All Posts in the ‘Competitions’ Category

October 30th, 2011

Style at the Washington International Horse Show

 

There can be no dispute that the equestrian world has and still does influence style, fashion, and design.  After a week at the Washington International Horse Show we’re reminded exactly why that fashion world continues to draw on its equestrian friends for inspiration.

The equestrian world will continue to inspire designers around the world not just for the inherent style in our day-to-day lives whether a gleaming driving harness, a luxe wool rug, or the fine leather of our boots, but also for what we represent. The equestrian world is inspirational because it’s the symbiotic partnership between man and horse, it’s an afternoon hacking across a hillside in a Fall breeze, it’s dreams lived rather than dreams deferred. We are hope and happiness grounded in the sun rising early in the morning with the crunch of our boot on gravel as we prepare for a day with our horses. We don’t need an Hermes scarf to get that feeling. We already have it. We’re just passing it on.

A heartfelt thanks to Leslie Threlkeld for the beautiful photos that capture the essence of equestrian elegance and spirit. There will be more to see at her equine photography website so be sure to visit and dive into the Washington International Horse Show!

October 30th, 2011

Washington International Horse Show: On Trend with Ear Bonnets

The Washington International Horse Show dishes up competitive edge, soaring moments of glory, heart-breaking losses, and teeteringly high fences as well as its own fair share of style. One trend that popped out amidst the bustle was the pervasive ear bonnet in coordinated colors. Used typically to shoo away pesky summer-time flies or to hush the roar of a crowd the ear bonnet, more and more, has become a style accessory to the equestrian attire.

Some riders opted for classic looks like navy with a red accent

and others waded further into more unusual colors

Regardless of their color palette, though, all riders coordinated their horse’s ear bonnet with their own attire.

I confess to caving to this particular trend and buying Ellie a black ear bonnet with gold trim. I justified it as a summer purchase to be used when trotting through the Virginia fields and forests which, while beautiful, offer up plenty of relentless winged, and biting, insects, much to my sweet Ellie’s chagrin. The ear bonnet helps, no doubt, and we also stay right on trend.  A win-win. What about you, are you on board with the trend for practical reasons or style concerns?

Thanks to Leslie Threlkeld Media for these incredible photos. There are many more that capture the excitement of the show so be sure to visit her equine photography website to see the rest.

October 29th, 2011

Excitement at the Washington International Horse Show

The Washington International Horse Show does the impossible. It brings all of our favorite things right into the heart of the city. Into the heart of our capitol city, as a matter of fact. And with it comes everything we can dream of from masterful horsemanship and performance from the charming Australian Guy McLean

dashing terriers

perfect ponies, and lots and lots of teeteringly high jumps with horses soaring clear across. The temporary stalls squat right in the middle of the city across the street from the National Portrait Gallery (check out the collection of Native American Portraits in between rounds) and tuck in tight next to the Verizon Center where hockey, basketball, and, when the time is right, horses take center stage. It makes for something of a double take when walking down the street and you pass a museum, a club with party goers chatting on the sidewalk, clusters of tourists clutching maps, and then (don’t blink) you might miss the tiny white pony primly walking by led by its equally tiny rider on their way to their next class.  It’s refreshing, unexpected, and exciting.

What’s more, where we have horses and performance we have, inevitably, equestrian style.

We’ll have more on that soon thanks to the talent and vision of equestrian photographer Leslie Threlkeld.  For now I recommend grabbing a ticket for the show if you’re anywhere near by. Terriers on the run, darling ponies, heart-stopping showjumping feats, and classic equaestrian style may be part of your everyday life, but I doubt you get to do that in the heart of a beautiful city.  Grab your tickets online and Leslie and I will meet you there!

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 | 2 Comments »
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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.

18 Debbie Rosen THE ALCHEMYST USA

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.

19 Boyd Martin REMINGTON XXV USA

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

21 Kim Severson TIPPERARY LIADHNAN USA

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

24 Jessica Hampf HIGH SOCIETY III CAN

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

25 Peter Barry KILRODAN ABBOTT CAN

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

26 Laine Ashker ANTHONY PATCH USA

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

28 Kelly Sult HOLLYWOOD USA

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

32 Tiana Coudray RINGWOOD MAGISTER USA

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

35 Mark Todd GRASS VALLEY  NZL

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

37 Heather Gillette OUR QUESTIONNAIRE USA

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)

43 Sinead Halpin MANOIR DE CARNEVILLE   USA

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.

47 Allison Springer DESTINATION KNOWN USA

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 Alliston.com

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

50 Mary King FERNHILL URCO GBR

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 | No Comments »
November 9th, 2010

News from Over the Pond

(Nico Morgan is one of our guest bloggers. He is a professional photographer, based in the UK, who specializes in equestrian events. He works exclusively for several top British event riders and is a regular contributor to all the major equestrian publications in Britain and his eventing images have been featured here and on several other equestrian blogs in the US. He maintains his own blog where he recently shared some excellent tips on improving your equestrian photography. You may also enjoy perusing his eventing coverage from Mitsubishi Badminton CCI**** Horse Trials and Land Rover Burghley CCI**** Horse Trials earlier this year.)

News from Pau CCI****

Britain’s Ruth Edge (Two Thyme)  achieved top spot after the dressage, sharing a score of 41.8 with Belgium’s Karin Donckers (Lamicell Charizard), although she was a little disappointed with her mark, pointing out that she hasn’t scored in the 40s for some time! Boyd Martin (Remington XXV) lay in fourth on 43.2.

William Fox-Pitt (Navigator), who has 40 three-day event wins to date, was another who felt the dressage marking was harsh, but added that given the difficulty of the cross-country course he felt that this was no dressage competition.

As it was William could hardly have been more accurate about the cross-country phase. Denmark’s Peter Flarup and Silver Ray were the only combination to go clear inside time to remain on their dressage score of 66 and climb 22 places to sixth. Fox-Pitt and Navigator took two long routes and clocked 3.2 time-faults which put them into the lead overnight, a fence ahead of Karin Donckers and Lamicell Charizard.

Pau is the last of the 4* events which Fox-Pitt is still to win and unfortunately this was not to be the year he made history. Three fences down dropped Navigator to second, while one of only two clear rounds by Andreas Dibowski and FRH Fantasia gave them a well-deserved victory following second places at Badminton, Luhmuhlen and at Pau last year.

Fox-Pitt did enough to secure victory in the HSBC FEI Classics series and the $150,000 prizemoney.

Michael Jung to lose his WEG ride?

Rumours abound about the sale of a 60% share in World Champion Eventer La Biosthetique Sam to sponsors of the British Equestrian Team: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=303051. The smart money seems to be on Zara Phillips: she desperately needs a 4* ride for the Olympics and her presence in the British team would bring much-needed media attention.

Quarter marks

Ever wondered how the pros get such brilliant quarter marks on their competition horses? Here’s a video in which Mark Todd’s head groom Charlie Gardener shows us how she does it.

London 2012

The choice of Greenwich park as the venue for the 2012 cross-country course has not been a popular on with local people but work has started nonetheless.

By Nicomorgan in Competitions | No Comments »
September 23rd, 2010

How to: Watch the World Equestrian Games at Home

If you’re lucky enough to be making the trip to the 2010 World Equestrian Games then you’ll be able to catch all the eventing action in person.  But if you’ll be snagging a front row seat on your couch then you’ll be tuning in via tv, internet, and radio.  Here are your viewing options!

LIVE WEG COVERAGE ONLINE

NBC:

The Universal Sports Online website can give you everything from reining to cross-country for a one-time fee of $29.99. If you’re interested in just watching the eventing then here’s your schedule (for live coverage!):

  • Eventing Dressage Thursday, September 29 from 9:00am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:00pm ET
  • Eventing Dressage Friday, October 1 8:30-11:00am and 1:00pm-3:30pm ET
  • Cross-Country Saturday, October 2 9:00am-4:00pm ET
  • Eventing Show Jumping and medals Sunday, October 3 1:00pm-4:45pm ET

USEF NETWORK

The newly launched USEF Network will provide live streaming of anything that NBC or Universal Sports is not covering. For free! I like that price quite a lot.

FEI TV

You can also get live coverage on FEI TV; a day pass goes for $12.99.  That way you can pick and choose which days you’d like to watch.  Your options include:

  • Eventing Dressage Part 1 September 29th from 3:00pm-6:30pm CEST
  • Eventing Dressage Part 2 September 30th from 8:30pm-midnight CEST
  • Eventing Dressage Part 3 October 1 from 2:30pm-6:oopm CEST
  • Eventing Dressage Part 4 October 1 from 8:00pm-11:3opm CEST
  • Cross-Country October 2 from 3:00pm-10:00pm CEST
  • Eventing Show Jumping October 3 from 7:00pm-10:oopm CEST

If you’re wondering, like I was, what in the world “CEST” is, it means “Central European Summer Time”.  That’s 3 hours ahead of our American “Eastern Standard Time”, abbreviated “ET” or “EST”.


TAPED WEG COVERAGE

If catching the World Equestrian Games live doesn’t suit your schedule then go for some taped coverage which you can find at:

  • NBC: Cross-Country Sunday, October 3 from 1:00pm-4:45pm
  • Universal Sports Network: Eventing Finals Thursday, October 7 from 11:30am-2:30pm


TELEVISED WEG COVERAGE

If you want to catch some coverage on television of the World Equestrian Games as whole (perhaps with friends who want just a small dose of horses here and there) you can catch it on NBC at the following times:

  • Sunday, September 26 from 12:00pm-1:00pm ET
  • Sunday, Ooctober 3 from 1:00pm-4:00pm ET
  • Sunday, October 10 from 4:00pm-6:00pm ET

RADIO COVERAGE

The Horse Radio Network will have daily coverage of the World Equestrian Games that’s sure to include daily leaders as well as fun commentary you won’t want to miss.  If you’re at the Games you can even watch them record the shows (how cool!) at the International Equestrian Festival at the Lexington Convention Center booth #200.  Special Eventing Radio Shows will be recorded in front of an audience at the Alltech Pavilion at the Kentucky Horse Park:

  • September 30 from 4:30-5:15 PM
  • October 1 from 4-5 PM
  • October 2 from 4:30-5:30 PM
  • October 3 from 5:15 – 6:15 PM

If you’d like to catch more than eventing (like vaulting or reining or any other of the eight equestrian disciplines competing at the 2010 World Equestrian Games) check out Regarding Horses for a complete listing.  So grab some snacks, curl up on your couch, and dig in to all this World Equestrian Games coverage!

September 22nd, 2010

Take a Spin in a Land Rover

I kicked around the red Georgia clay at the American Eventing Championships with Josh Walker of The Red Horse and the USEA.  We got into all kinds of fun including taking a spin in the Land Rover Learn and Drive.


Land Rover sponsored the American Eventing Championships and so brought with them, surprise, a thundering herd of Land Rovers!  Much to my delight, I might add.  Land Rovers capture the sensibility of country living from their ability to, literally, cross ditches and fields and water (like your toughest event horse) to cruising to the symphony for a night out (like your fanciest event horse).  I always want to be the person that’s cruising around the Land Rover course of heart-dropping declines and gravity-defying turns.  This time I was!

Josh and I piled into the Land Rover along with our trusty instructor, Travis, and had a blast.  Josh, being wildly talented and vastly creative, brought his video camera along for the ride and captured this moment, or rather drive, in time.  I’m glad you could come along!

September 20th, 2010

Burghley Moments Captured by Nico Morgan

It’s hard to get enough of the Burghley Horse Trials. I could scroll through pictures all day, as a matter of fact.  If you don’t have quite all day maybe these final few images will satisfy your curiosity and passion for one of the finest horse trials in the world.  Thanks again to Nico Morgan for making this happen!

Geoff Curran on The Jump Jet.  Geoff made our Rolex 2010 Best Dressed List. Twice. He’ll also be riding for Ireland at the World Equestrian Games.  So we’ll be seeing him soon!

(photo by Nico Morgan)

You can’t miss the long and lean profile of William Fox-Pitt.

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Sarah Stretton on Lazy Acres Skip On make for a bright and smiling pair (as we’ll see again in a moment).

(photo by Nico Morgan)

That’s Sarah and Lazy Acres Skip On.  Smiling like I said!  Check out the series of jog photos in which she’s beaming in each.

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Pheobe Buckley and Little Tiger. What a neat perspective, no? I think Phoebe looks like she’s stepping out to a summer lawn party.  Let’s all go!

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest.  What a happy partnership.

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest once again. Doesn’t Oliver look quite dashing?  I love the jacket with that Carolina Blue tie. Such a country gentleman.

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Lauren Collett on Quixotic.  I quite like her look with the brown dressage saddle and brown bridle. A little bit different but still polished and graceful.

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Laura Collett, this time with Ginger May Killinghurst.  Do you think she’s wearing Dubarry?

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Georgie Strang and Master Monarch. Dubarry again?

(photo by Nico Morgan)

I know, that ended all too soon.  If you’d like to flip through photo after photo don’t let me stop you (in fact, I confess to doing the same). Visit Nico Morgan’s online galleries and indulge!

September 17th, 2010

More from Nico Morgan and Burghley. Run and Jump!

It would hardly be Burghley if we didn’t soak in some of the running and jumping. Thanks to Nico Morgan-we can!

Bruce Haskell and Kiwi Smog

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Clare Lewis and Sidnificant

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Jeanette Brakewell and Chill Out Bob

(photo by Nico Morgan)

Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest

(photo by Nico Morgan)

What tells me you’re thinking “That’s it?”.  I know, it’s never enough.  If you’re looking to get more running and jumping from Burghley, then pop over for a visit to Nico’s online photo galleries.  While you’re at it have a look-see at these dogs as well.  A personal favorite!

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