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

Video Break: Add These Gymnastic Exercises from Gemma Tattersall to Your Arsenal

If you follow enough professional riders on social media, the amount of education and new tools you can pick up is rather remarkable. British 5* winner Gemma Tattersall shared a few pole exercises she’s using at home this winter that can easily be incorporated into your program as well.

“The exercises in the video can be used with horses of all levels from babies right up to established 5* eventers and GP show jumpers!” Gemma describes of the video above. “We set out two lots of 3 poles on a fan – 3 yards middle to middle – which are primarily there to help with control but can also be used to help improve flying changes. We’ve then got two oxers – 6 yards apart with poles in the middle and guide poles in and out to help with straightness.”

Remember: jumps don’t have to be big to be instrumental. Exercises like this are generally set small to reduce wear and tear and focus instead on fundamentals and strength building.

“All of the exercises can be done individually or as a sequence together on either rein and can be done out of trot if you’re on a young one,” Gemma explained in her post. “I’ve found these really get the older ones thinking about their feet & staying straight too!”

Happy practicing! Go Eventing.

Photo Gallery: 2022 Kicks Off at Majestic Oaks Ocala

Training Rider A: Tawnie Anderson and Gorgeous In Grey. Photo by Lisa Madren.

The eventing season in the U.S. is officially underway as riders left the startbox for the first time this year at Majestic Oaks in Ocala last weekend. Majestic Oaks is just one of the many venues decorating the Florida landscape and frequented by winter eventers coming down to train and knock the rust off.

Running levels from Starter through Preliminary, Majestic Oaks is described as having bold, inviting, and educational cross country courses, all of which were designed by John Williams. Here’s a look at the final winning scores:

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): Final Scores

Open Preliminary: Leslie Law and Fupsilon Grande Lande (23.7)
Preliminary Rider: Ella Strote and Karmic Calling (31.1)
Open Training A: Devin Robel and Gilou (27.9)
Open Training B: Catherine Pournelle and MTF Cooley Knight (25.2)
Open Training C: Maya Black and FE Chardonnay (22.4)
Training Rider A: Tawnie Anderson and Gorgeous In Grey (34.5)
Training Rider B: Claire Williams and In Vogue (26.7)
Novice Rider A: Cherye Huber and Sam I Am (28.2)
Novice Rider B: Corey Jarman and Fernhill Joker (28.6)
Open Novice A: Delaney Emerson and Namiro Star (27.5)
Open Novice B: Ariel Grald and HSF Leamore Last Call (21.7)
Open Novice C: Caroline Martin and As Good As Cash (20.0)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Kristen Ayers and Pack Leader (30.6)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Emma Miklos and Fernhill Full Throttle (30.3)
Open Beginner Novice A: Caroline Martin and Redfield Rolex (22.2)
Open Beginner Novice B: Leah Lang-Gluscic and Kubo Cat (30.6)
Starter-Intro: Brenda Hutton and True Taste (29.9)

Lisa Madren was the photographer on duty at Majestic Oaks and she’s generously shared a few shots of our winners from the weekend with us. Want to support Lisa’s work? Visit her website or Instagram for more.

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Photo via Phillip Dutton Eventing on Facebook.

I am just a teeny bit envious of Sierra Lesny, who is having herself a whirl of a winter thanks to two very cool opportunities: a day spent with Phillip Dutton, in partnership with Cosequin, and a full scholarship to train with Sara Kozumplik in Florida thanks to Strides for Equality Equestrians. Sierra began her winter tour with a day at Phillip’s Wellington base, where she got to take a spin on his Tokyo partner, Z. We’re green with envy, Sierra — but we hope you’re enjoying yourself!

Earlier this week, we welcomed the winner of the Cosequin Equine Phillip Dutton Experience Sweepstakes, Sierra Lesny, to…

Posted by Phillip Dutton Eventing on Thursday, January 13, 2022

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. (Weirsdale, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [EN’s Preview] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News & Reading:

I’m excited to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Canadian Olympian Kyle Carter for a chat on the topic of longevity — both for ourselves and for our horses — later this month. How does one set themselves up for having a long career (amateur or professional!) as an eventer? How do we best support our horses for longevity? We’d love to ask Kyle some questions that you want answers to during this interview, which will be recorded and released on our channels later this month. Submit your question here and we may bring it to Kyle during the interview. This chat is brought to you by Zoetis Equine’s Regenerative Medicine Device line. Learn more here.

Your dressage test for this year has been updated! Be sure to learn your 2022 test, and find some guidance from Marilyn Payne’s session at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention here.

US Equestrian’s calendar process webinar, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed with no new date yet available. Click here for more information.

Corner jumps always look cool in photos, but what’s the technique to answering the question safely and correctly? This how-to from Practical Horseman will set you straight for your next attempt at a corner question.

Soft arms = better connection. But man, is that hard to achieve! Find the middle ground between noodle arms and 2×4 arms with this guide from Dressage Today.

Cool job alert: SmartPak/Covetrus are looking for a Director of Health Product Development. To view the job description and requirements, click here. This can be a remote position.

Do you have any “horse health resolutions” this year? Haygain has a few to get you started — and they culminate in a happier and better understood partner!

Watch This on H&C+:

Wednesday Video Break: More barn hacks from Brianna Noble!

Weekend Winners: We’re Back, Baby!

The off-season seems to get a bit shorter each year, but a large part of my score-stalking self doesn’t complain about this as I eagerly pull up results from the first weekend of the 2022 season. It was a relatively quiet one, but it was just the first of many as the year begins in earnest.

We saw riders competing at one recognized event and several schooling combined tests this weekend. This year during Weekend Winners, we want to do more to recognize the awesome schooling opportunities around the country, so we’ve added a new section below for Instagram features and links from some of the unrecognized events happening each week.

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): Final Scores

Open Preliminary: Leslie Law and Fupsilon Grande Lande (23.7)
Preliminary Rider: Ella Strote and Karmic Calling (31.1)
Open Training A: Devin Robel and Gilou (27.9)
Open Training B: Catherine Pournelle and MTF Cooley Knight (25.2)
Open Training C: Maya Black and FE Chardonnay (22.4)
Training Rider A: Tawnie Anderson and Gorgeous In Grey (34.5)
Training Rider B: Claire Williams and In Vogue (26.7)
Novice Rider A: Cherye Huber and Sam I Am (28.2)
Novice Rider B: Corey Jarman and Fernhill Joker (28.6)
Open Novice A: Delaney Emerson and Namiro Star (27.5)
Open Novice B: Ariel Grald and HSF Leamore Last Call (21.7)
Open Novice C: Caroline Martin and As Good As Cash (20.0)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Kristen Ayers and Pack Leader (30.6)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Emma Miklos and Fernhill Full Throttle (30.3)
Open Beginner Novice A: Caroline Martin and Redfield Rolex (22.2)
Open Beginner Novice B: Leah Lang-Gluscic and Kubo Cat (30.6)
Starter-Intro: Brenda Hutton and True Taste (29.9)

Meanwhile, several schooling shows and combined tests also ran at popular venues Stable View (SC), Carolina Horse Park (NC), and Ram Tap (CA). These are excellent ways to compete without so much breaking of the bank. Let’s face it: this sport is costly! Whether you’re a green rider, you have a green horse, or you’re simply saving as much green as you can, consider a well-organized schooling event to stay sharp through the season.

This year, we’ll be featuring more of these unrecognized events right here on EN as we understand their importance in the ecosystem that is our sport. If we want to grow the sport, we have to also support the opportunities that represent lower costs and greater fun — isn’t that what it’s all about?

Be sure to tag us in your public social media posts using #goeventing and/or #weekendwinners so we can feature you in a future edition of this column.

First up, let’s visit our friends at Stable View in Aiken, Sc., where the first combined test of the new year is in the books. Many riders will return later this month and next for the Aiken Open H.T. as well as the start of the 2022 Stable View Eventing Academy.

Next, let’s visit the Pipe Opener CT at Carolina Horse Park — this was the first of many similar events hosted at the popular North Carolina venue, and entries for Pipe Opener II open on January 19. Carolina Horse Park is also home to the War Horse Event Series, a popular unrecognized eventing competition with several dates each season.

And last but certainly not least, we’re sending a very warm welcome back to Ram Tap (which had been known as Fresno County Horse Park for the past few years), which hosted its first combined test under its new-old name in northern California this weekend.

We’re thrilled for new Ram Tap owner Terry Hilst, who has put her heart and soul into the sport and venue — stay tuned for a more in-depth feature on her labor of love coming soon here on EN.

You can view more opportunities happening at Ram Tap in 2022 here.

Your Turn: Advice for Your First Trip South for Winter Training

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

If 2022 marks your first trip south for the winter, we tapped into a few members of the EN hivemind for their best advice for the trek. While not every rider will spend the entire winter (really, if that’s the case you should already be down there!) away from home, many will make a long weekend or spring break work with their schedules. Read on for some advice from your fellow eventers, then join the conversation in the comments with your own experiences!

What topic would you like us to tackle in a future Your Turn? Email [email protected] with your suggestion.

Go Eventing.

Helen B.: Once the horses are loaded and you are driving south, let go of everything happening at home. You’ve made your excellent plans, trust that home will take care of itself, relax, enjoy yourself, learn lots, and take your reinvigorated, renewed zest for eventing, and everything you have learned, home with you. The enthusiasm you share both in the south and at home is infectious and helps your friends and family share in your love of the horse. Whether they are horse people or not, the energy you share uplifts them too. The nice thing then is that everyone is willing to repeat it next year….!

Kathleen B.: Embrace the chaos. It’s a whirlwind and there is so much to do. Pick a few goals and go with it. Plan at least a day to hack around Hitchcock Woods. Gallop around the Vista. Get lunch at New moon. It’s my favorite time of the year

Kaitlyn L.: Bring fly gear with you — we don’t have winter to stop the bugs. Bring a mask with ears and full coverage fly sheet. Even if your horse doesn’t have a problem with flies, we have more bugs to give them a problem like “no see ums” and fire ants. Buy fly spray and Show Sheen by the gallon, as you’ll use a lot of it to prevent blanket rubs and bug bites. Our dirt is different and has swamp cooties in it, leading to high risks of skin issues. Plan to use something like Head & Shoulders or other medicated shampoo if you notice said skin issues or even as preventative (I always wash legs and pasterns extra good after trail riding or cross country, to get all the cooties off). If you are a rider who enjoys trail riding or hacks, you have all kinds of places to ride and fun activities to do outside of the show ring, take advantage of that, mix it up — you’re in horse country! Depending on where you board and how they source their hay, sometimes “local” grown hay is lower quality than what you will be used to further north, be ready for that change unless you are hauling your own stock with you. As a human, you’ll still want to wear summer type riding clothes most days so be sure to pack different fabric weights and outfit options in case we have a weird “cold” day or rain.

Jennifer R.: I have been making the trek to Aiken from the Chicago area for the last 20 years. (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) I am a career Lieutenant with the Fire Service so scheduling can be tricky. The number one piece of advice I can give is allow yourself some flexibility in your travel plans to avoid severe weather. Nothing can make an already stressful trip (particularly for first timers) more daunting then encountering hazardous conditions while hauling your treasured cargo. Last year we did two trips in three days to facilitate shipping seven horses and LOTS of hay. We still allowed the flexibility in our dates to adjust if needed. If it is your first time and you are intimidated by the thought of the long haul and mountain roads, consider hiring a professional shipper. There are trips headed to South Carolina and Florida on a regular basis. This will allow you to pack your personal trailer with all the amenities from home as well as hay and feed. Happy travels!

Nan S.: Build in flexibiltiy with your departure dates. An unexpected snow storm may necessitate a change in travel.

Courtenay T.: I have some Florida tips that could be useful to some…

  • If you’re storing several bales at once, put an old sheet or towel over your hay to save them from getting moldy when low fog rolls in.
  • Speaking of hay, don’t feel like you need an open-bed truck to buy your hay at Larsen’s, they are adept with the forklifts there!
  • Wash between your horse’s legs religiously after each ride to avoid tail rubbing
  • Hose your horse after each ride/before turning out, even if you ride early and have to wait a few hours for it to be warm enough to hose. Otherwise you will quickly wind up with a very tidy saddle-shaped sun bleach mark. It’s called the sunshine state for a reason!
  • If you work a full time remote job and ride in the early mornings, don’t be embarrassed/lazy about throwing studs in for your trot sets, it can be slippery here.
  • Non-chlorine bleach is good for daily bucket and feed tub scrubbing (which is essential), and it won’t endanger your #ROOTD.
  • If you don’t already own a 100g turnout, it’s a very versatile weight for this climate.
  • The further away from Ocala you do your grocery shopping, the less likely you are to find large bags of carrots!

#GoEventing ‘Grams of the Week: Raring to Go

I find that perusing the #goeventing hashtag on Instagram provides a cool microcosm of eventing culture, and typically there’s a theme. This time of year, we’re eagerly anticipating the start of a new competition season. Everything feels fresh and possible (and our horses haven’t broken our hearts yet!), we’ve memorized our new dressage tests, and we’re raring to get out there! If this describes you, you’re definitely part of the insanity. Let’s take a look at what you all have been up to this week:

And finally, well if it isn’t the best sales ad we’ve seen all year:

Don’t forget to tag your public social media posts with #goeventing for a chance to be featured right here on EN!

Go Eventing.

US Equestrian Names Elite Eventing Program Task Force + Managing Director of Eventing Vacancy Posted

Phillip Dutton and Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney named a forthcoming task force as a step on the way to securing the High Performance Eventing program’s leadership at last month’s USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. These moving pieces are part of a chain of events set off (publicly, at least) by the non-renewal of former U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander’s contract in December. It was just one of the notable departures from eventing’s “front office” in December: jumping coach Peter Wylde’s contract was not renewed, and Managing Director of Eventing Jenni Autry is also no longer with the federation.

On Friday, US Equestrian announced the formation of an Elite Eventing Program Task Force to strategize on and build a leadership structure and performance pipeline for future U.S. teams at Olympic Games and World Championships. Members of this Task Force include:

  • Will Coleman
  • Max Corcoran
  • Derek Di Grazia
  • Ariel Grald
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp
  • Dr. Mark Hart
  • Leslie Law
  • Eric Markell
  • Lynn Symansky
  • Christine Turner
  • Will Connell

Both USEF President Tom O’Mara and CEO Bill Moroney will also attend all meetings of the Task Force, per a US Equestrian press release. “These respected members of the Eventing community have proven expertise in sport on a global level within their respective roles and represent a diverse constituency of athletes, owners, coaches, licensed officials, governance leadership, and team support personnel,” US Equestrian stated. “The task force members were appointed by the USEF President and the USEF Athletes’ Advisory Committee and will report directly to the President.”

Stakeholders may provide their comments to this task force, but this feedback is required to be sent to the USEF Eventing Elite Program Task Force dedicated inbox.

Meanwhile, the vacant Managing Director position has been opened for application — you can view the job description and application requirements here. US Equestrian has yet to make any public moves toward replacing Erik Duvander (though the formation of this Task Force could be seen as a step toward making this decision) as we look ahead to this fall’s World Championships for Eventing in Italy.

Keep an eye on EN for more updates as this story develops.

 

 

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Have you followed Cool Ridings on Instagram yet? The program, founded by eventer Lydia Heywood, celebrates riders from diverse backgrounds with the goal of improving access to horses and the doors they can open as well as helping riders from developing nations. The social channels for Cool Ridings are always introducing me to new riders who have fascinating stories and backgrounds (and a whole mass of talent!) to share. Most recently, I’ve begun following Pradyumna Dhumal, an Irish-based Indian eventer who aspires to represent his country at the Asian Games and the Olympics. Coupled with the recent rise of Fouaad Mirza, who finished his first Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer, could there be an Indian Olympic eventing team in the future? Time will tell — but in the meantime, give both Pradyumna and Fouaad a follow!

U.S. Weekend Preview (yes, it’s time for those again!):

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Additional Volunteering Opportunities: [Ram Tap January Combined Test – Fresno, Ca.]

Wednesday News & Reading:

Did you know? EN’s News & Notes is always open for news items. Is your facility hosting a clinic? Want to announce a schedule change or other update? You can submit your news item by emailing [email protected] (note: sale ads and working student/groom openings are not permitted — check out Sport Horse Nation for these services — and inclusion in News & Notes is subject to editor discretion).

The USEA’s Instructor Certification Program is getting an update for the new season. The changes and the breadth of the program were discussed in an ICP Open Forum during last month’s USEA Annual Meeting & Convention — catch up here.

Don’t forget: you can comment on the proposed changes to the USEF Rules for Eventing, which are slated to go into effect in 2023, through January 17. The proposals will still be subject to further discussion and review by both the USEA and USEF before finalization, but it’s important that the governing bodies hear from the stakeholders themselves — you! Click here to add your comments.

What should be on your winter horse care checklist? Depending on where you live, care in the winter can be quite different than any other time of year. What’s most important during the big chill? SmartPak has some insights here.

And now, over to you: what’s your best advice for heading south for a winter of training? What do you wish you’d known the first time you went sun-chasing? Let us know, and your words of wisdom could be featured in a forthcoming article.

Watch This:

If you missed the action at this year’s London Horse Show — an annual spectacle that made a return after a 2020 cancelation — the highlights show is now up and available for H&C+ subscribers! Click here to tune in.

Monday Video: A European Horse Shopping Trip with Elisa Wallace

Horse shopping in Europe is still a hot ticket for eventers seeking their next top ride. Elisa Wallace and her crew made a recent trip to find some news horses for the Wallace Eventing string, and she brought us along for the ride in her latest video vlog. Find out who’s catching a plane back to the States in the video above!

#EventerProblems Vol. 281: What Resolutions?

If you’ve ever made and promptly broken a New Year’s resolution, this edition of #EventerProblems is dedicated to you — and trust us, we’re already off the wagon, too. Maybe next year? Let’s see what you all have been up to in this young new year.

Tag your public social media posts with #eventerproblems for inclusion in a future edition!

Editor’s Note: There is some strong language contained in the posts embedded below.

Just a Few More London 52 Antics to Brighten Your Day

Winter naughties are in full swing as event horses the world over begin to emerge from their holidays. We’re always kept entertained here at EN by the everlasting antics of Tokyo gold medalist London 52, who keeps partner Laura Collett on her toes (well, hopefully not anyway — have you seen the girl’s seat?) during the first jump schools of a new season. Let’s catch up with what London 52’s been up to this week:

First, a lesson with top show jumper Jay Halim, who’s advice is to “stop laughing at him” (we’re trying, Jay, we’re trying):

And a couple of other bucking parties, along with some memories from past seasons (hint: London 52’s seasons always start the same way!):

Good times and as always, well sat Laura! We’re guessing there aren’t many dull moments to be found on her yard.

Go Eventing.

Your Turn: What’s Your Best Advice for a First Time Trip South for Winter Training?

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The Ocala and Aiken migration is well underway, and many eventers are high-tailing it south for warmer temperatures and the opportunity to get a jump start on prep for the upcoming season. For many amateur riders, a trip to Aiken or Ocala is a major bucket list item — but it can be tricky to pull off without the right planning. After all, it’s hard to pack up and leave (with your horse!) when you have a family, a job, other horses, clients, or anything other semblance of a busy life.

Whether it be for a long weekend or a few months, a trip south can be a memorable one that also makes a difference by providing opportunity to focus on and enjoy your horse. If you haven’t made the trek yourself, there are a lot of questions to answer and the process can be overwhelming.

So we’re tapping into the think tank that is our EN community. We want to know: what’s your best advice for a first-timer heading south this winter?

Use the form below or click here to send us your response. We’ll select some responses to gather into a story coming later! You can also post your advice as a comment on this post or on social media.

Friday News & Notes from Zoetis

Welcome to the dark side, kiddos! Photo via Sara Kozumplik Murphy on Facebook.

There’s nothing better than seeing someone catch the eventing bug for the first time, and Sara Kozumplik Murphy & Co.’s latest adventure is full of first-time eventers who are participating in the first ever Panama Eventing Camp. We can’t wait to see more from what looks like a great group of kids!

Friday News & Reading

Some updates have been made to the new 2022 USEF Eventing Dressage tests, incorporating feedback from members as well as judges. The updated published tests can be found here.

The ASPCA has announced the recipients of its 2021 Good People for Good Horses Awards. Eight members of the horse community were honored for their efforts to improve welfare and rehome horses in need of new living situations. Learn more about the winners here.

We all know and love the beautiful Favian, who is partnered at the 5* level with Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride. Honestly, I’m hankering to get a close-up with Favian’s trusty sidekick, the mini Theodore. Get to know “Faves” in the latest edition of Behind the Stall Door.

I can’t stop watching the #LongLiveTheHorse ad from Zoetis Equine — sorry, not sorry, I’m sharing it again. Pro tip: grab a tissue before hitting play.

Video Break: Scenes from Panama Eventing Camp!

Well sun up to sun down today for the inaugural Panama Eventing Camp!
Shown here is Romulo’s first ever time in a…

Posted by Sara Kozumplik Murphy on Thursday, January 6, 2022

#GoEventing ‘Grams of the Week: So This is the New Year

 

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New year, new series, eh? We’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what this year (and beyond) looks like here at EN, and one area of focus that has emerged as a top priority is to do more building of our community. We are a rich (well, maybe not financially, seeing how I’m nearly two decades removed from college and still eating ramen on the regular — I like it, ok?) and diverse niche of individuals with unique backgrounds and varied perspectives — that deserves to be celebrated!

So on that note, we’ll be featuring our favorite #GoEventing Instagram posts here on EN each week. That means you can tag your public posts with #goeventing for a chance to be featured! We want to know what eventing means to you — show us! Let’s kick this party off with some #goeventing posts reflecting on the new leaf that is a new year:

 

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A post shared by @wteventing

 

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A post shared by Gaby Ruane (@ruaneeventing)

 

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A post shared by Grace Ednie (@graceednie.eq)

Join the conversation! Follow us on Instagram at @goeventing and tag your public photos with #goeventing. We’ll feature posts here on En as well as on our own Instagram.

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

 

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A post shared by Eventing Nation (@goeventing)

Full disclosure: Zoetis Equine, as I’m sure you can tell by looking at EN, is an advertiser of ours. However, I still would have shared this video in the same context because I appreciate the effort that was made to diversify the content. I’ve lost count of how many ads and commercials out there that didn’t pay as much mind to who they were showing in their creative materials. In recent months, more companies have understood that onus falls to them, in many ways, to help increase representation. Of course, the buck doesn’t stop with hiring the right people to appear as models and actors — it continues with a responsibility to work with intention in all aspects of a company to properly address inequity.

Wednesday News & Reading

Due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19, the “Celebration of Spirit” for Annie Goodwin, scheduled for January 9 at Bruce’s Field in Aiken, Sc. has been canceled. “The in-person event planned for Feb 9th at Bruce’s Field would present an unacceptable risk for transmission of disease for Annie’s family, friends and many of the athletes planning to compete the next weekend at Pine Top or other venues,” the Aiken Horse Park Foundation said in an email update. “Putter, Tina and Jake know that Annie would want to put the health of her community first. We had so hoped that Covid 19 would be in our rear-view mirror by now. At this point there are too many unknowns for the Omicron variant other than it is extremely transmissible and case counts are soaring to the highest levels since the start of the pandemic. We hope to either reschedule for a more suitable time or plan a different type of event that would not pose a health risk to Annie’s community.”

Those interested in learning more about the USEF’s updated calendaring process, which will go into effect with a revised competition calendar in 2023, can sign up to attend a free webinar on January 19. The calendaring process can and will affect riders and organizers, regardless of level, and there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the new protocol for allotting event dates. If you can’t attend, we’ll be tuning in for a story coming soon.

Ocala-bound riders: make sure to knock off that show jumping rust with the new Winter Schooling Series hosted by several area farms, including Sara Kozumplik Murphy at Overlook South, Will Coleman Equestrian at Okonokos Equestrian, Meg Kepferle at Kepferle Equestrian, and Clayton Fredericks’ Fredericks Equestrian International. The first leg kicked off this week at Okonokos and will continue over 12 weeks, rotating among venues on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can view more information and the schedule here.

Area III is currently accepting applications for a new Young Rider coach. This contract will run from 2022 through 2024, and you can find a full description of the role as well as more information on applying here.

After suffering devastating damage from the record-breaking tornadoes that wreaked havoc on much of central America last month, the University of Kentucky is beginning the long process of rebuilding. Its Research and Education Center, a part of the university’s School of Agriculture, sustained the most damage, taking a direct hit from the tornado. Find out how you can help here.

Looking for some new reading material in the new year? Look no further than the this list of the best horse books that were released in 2021.

Watch This

And finally, some helpful tips on winter respiratory health from our friends at Haygain:

 

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New in 2022: Piggy March Launches Online Training Platform

 

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A post shared by Piggy March (@piggy.march)

It’s the day and age of the digital learning curve, and in just the past year or so we’ve seen the influx of new technology and new programming that helps bring the sport of eventing that much closer to its enthusiasts. With the increase in live stream availability at major events, the creation of new learning platforms such as Noelle Floyd’s Masterclass series, and the rise of guided training apps such as Ride iQ, educational opportunities abound regardless of where you live.

Throwing her hat into the ring now is Britan’s Piggy March, who has kicked off 2022 by launching a new online training and education platform, Train with Piggy. The 2018 Badminton winner began publishing video blogs in 2021 to keep her followers updated on her routines at home, and now Train with Piggy is here to kick things up a notch with virtual training, rider fitness programs, horse care tips, and exclusive access to Piggy herself. Think of it as the boy band fan club of your teenaged years on steroids (and, let’s be honest, way cooler).

Train with Piggy is available as a £25 / $34 monthly subscription and you can learn more about this exciting new venture here.

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

As the year winds to a close, even if you aren’t a resolution-maker per se it’s somewhat unavoidable to think of January 1 as a page turned. Call me an obnoxious optimist, but I always feel freshly motivated (for roughly four days) at the start of a new year.

Jokes aside, this holiday season has been a bit of a time for reflection for me. I’m easily distracted by new stories, new ideas, or shiny things, and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture or the road ahead. I invite you to join me in focusing back in on those “what’s most important” matters, and for me that includes helping expand our world of horses to welcome more to the table. One small yet impactful way to help with this ongoing mission is to donate to programs doing this work. Detroit Horse Power is just one example of an organization working to introduce horses to more people, and they’re always a wonderful option if you’re wanting to be involved or offer support.

Wednesday News & Reading

Race trainer Michael Matz’s Fair Hill, Md. training barn was destroyed by a fire on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, no humans or horses were harmed in the fire, which did an estimated $850,000 in damage to the facility shared with Equine Veterinary Care.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Overlook Farm South are hosting a winter schooling dressage series in Florida. One date in January, two in February, and one in early April will round out the schooling series which will be held in “fix-a-test” format. Click here to learn more.

Speaking of dressage, this 2017 article from Dressage Today made some fresh rounds on social media this week and for good reason: it provides some excellent insight into the handy (but oh-so-torturous) figure eight exercise.

You have just one head — be sure to look after it! With technology always advancing, it’s important to continue to advance with our safety equipment. Learn how Charles Owen focuses on testing and safety with its latest offerings here.

Are you thinking of hanging your shingle as an equine professional in 2022? Building a brand doesn’t only apply to professions such as marketing or social media. A brand is a key part of any business’ success, and that includes pro riders, bookkeepers, writers, veterinarians, and everyone else involved in our industry. Bookmark this guide for building an equestrian brand from Black Unicorn Creative for some useful info as you lean into your brilliant new business idea.

Watch This:

Best of 2021 Video Countdown: #6 – This Helmet Cam is Literally All of Us on XC

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 20 most popular videos shared on EN in 2021. The #6 spot goes to this video, which garnered 2,838 views when it was originally posted on May 27, 2021.

“Sorry, I can’t ride right now.” “Slow down!” “I’m scared.” “Holy sh*t!” “You’re going too fast!” “Good boy!” “I’m tired!” “Don’t jump the Prelim!”

If these exclamations sound relatable, then you’ll want to tune in to ride around the Beginner Novice at Ohio’s Winona Horse Trials with first-time eventer Heather Terdan and her Thoroughbred gelding, Dermontti, who was registered to race but never actually made a start on the track. This pair has been partnered together for 10 years – Heather first got “Monty” when he was eight and they’ve done a bit of everything together. This video comes from Heather and Monty’s very first foray into recognized eventing!

“I got him when he was 8, so he is 18 now,” Heather told EN. “We’ve done everything together all the way from hunters, equitation and then jumpers for awhile. He was very successful in the jumpers and I wanted to try something different. He started out as a timid horse and throughout the years we have grown together and his confidence really shown through! I did a few mini trials last year so wanted to try a horse trial and my goal is to qualify for finals in Novice.”

Heather Terdan and Dermonnti. Photo by Photography In Stride.

“I was so proud of Monty at his first horse trial,” she continued. “I expected him to be nervous and he exceeded my expectations and was a machine out there on cross country! We have our second competition at May Daze this weekend and I can’t wait!”

Best of luck in your next event, Heather, and welcome to the dark side! Enjoy the ride:

 

Posted by Heather Terdan on Sunday, May 16, 2021

Best of 2021 Video Countdown: #7 – Watch Tamie Smith & Mai Baum Score a 21.4

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 20 most popular videos shared on EN in 2021. The #7 spot goes to this video, which garnered 2,547 views when it was originally posted on July 1, 2021.

While official scores were not handed out in yesterday’s dressage practice at the US Equestrian Mandatory Outing, held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., Tamie Smith has shared video of her test that earned a 21.4 from the judges.

Riding the new Olympic Games test before Mark Weissbecker and Debbie Adams, the Tokyo-bound combinations and the alternates were able to get some valuable feedback on what to perfect in this short and intense test. You can follow along with the movements using this link.

Want to see some other pairs practicing the Olympic test? Click here to see our round-up from yesterday, and catch up on today’s Mandatory Outing action in Kate Samuels’ report here.

Best of 2021 Video Countdown: #8 – A Day in the Life at the World Equestrian Center Ocala

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 20 most popular videos shared on EN in 2021. The #8 spot goes to this video, which garnered 2,460 views when it was originally posted on February 11, 2021.

If you’ve been experiencing some FOMO ever since the new World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Fl. opened, you’re not alone. I’ve been green with envy watching all of my friends competing at WEC Ocala, with its spacious arenas, great footing, and – perhaps most importantly – affordable pricing. Maybe one day I’ll experience it! In the meantime, this video tour gives us a glimpse at life inside this little slice of equestrian paradise.

 

Best of 2021 Video Countdown: #9 – Pippa Funnell’s 2003 Rolex Grand Slam Win

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 20 most popular videos shared on EN in 2021. The #9 spot goes to this video, which garnered 2,088 views when it was originally posted on March 2, 2021.

I thought it appropriate to dedicate a weekly video to just a few of the bold women who have achieved milestones in the sport of eventing, in celebration of Women’s History Month. To kick things off, I dug into the archives to find this gem of a video montage looking back on British rider Pippa Funnell’s historic Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing win in 2003.

Pippa picked up the Grand Slam win – which requires a rider to win Kentucky, Badminton, and Burghley in any consecutive order – just a few years after its inception in 1999, and since then Germany’s Michael Jung has been the only other rider to achieve this (2016). While many riders have come close (Andrew Hoy, Oliver Townend, William Fox-Pitt, and Andrew Nicholson have all won two consecutive legs), the prize remains elusive for most.

These days, Pippa’s hardly hanging about on her past success; in fact, she’s the reigning Burghley champion having picked up the win in 2019 aboard MGH Grafton Street. And really, the Grand Slam could be Pippa’s to chase once again: while modifications to the Grand Slam in light of coronavirus cancellations have not been announced, her status as the last winner of Burghley could come into play should she make the trek to Kentucky – and win – this spring.

Best of 2021 Video Countdown: #10 – Do You Recognize This Farm?

Each day between now and the New Year we’re counting down the top 20 most popular videos shared on EN in 2021. The #10 spot goes to this video, which garnered 1,947 views when it was originally posted on Jan. 7, 2021.

There’s a brand new horse movie in town, and eventing enthusiasts watching are likely to recognize one of the filming locations: the much-loved Full Moon Farm in Carroll County, Md. Hope’s Legacy, the sequel to the 2016 film Christmas Ranch, picks up approximately 15 years after Christmas Ranch and finds Lizzy (Taylor Lyons), now a young woman, the heir to her late grandmother’s ranch. Determined to hold on to it, she finds her way into equestrian eventing with the help of former event rider and coach Linda (Dyan Cannon). Lizzy learns to stand tall as she faces challenges from her competitor Bethany (Abigail Reed) and plans for her upcoming wedding with fiancé, James (Allen Williamson).

Grace Fulton appears as the riding body double in the film, as does resident Full Moon horse Wild Orange, who stars in the film as Legacy, so there are plenty of Easter eggs to pick out for shrewd viewers. Hope’s Legacy is now available to rent or buy on most video-on-demand streaming platforms.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words: Meet the Skirt-less Winner of EN’s Fairfax & Favor Wardrobe Malfunction Contest

We always knew our Wardrobe Malfunction Photo Challenge with Fairfax & Favor would be a hoot, but we also know our #GoEventing community is a nutty one full of good sports — and you all certainly took it up a notch for this one!

After Melissa Mayo became the overwhelmingly convincing winner of the contest, which was decided by reader vote, we decided we needed the full story behind the photo that speaks more than a thousand words:

Photo courtesy of JJ Sillman.

Melissa, the blessed soul she is, obliged us by providing us the full photo gallery and video of The Incident.

“It was the Kentucky Classique Beginner Novice Classic Three-Day in 2018,” Melissa told EN. “Skipping Class is an 2004 off-track Thoroughbred mare, also known as Ginger. I had always wanted to do a Classic Three-Day and she came home from a lease three months before this one.”

Determined to do a Three-Day with her mare, Melissa got to work getting the both of them into shape. “I had been so worried about what to wear for jogs,” she said. “I kind of wanted to slide by (not over nor under dressed). I’m a little socially awkward so didn’t want to be ‘the one they talk about’ [here she inserts 15 cry-face laughing emojis]. Apparently all my fitness training leading up to the event helped me lose more weight than anticipated…and…my skirt fell down. Thank the good Lord above for Spanx!! I sewed my skirt to my shirt for the second jog.”

But, we’re happy to report, not all was lost: “We worked really hard and got both of our backsides in shape in time. We finished eleventh on our dressage scored and won the Best Fitness Award. They also made a ‘Sportsmanship’ award for my wardrobe malfunction!”

While we can’t promise a shiny new pair of Fairfax & Favor Regina Boots will keep Melissa’s frock from falling again, we can at least guarantee that any future wardrobe malfunctions will have some extra flair thanks to the new footwear. Thanks for being a good sport Melissa (who, by the way, also went on to be Mrs. July in the Sh!tEventer 2021 calendar — honestly, you can probably retire on that note!), and as always, Go Eventing (and Spanx).