The 2023 Woodside Spring H.T. served as a celebration of the successes of the West Coast eventers that competed in the Kentucky Three-Day Event, as well as what’s in store for the future of the sport in California. On the eve of competition on Thursday, organizers at the Woodside Horse Trials held a party in honor of both Tamie Smith’s historic win in the Kentucky five-star and the team of cross country builders led by Bert Wood that unveiled new courses at The Horse Park. Derek di Grazia designed the new Advanced and Intermediate tracks, with Wood designing the new tracks for Preliminary through Starter.
The United States Eventing Association’s (USEA) Area IV is comprised of the Heartland states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Area IV Chair Jill Wagenknecht says that eventing in the Area makes up the heart of what the sport of eventing represents: community, dedication, as well as having fun. Area IV will host 16 USEA-recognized events (including one USEA-recognized combined test) in 2023 during a concentrated season that begins with the Catalpa Corner May Madness Horse Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, on May 6 and concludes with the Windermere Run H.T in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 20-22.
Like many other parts of American history, the ideas and people behind the sport of eventing in the United States came out of the states that now represent the United States Eventing Association’s (USEA) Area I. Just like how Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont have been the birthplace of great American leaders and ideas, these states were where eventing earned its stars and stripes.
Being a successful eventer involves so much more than riding the three phases of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. Joan Simmons, a founding member of what is now the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) and a Level III USEA ECP Certified Coach, shared her thoughts about how, more than riding, horsemanship is the foundation of a successful eventing partnership.
The Essex Horse Trials in New Jersey in the USEA’s Area II combines eventing’s history and future. The event has taken on many looks since it was first run in 1968 and is now back in position to return to the prominence it once held, thanks to a dedicated team devoted to preserving the event’s legacy.
Daina Kaugars and her fiancé, James Kersey, have embraced the challenges of what goes into running a USEA-recognized horse trial on their farm in Fort Collins, Colorado. “I’ve always wanted to do it; that’s why we bought the farm [in 2017],” Kaugars. “We found this property and said, ‘Well, this one has the terrain to do it.’ So, we basically purpose-bought it to run a horse trial. Then, the boarding facility was my way of making it work.”
Lexington, Ky.—April 30—When Hot Bobo first joined Karl Slezak’s barn, the Canadian rider posted on Facebook on December 13, 2017, “She’s finally here!!! After a very long journey from Ireland to England to France to Belgium then to New York for quarantine she finally made it to Florida! Meet Hot Bobo!!!!” The Monart Sale in Ireland, from where “Bobo” was sourced as a 4-year-old, shared the post to its page, saying, “We can’t wait to see how they get on!”
For the first time in 15 years, an American will enter show jumping in first place at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Tamie Smith and Mai Baum are the first U.S. pair to lead the Kentucky five-star after cross country since Becky Holder and Courageous Comet in 2008. However, the bigger history they hope to make will be becoming the first American winners of the event since Phillip Dutton and Connaught overtook Holder and Courageous Comet for the 2008 title.
From the precision of dressage to the boldness of cross-country, 38 horse and rider pairs in the CCI5*-L and 49 in the CCI4*-S are moving on to eventing's next phase at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Big crowds are expected to line the galloping lanes of Derek di Grazia's cross-country track to cheer on eventing's very best.
Lexington, Ky.—April 26—The five-star riders were dressed to their best, and their horses were braided and groomed to present before the ground jury on a beautiful Wednesday at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington ahead of the start of competition at the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Between the big crowd that will be at the Kentucky Horse Park and the large audience that will be watching from around the world, the eyes of the eventing world will be on the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this weekend.