Sally Spickard
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Sally Spickard


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About Sally Spickard

Living the dream as a professional internet stalker and EN reporter.

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Wednesday News & Notes

Relatable, honestly. If you missed Maggie Deatrick’s thoughtful breakdown of her life as a self-proclaimed ‘9-to-5 amateur’ last week, it’s definitely worth a look back. Many of us can relate to that hustle and grind lifestyle! As we enjoy some downtime in preparation for the upcoming new season, don’t forget to take a moment to worry just a little less and appreciate this sport we call home. Here’s to productive winters for us all!

National Holiday: National App Day

Weekend Preview: Don’t miss the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, happening Friday through Sunday in Boston, Massachusetts. For those who are unable to attend, don’t forget to tune in to the live stream that is generously being offered once again. [Website][Live Stream]

News & Notes:

A productive thought while riding would be “I should focus on this canter depart during my test to set myself up for the 20-meter circle,” while a destructive thought might be “I’m worried my horse will spook at the flower box during my canter depart.” Learn about why riders need to be able to manage their productive and destructive thoughts in Daniel Stewart’s Tip of the Month. [USEA]

Two years ago, Holly Payne Caravella wasn’t sure if her veteran five-star horse, Never Outfoxed, would compete again. Read the incredible story of Holly’s “horse of a lifetime” and his return to competition from the brink of disaster. [Chronicle of the Horse]

Sure, it’s been done multiple times now. But should successfully cloned horses be able to compete? Some may be more curious about this controversial option, as the going rate is said to have dropped considerably in price. [Robb Report]

Wednesday Social Media:

Enjoy some incredible shots from Libby Law as she reflects on one of her favorite events each season, Mondial du Lion:

Re-Edit FABULOUSNESS from one of my favourite events – Mondial du Lion (FRA) – where the STARS of the future simply take…

Posted by Libby Law Photography – NZL on Monday, December 9, 2019

Featured Video:

FEI Releases New Dressage Tests for 2020

Oliver Townend and BALLAGHMOR CLASS during the dressage phase, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire, 2019

Just in time to start practicing for the upcoming season, the FEI has released updated dressage tests for all international levels for 2020. These new tests will replace the versions released in 2017.

View the 2020 FEI dressage tests here.

You may recall that the FEI elected to replace the “Overall Impression” mark with a “Harmony” mark for the new tests. This new mark will be weighted as a double coefficient.

Looking to the CCI5* tests, the CCI5*A test will reintroduce the counter canter movement that was removed from the 2017 version. While in the 2017 version of the A test had riders executing flying changes immediately following their short diagonals in medium canter, the 2020 A test will ask riders to ride a counter canter through the corner before doing a flying change at A. The extended canter in the 5*A test will also now be followed by counter canter rather than an immediate flying change.

For riders competing at the other FEI levels, you’ll notice several distinct changes in each test. It’s the off-season, so that means plenty of time for studying up. If you’re attending (or watching the live stream of) the upcoming USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this weekend, Marilyn Payne will be hosting a seminar to break down these new tests. “The New FEI Tests Demystified” will be held on Friday, December 13 from 10 am – 11 am EST. This session will also be a part of the Members Only live stream, which can be accessed by current USEA members here.

Learn from the Best: Entries Now Open for Galway Downs’ Annual Fundraiser Clinic

Photo courtesy of Galway Downs

Galway Downs has been a main staple on any West Coast eventer’s calendar for decades. The Temecula, California venue hosts events ranging from Starter through the CCI4*-L levels, as well as competitions for other disciplines, throughout each year. In order to sustain the ongoing improvements at Galway Downs, an annual fundraiser has been run for the last two decades to raise money to support the upcoming season. Entries for this year’s fundraiser clinic, happening Jan. 18-19, are now open.

The Galway Downs Fundraiser Clinic is a fantastic opportunity for riders of all levels to come and learn from a variety of trainers. Coaches donate their time for the weekend clinic, and riders are given the option to sign up for lessons with the clinician of their choosing. This year, Ian Stark will return as a featured clinician, offering private lessons throughout the weekend.

“(We have enjoyed) 21 years of support from the base of trainers and competitors that helped to make our events happen,” Galway Downs and Del Mar Eventing Event Director Robert Kellerhouse said. “We are honored to host this unique educational experience.”

Riders can opt for lessons for riders such as Debbie Rosen, Hawley Bennett-Awad, Jennifer Wooten-Macouzet, Tamie Smith, Olivia Loiacono, and many more for a total fee of $250, which typically includes two lessons (small groups are put together according to level), stabling, and a Saturday night dinner.

Sign-ups for the Galway Downs Fundraiser Clinic can be completed here, and early reservations are recommended to secure your spot. Don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best riders in the country and support one of the top Area VI event venues while you’re at it!

Go Eventing.

Thursday Video from Professional’s Choice: Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Unveils Official Branding

The newest addition to the CCI5* roster has unveiled its official branding today with a special video announcement from Fair Hill Organizing Committee CEO Jeff Newman. The logo for the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill features an homage to the state colors of Maryland, and a new website has also been launched in preparation for the inaugural running of the event in 2020.

The Maryland 5 Star unveils OFFICIAL Event Name, Logo and Website

Jeff Newman, CEO of The Fair Hill Organizing Committee unveils the OFFICIAL Event Name, Logo and Website for the Maryland 5 Star

Posted by Maryland 5 Star on Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Maryland 5 Star will run from October 15-18, 2020 at the newly redesigned Fair Hill Special Events Zone, construction on which began in June of this year. It’s been a collaborative effort by many organizations to secure capital and support for the event, and the inception of the newest five-star event is a true meeting of the minds and joint effort between the equestrian world and the state of Maryland.

Will you be joining us in Maryland next fall?

Maryland 5 Star: [Website] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Instagram]

Volunteer Nation: The Final Recognized Event of 2019 Needs Your Help

Have you ever been a first-fence jump judge? Photo by Holly Covey.

Save a few schooling events that will need volunteers in the coming weeks, we’re heading into the final weekend of USEA recognized eventing for the 2019 season. Sporting Days Farm in Aiken, South Carolina will host its final horse trials of the season this weekend, and two schooling events are also in need of volunteer help.

As we head into the official off-season, we’ll be bringing you advice on volunteering in this post each week. Thanks to opportunities such as the Volunteer Incentive Program, volunteering comes with several perks on top of the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve played a role in running a successful event. For anyone looking to get some more volunteering hours under their belt next season, stay tuned for advice from volunteer coordinators on how you can best support your local events.

Go volunteering, and go eventing!

Event: Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials
Date(s) volunteers needed: Friday December 6 through Saturday December 7
Address: 3549 Charleston Hwy, Aiken, SC, 29801
Positions available: Event Prep – General, XC Finish Timer, Dressage Bit Check, Dressage Scribe, SJ Timer

Event: Pine Hill GHCTA Schooling Horse Trials
Date(s) volunteers needed: Saturday December 7 – Sunday December 8
Address: 1720 Hwy 159 East, Bellville, TX, 77418
Positions available: XC Jump Judge, XC On Course Timer, XC Pinney Collector, XC Score Runner, General Announcer, Scoring Steward, Secretary, SJ Timer

Event: 2019 MDHT Donation Derby
Date(s) volunteers needed: Saturday December 7 – Sunday December 8
Address: 1235 Park Mills Road, Adamstown, MD, 21710
Positions available: Score Runner, SJ In-gate, SJ Steward


Remember to log those volunteer hours with the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), as there are plenty of perks and awards up for grabs at the end of each season. You can check out the Volunteer leaderboard here and find more volunteering opportunities on

Get Your Learn On: USEA to Provide Live Stream Coverage of Annual Meeting & Convention

If you’ve been lamenting about missing the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this month in Boston, Mass., never fear! The USEA has announced that it will be providing two live streams, one open stream and one designated for USEA members only, throughout the Convention.

The “Member Feed” stream will be available for USEA members who have joined or renewed their memberships for 2020, while the “Open Stream” will be free for all to view.

The content available to stream on the Open feed is rich in educational opportunities, and we highly encourage all eventers to check out the broadcast schedule and mark down the sessions that pique your interest. Some of the seminars that will be streamed for free include “Having and Instilling Rider Responsibility”, a Maryland Five-Star Update forum, “Feeding Strategies and Nutrition for the Sport Horse”, and an Amateur and Adult Rider Open Form, among many others. Broadcasting will be available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 12-14.

For USEA members, broadcast viewing opportunities include Horsemanship seminars with Max Corcoran and a variety of equine veterinarians and physio experts, a Safety Committee Open Forum, and a seminar on Rider Sponsorships and Building Your Brand. Other thought provoking seminar topics include one session on the longevity of event horse careers led by Matt Brown, Max Corcoran, Erik Duvander, and Sam Watson as well as a session on where the sport is heading featuring Dan Michaels, Jon Holling, and Tremaine Cooper.

These are just a small sampling of the educational seminars that will be available via live stream — for the full schedule, click here.

The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks off on Thursday December 12 and concludes on Sunday December 15 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The USEA is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and a special keynote session will be presented looking at the past, present, and future of the sport with a panel of keynote speakers including Jim Wofford, Max Corcoran, and Woodge Fulton. For more information on the Annual Meeting, visit the website here.

Inaugural FEI Asian Eventing Championships Set to Kick Off in Thailand

Asian Championships riders during ring familiarization. Photo via the FEI Asian Championships Facebook page.

For the first time, over 15 countries will be represented in the inaugural FEI Asian Championships, happening this week in Pattaya, Thailand. Riders competing in dressage, eventing, and show jumping will compete for seven medals throughout the course of the week, and we’ll see nine eventing riders come down centerline tomorrow in a CCI2*-L competition. The FEI is providing a live stream for the dressage and show jumping portions of the eventing competition, both of which can be found on their YouTube channel here (Thailand is 12 hours ahead of Eastern time).

The stage is set!

The stage is set and the final touches have been applied! We are just one day away from welcoming the world to FEI Asian Championships Pattaya 2019 #ACPattaya2019#Equestrian #Dressage #Jumping #Eventing

Posted by FEI Asian Championships Pattaya 2019 on Friday, November 29, 2019

A mixed bag of riders will contest the CCI2*-L eventing championship, including a handful of riders who base in Europe and the United Kingdom. For Thai rider Preecha Khunjan, competing in the Asian Championships will be a home turf contest — Preecha mostly competes in Thailand at the Pattaya venue and also finished in the top 15 in last year’s Asian Games with the 12-year-old gelding, Snowrunner. Iranian rider Toufan Torabi has won at this venue previously.

Another Pattaya winner, Hong Kong’s Annie Ho, makes the trek from her UK base after a strong lead-up with the Irish Sport Horse Lost in Translation. This pair came third in the CCI2*-L at Ballendenisk in September. Another experienced rider, Hong Kong’s Thomas Heffernan Ho, has also made the trip from his UK base to contest the Championship with Jockey Club Charlene OLD.

The venue for the Championships, Thai Polo & Equestrian Club, is stunning and well-prepared to host the 100+ horses and riders that will be competing all week long.

A stunning venue! Photo via the FEI Asian Championships Facebook page.

Take a look at the beautiful cross country course, designed by Peter Fell, here:

Cross Country Course Walk today at the FEI Asian Championships Pattaya 2019!🤩Eventing Dressage competition starts…

Posted by FEI Asian Championships Pattaya 2019 on Monday, December 2, 2019

Stay tuned for more updates from the competition right here on EN. Go eventing!

#ACPattaya2019: [Website] [Schedule] [Ride Times] [Live Stream]

Nupafeed Weekend Winners: Thanksgiving at Pine Top

Beautiful fall Pine Top. Photo via Andrew Machemer/Pine Top Eventing on Facebook.

As is tradition for Area III eventers, Pine Top ran its Thanksgiving weekend horse trials over the weekend because they know there’s no better way to burn off all those holiday calories than a nice refreshing cross country run! We may be slowing down on the weekend results, but let’s take a moment to celebrate our winners from Pine Top. A special shoutout goes to our lowest finishers, Anne Wilson and Call Me Waylon, who ended their weekend on a score of 22.9 in the Novice Rider B division. Well done!

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Intermediate: Matthew Ulmer and Uno Concerto (38.3)
Open Preliminary: Miriam Offermanns and Amendment 15 (35.9)
Preliminary Rider: Amy Cobb and FGF Mr. Montificent (35.7)
Open Training: Sara Beth Anton and SPF Vision Quest (27.9)
Preliminary/Training: Sophie Tallman and Parc Cooley (24.6)
Training Rider A: Katarina Midgley and Ditch (33.3)
Training Rider B: Lara Roberts and The Fernhill Gladiator (29.5)
Novice Rider A: Jenny Brinkley and Guinness X (29.8)
Novice Rider B: Anne Wilson and Call Me Waylon (22.9)
Open Novice: Jessica Schultz and Hardwired (24.5)
Training/Novice: Daniel Sarango and Deja vu Chatsworth Quasar (56.2)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Erin Walker and Chance Encounter (29.7)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Emily Thomas and Ohio (26.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Anne Goodwin and MGH Lalique (26.9)

Sponsor Spotlight: Flexible Fit Equestrian Brings a Whole New Meaning to Custom Fit

Dom Scramm and Bolytair B. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

I recently had the pleasant surprise of getting fitted for a new pair of running shoes at my local Fleet Feet store. My roommate surprised me with a custom fitting for my birthday, and my sore shins and poorly contained feet were more than happy to oblige.

The fit process was detailed down to the millimeter of width of each foot and the best types of insoles for my low arches. Evidently, my foot is wider than something like 80% of everyone else’s in their database so … I guess that’s something to be proud of?

But this process got me thinking a bit more about the idea of “custom fit”. We see that term thrown around haphazardly in all walks of life and it’s no different with the tack we select for our horses. Fitting a bridle, as it happens, is something that takes more customization than we may think — and that’s where the brains behind Flexible Fit Equestrian saw an opportunity.

The options for bridles are virtually endless these days. Anatomic crown pieces, soft, molded leather, and all sorts of ergonomic designs are commonplace now; enough to make any horse owner scratch their head in wonder.

But Flexible Fit has taken the idea of the high end, fitted bridle to a new level by offering customization for literally every piece of the bridle from the cheek pieces to the reins. Where with most bridles, riders have to purchase the entire piece, save perhaps a set of reins, Flexible Fit offers custom fit for each piece to ensure the best possible fit and comfort for the horse.

And fitting a bridle is a more involved process than may meet the eye, too. Check out this handy guide to properly fitting your horse for a new bridle. Factors to consider are their head shape and size, ear clearance, and their overall facial bone structure. Each horse has unique features — why not give riders the ability to choose the best fit for each individual horse rather than fitting each horse into a limiting box?

Graphic via Flexible Fit Equestrian.

Why is bridle fit so important? Well, not only is your bridle one of the primary means of control and communication between horse and rider, a properly fitted bridle should allow for free movement of the ears, reduce poll pressure, and allow for unrestricted expansion of the delicate nasal passages. Taking the time to properly fit a bridle not only ensures a horse’s ongoing comfort, but also safeguards their wellbeing and health.

I’ve shopped for a bridle through Flexible Fit before, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that identifying the right pieces for my horse was less complicated than I had originally thought. Flexible Fit’s newly launched USA website is user-friendly and walks customers through the steps of ordering their new bridle with ease. New since my previous patronage of the company are Nosebandless bridles and Hackamore bridles, truly an option for just about anyone.

Allowing customers to completely customize their choices gives them more power over the final product, and every rider wants to find that perfect fit that will help their horse perform with more ease and comfort, no matter what level they choose to compete in.

Functionality and flexibility are the name of the game for Flexible Fit, which has gone to great lengths as a company to educate riders on the importance and simplicity of fitting a bridle piece by piece. Don’t believe me? Take a look through the customization process for a Flexible Fit bridle and you, too, will find the perfect bridle that’s as unique and individual as your horse deserves.

You can get your horse’s best fitting bridle yet for a steal of a deal this weekend with 30% off through Cyber Monday (12/2). Shop through and use code BLACKFRIDAY30 at checkout!

Volunteer Nation: Burn Off That Turkey at Pine Top and Meadowcreek This Weekend

The hammock makes for a great view of cross country at Pine Top! Photo via Pine Top Eventing Facebook

If running a 5k on or around Thanksgiving doesn’t sound appealing to you (that’s going to be a no from me, too), there are still some opportunities to get out and burn off some of that excess turkey and stuffing over the weekend. Eventers love the traditional Thanksgiving weekend event at Pine Top in Area III, and a schooling show opportunity is happening at Meadowcreek Park in Area V. Here’s a rundown of how you can help out this weekend:

Event: Pine Top Thanksgiving HT
Date(s) volunteers needed: Saturday, November 30 – Sunday, December 1
Address: 1432 Augusta Hwy, Thomson, GA, 30824
Positions available: Dressage Bit Check, SJ Jump Crew, XC Jump Judge

Event: Meadowcreek Brunch N’ Jumps
Date(s) volunteers needed: Sunday, December 1
Address: 1342 Highway 14 South, Kosse, TX, 76653
Positions available: Office Help, Scorers, SJ Jump Crew

Remember to log those volunteer hours with the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), as there are plenty of perks and awards up for grabs at the end of each season. You can check out the Volunteer leaderboard here and find more volunteering opportunities on

Max Corcoran, Jim Wofford, Woodge Fulton Announced as USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Keynote Speakers

Max Corcoran. Photo courtesy of ERA of NA.

Have you booked your tickets for the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, happening in Boston from December 12 through December 15? As always, the USEA has bountiful educational and collaborative opportunities for members at its Annual Meeting, and this year’s keynote speakers are sure to be crowd pleasers. Incoming USEA president-elect Max Corcoran, influential eventing trainer Jim Wofford, and rising star Woodge Fulton have all been announced as speakers during the upcoming Annual Meeting.

Jim Wofford and Chinch share a moment. Photo via EN’s Instagram.

The keynote speakers will present as a panel during the the keynote presentation on Saturday, December 14. Three primary topics will be covered: Jim Wofford on the history of the sport, Max Corcoran on the current state of U.S. eventing, and Woodge Fulton on the future of eventing in the U.S. This “past, present, future” approach will bring a wealth of experience and perspective to the table as the USEA continues to navigate the best path forward for the sport of eventing.

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack make their Badminton debut. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This year’s Annual Meeting & Convention will take place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Mass., and the opportunities for education are endless — take a gander at this list of ten sessions you won’t want to miss here. Registration for the event is still open and can be completed here. For more information on the Annual Meeting & Convention, click here.

Nupafeed Weekend Winners: Area X Championships and Grand Oaks

Two of the final events of 2019 are in the books from opposite ends of the country. We saw many younger horses out and about for a final outing at Grand Oaks, which received multiple compliments on social media as a supremely well thought out and organized event. Meanwhile in Arizona, Area X riders contested championships for Training level and below at the Southern Arizona Eventing Association Horse Trials.

Our lowest finishers for the weekend are Hallie Coon and Cavu 54, who ended their weekend on a score of 22.1 in the Open Novice at Grand Oaks. Many congratulations, Hallie!

Here’s a quick look around social media and at the winners from each event this weekend:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Preliminary: Clayton Fredericks and Could’ve Ben and Jerrys (22.3)
Preliminary Rider: Zara Flores-Kinney and Elusive Dassett (38.8)
Modified: Katie Malensek and Landjaeger (36.8)
Open Training: Marcea Funk and Odyssey B (25.2)
Training Rider: Reagan McIntosh and Limited Access (39.9)
Novice Rider: Aline Briot and Kid Rock (26.2)
Open Novice: Hallie Coon and Cavu 54 (22.1)
Beginner Novice Rider: Brenda Hutton and WYO Dun Maid (31.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Alexander O’Neal and Redtail Carrera (35.0)

View this post on Instagram

This weekend has been filled with fond memories. Congratulations to the TMSportHorses team of riders and owners on your individual and collective successes. It truly takes a village and I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship from everyone. Congratulations ladies, it was a great way to end the year 🍾🥇🏇🏻🦄 A huge thank you to the Southern Arizona Eventing Association staff and volunteers for putting on an amazing event. We loved the new cross country track and the jumps were all a work of art! We can’t wait to come back ❤️ . . . #eventing #crosscountry #dressage #showjumping #horsesofinstagram #horseshow #firstplace #teamwork @profchoice

A post shared by Taylor Marie Lindsten (@tmsporthorses) on

Southern Arizona H.T. [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Preliminary/Modified: Heather Drager and Noblesse Oblige (37.8)
Open Modified: Sarah Wood and Diggin’ the Blues (55.8)
Area X Training Championship: Kayla Surrett and Blue Suede Shoes (30.7)
Area X Novice Championship: Denise Krause-Spangler and Venture’s Finale (32.6)
Novice Rider: Sophia Hardesty and Muggle (34.9)
Open Novice: Taren Hoffos and The Walrus (29.0)
Area X Beginner Novice Championship: Anastasia Keyser and Samson (29.5)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Carolyn LeBlanc and Victor Hugo (32.0)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Donna Hayden and FlynnStone (37.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Taylor Lindsten and Simply Jamin (23.3)
Introductory A: Polly Leach-Lychee and Mac Gyver (23.6)
Introductory B: Alison Eddy and By The Way (35.6)

Decade Challenge: The Five-Star Event Edition

If you’ve spent any time on social media in the last few weeks, you’ll likely have noticed a smattering of posts around a “Decade Challenge”. To participate, users are encouraged to find a photo of themselves from 10 years ago and juxtapose it with a current photo to show how much they have changed over the last decade. We decided to tackle our own version of the #DecadeChallenge here on EN, starting with a look back at the five-star events around the globe. Enjoy!

Kentucky Three-Day Event – 2009:

Kentucky Three-Day Event – 2019:

Badminton Horse Trials – 2009:

Badminton Horse Trials – 2019:

Burghley Horse Trials – 2009:

Burghley Horse Trials – 2019:

Les Etoiles de Pau – 2009:

Les Etoiles de Pau – 2019:

Luhmühlen Horse Trials – 2009:

Luhmühlen Horse Trials – 2019:

Australian Three-Day Event (Adelaide) – 2009:

Australian Three-Day Event (Adelaide) – 2019:

Snapshots from Boyd Martin’s Trip to Japan for the Retired Racehorse Clinic

Boyd Martin watches a student tackle a gymnastic exercise. Photo via Boyd on Facebook.

This year, Boyd Martin has once again returned to Japan to assist with the Retired Racehorse Clinic, check out some of the race training facilities, and take a look at the Tokyo Olympic site for 2020. We thought we’d share some snapshots from the trip thus far, including an incredible indoor gallop track used by the Japanese Godolphin branch in Hokkaido.

Seriously Awesome Indoor Gallop tracks at Godolphin training facility in Hokkaido Japan. Getting some new ideas for Windurra!

Posted by Boyd Martin on Friday, November 22, 2019

Posted by Boyd Martin on Friday, November 22, 2019

Posted by Boyd Martin on Friday, November 22, 2019

The clinics are jointly hosted by the National Riding Club Association of Japan (NRCAJ), the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and Godolphin and are intended to help participants understand the versatility and athletic potential of the Thoroughbred horse beyond the racetrack. Godolphin has promoted its Godolphin Lifetime Care program as a means for helping former racers find new careers.

Great to be back in Japan helping promote the second career for Off The Track Thoroughbreds. Today was the first day of…

Posted by Boyd Martin on Thursday, November 21, 2019

Go eventing, and Go OTTBs!

Saturday Video Break: Throwback USEA Footage

USEA Vintage Video #Bettertogether

In honor of our #60th anniversary and it being #TBT we have this vintage video from the USEA archives! 🎬🐴❤#betttertogether #useventing #throwback #60years

Posted by United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the USEA has been publishing throwback content for our nostalgic enjoyment. You won’t want to miss this compilation of vintage footage from the USEA archives. What superstars can you spot?

Thibault Fournier Posts First Statement Since Fall in October

Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We’ve been closely following Thibault Fournier’s progress as he recovers from a crushing fall at an event in October. After a brief coma and weeks of rehabilitation, Thibault is gaining strength every day and continues to make excellent progress.

According to the most recent updates on his Facebook page, Thibault has slowly been walking and regaining use of his arms. In his first statement since the fall, Thibault thanked his friends, family, and followers for all of the support and maintains a positive attitude regarding the remainder of his recovery:

Bonjour à tous ! Comme vous le savez, j'ai fait la plus longue sieste de ma vie récemment !Lorsque j'ai émergé de ce…

Posted by Thibault Fournier Eventing on Friday, November 22, 2019

Thibault continue sa route ! La grosse table du 16 est bien franchie !Thib a plié son fauteuil dans un coin de la…

Posted by Thibault Fournier Eventing on Sunday, November 17, 2019

We’ll continue to bring you more updates on Thibault’s ongoing recovery and are pleased to see the positive progress he continues to make.

Thursday Video from Professional’s Choice: Ingrid Klimke Reflects on FEI Best Athlete Award

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke is no stranger to the headlines, and the recent announcement that she was the recipient of this year’s Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award was the icing on top of the cake of another banner year for the dual eventing and dressage rider and five-time Olympian.

In this recap from the FEI, Ingrid reflects on a banner year that’s seen her achieve a personal best in the Grand Prix dressage arena as well as defend her European Eventing Champion crown — not too shabby of a year, if you ask us. Congratulations, Ingrid!



Volunteer Nation: Two Events That Need Your Help This Weekend

The cross country course at Grand Oaks. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The season may be winding down, but there will still be ample opportunities to volunteer at the final few events. We’ve got two for you this weekend, one at Grand Oaks, which has added $5000 in prize money for all divisions, and one in Arizona at the Area X championships.

Remember to log those volunteer hours with the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), as there are plenty of perks and awards up for grabs at the end of each season. You can check out the Volunteer leaderboard here and find more volunteering opportunities on

Here’s the scoop:

Event: Southern Arizona Eventing Association Fall Horse Trials
Date(s) volunteers needed: Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24
Address: 11300 South Houghton Road, Tucson, AZ, 85747
Positions available: Competitor/Volunteer Tent Setup, SJ In-gate, SJ Jump Crew, Dressage Steward, Event Prep – XC, SJ Out Gate, SJ Steward, XC Crew, XC Jump Judges, XC Schooling Supervisor, XC Score Runner, Volunteer Information, Event Takedown – Dressage, Event Takedown – XC, Parking Steward

Event: Grand Oaks Horse Trials November
Date(s) volunteers needed: Today through Sunday, November 24
Address: 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale, FL, 32195
Positions available: Dressage Bit Check, Dressage In-Gate, Dressage Warm-up, SJ Jump Crew, SJ Warm-up, XC Crossing Guard, XC Jump Judge, XC Warm-up, Hospitality Helper

Grand Oaks Announces Addition of $5000 in Prize Money, Accepting Late Entries

Photo courtesy of Nupafeed USA.

Grand Oaks Horse Trials, running November 23-24 in Lady Lake, Florida, has announced the addition of $5000 in prize money that will be spread throughout the ten divisions running. With divisions ranging from Preliminary and Modified to Beginner Novice, there is ample opportunity to give young horses a few more miles or test the waters for a move up to end the season. Cash prizes will now be offered through third place in each division, and entries have been extended through tomorrow evening, November 20, with no late fee.

Thanks to the generosity of Nupafeed USA and Triple Crown Feed, the allocation will be distributed across both the Open and Rider divisions for each level. This is a wonderful opportunity for riders to compete for prize money, and Event Logistics Manager Katie Wentz says that Grand Oaks wants to give riders a “big show feel.”

“We are a small show giving riders a feel of being at a big show,” Katie explained. “There is something for everyone at Grand Oaks, and we really believe in the Modified level and want to support it. We’ve roped off the galloping lanes and we’re expecting a lot of spectators as we’ve been advertising throughout the Villages community and have 200,000 people on our doorstep.”

Grand Oaks Horse Trials: [Website][Entry Link][Entry Status]

Lisa Barry Suffers a Fractured Skull after Fall

Lisa Barry and F.I.S. Prince Charming. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lisa Barry is recovering from a fractured skull that resulted in a subdural hematoma and a broken bridge of her nose after falling onto concrete while walking a horse at her home farm in Ocala, Florida on Friday evening. Lisa was treated in the ICU before being moved to a trauma floor room on Sunday.

The EN family extends its best wishes for a full recovery for Lisa, 34, who is said to be stable after multiple CT scans. We will provide more information on Lisa’s recovery as it becomes available.

Thanks to all who have been asking about Lisa’s condition. She fractured her skull in a fall onto concrete with a horse…

Posted by Lisa Barry Equestrian on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Any offers to help or otherwise provide support can be directed to the Lisa Barry Equestrian Facebook page.

Lisa Barry first hit our radar with her beloved partner, F.I.S. Prince Charming, a small but mighty New Zealand Thoroughbred with which she completed multiple Advanced and former three-star events, including a second place finish in the CCI3* at Bromont in 2014. She was also a silver medallist at the National Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2005.

Nupafeed Weekend Winners: Fun at Fresno

We’re reaching that point of the season where we begin to see fewer events running — but that doesn’t mean that the Weekend Winners fun has to stop! This week we’re looking back at Fresno County Horse Park, which ran its Fall horse trial with divisions ranging from Intro through Intermediate.

Long known by longtime Area VI competitors as Ram Tap, Fresno County Horse Park has become a top destination for West coast eventers since 1957. Fun fact, the “Ram Tap” name actually originated from founding members Pat and Marian Humphrey, who decided on the name as it was the first three letters of each of their first names spelled backwards.

And while Ram Tap would eventually close its doors in 2012, Fresno County Horse Park would continue on under new owner John Marshall. Thanks to the efforts of all dating back to those early days in 1957, Fresno is the second longest continuously operating eventing venue in the U.S. For much more on the rich history of Fresno, read up on the USEA’s Events A-Z profile here.

Congratulations to all of this weekend’s winners at Fresno! A special shout-out goes to this week’s lowest scoring finisher, Jolie Wentworth and Friendly Game, who earned a score of 23.1 to win the Open Novice.

Fresno County Horse Park: [Website][Final Scores]

Open Intermediate: Bea di Grazia and Ringwood Isabelle (40.2)
Open Preliminary: Mikayden Weise and Excellence (31.5)
Jr. Training Rider: Willa Laski and Gutsy Call (37.7)
Open Training: Joseph McKinley and Duke HW (28.4)
Sr. Training Rider: Becky Leisz and Gold Lumierre (33.5)
Jr. Novice Rider: Gabriella Yuschenkoff and Paloalto (24.1)
Open Novice: Jolie Wentworth and Friendly Game (23.1)
Sr. Novice Rider: Meghan Lewis and Ringmaster (29.3)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Nicole Petersen and Armi (26.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Lisa Sires and Even More Impressive (28.5)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Audrey Zgraggen and Carbonado (32.0)
Introductory A: Eliza Mutz and Auzzie (33.9)
Introductory B: Lotte Swauger and Maurice (35.8)

Here’s a look around social media from Fresno:

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The team had a great end to the 2019 season at Fresno County Horsepark! Belle and Blanco finished their first show with Davis in 9th in a very competitive training division. Christina and Fifi finished 2nd in BN with two double clear rounds. Maria and Gracie made a great effort but unfortunately parted ways at the coffin but had other wise improved dressage and stadium rides (both horse and rider are un-injured). And Lulu and Cassie got a personal best dressage score adding only one rail to their dressage score to finish in 8th in open Novice. Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors for keeping us looking our best and safe through the whole weekend! Thank you Fresno for another fun show! We can’t wait for the 2020 season to start! • • • • • • • • • #ucdavis #ucdaviseventing #ucdeventing #goags #kasteldenmark #samshieldamerica #equiprism #marysbotanicals #areavi #intercollegiateeventing

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Newly minted training rider 🎉🐎@ky.eventing

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Good days. 🦄❤️🐮 #fresYes

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Duke & Doc 🥰

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Holly Jacks-Smither is Reaping the Benefits of Staying True to Herself

Holly Jacks and More Inspiration. Photo by Kingfisher Media Services.

Holly Jacks-Smither says she’s the happiest she’s been in years right now, and she has many reasons to feel that way. She’s fresh off of a gutsy performance in the Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L, where she ended her weekend in 12th place among some of the top riders in the world aboard her off-track Thoroughbred, More Inspiration. She has a thriving business and a healthy support system in her friends and family back home in Canada. She has a handful of up-and-coming horses waiting to step up in the coming seasons.

But for Holly, perhaps the biggest harbinger of happiness this year has been her decision to ride for no one else, but herself.

The Best Laid Plans

Holly and More Inspiration’s roundabout path to Pau began two years ago, when the pair earned their qualification and set about making plans to head to France. Why Pau? I asked her. “(More Inspiration) is a really good technical, twisty horse,” Holly explained. “He’s always done well at Red Hills, for example. I just thought the track at Pau would really suit him.”

The flywheel was set in motion, and all systems were go for Holly and “Morris” to make the trip in 2017. But then, two days before Holly was set to take off, her father, Terry, suffered a stroke. Not wanting to be anywhere but by his side, Holly’s French plans were put on hold.

The following year, Morris was sidelined with a minor injury and would once again miss the fall five-star. Then in 2019, the stars seemed to be lining up once more, and Holly would finally get her shot.

Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration. Photo courtesy of Laura Dupuy.

“It’s just been one of those situations where things just kept falling into place, even though there were some hoops to jump through,” Holly said of the last few months leading up to Pau. “Morris didn’t go to Kentucky this year but he ran two four-star shorts and felt amazing. Jessica Roberts put on this huge fundraiser for the trip and paid for half of my trip. It was pretty incredible how it just kept moving forward.”

It was no coincidence that Holly says she feels the best she’s ever felt and the most confident in her riding. What’s changed? I asked her. Holly talks freely, as if she can feel the weight that’s been lifted from her shoulders. Taking the pressure off of herself and, more importantly, off her horses has made a world of a difference. It’s liberating, she tells me, to feel that she is a thousand percent riding only for herself and not under pressure to make a team.

Of course, it hasn’t always been this way for Holly who like any hungry and talented rider believed that making a championship team for Canada would mean she’d finally “made it”. But this is no longer the case. Holly is a proud Canadian who is honored to represent her country — but not at the expense of her sanity and her horses’ wellbeing.

“We see a lot of people chasing teams,” Holly explained. “Myself included. It’s made me made poor decisions and it’s made me distracted. I have a really nice young horse that I was trying to chase the Pan Ams with last year, and I made some decisions that I’m not proud of under the pressure — and at the end of the day, we still weren’t on the team.”

Holly understands the complexities of the team selection process and the difficult job that selectors have on their hands. But when she took a step back, she realized that her burning desire to be on a team was making her lose sight of the horsemanship that’s required to bring a horse along at any level. That, she says, was an eye-opener for her.

“I feel like I’m in a better place now that I’ve said my goal might not be the Olympics,” she said. “My horses owe me nothing, and I need experience at the five-star level, but they’re only going to do what they need to do. It’s like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

This shifting of priorities has made Holly unendingly grateful for the opportunity to go to Pau, this time on her own terms, on her own making. “I’m a big believer in making the best out of what you have,” she said. “A lot of people said Morris wouldn’t go Advanced, but now here he is. I get a lot of students who don’t have the money to go out and buy a nice horse, and I want them to see that it’s still possible.”

An Eventing Family Affair

Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration. Photo courtesy of Laura Dupuy.

The outpouring of support from her community still leaves Holly a bit speechless. She tells me the story of her fellow riders handing her small amounts of money at shows or of a parent supporting her trip because Holly had walked cross country with her daughter years ago. Little gestures of support, all because of the impact Holly leaves on those around her.

“I’ve never been one of the ‘cool kids’ or really played the game,” Holly continued. “I’ve done my best to stay true to myself, and a lot of time it kicks me but sometimes when it really mattered, people have stepped up and helped me.”

Holly’s uncertain as to her plans for the upcoming seasons — she’s adamant that her horses will never do more than necessary and that she’s no longer going into the pressure cooker in the name of making a team. For her, it’s no longer the end all, be all, and she wants others to understand that there are other defining factors of success.

“I’ve always wanted to do the best by my horses,” she said. “Riding with (coach Buck Davidson) has made me realize that by taking the pressure off my horse, it allows us to work together in a better way. I just want others to see that being in a good personal place can have such a positive effect on your riding.”

Watch the Ocala Jockey Club International Live Stream

We’re lucky once again to have a free live stream available this weekend for those of us who can’t attend Ocala Jockey Club International in person. Thanks to the hard work of EQTV, the CCI4*-L dressage as well as the jumping phases for all Long divisions will be shown this weekend. The schedule is posted as follows:

Friday – Dressage [See updated ride times here]
11:30 am ET – CCI4*-L

Saturday – Cross Country

8 – 10:54 a.m. ET – CCI2*-L
11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. ET – CCI4*-L
2:10 p.m.- 3:31 p.m. ET – CCI3*-L

Sunday – Show Jumping
10:30 a.m. -1 p.m. ET – CCI2*-L
1:30 p.m. -2 p.m. ET – CCI4*-L
2:30 p.m. -3 p.m. ET – CCI3*-L
3:30 p.m. -5 p.m. ET – Thoroughbred Demo

#OJC3DE: WebsiteScheduleEntries,  Ride TimesFriday Dressage Order of Go 1Friday Dressage Order of Go 2Live ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram