In 2017, US Equestrian (USEF) approved a recommendation to award a new CCI4* event to Fair Hill. After the FEI announced the changes to the star system in November of 2017, Fair Hill made the decision to wait until the specifications for the new five-star were finalized before moving forward with improvements to the facility. The Fair Hill four-star in 2019 is equivalent to the existing CCI3* and will be designated as a CCI4*-L. Working in partnership with the State of Maryland, Fair Hill plans to host their inaugural CCI5*-L competition in 2020.
Ross Peddicord, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, joins us first to discuss how the Fair Hill five-star is situated within the wider equestrian industry in Maryland and what the prospect of hosting a major international equestrian event means for the state of Maryland. Since Peddicord joined us on the podcast last year, he explains that things have really begun to fall into place and are now moving forward rapidly. He also provides a bit of a background on how this plan came together in the first place and all the different groups that have come together to make this new event possible.
Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of Maryland Sports and the Vice President of the Maryland Stadium Authority, comes on the show next to get into the details of the operations that are playing out at Fair Hill to build out the infrastructure necessary for the new five-star.
Click here for a detailed explanation of the new FEI star system.
This week on the USEA Podcast, meet the three USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Grand Champions from the East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships.
The 2018 USEA FEH East Coast Grand Champion title went to Lauren Welsh's Oldenburg gelding Solo Hit (Sagnol x Arista GS) on a final score of 87.64. Welsh shares the story of how she came across Solo Hit, who was bred by Red Gate Sporthorses in Canada, what he's been like to work with, and the other accolades he has achieved so far. Welsh used to breed show jumping horses, so she talks a bit about what she saw in Solo's breeding that caught her eye and her philosophy in producing young horses.
In 2016 she was the Yearling Champion, then in 2017 she took the 2-year-old Championship title, and this year Cheron Laboissonniere's Holsteiner filly Hallelujah DF (Mighty Magic x Columbia BF) made it a hat trick, taking the 2018 USEA FEH West Coast Grand Championship on an impressive score of 90.19. Jennifer McFall, "Halle's" handler, talked a bit about the story behind her breeding, including how she got her name, and the potential she's seen in the mare so far.
In addition to owning Diamond Davinity (Diamond Domini x Hyperboreas), the Dutch Warmblood who scored a 78.93 to take the 2018 USEA FEH Central Grand Champion title, Jayne Lloyd is also the organizer of the inaugural USEA FEH Central Championships. Lloyd talks about the process she went through to get the new FEH Central Championships off the ground and then shares some background about her breeding program, her experience producing young stock, and her high hopes for what "Vinny" will achieve in the future.
Young Event Horse committee member Debbie Adams joins us on the program this week to discuss her experience with the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant, which is awarded to the highest scoring horse from the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old East and West Championships combined that is qualified as a 7-year-old and willing to compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Mondial du Lion d'Angers in France. Adams’ horse D.A. Duras was the inaugural recipient of the grant in 2015, and Adams shares what it was like to have a horse compete at the Championships. She also talks about the importance of the pipeline for developing young horses, both in the United States and in Europe, and offers advice to riders, owners, and trainers who are considering participating in the Young Event Horse Program.
Next, Doug Payne comes on the show to introduce listeners to the 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) who is the 2018 recipient of the Holekamp/Turner Grant and will be traveling next month to compete at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships. Bred by Elizabeth Callahan, Payne purchased Quantum Leap as a yearling and has produced him to the two-star level. Payne recounts what it was like to bring Quantum Leap up the levels, shares what his personality is like in the barn, and talks about some of the different training techniques he employs, both with Quantum Leap and his other young horses. He also talks about what he looks for in a young horse and how he goes about producing a string of young and talented horses.
Tune in this week to hear from some of the winners from the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena® Feeds!
Winners of the 2018 USEA AEC Junior/Young Rider Open Preliminary division Madelyn Floyd and Clementine (Carrico x La Belle), her own 9-year-old Hanoverian mare, join us first to talk about the journey they have taken together to reach this level, how their partnership got started and how it has developed over time. Madelyn also shares how they prepared to compete at the AEC and their plans for the remainder of the season.
Erin Contino and her own Handsome Ransom (Desert Warrior x St. Casmir’s Secret), a 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were the winners of the 2018 USEA AEC Novice Amateur Championship. Contino talks about how her weekend went with Handsome Ransom, what she took away from the experience of competing at the Championships and the strong season the pair have had, and what she plans to do next with her young mount.
Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira), Alexandra and Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell’s 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, took home the top prize in the 2018 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced Final after a three-year hiatus from the level. Smith discusses Mai Baum’s comeback after the injury he sustained, how he felt during the competition, what it has been like to have him back competing at the highest level of the sport, and what’s coming up next for Mai Baum.
Finally, Phoebe Manders, owner of RF Scandalous, joins us on the program to complete our FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Preview series. Manders talks about her relationship with Kitty and what it’s like to be the owner of a team horse. She shares with us how she became involved in eventing horse ownership and what she most enjoys about being involved in the sport.
This week on the show we are joined by the winners of the Novice Three-Day and Training Three-Day at the 2018 Event at Rebecca Farm, amateur rider Jeanne Carley and professional rider Heather Morris. Both riders share their unique perspectives on how they prepared to compete in the long format three-day event.
Jeanne Carley took the top prize in the Rebecca Farm Novice Three-Day aboard her own Shannondale Fionn (Shannondale Sarco x Shannondale Sasha), a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. Carley shares a bit about how she got into the sport, which she didn’t pick up until her 50s, and what drew her to the Classic Series event. She explains some of the ways she prepared her horse to compete in the Novice Three-Day and how her education benefitted both her and her horse once they were out on course. Next up, Carley and Shannondale Fionn are headed to compete in the USEA American Eventing Championships.
Heather Morris and Von Zipper, the Team Express Group’s 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Contendros, were the winners of the Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm. Morris explains why she made the decision to take Von Zipper to compete in the Training Three-Day and the fitness regime she used to help him prepare for the event. She discusses why she, as a professional, chooses to compete her horses in the long format events and how she feels it benefits her young horses are they prepare to move up the levels.
We close out the show with the continuation of our 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) Preview Series. Emma Ford, who has groomed for Dutton for many years, shares what it’s like to prepare for a championship like WEG or the Olympics. She also tells us what it’s like to work with Dutton’s WEG mount Z (Asca x Bellabouche), Tom Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Annie Jones, and Caroline Moran’s 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, including how he travels and what his personality is like both in the barn and at the competition.
Then, Boyd Martin, who will compete at WEG aboard Christine Turner's Tsetserleg (Windfall x Thabana), an 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, comes on the show to tell us more about how he has been working to prepare Tsetserleg for the upcoming competition. Martin talks about Tsetserleg’s personality, how he has developed a partnership with the horse, and what it’s been like to work with Turner as an owner.
This week on the USEA Podcast, listen in to hear from course builder Eric Bull and course designer Captain Mark Phillips, who are both working on the cross-country course at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).
Eric Bull talks about some of the challenges posed by the weather in preparing the cross-country course as well as the long-term planning that has gone into creating the course for the World Equestrian Games. He discusses how the course will make use of the terrain available at Tryon and the water complexes that have been created for the course. He also touches on the different footing that riders will encounter on course and talks about what he's liked about working with the team at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Captain Mark Phillips then comes on the show to discuss the distance of the track, the time the course will take, and the number of efforts riders will tackle. Phillips talks about the "big picture," how he went about designing the track for the WEG course, and the challenges they have encountered before getting into some of the details of the course. He closes with some advice for the riders who will be taking on the track he has created.
It was a big weekend for eventing at the 2018 Event at Rebecca Farm with 650 competitors in the horse trials and FEI divisions and the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) also taking place during the event. This week, hear from the winners of the NAYC CCIJ* and CICOY2*, McKinsey Wickman and Alexandra Baugh, as well as Tamra Smith, winner of the Rebecca Farm Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3*, and Frankie Thieriot Stutes, who won the CCI3* wire to wire.
Plus, continuing with our World Equestrian Games preview series, Lynn Symansky's groom Kendyl Tracy comes on the show to talk about her relationship with Donner and what it's like to have another opportunity to be a groom for the US Team.
The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) are headed west this year to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, and with that comes some unique challenges for horses and riders in the form of high elevation and increased temperatures. This week, husband and wife veterinary team Erin Contino and Chris Kawcak, who both practice out of the Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital and will both be competing at this year’s AEC, offer advice to competitors on ways they can help their horses cope with the change in elevation and the warm weather.
Then, listen in to an interview with Lauren Keiffer on her preparation with Vermiculus for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina this fall. Stay tuned for interviews with the other riders and their teams in the coming weeks!
The Volunteer Incentive Program was established in 2017 and in just one year has experienced incredible growth, both in the number of volunteers using the Eventing Volunteers app and in the number of organizers putting the app to good use. In 2016, when the app was being piloted in Area II, it had just 800 registered volunteers. This year, the app has over 6,000 registered users and is used by 86 USEA recognized events across the country.
Bonnie Kibbie, chair of the USEA Volunteer Committee talks about the responsibilities of the committee and the how the Eventing Volunteers app has grown and developed with feedback from both volunteers and organizers, as well as some of the benefits it provides for volunteers and organizers alike. The app has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, making it easy to sign up for volunteer jobs, log hours, check out leaderboards, and more!
Kibbie also discusses some of the other projects the Volunteer Committee has undertaken. In addition to the number of resources the Committee has crafted for organizers on volunteer best practices, the Committee is creating jump judge training videos, a project spearheaded by committee member Irene Doo with the support of a grant from the USEA. Doo has been coordinating, editing, and producing these videos, which will be available for all USEA events and volunteers as a free online resource. The Volunteer Committee also recently released a short two-minute survey to gauge interest on a number of possible volunteer educational opportunities. Kibbie describes some of the potential ideas the Committee has been discussing. Click here to take the survey!
Jackie Smith of Stone Gate Farm has been a supporter of the Volunteer Incentive Program since its inception and comes on the show to talk about how organizers can benefit from using the Eventing Volunteers app. As an active competitor, licensed official, ICP certified instructor, and show organizer, Smith has her hands full. The Eventing Volunteers app helps her organizer all her volunteers for her many recognized and unrecognized events in one place and makes it easy to communicate with her volunteers. She’s also attracted new volunteers to her events, just because her events use the app!
The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) are less than three months away, taking place this year at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, August 30-September 2, 2018.
First, USEA Director of Programs and Marketing Kate Lokey shares some of the different things that competitors have to look forward to this year at the Colorado Horse Park, everything from the excellent facilities at the Horse Park and attractions in nearby Denver to the exciting parties for competitors and the new festival classes being offered this year.
Next, hear from Matt Brown, who earned his first major championships title as the winner of last year's Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final winner aboard BCF Belicoso. Brown discusses the significance of that win, both how the $40,000 purse helped support his business and what it meant to take the title aboard BCF Belicoso, and how the AEC brings the professionals and amateurs of the eventing community together and provides an opportunity to compete at the same venue in a way no other event offers.
Finally, two-time Adequan USEA Gold Cup runner-up Doug Payne, who has attended the AEC every year since its inception 15 years ago. Payne talks about why the AEC is on his calendar every year as it provides an excellent test for the horses at every stage of training in his program and is great exposure for horses and riders alike. Payne also shares some tips and tricks for riders attending the AEC for the first time!