I’ve been back from the Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International for just a couple of days, but I’m still basking in the glow of how much I enjoyed the event and, particularly, its very cool Ian Stark-designed CCI4*-S course. This is a seriously up-to-standard four-star, and one that’s a great prep for big spring aims to come — but even with that in mind, we still saw a couple of first-timers at the level. One of those was Elisa Wallace’s Maryland CCI3* winner Renkum Corsair, who finished 15th after a steady clear across the country, looking every bit an upper-level horse on his way around. Now, you can see the round from Elisa’s perspective with a great hatcam video. Go Eventing!
Classic Eventing Nation
Win The Ultimate Trip to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
‘Tis the season for seriously beefed-up prize packages for eventing fans! Yesterday, we shared details of Ride iQ’s competition to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to any horse show in the world; today, we’re back with a prize bundle that gives you everything you could possibly need to have the trip of a lifetime to this spring’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by MARS Equestrian, with your best pals!
This year’s event takes place from April 26–30, and one Grand Prize winner in the Defender VIP Insiders Package Sweepstakes will receive:
- Four VIP Hospitality Passes for the 2023 EEI Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
- A VIP course walk for four people during the event
- Defender-branded swag and USEF-branded swag
- One Preferred Tailgate space for the 2023 event which will include six general admission tickets for Saturday, April 29
Not too shabby of an offering, all things considered! Entries are open until 11.59 p.m. ET on April 1, and you can make sure your name is in the draw by submitting an entry here. Good luck, and Go Eventing!
Stable View Foundation Launched to Support Local Causes
Stable View is pleased to announce the formation of the Stable View Foundation, which has been created to efficiently collect and donate money to local causes. These local causes will be selected by a three-person independent board and will focus on organizations in our communities that serve youth and families in need.
Reflecting current best Corporate Governance practices, the following guidelines are in place:
- An independent three-person Board that selects three area Charities annually.
- All Charities will have a high percentage to cause—they do not have significant overheads.
- Funds for distribution from the Stable View Foundation will be received by Stable View’s May “Local Charities Horse Trials”—a minimum of $10,000.
- The Foundation will also distribute a minimum of $5,000 from each of eight shows in Stable View’s USEF/USHJA $550,000 Challenge Series.
- Once prepared, the Stable View Foundation’s Accounts will be reproduced on the Stable View website.
- The expenses of running the Foundation are planned to be de minimis.
The Directors—Morgan Batton, Michele Bradley, and Pippa Moon—have selected the following charities for 2023:
Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons
Ronald McDonald House of Columbia
Thursday News & Notes
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Equiratings has come out with their early predictions for who shall win Badminton 2023! Will we see a repeat with Laura Collett and London 52? After their incredible year last year, it’s hard to imagine anyone topping them, but with the unpredictable nature of our sport, anything goes. And honestly, that list of ten horses is astonishingly stacked, and I wouldn’t bet against a single one of them.
U.S. Weekend Preview
Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Volunteer]
March Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]
Texas Rose Horse Park H.T (Tyler, TX) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
News From Around the Globe:
Caroline Martin had a very successful year abroad in 2022. She took two of her top horses, HSH Blake and HSH Connor to the Young Horse Championships at Le Lion, finishing 10th in the CCI3* and 2nd in the CCI2*. Caroline spent much of her year in England training with Pippa Funnell, which allowed her to pick up strong placings at the Preliminary and two-star levels with “Connor.” As a result, the Irish Sport Horse gelding (Connor 48 x Galwaybay Merstona), who’s owned by Martin, Sherrie Martin and Luann McElduff, was named the 2022 USEA Preliminary 6-Year-Old of the Year. [HSH Connor Wins USEA 6-Year-Old Award]
Super-groom Courtney Carson is stepping into a new role as US Coordinator for the International Groom’s Association. Having stepped back from working as a full time groom, Courtney has been able to devote some time to helping strengthen the IGA presence in the US. Read her blog to learn more about her background and plans for the future! [Courtney Carson Joins IGA]
Over the last month, U.S. Eventing hosted its annual series of training sessions in Ocala, beginning with the Emerging Training Session and ending with the Development Training Session and Elite and Pre-Elite Training Sessions. The programs are part of the U.S. Eventing Pathway, which is focused on developing combinations to deliver sustainable success in team competition at the championship level. In total, 24 athletes were named to the Emerging and Development programs–all part of the Eventing Pathway Programs–ahead of the training sessions. Take a look at the goals from each session and a rewind of each group’s experiences. [Rewinding USEA Training Sessions]
I think we’ve all dreamt of having a custom Breyer of our favorite horse in the barn. Well, Buck Davidson can now check that off his list. Ballynoe Castle RM, or “Reggie,” the Irish Sport Horse who became the U.S. Eventing Association’s highest point-scoring horse of all time in 2014. Reggie was made into Breyer model in 2019, though his release planned at Breyerfest in 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19. But now he’s here!! [Reggie is an Actual Breyer Model Now]
Wednesday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: Join in With a Leslie Law Training Session
Just the other day, we stumbled upon our new favourite video: Boyd, deep in a dressage training session, being coached simultaneously by both wife Silva and German legend Bettina Hoy. The video, which took the audio from the trio’s mic’d up headsets, offered a fascinating insight into just how much focus on the fine details goes into a truly top-notch performance.
So now, of course, we’re utterly delighted to see that the mic’d up training video trend appears to be catching on; this time, it’s the US Equestrian Team who’ve jumped onto the format, mic’ing up Leslie Law for a recent team training session. It’s a short but sweet video, but packed with plenty of little insights that make it well worth the watch — and perfect for those of us who can’t get ourselves into a Leslie Law clinic any time soon!
Poor performance? Sour attitude?
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The horse that matters to you matters to us®. KPPusa.com.
Have you grabbed your winter running horse stickers? Check them out at KPPusa.com/winter23.
Who Jumped It Best: The 1* Oxer-to-Triple Brush at SRF Carolina International (Part Two!)
Earlier this week, we took a look at one of the earliest combinations on Beth Perkins’s Dark Waterspoon, LLC CCI1* course at the Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International, which came up at 7AB and featured a clipped timber oxer on a positive four-stride line to a skinny brush at B. Then, we had a look at half the class’s competitors and how they tackled that A element – and now, we’re looking at the other half and how they got over the B. You know what to do: scroll down through the following photos, then cast your vote for the best effort at the bottom of the page. Go Eventing!
Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International: [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scores] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Form Guide] [Volunteer]
Win a Trip to ANY Event of Your Choice with Ride iQ
Have you got an equestrian event bucket list stashed away somewhere? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a trip to Badminton, or fancy a week spent at a European Championship or Pan-Ams, or you fancy the crème-de-la-crème all-discipline showcase of CHIO Aachen (truly the ultimate bucket list event, if you ask me!). But travelling around the world to follow horse sport isn’t necessarily a cheap endeavor, which can make some of those dreams feel a little out of reach.
Enter Ride iQ, the clever app-based learning system that allows equestrian education to be accessible to everyone, no matter where they’re based. Now, they’re expanding that idea with a rather brilliant contest that’ll allow one lucky winner to pick an event of their choosing, grab a pal, and plan the trip of a lifetime — all expenses paid.
Entries close on April 5 at midnight ET, and entering is totally free. Click here to get your name in the hat, and start coming up with your destination of choice — we reckon the EN archives are a pretty good place to start hunting for some inspiration!
Making it to the Makeover – Don’t Protect Them
Well, here we are again! Back on the Makeover path for 2023! Against my better judgement, I found myself hitting the “Submit” button on the Makeover application. I was delighted, and a touch worried, to receive the coveted acceptance email two weeks ago. With a full-time job training and selling young warmbloods, a farm of my own full to the brim of client and personal horses, a family with a 4 year old (going on 13), and oh — did I mention a broken ankle? — maybe a touch worried is the understatement of the century. If you don’t laugh you’ll cry, right?
Yet, there’s one thing I wasn’t at all worried about, and that was finding my makeover mount. With all the fantastic connections I’ve built over the years, I was lucky enough to have him already standing in my barn. Just a month prior, I had gotten a text from a friend asking if I needed a new project, and even though I really didn’t, I found myself hooking up the truck and trailer to pick up a barely castrated 4 year old liver chestnut with the most adorable white face. (Do you see a trend in my decision-making abilities here?)
So, Lucky Devil came home with me. And for the last two months he’s been adjusting to sport horse life, doing ground work and building muscle. I had sat on him one time and was eagerly creating a training plan in my mind when it was all derailed by a broken ankle. Here we are laughing instead of crying again!
But we make do (mainly because we have no other option)! So as I hobbled around my barn, doing what little my family, friends and boarders would allow me to do with the horses, my toddler asked me one day if she could feed Lucky treats. Here I was, with a barely four year old horse, gelded maybe two months ago, standing in the crossties, myself in a boot and my little girl begging to give him cookies. I reluctantly agreed and hovered nervously. Much to my surprise, Lucky was an absolute saint and gingerly took treats from her hand. I watched in awe.
I marinated on the interaction for a long time. How did I end up with such a lovely, quiet animal, even though I’ve barely worked him? Was it sheer, dumb luck? Probably. Was it my skill in choosing horses? Definitely not. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there have only been a handful of horses that have stepped foot on my farm in the last three years that I didn’t trust to be around my daughter. Maybe three in 50+ horses that I didn’t inherently trust. But why?
Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: I don’t protect them.
The overriding factor in each of these dozens of horses is the way they’re handled the moment they step foot on the farm. I don’t protect them. Not in turnout, not in the barn, not at any point in my relationship with my horses. Now, I promise I love them dearly, so just hear me out.
In turnout — I let them be a horse. I don’t try to protect them from all the things that come with being a horse. Minor injuries, bites, the weather, etc. I let them roam, play and interact with other horses. I’ll say that one again — I let them interact with other horses. I’ve learned that horses teach other horses so much faster than you or I ever would. They learn about personal space, about reading body language, about being respectful. All of these things play a factor in creating a calm, trustworthy animal.
In the barn — I let them be a little stressed. My barn is not the calm, quiet mecca for horses. There’s kids running around, tractors, four-wheelers, noises and spooky things. I don’t protect them from trivial outside stressors and because of that, the horses learn very quickly most things are no big deal.
In my relationship with them — I’ve stopped babying my horses. I set boundaries with my animals and I don’t protect their feelings when they overstep those boundaries. It is very important to me that I react to unwanted behavior swiftly and fairly. If they take over my personal space, nip at me, or rush through a gate, whatever it may be — I give them a big no and then take the pressure off. Horses learn when the pressure comes off and in order for the pressure to come off, you have to put it on in the first place! (I’m thinking this one is a whole blog post for another time!)
While I may not be riding, I may not be training, I may be months behind other trainers on this journey, I know I’m still creating a solid foundation to build upon with every interaction. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but my horses are consistently fantastic to be around and easy to train because I don’t protect them. Their minds are calmer, they are less stressed and more willing to trust me in all situations. I’ve created a safe space for my horses by not protecting them, by letting them make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. So when it comes time to step back in the stirrups, I know Lucky will be willing, honest and trusting in me.
Wednesday News & Notes from SRF Carolina International
The Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International may have crowned its winners last weekend, but we’re still not over all the excitement and fun of the ten year anniversary event (and the celebration of 25 years at the Carolina Horse Park!).
Records were broken, music videos were made, hat tricks were scored, and football was played.
Despite picking the winner as part of my Eventing Manager team, once again my non-horsey husband beat me in the rankings. One day I might trust the stats rather than the gooey feeling I get in my heart over certain horses!
Missing it already? You can relive all the fun and games with a H&C+ subscription.
Read EN’s roundup of the 4* competition here.
U.S. Weekend Preview
Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Volunteer]
March Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
Texas Rose Horse Park H.T (Tyler, TX) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]
Wednesday News and Reading
I have a soft spot for certain event horses and there’s a Don Geniro shaped imprint in my heart. Sometimes it’s their name, or their color, the big white blaze down their face, or their kind eyes. It may be that they’ve inspired me in some way or that they evoke happy memories of days watching eventing. Often, it’s just something I can’t explain. I’ve heard riders talk about how a horse will tell them when it’s time to retire. In true Don Geniro quirkiness, he gave his rider, China’s Alex Hua Tian, the heads up mid-way through a World Championship cross country course. And so we start the eventing season without Don Geniro – Alex’s friend, 5*, World Championship and Olympic partner of ten years. I, for one, will miss him. We wish ‘The Don’ and his lucky new rider well in their dressage adventures. [Don Geniro Retires From Eventing]
There’s a whole bunch of interesting takeaways from the National Equine Forum – from addressing the equine industry in a changing world, to tackling unwanted behaviors in horses, playing for ‘team equestrian’ and how we’re all social media influencers for our sport. [Here’s A Summary]
Eventing legends Pippa Funnell and Tina Cook teamed up to deliver a masterclass demonstrating some of their training techniques. With advice about pole work and run outs, neck straps and nerves, seats and pelvic floor muscles, there’s plenty for us to be working on. [A Dream Team Masterclass]
While we were in Carolina, British eventers were out in force in Lincolnshire. There were wins for Oliver Townend and a fair few of the Badminton entries had successful spins around in preparation for the big one – Laura Collett, Izzy Taylor, Kitty King and Ros Canter, to name just a few. An Eventful Life has the full round up. [Two’ll Do For Oliver]
Equestrianism may be the only Olympic sport where men and women compete as equals, but it’s not as equal as we may think. Tania Millen from Horse Journals investigates gender equity and equality in equestrian sports around the world. [A Level Playing Field?]
I’ve heard many riders say that there are no bad rounds, just opportunities to learn. And that’s what a growth mindset is all about. It may sound a bit buzz-wordy, but it actually makes a fair bit of sense. From setting realistic goals, to celebrating the small wins (and the big ones), in a sport with the ups and downs that equestrianism has, a growth mindset is invaluable. [Every Day’s A School Day]
Can you help out this University of Edinburgh Master’s student who’s looking for eventers to complete her dissertation survey? The research, part of an MSc in Equine Science, relates to noseband tightness, clipping whiskers, and volunteering at competitions. To be eligible, you need to be over 18 and have competed in eventing in the last 18 months. [Contribute Here]
Cross country day vibes from SRF Carolina International.
It’s National Goof Off Day today so we advise you stop work immediately and watch this video of Boyd Martin having everything totally under control while his wife Silva’s away competing.
Tuesday Video Break: Let the Carolina International Helmet Cams Commence
It’s time for us to relive the action from this year’s Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International, thanks to the helmet cams donned by many competitors throughout the weekend. Our first helmet cam comes to us from the CCI2*-S division, where last year’s CCI1*-S champions Olivia Coolidge and her off-track Thoroughbred, Bold Impression (Bolductiv – Good Impressions), made the step up. Olivia and “Benny” steadily moved up the leaderboard throughout the weekend, eventually finishing in 13th overall as they aim for the CCI2*-L at Ocala International later this spring.
Enjoy the ride!