Sally Spickard
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Sally Spickard


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About Sally Spickard

Sally Spickard is a Korean adoptee living in San Diego, California. Sally joined the Eventing Nation team in 2013 and has subsequently written for Noelle Floyd, Heels Down Mag, and other publications both in and out of the equestrian world. Sally is an eventing fan through and through and enjoys telling the stories of riders who are not well-represented within equestrian media.

Latest Articles Written

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Mark your calendars! It’s nearly time for the 2022 Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit, a global gathering of equine facilitated practitioners launched in 2021 by The HERD Institute and hosted and led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the field. The Summit, happening on Saturday, September 10, features live discussions and an exciting keynote, “Decolonizing Your Equine Program”, presented by Abriana Johnson and Brittney Chambers.

You can register for the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit here, and be sure to follow @TheHerdInstitute on social media for the latest updates and content previews.

U.S. Weekend Preview

The Event at Archer and Area IX Championships (Cheyenne, WY): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Caber Farm H.T. (Onalaska, WA): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. (Geneseo, NY): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Huntington Farm H.T. (South Strafford, VT): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Ocala Summer H.T. II (Ocala, FL): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Waredaca Farm H.T. (Gaithersburg, MD): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

FEI Eventing Nations Cup CCIO4*-S + International H.T. (Bromont, Canada): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring]

Wednesday News & Reading

A robust field of competitors will compete for the next FEI Eventing Nations Cup win, hosted this weekend at Bromont in Québec, Canada. The U.S., Canada, and Australia make up the small-but-mighty field of Nations Cup competition, mixed in with a 25-strong 4*-S division. Alongside the 4*-S will be 3*-S and 2*-S with a U-25 division for each, as well as Preliminary and Training level offerings. Bromont is a supremely popular venue that’s recently come under new ownership made up of a group of investors with big visions to grow the park’s footprint within equestrian sport. [Read more about the Bromont field]

The rein-back is one of those tricky movements that often eludes even the most well-schooled riders. I thought Mary Ann Grant’s insight on how a properly trained rein-back should feel to be quite interesting: “Think of the rein-back as a forward movement in which the engaged hind legs take the front legs backward instead of the shoulders taking the hind legs back. Likewise, when we walk forward, it is the engaged hind legs that take the front legs forward rather than the front legs pulling the hind legs forward.” [Read the article]

Summer Ever So Sweet Scholarship recipient Nora Huynh-Watkins has been enjoying her time training and all around being a sponge at Sara Kozumplik’s Overlook Farm in Virginia. She’s written a blog update to bring us up to speed on all she’s learned, and you won’t want to miss it. [Read the blog]

Planning ahead for next year’s AEC? Double check your qualifications, as they’re going to be a bit stronger for the 2023 Championship. A development made during the USEA Board of Governor’s meeting last week, the update removes eligibility for third place in national and FEI competition as qualifiers. First and second place only will count toward AEC qualification. The USEA says 89% of previous AEC competitors would still have been qualified to compete under these updated criteria. [Read the full story]

If you’re on the hunt for a new podcast to add to your rotation, might I suggest In Stride with Sinead Halpin? This podcast, put on by Ride iQ, features conversations on the longer side with riders and professionals as they sit down with 5* rider Sinead Halpin Maynard. The latest episode features Team USA member Will Coleman, who sat down for a chat just after returning from competing in Europe earlier this year. Will is one of the best riders to interview on account of his thoughtfulness and studious approach to the sport. I really enjoyed his interview and think you will too. [Listen to it here]

Tack Facts from Sterling Essentials

“I love moldy tack!”….said no rider, ever. Whether or not you find tack cleaning to be zen, the fact remains that your significant investment requires proper care to stay, well, worth all that money. Sterling Essentials’ all-natural cleaning and conditioning products have a markedly different effect when compared to other products. Spoiler alert: We have a full review of this great stuff coming later today, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out some facts in the Instagram post below (can’t see it? click here to view it):

Sponsor Shoutout: Haygain

One of my favorite takeaways watching FEI World Championships (pt. 1) at Herning, Denmark was the inclusion of grooms within the programming. Groom names and photos were listed for each horse and rider combination, and there was much more visibility placed on their handiwork than seen at past championships. I was the world’s worst groom, but I did walk away with a healthy respect for how much is required of a groom and how much responsibility they bear. Props to the International Grooms Association for their diligence in promoting grooms and helping them gain proper FEI representation, and props to Haygain for being big supporters of grooms themselves!


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Wednesday Video Break

What a grand feeling it must be to become a double World Champion. That feat was accomplished to wrap up an exciting FEI World Championships for Para Dressage in Herning last weekend. Here’s the recap of Michèle George and Best of B’s ride of a lifetime:

Tuesday Video Break: The Multi-Talented Ingrid Klimke

We know Ingrid Klimke is a force to be reckoned with on a cross country course, but did you also know Ingrid’s a world-class dressage rider as well? Proof in the pudding (as if you needed it) can be found in a shiny new bronze medal earned in Herning, Denmark last week as a part of Germany’s FEI World Championships team for dressage. Ingrid was tapped to represent Germany with the uber-talented Franziskus 15 (Fiedertanz 2 – Antara, by Alabaster), a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion who began his FEI dressage career in 2014 with Ingrid.

Ingrid and Franziskus have been wowing the crowds with their creative freestyle work, one of our favorites of which is shown below (honestly, this is the original #RaveHorse if you ask me):

While we don’t have a video of Ingrid’s performances in Herning, you can easily do a rider search on ClipMyHorse.TV to view each of her rides — here’s a link to the search.

Just for fun, here’s a look at a few other Ingrid and Franziskus rides through the years:

While Ingrid won’t be appearing in Pratoni representing Germany on the eventing, we wouldn’t be surprised if there came a year when we see her on both teams — after all, she’s qualified in both sports for both this championships as well as the postponed Tokyo Olympics. We love to see it and are constantly striving for just a thimbleful of talent equal to hers.

Meet the Horses and Riders Nominated for FEI World Championships for Eventing at Pratoni

Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

We’re anxiously awaiting the finalization of team and individual berths for the majority of countries competing in Italy for this year’s FEI World Championships for Eventing, and this morning we have a glimpse of nominated entries to further fuel the anticipation.

Nominated entries from each National Federation were due to the FEI on Monday, August 15, meaning each Federation can submit their “long list” of riders currently in the running for a competition spot. Definite entries are due on Monday, September 5, and we’ll likely see most of the major teams named ahead of this deadline with most final prep runs and selection trials concluded.

27 countries will be represented at FEI World Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro, and the roster includes the usual heavy-hitters, such as defending team gold medalists (both at WEG in 2018 and at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021) Great Britain, as well as a slew of smaller federations represented by individuals. These individuals include Daniela Moguel for Mexico, Olympian Fouaad Mirza for India, Olympian Korntawat Samran for Thailand, Aistis Vitkauskas for Lithuania, Balázs Kaizinger for Hungary, Nicolas Wettstein for Ecuador, and Olympian Alex Hua Tian for China.

You can view the full list of Nominated Entries here — and keep an eye out on EN for more team announcements as #Pratoni2022 inches closer. The action begins on September 14, and you can get up to speed on all the information you need (and a lot you didn’t) in our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships here.

You’re Invited to Submit Your Photos in Memory of Richard Picken

The eventing community (and beyond) continues to pay tribute to Richard Picken, who bravely battled cancer and passed away a few days ago. Richard was a well-respected mentor and friend to many in the equestrian world, and the Baugh family has invited all who knew him to submit their photos in his memory to a public album.

“We invite you to upload photos of Richard and yourself as a compilation of memories from people he touched and forever changed through his selflessness, kindness, education and friendship,” Kelly Baugh wrote. “This is to have and hold dear forever. ‘Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.’ (Jackie Robinson)

If you’d like to share a photo, click here to visit the Memories album set up in Richard’s honor. Anyone may contribute to this album. You’ll need an email address or a Google, Apple, or Facebook account to contribute.

Richard’s family and friends continue to be in our thoughts. In his memory, below are a few more tributes rounded up from social media. You can also listen to a great interview Richard did with Major League Eventing here.

Thank you for showing Colin and Alex the true honor of a Quest and how to Dream.

Whether I win…

Posted by Jeni Gaffney Dvm on Monday, August 15, 2022

A letter to Richard,

Six days from today will be four years since I first showed up at four schools farm and became…

Posted by Colin Gaffney on Sunday, August 14, 2022

Weekend Winners: Fair Hill, GMHA, Otter Creek, WindRidge Farm

We spy more than one former 5* horse out winning the blues this weekend! Here’s Neville Bardos, former superstar partner of Boyd Martin, who’s been relishing his role as professor for quite a few years now. His latest victory comes at Fair Hill this weekend in the Open Beginner Novice with Sarah Reese.

We also spotted the former partner of Lillian Heard, Share Option, at Fair Hill in the Beginner Novice Rider division, picking up the win with Emma Yanek.

Meanwhile, this weekend’s Unofficial Low Score Award was earned by Bernard Morauw and VC Questera, who won their Novice division at Otter Creek on an impressive finishing mark of 20.8. Nicely done!

Fair Hill International H.T. (Elkton, MD): [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Intermediate A: Daniel Clasing and Double Diamond C (35.8)
Open Intermediate B: Alex Baugh and Mr Candyman (38.8)
Open Preliminary A: Dom Schramm and Dawn Breaker (30.3)
Open Preliminary B: Meg Pellegrini and Global Naxos (26.2)
Preliminary Rider: Audrey Ogan and Always Cooley (31.7)
Open Training A: Ashley Adams and Global Halycon (30.4)
Open Training B: Daniel Clasing and Et Cetera (25.2)
Open Training C: Sydney Hagaman and Charmeur (21.7)
Training Rider A: Madison Hogan and Quintessential 39 (30.7)
Training Rider B: Megan Smallwood and Nevertheless (35.5)
Novice Rider A: Maeve Kenny and Astaire To The Future (31.7)
Novice Rider B: Robin King and Splash of Sass (28.3)
Open Novice A: Delaney Emerson and Merlins Redfield HSH (29.4)
Open Novice B: Ryan Wood and The Optimist (26.4)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Emma Yanek and Share Option (28.3)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Jennifer Trautmann and Moxley Leonard (29.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Sarah Reese and Neville Bardos (31.6)

GMHA Festival of Eventing August H.T. (South Woodstock, VT): [Website] [Final Scores]

CCI3*-S: Anna Loschiavo and Fernhill That Guy Jack (33.7)
CCI2*-S: Beth Murphy and Jimba (35.8)
Advanced CT: Lila Gendal and BT Just A Rebel (44.3)
Advanced/Intermediate: Ariel Grald and Isla de Coco (40.7)
Open Intermediate: Madeline Hartsock and Global FX (38.2)
Open Preliminary: Ariel Grald and Diara (28.8)
Preliminary Rider: Stephanie Sills and Salt (33.4)
Jr. Training: Eleanor Winter and Figlio (26.4)
Open Training A: Megan Tardiff and Vindakova (22.9)
Open Training B: Eliza Quigley and Kwibus (28.2)
Training Rider: Susan Gallagher and Chacco Chip (27.9)
Jr. Novice A: Annabelle Sprague and Freddie (22.5)
Jr. Novice B: Annabelle Sprague and Merry Clover King (22.8)
Novice Rider A: Kate Homan and Steve’s Sonata (33.6)
Novice Rider B: Jennifer Clapp and Sidamo de Brio (31.8)
Novice Rider C: Jacqueline Gilbert and ALF Cross My Heart (25.3)
Open Novice A: Booli Selmayr and Just My Style (24.2)
Open Novice B: Kristal Gessler and Prolific (26.7)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Jack Brennan and Paladin (33.8)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Nancy Read and Classic Chrome PCH (25.3)
Jr. Beginner Novice: Emma Adams and Cantefina HPF (33.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Alison Eastman-Lawler and Sara Bella (29.3)

Otter Creek Summer H.T. (Wheeler, WI): [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Intermediate: Leah Lang-Gluscic and AP Prime (45.7)
Intermediate/Preliminary: Rebecca Gall and Winning Attribute (46.2)
Open Preliminary: Liz Lund and R’Mani CF (42.3)
Jr. Training Rider: Alyssa Kendrick and McBean (59.1)
Open Training: Kirsten Hiles and Wisencrazi (28.6)
Preliminary/Training: Todd Wulf and Kando (26.4)
Sr. Training Rider: Morgan Risseeuw and Farina VT (32.4)
Jr. Novice Rider: Adelyn Rinehart and Wexford Cruise (35.0)
Open Novice: Bernard Morauw and VC Questera (20.8)
Sr. Novice Rider A: Bella Godfrey and Wonder Girl (34.7)
Sr. Novice Rider B: Jennifer Tyler and London ROF (30.6)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Liliana Davick and Briarhill Excell Star Cornetta (30.6)
Open Beginner Novice A: Mark Ward and Moonlight Clover (30.9)
Open Beginner Novice B: Lianne Burgess and Marisol (29.9)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Sue Goepfert and Isabeau VT (33.2)
Starter A: Catherine Christianson and Sonsational Sizzler (32.8)
Starter B: Amelia Nachtsheim and LandDance (29.0)

WindRidge Farm Summer H.T. (Mooresboro, NC): [Website] [Final Scores]

Intermediate: Becky Holder and Silmarillion (40.0)
Preliminary: Alan Montemayor and AZ (32.2)
Preliminary/Training: Lisa Borgia and Storm’s End (45.3)
Training A: Brianna Manning and Adrenaline Rush (28.9)
Training B: Bobby Meyerhoff and Aramona K (28.1)
Novice A: Andrew McConnon and Connor (32.1)
Novice B: Zoe Crawford and Willbrook Brown Yeats (31.9)
Novice C: Rachel Parrott and Mr. Barron (31.9)
Novice CT: Maggie Hitron and This Is Gonna Be Fun (42.5)
Beginner Novice A: Amanda Miller and Parkmore Irish Annie (31.5)
Beginner Novice B: Dianne May and Gilligan (31.5)
Beginner Novice C: Morgan Franklin and Mio Bello Ragazzo (35.8)
Beginner Novice CT: Harriet Goodrich and St. Paddy (46.2)
Intro A: Meredith Kapler and Queen Bee (41.5)
Intro B: Hannah Crosby and I Love Lucy (43.5)
Intro CT: Logan Harris and Dandy (38.4)
Starter A: Heather Sinclair and Banoffi (29.3)
Starter B: Evan Harris and Macaroni (29.7)

Germany Names Final Short List for FEI World Championships at Pratoni

Julia Krajewski and Amande de B’Neville. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Here we go! Nominated entries for the FEI World Championships for Eventing, happening September 14-18 at Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy, are due tomorrow (August 15), and following a final outing at Haras du Pin this weekend Germany has named its final short list. Their final list of nominated entries tomorrow should match this list:

The German team, which will consist of four team combinations, one individual combination, and two reserve pairs, is:


  • Sandra Auffarth and Viamant du Matz, owned by Nikolaus Prinz von Croy
  • Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH, owned by Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff, Klaus and Sabine Fischer, and DOKR
  • Julia Krajewski and Amande de B’Neville, owned by Bernd Heicke and the rider
  • Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S, owned by Lena Thoenies and the rider


  • Alina Dibowski and Barbados 26, owned by Susanna Dibowski

Team Reserve

  • Nico Aldinger and Timmo, owned by Jutta and Michael Spethmann

Individual Reserve

  • Sophie Leube and Jadore Moi, owned by BG Jadore Moi and the rider

We will provide more updates on this and other Pratoni teams as they become available — and if you’re looking for a full slate of information, click on over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships here.

Eventing Community Pays Tribute to Richard Picken

We learned this weekend that Richard Picken, beloved husband of Joanie Morris and renowned show jumping rider and coach, has passed away at the age of 53. Perhaps best known within the tight knit eventing community as a mentor, coach, and friend, Richard spent his life dedicated to equestrian sport and the relationships he cultivated throughout.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Richard began his riding career as a show jumper, eventually transitioning to work closely in many other realms of sport. He would play an integral role in the logistical management of major championships such as the Olympic and World Equestrian Games.

Richard and Joanie Morris met in 2010 and were married in 2013 and subsequently relocated to Four Schools Farm in Kentucky, basing from there as they pursued their respective careers. Richard has coached and mentored multiple riders, including Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Alex Baugh, and countless others. He played a key role in the success of Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice, who claimed individual bronze in Rio in 2016.

Through the years, the crew at Four Schools Farm has become more akin to a family than a group of riders. Consisting of core team members Alex Baugh, Colin Gaffney, Laura Douglas, Courtenay Turner, Morgan Kempe, Michelle and John Koppin, Grace Dilger, and Maddie Hale, the Four Schools team has supported each other through these past few months.

Across social media, riders and friends of Richard have shared their memories of and tributes to Richard. We’ve gathered a few to share with you a small glimpse of the impact Richard had on the community.

We’re sending our thoughts and condolences to all who knew and loved Richard, who will be sorely missed in our community and beyond.

We are forever grateful to have had Richard in our lives. Richard and Joanie took on Alex, and at times, the entire…

Posted by Kelly Baugh on Saturday, August 13, 2022

To our dear friend Richard, thank you for always bringing out the best in us. The support at events, the years of friendship, and always having our backs. We will miss you greatly but always remember. ❤️

Posted by Ryan Wood on Sunday, August 14, 2022

So very sad to hear about the passing of Richard Picken. He always brought out the best in all his students, including…

Posted by Emily Hamel Eventing on Saturday, August 13, 2022

I had amazing show jump rounds today at the beautiful GMHA on three horses that I need to give direct credit to Richard…

Posted by Allison Springer on Saturday, August 13, 2022

Saturday Video from #Herning2022: The Super Swedes Do It Again

The reigning Olympic champions of show jumping proved their mettle once again on Friday at the ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning, Denmark, running away with the team championship and securing World gold. Believe it or not, this is the first time Sweden has taken the World Championship title.

The Dutch and British teams also stepped up to the steep challenge set by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx, capitalizing on mistakes made by other countries to steadily move up onto the final podium. In total, five teams will move forward with qualification berths for the 2024 Olympics in Paris: Sweden, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany. Host country France will automatically qualify for the Games, and their team finished sixth for their efforts this week.

Perhaps one of the best stories from the week was the all-female Canadian team, who impressed to make the team final thanks to some gutsy rounds during the first two parts of competition. The Canadians suffered some blows with rails down on Friday, prompting them to lose out on an Olympic qualification, but they nonetheless left quite an impression with their efforts.

Meanwhile, the defending World Champions from the U.S. failed to make the team final, finishing in 11th as a team and sending McLain Ward and Brian Moggre forward as individuals. Sadly, both McLain and Brian encountered trouble on course and will not move ahead to Sunday’s individual final. It’s quite a blow for a historically strong program that saw them clinch gold in Tryon during the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games as well as team silver in Tokyo after a thrilling battle with the #SuperSwedes.

Catch up on scores from Herning 2022 here and tune in tomorrow to see who will be crowned the 2022 individual world champion!

Looking for a Late Summer Advanced? Don’t Miss the Return of Kentucky Classique September 2-4

Sydney Elliot and Commando D’ Osthuy. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

It’s been since 2018 that we’ve seen the popular Park Equine Kentucky Classique at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, but the late-summer staple will return to the calendar over Labor Day weekend (September 2-4) to offer riders a chance at an upper-level run. Kentucky Classique will also serve as Area 8 Championships once more this year.

“The Kentucky Classique was a standard fixture on the fall calendar for years,” longtime organizer Mary Fike said. “When the USEA was looking for a site to host (American Eventing Championships) in this general vicinity, Equestrian Events, Inc. [EEI] and I put our heads together and thought there was a possibility that we could host them, but it meant putting Kentucky Classique on hold for a little while.”

The USEA opted to run AECs at Kentucky Horse Park in 2019 and 2021, with one year skipped in between due to COVID-19. This year, the AECs will be held at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT, but the Championships will return to Kentucky for 2023 and 2024. For this intervening year, however, Mary and her colleagues wanted to ensure riders in the area still had an upper-level target if they needed one. And with Advanced events difficult to come by with the advent of an updated calendaring process from US Equestrian, a good run is quite valuable in terms of fall season prep. But with the years off, Mary wants riders to know that the Kentucky Classique is back on the calendar this year.

“Whether or not the upper level riders are aware of it this year because it snuck in a bit under the radar remains to be seen,” she commented. “But we hope they will support it. Jay Hambly is a well-respected course designer, and Derek di Grazia was just here on an advisory role and was very happy with what he saw. We have the ability to aerate and irrigate the ground, which is really great this time of year when the ground can be hard.”

Kentucky Classique can trace its roots back to the 1990s, when it evolved out of a date held by the former Haypenny Fall H.T. When Haypenny ceased running in 1997, Kentucky Classique stepped up to fill the void and will now celebrate its 31st year of running this year. It’s an event that’s home-grown by nature, not running under the funding or support of a larger organization like some of its counterparts.

“The Kentucky Classique is not supported by any board or organization, so we weren’t really able to underwrite a lot of things ourselves,” Mary explained. “We’ve always tried to step up and do what can be done, so we added an Intermediate and we ran for a few years with some FEI divisions. This year, we looked at the calendar and we really wanted to keep an Advanced on these dates at the Horse Park.”

Mary cites a great working relationship she and EEI have with the USEA, which has allowed them to use some of the fences originally earmarked for use in the AECs for the return of Kentucky Classique, saving costs along the way. She anticipates the event running during years when AECs are not held in Kentucky.

Entries for Kentucky Classique are currently open and will close on Tuesday, August 16. Divisions offered include a Beginner Novice Three-Day along with Horse Trial divisions from Starter through Advanced. The cross country courses are noted to be moderate to challenging for all levels, making it a perfect test for those seeking a fall set-up.

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

It’s going to be a BUSY Wednesday in Herning, Denmark, where the ECCO FEI World Championships are currently underway for four disciplines. Today, we’ll see competition kick off for the para dressage riders and the show jumpers, while the vaulters and dressage riders wrap up with their respective final competitions. It’s a jam-packed day of action, and while Denmark is seven hours ahead of the East coast, the live stream provider FEI TV on ClipMyHorse.TV is generally pretty quick to have replays up for viewing on demand. Check out the full schedule for the day here and view on ClipMyHorse.TV here. Some of the Para Dressage competition will also be streamed live at no cost on the FEI YouTube channel here.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Fair Hill International H.T. (Elkton, MD): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

GMHA Festival of Eventing August H.T. (South Woodstock, VT): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Otter Creek Summer H.T. (Wheeler, WI): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

WindRidge Farm Summer H.T. (Mooresboro, NC): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Major International Events

NAF Five Star Hartpury International H.T. (Gloucestershire, England): [Website] [Timing & Scoring] [Live Stream]

Le Grand Complet International H.T. (Le Pin au Haras, France): [Website] [Timing & Scoring]

Wednesday News & Reading

The Maryland 5 Star may be the main attraction come mid-October, but hot on its heels in terms of popularity is sure to be the just-announced Maryland Corgi Cup, happening during the 5 Star and put on by Major League Eventing. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a bunch of dogs with inexplicably short legs race oh-so-quickly across the famous Maryland turf, you’re definitely going to want to book this on your list of things to do during Maryland weekend. Visit the Major League Eventing page to find out more!

Ever wanted to train with a coach-to-the-stars? You may have a chance to! Erik Duvander, former man-in-charge of US Eventing and current coach to many team riders, is giving cross country lessons at Boyd Martin’s Windurra facility in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, August 17. Spots are limited, but you can email [email protected] to inquire about one.

Capt. Mark Phillips shared some thoughts on the idea of instinctual cross country riding in his latest op-Ed for Horse & Hound. “I’m involved in a lot of work to try to reduce the risks of riding across the country, but if riders don’t react, I’m not sure how we prevent serious accidents, because if you keep trying, eventually you will get unlucky,” he wrote. Read the full piece here.

Sometimes, it’s the horse that doesn’t “tick every box” that turns out to be the best outcome. Take the story of West Point, a 21-year-old Quarter Horse gelding who has competed in 100 horse trials through his career despite some distinctive quirks and a failed pre-purchase exam. Read the story here.

Strides for Equality Equestrians has just announced an upcoming two-year anniversary fundraising drive, happening October 1-31 and labeled “SEE Month”. Opportunities to get involved include providing a donation for an online auction or signing up to donate a percentage of lesson or clinic funds on a day during October. Click here to learn more about SEE Month and sign up to participate.

Sponsor Corner: Meet the Haygain Forager.

Wednesday Video Break

With the ECCO FEI World Championships for Vaulting, Show Jumping, Para Dressage, and Dressage currently ongoing in Denmark, it’s cool to get to know more about some of the incredible riders competing through the week. In this video, meet Colombian vaulter Estiven Hernandez:

Tuesday Video: Watch Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry’s Stunning Championship Performance at Herning

The ECCO FEI World Championships for Dressage are nearly completed in Herning, Denmark as this “pseudo-WEG” we have this year continues this week. You’ll recall that dressage, vaulting, para dressage, and show jumping are holding their FEI World Championships this week in Denmark, separately from World Championships for Eventing and Driving in Italy and World Championships for Endurance in Spain.

The dressage competition has just the freestyle left to see this week, and Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry left us all speechless with a stunning performance aboard the 11-year-old KWPN stallion, Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale – Thuja, by Negro). An 82.508% would secure the win over Danish rider Catherine Laudrup-Dufour in the Grand Prix Special, and now Charlotte has her eyes set on repeating the victory in Wednesday’s freestyle finale.

Watch Charlotte and Glamourdale’s incredible test:

You can tune in live from Herning all week long on FEI TV (YouTube) as well as on ClipMyHorse.TV (subscription required). The freestyle championship will kick off at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, August 10).

Snag Your Tailgating Spot for Maryland 5 Star Before They Sell Out!

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Tickets are already on sale for the second Maryland 5 Star, happening October 13-16, 2022, and now you can add a tailgating pass to your weekend experience beginning today. But you’ll want to hurry — top spots are already selling out, and supplies are limited.

Tailgating has become a popular way to take in the action for three-day events, and spots are scattered all about the 5* and 3* tracks, which will also come in and out of the main arena and trade fair areas as a new addition this year.

Graphic courtesy of Maryland 5 Star.

Tailgating passes will include the following:

  • Access for one (1) vehicle to park in a reserved, designated tailgating space in one of our three cross-country fields.
  • All passes allow Tailgaters to be parked in their reserved spot for the full duration of both the 3 Star (morning) and 5 Star (afternoon) cross-country competition
  • Eight (8) Saturday General Admission Tickets
  • Access to walk alongside over four miles of the new Cross Country Courses up close and personal to all the action on Saturday
  • Unlimited access to our curated Retail Vendor Areas
  • On-site fan activations
  • Wide variety of food and beverage offerings both out on Course and in the Infield

You can take a look at all the options that are currently available here and other ticket offerings available here, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Maryland in just a few weeks’ time!

Yes, There’s a Mongol Derby Round Two Kicking Off Tomorrow: Meet the Riders!

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you! We had to do a double-take as well, as the 2022 Mongol Derby — aka the longest horse race in the world at a stiff 1000 km / 600 mi distance to be covered on half-wild Mongolian horses — is back in quick succession with a second race following up the one that just completed. After consecutive COVID-19 cancellations, the race doubled up this year to allow those who’d signed up for 2020 and 2021 to have their time on the Steppe.

46 riders hailing from all over the globe have arrived at training camp and are hard at work learning the ropes of their GPS navigation and training on horseback ahead of the August Mongol Derby kickoff tomorrow, August 10. Each rider brings with them a mixture of experience, both in the horse world and out, but we’re keeping a particularly close eye on the proclaimed eventers, which for this round include:

You can take a gander at all the bios for this group of riders here. Remember, once the race begins, live GPS tracking will be provided on The Equestrianists using the initials of each competitor.

Ahead of kickoff tomorrow, let’s take a look at pre-race training, as the on-site team for the Mongol Derby is excellent at keeping us up to speed:

You can follow along with @mongolderby on Instagram and Facebook for more, as well as daily blogs and updates on The Equestrianists. We’ll keep you up to speed with more updates like this in the coming days!

#ICYMI: Just Some Cool Eventing Ponies from the FEI European Championships for Ponies

The 2022 FEI European Championship for Ponies (yes, for ponies) wrapped up in Poland last weekend, crowning new champions across Olympic the disciplines of eventing, show jumping, and dressage.

In eventing, the Irish stepped up to claim team gold. Irish riders Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred (Gwennic de Goariva – Cornnafest Nora), Josh Williamson with Ardeo Fireman (Tinka’s Boy – Darracks Babe), Matthew Love with Lucky For Some (Dunlewey Seamus – Gifted Sister) and Claire O’Ryan with Carhu Melody (I Love You Melody – Lickeen Star) took the lead after cross-country. On the final day, three knockdowns and an added 12 penalties could not threaten their win. On a final team score of 104.1, the young Irish took home the gold medal. The best one of them was Ben Connors, who was clear in the final jumping and finished with the silver individual medal (28.9).

Team silver went to Germany, with the result of 107.6. They kept their second position through all of the trials. Team member Merle Hoffmann with Penny Lane WE (Calido G – Piorett, by Prince Thatch xx) finished with the bronze medal individually (31.0).

The French, defending their last year’s title, lost their dressage lead in the cross-country after one of their riders had a run-out at the last combination and that knocked them down into third. On the final day, the Germans added 8 penalties to the score, but that kept them in the bronze medal position, finishing with the score of 108.9.

The best of the Germans was once again Mae Rinaldi aboard Boston Du Verdon. The dressage leader delivered a double clear cross country and flawless show jumping to finish at 25.6. “It’s amazing. My pony was fantastic all week,’ Mae commented. “Yesterday’s cross-country was long, with demanding fences and combinations, but Boston was great as always. Today we were under a lot of pressure, but my pony jumped great and I’m really happy to win the European Championships for the second time in a row!”

We can’t ever have enough pony eventing action, so enjoy a few missives from social media, and I’ll also link to the FEI TV live stream replays at the bottom of this post if you want to relive the action on your own!

Show Jumping Live Stream Replay:

Cross Country Live Stream Replay:

FEI European Championships for Ponies (Strzegom, Poland): [Website] [Final Results]

Team USA and Canada Riders React to Selection to FEI World Championships Squads

On Tuesday, news dropped that the teams for the upcoming FEI World Championships for Eventing were selected for the United States and Canada. As the riders make their preparations for the Championships, happening at Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy September 14-18, we rounded up their reactions to the selection.

We will continue to bring you more news from #Pratoni2022 as the clock ticks closer, including profiles on riders tackling the Championships as individuals, spectator guides, more team announcements, and much more. Be sure to bookmark our Ultimate Guide to the FEI World Championships for Eventing to keep up with all the latest in one spot.

Team USA:

Will Coleman Off the Record. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Will Coleman:

“It’s an honor to be selected for the World Championships. I try not to view selection as something to celebrate, but rather as an opportunity to represent my country and compete at the highest level in our sport. I look forward to the challenge of that. Pratoni will be the ultimate test, and we are busy doing our very best to arrive prepared and in great condition. I owe so much to my owners of Off The Record and Dondante, and I am so happy for them to receive the recognition that comes with this opportunity. To Katie, my family, my staff, and all our support team of farriers, coaches, vets, and sport science specialists, thank you for helping us get to this point. Now let’s keep it going — Go USA!”

Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ariel Grald:

“I’m thrilled and honored to be named to the U.S. Eventing Squad for the FEI World Championships. It’s a privilege to represent the USA along with an amazing group of riders and horses. I’m incredibly grateful to owner Annie Eldridge, who has always believed in me and Simon. And a huge thank you to groom Meredith Ferraris who takes great care of him. We’ve had an amazing journey so far and I look forward to competing in Italy.

There is plenty of preparation to do leading up to the World Championships and I’m eager to put in the hard work to produce our best performance possible. I have immense faith in Simon and we will be ready to go storm around Pratoni! Go Team USA!”

Captain America a.k.a. Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Abby Powell.

Boyd Martin:

“What a heroic effort for Thomas to be on his fourth Championship team and a testament to his longevity. His soundness and toughness has been phenomenal. He’s never missed a day of work and vetted this year better than he ever has.

I think this particular competition really suits him. Every WEG I’ve gone to, my gut feeling is that they call it a four-star, but it’s always a five-and-a-half star and Thomas’ strength is when its long and tough and big and demanding physically. He’s such a trier and a pure athlete, so I think it’s a perfect competition for him.

This year there was a bit of a hard team to pick — I think there were eight or nine horses all striving for the top spots. In America there were so many horses on or about the same score [in the qualification events] — some were better in dressage, some were better on cross country and others had a pole or two down but it left everyone on a relatively even field. So I’m sure the selection was very difficult this year, where usually the team picks itself and this is one of the years I’ve felt we had a lot of depth to select from and I’m proud to have made the cut.”


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Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Lauren Nicholson:

“I’m so honored to have been selected and even more thrilled for Ms. Mars and our “village”. There is such a phenomenal group of people behind Bug and I that spend as many sleepless nights as myself and Sally [Robertson] thinking of every little thing we can do to improve, and we wouldn’t be here without them.

I’ve been very fortunate to have been on various championship and Nations Cup teams with my other teammates and I can’t wait to do it again. We’ve still got a lot to do before Pratoni, but we will just continue doing what we have been, focusing on getting better at what we do every day and arriving in the best form possible to represent the USA.”

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Tamie Smith:

“I am super excited and honored to represent my country at the World Championships, especially with the group of amazing people on the team. I know we’re all hungry to bring home an outstanding performance for Team USA!”


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Team Canada:

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Hawley Bennett-Awad:

“Just like the Olympic Games, the World Championships happen every four years for the best in the world! To be selected is a massive achievement.

I am so proud and excited to say I have been selected not for my first, not my second, not my thirds, but my FOURTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! What makes this even more special for me is that Jollybo is finally getting the recognition she deserves and she has been selected to her second world championships!!

Looks like I need to learn some Italian and brush up on my red wines because we are going to Italy! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE that has believed in us through good days and bad. I have a pretty remarkable support team!!”


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A post shared by Hawley Awad (@hbeventing)

Holly Jacks-Smither and Candy King. Photo by Abby Powell.

Holly Jacks-Smither:

“I am so excited to go represent Canada at the World Championships in Italy along with 4 amazing other Canadian pairs and 2 fabulous alternates! There are way too many people to thank.

Vets, farriers, body workers for me and my horse! My ankle surgeon who put me back together last November. My current coaches Buck, Tom, Hyde and Margie. My staff past and present who have been by my side through some pretty tough times the last 24 months. HUGE thank you to the new syndicate members who kept this horse in my barn. My friends who ARE my family. My dad who always told me to work hard at what I love and my dreams would eventually come true! Bill who got me riding, Jinny who took me on as a kid and is still there for me today.

Every experience got me to this point. Jeanine, Penny for the working student opportunities, the times at the track spent with amazing horseman and horsewoman including Bruce. The times with Frankie chasing cows and jumping show jumps.

The new HPAG, thank you for all your volunteer hours, fundraising and turning the Canadian program around the last few months. I am so excited to be part of this!!!

Thank you to my Sponsors, many who have sponsored and believed in me for years through out all the ups and downs of this sport. Bernadette and Liz, thank you for all you guys do to keep things ticking.

My amazing students and past horses who have shaped me into the rider I am today. I’m sure I have forgot people but please know I’m so humbled and blessed by this opportunity and I promise we will go out there ready to compete and kick on for Canada 🇨🇦.”

I am so excited to go represent Canada at the World Championships in Italy along with 4 amazing other Canadian pairs and…

Posted by Holly Jacks-Smither on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Colleen Loach and Vermont. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Colleen Loach:

“I’m very excited to be chosen to represent Canada. I feel lucky to be introducing a new horse to the Championship level and I’m very excited for his future. I’m very grateful for the support team around me that helped make this happen! I think it’s going to be a real fitness test, and I think [Vermont] is suited to that.”

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Karl Slezak:

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Mike Winter:

“Getting the call up to be part of a Championship squad is always very exciting for the whole team. From owners, family, yard staff, coaches, breeder, vet, physio, farrier, etc. It’s the culmination of lots of hard work and credit goes to all involved. Now it’s time to focus on this very important task of producing the result that is expected of us and we expect of ourselves.”

Dressage Debrief with Peter Gray: Breaking Down Michael Jung’s 2022 LRK3DE Dressage Test

Michael Jung and fisherChipmunk FRH. Photo by Shelby Allen.

What’s it like to watch a living legend through the eyes of an equally legendary dressage judge? We did just that as we sat down with FEI World Championships for Eventing Ground Jury member Peter Gray for a Dressage Debrief on Michael Jung’s winning test at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Peter Gray, a USEF ‘R’ Eventing Judge as well as a two-time Olympic eventer and coach (fun fact, he was born in Bermuda and went on to become the first Bermudian to compete internationally as an eventer!), certainly needs little introduction, but if you’d like to learn a bit more about his philosophy — and how he’s feeling ahead of next month’s World Championships — you can take a dive in this profile written by Tilly Berendt.

Not only does Peter judge and coach, he also still competes! While he’s hung his eventing gear up, you can find him competing in the dressage ring throughout the year. He’s pictured here in Ocala with Babuh, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.

Now sit back and enjoy our first of what we hope will be many in this Dressage Debrief! Bonus content: Peter also dives into some advice for how to maximize your time before the bell, muses on the concept of deep corners, and talks a little about his role as the judge. Fascinating stuff!

We’ll be back soon with a new edition — and keep an eye out for opportunities to submit your own tests for a virtual “Ride-A-Test” type of video!

Many thanks to Peter for his time and expertise, to the USEF Network for providing the footage, and to you for watching. Go Eventing!

Announcing the 2022 EN Blogger Contest Finalists

We were thrilled with the response to the return of the annual EN Blogger Contest, in which we test the wits and tolerance for ridiculousness of unsuspecting aspiring writers from amongst the eventing ranks. We’d like to thank each and every writer who submitted an entry — we were blown away by the talent and number of applications we received!

After a review of the Round 1 entries we received, we’re pleased to unveil the group of 14 finalists who have been invited forward to Round 2:

  • Lisa Brewer
  • Cheg Darlington
  • Diana Gilbertson
  • Allie Heninger
  • Ruth Jacobs
  • Megan Kaiser
  • Poppy van Maltzahn
  • Julia Marrinan
  • Hannah O’Brien
  • Cassidy Oeltjen
  • Karla Parsons
  • Charlotte Salmon
  • Sydney Steverson
  • Christopher Westgate

The contestants have now been sent their Round 2 writing prompts, so stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

I’m still consuming as much Mongol Derby content as I can, though the last riders have crossed the finish line. I’ve spent the last week having an internal debate with myself on whether or not I would be tough enough to compete in the Mongol Derby, and while I believe anyone can prepare well for something…I don’t know. I think I might just have to make do with following on Instagram, honestly.

A very special shout goes to a former somewhat-coach of mine, Julie Wolfert, and her friend and student Renee Senter from Kansas City, who completed the Derby over the weekend. Julie picked up a win in the 3*-L at Tryon earlier this spring before her Mongol Derby trip began in earnest, and Renee is part of a small ownership group nicknamed Team Pivot and also including Sheri Gurske that supports Julie and her upper-level partner, SSH Playboy, on their journey to the top. It’s a really cool story, and you’re in luck because we’ll have a full story about how Team Pivot came to be coming your way in the coming weeks.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Area VII Young Rider Benefit H.T. (Centralia, WA): [Website] [Volunteer]

Catalpa Corner Charity H.T. (Iowa City, IA): [Website] [Scoring]

Cobblestone Farms H.T. II (Dexter, MI): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring]

Early Bird Summer Event at Galway Downs (Temecula, CA): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Flora Lea Farm Mini Event (Medford, NJ): [Website]

Hoosier H.T. (Edinburgh, IN): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Olney Farm H.T. (Joppa, MD): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring]

River Glen Summer H.T. (New Market, TN): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spring Gulch H.T. (Littleton, CO): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times] [Scoring]

Major International Events

ECCO FEI World Championships – Herning 2022: [Website] [Schedule & Scoring] [Live Stream]

FEI European Championships for Ponies (Strzegom, Poland): [Website] [Schedule & Entries] [Timing & Scoring] [Live Stream]

Wednesday News & Reading

We’re keeping Kentucky in our thoughts as recovery efforts continue after devastating flooding throughout the eastern regions of the state, many of which are rural. Continued rainfall has made recovery and rescue tough, and to date the death toll is 37 people. To assist those who have been affected by the flooding, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Farm Bureau have joined together to raise funds. You can learn more about this fund and donate here.

The newly-formed USEA Emerging Athlete 21 program seems to be off to a solid start, with a host of clinics scattered around the country offering opportunity for continued education for these top young riders. This week, Bec Braitling is teaching at Holly Hill Farm in Benton, LA, and day one was already full of useful insights. Bec is a well-respected coach out here on the West coast, and her calm and clear demeanor makes it easy to want to learn from here. Check out the full day one report here.

After serving for eight years as the US Equestrian Director of Sport Programs, Will Connell is stepping down following this competition season in November. Formerly a performance director for British Equestrian, Will had worked with the U.S. teams since 2014 and was instrumental in leading the Americans to top finishes across all FEI disciplines. ““I’d been thinking about it a while and decided the time was right to move on,” Will told The Chronicle of the Horse. “I wanted to make sure there was plenty of time for the federation to find the right person and for that person to have long enough in the job ahead of Paris [Olympics in 2024].”

Catching up with former top event horses in their second (or third!) careers is always fascinating, and this week we meet Gonzalo, a former 4* eventer now piloted with Trevor Breen, who picked up a fourth place finish in last weekend’s Longines King George V Gold Cup CSI5*.

Tack Mythbusters from Sterling Essentials: Did you know saddle soap is one of the worst things you can use to clean your saddle? [If the embedded post below does not show up in your browser, view it on Instagram here]

Wednesday Video Break

Take a tour of the Danish location for the ECCO FEI World Championships for Show Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Vaulting, which kick off this Saturday, August 6:

#TimeTravelTuesday: Take Us Back to Tokyo

A year ago, we were wrapping up the action from the postponed Tokyo Olympics, where we saw the crowning of Germany’s Julia Krajewski as the individual gold medalist for eventing and Team Great Britain cleaned up the team gold medal in convincing fashion. It’s quite difficult to believe it’s been a whole year since that magical trip, so I thought it fitting to take a travel back to #Tokyo2020:

Team Poland enjoy a sunset slot in the main arena during my first stop upon deplaning: Arena Familiarization! Photo by Sally Spickard.

Derek di Grazia’s Tokyo Olympic cross country course was cleverly set on an artificial island featuring epic views and even more epic temperatures. While the track at an Olympic Games isn’t dimensionally as large nor as technical as a “true” five-star event, the challenge was thickened by the temperatures and the undulations in the ground — one of Derek’s favorite things to utilize as he designs.

Julia Krajewski begins her weekend with Amande de B’Neville. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Alex Hua Tian debriefs with the team. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Julia Krajewski (Germany) and Amande de B’Neville. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Bea di Grazia sends Lauren Billys some good cheer ahead of her test. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Jesse Campbell runs through his safe words. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Michael Jung and Chipmunk FRH. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Ludwig Svennerstal and Balham Mist. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

After a busy two days of dressage, which featured a shortened test that drew mixed but generally positive reactions, it was time to tackle the challenge ahead on Sea Forest Island…

Lea Siegl and DSP Fighting Line. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Huadong Sun and Lady Chin V’T Moerven Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Felix Vogg and Colero. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Joanna Pawlak and Fantastic Freida. Huadong Sun and Lady Chin V’T Moerven Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Susanna Bordonne and Imperial Van De Holtakkers. Rafael Mamprin Losano and Fuiloda G. Joanna Pawlak and Fantastic Freida. Huadong Sun and Lady Chin V’T Moerven Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

(This was also the day EN decided to crash for a full day, in true traditional fashion, but we won’t dwell on that)

Once cross country finishes, it feels like an all-out landslide for the finish as the combinations rested and recovered for the trot-up the following day and two rounds of show jumping to determine team and individual medals.

Kazuma Tomoto (JPN) and Vinci De La Vigne. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Tamie Smith (USA) and Mai Baum. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Sandra Auffarth (GER) and Viamant Du Matz. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Laura Collett and London 52. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue D’Argouges. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

And then, as the dust settled in the mostly empty stadium, it was time to crown our podium toppers:

A podium finish! Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Has anyone ever seen Oliver Townend jump for joy before?! A historic moment, indeed. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Julia Krajewski and Amande de B’Neville. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Golden Great Britain! Tom McEwen, Laura Collett and Oliver Townend. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The next Olympic cycle will bring us to Paris in 2024, where the equestrian disciplines will take place July 27 – August 6. But first, we’ll get a glimpse at the first federations to qualify for a Paris berth at the upcoming FEI World Championships for Eventing in Italy next month.

It’s Here! Meet the U.S. Team Traveling to Pratoni for the FEI World Championships for Eventing

Like kids on Christmas, we’re eagerly tearing the wrapping off press release after press release today, and the latest to land in our inboxes is the hottest ticket of them all: Team USA has been announced for next month’s FEI World Championships for Eventing at Pratoni del Vivaro in Rocca di Papa, Italy.

The traveling team to Pratoni for the U.S. will include:

  • Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate
    • Direct Reserve: Dondante, a 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Team Rebecca, LLC
      Groom: Hailey Burlock
  • Ariel Grald (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Leamore Master Plan, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Anne Eldridge
    Groom: Meredith Ferraris
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg TSF, a 2007 Trakehner gelding owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner
    Groom: Stephanie Simpson
  • Lauren Nicholson (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, a 2007 Anglo-Arabian gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars
    Groom: Sally Robertson
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell
    Groom: Alyssa Dobrotin
  • Traveling Reserve: Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, David Vos, Evie Dutton, Patricia Vos, and Suzanne Lacy
    Groom: Sydnee Ledyard

The following combinations have been named as alternates, and are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle, a 2010 Warmblood gelding owned by Nina and Timothy Gardner
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien
  • Phillip Dutton and Sea of Clouds, a 2011 Thoroughbred gelding owned by the Sea of Clouds Partnership
  • Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, a 2010 Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver, a 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership
  • Boyd Martin and Fedarman B, a 2010 KWPN gelding owned by the Annie Goodwin Syndicate

The competition format for Worlds will consist of four (some teams may have three members) team members with one dropped score and one individual combination. These designations will be determined and announced later on. Team USA will converge on MARS Great Meadow International August 24-28 in The Plains, VA for a final Mandatory Outing before shipping out from USET Headquarters in Gladstone.

If you’re looking for all the latest information on Pratoni, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide that’s chock full of the latest coverage, team announcements, and much more. 

#Pratoni2022: WebsiteBox OfficeEN’s InstagramEN’s TwitterEN’s Coverage

Rebecca Farm Adds Festival Divisions to AEC Weekend

Maddie Lichten and Yarrow. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships are heading west this year, happening over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30 – Sept. 4) at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT. The “eventer’s Super Bowl” each year brings together the top qualified horses and riders from all levels, including the popular $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final. Entries are currently open and will close on Tuesday, August 16.

To provide opportunity for non-AEC-qualified pairs to come and compete, organizers at AEC this year have also added a handful of “Festival” classes, which are recognized divisions that will not fall under the Championship umbrella. Riders may enter Festival divisions from Beginner Novice up through Preliminary.

You can find all of the info you need on entering and getting to AEC here and sneak a peek at 2022 entries here.

Weekend Winners: Horse Park of New Jersey + Hunt Club Farms

It was a lighter competition weekend here in the mid-summer eventing lull, though we’re seeing a few pairs coming back into action as the fall season prep begins to ramp up. The Horse Park of New Jersey added an Advanced to its offerings to help provide options for riders seeking a pipe-opener at the level, so quite a few top pairs were out for a stretch. We’ll next see many of these heavy hitters out at Great Meadow International later this month (and may have glimpsed a World Championships pair or two over the weekend!).

This week’s Unofficial Low Score Award was earned in the Open Novice B at New Jersey by Delaney Emerson and Caroline Martin’s Redfield Lavei, who won the division on a 23.3. If you’re in the market, Redfield Lavei is for sale!

Horse Park of New Jersey H.T. (Allentown, NJ): [Website] [Final Scores]

Advanced: Buck Davidson and Electric Lux (43.4)
Open Intermediate A: Buck Davidson and Stracathro Solitary Minstrel (35.2)
Open Intermediate B: Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (35.5)
Open Preliminary A: Hannah Sue Hollberg and Capitol HIM (26.6)
Open Preliminary B: Jil Thomas-Smith and Bon Vivant DSF (29.7)
Open Preliminary C: Madeline Hartsock and Global FX (30.3)
Open Modified A: Ashley Adams and Quicksilver Gräns (27.6)
Open Modified B: Jennie Brannigan and Adagio’s Nobility (28.6)
Open Training: Caroline Honeycutt and Beall Spring Seahawk (26.8)
Training Rider A: Christa Schmidt and Karate Kid (33.1)
Training Rider B: Marine Cassou and Castleturvin Mungo (33.7)
Novice Rider A: Jamie Merrill and Addi (26.7)
Novice Rider B: Karen D’Lauro and Diamond Striker (24.2)
Novice Rider C: Liz Woodfield and GL Rudbeckia (29.8)
Open Novice A: Ryan Wood and Cooley Cadbury (28.1)
Open Novice B: Delaney Emerson and Redfield Lavei (23.3)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Ingrid Johnson and Resplendence (27.2)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Luba Abrams and Huey (25.9)
Open Beginner Novice: Macie Brook and Windchase Andromeda (29.1)

Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Berryville, VA): [Website] [Final Scores]

Open Preliminary: Martin Douzant and Harthill Diamond (27.2)
Preliminary Rider: Jessie Schwartz and WHF Kitaro (36.4)
Modified A: Martin Douzant and Silver Ruby (29.8)
Modified B: Arden Wildasin and Wanama (33.7)
Open Training: Martin Douzant and Clifton’s Patriot (26.7)
Training Rider: Claire Allen and Get Serious (28.3)
Novice Rider A: Isabella Soon and Tap the Moment (31.8)
Novice Rider B: Coree Reuter-McNamara and Another Concerto (27.8)
Novice Rider C: Faith Genkinger and Nuclear Code (34.2)
Open Novice A: Quidley Kellermann and Cruising Along (26.8)
Open Novice B: Katerina Pecinovsky and Affirminator (33.6)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Bekah Bartley and Plain Brown Wrap (31.9)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Ella Genkinger and Soup of the Day (27.5)
Open Beginner Novice: Mike Pendleton and Clive Christian (30.0)
YEH 4 Year Old: Keara Schmidt and Quality TNT (80.500)
YEH 5 Year Old: Lucia Strini and Dassett Evermore (86.200)
Starter: Laura Kiff and Give Me A Chance (27.7)

You’re Missing Out on These Hilariously Insane Missives from the 2022 Mongol Derby Blogs

Photo courtesty of The Mongol Derby.

One of the best parts of following the Mongol Derby is the hilarity (and intensity) that ensues via The Equestrianists’ daily blogs. Each evening, the team rehashes the events of the day — and its the wild, beautiful Mongolian Steppe, a lot of sh*t happens out there — to update followers on the happenings across the 1000km/600mi track.

I pulled a few quotes from the past few days’ blogs to give you a glimpse — you may not find them as hilarious as I did, but they certainly up the fan experience for me!

Note, riders are referred to in the blogs by initials – you can find a full rider list here and a live tracking map here.

First things first, congratulations to our WINNERS!

Expect more finishers today and tomorrow as the race wraps up.

From Day 7’s blog, “Battle of the Sexes”:

“After yesterday’s damp start, riders awoke this morning to another sunny day on the steppe. This may sound more appealing to those of us sat at home, but spells trouble for the riders: the hotter it is, the more watering holes you need to find for your noble steeds, and for yourself. Heart rates are higher, everyone’s hot and bothered and riders begin to smell a little “ripe”, according to some vets at HS19 (which at this stage of their stint on the steppe we imagine is a little rich coming from them).”

“CWA shared some of his horse selection tips this evening: ask the herder, obey them unless in strong disagreement, and take a look from behind. If belly is wider than bum, they’re a bit too porky for this gig.”

“Tobias Endress (TEN) was looking a little lovestruck out on the steppe today, spotted at HS17 clinging somewhat possessively to a majestic chestnut beast who had ferried him there from HS16. His tips for those looking for love? “Listen to the herder…He saw me and pointed at this horse. It was a match made in heaven.” TED vetted out safely and was soon reluctantly prised away from his new beau to head to the horse lines in search of a replacement.”

From Day 6’s blog, “Run for the Hills“:

“TAT experienced a bit of equine melodrama, wisely electing to return her first pick to the horse lines, a fiesty palomino with a bit of an aversion to being saddled. Moving on to a spicy grey, her first attempt at mounting ended in a swift bump back down to earth. Entirely unfazed and clearly tough as nails, she clambered back on and exploded out of HS17, travelling at quite the pace to HS18. This lady has an eye for the firecrackers.”

Photo courtesy of The Mongol Derby.

“By the time SEN, HFA, FHA and KDA arrived, the scene was a little chaotic. A herder was galloping furiously around the horse lines attempting to collar a loose horse, just as the group rode in. Nothing to see here, ladies.”

From Day 5’s blog, “Hump Day“:

“BDO continues to defy medical expectations and sensible advice on her “roughest day yet” as she traverses the steppe with a boundless grim determination and a set of broken ribs, MFI is now rocking a fetching purple broken thumb, and Annie Hackett’s (AHA) knee appears to have come up against some sort of emergency cheese grater stashed in her jodhpurs. Hump day indeed.”

“Lena Haug (LHA) was pleased with her choice of horse, eyeing him up as the herder presented him to his jockey: “Looks like a sweet boy, a little wild in the eye, I’m excited,” blissfully ignorant to the sounds of her steed snorting like a dragon out of shot. Heidi Falzon (HFA) meanwhile was beaming while standing unusually close to a beast which looked like he had trotted straight out of the ice age, such was his resemblance to a Prezwalski’s horse of old. His temperament did suggest he’d been around the block once or twice, standing docile as a lamb while HFA took full advantage of finally coming into contact with a horse allowing himself to be cuddled. The hope was that he would, however, transform into a “little rocket” as soon as she clambered onboard.”

“Renee Senter (RSE) and Julie Wolfert (JWO) were feeling positive, although they appeared slightly confused about which day it was and were unable to elaborate on their navigational tactics beyond going “the right way.” Pressed on their masterplan, they divulged that this involved heading “whichever way all the other riders go.” They have apparently learned their lesson from yesterday after their sightseeing tour en route into HS11, and have graciously decided to give their fellow riders a chance to shine in the navigational department.”

Photo courtesy of The Mongol Derby.

From Day 4’s blog, “The Eye of the Storm“:

“2019 Mongol Derby veteran MFE woke up on his birthday (our third Derby birthday so far – we can’t really think of anywhere we’d rather spend the day either) to a stroke of extraordinary luck: after losing his horse complete with all his gear outside of HS7 yesterday, a herder appeared as if by magic, dragging the reluctant steed in his wake. He was later spotted trundling towards HS10 at a brisk trot, grinning from ear to ear on an improbably chunky but businesslike chestnut. Happy Birthday, MFE: the Derby Gods are smiling on you.”

“KGA was spotted ripping across the steppe towards HS9 on a little grey rocket, her cowgirl antics from yesterday having done her no harm. She remains committed to picking the buckiest broncos of the bunch, charming herder after herder with her suicidal enthusiasm.”

“CWA and PHE waited until HS12 to make their move: suddenly, they broke away from the pack, and wasted no time in legging it to HS13, trying to put some distance between them and their stunned former riding buddies. Word on the steppe is the odour emanating from PHE’s boots may be enough to keep the chasing pack at bay. Ingenious tactics.”

To keep up with more daily blogs like these, click here and don’t forget to tune in to see who takes home the coveted top prize of surviving!