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Long Live the Long Format: Peterson Smith BarnStaple Educational Three Day Kicks Off This Week

Riders brush up on your alphabet — Endurance phase A, B, C & D incoming! Photo by Lisa Madren.

The thrill of the ‘chase lives on this weekend at the inaugural Peterson Smith Barnstaple Educational Three Day in Morriston, FL. This USEA Educational Activity has been a labor of love many months in the making by the entire PSBE3D team to bring 65 lucky riders not only a weekend of top competition, but wall-to-wall educational seminars, demonstrations and more from industry professionals.

Competition will be spread across neighboring Barnstaple and HITS Post Time Farm properties. The traditional long format event begins with a trot up today (Wednesday) for the Ground Jury of Heather Gillette and Ashley Johnson along with Peterson and Smith veterinary representatives.

Phase D features challenging cross country tracks designed by Jay Hambly. Photo by Lisa Madren.

Dressage takes place Thursday and Friday at HITS Post Time Farm, but it’s Saturday that most riders are anticipating: endurance day. Roads and tracks weave through the Ocala countryside before depositing riders on BarnStaple’s picturesque cross country course for phase D. Jay Hambly has designed championship calibre tracks for starter through training levels.

The show jumping finale will be held on grass at Barnstaple across a Brody Robertson designed course.

Day one of the Barnstaple Classic Three Day was so fun and if the first day is any sign, we will be having a fantastic…

Posted by Lisa Madren on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The line up of clinicians, demonstrations and lecturers is hot, hot, hot! A few notable items on the schedule includes Tik Maynard’s “Good Horsemanship Techniques,” “Tour of Phases A, B, C” with Dorothy Crowell, and “Vet Box Demo” with Max Corcoran and Rachel Goth. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the full lineup includes Peter Gray, Leslie Law, Sara Kozumplik, Lauren Nicholson, Buck Davidson, and more. Sounds like too much fun to miss out on? You can still sign up to audit at this link.

For those who aren’t lucky to be in sunny Florida this week, much of the event will be live streamed by RNS Video Media. Many thanks to Taylor Harris Insurance for providing the free live stream! Click here for the live stream link. All educational content will also be available to watch on demand after the event in the Ride iQ Library.

Tentative schedule of events: 

Tuesday, November 15:

  • 12:00 – 6:00 Arrival Exams Begin
  • 4:00 Jog Demo with Peter Gray, Jog Practice with Dorothy Crowell and Sara Kozumplik

Wednesday, November 16:

  • 8:00 – 10:00 Arrival Exams cont.
  • 8:00 Competitor Briefing, Cross Country Open for walking, Roads & Tracks open for hacking
  • 9:00 Dressage demonstration with Will Faudree and Peter Gray
  • 11:00 Ride-a-Tests begin with Debbie Adams for riders going Thursday
  • 12:30 Tour of A, B & C with Dorothy Crowell
  • 3:00 pm First Horse Inspection
  • 6:00 pm Welcome Party with “The A, B, C’s of a Classic Three Day” with Leslie Law

Thursday, November 17:

  • 8:00 am Dressage Begins
  • 8:00 am Cross Course walks begin for riders going on Friday
  • 10:00 am Steeplechase Demo with Kyle Carter
  • 11:00 am “Good Horsemanship Techniques” with Tik Maynard
  • 12:00 – 5:00 Ride-A-Test for riders going Friday with Debbie Adams
  • 12:00 – 5:00 Steeplechase Schooling with Dorothy Crowell for riders who rode Thursday
  • 12:30 – 1:30 2nd Tour of A, B & C
  • 6:00 pm Dinner with Sinead Halpin – “The Equine Connection and Communication”

Friday, November 18:

  • 8:00 am Dressage begins
  • 8:00 am Cross Course walks begin for riders going on Thursday
  • 9:45 am Vet Box Demo & Discussion with Max Corcoran and Rachel Goth from Peterson & Smith
  • 11:00 am Cross Country demo with Lauren Nicholson and Buck Davidson
  • 12:30 – 5:30 Steeplechase Schooling with Dorothy Crowell for riders who rode Friday
  • 1:00 – 2:30 3rd Tour of A, B, C
  • 6:30 Dinner with Mac Corcoran and Rachel Goth – “Horsemanship!!”

Saturday, November 19:

  • 8:00 am Endurance Begins!
  • 3:00 pm SJ Course open for walking
  • 4:30 – 5:30 “Riding your Three-Day Horse is Different” – SJ demo with Sara Kozumplik & Brody
  • 6:30 pm Boogie with the Band Competitor Party!

Sunday, November 20:

  • 8:00 amThird Horse Inspection
  • 10:30 am Omelets and Special Awards Brunch – Kyle Carter & Buck Davidson as MC’s
  • 12:00 Show Jumping begins

PSBE3D: [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Live Stream]

“It’s About Time”: Team Silver for U.S. at Pratoni

Silver never looked so sweet. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Finally! A twenty year drought ended today for the United States as they won team silver at the FEI World Championships in Pratoni.

The influential show jumping phase decided the final team outcomes, but nothing was settled until the very last horses completed. The running tally was constantly changing — leaving us in the press tent to rely on quick math to figure just which nations would be on the podium.

The final tally of 100.3 gave the Americans that sweet, sweet silver.

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It was a crazy day of competition. I can’t remember a last day of an event that had this much drama — it’s just wild. But you know, we just kept fighting, kept putting your head down and going in there and trying to keep as many rails up as we could and thank God we were rewarded for it,” said Will Coleman who was the best-placed of the U.S. riders.

He and Off The Record, the thirteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Arkansas – Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio), were the only team members to jump clear today and finish seventh individually. “I’ve had him since he was four and it’s just kind of cool to see him go in there and rise to the moment,” he said.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Two rails ended Tamie Smith’s dream of an individual medal today, but as she said — this weekend was team above self, and the classy Mai Baum, who is owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell  takes home a much deserved team gold.

“Our main goal is to medal for our team and our country and individual would have been icing on the cake, but it wasn’t to be so I’m just proud of my horse and proud of these guys and just super honored to be here,” she said. The Sixteen-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano 2- Ramira, by Rike) saw the front rail at five (the most influential fence on the course — read more about that here) and the penultimate oxer fall.

“I think that horse is unbelievable but it just is what it is. I’m proud of his fight galloped around with no shoes on half the course yesterday. So, the fact he jumped around like that was really impressive. I’m really proud of him. I obviously was initially disappointed — you know, you’re a competitor, but I came out and they said we got the silver and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ Because so often you know you do that and you get knocked down. Yesterday was was a real test and you could see it in the jumping today,” she said.

Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, a fifteen-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding (Sazeram – Wake Me Gently), owned by Ms. Jacqueline B. Mars, were initially the drop score for the team after cross country, but only two down late in the course (11a and 12) meant her final result of 90.86 counted toward the team effort.

“I’m not disappointed in him you know you obviously everybody wants a clean round but I think it’s a little bit like grading on a curve today. [Clear rounds] have been few and far between and you know, he really tries gets out in there and you know, he just kind of tipped those two that if caused loads of people problems at the end,” she said.

Still for Lauren this result is a dream realized at a major championship. “We’ve been working on for a very, very long time. And this is an amazing group and we’ve been supporting each other for the last couple of months and it all paid off,” she said.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Though Boyd Martin was disappointed with four rails down, he never stopped applauding the efforts of his partner Tsetserleg TSF, the fifteen-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall II – Thabana, by Buddenbrock), owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner.

“It was the biggest, widest, most technical show jumping course I’ve ever seen it a championship. Poor old Thomas, it’s not his strongest phase. He jumped well and he ticked a couple of rails, but I was just relieved that it didn’t cost the country a medal. So I’m sort of half a bit disappointed with the round but just relieved and just happy and overjoyed that we finally pulled it off,” he said.

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

You can hardly say the selectors made a gamble when sending Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan to Italy, the pair have four five-star completions at different venues, but hers was a new face on the team announcement, and the rising star certainly proved she was right choice.

Competing as an individual means Ariel sadly misses out on a team medal, but she was impressively the only American rider to finish on her dressage score for 11th individually.

“That was exactly what I wanted to do. He did get a personal best first five-star score. There was a 20 something in there and we’ll get that next year. But I couldn’t be happier with him to have finished on his dressage score. And that’s really all you can ask for, right?” she said.

The Canadian effort didn’t result in a podium finish, but a starting point for the team which is looking at this as a rebuilding phase. They finished in 12th place, which means they’ll have to find another route for Olympic qualification.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo were the top Canadian entry, though the did knock eight rails.

“I’m extremely disappointed — that was not the plan. I’ve been working really hard with Susie Hutchinson and Jolly has been jumping great. We’ve been doing jumper shows and you know, I think that course took a little bit of a toll on her yesterday with the terrain and hills. It has nothing to do with soundness or her age or any of that, you know, it’s a big track and I need to practice and get better. She didn’t feel tired, she just wasn’t as sharp as she normally is. She tries her heart out and I’ll give her a 10 for that,” she said. They end in 56th.

Holly Jacks and Candy King. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Four came down for Holly Jacks and the syndicate owned Candy King to finish 59th.

“I mean, always want to be better. But I think that as my first team experience, it was my young horse’s first team experience and I think that we’re coming out of it with the completed score that I want to improve for next time. I think he came out a more confident horse, and I’m definitely more confident rider and I’m proud of finishing,” Holly said.

As a first-timer at a major championship, this week stands as a jumping off point for her career and the Canadian High Performance program. “The group of people we have is amazing. And the team dynamics has been phenomenal. I think like five months ago, I couldn’t say a nice thing about where our sport was heading and I think these people come together and it’s been brilliant. I think we have the best group of people working for us and volunteering their time and having James at the EC office and it’s been a big, great thing for our sport,” she said.

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Shelby Allen

Mike Winter saw only one pole come down plus a second on the clock to finish 60th with El Mundo, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Numero Uno x Calvaro’s Bria Z, by Calvaro F.C.), owned by Jonathan Nelson, Emma Winter and the rider.

“He felt amazing, but it’s a horse that loves — well, he loves all three phases — so it’s me just making sure I make good pilot decisions and help him be as good as he can be. And stay out of his way when he needs to be brilliant for me, like today he was very, very good. I made a tiny mistake. I wanted a big jump into that long six stride so I could arrive at the double verticals shortening, but I maybe did that a little too much and had a very big jump in and then when I went to put the canter together, he arrived at the first vertical a bit hollow and maybe could have moved a bit of it to soften him down to that instead of taking both reins but you know, I have that problem of only seeing the negative in my riding but I enjoyed it a lot,” he said.

Dana Cooke and FE Mississippi. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Dana Cooke had to dig deep after a stop in the final combination, but she and FE Mississippi, a 12-year-old Württemburg mare (Cassini II x Liastra, by Legaat) completed for 67th place.

“That’s the most tired I’ve ever felt her show jumping. I think the track yesterday was tough. They were all tired and she definitely felt a little more tired than  I have ever felt before on her. And some of the strides I was seeing and the strides I was getting were not the same. But we got through it, we finished,” Dana said. “Honestly, it’s amazing because when I went to the Pan Ams, it didn’t happen  — I didn’t get to show jump, so it’s nice to finish a championship. It’s probably at the top of her game. For sure. So she did try our guts out, she was just a little bit tired.”

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [FEI TV] [Final Individual Standings] [Final Team Standings] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Coverage]

Three Held, All Pass Final World Championship Horse Inspection

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

All remaining  entries move forward after the final horse inspection at the FEI World Championships in Pratoni, though three pairs were held. We’ll see seventy-two in the forthcoming show jumping phase.

The Spanish entry Dunque HSM was the first held and then quickly passed at second presentation for Antonio Cejudo Caro. Thailand’s Uster de Chanay was also held, but went on to be accepted for Korntawat Samran. Mountbatton 2 was also held late in the order, but will continue on for Austria’s Dr. Harald Ambros.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

All five American pairs were passed, despite a quick burst of anxiety when the Ground Jury asked bronze medal positioned Tamie Smith to present Mai Baum a second time after a bit a a chaotic presentation. He was quickly through after a second trot, along with all four team members Tsetserleg, Off The Record, and Vermiculus, as well as Ariel Grald’s individual entry Leamore Master Plan.

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The remaining Canadian contingent of Candy King, El Mundo, Jollybo and FE Mississippi have also all been approved to continue to the show jumping, though Hawley Bennett-Awad’s Jollybo was asked to trot twice for the Ground Jury.

Four combinations were withdrawn ahead of the final inspection: Jan Kaminski and Jard (POL), Jordy Wilken (NED) and Burry Spirit, Hanne Wind Ramsgaard (DEN) and Amequ Torino, and Ryuzo Kitajima (JPN) and Cekatinka JRA.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scores & Schedule] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

The North American Report: U.S. in Silver Medal Position after Pratoni Cross Country

It’s been twenty years since the United States was on the podium at the FEI World Championships, but the foursome here in Pratoni has been hell-bent on making it happen again, and now as the sun sets on cross country day, the American flag stands in silver medal position.

Will Coleman and Off The Record bring back valuable intel for the U.S. as pathfinders. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Pathfinder Will Coleman set the tone — delivering a classy round with Off The Record just two seconds above optimum time.

“I thought he answered all the questions very confidently. You know, he’s kind of a bulldog out there. He takes a bit and he really wants to go but I was really pleased with just how, sort of almost arrogant he was out there. He was really strong and it was almost like he was telling me to ‘let me at a dad,'” Will said.

He’ll be 11th overnight with the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse Off The Record (Arkansas – Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio) on a score of (27.2).

“He’s not the fastest horse, to be frank. He’s a very efficient horse. And he’s quick, but he doesn’t necessarily have a tremendous gallop. He loses a bit of step as he tires. And, you know, I think he was really fit and I’m super happy with how he ran and I couldn’t fault him for anything. He did his absolute best,” Will said.

Vermiculus finds his way through all the flags for Lauren Nicholson. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Backed by course intel from Will, Lauren Nicholson was next out, with her eye on her watch. “I knew all the questions were there for him and it was more for me trying to hammer at the time from the get go because he doesn’t have a huge gallop. And just try not to — the more of the course for me was more about chasing the time than the actual fences,” she said.

Her five-star veteran Vermiculus delivered what was most important: a round with zero jump penalties. The two added 5.6 time penalties in the end, which removed their result from the team tally, but that just proves the depth the United States has brought forward — that a 32.7 after cross country is the drop score.

“It’s always a different kind of pressure riding for the team and you still want to be toeing the line of being gutsy, but try not to do anything stupid that’s going to affect the team. So I’m just very glad to have it done. And Coleman has it done and that takes a lot of pressure off,” she said.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Tamie Smith, who was third in the rider rotation, became the first U.S. competitor to catch the clock, finishing not only double clear, but in individual bronze medal position with Mai Baum. Tilly Berendt’s full report will share much more detail on the shining star for the Americans, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: “I have an unbelievable magical unicorn and all three phases. He’s a horse of a lifetime and he’s made a lot of dreams come true. I will take care of him tonight. He felt great to the end, and I know his heart is as big as mine. So I know he’ll give me everything he has.”

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

A team score without jumping penalties was cemented by this point, but team stalwart Boyd Martin knows nothing at a championship is guaranteed, so he went around clear and bang on the optimum time with Tsetserleg TSF.

“I’ve been on these championship teams so many times and luck comes into it a bit,” Boyd said. “I’m just proud to be American. We hung in there and, you know, ups and downs, highs and lows, and we’re far from finished yet. We’ve got a massive day tomorrow and it’s good to have five clears.  It’s just a sigh of relief and I think in the past it’s been a bit of everything but today just seem to come together.”

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

This may have been Ariel Grald’s first Championship, but you’d never have known it from watching her today with Annie Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan. “I mean, this is this horse’s best phase,” she said, and it’s arguably hers too, and if you’d been following the pair, today’s result wouldn’t come as a surprise.

“This is my first horse at Advanced and four- and five-star. He’s gone overseas multiple times, and to be able to just keep producing. Honestly, being here isn’t any more pressure than I’ve ever put on myself before. Obviously there’s an extra support of the U.S. team and all that, but I always come to be competitive. But I do think being here in the World Championships was a bit of an incentive for me to take a risk. Because I’m gaining mileage too, I go to these big events and I’m like, ‘jump clear first, then try to be as fast as you can’, so I end up being conservative and then kind of hammering him home at the end. Today I was like, ‘what are we here for?’ My dressage wasn’t the strongest, but I’m gonna finish on it,” she said.

She didn’t simply come inside the time — she was the fastest rider of the day coming home with ten seconds to spare.

Hawley Awad and Jollybo lead the way for Canada. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Though Canada saw mixed results, their team result was improved to 12th place. Stalwart Hawley Awad is the highest ranking with the 18-year-old British-bred Sport Horse mare Jollybo (Jumbo x Polly Coldunnell, by Danzig Connection). She added 20.4 time penalties for 47th place individually.

“I was proud to go out first. For them to have that much belief in me to go around is kind of special. You know, to be on Jolly — she’s absolutely amazing,” Hawley said. “I lost my rein coming down the Slide. I literally came down the Slide with one rein. Any other horses would have run out and looked for an out; she went straight. And, you know, that’s why we give her carrots, right? You know, it’s just that bond and relationship I have with her.”

Holly Jacks and Candy King. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

A pin came down for Holly Jacks and Candy King at the entry to the coffin, and they picked up 32 time penalties for a two-day score of 75.4 for 59th place.

“Honestly like it’s probably one of the best rides I’ve had on him. I think it was set up for success where I had the uphill to kind of blow some steam off and I was able to let go and it’s been awesome,” she described. “I have to say, Matt Ryan’s been our new technical advisor and he was on the phone to my coach, Buck, a lot and it was just like having Buck here. So I think I’m really appreciative of having a new technical advisor come in who has spent the time learning how I need to learn.”

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Mike Winter added penalties for deploying a frangible device and having a runout with El Mundo. The pin went on the triple bar at six and a surprising runout at 26b, a skinny brush, moved them to 65th place. Though he’s completed two five-stars, Mike thinks this track may not have suited the 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Numero Uno x Calvaro’s Bria Z, by Calvaro F.C.), but he shares the blame for the late 20 penalties.

“I think he was better than I expected in places and not as easy to ride in other places. He’d be a more a big parkland horse — like a Badminton horse or Burghley horse. I think this maybe didn’t totally suit him,” he said. “He was very, very good. He just at the end there got a bit strong and I probably made a miscalculation — it wouldn’t have taken much longer just to jump the other one. And but, you know, I listen, I’m lucky to ride him.”

Dana Cooke and FE Mississippi. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Dana Cooke ran into two issues around the track with FE Mississippi. They first glanced off the final element at the bottom of the infamous Pratoni slide, and then had another error at the sharp-angled brush coming out of the first water. She’s 70th on the leaderboard.

“I just got a little bit, that three rides so tight down the hill at the Slide there. And I just got there a little bit too close, unfortunately, and being on a long rein you don’t have as much kind of control where they’re going. We just got there a little bit too tight. And honestly, it’s the same coming out of the water. I just thought I was there, and again on long rein and left the door open and we had the runout. But everywhere else, she was awesome. She was a bit tired at the end, so I played safe at the end and took the long routes.  But otherwise, I’m pretty thrilled with her,” she said.

It was a long walk back for Karl Slezak, who retired Fernhill Wishes at the double of corners (fence 11). He rerouted to present to the alternate route, but “Chocy” had decided he’d had enough for the day.

“He just needs to get out, do more big events like this,” Karl said. “He was galloping really well, I think he just got to the top and if anything, he was eating up the distances almost too well. We got to the bottom of the Slide, and I thought he’s gonna leave in two. And at the top of the hill there, I think he got there on the kind of two-and-a-half, and just wasn’t really focused on it. So he just stepped out. And then I just couldn’t get his focus back after turning away from the crowd there.”

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scoring] [XC Order of Go] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

Homegrown: Meet The Competitors Who Bred Their World Championship Horses

Belgium’s Lara de Liedekerke-Meier and Hermione d’Arville. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Bringing a horse along in the sport to the very top level is one thing, but breeding the event horse is an entirely other heroic effort. For three riders, dreams are realized this week as their homebreds are competing on the world stage at Pratoni.

Lara de Liedekerke-Meier’s Hermione d’Arville is one of many successful event horses from the hefty Arville Sporthorses breeding program in Gesves, Belgium.

The mare, Kyra du Relais Pachis (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Fleur de Chez Nous), landed in Lara’s stable as a one-off after she seemed to not take well to sport. “Her dam is quite a story. I received it from a breeder, which I worked for. And he said to be had some falls with her and he had always bad luck with the falls. And as I had a lot of fields in Arville why should I not try [to breed her],” Lara said. “And shed really nice breeding eventing, she has Kashmir [van Schuttershof], which is jumping with Heraldika xx behind which is Thoroughbred.”

The breeding opportunity from the stallion, Birkhof’s Royaldik,  also came about due to circumstance. Lara describes something of a trade as she was working for the breeder at the time.

The FEI World Eventing Breeding Championships at Le Lion was a goal Lara always had for this mare, but qualifications were missed by one too many rails show jumping qualification. “At seven-years-old she won [Strzegom CCI3*-L] just a week before Le Lion, so she didn’t go to qualify, but she proved that she was a good horse,” Lara said.

“And then at eight-years-old, she started four-star and she was really consistent, really reliable. You need to know her, she really doesn’t feel safe with a lot of horses in the warm up. So I had to know that but my daughter can hack around in the stables even hacking in the field at home. She’s the most polite and lovely horse I’ve ever had. I always loved this horse from the first time [I saw her]. I know her inside out.”

Sanne de Jong (NED) and Enjoy. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The striking grey KWPN Enjoy (Cartano x Next Joey, by Haarlem) is the pride of Sanne de Jong, who rides for The Netherlands. She and the thirteen-year-old mare grew up together in the sport.

“So I’ve had her my whole life — I’ve broke her in myself,” Sanne said. “I will say we kind of grew up together because I broke her in, and when I was a junior, she went to the young horse championships. Further, my first four-star, my first Nations Cup, last year the Europeans and now here.”

Enjoy is a product of Sanne’s family — her mother evented the mare’s grandmother.

“My mom used to event the grandmother. And then the mom was never meant for breeding, but she got an accident as young horse. She [went] blind in one eye, so then she became a broodmare, luckily,” Sanne said. “She’s, she’s given a lot of foals, and unfortunately, this is the last one. But I’ve written some brothers and sisters and they all have the same mentality — they love cross country and so does she.”

Hanne Wind Ramsgaard presents her homebred Amequ Torino in the first horse inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.Representing Denmark, Amequ Torino was bred by his rider, Hanne Wind Ramsgaard. Hanne is also an amateur and mom to a 3-year-old. Read more about her fairytale story at this link.

At 10, “Lillefisen,” who is by Tolouse, is among the younger horses in the field considering age and experience. He’s Danish warmblood out of another of Hanne’s horses, Stugaard’s Flying Colours (Cosmeo x Fabina, Prince Mab xx). Though this mare went on to compete in the sport, Hanne went with a gut decision to breed her before her first competition.

“You don’t ride them much when they’re three years old, so I bred a foal,” she said. “And then I went to the young horse championship on her when she was six, and that’s something about the mind because she already bred a foal, then she’s a year behind.”

This horses is something of a family pet for Hanne, who fits in riding at the end of the day after work. Lillefisen has a notorious soft spot for her son, Robin, and is calm enough for Robin to pony around the stable.

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scoring][XC Order of Go] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]


A Mixed Bag: Riders React to Guiseppe della Chiesa’s Championship Cross Country Course

The straight route out of the water is directly out the other side and over a stiff challenge of angled brushes on a curving three-stride line. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

With 88 riders in total, a consensus wouldn’t be expected, but opinions of Guiseppe della Chiesa’s cross country course are all over the board. Some applaud it, others dislike it, but everyone respects its significance. EN’s Tilly Berendt has followed the Mad Hatter down a rabbit hole of comparative research of the track, which she’ll share in a forthcoming course preview, but in the meantime, check out what the riders have to say:


Boyd Martin: “It’s a pretty testing course, and World Equestrian Games — there’s always a lot of pressure. I think it’s a proper, what they call it a four-star that feels like a five-star course over nine minutes, fifty [seconds]. But like you said, I’m on a veteran. And he’s done bigger and badder and longer courses. So I’ve got some comfort knowing that he’s dealt with harder fences. But any jump you can make a mistake and it can all go wrong, as I found out at Tryon.

Tamie Smith: “I think it suits him perfectly. It’s a very riders type course — the horses need to be fast, but they need to be rideable. And he’s all those things, and he’s smart, and he’s brave, so I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Lauren Kieffer: “It suits him. The jumps are big and it’s a proper championship track, and I think everybody expected that and planned for it. [Vermiculus is] very seasoned at this point, but hey anything can happen it’s cross country day, but I’m very confident in the horse I’m sitting on.

Will Coleman: “It’s a really intense track. So my job is to go out there and bring back some good feedback for the other guys. It’s a it’s a kind of a mongrel track, especially in the beginning, you’re just kind of weaving up and down these Pratoni hills. He’s not the most blood, but he’s a real fighter, and I think he’ll hopefully bring that same kind of Bulldog like attitude to the cross country.

Ariel Grald: “There’s plenty to do but the hills and the sort of terrain actually will suit him. So I’m excited to give it a crack and go as fast as we can and have a good round.”


Michael Jung: “I’m not so happy about the cross country because when you see and when you know the cross country place, it’s just a beautiful place. But it’s — he didn’t use the whole course, so he make it very twisty, many turns where you have to slow down and it’s difficult to find a really nice rhythm on this high level. So it makes it much more complicated. This is a very beautiful cross country place, but I didn’t like how he used to track. It’s very twisty and it’s not really to get a nice feeling around there, but maybe in the end is better to gallop, better to ride than I saw. But it’s just sad that he didn’t use the part [in the back] so you can have a really nice, open gallop.”

Julia Krajewski: “There’s a lot to jump out there, which will hopefully suit us, but of course it’s a proper test. It’s technical. It’s everything you want from a championship course. It offers quite some options, which you can take but they will spend too much time. I’m third to go [on the team], so I can watch quite a few and probably decide a few things then.”

From 24AB, the direct route goes to a beefy brush corner in the water at 24CD. Photo by Tilly Berendt.


Laura Collett: “We need to know our alphabet. It’s a proper championship track and yeah, I mean, I came here in 2005 for the Pony European, so I kind of knew roughly what to expect. Sadly it’s not gonna be a dressage competition. But yeah, I think from start to finish it’s full on. There was a lot of head scratching about, you know, when we first walked in, actually what the direct route was. There’s so many options. So that takes a lot of thought to figure it out.”

Yasmin Ingham: “It’s very clever. And it’s fun to have strong combinations — they come out throughout all the way until home really, so you’re definitely never off the hook. Mine can get quite strong, so I’m hoping that by the second hill he might not be trying to pull my arms out. So that’s that’s the hopeful. But no, I’m looking forward to writing it and I’m very pleased to be sat on my hands.”

Oliver Townend: “It looks like a very tough place to ride around in terms of the terrain. You’re always climbing up a hill, and a few places that you’d like to go a little faster he’s got a combination that you have to slow down for, so it’s gonna be an interesting day. A few too many things for my liking for cross country, it’s more like a show jumping course around a field but at the same time, very, very happy to be here. I always enjoy Giuseppe’s courses and technical questions.”

Tom McEwen: “The thinking rider will come out on top, I think, tomorrow whether it’s regarding horses, how they’re feeling underneath you, or how the course could change because even now [with all the] people that seemed to be walking the course, like walking up the water coming out the first water, I mean that bank is already broken up. I mean, it’s one of the first shows for a long time where there’s actually been eighty- eighty-plus horses in the class. So yeah, it’s gonna be by three-quarters of the day, it’s gonna look different I would have thought.”


Jonelle Price: “I think time is probably gonna be the biggest factor. You know, you’ve got to remember we’ve got such a high caliber field of horses here that I think, you know, no matter what you’ve built, they’re gonna make light work of it. You know, the British team — they’re the best in the world, those horses, and they’re all experienced five-star horses and this is nowhere near five-star track. So I think some of the horses are going to make light work of it. But you know, suddenly the hills and a lot of congested jump efforts will see the clock coming.”

Tim Price: “It’s a funny course because it’s perched on the side of a hill and it’s got all sorts of portable jumps stuck everywhere. So you know, I’ve just come from Burghley, which is one of the biggest, most beautiful courses in the world as we know, and it feels like it’s a little bit of a downgrade, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult. The time is going to be extremely tight, that’s my forecast, and that’s gonna put a lot of added pressure on all the riders. Especially they’re trying to look after their teams.”

Amanda Pottinger: “I think I think it’ll cause a lot of problems but I think it’s probably cuz some of us are used to five-stars now. It’s a shame there isn’t a bit more galloping space.”


Andrew Hoy: The terrain that Giuseppe has put in I think is good. There’s a section in the middle that I just won’t go too quickly across where we’re running across the across the hill on [an angle sideways]. For me, that’s something that I just want to take a little bit of time with to make sure that I have a good and healthy horse when I finish.”


Holly Jacks: “It is absolutely beautiful. I think they’ve done a great job of asking proper championship questions, but they’ve put options out though that still ask the same questions in an easier manner to get everybody home.”

Dana Cooke: “It’s tough. It’s definitely not going to be a dressage show. Yeah, it’s there’s a there’s a lot to do out there. The combinations, I think, you know, he’s really used the terrain quite well on the camber of the ground. And so there’s there’s definitely going to be some, some tricky questions out there.”

Riders will do a wide, swooping turn back over an open trakehner at 23.

Karin Donckers (BEL): “A big course as always. I rode here last year in autumn also with Fletcha. It’s especially I think the ups and the downs in a 10 minute course. You have to ride clever from the first moment till the last moment. But it’s definitely will be no dressage competition. That’s for sure.”

Esteban Benitez Vallei (ESP):  “The [cross country is] very hard and long with the with the hills and so on — it’s gonna it’s not gonna be easy, and it’s not gonna be a dressage competition. But we have to feel how the horse is in that moment for every combination. Like the last combination of the water is a drop down and then a corner — it’s not [an] impossible combination, but I know that the horses will be very, very tired. We’ll say how, how much is rains. Luckily I am at the beginning of the of the class so the ground will be okay for me, especially on the number [the Pratoni slide]. I think after 30-40 horses it’s going to be very, very difficult in there.”

Astier Nicolas (FRA): “It’s not any more advanced [than you’d expect]. You can see that [where] a lot of the fences are pretty forgiving and pretty small or medium sized. But there are a few combinations that could do the job. It’s a bit twisty surprisingly with all the big cross country ground they have — [there is] never really a good place to gallop.”

Korntawat Samran (THA): “It’s very technical and goes up and down [hills] all the time. We just have to be careful with that. Our horses been prepared well, so I think the fitness will not be the problem for us.”

Fouaad Mriza (IND): “I would say it’s, it’s tricky. There’s a there’s a lot of alternatives, a lot of options. You can definitely get home, depending on what route you choose, but I think it’s about how much risk you want to take. If you really want to go there and give it a good shout or if you want to go in there  and just bring it home.”

Sam Watson (IRE): “I think I’d be I think we’ll be surprised by how many make the time could be could be over 50 and up towards 20 which will make it a very competitive cutting edge competition. And that might force more mistakes later on in the competition when people see that actually, you’ve got to gotta go out there and perform. That’s That’s what he’s asking. There’s a lot of a lot of shoulders for glance offs, which I think is the right way to, to ask questions these days.

“We need tomorrow to be important. It is the focal point of the sport. Like for me as a rider, and for other riders, other manages, no one wants to under play the course. No one wants to be complacent. As a rider, I know there’s no risk of that, like when I’m when I’m on the horse, I’m one hundred percent focused. So all the jumps are jumpable by themselves. It reminds me a little bit of Tryon — I think the quantity is what gets you.”

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

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U.S. Holds Bronze: Catching Up with the North American Contingent at Pratoni

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg power to a 26.2. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The United States of America is in bronze medal position at the conclusion of dressage at the FEI Eventing World Championships.

Tamie Smith is in fifth place as the best of the bunch and very much in the hunt for an individual medal with Mai Baum on a score of 24. You can read more about her day in our lunch report.

Team anchor Boyd Martin brought forward an individual mark of 26.2 with Tsetserleg TSF, who is owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner, to help the U.S. stay in third place position.

“He’s such a trier, this little horse, and you know, he’s so reliable in there. He was a little bit quiet and backed off and I wish maybe I had one less ride so he was a bit more excited — but that that can backfire as well in these big championships when they get a bit nervous. All in all I was pleased, could always be better, could always be worse. 26 is a pretty good score though,” Boyd said.

“Thomas,” the 15-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall II – Thabana, by Buddenbrock), is a veteran campaigner for Boyd, and their partnership is rock-solid, which should play to their advantage on tomorrow’s intense track. Despite their five-star experience, Boyd said he won’t take a single fence — or the current team standing — for granted.

“[Bronze now] doesn’t mean anything. I’ve been on so many teams where I’ve been sitting pretty after the first day, and after the cross country, I think, is when the competition really starts,” he said. “I think it’s a proper, what they call it a four-star that feels like a five-star course over nine minutes, fifty [seconds]. But like you said, I’m on a veteran. And he’s done bigger and badder and longer courses. So I’ve got some comfort knowing that he’s dealt with harder fences. But any jump you can make a mistake and it can all go wrong, as I found out at Tryon.”

The time will likely already be influential, but even more so for Boyd who currently shares a three way tie for 14th place with Tim Price and Ros Canter.

Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan enjoy a magical championship debut. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Ariel Grald was the first U.S. rider in the area this morning. Competing as an individual, she and Annie Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan gained invaluable championship experience in this weekend’s pressure cooker, but the level-headed debutant rose to the occasion to score 32.5 for 50th place.

“I’m just happy to be here and the horse has worked pretty well this week. He is a bit exuberant and gets a little nervous. He tries really hard, but dressage is not his strength, and he does worry a little bit. So my main goal was just to go in and keep him with me. And I think for the most part, he really did that,” Ariel said. “Obviously, the competitive rider in me wants to go in there and knock it out of the park, but this is not his strength, and we’re just building each time and getting a little better every year. So that’s all you can hope for.”

Ariel has been an injection of fresh talent to the top of the U.S. program, and to see her at a major championship is a huge success story for her and all her supporters. “I tried to just keep pausing and looking around and soaking it in because as a rider, it’s so easy to just sort of get laser-focused and put tunnel vision on and so I just kind of try to keep taking a breath and looking around. I just have great teammates and I’m really, really honored to be here with all of them. I’m learning a lot and enjoying it,” she said.

Holly Jacks is the best-placed Canadian aboard Candy King. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Two Canadian pairs came down the centerline today to produce the teams best two dressage scores. Holly Jacks is the top placed of them in 49th place on a score of 32.4 with Candy King, a horse who she nearly had to sell last year. Fortunately for her (and team Canada!) friends rallied to form a syndicate to let Holly keep the ride.

“I was really proud of him. He went in their and definitely felt the atmosphere a little bit and sucked back with the crowds, but as the test went on he thought about what we were doing and came back to me. He’s a young horse and exciting for the future and this was a great experience,” she said.

Ringside with Holly is longtime dressage trainer Tom Dvorak. “I cracked a joke last year that if this horse was on the World Championship team that he would come, so as soon as I got he call I called him. It’s great not only to have his support as a coach, but as a person, too.”

 Canada made it here to Pratoni thanks to the efforts of the ‘Pratoni, Let’s Go!’ fundraising efforts, which were headlined by a major contribution from Kelly McCarthy-Maine and Shane Maine. “You finally have a horse ready for a Championship and you hear we might not send a team… to have all these people come forward to help us, you kind of keep waiting for something bad to happen because you can’t imagine how exciting it is. It’s a dream come true. I hope this horse learns a lot here, and in two years time he’ll be a fabulous horse for Paris,” she said.

It is absolutely beautiful. I think they’ve done a great job of asking proper championship questions, but they’ve put options out there that ask the same kinds of questions to get everybody home.

Mike Winter and El Mundo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Mike Winter will be the team anchor as the final rider aboard El Mundo, who is owned by Mike, his wife, Emma, and Jonathan Nelson. He’ll hold 58th position overnight on a score of 33.3, which, he admits, was higher than he had hoped.

“I just don’t think it’s fulfilled my potential or his potential rather, but you know, it’s happened,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with him and our whole High Performance team, I just would like a bit more I from myself.”

The Britain-based rider has been a vocal advocate for representation and diversity within the sport — as well as promoting awareness of human rights issues outside of it. This week, he rides with a lapel pin honouring Canada’s First Nations, designed by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Curtis Wilson. It’s part of a push for a unified Canada that sees indigenous peoples enjoy the same rights and representation as their compatriots.
“I think it’s really important that sport is involved in social action and picking the causes that are important,” says Mike.”Our sport is wonderful but we’re not always engaged with diversity and equality issues. The pin I’m wearing represents the role that First Nations play in Canada. It’s important that we recognise Canada’s history of wrongs in the building of the country and how still today, that affect the human rights of those indigenous people. There are opportunities in equality — things like clean drinking, water, education, health care. I think those things need to be talked about, and being Canadian, if I can do a small bit to make people aware of then, I hope that helps.”

As a team, Canada is 14th on a score of 100.5.

To catch up with the rest of the North American riders, check out our Thursday report.

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

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Friday Pratoni Lunch Report: Tamie Smith Throws Down the Gauntlet, Britain Bests A World Record

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum are the best of the Americans. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Stars and stripes, baby! Tamie Smith put an American flag in bronze medal position during the Friday morning session of the FEI World Championships at Pratoni with Alex Ahearn, Ellen Aheard and Eric Markell’s Mai Baum.

A disappointing bobble in the first medium trot wasn’t the first impression Tamie was hoping for, but nothing could derail her steely determination. That combined with “Lexus’s” dreamy, correct way of going — and several nines in the canter work! — gave the pair a result of 24.

“I think he just tried a little bit too hard and you can’t fault him for that. He doesn’t have the best medium trot — I’m pretty sure that’s the best medium trot I had before I cantered, but I think he was pretty spot on everywhere else so I’m really proud of him,” she said. “I do feel like it was better than Badminton. And he’s in much better self carriage and relaxation — really most of it was all brilliant. Just unfortunate to have that one little mistake but you try to go for it, and you know, it’s a 24, so I’ll take it.”

Mai Baum is right at home in the championship environment. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Pratoni is the place for dreams to be realized for Tamie and the 16-year-old German Sport Horse (Loredano 2- Ramira, by Rike), who came tantalizingly close to a major championship appearance as traveling reserves for the U.S. last year in the 2020 Olympic Games.

“Going to Tokyo last year really gave me some experience just being there. So you try to categorize it and just another horse show, but it is a team competition — it’s the World Championships, so it feels awesome. It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to be here, and to be on that horse is extra special because I think he’s one of the best in the world,” Tamie said.

With final combination Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF still yet to come, the U.S. is in silver medal position (77.5) at the lunch break only 6.4 points behind Great Britain.

Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Britain’s Tom McEwen suffered a misstep similar to Tamie’s in the first medium trot, but earned marks back with his strong canter work to put a 25.6 on the board for tied fourth place, shared with New Zealand’s Monica Spencer and Artist. Partnered with the Pau CCI5* winner Toledo de Kerser, Tom was the third to go for Great Britain’s powerhouse squad, putting them in gold medal position on 71.1 points — a new world record for lowest World Championship team score after dressage, overtaking Germany who held the previous record of 73.4 in Tryon.

“I would say overall Badminton would have been a higher quality, a better frame, probably been a little bit better rhythm, but I’m really pleased with him,” he said of the 15-year-old 15-year-old Selle Français gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Ariane du Prieure II, by Papillon Rouge), who he thinks was on more of a disadvantage having the first phase on footing. “It’s always been the case that he’s — for whatever reason, he loves the grass and on the surface he can just every now and again go a little bit like this. So yeah, looking forward to next two phases on grass and with him,”

Julia Krajewski looking smart in her German Sport Army uniform with Amande de B’Néville. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Julia Krajewski is in striking distance of an individual medal as the best of the Germans to come forward so far. Her Tokyo partner Amande de b’Neville, an 11-year-old Dutch Riding Horse mare (Sir Shutterfly – Zaramba, by BMC Kigali), owned by Svobodova Adela, looked every bit the professional, and Julia said, it was just the test she intended to have.

“I said I want to be around 25 and we managed that,” she said, and they are just a hair north of that on a penalty score of 26.

“It’s not her favorite thing to go in the white rails. It’s a very long test. Lots of twists and turns but yeah, she was she really kept herself together. she I think she did amazing extended trot extended canter. I think the flying changes were good. The halts were quite good for her.”

Competitors from all nationalities lined the arena for the Tokyo legend, but Julia is too cool a customer to be affected by outside pressures. “To be honest, actually [the pressure is] even less because I mean, before last year, people were actually waiting for me to do not good and you always had to prove yourself. And now, well, I have that in the back and I’m trying to enjoy it a bit more. But still, of course there’s pressure and you want to do well, but heaviest thing is off my shoulders since last year, to be honest,” she said.

Kevin McNab and Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam. Photo by Tilly Berendt.A five-star personal best of 25.7 puts Kevin McNab in sixth individually and the top Australian so far. The 14-year-old KWPN Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam flourished in the championship atmosphere as if he knew exactly when to put forward his best work.

“He went in then he grew a little bit, which worked for me,” Kevin said. I haven’t had a clean change from right to left today. So he saved them for in there — that it was good.”

Jonelle Price goes for a championship PB in the first phase with McClaren. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

New Zealand’s Jonelle Price delivered her best ever Championship dressage test (26.1) with McClaren for eighth place as it stands.

“It’s crazy to think that at the age of 15, I’m just getting him where I want him. With how his life journey has been, you know, he’s been a frustrating horse because I’ve felt like I’ve made progress but not been able to reflect it in the marks. And as I walked out, I really didn’t know if I was on 31 for eighth time this year, but it wasn’t until I saw the board I was able to breathe a sigh [of relief],” Jonelle said of David and Katherine Thomson’s Holsteiner (Clarimo x Toni 1, by Landjunge). “He’s a cheeky little bugger, and his body has probably developed in a less than ideal way, so trotting a straight line is quite difficult. Some things that other horses have naturally from from day one, he hasn’t had.”

OTTB power! Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture make their World Championship debut. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The last of the morning session to sneak into the top ten is ex-racehorse Bold Venture, piloted by Championship debutant Shenae Lowings. The Aussie rider, who is competing as an individual here in Pratoni, earned a 26.3.

“He’s pretty consistent in this phase. I had a few little blips in the first movement, but got ourselves back together and he executed the rest of the test really well, so I’m really happy with him. He’s not a normal Thoroughbred, he is a bit of a warmblood when it comes to dressage. You’ve got to kick him along a bit. He definitely could be affected by atmosphere, but he manages to block it out. And then as soon as the job’s done, he’s like ‘I’m done!’ and he realizes everyone’s around,” Shenae said.

We look forward to many potential game changers to come forward in our final afternoon session, including Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH, Boyd Martin and Tseterleg, and more. Keep it locked here.

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The North American Report: United States in Bronze Position, Canada 13th After Thursday at Pratoni

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

At the conclusion of day one, the United States is happily in bronze medal position with scores coming forward from Will Coleman and Lauren Nicholson.

Will Coleman leads the team effort in the morning session with Aachen winner Off The Record (Arkansas – Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio), owned by the Off the Record Syndicate. The Ground Jury of Christina Klingspor, Peter Gray, and Christian Steiner awarded the pair a 26.4 as the best-placed Americans as it stands.

“I thought my horse tried very hard today and I’m very happy with him,” Will commented. “I thought we just squeezed every point out of it that we could. When he came out this morning, that’s sort of what was my mentality was: to see if we can ride as clean a test as we can, and leave as few penalties on the table as we can. And I think we did that. And so in that respect, I’m happy and I don’t know if there are any highlights in it, but it was clean and relatively mistake free.”

Pathfinder place comes with a great deal of responsibility for a team that is eager to qualify for the 2024 Olympics, but Will’s up to the challenge. “It’s a tough job. I’ve been first before, I’ve been last before in some instances, so I think we all have the same sort of approach that we want to go out and execute and just give our horses the best chance of coming home clear. And with as few time penalties as possible,” he said.

A championship is all about putting team above self, and the Americans have certainly prioritized that here in Pratoni. This lot has been consistent in their aims of the first phase: a good score without taking any major risks that would jeopardize their team result. Lauren Nicholson spoke of this following her test Thursday, “I was happy put down a good score for the team. That was our job not to go in there and do anything amazing. Just try not to mess it up.”

She and Ms. Jaqueline Mars’ Anglo-Arabian Vermiculus (Sazeram – Wake Me Gently) sit seventh on 27.1, an improvement from their 4*/5* average which is 29.6.

“I think everyone kind of knows the Arab can throw in some moments, but it did not aggravate the Arab and he did quite well in front of the crowd and he does love a big moment. He’s always best at a bigger competition,” she said. “The judges want to like him — they always have even when he’s been naughty, but when he’s not naughty he just goes in and is very workmanlike.”

While Lauren won’t be the first U.S. rider out on course Saturday, she has been a wealth of knowledge for the team due to her attendance of the test event here on foot in May. You can read all about her thoughts on the venue at this link.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo lead the way for Canada. Photo by TIlly Berendt.

Canada is thirteenth in the team rankings after performances from the first two members. Hawley Bennett-Awad is the pathfinder for the Maple Leafs with her longtime partner Jollybo (Jumbo x Polly Coldunnell, by Danzig Connection). The British-bred mare owned by the Jollybo Syndicate earned a 34.8, which is just a hair above her 4*/5* average of 33.7.

“She was a good girl. You know, she’s not the flashiest horse around, but she tries her heart out,” Hawley said. “It’s unfortunate she cantered out of that first halt, but it didn’t affect her for the rest of the test. You know, she’s a little worker bee. We tried to climb our way back with the scores [after that] but it is what it is, and I don’t think it’s going to be dressage show, and if I can end somewhere near that score, by the end of the weekend, I’ll be thrilled.”

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Karl Slezak came next with his own and Kirk Hoppner’s Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway Bay, by Gildawn Diamond). Similarly to their compatriots, “Chocy” floated just north of his usual performance at this level on 37.8.

“I was pleased with him. He was very good. We’ve been working hard on all the flat work and especially the changes,” he said. “Unfortunately the changes weren’t perfect today but we got the last one which I was happy about.”

It will be a steep climb to a medal for Canada, but they’ve got a track record for such a massive effort. In 2010, the team clawed their way to team silver after starting in ninth place after dressage.

Dana Cooke and FE Mississippi. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Canada’s Dana Cooke, who is competing as an individual, was the final North American to take the centerline. The stylish FE Mississippi carried her to a penalty mark of 34.3 for 28th individually. “I wish were a little more forward but in all honesty, she went in she put a good consistent test and she think everything was clean and accurate,” she said.

It was a last minute call-up that brought her to her championship debut as she was subbed in for Colleen Loach and Vermont, but Dana prepared year-long for such a chance, even relocating to Ireland this spring in her efforts.

The remainder of the North American contingent comes forward tomorrow:

  • Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan 9:38 a.m. local/3:38 a.m. eastern
  • Holly Jacks and Candy King 10:41 a.m. local/3:41 a.m. eastern
  • Tamie Smith and Mai Baum 12 p.m. local/ 5 a.m. eastern
  • Mike Winter and El Mundo 3:19 p.m. local/9:19 a.m. eastern
  • Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF 4:38 p.m. local/10:38 a.m. eastern

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scoring] [Friday Dressage Times] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

“If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It”: Pratoni Is A Fairytale for Hanne Wind Ramsgaard

Hanne Wind Ramsgaard and Amequ Torino. Photo by Shelby Allen.

No one had more fun during their dressage test at the FEI World Championships for Eventing than Danish amateur rider Hanne Wind Ramsgaard. Her megawatt smile stayed stretched ear to ear from the first movement to the last in their championship debut.

Her partner here in Pratoni, Amequ Torino, is one she knows very well as she bred him herself. He is a Danish Warmblood, by Toulouse and out of  Hanne’s former event horses, Stugaard’s Flying Colours. Hanne bred the mare when she was three, before her competitive career began, but despite being a year “behind” due to foaling she still completed at the FEI World Eventing Breeding Championships as a 6-year-old.

“You don’t ride them much when they’re three years old, so I bred a foal,” she said. “And then I went to the young horse championship on her when she was six, and that’s something about the mind because she already bred a foal, then she’s a year behind.”

Hanne Wind Ramsgaard and Amequ Torino. Photo by Shelby Allen.

They earned a 45.1 in the first phase. “Dressage is definitely not his favorite discipline, but he was very sweet in there actually. So, yeah, I’m very pleased with him. We’re still working on it. He’s a young horse, and he’s actually doing his first five-star program ever, so I’m really pleased with him.”

Though this is her first time representing her country in a championship, Hanne is no stranger to top level competition, having gone through the five-star level with previous ride Vestervangs Arami. There’s much to be said of anyone who has the mettle for the top of the sport, but even more so for those few amateurs who climb those ranks while managing a job outside of horses. As Hanne is not rider full time, she must train in the saddle around work, where she is responsible for maintenance in schools, having trained as a carpenter. “I do maintenance work in kindergartens — fixing desks, fixing everything!” she said.

Hanne Wind Ramsgaard and Amequ Torino. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Hanne hails from Denmark, a nation without much of a robust eventing scene. She and her compatriot, Mia Hastrup, have both traveled as individuals, but without financial support from a national federation, they elected to team up and fundraise their efforts. They gathered corporate and grassroots support through their social media page.

“Eventing is not the biggest sport in Denmark, but it’s growing,” she said. “And if we want the sport to grow… we’re not coming here to win the medals. We need to show that this is actually possible. If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scoring] [Thursday Dressage Times] [Friday Dressage Times] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

“Our Job is to Put A Team Score on The Table”: North Americans Weigh in on World Championships

Ariel Grald gives Leamore Master Plan a cuddle after presenting for the USA. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s all systems go for the United States and Canada as they prepare for the dressage portion of competition at the FEI World Championships for Eventing. We unfortunately saw a premature end for the stateside-based partnership of Daniela Moguel and Cecelia, but the ten remaining North American competitors have their blinders on now for a top performance.

Ahead of the start of the dressage phase, EN catches up with friends from back home for their thoughts on the event, their prep and all things Pratoni:

Bobby Costello

“Chef Bob,” as he’s known to some, is at the helm for the stars and stripes in his role as interim Chef d’Equipe. He’s been given a uniquely challenging role, to oversea an operation as massive as Olympic qualification in such a short term role, but Bobby’s taken to the role with pride.

“I think it’s a mixture of giving everybody the latitude to continue with their own programs, because that’s what got them here, but there’s so much structure that has to happen around this competition,” he said. “So I think it’s just all been about building the trust from the riders over the last few months.”

Riders for the most part have stayed true to their teaching and training principles, and Bobby’s made it his mission to achieve team cohesion amid that.

“I think I think our time in France was time really well spent. Because everybody really started to relax into the weekend in a positive way. And I could just feel the focus improving every day, and almost, actually, the relaxation. I think when you go into when you go into a training camp like that, when you’re used to riding tons of horses a day, and then all of a sudden having one horse to ride, there’s so many other things that can come into your mind. And I thought everybody just did a good job as the week progressed, really just focusing and relaxing, and concentrating on the things that were really important. I think they’re all in a really good place, mentally,” he said.

Of course, top form is what matters most for the team at the end of the day. “What really counts now is starting tomorrow through Sunday. And we’ll see, we’ll see. But everybody’s feeling very positive. I think we have a very good shot at doing well, if we just kind of keep doing what we’re doing and, and not get distracted. And I think the riders have been showing that they’re not going to let any distractions get to them this week.”

“I mean, the priority does have to be an Olympic qualification. But I’ve said, and I’ll say it again, a quarter of a step behind that, as far as I’m concerned, is medaling because we have the horses and the riders to do that now. And not two to six years from now, right now. So Olympic qualification is absolute, but hot on the heels is a medal because these guys deserve it,” he said.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg 

“It’s been a trip to the horses from great meadow to JFK to Frankfort to Vittel. And as he’s getting older, I think the key is to drill him less and less in preparation for good performance. So I’ve tried to leave him quite fresh. And his energy levels get quite high and looks like I’m going the end of the day on Friday. So I had my first workout on the flat today and he felt good. I’ll do a bit tonight here and give him a little jump tomorrow. I think he I think he should do a good test,” he said.

Boyd has been cemented as team anchor, so he’ll be the final team member to leave the start box Saturday. “It’s an unbelievable amount of pressure and nerves. And it seems glamorous, but it’s, you know, it’s a tough process just because you’re really trying to do every single thing you can for top performance. The biggest thing here is to ride really, really well and and give a performance of a lifetime — something that keeps you up at night.

“We’re close now — certainly crunch time — but I feel like we’re in a good place and it’s maybe it’s getting a little bit easier over the years because you sort of understand the process, but it’s still nerve racking process.”


Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus 

“He’s right where we want him,” Lauren said of the Anglo-Arabian.

“Vittel was amazing, and they were so welcoming to us. And it was perfect place to prepare but very quiet for the horses and they got to kind of stick to their normal at home routine, so it’s not like they’re gone traveling as much.” Lauren describes their French team training with such idyllic detail, she made us wish we had joined along.

The facilities included steeplechase tracks, competition arenas and a grass jumping arena, which should lead to their advantage come Sunday. “They really had anything we could want,” she said. And of course, the cherry on top was conditioning work along the facility golf course. “I think a lot of people saw the videos of us galloping on the golf course, and I’m not sure that golfers loved it, but it was perfect for us,” she said.

Lauren and Bug have been around the world together, and that wealth of experience helped in the planning for this Championship. “I think it’s always toeing that line of, you know, you want to do your best ever, but you also have to keep it realistic knowing that our job is to to put a team score on the table,” she said.

“It’s also preparing the best way for the horse and being competitive, but not drilling them past the point of their abilities and actually going the wrong way with the competitiveness. So, I think everybody’s found a really good balance of that. And with the training camp everybody really stuck to their normal plans, what they know works for their horse, and it was really cohesive group in that way. Like, nobody felt like just because someone was jumping, they had to jump that day. We all really stuck to what we would normally do with our horses leading up to a three-day, which I don’t think has always been the case in the past.”

Canada’s Karl Slezak presents Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes

“[The lead up] has been great. He’s been has been in England all summer, and I’ve been going back and forth,” Karl said. “Chocy” has been based at Rodney Powell’s farm where he says, “the hills have been phenomenal for him.”

He’s also taken the summer to rethink their dressage performance with the help of Alex Franklin. “We’ve been changing his shape a little bit. And so I’m hoping it’ll peak this weekend, but maybe, maybe. We’ll see.”

Canada’s Hawley Bennett Awad shares a moment with 18-year-old Jollybo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo

Hawley, a west-coaster based in California, says Jollybo has settled in pleasantly following their lengthy journey.

“It was a long haul from California. We flew with Apollo Equine, and flew from L.A. to Belgium and then stayed in the Netherlands. We stayed there for like five days, and then drove to Germany picked up Holly Jacks, and then drove from Germany to here, which was 32 hours — such a doozy,” she described.

“We’ve been here for about a week, [based just up the road at Italian eventer Mattia Luciani’s farm], so they’ve had a chance to settle. It’s hands down so nice — his whole family. It really gives me goosebumps — the nicest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. And his dad’s actually the vet here. So it’s really cool, and we love it so much. I really could move here. [I’m] blown away by the people the food and how beautiful it is.”

For Hawley, the tropical weather and ground conditions feel like home. “With the ground being dirt and it being hot, I think it’s good for us West Coast kids. It was it was 116 degrees when we left, so heat won’t bother us. But I mean, the first half, of course, is pretty hilly, so I think it’s going to be a true test. And it’s a World Championship course. Nothing’s easy when you put World Championships in front of it. So I’ve walked the course I think it’s gonna be tough,” she said.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Timing & Scoring] [Thursday Dressage Times] [Friday Dressage Times] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

Three Held, One Withdrawn at FEI World Championships First Horse Inspection

Daniela Moguela and Cecelia. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The field has thinned by one after the first horse inspection at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Pratoni, Italy.

Dramatics swirled at the start of competition with three horses send to the hold box. The Ground Jury asked Joystick, the Swedish entry for Aminda Ingulfson, to trot up twice before being held. Ballypatrick SRS, Ruy Ronseca’s entry for Team Brazil was similarly held along with Daniela Moguel and Cecelia for Mexico.

Aminda Ingulfson (SWE) and Joystick. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Both Joystick and Ballypatrick were accepted upon second presentation, but sadly Daniela elected to withdraw from the hold with her mare Cecelia.

Ending the competition before it has even begun was an especially rude gut punch for Daniela who supported nearly her entire trip over through fundraising.

“I tried to put her in a bubble wrap, but you know things always get out of control. These horses pick the right timing,” she told Rick Wallace and Jon Holling on their podcast in the leadup.

“Two weeks ago the girl who was going to come with us to groom, she quit. So two weeks ago I was groomless. And then the farrier put a hot nail on Cecelia so she was soft for more than a couple of days. Almost a week. And then finally we put the shoe back on and the first night she goes out she gets cast in the pasture and she has a puncture on her shoulder. And this is ten days before the games.”

Daniela posted after the trot-up that Cecelia had come down with a bout of cellulitis in her left hind leg this morning. “We gave her everything in our power to help her feel better, and she is feeling better than she was this morning, but I think we always think about the best for our horses and she is the most important part of our team,” she said in a video update posted to her social media. Daniela says she’ll have a new plan sorted soon, so stay tuned (we think you’d just love France, Danny!)

Posted by Daniela Moguel on Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Sam Watson (IRE) and SAP Talisman. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Additionally, Sam Watson’s entry SAP Talisman and Mélody Johner’s Toubleu de Rueire were feeling the Championship air and acting quite wild, so the Ground Jury asked them for a second trip down the jog strip. Neither were held, though, and breezed through on second attempt.

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

All other North American pairs happily skipped through. The United States retains its full line up of Ariel Grald with Leamore Master Plan, Tamie Smith with Mai Baum, Will Coleman with Off The Record, Boyd Martin with Tsetserleg, and Lauren Nicholson with Vermiculus. 

Canada, who is third in the draw order, also brings forward five members including: Holly Jacks and Candy King, Mike Winter and El Mundo, Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes, Hawley Bennett-Awad and Fenrhill Wishes, and Dana Cooke and Mississippi. 

Countries will shortly announce team and individual competitors, so stay tuned as we bring you that news + more from Pratoni.

FEI World Championships for Eventing:[Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]



Touchdown in Pratoni! Sights & Sounds from Sunny Italy

Sanne de Jong (NED) and Enjoy. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Chinch is jet-lagged and hungover, but he’s buzzing to be at the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games in Pratoni. There’s a very laid-back vibe around the park, and if you ignore the still-growing trade fair, you could be fooled into thinking this is any other four-star. Fortunately, that’s just the thing these top athletes need early in the week — time and space to settle in for the challenge ahead.

Antonio Cejudo Caro (ESP) and Duque HSM. Photo by Shelby Allen.

On Tuesday, the main dressage arena was open for schooling. Countries filed in and out throughout the day while grooms took horses for a snack in the grassy surroundings.

The event, which hosts horse trials year-round, has a convenient set up with all the mainstays (media center, food, trade stands) only a quick walk from the arenas. You can even see the cross country start and finish from the grandstand where dressage will take place starting Thursday.

Mai Baum (USA) shows the hacking path from the stables. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Just up the hill from the main competition zone are the stables, making the venue easily accessible for busy grooms, who have accommodations onsite. Officials gave the cross country course their final nod Tuesday afternoon, and teams swarmed the Pratoni hillside throughout the morning to get their first peek at Saturday’s challenge.

The competition officially gets underway today with the trot up taking off at 1:30 pm local (7:30 am eastern). The official team order was drawn yesterday with Germany assuming pathfinder duties.

The first horse inspection will not be live streamed, but you can follow our live tweeting of all the action here. In the meantime, take a gander around the Pratoni paradise we’re enjoying this week.

FEI World Championships for Eventing:[Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

Monday Video: All Hail Jumping Royalty Henrik von Eckermann & King Edward

All hail Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward, newly crowned as the best show jumpers in the world after earning individual gold at the  Agria FEI World Jumping Championship. Henrik is the first Swedish rider to ever claim an individual medal at the world championships.

Already ranked the best jumper in the world on the FEI World Rankings, Sunday’s performance solidified this pair’s place in history. Not to mention their team gold clinched for Sweden just a few days earlier. Take a look at their nail-biting final round:

Go jumping.

Nicolas Beshear Turns Up the Heat in CCI3*-S + More from River Glen Summer HT

Photo by Shelby Allen.

Nestled along the Holston River in eastern Tennessee, River Glen welcomed riders from starter through intermediate level this weekend for their August event.

Running for over 30 years, River Glen has been a labor of love for Bill Graves and the loyal community that always steps up to support their local event. In 2020, the event saw a five-year dream of hosting International competition come to fruition with the running of their first FEI classes, helpfully filling a gap in the late summer calendar. This year they made another addition with a modified level.

The aftermath of summer storms at River Glen. Photo by JJ Silliman.

The success of the weekend didn’t come without its challenges as quick-moving summer storms plagued the show schedule nearly every day. Despite this, and the flood that descended on the arena during Saturday’s show jumping, the event worked double time to keep the event on track.

Nicolas Beshear and Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Nicolas Beshear is going on something of a hot streak, winning the CCI3*-S aboard the striking grey Rio de Janeiro. This is a new partnership for the 19-year-old, and though this is the pair’s first season together, this is their second win at intermediate, their first being in the Open Intermediate at Loch Moy last month. This weekend the duo finished on a 36 after adding just 1.2 cross country time penalties and one pole down in the show jumping.

A few errant time penalties scooted Lindsay Traisnel from her overnight lead with Patricia Pearce’s Bacyrouge. They finished in second with a score of 37.6. Third place went to Keirsten Miller with her own Mama Mia on a final result of 39.7.

Sharp Decision (top) ridden by Elisa Wallace. Photo via Elisa’s Facebook Page.

The CCI2*-S was claimed by Elisa Wallace with the Susan Day’s Sharp Decision who finished on a score of 28.4 with only one extra second on the cross country added to their score. Hannah Warner maintained her lead in the CCI1* from start to finish with her own Drombane Dynamite.

Many thanks to the River Glen team for a successful event. Go eventing.

Click here for results.


Ms. Poppins, Ventura de la Chaule JRA Euthanized at Bramham International

Allie Knowles and Ms. Poppins drop into the first water at Bramham.  Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We are very sad to report that two horses, Ms. Poppins and Ventura de la Chaule JRA, have been euthanized during the CCI4*-L cross country at Bramham International Horse Trials.

Katherine O’Brien’s Ms. Poppins, ridden by USA’s Allie Knowles, retired on course between fences. The mare was transported back to the barn via horse ambulance where the decision was made to euthanize “as a result of irreparable injuries.”

“Poppy,” an 11-year-old Westphalian (Congress x Copa Cabana) started her eventing career with Allie in 2016 and the German-bred mare continued to climb with the Kentucky native, making her Advanced debut in 2019.

Allie released the following statement:

“I am heartbroken to report, after sustaining a traumatic injury on the gallop near the end of what had been an amazing course at Bramham International, my wonderful horse Ms. Poppins has been euthanized. After several opinions from top vets and surgeons, our team decided the most humane decision for her was to let her go. Everyone one at AK Eventing loved this little mare, and she will be missed dearly by me, grooms, and her owners, Jim and Katie O’brien.”

Allie and Poppy recently helped Team USA finish second at the Houghton Hall Nations Cup. Since then, they have been based with J.P. Sheffield, from whom Allie sourced the mare for owner Katherine O’Brien.

Toshiyuki Tanaka and Ventura de la Chaule JRA. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The Japanese Equestrian Federation’s Ventura de la Chaule JRA was also put to sleep after a fall with Toshiyuki Tanaka at fence 7B, the Bramham Leap. Toshiyuki was uninjured in the fall.

The 13-year-old Selel Francias (Diamant De Semilly x Hand In Glove), who was placed 16th after the first phase, was 7th in the order on cross county this morning. This was the Japanese rider’s first season with the gelding, who was previously ridden by Nicolas Touzaint and most recently compatriot Atushi Negishi.

The Bramham Leap was a skinny arrowhead followed by a ditch and brush at the B element. After a number of issues the entire combination was eventually removed from the course.

Bramham International: [Website] [Schedule & Orders of Go] [Live Scoring] [Saturday XC Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Instagram]

War Eagle! Auburn University Wins 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Championships

Suzanne Hillhouse and FGF Bob’n for Silver. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The Auburn University Tigers claimed their second USEA Intercollegiate Championship title this weekend at Chattahoochee Hills with an impressive display of horsemanship. Schools can submit sub-teams made of three or four members, and Auburn brought six total teams forward.

In addition to competitive victory, Auburn also claimed the highly contested Spirit Award for their display of school pride and camaraderie. In doing so, I have to assume the bought out every Party City from Auburn to Atlanta to support their equine artistic displays — I mean just look at that paint job on FGF Bob’n for Silver.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

The University of Georgia, who named their top team in honor of famed running back Todd Gurley, cleaned up in second. As each UGA rider completed their cross country round, the team met them at the finish as they were donned with Spike Squad shoulder pads, worn by Georgia’s fiercest fan section at every home football game.

University of Kentucky. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Third place was earned by the University of Kentucky. EN would like to unofficially give an honorable mention to the Wildcats in their efforts toward the spirit award. These cool kittens where whoopin’ and hollerin’ and “Cats by 90-ing” so loud on the cross country they drowned out Hugh Lochore’s announcing. Notably, this wasn’t just for their team, but any collegiate rider. Well done, y’all.

To find complete team scores, click here.

Many thanks to the USEA, Intercollegiate chair Leslie Threlkeld and Chattahoochee Hills for presenting such a spirited event. Go eventing.

Who Jumped It Best? LRK3DE Head of the Lake Edition

The season of spring three-days is a whirlwind at Eventing Nation HQ. By the time we hit Kentucky it‘s non-stop go through Badminton and now Tryon. It all happens so fast, so you‘re not alone if you feel like you couldn’t catch it all.

Today we take a look back at North America‘s spring CCI5*, but you stand in as the Ground Jury to decide which combination presents the best overall picture at one of the most iconic jumps in eventing.

To catch up on all our Kentucky coverage, click here.

Phillip Dutton and Sea of Clouds. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Will Coleman and Dondante. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Allie Knowles and Morswood. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Captol H.I.M. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Smells Like Team Spirit: USEA Intercollegiate Championships Touch Down at Chatt Hills

Jennifer Mulholland and Casanova riding for Auburn University. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Banners, pompoms, mascots and feather boas are strewn from end to end of Chattahoochee Hills to herald the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Championships. 12 colleges and universities are represented by a whopping 87 championships entries, all here for one thing: good old fashioned bragging rights.

With some divisions running across show jumping and cross country today, it’s still anyone’s game, but the Auburn University Tigers have taken the early lead with their four-person Auburn War Eagle team which includes Grace Montgomery, Alayna Backel, Kate Midgely, and Gabrielle Yashinsky.

Sierra Shurtz and Master Brooklyn riding for UGA. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The University of Georgia is in second with Gurley’s Gone Wild. UGA, who won the first-ever intercollegiate championship in 2016, presents three teams this weekend.

Lidia Olyha and Something To Scout About for the University of Kentucky. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Third place belongs to the school with the most competitors present, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. They come forward with 12 total teams.

Other schools represented include Clemson University, University of Virginia, University of South Carolina, University of the South, Virginia Tech, Florida State University, University of Florida, Tallahassee Community College and Texas A&M.

Intercollegiate riders range from Beginner Novice to Intermediate level, with the field of play evened by a coefficient system. Competition continues tomorrow — stay tuned for more from the Intercollegiate Championships.

Click here for team scores.


Updates on Emporium, Fleeceworks Royal

Ashlynn Meuchel and Emporium. Photo by Shelby Allen.

We are pleased to report that both Emporium and Fleeceworks Royal are resting comfortably today.

Emporium, ridden by Ashlynn Meuchel, fell at fence 19C in the Head of the Lake, and Tamie Smith pulled up Fleeceworks Royal at fence 11, the EEI’s Challenge Accepted. Both were transported off course via horse trailer.

“He’s looking bright this morning, just needs to rest for a couple of days,” Ashlynn told EN. “His right front shoe was caught in his throat latch which is why he couldn’t get his feet under himself to get up.” Ashlynn was unharmed in the fall.

Kentucky Three-Day’s press team released the following statement this morning:

“Emporium, ridden Ashlynn Meuchel, sustained a fall during the cross country competition yesterday and was transported to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The horse continued to improve yesterday evening. The horse is currently resting comfortable at the hospital and doctors and Ashlynn are optimistic for a full recovery.”

“Fleeceworks Royal, ridden by Tamra Smith, had an injury to the left, front foot during the cross country phase of the competition. The horse was transported Hagyard Equine Medical Institute where surgeons determined that the best course of treatment would be surgical stabilization of the left front pastern. The surgery was performed last night and the procedure and recovery were both successful. The horse is currently resting comfortably at the hospital.”

Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal. Photo by Abby Powell.

“She’s a fighter……as to be expected, there hasn’t been anything this fierce girl hasn’t overcome,” Tamie’s Next Level Eventing posted to Facebook this morning.

“Rory sustained a significant injury to her left front pastern yesterday while galloping Kentucky Three-Day Event. After landing off of a jump and feeling Rory wasn’t right Tamie quickly pulled up and Rory was transported to [Hagyard] where they felt that surgery would be the best possible outcome for Rory’s longevity. The surgery went very well and Rory recovered and is walking in her stall comfortable and cranky as ever.

“We’re happy to have been able to share with all of you what an amazing little mare she is and no matter what the outcome, Rory will be coming back home with us and that is the best news.”


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Doug Payne Announces Vandiver’s Retirement

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Doug Payne has announced the imminent retirement of his Olympic Games partner, Debi and Kevin Crowley’s Vandiver.

At 18, “Quinn,” has made six CCI5* appearances with his best result coming in 2019 where he finished fifth here at Kentucky, and he made his mark on the sport with a 16th place finish at the Olympic Games last summer in Tokyo as the highest placed American.

“It’s tough to put into words — Quinn has meant so much to me, and my career, and my family,” Doug said. “He’s given us more than any horse ever could, and we’ve been in bonus time.”

Quinn was 11th Friday in Kentucky after dressage on 34.9, but picked up an uncharacteristic 20 penalties at the C element of the coffin at fence seven on the cross country. Doug says he still plans to show jump tomorrow, though, but says this will be their last five-star.

“Today in Kentucky he pulled up great and we’re going to show jump [on Sunday], but I do think this will be his last competition at the top end,” he said.

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Abby Powell.

But this isn’t the end for the Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Visions of Grandeur), keep an eye out for #supergroom Courntey Carson to be next in the tack.

“It’s been a running joke that I’m going to take the ride when [Quinn is] done, but the he just kept going,” Courtney said. “It’s funny I’ve always liked the horse even before I ever thought about working for Doug. Even watching him with Werner [Geven] I had a feeling about the horse. Now, I’ve been all over the world with him — he’s my buddy.”

With a busy operation at home for Doug, Courtney is responsible for many of Quinn’s exercise rides, she’ll feel right at home in the saddle, despite not competing herself since 2016. “I do the majority of fitness work because I choose to canter him over some of the others because I love him. I hacked him here (at Kentucky) this week, and honestly every day I sit in the saddle on him I’m honestly in awe that this is the horse that I get to spend my time with,” she said.

It’s be a pleasure to watch your career, Quinn. Keep your eyes peeled for the new Quinn + Courtney partnership after he gets his much deserved post-Kentucky break. And Doug: better brush up on those braiding skills!

Five Held, Two Spun in Kentucky Final Horse Inspection

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by Abby Powell.

30 pairs continue after a dramatic final horse inspection at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian. In total, five pairs were held.

AP Prime, ridden by Leah Lang-Gluscic, and K.E.C. Zara, ridden by Zoe Crawford were ultimately spun after representing to the Ground Jury and veterinary panel.

Jollybo, ridden by Hawley Bennett-Awad, Covert Rights, ridden by Colleen Rutledge, and Chico’s Man VDF Z, ridden by Lexi Scovil, were held, but will continue on to the final phase of competition.

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

Two held, one withdrawn from CCI4*-S final horse inspection

Twenty nine competitors continue on to the final phase in the four-star competition. Two pairs, Ryleigh Leavitt with Moonlight Crush and Erin Kanara with Campground, were held. Ryleigh elected to withdraw Moonlight Crush from the hold box, and Campground was accepted on second presentation.

Best turned out awards for each division were also announced at the conclusion of the trot up with the winning groom taking home a $1000 gift card. Ashley Kapinos and Katherina Maroko, grooming for Hannah Sue Burnett won the honor for the five-star and Erin Jarboe, grooming for Will Coleman, was the recipient for the four-star.

It’s the final countdown! The four-star riders will show jump first beginning at 11 AM. The five-star will commence at 2:00 PM and will run in reverse order of standing with the final phase for the top twenty beginning at 3:45 PM.

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Five-Star Feels: A Kentucky Cross Country Photo Gallery

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shelby Allen.

There’s something inherently stressful about being a photographer at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. First of all, you’re nervous for the competitors, and busy hoping everyone is safe. But then you’re also worried if you’re going to get “the” shot. Nothing makes you feel more frazzled than not liking where you’re shooting in the few rides before Michael Jung comes into view. But most of the time, like most things, it works out — the perfectly decorated fences, the athleticism of the horses and the riders and the thoughtful questions asked do tend to make the job easier. Keep scrolling to check out what the EN crew captured on cross country day:

#LRK3DE: WebsiteCCI5* EntriesCCI4*-S EntriesLive ScoringLive Stream (North America)Live Stream (Outside of North America) TicketsEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram