Tag Archives: USEF

US Equestrian Announces Para-Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games 2018

Lexington, KY – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, 2018. Following the 2017-2018 selection period, the US Equestrian Board of Directors approved the following combinations for the FEI Nominated Entry List.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.), Grade III, with El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Reilly’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

Angela Peavy (Wellington, Fla.), Grade IV, with Royal Dark Chocolate, Rebecca Reno’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare

Kate Shoemaker (Peoria, Ariz.), Grade IV, with Solitaer 40, the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas), Grade I, and Kate Shoemaker’s Dolton, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding

For more information about FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, visit Tryon2018.com.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Safe Sport Frequently Asked Questions

US Equestrian has prepared responses to frequently asked questions regarding interim measures issued by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The following information is an additional resource to help further educate US Equestrian members and the public around these important matters.

Safe Sport

What is the U.S. Center for SafeSport, what is their jurisdiction and how is the Center empowered?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport launched in March 2017 as an independent entity charged with (i) providing education and outreach about athlete abuse; and (ii) investigating and resolving reports of sexual misconduct. Their jurisdiction is exclusive as it relates to allegations of sexual misconduct and it retains discretionary jurisdiction over non-sexual misconduct allegations, i.e. bullying, harassment, physical and emotional misconduct.

The Center was authorized by Congress on February 14, 2018, through S. 534 – Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.

The bill amended the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978 by designating the U.S. Center for SafeSport to serve as the independent national safe sport organization, with the responsibility for developing policies and procedures to prevent the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of amateur athletes.

What are the reporting requirements?
All USEF members and participants must report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport conduct of which they become aware that could constitute (a) sexual misconduct, (b) misconduct that is reasonably related to the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct, and (c) retaliation related to an allegation of sexual misconduct. This report must be made within 24 hours of learning about the alleged misconduct.

Importantly, the obligation to report requires reporting any conduct that comes to a member’s or participant’s attention, which if true, would violate the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code or USEF Safe Sport Policy.

Individuals should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving sexual misconduct, as a condition of reporting to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

What happens if I do not report conduct that I am required to report?
The failure to report is a crime under federal law and it is punishable as a criminal offense. In addition, the failure to report is a violation that could result in a sanction against the individual.

Am I required to report about suspected abuse that occurred several years ago?
Yes. There is no statute of limitations applicable to reports of incidents of sexual misconduct made to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

What resources are available to learn more about Safe Sport?
The USEF website links to the Center with extensive resources, including:

  • Reporting forms and process
  • 24 Hour Helpline
  • Definitions
  • Safe Sport Training
  • Safe Sport Code
  • USEF Safe Sport Policy
  • Safe Sport Sanctions List

Suspensions, Bans, and Enforcement

Who decides whether to issue a temporary suspension for sexual misconduct?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction over reports of sexual misconduct and determines whether interim measures, including suspensions should be imposed.

Does the U.S. Center for SafeSport issue a temporary suspension in connection with every report of allegations of sexual misconduct?
No.  The U.S. Center for SafeSport issues a temporary suspension when they deem the facts and circumstances warrant it.

What is the criteria for a temporary suspension?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport may impose interim measures, i.e. a temporary suspension, when they deem it is appropriate to ensure the safety and well-being of the Reporting Party, Athletes, other Non-Athletes or the Responding Party.  Interim measures may be appropriate where an allegation against the Responding Party is sufficiently serious that the Responding Party’s continued participation could be detrimental to the sport or its reputation.

For more information refer to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport Practices and Procedures, please visit: https://www.safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures.

Is there a process for a person to seek relief from a temporary suspension?
Yes. An individual may request that the U.S. Center for SafeSport stay the temporary suspension in certain circumstances, e.g. participation in a certain event. In addition to, or in lieu of, a request for a stay, the individual may request an interim measures hearing, which will be afforded within 72 hours of such request. The interim measures hearing is conducted before an independent arbitration body.

Can a suspended person request that USEF lift their suspension or permit them to participate in some activities?
No, any request for relief from a suspension must be directed to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and decisions will be made in accordance with their Practices and Procedures.

How are individuals notified they are under a temporary suspension?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport notifies the Responding Party by e-mail.

What is the scope of an interim measures hearing on a temporary suspension?
An interim measures hearing is limited to determining whether reasonable cause exists to justify the temporary suspension. It is not a full hearing on the merits of the case.

Is there recourse against someone who intentionally makes a false accusation?
Someone who abuses the process, falsifies information or maliciously abuses the process is subject to sanctions.

Does the USEF know the reporting party?
No, the U.S. Center for SafeSport will not identify or use the name of a Third-Party Reporter nor will it publicly release a Reporting Party’s identifying information.

Why can’t everyone know everything about an investigation?
Sharing details about allegations made, or an investigation, can impede the ability to thoroughly investigate a matter without interference. In some cases, law enforcement may be involved and the fact that an investigation is underway could compromise the ability of law enforcement to secure the evidence necessary to pursue an indictment.

Once a determination is made that a violation occurred, what guidelines does the U.S. Center for SafeSport follow to determine appropriate sanctions?
According to the U.S. Center for SafeSport Practices and Procedures, the following guidelines are used:

Sanctioning Guidelines

Sanctions will be reasonable and proportionate to the Code violation and surrounding circumstances with the intended effect of protecting relevant participants. One or more of the following sanctions may be recommended or imposed singularly or in combination: (a) written warning; b) educational or behavioral programs; (c) loss of privileges; (d) probation; (e) suspension or other eligibility restrictions, up to and including permanent ineligibility. The Officer reserves the right to lessen or broaden any range of recommended sanctions in the case of mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior.

Factors relevant to determining appropriate sanctions include, without limitation:

  • Seriousness of the Violation;
  • The Responding Party’s prior history;
  • Ages of individuals involved;
  • Whether the Responding Party poses an ongoing threat to the safety of others;
  • Voluntary disclosure of offense and/or cooperation by the Responding Party;
  • Disposition of an investigation by state or federal law authorities;
  • Real or perceived impact of incident on the Reporting Party, NGB(s) or USOC; and
  • Other mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

For more information refer to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport Practices and Procedures, please visit: https://www.safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures.

What is USEF’s responsibility to enforce sanctions?
Federal Law requires USEF to enforce sanctions imposed by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and interim measures, including temporary suspensions. Communicating the information to members and the media is an important way to ensure protection of our members and participants in equestrian sport.

When did USEF’s Safe Sport program start?
USEF established a Safe Sport Policy, effective December 1, 2013, prior to the Center being created.  The Policy covered the areas of prohibited conduct (sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying, harassment, and hazing), training and education, criminal background checks, reporting and enforcement.  Program requirements included Safe Sport Training and criminal background checks for USEF Staff, Licensed Officials, Board Members and Team Chefs and Coaches.

What is the responsibility of USEF Recognized Affiliates and their associated organizations and activities?
A suspended or banned person is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, including US Equestrian, and/or any US Equestrian Affiliated Organization.  This prohibition affects a person regardless of whether or not they are a USEF member. Competition licensees and management are responsible for ensuring that no banned or suspended person is on the competition grounds.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Safe Sport Updates from USEF President and CEO

Safe sport has been a topic of national conversation recently and we take this issue very seriously. USEF has been proactive for several years under the leadership of our General Counsel Sonja Keating to develop and implement safe sport programs and we want to share additional steps we are taking to ensure our children and young athletes are safe while practicing and competing in the sport they love.

Expanding Mandatory Requirements for Safe Sport Training

Currently, Safe Sport training is required for designated individuals including persons that the USEF formally authorizes, approves or appoints to a position of authority over athletes or have frequent contact with athletes. At the June meeting, the US Equestrian Board of Directors will consider expanding this rule to require mandatory Safe Sport training for all participants at USEF licensed competitions. Safe Sport training is done online with the initial course taking approximately 90 minutes and the refresher course required annually taking approximately 30 minutes. This would be a personal responsibility rule and compliance would be done by US Equestrian and not by competitions.

Newly Created Safe Sport USEF Staff Position

US Equestrian has recently hired a staff member dedicated to all elements of our Safe Sport program including education, communication and compliance.

New Training Resources for Parents and Participants

It is essential that all members educate themselves regarding Safe Sport. Not only to understand when and how to report, but also to recognize the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. To further your education and participation in this movement, US Equestrian provides numerous Safe Sport Initiative resources on our website at www.usef.org including the following:

  • Safe Sport Training – FREE to members! Three modules that take just under ninety minutes to complete initially, with refresher training (currently voluntary);
  • New resources developed by the Center and designed specifically for parents of equestrian athletes of all ages are available on our website. The training video is free. Parent toolkits are available too for parents of preschool age children, middle school age children, school age children, and high school aged adolescents.
  • A banned list that identifies the person by name and reason for their ban; and
  • The U.S. Center for Safe Sport has partnered with RAINN to provide a 24-hour victim services hotline, reached at 1.866.200.0796.

Know the New Federal Legislation Reporting Requirements –they impact you

In addition to the resources offered by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian, it is extremely important you are aware of legislation that passed on February 14, 2018, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.  It requires amateur sports organizations and its members to report sex-abuse allegations to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and to local or federal law enforcement, within 24 hours of such knowledge. Failure to do so is a crime.

Bully, Harassment and Unsportsmanlike Behavior

Not all misconduct is sexual. Bullying, harassment and unsportsmanlike behavior are also violations of our Safe Sport policy and unacceptable. All reports will be properly investigated and appropriate measures taken should those investigations result in a finding of a violation.

Under the Safe Sport policy, bullying and harassment are defined as follows:

  • Bullying – Repeated and/or severe (a) aggressive behavior (b) among Minors, (c) that is intended or likely to hurt, control, or diminish another person emotionally, physically, or sexually. Such misconduct between adults does not constitute bullying; the conduct must be directed toward someone under 18 years of age to be actionable as bullying under the Center’s Code or our Safe Sport Policy.
  • Harassment – Repeated and/or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance; (b) offends or degrades; (c) creates a hostile environment; or (d) reflects discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual athlete or group based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, or mental or physical disability; or (e) any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law. Whether conduct is harassing depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the behavior.

Reporting

Sexual and non-sexual misconduct have two distinct reporting processes:

  • All sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by phone at 720-524-5640 or online at safesport.org.
  • All non-sexual misconduct or violations of the Safe Sport Policy should be reported directly to US Equestrian. Reports through US Equestrian can be submitted using the USEF Incident Report Form, or by email or phone to Sonja Keating, General Counsel, skeating@usef.org, 859-225-2045, Sarah Gilbert, sgilbert@usef.org, 859-225-2022, or Emily Pratt, epratt@usef.org, 859-225-6956.

Both the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian will accept anonymous reports, but please note that it can be very difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.

US Equestrian is dedicated to bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible and part of that joy is making sure you have the resources available to assist you in making safe choices for our children.  In the same way that our members look to US Equestrian, US Equestrian looks to the Center for the answers to our questions so that we do all we can to make your experience safe and fulfill our responsibilities as an NGB.

Please contact Sonja Keating in our legal department for all Safe Sport inquiries. She can be reached at skeating@usef.org.

Murray S. Kessler
President

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

US Equestrian Federation
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511
P. 859 258 2472 , F. 859 231 6662

Larson and Huss Tie for Gold, McCutcheon Bronze at WEG Reining Test Event

Larson and Arc Gunnabeabigstar (Photo by Waltenberry)

Mill Spring, N.C. – In an important step towards being named to the U.S. Reining Squad for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018, U.S. reining athletes contested the WEG Reining Test Event and USEF Selection Trial this week at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on Thursday, May 10 and Saturday, May 12.

With scores compiled from both evening’s rounds, it was Jordan Larson and Dan Huss leading the way for a gold-medal tie and ending on a combined score of 450.0. Larson (Valley View, Texas) and Arc Gunnabeabigstar, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by HDC Quarter Horses USA, LLC, sat fourth after Thursday’s round with a score of 222.0. Huss (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Ms Dreamy, an eight-year-old Quarter Horse mare owned by Christen R. Frederick, won Thursday’s round on a score of 224.0.

Larson was part of the gold-medal U.S. Reining Team for WEG in Normandy, France in 2014 and is excited about the possibility of representing the U.S. again. “It was cool to go to France, but I think it is even more pressure to represent well here. We have our work cut out to get ready. That horse is a good one. [Arc Gunnabeabigstar] has been really good to me and it seems like he just keeps getting better. When it counts, he’s his best. When I ask him for everything, he’s his best.”

“For me, I was just waiting for a nice horse,” laughed Huss. “She is a Magnum daughter out of a Gunner mare. It would mean a lot to me [to represent the U.S. at WEG]. I’m not a guy with a big ego, but I came here to win this and I want to win the WEG. I have some room to improve. I have to beat my fellow teammates, because they are tough.”

A third-generation reiner and on the cusp of his 18th birthday, Cade McCutcheon claimed the bronze medal at the USEF Selection Trial. McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Custom Made Gun, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by Tim and Colleen McQuay, were tied for second after Thursday’s round. The combination held their own in the second round to end on a score of 446.0. Should McCutcheon’s place on the U.S. Reining Team for WEG be finalized, he would become the youngest U.S. athlete to represent reining at the Games.

“It means a lot to come here with the likes of Jordan [Larson] or Casey [Deary], my dad, and Shawn [Flarida],” said McCutcheon. “I’ve always been in the non-pro, which isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier than this. It is a big honor to get to show here and a bigger honor to be where I am at. It means a lot to be able to do this sport with my family; it makes it way more fun. My parents don’t put any pressure on me. It wouldn’t make a difference to them if I marked a 208 or a 220, as long as I am having fun.”

Full results for the WEG Reining Test Event and USEF Selection Trial can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Every Day at the Barn Is Mother’s Day

Faye with the Welsh Pony M.E. Don’t Come Back Jack and Eloise with the Andalusian Robusto AF. Photo credit: Gina Falcone/Courtesy of Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway.

In families where parents and children both ride, that experience can be especially fulfilling. That’s what California-based fashion designer and Meditation Studio owner Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway and her daughters, Eloise and Faye, have found. The three are the latest in a line of female equestrians in their family who have shared the connection with horses down the generations, from the East Coast of America to the Philippines and now in Southern California.

“For me, it creates such a strong bond with them. I get to share their joy, and they get to share mine,” Carlyn said of equestrian life with her daughters. “It’s also about teamwork. Sometimes we disagree, but, because there’s a horse involved, we have to agree to disagree. We have to come to a point where we’re all in this together. We are able to finish each other’s sentences beyond the barn partly because we spend so much time together in the barn. It’s made us so much closer as a family. Although my husband is allergic to horses, he does come to the shows and he does his part, too. But the whole thing has definitely created a synergy between me and my girls.

“And it’s just so much fun!”

“Whenever I’m at the barn, and especially when I’m riding, it reminds me that equestrianism is the only sport where your equipment can decide not to cooperate,” said Eloise, 14. “And you can’t really get mad at them when they go against what you want, because it doesn’t really help. I think it teaches us all to sit back and go with the flow. It teaches us to look at the bright side of things and be satisfied with what we have and work through it, patiently.

“It’s definitely strengthened our relationship,” she added. “Being there forces us to ask each other for help. You know, I wouldn’t always want to ask my little sister for help outside the barn, because that’s the way siblings are with each other. But being at the barn, we’re all equal and friends.”

Faye, 11, explained it succinctly. “At the barn, everything is happier!” she said. “We get along much better and can relate to things much better — not saying that we don’t do that at home, but it just feels so free at the barn.”

Carlyn’s mother, Rocio Nuyda, now retired, also frequently accompanies her daughter and granddaughter to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, where Eloise and Faye ride. In fact, the love of horses has been passed down through several generations of women on Carlyn’s father’s side of the family.

“I’ve always been a horse girl for as long as I can remember,” said Carlyn, who grew up in the Philippines. “My grandmother was an amazing horsewoman, and she was the one who influenced me to really love and embrace that whole world.”

Carlyn came by her love of horses honestly. Her grandmother, Evelyn Rollins Nuyda, brought equestrianism with her when she moved from Washington, D.C. to the Philippines after marriage. “She was an English hunter jumper rider, and she also did steeplechases,” Carlyn said, adding that her grandmother competed for the Philippines in competitions both as an equestrian and as a swimmer. “We never had the opportunity to ride together. I was a young girl when I watched her ride at the Manila Polo Club.”

One day her grandmother told Carlyn, then about five or six, “Someday you’re going to want to ride your own horse.” She handed the girl a belt, as if it were a pair of reins. Holding the ends of the reins — where a bit would go on a real set of reins — Carlyn’s grandmother tugged slightly against Carlyn’s hands. “’That’s what you call contact,’ she said. Then she pulled the belt, and the leather slipped out of my hands. She said, ‘When that happens, you no longer have contact. Now I’ll show you how to hold the reins.’ She put the belt between my three fingers and my pinkie, and then she tugged again, and this time the ‘reins’ didn’t slip. She taught me about contact and also about feel, about give and take. I remember that.”

Throughout much of her childhood, Carlyn’s riding centered around ponies rented for the Christmas holidays. “I would practice that contact my grandmother taught me,” Carlyn said, recalling that her grandmother’s instruction was to use the hands only when necessary, and after applying the seat and leg first.

“In my mind, on those ponies at Christmastime I was a grand prix rider!” Carlyn recalled. “I could be riding the shaggiest pony on an old Western saddle, but I didn’t care — I thought I was a grand prix rider.”

As a young adult, now a resident of Los Angeles, Carlyn began riding lessons as a hunter jumper at the Traditional Equitation School at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center — always mindful of her grandmother’s words on the importance of soft, quiet hands. She later tried some combined training with trainer Linda Bierma, adding beginning dressage to her riding experience, and leased a Hanoverian mare named Schwann. But when she got pregnant with her first child, Eloise, she took a break from the saddle.

Happily, the girls — first Eloise and then Faye — showed signs of loving horses from an early age. “I waited until they were both old enough to start riding with me, and then we started riding together on rented horses. It was my way of getting back to horses and staying all together.”

Eventually, the family fell in love with a Tennessee walking horse named Dixie, who became a horse of a lifetime for Carlyn and her daughters — and found her “forever family,” as Carlyn puts it — after trainer Dana Kanstul allowed Carlyn to adopt the mare.

“The moment I got on Dixie, I felt this rush that overwhelmed me,” Carlyn explained. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt in my life, a surge of warm energy. I could feel her talking to me. I fell in love with her. And I knew this was the horse that was going to teach my children to love the whole experience of horses.

“I don’t think they would have become the horsewomen they are without her,” she continued. “She taught them humility and about being gentle and being kind. That was the gift she gave us: to have that reverence for the horse and to understand the privilege of being on their backs. That is not to be taken for granted.”

Eloise and Faye blossomed as young equestrians in their own right, earning blue ribbons or high-point awards in disciplines as varied as saddle seat, Western and English pleasure and equitation, and dressage. Dixie died last October after a long and happy life, but the happy experiences she gave Carlyn and her children have carried on.

Eloise’s focus is now on dressage, in which she has recently been showing at Training Level with her 10-year-old Andalusian, Robusto AF. The family bought “Robbie” from Nancy Latta of Amandalusian Farm.

“The breed is known not only for its long history and beauty, but also for its versatility,” Carlyn said. “They can do dressage, saddle seat, hunt seat, Western — you name it. Our thought was that, since this is her first horse and dressage is very new to her, we’d consider buying a horse who could change his job title in case dressage didn’t turn out to be her cup of tea. He’s absolutely stunning and very kind, and the Andalusian temperament really suits our personalities as a family.”

And dressage suits Eloise well, the young rider says. “I guess you could say this about pretty much every equestrian sport, but it’s the connection between the horse and the rider,” Eloise said. “But, for some reason, in dressage it seems so different. One day I watched a video of Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro, and I don’t know why, but I just started crying. That’s when we knew I had to do dressage. Everything feels like it’s in slow motion, and there’s almost a kind of telepathy, where we’re reading each other’s minds in slow motion.”

Faye, meanwhile, also began training in dressage on a 25-year-old Welsh Pony named Jack — short for M.E. Don’t Come Back Jack — that the Calloways previously leased from Bryce Quinto at Lehua Custer Dressage.

“It felt like Jack and I were connected, like we were one person,” said Faye. “When I rode him, everything felt like I was in a different, perfect world. It was an amazing feeling. I recently had to end my lease with Jack because our training program has changed, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Jack. He taught me so much, and I’m very grateful.”

Today, the family rides with Tim Keeling at Quiet Canyon at the LAEC.

“I know I’m a mom who is proud of her children,” said Carlyn, “but even back when they were riding rented horses around Griffith Park, Eloise and Faye were constantly connected to the horses. Even if they were talking to each other, they were constantly aware of their horses and communicating with them.”

Carlyn recently acquired an 18-year-old Andalusian, too. “After Dixie’s passing, Amadalusian Farm trainer Sandy Shields offered to have me take over her beautiful horse Centello H,” Carlyn explained. “He has had many years on the show circuit. Having a disability like multiple sclerosis, it’s very important to be able to feel confident and safe around horses. Centello is kind, well-behaved, and a true gentleman to me. He and the kids and I are beginning to bond with one another similarly to the way Dixie did when we first laid eyes on her. He came from heaven, really, thanks to Sandy Shields.

“I ride for pleasure,” she added. “I go out on a hack, and I just love being around the horses.”

That bond between horse and human — and among family, too — is something Carlyn believes will continue to carry on through her daughters, thanks to the experiences they’re all sharing now.

“I like being their cheerleader, and I like being there on days when they feel helpless or despair or when they feel challenged,” she said. “We are sharing our joy together. If they didn’t want to ride, that would have been fine, and I wouldn’t want to be the mom who made them ride if they didn’t want to — it’s not fair to the horse if you’re not committed to them. But I’m glad they did.”

The kids seem glad, too, and they’re appreciate the character-building and the happiness people derive from working with horses.

“When I’m at the barn there are times when I’m doing things and thinking, ‘Oh, why am I having to do this? It’s so irritating!’ or ‘This bucket is so heavy!’” said Eloise. “But then I think to myself, ‘When you get older and have the money to pay for your own things, sure, you can think that. But, right now, you’re not the one who’s doing this for you. Everyone else around you is making this possible: your mom and dad, you sister, your grandmother, your aunts and uncles.’ The reason I’m getting to any of this is because of my family. They’re sacrificing things in their life to make this possible for me.”

Whether you’re a mom or not, Carlyn and family recommend a little barn time. It’s not just for holidays, after all.

“If you’ve got the chance to be with a horse, you’ve got to make it count, because it’s not often you get to interact with one of God’s most majestic creatures at that level,” said Carlyn. “It’s like your soul is entwined with theirs, and that’s so special.”

by Glenye Cain Oakford
© 2018 United States Equestrian Federation

US Equestrian Names Short List for FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named the Short List for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018 The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team. The Short List will compete in designated Observation Events throughout the summer.

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the Short List (in alphabetical order):

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danilo

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her and Curt Maes’s 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Verdades

Ashley Holzer (New York, N.Y.) with Diane Fellows’s 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Havanna 145

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) with her and Mary Anne McPhail’s 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Lonoir

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) with Betsy Juliano’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion Salvino

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) with Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Goerklintgaards Dublet

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Rheinlander mare Rosamunde and Four Winds Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding Suppenkasper

Sabine Schut-Kery (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) with Alice Womble’s 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion Sanceo

Combinations will be required to compete in a minimum of two Observation Events. The Observation Event schedule, as well as the complete Selection Procedures, for the 2018 WEG The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Marilyn Little Wins Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Lexington, Ky. – Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous added another milestone accolade to their resume on Sunday. As the top American combination at the Land Rover® Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE), they earned the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. A six-time competitor of the event, Little reached the LRK3DE podium for the first time with a score of 32.8. In a shocking twist, Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class placed first with a score of 28.7 to strip Germany’s Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST’s chance of earning their fourth straight title.

“It is a really incredible feeling [to win the National Championship] and be next to Oliver Townend and Michael Jung. For ‘Kitty’ to have this performance this weekend, she just astounds me every day. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to ride her, and it makes it even more special that [owners] Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders were here,” said a thankful Little. “The people who brought this horse to this level, the hours, the tears, the time – it’s unimaginable to the outside world [of eventing], but we all feel it intensely in the prize giving ceremony, and it’s a very emotional experience. The partnership with [RF Scandalous] is strong, and I’m grateful for everything I have had with her, and I’m looking forward to the future with her.”

As the heavy favorite, Jung took the early lead in the LRK3DE following the first day of dressage on Thursday with a stellar score of 27.1. However, in an interesting turn of events, Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, put in a personal best dressage performance of 24.8 to steal the lead from Jung.

“She was a little bit excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, which we are familiar with at Kentucky. I was excited to go on Friday afternoon and knew she could handle it well. She was very businesslike, and it was a great ride. She was looking to please and she did her job,” said Little, who has focused heavily on improving Kitty’s dressage scores over the past year.

Not only did Little compete in the LRK3DE, she pulled double-duty and jumped in Friday’s inaugural Kentucky Invitational $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup CSI3* before conquering Saturday’s cross-country course. Little rode Derek di Grazia’s track cautiously, which resulted in eight time penalties, finishing 11 seconds over the time. As a result, they dropped to sixth place with a score of 32.8.

“I was thrilled with her; she jumped all the combinations well and gained confidence with every jump. She held her line great and tried hard. She has a long, lopey stride and was looking to go,” said Little.

Sitting in fourth place, Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate LLC’s Donner were the top-placed American combination following cross-country heading into Sunday’s show jumping finale with a score of 31.3. Only four jumping faults separated the top five, and Little and RF Scandalous produced a clean round, which put the pressure on Symansky to jump clean. Unfortunately, they dropped one rail, which moved Little to third place following a clean round by Townend and Cooley Master Class and two rails by Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18.

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, were the second highest-placed American combination and placed sixth overall with a score of 33.7 to earn the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Reserve National Championship. The Rio Olympic individual bronze medalist and Z finished on their dressage score, an impressive feat for the nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding’s first CCI4*.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Jung Back on Top after Cross-Country

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

Symansky and Donner Ride to the Lead of Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Lexington, Ky. – The conditions could not have been more perfect for a day of brilliant cross-country action, and the riders and horses did not disappoint. Defending champion Michael Jung of Germany and fisherRocana FST showed the depth of their partnership to take over the top spot after adding only 0.4 penalties to his dressage score to lead with 27.5.

Breathing down his neck is Australia’s Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 (27.9) and Oliver Townend of Great Britain on Cooley Master Class (28.7). Townend also tied for fourth aboard MHS King Joules (31.3) with Lynn Symansky and Donner (31.3). Less than a rail separates all of them as they head into the show jumping finale.

Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and Donner, the 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC, are the highest-placed American combination and currently lead the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. Overnight leader Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, added 8 time penalties to drop to sixth overall (32.8), and second in the national championship.

Donner is competing in his ninth CCI4* and their experience showed as he and Symansky cruised around easily. “I don’t have any complaints,” she said with a smile. “He takes a bit to get into the groove, especially with the crowd… He went around like clockwork. It’s a tribute to knowing the horse so well and having a great partnership with him. He tried his heart out, and I’m pleased with how he came home.”

Overall, 11 pairs came home double-clear around Derek di Grazia’s course. Thirty-six horses finished the course, six with jumping faults. Three were eliminated and four retired on course.

Course designer di Grazia, who will design courses for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, was pleased with how his course rode, even though more made the time than he was expecting. “I’m generally very happy about how the course rode,” he said. “I think the faults were spread out, quite a number clean without jumping faults and I think all the combinations rode well and, at the same time, [the riders] didn’t have to do them all the same way. People did things differently and it still worked out for them. And, we didn’t have any horse falls or rider injuries, and, to me, that’s all a positive.

“I think that the ground ended up being quite fast today,” di Grazia continued. “[In part because] the conditions couldn’t be better. A little rain would have been different, but you never know. We also had a very good field of riders today. It may not have been a huge field, but the ones we had were good.”

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Little Comes Up Big in Dressage at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Lexington, Ky. – It was no surprise that after the first day of dressage, reigning champions of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, Michael Jung of Germany and fischerRocana FST, were sitting comfortably in first place. However, the second day of dressage did hold some surprises, as American combination Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous took control by turning in a personal best to grab the lead with a 24.8, more than 2 points ahead of Jung’s 27.1. Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18 are keeping pace in third with a 27.9.

In addition to her top placement on the international leaderboard, Little (Frederick, Md.) is also currently leading the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. Her stunning score is believed to be the lowest in the history of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“She gave me a great ride today,” said Little. “She was a little bit excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, which we are familiar with at Kentucky. I was excited to go on Friday afternoon and knew she could handle it well. She was very businesslike, and it was a great ride. She was looking to please and she did her job.”

Little calls the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars, and Phoebe and Michael Manders, “Kitty.” Kitty served as Little’s mount for the Pan American Games in 2015, where the pair brought home two gold medals.

“She’s been with me for a while, but she’s changed so much,” Little said. “I knew she was capable of putting in a great test today. She’s been steadily improving. We haven’t competed much because we’ve been focusing on training, but I thought if she had a personal best she could be on top today.”

Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.) and Cooley Cross Border, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Cross Syndicate, sits in second in the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship on a score of 28.3. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg, the 11-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, and Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, Jacqueline Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding, are tied for third on a score of 31.2.

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Jung Rides to Early Lead at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Martin and Tsetserleg lead Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship after First Day of Dressage

Lexington, Ky. – Michael Jung of Germany has won the top prize at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day-Event the last three years aboard fischerRocana FST, so it comes as no surprise that after the first day of competition he is sitting in the top spot on a score of 27.1 penalty points. Chasing him are two Americans: Boyd Martin in second riding Tsetserleg (31.2), who leads the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship as the top American combination, and Tamra Smith in third aboard Wembley (32.1).

Tsetserleg, a gleaming, black 11-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, is contesting his first four-star, but he has history in his blood as a son of the Olympic and Kentucky Three-Day competitor, Windfall. “Thomas” put in a clean test punctuated with his flashy gaits.

“I was very pleased,” said Martin (Cochranville, Pa.). “It’s his first four-star, and our first through the new (dressage) test. When you finish you always wish one part here or there was a little better, but Thomas did as well as he could do for where we are at the moment. I’m very pleased with him.”

Martin’s most famous mounts have been Thoroughbreds, so a Trakehner like Thomas is a new experience for him. “He’s the first I’ve had into the top of the sport. Ten years ago when I first came to America, I saw Windfall, and I’ll never forget watching his dressage. Who would have thought 10 years later I’d be riding a Windfall baby? Thomas’ personality is wonderful, like a big pony, very cuddly in the barn. At home he doesn’t try that much, and you wouldn’t think he could do a four-star, but then you get to a big competition and he grows into an 18-hand horse. The atmosphere perks him up.”

Tamie Smith’s (Murrieta, Calif.) horse, Wembley, is 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kevin Baumgardner, an upper-level rider and a former president of the U.S. Eventing Association. Baumgardner purchased Wembley in England, originally as a competition mount for himself. Baumgardner trains with Smith, and last fall he handed over the reins to her.

“It’s been great,” Smith said. “I’ll never forget when we tried him – we took him cross-country schooling and he said, ‘You get on him first,’ and I said, ‘No, because if I ride him I’ll just tell you to buy him.’ They are huge supporters of me, and that’s what it’s all about, really. They’ve become family to me, so to be here is really great.”

The big, gray Dutch Warmblood is a powerful mover and a flashy presence, but Smith seemed a little surprised to find herself in the top standings. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect, because he can go in and be quite tense in the ring, but he was quite relaxed, and very workmanlike,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked him to go better. I think I did a little too much warm up, so he got a little tired, but I was thrilled. He was very good.”

All three riders expressed some trepidation about Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course.

“I think it’s really tough,” admitted Martin. “The first half is forward and gallopy and looks nice, but the second half gets much more difficult, and we know horses tire a bit in that second half. It’ll be hard to make up time on course. (di Grazia) usually gives us a nice, long gallop somewhere in the second half, but not this year. It’s as tough as I’ve ever seen.”

“It’s pretty technical,” agreed Smith. “The Head of the Lake will be quite influential, and the brush combination towards the end might catch out some tired horses.”

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications