Articles Written 59
Article Views 69,742

Edited Press Release

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Edited Press Release

Latest Articles Written

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 www.CarolinaHorsePark.com.

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 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.

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.

[USEA FOUNDATION TO ADMINISTER THE MARS BROMONT RISING U25 PROGRAM]

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.”

FEI Publishes Tokyo Horse Monitoring Research Project Findings

The FEI has published the full report of the horse monitoring research project conducted at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event in August, won by Olympic champion Michael Jung (GER) with fischerWild Wave. Photo by FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi.

The results of a major research study commissioned by the FEI, aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments, have been published today.

Conducted at the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event in August 2019, and led by the FEI’s climate expert Dr David Marlin, the study monitored the combined effects of long travelling times and distances, time zone disruptions and heat and humidity on competing horses.

Horses were monitored before and during the test event, including how they adapted to the challenging climate in Tokyo. Central to the report is data collected on-course and post-competition, which allowed for detailed analysis of the cross country test.

The study findings show that horses generally coped extremely well with the conditions and remained in good health for the duration of the test event, held at the same time of year as the Games in 2020, despite the fact that conditions were thermally challenging, with Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer (WBGT) Index readings frequently in the region of 32-33°C. (The WBGT index is used to measure heat, humidity, solar radiation and wind factor.)

The report confirms that on cross country day (Aug. 13), the high WBGT Index, steep initial climb and sharp turns on the course produced a significant challenge for competing horses. Heart rates during cross country, and blood lactate, heart rate and rectal temperature after cross country, indicated that horses were working at close to maximal capacity.

A new heart rate monitor that also displays the ECG, plus infra-red thermal imaging to provide a rapid and accurate estimate of horses’ temperature were key pieces of technology used in data collection for the study.

The report highlights that “all possibilities must be explored to mitigate the effects of the likely climatic conditions, including reduction in distance appropriate for the conditions and bringing the cross country start time forward to avoid the highest WBGT conditions that would normally peak between late morning and mid-afternoon”.

Following discussions between the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG), the IOC and the FEI, consensus has been reached on advancing the cross country start time to either 07.30 or 08.00 on Aug. 2, 2020 as part of the heat countermeasures. A final decision on the move, which is fully supported by the findings in the Marlin report published today, will be made by the IOC Executive Board.

“We have worked very closely with TOCOG to put in place the best possible heat countermeasures for both our equine and human athletes for Tokyo 2020, and the findings in this important research study will play a crucial role in guiding final decisions on appropriate facilities and support,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “The report will also be a valuable tool for athletes and National Federations as they prepare their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Heat countermeasures that are already in place for horses include air conditioned stables at both equestrian venues (Bajikoen and Sea Forest), early morning and evening training and competition sessions under floodlights, constant and close monitoring by a world class veterinary team, and multiple cooling facilities including the provision of shade tents, cooling fans, ice and water, and mobile cooling units.

The FEI has been working on optimising equine performance in challenging climates with Dr Marlin since before the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Dr Marlin has been working with the FEI for the past three years specifically on Tokyo, reviewing historical climate records, analysing data collected at the main venue at Bajikoen (EQP) and at the cross-country course at Sea Forest (SFC), and leading the test event research project.

The findings from the research project have been sent to TOCOG, the IOC, all National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with athletes competing in equestrian sport, and all National Federations affiliated to the FEI.

The full report is available here.

[FEI Publishes Tokyo Horse Monitoring Research Findings]

Record Entries Take Virginia Horse Trials to New Heights

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International is thrilled to welcome its highest ever number of entries at the autumn 2019 edition of the event taking place October 31-November 3. Over 580 entries have been received, which includes 53 current entries vying for the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship.

New for this event is the CCI1*-L, which is the Modified (3’5”) level run under international long format rules. VHT is currently the only event in the country to offer the CCI1*-L, which serves as an introduction to FEI competition at the Modified height. Even with this addition, Modified horse trials entry numbers are approaching 50 horses, an increase of 30% since the spring VHT International.

Happily, Starter numbers have more than doubled, with over 20 entries scheduled in this small but mighty level. VHT hosts three unrecognized starter trials throughout the year. It is a pleasure to see competitors from the unrecognized events also joining us at the recognized events.

“I want to thank everyone for choosing to come to Virginia Horse Trials,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles. “We are honored to have the two-star championships again, and it’s great to see people coming to try the one-star long.

“But just as important as the FEI divisions, we’re seeing horses and riders who enjoy our unrecognized shows at the lower levels stepping up to experience the atmosphere and challenge of a recognized environment. We will do our best to provide them with a positive experience so they continue to pursue recognized competition. In this way, we are thrilled to further the mission of the US Eventing Association to educate horses and riders and promote the sport of eventing.”

Back by popular demand is the Intercollegiate and Alumni Team Challenge. Whether currently in school, recently graduated, or graduated any number of years ago, riders are invited to don their school colors, chant fight songs, and enjoy a healthy dose of school rivalry. Teams may be made up of alumni only, current students only, or a mix of both. As of writing, 13 teams were registered to compete in the team challenge.

In addition to those levels already mentioned, VHT’s fall edition offers both a CCI3*-L and CCI3*-S, as well as a CCI2*-S, which was offered for the first time at the May event. National competitors have a broad choice of Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate. Bowles, Carsten Meyer, and David Taylor will design the tracks on two separate cross-country courses, and Chris Barnard returns as the show jumping designer.

Prize money is once again on the table for the FEI competitors, as well as special awards for Best Conditioned horse and Best Turned Out rider, ribbons through tenth place, and additional gifts and prizes. The top three finishers of every national horse trials division receives discount coupons for future entries.

Given that the competition takes place on Halloween weekend, don’t be surprised to see a few characters working in the show office. We also invite all horse show dogs to don their favorite outfit and strut their stuff in a doggie costume contest prior to the complimentary Saturday night competitor party, where everyone is welcome for supper and socializing.

VHT: WebsiteOmnibusFacebookInstagram

Harry Meade and Superstition Sweep Strzegom CCI4*-L

Harry Meade and Superstition. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

The winner of the CCI4*-L class, the feature class of the Strzegom October Festival, was Harry Meade with the 10-year-old Superstition.
The Brit took the lead after a clear round in the cross-country. Even one knockdown and a slight tardiness in the showjumping could not threaten his leading position.
Second place went to the four-time Olympic champion – Andrew Hoy (AUS) with Vassily de Lassos. The pair went clear in the cross-country and jumped up from the 10th to second position before the jumping. Maxime Livio (FRA) with Vegas des Boursons finished third.
The leader after dressage – Kylie Roddy (GBR) with Carden Earl Grey – was not as fast in the cross-country and the time penalties decided that she would finish as eighth.
The best Polish rider in the class was Małgorzata Korycka riding Canvalencia, as they finished at the 14th position.
Strzegom October Festival had record-breaking entries this year. Over 440 horses have galloped through the hippodrome in Morawa. During four days, the audiences had the chance to see riders from 28 countries, including, for the first time, Mexico and Turkey. Athletes competed in seven international and three national classes at various difficulty levels.

Andreas Dibowski and Butts Avedon. Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

The best rider of the CCI4*-S was Andreas Dibowski with the 16-year-old FRH Butts Avedon. A clear round in the show jumping gave him the lead in the class, despite having picked up time penalties on cross-country. Second place went to Nicolas Wettstein (ECU) with Meyer’s Happy, and third – to Lea Siegl (AUT) with Fighting Line.
The CCI3*-L podium was dominated by Germany. First place, after a clear cross-country, went to Ann-Catrin Bierlein riding Auf Geht’s Fraeulein Hummel. Calvin Böckmann with Altair de la Cense was second, and Nadine Marzahl with Victoria 108 were third.
For the first time in Strzegom, we had a rider from India as the winner of the CCI3*-S class. Fouaad Mirza and Dajara 4 took home the first place, beating Swedish athletes – Sandra Gustafsson with Kaminskij and Aminda Ingulfson with Hot Cup VH.
The CCI2*-L was divided into two sections. The best rider of section A was Jrina Giesswein (SUI) with Chester SP, and the winner of section B was Brandon Schäfer-Gehrau with Florentine. The CCI1*-Intro belonged to Hanna Jensen (GER) with EH Clara.
The CCIP2*-L class for ponies was dominated by German riders. The best of them was Jule Krueger riding Mas Que Dos.
The national one-star class win went to Miroslav Trunda (CZE) with Teqila Ruf. Jule Krueger (GER) with Hulingshofs Winchester was the best in CNC L. The best result of the CNC L18 class was of Julia Kałużyńska (POL) with Kalma. The easiest class of the show – CNC LL – went to Eliška Orctova (CZE) with Kirea.
Click here for results.

MARS Bromont Rising Program Grants Announced for OJC International Three-Day Event

The Ocala Jockey Club Arch. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The organizers of the MARS Bromont Rising Program have just announced the riders who have been selected to participate in a two-day training camp at Mardanza Farms and compete at the nearby Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event this fall.

  • Ema Klugman
  • Charlotte Babbitt
  • Isabelle Bosley
  • Kaelen Speck
  • Arielle Aharoni
  • Barrett Phillips
  • Samantha Tinney
  • Elizabeth Henry
  • Ryan Keefe
  • Nicole Aden

Alternates:

  • Maxine Preston
  • Nicholas Staples

All of the riders will participate in the training camp, which will be taught by Peter Gray, Sara Kozumplik Murphy, Brian Murphy and Max Corcoran. “We are absolutely thrilled with the level of interest in the program,” said Peter Gray, the international dressage judge who runs the program. “The quality of the applicants and their commitment to the sport is inspiring.”

The 10 participants will each receive $3,000 to cover their travel and competition expenses, while the alternates will receive $1,000 each. The opportunity to participate in the training sessions – priceless. “You simply can’t replicate the opportunity that these riders are getting through the MARS Bromont Rising Program,” said Peter.

The MARS Bromont Rising Program, which offers financial aid and training to eventers under the age of 25, debuted at the MARS Equestrian Bromont Three-Day Event in June. It was a huge success, with most of the participants posting personal best dressage scores at Bromont and one of the participants, Brooke Massie, winning the Bromont CCI4*-S in her first time at the level.

A huge shout out to Peter, Sara, Brian and Max. And special thanks to Sara and Brian for hosting the training camp at beautiful Mardanza Farms.

The Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event will take place November 14-17, 2019 in Reddick, Florida.

 

Time to Crown a Champion: Previewing the ERM Series Finale at Lignieres en Berry

Photo courtesy of ERM.

The 2019 Event Rider Masters series finale takes us to the heart of French eventing at Lignieres en Berry, where the door is wide open in the hunt for podium placings. And with over €100,000 on the line, nobody’s coming to play.

Nestled in the Berry province in the Center-Val de Loire region, in France’s most verdant countryside, Lignieres en Berry offers everything you’ve come to expect from the Event Riders Masters: a beautiful setting, a tough and influential cross-country course, and a host of familiar faces to battle it all out.

We’re on the final countdown to the biggest stage of them all. But the first phase of the competition? Making it through #ERMtheCut, in which our field of entrants is whittled down to the final selection. The result? Twenty-five of the biggest stars in the sport of eventing. Twenty-five riders, and 25 horses, who are ready to give everything they’ve got for a chance to get on the most coveted podium of the series. Here’s what to expect.

All three of our previous series champions come forward for the 2019 finale, as do 10 previous leg winners — but there are six riders in particular who stand to take the top honours in this year’s series.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

Current series leader Chris Burton will be hoping to romp to a win on Quality Purdey, the fast and feisty mare with whom he made a podium appearance at Arville. But the Fastest Man in the World can’t afford to leave any marks on the table – the home nation’s surprise hero, Gireg Le Coz, is just five points behind him in the series rankings, and with his top horse, Jardy winner Aisprit de la Loge, he’ll be a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

It’s never a two-horse race at the ERM finale, and this year is no different – just a solitary point behind Gireg sits Badminton and Luhmühlen winner Jonelle Price. After two top-ten finishes in ERM legs this season and a close second at Camphire’s CCI4*-L, Grovine de Reve comes forward ready to produce the goods. Can the relatively new partnership overtake the established combinations ahead of them? We recommend never underestimating the Kiwi phenom – though she be but little, she is fierce, indeed.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

Sarah Cohen and Treason are mainstays of the Event Rider Masters series , and they nabbed themselves second place on the 2017 podium – but with 63 points to their names this year, they’ll need to put everything on the line to go one better. They’re not the only long-time partnership hoping to make one final leap up the board, either – Alex Bragg and the evergreen Zagreb will be aiming to capitalise on the 50 points they’ve earned so far. A win here could turn the leaderboard as we know it on its head.

And let’s not forget the 2017 series champion: Gemma Tattersall might not be at the top of this year’s rankings, but with a very respectable 44 points under her belt, she and Jalapeno — a new partnership, but second in Bramham’s tough CCI4*-L this summer – could just surprise us.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

It’s not just a battle between the series podium candidates, though, and the series finale will be just as ferociously campaigned by its outliers. Michael Jung and Star Connection FRH took Wiesbaden – but can they take Lignieres, too? Or can 2016 champion Oliver Townend make the most of his brand new partnership with the ultra-talented Alcatraz? Or will World Number One Tim Price take the top prize, riding his Luhmühlen winner Ascona M?

Photo courtesy of ERM.

The Draw

Horse and rider combinations are seeded into three groups based on prior performance and dressage averages. Once they’re through the initial seeding process, our competitors’ numbers are randomly drawn by ERM presenter Nicole Brown who is joined by Emmanuel Legarde of the Lignieres organising team. The draw determines the order in which they’ll enter the ring — will they have the tough task of trying to impress the judges early on? Will they follow an Event Rider Masters champion? Or will they close out the day’s competition, leaving an impression on the scoreboard and the spectators, for better or for worse?

Saturday’s competition gets off to an exciting start with 2016 series champion Oliver Townend heading down the centreline as our pathfinder with new ride Alcatraz at 10.15 a.m. local time/9.15 a.m. BST. At 10.30 a.m., we’ll see our first home-nation rider of the day — and Jardy winners Gireg le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge have plenty to fight for. Gireg sits third on the series leaderboard, just five penalties from the top in his first year contesting the Event Rider Masters. Young rider Phoebe Locke wraps up the first session at 10.53 a.m. with Pica d’Or, at what has been a happy hunting ground for them — they scored a 24.9 at Lignieres CCI2*-S in their first international together last year.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

The competition gets ever hotter as we head into the second session of the day, commencing at 11.15 a.m. local/10.15 a.m. BST. The home side brings forward some of its fiercest competitors, with Maxime Livio leading the way aboard Api du Libaire.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

Tom Carlile, the two-time winner of the ERM’s Barbury leg, follows at 11.23 a.m. riding Atos Barbotiere, while Arnaud Boiteau concludes the session at 11.53 a.m. with Quoriano ENE HN. And between them all? Indomitable Kiwi Jonelle Price (11.30 a.m.), who sits in fourth place on the series rankings and will look to climb onto the podium with Grovine de Reve this week. Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto (11.38 a.m.) has swiftly become one of the most formidable competitors in the world – and with the former Astier Nicolas ride Vinci de la Vigne JRA, he hasn’t been out of the top six in an international this year. Watch them closely.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

The final session of the day, commencing at 12.15 p.m. local/11.15 a.m. BST, is where things really start to get interesting. Michael Jung and Star Connection FRH whet the palate as the first to go – and the previous winners of Wiesbaden and Jardy are expected to throw down the gauntlet with a mid-to-high 20s score. Though they’ll be hot in pursuit of a win in this leg, they can’t quite catch up with the series leaders – but Sarah Cohen and Treason, who follow them into the arena at 12.23 p.m., certainly can. In fifth place on the current rankings, Sarah sits just 10 points behind the leader.

And what a leader he is. You won’t want to miss the Australian sensation Chris Burton (12.45 p.m.), our 2018 Event Rider Masters champion, who leads the way for 2019. Riding Quality Purdey – his fast and ferociously clever dragon of a mare – he’ll be one of the hottest topics at this weekend’s competition. But if there’s one rider who can threaten his grasp on the Lignieres title, it’s fellow Antipodean Tim Price. Coming in strong at 12.53 p.m., the World Number One rides his Luhmühlen CCI5* winner Ascona M – and according to EquiRatings, this is the pair with the best chance of winning here.

Photo courtesy of ERM.

Our last combination of the day is a real crowd favourite – but will Alex Bragg and Zagreb deliver a mark in their usual upper 20s, or will they show off the precision and panache they had when posting their PB of 23.6 to win Jardy last year? In seventh place on the season rankings so far, Alex has a chance to step onto the biggest podium of them all – but he’ll need to risk it all to have it all. Don’t miss their test, at 13.00 p.m. local time/12.00 p.m. BST.

With the best riders in the world heading up a truly global 11-nation field, the competition is guaranteed to sizzle until its final seconds. Join us as we crown the 2019 Event Rider Masters series champion. Once more unto the breach, eventing fans. Are you ready?

ERM Series Finale at Lignieres en Berry: Website, Start Times, Course Walk, Live Scores, Live Stream

Eventing Legend Custom Made Passes Away at 34

David O’Connor and Custom Made. Photo courtesy of US Equestrian.Eventing Legend Custom Made Passes Away at 34

Custom Made, a legendary U.S. event horse, was laid to rest on October 2 at the age of 34. Custom Made, the 17.1-hand Irish Sport Horse gelding (Bassompierre x Purple Heather/Ben Purple), was foaled in Ireland in 1985 and was imported to the U.S. in 1995 by owner Joseph Zada of Xandarius, LLC, to be a mount for David O’Connor. In their first year of partnership, “Tailor” and O’Connor won the 1995 Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI3*.

The pair formed a strong partnership and continued to secure top results. In 1996, Custom Made and O’Connor finished third in the Badminton Horse Trials CCI4* and were named to the U.S. Eventing Team for the Atlanta Olympic Games, placing fifth individually. The following year, they won the Badminton Horse Trials CCI4*.

The 2000 Sydney Olympic Games were a career highlight for Custom Made and O’Connor. They clinched the eventing individual gold medal, the first eventing Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in 25 years.

Custom Made continued to find success in the years to come. In 2001, he and O’Connor finished third at the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI3*. Custom Made closed out his career with by winning the 2002 Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI3*.

He was formally retired at the 2004 Kentucky Three-Day Event and was inducted into the United States Eventing Hall of Fame in 2009. He lived out this retirement at David and Karen O’Connor’s Stonehall Farm in The Plains, Va., and was the last member of the “Fab Four,” which also included the O’Connors’ top mounts Biko, Giltedge, and Prince Panache.

“Obviously he was the horse of a lifetime, but probably one of the greats of our time that I have ever been around, especially thinking about it in the classic format, which is where he did most of his career,” O’Connor said. “From an athlete’s point of view, he was the most powerful athlete that I have ever ridden. Then after that, it was 10 years of great retirement at Stonehall, originally with all four of those Olympic horses. He was the last one to go. He is gone now but will be with me forever.”

[Eventing Legend Custom Made Passes Away at 34]

US Equestrian Announces 2019 Land Rover Eventing Grant Recipients

US Equestrian has announced the recipients of the 2019 Land Rover/USEF Competition Grants for the remainder of the 2019 season.

The following athletes will receive funding for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands hosted at the Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L in Enschede, the Netherlands from October 10-13:

  • Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, Pa.) and Stella Artois, the Stella Artois Syndicate’s 11-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois. Photo by Jenni Autry.

  • Matt Flynn (Reddick, Fla.) and Wizzerd, A. Patrick Flynn, Kathleen Flynn, and Merry Go Round Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding

Matt Flynn and Wizzerd. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell’s 13-year-old German Sport Horse gelding

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Jennie and Tamie will represent Team USA along with Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver, the Monster Partnership’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup. Matt and Wizzerd are named as the traveling team reserves. Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse, her and Sherrie Martin’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, are named as first alternates.

The competition also serves as a test event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The competition rules are based on the Tokyo 2020 competition format with teams of three plus one reserve. Full FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic Games are available here.

View more information about the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ the Netherlands.

[US Equestrian Announces 2019 Land Rover Eventing Grant Recipients]