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Please join the EN team in sending all the positive vibes to Tom Carlile’s European Championships mount Upsilon, who is battling the sudden onset of a severe neurological condition. Upsilon, an 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian stallion who holds the Event Rider Masters dressage record, was only just coming into his prime. While Tom said Upsilon is unlikely to ever compete again, at this point he is solely hoping to save the horse’s life. Bon courage, Upsilon!

National Holiday: First Day of Spring 

Major Events This Week:

Carolina International CCI & HT: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage

U.S. Events This Week:

Stable View Spring Horse Trials [Final Scores]

MDHT March Starter Trial [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Poplar Place March Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March Schooling Show II [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Southern Arizona Eventing Association HT [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

Your Wednesday News & Notes:

If you’re like me and were refreshing the Badminton entries page ever since closing date, you were finally rewarded yesterday! The entry list absolutely lives up to the hype. Jonelle Price and Classic Moet are returning to defend their title, along with a slew of top contenders. [Badminton 2019 entries revealed: the defending champion, world medallists and first-timers]

The first of 10 USEA Charles Owen Technical Merit competitions for the 2019 season took place in the Training divisions at Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials last month. Campbell Jones and her own Patras VR won the Junior award, while Alison Kroviak and her own Dolce won the Adult Amateur Award. [Jones and Kroviak Prevail in Charles Owen Technical Merit at Pine Top]

Ever wanted to have your OTTB evaluated by a top event rider? Be sure to follow the OTTB Critique series presented by USEA and Athletux. This month, Sharon White shares her thoughts on Valhalla, who was originally adopted from CANTER Illinois by the late Philippa Humphreys. Ashley DeWitt, who trained with Philippa, now competes Valhalla. [OTTB Critique Presented by Athletux: Valhalla]

It is a somber time on the Sunshine Tour as show jumping groom Vicente Quinta Sanchez died in a lorry fire on Monday, March 18. He was inside the living area of the lorry when the fire started at approximately 6:30 a.m. local time. The cause of the fire is not yet known. [Show jumping groom dies in lorry fire on Sunshine Tour]

Attwood Wisdom of the Week: 

You want grass in the paddocks, not in your arena. If by chance you have let your arena go because you have been away, or buying a facility that the arena has not been taken care of and the weeds are blooming … DON’T RIP IT OUT!

Ripping out grass and weeds might harm your base and can cause serious long term damage to the health and well being of your footing. Spray the culprits with your choice of weed killer or better yet, a vinegar/dishwashing soap solution that will kill the roots.

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UCD Event Team Twin River HT 3.3.19 - YouTube

Our friends at the University of California, Davis have been grinding away this spring. Check in with them and watch some highlights from their last team outing at Twin Rivers.

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The view from the clubhouse at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The Ocala Jockey Club, which covers 954 acres in Reddick, Florida, has been officially listed for sale. Pavla Nygaard, who owns the farm with her husband, Erik Nygaard, confirmed to EN that this year’s event will still take place on Nov. 14-17, 2019.

The Ocala Jockey Club has become a staple in the U.S. fall calendar since the event first started running in 2016, and the venue currently hosts one of only six CCI4*-L events in North America.

Pavla released a full statement to EN explaining the situation, and also made it clear that the farm will continue normal operations until the right buyer comes on board.

Read on for Pavla’s full statement:

“I fell in love with the Ocala Jockey Club farm when I first saw it in 2005. That feeling hasn’t changed since. I still love watching horses on the track in the morning or in the fields, walking the property, thinking of design ideas for the clubhouse or the townhomes, ways to improve the November 3-Day Event or for the property to reach more people. Each of the gorgeous sunsets still takes my breath away.

“When we bought the farm, there were significant legal title issues and much of the property was run down. Slowly over time, we had cleaned up the legal issues, restored the townhome village in the back of the farm, upgraded parts of the farm and brought life back to this historic property. However, our hopes and dreams for the property are bigger than our own resources, whether that be our time, financial resources, and very dedicated but lean staff.

“Both Erik and I are thankful and grateful for the quick rise of the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. We have committed significant resources to the building of the Event infrastructure as well as the soft costs towards its organization, marketing and maintenance, and we would like the Event and the farm to to grow and be part of the fabric of Ocala’s traditions. The eventing community and the Ocala community have grown to depend on this Event to continue, and we believe this is important to facilitate.

“In order to do so, the Event and the property deserves to look to upgrades and a larger team than we are able to commit on our own for the long term. This is why we believe that the property and the Event will have an opportunity to be stronger with either strategic partners or with a new buyer who will be able to take the property further and faster than we are able to do on our own. While the current ownership team along with our existing organizing committee and OJC team have done an incredible job on a relative shoestring budget, doing more and better requires stronger resources.

“Discussing the idea of a sale or attracting strategic partnerships may be news to the majority of the Eventing world. But the organizers that we work most closely with have been aware for over a year of our desire to put OJC in the best hands. This includes Shelley Page, Max Corcoran, Clayton Fredericks, Mike Etherington-Smith and Alec Lochore.

“We view our situation similarly to a start-up technology company that can get to a certain level with its founders working in the basement or to another level with the founders’ savings funding the company’s growth, but which cannot get to a higher level without significant venture capital investment or outright sale to a well-capitalized company with a strong team and ability to invest without a need for immediate returns.

“Erik and I wish the best for the property, as it is a historic farm that we are proud to be associated with. Whether we find strategic partners or a new owner, we want this property to retain its rustic and natural character, as it is what makes it so special and beautiful. This could come in the form of an equestrian-themed destination resort, well-being institute and boutique hotel, or similar outdoor adventure, special events and wellness development.

“Whatever the final design and ownership structure, we feel that the property deserves to be centered around large areas of continued green space for generations of equestrians and nature-lovers to come. We are fully committed to running a successful November 2019 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event, to continue building it so that it can continue successfully regardless of who may own the property going forward.

“We are also fully committed to continue searching for ways to allow the property to continue growing. Our wish to list the property is in the desire to allow the property to be more of what it deserves to be. There is no fire sale, property auction, nor broker listing. We are searching for the right individual or group that will be a perfect fit for a special property like this, and we will continue operations and growing within our means in the meantime.

“We are looking forward to everyone joining us for this year’s Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event on November 14-17, 2019.”

The full sales ad for the Ocala Jockey Club can be viewed below. Contact Erik Nygaard at erik@valhallaestates.com for more information.

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Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High at Badminton 2018. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High ship out  to England on March 31 to gear up for their second consecutive crack at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (May 1-5, 2019). As a bon voyage fundraiser for their journey, Selena is teaching a clinic at BarnStaple South in Morriston, Florida, and spots are still available!

BarnStaple South is a brand new 80-acre eventing facility with a fully loaded cross country course complete with ditches, water, banks, coffins and more. The clinic will feature show jumping on Sunday, March 24, and cross country on Monday, March 25. Spots are open for every level, Beginner Novice through Intermediate, and riders are welcome to participate on one ($150) or both ($250) days. Lunch is provided.

We’re all excited to cheer on Selena and “Woody,” a 16-year-old Canadian Sport Horse (Rio Bronco W X Evita II xx, by Abacus xx) bred by Epstein Equestrian and owned by John and Judy Rumble, and they’re in fighting form. The pair is fresh off a win in the Red Hills CCI4*-S, where they were one of only two pairs to catch the optimum time on Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country course, becoming the only pair in the 21-year history of the event to ever make the time twice in the CCI4*-S.

Foxwood High looks back at the Badminton main arena moments after posting a massive personal best dressage score of 26.4. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Going faster on cross country has been a key goal for the pair, who jumped clear around Badminton last year with 16.4 time penalties and finished 24th overall. This year they will once again be based at Mark Todd’s yard in Wiltshire, with a planned run at Burnham Market as their final outing ahead of Badminton.

“I’m excited to see Burnham Market, which is a venue I’ve never competed at, and experience competing there. I want to soak up the whole experience, “Selena told EN at Red Hills. “Now that we know we can do Badminton, hopefully we can improve on our speed.”

For more information about Selena’s upcoming clinic, contact Derek Strine at (302)593-6682 or Jennifer Gallas at (586)531-6319 or email jmgequestrian@gmail.com.

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Event Horse March Madness: Round of 32, Part 1 (North America + Europe). Graphic by Leslie Wylie.

NCAA March Madness is upon us and, as we all know, brackets are the most fun. In college, a few friends and I would rank anything and everything: best TV show, best dog breed, best sports movie (A League of Their Own was the obvious winner, but it ultimately lost out to Rocky in a stunning upset).

We would not rest until we’d come to a definitive conclusion. Unfortunately, these were not horse people so the category of best event horse never came up, until now. Now, thanks to the Internet, we can solve this problem for 2018 and figure out the people’s choice for top event horse.

So here are few match-ups to keep an eye on for the Round of 32: Part 1, as posted on EN yesterday. Voting for this round is open through midnight tonight, so cast your ballot today!

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE 

Photos by Leslie Threlkeld.

This is the toughest choice of Round 1. Ingrid Klimke‘s partner SAP Hale Bob OLD has been a consistent top performer at four-star level and is always a force. The last international for “Bobby” was the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, where he held the lead heading into show jumping only to have the final fence, landing them the individual bronze medal. This horse is the complete package and has results that speak for themselves, including domination of the European Championships in 2017.

German teammates Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH also won the entire WEG outright. No one came close to him in the dressage phase and an unfortunate 20 on cross country kept him out of the medal game this year. Chipmunk has won many big three-star events including Bramham, as well as only being out of the top 10 four times in five years of international competition.

Keep in mind, Chipmunk is only 11 while Hale Bob is a seasoned 15. Who knows what Chipmunk will look like in four years, especially with his new rider, some up and coming German guy….

POSSIBLE UPSETS

Photos by Leslie Threlkeld.

Phillip Dutton has called Z one of the best he’s ever sat on. That is quite a bold statement coming from the 55-year-old former Australian, who has sat on what seems like innumerable amounts of horses. If Z was coming up against another opponent, I would say he would sail through, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s not to underestimate the Canadians.

Fresh off a win in the Red Hills CCI4*-S, Selena O’Hanlon‘s ride Foxwood High is already on a roll this year and is no doubt one of the most popular horses in eventing right now. While being a gorgeous mover and jumper, “Woody” has got the air of a gentle giant — so all those little kids dreaming of eventing glory cannot help but be drawn to him. As the top Canadian contender, Z might have a challenge to get to the second round!

Photos by Leslie Threlkeld/Shelby Allen.

In 2018 Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg captured our hearts at Kentucky. “Thomas” finished just outside the top 10 with only two time faults on cross country and one rail on Sunday. That’s an impressive debut. Unfortunately, at WEG Thomas broke our hearts a little bit with a stop on cross country. This one mistake maybe has opened the door for an underdog to beat him in this first round.

RF Cool Play is a relatively new ride for Lynn Symansky, but she has taken the time to get to know this talented young horse and in international competition they have never been outside of the top seven. Coolio and Lynn have never had a jump penalty, in cross country or show jumping, in any FEI event ever. “Coolio” is an up-and-coming superstar that could possibly beat out Thomas for a place in the second round.

The best part of March Madness is that you never know who could win, it’s literally anyone’s game. So get voting and get your friends on your side to see your favorite emerge victorious!

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Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High will return to Badminton in 2019. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

Entries have been revealed for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, with 90 combinations entered and a further 24 pairs on the wait list, including two American pairs. The final field will have 85 combinations after the riders with more than two horses entered make their final selections on May 1.

Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High are the sole pair entered for Canada and will make a second consecutive appearance at the event. Jenny Caras, who recently moved to the UK to work for Oliver Townend, is entered for the U.S. with The Fernhill Fortitude Syndicate’s Fernhill Fortitude.

Two American pairs are on the wait list. Tamie Smith and Kevin Baumgardner’s Wembley are #5 on the waitlist. Woodge Fulton, who recently moved to Germany to work for Dirk Schrade, and the Full Moon Farm Syndicate’s Captain Jack are #15 on the wait list.

Last year’s winners Jonelle Price and Classic Moet will return to defend their title, challenged by a strong Kiwi contingent that includes Burghley winners Tim Price and Ringwood Sky BoyAndrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs, and Mark Todd and NZB Campino. Both Andrew and Mark are past Badminton winners.

The strong British contingent includes Burghley winners Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, Laura Collett and Mr Bass in his highly anticipated Badminton debut; and 2018 WEG team gold medalists Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser and Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul. Past winners William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell also have multiple rides entered.

The two German entries include heavy favorites Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD, who won individual bronze at WEG last year and finished second at Badminton in 2015.

Australia’s entries include past Badminton winners Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, as well as Chris Burton reunited with his 2018 WEG mount Cooley Lands.

The Irish contingent includes Padraig McCarthy and Mr Chunky, the individual and team silver medalists at WEG 2018 who come forward as strong contenders to take the win.

Click here to view the full entry list and wait list.

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Photo by Ian Stark.

The cross country course for the Carolina International CCI & Horse Trials has taken shape this spring. Lead by course designer Ian Stark, Course Builders Levi Ryckewaert, Tyson Rementer and Jamie Gornall have gone above and beyond. Stay tuned for a course preview later this week for all the details.

National Holiday: National Certified Nursing Day

Events Opening This Week: Riga Meadow at Coole Park Combined TestMCTA H.T., IncPoplar Place Farm May H.T.The Event at Skyline

Events Closing This Week: The Fork at Tryon CCI4S/CCI3S/CCI2S & HTCDCTA Spring H.T.Chattahoochee Hills H.T.Pine Hill Spring H.T.Spring Bay H.T.

Tuesday News:

Don’t miss this sweet story! Gary, a dressage-bred gelding, nearly died as a foal due to an infection. He climbed his way back to good health, but decided he didn’t want to play in the sandbox. Now, he’s qualified for the Pan American Games in eventing. [Gary the foal who nearly died goes on to win international event]

The Land Rover Horse of the Year competition wrapped up in New Zealand this weekend after six days of action. This is a complete display of horse sport, with classes for eventers, show jumpers, dressage and standardbreds. [NZ Horse of the Year show wraps up in Hastings]

Khaled Mustafa was among those who sadly lost their lives in the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand last week. Originally born in Syria, Khaled was a beloved farrier. EN sends our condolences to his family. [Syrian-Born Farrier And Son Among Victims In Christchurch Mosque Shooting]

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to catch your horse in the field. We’ve all been there at least once. Tik Maynard shares his tips with the horse in mind. [What To Do When You Can’t Catch Your Horse… And It’s Not Funny Anymore]

Tuesday Video: 

2019 - Starr Witness - US Eventing Team XC Training with Ian Stark - YouTube

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With the FEI competition season now in full swing throughout much of the world, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of rule changes in effect for 2019. Click here for a basic summary of all the new FEI rules.

The FEI also released a memo addressing changes to Rule 549.2 Run out – missing a flag. Under the new wording of the rule, a runout (20 penalties) occurs when the body of the horse — including the head, neck, shoulders and pelvis, but excluding the legs — does not pass between the “extremities of the element or obstacle as originally flagged.” Horses must jump over the full height of the fence as originally flagged.

The FEI provided the following example photo of what is considered a runout under the new wording of the rule. “The picture below clearly shows the body of the horse not passing the extremities of the obstacle as originally flagged,” so 20 penalties would be awarded for a runout under the new wording of the rule.

After picking up a runout as defined above, the rider must circle back around and successfully jump the obstacle. Continuing on after a runout will result in elimination.

Missing a flag now results in 15 penalties and occurs if the horse jumps the dimension of the obstacle, but some part of the body is not inside the flags, such as one shoulder, or one shoulder and part of one hip.

If the horse’s body — head, neck, shoulders and pelvis, but excluding the legs — clears the full height of the obstacle but is not fully inside the jump as originally flagged, then 15 penalties are given for missing a flag.

Note that if more than 50% of the horse’s body is outside the jump as originally flagged, this would be considered a runout instead of missing a flag. 

The FEI provided the following example photo of what would be considered missing a flag under the new wording of the rule, as the horse’s body is not fully inside the original position of the flags.

The FEI noted that in the case of missed flags, the ground jury and technical delegate have discretion to mark the rider as clear, thus “giving benefit of the doubt to the athlete.”

A jumping effort is considered clear if the body of the horse — head, neck, shoulders and pelvis, but excluding the legs — passes the fence as originally flagged. If the back and front of the horse is inside the original position of the flags, but one or more legs of the horse or rider knocks the flag, this is still considered clear.

In other words, do this:

In response to frequently asked questions regarding the new wording of the rule, the FEI clarified that:

  • Combinations can be penalized with 15 penalties multiple times on course for missing flags.
  • If a rider jumps clear between the flags but thinks he/she is outside the flags and circles back around to jump the fence again, the rider will not receive any jumping penalties or face elimination, even if the horse runs out or breaks a frangible pin on the second attempt. Only any accumulated time penalties would be added to the score.
  • Riders can no longer ask the fence judge if the horse jumped between the flags.

Clear as mud? Click here to read the FEI’s full memo on what constitutes a runout and missing a flag under the 2019 rules.

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Round of 32, Part 1: North America and Europe. Who should advance to the round of 16? You decide! Photos by EN.

Gather round the water cooler — it’s time for March Madness, EN-style! This year 32 of the world’s top ranked event horses are squaring off in a NCAA Tournament inspired bracket to determine the fiercest eventer in the land.

How it’s seeded: To avoid petty squabbling amidst our chinchilla selection committee, we have objectively seeded the bracket according to the final 2018 WBFSH Rankings — the higher the points earned, the higher the seed. The six winners of CCI4* events in 2018 as well as the 2018 World Champion received automatic top seed buy-in. The bracket is divided into four regions: North America, UK, Europe and Australia/New Zealand.

Determination of winner: Popular vote!
Round of 32, Part 1: Monday, March 18
Round of 32, Part 2: Wednesday, March 20
Sweet 16: Monday, March 25
Elite 8: Monday, April 1
Final 4: Friday, April 5
Championship: Monday, April 8

Today’s match-ups: We’ve divided the Round of 32 into two parts: Part 1 is North America and Europe; Part 2 is UK and AUS/NZL. For today, we’re looking at some well-matched rivalries — I feel bad pitting some of these North American horses against each other — as well as some big potential upsets … 2018 Pau CCI4* winner Siniani de Lathus may be the #1 seeded Europe horse, but can he really hold his own against #8 seeded fischerRocana FST? We’ll find out soon enough! Check out the bracket and then cast your vote in the polls below.

Take Our Poll
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Go Eventing.

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Carly – First Foal 2019

World, meet Carly, our first foal born this year! Here she is taking some of her first steps. Who wants to meet her on March 23rd when we open for the season? Get your tickets at www.warmspringsranch.com.

Posted by Warm Springs Ranch on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Okay, okay, I know — this is Eventing Nation. We’re supposed to present you with awesome, funny, crazy videos of people galloping and jumping or at the very least doing some fancy prancing. But some videos are just too cute to ignore. Case in point: this short video of Carly, the first Budweiser Clydesdale born this season at Warm Springs Ranch, Budweiser’s breeding facility in Boonville, Missouri

Those fuzzy ears. That bitty little tail. Those adorable baby bucks. Squee! Can someone tell me what size girth a Clydesdale might wear and if Total Saddle Fit might make one that big? Asking for a friend ….

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