My name is Cece Jones and I’ve officially qualified for Training level at the AEC. This past year has been a hard one for me and my family. My heart horse, Dragon, was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. We went through everything together. He was definitely not an easy ride. He made you work for the success, but that’s ok. I rehabbed a suspensory tear for a year with hopes after that we would get back into eventing. We had a successful season but deep down towards the end he did not seem like himself. After we found out about his condition I was heartbroken. He tried his heart out for me and I loved him endlessly. All I wanted was for him to be happy and comfortable.
My family and I decided to make a very hard decision, but I knew it was doing right by him. He was a true goofball and I’m so lucky I was able to learn from him, even if it was not always sunshine and rainbows. After I had to say goodbye to my best friend, little did I know what would happen next.
My amazing trainer, Megan Cleary, worked hard every day to find my next partner. As most people know, finding the next horse with enough talent and heart to get me to the top level of eventing is not easy. Our first stop was at Megan Moore’s lovely barn in Kentucky, just minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park. I tried a few of her extremely talented and beautiful eventers. But as Mooney Maguire walked out of his stall, I immediately fell in love. The first trot step I knew he was the one. Everything about him was perfect - his heart, gaits, jump. Not only did he know his job, he wanted to please me. What got me the most was how much he looked like Dragon. They both have the same goofy personality and kind face.
Competition season in Florida started off amazing. I was blessed to get to know him in the warmth instead of cold Ohio! We made a move up to Training at Spring Bay Horse Trials at the Kentucky Horse Park. I went in hoping to just get through my first Training with confidence. Little did I know we would win on our dressage score out of an open division of 30 other riders, qualifying us for the AEC.
I can’t thank my parents, trainers, and friends enough for their endless love and support. I have high hopes for Maguire and I at the 2019 AEC and I can’t wait to continue my path as an aspiring Area VIII Young Rider.
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 27-September 1, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
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 . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.