Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ambassador’s Rose Sold!

Congratulations to our good friend Jackie Gilbertson of Maryland who bought Kristin and Andy Sparks' beautiful mare Ambassador’s Rose last week. Many thanks to Kristin and Andy, who brought this mare to us for her breaking in and training.

Jackie trains with both me and Silva and also is a proud part-owner of Silva’s promising dressage horse Rosa Cha. It looks like Ambassador's Rose is going to live the good life down in Dickerson, Maryland with Jackie, who is excited about her new project of training a young, talented horse for eventing and dressage.

Final Gallop in PA

With the hot summer making the ground hard, it was a big morning at Michael Dickinson’s training facility. Several event riders were busy there this morning: Phillip, Buck, Bruce and I were down there galloping horses in preparation for their final outing before the World Equestrian Games, at the AEC next week. Both Neville and Remington galloped beautifully. I chose to gallop them up the hill head to head with Sara Gumblier riding Remington. Putting Remington side by side with Neville the ex-racehorse definitely makes him gallop easier; both horses rocketed up the hill.

It’s a 1.8 mile track, all uphill, and we’re very lucky that Michael has allowed us to use this facility as it’s known worldwide as the ultimate place to gallop a horse. Obviously we are taking every extra step to make sure the horses get as fit as they can with the least trauma to their legs as possible. We’re very grateful to use this training track, which is usually reserved for million-dollar racehorses.

It’s been a busy week for fitness: Remington also had a swim on Wednesday at Merry Meadows swimming pool. I feel with his latest performance at Richland he has a real shot at getting on the WEG team so I am doing everything I can to make sure he and Neville are both fit as a fiddle.

On Monday night I am taking Summer, Charla, Remi and Neville down to Chattahoochee Hills for the American Eventing Championships. On Saturday both Neville and Remington have been excused from running cross-country, but the selectors want to simulate some sort of physical exertion, which means a gallop on the track first thing in the morning, so that the situation is similar to when the horses are competing. They will still also then show jump after having strenuous exercise the day before.

Chatt Hills will be home for me and my groom Andrea Beech for the next month, as the Monday after the championships it turns into the US training camp. The squads will be officially announced the Tuesday after the AEC’s after the vetting of the horses is complete.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Richland Park CIC***

On the weekend I drove up to Richland Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan to compete in the CIC*** on my two advanced horses Remington and Neville. I also took along Kate Hicks’s Phenomenon, a new ride for me, as well as Ron and Densey Juvonen’s Charla in the prelim.

The US team selectors and vets were all watching and Richland was basically a mandatory outing for all short-listed horses, so it was the first time this summer that these guys were lining up against the other horses from the US and Canada looking at the WEG.

I had a conservative run at Millbrook a couple of weeks ago just to make sure they are both nice and fit and came out of Kentucky well; this weekend I decided to let them run on a little more, not only to show the selectors we’re on form but also as a fitness run before the Games in September.

The good thing is both Neville and Remington XXV, who is owned by Ron and Densey, put in stellar performances this weekend, especially Remi, who shone in the dressage, being the highest-placed US contender. He hardly faulted from there, cruising around cross-country inside the time but having an unlucky rail in the show jumping. I think he really put his best foot forward and let everyone know he is in fit form. He was second overall and the highest-placed US horse of the competition.

EventingNation posted this video on Youtube along with their great coverage of Richland. Remi appears around 4:30. They also posted a photo of Remi on cross-country.

The USEA Blog also featured comprehensive coverage of the event with some great photos of the horses on cross-country and stadium. Click here for more stadium photos...

Neville ran fourth in the three-star. I also felt like he is gaining momentum the closer we get to the final selection. Both horses had such impressive performances that I have been given the nod from Mark Phillips to opt out of running the cross-country at the AEC and just do the dressage and show jumping to ensure the horses are fresh and sound at the WEG.

They both endured a very extensive veterinary evaluation on Monday morning, which was favorable for both of them.

The ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Phenomenon showed promise in her first two-star outing. I’m lucky enough to get the ride on this mare thanks to my good friend Kate Hicks getting pregnant. Phenomenon finished a credible eighth overall.

Last but nowhere least was Ron and Densey’s young horse Charla who is getting better and better, every event we go to. She had a flawless performance in the open prelim, winning the dressage, clear and under time on cross-country and foot perfect in show jumping to finish on a score of 29 and winning overall. She’s an exciting horse for the future and I think in time she’ll be a world-class international horse.


Complete results are located at