All Posts from April, 2010

April 30th, 2010

Happy Friday!

Badminton is underway and the destiny of 83 horse and rider pairs hangs in the balance. Enjoy the show! And enjoy your weekend.  I hope these tidbits send you into it with a wink and a nod.

Ruth Edge and Two Thyme hold the lead at Badminton Horse Trials after day one in dressage.

Emily Llewellyn, ranked 13th amongst top British eventers, is 20 and riding in her second Badminton on Society Spice.

If you want to know who’s who at Badminton after day one check these Dressage results.

Zara Phillips and Mark Todd discuss their prospects at Badminton.

Horse & Country’s report of dressage day one.

Can’t be at Badminton?  A very snazzy baseball cap, some rad note cards, or (dare I say it) the Badminton spotted Wellies from the 2010 Badminton Collection might help ease the blow.

The USEF presents Phillip Dutton with the Pinnacle Cup for his Rolex 2010 2nd place finish with Woodburn.

And some Three Days Three Ways posts and interviews you may have missed:

Woodburn (Rolex Pinnacle Cup winner with Phillip Dutton) in the Rolex vet box.

Lucinda Green (6-time Badminton winner) at Rolex 2010.

Buck Davidson’s groom, Mackenzie Booth, talks about taking care of Titanium and the inside scoop on Buck (who, together, came in 16th at Rolex).

(image via Badminton Horse Trials)

April 30th, 2010

I thought ‘Badminton’ Was a Racquet Sport.

To me, Badminton means one of the greatest 3-Day events of the year, one of only six CCI**** in the world (that’s an abbreviation for “Concours Complet International”),  and one of the three competitions that make up the Grand Slam of eventing (won only once by Pippa Funnell).  “The most important horse event in Great Britain” if you will.  But most people think, “badminton”, and see a birdie, a petite raquet, and opponents (single or doubles) whacking away on either side of a net.  So what’s the connection?

It’s pretty simple, really.  Back in the day the sport was re-introduced from British India where gents played it with great enthusiasm.   It gained popularity at a grand manor home and so bestowed upon the sport, and ultimately the horse trials (which began in 1949), its namesake, “Badminton”.

This country house (/mansion/castle/ estate) in Gloucestershire has been home to the Duke of Beaufort since the late 17th century.  It’s also home to the Beaufort Hunt, one of the most famous hunts in the United Kingdom, the very same that will make an appearance at Badminton this year.

So there you have it.  Hopefully that bit of knowledge will win you Trivial Pursuit next time you play.  And now, on to dressage day one at Badminton!

April 29th, 2010

Want to Watch Badminton?

We may be all the way across the pond but we can still feel like we’re part of the action at Badminton Horse Trials with all the viewing options from live streaming online, to the BBC, to the Badminton blog, to name a few.  Here are your viewing options:

The Badminton Blog will keep all of us in the loop with coverage and photos.

Eventing Nation, as always, breaks everything down for us from who’s riding to what’s up.

Live Streaming for Sunday’s Cross-Country test (May 2nd) from 11m-5pm. Catch every smile, gasp, and shout!

If you get the BBC then you’re in for a treat.  Cross-Country highlights will be provided on BBC 2 on Monday, May 3rd from 12:35-2:15pm as well as showjumping from 5:55pm-6:30pm.

Horse & Country TV offers the ability to sign up for the live coverage which seems like a good bet if you don’t get the BBC.

Enjoy it all!

April 29th, 2010

Thank You

My Mom was such a stickler about writing thank you notes when I was a little kid. I hated it because I never knew what to write. Then, as I grew up, I kept writing them and found out how much people appreciated them. So I kept writing and now I find myself tearing through thank you cards. That’s why, after every Three Days Three Ways interview I write a thank you note. Here’s what they look like:

I got to thinking the other day about how fun it’s been to be a 3-Day Eventing team with you all and then it dawned on me: I should write you a thank you note! Which is what I did.

April 29th, 2010

The 2010 Badminton Horse Trials Schedule

We’d all like to be at The Badminton Horse Trials, there’s no doubt about it.  But the next best thing is to join the Three Days Three Ways community to be there in blogging spirit! The action starts today with the horse inspections. We’re just on the heels of Rolex, I know, but there’s no rest for the weary!  Our own Phillip Dutton won’t be competing there (as originally planned with Woodburn) given the Icelandic ash ramifications, which disappoints even the Brits who wrote about his absence on the Badminton blog.  But even without an American carrying our stars and stripes we can still follow along with one of the greatest three-day events in the world.  Here’s the plan:

Thursday, April 29th

4pm First horse inspection (North Front Badminton house, admission is free).

Friday, April 30th

Gates open at 8am. Dressage from 9:30am-5pm.  Enjoy a dressage display over lunch at 12:30pm.

Saturday, May 1st

Gates open at 8am. Dressage from 9:30am-5pm. A second dressage display at 12:30pm and a stallion display at approximately 5pm after dressage.

Sunday, May 2nd

Gates open at 7:30am.  Cross-Country test from 11am-4:30pm.  I wouldn’t miss the Shetland Grand National (you know I have a thing for eentsy and sort of fat ponies) and World Horse Welfare Displays at 10am.

Monday, May 3rd

Gates open at 7:30am. 8:30am for the final horse inspection (North Front Badminton House).  The jumping test begins at 11am with a Light Calvary Band display at 1:15pm (which sounds impressive), a parade of competitiors at 1:45pm (we should have that!), and at 2pm the jumping test for the top 20 competitors. At 3pm a parade of Duke Beufort’s hounds followed with the presentation of prizes (including a total of 278,000 pounds of prize money) at 3:15pm.

It’s quite a schedule, no? If you’d like to know who will be competing at this prestigious competition check the Badminton Drawn Order. Check back for more on Badminton as the competition unfolds.

April 28th, 2010

Dubarry and Hunter Duel for an Eventer’s Heart

Without a doubt Dubarry ruled Rolex with a Gore Tex fist.  But will the classic Hunter Wellie make a come back? I saw this picture and it made me yearn for the boot of my childhood.  Are Dubarrys here to stay or will the Wellie assert their historic sporting life legacy? Perhaps more importantly, which will win my heart?

(image via Cup of Joe)

By Courtney in Style | 8 Comments »
April 26th, 2010

A Bay Wins Rolex. Dappled Grey Wins for Blogs

A bay horse named Cool Mountain won Rolex 2010.  Some hoped he would win from the start and maybe others hoped for an American.  We’ve put our hearts and souls (and a whole lot of time) into following our favorite riders.  So what do we do now?  We need to stay connected to each other and that’s where a dappled grey wins.  Dappled Grey, the blog, that is.

Dappled Grey is the place to get connected to the latest style, finds for kids, travel ideas, and to stay involved with this equestrian community we all love so much.  I can add, with a sigh of relief, that it’s also tremendously easy to navigate making it  a pleasure to window shop your way through the discoveries including a home stay in New Zealand with reknowned showjumper Greg Best, supporting the LA inner city group The Compton Junior Posse, or learning your dressage tests with the help of the FEI iPhone app.  The brain behind the blog, Molly, talks to you about where the idea came from and how it helps you!

Q.  How does Dappled Grey connect us equestrians to each other in a community?

A. It connects equestrians in several ways. Many of the posts feature equestrians who are pursuing their dream of a life with horses in various unique ways from US team rider Ashlee Bond’s athletic underwear line to a para-dressage rider’s road to the World Equestrian Games to the founder of a horse show-based doggie daycare to the first ever gay polo league. All very different, but united by the equestrian way of life.

Q.  How did the idea come to you to start a blog that delivers information about the english equestrian lifestyle from kid’s stuff to travel to style?

A. Well, I’ve always been a sort of “early adopter” of technology and had been blogging for a while. In my previous professional life, I was a researcher and I’ve ALWAYS been an equestrian, so Dappled Grey is just sort of bringing the three together. I read and subscribe to similar niche guides in other (non-equine) areas and just thought, “Why isn’t anyone doing this for the equestrian world?”

Q.  Which horse sports do you follow yourself?

A.  I am most closely connected to the hunter/jumper world, as it is the discipline I grew up riding in. I tend to be kind of encyclopedic about things I’m interested in, and I’ve been a student of showjumping and US hunters and hunt seat equitation since I was a child. My heart will always be there, but recently I’ve started my young horse in dressage and am becoming more closely connected to that discipline. My grandfather raised Quarter Horses, I love watching polo, and I have a lot of friends who are eventers. I follow the English disciplines most closely but will pay attention to anything equestrian that crosses my path.

Q.  “English Equestrian” includes a wide variety of sports including hunter, dressage, and eventing. How does Dappled Grey cater to all of us?

A.  I think the different categories on Dappled Grey allow me to publish a fair amount of content that is relevant across disciplines. The Style and Equipment sections may sometimes feature posts that are discipline-specific. But content in the Travel, Kids, Culture, and Community sections usually is not. Since I have personal experience in the Hunter Jumpers and Dressage, I’m always looking at style and equipment for those disciplines. Most of those can be relevant to eventers too and I’ve got a couple of tack store owner friends who event and will tip me off to cool new things.

Q.  Dappled Grey is a guide to the english equestrian lifestyle.  What are your hopes for Dappled Grey as far as contributing to the life of equestrians? What does it offer that we don’t already have?

A.  Well, I tend to think of what Dappled Grey “isn’t.” It’s not a how-to site and it’s not about reporting show results. There are other websites and publications that already do that very well.  I really am motivated by my conviction that being an equestrian is a LIFESTYLE .  It influences what we wear, where we travel to, what we’re reading, who our friends are, how we decorate our home…. it goes on and on. And we are blessed to live that lifestyle. I think Dappled Grey celebrates the lifestyle aspect of being an equestrian and offers people a place to be inspired and maybe learn about something they need or would really enjoy but hadn’t heard of.

Q. What are some of your favorite posts?

A.  That is such a great question! I love the original “iPhone Applications for the Sport Horse Industry” post  – it has been very popular and also been a way for app developers to get feedback on their products. I loved sharing the Compton Junior Posse, a riding program for inner city kids in Los Angeles, and JustWorld International with our audience. I was truly inspired by my interview with Para Dressage rider Erin Alberda and have stayed connected with her along her journey. It was fun to write about the book “Happy Horsemanship,” an all-around classic that was my favorite as a child. The recent post about KIWI boot polish was inspired by my dad, who is a KILLER boot polisher. Every post I write feels inspired and I love writing them and then sharing with readers.

Q.  Dappled Grey is an incredible source of information from fascinating equestrian travel adventures to heart warming community stories.  How do you find all this great and relevant info to share with your readers?

A.  My radar is ALWAYS on. Barn, show, on the web, magazines, catalogs, tack store friends…. I always know when I’ve just scored a great find!

Q.  After all that life requires in time, what gives you the drive to spend time writing Dappled Grey?

A.  It sounds trite, but my horse, Fitch, really motivates me. I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and our life centers around our horse. We all love the lifestyle that riding and being a horse owner provides. Researching and writing for Dappled Grey is a lot of work, but it honestly feels very seamless with my day to day life. I’m sitting here answering your questions after returning from a ride and am still wearing my new breeches and hoodie that you will probably read about on Dappled Grey sometime soon. It’s just part of the lifestyle!

On the heels of Rolex when we’re hungering all the more for all things equine let the best of the english equestrian life come right to your own front door.  Or, at least, your inbox.  Thanks, Dappled Grey, for keeping us all up to speed and totally hip while we’re at it.

April 25th, 2010

Final Rolex Moments

Rolex may be over but I know I’m still craving the anticipation, thrill, and equine-filled days of Rolex 2010.  Here are a few final moments.

Allison Springer caused a buzz when she wore her crash helmet in her Rolex dressage test.  She got the thumbs up from heaps of Three Days Three Ways readers as well as every spectator I spoke with at Rolex.  Plus, as we have all agreed, she looked great!

copyright Amy Dragoo/ FEI

Donna from Universal Sports/ NBC preps her show jumping coverage.

Karen O’Connor’s longtime groom and friend, Max Corcoran, looks on with another long-time friend, Cathy Wieschoff, as well as Lauren Kieffer, watch Karen and Mandiba complete their showjumping.

Phillip Dutton’s grooms Kelly and Emma work with The Foreman after his showjumping round that secured 4th place for his pilot as well as his owner, Ann Jones. They do it all looking sharp in Devoucoux polos.

Samantha Clark takes a moment after a Stable Scoop Radio Show recording. She’s a talented radio host as well as uber-cute in her navy, floral shirt with cardigan and laceless, canvas sneaks. Cool and collected.

Dubarry ruled at Rolex which means that not only do I have Dubarrys on my birthday wish list but also that jacket on the left. I’m entirely smitten.

Buck Davidson schools Titanium in his characteristic red which happens to particularly suit his handsome grey.

I know it’s sad that Rolex moments are over.  But we will have more in the future.  Thanks for being part of the team whether you’ve been reading for months or just joined us during Rolex.  I’m glad you’re here!

April 25th, 2010

Fans. The Heart of Rolex.

Three Days Three Ways may be the heart of three-day eventing but you, the fans, are the heart of Rolex.  We may be saying goodbye to Rolex for 2010 but we’ll be seeing each other again.  Until then my friends!

I got lots of love from this sweet dog after he did such a super job modeling.

A hip trio with aviators and polka-dotted rain boots

A devoted canine fan

I caught this group because they were adorable and it turns to be the family of one of the Rolex course designers, Aaron Rust. From left to right it’s Anne, Elena (with the yellow boots), Selah (in the green boots), and Alice. I’m thinking about asking Selah or Elena if I could borrow their boots next year at Rolex.  I say they get top prize for best Rolex rain boots!

A wee Rolex fan focuses on cross-country.

Faith is a search and rescue dog from Bluegrass Search & Rescue but took a break from her important work to watch Rolex. And strike a pose for me.

These are my friends from the jogs this morning.  They donated a corner of their tarp (the grass was awfully wet) to me which meant a greatly improved fashion review for all of you! I am forever grateful for their kindness.  Plus they weighed in on critical fashion decisions. From front to back it’s: Marty, Diane, Joan, and Nancy. Thanks you guys!

Catch you next year at Rolex!

April 25th, 2010

A Cool Win on Cool Mountain for William Fox-Pitt at Rolex

William Fox-Pitt keeps his cool all weekend with his bay horse, Cool Mountain, for a win this year at Rolex 2010.  The crowd rose to a standing ovation to congratulate our British winner.

And Cool Mountain waited patiently to head out for his victory gallop.

Congratulations to all the Rolex competitors. See you next year!

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