Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pilot Error on 2nd Day of Performance Show at Dressage at Devon!

Yesterday at Dressage at Devon started well with Di Solitaire in the FEI 4-year-old class: Sully was much more relaxed and did a nice test. Of course he is very green and we have only known each other for a short takes time to develop a partnership with a new and especially a young horse. Sully scored 79% and placed 4th.

Kymmy and Hot Date had a very nice test and finished 6th in the 4-year-old class.

I was very impressed with the way Kymmy rode Markie today! She rode every single step from the entry to finish of the fourth level test. It was the best I have seen her ride and the test was mistake free. They scored 64.5% and finished sevens in a very competitive class .

Duvent was trying for me again in the fourth level; he was a little more tense than the day before but kept his concentration and listened to me. As I was going down the centerline I thought, "turn left at C". But for some strange reason I decided to turn right instead. As I turned I cringed and the bell rang! Since there is a judge at C and a judge at E , that was a very expensive mistake.
And of course the score came in and we finished SECOND by 0.1%!  Serves me right -- pilot error! That is NOT going to happen again!!!

Today we have Stately, Rosa, Duvent and Markie again.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Caitlin Released from ICU

I’m very relieved to say that Caitlin was released from the Intensive Care Unit at Christiana Hospital to the general population  today. Obviously it was a very serious accident, incurring a fracture to her skull, but it looks at the moment like she doesn’t have any other physical damage. The doctors are opting not to operate, and all of Caitlin’s vital signs are good as gold.

It’s an interesting business that we’re in, training horses; Caitlin galloped around the 2* and 3* courses at Plantation Field on the weekend, jumping huge fences at high speeds and rode like a champion; on Tuesday she was doing rising trot in the dressage arena with a nice 4-year-old when the horse stumbled and Caitlin fell on her head.

As usual Caitlin was wearing her Charles Owen helmet, which very likely prevented more serious injuries.

It’s a huge blow to Caitlin professionally, with Catch a Star and Remi heading into Fair Hill like lightning, but fortunately both horses are qualified for Kentucky next year, which was the ultimate goal.

Australian sensation Dom Schramm has come on board trying to fulfill part of Caitlin’s role at Windurra USA. "The Thunder from Down Under" is a brilliant horseman and is helping us carry on in the absence of my superb assistant Caitlin while she’s out of action. We all miss Caitlin very much and wish her a speedy recovery. 


Great Start to the Performance Show at Dressage at Devon!!

Beau Guimond and Melinda Walton with Schoene

We finished with the breed show yesterday morning and the baby's had a good last day showing at Devon. Shoene, (Melinda's two year old), placed second in a huge Hanoverian class with Beau showing him off in-hand while Rio Royale, (Melinda's 3 year old), placed third in his class. The babies went straight home to Virginia after the show and they are all safe and sound at home and are very happy to be back in the field. I have to say that I cannot wait for those babies to grow up so that I can ride them. They are very special young horses!
Making Last Minute Repairs to Demi's Braids with Pam Murphy

We started with our performance horses in the afternoon. The FEI 4 year old class was first and Kymmy rode her young horse, Hot Date and I rode Di Solitaire and Benefactor.
Benny was first in the class and he was great! The judges loved him and called him a very mature four-year-old, which is funny because we always say Benny is four going on 30. The judges gave us very high scores and we ended up setting a high standard in the class with 79.9%. Benny held his lead all the way to the end and won the class! I am very excited about this horse, he is a very special guy and of course another one that Melinda and Larry breed.

Next for us was Di Solitaire. Well, let's just say that we did not run out of energy! This was only Sully's second show and Devon has a lot of atmosphere and a lot of people were watching. Sully was fabulous in the trot and walk and got "a little excited" in the canter. It was funny though, because he has a ton of personality and we all laughed about it. The judges still really liked him and scored him 77.5%. He is going to be a great horse. Sully and I are doing another four year old class today and I am hoping he is getting tired!
It was so great that his owners and good friends of ours, Mike and and Anne Laver, came from Aiken, SC to watch us go.

Kymmy and Hot Date followed us in the ring. Kymmy hascome a looooong way with her riding and I am so very proud of how she rode yesterday. Hayden was an angel and they did a very nice test, scoring 78%, which placed them fourth in this big class! This horse in for sale and he is a once in a lifetime horse! Whoever buys him will have a ton of fun!
Our next class of the day was fourth level and we had Markie and Kymmy, Stately and Duvent in that class. This class was in the Dixon arena, which can be very scary. Duvent was such a good boy holding it together. He is such a fabulous horse, but as we know he can be pretty hot. He tried his heart out for me and scored 71%, leading the class and finishing second behind Stately. Of course he is another one of Melinda and Larry's babies.

Next I rode Stately and he of course was his perfect self. The warm-up was incredible and the test was very good. I cannot quite keep the same quality that I have in the warm up in the ring yet, but I have to keep reminding myself that he is ONLY SEVEN years old. We scored 71.6% and won the class. I am so exited to see Faye this weekend. Stately and I have not seen her in a while, and I know Stately will try extra hard for his mum!!

Following me into the ring again was Kymmy with Markie. Kymmy, Markie and I have been working very hard for the last few months and it showed. They did their best test and scored 64% and finished 5th in the class.

At 8.40pm I had Rosa in another 4th level class. Rosa has never gone under lights and of course she loved it! She was a little excited and it took me a while to settle her in the warm-up. Her trot and walk work was great and she got a little tense in the canter, but we held it together and won that class as well.

A good start for us, I would say!

Michael Barisone has been such a great help to us with all our horses and he was there yesterday to help us warm up.
I would also like to thank Stuebben for making sure that all my saddles fit perfectly. My horses feel great and they love their Stuebben saddles!

Fingers crossed for today!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bacardi SOLD

We’re proud to say Bacardi found a new home in North Carolina today. He came to us last year and we managed to take him from a dressage horse to a successful prelim eventer in a short amount of time. We’d like to thank Sandy Issler from Pennsylvania for placing the horse in training with us and a big thanks to the wounded Caitlin Silliman for helping train and compete this horse successfully. We wish the new owner all the best.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good Start to Breed Show at Dressage at Devon

Melinda Walton and Larry T. Smith's Benefactor RS finished 2nd in his Materiale Class and Reserve Champion overall in the Breed Show at Dressage at Devon

We have had a very busy past two days at the Dressage at Devon Breed Show! I was showing Melinda Walton and Larry T. Smith's three yearlings, Shoene the two-year-old, Rio the three-year-old, Hannah in-hand and Di Solitaire, Benny, Hayden, Hannah and Rio under saddle. We have come up with a lot of ribbons for all of them and Benny was the star, becoming reserve champion in the final today. Results

Melinda and Larry should be very proud of their babies! The two of them are really breeding some amazing horses and I am very lucky to be able to ride their horses for them.

Working student Beau Guimond did an amazing job handling all the young horses in the ring and he really showed off their potential. Beau has been working with all the babies for the past two weeks and he has been taking it very seriously. That really showed today and yesterday.

My very good friend Lizzie Verney has been a huge help too, getting up at four am every day and driving out to the show with me, to then help with everything all day long.

Kymmy has been wonderful, organizing all the chaos and keeping everything on track as well as taking very good care of the horses. By the time Lizzie and I arrive at the show at 5.30am, Kymmy has all ready finished mucking all the stalls and fed all the horses! On top of all she does, she rode her young horse Hayden beautifully today!

Benny, Melinda, Pam and I
With the help of Gracia, Cheryl Grifith, Kaitlin Slimak, Kymmy's friend Sara and the rest of us we had all the horses looking like a million dollars. I am so lucky to have all these fantastic people around me to be able to do what I do. With so many horses at the show, you need a really good team to not only get it done but also get it done well.

I am also very proud of Constantina and Amy Heron for placing fourth in the Materiale class at their very first Dressage at Devon.

Our friend and part-owner of Rosa and Hannah, Sara Reese came out yesterday and today to cheer us on. Sara has been a great supporter of Boyd and me for many years and we love having her around anytime she can join us.

Tomorrow we have another big day with the babies showing one more time in the morning and the performance show starting in the afternoon. Kymmy rides Hayden in the 4-year-old class and Markie in fourth level. I ride Di Solitaire in the 4-year-old class, Stately, Rosa and Duvent in fourth level .

We will keep you posted!!


Update on Caitlin

As many of you have probably heard by now, Caitlin had an accident yesterday when she fell from a young horse. She is in the hospital with a fractured skull but she is in stable condition and there is a positive outlook for her recovery. 

Poor Caitlin! I feel like every time she comes out on top, something happens. She was on the sidelines with Hoku this time last year, after the fire, and here she is again. We are devastated for her, but she is going to be fine. Obviously Boyd has lost his assistant trainer for a while too;  she is a big part of our business and we can’t wait for her to come back. In the meantime, while Caitlin recovers, Hoku can go into dressage boot camp with me, which will be really good for her, and Boyd is going to keep Remington going, so Caitlin's horses will be ready and waiting for her return! 



EventingNation interview with Boyd caught up with Boyd during the Plantation Field International three-star last weekend. Click here to read about the latest on Neville Bardos, get some pointers on fitness, and learn about dressage coach Michael Barisone.

Michael Barisone Video Interview with Samantha Clark

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dressage at Devon Underway

Dressage at Devon is underway and Silva will be riding several horses over the next few days. For the complete schedule click here. Check back for updates throughout the show!


NAME:    Elite Pharis
SEX:    Gelding
COLOUR:    Black
HEIGHT:    16.1
DATE OF BIRTH:    6-20-2004
SIRE:    Sapros (By Pepel o/o Sapronka)
DAM:    Papaya
BREED:    Trakhener
BREEDER:    Joseph Vanthienen
PLACE OF BIRTH:    Rheinland
OWNER:    Elizabeth Marenakos
Elite Pharis is an 8-year-old, 16.1 black imported Trakehner gelding by Sapros (Grand Prix Jumper) out of Papaya. His grandsire is Pepel, winner of the individual Dressage Silver Medal in the 1972 Olympics. He is a very ridable and reliable horse that has moved very quickly up the levels over the past six months. He has an impeccable show record, winning at first and second level with scores in the mid-seventies. Pharis is extremely fancy in the show ring and the judges love him!

Pharis has been schooling third level over the past few months, including flying changes and half pass with talent for much more. He will be showing third level this fall. Pharis really enjoys his work - especially as the work gets more challenging. He also likes to jump and hack out.

Pharis has a great temperament, three nice gaits and looks to die for, this gorgeous horse has a brilliant future ahead of him. Suited for an advanced amateur, ambitious young rider or a professional.

Inquiries, please contact Silva by email or phone 610 806 2721.

Updated September 2012 Video

Monday, September 24, 2012


Photo Credits Lisa Thomas/Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services
Boyd's Photo Slide Show
It was an absolutely fabulous weekend at Plantation Field International!  The entire community has been worked relentlessly to put together an event that showcased world class competition, a packed vendors village, tons of entertainment for the kids and nightlife that featured some hair raising bull riding!!  As always, Katie and Cuyler Walker did an amazing job promoting and hosting this event, opening up their home to the riders, owners and sponsors on Saturday night for a party that's one of the social highlights of the year!

Boyd had a full dance card this weekend, riding multiple horses across the national and international divisions.

National Divisions:
Brewster - 13th Prelim Horse
Quinn Himself - W from Prelim Horse

CIC Divisions:
The CIC divisions saw quite a bit of competition with a large number of entries.  Steady Eddie lived up to his name, putting in a solid performance in the CIC 1* to finish 9th on his dressage score of a 55.80.  New Cadet finished 12th and Party Boy was 18th.
Photo Credits Lisa Thomas/Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services
Caitlin's Photo Slideshow
Boyd had 2 more rides in the 2* division and was quite pleased with two horses in the victory gallop, with Cracker Jack's placing 6th on a 49.4 and Master Frisky coming in a close 8th on a 53.3.  Boyd commented that "The real thrill of the 2* division was to watch Caitlin Silliman look fantastic aboard Remi, as these two showed that they've already made a bond and have a great future together."  Many thanks go out to the Juvonen's, as well as Seema Sonnad for making this partnership possible!  Trading Aces, pictured at the top of this post, also had a stellar finish in the 3*, joining the victory gallop in 8th place!

This weekend wouldn't have been complete without Boyd's owners and sponsors attending as well.  Theault-America came down to our neck of the woods to show off the Morpheus Horse Box, and Devoucoux was on hand to showcase their beautiful line of saddles, bridles and leather works.
Again, many thanks go out to the Walkers, the Glaccums, and all the tireless efforts of the Plantation Field organizers and volunteers.  It is an annual event that continues to grow and evolve each year, with this 5th year being the biggest success yet!


Photos may not be released without permission of Lisa Thomas.