Aug 01, 2019

The Road to AEC: An Opportunity

Amy Dragoo Photo courtesy of Tori Nuckols.

As a 24-year-old young professional focusing on starting and producing young horses, my personal upper-level dreams and having the right horse to reach them have seemed a bit slow to form. However, I am very passionate about developing young horses and always just figured that the right opportunity would eventually come along if it was meant to be. Little did I know that those dreams were coming sooner than I thought when I got the ride on Osborne 9.

Osborne 9, a 2006 Westphalian gelding, was imported by Lynn Symansky and Al Quanbeck and by 2014 had successfully completed through the old CCI2* with Lynn. However, after some injuries and recoveries, " Oz" took an almost 4-year hiatus from competing. In December of 2018, I got a phone call that was the beginning of our exciting journey together. Sarah Berhalter took over ownership of Oz with the plan of me taking the ride to see if he would be able to continue to a career as an event horse, with the fallback of becoming a dressage horse for Sarah.

Brant Gamma Photo courtesy of Tori Nuckols.

Oz is a very large, very quirky gelding with a sometimes electric energy about him, so a good personality match between us was a must. A few days before Christmas we drove up to Lynn's, I watched Lynn flat him for a few minutes before hopping on, I rode him around a few minutes, and everything went smoothly so he came home with us that day.

We started slowly together, just trying to get to know each other, getting him fit and building my confidence. We did a few schooling derbies over the winter at Beginner Novice and Novice and it was far from pretty. We spent a few weeks in Aiken and things started really clicking for us. Oz loves to have a job and he loves the sport, and as we started to develop our partnership we started really making some progress together. We ran one Training together at Southern Pines before moving up to Preliminary for the remainder of the year. We completed my first CIC* and CCI* in the fall of 2018.

Amy Dragoo Photo courtesy of Tori Nuckols.

I started 2019 with 2 goals:

  1. To move up to Intermediate and
  2. To qualify and go to the AEC.

We started the season at Preliminary and qualified for the AEC, placing second at the Morven Park Horse Trials before making the move up to Intermediate for the remainder of the spring. To my disbelief, we are qualified and planning to attend the AEC at Intermediate! He can be quite electric in dressage so we are spending the summer really focusing on our dressage and my ability to channel his enthusiasm. I cannot wait to ride him up the centerline in the Rolex Stadium!

I will also be competing Sally Nunneley's Gingerman, a Haflinger gelding, in the Beginner Novice at Kentucky. Previously a driving pony, "Sandy" has found a love and a talent in eventing.

About the USEA American Eventing Championships

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.

Jan 19, 2020 Board of Governors

Meet the 2020 USEA Board of Governors

The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.

Jan 18, 2020 Profile

Horse Heroes: Flintstar

Sired by Zabalu and out of Croftlea Firequeen (by the well-known Irish Sport Horse sire Kingcroft Wicklow), the New Zealand Thoroughbred Flintstar was bred by Raewyn Price at Croftlea Stud in North Canterbury, New Zealand and born in 2000.

Jan 17, 2020 Eventing News

In Memoriam: Steve Blauner

The USEA is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Steve Blauner, a valued USET Foundation trustee and longtime owner for U.S. Eventing Team High Performance Athletes Boyd Martin and Doug Payne.

Jan 17, 2020 Education

Featured Clinician: Sara Gumbiner

To all of the enthusiastic equestrians out there, five-star eventer Sara Gumbiner says, “dream even bigger.” Aboard her longtime partner Polaris (Brandenburg’s Windstar x North River Lady), Gumbiner has transitioned from daring young rider to bold international competitor. Fueled by hard work, a great support system, and a knack for ending up exactly where she should, Gumbiner went from competing in her first recognized event to her first Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* in just eight years.

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