Classic Eventing Nation

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime Claim 2021 USEF National CCI3*-L Championship at Maryland 5 Star

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses is a challenge, but KPP makes it simple — and they treat you like a horse owner, not just a customer. You can learn more about KPP by clicking here.

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime. Photo by Abby Powell.

Kurt Martin and the beautiful gray Holsteiner mare D.A. Lifetime seized hold of the USEF National CCI3*-L Championship at the Maryland 5 Star early and never looked back. After the conclusion of show jumping this morning, Kurt and “Clarence” ended their weekend on their dressage mark, adding no penalties around an influential Ken Krone-designed track to seal the deal on the championship win.

The 9-year-old mare by Lingh and out of Timeless, who is owned by and bears the initials of Debbie Adams and her Debbie Adams Select Sport Horses moniker, has been on an upward trajectory that began when the mare first started her eventing career in Kurt’s program back in 2018. After spending the majority of the abbreviated 2020 season at the Preliminary and CCI2* level, Kurt and D.A. Lifetime moved up to the Intermediate level and finished out their season with a first CCI3*-L completion at Virginia Horse Trials last October. Now, this win comes as their third in 2021, also marking their lowest finishing score since the mare was competing at the Modified level.

Kurt remembers taking the mare to the Florida Horse Park for a lower level event soon after she came to the U.S., describing how she’d buck and spook and overall just show her exuberance. A definitive “one person horse”, Clarence has been a horse Kurt has had to thoughtfully produce (isn’t the saying, “ask a mare”?). But thanks to help from both Debbie Adams and James Burtwell on the flat, Kurt says the mare has really shown her talent as her strength increases.

Kurt describes “Clarence” as very enthusiastic and keen (but a total puppy in the barn), noting yesterday after cross country that the course and terrain was probably good to help tamper that energy — but that the jumps still didn’t really “hold” her, indicating she still had more power, scope and bravery to burn. While he very much sees five-star potential in this mare, he’s committed to the process of tactful production. After all, he knew this was a very special horse for the future from the moment he sat on her, describing the shopping trip to Germany that he went on with Debbie Adams (who in her own right has an excellent eye for top horses, having sourced horses such as D.A. Duras. Debbie Adams also served as a judge for the Young Event Horse competition this week and serves as a USEF judge and ICP instructor) and Tony Rosati that led them to D.A. Lifetime. “It’s all about the stepping stones and having a really good horse and producing it, and that’s what we have here,” Kurt described. “We have to continue to train the balance, but she wants it as much or more as any other horse I’ve ever ridden.”

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime. Photo by Abby Powell.

“We ran her last year at Virginia Horse Trials, in a three-star long when she was a little underprepared and a little bit green,” Kurt described. “And it was a really eye opening experience for us because we realized what horse we had. Then for the last year we trained that horse, so I know when to get on that horse, I know when to ask that horse to stay, and I know when I can’t and, you know, you work together. I don’t force that horse to do anything. We work together and it’s a mare and I’ve had another good mare [Anna Bella].”

Coming into Ken Krome’s twisting show jumping track in the new main arena surrounded by grandstands, Kurt wasn’t sure how D.A. Lifetime would respond. “I truly believed if we put our best foot forward, we could win,” he said. “She’s been second and first in her last two FEI, so it came down to the show jumping. I just believed in the horse — I knew that she wanted to do it and it’s almost, I’ll be honest with you, harder to ride such a nice horse because you don’t want to make a mistake for the horse. And that’s how I felt about it. I believed in her, and I was confident but when I went into the show jumping I just looked up and took a deep breath in every single fence, and what was going to be was going to be. And she did that for me and tried very hard — and that’s what a partnership is. That’s why I do love a mare for that. She’s dug in for me.”

A fun fact: D.A. Lifetime got her barn name, “Clarence”, after the Bruce Springsteen song, Jungle Land, came on while the group was driving to the airport in Germany following their horse shopping trip. They’d just decided to take the mare back to the U.S. with them, and as they sped down the Autobahn, sax player Clarence Fleming became the inspiration for the new addition’s nickname.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Carsonstown. Photo by Abby Powell.

While eight riders produced double clear show jumping efforts this morning, the rails fell throughout the division and prompted a shuffle in the remainder of the top three. In the end, it’s Hannah Sue Burnett with Christa Schmidt’s Carsonstown (Loughere Cappuchino – Nonavic Spyridonna, by Limmerick) who would move up from fourth to finish in second place on a score of 28.1 in the gelding’s CCI3*-L debut. This is another 9-year-old, with whom Hannah Sue has been partnered since he was brought over from Ireland in 2019.

Oliver Townend and Ulises. Photo by Abby Powell.

Winding up third with a catch-ride on Juli Hutchings Sebring’s Ulises is Great Britain’s Oliver Townend, who campaigned the 14-year-old Spanish gelding by Fines through the Advanced/4* level previously. Juli reached out to Oliver to gauge his interest in taking the ride for the weekend, and he eagerly agreed to reunite with his old friend. He visited Juli’s Appleton Equestrian earlier this week (Juli is based just around the corner here in Elkton) to reacquaint with Ulises — and they certainly took little time to get to know each other again as they became just the second pair in the division to end the weekend on their dressage mark of 29.4. Thanks to their clear jumping efforts, Oliver and Ulises were able to gradually move up after starting in 10th place following dressage. Oliver and Ulises also won Best Turned Out Horse & Rider for the CCI3*-L division.

You can review full final scores from the CCI3*-L here. We’re just about set to kick off the 5* finale at 1 p.m. EST, so stay tuned for more from the final day at Maryland 5 Star!

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: Website, Ultimate Guide, Digital Program, Tickets, Schedule,  Live ScoresLive Stream, EN’s Coverage, Daily Digest Email Sign-up, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Cooley Master Class, Accepted! All 5* Horses Pass Second Jog, One Spun in 3*

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses is a challenge, but KPP makes it simple — and they treat you like a horse owner, not just a customer. You can learn more about KPP by clicking here.

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Kate Samuels.

There’s a collective feeling of breath being held on the morning of the second horse inspection at a five-star event — especially after running a brand new cross country track —  but as it turned out we needn’t have worried. All 35 horses that presented to the CCI5* ground jury of Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER) and Mark Weissbecker (USA) this morning were accepted and will move on to show jumping.

Of course everyone was curious to see how Cooley Master Class and Oliver Townend, who maintained their lead in the division after a double clear cross country round yesterday, would fare this morning; particularly after having sadly been spun at this point in the competition at Kentucky in April.

Andrea Baxter’s Indy 500 was the only horse to be asked to jog twice, but then was immediately accepted without being held.

Unfortunately, one horse in the three-star division did not pass inspection: Alina Patterson’s Flashback was sent to the holding box and then was not accepted upon representation. Mia Farley and Phelps were also sent to the hold box but were then accepted without without being asked to represent.

CCI3* show jumping commenced a moment ago, at 10:00 a.m. EST, and a new 2021 USEF CCI3*-L National Champion will be crowned. The exciting conclusion of the five-star division will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will cap off this inaugural Maryland 5 Star.

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: WebsiteUltimate GuideDigital ProgramTicketsScheduleLive ScoresVolunteerLive StreamEN’s CoverageDaily Digest Email Sign-upEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Saturday Maryland Instagram Roundup: Whatever You Do, Don’t Look Down

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses is a challenge, but KPP makes it simple — and they treat you like a horse owner, not just a customer. You can learn more about KPP by clicking here.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Abby Powell.

Dani Sussman and Jos Bravio. Photo by Abby Powell.

Nothing puts one’s heart in one’s throat like a dramatic drop fence, and there were some epic ones on Ian Stark’s Maryland 5 Star cross country track. For obvious reasons they were destination jumps for both professional and amateur photographers, as horses stretched out their landing gear and riders did their darnedest to keep up. Here are a few of your best shots, as spotted on Instagram:

 

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You can read EN’s full cross country recap here. Best of luck to all on this final day of competition!

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: WebsiteUltimate GuideDigital ProgramTicketsSchedule3* XC Ride Times5* XC Ride TimesLive ScoresEntriesVolunteerLive StreamEN’s CoverageDaily Digest Email Sign-upEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Sunday Links from Fairfax & Favor

A damp Chinch and a happy course designer. Photo by Sally Spickard.

We hope you enjoyed your breakfast, Ian! While yesterday’s five-star cross country course caused many a sleepless night and unpleasant breakfast experiences — both for riders AND for this first-time five-star course designer — we had such an incredible day of cross country at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Ian showed that he can make a little cross country design magic happen by scaring the riders without tricking the horses. Bravo, Ian.

We’ll close the door on this first chapter of eventing’s newest five-star tomorrow. The second horse inspection will begin promptly at 8 a.m. and then the 3* show jumping begins at 10:00 a.m. EST, followed by the 5* finale at 1 p.m. EST. Keep it locked here on EN!

And if you fancy the chance to win some fabulous prizes, a couple of our Maryland 5 Star contests are still open. Don’t forget to check them out here.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: [Website] [Tickets] [Schedule] [Entries] [Friday 3* Dressage Start Times] [Friday 5* Start Times] [Digital Program] [Volunteer] [EN’s Coverage] [Daily Digest Email Sign-up] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

Ocala Fall H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scoring]

Pine Hill Fall H.T. (Bellville, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Sunday Links:

Big cash boost for long-term concussion research

Thunderous Affair, Lindsey Partridge Win 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion

Date Set For Barisone’s Attempted Murder Trial

Just in on Jumper Nation: End Of The Year Pressure

Sunday Video: Check out the 3* ride of the day from Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime! This pair is on the cusp of earning the title of 2021 USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Champions!

A Showcase of the Sport on Cross Country Day at Inaugural Maryland 5 Star

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses is a challenge, but KPP makes it simple — and they treat you like a horse owner, not just a customer. You can learn more about KPP by clicking here.

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Despite the fact that collectively the riders here at the Maryland 5 Star probably got about five hours of sleep thinking about the big, burly cross course that awaited them today, we quickly learned there was much to love about this brand-new track with no precedent at the Maryland 5 Star. In spite of those nerves, one of the biggest traits designer Ian Stark is known — and respected — for is the fact that even though he might scare the riders into a sleepless night or two, he is always fair to the horses.

This is what we saw today as the very first Maryland 5 Star cross country course was finally unveiled, beginning with the CCI3*-L this morning and concluding, nearly beating the downpour, with the CCI5* in the afternoon. The course rode exceptionally well, presenting a challenge but for the most part allowing all horses to get home with good wind. Outside of the top three, we saw some shuffling which we’ll get to shortly, but for now we will see Oliver Townend and Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B – The Swallow, by Master Imp) remain on their dressage mark of 21.1 after turning in a fast clear inside the time. Tim Price and Xavier Faer (24.3) also keep their position overnight after a double clear, as will Boyd Martin and On Cue (25.0).

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. Photo by Abby Powell.

We waited nervously for the first rider to come home this afternoon after Buck Davidson and Carlevo fell at fence 10A. It would fall to Will Coleman and Team Rebecca LLC’s DonDante, second out of the box, then to make it through the finish flags as the first pair to officially complete Ian Stark’s track, and while the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Team Rebecca LLC ran out of gas toward the end, Will showed his horsemanship to nurse him home.

“It felt like a lot of work,” Will said at the vet box. “The terrain challenges you in a number of ways, makes the fitness part of it that much more intense…I was thankful that (DonDante) stayed with me and was honest, but it was hard work, no question. As hard a five-star as I’ve done, start to finish.

Will Coleman and DonDante. Photo by Abby Powell.

Oliver Townend may find himself in a leading position quite often, but he says he always feels the pressure. Looking ahead to tomorrow, he’ll not have a pole in hand ahead of Tim Price and Xavier Fear. But for today, he’s very happy with the 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ramiro B — The Swallow, by Master Imp) owned by Angela Hislop.

“He’s really shown today how good he is because this is not a track that’s built for Cooley Master Class,” Oliver said after his ride. “But he’s been with me since he was four years old and he has a lot of trust in me and allows me to do my job so that he can do his. He gives me his brain in the start box and wherever I point and kick, even if he’s a little careful or not sure, he throws himself between the flags for me.”

“It’s an amazing venue and the organizers for me couldn’t have done a better job at the first attempt at the five star,” Oliver continued. “Ian was my hero as a kid, and it’s about time he had a five-star. He’s one of the best designers in the world. Yet again, despite us all scratching our heads and not liking the idea of his track before going out, he’s shown that he’s very, very fair.”

Tim Price and Xavier Faer. Photo by Abby Powell.

The Price crew is making good on their latest trip to the U.S., with Tim and Trisha Rickards’ Xavier Faer (Catherston Liberator – Faerie Dazzler, by Catherston Dazzler) remaining on his dressage mark to hang on to second, though this pair also does not have a rail in hand tomorrow. Xavier Faer was runner-up at Kentucky earlier this year, and he pulled up full of run at the end today to look like he’ll return for a good crack at the show jumping tomorrow.

“You’ve got to enjoy it whilst it’s there for you with a horse like him and the partnership we’ve got,” Tim said of “Hugo”, who is doing his seventh five-star this weekend. “He’s great fun. He’s a great traveler which made the time getable for me.”

With their cross country finishes today, both Tim Price becomes the first rider to complete cross country at all seven five-stars in the world, having made many runs around the various other events scattering the globe, including the most difficult to reach (thankfully, he hails from the Southern Hemisphere so were at one point closer to the Australian Three-Day!). Editor’s Note: This fact was corrected due to an error.

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet. Photo by Abby Powell.

Boyd Martin found himself with just the one ride this weekend, plus another in the CCI3*-L, with Christine Turner’s On Cue (Cabri d’Elle – On High, by Primitive Rising), and the 15-year-old Anglo-European mare once again proved her mettle as she turned in a first double clear (though she came close in Kentucky, picking up just two seconds of time) at the level.

“She’s brilliant,” Boyd said after his ride. “I love this horse. She’s an older horse, but this year, I mean, what a champion.”

Boyd Martin and On Cue. Photo by Abby Powell.

“I think this cross country course is fantastic,” Boyd elaborated in the press conference. “It had everything — the technical questions — and it was a real test of endurance. The top class of horses made the trip look good…obviously, you want to bring a real good athlete to the five-star, and I think this event’s going to evolve in years to come to be the greatest five-star in the world.”

In fact, the top five at the end of phase two all turned in double clear efforts. The time proved to be the most consequential factor of the day, with jump penalties spread out throughout. These efforts were rewarded with a reshuffling of the remaining top 10, starting with Lauren Nicholson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo (Formula One – Glamour), who came home three seconds under time to remain on a score of 28.5 and move from sixth into fourth. Lauren will actually have both of her rides inside the top 10 overnight as Vermiculus (Sazeram – Wake Me Gently), the first of her two to leave the start box, also turned in a double clear two seconds under optimum. Both Landmark’s Monte Carlo and Vermiculus are owned by Ms. Jacqueline Mars.

Lauren Nicholson and Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Photo by Abby Powell.

“It’s a proper five-star for sure,” Lauren commented after her ride with Vermiculus. “It’s a really interesting feeling to go out on a track like that with no information really. Even when you’ve done Burghley or Badminton the first time, you can go watch years and years of videos and get some idea of what you’re instincts are going to be like or how the horses are going to read certain areas or landmark fences. But it was definitely very interesting to go out on this track. There was a lot of hype about the terrain and going in the first five, you don’t get any information.”

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. Photo by Abby Powell.

Lauren explained that her strategy was to try to go after the time from the beginning — a bold choice given the terrain that awaited, but she ascertained that it would be the better to start quick than try to make up time later. This move paid off, and it’s one she says she credits to trusting her horse’s fitness — particularly Vermiculus with his Arabian blood — and that she’d properly prepared them. That prep work and that trust paid off in spades today. Vermiculus remains on his dressage mark of 30.7 to sit in eighth heading into show jumping.

Harry Meade and Superstition. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Britain’s Harry Meade also enjoyed a nice romp up the board, moving from 10th into fifth thanks to another fast double clear. Superstition, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Satisfaction FRH, hasn’t run much between this weekend and Kentucky, a strategy Harry says is to help the gelding work through his nervous tendencies. This selective, conservative approach paid off well today, leaving Harry to muse that he felt the horse even had more to give (challenge issued, Ian?).

“It was a great course,” Harry said. “My horse had his ears pricked the whole way…He had much more to give, and when you’re at a five-star you want to be able to demonstrate that, but it’s still always good to come home happy…This guy hasn’t run for twelve weeks to the date. That was a deliberate plan; he’s had one cross country school. He’s an unorthodox horse, he gets a bit stressed for the occasion so it’s about keeping it easy. I jumped a couple of fences this morning, hacked up here (to the cross country warm-up), jumped two fences in the collecting ring and went out. To me, it’s just about keeping his heart rate resting before he starts, and trying to travel with economic speed so it’s not blowing their brains and their adrenaline getting up too much. Five-star eventing isn’t a sprint — it’s not like short formats. It’s about getting them into a rhythm and breathe and relax.”

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500. Photo by Abby Powell.

While several riders turned in double clear efforts, it would be California rider Andrea Baxter with her incredible little mare, the 16-year-old Indy 500 (Cromwell – Tens of Thousands, by Spend A Buck), who would be the quickest of the day. Their time of 10:43 would reward them with a rocket up the board from 39th into the top 20 still on her dressage mark of 37.2. This is the seventh 5* this pair has started, and like a fine wine #InternationalIndy continues to get better and better. Andrea told us at the finish that she thought she was about 30 seconds down on her clock at fence 24. “I knew I had a Thoroughbred with a lot of gas in the tank, so I just put the pedal down all the way to the end and came in a little faster than I needed to,” Andrea laughed. “But it was really only that last bit that I had to sprint.”

“She’s such a warhorse,” Andrea said. Indy 500 came to Andrea a bit inauspiciously, and she always describes their early days as Indy “picking” her and proving herself as a horse worth keeping around. “She picked me in the beginning and she has earned her keep. She’s been the best horse ever.”

 

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We also saw our two debut riders finish the track this afternoon, along with a handful of “rookies” giving the 5* level a second go after running into trouble at Kentucky. In all, we were thrilled to welcome debutants Emma Lomangino (Master Frisky) and Ashlynn Muechel (Emporium), as well as Mike Pendleton (Steady Eddie), Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride (Favian), Zoe Crawford (K.E.C. Zara), and Karl Slezak (Fernhill Wishes) through the finish flags to finish their first cross country course at the level. It’s a huge amount of effort that goes into getting a horse and rider to this level, and all of the aforementioned riders are primarily one-horse riders without a big string to gain mileage on. We hope you are all proud and happy tonight — and we know for sure that Emma Lomangino is, as demonstrated by her and Master Frisky’s post-ride interview (and we’re also pleased to welcome Master Frisky back to the 5* level for the first time since 2015!):

 

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Problems were tossed a bit throughout the course, and while no one fence would really emerge as a bogey, fence 11 — a left-handed brush corner that came on the end of an S-shaped line on a downhill — caught out four riders with runouts. The track accumulated a completion rate of 83%, with 11 starters (26%) going clear inside the time and 26 (62%) starters going clear without jump penalties.

Three horses fell: Buck Davidson and Carlevo hit the deck rather hard at fence 10A, but both were up on their feet afterward. Buck went on to ride Jak My Style but later withdrew his third ride, Erroll Gobey. Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack fell at fence 20, the second of the sharply angled cabins that followed the big Fair Hill drop. Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore also fell at the Groundhog Garden Gate at fence 24, and while the MIM clip was activated the fall was quite scary. Colleen Rutlege (Covert Rights), Holly Jacks-Smither (Candy King) and Fylicia Barr (Galloway Sunrise) unfortunately fell off. Ema Klugman pulled up Bendigo heartbreakingly close to home at the final water — one of the most difficult (but at the same time, easiest) decisions a horsewoman can make so near the end. Ema reported that Bendigo ran out of steam a bit at the last hill, and she decided to let him call it a day. We’re relieved to report that no injuries have been reported to any riders at the time of publication, and all horses were confirmed to be ok.

You can review the full leaderboard for the CCI5* here.

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime Keep CCI3*L Lead

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime. Photo by Abby Powell.

The USEF National CCI3*-L Championship competitors ran their cross country earlier today, giving the day a brilliant start as Ian Stark’s track here also rode exceptionally well for this division. The 3*L would be a test for horses aiming to move up to the Advanced level in the near future, as third-placed Caroline Martin noted, and this test certainly stood up to that challenge. In the end, Kurt Martin with Debbie Adam’s D.A. Lifetime will retain their lead after a quick clear, remaining on their dressage score of 23.5.

“‘Clarence’ was really excited to be out and she’s a very enthusiastic lady,” Kurt said of D.A. Lifetime, a 9-year-old Holsteiner mare by Lingh who so far has improved upon her two previous CCI3*-L performances. “In the warm-up she was honestly very nervous, so I spent a little bit more time than I had planned up there and she came out of the box well. She just wants to go and go and go and she’s not scared of anything, she’s not backed down by a crowd or by fence or even me and so there was a little bit of wrestling at the beginning but she’s just very genuine lady and she gave me a good ride.”

Daniel Clasing and Olney Uncle Sam. Photo by Abby Powell.

Second in the CCI3*-L overnight will be Daniel Clasing and Jennifer Ward’s Olney Uncle Sam (Sonset Seiger – Aerial, by Starman) — who is a true Maryland horse as he was bred here in the state by the well-known Olney Farm, who made quick work of the track to move up from fourth on a score of 26.0. “We’ve been getting to know each other,” Dan said in the press conference. “We’ve had good events and we’ve had ones that didn’t work out so great, but I think we’re developing a partnership and he’s bwe’ve been getting to know each other, he’s been, you know, we’ve had good events and we’ve had ones that didn’t work out so great but I think we’re developing a partnership and he’s been getting more consistent as the season goes on.”

Caroline Martin and HSH Vamanos. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Caroline Martin, who’s probably the busiest rider here this week in terms of number of horses (and who’s always quick to thank the team behind her for helping make these busy weekends work), and she’ll slot into third place in this division with the 8-year-old HSH Vamanos (Andiamo VH Kapelhof Z – Quasimodelle Kapelhof Z , by Quasimodo Z), who was one of the first to see the track this morning. Caroline and Vamanos will take a score of 27.5 into tomorrow after picking up 2.0 time penalties. This is a special one for Caroline, as Vamonos was actually given to her as an engagement gift.

“Vamanos is quite a cool horse,” Caroline said. “I just got the ride on him in January or February. My business partner Kelly Hutchinson sourced the horse and Emily King produced him up to the two-star level. Kelly found him and gave him to me as my engagement gift so that’s kind of cute. He’s kind of a quirky guy, a little bit of a head case, we jokingly say.”

The 3* did prompt quite a few retirements, with 11 pairs retiring after trouble on course and two picking up eliminations. Elinor O’Neal and Zick Zack had a fall at the angled cabins following the drop, but Zick Zack is reported to be ok.

In total, it was a brilliant day and a brilliant showcase of our sport. The organizers of the Maryland 5 Star hail from other industries outside of the horse world, and the result of this experience led them to reach out into the community to invite more newcomers to take in the event. And what a grand show of sport we gave those newcomers today! We love a challenging cross country that does not trick its participants, and the general consensus in talking to the riders is that Ian Stark did a brilliant job designing his first five-star — though he intimated that he may already be working on some new tricks for next year!

For his part, Ian — who was decidedly nervous to see how this track would ride today — was pleased with how things went, though he admitted he felt nervous after Buck and Carlevo fell. “I’ve always said, my big fear is tricking horses,” Ian said. “And so, what really pleased me today was the horses seem to be reading the questions, even the sort of less experienced horses and riders. Yeah, they had some hiccups but in general, they were getting wrong and they weren’t losing competence and that’s important because a lot of the riders said they had sleepless nights but then so did I, so I don’t really mind!”

Just as the rain began to pour, the final horses were finishing their rounds. Thanks to a move up of start times for both divisions, we were able to see the vast majority of all pairs before high-tailing it back to the press tent (and turning up looking like drowned rats — did you think this job was glamorous? Because it’s decidedly the opposite) as the downpour started.

We will wrap up this epic weekend at Maryland with the final horse inspection tomorrow, beginning at 8 a.m. EST with the 3* horses and 8:30 a.m. EST for the 5* horses. The 3* show jumping begins at 9:30 a.m. EST, followed by the 5* finale at 1 p.m. EST. This schedule is subject to change, so we’ll let you know if any of these times shift.

In the meantime, we’re thankful to have horses and riders back in the barn safe after a fantastic day of cross country. It’s certainly been an incredible experience, and we are grateful to you for following along with us.

Go Eventing!

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: Website, Ultimate Guide, Digital Program, Tickets, Schedule, Live Scores, Volunteer, Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, Daily Digest Email Sign-up, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

#EventerProblems Vol. 278: Oh Crab!

Undoubtedly the strangest and most fearsome crustacean ever to appear on a cross country course in history, fence #15A on the inaugural Maryland 5 Star Course has attracted plenty of double-takes. This crab would be giving me nightmares if it was six inches long and dressed with garlic butter on my dinner plate, much less whatever whopper dimensions it actually is.

After horses take the plunge, they’ll shake the water out of their ears and head on to an up bank to a log at 15CD, followed by a brush arrowhead at 15E. You can watch Ian explain this question here, and you can check out EN’s course preview here.

Here are a few of your snaps of this legit #EventerProblem. Five-star cross country begins at 12:20 p.m., moved up from its original 1 p.m. start time, so we’ll get to see how it jumps here shortly! Best of luck to all.

 

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Don’t forget to tag ’em on social for inclusion in future editions! Go Eventing.

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: WebsiteUltimate GuideDigital ProgramTicketsSchedule3* XC Ride Times5* XC Ride TimesLive ScoresEntriesVolunteerLive StreamEN’s CoverageDaily Digest Email Sign-upEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Maryland 5 Star Cross Country Schedule Adjusted Due to Weather Forecast + One 5* Contender Withdraws

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…have a great ride! Photo by Sally Spickard.

As a precaution due to Saturday’s weather forecast, the following changes have been made for the Cross Country Driven by Land Rover at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill:

  • The CCI3*-L will start at 9:00 a.m. EDT.
  • The CCI5*-L will start at approximately 12:20 p.m. EDT, not its original time of 1:00 p.m.

Schedule remains subject to change due to weather. For updated scheduling and full event results, visit results.hippodata.de.

The entire CCI5* is available via livestream presented by MARS Equestrian. It can be accessed through USEF Network in North America and through Horse & Country outside North America. USEF Network is also providing exclusive coverage of the CCI3*. A link to the livestream is available on the event’s website via the USEF Network player. Additionally, press conferences are being livestreamed through the event’s Facebook page.

Lynn Symansky also posted on her Instagram page that she has withdrawn RF Cool Play.

“Spent a good part of yesterday a bit ill, and with Coolio new to the 5* level and already on the lighter side of fitness and runs, I’ve made the decision to withdraw before cross-country,” Lynn said. “It’s not a decision I take lightly, as he’s a great XC horse sitting in 4th position at his first 5*. While we often thrive in less than ideal circumstances, I feel it’s in the best interest of the horse to reroute to Tryon.”

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: Website, Ultimate Guide, Digital Program, Tickets, ScheduleLive Scores, Entries, Volunteer, Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, Daily Digest Email Sign-up, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

The Objects on This Course Are Larger Than They Appear: Walking XC With Law Eventing

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses is a challenge, but KPP makes it simple — and they treat you like a horse owner, not just a customer. You can learn more about KPP by clicking here.

Photo by Sally Spickard.

Photos don’t always do the enormousness of a cross country course justice, even when we stick a small stuffed animal in the shot for scale. So we’re thankful for these videos from Law Eventing, with Leslie Law (who sits 21st after dressage with Voltaire de Tre) marching ahead dutifully while wife Lesley Grant-Law hangs back, offering some hilariously frank armchair commentary.

 

 

Well for those that believe endurance gone from Eventing prepare to b proven wrong. Move over Kentucky. There a bigger…

Posted by Lesley Leslie Grant-Law on Thursday, October 14, 2021

 

At the end the monster corners. They look like the American evil eagle off the muppet show.

Posted by Lesley Leslie Grant-Law on Thursday, October 14, 2021

Check out EN’s preview of Ian Stark’s formidable cross country track here. You can also check out Ian’s guide course preview (with fence-by-fence photos) on CrossCountryApp here. To all of today’s competitors, have a safe and happy ride!

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: WebsiteUltimate GuideDigital ProgramTicketsSchedule3* XC Ride Times5* XC Ride TimesLive ScoresEntriesVolunteerLive StreamEN’s CoverageDaily Digest Email Sign-upEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Go Eventing.

Saturday Links

Fence 27AB Brown Advisory Oriole Bird Water. Photo by Abby Powell.

These orioles, the state bird of Maryland, are ready to welcome the 5* riders home today. We’re all anxious to see how Ian Stark’s course will ride this afternoon and we’ll find out soon enough!

The CCI3*-L division will get things started at 9:15 a.m., followed by the CCI5*-L at 1 p.m. You can find 5* start times here and CCI3* times here.

Did you know we’re running some awesome giveaways and other activities this week at Maryland? A course walk this afternoon with Ema Klugman, a giveaway on Instagram for Fairfax & Favor as well as an Athletux ear bonnet (Frilly Fillies) and jump pad (Fleeceworks) bundle. Click here to learn more!

Don’t forget to check out our Maryland Form Guide, filled with all the info about every single horse in the 5*, and useful if you’re watching from home, or lucky enough to witness it in person.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: [Website] [Tickets] [Schedule] [Entries] [Friday 3* Dressage Start Times] [Friday 5* Start Times] [Digital Program] [Volunteer] [EN’s Coverage] [Daily Digest Email Sign-up] [EN’s Twitter] [EN’s Instagram]

Ocala Fall H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scoring]

Pine Hill Fall H.T. (Bellville, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Saturday Links:

Gina Jumps to Champion Title in Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships

Research Update: The Effect Of Ground Poles And Elastic Resistance Bands On Equine Muscle Activity

A Guide to Equine Diagnostic Imaging

Hot on Horse Nation: Reader Photo Challenge: Stellar Hairdos

Saturday Video:

Final Day of Preliminary Competition Wraps Up at Thoroughbred ‘Mega-Makeover’

One last look: a competitor tackles a fence on cross-country. Photo by CanterClix.

The culmination of ten months — or, for the 2020 horses, almost two years — of hard work came to fruition today at the Kentucky Horse Park as the final day of preliminary competition at the Thoroughbred ‘Mega Makeover’ came to a close. All ten Makeover disciplines have now set their Finale fields: the five top-scoring horses in each discipline will return for one more test in their respective competition years to determine final placings. The winner of each discipline will then be eligible to be named Thoroughbred Makeover Champion, sponsored by Churchill Downs, by a panel of all Makeover judges.

View preliminary round standings and see the Finale fields here. Learn more about the discipline leaders from today’s competition:

Jazz Napravnik and Legend’s Hope. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Eventing Leader: Legend’s Hope, trained by Jazz Napravnik

Legend’s Hope (Not For Love – Lunar’s Legend, by Polish Numbers) is a 2013 17.1 hand chestnut gelding who is a three-time contender in the Maryland Million Classic. He made 45 starts with four wins, earning $156,388 in his career. His last race was in November of 2019, retiring from Laurel Park.

Jazz Napravnik is a professional from Monkton, Maryland.

Hillary Irwin and Fleet Stepper. Photo by CanterClix

2021 Eventing Leader: Fleet Stepper, trained by Hillary Irwin

Fleet Stepper (Midshipman – Raven’s Rockette, by Raven’s Pass) is a 2017 16.2 hand bay mare who made three career starts but never broke her maiden, retiring after her last start in August of 2020. She’s a Kentucky-bred by 81 Gotham LLC.

Hillary Irwin is a professional based in Ocala, Florida.

Lindsey Partridge and Thunderous Affair. Photo courtesy CanterClix.

2020 Competitive Trail Leader: Thunderous Affair, trained by Lindsey Partridge

Thunderous Affair (Liaison – Thunder Fan, by Thunder Gulch) is a 2017 16.2 hand gray/roan mare bred in Kentucky by Jim Williams. She never made a start, but did train to race, and last worked in September of 2019. CANTER Michigan aided in her transition.

Lindsey Partridge is a professional based in Pontypool, Ontario.

Abbey Blair and Super Terrific. Photo courtesy CanterClix.

2021 Competitive Trail Leader: Super Terrific, trained by Abbey Blair

Super Terrific (Super Saver – Tiz Terrific, by Tiznow) is a 2014 16.2 hand bay gelding bred in Kentucky by T. F. Van Meter & Fanfare. He sold as a weanling at Keeneland November for $110,000, then again as a yearling at Keeneland September for $85,000. He went on to make 19 starts with two wins, earning $60,907 over his career. His last race was in June of 2020 at Belmont Park.

Abbey Blair is a professional from London, Kentucky.

Stephanie Calendrillo and Dispatcher. Photo courtesy CanterClix.

2020 Dressage Leader: Dispatcher, trained by Stephanie Calendrillo

Dispatcher (Distorted Humor – Charity Belle, by Empire Maker) is a 2015 16.3 hand chestnut gelding, bred in Kentucky by Godolphin. He made four starts with one win, retiring with $13,145 in earnings. His last start was in June of 2019 at Belmont Park.

Stephanie Calendrillo is a professional from Georgetown, Kentucky.

Alison O’Dwyer and Kubo Cat. Photo courtesy CanterClix.

2021 Dressage Leader: Kubo Cat, trained by Alison O’Dwyer

Kubo Cat (D’Wildcat – Golden Diva, by Gold Fever) is a 2016 16.0 hand chestnut gelding, bred in Louisiana by Carrol Castille. He made 16 starts, but never broke his maiden, retiring with $24,895 after his last start in December of 2019 at Delta Downs.

Alison O’Dwyer is a professional based in Severn, Maryland.

Cameron Sadler and Zapper. Photo by CanterClix.

 

2020 Field Hunter Leader: Zapper, trained by Cameron Sadler

Zapper (Ghostzapper – Doryphar, by Gone West) sold as a two-year-old through Ocala Breeders’ Sale in April of 2017 for $25,000, and went on to make 15 career starts with one win. He retired with $8,141 in earnings after his last race in August of 2019 at Indiana Grand Race Course. The 2015 15.3 hand bay gelding was bred in Kentucky by Kendall E. Hansen, M.D. Racing, LLC.

Cameron Sadler is an amateur from Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Laura Sloan and Forthegreatergood. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Field Hunter Leader: Forthegreatergood, trained by Laura Sloan

Forthegreatergood (Scipion – No Peeking, by Langfuhr) earned $46,734 in his 22-race career, most recently running at Laurel Park in June of 2020. He raced his entire career for his Maryland-based breeder/owner/trainer Donna B. Lockard. Forthegreatergood is a 2015 16.1 hand gray/roan gelding, bred by Donna Verrilli.

Laura Sloan is a professional from Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Lindsey Partridge and Thunderous Affair. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Freestyle Leader: Thunderous Affair, trained by Lindsey Partridge

Thunderous Affair (Liaison – Thunder Fan, by Thunder Gulch) is a 2017 16.2 hand gray/roan mare bred in Kentucky by Jim Williams. She never made a start, but did train to race, and last worked in September of 2019. CANTER Michigan aided in her transition.

Lindsey Partridge is a professional based in Pontypool, Ontario.

Jody Busch and Papa Al. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Freestyle Leader: Papa Al, trained by Jody Busch

Papa Al (Papa Clem – Morell’s Love, by Cutlass Reality) is a 2012 16.1 hand bay gelding bred in California by Salah Said Al-Mudarris. He made 36 starts with three wins for total career earnings of $26,831. His last start was in September of 2019 at Assiniboia.

Jody Busch is a professional from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Willowbrook Polo and That’s My Bertie. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Polo Leader: That’s My Bertie, trained by the Willowbrook Polo team

That’s My Bertie (Baptistry – Fat Cat Bertie, by Tactical Cat) is a 2017 15.0 hand dark bay/brown mare bred in Ohio by Carol Rettele. She made two lifetime starts and never git the board, retiring with $599 in earnings. Her last race was November of 2019 at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Willowbrook Polo team is captained by Michael Groubert and based in Canfield, Ohio.

Michael Groubert and Ramses. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Polo Leader: Ramses, trained by Benjamin Lynch

Ramses (Pioneerof the Nile – Dancing House, by Tapit) was bred in Kentucky by Godolphin. The 2018 15.0 hand bay gelding made just two career starts for owner/breeder, failing to hit the board and retiring with $248 in career earnings. His last race was in December of 2020 at Tampa Bay.

Benjamin Lynch is an amateur from Fallston, Maryland.

Charles Hairfield and Still Dreaming. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Show Hunter Leader: Still Dreaming, trained by Charles Hairfield

Still Dreaming (Flatter – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) is a 2016 16.2 hand chestnut gelding bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms. He was a $460,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland September in 2017, and went on to make seven starts with two wins. He made two graded stakes starts but failed to place in either. He retired with $63,140 in earnings after his last race, the 2019 Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park.

Charles Hairfield is professional from Johns Island, South Carolina.

Lara Van Der Heiden and Ironic. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Show Hunter Leader: Ironic, trained by Lara Van Der Heiden

Ironic (Five Iron – Only, by Salt Lake) is a 2017 16.2 hand gray/roan gelding bred in Arkansas by Starfish Stable, LLC. He made six starts but never hit the board, retiring with $859 in earnings after his last start in September of 2020 at Louisiana Downs.

Lara Van Der Heiden is an amateur from Carlisle, Kentucky.

Samantha Fawcett and Canton Comet. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Show Jumper Leader: Canton Comet, trained by Samantha Fawcett

Canton Comet (Shanghai Bobby – Katie’s Ten, by Rock Hard Ten) is a 2016 16.3 hand black mare bred in Kentucky by Kirby Chua. She sold for $80,000 as a yearling at Keeneland September in 2017, and went on to make nine starts with one win. Her final start was in August of 2019 at Arlington, where she retired with $20,698 in earnings.

Samantha Fawcett is a professional from Alton, Ontario.

Kamerra Brown Allen and Highest Rank. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Show Jumper Leader: Highest Rank, trained by Kamerra Brown Allen

Highest Rank (Courageous Cat – Hipshootinmomma, by Successful Appeal) is a 2016 16.1 hand bay gelding bred in New York by John T. Behrendt. He made 23 career starts, but never broke his maiden; he retired with $16,893 in career starts after his final race in October of 2020 at Finger Lakes.

Kamerra Brown Allen is a professional from Fulton, Missouri.

Layne Shaffer and Floo Powder. Photo by CanterClix.

Round Two at Makeover Barrel Racing/Thoroughbred Incentive Program Barrel Racing Championships

The final round of the inaugural Thoroughbred Incentive Program Barrel Racing Championships wrapped up the day’s competition. Featuring the Thoroughbred Makeover Barrel Racing competitors from both 2020 and 2021, as well as open horses from all over the country, the TIP Barrel Racing Championships awarded prizes for the fastest times of the evening in a 4D format, including buckles for the winners of the average.

Makeover entrants’ times counted towards their overall standings in the Barrel Racing discipline, and those who opted to enter the championships rolled their times to those standings.

Layne Shaffer, a professional from Thomasville, Pennsylvania with her Floo Powder (Exchange Rate – LA Wildcat, by Forest Wildcat) won the 1D average, as well as round two. Bred by Shaffer’s employer Arrowwood Farm, Floor Powder is a 2011 Pennsylvania-bred gelding who made five starts but never won, earning $8,109.

“It was a really long road, and I had him for three years before I started running him. This really means a lot,” said Shaffer. “It means a lot for me, it means a lot for the farm, because we’ll be able to show what these guys can do. It’s really cool to have a Barrel Racing Championships. There are still people who think they can’t barrel race and be successful, and that’s not the case. The whole atmosphere of this show is a whole other level!”

Tessa Elton and Monba Number Five. Photo by CanterClix.

2020 Barrel Racing Leader: Monba Number Five, trained by Tessa Elton

Tessa Elton and Monba Number Five. Photo by CanterClix
Monba Number Five (Monba – Nice Dilemma, by Silver Deputy) is a 2013 16.2 hand gray/roan mare bred in Pennsylvania by MD Thoroughbreds. She made 39 career starts, including six wins, for total earnings of $51,285. Her last race was in February of this year at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Tessa Elton is a professional from Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania.

Dakotah Rowel and Tip Top Diva. Photo by CanterClix.

2021 Barrel Racing Leader: Tip Top Diva and Dakotah Rowel

Tip Top Diva (Garnered – Little Tip Top, by Two Smart) made three career starts and never broke her maiden, retiring after her last start at Charles Town in September of 2020 with $1,225 in total earnings. She’s a 2015 15.3 hand chestnut mare, bred in West Virginia by Rene Moore, Rachael Moore and Mary Moore.

Dakotah Rowel is professional trainer from Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.

TIP Championships Round Two Winners:
1D: Layne Shaffer and Floo Powder
2D: Jessica Frederick and Czraina Maria (2020 Thoroughbred Makeover entrant)
3D: Christy Drent and Justa Jester
4D: Stacey Stephens and In the Kisser (2021 Thoroughbred Makeover entrant)

TIP Championships Average Results:
1D: Layne Shaffer and Floor Powder
2D: Hadley Jumps and Just in Flash (2019 Thoroughbred Makeover graduate)
3D: Megan Hems and Nucks (2020 Thoroughbred Makeover entrant)
4D: Christy Drent and Justa Jester

Polo preliminary competition on the Secretariat Field. Photo courtesy Bethany P Photography.

Congrats to all. Go Thoroughbreds!

Thoroughbred Makeover: Entry ListScoresASPCA Makeover MarketplaceVendor FairSilent AuctionMaster ClassSeminar SeriesTicketing Information