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The 2022 USEF Eventing Dressage Tests Are Here

Photo by Erin Tomson.

US Equestrian has announced the publication of the new 2022 USEF Eventing Dressage Tests for Beginner Novice through Advanced, effective December 1, 2021, through November 30, 2025.

The tests are published on the USEA website and can be found here. The digital PDF versions of the judge’s copies of the tests will be available for purchase on the ShopUSEA website.

2022 USEF Dressage Tests

(Effective beginning December 1, 2021)

Beginner Novice: Test A | Test B

Novice: Test A | Test B | Novice Three-Day

Training: Test A | Test B | Training Three-Day

Modified: Test A | Test B | Test C | Modified Three-Day

Preliminary: Test A | Test B | Test C | Preliminary Three-Day

Intermediate: Test A | Test B | Test C

Advanced: Test A | Test B

The 2022 USEF Intermediate Test C, which is written for use in a 20×40 arena, may only be used for Eventing competitions that demonstrate a topographical or logistical hardship which renders the venue unable to assemble a 20×60 arena in the designated competition area. The process to request permission to use this test can be found here.

Tryon Fall H.T. Lookback: Boyd Martin Aces Advanced, Tim Bourke Triumphs in Intermediate, and More

Boyd Martin and Wabakani. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.


Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and Wabanaki conquered the White Oak Cross-Country Course to win the Advanced A Division at the Tryon Fall Horse Trials at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with a final score of 47.3. Sitting fourth after the Dressage and Show Jumping phases, Martin stepped up to the occasion and put in the fastest Cross-Country round of the day to add only 7.2 time penalties and take the win. Wrapping up her weekend in second place with a final score of 51.1 was Lillian Heard (Cochranville, PA) and Dasset Olympus, the 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Debbie Greenspan. Third place honors were awarded to Lucienne Bellissimo (Wellington, FL) and Atlantic Vital Spark, the 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC with a score of 51.6.

Martin, who topped the competition aboard Wabanaki, the 2011 Hanoverian gelding owned by The Dawnland Syndicate, began on top after a Dressage test that earned the duo a score of 32.1. Though the tough competition proved to be no big deal for Wabanaki, Martin shared that his mount is still new to the Advanced division: “It’s his third crack at the level. He was absolutely fantastic for where he is in his training. He still needs to grow, learn and get more seasoned. Tryon put on a spectacular event. Obviously, it was a difficult and tough competition, but it was a great learning experience for the young ones.”

Martin galloped to a time of 6:43 seconds in the cross country phase of the competition, over ten seconds ahead of Heard’s time of 6:54 seconds. The White Oak Cross-Country Course with tracks set by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) offered Martin the perfect number of challenges, while still building Wabanaki’s confidence. Martin commented, “There were a lot of difficult combinations followed by easier fences. It was good for the young ones to have a tough question and then nice and easy ones to keep them confident.

“Hats off to Tryon, because the footing feels like the golf course it is. The footing out there is spectacular,” Martin emphasized. “I love Tryon and everything about it. The venue is world class from the Dressage rings to jumping under the lights last night in front of the crowd. There’s great stabling. The Cross-Country course takes a bit of riding because it used to be a golf course, so it has those mounds and dips, which is good practice,” Martin relayed. “Tryon has been unbelievable with the irrigation system. Walking out on the course, the grass was all spongey, which the horses love.”

Tim Bourke and Quality Obsession. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Tim Bourke Triumphs in Open Intermediate with Quality Obsession and Monbeg Libertine

Tim Bourke (Berryville, VA) and Quality Obsession topped the Open Intermediate Division with a final score of 31.8. Bourke also earned a second place finish with his second mount, Monbeg Libertine, the 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Lisa Takada, accomplishing a final score of 37.3. Third place honors were awarded to Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and Federman B, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Annie Goodwin with an overall score of 38.6. Bourke shared that he chose to bring these two mounts in particular to TIEC as a final prep before competing at Fair Hill in a few weeks, taking a new approach to his fall competition calendar.

“It’s nice to get a good run into them before they go. We’re very happy with the horses.” Quality Obsession, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood mare owned in partnership with Barbara Cassani, has been with the Bourkes since she was born and he calls her “quite a talented horse” who has “just come on really well this year.” Monbeg Libertine is a bit of a new ride, and though they’re still getting to know one another on the flat, things seem to be gelling well for the duo, Bourke explained:

“He’s new to me, and we’re trying to figure out the best thing for him on the flat, which is not my strongest suit either. If you ask me, he’s as talented a horse as I’ve ever ridden, and he climbed up the leaderboard a little bit this weekend.

Tim Bourke and Monbeg Libertine. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

“I wouldn’t normally put this event on our calendar,” Bourke acknowledged, “but this year we thought we would do something a little bit different with the horses. I think that the event and the organizers and the whole team did a fabulous job. Going to a big venue like that and getting the atmosphere and crowds – getting to jump under the lights! – it’s really nice for the owners to get to see the live stream in the stadium, and it’s all just really nice. I think it’s definitely one we will put back on our calendar for next year!”

Almost as important as his experience as a competitor and trainer, though, Bourke concluded that the TIEC experience available to his whole family was a highlight of the weekend. “For us, doing this sport, myself and my wife Marley, we do this as a family, and we bring our little boy with us everywhere we go. The facilities there in Tryon, being able to hook up the camper and have so many things for our son to do is awesome,” Bourke emphasized. “He watched the juggling last night, and loved the cotton candy of course. The experience that it is for him, and having him occupied and enjoying the weekend is super important for us as well. As a whole, and as a family, it was awesome and so fun.”

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Boyd Martin Rides Annie Goodwin’s “Bruno” in Her Memory

It was a poignant weekend for Martin in the Open Intermediate division at the Tryon Fall Horse Trials as he competed aboard a special mount, Fedarman B, also known as “Bruno,” and remembered more so for his previous partner, the dearly departed Eventer Annie Goodwin. After Goodwin suffered a fatal accident while Cross-Country schooling this summer, and while the eventing community continues to mourn her loss, Martin feels a weighty honor having been named to pilot Bruno going forward. The Tryon Fall Horse Trials marked Martin’s first outing above the Training level with his new charge, leading to emotional moments for spectators and participants alike throughout all three phases as the duo earned third place on a score of 38.6.

He’s a wonderful horse,” Martin reflected after competing with Bruno under the lights in Tryon Stadium Saturday evening. “It was a horrible tragedy with the passing of Annie Goodwin, and I can’t tell you how honored and privileged I am to have the ride, and that Annie’s parents and fiancé chose me to take the reins,” he shared. “I helped Annie over the years with Bruno, and I know he’s a spectacular horse that’s been sensationally produced. Annie did a superb job training him and he’s jumped here many times before.”

It’s a solemn and emotional task to jump in when a horse suddenly loses its rider, Martin relayed, stating that he’s focused on “doing right by the horse and Annie’s memory.” Though the duo have mostly been riding at the Training level while building a partnership, Martin recapped, he was impressed by Fedarman B’s outing at the Intermediate level at TIEC. “He felt quite relaxed and settled in there,” Martin revealed after his trip under the lights in Tryon Stadium. “It’s pretty much the biggest I’ve jumped him. I’ve been popping him over more Training sized jumps, but he loved it. He jumped great.”

The trend continued on Sunday’s Cross-Country effort, where Martin said he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The takeaway? “Annie did a fantastic job producing this horse,” he emphasized above all. “Riding around the course, I decided not to have too much speed, and prioritize building a partnership with him. He was looking for every fence!

“There were plenty of corners, narrows and technical questions on course, and Bruno was sensational. I can’t say it enough what a true, humbling privilege it is to ride this horse. With this privilege comes a bit of pressure and responsibility, and I’m very honored that Annie’s parents trust me with Bruno.”

As Martin and Fedarman B continue in their partnership, Martin hopes to continue Goodwin’s legacy as a cherished member of the eventing community whose contributions to the sport and her family ended far too soon. Having represented the United States in international competitions around the globe as a member of Team USA, Martin is no stranger to riding on behalf of others. Riding for Annie Goodwin, however, might be the most meaningful part of every minute Martin spends in the saddle with Bruno, no matter where they appear on podiums in the future.

Devon Brown and HC Celtic Mark. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Devon Brown Dominates Both Open Preliminary Sections

Devon Brown (Alpharetta, GA) aboard HC Celtic Mark were victorious in the Open Preliminary A Division with an impressive total score of 28.3. Finishing in second place with an overall score of 30.4 was Morgan McAllister (St. Louis, MO) and her own Made To Order, the 2007 Holstiener gelding. Wrapping up in third place was Maddie Hale (Chapel Hill, NC) and her own Cinzano 87, the 2012 Holsteiner gelding, with a final score of 32.7.

Along with Brown’s successes in the Open Preliminary A Division aboard HC Celtic Mark, she also topped the Open Preliminary B Division aboard Hickstead, her own 2012 KWPN gelding, on a score of 28.9. Brown is bringing this partner back after a year off, and had glowing remarks about her ride in all three phases, but she was most impressed with HC Celtic Mark’s improvement, she noted.

Devon Brown and Hickstead. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Brown was confident in “Salty”, the 2010 Connemara Warmblood Cross gelding owned by Donna Miller, as they improved from second place after Dressage to hold the lead after all three phases. “He was very obedient, respectful, and he was really great. On Cross-Country, he’s just a machine… he did it all like he was asleep or something!” The pair’s hard work in Dressage training paid off with Brown scoring a 27.1, setting them up for success. “We’ve been working very, very hard in that phase,” Brown acknowledged, “to kind of put all of the pieces together, so it’s quite nice to come out like that.

“I was really glad I came here because the grass is so nice,” Brown concluded. “My mom competed this weekend, too, and said [the same thing]. It was very good. The course was great, and I thought it was appropriately difficult in respect to where we are in the season, too. They asked fair questions and everything. It’s just an overall beautiful venue.”

Emily Beshear and Card Shark. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Open Novice Belongs to Emily Beshear

Emily Beshear (Somerset, VA) and Card Shark, her 2016 Thorougbred gelding, landed their final stadium fence on a score of 29.3 to take the win in Open Novice, Meaghan Marinovich Burdick (Cumming, IA) and HSH Bitcoin, her own 2016 Irish Sport Horse gelding, scored second place honors after finishing their three phases on a score of 32.4. Rounding out the podium also with a score of 32.4 was Beth Wheeler (Aiken, SC) and Pippin, her` 2013 Thorougbred gelding.

Beshear has been bringing along the young OTTB since last winter, developing his confidence, and she decided TIEC would be the perfect place to test his growth as a jumper, she said. “I got him because he was not particularly brave and wasn’t necessarily going to be an easy horse for an amatuer to bring along. He seemed like he had a lot of potential, but it’s taken a little while to convince him that jumping is fun,” she revealed.

“I specifically brought him to Tryon because I feel like we’re at the point now that it would be good to test him in an environment with lots to look at, and jumps that had a lot more variety to them, while he was still at the Novice level. I really wanted to see how he could handle that. He was fantastic, and it was a great experience for him.”

Complimenting the facility as a whole, and particularly the Cross-Country course despite a full roster of divisions competing across the same footprint, Beshear appreciated the placement of the lower level courses in particular. “I love the way that they laid out the Beginner Novice and Novice tracks, just to have it nice and flowy and going around the pond,” Beshear commented. “To see everything [in advance] and not necessarily constantly be surprised by obstacles, they have [time with this kind of setup] to take it all in and decide whether or not they can handle it. He handled it just fine!

“It’s just a lot that is new and so much for them to see – with the hill and the pond, and spectators – and I think that if you can expose them to these kinds of things at the lower levels, it’s just a really good building block from there on. For me,” Beshear concluded, “it was important to bring the younger horses while they’re at a level where this can be very educational for them, and it was. I certainly will be coming back as often as we can!”

For full results from the Tryon Fall Horse Trials, click here.

The Tryon International Three-Day Event will be hosted November 10-14 at TIEC, featuring the 4*-1* Long and 4* Short formats. To learn more about the competition or to sign up to volunteer, visit www.Tryon.com/eventing.

US Equestrian Announces 2021 USET Foundation & Land Rover Eventing Grant Recipients

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

US Equestrian and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation are pleased to announce the eventing athletes who have been selected to receive grants to assist in their travel to compete in the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S in Aachen, Germany, Sept. 15-19, 2021, and the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands CCIO4*-L at Military Boekelo in Enschede, the Netherlands from October 7-10, 2021.

USET Foundation Jacqueline B. Mars International Competition & Training Grants

The USET Jacqueline B. Mars International Competition & Training Grant is awarded annually to up to two eventing athletes who have not represented the U.S. as part of an Olympics, Pan American, or World Equestrian Games team and have been identified as having the potential to represent the United States in future international competitions.

The following horse/rider combinations have been named recipients of the 2021 USET Foundation Jacqueline B. Mars International Competition & Training Grants:

• Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.) and QC Diamantaire, a 2010 Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens
• Ariel Grald (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Leamore Master Plan, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Annie Eldridge

Elliott and Grald will both compete at the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Shelby Allen.

USET Foundation Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund Grants

The Karen E. Stives Endowment Grant supports athlete/horse combinations already competing at 4*/5* level with the perceived potential to achieve Elite level by providing financial assistance for a competition and preparatory training opportunity.

The following horse/rider combinations have been named recipients of the 2021 USET Foundation Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund Grants:

• Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell
• Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Danito, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding owned by Ruth Bley
• Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, Pa.) and FE Lifestyle, a 2010 Warmblood gelding owned by Nina and Timothy Gardner
• Matt Flynn (Ocala, Fla.) and Wizzerd, a 2009 KWPN gelding owned by A. Patrick Flynn, Kathleen Flynn, and Merry Go Round Farm
• Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.) and QC Diamantaire, a 2010 Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens (partial grant)

Smith and Mai Baum will compete at CHIO Aachen. The remaining combinations will compete at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands CCIO4*-L.

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Land Rover/USEF International Competition Grant

Land Rover/USEF Competition Grant recipients are selected by Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander and his Performance Advisory Team of Leslie Law, Derek di Grazia, Ian Stark, Karen O’Connor, and Bobby Costello.

The following horse/rider combination has been named a recipient of a Land Rover/USEF International Competition Grant:

• Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate

Coleman will compete at the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S.

All Horse & Human Athletes Test Clean for Prohibited Substances at Tokyo Olympics

Photo by FEI/Christoph Taniere.

The FEI has received confirmation that all human and equine samples taken during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have returned negative.

“I am very proud to be able to confirm that, for the third Games in succession, all human and equine samples taken during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have returned negative,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“This should of course be business as usual, but it would be naïve to think that clean Games are guaranteed in any sport. Of course, as with all sports in the Olympic Movement, the samples – including the equine ones – will be kept in storage for up to 10 years for potential retesting as improved processes are developed to test for substances that were not reliably detectable at the time of sampling.

“But, for now, this result validates all the work that has gone into the FEI Clean Sport educational campaign over the years, the buy-in of our National Federations and the uptake of equine pre-arrival testing and elective testing to ensure our horses would compete clean at the Games.”

The FEI President also reflected on phenomenal sport in Tokyo. “We can look back on incredible sport at Tokyo 2020, with truly great Olympic champions in all three disciplines and in the five Paralympic Grades – across both the team and individual competitions”, he said. “We are blessed with sensational athletes, both equine and human.

“All our medallists deserve huge congratulations, but not just the winners, as even getting to the Games was worthy of a medal. Athletes across all sports had to perform without the support of loved ones and fans, but at our two superb venues at Baji Koen and Sea Forest, the teams and their entourage generated a great buzz.

“There is no doubt that, despite the challenges, our sport triumphed in Tokyo and we received lots of very positive feedback. But, as always, there are plenty of lessons learnt and key takeaways. There will be a full debrief, which will of course include a comprehensive review of the formats. Part of that process will be taking into account the feedback we have already received and we are also proactively reaching out to our community to ensure we get extensive input. And we will use the learnings from these Games to take forward to Paris 2024.

“But, in the meantime, we all owe a huge debt of thanks to our Japanese hosts in Tokyo, and especially to the unbelievably hard-working and dedicated Organising Committee and the wonderful volunteers. Nothing was too much trouble for them and, while we couldn’t see the smiles behind the mandatory masks, we could feel the warmth in their hearts.

“Arigatōgozaimasu Tokyo, arigatōgozaimasu Japan!”

Clean Sport in Tokyo

Equine testing

Equine testing was conducted by the FEI at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games under the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) and FEI Veterinary Regulations.

At the Olympic Games, a total of 38 tests were carried out on 24 different horses, including all individual medallists and fourth-placed horses, plus at least one horse from medal-winning and fourth-placed teams. Random testing was also carried out, with horses selected by a random number generator app, and there was also targeted testing.

A total of 38 tests were carried out at the Paralympic Games on medal-winning horses, plus random and targeted testing.

Human testing

For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegated the management of its entire anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency (ITA).

The ITA is an independent not-for-profit anti-doping organisation. The FEI has a long-term agreement with the ITA, and delegates parts of its human anti-doping programme to the Agency, including testing coordination.

Human testing at the Paralympic Games was conducted by Tokyo 2020 on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

FEI Clean Sport

The FEI’s Clean Sport campaign, started in 2010, is part of an ongoing educational outreach programme designed to simplify the FEI anti-doping regulations, which are based on World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) principles.

This online communication campaign, which is available in eight languages (English, French, Chinese, German, Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese), is aimed at athletes, grooms, team and personal veterinarians, and other support personnel and includes key information on prohibited substances, the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations, the testing process, and all related resources.

FEI Clean Sport – human athletes

The FEI is part of the collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport led by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The aim of this movement is to protect fair competition as well as athlete health and welfare.

WADA’s Prohibited List identifies the substances and methods prohibited in- and out-of-competition, and in particular sports. The substances and methods on the List are classified by different categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping).

As a WADA Code Signatory, the FEI runs a testing programme for human athletes based on WADA’s List of Prohibited List of Substances and Methods and on the Code-compliant FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA).

For further information, please consult the Clean Sport section of the FEI website here.

FEI Equine Prohibited Substances

The FEI Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections: Controlled Medication and *Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are medications that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition. Banned (doping) Substances should never be found in the body of the horse and are prohibited at all times.

Information on all substances is available on the searchable FEI Equine Prohibited Substances Database.

 

Maryland 5 Star Athletes & Horses to Receive 5-Star Treatment

Tim Bourke and Quality Time at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill’s test event in August 2020. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

Athletes and horses competing in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will receive the 5 Star treatment throughout their stay. Special amenities are being provided by many of the Event Partners to ensure the best experience possible for the competitors, starting even before they arrive at Fair Hill!

The new Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is fast approaching, to take place October 14-17 at the newly constructed Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Elkton, Maryland (Cecil County). In addition to the CCI5*-L, the event will feature a CCI3*-L serving as the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship, and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships Presented by Dubarry of Ireland.

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee, in partnership with Fair Hill International, will offer a number of amenities to athletes, thanks to many of the Event’s Sponsors. As previously announced, the Event is proudly offering total prize money of $325,000 with the 1st Place finisher of the CCI5*-L taking home $100,000. There is also a Participatory Bonus where all 5* entries are eligible for a $500 bonus upon completion of the first horse inspection.

Other Event offerings include the following from Event Partners:

The Dutta Corp. – starting with overseas travel to Fair Hill, the event’s Official Air Transport partner (www.timdutta.com) will be assisting athletes with organizing round-trip flights with discounted bookings for their horses from Belgium’s Liège Airport and arrival into New York City’s JFK International Airport along with facilitating all quarantine requirements at The ARK and more.

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation– the Official Ground Transport partner will be providing complimentary ground transport for horses that arrive from The Dutta Corp organized flight referenced above from The ARK to Fair Hill and also serves as the entitlement sponsor of the Athletes’ lounge.

Embassy Suites Newark Wilmington South– Athletes can secure reduced rates through the event organizers between October 10-18 along with complimentary breakfast, parking and wifi.

MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Equine Veterinary Health Center – Supported by twelve boarded equine veterinary specialists and staff from Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, and powered by Mars, Incorporated’s featured brands ANTECH™ and SOUND® Imaging. Together they will be offering advanced diagnostic services and imaging, along with a variety of other Penn Vet services including anesthesia, cardiology, and emergency and critical care. A full imaging suite, featuring Sound’s Digital Radiography and GE ultrasound, will be available to the veterinary team and all international and domestic competitor teams.

Quarry View Building Group– The Official Design and Construction partner exclusively of Timber Frame Structures, Custom Accessory Buildings, Equestrian Facilities and Event Venues, will be providing five brand-new, custom-built dressage judges huts for the Event along with entitling the Owners’ Hospitality and amenities during the Cross Country Phase.

Attwood Equestrian Surfaces– The Official Manufacturer and Installer of Equestrian Footing has installed the very best surface in the competition arenas to enhance the safety and performance for both the horse and rider. In addition, they will prepare and maintain the footing throughout the competition.

Hippo Data – This world renown timing, scoring, data integration, live scoring and graphics company will handle all aforementioned competition needs.

FEI Stabling – 5 Star and 3 Star horses will experience “the new standard in temporary stabling” on site. Stables will be 10’ x 14’ with a 12’ aisle and a Clearspan® Roof, plus 10′ x 10′ temporary wash racks will be available.

NEOGEN – The Official Manufacturer of Human and Equine Bio-security will be providing products for all stabling needs along with hand sanitizer for designated areas and additional product for athletes.

The Classic Catering People – The Official Caterer of the Event will provide complimentary lunch for athletes and grooms in the athletes lounge.

Alo Yoga – This leading Los Angeles-based activewear and lifestyle brand, will bring an exclusive wellness experience to the Maryland 5 Star, activating on-site with custom Alo Glow massages and gifting suite for all athletes.

Boehringer Ingelheim – An Official Product/Manufacturer, Pharma/Animal Health will be providing athlete gifts and services within the athletes lounge throughout the Event.

Select Event Group – The Official Event Rental Company (Tents, Structures and Flooring provider) will be providing an Athlete and Owner Chalet adjacent to the Main Arena providing a front row seat to watch the action.

Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) – The Official Equine Insurance provider of the Event is serving as host to the Athlete and Owner Chalet adjacent to the Main Arena and amenities offered.

Guardian Horse Bedding– The Official Horse Bedding provider will be offering the highest quality of shavings complimentary to the athletes for each of their horses.

Fair Hill Saddlery– The official on-site provider of hay and straw will provide two complimentary bales of straw per horse for the athletes upon request. As the Official Stabling Vendor, Fair Hill Saddlery will have an array of must-have equipment and supplies for sale to the athletes as well.

KONG Equine – KONG Equine will provide complimentary horse enrichment gifts including its Hanging Kit with Treat Ring for 5 Star horses and winners of the 3 Star and Young Event Horse competitions.

Dubarry of Ireland – The presenting sponsor of the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships will provide athlete gifts.

Hound & Hare – The Official Presenting Sponsor of Wednesday’s Jog will present “The Best Presented” rider following the first horse inspection/jog.

Flair LLC / Achieve Equine– Achieve Equine will provide complimentary event branded FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips for all 5 Star and 3 Star horses.

Shapley’s Superior Equine Grooming Products – Shapley’s will present the “Best Turned Out” award to the Groom of one 5 Star and one 3 Star horse following Sunday’s horse inspection/jog. Additional prize buckets, inclusive of its superior equine grooming products, will be presented to top finishers in the 5 Star and 3 Star competitions.

Mane ‘n Tail / Straight Arrow Products – The Groom of the Winning Horse in the 5 star and 3 Star competition will receive a prize package, including an array of branded products. They will also provide their product at the Mane ‘n Tail Stable Wash Racks to be used by the Grooms. Other amenities include hosting of a Grooms Breakfast.

Additional amenities and athlete gifts will be provided by The Fern Farmer, USET Foundation, Loch Moy Farm, Atlantic Tractor, Emerald Valley Natural Health, Deer Valley Danes, Stübben North America, Stable Feed, Sweet Piggy Baking Company, EquiFit, Equine Healthcare International, HorseTech, Human Touch, Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, and Sterling Essentials.

The new Fair Hill Special Event Zone, located in beautiful Cecil County, Maryland is centrally located between Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD and right next to the border of the state of Delaware. Its convenient location is easily accessible for those joining the athletes from several major International Airports including Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Newark Liberty (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), John F. Kennedy (JFK), and Dulles (IAD).

Beyond the convenient event venue and location, Cecil County features vibrant small towns, hundreds of miles of waterfront, foodie destinations and scenic countryside. Athletes can experience fabulous local food and beverage with a Chesapeake Bay flair, outdoor recreation, family friendly attractions, and specialty shops, all providing the perfect backdrop for the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Learn more at https://maryland5star.us/cecil-county/.

In addition, reduced rates off of VIP Hospitality offerings are available for owners and athletes by contacting Marissa Melzer, Ticket & Hospitality Manager, at [email protected] for more information.

More details and offerings will be announced soon helping to ensure that those competing in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill have an unforgettable experience in Cecil County! Further information on the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is available at www.Maryland5Star.us.

Volunteers Still Needed for Tryon Fall Horse Trials

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is honored to host world-class eventing competitions. From the incredible horse and rider athletes to the manicured courses and state-of-the art arenas, the experience brings a wow factor to fans and spectators every time. But, there is one very key component to every eventing competition and without it, the recipe for a successful eventing competition falls flat – volunteers.

It might surprise you just how many volunteers are needed to adequately host a horse trials, like the Tryon Fall Horse Trials on September 10-12. From jump judges and scribes to timers, score runners and so many more roles, much of the operations around an Eventing competition is dependent upon volunteers generously giving their time to make the event happen.

And just how many are needed for the Tryon Fall Horse Trials? 141!

While several people have signed up to assist, there are still many open shifts to fill. Whether you have volunteered for an equestrian competition before or this is completely new, there is a role for you. TIEC has been fortunate to have volunteers return regularly to participate in our competitions and they are always happy to help others learn the ropes.

Brian and Darlene Tribby have volunteered at TIEC for years and are always eager to sign up for a shift, particularly in eventing.

TIEC Volunteers Brian and Darlene Tribby. Photo courtesy of TIEC.

“Darlene and I started volunteering at TIEC for the World Equestrian Games in 2018. Since then, we have considered TIEC to be our home away from home. Being able to watch the world’s best riders and horses is a dream come true. Eventing is so amazing. Just to think that one rider and horse can participate in three separate disciplines — show jumping, dressage, and cross country — is awesome!” explained Brian.

Suzanne Lindley has volunteered at TIEC since the beginning and recently returned from volunteering for Eventing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics! (More on that soon!) She loves Eventing and is looking forward to joining us for the Tryon Fall Horse Trials next weekend.

Suzanne Lindley (left) volunteering at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. Photo courtesy of TIEC.

“I have been volunteering for Eventing since TIEC started running events, beginning with the AECs [American Eventing Championships]. The White Oak Course now in use is one of the best and prettiest in the world and we are privileged to get to work events at such a world-class facility. It is also special that all levels, even Beginner Novice, get to do their cross country phase on the same course with the ‘big boys’… that is not true in most places!” said Lindley.

As an active volunteer at TIEC, Lindley understands the importance of having enough volunteers for eventing competitions and how grateful the competitors are for their help.

“There is no nicer group of people in the horse show world than eventers … they thank the volunteers all the time and really appreciate that their competitions can’t happen without us!”

Llyn Shook, another seasoned volunteer at TIEC, agrees and finds great reward in her service.

TIEC Volunteer Llyn Shook at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 standing with dressage competitor Julio Mendoza Loor. Photo courtesy of TIEC. 

“Volunteering at TIEC has enriched my life with learning experiences through involvement in vital support roles in a variety of USEF, FEI and USEA competitions,” said Shook. “What a delight to see up close the exquisite equine athletes with exceptionally skilled riders. My love of horses and enjoyment of being around others who love horses makes volunteering at TIEC awesome.”

With the Tryon International Three-Day Event returning to TIEC this November 10-14, the Tryon Fall Horse Trials in September is a great way for volunteers to practice and gain experience for the larger competition.

“We are honored that the National Eventing Championship will be held here in Mill Spring this November and we look forward to helping out in any way that we can,” said Brian.

Lindley encourages anyone with an interest in horses or eventing to sign up to volunteer at TIEC.

“I guarantee that anyone who loves horses would get hooked if they joined the TIEC eventing volunteer crew! TIEC takes great care of us, including being sure we are properly trained, equipped, and well fed, too!”

To sign up as a volunteer of the Tryon Fall Horse Trials on September 10-12 and get an up close and personal view of the action, click here or visit Tryon.com/Eventing.

And On the Final Day of #AEC2021, Six Beginner Novice Champions Were Crowned

Eventing Nation’s coverage of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. We want to share the joy of eventing this week, so we invite you to nominate an AEC rider for our “Kentucky Performance of the Week” contest, happening now in partnership with Kentucky Performance Products. Learn more here.

Cami Pease and Vibrant, Beginner Novice Amateur Champions. KTB Creative Group Photo.

For Immediate Release: The final competitors of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds geared up for the last day. Taking place in the Kentucky Horse Park’s iconic Rolex Stadium, riders from all six Beginner Novice divisions put their best foot forward in the show jumping phase. Endless prizes were handed out, the champions were decorated with tri-color ribbons, the Adult Team Champions were named, and several special awards were distributed throughout the day.

Beginner Novice Horse

Kristine Burgess and Marisol. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Thirty-five competitors from the Beginner Novice Horse division were the first of the morning to kick off competition bright and early. Coming into the last phase of the event, Hugo, Minnesota’s Kristine Burgess, and her own Marisol proved they were going to be hard to beat. The pair had not picked up any faults in the previous day’s cross-country phase and entered the stadium on only 25.5 faults. The 5-year-old Trakehner mare by United States put on her final performance of the week in style and left all rails standing within the time allowed to take the championship.

“This is only her fourth show so it was kind of an unknown of how she would handle all of the atmosphere because none of our other events have been anything like this,” Burgess explained. “She just took everything on and handled every new situation so well; I’m extremely proud of her.”

The mare was purchased for Burgess’ mother Lianne, but with Kristine’s prior experience training various young horses, she took the reins.

“I always say if she was the first young horse that I was able to train, I would think that I was just the best trainer in the world,” she laughed. “She is so level-headed about everything and so willing to try and do the right thing all of the time. I always say her job is to see the jump and jump the jump and she has really gotten that down now.”

Laura Kosiorek-Smith and Star Quality CSF. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Reserve-placed Laura Kosiorek-Smith maintained her standing on Star Quality CSF in a fault-free round that left her and Chrissteen Miller’s 7-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (Schwarzenegger x Garcia) with a final score of 28.0. The mare was originally purchased purely for dressage purposes with her owner but under the tutelage of Kosiorek-Smith it was quickly discovered she had a natural knack for hacking out and jumping.

“Whenever I start a new horse in my program I always take them out and teach them how to jump even though her owner only wanted to do dressage with her,” she explained. “She’s had a bit of a break because of COVID but once I took her back into my program her owner agreed to let me event her. She placed very well at some recognized horse trials earlier in the year so I just said ‘why not do Kentucky as well’ and the rest is history!”

Kalie Beckers and Calla GBF. KTB Creative Group Photo.

It was all girl-power at the top of the podium as Kalie Beckers navigated her self-bred 6-year-old American Warmblood mare (Carush x NA) Calla GBF into another clear round for the yellow ribbon only 0.3 points behind Kosiorek-Smith. However, the sailing was not always so smooth for the pair.

“Getting here was actually a bit crazy because I live in Louisiana and we had to evacuate for hurricane Ida three days earlier than we had planned on leaving to come here originally,” Beckers described. “Luckily, this horse park is a great place to be and we were lucky to get to settle in here.

Beckers produced the young filly by of her previous Young Riders Grand Prix dressage stallion Carush; she is the first home-bred and self-produced baby of the farm so the win is extra special for Beckers.

“This is a huge win for us,” she gushed. “She is definitely her father’s daughter in that she got his ‘palomino stallion’ attitude even though she is a mare, but she has really matured this year and handled this whole event very well so I’m really proud of her.”

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program awarded Rebecca Lee and the 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Congrats x Touch Me Once) A Proper Villain with the honors for the division as the pair held the lowest qualifying score of 30.5.

Beginner Novice Master Amateur

Gerlinde Beckers and Roscommon Fagan. KTB Creative Group Photo.

In an exciting turn of events for the Beginner Novice Master Amateur division, Gerlinde Beckers had the show jumping round of her life to jump from fourth to the first and earn the championship. Beckers and Roscommon Fagan, the 17-year-old Connemara gelding (Balius Malachi x Lasrachai’s Blue Oak Dunlaith) have taught each other the ropes of the unique sport and sat in fourth place with their dressage score of 28.5 prior to the final phase. After what Beckers described as her ‘first-ever’ clear round in the show jumping phase, the duo totaled only the 28.5 which was enough to secure the tricolor win.

“I always have a rail, so I just figured it was coming. I am fairly new to the sport of cross-country and frankly jumping terrifies me,” laughed the primarily FEI dressage rider. “When I acquired this gelding, his breeder gave him to me because she wanted him to have a good forever home, and I didn’t want him at the time but I am honestly so grateful because he has given me so much confidence and made this fun for me.”

The trek to AEC was not one Beckers was even sure was possible till the middle of the week. Her private farm in Independence, Louisiana was one of many affected by hurricane Ida and she refused to leave before the storm had passed.

“It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I even decided to make the trip because I had to see if the roads would be clear enough to get a horse trailer through,” she explained. “My husband is still at home doing things like filling generators and keeping the farm operating and my daughters ended up coming with me to help here so I am really just so grateful to everyone who made it possible to even get here.”

The day was doubly special for Beckers whose daughter, Kalie Beckers had just received the third-place honors in the Beginner Novice Horse division with her self-produced mare Calla GBF.

“My daughter competed in Young Riders for many years so I have walked her down the ramp to the Rolex Stadium many times; for her to be the one walking me down that ramp was incredibly special,” she finished tearfully.

Michelle Cameron Donaldson and Danny Boy. KTB Creative Group Photo.

An emotional victory was also had by Livingston, Montana resident Michelle Cameron Donaldson and her 20-year-old Percheron gelding Danny Boy. Cameron Donaldson sat tied for fifth place but she and her long-time partner pulled off a storybook finish to overtake the reserve position on 29.9. The gelding gave the performance of his life for what Cameron Donaldson says was one of his last events; according to her, Danny Boy is Kentucky-bred and she felt it would be poetic for his final few performances before retirement to be held at the iconic venue. Cameron Donaldson had a late start to her riding career, only picking up the sport in 2011 and spending a portion of her time in the hunter/jumper discipline before switching to eventing.

“I had wanted to event for a while but there were certain aspects of it that made me think I would never be able to,” she described. “One day a very good friend of mine pulled me aside and said to me ‘you are good enough to do, now go find yourself a horse’ and so I began looking.

“I only rode Danny for about 20 minutes and I just knew he was the one,” she recalled. “I have been so blessed with the best partner and team around me; I am just so grateful to everyone that has been part of this journey and encouraged me to keep going even on days I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

Stephen Fulton and DB Cooper. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Stephen Fulton of Full Moon Farm based in Finksburg, Maryland rounded out the top three with his own 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding DB Cooper. The pair skyrocketed from seventh to third place in the final few moments of the division as they crossed the timers without penalty to end with their dressage score of 30.0.

Fulton, originally a jumper rider in his earlier years, switched to the eventing track when he met his wife who was already competing in the sport at the time and now functions as the farm’s trainer.

“I have been competing in this discipline now for about 35 years, and my wife also competes, and my daughters ride so it’s really wonderful to be able to enjoy the sport as a family,” he said. “We have been to the AEC about 10 times at least and we just love it. To be a part of this event at Kentucky Horse Park has been so cool, I have always said that one day I wanted to ride in the stadium and see my name on that giant Rolex billboard and now that vision has come true.”

The TIP award for the Beginner Novice Master Amateur division was won by Emily Slaven with her 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Leelanau x President’s Woman) Senator Lee.

Beginner Novice Amateur

Cami Pease and Vibrant. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Just under 50 horse-and-rider combinations contested the show jumping course designed for the Beginner Novice Amateur division in the Rolex Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Overnight leader Cami Pease used her and her horse Vibrant’s former equitation experience to flawlessly navigate the track and seal the deal for their victory with only their dressage penalty of 24.8.

Although the pair started off their partnership as an equitation team, they have been no stranger to success in the event field having won the last six of their events together. After the 21-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Orlando x Fatima Van De Heffenk) tore his meniscus in what Pease expected to be a career-ending injury, he managed to successfully recover fully in a little over a year and was introduced to the eventing discipline.

“The barn we moved into did eventing and I just kind of thought it would be something fun and different for us to do since we probably wouldn’t be competing in the equitation anymore after his injury,” Pease explained. “I wasn’t really sure how well he would take to it but we did our first event in 2017 and he has been fantastic about it ever since. I think he actually had an easier time with the transition than I did because It took me quite a while not to get nervous about the cross-country fences and reconfigure my body position to sit a bit taller and have more of a seat and leg ride.”

“I don’t think I’m ever going to have another horse like him and because of his age this is where he is comfortable,” she added. “So to have an event like this that makes us Beginner Novice people feel just as important as the more upper level competitors is very nice; I really appreciate it.”

Sophie Ann Stremple and Dolly. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Sophie Ann Stremple of The Plains, Virginia overtook the previous class reserve with Shannon Davis’ 15-year-old Hanoverian mare Dolly by going fast and clear in 27.3. In her debut at AEC, Stremple piloted not one, but two horses throughout the week.

“This horse is a bit of a new relationship for me but she is really great and her owner, Shannon Davis, has been wonderful as well to give me the opportunity to ride her,” Stremple said. “I was firmly a hunter/jumper rider and then because my grandfather had dressage horses he ended up getting me into dressage, but then I missed the jumping so once I found out about eventing it was like the best of everything!”

Hannah Reeser and Ltl Ireland Summr Soldier. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Third place honors went to Hannah Reeser by producing a fault-free effort once again on the final day and leaving their original dressage score of 27.4 untouched. Reeser takes extra pride in the day’s end result as Ltl Ireland Summr Soldier, her 7-year-old Morgan mare (October Fox x Abby Darling) is home-bred and self-produced.

“We have been together since the very beginning, so to see her come all this way and place well against the big warmbloods and fancy-moving horses has been a truly great experience.”

Reeser and her family run a small breeding operation specifically focused on one line of Morgan horses. “We aren’t a big breeding facility but we found one line we especially liked and we really like the attitude of the Morgan breed,” she detailed.

Fourth-place finisher Emily Nichols and her 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Trifecta Scott x Blue Muse) Galway Girl were the division’s TIP winners on 29.5 points.

Beginner Novice Rider

Leigh Wood and Dollar Mountain. KTB Creative Group Photo.

The Beginner Novice Rider division saw a shakeup in the final results when the formerly second-place combination of Leigh Wood and Dollar Mountain flawless round gave them the edge and bumped them to the lead on 27.1.

Wood partnered with the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Forestry x Formal Tango) after a long search for her next partner following the retirement of her previous horse. “Parker” as he is affectionately called at home, had raced up till his 7-year-old year and had only been restarted for under a year when she picked him up.

“I trotted him for about three steps and I looked at my trainer and said ‘yep, he’ll work,” she laughed. “I have had amazing help from the people at Rebecca Lee Farm to bring him along and he is just my best friend and dream horse. No matter what phase we are in, he just goes to work when he gets in there.”

The event is one Wood has had on her bucket list for years, stating that she even has a notebook she keeps with pictures from previous AEC events. With injuries and pandemics, Wood was unsure if she would ever truly make it into the Rolex Stadium.

“It has been an amazing, wonderful experience and I just can’t thank everyone who has put this on enough, including my husband and my entire fantastic team,” she explained.

The win at the iconic event today is even more meaningful for Wood as she revealed the inspiration behind her career.

“As it is almost the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, I am overwhelmed to have won this today and I’m dedicating it to my late friend Jennifer Lewis,” she tearfully confirmed. “She and I were both flight attendants for American Airlines as well as fellow equestrians and we lost her on flight 77 that day. I keep a photo of her in my tack trunk and she rides with me every day now. I call my horse Parker Lewis in honor of her and I know she was here with us in spirit today.”

Wood’s partner, her beloved Parker, was also the recipient of the TIP award for the division.

Katherine Rutherford and Amazingly Lucky. KTB Creative Group.

Katherine Rutherford took the weekend away from her position as a small animal veterinarian to pilot her 13-year-old Paint gelding Amazingly Lucky into the runner-up result with a final score of 29.4 carried over from the dressage and cross-country phase.

“It was a real team effort to have a positive and successful weekend here,” Rutherford credited to her trainer, husband, and horse. “I get nervous so easily but thankfully my horse is very much a steady-eddy.”

Although Rutherford started off her experience with horses in the hunter/jumper field, she admitted she has always had an interest in eventing.

“As a kid, it was not something that locally was available to me but I was always curious about it and I even competed in a few unrecognized events with my hunter. I took a few years off of riding for school and work and when I did decide to get back into it I was in an area where I was able to do it more.”

Anna Hendey and Sheldon. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Anna Hendey was in complete awe as she and her own Sheldon rode for ribbons as the third-place winner and reserve champion of the TIP award. Hendey and the 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding ( Victory Gallop x Complete Spring) rose from their original sixth place position by producing one final fault-free round o finish with only 0.4 more penalties than Rutherford.

“I am in complete shock and I may start crying,” Hendey admitted. “This has been an incredible experience for me; I didn’t think I was ever going to come here with my horse being the way that he was for many years.”

For Hendey, the goal of the whole event had been just to not get disqualified. She has worked tirelessly to produce him to this level despite his hot-headed demeanor. The inspiration behind her determination is her late friend Ashley Stout.

“Two years ago, my friend passed away in a riding accident at my barn,” Hendey explained. “After she passed away, I really got myself together and started riding for her; she is always with me and I just wish she could’ve been here in person today.”

Junior Beginner Novice

Erin Buckner and Picassi. KTB Creative Group Photo.

In the penultimate and largest division of the AEC, 64 entries consisting of young competitors and their mounts vied for the top spot in the Junior Beginner Novice division. In a record-breaking moment, Erin Buckner of Woodstock, Georgia cleared the final jumping timers fault-free to finish first on the lowest score in Beginner Novice AEC history.

Buckner and the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Paparazzo x Lady Lily) Picassi set the bar unbelievably high from the start of the competition as they clocked the lowest dressage score of the division to date on 18.5. Two flawless jumping phases later and the young rider made history.

“I never could’ve expected to get that low of a score,” Buckner admitted. “We qualified in 2020 but then it was canceled so we basically had a year to prepare. I knew he had the potential to have a really great dressage phase if we could get him more fluid, so we’ve worked extensively over the last year on that and keeping him forward in all of our phases.”

Buckner took over the ride for her sister after she hung up her boots and the pair have worked their way up from smaller jumper classes to now. The day was a ‘redemption tour’ of sorts for her as she explained that her 2019 experience at AEC did not go as planned.

“This weekend has been fantastic, and definitely a whole 360 degree turn from our last time here,” she laughed. “Two years ago we were sitting in third and then had a very unfortunate refusal which knocked us into dead last, so this has definitely been satisfying.”

Anneka Williams and Juneaux. KTB Creative Group.

Anneka Williams and Juneaux broke their own personal best with a first-day dressage score of 22.4. After a successful cross-country phase, the pair headed into show jumping in the third but an unfortunate rail for a competitor and another clean round produced by Williams secured her the reserve position instead.

“I have had the best weekend ever,” she exclaimed. “To score so low in dressage was a terrific feeling for me because it was our personal best. I loved the cross-country course here as well, I think that was one of my favorite parts.

Of the 14-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse mare, Williams said “she actually competed in show jumping until I took over the ride on her but she is doing really great and we are learning together.

Caroline Burkhardt and My Mexico. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Dallas, Texas’ Caroline Burkhardt jumped from fifth to third place to finalize the top three. She and the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (RaMexico x Odyssey) My Mexico carried over a first phase score of 23.6 but left all rails standing in show jumping.

“This horse just lights up when he knows it’s time to compete and takes me to everything,” Burkhardt detailed. “We both definitely enjoy the cross-country phase the most because he is just so excited to go and he has competed up to Preliminary before so he knows how to get across the course.”
Annika Foley and her 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Atlantic Beauty x Kitten’s Joy) were the division’s TIP leaders and the leaders of the entire Beginner Novice section with only 23.9 penalties.

Junior Beginner Novice 14 & Under

Laura Voorheis and Hillcrest Hop. KTB Creative Group Photo.

The 2021 AEC concluded with 27 of eventing’s up and coming stars closing out the competition in the Rolex Stadium as part of the Beginner Novice Junior 14 and Under division. Laura Voorheis reigned supreme throughout the course of the three days adding nothing to her dressage score of 27.1.

Voorheis partnered with the 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dilshaan x Queen Judy) Hillcrest Hop after trainer Tom Dugan selected the mount from Ireland.

“Once he came over from Ireland I tried him out and I just loved him,” she gushed.

“We have been working a lot on the show jumping phase and just keeping him from getting strung out,” she continued, “but my favorite phase this weekend was our dressage probably because it was one of our best tests.”

Larkyn Hendren and Sandy. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Crestwood, Kentucky’s Larkyn Hendren and her rescue pony, Sandy also held tight to their podium position in second place having produced fault-free efforts over the two jumping phases to finish with a score of 29.0.

The 20-year-old Arabian mare was a happy accident for Hendren who had not seen the pony before she was shipped to the farm from a rescue in Alabama in hopes of finding a home.

“Our partnership was a bit rocky at first but I think we have figured each other out pretty well now,” she explained. “I have never been here to AEC before and to be able to make it this far with an older rescue pony has been very special.”

Carla Lindsay and Paint Misbehavin’. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Westminster, Maryland’s Carla Lindsay and her 14-year-old Paint gelding Paint Misbehavin’ broke out of their tie for fourth to instead ride for ribbons as the third-place recipient.

“Finishing the cross-country phase was a huge accomplishment for me because sometimes he can be so wild it gets iffy,” Lindsay stated. “To have been able to finish that successfully and to be here in this position now is just so amazing.”

Abigail Walker and The Perfect Storm MK (Comet Shine x Danse Don’t Fight), an 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding were the recipients of the TIP award with their score of 34.1.

Adult Team Championships

The Only Neigh is Up. KTB Creative Group Photo.

The Beginner Novice Adult Team Championships were won by The Only Neigh is Up on a 97.4. The team consisted of Cami Pease and Vibrant, Jodie Potts and Cat’s Confetti, Arielle Orem and Beorn, Sharon Church and Ruffan’s Run.

#AEC2021: WebsiteFinal ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Gerlinde Becker Rides Out the Storm in Thrilling AEC BN Master Amateur Championship Finale

Eventing Nation’s coverage of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. We want to share the joy of eventing this week, so we invite you to nominate an AEC rider for our “Kentucky Performance of the Week” contest, happening now in partnership with Kentucky Performance Products. Learn more here.

Gerlinde Beckers & Roscommon Fagan. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

The AEC Beginner Novice Master Amateur division has been putting a little tear in our eye all weekend with inspiring and emotional stories that represent the heart and soul of our sport. Each competitor worked hard to get here, tactfully played the cards they drew, and will be able to look back on the championship event with a well-earned sense of pride.

The score board’s contents got dumped into the blender on Sunday, as show jumping catapulted some combinations up and others down. A few fewer than half the division turned in a double-clear round and were justly rewarded. Our winner, Gerlinde Beckers and her own Roscommon Fagan, jumped from 5th to 4th to 1st over the course of the weekend. Area VII adult rider Michelle Cameron Donaldson and Danny Boy, the 20-year-old big red draft cross that captured all our hearts, did a 7-5-2 climb, and Stephen Fulton and DB Cooper sailed to a double-clear third place finish.

Gerlinde Beckers & Roscommon Fagan. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Show jumping isn’t typically the strongest phase for Gerlinde and her 17-year-old Connemara gelding (Balius Malachi x Lasrachai’s Blue Oak Dunlaith), but Roscommon Fagan pulled out the stops to post a clear round at the AEC and win on a final score of 28.5.

“I always have a rail, so I just figured it was coming. I am fairly new to the sport of cross country and frankly jumping terrifies me,” laughed the primarily FEI dressage rider. “When I acquired this gelding, his breeder gave him to me because she wanted him to have a good forever home, and I didn’t want him at the time but I am honestly so grateful because he has given me so much confidence and made this fun for me.”

The trek to AEC was not one Gerlinde was even sure was possible until the middle of the week. Her private farm in Independence, Louisiana was one of many affected by hurricane Ida and she refused to leave before the storm had passed.

Gerlinde Beckers & Roscommon Fagan. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

“It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I even decided to make the trip because I had to see if the roads would be clear enough to get a horse trailer through,” she explained. “My husband is still at home doing things like filling generators and keeping the farm operating and my daughters ended up coming with me to help here so I am really just so grateful to everyone who made it possible to even get here.”

The day was doubly special for Gerlinde whose daughter, Kalie Beckers had just received the third-place honors in the Beginner Novice Horse division with her self-produced mare Calla GBF.

“My daughter competed in Young Riders for many years so I have walked her down the ramp to the Rolex Stadium many times; for her to be the one walking me down that ramp was incredibly special,” she said tearfully.

Michelle Cameron Donaldson & Danny Boy. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

An emotional victory was also had by Livingston, Montana resident Michelle Cameron Donaldson and her 20-year-old Percheron gelding Danny Boy. Cameron Donaldson sat tied for fifth place but she and her long-time partner pulled off a storybook finish to overtake the reserve position on 29.9. The gelding gave the performance of his life for what Cameron Donaldson says was one of his last events; according to her, Danny Boy is Kentucky-bred and she felt it would be poetic for his final few performances before retirement to be held at the iconic venue. Cameron Donaldson had a late start to her riding career, only picking up the sport in 2011 and spending a portion of her time in the hunter/jumper discipline before switching to eventing.

“I had wanted to event for a while but there were certain aspects of it that made me think I would never be able to,” she said. “One day a very good friend of mine pulled me aside and said to me ‘you are good enough to do, now go find yourself a horse’ and so I began looking.

“I only rode Danny for about 20 minutes and I just knew he was the one,” she recalled. “I have been so blessed with the best partner and team around me; I am just so grateful to everyone that has been part of this journey and encouraged me to keep going even on days I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

Stephen Fulton & DB Cooper. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Stephen Fulton of Full Moon Farm based in Finksburg, Maryland rounded out the top three with his own 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding DB Cooper. The pair skyrocketed from seventh to third place in the final few moments of the division as they crossed the timers without penalty to end with their dressage score of 30.0.

Stephen, originally a jumper rider in his earlier years, switched to the eventing track when he met his wife who was already competing in the sport at the time and now functions as the farm’s trainer.

“I have been competing in this discipline now for about 35 years, and my wife also competes, and my daughters ride so it’s really wonderful to be able to enjoy the sport as a family,” he said. “We have been to the AEC about 10 times at least and we just love it. To be a part of this event at Kentucky Horse Park has been so cool, I have always said that one day I wanted to ride in the stadium and see my name on that giant Rolex billboard and now that vision has come true.”

The TIP award for the Beginner Novice Master Amateur division was won by Emily Slaven with her 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Leelanau x President’s Woman) Senator Lee.

Brandy Snedden & Peaches and Cream finished 4th. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Brandy Snedden & Peaches and Cream. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Molly Adams & Caletto’s Symphony finished 5th. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Molly Adams & Caletto’s Symphony. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Molly Adams & Caletto’s Symphony. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Renee Senter & Regina finished 6th. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Meredith Hunter & Classic Imp finished 9th. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo

Penny Welsch & Mr. Poppers finished 10th. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Massive congrats to all!

USEA Beginner Novice Master Amateur Final Top 10: 

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Day Four at #AEC2021: Advanced/Modified/Training Show Jumping, Novice XC & BN Dressage

Eventing Nation’s coverage of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. We want to share the joy of eventing this week, so we invite you to nominate an AEC rider for our “Kentucky Performance of the Week” contest, happening now in partnership with Kentucky Performance Products. Learn more here.

Friday was another busy-bee day at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, with Advanced, Modified and Training champions being crowned, Novice cross country underway, and Beginner Novice dressage on the books. Here’s a recap of the action!

The podium celebrations in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final. KTB Creative Group Photo.

$60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final 

Boyd Martin came to the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds looking to defend his 2019 $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final title and while he succeeded at the goal it wasn’t with the same mount. However, Martin’s victory lands him in the history books as the first rider to win the AEC Advanced class two times on two different horses.

After leading the dressage with Long Island T, Martin fell from him on the cross-country. He then returned and jumped a clear cross-country round with On Cue – déjà vu from the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Martin started off his week in eighth place with Christine Turner’s 16-year-old Selle Francais (Cabri de Elle x On High) mare but moved up to fourth after adding only 6.4 time penalties to his dressage score of 27.3.

Boyd Martin and On Cue. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Bobby Murphy’s show jumping course under the lights in front of a packed Rolex Stadium proved very influential to the top of the standings and when Buck Davidson lowered a pole on both his second and third-placed mounts and the overnight leader, Fylicia Barr, dropped two rails, it opened the door for Martin and On Cue to take the win and a check for $30,000.

“To be honest, coming into the show jumping phase tonight I didn’t think I was going to win,” Martin said. “There were plenty of good horses and riders ahead of me and it is a very high-pressure event.”

Boyd Martin and On Cue. KTB Creative Group Photo.

The mare is one that Martin is no stranger to riding the victory gallop with, having come in the top-placed American horse at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day event earlier this year.

“I am just thrilled with On Cue, she is everything you dream of in a horse— she’s a mover, she’s a galloper, she’s sensitive, she’s elegant, she’s bright, and I’m just blessed to have her, she’s been on fire this year,” he said.

“I think the AEC this year has been incredible,” he continued. “It is an awesome venue, and the competition was stiff with several good competitors jumping clear just before me, but it is a brilliant event and I can’t thank the USEA enough for putting it on.”

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap made a steady climb up the leaderboard throughout the competition starting in 14th and ending in the reserve position.

“He’s a special horse,” Payne commented of his 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) who he has produced since he was a yearling through the USEA Young Event Horse program. “I think he is an incredible athlete and I’m beyond excited for the future. I’ve got to echo Boyd [Martin]’s in that I think this venue is one of the best in the country, and for the future of this sport.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Following a successful finish in the Bates USEA Preliminary Horse division the day before, Liz Halliday-Sharp and another Cooley Farm sourced mount, Cooley Quicksilver, rode for ribbons as the final of the top three finishers.

“He just keeps getting better,” Halliday-Sharp emphasized of the now 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) gelding. “He loves a big atmosphere and I think I also got a little excited about the crowd; when I finished tonight, I got a bit excited like ‘wow we have a crowd again’.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver. KTB Creative Group Photo.

“This is actually my first AEC event as I have been in England for so many years,” finished Halliday-Sharp. “It has been so much fun, and to be able to have it here at Kentucky Horse Park has been an incredible opportunity for all of the horses and riders to get into these iconic rings.”

While Davidson’s rails dropped him off the podium he still finished in fourth with Jak My Style, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Kathleen Cuca, and fifth with the Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo, a 14-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino x Ramatuelle).

Boyd Martin’s groom, Stephanie Simpson, shares a moment with On Cue. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Advanced photo gallery from Shannon Brinkman:

Julie Wolfert and Namibia receiving the Modified Trophy in Remembrance of Ashley Stout. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship

The inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds decorated its first champions Friday morning with professional Julie Wolfert leading the pack aboard Namibia.

The Bucyrus, Kansas native guided her 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Tizway x Kitty Tracks) to top placings throughout the entire three-day competition and never gave up their first-place score. After earning a 25.2 in the starting dressage phase, the two were tidy and timely over both cross-country and show jumping phases to finish with only their first score.

Julie Wolfert and Namibia. KTB Creative Group Photo.

“One out of 1- times will this horse usually go completely clear in the show jumping so I am thrilled today was that one,” Wolfert laughed. “He really stepped up to the plate today and despite the fact that he did get a little influenced by the environment, I felt like he was listening well and almost grew wings out there!”

She was also the first recipient of the Modified Trophy in Remembrance of Ashley Stout. The trophy honors the memory of the late junior rider Ashley Stout who passed away tragically in a cross-country schooling accident in 2019 alongside her partner, Avant Garde. Ashley won the Junior Beginner Novice 14 and Under Championship in 2017 and had plans to move up to the new Modified level the year of the accident.

“I feel really honored to be the first to receive such a meaningful award,” Wolfert stated. “I want to give a big hug and shout out to that family and tell them how sorry I am for their loss but their way of honoring her is just beautiful and a lot of horses and riders are going to benefit from this new level.”

Namibia, who raced under the name Katchup Tiz and won $6,165 on the track, was the winner of the TIP award with his finish of 25.2 while Finntastic took the reserve of the TIP for the division.

Martin Douzant and Beall Spring Seahawk in the awards ceremony. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Reserve ribbon honors were received by Martin Douzant and Beall Spring Seahawk as they added nothing to their dressage score for a finish on 28.5. Douzant has built a long-standing partnership with Thora Pollak of Beall Spring Farm in Maryland and has successfully campaigned many of their home-bred Swedish Warmbloods. Just the previous day, Douzant was again in the winner’s circle with another Beall Spring Farm offspring, Olympus.

“These horses exemplify what we are looking to produce in our program,” Douzant explained. “We have a great relationship with the farm to help start and develop all of their young horses and it has been a long, trustful relationship.”

Both his top mount from the Preliminary Horse division and Beall Spring Seahawk have been under the tutelage of Douzant since the young age of 2 years old.

“Both myself and Thora [Pollak] are very excited to have two horses doing so well at this level,” he confirmed. “We are grateful to have such quality horses as wonderful representations of the bloodlines and the farm.”

Heidi Grimm Powell and Finntastic. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Amateur competitor Heidi Grimm Powell made her mark against the professionals as she and her 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (A.P. Prime x Faith Tested Raye) Finntastic leapt from sixth to third place to round out the top three. Powell was also the recipient of the Highest Placed Adult Amateur award for the division.

“Finn is just amazing and has come so far even though he had a bit of a rough start,” Powell gushed. “He has had so much heart right from the start but was very insecure and I am lucky enough to have had some fantastic trainers and coaches to help me bring out the best in him.

“I am just so happy to have been able to take this journey with him because this has been a new experience for me as well,” she added. “This is the highest level I have reached as well, and being able to be up here at the very to[ with these two professionals is very humbling, I am so pleased.”

The Highest Placed Young Rider award went to the fourth place winner Caroline Dannemiller aboard Fernhill Dreaming.

Training Riders Take Home Championships

Training Rider: Equine Veterinarian and amateur competitor Katie Sisk steadily rose up the ranks over the course of the Training Rider division to overtake the previous leader on the final day of competition. Sisk navigated her homebred mare Long Legs Lenore around the stadium course flawlessly to wrap up with a 30.7.

The victory is one uniquely special for Sisk who bred, delivered, and developed the 5-year-old Hanoverian mare (Rapture R x Demonet’s Darling) herself at her home base of Carthage, Missouri.

“I am so incredibly proud of her, she is amazing,” Sisk gushed. “We were able to qualify for this at the very last minute and this was only her fourth Training event but we have had so much amazing help from my coach Julie Wolfert.”

“This is my hobby but I try to dedicate as much time to it as I can,” she continued. “I wake up most mornings at 5:00 a.m. to ride before I have to go to my appointments and I am just so proud that all of the hard work has paid off today.”

Training Amateur: Lisa Niccolai was the first to don a champion ribbon as competitors in all divisions of the Training sections took to the Rolex Stadium for their final phase. Niccolai piloted the 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Kharacter C x Tessa) KC’s Celtic Kharacter around Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course without fault to advance from second to first place on the second day of competition. The young horse then rose to the occasion to cross clean and efficiently through the timers of the show jumping phase for the win on 27.6.

“Honestly, we almost did not come this weekend because of some issues at home and then the hurricane, so I am beyond thrilled that we did in fact stick to our plans,” Niccolai emphasized.

“I’m speechless,” she continued. “I came with the goal of just finishing our event, and there have been a number of times as we’ve been walking around the property that I just couldn’t even believe we were here. So even more so for us to win at this point of our career, it is just an amazing experience I will always treasure.”

Training Horse: The top three combinations in the Training Horse division Lauren Lambert, Lauren Nicholson, and Lynn Symansky, all produced incredibly consistent results over the course of their three-day event to keep their individual podium positions from start to finish. Lambert had the peak dressage ride, finishing on a score of 24.3 in the opening phase with Elizabeth Rader’s Biscotti. Flawless performances across cross-country left the pair on their opening score for the champion ribbon.

“Things have really clicked for him over the past few months and he is beginning to feel more comfortable in his own skin,” Lambert described of the 9-year-old Rheinland Pfalz-Saar gelding (Benidetto x Hey Nurse). “He has only been competing in eventing for about a year, and before that he was showing in the jumpers which is where Mike Huber found him, so we thought it would be ideal for him to start seeing new venues.”

Lambert credits owner Rader with much of the gelding’s experience as she is an integral part of his weekly training.

“Elizabeth is actually the one who rides him during the week and takes lessons on him and I am on the ground teaching,” Lambert explained. “However, she does not have any desire to show so I am fortunate enough to get the ride on him and AEC has been a goal for us since the beginning of the year.”

Junior Training: The trip all the way from Fallbrook, California was well worth the effort for Shelby Murray who proved unbeatable in the Junior Training division. From the start, Murray led the chase for the championship title with Laurel Ritter’s 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Rotspon x Chatari) Reverie GWF producing a respectable dressage score of 22.0 and only added 0.4 time penalties overall for a finishing score of 22.4.

The win was Murray’s sixth of the year. “She was just truly awesome,” Murray gushed. “She was extremely bold cross-country and very confident in show jumping as well. She put on her game face and did everything I asked so I couldn’t be happier with her.”

The pair trekked across the country the previous week and debuted only their second time on grass turf. “We competed in Montana last month and that was both of our’s first time riding on the grass, but if anything I think she rides a bit better on it,” Murray explained. “I couldn’t ask for a better horse, our partnership has blossomed so much over the past year.”

Beginner Novice Gets Underway

Beginner Novice competition at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds got underway Friday morning with six divisions taking over the numerous dressage rings set up across the Kentucky Horse Park. Competitors of all ages from across the country put their best foot forward for the judges, with one Beginner Novice competitor receiving a score of 18.5 which is officially the lowest score of the 2021 AEC.

Jane Musselman and Engapore. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Novice competitors donned their safety vests and sported their favorite colors as the sun rose over the cross-country track Friday morning. With the first of six divisions kicking off at 8:00 a.m., the famous head of the lake saw rider after rider through later in the afternoon. While there was some shuffling of placings, the overnight leaders from dressage in each division held onto the coveted top spot upon the conclusion of their cross-country tests.

Novice Rider

Jane Musselman and Bentley’s Best. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

A clear cross-country ride inside the time was just the ticket for Jane Musselman. She’s still in the top placing of the competitive 53-entry USEA Novice Rider Championship aboard Bentley’s Best.

Hauling in from Louisville, Ky., Musselman competes often at the Kentucky Horse Park, but this week is a different ball game. “It’s great to always to be able to show at the Horse Park, but you know it’s a totally different experience [during AEC]. Everything is just bigger and grander and all the competition and it’s pretty special,” she said.

The 14-year-old Trakehner gelding boasts an impressive 24.2 going into the final phase.

Less than two points behind the overnight leaders, Nancy Z. Wilson, of Flat Rock, N.C., and Lagerfeld, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse (Last Man Standing x Bonja), went penalty-free today to stay on 25.6 points.

Madeline Bletzacker, Galena, Ohio, stepped into third place with Drummer Boy on a score of 26.6. Her 13-year-old Hanoverian (Don Principe x Winterzauber) added nothing to his score on Friday.

Novice Master Amateur

Jane Musselman and Engapore. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.


Jane Musselman is two-for-two. She’s leading two championship divisions for the second day in a row. Her Engapore tops the USEA Novice Master Amateur Championship.

The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Engapore (Singapore x Orize) stands ahead of the pack on a dressage score that carries no additional penalties of 26.

“[Bentley’s Best] is very strong. He likes to run, actually both of them are pretty, pretty much the same cross country — very bold and they like to go fast so I have to be very mindful of the time at this level.,” Mussleman said.

Darlene Walters, Franklin, Ind., and Concord Dawn, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred (Smart Guy x Della Street) stepped up one position to hold second overnight on a score of 26.6. Making the trek from Santa Fe, N.M., Jennifer Achilles rounds out the top three on 26.8 penalties aboard Excel Star Lance, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse by ​​Lancelot who was sourced by Courtney Cooper.

Junior Novice

Mia Brown and Duke HW. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle Photo

California native Mia Brown is now in a two-day lead of the Junior Novice Championship on the impressive score of 22.3. Partnered with Duke HW, her 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Delatio x Stella Girl), Brown, she finished double clear thanks to a tack change in warm-up.

“This was only my second time riding him on the grass, and the first time using studs in warm-up. He actually felt stickier than he usually does because we were both getting used to the amount of grip the studs give us. So I ended up putting on a small pair of spurs, and I think it really helps both of us just get a little quicker off the ground,” she said. “He came like super forward to everything. I was a little worried about the terrain, but it ended up helping us a lot because it made him sit down on his hind end, so I put my leg on and it was super bold to all the fences.”

They have a rail in hand heading into Saturday’s finale.

Ava Stevens and Two Against The World, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Reputed Testamony x Black Orchid), sit in second place. Past AEC Champions, these Indianapolis, Ind. natives are on their dressage score of 27.6.

Partnered with her own Peter Pan, Cincinnati, Ohio’s Zoe Hagedorn is third. She and the 6-year-old Holsteiner (Connor x Wanda PP) are also sub-30 with a score of 28.2.

Junior Novice 15 & Under

Margaret Frost and Euro Star. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

Margaret Frost, a 15-year-old from Newnan, Ga., galloped easily around the Kentucky Horse Park to remain in control of the USEA Junior Novice 15 & Under Championship.

“Don’t take anything for granted,” was coach Julie Richards’ advice before Frost went on course, and that’s exactly what she did to go clean with Euro Star, her 12-year-old Warmblood gelding (Qredo Van De Kempenhoeve x Panama).

“[The Head of the Lake] I felt was just super fun. I mean, he was a little spooky going in but he just fared everything so well,” Frost said. “He just listened to me perfectly. He was just on his game. And he didn’t look at anything.”

Laura Voorheis and Sally Smedley maintained the top three as well, holding on to second and third place, respectively. Voorheis is on a score of 30.7 with Herbst, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Aldato x Miss Beckett). Smedley is partnered with Golden Ticket CR, a 13-year-old German Sport Horse (Danny Gold x Stutbuch 1), on 31.2 points.

Novice Horse

Adalee Ladwig and Argenta MSF. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

Lexington, Ky. resident Adalee Ladwig swelled with pride after completing the USEA Novice Horse Championship cross country with Argenta MSF, a horse she produced herself.

The 8-year-old Hanoverian mare (Jesper x Callie) went double clear to keep her dressage score of 27.

“It’s pretty much a dream come true,” Ladwig said. “I love eventing so much, and be able to do it with a horse that you brought up yourself. It’s so rewarding.”

Hailing from Poway, Calif., Chloe Smyth and Michelle Donaldson’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Breitling x unknown) Byzantine SC made easy work of the Novice cross-country track to remain on 28.3 penalty points. Team Holling LLC’s Fernhill Copain, a 5-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Corico Z x De Zazoe VH ST Anneke) also stays in third place with Jonathan Holling, Ocala, Fla., in the irons. Their dressage result of 28.8 carries on to the final phase.

Novice Amateur

Cecilia Emilsson and Blazing Angel. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

Sitting in first after dressage isn’t an unusual scenario for Cecilia Emilsson and Blazing Angel, her own 8-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Firecard x Angliana). The duo have gone into the second phase of competition in the lead at several events in the past, but with the second-place pair just one point behind her, Emilsson was feeling the pressure before her warm-up began.

“My nerves have been wracked the entire day. She felt absolutely phenomenal in the warm-up so I felt confident, but also a little terrified to mess up. It felt really good. There was a lot of pressure! She is a really good girl and is really brave!”

After a successful warm-up, Emilsson felt confident in the start box and had a plan in place – a plan that was almost spoiled when Emilsson’s watch froze at the three-minute mark while on course. “I looked down at my watch and thought to myself, ‘why is my watch stopped at minute three?’ I knew that I was fast, so I really tried to pace myself coming in, but I wasn’t sure when I crossed the finish if I ended too fast.”

Emilsson’s trainer Julie Penshorn of Sunborn Stables in Chisago City, Minnesota, laughed as she recalled the time glitch, “She was going really fast! She was probably running at 440mpm, she was close to Training speed! Thankfully, she really slowed down!”

Emilsson and the Blazing Angel will go into show jumping sitting on a two-phase score of 21.1. The remainder of the top three in the Novice Amateur division remain unchanged after cross-country with Kai Bradley aboard Diamonds Forever, her own 9-year-old Hanoverian mare (Donar Weiss GGF x Whizzo) sitting in second on a 22.5 and Samantha Schwartz and Rumble Fish, her 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding (Pure Pauli x Miss Diamond B Okie) rounding out the top three on a 28.1.

Novice show jumping gets underway at 7:30 a.m tomorrow.

Erin Buckner and Picassi. Xpress Foto Photo.

Beginner Novice competition at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds got underway Friday morning with six divisions taking over the numerous dressage rings set up across the Kentucky Horse Park. Competitors of all ages from across the country put their best foot forward for the judges, with one Beginner Novice competitor receiving a score of 18.5 which is officially the lowest score of the 2021 AEC.

Junior Beginner Novice

Erin Buckner of Buckhead, Georgia, and her 17-year-old gelding, Picassi (Paparazzo x Lady Lily) put forward an impressive display to score an 18.5 for the early lead in the Junior Beginner Novice and earn the only score in the teens in the AEC this year.

“He just loves dressage, I think that is by far his favorite phase,” Buckner detailed. “He perked up immediately and was so bright but relaxed at the same time; he just did great.”

When asked about his low-penalty score, Buckner simply stated she thought the gelding’s attitude was the winning ticket.

“I think his whole demeanor was really the key, he just went in there wanting to work and wanting to please.

“We originally bought him for my sister but when she stopped riding I took over the ride,” she continued. “We started over some very small stuff like tadpole jumps and have just been taking our time moving up.”

Scarlett Peinado of Aubrey, Texas and the 11-year-old American Warmblood mare (Carrington x unknown) 50 Shades of Envy followed suit with a score of 21.6. Elkhorn, Wisconsin resident Abigail Haydam and the 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Noteworthy x What A Tattle Tale) C-Note added on 0.7 faults to round out the top three lineup.

Beginner Novice Horse

Kristine Burgess and Marisol. Xpress Foto Photo

Hugo, Montana’s Kristine Burgess displayed fancy footwork with her 5-year-old Trakehner mare Marisol to emerge victorious in the dressage phase of the Beginner Novice Horse division with a score of 25.5.

“We actually purchased her as a mount for my mom but because she is only 5 I have been putting some riding and training on her for now,” Burgess said. “We weren’t necessarily looking for another horse but the minute I saw her I sent the link to my mom anyways because she reminded me so much of the mare she already had that she absolutely adored.”

“We basically ended up buying her off a video,” Burgess laughed, “but she has already exceeded our expectations. She takes on every challenge and wants to figure it out and do the right thing.”

Laura Kosiorek-Smith of Hanoverton, Ohio and Crissteen Miller’s 7-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (Schwarzenegger x Garcia) Star Quality CSF took to second place after dressage with a penalty of 28.00. Kalie Beckers and her own 6-year-old American Warmblood mare, Calla BGF (Carush x unknown) put their best foot forward to finish with 28.3

Junior Beginner Novice 14 & Under

Laura Voorheis and Hillcrest Hop. Xpress Foto Photo.

All the way from New York, New York, Laura Voorheis put forward her best fancy footwork with Hillcrest Hop, her 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dilshaan x Queen Judy) for a first-place score of 27.1

“He is definitely my youngest horse at the moment but it has been so fun to watch him develop since buying him in December,” she commented. “He’s always been a bit feisty but he was phenomenal in the test today. His canter work has gotten a lot stronger over the past few months so I think that was one of our best movements today.”

Crestwood, Kentucky’s Larkyn Hendren showed some things really do get better with age as she waltzed into second place with her 20-year-old Arabian mare, Sandy with 29.0. Carolyn Wheeler’s 14-year-old Sport Horse mare Karisma and Maisy Sullivan added only 0.9 penalties to Hendren’s score to finish third.

Beginner Novice Amateur

Cami Pease and Vibrant. Xpress Foto Photo.

Cami Pease, Washington, D.C., leads the way for the USEA Beginner Novice Amateur Championship. She earned a respectable 24.8 with Vibrant, her 21-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Orlando x Fatima Van De Heffenk). These two are no strangers to the top of the leaderboard, they won the Beginner Novice Amateur Championship in 2018, and they’ll rely heavily on that experience in the coming jumping phases.

Emily Nichols, Greenfield, Ind., piloted Galway Girl, her 9-year-old Thoroughbred (Trifecta Scott x Blues Muse) into second place on a score of 26.3. Third place belongs to The Plains, Va.’s Sophie Ann Stremple on a dressage result of 27.3 with Dolly, the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Shannon Davis.

Beginner Novice Rider

Susan Goodman and Cinna.

It’s been 23 years since Susan Goodman, Wickenburg, Ariz., competed at the Kentucky Horse Park, and she made her return a memorable one, leading the USEA Beginner Novice Rider Championship after dressage on a 26.8.

“We did the long format, [now CCI2*-L] three-day event here in 1998. So I did get to ride around here and do the roads and tracks and steeplechase, and that was very fun,” Goodman said. “That was kind of my bucket list thing. And then I really, several years ago, I lost my older horse that I had ridden for a long time, and thought, ‘I’m done. I’m not gonna ride anymore.’ And then these girls came up with this boy for me.”

The 9-year-old draft gelding, who was picked out by one of Goodman’s daughter’s students, turned out to be the perfect fit for Goodman, who at 73 is the second oldest competitor this weekend.

“I’ve had a lot of fun on him. I’ve just, I’ve just taken it real slow. And I haven’t evented for a long time, but I’m now in my 70s and so I just have this new-to-me horse, and we’re just having fun,” she said.

Second place in the division belongs to Purcellville, Va.’s Leigh Wood and Dollar Mountain, her own 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Forestry x Formal Tango) on a 27.1 and Katherine Rutherford of White Heath, Ill. with Amazingly Lucky, her own 13-year-old Paint gelding sit in third on a 27.8.

Beginner Novice Master Amateur

Penny Welsch and Mr. Poppers. Xpress Foto Photo.

The 2021 AEC is also somewhat of a renaissance for Penny Welsch, who leads the USEA Beginner Novice Amateur Championship after dressage on a score of 25.1 with Stuart Brown’s Mr. Poppers, a 13-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding.

“It’s been almost 40 years since I evented,” Welsch, from Ocala, Fla., said. “ I never thought I’d ever step foot on this ground with a horse. You know, I just evented as a teenager, you know, and not big time then either. It was the small stuff up in New Jersey. So this is a dream come true.”

Renee Senter, Overland Park, Kan., is the second-placed rider aboard Regina, the 14-year-old Holsteiner (Regulus x Nellina), on a score of 27. Just behind on 27.8 is Amy Winnen, Rochester, N.Y., and Galatea HU, a 15-year-old Rheinland Pfalz-Saar (Galant Du Serein x Rohmanie), on a score of 27.8.

Now that dressage is over for the Beginner Novice riders they are on to cross-country tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.

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Day Three at #AEC2021: Intermediate & Prelim Champions Have Been Crowned!

Eventing Nation’s coverage of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. We want to share the joy of eventing this week, so we invite you to nominate an AEC rider for our “Kentucky Performance of the Week” contest, happening now in partnership with Kentucky Performance Products. Learn more here.

Woof, what a day at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships, presented by Nutrena! It was, quite literally, a 17-ring circus, with Novice through Advanced divisions completing one phase or another, and final scores being posted for the Intermediate and Prelim divisions. Let’s recap the action.

Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise. Photo by KTB Creative Group Photo.

$60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final

The Advanced leaderboard enjoyed a good ol’-fashioned shakeup, with Fylicia Barr of West Grove, PA, overtaking the lead with Galloway Sunrise after cross country. We posted a play-by-play of the action here.

The story of Fylicia and her horse is the stuff of little girl horse movies — she bought the now 13-year-old American Warmblood mare (Duty Officer x Coco Chanel) for $500 off Craigslist.

“She was a feral 2-year-old when I got her,” Felicia recounts. “Like, wasn’t even halter broke at the time. You know, it’s been a really, really long journey. And obviously, as a kid, my dream was always to go Advanced with her. And now she’s here. And it’s a little bit of that dream come true moment.”

Nobody made the time today, and this combination picked up only 2.4 time penalties to move from sixth into first on a score of 28.9.

“It’s thrilling. You know, to know that I brought a horse from nothing all the way up to the top level is one thing, but to be able to be competitive – it’s incredible for me to feel like all my training and time and energy is really paying off in a big way,” she said. “We grew up together, and I know this horse as well as I know myself. Heading out cross-country, I knew I had a chance to be at the top if I could be fast. And that’s where she shines.”

Buck Davidson jumped up the leaderboard with both his Advanced rides, Carlevo and Jak My Style, who hold second and third place, respectively. The Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo, a 14-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino x Ramatuelle), was the first out of the startbox and posted a clear round, adding 6.8 time penalties for a score of 31.5.

Buck put the pedal to the metal with his second ride, Jak My Style, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Kathleen Cuca. They were the fastest pair of the 39-entry division, picking up just 1.6 time penalties to sit on a score of 32 and moving up from 17th to third.

The 2019 champions, Boyd Martin and Long Island T, had been looking to defend their title, but a fall at the C element of the Kentucky Classique Coffin dashed those dreams. Martin returned later in the class with Christine Turner’s On Cue, a 16-year-old Selle Francais mare (Cabri de Elle x On High), and added 6.4 time penalties to move up from eighth to fourth. The Kentucky Horse Park has been happy hunting ground for On Cue who was the highest placed U.S. pair at the Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap, his and Jessica Payne’s 10-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) moved up from 14th to round out the top five on a 34.7. Quantum Leap was the 2018 recipient of the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant and to compete at the FEI World Young Horse Championships.

Out of the 39 starters, only nine pairs ran into trouble on the course although no one managed to finish under the optimum time of six minutes and 24 seconds. Thirty-five pairs will move forward to show jump under the lights tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m in the Rolex Stadium. In 2019 only 20 percent of the field managed to show jump clear, so the phase should prove to be influential again. However, nearly half of the previous 15 winners (7 of 15) have knocked a pole in the show jumping phase and still earned the win.

Buck Davidson and Jak My Style. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Intermediate

Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

The Intermediate division ended on a one-two finish with early favorite Leslie Law. The veteran professional had a flawless weekend on Jackie and Steve Brown’s 10-year-old Holsteiner mare (Connor x Jucy) Lady Chatterley having never missed a beat and finishing on her original dressage score of 25.5.

“She was more lit up than usual so I had a bit of a different horse today than I normally do,” Leslie said. “She was a bit sharper and more wired but she came into the ring and did her job and did it really well.”

“We have had to take our time with her because she certainly can have a mind of her own some days,” he continued. “This past year she has really come into her own though so I think she is ready to move up.”

In his first ride in the show jumping phase, Leslie went clean and steady in order to earn the reserve champion ribbon with Craig McCallum’s Typically Fernhill.

“I only got him two years ago but he too has come along quite quickly,” Leslie said of the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dondoctro Ryal K x Castlefield Sarah). “He only had about 12 months of Preliminary schooling and then he went into Intermediate at this time last year so he is very exciting as well.

“This is a wonderful venue and you know you are going to get a great course because Derek [di Grazia] is the course designer and you’ve got the terrain as well which produces a good test,” he said. “For me, it is a good measure of where my horses are and what they are ready to do.”

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Karl Slezak rounded out the top three on the 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse horse mare (VDL Arkansas x Taneys Leader) Hot Bobo by also producing a fault-free show jumping round for a final cumulative score of 30.7.

“We got this mare as a 4-coming-5-year-old and she had only done a couple of Novice events at the time but once we got her she moved along really quickly,” Karl said. “She is really just the best— she is lovely to be around in the barn and she tries her absolute best. I expected her to be a lot more impressed with the environment but she was in such a work mode.

“I was thrilled with the cross-country phase this weekend,” he continued. “She was absolutely spot on and proved to me that she is up for the task. I have several horses that do not have much Thoroughbred in them and she actually does, so, there are several more gears in her that enable her to go faster.”

Bates USEA Preliminary Rider

Sophie Miller and Quarlotta C. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

At the finale of the Bates USEA Preliminary Rider division, Sophie Miller claimed the first tricolor ribbon of the competition. She and Laurie Cameron’s homebred mare Quarlotta C (Quite Capitol x Merging), a 12-year-old Oldenburg, produced a flawless round in the Rolex Stadium leaving all rails standing and clearing the timers with room to spare.

Sophie, who was in third following the two prior phases, kept careful consideration of both the fences and the time to step out of the ring on her original 35.5.

“I was really happy with her today,” said Sophie. “She came in the ring and was a little bit lit up today with the atmosphere, but I think it actually worked in our favor for time. She can be a little bit lazy and casual sometimes but I think she grew an extra hand from all the excitement, so I was able to just stay back and out of her way while she carried a good pace.”

The victory was extra special for the pair as it was Sophie’s first time being a part of the AEC.

“It is just so awesome to be here amongst all of the top horses and riders in this sport,” she enthused. “It was really wonderful to be able to jump in the stadium and just be part of such an electric environment.”

The pair have had a busy season of preparation, only starting at the Training level at the beginning of the year but feeling confident after successfully winning their very first Preliminary event in Aiken, South Carolina.

“We competed in two Training events down in Florida before moving up to our first Preliminary which she won,” Sophie added. “She also had super runs at Pine Top and Stable View, and we were even able to squeeze in a two-star event this year so it’s been a great year and I’m so looking forward to doing more now.”

Sallie Johnson and Fernhill DiCaprio. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Sallie Johnson and her 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Finnanloon Flight x Finnan Scarlet) Fermhill DiCaprio made an impressive leap from seventh place to second by crossing the finish without adding any additional penalties to their prior score of 35.8.

“To be honest, I didn’t feel like that was my best piece of riding,” said Johnson. “My nerves definitely got to me, but my horse is amazing; he just absolutely tried his heart out and was careful enough to leave all of the fences up.”

Rebecca Hunt and Snowflake Lane. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Rebecca Hunt and Snowflake Lane joined Miller and Johnson in a clean show jumping round finish to advance from the 13th position and round out the top three on a final 37.2. The 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Dunkirk x Correoso) mare was also the recipient of the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) high point award based on cumulative points acquired over the previous days of competition.

“I got my mare straight off the track as a 3-year-old and it has really been a journey since she is 9 years old now,” Rebecca said. “She is very special to me.”

Bates USEA Preliminary Junior/Young Rider

Vienna Allport and DHI Zatopek B. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo

Determined to hold on to her pinnacle position on the final day, young rider Vienna Allport fearlessly navigated the show jumping phase with DHI Zatopek B to maintain her previous score of only 28.3 for the win.

“We had a bit of a hard rub at the first fence, but other than that the round felt great,” explained Vienna. “He was a bit of a live wire with the atmosphere, but he has a lot of experience so while he was forward, he still felt like he was riding great and jumping amazing.”

Vienna is no stranger to the competition at the AEC, but both the Preliminary height and the partnership with her gelding are new developments for her.

“I came straight off a large pony to him so it has been an adjustment, but he has all of the experience,” she stated of the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lando x Scaramouche B).

Cassie Sanger and Danger Mouse. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

In an impressive feat, Cassie Sanger snatched up the remaining podium positions with Caroline Martin’s Danger Mouse and her own Redfield Fyre respectively. Cassie had taken over the early lead of the division with the experienced 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Kannan, Danger Mouse, after the dressage phase but dropped into fourth the following day with an unfortunate eight time faults. The pair picked up the pace today to make their way to second place with no penalties in the show jumping.

“Danger Mouse is an absolutely incredible horse, and I’m so lucky to have him as I’m coming up the levels,” Cassie emphasized. “He is used to the energy and excitement here because he has done it at the upper levels so many times that as long as I can help keep him from getting tense he will perform great.”

Cassie Sanger and Redfield Fyre. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

On a roll, Cassie then calmly piloted her self-produced 8-year-old Warmblood gelding, Redfield Fyre, across another clean round which was efficient enough for the third-place honors.

“This is Redfield Fyre’s first season doing the Preliminary height so he is quite green but nothing really phases him,” she said. “I have produced him up the levels and he has really gotten so much stronger this year so as long as I ride well he is definitely able to produce a clear round.”

Elle Kay Lane and the 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Silver Charm x Do It) Double Dare earned the TIP award in the division as the top placed off-the-track Thoroughbred.

Bates USEA Preliminary Amateur

Arden Wildasin and Southern Sun. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo

Holding tight to her lead from the combined dressage and cross-country scores, Arden Wildasin defended her title as the Preliminary Amateur division champion, this time with Southern Sun. She and Sarah Wildsain’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Boherdeal Clover x Birdhill Lady) moved up in the placings from third to first after the previous day’s cross-country efforts and performed a tidy round in the show jumping phase to land on a final 24.2.

“Today’s show jumping phase was definitely nerve-wracking and we had had the technical error of not quite finishing under the time yesterday,” she detailed. “I really rode forward today especially because he can be a bit spooky if allowed to look around, but he was really right there with me the entire time today which was an incredible feeling to have after the years we have put in together.”

As for the gelding’s future, Arden plans to continue to compete him up to whatever level he is most comfortable, stating that he would tell her when he had reached the end of his comfort zone and she would always base her plans off of his best interests.

Lisa Borgia and Silmarillon. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Lisa Borgia moved up from third to second place to earn the reserve championship ribbon after a flawless round left her and Silmarillon on a total of 27.4

“He is extremely honest, but he has a little bit of first-fence phobia,” Lisa said of the 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Joey Franco x Lil Mo Rhythm). “I was really pleased to see the first fence was as inviting as it was and that gave me a lot of confidence coming into the round itself. Overall, he has been phenomenal this weekend from his dressage test Tuesday in the pouring rain to his performance today.”

Silmarillon was also the TIP winner of the division with the lowest score of 27.4.

Michelle Koppin and Calcourt Valley. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

With one unfortunate rail in the final phase, Michelle Koppin and the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Carass x Z-Whitney) Calcourt Valley dropped down to the third place position on a finishing score of 29.6.

“I am disappointed about the one rail we had but otherwise I feel like we had a pretty solid round today despite that,” Michelle affirmed. “He jumped super and unfortunately I think just took a peek at the grandstands and got a bit flat on fence four. Even so, he gave me the best feeling to be able to jump around in this big ring with how little we’ve done so far and being relatively new to each other. I’m very blessed he is such a genuine horse.”

The winning Preliminary ATC Team. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Arden managed to manufacture a double-victory in the Adult Team Championships as team Wild Kat Nellies consisting of Arden Wildasin with Southern Sun and Tokyo Drift, Wisti Nelson and Mr. Barron, and Katlyn Hewson-Sleazak with Fernhill Choco Royale totaled a final team score of 95.9 for the win.

Bates USEA Preliminary Horse

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Seasoned professional Liz Halliday-Sharp and her talented mount, Shanroe Cooley, held the lead all the way to the very end in the Preliminary Horse division. From the start, the 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dallas x Shanroe Sapphire) set himself apart from the crowd, picking up a lead of almost two points over the rest of the division with 28.5 and maintaining flawless performances in the remaining phases.

“He is an incredibly unique young horse in the way that he is not phased by a big atmosphere or energy,” said Liz. “This was a huge class and obviously I came here hoping to do well but it’s even nicer to have been able to lead from the start.”

No stranger to producing top horses, Liz has big goals for the Ocala Horse Properties’ gelding. “I think the world of this horse and there is no doubt in my mind he has a really big future. Richard Sheane of Cooley Farms looked me dead in the eye when I got him and said ‘you aren’t going to want to sell this one’ and he was definitely right.”

Martin Douzant and Olympus. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Martin Douzant piloted the 6-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding Olympus (Ferro x Kallisto) up to second place from the sixth position by clocking in under the time allowed with no jumping faults to maintain his original score of 30.4.

“We have had Olympus since he was a 2-year-old so he has been a part of our program for a long time now,” Martin stated. “It is so rewarding to see him being successful at this level now

After a successful upbringing with Douzant, plans are in the works for Olympus to return to owner Gillian Kingsbury at the end of the season.

“I am so thrilled, this has been a wonderful way to finish our partnership and season,” Douzant finished.

Dana Cooke and FE Quattro. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo.

Dana Cooke and FE Quattro made the biggest leap of the division, trading in their position at the 12th spot to take the yellow ribbon. She and Diana Crawford’s 7-year-old German Warmblood gelding rounded out the top three fault-free scores with a final penalty of 31.4.

“I acquired FE Quattro basically the first week he got to the United States as a 5-year-old and he has quickly proven to be a very fancy little guy,” commented Dana. “He has taken a little bit of time to mature mentally but he really stepped up this weekend and was quite good everywhere.”

Dana added, “I think he has hopefully a good career ahead of him to return to this event and then potentially to be on the team for the Canadians at some point down the road.”

Vetoquinol USEA Modified

Julie Wolfert and Namibia. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Though Julie Wolfert says dressage is Namibia’s best phase, the 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Tizway x Kitty Tracks) stepped up to the plate on cross-country Thursday, achieving a double clear round to hold the lead of the inaugural Vetoquinol USEA Modified Championship.

“He was pretty good out there. Yeah. I mean, he was stellar — foot-perfect. Probably his best round ever,” said the Bucryus, Kan. resident of her ex-racehorse. “There were a few jumps still early on that you really couldn’t see until about two strides away because of the sun. And so I was a little worried you wouldn’t read it, but he was on game. It was really great exposure for him.”

Wolfert and Namibia carry a two-phase score of 25.2 into show jumping.

The top three remain the same after the second day. Fall Creek, Ore.’s Audrey Ogan and Second Amendment, a 6-year-old Dutch Harness Horse (Colonist x Allie) owned by Ogan, added nothing to their score of 27.6. Martin Douzant, of The Plains, Va., keeps third on a score of 28.5 aboard his own Beall Spring Seahawk, a 6-year-old Swedish Warmblood by Shakespeare RSF.

Training Amateur

Lisa Niccolai and KC’s Celtic Kharacter. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Lisa Niccolai almost didn’t make the trip from East Thetford, Vt. due to concerns about the weather following Hurricane Ida, but after Thursday’s cross-country, she’s pretty glad she did. Piloting her own KC’s Celtic Kharacter, a 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding (Kharacter C x Tessa), she steps into the lead of the USEA Training Amateur Championship.

Lisa has had the big-bodied chestnut since he was 3, and now she feels like the partnership is rock solid. “That’s made a huge difference for us to like. We’ve done everything together. So we know how he’s going to respond to things, and he’s really stepped up this year and kind of said, ‘I get it. I understand the game now,’” she said.

The pair went fault-free to stay on their dressage score of 27.6. “We’ve had trouble making the time in the past. And I was a little nervous about that, but he was beautiful galloping, and he just opened up and had a great time,” she said.

Tracey Corey and Katherine Rivera share second place on the identical score of 28.3 with both having gone double clear on cross-country. Corey, Ocala, Fla., is piloting Byrnwyck West, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred (Devil His Due x Heirloom Wish), and Rivera, Hempstead, Texas, is partnered with her 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Dream Boy M x Highland Lady C) Hvl Hocus Pocus.

Training Horse

Lauren Lambert and Biscotti. Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Laurent Lambert and Biscotti, Elizabeth Rader’s 9-year-old Rheinland Pfalz-Saar gelding (Beniditto x Hey Nurse) held on to their first place position in the day’s cross-country phase. Confidently navigating Derek di Grazia’s turf track inside the optimum time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds, Lambert held on to his dressage score of 24.3 and will attempt to do so in tomorrow’s show jumping element.

Both Lauren Nicholson and Lynn Symansky successfully piloted their mounts to an uneventful finish over the track to hold on to their second and third place titles respectively. Nicholson is aboard Jacqueline Mars’ 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Windfall x Ferari) Windchase Starfire in tomorrow’s show jumping phase while Lynn Symansky rides Linda Graves and Alice Lawaetz’ 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding Bounce 6 (Balou Du Rouet x Fillana).

Junior Training

Shelby Murray and Reverie GWF. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Yesterday’s leader in the Junior Training division Shelby Murray and Laurel Ritter’s 9-year-old Oldenburg mare (Rotspon x Chatari) Reverie GWF added 0.4 to their original 22.0 but managed to maintain a five point lead following cross-country.

The runner-up was previous third-place holder Isabella Novak and Jessica Novak’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Don Diamond Girl) Dreamliner on a total of 27.2. Riegelsville, Pennsylvania’s Juliana Cassar tied with Novak for the title on her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding.

USEA Training Rider

Amanda Ruane and Castle’s Boy. KTB Creative Group Photo.

Amanda Ruane overtook previous class leader Lauren Alexander in the day’s Training Rider division with her own Castle’s Boy. Ruane and the 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Windsor Castle x Ladies) made it through the track without fault to hold on to their original dressage score of 29.7.

Katie Sisk and the 5-year-old Hanoverian mare (Rapture R x Demonet’s Darling) Long Legs Lenore elevated their position from third to second after also producing a fault-free effort over all obstacles and finishing on 30.7. Amanda Smith and Martha Lambert’s 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Majestic Warrior x Gaslight Gossip) landed in third with 31.1 penalty points.

Tomorrow the attention turns to the Rolex Stadium as the Modified and Training riders finish their weekend with show jumping.

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New Horsemanship Award at Chedington Bicton Park CCI5* Celebrates Excellent XC Riding

William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

At the 2020 FEI Eventing Risk Management Forum, it was noted that more could be done to positively emphasise good quality cross country riding, rather than only call out bad or dangerous riding. Now one company has acted on the discussion, creating a new Horsemanship Award to be made at this week’s Chedington Bicton Park CCI5* Horse Trials.

2TheBarn has worked with Andrew Fell, the Event Director of the UKs first CCI5* competition since that FEI meeting, and William Fox-Pitt, Rider Representative on the FEI Eventing Committee, to establish this Horsemanship Award.

The Horsemanship Award will be presented to the rider, who, in the opinion of Captain Mark Phillips, the Bicton 5* course designer, demonstrated excellent cross country riding, appropriate to the course, their horse and the conditions, showing good judgement, riding with
respect and using their head. In addition to a trophy, the rider presented with the Horsemanship Award will also receive a £300 cash award.

Andrew Fell said that “this year has been a year of firsts and I am delighted that we will be the first 5* competition to highlight and praise exceptional equestrian ability in the phase that is unique to our sport, the cross country. We would like our sport to be more widely viewed and
as such it is important that we encourage and show the best of our sport to this wider audience. I hope that this Horsemanship Award, kindly presented by 2TheBarn, will go some way to highlight to those aiming to compete at this level what is expected of them.”

As an experienced and successful competitor at this 5* level, William Fox-Pitt concurred that “whilst it is correct that officials warn against or even sanction poor cross country riding, until now there has not been a formal way to recognise, celebrate and make an example of those cross country rounds that should be held up as an example of ‘what to do and how to do it’.”

2TheBarn is the Global Equestrian Platform for equestrian transactions and information. It is used by organisations, groups and riders to manage bookings, facilities hire and training; as well as being a unique marketplace for equestrian lifestyle brands to showcase and retail their products direct to consumers.

The Inclusion & Accessibility Legacy of the 2020 Tokyo Equestrian Park

The Baji Koen Equestrian Park was the venue for the majority of the equestrian events during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo by FEI/Christophe Taniere.

The Baji Koen Equestrian Park has won plaudits from the international equestrian community for the top notch facilities that have played a key role in the high quality of competition during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But the Japan Racing Association (JRA) which owns and run the facilities, has far reaching plans to ensure barrier free access to equestrian sport.

JRA has worked towards the development and preparation of the Equestrian Park, not just with the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in mind, but also with a view to boosting the long term development of the sport.

“We began planning the re-development of the venue even before Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” adviser to the JRA’s horse-affairs division Takahiro Nishio explained.

“The Equestrian Park was not initially built to cater to the specific needs and requirements of people with disabilities. But through our preparations for the Paralympic Games, we have gained a better understanding of what we need to do to create a safe and welcoming structure which allows people with different impairments to fully enjoy all that equestrian sport has to offer.

“All our development plans have been created to include accessibility requirements for people with disabilities so that the Equestrian Park, which also functions as a city park, can bring clear benefits to our community even after the Paralympic Games have ended.”

Opened in 1940, the Equestrian Park was created to provide training for riders and horses, and to host equestrian competitions as well as educational and training programmes. The venue was scheduled to host the equestrian competitions at the 1940 Olympic Games which were cancelled on account of war. It was a natural choice for the equestrian events at the Olympic Games that were subsequently held in Tokyo in 1964.

While the original plan for equestrian put forward by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee was for a temporary venue in the Tokyo Bay area, the JRA and the Japanese Equestrian Federation (JEF) pushed for the alternative which was to reuse the 1964 Olympic equestrian venue at Baji Koen. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) were in full support of this as the Equestrian Park would deliver a more tangible and useful legacy for equestrian sport in Japan.

Post Paralympic Games, the JRA has ambitious plans to create pathways and programmes that allow riders engaged in therapeutic programmes to gradually move into Para Dressage competition. There are currently only a few therapeutic riding clubs in the country and the JRA wants to put in place the necessary structures that will allow these programmes to develop across Japan.

“The JRA has provided athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games with some incredible facilities in which to compete,” FEI Director of Games Operations Tim Hadaway said.

“JRA has gone over and above with their support and have provided specialists like veterinarians, farriers, footing maintenance staff and equestrian instructors. Through their  affiliated companies, the JRA also provided feed and bedding, transportation of competition horses and turf maintenance advice for the field-of-play on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course to ensure the best possible conditions for the equestrian competitions. 

“All the work the JRA has done to date is laying a solid foundation for the development of Para Equestrian sport in Japan and they have led the way by example, through their support of the Japan Para Dressage team.”

Mitsuhide Miyaji, Sho Inaba, Katsuji Taskashima and Soshi Yoshigoe are the four members of the Para Dressage team who trained and prepared for the Paralympic Games at the Equestrian Park and with the full support of the JRA.

Mitsuhide Miyaji, 63, used to work as an assistant trainer at the JRA before he suffered a stroke in July 2005 and was left without feeling on the right side of his body. Tokyo 2020 is his second Paralympic Games after Rio 2016, where he was the only equestrian representative from Japan.

A former jockey with the JRA, Katushi Takashima, 28, was injured during a race that left the right side of his body paralysed. He participated in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and Tokyo 2020 was his first appearance at a Paralympic Games.

Twenty six year-old Sho Inaba, who made his Paralympic debut in Tokyo 2020, was born with cerebral palsy that affected his lower limbs and he took up riding at the age of eight for rehabilitation in his hip joint. He represented his country at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 where he finished 14th.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was also a first for 21 year-old Soshi Yoshigoe who is a student at Nippon Sport Science University. He took up horse riding as part of his rehabilitation programme but it was not until high school that he became interested in Para Dressage. Encouraged by the President of his University and colleagues, he has made his mark on the Para Equestrian scene in Japan.

All four athletes hope that the Paralympics will be the catalyst for the continued development of Para Equestrian and other disability sports in Japan.

“Until now, there has been little recognition of Para Sports in this country,” Mitsuhide Miyaji said.

But the Paralympics have been a good opportunity for many people to learn about Para Equestrian and for them to see how people with various disabilities can get involved in the sport.

“There was no coverage of Para Equestrian Sport in Japan when I took part in the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016. But in the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, there have been many live broadcasts in Japan because of the collaboration between the JRA and Green Channel, the Satellite Broadcasting Foundation for Horseracing, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“This has allowed people to see for themselves what the sport has to offer. Also by having so many people in Japan involved in the organisation of the Paralympic Games, it has helped change the perception of Para Equestrian sport in the country.”

US Equestrian Announces Re-Opening of Bidding for 2023-2027 CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L & Advanced

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 at the 2020 Tryon International Three-Day Event. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The CCI4*-L competitions on the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar have been approved by the USEF Board of Directors and publicly announced via press release. The USEF Eventing Bid Review Group is continuing to evaluate the Bid Applications received for the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L and Advanced levels for 2023-2027.

USEF has approved an additional round of bidding to occur. A bid process will open on Friday, August 27 and close on Friday, September 3 for the following weeks:

Week 7: Week 7 will re-open for bidding to one Advanced level event in Area 6.

Week 14: Week 14 will re-open for bidding to one CCI4*-S and Advanced level event in Area 2 or Area 3.

Week 18: Week 18 will re-open for bidding to one Advanced level event in Area 3 and one CCI3*-L level event in Area 5.

Week 21: Week 21 will re-open for bidding to one Advanced level event in Area 6.

Week 23: Week 23 will re-open for bidding to a CCI4*-S or Advanced in Area 6 and 7.

Week 26: Week 26 will re-open for bidding to an Advanced level event in Area 7.

Week 27: Week 27 will re-open for bidding to a CCI4*-S and Advanced level event in Area 2. This week is intended to serve as a preparation competition for the Olympic Games and other Championships.

Week 28: Week 28 will re-open for bidding to an Advanced level event in Area 2.

Bids from organizers who submitted a bid for any of the weeks indicated above in a previous round of bidding are still under consideration.

Bid Applications will only be considered for the weeks indicated above and must meet the criteria of those weeks. To be considered, a complete Bid Application must be submitted by Friday, September 3 to [email protected]. A complete Bid Application must include:

1. Bid Application
2. Application for License Agreement
3. Map of the venue with diagram of the layout of the proposed Event
4. Revenue and expense budget outline for the Event, including known sponsorship
5. Optional: Letters of support or additional documentation for consideration

For more information of the calendaring process and access to the bid application, visit the U.S. Eventing Calendar Process webpage. If you have questions, please email [email protected].

Great Britain Defies the Odds to Take Spectacular Paralympic Team Title

Celebrations on the podium at Equestrian Park tonight at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with the winners of the team competition. L to R: Rixt van der Horst – Findsley, Sanne Voets – Demantur, Frank Hosmar – Alphavile (NED) Silver medalists; Lee Pearson – Breezer, Sophie Wells – Don Cara M, Natasha Baker – Keystone Dawn Chorus (GBR) Gold medalists; Kate Shoemaker – Solitaer 40, Roxanne Trunnell – Dolton, Rebecca Hart – El Corona Texel (USA) Bronze medallists. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Suspense and pure grit were on display tonight as Great Britain claimed the Tokyo 2020 Para Dressage Team gold medal, continuing their seemingly unbreakable hold on the title which started in Atlanta 1996. The trio of Sir Lee Pearson (Grade II), Natasha Baker (Grade III) and Sophie Wells (Grade V) scored 229.905 to finish just 0.656 ahead of The Netherlands’ 229.249. And in another momentous shift in the sport, USA took the bronze medal with 224.352, making this their first Paralympic Team podium finish, and the first time the podium hasn’t been made up of all European teams!

How it works

There are three athletes per team. Each Grade competes separately in its own Team Test, with each horse and athlete combination performing a series of pre-determined movements, which differ by Grade. The combined results of each of the teams’ three athletes determine the overall score and the team with the most points wins gold. The competition was run over two days, starting with the athletes from Grades I, II and III performing on Saturday, leaving Grades IV and V to seal the deal today.

Here’s how the day unfolded

At the beginning of the day, the competition was shaping up to be a showdown between the three podium winners, with Great Britain having the slight advantage over the USA, with both countries having two tests already completed.

Natasha Baker with Keystone Dawn Chorus GBR. Team competition. Grade 3.

The Grade V Team test was won by Belgium’s Michele George on Best of 8. She scored 77.047% to put her country into medal contention too.

A crucial score of 75.651% for Sophie Wells (GBR) proved to be a massive boost for her country’s chances of winning, while Frank Hosmar (GBR) on Alphaville N.O.P. posted 74.814% to keep things neck and neck between the two countries.

At the start of the Grade IV Team Test, the British had completed all their rides, leaving the USA and The Netherlands with the knowledge of how much their last two athletes would have to score to beat them.

First up was Kate Shoemaker (USA) on Solitaer 40. She scored 71.825% to put the USA in silver medal position.

Sanne Voets then entered the arena on Demantur N.O.P. and knew she needed to score 78.136% to beat Great Britain. Four minutes later she left, and her score was announced, a massive personal best of 78.200%. However, between the calculation of what was needed to win, and Sanne’s test, Sophie Wells’ score was confirmed slightly higher than the provisional score given earlier, thus handing Great Britain the closest of wins. It could not have been any closer, it could not have been more historic.

Speaking after their medal ceremony, Natasha Baker tried to sum up how the team felt. “I don’t think any of us expected that in a million, trillion, gazillion years to be honest. We’re all so immensely proud of everything our horses have done in the last few days.”

“We had no expectation that we could achieve that” Sophie Wells added. “We genuinely thought it was impossible in the most realistic way. We all had horses that have never done this or been against anyone else. The Dutch are so strong and secure on their horses and we’re not.”

Michele George riding Best of 8 BEL. Gold medal position.

“We haven’t even got any championship horses on this team,” said Lee Pearson.

Team Leader Georgia Sharples paid tribute to the team saying: “I just think these guys are undefeated Paralympic champions but in a whole new context. You’ve heard about the inexperienced horsepower, but never underestimate these guys and what a job they did out there on that field of play.”

The Netherlands were equally enthused by their silver, and the closeness of the competition.

“We’ve been working towards this for five years,” said Sanne Voets, “and this is where you want to perform at your best and, if you can succeed at that you can’t be disappointed.

“There was so much pressure. When we saw the order to go and I realised I was the last rider of the three countries who were expected to win I knew I would know the score needed for team gold.”

And despite coming into the Games as hot favourites for the title, there was delight and relief with bronze for the USA as well, especially Rebecca Hart, who has competed at four Games now.

“I don’t have words right now, she said. It was such an amazing competition and so close. A real nail-biter to the very end. I am so incredibly blessed and happy to be standing here with these two amazing riders. To finally, after so many years, be able to stand on that podium as a country, it’s a lifelong dream come true.”

After the drama of the Team competition, the Para Dressage competition at Tokyo 2020 comes to an end tomorrow, when the top eight individual riders in each Grade take to the arena to dance in the ever-popular Freestyle competition. The five medals will come thick and fast in what will doubtless be another fascinating, exciting and potentially historic end to a brilliant Paralympic Games for Para Dressage.

Key links
#WeThe15
Toyko 2020 Para Equestrian pages
FEI Paralympic Games History Hub

Great Britain Names Six-Strong Squad for European Championships

Sarah Bullimore and Corouet get the Euros call-up, six years after the gelding’s dam, Lilly Corinne, contested the 2015 European Championships. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Following their runaway victory at Tokyo, British Equestrian has named the six horses and riders who will fly the Union Jack at the forthcoming European Eventing Championships, set to take place in Avenches, Switzerland, from September 22-26.

The squad of six has been named in alphabetical order, with a further announcement expected in due course to specify which four combinations will be part of the team and which two will represent Great Britain as individuals.

  • Sarah Bullimore (48) based in Keysoe, Bedfordshire, with the Kew Jumping Syndicate, Brett Bullimore and her own Corouet (chestnut, gelding, 10yrs, 15.2hh, Balou du Rouet x Lovis Corinth, Breeder: Sarah Bullimore GBR, Groom: to be confirmed)
  • Rosalind Canter (35) based in Hallington, Lincolnshire, with Caroline Moore and her own Allstar B (bay, gelding, 16yrs, 17hh, Ephebe For Ever x Erkstein, Breeder: FAJ Van der Burg NED) and as a direct reserve, Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo (bay, gelding, 9yrs, 17hh, Grafenstolz x Rock King, Breeder: Lordships Stud Writtle College GBR, Groom: Sarah Charnley)
  • Kitty King (39) based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, with Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker’s Vendredi Biats (grey, gelding, 12yrs, 16.2hh, Winningmood x Camelia de Ruelles, Breeder: Phillipe Brivois FRA, Groom: Chloe Fry)
  • Piggy March (40) based in Maidwell, Northamptonshire, with John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Inocent (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 16.3hh, Inocent x Kings Servant, Breeder: John Mulvey IRL, Groom: Amy Phillips)
  • Izzy Taylor (38) based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, with Mark Sartori and her own Monkeying Around (bay, gelding, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Bertoli W x Donnerhall II, Breeder: Christian Heinrich GER. Groom: Rebecca Ross)
  • Nicola Wilson (44) based in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, with Deirdre Johnston and James and Jo Lambert’s JL Dublin (dark brown, gelding, 10yo, 16.2hh, Diarados Cheeky Boy x Cantano, Breeder: Volker Coettsche-Goetze GER, Groom: Ruth Asquith)

Performance Manager Richard Waygood says, “I’m very excited about this selection for the Europeans. It invests in the here and now and in the future by providing development opportunities for potential combinations for Paris and beyond.”

Helmed by reigning World Champions Ros Canter and Allstar B, the squad features some of the country’s best horses and a selection of young up-and-comers being produced for the next Olympic cycle. They’ll head to Avenches with the aim of repeating this summer’s gold medal success and bettering the silver medal won by the British squad at the 2019 European Eventing Championships, held in Luhmühlen, Germany.

Two New Paralympic Equestrian Champions Crowned in Tokyo

Individual Grade I medal ceremony at Equestrian Park, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. L to R: Rihards Snikus – King of the Dance (LAT) silver, Roxanne Trunnel – Dolton (USA) gold, and Sara Morganti – Royal Delight (ITA) bronze. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

The second day of Para Dressage competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw the remaining two Grades, I and III, battle for the Individual Test titles and the important qualification slots for the upcoming Freestyle To Music test.

A twist of fate would have it that both victors were new to the top spot of the Paralympic podium, a feat which is easier said than done, given the longevity of some Para Equestrian careers and the experienced athletes they faced in the impressive Baji Koen arena today.

Roxanne rocks in Tokyo classic

An imperious performance from Roxanne Trunnell (USA) secured her first ever Para Dressage global title at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games today. Currently World No.1 across all five Grades, Roxanne won the Grade I Individual Test with a massive score of 81.464% with her mount, Dolton.

The silver medal went to Rihards Snikus (LAT), a keen DJ known as DJ Richy Rich to his friends, who was first into the arena and laid down a challenging score of 80.179% on King of the Dance. Reigning FEI World Equestrian GamesTM champion Sara Morganti (ITA), took bronze on Royal Delight with 76.964%. It is a medal that is especially sweet for her, as her horse failed the vet inspection at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Speaking after her Test and medal ceremony, Roxanne said, “Dolton felt like he was really with me and was really a good boy. He surprised me with how calm he has been. It’s been wonderful at the Games. Everyone is so nice and helpful.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg for Dolton. He’s so young and he’ll be able to do so much more. It means a lot to me as well. It was very nice up there. We had our own little group of people that looked happy.”

As the World No. 1, Roxanne holds two World Records for the highest scores in a Freestyle Test (89.522%) and in Grade I Team Test (84.702%). Roxanne came to these Games with huge expectations placed on her shoulders. She remained, however, unfazed. “I don’t think about pressure – that’s all just noise to me,” she added. “It’s just me and Dolton doing our own thing. He is loving all the attention, it’s fun. He’s a goofy young horse, he’s temperamental but also easy to get along with.”

Tobias has golden debut

As debut Games go, it’s fair to say that Tobias Thorning Jorgensen (DEN) is having a good one. In his first ever ride in a Paralympic Games arena, he won the Grade III Individual Test with a score of 78.971%, on Jolene Hill.

In doing so, he dethroned two-time Grade III Paralympic Champion, Natasha Baker (GBR), who came second on Keystone Dawn Chorus, with 76.265%. Bronze went to current World Champion Rixt van der Horst (NED) on Findsley N.O.P. with 75.765%.

“It was amazing, it really was,” Tobias said, beaming after his test.

“I was so focussed all the ride but on the last turn I just had this feeling it was great. I was so happy I just smiled.

“I knew that Rixt and Natasha would be my biggest opponents and are always coming to take the medals but I also knew that, if I find my best, I could take the medal. I knew I had to do that.

“Jolene is a mare. If I don’t ask her first she just gives me the finger and says ‘You can do something else’. In my warm-up I ask her ‘Is this OK?’ and then in the arena she is there for me. If I ask her correctly, she will go through fire for me.”

Dream teams and teams of dreams up next

Tomorrow sees the start of the Team competition – run over two days – and is likely to be one of the closest in the history of Para Dressage at the Paralympic Games. USA as World No. 1 will want the gold to seal their meteoric rise, while Great Britain and The Netherlands will be working hard to deny them that.

Following the second day of competition and the completion of the Individual Test, Great Britain still tops the leaderboard, adding a silver to their tally today with one gold, two silver, and a bronze, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, USA and Denmark, who have picked up a gold medal over the past two days.

All results here

First Individual Medals Awarded at Tokyo Paralympic Games

This report was compiled from USEF and FEI press releases.

Pepo Puch (AUT) silver, Lee Pearson (GBR) gold, and Georgia Wilson (GBR) bronze on the podium at the grade 2 individual medal ceremony. Photo Copyright © FEI/Liz Greg

TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES – PARA DRESSAGE INDIVIDUAL TEST GRADE II, IV, V

They came, they saw, they conquered. Some of the world’s most experienced and decorated Para Dressage athletes took to the stunning Baji Koen arena today for the first competitions and medals of the Equestrian Events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Emotions were running high, as were temperatures, but everyone kept their cool for the first individual medals up for grabs in Grades II, IV and V – and the all-important qualification for the top eight ranked athletes in each Grade earning their spot in the Individual Freestyle to Music test which takes place on Monday 30 August.

Lee Pearson riding Breezer (GBR). Gold medal position. Photo by FEI/Liz Gregg.

Sir Lee Pearson, the world’s most decorated equestrian Paralympian, does it again… 

In an emotion packed first day of competition, Sir Lee Pearson (GBR) collected his 12th Paralympic gold medal at his sixth Paralympic appearance since 2000 at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park, winning the Grade II Individual Test.

Lee rode his home-reared Breezer to the title with a score of 76.265% to finish ahead of Pepo Puch (AUT), who rode Sailor’s Blue to score 73.441%. These two highly experienced athletes are used to tussling for the top spot, with Pepo claiming Individual gold in Rio ahead of Pearson and vice versa for the Freestyle medals.

Georgia Wilson (GBR) picked up a fairy tale of a bronze medal on Sakura, with 72.765%. She was the team’s reserve rider and was called to the Paralympic Games just two weeks ago, when her teammate Sophie Christiansen was forced to withdraw due to a veterinary issue with her horse.

Speaking after his ride, Lee said “I am very, very emotional. I cried on the second X on hold in the arena. It’s been such a long journey. Breezer is a horse who I’ve had since he was born. I am also a Dad myself now, and that has also made me more emotional.

“I didn’t think having a home-bred horse would give this a little extra meaning but it has. I saw him at hours old in a field and to complete that test, which at my last test event I did not complete, that added to the emotion.”

Sanne Voets riding Demantur (NED). Gold medal position. Photo Copyright © FEI/Liz Gregg.

Sanne gets the missing gold

There was more emotion on display when Sanne Voets (NED) won the Grade IV Individual Test, the one gold medal missing from her collection of European, World and Paralympic titles.

Sanne scored 76.585% on Demantur N.O.P, which was the highest score of the day, while Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA) took the silver medal on Don Henrico with 74.659%. Belgium’s Manon Claeys marked her Paralympic debut with a bronze medal, scoring 72.853% on San Dior 2.

“I think my face pretty much told it,” said Sanne. “I’m just over the moon with him. He still amazes me every day and he travelled here well. When you enter the stable and you see he’s happy, relaxed and at ease, you realise again that’s what is most important.

“Of course you’re here to perform at your very best and you want to win medals, but there’s always one thing more important than the result, and that’s just your horse being happy.

“But when you are sitting on a horse like that, there’s no way you cannot smile and not enjoy your test.”

Michele George riding Best of 8 (BEL). Gold medal position. Photo Copyright © FEI/Liz Gregg.

Seventh heaven for Michele George

The last medal of the night went to Michele George, in just her seventh competition with Best of 8. She scored 76.524% to finish ahead of Sophie Wells (GBR) who rode her reserve horse, Don Cara .M to an impressive 74.405% in his first ever overseas competition. Frank Hosmar (NED) took the bronze on Alphaville N.O.P., with 73.405%.

Michele wore the gloves and boots she wore at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at which she won the Grade V Freestyle, with a silver in the Individual Test, on the late FBW Rainman.

“I’m really proud of my mare and I enjoyed the ride,” she said. “And this is for me the most important thing, that I could come home and say I’ve done everything I could. She had a beautiful performance and she gave her best. Best of 8 gave her best!

“She did great half passes and I think she had a very nice extended canter as well. So it’s amazing. I can’t find the right words to express how impressive it was for me. It is a once in a lifetime experience.”

Photo courtesy of US Equestrian.

Team USA 

The U.S. Para Dressage Team saw its first two combinations head down the center line at Equestrian Park in Tokyo, Japan, opening the first day of equestrian competition at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Beatrice de Lavalette and Clarc were the first combination to contest the Grade II Individual Test in the main stadium, earning a 70.265 percent, while Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 closed out the evening of competition with a 70.854 percent as the last combination in the Grade IV Individual Test. Both combinations qualified for their Grade’s FEI Individual Freestyle to Music on Monday, August 31.

De Lavalette and Clarc, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Elizabeth & Nicholas de Lavalette, made their first Paralympic debut, complete a solid test to open Grade II competition. The pair earned a 70.265 percent from the ground jury to put them into fifth place in Grade II competition. They are also the first U.S. combination to break the 70 percent mark in a Paralympic Games, setting an early tone for the team rides ahead.

“It was a very enjoyable ride,” said de Lavalette of her ride with Clarc. “I went through my test about a thousand times. I wasn’t really nervous, but just excited. The excitement took over and I knew my test, I knew my horse was right, and we were together and in sync, so I couldn’t be happier with the ride.”

De Lavalette (Lake Worth Beach, Fla.) has said that competing at the Paralympic Games and representing her country is one of the main motivating factors in her incredible recovery and return to sport following the 2016 Brussels Airport bombings. Riding her recently acquired mount, Clarc, de Lavalette commented on the meaningfulness of the Paralympic journey and what it felt like to make her international championship debut.

“It is such a great honor to be here representing the U.S. at this competition and being able to have fun with my horse out there after five years of fighting for my life. It was really very emotional for me at the end,” she explained. “Setting the goal of being here five years ago when I was in the ICU was a dream and being here today is a dream realized and I couldn’t be happier. I’m very proud of myself and my team because without them I wouldn’t be here.”

Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Deena, Craig, & Kate Shoemaker are also making their Paralympic debut after contesting their first major international championship with the U.S. Para Dressage Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. The pair earned a 70.854 percent from the judging panel in an extremely competitive first day of Grade IV competition, placing them seventh out of 15 competitors.

“I’m really pleased with my horse, though a little bit disappointed with the score of course since we had hoped to be in the medals and I felt our ride today was quite good, but all I can do is be happy with my performance in the ring and I absolutely love my horse to pieces,” said Shoemaker after her test. “The energy in there was phenomenal. It just gives you a sense of power and the horses can feel it and it’s just so much fun.”

Shoemaker (Wellington, Fla.) and Solitaer 40 have been partnered together for the entirety of both of their international careers and achieving this selection to the U.S. Para Dressage Team for the Paralympic Games is the highlight for Shoemaker and her team. Working through the 2020 and 2021 seasons to continually improve their marks in both the Individual and Team tests, the pair have become a consistent combination for the team.

“We’ve been showing together for a while now and this is the end of our seventh year together. It’s a partnership that’s been a long time coming,” added Shoemaker. “He loves championships and when you add that little bit of energy, he really turns into something special and it’s a feeling like none other.”

More medals up for grabs

At the end of day one of the competition, Great Britain top the Para Dressage medal table with one gold, one silver, and a bronze, with The Netherlands and Belgium close behind on one gold and a bronze each.

There are a total of 11 sets of medals being contested at the Para Equestrian Events of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games across the five Grades – five Individual, five Freestyle to Music and one overall team medal.

Tomorrow will see the Grades I and III Individual Test medals decided. Roxanne Trunnell, the world Number One in Grade I and across all five Grades will be aiming for her first Paralympic title, while in Grade III look out for a real tussle for the medals between the likes of Natasha Baker (GBR), Tobias Thorning Jorgensen (DEN), Rixt van der Horst (NED) and Rebecca Hart (USA).

Results here.

Tokyo Paralympic Games Set for Fiercest Para Dressage Competition Yet

Japan’s Grade IV athlete Katsuji Takashima and his horse Huzette pose for a selfie after the Para Dressage horse inspection at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (FEI/Liz Gregg).

On the 25th anniversary of the introduction of Para Dressage in the Paralympic Games, the field of 77 athletes from 26 countries in Tokyo promises to be the most competitive yet.

Expect to see fierce competition in the arena as reigning champions go head-to-head to defend their titles, while newcomers and seasoned campaigners look to upset the odds and take their place on the podium.

The Equestrian Park at Baji Koen will be the focus of fantastic sporting performances, finesse and artistry over five days of competition. The athletes are not just here to look pretty in the arena, they’re here to get the gold medals they want so desperately.

And everyone has their eye on the top prize in the Team competition, which will see 15 nations compete for the honours. Great Britain have been the title holders since the competition started at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta 1996. And, while they remain a strong contender at Tokyo 2020, they face their toughest challenge yet from the Netherlands and Team USA.

The Netherlands come into Tokyo 2020 as the current World and European champions and it’s no secret that they are keen to add the Paralympic title to that roster. Fielding a team full of individual World and European champions, they remain a hot tip to do just that.

Team USA currently top the FEI Para Dressage Paralympic Team Ranking and their charge for gold will be led by overall individual world number one, Roxanne Trunnell. Building on strong performances at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon (USA), the team has since developed into a Para Dressage powerhouse with high hopes for Tokyo 2020.

Paralympic Games always have an element of surprise and, with just three athlete/horse combinations, team results could turn on the smallest of margins. With Germany, Denmark, Australia, and Belgium in the mix too, it is difficult to predict the outcome.

There are five Grades that make up the Para Dressage competition, with Grade I athletes having the most impairment, and Grade V the least. Grade I athletes compete at walk only, Grade II at trot, and Grade III and above can canter.

While Grade I should be dominated by Roxanne Trunnell, she faces stiff competition from World and European medallists, including current double World champion Sara Morganti (ITA). Singapore’s most decorated Paralympian, Laurentia Tan, will want to add to her medal collection, and World number two, Rihards Snikus (LAT), is due a Paralympic podium finish too. Look out for the current European champion, Jens Lasse Dokkan (NOR), who is the only Para Dressage athlete to have competed at every Games since Atlanta 1996.

Lee Pearson (GBR) and Pepo Puch (AUT) went head-to-head for medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 and constantly tussle for the top spot whenever they compete together. Puch is currently the World number one in Grade II, with Pearson third. Extra frisson has been added to this competition with the last-minute inclusion of Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson. Ranked second in the World in the Grade and the athlete who famously beat Puch for the Freestyle title at the FEI European Championships 2019 – her first major competition – she was called up to the British team following the withdrawal of Grade I athlete Sophie Christiansen.

It’s going to be a tight tussle at the top in Grade III, which includes Rio 2016 Individual, Freestyle and Team gold medallist Natasha Baker (GBR), as well as Rixt van der Horst (NED), who won Individual, Team and Freestyle gold medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon (USA). Joining them will be Tobias Thorning Joergensen (DEN), who took Individual and Freestyle gold at the FEI European Championship 2019 in Rotterdam, and is currently ranked number one in the Grade III Para Dressage World Individual Ranking. Also included in the mix is Rebecca Hart (USA), the world number two in this Grade, as well as Emma Booth (AUS), and van der Horst’s teammate and Paralympic debutant, Maud De Reu (NED).

Grade IV could prove to be the hottest ticket at the Para Dressage competition, as Sanne Voets (NED) bids to add Paralympic gold to her European and World titles. Riding the brilliant Demantur N.O.P., Voets has come out of the pandemic year looking stronger and more confident than ever. However, Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA), runner-up to Voets in the Individual and Freestyle Tests at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, will be hot on her heels. They will face competition from Kate Shoemaker (USA), who picked up a Freestyle bronze in Tryon 2018.

In Grade V, Michèle George (BEL) will be looking to add to the Freestyle and Individual gold medals from London 2012 and Freestyle gold in Rio 2016. Her country’s flagbearer at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games’ Opening Ceremony, she is here in Japan with a new horse, Best of 8.

For many years now, the Grade V has been dominated by George, Sophie Wells (GBR), and Frank Hosmar (NED). The trio will be vying for a place on the podium again this week, but will need to look out for the likes of Regine Mispelkamp (GER), Natalia Martianova (RPC), and George’s teammate Kevin Van Ham (BEL).

Competition gets underway on Thursday 26 August and runs to Monday 30 August. The forecast is for hot weather, and hot competition too.

Dutch Team Named for FEI Eventing European Championships

Merel Blom and The Quizmaster. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The following press release has been translated from Dutch. Please forgive any translation errors.

National coach Andrew Heffernan will take a relatively ‘young’ Dutch team to the European Senior Eventing Championships, from September 22 to 26 in Avanches, Switzerland. However, the coach who lives in Great Britain opted for routine, which is clearly present in this TeamNL.

In addition to veteran Merel Blom, a team of experienced young riders has been selected by Andrew Heffernan for the European Championship eventing in Avenches. He chose Sanne de Jong, Aliene Ruyter and Jordy Wilken, all three of whom were part of the team that finished second in Haras du Pin’s FEI Nations Cup last week. Three riders that were regularly part of the Dutch teams in their junior and young riders period and have already gained the necessary experience in various Nations Cup competitions. Sanne de Jong and Jordy Wilken were also on stage earlier at the Dutch National Championships in Boekelo. They will be joined in the European Championship team by their contemporary Janneke Boonzaadjer, who represented TeamNL at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Janneke was also present in Haras du Pin, but she did not compete in the Nations Cup with her Olympic horse Champ du Tailleur who was enjoying his holiday.

Merel Blom is the most experienced member of the team. This will be her fourth European Championships for the rider. TeamNL at the European Championships consists of four combinations, the fifth will start individually.

The selection is also a great success for the KNHS Talent Team, Janneke Boonzaadjer is currently still part of the Talent Team and both Sanne de Jong and Jordy Wilken were previously members of this select group of talents.

National coach Andrew Heffernan is looking forward to the European Championship, “The Team Spirit was great in Haras du Pin, I am looking forward to working with this group again in Avanches.”

Merel Blom (35, Aalten)
The Quizmaster (v.Albaran xx), KWPN, 12 years old
Owner:Blom Sports Stables en Stal Hulsman B.V.

Janneke Boonzaaijer (24, Renswoude)
ACSI Champ de Tailleur (v.Quidam de Revel), KWPN, 14 years old
Owner: H.J.C. Roozendaal en Lieke van der Werf

Sanne de Jong (26, Aalsmeer)
Enjoy (v.Cartano), KWPN, 12 years old
Owner: Sanne de Jong en Jantien van Zon

Aliene Ruyter (25, Opheusden)
Bomba (v.Verdi), KWPN, 15 years old
Eigenaar: A.J Ruijter

Jordy Wilken (27, Olst)
Burry Spirit (v.Casco), KWPN, 15 years old
Owner: J. Wilken

FEI Eventing European Championships: [Website] [EN’s Coverage]

Want to Level Up Your Riding at Home? Check Out the Newly-Launched RideiQ App

McKinsey Lux (Ride iQ Co-Founder) and Leslie Law filming for RideIQ lessons.

Ride iQ launches new app to give equestrians broad access to the world’s best coaches
Launching with a mobile app, Ride iQ members will have access to a library of 100+ on-demand audio lessons taught by world-class coaches

Ride iQ launched its membership and mobile app today. As the first audio-focused training platform for equestrians, it offers something completely new to riders: the opportunity to get on-demand instruction while they ride. It is the equestrian-equivalent of Peloton’s guided runs. Ride iQ is currently focused on English disciplines with coaches who specialize in eventing, hunter/jumpers, and dressage. Ride iQ membership costs $29.99/month or $249/year.

Ride iQ provides affordable, unlimited access to world-class coaching for more enjoyable, safe, and productive schooling. While the Ride iQ mobile app and audio lessons are the foundation of the business, other membership benefits include access to live virtual Office Hours with Ride iQ coaches, the private Ride iQ Facebook group, and private Ride iQ podcasts. Ride iQ’s team is dedicated to compassionate horsemanship and effective training and seeks to elevate the global standards for equestrian partnerships and performances.

“If I had something like this as a kid growing up in the sport that could have kept me focused and inspired, it certainly would have helped me a lot. I think it’s that access not only to good instruction, but motivation.” – Jon Holling, 5-star event rider

Kyle Carter taking a lesson from Dennis Mitchell for a Ride iQ recording.

Members get unlimited access to a library of 100+ audio lessons that can be selected based on topic, preferred coach, experience level, and more. Ride iQ lessons cater to all levels and focus on:

  • Mastering a specific skill
  • Improving a horse’s way of going
  • Perfecting a dressage test, movement by movement
  • Training a green horse
  • Improving rider position and use of aids
  • Exercises to achieve the desired outcome

Lesson examples include Walk Canter Transitions with Ema Klugman, a green horse progressive program with Jon Holling, Improving Unsteady Connection with Doug Payne, OTTB warmups with Holly Hudspeth, dressage test playbooks with Peter Gray, and Using Ground Rails for Stride Accuracy with Leslie Law.

Ride iQ lessons are not meant to replace in-person lessons, but instead provide support during independent schooling rides. Currently, schooling rides lack guidance and rely on a rider’s existing knowledge and abilities; with Ride iQ, those rides can be a source of improved understanding, helpful exercises, new insights, and better experiences for horse and rider.

“I’ve said it for years: this is an information game. There’s a reason that the majority of medal winners are over 35 in this sport. It’s not because we get healthier, it’s because we’ve accrued more knowledge.” – Kyle Carter, Olympic event rider

Ride iQ provides everyday riders access to an elite level of coaching that is currently only accessible to a small minority of equestrians. By giving broad access to exceptional coaching, Ride iQ will raise the standard for safer riding and better performances.

“I really think that through programs like Ride iQ and others, it’s a way we can help spread good training techniques and it will benefit everybody.” – Peter Gray, Olympic event rider and top-level dressage judge

Ride iQ coaches include:

  • Leslie Law
  • Lesley Grant Law
  • Ema Klugman
  • Holly Hepp Hudspeth
  • Peter Gray
  • Jennifer Carter
  • Jonathan Holling
  • Doug Payne
  • Kyle Carter
  • Dennis Mitchell
  • + more coaches will be added regularly after launch

Ride iQ was founded in 2021 by sisters McKinsey and Jessa Lux. McKinsey and Jessa grew up eventing in Minnesota. Wanting to move up the levels, both sisters moved their horses to Ocala, Florida during high school to work with Kyle and Jennifer Carter, now their partners in Ride iQ.

“I transferred to online school for high school so I could move to Florida and train with the best coaches. Had Ride iQ existed, I would’ve had the necessary resources to pursue my passion in my hometown in Minnesota. There are riders all over the world that want to be great and do right by their horses, but they simply do not have the necessary mentorship or tools to do so. Ride iQ can change that. – McKinsey Lux, Ride iQ Co-founder and amateur Eventer

CCI4*-L Competitions Announced for 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee (Board) to host the CCI4*-L level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. All U.S. Organizers were invited to bid to host the CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L and Advanced levels through a bid process. Only venues that submitted bids to host the CCI4*-L level were considered for the CCI4*-L dates.

The host competitions and their 2023 dates are as follows:

  • April 22, 2023 – Twin Rivers Spring International (Paso Robles, California)
  • May 13, 2023 – Tryon Spring International (Mill Spring, North Carolina)
  • July 22, 2023 – The Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, Montana)
  • October 14, 2023 – Morven Park Fall International (Leesburg, Virginia)
  • November 4, 2023 – Galway Downs International (Temecula, California)
  • November 18, 2023 – The Event at TerraNova (Myakka City, Florida)

The approved CCI4*-L bids met the criteria outlined in the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L & Advanced Policies & Procedures. The USEF Eventing Bid Review Group provided their recommendation to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee and USEF International Disciplines Council prior to Board approval.

The USEF Eventing Bid Review Group is in the process of reviewing the bids to host the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L and Advanced competitions on the 2023-2027 Eventing Calendar. The allocation of the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L and Advanced levels is expected be announced by the end of September.

Please refer to the U.S. Eventing Calendar Process webpage for all information regarding the Eventing Calendar Process.

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US Equestrian Announces FEI Eventing Nations Cup Team for Military Boekelo Enschede

Graphic via US Equestrian.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the combinations selected to the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands CCIO4*-L at the Military Boekelo Enschede in Enschede, Netherlands from October 7-10, 2021. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander.

“I am looking forward to taking this team to Boekelo, as any of these combinations can be ready for the FEI Eventing World Championship in 2022, Pan American Games in 2023 or Olympic Games in 2024,” said Duvander. “Part of their development is to have team experiences. This is an area where we are behind as a country in comparison to other competitive nations.”

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been selected to represent the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands CCIO4*-L and are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, Pa.) and FE Lifestyle, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Nina Gardner and Tim Gardner
  • Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.) and QC Diamantaire, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens
  • Matt Flynn (Ocala, Fla.) and Wizzerd, a 12-year-old KPWN gelding owned by A. Patrick Flynn, Kathleen Flynn, and Merry Go Round Farm
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Danito, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Ruth BleyT

The following combinations have been selected as alternates and are listed in ranked order.

  • Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.) and Trendy Fernhill, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elyse Eisenberg
  • Hallie Coon (Ocala, Fla.) and Global EX, her own 11-year-old KWPN mare

BE Announces Nominated Entries for FEI Eventing European Championship

Ros Canter (GBR) and Allstar B. Photo by Sally Spickard.

British Equestrian and the British Eventing selectors can today confirm the 18 horse and rider combinations that will form their list of nominated entries ahead of the FEI Eventing European Championship, set to take place at Avenches, Switzerland, from 22–26 September this year.

Nominated entries, listed in alphabetical order by athlete surname:

  • Sarah Bullimore (48) based in Keysoe, Bedfordshire, with the Kew Jumping Syndicate, Brett Bullimore and her own Corouet (chestnut, gelding, 10yrs, 15.2hh, Balou du Rouet x Lovis Corinth, Breeder: Sarah Bullimore GBR)
  • Rosalind Canter (35) based in Hallington, Lincolnshire, with Caroline Moore and her own Allstar B (bay, gelding, 16yrs, 17hh, Ephebe For Ever x Erkstein, Breeder: FAJ Van der Burg NED) and Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo (bay, gelding, 9yrs, 17hh, Grafenstolz x Rock King, Breeder: Lordships Stud Writtle College GBR)
  • Kirsty Chabert (32) based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with John Johnston and Carole Somers’ Classic IV (bay, mare, 12yrs, 16.1hh, s. Calvaro FC, Breeder: P. Charles GBR)
  • Emilie Chandler (40) from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, with Maria Doel’s Gortfadda Diamond (brown, gelding, 12yrs, 16.2hh, Water Valley Cool Diamond x Glacial Storm, Breeder: Sean Thomas Lydon IRL)
  • Laura Collett (31) based in Salperton, Gloucestershire, with Keith Scott, Nick How and her own Mr Bass (bay, gelding, 13yrs, 16.2hh, Carrico x Exorbitant XX, Breeder: Henning Heinz GER)
  • Kristina Cook (50) based Findon, West Sussex, with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy the Red (chestnut, gelding, 14yrs, 16.1hh, Balou du Rouet x Stan The Man XX, Breeder: Michaela Weber-Herrmann GER)
  • William Fox- Pitt (52) based in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, with Jennifer Dowling and his own Little Fire (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 17hh, Graf Top x Heraldik, Breeder: Dr. Volker Steinkraus GER) and the Oratorio Syndicate’s Oratorio (brown, gelding, 12yrs, 16.3hh, Oslo Biats x Topanoora, Breeder: R. Jenks GBR)
  • Pippa Funnell (52) based in Dorking, Surrey, with Jonathan and Jane Clarke’s MGH Grafton Street (bay, gelding, 13yrs, 16.2hh, s. OBOS Quality, Breeder: Padraig and Lucy McCarthy GBR) and Barbara and Nicholas Walkinshaw’s Billy Walk On (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 16.3hh, Billy Mexico x Golden Bash, Breeder: Donal Barnwell GBR)
  • Yasmin Ingham (24) based in Nantwich, Cheshire, originally from the Isle of Man, with Janette Chinn and Sue Davies’ Banzai Du Loir (chestnut, gelding, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Nouma D’Auzay x Livarot, Breeder: Pierre Gouye FRA)
  • Kitty King (38) based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, with Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker’s Vendredi Biats (grey, gelding, 12yrs, 16.2hh, Winningmood x Camelia de Ruelles, Breeder: Phillipe Brivois FRA)
  • Piggy March (40) based in Maidwell, Northamptonshire, with John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Inocent (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 16.3hh, Inocent x Kings Servant, Breeder: John Mulvey IRL)
  • Harry Meade (37) based in West Littleton, Wiltshire, with Mandy Gray and his own Superstition (bay, gelding, 12yrs, 16.1hh, s. Satisfaction FRH, Breeder: Eva Meier GBR)
  • Izzy Taylor (38) based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, with Mark Sartori and her own Monkeying Around (bay, gelding, 10yrs, 16.2hh, Bertoli W x Donnerhall II, Breeder: Christian Heinrich GER)
  • Oliver Townend (38) based in Ellesmere, Shropshire, with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class (bay, gelding, 16yrs, 16.2hh, Ramiro B x Master Imp, Breeder: John Hagan IRL)
  • Nicola Wilson (44) based in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, with Deirdre Johnston and James and Jo Lambert’s JL Dublin (dark brown, gelding, 10yo, 16.2hh, Diarados Cheeky Boy x Cantano, Breeder: Volker Coettsche-Goetze GER)

Selection decisions are subject to the athletes and horses maintaining fitness and performance, and this list may be amended at any stage.

The selected squad of six combinations, plus reserves, will be announced on or around 27 August.

[British Equestrian]