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U.S. Eventing Olympic Team to Host Mandatory Training Session at Great Meadow from June 30 – July 2

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The U.S. Eventing Olympic Team will hold a mandatory training session at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., from Wednesday, June 30, through Friday, July 2. The training session will feature at maximum 15 athlete-and-horse combinations, including the three combinations currently named to the U.S. Eventing Olympic Team, direct reserve and traveling reserve combinations, as well as the six alternate combinations and a limited number of other international combinations.

A trot-up will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30. Dressage will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 1, followed by a cross-country phase beginning at 2:00 p.m. the same day. Show jumping will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 2 for all participating combinations. This event will not be open to public spectators and will not be livestreamed, but media attendance and coverage is encouraged.

Interview opportunities with athletes, team staff and personnel, and Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander will be available following each phase. All interviews, outside of press conferences, must be pre-scheduled with USEF staff. USEF staff must be present for all pre-scheduled interviews, and media in violation of this will have credentials revoked.

EN will be on site for this mandatory outing, so stay tuned right here for much more from the Tokyo-bound athletes!

Germans Have a Day at Conclusion of Poland’s Equestrian Festival Baborówko

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by MR Photo.


Sunday saw the conclusion of Equestrian Festival Baborówko in Poland, where 200 riders with 350 horses from 25 countries all over the world competed for a prize pool unparalleled in Polish eventing – over 90,000 EUR.

In the most important class of the show – the CCI4*-S for the prize of the patron of the event, Mr Roman Roszkiewicz, with a prize pool of 70,000 EUR, the leader after dressage and cross-country was Ingrid Klimke (GER) with SAP Hale Bob OLD. However, the rider had an unlucky but harmless fall in the CCI3*-S cross country, which made it unable for her to compete in the four-star jumping trial. The second and third place after two trials belonged to Michael Jung (GER) with fischerChimpmunk FRH and fischerWild Wave. The rider confirmed his fantastic shape today and finished the jumping with two clear rounds to take the first and second place. Third went to Sandra Auffarth (GER) with Let’s Dance 73.

“I am very pleased with of my horses, especially with FischerChipmunk FRH and FischerWild Wave, which are in a great shape. We had some demanding conditions, but that’s just eventing,” said Michael Jung (GER). “It was a hard show, but shows like that are necessary, especially in this season, where we have to take advantage of every occasion to prepare for Tokyo. I’ve been to Baborówko two years ago. Now there are new great arenas. To achieve good results, we need good conditions and that’s what we have here.

Paweł Spisak and Banderas. Photo by M&R Photo.

The CCI4*-S also determined the podium for this year’s Polish National Championships – for the third time in Baborówko. We witnessed a great performance by Paweł Spisak with Banderas. The rider finished the class as the best Polish athlete, and secured his 9th gold medal of the National Championships. Mateusz Kiempa defended his silver with Libertina, and bronze went to the home rider of Baborówko Equestrian Association – Paweł Warszawski with Lucinda Ex Ani 4.

Michael Jung celebrates a great weekend. Photo by M&R Photo.

“We are very glad that some of the best eventers decided to visit Baborówko. We’re happy that in these difficult times and after a year-long break we managed to safely carry out the event, taking advantage of the potential of our new and modernized infrastructure,” says Henryk Święcicki Jr., the director of the show.

There was a change in the lead after the jumping for the CCI4*-L, for the trophy of Lotto. Fouaad Mirza (IND) was in the first and second place with Seigneur Medicott and Dajara 4. However, today he had faults in the jumping trial and so the win went to Aminda Ingulfson (SWE) with Hot Cup VH after a clear round. Fouaad finished second and third.

Fouaad Mirza and Seigneur Medicott. Photo by M&R Photo.

In the CCI3*-S, for the trophy of Kuhn, the first three placings went to German riders. Michael Jung was victorious with Kilcandra Ocean Power, second went to Hanna Knüppel riding Geke Equigrip’s Levinio, and third to Peter Thomsen with Cool Charly Blue.

Lotte Palmgren (FIN) with Geniale 11 took the lead after yesterday’s jumping in the CCI2*-S for the trophy of Concordia Grupa Generali, and kept her position in today’s cross country. Felix Etzel (GER) was second with Promising Pete TSF, and Esteban Benitez Valle (ESP) with Escara GP – third.

The CCI2*-YH for six-year-old horses, for the trophy of Kunowo Stables, ended with the win of Andreas Dibowski (GER) riding Crisallik. Merel Blom (NED) with Denim took second, and third went to Louise Romeike (SWE) with Madame D’ Engelbourg Z.

The leaderboard of the CCI1*-Intro remained unchanged since Saturday – Jerome Robine (GER) kept his lead with Coby R, Merel Blom (NED) with The Black Swan was second, and Malin Petersen (SWE) went home with the third riding Hulda.

More information can be found at www.festiwal.baborowko.pl.

The U.S. Eventing Olympic Team Has Been Announced

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the four athlete-and-horse combinations who will represent the U.S. Eventing Olympic Team as part of Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander and Team Leader Jenni Autry. Competition will begin July 30 and continue through August 2, 2021, at the Equestrian Park and Sea Forest Cross-Country Course venues. Three combinations will compete as a team with one traveling reserve. Two direct reserves have been named alongside six alternate combinations.

“I believe we have a competitive team to represent the U.S. in Tokyo. All the horses have had a little break, and we will now be working to improve some details we identified at the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L and Jersey Fresh CCI4*-L before we head to the team’s Mandatory Outing at Great Meadow in Virginia,” commented Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander. “Following that outing, we travel to our Pre-Export Quarantine in Aachen, Germany. This is a great facility and will function as our final training camp where we will be working with dressage judges and have Peter Wylde working with us on the show jumping. This is a very focused group of athletes who are committed to delivering a top performance in Tokyo.”

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will represent the United States at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and are listed in alphabetical order:

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, a 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Suzanne Lacy

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Deniro Z, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Luke 140, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by The Luke 140 Syndicate

  • First Direct ReserveTsetserleg TSF, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner
  • Second Direct Reserve: On Cue, a 15-year-old Selle Français mare owned by Christine Turner, Boyd Martin, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner

The following combination has been named as the traveling reserve:

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) and Vandiver, a 17-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Debi Crowley, Doug Payne, and Jessica Payne

The following combinations have been named as team alternatives and are listed in selected order:

First Alternate: Tamra Smith (Murietta, Calif.) and Mai Baum, a 15-year-old German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell

Second Alternate: Will Faudree (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Mama’s Magic Way, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing

Third Alternate: Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) and Off The Record, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate

Fourth AlternateSydney Elliott (Bossier City, La.) and QC Diamantaire, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens

Fifth Alternate: Bruce Davidson Jr. (Unionville, Pa.) and Carlevo, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Katherine O’Brien

Sixth Alternate: Lauren Nicholson (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, a 14-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars

All team nominations are subject to United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee approval.

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Horse & Country and British Eventing Announce Partnership, New BE TV Channel on H&C+

Piggy March and Brookfield Quality. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

British Eventing (BE), the National Governing Body for the sport of eventing in Great Britain, and leading international equestrian sports network Horse & Country (H&C) today announced the details of a wide-ranging partnership. The rationale behind the new arrangement is underpinned by H&C’s extensive eventing coverage, which includes live and highlights sport, training content and rider profiles, and the increasing role of video in BE’s communications activity.

At the heart of the partnership is the creation of the BE TV Channel on H&C’s streaming service, H&C+. The Channel will host all of H&C’s eventing live streams starting with Belsay International and Bicton International in June, followed by Barbury International and Burgham International in July. There’s also live coverage of major events from overseas including Longines Luhmühlen 5*, Mars Great Meadow International from Virginia, and Les 5 Étoiles de Pau.

The BE TV Channel also features a wealth of eventing-related material including Masterclasses from William Fox-Pitt, Lucinda Green, Ben Hobday, Emily King, Ros Canter and many more. For those who want to see behind the scenes and into the lives of some of the biggest names in the sport there are rider profiles including Piggy March, Tina Cook, Alex Hua-Tian and Oliver Townend. And for a real insight into how the stars of the sport relax off-duty, H&C’s hugely popular series, Daisy Dines With, features Daisy Bunn sitting down to dinner with Laura Collett and friends, The Fox-Pitts and the Funnells.

The BE TV Channel will be continually updated and refreshed with new material and information about further joint initiatives from BE and H&C.

Other key features of the partnership include:

  • A promotion throughout June offering a 15% discount on annual membership of H&C+ for BE members
  • Ads promoting BE membership to run in all H&C eventing live streams
  • Cross promotion of key messages to each other’s social communities

H&C Director, Richard Burdett said: “We’re showing more live eventing than ever before this year, so a partnership with BE is a great way to add further value for the passionate eventing community. We know that many of our viewers are both fans and competitors in their own right, so we’ve created the BE TV Channel to pull together a wide range of content to help them get even more from the sport they love.”

Wendy McGowan, Chief Operating Officer at British Eventing, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with H&C to bring top quality eventing content to the eventing community and to be able to mark this occasion with a special introductory offer for our BE members.”

To watch all of H&C’s eventing live streams and access the BE TV Channel, make sure you are signed up to H&C+, Horse & Country’s worldwide streaming service. H&C+ members can watch online or with H&C’s mobile apps, as well as on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire. Membership is just $9.99 per month, or $99.99 annually, and full details on how to join can be found at horseandcountry.tv.

British Equestrian Announces New Additions to Podium Potential Pathway Programme

Mollie Summerland and Charly van ter Heiden. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

British Equestrian is pleased to welcome a new cohort of athletes to the Podium Potential Pathway level of its World Class Programme.

The aim of the Podium Potential Pathway is to identify, support and develop younger athletes who demonstrate the capability to be part of a senior championship team in the future. Funded by UK Sport and Sport England, the programme provides selected athletes with an education designed to further develop the performance foundation skills required  to enable them to make the next step towards the podium. Athletes are selected onto the programme for a two-year cycle and can stay on the programme for a maximum of four years.

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

On Monday 17 May, following Government guidance and strict COVID protocols, selected athletes were invited to an induction day at Hogarths Hotel in Solihull. The day provided them with more information about what they can expect from the next two years and an opportunity to meet members of the World Class Programme staff, including their discipline mentors. They were also issued with their programme kit from British Equestrian team suppliers Toggi.

During the morning session, former rugby union player Ed Jackson talked about his recovery from an accident in which he broke his neck, and how the recovery and rehabilitation process has helped shape the principles of purpose, progress, perseverance and perspective in the way he now views his life and the challenges he has faced. The afternoon’s keynote speaker was Olympic gold medal-winning slalom canoeist Joe Clarke MBE, who gave an athlete’s perspective through his journey into the sport, and explained the importance that mental fortitude, resilience and focusing on the end goal plays in success. He also emphasised that however great the success you might have, it must still be the love of the sport that drives you.

Following the event, David Hamer, Head of Performance Pathways at British Equestrian, commented: “The athletes joining the programme really impressed us during the selection process. We encourage them to now spend the next two years fully utilising all the resources that are now available to them as athletes on a World Class Programme, so that they can maximise their performances, develop a career in sport and, in the future, progress to the next step in British Equestrian’s structured performance pathway. We hope to see them ride on the senior championship team one day.”

Podium Potential Pathway athletes have access to top equestrian specialists and coaches during their time on the programme. Technical skills and knowledge are supported by a human and equine sport science team, who deliver biomechanics, physiotherapy, sport psychology, nutrition advice, vet and farrier support, and saddler fitting advice. Athletes also receive guidance on managing themselves and their careers, as well as their finances.

Bubby Upton and Cannavaro. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It’s incredible to be on the Podium Potential Pathway,” says former Junior and Young Rider European medallist Bubby Upton, who now competes at four-star with her string of horses. “I think that the access we have to resources, from coaching to biomechanics, is amazing and I’m really excited to see the difference that it’ll hopefully make to my performance. I feel really lucky to be part of the programme.”

Hector Payne and Dynasty. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The athletes joining the Eventing Podium Potential Pathway are:

  • 22-year-old Bubby Upton, who recently finished her final year at Edinburgh University, where she studies Sports Management. Bubby has represented Great Britain at European Championships five times, winning seven medals – including individual gold at the 2017 Junior European Championships. She’s based in Newmarket and hopes to make her CCI5* debut this season.
  • 21-year-old Georgina Wood took the reins of Coronel MCJ, formerly the World Championship ride of Brazil’s Marcio Carvalho Jorge, in 2018 and has enjoyed a fruitful trajectory up the levels since. She made her four-star debut with an impressive clear over an exceptionally tough track at Hartpury in 2019 and jumped clear around Bicton’s CCI3*-L last season.
  • 29-year-old Hector Payne made his first major impressions upon the industry while working as a rider for William Fox-Pitt, taking the reins on a number of his horses in the aftermath of William’s major accident at Le Lion in 2015. Now, he runs his own business alongside girlfriend Yaz Olsson-Sanderson, and competes a string of horses helmed by five-star mount Dynasty. The pair were aiming for their third five-star next month at Luhmühlen — we previously saw them at Burghley in 2018 and Pau last year — but Hector suffered a broken leg in a fall last week. Speedy recovery, Hector!
  • 26-year-old Laura Schroter is a familiar face at the upper levels, competing successfully at four-star with top horse Willem Van Wup and enjoying three-star success with Corgary Femme Fatale over the last season. The Pony Club ‘A’ graduate formerly rode for Gemma Tattersall and the Billy Stud before setting up her own business in West Sussex, helped along by the Mark Todd Bridging the Gap scholarship for 2018/2019.
  • 23-year-old Mollie Summerland, who stepped up to CCI5* last year at Pau with Charly van ter Heiden, finishing 10th. Mollie produced Charly through the levels herself and is based in Wiltshire with her small but steadily expanding string of horses. Previously based with Pippa Funnell, she’s finished in the top ten in 17 of her 25 internationals with her top horse and will head to Luhmühlen for their second CCI5* next month.
  • 18-year-old Molly Faulkner had a successful Pony career, contributing to team silver at the 2016 Pony Europeans and finishing 25th individually the following year. Since then, the Kentish rider has enjoyed a successful step up to Advanced and international three-star, with top ten placings in CCI3*-S classes at Gatcombe and Cornbury and the CCI3*-L at Bicton.
  • 19-year-old Oliver Jackson was the 2018 National Pony Champion, and represented Great Britain in the 2017 Pony European Championships in just his third-ever international competition. Now, he’s stepped up successfully to three-star, with top ten finishes at the level at Burnham Market, Thoresby, and Cornbury with top horse Viktor Krum.
  • 24-year-old Yasmin Ingham has been the national under-16, under-18, under-21 and under-25 champion, and has represented Great Britain at three European Championships: the 2012 Pony Europeans, where she finished 36th, the 2013 Pony Europeans, where she won team and individual gold, and the 2018 Young Rider Europeans, where she finished in fourth place individually. She grew up on the Isle of Man, where she was very involved with her local Pony Club, and enjoyed early successes aboard the former Mary King rides Fernhill Urco and Imperial Cavalier. She’s since made her five-star debut, finishing 16th in 2018 aboard Night Line and returning in 2020 with Rehy DJ — both self-produced horses. She’s got her eye on the 2024 Olympics with Banzai du Loir, who won the eight- and nine-year-old CCI4*-S, ordinarily held at Blenheim, in 2020.

 

 

Copper Meadows Provides Ample Learning Opportunity for West Coast Riders at Annual Fundraiser Event

Photo via Copper Meadows Eventing on Facebook.

Copper Meadows Eventing will host their 2nd annual Fundraising event June 5-6, 2021. The Copper Meadows Fundraiser was a great success in 2019, and we look forward to an even bigger event this summer. All funds raised to go improvements to our facilities, cross country course, and both our recognized and unrecognized events: 2019 funds allowed for Copper to add footing to our main dressage competition arena, as well as the warmup, and we added a bank to our show jumping warm up arena to benefit our derbies! Join us with an All-Inclusive weekend pass, which gets riders access to unlimited judged dressage tests, show jumping rounds, and cross-country schooling, as well as a dinner June 5th with an impressive silent auction and live raffle.

Grand Prix dressage riders Terri Rocovich and Tiffany Silverman will be on site judging dressage tests June 5 and 6, respectively, with times spaced 8 minutes apart to allow for feedback after each test. There will be a long and a short court available, and the arena will be open to Eventing and USDF tests. Show jumping will run by level, with courses designed by FEI show jump designer Jose Nava. Cross-country will be show prepped: flowers, flags, and footing drug for schooling. Local trainers will be on site and available for help with schooling all weekend, please visit our website to see a list of trainers who are attending.

The All-Inclusive Pass is $350 for both days or $200 for one day; each option includes the Saturday night dinner catered by Nutmeg Cafe. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased for $20/each. Raffle tickets are 5 for $20, raffle ticket purchasers do not need to be onsite to win raffle items! We will broadcast the raffle live on Facebook: buy tickets via Venmo and tune in live to see what you win! Great silent auction items available for bid, including: An incredible riding, dining, and lodging package from Lavender & Olive, a Horse Trials entry to a future Copper Meadows recognized event, lessons from our area’s top coaches and riders, MMA lessons from a UFC Ultimate Fighter winning athlete, autographed collectibles from 5* eventers, and so much more.

Visit our website to download the Fundraiser entry form, payment via Venmo is accepted, as well as checks and credit cards, please contact Taren with questions: [email protected]; 858-610-1693; Venmo @Taren-Hoffos.

2021 MARS Bromont CCI Will Not Run

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

It is with great disappointment the Bromont Organizing Committee announces the cancellation of the MARS Bromont CCI planned for June 2 to 6, 2021.

For the past six month, the Bromont Organizing Committee has worked in close collaboration with local, provincial and federal government agencies to ensure running the MARS Bromont CCI is safe for all participants. Unfortunately, the current state of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would jeopardize this goal of guaranteed safety. It was therefore decided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, with full support from the Bromont Organizing Committee, that international travel should be restricted for this event, therefore necessitating its cancellation as per the FEI rules.

With vaccination rates across North America continuing to increase, the Bromont Organizing Committee is looking forward to hosting the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Bromont and Bromont CCI-S Three Day Event the weekend of August 13th to 15th at the iconic venue, Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, site of the equestrian events of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. We will continue to cooperate fully with the appropriate government bodies to ensure these events operate safely and follow all COVID guidelines.

For those riders who have yet to experience competition at Bromont, you’re in for a treat. Derek Di Grazia of Carmel Valley, California, FEI cross-country course designer at Bromont since 2009 and the course designer for the Tokyo Olympic Games, will set a challenging track with the help of Canadian course builder Jay Hambly and his team, utilizing the spectacular hills and natural water features Bromont has to offer.

The Bromont Horse Trials are made possible in part through a contribution from Sport Canada. The Bromont organizing committee also wishes to thank the Government of Quebec, and the City of Bromont for their support.

About Bromont CCI

Bromont has featured top competitions for three decades, will be welcoming some of the best horse-and-rider combinations from all over world this August 13th to 15th at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Bromont and Bromont CCI-S Three Day Event pending the authorization of Sports Canada. The venue is within easy driving distance of Montreal, Quebec and Burlington Vermont.

USEF COVID-19 Action Plan Update: Flexibility in a Rapidly Changing Environment

Going forward, competitions must operate in accordance with state and local requirements. In the absence of state or local requirements, USEF recommends compliance with CDC guidelines. US Equestrian has issued this press release

Dear US Equestrian members,

Thank you for your patience as competition organizers across the country are transitioning to new COVID-19 protocols resulting from recent updates to CDC guidelines and federal, state, and local regulations. Close on the heels of the CDC amendments last Thursday, several states and local jurisdictions have announced upcoming changes which will be enacted over the next few weeks. USEF also issued a communication on Friday, May 14, to quickly adjust face-covering/mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals, pending a full update to the COVID-19 Action Plan.

Effective today, we have released a new edition of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for Licensed Competitions, which has been updated to provide increased flexibility in a rapidly changing environment. Going forward, competitions must operate in accordance with state and local requirements. In the absence of state or local requirements, USEF recommends compliance with CDC guidelines. In an effort to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, competition organizers can impose more restrictive requirements if they so choose.

With these changes come the heightened need for personal responsibility and continuation of the exemplary effort by our community to reduce the effects of the pandemic and keep our sport operating.

Three critical things to remember as we go forward:

  • Competition organizers remain responsible for posting all COVID-19 requirements under which their competition will operate.
  • All persons attending USEF competitions are responsible for reviewing and complying with the COVID-19 requirements in effect at each competition. This is vital, as requirements may vary between competitions.
  • Individuals may choose to wear a face covering/mask even when not required. Anyone choosing to do so will not be penalized.

The last 15 months have challenged us all, but we have persevered. Equestrian sport was one of the first to resume operations last spring, and due to our community’s commitment and resolve, we were able to keep competitions going. Thank you to all of you who have dedicated yourselves to ensuring equestrian sport continues to thrive.

Be safe, enjoy your horses, and please be patient as competition organizers make adjustments based on the new edition of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan.

CDC Announcement & Update to USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for Fully-Vaccinated Participants

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

On Friday US Equestrian announced an update to its USEF COVID-19 Action Plan:

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that anyone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a face covering/mask or physically distancing. An individual is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.), or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). If you have not been vaccinated yet, and are looking for a place to do so, click to find a vaccine.

Based on this very encouraging news and the rapidly changing guidance from national health authorities, effective immediately, USEF is amending the COVID-19 Action Plan to align with the CDC announcement. At a minimum, competition organizers and all persons at USEF-licensed competitions are required to follow state and local regulations for face coverings/masks and social distancing. In the absence of state and local regulations, USEF recommends compliance with the CDC guidelines. Competition organizers are able to impose stricter requirements at their discretion.

Personal responsibility is essential, as competition organizers are not required to verify vaccination status. Let’s all continue to act responsibly and keep our sport open, and our nation moving forward in a positive manner.

A few reminders as we move forward:

• Be patient with and respectful of competition organizers, competition staff, and licensed officials as competitions transition to this new protocol. Adjustments may not be immediate and competition organizers are able to impose stricter requirements at their discretion.
• Competition organizers must post and communicate to competition staff, competitors, officials and spectators the COVID requirements under which their competition will operate.
• Anyone who is not fully vaccinated must exercise personal responsibility and wear a face covering/mask wearing and continue to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our members, competition organizers and their staff, licensed officials, the USEF staff, and the entire equestrian community who effectively implemented the COVID-19 Action Plan over the past year, helping to ensure a safe environment for competitions and participants.

A fully updated version of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan will be posted to the USEF website no later than close of business on Tuesday, May 18.

Saturday Is the Last Day to Apply for the ‘Ever So Sweet’ Diversity Scholarship

The Ever So Sweet Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for diverse equestrians to train with top riders. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) and the United States Eventing Association Foundation are proud to announce the formation of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with upper-level professionals. The last day to apply is tomorrow, May 14, so be sure to get those applications in ASAP!

Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik Murphy, and Brian Murphy will provide bi-annual sponsored internships for riders to train with Sara and Brian. Beginning in summer 2021, scholarship recipients will receive funding to immerse themselves in a high-performance training program with Brian and Sara at Overlook Farm Equestrian Center in Berryville, VA for three months. During the winter, the scholarship will provide two months of training with Sara and Brian in Florida. The scholarship will cover expenses for full board and training costs for the horse, several lessons per week, housing for the rider, a stipend to cover living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. Participants will learn to manage, care for, and compete horses in an immersive program and will have the opportunity to work as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn.

Riders will also make professional connections that would otherwise be unattainable and play an active role in fostering a more inclusive environment within the sport. “I’ve had to overcome many challenges in my life as an upper-level event rider, but I never had the challenge of feeling like the sport wasn’t easily available to me. This scholarship allows access for those that currently don’t have a clear pathway to fight for their dreams,” Sara said when explaining why they decided to offer the opportunity. The Ever So Sweet scholarship is an important first step toward increasing diversity and inclusion in equestrian sports.

Edy shares the passion for providing opportunities for deserving riders, “Our family loves horses and the sport of eventing. My daughters, Roxanne and Nadine, began riding when they were quite young. They rode and competed through high school, and Roxanne continued into her  college career. We are very fortunate. But there are students in underserved communities who have the passion and talent for the sport but perhaps not the means. Roxanne passed away in 2017 but her passion lives on through her family. Nadine, Sara, and I want to honor Roxanne and Nadine’s Native American heritage and their love of eventing through this scholarship in the hopes of helping to keep others’ dreams alive. ‘Ever So Sweet‘ is a song that was beloved to Roxanne and Nadine, especially during those memorable years of riding.”

Riders who are at least 17 years old, have access to an appropriate horse, and are committed to promoting access and inclusion in horse sports are invited to apply. Strides for Equality Equestrians also welcomes inquiries for more information about the scholarship and/or application process.

The scholarship application is available on SEE’s website here.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE), founded in 2020 as an allyship program for the equestrian community, seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in equestrian sports. SEE promotes a more inclusive culture by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the community while educating equestrians about effective allyship. For more information, please visit www.stridesforequality.org.

Equestrian Australia Sweetens the Pot for Australian Riders Aiming for Aus3DE CCI5*

Stuart Tinney and Leporis on their way to a second place finish in the 2019 Aus3DE CCI5*. Photo courtesy of Kirsty Pasto.

Australian riders hoping to contest the CCI5* at the Australian International 3 Day Event in November will have an added incentive this year owing to an increased funding commitment by the Equestrian Australia (EA) High Performance Program.

In addition to EA High Performance’s current financial support of the Australian International 3 Day Event the Program will now also fund the cost of entry and stable fees and for all Australian combinations participating in the CCI5* class, as well as provide a $500 AUD grant per CCI5* Australian rider to reduce travel expenses to Adelaide.

With the widespread economic consequences of the global pandemic many athletes, owners and organising committees have felt the impact of Covid-19, forcing some to reconsider large-scale campaigns.

“The EA High Performance Program is dedicated to supporting our elite athletes on their journey to represent Australia on the world stage, which includes providing them with opportunities to compete at the highest level of our sport,” explains EA High Performance Director, Chris Webb.

As the only CCI5* event in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of only seven held worldwide [editor’s note: for 2021, Badminton and Burghley have been canceled, leaving Kentucky, Luhmühlen, Pau and Maryland as the only five-stars in addition to Australia], the event provides a unique opportunity for Australian riders to gain international exposure at a premier event within Australia.

This year’s competition will also boast the largest prize pool in the Southern Hemisphere, with over $150,000 on offer in 2021.
The event, which will be held in the heart of Adelaide’s city centre, will not only showcase Australia’s equestrian talent across the disciplines of Eventing and Jumping, it will also serve as a qualification event for the World Equestrian Games 2022.

“The Australian International 3 Day Event has worked closely with the Equestrian Australia High Performance Program over the years to ensure that Australian based riders can experience the atmosphere of an international event on home soil. This commitment from EA High Performance ensures that we can deliver another world class three-day event in 2021, and that riders can plan well ahead to ride at Adelaide,” said Australian International 3 Day Event Director, Belinda Lindh.

Further information about the event can be found at https://australian3de.com.au. The event will take place November 18-21, 2021.

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

Planning and developments for the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill continue to move forward. On May 3, licensees of USEF competitions held in May were permitted to welcome a limited number of spectators back to their competitions with pending news forthcoming regarding competitions held after June 1.

USEF’s COVID-19 Action Plan, including requirements and recommendations for operating USEF-licensed competitions during the pandemic, are being adjusted regularly. As a result, FHOC anticipates releasing various announcements in the coming weeks with information related to retail vendor applications, ticket offerings, sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, livestream and broadcast partners, media credentialing, and more. Event organizers will continue to monitor and administer all current health and safety protocols as necessary for the protection of all those in attendance.

FHOC Co-Chairs, Mike Gill and Michael Hankin said, “While we remain focused on monitoring health and safety protocols for our event, we are excited to see that the conditions continue to improve here in Maryland, and that events are beginning to open up. We are looking forward to producing an inaugural Maryland 5 Star that will provide a top-class experience for our competitors, as well as our spectators.”

The event will mark a new chapter for the State of Maryland’s rich horse and equestrian tradition. The Maryland 5 Star is one of only two CCI5*-L events in the United States, and seventh worldwide. It will showcase four days of thrilling competition at the sport of Eventing’s highest-level across its three discipline’s, Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping.

“It is great feeling having sporting events coming back in Maryland this year and welcoming spectators,” commented Terry Hasseltine, President of The Sport Corp. “The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will be one of the highlights during the fall giving people something to look forward to, and something new to experience. We are excited to showcase the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone for the first time and produce an event that our state can be proud of.”

For additional information and news from the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, visit Maryland5Star.us or follow on social @maryland5star

About the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill:

One of only two 5 Star events in the United States, and seventh worldwide, the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will continue the storied legacy of Eventing at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Elkton, Maryland, located in Cecil County. The prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*-L) designation is the pinnacle of the sport of Eventing also known as the equestrian triathlon. The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is produced by The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), and in partnership with Fair Hill International (FHI). The Maryland Food Bank serves as an event beneficiary.

About the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.):

The Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) established in 2019 to further, promote, and move the State of Maryland forward through sports.

Discover Cecil County Maryland!:

Centrally located between Philadelphia and Baltimore on I-95, Cecil County, Maryland boasts vibrant small towns, 200 miles of waterfront, foodie destinations, and scenic countryside providing the perfect backdrop for the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Experience fabulous local food with a Chesapeake Bay flair, local beer and wine, outdoor recreation, family friendly attractions, and specialty shops, plus discover 80 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Destination Cecil County…Just a Daydream Away!

Tim Price Announces Retirement of Wesko at Age of 18

Tim Price and Wesko. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Windrush Equestrian Foundation, and Tim Price, are sad to announce the retirement of their beloved Wesko, from top level competition. The 18-year-old CCI5* Champion was being prepared for the delayed Tokyo Olympics but has sadly sustained a minor injury during his meticulous early season preparations.

Tim Price paid tribute to his “best mate”:

“It was going to be a bit of a push for an 18-year-old to make the final four at the Olympics later this year and sadly is just wasn’t mean to be. We have had so much fun together, so I have a lot to be thankful for. Above all he’s my mate and that isn’t about to change.”

“Dash” will remain with Tim Price for his retirement and be allowed to embrace his ‘inner pony’: “Dash will finally be allowed to let his inner pony out, getting fluffy, fat and happy, and winning people over with his friendly charm.”

It is with great sadness that the day has come for me to announce Wesko's retirement from top level competition. It was…

Posted by Team Price on Monday, May 10, 2021

Wesko has had a glittering career partnered with Tim, amassing 1356 British Eventing points and six international wins, including the CCI5* at Luhmuhlen 2014. Looking back across the past decade to his first British Eventing season in 2011 where he recorded his first international win at Brand Hall and failed to finish outside of the top three across the season. From there on there were wins at Blair Castle CCI4*L (2013), Tattersalls CCI4*L (2014), Arville ERM CCI4*S (2019) and Lignieres CCI3*L (2019), in addition to two CCI5* third place finishes at Les Etoiles de Pau (2015 & 2020).

“After his injury in 2016, Wesko’s return to eventing began not long after his owner, Christina Knudsen passed away suddenly and all too soon. He has since proudly competed under the ownership of the Windrush Equestrian Foundation – formed in Christina’s memory to help nurture young equestrian talent. I am proud to be an ambassador for this great cause and am excited to see the Foundation’s positive impact on young athletes.”

Windrush Equestrian Foundation CEO, Mariachiara Apruzzese said:

“We are truly grateful to Tim for his continued love and partnership with Wesko. Together they have helped fulfil some of Christina’s dreams and ambitions. As much as we’re all sad that Wesko hasn’t been able to make the Olympics his final triumph we’re all so happy that he is finishing his wonderful career fit, happy and healthy and will continue to live out his retirement with his best friend – Tim. We’re also extremely grateful to have Tim continue as an ambassador for the Windrush Foundation.”

The Windrush Equestrian Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in memory of Christina Knudsen and her passion for the sport of Eventing. The aim of the foundation is to bring education and training to talented young event riders to support their futures, with the welfare of the horse and rider at the heart of the program.

The Foundation’s riders receive mentoring and in-depth training from one of the world’s most decorated eventing riders, Pippa Funnell, along with former Team GBR World Class Performance Manager, Yogi Breisner. The programme also includes a 360-degree education programme in partnership with A Young Riders Academy.

Please enjoy a few of our favorite Wesko shots through the years:

New Covid-19 Protocols from USEF: Fully Vaccinated Individuals May Forego Masks at Outdoor Competitions

US Equestrian has issued the following directive updating its Covid-19 protocols for competitions.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Dear USEF Members,

Beginning May 17, 2021, USEF will implement new protocols regarding the use of face coverings/masks at USEF-licensed competitions in response to recently updated CDC recommendations. Please click here to access the full amendments to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan protocols.

This change means that unless more restrictive requirements are imposed by state or local governments or by competition organizers, any individual who is fully vaccinated is no longer required to wear a face covering/mask at USEF competitions when outdoors and at least six feet from any other individuals, except individuals in the same immediate household. However, if you enter an area that is fully or partially indoors, you must wear your face covering/mask and stay socially distanced. Since there is a likelihood that you will enter an indoor area while at a competition, stay prepared and keep a face covering/mask with you at all times. We will continue to support organizers who feel it is in the best interest of their event to impose stronger requirements.

While we are all looking forward to the continued easing of restrictions on COVID-related protocols, we must also realize that the effects of the pandemic are not over and as cases increase and decrease, state and local modifications may occur. Overall, our community has done a great job of not only being one of the first organized sports to reopen, but has also successfully kept our sport open by complying with the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan. As we continue to ease restrictions, we must do so in a responsible and moderated manner. Personal responsibility continues to be a critical component of easing restrictions and ensuring we can continue to enjoy equestrian sport.

Thank you again for your compliance with the Action Plan requirements.

Requirements Announced to Allow U.S.-based Athletes & Team Members to Attend Bromont

Jessica Phoenix and Wabbit at Bromont.
Photo by Cealy Tetley.

The organizing committee of the MARS Bromont CCI has announced the first set of requirements which will allow United States based athletes and their support team members to enter Canada for the duration of competition scheduled for June 2-6, 2021. This is exciting news for the many riders who have flocked to this popular top destination for some of the best eventing has to offer in North America year after year.

Plans for travelers from the United States will include several required elements. Those that attend will be required to present proof of completed vaccinations for all people traveling to the event, and a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving at the border. Additional requirements will be announced as released by the local and federal government. Competitors and support staff must book lodging accommodations directly with Domaine Château Bromont. The hotel has already confirmed plans with the organizers to provide both local restaurant and grocery store deliveries directly to your accommodations.  A special rate for all competitors at the hotel will be available.

It is important to note that all entries to the MARS Bromont CCI will be 100% refundable.

For those riders who have yet to experience competition at Bromont, you’re in for a treat. Derek Di Grazia of Carmel Valley, California, FEI cross-country course designer at Bromont since 2009 and the course designer for the Tokyo Olympic Games, will set a challenging track with the help of Canadian course builder Jay Hambly and his team, utilizing the spectacular hills and natural water features Bromont has to offer.

The MARS Bromont CCI is made possible in part through a contribution from Sport Canada. The Bromont organizing committee also wishes to thank the Government of Quebec, and the City of Bromont for their support.

Mark your calendar for these other 2021 Bromont Dates: June 12, 2021 – Little Bromont Horse Trials, Aug. 13- 15, 2021 – FEI Eventing Nations Cup Bromont, and Sept. 17- 19, 2021 – Bromont Autumn CCI-S Three Day Event

About Bromont CCI
Bromont has featured top competition for three decades, will be welcoming some of the best horse-and-rider combinations from all over North America in CCI4-L, CCI4-S, CCI3-L, CCI2-L, CCIU252* – L, CCIU253* -L divisions.

About MARS Equestrian™ 
MARS Equestrian™ Sponsorship by Mars, Incorporated is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, MARS Equestrian™ is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines, to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, MARS Equestrian™ is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them. For more information please visit our website at www.marsequestrian.com and social media @marsequestrian. MARS Equestrian is proud to support the Bromont CCI Three Day Event.

Information regarding further details including the COVID-19 plan will be posted on our website at https://bromontcci.com and linked to our social media. Contact the event at [email protected].

 

Jessica Phoenix Becomes First Canadian Eventer to Smash the 100th CCI4*-S Mark

Jessica Phoenix and Wabbit. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Jessica Phoenix has become the only Canadian eventer to start in over 100 CCI 4* S events, making her one of 17 eventers in the world to achieve this benchmark. She did so with her beloved Pavarotti this past weekend at the inaugural CCI4*-S at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. It was a special moment for Jessica, and so fitting to have shared it with Pavarotti, with whom she has won five medals over three consecutive Pan Am Games, including individual Gold and Team Silver in Guadalajara, Mexico (2011); Individual Silver and Team Bronze in Toronto (2015); and Team Bronze in Lima, Peru (2019).

Jessica said of the achievement, “It was a total surprise to learn of this milestone! It’s a huge honor to be recognized among the top riders in the sport who have achieved this record — of course, it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible horses I’m able to ride and the owners that support me.”

Jessica finished 8th with Bogue Sound,  Pavarotti, as well as Bogue Sound and Wabbit – her two other mounts – both off-the-track Thoroughbred accruing only time faults on the wet terrain.

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Shelby Allen.

“Wabbit was my most inexperienced horse there and after walking the cross-country course we knew  it was going to be a very tough challenge,” says Jessica. “It asked every question it could possibly ask. To have Wabbit go out as trailblazer in terrible weather and make the course look like a gymnastics exercise was thrilling. Bogue Sound is born to do cross country. He was phenomenal all the way around and he’s a Kentucky Thoroughbred, so he has always loved competing at the Kentucky Horse Park. As the weather grew worse and the footing deteriorated, I was thankful that Pavarotti was my last ride of the day because it felt like a 5* through and through. He is so reliable and an absolute professional on the course.”

With the ongoing pandemic, Jessica chose to stay in Canada for the winter season and trained indoors at her family farm near Cannington, ON, in her new ReitenRight Arena. This meant that she  was not able to compete at the weekly horse trails in the south as other riders do during the harsh Canadian winters. Phoenix’s three Top 11 finishes make this year’s event even more remarkable: She placed 8th on Bogue Sound, 10th on Wabbit and 11th on Pavarotti.

Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Said Jessica of her horses’ overall performance: “To prepare the horses at home in Canada instead of my usual training in Florida, and to have Kentucky as my first event of the season was a huge ask. To have all three of them finish in the top 11 was amazing. It was what I hoped  for and confirmed that my training in Canada was ample. It’s a relief to discover that you can prepare for an event of that stature at home during a pandemic and know that you can hold your own on the world stage. As one of the last runs leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, I’m happy with where my horses are at in their training and they are being set up to peak for Tokyo.”

So how did she do it? Without question, it’s thanks to her amazing team at home, including partners, owners and sponsors who allow her to focus on a diligent training routine.

“I have incredible sponsors who not only stuck by me during these challenging times, but they also stepped up. We’re so grateful for all of our sponsors, owners and staff. It’s been a challenging year and everyone rose to the occasion and kept pressing forward. I’m thrilled with our team!”

One can learn more about Jessica and her remarkable journey in RISE: The Jessica Phoenix Story (ISBN: 978-0-9688438-1-9) by Julie Fitz-Gerald.

Fresh Off Kentucky Podium, Tim Price Wins at Strzegom

Tim Price and Vitali. Leszek Wójcik photo.

Tim Price of New Zealand with the 11-year-old Vitali was the winner in the CCI4*-L class, the highest ranked one during Strzegom Spring Open. Polish rider finished second in the three-star class.

Price, the current world number two, was the one to watch in the class from the beginning. He took the lead after dressage, but gained some penalties after going over the time in the cross-country and fell into third. He made up for it in the jumping with a clear round that ensured his victory. Second place went to Mélody Johner aboard Toubleu de Rueire. The Swiss rider was the only one clear inside the time in the XC and went into the last trial as the leader, but two knockdowns cost her the leading position. Merel Blom (NED) with Ceda N.O.P. finished third.

Belgian rider Lara De Liedekerke-Meier was victorious in the CCI3*-L with Cascaria V after a clear round in the jumping. Second place went to Rebecca-Juana Gerken (GER) with Fame 227, and third to Seppe Vilain (BEL) riding Lamparo V.

The long two-star class ended with the win of Nicholas Goldbeck (GER) with Chintano 7. Andreas Ostholt (GER) finished second with Chilli Supreme and third went to Nadja Minder (SUI) with Victoryhope Treille.

Cross-country trials on Saturday ended the rivalry in the short format classes. The best pair of the CCI4*-S was Merel Blom (NED) and The Quizmaster. Niklas Lindbäck (SWE) with Focus Filiocus was second, and Andreas Dibowski (GER) with Brennus – third.

Hella Jensen (GER) took home the win in the CCI3*-S with Canjo, before Julia Gillmaier (POL) riding Red Dream Princes and Dutch rider Merel Blom with Crossborder Radar Love N.O.P. Blom was the best rider of the CCI*-Intro aboard Calgary 92.

Strzegom Spring Open selected the winners of six international and three national classes, with 185 riders competing with almost 300 horses from 17 countries.

To view results from the Strzegom Spring Open, click here.

Virginia Horse Trials Adds CCI3*-L to May Event

Cross country laid out at Virginia Horse Trials. Photo by David Taylor.

The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) is pleased to announce the addition of a CCI3*-L at the VHT International May 27-30, 2021, pending USEF and FEI approval.

Due to the current COVID-19 related travel restrictions between the United States and Canada, the addition of a CCI3*-L at VHT has been presented as an alternative to Bromont International in Quebec following requests by riders and the USEF.

“The pandemic has presented many challenges for the sport, and crossing the border between the United States and Canada with horses is unfortunately one of them,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles. “We received requests from riders and from the federation to add the level, so we are happy to include the CCI3*-L on our division roster at the Memorial Day weekend event.”

VHT will host the following divisions at the May event: CCI3*-L (pending approval), CCI3*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI2*-S, CCI1*-L, Advanced/Intermediate, Intermediate, Preliminary, Modified, Training, Novice, Beginner Novice, Starter, Young Event Horse-5, and Young Event Horse-4. The venue is also host of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship.

For more information, please visit vahorsetrials.com.

Holly Hill Spring H.T. Hosts New Interscholastic Eventing League Competition

Photo courtesy of Holly Hill H.T.

Twenty-eight middle and high school students competing in a new USEA-sanctioned Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) were among 250 riders at the Holly Hill Horse Trials April 17 and 18.

Holly Hill Farm, in Benton, Louisiana, is one of three Area V venues offering IEL teams a chance to compete this year. Farm owners Tracy and Bobby Hewlett started the horse trials in 1996 and have embraced opportunities to share their love of eventing with riders of all ages. Holly Hill runs the horse trials twice a year, in April and October. The farm’s signature red clover was in full bloom for the 2021 spring trials, providing a colorful backdrop for horses galloping around the cross country course.

“It was a wet weekend with rain all day Friday and cloudy and cool on Saturday, but everyone chose to be a good sport,” Tracy said. “The footing held up well for the horses all day Saturday. Luckily the sun came out Sunday morning and it was a beautiful day for upper level cross country and lower level show jumping!”

Seven teams composed of seventh- through 12th-grade students competed in the inaugural IEL challenge at Holly Hill in April. For now, teams compete for bragging rights, but ultimately USEA plans to have IEL eventing championships similar to collegiate eventing championships. The IEL program also is structured to prepare students for college eventing team participation.

Nicole Hackett gives the Holly Hill Horse Trials and the IEL challenge two thumbs up. Nicole is the chaperone for an IEL team based at Texas Rose Horse Park near Tyler, Texas. Her daughter, Luci, competed as an individual event rider at Holly Hill before joining the IEL team this year. Nicole competes in dressage.

“When we saw Holly Hill was on the IEL schedule, we picked a day to come school. It was a really nice introductory point for those that had never been there,” Nicole said. “The horse trial was fantastic. Eventing is my daughter’s social life, and to be able to go to an event and have her team support her was great. They were checking on each other, helping each braid, cheering each other on. It was so much fun to have that extra motivation and encouragement.”

The IEL team challenge wasn’t the only new feature at the horse trials this spring. Tracy and Bobby made other changes designed to improve the experience for horses and riders.

“We decided to move the cross country warm up area this year to make it bigger and get farther away from an entry gate and the dressage arenas.  That worked out well,” Tracy said.

Tracy, Bobby and competitors also marked a bittersweet moment on April 18: USEA Eventing Hall of Fame member Mike Huber’s final horse trials in Area V. Mike is moving to Ocala, Florida, permanently after dividing his time between his Gold Chip Stables operations in Bartonville, Texas, and Ocala. A former member of the United States Equestrian Team, Mike has coached the Area V Young Riders Team and numerous individual riders.

“We recognized all his service to Area V and the USEA over the past 30 years,” Tracy said.

Ever So Sweet Scholarship Provides Opportunity for Diverse Equestrians to Train With Top Riders

The Ever So Sweet Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for diverse equestrians to train with top riders. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) and the United States Eventing Association Foundation are proud to announce the formation of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with upper-level professionals.

Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik Murphy, and Brian Murphy will provide bi-annual sponsored internships for riders to train with Sara and Brian. Beginning in summer 2021, scholarship recipients will receive funding to immerse themselves in a high-performance training program with Brian and Sara at Overlook Farm Equestrian Center in Berryville, VA for three months. During the winter, the scholarship will provide two months of training with Sara and Brian in Florida. The scholarship will cover expenses for full board and training costs for the horse, several lessons per week, housing for the rider, a stipend to cover living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. Participants will learn to manage, care for, and compete horses in an immersive program and will have the opportunity to work as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn.

Riders will also make professional connections that would otherwise be unattainable and play an active role in fostering a more inclusive environment within the sport. “I’ve had to overcome many challenges in my life as an upper-level event rider, but I never had the challenge of feeling like the sport wasn’t easily available to me. This scholarship allows access for those that currently don’t have a clear pathway to fight for their dreams,” Sara said when explaining why they decided to offer the opportunity. The Ever So Sweet scholarship is an important first step toward increasing diversity and inclusion in equestrian sports.

Edy shares the passion for providing opportunities for deserving riders, “Our family loves horses and the sport of eventing. My daughters, Roxanne and Nadine, began riding when they were quite young. They rode and competed through high school, and Roxanne continued into her  college career. We are very fortunate. But there are students in underserved communities who have the passion and talent for the sport but perhaps not the means. Roxanne passed away in 2017 but her passion lives on through her family. Nadine, Sara, and I want to honor Roxanne and Nadine’s Native American heritage and their love of eventing through this scholarship in the hopes of helping to keep others’ dreams alive. ‘Ever So Sweet‘ is a song that was beloved to Roxanne and Nadine, especially during those memorable years of riding.”

Riders who are at least 17 years old, have access to an appropriate horse, and are committed to promoting access and inclusion in horse sports are invited to apply. Strides for Equality Equestrians also welcomes inquiries for more information about the scholarship and/or application process.

The scholarship application is available on SEE’s website here.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE), founded in 2020 as an allyship program for the equestrian community, seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in equestrian sports. SEE promotes a more inclusive culture by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the community while educating equestrians about effective allyship. For more information, please visit www.stridesforequality.org.r

LRK3DE Announces ‘Behind the Barn’ Series of Interviews

Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE) is proud to introduce “Behind The Barn,” a unique series of 12 intimate video interviews with participants at the 2021 event. The in-depth, sit-down interviews will be featured on the event’s social media channels and website starting on Sunday, April 18.

The 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ will be held – without spectators – April 22-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. With so many of its fans unable to attend “America’s Premier Equestrian Event,” Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the world-class event, is creating this series of interviews to enhance viewers’ online experience.

“This will be a chance to hear some of the biggest names in equestrian sport reveal what inspires them and what they hope to accomplish as they prepare for this year’s event,” said Lee Carter, EEI Executive Director. “In many ways this will give fans of our event an up-close look at our sport’s leading competitors beyond anything they could experience in person. We think everyone will be touched by some of the previously private stories they’ll hear.”

Known as “The Best Weekend All Year,” the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE) hosts one of only seven annual Five Star three-day events in the world and is serving as a U.S. selection trial for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games. As the United States’ premier three-day event, LRK3DE serves as the Land Rover/USEF CCI-5*-L Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS Equestrian™ for U.S. athletes.

A new partnership between EEI and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation combined with the support of US Equestrian (USEF), longstanding sponsors Land Rover, MARS Equestrian™ and Rolex and many other valued event sponsors, plus the collective efforts of the many individuals who donated, ensured that the nation’s premier equestrian event will be held with its traditional CCI5*-L in the afternoons and a new CCI4*-S in the mornings. Although the event is being held without spectators, it can be seen live online, free of charge, on the USEF Network.
The “Behind The Barn” interviews are hosted by veteran TV personality and three-day event rider Frankie Thieriot Stutes. The interviews will premiere on the event’s website and social media pages (Facebook and Instagram) as follows:

1. Sunday, April 18 – Liz Halliday-Sharp
2. Sunday, April 18 – Emilee Libby
3. Monday, April 19 – Derek DiGrazia
4. Monday, April 19 – Daniela Moguel
5. Monday, April 19 – Lauren Kieffer Nicholson and Jo Kieffer
6. Tuesday, April 20 – Tim and Jonelle Price
7. Tuesday, April 20 – Erik Duvander
8. Tuesday, April 20 – Buck Davidson
9. Wednesday, April 21 – Will Faudree
10. Wednesday, April 21 – Allison Springer
11. Wednesday, April 21 – Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton
12. Wednesday, April 21 – William Fox-Pitt

“I have no doubt that these interviews will be incredibly popular,” Carter added. “The riders open up and reveal some very personal feelings that will touch everyone who watches. I am so excited about these interviews and I can’t wait for everyone to see them!”

[Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event]

USEF Announces Competition Spectator Capacity

Photo courtesy of US Equestrian.

US Equestrian is pleased to announce that beginning May 3, 2021, licensees of USEF competitions are permitted to welcome a limited number of spectators back to their competitions. Dr. Mark Hart, USEF Chief Medical Officer stated, “In the spirit of moving our sport forward and recognizing the ever-changing dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic resulting from the increasing number of distributed vaccines, we are working to finalize the specific protocols related to a measured return of spectator attendance. We continue to collaborate with our USEF stakeholders and public health officials and plan to distribute these new measures along with any other pertinent updates in the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan next Tuesday, April 20, 2021.”

Beginning May 3, 2021, spectators will be allowed on competition grounds under the following capacity restrictions:

  • Outdoor Venues: A maximum of 40% of the ticketed spectator capacity for competitions that operate with a ticketed gate, OR a maximum of 400 spectators for competitions that do not ticket spectators, whichever is greater.
  • Indoor Venues: A maximum of 30% of the ticketed spectator capacity for competitions that operate with a ticketed gate, OR a maximum of 300 spectators for competitions that do not ticket spectators, whichever is greater.
  • For venues that consist of both outdoor and indoor components, the above capacity restrictions apply accordingly.

It is important to note that spectators must comply with all applicable requirements of the Action Plan, including but not limited to wearing face masks/face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. The capacity numbers included above are the maximum permitted at a USEF competition each day. Because of the requirement to socially distance, some venues or situations might not allow organizers to accommodate the maximum allowable number of spectators.

Additionally, USEF has expanded the definition of sponsors to include individual persons or business entities that have an agreement in place with the competition to provide goods, services, or financial support integral to the sustainability of a competition. Sponsors, participants, competition staff, support personnel, volunteers, and service providers are not included in the spectator capacity numbers.

USEF hopes that the community will continue its collective effort to keep the sport open as restrictions are eased by remaining compliant with the requirements of the Action Plan. “We will continue to carefully monitor conditions and regularly consult with health authorities with the goal of being able to provide additional updates in the coming weeks and months that will further ease restrictions without endangering the health and safety of competitors,” added Dr. Hart.

Thank you for your participation in USEF competitions and your support of the COVID-19 Action Plan. Your efforts have helped keep you and those around you safe and healthy while also keeping the sport open and operating during a global pandemic.

[USEF Announces Competition Spectator Capacity]

USEF Competition COVID Protocols Update: Developing Plans to Permit Spectators at USEF Competitions

US Equestrian has released the following letter to members regarding updates to COVID protocols and spectators at USEF-licensed competitions:

Photo by Shelby Allen.

Dear USEF Members,

We have all been watching the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking forward to the day when our world will return to a level of pre-pandemic normalcy. As more and more individuals across the country are getting vaccinated, hope is increasing that we are getting closer to this goal. However, the threats posed by the numerous virus variants, coupled with the increase in COVID cases in many of the states that have recently lifted restrictions, remind us that now is not the time to let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and continue to engage in the practices proven to reduce the risk of virus transmission (mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing).

To this end, the current USEF COVID-19 Action Plan remains in place for all USEF-licensed competitions. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to permit a limited number of spectators at USEF-licensed competitions by mid-May. Further updates and new protocols will be provided in the coming weeks so that organizers and spectators have time to prepare in advance.

To develop the safest possible USEF spectator protocols for use at competitions nationwide, we are regularly consulting with our USEF Chief Medical Officer and national public health organizations while staying up to date on the COVID status in each state. Like the other requirements outlined in the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, these protocols will apply unilaterally to all USEF-licensed competitions, regardless of location. The only exceptions involve instances where state, county, or local government and health authorities or a particular competition organizer have more stringent requirements in place, in which case those more stringent requirements take precedence.

We thank you for your participation in USEF competitions and your support of the COVID-19 Action Plan. Your efforts have helped keep you and those around you safe and healthy and our sport open and operating during this devastating global pandemic. It is important that we all continue to work together on a safe return to more normal and healthier times for everyone.

Best regards,

Thomas F. X. O’Mara
President

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer