In 1996 Jill Henneberg represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games on an off-the-track Thoroughbred mare she found in a backyard and purchased for a few hundred dollars. Nirvana II (by Hawkins Special) was only 3 years old and Henneberg was only 13 years old when they came together and they would be a pair for the next 30 years – until Nirvana passed away today at the age of 33.
In 1993 they completed the Fair Hill CCI3* and Henneberg earned the Markham Trophy as the top young rider. The following year they finished eighth in the Rolex Kentucky CCI3* and earned the best conditioned trophy. They returned to Rolex Kentucky in 1996 and finished 10th to secure a spot on the team at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
Henneberg would retire the mare the next year at 11 years of age due to a tendon injury. Nirvana made a brief comeback in 2002-2003 with one of Henneberg’s students, Morgan Patton.
Nirvana had two foals including First Mark (by Espiritu) who would go on to compete at the CCI3* level with Heather Morris.
“It was my greatest honor getting to be your person for 30 years,” said Henneberg on her Facebook page. “Thank you for being my everything. My heart is yours forever. Rest in peace, my love.”
The first of 10 Charles Owen Technical Merit competitions took place February 21-24 at the Pine Top Horse Trials in Thompson, Georgia. Over the course of the year, the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award will be presented at one event in each of the 10 USEA Areas, rewarding riders for their safe and effective cross-country riding.
It all started when the McFall family sat down to dinner together in January. Jen and Earl McFall, who own and operate Dragonfire Farm in Wilton, California, have a daughter, Taylor, who is turning 16 in April.
The U.S. Team just stepped on the podium at a major competition, maybe an emerging athlete just cleared the last jump of her first CCI4*-S, or a U.S. rider just returned from a successful trip abroad. The riders will be congratulated, the horses will be praised, the owners thanked – but for the last seven years these accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without the behind-the-scenes work of Joanie Morris, Managing Director of Eventing for US Equestrian (USEF).
Oh, California! This winter has been unlike any other I remember ever eventing, and the start to the 2019 season has been VERY WET. My usually perfect indoor is half full of wet footing and water, and I feel like everything I own is covered in mud.