Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna have traveled from beginner novice to advanced, and from Colorado to the East Coast, and their journeys have landed them at their first CCI*** this weekend at the Jersey Fresh International.
A graduate A Pony Clubber, Backus, 20, has lived and competed for much of her life in Colorado. Backus’ mother, Laura, operates Pendragon Stud Equestrian Center in Larkspur, Colo., where she breeds Trakehner-Thoroughbreds crosses for careers in eventing and dressage.
The search for the perfect amateur horse can be tough—slugging through online ads, picking a few horses to try, spending hours in the car only to find out the seller left out some important details or just not clicking with the horse, then starting the process again.
So when Britt Gillis suddenly found herself looking for a new partner, she decided she’d better be specific.
Irish rider Eoin McMahon and QuestFinder fell at the water jump while competing at the Grand Prix of Munich CSI*** (Germany). McMahon, 20, was hospitalized, and QuestFinder was euthanized after the fall on May 8.
The 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quintender—Cassandra, Landstreicher) fractured his leg and was euthanized due to his injury.
With 29 numbered obstacles and more than 40 jumping efforts, this year’s Rolex Kentucky CCI**** course is as big and bold as ever.
An optimum time of 11 minutes and 15 seconds at a speed of 570 meters per minute over 6400 meters, Derek di Grazia’s course will prove tough, and those that aren't accurate, bold and fit might struggle.
We took a walk with di Grazia, now in his sixth year of designing at Rolex, to learn more about some of the key combinations.
Stephen Bradley had a lot on his mind as he cantered down the centerline at the 1996 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Dr. Doolittle.
Having been eliminated after a cracking cross-country round at the Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England) the year before due to spur marks on Dr. Doolittle’s sides, Bradley needed to complete Rolex, then a CCI***, to show the U.S. selectors that they were worthy of the team for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
“He got his name for a reason!” Maya Black said with a laugh as she led me to the stall of her four-star horse Doesn’t Play Fair.
“He’s just a little opinionated about life. I always think he could have been named Napoleon,” she said.
Standing at the back of his stall, “Cody” clearly didn’t want to be bothered after he’d put in one of the best dressage tests of his career at the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC*** (N.C.) to tie for the lead.
“It’s the running joke now—it’s too late to train him, so we just go with this knowing full well it’s Tate’s world, and we live in it,” joked Sinead Halpin as she introduced me to her longtime partner Manoir de Carneville.