Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 2010 Horse Radio Network's Hottest Horseman Awards!

The Horse Radio Network
2010 Hottest Horseman Awards

HORSES IN THE MORNING host, Jamie Jennings, along with Helena Bee of HRN’s Stable Scoop Radio Show, are hosting the First Annual Hottest Horseman Awards Show on Thursday morning December 30, 2010 at 9 am Eastern.  Listen live at or on your iPhone or Droid Phone at

Jamie and Helena are leading the charge in this fun and exciting celebration of the fabulous horsemen in all our lives. With such a diverse population of dedicated, bright and handsome men in the horse world, the ladies of HRN thought the end of the year would be a lovely time for us horse girls to show our appreciation for the men among us.


Australian native Boyd Martin, 31, relocated to the United States in 2007 to pursue his dreams of international eventing competition. He and his wife Silva, a Grand Prix dressage rider who is originally from Germany and now rides for the USA, operate Windurra USA out of Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm. Now riding for the United States, Boyd, who has dual citizenship, was the top-finishing American individual and a member of the 4th-placed US Eventing Team at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

With three horses competing at the three-star level, in 2010 Boyd was named a member of the US Eventing team’s “A” training list, with the WEG as his goal. Three top-twelve finishes at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* event placed him on the short list with Neville Bardos and Remington XXV. Following his success at the WEG, Boyd capped off the year with a top-ten finish riding Ron and Densey Juvonen’s Remington XXV at the Pau CCI4* in France, his first competition in Europe. Boyd finished 2010 ranked 5th on the international HSBC FEI Rider of the Year Rankings, 3rd overall on the US Eventing Association’s Rider of the Year Leaderboard and USEA Preliminary Rider of the Year. He has also been named to the 2011 “A” train
The winners are announced in the HRN 2010 Hottest Horseman Awards!  Jamie and Helena reveal the winners and even chat with some of them.  Do the names Boyd and Monty mean anything, listen in and see…

HORSES IN THE MORNING Episode 44 – Show Notes and Links:
  • Title Sponsor: Kentucky Performance Products
  • Hosts: Jamie Jennings and Helena Bee and produced by Jennifer H. (See host bios.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that was involved with us and our horses this year. We both had a fantastic year that would not have been nearly as successful if it was not for the wonderful people around us. This means owners, grooms, working students, sponsors, coaches, farriers, vets, landlords, event organizers, clinic organizers, friends and family! Thank you all and see you next year!

Best wishes,

Boyd and Silva

Monday, December 20, 2010

Arizona Young Rider Clinic

Straightening out a horse in Arizona! Photos thanks to Michelle Klein

I had a warm and successful weekend teaching some of Area X’s top Young Riders in Phoenix, Arizona over the weekend. It was a busy and full clinic; these talented young riders trained in dressage and show jumping on Saturday and cross-country on Sunday. It was a new experience for me coaching out West – there were cactus on the cross-country course and prepared footing in all the schooling areas - it was all wood chips on the cross-country course!

Photo thanks to Sarah Lindsten. To view her photo album from the clinic, click here

The group of riders, 24 in total, were fantastic; they showed a huge amount of potential and are definitely riders for the future. What I enjoyed most are their attitudes – they are all rough and tumble kids and true horse people, not only with event horses but with young horses and roping and cutting. I think they’ve all done a bit of everything. There were no mothers dashing out in the middle of the lesson giving their kiddies a drink of water, these guys were ready to learn. They were riding an assortment of horses, from Quarter Horses and Appendix Quarter Horses to Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, all of which showed ability and improvement throughout the clinic.

I’d like to thank the clinic organizers for getting me out there not only to teach this enthusiastic group of young riders but also to enjoy the 70 degree weather and sunshine! The farm where they put me up happens to have some leading cutters and ropers, Trapper Rogers and Lee Poncelet. After a few beers with the boys I tried my hand at reining riding – it was a wonderful experience and education for me. I rode a young horse that was trained to perfection in the art of chasing a cow and I got a very in-depth lesson on riding a reining horse, which had similar aspects to training a dressage or jumping horse. (Photo at right and video below thanks to Jen Smyser). In all I had a wonderful weekend and hope to get out there again soon.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Silva Heads South!

Jeff The Chef
It's only fair that Silva gets to share in the sunshine this winter in Aiken.  Current plans are for Silva to leave after the new year to travel down to Aiken, which will be home base for both she and Boyd over the winter months.

Silva will be traveling further south for many of her competitions as well.

Here is her current competition schedule, which will certainly be amended.
Clinic schedule to follow!

Competition Calendar

2011 Winter Schedule:
January 29-30
Snowbird's Paradise, Orlando, Fl.

February 11-13
Wellington Classic Spring Challenge
Wellington, Fl.

February 26-27
Dressage at Canterbury
Newberry, Fl.

March 4-6
Palm Beach Derby
Wellington, Fl.

March 25-27
March Magic
Williamston, NC.

Vote for Boyd and Support Eventing

Josh Walker Photo


Text Vote 09 to 85944
("Vote" + space + "09")
A $5 charitable donation will be charged to your phone

America's Favorite Equestrian is an interactive fund raising effort presented jointly by partnership of The EQUUS Foundation and The United States Equestrian Federation to raise funds to advance the equestrian sport on an annual basis.

Using mobile texting, you can vote to select America's Favorite Equestrians and support The EQUUS Foundation with a $5 gift. 100% of all donations will be used to support charitable causes.
How To Vote Select your favorite equestrian listed under each discipline and follow the instructions provided. After texting your vote, you must reply YES to confirm your vote/$5 donation. If you want to cast more than six $5 votes in a single month ($30), please review the separate instructions listed on each equestrian profile; a credit card is required.

How It Works

Starting on December 15, 2010 through February 28, 2011, fans will be given the chance to vote for their favorite equestrians from among a slate of international athletes.

Winner Selections

The winners will be the athletes from each discipline with the most votes and announced in March.
The EQUUS Foundation will award a minimum of $10,000 in grant awards in support of the eight equestrian disciplines. The discipline generating the greatest number of votes will receive an additional $5,000 grant award.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working Draft

NAME: Working Draft

SEX: Gelding

COLOUR: Chestnut

HEIGHT: 17 hh



BREED: Belgian Draft, Thoroughbred Cross


OWNER: Susan Ballek

Working Draft (Bentley) is an 8 year old, 17.1hh Belgian Draft Thoroughbred cross gelding with the best characteristics of both breeds. Bred in Ohio, Bentley moved to Lyme, Connecticut at age 4 to begin training and eventing with owner Susan Ballek.

A calm, athletic and hard working guy, Bentley is a fast learner who is ready to move up the levels. He has a solid foundation at the Novice level, and is ready for a move to Training or Prelim.
Eventing dressage scores for summer 2010 were consistently in the low to mid 30's, placing Bentley in 1st place after dressage at several events. Training Level dressage-only highlights for 2010 were a 70.4% and a 75%. Bentley won all four of his dressage-only classes at Training Level this summer, as well as achieving high-point dressage score of the day at the Connecticut Dressage and Combined Training Association's dressage and two-phase competition at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in July.

Bentley spent September and October of 2010 in Vermont for stadium and cross country work with event rider and trainer Caitlin Romeo. He returned to Lyme, Connecticut in November for intensive dressage work with his owner at Ann Guptill's Fox Ledge Farm in East Haddam, CT. Ann is a Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer. He is currently in training with Four Star event rider Boyd Martin in Pennsylvania.

Bentley is currently jumping 3'6" courses in the ring at a beautiful, steady canter and skips over 4 foot oxers without a problem. Fun and adjustable over jumps, he never gets strong on course and is great alone or in a group of horses. Loves water, ditches, banks and drops, has done tons of hunter pace experience, would also make a great fox hunter. No vices; clips, loads, great for vet and farrier and is an excellent traveler.

You can also go to:
for more video's and details from his owner.

Please call 610-806-2381 or email Boyd to set up an appointment to see Bentley!

Monday, December 13, 2010

USEF Announces 2011 Eventing High Performance Training Lists

Updated: 2010-12-08
from the USEF

Lexington, KY
 - The Eventing High Performance Training Lists have been revised for the 2011 season. These riders will be invited to participate in training sessions this winter with Capt. Mark Phillips. The Eventing Selectors and High Performance Committee revised the approach to the training lists with the objective of being successful at the 2012 London Olympic Games. It is anticipated the new structure will allow more focus on the riders themselves, and allow more exposure for some of the talented young horses coming up through the levels.

A listed riders will receive training grants from the USEF and priority during training sessions. Capt. Phillips will continue to arrange personal training with the A listed riders at their own farms throughout the season.  

B listed riders may also be awarded training grants and invited to training sessions.


High Performance A List 

Phillip Dutton/47/West Grove, PA
Boyd Martin/31/West Grove, PA
Kim Severson/37/Scottsville, VA
Amy Tryon/40/Duvall, WA

High Performance B List

Laine Ashker/26/Richmond, VA
Jennie Brannigan/23/West Grove, PA
Hannah Sue Burnett/24/Ocala, FL
Will Coleman/27/Gordonsville, VA
Tiana Coudray/22/Ojai, CA
Buck Davidson/34/Unionville, PA
Will Faudree/29/Hoffman, NC
Karen O'Connor/52/The Plains, VA
Allison Springer/36/Marshall, VA

It is anticipated that training sessions will be held in California, Florida, and South Carolina; dates will be finalized and published in January. Auditors are welcome and asked to please be respectful of lessons and the property on which they will be held.

The Selection Committee looks forward to outstanding performances at the CCI3* and CCI4* level and looks forward to promoting more riders to the A List in the summer.

For more information, please contact Sara Ike, USEF Managing Director of Eventing, at  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Discover Serendipity!!

NAME: Serendipity (a.k.a. Tini)
SEX: Mare
COLOUR: Pinto - Dark Bay and White
HEIGHT: 17hh
DATE OF BIRTH: June 2005
SIRE: Sempatico M
DAM: Wrickster
BREED: ISR - Oldenburg
PLACE OF BIRTH: Silverwood Farm, Lovettsville, VA 
Tini is a super moving, super jumping, quality horse for the future. Even as a 2 year old she competed in the inaugural USEA Future Event Horse Series and won Reserve Champion 2 year old filly in the finals at Morven Park in October 2007. After looking so good as a young horse, Ticia Tripp decided to breed her to "Harry The Hat" in May 2009 and delivered a stunning dark bay colt in April 2010.
This beautiful mare has only been competing in horse trials for a few months. I must say that even though she is green, she has all of the tools for a top horse. She has the gallop of a race horse, the movement of a dressage horse, and definitely has the jump of a straight show-jumper. This is a great opportunity to get in on a super young horse that is oozing with potential and class.
610 806 2381

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EquiFit Announces Their Sponsorship of Boyd!!


A genuine commitment to horses and riders drives EquiFit to seek new and better ways to help them perform, recover, be comfortable and succeed at all levels. Our unique blend of ingenuity and horse world expertise allows us to continuously adapt premium innovations in healthcare and fitness to the needs of equestrians.

The result: distinctive products for high performance both in and out of the ring.

"I first learned about EquiFit at the American Eventing Championships this year when I was asked to demo their product ShouldersBack. I was seriously impressed with the position it put me in. Besides getting me in the optimal position for riding, it’s been helping for developing muscle memory so I am constantly standing taller. I now wear ShouldersBack for all three phases. For dressage, it keeps me better aligned, for cross county it keeps me in the back seat on the big drops and for stadium, it keeps me in better balance with my horse overall. It provides great support and it’s comfortable to wear.

Besides ShouldersBack, EquiFit makes many very innovative products for horses and riders. Their T-Foam is true memory foam and is in all the boots and bandage liners. It gives each horse a custom fit and is the best thing I’ve found for protecting and supporting my horse’s legs. The T-Sport wraps roll on beautifully and they don’t slip or twist during work like polos. They also provide great support and they prevent any irritating sand or dirt from getting in and rubbing my horse’s legs. Silva keeps stealing my T-Sport wraps and bandage liners and I’ve only got one pair! They are really fantastic for day-to-day workouts.

I want the best for my horses. It takes a tremendous amount of hard-work and dedication to get them to them to the top. It is evident that EquiFit takes their job to heart by producing top quality products that are comfortable and effective."

Visit Their Website 

Shires Blankets, Just in Time for Winter!

Shires Equestrian Products is privileged to be able to support Boyd Martin. The firm, which holds a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II for providing the Royal Stables with equestrian equipment for horse and rider, is based in Herefordshire, England. Shires is well-known in Europe, and while it has been selling in the U.S. for 20 years, it opened its first U.S. distribution center in 2008. Today it sells its products in the U.S. both online and through a network of dealers. 

Shires is unique in that it owns and operates its own factories, thereby ensuring that it has complete control over the manufacturing process as well as the raw materials used. Shiretex, its proprietary 600 to 2,000 denier waterproof ripstop fabric, is utilized in many of the high quality, sturdy—and very affordable—horse blankets the firm manufacturers each year.

Visit Shires online at

Sponsor Spotlight: SmartPak Equine

We have had our high performance horses on supplements from SmartPak Equine for the past couple of months now and they are all looking their best and performing better than ever. Everyone at the company has been very helpful in figuring out exactly what are the best supplements for each of our horses.

The best part is the packaging is especially helpful when we take our horses on the road, or in Remi's case back in November, overseas. If you remember the photos Caitlin took from that trip, she had an Everest-size pile of gear to organize so having his supplements ready to go in their handy Smartpaks was one less thing for her to worry about. We'd like to thank SmartPak for their sponsorship and look forward to working with them in the coming year!

If anyone out there is interested in trying SmartPak you can contact them for a free 3-day sample by clicking here.

Boyd and Silva

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Looking Back: 2010 Was a Remarkable Competition Year for Boyd

The year 2010 has been a stellar one for Boyd, with his first opportunity to represent the United States at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where he was the highest-placing individual American rider. He also finished in the top ten at the Pau CCI**** in France, his first time competing in Europe. At the end of the year Boyd is ranked third overall on the US Eventing Association Rider of the Year rankings with 552 points and second overall USEA Adult Rider at the Advanced Level. On the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) HSBC Rider Rankings for Eventing, Boyd finished an astounding fifth overall.

His horses have also had a banner year. Boyd’s own Neville Bardos, who is currently in the syndication process, finished tenth overall on the USEA Horse of the Year standings and 7th overall at the Advanced level. Ron and Densey Juvonen’s outstanding Hanoverian gelding Remington XXV, who was Boyd’s partner for his European four-star debut at Pau this fall, is ranked 6th overall at the Advanced level and 8th overall for Horse of the Year.

Bruce Davidson Sr.’s young Thoroughbred mare Rock on Rose, who Boyd piloted around the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in April, finished 7th overall on the Mare of the Year rankings.

In all Boyd rode completed five separated four-star rides in 2010, with three horses at Rolex Kentucky, Neville at the WEG and Remi at Pau. According to Boyd that means that he jumped approximately 215 four-star cross-country fences and spent about 58 minutes total on four-star cross-country courses. That is some serious mileage! It’s all the more impressive that every single cross-country round was without jumping faults.

The four-star horses were not the only champions in Boyd’s barn this year. Ron and Densey Juvonen’s mare Charla tied for 8th overall at the Preliminary level; Amy Lindgren’s Minotaure du Passoir, who won this year’s Bromont CCI* in Canada, finished 10th at Prelim. Boyd was also the Adult Preliminary Rider of the Year.

With more promising horses coming along all the time, here’s looking forward to another fantastic year in 2011!

-Amber Heintzberger

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Special Deal For a Special Horse: Shatzi W Offered For Sale

I have an opportunity of a lifetime for a lucky person out there. The mare 'Shatzi W' is an 11-year old Advanced event horse that I bred in Australia, imported to the USA, trained and have loved very much for the past decade. Last year, we placed second at the Jersey Fresh CCI** and also competed at the Advanced level at a few events. I think she has only ever had two rails in her whole career. You can check her USEA results here.

I realized after falling off her last year at the Richland Park CIC*** that she does not have the makings of a 4-star horse. After having a slow start this year after recovering from injury I have come to terms with selling her. She is a very sweet, genuine, talented mare that has plenty of life left in her. One problem that I have is getting her through pre-purchase vet check for when I sell her. When you trot her up on a hard surface or on a tight circle there is a 1 degree lameness that is visible....however, the lameness is not visible and cannot be felt when she is ridden.

I have spent thousands of dollars with vets trying to work out this small lameness with no answers. At the end of the day, it's just the way she is. This however is a major problem when trying to sell her for her true value.

So here is the deal: I am interested in giving this wonderful horse a life of low level eventing (up to training, maybe prelim), breeding (she is by the Dutch super sire 'Salute'), trail riding, dressage or pony club to someone out there. It would have to be the right person as I love this horse very much. The person who ends up with her does so with the understanding that they are buying this horse for nowhere near her real worth because of her condition. I would like to fetch $15,000 to the right home only.

Please call me if you are interested.... 610-806-2381



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Waranga W Has his First Jump School

Well folks, I must admit I love this time of the year. While the higher level hot shots like Nev and Remi are on holiday, there is heaps of time to get the young horses going. This year we have a couple of exceptional three year olds starting up, one of which is Waranga ,who had his first jump school today.

I own Waranga in partnership with my first supporter, Amy Lindgren. For those of you that don't know, Amy also owns Minotaure Du Passoir,(whom she is riding in the background of this video). Min was last year's USEA Prelim Horse of the Year, and this year's Bromont CCI* winner.

Waranga is mostly Australian Thoroughbred, with a bit of French and Belgian Warmblood jumping blood mixed in. His mother is a very close relation to Blyth Tait's Olympic champion Ready Teddy. Waranga is a good mover, and also looks to have a promising jump.

He is still a bit immature in his body, so I think it is wise to work with him through the winter, and then turn him out and leave him in the field whilst we are in Aiken next year. I can't wait until this little guy gets old enough to compete.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hunting from Boyd and Silva

Boyd and Silva with Bruce Davidson's Chesterland farm in the background.

We had a wonderful and wet Thanksgiving Day with the Cheshire fox hunt. Every year there is a huge gathering of the community at the Kennels to see the hunt ride through thousands of acres of preserved land.

The riders in the hunt include people from all walks of life: race jockeys, land owners, flat and steeplechase trainers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, investment bankers, and we are very proud to say, a few eventing riders and one dressage rider!

Ryan Wood, Ron Juvonen and Boyd Martin

Ron and Densey Juvonen where nice enough to lend us a couple of their top horses for the hunt. Boyd was riding 'Leon', who is Justina Juvonen's Dutch show jumper, while Silva was on Ron's pride and joy, The Colonel. Even though Silva had the shiniest boots on, and the longest stirrups, she jumped all of the three-rail post and rail fences. She even jumped a couple of fences on the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup course and the Brooklawn Double (two post and rail fences separated by Newark Road that you have to gallop across).

It was a fabulous hunt that lasted a couple of hours galloping around the countryside near Unionville. We both truly enjoy getting involved with other horse sports in this great community that we live in. Its a great opportunity to meet interesting characters, and also get an insight how other legendary horse trainers and riders work with their horses...

Happy Thanksgiving,
Boyd and Silva

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beautiful Young Mare For Sale!

NAME: Serendipity (a.k.a. Tini)
SEX: Mare
COLOUR: Pinto - Dark Bay and White
HEIGHT: 17hh
DATE OF BIRTH: June 2005
SIRE: Sempatico M
DAM: Wrickster
BREED: ISR - Oldenburg
PLACE OF BIRTH: Silverwood Farm, Lovettsville, VA

Tini is a super moving, super jumping, quality horse for the future. Even as a 2 year old she competed in the inaugural USEA Future Event Horse Series and won Reserve Champion 2 year old filly in the finals at Morven Park in October 2007. After looking so good as a young horse, Ticia Tripp decided to breed her to "Harry The Hat" in May 2009 and delivered a stunning dark bay colt in April 2010.

This beautiful mare has only been competing in horse trials for a few months. I must say that even though she is green, she has all of the tools for a top horse. She has the gallop of a race horse, the movement of a dressage horse, and definitely has the jump of a straight show-jumper. This is a great opportunity to get in on a super young horse that is oozing with potential and class.

YouTube Video

Enjoy Our Photo Slideshow

Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Boyd Martin and Jennie Brannigan

Posted on November 18th, 2010

Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Boyd Martin and Jennie Brannigan

Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Show Notes and Links:

Healthy Horses and Fatter Wallets Thanks to Haygain Hay Steamers

Toll Free: 1.800.525.4339 (in North America)

Direct Dial: 731.885.6690

Fax: 731.885.6080


I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by Haygain since the American Eventing Championships this year and it’s been a wonderful piece of machinery that has not only made my horses look and feel better, it’s saved me a fair bit of money in hay. To start with I’ve noticed in the last month or two that the horses’ weight and condition have been better and better; I think this is due to a number of reasons but a contributing factor is the steamed hay has all the nutrients and minerals enhanced and preserved thanks to Haygain. In simple form, steamed hay gets rid of the bacteria and eliminates all the dust and mold that might be in the hay. I feel that the Haygain steamer has made our hay into top-notch, first-class quality hay.

The other fantastic thing about Haygain is I’ve noticed my hay purchases decrease even though we have the same number of horses in work. We are feeding a little bit less hay and getting the same result in our horses’ energy and weight. The other thing is there is no wasted hay left in the stables. For whatever reason the steamed hay must taste twice as yummy as un-steamed hay and the horses are eating it all up and not leaving any to waste. Before we were using the Haygain the girls found that when they cleaned the stalls in the morning there was a lot of loose hay mixed up with the dirty straw but now there is absolutely no hay left, so I feel like we’re getting more for our money when we purchase hay.

I would urge anyone that’s interested in watching their dollars over the long-term and interested in helping their horses look and feel their best to get in touch with Clint at Haygain. I can’t believe the difference.


Friday, November 19, 2010

New Yorkers in Training!

I am lucky enough to have had two new horses in training arrive this week. Both horses come from the Millbrook area of New York and both look to have plenty of quality about them.
"Cagney Herself" is owned by this week's cover girl of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine, Bonnie Stedt. Cagney is an 8-year-old mare that is part Irish Sport Horse, part American Thoroughbred. She is a super mover with a really big jump! She is a close relation to Bonnie's Area 1 Training Champion, Clancy Himself. Cagney had done a little bit of eventing and some endurance before Bonnie took over the reins. The mare still feels a little green on the flat, but like her jump, she has plenty of natural ability. I am usually not a fan of heavier horses, but I must say this gal is light on her feet. I will be spending the next couple of weeks working on her balance on the flat and schooling her over training size fences.

Curtis, or "Party Boy", is owned by another Millbrook team: Fernanda Kellogg and Nick Meyers. Nick found this sleek, attractive thoroughbred and purchased him from Will Faudree. As far as I can gather, Will found Curtis on a racetrack in Texas. Nick had the horse in training last year and has done a top job working with him. Nick took his time with the gelding this year and did a number of successful novice horse trials with him. Curtis has a wonderful trot for the dressage, and a powerful jump with good technique. The first couple of days he has been a bit fresh and definitely feels like he has a serious engine under him. I will be focusing on Curtis's relaxation and balance in the dressage for the first few weeks.
It's exciting to have young, fresh, talented horses in the barn for training. Even when they are green horses I get a real joy in training them. It's a great time of the year to get to know them and start building a partnership with them.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 GAIG Championships VIDEOS

Here are the videos from the 2010 GAIG Championships

Monday, November 15, 2010

GAIG Championships Wrap Up

We finally finished our weekend in North Carolina and we are on our way home. Sea Lord finished the day with a good test in the Intermediaire 1 championships and we placed third with 65 percent.

Unfortunately Devon's horse Rembrandt was spooky in the coliseum this morning and they took sixth in the first level championships.

I was very excited about Lillian's mare Ariel receiving high score of the show with a seventy six percent!

Overall we had a great weekend. It was a beautiful facility with great weather all weekend and all of the horses did their best!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Continued Success at the GAIG Championships

Duvent did a great test in his Championship class and we finished reserve Great American Champion by 0.4% with 69.05%.
Ariel won her class today with 76% and got Hire Score Mare of the whole show.

Devon, on her horse Rembrandt, won the junior Great American Championship today with 72%! Devon has one more junior Championship class tomorrow and we are hoping she can finish this great weekend with one more win!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Update from GAIG Championships

We had a good day yesterday! Sea Lord went very well in the PSG Great American Championships and became Reserve Champion with 67%. Ariel also did a great test and finished second with 73%.

Rosa Cha unfortunately had to put in one buck in her Championship class. The judges still loved her and the score sheet looked pretty funny: almost all 8's and one 3 for the buck. We finished third!

Today I have Duvent in his Championship class and Ariel in another first level.
Devon also has her Junior Championship class today.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Reflections on the Pau CCI****

Photo Copyright Marianne Delecci

I’ve waited about a week now since the end of the Pau CCI**** to reflect on my first European three-day event. I think it was good to take a breath and get back in the swing of things before I reflect on what I’ve just gone through. I’m truly hoping this evaluation doesn’t bring the same controversy as my reflections on the WEG, however I feel it’s important to be upfront and honest and say what I feel, even if it upsets a few of my friends on the Chronicle of the Horse Forums.

It’s tough from a personal point of view to say whether Pau was successful or unsuccessful. I felt there were many positives to come out of the event and there were also a couple of negatives which will probably haunt me for a while.

I’ll focus on the positives first. I think the horse tried as hard as he possibly could throughout the event and made a huge effort to compete at a tough and grueling four-star, and to do it with five days of travel through several countries traveling by truck and plane. I feel like it’s much tougher getting a good result when you’re taken out of the comfort of your “backyard”.

Obviously the score sheet reflects how difficult the cross-country course was and Remington provided the round of a lifetime. He was one of only two horses to take the direct route at every fence around the course. I had bad rides at several fences and Remi grew a fifth leg more than once and bunny-hopped me out of trouble. I’ve ridden five four-star rounds this year and I felt this was probably the most intense and relentless cross-country course yet.

In my last blog evaluating the WEG I was critical of the USEF funding 3-star riders to compete in Europe, as I stated it made no sense to me competing in Europe when we have great events here in America. One critical part of the equation, which I didn’t realize then but understand now, is the amazing experience it gives a young, up and coming rider to compete in Europe against the best riders. I now can appreciate that a little more as I’ve come back to America highly motivated and a little more experienced thanks to the trip I just completed.

This includes experiences like watching the likes of William Fox-Pitt and all the talent in the warm-up and seeing what methods they use to prepare their horses. Also stabling next to Andrew Nicholson and talking to him about how he selects and acquires his event horses and the training methods he uses on different types of horses is an education that I could not have got at home here in the States. Competing at the Pau 4* really gave me a feeling that I’m in the same league as some of these top riders whereas before I thought these guys were way better than us Americans. Now I feel like we’re not too far off them.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the owners of Remington XXV, Ron and Densey Juvonen, who have been huge supporters of Silva and I, for putting their trust in me and sending their horse to Pau, especially considering the challenge of the long journey, battling with French rioters along the way and the huge expense that we were up against just to get to the starting line.

Secondly I’d like to thank Silva for really preparing Remington and me in America and in France for our all-time best dressage score of a 43. Without her wonderful training and coaching we would never have had the opportunity to be one of the front-runners after the dressage.

I’d also like to thank Caitlin Silliman for enduring a marathon trip with Remi and keeping him happy and healthy on the trip to France, through the event, and then all the way back home.

Thanks also Mark Phillips, who copped a bit of a public bashing after the US team’s disappointment at the WEG, who did a top job with his one American rider at Pau. I felt the help he gave me at the three-day event was invaluable: his coaching was spot on and he didn’t try to change anything but definitely his point of view was essential to our good performance.

Last but not least thanks to the USEF, who put up the money to get Remi on the plane: I was very grateful when they came along and picked up the bill to help give me this experience.

Now for the tough stuff: I suppose the hard analysis to make is to work out what went wrong in the show jumping. After a few sleepless nights I think there are a few factors contributing to the disappointing round. Make no mistake, these are not excuses, merely critical points which I think contributed to a less than ideal round.

First I think I had a plan for the warm-up and I was too set in my plan. When I started jumping the horse the rain started pouring down horrifically and I felt Remi suck back and lose his form. I’m the first to admit that once the wheels started falling off, I didn’t change the way I rode him accordingly. If I had my time over again I’d jump a few more warm-up jumps and try to regain the rhythm that I’d lost to a couple of fences.

One thing I was desperately missing was Katie Prudent in the warm-up. Having a show jumping expert like Katie who knows me and the horse could have absolutely got me going again within a matter of jumps and unfortunately she wasn’t there, which I feel is something I didn’t push for in planning the trip. After my experience at Pau I’d push for her availability to any American rider at any four-star.

Maybe the horse was a bit tired but I feel it’s more than that. I feel Remi jumps well when he’s feeling on top of the world and confident, and I made the mistake of trying to make him try a bit too hard in the warm-up, which contributed to him losing his form jumping. I suppose at the end of the day, experience is what I gained right after the moment I really needed it.

All in all I think the positive to come out of it was it was that an American horse and rider put in a top ten four-star result off American soil, which has been few and far between in the past ten years. I’ve genuinely come back motivated, educated and more experienced. Another positive is the horse was 110% healthy when he arrived back in the USA and is probably happily wind sucking on the Juvonen’s post and rail fence at their farm back in Unionville, PA as we speak.