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Updates to USEF’s COVID-19 Action Plan

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

US Equestrian remains committed to efforts that mitigate the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission and keep our members and competition participants as safe as possible. To remain aligned with public health authorities in these efforts, we have updated the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions to reflect the most recent CDC guidance related to quarantine protocols following COVID-19 exposure.

Exposure is considered close contact with a COVID-19-infected individual (exhibiting symptoms or confirmed by a positive test result) within a distance of six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more. This exposure results in the need to quarantine.

It is important to note that, due to the virus’ incubation period, the CDC still recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, it is recognized that a shorter quarantine time may balance significant societal personal burdens against the progressive smaller possibility of spreading the virus over time following exposure. Therefore, effective immediately, USEF is adopting the CDC’s following options to shorten the quarantine time after exposure.

An individual exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to be infected may discontinue quarantine (and therefore gain access to a competition venue):

  • After Day 10, following close contact (exposure) without testing if no COVID-19 symptoms are present, or;
  • After Day 7, if no COVID-19 symptoms are present and after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result (testing must occur on Day 5 or later after exposure)

After discontinuing quarantine, all individuals should

  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure
  • Immediately self-isolate if symptoms develop and contact a personal healthcare provider or public health authority
  • Wear a face mask/face covering, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from others, and wash hands frequently

Check the CDC website for additional details related to quarantine times following virus exposure.

This most recent change relates to quarantine times associated with virus exposure only. It does not change the requirement for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. These individuals are still not allowed to access competition grounds, and they are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days following the first onset of symptoms or receipt of a positive test result. Additionally, at the end of the 10 days, the individual must be fever-free for a 24-hour period without the use of fever-reducing medications before being allowed to be around others.

Please reference the updated USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions.

IOC Confirms Inclusion of and Quotas for Equestrian Sports at Paris 2024

Charlotte Dujardin celebrates at the Rio Olympics. Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI.

All three equestrian disciplines – Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing – have been formally confirmed for the Paris 2024 Olympic program. In addition, the six events – team and individual across each of the three disciplines – and the full quota of 200 athlete/horse combinations have also been endorsed.

News of the confirmation came during today’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board online meeting, at which the full program for Paris 2024 was formally approved. Individual International Federations were also provided with details of the event program and athlete quotas for their sport in an official letter from IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper.

The ratification means that equestrian will keep its quota of 75 athlete/horse combinations for Jumping, 65 for Eventing and 60 for Dressage.

Rendering via Paris 2024.

“We are very happy to receive formal approval of our three disciplines for Paris 2024 from the IOC Executive Board and also confirmation that our athlete quota remains untouched at 200”, FEI President and IOC Member Ingmar De Vos said.

“This confirmation is also a token of appreciation for the efforts the FEI and the equestrian community have made to increase the fan base and improve digital figures for our sport. We really appreciate that the IOC didn’t touch our quota as we knew they needed to reduce the overall Games-wide quota to 10,500 athletes, but our sport has grown so much over the last decade that a reduction of our quota would have been detrimental to the universality of our Olympic competitions.”

The equestrian events will be staged in the grounds of Versailles, with King Louis XIV’s Palace as a stunning backdrop at one of the French capital’s most iconic Games time venues. The UNESCO World Heritage Site will also be the site for Modern Pentathlon.

Full details of the Paris 2024 event program were publicly announced at a press conference with the IOC President today. The IOC press release is available on

Full Schedule for 2020 USEF Virtual Meeting Released

Vicki Lowell (far right) led a panel discussion with (far left to right) Andrea Evans, Taryn Young, Rich Cronin, and Bob Hughes. Photo courtesy of
US Equestrian.

US Equestrian is pleased to share the complete schedule for the USEF Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually January 13-17, 2021. All sessions including the 2020 Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration are free for all members.

Members are invited to attend special presentations given by the Member Services Council, National Breeds & Disciplines Council, and International Disciplines Council throughout the week to learn more about results from 2020 and plans for 2021. Additionally, there will be a special Calendar Management Meeting and Q&A open to members on Wednesday, January 13, at 6:00 p.m. The General Session will be held during the afternoon of Saturday, January 16, via Zoom and the USEF Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration will take place that evening on USEF Network. The 2021 meeting will conclude with the Board Meeting on Sunday, January 17, via Zoom. Details and times are below, so please mark your calendars! Registration information for each session will be available online and shared via e-mail in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, January 13: Ideas into Action

• 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Member Services Council Presentation
• 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Calendar Management Meeting and Q&A

Thursday, January 14: Grassroots to Grand Champion

• 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | National Breeds & Disciplines Council Presentation

Friday, January 15: Growing the FEI Disciplines at Home & Abroad

• 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | International Disciplines Council Presentation

Saturday, January 16: Listen, Learn & Lead Together

• 4:30 p.m. | General Session Presentation given by President Murray Kessler & President Elect Tom O’Mara
• 7:30 p.m. | 2020 USEF Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration

Sunday, January 17: Board of Directors Meeting

• 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | New Board Member Orientation (Closed)
• 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Session One (Open)
• 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Session Two (Open)

View more information about the 2021 USEF Annual Meeting at

Helmet Research Fundraising Hits Milestone … Research will Begin

Through the collaborative and generous commitments of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA), and a major matching grant from Jacqueline Mars, more than $425,000 has been committed in just a few short months to further the safety of equestrian athletes across all breeds and disciplines. The USET Foundation has provided their enthusiastic endorsement of the program via education and awareness with their constituents as well. These critical funds will support further research into U.S. helmet safety standards and the creation of an equestrian-specific rating system, providing riders insight into how helmet models compare when looking at safety and protection. One hundred percent of funds raised will support independent research at the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab to develop this important sport-specific rating system. In addition to the financial fundraising component of the program, USEF has shared important data on falls and injuries from USEF competitions, which will be used in the research and development of the Equestrian STAR rating project at the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab.

“Fundraising and awareness efforts accelerated quickly for the project following a presentation I gave one year ago at the USHJA Annual Meeting on the VT Helmet Lab STAR Ratings,” said Dr. Barry Miller, Director of Outreach and Business Development for the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab. “We were asked what it would take to develop the system for equestrian sport: $450,000 to have the system available in 18-24 months. The USHJA jumped on board immediately with a generous commitment, then Jacqueline Mars stepped up with her own matching donation, which the USEF Board of Directors and USEA Board of Governors matched dollar for dollar. We are ready now to get the initiative underway.

“It was great to work with the leaders from all the organizations, together with Jacqueline Mars, to quickly and collectively pull this together on behalf of all members across all breeds and disciplines to benefit improved safety for all.”

To date, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab has developed STAR helmet ratings for sports including football, youth football, soccer, flag football, cycling, and hockey. Since 2011, Virginia Tech researchers have been providing unbiased helmet ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets. The helmet ratings are the culmination of over 10 years of injury biomechanics research with special attention to concussions and which helmets best reduce concussion risk (

With $425,000 committed, work will begin on the rating system, but the fund will remain open for donations. Any additional money raised will go towards accelerating the development timeline. Your tax-deductible donation can be made directly to the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, with 100% of all funds going directly to this research.

[Helmet Research Fundraising Hits Milestone … Research will Begin]

2021 USEF Eventing High Performance Winter Training Lists Announced

Liz Halliday Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

US Equestrian has announced the USEF Eventing High Performance Elite, Pre-Elite, and Development Training Lists for the winter of 2021. The training lists are part of U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander’s U.S. Eventing Pathway Program, focused on developing combinations to deliver sustainable success for the USEF Eventing Program at the international championship level. Full program details and criteria for the training lists are available here.

“Having the Olympic Games next year and World Championships in 2022 has brought a new level of complexity to the selection of our Elite and Pre-Elite Training List,” said Duvander. “Tokyo will be run in the Olympic format of three combinations with no drop score over an eight minute cross country course. In contrast, the World Championships in Pratoni (ITA) will have four combinations with one drop score, as well as one individual. I believe the World Championship cross country course will be at maximum distance and number of jumping efforts with challenging terrain that will demand a different type of expectation from Tokyo.

“The selection of our training list has considered the different demands of both Tokyo and Pratoni; however, some combinations have the capability to suit both. I have been studying our riders and horses closely over the last three years with this in mind, and the training list has been refreshed with excellent input and the advice from the Performance Advisory Team. As always, the door is open for other combinations to show form before Olympic and World Championship selections and we will constantly look for more talent in both horses and riders.”

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.

2021 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, a 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Suzanne Lacy, Simon Roosevelt and Tom Tierney
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Deniro Z, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties & The Deniro Syndicate
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg TSF, a 13-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner
  • Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, a 16-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Debi Crowley

2021 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):

  • Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.) and his own C’est la Vie 135, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding
  • Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, Pa.) and Stella Artois, a 12-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare owned by the Stella
  • Artois Syndicate and FE Lifestyle, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Nina & Tim Gardner
  • Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate and Don Dante, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Team Rebecca, LLC
  • Sydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.) and QC Diamantaire, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens
  • Will Faudree (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Mama’s Magic Way, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing & Sterling Silver Stables
  • Ariel Grald (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Leamore Master Plan, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Anne Eldridge
  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Luke 140, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate
  • Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Quantum Leap, a nine-year-old RPSI gelding owned by Doug & Jessica Payne
  • Erin Sylvester (Cochranville, Pa.) and Paddy The Caddy, a 13-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding owned by Frank McEntee
  • Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and RF Cool Play, a 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC

2021 Development Training List

The Development Program, led by USEF Development and Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law, 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.)
  • Rebecca Brown (Seagoville, Texas)
  • Daniel Clasing (Lovettsville, Va.)
  • Zoe Crawford (Boston, Fla.)
  • Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.)
  • Andrew McConnon (Vass, N.C.)
  • Sara Mittleider (Kuna, Idaho)
  • Mike Pendleton (Waynesboro, Va.)
  • Caitlin Silliman (Cochranville, Pa.)

*Please note: The Performance Director may remove an athlete from the Elite and Pre-Elite programs in consultation with the Performance Advisory Team if the athlete fails to meet program criteria. Athletes/horses with a long-term injury will be removed from the Training List in consultation with the Performance Advisory Team, Team Veterinarian and/or Team Physician. Training opportunities may be limited for combinations with short-term injuries. Inclusion or exclusion on a Training List does not imply or preclude an athlete from selection for a Games and Championships. This list will be reviewed in June 2021.

Report of the FEI Eventing Committee

The full FEI Eventing Committee report which was released following the FEI General Assembly is available here.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos (R) and Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI). FEI/Richard Julliart Photo.

Given the current Covid-19 pandemic situation the Eventing Committee met for monthly videoconference calls between March November 2020, led by the Chair David O’Connor and attended by all the Eventing Committee Members and FEI Eventing Department. The Eventing Committee videoconference calls included many discussions to finding solutions to the ramifications of the Covid-19 virus in order to encourage the organization of eventing competitions, Nations Cup, and Championships.

The different National Governments’ decrees in most countries on Covid-19 countermeasures in regard to mass gatherings and travel restrictions had led to most of eventing competitions being canceled worldwide from March until July 2020. Return-to-play had started to resume from July with most regular events in the calendar taking being organized without spectators and with Government and FEI Return-to-Play policies in place.


The main points discussed during the 2020 Eventing Committee videoconference calls were:

  • Olympic Games: During the Eventing Committee Conference Calls, official communications from the IOC had been published to inform that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were to be rescheduled to the following year, reflecting the 2020 dates. Most deadlines would be reviewed to closely reflect the dates planned for 2020 with a year’s delay. Together with the other disciplines, the Eligibility requirements had been reviewed to take into account the additional year. The IOC had equally confirmed that all Nations having already achieved an Olympic Qualification quota place would retain this despite the postponement of the Games.
  • Covid-19 impact on eventing: An Eventing Calendar Task Force, one of the eight discipline-specific task forces, had been created by the FEI to evaluate the impact on the FEI Calendar and propose ways of mitigating Covid-19 effects on the discipline (i.e. qualification events for the postponed Olympic, Continental Games, Championships, Nations Cup Series, 2020 organizational requirements and Calendar) and to provide proposed solutions to the FEI Secretary General and the Board. The Eventing Task Force held its first meeting via videoconference on 24 April 2020.
  • Covid-19 impact on officials and athletes: The Board (FEI Board Emergency resolution July 21, 2020) agreed to extend the exemption that is currently in place for Australia and New Zealand to all countries. With this exemption, which would be reviewed end December 2020, foreign official requirements would not be compulsory, for CCI4* Long & short formats however two (2) Judges, Technical Delegate and Course Designer would need to be selected from the Level 3 lists.The Eventing Athlete Categorization used to determine eligibility requirements for events according to the rules are calculated on July 1, 2020 and was based on an eight-year rolling period. Considering the current situation and the lack of qualification opportunity for athletes in 2020, the Eventing Committee agreed to take 8.5 years into account for the July 1, 2020 Athletes Categories review, to be reviewed for an extension by the Eventing Committee for the next Category review on January 1, 2021.
  • Covid-19 Eventing Specific Guidelines: The FEI Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 Pandemic – Effective for FEI Events held as of July 1, 2020, has been published on the FEI website as a guide to help Organizing Committees with Return to Competition during the pandemic. The Covid-19 Eventing discipline Specific Guidelines had been finalized with the input of the Committee and Organisers. This document aimed to provide OCs with detailed guidance for the management of FEI Eventing Events during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to COVD-related matters, the Eventing Committee discussed:

  • Risk Management: Measures and recommendations of the Risk Management Report were reviewed including improvement of Horse injury reporting, EquiRatings®’ Horse Form Index studies and use, clarification of Rotational and Torsional fall, Frangible Standard 2.0 with the introduction of the kettlebell pendulum test and new MIM clip to be fixed at an angle (yellow clip). (details below under sections 4 and 5)
  • Education: The revision of the Officials Education program to line up with the FEI Education Departments all discipline approach was on-going, as well as the redefinition of Officials’ roles and responsibilities by the Eventing Officials Education Working Group. The criteria of appointment of Eventing Overall Course Director, the composition of the new Eventing Officials Education Working Group and the adjustment proposals of the CES System to the current circumstances were reviewed.
  • Eventing Documents Supporting Rules: The Cross-Country Guide for Officials, Memorandum, and Equipment & Tack FAQ had been reviewed throughout 2020, finalized and published on the FEI website.
  • FEI Eventing World Challenge: During the first Eventing Committee Videoconference of the year (March 25, 2020), the Eventing Committee had agreed to the development of an FEI Eventing World Challenge, following discussions with the FEI Solidarity Department in 2019 regarding possibilities of developing eventing, as this would give a change to developing countries to reach international level. The FEI Eventing Committee Chairman encouraged the development of the Eventing Challenge and would pursue the project including the review of fence construction with the help of the FEI Solidarity Department and Eventing Department.
  • Elkton, Fair Hill (USA) CCI5*-L: Following the review of the reports provided by the Technical Delegate of the test event held in August 2020 in Fair Hill, the Eventing Committee agreed to put forward to the FEI Board the inclusion in the 2021 FEI Calendar of a CCI5*-L in Elkton (Fair Hill, USA) on a five-year basis with an initial review after three editions.


All suggestions for modifications received from National Federations and Stakeholders by March 1, 2020, and falling in one of the revision criteria had been taken into account. New suggestions received after that deadline or not falling in one of the revision criteria would be included as part of the next rules revision process. The 2020 FEI Eventing rules had been reviewed by the Eventing Committee according to the new FEI rules revisions policy.

The Eventing Committee provided the initial proposal for NFs review, and then considered the feedback for recommendations and clarifications for the 2021 Eventing Rules proposal which could not wait for the full revision. The rationale for each proposal was added as per the format agreed by the FEI Board.

It included updates due to last year’s rules revision processes, especially in regards to the new education system and the modification of the sanctions system.

The proposals also included: number of individuals at World Individual and Team Championships, ages of ponies, prizemoney distribution, requirements for promotion and maintenance of status, TD General Duties, CD responsibilities, the strengthening of the qualification requirements for less experienced Athletes participating at Higher level Events, official clothing, mandatory protective headgear, permitted and forbidden saddlery, permitted mouthpieces, cheek pieces, and nosebands, water crossings, ground lines on cross-country obstacles, obstacles with alternatives, Annex D Medical Services and qualification requirements for Pony Events. In regards to risk management, it has been decided to maintain the proposal to have mandatory frangible technologies at all levels as of January 1, 2021.

All eventing rule changes which were voted on can be viewed here.


The FEI Eventing Risk Management Program including data collection has been ongoing since 2000 and now includes 20 years. The data collected by the Eventing Department includes fence description forms, fall reports, and fence analysis. The amount of data now allows for a significant base for information queries in regard to risk management and all other questions related to qualification and technical issues in the discipline. The effort is substantial however the results are invaluable.

For 2020, the number of competitions had decreased by 51.5%, from 742 in 2019 to 360 (figures at end October 2020) due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The number of announced competitions in the calendar in January 2020 was 763 (which would have been an increase of 2.83% compared to 2019). However, more than 50% of the competitions have been canceled.


1. The ongoing primary commitment of the FEI Eventing Committee is to ensure that the FEI Risk Management Policy and Action plan is endorsed and implemented by all involved in the Sport with the support and dynamic involvement of National Federations, National Safety Officers, Athletes, Officials, Organizers, Owners, and Sponsors.

2. The FEI Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar was organized together with a “Future of the Sport” Forum in Aintree (GBR) in January 2020. A total of 145 participants from 29 countries attended. All sessions of the Forum were live-streamed and are available to watch on replay on the FEI website, which was very appreciated by the eventing community.

The main points of discussion included the future of eventing, the internal structure of the sport, risk management, data and the use of statistics, the safety program, rule changes, dressage tests, the importance of athlete education, cross-country specific items such as course design, the role of officials on cross-country day, Cross-Country Performance Indicator.

The Forum was followed by an NSO Seminar where 67 National Safety Officers and NF representatives from 25 countries participated. The agenda focused on the Risk Management Program update, including discussions on body protectors, rider representative role, frangible devices, horse injuries, etc. In addition, each nation had the opportunity to give a presentation on the Risk Management program in their country.

The FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group met further to the Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar and recommendations were put forward to the Eventing Committee.

3. The 2021 FEI Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar will be organized online due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. It will be held in January 2021 over two to three days and available to all Eventing Officials and NSOs. The subjects could include: Officials roles during cross-country, education of athletes and coaches, Covid-19 related to risk management, return to play of horses, horse injuries, EquiRatings Horse Form Index, and new technologies

4. Continued work in partnership with EquiRatings® to implement a reviewed and improved Cross-Country Horse performance index (HFI) available in the FEI Database available for Athletes and their NFs. EquiRatings mandate with the FEI also includes specific data analysis for decision making support to the Eventing Committee and Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.


  • The number of competitions is growing consistently, with an increase of 10.8% and an increase of starters of 2.8% over the last five years (2015-2019).
  • Falls: The total falls are stable (except at the five-star level where the low number of starters had an influence on the percentage of falls). The horse falls have decreased from 1.41% in 2015 to 1.36% in 2019. The number of rotational falls is very small with 26 falls in 2019, the percentage has dropped over the last 10 years from 0.31% in 2010 to 0.12% in 2019. Up to 2017, falls on the flat, included all falls not related to a cross-country fence (dressage, show jumping, warm-up areas, and on the flat in cross-country), as of 2018, the split showing where the falls occurred allowed a better understanding of the non-fence related falls. Out of 1,166 falls reported for 2019, 54 were cross-country falls on the flat (4.63%), 109 in show jumping (9.35 %), one in Dressage (0.09%), and 72 in warm-up (6.17 %).Falls per athlete category: At all levels of competition, the non-categorized athletes incurred the highest number of falls, it is concluded that this could be due to a lack of training and/or adequate cross-country education.The provisional 2020 data (end July) shows a total fall rate of 3.67% (128 falls for 3,690 starters). The significant decrease of total falls from 5.57% in 2019 could be linked to the lack of five-star competitions. This figure could evolve as the remainder of the 2020 competitions are entered in the Risk Management database.


The Risk Management Steering Group Meeting as a subgroup for the Eventing Committee met in January 2020 following the Risk Management Forum and the Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar. An additional member, Dr. Dave Vos (USA) had been nominated, his knowledge and work on the Update of the Frangible Device Standard as well as the video projects were very valuable. Members include: Geoff Sinclair (AUS) (Chair), Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), Jonathan Holling (USA), Rob Stevenson (CAN), Gert Naber (NED), Staffan Lidbeck (SWE), Laurent Bousquet (FRA), and Dave Vos (USA)

In addition, conference calls took place in August and September to discuss the following points: · Qualification Criteria / Higher Level Events: Increased MERs for CCI5*-L competitions to be adapted depending on the athlete category

  • Education of Coaches / Athletes / Officials: development of a video to be made available on FEI Campus
  • Update of the Injury of Athletes and Horses definitions
  • Update of Cross-Country Design Guide on sloping shoulders, minimum widths of fences, and a description guide for ground lines
  • Frangible Technologies: Finalization of the Updated Standard for Frangible Devices to be implemented as of January 1, 2021.
  • Communication: increased number of posts on the NSO Facebook page
  • Risk Management Policy and Action Plan: Review and update of the current version needed to take place based on a “risk matrix” used during company risk assessment to define the level of risk by considering the category of probability or likelihood against the category of consequence severity
  • Body protectors Standards: suggestion to the Medical Committee to change the body protectors standards currently recommended in the Rules to mandatory
  • Update of the Medical Coverage at Events (Annex D) with the Medical Committee
  • Video at CCI5*-L Events: Further to the valuable technical information obtained based on the filming in 2019, the projects would be pursued in 2020
  • Online reporting for Officials: the importance of developing for officials the possibility to enter the Risk Management related data in the FEI database was again emphasized
  • Horse Injury Reporting: coordination with the Veterinary Department to correlate the information from the Veterinary Reports and the Eventing Fall Reports


FEI Eventing Nation’s Cup Series: In 2020, the Eventing Nations Cup season was challenged by travel and border restrictions due to Covid-19. Six (6) out of the eight (8) originally allocated legs were cancelled. Montelibretti (ITA) offered to run the last leg, after ITA had to cancel Pratoni, ultimately comprising a three-legged Series: Strzegom (POL), Le Pin au Haras (FRA) and Montelibretti (ITA). To date, 10 nations had competed in two events and the final classification would be decided at the last event in Montelibretti (ITA).

Following the Eventing Committee recommendation to adapt the overall 2020 Nations Cup Classification, agreed by the FEI Board as follows: If three or above Nations Cup Events take place: a classification would be made end 2020 of the best team based on the two best event results.

In 2021, further to the reallocation of the 2020 Events to 2021 and possibility additional applications to be reviewed by the FEI Board taking in account the financial situation, the 2021 FEI Eventing Nations Cup Series would include the same number of events as planned in 2020 taking place on a monthly basis from April to October 2021.


The regular Education Programs for Officials in Eventing were highly impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions:

a) The Official Exchange Program – Eventing had 12 Officials enrolled, but only one had been able to travel in 2020 and officiate within the program.

b) The Course Calendar 2020 and the regular training courses for all four categories of Eventing Officials were affected: two in-person courses for J/TD/CD could take place, one in POR and one in POL, whilst the Stewards could join only one in-person course, in POL.

The Overall Course Directors Conformity seminar took place in Lausanne in February 2020, and the following topics were discussed:

– The in-person courses themes highlighted for 2020 – in addition to the actual Syllabus:

– Review of the 2020 Rules changes, with emphasis on:

  • Narrow fences – Missing flags (clear, 20 pen and EL) with selection of video support
  • Updated sanction system and implementation

– Frangibles/MIM (understanding of correct fitting)

– Serious incident management

– The reinforcement of the role of President of the Ground Jury, the review of GJ Members roles, the TD’s cross-country involvement and expertise, and the Course Designers increased responsibility during cross-country.

The 2021 course calendar looked promising, with eight in-persons courses planned for J/TD/CD in AUS, BLR, BRA, FRA, GER, ITA, and USA and seven for Stewards, in AUS, BRA, COL, FRA, HUN, SWE, and USA. Three additional requests to host in-person courses of national level were also received from AUS, BRA, and RUS.

Based on the RMSG recommendations, the Eventing Department worked with several officials on the production of video clips/webinars on various topics such horse welfare, dangerous riding, fence judge function, coach and athlete education, etc. to be posted on FEI Campus. The idea was to have short, comprehensive, and educative clips on important topics available for the eventing community, and made by experienced eventing officials.

Recipients in Three Categories Awarded Broussard ‘Going Forward’ Grants

Auditors gather to watch Silvio Mazzoni teach day two of the Ocala ICP Symposium in 2016. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The Broussard Charitable Foundation Trust, in partnership with the USEA Foundation, announced a new series of special educational grants in July of this year, and the first awards have just been given out across three categories of applicants. The “Going Forward” Grants are intended to reward “deserving candidates 18 years old and above who are passionate about moving their commitment to the sport forward”, and the following three categories were recognized:

  • Horsemanship Immersion Program
  • Instructors’ Certification Program
  • Eventing Officials “r” Training Program

A total of $32,000 was awarded to the following applicants:

Horse Immersion Program

  • Patricia “Peaches” Cava, Area VII

Instructors’ Certification Program

  • Laura Vello, Area V
  • Gina Pletch, Area VIII
  • Michael Graham, Area IX

Eventing Officials “r” Training Program

  • Jeanie Clarke, Area III
  • Jennifer Rousseau, Area IV
  • John Meriwether, Area VII

This first round of the “Going Forward” Grants will award seven individuals instead of the original four or five, a gesture of generosity from the Broussard Charitable Foundation Trust. To learn more about and donate to the USEA Foundation, click here.

US Equestrian to Launch USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Series

Image via US Equestrian.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the development of a new youth team competition format for eventing athletes competing at the CCI1* through CCI3* levels, set to be introduced during the 2021 competition season. Eventing athletes between the FEI ages of 14 and 25 are invited to apply for the USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge for the upcoming competition season, with competition opportunities spanning from early spring through late fall.

This new concept will serve as an evolution of the North American Youth Championship for eventing and will provide opportunities for more athletes to represent their USEA Area in team competition throughout the year, culminating with two bi-coastal championships.

The Challenge will include three levels with the following age requirements:

  • CCI1* for FEI ages 14-18
  • CCI2* for FEI ages 14-21
  • CCI3* for FEI ages 16-25

The series will consist of four to six CCI-S competitions hosted at locations across the country to make the program accessible to as many qualified youth athletes as possible. It will conclude with two CCI-L competitions, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, at the end of the competition year. The bid process for host competitions is open through December 15, 2020, and locations will be announced at the end of January 2021.

“We are very excited about the increased opportunities this new Youth Team Challenge series will provide to youth athletes. Whereas youth athletes were aiming for one summer team championship with NAYC, athletes will now have the opportunity to compete in a team for the full season leading up to a final team championship on both coasts,” said Leslie Law, USEF Development and Emerging Athlete Coach.

“The U.S. does not currently have the opportunity to compete in FEI Pony, Junior and Young Rider Championships like in Europe, so we must continue to seek new ways to give our youth athletes more opportunities to compete in a team. The Youth Team Challenge will also give athletes up to the age of 25 the opportunity to gain this valuable team experience. This is an exciting and critical new initiative in further strengthening the Eventing Pathway, which aims to develop athletes to one day represent the U.S. on the world stage.”

Each team will consist of three to four horse/athlete combinations to be chosen from qualified applicants by the USEA Area Selectors based on performance, soundness, experience, and suitability for the competition. All interested athletes must submit an area declaration and a one-time application for the upcoming competition year. The deadline for area declarations and team applications is January 29, 2021. Log in to your athlete dashboard to access the application.

Note to applicants*: FEI age is defined as the age the athlete will turn during the calendar year of the competition. Athletes born between January 1 and December 31, 2007, will be considered FEI age 14 for the entire 2021 competition year. Additionally, athletes who intend to move up to the CCI1* level in the upcoming season are invited to apply, even if they have not yet competed at the level.

For more information, click here.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top Tryon International CCI4*-S Division

CarasTR20brinkman11-15x1ag-8612Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill. Photo by Alison Green for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill carried their lead through to the finish in the CCI4*-S division, adding 20.80 penalties for time to their cross-country run and still keeping the lead score of 47.80. In second, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Crosstown Dancer x Wolverlife) owned by Madison Foote, Theresa Foote and John Meyer, cleared the White Oak Course with 12.40 time penalties for a total score of 48.50. Rounding out the top three, Nobie Cannon (USA) and Bust A Groove, her own 2004 Thoroughbred gelding (Busterwaggley x Groovy), were by far the closest to making the time on a muddy course, adding only eight time penalties for a total score of 52.20.

Caras mentioned that it was only the third Advanced competition for the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, and that the atmosphere only added some nice spark to an already nice dressage test. “I was going for consistency and no mistakes, and I was happy with him overall,” she recalled. “He couldn’t have been better in the show jumping. I know that it can be hard to make the time in that ring, and he has a long stride and can be a bit slow, so I went in and rode forward. He’s such a great jumper and it’s nice to be able to just focus on the riding and the plan.”

Caras ended up walking the White Oak cross-country course many times due to schedule changes that occurred throughout, and said that the Tryon team “made cross-country happen in impossible circumstances. I couldn’t be happier with the way he handled the course. He was a little spooky in the first combination and so I just put him on his feet and kept him together. He finished well and confident, which I think is the most important thing.”

Caras concluded, “I think all of the riders are very grateful to Tryon for stepping in to host this event. All of the effort that they put in to make it so we could run cross-country was appreciated from all sides. It’s truly a privilege to be able to compete here.”

meyerTR20brinkman11-15xcTM-8150Joe Meyer and Clip Clop. Photo by Tanner Messer for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Meyer rose from 15th after dressage with Clip Clop, who he called a “super quirky” ride but one that has serious talent. “He’s an awesome horse. I was originally sent him to be sold. He’s super quirky and has thrown me off time after time. He’s gotten better and better, and we’ve formed a partnership. Now, he’s done five-star competitions!”

The nearly-17-year-old acts more like a four-year-old, Meyer revealed, and has recently found a new level in the show jumping phase: “He’s fantastic. He’s always been a good show jumper, but now that he’s gotten older he’s awesome. It gives you an amazing sense of confidence as well. He’s hot on the flat, and that’s his only drawback. I do think that if he could do dressage as relaxed as he does at home, I would have an Olympic horse. I guess that’s just how it goes. There are only certain people that can ride him.”

Like many competitors, Meyer and Clip Clop found the Chimney Rock Combination to be a bit trickier than expected, in part due to Clip Clop’s drive to get through the flags at a faster pace than Meyer intended. “It’s funny, because I watched and watched yesterday, and had an idea in my head of what was going to go on, but it didn’t work out that way. I thought for sure I’d just pop down the Chimney Rock combination in five strides, and then another four [to the third wedge]. I went quiet to the top and saw a going distance, waited for one stride, he popped in, then just rocket-shipped down the hill,” Meyer recapped. “He landed and balanced and knew what he was doing because he’s experienced. He did one stride, slipped, but then picked himself right back up and looked for the flags!

“I want to thank everybody at Tryon: the organizers, officials, volunteers, and everyone else, for the effort that they put into getting the cross-country running,” Meyer concluded. “What they did was unbelievable! The course is beautiful. A massive thank you to everybody.”

CannonTR20brinkman11-15x2ag-19538Nobie Cannon and Bust A Groove. Photo by Tamer Messer for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Cannon and “Busta” were the fastest pairs on course Sunday, and she reported that she felt comfortable with the footing even after a full day of competition running on the course the day prior. “Boy, the crew at Tryon did a crazy job getting the course back to where the footing was runnable,” she emphasized. “It was muddy in spots, but nothing that I felt was dangerous. We just went for it! He didn’t slip or anything. I was actually surprised when I looked down at my minute marker and wasn’t as far off as I usually am. It was exciting!”

Cannon is carefully considering when to retire her mount, and says that his performance this weekend couldn’t have been any better. “The dressage is never our strong point. We’ve been working really hard on it this year, since there haven’t been a ton of shows. He put in a really good test. He tried and he really stayed with me. With the show jumping, I got nervous in that atmosphere, to be honest. I could’ve ridden better to avoid those two rails that we had, but such is life! I think he could go a little longer, but I think we’re pretty close to the end for him because he’s done everything I could’ve asked from him. It was really cool that we got to end this way.”

A frequent competitor at TIEC, Cannon and Busta contested their first Advanced together at the Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials last September, and it felt fitting to conclude his career – for now, at least – at one of their favorite venues. “We keep coming back. The footing is great and the courses are always challenging, but ride well. I like that we can go eat at the restaurants. Tryon is a fun destination.”

MARS Tryon International: WebsiteFinal ScoresCoverage

CCI4*-S Final Top 10: 

Coverage of Tryon International this weekend is brought to you by Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Diversity and inclusion in all equestrian sports are important, and we’ll be bringing you tidbits on what this new organization hopes to accomplish.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Tryon International CCI2*-L Win

hallidaySharpCooley HHSCalmariaTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-6145Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria. Photo by Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Liz Halliday-Sharp prevailed in the Tryon International Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L division with Cooley HHS Calmaria, ending on their dressage score of 28.30. Elizabeth Bortuzzo (USA) and Belongs to Teufer, the 2009 Thoroughbred gelding (Teuflesberg x Belong To Me) owned by John. A Witte, held steady to their dressage score to end up in second on a score of 28.60, while the weeklong leader, Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, Edith Rameika’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, dropped just one rail on course to land in third with a score of 29.20.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x Chester Lass) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm have only been partnered since June of this year, she revealed, and found the win to be “a nice surprise” but one that only confirms the quality of the up-and-coming mount.

“It’s a mare that I’ve only had since June, and she only did her first preliminary in July,” Halliday-Sharp revealed. “She’s one of the trickiest horses I’ve ever had and one of the most talented, and I was absolutely thrilled with her this weekend. She definitely did the best dressage that she’s done, which has been our trickiest phase, and she was so perfect on cross-country and exceptional today. She’s very pleased with herself, and I’m really excited about her for the future. I think there is a lot more to come from her, and she’ll be a horse that everyone’s looking up to,” Halliday-Sharp predicted.

Echoing the remarks of her peers, Halliday-Sharp believes “this is an outstanding venue, and I’d say it’s one of the best in the world, undeniably. I can’t think of anywhere better. The efforts that everyone put in was truly Herculean to make everything run,” she continued. “I was the 78th horse out of the box on the 4* and actually, the ground wasn’t that bad. I felt like the ground continued to improve as the day went on, which is incredible.

“I’ve not actually ever experienced any event that put that much true grit and effort into making things run the best they could for the horses,” Halliday-Sharp concluded. “And in terms of the arena, it feels like you’re at a championship here, so I truly hope [this is a regular] event going forward; I cannot think of anywhere that could deliver it like Tryon did.”

BortuzzoTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-7794Elizabeth Bortuzzo and Belongs to Teufer. Photo by Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Bortuzzo acknowledged that while cross-country felt “easy” for her horse, show jumping tends to be “quite an effort” and she was pleased to keep her dressage score the whole weekend through. “We had a consistently decent dressage test, and he was phenomenal out on cross-country. It felt easy, and I think we were going a bit too fast, but he was just traveling around and it felt great. For him, show jumping is quite an effort. I was very surprised but very happy about it. So overall, I couldn’t be happier about how we did across all three phases.”

Bortuzzo is a first-time competitor at TIEC and shared that she was originally uncertain about making the trip from Pittstown, NJ, but now plans to return if she’s able. “I haven’t ever been to the venue and it is quite gorgeous. I brought the horses on quite a few trail rides across the whole property, and it is lovely. For not being quite perfect condition-wise, the cross-country course was lovely, too. I had no intention of coming all the way down to North Carolina, but we are very glad we came!” Bortuzzo admitted.

“It was a little bit of a year full of ups and downs. But hopefully this horse will get going next year with some intermediates and a 2*-L at some point. But, we hope to be back here next fall. Hopefully we can pull off a great result again! We are very thankful for you guys for hosting such a lovely event, and even in these challenging times it all came off with any hitches,” she concluded.

kozumplikmurphySaraTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-7969Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality. Photo by Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman Photography.

After a heartbreaking touch that dropped a rail, Murphy remained in third place with Otta B Quality and conceded that it was a great result for the gelding’s first FEI competition. “I was disappointed, obviously. He’s a very clean show jumper generally, and he just touched the middle of the triple, which wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s just how it goes. Coming into the competition I would have certainly been happy with third place, but it’s hard when you drop from first to third! That’s just how it goes. That’s why it’s three phases and you have to pull it out on every one of them.”

Most importantly, Murphy commented, was that her horse gained strength and experience from his time at the venue and will only come back next season a stronger, more powerful ride. “He tried very hard and it’s been a very big year for him. As he’s moving up the levels he’s getting a lot stronger. He’s trying very hard and will certainly come away from this event a much better horse. He’s going to go have a big holiday now! I’ll let him completely down and then bring him back up again. My goal is to be here next year in the three-star.”

Her three-star goals don’t mean that she will rush “Otter” in any way, Murphy added. “He doesn’t need to do a three-star in the spring, but I think he should just keep picking away and gaining experience [where he’s at now] while working all year to do the next level up [in the fall]. That should be the goal. This horse is a slow grower and needs time to make sure he’s strong enough. When they’re big and loose movers like he is, you have to be extra sure that they’re really strong.”

Murphy concluded, “I think he’s pretty special. I didn’t have exactly the weekend that I wanted, but my horses did well in every situation, and the venue did everything they could to pull this off. This wouldn’t have been possible without Tryon because there was nowhere else that could’ve done it. It’s nice for us to be able to get out and keep our sport going.”

MARS Tryon International: WebsiteFinal ScoresCoverage

CCI2*-L Final Top 10: 

Coverage of Tryon International this weekend is brought to you by Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Diversity and inclusion in all equestrian sports are important, and we’ll be bringing you tidbits on what this new organization hopes to accomplish.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to Tryon International CCI3*-L Win

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. By Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the Tryon International 3-Day Event CCI3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC.. In second, Boyd Martin piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L this weekend and noted that he was still quite fresh after cross-country yesterday: “The show jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

Though they led from start to finish, Coleman was most excited about the educational experience his up-and-coming star gained by competing in a big environment, albeit sans spectators. “There’s always a tremendous atmosphere here at Tryon. They get a taste of what the big time will be like – and is like. I thought that the cross-country course was solid. It wasn’t overly difficult, yet it was still a great education for him,” he reported. “It was his first three-star long, and it was an almost nine-minute course. There’s no question that it was a huge experience for him and I think it’ll serve him very well going forward.”

Coleman concluded, “I’m thankful for this weekend and that we’re still able to compete during this time. I’m also very thankful to Hyperion Stud and Vicky Castregen and the whole team. I’ve got a wonderful group of people helping me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m very lucky!”

Boyd Martin and Contessa. Photo by
Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Holding onto second for the entirety of the weekend with Contessa, Martin called the mare “just a fantastic jumper, who’s all class and quality. She’s full of energy after yesterday’s cross-country, and put in a great round of jumping.”

Though Martin has mostly been working with Contessa at home thus far, he reported that he has high hopes for his mount: “I think this weekend she not only performed well and got a great result, but she got a great education of things to come. The stadium feeling in the dressage and show jumping is definitely a lot of pressure and atmosphere, and the cross-country course is obviously a real test and sign of a horse for the future.”

Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley. Photo by
Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Rounding out the podium, Law and Lady Chatterley finished on their dressage score, which Law called a “very good test for her,” and ended up being a great learning experience for both his three-star mounts, he shared. “We’ve been quite fortunate that once the events got started again, we were able to put a program together and stick with it in the second half of the season.”

Like many of his peers, Law emphasized the dedication of the TIEC staff to making the event happen, both before the date and once the course was damaged just before the start of competition. “I think everybody that’s involved here at Tryon obviously have gone above and beyond, first to get it off the floor, and get it to happen. Probably the bigger challenge, though, was all the rain when we got here and all that had to be done. And that [credit] goes to the management here at Tryon and the staff. [Technical Delegate] Andy Bowles and [Course Designer] Mark Phillips… I think what they did was incredible,” Law continued. “They might not have been able to do it without the hands that are available here, but for Mark Phillips and Andy Bowles to put something together which looked impossible and pull it off, I think hats off to those two and everyone who supported and helped them.

“The ground on the day [of competition] was good ground,” Law continued. “We had to look after our horses for a little bit on that short stretch coming back across the road, but as long as you rode sensibly, it was good ground. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and it is not long ago that we consistently were running in a lot worse ground than this, even at places like Badminton,” he noted.

Law concluded, “I’m really thankful to everyone who put this event on, and hopefully we see it here again and again; that would be a nice thing. It is a great venue, the facilities are fantastic, the rings are fantastic and the cross-country course is top class. Mark Phillips, I think, is like red wine, he just gets better and better. The courses were super, they really were.”

MARS Tryon International: WebsiteFinal ScoresCoverage

CCI3*-L Final Top 10: 

Coverage of Tryon International this weekend is brought to you by Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Diversity and inclusion in all equestrian sports are important, and we’ll be bringing you tidbits on what this new organization hopes to accomplish.

The Best of the Rest: Tryon International CCI4*-S, CCI 3*-L & CCI 2*-L Cross Country Recap

We recapped Tryon International 3-Day Event CCI4*-L cross country here (and you can review the play-by-play here); now, we look to USEF for a roundup of the best of the rest of the international divisions.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. Photo by
Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Coast to Continued CCI 3*-L Lead

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS cleared the White Oak Course to hold their CCI 3*-L lead, and he called Chin Tonic’s run “the best of the day for me” despite challenging his first 3*-L with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. The duo sits on a score of 25.70 heading into the final phase. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged: with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

“This was his first 3*-L. He’s just an eight-year-old, but he’s a really magic horse. You know, the light was a bit funny [by the afternoon] – he came out of the box a little looky and he felt almost green, but he’s just so honest and got better and better as he went. I was thrilled with him; his conditioning felt great, and he really jumped the jumps all very easily.

“I thought the courses rode well,” Coleman continued. “The cross-country course here is not just about how the lines walk or how the jumps present themselves. The terrain itself is one of the biggest challenges – it’s all the little dips and nuances. Mark set a really nice track, but those little intricacies are really what make it kind of hard. I think that’s why the time is so hard to get, but my horses performed great, and I’m very lucky to have them. And, I have a great team behind me led by my wife.”

Coleman admitted that while he and his team are happy to have an Olympic qualifier to attend, he laughed that he “never want[s] to be eventing in November again! Obviously, it was amazing for Tryon to host this. There was really no opportunity otherwise [for qualification], so we’re all hugely appreciative of that. It’s just a very long year for the horses, and really difficult for a lot of us because with COVID, you never really knew where your target is.”

Coleman elaborated that he had originally aimed his horses to peak for Morven Park’s national championship and qualifier divisions, “so six weeks later with an event horse is a very big deal. So for me, I felt like my horses, and maybe my team in general, were all a bit weary by the time we got here and we’re just glad that hopefully we can finish the weekend strong and get the year behind us.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality Hold Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division Lead

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, maintained their hold on the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after their double-clear Cross-Country round, carrying forward their score of 25.20. Dani Sussman (USA) and Jos Bravio, the self-owned 2011 Argentinian Warmblood gelding (Jos Fapillon x Remonta Guinea), improved from fourth to second and sit on a score of 27.30 after a clear cross-country round, with third belonging to Tik Maynard and Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Richard Maynard, who added 2.00 penalties for time to hold a score of 28.10.

“The course rode super well,” Murphy shared. “The footing was really good, and they worked so hard on it. Otter went out at 8:20am, so I went out and walked [the course] as soon as it was light out, and I was really happy with the ground. I was curious as to how it was going to ride going down the hill and things like that, but it was all lovely,” she reported. “There was a good balance going down there. As I said yesterday, the course was really appropriate for the level. It was all exceptionally well built with good designing. You had all of the questions that you needed, but it was appropriate for the level, so it encouraged the young horses or younger riders with older horses.”

For Murphy, she knew in advance that her young jumper tends to have more hang time in the air, and chose to be cognisant of her time as much as possible on course. “ I knew I was going to have to go a little bit more on these courses that are a bit winding. He’s a good jumper so he has quite a bit of airtime, so I just wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to give points away because all of our dressage scores were so close. He cruised across the ground, and still had plenty of play left at the end. He’s very proud of himself!”

“Otter” has jumped up to 1.20m at the venue this summer, so the 1.15m height shouldn’t be a problem, Murphy shared, but she’s interested to see how he will take to jumping in the stadium following the cross-country phase:

“He’s a very nice quality horse and good show jumper, so I just need to make sure I ride properly. At the two-star level they jump 1.15m on the final day, and it’s always different after riding a horse it’s on cross-country versus the horse trials, where we do the show jumping before. Since he’s a young horse, we haven’t done it a lot, so we’ll have to play it by ear, but he’s fit, happy, and jogged really well just now,” she concluded. “I’ll still have to ride properly and not be silly!”

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Keep Their CCI 4*-S Lead After Two Phases

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, jumped clear to maintain their lead on a score of 27.00. Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, still hold a score of 27.40 to keep second place, with Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste, the 2007 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Lucky Lionell) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, sitting on a score of 30.60 for third. The division will contest cross-country beginning at 10:00am EST on Sunday to round out the weekend. While live streaming will be unavailable, live scores can be found at

Schedule Update:

Due to weather, CCI 4*-S and HT divisions will run cross-country on Sunday, November 15. Live streaming for Sunday will include all show jumping divisions in Tryon stadium. To learn more about the revised schedule, click here.

MARS Tryon International: WebsiteEntry StatusScheduleOrder of GoRide TimesLive ScoresLive StreamCoverage

CCI4*-S Top 10 After Show Jumping:

CCI3*-L Top 10 After Cross Country:

CCI2*-L Top 10 After Cross Country:


Coverage of Tryon International this weekend is brought to you by Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Diversity and inclusion in all equestrian sports are important, and we’ll be bringing you tidbits on what this new organization hopes to accomplish.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) to Promote Visible, Active Allyship for BIPOC Equestrians

Graphic courtesy of Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE).

The United States is an increasingly diverse country, but equestrian sports do not reflect that reality. This can and should change. The “moonshot” idea conceptualized by five-star eventer and trainer Heather Gillette and historian Dr. Anastasia Curwood, along with United States Eventing High Performance rider Matthew Brown, Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is pleased to announce its official launch.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is an allyship program for the equestrian community and represents a first step towards addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in our discipline. This organization hopes to partner with a 501(c)3 nonprofit in the future to fully expand its vision.

The mission of Strides for Equality Equestrians is to promote a more inclusive culture within the horse community by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) within the equestrian community and educating everyone about how to be an effective ally.

Recognizing that we must be the change we wish to see in the world, SEE will encourage equestrians to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for equality and justice. Not quietly, not anonymously… but proudly and loudly. We all share a love of horses and the sport, and that shared commitment should bring us together. It can be uncomfortable to confront the bias and microaggressions that exist within our sport – but our strength lies in moving forward in open discussion, together.

Together, we will do our best to make allyship seen and heard. We will make equestrian sports accessible. We will encourage growth in understanding of issues that affect people of color. We will encourage empathy and inclusion. And we will make equestrian sports better for all.

The Strides for Equality Equestrians founding committee has determined that by (1) promoting a more inclusive culture and (2) creating equitable opportunities for BIPOC people we can increase the strength and diversity of the equestrian community.

Immediate Goals

  • Create a safe and respectful community that values the voices and contributions of BIPOC people within the eventing community. This includes not just riders, but also volunteers, officials, grooms, and everyone who loves equestrian sport.
  • Educate members of the equestrian community about how to be an effective ally and why this work is important.
  • Increase the visibility of both BIPOC members of the equestrian community and their allies.

Long Term Goals

  • Create Equitable Opportunities
  • Support equestrian programs that serve BIPOC individuals and communities through collaboration and fundraising (Detroit Horsepower, City Ranch in Baltimore, Compton Juniors, Work to Ride, Metropolitan Equestrian Team, etc.)
  • Create new pathways for BIPOC equestrians to become involved in equestrian sport and related industries by creating and institutionalizing internship, apprenticeship, and mentoring opportunities (riding, grooming, farrier, vet, course design & building, etc.)

Strides for Equality Equestrians will be led by a steering committee of predominantly BIPOC members of the equestrian community and active allies. The organization hopes to collaborate with similar initiatives in other disciplines to advance our mission across equestrian sport.

Members making a monetary donation will receive a SEE pin that can be worn proudly on a jacket lapel as a show of visible allyship. More merchandise opportunities are forthcoming. To learn more and to make a donation, please visit

Morven Park Looking Forward to Winter Horse Trials

Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

Morven Park has added a Winter Horse Trials, November 14-15, to the 2020 calendar. This new event replaces the annual Morven Park Spring Horse Trials, which was canceled due to the pandemic, and offers Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels of competition.

“With all of the cancellations this year we want to give riders one more chance to get out and compete,” said Morven Park Executive Director Sheryl Williams. “This will be the last Area II event of 2020, and we’re looking forward to another great weekend at Morven Park.”

While no spectators will be allowed on the property for the event, the action will be covered here on Eventing Nation throughout the weekend.

Morven Park wishes to thank the volunteers, competitors, and supporters that are making Winter Horse Trials possible. Equestrian Center sponsors B&D Builders, LLC, SmartPak, Coat Defense, and Total Equine Veterinary Associates are joined by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, a Horse Trials Gold Sponsor for 2020, and Attwood Equestrian Surfaces, the official arena footing sponsor of Morven Park.  

COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines and all competitor information is available at

Green Mountain Horse Association Receives $250,000 Challenge Grant from The Manton Foundation

Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

The Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA) is pleased to announce the receipt of a Challenge Grant from The Manton Foundation.The goal is to expand the number of and deepen the engagement with GMHA’s prospective and current donors during the COVID-19 period and beyond. GMHA is reaching out to the entire community to ask for support. All donations up to $250,000 will be matched 1:1 through June 30, 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic GMHA has had to cancel over half of its competitions and clinics during the 2020 season, thus creating a significant strain on the organization’s finances. The Manton Challenge will substantially offset lost revenue and ensure that GMHA enters the 2021 season on sound footing.

GMHA thanks all of its members, competitors, business sponsors and donors for their continued support during this challenging time and invites them, and new members of the community, to help meet the Manton Challenge.

The Manton Foundation, established in 1991 by Jim and Gretchen Manton, has given out over $300 million in grant funding to initiatives in the New England region of the country with an emphasis on relationship and community building. Jim Manton’s success in the business world opened the door to start a charitable foundation to support the family’s local and artistic interests. The Foundation is family-run and continues to engage with the equestrian community, including a $250,000 matching grant for the USEA’s frangible technology funding.

GMHA is a multi-disciplinary equestrian organization established in 1926 and located on a 65- acre facility in South Woodstock, VT. In addition to its on-site programs, GMHA helps protect and manage over 400 miles of equestrian trails in the Woodstock, South Woodstock and Reading Vermont area. More information can be found at Questions can be directed to Bruce Perry, Executive Director by phone at (802)-457-1509 or by email at [email protected].

MARS Equestrian, Buckeye Nutrition Announced as Title Sponsors of Tryon International, CCI4*L Championship

US Equestrian is pleased to announce MARS Equestrian as the title sponsor of the Tryon International Three-Day Event, as well as Buckeye Nutrition as title sponsor of the 2020 USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Championship set to take place at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C. from November 12-15, 2020. The MARS Equestrian Tryon International Three-Day Event is new to the calendar in 2020 and will feature CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and CCI2*-L competition alongside the CCI4*-L. The Buckeye Nutrition/USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Championship will close out the 2020 national championship season for the discipline of eventing and is the only CCI4*-L to be hosted on the East Coast this year.

“We are very grateful to MARS Equestrian and Buckeye Nutrition for their continued support of equestrian sport and for their enthusiasm to sponsor the Tryon International Three-Day Event and USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Championships this year,” said Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian. “This championship will provide an excellent opportunity for our eventing athletes to perform in an intense and competitive environment as they look ahead to a very important 2021 season.”

“We are thrilled to announce our support of the Tryon International Three-Day Event and 2020 USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Championships, which is the only CCI4*-L on the East Coast this year, and a key event for many of our country’s most talented athletes,” said Bridgett McIntosh, Director of MARS Equestrian. “MARS Equestrian and our affiliated brands are committed to ensuring the success of equestrian sport here in the United States and are proud to partner with US Equestrian and TIEC on what is sure to be a fantastic event in just a few weeks’ time.”

“We are honored to host this prestigious eventing competition at Tryon. Along with our partners MARS Equestrian and US Equestrian, we are dedicated to producing world-class equestrian sport safely during these uncertain times,” said Sharon Decker, President of Tryon Equestrian Properties, Carolinas Operations. “We look forward to bringing the Tryon International Three-Day Event to life at our venue.”

Spectators will not be allowed on-site due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the MARS Equestrian Tryon International Three-Day Event and 2020 Buckeye Nutrition/USEF Eventing CCI4*-L National Championship will be live streamed on USEF Network. The Tryon International Three-Day Event will begin on Thursday, November 12 and conclude on Sunday, November 15. For more information, please visit

Jock Paget Takes the Reins of New Zealand High Performance

Jock Paget and Clifton Lush at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Jenni Autry.

London Olympian and Equestrian Sports New Zealand performance leader Jock Paget has been appointed as the new high performance general manager.

The Taupo-based eventer who moved home from the United Kingdom four years ago is looking forward to what he is describing as an “exciting challenge and massive opportunity” to take up the role which will lead the equestrian high performance programme for ESNZ – a position formerly known as the high performance director.

“I always need a challenge,” says Jock who, while a late starter to the world of eventing, has ridden at the highest level, as part of the bronze medal-winning team at the London Olympic Games, won Badminton, and also represented New Zealand at World Equestrian Games. “Since I have been in the performance leader role, I have always gravitated toward programme development and always wanted to spend more time on that. I love coaching, horses and the whole environment that comes with that but what really gets me going is the strategic side of how the programme works and the thinking behind what delivers those performance outcomes.”

ESNZ chief executive Dana Kirkpatrick said the sport was excited to have Jock in the role particularly as he brings such a depth of experience. “He is an athlete, a successful Olympian, a considered and intelligent thinker and is well respected by his colleagues and peers. Jock has been through the High Performance Sport New Zealand Coach Accelerator Programme and has benefitted from great support by HPSNZ, ESNZ and his peers to lead the high performance programme into the postponed Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 World Equestrian Games and then the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

She said the tight timeframe of three pinnacle events in the next few years was challenging but the wider high performance support team was more than able to deliver great results for the sport and New Zealand as a whole.

It wasn’t long after finishing seventh at the 2010 Kentucky Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games that Jock was identified by ESNZ as a potential coach and leader in the sport, bringing with it new opportunities.

“They effectively said here is someone we think has an exciting future in the sport, let’s develop him.” He would head home annually to coach and was mentored by HPSNZ’s Lyn Gunson who he credits “hands down” as the biggest influence on his coaching and leadership development. His involvement in the CAP Programme was life-changing and now all of that work and investment is coming home to roost. “I am just incredibly grateful to ESNZ and HPSNZ for providing me with these opportunities for development and delivering great programmes to enable me to apply for this role.

Jock Paget and Clifton Promise. Photo by Nico Morgan Photography.

“I pride myself in being able to figure things out,” says Jock. “I bring to the team very solid contextual experience at many levels. I have experience in the industry as a developing rider, high performance rider, team member, coach and for the past two years as performance programme leader. There is a lot more to the role than that experience, but it certainly helps and I am grateful to have such an experienced team of riders, coaches, staff and supporters who all make this sport what it is.”

Key relationships, and the new ones he is looking to build with the other disciplines, will be key to success going forward. “I need to get across all the disciplines and that’s exciting because I think there will be a lot to learn from them and we can all learn a lot from each other. I am very keen to collaborate with them. I need to understand the challenges and opportunities they have. I have been so focused on eventing for so long, so it’s exciting to learn about the others.”

He has no plans initially to make any big changes but says it is important to always be understanding of what is needed for the athletes and disciplines so the capability can be built around it. “Figure it out, build it and make sure it meets the performance requirement.”

Moving back to New Zealand four years ago meant his horsepower team shrunk from 15 to just two. “My riding has not been the priority – my ESNZ role has been. I have two nice horses at 3* and 4*and while I enjoy riding, it doesn’t get as much time as it probably should.”
He has plenty of fond memories to look back on though – and he admits it is very hard to pick just one. “I have been so incredibly lucky with so many awesome highlights. You can’t go past winning Badminton by .3 – that was fun.”

Another highlight was joining the riders he had been working with as a coach to form the winning team at the Melbourne Three Day Event, with the Kiwis taking both the senior trans-Tasman crown and Jock the individual. “It was a weird and interesting experience that brought with it pressure I hadn’t really had before – I did enjoy that. I had been working hard to build those relationships with the riders and other coaches, so it came at a perfect time and really accelerated things for us.”

Jock and his wife Tegan live near Taupo with their boys Max and Billy.

Galway Downs Kicks Off With All-Clear First Horse Inspection

It’s all-clear at the first Galway Downs horse inspection! The Temecula, California, venue is hosting the USEF National CCI3*-L National Championships, marking the first time it’s been held in on the West Coast, as well as CCI2*-L and CCI4*-L divisions.

Additionally, two athletes are in contention for the John H. Fritz Trophy in the Young Rider National Championship. This trophy is awarded to the highest-placed athlete in the USEF Young Rider Eventing National Championship and is open to riders age 16 through 21. The athletes meeting this criteria are Charlotte Babbitt (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and 2 A.M. and Sophie Click (Snoqualmie, Wash.) and Quidproquo.

All horses presented for the horse inspection on Wednesday passed and will begin competition with dressage beginning at 1 p.m. PDT on Thursday.

Galway Downs International is also hosting the 2020 Adequan® USEF Futures Team Challenge – West Coast. The Futures Team Challenge provides an opportunity for eventing athletes to gain valuable team competition experience in an unofficial team scenario on home soil at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels. Read more about the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge and see the team rosters here.

USEF Network will stream the CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and CCI4*-L from Galway Downs through the end of competition on Saturday, Oct. 31. Watch the live stream here.

A few pics from yesterday’s jog … First things first, this is adorable!

And now, onto


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It’s our favorite time of year…….fall long format time!! Thank you to my crew for turning these beauties out today. All of the horses sailed through the trot up In style and we are looking forward to the first day of competition tomorrow with AEV Above Authority first in the ring. @galwaydownsequestrian is looking 🔥 with the upgrades. Huge effort put forth by their entire crew and we are very grateful. Thank you @_mgo__photography for these amazing shots!! Can’t wait for more! #teamnle #dreamteam #baysfordays #landrover #galwaydowns @fleeceworks @samshieldamerica @frilly__fillies @soless_visors @customsaddlery @auburn_laboratories @c4belts @profchoice @jump4joyusa @coat_defense @nupafeed__usa @devoucoux @ezupshelters @totalsaddlefit @mdc_stirrups @soundhoofconditioner @revitavet @flairstrips @nutrenafeed @premierequestrian @uptimeenergy @haygainUSA @flexineb @mannaprohorse @multiradiance @hylofit @frilly_fillies @neueschuleusa @neue_schule_bits @zarasylltd

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Ideal HX is accepted! #teamlilley #teamlilleyeventing

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Auburn and BSP Tuxedo accepted

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3 star time for Stoney! 🌟 Thank you @carolinedein for making him so beautiful ❤️ @earlmcfall35

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Galway Downs International Event and Horse Trials | October 28-November 1, 2020

Galway Website | USEA Prize List | Entry Status | Ride Times | Live Scores | Volunteer

VHT International & Horse Trials Receives Over 600 Entries for Fall Event

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, is a graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse program. Photo by Brant Gamma courtesy of VHT. 

Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) looks forward to welcoming record entries to next week’s VHT International & Horse Trials as well as The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships.

VHT International has received over 600 entries for the entire event as well as a record number of YEH entries for 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds. With 78 YEH entries at the time of publication, VHT and the USEA YEH Committee jointly agreed to run the 4-year-old division with 23 entries as a one-day format on Wednesday, October 28. The 5-year-old division with 55 entries will run over two days, from October 28-29.

“We’re very excited we have so many entries for the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships this year,” stated YEH Committee Chair, Marilyn Payne. “Because of that, we don’t want to turn anyone away, so we were able to bring on additional judges for the 4-year-old division, which was the original plan for 2020 if entries were large enough. To make the schedule work, we needed three additional judges for the 4-year-old Championship.”

Peter Gray and Debbie Adams will be judging the 5-year-old division as planned. The judges for the 4-year-old Championship are Marilyn Payne, Tim Holekamp, and Phyllis Dawson.

Payne is a FEI 4* Eventing Judge and a USEF “S” Dressage Judge. She was the President of the Ground Jury at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, and judged at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong and each of the six four-stars in the world. Marilyn is also a distinguished trainer, competitor, one of the founders of the USEA YEH program, and co-chair of the YEH Committee.

Holekamp is a retired ophthalmologist specializing in retina surgery. He has been around horses all his life, and together with his wife Cheryl, who is a “S” dressage judge and Grand Prix rider, they have been breeding Trakehner sport horses for 30 years on their New Spring Farms, in Missouri and Ocala. He completed the training program for breed inspector and presently is in charge of the American Trakehner Association’s inspection review committee, after a four-year term as president of that Association. His focus now is on US Three-Day Eventing team development through co-chairing the USEA YEH Committee with Marilyn Payne and working on the USEF’s Eventing Owners Task Force.

Dawson competed at the highest levels of three-day eventing for over 30 years. In 1988 Phyllis represented the United States in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, riding Albany II, finishing tenth overall. She also rode for the United States Equestrian Team in 1997, successfully competing Snowy River in the Open European Championships at Burghley, England. Phyllis has served on the USEA Board of Governors, various USEA Committees, and has worked with both the Future Event Horse and Young Event Horse programs as a young horse expert, breeder, and judge.

VHT Organizer Andy Bowles and his team are looking forward to an exciting event running October 28-November 1. In addition to the YEH Championships, VHT International is also the host of the USEF Two-Star Eventing National Championships, an Intercollegiate and Alumni Team Challenge, and the following divisions: CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI2*-S, CCI1*-L, Advanced/Intermediate, Intermediate, Preliminary, Modified, Training, Novice, Beginner Novice, Starter.

“It’s been a challenging year for eventers with many restrictions and fewer events being held due to the pandemic,” Bowles said. “We were determined to accept as many entries as we possibly could and give everyone an opportunity to run their horses. We are always grateful that competitors choose to come to VHT and we’re looking forward to a great event.”

Virginia Horse Trials: Website | Omnibus | Facebook

US Equestrian Announces Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan

US Equestrian is pleased to announce that it has published a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan outlining 10 strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in equestrian sport. These strategies seek to ensure a welcoming environment for people from traditionally under-represented and under-served communities, and evolve US Equestrian’s policies and practices to create a more inclusive sport for all participants and fans.

Ten Strategies to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The strategies are as follows. Please refer to the full DEI Action Plan for more details about each item listed below.

  1. Community Riding Center Grants Program and Opportunity Fund
  2. Inclusion Commitment Campaign
  3. Free DEI training for members (to be completed on voluntary basis)
  4. Required DEI training for USEF representatives
  5. Rules and Regulations Equity Audit
  6. New membership category for industry specialists
  7. Comprehensive marketing plan harnessing the power of images and storytelling
  8. Expanding USEF’s paid internship program
  9. Best Practices Guide for show organizers
  10. Spanish translated forms and website content
  11. Background and Process

Following the Board of Directors’ approval of a commitment statement and the development of a DEI Action Plan at the Mid-Year Board Meeting in June 2020, staff representatives from every department within US Equestrian set out to create a comprehensive action plan with input from External Thought Leaders representing diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and positions in the equestrian industry. Learn more about the External Thought Leaders here.

These groups worked in partnership to create the DEI Action Plan through surveys, a series of one-on-one interviews, and four “Thought Leader Workshops” to assess the external perceptions and climate around DEI in equestrian sport and develop ideas for how US Equestrian can help move diversity, equity, and inclusion forward in the sport.

This process also included engaging a consultant, Ashland Johnson, President and Founder of The Inclusion Playbook, to help guide the work. An attorney, equity and inclusion strategist, and former Division I athlete, Johnson has over a decade of civil rights experience working with social justice communities, advising sports leaders, and serving in leadership roles in advocacy organizations.

Next Steps

The strategies will be rolled out in phases and are to be fully implemented in the next three to five years. Approaching this phased rollout strategically and with intention will help ensure sustainable, impactful change. US Equestrian staff will meet with the External Thought Leaders before the end of the year to share progress and seek feedback.

US Equestrian will continue to keep the membership informed about progress and opportunities to get involved.

As the National Governing Body, US Equestrian takes its role in this movement very seriously. DEI are essential to our vision of bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible, and it must be woven into the fabric of the equestrian community and culture.

US Equestrian extends its gratitude and appreciation to the External Thought Leaders and the following advisors on the Review Committee (listed alphabetically):

Bobby Costello
Sally Ike
Tom O’Mara
Diane Pitts
Will Simpson
Judy Sloan
Ling Fu Wylie

Please direct all media inquiries to Carly Weilminster, Director Public Relations and Communications, at [email protected]

[Read the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan]

Team Price is Pumped for Pau

Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

There’s plenty of excitement in the world of eventing with the first – and only – CCI5* competition of the year happening at Les Etoiles de Pau in France this week and New Zealand have a strong contingent lining up.

There are just six established CCI5* competitions held across the globe annually but COVID saw the cancellation of Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmuhlen, Burghley and Adelaide. A new one in Maryland, in the United States, was also forced to postpone its inaugural running. CCI5* is the highest level of competition in eventing.

Team Price are New Zealand’s sole representatives at Pau. Between Tim and Jonelle Price, they have won five CCI5* events. World No.2 Tim has a trio of horses on the card in 17-year-old Burghley winner Ringwood Sky Boy, Wesko and Xavier Faer.

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ringwood Sky Boy was Tim’s Rio Olympic Games horse, won Burghley in 2018 and has been with Tim his whole competitive career, which started in 2010. Seventeen-year-old Wesko has also been in the Price stable for nigh on a decade and has won the CCI5* at Luhmuhlen, placed second at Kentucky and third in Pau. His trio is rounded out with 14-year-old Xavier Faer who has been on the podium at both Badminton and Kentucky.

“We are looking forward to Pau,” says Tim. “The horses all feel great – they are in good form and are all very experienced and hoping we will be able to demonstrate that. It has been a bit of an odd year as we all know so they haven’t had the normal preparation but I am very happy to be on these more experienced horses.”

Jonelle is in on her little superstar Faerie Dianimo, the 15-year-old British-bred grey mare who she competed on at the Rio Olympic Games, won Luhmuhlen 5* in 2018, was second in 2015, and fourth at Pau in 2014.

Daniel Jocelyn and Grovine de Reve (NZL). Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Jonelle will also compete on Grovine de Reve who is on debut at this level. The Irish-bred 12-year-old joined the stable last year and was second in the CCI4*-L at Cappoquin in Ireland.

“We are very happy with the Pau preparation,” says Jonelle, “with having stayed down in France. Normally we would have been going back and forth but due to the travel restrictions we have just stayed down here this time.”

Tim Price and Wesko. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The team have been based at Lignieres since the week before last and currently have 12 horses with them who are competing across various events in the coming weeks. “It has worked out very well. It is the first time we have done it like this – excellent facilities so a good opportunity to spend time with these horses and do the final preparations. It has been smooth sailing and feeling lucky to be heading in with five healthy horses.

Last year, Tim was the best of the Kiwis, finishing in sixth place aboard Ascona M with Tom McEwen (GBR) and Toledo de Kerser taking the win and Aussies Chris Burton aboard Quality Purdey second and Shane Rose with Virgil third. Tom is back with his winning horse but Chris will be competing aboard Graf Liberty and Shane not returning in 2020.

Tim Price and Xavier Faer. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

There are 62 combinations from 10 countries in the field including the current top 5 in the FEI world rankings – Oliver Townend (GBR), Tim Price, Chris Burton (AUS), Piggy March (GBR) and Tom McEwen (GBR). Also in are current World Champion Rosalind Canter (GBR), the talented Sandra Auffarth (GER) and Frenchman Maxime Livio who will be hoping to make the most of his home country advantage.

The first horse inspection is on Wednesday (October 21) followed by dressage on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the cross country, which will be designed by Pierre Michelet (FRA), on Saturday, the final horse inspection on Sunday morning and the showjumping in the afternoon. There is a prize pool of Euro125,000 for the 5* with the winner pocketing Euro40,000.

5 Etoiles de Pau: WebsiteEntriesLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

US Equestrian Announces Eventing Competition Grant Recipients for 2020

Logo via US Equestrian.

Four eventing athletes have been awarded partial grants to provide financial support for their travel to CCI4*-L competitions in the fall of 2020.

The recipients of the Land Rover/USEF National Competition Grants are:

  • Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Penn.) and Luke 140, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate; and Long Island T, a 14-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred owned by the Long Island T Syndicate
  • Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Penn.) and Fernhill Singapore, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Thomas A. Tierney, Ann Jones, and David Vos
  • Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Fleeceworks Royal, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Judith McSwain; Danito, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Ruth Bley; and En Vogue, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Ruth Bley

The recipient of the USET Jacqueline B. Mars National Competition & Training Grant is:

  • Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Cooley Quicksilver, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding owned by The Monster Partnership

Each recipient will receive the same total amount of funding from their grants. Martin, Dutton, and Halliday-Sharp will use their grants to support travel to the Galway Downs International CCI4*-L in Temecula, Calif., Oct. 28-31. Smith will use her grant to travel to the Tryon International Three-Day Event in Mill Spring, N.C., Nov. 12-15.

“I believe it is truly fantastic that we have access to travel grants within the High Performance program thanks to the generosity of our team sponsor, Land Rover, and the USET Foundation,” said U.S. Eventing Director of High Performance Erik Duvander. “The impact of using these grants nationally this year has enabled us to put top combinations against each other at Tryon and Galway Downs. Our aim is giving the horses the experience of traveling to new venues to enhance the quality of the competition at the two events.

“Tryon is a world class venue that has hosted the FEI World Equestrian Games, and Galway Downs has invested millions of dollars in improvements over the past two years to produce a venue that can host a premier event,” Duvander continued. “Leading into the Olympics, it is also valuable to have the opportunity to practice the routines of flying the horses, preparing them pre-flight, looking after them when they arrive, and then readying them to perform their best.”

The Land Rover/USEF Competition Grant recipients are selected by Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander and his Performance Advisory Team of Leslie Law, Derek di Grazia, Ian Stark, Karen O’Connor, and Bobby Costello. Athletes must be currently named to the USEF High Performance Training List to be eligible.

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

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

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

[US Equestrian Announces Eventing Competition Grant Recipients for 2020]

US Equestrian Names West Coast 2020 Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge Roster

US Equestrian has announced the horse-and-athlete combinations selected to compete at the 2020 Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge – West Coast held at Galway Downs in Temecula, Calif., from Oct. 29-Nov. 1. The format of the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge provides an opportunity for eventing athletes to gain valuable team competition experience in an unofficial team scenario on home soil at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.

The teams will be coached by Erik Duvander, U.S. Performance Director for Eventing, and Leslie Law, USEF Eventing Development and Emerging Coach, both serving as Chef d’Equipe for their respective teams.

Erik Duvander’s Team

  • Team Captain: Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Cooley Quicksilver, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership
  • Emilee Libby (Temecula, Calif.) and her own and Linda Libby’s Jakobi, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding
  • Sophie Click (Snoqualmie, Wash.) and Quidproquo, her own and Amy Click’s nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding

Leslie Law’s Team

  • Team Captain: Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Passepartout, an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding owned by Kaylawna Smith-Cook
  • Rebecca Brown (Seagoville, Texas) and Dassett Choice, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Team Junior Syndicate
  • Charlotte Babbitt (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and her own 2 A.M., an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

“Both Leslie and I are really looking forward to running our first Futures Team Challenge on the West Coast,” said Duvander. “The Futures Team Challenge program is a new program and still under development. This year we are running three-horse teams for Galway Downs, but hoping to grow this number next year. We are also going to trial for the first time having senior riders as team captains, with Liz Halliday-Sharp captaining my team and Tamie Smith captaining Leslie’s team. The purpose in naming captains is for these athletes to develop leadership skills, while simultaneously gaining more team experience.

“Our aim is to continuously drive and grow eventing on the West Coast, and we hope the Futures Team Challenge will aid in inspiring the next generation of riders and providing a pathway toward senior teams,” Duvander added. “It would not have been possible to run the Futures Team Challenge this year without Adequan stepping up as a sponsor, and we are grateful for their support of this successful program.”

Applications were submitted to the USEF Performance Advisory Team and selected based off of results, potential, willingness to learn, and commitment to developing as future team athletes, following the FEI Nations Cup selection criteria as guidance.

Selection to a team under the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team.

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

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

[US Equestrian Announces Teams for 2020 Adequan® USEF Futures Team Challenge – West Coast]