This article was originally published in the March/April 2020 issue of Eventing USA magazine.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
Breakfast of champions
Walk across the road from my hotel and grab some coffee, snacks, and something for lunch. Not super fancy, but the 7-Eleven has some good grub. There’s a pretty solid language barrier and not much English writing on the food, so buying things can be a bit of an adventure.
At the office
We’ve gotten to the office, made another cup of coffee, and loaded up our buggies with tools for the day.
Hand signals for the win
One of five containers with jumps arrives from Team Evans’ homebase in England. We aren’t allowed to use any equipment on the site, so we have Japanese operators. The language barrier can be an issue at times, but hand signals seem to be pretty universal.
A boring lunch today, usually a crispy salad is my go-to here, but supply chains seem to be a bit unpredictable with the coronavirus going on.
It’s all in the details
At this point most of the jump construction is done, so now it’s focusing on decorations, lots of decorations!
Take a moment to look at Tokyo from the cross-country site. I’m really fortunate to be here and be a part of this crew.
We’ve finished work around 5:30, headed to the hotel for quick showers, and walked to the train station to go explore Tokyo and find a dinner spot.
Looking for a dinner spot. Our normal criteria for a restaurant is no English writing on the sign, on a side street, and seating for less than 20. With approximately half a million restaurants in Tokyo, there are plenty to choose from. Ramen for the win tonight. For most jobs that I do, we stay in and cook the bulk of our meals. But here we typically go out for dinner.
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From Washington to Vermont, Championships were held on both coasts over the September 18-19 weekend. The Area I Championships took place at the GMHA September Horse Trials in South Woodstock, Vermont where over 60 pairs battled it out for the champion title. The organizers of the Area I Championships would like to thank Essex Equine Inc. for serving as the official pinny sponsors and North Bridge Equine for being the start box sponsor! Flatlandsfoto was the prize sponsor for the championship divisions, as well as the event’s official photographer. Following the weekend’s festivities, we chatted with some of the newly minted champions to share their thoughts on the weekend and their performance overall.
The first of the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Champions were crowned today at the FEH East Coast Championships held at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Eight colts and fillies were presented to judges Robin Walker and Lori Hoos in the FEH 4-year-old Championship, while the 3-year-old division was split into two sections: a FEH 4-year-old Colt Championship consisting of eight colts, and a FEH 4-year-old Filly Championship consisting of ten fillies.
The Area VII Championships were one of three Area Championships to run over the weekend of September 18-19. The Aspen Farms Horse Trials of Yelm, Washington was host to the over 150 combinations who qualified for the Area VII year-end Championships presented by Tin Men Supply. With ten Championship divisions running over the course of the weekend, the team of staff and volunteers putting on the event were quite busy ensuring that the Championship atmosphere was top-notch!
The 2021 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships will take place at three different regional competitions. The first of the three to kick off the FEH Championship season is the FEH East Coast Championships which will start on Saturday, September 25, and run through Sunday, September 26 at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. The 2021 USEA FEH Central and West Coast Championships will take place in October.