Welcome to Day Two of EN’s 12 Days a Christmas! A giveaway a day … truly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
This is a next-level girth. Building on the massive success and effectiveness of Total Saddle Fit’s Shoulder Relief Girth, with its revolutionary shoulder freedom and elbow clearance, the StretchTech girth features a triangular center elastic that contours perfectly to a horse’s barrel and allows for the 1.5 cm chest expansion that horses undergo go while breathing. This offers less respiratory restriction and even girth contact on the horse’s chest while in work.
Lauren Schwartzenberger shared a glowing review of the girth with EN in which she gave it two thumbs up — you can read it here.
Ready to win? Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries will close at midnight EST tonight, with the winner to be announced in News & Notes tomorrow morning. Good luck! Go Eventing.
Equestrian Australia is leading the eventing world by example, having yesterday announced a rule change that mandates the use of approved FEI frangible devices. Beginning Feb. 1, 2018, frangible devices must be utilized “on those fences in 1*/2*/3*/4* courses in Australia (National and FEI events) where the materials fit the specifications for use of a frangible device.”
The initiative to introduce frangible pins was originally implemented with financial support from the Equestrian Australia Making Eventing Safer Fund, supported by Terry Snow, and the Olivia Inglis Foundation.
The Making Eventing Safer Fund will distribute $45,000 toward the rollout of frangible devices at all EA events across Australia, with funding to be matched by State Eventing Committees, meaning a total of $90,000 will be spent on improving safety. The fund was introduced following the deaths of two young Australian event riders, Caitlyn Fischer and Olivia Inglis, last year.
The change was made following a series of meetings at the Australian International Three-Day Event in Adelaide last month involving the Equestrian Australia Eventing Committee, the EA National Safety Officer, members of the FEI Risk Management Steering Group (Mike Etherington-Smith and Geoff Sinclair) and EA Chair Judy Fasher.
The new rule is in addition to other initiatives being carried out by EA toward improved safety of both horses and riders. Its implementation is supported by an explanatory memorandum for Officials and Organising Committees with an Officials’ Education Program to be rolled out in February and March 2018. You can view the updated 2018 EA Eventing Rules here.
In this video, Olympic medalist Stuart Tinney talks about the “Making Eventing Safer” initiative to introduce frangible jumps in Australia, and breaks down how this technology works.
Despite calls for the FEI to make frangible devices compulsory from National Federations, including the U.S. and Canada, as well as events such as Badminton and individual leaders within the sport, the FEI confirmed in a Dec. 7 Risk Management memo that it will not be enforcing a global rule until more evidence is available.
From the memo:
Why is the FEI not making [frangible device] use mandatory?
“The global use of frangible technology is one of our goals in risk management, and it is the FEI’s role to provide the necessary educational and logistical support to National Federations to enable them to source approved devices, ensure their correct use and ultimately decide when the time is right to make their use compulsory so that frangible technology is used effectively worldwide. We are also encouraging the National Federations, alongside the FEI, to look at other aspects of risk management, including coaching and course design. Frangible technology is clearly part of the way forward, but it is one element in a complex picture.
“While rotational horse falls have decreased dramatically, there is evidence – as highlighted in the Barnett report – that the number of horse falls in general is higher at fences fitted with frangible technology. Although clearly it could be the question rather than the frangible technology that is causing these falls, more information and data is needed to understand this horse fall rate.
“It is a priority to reduce horse falls as a whole so this is where data collection is an extremely important part of the decision-making process around the world. However, as stated above, FEI statistics show that rotational falls have been reduced by more than 50% in the 10-year period from 2006-2016 so there are clear benefits. The bottom line is that we need to have a better understanding of this evidence, and where it fits into the overall picture, before we can consider making the use of frangible technology mandatory.”
Isn’t that going against the recommendations of the Risk Management Steering Group?
“Following the recommendations of the Risk Management Steering Group, we are continuing to work with our National Federations on the logistical and educational elements of frangibles, respecting the individual decision of each National Federation regarding their eventual mandatory use in their own country when they have the knowledge base to ensure the technology can be effectively used. The decision of National Federations to use frangible technology is fully supported by the FEI and in line with National Federations taking their responsibilities on risk management. However, following a more comprehensive evaluation by the FEI Eventing Committee and for the reasons mentioned above, the FEI strongly believes that it would not be beneficial to the sport to impose mandatory implementation at this point in time.”
So should the FEI stop recommending the use of frangible technology?
“No, for the same reasons as above, but the facts are that although we have evidence that there is an increased risk of horse falls at fences fitted with frangible technology, rotational falls have been dramatically decreased and the percentage of serious injuries have also shown a strong reduction, halved from 0.28% of starters in 2006 to 0.13% in 2016. The percentage of horse falls overall is also reducing, going down from 1.76% of starters in 2006 to 1.4% in 2016, so the risk management strategy is clearly having a positive effect.”
“The bottom line is that we need to have a better understanding of this evidence, and where it fits into the overall picture, before we can consider making the use of frangible technology mandatory.”
Welcome to EN’s 12 Days of Christmas! It’s a giveaway extravaganza that will give EN readers the chance to win awesome prizes from our amazing sponsors for the next 12 days. Today we’re kicking things off by giving away a prize pack from C4 Belts and Snaks 5th Avenchew.
The prize pack includes:
C4 Holiday Belt and Buckle
Pair of C4 Socks
Treat from Snacks 5th Avenchew
That’s right — it’s a gift for you AND your horse. Not only will you be the most festive eventer in the barn with your new C4 belt and socks (if you really want to take it over the top, we recommend pairing with an ugly horse Christmas sweater), the treat from Snacks 5th Avenue makes a great equine stocking stuffer.
C4 has just kicked off its own “12 Days of C4ristmas” featuring daily deals, as well as its C4 Holiday Special which includes 10% off and free shipping with the promo code C4Happy.
Now here’s your chance to win that prize pack! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries will close at midnight EST tonight. Good luck! Go Eventing.
Major League Eventing is back with episode two in its “Major League Training” video series, featuring visiting trainers from all three eventing phases. (If you missed episode one, a clever bounce-on-a-curve exercise from Richard Lamb, check it out here.)
Major League Training explains of its second episode, “We visit three star event rider Erika M. Nesler at her farm where she shows us step by step how to use grid work to sharpen the fundamentals of both horse and rider in the off season. As a bonus she shows us her tips and tricks for going ‘hands free.’ You will certainly fall in love with Erika’s coaching style. We hope you enjoy. Cheers!”
Do you have an exercise to share or is there an eventer you would like to nominate for the “What’s in Your Arena?” series? Email [email protected]
Residents and communities are coming together to help those displaced by the devastating California wildfires. For those looking to help, a number of donation drives have been organized, and we know the eventing community will step up and give generously to help those horses in need.
Here is a running list of resources that have been brought to our attention, which we will keep updated. Please email [email protected] with additional listings.
Ali Hamman of South Coast Sport Horses LLC is organizing equipment donations, including halters, leads, wraps and barn supplies. Contact via Facebook with equipment donations.
American Association of Equine Practitioners, or AAEP, is already working with vets in Southern California and is accepting donations via the Disaster Relief Fund to continue supporting those vets. Select “Disaster Relief” when donating.
Animal Care Foundation of Los Angeles County “Noah’s Legacy Fund” is accepting donations to support the Department’s emergency response efforts. Donate via the website and specify “Noah’s Legacy Fund.”
California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is collecting donations to assist victims of the fire. When donating via the website, select “Add Special Instructions to Seller” and then type in the words “For victims of the SLRD fire.”
CARMA — California Retirement Management Account, a local CANTER partner — is accepting donations to assist San Luis Rey Downs horses. Earmark your donation by typing “FIRE” in the comments.
Del Mar Fairgrounds is now in need of supplies — it’s serving as the evacuation center not just for San Luis Rey Downs but for multiple horse owners and facilities in the evacuation area. Particular needs include pitchforks and rakes, buckets, bedding and feed. Del Mar has stated it currently has enough volunteers to help care for horses, watch for signs of colic and identify tattoos and markings on the Thoroughbreds evacuated from San Luis Rey. Donate via the website.
Little Red Feather Cares is accepting donations to assist with all horses and horse owners affected by fire. Earmark your donation by typing “FIRE” in the comments.
Local feed stores are accepting donations over the phone to assist displaced horses:
- Damoor’s Feed (will match donation): (818) 242-2841 9 a.m.-6 p.m. PT
- Mary’s Tack and Feed: (858) 755-2015, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. PT. Mary’s Tack and Feed has also opened a donation page on its website and will be matching the first $500 donated.
- Carter’s Hay and Grain: (760) 436-4738, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.PT
- Broken Horn Supply: (626) 337-4088 10 a.m.-6 p.m. PT
- East Valley Feed and Tack: (818) 767-3060, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. PT
Thoroughbred Charities of America is prepared to assist San Luis Rey Downs horses, once the immediate crisis starts to resolve and needs are assessed. TCA aided the race horses of Puerto Rico after two hurricanes devastated the island earlier this year. Visit TCA’s website to make a cash donation.
Santa Anita Park, Stronach Group & Del Mar Thoroughbred Club are joining forces through GoFundMe to raise funding to buy needed supplies for evacuated horses, including bedding, feed and supplies for horses, as well as medical bills; funds will also support those individuals who lost everything at San Luis Rey Downs such as grooms and staff who lived on the premises.
USEF Disaster Relief Fund is accepting donations via its website.
Use caution when donating to crowdfunding sites. We have “vetted” crowdfunding links we share here.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by wildfires.
Listing compiled by Kristen Kovatch of Horse Nation.
Actually, to be exact, it was 221:01 volunteer hours logged at USEA recognized events, according to the EventingVolunteers.com program that does the tracking. Which, if you do the math, amounts to over nine days’ of Mike Smallwoods’ life in the past year — an impressive feat that speaks to his dedication to the sport.
But what of that extra one second?
Beats Mike. “Ha, the .01 … I’m not sure about that,” he says. “Just goes to show EventingVolunteers.com program counts every second that every volunteer has worked over the year.”
Mike, of Dickerson, Md., is known for putting his head down and getting done whatever needs to be done — no matter the job and no matter how long it takes. He’s worn many hats: safety coordinator, jump judge, announcer, jump crew, control, volunteer briefer, horse wrangler, trailer mechanic, truck mechanic, golf cart mechanic, course builder, landscaper, parking guru, cook, bartender and many more, at both recognized and unrecognized competitions. He’s always one of the first to arrive and the last to leave every day, and he’s in it from pre-event setup to post-event clean-up.
His favorite roles to play? “Safety coordinator and jump judging, but I will fill whatever role is needed,” he says. Although, he does admit to one hole in his volunteer skillset: “I think competitors would appreciate my handwriting staying away from scribe duties.”
During those other 8,538 hours and 59 seconds of the year, Mike keeps himself busy riding his horse, a bay Thoroughbred mare named Prada, running Woodstock Equestrian Park, and serving as a volunteer firefighter and chief at Carol Manor Fire Company.
“Horses have been a part of my life, all my life, thanks to my mom,” Mike says. “I grew up riding in jumpers, then switched to western, and now it’s just pleasure and some eventing. I got into eventing through a friend, and now I am fully immersed in it.”
He got hooked into volunteering through the Maryland Horse Trials, where he started on an ambulance with the standby crew, and then grew into handling the safety coordinator position. From there, it was full speed ahead: “This year I have been to more event facilities than I think I ever have, both as a volunteer and a spectator visiting my lovely girlfriend (Alex Ambelang).”
Asks what he gets out of the volunteer experience, Mike says it’s all about the people and the great friendships he has made.
Mike’s achievement will be honored at the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention Year End Awards Dinner with a $1,000 check, a custom “USEA Volunteer of the Year” jacket, and crystal trophy. A special thank you to Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Eventing Volunteers program and covering the cost for every USEA recognized event.
Ever humble and gracious, Mike says he would like to thank Carolyn Mackintosh, Gena Cindric and Alex Ambelang for their support through the year, and gives a nod to his fellow volunteers. “I think all the volunteers that have given through the year and years deserve as much recognition as I am getting,” he says. “We all work so hard to do our part for a sport/community we have come to love.”
Mike urges others to embrace the volunteer spirit. “Anyone can be a volunteer; I encourage it as it’s giving back to the sport. No experience is required — every place I have been has had great coordinators and stewards who will show you the way and make you feel welcome.”
Other pro tips for volunteers: “A good pencil, and a comfortable chair.”
Go Mike. Go Eventing!
Hardworking eventers deserve all the support they can get. We’re glad to see Southern California Equestrian Sports stepping up to financially assist some of our sport’s most deserving athletes, awarding three riders a total of $5,000 in grants.
SCES congratulates the following grant recipient winners, as chosen by its Board of Directors: Allison Springer ($2,750), Lauren Billys ($1,500) and Gina Miles ($750).
SCES President David Kuhlman says, “As an organization we are dedicated to assisting riders and events for the betterment of Equestrian Sports across the United States and Globe. Each of our 2017 award winners are very deserving and we are proud to support them.”
Learn more about Southern California Equestrian Sports, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping equestrians and organizers raise tax deductible funds to help offset competition expenses, by visiting its website here.
Literally the only thing that keeps me from hibernating in my bathtub from December until March are my Carhartt overalls. Quilt-lined and constructed of a canvas so tough you could paw your way through a barbed wire fence in them without a scratch, they are my wintertime fortress and protector from all things cold, windy and wet.
Combined with one-too-many base layers, a wool sweater or two, Original Muck Boot Company boots, fur-lined trapper hat, random scarf my mother-in-law gave me, and insulated gloves the size of catcher mitts, I look like a cross between the stay-puft marshmallow man and a post-apocalyptic squirrel hunter. Horses take one look at in the field and run the opposite direction, and frankly I don’t blame them.
We do what we must, though, to survive — and winter is coming. This week’s “Let’s Discuss” topic: What are your go-to winter survival essentials? Clothing, barn gear, gadgets … tell us what gets you through in the comments section below!
We can always count on Horseware to get us into the holiday spirit. This is the company whose signature blanket is green and red, after all!
They’re back this year with a new Christmas commercial featuring top riders, ponies with impressive tree decorating skills, one very adorable little kid, and some magical snowglobe action.
For the commercial, Horseware once again partnered with world renowned horse trainer Emma Massingale and her amazing Connemara ponies, whom you may recognize from other Rambo videos including this one from a couple years back. You’ll also spot top #teamhorseware riders including Carl Hester, Cian O’Connor, Ingrid Klimke and, one celebrity horse, the famous Valegro. The video also features Horseware CEO Tom MacGuinness and a very talented four-year-old boy named Blue.
What’s your Horseware Wish this season? This year, Horseware is giving us 25 days of #horsewarewishes. Check out Horseware’s Facebook page for more details!
Eventers gotta keep themselves entertained in the off-season somehow! As such, Rebecca Farm is gearing up to host its first skijoring (think: skiing behind horses) competition on Dec. 30-31.
It’s actually the first time Rebecca Farm, located just west of Kalispell, Montana, has ever held an event during the winter months.
“Many folks associate Rebecca Farm with eventing in the summer, so we’re thrilled to try something new, and bring a different kind of sporting event to Rebecca Farm in the winter,” says organizer Sarah Broussard. “Not only is skijoring a unique sport in itself, it is so much fun to watch.”
Derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning “ski driving,” skijoring is a winter sport that combines skiing and horseback riding. The sport consists of a horse pulling a skier through an obstacle course, all while hitting jumps that range in size from three feet to nine feet high. Competitors are judged based on how long it takes for them to run the track, which stretches approximately 850 feet from start to finish.
Fortunately for the organizers, no major changes will need to be made to the Rebecca Farm course in order to host the competition. “It is not so much about changing anything on the farm,” Sarah says. “It is more about making sure we have enough snow.”
In the event the farm does not receive enough snow before the competition, Sarah will have it trucked in, she says.
Those that finish the course the fastest will be awarded a cash prize, known as the “total purse.” This year’s purse, to be raised via sponsorships, will total up to $25,000. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s competition will be donated to Halt Cancer at X, an initiative created by Sarah that raises funds for breast cancer research and support services.
Last year’s skijoring competition, hosted by the West Shore Visitors Bureau in Lakeside, welcomed nearly 100 competitors and thousands of spectators over two days. Sarah hopes even more are able to make it to this year’s event.
“People come from all over to experience skijoring in the Flathead,” Sarah says, noting that some people come from as far as Colorado to both attend and compete. “We look forward to carrying on this community tradition, and hope to see even more faces rallying behind this festive sport in December.”
Even with a seasoned organizing team in place, there will still be a need for lots of enthusiastic assistance. Participation and support of the community, through both sponsorship and volunteers, will be vital in making the event possible, according to the organizers. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Heidi Diegel at [email protected] For more information regarding sponsorship, contact Marcia Spano at [email protected]
Edited from a press release.
Every time we go Novice something happens. We were third after dressage then in stadium we had a great round except for one jump which was totally my fault. Then we had a great cross country. Disappointed in not finishing on my dressage score but always happy with my boy. . . . #dressage #threedayeventing #thoroughbred #like4like #eventing #ottb #xc #crosscountry #showjumping #stadium #equine #equestrian #halt #salute #show #jump
That’s a wrap for USEA events in 2017! The final sanctioned horse trial of the year was held at Sporting Days Farm in Aiken, SC. The venue hosts four horse trials a year and on behalf of the eventing community, we wish to thank Joannah Hall Glass for generously sharing her farm as well as all the organizers, officials, volunteers and competitors who have made Sporting Days the longest continually running event in Aiken.
Click here to view the farm’s winter/spring calendar of events which including both recognized and unrecognized horse trials and cross country school.
Weekend winners (see complete results here):
Intermediate/Prelim: Susie Beale & Canny Calypso (44.9)
Prelim: Julie Richards & Fernhill Rodger (31.4)
Prelim Rider: Stephanie Sills & Vino del Porto (34.6)
Prelim/Training: Brittany Kart & Filomena (40.7)
Training: Katie Lichten & Sapphire Blue B (35.0)
Training Horse: Susie Beale & Metropolitan (32.1)
Training Rider: Susan Cipolla & Run the World (31.1)
Training Young Rider: Clara Richards & Fernhill Prada (34.6)
Training/Novice: Heather Bush & Spectre 007 (54.4)
Novice: Laurie Wettstone & Fandango (25.8)
Novice Horse: Jessica Schultz & Let It Slam (32.3)
Novice Rider: Jean Fowler & Friend of Bill W (33.0)
Novice Young Rider: Marley Fossett & Full Gallop’s Red Headed Step Child (38.3)
Beginner Novice Horse: Morgan Batton & Absolut Harmony (31.8)
Beginner Novice Rider: MeriJane Sayre & Legend (35.8)
Beginner Novice Young Rider: Alexa Brogna & Jax (31.3)
Intro: Lara Anderson & FGF Rienzi (36.1)
Here are a few of your Instagram photos and videos from the weekend that was!
SO super proud of student @ad.eventing for her AWESOME 4th place Novice finish at her first horse trial ever this weekend at Sporting Days! This was also her horse, Donovan’s first horse trial, and Andi couldn’t have done a better job riding and preparing him! #proudtrainer #sportingdaysfarm #eventing ❤️❤️❤️
What’s in Your Arena? is an EN series sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs. Have an exercise to share? Email it to [email protected]!
What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? The answer, if you subscribe to truths put forth by Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is “42.” An effortlessly basic answer to a mind-twist of a question that has baffled thinking human beings for centuries. A two-digit number, which took a supercomputer purpose-designed to answer the question seven-and-a-half million years to deduce. Simply: 42.
In her most recent Bad Eventer blog post, two-star rider and noted eventing philosopher Laura Szeremi lights the fuse on this stick of cerebral dynamite:
Which is more important: having the right canter, or being able to see the distance?
A question that is basically the jumping equivalent of “What is the meaning of life, etc.” And when it comes to answering it, things can get pretty heated. We’ll let Laura take it from here (for the illustrated version, check out her original blog post):
“Without fail every single person I have ever lessoned with (and there have been quite a few in my *cough* four decades in this sport) has had a strong opinion on this subject.
“It’s just not a lukewarm area like … lettuce. Most people don’t get overly passionate about lettuce. They’ll eat it in a taco, or on a sandwich. But they won’t get their blood pressure up over loving or hating lettuce.
“But this canter vs distance concept? Holy cow — I’ve seen otherwise calm trainers cross over into frothing-at-the-mouth-zealots when discussing this topic.
“For many years I’ve had my own opinion on the subject, which is a complex equation relating rider skill to the size of the fence as compared to the scope of the horse.
“But recently I had one of those I’m-an-idiot epiphanies and thought I might not be alone.
“Here’s the rub:
“What the hell is “the right canter”? And how on earth do you know when you have it?
“I had a jump school where things didn’t go quite perfectly.
“And while I was thinking about bits and lines and sensitive horses and all the things that seemed to be going wrong, the fearless leader steps in and says something like, ‘Your canter sucks, you were just hammering down to everything being Bad Eventer.’
“He hadn’t called me out on ‘being Bad Eventer’ in a LONG time.
“A quick perusal of articles on ‘the right canter’ gives me a lot of hocus pocus answers saying things like it’s ‘in the flat work,’ ‘it’s about an uphill balance,’ etc. Not that any of that is wrong, but it still doesn’t tell you how you know when you have that magical canter.
“That’s when I figured out that calling it ‘the right canter’ leads you down the wrong path.
“It has more to do with rhythm and adjustability than the canter itself. You can have a beautiful uphill canter on a 12′ stride and it’s still not the right canter if you ask the horse to move up or slow down and nothing happens.
“The other piece of the puzzle I only discovered when I changed horses … and this secret of the universe is that the canter can’t change unless you want it to.
“I was cantering around a tight turn to a fence, and for the first time in my life I saw that I was going to meet the fence perfectly before I had even made the turn.
“That had never happened before.
“It turns out that the WonderPony, as amazing as he was, never gave me the same stride to anything. He bombed around cross country like the epic XC machine he is.
“But our stadium demons were real.
“And now I know a big piece of that puzzle was that we never had a consistent stride.
“Sooooooo. Part of the elusive ‘right canter’ is one that doesn’t change unless you ask it to, and that changes immediately, when you ask it to.
“This exercise turned out to be more of the answer than I knew.”
Canter pole Olympics! Turned a 5 stride line into a 10 & a 3! #Boom #Zebrasaurus #BadEventer
Posted by BadEventer on Friday, January 27, 2017
“Canter pole Olympics! Turned a five-stride line into a 10 and a three!”
And there you have it, folks. Two canter poles, set 72′ apart. A galaxy of possibility. How many strides can you fit in or take away, while keeping the step length perfectly even? Do try this at home!
Thinking about throwing your hat in the ring of this year’s Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover? Do it! The trainer application process opened yesterday, Dec. 1, and runs through Jan. 15, 2018, with trainer approvals to be announced on Feb. 1.
For roundabout the cost of a regular horse trial, you could not only jump-start the career of an off-track horse but also be part of the biggest OTTB lovefest of the year. The 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium takes place October 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park and will feature competition in 10 disciplines ranging from eventing to barrel racing and polo.
Horses and their trainers will compete for $100,000 in prize money and the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred. The event includes seminars, demonstrations, a sponsor fair, and a livestreamed finale featuring the top five horses in each discipline. Many of the horses are offered for sale, so it’s one-stop Thoroughbred shopping at its finest.
Detailed information is available at the RRP website’s 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover page but here’s a fast and dirty eventer’s guide:
How do I apply to be a Makeover trainer?
The Makeover is open to all members of RPP so if you aren’t already you’ll need to join. Membership is $45 a year and has several perks including a one-year subscription to Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, a copy of Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, a free ticket to the Thoroughbred Makeover, discounts from sponsors and other benefits. Professionals, amateurs and juniors are all welcome to apply.
The next step is filling out an online trainer application, which asks for competition highlights, references, and videos of your riding skills. The application window is Dec. 1, 2017 through Jan. 15, 2018.
There’s a $200 entry fee; if not accepted the fee will be returned minus a $25 processing fee.
Is my OTTB eligible?
The Makeover is open to Jockey Club registered horses that raced or had a published work after July 1, 2016. They must not have begun training for a second career before Dec. 1, 2017 other than a maximum of 15 allowable rides or training sessions that introduce skills specific to non-racing careers. Some trainers will already have horses identified and others will begin a search after they are approved. Trainers can contract with owners or acquire the horse themselves.
What does it cost?
There’s a $200 entry fee; if not accepted the fee will be returned minus a $25 processing fee. Other expenses, such as stabling at the competition, are outlined here.
What if I need to withdraw my OTTB?
Trainers may withdraw a horse from the Makeover at any time using the online Makeover Horse Withdrawal Form. Trainers may replace a scratched horse with any eligible horse as late as August 1, 2018. Replacement horses must be registered with the online Makeover Horse Registration Form.
What does the Makeover competition for eventing entail?
Format for dressage: All horses will perform USEF 2018 Beginner Novice Eventing Test A in a small arena (20m x 40m).
Format for Show Jumping: All horses will be judged over a course set at dimensions for United States Eventing Association (USEA) Beginner Novice (2’7” maximum), Novice (2’11” maximum), or Training (3’3” maximum). Trainers will select their level with their final entry form in August.
Format for Cross Country: All horses will be judged over a cross country course of approximately 12 obstacles. Each obstacle will have at least two options, one at Beginner Novice dimensions (2’7”) and the other at Novice (2’11”). Optional fences may be offered for riders to demonstrate a higher level of training as well. Riders should jump the obstacle choice that best demonstrates the quality and level of their horse’s training. They need not jump all fences at the same level.
Finale: The top three scoring horses will compete for additional points in the finale, demonstrating basic work on the flat and jumping a course that includes show jumps and cross country portables in the covered arena.
Attire and equipment should adhere to that described in USEF Rules for Eventing. Horses can earn a maximum of 100 points per each of the three phases. Overall scores will be the sum of the scores from each of the three phases. Ties will be broken by the cross country score, then show jumping, then dressage. Final placing for the top five finishers will be based on the sum of their three scores plus a fourth score awarded during the finale.
What happens after the Makeover is over?
Owners can choose to keep their horses at the end of the process or offer them for sale. The Makeover Horse Sale is not an auction but an opportunity for buyers and sellers to do business in a setting that allows trial rides, pre-purchase exams and observation of horses in competition.
For much more information, visit the RRP website’s 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover page.
Go OTTBs. Go Eventing.
Did you catch any of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving? I cannot imagine the primping, preening spa routines those dogs must go through on a daily basis.
Although, is this year’s “best in show” even a dog? Looks like a grumpy ewok to me.
Barn dogs have more fun, no doubt! Here are a few of yours just out there living their best lives, in all their messy glory.
… and a cat, just because we’re equal opportunity like that!
Oh hay there! Welcome to yet another incarnation of #EventerProblems. This time, probably because I’m hungry and there is nothing in my fridge except beer, scary week-old Thanksgiving leftovers and some vials of Adequan, we’re featuring a very special food and drink edition.
Fran wanted to learn about poetry this morning. She really ate up the concepts. #fran #francescalucia #ladylokee #chelokee #ladyspeaker #thoroughbred #filly #twoyearold #eventerproblems #eventing #eventer #eventingnation #eventersofinstagram #horsesofinstagram #snhu #snhuonline #snhucreativewriting #poetry #creativewriting
The 2028 U.S. Eventing Team is already out there somewhere, and it’s up to us all to nurture their talent and their big dreams. “2028 Olympic Talent Watch” is an (adorable) new series in which we identify junior eventers who are already exhibiting the heart and the guts to lead American eventing to glory in the (distant) future. Any short-stirrup riders you know come to mind? Email us their story at [email protected]
The only complaint that Kai Ekis, age 7, has about riding horses is that he sometimes gets mistaken for a girl.
From Jill Ekis, his mother: “You don’t see many boys out there. He always says, ‘Mom! Can’t they see I’m wearing a tie?’ I try to explain, ‘At your age, Kai, you all look the same under the helmet but a few more years in this and people will start to remember you. Especially if you work hard.’ That makes him happy.”
Kai has been around horses since he was a baby, as Jill rides and his dad was part of the Allegheny County Mounted Police when he was on patrol and rode horses in riot gear for crowd control. Jill rides as well, Kai inherited the horse bug and has been in a riding program for the past two and a half years, and 2017 was his first year of competing.
“I certainly didn’t expect him to take to riding like he did,” Jill says. “As a mom we all hope our kids love it but you just never know.”
His sport of choice? Eventing!
Kai’s trainer Heather Birkmire of Silver Crest Equestrian Center, near Pittsburgh, Pa., is an eventer and OTTB enthusiast. She compliments her young pupil’s natural abilities and instincts, and noting his uncommon drive and courage not often seen in riders his age.
His dressage training comes from Karen Pikovsky of 4R Horse Training, who pulled him out of the kids’ program to instruct him when he was starting to pick concepts up quickly.
Although Kai sticks to ponies for competition, he will jump just about any horse suitable to his size. Jill recently purchased a 13-year-old OTTB eventer whom she plans on showing next season, and the hope is that Kai will grow into the OTTB someday. Kai and Jill ride together and have started training with Dark Horse Farms and Amanda Wilson Eventing.
At Kai’s first combined test, Jill says she was nervous. Kai had gotten a bit nervous the day before when his pony refused a wall during a schooling session, plus they were running late to show jumping and Kai hadn’t yet learned the course.
But Kai rose to the occasion. Jill recalls, “He watched a girl ride through once and gave the thumbs up to his trainer, and we both sat back and watched him rock it like a champ without any sign of stress and we really knew he had something special. He works amazing well under pressure and continues to surprise his family and trainers alike.”
Kai’s latest competition wasn’t a combined test or mini trial but 2-foot classes at hunter show to help him get past his nerves of jumping walls.
“I know there are plenty of kids out there who jump, but he does it with such bravery and challenges himself to take the next steps,” Jill says.
Best of luck to Kai! Hang in there, buddy — you have plenty of great male role models to look up to in this sport!
The 2022 World Equestrian Games is the hot potato of equestrian championships — nobody seems to hang onto it for very long. To recall, in December 2016 the FEI named Lexington and Slovakia’s Samorin the official candidates to host the WEG; then, in January, the Kentucky Horse Park withdrew itself from consideration, explaining that they did not think it would be “economically feasible,” leaving the Samorin Equestrian Centre as the only official bidder.
But at last week’s FEI General Assembly, it was announced that Samorin had decided to not sign the WEG host agreement and had subsequently withdrawn its bid. The FEI Bureau has decided to reopen the bidding process under a revised timeline, with the host to be allotted at the FEI Bureau meeting in November 2018.
“We are confident there will be candidates, but these are complex Games and we need to make sure we do it right,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos told the General Assembly.
Loads of candidates, we’re sure! Step right up!
We thought we’d kick-start the nomination process. Which brings us to this week’s “Let’s Discuss” question: Who would you like to see host the 2022 WEG? Think outside the box and remember — in this thought experiment, at least, money is no object!
It doesn’t have to be an established equestrian venue like Lexington or Tryon; consider the 2014 Normandy WEG’s conversion of a soccer stadium into its main arena. Lots of swanky NFL stadiums sitting around here collecting dust in the offseason, just sayin’. Maybe you’d like to see cross country run through Central Park or Augusta National Golf Club, or the rainforest or the Mongolian steppe. Dream big! Who knows, the FEI seems to be grasping for straws anyway, maybe we can shake loose a lead or two.
Share your wildest 2022 WEG fantasy venue in the comments section below!
I love horsey holiday traditions. Growing up my family’s Thanksgiving tradition was attending Tennessee Valley Hunt’s opening day meet, my two sisters and I riding and my parents following along in the tally ho wagon. The hunt was hosted by a beautiful farm nestled in a bend of the Holston River, and the sight of horses and hounds in the early morning mist could have been a Christmas card. There were bagpipes and warm cider and a big breakfast afterward, and I’ll always be thankful for those memories, and for my family and our horses and the incredible community of horse people who made it possible.
I know many Area 3 eventers feel the same way about Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trials. It’s a special event, the penultimate on the 2017 calendar, and many thanks to Janet and Glenn Wilson for opening their arms to the eventing family during the holidays.
A rundown of the weekend’s winners:
Open Prelim: Carmen Schatte & Lady Elvira (30.5)
Prelim/Training: Elizabeth Henry & Charlotte La Bouff (32.8)
Open Training: Emily Beshear & Shame on the Moon (29.3)
Training Rider A: Erin Jarboe & Sir Rockstar (42.6)
Training Rider B: Amy Kaplan & FGF Salisbury Knight (36.1)
Training/Novice: Mellisa Warden & Schikeria (34.9)
Open Novice A: Kate Brown & Dylano Q (25.3)
Open Novice B: Alex Martone & Goldpower (30.8)
Novice Rider A: Jenny Tucker Brinkley & Guinness X (29.3)
Novice Rider B: Emily Thomas & Ohio (33.8)
Open Beginner Novice: Pippa Moon & Bling (30.3)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Marlena Schlerman & The Golden Ticket (32.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Elise Mooney & First Lyte (27.9)
See final results here.
A few of your photos from the event:
The weekend started out a bit disappointed with my dressage error but boy did things get put into perspective. A horse fell on cross country (at a higher level than I will ever ride) and was humanely euthanized reminding us all to kiss our friends extra. We came here to tackle my fear of riding on hills and we had a blast on cross country! Somehow we moved up to a 5th place finish! For outrageously detailed accounts of our weekend visit @eventing_husband to see his account of our first trip out of state! #eventingnation #marioncountysporthorse #goeventing #eventinghusband #missyelliot #pinetopeventing
What an amazing weekend at Pine Top! Ziggy and I completed our first clear training cross country! I feel that we have come so far since the beginning of the summer, particularly my confidence and nerves! Super excited for next season and so thankful for my amazing team! Proudly partnered with: @buckwildbreeches #buckwildbreeches #horsesofinstagram #ziggystardust #bigtimeeventing #areyoubigtime #eventing #usea
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.
Since it’s Black Friday, I put together a list of black (or, in some cases, technically dark brown, but for all practical purposes they look black) three- and four-star horses from the past five or so years. Who is the sexiest of them all? Let’s put it to a vote!
Before you slaughter me in the comments for leaving out your favorite black horse, keep in mind that the list is meant to be recent (sorry, Charisma!) and not all-inclusive — I’m just working off the top of my head, and said head is still running a bit slow from the all-day booze cruise that was Thanksgiving Day. But do feel free to write-in vote for other horses!
Shopping for your horse is way more fun than shopping for, say, that sister-in-law who kept giving you judge-y looks during Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. “Like, what, is there hay in my hair or something?” you ask your husband afterward. “Of course not,” he replies. “But … there is a green slobber stain on your sweater.”
It happens. Well, nothing like a little Black Friday retail therapy to make everything right, and if you’ve been scouring the Internet for sales you’ve come to the right place! We’ve teamed up with our amazing advertisers to compile a list of deals and special promotions you don’t want to miss.
Black Country Saddles is giving away five tubs of Leather Balsam. Like and comment on this Facebook post for a chance to win! The contest ends Nov. 30. It’s Black Friday … seems a fitting time to consider a new or pre-owned Black Country Saddle! Click here to visit the website.
Horseware Ireland is offering 20% and free shipping on Triple Crown custom rugs and accessories. Keep your eyes peeled after Thanksgiving for exclusive online offers to their full range of custom blankets, plus new additions to the TCC range! Click here to shop.
Majyk Equipe is having a Black Friday Flash Sale, with specials happening all day. Between now and Dec. 22 receive a holiday gift bag/backpack with every boot pair purchase. Click here to shop. Hot tip: Majyk’s brand new SIZE SMALL (!) Color Elite XC Boots drop today! Check out Jenni’s review of them here.
Nupafeed USA is offering a special one-day only Cyber Monday sale. Details haven’t yet been released (I hope it involves their game-changing L-Carnitine supplement because I am out!), but we’ll be keeping an eye out! Click here to shop.
Professional’s Choice is offering deep discounts on a variety of products including boots, blankets, saddle pads, wraps, spurs, rider apparel, barn supplies and even gear for your dog! We’re talking quality items sold at half or even a third of their retail value! Click here to shop English clearance items.
SmartPak is offering 15% off all purchases, plus free shipping on orders over $75 and a free hat on orders over $100. Use coupon code Holiday17. They will also have special doorbuster deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Click here to shop. PLUS SmartPak’s 25 Deals of Christmas started this week to bring you up to 50% savings on special products all through the holidays. Click here to sign up for the 25 Deals of Christmas and receive a new deal in your inbox each day.
Tack of the Day‘s Black Friday offerings include price-slashed HUG Big & Tall rugs and Mountain Horse outerwear. Click here to shop.
Tipperary Equestrian is offering 20% off any purchase you make from PhoenixPerformance.com. Shop helmets (check out Wylie’s review of the new 8700 Sportage Hybrid here), cross country vests and more! Use the coupon code BLKF2017. Click here to shop.
World Equestrian Brands is kicking off the holidays with a Black Friday through Cyber Monday Storewide Sale! Get 20% off all online orders (some exclusions apply). Enter coupon code WAHOO at checkout. Plus, get free shipping between now from now through Dec. 14! And keep an eye on their Facebook page as they kick off “15 Days of Magic” to score amazing deals on top brands. Click here to shop.
Know of any awesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for horse enthusiasts? Let us know in the comments below. Go Shopping!
‘Tis the season for pumpkin ALL THE THINGS.
Need jump decoration? Kick some pumpkins out there!
Need a horse? Look no further than the world’s most versatile squash.
And this photo really just speaks for itself:
And pumpkin spice isn’t just for Starbucks lattes anymore. Pumpkin spice bit wipes, pumpkin spice dewormer, pumpkin spice helmet spray … Kristen Kovatch posits the philosophical question, “If you’re not pumpkin spicing everything, are you even really experiencing fall?” and considers all the possible equestrian pumpkin spice applications in this post over at Horse Nation.
But how about pumpkin event horse horse names? The following names are registered in the USEA horse database:
For some of them, the inspiration behind their name was pretty obvious: the horses are largely chestnuts, as well as one palomino and strawberry roan. But Natalie Hollis’ Thoroughbred mare My Pumpkin Pie is … a plain bay?
Aside from a grandsire named Marshmallow Pie, Natalie wasn’t sure what the story was behind her horse’s name. So she turned to her breeder, Virginia Benz, a dear family friend who owned Natalie’s Advanced horse. Virginia stood the Thoroughbred at her farm in southern Illinois and bred a few purpose-bred-for-eventing Thoroughbreds each year. Natalie has had several of My Pumpkin Pie’s siblings and reports that all are doing well at eventing, dressage and jumpers.
Virginia’s answer: “Guess it was my ‘fruit and veggies’ period. Had two fillies — one was Peaches and the other Pumpkin, couldn’t register her as Pumpkin, so it was My Pumpkin Pie.”
Fair enough! Best of luck to My Pumpkin Pie, who has been on a tear at the Beginner Novice level, winning her last three events with Cindy Anderson in the irons while Natalie recovers from a torn meniscus in her knee.
Happy Thanksgiving, EN, and may all your pumpkin wishes come true!
In case you missed them, check out these previous editions of Event Horse Names: Authors, Books & Characters, Battle of the Booze, The Empire Business, Monster Trucks, Celebrities, Snow, St. Paddy’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas and What’s For Breakfast?
We were super excited to see that Major League Eventing has launched a series of training videos featuring visiting trainers from all three eventing phases. Their first episode features USEA Level III instructor Richard Lamb, who demonstrates one of his favorite jumping exercises: a series of three or four bounces set on a curve. Richard says he uses this scalable exercise for horses and riders of all levels to help improve bend, become more active and learn to use their whole body.
A note from Richard: “I would like to thank Rob Bowersox for inviting me to be the clinician for his first video on his new venture Major League Eventing. We had a great time shooting the footage over two days. And I want to thank Martha Nevins and her husband Michael for hosting me while we shot the video during a clinic I was teaching. Marti also very generously allowed two of her nice young horses to be featured in the video. Marti is riding Spencer, her 5 rising 6 yr-old OTTB who is starting his career as a show jumper. In the second part of the video, I am sitting on her nice young 6-year-old old mare GiGi, by Judgment, a Grand Prix show jumping stallion standing at Iron Springs Farm.”
We can’t wait for the next video!
“Major League Training” episode #2 coming soon!
If you follow Laura Szeremi (a la BadEventer, a misnomer because she is actually very good!) on social media, you may have noticed that her horses have been looking like something out of an African safari of late. When it comes to body clipping, Laura encourages her groom, Tegan Henderson, to … shall we say … take a walk on the wild side! Recently, we caught up with Tegan to ask her a few questions about herself and her body clipping magicianry. #TeganIsAWizard
EN: What’s your riding background?
Tegan: I grew up with horses and ponies in my backyard (and sometimes in the house) and fell in love with three-day eventing through my years in the Southern New England Region Pony Club. My mother gave me my base in equitation as a child/young adult and I was later taught by Jeanie Clarke, a New England native, who I eventually followed to Ocala, FL.
EN: When did you get into grooming?
Tegan: When I moved to Ocala in 2014, it wasn’t long before I realized this was the place to be! I changed my address, shaved my scruffy dog, and settled in. I had previously only groomed for myself at home and thus, there was a lot of blundering and learning to be had during my first couple years. In 2016 I started as a part time groom for the OG herself, The BadEventer … and now she’s somehow stuck with me as her full time groom/barn manager/support crew!
EN: What does your average day look like?
Tegan: Hmmm, let’s say this is our average jump day because those are more fun. I start at Laura’s farm, Lazer Ray Stables, to feed and do morning chores. We head over to the Holling’s right down the road to jog up all the competition horses and then we start the fun part. I’ll get horses ready for Laura and if it isn’t too tight of a schedule I’ll come watch and video her lessons before getting the next horse ready. Between her, the horses and Jon Holling there is sure to be antics and some good blog fodder. After lessons I’ll ice and clean tack then head back to Lazer Ray to feed and do evening chores.
EN: Laura is one of my favorite people in the sport. What’s it like to work for her?
Tegan: We have a blast together! I think what makes us a fun team is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Good horsemanship is crucial to us both, and nothing is more important than the well-being of the horses and our sport. BUT Laura has managed to retain a sense of her inner child in the BadEventer that myself and many others appreciate. I’m not sure I’ll ever grow up, but I do get to express my youthful adoration for the horses through my clip jobs, and people seem to think they’re a real laugh which is great.
EN: You’ve come up with some very creative clips! What’s the inspiration behind them?
Tegan: My inspiration comes from the horses nicknames and show names. I have an immature sense of humor that lends itself to the whimsical or funny sense I want to create with them. I hope everyone can either laugh at them or say “Dammit, that’s amazing!” Hopefully they’ll say both.
EN: What are some of your favorites?
Tegan: So far my favorites have been the spiderwebs and the zebra! Zima has been shaved like a zebra for about a week and I still crack up everytime I see him.
EN: I HATE body clipping with a passion. Do you have any clipping wizardry pro tips for the rest of us?
Tegan: Well it always starts with a thorough bath! I plan in advance what pattern or image I want to shave and where I’m going to put it. Once I have my image I’ll draw it onto the horse with sharpie. Black works on most colors but if you’ve got a dark horse silver is the way to go. If you don’t feel confident drawing freehand you can always print and trace your image onto the horse. Utilize space, bigger shapes will be easier to shave. Once I have my design in place I just shave around it! I also always do the design portion of the clip first. That way if it doesn’t turn out the way I want, I can just try again on the other side or in some other location.
EN: Do you take on other clipping clients?
Tegan: When I have time I love to clip for other clients, especially when we can make something special or funny that people will really enjoy!
Thanks for sharing, Tegan. Best of luck to the BadEventer dream team in 2018!