Thursday, March 26, 2015

Revving Up for Rolex

Pancho Villa at Fair Hill 2014. Jenni Autry Photo
I’ve got three entries in for Rolex Kentucky this year: Master Frisky, Crackerjack and Pancho Villa. They all three first-timers at the four-star level and have all had a pretty impressive spring.

Crackerjack, who’s the wild man of the group, is owned by the late Colin Davidson and his mother Lucy Boynton. Crackers is an American Thoroughbred by the legendary stallion Aberjack. Crackers is a real character in the barn and is a very careful jumper who often gets too keen and too brave to the fences. Last weekend at the Carolina International in Southern Pines, NC he felt fantastic and finished in 5th place.

Stephen Blauner of Millbrook, NY owns Master Frisky, who’s a well-bred, quintessential Irish horse: his sire is Master Imp and he’s out of a Clover Hill mare. He’s the most laid-back of the trio; he’s very smart in the dressage and has wonderful stamina cross-country.

Pancho Villa is a horse I’ve had for a couple years now. He’s owned by the Pancho Villa syndicate and is probably the greenest of the three, so I’ll see how he goes at the Fork and then decide whether to run Jersey Fresh or Rolex.

Caitlin, Lillian and Erin are also entered at Rolex this year. They’re all on seasoned four-star horses now and I’m expecting they’ll all do well.

Looking at the Pan-Am Games this summer, all of these horses are potential Pan-Am team horses; I’m sure after the spring three-day events the team will start to pick itself.

I’ve also got two potential three-star horses, Welcome Shadow and SBF Cortez, entered at Jersey Fresh. They are young but experienced two-star horses now and with a good performance there I feel they could also throw their hat in the ring to be considered to represent the US in Toronto.

All of these horses will compete at The Fork in North Carolina on Easter weekend.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Carolina International Photos

Thanks to Press Officer Allie Conrad for sharing these lovely photos from the Carolina International: 

Walking with Ryan Wood

Master Frisky


SBF Cortez

Welcome Shadow

Carolina International CIC***

Master Frisky. Leslie Threlkeld for

The Carolina International this weekend in Southern Pines, NC was a huge success. Every year the event becomes bigger and better and stronger. The competition was fierce, with some of America’s best horses and riders. I took three greener, up and coming advanced horses in the CIC: Lucy Boynton’s Crackerjack, Stephen Blauner’s Master Frisky and Pancho Villa, owned by the Pancho Villa Syndicate, and all three had strong performances.

Master Frisky came very close to winning the event, finishing second behind Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready, This was a great preparation for Rolex and Master Frisky has impressed so far.

Crackerjack has always been a bit of a wild man to ride and I must say this weekend he really started to settle down and show his maturity.

I was also very happy with Pancho; the longer I have him the more we seem to be building a partnership and I feel like he has the makings of a big-time horse.

Welcome Shadow. Allie Conrad photo

I also rode my three younger horses in the Intermediate and two-star: Craig and Gloria Callen’s Welcome Shadow, Denise and Pierre’s SBF Cortez and Daryl Layfield Insley's William Street. All of these horses gave me great rides, especially on the cross-country, which was a very testing course.

Carolina is really raising the standard for quality events in America. They have an awesome show jumping course designer in Mark Donovan, good commentary and organization, and the cross-country course is inviting and well designed
in a nice flowing course. Having the event live streamed I believe adds an extra dimension to the sport, helping create interest worldwide for what’s happening in the USA. The owners were looked after brilliantly with a huge amount of effort put into making sure they had a fun party and fantastic amenities. It was a real pleasure being part of the competition.


The Windurra eventing team is now migrating north to PA where the weather is rapidly improving. It has been a great winter at Stable View and I very much appreciate training out of this wonderful facility. It still look forward to seeing my wife and my two cats and sleeping in my own bed at night.