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French Winning Streak Continues in Strzegom 23 Jun 2024, 12:39 pm

Team France take the win for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup | Poland. Strzegom Horse Trials. Sebastien At riding Casanova Du Frety; Marie Bouchanville riding Cap’taine Charles; Verane Nicaud riding Baron d’Etat; Camille Laisney riding Avalone.
Photo: Libby Law Photography

If Strzegom proved one thing, it was that eventing is rarely predictable. The leaderboard changed dramatically throughout but a young French team proved they could fight until the end, climbing from last to first in the fifth leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ in Poland today. Their score of 145.5 was just a whisker ahead of cross-country leaders Sweden, who wound up on 146.6. Whilst Poland delighted their home crowd by finishing in third on 168.3.

All four riders were making their first appearance for the French Team in a Nations Cup competition, but this did not stop them beating stiff competition, including a number of leading riders. These included reigning Olympic champion Julia Krajewski (GER) and winner of six Olympic medals Andrew Hoy (AUS) who at 65 years old was the most experienced competitor in the clubhouse.

The French had a disappointing start in the dressage phase, where they finished last of the five teams which came forward with Australia out in front. The cross country phase proved influential, particularly the time with very few riders finishing without penalties. French rider Camille Laisney was one of them and also came out overall winner of the CCIO4*-S.

Camille Laisney rides Avalone during the cross country for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup.
Photo: Libby Law Photography

She was full of praise for her talented French-bred mare, Avalone. “It was a really nice day. For me the dressage was not really good, but I was last to go in cross-country yesterday and I saw that the time was hard to get and my horse is really fast so I say ‘ok I can do something here.’ This is the first time I have come here and the cross-country is amazing. The ground is perfect and all the fences were nice. The showjumping arena is impressive and that can be challenging for horses. I am going to take her of her (horse) as she is just the best.”

20-year-old Verane Nicaud has no doubt impressed French selectors ahead of the FEI European Young Rider Championships which take place next month at this very venue.

“It was an amazing week and many beautiful memories. We all get the chance to do our first Nations Cup here so that was a big experience for all of us and this is part of a dream which we share. My next goal is the Young Rider European Championships which is here (at Strzegom). We just tried our best out there and it paid. The cards were really changing after the cross-country, and the time was hard to make, but we are all happy. My next goal will be a four-star long like Boekelo. We came with nothing to lose and we win, and that was a dream. We hope we have shown that France is ready to compete well at the Olympics in Paris.”

Marie Bouchanville rides Cap’taine Charles during the Cross Country for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup.
Photo: Libby Law Photography

Marie Bouchanville and Sebastien At made up the French quartet and were both full of praise for the venue. “I really like Strzegom. We are really far away, it took two days to come but the weather was really nice and the cross-country was lovely to ride” said Bouchanville.

Technical delegate at Strzegom, Giuseppe Della Chiesa, highlighted how well supported the event remains, and how useful that can be for Nations needing team practice ahead of Championships. “It is great to see how much this event has improved over time. The good thing of the sport is that everywhere is different. Strzegom has been put on the map because there is a good atmosphere and a well-supported atmosphere.”

In just two appearances, France have remained unbeatable in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Series this season, winning the opening leg in Montelibretti back in March. The nation has shown strength and depth in their Eventing squad over the last few season. They have used the Series to give both less experienced riders and more seasoned team members useful practice competing as a team.

France is now out in front first in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ standings with 200 points, just ahead of Italy and Switzerland who have 180 points. The Series will now move to Arville in Belgium next month (15-18th August), for the sixth event in this eight-leg Series which concludes at Boekelo (NED) in October.

Full results can be found here.

Sunday Links from EcoVet 22 Jun 2024, 11:01 pm

From sitting in 20th after dressage, French rider Camille Laisney aboard Avalone submitted two double-clear rounds in cross country and show jumping to win the whole damn thing today in the CCIO4* FEI Eventing Nations Cup at Strzegom. This brought the gold for Team France as well, with Sweden’s team in second and Poland leaving with the bronze. Quite a nice accomplishment under the belt of this year’s Olympic host team, and a great way to go into the month proceeding the Paris Games. Allons-y!

U.S. Weekend Action

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. (Barrington Hills, IL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Round Top H.T. (Castle Rock, CO) [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Valinor Farm H.T. (Plymouth, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Alnwick Ford International (Northumberland) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

International Events

Strzegom Horse Trials & FEI Nations Cup (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [FEI YouTube Channel – NC Dressage Free Live Stream][Free Live Stream NC Show Jumping] [Free Live Stream NC Cross Country][Whole Event Live Stream via CMH] [Scoring]

SemaLease Kilguilkey House International 1 (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring]

Links to Start Your Sunday:

Tom McEwen’s CHF Cooliser welcomes her first embryo transfer baby by Diarado

It’s Getting Hot In Here: 6 Myths About Cooling Horses in Hot Weather

Bittersweet: William Fox-Pitt’s Grafennacht to transfer to Harry Meade upon his retirement

Equestrian Sports: Millions of Fans, Missing Millions in Sponsorships

To celebrate the launch of Canter Culture’s first riding top, the Alice Sun Shirt, Canter Culture is giving away an entire outfit! For your chance to win an Alice Sun Shirt, one pair of Athletic Breeches, Boot Socks, and a Double Circle Belt, all you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and fill out the form in the 7/1 ICYMI Newsletter! Winner will select color options & sizing. Canter Culture seamlessly blends style & sport, so all that’s left to do is enjoy the ride.

Stay tuned– we’ll announce the winner in our weekly newsletter on 7/1! Sign up for our newsletter here.

Sponsor Corner: Your horse can’t develop insect-related skin issues if the flies can’t land on them in the first place! Take a look at this impressive before and after using Ecovet’s fatty acid fly repellent formula. [Shop now]

Morning Viewing: Settle in to watch cross country for the CCIO4* FEI Eventing Nations Cup at Strzegom here!

Team USA at Final Event Before Paris: Cross Country Report from Stable View 22 Jun 2024, 3:44 pm

Will Coleman and Off the Record. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Team USA used their cross country day here at the last Mandatory Outing at Stable View to test their fitness and overall adjustability. Riders didn’t worry too much about making time, though U.S. chef d’equipe Bobby Costello instructed them to ride competitively, ensuring the horses a confident round before heading off to Europe in a few weeks.

Boyd Martin and the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s Fedarman B (Eurocommerce Washington – Paulien B, by Fedor) picked up 15.2 time penalties and no jump faults. Boyd explained that there are some small improvements that need to be made over the next few weeks, and they’ll probably do another cross country school to work on adjustability, turning, and accuracy.

“We’re in good shape – I feel like they’re confident and they’re jumping well. They feel healthy and everything is going according to plan,” he says.

Will Coleman and the Off the Record Syndicate’s Off The Record (Arkansas VDL – Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio) had 2.4 time penalties, making their round the fastest time among the team. Since we aren’t exactly sure what the course will look like in Paris with designer Pierre le Goupil, Will used Capt. Mark Phillips’ course this weekend to make sure Off The Record was listening and confident.

One thing we do know for sure about the course in Versailles is that the horses will gallop over the Grand Canal by means of pontoon bridges. Will puts it plainly: “As long as the horses stay on top of the bridge, it should be fine.”

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Caroline Pamukcu and Mollie Hoff and Sherrie Martin’s HSH Blake (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass, by Kannan) took 18 time penalties, but she says that ultimately, he feels ready for the Games. Again, the team was mainly using this weekend as practice for what’s to come, not worrying about being at the top of the leaderboard. “I’m really fortunate. I feel like the USEF has brought Blake and I up the levels together; they kind of raised us, so we feel really prepared and ready.”

Unfortunately, Liz Halliday and the Nutcracker Syndicate/Ocala Horse Properties’ Cooley Nutcracker (Tolant R – Ballyshan Cleopatra, by Cobra) parted ways after the water question at 5B; no injuries were reported for either her or the horse. While of course never the ideal outcome, Liz will be confident in the results she’s had with Cooley Nutcracker as she prepares to head to Paris as the team’s Traveling Reserve. “At the end of the day, the way the Olympics works is you have to be ready to go, at any moment, in any phase,” Liz told the USEA yesterday. “So I’ll make sure that I’m 100% ready to step in should the team need me…so I’ll have the horse fit to run and all the things.”

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

There’s a balancing act between training your horse enough to perform well at the Games and burning them out before such an important event. All team members said the same thing: knowing how to find the happy medium comes with experience.

Caroline relies on consistency to make sure that Blake reaches his peak at the right time. “I’m just following my same program, my same system that I’ve established,” she says. Sticking with what has worked in the past is going to be the best plan for the horses and riders going forward. Will says that the happy medium is taking it day by day. “I have a plan, but I’m very flexible within that plan.”

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B. Photo by Megan Runge for Liz Crawley Photography.

Boyd, no stranger to the Olympics, says that “I’ve made every mistake you could ever imagine. The biggest thing is learning from the errors and thinking back to what you did right, what you did wrong, and trying to refine it each time.”

Overall, Stable View provided a wonderful last outing for the team. “It’s a great group, we have a lot of experience, and some good horses. This weekend served its purpose,” Will says.

The riders and horses are well-supported; it certainly takes a village. Whether it’s the Team USA staff, the grooms, the owners, the ones keeping the fort down at home, etc., each horse and rider pair have many people in their corner.

“We have nothing but world class people and we’re lucky that we’re supported by so many wonderful human beings,” Will says.

Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello says that he is proud of the team’s ability to work together, especially during this weekend. “The last few team trips have been great because everyone has shown that they can really work as a unit. That’s incredibly important if you want to be successful,” he comments.

James Alliston and Karma. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

One of the seven alternates, James Alliston, made the trip all the way from California for this outing. Sydney Elliot was kind enough to host him before they shipped both Karma (Escudo II – Travita, by Lavita) and QC Diamantaire (Diarado – Lantana, by Sandro Hit) to Stable View.

James remarked that he appreciates the fact that Karma, who is owned by Alliston Equestrian and Ric Plummer, was able to come and get some experience on different terrain. “It was really nice for her to see a different venue on the grass, which is always good for the California horses. They’re not used to that, so it was really awesome!”

James and Karma will also make an appearance at CHIO Aachen in a few weeks. From now until then, his groom, Sophie Hulme, will ride her a few times while James is back in California. After meeting up with them in Germany, they’ll train with the rest of the Defender US Eventing Team before going down the centerline on July 5.

James only picked up 0.8 time penalties today, and he hopes to keep that swiftness going into Aachen, since that course will require a bit of a faster run. “Karma is very fast and nippy, but she settles into it as she goes. This course at Stable View will have helped with making time at Aachen,” he says.

Will Coleman and Diabolo. Photo by Austin Ross for Liz Crawley Photography.

James and Karma finished with a win in the Advanced division on a 36.1. Will and Off The Record followed on a 37.4, and in third was Will with his direct reserve, the Diabolo Group’s Diabolo (Diarado – Roulett M, by Aljano 2) on a 38.3.

Now, the countdown begins! We’re all wishing Team USA the best of luck gearing up for Paris in these next few weeks. Bon voyage et bonne chance!

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

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.

Announcing the 2024 Rebecca Farm Travel Grant Recipients 22 Jun 2024, 8:30 am

James Alliston and Karma secure his third victory in a row at Rebecca Farm. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

The Event at Rebecca Farm is set to begin in less than one month in Kalispell, Montana. Competitors from around the country are preparing to travel to the event, and thanks to the generosity of the Broussard Family Charitable Foundation and administration of the USEA Foundation, that trip will be made more accessible through the Rebecca Farm Travel Grants.

For 2024, applications for those grants were accepted through June 1, and recipients were notified by June 15 of their selection to receive those grant funds. Since the inception of these travel grants in 2011, over $200,000 has been awarded to help offset expenses related to competing at Rebecca Farm as riders pursue their eventing dreams of representing the U.S. at international competition.

These grants are available to any rider of any age who is successfully competing at the CCI3* or higher levels and has not already represented the U.S. at the Olympics, World Championships, or Pan American Games.

Alexa Thompson and Just To Be Clear. Photo by Sally Spickard.

For 2024, the recipients of the grants will be:

CCI4*

  • Ashley Adams
  • James Alliston
  • Sophie Click
  • Auburn Excell Brady
  • Stephanie Goodman
  • Marc Grandia
  • Taren Hoffos
  • Morgan Houberg
  • Karen O’neal
  • Dani Sussman
  • Alexa Thompson
  • Samantha Tinney
  • Julie Wolfert

Megan McIver and Igor. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

CCI3*

  • Madeline Backus
  • Rebecca Brown
  • Kristine Burgess
  • Kayla Dumler
  • Kristi Foresman
  • Erin Grandia
  • Anni Grandia-Dodson
  • Christina Henriksen
  • India McEvoy
  • Megan McIver
  • Olivia Miller
  • Emily Pestl-Dimmitt
  • Ellen Sebanc

New for 2024: While in the past all travel grant recipients were expected to sit for an interview with the Rebecca Broussard Developing Rider Grants Committee during the course of The Event at Rebecca Farm, the success of the program and resultant expansion of the pool of applicants have rendered such a universal interview procedure impractical.

Accordingly, starting in 2024 there will no longer be an expectation that all applicants must sign up to be interviewed; instead, the Grant Committee may, at its discretion, choose to invite certain applicants to sit for interviews during the event. Such invitations to interview will be conveyed by email, text, or phone communications directed to the applicants.

Saturday Links from World Equestrian Brands 21 Jun 2024, 11:01 pm

Future eventer alert! Welcome to the world Sparrow Eleanor Fletcher, born on June 20, and congratulations Cornelia and Jacob Fletcher, eventing power couple and now parents! We hope there’s a tiny pony in this beautiful little girl’s future and expect to see her name on a Developing Rider list in just a few short years.

U.S. Weekend Action

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. (Barrington Hills, IL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Round Top H.T. (Castle Rock, CO) [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Valinor Farm H.T. (Plymouth, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Alnwick Ford International (Northumberland) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

International Events

Strzegom Horse Trials & FEI Nations Cup (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [FEI YouTube Channel – NC Dressage Free Live Stream][Free Live Stream NC Show Jumping] [Free Live Stream NC Cross Country][Whole Event Live Stream via CMH] [Scoring]

SemaLease Kilguilkey House International 1 (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring]

Links to Start Your Weekend:

Paris-Bound Riders Reflect on Day 1 of Mandatory Outing

Christopher Bartle – this is a truly amazing article!

What Is An Eventing Derby? And Why Must I Enter One Right Now?

Young rider who fell at Bramham shares update on her ‘long road to recovery’

Even A Mountain Lion Couldn’t Keep This OTTB Down

After each fighting their own battles, equestrian and horse rewrite the future together

Sponsor Corner: 4* eventer Shannon Lilley uses World Equestrian Brands’ Equilibrium Impact Sport Boots on her horses! These boots protect your horse’s legs in a low-maintenance way. Buy your pair here.

Morning Viewing: Arden Wildasin and Sunday Times were the fastest pair in the CCI4*-L division at Bromont the other weekend. Watch their round here:

Friday at Stable View: Team USA Completes First Two Phases in Final Mandatory Outing 21 Jun 2024, 5:22 pm

Boyd Martin and Commando 3. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

The 2024 Olympics in Paris are just over a month away and this weekend we’re at Stable View to cheer on Team USA at their last Mandatory Outing before heading overseas. The team is using this weekend to fine tune details and iron out what they need to work on over the next few weeks as the U.S. seeks a strong finish after coming silver at the FEI World Championships in 2022. All team members, traveling reserve, and alternates are here in Aiken competing in the Advanced division.

Our first leaders after dressage this morning were Boyd Martin and Yankee Creek Ranch’s Commando 3 (Connor 48 – R-Adelgunde, by Amigo xx) on a 27.8 from judges Sara Leary and Jame Hamlin. Boyd and Fedarman B, his main Olympic mount, scored a 31.8 to sit in fourth place after the dressage.

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

The riders this weekend used FEI CCI4* Test D, which shares some similarities with the Olympic Eventing Dressage Test that was first unveiled at Tokyo in 2021. Where most CCI4*/CCI5* tests can reach into 4.5/5 minutes in total runtime, the FEI introduced a shorter test (approximate time from entrance to final salute being about 3 minutes, 50 seconds — so it’s a lot shorter to some of its counterparts, historically!) in Tokyo in order to allow for a more spectator appeal, among other reasonings.

For all the riders, the focus has been yes, practicing the upcoming Olympic test, but also making sure they’re still looking at the big picture of correct training. Overall, Boyd was happy with his horses’ tests and plans to use the last few weeks before Paris to really work.

“I’m not really allowed to ride them unsupervised for the next couple of weeks,” Boyd joked, referencing Grand Prix dressage rider and his wife Silva. “She’s really taken these two horses under her wing and basically every day we’re training the horses together. It’s just practice, practice, but I don’t want to make him sour by overworking him either. It’s going to be short, intense work so that it’s quality work, but I’m not going to make him miserable by overtraining him.”

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Caroline Pamukcu was elated with Mollie Hoff and Sherrie Martin’s HSH Blake (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass, by Kannan) after scoring a 33.3 in dressage. Her goal for today was simple: have a relaxed test. “He’s a unicorn. He’s honestly perfect and makes me look so good,” Caroline says.

Will Coleman and the Off the Record Syndicate’s Off The Record (Arkansas VDL – Drumagoland Bay, by Ard Ohio) sat in ninth place with a 35.0 after dressage. Will has approached this weekend as a stepping stone and plans to continue maximizing on Off The Record’s strengths leading up to Paris.

Traveling Reserves, Liz Halliday and The Nutcracker Syndicate / Ocala Horse Properties’ Cooley Nutcracker (Tolant R – Ballyshan Cleopatra, by Cobra) sat in 6th with a 32.8 after dressage.

Cooley Nutcracker is just one of three of Liz’s horses in the Advanced division this weekend, along with Ocala Horse Properties’ and Deborah Palmer’s Miks Master C (Mighty Magic – Qui Lumba CBF, by Quite Easy) and Ocala Horse Properties’ Shanroe Cooley (Dallas – Shanroe Sapphire, by Condios), who are alternates for Paris as well as named to represent the U.S. at CHIO Aachen in two weeks’ time.

Liz Halliday and Miks Master C. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Even though there will be the different Olympic test to contend with in Paris, Liz is approaching her training for it the same way she normally does. She’s always focused on practicing the movements of a test rather than the test as a whole, so this test will be no different.

Cooley Nutcracker was a bit spicy in dressage, as he hasn’t been out since Kentucky, she noted. “That’s why we’re here, right? Just to practice and brush the rust off,” she says.

Although show jumping was early in the afternoon, it was blazing hot. These horses and riders are all such good sports and kept pushing on, with three out of the four team pairs jumping double clear rounds.

Fedarman B was excited to jump to say the least, and is in third leading into tomorrow. Boyd says that “he flew around the course with his eyes shut, so I was extremely pleased with the way he came out and jumped today.”

Will Coleman and Off the Record. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Off The Record was enthusiastic to jump at an event for the first time since Kentucky and is in seventh place after show jumping. “We’ll take this and go back to the lab to try to make it what it needs to be, clean it up a little for Paris,” Will said. He plans to take “Timmy” to a jumper show or two before heading off to the Olympics.

Caroline and HSH Blake had one rail and 1.2 time penalties to put them in 10th, but she says that the plan is not to cram anything new into his training, just to focus on being consistent and keeping him happy. “I was very pleased with it. It’s a bummer to have a rail, but better to have a rail here than at the Games,” she says.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Liz and Cooley Nutcracker jumped a double clear round to sit in fifth. Simply put by Liz: “He was spectacular!”

Boyd and Commando 3 stay in the lead overnight on their dressage score, Will and his direct reserve horse, the Diabolo Group’s Diabolo are in second on a 29.6, and Boyd and Fedarman B are in third on a 31.8.

Will Coleman and Diabolo. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Again, the point of this competition isn’t to go out and win and push the pedal down for the Paris-bound pairs. We can expect time penalties and the use of Stable View’s not-insubstantial terrain as a fitness top-off tomorrow, which can cause a shake-up on the final leaderboard, which isn’t necessarily a big part of these pairs’ goals for the weekend.

Team USA will begin leaving the start box tomorrow around 10 a.m. and we’ll be sending them off with a toast after they finish up on cross country. Stay tuned!

Go Eventing.

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

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.

LA28 Publishes Venue Updates for Olympics 21 Jun 2024, 1:06 pm

Galway Downs’ main arena boasts unique spectator seating and a backdrop of flags representing an international array of competitors. Photo by Tina Fitch Photography.

The organizing team behind the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles has released new updates to their proposed venues for competition, putting these updates forward for approval by the City of Los Angeles next. The first venue proposal was created in 2017, and in the intervening years more options and developments have become available to evolve the original proposal.

Looking at the equestrian sports, LA28 originally identified the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area as the prospective host site for equestrian and para-equestrian competition, the latest update has revealed that “an exceptional existing facility in Temecula, CA, that is the only such facility in Southern California large enough to accommodate all required disciplines in one location” has now been designated as the host venue for the upcoming Games. This, of course, leads us to Galway Downs, which currently hosts competitions across disciplines, including CCI4*-L level eventing.

“LA28 submitted these updated venue assignments to the City of Los Angeles, which must approve competitions that move outside of the city’s boundaries from the venue plan submitted during the bid,” the press release put out by the committee today states. This means that the decision is not 100% final yet, but should it be approved that would allocate the equestrian and para-equestrian sports to Galway Downs. You can view the full submission put forward to the City of Los Angeles here.

The equestrian-oriented portion of the submission reads as follows:

“In the 2028 Venue Plan, the Equestrian venue is Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. LA28 considered many possible venues, but the IOC requirement that all three Equestrian disciplines (Jumping, Dressage, Eventing) be organized within the same site rendered many venues unfit, particularly for the Cross Country component of Eventing. One of the venues examined was the Hansen Dam Horse Park in Lake View Terrace; however, it lacks adequate space and facilities to accommodate the Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian requirements. Additionally, the current operation and resident horses would need to be displaced throughout the build and Games period given restrictive quarantine and build requirements. The IOC requirement that all three Equestrian disciplines be delivered on the same site to manage the cost and
complexity of the Equestrian program rules out Hansen Dam.

The only existing venue that can accommodate the requirements of Equestrian, while also reducing the cost and complexity of delivery, is Galway Downs.

These venue adjustments result in an estimated net benefit of +$26 million, primarily driven by the significant reduction in estimated venue infrastructure expense.

In comparison to building an entirely temporary facility at Sepulveda Dam, the existing facilities at Galway Downs can accommodate Equestrian at a much lower cost, and its operator is experienced in hosting large events.”

“All proposed venue changes have been assessed in consultation with each respective International Federation,” the statement continues. “The IOC Executive Board has approved these venue assignments for Olympic sports, pending approval from the City of Los Angeles. Changes to venues for Paralympic sports will require approval from the IPC Governing Board in the future.”

There is no date or timeline given for the approval process by the city, but as soon as we have more confirmed details and official information on the proposed venue updates, we’ll keep you in the loop. As we continue to focus on the Games happening in Paris next month, we’ll eagerly be awaiting more news from a “home” Olympics coming next.

Friday News & Notes from Stable View 20 Jun 2024, 11:43 pm

Exciting news! After helping to add show jumping to the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2018, Split Rock Jumping Tour has contracted with Equestrian Events Inc. to upgrade the competition to a CSI5*, the highest level of FEI designation in show jumping starting in 2025. With sold-out crowds flocking to Rolex Stadium after the eventing competition concludes on Saturday (plus additional qualifier classes leading up to the Grand Prix), this is certainly going to become one of the biggest North American Grand Prix competitions on the circuit. We can’t wait for next year!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. (Barrington Hills, IL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Round Top H.T. (Castle Rock, CO) [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Valinor Farm H.T. (Plymouth, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Alnwick Ford International (Northumberland) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

International Events

Strzegom Horse Trials & FEI Nations Cup (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [FEI YouTube Channel – NC Dressage Free Live Stream][Free Live Stream NC Show Jumping] [Free Live Stream NC Cross Country][Whole Event Live Stream via CMH] [Scoring]

SemaLease Kilguilkey House International 1 (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring]

Friday News and Reading

Speaking of heartwarming stories, here’s a good one for you. Enjoy this story from octogenarian eventer, Emily Graeser, and her $125 bargain buy, ‘Comic Relief'(Mic for short). Together, the two enjoyed many a happy years eventing together, despite Mic’s inauspicious start to life. True testament to what can be achieved between a horse and rider with enough patience, hard work and dedication, and an inspiration to us all.

It is all too easy to become consumed by horses, but sometimes it is important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, too. Chris Talley does that every June, with an Instagram post to raise awareness of Pride month. His hope is that by sharing his own experiences of coming out, he may be able to help others with their own journeys, and to remind them they’re not alone. That, and to reflect on his own journey and experiences. A sage reminder from Chris, and well worth a read.

Some good news to get the weekend underway. The last remaining wild horses, Przewalski’s Horses, have been returned to their historical homeland, Kazakhstan. The horses, discovered centuries ago, became all but extinct in the wild, and were preserved only in Zoo’s across Europe. However, a small few have now been released back into the wild, and experts are optimistic for their future back in the wilderness. Fingers crossed!

Sponsor Corner

Today’s the day! The Summer Horse Trials kick off this morning. Keep an eye on Stable View’s Instagram (@stableviewaiken) to stay up to date on what’s happening as the action unfolds.

Weekend Watching

Ok, we’ve done Kentucky, we’ve done Badminton, we’ve done Adelaide and we’ve done Luhmühlen. Next up? Possibly my favourite, the Defender Burghley Horse Trials. It’s still a few months away yet, and we’ve still the small matter of the Olympics to come, but that’s not to say I’m not getting excited already. Enjoy this throwback, and join me in looking forward to 5* number 5. We really are spoiled for choice, aren’t we?!

It’s All Happening! Swiss Team Named for Paris Olympics 20 Jun 2024, 12:14 pm

The Swiss team takes Nations Cup victory in the Pratoni test event in May. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

What a treat – we’re now on our second Olympic team announcement of the day, following the release of Japan’s line-up earlier this morning.

Now, it’s Switzerland who we’ve got our eyes on. Four horses and riders have just been revealed by the Swiss Federation, and while it’s not been confirmed yet which three will be on the team proper and which will go to Paris as travelling reserve, it’s still rather an exciting day to be an eventing fan, all things considered.

The four selected horses and riders are as follows:

  • Robin Godel and Grandeur de Lully – sixteen-year-old Swiss Sport Horse gelding (Greco de Lully CH x Miola, by Apartos) – owned by Jean-Jacques Fünfschilling
  • Mélody Johner and Toubleu de Rueire –  seventeen-year-old Selle Français gelding (Mr Blue x La Guna de Rueire) – owned by Peter Thürler & Heinz-Günter Wickenhäuser
  • Nadja Minder and Toblerone – seventeen-year-old Swiss Warmblood gelding (Summer Song x Medelyne, breeding unknown) – owned by Nicole Basieux
  • Felix Vogg and Dao de l’Ocean – eleven-year-old Selle Français gelding (Kannan x Heddy, by Heraldik) – owned by Phoenix Eventing Sàrl

Felix Vogg and Dao de l’Ocean. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s an exciting team, whichever way it unfolds, for Swiss chef d’equpe Dominik Burger, dressage coach Gilles Ngovan, cross country coach Andrew Nicholson and jumping coach Markus Fuchs: Robin, Mélody, and Felix were each part of the Tokyo Olympics line-up, though only Mélody returns with the same horse, and Nadja, though just 24, has already become a stalwart of the Swiss team too, with World and European Championships behind here. This year, Robin and Grandeur de Lully have won two CCI4*-S classes in a row, at Strzegom and Avenches, the latter of which also crowned them the Swiss National Champions, while Mélody and Toubleu de Rueire have been in the top six of their three international starts. Nadja and Toblerone completed their five-star debut at Pau in October and have been fourth at Strzegom’s CCI4*-S this spring, as well as top twenty finishers in Luhmühlen’s smoking hot final qualifier last week. Felix and Dao de l’Ocean were winners in the CCI4*-S in Wiesbaden and second at Avenches CCIO4*-S. It’s been 64 years since Switzerland won an Olympic medal – they were team silver medallists in 1960 in Rome, while Anton Bühler and Gay Spark were individual bronze medallists that year – but we reckon if any line-up is going to give the fairytale ending to the inexorable rise of the Swiss front over the last Olympic cycle, this is the one.

There’s also a stellar line-up of alternates named, which are as follows:

  • Robin Godel and Global DHI
  • Nadja Minder and Top Job’s Jalisco
  • Patrick Rüegg and Fifty Fifty
  • Philip Ryan and Amansara
  • Felix Vogg and Colero (subject to gaining a confirmation result at Strzegom this week)
  • Felix Vogg and Cartania

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.

For #SuperGrooms, by a #SuperGroom: Behind the HorseGrooms Community 20 Jun 2024, 11:00 am

We love celebrating and learning about the #supergrooms who make this sport go around — quite literally! This time, we’ll hear from Dinette Neuteboom who founded HorseGrooms, which is an online community for grooms around the world. Catch up on the other interviews from this series here and nominate a #supergroom of your own by emailing tips@eventingnation.com

This series is supported by Achieve Equine.

The face behind HorseGrooms right here! Along with running HorseGrooms, Dinette works for Bryan Baldwin at Meralex Farm. Photo courtesy of Dinette Neuteboom.

Dinette Neuteboom began grooming on a freelance basis in Holland, where she grew up. After traveling to places like Wellington, Peru, Argentina, New Zealand, and China, she decided to make the U.S. her homebase. Dinette knew there was something missing within the horse grooming community, so she decided to do something about it.

“I thought: What can I do to help improve horse welfare and help grooms around the world?”

And HorseGrooms was born!

The HorseGrooms website is set up to provide grooms with a multitude of resources to help them (and the horses) in their careers. You can access blog posts, guides and trainings, contract templates, and more through the website. Take it a step further and enter your email to gain access to the community page where you can ask for advice from fellow grooms around the world!


Dinette wanted to focus on fundamental aspects of a grooming career, like financial guides, practical grooming tips, mental health resources, and nutritional advice for grooms. “The goal is to keep horsemanship alive. I hope it improves the lives of horses and the lives of grooms,” she explained.

Some excellent blog posts that are available on HorseGrooms are Navigating Mental Health as a Groom, Financial Planning By Age, and Chatting With IGA Founding Director Lucy Katan. HorseGrooms even has articles available in Spanish, like Para Mel Obst, menos es más.

Dinette’s background as a rider and a groom was the foundation for starting HorseGrooms. Her experience teaching equine courses at Zone College in Holland contributed to her confidence in helping to educate fellow grooms.

Dinette worked as a rider at Zangersheide in Argentina in 2011. Photo courtesy of Hipismo Digital.

During Dinette’s extensive travels around the world, she met Amy McGann of Unbridled Form while working as a wrangler for a ranch in Wyoming. Amy was excited about Dinette’s idea and offered to help with HorseGrooms– and the rest is history!

“She’s a creative mastermind and an amazing brand strategist! I’m the main owner, but I seriously couldn’t have pulled this off without her. Amy is a storyteller at heart,” Dinette explains.

“Through text, images, colors, and fonts she captures the values, missions, ambitions, and wildest dreams of her clients. As the Creative Director of HorseGrooms she did just that. It is a joy and privilege to have her as a partner.”

In the future, HorseGrooms will introduce a paid tier of membership, where you can have access to exclusive content like webinars and Q&A sessions. Most everything available currently (which is completely free) will continue to remain free of cost. Regardless, Dinette hopes to keep HorseGrooms a place where everyone can feel a sense of community.

“It’s a place for grooms around the world, but not only for grooms, it can also be for anyone who wants to keep horsemanship alive and do the best for their horses.”

Dinette continues to advocate for grooms to get more respect in the industry and stands by the fact that they can all learn from one another, no matter the discipline.

“If you can get support in your community from your own people, how amazing is that? We just make this world a little bit better altogether.”

If you’re interested in joining the HorseGrooms community, click here.

Team USA Set for Final Mandatory Outing at Stable View This Weekend 20 Jun 2024, 9:33 am

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

Team USA heads to Stable View’s Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) this weekend, where they will undertake a final Mandatory Outing set out by US Equestrian, competing in an Advanced division to put the finishing touches on their preparations for Paris before they begin their journey overseas next month.

Team members Will Coleman (Off the Record + direct reserve Diabolo), Boyd Martin (Fedarman B + direct reserve Commando 3) and Caroline Pamukcu (HSH Blake), along with traveling reserve Liz Halliday (Cooley Nutcracker) will all be present competing, as well as the alternate list consisting of James Alliston (Karma), Jennie Brannigan (FE Lifestyle), Sydney Elliott (QC Diamantaire), and Liz Halliday (Miks Master C and Shanroe Cooley). Will Faudree had earlier withdrawn himself from the alternate list with Mama’s Magic Way, opting instead to focus on preparing for Burghley later this summer.

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

This competition will primarily be used as a fine-tuning fitness run for these pairs, allowing them to get some time competing together as a team before Paris, which is key to success in any sport. An advantage of naming a team earlier (the U.S. was the first nation to confirm its definite team; to date we have only Ireland and Japan confirmed with most other nations still narrowing down a shortlist) is just that: to allow for more time to prepare, foster team camaraderie, and of course to also have flexibility in timing should a pair have an issue or an injury and need to sub in an alternate.

Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The Advanced pairs will compete in dressage and show jumping on Friday, June 21, followed by cross country on Saturday, June 22. There is no live stream for this competition, but Taleen Hanna will be our trusty boots on the ground to bring us daily reports as well as a final recap of the team’s travel plans, etc. at the end of the weekend or on Monday.

For those of you attending, you’ll also want to check out some opportunities to send the team off properly, as the organizing crew at Stable View has really gone all out to make it a real party. On Saturday, VIP Luncheon ticket holders will receive access to the Pavilion and upstairs decks with a 360-degree view of the property, lunch catered by Blue Collard, beer + wine, and Stable View swag from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can pick up a VIP ticket by clicking here.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Stay tuned for more from Stable View, coming your way soon!

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

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.

Paris Ahoy: Japan Reveals Team for Paris Olympics 20 Jun 2024, 7:43 am

Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto and Vinci de la Vigne at the Tokyo Olympics, where they finished fourth. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The last Olympic hosts, Japan, are the latest nation to reveal their line-up for next month’s Paris Olympics – and despite not initially earning a team slot, they now field a formidable front as they head into the Games.

The selected horses and riders are as follows:

  • Kazuma Tomoto and Vinci de la Vigne JRA – fifteen-year-old Selle Français gelding (Esterel des Bois SF x Korrigane de Vigne SF, by Duc du Hutrel) – owned by the Japanese Equestrian Federation and groomed by Jackie Potts
  • Ryuzo Kitajima and Cekatinka JRA – seventeen-year-old KWPN mare (King Kolibri x Kantinka, by Julio Mariner XX) – owned by the Japanese Equestrian Federation and groomed by Matt Glenworth. Direct reserve – Be My Daisy, owned by Riding Club Crane Co Ltd
  • Yoshiaki Oiwa and MGH Grafton Street – sixteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (by OBOS Quality 004 out of an unrecorded dam) – owned by the rider and groomed by Emily Gibson
  • Travelling reserve: Toshiyuki Tanaka and Jefferson JRA – thirteen-year-old Holsteiner gelding (by Jaquino out of an unrecorded dam) – owned by the Japanese Equestrian Federation and groomed by Rowan Laird

The team is named after an excellent week at Japan’s final selection trial at Bramham CCI4*-S, which saw Kazu and ‘Vince’, who were individually fourth at Tokyo, take third place in the stacked class. Ryuzo finished in the top ten too, though on new ride Be My Daisy, who has been named as his direct reserve, Yoshi and new ride MGH Grafton Street finished twelfth, and travelling reserves Toshi and Jefferson finished fourteenth.

All the named riders are paired up with horses with storied careers: before Kazu took the reins on Vince in 2019, with great subsequent success, the now-15-year-old was produced by France’s Astier Nicolas, who rode him to seventh place at the 2018 World Championships. Ryuzo Kitajima’s Cekatinka JRA was initially produced by Ros Canter and latterly Tim Price, and was bought for Ryuzo with the Tokyo Olympics in mind. Though Cekatinka ended up sitting out that Games entirely, and Ryuzo was named as travelling reserve with Feroza Nieuwmoed, they did end up representing their nation at the 2022 World Championships, where they delivered a smart clear round but bowed out at the final horse inspection.

Yoshiaki Oiwa and MGH Grafton Street. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

There are two relatively new partnerships on this list: Yoshi Oiwa teamed up with Pippa Funnell’s 2019 Burghley winner MGH Grafton Street just this year, and is keeping the quirky gelding at Pippa’s Surrey base so that she can oversee their progression. In his four FEI starts with the sixteen-year-old, Yoshi has enjoyed competitive, quick, clear finishes, including a placing in Ballindenisk’s CCI4*-L in April. Likewise, travelling reserve Toshi took over Jefferson JRA, who was formerly a Chris Burton ride but more recently competed by Britain’s Bubby Upton, in the middle of last year, and has placed in four of his eight FEI starts with the thirteen-year-old.

Japan joins Ireland and the USA in having announced their final line-up for Paris, while Germany have effectively announced their three riders, pending CHIO Aachen results.

View more of EN’s coverage of the Paris Olympics here.

Thursday News & Notes from Ecogold 19 Jun 2024, 11:01 pm

It’s a … future Olympic eventing champion – probably.

In case you hadn’t guessed, the mama-to-be is reigning Olympic champion Amande De B’Neville, who made history with Julia Krajewski in Tokyo when they became the first women to win individual eventing gold (as far as we’re able to tell from available records, we believe ‘Mandy’ was the first mare to take the title).

Julia shared the happy announcement on her Instagram account, and it’s fair to say, it’s pretty exciting news for the future of eventing:

“I am DELIGHTED to share the news that Mandy is in foal by Cascadello 🥰 it’s been safely confirmed but obviously early days, so fingers crossed 🤞🏼 I wanted to let you know because it made me VERY happy and some people have been asking 🤗

As to the father to be, Cascadello was a bit of the obvious choice for her first foal. As some might know, he is owned (and possibly one of his absolute favorites) by Professor Bernd Heicke (@gestuet_fohlenhof) who also owns Mandy with me. To have a foal by your own stallion out of your own Olympic Gold medalist mare is probably something every breeder/horse owner dreams of, so that was a no-brainer ❤️

If it will be an eventer time will tell but pretty sure it can jump 😂💥 for now I hope for no complications and that Mandy can enjoy the time with her mare crew on the field 🥰”

Congrats to Mandy and the team!

In other eventing news, the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup kicks off in Poland this week. Switzerland and Italy are currently tied at the top of the leaderboard after racking up valuable series points in Avenches, with Australia on their heels in third. Check out the current standings here. Ordinarily, Nations Cup events are free to watch via the FEI YouTube Channel – the links weren’t up at time of writing, but we’ll share them once they’re available. The whole event from Strzegom is available to watch on ClipMyHorse (subscription required).

Go eventing!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. (Barrington Hills, IL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Round Top H.T. (Castle Rock, CO) [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Valinor Farm H.T. (Plymouth, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Alnwick Ford International (Northumberland) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

International Events

Strzegom Horse Trials & FEI Nations Cup (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [FEI YouTube Channel – NC Free Live Stream] [Whole Event Live Stream via CMH] [Scoring]

SemaLease Kilguilkey House International 1 (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring]

Thursday News and Reading

A discussion hosted by World Horse Welfare last week raised some salient points about social license. WHW Chief Executive Roly Owers, racing broadcaster Nick Luck, and British eventer Tina Cook (who also has links to racing), were amongst the expert panel, which was brought together to discuss the latest research into the public’s perception of equestrian sports, which, worryingly, found there to have been little change in attitudes towards horse sports, despite a number of initiatives employed across a range of equestrian disciplines specifically designed to address the public’s concerns. There was a suggestion that live feeds should be available of warm up areas, in order to improve transparency and help avoid damaging photos or short video clips (often shared online) which take the true situation out of context, however not everyone on the panel agreed that this would generate positive change, in terms of public understanding or improved welfare. Transparency was also discussed regarding horses’ lives post-retirement, particularly in racing. The focus on presenting the harmony between horse and rider is an area where we’ve seen real change recently, and is still high on the agenda. One thing’s for sure, we can’t dismiss the opinions of the public, whether we consider them knowledgeable about horses or not. Animal welfare is an emotive topic, and we’ve seen how change can be enforced through social license in the removal of the show jumping element of Modern Pentathlon (which comes into play following the Paris Olympics). Welfare is everyone’s business.

Olympic teams are incoming (!!!) and Japan’s hopeful for Paris success. It’s almost a century since Takeichi Nishi and Uranus carried their gold medal on the long trip home from LA in 1932, and after impressing in Tokyo with Kazuma Tomoto tantalizingly close to the individual podium, coming in fourth with Vinci De La Vigne, hopes are high in the Japanese camp as we near this summer’s Games. Kazu and Vinci head to Paris with Yoshiaki Oiwa and MGH Grafton Street and Ryuzo Kitajima and Be My Daisy or Cekatinka, with Toshiyuki Tanaka and Jefferson in reserve. Read more about Japan’s Olympic bid, and how they’re drawing inspiration from history.

And while we’re on the topic of the Olympics… Check out this cool photo gallery which merges sporting disciplines with Parisian historical sites. Eventing didn’t make the cut, sadly, but show jumping stepped up for the horse world with France’s Pénélope Leprevost bringing a bit of horse girl chic to La Galerie des Glaces in the Palace of Versailles.

You may remember the news story from a few weeks ago about the Household Cavalry horses which were involved in a series of accidents as they bolted through the city of London. Well, whilst the two horses who sustained the most series injuries continue to recuperate at The Horse Trust, the others are back up to speed, and one had a pretty special job to do on his return to work – escorting the King of England during His birthday parade. In further celebrations of the day, this rider took a hot minute out of his royal duties to pop the question. Huzzahs all round!

And finally, I’m not altogether sure whether beloved equestrian broadcaster Claire Balding is aware that she’s been created in biscuit form on national TV, but indeed she has, in The Great British Baking Show’s Stand Up to Cancer celebrity special. Contestants were asked to make cookies representing their celebrity doppelganger, and well, all I can say is that you really need to see the result for yourself… Click here for funsies.

Sponsor Corner

Big congratulations to Kailyn and Sophie on a successful prelim competition at Middleburg Horse Trials. Check out the Ecogold saddle pad Kailyn is using! Looking for a saddle pad that’s designed to withstand the test of cross country? Shop now.

Video Break

Safe to say, I am just a smidge jealous of Andrew Hoy’s little girl. What a lucky young lady to have access to all that eventing excellence 24/7. And as if that isn’t enough, she’s taking after her dad and having riding lessons with eventing royalty Captain Mark Phillips. My eyes couldn’t get any greener, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future of eventing with this kind of star quality coming up through the ranks. You go girl!

Community Rallies Behind Virginia’s Poulsen Eventing after Devastating Barn Fire 19 Jun 2024, 9:27 am

Danielle Poulsen and Capability Brown. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

We are deeply saddened to report a devastating fire that has burned down Long Branch Farm, the home base of Poulsen Eventing in Boyce, VA on June 18, resulting in a total loss of all infrastructure and equipment. Danielle Poulsen’s former 4* horse and the current ride of right-hand woman Kate Bearer, Capability Brown, sadly passed away in the fire. The surviving horses have been transported to Overlook Farm, the home base of Sara Kozumplik, and a long road of rebuilding lies ahead. The team is requesting financial donations over physical items, as the horses will be fully cared for at Overlook Farm.

Supporters have set up a GoFundMe to support Danielle and Kate through this incredibly difficult time.

“On the night of June 18, 2024, the barn at Long Branch went up in a sudden and devastating fire. One horse remains unaccounted for and is presumed to have perished, as firefighters are still trying to reach the section of the barn he was stabled in. The barn is completely destroyed and all equipment, tack, feed, supplies are gone,” the GoFundMe states.

“Poulsen Eventing was based out of the barn and Danielle and Kate are left without a source of income and are facing the journey through this detrimental business loss and having to start from scratch. Can we rally around these horsewomen and help them begin to recover from this tragedy?

“All funds will be sent directly to Danielle & Kate to cover vet expenses & immediate needs.”

The eventing community is a close one, and Danielle and Kate need all of our support to navigate this worst nightmare challenge.

Between the Ears with Ema Klugman 19 Jun 2024, 8:30 am

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 CCI5* rider Ema Klugman. At just 26 years old, Ema boasts an impressive resume of horses that she has produced herself. She was the highest-placed youngest rider at the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2021 with her self-made horse Bendigo, and recently added a successful completion of the same event on Bronte Beach, another horse she produced herself. If that’s not enough, Ema also has an impressive resume outside the saddle. She holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and recently completed her J.D. from the George Washington University of Law in May of this year. How does she do it all? Let’s go Between the Ears to find out…

To read more Between the Ears interviews, click here.

Ema Klugman and Slieve Callan Alpha. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Can you give us a brief history of your career and how you got into eventing?

I guess my journey really started in Australia because my mum had a keen interest in horses when she was growing up, but I didn’t ride when I was really little. My brother and I truly caught the horse bug when our family moved to Nairobi, Kenya, for a couple of years. During that time, we leased ponies and participated in pony club, which got us hooked on riding.

When we returned to Washington, D.C., we continued riding and joined a local pony club. Although I hadn’t done eventing per se in Kenya, we had done some cross-country and plenty of show jumping. Once I started eventing, I realized it was the most fun sport you could do on a horse. I’ve been eventing at the FEI levels since I was about 16. It’s an amazing sport that demands a ton of work, but it’s incredibly addictive.

You’ve managed to balance your education and professional pursuits with your riding career. Why did you choose this dual path, and how has it been to juggle those interests?

In my family, there wasn’t a question about whether I’d do both education and riding – it was always clear that we valued education. I wanted to go to college, and I continued riding during that time. I had Bendigo, who would eventually become my first 5* horse, and a horse called Joker’s Win, at the time, and we were stepping up to the advanced level on both of those horses. I worked with my trainer, the late Packy McGaughan, during high school, who was an amazing mentor and coach, and I got to check in with him during school breaks, but a lot of my riding was done on my own. Riding advanced horses with little experience at that level was a bit nuts, but it was also empowering and I think it taught me a lot of important lessons.

If you’re just focusing on one thing, you can get really good at it, but I think you can still get very good at something if you are multitasking. In my brain, I think of it more as task-switching (rather than multi-tasking), meaning I put my brain in a different mode for school and for the barn.t is a lot to manage, but I got good at focusing on what needed to be done for either. When you think about it, there are very few riders who just ride and compete– most are running a business, doing sales, and teaching lessons– you sort of have to do a second thing to make the business work. I’m not that different, it’s just that my “other thing” has been college and law school, and soon it will be working as an attorney.

Ema Klugman and Bronte Beach Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Have you ever lost your confidence in riding or competing? How did you overcome it?

Yes, several times. One notable instance was in 2018 when I qualified for the four-star long at Bromont. I went to the competition without a solid plan, and the course was huge. I ended up crashing my horse in the arena, got concussed, and felt pretty shaken. However, with some recovery and the help of my coach, Packy, I got back to training. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and that I was a better rider than I was that day. We practiced specific challenges, like big downhill jumps, to rebuild my confidence, and I was able to compete at Great Meadow successfully for my next event, which was only about a month later. One thing I learned from crashing at Bromont is that I gain confidence from having a really good plan. Having a good plan doesn’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly, but it makes it much more likely that you will have a successful competition.

Confidence isn’t just about recovering from falls; it’s also about competence. Practicing and improving your skills is crucial. Sometimes you need to step down a level and work on basics to regain confidence. It can be difficult to build confidence and competence for jumping around the big courses when you can’t necessarily practice them all the time, but as a rider, you have to be disciplined to prepare in a way that helps you go to an event without questioning if you’ll be successful.

What are your thoughts on burnout, and how do you manage it?

I think that burnout can happen when there’s too much going on concurrently, making it hard to process everything. It can also happen when nothing seems to be going your way; just the feeling that everything, for some reason, is going wrong. I’ve had moments where I felt like I was on a treadmill, running without a break. The sport can be exhausting. However, I also thrive on being busy and having multiple goals. In a weird way, it helps me focus. I tend to have the opposite issue with burnout; I feel a little itchy if I don’t have enough to do, and I find it hard to relax if there’s no task at hand.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, having a clear goal and loving what you do can keep you motivated. There are days when riding feels like a job, especially if it’s freezing cold or pouring with rain, but pushing through those days is essential to achieving long-term goals.

Ema Klugman and Bendigo. Photo by Shelby Allen.

What advice would you give to someone in the sport facing adversity?

Remember that everyone, no matter their level, faces challenges. It’s easy to think top riders have it all together, but everyone deals with setbacks. I think it’s also important to remember that our sport isn’t very diverse, and we need to work on having some perspective on the types of adversity that we face. As a bit of an aside, I would love for our industry to find a way to be more inclusive. But try to keep it in the back of your head that the challenge and adversity that you have in this industry is one that you are privileged to have–many people don’t have access to the kind of lifestyle that we live as Equestrians.

If you’re struggling with resources or your horse’s performance, realize that not every horse is suited for top levels. It’s okay to recognize when a horse isn’t going to meet your expectations. Having a good coach who is honest about your horse’s potential is crucial. Financially, the sport can be accessible if you work hard and have the right support system. You don’t need a million-dollar horse to succeed; good training and good basics go a really long way.

It’s important to stand firm in who you are and what you’re doing. Keep chipping away at your goals, and don’t be afraid to reassess your situation if things aren’t working out. Every rider faces obstacles, but with determination, hard work, and a bit of creativity, you can overcome a lot of them. Eventing is a tough but gratifying sport, and loving what you do makes all the difference.

Wednesday News & Notes 18 Jun 2024, 11:01 pm

One of my favorite things following an event is seeing the homecoming celebrations for the horses.

ICYMI, on Monday Abby shared scenes from the de Liedekerke-Meier camp as Luhmühlen 5* champ Hooney d’Arville received her winner’s welcome.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that notching up yet another success in the Jung barn is just part and parcel of being, well, Michael Jung, but in a sport with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – with, at the very least, a kiddie rollercoaster’s worth of ups and downs, and round and rounds, in the middle – it’s so important to celebrate every single win. OK, for Michi Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH that means being crowned German National Champions, but for us mortals, whether you’re going eventing or just riding for fun, remembering to give a big whoop at even the tiniest hint of a win is my number one rule when it comes to horses.

So, big whoops all round, and go eventing!

PS – Becoming German Champion wasn’t the only thing on Michael’s agenda last weekend – he also had his dad/trainer hat on as little Lio Jung made his Luhmühlen debut. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping this becomes a ‘then and now’ photo recreation in a couple of decades time, when Lio’s following in dad’s footsteps and taking the German title himself. Watch this space!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. (Barrington Hills, IL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (Leesburg, VA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Round Top H.T. (Castle Rock, CO) [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Stable View Summer H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Valinor Farm H.T. (Plymouth, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

UK International Events

Alnwick Ford International (Northumberland) [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

International Events

Strzegom Horse Trials & FEI Nations Cup (Poland) [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [FEI YouTube Channel – Free Live Stream] [Scoring]

SemaLease Kilguilkey House International 1 (Ireland) [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring]

Wednesday News and Reading

Our thoughts are with British 5* eventer Louise Harwood, who has suffered serious injuries in a non-riding related accident. We’re sending love to Louise and her family and friends.

With Paris teams incoming, all eyes are on the lucky ones who’ve earned their spot on the most elite of shortlists – like Ireland’s Susie Berry. Susie will be making her Olympic debut this summer, and our very own Tilly talked to her a couple of months ago for a COTH article, before she knew she’d be on the flight to France. Here’s what she had to say about the dizzying prospect of Olympic selection, that’s now a reality.

In a win for equestrianism in the mainstream, the BBC has committed to broadcasting Badminton Horse Trials highlights for the next two years. We all know that watching every second of the entire event on Badminton TV – from the first horse at the Horse Inspection to the winner leaving the ring after their lap of honor – is eventing nerds’ idea of a fun five days, but for those people who enjoy watching a bit of eventing when it’s on the telly, highlights shows like the BBC Badminton one are really important. They give us a chance to show off our sport – and share how special it is – to a wider audience, and who knows, a future eventer may be sat on their sofa, mouth agape at the awesomeness of cross country, plotting ways to convince their parents that riding lessons make the perfect birthday gift.

A new Puissance record has been set – a whopping 2.21m (7ft 3in)! Puissance horses are pretty special entities, particularly those that come out show after show and demonstrate the scope and talent, bravery and bolshiness required for this specialist class, topping the table time after time. Horses like Guy Williams’ Mr Blue Sky UK and Elliott Smith’s Flamboyant III. It’s a class that’s pretty unique, and not just for fact that there’s only a couple of fences to jump, one being the famous – and enormous – big red wall, but in that it’s possible to have multiple victors, as was the case last weekend at Bolesworth International Horse Show. The competition started out with twelve (including Guy’s daughter, Maisy), and as the wall grew, the field was whittled down until, in the final round, Mr Blue Sky UK and Flamboyant III cleared the record-breaking 2.21m behemoth and took the win between them.

Video Break

The FEI have released a new campaign ahead of the Paris Olympics, celebrating the bond between horse and rider – ‘A Bond Like No Other’. This video is just the start, with plans to promote the campaign throughout the Games with the aim of raising awareness of the equestrian Olympic disciplines and highlighting the partnership the human athletes have with their equine teammates. Read more about the campaign here.

“An animal like no other. A sport like no other. A team like no other. Horse & Human … it’s an unbreakable bond of care. A Bond Like No Other. 💜🐴

British Team Confirmed for CHIO Aachen 18 Jun 2024, 8:59 am

Emily King and Valmy Biats. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

British Eventing is pleased to announce the squad that have been selected to represent Great Britain at CHIO Aachen, Germany between July 5 – 6 are as follows:

  • Kirsty Chabert from Salisbury, Wiltshire, with 15-year-old mare Classic VI, owned by Carol Somers, John Johnston and Kate Ward.
  • Laura Collett from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with 15-year-old gelding Dacapo, owned by Gillian Morris-Adams, Diana Chappell, Carolyn Taylor and Mr & Mrs M Smedley.
  • David Doel from Chippenham, Wiltshire, with nine-year-old gelding Kenzo Power B, owned by Gillian Jonas.
  • Emily King from Holywell, Clwyd, with 15-year-old gelding Valmy Biats, owned by rider, Philippe Brivois and The Valmy Biats Syndicate.
  • Izzy Taylor from Bicester, Oxfordshire, with nine-year-old gelding SBH Big Wall, owned by Jane Timmis.

The team of four and one individual will be declared after the veterinary check and the squad will be accompanied by Chef d’Equipe Philip Surl

The British Eventing teams are supported by the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Programme, funded by UK Sport through the National Lottery. The Programme focuses on identifying talent, developing potential and maximising medal-winning performances on the world stage.

An Ode to Hot Wheels: Sophie Click’s Heart Horse 18 Jun 2024, 8:30 am

Sophie Click and Hot Wheels. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Hot Wheels, a horse beloved and known by many, but especially his rider Sophie Click and her family, passed away on April 30, 2024.

Sophie was 14 when she first started riding Hot Wheels, aka “Wheels” and it was the kind of situation where everything happened for a reason, leading to the strong partnership of Sophie and Wheels.

At the time, Sophie was riding a different horse; her mother, Amy, had bought Wheels for herself. Amy and Wheels were cross country schooling when she fell off into a ditch and broke a rib. Sophie’s horse had an abscess, so she started riding Wheels– and the rest is history.
In her Instagram post announcing his death, Sophie said that Wheels taught her “bravery, courage, patience, and resilience” throughout their time together.

Well-deserved pats for Wheels. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Wheels is not your typical eventer– on the surface. His unusual breeding and love for the sport made him unique and special. The Paint/ Thoroughbred by Three Alarm Fire (TB) and High Mountain (Breed Unknown, but most likely a Paint/QH) went from prelim to advanced before he retired. “The vets used to always say ‘he’s a Thoroughbred from the knee up and Paint from the knee down. That’s why his conformation wouldn’t hold up to the gallop,” Amy Click says.

While his conformation limited his eventing career, his heart did not.

“I always knew he was going to keep her safe. They were unbelievable to watch together. It was purely what he wanted to do,” Amy says.

Sophie Click and Hot Wheels. Photo by Shelby Allen.

As a mom watching her daughter compete at the upper levels at a young age, Amy knew that Wheels would keep Sophie safe at all times.

“He was smart and quick. She didn’t have to have perfect striding, which for a young rider going at that level, he was able to compensate for her youth,” she says.

Sophie and Wheels encountered their first prelim level competition together, competing up to the advanced level in their career together. The pair represented Area VII at NAYC in 2014 and 2015 in the 2*. They competed at NAYC again in 2017, but in the 3* and placed 8th individually. They went on to finish 2nd in the Aspen Farms Advanced Gold Cup, then placed 4th in the Galway Downs International CCI3*-L, receiving the Top Finishing Young Rider Combination Award.

Sophie and Wheels. Photo courtesy of the Click family.

The pair’s overall record is impressive, and their cohesiveness on cross country is worth mentioning. Wheels loved cross country, to say the least.

It took the pair some time to figure each other out, especially when it came to dressage and show jumping.

“We would say that he would pop wheelies– because he would. She would take contact, he could be at a full gallop and he could still pop a wheelie,” Amy says. Wheels and Sophie’s journey together was of course full of ups and downs, like any other, but it was always unmistakable that the two of them had a tight-knit bond.

Amy says that a big takeaway from Wheels and Sophie’s relationship is that in order to be a successful eventer, a horse does not need to look like a cookie-cutter eventer. “They don’t always have to look exactly the part to be wonderful.”

“He was her heart horse, and always will be.” There is no doubt in the fact that Wheels left a long-lasting impression on not only Sophie and her family, but also the eventing community as a whole. You will be missed, Wheels.

Tuesday News & Note from Kentucky Performance Products 17 Jun 2024, 11:01 pm

YES! After their standout clear and inside the time cross country rounds at their very first two five-stars, this is some news I think many of us have been crossing our fingers for! Mia Farley and her speedy, high-flying Thoroughbred Phelps plan to tackle arguably the biggest, baddest cross country track of them all: Burghley. A Burghley course, where a clear and fast round will see a pair shoot up the leaderboard at the end of the day, simply screams for pairs like Mia and Phelps to come and contest it and the whole team at EN is absolutely pumped about this news. If you’d like more information on how to support Mia and Phelps in this endeavor, click the embedded post above.

Events Opening This Week

Huntington Farm August H.T. (VT); Olney Farm Horse Trials (MD); River Glen Summer H.T. (TN); Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trials (IA); Area VII Young Rider Benefit H.T. at Caber Farm (WA); Cobblestone Farms H.T. II (MI); Hoosier Horse Trials (IN); Bayou Gulch H.T. (CO)

Events Closing Today

Huntington Farm July H.T. (VT); The Maryland International + Horse Trials (MD); Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (GA); Arrowhead H.T. (MT); Mile High Horse Ranch H.T. (CO); Summer Coconino HT and Western Underground, Inc. TR,N,BN 3 Day Event (AZ)

Tuesday News & Reading

Can’t get enough of Lara de Liedekerke-Meier? Can’t say I blame you. Revisit this piece written by Tilly that we published nearly one year ago to the day. It catches up with Lara after an excellent finish at CHIO Aachen and recounts how she put a disappointing 2022 season behind her.

It’s getting hot in here, so make sure you make sure you know the signs of heat stoke in horses and what to do about it. Our friendly sponsors Kentucky Performance Products have some up with a helpful guide that you can find right here on our sister site, Horse Nation.

Got a few minutes? Then you have time to strengthen and stretchh using the triangle pose. This yoga move can help you strengthen you inner thigh, engage your pelvic floor, and stretch your side — all beneficial tings for a rider! Here’s how to do it.

Sponsor Corner:

Nominations for the Irish Olympic Eventing Team have been announced! Eventing High Performance Director Dag Albert has chosen to nominate Susie Berry with Wellfields Lincoln, Sarah Ennis with the Irish Sport Horse Action Lady M and Austin O’Connor with Colorado Blue for the Games. Get all the details here.

All of our Olympic coverage is sponsored by Kentucky Performance Products. Kentucky Performance Products is your source for affordable, guaranteed, and research-proven horse supplements. Shop now.

Video Break:

Got a horse that curls behind the vertical? Here are a few ways to help them take better contact courtesy of dressage rider, Amelia Newcomb.

Video Break: The Unstoppable Bubby Upton 17 Jun 2024, 1:30 pm

Bubby Upton and COLA – Show Jumping, Badminton Horse Trials, Gloucestershire UK 12 May 2024

We shared this video a few days ago in News & Notes, but it’s worth a share on its own, to be honest! By now most of you probably know at least some of the story of British rider Bubby Upton, who overcame a devastating injury to not only ride again, but reach the 5* level not all that long after the accident.

It’s a testament of resilience and determination, something every event rider possesses and something that’s also often tested with the extreme highs and lows of the sport. Enjoy this short documentary from the FEI to draw some inspiration.