Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Lonely Walk Home at Luhmuehlen

I am happy and sad to say that Thomas (Ying Yang Yo) and I had the lonely walk home after negotiating three quarters of the course in the CCI **** in Luhmuehlen, Germany today.

We had a respectable dressage test yesterday that was not far off being brilliant.  He performed well and scored a lot of 8's and 9's and also some 1's and 2's.  We finished on a 52, not that far off the pace.

In the cross-country he was jumping well over the fences and keeping up with the minute markers over the testing course early on.  At about a third of the way around I noticed him fatigue, and heard him gasping for air. This was unusual for my old partner, but we pressed on.  Jump by jump it got worse and he started to jump poorly; he also started getting louder and louder in his breathing.  Eventually he glanced off a corner after a labored approach and I thought its best to pull up my old friend and walk him home.

I am still not sure what was amiss. I know I had him fit enough as he had done the required amount of gallops and fitness work. I am getting the German team vet to scope him in the morning to see if he has a respiratory infection, or perhaps a displaced palate.  I am still very confused about the event and his condition.

The good news is that we are both smiling, alive and well.  A big thanks must go to Silva for all of her help on the flat this week, Sara for a wonderful job looking after him here, and to his owners Pierre and Denise who have not only been great fun, but very understanding and supportive.

A big congrats to Coleen and Shiraz, who made this cross-country course look like a Pony Club schooling show.  She rode fantastic and Shiraz looks fresh as a daisy back in the barn.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ying Yang Yo Passes First Veterinary Inspection at Luhmuehlen

First Veterinary Inspection
First Veterinary Inspection
Ying Yang Yo ("Thomas") and I passed the first jog at the Luhmuehlen CCI**** in Germany this afternoon.  The Ying Yang seems to be in great spirits in his first 4-star start in four years. He had a less than an ideal prep with only one intermediate start in the last two months, but I have a lot of faith in the old campaigner.

A big cheers must go to Elmar Lesch, who housed Thomas and Sara last week before the big event.  Elmar is one of the top German event riders, and also specializes in selling German event horses.
Boyd Martin and Kevin McNab
It was great to see my best man from my wedding in Australia, Kevin McNab, who came over to ride Clifton Pinot.  Kevin and I worked a couple of years together when we were 18 as working pupils for Heath Ryan at the infamous as New South Wales Equestrian Center in Lochinvar, Australia.

Goofing around with Peter Atkins and his crutches
All of the American horses looked in good form.  Pete Atkins is still complaining about his broken toe nail, so much so, he had Bettina trot his horse up. I am stabled next to Jules and Colleen whose horses look in fantastic condition.

This way to Luhmuehlen
I am very much looking forward to Thomas's part owners, Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, joining us on Friday. They have had a hectic schedule lately, also cheering on Oscar at Bromont last weekend.  I would also like to send a shout out to Faye and Eliza Woolf who backed Thomas the last couple of years since he arrived in the States from Australia.

Cross-country looks to be a twisty, technical course which will take fast, accurate riding.  Not perfectly suited to the Ying Yang's style, but he should jump it well.  Looks like my dressage will be on Friday mid-morning.  Silva arrived this morning to help me out...I am a little nervous with all of the shopping available in the trade stands.

Guten Abend,


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

USEF Names Short List and Nominated Entry for the US Eventing Team for the 2012 Olympic Games

By USEF - Eventing - Posted June 11, 2012
Lexington, KY - Following the 2012 Bromont International CCI, which served as the final Selection Trial for the Land Rover US Eventing Team, The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) named the Nominated Entry and the Short List for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Nominated Entry, which is due to the FEI on June 17, is comprised of 15 horse/rider combinations. Eleven horses have been named to the Short List. These horses will compete at the Barbury Castle International Horse Trials June 27 - July 1st. The Team will be named on July 2nd and submitted to the USOC on July 6th.

The Nominated Entry in Alphabetical Order (the shortlisted combinations are designated below in bold type and a star next to their name):

Will Coleman on Jim Wildasin's Twizzel*
Tiana Coudray on Jaital, Inc's Ringwood Magister*
Buck Davidson on Carl and Cassie Segal's BallyNoe Castle RM
Phillip Dutton on Team Rebecca's Fernhill Eagle
Phillip Dutton on Bruce Duchossois' Mighty Nice*
Phillip Dutton on Jim and Arden Wildasin's Mystery Whisper*
Will Faudree on Jennifer Mosing's Andromaque
Sinead Halpin on Carraig, LLC's Manoir de Carneville*
Marilyn Little-Meredith on Raylyn Farm's RF Rovano Rex*
Boyd Martin on the Neville Bardos Syndicate's Neville Bardos*
Boyd Martin on the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate's Otis Barbotiere*
Boyd Martin on Henley House Stables' Remington XXV
Clark Montgomery Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft's Loughan Glen*
Karen O'Connor the Mr. Medicott Syndicate's Mr. Medicott*
Allison Springer Carole and William Springer's Arthur*

Ranked Substitutes to the Nominated Entry:
1. Will Faudree on Jennifer Mosing's Pawlow
2. Becky Holder Phil and Melissa Town's Can't Fire Me

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sara's Update from Germany...Our Adventure Continues!

 It wasn't until day two that the jet lag really set it. Adjusting to the time change has been difficult for both Thomas and me but we are now back into the swing of things. Everyone at the farm welcomed me so kindly. To my relief mostly everyone speaks English so communicating has not been difficult at all.

Thomas has settled in enjoying a bit of haylage and chatting up his German stable mates.
This property is beautiful. With plenty of room to hack and graze, Thomas has been living like a king! The weather is slightly colder here than at home and it has rained a bit every day since we have arrived but no worries because they have an indoor.

The yard here seems to be run similar to our schedule at home at Windurra - there is always a lot going on! I was able to make friends pretty quickly when I offered to help in my free time. Free time, what a concept!  I can only groom, hand graze and walk Thomas so many times a day.  Elmar competed in three competitions in the short time I've been here with no less than six horses at each event. Needless to say, they were very excited to hear that "plaiting" is one of my skills. Well I have "plaited" more horses this week than I normally do in a month at home! It's been great, I'm happy to help especially since I have been able to work on perfecting my forelock braiding!

There is one technique that is used here that catches me a bit off guard. One of Elmar's riders asked if I could pull out one of the horses so that she could "do the snakes". Wait, say what? Snakes? Turns out she meant leeches... a little less shocking but almost as bad. Apparently this technique is still pretty commonly used in Europe, I'm glad I got to witness it but far more grateful that we don't do this in the USA.

I have been able to find a little piece of home here in Germany. Jane is one of Elmar's new riders and is from Australia. She grew up fairly close to Boyd. I know it's a bit funny that an Australian would make me feel at home but what can I say, I spend a lot of time with Australians on Boyd's farm and we became fast friends.

So anyway it turns out I have arrived in Germany just in time to engage in some true German culture, the European "football" (soccer) championships. Elmar’s rider Ludwig kindly invited Jane and I to watch the game in Luhlemburg. It was like nothing I have ever seen. The streets are cobblestone and the buildings are all made of brick and stone. The architecture is just fascinating. The street was filled with people sitting around watching the game on outdoor flat screens. The atmosphere was amazing. Everyone was wearing Germany's colors, many with their faces painted with Germany's flag. It was unreal, especially since they won! I would not have wanted to see that mob react if they had lost!

My trip here already tremendously exceeds my expectations. From the extreme generosity of Elmar and his staff to the sheer beauty of the farm and surrounding towns, I'm not sure I want to leave! Considering each part of my trip has been more amazing than the last, I am excited for Boyd and Silva to arrive so that we can move on to the whole reason we flew all the way over here! Thomas is looking in tip top shape and can't wait to show his stuff. Luhmuehlen here we come!!!


Bromont Videos from and

All of the horses had a great weekend at Bromont. Trading Aces ("Oscar") confirmed my belief that he is one of the best 3-star horses in the country with a great performance and second place finish in the CCI ***. He jumped super around a serious 10 minute cross-country track and put in a great show jump round, pulling just one rail towards the end of the course.  I can't tell you all how excited I am about this horse's future!

Now I'm off to Germany to meet Ying Yang Yo and Sara for the next leg of our great summer: Luhmuehlen. Stay tuned for stories from Germany and please enjoy the numerous videos from Bromont thanks to Horse Junkies United and Eventing Nation.

  Neville Warmup  (HJU)

Neville Test (HJU)

Trading Aces XC (HJU)

Remington XXV Show Jumping (HJU)

Trading Aces Show Jumping (EN)

Trading Aces Show Jumping (HJU)

US Olympic Selectors Observation Show Jumping

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sara and Ying Yang Yo's Long Trek to Germany


Sara here on a wonderful adventure to Germany to groom for Boyd at Luhmuehlen with Ying Yang Yo. My adventure started with a three hour trailer ride to JFK airport where we had to wait in quarantine for six hours. Luckily Thomas and I had great traveling companions: Ronald Zabala-Goetschel with Master Rose and David Watson with Nina Ligon’s Fernhill Fearless. Since it was my first time flying with a horse it was wonderful to have some guidance from such veterans. 

Once the three boys were loaded up on the truck they were brought to the "cargo" area to get ready to be loaded up onto the plane. Due to security reasons we were not allowed to be with them during this part of their journey. 

Most of the people on the plane had no idea our horses were even traveling with us, even though this flight was half passengers and half cargo.  I never knew cargo could be alive! We were lucky to be able to watch the workers load the horses into the tail of the aircraft. If you didn’t know there were horses in those containers you would never have been able to guess it. It wasn't until most of the passengers were loaded that we were able go in the back to check on the horses; all of them traveled extremely well. Each time we were able to check on them they were sleeping to the calming hum of the engines.

We finally arrived in Amsterdam the next morning.  As passengers, we had to go through the airport Customs before we could attempt to meet up with the horses. Unfortunately they ended up a little ways from the airplane which meant that we had to navigate the city of Amsterdam. Well, if you know me. then you know that was a recipe for disaster! I have a hard enough time navigating around my home town where all of the signs are in English!

After taking two wrong buses we finally got some help back at the airport and just decided to walk to our destination. Upon arriving, the staff at the quarantine was amazing. Everything was straightforward and very easy. We waited there for about three hours until Thomas and I were able to get all of our paperwork and the “okay” from the vets. This is when we had to say goodbye to our American traveling partners whom I was so grateful for!

Waiting in Quarantine

This started Thomas' and my trek to Germany. Originally I was told that the trip would take five hours. Traffic was much worse than expected and with all of the mandatory stops along the way it took almost twice that! Luckily my driver was an event rider/fox hunter from England which made the trip fun as we talked and debated about sport and country as he tried to convince me of the superiority of England, from their language to the level of competition. Needless to say it was entertaining.

We arrived at Elmar Lesch's farm at approximately four in the morning. This was when I again had to part ways with my driving friend that I luckily made on my journey.

Tschüs for now!


Bromont XC Video