Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Icabad Crane, the horse who began Phillip's relationship with Graham Motion. Photo by Jenni Autry. Icabad Crane, the horse who began Phillip's relationship with Graham Motion. Photo by Jenni Autry.

When Big Phil decides to do a thing, he certainly jumps in with both feet. Following the recent news that Phillip had bought shares in West Point’s race horse in Grade I winner Ring Weekend, West Point has now decided to retire their stakes-placed gelding Commanding Curve, who finished a fast-closing second in the 2014 Kentucky Derby to California Chrome. The gelding will be placed under the tutelage of Phillip to learn how to event. Will Commanding Curve continue his winning ways? Phillip Dutton has certainly plunged enthusiastically back into the off-track Thoroughbreds.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website]

Virginia CCI, CIC, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Equestrians Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Coconino Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Ryan Wood and County Saddlery have generously partnered to raise money for Millie Humphreys’ college fund. We’re hosting an auction, running through June 1, of a County Solution Monoflap (or, a County saddle of the winner’s choosing), with the proceeds, including the retail value of the saddle, going to Millie’s fund. Please help support a worthy cause. [County Saddle Auction]

Kentucky Equine Research and EN are teaming up to host the Great KER Fitness Challenge this spring! Download the free KER ClockIt Sport app for your phone and record your rides for a chance to win a $100 gift card to, an EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad, a lesson with your choice of Bruce Davidson, Liz Halliday-Sharp, or Dom or Jimmie Schramm; and a feature story about you and your horse on EN. Entries close May 31! [Contest Details]

Charlotte Dujardin gave some American riders some guidance in a clinic in Portland, Oregon. There’s no magic potion that created Valegro, just good old fashioned riding. Charlotte is a proponent of kicking on, emphasizing a forward, supple horse as key. She also emphasizes short reins and dislikes young horse classes except as a way to gain young horses some show exposure. [“Kick!” Says Charlotte Dujardin]

Entries for the inaugural U.S. Nations Cup leg at Great Meadow International are now open! Riders. please note that entry into this competition is different than for any other horse trial that has taken place in the U.S. This is partly do to it being a Nations Cup but also that there are a very limited of slots that will be available to riders who are not on a team. [Entry Information]

Ben Hobday knows how to get his groove on before cross country. The social media guru likes to have an impromptu dance party before cross country, and he makes sure to respect every fence from first to last. He’s also been known to fly to Spain on impulse to ‘see about a girl’, and could probably survive on just chocolate if he wasn’t an athlete. [Things You Didn’t Know About Ben Hobday]

SmartPak Product of the Day: The flies are about to come out of the woodwork on the East Coast, and to that end, most horse owners ought to be shaking out their fly sheets from last year, making sure there are no big holes. If yours ends up needing to be replaced, SmartPak is running a sale this weekend on sheets like these. [SmartPak]

Let’s get to know Commanding Curve a little better.