Disaster Relief Fund]
  • The Houston SPCA – They will be taking in strays and rescues through the storm and helping how they can outside the shelter. [Click Here to donate to Houston SPCA]
  • Crossfire Equine Rescue – a Houston based equine rescue, they’ve got trailers standing by and are helping coordinate dry evacuations for horses in the south-east Texas area. Get more info at their Facebook Page: [Crossfire Equine Rescue]
  • Why They Cry Animal Rescue – They are coordinating many additional equine rescues in the Houston area and distributing lost and found lists. See more here: [Why They Cry]

Please keep Texas in your thoughts this week. We know they’ll be in ours.

Jenni Autry contributed to this report.

Best of JN: The Rules of Fashion – Formal vs. Proper Attire in the Jumper Ring

An impeccably turned-out rider. PC: S. Carter/cc/flickr

We love swapping jumper fashion ideas on Jumper Nation, especially if there’s a way that we can pinch a penny and still get you in the ring looking and feeling like a million bucks.

But we also want you staying on the up and up with the officials and staying within the boundaries set by the USEF for ring attire. We spoke with Dana Frank, a USEF and FEI Level 1 Jumping Steward, to get the full lowdown on attire expectations and what to expect if there’s a problem.

First off, she sagely suggested going straight to the USEF Rulebook for Jumpers. The most important thing to know is that there are THREE main distinctions in attire: Formal, Proper, and Standard.

Here’s exactly how they appear in the rulebook (as of 8/23/2017 ):

If your class calls for formal attire, you’re definitely going to want to store your show-stopper for another day.

“According to this rule, pink, bright blue, etc, are not appropriate attire for a class with these specs,” Dana told us. Follow the George Morris rules of tradition and stick to black, navy, dark gray, or a deep forest green option or similar. Only white or fawn breeches are acceptable at this level, and your shirt must have a white collar and white cuffs.

For proper attire classes, you can stretch your legs a bit – coats of any color and shirts of any color are kosher, so long as your shirt has a collar and tucks in.

How Do I Know What My Class Requires?

Every prize list must outline explicitly which divisions require which attire. Often evening classes, championships, and classics will require formal attire, but some shows might require formal attire all week. You should ALWAYS check your specific show’s prize list for guidelines.

Some shows will also require that riders be in at least proper attire to walk the course, and this too will be outlined in the prize list. Generally, it never hurts to go in the ring and present yourself to the judges looking anything but your very best.

Even when your class calls simply for standard attire, it’s a good idea to go in looking your best (and with game faces on, as seen here!) PC: S. Cart/cc/Flickr

If ever you’re confused about what the requirements are for your class or you’re worried your coat might be in the gray area of “muted” (which is admittedly a vague word), you can always address a steward directly, contact the show office in advance, and we would suggest always having a conservative backup shirt and coat on hand. (good for the those epic ringside green slime emergencies, anyway!)

If there is a problem, we asked Dana what to expect. The rules sound fairly stiff:

“JP111.9.e. In cases where the above requirements are not followed, the penalty for a first or minor offense will be a warning and for repeated violations by the same exhibitor at the same event, the penalty may be elimination.”

While different stewards are going to each handle these scenarios differently, we asked Dana specifically what she would do if she were concerned about a potential violation, and she gave us this response:

“As a steward, I would snap a pic of the coat or radio up to the judge if they have a view of the schooling ring and ask if it was okay. If they don’t have a problem with it, I don’t. If they said no, I would call the rider over and tell them and give them the option to change their coat or risk DQ. I can’t make them change, only let them know it’s inappropriate according to the class specs.”

Dana’s course of action is a generous one, and a courtesy, not a guarantee. It’s important to follow the rules not only to save your own hard-earned competition week from disaster, but also to respect the show, the officials, and your fellow competitors.

Follow the rules of good fashion, have fun with it, and Go Jumping!

Best of JN: Forward, Forward, Forward: Katherine Newman & Dandelion Impress at Hunter Incentive Championship

Katherine Newman and Dandelion have taken over the lead in Round 2 of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship with a 265! There are just 30 remaining in the 3'3" before we wrap-up Round @.

Posted by EQSportsNet on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Katherine Newman and Dandelion displayed spritely, forward momentum over Wednesday’s course at the Platinum Performance / USHJA Hunter Incentive Championship, and the round seemed to sway the whole week in a new direction, with all the day three rounds mysteriously seeming much more energetic after their high score on day two.

An 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Dandelion looked absolutely deadlocked on the course from the first fence, and moved through the course with significantly more energy and momentum than the slower style that often typifies top hunters, and the judges rewarded it handsomely.

The mare likely owes this forward style to hunters being her second career – she was previously competing in the jumpers in Europe before coming to America and switching gears to the judged ring.

“She’s very personable and people-oriented,” said Katherine about Dandelion. “We imported her at the end of 2015 from England, then we sort of started slow. She showed for the first time as a hunter a year ago in July. Now I think we have to re-evaluate what we’re doing because this was our end goal so we’ll see what’s next!”

Katherine Newman and Dandelion. Photo by Phelps Media

For their spectacular round, they skyrocketed from 14th after round one to second place after round two. The following day, the pair came back on a clean slate score for the championship, and once again put in a top notch performance, ultimately earning the reserve championship behind Scott Stewart and Playbook – who rode much more forward in their final round than they had on Tuesday or Wednesday. But it may be this forward, engaging round that people remember for years to come.

“I was really excited,” said Katherine after securing the reserve championship. “It’s been a goal of mine this entire year for this horse to do this class and the win yesterday really meant a lot. Even today it was amazing and it was fun just to do it because I’ve never gotten to do this before. I knew [Dandelion] could win it if I gave her a good shot so it was nice to have one that I had a good chance with.”

Full Results, USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships

Winning rounds can be viewed on EqSportNet Facebook Page, or with a subscription you can livestream the full event on their website.

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

Wylie vs. Mongol Derby, Powered by SmartPak: Icy Monsoons Plague Day 2

In August 2017 writer/rider Leslie Wylie is attempting her most fearsome feat of #YOLO yet: a 620-mile race across Mongolia. Riding 27 semi-wild native horses. Carrying only 11 pounds of gear. Relying on nomads for food, water and shelter. On a mission to help stop deforestation.

Held Aug. 9-19, the Mongol Derby is widely regarded as the toughest horse race in the world. Inspired by the Genghis Khan’s original “pony express,” there’s no trail or set route, just 25 GPS checkpoints/horse exchange stations to hit over the course of 7-10 days. Keep it here for updates on Leslie’s ride of a lifetime! Click here to read previous stories in the series.

Leslie Wylie (LW), on the left, and Rebecca Pumphrey (RP) were both praised by veteran Mongol Derby vet Cozy for their considerate riding and handling of the ponies on day two. Photo by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby.

If you missed it, see our update on day one here.

Wildly unpredictable weather is one of the well-established hazards of the Mongol Derby, and this gremlin came out to show its ugly face to riders on day two. “Icy cold, hurricane-like conditions” so thick you couldn’t stand or see, and rising water levels all played a role in slowing some of the riders down to a near-crawl, but our own Leslie Wylie stayed on track to complete the next four checkpoints, ultimately stopping at Urtuu 7 for a night of dry rest.

Two riders, New Zealand’s Marie Palzer and Australia’s Ed Fernon, made it to Urtuu 8 before nightfall and currently share the lead. Leslie is now tied for second place with the four other riders who reached Urtuu 7.

At the conclusion of day two, Leslie is at Urtuu 7 with four other riders, one checkpoint behind the two riders currently sharing the lead.

Day Two Recap

With riders spread out across about 60 kilometers at various points on the course, weather varied significantly at the start of the day, allowing some of the riders at the back of the pack to get going at 7 a.m., while others — including Leslie — were held where they were because of torrential downpours that reduced visibility to only two feet. This compacted the field a bit, but ultimately riders at Urtuu 3 and beyond were finally given the green light around 7:30 a.m.

We’ve since learned from race organizers that Leslie stayed in a ger (Mongolian yurt) near the Golden Meadows Shopping Mall of Mongolia, so she was warm and dry overnight, though sadly missed her shot at a morning pastry chain run.

People obsessively watching the red dot known as LW were anxiously awaiting movement that didn’t come for hours before finally her GPS pinged again, showing her still at the top of the pack. When she finally reached the next checkpoint, her signaler was replaced, and this has since resolved her tracking issues moving forward.

Over the next several hours, a few riders made their move. Rebecca Pumphrey, a British talent agent better known as “Pixie,” led the pack for a brief period in the afternoon and is now one of Leslie’s overnight bunkmates at Urtuu 7.

Ed Fernon — a 29-year-old Australian Olympic Pentathlete, long distance rider and avid mountain summiteer — came out of seemingly nowhere to jump into the lead alongside Marie Palzer, a 22-year-old New Zealander who works as a horse trekking company guide. The two rode the last couple of checkpoints together and checked into Urtuu 8 with just minutes to spare.

The joint day two leaders: Marie Palzer (MP) on the left and Ed Fernon (EF) on the right. Photo by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby.

Twenty-one riders have now been given time penalties, and all but one of those riders are ar least two checkpoints back from the leaders. One rider, Warren Sutton of Australia, has a 2-hour penalty in Urtuu 7 (the same checkpoint as Leslie) and he will be held for two hours at Urtuu 11 when he arrives there. All the others have a bit of catching up to do in addition to their time penalties, but it’s still a long race to go and anything can happen.

Noticeably, the riders at the front of the pack are succeeding not only at handling the weather, the horses and the mapping, but also their timing — knowing when to attempt a leap to the next safe stop and when to hunker down out of the harsh weather conditions. It will take all these skills and more to come out on top.

We were also especially pleased to see that the vet stationed at Urtuu 7 specifically mentioned Leslie and Rebecca for their top notch horsemanship on day two.

Injury and Accident Assessment

There have been a handful of hardships out there. The most serious to report is Julia Fisher, a 65-year-old psycholinguist who fell from her horse near the first checkpoint suffered a suspected cracked a rib. She retired from the race and was transported to Ulaanbataar for a full medical evaluation and chest X-ray. We send our best thoughts to her for a full and speedy recovery.

Other trouble on course from day two included some shivering horses and riders who overnighted on the steppe and risked hypothermia; a lost sleeping bag (downright treacherous in these conditions); runaway mounts; and the first marmot hole victim, who went buns over teakettle but got right back on, no worse for the wear.

Almost all the riders made it to a checkpoint to have a safe, dry sleep tonight, though some will accrue time penalties for riding past the cut-off point in order to make it there. There are three riders who stopped between Urtuus to hunker down overnight, and we hope very much they found some shelter. We’re sending you guys warm thoughts!

Forecasts for tomorrow are looking MUCH better, with some of the checkpoints already appearing clear, and the western checkpoints clearing up at around 2 a.m. Mongolian time. That doesn’t mean the weather can’t change in an instant out on the steppe, but hopefully it gives all the riders a chance to dry out and cover some ground.

As the day carries on for us and night envelopes the riders on the other side of the globe, we find Wylie’s husband Tommy’s words very poignant: “Each dot on the map, from the front of the pack to the back, is somebody’s pride and joy — inspiring their loved ones back home and risking practically everything to chase a dream.”

It’s an incredible and diverse array of riders, and we’re crossing our fingers for safe rides for all. We send our appreciation to the event organizers and the local families and horsemen who are watching out for the riders and horses.

Go Wylie!

Jenni Autry contributed to this report.

Wylie vs. the Mongol Derby, Powered by SmartPak: Leslie Leads Day 1!

In August 2017 writer/rider Leslie Wylie is attempting her most fearsome feat of #YOLO yet: a 620-mile race across Mongolia. Riding 27 semi-wild native horses. Carrying only 11 pounds of gear. Relying on nomads for food, water and shelter. On a mission to help stop deforestation.

Held Aug. 9-19, the Mongol Derby is widely regarded as the toughest horse race in the world. Inspired by the Genghis Khan’s original “pony express,” there’s no trail or set route, just 25 GPS checkpoints/horse exchange stations to hit over the course of 7-10 days. Keep it here for updates on Leslie’s ride of a lifetime! Click here to read previous stories in the series.

Leslie Wylie leaving horse station 2 on day 1 of the 2017 Mongol Derby. Picture by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby/The Adventurists.

The entire team at Nation Media (Eventing Nation, Horse Nation and Jumper Nation) agreed early this morning that we all slept terribly last night. Kristen had nightmares about the Mongolian steppe, while Lorraine was tossing and turning in half-state of wakefulness, imagining she was trying to remember how exactly a compass works. Our ferocious, never-pick-a-fight-with-that-one editor at EN Jenni Autry admits that even she got a little misty-eyed this morning, as we all did when we saw this:

All of us woke up to see our own Leslie Wylie well out in front on day 1 at the Mongol Derby!

The ponies set off at at 10 a.m. Mongolian time (10 p.m. EST last night) from that little green flag, and 12 hours later, that little red dot at the front of the pack is our very own Leslie Wylie.

She was the only rider to make it to the third checkpoint in time to get vetted, supply up, and move on before the official end of day one, when all riders must dismount and camp for the night. This means that Leslie will have a good head start on the competition going into day two, and also means that she’ll be sleeping on the steppe with only her hobbled pony for company.

Leslie Wylie arriving at horse station 2 on day 1 of the 2017 Mongol Derby. Photo by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby/The Adventurists.

Kristen and I mused over whether or not sleeping in the wide open landscape of an ancient rural nation was lonely or incredible, and ultimately opted for incredible. No light pollution, no snoring competitors, and a whole new skyscape to stare at before drifting off to sleep for the next incredible day’s journey. (Not to mention the morale boost of being in the lead!)

Leslie’s camping spot for the first night.

Then we zoomed in on her camping spot for the night only to discover that she made it to at least some form of civilization, at least by Mongolian standards. We doubt the Golden Meadows Shopping Mall has a P.F. Chang’s, but it’s far better than sleeping exposed to the elements out on the steppe!

Timeline of Day One

All of the riders completed two days of training with much success, and reports on the ground say it’s a reserved and focused group of riders. Leslie is probably saving her wine for later, as we can assume from this report.

(That’s our own LW in the black SmartPak coat!)

The competitors wrapped up race preparations in prayer with the local lamas, who prayed for a safe journey for all horses and humans.

It was a gorgeous day on the steppe to start the race, with heavy rain moving through briefly in the early afternoon, but appearing to let up in the overnight hours. On the outset, it looks like the horses were ready to run, and we can’t wait to see what other ponies will make appearances in the weeks to come. According to one of the on-site vets, they’re a “strapping set” to get going!

So far, no major problems to report on course for any of the riders. There has been one reported injury so far. Pierre Germaine from Owings Mills, Maryland had to get stitches on his face, but got right back in the saddle and pushed on.

Early on, riders had the choice of following the course over a fairly intense ridge, or going a longer flatter route, and it appears the riders who stayed the course but took on the elevation change (including Leslie) made out better, arriving at the first checkpoint ahead of the long flat routers.

All of the riders have made it to at least the first checkpoint, with 13 riders bunked in at Urtuu #2,  eight riders stopped at Urtuu #3, (nine if you count the one who appears slightly lost to the south) and another dozen or so camped somewhere out on the steppe.

There were a handful of penalties assigned at the end of day one, as well: Eleven veterinary penalties were issued to riders for “speedy riding and rather daring navigation.” They will get two hours of penalty time each, where they’ll be required to wait two extra hours at checkpoint #11 whenever they arrive there. Two riders received a late penalty for continuing on 30 minutes after the cut-off time at 8:30. They had initially planned to camp, then changed their minds and gone on to station 3. They will be penalized three hours each.

According to the organizers, it’s not unusual for riders to get penalties in the first couple of days as they learn to navigate the terrain, judge their horses better, and estimate time and distance. Then usually the penalties drop off quite a bit.

With the 12-hour time difference from Mongolia to the East Coast, we get underway again later tonight at around 10 p.m. EST.

As you’re following along, here’s some things we’re learning about how the live GPS tracking works:

  • You can click each dot to see who the participant is, how far they’ve traveled, their average speed, and if they’ve uploaded information ahead of time, some of their biography.
  • At a specified hour, all competitors — whether on course or stopped at a checkpoint — have to stop moving forward and hunker down until morning.
  • Occasionally, the GPS devices seem to be going offline and then pinging again later on. This is why it looks like some competitors are traveling in straight lines, when in fact, they’re twisting and turning through canyons, hill country, and around rivers and lakes.
  • The Mongol Derby Live Updates on Twitter are the best moment-by-moment info during the race. They’re using initials for riders to make things easier. Leslie’s call sign is LW. You can get a full list of abbreviations here.

Leslie’s progress as of 6:15 EST this morning (the red dot). Despite fan theories that she had taught her pony to fly, it’s more likely that her GPS tracker went offline slightly before pinging again, giving her the appearance of some incredibly straight direction of travel.

We’ll continue to bring you daily updates from the Mongol trail. You can also follow along via Mongol Derby Twitter (Leslie’s call sign is LW) for live updates. Track the riders via GPS here. Go Wylie!

Best of JN: Grooms Finally Get Their Due From FEI

Left to right: Nanna-Riikka Nieminen, Brent Kuylen, Jackie Potts, FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Alan Davies. Photo courtesy of FEI Media.

Following a survey of national federations by the FEI, it was determined that grooms were vastly underrepresented and underserved in the governing body of all major equestrian sports, and the FEI has begun the process of making it right.

The FEI invited four world class grooms from show jumping, eventing and dressage to come and speak with the FEI’s president and give their role in the sport a voice.

Thanks to input from Brent Kuylen of Belgium who grooms for Jeroen Dubbeldam (show jumping), Nanna-Riikka Nieminen of Finland who grooms for Henrik von Eckermann (show jumping), Alan Davies who grooms for Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester (dressage) and Jackie Potts who grooms for William Fox Pitt (eventing), it’s been determined that grooms will now be officially registered with the FEI in their own role.

Through this registration, grooms will have their own interface with the FEI to streamline paperwork, educational opportunities, and prepping horses and riders for travel and events.

“Grooms play an absolutely vital role in our sport, especially in preserving the welfare of our horses, but often they go unnoticed and unrecognised,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “Grooms are truly worth their weight in gold, and we want to provide the finest resources and tools that will help increase knowledge of best practices and standards. Forging better relationships with our grooms is only the beginning. We want to help them share their knowledge with the wider community for the benefit of the sport globally.”

“I think this is a real step forward,” said Jackie Potts following the meeting. “It’s good to try and keep the standards up and use the experience and the knowledge that some of us have gained over the years, in keeping welfare a priority and keeping grooms in the industry as well.”

The FEI says they will now focus on integrating, building a registration process and outreach to start an education and communication portal.

There will also be additional meetings with grooms in coming months–the next meeting will include additional grooms from more disciplines and will be held in conjunction with the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Pres. De Vos couldn’t be more right when he says grooms are unappreciated and unnoticed at the top of our sport, and every step to change that is a positive one. (A groom really shouldn’t have to get kicked in the head at the Olympics to get their proper due.)

Kiss and cry cameras have helped highlight some of the connection grooms have to their horses, and more riders are doing their part to give their grooms public credit, but official recognition should be the first step in many by the FEI in demonstrating the importance of grooms to world-ranked riders and the success of the sport.

[New Grooms Working Group Has First Meeting with FEI President]

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

IOC Reveals Proposed Equestrian Sites for 2024 Games in Paris and Los Angeles

Meeting of the IOC in Lausanne earlier this week. Photo courtesy of IOC Media.

This post was originally published on EN’s sister site Jumper Nation. Check out JN for news and commentary from the hunter/jumper world and beyond! 

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee released the site evaluations for the two remaining cities bidding to host the Olympic Summer Games in 2024. These site evaluations require each city to describe in detail where each event would be hosted, from water polo to track & field to kayaking. This includes the equestrian events, and both Paris and Los Angeles have indicated their proposed plans for the world’s top horses.

Paris, if selected, has chosen to host dressage, show jumping, and eventing (assuming all those sports are included in the 2024 program) at the Palais de Versailles, a massive complex best known for its chateau, but which also recently hosted its first CSI 5* Show Jumping event this year.

The Chateau des Versailles. Photo: Panoramas/flickr/CC.

The complex of multiple buildings and grounds directly west of Paris is an elegant venue with sufficient acreage to host all three events, including the cross country portion of three day eventing. There is a long-standing equestrian academy on site, and the entire estate is steeped with horse history over the centuries.

According to the IOC evaluaton, the spectator stands for the arena events will be temporary construction and have a capacity of approximately 20,500 (Rolex Stadium capacity, for comparison holds about 8,000 in the grandstand and 30,000 with the additional bleacher seating.) Versailles is 40 minutes from the Olympic Village, which is comparable to previous host cities.

Courtesy of the IOC.

If Los Angeles has the opportunity to host the 2024 Olympic Games, they’ve chosen the Sepulvida Valley Sports Complex as the host site of the equestrian events.  About 11 miles from the Olympic Village at UCLA, Sepulvida Basin’s acreage will – according to the hosts – be sufficient to host all three equestrian disciplines, canoe slalom, and shooting.

The temporary arena will have a seating capacity of 15,000, and there is large, uncultivated space that should be sufficient for a world class cross country course. No buildings, residents, or businesses will be displaced by the Games, as the Sepulvida Basin is currently a sort of “under-utilized” space.

Though as it happens, there is a reason for this: The basin is an emergency flood zone, intended to stop significant damage in the city if the Los Angeles River were to overflow. The good news is: August is most definitely not a time of year that California experiences flooding, and even in the high water rains earlier this year, the basin’s use as a flood plain was limited.

In terms of equestrian event experience, France hosted the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014, as did Lexington in 2010. Both cities were required to list what championships and world cups their countries have hosted in the past 10 years, and embarrassingly, the Los Angeles bidding committee failed to note that the U.S. hosted the FEI World Cup Finals in Jumping and Dressage just this year in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as its previous three stops in neighboring Las Vegas, Nevada. (France has also hosted a world cup – Lyon 2014 – which their bidding committee did list.)

Courtesy of the IOC.

Both Paris and Los Angeles would be repeat Olympic Games hosts; LA hosted the 1984 and 1932 Games, and Paris the 1924 Games.

There is a candidate city briefing for the IOC Committee next week in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the final host city selection vote will take place in Lima, Peru in September of this year.

Best of JN: Queen of Equitation Taylor St. Jacques Goes 4-4 at Devon

Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma. PC: Phelps Media

In Jumper Nation’s first post-win interview, Taylor St. Jacques of Glen Allen, Virginia made it clear that she came to Devon full of warmth for the venue and fire for the win – four wins to be exact. In two days, Taylor and Heritage Farm’s Charisma claimed the top WIHS score out of both phases, the Pessoa Medal, her Maclay group yesterday, and finally the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship. While it’s an incredible feat, anything less would not have met Taylor’s expectations.

“It feels incredible. He’s an incredibly special horse,” Taylor said in the press conference following the championship. “I really wanted to make it a special Devon; he’s an incredible horse, and he’s a winner, and so my goal was to win as much as I could here.”

Taylor and all the riders in the final – six elegant young equestrians to be exact – executed nearly without fault a technical course which required both horse and rider to be steady early on, stretch themselves for some forward bending lines in the middle of the course, and finally pull it all back together for the final series of fences. It was Taylor’s event to lose going in, and even with the challenge of going first, she executed smooth lines and perfect striding and distances throughout, ensuring no one would be able to catch her.

“It’s a lot more technical here, you can’t just coast around and if you get lucky, you get lucky…you really have to know how to ride the courses here to be successful,” Taylor said. “That’s how it should be, it’s a top show, you should have harder courses to make the best stand out.”

McKayla Langmeier and Calderon B. PC: Phelps

Also throwing down a nearly flawless round was Reserve Champion and 2015 Maclay Final winner McKayla Langmeier aboard her mother Linda’s Calberon B. McKayla worked hard to get her striding without making it look hard, and no doubt gave the judges plenty to think about with her trip in the final.

“I’ve been coming to Devon for awhile, this is a newer mount for me in the equitation, and this was his first time in the ring here, so I thought he was really amazing,” McKayla said after her ride. “I couldn’t have asked him to be any better, he went in there and performed perfect.”

It’s an impressive accomplishment for a horse who as recently as the end of last year was getting passed around to a lot of riders for several years as a low jumpers mount for both juniors and adult ammies. He had virtually no equitation experience before coming to the Langmeiers (McKayla trains with her parents, Kenny and Linda), and in half a season has become one of the most formidable eq horses in the business.

Annabel Revers and Quax, fourth place. Screenshot via USEF Network.

Annabel Revers and Quax took home the yellow ribbon in the championship, qualifying in the last possible class by winning the C section of the ASPCA Maclay. Annabel and the 16-hand Oldenburg gelding had to stretch to match the strides of the larger horses in spots, but made the steady work look absolutely flawless. The pair have been together for two and a half years and know how to make each other soar.


Hayley Redifer of Barboursville, Virginia and Ballon took fourth in today’s final with a workmanlike performance that got the job done, as did Samantha Cohen of New York, NY, who secured fifth place aboard Kaskade after finding a couple of barely long distances in a field where inches made all the difference.

The only mishap of the afternoon was Cooper Dean’s trip with Kori D’Oro, who it appears just failed to lock on to one of the moss-covered oxers on course and the two had a drive-by, ending their shot at the title. It’s a younger horse at only eight in a sea of veterans who still made a huge impression over the weekend, and we imagine we’ll see back in the eq winner’s circle again this year.

While the equitation classes at Devon are complete, there is still much more junior action to come at Devon in the junior hunter and jumper divisions. Keep it locked on JN for more from the Blue Oval!

*Many thanks to field reporter Kristen Kovatch for her contributions to this story!

Full Results:

  1. Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma, owned by Heritage Farms
  2. McKayla Langmeier and Calderon B, owned by Linda Langmeier
  3. Annabel Revers and Quax, owned by Beechwood Stables LLC
  4. Haley Redifer and Ballon, owned by Haley Redifer
  5. Samantha Cohen and Kaskade, owned by Samantha Cohen
  6. Cooper Dean and Kori D’Oro, owned by Heritage Farms

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 

Tuesday Video from SpectraVET: Nick Skelton & Big Star Retire

It was the end of an era for a horse and rider who opted to go out together after finishing in style: 2016 Individual Olympic Gold Medalists Nick Skelton and Big Star officially retired Sunday at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

In front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, family, friends, fellow Great Britain team riders and a massive standing crowd, Nick and Big Star hung up both saddle and spurs at the country’s most prestigious horse show. At 59 years old, Nick has spent more than four decades at the upper echelon of the sport, and is one of the oldest individual gold medalists in Olympic history in any sport.

Big Star makes his retirement at only 14, but after an injury in the fall, Nick and his team made the decision the pair would complete their careers together, and that Big Star has done his part for show jumping.

After a final victory gallop, Nick removed Big Star’s saddle and went for a final lap in-hand in front of a jubilant — albiet tearful — British crowd. Grab a tissue before watching the video!

“I’ve represented my country over 180 times and I’ve been very proud of every moment,” Nick said. “I’d do it all again if I could.”

We wish Nick and Big Star the happiest of retirements together.

Why SpectraVET?

Reliable. Effective. Affordable.

SpectraVET is committed to providing only the highest-quality products and services to our customers, and to educating the world in the science and art of laser therapy.

We design and manufacture the broadest range of clinically-proven veterinary therapeutic laser products, which are represented and supported worldwide by our network of specialist distributors and authorized service centers.

Rolex Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

In the vet box after cross country. Photo by Andrew Jones (@rkclmr05/Instagram)

Another cross country day at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, another sprouting of new dandelions in the grass at the Kentucky Horse Park. Dreams were fulfilled and dreams were broken. That’s why we play the game. If we all went out and rode them clear every Saturday, there’d be no point in attempting it. Sometimes the failure is the thing that makes you regroup and come back twice as hard the next year. Sometimes it’s the thing that makes you wonder why you didn’t go into accounting like your mother said you should.

But most important, every horse came back to the barn tonight to get ice boots, massages, electrolytes and lots of love from all their connections. Hearts may get broken on Rolex Saturday, but if every horse gets home safe, there is nothing more we can ask of this magnificent sport.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN TailgateEN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Action:

Fresno County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Sunday Links:

Zara Tindall Third After Rolex Cross Country – “He Traveled Really Well”

From RK3DE Champion to Course Designer: Derek di Grazia on Cross-Country

Eventers from India aspire to participate in next Asian Games

The Event College at Rolex: The XC Vet Box with Max Corcoran

Not George Morris Approved: Unicorn Tack

High fliers: Aviation grade tech for revolutionary horse shoes

The Event College at Rolex: The Teton Rails with Jennifer McFall

Sunday Video:


Best of JN: Melanie Smith Taylor’s Purple Trailer

GHM with the US Team of (From L-R:) Joe Fargis, Melanie Smith Taylor, Anne Kursinski, and Katie Monahan Prudent after they won the Nations Cup at Rome in 1983. Photo Credit: L’Année Hippique, Courtesy of Jennie Carleton.

There’s a dark allure to the Global Champions Tour for me. One the one hand, the grandeur and spectacle of it all is mesmerizing. On the other hand, it also makes the whole dream of it feel so far away.

It sometimes feels like they’re literally living on another planet from us. A world filled with first class tickets from one show to the next, and a team of people to get you there, while we change a muddy tire on our run-down truck on the side of the road for the umpteenth time. It’s amazing and depressing all at once.

It brings me back to earth when you see moments like the one we brought you last year of Nick Skelton and Laura Kraut spreading their own shavings at a show, or the humble attitude and graciousness of McLain Ward after we won the FEI World Cup Final. But my favorite “YOU CAN DO THIS” anecdote comes from a little further back: Olympic gold medalist Melanie Smith Taylor.

In Unrelenting: The Real Story—Horses, Bright Lights, and My Pursuit of Excellence by George H. Morris, Melanie provides a candid vision of her introduction to the man who would launch her career. At the time (the late 1960s), she had only taken lessons with her mother and at her local pony club, but her mother was a good horsewoman, and knew her daughter was the real deal. They’d heard George Morris could make solid riders into champions, and in Melanie’s words,

“We hitched up our purple station wagon to our matching two-horse trailer and drove eight hours on two-lane roads to Germantown, Tennessee for a lesson with him.”

If you consider everything you know about GHM, you can imagine how horrified he was at the sight of that purple concoction. You can guess the looks she got from other riders. But dang, the girl could ride.

She had to make a few more good impressions on him before she got her shot, but finally, he invited her to come along to the winter circuit in Florida. When she won the first recognized jumper class she ever entered, George invested in her 100% until the day she won her Olympic Gold Medal.

Melanie had to work ten times as hard as his other students – trading lessons for grunt labor of mucking stalls, braiding, and exercising horses. But that hard work turned her into a machine, and she never took a single lesson for granted. Arguably, having less resources didn’t hold Melanie back – it made her into a champion.

“I’ll tell you this: I never paid for a lesson with George ever, my entire life,” Melanie said. “He was so good to me. He knew I couldn’t afford it and that I would work for everything.”

Melanie of course went on to be one of only two riders to ever win the Triple Crown of American Show Jumping: The American Invitational, the International Jumping Derby, and the American Gold Cup. She won the FEI World Cup Final in 1982, and was part of team gold at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. She made it happen through sheer will and hard work, not through dollars and cents.

We know money is what makes the world go round, but if you’re breaking your back to stay in the game, never forget the deep-rooted principles of Melanie’s success:

  1. Never be embarrassed by being scrappy – own it. If a matching purple station wagon and horse trailer are what you’ve got to work with, then you’ve got skin in the game. Own your reality, and then work and ride your guts out.
  2. Find mentors and benefactors who believe in you. Melanie is one of many riders whose career was made by generous geniuses of the sport who saw a spark and fueled them to become a flame. Show your spark, and share it with the right people.
  3. See yourself the way your mother sees you. When Melanie first rode with George, her mother was a sensible but firm advocate. When George asked Mrs. Smith where she wanted her daughter to end up, she responded with, “How about the Olympic Team?” Be that advocate and pursue that confidence in yourself every day until you reach your goal, then set a new goal.

If the pinque coat is the thing you want more than anything else in the world, do not let money stop you. Do not make excuses. Do not give up. This is the great adventure of our sport, and you have the same right to glory as anyone else.

Go Melanie, Go Jumping, but most of all, GO YOU.

If you’re interested in Unrelenting: The Real Story—Horses, Bright Lights, and My Pursuit of Excellence, visit Trafalgar Square Books online to pick up a copy. Melanie Smith Taylor also has a recently released book called Riding With Life: Lessons from the Horse which you can purchase here

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo courtesy of Gabby Smith.

A big congratulations and good luck to a longtime barnmate of mine, Gabby Smith, who is soon headed off to beautiful sunny California to be a working student at Next Level Eventing. Gabby will be gaining entry into a world-class program, and the gals at NLE will be gaining one of hardest-working young women I’ve ever come across. Our loss is California’s gain, but we wish her the absolute best of luck in pursuing her goals!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field April H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

River Glen Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

First timers shine for their place on the opening FEI Eventing Nations Cup team

New leader sought for New Zealand’s top eventers

Kent Farrington is the Fastest at Jumping Antwerp

In Defense of the Horse: Please Stop Blaming Your Equine Partner

Fantasy Farm Thursday: The Quintessential “I Quit People” Mountain Retreat

Sunday Video:

Best of JN: Sonoma Horse Park Waives Fees for Young Horse Divisions

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Photo courtesy of Sonoma Horse Park

The Sonoma Horse Park in Sonoma, California has announced that they will be waiving entry fees for all Young Hunter and Young Jumper classes in the 2017 show season. With more than a dozen young horse classes each week throughout the show year, this amounts to thousands of dollars lost for the event, but they insist that is not their priority.

“We want to support the development of young horses and encourage riders and trainers to show young horses,” show organizers said in their announcement.

The no-fee divisions include the following:

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Sonoma Horse Park is the largest series in Northern California, and set in one of the most picturesque locations in the world with wine country to the north and San Francisco to the south. With gorgeous show grounds, a veteran show manager in Sally Hudson and generous rider incentives such as waiving young horse fees, Sonoma is making its mark.


Entries close Tuesday, April 18th for SHP Spring Classic & HMI Equestrian Challenge. Enter online at showgroundslive.com/headlands and equestrianconnect.com.

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Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

What says “I’m a crazy eventer” quite like a classical skull cap? Breeches with holes in the knees, maybe, or that slightly unhinged expression that comes across one’s face when they see something (anything) about 3′ x 3′ x 10 ‘ and think to themselves, “I bet I could jump that”.  If you’ve never rocked the timeless skull cap look or the one you’ve got was the same one you’ve had since either President Bush was in office, it’s time to make this right.

As it happens, you can enter to win one from our BFFs at One K Helmets! These babies have all the bells and whistles: Polycarbonate and Advanced ABS Composite outer shell; injection molded shell design; washable quick-dry, moisture wicking, anti-microbial liner; stainless steel mesh; comfort padded harness with synthetic suede lining, hook & loop adjustment, and Fastex buckle. They are definitely not your daddy’s skull cap. Click here to enter the contest before May 15.

U.S. Weekend Action

Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores] [Live Stream]

Sunday Links

A Look at Eventing in South Africa

Eventing draws participants from across US to Ocala International Three-Day Festival

Grand National winner makes great start to eventing career

University of Alabama Earns First Collegiate Victory at Chattahoochee Hills

The social contract in horse sport: Are we getting it right?

Sunday Video

Best of JN: Beezie Madden’s Cortes ‘C Retires

Beezie and Cortes 'C. PC: Richard Juilliart/FEI

Beezie and Cortes ‘C. PC: Richard Juilliart/FEI

Beezie Madden – by way of the John Madden Sales Facebook Page – announced that her Olympic partner Cortes ‘C has been retired from competition following his injury at the Rio Olympic Games in August.

Full statement from Beezie:

“Many of you have asked for an update and others are probably wondering about Cortes ‘C’s recovery. On behalf of Cortes ‘C’s owner, Mrs. Abigail Wexner, we are announcing Cortes’ retirement from competition. We are thankful to his team of veterinarians who have helped him heal following his injury at the 2016 Olympic Games. Tiny will return from his winter home at Authentic Stables in Wellington to our home base in Cazenovia this spring where he will enjoy his retirement.

“We have been blessed to have Tiny in our family and as a part of Team JMS. Our back to back wins together in the King George Cup as well as his “Best Horse of the Games” (Team and Individual Bronze Medal) title in the 2014 World Equestrian Games will remain some of my best memories. I will always be grateful for the time we’ve had together in the sport and am now extremely grateful for the time we will have together in his retirement.” 

Cortes ‘C will be 16 years old at the end of this month. The Belgian Warmblood Gelding owned by Beezie’s longtime business partner Abigail Wexner has had an unbelievable career that includes more than a dozen major Grand Prix wins and a team bronze medal-winning performance at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

Tiny will be retiring in luxury with his iconic barnmates: John Madden Sales recently completed the building and restructuring of state-of-the-art retirement facilities at their farm in Cazenovia. There he’ll get quality turnout time with the likes of Authentic, Cloud Nine, Coral Reef Via Volo, Prima, and Conquest II.

John Madden Sales retirement barn in NY. PC: JMS on Facebook.

John Madden Sales retirement barn in NY. PC: JMS on Facebook.

While we’ll selfishly miss seeing Tiny flying among the world’s best, we know he’s headed into a retirement bliss worthy of the remarkable animals who give so much to their riders, owners, and the sport.

Go Tiny, and go jumping.

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets


Peggy Rafferty and Sarah Ellington complete their pair pace round. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ellington.

Skyline Eventing hosted a pair pace this weekend, which was a very novel experience not only for us as organizers (definitely underestimated how complicated it would be to handle switched up partnerships, split payments, and assign ride times!) but I think for riders, as well. Not only did it seem to be a great educational opportunity for some greener pairs to go out with veterans and get their feet wet, but it was also a fun adventure for barn buddies to compete as teammates in such a literal way. We’ve got some kinks to work out, but more pair paces are definitely in our future!

U.S. Weekend Action:

The Fork CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

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

Spring Bay H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Sunday Links:

Lucinda Russell becomes fourth female trainer to win the Grand National

Let’s Discuss: Social Media and Horse Sales

Death & Taxes: 9 Unavoidable Equestrian Facts of Life

That New Saddle Scent

Must-See Moments from the Final Week of WEF

Genes behind the athleticism of Arabian horses pinpointed by researchers

Sunday Video:

Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

USA’s Karl Cook and Tembla at the FEI World Cup Final. Photo by Emily Daignault-Salvaggio

It’s been a huge week over at our sister site, JumperNation.com. We’ve been covering every little nook and cranny of the FEI World Cup Jumping Finals, and we’ve been rewarded with front row seats to McLain Ward trying to make history with his first win in his 17th appearance at this event. For those of you eventers who secretly dabble in the dark arts of pure show jumping news now and again, we sure appreciate you coming along for the ride this week, and hope you’ll stick around for the rest of the 2017 season!

U.S. Weekend Action:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

Full Gallop Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]  [Live Scores]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores] [Live Stream]

Sunday Links

Endurance trainer suspended for two years for injecting horses with banned substance

6 Horsey April Fools We Wish Were True

Mclain Ward and HH Azur Soar for Second Night, Fairytale Intact

Springtime: Equestrian Expectation vs. Reality

Do you understand the dust patterns and sweat marks of saddle fit?

Sunday Video:

World Equestrian Games 2018 Forum in Omaha Unveils Logo, Talks Logistics

During the FEI World Cup in Omaha Friday, World Equestrian Games officials from both the FEI and the Tryon International Equestrian Center were on hand to update the media on the state of planning, release a tentative schedule, and also introduced their new logo to fans. Sandwiched in with that news were also some of the difficulties and what fans should expect in order to make the trek to North Carolina in September 2018.

New Logo Unveiled

“We put together a new branding concept in advance of a marketing program,” said head of Tryon International Equestrian Center Mark Bellissimo. “The logo incorporates the essence of horse sport and the FEI’s #TwoHearts campaign — we worked with the FEI to develop something that really captures the horse and rider interaction.”


Sport Facility Construction Update

For the performance venues, Mark says that they are on schedule to have all of the competition rings and cross country tracks completed before the end of 2017.

“We feel very comfortable here that the most important element — having the venue and the facility ready for the sports themselves — we feel very confident that we’ll have all of that covered by October of this year. So there’s no risk from a sport perspective.”

What About the Fans? 

Hospitality, traffic and parking, and accommodations are of utmost concerns to the committee, and they admit they’re having to think creatively and make certain concessions.

US Precision Construction LLC, a subsidiary of Tryon Equestrian Partners that specializes in fully fabricated multi-use structures, has been put to work designing and building a sort of “mini-Olympic village” on-site for athletes in the style of modular cabin already found at Tryon.

They’ve hired a traffic directing/parking company which will manage the massive influx of spectators expected for the two week event and shuttle systems are also part of the game plan. Thanks to eager local officials, Tryon also anticipates adding a handful of new freeway exits off of I-74 to handle those headed to the event.

The concessions? Due to the mass numbers needed to put on an event of this magnitude, officials say they’ve already booked 2,000+ rooms in nearby towns for their staff, and spectators should prepare themselves (and plan ahead) for a trek from as far out as Charlotte: a 75-mile drive.

“It’s certainly a more rural setting — the middle of nowhere but the center of everything,” said Mark. He noted Spartanburg, Charlotte, and Asheville as the nearest large scale choices with maximum accommodation. (We’re leaning toward Asheville, a 45-mile drive, which Mark noted is the “craft beer capital of the world.”)


Finally, the committee also unveiled a tentative schedule of events, and noted that they wanted to spread things out a bit more to ensure events didn’t unnecessarily overlap.

The schedule is as follows:

September 11 – Opening Ceremonies

September 12 – Endurance, Reining, Dressage

September 13- Eventing Dressage, Reining, Dressage

September 14 – Eventing Dressage, Dressage

September 15 – Eventing Cross Country, Reining

September 16 “Super Sunday” – Eventing Stadium Jumping, Dressage Freestyle Finals

September 17 – Rest Day

September 18 – ParaDressage, Vaulting

September 19 – ParaDressage, Vaulting, Show Jumping

September 20 – ParaDressage, Show Jumping, Vaulting

September 21 – ParaDressage, Driving, Show Jumping

September 22 – ParaDressage, Driving, Vaulting

September 23 – Driving, Show Jumping, Closing Ceremonies

You can watch the full press conference below, and more information will become available on the WEG 2018 Website.

Emily Daignault-Salvaggio contributed to this story.

Best of JN: Jessica Springsteen Jumps the Arena Decor to Take CSI 5* Win at WEF

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S. PC: Sportfot

Jessica Springsteen and current top partner Davendy S slayed in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 5* earlier this week at WEF by pulling out a bit of a stunt, much to the crowd’s delight. Jessica noticed in her course walk that a clever line which crossed a decorative pool could get her a better spot to the second half of the jump-off.

(You can watch Jessica’s winning round by clicking here and then clicking the “play” button beside the name of the competitor.)

The round was set by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil – a course filled with related distances and sharp corners. Of the 54 starters, 22 saw double-clear rounds. Besides Jessica and Davendy S, the other top six combinations were all within one second of each other, proving what a competitive round it was.

Jessica and Davendy just edged out Amanda Derbyshire and Lady Maria BH, who nabbed second by cutting out a stride in the final line that no one was brave or forward enough to attempt. Kristin Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino also gave a gusty ride to claim third.

“I knew if I jumped the water, it would give me a better line to start the second phase,” explained Jessica after her round. “The other area I focused on was taking my time back to the last line because it was a really tight turn and a lot of people ran into problems there. I wanted to make sure she got her eye on it.”

Jessica and Davendy S have gained a reputation for being strong contenders in the speed classes and won the same class during week seven of the 2017 winter circuit.

Photo by Sportfot

Glowing as she spoke of her mare and top mount of three years, Jessica said, “She was so good! She always shines in these speed classes, so I was definitely planning on going for it. She was really with me in every turn and at every fence, so I’m really happy with her. Every time she goes in the ring she wants to win and loves to go fast. I just try to keep her confidence up and make her happy!”

Jumper Nation offers a dynamic array of engaging content custom curated for hunter/jumper enthusiasts. In addition to aggregated horse show news and results, we feature rider profiles, training tips, barn tours, style guides and much, much more, all complimented by a vibrant social media presence. Check us out today! 


Sunday Links Presented by One K Helmets

Photo by HelloGrace via Instagram

I’ve been to an awful lot of cross country days in my lifetime, and still I am positive I have never done it as well as this little lady. I hereby solemnly swear to reconsider why I don’t treat the field like a runway, and resolve to be better, fiercer, and more on fleek. (But seriously. The baby hunter boots and shades? I die. She wins.)

U.S. Weekend Action

Carolina International CIC and H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Stream] [Schedule] [Orders of Go] [Live Scores] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

Poplar Place Farm March H.T.: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

Burgham International canceled due to weather conditions

Arrogate From Last to First in Stunning Dubai World Cup

“Whoa Shamrock!” A NSFW Ride on a Runaway Horse

Are You a Badminton HT First-Timer? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Repeated studies show shortcomings among riders in identifying lameness in horses

Jessica Springsteen Jumps the Arena Decor to Take CSI 5* Win at WEF

Sunday Video:

Social Media Roundup: Copper Meadows Shines

Nikki Ayers and Rubicon. Photo by Rachel E. Waters

Nikki Ayers and Rubicon. Photo by Rachel E. Waters

It was a perfect finish for the weekend in the land of Chill Vibes, as Nikki Ayers and Rubicon led and conquered the Advanced division wire to wire. Thanks in no small part to his genuine performance over cross country yesterday:

 Nikki had three rails in hand going into show jumping today and ultimately put two of them to use on a tricky course, but managed to keep her spot atop the leaderboard. Having now slayed the dragon at Copper Meadows, Nikki has a lot to look forward to for the remainder of the spring. “We’re probably going to do the two-star at Galway Downs – I wanted to do the three-star, but (coach Hawley Bennett) is not going to be here, and I feel it would kind of be smart to have my coach there for my first three-star! After that we’ll be headed to either Woodside or Colorado.”
Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against also maintained their position in the standings, finishing second after taking one rail down with them and making the time. Robyn Fisher and Look Again claimed third with a rail of their own.In the Open Intermediate, Taren Hoffos and Gustav put in a clutch double-clear show jumping round to take the victory today on home turf. Barb Crabo and Waterford brought down just one heartbreaker of a rail to finish a close second in the division.

In Open Preliminary, Christi Payne and Maxwell Smart were the only combination in the division to go double clear in both jumping phases, securing her victory in a loaded division on a 25.7. Barb Crabo nabbed another red aboard Madison Collin’s Pippin with a nearly flawless weekend (just 1.2 time faults in cross country) to finish on a 33.5. Third went to Leah Breakey aboard her own Master Class.

The lower levels finally got their chance to run the cross country today, and the sailing looked fine. See the full social media round-up below!




Guinness on Draft leaving just a little extra room for Chloe Smyth yesterday at @coppermeadows A post shared by Sophie’s Dad (@eventing_dad) on


Just me and the bugs!! #volunteering #coppermeadows #eventing #horse #love #me

A post shared by Ben Hall (@notthekidd) on



And this from Team SAMnYAMKA today!…. Novice level 7th out of 21…finished on their dressage score…

Posted by Marie MacAulay on Sunday, March 19, 2017


Odie and Lulu are packing.

Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017



Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017


Odie was perfect. His rider had a rail.

Posted by Christian Eagles on Sunday, March 19, 2017

And finally, this super sweet video to Hawley Bennett, Canadian Olympian now based out of Copper Meadows, who is heading to Rolex next month and is getting a lot of love from family, friends, and fans!

Go Copper Meadows, and Go Eventing.

adv oi op

Australian National Squads Include US-Based Riders Ryan Wood and Dom Schramm

Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Equestrian Australia has updated their National Squads for Eventing, with two U.S. based riders making their mark in the upper levels, and one young rider included on the Youth Squad.

Dom Schramm makes the list with the Naked Horse Eventing Syndicate’s Bolytair B, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding who has been consistently moving up the levels and making a splash since the two first paired up in late 2015.

Dom and Boly made a successful Advanced debut at Pine Top in February and followed up with another good start at Red Hills — they had clean cross country runs and finished in the top ten at both. The two are entered in the Carolina International CIC3* this coming week.

Ryan Wood also makes the list on mutliple horses, and is poised to make a splash in 2017 with these three geldings:

Fernhill Classic – An 11-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse owned by the Fernhill Classic Syndicate

Powell – An 11-year-old black Oldenburg owned by Summit Sporthorses Ltd.

Woodstock Bennett – A 10-year-old chestnut Irish Sport Horse owned by Ryan Wood & Curran Simpson

Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Ryan Wood and Woodstock Bennett. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Woodstock Bennett and Powell have been consistent partners for Ryan with solid top finishes; Notable scores for Powell include a second place finish at Fair Hill in 2015 in the CIC3* and a win at Jersey Fresh in the CCI3* in 2016. Woodstock Bennett has been equally strong, nabbing podium spots with a win at Bromont last year in the CCI3* and finishing second at the AECs in the Advanced Division.

Fernhill Classic made his Rolex debut last year and jumped out of his skin in cross country to finish without jump penalties, and the horse is poised for another strong season, having just made a top 20 finish at the Wellington Eventing Showcase in February. Ryan confirmed to EN that “Classic” will compete at Rolex again this year.

In the Youth Squad, U.S.-based Ema Klugman and Bendigo are well positioned to be included in the future of eventing;  The pair have been together three years and this past fall claimed sixth place in a competitive CCI2* division at Virginia. The Duke University student keeps up a string of horses and a full course load with no sign of slowing down. (Read an EN feature about Ema’s fascinating life from when she was 15 here.)

The National Recognition Squad is part of Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Strategy, which was developed to encourage a higher caliber of elite performance across not only the equestrian disciplines, but all Olympic sports. In addition to the recognition squads, which have a strict criteria for eligibility, we should soon expect to see an announcement about Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Squad, which will be developed with the long range goal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Mind.

[Eventing National Recognition Squads]