Tommy Greengard said he was “a little excited, a little nervous” before competing in both his and his horse Joshuay MBF’s first four-star at the Twin Rivers Fall International in September. They finished third, and that experience set them up for what would then be their first four-star victory as one of the West’s top up-and-coming eventing pairs two weeks later in the Woodside Fall International.
Karma is developing into one of the fastest and most-reliable cross-country horses in the West. The 9-year-old bay Oldenburg mare and James Alliston won their third-straight blue ribbon together at either the four-star or Advanced level in the CCI4*-S at the Twin Rivers Fall International in Paso Robles, California, with the only double-clear cross-country round on Saturday.
Fresh off winning the first-ever international gold medal in eventing for Puerto Rico at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador, Lauren Billys Shady and Can Be Sweet returned to their home base of California to win the Intermediate level at the Woodside Summer Horse Trials.
The 2023 Twin Rivers Summer H.T. was highlighted by performances of young horses. From the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse competition that kicked off the event on Thursday to the win by Karma ridden by James Alliston as the youngest horse at the Advanced level on Sunday, the future of the sport of eventing on the West Coast looked bright on a hot weekend in Paso Robles, California.
The cross-country phase is what makes eventing stand out among equestrian sports. There’s an adrenaline rush riders experience when out on cross-country that is unmatched in eventing’s other phases. The cross-country course also gives each show and venue its unique flavor. Nonetheless, while each course may be different, the rule below from the USEF Rules for Eventing governs what riders and horses can expect to see during the cross-country phase of an event.
Kyla Tovar said the moment made her “burst into tears.” She had just finished second in the Training Three-Day with Kilcoltrim Jacko and second in the Novice Three-Day with Shannondale Jordi in the USEA Classic Series competition at the 2023 IEA H.T. in Edinburgh, Indiana. However, it wasn’t about the placings with two horses in the long-format—although an impressive accomplishment in its own right. Tovar had just heard her number announced as the recipient of the show’s Willpower Award bestowed upon the fittest adult amateur rider.
Morgan Rowsell had just wrapped up organizing a successful Essex H.T. in Far Hills, New Jersey, on June 4, but as he turned his attention to his next show two weeks later, he was faced with challenges presented by the effects that wildfires from Canada are now having on equestrian sports in the Northeast. “The very next day, the smoke came in,” he said. “It looks like a warm, humid, hazy day, but it’s not humid, it’s not warm, it’s actually quite cool. There’s no air. There’s very little breeze. There’s a northeast wind coming out of Canada that is bringing all the Novia Scotia and Quebec smoke to us, and it smells like smoke.”
The first USEA Classic Series competition of 2023 at the IEA H.T. in Edinburgh, Indiana, from June 2-4 brought out the best in event horses with different breeding, backgrounds, and sizes. There was Primrose BMD, originally bred for dressage by a Dutch Harness Horse stallion out of an Andalusian dam, showing how much she relishes jumping by finishing on her dressage score 31.8 to win the Training Three-Day (T3D) with Anna Banks aboard. Then, April Hays and her Holsteiner gelding Anteros HSH won the Novice Three-Day (N3D) with a score of 26.7 despite not knowing if they’d be able to make the competition until the last minute. And, Halley Widlak and her 14.2-hand Connemara pony mare Starscream captured the Beginner Novice Three-Day (BN3D) with a score of 25.7 for the third blue ribbon the pair has earned in four USEA-recognized events together.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.