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US Equestrian Offers Health Insurance Benefits to Members & Discounted Membership Fee

Earlier this year, US Equestrian launched a  new health insurance benefits program for members, including options for medical, dental, vision, life, disability, business, pet, and more. These benefits are accessible to all competing members and paid-fan members.

In an effort to provide emergency relief, US Equestrian is offering a discounted fan membership now through June 1. Members with a free promotional fan membership can upgrade, and new members can join, for just $20 with the discount code RELIEF. Click here to find out more and to sign up.

US Equestrian’s insurance benefits give members Affordable Care Act compliant insurance benefits at discounted rates typically only given to large employers.

Members can also take advantage of Teladoc service for just $8.95/month. This service gives members access to licensed physicians over phone or video chat, eliminating the need to visit an office for certain healthcare needs, including prescriptions.  For those enrolling in an individual medical plan, telemedicine service is included at no additional cost.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer these insurance benefits to our members,” says Kelly Bolton, Director of Human Resources for US Equestrian. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that access to health care is a serious concern for many Americans, especially those who may not have employer-based insurance benefits. We are able to offer our individual members affordable group rates, and small business owners can enroll to provide coverage for their employees. Additionally, our Teladoc service allows members to consult with a licensed physician without physically visiting a medical facility.”

We believe our members should have the opportunity to access affordable health coverage and are proud to offer this comprehensive benefits plan to all paid USEF members. With the rollout of this new program, US Equestrian has created a dedicated 24/7 member benefit hotline, where benefits specialists can help you navigate the different coverage plans that best fit you and your business. To reach the USEF member benefit hotline, call 1-800-349-1082.

In addition to insurance benefits, fan members of US Equestrian receive access to on-demand and live event streaming from the USEF Network; educational videos from the US Equestrian Learning Center; US Equestrian Magazine; MemberPerks discounts on a wide variety of products and services; and more. To access these benefits as a fan member, use the discount code RELIEF through June 1, 2020.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s new member benefits, please visit or call our 24/7 dedicated member benefits hotline at 1-800-349-1082.

FEI Creates New Policy for Calculating World Rankings During Covid-19 Outbreak

As part of its measures aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar, the FEI has put in place a new policy for calculating the world rankings from 1 April until the Calendar returns to normal. The new policy was initially discussed with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) specifically for the Longines Jumping Rankings, but will now be used for each of the disciplines where a rolling 12-month period is used for the calculations.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the period during which ranking points remain valid in Jumping (Longines Rankings), Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage will be prolonged by one month and will continue to be prolonged for an additional month with each new ranking until the competition calendar returns to normal.

Points earned in ranking competitions at events that take place during the current Covid-19 affected period will continue to count, and the maximum number of results that count for each athlete will remain, ie for the Longines Jumping Rankings best 30; Dressage best eight; Eventing and Para Dressage best six.

Rankings for the other FEI disciplines – Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are calculated on a fixed period (calendar year or other fixed period) so they will remain untouched. The change to the Driving Rules that means the discipline rankings will be based on a rolling 12 months does not come into effect until 1 January 2021.

For Jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage, the following system will apply:

– The rankings established after 29 February 2020 remain unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020)

– The rankings established after 31 March 2020 have been calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)

– The rankings established after 30 April 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 30 April 2020 (points valid for 14 months)

– The rankings established after 31 May 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2020 (points valid for 15 months)

– and so on until the competition calendar returns to normal.

A working group will recommend to the FEI Board at what point the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal worldwide. As of that date, the rankings will continue to be calculated over the extended timeframes above, guaranteeing there will always be at least 12 months of normal competitions included in the calculation of the rankings.

The new system provides a level playing field for all our athletes as ranking points can still be earned in countries where the sport is able to continue, regardless of the length of time the current situation lasts, but athletes in countries where the sport is on hold will not lose points. An athlete’s ranking points can only improve, not decrease during this period, as the relevant number of best results in each discipline still applies.

Twelve months after the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal globally, the timeframe during which ranking points remain valid will be decreased by one month with each new ranking until the standard 12-month rolling timeframe has been reached.


USEF Recommended Competition Suspension Extended Through May 3

Logo via US Equestrian.

Dear USEF Members and Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers),

We are all anxious for equestrian sport to start up again and for our families and friends to return to their normal lives pre-COVID-19 Pandemic. We also understand the financial pain that this is having on so many in our industry. We, too, at USEF are feeling that pain. However, we are not through this yet. The pandemic continues to cause unprecedented impact throughout the world. The Las Vegas World Cup Finals were canceled. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are being rescheduled. So, we must all work diligently to address the situation. We greatly appreciate those of you who have joined us in our community-wide effort to responsibly address the COVID-19 virus outbreak by canceling competitions and choosing not to compete during this critical period. This is the only way to flatten the curve of this virus and let us all get back to some level of normal. So as promised, here is an updated position on USEF competitions.

The original 30-day suspension that became effective March 16, 2020, is being extended through May 3, 2020. Effective today, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities will be suspended through May 3, 2020 consistent with recommendations by the CDC. Due to the importance of keeping the members of our equestrian community and their families safe, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country and that equestrians do not compete for this same time period. For those competitions that choose to run and can do so in accordance with the CDC, State, and Local recommendations, there will be no accumulation or points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF award programs, USEF owned events, or selection to a US team during this time period. This includes USEF National Championships.

Again, we are cognizant of the ramifications that extensions have on the lives of our members, support personnel and the events that fall within this time period, and the significant impact they have on qualifications for, and the operation of, major events that might be occurring later in the year. With that in mind, our President, Murray Kessler, has already informed me he intends to use his Presidential Modification authority to waive mileage rules and allow for major events to be rescheduled later in the year and has instructed us to develop a fair method for altering qualifications for these events. With that direction, USEF has already implemented mechanisms to provide for flexibility and the ability to make necessary modifications to responsibly manage the competition calendar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are engaging with organizers daily and continue to review situations on a case-by-case basis.

Important Reminder: If you need to cancel a license or have questions about postponing your event to another date, please contact Katlynn Sacco at [email protected]

We continue to closely monitor the situation and we pledge to keep you informed about any updates to our position as circumstances warrant or as instructed by Public Health authorities.

Equine Coronavirus vs. COVID-19: Two Distinctly Different Diseases

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is equipped with secure isolation stalls and follows strict biosecurity measures. Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

The recent spread of the novel coronavirus has raised serious concerns as the status continues to evolve. As equine veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic would like to address the questions and concern raised by horse owners regarding the potential impact of this disease on the equine industry.

Coronaviruses include a large group of RNA viruses that cause respiratory and enteric symptoms, and have been reported in domestic and wild animals. Equine Enteric Coronavirus and COVID-19 are both coronaviruses, however, they are distinctly different viruses.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious disease experts, and multiple international and national human and animal health organizations have stated that at this time there is NO EVIDENCE to indicate that horses could contract COVID-19 or that horses would be able to spread the disease to other animals or humans. Equine enteric coronavirus and COVID-19 are NOT the same strain, and there is no indication that either are transmissible between species.

Therefore, it is important to concentrate on the health of our equestrians by being precautious and following recommendations from public health officials. Palm Beach Equine Clinic will continue to make every effort to stay informed on the developments with COVID-19, and will continue to provide expert veterinary care to all horses regardless of the status of this disease.

A Profile of Equine Enteric Coronavirus

Equine coronavirus is an enteric, or gastrointestinal, disease in the horse. There is NO EVIDENCE that equine enteric coronavirus poses a threat to humans or other species of animals.

  • Transmission: Equine coronavirus is transmitted between horses when manure from an infected horse is ingested by another horse (fecal-oral transmission), or if a horse makes oral contact with items or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected manure.
  • Common Clinical Signs: Typically mild signs that may include anorexia, lethargy, fever, colic or diarrhea.
  • Diagnosis: Veterinarians diagnose equine enteric coronavirus by testing fecal samples, and the frequency of this disease is low.
  • Treatment and Prevention: If diagnosed, treatment is supportive care, such as fluid therapy and anti-inflammatories, and establishing good biosecurity precautions of quarantining the infected horse. Keeping facilities as clean as possible by properly disposing of manure will help decrease chances of horses contracting the virus.

Information for this notice was compiled using the following sources: Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center and American Association of Equine Practitioners, Equine Disease Communication Center.

[Jump Media]


Teams Announced for USEF Futures Team Challenge at Carolina International

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the eventing athletes who will participate in the USEF Futures Team Challenge, a two-day training program and unofficial team competition, at the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial, held March 19-22 in Raeford, N.C.

Launched in 2019, the USEF Futures Team Challenge is a key component of the U.S. Eventing Pathway Program and gives two teams of four athletes the opportunity to compete in a simulated team competition under the guidance of U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander and U.S. Developing and Emerging Coach Leslie Law.

Athletes applied to compete in the USEF Futures Team Challenge and were recommended by the Performance Advisory Team for approval to an Ad Hoc of the Eventing Sport Committee. Based on the selection criteria for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™, athletes were selected based on their results, potential, willingness to learn and commitment to developing into future team athletes.

Erik Duvander’s Team:

  • Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) with Danger Mouse, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin, or Islandwood Captain Jack, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin (CCI4*-S)
  • Dan Clasing (Lovettsville, Va.) with MW Gangster’s Game, a 10-year-old Anglo European gelding owned by Dan Clasing (CCI4*-S)
  • Allie Knowles (Lexington, Ky.) with Ms. Poppins, a 9-year-old Westphalian mare owned by Katherine O’Brien, Business Class, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien, or Morswood, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien (CCI4*-S)
  • Ellie O’Neal (Reddick, Fla.) with Zick Zack, an 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare owned by Sally Cox (CCI3*-S)

Leslie Law’s Team:

  • Fylicia Barr (West Grove, Pa.) with Galloway Sunrise, a 12-year-old American Warmblood mare owned by Fylicia Barr, Shannon Barr and Daniel Barr (CCI4*-S)
  • Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.) with C’est La Vie 135, a 12-year old Hanoverian gelding owned by Woods, Kim, and James Baughman (CCI4*-S)
  • Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.) with Trendy Fernhill, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elyse Eisenberg (CCI3*-S)
  • Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) with Oskar, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Alyssa Phillips and Julie Phillips (CCI4*-S), with Bliss III, a 14-year-old KWPN mare owned by Alyssa and Julie Phillips, as a direct reserve (CCI3*-S)

“Yet again it was a very good group of combinations that put their names forward for selection,” Erik Duvander, U.S. Performance Director, said. “I believe both Leslie and I have strong teams, and I look forward to working with the athletes in a learning and competitive team environment.”

“This is a great opportunity for the athletes to learn and gain experience riding on a team before they potentially have the opportunity at a championship,” Leslie Law, U.S. Developing and Emerging Coach, said. “This is similar to how the Europeans use the Nations Cup series to develop their athletes.”

The USEF Futures Team Challenge will expand to the West Coast at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Temecula, Calif. Applications for Galway Downs will open in September.

“We hope to see the USEF Futures Team Challenge grow to include additional competitions in future years so more athletes have the opportunity to practice competing in a team environment,” Jenni Autry, U.S. Managing Director of Eventing, said. “We are incredibly grateful for the support we received from the USET Foundation to launch this program and are actively looking for increased support and potential sponsors so we can continue to expand the program.”

Learn more about the Carolina International at

Stay up to date on U.S. Eventing by following USA Eventing on Facebook and US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram. Use #USAEventing.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

[Teams Announced for USEF Futures Team Challenge at Carolina International]

The Fork at TIEC BN Through Training Divisions Cancelled Due to Storm Damage

2019 The Fork at TIEC CCI4*-S winners Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography courtesy of TIEC.

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) has announced today that it is excited to welcome the return of The Fork at TIEC Eventing competition on April 2-5, 2020. However, due to recent storm damage on the course, the Training, Novice and Beginner Novice Divisions for The Fork at TIEC will not be held this year.

Captain Mark Phillips visited TIEC this week to review the course conditions and begin the design phase. Phillips’ review confirmed that the course is in great shape to run the Modified, Preliminary, Intermediate, Advanced and FEI levels (CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI1*-S). Stay tuned to the TIEC website and Facebook page for event updates and course pictures in mid-March. TIEC looks forward to hosting all levels on the White Oak Course for the Blue Ridge Mountain H.T. on Sept. 12-13, 2020.

The Fork at TIEC will occur alongside Tryon Welcome 3 on April 2-5, which has recently been upgraded to A Hunters/Level 3 Jumpers. This upgraded rating brings all Tryon Welcome Series shows to the A or AA level, offering Hunter/Jumper competition from March 19 through April 12.

Both lodging and stall discounts are available if booked by March 10, with similar offers available for the Tryon Spring Series when booked by April 1. Visit to learn more.

EN Tip: Looking to re-route from The Fork at TIEC to another event in the Tryon area? FENCE H.T. in nearby Landrum, SC, takes place the following week, April 11-12, 2020. WindRidge Farm H.T. in Mooresboro, North NC, is also nearby, and takes place May 9-10.

The Fork at TIEC: Website, Entry Status

[Modifications to The Fork at TIEC]

153 Eventing Entries Accepted for 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover

2019 competitors Remember Gizmo and Kendal Lehari — eventers, represent! Photo by CanterClix.

The journey officially begins today for 616 accepted entries, representing 604 unique trainers and teams, on the road to the Retired Racehorse Project’s 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. The 2020 event will take place at Oct. 7-10 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The Thoroughbred Makeover is a retraining competition open to professionals, juniors and amateurs to compete side-by-side. Ten disciplines of competition are offered, including barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, polo, ranch work, show hunter, show jumper, and freestyle (a free-form discipline to demonstrate skills of the trainer’s choice). Horses can compete in one or two of those disciplines. We’re proud to see that eventing is the most represented group, with 153 entries!

A few household eventing names we spotted on the accepted trainers list: four-star eventer and national-level Pony Club coach Richard Lamb, four-star eventer Emma Lomangino, retired Breeders’ Cup-winning jockey turned eventer Rosie Napravnik, and five-star eventers Sally Cousins, Katie Ruppel, Erin Sylvester and Cathy Wieschhoff. Shout out also to 2019 EN Makeover bloggers Clare Mansmann, one of the hardest working and most heart-on-their-sleeve OTTB advocates in the biz, as well as Lindsey Burns, a true inspiration who is also heading back to Kentucky in 2020! Speaking of which, we’ll be scouting out a fresh batch of bloggers to chronicle their journeys to this year’s Makeover — if interested, email us at [email protected]

The five top-placed horses in each discipline after preliminary competition will return for the Finale on Saturday, where they will compete once more to determine final placings. A panel consisting of all of the judges from the 10 disciplines will determine the overall Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, selecting the best-trained horse from the 10 discipline winners. A popular vote placed by spectators watching both in-person and online via live stream will determine a People’s Choice winner, who wins the right to direct a donation to an equine charity of their choosing.

2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Cowboy Swagger, trained by Fallon Taylor. Photo by CanterClix.

Accepted trainers are encouraged to register their horses at as soon as they acquire them. Horse registration closes on July 31, but registration upon acquisition allows the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) to better gather data on horses in the Makeover process.

The application process for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover required trainers to demonstrate their skills and expertise through competition results, videos and references, as well as a letter from a vet stating that the applicant had the necessary skills and knowledge to appropriately care for a horse transitioning off the track. The RRP’s selection committee took into consideration both candidates’ ability to effectively retrain an off-track Thoroughbred and candidates’ commitment to the RRP mission of promoting off-track Thoroughbreds in second careers.

“Every year that we run this event, we learn more about how to make it that much better of an experience for those involved, and 2020 will be no exception,” states Kirsten Green, Managing Director. “Our staff continue to devote themselves to providing resources to our trainers and fostering a community of like-minded equestrians that support one another throughout the year on the road to Kentucky — and beyond. This year, while we welcome strong numbers of first-time applicants to the community, we also cheer on alumni trainers who are developing their Makeover graduates as recreational or competitive partners.”


Harry Caldwell and Silken Lady (grey) and Buck Schott and Great Reward (chestnut) in the polo chukker on Finale Saturday. Photo by Anne Litz.

The Makeover has historically attracted a broad cross-section of the horse industry, represented by junior, amateur and professional equestrians, as well as teams. The great equalizer at the Makeover are the horses: eligible Thoroughbreds competed in 2020 will all come from similar backgrounds, with no more than 10 months of retraining for a second career and all having raced or trained to race within the past two years.

This format allows all trainers — the juniors, amateurs, professionals and teams preparing the horses — to compete side-by-side on equal footing. Juniors and amateurs routinely enjoy great success at past Makeovers with multiple top-five finishes; the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Old Tavern was trained by junior Charlie Caldwell.

Trainers for 2020 have signed up to bring a total of 670 horses. The full list of accepted trainers for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover can be found at the event website:

New for 2020, the RRP has added a waitlist for entry into the Thoroughbred Makeover: with the uncertainty of training green horses, the length of time between acceptance of trainers and Final Entry, and the fact that some horses sell before the Makeover, the RRP listened to trainer feedback to develop a wait list process that allows late applicants a chance at competing. While the wait list does not guarantee final entry into the competition, it widens the impact of the Makeover and helps more horses transition into second careers. Trainers interested in applying to the waitlist should contact the show secretary at [email protected]

“The entry process for the Makeover has always been ten months prior to the event for a number of reasons, including simple logistical purposes and to chronicle the training journeys of our competitors and their horses to the public,” said Jen Roytz, executive director of the RRP. “Just as we know that situations can change over the course of a year that could prevent someone from bringing a horse to the event, we understand that opportunities can also arise in which a trainer could gain the opportunity to train a horse for the Makeover that they could not have foreseen at the time of application. The waitlist will be based on a combination of scratches and entries in the various disciplines, and hopefully will allow more horses and riders the chance to participate in the Thoroughbred Makeover.”

The Makeover Marketplace allows buyers to watch, try, vet and buy in one location in one weekend. Photo by Giulia Garcia.

For riders seeking a well-started off-track Thoroughbred for competition or pleasure, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace will return, offering buyers the unique opportunity to watch a horse compete, trial ride and vet all in one location. Over 100 horses are expected to be entered in the Marketplace.
In addition to a weekend of Thoroughbred competition and celebration of what makes the off-track Thoroughbred great, the Makeover also offers ample opportunity for education for both trainers and the public: educational seminars and panel discussion will take place on Friday, October 9, as well as the Makeover Master Class. Structured similarly to popular colt-starting competitions but without the competitive aspect, the Makeover Master Class offers spectators the opportunity to watch experienced off-track Thoroughbred trainers assess a prospect’s conformation and movement, as well as demonstrate their process for initial training and first rides. A vendor fair provides plenty of shopping as well!

“The Thoroughbred Makeover is much more than a competition. It’s a coming together of the Thoroughbred aftercare community,” said Roytz. “We are incredibly thankful to our sponsors, who not only make this event possible, but who encourage us to expand it every year in ways that will further serve those who love and serve our horses after racing. It is thanks to our sponsors, competitors, volunteers, staff and others that the Thoroughbred Makeover is touted as one of the key drivers for the resurgence of Thoroughbreds in the sport horse world.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover is the flagship event for the RRP, a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to increasing the demand for and value of Thoroughbreds in their careers after racing. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover.

The RRP is a membership-based organization and an engaged membership base is key to furthering the organization’s mission. Individual membership is $45 annually and includes a subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, discounts on merchandise and Thoroughbred Makeover tickets and more. For more information or to join, go to

A few more fun stats:

2020 Thoroughbred Makeover Things to Know:
▪ The competition is open to any Thoroughbred that raced or had a published work after July 1, 2018, and did not start retraining for a second career before Dec. 1, 2019.
▪ Trainers indicate a primary (and optional secondary) discipline on their applications, but are free to change disciplines as the competition approaches and they learn their horses’ strengths. A horse can compete in up to two disciplines, and a trainer can compete a maximum of two horses.
▪ Trainers do not need to have obtained the horse they intend to compete at the time of their application. Some trainers have already obtained their Thoroughbred Makeover mounts, but many are still searching. Trainers may begin registering their horses today, but have through July 31 to complete horse registration.
▪ Participation in the Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace sale is entirely voluntary, but many trainers take advantage of the extra exposure to market their prospects. All sales are private contracts between individual trainers and buyers; the RRP is not involved and receives no commissions.

Equestrian Canada Names 2020 Eventing National Team Program Riders

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Equestrian Canada has named its Eventing National Team riders for the new year, splitting the list into the National Squad and the Developmental Squad. A total of 20 riders have been selected between the two squads, and the focus of this program for 2020 will be individual qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. Canada has the option to fill two individual spots for the Olympics this year.

The National Squad consists of pairs “committed to and capable of producing individual performance results at international 4* and/or 5* competitions, and who show the ability to contribute to a top six team result at major games.” The National Squad list is as follows:

The Developmental Squad is made up of pairs “committed to and capable of progressing to National Squad. Horse-and-athlete combinations named to the Development Squad are those which have achieved targeted performance results at eligible international competitions in the previous 12 months.” The Developmental Squad is as follows:

The Equestrian Canada National Team Program for eventing is led by Technical Advisor, David O’Connor with the support of and Equestrian Canada Eventing High Performance Advisory Group and Eventing Manager Fleur Tipton.

“We are very pleased to announce the talented athletes and horses that comprise the 2020 High Performance Squad,” Rob Stevenson, Chair of the EC Eventing High Performance Advisory Group, said in the announcement release. “We feel that this list reflects the progress fostered by David’s technical leadership. The Squad riders will have the opportunity to train with him throughout the year, most notably at the training sessions that are taking place in Ocala, FL, throughout the winter months. The two training sessions to date have been keenly attended and highly successful as we look to hone the skill base of our riders and horses.”

The National Team Program provides a pathway that supports the progression of targeted Canadian athletes in the Train to Compete and Learn to Win stages of the Long-Term Equestrian Development (LTED) framework to achieve international podium performances. It is aligned with EC’s high performance strategy and supported by funding partners, Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

[Equestrian Canada Announces 2020 Eventing National Team Program Athletes]

Introducing the All-New Eventing Radio Show featuring Jon Holling and Rick Wallace

The Jon and Rick Show debuted to much appreciation from eventing fans the world over earlier this year, and this week the show takes on an even bigger presence as the newly refreshed Eventing Radio Show. You may recall the Eventing Radio Show with longtime hosts Max Corcoran, Joe Meyer, Liz Halliday-Sharp, and Paul Tapner — the most established show of its kind in the eventing space. Now, the show will go on with Jon and Rick at the helm supported by the Horse Radio Network as well as EQTV Network.

“I am excited to welcome some new voices to the Eventing Radio Show,” Horse Radio Network founder Glenn Hebert said in a press release. “Jon and Rick bring years of Eventing experience and terrific dynamic to the longest running Eventing podcast in the world. We also want to thank Max Corcoran, Joe Meyer, Liz Halliday, Paul Tapner and the ERA for their years of hard work to make the show into the success it is. We are looking forward to 10 more years of Eventing Radio Show.”

The Jon and Rick Show was a brainstorm idea between Jon Holling, Rick Wallace and Louisa Barton of The Horse Talk Show. The new Eventing talk show began creating a lot of buzz and with the new format launching today, Jon and Rick are excited with the possibilities.

The Jon and Rick Show has also joined forces with Joel Wiessner of EQTV Network who will be providing all the media streaming production for the show. The show will air twice a month as a media streaming show, available on social media platforms starting February 13 and February 27. The ERS Podcast will air twice a month starting February 15 and February 29.

“Rick and Jon are entertaining individually and putting them together on a show is really funny and entertaining,” Joel said. “Basing this show in the Horse Capital of the World only lends to this success it will have on the air. I am proud to be the producer of this show.”

The Jon and Rick Show’s first airing will feature Mia Farley and our second show featuring Alex O’Neal, both listed on one of the USEF training lists. The show will dive into their lives here in Ocala as well as their personal lives as up-and-coming eventing stars.

The first episode airing today, February 13, will debut a new format in digital media streaming show on The Jon and Rick Show Facebook page, and on February 15 on the Horse Radio Networks. It will also have updates from the FEI meeting in Aintree, England where Jon Holling traveled as a part of the USEF Safety Committee participant.

“We are excited for the opportunities in front of us,” Jon said. “Thank you to Matt Taub and Horse Trailer Pros for believing in our vision. Without the support from Horse Trailer Pros the is new voice for Eventing wouldn’t exist. Also thank you to Louisa Barton for jump starting The Jon and Rick Show, we are looking forward to this next step.”

The Jon and Rick Show is pleased to have Horse Trailer Pros onboard as its title sponsor. Horse Trailer Pro’s of Ocala is owned by Matt Taub and located just off US 27 at exit 354 off 75. HTP services all makes and models of horse trailers and specialize in living quarter conversion service and upgrades. “We are very grateful to Matt Taub of Horse Trailer Pros for believing in our show to help promote his awesome horse trailer services. We also send a special thanks to Louisa Barton for giving us a leg up and to HRN’s Glenn Hebert for signing us up as the new voices of the Eventing Radio Show,” said Rick Wallace.

Ready to watch the very first episode? The Jon and Rick Show is hosting a live premiere tonight at 6 pm ET. Update: Here’s a replay!


Painted Ponies Art Walk & Auction to Benefit Carolina Horse Park Foundation

Nikki Lienhard’s Dream Big ‘Says the Alicorn.’ Sponsored by Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners, Opulence of Southern Pines & Patricia. Located at The Mews (280 NW Broad St).

Painted Ponies are roaming the streets of downtown Southern Pines! The inaugural Painted Ponies Art Walk and Auction runs from Feb. 8 through April 2 as 10 five-foot tall fiberglass works of art line Broad Street for all to view as visitors walk the downtown area. After the display is over, the ponies will be auctioned off on April 4 with the proceeds benefiting the Carolina Horse Park Foundation.

Carolina Horse Park is, of course, a preeminent venue on the Area II eventing calendar and host of approximately 28 weeks of equestrian events each year. The venue’s 2020 eventing calendar is already up and running — its second of two Pipe Opener combined tests takes place this Saturday, Feb. 15. Its first USEA-recognized event of the spring is Southern Pines H.T. on March 7-8, followed by Carolina International CCI and H.T. on March 18-22. Other events throughout the year include its War Horse Event Series,  Longleaf Pine H.T., Five Points H.T. and WHES Eventing Series. View a full calendar of events here.

Founded in 1998 as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization by equestrian enthusiasts, CHP is dedicated to the preservation of open space for equestrian events, as well as educational and recreational purposes. We are grateful for their support of the eventing community, and the Painted Ponies Art Walk and Auction is an opportunity to support them in kind.

Jenay Jarvis’ “Water for Horses.” Sponsored by The Country Bookshop. Located in front of Framer’s Cottage (162 NW Broad St).

“The Carolina Horse Park is proud to bring the Painted Ponies Art Walk to downtown Southern Pines. It demonstrates our commitment to our local businesses and artists while also highlighting our equestrian heritage and community,” said Bryan Rosenberg, chairman of the board for the Carolina Horse Park. “The Art Walk has been a phenomenal community effort. We look forward to visitors and residents enjoying the painted ponies while they line Broad Street and generously support the auction on April 4th.”

Local businesses coordinated to sponsor the painted ponies that will be placed at 10 locations in downtown Southern Pines. Artists from the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area donated their time and talent to transform the fiberglass ponies into exquisite works of art. Once the display ends on April 2, the Painted Ponies will be removed and auctioned off. The auction will take place on Saturday, April 4, at Big Sky Farm from 1-4 p.m. in Southern Pines.

A gallery of the Painted Ponies — photos by Diane McKay and Joseph Hill:

Visitors viewing the Painted Ponies Art Walk are invited to use the hashtag #PaintedPoniesCHP when taking pictures and posting them to social media.

For more information about the Painted Ponies Art Walk and Auction, visit

US Equestrian Names 2020 Emerging Athlete Program Participants

Introducing the USEF Eventing 25 Program Class of 2020.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the final list of athletes named to the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Program, following four program Assessment Sessions hosted during the month of January in Ocala, Fla., Aiken, S.C., and Temecula, Calif.

The USEF Eventing 25 Program offers athletes 25 years of age and under access to coaching and mentorship opportunities with Developing and Emerging Coach Leslie Law. Leslie will work within each athlete’s existing program providing guidance and further supporting the continued development of the Eventing High Performance Pathway and Program.

“I look forward to working with the Eventing 25 athletes in a new structure for the program,” Law said. “Instead of holding training sessions, I will be going into each athlete’s home environment to work with them individually, as well as watch them work with their own trainers. The intent is to mirror how Erik Duvander coaches the Elite and Pre-Elite athletes. This is a Pathway system, so when the Eventing 25 athletes progress up the pathway, they will already be working within that system.”

The following athletes have been selected to participate in the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program.

  • Fylicia Barr (West Grove, Pa.)

Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Ky.)

Alexandra Baugh and Mr. Candyman. Photo by AK Dragoo Photography.

  • Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.)

Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Amanda Beale Clement (Phoenixville, Pa.)

Amanda Beale Clement and Carlson 119. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.)

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Hallie Coon (Ocala, Fla.)

Hallie Coon and Celien. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

  • Kalli Core (Orange, Texas)

Kalli Core and Cooley Master Courage. Photo by Shelby Allen.

  • Zoe Crawford (Reddick, Fla.)

Zoe Crawford and K.E.C Zara. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Cornelia Dorr (Manchester by the Sea, Mass.) (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)

Cornelia Dorr and Daytona Beach 8. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)

Mia Farley and Fernhill Fine Diamond. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Savannah Fulton (Finksburg, Md.)

Savannah Fulton and Captain Jack. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

  • Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas)

Alyssa Phillips and Oskar. Photo by Jenni Autry.

  • Kaylawna Smith-Cook (Murietta, Calif.)

Kaylawna Smith-Cook and Passepartout. Photo by Kim Miller.

  • Megan Sykes (Midland, Texas)

Megan Sykes and Classic’s Mojah. Photo by Abby Powell.

  • Madison Temkin (Sebastopol, Calif.)

Madison Tempkin and Dr Hart. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

For more information on the USEF Eventing 25 Program, please contact Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Programs and Program Support, at [email protected]. To learn more about the Eventing Pathway Program, please contact Jenni Autry, Managing Director of Eventing, at [email protected].

Follow US Equestrian
Keep up with the U.S. Eventing Program by following USA Eventing on Facebook and US Equestrian on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Use #USAEventing.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF sponsors and members.

[US Equestrian Announces List of Athletes Selected to 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Program]

The Birth of the USEA: An Excerpt from ‘Eventing in America’

The USEA celebrated its 60th anniversary at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, and all of the attendees took home a special USEA Publication – Eventing In America. This is the second edition of Eventing in America with the first being published in 1999 to commemorate 40 years. Now, 20 years later, the USEA has once again taken a look back at its history and the memories of six decades of the sport and produced a publication that takes the readers year-by-year.

A few copies of Eventing in America are now available for purchase – the perfect opportunity to preserve the history of the sport in the U.S. The publication costs $10 and is available to purchase here through

Eventing in America features a page from every year of the USEA’s existence from 1959 to 2019 including all of the U.S. teams at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and Pan American Games as well as all of the USEA leaderboard and special award winners. The book starts in the 1920s with cavalry photos and text from some of the USEA’s founding fathers, Alexander MacKay-Smith, Major General Jonathan R. Burton, and Denny Emerson. Each decade is opened up with stories of the period – giving a taste of how the sport evolved over the years from the cavalry to the formation of the USCTA (now USEA) to the golden era under Jack Le Goff to the new millennium and the present day.

From “The Founding of the USEA” by Denny Emerson

Alexander Mackay-Smith realized that there was a need for some sort of Association between Pony Club for youngsters and the USET for international riders if eventing were ever to get established in the United States.

“Accordingly, I sent a letter to everyone I knew interested in eventing to come to a meeting during the Pan American Games in Chicago in September of 1959. About 25 people came to the meeting. We founded the USCTA and elected officers pro-term, with Philip Hofmann as president,” said Mackay-Smith. . . . Even though six decades have passed since that meeting in Illinois, many of the ‘pioneers’ from that day are still active as leaders and innovators in American horse sports. I would hope that they feel gratified that the little Association which they had the vision to create has grown into such a respected and significant leader in the American horse community. The USEA is synonymous with good sportsmanship, good riding, and an emphasis above all else on a respect for the well-being of the horse. That’s quite a legacy.

The Olympics in Montreal saw the U.S. continuing their double gold streak. From left to right: Mary Anne Tauskey/Marcus Aurelius (21st); J. Michael Plumb/Better and Better (individual silver); Bruce Davidson/Irish Cap (10th); and Tad Coffin/Bally Cor (individual gold). Sue Maynard Photo.

From “The Golden Era of Eventing”

For the U.S. Eventing Team, the 1970s was a decade of medals. At every single major championship, the U.S. brought home a podium placing. According to Alexander Mackay-Smith, this success is due to Neil Ayer and Jack Le Goff who both came to the forefront of eventing in the U.S. around 1970. Mackay-Smith said, “They were to influence eventing in North America as no others had before.” . . . In 1973 the first FEI event was held in the U.S. at Ayer’s Ledyard Farm in Massachusetts. Ayer was both the organizer and course designer and invited riders from all over the world to come compete. The inaugural event was won by Britain’s Sue Hatherly and Harley, but the U.S. would have their redemption the following year on British home turf when the 1974 World Championships were held at Burghley. The U.S. won the team gold medal by a huge margin and also claimed individual gold and silver. With their wins, the U.S. also won the rights to host the next World Championships, but a location was needed.

From “A New Millenium”

2000! A new millennium dawned and the USCTA, soon to be the United States Eventing Association (USEA), was ready to face whatever the next decade would bring. The impact of this new technology called the internet, changes to the very nature of the sport, improving safety for horses and riders were all challenges to be met… On the home front, the Association was preparing for a name change. In the mid 1990s the USCTA had adopted the name Eventing USA for the magazine replacing the old USCTA News. Was this prophetic? Farsighted? Maybe. The FEI decreed at the end of century that the name of the sport internationally would be eventing, not “horse trials” or “combined training” or “military” but eventing! In 2000, the work began to legally transition the U.S. Combined Training Association to the U.S. Eventing Association. The USEA was re-branded and was launched with a new name, decal, and logo wear at a grand party at the 2001 Annual Meeting & Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Want a sneak peek inside of the book before purchasing? Current USEA members are able to read Eventing in America by logging into and navigating to the Eventing USA Archive.

ERA of GB ‘Australia Day’ Event and Auction Raise Over £30,000 for Bushfire Victims

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

Australia Day, on Sunday January 26, saw the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain (ERA of GB) host a celebrity lecture demo event to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the devastating bushfires. The event was supported by a plethora of international eventing stars including 5* winning Australians Chris Burton, Paul Tapner and Sam Griffiths, world #2 Tim Price and Britain’s reigning Badminton champion Piggy French.

“The ERA of GB team has been truly humbled by the level of support we’ve received from riders, brands and individuals, who have all jumped in to help bring this event together in a very short time frame,” said Bruce Haskell, ERA of GB President. “To raise over £10,000 from the event on its own is quite incredible and we owe an awful lot to the Lowlands RDA team for hosting the event, and to Horse & Country for livestreaming the evening performance to a global audience.”

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

The RDA National Training Centre, Lowlands Equestrian, kindly provided the venue free of charge for the day. RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher commented, “We were absolutely delighted to host the event. It’s a fantastic event that ERA of GB and the team have put together in such a short period of time.  It was our pleasure to welcome the Olympic level riders and horses. The centre here is built for RDA riders so we don’t normally see jumps this high and horses this capable here so it’s great to see what we can do with a centre like this.”

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

The fundraising event was the brainchild of Paul Tapner and Bill Levett’s families following a conversation about how they could help friends, family and other equestrians back home in Australia. The Levett Eventing Team was been instrumental in getting the event off the ground.

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

“It’s phenomenal that the RDA National Training Centre gave us this facility for the afternoon, but that’s the way it’s been all the way along,” Bill Levett said. “There has been so much good will. I think that’s why the tickets sold out so fast — the first 170 tickets sold out within 48 hours. It’s a busy time of year for us, teaching or getting horses ready for the season, so it’s great that everyone said ‘yeah, we’ll do it.’

“The British public are a great public when they feel that people are in need, they’ve shown it in numerous cases over the past few years. They just pitch in and the equestrian community in Great Britain have just done that,” he said. 

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

Tim Price commented, “The only thing that should be sizzling in Australia is a sausage on the BBQ, but that’s not the case at the moment. So, what do we do about it? We’re up here in the UK in the middle of winter, far away from fires, but what we can do it raise some money by riding some horses around in circles while telling people how we’re riding them around in circles. Every little bit helps and it’s great that everyone’s got on board. Filling a day in the middle of winter, what better way to do it than supporting the good old Australians.”

There was, fittingly, a sausage sizzle. Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

The evening performance is available to watch on demand, for free, via the H&C website and app until Feb. 1st.

Jonathan Rippon, Director of Content, H&C said, “We are delighted to be working with ERA to bring live coverage of this hugely important event to a worldwide audience.”

The between-sessions foot race was a big hit, apparently! Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

Photo by ERA/Tim Wilkinson.

Running alongside the event is an online auction that has seen over 70 lots donated, by brands and individuals, from around the world. Lots include a brand-new Bates Saddle of the bidder’s choice; Oliver Townend’s cross-country hat that he won Kentucky, twice, and Burghley in; a variety of training sessions from world class riders; and products from brands of all sizes. The auction closed at 23:59 on Friday Jan. 31, 2020, at over £20,000.

Go Eventing.




The Event at Rebecca Farm Set to Host 2020 NAYC

Team gold for Area III/VII in the 2019 NAYC CCIY3*-S. Photo by Shelby Allen.

For the past three years, North America’s best and brightest young eventers have been covening in Kalispell, Montana, each July for the Adequan North American Youth Championships (NAYC). Today US Equestrian confirmed that NAYC will return to The Event at Rebecca Farm once again in 2020, with the competition scheduled to run from July 22-26.

“US Equestrian is thrilled that The Event at Rebecca Farm will once again host the NAYC,” said Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian. “This fantastic event and venue, which is one of the only opportunities for our youth eventing athletes to emulate international team competition format, continues to be incredibly valuable for their future success at the highest levels of the sport. We thank the Broussard family and Rebecca Farm team for their continued commitment in ensuring the success of this event.”

The NAYC offers an elite opportunity for rising talent to build confidence in both a team and individual championship competition environment, while representing their country under international FEI rules. The competition format, which emulates that of senior championship competition, is essential in the continued development of athletes, while ensuring future success for US Equestrian’s Olympic programs.

“US Equestrian is thrilled that The Event at Rebecca Farm will once again host the NAYC. This fantastic event and venue, which is one of the only opportunities for our youth eventing athletes to emulate international team competition format, continues to be incredibly valuable for their future success at the highest levels of the sport,” said Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian. “We thank the Broussard family and Rebecca Farm team for their continued commitment in ensuring the success of this event.”

In addition to the NAYC divisions, The Event at Rebecca Farm offers FEI competition at the CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S*, CCI3*-L, and CCI2*-L levels, as well as national competition at the Novice through the Intermediate levels. Athletes and spectators from across the country come to Rebecca Farm to experience the world-class competition.

“We’re excited to play host to the NAYC again this year and welcome combinations from around the country to Montana for our event,” said Sarah Broussard of Rebecca Farm. “It’s our continued mission at Rebecca Farm to provide valuable experience for the next generation of talented eventing athletes, which directly mirrors the goal and purpose of NAYC and its importance for the future success of our country’s eventing program.”

Stay up to date on the Adequan North American Youth Championships by following NAYC on Facebook and Twitter. Use #FEINAYC.

[The Event at Rebecca Farm Set to Host 2020 Adequan®­ North American Youth Championships]

Host Sites Announced for 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L & CCI3*-L National Championships

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography courtesy of US Equestrian.

US Equestrian has announced the selected host venues for the 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships as the Ocala Jockey Club and Fair Hill International, respectively. The Ocala Jockey Club will add the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship to their fall horse trials, hosted from November 11-15, 2020, while the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship will remain at Fair Hill International and run alongside the new Maryland CCI5*-L from October 14-18, 2020.

Fair Hill International in Elkton, Md., hosted both the USEF CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships for 31 years. When the venue was awarded a new fall CCI5*-L for 2020 – which will become only the seventh CCI5*-L in the world – US Equestrian opened a two-year bidding process to seek hosts for the 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships. All U.S. venues that currently host a fall CCI3*-L and/or CCI4*-L were invited to submit bid applications to US Equestrian.

“It is a season of change for U.S. Eventing and that is certainly reflected in the selected venues for the 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L National Championships,” said Jenni Autry, USEF Managing Director of Eventing. “The Ocala Jockey Club has quickly become a staple venue on the U.S. eventing calendar, and we are confident their team will do a fantastic job in hosting the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship in November. Fair Hill has a rich history of hosting national championships, so it is fitting for the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship to remain at this iconic venue and run alongside the new CCI5*-L in October.”

The USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship, which presents the division’s top placing combination with the Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy, will run alongside the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event in Reddick, Fla. The Ocala Jockey Club’s inaugural horse trials ran in 2016 with a CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L and CCI2*-L, and the venue successfully added the CCI4*-L level in 2018; the venue is one of only five to run a CCI4*-L in the U.S.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography courtesy of US Equestrian.

“It is an honor for any facility and event to be awarded to run any national championships. For the Ocala Jockey Club to be chosen to do so is a testament to the special land that the farm stands on, the horse-loving Ocala community, and the number of people who have worked to make this event become the prestigious venture that would qualify to host the CCI4*-L National Championship,” said Pavla Nygaard, Owner and President of the Ocala Jockey Club. “We are excited for this year’s event to continue to build on the first four years of the competition. We are excited for the Ocala Jockey Club to be recognized by the USEF and to be chosen to host the 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championships.”

The USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships will remain at Fair Hill International and run concurrently with the new CCI5*-L competition. The USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship will also include the USEF Young Riders National Championship for the John H. Fritz Trophy and the USEF Young Horse National Championship for the Jonathan R. Burton Trophy.

“On behalf of the Fair Hill Organizing Committee and our partner Fair Hill International, we are thrilled that the Maryland CCI5*-L at Fair Hill has been named by the USEF as the host event for the 2020/2021 USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships,” said Jeff Newman, President and CEO of the Fair Hill Organizing Committee. “It’s truly an honor to be selected amongst so many other deserving events. Continuing with this designation along with the elevation of our CCI4*-L competition to the prestigious CCI5*-L level in 2020 validates our efforts towards showcasing the very best in our sport.”

[US Equestrian Announces Host Sites for 2020/2021 USEF CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships]

US Equestrian Launches New Online Safe Sport Resource Center for Members

Earlier this week, all USEF members received an email notifying them of the launch of a new online resource center regarding Safe Sport. Safe Sport has been at the forefront of discussion amongst equestrians since its implementation after it was authorized by Congress in 2018. We’d like to share this press release and urge everyone to click around the new website and get to know the resources available to you.

There is nothing more important to US Equestrian than the health and safety of our members, especially our young ones. We share this goal with our vast membership and are committed to working together to create a safe environment for all equestrians. This is what Safe Sport is all about and today, as we previewed at our Annual Meeting last week, we will be unveiling a revamped section of the US Equestrian website dedicated solely to Safe Sport. Our goal is to ensure everyone participating in our sport understands where and how to easily access these resources in order to ask questions, find answers and receive clarification. We hope these updates will highlight the information everyone needs to know in order to create environments that are supportive and safe, so all equestrians can flourish in sport and beyond.

The updated Safe Sport sections are separated by audience group, so everyone — trainers, horse owners, competitors, parents, organizers, licensed officials, and affiliates — can quickly find answers to any lingering questions and, most importantly, understand where to go if they need to make a report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

The revamped site features videos highlighting what you need to know about Safe Sport and the response and resolution process, common myths and misconceptions, as well as fact sheets and instructions on how to be in compliance with SafeSport policies.

As we prepare for an exciting year in equestrian sport, it’s important everyone takes a few minutes to explore these new and updated resources, while understanding the important role Safe Sport plays in our shared commitment to keep our members and our sport safe. Regardless of whether your involvement with equestrian sport brings you into everyday contact with young participants or not, everyone has a role to play, because protecting our children and members requires us all to be part of the solution.

[Visit the new Safe Sport Resource Center]

Safe Sport Panel at USEF Annual Meeting Provides Explanations, Addresses Misconceptions

The 2020 US Equestrian Annual Meeting is well underway in West Palm Beach, Florida, where it will continue through Saturday. We would like to share this report from yesterday’s panel discussion, Safe Sport – What’s New to Know, as it addressed many of the misconceptions that have proliferated about SafeSport procedures.  

The Safe Sport – What’s New to Know Panel at the 2020 US Equestrian Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla. Photo via US Equestrian.

Since its inception in 2017, the U.S. Center for SafeSport has received over 4,600 reports of alleged abuse in sport and the center continues to work diligently to provide resources and resolution for survivors of abuse across the 52 sports embodied by the Olympic movement and the United Stated Olympic and Paralympic Committee. There is a rough estimate that more than 18+ million people are involved in sports that fall under Safe Sport’s jurisdictional umbrella and that number only continues to increase over time, making the support, understanding, and education surrounding the U.S. Center for Safe Sport’s purpose and mission more important than ever.

The informational session and discussion included updates and explanation from Michael Henry, Chief Officer of Response & Resolution at the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and Sonja Keating, General Counsel for US Equestrian, as well as testimony and a first-hand account of the SafeSport process from survivor Hillary Ridland, while moderation of the panel was conducted by Sarah Hamilton, Managing Director of Kivvit, a top communications firm based in Chicago. If you missed this panel today, it is available on demand on USEF Network.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction over reports of sexual misconduct within National Governing Bodies (NGB) who are part of the Olympic movement. Henry, who recently spoke at the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting, discussed the misnomers and misconceptions commonly referenced and disseminated regarding SafeSport procedures, which are detrimental to the integrity of the overall reporting and investigative process, specifically addressing the concern surrounding anonymous reporting.

“We do take anonymous reports, but that does not mean action is taken exclusively based on an anonymous report, that would defy fundamental fairness. While we may receive anonymous reports, we go through a process called the preliminary inquiry process before any type of action is ever taken, which we use to identify who the report is about, who are the players, what has actually been alleged here,” commented Henry. “Sometimes that’s more descriptive and sometimes we have to do a bit more digging to uncover what that is. There are many cases that don’t even make it past the preliminary inquiry process because there is simply insufficient information to move forward.”

Hillary Ridland, a well-known rider and active member of the equestrian community, discussed her experience with the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the importance of the process. Initially hesitant to participate in the investigation, she was compelled to end the cycle of abuse after a claimant gave permission to the center to disclose details of the case to her directly. “I found the center to be very discrete and supportive. I was not interested in talking to them until I was made aware of the fact that this particular abuser had a long span of abuse that I was not aware of. When I realized that, it made it really important for me that nobody else go through that. The center kept asking me the questions diligently and I realized that our sport was going to go in the wrong direction if I didn’t speak up about this.”

Henry also discussed the process in which a respondent, or the individual in question, is included in an investigation. He explained that before disciplinary action is taken, “A respondent is always made aware of the allegations and who the allegation concerns, when, and where it happened, and is given a full opportunity to respond and participate throughout the investigative process. We often communicate multiple times, conduct multiple interviews, and have interactions with respondents, claimants, witnesses and their advisors and attorneys.”

To conclude the panel session, Sonja Keating, General Counsel for US Equestrian, urged members and attendees to do their own due diligence in understanding USEF’s Safe Sport policy and the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Code, while also encouraging people to fact check before blindly believing information online.

“Don’t believe everything you read on social media and before you draw a conclusion based on what you see there, do a fact check. We’re always available to provide the facts about the policies and processes. Drawing opinions and conclusions based on what you see is dangerous because you are most likely going to walk away with misinformation,” said Keating.

Key Takeaways for Members:

  • Read the SafeSport Code and familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of the movement. The U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Code and US Equestrians Safe Sport Policy are both available online and should be used as a resource to understand the definition of expectations for participation in sport, as well as the process the center employs during the response and resolution process. “Take the time to read the Code. The USEF Safe Sport Policy mirrors the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Code in most respects. As it relates to the forms of misconduct that are prohibited and the definitions of those, it’s identical. I know it can be very dry, but it’s worth taking the time. This is a community effort and we need our community to be as knowledgeable as possible,” said Keating.
  • There is a misconception of secretive versus confidential. Confidentiality is incredibly important to the investigative process and will remain a key component of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s procedure when collecting evidence in reports of sexual abuse in sport. “Confidentiality is important and necessary. It comes down to the fact that you shouldn’t have to out yourself publicly if you have been sexually abused, physically or emotionally abused within the context of sport, in order for that behavior to be addressed, particularly when that behavior poses a risk to the rest of the sporting community,” said Henry.
  • Temporary measures are enacted very rarely and used in a limited fashion – less than one half of one percent of all equestrian cases brought forward have been issued a temporary suspension. According to Henry, the number is misrepresented as greater than it is because there is more impact when temporary suspensions are issued. “We don’t perceive it that way because of the implications. When we issue a temporary suspension, allegations that are sufficiently severe – we’re not issuing temporary suspensions for sexual harassment, but for egregious sexual abuse in the worst of forms – it has to have a sufficient amount of evidence that makes it plausible that the allegations brought forward are true and present a risk to the rest of the community,” commented Henry.
  • There is a difference between the criminal justice system and the administrative process of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. “Within the administrative context, you’re afforded certain procedural rights because it is fair or because that’s what prescribed by policy. This is an administrative process. This is not a civil process or criminal process. The harshest sanction we can implement is that you cannot be a part of a community anymore, which is very similar to any other membership-based community. We know that is not to be taken lightly or belittled because participation within the Olympic movement is what people have spent decades of their lives building,” Henry explained.
  • False reports are a violation of the SafeSport Code and can/will be sanctioned. Henry commented, “We do not take action on reports unless we have met a certain level of sufficiency. A sufficiency of risk, a sufficiency of evidence, and a sufficiency of understanding who the parties are. When you think about weaponization, people are concerned that someone could make a claim against someone else and they would be immediately suspended. That isn’t possible. We don’t readily suspend people. We understand the implications of that and hold ourselves to a high standard. We want to get to the truth and that is why we utilize an exhaustive, reliable, and impartial investigative process.”

Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian, concluded with remarks and encouraged members and attendees to join together in owning the responsibility of making equestrian sport a safe place for all participants.

“We should be the ambassadors for our community and the ambassadors for our sport. We need to tell people we have training, we have resources, we have education, we have reporting systems, and we are proud to have that. Parents should feel comfortable bringing their children to our sport, or husbands and wives and significant others. Come feel safe in our sport. We need to be promoting that our environment is safe, instead of buying into the process of tearing it down. It’s natural for people to have a fear of change, but read, understand, and ask your questions.

“We completely support the survivors coming forward. It takes a lot of fortitude and perseverance for somebody to come forward. It’s important that we support them, we embrace them, and it’s important that we believe them. We, as a community, have to change the way we have been operating for hundreds of years – we as a culture have to embrace this. This is the right thing to do and we need to make sure that everyone in our community is safe. We all share in the responsibility of doing that,” concluded Moroney.

US Equestrian Announces Updated Selection Structure for 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program

Arielle Aharoni, shown here with Dutch Times, is among the 33 USEF Eventing 25 Program applicants invited to participate in assessment sessions in 2020. Photo by Jenni Autry.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the list of athletes who have been named to participate in an assessment of their skills prior to the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program selection. The USEF Eventing 25 Program offers athletes 25 years of age and under access to coaching and instruction, high intensity training sessions, and continued mentorship to further support the development of the Eventing High Performance Pathway and Program.

The Eventing Performance Advisory Team (PAT) received and reviewed 55 applications for consideration for the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program. Thirty-three of the applicants will be invited to participate in USEF Eventing 25 Program Assessment Sessions with USEF Developing and Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law prior to the final program selection. It is anticipated that four assessment sessions will be held in January: two sessions in Ocala, Fla., one session in Aiken, S.C., and one session in California.

Participating athletes have achieved an MER at a CCI3*-L or have been talent spotted into the assessment sessions. Members of the PAT will be present at each session to further evaluate athletes and combinations alongside Law. Following the conclusion of the assessment sessions, the PAT will narrow the list of participating athletes, and a smaller group of identified athletes will be named to the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program.

“We received a strong pool of applications for the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program that identified an exciting group of athletes. We decided to do a slightly different selection for 2020 in that we’re going to look at a greater number of athletes at two-day assessment sessions in January,” explained Law. “This will give us the opportunity to evaluate the athletes in person prior to making the final selection. The 2020 program will focus on mentoring and helping these athletes go forward and progress up the pathway to achieve their ambitions of riding for the United States.”

The following athletes have been selected to participate in the USEF Eventing 25 Program Assessment Sessions:

Arielle Aharoni (Bedminster, N.J.)
Fylicia Barr (West Grove, Pa.)
Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Ky.)
Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.)
Amanda Beale Clement (Phoenixville, Pa.)
Mia Braundel (Clayton, N.C.)
Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.)
Sophie Click (Fall City, Wash.)
Charlotte Collier (Winchester, Va.)
Hallie Coon (Ocala, Fla.)
Kalli Core (Orange, Texas)
Zoe Crawford (Reddick, Fla.)
Cornelia Dorr (Manchester by the Sea, Mass.)
Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Savannah Fulton (Finskburg, Md.)
Alexa Gartenberg (Gladwyne, Penn.)
Cosby Green (Lexington, Ky.)
Mallory Hogan (Belvedere, Calif.)
Sophie Hulme (Portola Valley, Calif.)
Ryan Keefe (Sandy Spring, Md.)
William Kidwell* (Roswell, Ga.)
Emma Lomangino (Millbrook, N.Y.)
Ashlynn Meuchel (Anthony, Fla.)
Heather Morris (Lewisville, Texas)
Abigail Niles (Sherborn, Mass.)
Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas)
Danielle Poulsen (Elkton, Md.)
Gabrielle Ruane (Ocala, Fla.)
Kaylawna Smith-Cook (Murrieta, Calif.)
Sydney Solomon (Dayton, Md.)
Francesca Spoltore (Columbia, Tenn.)
Megan Sykes (Midland, Texas)
Madison Temkin (Sebastopol, Calif.)

*Talent spotted into the assessment sessions for having not met the CCI3*-L requirement.

For more information on the USEF Eventing 25 Program, please contact Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Programs and Program Support, at [email protected]. To learn more about the Eventing Pathway Program, please contact Jenni Autry, Managing Director of Eventing, at [email protected].

[US Equestrian Announces Updated Selection Structure for 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program]

US Equestrian Announces Updates to Training Lists for U.S. Eventing Pathway Program

Phillip Dutton and Z at Fair Hill International 2019. Photo by Abby Powell.

Hot off the presses! With the conclusion of major events for the 2019 season, US Equestrian has announced updates to the Elite, Pre-Elite and Development Training Lists with are part of U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander’s U.S. Eventing Pathway Program. More information about the structure of the Pathway Program can be reviewed here.

“With just over eight months until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is exciting to have many combinations that could up their game in the spring and show readiness to compete at the Olympic level,” Erik Duvander said. “Tokyo will possibly be one of the most demanding Olympic Games of our time with a new format, logistical challenges and maximal climate preparation needed for both horses and athletes, both prior to and during the event. Combinations must prove their mental, physical and technical skills, as well as their ability to work as a team during this upcoming season.”

“The increased number of combinations on the training lists shows the growing depth of talent within the country, which is critical as we look to build a strong program for the future. The key areas of focus for the High Performance program will be on competitive performance, horse health and the continued commitment to develop a culture of excellence. With limited resources spread over more combinations, we will be very disciplined in how we allocate grants and time to ensure the best possible impact on overall performance.”

The following athletes have been approved for the Elite, Pre-Elite and Development programs by an Ad Hoc Group of the Eventing Sport Committee at the recommendation of Duvander, with input from Duvander’s Performance Advisory Team of Bobby Costello, Derek di Grazia, Leslie Law, Karen O’Connor and Ian Stark.

This list is updated from the previous one announced in August 2019.

Elite Training List

The Elite Program supports athlete and horse combinations who demonstrate the ability to contribute to medal-winning potential at the World Championship level, with targets measured against world-leading performances and aiming to compete at the next Olympics or World Championship.

The following combinations have been named to the Elite Training List (in alphabetical order):

  • Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Suzanne Lacy, Simon Roosevelt and Tom Tierney’s 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg, Christine Turner’s 12-year-old Trakehner gelding

Pre-Elite Training List

The Pre-Elite Program aims to identify and support athlete and horse combinations with the perceived potential to meet Elite status within the next two to four years, with the target of competing on a Championship team in the next four years.

The following combinations have been named to the Pre-Elite Training List (in alphabetical order):

  • Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, Pa.) and Stella Artois, Stella Artois Syndicate’s 11-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare
  • Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, Off The Record Syndicate’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp (Ocala, Fla.) and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 11-year-old KWPN gelding
  • Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, Jacqueline Mars’ 12-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding
  • Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, Michael Manders, Phoebe Manders and Jacqueline Mars’ 14-year-old Oldenburg mare
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Long Island T, Long Island T Syndicate’s 13-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding, as well as On Cue, Christine Turner’s 13-year-old English Sport Horse mare
  • Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Islandwood Captain Jack, Caroline and Sherrie Martin’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding
  • Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, Debi Crowley, Doug Payne and Jessica Payne’s 15-year-old Trakehner gelding
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, Alex Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell’s 13-year-old German Sport Horse gelding
  • Erin Sylvester (Cochranville, Pa.) and Paddy The Caddy, Frank McEntee’s 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding
  • Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and RF Cool Play, The Donner Syndicate LLC’s 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, as well as Under Suspection, Mary Ann Ghadban’s 15-year-old Holsteiner mare
  • Frankie Thieriot Stutes (Occidental, Calif.) and Chatwin, The Chatwin Group’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding

Development Training List

The Development Program aims to support athletes with the perceived talent and ability to reach Elite status in the next four to eight years by focusing on developing the skills needed to progress on the Pathway.

The following athletes have been named to the Development Training List (in alphabetical order):

  • Maya Black (Clinton, Wash.)
  • Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.)
  • Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.)
  • Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Matt Flynn (Reddick, Fla.)
  • Ariel Grald (Vass, N.C.)
  • Allie Knowles (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Sara Mittleider (Kuna, Idaho)
  • Alex O’Neal (Reddick, Fla.)
  • Mike Pendleton (Waynesboro, Va.)
  • Caitlin Silliman (Cochranville, Pa.)

Applications for the Eventing 25 program are due Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Program participants will be announced prior to the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts on Dec. 11-15, 2019. Click here for full details on how to apply.

[US Equestrian Announces Updates to Training Lists for U.S. Eventing Pathway Program]

Nominations Open for 2019 ERA of NA Year End Awards

ERA of NA President Shannon Lilley with Elisa Wallace and members of The Simply Priceless Syndicate, winners of the 2018 As You Like It Owners Award. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Eventing Riders Association of North America (ERA of NA) is now accepting nominations for the 2019 ERA of NA Year End Awards. These awards recognize individuals who have had an outstanding and profound effect on the sport of eventing. The nomination period for the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award, As You Like It Owner’s Award, Seema Sonnad Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award and Amateur Impact Award will run through Dec. 6, 2019.

The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award recognizes an outstanding groom who has had a large influence on their rider’s career and the health and well-being of the horses under their care. Nominees should epitomize the example set forth by Liz Cochran in setting the standard for a professional groom.

The As You Like It Owner’s Award is awarded to an outstanding owner who has had a large influence on a rider’s career. Additionally, nominees will also be recognized for having made an exceptional contribution to the sport of eventing.

The Seema Sonnad Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award is offered to an event organizer, secretary, volunteer or other staff members who throughout the year went “above and beyond.” Nominees will have carried out their work in a manner that notably improved the experience for those attending the event as competitors, owners, grooms, sponsors, or spectators.

The Amateur Impact Award recognizes an Adult Amateur that embodies dedication to the sport of eventing, outstanding sportsmanship and has made a direct impact on eventing in North America. The recipient of Amateur Impact Award is an individual that is highly respected by their peers, has demonstrated leadership within the sport and seeks to see eventing continue to grow and flourish.

Please send a detailed submission, including examples, regarding why an individual should receive an award to Helen Murray at [email protected] by Dec. 6, 2019.​​​​​​​

Additionally, the ERA of NA continues to fundraise to endow the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award and those wishing to donate can send a check made out to the USEA Foundation with “Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award” noted in the memo line to ERA of NA, 129 Delmont Dr, Lexington, KY 40504. For those looking to contribute online a donation can be through the USEA Foundation Website and in the “Use my donation to support” dropdown menu select the “Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award.”

[Nominations Open for 2019 ERA of NA Year End Awards]

Ingrid Klimke Wins FEI Best Athlete Award at FEI Awards Gala in Moscow

The winners of the FEI Awards 2019, left to right: Ingrid Klimke  (Best Athlete), Uno Yxklinten (Solidarity Award), Madeleine Broek (Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award), Semmieke Rothenberger (Longines FEI Rising Star Award), Zuxian Li and Yaofeng Li (Against All Odds Award).

Double Olympic team gold medallist and five-time Olympian Ingrid Klimke was announced as winner of the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award at the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Moscow tonight.

The glittering gala awards ceremony, which took place in the splendid surrounds of the Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital, was attended by more than 400 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders.

Tonight’s award is the latest in a series of accolades for German Eventing legend Klimke, who was also nominated for the Best Athlete honour in 2015 and 2017. Klimke received the award from Peden Bloodstock’s Managing Director Martin Atock.

In September, the 51-year-old successfully defended her title at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships on home turf in Luhmühlen with SAP Hale Bob OLD, becoming only the second person in European history to win back-to-back titles on the same horse. Klimke’s stunning performance in Luhmühlen also led Germany to team gold.

Klimke is the third German female to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award, following in the footsteps of six-time Dressage Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth in 2017 and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping champion Simone Blum in 2018.

“I’m really proud that after Isabell Werth and Simone Blum, I’m now winning,” Klimke said. “It’s three women from Germany from three different disciplines. I’m very proud to be here and to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award.”

The evening saw Semmieke Rothenberger also flying the flag high for Germany when she took home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award. The 20-year-old has won 22 FEI European Championship medals ranging from ponies category through to Young Riders.

“To win the Longines FEI Rising Star Award it’s really special for me as it sums up this year perfectly,” Rothenberger said. “What makes it really special is that my brother has won it before. So now we’ve got two people in this family who’ve won the Rising Star award. That just makes me very, very happy. My future goal, after following in the footsteps of my brother, is to compete in the Olympic Games. Now that’s a very big goal but it would be a nice thing to work towards.”

Rothenberger received her award from Longines Vice President of Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner. “This award celebrates youth, talent, determination and the stars of tomorrow,” Baumgartner said. “The work ethic and drive that you see in rising stars like Semmieke is closely aligned with our brand values and one of the main reasons why Longines supports this award. We are proud to be part of this journey in such a talented young athlete’s life.”

The Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award was presented to Madeleine Broek (NED) in recognition of her tireless efforts behind the scenes for Dutch Olympian and Jumping star Marc Houtzager. The award, presented by Cavalor’s Founder and Managing Director Peter Bollen, is given each year to grooms who work behind the scenes providing the best possible care for their equine athletes.

“It’s not really a job but a way of living and you get so much back from the horse, so that’s why it will never be a boring day or a boring week,” Broek said. “Winning the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award means a lot to me because you feel really appreciated for everything you do. It’s a lot of work and I feel really appreciated.”

This year’s FEI Solidarity Award went to Uno Yxklinten (SWE), the Educational Leader of the first Farriers’ training programme in Zambia, set up with the aim of increasing the know-how of farriers in order to improve the well-being of horses in the African country.

Presented by Russian National Federation President Marina Sechina, the award is given each year to an equestrian development project or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport. “Winning the FEI Solidarity Award 2019 is of course something big,” Yxklinten said. “I’m humbled and I’m so happy that we actually got this prize. It makes a difference in Zambia for many people.”

Taking the FEI Against All Odds Award was Zhenqiang Li (CHN) who started riding at the age of 27 and became a professional athlete just two years later. He was the first Chinese equestrian athlete to obtain the minimum eligibility requirements for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Sadly, in 2009, his horse Jumpy passed away from cancer leaving Zhenqiang without his beloved equine partner and in financial trouble. Zhenqiang recovered from those difficult times, setting up an equestrian centre in Guangzhou.

“I hope that other Chinese riders will now follow the title of this award, Against All Odds, to work together to overcome the challenges of developing Chinese equestrianism,” Li said. “Thank you to the FEI for supporting the sport in China and for all the people who voted for me at home and abroad. Your support and encouragement will inspire other Chinese riders to reach their goals.”

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez presented the award to Li’s children Yaofeng Li and Zuxian Li who were in the Russian capital on their father’s behalf. Zhenqiang Li competed with his son Yoafeng Li, a former Youth Olympic Games athlete, to earn China’s qualification earlier this year for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The FEI Against All Odds Award is for someone who has pursued their equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

“Each year we receive a high calibre of nominees for the FEI Awards,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Our winners this evening are perfect examples of the excellence, commitment, dedication and courage that are required in equestrian sport.

“When my predecessor HRH Princess Haya introduced these awards 11 years ago, our hope was to celebrate not just sporting achievement but also the unsung champions of our sport. This evening’s winners have inspired everyone at tonight’s gala here in Moscow as well as a new generation of athletes who need heroes to emulate.”

For the second year running, Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker (GBR) and Dressage ace Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) took to the stage to emcee the Awards ceremony.  

The winners of the five awards were decided by combining 50% of a public vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result. There were 130,000 online votes cast this year for the nominees.

[Multiple Olympian Klimke takes FEI Best Athlete award in Moscow]

USEA Foundation to Administer the MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program

MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program participant Ema Klugman finished 20th in the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2*-L with Bronte Beach and 3rd in CCI4*-L with Bendigo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Big news following a successful weekend for young riders at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-day Event: the new MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program will now be administered by the USEA Foundation. The program was first introduced at Bromont Three-day Event last June when nine riders under the age of 25 were awarded grants of $3,000 Canadian to assist with the expenses incurred in preparing for and competing in the Bromont CCI. A complete training program was devised to help the riders prepare themselves and their horses for the competition. An additional six riders were invited to participate in the training sessions and were given free entries to the event.

The program was then extended to include the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-day Event, which took place last week in Reddick, Florida. The following riders, who were awarded grants to assist with their preparation and competition expenses, produced some impressive results.

  • Nicole Aden & Truckee Bash – 14th, CCI4*-S
  • Arielle Aharoni & Dutch Times – RF XC, CCI4*-L
  • Charlotte Babbitt & 2 A.M. – 17th, CCI3*-L
  • Isabelle Bosley & Night Quality – 7th, CCI2*-L
  • Elizabeth Henry & Charlotte La Bouff – 22nd, CCI2*-L
  • Ema Klugman – 20th in CCI2*-L with Bronte Beach; 3rd in CCI4*-L with Bendigo
  • Barrett Phillips & Whole Nine Yards – 34th in CCI2*-L
  • Kaelen Speck & Sweet Rebellion – 5th, CCI4*-S
  • Nicholas Staples & WF Drousseau – 53rd, CCI2*-L
  • Samantha Tinney & Glenbrook Cooley – 28th, CCI2*-L

Arielle Aharoni and Dutch Times. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Chair of the USEA Foundation, Diane Pitts, said, “We are thrilled to welcome the MARS Bromont Rising program into the USEA Foundation family. Assisting our developing riders through education and opportunity are important goals of the USEA and the USEA Foundation and this program furthers those goals. We look forward to working with the organizers of this program.”

The riders were invited to a two-day training session at Mardanza Farms in Ocala, Florida, with top coaches providing instruction. Sessions include a Centerline Workshop with a review of the FEI dressage tests and hints on how to improve their scores through ringmanship. Sara and Brian Murphy not only lent their expertise in the dressage and show jumping sessions but also generously provided a welcome dinner with special guest Leslie Law as a speaker.

The second day’s session included test rides judged by Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride and an inside view of show jumping course design as presented by Chris Barnard. Max Corcoran followed this up with a detailed lesson on managing competition horses from the ground.

Of critical importance to the futures of these young riders is the ability to attract and retain owners and sponsors. Two of the sport’s most supportive owners, Steve Blauner and Jim Wildasin of the Event Owners Task Force, were on site to help explain this vital aspect of the sport.
Riders put into practice the tips taught in the lecture.

The training sessions wrapped up with a welcome party hosted by Fredericks Equestrian. Cross-country schooling opportunities were made available by Jon Holling.

The MARS Bromont Rising U25 award recipients then headed to the Ocala Jockey Club, where they will be treated to a celebrity course walk with none other than six-time Badminton winner and veteran of numerous Olympic and World Championships teams, Lucinda Green.

Mark Hart, trustee of the USEA Foundation, recognized those who had made the Bromont Rising program possible when he said: “This program was established by Steve Blauner, an event horse owner who saw the need to develop and support the next generation of Team riders. He has enthusiastically shared his vision with other Team horse owners such as Jacqueline Mars who is currently cosponsoring the program with Steve to get it firmly established. For this vision the USEA Foundation and the sport thanks them.”

The USEA Foundation is delighted to be involved with such an admirable and worthwhile program and thanks all those who have made this venture possible.


USEF Bans Use of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) in Competing Horses

The USEF Board of Directors voted to prohibit the use of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) in horses competing at licensed competitions. The prohibition goes into effect December 1, 2019; however, due to the length of time it takes for MPA to clear a horses’ system, sanctions for positive test results will go into effect June 1, 2020. MPA is now classified as a Category III substance, punishable with a penalty range starting at a three to six month suspension and a fine of $3,000 to $6,000 for a first offense.

Following reports of equine fatalities and anaphylaxis related to MPA use, the USEF’s MPA panel met October 22 and further analyzed MPA usage in competition horses. The panel reviewed a recent petition by veterinarians requesting that the USEF ban MPA – the petition was supported by documentation citing 23 MPA-related fatalities over the past three years, research on MPA’s efficacy, and results from the collection of MPA medication reports.

The panel determined MPA has no therapeutic use in competition horses, because it does not interrupt estrus in mares – its original intended purpose. MPA is not approved by the FDA for equine use and its use has been associated with several cases of anaphylaxis and fatality. With this analysis, the panel unanimously voted to recommend MPA be added to the USEF’s prohibited substances list.

Said USEF president Murray Kessler, “In 2017, we debated the use of this substance and its efficacy, but now, with numerous fatalities associated with the use of MPA, this decision became clear: MPA must be banned. I commend the Panel for confronting a difficult task that involved very strong opinions on both sides of the issue from our membership. The information clearly supports the prohibition of this substance and I am proud of the decision of the Board of Directors. USEF has a responsibility to ensure the welfare of our horses, and the loss of one horse resulting from the use of a non-therapeutic substance such as MPA is one too many.”