Tag Archives: USEF

Adcox and Weber Take Division Leads in USEF Combined Driving National Championships

Photo: Scott Adcox (Picsofyou.com)

Ocala, Fla. – The USEF Combined Driving National Championships got underway with the first of three phases at Live Oak International. Two of the five championship divisions completed their dressage tests; Scott Adcox takes the early lead in the Intermediate Pair Horse division with a score of 60.88 penalties. Chester Weber tops the leaderboard in the four-in-hand division with a score of 40.11 penalties.

Intermediate

USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Adcox (Myakka City, Fla.) and Shane Doyle (Hillsborough, N.J.) broke in the arena footing as the Intermediate Pair Horse division opened the first day of competition. Adcox, who returned to combined driving this year after taking a year off from competition, finds himself in the lead with Harley, Tom Warriner’s 14-year-old Saddlebred/Friesian gelding, and Pepe, his six-year-old KWPN gelding.

“Dressage is not my strong suit. I borrowed Harley from Tom Warriner a week ago to see if we could do a bit better and help with my other horse’s [Pepe’s] weak points. However, in a week there is not a lot of time to change that, but he tried. [Harley] is such a steady eddie, so I can count on him to do his job, whereas [Pepe] the six-year-old I had to manage a little more.”

Doyle follows with a score of 66.64 penalties with his geldings Valentino, a 15-year-old KWPN, and Bono, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood.

Advanced Four-in-Hand

USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship

The 14-time USEF Four-in-Hand National Champion Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) carries the early lead in the four-in-hand division. He and his KWPN geldings, First Edition (eight years old), Boris W (11 years old), and Asjemenou (12 years old), along with Jane Clark’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Splash (14 years old), executed a near flawless test to finish on 40.11 penalties.

“I was very pleased with my horses today; they are coming together. Tryon [FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018] is our goal in September. We had two minor errors in the walk, and without those we may have been in the 30s, but I was pleased with them and how they showed up,” said Weber, who also serves as Co-President of the Live Oak International alongside his sister Juliet Reid. “The [USEF Combined Driving] national championships, whether the first or 14th, mean a lot. It’s one of the two goals we go after every year. It’s important to me, and I would like to see us get it done.”

Following Weber is the 2017 USEF Four-in-Hand Reserve National Champion Misdee Wrigley Miller (Paris, Ky.) and her KWPN geldings Beau (11 years old), Bravour 54 (10 years old) and Bolino D (11 years old) and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Calipso 86 (10 years old) with 46.84 penalties.

“The history here at Live Oak [International]; we know we are going to get the best America has to offer when we come to compete,” said Wrigley Miller. “I took a bit of a gamble today and used a new leader [Bravour 54] to see how he reacted to the atmosphere. I was really pleased with him until towards the end of the test at our last extension near the television screen. He saw himself on the screen, so that unsettled the team a little bit.”

Allison Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Willow Star, LLC’s Dutch Warmblood gelding team of Anesco 4 (12 years old), Ulco (16 years old), Olando (21 years old) and Enzo (eight years old) sit in third place with 53.15 penalties.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Five USEF Combined Driving National Championships on the Line at Live Oak International

Photo: Chester Weber (Picsofyou.com)

Ocala, Fla. – Combined driving athletes will descend upon the majestic Live Oak Plantation this week for a shot at a USEF Combined Driving National Championship title. Live Oak International, running Thursday, March 15 through Sunday, March 18, returns as the host for the USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship and welcomes four new USEF Intermediate Combined Driving National Championship divisions.

Advanced Four-in-Hand

USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship

The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ individual silver medalist and 2012 FEI World Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand individual silver and team bronze medalist Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) looks to extend his USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship record. He will harness his powerhouse team of Splash, Jane Clark’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, and his First Edition, an eight-year-old KWPN gelding; Boris W, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Asjemenou, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding; and Reno, an eight-year-old gelding, as he chases his 15th national title at his home farm.

However, the 2017 USEF Advanced Combined Driving Four-in-Hand Reserve National Champion Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Paris, Ky.) will be in hot pursuit with her Beau, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Bravour 54, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding; Bolino D, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding; Calipso 86, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Daan 8, a 10-year-old KNHS gelding; and Saco, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Both join championship veterans James Fairclough (Newton, N.J.), 2012 FEI World Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand team bronze medalist, Paul Maye (Fairfield, Va.) and Allison Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) as well as newcomers Wiebe Dragstra (Southern Pines, N.C.) and Mary Ruth Marks (Verona, Wis.), who will attempt to win their first title.

Intermediate

USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Scott Adcox (Myakka City, Fla.) and Shane Doyle (Hillsborough, N.J.) will go head-to-head for the USEF Intermediate Pair Horse Combined Driving National Championship. Adcox has competed in single horse combined driving events for the past several years. He will compete in his first pair horse division for at Live Oak, entering Nupafeed Auto Pilot, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding; Nupafeed’s Leap of Faith, a 14-year-old mare; and Pepe, a six-year-old KWPN gelding.

USEF Intermediate Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

In the largest combined driving division at Live Oak International, 11 athletes will vie for the USEF Intermediate Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship. Taylor Bradish (Windsor, S.C.) won the preliminary single horse division at the Palm Tree Combined Driving Event at Little Everglades in January with her own Katydid Duchess. She makes the leap with Katrina Becker’s nine-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare to the intermediate division aiming for her first title. However, she can expect tough competition from veteran drivers including 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles individual silver and team bronze medalist Bob Giles (Morriston, Fla.), 2010 FEI World Singles Driving Championships competitor Robin Groves and her husband Wilson Groves (Brownsville, Vt.), Anna Koopman (Middleburg, Va.), Cathy Thomas (Verona, Wis.), and Marcie Quist (Vass, N.C.). Robin Groves won the FEI Single Horse Division at Live Oak International in 2009 and placed second in 2011, while Quist placed second in the FEI Single Horse CAI2* at the 2017 Live Oak International.

USEF Intermediate Pair Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Katie Whaley (Paris, Ky.) and Esther “Boots” Wright (Ocala, Fla.) will battle it out for the USEF Intermediate Pair Pony Combined Driving National Championship. Whaley is the 2016 and 2017 USEF Advanced Pair Pony Combined Driving National Champion. She will compete with her own Welsh Cross pony geldings Tommy, 14 years old, and Tanner, 11 years old. She also brings along her five-year-old Teddy to give him experience as he is not old enough for Fédération Equestre Internationale competition.

USEF Intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship

Six entries make up the USEF intermediate Single Pony Combined Driving National Championship division. Jennifer Keeler (Paris, Ky.) has won every single pony combined driving event she has entered and aims to keep that streak alive with a title victory. She brings her Zeppo, a six-year-old Hackney gelding. Janelle Marshall (Williston, S.C.) has only finished outside the top three twice out of 13 single pony combined driving competitions. She brings Kennebec Joyce, John Merritt’s 10-year-old Morgan mare. Others competing in the division include Nancy Dimick (Randolph, Vt.), Jackie Kane (Hudson, Mass.), Tayler Roundtree (Auburn, Calif.), and Kristin Whittington (Edinburgh, Ind.).

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Equine Herpesvirus: What You Need to Know

Photo: Taylor Pence.

Ask horse owners to name their most-feared horse diseases, and chances are equine herpesvirus, or EHV, will be on the list. With the competition season underway, it’s important for equestrians to be vigilant and take preventive measures, from vaccination to biosecurity.

A good first stop for information is the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website, which tracks outbreaks and provides disease information and biosecurity protocols.

EHV spreads from horse to horse through nasal discharge, whether by nose-to-nose contact, aerosol droplets sneezed or coughed into the air, or shared equipment and feed or water. The types equestrians are most likely to see, EHV-1 and EHV-4, often cause only respiratory illness with few long-term aftereffects, but EHV’s easy movement between horses and the fact that the virus can cause potentially fatal neurological symptoms have made it a serious concern for horse owners, facility managers, and competition organizers alike.

Fortunately, the neurological form of the disease – which is most often associated with EHV-1 and causes a horse to lose coordination to varying degrees – is rare. And there are steps you can take to reduce your horse’s risk, says Dr. Nathan Slovis, director of the McGee Medicine Center at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. Slovis also noted that although there is a greater awareness and increased reporting of EHV cases, the incidence of the disease is not on the rise.

General Symptoms of EHV

Fever is a key symptom of both EHV-1 and -4, and in some cases it might be the only warning sign, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Equine Disease Communication Center. But horses can also display other symptoms in conjunction with an elevated temperature. Signs of the infection can include:

  • Fever, the single most significant symptom
  • Lethargy
  • Nasal discharge accompanying fever
  • Coughing
  • Swelling in legs
  • Hind-end weakness or lack of coordination
  • Conjunctivitis, or swelling and redness in the pink area at corner of the eye

“They won’t get neurologic without having had a fever,” Slovis said. “They’ll have fevers of 103 to 105 degrees, not a mild fever, but a significant fever. So if there’s a horse with a fever, don’t blow it off, especially if they just came back from a competition. Anyone with a fever should be isolated. The incubation period is 21 days, so if your horse has been exposed, they should spike a fever in a 21-day period. So keep checking their temperatures.

“Now that we have sophisticated testing, we can break it down and identify one strain versus another,” Slovis added. “But the bottom line is that herpes can cause severe illness and severe disease, and I can’t tell you which horse is going to get sick and which horse isn’t, if they have it. Each horse is different, and it depends on things like their immunity, their age, and their stress level. Just because a horse has it doesn’t mean it will come down with neurological signs, and it doesn’t mean it won’t come down with neurological signs.”

Neurological symptoms also can vary in degree, and horses can recover if the neurological signs are mild. “It all depends on the severity,” said Slovis.

The good news, Slovis said, is that the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus is also rare.

What Can You Do to Prevent EHV?

  1. Vaccinate.

“For the backyard horse that goes on an occasional trail ride, once or twice a year is more than adequate,” said Slovis. “For the horses that are competing more often, they’re going to need to get it done about every 120 days, about three times a year. That’s a good ballpark: early spring, late summer or early fall, and then again in the middle of winter.”

But don’t just think about your horse’s own activities. Consider what the horses around him are doing, too. You may only ride your horse at home, but if his stablemates travel regularly to compete, his exposure risk will be greater.

“If you board at a high-traffic barn, you might have to do the two- or three-times-a-year vaccine program,” Slovis explained. “Your animal won’t be stressed like an animal that travels a lot more, but if there’s intense traffic in and out of that barn, maybe three times a year is good for your horse, too.”

For information on vaccinating your horse against EHV, consult your veterinarian.

  1. Plan ahead.

“You don’t want to vaccinate a horse two days before a show. Do it at least seven days before a show and ideally two to three weeks before,” advised Slovis. “Some horses may get sore in the neck area, which is possible with any vaccine, so plan ahead. Some horses may have an active herpes infection and you might not even know, and when you go to vaccinate them their body will react tremendously: the legs will swell up, they’ll get a fever, they’ll feel blasé.”

  1. Monitor your horse’s temperature.

Know your horse’s baseline temperature, and monitor your horse’s temperature daily during and after a competition. “A horse with a temperature might act perfectly fine, so taking the temperature can give you a heads-up,” Slovis explained. “It’s good basic information to have.”

  1. Establish good biosecurity on the farm, at competitions, and in the trailer.
  • Even for a vaccinated horse, it’s always important to use good biosecurity protocols to reduce the chances of exposure to or spread of the disease.
  • Don’t share water troughs, buckets, or sponges.
  • If a barn or event facility has a communal hose, don’t use it. Use your own (and don’t share it) or remove the hose and fill your water and bathing buckets directly from the faucet. “People will often dip the end of the hose in a water bucket, and if a horse has the virus, this will contaminate the end of that hose,” said Slovis.
  • Clean and then disinfect hay nets, bags, or troughs after use, and don’t share them between horses. “The virus can live in that environment for a time under ideal conditions, and that can set you up for future infection,” said Slovis. “You can use any disinfectant. Even commercial household cleaners like bleach wipes can kill herpes.”
  • Clean and disinfect areas in the trailer where a horse’s nose or nasal discharge might be.
  • If you handle multiple horses, wash your hands before moving from one horse to the next.
  • For biosecurity guidance, see the USEF brochure “Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions” and the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website, which features an area devoted to biosecurity.

by Glenye Cain Oakford

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation

First Members of Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program Declared

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) and the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) are pleased to announce the first members of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program. USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams and USEF Dressage Assistant Youth Coach Charlotte Bredahl-Baker selected the following eight athlete-and-horse combinations for membership based on their evaluation at the Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic January 2-5, 2018, as well as their likelihood of developing into future team athletes.

Aleyna Dunn (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) and Bivera, Dunn’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare

Benjamin Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) and Behlinger, Amy Ebeling, Elizabeth Meyer, and Ann Romney’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding

Isabel Linder (Kewadin, Mich.) and Elvis, Hai Wei’s 14-year-old Westphalian gelding

Tillie Jones (Lincoln, Neb.) and Apachi, Tillie and Tish Jones’ 13-year-old KWPN gelding

Rebekah Mingari (Depauw, Ind.) with Allure S, Kerrin Dunn’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare

Natalie Pai (Wellington, Fla.) and Unlimited, Melanie Pai’s 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

Chase Shipka (Marshall, Va.) and Zigal, Chase, and Darcie Shipka’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding

Christian Simonson (Ventura, Calif.) and FRH Rassolini, Christina Morgan’s 15-year-old Hessen Warmblood stallion

“It is inspiring to see the up-and-coming young talent and exciting to think that through the [Discover Dressage USEF/USDF] Emerging Athlete Program we can help these athletes develop to their fullest potential, while at the same time incentivize others to continue to push to make their dreams a reality. On behalf of all of us involved, we are very grateful for the generous support of Discover Dressage, without which this would not be possible,” said Williams.

As participants in the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program, these combinations will receive access to resources such as score analysis, the USEF human sport science and medicine program, strategic planning meetings, possible financial assistance towards agreed-upon targets, opportunities to participate in USEF Training Sessions and clinics, as well as one-on-one coaching. Members are reviewed approximately every six months. In order to retain membership, athletes must meet their respective established targets within six months of their acceptance into the program unless the youth coaches grant an exception. In addition, athletes must continue to meet the minimum selection criteria of 68% through completion of three USEF Dressage National Championship/Adequan® FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) qualifying competitions and/or CDI or CDIO-Y/J/P/Ch events.

Membership to the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program is on a rolling basis following each Training and Evaluation session. Athletes in the U25 division who are not qualified for the USEF Dressage Development Program are also eligible for support and membership to the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program, as well as Children and Pony riders looking for educational opportunities. The next training and evaluation session will be at Hampton Green Farm in Wellington, Fla., March 6-7, 2018. The application deadline is February 21.

In order to participate in the Training and Evaluation sessions, athletes must submit an application and have competed at a minimum of three qualifying competitions for the USEF Dressage National Championships and NAJYRC and/or CDI or CDIO-Y/J/P/Ch events over the course of six months. Wild card invitations will also be considered. Athletes are welcome to reapply for Training and Evaluation sessions if not selected for a session or membership into the program.

Find out more about the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program online or contact Hannah Niebielski, Director of Dressage, National Programs at hniebielski@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Announces US Show Jumping Team for FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Ocala

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) has named the following athletes to the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the Longines FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Ocala. As part of the new 2018 FEI Nations Cup series format, the competition will occur on Sunday, February 18, taking the place of the Grand Prix, which will move to Friday, February 16. The Longines FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Ocala is the exciting finale to the Ocala Winter Festival running February 13-18.

Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)
Devin Ryan (Long Valley, N.J.)
McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.)

Robert Ridland will serve as the Chef d’Equipe.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

HH Azur and Cuba Win 2017 Horse of the Year Titles

HH Azur (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Lexington, Ky. – On a night dedicated to celebrating the horse, US Equestrian is pleased to share that HH Azur, owned by Double H Farm and François Mathy, has been voted the 2017 International Horse of the Year and Cuba, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, has been voted the 2017 National Horse of the Year.

International Horse of the Year

HH Azur (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sion van de Zuuthoeve/Sir Lui)
2006 Belgian Warmblood mare
Owners: Double H Farm and François Mathy

HH Azur’s raw athleticism and keen instinct for the sport was evident from the moment her hooves stepped into the show ring with her superstar rider McLain Ward at the reins. Known as “Annie” in the barn, her storybook year began with a win in the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in February. Continuing to demonstrate her dependability and undeniable talent in a major championship, HH Azur delivered three perfect rounds to guide Ward to his first Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final title in April. Following the World Cup Finals, HH Azur returned to competition at Spruce Meadows in the prestigious $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup CSI5*. From there, she and Ward anchored the U.S. team to a silver-medal tie in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup™ at CHIO Aachen in July and a silver-medal finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in September. It should be noted that HH Azur has not had a single fault in team competition in 2017.

National Horse of the Year

Cuba (Namelus R x Ups-A-Daisy/Mermus R)
2007 KWPN gelding
Owners: John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC

Cuba, John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, had an impressive year in 2017. Having proven himself a successful hunter, Cuba started his campaign as a Derby horse just one year ago. With rider Victoria Colvin, the pair stood out at the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Championship in August, placing third in the Classic Round, winning the Handy Hunter Round, and finishing as the overall champion by a significant margin of 9.75 points. Cuba closed the competition year as the USHJA International Derby horse with most money won. Over the course of only five competitions, Cuba earned $55,853.

by US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Recognizes Janie Salisbury and Isabelle Parker with 2017 Vaulting Honors

Photo: Janie Salisbury (background) with Bridget Kiernan, pas de deux bronze medalists at the 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors (© Barny Thierolf).

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) is pleased to recognize Janie Salisbury as the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year and Salisbury’s coach Isabelle Parker as the 2017 USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year. Salisbury, a two-time FEI World Vaulting Champion for Juniors Pas de Deux bronze medalist, stood out among the seven applicants for her competition success and extracurricular activity.

Salisbury (Atherton, Calif.) began vaulting when she was seven years old as a member of the Woodside Vaulters out of Redwood City, Calif., and amassed several top results with Parker’s coaching and training. In addition to her FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors bronze medals in 2015 and 2017, she was the 2012 USEF/American Vaulting Association (AVA) National Vaulting Champion, 2013 Region 2 Champion, and 2015 USEF/AVA Reserve National Champion, among others.

Outside of vaulting, Salisbury has been active in her community. In high school, she led the Baking for Charity Club, where she helped organize bake sales with proceeds going to Pencils of Promise, a charity supporting children’s education in the developing world. She also volunteered for fundraising benefits and worked in the barns at the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy, a therapeutic riding facility that helps children and adults with neurophysiological, cognitive, sensory processing, and psychosocial challenges. Currently, Salisbury attends the University of Southern California where she intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in dance.

Other candidates for the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year award included Tessa Belardi (Aptos, Calif.), Audrey Kiernan (San Mateo, Calif.), Elizabeth Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.), Luke Overton (Stanwood, Wash.), Ana Schult (Longmont, Colo.), and Haley Smith (Parker, Colo.).

Parker (Redwood City, Calif.), co-founder and coach of the Woodside Vaulters, represented the U.S. in international competition for five years and earned her AVA Gold Medal in 1992. Parker has coached four National Champion A Teams and the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Rome, Italy. She is a two-time United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Trainer of the Year, the 2013 AVA Mentor of the Year, an AVA judge and Technical Committee member, an FEI steward, and a member of multiple USEF vaulting committees. She is the current Chief Financial Officer of Summit Public Schools. This is Parker’s second time receiving the USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year Award.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Dressage Festival of Champions to Host 14 USEF Dressage National Championship Titles

US Dressage Festival of Champions to Host 14 USEF Dressage Lexington, Ky. – The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions has been named as the home for all 14 USEF Dressage National Championships in 2018. Hosted at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill. from August 21 through 26, the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships as well as the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today will be hosted in conjunction with the other dressage divisions.

The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will host the following championships and divisions:

  • USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
  • USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
  • USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championships presented by Dressage Today
  • USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship
  • USEF Junior Dressage National Championship
  • USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship
  • USEF Children Dressage National Championship
  • Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships for four-, five-, and six-year-olds, as well as Developing Grand Prix and Developing Prix St. Georges
  • USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals for the 13 & Under, and 14-18 divisions

Previous years have seen the championships held at two separate locations. 2018 will be the first time that all 14 USEF Dressage National Championships are held under the same roof, at the same event, under the banner of the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.

“Previously, our USEF Dressage National Championships have felt splintered by having two different events, in different locations,” says Hallye Griffin, Managing Director of Dressage. “Holding the full spectrum of the championships in one location, over a weeklong period, will give us the opportunity to showcase the talented athlete/horse combinations across the full spectrum of the divisions. We hope that this will also prove to be an exciting event for spectators, sponsors, vendors, and supporters as we look to grow the event into something very special, while continuing to highlight our dressage competition pathways and programs in an effort to deliver continued sustainable success in our sport.”

Find out more information on the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions or contact Kristen Brett, Director, Dressage Programs at kbrett@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Saddened by Loss of E. Hunter Harrison

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wood Media.

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian mourns the loss of E. Hunter Harrison, owner of Double H Farm and a beloved leader, supporter, and friend of equestrian sport. Harrison passed away on December 16 at the age of 73, leaving behind a legacy in the horses he bred, the athletes he supported, and the sport that he helped to grow.

“Today we lost one of equestrian sport’s greats,” says US Equestrian President, Murray Kessler. “An iconic and beloved horse owner and patron of the sport, Hunter Harrison will be greatly missed for his enthusiasm, generosity, and dedication to his horses, equestrian sport, and most importantly, his family. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, the team at Double H Farm and all who had the chance to know him.”

Harrison gave the industry a chance to share in his passion by bringing great horses and athletes together, including McLain Ward and two-time Olympic team gold medal winning mare, Sapphire, and 2017 World Cup Final champion, HH Azur. US Equestrian is grateful for everything he gave to all who called him family and friend.

“My family and I are very sad that we have lost a huge presence in our lives,” says Ward. “Hunter was not only a wonderful supporter of my career, but also a guiding force in everything we did. I will miss him dearly, and my thoughts are with his family in this difficult time.”

Read more about the legacy of E. Hunter Harrison here.

Rutledge Gallops to CCI3* Lead at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Smith’s Control of CCI2* Continues

Fair Hill, Md. – Spectators and competitors enjoyed a thrilling day of cross-country at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, where international pairs proved their mettle over Derek di Grazia’s challenging track. Colleen Rutledge held on to her lead in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship with Covert Rights, and Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius kept their lead in the The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship.

A fast cross-country round gave Maryland native Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her own Covert Rights the top position in the CCI3* division. The 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding remains on his dressage score (39.8) after a fault-free performance.

“He gets every gold star I could possibly give him. He saved my butt when I got us into trouble, and he was foot-perfect at 90% of the course,” Rutledge commented, noting that she had experience on her side with four-star partner Covert Rights. “Luckily, I know that he’s got the experience behind him. He’s already done two four-stars. He reads the fences. He’s so much more mature now, and he’s so much more experienced now, where I could just gallop down and see the stride from six strides away and attack the fences. That was probably one of the most fun cross-countries that I’ve had in a long time.”

Overnight leaders Selena O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada) and Foxwood High finished four seconds over optimum time to drop them into second place. John and Judy Rumble’s 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding picked up 1.6 time penalties to sit on a two-phase result of 41.

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines leapt from 13th to third after an incredible cross-country effort. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding continues on a score of 46.3.

“He never lacks run or gallop. He’s just an animal out there. It was a hard course, but I thought it was a proper test. I think it’s a testament for the cross-country riding in this country,” Coleman commented. “It was a difficult three-star, and I’ve ridden a lot of three-stars around the world, and I would put Fair Hill at the very top, in terms of difficulty.”

Smith (Murrietta, Calif.) and Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius were the first combination to come home clear within the time on Saturday’s cross-country. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding made quick work of di Grazia’s course to remain on his dressage score (40.9) going into Sunday’s show jumping finale.

“I didn’t know what to expect. He hasn’t been in an environment like this before. He was super. He didn’t question one thing. He was spot on. You bring them here to the two-star at Fair Hill and know if you definitely have a three-star horse and beyond, and I definitely feel that,” Smith said of the young horse’s promise.

Following Smith’s lead, Cornelia Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) also remained in second place with her own Louis M, a 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding. Dorr piloted both Louis M and her own fifth-placed Sir Patico MH, an 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, to double-clear cross-country results.

“My first one, ‘Hugo,’ was amazing. He and I have a wonderful relationship. I felt super-confident with him. It was nice to go out and do all that with him, then be able to make tighter lines on Louis. They were both great and super-fit. I’m happy with them,” Dorr smiled.

Again in the CCI2*, Coleman climbed the leaderboard, this time with Off The Record, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate. The duo completed the course penalty-free to move into third place on a score of 49.8.

“I was proud of him. He’s an eight-year-old horse, and he was second in [The Pedigree Bromont CCI2*] this year, and the last four to five times out he’s been in the top five. So he’s been consistent. That’s what we are going for, for all the horses this year, trying to build consistent performances throughout all three phases,” Coleman remarked. “I think it was a proper test with a pretty good group of horses here. [The Dutta Corp./Fair Hill International Three-Day Event] gets billed as a two-and-a-half-star, and I think people have a lot of respect for it and come ready.”

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications