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.”
James Alliston made out like a king earlier this summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm with wins in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L aboard Paper Jam and Nemesis respectively. We caught up with Alliston to chat about his horses, competing on the West Coast, his time in the States, and how it compares to competing in England.
Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.