Tag Archives: Jennie Brannigan

US Eventing Team Wins FEI Nations Cup Eventing Competition at Great Meadow International

Photo Credit: Anna Purdy.

Jennie Brannigan Captures Second Individual Title

The Plains, Va. – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team won the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Great Meadow International, presented by Adequan, for the second consecutive year. Now that betting is legal in the US as of April 2018, you can get a free Twinspires promo-code and learn the tricks of the trade.

The team of Jennie Brannigan, Lynn Symansky, Phillip Dutton, and Boyd Martin defeated teams from Canada and Great Britain in the only FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition outside Europe. Brannigan also captured her second individual title at Great Meadow, having won previously in 2015.

Cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith reversed the direction and order of the fences from last year with the intention of generating interest for both the competitors and spectators. The change proved to be challenging for some, though not for the U.S. team. All four riders completed the course without any jumping penalties.

Brannigan had an unforgettable day. The Reddick, Fla. resident went third in the team order and secured the victory for the U.S. incurring only 1.6 time faults on Nina Gardner’s Cambalda. Brannigan came into the final day in fourth place and catapulted to the top spot with a final score of 49.8 penalties.

“The first time I came it was so exciting because it earned me a spot as a traveling alternate for the Pan Am Games, which was quite special to me,” said Brannigan. “It’s such an honor to get to ride for your country and ‘Ping’ has been an incredible horse in a lot of ways and is wonderful to me. I really appreciate him stepping up to the plate.”

By the time second U.S. team rider Lynn Symansky took to the course, two riders were eliminated from the British team and the Canadians had already secured a team score. The Middleburg, Va. resident jumped clear, finishing just above the optimum time on Donner, owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC. They incurred 1.2 time faults for a three-phase score of 50.1 penalties, which was good enough for second place individually. Symansky was originally the alternate, but was named to the team after Buck Davidson, Jr. withdrew Carl Segal and Sherrie Martin’s Copper Beach.

“It’s such a great cohesive group. Everybody just works together and supports each other. We’re all out here to win and do the best that we can,” said Symansky. “It was awesome. The whole way around I heard people cheering me on, saying, ‘Come on Lynn, you can do it!’ It’s cool to ride at your hometown event. It was an honor.”

U.S. pathfinder Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa. was the first rider to complete the course within the optimum time of 6 minutes and 33 seconds, finishing within two seconds at 6:31. Riding Steady Eddie, owned by Denise Lahey, Pierrie Colin, George and Gretchen Wintersteen, the Olympic veteran finished on his dressage score of 58.3 penalties.

“He came through for me; he was the only horse that finished on his dressage score,” said Martin of the New Zealand Thoroughbred. “It was a bit hard to gauge the course because the first rider Justine Dutton (GBR) fell and second rider Jessica Phoenix (CAN) was held on the course, but I zipped around and everything rode really well.”

Dutton, of West Grove, Pa., already knew that the U.S. had won the Nations Cup prior to going out, but an individual win was on the line. Riding Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, the six-time Olympic veteran finished outside the optimum time adding 5.6 time faults to his cumulative score of 51.6 penalties and putting him in third place.

“My teammates did it all for me. Jennie came home and I had a minute to go before I went in the box and they said she only had a couple of time faults,” said Dutton. “I thought it was a good run for the horse. He’s not the fastest, but I think I could have done a little better job at the galloping fences. Overall, though, I think it was a good run for him and pleased that he went so well.”

The winning score for the U.S. was 151.5 penalties. Team Canada finished on 168.6 penalties for second place. Because Great Britain failed to have the required three qualifying scores, they were awarded a drop score penalty of 1000 points, and finished third.

Full Results

From Classic Communications and the US Equestrian Communications Department

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois Chosen as 2016 Connaught Grant Recipients

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois.

Gladstone, NJ – Dec. 14, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is proud to announce Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois as the 2016 recipients of the Connaught Grant at the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting.

“I’m very, very excited to have been chosen,” Brannigan said. “I think the first job I ever got working for Phillip Dutton was to go out into the field and catch Connaught, so it’s special in that I worked for Phillip and actually got to ride that horse.”

The Connaught Grant was established by Caroline Moran in honor of the late R. Bruce Duchossois, and awards $25,000 to a CCI* or CCI2* horse in the U.S. that is seen as a potential candidate to represent the U.S. Equestrian Team on an international level. The grant, which helps offset the cost of competitions, travel in relationship to competitions, training and horse care.

The grant is named after the famous event horse Connaught, who was owned by Duchossois and ridden by Dutton. Connaught, who also passed away, won Rolex in 2008, was second in 2007 and represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Brannigan acquired Stella Artois, now 8, along with half-owner Beth Battel as a 5-year-old young horse in Germany. The Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare began competing at the 2* level earlier this year, impressively winning the CCI2* division at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in October.

“I put every penny I had in my savings account to buy half of Stella Artois,” Brannigan said. “It was really special to have her win Fair Hill and have the year that she’s had. I always had the feeling that she was a bigtime horse, and hopefully this is a good omen for the future.”

Brannigan said with the help of the grant, she hopes to travel to Europe to compete with Stella Artois, furthering the mare’s experience at the 2* level before hopefully stepping up to 3* competitions later in the year.

“I am just determined to do the right thing by this mare,” Brannigan said. “Receiving this grant is a big honor, and hopefully we’ll live up to the expectations.”

For more information about the USET Foundation, please visit www.uset.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Little and Brannigan Win USEF National Championship Titles at Fair Hill International

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Shannon Brinkman Photography)

Fair Hill, Md. – The final day of competition for The Dutta Corp./USEF Two- and Three-Star National Championships took center stage on Sunday at Fair Hill International. Winning the Three-Star title was Marilyn Little with RF Scandalous. Little held the top two spots on the leaderboard throughout the weekend with RF Scandalous and RF Demeter. RF Scandalous ultimately won the National Championship while RF Demeter took Reserve Champion honors. In the Two-Star, Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois were foot-perfect in show jumping to hold onto their overnight lead and earn The Dutta Corp./USEF Two-Star National Championship title.

Little (Frederick, Md.) began her successful weekend with solid dressage performances aboard both horses. On day one of dressage, Little rode a focused test with Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ 2005 Oldenburg mare RF Scandalous, who was fluid and obedient throughout the test to score 41.50 for the lead. On day two, Little laid down another good test with Jacqueline Mars, Raylan Farms Inc., and Patrick Witte’s 2002 Oldenburg mare, RF Demeter. Though a bit tense at times, the mare managed to earn a 44.50, putting Little one-two going into cross-country. RF Demeter cruised over the Derek di Grazia-designed course to remain on her dressage score and take over the lead. Little took her time with RF Scandalous, as the mare is relatively new to this level, and added 4.80 in time penalties to her score to sit in second overall. RF Scandalous turned in a foot-perfect show jumping round on Sunday, though, to win top honors in The Dutta Corp./USEF Three-Star National Championship with a score of 46.30. Little’s second ride of the day, RF Demeter, had an unlucky rail, dropping the pair from first to second, ending with a total of 48.60 and taking home Reserve Champion honors.

“I really couldn’t have had a better day with those two,” said Little of her winning mares after show jumping. “RF Scandalous was lovely out there. She showed what an exciting horse she is now and for the future.” Commenting on her ride on RF Demeter, Little observed, “I truthfully thought it was Demi’s weekend. It’s just the way the chips fell but she’s just as deserving and is truly an incredibly horse and partner, and has made my time in eventing so special.”

With rails causing problems for the top horse-and-rider combinations, Hannah Sue Burnett (Reddick, Fla.) piloted Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection to a clean round to move the pair up from sixth to a third-place finish with a score of 49.60.

Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois (Shannon Brinkman Photography)
Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois (Shannon Brinkman Photography)

In the CCI2*, Brannigan (Kennett Square, Pa.) brilliantly rode her own and Elsbeth Battel’s Stella Artois throughout the weekend to win The Dutta Corp./USEF Two-Star National Championship on her dressage score of 44.50. On the strength of a double-clear cross-country round, Brannigan moved up from second going into Sunday’s show jumping phase. The 2008 Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare made light work of the Sally Ike-designed course to secure their title.

“With Toddie (Stella Artois), it’s a connection,” said Brannigan. “I’m just thrilled. I had her overly fit for this event. I’m so happy; she jumped well. Even though I was feeling nervous going into it, but she felt fit and ready to go.”

Reserve Champion honors went to Emily Beshear (Somerset, Va.) and Deep Purple Eventing’s 2006 Irish Sport Horse mare Silver Night Lady. The pair led after dressage thanks to a brilliant test that earned a score of 43.00. Adding two time penalties on cross-country, the pair slipped to second, but maintained its position on the leaderboard with a clear show jumping round to end the weekend on 45.00.

Beshear commented on her ride aboard Silver Night Lady. “I’m thrilled mostly for the group that’s behind me, the Deep Purple Eventing group. My goal from the beginning was to get a two-star qualifier done this year. Coming here and finishing second really helps to make everyone realize the effort we all put in. To me it’s balancing her out and keeping her focused in the ring without messing with her too much. She was jumping out of her skin. I’m certainly happy with that.”

In third with a 45.80 was Lauren Kieffer (Ocala, Fla.) riding Jacqueline Mars homebred, Landmark’s Monaco, to round out the top three in the Two-Star National Championship.

Earning the USEF Developing Rider National Championship as the top-placed rider in the CCI3* that has not completed a CCI4*, was Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.) with her own Fernhill Fortitude. Chelsea Kolman (Versailles, Ky.) and her own Dauntless Courage won USEF Two-Star Young Rider National Championship while Matthew Flynn (Reddick, Fla.) and Flynn Sport Horses, LLC’s Wizzerd took the USEF Young Horse National Championship.

Complete Results

From the USEF Communications Department

Cambalda Conquers The Fork CIC3* Once Again

The Fork has always been a lucky location Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda and this year the streak continued with the pair earning a win in the CIC3* with a picture perfect cross-country round.

“Between me and the people I am friends with, we all seem to do well at this event,” said Brannigan. “They are all really good riders and those are the ones that usually do well [at The Fork].”

“[Cambalda] galloped and didn’t try to run out on any corners, so I was happy about,” said Brannigan. “He was on today; he was on for everything. He wanted to fight for the flags, and that was a really nice feeling because he doesn’t always feel like that.”

Brannigan and Nina Gardner’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding have been partners for 7 years and in all that time they have had only two events with cross-country jump penalties below the four-star level.

“You think about the horse you’ve had through ups and downs and ins and outs, and you think about all the horses that people have had, and I just think to myself ‘gosh I still have this horse.’ He is still kicking along which is great. At the end of the day at the four-star level we have had a lot of weird stuff happen, but I don’t think you are going to find a horse that is this consistent at the three-star level.”

“He is a player and he shows up in all three phases pretty much all the time, so hopefully we can put some demons to rest at Rolex. He is a good friend, and I have got to give it to him.”

Buck Davidson and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s Ballynoecastle RM also held onto his overnight position by posting a double clear round.

“I was really happy with him,” said Davidson. “He did it really easily, and he was very good – I was slowing down after the mound, I could have been 30 seconds under if I wanted to. He is really peaking at the right time and I feel like I have the best Reggie I have ever had going into Kentucky, so fingers crossed that it all stays together.”

Rounding out the top three is Marilyn Little and Demeter who made a big leap up the leaderboard from 16th to finish out the weekend in which show jumping and cross-country time proved very influential.

Course tidbits

  • Only the ‘C’ element of the main water complex caused any trouble despite the worries of many riders. Three riders, Kurt Martin, Timothy Bourke and Holly Payne, had run outs.
  • The sunken road at 11 was pulled off the course after Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus had a fall there. They were the fifth rider on course and Brian O’Connor announced the ground jury decided it wasn’t riding well.


Lauren Kieffer maintained her lead in both Advanced divisions and took home the blue ribbons with Team Rebecca’s Veronica in the A division and Kylie and Courtney Ramsay’s Czechmate in the B division. Also in the B, Kieffer finished third with Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett and fourth with Jacqueline Mars’ Landmark’s Monte Carlo – both homebreds who she has brought up through the USEA Young Event Horse Series.

“All these horses are really, really nice and it is so fun to go out on them every weekend. It is cool to have all these American homebreds doing well. I have grown up with them and they have grown up with me, and they are my kids at this point, so it is pretty exciting to see them going this well. It is cool that all the people who own them have done so for years and are in it for the long haul.”

With four rides in the Advanced and a ride in the CIC2*, Kieffer left the start box five times today, and she said the hardest part of having multiple upper level rides is staying focused on the one she has on course at the time. “I will get out there and think oh on the next one I need to do this, but it is important to only think about the one you are riding at the time. The flip side is you get in such a rhythm, and it helps with making the time.”

In the A division, Lillian Heard and Share Option moved up into second and Phillip Dutton slotted into third with Mighty Nice. While in the B division, Boyd Martin and Pancho Villa slipped between Kieffer’s rides for second.


The CIC2* proved action packed from start to finish with no pairs making time on the course. When Sinead Halpin had an unfortunate fall from her early ride in the CIC2*, Grey Area, at the brush after the mound, she was forced to withdraw Nicole Carolan’s Topgun who was the overnight leader. This then moved Peter Barry and Long Island T into the lead. Barry then missed the double brush after the water jump and was technically eliminated, giving Lillian Heard the lead with Abbie Golden’s Arundel. After a spectacular save in the main water cost the pair precious seconds, Tamra Smith was able to finally secure the win with Alex Ahearn’s Mai Baum.

The final placings saw Heard sandwiched between Smith’s two rides with the Milton Syndicate’s Fleur de Lis in third.


Molly Tully and Alexandra Knowles’ Last Call crossed the finish line two seconds over time, but the pair had it in hand and was able to maintain their overnight lead. With this event marking the end of Tully’s lease of “Fergie” it was an exciting finale for the partnership.

Beau Guimond and Filibuster ST held onto the red ribbon while Selena O’Hanlon moved up into third position with Zephyr.

See the final scores here.

About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series

Qualifying for the 2015 Adequan USEA Gold Cup began last fall with the Plantation Field CIC3* (PA) and the Woodside CIC3* (CA) and features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. The final will take place at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships September 2015 in Tyler, Texas. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.

The 2015 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Point Two, Dubarry, and FITS.

The PRO Tour Series consists of 13 premier destination events in the United States and Canada, featuring the best riders and most entertainment. Riders and Horses are awarded points on the PRO Tour Rider Leader Board and PRO Tour Horse Leader Board.

The Professional Riders Organization would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2015 PRO Tour Series: KER Optimum Time, Tex Sutton, Triple Crown Nutrition, SSG Riding Gloves, and Midadlantic Ltd.

Leslie Mintz – USEA Staff

Brannigan and Martin Lead 2013 National Championship Fields after Dressage at Fair Hill International

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda (Shannon Brinkman)

Elkton, Md. – The first phase of The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International competition came to a close on Friday in the William DuPont Jr. Arena as all 45 CCI3* entries completed their dressage tests and the second half of CCI2* competitors went down centerline. In The Dutta Corp/USEF Three-Star Eventing National Championship, Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda hold the early lead heading into the cross country on a score of 42.6. Meanwhile, Thursday’s dressage leader in the CCI2* Boyd Martin and Pancho Villa proved unbeatable after earning a mark of 41.4.

The Dutta Corp/USEF Three-Star Eventing National Championship

Brannigan (West Grove, PA) and Nina Gardner’s 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding were rewarded for a forward, accurate effort by the Ground Jury of David Lee, Christina Klingspor and Loris Henry to hold the first phase lead. The talented combination was the third-to-last into the ring before the lunch break and had to wait all afternoon to see if their score would hold.

“I was really happy, and I’m just enjoying the moment,” said Brannigan. “I came out of the ring and knew it was a good test but I didn’t know it would be the winning one. I’m very pleased.”

Brannigan and Cambalda are seeking their second career CCI3* victory this weekend after having won the Galway Downs International Horse Trials in 2010. They are also looking to close out their 2013 on a high note after the disappointment of having to withdraw prior to the dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover when Cambalda slipped and fell prior to the dressage and incurring an early fall and elimination at the Luhmühlen CCI4*.

“Honestly, the horse has had quite a good year. He had one bad result – falling in the water at Luhmühlen and slipping on the pavement at Rolex was unfortunate but that was bad luck. I would really like to go well for the owners; they deserve it.”

Looking towards Derek di Grazia’s cross country, Brannigan is excited but knows it will pose a test.

“I think it looks good,” said Brannigan. “The two hardest questions are my weaknesses.”

Doug Payne (Pottersville, NJ) and Larry and Amelia Ross’ and his own Crown Talisman slotted into second place in both the National Championship and CCI3* in one their best tests to date. The 10-year-old Holsteiner cross is making his CCI3* debut after stepping up to the Advanced level in August of 2013 and impressed the ground jury on Friday earning a mark of 43.6.

“I was obviously happy with Tali; he has been a work in progress. I’m very lucky to be able to ride him,” said Payne. “He’s not exactly the easiest horse in the world but he was very rideable today. I think he still has the ability to improve.”

Standing in third place after the first phase are Katy Groesbeck (Temecula, Calif.) and her own 16-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding Oz The Tin Man. The pair travelled to The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International on a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant and proved their place among the top U.S. pairs as they earned a score of 44.

Ellen Doughty (Heartland, Texas) on her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Sir Oberon, were also competing in Elkton on a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant. The talented pair scored 53.6 and head onto the cross-country in 21st place.

USEF National Two Star Championship

While Friday’s field did their best to unseat the day one dressage leaders, the standard set on Thursday proved unachievable. Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and the Pancho Villa Syndicate’s 10-year-old Selle Francais cross gelding will set out second on the CCI2* with a two-and-a-half point lead.

Looking towards Saturday, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and 2012 London Olympic Games veteran believes di Grazia has set a demanding track that will teach riders a lot about their horses.

“You’ll learn a lot about your horse; you’ll learn if it will be a four-star horse,” said Martin. “It’s big and technical; I think this is one of the most challenging three-day events in the world in both the two-and three-star.”

Sharon White (Summit Point, W.V.) maintained her second place position in the National Championship and CCI2* with Mary Ann Ghadban’s nine-year-old Holsteiner mare Under Suspection. The pair will head out on the cross country on a score of 43.9.

Mara Depuy (Round Hill, Va.) and her own KWPN gelding Alimit were the highest placing U.S. pair on Friday scoring 46.1. Putting them into third place in the National Championship and fifth place in the CCI2*.

To read a recap of Thursday’s dressage, click here.

Cross Country gets underway on Saturday with Australia’s Ryan Wood and Fernhill Classic first out on the CCI2* course at 9:06am ET.

Listen to webcast of the Cross Country on the PRO Tour Live Eventing Radio on Ustream: http://ustre.am/Ywh3 or download the free Ustream app for listening on the go!

By Helen Murray

To learn more about The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, visit http://www.fairhillinternational.com/fhi-cci/.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

Check Out the 2013 Featured Riders

Jennie Brannigan

Take a sneak peak at who is already preparing for the trip to Rolex Kentucky this year. Whether it is their first time to Rolex Kentucky or not, each tale is unique and inspiring to follow.  Read more about your favorite horse and rider in this week’s featured riders installment!

Jennie Brannigan – Cambalda

I’m sure most people can recount their first Rolex visit. For me it was in 2003, when the torrential rain flooded the course.  I was 14, I believe, and I was quite fortunate to be Allison Springer’s first working student at the time.

I’ll tell you that the one real thing I remember now, 11 years later, about that weekend was watching eventing legend…

Click to read more about Jennie!

Continue reading Check Out the 2013 Featured Riders

Burnett and Brannigan Produce Faultless Rounds at Dansko Fair Hill International

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot (Shannon Brinkman/USEF)

Elkton, MD – As expected, Derek Di Grazia’s challenging cross country courses were extremely influential Saturday at the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI. The leaderboards in both the two- and three-stars saw great fluctuation in the second phase of the USEF National Eventing Championships. Hannah Sue Burnett was able to maintain her lead following the dressage with the classy Harbour Pilot; she will head into the show jumping on Sunday looking to secure her second CCI3* National Title. In the two-star Jennie Brannigan and Indie vaulted themselves into the lead on the strength of a double clear effort.

USEF National Three-Star Eventing Championship

Di Grazia’s 27 obstacle CCI3* course saw only four combinations finish within the time allowed of ten minutes and a total of 17 riders completed without jumping penalties. Of the 32 entries that started the course, three were eliminated and six retired and two competitors withdrew prior to cross country.

Continue reading Burnett and Brannigan Produce Faultless Rounds at Dansko Fair Hill International

Eventing Radio Episode 145 by Bit of Britain – Olympic Test Event, Euro News & True Prospect Farm Update

Olympic Course Designer, Sue Benson, tells us how preparations for the test event are progressing, Horse & Hound’s Pippa Roome reviews Euro events, and Jennie Brannigan from True Prospect Farm joins Chris as co-host. It’s all right here.

Eventing Radio Episode 145 by Bit of Britain – Show Notes and Links:


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Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Boyd Martin and Jennie Brannigan

Boyd Martin is fresh from his mission in France, Jennie Brannigan is still celebrating her win at Galway Downs, and Gill Rolton has a recap of the Australian International, all right here.

Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Show Notes and Links:


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