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.”
Interested in tapping into the audience of three-day eventing? Consider partnering with the United States Eventing Association (USEA) in 2022! The USEA is a non-profit 501 C (3), which serves as the national association for the Olympic equestrian sport of three-day eventing.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.