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Maggie Deatrick


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By the Numbers: Ocala Jockey Club CCI4*-L

Ocala Jockey Club is hosting a CCI4*-L division for the second year in a row and their faith in the division has grown with entries nearly triple of last year. In fact, the division is the second largest 4*-L field in North America for 2019, behind only the final run of the Fair Hill 4*-L. With the weather sunny and warmer than the rest of the country this time of year, this is an absolutely stunning crown jewel in America’s repertoire of qualifiers for the 5* level.

The stunning Ocala Jockey Club in Reddick, Florida. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Venue

  • This marks only the second running of the long format at this venue but the field this year is more than 2.5 times the size of last year’s, with 32 pairs slated to come down the jog strip, up from 12 last year.
  • Good flatwork is historically rewarded in the 4* divisions, both short and long. Of 79 starters in three years, 22.8% of pairs have scored sub-thirty.
  • Not only did no one make the time in this division last year, no one even came home inside of 10 seconds of optimum. The fastest pair was Lauren Kieffer on Paramount Importance, who finished ten seconds over; she’s back this year with Landmark’s Monte Carlo, who owns a deserved reputation as one of the fastest long format horses in the U.S.
  • No one has yet won a 4* division at OJC without also jumping a clear round on stadium day.

Dressage Divas

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

  • It’s not often that a pair is profiled without having any starts together at the level, but Phillip Dutton has now had more than a month to get to know Boyd Martin’s mount Long Island T. In three starts at A/4* this year, the gelding hasn’t scored lower than 74% with Boyd Martin; pairing with Phillip for the first time at the level should still result in a score at least breaking into the twenties.
  • If it feels like we’ve been talking about Pavarotti’s chops on the flat forever it’s because we have: the gelding has 28 prior A/4* starts with Jessica Phoenix, dating back to 2013. He hasn’t clocked in a score less than 70% at this level in more than two years.
  • Lynn Symansky brings forth RF Cool Play, who took a break from the A/4* level this year to focus on the Pan American Games. He returns to the 4* level this weekend, and his average of 30.4 in four starts during 2018 is good enough to be one of the three best 2018/2019 dressage averages in the field.
  • Copper Beach has had a bit of a large range over the past two years; his best score in that timeframe of 26.7 rivals some of the best scores of the field but he and Buck Davidson have also scored in the thirties at every FEI they’ve done in that time range.
  • Mara dePuy has always been known for her mad skills on the flat, but hasn’t quite gotten Congo Brazzaville C to a consistent twenties score. Despite leading the pack at Fair Hill after the first phase, these two have yet to score in the twenties at two consecutive events despite breaking that mark in 30% of their starts over the last two years.

Cross Country Machines

Amber Levine and Carry On. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

  • Amber Levine is here from the West Coast with her ride Carry On, a horse whose turn of foot has helped net him top two finishes in both of his starts this year. This pair clocked in times that were either the fastest run of the day or inside the optimum time in their last four consecutive clear outings, and finished inside the time at their only 4*-L start together, a completion on their dressage score at Galway Downs in 2016.
  • Landmark’s Monte Carlo has completed five clear rounds at the 4*-L level; he’s been inside the time twice and has never finished more than four seconds over optimum time with Lauren Kieffer.
  • Erin Sylvester has never been a stranger to speed with any of her 5* horses and Campground, a Thoroughbred with two previous 4*-L completions under his belt, is quick as well. In his last four runs, he’s averaged only 6.5 seconds off the pace.
  • Cooley On Show returns to the level with Sharon White after a break following Kentucky this year. This pair has finished inside the time in two of their four completions at 4/5*-L.
  • Landmark’s Monaco with Kimmy Cecere and Victor Z with Kate Brown are both horses to keep an eye on in their first 4*-L starts; although each has had some bobbles at the A/4* levels, they’ve each been fast when running clear at the A/4*-S formats.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • In three 4*-L completions, Congo Brazzaville C and Mara dePuy have had a time penalty or two, but never a rail. In fact, they’ve never had a rail in the seven rounds they’ve jumped when cross country was before stadium.
  • Victor Z isn’t just a potentially quick horse in the second phase; he also is a very careful jumper. He and Kate Brown have yet to have a rail in six stadium rounds at the level.
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me have three 4*-L completions together and have yet to add any penalties on the final day to their score.
  • RF Cool Play jumped clear in his only 4*-L completion; in fact, he and Lynn Symansky have never had a stadium penalty in four career A/4* starts for the Pan American runner-up.
  • Sydney Solomon and Early Review CBF are making their first 4*-L career start but after three clear stadium rounds in three A/4* starts, they will be looking forward to stadium day.

PREDICTED WINNER: Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play

Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play (USA). Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Keep Your Eye On:
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach
  • Amber Levine and Carry On
  • Phillip Dutton and Long Island T
  • Sharon White and Cooley On Show

#OJC3DE: WebsiteScheduleEntries,  Ride TimesLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Wednesday News & Notes

It’s not easy having the stall right next to the feed room! #Scooby #pleeeeeeeeease #cavalor

Posted by Will Coleman Equestrian on Monday, November 4, 2019

Nearly a week after Halloween, the way I stare at my almost-empty candy bowl is somewhat reminiscent of the way Will Coleman’s mount Scooby stares at the feed room. It’s one thing to avoid temptation by not buying the candy in the first place but once it’s in the house, I just can’t bring myself to say no.

National Holiday: Saxophone Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Majestic Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

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

Full Moon Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

The best news of the week that Thibault Fournier is up and walking. The young Frenchman inspired last year at Pau, winning at his first attempt at 5* on home soil at only 23 years old. Despite a serious fall on October 13 that left him in a coma, Thibault is now up and taking steps. [He Has an Iron Will]

Have Area I vintage eventing pics to share? In celebration of 60 years of eventing, Joan from Flatlandsfoto is collecting old photos from Area 1 USCTA / USEA events to share in a slide show presentation during the annual meeting in Boston Dec. 12 – 15. Photos should be of good quality as well as on the larger size so they are suitable for the big screen. Please include the rider’s name, horse’s name, event and year when known. Photos can be emailed to [email protected] Please note “Photos for National Meeting” in the subject line so any emails landing in the spam folder can be rescued. Deadline for this project is Nov. 20th. Feel free to email Joan directly with any questions

Fireworks are the bane of every horse owner and barn manager. They aren’t any better in Britain. Samantha Perkins thought she was home free when it was raining at 7 pm but was called back to the barn when non-stop fireworks seriously alarmed all her horses. Taking a video and posting on social media seemed like a good way to get the message out but she never expected the video to go viral. [It Sounded Like a War Zone]

Three surgeries and a divorce can’t keep Kelly Smith out of the saddle. Kelly has been riding the ‘weird ones’ since she was a kid and her mare Shangri-La was no exception. After bouts of vertigo lead to brain surgery and she was grounded for a year, she decided to take care of her chronic back pain and got back surgery at the same time. Now she’s back to riding her mare’s son Demon. [From the Beginning]

Wednesday GIF: Brought to you by The Internet

Wednesday News & Notes

Paint me like one of your French girls. Photo by Sara Dobozynski.

When you take naps as seriously as my horse does, you’re bound to get a great shot eventually. This ridiculous horse announces loudly that he is going down for his morning nap and is going to stay there all morning, thank you very much. And then again in the afternoon. There’s nothing like a deep, clean straw bed apparently.

National Holiday: National Candy Corn Day

Major Weekend Events:

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes

The FEI has released the proposed rule changes that will be discussed at the 2019 FEI Forum. While the focus may be on the wording changes to the flag penalty rule, there’s another big change in the works; after 2019, double bridles may not be permitted except at the 4/5* levels. [2020 FEI Eventing Rules Proposals]

Erik Duvander is doing his utmost to communicate the progress on the High Performance front. After the success of running a small training camp for Millstreet, Erik replicated it for Boekelo. Testing out the format for Tokyo was valuable as it will impact the types of pairs sent to Japan. [A Note from Erik Duvander]

Nostalgia is in full swing for Fair Hill and this throwback piece has all the pieces. The familiar name of Karen O’Connor topped the leaderboard at the first running of Fair Hill in 1989, but her mount was the lesser-known Nos Ecus. The first Fair Hill was nearly 80 degrees on cross country day and young rider Nini Stevenson topped the dressage leaderboard. [From the Beginning]

Wednesday Video: Everyone enjoys a good butt scratch.

Do you like scratching horse bums? If the answer is yes then come join our team. We have an immediate position available for skilled bum scratchers. #workingstudentlife #noitchleftunscratched Email or text for more info (707)480-4501

Posted by Matt Cecily Brown on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday News & Notes

Posted by Linka A Odom on Sunday, October 20, 2019

It’s been alternating rainy days with beautiful weather now, which means fall has well and truly arrived. The leaves are gorgeous, the days are shorter, and every now and then we get an absolutely stunning sunrise, like the one that started with a rainbow over the Fair Hill stabling on Sunday morning, as witnessed and recorded by Linka Odom.

National Holiday: National Mole Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Windermere Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes

When time and finances are limited, a rules snafu is not just a headache, it’s a dreamkiller … and in this case a safety issue. When Carleigh Fedorka should have been braiding her horse for jogs for the Midsouth T3D, she was instead battling with officials, organizers, and the USEF and USEA organizations. It turns out a mid-year rule change changed the qualifications for the Classic Series to require all qualification within 24 months, which bafflingly left her qualified for Preliminary but not the educational T3D. [Why We Need to Be Better]

Any time we go on the horse hunt, we are looking for That Horse. Annemare Cochrane attended the USEA YEH Judge Seminar held at Fair Hill to learn how the YEH program quantifies Those Gaits, That Gallop, and That Jump. [Looking for Four- and Five-Star Potential]

It’s not often that a rescue turns out to be one of the hottest eventing prospects in the country. Despite that, the OTTB mare Not Ours turned out to be exactly that for owner Nikki Scherrer. After retraining her rescue for the RRTP in 2017, she handed the reins to Erin Sylvester, who began her banner weekend by wrapping up the Reserve YEH title for 5 year olds on the mare. [From Kill Pen to YEH]

Wednesday Video: 

Today’s throwback is courtesy of me circa 2012, when I made my first visit to Fair Hill with one of my best friends. With the end of an era, I give you the Fair Hill experience.

By the Numbers: Fair Hill International CCI4*-L

The 2019 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Three-Day is now upon us and while we have seen quite a lot of dry weather in the region over the past month, the skies opened up yesterday. This should leave us with good footing for cross country day, with weather that promises to be lovely. This will be the final year that the cross country runs on this side of Gallagher Road, with a brand new course and brand new name next year for the 5*.

Derek di Grazia will be designing the cross-country for the final time after two decades of work here. If you see him, be sure to thank him for his efforts in making Fair Hill the standard in the U.S. at the CCI4*-L level, and if you’re itching to run his course design as a prep for Kentucky (or Tokyo!), take a trip up to Bromont in the summer. Marc Donovan comes forward to design the show jumping for the second year running.

Dressage for the 4* starts at 2 p.m. EST today, and you can watch live on USEF Network.

The Field 

  • The leader after dressage has won the event for the last four consecutive runnings.
  • The lowest dressage score of the competition has been an average of 27.17 over the last half-decade, compared to 28.86 world-wide and 26.43 in western Europe over the same time period.
  • Although Fair Hill’s 5-year cross country completion rate (75.3%) and inside the time rate (13.5%) is comparable to world-wide 5-year 4*-L rates (77.3% and 12.9% respectively), the cross country clear rate at Fair Hill (65.5%) is significantly higher compared to the world-wide clear rate (59.8%)
  • At least one rider has made the time on cross country for the last five years. Fourteen made the time in 2016. Only three winners since 2012 have made the time on cross country.
  • With a combination of plenty of horses used to pushing the pace and a fast surface to run on Saturday, look for a large number of horses to make the time.
  • Competitors have incurred an average of 0.99 rails at Fair Hill since 2014 while world-wide competitors incur an average of 1.47 rails at this level.
  • Only one winner since 2012, Jan Byyny with Inmidair, were able to absorb a rail and still win the division. Two other winners, Tamie Smith with Mai Baum and Selena O’Hanlon with Foxwood High, have won with clean rounds but incurred show jumping time penalties.
  • At least one competitor has finished on their dressage score every year for the last four years, with 2014 being the last year that no FODS occurred. A high of seven pairs obtained an FOD in 2016.

Dressage Divas

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

  • Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection have scored over 70% in five of their eight A/4* starts in the last two years; their personal best of 25.0 as a pair was scored only two outings ago at Great Meadow 4*-S. With a slot in the morning of day two, they’ll need to really impress if they want to hold the lead through the remainder of the division.
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver have also performed exceptionally well over the 2018/19 seasons, scoring over 70% in four of six A/4* tests over that time period. These two will have an advantage over others on the list with a ride time in the last quarter of the division.
  • Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras clocked in a very strong 26.0 in their 4* last outing at Great Meadow, a sign that the horse is returning to the form we saw mid-2017 when he broke 75% at Little Downham Advanced in England. A slot in the first quarter of the division will work against them though.
  • Covert Rights hasn’t scored below 70% yet this season, with four consecutive marks in the 20s leading the way to four top-three finishes. Their hot streak will need to hold through an early morning session ride time, but expect to see a top mark from this horse and Colleen Rutledge tomorrow.

Cross Country Machines

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • It’s easy to overlook Phillip Dutton‘s ride Z after his troubles this year but this horse’s record across the country is fairly impeccable at the CCI4/5*-L formats. In five finishes, this horse has only once had time penalties, incurred at WEG last fall when Phillip was under team orders rather than running as an individual. He hasn’t been the fastest time of the day by any long shot, but he hasn’t needed to be; finishing within five seconds of optimum in all four of those outings is a sign of a master rider at work. The one question mark in this horse’s resume on this phase is the venue itself; in Z’s only Fair Hill start in 2016, Phillip took a tumble to end their competition.
  • Clark Montgomery is seeking his return to the 5* level with Caribbean Soul, a chestnut Thoroughbred mare who has finished either inside the optimum time or as the fastest time of the day in her last three starts at the A/4* level. This includes being bang on optimum time in the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L, the only long format at the level this mare has yet run.
  • Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy have completed three CCI4*-L divisions all within ten seconds of the optimum time. This includes a Fair Hill run in 2017 where they finished inside the optimum. They also have a clear round inside the time at Kentucky, another Derek di Grazia-designed long format.
  • Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise don’t always bring all their turn of foot to bear on the course at hand, but have obtained four top-three finishes in nine finishes over the last two years when they do. This includes a win in the Jersey Fresh CCI4*-L in the spring, two top three placings at Plantation Field 4*-S, and a second place at Fair Hill Advanced in the spring of 2018.
  • Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude have the CCI4*-L level down to a science; they’ve finished six events at this particular level, have finished inside the time or as the fastest ride at three of them while being within three seconds of optimum at another two. They’ve completed this event at Fair Hill three times now, with a cumulative total of one second over optimum time.
  • Covert Rights also has to be discussed. Colleen Rutledge is known as a rider with the ability to make the time, and she and Covert Rights have done that many, many times at the CCI4*-S level. Since 2015, they’ve been the fastest pace or made the time at 11 of 18 clean A/4*-S rounds and have been within 10 seconds of either optimum or the fastest time of the day on another four occasions. However the 4/5* long format has slowed them down considerably and they’ve made time at those levels only once … here at Fair Hill in 2017. With good turf, it’s likely for them to be back in more familiar territory of a fast and clear round this weekend.
  • There are several other horses with speed that can be mentioned; Il Vici (Arden Wildasin), Magnum’s Martini and Cash (Nilson Moreira da Silva), Serendipity (Brooke Massie), Michel 233 (Will Faudree), Under Suspection (Lynn Symansky), Jak My Style (Buck Davidson), and Honor Me (Lisa Marie Fergusson) are all horses who have shown the ability to make the pace, either at the CCI4*-L level or in their more recent short format events.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Erin Sylvester and Paddy The Caddy. Photo by AK Dragoo Photography.

  • On show jumping day, Paddy the Caddy and Erin Sylvester are a pair who are a strong bet for a clear round; in four long format 4/5* completions, they’ve jumped four clear rounds with only one time penalty total.
  • Although Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me haven’t been able to replicate their form at the 5* level, at the 4*-L level, they are perfect. They have added nothing to their score on the final day in every completion at this level, including at Fair Hill in 2016.
  • Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection have only twice competed with stadium as the final phase, but have overall jumped clear in six of eight stadium rounds they have as a pair.
  • Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras have jumped clear in eight of ten A/4* stadium rounds since 2017; they’ve jumped clear in three of four rounds when stadium was the final phase, including a Fair Hill completion in the fall of 2016. This will be their first CCI4*-L start since then.
  • Jak My Style has jumped clear in two of three starts where cross-country was last with Buck Davidson in the irons, including Fair Hill in 2017.
  • Phillip Dutton has a pair of strong jumpers in both Z and Fernhill Singapore, who combined have jumped clear in 27 of 32 starts. Fernhill Singapore has jumped clear in eight of his nine starts at A/4*, but the only rail he incurred was when stadium occurred after cross country, under the lights, at the American Eventing Championships. Meanwhile Z was known for his prowess in this phase until earlier this year, jumping twelve consecutive clears at the level that included his first trip overseas to Tattersalls 4*-L, his first 5*, and the WEG. At Kentucky he ran into a hiccup, incurring two uncharacteristic rails and followed with three rails at Aachen but has since returned to form, jumping clear in his last three rounds including as a catch-ride under Boyd Martin at Plantation.
  • Young horses and riders who might impress in this phase include BGS Firecracker (Mia Farley) and Early Review CBF (Sydney Solomon), as well as horses under veteran riders like DonDante (Will Coleman).

PREDICTED WINNER: Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Phillip Dutton and Z
  • Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights
  • Buck Davidson and Jak My Style
  • Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy
  • Doug Payne and Vandiver
  • Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude
  • Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me

#DuttaFHI: WebsiteDrawn OrderScheduleCCI Dressage Ride TimesYEH Ride TimesCCI ScoringLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Wednesday News & Notes

It’s finally fall! Around here, it sure seems that climate change is having an effect, as it is hotter and drier longer every fall over the past half decade. Please join me in doing a rain dance for today in Elkton, where yesterday it was projected to have 100% chance of rain, with up to 1 or 2 inches expected. We desperately need the rain to improve the footing for the 100+ horses about to tackle the hills of Maryland.

National Holiday: Dictionary Day

Major Weekend Events

Fair Hill International: [Website] [Entry Status] [Order of Draw] [Schedule] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Tryon Riding & Hunt Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Hagyard Midsouth CCI, 3DE, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Fresno County H.T. [Website]  [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

Your Wednesday News & Notes

In case you missed it, there was some gator wrangling at a horse trials this weekend. If you guessed that the event in question was Ocala….well, you’d be wrong. It was Maryland that had to call in animal control to capture a small gator who took up residence in the water jump. [The Great Gator Caper]

Fair Hill begins with jogs tomorrow and we’ve got a pretty strong line-up headed down the centerline. Check out Leslie Wylie’s guide to the competitors. [A First Glance at Fair Hill International]

The USEA Board of Governors has approved funding for four equine medical research studies. Funding of $38.175 has been allotted to the Stephen Teichman Farrier study, a Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation study, and two Morris Animal Foundation Studies. [Equine Medical Research Funding]

Wednesday Weird Thing (Brought to you by The Internet): 

Wednesday News & Notes


Team USA ready to represent! Photo via Jenni Autry’s FB page.

I know we are all primed to watch Boekelo this weekend because with the ridiculous scoring mechanism the teams are doing, there’s sure to be some drama. We also have a pretty rad all-female team over there with Matt Flynn gallantly serving as a substitute while he competes as an individual….until (hopefully not) needed.

National Holiday: National Curious Events Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Maryland at Loch Moy H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Hitching Post Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Radnor Hunt H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Fleur de Leap H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Las Cruces H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

A special horse helped three different women achieve lifelong dreams. Jenny Brinkley began her re-rider career by buying Guinness as a 3-year old. Eventually, Guinness would take Jenny to her first Prelim, her trainer Mary Bess to her first Advanced and CCI3*, and her daughter Matilda to NAJYRC to win individual and team medals. [Horse Heroes]

Le Lion may have the most world-famous young horse showcase but Osberton’s 7 year old winner have gone onto big things as well. We’ve had a couple of them over to compete in the USA, while other have gone on to compete at 5* and even at Rio. [Previous Osberton Winners]

It can be difficult to change competition goals mid-season but we have all had to do it. After missing out on the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Championships, Lauren Sprieser switched her goals to make it to the US Dressage Finals with her young Grand Prix horse, Elvis. [Mission Mostly Accomplished]

Wednesday Video: 

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Sunday, September 29, 2019

By the Numbers: Morven Park CCI4*-S

With the announcement that Morven Park would hold a CCI4*-L next year to replace the Fair Hill CCI4*-L, this year event suddenly seems like a preview for next fall. The venue has put in massive improvements in the last two years, starting with two massive arena complexes with brand new footing for dressage to be held simultaneously with show jumping.

It may seem like a monumental task to hold horse trial levels from Beginner Novice through Advanced alongside of FEI levels CCI2*/3*/4*-S, a new CCI4*-L division, and CCI2*-L for 6 year olds and CCI3*-L for 7 year olds, but Morven is aiming to do just that next year.

Let’s have a look at this week’s CCI4*-S competition:

The Field

Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

  • Morven tends to be an event that gets either too much rain or not enough. This year, with drought gripping the east coast, the ground will likely be firm. No matter the ground condition, only two pairs have made the time in the last five years.
  • The dressage leader has gone on to win the division in three of the last five years, with the winner coming from 4th position on the other two occasions.

Dressage Divas

Buck Davidson and Copper Beach. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

  • Copper Beach and Buck Davidson own the lowest A/4* average in the field over the 2018/19 seasons, hovering at 30.4 penalties. They’ve broken the 70% mark four times at horse trials in that time period, most recently at the Essex Advanced horse trials, but haven’t been able to translate that mark to the 4* level since Plantation Field back in 2017.
  • Covert Rights and Colleen Rutledge slot in just behind with an average of 30.7 in that same time period, but the pair has clearly gotten their groove back this season, with rapidly dropping scores in their last three outings. These two lopped off 1.6 points from Millbrook to Great Meadow and then knocked off another 1.6 points at Plantation Field, flirting with the 75% mark to lead the field.
  • Phillip Dutton can never be discounted and with Fernhill Revelation back in the mix after an extended vacation, he’s liable to be found near the top of the leaderboard as well. Although they haven’t quite hit the 70% mark in two starts this year, these two clocked in a strong 27.1 on the international stage at Tattersalls back in 2017.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore. Photo by Jenni Autry.

  • Phillip‘s other mount, Fernhill Singapore, has the top stadium resume in the field, with only one rail down in nine stadium rounds … including one where he was catch ridden by Boyd Martin.
  • Allie Knowles has carefully cultivated the career of Ms. Poppins, who has been practically perfect in every way in stadium, dropping only one rail in five A/4*-S rounds thus far.
  • Fernhill Revelation has also been strong after pairing with Phillip Dutton, jumping clear in three of four rounds at A/4*-S with him as a rider.

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cross-Country Machines

  • Covert Rights has also gotten his groove back across the country after a rough patch in 2018 and early 2019. In three runs this fall season, he and Colleen Rutledge were inside the time in two of them, at Millbrook and Plantation, while they finished only five seconds behind the fastest time at Great Meadow in late August.
  • Both Nicole Aden with Truckee Bash and Jane Papke with Norman have put in swift rounds in one clear round at the level. Firm ground this weekend could play a part in the time; it will be easier for pairs to run faster than their average if they choose to push the pace, while others may choose to take their time to preserve their horse’s legs.

PREDICTED WINNER: Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Allie Knowles and Princess B/Ms. Poppins
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation/Fernhill Singapore
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach

Morven Park CCI & H.T.: WebsiteEntry StatusRide TimesLive Scores

Wednesday News & Notes

Belarusian eventing. Photo via Diamond Horse FB page.

A large portion of my work with Eventing Nation involves tracking scores of the Advanced, 4* and 5* scores not just in North America, but also worldwide. This means I spend an inordinate portion of my lunch break tracking down websites that present scoring that doesn’t show up in the FEI database; in particular cross country finishing times and judge percentiles. Some events are easy; Eventing Ireland and Rechenstelle provide all the information I could possibly want. The US and GBR results are middling with some of the information available but others proving elusive for judge percentiles or finishing times. However, a lot of countries have been downright impossible.

Well, this week I finally located the Facebook page for the Minsk event, which usually runs a 4*-S and 4*-L a couple times a year. And it is a gem. By all means, enjoy Belarusian eventing, courtesy of Diamond Horse.

National Holiday: National Name Your Car Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Kent School H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

WindRidge Farm Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Middle Tennessee Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

Spokane Sport Horse H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

USEA has very casually dropped the news that Morven has applied to hold a CCI4*-L at their fall event (Oct. 2-4) in 2020. The intent is to replace Fair Hill’s CCI4*-L, which will no longer run starting in 2020 due to the addition of the CCI5*-L. Twin Rivers also applied to host a spring CCI4*-L on April 9-12, which would give the West Coast a much needed spring CCI4*-L date. These new CCI4*-L competitions were approved by the USEF Board of Directors on Sept. 16, and now the 2020 FEI Calendar goes forward for the final round of approvals at the FEI General Assembly in Moscow on Nov. 16-19. Other USEA calendar changes include Jersey Fresh adding a Prelim, Essex moving to mid-July, the Wellington Showcase is back, Stable View will hold a big CCI spring event the weekend after Carolina, and Ocala will run Advanced in October. [Planning Your 2020 Calendar]

To continue on the CCI4*-L news, Morven plans to finance the event by continuing to run the national levels. They’ve also added a Le Lion style young horse CCI2/3*-L to the show, in an effort to showcase the young horses in North America, and are on the hunt for a title sponsor for the CCI4*-L. [Morven Park to Hold Fall CCI4*-L]

The hunt for a trainer can be a delicate act of learning a new language. Lauren Sprieser suddenly found herself thrown into that search due to unusual circumstances and made a major effort to engage people whose styles complemented her previous trainers. [Changing Mid Stream]

Wednesday Video: 

By the Numbers: Stable View CCI4*-S

Stable View has gone from budding event to top FEI billing in five short years. With a variety of events to choose from in the fall season, this top-notch venue continues to draw a big field of top competitors, offering a respite to the rock-hard footing that often grips the northeast this time of year.

Stable View CCI & HT: WebsiteScheduleEntriesTimesLive ScoringEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

The Field

An aerial view of the covered barn and surrounding landscape. Photo courtesy of Stable View.

  • The clear rate on cross country at this event is only 52%, significantly lower than the world-wide clear rate of 69% at Advanced/4*-S level.
  • No one has led the marquee division (Advanced in 2016/17 and CIC3* in 2018) from start to finish yet.
  • Only four pairs in 75 cross-country starters have made the time here, making it one of the trickier venues at which to catch the time.

Dressage Divas

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • Under Suspection and Lynn Symansky are the clear headlines in this phase for the weekend, owning the only two-year dressage average in the twenties. This pair scored a 25.0 in their last outing at Great Meadow 4*-S, and what’s more exciting is that they’ve lowered their dressage score in four consecutive outings.
  • Celien cracked the 70% mark in her first 5*-L start last fall with Hallie Coon and followed it up by flirting with 75% at Pine Top. Although their scores since then have hovered in the low-thirties range, that could be sufficient for a competitive placing near the top this weekend.
  • Sinead Halpin returns to this level for the first time in three years with Cutty Sark. In the horse’s first Advanced, they scored a 28.2, which would be enough to make them a contender for a top spot in the first phase.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Katherine Brown & Victor Z. Photo by Lisa Madren.

  • Victor Z has a bit of a spotty record on the cross-country thus far in his young career, but he cannot be faulted in the stadium phase. In four rounds, he and Kate Brown have had a grand total of zero rails.
  • Phillip Dutton and has another crack jumper in his string in Fernhill Singapore, who has only one rail in eight rounds, one of which was a catch ride by Boyd Martin.
  • Under Suspection should shine in this phase as well; she and Lynn Symansky have had only one rail in six starts at the level in the past two years.

Cross-Country Machines

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • The chestnut mare Caribbean Soul boasts the fastest pace in the field, having finished either as the fastest time of the day or within ten seconds of the fastest ride of the day in each of her three rides at this level under Clark Montgomery.
  • Nilson Moreira da Silva and his WEG mount Magnum’s Martini are speedsters as well, finished as the fastest run of the day in 50% of their six runs at the level in 2018/19.

PREDICTED WINNER: Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Phillip Dutton and Z/Fernhill Singapore
  • Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul
  • Leslie Law and Voltaire de Tre

Wednesday News and Notes

Photo via Megan Edwards’ FB page.

One thing that makes this sport, or really any sport, so incredibly difficult is the mental struggle. The struggle of riding itself, paired with the struggle to make it to the top, to make a barn profitable, to keep operating from day to day, to find and keep owners and to come back after injury, both horse and rider. There’s been a few refreshing posts circulating on social media in the past few days, reckoning with where our choices lead. Regardless, ‘persevere’ seems apt, no matter which path of life it applies to.

National Holiday: National Comic Book Day

Major Weekend Events:

#Stable View: WebsiteScheduleEntriesTimesLive ScoringEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Jump Start H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

University of New Hampshire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Surefire Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sundance Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

ESDCTA New Jersey H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

Fan favorite Xam has been retired following his run at Blenheim. The 18-year old gelding started 16 long format 4* and 5* events under Harry Dzenis; although he rarely hit the award ceremony, his prowess on cross-country kept him coming back for more. [Xam Retires]

We often see some usual breeds in the eventing world but a Saddledbred in dressage is still a refreshing surprise. Patricia Borders rode Saddlebreds all of her life and bred selectively for fun. When one homebred filly hit the ground with some traits more suited to the dressage ring, Borders took up a new sport at the age of fifty. [Showing Saddlebreds at the FEI Level]

The YEH Championships will be held next month on both costs and it’s time to catch up with last year’s winners. With the prospect of a grant to Le Lion, the progress of the 5 year old winners are particularly worth following, as they tackle Preliminary and beyond in their quest to represent the US in France. [2018 USEA Young Event Horse Champions]

Wednesday Social Media: 

What a great weekend! Barry and I put in our personal best 4* dressage test by quite a few points. Big thanks to James…

Posted by Emily Hamel Eventing on Sunday, September 22, 2019

By the Numbers: Plantation Field CCI4*-S

Plantation Field marks the definitive start to the fall season, though you’d barely know it due to the sunny skies and warm temperatures it often sees. With three big CCI4*-S divisions on the east coast in the next three weeks and another two big west coast events, we’re in for a busy time!

Mike Etherington-Smith is now entering his fifth year designing at Plantation Field, firmly stamping his style on the course. The ground is quite firm despite huge efforts from the grounds team, so expect to see quite a few making time this weekend, similar to other years when the ground runs hard. Chris Barnard designs the show jumping, which often shakes up the standings over the signature dark footing.

Dressage starts at 8 a.m. EST today, and you can watch live on USEF Network.

The Field

Photo by AK Dragoo.

  • For the last five runnings of this division, the eventual winner has been in the top three after dressage in four of them.
  • Last year, the wet weather and deep mud allowed the order to shift a bit more and the winner (Archie Rocks under Buck Davidson) was only ninth after dressage.
  • Only three of 239 starters since 2014 have finished on their dressage score; all three of those pairs finished inside the top four.
  • When the weather is good and the ground is firm, at least one pair has made the time, with a whopping 12% of the field making it in both 2016 and 2017. The clear completion rate at this event averages at 73%, which is which is higher than the worldwide average of 67% for the same time period.

Dressage Divas

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

  • Covert Rights and Colleen Rutledge can run hot or cold and right now they seem to be on a hot streak. Despite a two-year average of 31.3 for the level, they’ve broken 70% in their last two outings and most recently laid down a 27.9 at the Great Meadow CCI4*-S.
  • Mara DePuy more consistently hovers in the low thirty range with Congo Brazzaville C but can break the 70% mark about 35% of the time. With a score of 29.6 at the American Eventing Championships, this horse has laid his Rolex stadium demons to rest for now.
  • Although Alex Baugh has just one start at this level with the experienced Mr. Candyman, she came out in her debut with a bang, laying down a 27.7 at Millbrook. A similar score will see these two right up with the leaders in Alex’s CCI4*-S debut.
  • Danger Mouse averages 32.6 for the level over the past two years, with a bit of a large range. With Caroline Martin, he achieved a personal best mark of 26.0 at Bramham in 2018, but his most recent test at Millbrook was a bit of an outlier in the other direction.
  • Fortuna is making her CCI4*-S debut this weekend, but under Bobby Meyerhoff, she’s been very consistent in her two Advanced tests, scoring a 32.7 at Horse Park of New Jersey and 32.5 at Essex.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

  • Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse have had six stadium rounds at the A/4*-S levels in 2018 and they’ve jumped clear in all but one of them, just incurring a single rail last fall at Morven 4*-S.
  • Mia Farley and BGS Firecracker are turning into a cracking pair in this phase as well; in four rounds at the level, they’ve incurred only one rail, which came in their debut at Millbrook last year.
  • Congo Brazzaville C is a notoriously fun to watch due to his air time; this horse could be a pure jumper any day of the week. Mara DePuy has ridden him to a stellar record of 17 clears out of 19 A/4*-S rounds in their career together.
  • Meghan O’Donoghue has quietly put together a solid stadium record on Palm Crescent, who has only twice incurred a rail in seven rounds at this level over 2018/2019.

Cross-Country Machines

Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Kim Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco have made their mark this fall season with two top five placings helped along by blazingly fast cross-country rounds. At Millbrook they posted the second fastest round of the day by only one second and at Great Meadow they clocked in the fastest with only 1.2 time penalties.
  • Brooke Massie with Serendipity are another pair new to the level who have used their turn of foot to their advantage; they won the Bromont CCI4*-S by virtue of putting in the only round inside the optimum and also finished inside the time at Millbrook, which was their debut to the level.
  • Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise finished as either the fastest pair or inside the optimum in 50% of their six 4*-S/A runs since 2018. They overall average only 7.33 seconds behind the fastest time or optimum time for the 2018/2019 season.
  • Covert Rights and Colleen Rutledge have been within ten seconds of either the fastest cross-country time or the optimum time in four of their last five clear outings at this level, over the 2018/2019 seasons.
  • Honor Me and Lisa Marie Fergusson have traditionally been very quick across the country, although occasionally this pair eases home at a more sedate pace of 25+ seconds over the fastest time. However in four of their seven A/4*-S runs in 2018/2019, they either beat optimum or were the fastest time of the day, and on another occasion only two seconds off the optimum.

PREDICTED WINNER: Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Keep Your Eye On …

  • Bobby Meyerhoff and Fortuna
  • Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco
  • Will Faudree and Michel 233
  • Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle

Plantation Field: WebsiteScheduleEntriesTimesLive ScoringEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Wednesday News & Notes

Plantation at sunrise. Photo by Maggie Deatrick.

Plantation Field at dawn is something both soft and surreal; the rings at the top of the hill are often clothed in heavy mist, thick and dense. The muffled thud of hooves are sometimes the only hint that riders are out there, taking advantage of the obscured views to stretch their horses’ legs. In an hour or less, the fog has burned off, the warm-up is bustling, and the venue seems on top of the world but for those few minutes at dawn, the universe is limited to just horse and rider.

National Holiday: National Cheeseburger Day

Major Weekend Events:

#Plantation Field: WebsiteSchedule, Entries, TimesLive ScoringEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Twin Rivers Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Equestrians’ Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

Feather Creek Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Apple Knoll Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Cedar Ridge H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

Never OutFoxed has taken Holly to Burghley and back. The gelding, bought sight unseen by Holly off the basis of a video of him swimming in a lake, has a perfectionist streak that makes him tough on the flat but tremendous on cross country day. [Behind the Stall Door]

The Thoroughbreds of the American Eventing Championships were celebrated by top awards in the Bluegrass State. From experienced campaigners showing their riders the ropes to green horses displaying their talent, the Thoroughbred once again displayed their affinity for the sport of eventing at the AEC. [The Thoroughbreds of the AECs]

Jonelle Price has yet another horse to add to her star-studded string. Following the retirement of her fellow countryman, Sir Mark Todd, Jonelle has picked up the ride on his WEG mount McClaren. [Mark Todd WEG Mount to Jonelle Price]

Wednesday Video: 

Big thanks to Hicks Bros for spiking and slicing the summer footing on the cross country schooling field.

Posted by Boyd Martin on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wednesday News & Notes

Photo via Kevin Babington LLC Facebook page.

Our thoughts today are with the Babington family; Kevin Babington suffered a serious fall during the Hampton Classic on Friday afternoon, suffering serious spinal injuries. At this time it seems there may be permanent injury for Kevin and his family is about to undergo some major changes. If you would like to provide any support to the Babingtons during this time, please consider donating as they navigate the health care system, retrofit their home, purchase medical equipment, and deal with their loss of income.

National Holiday: Newspaper Carrier Day

Major Weekend Events:

#Burghley2019: WebsiteScheduleLive ScoringEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Course Brook Farm Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Bucks County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Chardon Valley H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

Aspen Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

The golden years of a horse’s career can sometimes be the best of all. Ebba Adnervik of Sweden just finished the European Championships on board the 17-year-old Chippieh. Chippieh has had quite the career, from attending the 2012 London Olympics with Kenki Sato to competing through CCI4*-L with Hedwig Wik. [Tales from European Championships]

As mentioned above, Kevin Babington is going through surgery following a severe fall in the Hampton Classic. Kevin’s surgery was successful, allowing him to be free of the cervical collar that was stabilizing him. [Babington Has Surgery]

In the aftermath of the AEC, we have to celebrate the accomplishment of the army of volunteers who pulled off the biggest event in North American history. Claire O’Dell was one member of that army, who kept the show running smoothly behind the scenes. She’s penned a lovely tribute to not just the volunteers but competitors and overall experience that is an absolute must-read. [With Love, From an AEC Volunteer]

Wednesday Video: 

Save of the Day at #AEC2019

Save of the day‼️ Kimmy Cecere Eventing almost went swimming today at #AEC2019 but held on to finish double-clear and move into 2nd in the Modified/Training division! 🙌

Posted by United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) on Thursday, August 29, 2019

By the Numbers: American Eventing Championships Advanced

The masses have converged on the Kentucky Horse Park and not only are things in full swing, the Intermediate and Prelim divisions actually wrap up today. An eye-popping number of starters means we have full action through Sunday of this week!

The Advanced division at the AEC is designated as the USEF Advanced Horse Trials National Championship, in which the top-placed U.S. athlete will be presented with the legendary Jack Le Goff Trophy. It also serves as the first $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final. The Adequan USEA Advanced Final Champion will receive a $30,000 check, while competitors through eighth place will receive the remaining $30,000 of the prize money.

Advanced gets underway on Thursday with dressage beginning at 10:24 a.m. ET. Cross country takes place Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. followed by a grand finale of show jumping at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Here are our predictions for who’ll be crowned champion!

#AEC2019: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoringLive StreamEN’s CoverageUSEA’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Dressage Divas

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • Long Island T and Boyd Martin will be top dog on day one, having bested the 70% mark in eight of ten starts in 2018/19 and surpassed the 75% mark on two of those occasions.
  • Buck Davidson and Copper Beach aren’t hitting the sub-thirty mark as consistently as Boyd Martin, but have come close to the 75% mark twice in the last two years. Their solid average of 30.3 for the level in the 2018/19 season will have them stalking the leader after dressage.

Cross Country Machines

Sabrina Glaser and Rembrandt. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

  • Sabrina Glaser and Rembrandt moved up to the Advanced level in 2017 and have been slowly gaining steam in the second phase. In their five A/4*-S runs in the last two years, they’ve finished as the fastest time of the day on three occasions, and only one second slower than optimum time at a fourth. In all five of those runs, they finished either within ten seconds of optimum or as the fastest time of the day.
  • Clark Montgomery has been quick to make his mark on day two with Caribbean Soul, who moved up to the level late last year. In three completed runs at the A/4*-S level, they’ve always finished within ten seconds of optimum time, and were the fastest pair at The Fork Advanced earlier this spring.
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me are well known for their turn of foot in the cross country phase; in six A/4*-S runs over the last two years, they were either inside optimum or the fastest time of the day for four of them, and finished only two seconds over optimum on a fifth run.
  • Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise have utilized their speed to gain three high-profile top-three finishes in 2018/2019, including winning the Jersey Fresh CCI4*-L. At the A/4*-S levels, they’ve finished either inside the optimum time or as the fastest time of the day on three of five occasions.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore. Photo by Jenni Autry.

  • With the recent struggles of Z in the stadium phase, Fernhill Singapore has overtaken his stablemate as the best jumper in Phillip Dutton‘s string. In six rounds, the horse has never had a rail and only incurred time penalties in his very first start at the level.
  • Voltaire de Tre and Leslie Law are another set of prime jumpers in the field, scoring eight clears in eleven A/4*-S rounds. They’ve never had more than one rail at the level.
  • Congo Brazzaville C and Mara DePuy are the final pair of meticulous jumpers this weekend. In fifteen starts at A/4* they’ve only twice incurred a rail, both at the beginning of 2018. They haven’t had a rail since.

PREDICTED WINNER: Boyd Martin and Long Island T

Boyd Martin and Long Island T. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography courtesy of TIEC.

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Phillip Dutton and Z/Fernhill Singapore
  • Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul
  • Leslie Law and Honor Me
  • Hallie Coon and Celien

Wednesday News & Notes

Settling into the KHP stalls. Photo via Lisa Marie Fergusson’s FB page.

The pilgrimage to the Kentucky Horse Park is well underway, with more than 900 horses riding down centerline from Tuesday through Friday, with stadium wrapping up on Sunday afternoon. Every competitor will have a chance to at least ride stadium in the Rolex Stadium, a huge reason so many of competitors have trekked to Lexington; it’s not every day one has a chance to ride on hallowed ground.

National Holiday: Race Your Mouse Day…

Major Weekend Events:

#AEC2019: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoringLive StreamEN’s CoverageUSEA’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Woodland Stallion Station H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Silverwood Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

Attention #AEC2019 Intermediate competitors: the start of cross-country has been pushed back 30 minutes due to lighting concerns. Please check your ride times. [Ride Times]

The eventing community is still reeling from the sudden loss of superwoman Ann Haller. A small service for Ann’s family a few close friends will be this Saturday, with a larger celebration of Ann’s life planned for a later date. If you’d like to contribute something in Ann’s memory, please consider a donation to the United States Pony Club Annual Fund or to the Roger Haller Education Fund. [USEA Foundation]

Meanwhile the American Eventing Championships are in full swing, with both Preliminary and Intermediate divisions riding dressage yesterday. Tamie Smith and Boyd Martin own the Intermediate division leaderboard but some new names top the charts in the Preliminary divisions. [Hoofprints Laid On Hallowed Ground]

Imagine growing up in Burghley’s backyard and standing on the top of the Leaf Pit, dreaming of jumping it one day. Eliza Stoddart is doing just that, making her first Burghley attempt next weekend on Priorspark Opposition Free. She grew up in a Pony Club right around the corner. [Burghley First Timers]

Wednesday Tweet: 

By the Numbers: MARS Great Meadow CCI4*-S

Now in its fifth running, Great Meadow International in Virginia is solidly ensconced as a top destination for summer eventing on the East Coast. A new August date sets pairs up nicely to kick off the fall season, as well as providing a well-timed final prep for any headed over to England to contest Burghley or Blenheim.

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

The Field

  • Although the first two runnings saw the dressage leader also taking top honors, in the last two years the winner has been in sixth after dressage.
  • The winner of this division has never finished on their dressage score; those who have finished on their dressage score have at best finished second.
  • Last year’s running saw 12.5% of the field finish inside the optimum time, an all time-high for Great Meadow. However, the clear jumping rate plummeted from 75% in 2017 to 40% in 2018.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.


  • Carlevo and Buck Davidson are the pair to watch for the first phase; these two have scored over 70% for 12 consecutive A/4* starts.
  • Harbour Pilot had an uncharacteristic test at Kentucky but is likely to rebound this weekend under Hannah Sue Burnett. Less consistent than Carlevo, they’ve also managed to break 75% in one of their last 10 starts at this level and flirted with that score again earlier this year, scoring a 26.4 at Red Hills.
  • Lynn Symansky has formed a formidable partnership with the mare Under Suspection and their lone start at this level in 2019 indicates that, with an impressive mark of 26.8. Their personal best of 25.7 was also at The Fork, but in 2018.
  • Vandiver has been no slouch in this phase under Doug Payne, despite some underlying tension at Kentucky. In three of their five A/4* starts in the past two years, they’ve broken 70%.
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation have had an abbreviated partnership, but in six starts at the level together, they’ve averaged 30.9 and broken into the 20s on two occasions.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shelby Allen.


  • D.A. Duras has had limited runs under Lauren Kieffer in 2018 and 2019, but has continued his strong stadium record with two clear rounds in that time. They’ve jumped clear in 10 of their last 11 consecutive rounds at the level.
  • TKS Cooley has only two rounds at this level but has jumped clear in both under Will Coleman. His stablemate DonDante has clocked in clear rounds in all three of his starts as well. Their more experienced stablemate Tight Lines hasn’t had a rail at A/4*-S in the last two calendar years and has been six for six clear rounds in that time.
  • Doug Payne‘s ride Quantum Leap has jumped three clears in three rounds in his first year at this level.
  • Under Suspection has jumped clear in four of her five rounds at A/4*-S under Lynn Symansky.

Erika Nesler and Right Above It. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld


  • Right Above It has had some time off in the last year but is back at it with Erika Nesler. In their three runs, they have finished an average of 1.67 seconds over either optimum time or the fastest time of the day.
  • Vandiver is another who can show great turn of foot, finishing inside optimum on two of his four A/4*-S starts in the last two years with Doug Payne and finishing only four seconds over optimum time on another occasion.
  • DonDante has finished no more than thirteen seconds slower than either optimum or the fastest ride of the day in all three of his starts under Will Coleman.
  • Prince Renan (Anna Loschiavo), Landmark’s Monaco (Kim Cecere), and Covert Rights (Colleen Rutledge) have all shown turn of foot when running clear on cross country, but have struggled with consistency over the fences.

PREDICTED WINNER: Doug Payne and Vandiver

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation
  • Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo
  • Will Coleman and DonDante

MARS Great Meadow International: WebsiteEntry StatusRide Times, Order of GoLive Scores, EN’s Coverage

Wednesday News & Notes

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński

Starting from Wednesday, jumpers, eventers and dressage riders will fight for medals in Strzegom. 153 riders aged from 12 to 16, representing 18 countries, along with their ponies will compete overall. Ponies are horses measuring up to 149 cm. These Championships will be a special event. Riders from three olympic equestrian disciplines: dressage, eventing and showjumping will compete alongside each other at the same place and time.
The championships start on the 14th of August, at the hippodrome in Morawa near Strzegom, Lower Silesia Voivodeship. They will be preluded by a festive opening ceremony, with a presentation of all national teams.

National Holiday: National Creamsicle Day

Major Weekend Events:

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

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

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

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

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

Huntington Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

The value of a getting an ‘A’. Not all kids who have access to Pony Club, but those who do really have an opportunity to learn not just horsemanship but independence and self-reliance. Gabby Dickerson, like many Pony Clubbers, lost interest in proceeding through the ratings just after high school but after a few years out in the world of professionals, took the time to go back and get the ‘A’ rating. [Why I Went Back]

The familiar faces of Andrew Hoy and Michael Jung are sitting atop the Olympic Test event leaderboard in Tokyo. Both riding promising youngsters, the two stalked the leader after the first phase, then tore across the country to move up to first and second respectively. [Hoy Snatches Lead]

Eventers can and do cross over to the highest levels of the other Olympic disciplines with great success. Irish eventer Esib Power not only started in her first five-star jumping competition this weekend, she ended up winning. Mounted on her 18-year-old former eventer Doonaveeragh O One, she finished more than half a second ahead of all other competitors. [Esib Power Wins Speed Class]

Wednesday Video: 

Mason practicing his rope skills before his dressage lesson today!

Posted by Will Faudree Eventing on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Chinch preparing for a busy fall season.

Can we please talk about the insanity that is eventing this fall? We’ve got three U.S. entries at Millstreet, a whopping 11 North American entries at Burghley, Blenheim entries should be posted any day now, and meanwhile we have an Advanced or CCI4*-S/L running every weekend on this continent from mid-August through mid-October!

National Holiday: National Lighthouse Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Feather Creek Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

GMHA Festival of Eventing H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Otter Creek Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Woodside Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Area VII YR Benefit H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Fair Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

WindRidge Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Applewood Farm FEH/YEH & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

For anyone who thinks you have to make a team by the time you’re 25 or your career will be over, take a hard look at Tamie Smith. Now 44, Tamie started out as a corporate career type, hoping to be CEO of some Fortune 500 company. Her non-horsey husband eventually urged her to go pro and she’s now realizing her dream of representing the U.S. for the first time. [Free Rein with Tamie Smith]

A missed deadline will result in the Royal Windsor losing its CSI5* status for 2020. The paperwork for the level was submitted late, and as a result the other two CSI5* fixtures held on the same date rejected the Royal Windsor’s request for an exception. Royal Windsor expects to regain the status for 2021, and the British Equestrian Federation has put guidelines in place to prevent the mistake from happening again. [Royal Windsor Loses Five Star Status]

Don’t try this at home! Madison Penfound had quite a scare when her horse QEH Ocean Voyage locked onto a fence at his first Advanced that was actually on the Intermediate course and jumped it…despite a photographer sitting in front of it. Luckily all parties involved were totally unharmed and the photographer Tracey Wilkinson even managed a head-on shot [Behind the Photo]

Wednesday Video: 


By the Numbers: Millbrook Advanced

New York’s Millbrook Horse Trials has been the kick-off to the U.S. fall season for many years now, with riders using it as a key run for horses headed to long-format events in the coming months. As the only Advanced event on the East Coast in this timeframe, Millbrook consistently draws a large field with plenty of big names.

Two days of Advanced dressage kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by cross country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday. EN’s own Abby Powell will be bringing us all the latest from Millbrook 2019, so keep it locked here!

#Millbrook: WebsiteRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Instagram

Millbrook as seen from above. Photo by Dan Cohen.

The Event

  • Only 2.1% of starters (five pairs) have finished on their dressage score in the last five runnings of this event, out of 229.
  • Only 10 pairs have made the time on cross country out of 209 cross-country starters over five years.
  • The winner of the Advanced hasn’t been worse than fifth after dressage since before 2014.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Dressage Divas

  • Carlevo is the horse to beat in the first phase, ridden by Buck Davidson. This pair has scored in the 20s in every Advanced and 4*-S/L start since the fall of 2017. They own the best two-year dressage average in the field at this level of 28.0 penalties.
  • Buck Davidson also brings a heavy hitter forward in Copper Beach, who is less consistent than his stablemate but can get closer to the 75% mark. Although he’s had some scores in the low 30s this spring, he clocked in a 26.7 at Rocking Horse Advanced earlier this year.
  • Buck really performs well at Millbrook typically, and his Burghley-aimed ride Jak My Style should step up to the plate as well. In three starts at A/4*-S/L in 2019, the Thoroughbred has dropped his score with each progressive outing and sits on an average of 31.2 penalties for the level under Buck.
  • Business Ben and Allison Springer are another pair that prove Thoroughbreds can get top scores on the flat; in eight starts at the level since 2018, Business Ben has averaged only 31.9 penalties and cracked the 70% mark at Fair Hill earlier this year.
  • Whitney Mahloch and her (Thoroughbred!) Military Mind have been no stranger to the top of the leaderboard after the first phase as well; he’s cracked 70% in three of his five starts at the level over the past two years and rarely scores worse than a 33.

Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Cross Country Machines

  • Military Mind is the one to watch for the fastest round of the day; he and Whitney Mahloch have clocked in the fastest time of the day in six of their eight career clear cross-country rounds. In the two finishes that they weren’t the fastest of the day, they still finished inside the time.
  • Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise have garnered three top three finishes at this level in part thanks to their quick turn of foot; they have clocked in the fastest round of the day or made the time in four of their seven clear rounds at the level.
  • Buck Davidson has used Jak My Style‘s speed to good effect; for their three Advanced starts in the past two years they have finished within five seconds of the fastest time in two of them.
  • Will Coleman with DonDante and Phillip Dutton with Sea of Clouds have both shown quick paces in the horses’ first starts at the top level.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Show Jumping Powerhouses

  • Tight Lines is a very good show jumping horse at A/4*-S level; under Will Coleman he has never had more than one rail at these levels and they have jumped clear in their last five consecutive A/4*-S rounds.
  • Phillip Dutton has another crack jumper in his stable in Fernhill Singapore, who has now jumped clear in all five of his starts at the A/4*-S level.
  • DonDante under Will Coleman has added nothing in the show jumping phase in his first two starts at the level.
  • Ms. Poppins has added only one rail in four rounds at this level with Allie Knowles.

Buck Davidson and Jak My Style. Photo by Jenni Autry.

PREDICTED WINNER: Buck Davidson and Jak My Style

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Will Faudree and Pfun/Michel 233
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo/Copper Beach/Park Trader
  • Will Coleman and Tight Lines/DonDante
  • Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan

By the Numbers: Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L

An event perpetually on my bucket list, Rebecca Farm is the ultimate destination event, with long hauls for almost everyone and vistas to make the drive worth it. The Broussards’ incredible support for the sport includes travel grants to offset the costs to get there — one of many things the family goes above and beyond for.


Rebecca Farm in the Flathead Valley. Photo by Chesna Klimek.

  • The completion rate at the Rebecca CCI4*-L has averaged only 60.4% since its inception in 2015, compared to a North American completion rate of 68.6% over the same time period.
  • However, a full 25.0% of cross country starters have made the time on cross country, compared to 16.0% for other events of the same time.
  • In four runnings, all of the winners have been in the top three after dressage.


Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

  • Stella Artois returns to this level for the first time since 2017, but as her recent Advanced dressage test at Essex indicates, she hasn’t skipped a beat. She and Jennie Brannigan average a 33.6 in the first phase which is equal best in the field.
  • Clark Montgomery returns to the level with a new ride, the Thoroughbred mare Caribbean Soul. In five outings they have also averaged 33.6, although their scores have floated upwards in their last two outings.


James Alliston and Pandora. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

  • Another young horse paired with an experienced rider will be expected to finish with the quickest time this weekend; in four outings with James Alliston, the mare Pandora has finished as the fastest round of the day in three of them.
  • Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul had a stop in the mare’s first attempt at the level last fall but have since made quick work of three big east coast tracks. They have finished within 10 seconds of optimum time in each of their three runs and had the fastest run of the day last time out at The Fork, with only four seconds over optimum.


Leah Breakey and Master Class. Photo by Aaron Sonego.

  • The majority of the field this weekend tends to have a rail, with Leah Breakey and Master Class having the best show jumping average, largely due to lack of opportunity. In only two runs at the A/CCI4*-S level, this pair has had only one rail.

PREDICTED WINNER: Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography courtesy of TIEC.

 Keep Your Eye On:
  • James Alliston and Pandora
  • Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois
  • Lauren Billys and Castle Larchfield Purdy

The Event at Rebecca Farm: WebsiteScheduleThe Event at Rebecca Farm Ride Times & Live ScoresNAYC Ride Times & Live ScoresThe Event at Rebecca Farm Live StreamNAYC Live StreamEN’s Coverage

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Pre-Rebecca vibes. Photo via Madeline Backus’ FB page.

Rebecca Farm has been on my bucket list probably since 2009, when my then-trainer and another boarder trekked up there after the now-defunct Maui Jim and came back with tales of lake swims and mountain hacks and blue skies as far as you can see. Having moved even further away since that time and now balancing a full-time job means that item on my bucket list is not terribly likely to be fulfilled, so I just have to live vicariously through the social media posts of my friends.

National Holiday: World Emoji Day

Major Weekend Events:

The Event at Rebecca Farm CCI, 3DE, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Horse Park of New Jersey II CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

For anyone who thinks you have to make a team by the time you’re 25 or your career will be over, take a hard look at Tamie Smith. Now 44, Tamie started out as a corporate career type, hoping to be CEO of some Fortune 500 company. Her non-horsey husband eventually urged her to go pro and she’s now realizing her dream of representing the U.S. for the first time. [Free Rein with Tamie Smith]

A missed deadline will result in the Royal Windsor losing its CSI5* status for 2020. The paperwork for the level was submitted late, and as a result the other two CSI5* fixtures held on the same date rejected the Royal Windsor’s request for an exception. Royal Windsor expects to regain the status for 2021, and the British Equestrian Federation has put guidelines in place to prevent the mistake from happening again. [Royal Windsor Loses Five Star Status]

Don’t try this at home! Madison Penfound had quite a scare when her horse QEH Ocean Voyage locked onto a fence at his first Advanced that was actually on the Intermediate course and jumped it…despite a photographer sitting in front of it. Luckily all parties involved were totally unharmed and the photographer Tracey Wilkinson even managed a head-on shot [Behind the Photo]

Attwood Wisdom of the Week: 

Great News!Attwood Equestrian Surfaces AnnouncedOfficial Footing Supplier at Fair Hill InternationalAttwood…

Posted by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Want to know more about the most advanced footing solutions on the market today? Please call Attwood Equestrian Surfaces at 888-461-7788.

Wednesday News & Notes from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces

Lovely Lexus. Photo via Tamie Smith’s FB page.

Mai Baum is just one of the most photogenic creatures I have ever seen and Tamie Smith gave us all a treat by sharing some lovely photos of Lexus on a summer evening in Chester County. Tamie and Lexus are hanging out at True Prospect until Pan Ams camp begins, and taking advantage of the copious greenery.

National Holiday: World Emoji Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Penny Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes

Sometimes the grind is much more difficult than the challenge of riding itself. How many people do you know who have been grounded for a year or more because their one horse got hurt? Who battled back from injury only to incur a freak accident or a major life change or then injured themselves? Blogger Mara Santiz salutes those who grind away no matter the setback. [I See You]

If you’re investing in a visit to the AECs, know you’re in good hands. The team at the Kentucky Horse Park is making every effort to ensure that the cross-country footing doesn’t suffer from either heat or rain. With the irrigation system available from 2010, competitors can look forward to carefully managed turf no matter the challenges. [I’ve Never Ridden One Like Him]

Most people going through med school have to give up almost everything else in their life. Karley Koch refused to give up on horses though, and while she’s often short on sleep, she now balances showing her hunter mare Silvia with her job as a second year resident at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. [Koch Is Proving You Can Have It All]

Attwood Wisdom of the Week: 

Want to know more about the most advanced footing solutions on the market today? Please call Attwood Equestrian Surfaces at 888-461-7788.