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A Guide to Surviving Your Horse’s Retirement

Plaid in his prime, aka earlier this year.

You always think you’re going to have more time.

It’s been almost a month since I took my horse off the trailer; having battled tears back for the two-hour trip from Pennsylvania, where the vet told me my horse had re-injured his suspensory ligament. What did this mean? It meant, at age 20, my horse was going into retirement once again. However, this time, there would be no comeback. Putting my horse into a stall for six months at age 12, nursing him back to flatwork, and, six years later, jumping, was possible. At age 20, putting him in that stall breaks my heart every day. I could never ask him to endure the threat of another re-injury.

I always said, ‘When he tells me it’s time, I’ll retire him.’ Well, that’s easier said than done. You see a date a few years down the line, after you’ve conquered more courses, after you’ve broken a few more rules, after you’ve jumped higher and galloped faster than you ever thought possible. I always thought I’d be ready. I know now that I don’t believe you’re ever ready, not when you have a true partnership. Not when the horse knows you, inside and out, when he trots when the thought comes into your head, when he turns his butt on you in the field, then looks back at you like, ‘well, you’re still coming right?’

So, if you ever find yourself in my position, as I’m sure many of you have, and many of you still will, here’s a guide to keeping your hold on the Earth, and your heart as whole as you possibly can.

Week One, Two, and Three of #RehabSelfies

DO create a hash tag. For instance, #RehabSelfies, where you take photos of yourself and your horse while hand walking in the indoor arena. That way, you can chronicle your depressing journey on the internet. Scratching tally marks on your horse’s stall suffices as well.

DON’T go to horse shows. Helping your friends is noble, but when they get on, and their saddle is wet from the tears you shed after seeing the show jumping course you were prepared to jump, they won’t thank you.

DO have an eating plan. Does chocolate get you through the day? Eat chocolate all day long. I guarantee, once you eat chocolate cake for breakfast, brownies for lunch, and sneak Cadbury milk bars upstairs to have for dinner in bed, you will never want to have chocolate again. Keeping the weight off is good if you ever find yourself back on a horse again.

DO screen the riding offers. ‘I have a friend who has a horse you can ride,’ sounds great, until you figure out that the horse is 6, off the track, might have a brain injury, and doesn’t like cats, other horses, or people.


One of my favorite pictures of Plaid and me. Taken at MDHT during our first and last Training event. Photo by the wonderful and supportive Abby Gibbon.

DON’T take things personally. In the days following, I thought my Ipod was trying to kill me by playing the same sad Postal Service song over and over. Then, I realized I just had the song on my Ipod in four different places.

DO tell your horse how much you love him, every day, even if he did ruin your plans and cost you two shows of entry fees, and yes, you’ll keep him forever, and maybe if you have the money clone him, and wouldn’t that be fun, don’t you want a buddy that looks just like you and oh my god I’m going crazy..

DON’T spend all your time on CANTER, or Sport Horse Nation, where you definitely can’t afford the horses. For some reason every horse I send to my friends is a dark bay, slightly thick Thoroughbred with a star on their face. It seems I have a type.


Burning Eventing Questions Part V

This is a series written by me, about me, and my return to eventing. We’ve (that’s me and my horse Plaid who has been chronically lame for 5 years) been away awhile, so sometimes we need a little help with the unknowns. Read Part IIIIII, and IV if you so desire.

Only my horse could give the hairy eyeball and also be resting a hind leg at the same time.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I did one of these! In the beginning of the season, it’s because I was so amped up to be out competing and riding and lessoning and schooling, but lately it’s because I haven’t been able to do any of those things, and that makes me thoroughly depressed. Readers Digest version: My horse Plaid has been lame on and off for over a month. We made the what seemed like monumental leap to Training level in July, and had a whole plan mapped out for the fall. This is where most of you are laughing at me. Yes, I am a newbie, I made plans. We all make mistakes. Anyway, the season has brought up MANY questions:

  1. Is it normal for an (unnamed) professional to gallop into the arena during a scheduled course walk because he (or she, ok it’s a he) missed his scheduled time?
  2. What’s the research like on whether or not having Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” stuck in your head could mess up your cross-country mojo?
  3. Were any children scarred at me yelling expletives to my out-of-control horse during the Morven Park spring event? If so, provide your name and address, and I’ll have him send a written apology.
  4. When your “sweet girl” voice doesn’t work when you ask the TD to double check your cross-country times, what’s the next move? A mean event evaluation form seems passive aggressive, but tire slashing is too extreme.
  5. Why did I have to ride in my friend’s amazingly balanced cross-country saddle at Plantation, thus forcing me to spend all the money I saved up on one exactly like it?
  6. Is designing helmet covers and calling your friends to check on color schemes a smart way to spend time and energy?
  7. Is it weird to consider training with a certain dressage judge simply so you won’t be allowed to be judged by her again?
  8. When your trainer says, “I’d just like you to get through without stopping” in the lesson before your big move-up event, and then your horse stops at everything, should you sell your horse, give up riding and go get a job at a bank?
  9. What’s the appropriate response when you get the e-mail saying you qualified for the AECs? I’m guessing it’s not to break down crying because your horse is hurt and also it’s in Texas.
  10. What’s the best way to force your friends to eat well before their cross-country ride? I told them the story about me having gummy bear vomit in warm-up, but that just seemed to make them more sick.

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Michael Jung and Halunke FBW at Aachen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning, EN! Michael Jung was again proved that he’s from a different planet — a planet where everyone is a winner and has freakish genes for earning ridiculous dressage scores — when he won the European Championships this past weekend. I’m sure everyone else’s weekend was just as good. I’ve started to determine “good” by the little things. Like, hey, this avocado is ripe two days before I thought it would be. Or, hey, my horse might have been lame for the past two weeks, but at least he’s clean today! Who wants to pony up for some money to get us to Michael Jung’s planet?

Weekend Results:

Steepleview Labor Day Horse Trials

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Fall HT

Corona Del Sol HT

Chattahoochee Hills HT

Stanton Farms HT

Champlain Valley Horse Trials

Events Opening this Week:

Fresno County Horse Park Horse Trials (California, A-6)  Hagyard Midsouth Three-day Event & Team Challenge (Kentucky, A-8)  Paradise Farm H.T. (South Carolina, A-3) Grass Ridge H.T. (Arizona, A-10)  “The Event” at Kelly’s Ford (Virginia, A-2)  Fair Hill International Three-day Event (Maryland, A-2)

Monday News:

Michael Jung won an unprecedented fourth European Championship gold medal at Malmo, on his three-star horse Halunke FBW. After putting down an unbeatable 28.6 in dressage, he added just one rail to his score. Ingrid Klimke put in a clear jumping round to move from fourth to silver medal position, and William Fox Pitt and Chilli Morning won the bronze. [Europeans Wrap Up]

Helped by the strong showing from Michael Jung and Ingrid Klimke, Germany proved unbeatable at the HSBC FEI European Championships. They finished 17 points ahead of silver medalists Sweden. France took the bronze. Olympic silver medalists Great Britain failed to win a team medal at the Europeans for the first time in 20 years when they finished sixth. [BBC]

EN had a lively discussion about dogs at horse trials when a barking dog was allegedly to blame for a rider fall at Loudoun Hunt Pony Club HT yesterday. Amanda Tamminga’s horse, who has a known aversion to dogs, fell over a jump on the prelim course, and Amanda broke her ankle. The day before, a dog was caught on film chasing Carlos Diaz Fernandez on cross country at the European Championships. The disturbance dogs cause on course is happening all over the world, at all levels, and I’m sure the debate is far from over. [EN Debate] [BBC Story]

Want to win a Deluxe Cross Country No-Slip Saddle Pad from Success Equestrian? Enter the “How Do You Spell Success?” Contest! Click here to view last year’s entries for a little inspiration, and click here to view all the contest entry details. Entries are due Wednesday, Sept. 4! [Success Equestrian]

Alpha won the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga on Sunday, beating out favorite Paynter and Flat Out. While the field thinned after Mucho Macho Man and Fort Larned scratched, last year’s Travers Cup winner went wire to wire to win the $750,000 race. [Saratogian]

Sportjumping is gaining ground over in the UK, where a new sponsor is taking it big time. The new sport combines racing and show jumping, in which riders are given handicaps based on performance and must complete a round of jumping in fastest time. What’s making it gain popularity? The fact that you can bet on it. [Horse and Country]

Harry Meade is still recovering from two broken elbows after his rotational fall at Wellington Horse Trials, having undergone two surgeries to repair the bones and ligaments. His recovery sounds daunting, and we’re pulling for him to be back in the saddle soon! [Saturday Blog]

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


Boyd Martin and Trading Aces won the CIC 3* at Richland Park. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning, EN! I hope you all had a great weekend keeping up with the results from Richland Park and across the pond with Blair Castle. Jenni provided truly stellar coverage, and Samantha Clark contributed her usual great photos and interviews.

Weekend Results:

Richland Park CIC and HT

Shepherd Ranch HT

Caber Farm HT

Genessee Valley Riding and Driving Club HT

Valinor Farm HT

Difficult Run HT

Events Opening this Week:

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm (Maryland, A-2)  Pine Top October HT (Georgia, A-3)  Radnor Hunt H.T. (Pennsylvania, A-2)  The Ethel Walker School (CT, A-1) Course Brook Farm Fall Horse Trials (Massachusetts, A-1)  Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials (Tennessee, A-3)  Colorado Horse Park Fall H.T. (Colorado, A-9) Greenwood Farm Inc. Fall H.T. (Texas, A-5

Monday News:

Boyd Martin and Trading Aces won the CIC3* at Richland Park. The pair had a fabulous, steady weekend that saw Boyd move up to first after posting a clear show jumping round and a fast cross-country trip. Michael Pollard had a fabulous weekend as well, placing second with Mensa and sixth with Ballingowan Pizazz. Will Faudree and Andromaque were stellar in third, and Colleen Rutledge and new to the level Covert Rights placed fourth. [Richland Wrap-Up]

Many other stars were present at Richland, including Sinead Halpin, who won an Advanced division with Manoir de Carneville after taking some time to heal after her fall at Chattahoochee Hills. Laine Ashker and Millbrook winner Anthony Patch were second, and Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda won an Open Intermediate division. [Richland Results]

Across the pond, Lucinda Fredericks won the CIC3* at Blair Castle with Flying Finish. They won wire to wire, adding just a couple time penalties to their 38.8 dressage score. William Fox-Pitt and Running Order placed fourth in the same division. Marilyn Little took her two horses, new ride Tabasco TSF and RF Demeter. Demeter placed fifth in the CIC3*, and Tabasco was third in the CIC2*. [Blair Castle Results]

Will Take Charge won the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, beating out a field that included Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Belmont Winner Palace Malice. The D. Wayne Lukas trained colt beat Moreno by a nose, and Orb finished third. [ESPN]

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro keep on cleaning up at the European Dressage Championships, this time in the Grand Prix Freestyle. She and Valegro once again set a European Championship record in the Freestyle with a 91.25%. The British dressage team placed third overall. The British show jumping team won gold for the first time in 24 years. [BBC]

Video Break: Will Take Charge wins the 2013 Travers Stakes at Saratoga:

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


Tom Gadsby, center, was killed yesterday in a rotational fall at Somerford Park. Photo courtesy of Uptown Eventing.

It’s unfortunately always a sad Monday when a rider in our worldwide eventing community loses his or her life, and today is no different. I think every person who has ever left the start box experienced an emotional punch to the gut after reading about Tom Gadsby, the eventer who died at Somerford in England yesterday. I have two good friends currently gunning for that elusive 1* level, and it made me want to call them and say, ‘slow down!’ This was a talented equestrian, and will no doubt be mourned by many, including us here at Eventing Nation.

Weekend Results:

Waredaca Farm August HT

Full Gallop Farm August HT

Erie Hunt and Saddle Club HT

The Event at Santa Fe

Events Opening this Week:

 Pine Top October HT (Georgia, A-3)  The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm (Maryland, A-2) Course Brook Farm Fall Horse Trials (Massachusetts, A-1)  Greenwood Farm Inc. Fall H.T. (Texas, A-5)  Colorado Horse Park Fall H.T. (Colorado, A-9)  Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials (Tennessee, A-3)  The Ethel Walker School (CT, A-1) Radnor Hunt H.T. (Pennsylvania, A-2)

Monday News:

Tom Gadsby, an eventer from New Zealand, died at Somerford Horse Trials in England yesterday. His horse, the Drover, suffered a rotational fall at fence 4 on the 1* cross-country course. While the horse walked away unhurt, Tom died at the scene. Our hearts go out to all of his connections. [NZ Equestrian]

Vittoria Panizzon won the CCI 2* at Haras du Pin, also known as the 2014 WEG Test Event, beating out Andrew Hoy to take top spot with Merlot’s Magic. The course was designed by WEG and Pau 4* designer Pierre Michelet, and gave organizers a chance to test out the event in a less stressful environment. [Vittoria Panizzon wins WEG Test Event]

The Washington Post takes a look at the controversy surrounding the sale of the Chronicle to Mark Bellissimo. The reporter traveled to Middleburg and took photos of the horse-centric town, and while it doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know, it’s interesting that the news was heard even in the nation’s capitol. [Washington Post]

In what I hope to see developed into an episode of ‘Portlandia,’ an overweight, out of shape horse that no one wanted is set to become the ‘star’ of Portland’s mounted police force. Murphy came into the barn weighing in at a svelte 1,900 pounds, and has had to get in shape along with learning the ins and outs to being a law enforcer. [The Oregonian]

Evention Series 1 Finale, a Look Behind the Scenes


Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Jenni's 'British Bucket List' made me think of my own, American Bucket List, which includes the GMHA Festival of Eventing in Vermont. Now, that's gorgeous. Photo via GMHA's FB.

Good morning, EN! I hope you all had just a fabulous weekend. I went to Fair Hill with my friend Kaitlin to support her in her pursuit of conquering Preliminary in all three phases. I was slated to ride my horse on Saturday, but a shoeing issue (in which he ended up lame) prevented us from doing so. While there I got to ride an amazing foxhunter named Einstein, who, unlike my eventer doesn’t think about the jumps he has to jump, just does, and wears fancy anti-fly browbands and nose coverings. I’m not going to lie, when we hacked past Phillip Dutton’s farm we might have sped up quite a bit. Although I really shouldn’t have, we rocked that fringed browband and white fly bonnett.

Weekend Results:

The Summer Event at Woodside

Otter Creek Summer HT

GMHA Festival of Eventing August Horse Trials

Area VII Young Rider Benefit HT

Fair Hill International HT

Colorado Horse Park One Day HT

Events Opening this Week:

The Middleburg H.T. (Virginia, A-2) Flora Lea Fall H.T. (New Jersey, A-2)  Jump Start H.T. (Kentucky, A-8)  University of New Hampshire H.T. (New Hampshire, A-1) Nutrena USEA AEC (Texas, A-5)’

Monday News:

Christopher Burton and Tempranillo won the CIC 3* at Hartpury in England this weekend. They were the only pair to finish on their dressage score, and the only ones to go double clear on cross-country. Clark Montgomery, who was in seventh with Loughan Glenn after dressage, were eliminated after jumping fence eight instead of two. [Hartpury Results]

Mollie Bailey from the Chronicle has been fully immersed in all things pony at the Pony Finals, and she made a list of the Top 10 Types of Pony Names.  My favorite, without a doubt, fall under the ‘are you sure that pony was meant for a child?’ category. [The Chronicle]

Wise Dan picked up his eighth straight win in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga. After winning the Breeder’s Cup Mile and Horse of the Year honors, and with his victory this weekend, Wise Dan is the top active Thoroughbred in the world right now. [New York Times]

Entries are coming in for the upcoming Blair Castle International in England in a couple weeks time. Marilyn Little has RF Demeter entered in the CIC 3* and Tabasco TSF in the CCI 2*; William Fox Pitt has Running Order entered in the 3* as well, along with Parklane Hawk and Gaucho, and Before Time in the CCI 3*. EN blogger Charlotte Agnew has Longwood in the CCI 3*, and I’m sure we’ll see many more entries come in over time. [Blair Castle Entries]




Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch won at Millbrook this weekend, shown here at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning, EN! I enjoyed a lovely birthday weekend, in which I received a new mode of transportation that is neither car nor horse, but, a beautiful, cherry red bike! Cruising around DC, the wind in my hair, on something that doesn’t go lame or require hundreds of dollars to feed every month, now that is nice! Although I wouldn’t trade it for my wonderful, currently problem-ridden pony for the world.

Weekend Results:

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. 

Lincoln Creek PC HT

Catalpa Corner Charity HT

Events Opening this Week:

Marlborough H.T (Maryland, A-2) Tryon Riding & Hunt Club H.T. (South Carolina, A-3) Stoneleigh-Burnham School Fall H.T. (Massachusetts, A-1)  Twin Rivers Fall H.T.(California, A-6) Plantation Field H.T. (Pennsylvania, A-2)  Fall Coconino H.T.(Arizona, A-10)  Stone Gate Farm H.T. (Ohio, A-8)  Northwest Equestrian Fall Gala H.T. (Washington, A-7)  Otter Creek Fall Horse Trial (Wisconsin, A-4)

Monday News:

Laine Ashker made a triumphant return with longtime partner Anthony Patch at the Millbrook Horse Trials this weekend. In a traditionally very difficult division, Laine moved up from third after dressage with no jumping penalties to take the top prize. EN’s own Kate Samuels had a spectacular weekend, placing third with her own Nyls du Terroir. Leader after dressage Jan Bynny and Syd Kent retired on cross-country, and Boyd and Trading Aces, who were second, picked up 20 penalties. [Millbrook Wrap Up]

There were plenty of big names making come backs after Rolex, including Donner and Lynn Symansky, who placed 12th in Intermediate A after making leisurely time on cross-country; Will Faudree placed first with DHI Colour Candy in OI-A and second with Andromaque in OI-B. [Millbrook Results]

Jonathan Paget and Clifton Lush won the British Open at Gatcombe this weekend, adding more impressive accolades to horses whose names start with ‘Clifton’ and beating Andrew Nicholson again. Oliver Townend was second on Armada. [British Open at Gatcombe]

It was a packed couple of days at the British Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe, with many of UK’s best competing in Advanced and Intermediate divisions. William Fox-Pitt won the Advanced on Chilli Morning, and placed fifth with former Doug Payne ride Running Order. Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo had an unfortunate weekend; they were eliminated after a fall on cross-country. [Gatcombe Results]

David O’Connor will be teaching an expert day at Waredaca in Laytonsville, Md. tomorrow, August 6th. While all the riding spots have been filled, auditing is free and welcome. The day starts at 8 a.m., and there is a Q and A session lunch with David. [Waredaca]

Top Tweet:


Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Kristi Nunnik and R Star won the CIC 3* at Rebecca Farm for the second year in a row. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Good morning, EN. Please excuse any typing errors I might have today, I’m writing this with what I expect is a broken pinky, result of quite a dirty little stop by my guy in the warm up of our CT today. Every time I hit the Return button with my pinky I curse me and my horse. I hope you all enjoyed the coverage from Rebecca Farm this weekend, Samantha did an absolutely stellar job in covering the various happenings at that beautiful venue. One of my favorites was definitely getting to see Ian Stark ride Gin N’ Juice, what an absolute treat for Ian and Hawley.

Weekend Results:

Rebecca Farm 

Horse Park of NJ

USPC National Championships

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Events Opening this Week:

 Feather Creek H.T. (Oklahoma, A-5)  Dunnabeck H.T. (Illinois, A-4)  Poplar Place Farm September H.T. (Georgia, A-3)  Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. (Maryland, A-2) Windy Wyoming H.T. (Wyoming, A-9)  Flying Cross Farm H.T. (Kentucky, A-8) GMHA September Horse Trials (Vermont, A-1)

Monday News:

Kristi Nunnik won the CIC 3*at Rebecca Farm this weekend for the second year in a row. Kristi and her gorgeous mare R Star were second behind Phillip Dutton after dressage, and dropped down to fifth after cross-country. However, she leapt up the leaderboard after posting one of the few double clear rounds in stadium. [Dressage at Rebecca Farm] [Cross Country Report] [Kristi Nunnik Wins Rebecca Farm]

Lisa Marie Ferguson added no jumping faults to her dressage score to win the CCI 2* at Rebecca Farm with Feral Errol (best name ever?). Jorden Lindstet placed second, and EN blogger Julie Wolfer placed third. [CCI 2* Dressage] [2* Cross Country Report] [2* Final Results]

More proof that eventers will jump anything, Horse Nation presents 13 cross-counry fences that will make you ‘pee your breeches.’ My personal favorite is the Harry Potter-esque giant spider. [Horse Nation]

Sue Benson recalls the months and days leading up to cross-country day at the 2012 London Olympic Games, where the world’s best contested medals on her course. She recalls that the FEI wanted her to design a course that would ‘test the best, but not defeat the less experienced. [Inside the Games]

Arkansas, the Thoroughbred gelding Grand Prix jumper, added another impressive win to his resume, he took home top prize at the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival with rider Hilary Simpson. Simpson and Arkansas were one of the only two double clear rounds that day. [The Chronicle]

Verrazano won the $1 million Haskell Invitational with John Velazquez in the irons. The highly touted 3-year-old won by 9 3/4 lengths, the largest margin in 46 years, and beat Preakness winner Oxbow while he was at it. Verrazano could travel next to the Travers Stakes in Saratoga at the end of August. [Star-Ledger]

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Nicole Doolittle is mobbed by Area III supporters after her win in the NAJYRC 1* Eventing competition. Photo via NAJYRC FB.

Good morning, EN! I hope you all enjoyed the coverage from NAJYRC this weekend. Watching these young riders go out and pilot their horses around huge courses, under such immense pressure really makes me aware of my own shortcomings, as I’m about to turn 25 and am therefor very far away from them in age. I love watching the videos, and hearing the screams of support by team members after a rider has gotten through a difficult competition. I have a friend coming over from the hunter-jumper world that competed at her first event, at BN, last weekend, and she couldn’t stop talking about the camaraderie and feel-good attitude that permeates at horse trials. Great job to all of those that competed at NAJYRC, you should be very proud!

Weekend Results:

Coconino Classic 3-Day Event & HT

Fitch’s Corner

Olney Farm

Events Opening this Week:

King Oak Farm Fall H.T. (Massachusetts, A-1) Bucks County Horse Park Fall H.T.(Pennsylvania, A-2) Aspen Farms H.T. (Washington, A-7) Five Points H.T. (North Carolina, A-2) Copper Meadows H.T. (California, A-6)

Monday News:

Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace won individual gold in the 2* competition at the NAJYRC, and helped her team, Area III win team gold. Overnight leaders Rowdie Adams and No Money Down slipped to second with a two rail show jumping round. [NAJYRC Results]

Area III won the 1* eventing competition at the NAJYRC in Lexington, KY, and Nicole Doolittle won individual gold. The team, comprised of Doolittle, Victoria Clayton, Ashley Dodds, and Diane Portwood were solid throughout the whole weekend, posting good dressage scores and more importantly, incurring no jumping or time penalties throughout the jumping phases. [NAJYRC Results]

It was a busy weekend at Aston Le-Walls in England, where there were four, count em’, four sections of Advanced horses and riders competing. Andrew Nicholson had another strong weekend, piloting Calico Joe and Qwanza to wins in their divisions, and Pippa Funnell won on Redesigned. Mary King was back in the saddle after her fall, riding Cavalier Venture to a fourth placed finish in Intermediate Section O. [Aston Le Walls Results]

Racing authorities in California are investigating whether or not to put limits on racing during extreme heat, after a two-year-old filly died at the State Fair. While California has seen some of the most extreme heat in years over the past few weeks, its racing board doesn’t have limits like many other venues do. [Sacramento Bee]

Beezie Madden won the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Chantilly in Chantilly, France. She bested second-placed Christian Ahlman with a trio of clear rounds aboard Cortes ‘C’. Click through to Global Champions Tour to see some absolutely stunning photos of the venue in France. [The Chronicle] [Global Champions Tour]

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Phillip Dutton took Mr. Medicott out for their first competition at MDHT II. Photo via Dutton Eventing's FB.

Good morning, EN! I’m still buzzing about my weekend at the Maryland Horse Trials; I took my partner of almost ten years out for our first Training event ever. I’m not one for emotional displays, but bringing home my 20-year-old horse clear around XC choked me up pretty good. I came home with a good number of things to work on [reading Kate’s post cemented my decision to go to a dressage show], and a lot to be excited about. To the organizers of the event: well done, it was on-time, and the services towards riders and spectators was top-notch. I almost died when someone offered to carry my tack back to the trailer after cross-country. Thank you, to all the organizers and volunteers!

Weekend Results:

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm II

Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials (Cancelled)

Champagne Run at the Park

Coconino Summer I

Chattahoochee Hills HT

Roebke’s Run HT

University of New Hampshire HT

Whidbey Island Pony Club HT

Events Opening this Week:

Moqui Meadows H.T. (Colorado, A-9) Town Hill Farm Horse Trials (Connecticut, A-1)KY Classique H.T. (Kentucky, A-8)  Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Fall H.T. (Virginia, A-2) Silverwood Farm Fall H.T. (Wisconsin, A-4)  Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (Georgia, A-3) Corona Del Sol Horse Trials (TX, A-5) Steepleview Labor Day Horse Trials(Minnesota, A-4)  Stanton Farms H.T. (Idaho, A-7)

Monday News:

Phillip Dutton competed for the first time with Mr. Medicott, Karen O’Connor’s Olympic ride, at the Maryland Horse Trials in Intermediate. He finished eighth in his division. There were many big names at the event, Jan Bynny won an Intermediate division with Syd Kent, Buck Davidson won on Mar De Amor and D.A. Adirmo, and Boyd Martin made his competitive comeback after injury, riding New Cadet in Preliminary. [MDHT Results]

Zara Phillips is still riding strong into the fourth month of her pregnancy. The British Olympian will reportedly stop riding after the British Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe next month, where the annual Championships are held. Please excuse the horrid headline, as it is British tabloid fare. [Express UK]

Tiana Coudray writes about the Aachen experience, and her hopes for Finn after a great spring season. It’s clear that she and the rest of the world are excited about Finn and his continued improvements since London, and  we’re excited with her to see what comes next! [My Aachen Experience]

Eventing Worldwide has a report from Upton Horse Trials in Oxfordshire, where many top riders in the area were competing their young horses, including Andrew Nicholson, Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell and Lucinda Fredricks. Also included are some top notch photos. [Eventing Worldwide]

Evention is back with the 3rd installment of ‘How to Train Your OTTB’

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Clark Montgomery and Rebecca Howard celebrate their 2-3 finish at Barbury 3*

Good morning, EN! July is truly upon us, it seems, with temperatures skyrocketing across the nation. In the northeast, we’ve seen a lot of rain and wetness around, resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of two events in NY (Stuart HT and Gennessee Valley). Unfortunately the rain has not diminished the humidity, it feels truly like a swamp land from sunup to sundown. I was greeted today by a horse that resembled mine only in outline, in reality he was covered in hives, and was an itchy, itchy mess. Be sure to take care of your horses and yourself in this kind of weather!

Weekend Results:

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm I

Chattahoochee Hills H.T.

Powder Basin H.T.

South Farm H.T.

ENYDCTA/Old Chatham H.T

Huntington Farm H.T.

Events Opening this Week:

Valinor Farm Fall Horse Trials (MA, A-1) Richland Park H.T. (MI, A-8)  Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. II (CA, A-6)  Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. (NY, A-1) Caber Farm Horse Trial (WA, A-7)

Monday News:

It was a busy weekend at Barbury International Horse Trials in England, where there were 2 CIC 3* sections and 3 CIC 2* sections. Andrew Nicholson and Avebury won Section A of the 3*, after adding time penalties to their winning dressage score. Piggy French and Tinkas Time won Section B, and EN blogger Charlotte Agnew unfortunately retired Out of Africa Two before cross-country. [Barbury Results]

Clark Montgomery had an absolutely stellar weekend on Loughan Glen at Barbury. After leading Section B after dressage with a fantastic 34.2, he had a rail in stadium and .8 time on cross-country to finish in second. I’m absolutely thrilled to see this horse going so well, I’m sure he’s a star for the future. Canadian Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master jumped up the leader board to finish in third after adding just time to her 10th place dressage score. [Barbury Wrap Up]

Andrew Nicholson remains on top of the HSBC International Rider Rankings, but the big news is that four Americans have moved into the top 11. Buck Davidson is top of the pack, he moved up from sixth to fifth as a result of his great results in the U.S., one behind Michael Jung. Marilyn Little, Phillip Dutton, and Will Faudree are the other riders making up the US contingent. Well done, riders! [HSBC Rankings]

Tipperary Liadnhan has a new owner, and new career as a lower level event horse after being sold by Nina Ligon after she completed her dream of competing in the Olympics. I have to say, I know Paddy’s show jumping was less than stellar, but he was one of my all time favorite horses to watch. I was his personal paperazzi at Rolex a few years ago, and, had funds been available, would have cleared out my accounts to buy him. Paddy is now competing at novice level with Louis Rogers, who rides with Laine Ashker. Hopefully I won’t have to compete against him any time soon! [Chronicle of the Horse]

Michael Owen, not the eventer Michael Owen mind you, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid soccer star, is learning how to ride with the goal of riding in a charity race. Michael Owen has owned racehorses, and has a daughter who rides dressage. Maybe one of his jockeys finally said, ‘You think it’s so easy? You try it!’ [Horse and Hound]

Video of the Day: Any time I try to do too much in the tack, I’m going to picture WFP sitting a disaster for anyone else.

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Christopher Burton won the CICO 3* at Aachen with Holstein Park Leilani

Good morning, EN! Later this week we celebrate our country’s independence day, and this weekend in Germany, some of our top riders were representing the great US of A at the Aachen CHIO. Cross-country was not kind to many riders on course, including Rolex winner Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo. The Germans dominated much of the action, once again sending a message to the rest of the world that they’re the nation to beat.

Weekend Results:

Groton House Farm Horse Trials

Horse Park Of New Jersey Horse Trials

Aachen CICO3*

Events Opening this Week:

Erie Hunt and Saddle Club H.T. (Pennsylvania, A-8) Larkin Hill H.T. (New York, A-1) Full Gallop Farm August HT (South Carolina, A-3) Waredaca Farm H.T. (Maryland, A-2)  Huntington Farm H.T. (Vermont, A-1)  The Event at Santa Fe (New Mexico, A-10)

Monday News:

Christopher Burton and Holstein Park Leilani won the CICO 3* at Aachen this weekend after their strong showing in the jumping phases. ‘Burto’ and Leilani moved steadily up the ranks after their fifth placed dressage round with a double clear in stadium and cross-country. Seven Germans occupied the top 10, including Sandra Auffarth and her Olympic mount Opgun Louvo, who finished in second, and Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FSW, who were third. [Christopher Burton Wins Aachen]

Tiana Coudray finished strongly at Aachen, piloting Ringwood Magister to a tenth placed finish. Tiana and Finn scored a solid 43 in dressage, but were in 20th place heading into the jumping. A clean show jumping round, and some time penalties in cross-country moved them up ten places, to finish with the US’s highest score. Clark Montgomery was the only other US pair to finish, after Will Faudree and Marilyn Little both fell on cross-country. [Aachen Wrap Up]

Sapphire gave birth, well ok, her surrogates did, to a colt and filly at Bluechip Farm in New York. The filly, who is by Heartbreaker, is a Sapphire lookalike with her chestnut coat and big white blaze, while the Presley Boy colt is a bay with a white star. The foals were born just thirteen minutes apart. [Chronicle of the Horse]

Scientists undertook a record-breaking genome project, on a horse. The 700,000 yar old horse, found frozen in ice in Canada, is the oldest specimen on which this has been attempted. There was enough DNA still attached to the skeleton for researchers to map the DNA, which will give us greater knowledge of how horses evolved to what they are today, and may provide examples for scientists in other fields to follow. [USA Today]

The latest in Smart Pak’s ‘Ask the Groom’ focuses on leg care. Mainly the daily maintenance and prevention of both injuries and skin diseases. It kind of made me feel like I should be doing more! [Smart Pak]

Top Tweet:


Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

The view down the famous Hickstead bank. Photo via twitter, @donaldjdonald

Good morning EN! With no major events over the weekend, I hope you all spent some time away from your computers and in the company of your equine friends. While we’re nearing the end of June, I fear we are also nearing the end of bearable weather at weekend events. I just sent in our entry for our first Training Level event. I’m still waiting for the, ‘are you sure?’ email from the organizers. It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago we were competing in a BN event after a five year hiatus from jumping. How time flies!

Weekend Results

Surefire HT

Encore HT: [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Fox River Valley Pony Club HT, CIC* and CCI*

Midsouth HT

Shepherd Ranch HT

Events Opening this Week:

Area VII Young Rider Benefit H.T. (Washington, A-7)  Hunters Run H.T. (Michigan, A-8) Otter Creek Summer H.T. (Wisconsin, A-4) Fair Hill International H.T.(Maryland, A-2)  The Summer Event at Woodside (California, A-6)  GMHA Festival of Eventing August Horse Trials (Vermont, A-1)  Colorado Horse Park One Day H.T.

Monday News:

Salperton Park in England hosted some of the top riders in the country over the weekend. Laura Collette and Rayef made their comeback after a disappointing withdrawal prior to Badminton, by winning an OI division. Mary King suffered a brutal fall with King’s Temptress, but luckily both of them seem to be doing well, with Mary being knocked unconscious, but reportedly with no broken bones. William Fox Pitt had a slew of horses, including Neuf des Cours, Seacookie, Parklane Hawk, and Lionheart. [Salperton Results]

Staying in England, for the first time in two centuries, a reigning monarch’s horse won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with her horse, Estimate. It’s worth clicking through just to see the Queen’s outfit, which she matched to the silks of winning jockey Ryan Moore. The Queen is a massive horse racing supporter, and has rarely missed the Ascot meet in her 61 years of ruling. [USA Today]

The U.S. narrowly missed out on a winning team performance at the CSIO in Rotterdam, after they were edged out by the Germans by one point. American rider Lucy Davis, who is just 20 and a student at Stamford University, won the Rider of the Day after she and her horse Barron went double clear. [Chronicle of the Horse]

Phillip Miller won the famed Hickstead Derby on Sunday aboard Caritier Z. Miller, from Hertfordshire, produced the only double clear round to clinch the title. William Funnell and Trevor Breen tired for second. [Horse and Hound]

If you’re in Chantilly, the north of France, anytime soon, check out the restoration of the Grand Stables, a palace/racetrack/colossal tribute to the equine specimen. Louis Henri-Bourbon, an 18th century prince, built the stables because he apparently believed in reincarnation, and specifically that he would come back as a horse. The racetrack and stables are absolutely magnificent, and are set to hold some of France’s biggest races, as well as being open to the public. [CNN]



Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


Andrew Nicholson and Mr. Cruise Control won the Luhmuhlen CCI 4*. Photo by Thomas Ix.

Good morning, EN! Another 4* has come and gone, this one on European soil; Luhmuhlen proved to be a difficult run for many of the riders that contested it. Only two US pairs finished the weekend, after cross-country claimed many victims, including two US riders.

Weekend Results:

Aspen Farms

Golden Spike HT

Silverwood Farm Spring HT

Seneca Valley Pony Club

Valinor Farm

Full Gallop

Events Opening this Week:

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. (Wisconsin, A-4) Millbrook H.T. (New York, A-1) Rocky Mountain Horse Trials (Colorado, A-9)  River Glen Summer H.T. (Tennessee, A-3)  Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trial (Iowa, A-4)

Monday News:

Andrew Nicholson continued his 4 * domination by winning at Luhmuhlen this weekend with Mr Cruise Control. Nicholson was third after dressage, and a double clear on cross-country and stadium helped him move into first after others had problems. Zara Phillips and High Kingdom were nipping at their heels all weekend; they held on to finish second. [Andrew Nicholson wins Luhmuhlen]

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter were the best placed American pair; they finished with one rail down in stadium to place seventh. Jolie Wentworth and Good Knight were the other Americans to finish; they completed in 32nd place. Jennie Brannigan and Camabalda fell at the first water complex, and Jules Stiller retired at the seventh fence with Enjoy Me. [Luhmuhlen Results]

Animal Kingdom will be the first Kentucky Derby winner since Omaha in 1935 to travel across the pond to compete at Royal Ascot. The frequent flyer will end his career in the Queen Anne’s Stakes, set to run tomorrow. Graham Motion has trained for the race, which is run on grass, and uphill, by taking the Dubai World Cup winner on hacks, and running up hills with his partner, Perpetually. Animal Kingdom will go into the race the odds on favorite, despite never having run under similar conditions. As a huge Animal Kingdom, and Graham Motion fan, I’m pulling for them to emulate Frankel’s amazing performance last year. [New York Times]

Paynter won his comeback race, an allowance at Hollywood Park, yesterday. The Belmont runner up, and Haskell winner overcame severe laminitis and colitis, which threatened his life at one point, won his first race in a year by four and half lengths. [Racing Post]

Top Tweet:


Ride around Luhmuhlen’s 3* course with Ingrid Klimke:

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


Will Coleman and Obos O'Reilly won the CCI 3* at Bromont. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Happy Monday, EN! I hope everyone enjoyed the coverage from Bromont this weekend, Canada’s biggest event drew some of the biggest names from North American eventing, and though the going was tough in spots, we really saw some pairs step into the spotlight.

Weekend Results:

Derbyshire Farms H.T.

Plantation Field H.T.

Copper Meadows H.T.

Arrowhead H.T.

Queeny Park H.T.

Difficult Run Pony Club Spring H.T.

Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T.

Events Opening this Week:

Applewood Farm YEH/FEH & Modified Eventing (New Jersey, A-2) Event at Rebecca Farm (Montana, A-7) Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials II (New Jersey, A-2) Stoneleigh-Burnham Summer H.T (Massachusetts, A-1)

Monday News:

Will Coleman and Obos O’Reilly won the CCI 3* at Bromont yesterday, putting in one of the only double clear show jumping rounds of the day to take the title. Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High moved up from 12th after dressage to 2nd, after they added just a few time penalties on cross-country to their dressage score. [Will Coleman Wins Bromont CCI]

Phillip Dutton and Ben won the CIC 3* at Bromont, leading the field after dressage and cross-country, and adding just one rail in stadium to their final score. Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti finished second, and Lauren Keiffer and R.F. Cosima finished the weekend in third. [Phillip Dutton and Ben Win Bromont CIC]

Across the pond, William Fox Pitt and Chilli Morning won the Bramham CCI 3* for the second year running. Mark Todd and Leonidas II were second, and former Doug Payne ride Running Order were 24th, after starting the weekend in seventh after dressage. [Bramham Results]

Palace Malice won the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes with jockey Mike Smith aboard. The Todd Pletcher colt went off at 13-1 odds, and beat both Preakness winner Oxbow, and Kentucky Derby winner Orb to clinch the $1 million purse. [New York Times]

Enjoy riding around Bramham with Ben Hobday:

Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster


Hugh Thomas is in Horse and Hound defending his Badminton cross-country course. Riders and critics are saying that the course was too soft.

Good morning, EN! All of us are looking forward to Bromont this weekend; many of North America’s top horses and riders will be in attendance, and they’re all gearing up for the first horse inspection later this afternoon. Now that Rolex is over, and there’s a few months before Burghley, the 3* events in North America have their opportunity to really shine.

Weekend Events:

Genesee Valley Riding Club Spring Horse Trials [Website]
Aspen Farms HT [Website] [Entry Status]
Derbyshire Farms HT [Website/Ride Times]
Plantation Field HT [Website] [Entry Status]
Copper Meadows HT [Website] [Ride Times]
Arrowhead HT [Website] [Ride Times]
Queeny Park HT [Website] [Ride Times]
Difficult Run Pony Club Spring HT [Website] [Entry Status]
Texas Rose Horse Park Summer HT [Website] [Entry Status]
Wednesday News: 
Like I said, Bromont starts today, with the first horse inspection beginning at 3:00 p.m. Dressage competition starts on Thursday at 8 a.m. and continues in to Friday, with cross-country taking place on Saturday. [Bromont Schedule]
Riders and critics are calling for new designers to be brought in to help re-instate Badminton as the premiere, and scariest, 4* course. With 59 horses finishing clear, 25 within the time, it’s become clear to some that Burghley, not Badminton, is the 4* that riders now aspire to finish. The designer, Hugh Thomas, fired back, saying that no one wants to see horse falls and retirements these days, while Lucinda Green said that it’s still possible to give riders ‘sleepless nights,’ without injuring the horses. [Horse and Hound]
Australia has named the squad for the upcoming Aachen CHIO; Chris Burton, Saumur winner Bill Levett, Andrew Hoy, Paul Tapner, and Murray Lamperd all made the cut. Four riders will be a part of the team that competes at Aachen in late June, while one will be chosen to compete individually. [An Eventful Life]
Another big event that begins with a ‘B’ is slated for the weekend; on Saturday, Kentucky Derby winner Orb, and Preakness winner Oxbow will meet up to see who can win the last jewel of the Triple Crown. Todd Pletcher will be looking to stop both of them; he saddles five, including Revolutionary and Palace Malice. [NY Times Blog]
The Eventing Mum, who I have just stumbled upon, and spent the last two hours reading her blogs, writes about an ‘accidental move up’ to Intermediate. At first, when reading the blog, she says her son didn’t make it in time for ‘novice,’ so had to go Intemediate. I almost started gagging until I realized that Novice in the UK is Preliminary in the US. The whole blog is an absolute riot. [Eventing Worldwide]
 Don’t forget to enter the EN Blogger Contest; entries close today at 8 p.m. Write something silly, something poignant (and also silly), and the top contestants will be in the running to write for EN. Hurry up! [Blogger Contest]
Team Wallace’s Episode II of the Road to Bromont:

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


The US team at Saumur, two of whom finished in the top 10!

Happy Monday, EN! I hope you, like me, were focused on the action in France this weekend, as four o our top American riders were competing at Saumur. Many were calling it a big test before the 2014 WEG, which will be held in Normandy, and will feature Saumur’s cross-country designer.

For me, I’m gearing up for Waredaca this weekend, which will be the first event that I’ve competed at twice! This is an exciting marker for me, as Waredaca was the venue where we competed at our first event together last August. I can’t believe how far we’ve come since then, the Beginner Novice stadim scared the pants off of me, and now we’re contemplating a move up to Training. How time flies!

Weekend Results

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. 

Virginia Horse CIC2*, CCI1* & H.T.

Flora Lea Spring H.T.

Paradise Farm H.T.

Corona del Sol Spring H.T.

The Spring Event at Woodside

May-Daze at the Park H.T.

Events Opening this Week:

University of New Hampshire H.T. (New Hampshire, A-1)  37th Annual Whidbey Island H.T. (Washington, A-7) Coconino Summer I H.T. & USDF dressage Show(Arizona, A-10)  Champagne Run at the Park H.T. (Kentucky, A-8)  Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (Georgia, A-3)  The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm II (Maryland, A-2) Roebke’s Run H.T. (Minnesota, A-4)  Cosequin Stuart H T. (New York, A-1)  Riga Meadow H.T. (Connecticut, A-1)

Monday News:

Bill Levitt won the Saumur CCI 3* in France this weekend, retaining his lead after cross-country with a clear show-jumping round. Dressage leaders Kitty King and Zidante surrendered their lead after being eliminated on cross-country. [Saumur Results]

Three out of four Americans who started Saumur, finished, and two inside the top 10! Will Faudree and Adromaque were the highest placed pair in fifth, and Marilyn Little finished in eighth. Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot dropped down to 26th after a stop on cross-country and two rails in stadium, and Buck Davidson and The Apprentice were eliminated on cross-country after Buck continued on course after failing to jump an obstacle. [USEF Network]

Jock Paget shares some golden nuggets of information he learned while training with Michael Jung, apparently the Badminton winner likes to make lists, and on this one he tells H&H he rides much differently at home than at a competition, and because most of his horses are Thorouhbreds, he doesn’t mind if they jump a little flat. [Horse and Hound]

Great Britain won the British leg of the FEI Nations Cup at Houghton, beating out series leader Germany by 14 points. Team members included Izzy Taylor, Emily Llewellyn., Francis Whittington, and Gemma Tattersall. [British Eventing]

The 117th (!!!) Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania kicked off with Junior Weekend. Adorable ponies and pigtails were on display as well as teenage riders competing for a famour Devon blue ribbon. Tori Covin won pretty much everything she competed for in her age group, as did Lillie Kennan. [Chronicle of the Horse]




Too much cuteness for one tweet:


Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica won the CIC 3* at Chattahoochee Hills. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Happy Monday, EN! I spent the weekend horse-less in my home town of Kansas City, where my two best friends graduated from college. The weekend turned a bit sour on Sunday, when, upon waking up, I was alerted that my horse had a chunk torn out of his ear and needed to put on antibiotics because, the cartilage was showing. First of all, gross. Second of all, come on man, every time I leave it’s something different. I didn’t think you liked me that much, but apparently my absence was noted. This should make bridling a breeze in the next couple of weeks. Just in time for a couple of big events. Yay horses!

Weekend Results:

CHC International HT

Otter Creek HT

Hitching Post Farm HT

Fair Hill HT

Greater Dayton HT

Kelly’s Ford HT

Kent School HT

Events Opening this Week:

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm I (Maryland, A-2) ENYDCTA/Old Chatham H.T.(New York, A-1) Genesee Valley Hunt H.T. (New York, A-1) Powder Basin H.T.(Wyoming, A-9) Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA, A-3) South Farm H.T. (Ohio, A-8) Huntington Farm H.T. (Vermont, A-1)

Monday News:

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica won the CIC 3* at Chattahoochee Hills this weekend, moving up from fourth to first after adding just time penalties to their dressage score. Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon moved up from fifth to second, and overnight leaders Phillip Dutton and William Penn dropped down to ninth after a stop on cr0ss-country. [CHC CIC 3* Wrap Up]

British eventers were out in force at Rockingham Castle, where William Fox Pitt took second place in an Intermediate section with ex-Doug Payne ride Running Order. He also took Chilli Morning out in the same section; they placed fourth after their early retirement on the Rolex cross-country after leading the competition after dressage. Mary King, Lucy Jackson, and Andrew Nicholson were also in attendance. [Rockingham Castle Results]

Phillip Dutton has given up the ride on Fernhill Eagle, one of his horse’s competing at Rolex this year. Mark Grandia will take over as his rider on the West Coast, and Phillip believes he’s a great horse to show an up-and-coming rider the ropes. [Phillip Dutton FB]

As wel all know by now, there will be no Triple Crown winner this year. In an anti-climatic finish, Orb was bested by Gary Stevens and Oxbow, and a few other horses, to finish fourth. The public will find out the horses running in the Belmont Stakes in three weeks time soon, but sources are indicating that both Oxbow and Orb will feature in the final race of the Triple Crown. [US News]

As Jessica reported on Saturday, the FEI has handed out two yellow cards and two verbal warnings to eventers. Marilyn Little received a yellow card at Rolex for leaving the site of a fall without being examined, and Alexandra Killinich received a yellow card at the Ocala CCI * for riding too fast at a fence. Killinich agreed with the warning, stating it was ‘educational.’ [Chronicle of the Horse]

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Will Faudree and Andromaque won the CIC 3* at Jersey Fresh this weekend. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning, EN! I hope all of you enjoyed the coverage from Jersey Fresh over the weekend, and everyone at least acknowledged Mother’s Day to the woman who gave birth to them. I love my mom dearly, and will credit her to giving me my start with horses. She bought my first horse, Dusty, an ill-mannered Quarter Horse, and at 15.3 h, inappropriately tall for a seven-year-old. She was never the mom who followed me around with a cloth to shine my boots, in fact I made up most of her Pony Club mandatory volunteering hours, but she is the reason that I’m still riding and with horses today.

Weekend Results:

King Oak Farm Spring H.T.

Plantation Field H.T.

WindRidge Farm H.T.

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. at Longview

Galway Downs Spring H.T.

NWEC May Classic

Winona H.T.

Bucks County HT

Events Opening this Week:

Inavale Farm HT (Oregon, A-7) Horse Park of New Jersey H.T. (New Jersey, A-2) Groton House Farm H.T. (Massachusetts, A-1)

Monday News:

Jessica Phoenix and Olympic and WEG partner Exponential won the CCI 3* at Jersey Fresh. Despite dropping a rail in stadium, they moved past overnight leaders Buck Davidson and D.A. Adirmo after they finished with two rails down. Courtney Cooper started the weekend in ninth place with Who’s a Star, but finished in third after a clear cross-country round and one of the only two double clear stadium rounds. [Jessica Phoenix and Exponential Clinch the Win]

Will Faudree and Andromaque won the CIC 3* at Jersey Fresh this weekend. Will and Missy led start to finish, and even came home as the fastest pair on cross-country, before jumping a double clear stadium round. I absolutely adore this mare, and I think great things are going to come from them in the summer, which includes a trip to the CCI 3* at Saumur, France, later this month. Jennie Brannigan finished second on Cambalda, which will give the pair a big confidence boost after Ping’s unfortunate withdrawal at Rolex. Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot finished third, and Marilyn Little and RF Demeter were fourth. [Will Faudree and Andromaque Victorious at Jersey Fresh]

The High Hope Steeplechase, held at the Kentucky Horse Park for the past 46 years, was cancelled. Organizers of the steeplechase cited lack of entrants, and the course’s apparent unsuitability to host the race. Interested parties will meet next week to discuss the future of the races. []

Horse and Hound is offering a free trial subscription compatible with Ipads, just in time for their Eventing issue. From what it looks like, if we missed anything at Badminton, they’ve got it covered, as well as what appear to be some gorgeous photos and top notch interviews. [Horse and Hound]

Hollywood Park is closing its gates after 75 years of racing. The historic park, which I read about in the pages of Seabiscuit, has been losing money, along with many other race tracks in the United States. Hollywood Park hosted the first Breeder’s Cup race in 1984, and will finish racing for good on December 22 of this year. [KPCC]

Badminton Show Jumping Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Michael Jung and Sam will show jump for the win today at Badminton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning, EN readers! Today is the final day of Badminton, weirdly on a Monday, and today will determine whether Michael Jung crushes the $350 k dreams of WFP and Andrew Nicholson, or whether everyone drops rails and an American takes the prize  (highly unlikely, but we can always hope!). Over in the U.S., the eventing community is gearing up for the Jersey Fresh CCI 3* this weekend, with many top riders being involved in both the CIC 3* and CCI 3* divisions. Good luck to our North American contingent on Badminton SJ day and good luck to competitors at one of our top North American events, Jersey Fresh, this weekend!

Weekend Results:

Badminton Final Inspection, SJ Live Scores

Heart of the Carolinas 3-day Event

Weatherford and Greenwood Farm CIC2*, CIC1*, HT


Poplar Place May HT

Events Opening this Week:

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. I (California, A-6) Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. CIC1* and CCI1* (Illinois, A-4) Great Vista Horse Trials (New York, A-1) Encore H.T. (Michigan, A-8) Surefire H.T. (Virginia, A-2) Abbe Ranch H.T. (Colorado, A-9)Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Kentucky, A-8)

Monday News:

Michael Jung holds onto his dressage lead after cross-country at Badminton with his WEG and Olympic partner La Biosthetique Sam FBW. Jock Paget moved up from fourth to second, as Stefano Breccairoli (2nd after dressage) had time penalties, and Dirk Schrade (3rd after dressage) retired on course. Michael and Sam have less than a rail over Jock, and exactly a rail over third placed William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk. If Michael and Sam drop a rail, and Jonathan Paget has one as well, William will win as his XC time was closest to the optimum. [Badminton Results]

The battle between WFP and Andrew Nicholson continues; after cross-country William retained his .2 lead over Andrew and Nereo. While the rivalry may be null and void if Michael keeps his lead, or Jonathan Paget takes it over, it’s still exciting seeing who might walk away with a fat check this weekend. I know who I’m rooting for; I won’t give it away but I will say he is riding a horse that rhymes with ‘Smarklane Mawk.’ If WFP and Parklane Hawk win, he will be the first horse to win all three Grand Slam events. [Badminton XC from H&H]

Every single North American rider that started Badminton on Friday is still in contention on show jumping day. Tiana Coudray leads the pack with Ringwood Magister; they put in a stellar dressage test and an even better cross-country round to start their Monday in tenth. Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master added just .8 time penalties to their cross-country score to move up 10 spots to 22nd. Clark Montgomery might have hoped to have had a better dressage score, but there’s no way he can be unhappy about his cross-country round on Universe; the pair jumped beautifully around the course to add just six time penalties. Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz continue their record-breaking quest to become the first horse and rider pair to complete all five 4* with a clean jumping round as well. [EN XC Report]

Check back with Eventing Nation early tomorrow for the Final Horse Inspection from Badminton. The inspection starts at 8:30 a.m. (3:30 ET), with Show Jumping beginning at 11:00 (6:00 ET), and the top 20 to jump at 1:30 (8:30 ET). Having been to Badminton twice, my favorite part of the SJ (besides the jumping itself) was the parade of the Duke of Beaufort’s hounds. Picture a full hunting party with hounds in the main arena at Badminton and you’ll see why it’s so great. [Badminton Timetable]

Orb won the Kentucky Derby yesterday on a sloppy track, on a miserable rainy day. The colt, trained by Lexington native, and veteran trainer Sug McGaughey, came from behind to win by a convincing three lengths. Orb was the co-favorite coming into race day, and didn’t disappoint. While he wasn’t my pick to win (I never pick the right ones), the win gives me hope of finally seeing a Triple Crown winner. This is a great colt, that’s been brought along by the right people, and with a little luck, he could go all the way. [NY Times]
Whoever this lady is, she’s amazing.


Video:  Michael Jung and Sam’s XC round from Sunday


Quimbo’s Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Andrew Nicholson and the horse everyone now wants to ride, Quimbo, won the Rolex Kentucky CCI 4* yesterday. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Another Rolex has come and passed. The leaderboard certainly took a beating after cross country; I don’t think anyone expected Mary King and William Fox-Pitt to retire on course; I almost choked on my coffee when I saw Fernhill Urco stop out of the water. Hats off to Andrew Nicholson, who rode beautifully all weekend to take the top prize with the stunning Quimbo. What was so exciting about this Rolex was the amount of first-timers and up-and-coming riders who had great trips; it makes everyone excited to see what they’ll do in the future.

Weekend Results:

Fresno County HT

Loudoun Hunt PC HT

University of New Hampshire HT

Events Opening this Week:

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Kentucky, A-8) Great Vista Horse Trials (New York, A-1) Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. CIC1* and CCI1* (Illinois, A-4) Encore H.T. (Michigan, A-8)  Abbe Ranch H.T. (Colorado, A-9) Seneca Valley PC HT (Virginia, A-2) Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. I (California, A-6)

Monday News:

Andrew Nicholson went one-three at Rolex on Sunday. Quimbo jumped a clear round with a few time faults to retain the lead, and Calico Joe dropped one spot with eight faults to finish third. William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF finished second. This sets up a battle royale at Badminton to find out which, if ether, of them will take home the Rolex Grand Slam. [Rolex Results]

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM were the highest placed American pair at Rolex; they finished fourth. Lynn Symansky continued her great season with Donner, finishing fifth. The amount of adoration that Buck clearly has for this horse is amazing to see, and I can’t help but see a lot of “try” in Donner. Mad props to Lynn for bringing this beautiful horse along so well. [Rolex Results]

Wait, so Badminton is next weekend? With all the excitement from Rolex, you’re forgiven if you forgot about the big event across the pond. In addition to WFP, Andrew Nicholson, Michael Jung, Zara Phillips and Mary King, we’ll also be keeping an eye on Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz, Clark Montgomery and Universe, Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister, and Canadian Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master. [Badminton Entries]

Stuart Tinney and his stunning ride Pluto Mio won the Sydney CCI3* in Australia over the weekend. It looks like this is going to be a great ride for Stuart; the horse is an impeccable and impressive jumper. Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire finished second, and Shane Rose and Virgil took the third spot. [An Eventful Life]

Next weekend’s not packed enough for you? The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place next Saturday. The top three contenders, Orb, Verrazano, and Goldencents, have all arrived at Churchill Downs and participated in workouts over the weekend. [NBC]

Beezie Madden and Simon won the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Beezie and Simon went into a jump-off with Swiss rider Steve Guerdat, and after he pulled two rails, Beezie won with a fault-free round. Three other U.S. riders, including McLain Ward, Reed Kessler, and Karl Cook, finished in the top 11. [Chronicle of the Horse]

Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian


EN's Samantha Clark tweeted this photo from the Rolex XC course. I would totally love to jump it if I knew it wasn't 10 feet tall.

Happy Rolex Week Eventing Nation! This is the second year in a row that I haven’t gone to Rolex. I started going at age 13, and the only years I missed were in 2003, when I was lucky enough to go to Badminton, and 2009, when I was studying abroad and went to Badminton again! Rolex holds such a special place in my heart. It’s where my friend Molly and I wrote a poem about the corn dogs, a song about the Head of the Lake (to the tune of Five for Fighting’s ‘It’s not Easy,’ – the chorus being ‘it’s not easy, to cross-country’), and where I had the perfect strategy of getting to the Head of the Lake when everyone else went to lunch. What’s better than eating a slightly warm lunchable by the water? Saturday I have the morning off, and you can bet I’ll be glued to USEF Network to take in all the action. Ya’ll have fun out there!

Weekend Results:

Fair Hill International HT

Holly Hill Spring HT

Longleaf Pine HT

River Glen Spring HT

Redland Hunt PC HT

Events Opening this Week:

Difficult Run Pony Club Spring Horse Trials (Virginia, A-2)  Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. (Texas, A-5) Arrowhead H.T. (Montana, A-9)  Derbyshire Farms H.T. I(Michigan, A-8) Queeny Park H.T. (Missouri, A-4) Copper Meadows H.T. (California, A-6)  Carriage House Farm Combined Test (Minnesota, A-4)  Plantation Field H.T.(Pennsylvania, A-2)

Monday News:

Will Coleman and Obos O’Reilly won the CIC 3* at Fair Hill this weekend. Lillian Heard and Share Option were second, and Sharon White and Wundermaske were third. Sarah Cousins and Ideal Contini won the Advanced, Courtney Cooper and Who’s a Star were second, and Phillip Dutton and Cracker Jack were third. [Fair Hill International Scores]

The final installments of the Rolex Featured Riders blogs are out. Read how Jennie Brannigan (Cambalda), Will Coleman (Twizzel) and Stephen Blaumer (member of the Trading Aces syndicate) are spending the final week heading up to the big event. [Rolex Blogs]

Stephen Clarke gives An Eventful Life a funny view into life as an eventing dressage judge. Apparently it’s pretty normal for cross-country fences to block in the dressage arena, he became a ‘stressage’ judge for the food, and you can always pick out a judge from the tan on their right arm. [An Eventful Life]

Rolex isn’t the only big event this weekend; in Australia, the Sydney CCI 3* will begin on Friday. Shane Rose, Megan Jones and Stuart Tinney are just a few of the riders who will contest the event. [Sydney Three Day Event]

Ian Stark ran the London Marathon Sunday, and was one of the thousands who observed a moment of silence for the victims of last week’s Boston Marathon.   Ian ran for the childrens’ health charity, Sparks. [Just Giving]

Horses raced in Libya for the first time since the fall of Muammar Qadaffi on Friday in the nation’s capital, Tripoli. Supporters of racing hope that the sport will gain more popularity and success in the new regime. [Al Arabiya]

Want to win a pair of Dubarrys? So do I, but I don’t think I can enter this contest. Lucky for you, you can! [Dubarry Contest]

Unfortunately, Laura Collett has withdrawn Rayef from Badminton. Here’s to a speedy recovery.



We would like to extend our condolences to Susan MacRae for her loss of Flashpoint (“Tip”) at Fair Hill Horse Trials this past weekend.


Monday News and Notes from Success Equestrian

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica won the CCI2* at Red Hills. Image courtesy of Palmer Photo.

Is it Monday already? The weekend goes by fast when you take a couple of horses to Pennsylvania for Plantation HT. Especially when one person (not me) has her rides at 8 a.m., and you ride show jumping at 5:30. The day really flies, especially when she’s finished cross country and you go get brunch and hang around for two hours and then realize there’s still three hours until you have to put your studs in. I can’t complain though, things really came together this weekend, and my horse is feeling amazing. Our dressage score keeps going down, and he feels more locked on with every jump course we do.

Weekend Results:

Ocala Horse Properties CCI* & CCI2*

Twin Rivers Spring Three Day & HT


Plantation Field HT

St Johns HT

Events Opening this Week:

Poplar Place Farm June H.T. (Georgia, A-3)  GMHA June HorseTrials (Vermont, A-1) Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring Horse (New York, A-1)  IEA Horse Trials, Classic Training & Novice 3-Day (Indiana, A-8)  The Colorado Horse Park CCI1*, T3D & Horse Trials. (Colorado, A-9)  Waredaca H.T. (Maryland, A-2)  Queeny Park H.T. (Missouri, A-4)

Monday News:

Twin Rivers played host to a CCI1 and 2*, and CIC3* this weekend; Mackenna Shea and Landioso won the 3*, Katherine Groesbeck and Oz Poof of Purchase won the CCI2*, and Jolie Wentworth and Governess won the 1*. James Alliston and Jumbo’s Jake won the Advanced. [Twin Rivers Results] 

At the Ocala CCI2*, Lauren Keiffer and Veronica took top honors. They were tied for third after dressage, but fault-free cross-country and stadium rounds saw them rise to the top. Buck Davidson and Santa’s Keeper were second, and Jessica Phoenix on Erodium were third. [Ocala Results]

Black Caviar won her 25th consecutive race, but the scandal that surrounds the race centers around a reporter, namely ‘fifth generation horseman’ Hamish McLachlan, who cantered his obviously lame horse up to winning jockey and horse for the post-race interview. McLachlan knew about the horse’s condition, but says he was pressured into doing the interview from his producers. [Herald Sun]

William Fox-Pitt is obviously very excited about the possibility of winning the Rolex Grand Slam at Badminton this year. Once British Eventing got a hold of him for the interview he said ‘I’ll be giving it my best shot.’ He would be only the second Brit to have one the Slam, the first being Pippa Funnell in 2003. On a sadder note, my ribbon wall will never look like that. [British Eventing]

My favorite person I’ve never met, Hamish Cargill has some updates for anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past couple of months. Here’s the breakdown: Badminton got herpes, understanding FEI qualifications will get you a MENSA call, and next week Hamish talks about bras that make you ride better. I’m hoping he’s going to be wearing it. [An Eventful LIfe]

 Lucinda Green gives advice on how to knock winter rust off. I could have used this two months ago!