Category Archives: Diana de Rosa

Don’t Miss the Deadline to Apply for USA Equestrian Trust Grants

Equine Non-Profits Must Submit Applications by Monday, May 2

April 26, 2016 — Lexington, KY — There is still time to submit proposals for USA Equestrian Trust’s 2016 grants program. IRS-registered equine non-profits are invited to apply by filling out the online grant application at

The Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for initiatives that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries. The Trust welcomes proposals for need-based projects and encourages applicants to detail those in their applications.

Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 2.

Funding available for grants includes $41,500 reserved for Hunter and Jumper non-profit programs and activities in California and Nevada. Applicants for this fund should make clear their intention to apply for grants available from this specific reserve.

If you have any questions about applying, please e-mail

About USA Equestrian Trust

USA Equestrian Trust is a New York Not-for-Profit Corporation whose mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Cell: 516-848-4867 –

Are You a Student with a Passion for Horses and Publishing?

Deadline Date is January 23 for 2015 AHP Student Award Contest

The 2015 AHP Student Award Contest recognizes the talents of students by awarding up to three $750 travel awards to attend the AHP Annual Seminar in San Antonio, Texas on June 18-20, 2015. Travel Award winners have an opportunity to meet leading equine publishing professionals and discuss career possibilities during the three days of educational sessions and related activities. One Travel Award winner will be selected at the seminar as the 2015 Student Award winner and win a cash award of $1,000. Additional cash awards may be awarded at the discretion of the judges. All cash awards are sponsored by AIM Equine Network.

Students are eligible to enter the contest if they are a high school senior or an undergraduate college student during the 2014-2015 year, with at least one semester before graduation at the time of application. All qualified applicants will receive a complimentary Student annual membership, a complimentary Student registration certificate for the annual seminar, and a critique of their resume. The AHP Student Award Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only.

Student Award applicants are required to send a completed application form plus additional information by January 23, 2015. Eligible students may access guidelines and application at the AHP website at

For 2015 Student Award Contest guidelines or more information on American Horse Publications and its programs, visit our web site at or contact: Judy Lincoln, American Horse Publications, 49 Spinnaker Circle, South Daytona, FL 32119; Phone (386) 760-7743; Fax: (386) 760-7728; E-mail:

American Horse Publications is a non-profit association of over 500 equine-related print publications, digital media, professionals, associations, and businesses which share an interest in equine publishing. Established in 1970, AHP has continued to promote better understanding and communication within the equine publishing industry. Started in 1993, the AHP Student Award program was initiated to promote awareness of the career opportunities available to college students.

Generous Sponsors Make the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Extra Special for Amateurs

Kathy Viele and Matariki. Photos by Diana De Rosa.

Amateur Competitors Applaud the Sponsors for Their Support

The competitors in the third annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas” were not just overwhelmed by how wonderful the event was but also by the generosity of its sponsors. The event took place May 2-5 in Chesterfield, SC. Amateur riders competing in Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training levels went home not only with a sense of accomplishment and accolades about an event well-run and facilities that are beyond comparison but also with a bounty of gifts.

A huge thank you went to the title sponsor NIKON who presented the winners of the three divisions with a Nikon D3200 Camera Kit (with an 18-55mm VR lens). Kathy Viele, Aiken, SC, rode Matariki to the victory in Training (T3D), Sarah Zimmer, Martinsville, VA, and Mardi Gras were the Novice (N3D) winners and Sara Miles, Assawoman, VA, and Misty’s RainDrop were the Beginner Novice (BN3D) winners.

The competitors weren’t the only ones going home with NIKON products. Gay Glenn was the volunteer who was the lucky recipient of a NIKON Coolpix S5200 Camera after her name was drawn out of the Most Valuable Volunteer’s bucket.

Everyone was a winner, thanks to the sponsors at this year’s event because every Competitor, Clinician and Official went home with a souvenir NIKON item ranging from laptop bags, to flexible keyboards, t-shirts, mood lights, luggage tags, umbrellas and so much more. The title sponsor NIKON was extremely generous with their support of this event because they recognize the value of the amateur riders.

Sarah Zimmer and Mardi Gras
Sarah Zimmer and Mardi Gras

“We here at NIKON are proud to be involved with Southern 8ths Farm’s recognized three-day event to support the amateur riders and their passion for Eventing. It is this same passion that drives NIKON each day. We look forward to a long relationship with So8ths!” remarked Bill Pekala, General Manager, NIKON Pro Services.

“Our sponsors have helped make the Southern 8ths Three-Day a destination for the amateur riders,” remarked Southern 8ths Farm owner Brad Turley. “NIKON’s support has been fabulous.  Besides providing the winners with high quality cameras, they added in a camera for volunteers, provided a dozen cameras for the competitors to take part in a photo contest and then sent many extra items that impressed everyone.”

The Sponsors Say Thank You to the Amateurs with Their Many Prizes

The list of sponsors continued with Adequan, Bit of Britain, Brant Gamma, Breyer,, Cosequin, Dressage Collection, Ecolicious, FITS, Foxden Equine, Higher Standards Saddle Soap, Horse Quencher, The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program, Kan Teq, Mane Street Horse and Pet, Mrs Pastures Cookies, SciencePure/Pureform, Smartpak, Southern 8ths Farm, and USEA.  Every sponsor donated products that made this event extra special for the amateurs who competed.

Both Adequan and Cosequin provided buckets that went to the competitors and were used in the veterinary box and other locations throughout the weekend. Cosequin also presented a bucket of prizes to the second place recipients. The 2nd place winners included James Baker, Southern Pines, NC, and Wings in T3D, Samantha DiMaria, Kendall Park, NJ, and Valentine for N3D and Catie Pannill, Martinsville, VA, and Kokoa Kat for BN3D.

The Jockey Club Low Score Thoroughbred Incentive award of a ribbon, $50 cash prize and embroidered Jockey Club duffle bag also was won by DiMaria.

Sara Miles and Misty’s RainDrop
Sara Miles and Misty’s RainDrop

James was also the recipient of the Foxden Goodwill Ambassador Award for his leadership throughout the weekend. Baker noted that the support of the sponsors at the So8ths/Nikon HOTC event has a much deeper meaning because for once the pomp and ceremony was not being focused on the top level, but rather on those who also deserve it.

Baker’s words were echoed by many when he said, “It makes a great deal of difference to me that these sponsors will recognize and support us at the lower levels.  Too often only the top level gets any recognition yet it is the lower levels that provide the financial support through their membership, through day to day products and entry fees.”

In addition James won the highly sought after Bit of Britain Adult Rider Low Score grooming tote with brushes, a Bit of Britain bridle and a gift certificate all valued at just over $500. After the event Jim expressed his gratitude to Bit of Britain owner and Eventer, John Nunn, noting, “Thank you for your support and the quality of your products, but you should be here. This is the premier Training Three-Day that knocks the socks off of other T3Ds. You need to ride this event.”

Brant Gamma was the official show photographer. She provided the winner of each division with an 8×10 picture frame to include a photo of their choice.  One of the winners, Viele, commented, “This weekend has been a long-term goal and your photos will help me relive the great moments and share them with friends.”

“I’d like to thank Brant Gamma for her support and helmet cams coverage as well as John Nunn at Bit of Britain for all he does for Southern 8ths and the adult riders,” remarked Turley.

Breyer donated a couple of model horses to the young volunteers in the group while provided a gift basket to volunteer Carolyn Sellers. Higher Standards Saddle Soap jars were given to the top three finishers in each division. FITS provided shirts that were added to the Horse Quencher Sportsmanship award won by Taylor Pence, Concord, NC, who was competing on Goldie.

Everyone received some Mrs Pastures Cookies and there were lots of happy horses being fed those cookies throughout the competition. SmartPak provided each competitor with a paste supplement and all the Officials received a SmartPak tote. Cosequin gave them all vet wraps and coupons. Both Foxden and SciencePure provided gift certificates to many of the competitors.

As a way to help thank the sponsors, notebooks were put out on a table throughout the competition so that anyone could write a note to the sponsors. Taylor wrote to Horse Quencher, “I won many of your products this weekend and cannot wait to try them. Thank you so much for contributing to such a wonderful event.”

Sarah Zimmer and Mardi Gras
Sarah Zimmer and Mardi Gras

The Dressage Collection Low Dressage Score prize of a beautiful Classic Handbag will probably end up with the trainer, Suzanne Lacy of Riverbend Farm, since she brought a bunch of riders to compete at this year’s event. Sarah Zimmer, Martinsville, VA, had the lowest dressage score of 30.70.

The Ecolicious Best Turned Out award of their all natural shampoo and conditioner went to Pannill, Baker and Manny Diemer, Raeford, NC, who placed 4th on Krugerrand in N3D. Ecolicious products were also given out to a number of the other competitors who placed at the top.

Additionally, Ecolicious owner Petra McGowan was thinking out of the box and offered a donation of all of their products to one lucky recipient who would use them and document their use.  That recipient was Erin Hite, Durham, NC, who commented, “I won the raffle and used your products over the weekend. They smell great and work. I love that they are natural. Cody and I worked a year to get here and really appreciate your support at our own mini-Rolex!”

The Mane Street Best Conditioned Horse Award and the Kan Teq Closest Lady to Optimum X-C Time was won by Sarah Baker, Southern Pines, NC, who rode Poetic Justice to a 4th place finish in T3D.  Sarah was thrilled with her gift basket filled with cool horse items and an embroidered cooler from Mane Street as well as a Safety Vest from Kan Teq.

“This is an amazing event,” commented Sarah. “Nobody treats the competitors better!”

Wendy McCaughan, owner of Kan Teq, was there throughout the competition and provided vests to competitors to try out. Wendy even took part in some of the contests and won the prize for the SmartPak Most Innovative Hat and received an embroidered vest from Southern 8ths Farm.

Wendy took some time after the event to offer her comments noting, “I would like to say how impressed I was by the amazing energy shown by those behind the scenes. They were truly tireless in their mission to gather every ounce of feedback, every sponsor photo opportunity and every moment of action whether on the magnificent cross-country course or in various clinics.

“Everything in the indoor arena was so beautifully presented with no detail left to chance. I particularly liked the vast display of prizes. Also the effort given to reinforce every sponsor’s contribution was absolutely brilliant (i.e. the Nikon Photo Contest, the sponsor books, the Sponsor Hat Contest) with each idea cleverly feeding all media and social media requirements! Clearly the pre event organization and the commitment of a loyal and quality team helped make this the slick, professional event that it turned out to be.

“All the online postings on Facebook, also on Chronicle of the Horse, reveal clearly how happy the riders were. With facilities that are second to none, clinics and demos that were simply great, added to the generosity and interest of the host and hostess, So8ths event is an absolute must for any enthusiastic rider wanting to progress in the sport of Eventing.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for Kan Teq and I am so pleased to have had the time to meet riders, trainers, grooms and the wonderful organizing team. It is so valuable to me to be able to explain, fit and let the riders take and try out our innovative vest with no time pressure. Plus the relaxed evening activities made for the easy striking up of new friendships and because of that my social network just got a whole lot wider!  My thanks to everyone who not only gave me the opportunity to become a sponsor of this event but who helped me maximize my sponsorship.”

USEA also supported the event through their USEA Classic Series sponsor package.

A Final Heartfelt Thank You

Of special note was all the support given by Southern 8ths Farm owner Brad Turley and his girlfriend Pati Martin. They provided t-shirts to all the volunteers, fans to the competitors and gifts to the clinicians and officials.

Both Brad and Pati were extremely heartened by the sponsorship support. The Long Format is something Brad truly believes in and recognizing the amateur competitors has always been his personal goal.  “I was truly overwhelmed by the sponsorship we received for our amateur level competition. These competitors are the ones who deserve to be recognized. All of us at Southern 8ths Farm, from the staff and volunteers to the officials and clinicians and especially the competitors were and still are extremely appreciative of the support given by 21 well-known equine companies. We are all touched that these companies were willing to show their support to a host of riders who represent the foundation of the sport of Eventing. I personally want to say thank you to each and every sponsor that made this year’s So8ths/Nikon HOTC Three-Day such a success,” Brad commented.

Finally, it was Viele who echoed many of the words spoken by the competitors when she wrote this note to Brad and Pati: “You have built an amazing facility here: well thought out, outstanding footing for Dressage, beautiful tracks and grassy gallops, and challenging, interesting cross-country courses. I can’t imagine the countless hours and generous financial support it has taken for you to put this three-day on. But you have made this adult amateur’s dream come true.

“It’s been many years that I wanted to compete in a Long Format and finally doing it I’ve found the experience has exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned things about competing, about myself, about stable management. But most importantly I’ve been reminded about what a wonderful, enthusiastic and supportive community eventers are; from the staff, clinicians and volunteers, to my own friends and coach. The enthusiasm for the Long Format runs deep and I’m honored to have gotten to take a crack at it. Thank you for making it possible.”

For more information about this annual event and links to photos and videos, visit their web site at and be sure to “Like” them on their Facebook page.

To keep up with what is happening, visit these links:,;; for photos check out the 2013 folder at

Dressage Riders Love So8ths/Nikon Long Format

Kaitlyn Mosing & Powerhound. Photos by Diana De Rosa.

On Friday, May 3, competitors in three different divisions rode Dressage tests in the beautifully manicured Southern 8ths arena for the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas.”  The riders, who traveled from several different states, seemed thrilled with the first day of the Long Format Event.

In essence the best Dressage scores set the tone for the remainder of the competition. If a horse and rider have a low score, and accrue no penalty points over the next two days, they come out on top.

First to go were the Training level riders.  Interestingly, these are the highest level riders at this event, which is geared for amateurs.  Coming in first place was Kaitlyn Mosing on her horse Powderhound with a score of 31.4. Second were Kathy Viele and Matariki.

Kaitlyn has been competing about 12 years, but she’s had this horse only a few months. Since Kaitlyn had never done a three-day competition, she thinks this will be a good bonding experience for her and her horse. This is their third Dressage competition, and she was pleased with her win.

She especially appreciated the perspective from the officials. “Everyone here is so welcoming and so eager to help you. It’s a great facility, and I’d recommend it to anybody.”  She’d like to return next year.

Sarah Zimmer & Mardi Gras
Sarah Zimmer & Mardi Gras

Sarah Zimmer and Mardi Gras won the Novice division. In Eventing, the scores represent penalty points, so the lowest score wins.  On the second and third day, penalties are assessed for mistakes on the cross country and show jumping rounds.  Again, low penalties — or none — are the goal of every rider.

Despite her horse being a little wound up, he delivered a stellar performance, Sarah said.  They actually had the best score of the day, 30.7. “I love the Long Format. I wish there were more of them. It’s like a whole different sport; it adds a lot and it’s more fun.” This is the only place where professionals come together and help the amateurs, she added. This is her second year at Southern 8ths and she thought the competition was great.  Finishing just behind her were Samantha Hay and Tre Jolie.

The Beginner Novice division is for horses and riders who are just starting their careers in Eventing.  Taylor Pence and her lovely mare Goldie put in a solid ride with a score of 32.8.

Taylor Pence & Goldie
Taylor Pence & Goldie

Taylor loved the judges’ advice and heeded it.  Goldie knows the difference between a schooling session and the show ring, and Taylor actually has to work a little harder in the ring because Goldie gets lazy there. The pair has been in five or six events. “It felt great to win, especially at an event of this stature.”

Two judges score each ride and combine their points for the final score.  Only .2 point separated the top riders in this division, with Carol Mahoney and Mercury Rising coming in second.

On Saturday the event continues with Roads & Tracks, Steeplechase, and Cross Country.

By Marsha Hewitt

Contact 516-848-4867,

Watch an Action-Packed Behind-the-Scenes So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Video on YouTube

The third annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas” takes place May 2-5 in Chesterfield, SC. Now’s your chance to see what this event is all about by reliving all the action thanks to a creative video produced by nFocus Pictures and visible on Southern 8ths’ YouTube channel.

This video showcases Long Format Eventing at the amateur level but with the aplomb of a professional level event.  If you are a horse lover, have a passion for Eventing or are simply curious to peek behind-the-scenes at the 2012 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event then settle into your seats and fasten your seatbelts for  an amazing 4-minute ride by going to

You’ll get a chance to watch not just the competition but see who is teaching the educational clinics and how up close and personal the competitors are with the clinicians. These clinics are taught by some of the top horsemen in the Eventing community. Well-known riders and trainers Charlie Plumb, Will Faudree, Holly Hudspeth, Rebecca Howard and Susan Beebee are joined by “R” Dressage judge Sue Simpson and FEI course designer Tremaine Cooper educating the competitors on all aspects of the Long Format. FEI veterinarian Dr. Debbie Williamson and local vet Dr. Marsha Severt ensure the horses are fit to compete. Groom Natalie Varcoe Cox covers caring for the horses. Marc Donovan walks his show jumping course with the competitors.

Continue reading Watch an Action-Packed Behind-the-Scenes So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Video on YouTube

Diana De Rosa to Be on Worst Cooks in America Premiering Feb. 17th

Diana is one of’s long time contributors for equine articles and events. This is a special highlight to her, so be sure to watch Worst Cooks in America on the Food Network this Sunday!

Bio of Diana De Rosa (Huntington, NY): Diana’s late parents wished their daughter would learn how to cook, and she is ready for culinary boot camp. She grew up in a family where dinner was waiting on the table when she got home, but she is now on her own and needs to take care of herself. Diana, a photographer and health fanatic, currently survives on nuts, dried fruit, Greek yogurt, protein shakes and leftovers from friends.  When she does attempt the kitchen basics, she burns food and can’t even work a blender without spilling the contents all over the kitchen.  She’s been a successful equine journalist covering events around the globe, but cooking is the one thing she still needs to master.

Continue reading Diana De Rosa to Be on Worst Cooks in America Premiering Feb. 17th

USA Equestrian Trust Opens First Round of 2013 Grants Program for Equine Non-Profits

The gold medal-winning Five-Gaited U.S. Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup team. Photo by Ross Millin

 Applications due Monday, May 6

February 13, 2013 — Lexington, KY — USA Equestrian Trust is pleased to announce IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations will have two opportunities to apply for funding in 2013 as part of the foundation’s grants program. The Trust’s board expanded the grants program to two periods in 2012 and awarded nearly $335,000 in grants, an increase of almost 70 percent compared to 2011.

To apply for funding, visit the Trust’s newly revamped website at The site includes an extensive guide of frequently asked questions to assist applicants, as well as profiles of the work being done by selected past recipients.

“The Trust is pleased to make our simple online application process even easier,” said USA Equestrian Trust President Alan F. Balch. “The Trust’s leadership continues to be impressed by the many worthy projects seeking to further the rich legacy of horses and equestrian sport.”

Continue reading USA Equestrian Trust Opens First Round of 2013 Grants Program for Equine Non-Profits

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! All Horses Can Now Join HHB’s Cookie of the Month Club

Ingredients you can trust – Taste they will LOVE!

Who doesn’t like a treat and what better delicacy then something filled with “goodness and love” ingredients that are actually beneficial to your horse? Well that’s why Healthy Horse Boutique is reaching out to all the horses in America to encourage their owners to join the Cookie of the Month Club so they get their monthly cookie surprise delivered right to their stable door.

When HHB says healthy, they mean it, as all their products and especially their cookies are made with only the finest ingredients. All cookies include nothing artificial and have been tried and tested by HHB’s horses. The ones they all gobbled down to the very last crumb were the ones selected.

Cookies will include ingredients such as oatmeal, brown rice flour, rice bran, honey, unsweetened coconut, soaked flax seeds, cinnamon, molasses, coconut oil, and salt.

Continue reading Hear Ye! Hear Ye! All Horses Can Now Join HHB’s Cookie of the Month Club

Canadian Dressage Frostbite Series Youth Fundraiser Clinics

Top Riders to Educate Ontario Youth and Raise Funds for Dressage

A new fundraising series will showcase this winter for Ontario Junior and Young Riders. The “Dressage Frostbite Series” was started because Ontario has talented riders that need support. This series will give Canadian youth the chance to learn from some of the best riders in the nation.

There will be a series of fundraising clinics for eight months beginning in October. At each clinic these talented young youth will have the opportunity to ride with a different Olympian, Short Listed “A” Rider or “O” judge. The goal will be to further their skills to prepare them for what is hoped to be a very successful 2013 show season.

The ultimate goal is to not only help these riders develop their skills, but to also bring the equine high performance community together to inspire the young riders who live in Ontario, Canada.

Continue reading Canadian Dressage Frostbite Series Youth Fundraiser Clinics

Sponsorships Available for the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event

Reach and Support the Amateur Eventers – May 2-5, 2013

Elliott Blackmon rode Tully Cross Prescott to win the Novice Three-Day division at the 2012 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event. ©Diana De Rosa Photo

Chesterfield, SC — October 4, 2012 — Southern 8ths Farm has announced its sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event. Here’s your chance to have your business or service claim an “Official” sponsorship while at the same time reaching those people who represent a majority of the sport’s participants.

This will be the third annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas,” Chesterfield, SC.  This three-day event is where Beginner Novice, Novice and Training level riders can negotiate their ultimate Long Format test in a USEA recognized T3D, N3D and BN3D event.

When Brad Turley, owner of Southern 8ths Farm, endeavored into building his place, his goal was to create a premier horse park for Amateur Eventers. While Amateur riders are the nucleus, Professionals have also discovered this is the perfect place to train their up-and-coming horses at a facility that offers lower level options at a high quality venue. And Young Riders, as the future of the sport, are always welcome.

Continue reading Sponsorships Available for the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event