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

Land Rover Rookies: Ema Klugman and Bendigo

Welcome to EN’s annual series celebrating the first-timers making their five-star debut at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event! This one is a special one for us, as Ema Klugman is a part of the Nation Media family as the editor of EN’s sister site, Jumper Nation. To read more of EN’s Kentucky coverage, click here.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Ema Klugman may be one of the youngest riders in the field of this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event at 23, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she’s just some kid making a crack at a five star.

In fact, to meet Ema, who rides for Australia but bases in Maryland, is to meet a consummate professional who already has a thriving business as a competitor and coach while she also prepares to enter into law school this fall at The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Oh, and she also moonlights as EN sister site Jumper Nation’s editor and writes for economic and social policy analysis platform She probably also has 12 other side gigs that she didn’t mention in our interview.

In other words, Ema’s a busy girl — to the point where her upcoming five-star debut with just one horse, her horse of a lifetime Bendigo, may be the quietest week she’s had in recent memory.

Ema and Bendigo, who at 18 is among the oldest horses in the field at Kentucky this year, have grown up together, so to speak — though the Thoroughbred cross gelding by Refuse to Lose wouldn’t do his first horse trial until the age of 11.

Ema practices under the watchful eye of Packy McGaughan. Photo courtesy of Ema Klugman.

“Ben” was 10 years old when Ema and her longtime coach and mentor, Packy McGaughan, found him. He’d done some show jumping, but he needed some improvements. He had scope to spare though, and he was safe enough, Packy thought, to get the then 14-year-old Ema through Preliminary. It was safe to say, though, that he didn’t see potential beyond Preliminary or Intermediate, nevermind five-star, in the plain bay gelding.

Ema laughs now as she remembers Packy’s early opinions of Bendigo, who you might not pick out of a line-up as a shining example of a top event horse but whose try and heart made up for what he may have lacked in raw ability.

“For many reasons, not having Packy in Kentucky will be difficult, but I also wish I could just laugh at him once at the end of it and say, ‘Ha! I told you so!’’,” Ema said.

Indeed, Packy’s skepticism of Bendigo’s abilities to make it to the top of the sport lit a fire in Ema — and probably in Ben, too. Or maybe the skepticism was just a veiled encouragement in the form of a dare, a “fine, prove me wrong” scenario.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Regardless, it quickly became apparent to Ema that her horse was special. “He’s full of surprises,” Ema said. “He doesn’t have the scope or the raw ability of a horse like (Marilyn Little’s 4* winner) RF Scandalous or (Liz Halliday Sharp’s five-star horse) Deniro Z, so he kind of has to make his way. He just has a huge amount of heart.”

Right around the time Ema and Bendigo were preparing to move up to Advanced, Ben now 14 and Ema 18, Ema began to work for Marilyn Little. It was a reckoning of sorts, Ema recalls ruefully now. “Our first few lessons, I don’t think we jumped more than a cross rail,” she said. “It was a little embarrassing. We just had zero control. The standard of riding at Marilyn’s was very high, but she really helped me improve.”

Originally a show jumper, Marilyn is familiar with the concept of jumping tight angles with the right mix of control and speed, so she would often set up cross country-type questions in the arena for Ema to practice with. It’s these exercises — easily accessible, with less wear and tear than an equal amount of cross country schooling — that Ema credits with helping her and Bendigo turn a corner in terms of technical ability and confidence.

“He wasn’t always super confident,” Ema explained. “And for some reason those cross country exercises in the ring really helped him understand the questions. It really trained him to look through a line on his own. Nothing replaces a proper cross country school, but Marilyn’s methods really make a huge difference for us. She was instrumental in just helping me ride better in general.”

Ema learned the importance and value of repetition during her time with Marilyn. “We were sitting together a couple of summers ago after a long day of jump sets, and she asked me, ‘How many jumps do you think you’ve jumped this summer?’ I replied that I didn’t know, but probably a lot. She said probably 10,000 jumps. And I think that kind of repetitive practice really helps and it really matters. You can’t replace that sort of thing and she was very generous in giving me those kinds of opportunities.”

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Shelby Allen.

These days, Ema and Bendigo have a few more miles under their belt, and they’re starting to figure out how to go faster and smoother across the country. Bendigo is no slouch in the gallop, so these will surely be a fun pair to watch come Saturday.

As for it being her first five-star, Ema says she’s nervous but trying to be kind to herself. “Probably what I’m the most nervous about is letting the horse down,” she reflected. “Particularly because he’s an older horse and I really believe he tries quite hard for me. But, I am 23 years old, and I’ve been eventing less than 10 years, so I have to give myself a little leeway, too.”

Regardless, the chance to be in the same ring as legends such as William Fox Pitt and Oliver Townend is something Ema says she’ll be soaking up all week long. It’s one of her last hurrahs with Bendigo, whose age she wants to be respectful of, though you would never guess it by watching him. And, she hopes Packy will be watching them run, writing one of his expressive analysis pieces about his former student.

“It’s very, very hard to say how much he meant to me,” she said. “He found me this horse. He helped me train him, to unlock him so to speak. We connected because he was such an intellectual and I’m a ‘nerd’ too. He had a way of explaining things in a way that made sense to me, and he really made me want to get better. Everyone deserves to have a mentor like that.”

Coming Soon: EN’s Ultimate Wall-to-Wall Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Coverage

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t holding my breath and crossing my fingers for the last few weeks, watching the calendar tick down to this year’s long-awaited Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian. Thanks to the massive efforts of thousands of eventing participants and supporters, the event — which originally was set to cancel for the second year in a row — was able to pull together enough funding to make this coming week happen.

While spectators are sadly still prohibited by US Equestrian, the Eventing Nation team is looking forward to bringing eventing fans the world over the Kentucky coverage you’ve come to anticipate in some fresh and exciting new ways. Don’t worry — nothing regarding our traditional coverage (daily reports, live updates and more) is changing. We want to bring you to Kentucky with us, so all of our regular coverage will be available right here on EN all week long.

But we did want to add some new pieces to the party this year! So we’re excited to offer three supplements to our Kentucky coverage:

1. Meet the EN Ultimate Guide to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

A preview of just some of the information that will be found on each rider’s two-page spread inside EN’s Ultimate Form Guide.

What started as a whim of an idea in a daily Slack chat quickly evolved, in true EN fashion, into a massive project, and we’re pleased to present the very first Ultimate Guide to Land Rover Kentucky. Featuring in this slick, downloadable guide are profiles on every horse and rider entered in this year’s CCI5*, complete with statistics on each pair’s performance leading up to this week, fun facts, and analysis. Learn a little bit about your favorite pair — and maybe even “meet” a new rider or horse you’ll be a fan of forever.

You’ll get a sense of the competitive strengths and weaknesses of each pair in each phase, their history together and much more in this guide, meant to be a true companion for those following along with the competition via the USEF Network (in North America)/Horse & Country TV (internationally) live stream.

The Ultimate Guide will be available for sale next week through Issuu and will cost just $10 to purchase. The Ultimate Guide is mobile and desktop friendly, and Issuu also has a great free app that makes the user experience even better. We’re also honored to donate $1 from each sale to an equestrian access program or nonprofit in an effort to, in a small way, help welcome more people into our community. To nominate a nonprofit program (we’d like to keep the programs focused on access to horses for underserved populations), please email [email protected].

2. Want to stay the most up to date on what’s happening in Kentucky? Sign up for the FREE LRK3DE Daily Digest, a daily email newsletter that will land in your inbox early each morning beginning Thursday, April 22 full of coverage links from the day before, a preview of the day’s action, and much more. We’re also partnering with Achieve Equine (VIP Equestrian and FLAIR Strips), EcoVet, Kentucky Performance Products, Legends Horse Feeds and Pro Elite Feeds to offer up some great prizes all week long — just by signing up (you can use the embedded form below), you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a prize!

3. If you haven’t become a Patreon supporter for EN, now might be your time! While all of our standard coverage will always be available on EN, we’re planning some exclusive interviews and other tidbits just for our Patreon Facebook group members. Patreon tiers start at just $5 a month, and you can sign up to become a member here. P.S.: All Patreon will receive a discount code for EN’s Ultimate Guide to Land Rover Kentucky!

Click here to learn more about EN’s Patreon, and click here to become a Patron.

I am thrilled to be working alongside my co-editor, Leslie Wylie, as well as our intrepid reporters/photographers Shelby Allen and Tilly Berendt — and with Maggie Deatrick and Abby Powell supporting remotely — on the ground in Kentucky. It’s a true honor to work with this team, who has put their heart and soul into our Kentucky content, and to be able to bring you the Kentucky coverage you deserve. We wish you could be there with us, but we hope we can at least make you feel as close to being there as possible.

See you soon! Go eventing.

Cobblestone Farms Looking Forward to Filling Area VIII’s Eventing Needs

The new water complex at Revel Run, the new home of Michigan’s Cobblestone Farms Horse Trials. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

There are some big things afoot at Cobblestone Farms. Under the leadership of Cobblestone Farms owners, the Daratony family, the well-established Dexter, Michigan facility now plans to expand its operations to a new, expansive 150-acre property nearby that entices visions of future eventing grandeur, running its two USEA-recognized events in a new home for 2021.

“We usually run our show on the 80 acres next to the farm, but it had just gotten to the point where that space wasn’t big enough,” Jim Daratony explained. “So we’ve just acquired a 150-acre golf course and have been working diligently for the last year to get it ready for 2021.”

The show jumping field at the former Cobblestone Farms property.

The new property, which will operate under the name Revel Run, had some existing infrastructure in place that will now be converted over time to top-of-the-line facilities for the avid equestrian; replacing the golf clubhouse will be a new clubhouse complete with a restaurant and biergarten for entertaining and kicking back after your rides.

A big part of the plans for Revel Run is a “true” Modified course – one with all its own jumps – in the works, something Jim says the community wants and needs.

“Many events will share jumps for the Modified to save costs, and we really wanted to provide a true Modified track on the Jeff Kibbie-designed course for our riders,” he explained. Building a standalone Modified course will cost between $40,000 and $50,000, so the team is working hard to provide options for sponsorship and fundraising to secure the future of the new course.

Jeff Kibbie, Jimmy Schauer and Jim Daratony work on the water complex at Revel Run. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

“We believe offering a mid-range level specifically designed as a stepping stone in the education of horse and rider, is the perfect opportunity to expand the relevance of our sport – and appeal to an incredible range of competitors,” the team states on the Revel Run fundraising page, which can be accessed here.

As work continues on the property to get it ready for the first Cobblestone Farms at Revel Run H.T., Jim says the local eventing community has been nothing short of excited at the new developments. Indeed, after the shutdown of the beloved Richland Park H.T., Michigan’s sole FEI event for decades, in 2017, a void was left and riders found themselves without a marquee event to circle on the calendar each year. Jim hopes that this new site at Revel Run can become that hub of eventing the area needs.

“We’re really excited to offer it and hope people come and ride,” Jim said. “My daughters would always ride at Richland and really enjoyed it, so it was hard when it went by the wayside. So now we’re trying to pick up the load.”

Construction on the water complex. Photo courtesy of Cobblestone Farms.

It’s a communal effort, to be sure. Jim says he hopes the community will band together to support Revel Run’s fundraising efforts. Aiming to start modestly and build from there – near future plans include an Intermediate course — Cobblestone Farms is destined to become a family destination and a host for events of all kinds, from weddings to equestrian events. But the work required to pull off the venture is immense, and the Daratony family is grateful for the efforts of all involved.

Jim encourages the local Area VIII (and beyond!) riders to come together, raising the profile for the new Revel Run facility and chipping in to help meet fundraising goals. More information about how you can support this refreshed event can be found here. We’ll be checking in with the Daratony family and Cobblestone Farms this spring as they continue working toward the first event, July 3-4, at Revel Run. Levels from Beginner Novice through Intermediate/Preliminary will be offered. The second event at Revel Run is slated for August 6-8, offering the same options of levels. You can also follow Cobblestone Farms on Facebook for more updates on these exciting developments.

Don’t Miss Our Top Picks from Wednesday’s Virtual Vendor Village

It’s quite hard to believe that our 2nd Annual Virtual Vendor Village is halfway over, but here we are. Each day (click here to see all of today’s deals), our team picks out our favorite deals featured in the Village – some of which are short-term deals only. Stay tuned for more to come between now and the final day of shopping on Saturday.

What’s cooking today? Here’s a look at our top picks for Wednesday:

We’ve been featuring Cambox‘s superb line of helmet cams here on EN for a few weeks now, and we love the slim profile of these cameras that fit onto most any helmet. Cambox is running several great bundle deals this week where you can save up to 30% on your new helmet cam.

Deals include: Cambox V4 Pro full bundle — Cambox V4 Pro + 64 Gb SD Card + 2 additional fasteners + protective case + Cambox cap + power bank + warranty extension for $499 instead of $600, the Cambox V4 Pro + 64 Gb Memory Card bundle — $475 instead of $525; Cambox V4 Standard + 32 Gb card + 2 velcro fasteners + Cambox Cap — $399 instead of $449; Cambox Origin + 16 Gb SD card + case + cap $199 instead of $276.

Unbox a Cambox and see what you’ll be getting:

I’m a big fan of a good belt. Thank goodness for mid or high-rise breeches nowadays, as there’s just such a cool, polished look when you pair your pants with a coordinating belt. Brooks Belts has joined the Virtual Vendor Village this year and is offering 15% off your purchase using code “EN2021”. Brooks Belts are handmade and come in a wide array of colors perfect for matching your cross country gear or barn colors.

Horse & Country TV has invested loads of time into building its extensive content library. Not only has H&C TV expanded its live stream offerings here in the States this year, there are also hours upon hours of educational and documentary content to stream to your heart’s desire. Educational videos with Will Coleman, Laura Collett, Ingrid Klimke, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Pippa Funnell, and many more will set your training library up with plenty of new tools.

This week, H&C is offering a free month for new users using code “FREETRIAL”. You can click here to sign up and get started streaming.

We’ve also been fans of Ride Heels Down for many years now. Their artful creations are perfect for expressing your personality, and there is plenty of eventing themed merchandise and apparel to choose from.

This week, you can save 20% on your purchase site-wide (some restrictions apply) using code “LRK3DE21”. Shoppers in the U.S. will also receive free shipping on in-stock items.

Lastly, our friends at SmartPak have launched another unique raffle, which ends today so get those entries in! This raffle is for a bundle of SmartPak Piper apparel, including Piper Original breeches, Piper Sun Shirt, and a Piper UV Tech Cooldown Jacket. You can enter this raffle by clicking here – and check back tomorrow for an all-new chance to win.

To shop the rest of Wednesday’s deals, click here.

After 11 Years, Sara Mittleider is Heading Back to the Bluegrass

Sara Mittleider and La Paz. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Featuring among the star-studded entry list for this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian, are several riders who are making their return to the five-star level after multiple years away. The process of producing a five-star horse is painstaking at best, and it’s not uncommon to see riders reach the upper levels with one horse of a lifetime before experiencing a lull between horses.

For Idaho-based Sara Mittleider, who is 35 this year, the return to the five-star level comes after a gap of 11 years, throughout which are scattered the memories of horses lost too soon, injuries, and setbacks that many riders know all too well. After reaching the top of the sport with the $300 off-track Thoroughbred El Primero, Sara found herself wondering if her success had been a flash in the pan, a one-off. As she looks to her first start in the Bluegrass in over a decade, this time with The La Paz Group’s La Paz (Otangelo – Dos Opera, by Drossan), she took a few minutes to reflect on the intervening time with us.

“It’s definitely been a big gap (between five-stars),” she said. “(El Primero) came to me when I was so young, so I was really going off that naivete of ‘Of course he can do it, why couldn’t he?’ So having the knockdowns in between him and now kind of tweaked my mentality and had me questioning if I could compete at the level again.”

Sara Mittleider and El Primero at Rolex Kentucky. Photo by Silvio Wolf Busch.

El Primero, a crowd favorite in his own right, certainly set the bar high for Sara, who with “Tony” became the youngest rider to complete the then four-star Kentucky Three-Day at the age of 19 in 2005. The two would go on to complete Kentucky three more times, finishing in 12th as their personal best at the level in 2007.

Sara and El Primero would finish 18th at Kentucky in 2010, their final start at the level. In 2015, the diminutive gelding with a heart the size of the jumps he flew over passed away at the age of 20.

Young, talented horses would come up to fill El Primero’s shoes, but as the story so often goes, life got in the way. After the particularly untimely loss of her next rising star, Code Name, Sara found herself questioning her path in the sport.

“I was sure (Code Name) would be the next special horse,” she recalled. “Then I had another horse, Harry Houdini, who proved challenging to keep sound for the sport. So there was a lull there where it felt like setback after setback happened in the span of eight months. It really did a number on me and had me wondering if I wanted to do this still.”

Happenstance would bring Sara to southern California in 2015, to the home of Terry and Linda Paine at Kingsway Farm. There, their star mare, Gin & Juice, formerly piloted by Hawley Bennett-Awad, had initially been retired but at the age of 16 had shown no desire to hang up her horseshoes. The Paines floated an idea by Sara: would she like to take the ride on Gin & Juice? Starting out with just exercise and evolving into returning to the then three-star level, as it turns out, was the spark Sara needed to rekindle her love of the game, the antidote to the self-doubt that had crept its way in.

“‘Ginny’ came along in the twilight of her career and kind of transformed me,” Sara said. “I refound the love of the upper levels and the teamwork to be able to get there. That was really a turning point for me mentally, to dig deeper and get back there.”

Idaho based Sara Mittleider her dad celebrate her CCI4-L win at Galway Downs in 2019. Photo by Kim Miller.

Retrospectively, perhaps all of these experiences were setting Sara up for something bigger and greater. Something that looked a lot like a dark bay Hungarian Sport Horse named La Paz, born the year that Sara and El Primero completed their final four-star.

Imported as a four-year-old for a student, “Muki” was a powerful jumper in a smaller package. Proving to be more ride than the younger student needed at the time, Sara agreed to take him on to give him some mileage and move him up the levels.

The now 11-year-old gelding has a tricky personality, Sara says, and it’s taken some time to get his confidence brimming and ready for the top level. “He’s very emotional and insecure, and when he gets insecure he jumps bigger and bolder and he would get himself into tricky situations,” she explained. “So he had some blips through his career where we were wondering whether he’d be up for it or not. Funny enough, moving up to the Advanced level, where it was like the jumps and distances matched his scope better, things really clicked.”

Sara and La Paz have spent the last two seasons honing their skills at the Advanced and four-star levels, and she says her experience riding around Derek di Grazia’s courses on the West coast through the years has her feeling good about her preparation. In 2019, Sara and El Paz claimed the CCI4*-L victory at the Galway Downs fall international and followed up on that result with a trip to the East coast in 2020, where they finished in the top 20 in Tryon’s CCI4*-L last fall. “Of course, you never know with a rookie horse whether they’re a five-star horse until you’re at a five-star, but I feel that Muki is ready and feeling confident this year,” she said.

Sara Mittleider and La Paz. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Though her path back to the Bluegrass has been long and winding, Sara says she’s feeling prepared and ready to make her return to the five-star level at long last. “It was super unexpected for it to be this long and this difficult getting back,” she said ruefully. “But we’re on track and Leslie Law has been helping us in our prep.”

It’s a family affair for Sara, whose parents are heavily involved in training and running the business in Idaho and whose husband, Attila Rajnai, is also an eventer. “I’m very lucky to have my family,” she said. “They really rallied behind me to allow me to pursue this goal with Muki, and it’s been a long road getting back to this point, so I’m looking forward to finally getting there after all this time.”

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

One of the most exciting parts of being a part of the Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) team is having the opportunity and privilege to work with a group of likeminded, individually talented people who want to work towards a main goal. It’s been such an honor to have a role with SEE, and I’m really excited to share the newly-launched Resource Directory that my colleagues have worked endlessly on for the past few months.

An opportunity that came up during SEE’s strategy and impact planning was the absence of a “hub” for access programs and nonprofits aiming to bring horses to underserved populations. I would be remiss not to mention the Black Equestrians Network, which has established itself as a veritable equestrian “green book” to empower, uplift and highlight Black equestrians worldwide. It’s our hope at SEE that by providing another resource for aspiring equestrians, we may help bridge the gap and welcome more riders into our community.

You can check out the SEE Resource Directory – which is still growing! – here, and if you’re a part of a nonprofit, access program, or otherwise have a business that would be a good fit to list on the Directory, please email [email protected].

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala International Festival of Eventing: [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

F.E.N.C.E. H.T.: [Website] [Entries]

Holly Hill H.T.: [Website] [Entries] [Show Photographer]

Longleaf Pine H.T.: [Website] [Entries] [Show Photographer] [Volunteer]

Sporting Days Farm April III H.T.: [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Show Photographer] [Volunteer]

Unionville H.T.: [Website] [Entries] [Show Photographer] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News and Notes:

Have you shopped EN’s 2nd Annual Virtual Village yet?New deals are dropping daily through this Saturday, April 17, and there are some really great discounts available that you won’t want to miss out on. Click here to shop today’s deals.

As we are full steam ahead into Kentucky next week, we’re looking forward to bringing you our famous EN coverage in a whole new way. Early next week, we’ll be launching the first-ever EN Ultimate Form Guide to Kentucky, available as a download for a small fee. We’re also launching the LRK3DE Daily Digest (click here to sign up – it’s free!), a daily email sent out early each morning during competition full of coverage links, predictions, giveaways/contests, and more. Finally, it’s a great time to become an EN Patreon supporter – we’ll be doing some exclusive content in our private Facebook group just for Patrons all week long.

Allison Springer is a new barn owner! The veteran five-star rider (who we’ll also see in Kentucky next week with Business Ben) sat down with SmartPak for a Q&A about the buying process – click here to read.

When Christina Curiale packed her bags to move from British Columbia to North Carolina to work for Will Faudree, she planned to stay for a year. Well, it’s been nine now and she still has yet to leave – a true sign that she found her home in Will’s program. Read more about her grooming (and life) journey here.

“It’s just dust.” It’s a common sight to see hay bales a bit dusty after unloading or sitting in the hay loft for a few weeks. But that dust can be wildly damaging to a horse’s sensitive respiratory system. This case study from Haygain explores the improvement seen in some miniature horses after implementing hay steaming to alleviate coughing.

Wednesday Video Break: As we look ahead to the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, it’s bound to be hot hot hot. And even if you aren’t an Olympic rider, the heat and humidity in the summer can be difficult to navigate. This video might help:

Tuesday Video: Welcome Back, Dauntless Courage

Posted by Chelsea Kolman on Sunday, April 11, 2021

It’s been awhile since we last saw Kentucky-based Chelsea Kolman and her 13-year-old Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding, Dauntless Courage. You may recall our first meeting with Chelsea and “Dante”, where we learned about her tactic of laying him down when his nerves became too much to handle at shows.

While the pair was busy ticking off goals just a few short years ago, life threw some curveballs Chelsea’s way. A bout of EPM and some shoeing issues threw a wrench into Chelsea’s best-laid competition plans, and before she knew it, it had been nearly two years since the gelding last competed.

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. 2 years since his last horse show and not only was he a class act all…

Posted by Chelsea Kolman on Sunday, April 11, 2021

Once Chelsea and her team were able to work through Dante’s health issues, he began to wonder why he wasn’t working more. “Once we (found solutions for his health ailments), he just started acting like his normal self, kicking the door when I’m tacking up other horses, acting nutty in the paddock,” Chelsea explained. “So I told him if he was sound up until I left for Florida, I would take him.S use enough, he was, so I took him.”

Chelsea worked with Sara and Brian Murphy in Ocala through the winter, not putting any pressure on her partner but allowing him to tell her what he was ready to do. Since returning to Kentucky, Dante has continued progressing, prompting Chelsea to enter him in the Open Preliminary at Spring Bay this past weekend.

“He felt better than ever and I could tell he was thrilled to be out!” Chelsea said. “So the plan moving forward is to just keep going with the flow and letting him tell me what he wants to do. As we all know, he owes me nothing and I tell him everyday that whenever he’s ready to retire to give me a sign and we’ll be on the first plane to Mexico!”

Enjoy this fun ride and watch Chelsea and Dante skip around the Prelim during a wet weekend in Kentucky. Go Eventing.

Only the Best for Your Horse with Five of Our Favorite Deals from Tuesday’s Virtual Vendor Village

Let’s face it: we treat our horses better than ourselves on most days. Your horse gets a new set of kicks every few weeks, but your tried and true Ariat boots have been your go-to for at least the last seven years. She also gets regular bodywork and acupuncture, but you’re lucky to make it to the dentist every year. Sound familiar?

While we do encourage you to take just as good of care of yourself as you do your horse – after all, your performance in the saddle is linked to how good or bad you feel in your body – we also know that this “horses first” train of thought isn’t likely to change – and in a way, it shouldn’t. Our horses work hard – it’s only right to treat them with the best possible standard of care. With that in mind, I’ve picked out a handful of deals from today’s Virtual Vendor Village that can help you keep that unicorn up to standard this year.

First things first, let’s talk about fly season. It’s already started in many parts of the country, and if you have a horse with any type of skin sensitivity, the impending summer can be a cause for anxiety. But not with EcoVet!

EcoVet is a solution for flies and the skin irritation they can leave behind. Thanks to EcoVet’s innovative use of fatty acids to repel flies, the repellent acts as a strong, long-lasting deterrent. You can read more in this product review. This week, you can save 30% on your order of EcoVet using code “Virtual30.”

In addition to external care, keeping your horse feeling good on the inside is also key. We’ve partnered with Kentucky Performance Products for many years and have come to trust in their line of supplements aiding with everything from hydration to calming to recovery and everything in between. We’re particularly fond of the Summer Games Electrolyte, which comes in a palatable powder or a dosing syringe. You’ll save 20% off your order and receive free shipping and a sticker (part of a new collection of stickers) when you use code “ENVV2021”.

When it comes time to tack up, ensuring proper fit of all equipment is compulsory. The tack sector of the industry is highly competitive and always evolving, and with new technologies emerging regularly it’s always intriguing to see what new products are brought to the market. VIP Equestrian (also affiliated with Achieve Equine’s other brand, FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips) has a thin and unobtrusive saddle pad designed for riders of all disciplines. Made with a proprietary polymer instead of gel, the VIP Equestrian pad is a new option for additional impact absorption and heat distribution without affecting saddle fit.

As a part of the Virtual Vendor Village, you’ll save $10 on the purchase of your new VIP Equestrian saddle pad using code “LR2021”.

You can never keep enough basic supplies on hand, and Perri’s Leather is here to help you stock up on cotton leads today. Grab a couple to keep in your show trunk or on the trailer, or treat the whole barn team to a matching set – all for just $9.95 each using code “COTTON”. Perri’s Leather has a long-standing reputation as a quality maker of goods, and this steal of a deal will stock your inventory with a quality lead for all situations.

And of course, we couldn’t leave the riders out of this lists altogether! This week, Horse & Rider Books is offering 20% off its vast collection of titles using code “VV21”. We often post excerpts from various titles in the Horse & Rider Books collection – here’s one of our favorites from the late and legendary Jane Savoie.

Adequan USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Adds Two New West Coast Legs

Meg Pellegrini and RF Eloquence. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the addition of two new 2021 dates for the Adequan®/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge (YTC):

• Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Paso Robles – Sept. 23-26, 2021 – Levels: CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S – Paso Robles, Calif.
• Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Woodside – Oct. 7-9, 2021 – CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S – Woodside, Calif.

These added short format West Coast legs were approved by the USEF Board of Directors in April, adding to the first West Coast YTC date in Yelm, Wash., in June. The East Coast schedule kicked off in March in Aiken, S.C., and includes upcoming stops in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The series will conclude with East and West Coast long format finals in the fall.

The Youth Team Challenge series launched in 2021 and is open to eventing athletes ages 14 through 25 at the CCI1*, 2*, and 3* levels.

“We’re thrilled to offer two additional opportunities for youth eventing athletes on the West Coast,” said Jenni Autry, Director of Eventing for US Equestrian. “One of our primary goals with the Youth Team Challenge series is to open the door for more athletes to compete in a team environment. We encourage eligible athletes to take advantage of this new program, which we are constantly seeking to grow and expand to fit the needs of youth athletes in the U.S.”

Learn more about the Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge and see all 2021 dates and locations here.

For questions regarding the USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge, contact Christina Vaughn, USEF Director, Eventing Performance and Program Support, at (859) 225-6917 or [email protected].

Michael Jung Announces Retirement of fischerRocana FST

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Today we bid auf Wiedersehen to our mare crush, fischerRocana FST, as Michael Jung this week announced the retirement of his three-time Kentucky winner. The 16-year-old fischerRocana FST (Ituango xx – Rose II, by Carismo) cemented her rightful place among the true eventing legends through her career, which spanned nearly a decade in international competition.

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST became regulars at the then-Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, making four trips to the Bluegrass state from Germany and casually winning three consecutive runnings of the five-star, in 2015, 2016 and 2017. They also finished second at Kentucky in 2018. In 2014, fischerRocana was the FEI World Equestrian Games individual silver medalist (and team gold medalist) with Michael in Normandy.

Michael stated that he plans to breed his star mare and that she will remain at his home base in Horb-Altheim, Germany – suffice it to say we’ll be anxiously awaiting news of her stallion match!

It’s been a true honor to follow this incredible mare’s career. Unassuming to look at, she could always be counted on for an accurate, obedient dressage test and a sure-footed cross country run. Indeed, the mare incurred virtually no penalties on FEI cross country courses; save a freak fall on the flat one retirement at a four-star, and a handful of intentional retirements (fitness runs), her cross country jumping record is squeaky clean.

Michael Jung is notoriously fond of his horses, and his love of this special mare was always evident during every interaction. From watching his intentional warm-up process to following him on social media – and in looking at results from their incredible career together – it’s clear that the pair had one of those finely-tuned relationships that yields the greatest success.

Enjoy a walk through some of our favorite Michael and “Roxie” memories – and please share yours on social media as we wish fischerRocana the happiest and most comfortable of retirements.

Drawn Order for Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event: Clayton Fredericks to Trailblaze

Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia.

The drawn ride order for the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event has just gone live, and as usual we’ll see the riders with multiple rides heading down centerline and out of the start box first. This year, the trailblazer title goes to Clayton Fredericks, who will be the first rider to see with his first of three horses, the FE Ophelia Syndicate LLC’s FE Ophelia.

Jonelle Price will be the second rider and the first European entry to see next week, coming forward with The Grape Syndicate’s Grappa Nera, also one of three horses for the New Zealand rider.

Will Coleman will be the first rider for the USA, riding Team Rebecca LLC’s DonDante in the third spot with two other rides further down in the order.

Jessica Phoenix and Wabbit. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Meanwhile in the CCI4*-S, it will be Canada’s Jessica Phoenix, who with four rides will be the busiest rider at the event next week. Jim Phillips’ Wabbit will be the first of the Phoenix rides to see next week.

In total, we’ll see 71 pairs in the CCI5* this year and 51 in the newly-added CCI4*-S division. You can view the full order of go for the first two phases of competition here and here.

We’re heading full steam ahead into Kentucky week excited to bring you our wall-to-wall coverage and plenty of special extras to make it feel like you are right there in Kentucky with us.

My Top Five Picks from Monday’s Virtual Vendor Village

The virtual shopping experience is certainly new when compared to the traditional trade fair environment at a horse show – but in a lot of ways I almost prefer it. It’s also quite dangerous in terms of limiting spending, but we don’t need to talk about that right now.

Each day this week, we’ll be bringing you our top picks from the variety of deals available in our 2nd Annual Virtual Vendor Village. Of course, it’s hardly a fair choice as there are ample discounts in this year’s line-up (and many deals will change out each day, so you’ll want to pay attention and snap up a good one when you see it!), so we’ll be sure to get to all the brands who have partnered with us in subsequent Editor’s Picks.

To view ALL Monday’s Virtual Vendor Village deals, click here.

Up first, let’s face it: horses are a bunch of sensitive Sallys (and yes, I’ve been called one myself several times. I blame my parents for picking the name Sally). There isn’t much worse than dealing with pesky skin irritations that just won’t soothe themselves. Enter Banixx.

Whether you’re caring for a wound, managing fungus, or trying to keep skin sensitivity to a minimum, Banixx’s line of care products work magic for all sorts of ailments. You can read more in our product review here – and then head over to Valley Vet Supply, where you can save 20% on the full line of Banixx. Tip: Banixx also works well on other pets!

While we’re at it, horses are also expensive eaters. If you’re a huge fan of Nutrena or Pro Elite feeds and supplements, you’ll want to download these $10 off coupons for your next stock-up trip to the feed store:

Lucky for us eventers, neck straps are a key part of our cross country day attire. Through Wednesday only, you’ll get a free Tapestry Equine Products neck strap with any order over $200. Just use code LR200 while you shop Tapestry Equine Products’ full line-up of gear, which includes the popular Tapestry Comfort girth (read our product review here and here) and the gentle but effective Spursuader (read our product review here).

Click here to shop Tapestry Equine Products (code: LR200).

I am a huge fan of the vibes over at Mare Modern Goods, a boutique retailer that sells everything from unique apparel, to stationary and home decor, to saddle pads. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the “Live” section of products from Mare Modern Goods, which feature adorable greeting cards, phone cases, dog jackets (yes, my little dog is getting one this week – thanks Vendor Village!), and so much more. This week, you’ll save 21% on your order from Mare Modern Goods with the code KLREN21.

Finally for today, don’t forget to stop in and enter SmartPak‘s Fly Gear Raffle, entries for which close today. Up for grabs is a Fly Gear Package containing a SmartPak Deluxe Fly Sheet, SmartPak Deluxe Fly Mask, and SmartPak Fly Boots. Personally, I am a huge fan of SmartPak’s line of tack, equipment and apparel. The quality is great and the cost is very competitive – music to the budgeting rider’s ears! You can sign up for this raffle (no purchase necessary) here.

To view more Virtual Vendor village content, click here – and don’t forget to check back tomorrow morning for new discounts and deals!

Weekend Winners: CDCTA, Chatt Hills, Fair Hill, Spring Bay, Twin Rivers

Time for our weekly round-up of winning scores! We saw action in three FEI events this weekend, as well as stacked national divisions all over the country. If you want to relive the international action, catch up on our reports from Chatt Hills/Fair Hill and Twin Rivers.

This weekend’s Unofficial Low Score Award was earned at Kentucky’s Spring Bay H.T. and goes to Magdalene Montgomery and Foreign Affair, a 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding formerly piloted by Erin Pullen and owned by Mackenzie Spaes. This pair pulled off a 19.8 in the dressage and would go on to finish on that score to win their Novice Amateur division. Well done!

CDCTA H.T.: [Website] [Final Results]

Open Preliminary: Ashley Trier and Quality Village (47.1)
Open Training 1: Caitlin O’Roark and On A Mission (34.5)
Open Training 2: Mckenna Martinez and Commitment (31.9)
Open Novice 1: Francesca Broggini and Cooley High Flyer (28.6)
Open Novice 2: Linden Wiesman and Fifth Ace (32.6)
Open Novice 3: Janna Scholtz and Fernhill Locklann (34.7)
Open Novice 4: Isabel Giordano and Davinci (32.4)
Open Beginner Novice 1: Taylor Martin and Avocado (30.3)
Open Beginner Novice 2: Brittany Hebets and Black Sea Baron (32.3)
Open Beginner Novice 3: Abby Dove and Zippity Doo Dah (36.3)
Intro 1: Bekah Bartley and Plain Brown Wrap (33.1)

Chattahoochee Hills H.T.: [Website] [ Final Results]

CCI4*-S: Liz Halliday Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver (35.9)
CCI3*-S: Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco (31.0)
CCI2*-S: Liz Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley (27.3)
CCI1*-S: Crockett Miller and Mr Panda (30.0)
Advanced: Buck Davidson and Jak My Style (32.3)
Open Intermediate: Ben Noonan and Keep Kitty (34.5)
Open Preliminary: Jenny Caras and Sommersby (25.9)
Preliminary Rider: Fiona Cotter and Miltown Malbay (32.5)
Modified A: Hugh Wrigley and FE Money Made (30.3)
Modified B: Hugh Wrigley and FE Santos (23.7)
Jr. Training Rider: Devon Tresan and Zavallo (29.8)
Open Training A: Deborah McWhirter and FE Show Business (26.7)
Open Training B: Lauren Lambert and Biscotti (28.6)
Sr. Training Rider: Colleen Mauro and Miles To Go (36.4)
Jr. Novice Rider: Kate Bell and Daphne AS (27.4)
Open Novice A: Ann Wicander and Mighty Finn (29.1)
Open Novice B: Julie Richards and Nimbalina (28.6)
Sr. Novice Rider: Malin Eriksson and WHF Wilhelmina (26.2)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider: Claire Roddy and Goodness Gracious (32.5)
Open Beginner Novice: Mindy Cady and Davino (29.7)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Nikki Eremita and Charmin (32.8)

Fair Hill International April H.T. and CCI-S: [Website] [ Final Results]

CCI4*-S: Daniel Clasing and MW Gangster’s Game (46.0)
CCI3*-S: Jennie Brannigan and Connory (31.8)
CCI2*-S: Martin Douzant and Frame Shamrock (28.0)
Advanced: Tim Bourke and Quality Time (44.1)
Intermediate: Alex Reed and On Broadway (45.5)
Preliminary: Tim Bourke and Flying Quality (30.4)
Training A: Martin Douzant and Harthill Diamond (25.5)
Training B: Sophia Kager and Rasher (36.2)
Training C: Skyler Decker and Cooley Monsoon (27.7)

Spring Bay H.T.: [Website] [Final Results]

Open Preliminary: Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage (31.3)
Open Modified: Bennett Adkins and Arch Dancer (34.7)
Open Training: Rosie Napravnik and Sanimo (38.0)
Training Amateur: Madelyn Cease and Charlie (35.2)
Novice Amateur A: Magdalene Montgomery and Foreign Affair (19.8)
Novice Amateur B: Jenna McPeek and Blue Sky Law (30.2)
Novice Junior: Ava Stevens and Two Against the World (32.7)
Open Novice A: Madeline Bletzacker and Drummer Boy (27.4)
Open Novice B: Julia Spatt and Sterling’s Bailero (30.2)
Beginner Novice Amateur A: Alison Zeitlin and Royal Report (31.3)
Beginner Novice Amateur B: Julie Watkins and Burnished Silver (21.7)
Beginner Novice U-19: Tate Northrop and Photo Shoot (32.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Corinna Garcia and Lyric (24.7)
Open Starter A: Diane Begemann and Middle of Nowhere (28.3)
Starter YR/JR: Kylee Redman and Mr. Duddles (31.8)

Twin Rivers Spring International: [Website] [ Final Results]

CCI4*-L: Amber Levine and Cinzano (32.3)
CCI3*-L: Alina Patterson and Flashback (35.2)
CCI2*-L: James Alliston and Calaro (31.4)
CCI4*-S: Andrea Baxter and Laguna Seca (53.2)
CCI3*-S: Lauren Burnell and Counterpoint (38.0)
Advanced: Kayleen Crowley and Whiskey Up (63.7)
Open Intermediate: Stephanie Goodman and Drs Resolute (53.6)
Open Preliminary: Tommy Greengard and Joshuay MBF (27.8)
Preliminary Rider: Cassie Weber and Minnie (32.2)
Jr. Training Rider A: Catherine Bonadio and IndiGo (26.6)
Jr. Training Rider B: Dane Padgett and Cafe Noir (29.1)
Open Training: Jordan Linstedt and Lovely Lola (20.5)
Sr. Training Rider: Cynthia Wright and Samba Dromo (28.5)
Training Amateur: Louise Leslie and Souvenir (29.5)
Training Horse: Asia Vedder and Get Cheeky (29.0)
Jr. Novice Rider A: Payton Piearcy and Geronimo (22.6)
Jr. Novice Rider B: Isabella Degner and Riley’s Life (33.8)
Novice Amateur: Sue Buxton and Leap of Faith XI (30.5)
Novice Horse: Whitney Spicher and Ballon (28.9)
Open Novice: Ludger Thole and Rudy (28.5)
Sr. Novice Rider: Anne Johnson and Grandios Sky (28.8)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider A: Siena Lester and Simply SM (31.7)
Jr. Beginner Novice Rider B: Amber McKain and Burton Hill (29.4)
Open Beginner Novice A: Taylor Miles and Crescendo (29.4)
Open Beginner Novice B: Chloe Smyth and Byzantine SC (24.7)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider A: Elisabeth Anderson and Spaceman Spiff (27.4)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider B: Janet Han and Fernhill Vanguard (30.6)

Chatt Hills, Fair Hill CCI4*-S Winners Named, Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Cross Country In the Books

With three FEI events occurring this weekend in different parts of the country – many of them containing Kentucky-bound riders looking for one last fitness-peaking prep – there’s much action to recap. CCI4*-S divisions can be found at Chattahoochee Hills (Fairburn, Ga.), Fair Hill (Elkton, Md.) and Twin Rivers Ranch (Paso Robles, Ca.), with Twin also hosting its inaugural CCI4*-L division this weekend.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver Top Chatt Hills CCI4*-S

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

A heavy storm system blanketed much of the southern region of the country with rain today, and competitors tackling cross country at Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Ga. were among those braving the elements.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer – Kylemore Crystal) were the best of the CCI4*-S here, collecting 6.4 time penalties to add to their final tally and finishing on a 35.9 ahead of second-placed Lauren Nicholson and Ms. Jaqueline Mars’ Vermiculus (43.2). Both of these pairs will next pack their bags for the Bluegrass state and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Go Ellie Go!

Posted by Natalia Neneman on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Keeping with the trend of Team Davidson students tearing things up, Natalia Neneman (The Electric Group LLC’s Electric Lux – 43.5) and Allie Knowles (Katherine O’Brien’s Ms. Poppins – 43.8) each moved into the top four after clear runs across the country with time added. Hannah Sue Burnett and Christa Schmidt’s Capitol HIM complete the Chatt CCI4*-S top five on a score of 46.1.

Other winners from Chatt Hills include:

  • CCI3*-S: Kimmy Cecere and Landmark’s Monaco (31.0)
  • CCI2*-S: Liz Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley (27.3)
  • CCI1*-S: Crockett Miller and Mr Panda (30.0)
  • Advanced: Buck Davidson and Jak My Style (32.3)


Posted by Sara Kozumplik Murphy on Saturday, April 10, 2021


Candy King cruising around the 4 star ! What a horse for the future !
@lanesmarkfarm @lanerml

Posted by Holly Jacks-Smither on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Chatt Hills: [Live Scores] [Show Photographer]

Daniel Clasing and MW Gangster’s Game Win Fair Hill CCI4*-S

Daniel Clasing and MW Gangster’s Game. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Another Kentucky CCI5*-bound pair, Daniel Clasing and the MW Gangster’s Game Syndicate’s MW Gangster’s Game (Solitair – Fernhill City Girl, by Ghareeb), were the victors in the CCI4*-S division running at Fair Hill this weekend. Daniel added just some time on cross country to finish the weekend on a score o 46.0.

Arielle Aharoni and Christina Aharoni’s Dutch Times (Goodtimes – Alina Queen, by Michellino) (53.8) and Emma Lomagino and Kenneth Shelley’s Master Frisky (Master Imp – Frisky Legs, by Coopers Hill) (73.1) round out the top three in the four-star.

Proud of Tim and Nina Gardner’s FE Connory winning the 3S at @fairhillint wire to wire.❤️I am excited to have his name added to this talented list of horses in memory of Judy Thayer.

Posted by Jennie Brannigan on Saturday, April 10, 2021


Bronte eating it up today! So thrilled with how she jumped and how she handled the course. I did my first Advanced on Bendigo here four years ago, so I picked it for her thinking it would be a nice move-up. It was actually more massive than I remembered last time, and a huge test for her with some properly big combinations! The ground was quite holding in places because of the rain we had overnight, but she ticked along and was just so honest and brave. We need to get the show jumping smoother and will spend some time at SJ shows to sort that out. But what a horse! Counting myself so lucky to ride her.

Thank you Amina Harouna, Char Harouna, Morgan Cillo Connelly, Lucia Hanmer and my Mum for helping out on a very busy morning.

HCS, USA Saddlery & Fittings
Shires Equestrian North America
Correct Connect
Auburn Labs
uvex equestrian USA
Sterling Essentials
Brooks Belts
Breese Pin Band
Perfect Products
Frilly Fillies Horse Bonnets

Posted by Ema Klugman on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Other Fair Hill winners:

  • CCI3*-S: Jennie Brannigan and Connory (31.8)
  • CCI2*-S: Martin Douzant and Frame Shamrock (28.0)
  • Advanced: Tim Bourke and Quality Time (44.1)

Also of note: a special shout-out is in order to Nation Media family member and Jumper Nation editor Ema Klugman, who debuted her young mare, Bronte Beach Z, at the Advanced level and finished fifth. She also enjoyed a second place finish in the Advanced with her Kentucky-bound partner, Bendigo. Go team!

Quality Time lived up to her nickname of “Miss Perfection”: winning her 2nd Advanced in a row! A little planned time…

Posted by Bourke Eventing on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Fair Hill: [Live Scores] [Show Photographer]

Amber Levine and Cinzano Retain Control of Twin Rivers CCI4*-L

Amber Levine & Cinzano. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Hugh Lochore’s track at the inaugural Twin Rivers International CCI4*-L was open, bold and flowing and caused no trouble for the majority of the field. After the second phase, it’s Amber Levine with Cellar Farm’s Cinzano (Classe VDL – Walta, by San Patrignano Corrado) still in the driver’s seat after crossing the finish four seconds inside the optimum time of 10 minutes even. They’ll remain on their dressage score of 31.5 to hold the overnight lead ahead of tomorrow’s show jumping.

Swapping places for second and third are Marc Grandia and Team Rebecca LLC’s Campari FFF (Camiros – Tanner, by Ariadus) will take second into tomorrow on the only other double clear effort of the division, finishing two days on a score of 36.3. Bec Braitling and Arnell Sporthorses’ Caravaggio II (Vangelis-S – Courtesan, by Handstretch) picked up a few seconds of time on an otherwise clear run to end their second day on a score of 46.4.

Early second-placed Madison Temkin ran into trouble early on at the first water with a runout at fence 6A aboard Dr. Hart (Skimming – Moving Memo, by Memo), but they went on to complete the rest of the course positively and with poise. They’ll be in fourth place heading into tomorrow on a score of 57.9.

Completing a winning weekend in the CCI4*-S are hometown pair Andrea Baxter and Laguna Seca (Linaro – Indy 500, by Cromwell), who held on to their early lead after show jumping to take home the win on a final score of 53.2. They’re followed in second place by Lauren LoPiccolo and Diego (Vingino – Twilight, by Kojak), who finish the weekend on a score of 60.1.

We’ll have a full report on the day’s action from Twin Rivers coming your way thanks to the hard work of press officer Kim Miller, so stay tuned for much more from California. You can read Kim’s report from the first day at Twin here.

Other Twin Rivers leaders:

  • CCI3*-L: Alina Patterson and Flashback (31.2)
  • CCI2*-L: Marissa Nielsen and Global Absolute (28.3)
  • CCI3*-S: Lauren Burnell and Counterpoint (Winner – 38.0)

Twin Rivers International: [Live Scores] [Live Stream] [Show Photographer]

Thursday Video from Cambox: Ride Around Rocking Horse with Anna Pierce and Her One-Eyed OTTB, Obiejohn

Meet Anna Pierce and Obiejohn. Anna, who is a professional rider from Texas and an ambassador for our partner, Cambox, has produced the 14-year-old off-track Thoroughbred (Ride to Win x June Breeze, by Bramante) up the levels from Beginner Novice now through Intermediate.

An interesting fact about Obiejohn: he has just one eye! You may recall this blog she wrote for Athletux and shared on EN last year about the journey she and “Jax” have been on together.

Photo by Diane Pierce.

“Jax has proven to everyone that even the most criticized and ridiculed horses can go on to achieve amazing things,” Anna wrote in her blog. “Jax has taught me that the only thing you need is a little faith and hard work and you can achieve anything you set your mind to! My one-eyed unicorn has shown me where a deep belief and love for something can take you, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Have fun riding along with Anna and Jax as they skip around the Intermediate at Rocking Horse earlier this year. To keep up with Anna, follow her on YouTube here – and if you’re a new Cambox user (or thinking about becoming one), Anna put together a really useful video on how to fit your Cambox to your helmet:

Cambox is currently on sale for up to 30% off! Click here to score a deal.

Coming on Sunday: EN’s 2nd Virtual Vendor Village Featuring 7 Days of Deals

After the rousing success of last year’s Virtual Vendor Village here on EN, we’ve brought back some of your favorite brands for another week full of deals as we eagerly anticipate the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event later this month.

Really, you’re in for a shop ’til you drop type of month – in true Kentucky fashion – as not only do we have a plethora of deals for you this week, but Kentucky is also hosting its own Vendor Village all week long during the Three-Day Event, April 21-25. You’ll be able to find more on this online shopping event on the Kentucky website here.

Starting on Sunday, April 11, we’ll begin releasing a daily list of deals from our partners this year. What can you look forward to? Here’s a tiny preview:

  • Three different giveaways from SmartPak for fly gear, Piper riding apparel, and tack
  • A free month of Horse & Country TV
  • Discounts at Horse & Rider books, Valley Vet Supply, Legends Horse Feeds, Stubben, Perri’s Leather, and more

Here’s a look at the full list of vendors participating in this year’s EN Virtual Vendor Village:

We can’t wait to bring you along with us for the next two weeks as we head full steam ahead into what promises to be a thrilling Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. We know it’s been a difficult, weird year on many levels, so we’re looking forward to feeling even a small bit of “normalcy” during every eventer’s favorite month of the year.

Go Eventing.

Volunteer Nation: 5 Events to Help This Weekend

It’s never too early to start planning ahead – just ask any event organizer who works tirelessly to coordinate each detail of running an event. North America’s (and the world’s) newest five-star, the Maryland 5 Star, happening October 14 through 17, is recruiting volunteers early.

Calling all Volunteers!👋 Volunteer captain positions for the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill are available NOW!📆…

Posted by Maryland 5 Star on Friday, April 2, 2021

There is much to be excited for in terms of the Maryland 5 Star, and an all-star crew of supporters and team members are dedicated to creating an excellent experience for all (including, maybe, some spectators). If you’d like to get right up close to the action this fall, sign up now to volunteer. You can learn more info here.

We’ve compiled some resources on volunteering with COVID-19 regulations in mind. We’ll reference this list each week in Volunteer Nation, so take a few moments to familiarize yourself with what’s new and different.

COVID-19 Resources for Eventers
Volunteers Adapt to the New Normal
Volunteers Weigh In on New COVID-19 Protocols

As always, you can earn merit points when you donate your time through the USEA’s Volunteer Incentive Program. Registering to volunteer through makes it easy and seamless to both find a job and shift as well as learn what your role will entail.

Here’s a look at the positions still available as of publication time at events this weekend:


Event: Twin Rivers Spring International
Dates: Thursday, April 8 through Sunday, April 11
Address: 8715 N River Rd, Paso Robles, CA, 93446
Positions Available: XC Jump Judge, Dressage Score Runner, Dressage Scribe, Dressage Steward, XC Jump Videographer, SJ In-Gate, SJ Warm-up, Vet Box Scribe, Jog Steward

Event: CDCTA Spring H.T.
Dates: Saturday, April 10 through Sunday, April 11
Address: 927 Kimble Road, Berryville, VA, 22611
Positions Available: Event Prep – Dressage, Event Prep – General, Temperature/Waiver Checker, SJ Jump Crew

Event: Fair Hill International and H.T.
Dates: Thursday, April 8 through Monday, April 12
Address: 4640 Telegraph rd, Elkton, MD, 21921
Positions Available: Event Prep – XC, Event Prep – General, Dressage Score Runner, Event Prep – SJ, Stable Manager, Temperature/Waiver Checker, XC Jump Judge, Hospitality Helper, Floater, Office Help, SJ Jump Crew, Event Takedown – Dressage, Event Takedown – XC

Event: Spring Bay H.T.
Dates: Saturday, April 10 through Sunday, April 11
Address: Masterson Station Park, Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY, 40511
Positions Available: Dressage Warm-up, Scorers, Hospitality Helper, SJ Jump Crew, SJ Timer, XC Score Runner

Event: Majestic Oaks Schooling
Dates: Saturday, April 10
Address: 17500 N US Highway 441, Reddick, FL, 32686
Positions Available: XC Score Runner, Dressage In-Gate, Dressage Score Runner, Hospitality Steward, General Help

How to Watch the Inaugural Twin Rivers CCI4*-L This Weekend

Do you have your alarms set and your pages bookmarked? Tomorrow is the kickoff of the Innagural CCI4*L at Twin Rivers…

Posted by Bob Ravenscroft on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Time to cheer on our friends on the West coast! The inaugural Twin Rivers Ranch CCI4*-L in Paso Robles, Ca. is finally here and we’re all set for the action thanks to a live stream provided by Ride On Video.

With CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-L as well as upper level horse trial divisions all streaming, there is plenty of action to tune in for. We’ll start things off today with the CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S as well as Advanced and Intermediate dressage at 2 p.m. PST / 5 p.m. EST. You can also tune in for the Long format First Horse Inspection at 12 p.m. PST / 3 p.m. EST.

A sneak peak at one of the newer questions at Twin, fence 17 on the 4*-L track, the Auburn Labs Pond. Photo by Kim Miller.

Tomorrow the Long format riders will start their weekends, beginning with the CCI2*L at 8 a.m. PST / 11 a.m. EST. The Short format riders and upper level horse trials competitors will show jump on Friday.

All divisions will run cross country on Saturday, beginning with the CCI2*-L at 10 a.m. EST / 1 p.m. EST. Finally, Sunday’s show jumping conclusion starts at 8 a.m. PST / 11 a.m. EST with the Open Preliminary – the FEI begins at 11:45 a.m. PST / 2:45 p.m. EST with the CCI4*-L.

Many thanks to Twin for hosting Ride On Video as live stream providers – you can also purchase your own competition video from Ride On Video on the grounds, as well as photos from Ride On Photo.

We’ll be bringing you press coverage from Twin Rivers thanks to Kim Miller. Stay tuned for much more from Paso Robles. Go Eventing!

Twin Rivers International: WebsiteEntry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores

Four Questions with USEF Youth Team Challenge Competitor Jack Curtis

We always enjoy catching up with the next generation of eventing stars (plus, we can say “we knew them when” in a few years when they’re winning medals and such), and we’re making a point to check in with riders competing in the inaugural Adequan USEF Youth Team Challenge this year. To kick things off, meet 17-year-old Jack Curtis from Area I. He and Luska Candy Clover have just completed their first leg of the Youth Team Challenge at Stable View last month, where they helped the Area I team finish first in the CCI2*-S YTC.

Jack Curtis and Luska Candy Clover. Photo by Betsy Curtis.

EN: Can you give us a little background on your riding and your horse(s)?

JC: Currently, I have two horses, one that I competed this weekend, Luska Candy Clover (who’s known as Roo in the barn), and Playmate III (who is known as Frank in the barn)! Roo is a new ride for me. I’ve just had him for a year, but it’s taken a while to get to know him and this was the first weekend where I felt that I could truly go for it. Frank is the horse who first introduced me to upper level eventing – I’ve had him since I was thirteen years old – and for me to run around these tracks on a horse I know so well is invaluable.

EN: What are your competitive goals with the Youth Team Challenge?

JC: I hope to participate in more Youth Team Challenges this year, and to be able to go to Tryon for the championships! However, going to an event to be competitive is what you train so hard for, but getting to the event where you have a team, and all support each other is a whole new feeling which is great. I think Area 1 has a lot to offer this year, so hopefully we can put it all together and come out on top at Tryon.

Youth Team Challenge winners! Photo courtesy of Stable View.

EN: This weekend was the first YTC at Stable View – can you give us a breakdown of how the weekend went?

JC: I couldn’t be any happier with the result at Stable View. Roo got right to work in the dressage, and put in an amazing test with room to improve which makes me all that much more excited for the future. Both of the jumping phases were phenomenal, he stayed rideable and confident which is all I can ask for! I trailered in daily to Stable View because my coach, Caitlin Silliman, has her farm in Aiken, but the communication from the team was top notch. Even when I wasn’t on the show grounds, it felt like I was because of how on top of it my team was, it was great!

Jack Curtis and Luska Candy Clover. Photo by Betsy Curtis.

EN: What’s next for you? Will you contest other YTC legs?

JC: I am going back to school for the spring, so the horses will spend time getting stronger and working on anything that needs improvement, so that they are ready to go in June! I’m looking to move Roo up to Intermediate at some point this year, and to do my first 3* on Frank. I definitely want to attend more YTC because it was a great experience that was very fun and educational.

Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

The latest movie hit to top the charts on Netflix brings horses into the mainstream through the lens of Concrete Cowboy, a movie centering around the Fletcher Street cowboys. Now, the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy (PURA) has started a fundraising campaign, “Fresh Start for Philly Youth”, to raise money for a new riding center in downtown Philadelphia. The new home for PURA that will be created through the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraising campaign will provide:

· Stabling for 20-25 horses
· Paddocks
· Indoor and Outdoor Arena
· Classroom and recreational space for other youth and veteran programs.

You can learn more about this initiative and make a donation by clicking here. To read more about the story behind the film, try this piece from Time.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Fair Hill International April H.T. and CCI-S: [Website] [Entry Status?] [Volunteer]

Twin Rivers Spring International: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Stream] [Photographer] [Volunteer]

CDCTA H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Spring Bay H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News:

You may have heard the term “micro aggressions” in recent conversation. For some, this is an unfamiliar term, but for many BIPOC riders it’s an all too common part of life. It’s helpful, therefore, to have a good understanding of what a micro aggression is in order to be more conscious of words, intentions, and how much they each matter. This blog from White Oak Stables is a useful primer.

This weekend, Chattahoochee Hills (GA) is holding a fundraiser and supply drive to assist victims affected by recent tornados in Newnan, Ga. that have impacted over 1700 homes to date. You can learn more about the drive and how to participate here.

The Equine Rescue of Aiken is seeking veterinary supplies to assist the victims of a devastating fire on Saturday, April 3. If you can help this organization get back on its feet, please visit their website for more information about donations.

In honor of Jennie Brannigan’s longtime upper level partner, Cambalda, and his official retirement, the USEA republished this lovely “Horse Heroes” column dedicated to “Ping”.

What do you need to know about EHV-1? With the European outbreak affecting a large number of horses and cases cropping up (as they do this time of year, to begin with) in North America, there’s much to be learned about the virus. This piece outlines six key EHV-1 takeaways from a recent seminar with Dr. Peter Heidmann of Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Our weekly email newsletter got a facelift! We’ve transitioned to our all-new weekly email, the EN #ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)! Catch up on news you may have missed from the week, as well as useful links for the upcoming weekend’s events. It’s free to sign up – you can do so here.

Want to read a crazy story? Meet Florida’s “horse meat vigilante”, combating the illegal slaughterhouse industry one secret operation at a time.

Have you followed Haygain on social media yet? Their pages are filled with testimonials, tips and tricks for respiratory health, and a healthy dose of cheer to brighten up your feed.

Wednesday Video Break:

Check out the trailer for the aforementioned Netflix hit, Concrete Cowboy:

Tuesday Videos: Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve’s Winning Weekend at Galway Downs

Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Temecula, California’s Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve have gotten their season off with a bang, winning the CCI4*-S at the Galway Downs Spring International last month. You can relive all of our coverage from on the ground at Galway here, and thanks to Ride On Video you can view all three phases of Erin and “Woody’s” winning weekend:

The Priceless Horses Make for the Greatest Memories

Ava Elena Alvarez and Hugo Boss. Photo courtesy of LRA Photography.

Every now and then you encounter a horse that truly embodies the word “priceless”. That’s the way I think of a good friend of mine’s off-track Thoroughbred, Hugo Boss – and I’m quite sure the local eventing community would agree with me.

Overland Park, Ks.-based Mallory Stiver purchased Hugo Boss, whose Jockey Club name was Andrus (Artax – Goodie Good Girl), from the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program after a lackluster racing career. An amateur rider herself who had never competed above Training level, Mallory set about producing the 2010 bay gelding to be an event horse.

Fast forward to today, nearly nine years later, and the pair has successfully competed through the Intermediate level, achieving many firsts and personal bests along the way.

But sometimes, the results and competitions ticked off are only a small part of the story.

Mallory Stiver and Hugo Boss contesting the CCI2*-L at Texas Rose in 2018. Photo by Terri Hatcher Photography.

Over the last nearly decade, Mallory and “Huey” bonded, establishing their relationship with trips to and from Ocala, endless trail rides around Kansas, and a healthy dose of carting friends around like the good-natured soul Huey is. Through this, the tall gelding has earned a reputation of being a skillful teacher, a patient ride for new riders or new horse fans – through and through, a priceless horse.

So it comes as no surprise to see Huey this past weekend stepping into yet another unique role: a borrowed salve to soothe a recent pain.

Through her and her family’s business, Paradox Farm Sport Horses, Mallory had sold a horse to an acquaintance, Ava Elena Alvarez. After an all-too-short time together, the mare sadly suffered a freak pasture accident and had to be put down. Ava, who is turning 15 this month, was devastated at the loss of her partner; they had been planning to move up to Training level together this season.

Mallory had an idea. She had a young horse she wanted to focus on producing this season, and her goals with Huey mostly involved enjoying him. Why not let Ava take him for a spin?

Last weekend, Ava and Huey made their competition debut together, finishing seventh in their Training division on their dressage score at Texas Rose in Tyler, Tx. For Mallory, seeing her horse of a lifetime share the joy he gives her was worth more than any personal achievement.

The highlight of my weekend right here!! Huey helped Ava complete her first training level this weekend and they did it…

Posted by Mallory Stiver on Sunday, March 28, 2021

“With all the hard work I did with my past horse, Winnie, and then her having to be put down due to her accident, I was really in a spot where I wasn’t sure I how long I would be able to ride,” Ava Elena said. “Mallory kindly let me put in the work on Huey to start showing him this year. He has really given me the confidence I need to move up through the levels and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”

“I was in tears most of the weekend watching Huey take such good care of Ava like he’s always taken care of me,” Mallory said. “He did so much for me, keeping me in the saddle when I went through the loss of two horses, and I hoped he would do that for her, too.”

Mallory Stiver with Ava Elena and “Huey”. Photo courtesy of Mallory Stiver.

Sometimes, it’s not about the levels we climb or the scores we earn. Sometimes, it’s about the irreplaceable relationship with a horse that gets us out of bed on even our worst days. Despite the terrible sadness Ava experienced with the loss of her own partner, a little borrowed joy was all she needed to get a little piece of her groove back – and it’s the most priceless horses that can give this so easily.

Five Reasons to Grab a Pair of Ariat’s Tri Factor Breeches This Spring

Photo courtesy of Ariat.

There are a few factors that are perennially important to riders shopping for their next pair of breeches. Durability, comfort, fit, and price are all taken into consideration – among many other things – in a competitive riding apparel industry. We’ve got our eye on the popular Tri Factor line of breeches from Ariat as the new main staple in our closet, and here are a few reasons why:

  • So long, restrictive waistband! There is truly nothing much more uncomfortable than a waistband that’s rigid and doesn’t allow you to move properly. The Ariat Tri Factor line of breeches features a “V-panel” built into the back waistband, allowing the fabric to give and stretch (without losing its shape) as we move about. This simple feature combined with the mid-rise design makes these breeches a great fit for the multitude of beautiful body types in the sport.
  • No more sweaty legs. I’m not sure if you can relate, but there is just something particularly gross about finishing up a summer ride and finding your pants damp from sweat. Luckily, Ariat has thought of this issue, too, and the Tri Factor breeches also feature Moisture Movement Technology™, which pulls moisture away from the skin and encourages evaporation. In addition, Ariat’s Freeze Point™ cooling technology can cool the skin by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Blisters be gone. You know that rubbing caused when the bottom of your breeches gets wrinkled by the close fit of your boot? I’ve sustained some pretty epic blisters this way. The Tri Factor breech calls on Ariat’s CFS™ Calf Fit System, cutting down on this friction while providing support to the calf and ankle.
  • They just don’t feel like breeches. There was a time when breeches were either strong enough to retain their shape or they were comfortable – there wasn’t much that combined both. The Ariat Tri Factor breeches, which come in both knee grip and full seat styles, are made in a mid-weight knit that will hold its shape through a day of riding without feeling restricting or scratchy. That’s a huge plus for riders who spend long hours riding multiple horses or who prefer hanging out in breeches to most other types of pants.
  • Ride like an athlete. Riders are athletes, and our apparel should allow us to live the active lifestyle required in this sport. While not all brands are created equal, Ariat’s compression technology sets it above the rest in terms of athletic performance. The Tri Factor breech’s compression material allows the breech to keep its shape no matter how hard you work, while still ensuring a sleek and smooth fit.

Photo courtesy of Ariat.

Ariat has long been known for its innovative textile technology and catering to the athletic nature of our sport. The Tri Factor Breech is a great option to add to your show or everyday wardrobe this year – you can shop for your next pair by clicking here. For all your riding apparel and show clothing needs, click here.