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: Boyd Martin Narrates His Badminton Cross Country Round

Watch some of the highlights from Thomas' cross-country at the Badminton Horse Trials and hear my initial thoughts afterwards.

Watch what you missed at https://watch.badminton-horse.tv/ featuring other behind-the-scenes content and lots from the archive!

Posted by Boyd Martin on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Here’s a cool video for you this afternoon! Boyd Martin recorded some narration to accompany the video of his cross country round with the Turner family’s Tsetserleg TSF at MARS Badminton Horse Trials last weekend, and we’ve got the highlights for you.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, you can view it directly on Facebook here.

It’s always fascinating to listen to a rider recap their rounds, especially after they’ve had some time to watch it back and reflect. So often, we’re talking to the riders in the mixed zone directly after their ride when they haven’t had much time to process what happened, good or bad. Going back and rewatching things gives more perspective, and that’s what Boyd gives us in this video.

I also appreciate Boyd’s willingness to talk about the mistake he says he made that resulted in jumping penalties at the tough sunken road complex. It’s a fact of sport that these moments will happen, and having the ability to look back at them frankly and with awareness is beneficial for everyone, including those learning by watching those who they look up to.

To view all replays of Badminton, click here. You can also view the rest of our Badminton coverage here.

Chatsworth International + FEI Nations Cup Leg Canceled Due to Heavy Rain

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Just as competitors were arriving and beginning to unload their lorries, organizers at the Chatsworth International Horse Trials (UK), also the site of the next FEI Nations Cup leg, made the difficult decision to cancel this weekend’s event. The decision comes after 12 hours of heavy downpours that have saturated the grounds and created untenable circumstances.

“We are devastated to announce that due to the last 12 hours of heavy rain on site, under instruction from the BE and FEI officials we have been forced to cancel the 2024 Chatsworth International Horse Trials,” the event shared on social media. “We are sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this will cause. Our team has worked incredibly hard to organise the event, however the decision has been taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, visitors and horses, which is our number one priority. All ticket holders will be contacted to process a full refund. There is no need to contact us.”

Chatsworth International Horse Trials cancelled

We are devastated to announce that due to the last 12 hours of heavy…

Posted by Chatsworth International Horse Trials on Thursday, May 16, 2024

The event was to showcase the next leg of the FEI Nations Cup, which was also to be the first event for the USEF European Development Tour, who will next head to Millstreet in Ireland at the end of the month.

Around the World and Then Some: Boyd Martin Reflects on Finishing All 7 CCI5* Events

With his completion of the 2024 MARS Badminton Horse Trials aboard the Turner family’s Tsetserleg TSF, Boyd Martin became the second rider to complete all seven permanent CCI5* events around the world. We wanted to hear his thoughts on the accomplishment:

Origins

Twenty four years ago, Boyd Martin cantered up the centerline in his first CCI5* (then designated as a CCI4*).

It was a different time; two and a half decades all at once seems like the blink of an eye – “a bit of a blur” as Boyd describes it – and a lifetime.

The Adelaide International is the sole CCI5* event located in the Southern Hemisphere and Boyd’s home country of Australia. To this event in 2000, Boyd brought his Pony Club horse, an off-track Thoroughbred named Flying Doctor. He rode cross country sans body protector, as most of his counterparts did in that time. The event was still run in its “classic” long format, with four phases of cross country.

“Looking back on it, I remember walking the course and I didn’t walk it with a coach, and I wouldn’t have known how many strides were between the jumps,” Boyd says wryly. It was a different lifestyle that the then-19-year-old lived: he’d stay out late each night partying and then roll out of bed (often a sleeping bag in the back of the trailer), hangover be damned, to go and compete at the highest levels of the sport.

Inexperienced or not, Boyd made good on that first 5* start, finishing fifth and even more importantly, recognizing within himself that he’d found his purpose in life.

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Boyd competed a handful more times at Adelaide, even collecting his first win at the level quite early on, in 2003 with True Blue Toozac. This would be the final year the event was run as a long format, and it had featured a competitive field vying for selection for the following year’s Olympics in Athens.

“Looking back now, I had no idea what I was doing, but I did know one thing: I loved it,” Boyd said. He’d spent many years under the mentorship of Olympic veteran Heath Ryan, who laid the foundation of hard work and tough love that cultivated Boyd’s existing scrappiness. “That win in 2003 was a big one because no one really knew who I was, even in Australia. I was just a scrappy kid, and it was the year before the Olympics so it was hotly contested. That sort of was the competition that really put me on the map.”

Boyd Martin and Ying Yang Yo. Photo by Denise Lahey.

The result would likely have given Boyd a one-way ticket to Athens, but an ill-timed injury to True Blue Toozac would put that dream on ice for the time being. He’d have to wait two more Olympic cycles to get his first shot, representing the U.S. in London (2012) with Otis Barbotiere.

Most Boyd fans will know the story from here fairly well: a few years later, Boyd felt he’d done what he could do in Oceania, and packed up his bags to pay a visit to another Australian who’d relocated to the U.S.: one Phillip Dutton. In 2006, he brought another OTTB, Ying Yang Yo, to America and contested his first U.S. 5* at Kentucky, finishing 11th. That sealed the deal – Boyd returned to Australia, married his wife, Silva, sold everything he owned, and set sail for a new life in the States.

Since that first outing in 2000, Boyd has contested an impressive 62 CCI5* events with 24 different horses, including three appearances at the Olympics and four at FEI World Championships/World Equestrian Games. His completion of Badminton this month with the Turner family’s Tsetserleg TSF now makes him just the second rider behind New Zealand’s Tim Price to finish all seven permanent 5* events (Tim’s got a slight one-up here, as he also contested the “pop-up” 5* at Bicton in the UK that was run in 2020).

Evolution

Boyd Martin and On Cue. Photo by Abby Powell.

Like many involved in the sport through its evolution, Boyd’s borne witness to the changes eventing has seen from his view as a rider and producer of horses.

“The design of the course now is a lot more testing of rideability and accuracy,” he explained. “Over the years we’ve seen a lot more technical fences with corners and narrows and humps and lumps, going fast and then slowing right down and getting your horse concentrating and thinking. I do think that’s made it a lot more challenging, where it’s not just big big jumps that scare the crap out of you – it’s more of a test of training and adjustability.”

I asked Boyd how he’d characterize each of the 5*s now that he’s had a good crack at each one.

“Doing them all now, I would say Adelaide, Lühmuhlen and Pau all have a real correlation among them,” he said. “Flatter courses in a smaller space, so it’s much more sort of high speed to low speed with twists and turns and accuracy. I also think it requires a different sort of horse – more your championship-type horse can go there and the heavier warmbloods that lack a little stamina you can actually get around those flatter courses at those three. So riders with big stables can now sort of point their horse toward the five-star that suits.”

“Badminton, Kentucky and Burghley – they’re the classics,” he continued. “The ones with the big prize money and the crazy spectators and just this special aura about them, Kentucky being in the mecca of horse sports in America and Badminton and Burghley just having this huge history of 75 years with almost sacred ground.”

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B compete at Luhmühlen in 2023. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Maryland I would describe as in alignment with Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky in terms of scope and size of jumps and the test of undulating country. As time goes on, I hope that it will become even more recognizable and attract more of those crazy amounts of spectators.”

And surely the way he has had to evolve his own training has adjusted with the times. “The horses, to start, have just changed so much,” he agrees. “My first twenty five-stars were all on off-track Thoroughbreds, and now I hardly have any Thoroughbreds in work. I think the dressage and show jumping have gotten way more competitive and influential, but I still feel like just to finish at a place like Badminton you’ve got to select a horse that’s got unbelievable stamina and endurance. I still look for as much Thoroughbred blood as I can in my horses; horses that are at least half Thoroughbred.”

“I did probably shift, once the five-star shifted to the modern format, with my fitness program, very lightly,” he said in terms of preparation, though it’s true that the foundations of conditioning set out by those classic long format riders are very much applicable to today’s iteration of the sport. “But honestly, not by much. I still get them as fit as humanly possible. These five-stars are still a whole different ball game; the courses are relentless and the designers are really sticking it to you, especially the last four or five minutes when there’s fatigue.”

Purpose

Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos on course at Kentucky in 2011. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

While of course Boyd’s career is far from over, this milestone of finishing all 5* events in the world serves as a reminder of the incredible amount of dedication that’s required to even reach the start box at a 5*.

“The early days in Australia just getting started, I was so unbelievably excited to just be there,” he reflected. “It is so hard just getting one horse there – when you think of the thousands and thousands of hours of practice, the years of training, the qualifying stage by stage, year after year. It’s really five, six, seven years of chasing that dream and I’ve got an unbelievable amount of admiration for anyone who even just gets to the starting line because I know how hard it is to find the horse, put those years of work in, and then also have a bit of luck on your side.”

So despite the understandable blur that is the last 24 years, Boyd is sure of one thing: “A five-star competition is the ultimate high where you’re on cloud nine for weeks and weeks after a fantastic performance. It’s also true in reverse, where when things don’t go well, it’s a huge emotional adrenaline dump where you’re just heartbroken and all that training and prep goes in a split second when you fail. It’s a huge, empty, depressing feeling.”

“I do think as you get older, it gets a little easier. But I look back at Badminton and it was just there for the taking. I had a good dressage, it was an open field with some of the Olympic horses not there, and just one mistake on cross country really just takes the wind out of your sails a bit.”

What pulls you out when you’ve found yourself in one of those emotional holes? You remind yourself of what you’re here to do.

“To be honest, I’ve dedicated my life to this, and the five-star is what I live for,” Boyd continued. “All those thousands of hours of practice and picking out the young horses and going to the smaller events – all of that with one goal in mind.”

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg in Tokyo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

My final question was to ask Boyd for some of the strongest memories from all 63 5*s he’s done now. He picks out a few off the top of his head: winning the inaugural Maryland 5 Star with On Cue for one, and his first win with True Blue Toozac all those years ago.

A few minutes after we got off the phone, he called back.

“I’d have to say that Neville Bardos getting to Burghley, after everything that happened with the fire, was a top high for me,” he said, having had some time to collect his thoughts (by the way, one of the best tellings of the Neville Bardos story exists within this Purina documentary from 2017). “But I also think it’s important for as much as we talk about the highs to also recognize the lows, and that for me was losing Crackerjack at Pau [in 2017]. I just remember having the absolute round of the day and he’d had such an incredible story of being bred by Colin Davidson, who later passed away in a car accident and his mother sent him to me to finish his work. It was just a bitter reminder of how tough this sport is, that horrible ending. When it goes well, you’re a champion, but when it doesn’t go well, you’re just kicked in the gut over and over again.”

It’s true: like many riders with Boyd’s tenure in the sport, he’s come back from the lowest of lows more times than you can count. He’s still coming to terms with a finish at Badminton that he knows could have been much more competitive than it was. He spends the countless hours of time in the saddle, building relationships with owners and sponsors, and surrounding himself with a team of professionals to assist him.

All in the pursuit of a goal that, truthfully, feels out of reach more often than not.

Completing seven different 5*s isn’t just a competitive accomplishment, it’s a personal triumph – but it’s far from a bookend for Boyd. He’ll always be hunting the next horse, the next 5* – after all, as he puts it, “it’s what I was put on this earth to do.”

Missing Out on Paris Tickets? The Ticket Resale Market is Now Open

Photo via Château de Versailles on Facebook.

If you’ve not managed to get tickets for the Paris Olympics, you might not be completely out of luck as a new ticket resale market across sports is now available.

While we don’t see any cross country tickets available for Paris, as of writing this article there are some offers available for eventing dressage and show jumping, as well as other equestrian disciplines. If you want to check out some other sports, there are also some tickets on resale for those. If you have tickets and need to offload them, you can also list them here. Tickets should come and go off this platform as people’s plans change, so keep an eye out if you don’t see what you want right away.

We of course can’t guarantee availability, but here is the link if you want to have a shot!

EN is proud to partner with Kentucky Performance Products for coverage of the Paris Olympics. Click here to learn all about KPP and their line-up of science- and research-backed nutritional support products.

Training Tip Tuesday: Improving Your Stretch Circle

Amelia Newcomb is back with a video that will be useful for eventers, too! The stretch circle is a big part of some upper level tests, sure, but the concept behind it is applicable to any level. In this video, Amelia will show you more about this exercise and what the dressage judges will be seeking.

From Amelia:

In this video, we will be talking about the stretch circle with Nicole, a licensed EC Dressage judge. The stretch circle can be a difficult movement, as it is a test of your connection with your horse from the hind leg through the back and to the mouth. It also is a great test of relaxation, suppleness, and balance! This movement is seen both in the Training and First Level tests and Nicole will be talking us through the requirements for each and giving me a score as I demonstrate incorrect vs. correct stretch circles.

What makes a good stretch circle? As we’re working on the stretch circle it’s important to focus on:

· Contact/Roundness – Before you even ask your horse to stretch down, you want your horse to be round and accepting the contact. Then, you can feed your reins out slowly, inch by inch. Don’t throw your reins away! This will eliminate your connection, and as Nicole explains, the connection in the stretch circle has a lot to do with how the judge scores the movement.
· Rider Position – The stretch circle is all about balance and connection, and in order for your horse to stay balanced and connected, you need to be balanced! Therefore, it is important to focus on sitting back to keep your ear, shoulder, hip, heel alignment. When you tip forward, you will drive your horse onto the forehand, and you will be more likely to lose your connection.

Remember, the stretch circle is a hard movement for both horse and rider! As Nicole explains, we want our horses to stretch down past the point of their shoulder. However, at first, it can be helpful to just work on stretching down slowly. At first, your horse may only be able to stretch down a few inches! If that is all you can do at first while maintaining the connection, that is okay! As you practice, focus on getting your horse round before the stretch, then feeding your reins out little by little for the stretch, and keeping a correct rider position during the stretch while maintaining the connection. You will get there!

I hope these tips help you and your horse! Make sure you watch the video where Nicole is judging my stretch circles and I go into more detail on how you can improve your stretch circle!

To learn more from Amelia, visit her YouTube channel here.

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products

If there’s one thing to take from the sport of eventing, it’s the camaraderie. I know, we say it all the time, but that’s because it’s incredibly true. I had a conversation with a friend in the show jumping industry not too long ago, and I was amazed listening to her talk about how many riders won’t seek help from other professionals for a variety of reasons. While I am sure that there are many exceptions to this, I’m repeatedly blown away by the support even the top riders in the world of eventing show to each other.

Case in point, this post from Bec Braitling, who threw a leg over several of Tamie Smith’s horses this weekend at Galway Downs while Tamie was away competing at Tryon International. Bec also credited Tamie immensely for her help with Caravaggio leading up to his 5* debut at Kentucky last month.

It’s a part of the eventing world that never fails to warm my heart and makes me ever so grateful to be a part of it.

Events Opening This Week

Inavale Farm HT (OR); Summer Coconino H.T. I (AZ), Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. and Area III Eventing Championships (GA), Full Moon Farm’s Aloha HT (MD), Larkin Hill H.T. (NY)

Events Closing Today

Equestrians’ Institute H.T. (WA); IEA Horse Trials (IN); The Spring Event at Archer (WY); Essex H.T. (NJ); MCTA H.T. at Shawan Downs (MD); GMHA June H.T. (VT); Ocala Summer H.T. I (FL); Poplar Place June H.T. (GA); Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring H.T. (NY); Carriage House Farm Combined Test (MN)

Tuesday News & Reading

Some horses just need their own, perfectly matched person to bring out their best. That was the case for Devon MHF, the subject of the latest “On Course” from the USEA. It’s a story about trusting the process and the budding relationship with a horse, and how those efforts can truly pay off. Read more here.

With Intercollegiate Championships in the rearview, it’s time to revisit some of the stories from an exciting weekend at Stable View. Auburn University’s Hayden Wathen and Contestor showed their chops that weekend, beating out the pros in their Intermediate division. The Chronicle of the Horse caught up with Hayden here.

Biometric research is gaining momentum in the racing industry — could it be much longer before we see a heavier public emphasis on this in our sport, too? The AAEP Racing Committee is looking to use their sensors on some 60 racing 2-year-olds to further their research surrounding the identification of injury risk. I see plenty of parallels to our sport and hope we see some of these projects branching further into sporthorses, too.

Banks on cross country can be a tricky thing to learn, especially considering you can’t exactly build a replica in your arena. Luckily, Phillip Dutton has plenty of experience with this, and he’s teamed up with Practical Horseman for some useful advice on the topic. Read it here.

Sponsor Corner

Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Despite it all, Caroline Powell and her gutsy, game mare beat the odds to win the Mars Badminton 5*. It’s so rare that our first place podium spot is filled by someone outside the top five, but Caroline took the lead from sixth place. Catch up on all the action that you might have missed in this report sponsored by Kentucky Performance Products.

Video Break

Grab a quick tip from Olympic rider Andrew Hoy all about maximizing your success at water questions:

The End of an Era: William Fox-Pitt Retires from 5* Competition

William Fox-Pitt celebrates a stellar cross country day at Badminton with his family. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It was a retirement we all knew was coming after multiple 5* winner and Olympian William Fox-Pitt hinted that this season would be his last at the top level of the sport. After competing at MARS Badminton Horse Trials this week with the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare Grafennacht, William confirmed it: this would be his swan song and a final farewell to the competitive life — though he’s not hanging his stirrups up all the way just yet, as he’s confirmed he’ll continue to ride and compete younger horses for now.

“I won’t be coming back to Badminton now. I think that’s a shame to finish on a bit of a downer, but I’m cool with that,” William reflected yesterday after what would have been a disappointing show jumping round that eliminated his chance at a podium or even one last 5* victory on Sunday. “She’s a great horse so I shall look forward to see what happens next. I’ll do young ones, I’m going to carry on a bit, but this is my last Badminton.”

William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Where to begin when attempting to recap a career that could fill multiple books?

Both William’s parents, William Oliver Lane Fox-Pitt and Marietta Speed, were top flight eventers in their own right, each notching completions at prestigious events like Badminton and Burghley in England. So it was fortuitous that William carried on in their footsteps, quickly showing his own natural abilities in the saddle. After tasting early success as a young rider in the 80s, William won his first Burghley at the age of 25 in 1994. It would be the first of an astounding 14 CCI5* titles earned throughout his career. In the end, he would capture the title at five out of the seven global permanent 5* events, only missing out on Adelaide in Australian and the more recently-added Maryland 5 Star in the U.S. Those titles include Burghley (1994, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011), Badminton (2004, 2015), Pau (2011, 2013), Kentucky (2010, 2012, 2014) and Luhmuhlen (2008). He also became the first rider to with Burghley six times, on six different horses.

Embed from Getty Images

William also shored up the British squad for multiple championship titles, including six European Championships team gold medals, six medals at World Championships/World Equestrian Games, and three team medals at the Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012).

He’s also become world-renowned for his teaching prowess, sought after each season for spanning the globe and garnering wide respect for his quiet horsemanship and teaching philosophies.

Taylor McFall participates in a clinic with British Olympian William Fox-Pitt. Photo by Jennifer McFall.

In October of 2015, William suffered his worst career injury, falling from a younger horse at Le Lion d’Angers in France and subsequently spending two weeks in a medically-induced coma. Despite struggling initially with temporary blindness and double vision resulting from his traumatic brain injury, William defied the odds and returned to competition the following April.

He’d go on to defy the odds once more with a selection to the British eventing team heading to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro that summer.

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“I always thought I would come to Rio, but I don’t think anyone else did!” William said then. “It has been quite a journey of uncertainties, but I’ve always had Chilli [his Rio horse Chilli Morning] and there has always been Rio, and having that goal really helped me. I have been so lucky with my type of head injury. Mine has recovered in good time, and my family have been so supportive, really helping put me back to the way I am. I didn’t ride for six months — it was on the back burner. I have no recollection of the accident at all, so I have no fear. But I have had to sharpen myself up, and a lot of people have helped me do that. When you have had a head injury, you lose all sense of adrenaline. I have always had adrenaline, but I just had nothing. It felt like I was schooling a horse at home, so I’ve had to understand that that is normal.”

William would go on to finish 12th individually and fifth with the team at Rio, an ending no one would have predicted the previous year.

Despite the 5* success and the innumerable victories, both professional and personal, across levels he’s had, William thrives even more on the process of training a horse. “I love seeing horses evolve, not necessarily winning events, but the horses going well and enjoying that journey,” William told Horse Network earlier this year. This will be the focus as he moves into this next chapter of a life with horses that’s far from reaching its conclusion.

Absolutely gutted that the fairy tail end didn’t come off but Saturday of @bhorsetrials 2024 will live long in the…

Posted by Alice Fox-Pitt on Sunday, May 12, 2024

A life not spent chasing 5*s will allow more time for William to spend with his loving family, including wife Alice and four kids, Oliver, Thomas, Chloe, and Emily.

William Fox-Pitt and wife Alice celebrate a super day in the office. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

But first: one last high. Coming off cross country at Badminton, which proved to be tough and influential, William’s elation was palpable. He’d delivered a clear, fast round with Grafennacht, and, as he put it, for once he wouldn’t leave Saturday filling his head with “what ifs”. “How lucky am I to have her in my swan song era? Sometimes, you know, she really makes me feel like I can ride. I’m very proud that she did the job. Suddenly Badmintons aren’t ‘if onlys’ or ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I could have’ or ‘I should have.’ I’m just so chuffed. She nailed it today and I’m happy.”

William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht during the Cross Country phase, Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire UK 11 May 2024

“Lillie” has certainly shown her potential as a competitive 5* horse, and as of now the plan is for the mare to go to a different rider following this weekend. “It won’t be her last [Badminton]. She’ll be back – she might jump better last year, with a new, better, younger rider it will be good. I don’t even know, I’m not even having that discussion with the owner yet. She’s very aware that I’m 55 and who knows what’s going to happen but we’ll have a conversation and make a plan, but she’s a lovely horse and she was amazing yesterday.”

[Editor’s Note] Corrected Grafennacht’s barn name.

“It’s been a great week, I have to say, I’ve really loved it,” William went on to say. “I have been so lucky to have had so many supporters here, family here: it’s been a great send off. It wasn’t the little dream time today but the chances of that were always going to be fairly slim. It was just great yesterday, we enjoyed the moment. No kind of tears. I’m very, very matter of fact about it, I think it is the right thing.”

Monday News & Notes from Futuretrack

While most eyes were on Badminton this weekend (by the way, you can catch up on all of our coverage from Badminton here), there was another key Olympic selection trial happening in Germany at Marbach. The event hosted a CCI4*-L and a CCI4*-S, the latter of which was won by French rider Astier Nicolas and the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding Babylon de Gamma (Mylo Carthago – Sunshine Des Ka, by Happy Vergoignan) in come-from-behind fashion after starting the weekend in sixth place on a 28.0 and subsequently adding no penalties.

The CCI4*-L was won by Australia’s Andrew Hoy and his Tokyo Olympic partner, Vassilly de Lassos (Jaguar Mail – Illusion Perdue, by Jalienny), finishing nearly on their dressage score with one second of time added on cross country for a total of 31.0.

Other notables from the field include Germany’s Michael Jung with fischerChipmunk (Contendro I – Havanna, by Heraldik), who’s been kept under wraps over the last season to preserve the 16-year-old gelding’s legs ahead of this summer’s Olympics. Michael and his Kentucky champion finished seventh in the 4*-S at Marbach after starting the week in first on a score of 25.3. This would have just been a qualifier for Michael, so some sensible time on cross country kept him from taking the win.

With a fully French podium in the 4*-S and plenty of international heavy hitters in the field, it’s an exciting preview of what’s to come this summer. We now look ahead to what should be an exciting next month as we anxiously await the announcement of short lists and teams moving ahead to Paris. Stay tuned!

You can view full results from Marbach here.

Weekend Results

MARS Badminton Horse Trials [Website][Final Scores] [Livestream Replays] [EN’s Coverage]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Scores]

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Scores]

Unionville May H.T. (Coatesville, PA) [Website] [Scores]

Queeny Park H.T. (St. Louis, MO) [Website] [Scores]

River Glen Spring H.T. (New Market, TN) [Website] [Scores]

Tryon International Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, NC) [Website] [Scores]

Winona Horse Trials (Hanoverton, OH) [Website] [Scores]

European International Events

International Marbach Eventing (GER) [Website] [Scores]

Monday News & Reading

Fresh off a stellar weekend at Kentucky, go “behind the stall door” with the Thoroughbred partner of Jennie Brannigan, Twilightslastgleam. Find out what makes him tick, why he’s affectionately known as “Grandpa”, what brought his personality out as a young horse, and much more in this profile.

Catch up with the newly crowned USEF National 5* champion Lauren Nicholson in the latest edition of the USEA podcast.

Is your horse’s forage meeting his energy requirement? Find out what you should be thinking about with a forage-focused diet here.

The Queen herself was on hand yesterday to take in the final day of the Badminton Horse Trials, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this weekend. See more here.

Monday Video Break

In honor of William Fox-Pitt’s announcement that he was retiring from 5* competition yesterday, let’s look back on his stellar Badminton victory aboard the stallion Chilli Morning, who also had an offspring (Gemma Stephens’ Chilli Knight) competing this weekend!

Don’t Miss the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event on ESPN This Weekend

We look forward to the annual recap of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, and this year the “mainstream” highlight show has moved from NBC/Peacock to ESPN properties. This weekend, you’ll have a couple chances to watch the show:

Saturday, May 11, you can catch the show on ESPN2 (check your local listings or use the ESPN app) at 10 a.m. ET. If you miss that one, you can watch another showing on Sunday, May 12 at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNNEWS.

To catch up on all of our coverage from Kentucky this year, click here.

Photo Gallery: Day One of Competition at Tryon International

Phillip Dutton and Possante. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

We’ll have a full Tryon International CCI4*-L dressage report for you tomorrow evening following the conclusion of the FEI dressage, but for now let’s look at the scores from today as well as some beautiful visuals from Shannon Brinkman photography.

CCI4*-L

1: Phillip Dutton and Possante (30.5)
2: Liz Halliday and Shanroe Cooley (30.8)
3: Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Double Sixteen (34.4)

Despite some soggy weather, the competitors dialed it in for the dressage phase of competition in the spring 4*-L destination at Tryon. Phillip Dutton and The Possante Group’s Possante (Namelus R – Wendelien, by Otangelo) delivered a 30.5 for the day one lead, their best 4* score in their young partnership, which has to leave Phillip feeling positive about the progress he’s making with the 11-year-old gelding.

Liz Halliday and Shanroe Cooley. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The scores are tightly bunched for now, with Liz Halliday just behind Phillip on a 30.8 with Ocala Horse Properties’ Shanroe Cooley (Dallas – Shanroe Sapphire, by Condios). We’re likely to see a couple lower scores from tomorrow’s bunch, particularly from HSH Blake (Caroline Pamukcu) and Cooley Quicksilver (Liz Halliday), with potential threat also by Mama’s Magic Way (Will Faudree), Denim and Jewelent (Phillip Dutton), and Quattro (Dana Cooke).

CCI4*-S

1: Tamie Smith and Kynan (30.8)
2: Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley (31.0)
3: Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire (31.8)

Tamie Smith continues her East coast tour, bringing four horses to Tryon this weekend and taking the early 4*-S lead with the Kynan Syndicate LLC’s Kynan (Envoy – Danieta, by Zirroco Blue). “Cheeto” Danito fans will also be pleased to see the quirky chestnut also back in action after doing just dressage at Kentucky to get back into the swing of things; he’s in charge of the 3*-S on a score of 26.5 at the conclusion of dressage for that division.

Tomorrow will see the remainder of the dressage tests done and dusted, after which we’ll have a full report from the 4* divisions coming your way here on EN. Stay tuned!

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Video Break: Badminton Goals and Memories with Laura Collett

Here’s a special one for you! This short documentary takes a look back at Laura Collett’s Badminton success and looks ahead to this weekend with a new rookie horse.

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Movers, Shakers, and Heart Horses: Team EN Makes Their Picks for Badminton

As is tradition, it’s time for our writers at EN to make their picks for the MARS Badminton Horse Trials. Do we know what we’re talking about? Most likely not, but it’s a fun game to play when the week is still young. Who would you pick for each category? Keep reading to see our selections!

NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tilly Berendt

WINNER: 

Oh god, look, whoever I name in this inevitably ends up not winning so let’s skip to the next one and not talk about someone whose name sounds like Schmavid Schmoel at all, shall we? Thanks for understanding.

TOP FOREIGN ENTRY: 

For the purposes of this piece, I’m going to consider just entries that aren’t based in the UK as ‘foreign’, mostly because otherwise I’d have way too many difficult decisions to make, and I’m all about an easy life. So, with that key fact about me in mind, you’ll have to take it on the chin that I’m also going to give you two horses here. Rules were made to be broken and all that! I think – I hope – this’ll be a great week for Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg, who overcame a bit of a period of turbulence to finish ninth at Burghley last year. I also think Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and Cartania could do really well; this is a cool, gritty mare who finished fifteenth here last year in incredibly tough conditions. With slightly better ones this year, I’d love to see her crack the top ten.

TOP DEBUTANTE HORSE OR RIDER:

I really like the look of Feloupe, the debutant partner of Irish representative Georgie Goss. She’s a lovely type on the flat, even if her very-low-30s scores don’t tend to reflect what she’s capable of, but if she can throw down a personal best here this week — and you’d be surprised how many horses do their PB here in this buzzy atmosphere – then I reckon she’ll make herself known as a real one to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing her navigate this step up, and while I don’t necessarily think they’ll trouble the leaders this week, I do think they’ll impress and lay a very good foundation for competitive bids at future five-stars.

William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht. Photo by Sally Spickard.

TOP MARE:

You know what would be cool as hell in an anniversary year for Badminton? A win for someone who is stitched right into the fabric of the sport – someone like, perhaps, William Fox-Pitt, whose game Grafennacht. She was second at Maryland last year and fourteenth here, and she only landed that far down the leaderboard because of her uncharacteristic three rails on Sunday – a symptom of the kind of weariness that conditions like that lend on a final day. This year, she’s stronger and more mature, and at twelve, is coming into her prime, and I think we’ll see the very best of her, which would be so fitting for this big occasion. There have been murmurings that this might be William’s last Badminton; if that’s the case, I’d like to see him go out on the highest of highs. Maybe that feeling will even convince him to stick around for a while longer.

SPOILER ALERT:

This is the year that Emily King‘s Badminton demons are well and truly banished. She’s on great form with Valmy Biats, and she’s due some good karma after showing excellent horsemanship last year and pulling up a fit and competitive horse before he looked even remotely weary. I hope the universe gives her the week she deserves.

Tom Crisp and Liberty and Glory: the people’s heroes. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

HEART HORSE: 

For me, it’s always Tom Crisp‘s feisty little homebred Liberty and Glory, who I adore partly because I adore the Crisp family, who are just great people with a real get-stuck-in sort of attitude, and partly because I love her, for all her opinions and quirks and that extraordinary jumping ability. I bore everyone to tears in the mixed zone at every five-star reliving how livid she was the one time I rode her, and how desperately she wanted to put me on the floor from the very second I put my foot in the stirrup, and if you’re really lucky, I’ll bore you, too, with a terrible arena mirror selfie from that day. Maybe. Anyway, after last year’s incredible round up until that unfortunate premature finish, in which Tom showed what a truly good sport he is, I suspect I won’t be alone in having this one as my heart horse for whom I wish only the very best of things.

Cheg Darlington

Could this be the most beautiful horse in the world? Francis Whittington and DHI Purple Rain. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

WINNER:

I’m listening to my heart and my head in equal measure (and ignoring EquiRatings’ favorite for the win) and saying that David Doel and Galileo Nieuwmoed will be incredibly popular Badminton winners. I’ve followed this horse since he was one of the cheapest in Eventing Manager (due to not having much in the way of stats, not because he wasn’t good) and no one knew how to pronounce his name. This guy is a finish on his dressage specialist, a feat he achieved at each of his five international runs last season – including at Kentucky and Burghley, where he was runner-up. Will he be leading after the dressage? No. But there’s a very high probability that he won’t add a scrap to his low-30s first phase score across the rest of the competition. He’s proved he can be quick and clear over the toughest tracks in the world, and that he can come out on the final day showing absolutely zero sign that he’s galloped for 11 and a half minutes, navigating complex and enormous fences the day before. What a treat it must be to be sat on a horse like that. David says he wasn’t at all sure about ‘Galileo’ when he first got him, but boy oh boy he must be delighted to have been so wrong. This is a combination I would love to see take the trophy here, and an elusive spot on the very exclusive Team GB Olympic team.

Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

TOP FOREIGN ENTRY:

I’ve got a couple of Kiwis for this one (obviously eventer extraordinaire Tim Price and record-breaker Vitali are on everyone’s radar) but, keeping to form, I’m going to continue to buck the trend and plump for Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier. This lady has 16 Badminton completions on her card and three Armada Dishes on her shelf. Some of my favorite eventing memories are of Caroline and the late, great Lenamore showing the world what this sport’s all about as they galloped and jumped and made it all look like so much fun. ‘Cav’ has proven she can go sub-30 in the first phase at 5*, putting down a 27.4 here last year and a 29 at Maryland last fall, where she finished 6th. She’s proven she can jump ‘round a 5* cross country track clear, which she did on her debut at the level at Pau in 2022 to finish 5th. She won’t be the fastest on Saturday, but she’ll be very far from the slowest. She’s amongst the most reliable show jumpers in the field and Caroline is tied with Tom McEwen for most clears on the final day at Badminton of those who are competing this week. All this form is talking to me and saying they’re in for a great week.

TOP DEBUTANTE HORSE OR RIDER:

I’m going with a rookie pair for this one, Ireland’s Lucy Latta and RCA Patron Saint. This is a combination that’s likely not to be on the radar of anyone but the most tenacious of eventing followers – Lucy’s a one-horse rider who, up until last year, competed almost solely in Ireland. They made themselves known when they finished 4th in the 4*-L at Blair Castle at the end of last season, jumping clear around the famously meaty track, which will stand them in very good stead as they set off from the Badminton start box. This whole top-level eventing lark is in her blood, with her grandad competing at both the British 5* offerings and her cousin completing Badminton four times. And as for speed, bravery, fortitude and grit, well that’s in her genes too – English Grand National winner Robert Powell is another of her cousins. There’s something to be said for the relationship she must have with RCA Patron Saint, being the only horse she competes. We all know this sport is just as much about partnership as it is about any of the other facets, and Lucy’s brought this gelding up through the levels over the last six years. That’s got to give her confidence as they face their biggest challenge to date.

TOP MARE:

Well, there are quite a few very nice mares in the field this year: some up-and-comers I’m sure will be making their mark in the not too distant future, some super speedy ladies who are obviously channeling their inner Classic Moet, and plenty of quality. I’m going with one who came out at the top level last season, immediately proved her mettle amongst the big guns and stamped her place on the podium – Harry Meade’s Cavalier Crystal. She made her 5* debut at Burghley in the fall, and added just 5.2 cross country time penalties to her dressage score to finish 3rd. If that’s not a mare squealing that she’s arrived, I don’t know what is. She’s completed in all of her 21 FEI starts and has had cross country jumping penalties just once, way back in 2017. Add to that the fact she didn’t have a single show jumping pole between 2021 and 2024, and you’ll find yourself with one of the most reliable jumpers in the field, both out on course and in the ring. Her rider’s not too shabby either. The youngest person ever to receive an Armada Dish in 2009, he now has another on his shelf, with twelve Badminton completions and six top-20 finishes on his card. He’s also World No. 5.

Luc Chateau and Viens du Mont. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

SPOILER ALERT:

I’m going back to looking outside the box and putting my X on Luc Chateau’s Viens Du Mont to deliver a spoiler performance at Badminton this year. Will he be in contention after the first phase? Almost certainly not. We can expect a high-30s dressage score, maybe even a hoof (or two) in the 40s. But boy is he a cross country machine. He’s super quick with far more inside the times on his record than penalties, and has been clear in each of his 21 FEI runs bar one – Burghley last season, which was surely a blip. He proved he’s good to go in any ground conditions when he took 11th place at the wet ‘n’ wild edition of Badminton last year and he very nearly finished on his dressage on his 5* debut at Pau in 2022, but for a pesky show jumping pole; he ended up top-10. Dressage winner? No. Leaderboard climber? Hell yeah.

HEART HORSE:

Without a second thought my pick here is for sure Francis Whittington’s DHI Purple Rain. Not only do I think that this is the most beautiful horse in the world, with the best barn name, but everything about this extravagant gelding says, my name is ‘Prince’ and ‘baby, I’m a star’! This guy was ridiculously impressive in the tough going out on last year’s cross country course, eating up the ground and looking to love every single second of it. You’d have been forgiven for thinking that his flamboyant action would have taken its toll, but nope, not at all. He rose to the challenge and for me, was the one to watch of the day. He is delightfully (for the viewer, not so much for Francis, who does a masterful job with this difficult gelding) unpredictable in the dressage, where he can get hot, hot, hot. But when his mind’s in the game he can deliver the goods, and he’s just oozing with potential, that’s plain to see. Let’s hope it’s more ‘let’s work’ than ‘let’s go crazy’ when he canters up the center line. Watch out for him in the First Horse Inspection for the horse that’s most likely to send the judges and photographers scuttling. He sure is a sight to behold regardless of how he’s behaving – I’m a total sucker for a shiny black horse – so I’ll end this on an appropriate note and say, ‘U got the look’, Prince – ‘nothing compares 2 u’.

Diana Gilbertson

Tim Price and Vitali . Photo by Tilly Berendt.

WINNER:

Well, I was kind of putting all of my eggs into the Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class basket, but obviously that won’t be a thing now. Sooooo instead, I’m going to go with who I desperately WANT to win, and who I know CAN win, if he just keeps his bloody feet up on the final day. Yeah, you guessed it, I’m going for Mr Tim Price and Viatli. Dressage: great (see Burghley 2023 for confirmation – smashed that record), cross country: equally impressive (romped home through the quagmire here last year to move up 7 places overnight), showjumping: naaaaat so good. He CAN jump clear – and has done every time out this season, as well as a fair few times last – but he also has a frustrating habit of knocking three rails, and has done in every one of his 5* starts so far…and at the Tokyo Olympics. But if anyone can fix that slight issue, it’s Tim Price. If the winter trip to Spain for the Sunshine Tour pays off, and Vitali really is cured this time, then my wishes will definitely come true, because if it wasn’t for that slight flaw, this horse would have been a multiple 5* winner by now. So, please, I beseech you, keep all available limbs crossed for this guy on Sunday. Lord knows they both deserve the win.

Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

TOP FOREIGN ENTRY:

I mean, Tim Price is from New Zealand so I have kind of already answered this one, but I feel like that’s a bit of a cop out, so I am going to plump for another Kiwi (they’re my fave), and say Double Olympian and all round legend, Caroline Powell with Greenacres Special Cavalier. This will be the second start for ‘Cav,’ who I also held high hopes for after her sparkling 5* debut at Pau in 2022, where she finished 5th. Sadly, the diabolical conditions meant that she, along with so many others, had a less than ideal cross country round. Although they crossed the finish line, they did so with 40 jumping penalties, and so ended up in 16th place, which is still not too shabby for your first Badminton. They returned to top form in October though, finishing up in 6th place in Maryland. Thus, my faith has been restored, and I reckon these two could finish comfortably within the top 10.

Cosby Green and Copper Beach. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

TOP DEBUTANTE HORSE OR RIDER:
There are SO MANY to choose from here – personal faves include Lucy Latta from Ireland, Holly Richardson, who made her 5* debut in fine style last summer with the lionhearted Bally Louis and Helen Bates and Carpe Diem who also their 5* debut last year, at Pau. BUT I think, on this occasion, it is Cosby Green and Copper Beach who deserve the shout out. Back for another year with Team Price, this US superstar smashed it at her first 5* in Pau, finishing in 16th place with Buck Davidson’s former ride Copper Beach, and now they’re lining up at their first Badminton. Cosby has been hard at work with her Kiwi mentors during the ‘off season,’ joining them on the Spanish Show Jumping Tour, and no doubt we will see the fruits of her labours this week. Flying the flag for Team USA, I have every faith that Cosby and ‘Sean’ will land another top 20 result at their first Badminton – seriously, this girl is ONE. TO. WATCH.

William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

TOP MARE:

Again, I am torn – this time between Cavalier Crystal, who Harry Meade piloted to 3rd place at Burghley last year, and Graffenacht, runner up in Maryland. The latter is the one who takes my vote here, I think, purely because she managed to make it home safely here last year, despite the never-ending mud. Yes, she dropped 3 rails on the final day, but my guess is she was nothing short of EXHAUSTED and did not bring her A game. Hopefully, she will not have to contend with such horrendous conditions this year, and she and William Fox-Pitt will earn themselves yet another 5* podium place. Oh, I do hope so!

SPOILER ALERT:
….Continuing where I left off in the previous category, my spoiler alert is that William Fox-Pitt is this year’s Badminton winner. That would make a third Badminton title, and a fifteenth 5* win for this living legend, extending his record of the most 5* wins. Oh pleeeeasssse let this happen – I am manifesting to the MAX for this. Please, do join me.

Helen Bates and Carpe Diem. Photo by Laura Dupuy

HEART HORSE:

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Carpe Diem, or Demon as Helen Bates calls him. They made their 5* debut at Pau last year, and in fine style, too, with a double clear, but this guy and his rider captured my heart lonnnng before then. His little face when he clears those jumps with miiiiiles to spare, oh it’s just the best. This is a horse who just loves his job, and I can’t wait to see this utter dream team tackle their first Badminton together. He also happens to be one of the top 10 showjumpers in the field (thank EquiRatings for that little nugget) so I’m quietly hopeful for another great finish for these two. Also, fun fact:he’s missing a tooth, so his OTHER stable name is Diego, after the Saber-toothed Tiger from Ice Age. I said it was a fun fact, not a useful one…

Sally Spickard

Meghan O’Donoghue and Palm Crescent. Photo by Sally Spickard.

WINNER:

I’m tossing my hat in this week for Ros Canter and Izilot DHI, who finished on a sub-30 in their 5* debut at Pau last fall. The one chink in the armor, so to speak, and if there even is one, really, is that “Isaac” can be on the sharper, spookier side. Indeed, this has been the pair’s undoing in the past, and Badminton is certainly its own beast in terms of atmosphere. This could see Ros start on a slightly higher score than the 11-year-old gelding might otherwise be capable of, but I worry less about the starting score at an event like Badminton. The real chops will be tested on Eric Winter’s grueling cross country and also in the show jumping on grass come Sunday. But Izilot DHI has performed in intense environments before, and he’s got the competitive results to back up his potential as a Badminton winner. Ros hoisted the Badminton trophy in 2023 after piloting Lordships Graffalo to a win on a score of 35.3, and the next nearest finisher was on a score of over 50 penalty points. While the going this year is sure to be much better, and perhaps we’ll see fewer time penalties on Saturday than we did in 2023, if Ros and Isaac can manage a 30 or better to start the weekend, they’ll be in a good position to make good on their jumping prowess, which also features an extensive clear FEI show jumping record at the 4* and 5* levels.

TOP FOREIGN ENTRY:

I’ve been a big fan of SAP Talisman, the entry of EquiRatings’ co-founder and top championship rider Sam Watson for Ireland, ever since we saw him really step up to the occasion at the 2021 FEI European Championships in Switzerland. What. A. Horse. Now, show jumping would be this horse’s “weakness” on paper — he did lower a handful that week at Avenches as well as a few at Burghley, his first 5*, last year. But if you want to indulge my obsession, just watch this pair on cross country Saturday. This is a horse that’s just made to do the task at the biggest events in the world, and while you could argue that those efforts make it difficult for him to clean up on Sundays, if we know Sam at all we know he will have been making the necessary tweaks to his training to put down his best possible result this weekend.

TOP DEBUTANTE HORSE OR RIDER:

I’m hopping aboard the Lucy Latta train here as I’ve found her story to be quite relateable — she’s just got the one horse competing, which presents its own form of challenges in terms of mileage and experience, and she spends her days working in brand management, which is also respectable in that it precludes a rider from spending all hours possible in the tack. It’s a testament that a special horse, proper time management, and dedication can earn your ticket to the big show, and what a story it would be if Lucy and RCA Patron Saint or “Paddy” can show the world what’s possible this weekend. Besides, anyone that picks Badminton as their 5* debut (I mean let’s be honest: I’m not sure WHICH 5* I would pick in her shoes, and I’m frankly glad it’s a decision I don’t have to make) deserves respect in my book.

TOP MARE:

Grafennacht certainly has my heart this week, and it’s a bonus that she happens to be in the experienced hands of none other than William Fox-Pitt. William used Badminton last year as a finding excursion, collecting a decent amount of time and a handful of rails in a massive effort, then followed that up with a podium finish at the Maryland 5 Star in the fall. “Lillie” will be approaching this third 5* with much experience and strength gained in the intervening months. She’s had a sensible run-up to Badminton, romping around some Advanced and Intermediate tracks to tick all the boxes and put the finishing touches on. We can expect to see a fit mare and a competitive rider looking to one-up that second place at Maryland, and they well could do it I believe.

Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

SPOILER ALERT:

Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift could easily have slid into my pick for winner here, as I feel they’ve been knocking on the door of a major result for a couple years now. This pair finished fifth at Badminton last year in horrendous conditions, finishing otherwise on their dressage mark after some time (which was basically a given last year) on cross country. And don’t forget they were also runners-up at Burghley the year prior. We wrote in our Form Guide that this pair is a big unsung and under the radar, which can often be preferable to generating a ton of buzz and attention that can get distracting. But you heard it here first: a podium or even a win is far from a long shot here this weekend.

HEART HORSE:

Got to root a bit for the home crowd and while I would happily put in any of the North Americans here, I’m going to give my “heart horse” nod to Palm Crescent and Meghan O’Donoghue. “Palmer” has become a seasoned 5* horse under Meghan’s tutelage, and it’s a similar story to Lucy Latta in that Meghan doesn’t have a huge string of horses to pilot (through no fault of her own, let’s get this woman some more horses, stat!), meaning much of her time is spent competing Palm Crescent and honing his fitness and care to its absolute peak. Meghan’s been quite emotional, understandably so, about ticking off a major lifetime goal for herself with this first start at Badminton — she did compete at Burghley with her famous former OTTB partner, Pirate, but Badminton has eluded her to this point. So here’s to the classic Thoroughbred, which we also see in Jessica Phoenix’s Wabbit as another North American example, and the absolute athleticism they will display come Saturday. Of course, one shouldn’t count out this pair as potential leaderboard climbers for a competitive finish this weekend. If they can finish close to or on what should be a low or mid-30s dressage mark, it won’t be out of question for them to be in the victory gallop come Sunday.

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On Tap: Preview and How to Follow the Tryon International CCI4*-L This Weekend

Ema Klugman and Slieve Callan Alpha. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

With all the hoopla that is Badminton, let’s not forget the roster of competitors ready to tackle the first 4*-L of the season in the U.S. at Tryon International, presented by Yanmar America, in Mill Spring, NC. 27 horses and riders have put in to contest the headlining CCI4*-L, but there’s also Long and Short offerings from 2* up through 4*, as well as a 1*-S competition. You can view the full list of entries by division (as well as live scoring once competition begins Thursday) here.

Looking back to the 4*-L field, there’s a serious field of contenders and some Olympic hopefuls looking to impress in this final official selection trial for U.S. athletes (Badminton is also considered a selection trial by US Equestrian). We also see some re-routes from Kentucky for some pairs or some who competed in the 4*-S who were using Kentucky as a final tune-up for this serious Long format.

So, who are the ones to watch this weekend? That’s always a loaded question, as truthfully it can generally be anyone’s weekend to score a big win, but here are some notables:

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Caroline Pamukcu is certainly one to keep an eye on as she presents her Pan Ams individual gold medalist partner HSH Blake (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass, by Kannan), looking to build off a strong finish at Kentucky. Frankly, had “Blake” not lost a shoe on cross country at Kentucky and picked up some additional time penalties as a result, I think we could have seen Caroline hit the podium there. There’s plenty of competition here this weekend, so while she’s by no means the singular one to watch, this will certainly be a pair to keep an eye on — and I’ve been saying it all year: don’t count Caroline out for Paris just yet. Caroline also has two other young stars in this division in HSH Tolan K and HSH Double Sixteen.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Liz Halliday is another rider making a strong bid for Paris, and while what might be considered her top two prospects finished up strong weekends at Kentucky (Miks Master C and Cooley Nutcracker), you’d be remiss to even think about counting out her two 4*-L entries in Cooley Quicksilver and Shanroe Cooley. Liz’s horses are owned by a combination of Ocala Horse Properties, Deborah Palmer, The Monster Partnership, and The Nutcracker Syndicate.

Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer – Kylemore Crystal, by Greggan Diamond) was sixth at the Kentucky 4*-S (he also won that division in 2022 en route to a top five finish at Luhmühlen the following month) and now arrives at his spring destination after a lighter year in 2023. Liz has been chuffed with “Monster” and his progression through the years — she’s had him since he was a young horse — and he stands a strong chance of taking the victory this weekend.

Shanroe Cooley (Liz Halliday). Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Stablemate Shanroe Cooley (Dallas – Shanroe Sapphire, by Condios) is a bit younger and less experienced. He’ll be seeking his first 4*-L completion at Tryon after a parting of ways cut his debut short at Galway Downs last fall. “Dallas” has seen a few slightly higher marks on the flat since stepping up to 4*, which is of course fairly normal as a horse gains the strength they need for the more demanding test, but he’s well capable of a sub-30s (he’s put down a 26.8 at this level in the past) mark on his day and Liz will be looking for a confirming weekend here in this step up.

Phillip Dutton has three strong and promising younger horses to show this weekend in Possante, Jewelent, and Denim.

Phillip Dutton and Possante. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Denim (Dinken – Celia II, by Ibisco xx) was originally slated to step up to 5* at Kentucky, but Phillip made a decision to instead focus on another 4*-L under the 9-year-old’s girth before taking that all-important next step. The 4*-L Denim, who is owned by Ann Jones, Ann Lapides, Caroline Moran, and Neill Sites, did do, however, was no slouch: Phillip traveled to the Netherlands to tackle the 4*-L at Boekelo last fall. They delivered a clear cross country round and lowered one rail in this competition. It’s reasonable to expect Phillip to go for gusto on Denim come cross country day, really testing the training he will have done in the off-season to assess the horse’s readiness for a future 5* debut.

The Possante Group’s Possante (Namelus R – Wendelien, by Otangelo) is another more recent addition to Phillip’s string, really impressing us with his presence as Phillip continues to get to know the former Emily King ride. He’s got two strong 4* runs this year so far, including a top 10 at Stable View in early April, and this will be his first start at the 4* level, which means while Phillip will ride as competitively as he can, he’ll likely prioritize more information-finding, relationship-building, and setting the horse up for what he hopes will be a lengthy career beyond this weekend.

Last but far from least of Phillip’s rides is the 12-year-old Irish gelding Jewelent (Valent – Bellaney Jewel, by Roselier), who was previously ridden by Ireland’s Claire Abbott through the 4* and partially the 5* level (he finished two phases at Badminton with Claire in 2022 before being withdrawn). The only reason Phillip and “Julian” had a 20 marring their performance at Kentucky in the 4*-S was because of an epic save Phillip made after he came unseated at the B element of fence 9. Julian made more than a few new fans for his part for how patiently he waited for his rider to monkey-crawl his way back upright — take a look:

The Canadians also have some horses in this division as they eye their own trip to Paris. Karl Slezak has been collecting competitive results with the 12-year-old Chevalier (Cabardino N – Play For Keeps, by Dachstanz), owned by Carol Wiley. This pair did fall victim to the challenging coffin complex on the 4* course at Kentucky, but Karl should still be feeling confident ahead of this first 4*-L.

Dana Cooke and Quattro. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Also coming forward for Canada are Dana Cooke and the FE Quattro Syndicate’s Quattro (Quaterstern – Elina, by Coriograph B), who delivered an exciting 3*-S at Morven Park last fall but saw their season come to a crashing halt with a fall on cross country at Galway Downs at the end of the season. They’ve put that behind them though and have some strong runs under their belt this season so far.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of who to follow! Be sure to check in on the entry list here to pick out your favorites.

You can find the competition schedule here. The 4* divisions will split dressage over Thursday and Friday, followed by cross country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday. There is no live stream this weekend, but we’ll be bringing you reports on completion of each phase, as well as photo galleries from official photographer Shannon Brinkman right here on EN and our social channels. You can also view course maps for the cross country here.

Tryon International Three Day Event (Mill Spring, NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Video Break: Journey to the Top with Ros Canter

Go behind the curtain with World Champion and 5* victor Ros Canter, who’s tackling Badminton this year with Izilot DHI. In this documentary from LeMieux, Ros goes back to the beginning, telling the tale of how she became the world class event rider she currently is. Spoiler alert: Ros feels nerves and fear just like the rest of us, and she’s put her heart and soul into her career which certainly has more highs to come.

Enjoy, and Go Eventing!

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio Prove Their Mettle at Kentucky

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Dani Sussman left the Kentucky Horse Park on a high.

It’s an indescribable feeling to complete any event, let alone one of the caliber that is the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. Mix in the hours spent in the truck, shuttling back and forth from Dani’s home base in Colorado to the East coast, the time spent away from understanding and supportive clients (and husbands) and well, it’s safe to say Dani would likely have been thrilled to finish solidly on a number for her efforts.

She did one better, completing the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S, which is run alongside the traditional Kentucky CCI5*, in 10th place overall with her own and Carol Mavrakis’ Jos Bravio, just behind U.S. high performance squad riders like Boyd Martin, Liz Halliday, Will Coleman, Sydney Elliott, and Carolina Pamukcu.

For Dani, the result is validating: she’s been chipping away with the 13-year-old “Bravi” since acquiring him from Argentina in 2020, believing in her willingness to understand her horse and adjust her riding accordingly to bring out his potential.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“He’s honestly just a professional through and through,” Dani described. “He comes out every day ready to work and do the job. He gives everything his all, so he’s been a really great partner in that way. The big things I’ve been working through, training-wise, are to do with the fact that he’s kind of short-coupled and short-necked. It’s a lot of working to get him soft through his neck and over his back and allowing him to open his step.”

Dani’s trusted Buck Davidson with much of her coaching (along with her dressage coach, Sue Martin, and her show jumping coach, Mariano Bedoya, who also assists her in sourcing hoses from Argentina), and she credits his philosophy of forward riding with her recent breakthroughs.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Looking at Jos Bravio’s record leading up to Kentucky, Dani admits one might raise an eyebrow as to her level of preparation with Jos Bravio, but here she makes an interesting observation: “It’s kind of ironic. The mistakes that happened before Kentucky actually set me up perfectly for Kentucky.”

How so? I wanted to know more.

Dani went on to explain that she began the season in earnest with the Grand-Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field, where she turned in an impressive and quick-footed cross country round ahead of her other Kentucky preps. However at both attempts at Bouckaert Equestrian’s two prep events, she encountered some trouble on cross country. This prompted her to zoom out and analyze what was causing the issue. She’d to that point been riding Bravi in a nathe gag bit with a running martingale, and she decided to test the theory that lightening her equipment setup might give her horse the opportunity to move more openly and freely. This would, she hoped, translate into making the big distances on cross country come up more naturally. She opted for a loose ring snaffle, sans martingale.

She practiced with this setting at home, immediately feeling a breakthrough in her subsequent schooling rides. At Kentucky, her intuition rang true, and the new setup worked like a charm.

“He does have a big step, and I’ve kind of gotten in the way of that,” Dani said. “Each year it’s gotten a little better and a little better. Now he runs cross country basically in his dressage tack. Buck also encouraged me to feel comfortable on that more open step, allowing things to happen and trusting that when I jump into a combination the strides will be there without me having to make a huge adjustment. It was about trusting myself and trusting my horse, which is a hard thing but it’s so hugely influential.”

Indeed, Dani got the validation she’d been seeking that her theories were correct, and that the trouble she’d encountered en route to Kentucky were actually opportunities to make a positive change.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Of course, this isn’t a story intended to persuade a reader to take a look at an imperfect record and decide they’ll fix the problems later. For Dani, the lessons learned and the intuition that follows come from a body of work, multiple years spent producing the horse to this level and with the guidance of coaches she trusts.

“It was a really great feeling to know that I’d fixed the issue and could come into Kentucky feeling rock solid,” she continued. “I needed to trust that the fix was there and that I knew it was there. So I felt actually – definitely nervous, properly nervous as you would be for an event like that, not nervous in the way I doubted whether I was ready.”

Dani and Bravi proved their mettle. Despite a couple of bobbles on the flat that prevented a stronger starting position, they clawed their way up the board, delivering a clear cross country with just a handful of time and a rare double clear show jumping on Sunday to move to 10th after starting in equal 20th.

“It was honestly pretty incredible,” Dani reflected. “I wanted to do right by him and keep his confidence up [on cross country], to go out there and do what we had practiced. That was my goal, and I think we delivered that. The double clear show jumping definitely kind of blew me away. I couldn’t be more proud of that.”

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Dani and Bravi now move ahead to their final destination of the spring before heading back to Colorado, competing in the CCI4*-L at The Fork at Tryon International this weekend (May 9-12). There, she hopes to build on what she delivered at Kentucky, knowing there are plenty of opportunities to finish even stronger in this important Long format.

“I’m definitely feeling good ahead of next week, but I also don’t want to go in taking anything for granted,” she said when we talked on the phone. “I want to put as much into next weekend as I did Kentucky – if not more – and see if I can clean up the bobbles here and there.”

Dani’s tentatively got plans for Jos Bravio to test his mettle at the CCI5* level or perhaps in overseas competition, but first things first: ensure he’s confident and competitive at the 4* level, and spend some well-earned time back at home.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“I’ve been gone since February,” she described. “I’ve flown back and forth a few times to do as much as I can, and I have a wonderful assistant and staff who fill in and keep the wheels on the bus while I’m gone. Our clients are incredibly supportive and excited for us.”

It’s been a grind in more ways than one to this point, but Dani seems to take everything in stride. She tells me about her husband, Jeff, who flew out to drive to Kentucky from Ocala, where Dani spent the winter, and who is “over the top supportive”, as she puts it.

Determination and grit must be balanced with empathy and patience on this journey with horses, and Dani’s result at Kentucky is demonstrative of this. Mostly, she’s enjoying the ride with a special horse she feels lucky to have formed such a strong partnership with. “He definitely has the ability and the heart. Anything we do from here will be incredible and a dream come true.”

EN’s coverage of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event is presented by Kentucky Performance Products, your one-stop shop for science-backed nutritional support for all types of horses. Click here to learn more about Kentucky Performance Products. You can catch up on all of our stories from Kentucky here.

Don’t Miss Out: Today is the Deadline to Apply for MARS Bromont Rising

Bromont Rising coat Bettina Hoy pins the second place ribbon on Emeline Gilbert and EWSZ Mozart. Photo by Abby Powell.

The MARS Bromont Rising U25 scholarship program, administered by the USEA Foundation, will distribute 10 grants of up to $2,500 each to talented young riders aged 25 and under aiming to compete in the MARS Bromont (Quebec, Canada) U25 CCI’s in June, 2024. Highlighting this year’s program is the return of three-time German Olympic team member Bettina Hoy, as a guest coach for 2024.

A complete training program was devised to help the riders prepare themselves and their horses for competition. The grants assist with travel and entry expenses, but the program also includes classroom sessions with course designers, high performance riders and a dressage test analysis by an 5* FEI judge. Coaching and course walks during the events are also available, in conjunction with riders own coaches.

Three-time German Olympian and former international coach for Holland, Bettina Hoy, speaks extremely highly of the program.

“Programs like Bromont Rising, the USEF and USEA’s Developing Rider Programs, Australia’s Next GEN squads, and in Germany the Stiftung Deutscher Spitzensport-supported mentorship program are very valuable, particularly if students are willing to take them on in an immersive way,” Hoy remarked. “Education goes way beyond riding instruction. In future workshops, I would like to add seminars on horse management – how to plan your season, how to structure your fitness program, and proper aftercare to really complete the cycle of looking at the big picture. And of course we need to discuss social license and the use of social media today.”

You won’t want to miss out on this awesome opportunity for some helpful funding as well as invaluable coaching insights all week at Bromont, so visit the Bromont website to apply TODAY (May 6)!

Sunday Links from EcoVet

A full day of cross country action awaits at Stable View, where alongside a full horse trial are the USEA Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Championships. The USEA is on the ground covering this competition, which makes me sorely miss being in college well before collegiate eventing existed! You can follow along with the latest in the links below. You can also view portions of the competition via Horse & Country here.

8th Annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship Kicks Off With 18 Schools Represented
Camaraderie is the Common Theme that Brings IEL Teams Together
Behind the Scenes of the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate & Interscholastic Eventing Championships Opening Ceremonies

U.S. Weekend Action

Riga Meadow at Coole Park Combined Test (Millbrook, NY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Stable View Local Charities H.T. + USEA Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Eventing Championships (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, TX) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

The Event at Skyline (Mount Pleasant, UT) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Waredaca H.T. (Laytonsville, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Windridge Farm Spring H.T. (NC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Osberton International I (Nottinghamshire) [Info / Schedule] [Entries / Scoring]

European FEI Events

Jardy Standard Show (France) [Info / Entries]

Pratoni del Vivaro Standard Show (Italy) [Info / Entries]

Sopot Standard Show (Poland) [Info / Entries]

Sunday Links

Bobby Costello: Focusing on the Future and Looking Ahead to Paris

With Delivery of Welfare Report, FEI Charts Path Forward at Sports Forum

Brian Hernandez, Ken McPeek Complete Kentucky Derby, Oaks Double In ‘Dream’ 150th Anniversary

Mai Baum is Being Inducted into the Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame

Mischief or Malady? Pain Behaviors in Ridden Horses

Sponsor Corner

Bobby Meyerhoff and Lumumba show us how to compete bug-free thanks to Ecovet!

Video Break

In case you missed it, watch the running of the 150th Kentucky Derby, which saw a thrilling and historic three-way photo finish at the end:

Friday Video Break: Take a Tour of Chateau de Versailles

The famous Chateau des Versailles will be home to all equestrian events during the Olympic Games 2024. In this episode of RIDE presented by Longines on FEI TV, take a tour around the historic grounds that will connect equestrian sport with Parisian culture. It’s going to be a thrilling week in Paris later this summer, and the anticipation is building!

View more of EN’s coverage of the Paris Olympics here.

Harbin Takes It to the Next Level at Kentucky CCI5* with Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Somewhere buried in my Facebook photos reside some exceptionally poor Sony CoolPix photos from my various trips to what we then called Rolex Kentucky. When I think back to those years and teenaged me, one moment stands out to me for no particular or obvious reason. I was standing at the start box, and New Zealand Olympian Joe Meyer was circling with the great little Thoroughbred gelding, Snip.

There weren’t many other people around, and even Joe didn’t bring an escort down to the start box with him. He quietly walked in a circle as he awaited his countdown, the traditional New Zealand silver fern brushed meticulously onto the gelding’s fleabitten gray coat.

Joe wouldn’t have noticed me on that day, too focused on the task at hand, but for one reason or another, I’ll always remember that moment as one of those “I’ve been hit with the eventing bug” memories.

Embed from Getty Images

So you can imagine my curiosity about another little gray Thoroughbred that Joe purchased a few years back from fellow eventer Rebecca Brown.

While he’s always shown the talent for the top levels and more than a few similarities to his predecessor (“He’s little, he’s nippy, he’s fast, he’s hot,” Joe described), it was last weekend at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event that Harbin would truly burst from “potential” to “confirmed” 5* horse.

Joe Meyer and Harbin finish a clear show jumping at Kentucky. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Joe describes his own and Ruthie Meyer’s, along with Theresa Foote’s Harbin (Verglas – Rainbow City, by Rainbow Quest), who raced in Ireland before coming to the U.S., as “a cross country machine”, but noted that his biggest question coming into Kentucky was whether the horse would handle the nearly-12-minute distance. It’s a question forefront in any rider’s mind as they bring a horse to the level for the first time; you don’t know until you know. Even in the mixed zone following Harbin’s dressage test, Joe was realistic.

“He gallops quite high up, a lot of knee action,” he described the 14-year-old gelding. “So it will be a question of whether that will take it out of him at all.”

He needn’t have worried. In fairness, he had tested Harbin with Long format terrain before: he traveled to the UK in 2023 to compete in the notoriously tough and terrain-heavy Blenheim Palace CCI4*-L (Harbin finished cross country clear with four time penalties there), but of course a 5* is a different animal.

Harbin delivered, though, collecting 9.2 time penalties to otherwise finish his first 5* cross country clear. He’d go on to cement his status as a 5* horse with one of just six jump penalty-free show jumping rounds on Sunday. Joe’s elation on crossing the finish was palpable.

I caught up with him shortly after, still grinning from ear to ear.

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“He came out feeling amazing today,” he said. “And he was jumping out of his skin, unbelievable. What a little rockstar, and for a little Thoroughbred he’s just awesome.”

Joe recalled the first moments of meeting Harbin, how the gelding did toss him some reminders of Snip. “There’s a couple of little differences, but yeah, that’s why when I had to chance to have him from Rebecca Brown I thought, ‘This could be my horse,’ because I know all about what that kind of horse is. And he’s exactly that: he’s nippy, he’s fast, and you know, he’ll spin you off and things, you always have to have a neck strap on him, but that’s what makes him special. And he tries, I don’t think he knows how to give up, and that’s really huge.”

For the Olympic and World Championship rider, the result also means more personally. Joe’s had several other horses come up the levels following Snip, but he hasn’t quite captured as competitive of 5* results as he did this weekend’s 14th place finish. I wanted to know how this felt to him.

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It feels awesome, and like, you know, I’ll probably have to try a bit harder now because he’s got a few more years in him! And I feel like we’ve got a few coming up underneath as well.” Here he notes the longevity of the careers of riders such as Phillip Dutton and Matthew Grayling. “I think it’s all doable. But I do love the sport so much, and it really is inspirational to have a really nice horse and get a good result like this.”

“It’s sort of easy to fade into obscurity a little bit,” Joe continued after a moment. “I mean, you know we work away and we sell horses and we do a lot of other stuff, but it is quite nice to be doing what you want – what you came here to do.”

Harbin jumped super today around his first 5 star. A bobble after the ditch in the coffin so I opted for the long route…

Posted by Joe Meyer on Saturday, April 27, 2024

EN’s coverage of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event is presented by Kentucky Performance Products, your one-stop shop for science-backed nutritional support for all types of horses. Click here to learn more about Kentucky Performance Products. You can catch up on all of our stories from Kentucky here.

USET Foundation Awards 2024 Jacqueline B. Mars Spring National Competition and Training Grant to Mia Farley

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The 2024 Jacqueline B. Mars National Competition and Training Grant has been awarded to 24-year-old U.S. eventing athlete Mia Farley of Ocala, FL, who finished in 13th place at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L riding her trainer David O’Connor’s 11-year-old thoroughbred, Phelps, by Tiznow.

The national grant is awarded by the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation through the generosity of USET Foundation Honorary Life Trustee Jacqueline B. Mars to support preparation and attendance at a national competition.

The grant awarded to Farley was to prepare for and compete at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Farley said: “When I was told I had won it three weeks before Kentucky, I was very surprised and thankful. The grant helped with the travel expenses to Kentucky, and I was able to ride with [U.S. Eventing Emerging and Development Coach] Leslie Law a bit more.

“In Kentucky, it assisted with the cost of Phelps’ therapies for the five-star, ensuring he felt his best. The grant is going to be a huge help as I’m pretty limited on funds, and I’m really excited to see what else I can do with it,” she continued. Farley will spend this summer in Lexington, Kentucky, for the first time before returning home to Ocala, Florida. “I plan to use the grant to improve, particularly in the show jumping, with Phelps. I’m hoping to do another long-format with him this fall.”

The annual grant aims to support the Eventing Pathway Programs’ goal of sustainable success on the world stage. Specifically, these grants are designed to assist athlete/horse combinations already competing at four-star level to achieve Pre-Elite or Elite Program criteria within the next 12 months.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“To young riders who are in a similar situation with limited funds, grants like this and surrounding yourself with good people mean that anything is possible. On days when it doesn’t feel possible, it’s inspiring to be able to apply for these grants and look forward to the opportunities they can provide,” added Farley.

The Jacqueline B. Mars National Competition and Training Grants provide training and competition resources for U.S. athletes who have never competed on an Eventing Olympics or FEI World Championships Team and have earned, via results and potential, the opportunity to travel to another part of the country to compete.

For additional information or to support the USET Foundation and the U.S. equestrian athletes headed to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, visit https://www.uset.org/donate/.

Who Jumped It Best? Defender Kentucky CCI5* Edition

It’s time to play Who Jumped It Best? as we continue to look back at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event! This series of shots comes from the newly-added Walnut Mound question on the CCI5* course, which involved a narrow, wide oxer at A followed by an angled brush off a sharp right handed turn. While we thought this question might elicit some trouble with the added complexity of terrain, the combination actually rode very well and caused no problems for the division.

I’ve collected a few shots here for you to peruse. While I acknowledge they aren’t all exactly taken at the same moment, they should still provide some context to cast your vote below! Happy voting, and Go Eventing.

Miss out on any of our Kentucky coverage, sponsored by Kentucky Performance Products? Click here to look back.

Monica Spencer and Artist. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Christoph Wahler and D’Accord FRH. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Buck Davidson and Sorocaima. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Andrew McConnon and Ferrie’s Cello. Photo by Sally Spickard.

EN’s coverage of the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event is presented by Kentucky Performance Products, your one-stop shop for science-backed nutritional support for all types of horses. Click here to learn more about Kentucky Performance Products.

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event [Website] [Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Coverage]

Catch Up on the Top Rounds of Defender Kentucky

It’s hard to believe the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event has come and gone already, but luckily there’s plenty of content to chew on as we make our respective journeys back home to nurse our horse show hangovers.

I’ve collected some of the top rounds USEF Network has posted of the winning/top rounds of the weekend. You can also find live stream replays on USEF Network or ClipMyHorse (outside of the U.S.) here.

The links below are embedded from Instagram — if you can’t see any of them, you can also view the videos on the USEF Network Facebook and Instagram pages.

Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent – Winners of Defender Kentucky CCI5*

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus – USEF National CCI5* Champions

Will Coleman and Diabolo – Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S Winners

Tom McEwen and JL Dublin – CCI5* Cross Country Leaders

Mia Farley and Phelps – Double Clear on Cross Country

Tom McEwen and JL Dublin – CCI5* Dressage Winners

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C – Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S Dressage

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir – CCI5* Dressage

Boyd Martin and Commando 3 – Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S Dressage

Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event: [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Tickets] [Scoring] [Live Stream] [Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Coverage]