Classic Eventing Nation

From a Mountain Lion Attack to a Return to the Show Ring: The Story of Hog’s Hollow

Brittany Foust and Oink. Photo by JJ Sillman.

Fight. Flight. Freeze. Fawn.

Ask any rider how their horse responds to danger and the two most common responses you’ll get are flight and freeze. Naturally prey animals, there’s a reason why there are livestock guardian dogs, not livestock guardian horses. As eventers, we look for the rare horse who is gritty enough to run towards the scary obstacle. The horse who will battle to the end of the cross country course and come back the next day to show jump. In short, we look for the horses that naturally have a little more “fight” in their genetics.

When Brittany Foust purchased a 4-year-old off-track Thoroughbred from the Arapaho Park Racetrack, she couldn’t have known that the grit she saw in this mare would one day pay off in a way she could have never seen coming. Salida del Sol, barn name “Sunny,” was originally purchased to be her upper level eventer. “We start our Thoroughbreds pretty slowly, so she was getting ready to go out and compete at Novice last season. But she was a super scopey jumper. If she wasn’t gonna be an event horse, she wanted to be a Grand Prix Jumper,” Brittany said.

Unfortunately, Sunny didn’t get to go out and compete at the Novice level.

Brittany and her sister, Elli, have been riding since they were young. They were students of 5* eventers Jimmy Wofford and Mary Schwentker. Now, they work together to use their horses to help riders with their mental health. “I’m a licensed therapist and I have a therapy practice, which I use our horses for, and then Elli runs a nonprofit called Nature Heals, which is a 501c3 that offers nature based mental health services to those who can’t otherwise afford them.”

Brittany’s problems started in July 2022. Located in the Front Range Foothills of Boulder County, Colorado, it all started when a therapy horse named Hog’s Hollow, aka “Oink,” didn’t come in with the rest of the herd one morning. After searching for him on the 30 acre pasture, they found Oink standing alone by the creek.

“So the best we could figure when we first walked out and found him was that he somehow got himself stuck in a fence or chewed up by barbed wire,” Brittany said. “We have smooth ranch wire on our farm’s perimeters. But it almost looked like with high winds, maybe old barbed wire flew in from another farm or something. And he looked like he got tangled up and rolled around in it. It was around his face and around his neck, all across the sides of his body and around his leg.”

The idea didn’t quite fit with what they knew about Oink and their farm, particularly because they couldn’t find the barbed wire they thought he got tangled up in. But, because they’ve seen bears on the property before, Brittany thought that he must have been spooked by a bear and ran into the fence. His worst injury was on his right front leg.

“The most life threatening injury was that he basically degloved his right front leg and tore through the area by the tendons, and was leaking synovial fluid,” Brittany said. “When the vet showed up, she wasn’t sure if there was any initial tendon damage, so there were three options on the table. He could go up to CSU, which is an astronomical expense. Option two we could do regional limb perfusions at home for him, and hit him with heavy duty antibiotics and do all the bandage care at home for him. Or euthanasia was on the table of how extensive the tendon damage was and the fact that he was leaking synovial fluid.”

As she runs a breeding operation, owns several personal horses, and runs an equine therapy program, Brittany has a close working relationship with her veterinarians and opted to treat him at home. It was touch and go at first, the vet wasn’t sure if he would make it the first 24 hours, then the question became, will he make it the first 72 hours? The first week? Despite it all, Oink pulled through.

Brittany and Oink celebrate a clear round at The Event at Archer Farms. Photo by JJ Sillman.

“So we got really lucky with him. There was damage to the right front shoulder as well, we think it’s muscle damage. And then we also think there was some compensatory damage, as well. He was pretty lame on his left hind,” Brittany said.

Then, two weeks later, it happened again in the same pasture. The herd who lived in this large pasture was a unique mix. There was Oink and a few other geldings, then Sunny and “her” youngsters. Sunny was Brittany’s go-to horse to babysit the yearlings and two-year-olds. The OTTB loved to hang out with the “little kids” and treated them like her own. While Oink and the geldings were in one part of the pasture, you could always find Sunny babysitting and hanging out with her three kids, two yearlings and one two-year-old.

This time when Brittany arrived at the paddock in the morning, the horses were all gathered by the water trough in a panic. Reader, be warned. The next few paragraphs are a bit of a tough read.

“They were covered in blood, she was covered in blood. I had no idea what was happening,” Brittany said. “Sunny was just standing guard over them by the water trough. I realized that none of the youngsters were bleeding, it was all Sunny. So, I took Sunny back into the barn and immediately we started to basically just do triage and pack the wounds. I didn’t clean too much because our priority was to stop the bleeding. It was just a bloodbath.”

Sunny’s heart was still pumping her full of adrenaline, which made caring for her wounds that much more difficult. “Because she was so pumped full of adrenaline she couldn’t tolerate any of the nerve bonding agents and would just burn through all the sedation,” Brittany said. “So, we had to do the full blown, lay her out with ketamine. I remember the vet was suturing, my sister, Elli Foust, was cleaning and prepping, and then I was sitting on her, making sure she didn’t all of a sudden stand back up.”

“She degloved the front right of her cannon bones, like just a huge flap of skin down all the way,” Brittany said. “Her entire chest was shredded. Her haunches on both sides were shredded. Her shoulders were shredded. There were punctures on her left front, shredded her left front shoulder. It actually looked like they had grabbed her muzzle and she had lines across her jugular. She had a hole in the back left of her lower hock by her chestnut and another puncture down by her fetlock.”

Once Sunny was stable enough to be transported, she was taken to the equine hospital at Colorado State University. At the time, Brittany was thanking her lucky stars that Sunny was insured, but found out later that she wasn’t insured as well as she thought.

“What I had not realized is that because she was an event horse, she lost her major medical insurance and was only insured for surgical and mortality,” Brittany said. “So all of the vet bills that were incurred that were non surgical for this incident are not going to be covered by our insurance company. I knew there had been rumors of it. And I knew it was in the works of happening. But it wasn’t really something that on a day to day basis, I thought a lot about.”

At CSU, they were able to lay her down for surgical intervention, which luckily was still covered. During the procedure they discovered that there was an infection that had traveled from one of her puncture wounds into the joint and that there was also an incomplete fracture of the splint bone tracking up into the joint, as well as a sequestrum. Sunny stayed at the hospital for two weeks until she was stable enough to come home.

Now with two horses with similar injuries two weeks apart, Brittany was suspicious that there had to be more to the story than some errant barb wire. “ I asked our vet, ‘Is it statistically possible for two horses to have the same type of injuries, but one more severe, two weeks apart?’ And they were like, ‘Well, it’s pretty much statistically impossible for this to happen.’”

“We walked our fence line for hours trying to see if we could find anything, to see if there was anything that could have been done to prevent this and found nothing,” Brittany said. “We started thinking maybe this was an animal attack, especially with the marks on her face. We found her fly mask that she had been wearing, a brand new black mask, and it was shredded across her face, basically.”

Certain that mountain lions were somehow involved, even though they usually stuck to their territories higher up in the mountains, Brittany called Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The story that unfolded speaks to the unbreakable bonds that our horses have with each other.

Typically, mountain lions jump on the backs of their prey, which creates wounds along the spine and haunches. Sunny’s wound patterning was unusual in that the majority of her wounds were low, along her chest, legs, and neck. Based on Sunny’s wound patterns and the amount of blood that was on the other yearlings, it’s believed that Sunny was down by the creek with the youngsters when a mountain lion went after one of the yearlings who turned around and galloped to Sunny. Sunny, instead of running, turned and fought back, protecting all of her babies and the rest of the herd, eventually either killing or scaring off the attacking lion.

“You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a mountain lion,” Brittany said. “Mountain lions don’t usually go after horses like Sunny and Oink, who are both 16 hands. They don’t usually go after domesticated horses because they’re usually shod and can do a lot of damage. Basically, the consequences aren’t worth the reward for them. It’s more common for them to go after goats and smaller livestock.”

“Parks and Wildlife is assuming that it was probably young and juvenile mountain lions that were looking to expand territory because the attacks were two weeks apart to the day,” Brittany said. “So the young lions were basically kind of patrolling a perimeter, or going down the draw and coming back up, while looking for new territory because it was about the time of year that the parents kicked them out.”

Mountain lions are smart. According to Brittany, they learn from their mistakes. Oink was actually lucky that he was attacked first. When the lions went after the yearling and got Sunny instead, they applied what they learned from attacking Oink, leading to much more severe injuries for Sunny.

After Sunny came home and the months of rehabilitation dragged on, it became clear that Sunny would never be riding sound again. Brittany had hoped that Sunny would at least be broodmare sound, but it became apparent her damaged joint wouldn’t hold up to the added weight of a baby. “It got to the point where we started wondering, would she even be able to be pasture sound?” Brittany said. “Especially in Colorado where we have snow and ice. That mare was not a stall horse– she has to go out for at least eight hours a day. She loves to run and gallop. Steeplechasing fences was her favorite thing in the world. As time kept going on, by November, by October, we were pretty certain that the quality of life that she was going to have was going to be pretty awful.”

Between July and December, Brittany and her sister could not catch a break. They had to deal with Oink’s medical bills, a colicking mare who had to be euthanized, and the loss of her sister’s top dressage horse. They also had to move farms after spending the last ten years at their home in the foothills.

On top of this, Colorado Parks and Wildlife denied their claim for reimbursement for the mountain lion attacks as there was not enough definitive proof of an attack and Brittany had to fight with the insurance company to get some of their bills covered. To avoid paying out the mortality coverage, the insurance company wanted Brittany to haul Sunny back to CSU to see if there was more surgical intervention that could be done.

Photo courtesy of JJ Sillman.

“Finally CSU and our vets were finally both in agreement that even if there were surgical things we can do the only thing left is the fusing of her joint which is a poor quality of life,” Brittany said. “She was completely non-weight bearing. She was on heavy duty painkillers still and she was on Trazodone to keep her sane enough to even be safe to handle because this is a mare that had never bitten, never kicked, never offered to do anything nasty, and she was getting nasty, dropping a ton of weight, not eating, not engaging with people anymore. We had to move farms by December 15th and I couldn’t put this mare on a trailer to move her. She wasn’t stable enough to move. Her joint had deteriorated to the point where she wouldn’t be able to catch herself anymore and so she almost fell several times. It was pretty traumatic for everyone involved.”

After Sunny was peacefully euthanized, Brittany was left with two maxed out credit cards, a huge Care Credit loan, and all the expenses of moving to a new farm. Despite it all, Oink was a bright spot in the otherwise dreary year. At first, the now 18-year-old gelding struggled mentally to adjust back to spending time in the pasture. Moving to a new farm actually turned out to be the best thing for Oink.

“Since we moved, he’s just happy every day to be alive right now,” Brittany said. “He’s gotten fitter and stronger, he feels safe at the new place. He is back to living out 24/7 with his best friend and he’s got a different 30 acre turnout that they go out on during the day and they all come in at night.”

A true steady eddy, Oink taught walk trot lessons to a variety of the students in Brittany’s therapeutic riding program. But, as he got fitter and stronger as they rehabbed him, he started to get some of his old spark back. An adult amateur started riding him regularly and in early June, competed him in the Starter division at The Event at Archer.

“He was fantastic,” Brittany said. “We had this huge glow up in April/May. It was like all the pieces that we’ve been working on for almost the last year came into place for him. He won! He won his whole division. He finished on his dressage score, he packed around his adult ammy and yeah, brought home his blue ribbon.”

Next up for Oink is Area IV championships at the end of August. I’d like to think that Sunny will be cheering him on from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. “Oink deserves the world. He will never want for anything in his entire life ever again,” Brittany said of the brave little Thoroughbred.

As for Sunny, Brittany says that “Not a day goes by that we don’t miss her and her larger than life personality.”

After the mountain lion attacks and moving farms, Brittany and Elli are facing a mountain of bills. To help offset their costs, a GoFundMe was set up in their name. If you’d like to donate to Oink and Sunny’s bills, click this link.

British Eventing Team Finalized: Reigning World Champion to Serve as Alternate Athlete

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

British Equestrian has released its final nominations for the Paris eventing squad, having done so before but leaving open the spot for Traveling Reserve combination. As it stands now, the final squad for the Olympics will be:

Rosalind Canter with Michele and Archie Saul’s Lordships Graffalo

Groom: Sarah Charnley

Laura Collett with Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott and her own London 52

Groom: Tilly Hughes

Tom McEwen with James and Jo Lambert and Deirdre Johnston’s JL Dublin

Groom: Adam Short

Traveling Reserve:

Yasmin Ingham with Janette Chinn and The Sue Davies Fund’s Banzai du Loir

Groom: Alison Bell

In a true example of the monstrous depth the Tokyo gold medalists retain, this means that reigning World Champions (2022) and 2024 Luhmühlen CCI4*-S winners Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir will travel to Paris as the alternate and will only slot into competition should the team opt for or need a substitute (substituting a rider after competition start will incur significant penalties, and is only done in the event another horse is injured and/or the team is in danger of not completing).

If you want to remind yourself of all of the other Olympic Teams named thus far, you can catch up here.

View more of EN’s coverage of the Paris Olympics here. We are pleased to bring you our Olympic coverage with support from Kentucky Performance Products.

In Stride with the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team

Will Coleman and Off The Record. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The Paris Olympics are less than one month away. It is exciting to think of all the athletes around the world who are making their final preparations for the Games. They are under immense pressure to deliver the best performances they can at one of the biggest contests they will ever face in their careers.

Three-day eventing has managed to maintain its place as an Olympic sport, although it is now run in a shortened format with only three horse and rider pairs per team, plus a travelling reserve. The U.S. Team consists of veterans Will Coleman and Boyd Martin as well as Olympic first-timer Caroline Pamukcu. Liz Halliday is the Traveling Reserve. With some incredible performances in the last couple of years, including a Team Silver medal at the World Championships in 2022, the American team looks poised for a podium finish in Paris.

One way to learn more about the athletes on the U.S. Team is to delve into some of Ride iQ’s podcasts. You can listen to interviews with all four members of the team on In Stride, Ride iQ’s fantastic podcast led by host Sinead Maynard, who has herself ridden at the World Championships for the U.S. Team. I will shamelessly admit that I have listened to every episode of the In Stride podcast series. Sinead is an awesome host because she has so much experience of her own, and she is curious to probe into the lives of other horse professionals.

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

You can listen to the In Stride podcasts with Will Coleman, Boyd Martin, Caroline Pamukcu, and Liz Halliday wherever you get your podcasts. Each of the podcasts is a free-flowing dialogue where these Olympic athletes touch upon many different topics.

In the podcast with Caroline Pamukcu, Sinead discusses various topics related to balancing a business and a competitive career, including maintaining a routine and a healthy lifestyle on the road during the competition season, how her sales business has helped grow her competitive career, how growing up in the young rider and Under-25 programs helped mold her career, and her thought process behind deciding who to work and train with. Caroline also talks about learning to deal with competitive pressure while staying levelheaded.

Sinead interviews Will Coleman about his upbringing in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the influence of his equestrian family background. He discusses how he balanced college studies with pursuing a career in horse riding, and the challenges and lessons learned during Will’s early years as a professional event rider. Will is pensive and reflective about the importance of mindset and personal growth in his sporting career, and he also draws upon insights from other sports, such as golf. Finally, Will discusses the trajectory of USA high performance in eventing and the need for continuous improvement.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Boyd Martin talks extensively with Sinead about how he has set up his life to help fuel his competitive success. Boyd talks about growing up in Australia with two Olympic athletes as parents: his mother a speed skater, and his father a cross-country ski racer.

Boyd talks through his decision to move to America, and the culture shock he experienced when he first came over.

Finally, in Liz Halliday’s episode, Sinead talks to Liz about navigating the highs and lows of eventing. Liz reflects upon how she was named to the Tokyo Olympic eventing team, but had to withdraw because her horse sustained a minor injury. They also have an interesting discussion about how Liz’s former career as a professional racing driver in sportscar and GT endurance disciplines impacts her competitive mindset as an event rider. Liz was the most successful female driver in the American Le Mans series, with no less than six victories, and she emphasizes how this experience gave her an amazing ability to deal with pressure.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

What all of these conversations highlight is that there is no singular way to the top of the sport. However, one thing that all of these athletes have in common—and you can tell from the way they talk about the sport and approach their careers—is an incredible drive to be the best in the world. Take a listen!

Wednesday News & Notes

At nineteen years young, Shane Rose’s Virgil isn’t actually the most senior horse headed to Paris, but boy, it must feel good to be taking on the world with such an experienced buddy. Shane’s run-up to this year’s Games hasn’t been the smoothest ride, so to speak. First there was mankini-gate , and then a serious accident that banged him up pretty bad. But, in keeping with the tough competitor that we all know him to be, he’s clawed his way back into the saddle and has booked his flight to France with the Australian team. Heads up, we have it on reasonably good authority that Shane’s said, on record, that he’ll wear a gold-kini if he wins the Olympics. I’m not sure whether that’s tempted me to cheer for him to take the title or not, to be honest – the sight of Shane letting loose in the orange ensemble is still burned into my retinas. But I’m all for a bit of fun, so here’s to Shane and his mankini. Go eventing!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Genesee Valley Hunt H.T. (Geneseo, NY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

One & Done Horse Trials (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm (Adamstown, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News and Reading

The home nation have high hopes for even more Olympic medals heading their way this summer. They were on the podium in 1912, the first time the three equestrian disciplines as we know them today were contested at the Games, and have since seen huge success across the board. Take a look back at France’s equestrian Olympic history as the country prepares to play host to this year’s sporting extravaganza.

When you know, you know. Karen Woodhall was watching the racing one day when one of the runners caught her eye, so much so that she jotted his name down for future reference. Not because she thought he was a safe bet – he’d just come dead last. But she just ‘liked’ him – a feeling many horse people will be familiar with. Fast forward a decade and that very same horse has made himself at home in Karen’s yard and is thriving in his second career winning ribbons in the dressage ring. Read Top Notch Tonto’s sweet story here.

Chastising others’ parenting choices is mostly not cool, so I’m just going to leave this here. But honestly, horses aren’t kids. For a start, in my experience they’re way more demanding and expensive than the average kid. Also, if I asked my guy to take some time to think about his behavior, his response would almost certainly be “carrot”.

In Olympic news outside of horses, the iconic Moulin Rouge windmill is back looking its best, just in time for the torch to pass by.

Video Break

Need a pick-me-up this hump day? Well, I’ve got just the thing. We all thoroughly enjoyed Aachen, but @evangrooms appears to have really enjoyed Aachen. There’s a bunch of content on his IG account that’ll have you chuckling over your morning coffee.

Between the Ears with Mia Farley

These days, we often view each other’s lives through the lens of a highlight reel, glimpsing the incredible trips, impressive jumps, and moments we’re proud enough to share on social media. What we don’t often discuss is the immense pressure this places on athletes on both ends of the news feed. Whether professional or not, riders feel compelled to post content that portrays them as cool and successful. As consumers of this content, we are left with a distorted perception that the sport is easy and that failure might suggest one isn’t cut out for it. These interviews are part of my mission to shed light on the reality of the challenges faced by everyone, regardless of their level, at some point in their journey.

On this edition of Between the Ears, I caught up with 5* rider, Mia Farley (Age 24). Mia made a splash last fall with her mount Phelps, who was purchased for $1, at the Maryland 5*. The dynamic duo was the only pair to finish double clear on cross country, despite being rookies to the level. Coming off of another inspiring performance at the Defender Kentucky 5*, I got to catch up with Mia to reflect on her journey in horses so far.

To read more Between the Ears interviews, click here.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

How did you get into eventing?

I grew up on the West Coast, and I started riding and going to the barn every day when I was 3 years old. Initially, I did the hunters, but I did my first event when I was 7 years old. There were a select few eventers who rode at the barn when I was growing up, and seeing them inspired me to try the sport- who wouldn’t want to jump solid obstacles?! For a while, I dabbled between the two sports, and it wasn’t until I moved to the East Coast to work for David O’Connor that I fully committed to the sport of eventing.

What inspired your move to the East Coast?

I had gotten somewhat burnt out riding before my move east. I have a lot of respect for the barn that I rode at in California, but the culture was a bit- you go to the barn, you ride and then you go home. That combined with the fact that there were not very many venues for shows in California left me feeling like I was doing the same thing over and over again. To be honest, I wasn’t having fun anymore. I was young, and not sure what I wanted from the equine industry, and right when I was at the point where I felt like I might take a break from horses to go to college, I met David at a clinic in Temecula. I didn’t think I was going to go, but my mom and my family (thankfully) essentially kicked me out and told me to take advantage of the opportunity. The O’Connors showed me more things to do in the horse world and how to make it more interesting. There was so much more than just the riding, and between all the groundwork and horsemanship that I was taught along with the ability to travel to so many new events, I rediscovered my love for the sport.

Mia Farley and Fernhill Fine Diamond. Photo by Abby Powell.

Has there ever been a time when you lost your confidence in competing?

When my last upper-level mount, Firecracker, moved up to the 4* level, I started with a few bad shows. I got pretty nervous, but with the support of the O’Connors, I took a step back down a level and built my confidence up before I attempted to compete again. It had happened somewhat in the middle of the show season, and I had been going to a show every 3 weeks. I essentially took a break, came back to ground zero, and fixed the holes that were causing the problems that I was having. The process involved a lot of groundwork and understanding how horses see things and understand them. In a way, losing my confidence set me on the path I needed to take to fill the holes in my riding and horsemanship knowledge.

Even working through some of the technical issues that I had with Firecracker, I also had some soundness obstacles with her. It was very disheartening to do everything that I realistically could for the horse, vet work-wise and she still wouldn’t stay sound. At the time, the only other horse that I had was Phelps and I remember feeling somewhat lost because I thought Phelps wouldn’t be able to do anything above Preliminary – it’s funny how things work out. Through it all I’ve learned to trust my horses and focus on building partnerships, the successes come naturally from there.

What obstacles have you faced in your journey up to the 5* level?

Eventing is a huge mental game, so that’s been an obstacle for sure, but I think the biggest thing is that even when I feel confident in myself and my abilities, I still struggle with the confidence that I’m going to be able to financially continue in the sport. I’ve gotten the experience of calling people and asking for help and I am so grateful to everyone willing to be a part of my journey, but it’s still something that I stress about a lot. I am currently starting to break off on my own, and looking into things like buying a truck and trailer, which seems impossible. I own a 3* horse who is very nice, and I know selling her would be a huge help to my financial situation, but I also think she’s an important horse to keep for my career. So finding a balance between the pursuit of my goals and the realities of life is an obstacle I am still facing.

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Is there any advice that you would give to someone in the sport who is currently facing adversity?

Knowing how much David and the O’Connor Event Team have helped me, I feel like I have to say that surrounding yourself with the right people who are going to help you through tough times is critical. There is always another door, and even when it feels like one is shutting, you just have to keep your head up and look for the next opportunity. That being said, it’s up to you to change the thoughts that you are having about yourself and your situation. You are in charge of your brain, and you have to be disciplined about picking the right thoughts that are going to help put you on the path toward success. Taking ownership of my situation- through good times and bad- has made a difference in my career so far.

Italy Finalizes Paris Eventing Team

Our final list of Italian horses and riders has now been published by the Italian federation ahead of the Paris Olympics, which get underway in just over two weeks.

The combinations named to the traveling squad for Italy are:

Evelina Bertoli and Fidjy des Melezes, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by az. agricola di campello argenta and Evelina Bertoli

Emiliano Portale and Scuderia 1918 Future, a 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Scuderia 1918 Capital srl and Emma McNab

Giovanni Ugolotti and Swirly Temptress, a 12-year-old Anglo-European mare owned by Krin and Kristina Rausing

Traveling Reserve: Pietro Sandei and Rubis de Prere, a 19-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by az.agr. Galanthus di Castellani S.

If you want to remind yourself of all of the other Olympic Teams named thus far, you can catch up here.

View more of EN’s coverage of the Paris Olympics here. We are pleased to bring you our Olympic coverage with support from Kentucky Performance Products.

Tuesday News & Notes from Kentucky Performance Products


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A post shared by Noor Slaoui (@noor_slaoui_eventing)

Morocco’s Noor Slaoui is heading to her first Olympics this month – and will become the first-ever rider from North Africa to compete in the eventing at the Games. She’s also her country’s first-ever international eventer, so you better believe we’ll be catching up with this powerhouse of the sport and following her journey in Paris. But enough about what we’ll be planning to do – HOW cute is her collection of lucky charms, made for her by her nephews, who are just four and six years old? Real medals are great and all, but we reckon these – handmade with love and a symbol of how much care and joy and support is so obviously surrounding Noor – are worth so much more.

Events Opening Today: Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. InternationalTown Hill Farm H.T.Shepherd Ranch Pony Club H.T. IIFull Gallop Farm August HT

Events Closing Today: Millbrook H.T.Hunt Club Farms H.T.,

News & Notes from Around the World:

While a whole lot of very exciting competitions played out around the world, a lot of learning was happening, too. Not least at the East Coast EA21 I Clinic over the weekend, which has been neatly summarised in photo gallery form by Lindsey Berreth of the USEA. Check out her images here.

Speaking of photo galleries, we know you want more from CHIO Aachen. Here’s a neat summary of the whole week, thanks to the magical eye of Shannon Brinkman, who was joined by her daughter Roya in their mission to capture the heart of all the action across the disciplines and the arenas. Take us back!

We’re just over two weeks away from the Paris Olympics (oh my GOD), and a whole heck of a lot is happening. Catch up on Horse&Hound‘s roundup of the latest talking points, including big results across the disciplines in final prep runs, a squashing of cancellation rumours, an update on London 52, and a bit of positive news on the carbon footprint of the Olympics. Read it here.

Social media is often a curse, but in some cases, it can really be a beautiful thing. That’s most evidenced when it’s used to bring people around the world together on a common mission – like, for example, tracking down a long-lost, much-missed horse. This story will – fair warning! – probably make you cry a little bit this morning, but it really shows what makes our broader horsey community such a wonderful, inimitable place to be. Here’s to the horses who shape so many lives.

Sponsor Corner: We’re in the final countdown to the start of the equestrian events at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the excitement is mounting with every moment. Thanks to Kentucky Performance Products, EN is bringing you all the action. Read this article before the first rider leaves the startbox to get caught up on the logistics of all three phases.

Watch This: 

Ride around CHIO Aachen with Belgian powerhouse Lara de Liedekerke-Meier and her first ride, Hermione d’Arville, who finished in the top ten – as did her other ride, Ducati d’Arville, because Lara, that’s why!

Halo Shines Bright in Aston le Walls CCI4*-S

Piggy March and Halo. Photo by Matt Nuttall Photography.

Jayne Mcgivern’s lovely grey stallion Halo won the CCI4*S under Piggy March after jumping the second fastest cross-country round of the day at the Project Pony sponsored Aston-le-Walls on the final day of competition. Halo is a past CCI4*S Blenheim winner, and was sixth at Blenheim CCI4*L last season.

Jayne owns Dash Grange Sud, as well as past Derby winner Golden Horn. Piggy said, “I saw Halo at Osberton when Kevin McNab had just won the CCI3*L, and Kevin said he was going to castrate the horse ahead of selling him. I knew Jayne wasn’t averse to having a stallion so we suggested him to her.

“If he wasn’t a stallion he would be the nicest, easiest horse in the whole wide world, and he’s a diamond to ride. Some days he sees more ‘pretty blond girls’ than others and is a bit more of a lad since doing stud duties, but he still goes out in the field, albeit with a very high fence around it.

“Our plan is to take him back to Blenheim, it’s local to Jayne, and if that goes well, possibly Pau – but with horses, you make plan A and end up with plan D so who knows!”

Badminton 2024 runners up Lucy Latta and RCA Patron Saint were the only combination to make the optimum time – this speedy pair were also the fastest at Badminton. Irish rider Lucy finished on her 29.5 dressage score, emphasising the depth of the current Irish pool of riders.

“He’s a dolt in the stable and will roll as many times as he can in a day, but he’s a real trier and wants to do his job,” Lucy said of her horse. “I came to Aston last year and thought the cross-country was really intense, with some interesting lines so it’s a great prep run ahead of any autumn goal. Hopefully we’ll get to Burghley in September.”

Tom McEwen and MHS Brown Jack completed the top three.

Paris-bound Austin O’Connor and the Salty Syndicate’s Colorado Blue won the special ‘Olympic horses’ Advanced section. Winners of the Maryland 5 Star last autumn, the pair also finished runners up at both Thoresby and Bramham CCI4*S classes this year.

Irish team-mate Aoife Clark came closest to catching Austin, taking the runner up spot on Sportsfield Freelance while France’s Gaspard Maksud completed the podium riding Zaragoza II.

British team member Ros Canter with her European Champion and Badminton winner Lordships Graffalo finished fourth. Leading through the first two phases, Ros kept her foot off the accelerator across country, adding 18 time penalties to her score.

Riders were full of praise for the fantastic going on the cross-country – if not for the intermittent heavy downpours. It’s no surprise that Aston-le-Walls is such a popular venue.

Full results from the weekend can be found here.

Weekend Winners: Arrowhead, Bouckaert, Huntington Farm, Mile High, Coconino, & Maryland

A very busy weekend all throughout the country this past weekend. From Starter divisions, to the 4* running at Maryland, and the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships, I’m loving recapping the excitement from these six events.

We have plenty to catch up on, and will start off with congratulating our fabulous Weekend Winners! We love giving these horse and rider combos a shout out… with an extra special shout out to the winner of our Unofficial Low Score Award: Arrowhead H.T.’s Open Novice winner Alison Osborne and Fernhill Rodger That, who finished on an epic 14.2! Wild!

Arrowhead H.T. (Billings, MT) [Website][Scoring]

Open Preliminary: Bailie Corless and Casualleigh (22.8)
Open Training: Madison Manley and NDR’s Fez (26.3)
Open Novice: Alison Osborne and Fernhill Rodger That (14.2)
Open Beginner Novice A: Colleen Wood and Call Me Handsome (29.6)
Open Beginner Novice B: Andora Tragiai and Rhyme and Reason (23.1)
Open Starter: C’Dale Jore and A Mannhattan’s Liberty (19.7)

Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (Fairburn, GA) [Website][Scoring]

Open Intermediate: Dana Cooke and FE Quattro (28.8)
Open Preliminary: Abby Maude and Le Rebelle-S (30.8)
Preliminary Rider: Breeana Robinette and Cape Kimberly (33.4)
Modified Rider: Willow Schwartz and RH Finnegan (30.0)
Open Modified: Eileen Galoostian and Victor B Z (30.5)
Junior Training Rider: Victoria Smith and Someday Never Comes (29.7)
Open Training: Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis and Wilhma (29.4)
Senior Training Rider: Elle Snyder and Oakland Quality (27.5)
Junior Novice Rider: Stella McGuire and Lucky Clover (35.3)
Open Novice: Julie Richards and Fernhill Curra Finn (32.9)
Senior Novice Rider: Kaley Chung and CSF Lady Gaga (26.9)
Junior Beginner Novice Rider: Raegan Hornfeck and Legendary Spots (27.4)
Open Beginner Novice: Miriam Offermanns and TOTOLLY TINKER (27.1)
Senior Beginner Novice Rider: Ella Bratti and Fernhill Valentino (33.2)
Starter: Paige Markel and Tinkerbelle (23.7)

Huntington Farm H.T. (South Strafford, VT) [Website][Scores]


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Open Preliminary: Paige Roy and Excel Star E.I. Bostonian (43.2)
Open Modified: Shanon Baker and Fly Boy (38.3)
Open Training A: Emily Smith and Vallis Alpes (35.6)
Open Training B: Jane Kreppein and Sport (41.5)
Junior Novice A: Adeline Tullar and Rufian de Beaufour (31.9)
Junior Novice B: Farley Ordway and SRF Imperious Dream (28.9)
Open Novice A: Katie Garr and Boston Jack (33.3)
Open Novice B: Andrea Brainard and Watson’s Beijing (32.1)
Open Novice C: Sarah Lovallo and Watson’s Delightful (33.1)
Junior Beginner Novice: Heidi Dodge and Rocket Man (32.1)
Open Beginner Novice A: Caitlin Dwyer and Shadow of Night (27.9)
Open Beginner Novice B: Helena Kopczynski and Bantry Bay’s Roper (31.8)
Open Beginner Novice C: Julie Howard and Isn’t She Sweet (32.1)

Sporty and I ran the training at Huntington Farm Vermont yesterday and even won our division!🥇 He was such a star all around and we had an awesome time galloping around cross country. Happy the rain cleared up from dressage and it turned into a beautiful day with my boy ♥️

Posted by Jane Kreppein on Sunday, July 7, 2024

Mile High Horse Ranch H.T. (Parker, CO) [Website][Scoring]


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Open Training: Rebecca Caulfield and Fernhill Opulence (21.9)
Open Novice A: Rochelle Costanza and Eye Candy (30.3)
Open Novice B: Jacquie Schoeggl and Stellaluna (31.1)
Open Beginner Novice A: Lauren Fedorczyk and Galicia (31.6)
Open Beginner Novice B: Dani Cedars Sussman and My Faline (27.2)
Starter A: Sophia Harris and RHM Miss Chic Please (28.3)
Starter B: Addy Dunlap and Ashes West (27.3)

Summer Coconino HT and Western Underground, Inc. TR,N,BN 3 Day Event (Flagstaff, AZ) [Website] [Scoring]


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CT – Intermediate: Ghislaine Homan-Taylor and Mt. Whitney (36.0)
HT-Intermediate-Open: Sean Worrall and Osito (43.8)
HT-Preliminary-Open: Laura Sparks and Billy Ambitious (38.8)
HT-Training-Open: Kirsten Freed and Jasper (26.7)
HT-Training-Rider: Jennifer Buchanan and Red Rox (42.3)
3D-3-Day Training-Open: Anastasia Keyser and Bellatrix (30.7)
HT-Novice-Open: Jennifer Row and Bella Vida GWF (24.7)
HT-Novice-Rider: Christine Murphy and Made You Look (22.2)
TEST-3-Day Novice Test-Open: Brittney Caflisch and Benmore Westonhouse Boy (24.1)
HT-Beginner Novice-JR: Kyla Roberts and Wildflower (18.8)
HT-Beginner Novice-Open: Ghislaine Homan-Taylor and RSH Goliath (21.2)
HT-Beginner Novice-Rider: Michelle Bresnahan and Fisher Price (23.4)
3-Day BN TEST-Open: Arianah Romero and Flash of Gray (34.3)
HT-Starter-Open: Alakwa Pardue-Duran and Cloonrane Dancer (36.7)
Pre-Comp 1-Day: Lindsay Lechner and La Di Da (30.3)


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The Maryland International + Horse Trials (Adamstown, MD) [Website][Scoring]


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CCI 4*S: Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me (75.1)
CCI 3*S: Kim Severson and Cooley Corraghy Diamond (42.1)
CCI 3* YR Championships: Megane Sauve and Nuance (46.9)
CCI 2*S: Katherine Maroko and Redfield Champion (40.7)
CCI 2* YR Championships: Audrey Ogan and Always Cooley (33.7)
CCI 1*S: Valerie Pride and Kiss My Jambo M (33.9)
CCI 1* YR Championships: Catherine Purcell and Mystic Hazzard (31.4)
Open Intermediate: Lillian Heard Wood and Dassett Olympus (57.6)
Open Preliminary: Fylicia Barr and Quantum Cooley (35.2)
Open Modified: Kim Severson and Cooley Consort (27.0)
Junior Open Training: Iselin Byars and Bloomfield Pocket Money (56.8)
Open Training: Valerie Pride and Excel Star Je T’Aime (30.0)
Training Rider: Marina Cassou and Cooley Monsoon (30.6)

Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack


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A little Monday morning motivation for us all comes, today, from Polly Holbrook, groom for British Olympian Laura Collett. She’s got in the habit of creating these bonkers, brilliant whiteboards for her horses’ competition outings — and this was her masterpiece for Dacapo, who headed to CHIO Aachen last week and finished third. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with for Paris.

National Holiday: 
It’s National Video Game Day. Anyone want to come over and drink margs and play Equestriad 2001 with me?

U.S. Weekend Action: 

Arrowhead H.T. (Billings, MT): [Website] [Results]
Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (Fairburn, GA): [Website] [Results]
Huntington Farm H.T. (South Strafford, VT): [Website]
Mile High Horse Ranch H.T. (Parker, CO): [Website] [Results]
Summer Coconino HT and Western Underground, Inc. TR,N,BN 3 Day Event (Flagstaff, AZ): [Website[Results]
The Maryland International + Horse Trials (Adamstown, MD): [Website] [Results]

UK International Events:

Aston-le-Walls International (2) (Northamptonshire): [Website] [Results]

European International Events:

World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen (Germany): [Website] [Results – All Disciplines] [Results – Eventing] [EN’s Coverage]

Your Monday Reading List:

Equestrian sport is in a constant state of improvement and finessing. And while there may still be issues on the table that need resolving, a glance back at the earlier iterations of the disciplines shows just how far we’ve come. Take a look back at Olympic courses and questions from history and meet a whole new level of “oh, HELL no” here.

Keen on some more Olympic history? Join COTH in looking back at the last Paris Games, which took place exactly 100 years ago and actually heralded the first-ever ‘modern’ long format Olympic eventing competition. Read all about those Games here.

We’ve all got our own Olympics to tackle. For some of us, simply nailing down each phase at our local event is the gold-medal aim, and that’s great. For one Heels Down reader, learning to memorise courses and analyse them for the best possible ride is that fundamental focus point. Here’s some great advice to help them, and you, too, if you struggle with this as well.

And finally: stay hydrated. And make sure your horse does, too. Did you know that water intake is one of the keystones of equine nutrition? It’s not just about making sure they have a bucket available — the science of water goes deep. Learn more here.

Morning Viewing: