Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

The Fantastic Four! Photo courtesy of Kate Chadderton.

The Fantastic Four! Photo courtesy of Kate Chadderton.

Yesterday the “Fantastic Four” started their journey from the East Coast to the UK by way of Brussels, heading towards Blenheim CCI3*! Civil Liberty, Simply Priceless, Obos O’Reilly and Shame On The Moon shared a plane yesterday, and will meet their riders today, as they prepare for the competition. We have a pretty good U.S. contingent competing at Blenheim this year, with Kate Chadderton, Elisa Wallace, Will Coleman, Emily Beshear, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Lauren Kieffer, Jen McFall, and Clark Montgomery repping the red white and blue.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA September H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

King Oak Farm Fall H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

Bucks County Horse Park Fall H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Poplar Place Farm CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Dunnabeck H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Feather Creek Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Flying Cross Farm H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Area IX Championships & CCC Fall H.T.  [Website] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

What I wouldn’t give to be at the European Championships at Blair this weekend. Going to the Europeans is definitely on the bucket list, and this year is going to be particularly fierce. I know what you’re all interested in, which is Ian Stark’s magnificent cross country course! While I can’t give you a personally guided course, I can offer a course walk with photos and videos courtesy of Horse & Hound. [Blair Cross Country Guide]

William Fox Pitt is heading up a British team to prove a point at the Europeans. With twelve British riders on the team, WFP is 25 years older than the youngest rider, Holly Woodhead, and hopes to bring home the glory on the home turf. While the German team has won the European Championships the past two years running, this is the last chance before Rio 2016 for the British to make an impression, and William is ready for the challenge. Bring it on, Michael Jung! [British Gunning for Gold]

Ros Canter and Allstar B finished 37th at Burghley last weekend, and won the award for the highest placed British first timer. With a super dressage test that left them in 10th place going into cross country, the gentle giant and young rider had a great cross country round marred only by a small slip up at Discovery Valley, and finished the weekend on a clear show jumping. Not many people would choose Burghley as their first four-star attempt, but Ros did, and she made it happen. Now she’s ready for Badminton in the spring! [Burghley’s Best First Timer]

Oh, skinny jumps…some people love you, some people hate you. I’m a big fan of skinnies, but that’s just because I own a horse who also loves them, so it’s fun when he hunts them down. But skinnies can be frustratingly difficult, especially when you’re training a new horse to understand the concept. Doug Payne allowed an excerpt from his Riding Horse Repair Manual to be printed, and you better check it out if you’ve got skinny problems. [The Straight and Narrow]

What does 21-year-old Holly Woodhead think of being named to her first British senior squad?

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