Five-star season is well underway and four U.S.-based pairs have turned their focus toward the CCI5*-L at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials which takes place June 16-19 in Salzhausen, Germany. We caught up with each rider to get their thoughts on their decision to make the trek overseas and what they hope their horses glean from the experience.
U.S. Based Canadian Rider Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes
Slezak and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway Bay) who Slezak co-owns with Kirk Hoppner rerouted to Luhmühlen following retiring on cross-country at the five-star at Badminton earlier in May.
U.S. Rider Matt Flynn and Wizzerd
Also hoping to have a better outing overseas at the five-star level are Matthew Flynn and A. Patrick and Kathleen Flynn and Merry Go Round Farm's 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wizzerd. The duo had two refusals on the five-star cross-country course at Badminton, leading to Flynn's decision to save the horse for another day.
"Wizzerd is in prime condition, and I am looking forward to getting back out and getting another five-star under our belt at Luhmuhlen," shared Flynn. "I have heard amazing things about the venue and I am excited for the opportunity."
U.S. Rider Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver
Coming off of a first-place finish in the CCI4*-S at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event isn't a bad way to go into your first five-star of the year, and that is exactly what Liz Halliday-Sharp is doing with The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver.
"Since last year, the plan has always been to take Cooley Quicksilver to Luhmühlen," Halliday-Sharp said. "For these young horses, I really like to have a plan and stick to it. I really felt like Luhmühlen would suit him. I have a lot of hard pullers and he is not a hard puller at all. He is very nippy and efficient and Luhmühlen has a track that is a lot through the trees and a lot of wiggling around that can sort of turn and surprise the horses. He has always been quite game like that. He learned a lot at Pau, it was a tough five-star last year. Luhmühlen is a track where I think he can hopefully make the time, whereas Kentucky, Burghley, and Badminton are big, bold galloping tracks. I think Luhmühlen is more technical and twisty which is a good fit for him."
U.S. Rider Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus
Lauren Nicholson has taken it easy with Jacqueline Mars' 15-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Vermiculus (Serazim x Wake Me Gently) since their 12th place finish at the 2021 Maryland 5 Star last October. The horse has had one full outing at the Intermediate level, which he won, at Rocking Horse in Ocala, Florida this March, and then withdrew following dressage at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in preparation for their trip to Germany.
"I’m very excited to take Bug to Luhmühlen, it will be my first time competing at the venue but I have been told it’s an incredible event," shared Nicholson. "I’m so lucky to have Ms. Mars's wisdom and support, when I had to make a decision to go to Plan B with Bug's spring plan she 100% had my back. We are heading over to be competitive and Bug is ready to roll."
In addition to these four five-star pairs, U.S. rider Will Coleman is slated to compete in the CCI4*-S also taking place at Luhmühlen aboard Hyperion Stud's 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic (Chin Champ x Wildera).
Access the full entry list here.
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 (USEA) is pleased to offer the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) at the upcoming USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The Adult Team Championships will be offered once again at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels for members of the USEA Adult Rider Program, and newly added this year, the Modified level will be included in the ATC as well.
The final tally for the seventh annual USEA Intercollegiate Championships came down to the wire with the show jumping phase proving influential. After the very last fence was cleared, it was the small, but mighty contingent from the University of South Carolina - Aiken that came out on the top of the podium.
Chants of “War Eagle” were heard from end to end of the White Oak cross-country course as the overnight leaders and defending champions from Auburn University tore between the red and white flags Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard of the 2023 Intercollegiate Eventing Championship at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).