Congratulations to Danito, the March 2019 USEA Horse of the Month! Owned by Ruth Bley and ridden by Tamra Smith, Danito is a 10-year-old Hanoverian chestnut gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik). Danito won the CCI3-S at the Fresno County Horse Park on February 15, the first FEI event of 2019. No stranger to earning the blue ribbon, Danito has 12 wins to his USEA record including a win in 2014 at Lone Tree Farm’s Young Event Horse (YEH) competition with John Michael Durr in the irons.
Thanks to our friends at EquiRatings, we can share that Smith and Danito’s win at Fresno put Danito in a category with top event horses like Veronica and Mystery Whisper.
Smith explained what he’s like around the barn, his favorite treats, and described him as a horse with “a heart of gold.”
Danito’s win at the Fresno County Horse Park gives him three wins from three international runs with Tamra Smith. This means they become only the 20th combination since 2008 to win their first three international runs as a combination. Two other combinations on this list are Veronica and Lauren Kieffer and Mystery Whisper and Phillip Dutton.
New in 2019, the USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on statistics and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The March Horse of the Month was selected based on the performance of the first FEI event of 2019, Fresno County Horse Park CCI. Danito and Tamra Smith won Fresno’s CCI3-S wire to wire, earning him the title of USEA Horse of the Month in March 2019!
This year, the Area VI Championships took place on a sweltering weekend in Ramona, California at the Copper Meadows Horse Trials. In order to qualify to compete in the Area VI Championships in 2020, riders had to earn two MERs at the level at an event in Area VI during the qualifying period from August 1, 2019 to August 18, 2020.
Wildfires are currently ravaging the West Coast of the United States. According to the state of California, since the beginning of the year, there have been nearly 7,900 wildfires that have burned over 3.4 million acres in California. Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 25 fatalities and nearly 5,400 structures destroyed. In Washington wildfires have burned over 626,000 acres, 181 homes had been lost, and one death occurred as a result. In Oregon, over 1 million acres were burned, and about 40,000 people were evacuated, with about 500,000 people in evacuation warning areas.
“There are people who want to be right and people who want to get better.” Tamie Smith is one of the latter. A member of the 2019 Pan American Games gold medal-winning team with multiple successes through the five-star level, Smith’s career is propelled by a desire for continued improvement and a commitment to good horsemanship.
Having this historic competition close isn't the right result for the sport, and the United States Eventing Association (USEA) is working hard to find a solution. The organizer and landowners operate exceptional events on a beautiful piece of land. We are deeply sensitive to the history of the word "plantation" and its connection to slavery; however, this property has no known connections to slavery and was instead named after 'plantings' on the property.