Sep 07, 2020

USEA Horse of the Month: Leamore Master Plan

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

There were 68 horse-and-rider combinations that competed in the Great Meadow International CCI4*-S on August 20-23, 2020. Out of the 68 horse-and-rider pairs, five of them made time on cross-country, four finished on their dressage score, and one came in 13 seconds under optimum time. Leamore Master Plan, ridden by Ariel Grald, came in at 6 minutes and 32 seconds to have the fastest cross-country round in the CCI4*-S. Their cross-country round was not only fast but was also considered to be the best cross-country round of the day from the live stream commentators Karen O’Connor and Sinead Halpin. Finishing in the top 15, on his dressage score, with a fast and efficient cross-country round - the USEA Horse of the Month for September is Leamore Master Plan.

Leamore Master Plan (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash) is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding ridden by Grald, owned by Annie Eldridge, and bred by Michael Byrne. Grald and Leamore Master Plan completed their first CCI5*-L together at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2019. They finished 12th and were the highest placed five-star first-timers. In the fall of 2019, Grald and Leamore Master Plan traveled overseas to compete at the Burghley Horse Trials CCI5*-L for the first time, where they finished 10th. This year they have finished second in the CCI3*-S at Fair Hill International H.T. and 15th at the CCI4*-S at Great Meadow International.

Leamore Master Plan and Ariel Grald in the CCI4*-S at Great Meadow International. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Get to know the cheeky Irish horse who loves being the center of attention from his longtime rider.

About Leamore Master Plan:

  • Barn name?

“Simon”

  • Favorite treat?

“Mrs. Pastures cookies (we buy them in bulk!)”

  • Favorite phase?

“Cross-country. Simon absolutely loves to gallop fast and is incredibly brave yet careful over the jumps.”

  • Personality type?

“Extrovert. Simon is a happy, expressive horse. He is incredibly sweet and friendly in the stables but given that he’s a cheeky Irish horse, he tends to be very exuberant under saddle. He’s very curious and loves to watch all the daily activity out his stall window. He is also a total ham and loves to pose for photos.”

  • Likes?

“Grazing in his field, jumping, galloping, medium trot, Mrs. Pasture’s cookies, traveling, posing for photos, and being the center of attention.”

  • Dislikes?

“Being stuck in his stall.”

  • Other facts?

“Simon doesn’t do well out of work as he gets bored easily. When he’s on holiday after major competitions, he is turned out with a pony to keep him entertained. When his longtime babysitter ‘Pinocchio’ (my childhood pony) passed away after the Kentucky CCI5*-L last year, Simon was without a pal for his post-Burghley holiday. We rescued ‘Lil’ Biscuit’, a sassy mini from Pennsylvania, and he is an excellent companion for Simon during his breaks. While Simon’s antics under saddle are easy to see, his vocals are not quite as obvious. He often squeals when he’s excited or sometimes while doing a flying change. The squeals are high-pitched yet fairly quiet. At this point, I just laugh at his exuberance. I’ve learned to work with his enthusiasm and try to channel it in the right direction.”

Leamore Master Plan and Ariel Grald at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Catch Leamore Master Plan and Ariel Grald tearing up the cross-country course at Great Meadow International courtesy of Horse & Country TV - click here, select the "Great Meadow 2020 XC 4* Part 2" video, and click to 34:20!

Miss any of the previous 2020 horses of the month? Find out about the USEA January Horse of the Month, USEA February Horse of the Month, USEA March Horse of the Month, USEA April Horse of the Month, USEA May Horse of the Month, USEA June Horse of the Month, USEA July Horse of the Month, and the USEA August Horse of the Month

About the USEA Horse of the Month

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 performance and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The September Horse of the Month was determined by the performance in the largest division at Great Meadow International - the CCI4*-S.

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YEH Graduates Entered to Compete at the Second Edition of the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill

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Founded in 2019, the MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program was initially created to assist up-and-coming riders under the age of 25 in North America who had not yet competed in a destination event, such as the program’s namesake the MARS Bromont CCI in Lac Brume, Quebec, Canada, or been recognized by the USEF programs intended for emerging athletes.. Spearheaded by the late Steve Blauner and Sue Ockendon, the program sought to give back to the sport by helping the next generation of riders get more experience under their belt with the help of the financial assistance provided by the program, and the two days of included instruction from leading coaches around the world.

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Strides For Equality Equestrians Announces ‘SEE Month’ Fundraising Drive in October

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Fast Facts: 2022 Morven Park International

And just like that, it is time for the Morven Park International! The prestigious event will take place Thursday, October 6, and run through Sunday, October 10 in Leesburg, Virginia. This is the event’s second year offering the CCI4*-L division, in addition to their CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S divisions. That’s not all! The historic grounds at Morven Park will also host national divisions at the Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels.

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