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Virginia Horse Center to Remain Hub of National and International Eventing

Allison Springer and Crystal Crescent Moon, winners of the 2019 USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championship at Virginia Horse Trials. Crystal Crescent Moon, owned and bred by Nancy Winter, a graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse program. Photo by Brant Gamma.
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The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is pleased to announce that national and FEI level eventing continues at the VHC under the name of Virginia Horse Center Eventing (VHC Eventing) May 25-28th, 2023. Through the leadership efforts of VHCF Board President Roxanne Booth and CEO Glenn Petty, VHC Eventing has received unanimous approval from the USEF to hold Beginner Novice through Intermediate level horse trials plus CCI 1*L, CCI2-S, CCI3-S and CCI2-L.

“After months of proceedings with the USEA and the USEF, we are delighted to announce that we have received unanimous approval by vote from the USEF Hearing Panel for horse trials to be held May 25-28th at the Virginia Horse Center,” stated VHC Foundation CEO Glenn Petty. “In addition, we are thrilled about the newly formed VHC Eventing Organizational committee and the improvements which are currently underway to the cross-country course.”

Leading the team of industry experts is Event Organizer Joanie Morris and the course building team of Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert, who are busy constructing over 100 new cross-country jumps.

Rementer was the recipient of the 2022 USEF Posthole Digger award, presented to a builder who has exhibited exceptional ability and dedication to the sport through their work. He and his crew are well known for their course building talents at the Kentucky 3 Day Event, The Carolina International CCI and Red Hills International Horse Trials.  Rementer was also instrumental in helping CEO Glenn Petty lead the acquisition of over 80 FEI level jumps, that Rementer built for Red Hills International, to be delivered to VHC Eventing in early February.

Morris’ resume in horse sport includes leadership positions for multiple US Olympic teams and World Championships, Managing Director of Eventing and Press Officer for all FEI Sports for the USEF, sponsorship activation at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event as well as Event Director for the $50,000 Grand Prix Eventing Showcase in Aiken, SC.

Morris is quickly assembling a top-shelf team for VHC Eventing. “I feel grateful for the opportunity to be involved with such a wonderful group of people at this venue steeped in eventing tradition. We are focused on creating a quality competition with top-quality courses and officials.”

In addition to the leadership mentioned above, confirmed members of the VHC Eventing staff and committee include: FEI Course Designer Jay Hambly, National Course Designer John Wells, Show Jumping Course Designer Michel Vaillancourt, Event Secretary Heather Petersen and Volunteer Coordinator Emily Kolakowsky. Brian Ross, the original visionary and organizer of the Virginia Horse Trials 1989 to 2014, is the Honorary Organizing Committee Chair.  The Organizing Committee members are Mark Combs, Kim Severson, Jerry Schurink and Carrie Camp.

The committee for VHC Eventing plans to elevate every aspect of the 2023 event to delight competitors and spectators through improvements to the footing and re-design of the cross-country and show jumping courses. In addition, the committee will strive to honor Brian and Penny Ross’s original vision of the event atmosphere by bringing back several fun traditions for this beautiful destination event, such as the opening party and bonfire.

During the initial organizational committee meeting for VHC Eventing Ross noted, “Penny and I couldn’t be any more excited with the formation of this new committee at Virginia Horse Center Eventing and we are confident that they will continue with the well-loved traditions that we founded in 1989.”

Stay tuned! Website and social media for Virginia Horse Center Eventing coming soon!

Contact Lisa Davis Engel for sponsorship and vending opportunities.

Will Coleman Named 2023 Recipient of the USET Foundation’s Whitney Stone Cup

Will Coleman received the USET Foundation’s 2023 Whitney Stone Cup from the USET Foundation’s Chairman, President, and CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. (left), and the USET Foundation’s Vice President of the Board of Trustees William H. Weeks (right) at a special ceremony in Wellington, Florida. Photo by Jump Media.

Eventing Olympian Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Virginia, was awarded the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s Whitney Stone Cup for 2023 at a special ceremony held during the USET Foundation’s Gold Medal Club Reception on January 22, 2023, at The Wanderer’s Club in Wellington, FL.

The Whitney Stone Cup is awarded annually by the USET Foundation to an active competitor whose consistent excellence in international competition and whose standard for sportsmanlike conduct and contributions as an ambassador for the sport and for the USET Foundation exemplify the Team’s highest ideals and traditions.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Whitney Stone Cup,” said Coleman, who was ranked fifth on the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Eventing Athlete Rankings at the end of 2022. “The competitors that have received this award are and were some of the greatest horse people in the world — many of whom I’ve looked up to my entire life. Some of the people I most admire in our sport have won it, so to be that person and to be given this award is humbling. I’ve never thought of myself as being the type of person to receive this award, so it’s really gratifying.

“Success in eventing is often at the end of a very long and challenging road,” continued Coleman. “For every great experience and achievement, there are many disappointing and formative moments. You go through these ups and downs many times and at many different levels throughout your career. It is thanks to the support from organizations like the USET Foundation, and from your owners and sponsors, that you can continue to climb the ladder and reach your fullest potential. Hopefully that is at an event like CHIO Aachen or the FEI World Championships, but wherever you have success on an international level, the USET Foundation certainly helps you to get there.”

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

An athlete on the USEF High Performance Training List since the age of 18, Coleman has taken advantage of the opportunities presented to him in order to reach his greatest potential. He was a member of the U.S. eventing team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, with Twizzel and at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, with Tight Lines.

More recently, Coleman has produced top results with Off The Record, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate. The pair won the 2018 Great Meadow International CCIO4*-S; the 2019 Jersey Fresh International CCI4*-S; and the 2021 Carolina International CCI4*-S. In September of 2021, the pair made history as the first American combination to win the CCIO4*-S division at CHIO Aachen, Germany.

In September of 2022, Coleman and Off The Record were part of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team that claimed the silver medal at the FEI Eventing World Championship held at Pratoni del Vivaro in Rome, Italy, and qualified the U.S. team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Going forward, Coleman hopes to continue to successfully represent the U.S. on the international stage.

“We have another big year in front of us,” he stated. “The horses will hopefully head to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event; that is our first big goal of the year. If the opportunity is there, I’d always want to go to CHIO Aachen again. We also have the Pan American Games at the end of the year, and I have a couple of younger horses who might be in the running for selection for that championship.”

The Whitney Stone Cup, which was presented to the Team by the Officers and Directors of the USET Foundation, is given in honor of the late Whitney Stone. Stone served as President and Chairman of the Board of the USET and was instrumental in the creation of a civilian team when the Army retired from competitive horse sports after 1948.

Previous Whitney Stone Cup Recipients:

1980 – Michael Matz

1981 – James C. Wofford

1982 – Norman Dello Joio

1983 – Melanie Smith (Taylor)

1984 – Carole Grant

1985 – Joe Fargis

1986 – Conrad Homfeld

1987 – Katie Monahan Prudent

1988 – Bruce O. Davidson

1989 – Gregory A. Best

1990 – William Long

1991 – Hap Hansen

1992 – Lana DuPont Wright

1993 – Carol Lavell

1994 – J. Michael Plumb

1995 – Robert Dover

1996 – Anne Kursinski

1997 – Leslie Burr Howard

1998 – David O’Connor

1999 – Valerie Kanavy

2000 – Karen O’Connor

2001 – Tucker Johnson

2002 – Guenter Seidel

2003 – Peter Wylde

2004 – Debbie McDonald

2005 – Chris Kappler

2006 – Elizabeth (Beezie) Madden

2007 – Elizabeth (Beezie) Madden

2008 – Miranda (Randy) Caldwell

2009 – Steffen Peters

2010 – McLain Ward

2011 – Tucker S. Johnson

2012 – Christine McCrea

2013 – Rich Fellers

2014 – Elizabeth (Beezie) Madden

2015 – Chester Weber

2016 – Phillip Dutton

2017 – Laura Graves

2018 – McLain Ward

2019 – Laura Graves

2020 – Boyd Martin

2021 – Roxanne Trunnell

2022 – Laura Kraut

US Equestrian Announces Bid Allocations for the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar for Area VI

2021 Galway Downs International CCI4*-L winner Alexandra MacLeod & Newmarket Jack (PC: Tina Fitch Photography)

Following a review of Area VI community feedback, modifications to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar were recommended by the Eventing Strategic Calendar Task Force to the Eventing Sport Committee, who in turn recommended the modifications to an Ad Hoc of the Board of Directors.

Due to hardships demonstrated for qualification under the current structure and criteria, and to limit the travel to achieve those qualifications in the interest of horse welfare, the following modifications were approved to offer the best preparation for high-performance athletes and horses. More on those modifications can be found here.

Due to the criteria changes, bid processes were opened for Week 15, 21, 40, and 42. Competitors preparing horses for the 3*-L, 4*-L, and 5* level will now have a better-structured calendar through which to prepare, with the addition of a 4*-S, Advanced, and 3*-L at Twin Rivers in Week 15 as well as a 4*-S/Advanced at Woodside (week 40) and an Advanced at Ram Tap in week 42. In total, Area VI will offer two 3*-L events, one at Twin Rivers in the spring and one at Galway Downs in the fall.

Week 15
Twin Rivers Spring International
Bid Levels: CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced
Non-bid Levels: BN, N, T, M, P, I, CCI1*, CCI2*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-S
Dates: Apr. 13-16, 2023; Apr 11-14, 2024; Apr. 10-13, 2025; Apr. 9-12, 2026; Apr. 8-11, 2027

Week 21
Woodside Horse Trials
Bid Level: Advanced
Non-bid Levels: BN, N, T, P, I
Dates: May 26-28, 2023; May 24-26, 2024; May 23-25, 2025; May 22-24, 2026; May 21-23, 2027

Week 40
Woodside Fall Horse Trials
Bid Levels: CCI4*-S & Advanced
Non-bid Levels: BN, N, T, P, I, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S
Dates: Oct. 6-8, 2023; Oct. 4-6, 2024; Oct. 3-5, 2025; Oct. 2-4, 2026; Oct. 1-3, 2027

Week 42
Ram Tap National Horse Trials
Bid Level: Advanced
Non-bid Levels: BN, N, T, M, P, I
Dates: Oct. 20-22, 2023; Oct. 18-20, 2024; Oct. 17-19, 2025; Oct. 16-18, 2026; Oct. 15-17, 2027

Remaining vacant weeks on the 2023-2027 Eventing Calendar HERE.

View the full 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar HERE.

International Collaboration on Safety Innovations: Updates from the FEI Eventing Forum in Jardy

Lively discussions, presentations and proposals provided a vibrant atmosphere at the FEI Eventing Forum & National Safety Officers Seminar 2023 hosted by the French Equestrian Federation (FFE) which concluded at Haras de Jardy (FRA) today.

American Olympian, FEI Board Member, FEI Eventing Committee Chair and USEF Chief of Sport David O’Connor presenting at the FEI Eventing Forum & National Safety Officers Seminar 2023 at the Haras de Jardy (FRA). Photo ©FEI

A total of 108 delegates from 24 National Federations (NF) attended, and once again the Forum was moderated by decorated American Olympian, FEI Board Member, Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee and USEF Chief of Sport David O’Connor, alongside Geoff Sinclair, Chair of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group (RMSG).

Business

The busy three-day programme was preceded by a one-day course led by frangible device MIM’s founder Mats Björnetun and course builder James Willis on Thursday 19 January which was attended by 72 NF representatives. This included the latest technology updates on the fitting of frangible devices correctly, and advice on adapting currently-used devices to the new standard.

Friday morning began with a tour of the spectacular Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games venue in Versailles, with representatives from the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, namely Anne Murac; a delegation from GL events Equestrian Sport including Sylvie Robert, Jean Morel and members of the team responsible for the design, planning, installation and management at the site on behalf of Paris 2024; FFE’s Head of International Relations Quentin Simonet and Technical Director Sophie Dubourg; and finally, footing specialist Paul Jacques Tanvez (FRA) and Laurent Bousquet (FRA), a member of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group, acting as guides.

Photo ©FEI

Topics

Social License and Media Training were the first topics to be tackled following the visit in Versailles, followed by a discussion on sanctions to help improve safety and the future development of 5* events with detailed feedback from the Organisers of Badminton, Burghley, Lexington and Pau.

The remainder of the first day was dedicated to discussions around Risk Management statistics and trends based on comprehensive data collected since 2004, and also highlighting 2022 had recorded the lowest number of rotational falls at FEI level since reporting had started. The delegates also discussed standards for cross-country courses; the potential to make safety stirrups mandatory; as well as the use of the Horse Form Index within the community. Throughout the Forum, the delegates were also presented a number of technology and design related innovations to increase safety from enhanced biometric data to boot design.

Among the breakthroughs from the weekend, a proposal made by Sweden’s Staffan Lidbeck regarding cross-country flag rules and the addition of penalties for displacing a flag was met with overwhelming support.

Lidbeck referred to the system currently used at national level in Sweden, where at present the rule is zero penalties for jumping clear through the flags, 7 penalties when a flag loses its upper attachment, and 20 penalties for a run-out or when a horse jumps the fence with no part of the hind end going through the flag. A show of hands confirmed the majority of the delegates agreed to the concept, with consensus that further discussion needed to take place regarding the proposed number of penalties to be applied.

Talking about the effect of the new rule on the sport in Sweden, Lidbeck’s fellow-countryman and leading Eventing Technical Delegate and Course Designer Lars Christensson said, “I think it has made riders respect fences more, and they ride more correctly. We will be going the right way if we introduce this in the sport”.

Breakout groups

A range of subjects covered during the Forum were also discussed in seven different Breakout Groups (refer to the agenda here) on the Saturday, with the findings and different solutions and ideas presented to the entire delegation. The final day focused on Risk Management statistics and programmes being conducted by National Federations with National Safety Officers from eleven countries – Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and USA – making individual presentations and sharing their safety initiatives at a national level.

The Forum came to a close with Risk Management Group Chair, Australia’s Geoff Sinclair, thanking David O’Connor and members Laurent Bousquet (FRA), Jonathan Holling and Dave Vos (USA), Great Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith for driving much of the work of the group in previous years, Stuart Buntine (AUS) who has now replaced him, Rob Stevenson (CAN) and Staffan Lidbeck (SWE). “They are a great group of people and of course we are also very grateful to the FEI Eventing team for all the hard work”, he said.

David O’Connor was pleased with the outcome of this year’s Forum and thanked the delegates for their positive involvement. “All the topics we have covered have been raised in the spirit of consultation so that we can make the right decisions for the future of the sport”, he said.

“By working together and in the same direction at both national and international level, we become increasingly effective from an educational, communications, procedural and standards perspective, and we know just how important this is to minimise risk within the sport, and increase engagement and appreciation for Eventing.”

“It’s been a great few days with great conversation, interacting and exchange of ideas, we now have a lot of action items and discussion points going forward and I’d like to thank you for your help, your participation and your contributions”, he concluded.

Video recordings from the 2023 Forum and Seminar will be available here in the coming days and a fully detailed report will be published within the next fortnight.

About FEI Eventing Risk Management

Since 2004, the FEI has embraced a holistic approach to risk management, with thorough data collection and analysis in order to have a detailed overview of what is happening in the sport to understand the trends, and to monitor the effects of the different actions put in place to mitigate and minimise risk. Part of the holistic approach also requires having a broad view on the different risk factors, including data analysis on fences and the use of frangible technology but also other mitigating factors.

For more details on the FEI Eventing Risk Management Policy, Action Plan, Seminars, Statistics, the Horse Form Index, National Safety Officers and other related topics, click here.

Opening the Doors: When Cool Ridings Met with the Howden Way

Cool Ridings members were given a great educational opportunity subsidised by the Howden Way programme. Photo by Mia Benton.

British Eventing delivered The Howden Way regional academy to a group of Cool Ridings members at the weekend, giving its riders a fantastic taster of the superb training on offer via its national training syllabus.

Cool Ridings was founded in 2020 by event rider Lydia Heywood, who represents Jamaica. The organisation addresses an array of factors to improve diversity and ensure long-term sustainability of equestrian sport. The Howden Way ethos and that of Cool Ridings have perfect synergy in that both have a core objective of ensuring that everyone has access to the tools they need to succeed and overcome obstacles associated with riding competitively, whilst also ensuring equine welfare is at the centre of everything they do.

The academy was hosted purely for Cool Ridings members and saw a diverse group of riders hosted at the National Training Centre at Hothorpe, Leicestershire. The group had a broad range of experience, from those who had been riding competitively and already enjoying success, through to those who have been riding for a relatively short time, and some were on borrowed horses.

British Eventing Level 4 coach Michael Paveley delivered the riding sessions throughout the day, focusing on flatwork, a practice trot-up and then showjumping training within a replicated competition scenario. Riders also had the opportunity to benefit from a feeding and nutrition session delivered by British Eventing’s official feed partner, Baileys Horse Feeds, who focused on feeding the sport horse and answering any specific questions they had individually.

Eighteen-year-old Fabian Williams was one of those riders who attended.

“I come from a deprived area in London and I haven’t had many opportunities with horses, but I have a passion which has enabled me to create opportunities,” he says. “To have the chance to ride with a BE Level 4 coach feels surreal because coming from inner London, where there are absolutely no opportunities like this — it felt unreachable, unreal and unimaginable. These are the things I pray for and being able to attend last weekend felt like my dreams were becoming a reality.”

Justine Parker, Head of Training and Development at British Eventing, says, “This has been such an inspiring day and the talent and commitment of the riders, across all levels, has been exceptional. This is the first academy day of its kind that we have run, and it has been an absolute success on so many levels. Today absolutely reinforces why we should be delivering days like this for riders, who may not normally have had access to our academies which run across the country for our members. By creating a bespoke day to cater for those who were borrowing horses and were perhaps coming to their first ever training day, it allowed them to take on the day confidently.

“One of the core messages when we announced the launch of The Howden Way training structure was that it was to be a vehicle to deliver an accessible holistic education syllabus for everyone and to create a welcoming and nurturing environment, growing camaraderie and mutual support, which today epitomized. The Academies are open to non-members for their first two sessions, and we trust that today’s riders will feel it has given them a stepping-stone to move into our national The Howden Way regional academies with confidence.”

Lydia Heywood summed up the success of the day: “Cool Ridings recognise that bringing underrepresented riders together for training creates an enormous amount of camaraderie and confidence which is vital when it comes to progressing in equestrian sport. I had high expectations for this alignment however the experience certainly went above and beyond them. Michael Paveley made the perfect coach with his kind, wise and well-informed approach. I am overjoyed to witness these academies in action and the spectacular syllabus that was distributed. We are truly very grateful for the opportunities that have been made available to us by British Eventing and The Howden Way.”

New in 2023: USEF Network Moves to ClipMyHorse.TV

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event finds a sort-of-new home in 2023 with the announcement of US Equestrian’s partnership with ClipMyHorse.TV. Photo by Shelby Allen.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with ClipMyHorse.TV (CMH.TV) to host the USEF Network on the CMH.TV platform.

As the Official USEF Network Partner, CMH.TV will expand the reach of the USEF Network and provide an improved viewer experience for USEF Network events, including the extensive USEF Learning Center library, with easily searchable content and accessibility to view clipped rides. The new USEF Network powered by CMH.TV experience is scheduled to launch January 17, 2023 with featured events from Desert Circuit, Wellington Equestrian Festival, and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

“By joining forces with CMH.TV, US Equestrian will reach more viewers worldwide, introducing a broader audience to USEF-licensed competitions featured on the USEF Network and to our incredible range of breeds and disciplines,” said Bill Moroney, US Equestrian’s CEO.

USEF competing members, subscribers, and fans will continue to have free access to all USEF Network live events annually. USEF competing members and subscribers enjoy the added benefit of access to USEF Network on-demand content.

CMH.TV will offer an exclusive 10% discount to all USEF competing members, subscribers, and USEF fans on annual CMH.TV premium subscriptions. Existing CMH.TV premium subscribers worldwide will now have full access to USEF Network content, which will also be available on the CMH.TV mobile app and smart TVs. The USEF Network will continue to offer a robust schedule of competitions such as the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, the Devon Horse Show, and numerous USEF Championships.

Established in 2007, CMH.TV joined forces with FEI.TV in 2020 and is the world’s premier equestrian streaming and on-demand content platform with more than 2,500 events and millions of users around the globe. ClipMyHorse.TV hosts many of the top equestrian events in the world, including the FEI World Championships, FEI World Cup Finals, the Longines FEI Nations Cup Finals, and CHIO Aachen, to name just a few. The company combines its streaming service with a unique equestrian database, consisting of information on horses, pedigrees, results, and more.

This strategic partnership is part of US Equestrian’s multi-faceted strategy to increase the visibility and reach of U.S. equestrian sport, to diversify and grow revenue, and to keep costs down for members.

While US Equestrian has successfully grown the USEF Network to 50+ events with an audience of over 440,000 competing members, subscribers, and USEF fans, our goal is to showcase our events to a global equestrian audience through ClipMyHorse.TV and to engage mainstream sport fans through channels such as ESPN and NBC. Social media and original video content will continue to fuel US Equestrian audience growth as well. With more than 1.2 million followers across US Equestrian’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts and more than 250,000 followers on TikTok, U.S. equestrian sport is fast proving its broad audience appeal across multiple digital platforms.

Revamped Youth Programme Set to Help British Eventing’s Young Stars Shine

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The British Eventing Youth Programme has been reworked for 2023 to include a brand new BE80 u18 offering, two Championship opportunities and Regional Leagues. The changes will help to deliver a progressive pathway for younger riders to follow that is fun and fulfilling for all.

The addition of the new BE80 u18 Championship and Leagues will enable more young riders to be part of the programme, benefiting from the support and guidance that it provides. The new height category means more riders will have access to U18 Regional Training, which is invaluable for building camaraderie and mutual encouragement amongst younger riders, provides essential support for parents, and delivers an all-round, holistic education for the youth members enrolled on the programme.

Also new for 2023 will be the introduction of two Youth National Championships – with the inaugural Youth BE80 Championship and the BE90 Youth Championship now taking place at Chillington Hall in Staffordshire between 9-10 September; and the Youth BE100 and 2*-L Youth Novice Championships running at Bishop Burton in East Yorkshire between 27-30 July. Splitting these Championships will give riders two unique Championship experiences and will help set new progressive goals to work towards and achieve. 

The final, and perhaps most exciting, addition to the programme will be the introduction of Regional Leagues, powered by Equiratings. The new leagues will provide a transparency of Youth Regional Rankings – not only enabling riders to chart their progress against their fellow competitors, but also providing a clear qualification route for the National Youth Championships.

The Regional Leagues will be introduced into each of the eight regions of Scotland, North, East Midlands, Wales and West Midlands, East, Central, South East and South West. Each region will have their own leagues across each of the height categories – including BE80 and will reflect the Power Based Average (PBA) score of each combination.

The PBA is calculated from the best three finishing scores* of each combination achieved across any of the qualifying classes contested. The Top 10 eligible combinations in each height category, at the end of the qualification period, will be invited to represent their region at the National Youth Championships. Only one qualifying score must be within the rider’s own region (this has previously been two), giving riders and their families greater flexibility in choosing event locations that suit them.

To be eligible for the Leagues and to benefit from the opportunity to qualify for the Youth Championship classes, riders need to register for the Youth Programme. The cost for inclusion is £30 for the year and it also provides Youth Riders aiming for the Youth National Championships with access to course walks with U18 coaches and support at designated qualifiers in each of the regions.

These new changes to the Youth Programme together with the recent introduction of The Howden Way Regional Academies ensures that each BE region has a fully aligned support system in place for riders of all ages. It should enable every rider to train like the best, to feel part of a positive and inspiring eventing community, and to get the most out of their sport.

*At least one counting score must be achieved within the members designated region and two of these scores must have been obtained within the current calendar year.

US Equestrian Announces Modifications to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar for Area VI

Lauren Billys and Can Be Sweet. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Following a review of Area VI community feedback, modifications to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar were recommended by the Eventing Strategic Calendar Task Force to the Eventing Sport Committee, who in turn recommended the modifications to an Ad Hoc of the Board of Directors.

Due to hardships demonstrated for qualification under the current structure and criteria, and to limit the travel to achieve those qualifications in the interest of horse welfare, the following modifications were approved to offer the best preparation for high-performance athlete and horses.

Week 16

  • Current criteria: one event to host the CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, and CCI3*-L levels in Area 6
  • Modification: withdraw Week 16 from the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar
  • Modification: add Week 15 to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar with the criteria: one event to host the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-L levels with the option to add the Advanced level in Area 6

Week 21

  • Current criteria: one event to host the Advanced level in Area 6
  • Modification: one event to host the Advanced level with the option to add the CCI4*-S level in Area 6
  • Note: this will re-open for bidding as the criteria has changed

Week 41

  • Current criteria: one event to host the CCI4*-S level with the option to add the Advanced level if desired in Area 6
  • Modification: withdraw Week 41 from the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar
  • Modification: add Week 40 to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar with the criteria: one event to host the CCI4*-S level with the option to add the Advanced level in Area 6
  • Modification: add Week 42 to the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar with the criteria: one event to host the Advanced level with the option to add the CCI4*-S level in Area 6

Week 11 was allocated to Ram Tap National Horse Trials as a result of the bid process.

[View the 2023-2027 Eventing Calendar here]

Britain’s Young Horse Eventing Champs Move to Cornbury International in 2023

Laura Collett competes at Cornbury in 2022. Photo by Peter Nixon.

Cornbury House Horse Trials in Oxfordshire will host the British Eventing Young Horse Championships for five-, six- and seven-year-old horses in 2023.

These prestigious classes will run alongside The Howden Way Youth Championships for juniors and under-21 riders, and the popular CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S sections from 7-10 September. There will also be national intermediate classes.

Event founder David Howden said: “I am absolutely delighted that Cornbury House will be the new home of the hugely important Young Horse Championships. Since CHHT’s inception in 2020, I have made no secret of the fact that I am passionate about supporting the best British-based talent and that we are utterly committed to helping the stars of our sport – present and future – to reach their goals.

“We have made considerable investments in the site once again this year. We will be able to unveil a second level to our amazing main arena in September – another 70m by 45m grass arena connected to the current one.

“The cross-country start and finish has been re-sited, allowing the track to have a fresh feel, and, of course, we will have a brand-new 1.05m course for the five-year-old championships.

“In the three years that CHHT has been running, we have been overwhelmed by the strength of the positive reactions and feedback from riders, owners and supporters. We think we will be able to offer everyone something even more special for 2023, and being given these important young horse championships is a great honour for us.”

Course-designer David Evans will be assisted by Dutch international event rider Andrew Heffernan in 2023. Further work has been done to level and improve the going in the dressage warm-up areas, and the ground available for the international dressage arenas has been extended. There will be stabling for competitors on-site for the first time.

New for 2023 will also be arena eventing under the banner of The Howden Way, the talent pathways and coaching scheme set up by British Eventing with the support of David Howden in 2022.

British Eventing chief executive Helen West said: “Cornbury House Horse Trials has always been one of the most prestigious and popular events in the British Eventing calendar. David Howden is passionate about our sport and provides the very best experience for all stakeholders at what is a top-class event.

“David leads an exciting and dynamic team that brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh approach to add innovation, a focus on sustainability and an exceptional day out to the eventing calendar. I have no doubt that the news that Cornbury is hosting the British Eventing Young Horse Championships will be extremely well-received by riders, owners and supporters.”

 

Caroline Martin and HSH Blake Awarded 2023 Connaught Grant

Caroline Martin was honored as the 2023 recipient of the USET Foundation’s Connaught Grant alongside U.S. Eventing Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello (left) and Kevin Keane (right) at the 2022 United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting and Convention in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by USEA / Megan DeLisle.

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has named rising eventing star Caroline Martin of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, and her mount, HSH Blake, a seven-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolan R x Doughiska Lass) owned by Mollie Hoff and Sherrie Martin, the recipients of the 2023 Connaught Grant.

Each year, the USET Foundation administers up to $25,000 to a CCI1* or CCI2* horse that is seen as a potential candidate to represent the U.S. Eventing team at the international level. The grant was established and is funded by Caroline Moran in memory of her dear friend, the late R. Bruce Duchossois, who was dedicated to encouraging the development of eventing horses in the U.S., and is named after Connaught, a horse that was owned by Duchossois and ridden by Phillip Dutton at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

As the recipient of the Connaught Grant, Martin, who is an athlete on US Equestrian’s Eventing High Performance 2023 Development Training List with HSH Blake, will use the funds to support further competition and training with HSH Blake with the aim of riding for the U.S. on the international stage.

Martin, who runs a sport horse sales business, is grateful for the support offered by the USET Foundation and US Equestrian (USEF) to up-and-coming eventing talent. She was a recipient of the USET Foundation’s Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant in 2017 and the USET Foundation’s Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund Grant in 2018, which enabled her to train and compete in England. Most recently, in 2022, she was the recipient of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Foundation’s Wilton Fair Fund and USEF’s European Developing Rider Tour Grant, the latter of which enabled her to compete in the Houghton Hall CCIO4*-S in Great Britain as the anchor rider for the silver-medal winning Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team.

“I have such a great support staff and we’re getting bigger and better, but it is still very challenging to balance making money [through horse sales] and having enough time to concentrate on my own upper-level competition horses,” explained Martin. “Without these grants, I wouldn’t be able to bring horses overseas. These grants have been life changing. They have given me opportunities to focus on improving myself and my horses and becoming a U.S. Equestrian Team rider.”

Caroline Martin and HSH Blake. Photo by Irish Eventing Times.

HSH Blake, known as “Blake” in the barn, was acquired by Martin as a five-year-old with the intent of joining her sales program. The pair claimed victory in the 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Five-Year-Old Championship and went on to capture several Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) wins in his six-year-old year. Recognizing the gelding’s enormous talent and potential for the greatest international stages, Martin decided to keep the ride on Blake but needed the support of an additional owner. Enter Mollie Hoff, who agreed to come on board as a partner with Martin.

“They’re such a fabulous family,” said Martin. “It’s been a fairytale story. With Mollie’s support, we went to England and had top-five placings in a number of FEI events, and we finished the year with a 10th-place finish in the three-star long event at the FEI World Championship for Young Horses in Le Lion d’Angers, France, on a score of 27.4. We were really, really proud of Blake, and it was very special to have the whole Hoff family there. I am so grateful that all the stars aligned.”

Next year, Martin plans to compete Blake in three-star-long and four-star-short events with an eye on the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

“It’s always a long shot, but we’re going to do everything we can to get there,” stated Martin of her Pan American Games goal.

Whether or not Martin and Blake make the team for the Pan American Games, Martin is excited about the gelding’s future and is looking forward to leveraging the grant in a way that will help Blake gain the experience necessary for him to be successful on the world stage.

“Hopefully I’ll utilize the grant in a way that would make Bruce [Duchossois] proud, and I hope we’ll represent the Connaught Grant well in his memory,” Martin concluded. “I know Bruce always believed in young, talented horses, and I really think Blake is one for the future. I’ve been part of Nations Cup and developing teams, but I haven’t been part of a senior team yet, so I hope he will be my first proper team horse.”

Thanks to the Connaught Grant, Martin and HSH Blake can continue their training with the goal of representing the United States in future international competition.

 

Maxime Livio Takes the Win (Again!) at Geneva

Maxime Livio and Boleybawn Price are victorious again. Photo courtesy of CHI Geneva.

Just a couple of weeks after taking top honours in the indoor eventing competition at the Sweden International Horse Show, France’s Maxime Livio and the eighteen-year-old Boleybawn Prince — a horse who competed for Thailand at the Tokyo Olympics under Maxime’s student, Arinadtha Chavatanont — have won again, this time in the fast and furious class at the CHI Geneva show in Switzerland.

In a thrilling competition, Maxime produced a superb round, finishing a whisker outside the ideal time but doing enough to succeed 2021 winner Robin Godel of Switzerland, who finished fourth, and best of the home side, on Big Diamond. Livio’s compatriots Karim Laghouag (aboard 19-year-old former team ride Punch de l’Esques, who was tonight making the last competitive appearance of his fine career) and Sébastien Cavaillon (Black Pearl Z) finished second and third respectively, completing a stunning French sweep of the podium.

“Boleybawn Prince hates it when he can’t come and compete with us,” says Maxime, who has targeted the gelding at lower intensity indoor classes to allow him to continue working. “He’s getting older but he’s still competitive, so indoor cross events like this one in Geneva are the perfect opportunity for him to have some fun. He excelled himself today, like he always does. He’s in great form, which is nice to see.”

16 competitors from nine different countries took part in the competition, which was staged on Friday night of the prestigious show. You can check out the full results — and watch videos of each competitors’ round, which took place across two arenas — here, or keep scrolling for the highlights from social media.

 

US Equestrian Announces 2023 Eventing Pathway Pre-Elite and Development Program Members

Allie Knowles and Morswood. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athletes named to the 2023 Eventing Pre-Elite and Developing Programs. The programs are part of the U.S. Eventing Pathway, which is focused on developing combinations to deliver sustainable success in team competition at the championship level. Learn more about the Eventing Pathway Programs here.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The following combinations have been approved for the Pre-Elite Program and are listed in alphabetical order:

Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) with Chin Tonic HS, a 2012 Holsteiner gelding owned by Hyperion Stud, LLC; and Dondante, a 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Team Rebecca, LLC
Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) with Carlevo, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) with Sea of Clouds, a 2011 Thoroughbred gelding owned by Sea of Clouds Partnership
Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) with Cooley Quicksilver, a 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership; and Miks Master C, a 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Palmer and Ocala Horse Properties, LLC. The following horses have met the objective criteria for the Development Program: Cooley Nutcracker, a 2014 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Liz Halliday-Sharp, Deborah Halliday, and Ocala Horse Properties, LLC; and Shanroe Cooley, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties, LLC
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg TSF, a 2007 Trakehner gelding owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner

Mia Farley and BGS Firecracker. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The following combinations have been approved for the Development Program and are listed in alphabetical order:

James Alliston (San Ramon, Calif.) with Nemesis, a 2014 Canadian Warmblood gelding owned by Alliston Equestrian
Cornelia Dorr (Manchester By The Sea, Mass.) with Daytona Beach 8, a 2010 Oldenburg mare owned by HCS Syndicate
Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) with BGS Firecracker, her own 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare; and Phelps, a 2013 Thoroughbred gelding owned by David O’Connor
Gillian Beale King (Malvern, Pa.) with Rebeliant, a 2011 Polish Warmblood gelding owned by Richard Ames
Allie Knowles (Lexington, Ky.) with Morswood, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien
Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.) with HSH Blake, a 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Caroline Martin, Sherrie Martin, and Mollie Hoff; and Redfield Champion, a 2014 Hanoverian gelding owned by Caroline Martin and Sherrie Martin
Andrew McConnon (Vass, N.C.) with Ferrie’s Cello, a 2012 Warmblood gelding owned by Jeanne Shigo
Alexander O’Neal (Reddick, Fla.) with Redtail Penumbra, a 2015 Westphalian mare owned by Elinor MacPhail O’Neal
Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) with Cornelius Bo, her own 2014 Hanoverian gelding; Oskar, a 2009 Holsteiner gelding owned by Julie Phillips and Alyssa Phillips
Jenny Caras Roberts (Buckhead, Ga.) with Sommersby, a 2012 Holsteiner gelding owned by Jenny Caras Roberts and Jerry Hollis
Caitlin Silliman (Paoli, Pa.) with Luska Candy Clover, a 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Besty Curtis
Elisa Wallace (Reddick, Fla.) with Renkum Corsair, a 2010 Holsteiner gelding owned by Corsair Syndicate, LLC

This announcement follows an earlier list of combinations named to US Equestrian’s Elite Program for 2023.

Five Eventing Legends Inducted into USEA Hall of Fame

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Attendees of the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention gathered together on Saturday, December 10 for a celebration of some of the sport’s most influential key players that takes place only once every four years: the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame Gala. This year the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame welcomed five new inductees into its class of esteemed riders, horses, and influencers of the sport. While only one of the inductees could be present themselves this year, the other four were well-represented with acceptance speeches on their behalf from family and close friends.

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

The first inductee to be honored was Janie Atkinson. Atkinson is most well known for her contributions to the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, now Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, serving as the Executive Vice President of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) and Event Director from 1984 to 2010. The success and scale of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event today are thanks in large part to Atkinson’s work. Throughout her career, Atkinson also served as Industry Liaison for the American Horse Council, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council, and Eventing Discipline Director for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. Atkinson accepted her trophy while sharing many personal stories from the history of the Horse Park and the development of the Kentucky Three-Day Event.

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Second to be recognized was three-time Olympian and prolific author, the late Brigadier General Harry Chamberlin. Warren Matha accepted the award on the behalf of Chamberlin’s family while taking a look back at Chamberlin’s astounding influence on equestrian sport in the U.S. Chamberlin was a graduate of the American, French and Italian calvary schools for advanced equitation and rode in the 1920, 1928 and 1932 Olympic Games. His top accolades include a Team Gold for the Military, the predecessor to the modern form of eventing, and an individual Silver Medal for the Prix de Nations in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Col. Chamberlin also wrote two classic and still influential books: Riding and Schooling Horses (1934) and Training Hunters, Jumpers and Hacks (1937), the former a guide for developing “a good rider,” the latter for educating that rider in “breaking and training the horse.”

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Turning the attention to the horses that have made an impact on the history of eventing over the years, Dougie Hannum accepted the trophy on behalf of all of the connections of the esteemed Eagle Lion. Hannum shared many personal accounts of working alongside “Eagle,” including the origin of his nickname of “the flying pig.” Piloted by Bruce Davidson, Sr. throughout his astonishing career, Eagle Lion was the first of only two American horses to ever win the Badminton Horse Trials, and one of few, if not the only, to complete the four-star cross-country course at Badminton double clear four times. Davidson and Eagle Lion collected top five placings at Fair Hill, Burghley, and other attempts at Badminton throughout their partnership and are now memorialized as a bronze statue at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the artist depicted the pair jumping the “Head of the Lake” obstacle of at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day.

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Rumsey Keefe took to the stage to honor the fourth inductee of the evening, her mother Trish Gilbert. Gilbert has worn many hats in the sport of the eventing throughout her lifetime, but perhaps the most influential was her role in bringing the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, only the second five-star event in the U.S. and seventh worldwide, to fruition. Gilbert has been involved with Fair Hill International, Inc., the organizers of eventing competitions at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, since the beginning as their event director. After successfully hosting the 2003 Pan American Games Eventing Championships and over 30 years of upper-level eventing competitions at the venue, Fair Hill was awarded the five-star designation, in many ways thanks to Gilbert’s work. Gilbert also served as the director of the Blue Ridge Horse Trials, organized the spring three-day U.S. Equestrian Team Championships, was a team selector, the young rider chairman, and served on many USEA boards throughout her career. Keefe shared a letter from Gilbert expressing her gratitude for being honored through this induction and took a trip down memory lane, sharing the influence her mother had on her own life growing up and still has today.

USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Perhaps the most comedic acceptance of the evening was that of Brian and David O’Connor’s on behalf of their mother Sally O’Connor. The brothers shared tales of their cross-country trek on horseback organized by Sally and what life was like growing up under her influence. O’Connor has enjoyed a lifetime of involvement in both eventing and dressage, serving in several official roles, including as an FEI Judge (USEF “I” dressage judge and an eventing “R” judge), an eventing steward, the voice of the dressage tests at the then Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event for over 15 years, and press liaison during the 2004 Olympics. Also, an accomplished writer, O’Connor has influenced riders all over the country with her works Practical Eventing and Common Sense Dressage, as well as numerous articles on both disciplines. She has served on the boards of many equestrian institutions including the United States Dressage Association, the United States Pony Club, and as Vice President of Education for the United States Eventing Association.

The USEA thanks these five inductees for their tremendous impact on the sport and congratulates them on their induction into the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame.

FEI Makes Changes to Maternity Leave Provisions – But Leaves Eventing Off the Roster

Jonelle and son Otis share a cuddle before the prize giving at Pau in 2021. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The FEI has made changes to the existing rules regarding maternity leave in order to introduce further flexibility and give athletes the option of adapting the duration of their maternity leave to their individual situation. The decision was taken by the FEI Board at its last teleconference for 2022 held on 6 December.

The previous minimum period for a medical and maternity leave, which had been included in the Ranking Rules for Jumping, Dressage, and Driving, was six months and the maximum period 12 months.

Following various opinions expressed by athletes, who wished to have the flexibility to return to competition from maternity leave earlier than six months, the Board took the decision to shorten the minimum period to three months, without changing the maximum period, which remains 12 months. In addition, athletes will now have the possibility to come back earlier than originally indicated when they initially requested the leave. To do so, they will need to give a four-week notice for Dressage and Driving. For Jumping, a 10-week notice is required if riders want to be eligible to receive an invitation under the FEI Online Invitation System, but only four weeks if the athlete intends to participate in the event further to another kind of invitation, such as an OC invitation or a wildcard.

The relevant changes to the wording of the respective Ranking Rules will be published in the Jumping, Dressage, and Driving rules sections on the FEI website.

The provisions for medical leave remain unchanged, the minimum period being six months and the maximum period 12 months.

The Board also approved the incorporation of medical/maternity leave provisions (as updated) into the FEI Endurance and FEI Para Dressage Ranking Rules for the first time. The respective Ranking Rules will be published under the Endurance and Para Dressage rules sections on the FEI website.

The FEI Eventing Committee has considered including medical and maternity leave provisions in the Eventing Ranking Rules but is currently not in favour for risk management reasons.

Maternity and medical leave provisions for Vaulting are currently being examined by the Technical Committee and updates will be provided in due course.

“It is good news that the Board has allowed for greater flexibility regarding maternity leave,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The FEI was one of the first international sports organisations to introduce provisions for maternity leave in April 2010 and we remain committed to protecting the welfare of our athletes. These rules had been first put in place for Jumping and were gradually extended to Dressage and Driving. This had been done in order to allow athletes, who have had a baby, not to lose all their Rankings points while off the circuit.

“The FEI has listened to the riders who have expressed the desire to have the option of returning to competition earlier than six months and the FEI Board is very much in favour of supporting athletes wishing to achieve the best possible balance between family life and a high level sports career. The Ranking Rules in all the FEI disciplines are living documents and we will keep on reviewing the maternity and medical leave provisions to make sure they remain relevant and fair.”

Over to you: Eventing’s lack of maternity provisions has previously come under fire, most notably when Jonelle Price penned a salient missive after dropping from 7th in the world to 217th when she took a leave of absence to have her first child, Otto. 

“Come on FEI, why on earth is eventing not in line with other disciplines?? Maternity leave saw me plummet from #7 to #217 and that was with returning to competition sooner than most,” she wrote on social media. 

“During the period which an Athlete has officially ceased to compete due to pregnancy or a medical condition, he/she will retain 50% of the Dressage World Rankings points earned from the corresponding month of the preceding year until he/she recommences competing internationally,” stated the FEI when introducing maternity provisions for dressage in late 2018, eight years after introducing them for showjumping.

We’d love your thoughts, particularly if you’ve been directly affected by the FEI’s lack of maternity provisions. Sound off in the comments, or email us at [email protected], and you could be included in a future feature. 

 

Paris Olympics Appoints Dynamic Duo of Course Designers for Showjumping (and Eventing’s Finale!)

The equestrian sports at Paris 2024 will take place at the Palace of Versailles.

Santiago Varela Ullastres (ESP) and Gregory Bodo (FRA) have been appointed as Co-Course Designers for the Jumping and Jumping Eventing Competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The decision was taken by the FEI Board at its last teleconference for 2022 held on 6 December.

Santiago Varela, 54, is a 4* Technical Delegate and Course Designer in Jumping and is one of the sport’s most respected officials.

He was introduced to horses as a child and began designing courses at the Club de Campo de Madrid in 1984 at the age of 14. A year later, he qualified as a “Local Course Designer”. In 1993 Varela was promoted to International Course Designer status. In 2011 he designed the FEI Jumping European Championship in Madrid (ESP) and in July 2013 he achieved FEI Level 4 Course Designer status. That same year he was appointed as Course Designer for the first Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) and has built courses at numerous events of all levels across the world. These include the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifiers at Lyon (FRA) and La Coruña (ESP), the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals 2018 and 2019 as well as various championships for Children, Juniors, Young Riders, and U25.

Santiago Varela served as Technical Delegate for Jumping at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA) in 2014, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2017 in Omaha, NE (USA) and the FEI Jumping European Championship 2017 in Gothenburg (SWE), among many others.

Despite his many achievements in the sport, Varela is perhaps best known for his work as Course Designer for Jumping and the Jumping test of Eventing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where his designs were lauded for their vibrant colours, creativity, sensitivity to Japanese culture as well as the challenges they set for riders while remaining respectful of horse and athlete welfare.

Frenchman Gregory Bodo, 44, has being building Jumping courses internationally for over 20 years. He officiated as the Assistant Course Designer at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, where he first cooperated with Santiago Varela, and the FEI Jumping European Championships for Children, Juniors, and Young Rider 2017 held in Šamorín (SVK).

In 2017 Bodo built his first Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier in Lyon (FRA), where Santiago Varela was Assistant Course Designer. Since then, Bodo and Varela have held these roles every year except for 2020 when the show was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Gregory Bodo was Assistant Course Designer at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA), working once again alongside Santiago Varela, who officiated as Course Designer. Later that year he designed the FEI Jumping European Championships for Youth in Fontainebleau (FRA). He was Assistant Course Designer at the FEI Jumping European Championship 2019 in Rotterdam (NED), the FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 in Riesenbeck (GER) as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where he worked in cooperation with Varela once again.

In 2019 Bodo was promoted to 4* Technical Delegate and Course Designer status, the highest level for an FEI official. He is currently one of only two French Course Designers in Jumping to have achieved this degree of excellence.

“We are delighted to have appointed Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo as the Jumping Co-Course Designers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“As is always the case for the Olympic Games, we went through a thorough evaluation process and selected two individuals both of whom hold a wealth of experience and are renowned for their dedication and impeccable work ethic. The designs created by Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo are stunning and combine huge expertise with unique local flavour. Most importantly, they always put the horse at the core of their thought process and produce courses mindful of the welfare of both our equine and human athletes.

“Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo have worked together on numerous occasions and will make a great team. I am convinced that with their knowledge, creative spirit, and professional attitude, the equestrian community, the spectators and the fans around the world can expect Jumping courses of the highest quality. With the equestrian events scheduled to be held in Versailles with the historical château as the uniquely beautiful backdrop, these are set to be truly exceptional Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The Olympic Games will take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024, and include three equestrian disciplines on the programme: Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing. Equestrian has been a regular fixture at the Olympic Games since 1912.

The Paralympic Games will take place from 28 August to 8 September 2024, and feature one equestrian discipline: Para Dressage. Para Equestrian was first included in the programme of the Paralympic Games in 1996.

The equestrian events of the Olympic Games will begin with the first Eventing Horse Inspection on 26 July and will end on 6 August with the Jumping Individual Final. For Para Dressage, medal days will be spread across 3 to 7 September.

For more information on the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and ticketing, which opened on 1 December, please visit the event’s official website paris2024.org.

The War Horse Event Series is Heading West!

The Carolina Horse Park is proud to announce its new partnership with Feather Creek Farm, a 90-acre equestrian Eventing facility in Norman, Oklahoma, with the expansion of the War Horse Event Series.

In April 2023, the two venues will expand the successful Southern Pines Equine Associates War Horse Event Series (WHES) schooling Horse Trials to include two competitions in Oklahoma. As Dynah Korhummel, owner of Feather Creek Farm, says, “it has been so exciting to work with Marc Donovan’s War Horse Event Series team for the last two years. I am so thankful to the Carolina Horse Park for giving me the opportunity to develop this successful series to a national level schooling show series with the expansion to Oklahoma. This partnership exemplifies true teamwork.”

Both events at Feather Creek will serve as opportunities to qualify for the November WHES Championship at Carolina Horse Park, where hundreds of horse and rider combinations compete for over $10,000 in cash and prizes. The highest placing Amateur or Junior in each Championship class also receives up to $1000.

“We are very excited to join forces with Dynah and Feather Creek,” states CHP Program Director, Marc Donovan, “we believe Dynah has the right attitude, foresight, and enthusiasm to carry our brand forward. Our continued expectation is that these schooling shows will provide safe yet competitive building blocks for horses and riders preparing for recognized competitions.”

The expanded series, which focuses on education and safety, and relies on its many valued sponsors includes six competitions at the Carolina Horse Park – May 13-14, June 10-11, July 8-9, August 12-13, October 7-8, November 10-12.

Feather Creek Farm will kick off the 2023 season on April 8-9 and host its second event on September 30-October 1. Look for details including championship qualifications and WHES sponsors at www.carolinahorsepark.com.

US Equestrian Names 2023 Eventing Pathway Elite Program Members

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athletes named to the 2023 Eventing Elite Program. The aim of the Eventing Elite Program is to identify and support combinations with demonstrated medal-winning potential at the next World Championships or Olympic Games, and provide them with the best possible preparation to represent the U.S.

The following combinations have met the objective criteria as outlined in the Eventing Elite Program Task Force (EEPTF) Recommendations for membership to the 2023 USEF Eventing Elite Program, in alphabetical order:

  • Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Pa.) and Off The Record, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate.
  • Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding owned by Evie Dutton, Ann Jones, Suzanne Lazy, Caroline Moran, Thomas Tierney, and David & Patricia Vos.
  • Ariel Grald (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Leamore Master Plan, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Annie Eldridge.
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Fedarman B, a 2010 KWPN gelding owned by the Annie Goodwin Syndicate.
  • Lauren Nicholson (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, a 2007 Anglo-Arabian owned by Jaqueline Mars.
  • Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Quantum Leap, a 2011 Rheinlander gelding owned by Doug and Jess Payne.
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell; Danito, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding owned by Ruth Bley; and Solaguayre California, a 2011 Hanoverian mare owned by Julianne & David Guarigila.

Membership is reviewed twice annually, and combinations may be added on a rolling basis based upon the criteria specific to each program. The updated Elite Program List will be published mid-year.

To learn more about the Eventing Elite Program, please contact Gemma Stobbs, Director, Eventing Elite Program, at [email protected] or (859) 225-6929.

Eventers Win Big at Horse & Hound Awards

Nicola Wilson and husband Alistair. Photo by Peter Nixon/H&H.

Her Late Majesty The Queen’s pony Carltonlima Emma won the Agria Horse of a Lifetime Award at last night’s Horse & Hound Awards 2022 in partnership with NAF. Fell pony Emma enjoyed a successful breeding and showing career before spending 15 years hacking with The Queen in Windsor Great Park.

The mare achieved worldwide fame at the age of 26 when she waited patiently for Her Majesty’s coffin to arrive in Windsor, one of the most poignant moments of The Queen’s funeral day in September.

Lizzie Briant, who produced Emma for the show ring, collected the award and said: “I persuaded Terry [Pendry, The Queen’s stud manager] to buy Emma for The Queen as a broodmare. She had such an incredible temperament, so I asked if I could show her and Her Majesty said yes. She was born on the Fells and is a typical Fell pony – she’s sure-footed, forward going and never minds any atmosphere. She is a lovely ride and the kindest of mares.”

Showjumper David Broome won the Horse & Hound Lifetime Achievement Award. David rode at five Olympics and won 14 championship medals, including Britain’s first individual Olympic showjumping medal, a bronze in 1960 in Rome. That year, he was the first British rider to be named sports personality of the year.

David said: “I’ve had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every win’s important on the day and I’ve had a lot of fun. I can remember winning a £50 class at Malmesbury, beating all the young riders in it. I was about 40 on a horse that couldn’t go very quick and I managed to pull off a bit of a turn – I was tickled pink that day!”

More than 300 people attended a glittering evening to celebrate the seventh Horse & Hound Awards on 30 November at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Guests rose to their feet for Nicola Wilson, the event rider who was seriously injured at Badminton, when she was named the winner of the HorseDialog Inspiration of the Year award.

Nicola paid tribute to everybody who has supported her and particularly her “phenomenal” husband Alastair, and spoke of her plans to train and mentor other riders at her Yorkshire yard.

“Horses and the sport is what I love. I’ve dreamed of competing at the top all my life. It’s sad seeing an empty yard and it would be lovely to be part of others’ journey,” she said.

“So many people have helped me achieve what I’ve achieved. I’ve had a wonderful time to date and it’s important to me that I move into the next chapter of my life with the same positivity and determination as I did the first.”

The Horse & Hound Awards 2022 winners:

●  Bloomfields Horse of the Year: Burghley winner Vanir Kamira

 

●  Equo Pony of the Year: the late Forester

 

●  Pikeur Professional Rider of the Year: Badminton winner Laura Collett

 

●  PIVO Amateur Rider of the Year: five-star eventer Libby Seed

 

●  Equipe Moment of the Year: Piggy March and Vanir Kamira winning

Burghley

 

●  Tommy Hilfiger Equestrian Young Rider of the Year: showjumper Joe Stockdale

 

●  NAF Five Star PROFEET Farrier of the Year: the late Brendan Murray

 

●  Absorbine Groom of the Year: Ruth Asquith, groom for Nicola Wilson

 

●  The Horse & Hound Podcast Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Bucks and Phil

Wadey

 

●  Baileys Horse Feeds Vet of the Year: Emily Willoughby

 

●  HorseDialog Inspiration of the Year: Nicola Wilson

 

●  Agria Horse of a Lifetime: Carltonlima Emma

 

●  Horse & Hound Lifetime Achievement: David Broome

Chattahoochee Hills at Bouckaert Farm Receives USEF Bid Allocation for Week 10 on the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar

Jennifer Mulholland and Casanova. Photo by Shelby Allen.

US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce that the bid was allocated to Chattahoochee Hills Eventing at Bouckaert Farm. The additional levels awarded include the BN, N, T, M, P, I, CCI2*-S, and CCI3*-S. The competition will run March 11-12, 2023, and replace Chattahoochee Hills’ current competition on Week 9.

View the full 2023-2027 Eventing Calendar here.

Maxime Livio Wins the Very First Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing Final

Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing is a new concept at Sweden International Horse Show and it appeared a hit with the crowds at Friends Arena in Stockholm. The final delivered lots of excitement as the last rider to go won by just one hundredth of a second. And it was France’s Maxime Livio who was crowned the very first Top 10 Champion of indoor eventing.

Maxime Livio (FRA) and Boleybawn Prince – winners of the Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing 2022. Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS.

This year marked the launch of Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing at Sweden International Horse Show. The brand-new competition for some of the world’s best eventing riders covers two classes with a warm-up and a final. In the 2022 world premiere Maxime Livio and Boleybawn Prince managed to win both. The Sunday final was extraordinarily tight as the French rider beat Sweden’s Frida Andersén and Box Compris by as little as one hundredth of a second. Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Nickel 21 came in third.

Frida Andersen and Box Compris, second in the Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing 2022. Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS.

“I think this was a good demonstration of what cross country is, with trouble for some and really nice rounds for others and the finish really close”, Maxime Livio says at the press conference. “You have to ride him well because he is so talented, so if you make a mistake you can really blame yourself. So I was really focused today on doing my best,” he says of the horse Boleybawn Prince.

All three riders on the podium praised the course, which even contained a water jump.

“It is a cool show really, with a great audience and, I think, an interesting course,” says Olympic gold medalist Julia Krajewski. “You couldn’t just go for it, so the riders go tested,” she adds.

Full results: Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing (equipe.com)

And for a behind the scenes look from U.S. rider Boyd Martin…

Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS

Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS

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 www.ShopUSEA.com.

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 https://services.useventing.com/ and navigating to the Eventing USA Archive.

Maxime Livio Takes the Lead in Round One of Sweden’s Indoor Eventing Challenge

Maxime Livio and Boleybawn Prince lead the way on a scorching time of 30.92. Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS.

France’s Maxime Livio and Boleybawn Prince were the best combination in the first class of the Agria Top 10 Indoor Eventing in Stockholm, Sweden, last night. This means they will go last in the final on Sunday.

Livio was very pleased with his horse after the ride: “He is just an amazing horse,” he says. “He did Boekelo when he was eight with the German team. I’m training the Thailand eventing team and now he belongs to one of my Thai riders. He’s 17 now and still loves to compete. We train him for these competitions because they are not so physically demanding — he can just have big fun and feel the atmosphere of the big shows. I’m very lucky to have this horse and I’m very thankful to his owners who let me ride him.”

On indoor eventing, which takes place at many of the big winter indoor competitions, Maxime remarks, “I think it’s really good with the indoor shows because we can promote our sport and it’s helpful for us to have competitions during the winter season. I also think the audience loves to see these competitions, there is always a very good atmosphere.”

But, he points out: “It’s important though to have specific horses for this kind of classes. They need to be fast, but very connected and listening to the rider. They also have to be experienced, because everything comes very quickly.”

Sofia Sjoborg and Eastbourne are the best of the formidable home side in round one. Photo by Roland Thunholm/SIHS.

Sunday will see the finale of the class play out, run in reverse order of merit — and so Maxime will be the last rider to enter the ring, following joint-second placed competitors Sofia Sjoborg, piloting Eastbourne for the home nation, and Denmark’s Peter Flarup, riding his top horse Fascination.

“It will be the first time we do two fast classes during a competition,” says Maxime. “I think I will just have to manage my horse a little bit, because he will probably want to go too quick. I’m happy to be at the end of the order, that means I will have some answers about the course. And I will know who’s in the lead and what kind of risk they took.”

The ten-strong class saw plenty of drama and excitement, including a shock elimination for Oliver Townend after a spooky round with catch-ride Sotomayor resulted in the gelding jumping onto the bounce bank on a half-stride, refusing on top, and then slipping backwards off the side of the bank. Both were totally unharmed and landed on their feet. US representative Boyd Martin sits fifth currently on catch ride Caruccio Paradise, just a fraction of a second behind Germany’s Anna Siemer and the excellent eight-year-old Lillybelle EA, while Olympic champion Julia Krajewski sits sixth after the first round with the exciting eight-year-old Nickel 21.

You can rewatch the class on Horse&CountryTV here, and for full results, click here.

First Four-Star Is a Charm: Dan Kreitl and Carmango Receive USET Foundation’s 2022 Gladstone Challenge Trophy

Dan Kreitl and Carmango were presented with the USET Foundation’s 2022 Gladstone Challenge Trophy by Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Development and Emerging Programs at USEF; Cassie Holmes, Import/Export Director for The Dutta Corp.; Karin Ahlqvist, Vice President of Global Operations for The Dutta Corp.; and Sharon Decker, President, Carolinas Operations, Tryon Equestrian Partners. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

On November 13, 2022, amateur eventing athlete Dan Kreitl of Muncie, Indiana, received the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s 2022 Gladstone Challenge Trophy for his win in the Dutta Corp. USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. The Gladstone Challenge Trophy was established in 1963 and is awarded to the winner of the fall four-star long national championship event. The trophy is inscribed annually with the winner’s name and permanently displayed at the USET Foundation’s headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Not only had Kreitl never competed in a four-star event prior to his win, it was also a first for his mount Carmango, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Kay Dixon, known as ‘Fritz’ in the barn.

“I’ve never been prouder of the effort my horse put out,” said Kreitl of Fritz’s performance over the three days. “I pushed him for all he had on the cross-country course, and he gave 110%. There were a few jumps where I didn’t have a good ride, and he totally bailed me out. The thing I love most about this sport is the bond that’s formed with the horse and, with Fritz, the level of trust I have in him. It’s really fun. That bond between us got even stronger through this competition.”

Kreitl, a husband, father of two, and owner of a student housing business near Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, always considered his riding a hobby. In middle school, he began riding dressage at a farm near his family’s home and progressed up the ranks to ultimately compete at the 2008 CN FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAYC) in dressage before going to college. It wasn’t until he was 22 that Krietl first tried eventing and, around that time, he became acquainted with Kay Dixon who offered to sponsor Krietl’s eventing pursuits. As Kreitl and Dixon began to build a small string of horses, Kreitl’s dreams of competing at higher levels started to come into focus.

“Kay [Dixon] made this opportunity possible for me,” explained Kreitl. “I knew my goal [was to compete at the highest levels] but I often wondered if I could actually do it. Kay and I took steps [to acquire and develop young horses], and we thought maybe this isn’t just a pipe dream.”

With his dreams in reach, the 35-year-old rider began adjusting his work schedule to better accommodate his riding. While a majority of his time is still dedicated to his day job, he’s been able to concretely map out his long-term goals. As part of the prize for winning the CCI4*-L National Championship, Kreitl scored a ticket to transport a horse to Europe and back courtesy of The Dutta Corp., so he has just begun to think about what other dreams could become a reality.

“For sure the long-term goal is getting to do five-star events [with Fritz],” he stated. “Kay and I have talked about how fun it would be to compete at [CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany]. We didn’t really think it would happen but now with this prize, we’d like to go to Aachen to compete in the four-star if it works out.”

Dan Kreitl and Carmango in the cross-country phase of the Dutta Corp. USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

With his name now etched onto the prestigious USET Foundation trophy alongside Olympians and some of the world’s best athletes such as David O’Connor, Bruce O. Davidson, Phillip Dutton, and Boyd Martin, Kreitl has a new aspiration beginning to take shape. “Riding for the [U.S. equestrian] team is a dream, and one I thought wouldn’t happen,” he commented modestly. “But now that we’re getting closer, I’ve had a couple of people encouraging me to go that path. Long story short, if it could be [a realistic] opportunity I’d go for it!”

Kreitl is quick to point out that his eventing journey is made possible by a tremendous team effort from his barn team and coaches. “Liz Carter has been helping me with the horses at home and has been grooming, and I definitely couldn’t do it without her,” he noted. “Julie Miller first introduced me to the sport of eventing, and she comes to different shows and grooms for me, so we’ve been on this journey together. My coaches have helped me dramatically, especially my eventing coach Sharon White and Bonna McCuiston who has been my dressage instructor for 12 years. In the past couple of years, I have also been working with Richard Rinehart for show jumping.”

In addition to his team at the barn, Kreitl spoke to an equally supportive team at home. “I’m married to a non-horse person who is going through stage 4 cancer treatments,” he shared. “My wife Alyssa is super supportive, especially with the trials she’s going through and [being home with our two young children]; it’s incredibly impressive. She’s really the heart and soul.

“Between running our own business, doing the horses as a hobby, and my wife with her health issues, we really could not do this without the help of our extended family,” he continued. “It’s been great that everyone is very excited [about the eventing] and wants to do it.”

Krietl is realistic about the highs and lows of the sport but is taking the time to enjoy his milestone achievement. “It’s been a really fun journey, a lot of days of hard work, and disappointments along the way and thinking [winning at the top level would] never happen. So, it’s sure fun when it all comes together, and to get a big win was totally awesome.”

His advice for other aspiring athletes? “I’d say 100% chase the dream,” he concluded. “You just don’t know [what can happen]. I had no idea when I met Kay that it was a dream of hers to own upper-level horses. Work really hard, and don’t give up on the dream. When I think things aren’t going to come together and I get discouraged, [I keep going and] after a while something good happens.”