Apr 10, 2018

Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards of 2018: Ruud and Chisholm Shine at Pine Top Horse Trials

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Chantil Ruud and Landmark's Ginger Rogers, winners of the Adult Amateur Charles Owen Technical Merit Award at Pine Top. Liz Crawley Photo.

Lifelong dreams were in work at Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials, February 22 – 25, the first event of 2018 to host the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. With over fifty Training level rides, Chantil Ruud and Madison Chisholm both rose to the occasion to earn this award for demonstrating safe and appropriate riding on cross-country. Janis Linnan judged the riders based on the five components of this award: gallop, preparation period, execution of jump, rider position, and general impressions.

Delivering a top-class round, Chantil Ruud was overjoyed when she found out she was the recipient of the Adult Amateur Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. “I’d like to say how honored I am to receive the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. I strive every day to improve in my skill and effectiveness as a rider.”

With California roots, Ruud’s family owned a ranch where she grew up riding western. Despite her western riding background, she always had the desire to take part in eventing. “Being able to participate in eventing is actually a lifelong dream come true for me.”

To help her dreams turn into reality, Ruud credits her coach, Lizzy Jahnke as a significant influence in her riding. “Lizzy Jahnke has been an incredible mentor and coach. I admire her cross-country skill and technique. She has taught me everything that I know.” Ruud shares this passion for eventing with her daughter, Caitlyn Ruud, who competed in the Junior Young Rider Open Preliminary division at Pine Top.

Hard work, consistent training, and a tough cowgirl mentality are several factors to Ruud’s successful cross-country riding technique. Another influential factor is her horse, Landmark’s Ginger Rogers (Ginger). Bred by Jacqueline B. Mars and produced by Jessica Brumfield and Lauren Kieffer, Ruud purchased the flashy chestnut mare in 2017. Since then, Ruud and Ginger’s partnership continues to flourish.  “Ginger and I have been together almost a year now. She’s a great teacher and has a lovely way of going. She is really just perfect for me, and I feel so incredibly grateful to have her for a partner!” said Ruud. Ruud received a red ribbon to finish second overall in the Senior Training Rider division.

As we see in Ruud’s story, when dreams are mixed with hard work and determination, success can be the result.

Let’s not forget about the recipient of the Junior Charles Owen Technical Merit Award, Madison Chisholm.

Madison Chisholm and Beechcraft competing in the Junior Training division at the Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials. Liz Crawley Photo.

This past Christmas, Madison Chisholm received her best friend wrapped in a shiny red bow. The best friend, who she considers her ‘sugar bear,’ is a dark bay thoroughbred gelding named Beechcraft (aka Baron). Chisholm and Baron’s friendship was evident at Pine Top, as they showed everyone how to execute safe, effective cross-country riding. 

At five years old, Chisholm rode for the first time trail riding in Arizona. Fast forward to 2015, Chisholm started taking riding lessons, and since then she’s been hooked on eventing. “I’ve wanted to do eventing since day one. Cross-country is what really drove me into eventing, it is definitely my favorite of the three phases.”

Chisholm shares her enthusiasm for cross-country with her trusted partner, Baron, an off-the-track thoroughbred from Florida, that was produced by Kristin Bachman up to the Preliminary level. “We have not known each other for very long but our partnership gets stronger every day with every ride. He is a dream, my best friend, and a confident partner. He’s very forgiving while I’m continuing to learn. I couldn’t be more pleased!”

Chisholm’s love and dedication to her horse, passion for cross-country, and ambition to learn were several factors that played a role in her award-winning cross-country performance, which happened to be Chisholm’s first ever Training level event. With many more cross-country rounds to look forward to, Chisholm has started her Training level debut with a bang. “I’m extremely honored to have received this award and can’t wait for many more cross-country rounds to come!” said Chisholm. The dynamic duo ended their weekend with a pink ribbon to finish fifth in the Junior Training Rider division.

Chisholm and Baron prove that the partnership between horse and rider is what eventing is all about.

Congratulations to both Madison Chisholm and Chantil Ruud!

Chantil Ruud and Landmark's Ginger Rogers (left) and Madison Chisholm and Beechcraft (right). Photos courtesy of Chantil Ruud and Madison Chisholm.

To see which event is hosting the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award in your area, please check out the 2018 Charles Owen Technical Merit Schedule.

About the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award

In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council in partnership with Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.

The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award. Click here to learn more about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.

The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.

Mar 29, 2020 Education

Grid Pro Quo with Packy McGaughan

In the early 2000s I took a group of students to watch the USEF Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. In this particular year, judges George Morris and Kip Rosenthal also designed the course, which seemed deceptively simple on paper but proved to be quite challenging throughout the competition.

Mar 28, 2020 Eventing News

USET Foundation Awards Mia Farley with Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has awarded the 2020 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Mia Farley, a current member of the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program.

Mar 28, 2020 Education

Conformation Critique with Chris Ryan: At The Moment

Have you ever wanted to look through the judge’s eyes and see what they see during the conformation portion of a USEA Young or Future Event Horse competition? Now is your chance! Using only a photo and information on age and breed, legendary horseman and prior FEH/YEH Championship judge Chris Ryan is sharing his insights into young horse conformation in our Conformation Critique article series.

Mar 27, 2020 Association News

USEA Extends Suspension of Recognizing Events

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted last night to mirror the dates decided by US Equestrian (USEF) for suspending recognizing competitions and educational activities. The USEA will extend its suspension of recognizing events under its direct jurisdiction through May 3, 2020. The suspension extends also to USEA recognized educational activities, Young Event Horse, Future Event Horse, and New Event Horse competitions.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA