Leslie Wylie
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Leslie Wylie


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Truth? Your Horse Doesn’t See That Jump Like You Do

In this excerpt from her book Horse Brain, Human Brain, brain scientist and horsewoman Janet Jones explains the difference between what you see on course and what your horse sees.

Illustration from the book “Horse Brain, Human Brain.”

Horses often give the impression of superb eyesight. Walking in an open field, a bird flicks a wing and they’ll raise their heads, point their ears, quiver their nostrils, and widen their eyes with what seems to be intense focus on the bird’s location. Some trainers refer to this as the look of an eagle, and it is indeed an impressive display of intelligence and sensitivity.

However, the reason for it depends less on good vision than bad vision. Horses try to improve blurry views by raising their heads and enlarging their eyes. Their ears perk up to listen because they can’t see stationary details well. Their nostrils expand to optimize an excellent sense of smell.

Equine eyes are eight times larger than human eyes, larger than those of any other land mammal. But a horse’s acuity is considerably worse than ours. Acuity refers to the ability to make tiny discriminations in detail while focusing on something in the center of the visual field. Reading is a great example for humans—right now, your eyes are picking up tiny differences in the black marks on a page. You can see the difference between an “e” and a “c,” for example. The distinction is meaningful—witness the confusion if you misread that you have “cars” on both sides of your head.

By convention, normal human acuity is 20/20. What a person with normal vision can see from a distance of 20 feet is the same as what you see from a distance of 20 feet—if you have normal vision. But normal equine acuity ranges from 20/30 to 20/60.

Let’s consider the visually gifted (20/30) horse first. Details you can see from 30 feet away, a sharp-eyed horse can only see from 20 feet away. In other words, he has to be 50 percent closer to see the same details—he has half your acuity. What if your sweetie-pie is near the low end of normal equine acuity at 20/60? Details you make out from 60 feet away, he cannot see until approaching within 20 feet. That’s a 200 percent impairment compared to human vision!

Even the 50 percent deficiency is enough for any rider to consider. Imagine what a horse sees when the two of you approach a jump. For you, it’s clear, sharp, and bright. You’d be mighty nervous if it looked fuzzy and faded. But equestrians are often startled to see photographs constructed to show what a jump looks like to a horse. Even in sunshine, the horse’s view of a jump is blurry, hazy, dim, flat, vague—all the adjectives you’d rather not deliberate as you’re galloping 30 feet per second to a big oxer that could break your neck.

Beyond the normal range from 20/30 to 20/60, horses differ in individual acuity just as people do. Twenty-three percent of horses are nearsighted (they do not see details clearly until they get much closer than equine normal to an object). Forty- three percent of horses are far-sighted (able to see more clearly only as they get farther away). It stands to reason that slightly far-sighted horses excel in disciplines like jumping because the ability to drill down on fine points from a distance fuels their athleticism.

Acuity for objects close to us worsens with age because the natural lens inside human and equine eyes hardens over time. If you’re over 50, you know what I’m talking about. The best acuity in horses occurs around age seven. Prior to that it’s not fully developed, and afterward it begins to decay. Breed makes a difference, too. Horses with long convex faces, like Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds, have better acuity than horses with short concave faces, like Arabians.

This excerpt from Horse Brain, Human Brain by Janet Jones is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com).

Three Reasons Why We’re Counting Down the Minutes Until Stable View Oktoberfest

Phillip Dutton and Z, winners of the 2019 Stable View Oktoberfest CCI4*-S. Photo by Shelby Allen.

The stage is set for a no-miss 5th annual edition of Stable View’s Designer Builders Oktoberfest Horse Trials, to be held this year Sept. 24-27 in Aiken, South Carolina. National entries close next Tuesday, Sept. 8th — have you got yours in yet? The national divisions are filling up very quickly as is capacity for on-site stabling, so get your entries in today!

Here are five reasons why we’re extra-pumped about this year’s event.

#1. Oktoberfest 2020 is going to be bigger and better than ever. With so many event cancellations, eventers are flocking to Oktoberfest — last year’s event saw 338 horse and rider combinations entered, and this year is expected to draw even more up to a 400-entry max. “We have many more out-of-town riders than we could have expected,” says Stable View owner Barry Olliff. “Three-quarters are from out of state.”

The event is anticipating a third of its entries to be for the FEI divisions, which include a CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S, one of only two events at this level on the east coast this fall. The 1* has been canceled. As of Sept. 3 there were 36 combinations contesting the feature CCI4*-S class, which is now entering its third year, up from 27 last year.

It’s an exciting lineup with some fan-favorite five-star veterans to cheer for like Elisa Wallace with Simply Priceless, Joe Meyer with Clip Clop and Johnny Royale, Waylon Roberts and Lancaster, Hallie Coon with Celien, Matt Flynn with Wizzerd, and Doug Payne with Vandiver (winner in the 2019 CCI3*-S class). Plus four-star never-bet-against-’ems like Colleen Rutledge with multiple four-star winner Covert Rights, Liz Halliday-Sharp with Fernhill by Night, Doug and his Pan Am partner Starr Witness, Dana Cooke with her Pan Am partner FE Mississippi, Sara Mittleider with her West Coast four-star winner La Paz. We’ll also see the return of Sydney Conley Elliott with QC Diamantaire, who finished 3rd here in 2019, as well as Will Faudree and Caeleste, who finished 4th. Clayton Fredericks’ FE Stormtrooper is hot off a win in the Advanced at Chatt Hills. Jacob Fletcher will be out with his four-star winner Van Gough and 5o1 Mischief Managed, who finished 2nd here in the 3* in 2019. Rebecca Brown is hitting up her first four-star as a partner to Jenny Caras’ former ride Fernhill Fortitude, as well as Dassett Choice.  The other divisions are stacked as well — Boyd Martin just popped up on the CCI3*-S roster with two rides — and we’re excited to see Maddie McElduff go round the CCI3*-S with Spring Easy, whom she’s purchased from Caroline Martin, as well as Jennie Brannigan’s great partner Cambalda in Intermediate. We could keep going!

Suffice it to say, it’s a heck of a field and we’ll look forward to seeing in-house stats guru Maggie Deatrick’s “By the Numbers” predictions for who will take the CCI4*-S win (she was just one off the mark in 2019). And during the event Shelby Allen will be EN’s boots on the ground, bringing you all the action, so do be sure to keep it locked here!

The other two thirds of entries will comprise the National horse trials, which will include Beginner Novice through Intermediate divisions. To accommodate there are 275 permanent stalls, 75 of which are deluxe with paddocks — horses who are at Stable View as a stopgap between events can stay up to six days with no extra charge. And then they are working with Fredericks Equestrian International Stabling to accommodate up to another 160 horses with premium temporary stalls.

Zeus is out and about on mask patrol! Photo courtesy of Stable View.

#2. Stable View takes safety seriously. We know that eventers want to feel confident going out competing amidst a pandemic that they’re going to be as safe as possible. Throughout 2020 this venue has led the way as an exemplary example of an event that is being conscientious of the current environment (view Stable View’s social distancing guidelines here) and also sensitive to the plight of competitors in these uncertain times, generously offering a full refund should their horse trials get canceled for any reason. Spectators are discouraged but here’s a #protip workaround — sign up for a volunteer position here!

For Oktoberfest Stable View is upping the ante, hiring special security duty to not only look after competitors’ effects but also keep an eye on the barn to make sure that everyone is adhering to safety protocol, including the USEF mandate that masks be worn when not mounted. Also, honorary security guard Zeus will be out strutting his stuff and keep an eye on business — mark my words, you don’t want to cross a toy poodle!

Unfortunately there won’t be a competitors party this year and the rider lounges won’t be open, due to social distancing protocol. But you can bet Stable View’s signature hospitality will be back with a vengeance once this virus is in the rearview, and until then we applaud the event for doing its part to keep our sport going in the most responsible way possible.

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection finished 2nd in the 2019 Oktoberfest CCI4*-S. Photo by Shelby Allen.

#3. Stable View just keeps upping its game. Last year’s first runner up in the CCI4*-S, Lynn Symansky, told EN afterward that she wasn’t familiar with the venue before visiting for the team training sessions in advance of the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru. After that she made it her plan to return. “I saw everything they were doing with the facility and track,” she said. “I was so impressed with their commitment, which is why I decided to come back.”

Stable View has never been content to rest on its laurels when it comes to self-improvement. From footing to stabling to course design, the venue just keeps one-upping itself. The cross country footing is reliably top-notch, as is the course design by Capt. Mark Phillips for the FEI levels and  Mogie Bearden-Muller for the national divisions. Capt. Phillips says he feels confident he can make it stateside to tend to his roles at Stable View and Tryon International Equestrian Center, but just in case the event has extensive notes from him — “so it will be a real Mark course,” says Barry, no matter what — and they have John Williams on call as backup.

The devil is in the details, and Stable View is as detail-oriented as they come. The event leaves no stone unturned to bring competitors the very best possible experience. For example: With so many divisions running and jumps flagged, Barry admits that the cross country course may look pretty busy. They’ll be removing obstacles from the course as the event goes, as to look less intimidating and cut down on distractions for the national divisions. “We cater to the lower levels as well as the upper levels,” Barry says.

Also … Zeus! Photo courtesy of Stable View.

Ready to get your entry in? Here’s the USEA calendar listing. If you can’t make it to Oktoberfest, Stable View has two more Eventing Academy schooling weekends this fall (Oct. 17-18, Nov. 14-15 and Dec. 12-13) as well as dressage and hunter/jumper shows. You can view a full calendar of events on the website here.


Germany Wins the Nations Cup in Strzegom; Ingrid Klimke Is 1st & 2nd on Individual Podium

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

German riders were victorious in the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup in eventing, taking the top spot on both team and individual podiums. The Netherlands finished second and Poland third.

The win for the German team was guaranteed after the cross country phase, relegating the previous leaders – the Netherlands – into second place. Ingrid Klimke with SAP Asha P had the best result (2nd place on a score of 30.2) on the team, which also included Andreas Dibowski with FRH Corrida (5th), Beeke Jankowski with Tiberius 20 (7th) and Heike Jahncke with Mighty Spring (17th). SAP Asha P was the only horse in the division to post double-clear jumping rounds, moving them from 10th after dressage into the penultimate spot. The reigning European champion also won the class individually, leading from pillar to post with SAP Hale Bob OLD. They finished with a dressage score of 21.7, a four-fault show jumping round and 2.4 cross country time penalties for a final score of 28.1.

Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

The Dutch team (Merel Blom with Ceda N.O.P, Jordy Wilken with Burry SpiritRaf Kooremans with Dimitri N.O.P and Laura Hoogeven with Wicro Quibus) were in the lead after dressage and show jumping but dropped a podium step after cross country. The best result in the team and third place individually belonged to Merel Blom.

The cross country trial saw the Polish team (Mateusz Kiempa with Lassban Radovix, Joanna Pawlak with Fantastuc Frieda, Jan Kamiński with Senior and Michał Hycki with Moonshine) move up into the third place. The best result among them belonged to Mateusz Kiempa, who moved from second after show jumping into fourth due to cross country time penalties.

Yoshiaki Oiwa with Tullyoran Cruise JRA. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Placings were shuffled after cross country and then shuffled again after show jumping in the CCI4*-L division. New Zealander Jonelle Price with Grappa Nera stole the lead from husband Tim Price after cross country, but then gave it away with a rail in show jumping to Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa with Tullyoran Cruise JRAJonelle ended second with Grappa Nera and third with McClaren; Tim ended up in fourth.

More photos:

Watch a replay of CCI4*L cross country:

#LottoStrzegomHorseTrials: follow the last XC today 🔴 LIVE. Watch CCI4*-LVideo by Świat koni#shtstrzegom #wkkw #eventing

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Saturday, August 29, 2020

The win in the CCI3*-L class belonged to German rider Julia Mestern with Monarts Masterpiece. Second place went to her teammate Malin Hansen-Hotopp with Quidditch K, and Merel Blom from the Netherlands was third on Crossborder Radar Love.

The best athlete of the CCI2*-L was Merel Blom with Corminta vom Gwick. The next two places on the podium were taken by German riders: Andreas Dibowski with Calahari before Katarina Tietz with Chapeau Claque 49.

As for the short format classes, Dirk Schrade won the CCI3*-S class riding Casino 80, second place went to Arthur Duffort from France with Gredington Mailthyme, and Sonja Buck with Carla Bruni finished third. Greta Busacker from Germany was the best in the Young Riders category with Coco Maurice 2 and Julia Gillmaier from Poland took home the third place, riding Red Sunrise 2Dirk Schrade was first and third in the CCI2*-S class with Cold Red Rum and La Duma. Second place went to Ingrid Klimke riding Cascamara. The best Junior rider was Greta Busacker aboard Scrabble 15. The CCI1* Intro was won by Sophie Leube (GER) with Skyjacker 3.

German athletes dominated the podium of the CCIP2*-L class for ponies. Jule Krueger was the best with Steendiek’s Max Edition, Pita Schmid with Sietlands Catrina was second, and third place went to Linn Zepke with Betty Boo 14.

More than 217 horses from 17 countries competed in 11 classes at this year’s LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more videos, interviews and photo galleries.

Strzegom Links: WebsiteResultsEN’s Coverage

Saturday Video: Carter, Age 4, Is Crushing It

Photo courtesy of Anni Grandia-Dodson.

Last Saturday we met Laila Alexander, age 4, who had just completed her first mini-trial — yay Laila! This week we’d like to introduce you to another 4-year-old rising superstar, Carter Grandia-Dodson.

Mom Anni shares, “His pony is Polka Dot and he loves to do what the big kids do. He loves to go cross country schooling and jump his pony. He did his first derby a few weeks ago and won his 5-and-under division. Carter has an uncle that events in area VII, I also event and run an event, grandma and his aunt do dressage. We’re producing the next generation here in area VII!”

Photo courtesy of Anni Grandia-Dodson.

Photo courtesy of Anni Grandia-Dodson.

Photo courtesy of Anni Grandia-Dodson.

We love to see it! Go get ’em, Carter!!!

Dutch Lead Strzegom Nations Cup; Ingrid Klimke & SAP Hale Bob OLD Atop Show Jumping Scoreboard

Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

The second leg of the 2020 FEI Eventing Nations Cup series is underway at Poland’s LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials, with Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD in the individual lead and the Dutch team on top after Friday’s CCIO4*-NC-S dressage and show jumping phases.

Ingrid was on form with “Bobby,” the reigning European champion and her 2018 Tryon WEG and 2016 Rio Olympic partner. They posted a 21.7 in dressage then added a rail for a score of 25.7 heading into cross country. Ingrid also sits 10th on SAP Sasha P.

#LottoStrzegomHorseTrials: Ingrid KLIMKE – GER – SAP Hale Bob OLD result after the dressage test: 21,7Ingrid KlimkeVideo by Świat Koni#shtstrzegom #wkkw #eventing #FeiEventingNationsCup

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Saturday, August 29, 2020

Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

An interview with Ingrid Klimke, the leader after two trials in the CCI4*-S class.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Friday, August 28, 2020

“I’m very happy, especially with Bobby,” Ingrid says. “He remembered what he had done in the arena three years ago [when they won the European Championships at Strzegom], so he did a wonderful job in the dressage. He was quite excited in the jumping and a little bit fresh, so he’s ready for the cross country. Asha was quite tense in the dressage in the beginning, but then she became calm and did a wonderful round in the jumping today.”

Mateusz Kiempa and Lassban Radovix. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Polish rider Mateusz Kiempa and Lassban Radovix are 2nd individually, 1.1 points behind Ingrid.

“Dressage and jumping are Lassban’s strong suits, so I was counting on him today,” says Mateusz. “It went 100% according to our plan. You always have to be fully motivated for the cross country trial. I hope everything goes as well as it did today.”

Mateusz Kiempa and Lassban Radovix. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

The Netherlands’ Merel Blom and Ceda NOP are 3rd, and the Dutch team that also includes Laura Hoogeveen on Wicro Quibus NOP, Raf Kooremans on Dimitri NOP and Jordy Wilken on Burry Spirit lead the Nations Cup team standings. Germany sits 2nd and Austria is 3rd, followed by Poland and Italy.

Merel Blom and Ceda NOP. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

An interview with Merel Blom from team Netherlands after the jumping trial in the CCI4*-S NC class.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Friday, August 28, 2020

Cross country takes place on Saturday — take a look at the 4* courses via these videos.

Check out a bit of the coursewalk of the cross country track in the CCI4*-S Nations Cup class with Italian rider Andrea Cinncinati.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Friday, August 28, 2020

Check out the CCI4*-S coursewalk video with #2 of the world rankings – Tim Price Team Price.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday was the last day of the dressage tests in the short 3* and 2 * classes. Germany’s Dirk Schrade has the lead in both of them with Casino 80 and La Duma. The 2* class for juniors and 3* class for young riders were dominated by German rider Greta Busacker with Scrabble 15 and Coco Maurice 2. It was also a showjumping day for the 1* Intro class, led by Sophie Leube riding Skyjacker 3.

New Zealand’s Tim and Jonelle Price hold the top four positions in the CCI4*-L — you can read our dressage report on that division here.

The Strzegom live stream will be broadcast on both the event website and on Facebook. The remainder of the broadcast schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Aug. 29 
Cross Country from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CEST / 3 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

Sunday, Aug. 30 
Cross Country from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. CEST / 3:30 – 8 a.m. EDT
9:30 a.m. CEST – CCI2*-S/CCI2* -S -J cross country
12:15 p.m. CEST – CCI3*-S/CCI3* – S – YR cross country

CCIO4*-NC-S Top 10 After Show Jumping:

Strzegom Links: WebsiteTimetableStart TimesLive ScoringEN’s Coverage

Tim and Jonelle Price Dominate CCI4*-L Dressage at Strzegom

Tim Price and Wesko. Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

The first horses cantered down the centerline today at Poland’s LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials, with New Zealand’s Tim and Jonelle Price taking the top four positions in the CCI4*-L.

Tim is first and second with Wesko and Spartaco. Watch his test with Wesko, who won Luhmühlen CCI5* in 2014 and was 2nd at Kentucky and 3rd at Pau in 2015, here:

Tim PRICE riding Wesko in the CCI4*-L class with the result of 28,7 – the current leader. Tim PRICE na Wesko w klasie CCI4*-L z wynikiem 28,7 – aktualny lider konkursu.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Jonelle is third and fourth with Grappa Nera and McClaren, Sir Mark Todd’s 2018 WEG mount whom she’s taken over the ride since Sir Mark’s retirement.

“I was really pleased with both horses,” Jonelle says. “Grappa Nera is only 9 years old, so she’s quite unestablished in some of the work on this level, but every time she’s getting better and better. McClaren is a new ride for me this season, he’s got so much talent. I don’t think we’re quite there, where I know he can get to, but he’s doing some lovely work.”

An interview with Jonelle Team Price after her dressage tests with Grappa Nera and McClaren.

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Thursday, August 27, 2020

The current leader of the 3* long class is Dutch rider Mara Van de Ven with Lexington van de Vinkenhof, and the leader of the CCI2*-L is her teammate Merel Blom riding Corminta vom Gwick. In the CCIP2*-L, Matti Garlichs has taken the lead with Andante. The top position in the Intro class belongs to Sophie Leube from Germany with Skyjacker 3.

The second leg of the 2020 FEI Eventing Nations Cup series kicks off on Friday. Teams from Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland are set to compete, along with individuals representing the Czech Republic, Sweden and New Zealand. Big names on the start list include Andreas Dibowski with FRH Corrida; Dirk Schrade with Ingrid Klimke, with SAP Hale Bob OLD and SAP Sasha P; and Tim Price with Falco

The Strzegom live stream will be broadcast on both the event website and on Facebook. The remainder of the broadcast schedule is as follows:

Friday, Aug. 28 
Dressage from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CEST / 3 – 6:30 a.m. EDT
Show jumping from 3 – 6 p.m. CEST / 9 a.m. – noon EDT
9 a.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup dressage
3 p.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup show jumping

Saturday, Aug. 29 
Cross Country from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CEST / 3 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT
9 a.m CEST CCI1* Intro cross country
10:30 a.m. CEST CCIP2*- L cross country
11:15 p.m. CEST CCI2* – L cross country
1:10 p.m. CEST CCI3* – L cross country
2:15 p.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup cross country
4:15 p.m. CEST CCI 4* – L cross country

Sunday, Aug. 30 
Cross Country from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. CEST / 3:30 – 8 a.m. EDT
9:30 a.m. CEST – CCI2*-S/CCI2* -S -J cross country
12:15 p.m. CEST – CCI3*-S/CCI3* – S – YR cross country

Strzegom Links: WebsiteTimetableStart TimesLive ScoringEN’s Coverage

Watch the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Live from Strzegom

Photo courtesy of LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials.

The second leg of the 2020 FEI Eventing Nations Cup series kicks off today at Strzegom in Poland. Teams from Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland are set to compete, along with individuals representing the Czech Republic, Sweden and New Zealand. Big names on the start list include Andreas Dibowski with FRH Corrida; Dirk Schrade with Ingrid Klimke, with SAP Hale Bob OLD and SAP Sasha P; and Tim Price with Falco. The CCI4*-L will be another exciting one to watch, with Tim Price riding another three horses including Wesko and Jonelle Price riding McClaren.

Following the cancellation of the first three FEI Eventing Nations Cup legs (Ballindenisk in Ireland, Houghton Hall in Great Britain, and Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy), the series got off to a late start at Le Pin du Haras in France two weeks ago. To recap, Team France won that leg, followed by The Netherlands and Great Britain (read EN’s recap here). Two legs remain after Strzegom: a rescheduled Ballindenisk (Sept. 24-27) and Montelibretti in Italy (Oct. 22-25). You can learn more about the Nations Cup series has adapted to a disrupted competition calendar year, along with complete rankings, at the website here.

The Strzegom live stream will be broadcast on both the event website and on Facebook. The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Aug. 27
Dressage from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CEST / 3 – 11:30 a.m. EDT
9 a.m. CEST CCI2*-L dressage
2:15 p.m. CEST CCI4*-L dressage 
4 p.m. CEST CCI3*-L dressage 

Friday, Aug. 28 
Dressage from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CEST / 3 – 6:30 a.m. EDT
Show jumping from 3 – 6 p.m. CEST / 9 a.m. – noon EDT
9 a.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup dressage
3 p.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup show jumping

Saturday, Aug. 29 
Cross Country from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CEST / 3 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT
9 a.m CEST CCI1* Intro cross country
10:30 a.m. CEST CCIP2*- L cross country
11:15 p.m. CEST CCI2* – L cross country
1:10 p.m. CEST CCI3* – L cross country
2:15 p.m. CEST CCIO4*-S Nations Cup cross country
4:15 p.m. CEST CCI 4* – L cross country

Sunday, Aug. 30 
Cross Country from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. CEST / 3:30 – 8 a.m. EDT
9:30 a.m. CEST – CCI2*-S/CCI2* -S -J cross country
12:15 p.m. CEST – CCI3*-S/CCI3* – S – YR cross country

Strzegom Links: WebsiteTimetable, Start TimesLive ScoringEN’s Coverage

Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Chinch says: WEAR YO’ MASK!!!!! (And no, you aren’t seeing double, I had this bad boy custom printed.) Photo courtesy of Leslie Wylie.

First off, good citizens of the sovereign state of Eventing Nation, I want to pat 99% of you on the back for not only dutifully wearing a mask but also somehow making it look fashionable. I’m scrolling through these CCI3*-L jog pics from MARS Great Meadow and thinking 🔥🔥🔥. Charlotte Collier especially — somehow the mask just ties her outfit togetherThese masked judges, too … surely they must have color coordinated outfits in advance.

But then I get on social media and see a handful of folks openly defying US Equestrian’s mandate that face coverings are required unless mounted/driving. It’s like, why don’t you take a selfie of yourself violating a tack/equipment or prohibited substance regulation while you’re at it? Don’t be ding-dongs, people — you’re representative of this sport, don’t make me have to start posting a “Social Media Wall of Shame” on here each Monday morning. Not only does another American die of coronavirus every 80 seconds, so there’s THAT, but I also just want us to have a proper eventing season in 2021. So everybody, let’s just mask up and get through this thing together, m’kay?

National Holiday: National Waffle Day

U.S. Weekend Results:

Great Meadow International: Results
Caber Farm H.T.: Results
Shepherd Ranch H.T.: Results
The Event at Archer H.T.: Results
Feather Creek Farm H.T.: Results
Town Hill Farm H.T.: Results
War Horse Event Series August: Results

Major International Results: 

Burgham International: Results

Monday Reading List: 

Just now tuning in to recaps from MARS Great Meadow International? Recap EN’s reports here, and deep dive with Chronicle of the Horse here and US Eventing here.

The aftershocks of a concussion can show up days or even weeks after the initial head injury. Horse & Hound speaks to a British young rider who, after carrying on as usual following a concussion, found herself paralyzed from the waist down three weeks later due to a condition called functional neurological disorder (FND). [‘Don’t give up on your dreams’: young rider’s determination to overcome life-changing condition]

Best of Horse Nation: Redingote Equestrian LLC, best known as the maker of a one-piece insulated outerwear design that keeps riders warm, dry and clean in all weather and circumstances, and is way cuter than your Carhartts jumpsuit, has partnered with GallopNYC to keep its team outfitted in the colder months. [Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Redingote Equestrian]

Just in on Jumper Nation: Blenheim EquiSports Announces Cancellation of All Seasons Summer Classic

Donation Station: For 33 years Ebony Horsewomen in Hartford, CT, has been providing equine therapeutic services, activities and events to children, youth, families, and veterans who wouldn’t have the opportunity or access to meaningfully connect with horses or benefit from equine-assisted therapy and psychotherapy due to lack of access. Many cannot afford services, but none are ever denied thanks to generous donations. Lift a spirit by donating so that they can continue to bring joy to children who need to smile. [Ebony Horsewomen]

Listen: In episode #124 of the Major League Eventing Podcast, Karen and Rob chat with USEA Developing Rider list member Jacob Fletcher.  Jacob has been a consistent member of the U25 training list and has graduated to the Developing rider list. Listen in to hear about his experience training in Europe as well as how he manages full time riding with balancing a career in the family business. [Major League Eventing]

Watch: Sharon White and Claus 63 storm around CCI3*-L cross country on their way to a wire-to-wire win at MARS Great Meadow International. Read EN’s recap of the CCI3*-L here, and if you missed it check out Sally Spickard’s great feature on Sharon and her success-producing, horse-first program from last week here.

Sharon White and Claus 63 stormed around the cross country yesterday to maintain their lead at the Great Meadow International CCI3*-L. Watch the competition live on Horse & Country TV!

Posted by USA Eventing on Saturday, August 22, 2020

Saturday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: This 4-Year-Old’s Mini-Trial Debut Is … SQUEE!!!

Photo by Lauren Alexander.

Congrats to Laila Alexander, age 4, who recently completed her first mini horse trials! Her mount: Dilly, who mom Lauren describes as “her 20-year-old superstar pony who can literally do no wrong.”

Laila made her debut at Big Cheese Schooling H.T. in Walnut Grove, Georgia. Lauren says, “We love this show for her as it’s so laid back and the organizer Caroline Martlett makes it special for her — and a few exceptions like allowing us to coach Laila!”

Photo by Lauren Alexander.

“She has been working so hard these last few months and her quarantine time has been spent going to the barn with me and taking lessons,” says Lauren.

Laila and Dilly, you guys look AWESOME!!! That big grin and “Do it again!” at the cross country finish is what it’s all about!

Go Eventing.

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A Fond Farewell to Ireland’s Tattersalls International Horse Trials

Three-time Tattersalls winner Izzy Taylor and PSH Gazelle will be Tattersalls’ final CCI4*-L victor. Photo from her victory lap at the 2019 event, by Tilly Berendt.

Ireland’s Tattersalls International Horse Trials, held in early summer each year in in Co Meath, Ireland, is withdrawing its fixture from the FEI eventing calendar. Tattersalls is an event oft attended by U.S. riders; last year Will Coleman and Off the Record finished 3rd in the CCI4*-L. This year’s edition, scheduled for May 27-31, was canceled due to the pandemic.

The event released a statement today:

“It is with great regret that Tattersalls have announced that they are to withdraw from hosting and sponsoring the Tattersalls International Horse Trials. First established by the late George Mernagh in 2006, the annual event had become a popular feature in the international horse trials calendar.

“Despite the tireless efforts of the Organising Committee and the generous support of the ‘George Mernagh Memorial Fund’ which was set up in 2012 following the death of George Mernagh, the commercial realities of staging such an event have proved insurmountable and the Trustees of the ‘George Mernagh Memorial Fund’ have concluded that the Trust can best achieve its long term objectives of promoting youth participation in Irish equestrian sports by supporting a broader range of equestrian disciplines.

“Tattersalls will continue to host equestrian sports at the Tattersalls Ireland site in Fairyhouse. Several national events, as well as the successful July Horse Show, are already held at the venue.

“Tattersalls Chairman, Edmond Mahony, said:

” ‘I would like to thank our Organising Committee led by Jean Mitchell MBE, our various sponsors at all levels, and those who volunteered on an annual basis, for making the Tattersalls International Horse Trials an event of which the country could be proud. I would also like to thank the many owners and riders from all over the world who supported this event over many years. Sadly, due to the financial challenges that all of us are facing following the coronavirus outbreak, we regrettably feel unable to continue hosting such a large and costly international event, coming as it does in the middle of a very busy sales period for the company. I would also like to pay particular tribute to the Trustees of the ‘George Mernagh Memorial Fund’ without whose financial support this difficult decision would have inevitably come sooner.

” ‘I look forward to Tattersalls continuing to host equestrian events at Fairyhouse, including our successful July Show, which is run annually for the St. Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown. In the meantime, all of us involved in the Tattersalls International Horse Trials can look back with pride on what the event achieved in its 15 years and the contribution it has made to the sport of Eventing in Ireland.’ “

We thank Tattersalls for its many years of service for our sport. Go Eventing.

Welcome Back to Windurra, Otis Barbotiere!

Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere at Luhmühlen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We love seeing veteran eventing superstars whose international careers might be far in the rearview, but they aren’t quite ready to spend their weekends playing shuffleboard in a Florida retirement community yet. A little encore performance? Yes please!

Boyd Martin has had some special ones come through his barn, who just when we thought we’d seen the last of them have popped back up on entry lists. Neville Bardos, the blaze-faced comeback kid who twice cheated death to finish 4th at the 2010 WEG among other top five-star finishes, had a last hurrah at some Beginner Novice and Novice events earlier this year with Shelby Fromm in the irons. Looking pretty feisty for a 21-year-old!

Now Otis Barbotiere, who in 2012 finished 3rd at Kentucky and was Boyd’s Olympic mount, is having another crack at his favorite game — we spotted him in a Training division with Mia Mata Blake at Fair Hill last week. Since we saw Otis last, at Luhmühlen in 2014 where he finished 15th, Otis went into the show jumping world and we’re glad to see him back on course at age 18.

Boyd wrote on the Windurra blog:

“Earlier this year, Tricia Boone called me and said that my 2012 Olympic partner Otis Barbotiere wasn’t doing too much at his new home in Kentucky. He had a great career in the jumpers with both Catie and Ali Boone, but was ready for retirement. Tricia said that she was looking for a home for the old boy, and I jumped at the chance to take him back and give him a home at Windurra.

“When he arrived at the farm, I must say that he looked amazing. The Boone family had Otis in magnificent condition. Some of the credit must go to Debbi White whom is in charge of the care of some of the horses at the Boones’ farm in Kentucky. Even though Otis is about 18, he looks like a 10-year-old!

“I have a young girl named Mia working for me who doesn’t have a horse; she is a younger rider without much backing that has plenty of talent. I have her riding and training him each day and I must admit that is awesome having Otis back at the farm. His tongue is still hanging out in the dressage and he is still jumping massive.

“Last weekend, Mia gave Otis a good ride around the Training division at Fair Hill Horse Trials. He ripped around the courses well! Otis jogged up like a champion this morning. Mia is looking after him like liquid gold.

“Sadly Tricia passed away earlier this year after having a tough go with cancer. She would have to be one of my most favorite people: she was a very vibrant, upbeat, positive personality – just a great person. I seriously miss her.

“I think we will just continue with a semi-retirement plan with Otis at the farm. He has a home here for life. Obviously this horse has a special place with all of us.”

Welcome home, Otis!

Who Jumped It Best? Huntington Farm Jr. Elementary Edition

Time for an extra-adorable edition of “Who Jumped It Best?” This week we’re heading to Huntington Farm in South Strafford, Vermont, which celebrated its 50th year as a USEA event last year but this year is running unrecognized. Nonetheless there was a good turnout for the weekend event, which featured Elementary through Training divisions.

Twelve riders duked it out in the hotly contested Jr. Elementary division, with Elizabeth Speed and Hollie taking the win on a score of 29.4 (view final results here). Photographer extraordinaire Joan Davis of Flatlands Foto was on the scene snapping pics — riders, you can view your proofs here.

Who jumped it best? Feel free to weigh factors such as cross country colors, shininess of tail, ability to pull off a pom-pom helmet cover, and other miscellaneous subjective opinions into your analysis.

Ellie Armstrong and Phoenix. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Elise Smith and Glenvaugh Holly. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Amelia Peters and Summer. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Nadia McCollister and Guinness. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Skyley Hudson and Chicky Chicky Boom Boom. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Adeline Hanford and Penny. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

Morgan Ellis-Makovsky and Rhythm ‘n Blues. Photo by Joan Davis / Flatlands Foto.

What’s the Rest of the 2020 Eventing Calendar Looking Like?

Photos by Leslie Wylie.

How promising the year 2020 started! But a different takeoff, or flight trajectory, or something, mighta been good, and now we’re already picking the dirt out of our teeth, thinking about the next re-route, eventer-style. Good news: While the season has been sliced and diced, there’s still plenty of eventing left to be done this year for those who want to do so (we respect those who are choosing to just peace out for a while, too). We thank our friends at USEA for working so diligently to keep the 2020 event calendar up-to-date and we sympathize especially with organizers — we’ll be back out to support you as soon as we can!

As eventers look to reroute their trajectories from AEC or other championship goals, we’ve tried to collate a current list of what’s been canceled and what’s still standing, on the 2020 event calendar:


Events Still Scheduled (As of August 12) 

Area I: Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club H.T. (Aug. 15 – 16), Town Hill Farm H.T. (Aug. 22), Course Brook H.T. (Sept. 5), GMHA September H.T. (Sept. 12-13), Apple Knoll Farm H.T. (Sept. 19), Larkin Hill H.T. (Sept. 27), Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring H.T. (Oct. 4), Hitching Post Farm H.T. (Oct. 10)

Area II: Waredaca Farm H.T. (Aug. 15 – 16), Great Meadow International (Aug. 20-23), War Horse Event Series August H.T. (Aug. 23), Flora Lea Farm YEH and Mini Event (Aug. 23), Five Points H.T. (Sept. 5-6), Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. (Sept. 5-6), Bucks County Horse Park H.T. (Sept. 6), Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials at TIEC (Sept. 11-13), Flora Lea Fall H.T. (Sept. 12-13), USEA MDHT FEH/YEH/NEH Qualifier (Sept. 13), CDCTA Fall H.T. (Sept. 13), Plantation Field International CCI-S (Sept. 16-20), Marlborough H.T (Sept. 20), FEH Qualifier at Loch Moy Farm (Sept. 25), FEH Championships at Loch Moy Farm (Sept. 25-27), The Middleburg H.T. (Sept. 26-27), ESDCTA New Jersey H.T. at the Horsepark (Sept. 27), Morven Park Fall International H.T. & CCIS (Oct. 1-4), WindRidge Farm Fall H.T. (Oct. 3-4), MDHT at Loch Moy Farm Classic BN3 Day Event and H.T. (Oct.9-11), Radnor Hunt H.T. (Oct. 10), War Horse Event Series October H.T. (Oct. 11), Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Oct. 17), Waredaca Classic Three Day Event & H.T. (Oct. 22-15), The VHT International & H.T. (Oct. 29-31), Full Moon Farms H.T. (Nov. 8), War Horse Event Series November H.T. (Nov. 8), Morven Park Spring H.T. (Nov. 14-15)

Area III: Full Gallop Farm August HT (Aug. 15-16), Ocala Summer H.T. II (Aug. 15-16), Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (Aug. 29-30), Ocala Summer H.T. I (Sept. 12-13), Stable View Oktoberfest 1/ 2/3/4* and H.T. (Sept. 24-27), Poplar Place Farm H.T. (Oct. 2-4), Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks Oct. 3-4 in), Ocala Fall HT (Oct. 10-11), Tryon Riding & Hunt Club “Morris the Horse” Trials (Oct. 17-18), Grand Oaks H.T. (Oct. 24-25), Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (Oct. 24-25), Rocking Horse Fall H.T. (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), River Glen Fall H.T. (Nov. 7-8), Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Nov. 7-8), Full Gallop Farm November H.T. (Nov. 15), Grand Oaks H.T. (Nov. 21-22), Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (Nov. 28-29), Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (Dec. 5-6)

Area IV: Silverwood Farm Fall H.T. (Aug. 29), Silverwood Farm Fall H.T. (Sept. 11-13), Sundance Farm H.T. (Sept. 18-20), Heritage Park H.T. (Oct. 2-4), Windermere Run H.T. (Oct. 23-25)

Area V: Feather Creek Farm H.T. (Aug. 22), MeadowCreek Park H.T – The Fall Social Event (Sept. 19-20), Central FEH Championships at Haras Hacienda (Sept. 24), Fleur de Leap H.T. (Sept. 26-27), Pine Hill Fall H.T. (Oct. 17), Holly Hill H.T. (Oct. 24-25), Texas Rose Horse Park Fall H.T. (Nov. 7-8)

Area VI: Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. II (Aug. 21-23), Copper Meadows H.T. (Sept. 4-6), Twin Rivers Fall H.T. (Sept. 17-20), Woodside International H.T. (Oct. 8-11), West Coast FEH/YEH Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch (Oct. 23-24), Galway Downs International Event & H.T. (Oct. 29-Nov. 1),

Area VIICaber Farm H.T. (Aug. 21-23), Caber Farm September H.T. (Sept. 4-6), Spokane Sport Horse Sixth Annual Fall H.T. (Oct. 1-4)

Area VIII: Chardon Valley H.T. (Sept. 5-6), Flying Cross Farm H.T. (Sept. 10-13), Stone Gate Farm H.T. (Sept. 12-13), Hagyard Midsouth Three-day Event & Team Challenge H.T. (Oct. 14-18)

Area IXThe Event at Archer (Aug. 22-23), The Event at Skyline (Sept. 11-13), The Event at Archer (Sept. 26-27)

Area XThe Event at Isaacks Ranch (Sept. 26-27), St. Johns H.T. (Oct. 10-11), Southern Arizona H.T. (Nov. 21-22)

View the complete USEA calendar list of Event Cancellations and Responses to Coronavirus here. You can view the USEA event calendar here.

Go Eventing.

Picky Horses, Rejoice! Cosequin ASU Is Now Available in Pellets

“On the international stage, it’s important to keep horses in top athletic shape. That’s why I rely on Cosequin to maintain healthy joints for all my horses on the road to peak performance.” Cosequin user Phillip Dutton and Z at the Wellington Eventing Showcase in February 2020. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Like many eventers (and veterinarians), Cosequin® is my go-to joint supplement. In particular I like Cosequin ASU, which offers broad spectrum joint support though its trademarked formulas of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate plus Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU), which has been shown in cell culture studies to be more effective in reducing the breakdown of cartilage than glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone. Plus it has MSM and Boswellia to provide a winning combination of bioavailable ingredients. All in all for hard-working sport horses it really covers its bases.

Not all horse are into the taste of the powder, though, so we’re excited to help share news that Cosequin® ASU is now available in PELLETS! “Horse owners let us know, pellets are by far the preferred delivery form for supplements,” says Melissa Consalvo, Equine Brand Manager at Nutramax. “Utilizing our high-quality, researched ingredients and strict manufacturing standards, we now have the technology to produce pellets in-house with the quality expected of Nutramax products.”

Photo courtesy of Cosequin.

Three distinct ways that the new Cosequin® ASU PELLETS cater to horse owners:

1) They are easy to feed.
2) The tasty, tiny pellets are palatable to horses, helping to ensure they will consume their servings.
3) Cosequin® ASU Pellets contain the trademarked ingredients that horse owners have come to know and believe in, now offered in the horse owner’s preferred administration form.’

Cosequin is celebrating the launch with an introductory offer that includes a COLLECTIBLE storage bucket for added product protection from environmental conditions, such as pests, moisture, and dust. The NEW Cosequin® ASU PELLETS can be purchased at select online and in-store retailers, your veterinarian, and DIRECT from Nutramax by visiting CosequinEquine.com/pellets.


Jen Spencer: Meet the Creator of Instagram’s ‘Black Equestrians’

In summer 2020 we launched a 1st Annual $5,000+ Diversity Scholarship with the support of generous donors, inviting minority equestrians to contribute to the discussion of diversity and inclusion in equestrian sport. It is the mission of this annual bursary, which we intend to expand in coming years, to call for, encourage, elevate and give a platform to minority voices in a space where they are underrepresented.

How do we build a more diverse, inclusive and accessible sport? In the coming weeks we will explore this question alongside many of the 27 Scholarship recipients as they share with us their essays in full. Collectively, their perspectives coalesce into a body of work that will no doubt help inform a viable path forward for equestrian sport, and we are committed to connecting their actionable ideas with the public as well as leaders and stakeholders of the sport.

Today we welcome Jen Spencer, creator of the Black Equestrians Instagram page. More voices: Caden Barrera | Madison Buening | Anastasia Curwood | Deonte Sewell | Dawn Edgerton-Cameron | Jordyn Hale

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m 26 and from Toronto, Canada and I’m a Black equestrian. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and my background in riding.

The first time I fell in love with horses was actually in a bookstore. I noticed this book with a beautiful horse running across the cover and I was completely captivated so I begged my mom to buy me the book. She did, and I think I read that book every day for two years until I finally took real horseback riding lessons. My parents were not horsey people and I think they saw it as, you know, the usual girl-likes-horses kind of interest as opposed to like a real passion. My my mom immigrated from Jamaica in the 1970s and my dad was raised by a single mom, so in their world having a horse was such a weird and foreign concept to them.

So because I couldn’t ride, instead I learned as much as I could about horses by watching as many horse videos as I could and reading as many horse books as the library had to offer. It really wasn’t until I had a job of my own and I could drive myself to my own lessons that I really got into horses the way that I wanted to consistently. I’ve been riding for four years now. Two years ago I adopted a retired racehorse named Piper. I got really lucky with Piper — he’s incredibly talented, very sweet and he’s done so much for me in terms of realizing some of my dreams like attending my first horse show. I’ve grown as a rider so much because of him.

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[email protected]: “Gem & I are similar in color. We’re both brown. However, I deal with racism in the equestrian world & in my everyday life. He doesn’t, but he & the rest of his species don’t have the brain capacity to understand racism & injustice. In fact no other species on earth that I know of has that kind of brain capacity. In this case there are role models all around us: animals. My horses don’t discriminate, they groom each other & their coats are all different colors. Why can’t we be more like them? It’s a more simple way of life instead of having to be taught & understand hatred against races. They’ve done it for millions of years. We’ve done it thousands & look where it got us.” #equestrian #blackequestrians #horse #horsesofinstagram

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I don’t currently have the means to show so instead I love going to watch other people show, and when I go to these show venues I’m very aware that out of the hundreds and hundreds of riders I’m the only Black person I see all day. I’ve always been aware of the huge racial disparity in equestrian sports, but I wasn’t really sure what I could do about it. Then during the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 this year, I started to really think more critically about race, and I’ve always been passionate about social justice and Black issues as separate interests outside of riding, and the idea of bringing them together was something I hadn’t really considered. Then at one point an acquaintance of mine reached out to me about joining a group of Black equestrians so I thought, great, it’s a chance to connect with a few people that I have two things in common with.

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From @kirstieeemarie: “How much weight can a horse carry? “In my experience, a horse can carry an infinite amount. They can carry the weight of broken hearts, broken homes, and broken bodies. Countless tears sometimes comb their tangled manes. Moments when parents and friends cannot be there to help and hold a person, horses embrace and empower. They carry physical, mental, and emotional handicaps. They carry hopes and dreams; and they will carry the stress from your day when you can't carry it anymore. They carry graduations, they carry new careers, they carry moves away from everything familiar, they carry marriages, they carry divorces, they carry funerals, they carry babys before they are born, and sometimes they carry the mothers who cannot carry their own baby. They carry mistakes, they carry joy, they carry the good and they carry the bad. They carry drugs and addictions, but they also carry the celebrations. They will carry you to success when all you have felt is failure. They will carry you, never knowing the weight of your burdens and triumphs. If you let them, they will carry you through life, and life is hard, life is heavy. But a horse will make you feel weightless under it all.” Written by Sage Sapergia Photo by @kirstieeemarie

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I was literally shocked at how many people were in this group of Black equestrians. We had to make a second group because the first one got too big and we couldn’t fit any more people into it. There are tons of Black equestrians. We’re still very much a minority in this sport but there is a much bigger group than I anticipated.

I thought I knew a lot about race before the protests and I really started to dig deeper into social issues and realized even as a Black woman I didn’t really know that much. There are so many layers to race and the way it relates to the social sphere — politics, history, culture, far beyond anything I ever knew and I grew up learning a lot about race. Another thing I’ve noticed is how often a lot of history of race and racism ended up going back to horses. Of course as a horse girl this was a subcategory I was fascinated by — for example 25 percent of cowboys were Black but they were never portrayed in western movies. I also didn’t know that horse racing was largely Black people at one point.

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From @nytimes: “When videos of a Black man on horseback wearing a bulletproof vest spread widely on social media in late May, some users suggested that he had stolen a policeman’s horse.⁣ ⁣ But Adam Hollingsworth, a 33-year-old Chicagoan, is no thief. The horse in the video, Prince, is 1 of 4 he owns and rides around the city, where he is known as the Dreadhead Cowboy.⁣ ⁣ But as the false accusations piled up, Hollingsworth said that his car was vandalized and that he received death threats. The experience hammered home for him that his reason for riding — to expand people’s ideas about Black masculinity and to promote a message of unity in some of Chicago’s most racially segregated neighborhoods — remains urgent.⁣ ⁣ The fallout from the viral posts about him and Prince left him scared and concerned about how quickly bad information travels online. But he is harnessing his growing fame to give back to his community by raising money to build a barn in the city. He’s also taking recommended precautions for the virus.⁣ ⁣ “I’m social distancing being on top of the horse,” he said. “Being a Black man, I’m taking a chance every day by stepping outside.”⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in our bio to read more about how a Black cowboy became a disinformation target. Photos by @dascruggs_⁣” ⁣

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Anyway I knew I had a lot of learning to do and so did everyone else. I had so many ideas and so many things I wanted to talk about but I wasn’t sure where to begin, so I just started and created an Instagram page called Black Equestrians which just hit 3,000 followers [update at time of publication: over 4,100+]. Initially my goal was to just feature Black riders and show diversity within horseback riding, but then I quickly decided that it wasn’t good enough. It needed more. There’s so much privilege in equestrian sports. As we all know that is by no means a bad thing but it can really cloud your perception of the world outside of you, so I figured what a better audience to tackle issues of race and privilege than equestrians.

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From @horse_celebrities: “When Shariah Harris’ (@shariah_h) mom stumbled upon the Work to Ride program’s West Philadelphia horse stable, no one could have predicted Harris would become one of the most groundbreaking riders in the sport’s history. But Harris quickly took to the horses—she remembers feeling fearless even when she first began to play polo. In a male-dominated sport, she was a natural leader with undeniable skills. • After the Postage Stamp Farm team owner Annabelle Garrett suffered a back injury before the prestigious Silver Cup tournament at the Greenwich Polo Club in 2017, she tapped Harris to take her spot on the team. That’s when Harris became the first-ever African American woman to play at the highest tier of US polo. “I just can’t stop thinking about it,” recounts Harris, who had been introduced to Garrett at a tournament in Argentina, but was still surprised when the call came in. “It was a big moment for me to be playing with and against the professionals that I’ve looked up to just coming into the sport,” she says. “I’ve always watched their games, but to be on the field playing with them was just mind-boggling for me.” • Now at Cornell University Harris is busy studying animal sciences and leading the women’s polo team to the National Intercollegiate semifinals, while also mentoring kids in the Work to Ride program. As for her big advice to young polo players? “Trust yourself and trust the horses,” she says. “It’s what I believe makes you a better player and rider—that fearless factor.” | #equestrian #blackequestrian #ralphlauren #horsepolo #polo

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In the first month I’ve been writing Black equestrians I’ve learned three really valuable lessons. The first lesson: A lot of people don’t know what they don’t know. Race is very much like good riding or a good horse. When you grow up with it you know exactly what to look for and you can really see those subtle nuances from miles away. In the realm of racism a lot of white people are beginner crossrail riders. We have the basics down, we all know that racism is bad, but a lot of people legitimately cannot recognize the varying spectrum of more subtle racism. There are so many variations in levels, microaggressions, lack of diversity, inclusivity cultural appropriation, the list goes on.

I thought I knew a lot about race but I now realize I really don’t. And this is a world I grew up in in the sense that I had a Black mother who was always teaching about racism. A lot of people have a hard time talking about racism because they don’t see it. There needs to be a huge shift and we need to remind people that racism is very much alive. The civil rights movement of Martin Luther King dealt with the more loud racism, like segregation and lynching. In the new generation of the civil rights movement we need to start learning about quiet racism and the subtle racism so we can stamp it out.

The second lesson is that white people are really keen to learn. Since I started Black Equestrians I have been pleasantly surprised at how white people are responding. They’re engaged, they’re sharing, I get messages all the time saying stuff like I didn’t know that or that’s a really great point, I hadn’t thought about it like that. For an industry like riding, where as I mentioned before it’s a particularly concentrated hub of privileged white people, I really thought that this would be more of an uphill battle. Not to say that there aren’t people who aren’t as open to learning or examining their own privilege, but ultimately people seem willing to listen and learn. And so it’s important that we create a medium to express Black issues for everyone to learn and what will be great as Black Equestrians develops is that we’ll be able to tackle the very niche problems about Black equestrians and what they face and we now have a platform to amplify those voices to people who are listening.

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From @savannahskeete: “With everything going on in the world it has taken me a long time to formulate my words and thoughts. Silence is conformity with the opposition – and I condemn racism to rule any part of my world. So I am going to speak my truth about how institutionalized racism has effected me in the equestrian community. As I grew up riding along side everyone else I realized how I was unlike my counterparts, I didn’t quite fit in, and it was hard to make friends. I look back now and see how rarely I ride with people who look like me, are sponsored riders globally recognized, or are coaches or professionals in the community. The inability for people who look like me to be in the equestrian community is a key example of the inequalities and inequities that have lead to injustices throughout history. People who look like me do not have the opportunities to enter a community riddled with white privilege. Instead people who look like me are murdered, killed, and demonized for their colour by a system that refuses to treat them with justice, equality, and equity. This fact has always effected me in the equestrian community. And to move forward voices like mine, voices of black people and people of colour must be heard. And when they are heard, when there words are seen as fact, and only then will change take progress. I implore everyone in and outside of the equestrian community to listen and educate themselves. Become an ally for justice, equality, and equity throughout the world and in the future I hope and will fight for more people who look like me to be able to have the opportunity to be in the equestrian community.” • #equestrian #horse #horsesofinstagram #blackequestrians #ridersofcolor #blackgirlmagic #blackexcellence

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And the third and final lesson is that the best way to increase diversity in equestrian sports is to create an environment where everyone can see this as something that they can do. There isn’t a lot of diversity reflected in equestrian product advertisements or in magazines, and when we watch professionals compete at upper levels it’s again not particularly diverse. Those areas will take different amounts of time and resources to reflect diversity, but it’s important that we start. Diversity in equestrian sports is small but it’s there and it’s strong. In expanding the way equestrian sports are represented we can move away from the widely held idea of what a traditional equestrian looks like.

This sport has people from all walks of life, different income brackets, different races, different sexual orientations and different ages. The best way to increase diversity within our sport is if we create a sport where everyone sees a reflection of themselves, where where they can see this as something that they can do and be a part of especially because that really is what horses are about. They are the true reflection of Martin Luther King’s dream —  they don’t care about the color of your skin, they only care about the content of your character.

Get Involved: First things first, if you aren’t already following Black Equestrians on Instagram, do it right now! Black Equestrians also has an Etsy shop with a bunch of fun, feisty tee-shirts — I just ordered this one … 

… and this one … 

Social media is a powerful tool in the fight for social justice and social change. What are some of your favorite diversity-and-inclusion focused social media accounts to follow, equestrian or otherwise? Share them in the comments so that we can follow them, too!

Nation Media wishes to thank Barry and Cyndy Oliff, Katherine Coleman and Hannah Hawkins for their financial support of this Scholarship. We also wish to thank our readers for their support, both of this endeavor and in advance for all the important work still to come.

Take 5 With Phillip, Presented by Equilume: Watch Phillip Dutton’s Fair Hill CCI3*-S Win

Equilume sponsored rider Phillip Dutton topped the CCI3*-S division at Fair Hill over the weekend riding Fernhill Singapore, an 11-year-old Dutch gelding (Singapore x Riedellia, by Animo) owned by Ann Jones, Thomas Tierney and David Vos. The pair, who finished 5th at the Fair Hill International CCI4*-L last fall, added just two cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 22.5 for the win.

Phillip had four horses in the division: Sea of Clouds finished 9th, Fernhill Pickpocket finished 18th, and borrowed mount Tsetserleg was among several horses seen cantering casually around cross country to finish 24th.

“Fair Hill ran a great competition this weekend,” Phillip recapped on Facebook. “The CCI3*-S was a very useful fitness and training run for my three horses and Boyd Martin’s Tseterleg, and happily Fernhill Singapore ended up coming out on top. The additions and improvements made to the Fair Hill International make it an incredible venue — it’s really very exciting for our sport. Everyone seems to be getting the hang of the not-so-new COVID guidelines by now, and it’s encouraging to see the eventing community work together to keep our sport going as safely and sensibly as possible. Our heartfelt thanks to the organizers and volunteers, and we look forward to returning next year for the inaugural 5*.”

Other five-star notables in the CCI3*-S: Lauren Nicholson with Landmark’s Monte Carlo picked up 20 and time to finish 35th, Will Coleman and Tight Lines took their time to finish 26th. Lillian Heard was 5th with LCC Barnaby, Lauren Nicholson was 4th with Vermiculus, and Ariel Grald was 2nd with Leamore Master Plan.

More in the Intermediate divisions: Sharon White and Cooley on Show won Intermediate A, second to herself and Cooley Quicksilver. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night were 3rd. Meg Pellegrini was 11th with RF Eloquence, with whom Ellie MacPhail O’Neal completed Kentucky. Liz also won Intermediate B with Deniro Z. Buck Davidson took a spill from Jak My Style. Lynn Symansky won a division of Preliminary with her 2019 Pan Am Games mount RF Cool Play.

Speaking of five-star horses, we’d be remiss not to mention that Otis Barbotiere, who in 2012 finished 3rd at Kentucky and was Boyd Martin’s Olympic mount, was spotted in a Training division with Mia Mata Blake. Since we saw him last, at Luhmühlen in 2014 where he finished 15th, Otis went into the show jumping world and we’re glad to see him back on course at age 18. Mia and Otis have done a couple events this summer and we wish the best of luck in his eventing encore!

Area II eventer Emma Hinke captured tons of CCI3*-S footage while out volunteering — we’ll have her cross country reel featuring the brand new course posted later this afternoon so keep an eye out for that! You can find video recaps of other big events Emma has attended on her YouTube channel, along with videos chronicling the training of her OTTB gelding.

You can view complete Fair Hill results here.

CCI3*-S Final Top 10: 

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Equilume products are backed by science and trusted by equestrians and veterinarians worldwide. 

Celebrity Course Walk: Fair Hill With Shia LaBeouf

I don’t know too much about Shia LaBeouf except that he’s in some movies and seems like a pretty intense guy, especially when it comes to making your dreams come true. I admire a person who really goes all in, and Shia was recently in the news for getting his entire chest permanently tattooed with the word “CREEPER” for an upcoming role. That’s commitment. Seems like somebody Jon Holling would really get along with.

Commitment is a must when you leave the cross country startbox so Shia is guiding this week’s Celebrity Course Walk, following in the footsteps of Leslie Knope a lá Parks & Rec who led us around Bicton Arena and of joy-sparkin’ painter Bob Ross who took us on a happy stroll around Barbury. If you have a request for a future celebrity course walk, do submit yours to DJ Chinch at our 24-hour all-request hotline.

Many thanks to Holly Covey for these photos from the new course at Fair Hill! In the CCI3*-S Phillip Dutton and one Fernhill horse lead the division after dressage on a penalty score of 21.9, with also-Phillip and another Fernhill horse hot on their heels. Phillip has two more rides in the division: some horse named Tsetserleg, currently 7th, and the OTTB Sea of Clouds in 13th. Lots of fun combos to keep an eye on.

Who’s ready to go a little bit aggro on Fair Hill cross country?!?!!!!

Alright! Here we go!

Fence 2. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

3ab left turn. Singerly road is on the right, the new turf course to left. Photo by Holly Covey.

A signature Ian Stark hump log cabin at the top a steep downhill to a trakehner. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

Haystack with a scotch plaid bow on the sheep for Ian. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

The first water, duck to skinny stump – 6ab. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

7ab offset tables with pheasants. 8 is a covered wagon rolltop on the way to the back field. 9 is a cabin drop. 10 is a blue table with beach decor. Photo by Holly Covey.

11abc coffin– really steep downhill to a, really steep to b. Photo by Holly Covey.

Frangible open oxer – 12. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

13ab drop into water after rooftop, wedge out. Photo by Holly Covey.

Fence 16. Fence 17 is a ditch and brush. Photo by Holly Covey.

18ab, red top table to corner. Photo by Holly Covey.

Photo by Holly Covey.

Last water 20ab. Photo by Holly Covey.

Final fence, 21. Photo by Holly Covey.

Thanks coach Shia! That was really inspiring. Now let’s all go out and …

Fair Hill International HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Schedule]


Well-Wishes to Paul Tapner Following Hacking Accident

Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouge in the 2018 MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge. Photo courtesy of the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.

Our thoughts and well-wishes are with Australian five-star eventer Paul Tapner and his connections, who issued the following statement on Facebook today:

“Paul took a fall out hacking on Wednesday evening.

“Following scans it has been found that he has two tiny bleeds on his brain. One of the bleeds has unfortunately caused him to have a very mild stroke.

“He has remained conscious and is starting to be less distressed and more restful. The consultant says she can not see why he will not make a full recovery, but that this will be slowly over weeks and possibly months.

“Georgina, Joshua and Madison would like to thank everybody for being so supportive and of course are so grateful to the medical teams. They have been overwhelmed by support and offers of help.

“We will update as necessary when we can. Please bear with us and understand that Paul’s family would appreciate a bit of space at this distressing time

“With thanks
All at Team Tapner”

We will keep this post updated.


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

After a devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday, many of us are left wondering how we can help this city, whose children and families are already facing COVID-19, as well as economic and political crisis. Mellisa Warden, USEF R Event TD and USEF r Event Judge, shared the following message on Facebook yesterday:

“We live in a great disparity. The death toll of the blast in Beirut has risen to ~150 and reports of 200,000-300,000 left homeless amidst a pandemic. Meanwhile, a horse show was cancelled and people are pissed/devastated/heart broken, and many are upset at the time they spent to get qualified. I must be the only person who sees something terribly wrong with this picture.

“As competitors entered, we should all be getting our entries back, except for $25, which means around $700+ back in our pockets. I urge every single person who was scheduled to compete at AEC’s to take a little of the refund you will receive (and for most of us, out of sight, out of mind), and donate it to one of the organizations like Doctors Without Borders (MSF Lebanon), the Lebanese Children’s Relief Fund, or one of the nonprofits on the ground in Beirut right now. If you don’t want to see your money go overseas, there are plenty of organizations within our country that need your help — just make sure you’re doing due diligence and are aware of how your money is being spent.

“As equestrians, we are PRIVILEGED to ride horses, regardless of how broke we are. We all have a roof over our head tonight, while hundreds of thousands do not. The cancelation of a horse show will not leave us homeless or with significant and potentially life threatening injuries. Meanwhile, there are people who have lost everything and we can do a little part to help. If there were 500 entered at AEC’s (so far) and we all donate $50 to help, that is $25k!

“Alone we are just one, but together we can be real change and help those in need!”

Can you help? Click here for a list of ways to get involved.

National Holiday: National Water Balloon Day🎈

The Summer Event at Woodside: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

IEA Horse Trials: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

GMHA Festival of Eventing HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Otter Creek HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Fair Hill International HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Schedule]

Spring Gulch HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

WindRidge Farms Summer HT: [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News & Notes: 

We know that the USEA had a difficult decision to make in determining the fate of this year’s AEC. We applaud their decision and the way in which they communicated it, as well as our community’s understanding response. [A Letter From the USEA CEO: AEC Difficult Decisions, Kentucky Horse Park Open for Business]

Check out this link to some interesting research that could apply to cross-country and stadium/show jumping since athletes need to make rapid decisions on visual information, especially when the horse does something unexpected at or near a jump. Many thanks to Lynne Kaye for sharing! [How Vision Training Can Turn Those Ground Balls into Line Drives]

If you are looking to build safe cross-country jumps at home, what are some of the considerations you need to take into account before you actually start building? Tremaine Cooper shares some tips. [Considerations for Building Cross-Country Jumps at Home]

Get to know Whidbey Island Horse Trials! The Oak Harbor, Washington event takes place in early July of each year and offers Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021. [USEA Events A-Z: Whidbey Island Horse Trials

Outdoor shows in Scotland have been given the green light to resume under government guidance, but riders have been urged to work with governing bodies – not against them. [Joy as equestrian competition gets the nod to resume in Scotland]

The US Equestrian Athlete Lettering Program is getting a new look! US Equestrian is excited to unveil a new name and an updated look for its popular student athlete recognition program. [US Equestrian Announces Updated Equestrian Interscholastic Athlete Program for Riders in 5th through 12th Grade]

Just in on Jumper Nation: Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final 2020 in Barcelona Canceled 

Hot on Horse Nation: Ecovet Presents Mind Your Melon: Enjoying the Highlands

Video: “It’s a small and complex country with a big heart and some very, very big problems.”

Meet Riley Grose & Kodak Moment, River Glen Starter Division Winners

Riley Grose and Kodak Moment. Photo by Heather Gross.

It takes all of about two minutes spent around Riley Grose and her splashy paint Kodak Moment to know that they are BFF 4ever. They have that special connection trademarked by teenage girls and their horses, and especially by teenage girls and horses who’ve endured some rough patches in their past. For Riley, it was a bad riding accident when she was 8 that resulted in two broken arms, a broken wrist, a dislocated elbow and a crisis of confidence. Kodak Moment (“Koda”) was starved and badly neglected in the early years of his life, and by the time he made it to Riley three years ago, as an $800 greenbroke 7- or 8-year-old, the only thing he knew was was that pulling on the reins meant stop.

“He had no idea about steering, no clue in the world about what leg pressure meant,” says Riley, age 16. “But one thing I noticed from the start was that every new thing we’ve thrown at him, he’s always taken it in stride.”

Including but not limited to his very first horse trial last weekend at River Glen in New Market, Tennessee. Riley and Koda won their Starter division on a score of 31.5 despite it being their very first crack at eventing. They’d done a couple combined tests and a hunter-jumper show together before, but never put all three phases together.

Photo by Heather Grose.

“Compared to the other ones he’s been to this was was huge!” Riley says. “He was just so good.” Koda marched into the warm-up ring, they walked a couple laps on a loose rein to get used to the atmosphere, and then warmed up and performed a workmanlike test. The show jumping was fault free, and then it was off to cross country, decked out in the teal and grey colors she’d been dreaming of wearing since she was a kid. “I was so excited. Since I was little I knew my cross country horse needed to wear teal. We got all suited up and went to the warm up and I could tell he had no idea what we were about to do. He was just asleep at the start box and I had to say ‘OK buddy, we’re about to go.'”

Riley explains that Koda has always had a confidence problem and in the video you can hear her coaxing him along with clucks and words of praise. The horse responds with pricked ears and a willingness to trust her and give it his all, even in moments of uncertainty. “At jump #7 he almost didn’t jump it,” Riley recalls. “He kind of locked onto one of the giant jumps and got distracted and had a wiggly moment. I got him to trot it.”

You wouldn’t know it by seeing Riley and Koda cantering nonchalantly around Penrose Farm, often sans saddle.

Riley credits trainer Katie Setledge for helping her find her courage again after her accident. “I was pretty fearful for a while,” she says. “I think that if I hadn’t started riding with Katie I wouldn’t be riding right now,” she says. Koda has had a bad injury too, some pinched nerves a couple years ago that forced him to be on stall rest and out of commission for eight months. With the help of treatment from Dr. Chris Newton of Rood & Riddle, Riley rehabbed Koda slowly, working him in the Pessoa system on the lunge for nine weeks straight before progressing to tack walking and groundwork.

Photo courtesy of Riley Grose.

Photo courtesy of Riley Grose.

“Since then he’s just been doing great,” Riley says. “We’re jumping bigger and bigger, and he’s excelling in the flatwork. A year ago he was jumping cross rails and now we’re schooling 2’6″-2’9″.”

Recently Riley and her mother, Heather, had a DNA test done on Koda, curious about his breeding. The test came back last week and it turns out their “backyard horse” is actually half Hanoverian, with the other half split between Quarter Horse and Missouri Fox Trotter. Who knew?

Horses, and their people, never cease to surprise, amaze and inspire.


Fab Freebie: Win a Bottle of Ecovet, Your Go-To Fly Spray

Photo courtesy of Ecovet.

Most horse owners have a go-to fly spray, and with fly season in full swing, you’re likely stocking up on your favorite brand. But if you’re like me, you’re also always hunting for equine products that are less toxic and lean in a more all-natural direction.

In the past, using a less toxic fly spray has often meant sacrificing effectiveness. Ecovet is changing the game with their unique formula, which was developed in the U.S. by veterinarians and has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

After extensively testing Ecovet, EN is ready to give our stamp of approval. Here are five reasons why Ecovet should be your go-to fly spray this summer.

Ecovet works. What makes this fly spray so effective? It’s a simple science lesson. Bugs are attracted to certain scents, while other odors repel them. Ecovet uses three naturally derived, food-grade fatty acids in the formula to mimic the repellent smells found naturally on horses.

The formula works by evaporating and creating a repellent vapor barrier against insects. By overwhelming their “GPS system,” insects are unable to detect and ultimately swarm, pester, and bite our horses.

Ecovet is non-toxic. The three naturally derived fatty acids in Ecovet make up 15% of the formula and are carried in silicone oil, which comprises 84% of the formula. An additional 1% of fragrance completes the formula.

The new scent is an “herbal blend of lavender with a hint of tea,” but the fatty acids in the formula still have a strong smell. We found that following the recommendation to spray Ecovet outside and about 6 inches away from the horse’s body helped prevent sneezing.

Ecovet is long-lasting. Thanks to the powerful formula, one application of Ecovet can last for up to three days. In certain climates that cause horses to sweat more, Ecovet can and will evaporate faster from what we found. Even on the hottest and most humid days, one application per day in our testing was enough to keep flies at bay.

For horses that are bug magnets or suffer from allergic reactions to insect bites, Ecovet recommends starting with twice daily applications focusing on the most troublesome areas, usually the mane, tail, head and belly, and then tapering off to less frequent applications. (Here is a helpful blog post on how to help severely allergic horses.)

Less is more with Ecovet. Because Ecovet is so effective, you can use less spray per application than you typically would when applying fly spray. That means each bottle lasts longer, and in a sport as expensive as eventing, every penny you can save matters.

To apply Ecovet, you spray a fine mist over the horse’s legs and belly, then a little on the top of the head (using a rag or applicator mitt to apply on the head is helpful). We also found in our testing that Ecovet works best on dry horses, so don’t spray it just after bathing or on super sweaty horse.

Top eventers trust Ecovet. While Ecovet is a newer formula on the fly spray market, the word is out about how effective it is. Top event riders like Allison Springer, Jennifer McFall, Bobby Meyerhoff, and Jennifer Wooten trust Ecovet. Click here to read a slew of positive testimonials.

Have questions about Ecovet? Be sure to read the extensive FAQ on the Ecovet website, which includes detailed information about the formula and how to apply for maximum effectiveness.

Ecovet is currently available in the U.S. with retail pricing of $7.95 for an 8-ounce bottle, $26 for an 18-ounce bottle, and $140 for a 1-gallon refill. A little goes a long way, and the bottles have a lengthy shelf-life. Click here to purchase Ecovet online. And enter to win a bottle yourself via the Rafflecopter widget below!

Tuesday Video From Flexible Fit Equestrian USA: The Inspirational Story of Para-Rider Evie Toombes

“There’s no way you’re just 16 hands up. You’re on cloud nine.” Meet Para equestrian Evie Toombes, the FEI’s first #ForTheLoveOfEquestrian rider story. Born with spina bifida, Evie’s passion, dedication and adoration for her horses has inspired her to live life to the fullest by her message of “Find A Way, Not An Excuse.” Thank you, Evie, for using your voice to champion awareness for invisible illness. Learn more about Evie by visiting her website here

By the way, on Sunday the Olympic Organising Committee confirmed the Paralympic Games Competition Schedule for 2021. For Para Dressage, the competition dates have been moved forward by one day so as to mirror the 2020 daily schedule. The Para Dressage events which were due to start on Thursday, Aug. 27 2020 and finish on Saturday, Aug. 29 2020 will now run from Thursday, Aug. 26 26 2021 to Monday, Aug. 30 2021. There are also some minor modifications to the starting times. The timetable for 2021 can be viewed here on the FEI’s Paralympic hub.

Go Para Equestrians!

Flexible Fit Equestrian: Redefining Comfort & Quality at an Affordable Price. Learn more at www.ffequestrian.com.au.



Product Review: Bye Bye Insects Fly Spray by Spalding Labs

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Spalding Labs is probably best known for its Fly Predators, a natural alternative to fly sprays and traps that kills flies before they emerge. I started using them after winning a gift certificate for a summer’s worth at the American Eventing Championships some 10 years ago, and so long as I used them I rarely saw a single fly in the barn I was managing at the time. Fixing the problem, rather than just treating the symptom, just made sense. Plus, getting a monthly package of lil baby bugs in the mail always made me giggle.

Last year Spalding introduced another revelatory insect control product: Bye Bye Insects, an essential oil fly spray with performance comparable to popular Pyrethroid Synthetic Chemicals products.

A few years ago, when it began to occur to me that I wasn’t actually the invincible human I believed myself to be in my youth, I began making some changes in my life. Some have been a work in progress, like consistently choosing to eat organic whole foods instead of processed garbage. The rat poison, or whatever it is, in Diet Coke just tastes so good! Others have been easier, like wearing sunscreen and not wading into a mist of toxic pesticides every time I fly sprayed my horse.

I’ve been impressed by one or two natural fly sprays but most of them just aren’t effective. It’s disappointing, the same way you feel when you crack open a can of Zevia soda hoping to get your Coke fix and it’s just … not the same. I’m happy to report that Bye Bye Insects has joined the club.

There’s nothing synthetic in Bye Bye Insects’ active ingredients, which include essential oils of Geraniol, Rosemary, Citronella, Peppermint and Lemongrass. All of which meet EPA’s 25(b) Minimum Risk Requirements — it’s so safe, you can even spray it on yourself to keep away mosquitos! I would describe its smell as “floral-y” sweet, almost citrusy with the citronella and lemongrass notes; I’ve heard other people pick up on the peppermint or rosemary scents. However you would describe it, it’s definitely not unpleasant or chemically like traditional sprays. The essential oils do separate from the aqueous solution, much like oil and vinegar salad dressing, so be sure to give it a good shake before use.

Bye Bye Insects is a concentrate so, if you live in a real insect war zone you can use it full-strength, or you can dilute it to meet your needs. Spalding recommends that, on your first quart spray bottle, use the full strength until half is gone, then refill it with tap water and see if you notice a difference. In their tests, half strength lasts roughly 1-2 hours less than full strength. After you’ve used the first quart ($24.99 + tax) you can refill it from the eco-friendly, stay-fresh three-quart refill pouch ($49.99), instead of buying a whole new bottle. Between the refill pouch and the possibility of dilution, you’re looking at one of the most cost-effective fly sprays out there — diluted to 50% it comes to $8.33 quart.

My only word of caution with this spray is that it can strain grey horses a little yellow-ish, so avoid if you’re trying to keep your horse snow-white.

For more information on Bye Bye Insects and other Spalding Labs products, visit the website here.