Aug 09, 2019

The Road to AEC: When the Stars Align

John Borys Photography courtesy of Debra Simon.

Do you believe in fate or karma? Well, I don’t think I did before, but that has changed.

In August of 2017, my horse Harlequin underwent colic surgery. Recovery went perfectly, so we started to bring him back into work only to discover he had severe knee arthritis and had to be retired. I went home that day – angry, sad, defeated – and started to look for retirement homes for Quinn.

After a few hours of searching for homes, I needed a break and went to mindlessly scroll through Facebook (isn’t that what everyone does?), and there he was. The first thing that popped up was an ad for a 5-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred gelding that was located a little over an hour away from me. I really didn’t want to start looking for a new horse, but something about him made me contact his owner, Laura. The following weekend I went to try him and fell in love! A couple of weeks later I brought Leo home.

With the help of my outstanding trainer Sara McGowan – who made me work slowly, correctly, and form a relationship with Leo before jumping in the show ring - we attended our first event, the Silverwood Farm Horse Trials in September of 2018. Much to my surprise, we finished in second place. This is when I set my sights on the AEC. Now of course, whenever you make plans things tend to go wrong! Our next event was supposed to be the Sundance Horse Trials a few weeks after, but that week Leo decided to throw the same hind shoe twice in one day (how is that even possible?) and then ended up with a hot nail which concluded the 2018 season.

Winter came and went and looking forward to the spring show season we entered IEA Horse Trials in May. Well apparently, Leo had other plans and scraped his knee the day before we were supposed to leave. Friday morning it was swollen so I needed to scratch him from the event. Now it’s crunch time - only a few more months to qualify and limited time and events. Fortunately, Leo was in top form for his next two outings, placing fourth at Fox River Valley Pony Club and winning at Silverwood Farm with clear cross-country rounds, earning us the qualifications we needed to compete at the AEC!

I’m excited to say we have managed to qualify for the AEC at Beginner Novice in just three events with an average score of 30.3. Leo grows and improves with every outing and I‘m excited to see what he can accomplish in Kentucky!

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 16, 2022 Association News

USEA Job Opportunity: Advertising & Marketing Role

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is hiring an Advertising and Marketing Assistant, Coordinator, or Manager. Title dependent on experience. Please read on for details of the job.

May 16, 2022 Competitions

Saying Goodbye to the Copper Meadows Horse Trials

After 22 years of hosting and organizing the Copper Meadows Horse Trials on the outskirts of Ramona, California, the Hoffos family has announced the official retirement of their recognized competitions on their 65-acre farm.

May 16, 2022 Intercollegiate

USEA Podcast #309: The 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships Preview Show

Get your banners and mascot costumes ready, it is USEA Intercollegiate Championships week! USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with Leslie Threlkeld, Chair of the USEA Intercollegiate Committee as well as Hugh Lochore, Organizer of the Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials which is the host of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Riders of all levels will gather in Georgia this coming weekend donning their collegiate colors to battle it out in hopes of coming home with the coveted title of champion. Hear what all you can expect from this weekend's spectacular lineup of activities on this week's episode of the USEA Official Podcast!

May 15, 2022 Competitions

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B Master the CCI 4*-L Division at Tryon Spring International Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin claimed the win aboard Fedarman B on a final score of 29.0 in the CCI4*-L division to claim the CCI4*-L USET Foundation National Championship, adding nothing to their dressage score after two double-clear jumping rounds. In reserve, and the highest-ranked international rider, Colleen Loach and Vermont, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Van Helsing x Heraldik XX) owned by Peter Barry, also completed their weekend without adding any points, ending on a score of 29.3. Clinching third place honors via double-clear stadium round for a total of 31.0 points was Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law, Jackie Brown and Steve Brown.

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