Yesterday we learned of the passing of the celebrated show jumper Judgement ISF, Crown who was laid to rest at the age of 29 at Iron Spring Farm where he was bred. “Judgey” broke barriers for North American-bred jumpers and with Beezie Madden in the irons he represented the US on 10 Nation’s Cup teams, winning gold in 2007 and 2008, among many other accolades. When he retired back to Iron Spring Farm at the age of 18 he had garnered nearly $1.5 million in prize money. Our hearts go out to all who loved this incredible athlete. [A Tribute to Judgement ISF (1991-2021)]
If you’re producing a young horse with the hope of making a successful eventer down the line, you’ve likely felt the pressure of getting it all ‘right’ when training for cross-country. It’s all about those fine lines, after all — and the fine line of building communication and partnership without dampening his innate fifth leg, that inbuilt ability to self-preserve, is probably at the forefront of your mind.
This super instructional clip from Cathy Wieschhoff will give you some great ideas for beginning your youngster’s training in a way that helps him figure it out for himself safely and successfully — and all you need is a lunge line and a bank to play with. Happy training!
It’s been a hot minute since our last edition of #EventerProblems, I guess because most of us have had #BiggerProblems on our hands? Speaking for myself, this past year I’ve been nostalgic for the days when the worst problem we encountered on a daily basis were thrown shoes and long spots.
Now that we’re emerging, slowly, from the hellscape that was 2020, I’m more than ready for the opportunity to sit back and sweat some small stuff — just like the good old days! (And, because we’re horse people, probably pet some sweaty stuff, too.)
Let’s get this series fired up again. We didn’t make it all the way to Vol. 253 for nothin’. Got #EventerProblems? I know you do, don’t lie! Tag ’em on Insta for inclusion in a future edition.
Pandemics come and go, but #EventerProblems are eternal. Here’s a fresh batch, just for you:
This article is brought to you and was first published by Athletux.
Andrew McConnon and Wakita 54. Photo by Shelby Allen.
When preparing for a big event, it is easy to think you need to cover every minute detail, practice your test one million times, and check your horse over one thousand times per day. However, oftentimes we get sucked into this trap and it becomes detrimental to our performances rather than helpful. We sat down with #TeamAthletux rider Andrew McConnon to go over how he prepares for a big event and get 5 tips to help you prepare for your next big show, no matter what discipline it may be.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
There is no need to get complicated or try to do too many things before a big event. Truth is, you have probably done your homework and even if you don’t feel prepared, you probably are. Andrew likes to stick to his normal routine and keep things very simple in the barn to ensure the horses don’t get stressed or overworked, which leads perfectly into the next few tips.
2. KEEP IT NORMAL
With horses, the best thing you can do is to act like it is any other show or event. When you are preparing for a three-day event or even a big jumper show or dressage show, you don’t want to let your horse in on the fact that this may be more important or bigger than just the average show. Don’t deviate from your normal routine and stick to it as much as possible.
3. DON’T OVERWORK
It is easy to get caught up in all the little details and trying to do too much. I try to give my horses a lighter week leading up to a big event to ensure their bodies feel their best. You don’t want them to feel sore or tired.
4. DON’T OVERSTRESS
While you are making sure your horses feel their best, make sure you feel your best as well and don’t over-stress. It can be hard to not stay up late thinking about everything and constantly going over your plan in your head. Take some time for yourself and get out of the barn to make sure you are staying as mentally healthy as your horses are.
5. HAVE MANY PLANS
With all things that are horses, by the end of the season, we will probably be on plan Z and going an entirely different route than we thought we would be at the beginning of the season. Don’t be stressed if you have to divert your plan and always be prepared for something to change. Enjoy the process and know that everyone else is probably having to change plans constantly too. And then if everything goes to plan, more reason to celebrate!
The Ever So Sweet Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for diverse equestrians to train with top riders. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) and the United States Eventing Association Foundation are proud to announce the formation of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with upper-level professionals. The last day to apply is tomorrow, May 14, so be sure to get those applications in ASAP!
Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik Murphy, and Brian Murphy will provide bi-annual sponsored internships for riders to train with Sara and Brian. Beginning in summer 2021, scholarship recipients will receive funding to immerse themselves in a high-performance training program with Brian and Sara at Overlook Farm Equestrian Center in Berryville, VA for three months. During the winter, the scholarship will provide two months of training with Sara and Brian in Florida. The scholarship will cover expenses for full board and training costs for the horse, several lessons per week, housing for the rider, a stipend to cover living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. Participants will learn to manage, care for, and compete horses in an immersive program and will have the opportunity to work as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn.
Riders will also make professional connections that would otherwise be unattainable and play an active role in fostering a more inclusive environment within the sport. “I’ve had to overcome many challenges in my life as an upper-level event rider, but I never had the challenge of feeling like the sport wasn’t easily available to me. This scholarship allows access for those that currently don’t have a clear pathway to fight for their dreams,” Sara said when explaining why they decided to offer the opportunity. The Ever So Sweet scholarship is an important first step toward increasing diversity and inclusion in equestrian sports.
Edy shares the passion for providing opportunities for deserving riders, “Our family loves horses and the sport of eventing. My daughters, Roxanne and Nadine, began riding when they were quite young. They rode and competed through high school, and Roxanne continued into her college career. We are very fortunate. But there are students in underserved communities who have the passion and talent for the sport but perhaps not the means. Roxanne passed away in 2017 but her passion lives on through her family. Nadine, Sara, and I want to honor Roxanne and Nadine’s Native American heritage and their love of eventing through this scholarship in the hopes of helping to keep others’ dreams alive. ‘Ever So Sweet‘ is a song that was beloved to Roxanne and Nadine, especially during those memorable years of riding.”
Riders who are at least 17 years old, have access to an appropriate horse, and are committed to promoting access and inclusion in horse sports are invited to apply. Strides for Equality Equestrians also welcomes inquiries for more information about the scholarship and/or application process.
The scholarship application is available on SEE’s website here.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE), founded in 2020 as an allyship program for the equestrian community, seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in equestrian sports. SEE promotes a more inclusive culture by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the community while educating equestrians about effective allyship. For more information, please visit www.stridesforequality.org.
The amount of good people I’ve met though horses is unbelievable. Recently, I tragically lost my horse in a pasture accident. The whole experience made me feel like the most unlucky person in the world, but strangely enough at the same time one of the luckiest. You see, as
people got word of what happened I got caring thoughts and good gestures from so many people. The amount of kind texts, Facebook messages, and phone calls I received was unimaginable. I got cards including a heartfelt one from my fox hunting club. Some family members even made a photo blanket of my horse. Beside from that the amount of people that offered me horses to ride or lease or even own was astonishing. Some from people I barely even know or have never even met at all.
I’m so thankful I wasn’t alone when my horse took his last breath. I’m thankful for those that were there when all I could do was cry. I appreciate all the hugs I got and trust me I needed every single one. I appreciate the offers to stay at people’s homes and everyone that took care of me for a few days. I am so lucky I was surrounded by people to keep me busy and get my mind elsewhere. I appreciate every single person that reached out to me in any way. Every gesture, every message, every phone call made a difference. It really made me realize how many amazing people I’ve met through horses.
Photo by Jenifer Young.
If it wasn’t for horses I never would have met the woman in my fox hunting club who gifted me her Blessing of the Hounds medal from her first Blessing. I wear it often, and every time I do I am reminded of her kind words and how she chose to give it to me over anyone else. If it wasn’t for horses I never would have met the lady that gave me my first job and introduced me to fox hunting. If it wasn’t for horses I never would have met the trainer that told me about eventing and took me to my first show.
Horse people are good people. Horse people have lent me horses so I didn’t have to miss fox hunts or shows or Pony Club camp. Horse people have given me advice about big decisions I have had to make (It has sometimes been contradicting advice, but I still appreciate it.) Horse people have included me in their holidays when I’ve been away from my own family. Horse people planned a wonderful surprise party for my birthday. Horse people kindly hauled my horse to hunts before I learned to drive the trailer. Horse people have trusted me with their horses (and they all, from a trail pony to a five-star eventer, mean a lot). Horse people have helped me get through some of the hardest losses I’ve ever experienced this last year. Horse people told me to call them at any time if I needed anything when I came south for the year. Horse people made me feel like a part of a team and helped me at my first recognized event. Horse people have taught me so many lessons both with horses and without. Horse people have shown me there are a lot of careers I should consider. Horse people gifted me my colors as a junior. Horse people made my first Novice so much fun.
Photo by Doug Payne.
A horse person set up a meeting with a friend of theirs (now my college advisor) when they found out I was interested in my college. A horse person sent me a heartwarming text with the promise of a place to stay anytime I’m back in their town. A horse person graciously gave me their nice jacket all weekend at a horse show when I forgot mine. A horse person took the time to help me research and find all the history about the horse I just lost. A horse person took time to take me and my horse on a final last adventure in Aiken. A horse person paid for my ticket to the hunt ball. Another horse person drove me there. A horse person offered for me to be her working student one summer so I could have weekly lessons. A horse person was there for me for many phone calls when I was worried I’d messed up something fox hunting. A horse person convinced me to join Pony Club. A horse person took me to watch my first event, watch my first foxhunt, watch my first barrel race, and watch my first polo match.
Horses have let me meet a lot of good people. From fox hunting to Pony Club to college to being a working student I’ve met lifelong role models, friends, supporters, mentors, and overall good good people. The horse world is full of kind and caring people. Everywhere I go and everything I do just solidifies that even more. From every corner of the country to every discipline to every age I’ve met a lot of good people. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life journey thus far.
New Zealand Three-Day Event Championships at Taupo: [Entries]
News From Around the Globe:
With selection trials now complete, the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team expects to name its team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in less than three weeks. The team set a June 1 deadline for naming a three-member squad, direct reserves and a traveling alternate to compete in Tokyo. Under the new Olympic format approved in 2016, teams are reduced to three members, with no drop score, but substitutions allowed under certain circumstances. Individual medals will be determined by a second show jumping round among the top 25 finishers in the team event. [US Olympic Team Named by June 1st]
We’d like to thank you for your support of our Ultimate Form Guide to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day event. We are proud to present a portion of our sales to two deserving nonprofits, each nominated by EN readers: Freedom Reigns in Thompsons Station, Tn. and Renew Therapeutic Riding Center in Holland, Mi. We’ll have much more to come on these two awesome programs very soon!
Have you submitted an application for the Strides for Equality Ever So Sweet Scholarship? It’s a brilliant opportunity! Check out the details here.
A dressage rider using cows to enhance her training? There’s a sentence I never thought I would type. But Kasey Perry-Glass’ husband Dana specializes in colt starting and groundwork, and has been asking Kasey to try working cattle with one of her upper-level prospects, Hutopia Van Bergsham, who struggles with confidence. The end result was taking her dressage horse to a western clinic, and finding out that it was incredibly helpful. [Working Cattle with a Dressage Horse for Confidence Building]
Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and Aboutwon the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the United States. Outie was only 8 years old at that time, and the Atlanta Olympics were the first Olympics with a new format of separate team and individual competitions for eventing. The individual competition had a different cross-country track and show jumping course than the team competition. Atlanta Olympics were the first Olympics with a new format of separate team and individual competitions for eventing. The individual competition had a different cross-country track and show jumping course than the team competition. [Memories from the Vet Box]
Truly, eventing takes a village — and that village isn’t comprised entirely of eventers! We are grateful to volunteers like Dillon Nolan, above, and his fellow Life Scouts in Troop 143 for their work at Fair Hill.
Can you take some time to volunteer this weekend? Here are eight USEA recognized events that are seeking volunteers.
The 35th running of the French three-day event Saumur Complet took place the last weekend of April, and Romain Barochi had his Cambox on board for CCI2*-L cross country. He and Fiestarado B, an 11-year-old Dutch gelding (Diarado x Alottie, by Carolus II) owned by Justine Roet, went clear inside the time. Seems like a neat horse — check out the view of the course between his ears!
Featured Activity: Expert Day Jump Clinic w/Jimmy Wofford — Aug. 17, 2021 at Waredaca in Laytonsville, MD. View details here. Photos courtesy of Gamecock Photo and EN.
“What’s Happening?,” presented in partnership with Strider, is your complete guide to clinics, schooling shows and other riding and educational opportunities.
Need a way to accept digital entries and payment for your venue’s next equestrian activity? Join Strider, a mobile friendly, user-controlled services platform that connects organizers with riders. It’s easy and fast to use — click here to get started.