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.
Get to know the cheeky Irish horse who loves being the center of attention from his longtime rider.
About Leamore Master Plan:
“Mrs. Pastures cookies (we buy them in bulk!)”
“Cross-country. Simon absolutely loves to gallop fast and is incredibly brave yet careful over the jumps.”
“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.”
“Grazing in his field, jumping, galloping, medium trot, Mrs. Pasture’s cookies, traveling, posing for photos, and being the center of attention.”
“Being stuck in his stall.”
“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.”
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
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.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Strzegom Horse Trials (Poland) from June 21-25, 2023. The team will be under the direction of USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law.