Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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Horse Holiday Costume Contest: Win a World Equestrian Brands Stocking Stuffed With $275 in Goodies

Photo courtesy of World Equestrian Brands.

Has your horse been naughty or nice this year? Either way, they have a chance to win a stocking from World Equestrian Brands stuffed with $275 in goodies, including:

How to win:

Show us a photo of your horse decked out for the holidays! Share in the Facebook comments section or email [email protected] Contest entries are limited to the U.S. only, please.

We’ll put the top 10 to a reader vote on Friday, and announce the winner next week!

Go Eventing.



Product Review: Freejump Riding System

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST winning the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in red Freejump Soft’Up Pro Stirrups. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Freejump system is massively popular in Europe — you’ve seen eventing monoliths like Michael Jung, Ros Canter, Tim Price and Maxime Livio sporting this French product line in world championship competition. And now Freejump has made its way to this side of the pond as well, with a fast-growing legion of top eventers training and competing in the Freejump system. So what is Freejump, and is it worth the hype?

Let’s start with the stirrups — the foundation of the system, you might say. Stirrup technology has come a long way since the traditional heavy, clunky fillis irons of yesteryear. Modern stirrups are made of state-of-the-art materials in ergonomic designs, and it’s no wonder: stirrups are your base of support in the tack, literally.

In a sea of new stirrup designs, Freejump stirrups stand out for several reasons, all of which you can feel the moment you put your foot in the stirrup. For eventing you need stirrups that are sturdy yet shock-absorbent enough to endure marathon trot sets and gallop in for minutes at a stretch, with safety features at a premium.

The Soft-Up Pro is available in several colors: Black, Blue, Choco, Total Choco, Navy, Pink, Red. (If you’re into bling or the color pink, check out the Soft’Up Pro Crystal Matte Edition.) Photo courtesy of Freejump.

FreeJump stirrups, with their nonskid wide elastomer floor, patented flexible outside branch, and high resistance spring steel single-branch construction, fit the bill. I went with the Soft-Up Pros, as they seem to be the most popular amongst the eventing set, but other models are available. This video demonstrates the difference between three different Soft’Up models. I like the Soft’Up Pro, which features a 45-degree angled eye for a perfect foot position.

All the technical features, which you can read up on here, add up to an experience of unmatched stability and grip. Where you put your foot in the stirrup is where it stays — unless, of course, you fall, in which case the flexible outer branch made of Elastollan® bends outward to easily release your foot.

For the delivery of maximum benefits, the stirrups are intended to be used with complimentary footwear; either Freejump tall boots or Freejump paddock boots and mini-chaps. I went with the Liberty XC Shoes and Liberty XC Chaps.


The Liberty XC Shoe is technical footwear at its smartest: from the bi-injected sole to the three spur positions, the Freejump Riding Control™ insole to the anti-slip soles. The Liberty Concept velcro system makes attaching the boots to Liberty Air Chaps a breeze and allows unprecedented freedom of movement for the ankle. Of note, the boots have no heel, so are only suitable for use with the quick release technology featured in Freejump stirrups.

The boots and minichaps function in concert as a “system,” as cohesively and seamlessly as any pair of tall boots I’ve ever worn. The system is actually designed for competition use, and I’ve worn them in several USEA-recognized events. According to USEF Rules for Eventing, EV114 Dress, permitted boots for jumping include “black, brown, field, jodhpur or a black or brown full grain smooth leather leg piece and matching leather boots. Chaps and/or half-chaps are not allowed.” The rule is a bit murky — to my interpretation, the Liberty Air Chaps qualify as a “full grain smooth leather leg piece,” but at a competition you might want to double check with your TD to be sure.

I can truly say that used altogether this system revolutionized my comfort and security in the saddle. When galloping and jumping I feel like my base of support is more stable, my feet are more “sticky” in the stirrups, and the shock absorption is second to none. I used to have an issue wherein I’d get a cramp down my shins and my foot would go numb toward the end of a cross country run or a few hours into a long day of fox hunting. I’d have to kick my feet home in the stirrups to compensate for the loss of feeling, which isn’t a great-feeling or terribly safe crutch. And my long-suffering knees … by the time I reached the finish flags, ouch! But since riding in the Freejump System, I haven’t experienced any of these discomforts.

A word of caution: It took a few rides to break my boots and mini-chaps in, but once they softened up they were butter soft in all the right places and perfectly moulded to my leg and foot. Also, don’t forget about that heel-less sole if you ride in multiple saddles and they aren’t all fitted in Freejump stirrups with their safety stirrup style outside branch.

The cost is a bit prohibitive (269.00€ for the stirrups, 255.00€ for the shoes + 195.00€ for the chaps). But, if spend a lot of time in the saddle, it’s kind of like investing in a good mattress considering we spend a third of our lives in bed — worth it. 

The next bit of Freejump gear on my wishlist is a set of Single Strap Pro Grip Leathers, for an unmatched close contact feel. Freejump also has tall boots, spurs, a softgoods collection, and a few other odds and ends of gear like ear bonnets and saddle pads.

We’re glad to see that Freejump products are now available via a growing number of U.S. vendors — you can locate a reseller close to you with this map. For more information on Freejump, visit the website here.




Bruce’s Field to Host Inaugural Carolina Winter Circuit H/J Series in January

Photo courtesy of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation.

Winter is the perfect time to hone those show jumping skills, and eventers based in Aiken will have an abundance of opportunities to test their chops in the show ring with the introduction of the Carolina Winter Circuit at Bruce’s Field in January 2020.

The Aiken Horse Park Foundation has announced that through a partnership with Equus Events Inc. and Progressive Show Jumping Inc., Bruce’s Field will play host to PSJ’s Winter Classic I & II, followed by Equus Events’ Aiken Winter Premier, and Aiken Winter Encore providing four weeks of USEF National A rated horse shows.

In addition to being an opportunity for eventers, area hunter/jumper competitors who have previously needed to head south to winter circuits in Florida will now have a genuine option to stay in Aiken this winter.

“It has been my mission to enhance the winter show season by creating a series of shows in this region that don’t conflict with existing shows and will provide a compelling reason for exhibitors to stay in the Carolinas,” says Rick Cram, President and Founder of Progressive Show Jumping Inc. Rick and his wife Cathy have owned and operated the horse show management company Progressive Show Jumping Inc., for 33 years, producing hunter/jumper shows of all levels throughout North and South Carolina.

“We are extremely lucky to have such an amazing facility in Aiken as Bruce’s Field,” adds John Paul Godard, President of Equus Events Inc. JP and his wife, Megan, produce premier hunter and jumper events throughout the southeast. “To be able to host additional back to back shows here this winter will benefit the region’s exhibitors and act as an economic boost to our community.”

USEF National
January 3 – 5, 2020
Contact: 803-649-3505, [email protected]

USEF National
January 10 – 12, 2020
Contact: 803-649-3505, [email protected]

USEF National
January 17 – 19, 2020
Contact: equusevents.com, [email protected]

USEF National
January 31 – February 2, 2020
Contact: equusevents.com, [email protected]

In addition to show jumping, eventers can finess their dressage skills this winter at Aiken Horse Park as well:

USEF/USDF  Level 3
January 25 – 26, 2020

USEF/USDF  Level 3
February 15 – 16, 2020

May 16 – 17, 2020

Another Bruce’s Field event to look forward to is, of course, the second iteration of the $50,000 LiftMaster Grand-Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field, taking place Feb. 28-29, 2020. Dressage and show jumping will take place on Friday the 28th and cross country will take place on Saturday the 29th. General admission tickets are on sale online for $25.

Need a little eventing fix right now or want to see what the LiftMaster Eventing Grand-Prix is all about? You can watch a replays of all phases of last year’s event right here and revisit all of EN’s coverage here.

Learn more and view a complete calendar of events at Aiken Horse Park.

Meet the Winner (& Pint-Sized Runner-Up) of the Zandonà ‘No Scope, No Hope’ Challenge

Toni Bearda and Charlie, winners of the Zandonà ‘No Scope, No Hope’ Photo Challenge. Photo courtesy of Toni Bearda.

Last week’s Zandonà ‘No Scope, No Hope’ Photo Challenge had a huge reader response, with hundreds of photos of your high-flying horses submitted from around the world. We put the finalists to a reader vote, and 3,141 votes earned Toni Bearda and her horse Charlie the big win.

We asked Toni, of New South Wales, Australia, to tell us more about her horse. Apparently, this big effort wasn’t just a one-off! Here’s another, from the same competition last month.

Photo courtesy of Toni Bearda.

“I think he’s telling us we need to step up to the next level!” Toni says.

Congrats to this pair both on their win — we’ll be shipping them a front pair of Italian-made, highly protective and breathable boots Zandonà Carbon Air Front X-Country Boots (retail value: $237.15). It seems like a good omen for their new partnership, which became official just a couple weeks ago.

“I have had Charlie since the start of this year as a lease-to-buy and only just bought him on the 25th of November for my birthday present to myself!” Toni says of the 9-year-old OTTB gelding. His race name was Strats Lore (Strategic x Cats Galore), but his show name is now Up To No Good.

“We will be going out to as many eventing events as we can this coming year as we only got to three this year,” Toni says. “Charlie is a very smart and friendly boy who lives for treats and affection. My equestrian instagram is @antoniabearda for anyone who wants to follow our journey together.”

Photo by Nicola Marins.

Runner-up “Bushy,” owned by Nicola Marins of the UK, held the lead for much of the poll and ended up in 2nd with an impressive 1,458 votes. We had to find out more about this 12.2-hand pocket rocket!

Nicola shares his story: “We bought Bushy about two years ago after the sad and untimely passing of my Son, Valentino’s previous elderly saint pony Gali. We were understandably heart broken and so Bushy had big boots to fill.

“I first saw a video of this cracking little brown Welsh pony loose jumping, circulating the web. He was for sale and based with agent friends on the south coast. As you can see from his picture he wasn’t exactly the quiet type and totally unproven ridden let alone around children. I kept watching the video over and over and over for months. I couldn’t get this brown pony out of my mind, but we didn’t need a young unbroken, unproven pony for my then 3-year-old son. Insanity even to consider it right?”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

“So sense ruled and I didn’t take it any further than a whimsical musing and a mention to my husband (happens to be a professional producer specialising in stallions). Months passed by and suddenly our aged pony had a catastrophic stroke one night and we were left heartbroken. My son bounced back the quickest and we began out pony search to replace our loss.

“I discounted so many without viewing and felt unusually nervous about this next purchase. A pony this size is not my area of expertise and I cannot ride it to straighten out any quirks. So my son is literally at the mercy of the pony and its temperament. Our previous pony came from Mike and Emma Phillips, the then owners of Quainton Stud UK — my husband taught their daughter on him some 10 years prior so we knew he could be thoroughly trusted.”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

“The pony search surfaced so many ‘what ifs’ and many good ponies were either gone before I could visit or never hit the open market with a long list of children in line waiting for the hand-me-down. I felt hopeless.

“So, we decided to view this little brown Welsh pony on the south coast. We bundled into the car and drove for two hours south — now normally I would have taken the trailer and done the deal there and then, I’m pretty decisive like that. We didn’t take the trailer as we WERE NOT BUYING THIS PONY. We were visiting our friends and putting to rest my gut feeling about him so I could move on with the search for the next aged pony. On paper the Welsh pony is utterly unsuitable and not what anyone should buy for a 3-year old boy, at all, ever.”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

Famous last words.

“Long story short. We bought him 🙈 and then had to travel back a few weeks later to collect him. My son named him ‘Bushy’ (we have no idea why) and was so super excited that we knew it was the right thing to do even if it wasn’t the most sensible.

“My husband set about breaking him to be ‘safe’ ridden. Bushy has always wanted to do the right thing but with such inexperience he would often make the wrong choice and sometimes react before thinking. He is nervous of new people and still easily worried by men or heavily built people in particular. The farrier still has to make friends with him every visit and it also turns out he can a ** to catch and only my son was able to get near him, plus Bushy can take a head collar off. Although despite the annoyances he is always forgiven as something really rather wonderful happens when my son and Bushy are together, Bushy adores him and seems to just calm a little.”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

“Fast forward two years, Bushy took Valentino to his first Pony Club camp this summer, something that is also new to Bushy. Together they stole the District Commissioner’s heart and have been progressing very well — Bushy is now becoming a first ridden pony without mummy on the lead rein (Mummy still has kittens when watching), and we are all incredibly proud of the pony he has turned into.”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

“Wild Welsh Watsit into Bushy We Love You. I hope my son can find the skill required to sit and direct the jump as we have promised should he go to a mini major 128 championship we will buy a box and do it properly. London Olympia Horse Show we are watching you … In the birth of our second baby this year, Bushy has just been secured another 10 years in our family. I’m thrilled!!”

Photo courtesy of Nicola Marins.

What stories. Best of luck to both of these special partnerships!

Many thanks to Zandonà for sponsoring this fun giveaway. Check out Zandonà’s U.S. website for the full range of products distributed by Seadog Trading Company. Go Eventing!

Nupafeed Weekend Winners: One Final Round of Blue Ribbons for 2019

And … that’s a wrap for USEA-sanctioned horse trials in 2019! The final event of the season took place at Sporting Days Farm in Aiken, SC, the beloved venue’s fourth edition of the year.

Despite the calendar going dark for a few weeks, there’s plenty to keep us occupied: the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention (and 60th anniversary!) in Boston this week, and planning ahead for 2020 — events are already open for the new calendar year. The first horse trial of the season takes place Jan. 11-12, the Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks in Reddick, Florida, offering Beginner Novice through Prelim divisions. Of course, there’s also a couple big holidays in there to celebrate.

View complete scores from Sporting Days Farm IV H.T. here.

Intermediate CT: Hanna Grace Johnson & Urlanmore Beaut (35.9)
Open Preliminary: Elizabeth Welker-Ebling & Santana II (35.7)
Preliminary Rider: Rachel Miles & Zane (37.6)
Open Training: Emma Jenkins & Fernhill Armani (27.5)
Training Rider: Crockett Miller & Mr Panda (31.9)
Novice Rider: Nancy Z. Wilson & Lagerfeld (28.5)
Open Novice: Amy Wise & Ruger (31.4)
Beginner Novice Rider: Cathryn Martin & Maroon 5 (23.3)
Open Beginner Novice: Darci Phelps & Sandro Street (22.9)
Starter: Autumn Cearlock & Ima Dotted Lena (35.7)

As we close out the year, a reminder that while it’s fun to celebrate blue ribbons, success comes in all shades of satin. From a personal best dressage test to a confident move-up or even a just small building-block goal achieved, each time we go out and give it our all and get to walk away with a feeling of accomplishment is worth more than any shiny trophy.

Here are a few happy, proud snapshots from the weekend that was at Sporting Days Farm:

View this post on Instagram

So freaking proud of my amazing little mare! Miss Vixie went to her very first recognized show and brought home a sixth place ribbon. We had one unfortunate rail in what she thought was a rather spooky stadium course, but the Princess Pony was on fire out on cross-country and continues to get better and better in dressage. I know I say it all the time, but I am overwhelmed with pride in this incredible horse. Her heart and her try humble me daily and I can't get over how lucky I am to be the other half of this partnership. Thank you as always to all the wonderful people who continue to help us make our dreams a reality ❤️ #dashingvixen #ottb #retiredracehorse #thoroughbred #poloponyflunkout #thirdtimesacharm #eventersofinstagram #smallbutmighty #littlebutfierce #pocketrocket #darkhorse #maresofinstagram

A post shared by Kate Boggan (@kateboggan) on

Congrats to all. Go Eventing.

The 10 Most Imaginative Cross Country Jumps of 2019

What goes on in the mind of a course designer or a course builder? Some pretty wild stuff, apparently. We compiled a gallery of 10 jumps that captured our imagination in 2019, as seen on cross country courses in seven different countries across four different continents.

Have an addition to the list? Share it in the comments section — we might just put together a part II! Many thanks to our friends at CrossCountryApp for the hard work they put in year-round to bring us closer to the action through virtual course walks of events around the world.

“Blomes Brille” on the Ostbevern CCI2*-S in Münster, Germany in June 2019. View the complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

The newest Rebecca Farm jump (replete with moving carts!), created in honor of Don Trotter, at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Montana, USA in July 2019. Photo by Shelby Allen. View the entire course via EN here.

Le Lion D’Angers Formation 3 level in Maine-et-Loire, France in June 2019. View the complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

“Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Cones” on the Bramham CCI4*-S in West Yorkshire, UK in May 2019. View the complete course via CrossCountryApp here.

Port Eliot BE100 in Cornwall, UK in April 2019. View complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

Alphen Chaam H.T. ‘M’ in Alphen Chaam, Netherlands. View complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

Tacuarembó 3* in Uruguay in November 2019. View the complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

“Palette de peintre Noa” on Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L in Pau, France, in October 2019. View the complete course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

Fence 13 on the Pan American Games course in Lima, Peru, in August 2019. Photo by Shannon Brinkman. View the entire course on EN here.

“The Living Leader Picture Frame” on Houghton International CCIO4*-S in Norfolk, UK, in May 2019. View full course walk via CrossCountryApp here.

Go Eventing.

Sunday Video: The Jon and Rick Show

There have been some pretty epic talk show partnerships in American eventing. Who can forget “The sort of OK show about horses with Buck and Kyle” (RIP), featuring Buck Davidson and Kyle Carter, and also “The Shahannigans Show” (RIP), featuring Sinead Halpin and Hannah Sue Burnett.

Now, challenging for the throne, comes “The Jon and Rick Show,” featuring Rick Wallace and Jon Holling. The two have joined forces with The Horse Talk Show Network for a monthly show on Facebook the first Wednesday of the month at 6 a.m. EST. The show also airs on Saturday EST on The Sky 97.3 and radio.com.

The acumen of their commentary goes without saying — they’re both very sharp, candid and engaged  — but I appreciate a little lightness and self-depreciation too, and the first episode won over my heart with an opening montage of Rick’s best ‘almost’ save ever back in 2013 and Jon’s legendary Bromont sign streaking after winning in 2012. Insanity in the middle 4ever, EN.

They then tackle a number of timely topics and chat with guest Max Corcoran, incoming USEA president, who always has smart, interesting and horse-first insights to share. The Horse Talk Show Network host Louisa Barton sits in as well, mostly to keep Jon and Rick on track with regard to sponsor nods and toss a nice British accent into the mix.

The first episode aired on Wednesday, Dec. 4 — you can rewatch it right here:

Be sure to follow The Jon and Rick Show on Facebook for future episodes! We hear there will be a short holiday episode the Wednesday after the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention on Wednesday, Dec. 18 — no guests for that one, just the three of them sharing funny stories and such. We are for it!

Go Eventing.



Team Thailand Takes Gold at Inaugural FEI Asian Eventing Championships

Team Gold for Thailand: (L-R) Arinadtha Chavatanont, Weerapat Pitakanonda and Korntawat Samran. Photo by FEI/Yong Tek Lim.

The inaugural FEI Asian Eventing Championships took place this week in Pattaya, Thailand, alongside Championships for dressage and show jumping. Nine riders and two teams — Thailand and Hong Kong — contested the CCI2*-L eventing competition, and it would be Thailand who laid claim to team gold.

The team was anchored by Arinadtha Chavatanont and Tzar of Her Dreams, who also earned individual gold. Arinadtha and the 2007 Selle Français gelding (Volchebnik x Ultra de Rouhet), owned by Marcei Virginie Neillwere and Harald Link, were 3rd after dressage on 31.8 and moved into first after cross country, having turned in one of two double-clear rounds across Peter Fell’s course. They sealed the win yesterday with a fault-free show jumping round.

In addition to eventing, Arinadtha, who is based with Maxime Livio in France, competes in international show jumping and dressage. She represented Thailand in dressage at the FEI Asian Championships as well, claiming individual bronze in the Freestyle.

Meet Arinadtha Chavatanont

Arinadtha Chavatanont started her campaign as a part of the team for Thailand that took the Gold Medal in Dressage. Arinadtha then continued her run of success with a Team and Individual Gold in Eventing and a Bronze medal in the Dressage Freestyle! 🥇🥇🥇🥉

Posted by FEI Asian Championships Pattaya 2019 on Friday, December 6, 2019


Also contributing to Thailand’s eventing team gold: Weerapat Pitakanonda and Luminous, who finished 6th, and Korntawat Samran and Ridano Elmy, who earned individual bronze. The team’s fourth pair, Preecha Khunjan and Snowrunner, were eliminated cross country and thus the drop score.

While we’re on the topic of Thailand, we owe you an update on their Olympic qualification — at last glance, the nation had a team ticket but only two qualified riders. Arinadtha was Thailand’s best hope for fielding a full team, despite not having competed above CCI2*-L before this year. She picked up a CCI4*-S qualifying result on her first run at Strzegom in August with the experienced Boleybawn Prince, but wasn’t able to tick the CCI4*-L box this fall in advance of the Dec. 31 deadline. That means Thailand’s team ticket will be rescinded and they’ll be given individual places instead. (Tilly Berendt breaks down that process in “The Trail to Tokyo: What’s the Deal with Composite Teams?“)

Team Hong Kong earned silver in the competition. Teammates Yu Xuan Su and All Or Nothing were 8th, Annie Ho and Lost In Translation were 7th, Thomas Heffernan Ho and Jockey Club Charlene Old were 4th, and Patrick Lam and Jockey Club Weronique earned individual silver.

The venue for the Championships, Thai Polo & Equestrian Club, looked like a fitting host for the 100+ horses and riders that competed at the Championships this week.

Relive the eventing dressage and show jumping action:

It’s great to see our sport growing its footprint around the world. Go Eventing.

#ACPattaya2019: Website, ResultsLive Stream

2020 Land Rover Kentucky Early Bird Ticket Prices End Today!

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class, winners of the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

You know what makes a super stocking stuffer? Tickets to the 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (April 23-26, 2020) and Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix (April 25, after cross country)! And now is the time to snatch them as early bird prices expire today.

Ticket options include single-day, three-day (Fri-Sat-Sun) and four-day general admissions, as well as group sales, hospitality packages, cross country tailgating packages, and glamping. You can also go ahead and reserve your headsets as well as purchase programs and preferred parking. Fans will get the best seats at the best prices if they order early.

Also, this:

Boom, Christmas shopping done.

“Now is the time to make plans to be part of the country’s premier equestrian event,” said Mike Cooper, president of the board of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of both events. “Interest is sure to be at an all-time high in this Olympic year and I urge everyone to buy their tickets as soon as they go on sale!”

All grounds admission tickets include general parking and admission to the Kentucky Horse Park and International Trade Fair, but do not include access to the competition in the Rolex Stadium. Reserved grandstand seating is sold separately from grounds admission.

Sure, we still have a few months of pesky winter to suffer through, but in our hearts it’s already springtime in Kentucky and the birds are singing and the four-star horses are galloping past. For eventers who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, nine out of 10 doctors surveyed recommend purchasing Kentucky tickets in advance to hang on your fridge as a reminder that April is just around the corner.

Order your tickets today at www.KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets.

Register Now for the 2020 USEA Educational Symposium Featuring Andreas Dibowski

Andreas Dibowski and FRH Corrida at the 2019 FEI European Eventing Championships. Photo by William Carey.

The 2020 USEA Educational Symposium is coming to Barnstaple South in Ocala, Florida, Feb. 17 – 20! The jam-packed four-day event includes training and education via the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), Future Event Horse (FEH) Program and Young Event Horse (YEH) Program.

The USEA has announced that Andreas Dibowski will be the featured clinician. The German eventer has won every flavor of Olympic and World Championship medal there is to bite, and his clinics have garnered rave reviews.

The ICP Symposium will take place on Monday, Feb. 17 and Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Andreas Dibowski will be the featured clinician for both days and everyone is welcome to attend this educational opportunity.

The YEH Symposium will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to Andreas, the YEH Symposium will feature YEH Committee Chair Marilyn Payne as a clinician.

The FEH Symposium will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The featured clinicians will be FEH Committee Chairs Susan Graham White and Robin Walker.

Both YEH and FEH will also be providing judge education for judges to maintain their judging status. The FEH judge education will be led by FEH Committee Co-Chairs Susan Graham White and Robin Walker. The YEH judge education will be led by YEH Committee Chair Marilyn Payne.

Go Eventing.

[USEA: Registration is Now Open for the 2020 USEA Educational Symposium!]



Aiming for a CCI1* in 2020? What You Need to Know

Holly Jacks-Smither and one-eyed Favonious Nite won North America’s inaugural running of a CCI1*-Intro at Foshay International in 2018. The event was one of only 12 worldwide that offered the level that year. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

The new CCI1* level hasn’t seen too much play on the North American calendar to date. Foshay International in New Brunswick was the first North American event to offer it after the FEI introduced it in 2018 (as a CCI*-Intro), followed by The Maryland Horse Trials and Virginia Horse Trials this year. With fences set at 1.05 meters and comparable to the Modified horse trials level, the level is ideal for horses and riders looking to make the move up to international level who might not quite be ready for a CCI2* yet.

Two years after its inception, the 2020 North American event calendar offers 11 opportunities for qualified horses and riders to try their hand at the level.

Jan. 17-19, 2020:  The Grand Oaks Horse Trials (Weirsdale, FL)

March 27-28, 2020: Designer Builders Stable View Horse Trials (Aiken, SC)

April 2-5, 2020: The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center (Mill Spring, NC)

April 9-12, 2020: Ocala International 3-Day Festival of Eventing (Ocala, FL)

May 21-24, 2020: VHT International & Horse Trials (Lexington, VA)

July 3-5, 2020: The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm II (Adamstown, MD)

Sept. 3-6, 2020: Foshay International (Gagetown, New Brunswick)

Sept. 24-27, 2020:  Stable View Advanced Horse Trials (Aiken, SC)

Oct. 1-4, 2020: Spokane Sport Horse Sixth Annual Fall Horse Trials (Spokane, WA)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, 2020: VHT International & Horse Trials (Lexington, VA)

Nov. 21-22, 2020: The Grand Oaks Horse Trials (Weirsdale, FL)

You can view the complete list of 2020 FEI and Advanced Horse Trials at U.S. Eventing Competitions here.

Thinking about taking aim at a CCI1* this year? Here’s a bullet-point list of what you need to know:

  • Format: CCI1* is a unified format competition, meaning it may take place as a Short or Long format as to the order of tests and horse inspection requirement.
  • Eligibility: A course may compete in 1* competitions from the beginning of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 5. With permission from USEF, an Athlete may compete in a 1* competition from the beginning of the calendar year in which he or she reaches the age of 12. Horse and rider must be registered with USEF and FEI.
  • Qualification: Both the competitor and the horse, though not necessarily as a combination, must have achieved 1 MER at the Preliminary level or higher in the 12 months before the competition. A MER is achieved by completing the horse trials with a score of not more than 50 in dressage, no jumping penalties cross country and not more than 90 seconds (36 penalty points) exceeding optimum time, and not more than 16 penalties at obstacles in the show jumping test.
  • Dressage Test: 2018 1* Test
  • Cross country: A height of 1.05m (3’5) for fixed obstacles and 1.25m (4’1″) for brush is permitted. The course is a minimum of 2,000 and maximum of 3,000m (4 to 6 minutes), with a minimum of 20 and maximum of 25 jumping efforts. The speed is 500mpm.
  • Show jumping: A height of 1.10 (3’6″) is permitted, with 10-11/12 obstacles across a distance of 600m and a speed of 350m.

View the FEI Rules for Eventing here and the USEF Rules for Eventing here.

Go Eventing.





Zandonà ‘No Scope, No Hope’ Photo Challenge: Vote for Your Fave Finalist!

Last week we asked you to show us your best “no scope, no hope” photos for a chance to win a pair of Zandonà Carbon Air Front X-Country Boots, and you did ever deliver! Talk about skymiles. ✈️ Our committee of contest chinchillas narrowed hundreds of entries down to a sweet 16 of finalists, and now we’re putting them to a reader vote.

A reminder of the prize at stake: a front pair of Italian-made, highly protective and breathable boots Zandonà Carbon Air Front X-Country Boots (retail value: $237.15) — not that any of these horses look like they’ll be touching a fence anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of Zandonà.

Check out the photos, and then cast your vote in the ballot below!

Emily Hamel: “Making a 4* open oxer look easy.”

Allie Conrad: “Literally everything. He jumped *everything* like this.😆”

Andy Armstrong & Burn Notice

Rachael Leneweaver: “Does it count if the fence has no height? This is my old horse, Moments of Brilliance, through the Training coffin at May Daze Horse trials at KHP maybe in 08? Xpress Foto captured this and yes, I stuck the landing!”

Julie Pate:
Me: “Dribble”
Horse: …

Cleo Haynal: “Made it!”

Toni Bearda: “Here’s my boy Charlie from last weekends competition. I think he’s telling us we need to step up to the next level.”

Genevieve Danielle: “Or this one might be my all time fav. When the 1.25 turns into the 1.60 #freakstatus.”

Jinny Joy

Ashley Kriegel Trier: “So extra.”

Rachel Sledzik: “Much sass, might also mean scope?”

Nicola Marins: “BUSHY – My 5yo Son’s 128 Welsh pony ✈✈”

Andrea York

Travis Atkinson

Emma York: “This was my young mare at her first event, faced with a coffin combo. If in doubt jump it bigger… The Croc was a later addition to give her a reason to launch it! 😂”

Sallie Johnson: Wild card entry … we couldn’t resist!

Voting is open through next Monday at midnight — we’ll announce the winner on Tuesday. Check out Zandonà’s U.S. website for the full range of products distributed by Seadog Trading Company. Go Eventing!

What’s Happening This Fall? Your Weekly Guide to Clinics, Schooling Shows & More [Updated 12/3]

Back by popular demand, German five-star eventer Kai Rüder is returning to Ocala this week for a three-day clinic Dec. 5-7. Auditing is free! View the clinic listing here. Photo by William Carey.

“What’s Happening This Fall,” presented in partnership with Event Clinics, is your complete guide to clinics, schooling shows and other riding and educational opportunities.

Want your activity listed in What’s Happening? Register it with Event Clinics, a mobile friendly, user-controlled services platform that connects organizers with riders. It’s easy and free to post your listing — click here to get started.

Here is what’s happening in your USEA Area this fall!

Location Quick Links: Area I | Area II | Area III | Area IV | Area V | Area VIArea VII | Area VIII | Area IX | Area X

Area I

Area II

Area III

Area IV

Area V

Area VI

Area VII


Area IX

Area X

Go Eventing.

Give Back to Your Favorite Sport on #GivingTuesday

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Think about all the ways that the sport of eventing has positively impacted your life. Today is the day to pay it forward! This #GivingTuesday, consider making a secure, tax-deductible donation to the USEA Foundation to help ensure a happy, healthy future for our sport.

From a $25 “Novice” donation to a $1,000 “Four-Star” donation and beyond, gifts of any amount are welcome and can make a big difference. You can designate your donation for use where needed or earmark it to benefit your favorite program. A few options:

  • Poggio Horsemanship Study (USEA Foundation) — Studying equine soundness, health and training
  • Where it is needed most — Supporting the immediate needs of USEA Inc.
  • USEA Foundation — Securing the Future of Education and the Sport
  • Frangible Fence Research (USEA Inc.) — Collapsible Fence Study and other safety initiatives
  • Roger Haller Officials’ Education (USEA Inc.) — Funds and scholarships for Officials’ Education
  • Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) (USEA Inc.) — Funds for Instructors Certification Program (ICP)
  • Equine Welfare (USEA Inc.) — Funds for equine safety and welfare
  • Young Event Horse (USEA Inc.) — Funds for Young Event Horse (YEH) Program
  • Future Event Horse (USEA Inc.) — Funds for Future Event Horse (FEH) Program
  • Juniors/Young Riders (USEA Inc.) — Funds for national Junior and Young Rider Program
  • Liz Cochran Memorial Grooms Award (USEA Foundation) — National Grooms Award
  • Volunteer Incentive Program (USEA Inc.) — Funds support the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program

Go give back. Go Eventing!

Friday Video from SmartPak: Q&A with Jon Holling

Jon Holling is one of the smartest one-man think-tanks in American eventing and if you aren’t already following his new YouTube channel, you’re missing out.

In this video from earlier in the month, he candidly fields questions from other eventers. Have a question for Jon? Send a video his way because this is a series I’d love to see on the regular!

SmartPak always knocks it out of the park for Black Friday < Thanksgiving Weekend < Cyber Monday, and 2019 is no different. They are offering 20% off of all orders through Monday. Plus orders over $75 ship free AND orders over $200 receive a free stable blanket. Just use the promo code HOLIDAY19 at checkout. And! Get a free $30 gift card with any order over $150. Use promo code GIFT19. Go get it!

‘No Scope, No Hope’ Photo Challenge: Win Zandonà Carbon Air Front XC Boots!

Is your horse a little bit extra sometimes? Show us your best “no scope, no hope” photos for a chance to win a pair of Zandonà Carbon Air Front X-Country Boots!

These Italian-made cross country boots are highly protective, thanks to front and rear carbon insert guards, yet super breathable thanks to air vents and shock absorbent, perforated lining. They don’t hold any water, provide 360-degree ankle coverage, prevent rubbing with a seamless inner surface, and stay put even in the most extreme conditions. Check out EN’s recent review of the boots here.

Photo courtesy of Zandonà.

Win a front pair (retail value: $237.15) by showing us a photo of YOUR horse going above and beyond to clear a fence! Share in the Facebook comments, or email your photo to [email protected] Entries are due by midnight on Monday, Dec. 2. We’ll put our top 15 favorites to a reader vote on Tuesday!

Check out their U.S. website for the full range of products distributed by Seadog Trading Company. Go Eventing!



Deals & Steals 2019: Your Black Friday

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for — Black Friday is HERE! EN couldn’t exist without the support of our amazing sponsors. Please show them how much you love EN by shopping their Black Friday sales! Some are also running their sales through the weekend and into Cyber Monday. Scroll down to check out all the deals, and we’ll update this post with new promotions as they arise.


SmartPak Equine offers a range of products for horses and riders. Their goal is to use their “smarts to power healthy horses and happy riders.” SmartPak is offering 20% off of all orders through Monday. Plus orders over $75 ship free AND orders over $200 receive a free stable blanket. Just use the promo code HOLIDAY19 at checkout. Plus! Get a free $30 gift card with any order over $150. Use promo code GIFT19.

Black Friday special! Today only, you can get a FREE stable sheet with any order over $200. Plus, you’ll save 20% on tack, apparel, barn gear, and more from over 150 brands: https://www.smartpakequine.com/

Posted by SmartPak on Friday, November 29, 2019


In addition to a Black Friday 40% sale on all Hylofit merchandise (saddle pads, jackets and hats!), Hylofit is running a holiday sale now through the end of the year – $299 for the Hylofit System (a $50 savings). Also, between now and Dec. 3, Hylofit is donating one Hylofit System to an EQUUS Foundation Guardian Horse Charity for every system purchased during this period — see Buy One, Give One.

It’s time to get your shop on! Today only, for Black Friday, we’ve marked down all Hylofit merchandise by 40%. Shop…

Posted by Hylofit on Friday, November 29, 2019

Cosequin Equine

Black Friday making you feel as good as this black beauty! Find great specials throughout the holiday season with select participating online retailers! #CosequinASU #CosequinASUplus #BlackFriday2019

Posted by Cosequin Equine on Friday, November 29, 2019

Flexible Fit

Flexible Fit Equestrian is a company that is dedicated to providing quality, custom built bridles that fit horses well and offer the comfort that horses deserve. They are offering 20% off  for Black Friday if you use promo code BLACKFRIDAY20. But hurry — the offer ends tonight.


Enjoy these great Black Friday savings ONE DAY ONLY. Sale starts 29/11/2019.

Had your eye on a…

Posted by Flexible Fit Equestrian on Thursday, November 28, 2019


Give your horse the gift of cleaner, healthier hay. The Haygain hay steamer has been shown conclusively in scientific trials to kill harmful mold, fungal spores, bacteria and dust mites found in hay; and remove the health threat from respirable dust. For Black Friday, get 10% off a steamer plus your an item of Ariat apparel.

Black Friday is well and truly live at Haygain. Get 10% off right now and a free Ariat item of clothing. Click to see: https://www.haygain.us/pages/free-ariat-gift

Posted by Haygain USA on Thursday, November 28, 2019


Fleeceworks is a company that is passionate about saddle fit and comfort, so they focus on designing saddle pads that offer exceptional impact absorption moisture wicking and minimal friction. In addition to a 15% Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale, to kick off the holidays, they are offering two Fleeceworks Dressage baby pads in medium or large for 50.00. There is a limited quantity, so don’t delay. Use the promo code TGBPLG for large or TGBPMED for medium at checkout.

Fleeceworks Black Friday 15% off through Monday Midnight Enter Code BLKFRD4 at check out. Field Hunters and Competitor…

Posted by Fleeceworks on Friday, November 29, 2019

World Equestrian Brands

World Equestrian Brands aims to carry brands that meet the high threshold of design, performance and respect for the horse that are pivotal in creating a horse that rides and performs well. Through Monday, World Equestrian Brands is offering 20% off of all items. The discount will be available at checkout.


For one weekend only, trade in your old turnout from any brand and get $100 off a new Horseware Rambo turnout and see your old turnout go to a new home with a horse in need. The turnout trade double down runs in the USA from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 2019.


Legends® utilizes advanced technology and quality research provided by Kentucky Equine Research®  in order to provide a superior line of specially formulated feeds will help keep your horses happy, healthy and in peak form. You can get $5 off any Legends supplements, rice bran or EquiMin proucts through the end of the month. This includes GastroCare, Omega Plus, Fortified Pelleted Rice Bran, EquiMin loose minerals and the EquiMin block. Just print off the coupon from the website.

Ovation Riding

Even though this isn’t a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, something to note is that Ovation Riding is working to support local tack shops with their SITS — Support Independent Tack Stores event, December 6th – 8th. Shop at your local tack shop during those dates and you will be entered to win some fantastic prizes! Ovation Riding distributor ERS will be donating $5,000 of Ovation, One K HelmetsVeredus USA and Romfh Equestrian Apparel merchandise to the giveaway.

Go Shopping. Go Eventing!

2020 Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Applications Are Due Today!

2019 Eventing 25 participant Madison Tempkin with Dr Hart. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Attention procrastinating under-25 eventers! Consider this your reminder to get those 2020 Eventing 25 applications in ASAP. The application, which opened Oct. 25, closes today, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, and no late applications will be accepted.

Creating a pipeline of future team and elite athletes is the goal of the US Equestrian’s Emerging Athlete Eventing 18 and Eventing 25 programs. The Emerging Athlete Lists are the first step in the athlete pathway as developed in the 2019 Strategic Plan, connecting promising athletes with training and support; past participants of the program like Jenny Caras, Hallie Coon and Caroline Martin have since proven themselves competitive on the world’s biggest stages.

How to Apply:

Applications will be located in the Athlete Dashboard area of your MY USEF Member Account. Please note that all programs are subject to funding. The 2020 budget has not been confirmed.

Log in to your My USEF Member Account → Athlete Dashboard → Online Applications→ Eventing→ Year: 2020

Applications for the 2019 Eventing 25 Program will be due Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Only those who have applied will be considered. Competition videos may be requested from athletes. The Eventing 25 Program will have an annual selection for a two-year period, with a review every six months and a Retention Review at one year. Starting in 2020, athletes may participate in the program for a maximum of four years. The expectation is that athletes would progress to the Development Potential by the age of 25 or within four years.

Program participants will be announced prior to the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts on Dec. 11-15, 2019.

Eligibility and Application Requirements:

  • Rider must be 25 years old or younger according to the FEI (born on or after January 1, 1995).
  • Rider must have achieved an MER at a CCI3*-L.
  • Applicants can be ‘Talent Spotted’ if  they do not meet this criteria, but still must submit an application.
  • Rider must be an USEF Active member.
  • Rider must submit a link to current professional video(s) of competition(s).

Questions? Contact Christina Vaughn at [email protected]

Go Eventing.

[Memorandum: Potential 2020 Eventing 25 Program Applicants]

Black Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Maybe it’s emotional residue from one too many ‘The Black Stallion’ viewings as a kid, but there’s just something about seeing an event horse the color of polished onyx that makes my heart skip a beat. And when their performance matches their tall, dark and handsome good looks … swoon. Pictured here: Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon at Lumühlen 2015. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Happy Black Friday! We hope you and your credit card are ready. Keep an eye on EN today — we’ll be bringing you a roundup of all our favorite Black Friday deals shortly, along with a giveaway for Zandona Front XC Boots and much, much more.

National Holiday: Black Friday

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News & Notes:

A Horse Sport Ireland medal reception held yesterday celebrated a historic year for Irish Equestrian Sport. The nation has qualified three teams for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and enjoyed another outstanding year in the eventing realm, with Cathal Daniels claiming the individual bronze medal at the Eventing European Championships at Luhmühlen in with the Irish Sport Horse mare Rioghan Ru. [Horse Sport Ireland]

Best of HN: Reader Photo Challege: 18 Amazing Clip Jobs

Just in on JN: From a Judge’s Perspective: Diane Carney Shares the Foundations of the Classical Position

Podcast Pick: USEA CEO Rob Burk joins the USEA Podcast this week to preview what’s in store for attendees at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. You can check out the full schedule on the USEA Convention website. Plus! Diane Pitts comes on to discuss her presidency from 2014 to 2016. [Listen Now]

Featured Video: That mane! Those ears! The determined ride! Love everything about this cross country go, from Fresno County Horse Park H.T.

Best of EN Thanksgiving: 10th Annual Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, EN! As is tradition on Turkey Day, we’re taking a look back on our posts from years past. It’s hard to believe this is our 10th year! From John’s very first Thanksgiving post in 2009 to the hilarious roundups of Thanksgiving memories and traditions, looking back on how far we’ve come makes us very thankful for you.

2009: EN’s First Thanksgiving Post

“With respect to Eventing Nation, thank you to the thousands of you who have welcomed us into your eventing lives. It may seem like a small thing for you to log onto Eventing Nation, but we put a great deal of time into developing the best eventing content to serve our readers, and every single visitor means a great deal to us. Thank you all so very much and go eventing.”

2010: Much to Be Thankful For

“I challenge everyone to remember and appreciate all the many things we have to be thankful for this season. Thanks to our riders for taking the time to send us their responses, and as always thank you for reading.”

2011: Beware of Attacking Turkeys

“The turkeys in question might claim self defense, but I think not. You be the judge.”

2012: EN Asks: What is Your Favorite Thing About Thanksgiving?

“From the EN family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoy this very special day to spend inside/warm and with food, as Sinead Halpin would say.”

2013: EN Asks: What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition?

“The red wine has been known to flow like the salmon of the Capistrano. This occasionally leads to some notable athletic contests, such as brother-on-brother form tackling and Greco-Roman wrestling. Injuries are common, though a dislocated shoulder and bite marks have  thankfully been the worst of them to date.”

2014: John Shakes His Tail Feather for Thanksgiving

“Why are you watching John dancing in a turkey costume on Thanksgiving? WHY NOT. Spoiler alert: This gets funnier each time you hit that box of wine for a ‘top off.’ From the EN family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! And may your day be filled with a little insanity in the middle.”

2015: Thank You, Eventing

“We thank the horses who stuck with us. We thank the great horses who represented us at the sport’s highest levels. We thank the teaching horses and the green horses and the good soldiers who carried us and listened to our commands and galloped down to the coffin complex with ears pricked. They keep us grounded and help us fly.”

2016: And the Winner of the World Equestrian Brands Thanksgiving Top Dog Contest Is …

“I was so thankful to have this dog with me for nine years. I couldn’t have started my own business and powered through the stress and exhaustion without my best friend.”

2017: The Year of Gratitude

“Cheers to the four-legged friends that leave permanent marks on our hearts. Cheers to the kindness and generosity of the eventers. Cheers to our sport for bringing us all together.”

2018: Ode to the Adult Rider Program

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the barn
I’m thinking of things I’m thankful for, so I’ll spin you a yarn”

In 2019 we’re thankful for YOU, dear readers, for sticking with us for the past decade. Here’s to another great 10 years! Go Eventing. 

Who Was the Most Prolific Eventer of 2019?

Event riders are, by our nature, multi-taskers. In addition to juggling three disciplines at once, eventing is an all-consuming sport emotionally, physically, financially and time-wise. From the one-horse amateur with a family and full-time job to the professional who is at the barn from sunup to sundown and out competing nearly every weekend, all of us must become skilled in the art of staying busy,

A few elite riders, though, really take it to the next level. Now that the international eventing season has wrapped, it’s an interesting experiment to survey the competition schedules of top riders in the previous year. Who competed in the most international events? And how do top American eventers’ schedules compare to those of their European counterparts?

Liz Halliday-Sharp had 41 FEI event starts in 2019. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Of the North American constituency of four- and five-star eventers, Liz Halliday-Sharp takes the award for most FEI event entries: 41. Currently ranked #32 in the world and #7 in the North American zone, she got the year rolling with the U.S. winter/spring circuit of Red Hills < Carolina International < The Fork < Ocala < Kentucky. She then headed abroad with her string for summer/fall: Weisbaden < Nunney < Brightling Park < Barbury Castle <Aachen < Millstreet < Burghley < Blenheim < Ballindenisk < Boekelo < Le Lion D’Angers, before finishing out the season stateside at Ocala Jockey Club.

Two U.S. riders, Phillip Dutton and Will Faudree, will clock out of 2019 with 30 or more FEI entries: 35 and 30, respectively. Canadian Jessie Phoenix had 32. Still more North Americans came in with 20+ entries: Boyd Martin (29), Doug Payne and Tamie Smith (28), Buck Davidson (26), Lauren Kieffer and Allie Knowles (25), Colleen Loach (21), American-based Brit Leslie Law (21), Caroline Martin and Colleen Rutledge (20).

More came in on the double digits: Will Coleman (18), Jacob Fletcher and Erin Sylvester (16), Emily Beshear and Lynn Symansky (14), Liza Horan (13), Allison Springer and Bobby Meyerhoff (12), Katherine Coleman and Arden Wildasin (11), and Holly Jacks (10).

Izzy Taylor had 60 FEI event starts in 2019. Photo by William Carey.

If you think American eventers are prolific, however, let’s take a glimpse of riders abroad. Great Britain’s Izzy Taylor had a truly wall-to-wall year, with 60 FEI starts. Fellow Brit and Pau winner Tom McEwen had 56, and Piggy French had 47 starts, including a Badminton win, a 2nd at Burghley, and a 4th at Kentucky. Luhmühlen winner Tim Price of New Zealand had 43 starts. Kentucky winner and Badminton first runner-up Oliver Townend had 38 starts. Andreas Dibowski of Germany and Great Britain’s Alexander Bragg had 36 starts apiece, Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal had 34,  and Ireland’s Cathal Daniels had 33. Australian ERM series champion Chris Burton had 29, Burghley winner Pippa Funnell had 29, and William Fox-Pitt had 28.

German powerhouses Michael Jung and Ingrid Klimke are very interesting case studies, in that on top of their eventing workloads they maintained nearly full-time show jumping or dressage schedules as well. Cross-pollination between disciplines at the top level is much more common in Europe than it is here in the States, with a few notable exceptions: Doug Payne and Marilyn Little both compete in Grand Prix show jumping as well as eventing.

European champion Ingrid Klimke had 22 FEI eventing starts, and also 12 FEI Grand Prix dressage entries. Her average score at the Grand Prix level: an impressive 75.61%. It tracks that her eventing dressage scores are so often in the low 20s, such as the 22.2 she scored to win the European Championships at Luhmühlen this year.

We saw Ingrid’s versatility in action this summer at Wiesbaden, where she competed in Grand Prix dressage and the Event Rider Masters CCI4*-S class simultaneously. She won the Grand Prix CDI4* Freestyle on a score of 80.68%, the highest dressage score of her career, and won the CDI4* Grand Prix as well on 74.3%. And then Ingrid went on to place 3rd in the CCI4*-S class with SAP Hale Bob OLD. Their dressage score? An ERM record-breaking 16.4.

Here’s that 80.68% Freestyle:

Michael Jung had — wait for it — a total of 236 FEI starts in 2019: 46 eventing starts, and 190 jumping or derby classes. Among them were many Grand Prix classes, and he is currently the 5th highest ranked German in the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Standings – Western European League (view rankings here). Let’s do the math on that: assuming there are a minimum of 11 jumps per course, that’s over 2,500 jumps jumped in competition over the span of a year — and that’s not counting cross country. And, of course, it’s not counting jump schools at home. If practice makes perfect, it’s little wonder that he dominates our sport.

We’ve shared this video on EN twice already this week, but it’s well worth the watch:

Is there a correlation between competition mileage and success? Should North American eventers be spending more time competing, in both their chosen discipline and beyond? It’s a question complicated by issues of ownership (more horses = more opportunity to compete), time (most top U.S. riders aren’t able to focus solely on competing but must also teach and train to make a living) and geography (events are more concentrated abroad than they are in the States).

What are your thoughts, EN? Share in the comments section below.




Friday Video From SmartPak: Michael Jung vs. World Cup Show Jumping

While double Olympic gold medalist Michael Jung is best known for his eventing superpowers, he’s been making waves in the show jumping world as well. He is currently the 5th highest ranked German in the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup™ Standings – Western European League (view rankings here), nestled in behind Christian Kukuk, Philipp Weishaupt, Daniel Deusser, and Ludger Beerbaum  on seven points.

Might we see him stateside at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, taking place in Las Vegas April 15-19, 2020?

“The dream or the goal is to be qualified for the World Cup Final,” Michael says, adding, “That is more a dream than a goal.”

We wouldn’t put it past him! In this video, he tackles a course before his home-crowd aboard fischerChelsea at the Stuttgart German Masters.