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.
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.