Four years ago I was just a 12-year-old girl with big dreams. I had done schooling shows on my pony who didn’t really like jumping so it was time to buy my first event horse. We found Xyder, a 4-year-old, 15.1 hand, inexperienced, Cheval Canadien (a breed we had never heard of), gelding located in Yoncolla, Oregon at Storybook Horse Farm.
I instantly fell in love with Xyder as soon as I met him and had to have him as soon as I rode him. Back home, a lot of people thought my mom was kind of crazy for buying her 12-year-old daughter a 4-year-old horse, but Xyder has been the chillest horse since the day we brought him home.
Callia Englund and Xyder representing Area VII at the 2018 FEI North American Youth Championships at Rebecca Farm. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Since then, Xyder and I have reached milestones I never thought we would have achieved. We started out by doing our first recognized event at the Equestrians Institute Horse Trials in May 2015 and finished on our dressage score! From there he proved to be a solid citizen who loved his job. A few months after that we moved up to Novice and in July 2016 we won a recognized for the first time at Rebecca Farm! At this point everyone around us had been questioning if Xyder could really go any further but I believed he could.
After that we moved up to Training level and completed the USEA Classic Series Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm the following year with success! No one thought we could go any further since he was short and stocky and not like the “normal” event horse, but in September 2017 at the Equestrians Institute Horse Trials we proved them all wrong with a successful move up to Preliminary with only some cross-country time faults added to our dressage score!
I felt that now Xyder and I were unstoppable, and I had new aspirations for a CCI*. With help from my trainer, Anni Grandia, Xyder and I were able to go south to Temecula, California where I was a working student for Tamie Smith and Next Level Eventing for a few months. It started out a little rough with the change of difficulty of courses from Area VII to Area VI, but it didn’t take long for Xyder to get the hang of it and we qualified for a CCI*!
Callia Englund and Xyder at the 2018 Twin Rivers Three-Day Event. MGO Photography Photo courtesy of Callia Englund.
Xyder and I did our first CCI* at Twin Rivers Horse Trials in April 2018. There we placed sixth and I was the highest placing Young Rider, only adding 1.2 time penalties to our dressage score. Not only was this Xyder and my first CCI*, it’s where we got our AEC qualification!
Xyder and I were lucky enough to be able to compete at the FEI North American Youth Championships for Area VII at Rebecca Farm this year and are we are super excited to make the trip to Colorado to compete in the Junior/Young Rider Preliminary Championship. I’m very excited to be able to make this trip and continue competing at new venues with Xyder!
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.
It is with great disappointment and regret, which we know will be shared by many, that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Badminton Horse Trials which was due to be held “behind closed doors” between May 5 and May 9. This cancellation also includes the BE90 and BE100 Championships (May 4 and 5).
We've got another Team Talk update for you listeners this week! Nicole Brown is joined once again by USEF Eventing High Performance Director Erik Duvander and USEF Managing Director for Eventing Jenni Autry to talk about the U.S. eventing team's path forward to Tokyo.
My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.