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.
Has this horse quality? The answer is definitely yes. This first impression is so important. As a selector for the Goresbridge Go for Gold Event horse sale, I have an abbreviation ‘GPO’ which stands for "Good Pull Out." It means that the first look prompts the potential client the need to bring the horse out of his box for a further look.
It was a beautiful but chilly weekend in the pines at the Setters' Run Farm Carolina International. After a record-setting 19.4 in the CCI4*-S dressage, Will Coleman became the first three-time winner in the event's history when he led from start to finish on Hyperion Stud's Chin Tonic HS.
West Coast eventers experienced tremendous success in 2022. Tamie Smith recorded top-10 finishes at Badminton in England, at the FEI World Championships at Pratoni in Italy, and at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Helen Alliston won the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, and Tommy Greengard captured the USEA Intermediate Championship at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. James Alliston returned to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for the first time since 2017 and finished third in the CCI4*-S.
I first met Moose (JC: Plain Brown Wrap) when he was an 18-year-old lesson horse in April 2020 in Texas. I was a 40-year-old mom of four young girls who had stopped riding before my 20s but had somehow convinced my husband to buy a pony for our girls two years earlier. But once COVID hit, to get some “me” time, I started taking jump lessons at the eventing barn where we boarded our pony.