The jump from beginner novice to novice is four inches. It's the same from novice to training and training to preliminary. But as you get into the upper levels, with their increased speed and technicality, it's only a two-inch jump from preliminary to intermediate and from intermediate to advanced.
Is the time right to add a level between training and preliminary, creating a 3'5" division? That was the burning question at this year's U.S. Eventing Association Annual Meeting and Convention, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Dec. 4-8.
If you attended the first day of the William Fox-Pitt clinic put on by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged on Nov. 5 at Morningside Training Farm in The Plains, Va., expecting to learn something new and revolutionary, you were probably disappointed. But if you wanted a refresher on what honest-to-goodness horsemanship looks like? Then you got exactly what you hoped for.
You’d be hard pressed to catch Tim Bourke in a moment when he’s not demonstrating the infamous Irish good cheer. Whether he’s riding multiple horses at novice and training or competing in his first CCI*** aboard the horse he broke as a 3-year-old, this young Irish professional is always smiling.
Allie Blyskal-Sacksen grew up just five miles down the road and used to hack around the Fair Hill property, so winning the two-star with Sparrow’s Nio was a dream in the making since she was 8 years old.
All the horses presented today at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill international passed the final horse inspection. In the two-star, Ryan Wood's Frankie was held, as was Hallie Coon's Namasté, but both passed upon re-inspection. Charlie Plumb withdrew Ard Denzil.
In the three-star, Werner Geven's Vilas County was held, but he passed upon re-inspection. Susan Beebee didn't present Wolf.
Have a plan, but don’t be wedded to it was the message of the press conference as the leading three- and two-star riders gathered to discuss why they ended up on top of a leaderboard that experienced a huge amount of shake-up in both divisions at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International.
Jennie Brannigan didn’t dare to presume she’d put in a winning test when she left the ring on Cambalda, but her score of 42.6 took the three-star lead at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International ahead of Doug Payne on Crown Talisman (43.6) and Katherine Groesbeck on Oz The Tin Man (44.0).
Brannigan’s secret weapon for getting ready for Fair Hill this year with “Ping”? Her job galloping race horses for Michael Matz at the Fair Hill Training Center just around the corner.