FEI Long Format Recap: Sibling Horses with Married Riders Win FEI Classes at Twin Rivers Spring International

The day after Nemesis won the CCI4*-S at the 2023 Twin Rivers Spring International, his younger brother Flinterro Z won his first FEI competition in the CCI3*-L. James Alliston rode Nemesis to the four-star win, and his wife, Helen Alliston, was aboard Flinterro Z in the three-star. Other highlights from Sunday’s final day of the Twin Rivers Spring International in Paso Robles, California, were the second-straight victory at the CCI2*-L level by Crafty Don and Tamie Smith, as well as a win by Jillian Newman and Curraghgraigue Freeman in the first ever CCI1*-L held at Twin Rivers Ranch.

Both Nemesis, who is 9, and Flinterro Z, who is 8, are out of the Thoroughbred dam Sara’s Muse, and both were bred by Danielle Burgess in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. (Note: The dam of Nemesis is registered with the FEI as Maesy, which is the barn name for Sara’s Muse.) However, the two brothers are quite different in terms of their looks and personality, according to Helen Alliston. Nemesis is by Novalis 46 and is a chestnut gelding registered as a Canadian Warmblood. Flinterro Z is by Figaro B and is a bay gelding registered as a Zangersheide.

Helen Alliston and Flinterro Z. Ride On Photo.

“We just really liked Nemesis, and [Burgess] said she had another one, and she claimed it was even better,” Helen said about Flinterro Z, who was a rising 2-year-old when the Allistons purchased him. “She did say on the phone he’s a bit small right now but he’ll grow, don’t worry. We bought him sight unseen, and when he showed up—Marc Grandia actually drove him down from Canada, and we met him at like one in the morning—and I remember he was tiny and pretty weird-looking. I just remember James and I drove home, and James lay in bed with his eyeballs popping out of his head like, ‘What did we buy?’ He was kind of like an ugly-ducking turned-swan because now he’s beautiful. As soon as we saw him moving, we knew he was a nice horse.”

Flinterro Z added 2.0 time penalties on cross-country and 1.2 time penalties in show jumping to their dressage score of 29.6 to finish with a score of 32.8.
“I wasn’t actually going to do this class, but one of our other horses [Addyson] got hurt that was entered here,” Helen said “So, I took that entry and just threw him in here.”

As far as what’s next for Flinterro Z, Helen joked, “I don’t really have a plan because this wasn’t the plan,” although she added that she’s considering the CCI3*-L at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, in July.

Tamie Smith and Crafty Don. Ride On Photo.

The CCI2*-L represented Crafty Don’s (Tolan R x Diamond Breaker) seventh victory in 20 events since 2021 and second at the CCI2*-L level. Julianne Guariglia’s 7-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse gelding and Smith finished on their dressage score of 26.8.

“He’s just super consistent,” Smith said. “He’s very careful. He’s mostly Thoroughbred. He’s Irish-bred. And, even though he’s 18 hands, 17.3, or whatever, he just goes like a Thoroughbred really light across the ground, and he finds all the phases super easy.”

Having finished fifth in the Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) West Coast Championships for 5-year-olds in 2021, Crafty Don is in the running for the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant, and Smith is considering aiming the bay Irish Sport Horse gelding for this year’s FEI World Young Horse Championships at Mondial du Lion in France.

“He’s probably been ready to move up to Intermediate, and I’ve just been trying to take my time because he is careful,” Smith said. “So, I think he’s ready now. He is in contention for the Le Lion young horse grant for the 7-Year-Old World Championships, and I think we’ll just see how the year plays and see if that’s something that we’ll end up doing with him—as long as when he moves up he feels confident because you’ve got to have a very bold, strong cross-country and show jumping horse there.”

Jillian Newman and Curraghgraigue Freeman. Ride On Photo.

Newman’s journey to victory in the CCI1*-L in the 17-year-old rider’s first FEI competition began when she saw a Facebook post about Curraghgraigue Freeman (Freeman VDL x Curraghgraigue Vella Erri).

“I liked his size and he looked like a good boy, but he had a pink nose,” Newman said, with a laugh. “I really liked his face. He looked like he had a kind eye.”
However, five days after the 8-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse gelding arrived in the United States in June 2021, he underwent colic surgery. It would be six months before Freeman could start working with her new horse, although that time did allow her to develop a bond that helped accelerate their journey through the eventing levels. She bestowed the barn name of “Quincy” on Curraghgraigue Freeman, and that barn name continues to take on several other iterations like “Q Man” and “Quinoa.”
“It was rough, but it was nice because we got time where I got to know him and he got to know me,” Newman said. “So, we trusted each other a lot before I started competing him.”

Jillian and Quincy won their first event together in February 2022 at the Galway Downs Kickoff H.T. in their hometown of Temecula, California, in the Junior Novice Rider Division. They did seven USEA-recognized events together in 2022 with six top-five finishes and moved up to Modified for their final competition of the season in the Galway Downs International Event & H.T. in November. Before Quincy, Newman, who began eventing when she was 13 in 2019, had competed as high as Novice.

In 2023, they were part of the first Modified level ever offered at Twin Rivers at the Twin Rivers Winter H.T. in March, finishing 14th of 26 with a score of 39.1. Before attempting their first FEI competition in the inaugural CCI1*-L at the 2023 Twin Rivers Spring International, Jillian and Quincy entered the Preliminary level at the Galway Downs International H.T. with the plan of doing dressage and show jumping at the higher level and then withdrawing before cross-country.

That set them up for the best dressage score they’ve had together—27.0. They added 1.6 time penalties in show jumping to finish with a score of 28.6.

“He’s great because he’s super brave,” Newman said about Quincy. “So, the size of the jump was never an issue for him; it was just getting rideability. Now, he’s finally at a point where he’s so rideable and good.”

Newman will graduate from Great Oak High School this year and plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall where she will study environmental policy, join the Hokies eventing team, and compete in the USEA’s Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

In 2023, there were a total of 56 entries across the FEI classes, more than three times as many as the 17 for the Twin Rivers Spring International. Twin Rivers Ranch will next host the Twin Rivers Summer H.T. from June 29 to July 2, followed by the Twin Rivers Fall International on Sept. 21-24, and then the Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships on October 27-28.

Links Results | Website

Sponsors and Volunteers

Twin Rivers is proud to host the 2023 Twin Rivers Spring International with generous support from sponsors.

Presenting sponsors for the season include: LEGIS Equine, horsemen insuring horsemen, Auburn Labs, manufacturers of the adaptogenic APF Formula for horses, people and dogs; Best Western PLUS Black Oak, which offers exclusive discounts for exhibitors; and Professional’s Choice, manufacturers of sports medicine boots for equine athletes.

Supporting sponsors include: Chubby Cov, makers of beautiful custom stock ties; Riding Warehouse, the horse gear and apparel supplier; RevitaVet, a leader in preventative maintenance and rehabilitative infrared therapy devices; and Devoucoux, saddle makers dedicated to the partnership between horse and rider.
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Christina Gray of Gray Area Events at [email protected].

Volunteers play a major part of events at Twin Rivers. Twin Rivers’ generous volunteer incentive program includes vouchers for show stabling and credits for schooling between events at the beautiful 500-acre venue. That is in addition to the genuine appreciation of the Baxter family and the entire Twin Rivers team. To sign up, please visit

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments