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Nation Media and Equerry / Co Launch Media Partnership

Julia Spatt & 501 Macintosh, winners of the Bates Preliminary Rider division at the 2019 American Eventing Championships. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Equerry / Co, an International, full-service equestrian marketing and website design agency based in the UK, and Nation Media, a media organization that brings the latest equestrian news from around the world on Eventing Nation and Horse Nation, are pleased to announce a media partnership.

Nation Media and Equerry / Co look forward to collaborating in 2022 to move the needle on accessibility and equity in the equestrian industry.

The collaboration will include a series of articles centering around topics of diversity and representation, a video series, and a media mentorship program.

States Christine Bjerkan, Founder and MD at Equerry / Co:

“I am excited for the opportunity to work in a cross-promotional alliance with the dedicated team at Nation Media. Our focus on introducing a rich mix of cross-platform content for all those we work with by shining a light on the diverse range of disciplines, events and talent our industry harbors, will be furthered by this partnership.

If anything, this partnership is promoting aspects of our industry that for a long time have been neglected or even taken for granted, and as our industry and sport forever comes under scrutiny, inclusivity is the only way forward. We’re not here to just talk the talk – we’re walking the walk.”

Sally Spickard, managing editor of Eventing Nation, says:

“Collaboration is at the center of all success. Nation Media prides itself on its relationships within the industry and we’re looking forward to fostering a larger and more inclusive equestrian community for all via intentional focus on relationships and working together. We recognize that we have the opportunity to help open more doors, and this partnership with Equerry / Co is one actionable way to do this.”

About EQuerry Consulting:

EQuerry Consulting Ltd is based in Gloucestershire, England, with members on the ground also in the US. Providing unrivaled design, communication and brand development services to help equestrian brands, events and athletes create unique digital presences that truly stand out from the crowd, we are trusted by equestrians from around the world. To find out more about Equerry / Co’s equestrian marketing and website design visit equerryco.com

About Nation Media (Comprised of Eventing Nation and Horse Nation):

Nation Media’s goal is to create unique and engaging content that readers want to consume, that promotes community, and that sponsors are proud to be associated with. We seek to bring fairness, objectivity, and advocacy into the content we create — with just the right amount of ridiculousness. We aspire to create a great place to work and a sustainable business. We commit to always embracing the “insanity in the middle.”

Area 1 Rallies to Ensure the Continued Presence of Upper Levels in the Northeast

Image courtesy of GMHA.

GMHA steps up this year, following the cancellation of Millbrook Horse Trials, to offer an Advanced CT and A/I division in their Festival of Eventing this August. GMHA, which already hosts the only FEI Event in Area 1, will now become the only horse trials in the Area to offer divisions above the Preliminary level, in 2022.

While Millbrook’s cancellation comes as a serious blow, the Area 1 community is rallying to support Millbrook and their board, as well as ensure the spirit and tradition of the sport remains strong in the northeast. Bruce Perry, GMHA’s Executive Director, expressed his continued support for Millbrook H.T. saying “We look forward to working with Millbrook in the future to ensure the presence of upper level divisions in Area 1.”

Jane Hamlin, top level FEI and Olympic judge and selector on the Area 1 YR team, believes that the presence of the upper levels in Area 1 is “integral to the education and  development of young riders in the sport.” Indeed, many top riders began their careers in Area 1, through the Young Rider program. One such rider, Ariel Grald, climbed up the scoreboard at Badminton Horse Trials this month to finish as the second placing American pair following two top class jumping rounds.

When speaking about her early education as a rider, Grald expressed the influence GMHA had on her and her excitement about the addition of new divisions. “GMHA is an incredibly valuable and special venue,” she said. “It was an influential place for my early education and development as a rider/competitor. Growing up in Vermont, I attended the Youth Horsemanship camp and Young Rider clinics, in addition to competing at the horse trials and other shows.

“GMHA is a wonderful place for both riders and horses to learn. It has great arenas, good terrain on cross country and excellent courses. It’s exciting that the August Horse Trials hosts FEI divisions and is now offering an Advanced CT and A/I division this year. Many upper level riders started their careers in Area 1, as I did, and relied on GMHA to gain experience through the levels.”

GMHA’s influence, however, is not limited to the development of some of the country’s top riders, but extends to the sport as a whole. GMHA’s first horse trials, in fact, predated the creation of the USEA. Founded in 1926, this Organization has seen over 60 years of eventing history. The continued presence of upper level riders will ensure this historic venues’ ongoing impact on the sport.

Located in the idyllic town of South Woodstock Vermont, GMHA’s benefits from cooler temperatures and softer footing in the month of August. Executive Director, Bruce Perry and cross country course designer Morgan Rowsell are making footing a top priority at the event, this year, and
will be implementing both an improved galloping track and adding to the geo-textile footing in the arenas.

With a cash prize of $10,000 distributed across the upper levels, a complimentary competitors party, and top tier show jumping course design by Chris Barnard and cross country by Morgan Rowsell, this event is not one to be missed! GMHA invites everyone to join them this August 12th through 14th to keep the tradition and community of eventing strong in Area 1!

MARS Bromont Rising Recipients Announced

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Entries are strong leading up to the exciting return of the MARS Bromont CCI happening June 8th to 12th in rural Bromont, Quebec. A popular destination for North American competitors who are eager to return to this 1976 Olympic Games venue just 90 minutes from Burlington, Vermont.

We are pleased to the recipients of the MARS Bromont Rising scholarship program. The brainchild of Bromont organizer, Sue Ockendon, and the late Steve Blauner the program began in 2019.

Steve had a vision of supporting young eventers from the U.S. and Canada who were not yet under the radar of national U25 training programs. Riders competing at any level of FEI competition offered are eligible to apply.

The following have been successful in receiving US$2,500 grants through the MARS Bromont Rising Program.

  • Rory Frangos (FL-USA)
  • Lulu Malinoski (PA-USA)
  • Lea Adams-Blackmore (VA-USA)
  • Emalee Bodimeade (ON-CAN)
  • Sophie Miller (SC-USA)
  • Alexa Gartenburg (PA-USA)
  • Maddie Hale (KY-USA)
  • Abby Dubrawski (MA-USA)
  • Makayla Rydzik  (ON-CAN)
  • Sophie Click (WA-USA)

The following have been invited to participate in lectures and course walks.

  • Lea Kilpatrick (FL-USA)
  • Emma Mchugh  (QUE-CAN)

Cara Whitham of Stoney Creek, Ontario will again do the Centerline dressage workshop and other presentations along with course walks and coaching by New Zealand Olympian, Andrew Nicholson.

Bromont rising chair Peter Gray is excited to be able to offer these scholarships again at the MARS Bromont CCI happening this June 8-12 and the Galway Downs International 3-day Event happening November 2-6. “Through the generosity of MARS Equestrian, I am very pleased to be a part of this initiative to identify some of the countries up-and-coming emerging talent in the sport and to provide them with an amazing 3 days of education and team building.”

For more information about MARS Bromont Rising Program please contact Program Director, Peter Gray [email protected]

Entries Confirmed for Pratoni del Vivaro’s 2022 WEG Test Event

Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD (GER), shown here at the 2018 WEG in Tryon, will contest the 2022 Test Event at Pratoni del Vivaro. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The flags of twelve nations, including Italy, will be raised on the flagpoles of the Pratoni del Vivaro, in Rocca di Papa, for the upcoming Eventing Test Event (May 12-15) for the 2022 FEI World Championships 2022.

More than 60 riders will compete in the CCIO4*-NC-S, which will also be the first leg of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing™ 2022 series.

Team officials will be hoping this short-format competition will provide a few clues as to what cross-country course-designer Giuseppe della Chiesa (ITA) has in store for the ‘real thing’ at 4* long format in September.

Nine nations are sending enough riders to form teams, including the host nation, Italy, which has a strong showing with 16 combinations. The nine nations who will field teams are: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Australia, Brazil and Poland will field individual competitors. View the complete competitor list here. [Editor’s note: Last updated May 5 — note that Lauren Nicholson will be attending as an athlete observer, not competing.]

Jonelle and Tim Price, currently numbers five and six in the world, will represent New Zealand. Jonelle rides Faerie Magnifico and Tim has Falco, winner of Pau CCI5*-L last year. They are joined by Amanda Pottinger, whose mother, Tinks, was a member of the silver medal team at the 1986 World Championships in Gawler, Australia.

French rider Nicolas Touzaint (riding Absolute Gold HDC) will have fond memories of this famous venue because he won individual gold in the FEI European Championships held at Pratoni del Vivaro in 2007. This time he rides Absolute Gold HDC, the horse on which he finished sixth individually and won team bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games. His Olympic team mate Karim Florent Laghouag, will also compete at Pratoni on his Tokyo horse, Triton Fontaine.

Three hugely experienced riders are the reigning Olympic team silver medallist and individual bronze medallist Andrew Hoy of Australia (riding Bloom des Hauts Crets here); the reigning world individual bronze medallists and dual European champions, Ingrid Klimke of Germany with SAP Hale Bob (and Equistros Siena Just Do It); and Sara Algotsson-Ostholt of Sweden (riding Chicuelo), who won the individual silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

The nine nations who will field teams are: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Australia, Brazil, Poland and the United States will field individual competitors.

This Eventing Test Event (May 12-15) for the FEI World Championship 2022 will also count for assigning the title and medals for the 2022 Italian Championship and for the Italian Military Riders’ Championship, with 15 riders contesting the Championship.

Admission is free of charge for spectators attending the Test Event.

THE PROGRAM

– Thursday May 12th: part one of Dressage at 9.30 am

– Friday May 13th: part 2 of Dressage at 9.30 am

– Saturday May 14th: Cross Country at 10.30 am

– Sunday May 15th: Show Jumping and prize-giving at 10.30 am

Allie Knowles, Brittany Crandall to Receive 2022 Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grants

Allie Knowles and Morswood. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The recipients of the 2022 Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grant were chosen in a drawing at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian.

Rob and Chris Desino from Ocala Horse Properties and Sarah and Rebecca Broussard from The Event at Rebecca Farm made the selections by randomly choosing miniature airplanes with the applicants’ names on them.

Two grants were awarded – one for the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L and one for the Rebecca Farm CCI3*-L – from the pool of qualified riders and horses who entered.

  • The winner of the CCI4*-L Grant is Alexandra Knowles and Business Class, the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Harlequin Du Carel x Moxella) owned by Katherine O’Brien.
  • The winner of the CCI3*-L Grant is Brittany Crandall and Cooley Almighty, her own 9-year-old KWPN gelding (Verdi x Wyniella).

The winning horse and rider combinations will get receive round trip airfare to and from The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont. Reserves were also selected in case Knowles or Crandall are unable to accept the grants. The CCI4*-L reserve is Jules Batters with Cooley O and the CCI3*-L reserve is Heather Bush and Skyfall 007.

About the Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grant

In 2021 the team from Ocala Horse Properties, led by Rob and Chris Desino, visited The Event at Rebecca Farm for the first time. In awe of the quality of the event, they felt that the entire eventing community, especially those on the East Coast of the United States, needed to make this event a part of their yearly competition plans. Inspired to take action Ocala Horse Properties announced during the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention that they would step up to provide two grants to make the trip possible for horse and rider combinations at the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L levels.

Ocala Horse Properties has a long history of supporting and sponsoring three-day eventing, but this is the first time that they have established a grant through the USEA Foundation.

The Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grant will be awarded annually to two (2) horse and rider combinations, one who is competing in the CCI3*-L and one in the CCI4*-L at The Event at Rebecca Farm. The riders must be USEA members residing in Areas I, II, III, or VIII at the time that they apply for the grant.

EN thanks Ocala Horse Properties for their support of our sport!

FEI Formally Recognises the International Grooms Association

FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Lucy Katan, Founding Director of the International Grooms Association have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the FEI Sports Forum 2022 at IMD in Lausanne (SUI). Photo by FEI/Richard Juilliart.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Founding Director of the International Grooms Association™ (IGA) Lucy Katan have recognised the creation of the IGA with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the FEI Sports Forum today.

An independent not-for-profit professional association, the IGA has been established to achieve greater representation and career recognition for grooms, as well as to improve their working conditions, especially at equestrian events where long hours are the norm.

The support provided by the IGA will include guidance on employment rules, answers to commonly asked questions on recruitment, a toolkit for grooms working freelance, and a job board, to name a few. A section on well-being on the IGA website, International Grooms Minds, will ensure that grooms also have a strong emotional support system in place to assist them in their daily work.

“Today’s signing of the MOU is the culmination of many years of discussion and planning and marks the start of a new era for international grooms,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“This is a journey which began in 2017 with the first meeting of the FEI Grooms Working Group, and started to take shape at last year’s Sports Forum when the community provided its full support for the creation of the IGA. What we see today is the result of a great deal of hard work and persistence and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the FEI Grooms Working Group and Lucy Katan for her vision and leadership in creating this important organisation.

“The IGA has laid the foundations for the grooms’ community to grow, evolve and have a strong voice in the long-term development of equestrian sport and I count on grooms, as well as National Federations, athletes, organisers, officials and owners to make this a success.”

Since its inception in 2009, the annual FEI Best Groom Award has paid tribute to the hard work of grooms across the FEI’s disciplines.

The FEI has also developed educational tools and resources to assist grooms with their day-to-day work. Education has been key to creating international standards of operation that are accepted and followed by grooms at all levels.

In 2015, FEI Solidarity created an educational course for grooms, which consists of three in-person sessions and one practical assessment. Over the years, 280 grooms worldwide, have already benefited from these courses that provide practical training delivered by a technical expert. The IGA will now collaborate with FEI Campus to provide grooms with information on anti-doping, biosecurity and general stable management.

“This is the moment in time that finally gives the international grooms a voice within the FEI and at competitions,” said Lucy Katan, herself a former international groom.

“The goal is for the IGA to become the voice of international grooms, while recognising all the work goes into keeping the equine athletes of our sport happy, healthy and performing at their best.

“While we want Organising Committees to raise their commitment to improving working conditions, we hope that Grooms will provide feedback on their work experiences through a ‘Grooms Report’, so that improvements can be made to their working conditions at events. This is a real opportunity for grooms to constructively and collaboratively be heard and play a key role in their profession and this industry.”

Grooms from all over the world can now become an IGA member through the Association’s official website: www.internationalgrooms.org.

Each FEI discipline will also have four to six representatives working within the industry to promote the status of international grooms. These representatives will be asked to mentor new grooms, creating a support hub for those new to the scene.

“The career of a groom should be seen as integral to the success of any equestrian team and to equestrian sport,” Chair of the Grooms Consultative Group, former groom, and former FEI Executive Board member Frank Kemperman said.

“An international athlete is nothing without a good horse, but a good horse is nothing without an exceptional groom. It is about being a team. Athlete, horse, and groom are key to each other’s success. We hope the national federations and their athletes will spread the word and encourage their international grooms to join the IGA.”

The Grooms Consultative Group was set up by the FEI following last year’s Sports Forum and is made up of Grooms, Owners, Athletes, representatives of Organising Committees, Officials, Stewards and National Federations. The Group’s mission is to assist with the definition of a roadmap for the development of key structures for the Grooms community, including the creation of a Charter of rights and obligations for Grooms.

Christoffer Forsberg Wins Again in Strzegom Spring Open CCI4*-L

Christoffer Forsberg and Hippo’s Sapporo pick up another win, this time in the 4*-L at Strzegom’s Spring Open. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Swedish rider Christoffer Forsberg with Hippo’s Sapporo was the best in the CCI4*-L, the most demanding class of the second leg of Strzegom Spring Open.

Forsberg took the lead after dressage, and despite going over the time in the cross-country and four faults in the jumping, kept it until the end of the rivalry. Second place belonged to Italy’s Marco Cappai with Uter, who was clear in the jumping, but had some time faults. Third belonged to Hanne Wind Ramsgaard riding Ameq Torino (Rawa’s Torino). The Danish athlete was second after the first trial, and jumped up the ranks after a clear cross-country course with time penalties.

In the CCI4*-S, the winner was Aminda Ingulfson from Sweden with Joystick. Few penalties in the XC and a clear jumping round secured her the win before France’s Maxime Livio with Elvis de Hus Z and Belgian Jarno Verwimp riding Mahalia. The best home rider was Joanna Pawlak with Fantastic Frieda, who took home the sixth.

The competition in the 3*-L ended with a significant reshuffle. The three competitors leading after dressage gave up on continuing the struggle after mistakes during the cross-country test. The winner was Maxime Livio from France with Vitorio du Montet, who was 10th after dressage and went clear in the XC, although 2 seconds late. The deciding factor was his clear jumping round. Second place went to Dutch rider Janneke Boonzaaijer with Bouncer, and third to Sweden’s Christoffer Forsberg riding Celladonn.

The 3*-S class ended with the victory of Polish rider Wiktoria Knap with Quintus 134. She took the lead after a faultless cross-country round and even a fence down in the jumping did not threat her win. Finland’s Veera Manninen with Sir Greg finished second, and Austria’s Robert Mandl with Sacré-Cœur – third.

Andreas Dibowski with Cristallik won the 2*-L. Going up from third after dressage after clear XC and jumping trials, he triumpher over Dutch athletes Merel Blom with Hallo and Janneke Boonzaaijer with I’m Special N.

Saturday’s cross-country trials revealed the best in the 2*-S and 1*-Intro classes. The win in the 2* as well as the third place belonged to Janneke Boonzaaijer with Mirage and Krek-Mora G. Second went to Andreas Dibowski (GER) with Lillet.

The Intro class ended with Swedish rider Malin Petersen’s victory aboard Hulda, before Elmo Laiho (FIN) with Bali and Pole Ksawery Śniegucki riding Don Fuego Corriente.

The Strzegom Spring Open competition selected the winners of seven international and three national competitions, with 250 horses representing 16 countries.

Final Scores

US Equestrian Announces Bid Allocations for Advanced Level Competitions for 2023-2027

US Equestrian is pleased to announce two competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle. Stable View May Horse Trials has been allocated Week 18 and Woodside Spring Horse Trials has been allocated Week 21. Week 18 was vacated by the previous bid recipient and Week 21 had remained vacant through the previous rounds of bidding.

U.S. organizers participated in a bid process per the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Bid Review Group provided their recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee, who made recommendations for approval to the Board of Directors.

In addition to levels awarded through the bid process, other national levels were approved to be offered at these competitions. The complete list of 2023-2027 venues, dates, and levels can be viewed here.

Additionally, a bid process will open today, Thursday, April 21, for the recently vacated Week 16 for one event to host the CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, and CCI3*-L levels in Area 6 on the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar. The bid process will be open for two weeks and close on Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m. ET. Bid applications must be complete and received via email to [email protected] by the deadline in order to be reviewed. A complete Bid Application Packet must include:

1. Bid Application – All requested information must be provided. An accompanying document for written answers is acceptable. Please be sure to include the question number.

2. Application for License Agreement

3. Map of the venue with a diagram layout of the event

4. Revenue and expense budget outline for the event, including known sponsorship

5. Optional: Letters of support or additional documentation

Organizers who have previously been allocated a bid are eligible to submit bid applications for additional dates. Please direct questions to [email protected] or Amber Braun, Director of Eventing, Sport Administration and Management, at [email protected]

The USEF recognizes and thanks organizers of competitions at all levels – both FEI and National – for their contributions to the overall growth and commitment to the sport in the U.S.

USEF Names Team for FEI Nations Cup at UK’s Houghton Hall

The Nations Cup podium at Houghton International 2019: Germany take the win, USA finish in second place, and Ireland scoop third. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

US Equestrian has announced the four combinations who will represent the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup leg hosted at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, UK, from May 26-29, 2022, led by Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law. The US team has previously enjoyed success at this historic venue, taking team silver there in 2018 and bronze in 2017.

“I am really looking forward to returning to Houghton with another team of up-and-coming American athletes. It should be a valuable experience for all and one that we are very lucky that USEF is providing us with,” says Law. “I very much hope that the U.S. team will reap benefits from this experience in the future when perhaps some of these athletes get pulled up for a senior team.”

The following combinations have been selected to represent the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team and are listed in alphabetical order.

Isabelle Bosely and Night Quality. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Isabelle Bosley (Cochranville, Pa.) and her own Night Quality, a 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Cornelia Dorr and Daytona Beach 8. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Cornelia Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) and Daytona Beach 8, a 2010 Oldenburg mare owned by HCS Syndicate

Allie Knowles and Ms. Poppins. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Allie Knowles (Lexington, Ky.) and Ms. Poppins, a 2011 Westphalian mare owned by Katherine O’Brien

Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Islandwood Captain Jack, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline & Sherrie Martin

Bosley and Martin have also both been selected to participate in the USEF Eventing European Development Tour, designed for athletes participating in the USEF Eventing Development and Eventing 25 Programs to gain international experience, achieve results at European events, and to develop future team athletes by emersion in a team environment.

Competition will begin on Thursday, May 26, and continue through Sunday, May 29, taking place at the Houghton Hall grounds as a part of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Eventing Nation will be on site covering the Nations Cup CCIO4*-S in its entirety.

Help Ukraine Horses Update: Evacuation Facilities Expanded, €111,000 Raised

Graphic via UEF.

The Ukraine Equestrian Federation – Charity Foundation (UEF – CF) has opened another free evacuation stables with 60 boxes this week and created an evacuation queue on their website where people who need evacuation can register.

Evacuated horses mainly go to safer areas within Ukraine as many owners do not want their horses to leave the country. The first horses from Lysychansk arrived at the evacuation stable in Mirihoshcha which is 100% funded by the donations received by UEF – CF. Feed, bedding, and free accommodation are available for the horse owners and accompanying persons. This is only possible because of the kind donations from all around the world.

The UEF – CF has also this week received trucks of supplies and feed from several countries including Belgium, and Poland, and has now supplied over 80 stables in Ukraine. There are still ongoing needs for hay and bedding (wood shavings) and basic veterinary products — you can donate or offer help here.

The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation, registered in Belgium, with assistance from the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) is supporting Ukrainian horse owners, riding schools, athletes, equestrian clubs, stables, and professionals. We give counselling support and other kinds of needs-based assistance on the ground, including mapping shelter options and assisting with the relocation of horses, gathering offers for goods and organising logistics to deliver goods to equestrians and their horses both in Ukraine and/or in their temporary locations in Europe. We monitor the situation with horses´ welfare and collaborate with FEI, the EEF, and many National Equestrian Federations.

Our promise is that as many funds as possible will be used as direct help for Ukrainian equestrians and their horses in Ukraine (by distributing feed, helping with evacuations and information).

Wesko Foundation Introduces Young Eventers Pathway Program

Photo by Rose Lewis.

Young riders are the future of our sport, quite literally, and nurturing their futures is key. The Wesko Equestrian Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in memory of Christina Knudsen, aims to bring education and training to talented young event riders, with the welfare of the horse and rider at the heart of the program.

As part of its continued expansion, the Foundation launched The Young Eventers Pathway in March to rave reviews from attending riders. Forty young event riders (between 21 and 28 years of age) were invited to two funded training days at the British Showjumping National Training Centre. Riders benefitted from expert coaching from Philip Surl, Richard Waygood MBE, Matt Lanni and Nikki Herbert, along with gaining access to the Foundation’s wider support team including expert business coach Sarah Armstrong, and Pilates coach Julie Driver.

“The whole day was really useful,” confirmed Norwegian international rider Yasmin Olsson-Sanderson, “being able to run through a test and practice a course of fences really sets you up for the season, as well as having access to business help at the same time. The day had a laid-back feel and made everyone feel welcome.”

Photo by Rose Lewis.

The recent two-day event welcomed riders from Novice level to those already successfully competing at CCI5* level.

“The opportunity to attend and watch training at that level is so valuable. It was not just the training though; it was the opportunity to sit and talk with riders of a similar level and age. Comparing the ups and downs of the sport and realising you’re not alone and others are going through the same experiences as you” commented 5* rider Imogen Murray.

The Pathway isn’t just aimed at professional young riders, with the second day targeted at those either just starting their career at Novice level or those younger riders looking to progress up the levels of eventing as amateurs.

Photo by Rose Lewis.

Nottinghamshire based rider Lucy Scholl commented, “I found the dressage session with Nikki Herbert extremely useful. She really helped iron out some small problems I’d been having. The jumping session was also very insightful, and I really enjoyed doing the cavaletti exercises before jumping a course of fences. I also found the Pilates session after I had ridden was good fun and informative.”

The Foundation now continues to plan for an increased number of Pathway Days throughout the year, working towards their goal of supporting an increased number of young event riders.

The Wesko Equestrian Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in memory of Christina Knudsen and her passion for the sport of Eventing. The aim of the foundation is to bring education and training to talented young event riders to support their futures, with the welfare of the horse and rider at the heart of the programme. 

The Foundation’s riders receive mentoring and in-depth training from one of the world’s most decorated eventing riders, Pippa Funnell, along with former Team GBR World Class Performance Manager, Yogi Breisner. The programme also includes a 360-degree education programme in partnership with A Young Riders Academy.

The Wesko Equestrian Foundation has played a key role in supporting the careers of several young riders over the past three years, including the recent successes of Blenheim Palace International CCI4*L winner Yasmin Ingham (GBR), and 3rd placed Susie Berry (IRL). 

Learn more here

Christoffer Forsberg Best of Strzegom Spring Open CCI4*-S

Christoffer Forsberg and Hippo’s Sapporo. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Sweden’s Christoffer Forsberg was the best in the CCI4*-S, the highest ranked class during Strzegom Spring Open. A Polish rider won the two-star competition.

Sunday’s cross country trial, which determined the winner of the 4* class, kept the audiences at the edge of their seats until the end. Christoffer Forsberg with Hippo’s Sapporo who started as the second to last, was the only one to go over the course clear and inside the optimum time, beating the leading German Nicolai Aldinger by one tenth of a penalty point. Aldinger, riding Timmo, did not have any problems with the fences, but time faults cost him the win and ultimately placed him second. Third went to Sweden’s Frida Andersen with Box Leo.

The best Polish rider in the 4* class was Wiktoria Knap with Quintus 134, who finished eighth.

The podium of the 3* competition was dominated by Dutch women. After clear cross country rounds, Merel Blom took home the first riding Corminta Vom Gwick and second with Vesuve d’Aveyron. Third place belonged to Sanne De Jong with Jersey MBF. Mateusz Kiempa with Libertina, leading after two trials, had time faults today and placed just outside the podium.

The best rider in the 2* was Daria Kobiernik aboard Ideal Girl. The Pole was sixth after dressage, and jumped up into the lead after clear rounds in the jumping and cross-country. Second place went to Zuzanna Społowicz (POL) with Bankier, and third to Merel Blom with Hallo 53.

The top three in the Intro class was all Polish. Karolina Miś with Go Jack kept her lead from the dressage and was victorious after clear jumping and cross country rounds. Katarzyna Brandys with Rio Brava was second, and Wiktoria Szynkiewicz with Hattrick third.

In the CNC 100 the best score belonged to Mateusz Kiempa with All Night, in the CNC 100-18 the winner was Laura Gillmaier with Red Sunrise 2, and in the CNC 8 the best one was Marcin Michałek with Brylant.

The Strzegom Spring Open competition opened the eventing season in Poland. Four international classes in short format and three national classes were held, and almost 230 horse-and-rider combinations representing 14 countries took part. The next edition of Strzegom Spring Open will take place in just two weeks, from April 22-24.

Strzegom Spring Open: [Website] [Scores]

Catching Up with Capt. Mark Phillips and Katie Malensek at Stable View

Capt. Mark Phillips surveying the scene as cross country kicked-off on Saturday.

Stable View has come a long way since it ran its inaugural H.T. with 127 entries in 2014. Among the early supporters of Stable View are cross country course designer Capt. Mark Phillips and 4* eventer Katie Malensek, both of whom, eight years later this past weekend, reminisced with us about building a recognized show facility from scratch, talked about progress in the sport of eventing, and offered advice for riders creating their own cross country schooling courses at home (spoiler alert: Don’t.).

SV: Tell us about your initial visits to Stable View almost ten years ago.

Katie: Of course there were already some existing structures, but so many luxurious experiences have been added for riders since then. Just the stabling and riders’ lounges alone for those of us coming in from a long trip are crucial. The courses have evolved as well. The progression of cross country with the addition of permanent and mobile obstacles has provided new challenges for those of us preparing for the big spring events. Especially at the upper levels, where we need the horses to last as long as possible. The footing here is exceptional and a no-brainer. There is a lot to take into account making sure an event is right for horses at this level.

Mark: It is difficult to accelerate nature and therefore, looking back ten years later, a lot of what you see now has come from the input of grass seed, fertilizer, organic matter … this is what nature needs. You cannot get here in one year. It takes time to get a root structure.

Then years ago we sort of came up with a bit of a master plan, some of which [Stable View facility owner Barry Olliff] has retained, and some of which he has thrown out! First, the basics—a derby field, rings. From then, the new arenas, the Boyd Martin cross country schooling area, the Academy fields, that’s all grown! The schooling areas used to be over by the dog kennels. But the first rule of course design is, don’t do it on paper. Let the ground talk to you.

SV: Please share your thoughts on how eventing has evolved.

Mark: Feeding, training, vetting, all has changed. In sports nothing stands still. Take golf and go back 20 years when very few people could hit the ball 350 yards, and now you don’t even begin as a pro if you can’t hit that. As soon as you stand still, you get left behind. How did we predict Modified was going to even exist? But it is completely logical. The move up from 1.00m to 1.10m is a massive jump … at 1.00m you don’t have to ride, you just point and kick. If you do that at 1.10m you are potentially running into trouble. You actually have to start to ride it. However, the horse today is the same animal as the young horse of 20 years ago … an animal learning its job with its rider. Therefore, the educational process hasn’t changed. Some people forget this and try to make the lower levels too technical. Keep the basics in the lower levels! In the upper levels, plan one step ahead of where those horses and riders are.

SV: Talk a bit about this weekend’s 4*-S course at Stable View.

Katie: The attractiveness is that it is a beautifully built course. The horses read the questions well. It encourages bold, forward riding, and the layout of how this property was designed to address cross country, it is a beautiful flow. The rolling aspect of some of the hills is good for the horses’ fitness, especially horses like mine in Florida that are on flat ground all winter. There is a very well thought out progression through the levels here.

Mark: The beginning starts out warming up over the first five or six fences, then progresses with questions through the middle. At the end, the last three fences offer a feel good factor. A few new features are the alp that we’ve not done here before, with offsets at the bottom, and the G.L. Williams Water has a corner coming out of it, which is interesting. The Pavilion Splash and the Blanchard fences are a variation on a theme that we’ve done many times. Going back to the evolution of Stable View, from a riding perspective, the trip here is not just for the upper levels. The atmosphere is good for up-and-coming horses … to gallop past people, and go into an arena in front of a big building. A grass field is not going to prep them for bigger venues.

The Pavilion, a new feature jump within “Stable View Village.”

SV: Mark, do you have any advice for a rider putting together a cross country course at home?

The competitor we’ve created is one who wants to be able to practice everything at home. What is a table? It’s an oxer. What is a ditch to a brush jump? A triple bar. We have no different shapes than in the stadium, so why do you need to go cross country schooling? If you need to practice cross country at home, you can’t. You just can’t replicate it. Do you really want to be jumping those jumps at half the speed you need on the course?

SV: Any parting thoughts?

Katie: If ridden well, a course not only ends in success, but your horse has gained experience without getting hurt. This weekend’s course has Mark’s signature bold, forward riding with the technical aspects that are always there, but it’s not trappy. It rewards bold, forward riding. We always say, if you are going to make a mistake, make it going forward so that the horse has the power to deal with whatever is in front of him.

Mark: One of the best course designers of the late 20th Century, Wolfgang Feld, said, “It’s the responsibility of the rider to take their head with them when they leave the start box.” All I want from riders is for them to respect the fences, and jump every fence.

Pratoni del Vivaro Prepares for WEG Test Event in May

Photo by Massimo Argenziano.

Work is proceeding at full speed at Pratoni del Vivaro, in preparation for the FEI World Championships 2022 Eventing and Driving that will be held in Sept.15-25.

This exciting event is a little less than six months away and next month there will be an important sports preview organised by the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE) in cooperation with the FEI.

May will be an important month for the Pratoni 2022 team, who will be hard at work for two consecutive weeks organising two international events, both with Test Event status and therefore rehearsals for the championships.

It will all start with the Eventing Test Event from on May 12-15, which has attracted a significant number of competitors.

Riders from 13 nations will be riding in a CCIO4*-S which is also the first leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ which comprises nine events (eight in Europe and one in Canada), hosted at the most prestigious eventing locations, with the final leg held at Boekelo in The Netherlands.

The National Federations that have confirmed they will have teams competing at Pratoni are: AustriaAustraliaBelgiumBrazilFranceGreat BritainGermanyNew ZealandPolandSpainSwitzerlandSweden and, of course, Italy. Italian riders will be even more motivated as this event also counts for assigning titles and medals for the 2022 National Italian Championship.

On the following weekend (May 21-24), the iconic location situated in the heart of the Parco dei Castelli Romani will see Driving as the star competition with a CAI2* and a CAI3*, both open to ponies, singles, pairs and four-in-hand.

Between 25 and 30 teams coming from France, Switzerland, Hungary and Italy are expected to compete.

Admission is free of charge. This is the timetable for competitions.

WEG 2022 Links: Website, Eventing, Provisional ScheduleTickets, Volunteer,

Bettina Hoy to Coach MARS Bromont Rising U25 Grant Program

Bettina Hoy works with Olivia Miller over some basic jump exercises. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The MARS Bromont Rising U25 scholarship program is pleased to announce that German Olympian Bettina Hoy will be providing top level coaching to the recipients of the 2022 program.

Following two years of pandemic related cancellations, grants will be available once again for riders aged 25 and under who are taking part in the MARS Bromont Rising U25 scholarship program at both the MARS Bromont CCI happening June 8th to 12th and Galway Downs International 3-day Event held November 2nd to 6th.

Speaking of her involvement in the MARS Bromont Rising Program Bettina said, “When I was at that age, I hugely benefited from some of the best trainers in the world particularly in dressage and showjumping. To be able to pass this on now is a great honour and still part of living my dream. First as a rider and now as a coach.”

Neko Duvall jumps with Bettina during a lesson in Florida. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Regarding this exciting announcement, Program Director Peter Gray said, “With her incredible reputation as an international competitor and coach, Bettina must be one of the most sought after instructors in the world at this time, it is a great honor that she is joining the Bromont rising team this year!”

This scholarship program started in 2019 was the brainchild of Bromont organizer, Sue Ockendon and the late Steve Blauner.

Steve had a vision of supporting young eventers from the US and Canada who were not yet under the radar of national U25 training programs. Riders competing at any level of FEI competition offered are eligible to apply.

MARS Bromont Rising U25 grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to ten successful applicants to help assist with travel expenses and entry fees for both the Bromont and Galway dates. In addition, classroom presentations will be made by course designers, High Performance riders and a dressage test analysis by a 5* FEI judge.

Bettina works with Woods Baughman and Kamara KFF. Photo by Sally Spickard.

This is the first time the grant has been offered to a West coast competition and organizer, and Robert Kellerhouse could not be more delighted, stating, “We are honored to be the West Coast host for the MARS Bromont Rising U25 grants. This program will inspire its recipients to do more as it shines a light on those up-and-coming athletes and provides a lift in advancing their abilities in our sport.”

Grant application forms can be found here:

MARS Bromont CCI
June 8-12, 2022
CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI2*-L
https://bromontcci.com

Galway Downs International 3-day Event
November 2-6, 2022
CCI4*L, CCI3*L, CCI2*L
https://galwaydowns.net/

For more information contact Program Director Peter Gray at [email protected]

An Update from the Ukraine Equestrian Federation Relief Efforts

This month through the efforts of the Ukraine Equestrian Federation (UEF) and its Help Ukraine Horses outreach efforts assisting horses and humans displaced by the ongoing attacks by Russia in Ukraine, 375 tons of feed, Haylage and bedding have been received as donations from many different countries. 150 tons have already been distributed to 30 different stables through the UEF network within the Ukraine including the following areas:

Voyazh, Balaton, Salanta, Sosnovy Gai Rodeo, Golden (Tarasivka), Ipodrome, Brovary, Bucha, Zapruddya, Torrance, Zabir’ya, Magnate, Victoria, Kistruga (Rzhishchiv), Dynamo and Konkshni.

When people register their need for help on the Help Ukraine Horses website, this information is used to plan which areas the supply runs go to. That is why it is so important that everyone uses the Help Ukraine Horses website, both to register offers of help and requests for help.

Highlights of the first month of operations:

  • 28th of Feb, the UEF Charity Foundation was registered
  • 4th of March, supplies and logistic site set up in Poland
  • 8th of March first supplies arrived in Poland
  • 9th of March bank account opened for donations
  • 14th of March second logistics point in Poland for bigger shipments
  • 17th of March, supplies distributed in Ukraine
  • 19th of March, 18 horses arrived to transit stable in Poland
  • 23rd of March, transit stable financed by FEI Solidarity Fund arrived and being set up and PayPal donations open
  • 25th of March, more horse arrived to Poland and humanitarian aid (7 lorries) left Lviv to different regions, incl Kyiv, Kharkyv, Dnepr
  • 50 horses have moved from war zones to safer zones within Ukraine
  • 38 horses have been evacuated to the UEF base outside Ukraine
  • 75 000€ has been donated to the Charity Foundation fund so far

The UEF social media has reached over 1 million people so far.

Three types of donations can be made:

  • Hay or Haylage packed in bags weighing up to 20kg
  • Compound feed for horses in bags weighing up to 20kg;
  • Litter (shavings) in bags weighing up to 20kg.

Anyone wishing to make a donation must notify the foundation before the shipment to the logistics platform via the website: https://helpukrainehorses.eu/en/bring-supplies-en/

At the moment there is an urgent need of haylage and beddings for the horses.

Anyone in the European area who can offer help with accommodation and evacuation can fill in the following form: https://helpukrainehorses.eu/en/offer-help-en/

Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation

The Foundation is registered in Belgium and its mission is to support the Ukrainian horse owners, stables, clubs, riding schools, athletes, and professionals. We work together with the Ukraine Equestrian Society, Ukraine Horse Union, the FEI, horse welfare organisations, charities and National Equestrian Federations from many countries.

Updates Made to US Equestrian Eventing Calendar for 2023-2027

Kurt Martin & D.A. Lifetime. Photo by Stable View.

In accordance with the  2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced Policies and Procedures, competitions that were allocated a bid may request modifications to their award levels.

The following modifications were reviewed by the Eventing Sport Committee, International Disciplines Council Ad Hoc Calendar Group, and approved by the Board of Directors Ad Hoc Calendar Group. The complete 2023-2027 CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced Bid Allocation Summary and Dates can be viewed below (click the images to enlarge them or click here to download the PDF). The approved modifications are in green and items that are still pending are in red.

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The Eventing Calendar will now include an additional three CCI3*-S events (Stable View April, Rebecca Farm, and Chatt Hills October), two additional CCI2*-S events (Stable View April, Chatt Hills October), four new CCI1*-S events (TerraNova April, Twin Rivers Fall, Chatt Hills October, and TerraNova November), as well as some additional Modified and Novice level offerings.

The level modifications that were approved were for non-bid levels that were additionally awarded alongside the bid level allocations. No bid levels were granted during this process. The modifications have been reviewed early in 2022 to be conscious of the preparation of the 2023 calendar year for non-bid competitions. Please direct any inquiries to [email protected] or Amber Braun, Director of Eventing, Sport Administration and Management, at [email protected].

EHV-1 Update: Extension of Recommended Caution for California Equine Events

A map, updated as of March 17, of counties with EHV-1 cases in California.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has issued an Extension of Recommended Caution for California Equine Events. The California State Veterinarian recommends that all equine events of any discipline continue to be postponed through March 31, and all non-essential horse movements also be postponed at least through March 31. In line with this extension, USEF-licensed competitions in California scheduled to take place during this window have taken the following actions:

  • March 26-27    Dressage at Southern California Equestrian    Cancelled
  • March 24-27    Rancho California AHA Annual Spring    Postponed until June
  • March 31-April 3    Galway Downs International Horse Trials    Requested FEI approval to move to April 1-3

USEF applauds the efforts of competition management to prioritize horse and safety welfare during this important timeframe. USEF will continue to work closely with the CDFA, competition organizers, and participants to manage the EHV-1 situation in CA and provide updates to our membership. The information provided is based on information available to USEF at the time of distribution.

USEF recommends the following requirements and best practices for biosecurity are implemented on showgrounds. Competition Managers may require additional protocols.

  • Check and record temperatures twice daily and post on stall door
  • Any suspicion of illness in horses, including a temperature over 101.5°F, should be immediately reported to the show office and veterinarian.
  • Immediately isolate and/or quarantine any horse exhibiting symptoms of illness
  • DO NOT travel to another competition for 14 days
  • Avoid animal-to-animal contact
  • Do not share equipment between horses. IF YOU MUST SHARE, scrub and clean equipment with detergent and dry completely between shared use.
  • When filling water buckets, DO NOT dip the end of the hose in each bucket. Hold the hose above the water when filling.
  • Wash/sanitize hands thoroughly before and after direct horse contact
  • Limit human-horse contact
  • Because humans can be a means of disease transmission, avoid moving between barns unless absolutely necessary

If you have questions on the USEF protocols, please email USEF at [email protected]. For additional information, please refer to the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Equine Disease Communication Center websites.

Stable View Presents: 10 Questions with Tamie Smith

 

It’s all about team spirit: Jennie Brannigan and Tamie Smith at Boekelo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ahead of Tamie Smith‘s first-ever East coast clinic, which is set to take place on March 28, 29, and 30 at Stable View in Aiken, SC., the organizers sat down for a coffee-break chat with the Tokyo reserve and globe-trotting superstar to get to know what makes her tick. Want to nab your spot and learn from one of the best ahead of her busy spring five-star campaigns at Kentucky and Badminton? Sign up here!

Do you remember the moment you decided to commit to riding full time?

I never intended to become a professional. It wasn’t until after I had my son, who is in high school now, that I considered it and I’m very happy I did.

You have said that to better understand the horse, you have to think like a horse…with that in mind, what do you see as the fundamental things riders fail to observe about their horse(s) that will get them that much further with their equine partner(s)? 

Horses do not think and reason like humans, so my best advice is to read books, watch YouTube videos, or clinic with someone who provides an understanding in this area. But also, so often when we get on our horses we just stop thinking altogether. We freeze and react instead of being proactive.

What advice do you have for young riders who want to run their own competition barn as a business?

I feel that getting an education and a job that requires you to clock in is your first step to building a better foundation as a business owner. Learning to communicate over the phone and face to face is key. It is also essential to understand how to be hard working, have integrity and patience. Like with any business, it takes time to develop a good reputation and it takes one wrong thing to destroy it, so be wise and thoughtful.

Who do you turn to for advice, for anything from horse care to mental preparedness?

I have several people that I lean on to help me through these things. Like with any athlete, it takes a village.

Do you recommend any books or podcast or websites or videos that you have found helpful?

YouTube is a super tool to search for riders who are great for learning. There are several books I love about mental toughness; Relentless by Tim Grover is a great one. I will say mental preparation to me is one of the most important factors to success.

Being on the West Coast, what differences or distinctions (or similarities!) do you observe with training or competing on the East Coast?

Training is always the same … it is a system, no matter where you are in the world.

Mostly, here in the U.S., I see a variety of approaches to training but not necessarily a system in place. I think our country is working on developing a more standardized system like what the Germans have developed. I recently wrote a blog about this for Noelle Floyd.

As far as venues and footing, the places that we event in California are very different than the East Coast. We are lucky to have manicured tracks for galloping, and the venues would be a variety of properties, which is nice to have.

You have also said that lack of patience gets in our way of training progression … How do you teach patience to riders?

Riding can’t be emotional, and it has to always be rewarding for the horse. This is why thinking like a horse is so important.

You travel often to compete … Where is your favorite destination and why? Is there a place you have not yet been that you’d like to visit?

I am very fortunate that I’ve been able to travel all over to compete. I have several favorite places but generally competing at high level events with world class riding is so amazing.

What do you like to do in your “free” time?

The off-season these days is typically the only time I have to do any extracurricular activities. I love snow skiing. I really enjoy going to my son’s basketball games and luckily his season is during my off-season. If I actually have any free time I typically fill it up with teaching clinics.

This is your first clinic ever on the East Coast … What are you most looking forward to?

It’s always great meeting new people and sharing my experience with everyone.

Applications Open for Summer 2022 Ever So Sweet Scholarship

Sierra Lesny, recipient of the second Ever So Sweet scholarship, and her OTTB Pea. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Now in its third cycle, Strides for Equality Equestrians has opened its application period for the Ever So Sweet Scholarship! Applications will be accepted online here until April 15 and the recipient will be chosen by May 1 for the summer term which runs June-August at Sara Kozumplik’s Overlook Farm in Berryville, Virginia. It is made possible by Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik, and the USEA Foundation who have supported SEE from the very beginning. Without them this one of a kind program would not be possible!

This is an outstanding opportunity for a young person who wants to expand their riding, horsemanship, and equestrian network on their career path as professional horseperson. It is an immersive program with busy days and lots of learning. Prior recipients Helen Casteel and Sierra Lesny had ample time in the saddle with exposure to truly top class trainers. They met world class vets and farriers and learned from the best organizers and grooms in the business as well. You can follow along with past, present and future Ever So Sweet recipients on Instagram and Facebook.

This is a fully funded scholarship provided through Strides for Equality Equestrians and its partners mentioned above. It includes all expenses associated with board & training of one horse, rent for the recipient and a small stipend, transportation to Virginia and to competitions, entries, lessons, and farrier care. It is truly a unique program that gives riders a head start or a step up in their career.

If this sounds like a program that you would benefit from on your professional pathway apply today at www.StridesforEquality.org.

Ride iQ & United States Pony Clubs Announce Partnership

Today the United States Pony Clubs (USPC) and Ride iQ announced their strategic partnership, bringing together USPC’s trusted educational curriculum with Ride iQ’s innovative learning platform. Ride iQ is a first-of-its-kind coaching platform with listen-while-you-ride audio lessons taught by world-class coaches.

Technology is helping to significantly improve athletic skills and performance across all sports, and equestrian athletes stand to benefit, too. One of the greatest limitations to a rider’s progress lies in ineffective independent schooling. Ride iQ transforms independent schooling and empowers equestrian athletes to progress toward their goals through access to world-class instruction.

“With Ride iQ, riders have a phenomenal coach in their ear providing direction, insight, and reminders for every step of their independent rides. Through our collaboration with USPC, Ride iQ’s audio lessons will help Pony Club members of all levels develop fundamental horsemanship skills, strengthen their partnerships, ride more safely, and achieve their next certifications. It’s an absolute game changer,” said Jessa Lux, co-founder of Ride iQ.

Ride iQ was founded in 2021 by two Pony Club alumni, sisters McKinsey and Jessa Lux. While the Ride iQ mobile app and audio lessons are foundational to the platform, other Ride iQ membership benefits include access to weekly live virtual Office Hours with Ride iQ coaches and guest experts, a private Facebook community for members and coaches, and a selection of exclusive podcasts.

The Ride iQ platform currently features 18 coaches across eventing, hunter/jumper, and dressage disciplines. Every Ride iQ coach has proven their ability to produce highly capable riders and has earned a reputation for exceptional horsemanship. Given that selection criteria, it’s not a coincidence that several Ride iQ coaches have strong Pony Club backgrounds, including “A” graduates Ema Klugman (5* event rider), Doug Payne (US Olympic event rider), and Gina Smith (Canadian Olympic dressage rider). Two Pony Club national examiners are also in the process of recording Ride iQ lessons that will be available soon.

Ride iQ’s growing lesson library already has over 300 audio lessons to choose from. Every audio lesson is marked with a Pony Club certification level to help Pony Club members navigate to suitable and relevant lessons. Lessons range from exercises at the walk to working on advanced skills.

Ride iQ membership includes unlimited access to the audio lessons and all other Ride iQ benefits for $29.99/month or $249/year. Through the USPC-Ride iQ partnership, Pony Club members will get discounted access to Ride iQ. As a partnership launch promotion, Pony Club members and their friends and families are invited to use the promo code “USPC” for 50% off their first Ride iQ membership payment (i.e. $15 for the first month or $125 for the first year). The 50% discount will be available for 72 hours, from March 15 through March 17. After that, the “USPC” promo code will generate a 15% discount off the first payment. “The USPC-Ride iQ collaboration represents a significant step forward in enabling Pony Club members to take ownership of their own development through innovative equestrian sports technology and expanded access to top-tier coaching,” said McKinsey Lux, co founder of Ride iQ.

“We are excited to expand Pony Club’s educational opportunities through our partnership with Ride iQ,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “As a leader in equestrian education, we feel this technology offers unlimited potential for Pony Club members to enhance their learning as they work toward their goals.”

About Ride iQ

Ride iQ is the first audio-focused training platform for equestrians and offers something completely new: the opportunity to get on-demand, listen-while-you-ride instruction. The private Ride iQ mobile app features 300+ lessons with options suitable for equestrians at every level.

Ride iQ has coaches across hunter/jumper, eventing, and dressage including Leslie Law (British eventer, individual gold medalist), Gina Smith (Olympic dressage rider), Doug Payne (Olympic eventer, Grand Prix jumper), and several others. Visit Ride iQ.com to get started or connect with Ride iQ on Facebook or Instagram.

About The United States Pony Clubs, Inc.

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC or Pony Club) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization that builds the foundation of teamwork and sportsmanship through riding, mounted sports, care of horses and ponies, while developing and enhancing leadership, confidence, responsibility, and a sense of community in its youth and adult members. USPC is proud to offer instruction and competitive opportunities in more than 10 different disciplines through hundreds of clubs and centers across the United States. USPC’s educational standards continue to be instrumental in curriculum development for schools, universities, equestrian professionals, and organizations across the United States. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including Olympic team members, as well as successful business professionals and leaders in a variety of fields, have roots in Pony Club. To learn more visit ponyclub.org.

STRIDER Announces Professional Development Series for Spring 2022

STRIDER’s Professional Development Series is curated to build capacity throughout the equestrian community. Through access to top equine industry experts, we aim to provide actionable knowledge to help you scale your business.

Our webinars feature best practices and tools to do everything from create a business plan for your boarding facility, market your training business, basic bookkeeping for your summer riding camp program, and so much more.

This FREE series is accessible to all. Interested in sponsoring a professional development opportunity or have a topic request? Email support[email protected] to get started. 

Join the Conversation in 2022:

STRIDERPRO_BoostClinicRevenue

How to: Boost Your Clinic Revenue
March 15, 2022 @ 7:00pm EST

Learn to streamline organization and boost your revenue when you host clinics at your facility. Experts Helena Harris of Stall and Stable and Margaret McKelvy of Mythic Landing Enterprises will lead you through best practices to optimize your clinic hosting experience and generate income. Save your spot.
STRIDERPRO_Webinar_NOELLEFLOYD_THEPLAIDHORSE_USEVENTING

Success in Equine Media & Communications
April 12, 2022 @ 7:00pm EST

Join STRIDER for an interactive panel discussion with leaders in equine media and communications. This Professional Development Webinar invites you to learn from Caroline Culbertson of Noelle Floyd, The Plaid Horse’s Piper Klemm, and Leslie Mintz of US Eventing. Join the conversation on April 12, 2022 for insights, best practices, and more from these industry experts.

Coming Up this Year

Luhmühlen 2022 Plans to Run With Spectators

Andreas Dibowski and Corrida. Photo by TGL / Annette Dölger.

The 2022 Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials (June 16-19, 2022) are planning to run with spectators, the event announced in a press release today. Due to the pandemic, the event was canceled in 2020 and took take place without spectators in 2021.

“Due to the current development of the COVID pandemic and the resulting positive prospects we are looking forward to the upcoming event”, explains event director Julia Otto. “The advance ticket sales are mirroring the spectators’ anticipation and we hope that, in coordination with the authorities and taking everyone’s health into consideration, we will be able to run Luhmühlen as we did in 2019. An event like the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials thrives on the atmosphere of the spectators. The backdrop is also so important for the athletes – riders and horses – to perform at their best.”

Germany’s new Chef d’Equipe, Peter Thomsen, has a similar view: “Luhmühlen is the annual meeting point for the eventing family: top riders, fans, horse owners, sponsors and course designers. It always feels like coming home. In 1982, I watched the World Championships in Luhmühlen and on the same day I decided to ride there as well. Since the end of the 1980s I have ridden in Luhmühlen almost every year, including many championships and will always remember the individual and team medals at German and European Championships. Now I have the opportunity to take over from Hans Melzer and I am looking forward to the challenge. My goal is to find a team for the World Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, via the selection of our top German riders in Luhmühlen 2022.”

According to Peter Thomsen, many top German riders will try to win a medal at the German Championships, which will be part of the CCI4*-S Meßmer Trophy. Likely starters in the Longines CCI5*-L will include Andreas Dibowski, Dirk Schrade and Sophie Leube.

Dibowski confirms Thomsen’s plans: “I’m definitely planning to ride Brennus. Depending on the upcoming events, I would prefer to
compete him in the Longines CCI5*-L. Alternatively, I am planning to take part in the German Championships.”

Luhmühlen could become a family event for the Dibowski’s this year. “My daughter Alina would love to take the next step and compete in the German Championships in Luhmühlen,” said Dibowski.

Peter Thomsen & Loucius. Photo by TGL / Thomas Ix.

Valuable partners

The success of the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials is largely due to the commitment of the sponsors. “We are very grateful to be able to rely on sponsors and partners who have supported us for many years and have made the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials what it is today: one of the six biggest eventing competitions in the world”, explains Julia Otto.

The list of partners is headed by Longines as title partner, followed by the main sponsors Meßmer, LVM Versicherung Bernd Bamberger and Lotto Niedersachsen. Additional support is ensured by local companies. “It’s marvellous that quite a few businesses from our area are interested in supporting us. Now we’re pleased to be backed by the Nord-Pool GmbH, Salzhausen as another main sponsor”, says Julia Otto.

Nord-Pool GmbH is the official Artesian Spas trade partner in Germany and will use the tournament to present a selection of their high-quality pools on site.

“We at Nord Pool are delighted to support the wonderful eventing venue Luhmühlen with our sponsorship. As the official distributor of Artesian Spas products throughout Germany, the highly acclaimed Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials are an ideal opportunity to present our company. On site, we can welcome our customers in a special atmosphere and present our SwimSpas, whirlpools and saunas to the visitors. We would like to thank Julia Otto and her team and wish all participants good luck for this year’s Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials!”

For more information on the event, click here.