In addition to the exciting announcement from the USEF last night of the fall competition grants, both Jen McFall and Kate Chadderton have declared their intent to travel to the Blenheim CCI3* in September. Hailed as one of the most difficult three-star tracks in Europe, Blenheim will be positively teeming with U.S. riders — and one U.S.-based Aussie!
Jen McFall will be traveling with her upper-level partner, High Times, who missed a second trip to Rolex this year after an ill-timed hematoma kept him sidelined from Kentucky. She’s looking forward to her first trip overseas, though, and plans to make it a trip to remember with “Billy.”
“We’ve always talked about going to Europe, and last year we definitely started talking about where to go,” Jen said. “Blenheim is ideal because it’s a big, galloping track, which suits Billy.”
Additionally, Jen is looking forward to her trip for the opportunity to see some of the well-known studs situated in the English countryside. “It’s going to be a dream if we can set up some trips to visit some studs,” she said. “Those programs are so well run, and what we learn there can only help enrich our (breeding) program here.”
In preparation for the trip in September, Jen will be running the CIC3* at Rebecca Farm later this month, followed by a combined test at Woodside in August. In between, she’ll focus her energy on dressage and show jumping classes to sharpen their skills in those phases.
To aid her trip overseas, Jen and her supporters have begun fundraising for assistance with the cost of travel. On July 31, a fundraising dinner will be hosted by the Votaw family, featuring custom sushi designs, a raffle and silent auction. More information on tickets to this unique event can be found by contacting Jen.
The McFalls will also be hosting an online auction and are accepting donations on the Dragonfire Farm website. We’ll provide a link to the auction once it begins — likely in August.
Kate Chadderton and VS McCuan Civil Liberty, owned by Pat McCuan, Adrienne Wisenberg and Carla Macleod, will also be making their first trip to to compete overseas, representing Australia at Blenheim.
Civil Liberty is an 11-year-old OTTB who has come up the levels with Kate, most recently finishing 15th in the CCI3* at Bromont last month. The intent was to take the horse overseas last year before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the 2014 season. Kate and “Libby’s” owners put a lot of thought into the decision of which event to target, and Kate is confident she’s chosen the best one.
“(Blenheim is) well thought out; it’s fair,” Kate said. “I want to test this horse on a different circuit, and this seems to be a place he will thrive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the American events; they’re world class. I also like meat pies, which are available in England, not America.”
Kate and Libby will be focusing on sharpening their show jumping leading up to Blenheim. “Libby is consistent in all three phases, and I know him like the back of my hand,” she said. “He’s sound, fit and ready, so we’ll go to Loch Moy in two weeks.”
Kate will finish her preparations at Five Points before setting off for England, and she’ll also be prepping her other top OTTB mounts, Collection Pass and Buckharo, for the CCI3* at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International this fall
Kate will also be holding an online auction, information for which will be available soon. Her sponsors have also been highly supportive of her efforts, and she’s looking forward to representing both America and Australia in Europe. “Libby is an American OTTB produced in America by an Australian; I’m proud we’re a combination of the great countries.”
We wish all riders the best of luck in their final preparations for their European trips this fall. Don’t forget to keep it locked right here on EN for the latest updates from the European events. Go Eventing.