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US Equestrian Introduces New National Championship League as an Accessible Championship Format for U.S. Eventing Athletes

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS compete at Morven Park in 2023. Photo by Sally Spickard.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the introduction of a new national championship format for FEI CCI1* through CCI4* level competitions, aiming to broaden accessibility and opportunity for participants targeting national championship recognition regardless of geographic location. The US Equestrian Eventing National Championships League will launch in 2024, with the inaugural champions to be crowned in 2025.

“In introducing this new national championship format, we identified needing to further support participation from athletes around the country and in reviewing our previous championship model, we felt there was room for improvement in terms of access and opportunity,” said Amber Braun, Managing Director of Eventing. “We worked very closely with our committees to find a format that would benefit combinations competing at the FEI levels without interfering with the USEA American Eventing Championships at the national levels.”

The championship will combine an athlete’s three lowest cumulative scores throughout the participation period, with one long format competition required for the CCI2* levels and above. The League will include divisions for U25 athletes, amateurs, and professionals at each competition level. A live USEF leaderboard for each level and division will show current standings and scores, creating a more engaging way of following results and performance.

A final event will be held at the conclusion of the participation period at Morven Park International & Fall Horse Trials in 2025, but attendance at the final is not mandatory towards eligibility for national championship awards. All national champion honorees will be recognized officially at Morven Park International & Fall Horse Trials, concluding the first year of the newly revised format.

“On the heels of celebrating our 50th anniversary of eventing at Morven Park International Equestrian Center, we are thrilled to have been selected for this honor,” said Stacey Metcalfe, Executive Director & CEO of Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Inc./Morven Park. “We are excited to continue our legacy of eventing excellence, and we look forward to welcoming athletes from across the nation to Leesburg, VA, and our beautiful facility.”

The idea of the league concept has been supported by the Eventing committees as it removes geographic barriers, which have made location-based national championships challenging for participants, while also providing equal opportunity for all U.S. FEI Eventing organizers to participate as host venues where participating scores can be earned throughout the year. The goal of the new format is to broaden national championship opportunities, increase participation, and encourage a more modern approach with multiple competitions and scoring based on cumulative results versus results from a singular event.

During the transition to the new format, USEF Eventing National Championships will not be named for the CCI2*-CCI4* and Advanced levels in 2024 as preparation begins for the exciting League launch. Both divisions of the USEA/USEF Developing Horse National Championship will still be named for 2024.

For more information on the US Equestrian Eventing National Championship League, please contact Amber Braun, Managing Director of Eventing, at [email protected].

US Equestrian Announces Allocation of 2024 USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championships

Beautiful Morven Park! Photo by Sally Spickard.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the host location of the new 2024 USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championship, which will take place at Morven Park International & Fall Horse Trials in Leesburg, Va. From Oct. 10-13, 2024. This new national championship will feature two divisions – the first for six-year-old horses competing at the CCI2*-S level, and the second for seven-year-old horses competing at the CCI3*-S level.

“For the past three years the Morven Park International & Fall Horse Trials has offered CCIYH3*-S and CCIYH2*-S divisions, providing an opportunity to support the pipeline of international-level eventing horses in the United States,” said Stacey Metcalfe, Executive Director & CEO of Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Inc./Morven Park. “This year, we are thrilled to be hosting the USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championships as a celebration of these athletes’ achievements and the next generation of equestrian sport.”

The aim of the USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championship is to further opportunities and recognition for upcoming and developing combinations working towards the highest levels of international eventing. The championship is intended to encourage the continued development and education of young horses in the U.S., while adding incentive for athletes bringing developing horses through the levels to further their career experience.

“It’s very rewarding for us to add these National Championship divisions and these championships will continue to drive growth and depth within the U.S. Eventing Program into the future,” said Leslie Law, USEF Emerging Athlete Coach. “We want to recognize the commitment and dedication it takes to develop and invest in the progression of a young sport horse and know this championship will be a great addition to the fall schedule at Morven Park.”

For more information on the 2024 USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championships, please contact Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Emerging & Development Programs, at [email protected].

US Equestrian Announces Defender U.S. Eventing Team for 2024 FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Great Britain CCIO4*-NC-S

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the four combinations from European Development Tour selected to represent the Defender U.S. Eventing Team at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Great Britain CCIO4*-NC-S. The event will take place during the Chatsworth International Horse Trials in Bakewell, England, from May 17-19. The U.S. combinations will be led by Chef d’Equipe Leslie Law.

The following combinations have been named to the Defender U.S. Eventing Team and are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Emily Hamel (Aiken, S.C.) and Corvett, a 2007 Holsteiner (Corrido X Tina XII) gelding owned by Black Flag Option, LLC
    • Groom: Jeanna Epping
  • Caroline Pamukcu (Springtown, Pa.) and She’s the One, a 2015 Anglo-European (Jaguar Mail x One to Watch) mare owned by Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, Caroline Pamukcu, and Andy Hoff
    • Groom: Chloe Teahan
  • Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and Oskar, a 2009 Holsteiner (Coriando x Nicole) gelding owned by Julie Phillips and Alyssa Phillips
    • Groom: Addi Mommsen
  • Cassie Sanger (Wilmington, Del.) and Fernhill Zoro, her own 2008 Irish Sport Horse (Verdi x Oronia Z) gelding
    • Groom: Meigs Rutherford

Competition Information

The competition will begin with the dressage phase on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. Two phases will take place on Sunday, May 19, with the jumping phase over a course designed by Chris Barnard (USA) followed by the cross-country phase over a course designed by Ian Stark (GBR) to close out the competition.

Event website | Schedule | Entries and results

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US Equestrian Announces Eventing Athletes for 2024 European Development Tour

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that have been selected for the U.S. Eventing European Development Tour for the spring of 2024. USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law will guide the combinations as they experience team competition in Europe.

“The objective is to get these riders team experience,” said Law. “In Europe, they have so many opportunities to give riders experience in these team competitions long before they ever compete in an Olympic Games or World Championships. Being on a team is very different than riding just for yourself as an individual. It is a lot of pressure, so the more opportunities we have to put these up-and-coming athletes in that space and get them that experience the better.”

The following combinations are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Jenny Caras (Buckhead, Ga.) and Sommersby, a 2012 Holsteiner (Sargeant Pepper x d’Mademoiselle) gelding owned by Jenny Caras and Jerry Hollis
  • Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) and Disco Traveler, her own 2010 Oldenburg (Donatelli x Cadence) gelding
  • Emily Hamel (Aiken, S.C.) and Corvett, a 2007 Holsteiner (Corrido X Tina XII) gelding owned by Black Flag Option, LLC
  • Caroline Pamukcu (Springtown, Pa.) and King’s Especiale, a 2015 KWPN (Connect x Cha Cha Cha Special) gelding owned by Redfield King’s HX Group, and She’s the One, a 2015 Anglo-European (Jaguar Mail x One to Watch) mare owned by Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, Caroline Pamukcu, and Andy Hoff
  • Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and Oskar, a 2009 Holsteiner (Coriando x Nicole) gelding owned by Julie Phillips and Alyssa Phillips
  • Cassie Sanger (Wilmington, Del.) and Fernhill Zoro, her own 2008 Irish Sport Horse (Verdi x Oronia Z) gelding

The selected combinations will compete in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Great Britain CCIO4*-NC-S at the Chatsworth International Horse Trials from May 17-19 and/or the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Ireland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Millstreet International Horse Trials from May 30 – June 2 with Law as the chef d’equipe.

USET Foundation Launches New Day of Giving Initiative To Generate Support Ahead of Olympic and Paralympic Games

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has announced a new initiative to rally support for U.S. equestrian athletes. Giving Day, set for April 17, 2024, is a call to action strategically timed 100 days out from the start of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, France, to boost support for U.S. equestrian athletes and programs. This day serves as a milestone on the pathway to Paris, symbolizing the journey toward excellence in equestrian sports.

The USET Foundation’s Giving Day provides the opportunity for fans, athletes, and supporters alike to be part of the legacy of and make a real difference for U.S. equestrian athletes. Individuals and organizations passionate about equestrianism can contribute to the success of U.S. equestrian athletes competing at the highest levels.

Giving Day is designed to bring the equestrian community together on this special day, April 17, to directly impact U.S. athletes’ training, development, and competition efforts in the lead-up to Paris. Thanks to the generosity of the USET Foundation’s Trustees and National Advisory Committee members, there is a $30,000 pledge challenge, so all donations up to that mark will be matched, doubling the impact your donation will make.

Every contribution to Giving Day counts, no matter the size, so everyone can play a part in helping the USET Foundation ensure that athletes have the resources they need to succeed, either through a financial donation or spreading the word. Equestrian sports do not benefit from government funding in the U.S., so the athletes rely on these donations to carry the flag. You do not need to wait until Giving Day to donate, and whatever fits into your budget will make a tangible difference.

Whether through financial contributions, spreading awareness, or engaging in fundraising activities, everyone has a role to play in championing the aspirations of the U.S.’s equestrian athletes. To make a contribution to the USET Foundation on Giving Day and make a real difference to U.S. athletes’ pathway to Paris 2024, donate here: uset.org/givingday.

There are many easy ways to participate:

1. Post on social media – Use hashtags #PathwayToParis and #USETFoundationGivingDay to spread the word. Share why supporting U.S. equestrian athletes is important to you and encourage others to join in.

2. Email or text friends and family
– Personal messages can be incredibly effective in inspiring others to get involved. Share information about Giving Day and explain how their support can make a meaningful impact on our U.S. athletes’ journey to Paris 2024.

3. Donate
– Consider donating to the USET Foundation via uset.org/givingday on Giving Day. Every contribution, no matter the size, directly supports the training, development, and competition efforts of U.S. equestrian athletes.

4. Spread awareness – Sharing information about Giving Day with your community by forwarding emails, distributing flyers, or talking to friends and colleagues about the importance of supporting the U.S. in equestrian sports.

By taking these simple steps, everyone can play a vital role in supporting U.S. equestrian athletes and programs. Together, we can pave the Pathway to Paris and help U.S. equestrian athletes on their journey to excellence.

US Equestrian Announces Teams for 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge at Carolina International

US Equestrian has announced the combinations selected to compete in the 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge at the Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials, from March 14-17 in Raeford, N.C. The Challenge is designed to replicate the experience of competing within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.

The 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge is administered by US Equestrian to complement the Eventing Pathway Programs. Selection to a team under this Challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team. Selected combinations will attend the pre-competition training taking place two days before the start of competition. Two teams of four combinations led by Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Bobby Costello and Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law will contest the unofficial, simulated team competition.

The following combinations have been named to Team Bobby and are listed in alphabetical order:

Christina Henriksen (Keswick, Va.) and Cisco’s Calor Z, her own 2015 Zangersheide gelding (Carrera VDL x Zamira)
Andrew McConnon (Vass, N.C.) and FVF Top Gun, a 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding (C. Quito x Vignette) owned by FVF Top Gun LLC
Caroline Pamukcu (Springtown, Pa.) and She’s the One, a 2015 Anglo-European mare (Jaguar Mail x One to Watch) owned by Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, Caroline Pamukcu, and Andy Hoff
Direct Reserve: HSH Blake, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolan R x Doughiska Lass) owned by Caroline Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, and Deniz Pamukcu
Sharon White (Summit Point, W.Va.) and Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Tina II)

The following combinations have been named to Team Leslie and are listed in alphabetical order:

Jenny Caras (Buckhead, Ga.) and Sommersby, a 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Sergeant Pepper x d’Mademoiselle) owned by Jenny Caras and Jerry Hollis
Emily Hamel (Aiken, S.C.) and Corvett, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Corrido x Tina XII) owned by Black Flag Option, LLC
Lauren Lambert (Flower Mound, Texas) and Biscotti, her own 2012 RPSI gelding (Benidetto x Hey Nurse)
Cassie Sanger (Wilmington, Del.) and Fernhill Zoro, her own 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Verdi x Oronia Z)

The following combinations have been named as alternates and are listed in alphabetical order:

Lea Adams-Blackmore (Norwich, Vt.) and Frostbite, her own 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zirocco Blue VDL x Zanna)
Alexandra Knowles (Lexington, Ky.) and Morswood, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Princess in Arms) owned by Katherine O’Brien

Find out more information on the USEF Futures Team Challenge here.

Overview:  The 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge is administered by the USEF to complement the Eventing High Performance Program. Selection to a team under this Challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team. The program is designed to replicate the experience of competing on and within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition.

Objective: To prepare future senior team athletes by providing Emerging and Development athletes with two days of team training, education and experience in an unofficial team competition environment at North American competitions. Athletes will experience working within a team structure and competing as a team under the guidance of U.S. Technical Advisor, Bobby Costello, and U.S. Development and Emerging Coach, Leslie Law.

For more information on Carolina International, click here.

 

Eventing Emerging and Development Program Training Sessions Kick Off 2024 Season

Eventing Emerging athlete Maddie Hale schooling a show jumping course in Ocala. Photo by Devyn Trethewey/US Equestrian.

The Eventing Emerging and Development Program participants began 2024 with training sessions to hone their skills with Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law. In addition, they heard from several industry experts to help further their knowledge of the high-performance aspects of equestrian sport.

The athletes rode in dressage and show jumping lessons with Law, setting their show jumping courses alongside Law or course designer Chris Barnard. Participants worked on their cross-country riding in lessons with Ian Stark, Eventing Team European High Performance and Cross-Country Advisor.

“The January training sessions are a good time to take a look at the basics. When you are in the middle of the season, you are more focused on the competitions along with the show jumping rounds and the test themselves,” said Law. “Overall, I thought the combinations looked good. Everyone had their horses in good shape. We had some good cross-country schooling sessions with Ian Stark. Most of the athletes have had a run now, and they all came out and had good results.”

An esteemed group of experts gave lectures to the participants on a variety of topics. Longtime groom Max Corcoran spoke about horse management, and Joanna Frantz reviewed human physiology basics and exercises for the athletes. Veterinarians Dr. Lisa Cassinella, Dr. Jonathan McLellan, and Dr. Paul McClellan shared how to keep equine athletes in top shape, and farriers Rebecca Ratte and Kenny Bark discussed hoof care with the participants. Sam Watson of EquiRatings provided an overview of data collected and key performance indicators for their high-performance analysis.

“We do a lot of lectures on top of the training itself,” said Law. “We try to cover the whole aspect of the business. The athletes have their own bases and their own programs, but we really try and help them maximize their potential in all areas.”

Along with the educational component, Law and Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Development & Emerging Programs, review athletes’ plans for the year ahead and possible target events for the various combinations in the spring and summer.

“We are looking to take up to six riders over to Europe to do the Nations Cups at Chatsworth in the UK and Millstreet in Ireland with the possibility of some of them doing the three-day at Bramham as well,” said Law. “That’s a big discussion with who is interested in doing that and what we need to do prior to it.”

The educational series began with the Eventing Emerging Program Training Session at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Fla., from Jan. 8-11. Along with the lessons and lectures, participants heard from a USOPC nutritionist, Rikki Keen, on having well-rounded meals.

Eventing Emerging athlete Julia Beauchamp Crandon schooling cross-country with Ian Stark in Temecula, California.
Photo by Myah Vasquez Photography.

The West Coast-based Eventing Emerging Program participants trained alongside their counterparts in the USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Programfrom Jan. 15-18 at the Galway Downs Equestrian Center in Temecula, Calif. Both groups had their respective training sessions, often auditing each other’s lessons, and joined together for lectures from the industry experts. In addition to the main lectures, participants received media training as well as insights from a coaches’ roundtable panel consisting of Law and U.S. dressage athlete Steffen Peters.

The Eventing Development Program participants gathered at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Fla., from Jan. 29 – Feb. 1. Along with the lessons and lectures, the Eventing Development Program participants received media training and spoke on a panel about their educational influences for the USEA Eventing Coaches Program Symposium being held at the same facility.

Looking beyond 2024, Law aimed to get athletes thinking long-term about the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

“There are discussions happening on L.A. in four years’ time, trying to get the riders to think bigger picture. It might seem a long way away, but it’s not,” said Law. “They are certainly capable, but now it is putting it all together for the future.”

US Equestrian Announces Dates and Location for 2024 and 2025 USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships

Loch Moy Farm shows off its photogenic nature. Photo by Alison Green for Erin Gilmore Photography.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the host location and dates for the 2024 and 2025 USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships (CCI1*, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S). The Maryland International and Horse Trials will host the Championships in Adamstown, Md., on July 5-7, 2024, and July 6-8, 2025.

“We are thrilled to host the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships over three days at the Maryland International and Horse Trials,” said competition organizer Carolyn Mackintosh. “Our team is ready to make it a great experience for them.”

“Designing for the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships is hugely exciting for me,” added cross-country course designer Ian Stark. “They are the future of our sport, and the quality of horses and riders in this competition shows incredible talent and potentially future Olympic team combinations. It’s particularly thrilling that the competition is at Loch Moy, where we have a great variety of jumps with challenging terrain and great footing. All the ingredients for a true championship.”

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Learn more at themarylandhorsetrials.com.

The Championships shifted from a fall long-format event to a summer short-format event to encourage more participation. Athletes interested in participating in the Championships must complete a USEF Area Declaration by May 1, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The qualifying period is January 1, 2023, through May 26, 2024. In addition to the USEF and FEI requirements to participate at each level, for the CCI3*, athletes will have to have an MER at a prior CCI3*-S within the qualifying period. For the CCI2*, athletes will have to have an MER at a prior CCI2*-S within the qualifying period.

Find out more about the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships.

US Equestrian Announces 2024 Eventing Pathway Program Lists

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, the first U.S. winners of LRK3DE since 2008. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Eventing Pathway Program Lists for 2024, including the Elite, Pre-Elite, Development, and Emerging Programs. In addition to these Eventing Pathway Program updates, several opportunities will be available in 2024 for both Program and non-Program athletes.

Eventing Elite Program List

The following athlete-and-horse combinations, listed in alphabetical order, have been named to the Eventing Elite Program List for 2024.

  • Will Coleman (Ocala, Fla.) and Off The Record, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate
  • Liz Halliday (Lexington, Ky.) and Miks Master C, a 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties, LLC and Deborah Palmer
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Luke 140, a 2011 Holsteiner gelding owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, and Commando 3, a 2013 Holsteiner gelding owned by Yankee Creek Ranch
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell

James Alliston and Karma. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Eventing Pre-Elite Program List

The following athlete-and-horse combinations, listed in alphabetical order, have been named to the Eventing Pre-Elite Program List for 2024.

  • James Alliston (San Ramon, Calif.) and Karma, a 2014 Oldenburg mare owned by Alliston Equestrian and Ric Plummer
  • Will Coleman (Ocala, Fla.) and Chin Tonic HS, a 2012 Holsteiner gelding owned by Hyperion Stud, LLC
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Fedarman B, a 2010 KWPN gelding owned by the Annie Goodwin Syndicate
  • Caroline Pamukcu* (Springtown, Pa.) and HSH Blake, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, Mollie Hoff, and Deniz Pamukcu
    • *The following horses have met the objective criteria for the Development Program: HSH Tolan King, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Pamukcu and Sherrie Martin, and HSH Connor, a 2016 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, and Luann McElduff
  • Doug Payne (Rougemont, N.C.) and Quantum Leap, a 2011 Rheinlander gelding owned by Doug and Jessica Payne

Membership is reviewed twice annually for the Eventing Elite and Pre-Elite Program Lists. View the updated criteria here.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Eventing Development Program List

The following athlete-and-horse combinations, listed in alphabetical order, have been named to the Eventing Development Program List for 2024.

  • Jenny Caras (Buckhead, Ga.) and Trendy Fernhill, a 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elyse Eisenberg
  • Mia Farley (Ocala, Fla.) and Phelps, a 2013 Thoroughbred gelding owned by David O’Connor
  • Cornelia Fletcher (Ocala, Fla.) and DHI Qyaracolle Z, a 2016 Zangersheide mare owned by Cornelia Fletcher and Ann Wehrle
  • Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.) and Fabian, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Fletcher Farms
  • Emily Hamel (Aiken, S.C.) and Corvett, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding owned by Black Flag Option, LLC
  • Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and Cornelius Bo, a 2014 Hanoverian gelding owned by Alyssa Phillips, and Oskar, a 2009 Holsteiner gelding owned by Julie Phillips and Alyssa Phillips

Updates have been made to the Development Program criteria. View the updated criteria here.

Cosby Green and Copper Beach. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Eventing Emerging Program List

The following athletes, listed in alphabetical order, have been named to the Eventing Emerging Program List for 2024.

  • Julia Beauchamp Crandon* (Redwood City, Calif.)
  • Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.)
  • Alexa Gartenberg (Gladwyne, Pa.)
  • Cosby Green (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Tommy Greengard (Malibu, Calif.)
  • Maddie Hale (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Ben Noonan (Ballwin, Mo.)
  • Meg Pellegrini (Wayne, Pa.)
  • Cassie Sanger (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Madison Temkin (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Elsa Warble (Portola Valley, Calif.)
    *Indicates that an athlete was talent-spotted for the program

View the criteria here.

Other Opportunities

The following opportunities will be available in 2024 for both Program and non-Program athletes to gain valuable team experience and further their development as U.S. athletes.

2024 Eventing European Development Tour

The 2024 Eventing European Development Tour will target three FEI Nations Cup opportunities with six athletes. The Tour is open to current USEF Emerging and Development athletes who are qualified for the CCI4*-S level as well as athletes that have been in either Program in the preceding three years (2021-2023).

  • Haras de Jardy (FRA) CCIO4*-NC-S, May 2-5, 2024*
  • Chatsworth International (GBR) CCIO4*-NC-S, May 17-19, 2024
  • Millstreet International (IRL) CCIO4*-NC-S, May 30- June 2, 2024
    *pending approval of date change from the FEI

Athletes interested in the Tour should reach out to Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law to review their plans for the remainder of the 2023 season and beginning of the 2024 competition season. If the athletes on the Tour are not able to fill complete Teams for the above competitions, then the process for adding team members not involved in the Programs will be released. Selection procedures are available here.

Madison Temkin and MVP Madbum. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

2024 Futures Team Challenge

The 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge is administered by the USEF to complement the Eventing Pathway Programs. Selection to a team under this Challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team. This Challenge is designed to replicate the experience of competing within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition.

Athletes will submit an application for consideration by the Pathway Working Group no later than February 24, 2024. Two teams of four combinations led by Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor Robert Costello and Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law will be selected to contest unofficial, simulated team competitions, the first being at the Carolina International (CCI3*-S/CCI4*-S). Additional opportunities in the summer or fall may be added.

An application indicates athletes are committed to attend the pre-competition training taking place two days before the start of competition. Athletes must be prepared to run their horse for time and be able to produce a competitive result in the competition. More information on the Futures Team Challenge may be found here.

Untargeted Nations Cups

Selection for FEI Eventing Nations Cups that are not targeted by the Elite/Pre-Elite Program or the Tour will follow these procedures. All U.S. FEI-Registered Athletes have the opportunity to apply for the competitions; however, USEF will not be providing funding, apparel, or coverage of expenses for attending the competitions.

2025 Emerging Program

Applications for the 2025 Emerging Athlete Program will be available at the end of July 2024 for assessment sessions in September. Stay up to date on application availability and assessment locations on the Emerging Athlete page.

If you have any questions about the 2024 Elite and Pre-Elite Programs, please contact Gemma Stobbs, Director of Elite Program, at [email protected].

If you have any questions about the 2024 Emerging and Development Programs or other opportunities, please contact Christina Vaughn, Director of Emerging and Development Programs, at [email protected].

MARS Equestrian To Take on Badminton Title Sponsorship

Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo: your 2023 Badminton champions. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

MARS Equestrian™, who have a long relationship with the Equestrian Community, are to step up to be the title sponsor of Badminton Horse Trials in 2024 having been the presenting sponsor of the event since 2020.

Mars, Incorporated, who have led the field with their iconic brands, products and services for both humans and animals for generations, is a global business with a clear purpose that is striving towards improved sustainability and a healthy planet, on which people and pets can thrive.

“We are honoured to become one of only three title sponsors in the history of the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials,” said William Clements, President of Mars Equestrian. “Through this enhanced partnership, we strive to share Mars iconic brands and services as we work to achieve our vision of a better world for horses, pets, and people.”

“The eventing world is lucky to have the support of such a knowledgeable and generous company as Mars, and we have already enjoyed a happy two years of their support as presenting sponsor,” said Badminton Director Jane Tuckwell. “The fact that Mars wish to enhance their involvement with the Badminton is an honour in what will be our 75th-anniversary year and we are looking forward to developing their veterinary and welfare interest in the event.”

Badminton Horse Trials was started in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort on his estate in Gloucestershire to prepare riders for the Olympic Games. Great Britain are the current Olympic and European champions; this year’s Badminton winners, Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo, hold the individual European title.

The Mars Badminton Horse Trials takes place on May 8-12, 2024, and the Box Office opens on January 3rd.

Meet the Area VI Champions Crowned at Galway Downs

Junior Novice: Isabella Rega and Blurred Lines. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Regional stars took center stage Sunday, Nov. 5, with all the razzle dazzle afforded to Saturday night’s contenders in the 2023 USEF CCI4*-L and CCI2*-L Eventing Championships, the Adequan CCI3*-L and the USEF Eventing Young Riders Championships presented by USEA.

Organizer Robert Kellerhouse remained on Cloud 9 seeing seniors, juniors and professionals at all levels showcased on the glitzy stage built for the Eventing Championships’ star-studded international roster.

The jumbotron displayed real time scoring for the final phases of 14 USEA Area VI Championship divisions, and contenders navigated the showcase stadium filled with colorful, creative fences in the jazzed atmosphere of the Grand Prix Arena.

“I think for our first attempt we knocked it out of the park,” said Andrea Pfeiffer, Area VI Chairman and Area VI Council member.

Along with added atmosphere, there was much more at stake in this year’s Area VI Championships because riders from all USEA regions were invited to take their shot at the titles. This unprecedented opportunity arose from the Area VI Council’s desire to plant the seeds for a true regional championship in the West. It’s also about promoting the idea that competing in different regions, environments and against different competitors is important to building winning horsemanship skills – a point emphasized by leaders at every level of the sport.

In addition to having contenders in all the divisions, those contenders and their crews helped pack the stands for the FEI competition, revving the amperage meter for everyone involved. “That really made me smile!” Pfeiffer said. “It was a national championship and it really felt like it.”

“My vision for the Area VI Championships is to make it special. If a show wants to host them, we need to ask how they are going to do that?” She acknowledges that filling the Championships divisions has been a challenge in the past, and that combining it this year with the multi-faceted Eventing Championships helped tremendously with that. So did special prizes, swag and being spotlit in the Grand Prix Arena.

Speaking of the spotlight, here are the 2023 AREA VI Champions.

Preliminary: Mickayla Howard and HH Ontario. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Preliminary Championships – Mikayla Howard and HH Ontario

Having won the Modified Training Challenge at Galway Downs last year, Mikayla Howard set her mind on prepping HH Ontario for a successful move up this year. She was surprised to be able to win the competitive division with two show jumping rails, but it was one of those days. HH Ontario’s characteristic nice dressage netted a 27.6, while cross-country required an extra push throughout to stay relatively close to the optimal time. That may have tired Ontario out a bit for show jumping, and Howard felt a few pilot errors may have played their part.

Nonetheless, it was a great way to finish a competition that Howard and her Avon Eventing crew look forward to and gear their goals toward all year. The Northern California professional had three Area VI Young Riders contending the USEF Championship and several horses and riders who took advantage of the Galway Downs’ popular Challenge divisions.

“We really appreciate all these different types of classes and we always have such a good time.”

Busy Tommy Greengard and Quick Quinn were reserve champions, and McKenzie Rollins and O Gigi SE were third.

Modified: Stephanie Goodman and Global Monmore. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Modified Championships – Stephanie Goodman & Global Monmore

Competing in the Area VI Championships was icing on the cake for Eagle, ID-based professional Stephanie Goodman. Her crew makes the 15-hour annual trek to Galway Downs every fall, this year with seven horses. She was thrilled to give Global Monmore, a young client’s horse, a terrific experience in what she described as a well-calibrated Modified event. These are few and far between, period, she noted, and finding one that hits that balance between “smaller than Prelim and a step above Training” is tough.

With just a few time faults on cross-country, Global Monmore rose easily to carry the division on a 36.4 and end his season on “super high point,” Goodman said. “Being able to ride in the Grand Prix ring for all these horses is great. There’s a lot of atmosphere and all our horses are actually jumping really well. Plus, it was really fun!”

Emily Schmitz and Fernhill Blueprint were second, and Audrey Fisher and GoldRiverDancer were third.

Modified/Training: Tommy Greengard and Cooley Sligo. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Modified/Training Championships – Tommy Greengard and Cooley Sligo

Still aglow from finishing as reserve champ in the USEF CCI4*-L Championships Saturday night, Tommy Greengard piloted Cooley Sligo to the top, adding nothing to their 22.7 dressage score. One of 5 horses Greengard rode in his post with Chocolate Horse Farm, Cooley Sligo is owned by client Megan Beachler, who finished an impressive 2nd in the American Eventing Championships Novice division earlier this year.

“He’s one of those unique horses who is very good in all three phases. He’s a terrific jumping horse, quite relaxed and a good mover, which helps with dressage.” Greengard loved having all the previous night’s atmospheric effects in place. “It’s great that they have the jumbotron and everything else going for the horses in the lower levels who haven’t seen that before.”

Taren Hoffos and Gusto were second on a 29.8 and Andrea Baxter and Camelot PJ followed on a 31.6.

Training/Novice: Seika Streets and Counterpoint. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Training Novice Championships – Seika Streets and Counterpoint

“This was a high point!” said Seika Streets, who leases the veteran upper-level campaigner, “Count” from Arnell Sporthorses. “We had a win at Novice at Woodside, and my trainers said, ‘Why don’t you keep this going and give this a shot!”

“It is a total privilege to ride him. He knows when the show is happening and gets super pumped up, he kicks into gear on cross-country, you know he’s going to make it home safe and he’ll jump everything more than it needs in stadium.”

“I was pretty confident in our abilities, and I knew we were going to give it our best out there.”

Alice Chan and Merriewold Quintessa were reserve champions.

Senior Training: Teresa Harcourt and Csongor. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Senior Training Rider Championships – Teresa Harcourt & Csongor

“It’s great to put a bow on the end of the year,” said Teresa Harcourt of her win with her own Csongor, aka “Blue.” She purchased him in August of 2022 after a seven-year hiatus from competing herself, during which she groomed for Bec Braitling and Arnell Sporthorses. “I’ve been able to build up a strong partnership with him, and it was great to have this week’s big environment of a national championship and to be around so many upper-level riders.”

The pair finished on their 28.6 dressage, amid a hectic, happy week. Teresa is USEA Area VI’s Young Rider Coordinator and was heavily involved in the preparations for the team’s CCI2*-L gold and CCI1*-L silver efforts. “It was a lot of work, but we cleaned up and it was a great weekend!” As a member of the Arnell Sporthorses posse, Teresa also had Bec Braitling’s reserve finish in the CCI4*-L National Championships to celebrate.

Shelby Murray and Mannoury vd Watermolen were second on a 30, and Eri Takada and Toronto Z were third on a 35.6.

Junior Training: Maddie Kelly and Favoloso. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Junior Training Rider Championships – Maddie Kelly and Favoloso

18-year-old Maddie Kelly had a happy trip back to Idaho, reflecting on how “all the stars aligned this weekend.” A student of Stephanie Goodman, Kelly began leasing Favoloso early this year and initially struggled to “feel on the same page” – especially in dressage. Finally, dressage felt “easy,” resulting in a 30.6 score. A few time faults impacted a cross-country track that “was good for him – it kept him engaged, but was not too challenging. That’s one of his hardest phases and he was a very good boy.” They sailed double-clear in show jumping, to retake the top spot.

Sophie Celeste and Max Attraction finished second on a 33.1, and Raney Wolfers and Kingston V.E. were third on a 33.4.

Senior Novice: Keelari Mauzy and West Coast Cooley. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Senior Novice Rider Championship – Keelari Mauzy and West Coast Cooley

It was love at first sight when Keelari Mauzy set eyes on her dream horse on a dream horse shopping trip to Ireland two years ago. Since then, random realities made consistent progress difficult but it’s all come together this year, and especially in their fault-free 29.4 finish in this division. The San Diego-based amateur produced West Coast Cooley on her own and was thrilled to qualify for the Area VI Championships and to have it be close to home.

“With the really great success we had this weekend, I’m thinking of setting a new goal for next year,” reports the owner of a PEMF business for horses, people and small animals. She’s qualified already for the American Eventing Championships and looks forward to returning to Galway Downs.

Johana Ligtenberg and Hunters Bolero finished second on their 30 dressage, and Maxine Beck and Laguna Seca followed on their 30.6 effort for third.

Junior Novice: Isabella Rega and Blurred Lines. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Junior Novice Rider Championship – Isabella Rega and Blurred Lines

A 4th place finish in the huge field at the American Eventing Championships in August, in Kentucky, inspired Isabella Rega to see if she could keep her roll going here at the Area VI Championships. “We’ve done so many Novice divisions it feels pretty easy,” she said of a 26.9 dressage score and flawless cross-country and show jumping. “It was all pretty straight forward.”

A student of Sabrina Miller’s Riding Academy, Rega said a move up next year is on the agenda.

Lauren Hsieh and Happy Prospect were tied with Rega throughout the run, taking second on a hair’s breadth time difference in cross-country. Kennedy Wiklund and Atta Boy Atticus were third.

Junior Beginner Novice: Charlotte Boleda and Bellechase. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Junior Beginner Novice Rider Championship — Charlotte Boleda & Bellechase

Great advice from a great rider helped Charlotte Boleda and Bellechase get where they are today. “Tamie Smith told me easy horses don’t make great riders,” Boleda said. Through the tough times of their first year together, “I said, ‘This guy has too much potential to let it go to waste,” explained Boleda, who trains regularly with Olivia Putrino.

The 6-year-old Irish Sporthorse came through for Charlotte today, finishing fault free on their 30 dressage score. “He’s super brave and I like horses that are spicy! They’re more fun.”

Katherine Jackman and Prada were reserve champions on a 34.1 effort.

Novice/Beginner Novice: Chloe Smyth and Topper. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Novice/Beginner Novice Championship – Chloe Smyth and Topper

Marian Cerrilly’s “Topper” is a really great young horse,” said the professional, who won on a 27.7. “He has been a pleasure to bring along.

“We love coming to Galway and always enjoying seeing the improvements. I want to give a huge thank you to my team at White Horse Eventing for keeping everything running smoothly.”

Dawn Scott and Cappa Aoife finished second on a 32.

Senior Beginner Novice: Justin Flach and Aracelli. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Senior Beginner Novice Rider Championship – Justin Flach & Aracelli

The Area VI Championships “became a goal as we’ve had sort of a rough year,” explained Justin Flach. “We had to re-set and learn a few hard lessons.” Warm-up ring anxiety was the main issue for the 2012 Oldenburg mare and the former county-level show jumping rider. “We focused on re-introducing her to ideas and concepts that would get her comfortable in the warm-up arena and this week is the culmination of those efforts and of working through some tough times.”

Flach is also grateful to his fellow competitors for their welcoming attitude and approach to the competition, and to his wife for encouraging him to try eventing. These last two years, he’s “put a lot of miles” into dressage and cross-country, including work with trainers Robin Garrett and Darci Bayney, for dressage and show jumping respectively.

“And, it looks like I’ll be getting an eventing trainer soon,” he said. “Because, I’m not going to stop now!” Afterall, they already have a basic principle mastered – try to finish on your dressage score, in their case, a 32.1, to which they added nothing.

Annie Desmond and Little Elf were close behind on a 32.4 for second, and Mia Roeser and Miss Magnolia were third on a 36.7.

Senior Starter: Britt Sabbah and Delilah 111. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Senior Starter Championship – Britt Sabbah and Delilah 111

It’s not a typo. Britt Sabbah’s 5-year-old German Riding Pony, Delilah 111, in her second-ever away from home show, logged a 16.7 dressage score. Britt bought her to be a “dressage pony” and the mare is delivering the goods. “She really likes to jump so we do eventing to give her more life experiences.” Along with the lowest score of the show, Delilah got a “bright future” note on her score sheet from judge Axel Steiner. “He can be a tough one to impress, so that was very nice.”

Delilah handled the Championships amped up atmosphere just fine, but being separated from her “brother,” Sabbah’s other horse, was hard to handle. “I think everybody on the show grounds probably heard her calling to him during her cross-country warm-up. She’s extremely vocal. But once she was out on course, she was fine!”

Amber Ryan and Finding Nemo finished second with a 31, and Lisa Prior and May As Well were third.

Junior Starter: Bo Moore and Zodiac Kowboy. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

Junior Starter Championship – Bo Moore and Zodiac Kowboy

“It was really fun,” said 15-year-old Bo Moore of her experience en route to winning this division. Initially locked in a tie after her 33.7 dressage ride with Zodiac Kowboy, this student of Sigourney Jellins set out determined to be close as possible to cross-country’s optimal time. She and the 10-year-old Thoroughbred were a little too fast, in fact, but they wound up edging into the top spot after only 1.6 time faults in stadium. It was a high point in their one-year partnership for this Northern California-based duo.

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

‘We All Just Loved It’: Wrapping up a Successful Weekend at VHC Eventing

Juan De Reves, owned by Louis Rogers of Capital Square and ridden by Emily Beshear. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square wrapped up on Sunday after an action-packed event which saw more than 400 horses compete at all levels.

Presenting sponsor Capital Square’s co-founder and owner, Louis Rogers, had his own horse Juan De Reves [Brody] entered in Open Training B Division and ridden by Emily Beshear. The pair finished in second with a score of 26.2.

According to Rogers, this was Brody’s second time competing in the states. “I imported him over the summer but then had a bad injury, so Emily took him over for me. He is a Selle Francais, but we bought him out of Ireland. He had done a 1* and 2* as a six-year-old and is really mellow and enjoys his job. He goes into the arena, clicks into higher gears and jumps around and then comes out and goes back into mellow mode,” commented Rogers. “Brody loves being an American. He is happy to be here and ready to work,” he laughed.

Rogers continued, “It was a spectacular weekend, and the weather was amazing. It couldn’t have been better, cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. The footing was excellent, the courses were challenging and fun. I heard many a cross country rider cross the finish and giggle, they were so happy. You don’t usually hear that. The courses were hard enough to be challenging but so much fun that riders were giggling with joy after a successful finish.”

Rogers commented, “Where else can a 66-year-old amateur ride in the same arena with an Olympian? Warming up in the same ring with an Olympian just gives me chills. It’s not like that in other sports. Eventing is a hard sport, and everyone is so humble. It is very inclusive, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

“The camaraderie here is a big deal. Everybody is friendly and collegial, and it feels good to see old friends and meet new ones. We loved watching all of the Young Riders compete. The kids are the future and it’s important to keep them involved at all levels.

“It’s vitally important to have the Virginia Horse Center as our home court like Kentucky has the Kentucky Horse Park and North Carolina has their horse park. The Virginia Horse Center is near where we live, and we need to support it. The economic impact is important for our rural county. The Virgina Horse Center has it all; it just needs our support.

“When you’re standing on the cross country course and you turn around in a 360, all you see is the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hills are so much fun to ride and beautiful to view. We have it all we just need to support the Virginia Horse Center with our time and money. And Capital square is proud to support this event.”

USEA President Lou Leslie Checks out VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square

USEA president Lou Leslie and Souvenir. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

USEA President Lou Leslie traveled from her home base in Seattle, Washinton to compete at the Virginia Horse Center. This was her first time showing at VHC Eventing. “I’ve been eventing for about thirty-five years and as USEA President, I want to get a better perspective of the whole nation. I want to show in every single area of the USEA. I’ve done six of the ten areas and am pecking away at it. I have a really nice horse; I can show up and run Novice and I had a fantastic time at the Virginia Horse Center. There’s not many horses that you can do that on,” she said.

Leslie rode her own Souvenir in the Novice Open A Division and earned a second place with a score of 25.

According to Leslie, she hadn’t ridden him in over a month. “Rob Burk has been keeping him in shape for me. I rode him Tuesday before the event, packed up the trailer and drove to Virginia on Wednesday. I was able to help out Roxanne [Booth] a bit on Thursday and Friday and showed him over the weekend.”

Leslie bought him as a four-year-old. According to Leslie, “He’s a really good boy and I’ve ridden him up to the Prelim levels, so I felt pretty good riding him in Novice. The reason I named him Souvenir is because when I went to the Burghley Horse Trials, I ended up buying him instead of a t shirt,” she laughed.

Leslie continued, “The Virginia Horse Center is awesome. The sunrises and sunsets are amazing, and the weather couldn’t be better. Roxanne did a fantastic job, so kudos to her and her team! Being this was my first time there; everyone was so friendly, and everyone had fun. The kids in the barn just loved the barrel fire pits and roasting marshmallows. We all just loved it!”

“The cross country course was lovely and really appropriate for all the levels. I walked the Prelim, the Training and Novice just for giggles. The stadium course was a really good test. It was a ‘quiet patient ride’ and that’s hard to do on an event horse but if you were quiet and waited it was a good course and the footing was really nice. The one thing I noticed was that the footing you warm up on is the same that you compete on and that makes a big difference when you compete. It was the same for dressage too. From start to finish it was a wonderful show and just a great time,” she added.

“Out west you don’t need to run with studs because the cross country is dirt. It’s a lot more difficult to manage grass, but compared to what I’m used to, I had no complaints. I did use studs here on the cross country, but they were little ones. You could tell that the VHC team did aerate and water and that’s always appreciated. When I galloped across the fields, I did not hear that hollowness which usually means that the ground is really hard,” said Leslie.

“The town of Lexington is so quaint! I went out two nights for dinner and downtown is so cute. There are two universities in town, lots of history and I’d love to spend more time visiting there in the future. Virginia Horse Center is one of a kind and offers beautiful countryside, a quaint downtown and breathtaking mountains. You don’t see that anywhere else. I’d love to return and be a repeat competitor,” added Leslie.

Destination VHC Eventing

Amanda Beale Clement and B.E. Balou U. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Amanda Beale Clement of Cairn O’Mount Stables of Malvern, Pennsylvania won both the Beginner Novice Horse A with B.E. Wexford Boy and Beginner Novice Horse B with B.E. Cointreau, both owned by Susie Beale.

According to Beale Clement, this was their horses’ first event ever. “I knew that Mrs. Booth [Roxanne] and her team would do a fantastic job at VHC Eventing and that was exactly where I wanted my horses’ first event in the US to be.”

“The other horse I rode [B.E. Balou U] was 2nd in the Training Horse Division and that was only her third event of her life and her first time out at the Training Level. My student Mary Delonzo was also third in the Senior Training level. Mary has been eventing for three years and comes here every year,” she added.

Beale Clement brought ten horses and clients to VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square. “I think the biggest thing I would love to share is that VHC Eventing is really a destination event for our clients. It is an event that every one of our clients wants to go to and it is our destination for the year, every year,” she said.

Beale Clement continued, “In the beginning of the year, we all put VHC Eventing on our calendar. There is no other show throughout the year where every single rider, including upper levels and adult amateurs, that can be together competing on the same weekend. Even for the lower levels, it is very exciting for them. For the young riders, adult amateurs and the younger generation, to be able to ride around the big time FEI riders, it makes them feel included,” she added.

“I think what makes it such a destination for our clients is that they love being able to rent an RV or camp and we all hang out and have dinner and bond. It’s really important to have such camaraderie and get to know everyone better and it’s just such a great time. The families come along and it’s such a great time,” said Beale Clement. “We have a little too much fun sometimes to be honest with you,” she laughed.

“I thought that this fall, VHC Eventing was just fantastic. Everyone was friendly and it was well organized. They worked with us, and it was so lovely to work with people that wanted to make this a fun and safe weekend for all of us. I was impressed that at every single level they took care of the grounds. The jumps were gorgeous, and the courses were amazing. The Virginia Horse Center team hit every single mark. We had people from Intermediate to Beginner Novice and everyone had such a great time. All of our clients are so happy and that is so important,” said Beale Clement.

Photo courtesy of VHC Eventing.

As we head into the holiday season, we extend our warmest wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and healthy and happy Holiday Season! We are thankful for your support and can’t wait to welcome you back to VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square May 22-26! Please consider sponsoring this world-class event! For customized sponsorship packages, please contact [email protected].

VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square Sunday Highlights

Tim Bourke (IRL) and Bon Vivant DSF, owned by Jill Smith win the CCI 2*L

Photo credits: Brant Gamma Photography

Tim Bourke (IRL) and Bon Vivant DSF, owned by Jill Smith won the CCI 2*L with a score of 28.6. Tim Bourke has been catch riding Bon Vivant DSF [V] who belongs to Jill Smith. “Since Jill is pregnant, the goal has been to put some mileage on V,” he said. According to Bourke, this is V’s second or third 2*L. “He is a Canadian bred horse and super-fast. I’m happy for the whole team behind him. Jill’s groom Sara Lujano did a fantastic job caring for him over the weekend and he’s not the easiest horse in the world. He is a little bit cold backed, and he needs to be lunged before we get on. The dedication she has is wonderful,” he added.

Bourke wanted to come out of dressage with a sub 30 score and accomplished that with their score of 28.6. “He was fast on cross country and is usually quite a show jumper, but I’ve never ridden him after the cross-country phase. I was just catch riding and we had only been doing the short format, but he was still full of energy. Sometimes you have a different horse on Sunday, but not this one. He was very good,” said Bourke.

“The VHC Eventing team did a fabulous job organizing this event. When there was a change in the leadership, we as professionals all got behind the new organizers to support this event. Joanie Morris, Roxanne Booth and the team were phenomenal. Going to the debriefing last night they were all there and asking us how they can do better. They want our opinion and our feedback and that’s a good thing. This venue is only about two hours away from us and we always want to support this event,” he added.

Rebecca Lee (CAN) and Elton B owned by Carol Richardson win the CCI1*L

Photo credits: Brant Gamma Photography

Rebecca Lee and Carol Richardson’s Elton B had a great weekend at VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square and won the CCI1*L with a score of 25.7. “Carol bought him two years ago and then broke her ankle so she couldn’t ride. She had me ride him and then we moved him up in May to Modified. We did a few and qualified for AEC in Kentucky and came in third! Carol was getting used to the idea of watching him go faster and jumping bigger jumps, so we thought we’d try an FEI. We did Plantation and although I had a rail in show jumping and the conditions there were really tough with the hurricane coming in, he was great despite the worse rain conditions I have ever ridden in. It ended up being a great experience and we ended up finishing in fourth. That’s when we decided to add VHC Eventing to our calendar,” said Lee.

“VHC Eventing was his first 1*L and Carol was here this weekend helping with him the whole time,” she said. The pair sat in second place after the dressage phase which according to Lee “was great because we’ve been working on that.”

“Sometimes Carol calls him a llama because he puts his head way up in the air. We’ve been working on more dressage and less llama,” she laughed.

The pair vied against Andrew McConnon (USA) and Connery Cooper Z, who had the lead after the dressage phase.

“I was surprised to see them get a rail in the show jumping because he is a lovely rider, and the horse has a great jump. We went clear, which was great. Michel [Vaillancourt] designed a very technical course for the 1* which I thought was a good test at this level and I thought it was great. His wife Deirdre bought a horse from me a couple of years ago in Aiken and I got to meet him then and Michel is a really nice guy as well as an excellent course designer,” she said.

“I thought the jumps were great and the courses rode really well. The jumps were beautiful, and we appreciate them aerating the footing. The barns were great with the new floors and doors, and we loved the rubber mats. It was so much nicer for us and our horses.”

As part of her win, Lee also received a Vespucci bridle from World Equestrian Brands. “It’s just beautiful,” said Lee. They also won a free picture from Brant Gamma Photography and prize money thanks to the support of the Virginia Horse Industry Board, “That was awesome,” said Lee. “I was excited and so was Carol. She loves her horses and takes great care of them, and we had her other horse in Novice, and they ended up in fourth. We got to show at a great facility and her horse won prizes and prize money which made it very exciting for us,” she added.

“I want to thank my barn students at Rebecca Lee Eventing. They have all been so helpful and supportive. Especially to Kate Geier who helped with all of the horses on Saturday and Sunday,” said Lee.

“I thought the VHC team did such a great job. There were so many horses this weekend and everything went smoothly. I also had two horses in Novice, and they were really good about fitting us in for show jumping and cross country. I was a little late because of ribbon presentations and the ring people were so friendly and really accommodating. The officials and stewards were friendly and open to our questions during the Rider Briefing. I had some questions, and they were helpful and very approachable. All the ring stewards were flexible and didn’t mind answering any of my questions either. I really appreciate that they put on this event, and we’ll be coming back.”

Kate Bearer Wins the Hyperion Stud Young Rider Award

Kate Bearer [USA] and Danielle Poulsen’s Capability Brown won the Hyperion Stud Leading Young Rider Award after placing fourth overall in the CCI 2*L.

Photo Courtesy of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation

According to Bearer, “I work with Danielle and Capability Brown [Bane] is her old 4* horse. I was thankful to have the ride on him.” Bearer has been riding him all season. “He has been invaluable in getting me this experience at this level and helping me to go out and be competitive.”

Bearer continued, “This was my first-time riding on the Oak Hill side. I didn’t ride at the May event, so it was awesome to see the new jumps and see what has changed over there. The footing was good and aerated, and the staff did all that they could, which we appreciated. The jumps were super and decorated amazingly. It was plenty hard enough and a really good course to run around.”

“The show jumping was awesome. It was a really good course with a lot of related distances which I really enjoy riding and it was a very fair course for a long format.”

“I really want to thank Danielle who has supported me through the levels and given me a lot of opportunities to grow as a rider and getting us here,” she added.

For more information on Hyperion Stud and the Award, please find them online.

Virginia Tech Wins the Intercollegiate Challenge

Congratulations to Virginia Tech for winning the Intercollegiate Challenge. They also tied for the Volunteer Competition with Randolph Macon College.

Pictured L-R: Jill Newman, Mark Combs (coach), Mandolin Whitten, Rose Schild. Not pictured is Emma Oldenburg. Photo Courtesy of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation.

President of Virginia Tech Eventing Mandolin Whitten said, “It was super exciting to have so many team challenges going on between eventing and volunteering. It really encourages people to come out and volunteer, participate and compete. We really appreciate Dover Saddlery for the great gift certificates they gave us and to World Equestrian Brands for the Equilibrium boots,” she added.

Whitten also won the Open Modified with Lee Byrd’s Bossanova and teammate Jill Newman won the Modified Rider.

Liz Halliday Leads Newly Crowned National Champions

The Eventing Championships at Galway Downs offered myriad magic moments yesterday as the 2023 USEF National CCI4*-L and 2*-L Eventing Championships and the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships, presented by USEA, concluded. However, it may be the event’s glimpse into the future that is most indelibly etched for those who competed, organized, volunteered, or watched in person.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker are 2023 USEF CCI4*-L National Eventing Champions. PC – Sherry Stewart.

The VIP Pavilion was sold out, the Grand Prix arena was ringed several deep with fans and the vibe was Saturday night sizzle, California style.

“The event is amazing,” said US Eventing CEO Rob Burk, speaking of the entire experience. “The team here at Galway Downs just leaned into raising the bar, not only for California, but for eventing facilities anywhere in the country. Some of the most important things in our sport are the stables, the horsemanship, the quality of footing and you are not going to get better footing than this anywhere, in show jumping or cross-country, or more of the feel of a Championships than what we have here.”

Even before the results were determined, Burk predicted that Galway Downs will be widely acknowledged as a world-class equestrian sport stage. Which has been part of the plan for some time – a combined effort of Galway Downs owner, Ken Smith, organizer Robert Kellerhouse and Nilforushan Equisport Events.

The future looks bright for Young Riders, too. “I see this as a snapshot of what our Olympic and WEG teams will be in the next few decades,” Burk continued. “Early indicators of future success” included having Young Riders Championships contenders take the top two spots in the Pro Series Equine CCI2*-L and a reserve in the Adequan CCI3*-L; and an Emerging U25 rider take third in the Defender CCI4*-L.

Liz Halliday & Cooley Nutcraker top the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championships & Defender CCI4*-L

Speaking of the future, Pan Am Team USA silver medalist Liz Halliday zoomed back from Santiago, Chile to ensure Cooley Nutcracker got his crack at the national title, the $16,500 of the division’s $50,000 in prize money and a place on the 2024 Olympic team selectors’ radar screen. The 9-year-old Irish Sporthorse’s 29.9 dressage score on Thursday established a solid lead which widened to five rails in hand by the show jumping conclusion.

In the interim, Clayton Fredericks’ cross-country shook up the standings. Five of 12 pairs were eliminated, including Liz on her first ride, Shanroe Cooley, late in an otherwise smooth-looking effort. Liz liked the rest of the course, but felt the test at 19A-B was a little too tough, too late in the track and lacked a “graceful way to ride it without just manhandling it.”

Fredericks, a 5* contender himself, acknowledged it was gut-wrenching to have the first three pairs fail to finish. “I never set something I won’t ride myself and we had a fairly good intensity,” he said of the 4* national championship route. “The only thing is maybe the level of the horses was on the green side. There were 4 or 5 doing their first 4*-L and that always affects the results. The problems were spread evenly throughout the course, and I think the course was of a good level for what we are doing here.”

Warming up as one of those partnerships tackling their first 4*-L, Tommy Greengard and Joshuay MBF filtered the reports through the rock-steady influence of Andrea Pfeiffer, the Chocolate Horse Farm proprietor for whom Greengard rides. “She is like an emotional rock for me. It made that a lot easier to cope mentally.”

Tommy Greengard and Joshuay MBF. PC- Sherry Stewart

They stuck with their plan of a careful pace throughout and it paid off, after a double clear show jumping round, to finish reserve in the USEF CCI4*-L National Championships. It also resulted in a third place finish in the Defender 4* that netted $10,000.

Bec Braitling and Caravaggio II. PC — Sherry Stewart

Australian Bec Braitling and Arnell Sporthorse’s Caravaggio II finished 2nd in the Defender CCI4*-L, earning the $12,500 reserve check. But as an Australian, Braitling was not eligible for the US title contention. Caravaggio’s performance was win enough. After an intense summer of training and competing in Europe, Braitling saw marked improvement in “Ernie’s” ability to keep his considerable abilities “together” through all three phases. She plans on a 5* debut as next year’s target for the 2011 British bred horse.

An uncharacteristic two show jumping rails slotted Galway Downs-based Emilee Libby and Tosca into fourth overall and third in the USEF National 4*-L championships. It was this pair’s debut 4*-L effort, too.

Sabrina Glaser & Cooley Mr. Murphy top the Adequan CCI3*-L

Sabrina Glaser’s journey from Langley, British Columbia, was rewarded with a win aboard Cooley Mr. Murphy in this 22-horse division. Sabrina described her partner of 4 years as “probably the trickiest horse I’ve ever sat on.” After consistent successes at 3*-S, he had “niggly little injuries that made us trickle along for a while.” It led to him getting over-familiar with the dressage test and “wheeling and bucking into transitions” in earlier outings. “But he kept a lid on it” Thursday to score a 32 in the sandbox. Double clear on cross-country vaulted them into the lead, followed by double clear show jumping, several exuberant fist pumps and $7,000 of the division’s $21,000 in prize money.

PC – Tina Fitch Photography

Area VI Young Rider Molly Duda was thrilled with her reserve finish, the $5,250 check and how “fresh and good” Disco Traveler felt. “I was surprised because in our last 3*-L, I could feel his fitness was lacking a bit on the final day. But today, he was jumping out of his skin and I am super proud of him.”

Erin Kellerhouse didn’t have the stellar dressage outing she and Bon Vivant GWF are capable of. That was nicely counterbalanced by a “fabulous” effort on cross-country that made a tough track “feel like Training Level.” Just a few time faults there, plus double clear stadium, moved this Galway Downs-based duo from 8th after dressage into third and a $4,200 prize check.

Kellerhouse credits some of her show jumping success to regularly competing in the Nilforushan Equisport Events jumping competitions that have been a significant part of Galway Downs’ evolution as an international venue. “It’s really helped me get to know what type of ride he likes, and it’s helped all of my horses.”

Hanni Sreenan Atop the USEF CCI2*-L National Championships and Pro Series Equine CCI2*-L

Hanni Sreenan aspires to 5* competition and came to Galway Downs expecting “an amazing experience.” She didn’t expect that to include the double crown of USEF National CCI2*-L Champion and the USEF Eventing CCI2*-L Young Rider Individual title. But that’s what she and Ebenholtz, a 2007 Hannoverian, earned by staying fault free after their 28.8 dressage start.

They were second going into Marc Donovan’s stadium finale and ascended to the top when Area VI Young Rider Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb had two heartbreaking rails to disrupt what would have been a Young Riders sweep of the division’s top three spots.

Area V’s Molly Duda and Carlingfords Hes a Clover were also double clear on cross-country and stadium to move from 4th after dressage to reserve champion in this competitive 40-horse division sponsored by Pro Series Equine.

James Alliston and Cora snapped the Young Riders sweep, finishing third on their 31.3 dressage effort.

Auburn Excell Brady Wins the Dechra Equine CCI1*-L

Auburn Excell Brady registered a first international win for Boudica BSP and it was indeed a victory in her partnership with the 2016 KWPN mare named after a Celtic warrior. She’d been marketing the mare as a show jumper, for Andrea Baxter, because it didn’t seem eventing was in the cards. “Honestly, I was scared of her at first. She’s big, very athletic and not always agreeable,” the California professional explained.

PC – Tina Fitch Photography

Excell Brady’s dressage coaches felt she had potential aplenty, but cross-country was “tricky,” to put it mildly. “We duked it for a few days in a clinic with Ian Stark this summer, and Ian really helped me work things through.” The warrior pair led this 28-horse field with a 27 in dressage and didn’t give up an inch.

“The level of competition and the atmosphere are fantastic,” said Excell Brady, a longtime Galway Downs exhibitor. “It’s really a special experience riding down centerline and I thought the cross-country and show jumping courses were great, though challenging.”

Unprecedented prize money, live-scoring on the jumbotron and overall pizzazzy presentation were icing on the cake, she said. Excell-Brady was one of several competitors to especially appreciate the enhanced amenities for spectators, including owners, clients and family.

USEA Area VI Young Rider Scarlett Peinado and Shadow Inspector also finished on their dressage score, a 27.4, to maintain 2nd place in the Dechra Equine CCI1*-L and be crowned the 2023 USEF CCI1*-L Eventing Young Rider National Champion. Qualifying for the Young Rider Championships was a “big goal” coming in and “I have not processed what happened” she said in the afterglow.

Shadow Inspector is a California veteran thanks to his years with Haley Turner. “My horse knew what was going on here, even in all this atmosphere,” Peinado said. “I was very nervous – a little bit panicked, so I was just trying to manage my stress and remember the course.” She travelled from Pennsylvania, where she trains with Area V chef Dom Schramm. He advised pretending like it was a schooling show, which proved effective throughout Marc Donovan’s turny track of quick-arising obstacles. Striding got a little tight in the final combination of pastel-colored cookie-standard obstacles, but the pair stayed clear to gallop to individual Young Rider gold.

Close behind in the Dechra Equine CCI1*-L third spot was Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship. Their finish on a 28.2 dressage score resulted in individual Young Rider silver and helped Area VII earn 2*-L team gold.

Scarlett Peinado & Shadow Inspector with Galway Downs organizer Robert Kellerhouse. – PC Tina Fitch Photography

USEF Eventing Young Riders Championships, Presented by USEA

Sarah Ross epitomized good sportsmanship after the two rails that knocked her from individual Young Riders gold to bronze in the CCI2*-L division. “Of course, it’s upsetting. I came here for the Young Riders Championships, from Florida and after spending a fair amount of time competing in jumper shows earlier this year. It’s been my dream to compete here, and this has been incredible and I’m excited about next year.”

She and her fellow team gold medal winning Area VI riders agreed the best part of the experience can only be understood once experienced. “You don’t understand until you’ve done it,” Ross elaborated. “You want a sponge, and all of the sudden, you have 20 sponges coming your way. Now we can all be excited about going home and cracking on with homework from this great experience.”

CCI1*-L Standings
Team Gold: Area VII
Harper Padgett, Olivia Keye, Lizzie Hoff, Caterina Ritson
Team Silver: Area VI
Brooke Corsaut, Fiona Holland, Greylin Booth, Jillian Mader Team Bronze
Bronze: Alberta/Ontario, Canada
Mackenzie Hoffman, Mickanna Austad, Michaela Aulicino, Avery Tallman

Individual
Gold: Scarlett Peinado, Area V
Silver: Harper Padget, Area VII
Bronze Lizzie Hoff, Area VII

CCI2*-L Standings
Team Gold: Area VI
Sarah Ross, Gabriella Ringer, Lauren Crabtree, Julia Beauchamp Crandon
Team Silver: Area VII
Kaylee Petticord, Avery Jacob, Hanni Sreenan, Harper Padget

Individual
Gold: Hanni Sreenan – Area VII
Silver: Julia Beauchamp Crandon – Area VI
Bronze: Sarah Ross – Area VI

CCI3*-L Standings – Individuals
Gold: Molly Duda – Area VI
Silver: Else Warble – Area VI
Bronze: Kayla Dumler – Area VI

Phillip Dutton Dominates Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton claimed the $20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge in a thrilling night of competition on Saturday, November 4, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Having won Friday night’s first round of competition, Dutton, a six-time Olympian, was last to contest Saturday’s deciding second round riding Quasi Cool. He thrilled the packed house once more with an electric performance and clear effort to take the championship title.

“It was an incredible crowd,” enthused Dutton, 60, who is based out of his True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania. “It was a full house, and it’s fun to show off our sport in a major city like this. We spent the day looking at the cows, sheep, and pigs, and it’s just really a lot of fun to be here. We even met Royal Ambassador Kay, so it was a great day.”

Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool jumped clear in both phases of the $20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge to claim the overall title on Saturday, November 4, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

While Friday’s course certainly tested the athletes, Saturday’s track designed by Captain Mark Phillips of Great Britain proved to be even more demanding. Competitors raced back and forth across the arena over a combination of show jumping and cross-country obstacles, negotiating several tricky lines as they took chances and made tight turns in an effort to produce the fastest clear time. Just three combinations managed a fault-free ride, but it was Dutton’s double-clear across the two days of competition and combined time of 181.41 seconds that reigned supreme.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my horse,” shared Dutton of Caroline Moran’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados x Lord). “He’s coming back from a bit of time off, and he’s just showing me how much he loves doing this. On Friday, the format was a bit foreign to him with all the turning, and he really learned from that and did it so well on Saturday. Obviously, I haven’t done this kind of stuff with him before, but he came out Saturday and was much more maneuverable and adjustable.

“The hard part of eventing is that for a lot of the cross-country jumps we want the horses to not go too high and stay lower over the top,” he continued. “When you put show jumping fences and cross-country jumps in here, it’s not that easy for the horses to understand not to get too high for some and then to be careful with the others. ‘Quasi’ is very good at judging how high to go, and he’s very careful all the time, so it’s nice to have.”

Six-time Olympian Phillip Dutton is presented as the winner of the $20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge by Scott Cieslar (left), CEO and Chief Nutritionist of Mad Barn, and Dr. Emily Gilbert, Mad Barn’s Performance Science Specialist.
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Top Canadian talent Kendal Lehari, 36, of Uxbridge, ON, was the only other rider to jump fault-free both rounds with Iron Lorde for a second-place finish in a combined 193.03 seconds. As the highest placed Canadian rider, she was presented with the Col. Michael Gutowski Award.

“I love indoor eventing,” expressed Lehari, who has been competing in the Indoor Eventing Challenge for more than a decade. “We are used to riding across acres where things are so spread out, and here everything comes up so fast and it’s such an adrenaline rush. It really tests your instincts, and you just ride gritty and get it done. You have to think so fast. It’s totally different than what we normally do, but it’s so exciting and so great having the spectators. It’s such a fun atmosphere and opportunity.”

Lehari’s partner for the class, Iron Lorde, is normally campaigned by her mother, Gwen Lehari, but Kendal took over the ride a couple weeks prior to prepare for The Royal. While Iron Lorde has not tackled an upper-level event recently, his past experiences, including foxhunting, driving, and even competing in the Cup classes at the Royal Horse Show as a three-year-old, helped the 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding by Prinz Habicht prove his versatility.

“He was amazing,” said Kendal. “I might have to steal him off my mother now because he impressed me a little more than I was expecting. I couldn’t be happier. He really stepped up to the plate.”

Kendal Lehari was the top Canadian in the $20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge, finishing in second riding Iron Lorde.
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Dutton’s daughter, 22-year-old Olivia Dutton, completed the top three on five faults and a combined time of 194.28 seconds riding Pioneer Archibald, a 12-year-old British Sport Horse gelding (Primmore’s Pioneer x Holland) owned by Joanie Morris.

Hunter competition was in the spotlight on Sunday, November 5, when Taylor Brooks of Ashton, ON, and Spectre, owned by Taylor Bond, claimed victory in the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby.

A field of 19 horse-and-rider combinations contested the decorated course set by Ken Krome of the United States. Ninth to go in the order, Brooks and Spectre, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, impressed the judges with their brilliance and handiness to earn a base score of 86 with an additional 10 high option points and 10 handy points for an overall score of 106.

“Spectre truly is an incredible horse,” said Brooks, 32, who won the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby at the 2022 Royal Horse Show with the flashy chestnut. “I’ve had the pleasure of being his rider for almost six years now, so our partnership is pretty solid. We showed here last year together, and I knew going into this week that I had a good chance to trust him, believe in him, and go out there and do our best. It’s magical anytime I ride him, and it’s a dream come true to win here. It’s an amazing opportunity to compete under these lights with the crowd and a course set so beautifully.”

Taylor Brooks of Ashton, ON, and Spectre won the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby on Sunday afternoon, November 5.
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Second place honours went to Elodie Lemieux of Saint-Lambert, QC, and King’s Landing, her 12-year-old warmblood gelding, with an overall score of 102. Isabelle Lapierre of Levis, QC, and Carrera S, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding sired by Corrado I and owned by Johannie Légaré secured third place with a total score of 100.5.

The Royal offers numerous hospitality experiences including the Royal Terrace for VIP and corporate hosting and the Coliseum’s Sky Suites which offer stables and groups their own private suites. The Tanbark Club will continue to welcome Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for full details.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, including daily schedules and to purchase tickets, visit www.royalfair.org/royalhorseshow. Also download the new Royal Agricultural Winter Fair app for more news and information at your fingertips!

$20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge

1. Phillip Dutton / West Grove, PA / Quasi Cool / 0 / 181.41

2. Kendal Lehari / Uxbridge, ON / Iron Lorde / 0 / 193.03

3. Olivia Dutton / West Grove, PA / Pioneer Archibald / 5 / 194.28

4. Diana Burnett / Blackstock, ON / Whatsyourproblem / 5 / 215.16

5. Colleen Loach / Dunham, QC / Major Chase / 10 / 180.48

6. Jessica Phoenix / Cannington, ON / Fluorescent Adolescent / 10 / 180.95

7. Holly Jacks / Hillsburgh, ON / Josephine / 10 / 199.80

8. Jamie Kellock / Cedar Valley, ON / Summer Bay / 10 / 200.29

9. Hanna Bundy / Toronto, ON / Don’t Blink / 30 / 189.45

$15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby

1. Taylor Brooks / Ashton, ON / Spectre / 106

2. Elodie Lemieux / Saint-Lambert, QC / King’s Landing / 102

3. Isabelle Lapierre / Levis, QC / Carrera S / 100.5

4. Kristjan Good / Campbellville, ON / Nitecap / 100

5. Sarah Long / Newmarket, ON / Good Vibes / 99

6. Emma Edwardson / Calgary, AB / Diarado Dream / 97

7. Kennedy Ballard / St Lazare, QC / Jazz Air / 96

8. Cawthra Burns / King City, ON / Buckingham / 93

9. Kristjan Good / Campbellville, ON / Carano / 92

10. Ashley Arnoldt / Langley, BC / Light My Fire / 90.5

Website / Results

USEF Eventing National Champions Crowned for CCI4*-L, CCI2*-L, & Young Riders at Galway Downs International

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker crowned 
USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Champions at Galway Downs International. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian. Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker crowned USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Champions at Galway Downs International. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.

An exciting weekend at Southern California’s Galway Downs International came to its conclusion on Saturday with new national champions emerging in the CCI4*-L and CCI2*-L levels along with the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA for the CCI1*-Intro, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L levels.

Scarlett Peinado and Shadow Inspector. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.


USEF Eventing CCI1*-Intro Young Rider Championship presented by USEA

Finishing her weekend with a double-clear show jumping round, Scarlett Peinado (Aubrey, Texas) riding her 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding Shadow Inspector (Tinaranas Inspector x Caragh Roller) took home the individual victory in the CCI1*-Intro championship for young riders.

“It feels amazing. I kind of still can’t believe it’s real,” said Peinado, who represented Area V as an individual competitor. “My horse definitely knew what was going on. He got in that arena and he was like, ‘Let’s go!’”

Peinado held a wire-to-wire lead in the young rider standings for the division and finished on her dressage score of 27.4. She said she felt some pressure coming into the final phase, but followed her coach’s advice to just ride as if she were schooling at home and was able to manage her nerves to finish on a high note.

“I was very nervous. I was so nervous, I walked in the arena trying to remember my course,” said Peinado. “Everything was happening all at once. But it went well, I managed the stress, and we got around clear and I’m very happy.”

The team from Area VII clinched team gold thanks to solid performances from Lizzie Hoff and HSH Best Kept Secret, Olivia Keye and Chromatic Flyer, Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship, and Caterina Ritson and This Lad is Gold. Both Padgett and Hoff made the podium individually, winning silver and bronze, respectively.

CCI1*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Scarlett Peinado and Shadow Inspector
Silver: Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship
Bronze: Lizzie Hoff and HSH Best Kept Secret

CCI1*-L Young Rider Team Results
Gold: Area VII
Silver: Area VI
Bronze: Alberta/Ontario

Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.


USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship and USEF Eventing CCI2*-L Young Rider Championship presented by USEA

After an impressive dressage test and a fault-free cross-country phase, Area VII’s Hanni Sreenan (Hood River, Ore.) and Ebenholtz (Ehrentusch x Levantine), a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Amy Haugen, turned in one of the few double-clear rounds in the CCI2*-L to win both the young rider championship and the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship on a score of 28.8.

“To be honest, I came into the competition just wanting to get around,” said Sreenan. “It’s my first CCI2*-L, so I was super nervous and I did way better than expected. I’m super happy.

“He’s super funny. Very mouthy. Very gelding-like. I love him,” Sreenan said of her equine partner. “He’s the best. He’s taught me so much. He’s a super big confidence booster and that would not have been [possible] without Amy Haugen being alongside me and letting me have the ride.”

Sreenan wins the Richard Collins trophy for the CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship and the Harry T Peters trophy for the CCI2*-L Young Rider Championship.

The home team from Area VI secured the gold medal in the CCI2*-L division. The team was composed of Julia Beauchamp Crandon and MGH Capa Vilou, Lauren Crabtree and Excellence, Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild, and Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb.

USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship Results
First: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz
Second: Molly Duda and Carlingfords Hes a Clover
Third: James Alliston and Cora

CCI2*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz
Silver: Julia Beauchamp Crandon and MGH Capa Vilou
Bronze: Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb

CCI2*-L Young Rider Team Results
Gold: Area VI
Silver: Area VII

Molly Duda and Disco Traveler. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.


USEF Eventing CCI3*-L Young Riders Championship presented by USEA

Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) of Area VII and her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding Disco Traveler (Donatelli x Cadence) turned in two double-clear jumping rounds to finish on their dressage score of 33.5 and win the individual young rider gold and the John H Fritz trophy for the CCI3*-L.

“‘Disco’ was feeling so fresh and so good this morning,” said Duda. “At our last CCI3*-L, we could feel the fitness lacking a little bit on the final day, and I think we really made those improvements and it showed. He was jumping out of his skin today, and I was super proud of him.”

Coming into the final phase in the top spot for the young riders—and in the second-place standing overall for the division—put some pressure on Duda, but in a good way.

“There’s certainly a lot of pressure going in there towards the end, but I think I thrive under pressure,” said Duda. “I think it makes me locked in and I actually ride better when I feel like it really matters. I think my horses feel that, too, especially Disco. He loves to win. He loves to do well, and I think he gave it all he had today, and it was a great ride.”

CCI3*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Molly Duda and Disco Traveler
Silver: Elsa Warble and FE Unlimited

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.


USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship

Liz Halliday (Lexington, Ky.) held the top spot on the CCI4*-L through all three phases with Cooley Nutcracker (Toland R x Ballyshan Cleopatra), a 2014 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Nutcracker Syndicate (Deborah Halliday, Renee Lane, Ocala Horse Properties, and the rider). They held a comfortable lead heading into the show jumping phase and turned in a double-clear round to secure the national championship, winning the Guy V Henry trophy and the USET Gladstone Cup.

“I really wanted him to jump a good class and a clear round,” said Halliday. “My goal was to make the time without chasing him for it as well. That’s just something I’ve been working on with him, and he’s such a beautiful, classy horse. He felt very fresh today, which was amazing. He was pretty sharp today in this atmosphere, but he’s an amazing horse and I have a great partnership with him now.

“It’s awesome. It’s amazing, it’s really fun with the AECs and now this,” Halliday said of her national championship win. “It’s exciting for the owners, too, to come here and watch their young horse do this. It’s a wonderful way to finish the season, and I’m very excited for next year.”

USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship Results
First: Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker
Second: Tommy Greengard and Joshuay MBF
Third: Emilee Libby and Toska

The Eventing Championships at Galway Downs (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times][Volunteer] [Final Scores]

‘It’s All About Perseverance’: Laine Ashker & Lovedance Win the VHC Eventing CCI3*-S

Laine Ashker and Lovedance. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography. Laine Ashker and Lovedance. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

In 2022, Laine Ashker won her first FEI class with Lovedance in the 2*L at the November Virginia Horse Trials. The pair repeated history today, but this time, rode away with the win in the CCI 3*-S with a score of 46.4.

Ashker attributed her successful dressage score on her long warm up. “It was so cold, I had three layers on and could hardly zip up my boots,” she laughed. “’Lottie’ is very sensitive and so we had a really long warm up. I went in with a very relaxed horse and am really glad I took that time. It was a very nice test.”

Ashker and Lovedance had a rail in the stadium phase but were able to hold their lead because of their dressage score. “It was a weird, greener rail for us in stadium. I’ve ridden Michel’s [Vaillancourt] courses a lot and I think he’s very technical and really makes the riders think. I must have walked that course at least three times. Courses that make you think help us develop better horsemanship skills and I think my horse learned a lot from it too. I’m a ‘thoroughbred girl’ and I’m learning how to adjust to her stride. She’s really taught me how to ride proper show jumping and I couldn’t have asked anymore from her,” she commented,

“I didn’t think the cross country was an easy course, but Jay [Hambly] built a great course,” she continued. “The turf was really rideable, and I could go fast. I feel like the Virginia Horse Center has really worked on the footing which is so important. I have one FEI horse. If she breaks, I have nothing. I feel like Virginia made a lot of effort aerating the turf to create the best possible footing they could.”

“I took one circle at the first water between the two elements just to give her a straight shot at the angles coming out because it was similar to the situation at Plantation, and I just wanted to give her a confident ride this weekend. She paid me back tenfold for that! She finished with so much ease and hardly any effort. I didn’t plan to win, I just wanted to finish the year on a good note. She’s only seven years old and I plan to bring her to Advanced as a nine-year-old. I love the training process, creating a connection and trust with my horses and really just enjoy the journey.”

Laine Ashker and Lovedance. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

“Virginia Horse Center is definitely a ‘vibe’ for me,” said Ashker. “Last year I won my first FEI win in the 2*-L and this year I won my first CDI 1* with Ann Wilson’s Zeppelin at MADFest. I came here this week with Lovedance and had no expectations except to finish. To win today was really icing on the cake!”

“I’ve had the worst luck this year in 3*! The first time I took her [Lottie] out this year she had a hive breakout after dressage, so I scratched. The week before the Maryland Horse Trials, I was cross county schooling, fell off and broke my nose. So, I moved us to Prelim instead and then after she jumped the ditch and coffin, she fell, and I fell off. Then we went to Great Meadows. We were in third after dressage but had three rails in the stadium and then I pulled her because the ground was too hard for cross country. Then at Plantation, we were super in dressage and stadium jumping and then retired at the seventh fence because she didn’t understand the question. I’ve never had a cross country penalty with her, and I think she was pretty surprised, so she ran out.”

Ashker continued, “Basically, I’ve been schooling corners since I left Great Meadows. I just kept working on my show jumping and I schooled corners. I even stopped at Plain Dealings on my way here to trot her over a ditch and through the water. She is really young and green, and I just want to make sure she is confident. When I thought I had lost her trust at Plantation, I went back to schooling. I didn’t care about where we finished. I could have finished second to last this weekend, but I was stoked how she performed in all three phases, and you can’t ask for anything more.”

Ashker’s win was sentimental as well. Her mother took time off of work and was there to witness her win. Ashker added, “My grandfather passed away about a month ago and he was very competitive. I think maybe he was cheering us on this weekend.”

“It is all about perseverance and I am grateful to my parents for instilling that value in me,” said Ashker.

Kim Severson and Cooley Corraghy Diamond. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Kim Severson and Roz and Bill Johnson’s Cooley Corraghy Diamond Victorious in CCI2*-S

Kim Severson and Cooley Corraghy Diamond won today’s CCI2*-S today with a score of 33.2. “He was very good over the cross country and really took good care of me,” she said. “While you always have a plan, you never really know what it’s going to be. When you’re riding cross country, you have to ride what you can get,” she said.

“I went out at 8:02 this morning and the sun wasn’t even up. As we got down to the first water the sun was just coming up over the horizon and it was tough to see. There was little bit of a question at the first combination, but he went down the hill in three quite easily. It was very rideable, he galloped along nicely and we finished up quite well.”

According to Severson, Cooley Corraghy Diamond has a big heart and tries very hard. “He is a shy horse and is really sort of a ‘one person’ sort of horse. With me having a small program, he definitely rises to the occasion,” she said. “He’s had a pretty good record in cross country and stadium and we are still working on dressage, but he tries really hard. He’s a thinker and he always wants to guess what you want. We are patient with him without pushing him and that’s imperative to his learning curve. He is a special horse for the future,” she added.

Severson found Cooley Corraghy Diamond through Georgie and Richard Sheane. “I was one of their first American clients and I’ve bought a lot of Cooley horses,” said Severson. “Bill and Roz Johnson purchased him for me as a four-year-old, so I’ve had him for about two years. I am thankful to Bill and Roz for giving me their support and providing me such a great horse to ride. It’s a great feeling to have great owners, the ones that say, ‘whatever is best for the horse’.”

VHC Eventing presented by Capital Square wraps up their season for 2023 and Severson is hopeful that they will move up to Intermediate in the spring.

Find the VCE Eventing schedule here and follow along with the live scoring here.

Phillip Dutton Leads the Way in First Round of Royal Horse Show Eventers’ Challenge

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool led the way in the first round of the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge on opening day of the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Opening night at the Royal Horse Show kicked off with the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge, which brought the adrenaline-pumping thrill of cross-country to an indoor setting.  Featuring a combination of show jumping and natural cross-country obstacles, the course designed by world-renowned Captain Mark Phillips of Great Britain challenged horses and riders to be both daring and meticulous across the speed track.

Jamie Kellock of Cedar Valley, ON, and Summer Bay had the first clear effort of the evening in a time of 88.67 seconds, until last year’s winners, Holly Jacks of Hillsburgh, ON, riding Josephine, stormed into the lead in a time of 81.00 seconds. It looked like no one would be able to catch them until two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton riding Quasi Cool, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados x Lord) owned by Caroline Moran, galloped into the top spot in 80.43 seconds. Jacks would have to settle for the runner-up spot, while Kellock rounded out the top three. With that, Dutton now sits in pole position heading into the second and deciding round of the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge, taking place on Saturday, November 4, where results from both nights are combined to determine the overall standings for the $20,000 purse.

“It’s a great crowd; they were really into it,” said the six-time Olympian Dutton, who is based at his True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania. “Mark [Phillips] set a course such that you couldn’t go super fast, and it was actually better to make sharp turns. It wasn’t just about galloping flat out. It was more about being efficient on your turns. I tried to not waste time on the approach as well because Quasi is a big scopey horse, so I don’t need to be shortening up to the jumps. He’s such a careful horse that I chanced it a bit at the last fence and just kept going at it, and I knew that he’d do his best to get his legs out of the way.”

The Royal offers numerous hospitality experiences including the Royal Terrace for VIP and corporate hosting and the Coliseum’s Sky Suites which offer stables and groups their own private suites. The Tanbark Club will continue to welcome Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for full details.

Click here for more information on the Royal Horse Show, including daily schedules and to purchase tickets, or download the new Royal Agricultural Winter Fair app for more news and information at your fingertips!

 

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Watch Along with the USEF Eventing Championships at Galway Downs


Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Avery Wallace/US Equestrian.

It was a day full of dressage tests for the USEF Eventing Championships taking place at Galway Downs. Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker took the early lead in the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship, while Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb held the top spot in the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship. The USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA are in full swing with Area VI leading in the CCI2*-L and Area VII excelling in the CCI1*-Intro.

USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship

A small but mighty field of 10 U.S. combinations has come forward to tackle the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship on the West Coast. Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) was the 2022 Reserve Champion with Deniro Z. Fresh off a team silver medal at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, she brings two promising mounts in the form of Cooley Nutcracker, a 2014 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolant R x Ballyshan Cleopatra) owned by The Nutcracker Syndicate, Ocala Horse Properties, and Renee Lane; and Shanroe Cooley, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dallas x Shanroe Sapphire) owned by Ocala Horse Properties, LLC.

Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) is no stranger to winning a National Championship title, having won the 2023 Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship presented by MARS Equestrian™ earlier this year with Mai Baum. She has three talented mounts aiming for their own chance at a title — Cooley By Design, a 2012 Zangersheide gelding (Plot Blue x Uthree Z) owned by Gina Economou; Elliot V, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zavall VDL x Vera R) owned by Elliot V Partnership; and Kynan, a 2015 KWPN gelding (Envoy x Danieta) owned by the Kynan Syndicate LLC.

Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker had a lovely dressage test to earn a score of 29.9 to lead the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship. Tamie Smith and Kynan sat in second place with a score of 32.2, while Tommy Greengard (Malibu, Calif.) and Joshuay MBF, his own 2014 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Foreign Affair x Fernacchy MBF), sat in third place in the National Championship and fourth overall in the CCI4*-L with a score of 34.8.

Dressage results (top three):

1st: Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker — 29.9

2nd: Tamie Smith and Kynan — 32.2

3rd: Dana Cooke and FE Quattro — 32.6

USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship

A field of 38 U.S. combinations will vie for the title in the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship. Helen Alliston (San Ramon, Calif.) is a past National Champion with her 2022 USEF Advanced Horse Trials National Champion Ebay, and she could add another title to her resume with up-and-coming mount, Call Me Rudi, a 2015 Bavarian Sporthorse gelding (Clooney x Genia) owned by John Matheny and Alliston Equestrian. Helen will face competition from a talented field, which includes her husband James Alliston (San Ramon, Calif.) and Cora, a 2015 Oldenburg mare (Commissario x La-Montana) owned by Alliston Equestrian.

The top of the leaderboard in the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship was dominated by young riders. Sarah Ross (Reno, Nev.) and Fernhill Heart Throb, her own 2014 KWPN gelding (Biscayo x Postara), had a harmonious test to earn a score of 25.0 to sit in first place.

“He was excellent. I feel like the pieces really came together today,” said Ross. “We made the trip out from Florida, and we have been working over the course of the year. I was at Kaylawna [Smith-Cook]’s for the two weeks leading up to this and I feel like all the pieces came together in this ride.”

Ross said she was previously based in California, and after being based in Florida for about a year, she decided it was time to come back to the West Coast. Along for the ride is her partner Fernhill Heart Throb.

“He is pretty incredible. He is a bit quirky but we love him though for that. I have had him for about a year. He has just been nothing but fun to ride and bring through the levels. We did our first two-long together,” said Ross. “He is a real competitor. You go in there, and it’s like he knows. He has been really cool to learn about being a competitor with him.”

Gabriella Ringer (San Ramon, Calif.) and Get Wild, her own 2012 KWPN gelding (Plot Blue x Cantana), were close behind with a score of 25.5. Hanni Sreenan (Hood River, Ore.) and Ebenholtz, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Ehrentusch x Levantine) owned by Amy Haugen, sat in third with a score of 28.8.

Dressage results (top three):

1st: Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb — 25

2nd: Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild — 25.5

3rd: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz — 28.8

USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA

Three combinations proved their mettle in the CCI3*-L Individual Championship. Area VI’s Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) and Disco Traveler, her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Donatelli x Cadence), led the way with a score of 33.5. Duda said that she felt she had one of her best tests with her ride on Thursday with Disco Traveler. Their partnership started as a lease, but Duda was ready to make the purchase when she realized she had a special partner.

“We just really clicked from the start. I think our styles really line up and we just really communicate well,” said Duda. “In the past year and a half, he has brought me from training level all the way to three-star. He has the biggest heart of any horse that I have ever known. He always takes care of me, and I trust him so much. He’s amazing.”

Duda said it has been her goal all year to make it to the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA and she is thankful that it has come to fruition.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be here and to have been selected to represent Area VI. It has been a pleasure to get to know the other Area VI young riders, and the coaches have been amazing. It has been a busy week for sure, but in a good way. I feel very lucky to be here.”

Area VII’s Kayla Dumler (Enumclaw, Wash.) and Faramir, her and Tammy Milling’s 2010 Thoroughbred gelding (Capitalimprovement x Princess Malaga), were not far behind the leaders with a score of 35.7. Area VI’s Elsa Warble (Portola Valley, Calif.) and FE Unlimited, Anna Meegan’s 2014 Holsteiner gelding (Uriko x Viona III), closed out the small but mighty field with a score of 38.4.

In the CCI2*-L Team Championship, Area VI sat atop the leaderboard with a score of 83.3. Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb earned an impressive score of 25.0 to lead the team. Teammates Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild delivered a solid test to score 25.5. Julia Beauchamp Crandon (Redwood City, Calif.) and MGH Capa Vilou, her own 2014 Irish Sport Horse mare (Ars Vivendi x Dilou M), had the next highest score for the team with a score of 32.8. Lauren Crabtree (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Excellence, Traci Crabtree’s 2009 KWPN gelding (Vaillant x Wolinda), had a solid effort with a score of 34.4.

Sitting behind Area VI in the Team Championship, Area VII is in second place with a score of 95.2.

The CCI2*-L Individual Championship top three mirrors the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship with Area VI’s Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb leading, followed by Area VI teammates Ringer and Get Wild in second and Area VII’s Sreenan and Ebenholtz in third.

“This is my first young riders experience, and it’s been really fun,” said Ross. “You see these people here and there and you get to know them [in California] and we all get pretty close regardless, but now with being in a team environment with them and getting super close with them is really invaluable. Getting to be in the barns with them and seeing how each person does something different, like a different warm-up or just getting ready. It has been cool to experience that.”

Area VII leads the CCI1*-L Team Championship with a score of 94.6 after the first phase. Harper Padgett (Woodinville, Wash.) and Cooley Starship, Leonie Padgett’s 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Simona), lead the way for the team with a score of 28.2. They are followed by teammates Lizzie Hoff (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and HSH Best Kept Secret, a 2017 Irish Sport horse gelding owned by Caroline Pamukcu and Sherrie Martin, with a score of 31.2. Olivia Keye (Kamas, Utah) and Chromatic Flyer, her own 2012 Thoroughbred gelding, helped their team with a score of 35.2. Caterina Ritson (Ridgefield, Wash.) and This Lad is Gold, her own 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Private Gold x This Ones a Riot), rounded out Area VII’s efforts with a score of 36.6.

Area VI sits in second place with a score of 97.5, followed by Alberta/Ontario in third with a score of 119.0.

In the CCI1*-L Individual Championship, Area V’s Scarlett Peinado (Aubrey, Texas) and Shadow Inspector, her own 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tinaranas Inspector x Caragh Roller), led the way with a score of 27.4.

“I was really happy with my ride. My horse is naturally lazy, so I have been working on getting him forward and listening to my leg,” said Peinado. “He got here and something sparked in him, and he was alive. It was great. Everything happened how I wanted it to. He actually was a little excited, which I wasn’t used to. But he did a great job, and I was really happy with my ride.”

The USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA has been a goal for Peinado since she first heard about it in January 2021. She moved from her base in Area VI to Pennsylvania to train with Dom and Jimmie Schramm to prepare to reach her goal.

“I have been working so hard to make it happen, so I ended up going to Pennsylvania to get the training and the plan that I needed to get here,” said Peinado. “I was like, ‘Nothing is going to stop me. I have to go do this.’”

Area VII’s Leonie Padgett and Cooley Starship sat in second place with a score of 28.2. Rounding out the top three were Fiona Holland (Solvang, Calif.) and Joshua Tree, her own 2014 Holsteiner gelding (Acore KF x Gijit), on a score of 30.3.

Competition Information

All championship divisions performed their dressage tests on Thursday, November 2, followed by cross-country on Friday, November 3. Competition concludes on Saturday, November 4, with the show jumping phase.

Event Website | Schedule | Results

US Equestrian fans, subscribers, and members can watch the live stream of the 2023 USEF Eventing Championships at Galway Downs on USEF Network powered by ClipMyHorse.TV. Not a member? Join now.

2024 British Eventing Grassroots Championships Qualifications Extended

Bramham’s 2023 BE80 Champions, Emily Tamblyn and Knockenpower Rory. Photo courtesy of 1st Class Images/Bramham International Horse Trials.

With all the qualification opportunities now over, British Eventing is delighted to announce that the qualification criteria will be extended to allow more members to enjoy the experience of competing at two of the most prestigious venues the country has to offer.

This will see more combinations being able to compete at Bramham Park for The NAF Five Star BE80 Championship and at Badminton for The Voltaire Design BE90 & BE100 Grassroots Championships.

The qualification criteria for each Championships are now as follows:-

The NAF Five Star BE80 Championship
Top 40% BE80 Regional Championships
Eligible combinations from top 75 of BE80 OBP League who have not already qualified.

The Voltaire Design BE90 Grassroots Championships
Top 15% BE90 Regional Championships
Top 20% of BE90 Scottish Championships
Top 20% BE903DE 2023

The Voltaire Design BE100 Grassroots Championships
Top 30% BE100 Regional Championships
Top 20% of BE100 Scottish Championships
Top 20% BE1003DE 2023
Eligible combinations from top 10 of BE100 OBP League who have not already qualified.

Those qualified from the OBP Leagues will have their qualification tickets allocated soon, these will be shown on https://www.eventingcheck.co.uk

To view the leagues please visit the BE Stats Centre which can be found here.

Rosie Williams, CEO for British Eventing, said “It is an ambition for many to compete at these two iconic venues, and the new qualification criteria will now see us enable many more of our members able to achieve their dream. I am sure that this news will be warmly welcomed by those who had their sights on qualifying and I look forward to seeing new championships crowned at each next year.”

Congratulations to the following riders who are now qualified for the national championships:

NAF Five Star BE80 Championship Qualified Riders

The Voltaire Design BE90 Grassroots Championship Qualified Riders

The Voltaire Design BE100 Grassroots Championship Qualified Riders

IJF / BEF Conference Encourages Cross-Discipline Commitment to Concussion Education

The concussion conference committee after a successful discussion.

The inaugural Cross-Industry Concussion Symposium 2023 was held at Cheltenham Racecourse last Friday, hosted jointly by the Injured Jockeys Fund and British Equestrian.

Compered by racing and equestrian presenter, Alice Plunkett, there were 100 attendees across the equestrian disciplines in the UK.

The objective of the event was to look at the history, development and government guidelines around concussion and discuss best practice and shared learnings for a more collaborative approach moving forwards.

Currently, racing is the most advanced of the equestrian sports with very specific guidelines around identifying concussions, baseline testing and recovery procedures before a participant can return to ride, albeit only on a racecourse and not to the same extent for staff in yards. The BEF introduced general concussion guidance for equestrians as part of an education campaign this summer.

Opening, William Norris, KC, Chairman of the IJF said: “We at the IJF believe that we are very well placed to help others in equestrian sport to develop and follow good practice for the benefit of our participants and for the benefit of those who have some social and legal responsibility to those participants be they trainers, owners, or organisers. Everyone needs to understand and follow good practice, partly because it’s the right thing to do and partly because that is the way in which they can discharge their legal duty of care. It won’t be an overnight fix; it is a question of developing ways of educating and sharing our experiences across equestrian sport generally.”

Lisa Hancock, CEO of the IJF said: “Racing is fortunate in that we have over 20 years of awareness as to the implications of concussion and we are very keen to share those learnings and best practice with other equestrian disciplines. What was so encouraging today is that whilst we all know the logistical challenges this creates, everyone seems to want to work together using education and communication to improve things for the 1.8 million people that ride, regardless of skill, age, or discipline.”

The three key speakers were Dr Jerry Hill, Chief Medical Adviser for the BHA,  Dr Anna-Louise Mackinnon, Lead Medical Adviser at the IJF and Chief Medical Officer for British Equestrian and Rosy Hyman, Racing Industry Concussion Practitioner.

Dr Anna-Lousie Mackinnon said: “One of the key issues is that concussion is largely invisible, and it is often not treated in the same way as a broken limb. And yet correct diagnosis and recovery are vital to the rider being able to return to safely continue participating in their sport in whatever they do and at whatever level.”

Rosy Hyman went on to say: “We know that if you return too quickly, you are at a much higher risk of another injury. So, the key focus must be what we call the four R’s – Recognise (the signs and symptoms). Remove (the injured person from all horse-related activities). Recover (until all symptoms have been resolved). Return (to ridden activity through gradual, stepwise process).”

Jockeys, past and present, adding input via video into the conference, included Tom Scudamore, Martin Dwyer, Tabitha Worsley, Kevin Brogan, and Harry Bannister. They all shared their experiences of concussion, notably that in some incidents, you do not realise you have it and in some, you want to ‘cover it up’, ‘beat the Doctor’ and not lose rides. However, they all acknowledged that riding with concussion is not only dangerous but will not have you performing at your best, and so as times move forwards, all jockeys and staff at yards are going to have to change attitudes and use the help at hand, especially at the IJF’s three centres. Concussion procedure will therefore start to become the norm.

The second session of the morning involved workshops with all those attending, at which the many issues were discussed – financial and logistical restrictions, especially at grassroots level, the difficulties of having the ‘same rules for everyone’ plus the challenges of changes attitudes across all disciplines to this often ‘invisible’ condition. It was agreed that one cost-effective solution, especially targeted at the younger generation could be across discipline social media campaigns – simple to execute and far-reaching in their scope.

Closing, Alice Plunkett, summed up:

“It’s such a complex issue with no easy fix, and it is therefore essential that all disciplines work together and take on multi levels of responsibility.

What has been so encouraging today is that so many in this room have the desire to do that and to make our wonderful sport as safe as it can be for the participants in the future.”

Phillip Dutton Headlines Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge at The Royal

Canadian Show Jumping Championships Highlight Opening Weekend in Toronto

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton will headline the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge taking place on opening weekend of the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, in Toronto, ON, from November 3 to 12, 2023.

The heart-pounding Indoor Eventing Challenge, presented by Mad Barn, has become a fan favorite at the Royal Horse Show. Riders and horses attempt to clear a mix of cross-country obstacles and traditional show jumping fences in the fastest fault-free time to claim the overall title and the winner’s share of the $20,000 prize money on offer. Fans are encouraged to cheer for the competitors as they race around the course set in the Coca-Cola Coliseum by Captain Mark Phillips himself, an Olympic team gold medalist for his native Great Britain.

Two-time Olympic team gold medalist Phillip Dutton of the United States riding Quasi Cool will headline the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge on opening weekend of the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON. Photo by Randolph PR.

Dutton is no stranger to The Royal and is looking forward to returning for the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge. He will be bringing Quasi Cool, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Caroline Moran, in the hopes of securing victory.

“I have competed at The Royal before and it was an incredible experience,” said Dutton, a six-time Olympian based out of his True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania. “It was a very exciting competition with a great and knowledgeable crowd!”

Unlike traditional eventing, which is held outdoors and features three separate phases of competition held over multiple days, Indoor Eventing puts the skills of horses and riders alike to the test with a fast-paced round against the clock. The fences come up quickly, and riders must be lightning fast with their reactions.

“Indoor Eventing is even more exciting and action-packed than the regular sport of eventing, largely because the crowd gets to be so close to the action,” explained Dutton. “It really makes for a great experience, and it can be a great introduction to our sport for those who might not be familiar with eventing.”

Canada’s own Holly Jacks of Hillsburgh, ON, riding Josephine will be back to defend their title in the $20,000 Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge at the Royal Horse Show. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Dutton will be competing alongside his 22-year-old daughter, Olivia Dutton, who has followed in his footsteps as a high-performance eventing athlete. Last year’s winner, Holly Jacks, will be back to defend her title riding Josephine while Colleen Loach and Jessica Phoenix, both two-time Olympians, will be among the other Canadian competitors that are sure to have the crowd cheering.

The Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge will kick off the evening performances of the Royal Horse Show on Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4. Both nights will be followed by the two-phase $150,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championships, presented by Henry Equestrian. Reigning Canadian Champion Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC, will be back to defend her title riding Bonita vh Keizershof Z. She will face stiff competition from 2018 Canadian Champion and local favorite Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON, while Canadian Olympians Yann Candele of Orangeville, ON, and Jay Hayes of Mono, ON, will also be among those looking to claim the national title. As in past years, the top two riders in the overall Canadian Championship standings not already qualified will be invited to contest the Royal Horse Show’s CSI4*-W international division from November 8 to 11, 2023.

Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC, riding Bonita vh Keizershof Z returns to this year’s Royal Horse Show to defend her title in the Canadian Show Jumping Championships, presented by Henry Equestrian. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Held over four nights, the Royal Horse Show’s international division culminates in the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto on Saturday evening, November 11. Last year’s winner, Daniel Coyle of Ireland, will be back to defend his title riding Legacy. Currently ranked 11th in the Longines World Rider Rankings, Coyle will be joined by other past winners of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto including U.S. Olympic team medalists Kent Farrington and McLain Ward, who are currently ranked seventh and eighth respectively.

Several Canadian Olympians will be looking to add their names to the 2023 trophy, however. Tiffany Foster of Langley, BC, came tantalizingly close last year with a third-place finish while Quebec native Mario Deslauriers, who remains the youngest rider to ever win the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final at the age of 19, will put his best foot forward. Olympic team silver medalist Mac Cone of King City, ON, will be in the hunt alongside 2016 Rio Olympian Amy Millar of Perth, ON. They will be joined in the international division by fellow Canadians Sean Jobin, Vanessa Mannix, and Nicole Walker.

“We’ve curated a dynamic 10-day schedule of events that will appeal to horse lovers of all ages,” said Christine Reupke, Director of Equestrian and Breed Sport for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “We love seeing our ‘Loyal Royals,’ many of whom plan their holidays and vacations around The Royal each year, as well as those experiencing the Royal Horse Show for the first time. The overwhelming feedback we receive from competitors and fans alike is that there is truly no other horse show that compares to The Royal.”

Showcasing a wide variety of disciplines and breeds, the Royal Horse Show also features numerous other competitions and special features for horse sport fans. “Polo at The Royal” will thrill spectators on Wednesday evening, November 8, while the “Battle of the Breeds” will see various breeds going head-to-head as they demonstrate their various qualities during evening performances on November 9, 10, and 11. Throughout the 10-day Royal Horse Show, popular Australian horseman, entertainer, and bush poet Guy McLean will be delighting audiences with his team of liberty horses during select performances.

The Royal offers numerous hospitality experiences including the Royal Terrace for VIP and corporate hosting and the Coliseum’s Sky Suites which offer stables and groups their own private suites. The Tanbark Club will continue to welcome Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for full details.

About The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian event. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 3-12, 2023, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results, and to purchase tickets, please visit royalfair.org.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, including daily schedules and to purchase tickets, visit here. Also download the new Royal Agricultural Winter Fair app for more news and information at your fingertips!

Pippa Funnell Joins British Eventing Board of Directors

Pippa Funnell steps onto the podium after a decisive victory at Bramham this year. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

British Eventing is pleased to announce that the two Non-Executive Board Directors positions which arose, as part of the term rotation, have now been filled.

The two voluntary positions, which will be formally appointed for a four-year term at the British Eventing AGM, will be awarded to Will Cursham and Pippa Funnell.

Will is a current member of the Board and put himself forward to stand for a second term.  A litigation lawyer, specialising in construction, he has led legal teams in numerous high value cases for blue-chip clients with successful outcomes.

Will’s equestrian background is steeped in Eventing with both parents having evented at the highest levels. He has evented himself up to Novice and still owns horses and competes.

Three times Olympian, winning two team silver and one individual bronze medals, Pippa has also won two European Championships team golds and one individual bronze medal. Pippa was also the very first person to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing which she did in 2003. Having held nearly every major title there is to win during her competition career so far she has notably won Badminton on three occassions, been awarded the honour of The Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2003 and been a top-five nominee for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Aside from being a prolific competitor, Pippa is also a renowned producer of young horses and a trailblazer in British breeding with the Billy Stud which she co-owns with husband Will Funnell and Donal Barnwell.

British Eventing Chair, Mark Sartori, said of the appointments “I would like to thank Will for giving his time for another term with British Eventing. He brings great value to the Board with both his eventing background accompanied by his professional career as a specialist dispute resolution laywer.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Pippa for putting herself forward.  Pippa’s depth of knowledge across all areas of the sport is second-to-none and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with her as we drive the sport forward. Her success as not only a competitor, but also as a world-class breeder and producer of young horses, is globally recognised and her joining the BE Board will without doubt reap rewards for our members and stakeholders.”

With regards to the appointments there is no requirement for a member vote due to there only being two nominees for the two positions.

The British Eventing AGM will take place on 8 December 2023. Further information inviting members to join the AGM will be sent directly to eligible members nearer the time.