All Posts from April, 2011

April 28th, 2011

Tiana Coudray Wins an RZ Dutton Saddle. Tell Me More.

We mentioned in the Best Rolex Fashion post that Tiana Coudray won an RZ Dutton Saddle for best presented horse and rider combination.  We already discussed why that makes sense, but what about the saddle?  What are they all about?  And where do they come from?  And, if Tiana is going to be riding in one what with her talent and style, where can I get one?  Turns out, we’ve got the scoop.

Phillip Dutton and Ronald Zabala-Goetschel designed these new, lightweight saddles (you can get them in a dressage, show jumping and cross-country model) focusing on the comfort of horse and rider as well as the proper balance and fit to help riders improve their position and the effectiveness of their aids.  Phillip is riding in the saddles right now at Rolex so be sure to have a look and report back!

Phillip says that  “I think saddle design, especially for cross-country saddles, hasn’t changed much in recent years and I felt a need for a lightweight saddle that breathes as the horse gallops along. With our saddles the movement of the horse keeps the air flowing through and the saddle really moves with the horse since it’s not as fixed as a traditional saddle. It fits well to the horse and gives the rider a unique feeling of being one with the horse.”

The saddles are manufactured in Argentina which is great news since if you want the highest quality leather products that’s where you’d want to go (that, and cute espadrilles).  They also come with a patent pending ventilation system called WISAIR, which increases air flow under the saddle as the horse moves. The idea is that it decreases heat build-up and perspiration in the body areas that are in contact with the saddle. Consequently, there should be less heat on the horse’s back, resulting in less sweat, decreased risk of dehydration, and less sore, fatigued muscles which results in a faster recovery time.  All good things, especially when you’re trying to give your horse every advantage over cross-country.  It’s almost 4 pounds lighter than most jumping and cross-country saddles available on the market today (weighing only 9 pounds, 14 oz.). The idea, again, being that decreased weight helps to increase your horses’ speed and endurance, which, combined with the benefits of the WISAIR ventilation system, improves performance and competition results.  In a test video created in Florida over the winter, one can easily see that after  seven minutes of galloping under direct sun at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, almost no sweat can be seen on the horse’s back when removing the saddle and pad.

Ronald noted “They say at the track that for every mile, one pound = one horse length.  A four-star is four miles with about forty fences so I think that the lighter weight will make a lot of difference for the time and the amount of stress on the horse.”

Though any saddle pad can be used with these saddles, Wise Equestrian has designed and developed a saddle pad in cooperation with ECOGOLD that has ventilation in the same place as the saddle, which increases its effectiveness.

So where can I get it?  Simple.  Go to booth 26 at Rolex and, voila, there you have it!  If you’re not at Rolex then check out RZ Dutton saddles on their website. Also, the saddles will be at every competition in which Phillip competes so look for him and you’ll find the saddles!

So go check them out and tell us what you think! Maybe Tiana and Phillip will give us their reports too? That would be a bonus!

April 28th, 2011

The Best Rolex Fashion at Wednesday Jogs

By Courtney Young, Shannon Crocker, Billy Register, and Samantha Bergin

Who wore what at the Rolex jogs was on everyone’s mind yesterday despite the impending doom of the weather forecast. But as eventers are apt to do, the field of 45 riders persevered and jogged their horses through puddles and rain splatters and offered us a look at some of the best looks for Rolex 2011.  Here they are.

photo by USEA

Jessica Phoenix took a page out of Lauren Kieffer’s 2010 playbook (with opposite colors) and what a good idea that was. It looks like Palm Beach at 5 o’clock!  The only thing we would add would be a martini (with two olives).  And take note: Jessica shows us that simple succeeds -a basic, black shirt dress, black kitten heels, and accented with belt to draw attention to her waist.  Simple, right?  The bonus here as well is that she also coordinates with her horse.

photo by USEA

Will Coleman pretty much hit the nail on the head with his Classic New England prep. Tommy Hilfiger would be proud.  The navy sport coat with khakis is a look that never gets old but, still, he manages to add something personal with the cheerful splash of color in his tie.  The sun even came out for him!  Though, we say, for a preppy boy from the hills of Virginia he should be able to pull off a better sock. How about a Paul Smith striped number? Classic prep never fails.

photo by USEA

Dang, Boyd knocked it out of the park this year!  The prepster tie with the tattersall shirt is perfect without overwhelming and, topped with a fedora, we’re off to play cricket with a Gin in Tonic in hand. With a distinctive look and point-of-view Boyd takes some risks here…and reaps the rewards tenfold.  We’re not sure who dressed him (maybe his beautiful wife Silva?) but whoever it was, keep them on retainer!  Fashion note: The cardinal rule with sports jackets is never button the bottom button. A sport coat will never have three buttons unless you’re an NBA player (and while Boyd is tall, he’s not an NBA player)  And if you’re wearing s suit jacket, according to Nordstrom’s, follow the “Sometimes, Always, Never” rule.  That is to say, starting with the top button it’s “sometimes” buttoned, the second is “always” buttoned, and the third and bottom button is “never” buttoned.  One more thing: The flash noseband is removable, you should have done that. Kate Moss needs her belt back.  All that said, though, good on you, Boyd.

photo by USEA

Susan Beebee already looks adorable so when you add the cheeriest of expression on her face as well as on that of her horse you’ve got a real winner.  A classic trench looks great and is weather appropriate.  She was clever enough to stay away from Dubarrys at a jog and instead opted for a black boot but nods to the equestrian world with the quilting.  Her orange scarf greets the Spring and her black headband polish the look and stands out in her pretty, blond hair.  Her pearls complete her look.

photo by USEA

Hannah Sue-Burnett and St Barths.  Love it. She brings her personality to this look from the cute denim trench dress (that sets off her flashy chestnut) to the pretty brown flats.  Her jewelry further adds a personal touch and shows that she has gone the extra mile.   To top it off she has beat the field with the prettiest of hair – it’s like Kate Middleton walking down the Rolex jog lane,  just in time for the royal wedding.  Last year we ooohed over Lauren Kieffer.  This year it’s Hannah Sue Burnett. With both riders under the tutelage of David O’Connor we’re starting to wonder if he’s been giving then style pointers as well.  Is he going to be the Evening Team coach and style coach all rolled into one?

photo by USEA

Jill Walton brings a hip Westcoast/ Western sensibility to the Rolex jog lanes and we dig that.  Everything fits well and and comes off  as truly personal style.  She looks like herself and we love that. She could transition from the Rolex jog to a cocktail party without batting an eye.  Switch up the Ed Hardy belt for Hermes and you’re money.

Tiana Coudray pulls off personal style, comfort, elegance, and coordinates with her horse all in one fell swoop.  She lets her belted jacket stand out as the anchor piece and then keeps it simple with her slacks and shoes.  This prevents her clothes from wearing her and assures the focus will stay on that dashing horse of hers.  We might have gone with pearl earrings to go with the grey horse but it’s hard to be choosy, especially in the face of such obvious comaraderie and grace.  Plus, we heard she won the Dutton RZ Saddle from WISE EQUESTRIAN for Best-Presented horse and rider combination.  We can see why!

photo for USEA

If you’re not into slim skirts and pleats like we are then you might want to take notes on Kristi Nunnink’s look.  She’s well-coordinated with her horse and looks professional without being severe thanks to her well-fitting grey suit.  The pink scarf coordinates with her horse’s pink snip which is adorable.  It suits her (no pun intended) and we give that, and the look, two thumbs up.

photo by USEA

Hamish Cargill looks great whether he’s on Wall Street, Capitol Hill or at the Rolex jogs. He raises the bar with a well-tailored suit in a light grey which, along with his striped tie, keep everything Springy and light.  We’d like to run into him at the Rolex after party and then take him home to mom, that’s for sure. The horse’s brow band, though, is more cart horse than 4-Star event horse. Change that and it’s, well, perfection.

photo by USEA

Sinead Halpin is case in point that a black pencil skirt belted with a cute top works again and again.  That and she’s smokin’ hot. And appropriate for the Rolex jogs to boot.  Her look is tailored and fitted to her lovely figure and the petite, stacked heel is ladylike and, simultaneously, sprintable.  Her look accentuates all her assets without trying too hard.

photo by USEA

Buck Davidson proves the old adage: if it aint broke, don’t fix it.  The tailored gentleman right out of Wall Street may be a look we’ve seen before but it works, so why change it?  With the smart gray suit and dress shoes (good call) he communicates professionalism and that he means business.  The yellow tie adds a splash of welcome color in this Spring season and his red socks are his signature piece (see Do’s and Don’ts for the Rolex Jog Lane) Plus, he’s keeping it real with the colors of the family crest.  But wait, there’s more.  He shares his look with Titanium.  Without the messiness of flash and figure eight nosebands and by using a the basic jog chain and shank he keeps the lines clean and simple which further showcase his handsome horse.  Clean, polished, handsome, with personality. Well done and keep it up.

Good to luck to all the Rolex 2011 horses and riders. We’ll be rooting you on as you enter at A, sail through the Head of the Lake, and bring it all home in the Rolex Stadium on day three.  And thanks to photographers Josh Walker, Emily Daily, and Leslie Threlkeld at the USEA for the generous use of their photography. We are forever grateful for their generosity, not to mention their talent.  A final thanks to the writers who made the Best of Rolex Fashion 2011 possible: Shannon, Billy, and Samantha.  They are the most amazing team with incomparable wit.  Thanks, and have fun at Rolex 2011! Make sure to Read Peter Green’s 2011 Rolex Run Down for who’s running this year….and who might edge out the rest!

By Courtney in Competitions, Style | 3 Comments »
April 26th, 2011

Your 2011 Rolex Run-Down by Peter Green

Once again we are thanking our lucky stars to welcome Peter Green and crew for the 2011 Rolex Run Down.  Below you will find a run-down of all the horse and rider combinations entered in this year’s Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event.  Read it through (maybe with a delightful cup of coffee) and then tell us what you think! But first, a note about your esteemed author and contributing writer to Three Days Three Ways:

photos courtesy of Peter Green

Peter is an accomplished eventer having taken an individual 8th in the World Championships in Luhmuhlen, Germany and competed at the likes of Burghley, Blenheim, Badminton, Boekolo, as well as almost all the Rolex Three-Day Events from 1979 to 2004 on horses like Chivas Regal and Mind the Gap, to name a few.  He was on the USEF  Eventing Selection Committee for over fifteen years many of which he spent as chairman.  Additionally he has been a formative influence on the sport of eventing buying, selling, and creating top horses, many of whom have gone on to represent the country in international competition.

And now he analyzes the 2011 field of horses, their riders, and how you should be hedging your bets this week and weekend. Thanks, Peter!  And good luck to all these talented horse and rider combinations who have us, constantly, with our hearts in our hands.

1.Arthur and Allison Springer USA

photo via SmartPak

This pair are no strangers to the CCI**** level. Arthur has steadily improved to put in a world-class dressage effort. Jumping around the CCI**** cross-country course is well within he and Allison’s abilities but they have yet been able to achieve a Sunday performance at the CCI**** level that would put them in top placings.  You can be assured that Allison has been working very hard toward making the third day successful, as this is the horse’s weakest link.  His show jumping performance after a 7-minute track has been significantly better than the third day after an 11-minute track.

April 2011, The Fork Advanced (Dressage 29.3, Clean Cross Country, 8 Jumping and 15 Time Stadium) 15th Placing

2. Parker and James Alliston GBR

This is the first of two rides for James.  Parker’s dressage is not as polished as the other competitors and will leave him out of the hunt after the first day.   His record seems to be up and down in the dressage and show jumping but a steady cross-country is his forte.   James’ West Coast success will be hard to duplicate against the stiffer competition that he will find here at Rolex.  If a completion is in the cards he should consider this a big success.

March 2011, Galway Downs Advanced (Dressage 44.4, double clear) 1st Placing – out of 3 starters.

4. Fernhill Eagle and Phillip Dutton USA

photo by USEA

A newer ride for Phillip but their record seems to show a competent pair.  His second placing at Fairhill last year and his 6th at the Fork this spring seem to show that they could make this a good year for Phillip at Rolex.  If Phillip is going to be successful he will need to consider the dressage more than a gentleman’s hack (there are no trot steps in a flying change).   What a fitting tribute to Rebecca Broussard and Team Rebecca if Phillip could pilot him to a win.

April 2011, The Fork, CIC*** (Dressage 51.6, Clean Cross Country, Clean Show Jumping final 53.2) 6th Placing

5. Kings Temptress and Mary King GBR

Mary is one of the stalwarts of British Eventing and has done it all and then some. With a good dressage and cross-country record, this horse should land Mary in the money going into Sunday.  The problem will be, can she leave the rails up to keep that placing. Her last two events look as if she has improved in show jumping.  It is hard to believe a rider would use Kentucky as a schooling show but Mary could be using KHP to give this horse more mileage with bigger things to come in the future.  He might not be the finished product but don’t discount Mary because she is always capable of getting the job done.

April 2011, Belton Park CIC*** (Dressage 47.6, Clean Cross Country, Clean Show Jumping final 74.4) 28th Placing

6.Exploring and Jessica Phoenix  CAN

Jessica represented Canada last year at the WEG and both Exploring and Exponential are her two top advanced horses at the moment.  She has shown that she has what it takes to compete here but whether she can put in a good enough dressage day score to be in the top placings, is a long shot.  Be sure to watch her on cross-country day – do not blink when she goes by or you might miss her. Look for a good performance on the third day also.

April The Fork CIC3* Dressage 49.0  Clear Cross Country, one rail   7th place

7.Icarus and Michael Pollard  USA

Icarus has always been capable of being a world-class horse but there always seems to be a loss of focus during the weekend by one part of the combination.  Icarus and Michael have always thought they were the best, but for some reason they always keep it hidden from the rest of us.  Will they show their talent this weekend?  Icarus’ spring form seems to indicate that he is ready for Rolex.  After winning at Jersey Fresh CCI*** in the spring of 09, he hasn’t had a large number of outings until this past winter/spring season.

April The Fork CIC3* Dressage 59.7

8.Ballynoe Castle RM and Buck Davidson USA

Entered but had a good run at Badminton

9.Navigator and William Fox-Pitt GBR

Entered but ran at Badminton.

10.Mojito and Kate Brown USA

photo by Leslie Threlkeld for USEA

Good cross country form with some time but nothing to mention.  Her FEI dressage scores are in the 60’s usually with high show jumping scores as well.  She should be happy with a completion if she makes it to Sunday.

April The Fork Advanced- Dressage 41.7 Clear Cross Country, one rail    12th place

11. Manny and Diana Burnett CAN

This pair has been here for the past two years and that experience will help her to improve her end score.   While this horse is a cross-country machine and has reasonable dressage scores, unless he can improve his Sunday performance from his past record, Diana will be hard pressed to make the top placings.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 33.7, Clean Cross Country with 20 show jumping)

12.UN and Jane Sleeper USA (late scratch)

Jane’s experience and UN’s natural jumping talent will go a long way to a successful outing.  They should prove a good classical pair to watch in the jumping rounds.  The pair’s allergy to the dressage arena makes it difficult to go into the second day  in a competitive position.  Jane is no stranger to this venue and level with multiple mounts at Rolex and representing the US.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 45.7, Clean Cross Country, 2 rails in Show Jumping) 25th Placing.

13. Twizzle and William Coleman USA

Will’s long history with this horse and his ability to stay cool under pressure will take him a long way.  Not sure if Twizzle is up to winning but if he finishes on Sunday, he may be in the top placings.  Very enjoyable pair to watch.  An analogy of Will is sort of like going to the prom with a new black tuxedo but wearing converse high tops.  Here is a world-class rider but he seems to be in his OWN world.  Will is still considered one of this country’s up and coming riders but walking to the party is not going to get it. He’ll have to kick into gear as the rest of the world is moving at a pace that can leave Will standing still.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 30, Clean Cross Country, double clear show jumping) 4th Placing

14.Fric Frac Berence and Frankie Thieriot    CAN (late scratch)

photo via Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event

Based on Frankie’s form, it looks as if she is trying to get some experience at the CCI**** level.  Her older horse has lots of mileage but doesn’t look to have the results that it will take to be in the ribbons come Sunday.  As we have just discovered that this horse has competed the last 8 years with sight in only one eye, Frankie and her friend are to be commended on their accomplishments and for qualifying for Rolex.

March 2011, Twin Rivers Advanced (Dressage 48.8, Clean Cross Country, 8 Show Jumping) 6th Placing out 17.

13. Gryffindor Kristin Bachman USA

Gryffindor’s cross-country is pretty amazing.  He has a long record at the Advanced level.  A previous Rolex contender, Gryffindor and Kristin have been around this track but it was in 2007 (in 1st place but eliminated in show jumping after going off course) and was 27th out 56 with a 20 in 2006.  Their show jumping is their weakest link.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 36.3, Clear Cross Country with 1 rail and a little time in show jumping) 6th Placing

15. Ballinakill Glory and Kelly Prather USA

This pair’s recent form is average at this level. After an unfortunate dressage here last year, most likely due to the electric atmosphere, and then being spun at the final jog, a completion ribbon should be her goal.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (withdrew), March Twin Rivers Advanced (Dressage 36.9, Clean Cross Country with 8 Show Jumping) 3rd Placing out of 17.

16. Gaelic Marriage and Martha McDowell USA

Based on this combination’s form, mainly dressage and show jumping, are they ready to answer the questions at Rolex?  Her cross-country is reputable.  Coming to Rolex could be enjoyable for this pair if they never had to go into the main arena for dressage nor show jumping.  If you think dressage and show jumping is difficult in normal circumstances, Kentucky makes it electric.

April 2011 The Fork, CIC***(Dressage 68.4, Clean Cross Country, fell off in show jumping)

17 Katie Ruppel SIR DONOVAN USA

This horse looks to be a cross-country machine. Stepping on to the stage at this level, given dressage day jitters and past scores in the 60’s, this is probably a higher caliber of competition than she can be competitive with on the first day. She should be able to give it a good go for a finish.

April 2011, The Fork, CIC*** (Dressage 60.3, Clean Cross Country and 1 rail show jumping) 28th Placing out 51.


Another West Coast pair, Debbie successfully completed Rolex in 2010.  Debbie’s dream of riding at Rolex came true with this horse being bought for her 5 years ago.  This is their third attendance.  The caliber of competition here will make it unlikely for a competitive placing.

March 2011, The Event At Three Day Ranch  AI, (Dressage 35.3, Clean Cross Country with 1 rail show jumping) 6th Placing out of 8.


photo by Emily Daily at the USEA

This pair has several good results at the FEI level and if not for an uncharacteristic 16 penalties in show jumping at the Pau, France event, they would have been at the top of the leader board. After a good placing here last year, Boyd is primed to be in the top 5 this year.  Boyd’s riding ability is world class with very loyal owners.  Is his stock of the caliber to beat the others and take the event title?

April 2011, The Fork Advanced (Dressage 29, Clean Cross Country and Clean Show Jumping) Won!

20 Colleen Rutledge SHIRAZ USA

This pair is another newcomer to the four star level and Rolex. Based on their past performances, Colleen should be happy to complete. Their dressage and show jumping form would have to improve greatly to do more.  Afraid she is also to be in the category of also rans.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 72.70, Clean Cross Country with 2 rails) 32nd out of 51


Kim is no stranger to the CCI**** and this venue in particular.  She has worked hard and if anyone can get the best from a horse, it is Kim.  Her ability to put in an extremely accurate and skillful dressage along with her steady and careful cross-country will position her well for Sunday.  The show jumping will be the telltale sign of their ability to wind up in the top 5.  Their last three events she did not run cross-country – is this a new strategy for a fresher horse at Rolex?  They placed at an OI in February.

22 Sarah Cousins TSUNAMI USA (late scratch)

Sally is no stranger to this level having competed her first four star event in England when she was just 20 years old. Sally has a lot of experience riding a lot of horses.  Sally’s forte is the jumping and this will come into play helping Tsunami finish Rolex, as this is the mare’s first try at this level.   Sally will have to work hard to get a competitive dressage score here.

April 2011 The Fork, CIC*** (Dressage 58.6, Double Clear Cross Country, 3 time show jumping) 13th Placing

23 Heather Morris SLATE RIVER  USA

Her dressage will be impressive and should leave them in a good position going into Saturday.  Heather’s ability to ride cross-country and stay cool on Sunday should come in handy as the Rolex fever hits hard.  This would be their first big test at the CCI**** level.   If this horse proves that he can handle the distances and speeds at the CCI4* level while remaining fresh for Sunday, he would be a great asset for future US teams.

April 2011, The Fork Advanced (Dressage 28.30, Clean Cross Country and Clean Show Jumping) 2nd Placing


photo by USEA

Trevor is the little engine that could.  Thru this partnership, Jessica has come and participated notably at the CCI**** level.  He may not win the whole thing but his heart and jumping ability will give Jessica a great feeling thru this entire competition.  His past form shows a steady competitor.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 66.3, Clean Cross Country with 2 Show Jumping Rails) 33rd Placing


Considered by some to be one of the best amateur horses in the game, Kilrodan Abbott and Peter finished 4th in the CCI3* at Fair Hill last year with a double clear cross-country and show jumping. If they can be “on” during the first day, they could be a surprise top finisher. Though this is a big step up, the horse looks genuine and they seem to click as a pair.

February- Pine Top- Advanced- Dressage 36.3, clear cross country and double clear show jumping- 2nd place


Laine needs to bring Al’s dressage score up into the top third of the competition to allow this horse’s jumping ability to move him into the top placings.  His 14th placing last year shows his ability to handle this track, and Al seems to be a fit horse who can show up on the final day and do a clear show jumping round.

April 2011, The Fork Advanced withdrew, March 2011 Southern Pines Advanced (Dressage 31.3, Clean Cross Country and Clean show jumping) 1st Place

27 Olivia Loiacono SUBWAY USA

Another Californian who has based herself on the East Coast for the past couple of years, Olivia will be hoping for a completion. This pair’s dressage scores need a lot of improvement to get out of the bottom third. Subway’s jumping ability seems to not be an issue but hopefully cross country time penalties will not add a significant amount to their dressage score.   She will be part of the also ran club.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 66.3, Double Clear Cross Country, 1 rail Show Jumping) 24th Placing


Like most Thoroughbreds, this horse obviously has a great work ethic and a big heart. This 19-year-old horse has been competing for 10 years and this is his third consecutive appearance at Rolex. Kelly has room for improvement in all three phases to secure a better placing than last year.   Hollywood looks like it is his time to retire and enjoy the benefits of a Democratic government – the retirement age seems to be going higher and higher in this country.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 46.3, 20 Cross Country, 1 Show Jumping rail) 29th Placing

29 Hannah Sue Burnett ST. BARTHS  USA

photo by Josh Walker and via HSB Eventing

After displacing Karen as the rider, she has proven her worthiness by winning the Fair Hill CCI** in 2009 and then the Fair Hill CCI*** in 2010.  Other than these two FEI competitions, their form seems to be inconsistent, with highs and lows, mostly with the dressage scores. The horse’s jumping ability doesn’t seem to come into question but in order to have a good placing here, they need to be on the same page on the first day.  She has been successful when it counts, will Rolex be another one of those successes?

April 2011, The Fork Advanced (Dressage 34.7, Clean Cross Country, with 1 rail) 5th Placing

30 Jil Walton MY SEDONA USA

Jil is returning to Lexington from California to again compete for the Rolex trophy. Her dressage scores and the mileage to get here seem to be similar numbers.  Her experience should prove an asset to this pair but as with many entries this year, a dressage score better than their previous form, is necessary for a good finish.

March 2011, Galway Downs, CIC***(Dressage 65.2, Clean Cross Country, clean Show Jumping) 5th Placing out of 14.

31 Rebecca Howard RIDDLE MASTER  CAN

After representing Canada at the WEG here last year, she should feel confident coming into this year’s Rolex. Rebecca has always been a capable rider, under David O’Connor’s tutelage, she may be looking for a more competitive placing.  Saturday and Sunday’s jumping phases have proven to be this pair’s strong points and a good finish is in their sights.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 54.2, withdrew) March 2011, Poplar Place Farm Advanced (Dressage 32.5, Clear Cross Country double clear show jumping) 3rd Placing


After leaving the world of competitive Irish clogging, Tiana brought her first Rolex mount King Street here back in 2007.  Tiana seems to have done her homework and has taken her time, doing multiple Three Stars before stepping Ringwood Magister up to the CCI**** stage. Based on his form, he seems to be ready to tackle this level. Tiana rides a good dressage test and gets the most from all of her horses. Look for a good showing and gaining experience to be one of the prominant riders for the future.  With good showings on the jumping days, they could be in the top ten.  Her career has been well managed to this stage.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 29.3, 20 Cross Country with a double clear show jumping) 13th Placing

33 Karen O’Connor QUINTUS 54  USA

photo by Leslie Threlkeld for USEA

Quintus is another in a long list of Karen’s projects.   His dressage scores have been inconsistent including with Karen and his previous riders.  His jumping ability is unquestioned but is he ready for a Four Star?   Karen will need all of her experience to bring this horse into a competitive position at the Rolex CCI**** level. With Karen’s WEG mount Mandiba at Badminton, she will be looking to give this horse good experience but Karen cannot over come her competitive nature, she will also be trying to get the most from this horse for a good placing and getting him ready for 2012.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 58.3, Clean Cross Country with double clear show jumping) 22nd Placing

34 Oliver Townend ODT SONAS ROVATIO  GBR

This is a horse produced by Oliver.  With Dressage in the low 50’s at most international competitions and 30’s at horse trials, he hasn’t had a cross country jump penalty with Oliver bar one hiccup at Novice (Preliminary).  His show jumping is also above average.  His limited FEI experience makes him a long shot moving up to this level, but a horse to watch.  Oliver is a tenacious and competitive rider who did not fly all this way to be an also ran.

April 2011, Belton Park Advanced (Dressage 34.5, Clean Cross Country and Show Jumping) 2nd Placing


photo by USEA

Once Mark made the decision to come back into the competitive eventing world, he would not want to do it half way.  I would expect to see a top rate performance here and barring the unexpected bad luck you would think that he would be at the top or very near the top come Sunday.  Though he was Mark’s WEG mount – 11th Placing-this horse has an incredibly spotty record.  He had multiple riders throughout its career until Mark got the ride in 2009.  Even with Mark, his early cross-country stats are week.  With FEI dressage scores in the 50’s, Mark has improved this horse.  His placings this year are good with show jumping being a strong point.

April 2011, Belton Park Advanced (Dressage 34.3, Clean Cross Country and Show Jumping) 5th Placing

36 Clayton Fredericks BE MY GUEST  AUS

BE only has stats on this horse starting June 2010 – this looks as if the lack of form is due to her not competing for a couple of years.  Of the 10 events she has had 6 finishes with 5 of those clean cross-country.  One of those successful finishes is a surprising 3rd Place at Burghley.  It is hard to make a prediction on the limited form with Clayton but believe he will not make a repeat win.  Clayton is a world-class rider, and is certainly capable of pulling off a top placing here.  Always a class act.

March 2011, Fontainebleau CIC*** (Dressage 42.7, Clean Cross Country and Show Jumping) 5th Placing


Heather is a tenacious amateur. We certainly hope she has a good experience here but do not look to see her in the top placings.  Based on the form, Our Questionnaire has come to this country already knowing his job.   In the two years Heather has ridden him, he has done a few FEI events with mediocre results but not a huge amount of issues in any one area.  While the qualifications look sound, the results do not indicate, a top placing – instead lets be happy with a completion.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 36.7, withdrew) March 2011, Poplar Place Farm Advanced (Dressage 33.8, 20 cross country with 1 rail show jumping) 9th Placing

38 Susan Beebee PROWLER USA

Although Susan’s last two outings were good at the Advanced and CIC*** level, his general form would suggest that he doesn’t particularly have a great aptitude for cross-country.  Susan will have to be very focused to get the job done on Saturday.  Given the jump to the CCI**** level as well as the importance of cross-country here at Rolex, if they have the opportunity to show jump on Sunday they should consider this a successful weekend.

April 2011, The Fork CIC*** (Dressage 61.4, Clean Cross Country with 1 rail) 19th Placing

39 Joe Meyer SNIP  NZL

If this pair is on this weekend, they could win it all. Snip is good in all three phases if his preparation is done correctly. This 15.3 NZ TB was bred by Joe’s parents, who also produced Mark Todd’s double Olympic champion, Charisma. He has had placings at Badminton, including last year’s 12th placing, and represented NZ at an Olympics and a World Equestrian Games.   Snip is the one who put him on the NZ team and got him his best placings at the Big 4 star events. At the age of 19 this horse has done it all.  Rumor has it that Joe is relocating to the US. Could this be our third transplanted team member from the Southern Hemisphere?

April 2011, Florida Horse Park OI, Fell on cross-country because Joe tried to tell the horse how to do his job.  April 2011, Rocking Horse OI, (Dressage 33.6, Clean Cross Country with a little time in stadium) 2nd Placing

40 Kristi Nunnink R-STAR USA

photo by USEA

This is a very popular horse amongst other competitors lusting for the ride.  This mare is a fabulous jumper with what seems to be an over whelming ability to run and jump and please her rider.   Another West coaster who came last year but went home with an unfortunate fall on cross-country, I do believe this pair could have a go this year.  Her dressage is respectable; she needs to pick up her pace on cross-country but leaving enough gas in the tank for Sunday.

March 2011, Southern Pines Advanced (Dressage 30.6, Clear Cross Country with 19 time penalties, 2 show jumping rails) 7th Placing

41 Karl Slezak KACHEMAK BAY   CAN (late scratch)

This horse’s form shows a large gap between 2009 and now with only one outing this
winter.  His Dressage at the FEI level is almost always above 60.  His cross-country history is riddled with time penalties and faults.  Show jumping is not much better with a 20 at his only outing this year. Good Luck.

Feb 2011, Pine Top Advanced (Dressage 42.8, 20 Cross Country, 21.6 Time Penalties, with 20 Show Jumping) 14th Placing out of 17

42 Hamish Cargill SANDHILLS TIGER   AUS

First timer, Hamish, is on a very experienced horse who began his career in 2002.  They have completed many three star competitions in their homeland of Australia.  It was a long 33 hours from Oz to LA and then onto Lexington.  He has to be looking for a completion and good experience or it will be a long trip back home.

March 2011, Tonimbuk Horse Trials CIC*** (Dressage 64.36 – 4th Placing)


This relatively young French horse was brought back by Sinead after spending some time in England working with William Fox-Pitt.  Her winter showing proves that this horse is capable in all three phases and includes a win at Southern Pines.  The only knock, it seems, in this pair is their inexperience at the CCI**** level. She could pull off a great result.

April 2011, The Fork, CIC*** (Dressage 47.9, Double Clear Cross Country with 1 rail Show Jumping) 4th Placing

44 Missy Ransehousen CRITICAL DECISION  USA

This is a pair to watch.  BG is a lovely Big Guy…  His dressage can be a winner and as long as he doesn’t run away with Missy on Saturday, he has all the jumping ability to land Missy at the top of the leader board.  His form shows a well-seasoned and successful horse with a 3rd placing at Rolex and numerous international runs in previous years. This pair has all that it takes to come out a winner here if the stars are aligned.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 33, Clean Cross Country, 3 rails in Show Jumping) 19th Placing

46 Hawley Bennett – Awad GIN N JUICE  CAN

Double entry here but she ran at Badminton.


After not competing in 2010, this horse looks like he is ready this year to tackle Rolex.  His multiple CCI***’s and advanced horse trials seem to show that he is a reliable cross-country horse and jumps well.  He might need to improve upon his dressage day score to be in the top placings, but if his jumping form proves any indication, he should come out well on Sunday.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 35.3, Clean Cross Country, Double Clear Show Jumping) 7th Placing

48 James Alliston JUMBO’S JAKE  GBR

photo by Tass Jones via James

James started riding this horse Feb 2010 with what seems to be a successful partnership. They have had good placings on the west coast including a third place at the Galway Downs CCI***.  Prior to the pairing with James, this horse’s owner brought him up thru the ranks.  His record indicates a possible good outing.  A steady dressage will put him in the chase since his jumping record looks to be competitive.  Even though James has a successful Advanced record, this is a new stage for he and the horse.

March 2011, Galway Downs CIC*** (Dressage 45.6, Double Clear Cross Country with 1 rail Show Jumping) 3rd Placing

49 Phillip Dutton TRULUCK  USA (late scratch)

Cross Country for this horse seems to be a shoe in especially with Phillip aboard.  Along with usually good show jumping form, Truluck should have the jumping test down like clockwork.  His FEI dressage is normally in the mid to high 40’s or low 50’s. His extensive experience makes him a good bet to be in the top placings if he can once again physically handle the rigors of a CCI****.   He has previously placed at Burghley, Rolex and the Pan Am Games.  The Fork is his only run this year.

April 2011, The Fork, Advanced (Dressage 36, Clear Cross Country with 27 time faults, 1 rail show jumping) 26th Placing


Mary’s been riding this horse since 2009 with 8 FEI competitions.  Her dressage and show jumping are better than average and her cross-country is reasonable.  Mary is a proper magician on a horse and it wouldn’t be the first time that Mary has pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

March 2011, Aldon AI (Dressage 37.1, Clear Cross Country and Show Jumping) 15th Placing.

51 Jessica Phoenix EXPONENTIAL CAN

Though she had to withdraw at the WEG last year, she had had a good cross-country round on the day. Both jumping phases are mostly fault free though Jessica will have to pick up the pace across country. Her past dressage results show that she will need to drop a few points in order to be in contention for the last two days.

March Poplar Place- A Dressage 36.9, clear XC, double clear show jumping. 2nd place

52 Michael Pollard WONDERFUL WILL USA

photo by USEA

This horse’s FEI dressage scores average around 60 and his show jumping is rarely fault free. He has placed at a couple of Three Star events but despite 4 starts at various CCI4*s, including twice at Rolex, he has yet to complete one. Have doubts that this time will be any different.

April The Fork CIC3* Dressage 69.2, clear cross country, 2 rails show jumping-31st place

54 Bruce (Buck) Davidson Jr. TITANIUM USA

This will be this horse’s second attempt at a CCI4* and though his scarce cross-country jump penalties show that he can get around well with Buck riding, his dressage and show jumping weaknesses may keep him out of the top 20.

April The Fork A-Dressage 39.0, clear cross-country, 1 rail show jumping, 9th place

55 William Fox-Pitt NEUF DES COEURS GBR

photo via William Fox-Pitt

William’s second ride looks to have the dressage and cross-country well under control with his only possible Achilles heel being the last day, where four faults is somewhat standard. He had a good win at Blair Castle 3* last August with one rail. With William riding two horses, after a win here last year on Cool Mountain, and a good run over the course again at the WEG, he could pull off a hat trick.

April Weston Park- A- Dressage 32.8, clear XC and show jumping. 4th place

That wraps up the 2011 Rolex Run Down by Peter Green.  Another huge thanks to him and to these fine riders and horses who will be duking it out over the next 5 days for a blue ribbon and one, fine watch. Not to mention the awe of all eventers.

By Courtney in Competitions | 1 Comment »
April 18th, 2011

Fashion Do’s and Don’ts for the Rolex Jog Lane

by Shannon Crocker and Courtney Young

image by Josh Walker from Rolex 2010

The jogs at 3-day events are a time to confirm your horse’s soundness and wellness before a strenuous trial of their (and your) athletic ability.  They’re also a time to showcase your style and personality.  Who would waste an opportunity like that?  The only catch is that it’s harder than it seems.  Trot your horse down a lane looking super fly, how hard can that be?  Not so fast.  Make sure to read these do’s and don’ts so that you’ll be on this year’s Best Dressed list.

Do: Wear pants that fit you well.  Better yet, take your pants to a tailor who knows their way around a seam and have them fit them to you.  For 40 bucks or so you’ll be wowing the crowd in a pair of basic black slacks.  Audrey Hepburn didn’t need anything more and neither do you.

image via Avenue51

Also, cash in on the current trend of high-waisted, wide-bottomed pants.  This line will balance proportions, mask imperfect areas (we have lots of those), and elongate the leg. Why would anyone wear anything else?

image via Emerson Made

Don’t: Wear white pants.  Well, at least be super careful.  We can say for sure that we wouldn’t be sprinting down a jog lane in white pants but if you’re careful, you could pull it off (Hawley Bennett did).  Be careful that they’re lined and fit impeccably.  Any imprefection in the fit here will multiply many times over given the color.  Remember, black is universally flattering. Please draw the subsequent (and opposite) conclcusion here about white.

Do: Wear accessories in your hair or a hat on your head.  Headbands, fascinators, and hats are all welcome in the jog lane.  (Refer to Kate Middleton, Kelly Pugh, and Will Faudree below). This is an excellent place to express yourself.

Don’t: Wear scrunchies.  Ever.  Or show bows. In the jog lane or on your horse. Please. We’re begging. And, while hats and fascinators are adorable, they’re not if they’re spooking your horse or blowing off your head thanks to a gusty wind. Cringe.

Do: Polish your shoes before you jog in them. Whether they’re your everyday paddock boots, loafers, or patent leather heels, make sure they’re tidy and clean.

Don’t: Wear clogs. In the barn, yes (maybe).  But not for the jogs at Rolex.  And, please, if you’re going to wear heels you better be able to sprint in them.  We’re not sure we could pull them off despite our love of them so we’d go with a ballet flat (try Tory Burch) or a low, stacked heel (like Stephanie’s in the top photo). Nothing is worse than a pretty picture in high heels and then awkward flailing when trying to keep up with a horse who’s ready to run a 4-star event.  If you can’t run in heels then stick with the flats.

image via Tory Burch

More Rolex 3-Day Event Equestrian Style:

Bring style options for rain and sun.  Wednesday might dawn bright and sunny and then switch her humor to rainy and chilly.  Be ready for that and beat everyone to the punch by bringing options. Though, careful, if it rains please don’t wear Dubarrys to the jog. These are appropriate for the barn aisle but not for the panel of veterinarians evaluating your horse or for the hordes of fans who have come over hill and dale to watch you.  Try Hunter Wellies if you must wear rain boots or suck it up and get your shoes wet.  It’s Rolex, go all out and channel that little kid who liked to jump in puddles.  Your horse does it, so give it a go you might be surprised.

Coordinate with your Horse.  Remember, while this is a moment to express yourself you are first and foremost showing off your best friend and partner. Everything you wear should enhance them and their appearance.

Do step out of the box with the choice of your horse’s bridle.  Last year at Rolex Buck Davidson jogged Titanium in a brown bridle, an unusual choice for a grey.  It made for a classic and vintage-inspired look that stood out from the crowd. You also might choose a brow band with personality here (the Germans excelled here at the World Equestrian Games). Though, be forearned, blingy rhinestones will not score well on the best-dressed list.

Wear something that you like and is flattering to your body.  While we can’t get enough ruffles and pleats those might make you want to double over and throw up.  That’s cool. Know what you like and, most importantly, what looks good on you.  When you walk up to the jog lane you should feel like you can take over the world – the way your horse feels when you two step into the start box. Wear what brings that out in you and the two of you will be unstoppable.

Choose something that can become your iconic style.  When we say Stetson you think Will Faudree.  When we say gorgeous, swinging blond hair you think Allison Springer. Bow ties (try Billy Reid), pocket squares, headbands, and stunning heels can all become your own signature items. We like that.

image via Billy Reid

It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.  This is always true in life as well as in the jog lanes.  Why not go more formal and really stand out?

If you’re still lost in a labrynth of choices look back at the Rolex 2010 Best Dressed for some style inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with taking one of those looks and recreating it.  We’re forever going back to Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn for inspriation.  Lean on Laine Ashker and Lauren Kieffer who led the pack last year.

By Courtney in Style | 5 Comments »
April 12th, 2011

Vintage Hermes Equestrian Scarves

Dear Hermes,

Thank you for bringing together horses and fashion for us.  It’s like you captured the spirit of our horses galloping across a field on those misty cross-country mornings with their hearts, and ours, pounding – then laid it across our shoulders so we could take it with us everywhere.

Wear scarves like these around your neck or, if you can pull it off (I aspire to), on your head which would be so very Audrey Hepburn. With Spring being so moody and quick to grey and misty this would be the perfect time. Anyway, there’s no time like the present, right?

See more vintage Hermes scarves on Miss Moss.  Which one is your favorite?

By Courtney in Style | 1 Comment »
April 12th, 2011

Alen Macweeney Ireland Photo

I stumbled across this photo and it made me think of Nico Morgan’s work right away. Don’t you think?  It also make me want to hop a flight to Ireland and come face to face with this crew, preferably while hacking out on my sweet Ellie. I think she would take the whole thing in stride and get as much a kick out of it as I do.  Plus, what with it being such a grey and cool Spring I figure we might as well as be in Ireland and do it up right. Last one there is a rotten egg.

photo by Alen Macweeney via Old Chum

By Courtney in Photography | No Comments »
April 11th, 2011

Black Beauty Embroidered Book Cover

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw these embroidered books by Jillian Tamaki for Penguin Books on Black Eiffel.  Naturally ‘Black Beauty’ was my favorite.  Aren’t they exquisite?  The craft of the whole process has me swooning and the way she’s able to capture such power and movement has me doing twirls.

Here’s Miss Tamaki hard at work. I wish I could bring her a cup of tea and hover over her shoulder to watch. I would bring her Harney & Sons “Paris” because it’s my favorite.

I know this one doesn’t have anything to do with horses but I love ‘Emma’. Don’t you? Anyway, Janue Austen is full of horses and carriages not to mention incredible clothes.

I love it when horses and art intersect.  It just makes my day.  I hope it makes yours too.

p.s. I’ve missed you.

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By Courtney in Style | 2 Comments »