Jul 29, 2019

The Road to AEC: Sight Unseen

John Borys Photography Photo.

It all started with a cute face. That one with the golden-tan mule colored nose and that adorable little white star. I couldn't stop going back to the Celtic Manor Farm Website and checking it every three hours to make sure he wasn't sold! Sure, he was only 2 years old and I was seven months pregnant, but he was so cute! Why not, you only live once and I need a horse! So I called up his breeder.

Within 15 minutes of talking to her, I was sold. Perhaps it was her beautiful Irish accent or her convincing knowledge of breeding that got me, I don't know, but I kept thinking about that face and I was a lost cause. Sight unseen, I sent over the money (since he was young and not trained luckily he was still in my low budget plan) and off shipped this unbroken, untrained 2-year-old baby from Pennsylvania. My friends thought I had completely lost my mind. Who buys a horse never trying them, let alone not getting to meet them in person? What if he's nuts?

To be honest, when I picked him up from the shippers drop-off point, I cried. This horse was so small and scrawny and tiny and then, to make things worse, he wouldn't back out of my trailer. He didn't know how to go in reverse yet on a trailer. I knew I had made a terrible mistake buying a horse sight unseen.

The first few months we were together were hilarious. People at the barn laughed. Here I was with this gigantic belly leading around a baby horse trying to teach him ground manners without knocking him over with my belly! He was so awkward he kept tripping over his own feet. However, there was something very special about him. He was not like any other horse I ever had. He seemed to know me, he understood that he needed to behave and although it took him longer to teach him things, once he got it, he GOT IT and it was IN HIS BRAIN.

Fast forward to the summer of 2014, he was 3 years old, I had had my baby girl and I was ready to try getting on Jameson for the first time. I was so nervous! I had done plenty of groundwork so he was well-mannered and knew my cues, but would he buck and go wild like you see in all the movies if I sat on his back? I had never trained a young horse before so I had no clue. So the day came, and I got on . . . I waited . . . nothing. He sniffed my foot, chewed his bit, and stood there. "Big deal. What's next?" This was his attitude.

Now he's 8 years old and that attitude is still the same. We are heading to AEC at Training level and I am so excited. Meanwhile, Jameson is still more interested in snuggles, food, attention from little kids, than he is about the jumps that his rider is stressing over. I swear, if he were a human he would be the guy on the recliner taking it easy with a cold one while the rest of the world worried about the little things. I am so happy to have bought this "sight unseen" cool, calm, and collected boy.

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.

May 23, 2022 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

May 23, 2022 AEC

AEC Countdown: Less Than 100 Days!

The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.

May 23, 2022 News

USEA Podcast #310: The Season So Far

USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.

May 22, 2022

Auburn University Demonstrates Talent and Spirit to Win 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.

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