Apr 03, 2024

Olympic Gold Medalist Custom Made to Be Inducted into the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions

David O'Connor and Custom Made at the Olympics and Badminton. Charlie Mann and Kit Houghton photos

Legendary eventing horse and Olympic gold medalist Custom Made will be posthumously inducted into the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions. The 17.1-hand Irish Sport Horse known to many as “Tailor” will be buried in the Memorial Walk of Champions, the final resting place for some of the most famous equine athletes.

“The sport of eventing is an integral part of the Kentucky Horse Park story, and this should be recognized in our Hall of Champions,” said President Lee Carter. “Custom Made is arguably the most decorated horse to compete at the Park, having won the Kentucky Three-Day Event [1995], Badminton Horse Trials [1997] and Olympic gold [2000]. While Custom Made is no longer with us, we are thankful to David O’Connor for allowing future generations the chance to learn the history of this amazing horse.”

Tailor (Bassompierre x Purple Heather) was foaled in Ireland in 1985. In 1998 he was imported to the United States by owner Joseph Zada of Xandarius, LCC to be a mount for O’Connor. The two captured the hearts of Americans in their first year of partnership by winning the 1995 Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The following year, Tailor and O’Connor finished third in the Badminton Horse Trials (England) and placed fifth individually in the Atlanta Olympic Games. They returned to Badminton in 1997 to secure the win, making Tailor the second American horse ever to win the prestigious competition.

The remarkable duo achieved their crowning moment at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, winning the eventing individual gold medal. This was the first eventing gold medal for the U.S. in 25 years. They continued a successful career together including the win of the gelding's final competition at the 2002 Fair Hill International Three-Day CCI4*-L (Elkton, Maryland). He was formally retired at the 2004 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and was inducted into the United States Eventing Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

Tailor lived out the rest of his life at Jacqueline Mars’ Stonehall Farm in The Plains, Virginia. He died in October 2019 at the age of 34 with O’Connor by his side, ending a celebrated chapter in U.S. eventing history. “Tailor was the horse of a lifetime,” said O’Connor. “The most powerful horse I have ever sat on and a true gentleman of every sort. He was a great combination of athlete, legend, and friend.”

A public ceremony will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on April 23 at 5:30 p.m.

May 25, 2024 Eventing News

Caitlin Silliman: The Roller Coaster World of Eventing

As both an eventer and business owner, Caitlin Silliman is well aware of the need for a solid team behind her. Not only has she had supportive family and friends cheering her on, she has ridden and worked under top-notch professionals such as Susie Beale and Silva and Boyd Martin, and now runs her business side by side with her good friend and fellow eventer Erin Kanara at Erin’s farm in Pennsylvania, the state Caitlin has always called home.

May 24, 2024 AEC

Three Months Until the Start of the 20th Anniversary USEA American Eventing Championships

The 2024 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is just over three months away, which means it is time to start planning your trip to Lexington, Kentucky! For the second year in a row, the AEC, which is brought to you by the USEA and its organizing partners at Equestrian Events, Inc and Mary Fike, will return to the iconic Kentucky Horse Park from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.

May 24, 2024 News

Athletux Signs on as Bronze Sponsor for 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce Athletux as a “Bronze Level Sponsor for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)” taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 27- Sept. 1. Athletux will also be the “Official Commentary Provider” at the AEC, offering commentary for the upper levels at the event. All levels of the AEC will be live streamed.

May 23, 2024 Eventing News

Weekend Quick Links: May 25-26

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA