Articles Written 1,740
Article Views 4,330,458

Tilly Berendt


Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Tilly Berendt

Latest Articles Written

“A Difficult Decision”: Great Meadow International To Sit Out 2024

Lillian Heard Wood and Dassett Olympus. Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

We’re sad to share the news that David O’Connor and Darrin Mollett, co-organizers of Great Meadow International, have announced that the August FEI fixture in The Plains, Virginia will not run in 2024 due to issues with the extant late-summer date and ground conditions.

“As GMI organisers for the past eight years, we have made the difficult decision not to run the August event at the Great Meadow Foundation in 2024,” said O’Connor and Mollett in a statement released on social media today (December 9). “The last two years have been a struggle with the date in late August. Although we originally were able to control the footing on our tracks, recent events have made that impossible. Although we attempted to move our date, this date change was not granted for 2024. We have also attempted to work with the landowner on improvements to the facility to allow irrigation of the course, but those will not be possible for 2024.”

This year’s Great Meadow International was plagued by withdrawals due to hard ground conditions: just seven of the 22 entrants in the CCI4*-S feature class opted to go cross-country, while 31 of 50 in the CCI3*-S left the startbox – and this was a major driving force behind GMI’s team’s commitment to change at the venue, whether through ground management or a shift in the calendar.

“In fairness to our competitors, our sponsors, our all-volunteer organizing committee, our dedicated volunteers, our local community, and all stake holders in this sport, we wanted to let you know as soon as we did that we will not run at Great Meadow in 2024.”

It’s not all bad news, though, for the GMI team, who ordinarily host classes from Preliminary through to CCI4*-S in August, and have previously been the US host of the FEI Nations Cup, too: they’ve been granted a CCI1*, to run August 24–25, 2024.

“We are working on alternative venues for this date and hope to have an announcement soon,” continued the statement. “In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone for their commitment to this event.”

We hope to see GMI return to the calendar in 2025, and will be bringing you more information and updates as they happen.




The Pathway To Paris: Who’s Qualified, What’s Next, And Can Anyone Sneak a Team in Now?

Photo courtesy of the FEI/Christophe Taniére

With the international season behind us, we now know the full roster of teams qualified for the eventing at next year’s Paris Olympic Games. But until the close of the year, this isn’t actually set in stone – and although the chance for change at this late stage is slim, there’s still some opportunity for wiggle room in the final line-up that’ll come forward at Versailles.

The sixteen qualified teams, as they stand at the moment, are as follows:

  • FRANCE – automatically qualified as host nation
  • GERMANY – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they won gold (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • USA – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they won silver (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • NEW ZEALAND – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they won bronze (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • GREAT BRITAIN – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they finished fourth (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • IRELAND – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they finished fifth (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • SWEDEN – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they finished sixth (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • SWITZERLAND – qualified at the 2022 World Championships, where they finished seventh (Championship level – CCI4*L cross-country with CCI5* dressage and showjumping)
  • POLAND – qualified in a Group C qualifier at Baborowko in May (CCI4*-L)
  • AUSTRALIA – qualified in a Groups F & G qualifier at Millstreet in June (CCI3*-L)
  • JAPAN – qualified in a Groups F & G qualifier at Millstreet in June, though only claimed their ticket last month after the disqualification of China, who originally earned the spot (CCI3*-L)
  • BELGIUM – qualified at the 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (CCI4*-L)
  • THE NETHERLANDS – qualified at the 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (CCI4*-L)
  • ITALY – qualified at the FEI Nations Cup finale at Boekelo for being the highest-placed unqualified team on the series standing (CCI4*-S/CCI4*-L)
  • CANADA – qualified at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (CCI3*-L)
  • BRAZIL – qualified at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (CCI3*-L)

Notable in the above list is the late substitution of Japan for China – a case in point that nothing is set in stone until the final paperwork is stamped. That eleventh hour celebration for Japan, who were our last Olympic hosts, came after the elimination of leading Chinese rider Alex Hua Tian, whose mount, Chicko, was retroactively eliminated from the competition after testing positive for trace amounts of altrenogest, thus pushing China, who fielded their first-ever eventing team at the Tokyo Olympics, to fourth place at Millstreet and out of contention for the Olympics.

But swapping teams doesn’t always come at such a high cost – and, realistically, doesn’t often happen at all. Now, each qualified nation has until the 8th of January, 2024, to confirm an NOC Certificate of Capability with the FEI, which effectively serves as proof that, when the Games roll around next year, the nation will have enough depth and breadth to be able to field three qualified combinations. For now, they just have to submit a list of at least three horse-and-rider combinations who are already sufficiently qualified — and these combinations don’t have to be the ones that end up going to the Games, they can just be any three combinations, as long as they’re qualified by December 31st of this year. Qualifications can be gained at either a CCI5*, or a CCI4*-S and a CCI4*-L, and require:

  • a dressage score of no higher than 45 penalties
  • a clear round or a maximum of 11 jumping penalties across the country, plus not more than 75 seconds on the clock at four-star or 100 seconds at five-star (that’s 30 time penalties and 40 time penalties, respectively)
  • no more than 16 jumping penalties in showjumping

For the majority of nations, this is a mere formality; a deadline that won’t cause any stress beyond ensuring that the list has actually made it to the FEI. Hosts France, for example, have a huge swathe of sufficiently qualified four-star combinations to pull from; likewise Germany, the USA, the Brits, and many more of the qualified nations have a large pool of contenders to pull from.

But for smaller, developing eventing nations, this can be a slightly more Herculean task – though one that, generally speaking, tends to be pulled off by hook or by crook. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, China and Thailand both needed to make good on a mid-November trip to Pratoni in Italy to secure some much-needed CCI4*-L results, and both, with the pressure ramped to 100, managed it, earning themselves that coveted trio of qualified combinations apiece and booking their ticket to the Olympics.

And if they don’t? It goes down to a system called composite teams. If a nation hasn’t, or cannot, submit their Certificate of Capability by January 8, or declines their team place by February 5, they’ll be granted an individual place instead and their team spot will go to the unqualified nation that has the best aggregate score on the Olympic rankings. That’s an individual ranking board, so the aggregate score is taken by adding together the ranking of the three best-placed riders for each unqualified nation. The lowest number gets the spot – and if that were to happen in this cycle, we’d see Spain be granted a team spot. They sit on an aggregate score of 643, miles ahead of any of their nearest competition – but they, too, would need to prove that they had three qualified combinations by December 31st of this year. If they couldn’t do that (they can, for what it’s worth), the composite team would be offered to the next highest-placed team on the composite rankings – in this case, China.

There are three countries on this cycle’s list of qualified teams that look, at first glance, as though the Certificate of Capability might be tricky for them. That’s Poland, who fielded a team at Tokyo but have just 104 riders globally registered to compete in eventing with the FEI — a significant number of which are riding at 3* and below — and Brazil, who, likewise, came forward at Tokyo but have just 26 FEI-registered event riders across the levels, and finally, Japan, who are extraordinarily high flyers in the world of upper-level eventing despite having just 20 FEI-registered event riders worldwide.

Poland’s Malgorzata Korycka and Canvalencia. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The State of the Nation: Poland

Poland, notably, has ‘lost’ a couple of its prominent riders since the last Olympic cycle: Pawel Spisak, best known for his partnership with the excellent Banderas, hasn’t been seen at the top level since Tokyo, where the pair were eliminated at the first horse inspection, and since then, Banderas has been competed twice by Pawel’s longtime mentor Michael Jung. University student Malgorzata Cybulska, who was part of the nation’s Tokyo team, hasn’t competed internationally since that Olympic debut.

But — perhaps against the odds — the Polish team is safe, though just. They have four combinations who picked up qualifying results between January 1 of this year and now: Julia Gillmaier and Red Dream Princes, who finished ninth in both the CCI4*-S and CCI4*-L at Strzegom in September and October, respectively; 24-year-old former Polish Junior team member Wiktoria Knap and Quintus 134, who were seventh in Sopot’s CCI4*-S in April and fifth in the CCI4*-L Olympic qualifier at Baborowko in May; Malgorzata Korycka and Canvalencia, who rode as individuals at last year’s World Championships and picked up qualifying results in the CCI4*-S at Strzegom in March and the Olympic qualifier CCI4*-L at Baborowko in May; and former Young Rider and Senior Europeans competitor Pawel Warszawski, who qualified Lucinda Ex Ani with a number of eligible CCI4*-S results this year and the CCI4*-L clincher at Baborowko in May.

Marcio Carvalho Jorge and Castle Howard Casanova. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The State of the Nation: Brazil

Brazil’s footing here is on slightly shakier ground, not least because we’ve not seen the excellent Goliath since he competed at the World Championships with Carlos Parro, which means that the British-based rider hasn’t been able to get out at the required levels this season. But they do still have three riders qualified, and one with multiple horses. That’s Marcio Carvalho Jorge, who ticked the boxes with eight-year-old Royal Encounter at Sopot’s CCI4*-S and Boekelo’s CCIO4*-L, with World Championships ride Kilcoltrim Kit Kat at Sopot CCI4*-L in May and Lisgarvan CCI4*-S in August, and with Pan Ams individual silver and team bronze medallist Castle Howard Casanova at the same events as Kilcoltrim Kit Kat.

He’s backed up by British-based Ruy Fonseca, who’s been exclusively competing at FEI events with Ballypatrick SRS over the last couple of seasons, and who earned his qualifying results at Mallow CCI4*-L in July and Strzegom CCI4*-S in September, and 26-year-old Rafael Mamprin Losano, who qualified his Tokyo mount, Fuiloda G, at Strzegom’s September and October CCI4*-S and CCI4*-L, respectively, after bringing the horse back in August from a period of time out that began after Tokyo in 2021.

Kazuma Tomoto and Vinci de la Vigne. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The State of the Nation: Japan

For many, if not most, nations, funding for athletes — whether that’s used to buy competitive horses, travel to competitions, or train intensively — is based on Olympic participation, and though we can only really speculate on how Japan’s funding situation changed after they initially failed to qualify for Tokyo at the F&G qualifier at Millstreet, we can be reasonably confident in suggesting that many of the opportunities that had been presented to these riders ahead of Tokyo, where they hoped to win a home medal and spent voraciously on horses in pursuit of this goal, where thin on the ground throughout much of this season. Because Japan hadn’t really put their hat in the ring for the Nations Cup series, their chances to qualify as a team were nonexistent after Millstreet in June; after all, no one can predict a situation like the one they found themselves in, nor would anyone wish that on their competitors.

The relevance of this becomes clear when you peruse the results of the very talented Japanese contingent, the foremost of which have all been based in Europe over the last couple of Olympic cycles. Yoshiaki Oiwa, who led the dressage at the London Olympics and has been a huge presence on the European scene, has had a tricky season and appears to be struggling with horsepower; as such, he can’t be counted for Japan’s Certificate of Capability.

Fortunately, there are three men who’ve managed it for their nation, despite all finishing their seasons in September. Chief among them is  Toshiyuki Tanaka, who’s based with trainer and FEI ground jury member Angela Tucker in Gloucestershire, and who clinched qualifying results at Blair Castle CCI4*-L and Hartpury and Mallow’s CCI4*-S classes with former Chris Burton and Bubby Upton ride Jefferson JRA, purchased at the start of the year for the rider, and Tokyo mount Talma d’Allou. Then there’s William Fox-Pitt’s protégé Kazuma Tomoto, who finished fourth individually at Tokyo and qualified the same horse, the former Astier Nicolas ride Vinci de la Vigne JRA, at the Group Qualifier CCI4*-L at Millstreet and picked up qualifying CCI4*-S results at Lisgarvan and Little Downham, where he finished second and first, respectively. Finally, Ryuzo Kitajima got it done with his sole remaining FEI horse — World Champs mount Cekatinka JRA hasn’t been out since withdrawing after cross-country at Pratoni — pulling out qualifying results in the CCI4*-S classes at Chatsworth, Mallow, and Little Downham, and in the CCI4*-L at Blair.

It would certainly have been a whirlwind of consecutive plot twists had China taken their team spot back from Japan on the composite system – but for now, unless something truly bonkers happens in the next few weeks, it looks enormously unlikely. This is the Olympics, though, and all sorts of unforeseen things can happen, so keep it locked on EN for updates as each milestone deadline is hit – and tune back in soon for a look at how individual places are likely to be allocated, and for a full refresher on the three-to-a-team-with-substitutes format we’ll be diving back into in Paris. À tout à l’heure, horse nerds.

Follow along with all of EN’s coverage of the Olympics here.

EN’s pre-coverage of the Paris Olympics in 2024 is brought to you with support from Zoetis — Long Live the Horse.

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Heather Chapman (@heatherchapman84)

Keeping event horses on the go isn’t a cheap prospect, and riders and owners alike are going in for increasingly creative methods to make it work for themselves. One of those methods? ‘Experience syndicates’ and membership clubs, which are much less costly than traditional syndicates and allow for a group of like-minded people from all over to come together and make great friendships while getting behind the scenes with a  horse they love. Britain’s Steve Heal has one such club on the go, helmed by dynamo owner Heather Chapman, and The Holly Hub, which supports newly-minted 4* horse Hagonda, has already sparked some lifelong friendships. We’ll be bringing you the full story of this unusual, very cool horse this week on EN — but for now, try for your own membership in the Holly Hub by entering their festive raffle!

Events Opening Today: Ram Tap Combined TestStable View Aiken Opener H.T.

Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:

Intrepid Olympian and 5* phenom Gemma Stevens is no stranger to discipline-swapping. She’s spent the last few years tipping much more than a toe into the international showjumping scene, and this month, she managed to secure ownership of Envoy Merelsnest Z, the horse she catch rode around her first Hickstead Derby this year. Next on the agenda? A Puissance debut, at the festive London International Horse Show.

The 2024 Eventing Coaches Program Symposium is swiftly approaching! This next edition will take place at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala from January 30–February 1, and you can find all the info you need to attend here.

Look back on a year’s worth of Classic three-day action with US Eventing’s retrospective. Is a classic three-day on your goals list for 2024? If not, maybe it should be — I hear that once you’ve tackled steeplechase, you’re never quite the same again. Get inspired here.

Farewell to Harald Herzgsell, a much-loved member of Austria’s eventing community, who tragically died while schooling a young horse last week. A full-time farmer and farrier, he only took up eventing after losing a bet — but quickly fell in love with his ‘accidental’ sport, going on to compete for his country at the Rural Riders’ European Championship. Find out more about, and say goodbye to, this great character here.

Sponsor Corner: In honor of Kentucky Performance Products’ 25th Anniversary, you have a chance to win KPP swag or products until December 31st. Here’s how you can win!

Watch This:

Catch up on the finale of the Agria Top Ten Indoor Eventing at the Swedish International Horse Show with this winning round video:

Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Liz Halliday (@lizhallidaysharp)

Nothing warms the cockles of my heart quite like seeing a former top-level horse enjoying a well-earned, fat and fluffy retirement being treated like a king or queen. We’ve been treated to glimpses of two such retirements this week, thanks to Liz Halliday-Sharp, whose Fernhill By Night has mastered the art of the mud spa, and Michael Jung, whose La Biosthetique Sam FBW is king of the castle out with his equally fluffy buddies. Talk about living their best lives!

National Holiday: It’s World Wildlife Conservation Day. Find out more about this important day here and help do your bit for endangered species.

US Weekend Results:

Rocking Horse December H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website] [Results]

Your Morning Reading List:

Rehab rides are basically my whole life right now. They’re…not exactly interesting, are they? Unless, of course, your horse hasn’t been ridden for a really long time and decides to throw in some extra dance moves. But for the most part, they’re just a long ebb of necessary drudgery, and keeping yourself on track to do all the right things in the right ways can be pretty tough. That’s why I’m going to be making best use of RideiQ’s Post Injury Rehab playlist, which is jam-packed with useful information, ‘hack chats’, and in-ear ride-along lessons that’ll give me plenty to do with my thus far rather bored mare. Want more information for your own rehabbing process? Check out Heels Down’s review here.

Grief is something that – horrendous as it is – is an unavoidable component of the human experience. I lost my grandfather just this morning, and found this, from COTH, a particularly comforting read as I sat down at my laptop to cobble my working day together. It’s all about gratitude, and embracing the good that a person – or a horse – brought to your life while they were in it. Because ultimately, aren’t we all so lucky to have people around that are bright enough lights that we grieve them when they’re gone?

Sometimes those bright lights can give us headaches, too, says the mare owner… But if a moody, tricky mare is one of your primary conundrums, you’ll be particularly interested in a prospective new solution, in the form of Pearl Pods, which aim to better the not-wholly-successful glass marble concept. Find out more here.

And finally, it transpires that infrared thermometers might not be the best solution to replace the old thermometer up the bum trick. Apparently, they’re not giving you totally accurate readouts, because they’re much more likely to get a read on surface, rather than internal, temperature. Sorry for the indignity, horses, but the old method looks like it’s here to stay.

Morning Viewing: 

Fancy an educational start to your day? This documentary feature on the first horsemen is a great way to get the brain juices flowing (ew):

Friday Video: Putting Piggy’s Jumping Exercises to the Test

Here at EN, we’re big fans of Piggy TV, the educational and entertaining video channel of the eponymous eventer, which is chock full of inspiration and ideas for ringwork, jumping exercises, fitness, and much, much more – but we also appreciate that not everyone has the extra income to tack another subscription cost onto their monthly outgoings. And so we were thrilled to stumble upon this video from British vlogger Emily Dobson, who, like us, is a huge fan of the Badminton and Burghley winner and decided to put one of her tried-and-tested jumping exercises to the test with her own horse, six-year-old Addie. Watch to see how they got on, the original inspiration for the session, and, most importantly, how to put it all together in your own arena. Happy jumping!

Host Nation France Reveals Updated Paris ‘Long List’

Nicolas Touzaint and Absolut Gold HDC. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The home-side French defensive has updated its list of potential horses and riders for next year’s Paris Olympics, following a review of summer and autumn events and results.

“This new ‘On Horseback for Paris’ list is made up of horses who performed well this year,” explains eventing team chef d’equipe Thierry Touzaint in a translated statement on the French Equestrian Federation website. “We also have horses of Olympic caliber, who will have to qualify in 2024 by meeting the Olympic minimums in international 4* long format events to qualify for selection. Among them, Darmagnac and Alertamab’Or are two experienced horses who were injured in 2023 and placed on rest. From the start of the year, they can regain their best level and have their place in the French team.”

“We have six riders who have been very consistent for several seasons and now have experience of one or more championships (Olympics, World Championships or European championships),” continues Thierry. “They are the most confirmed and appear to be team pillars. We also have couples who are a little less seasoned but who are on the rise and have had a good season in 2023.”

The fifteen horses and riders on the updated list are:

  • Thomas Carlile and Darmagnac de Béliard , owend by Scea de Beliard and Jean-Jacques Montagne
  • Sébastien Cavaillon and Elipso de la Vigne, owned by the Elipso Syndicate
  • Luc Château and Bastia de l’Ebat, owned by Haras des Châteaux and Laure Sudreau
  • Karim Laghouag and Embrun de Reno, owned by Sarl Ecurie Karim Laghouag, Guy Bessat, Camille Laffite and Philippe Lemoine
  • Karim Laghouag and Triton Fontaine, owned by Philippe Lemoine, Guy Bessat, Sarl Ecurie Karim Laghouag and Camille Laffite
  • Stéphane Landois and Chaman Dumontceau*Ride for Thaïs, owned by S.C.E.A. Ecurie du Cerisier Bleu
  • Gireg Le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge, owned by Frédérique Grand and Augustin Grand
  • Camille Lejeune and Dame Decoeur Tardonne, owned by Sarah Gospodnetic and the rider
  • Maxime Livio and Api du Libaire, owned by S.d.f Api Club
  • Benjamin Massié and Édition Fonroy, owned by Jean-Luc Van Hoenacker and the rider
  • Gaspard Maksud and Zaragoza, owned by Jane Young and Martin Thurlow
  • Astier Nicolas and Alertamalib’Or, owned by Aliette Forien, Pascal Ravery, Nicolas Paul and the rider
  • Astier Nicolas and Babylon de Gamma, owned by Marielle Grivot Bize, Etienne Grivot, Bénédicte Nicolas and the rider
  • Nicolas Touzaint and Absolut Gold*HDC, owned by Haras des Coudrettes
  • Nicolas Touzaint and Diabolo Menthe, owned by Mézard Sports and Françoise Niclaus

FFE’s National Technical Director, Sophie Dubourg, says, “We really have ambition for the next Olympic and Paralympic Games. We can count on successful couples who have an efficient ecosystem and on owners committed to France. The assessment that was drawn from the underperformance that we had on the last Olympiad highlighted two problems: emotional instability in the teams and staff and the health problems of the horses. We therefore further accentuated the longitudinal monitoring of the horses. The riders and grooms are very attentive to the team of veterinarians who accompany them in an individualised way throughout the year. We have also strengthened the support in terms of the mental preparation of riders and staff. Mental trainers individually accompany riders in each discipline, staff members and collectives.”

The French team won bronze at the 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The ongoing evolution of the high-performance lists, she continues, is undertaken “according to objective criteria of short-term performance and potential. However, it is not forbidden to bring in other couples in the coming months. We have already seen the very rapid ascent of horses generally associated with very experienced riders. The pressure of the JOPs is great and it is even more so for this edition in France. We learn every day to master it a little more. We have extremely motivated riders in all disciplines. The framework of Olympic and Paralympic competitions is quite rigid. It will be necessary to remain very focussed and not disperse with external stresses. We will have to be very attentive to best protect athletes during the Games.

“In this preparation phase, we try to keep the group alive, to strengthen ties with the owners. We also strengthen our communication by choosing to show the backstage of the preparation to embark everyone on this Olympic adventure.”

Thierry adds, “We are establishing the winter training program for everyone and are starting to plan the start of the competition season which will resume in the spring. We will be able to narrow the list once all the horses have returned to the show grounds. Beyond the horses who must obtain their qualification in a long format, all will need a qualifying result on a CCI4*-S in 2024 to qualify for selection. The idea is to obtain it as early as possible in the season so as not to have to chase qualification as the selections approach. We know from experience that the road is still long and that nothing is certain in advance. We have to stay focused on the objective and do a good job in the coming months.”

Follow along with all of EN’s coverage of the Olympics here.

EN’s pre-coverage of the Paris Olympics in 2024 is brought to you with support from Zoetis — Long Live the Horse.

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products

It’s very definitely indoor eventing season, and while I’m stuck at home watching on the livestream, I’m definitely getting my fill of the adventure of getting there by following along with young Swedish eventer Sofia Sjoborg as she documents her trip from England to Malmö for the next class on the calendar. Go forth a live vicariously through her, too, as she takes on one of Europe’s most prestigious competitions of it’s kind!

Events Opening Today: None!

Events Closing Today: Also none!

Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:

I’m always a big advocate for voting within whichever governing body you’re part of. It’s a way to ensure that your needs are being met, and your voice is being represented – and it’s exercising your right to democracy, babyyyyy. Take a look through this year’s nominees for the USEA Board of Governors and prepare to cast your vote wisely.

What does a horse actually need to make it to the top in eventing? COTH caught up with three titans of US eventing — Phillip, Jennie, and Boyd — to find out what they look for in a horse they plan to bring through to the top. As it turns out, even the very best find it seriously difficult, and I’m not sure yet whether I find that reassuring or demoralising, but I’m aiming for the former.

Have you got a horse that’s stuck on box rest for the long term? This article might be a bit of a must-read. It’ll help you get your support system and your care plan down pat, and keep yourself, hopefully, a little bit saner than you’d have been otherwise. Stay strong out there, folks.

Great news for Thoroughbreds in the US: just under $4 million has been awarded in grants to organisations dedicated to the care, support, and rehoming of ex-racehorses in 2023. That pushes the overall total to $31.9 million since the inception of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in 2012. It’s a promising shift in the right direction, and you can learn more about it here.

Sponsor Corner: How quickly did you switch your horse from pasture to hay? Making the transition too fast can result in gas colic– and big vet bills. Check out this infographic from Kentucky Performance Products on how to make the transition safely.

Watch This:

Ever wondered what it’s like to be the rider in a lecture demo with an eventing legend? It goes a little something like this…

Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Horse & Country (@horseandcountrytv)

Last chance alert: today’s the final day you can secure 20% off your annual Horse&Country TV membership, which will give you access not only to a huge list of international competitions, but also a back catalogue of documentaries, training series, and reality-style TV programmes, making sure you’ve always got something great to watch as the cold nights draw in. Nab your membership here – and let me know what you’re watching!

National Holiday: It’s Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday. If you’re in need to a comprehensive list of US-based horsey discounts – with plenty of brilliant small businesses in the mix – check out Amanda Chance’s huge list here.

US Weekend Results:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (Thompson, GA): [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

Lauren Sprieser’s concept of ‘deferred maintenance’ — or, The Lotto List — probably sounds pretty familiar to you. You know the one: your phone starts acting real weird, or your car’s check engine light resolutely stays on, or your fridge door suddenly, for some reason, needs to be propped shut to stay shut, but these things require cash outlay to fix, and so it’s those quids-in moments, like the day you sell a horse or a saddle or a car with a better-behaved check engine light, that you tackle all those bits and bobs. So no, maybe there’s no island holiday or very expensive imported youngster that comes after a big-ish sale – but Lauren feels your pain.

Amanda brought you that incredible US-based discount list (scroll up if you missed it!) – but what about the Brits among us? Horse&Hound is on hand to share the best bargains they’ve found. I’m eyeing up all the waterproof coats and boots as I write this while steadily being deafened by the continued barrage of rain. When. Will. It. Stop.

The latest edition of Practical Horseman Extra takes you behind the scenes at a place we think is pretty special. That’s TerraNova Equestrian in Florida, home of sparkling sunshine on eventing days and some seriously incredible facilities. Go take a snoop around the place here.

At just 38 years old, Alexa Pessoa – wife of Brazilian showjumping legend Rodrigo, and a Grand Prix jumper in her own right – was diagnosed with breast cancer. What followed was a saga of strength, community, and flow-state focus as she faced a mastectomy and the Wellington season all at once. Her story is well worth a read today – and is a sage reminder to check your girls for any changes, too.

Need to save some money on your horsey expenses? Think communally. That’s what this group of New Englanders — a notoriously savvy part of the country when it comes to pinching pennies — cites as their biggest life hack, but there’s plenty of great tips above and beyond that shared in this article. Something I’d add to this list? Create a chore barter system. Maybe you’ve been paying for body clipping, but one of your barn mates is excellent at it – and they’re in need of some help fixing their truck, which is something you’re pretty damn good at. Swapping skills in this way can save you both money while getting everything you need done.

Morning Viewing:

I’m avoiding all that rain by going back down my favourite rabbit hole: luxury barn tours. Eat the rich, and let me have their stables, thanks.

Friday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

How are we all doing today, campers? Feeling full to the point of swearing off food forever? Ready to change your phone number and not tell anyone in your family? It’s fine. This is a safe space. Let’s just do some therapeutic horsing today.


US Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (Thompson, GA): [Website] [Live Scoring]

News From Around the Globe:

‘Controlled chaos’ is a concept I can absolutely identify with, and it’s how OBGYN Dr Kathleen Bertuna describes balancing her job, her family, and her FEI ambitions. Find out how she gets it done here.

Didn’t manage to get your paws on Paris tickets? Great news: 400,000 more will be released for sale soon. Here’s the scoop on how to get them.

Move aside, Eric Lamaze: Andreas Helgstrand is equestrian sport’s new boss-level bad guy. An undercover journalist posing as a groom filmed huge amounts of footage showing human and equine welfare abuses, and now, the subsequent documentary, which has aired in Denmark, is sending shockwaves across the industry — and beyond.

The change in temperatures can increase the risk of laminitis. That’s because when frosty weather hits, plants begin to store more sugars — and so whether your horse is lami-prone or not, it’s well worth keeping an eye on his nutritional intake.

Thursday News & Notes


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nana Sarfo🇬🇭✌🏾 (@nana.sfo)

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends on the US side of the pond! I’m wishing you all a day full of good food, happiness, people you love, and a sudden bout of gastrointestinal distress for any racist uncles, forcing them to sit out the family festivities. If you’re not so lucky, here’s some very valuable reading for you to start your day and bolster your savage takedowns over dinner. It’s also, frankly, just very important to educate ourselves on the origins of Thanksgiving as it concerns indigenous folks, and how we can honour them while celebrating. Eat well, love well, and have a great day.

US Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (Thompson, GA): [Website] [Live Scoring]

News & Notes from Around the Globe:

Michael Jung is shelving his plain bays in favor of a splash of color. Okay, okay, so no one’s actually getting shelved — but his new ride, who he’s taken on from Aussie eventing legend Andrew Hoy, is seriously flashy and can really, really jump. Meet the chromey new addition to his string here.

We talk a lot about how cross-discipline training can make us more well-rounded riders. That same philosophy holds true, too, for picking up different roles in the horse world — and that’s exactly what Helen Alliston discovered when she began judging. Find out more about her eureka moment here, and then, take a moment to think about how you can pick up another role in the horse world to broaden your horizons. (Volunteering at events is a great way to do this!)

Speaking of people who fill different roles and benefit from it, John Michael Durr is a bit of an eventing multi-hyphenate, balancing competing and teaching with course designing. Meet this busy, fascinating competitor here.

Hot on Horse Nation: When is a photo just a snapshot of a split second in a ride, and when does it begin to become indicative of a horse and rider’s overall training? Gwyneth McPherson explains all.

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products

Over the weekend, EN’s dear friends Carlos and Sam from Equestly had to face a nightmare scenario: their house burned down, leaving them with just enough time to grab their dogs and get out before the building was engulfed. Sadly, they lost one of their two beloved cats in the blaze, and all their possessions, too — but Kim Tierney has set up a GoFundMe to help them get back on their feet ahead of the holiday season. Check it out and help out, if you can, here.

Events Opening Today: Sporting Days Farm January Horse Trials I

Events Closing Today: Full Gallop Farm Jingle Bells H.T

Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:

Are you a course designer or planner/organizer and want some better tools for your cross country courses? You might want to check out a free webinar hosted by CrossCountryApp to roll out a whole slew of new features, including ability to color-code tracks, overlay them to see how they intersect, automatic FEI reporting, and much more. The webinar is free to attend and will also be recorded. You can register in the U.S. webinar (TODAY at 6 pm EST) here and in the UK and Europe (TOMORROW 11/22 at 8 am BST time) here. You can also learn more about the new CrossCountryApp Toolkit here.

We love an unusual eventing horse — and Splash certainly fits the bill. The 15.2hh Clydesdale/Vanner cross was actually bred to be a jousting horse, but was sold as part of a divorce and I guess there weren’t that many jousting households around to snap her up. After six years in a field, she finally got a proper start under saddle — and now, she’s loving eventing at Beginner Novice.

European Champ and 2x five-star winner in 2023 Ros Canter is on tour. She and longtime trainer Caroline Moore have been travelling to venues around the UK sharing the tips and tricks of their success, and if you missed out on the live show, you can debrief on some of the most pertinent points here. 

When a group of female physicians from around the country bonded over their shared love of eventing, it was the start of a magic friendship. But when one of their own, the remarkable Val Johnson, passed away suddenly, it became an even louder rallying cry for the women in the group, who found a special way to honor their friend at this year’s AECs. Warm your heart this morning here.

And finally: we’re not the only ones rabid with excitement over Aachen 2026. Here’s how plenty of big name riders are feeling about the return of the WEG format (sort of) and a World Championship at one of equestrian sport’s most impressive venues.

Sponsor Corner: Why does Buck Davidson call Hannah Sue Burnett Smurf? Why did Bobby Meyerhoff retire his racing saddle? What was Doug Payne’s course walk strategy? Get all the behind-the-scenes tidbits you didn’t know you needed from the Maryland Five Star. Coverage sponsored by Kentucky Performance Products.

Watch This:

Ever wondered what it’s like to compete at the Cotswold Cup, the UK’s premier unaffiliated eventing series? Go behind the scenes with one rider and find out…


Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

Oh, to be a Swede, frolicking in the sand dunes of a beach at sunset. I’m not actually 100% sure what the Swedish Olympic pathway athletes are up to at their beachy resort — are they training? Are they simply team-building? But whatever it is, I know that I want in, and immediately. If they sweep all the medals next year, I’ll be the first to embark on a deep dive into the competitive powers of a bit of vitamin D.

National Holiday: It’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Take a moment to reflect on the lives that have been affected or lost by violence against trans folks, and learn more about the history of the day here.

U.S. Weekend Action

The Event at TerraNova (Myakka City, FL): [Website] [Results]

Ram Tap H.T. & Classic 3-Day (Fresno, CA): [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

Rider interviews have been added to post-fall protocol at FEI events for 2024. Now, after hitting the deck with their horses on cross country, riders will be required to speak to the ground jury, to help create a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that lead to the horse fall in a bid to further improve safety in the sport.

The ground jury for Paris 2024 has been announced, and it’s a pretty stacked line-up, featuring a high-flying Dane, the Frenchman whose name I like more than just about anything in the world, and a representative from the US of A, too. Find out who got the coveted appointment — and the TD and stewards roles, too — here.

Speaking of Danes, did you know that they have their own spotted breed of horse? If you’ve seen some dotty horses making waves at shows in Canada recently, you may not have been watching an Appaloosa, but rather, a Knabstrupper — thanks to Tiara Equine, who have been piloting the breed across the disciplines in Ontario.

And now for something completely different: this holiday season at the London International Horse Show, jockeys will be testing their skills over a course of show jumps set by British eventing team performance manager Dickie Waygood, and with expert help from Pippa Funnell and Nick Skelton. It’s all for charity and should make for great watching if you’re heading to the show on the evening of Monday, December 18.

Morning Viewing:

Follow along with a group of grassroots riders as they tackle training sessions with some of the sport’s greats, including Joseph Murphy:

Das Ist Soers Gut: 2026 FEI World Championships to Take Place at Aachen

Photo courtesy of CHIO Aachen.

It’s a big ‘welcome home’ for the next FEI World Championships, set to take place in 2026, as the governing body announced today that Germany’s Aachen Soers has been granted the task of hosting the multidisciplinary competition. Aachen last hosted the championships in 2006 — notably, for our sport, anyway, the first time that the modern iteration of the long format was used at a World Championship.

Five high-powered venues put forward bids to host one or several of the disciplines in 2026, which will be the second running of the FEI World Championships since the disbanding of the World Equestrian Games format that existed from 1990 to 2018. These were:

  • Aachen (GER) – Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving Four-in-Hand, Vaulting;
  • Boekelo (NED) – Eventing;
  • Burghley (GBR) – Eventing;
  • Al Ula (KSA) – Endurance;
  • Samorin (SVK) – Endurance

Al Ula, in Saudi Arabia, has been confirmed as the host of the FEI Endurance World Championships, while Aachen will take on jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing, driving, and vaulting, heralding something very close to a return to the World Equestrian Games format at a venue that, for nearly a century, has hosted the very best of each discipline every summer at the enormously popular CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival.

“We thank the FEI for their trust,” CHIO Aachen General Manager Michael Mronz said after the announcement, which followed a meeting of the FEI Board in Mexico City today. “We feel honoured and pleased to host, together with the German Equestrian Federation, the FEI World Championships Aachen 2026 in six disciplines: Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting and Para Dressage. Already today we would like to invite the entire world of equestrian sport to Aachen so that we can celebrate an unforgettable event together in 2026.”

Aachen: perhaps equestrian sport’s most impressive venue. Photo courtesy of CHIO Aachen/Andreas Steindl.

“The allocation by the FEI Board of the FEI World Championships 2026 to Aachen and Al Ula is a significant decision for the future of equestrian sport,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “We examined every aspect of the bids we received and especially the sporting infrastructures, the conditions for the horses, accessibility and sustainability. The FEI is delighted to have secured such outstanding hosts for our most prestigious Championships three years in advance, which allows plenty of time for preparation and planning.

“I would like to congratulate the winners, who submitted outstanding bids. We are all well aware of Aachen’s unique track record of organising extremely successful large-scale events. We were impressed with Al Ula’s proposal, which not only contains all the components of a successful event but seeks to showcase the heritage and potential of an entire region.

“And last but not least, I would like to thank all the bidders, who took part in this process for their strong bids and commitment to the sport. It was not easy to choose between such strong bids. We hope that those who didn’t get it this time will consider bidding for future events.”

The FEI World Championships at Aachen will take place from August 11–23, 2026, and the eventing is set to begin on August 13 with the first day of dressage and continue until the 16th, when the showjumping finale will play out.

Tickets will go on sale next Monday, November 20, at 9.00 a.m. CET (8.00 a.m. British time/3.00 a.m. EST). You can get your hands on them here, plus check out the full timetable of events, a site plan, and plenty more. Note: Advance tickets for Eventing, Vaulting, and Driving are not on sale at the same time and will go on sale at a date to be named. We recommend signing up for updates on or keeping an eye out here for updates on ticket availability. Go Eventing – and Go Aachen!

Racing to the Top: Mark Your Calendar for the 2024 #TBMakeover!

Alison O’Dwyer and Knockemdown in the Thoroughbred Makeover Finale.

Did you, too, find yourself thoroughly inspired by last month’s Thoroughbred Makeover finale? Featuring a huge variety of disciplines, from eventing to barrel racing to polo, freestyle, field hunters, dressage — you name it, and the Thoroughbred Makeover probably offers it — it’s an incredible showcase of what off-the-track Thoroughbreds are capable of, and a seriously fun challenge for the trainers who take it on. And at the end of it all? One overall champion will be awarded $10,000 — and everyone can take home the pride of knowing they’ve contributed to advertising OTTBs as the remarkable sport horses they are. If all that sounds, well, pretty great, you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s very nearly time to get the ball rolling again, with applications for the 2024 program opening in exactly one month.

Here are some of the key dates you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Applications open for drafting: December 18, 2023
  • Applications open for submission: January 2, 2024 – January 19, 2024
  • Late applications open for submission: January 19, 2024 after 5 PM EST, until June 28, 2024 (late entries will be subject to an additional fee)

The 2024 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium will take place October 9-12, 2024 at the Kentucky Horse Park, and to be eligible to take part, horses must not begin training before December 1, 2023. They may be ridden up to fifteen times before that date, and since leaving racing, in order to assess for suitability — but to keep this competition fair and to truly chart each horse’s progress over nine-ish months, that December starting gate is key.

Costs for entry are as follows:

  • $200 one-time annual trainer application fee, regardless of trainer status (individual, team captain, or team member)*
  • $150 horse registration fee per horse, billed to individuals and team captains

*Late trainer applications (received after 5 PM EST January 19th, 2024) will require a $300 trainer application fee, plus the $150 per horse the trainer intends to enter.

Final Entry fees: billed at the time of final entry August 1st through 15th

  • First discipline, including schooling and drug testing fees: $150 per horse
  • Second discipline: $100 per horse
  • Stalls (horses or tack, flat rate for the week): $225 per stall
  • Ship-ins (no stall): $60 per Final Entry form
  • Non-compete horse fee: $50 per horse*
  • ASPCA Makeover Marketplace listing per horse*
    • Standard: $60
    • Featured: $95
    • Premium: $110

*All participating horses that complete a final entry will require a first discipline fee and stall (or ship-in) fee at minimum. The rest of the fees are optional.

Sounds like a great excuse to start browsing the CANTER listings, right? While you’re doing so, it’s always a smart idea to familiarise yourself with the rules of the competition and some of the frequently asked questions. We also recommend a YouTube deep dive, starting with this hugely insightful webinar on what to expect from your Makeover experience:

And this one, which takes you behind the scenes at the arrival examination:

Happy watching, and happy Makeover-ing!


Thursday Video: Snoop Around One of the World’s Leading Dressage Barns

A couple of years ago, in the height of the pandemic, I stayed in the Netherlands for two weeks at the base of Olympian Tim Lips, helping British rider Mollie Summerland to train and prepare for a crack at Luhmühlen’s CCI5* in Germany. What happened next is history, really, but one of the things we spoke about frequently while sequestered in our peaceful little Dutch enclave was how cool it would be to find a way to visit Van Olst Horses, the base of Denmark’s Ann Van Olst and, of course, young British superstar and reigning World Champion Lottie Fry. We never did get a chance to head over — the pandemic made things like that pretty tricky — and so today, I’m making myself a massive cup of tea and curling up on the sofa to get the behind-the-scenes tour through this video. Which facilities would you take – and what would you add? — to create your dream property?

A (Near) Winter Warmer: Watch Along with TerraNova’s FEI Divisions, Wherever You Are

Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom are among the CCI4*-L entrants at TerraNova this week.

Depending on where you are in the world, the 2023 season might be over — or you might be plugging along through those final hurrahs of the year before it’s time to chuck your horses in the field for a little while and go into temporary hibernation mode. I’m part of the former group — my season ended with October at Pau in France — and that means that I’m already itching to tune into a bit of sport.

Fortunately for me — and for all of you — we’ve got just the opportunity we need this week, thanks to Horse&Country TV and The Event at TerraNova, which will be broadcast throughout the week. The event’s feature class, the Galati Yacht Sales CCI4*-L, presented by Insurance Office of America, takes to the dressage ring today, as do the plethora of other divisions on offer, and you can catch all the action here or via the Horse&CountryTV page.

Ready to dive into four days of smoking hot competition? Check out the entries and ride times for each division here, and keep a tab open for live scoring can be found here. Here’s a look at how this week’s schedule will play out:


9 a.m. FEI Dressage

8 a.m. FEI and Horse Trials Dressage

9 a.m. FEI Cross-Country

8 a.m. Horse Inspection for all FEI Long format horses.
9 a.m. All Horse Trials Cross-Country.
10 a.m. All FEI Show Jumping – Mounted awards following each division.

Go Eventing — and Go TerraNova!

The Event at TerraNova: [Website] [Ride Times] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [FEI XC Maps] [All Course Maps] [Volunteer]

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products

Every day, I suspect we get closer and closer to Boyd Martin adopting his true form: that of a badly-behaved, very fluffy tomcat. There’s no reason to panic, though — I’m picturing this as a scenario in which he’s still able to event at the upper levels. You know, like the midway stage of an Animorphs cover, or similar. Which means I’m now probably going to spend the rest of the day imagining eventers as various animals and photoshopping them into old Scholastic book covers, because my life really is truly interesting in the off-season.

Events Closing Today: Rocking Horse December H.T.

Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:

An oldie but a goodie here from Sinead Halpin: you never know who’s keeping an eye on you at events, and if you’re lucky, it’s the people who want to spread education throughout our sport and will take the time to reach out to you, even if it stings a bit. Read her memories of her earliest ventures at the upper levels here.

Zimbabwe is quietly making its way onto the world stage for eventing, thanks to the efforts of Olympian Camilla Kruger and, now, Julia Norman, who swapped her nationality over at the start of this year. She caught up with the FEI’s media team to share Zim’s plans for the development of the sport and their aim to have a team ahead of the 2028 LA Olympics. Check it out.

Let’s go behind the stall door with Capitol H I M, the highest-placed US finisher at Maryland 5* this year. Hannah Sue Hollberg’s oversized, Labrador-eyed gelding has plenty of little secrets to share – a lack of front teeth being one of them, weirdly enough — and you’ll definitely fall in love after getting to know this sweet dude better.

I’ve got a box of test sheets shoved into a wardrobe in my house that I can’t quite bear to part with. But even so, have I really, truly used them to their advantage and given myself a month’s worth of ‘free’ riding lessons out of them, or have I winced my way through a cursory first glance (look, I get a lot of 6.5s, okay) and then shoved them in the box? Don’t be like me — instead, take this sage advice about how to milk all the goodness out of a test sheet, both before and after you’ve actually done the competition.

Sponsor Corner: Pop Quiz! How soon before temperatures drop should you start feeding your horse forage?

A: Wait to give extra forage until the cold snap hits.
B. 12 hours.
C. 24 hours.
D. Don’t feed extra forage at all– throw on that extra blanket instead.

Find the answer on Kentucky Performance Products’ Instagram page (@KPPUSA)!

Watch This:

Let’s cruise around the Prelim at Rocking Horse together — and, of course, with Elisa Wallace and Tullymurry Fifi!

Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

Real men, it turns out, do wear pink — and, erm, ostentatious fluffy bobbles. Fortunately, Karl Slezak, notorious lover of Nickelback, has never taken himself too seriously, and happily rocked possibly the worst helmet cover I have ever seen after losing a string of bets. Karl, we love you, but perhaps you’re not a gambling man?

National Holiday: It’s National Hug A Musician Day. I’ll be taking tickets at the door for a cuddle with my fiancé, Alex, who’s a ludicrously talented guitarist and producer and also the man behind EN’s European video content on Insta. Plus, he’s real cute.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Moon Farm’s Fall HT (Finksburg, MD) [Website] [Results]

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Results]

River Glen Fall H.T. (New Market, TN) [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

Goodbye and goodnight to Marius, the great grey who won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics with high-flying dentist Hinrich Romeike. The gelding started his life as a bit of a rogue character, and though Hinrich couldn’t initially afford to purchase him as a youngster, he quite quickly found he was able to after Marius put his new owner on the floor twice after selling. The two were a match made in heaven and went on to represent Germany at six Championships, which Hinrich competed in as an amateur. Read more about their incredible partnership here.

Over in the dressage world, my favourite kind of horse is excelling: that is, a free one, who no one would have thought could keep up with the expensive purpose-bred competitors. That’s N’Tempo SSH1, a 14.1hh Haflinger who took third in the Intermediare I adult amateur championship at the US Dressage Finals, proving that great training can — or should, at least — override elite bloodlines. (After all, he’s just a different kind of European breeding, right?)

This is an interesting piece from the Western world, but one which has just as much relevance across the disciplines. In an industry full of noise and conflicting opinions and a million people who’ll tell you that their way is the best way of doing something with horses, how do you know who to believe? It’s all about quieting that noise and watching how their horses are expressing themselves, explains Anna Blake.

Horses are making mainstream media again – but not in a good way. 60 Minutes is set to air an expose on doping in the horse racing industry and how it’s letting Thoroughbreds down in a big way – and frankly, if it brings about more accountability and better conditions for horses, then I’m all for it. Find out more here.

Morning Viewing:

The wind is blowing ferociously here in the UK and the rain just. Will. Not. Quit. — so I’m taking myself off for some escapism in the Chilean Andes with the gauchos. It doesn’t always look that warm there, either, frankly, but it sure is pretty.

Go For Gold: How to Set Yourself Up for Success at Goresbridge’s Event Horse Sale

Lot 5 in this year’s Goresbridge Go For Gold sale.

We’re just a couple of days away from the commencement of the 2023 Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale, which has a stocked line-up of three-to-five-year-old event prospects on its roster and plenty among those that we’ve already fallen in love with. But if this is your first-ever experience of a horse auction, you might well be wondering what on earth is going to happen over the next few days — and how you can be best-prepared to make the most of it. As seasoned Goresbridge attendees, we’ve pulled together some of our top tips for making sure you have a great week and end up with your dream horse.

Loop your trainer in 

Love is blind, but good trainers certainly aren’t — and just because you’ve gone doe-eyed over a slow-mo video of a scopey three-year-old clearing the wings, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the perfect horse. If you’re looking to buy a youngster, and particularly, if this is your first time doing so via a sale, send your shortlist over to your trainer and any other very knowledgeable folks you’ve got in your corner for their assessment. They may even have found another lot in the catalogue that’s well-suited to your needs that you’d missed in your own perusal. In any case, there are few things more valuable for any of us than people who can talk us down from the clouds and make us see sense before we hand over our bank details.

Get veterinary guidance

One of the great things about Goresbridge is the availability of X-rays for each lot – and there’s plenty of them, too. Most of us laypeople aren’t really going to be able to read an X-ray unless there’s something truly glaringly obvious, so once you’ve narrowed down your picks to the horses you’re keen to see in the flesh or bid on from afar, it’s time to rope your own trusted vet in on the process. Paying for them to review the plethora of X-rays available for each of the horses on your shortlist is an expense that could save you a massive headache down the line, because they’ll be able to spot chips, changes, and any red flags before you raise your hand to bid. From November 12th, each horse will also have a veterinary certificate and conformation videos uploaded to its listing, and will have undergone a full five-stage vetting by Goresbridge’s two veterinarians, giving you all you need to ensure peace of mind as you head into auction day. You’ll also be able to speak to Goresbridge vet Hugh Suffern MVB MRCVS, long-time vet for the Irish team, at the sale, and he can help you review radiographs, and if you’d like to bring your vet along, you can arrange for them to conduct their own examination of your horse(s) by contacting the Goresbridge office to set up appointment times.

Visiting your picks of the catalogue is made easy at Barnadown – and, if we’re honest, far too fun.

Give yourself plenty of time

Planning to head to Ireland to tackle the sales in person? Great! Goresbridge is a tonne of fun — but if you’re not prepared, you might find it overwhelming. The best way to maximise your time? Make a plan, and a robust short-list of horses you’d really like to see. Monday, November 13, is the big day for the ridden horses in this year’s catalogue, who will be showcased on the flat and over show jumps and cross-country fences through the day. From 10.30 a.m., all 23 ridden lots will be shown on the flat and over fences in numerical order; from 1.00 p.m., they’ll be shown over cross-country jumps, once again in numerical order. You can make arrangements directly with the sellers at the sale, or via the sales office, to trial them yourself, too, throughout the week, with the extensive facilities of Barnadown at your disposal.

Looking, instead, at unbacked three-year-old horses? Tuesday, November 14 will see them all loose-jumped and exhibited at Barnadown in the arena in front of the clubhouse, where you’ll be able to get hot food and drinks all day, too – it’s all, frankly, very sociable and good fun, even if the Irish weather doesn’t play ball. The action will begin at 9.00 a.m., with lots 24-99 loose-jumped in numerical order.

On Wednesday, November 15, the sale will begin promptly at 1.00 p.m. at the Amber Springs Hotel in the ballroom, and you’ll want to make sure you’re there in time to get yourself a good seat and a restorative pint of the dark stuff — but you’ve got the whole morning available to you if you’d like to see or try any of the lots. That might involve riding them, if you’re bidding on ridden horses; it may involve interacting with them in the stable and checking their legs out; it might simply be that you’d like the seller to trot the horse up for you and have a chinwag about their horse. It’s incredibly easy, in any case, to find the horse you’re looking for and the person associated with it: the stables each have the horse’s lot number and information on a card outside. You can call the Goresbridge office at +353 87 2569496 to arrange for specific appointment times, which is recommended if you’d like to ride.

Both the Amber Springs and Barnadown are really easy to get to: it’s just over an hour to drive there from Dublin Airport, where you can rent a car for very little for the few days you’ll be over, and it’s a quick commute from the hotel to the stables each day. If you’re planning to stay at Amber Springs, make sure you let them know when booking that you’re there for the Go For Gold sale, so you can benefit from a preferential rate — or, check out the other options available nearby. We rate the Ashdown Park Hotel if you want to make use of a really nice spa during your stay, too (and you will absolutely want to after a long day of viewing horses!).

Take notes

Those viewing days can be long, and while you might think you remember everything you’ve seen and liked or disliked, your brain will inevitably turn to liquid the second you get back to the hotel and pack yourself off to dinner. The easiest, most reliable way to ensure you’ve left no stone unturned? Grab yourself a hard copy of the catalogue — they can be found in the clubhouse at Barnadown or at the Amber Springs — and a pen, and jot down every fleeting thought you have about your shortlist horses. That’ll also help you if you spot something you hadn’t even considered — rather than simply being wowed on the day and forgetting which horse it was, or throwing all your other strict standards out the window, you can take notes and consider all the finer details later on in the day, or head over to the stables for a closer look. Likewise, if you’re following remotely and watching all the trials and loose-jumping via the livestream, you should also jot down your thoughts so you can ruminate on each horse after the action has wrapped each day. Sometimes, you’ll fall in love with something you didn’t like at all in its photos; other times, you’ll find yourself unmoved by a horse you thought you’d adore in the flesh. It’s all part and parcel of the process, and it’s all important.

Make sure you’re bidding-savvy

This is particularly important if you’re bidding remotely, because you’ll need to make sure you’re au fait with using the system properly. Regardless of whether you’re on site or remote, you’ll need to register as a bidder and confirm your card within seven days of the auction starting — and if you’ve pre-registered and added your card before that seven days, your card will need to be reconfirmed, otherwise your bids could be deleted, which would be a serious bummer once that fast-paced auction process gets underway. You’ll see a temporary charge of €500, which is held and then released back to you if you don’t ultimately buy a horse, and which is used to ensure your card is, in fact, working properly. (All this is, in effect, a formality: when you have placed the winning bid on a horse, you can pay with a different card, or via cheque or bank transfer: Goresbridge accepts Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, and Laser cards, and if you’d like to pay by cheque, you’ll need to get your bank to forward a reference for the maximum amount you’ll require to Goresbridge’s bank at Bank Of Ireland, Borris, Co. Carlow, Ireland, or by fax at +353 59 9771990. You can also pay by cash in Euros or Sterling if you really fancy making it rain.)

Once you’ve done that, we highly recommend moseying over to the Test Lot (Lot 00 or Lot 1000), which is in place purely to give you a no-risk chance to go through the process of placing a bid, so you’re familiar and comfortable with the confirmation messages you get and can be confident, when you do place a real bid on an actual lot, that you’ve done it properly.

Also – perhaps it goes without saying – if you’re bidding remotely, make sure you have a reliable internet connection, and be aware that even with high-speed internet, most livestreams lag slightly behind real time, so get your bids in early, watching the number on your horse’s lot, rather than waiting for the auctioneer on the feed to call out the most recent bid. Do, though, tune into the livestream regardless: any additional information, changes to the catalogue listing, stable vices, and the like will be read out by the auctioneer before he commences bidding on each lot.

Network like the wind, Bullseye

If there’s one thing horse people love, it’s chatting to other horse people — and you’ll bump into some great ones at Goresbridge. Of course, anyone who’s there to place a bid might keep their cards rather close to their chests, but don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the pros — a casual chat about horse quality can turn into an interesting educational opportunity, if nothing else. It’s also well worth keeping an eye out for some of Goresbridge’s selection team, such as five-star rider Nicky Roncoroni, who can give you some great insights into the selection and sales process, and maybe even an inside scoop on that horse you’ve fallen in love with.

Know your limits

Auctions are exciting, intoxicating things, and it’s really easy to get caught up in the thrill of a bidding war — but if you set yourself hard limits ahead of time, you can ensure you’re really happy with your choices after that adrenaline rush wears off. Don’t want to spend more than $15,000? Great – now go and run that through an up-to-date currency converter and make sure you know what percentage your bank will charge you for a wire transfer, if that’s the way you’re going to pay, so you can adjust your maximum bidding price accordingly.

There’s an admin fee of 2% on card payments, which you’ll need to keep in mind if you’re sticking to a hard budget, and depending on where you’re buying from, you may be charged VAT – so if you’re unsure, contact Goresbridge to confirm and factor this into your calculations.

My favourite horse from the 2022 Go For Gold Sale – unfortunately not ultimately purchased by me, but by Andrew Hoy.

So you’ve bought a horse! Now what?

Congratulations! Your young diamond-in-the-rough could now follow in the footsteps of famous Goresbridge graduates such as Copper Beach, who went to five-star with Buck Davidson and, more recently, Cosby Green; Liz Halliday’s Cooley Nutcracker, the newly-minted USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Champion; Sarah Ennis’s Grantstown Jackson, who was the second-fastest of the day across the country at this year’s European Championships… the list, truly, goes on and on. But first, you’ve got to get your new purchase home so you can start that wonderful journey.

Fortunately for you, this is something that’s always been easy to handle at Goresbridge, who ensure that plenty of transporters are available on site to give you quotes and timeframes straight away, whether you’re adding your youngster to a lorryload heading back to the UK, or whether you need to arrange a much longer trip across the pond. It’s always worth contacting any other purchasers who you know are in the same neck of the woods as you, but even if you’re not familiar with the other bidders, you can speak to a Goresbridge representative either at the sale or by email to be put through to the folks who can organise all these logistics for you, leaving you free to pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate the start of something new. You’ll likely get your horse quickly, too — those veterinary certificates, done in the 48 hours before the sale, mean your horse is ready to hit the road and start his new, grown-up life.

Ready to seize the day — and the sale? Head over to the Goresbridge catalogue to start narrowing down your shortlist. Happy shopping!

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Monart Sale (@monart_sale)

Are you horse-shopping this week? I love following along vicariously with the major sales — and this week’s Monart Sale in Ireland is about as big as they come, with 173 lots going under the hammer this week. I can’t wait to see which horses go the way of top pros and find it fascinating to see what raw qualities people go for when buying three-year-olds. Head to the Monart website if you, too, want to window-shop — or register to bid and pick up a future superstar of your own! You can also view our preview wishlist of the catalog here.

Events Closing Today: Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T.

Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:

Want the post-event debrief and deep dive on the Pan Ams? The latest episode of the US Eventing podcast is exactly that, with insights and analysis from chef d’equipe Bobby Costello joining host Nicole Brown for a full recap.

New in dispatches from the dark side: could dressage’s rider classification system use an update? Lauren Sprieser thinks so — and I really like the sound of her proposed system, which groups riders by relative experience within their level, rather than forcing amateurs to go head to head with pros. Read her thoughts on the matter here.

One of the most contentious bits of legislation being voted on at the FEI General Assembly this month is a policing of social media use for members. If passed, it could mean that riders, organisers, owners, and so on would no longer be able to pass comment or critique on fellow members or the organisation itself — and plenty of people are rightfully unhappy about this.

Heads up if you’re the owner of a Collegiate saddle: a number of models have been recalled following the discovery of an issue with the stirrup bar’s connection to the saddle. Check if your saddle is among the models here.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KPPusa (@kentuckyperformanceproducts)

Sponsor Corner: Kentucky Performance Products’ new fall sticker is here! Check out the beautiful fall leaves drifting across the KPP silhouette of a galloping horse. Get yours here!

Watch This:

Think eventing’s a bit bonkers? Let us consider, for a moment, team chasing.

Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tom McEwen (@tommceweneventing)

The last time we saw Tom McEwen, he was closing out Pau and getting a start on his stag do in fine style — by wearing a naughty nurse’s outfit to the final press conference, of course. We’re delighted to report that he appears to have survived his trip to Benidorm with a frankly frightening collection of lads, and made it home to the UK to be married, on Friday, to partner Harriet Fettes. Congratulations to the happy couple — and good luck on recovering from the hangovers.

National Holiday: It’s National Nachos Day. I can get behind that; some of my favourite memories with the EN team involve bowls of queso and endless eventing chat in some strip mall Mexican. As a British resident, and, as such, someone who can’t actually get queso in my home country, believe me when I tell you that at night, I dream of cheese.

U.S. Weekend Action

The Eventing Championships at Galway Downs (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Results]

Rocking Horse Fall H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website] [Results]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, TX) [Website] [Results]

Virginia Horse Center Eventing Fall (Lexington, VA) [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

One of the major talking points of the tail end of the 2023 season in the US is the introduction of the Starter level. But, as is always the case when a new level is added to the recognised roster, not everyone’s happy about it. US Eventing’s Rob Burk chatted to organisers to find out their thoughts on the addition and explain why Starter is a worthy add-on to the extant levels in the USEA book.

Speaking of contentious decisions (though this is much, much more contentious): one of the draft rules being voted on at this month’s FEI General Assembly is one that would allow the FEI to demand access to emails, messages, and so on while investigating potential doping violations. A number of governing bodies are firmly against this, suggesting it represents a violation of the human right to privacy. Read more about it here.

Ever struggled through life with a head shaker? I have — and it’s not much fun. My first horse, a rescue called Danny that I bought off a sandlot with a Folgers can full of money I’d saved raking blueberries (yes, really) was an idiopathic head shaker, and it was so hard to predict his triggers — and to stay secure in the saddle when he was struck by a really bad bout of head shaking. It’s something I avoid like the plague nowadays, but the truth is, head shaking can find you at any point, because there are so many causes, so many types, and so little solid information about what actually causes it all. But in positive news? A recent study suggests that the use of cannabinoids could help to manage this tricky condition. Check out why and how in this piece.

Fancy a morning podcast listen while you muck stables? Have an entrepreneurial side you’d like to explore in the horse world? Or simply just wondering what the ‘Mad Barn’ that sponsored the Indoor Eventing at the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair is? Then this episode of Hitting Your Stride, with Scott Cieslar of Mad Barn, is for you.

Morning Viewing:

It’s high-flying Mustang time! Check out Elisa Wallace and Wyeth in action in the Open Training at the Majestic Oaks schooling show.

Onto A Winner: The Monart Sales Lots We’ll Be Attempting to Put on a Credit Card

Karl Slezak and his own Monart graduate, Pan Ams gold medallist Hot Bobo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Oh, you thought I was done with shopping for the horse that would somehow take me from extraordinarily busy equestrian journalist who’s barely had time to throw a leg over a saddle in six months to prospective Olympian in my own right? Never, my friends. Never, ever. This time, I’ve spent a drizzly Saturday curled up on the sofa with the jam-packed Monart Catalogue, which is bigger than ever this year, with a whopping 173 entries in the rider-run Irish sale.

Though Monart has always been by eventers, for eventers, this expansion means that the folks running the sale have widened its parameters slightly: alongside those obvious upper-level eventing horses are plenty that would appeal to a purely showjumping market, plus some great amateur prospects, too. Each has videos showing, at the very least, free-jumping and loose movement, plus X-rays and conformation shots for your perusal — but 173 horses is a heck of a lot to sift through, and so I’m here to give you a jumping-off point to inspire your hunt for your own future champion. Here are the ten Monart horses I’d like to snap up next week, in no particular order…

Lot 146: Unnamed – 16hh three-year-old ISH gelding (Cavalier Land x Joyful Moment, by Gothland) — €15,000 to Great Britain 

I’m a real sucker for a petite horse, and this smart, blood little horse certainly fits the bill there. I’m interested in his breeding: he’s sired by Cavalier Land, who also sired 2014 Blenheim eight- and nine-year-olds winner Cooley Lands, a really nice type who then went on to finish third at Badminton and was classy and bold in his way of going. This sire and dam combo is also responsible for Paddy 180, who was impressive in his five-year-old season last year under rider Sven Lux for owner Michael Jung, winning a Bundeschampionat qualifier. Mostly, though, I like the way he jumps – it’s easy, and balanced, and keen, without too much pomp and circumstance, which suggests that he’s not going to frighten himself as he begins his career and, hopefully, makes his way up the levels. He’s careful without being too careful; he doesn’t look at all overproduced, as some three-year-olds can at the sales; and he’s clever and conscious of where his legs and body are. That, for me, makes up for a set of hooves I’d be keen to improve upon, and a slightly close-set hind end. I think there’s a tonne of potential here.

Lot 87: Stonehall Mr Cruise – 16hh three-year-old ISH gelding (Numero Cruise x Ladie Finess, by Voss) — €22,000 to Great Britain 

Though this chap is slightly heavier than my tastes generally run to, I was struck, at first glance, by the balance of his build. He’s what we’d call a real ‘leg at each corner’ type of horse, and that becomes even more evident when you watch him move and jump. He’s got plenty of power and a tonne of scope to play with – and I also think there’s no small amount of spice mixed into his recipe, which you’ll see for yourself as he clicks his heels together in joy like an equine Dick Van Dyke after jumping big fences. For that reason, he’s perhaps a horse best suited for a pro or a very capable amateur with a good sense of humour: I suspect there’ll be a fair few ‘redhead moments’ as he’s being produced, but those should also yield a good pay-off. I think, perhaps, what I like about him the most is that he’s got a smart foxhunter look to him; he looks like a horse who could be surefooted across changeable country. A useful sort.

Lot 149: Silverline Whadjuk – 16.2hh three-year-old ISH gelding (Sligo Candy Boy x Boriada, by Guidam) — €16,000 to Great Britain 

I tend to find myself gravitating towards quite a lot of Sligo Candy Boy progeny, because generally speaking, they all seem to inherit a similar lofty ease over a fence, a lightness to their movement, and a touch of spice and sensitivity that comes down through those Balou du Rouet lines and makes for a clever type that’s sharp in a productive way. This chap, who his sellers say is a ‘gentle’ type, perhaps has less of the spice – but in watching him work in a variety of situations, it’s clear he’s smart and curious and capable of responding to all sorts of challenges. I like the way he’s been produced; his free-jumping makes it clear that he’s not been pushed too hard in that sphere, as he’s still very natural over a fence, and he’s also been introduced to basic aids via long-reining, as well as starting his cross-country education on the lunge line — a method that even Michi Jung likes to use to install that ‘fifth leg’. Even with an unbroken young horse, I think it’s always smart to buy their first three years, as much as you’d buy their conformation or aptitude – and this one’s definitely graduated from a top Montessori kindergarten with flying colours. I’d like to hit the ground running with him.

Lot 3: MBF Commander Bond – (nearly) 16hh three-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Comme Il Faut x Tamara HB, by Lux Z) — day one top lot: €31,500 to the USA

Another horse who comes to the sales with a great, and age-appropriate, early education is this sweet little guy, whose pedigree is as jumper-y as they come (indeed, he has a full brother who’s competing at 1.60 at the moment in Germany), but who has a lot about him that’ll suit eventing, too. I was taken by his super-active hindend over a fence in his loose jumping videos, but actually, I liked him best when watching him trot into a variety of cross-country fences on the lunge: he considers everything, sizes up the effort needed, and looks reactive in a positive way. There’s a boldness there that, for me, outweighs his natural tendency to overjump, because it suggests that he’ll learn to economise his jump rather than frightening himself by being too careful as his career unfolds. Of course, if he does turn out to be a touch too careful to event, he’ll be an easy sell as a jumper.

Unrelated: I’ve spent the whole day browsing the Monart catalogue with my non-horsey-but-learning partner, and occasionally he glances over to see what I’m looking at. He pointed out that this chap’s headshot is very familiar…

I don’t, for what it’s worth, recommending giving your new youngster the stable name Pain, nor Panic.

Lot 12: Perseus – 16.1hh three-year-old KWPN gelding (Kempinski x Jinka, by Entertainer) — €8,500 to Ireland

This sweet grey isn’t necessarily tall, but he’s a long, rangy type — and while my own type tends to be compact, short-backed, and almost pony-ish, I never hold a long neck or back against a horse, because as long as it doesn’t lean to the extreme of making them unbalanced or impossible to package, I think it leaves room for a lot of elasticity laterally and longitudinally. I’ve had two horses like city buses, and they’ve been plenty adjustable. This guy’s definitely not in city bus territory, and his natural, sweeping gait and oodles of scope make for an athlete-in-the-making that’s very easy on the eye. Don’t judge him too harshly on his photos — he’s definitely better in the flesh — and try not to weep over that tail, which has definitely been gnawed on by a field mate. By the time you take him out for those five-year-old classes, it’ll have grown back. Probably.

Lot 5: Kohinoor MBF – 16.2hh three-year-old Selle Français filly (Diamant de Semilly x Manoeuvre, by Galileo) — €10,500 to Great Britain 

This mare caught my eye first because of her breeding. Look, I’m hardly saying anything groundbreaking when I say I love Diamant de Semilly; the French stallion is equally good at throwing top-level jumpers as he is at creating event horses that win, and win, and win again. (Toledo de Kerser, notably, is a son of Diamant de Semilly, and he’s hardly the only excellent one out there.) But just as interesting as this mare’s top half is the bottom half of her pedigree, which is 100% Thoroughbred. Her dam, Manoeuvre, is also the dam of racehorse Moonfarid, who sold for £650,000 as a yearling and then was, well, fairly useless on the track, but her granddam has had a bit more luck creating speed demons and her damsire, Galileo, hardly needs introduction — he was excellent in his own right on the track and then became one of the most in-demand sires in racing.

All this combines to create a filly that, at first glance, just looks like another plain brown wrapper blood horse — but on closer inspection, has some big tick-marks to her name. There’s a prowling, big cat quality to her walk that I love — a good walk is generally something you need to buy, rather than produce — and she has plenty of activity to her hind end and a lovely, ground-covering step. I like her jump, too: it’s not extravagant or flashy, but rather, businesslike and efficient, and she maintains her balance well throughout and on landing. She’s already worked out how to use her head and neck to her advantage, and I’d like to think that all these traits, and the benefits of those bloodlines, could add up to a horse who has real staying power and stamina over big, tough tracks one day.

Lot 132: Kiltubrid Flying Column – 16.2hh three-year-old ISH gelding (Sligo Candy Boy x Kiltubrid Heather, by Lombardo) — €10,000 to Sweden 

Another Sligo Candy Boy (sorry), and another young horse who’s spent plenty of time trotting into cross-country fences, this maternal half-sibling to Mark Todd’s 2018 Badminton sixth-place finisher Kiltubrid Rhapsody comes equipped with plenty of pop and pace. He’s got a surprising amount of bone on him, too, but I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest he’s a heavy stamp of a horse – he’s certainly an athlete, and one who looks like he has no shortage of potential. He’s seriously neat over a jump, and I like him best over solid fences, because he’s less prone to overjumping while trotting into those. I think this could be a really cool horse to produce through the levels.

Lot 102: Perthago – 16.2hh three-year-old KWPN gelding (Comthago x Wanida Rose, by Riverman) — €9,000 to the USA 

A paternal grandson of jumping sire Comme Il Faut and a maternal great-grandson of the Dutch stallion Wolfgang, who’s produced plenty of very good jumpers and dressage horses, this striking grey could do a lot of different things: he looks brave and clever enough to event and sharp and tidy enough – he’ll learn to rotate that shoulder with a little more training — to jump. He’s also got smart paces, is uphill and nice to look at, and seems to take in the world around him, making him one to watch for a professional project, for sure. He’s the sort of stamp that’s very commercial, so even if he doesn’t become a top-level horse himself, he’ll be valuable as one to produce and re-sell.

Lot 145: Whitewell Plot Balou – 16.1hh three-year-old ISH gelding (Hiello x Baluba, by Balou du Rouet) — €8,500 to Ireland 

Every time I follow an auction, either in person or from afar, there’s at least one horse I fall for almost entirely because I think, if he came back to my yard with me, he’d find a way to make me laugh every day. This is one of those horses: he has a kind, goofy, silly face that makes him look like he’s already figured out that he can garner more attention by being a bit of a class clown, and even the way he sweetly fiddles with his chain while he’s being walked up and down, almost like a little boy sucking his thumb, is almost too much for me to cope with. Maybe I’m just PMSing, or maybe this is the most adorable horse you’ll see all day — either way, I know that if I end up attending Monart myself this year, his will be the stable I make a beeline for, because I reckon he gives great cuddles. For those of you who are interested in more important things than cuteness (and really, I need you to consider if there actually is anything more important), he moves and jumps, too, making him a viable prospect both as one to keep, and one to produce and sell. I don’t think you’ll want to sell, though, which might be a bit of a difficulty.

Lot 34: Monbeg Cosmos – 16.1hh three-year-old ISH filly (HHS Cornet x Legaland Blue Angie, by Chacco Blue) — €16,000 to the USA 

And finally, this delightful little mare, who’s bred to the hilt for jumping but looks like she’d do most jobs, and for most people. This is one of those rare instances in which we get to see a three-year-old ridden away, and she’s just as balanced and sensible with someone on her back as she is while loose-schooling. She’s a nice jumper, a nice mover, and most of all, I get the impression that she’s a really nice person – and, as such, as suitable for the amateur buyer as the professional. Monbeg horses so often come with a really nice, appropriate start, and I’d feel confident lifting my hand for this gal, who I think will make someone very happy indeed.

To pick your own favourites from this year’s Monart line-up, and to get yourself registered as a bidder, head to the Monart catalogue and information pages. The Monart sale’s viewing days will run on November 6 and 7, giving in-person buyers a chance to see horses in the flesh and try them, too, in the case of those that have been ridden away. These viewing days will be live-streamed for remote bidders.

Bidding for all lots will open on Monday, November 6 at 10.00 a.m. Irish time (that’s 5.00 a.m. Eastern time), and lots 1–86 will finish from 5pm local time/12.00 p.m. Eastern on November 8, going lot by lot at three minute intervals as the in-person bidding gets underway. Lots 87-173 will run in the same way on November 9. Each horse’s profile on the website will indicate how long is left in the bidding process. Happy shopping!

Thursday Video: Grab a Pint with David Doel

If there’s one thing I’ll very happily do, with nary a second thought, it’s shout about how great David Doel is, from any rooftop that’ll have me. Not only is the British rider one of the sport’s most truly, ineffably nice guys — he’s kind, generous to his fellow competitors, and somehow, despite all his achievements, completely and utterly humble and down-to-earth — he’s also a huge talent, who’s gone under the radar for a while but, in the last couple of years, stepped decisively into the spotlight. How’d he do it? With top ten finishes at Badminton (last year), Pau (also last year, and at which he led after cross-country), Kentucky (this year), and Burghley a couple of months ago, all with the exceptional Galileo Nieuwmoed, a horse he initially turned down and who’s called Nobby at home because he’s such a, well… you know. When Nobby’s not busy biting everyone within reach, though, he’s out kicking ass and taking names as one of the coolest horses in the sport at the moment, and David, who moonlights as part of his family’s ice cream business, Lacock Dairy, is pretty damn cool, too. Tune in for this episode of the charmingly bonkers Eventing Weekly to get to know him on a much more human level — we promise, you’ll be joining me on those rooftops come the 2024 season!