Aspen Farms September Horse Trial News

Aspen Farms September Horse Trials Opened July 24th!  Here are the exciting classes we are offering and some advice on how to enter.  Don’t forget the closing date is August 21st.

2012 AREA VII CHAMPIONSHIPS: check out Area VII web site for details:

For the upper levels we have two great sponsors offering prize money:

$4000 Prize Money for the 2012 Tin Men Supply Advanced

$3,000 Prize Money for the 2012 Natural Migrations Open Intermediate

Revere Saddlery is providing a full custom saddle to the winner of the Revere Saddlery Open Preliminary Division.

  If you are an amateur and competing in BN, N, T, or P, be sure to pay the $25 and enter the Newton Amateur Class at your level.  There is great prize money for you!  If you are on a COTH team you can be in this class.

2012 Newton Amateur Classes: AMT Prelim,  AMT Training, AMT Novice, and AMT Beginner

Novice. Separate check for $25 to enter the class (this goes towards prize money) and $750 added to the pot . up to $1,750 in Cash. Limited to the first 40 competitors.  $25 paid back to 12th place.

The Chronicle of The Horse Adult Team Challenge:  Please indicate on your entry form if you are entering the COTH ATC.  If you have your team organized please list your team name.  John Meriwether, Area VII Adult Rider Coordinator,  can be of assistance .

Newton Cash for Juniors:  There will be $250 for prize money for any junior division offered at Aspen Farms September 2012.

Area VII Young Rider Benefit News

The Area VII Young Rider Benefit is right around the corner! We are busy prepping the courses and getting everything in order, including plans for some sides for the bridge if all goes well. Entries are still open, so if you were too busy having a fantastic time at Rebecca Farm last week to send in your entry, please do so today! We are also offering schooling dressage tests in the small ring on Thursday afternoon, in conjunction with the YEH 4 and 5yo competitions. Tests are $20 each, and you are welcome to ride any test you would like to practice in the small ring. Please note these on your entries and/or send wendy an email @
Plans are well underway for the dinner and auction, donations are coming in. If you are interested in donating, please contact Julie Vachon or feel free to bring your donation to the event. Please come and support your Area VII young riders!
Attached is a flyer for the used tack sale that one of our moms is heading up to benefit the program. Please clean out your tack room and allow them to help you make some $!
Lizzie Snow and Maria Schatz are back in Kentucky at NAJYRC, competition starts this afternoon with Jogs. Go AREA VII!

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2012 Olympic Equestrian Team Preview

Lexington, KY – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) named its 2012 Olympic Teams in Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping. The USEF will field three full teams in the disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping. These teams are comprised of a mix of veterans and rookies, men and women from across the country with 17 Olympic Games between them. Seven men, six women. Eight geldings, three mares, two stallions.

Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) on Amy Ebeling, Beth Meyers, and Ann Romney’s Rafalca
Tina Konyot (Palm City, FL) on her own and John Byrialsen’s Calecto V
Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA) on Four Winds Farm’s Ravel

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, ID) on Peggy Thomas’ Wizard

To view the entire nominated entry, please click here.

Will Coleman (Gordonsville, VA) on Jim Wildasin’s Twizzel
Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) on Jatial, Inc.’s Ringwood Magister
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) on Jim and Arden Wildasin’s Mystery Whisper
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) on the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate’s Otis Barbotiere
Karen O’Connor (Ocala, FL) on the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott

To view the entire nominated entry, please click here.

Rich Fellers (Sherwood, OR) on Mollie and Harry Chapman’s Flexible
Reed Kessler (Lexington, KY) on her own Cylana
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, NY) on Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Via Volo
McLain Ward (Brewster NY) on Grant Road Partners’ Antares F

Traveling Reserve: Charlie Jayne (Elgin, IL) on Pony Lane Farm’s Chill R Z

To view the entire nominated entry, please click here.

The youngest equestrian athlete to ever represent the United States is Reed Kessler, she turns 18 on July 9th. Kessler will ride Cylana, the horse with which she won the 2012 USEF Selection Trials. She rides on the team with Beezie Madden and McLain Ward who together have been members of the last two Gold medal winning Olympic Jumping Teams. Rich Fellers, the reigning Rolex/FEI World Cup Champion, rounds out the quartet on the striking 16-year-old veteran Flexible.

The most senior is Karen O’Connor, she rode in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and will be representing her country for the fifth time in the Olympic Games at the age of 54. She will ride the uber experienced Irish-bred, German import, Mr. Medicott, who was a stalwart of the German team before he arrived in the U.S. at the end of last year. O’Connor shared Team Silver and Team Bronze with her husband David in 1996 and 2000 respectively. Jan Ebeling, Rich Fellers, and Tina Konyot all have also crossed the half-century mark. Video

Along with O’Connor, Phillip Dutton will be contesting his fifth Olympic Games. He first represented his native Australia, winning back-to-back Team Gold medals in 1996 and 2000. He rode again for the land down under in 2004 before changing nationalities and representing the country in which he has lived since 1991 at the 2008 Games. He hasn’t missed a World or Olympic Games since 1994. Dutton rides another Aussie import: Mystery Whisper. Video

Boyd Martin, another Aussie ex-pat arrived from Australia in 2006, the child of two winter Olympians – he rebounded from a horrific year in 2011 in which he lost his barn and 7 horses in a barn fire. His mount, Otis Barbotiere, was one of the horses that survived that devastating event. Video

Will Coleman, the only American to ever win the Bramham CCI3* for Under 25-year-olds, will be looking to continue success in Great Britain nine years later. He also rides a horse owned by Jim Wildasin, a rare occasion that one family owns two horses at the Games. Coleman and Twizzel were fifth at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone (finishing on their dressage score) 4/10ths of a point behind Martin and O’Connor (who finished on the same score – the tie was broken because Martin was closer to the optimum time on the cross country). Coleman won the 2001 FEI North American Young Rider Eventing Championships in 2001. Video

Tiana Coudray also won Team Gold at the 2008 FEI North American Young Rider Eventing Championships on her 2012 Olympic mount Ringwood Magister. This pair was second out of more than 100 horses at last fall’s Fidelity Investments Blenheim International CCI3*. They also won the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in 2010.Video

Jan Ebeling rides Rafalca, who has kicked off a pop-culture sensation on the Colbert Report – the attention largely due to one of her owners, Ann Romney (wife of Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential candidate). Romney owns the horse in conjunction with Beth Meyers and Amy Ebeling. They have represented the U.S. three times at The FEI World Cup Final. Video

Steffen Peters was fourth individually at the 2008 Olympic Games on Ravel, who was then an unknown entity. Four years, two World Championship Bronze medals, and a Rolex/FEI World Cup title later – Peters will try to add to those accolades with the Four Winds Farm’s legend. Video

Peters’ will ride alongside one of his teammates from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Tina Konyot. She returns to the U.S. Team with Calecto V, a Danish Warmblood stallion co-owned by Konyot and John Byrialsen. This pair won the 2010 USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship and finished runners-up this year (and last) behind Peters and Ravel and Legolas 92 respectively. Video

Adrienne Lyle has come up under the tutelage of American dressage icon Debbie McDonald in Idaho. McDonald rode at the last two Olympic Games and has produced Lyle into the next generation of winners. Lyle rides Peggy Thomas’ Wizard, a horse started by McDonald but finished by Lyle in her first Olympic Games. They will ride as Individuals. Video

Thirty-five years spans the gap between Reed Kessler and Rich Fellers, which is one year less than the age of McLain Ward. Ward who is a pioneer in success in the big leagues against those his senior. Ward, now a veteran, has settled into a habit of winning. He will be without his two-time Gold medal-winning horse, Sapphire who has hit the retirement pasture, and will ride his Team Gold medalist from last year’s 2011 Pan American Games, Antares F (owned by Grant Road Partners). Ward battled back from a shattered knee cap in January and the first evidence that the comeback had come to fruition was with a stirring victory in the Grand Prix of Devon in May. Video

Madden and her Olympic ride, Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Via Volo shared in that Team Gold and also won Individual Silver at the 2011 Pan American Games. Madden is also without Authentic, her Gold medal ride from 2004 and 2008, with whom she also picked up Individual Bronze in an intense jump-off in Hong Kong. Video

Mollie and Harry Chapman’s Flexible is by the same sire as the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott – but the diminutive Cruising stallion defies his size in every jump. He and Fellers have won every class but one (in which they were second) since their World Cup run. Video

Kessler has been winning a ridiculous amount in her own right, the newly minted 2012 USEF co-National Show Jumping Champion has taken on those three times her age without flinching. She refers to Cylana, whom she owns herself, as an ‘overscoped equitation horse.’ Video

10 Things you might not have known about Equestrian Team USA in 2012:

1. Rafalca and Twizzel are by the same sire, Hanoverian stallion Argentinus. Twizzel is out of an Australian Thoroughbred mare, hence is nicknamed ‘Ossi’.
2. Mr. Medicott and Flexible are by the same sire, Irish Sport Horse Cruising. Both are bright chestnuts with big blazes but there is more than a hand different in their height.
3. There are only TWO grey horses: Ringwood Magister and Antares F who is nearly white.
4. Mystery Whisper was produced to the CCI4* level in Australia by Heath Ryan. Dutton won Olympic Team Gold in 1996 with Heath’s brother Matt.
5. Ravel has his own wine, made from grapes grown in his owners’ vineyard.
6. Neither Cylana nor Kessler had shown above 1.45m, when Kessler got the mare last year, but they have made the move to prime time with ease.
7. Beezie Madden and McLain Ward were in the same jump-off for Individual Bronze at the 2008 Olympics, they found a shortcut on course through the decorations that proved to be the winning route for Madden. Ward had the very last fence down.
8. Madden is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.
9. Tina Konyot’s family was in the circus, her father was a renowned horse trainer, and her mother was known as “Queen of the High Wire.”
10. Coral Reef Via Volo is the smallest horse on the team at 15.2 hands, while Ravel is the biggest at over 17 hands.

Area VII 2012 Championships at Aspen Farms Horse Trials September 7th – 9th

As a reminder, the 2012 Area VII Championships will be held at Aspen Farms Horse Trials in September.  Qualifying Events are fall 2011 Aspen and fall 2011 NWEC and up through Stanton Farm 2012. Caber Farm Horse Trials will count as well, as long as you have already entered Aspen and get a qualifying ride (1st through 4th place – all divisions).  You then need to notify Aspen to change your entry to the appropriate Championship class.  We want to give everyone the most opportunities possible to qualify.



  Our season has officially begun and it got off to a rare sunny start at the NWEC May Classic. The dressage and cross-country footing were great for the two hundred-plus competitors who got to shake off the winter cobwebs! The Event ran smoothly with just a bit of rain on Sunday for show jumping.  It was a well-deserved treat for the Turner family to finally get a lovely dry weekend to host their Event.

Some of the winners were:  Open Intermediate – Karen O’Neal and True Avenue, Open Preliminary – Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair, Preliminary Junior – Ashlynn Meuchel and Morning Star, Open Training – Anne Carr and Lexi Freedom, Training Junior – Alexandra Ahearn and Mai Baum, Open Novice – Sarah Lorenz and Uptown, Novice Junior – Mikeala Mulahill and Pele, Open Beginning Novice – Samantha Higginbotham and Astoria, Beginning Novice Junior – Katie Youngblood-Besel and Captain Morgan.  A full list of results can be found on our Area VII website.  Congratulations to everyone in the placings!  Our show season is now successfully underway!


ADULT RIDER REPORT: “Organizing the Adult Rider Camp”

I remember way back when the then-Area Chair and good friend, appointed me Adult Rider Coordinator.  We chatted, “What should we do?” I don’t know, have an Adult Rider Camp?”  And so it started: Lincoln Creek, 3 days of rain, but a ton of fun!   I figured I was doing something right when most of the folks at the inaugural camp signed up for the next one I did and some have been to almost as many as me!  I did take a couple of years off from organizing and this year will also mark another break.  I love doing it but it is time to bring in some fresh ideas and energy.

This year’s camp was at the Turner’s Northwest Equestrian Center over Memorial Day weekend.  We seriously lucked out on the weather with rain on either side of our 3 days.  This was the best weather ever at camp which had seemed destined to be a ‘bring your rain gear’ event!

Holding camp at NWEC meant no restrictions on numbers because of ample stabling and we ended up with over 50 riders and 60 + horses.  This year I ran a clinic in conjunction with the camp, which allowed us to bring back Leslie Law.  This worked out well for the lucky ones who signed up early to ride exclusively with Leslie.  If you signed up for just for camp, you were at the whim of my scheduling as to whom you rode with!  Not that you could have a bad lesson with the caliber of instructors.  It was a pleasure to have Leslie’s wife, 4* Rider Lesley Grant along to keep Leslie in line 🙂  We also had Canadian Olympic Rider Sandra Donnelly for her first Area VII camp experience.  Hopefully it won’t be her last (she seemed to have a good time) as she was excellent with all levels of horses and riders.  Then of course it would not be camp without our own Jean Moyer.  Jean has given generously and worked so hard for AR and now if a much-loved ‘fixture’ at camp.  All clinicians worked very hard and were super about ‘going with the flow’. I have learned that I need all the clinicians to be self-sufficient and ready to adapt to an ever-evolving schedule – often being asked to take a group out on XC , have an abbreviated 15-minute break if they are lucky, then teach a dressage lesson.  Scheduling is a challenge every year and having campers who are equally self-sufficient and flexible.  This year I had 4 cancellations the day before camp started.  I had changed things around so much I wasn’t sure if I had sent out, or printed, the correct schedule.  It all worked, as it always does in the end.   Because of the cancellations I was able to accept some ‘future Adult Riders’ who were all great young ladies.

In order to keep costs down, we went with a potluck Thursday night, one catered dinner on Friday, and a pizza on Saturday night.  We have some very good cooks and the potluck was excellent.  I was going to give a prize for the best dish- I forgot- but I would have been hard pushed to choose!  Thursday night we had a very eye-opening talk from equine legal expert Rachel McCart from  She informed us why contracts, releases and insurance are all SO important.

Friday night  a lovely catered  was served.  Fortunately for our salads, the wind died down at eating time!   Before dinner our education program was ‘Feeding the Event Horse- What to look for at the Feed Store’ given by Natalie McGowan, Equine Nutrition Specialist, for CHS Nutrition.  After dinner Dr Christine Finn. DVM ( did an excellent talk on ‘Anatomy and Functions of the Back’. Complete with props that required tight leashes on the canine members of the audience!

On Saturday evening, awaiting the delivery of 18 large assorted pizzas, we had a presentation from our own Area VII AR member, Jordan Linstedt, ( describing her adventures and successful journey to compete at Rolex.   While the pizza was being devoured, we discussed the how’s and wherefores of competing in the Classic Format.  I did the “Why it is so much Fun” part and Dr .Aimee Witherspoon DVM did the “How to Condition Your Horse” part.

After the children were sent to bed…. we started the Pink Elephant Tack exchange.  You just had to be there!

Camp is a success because of a team effort.  I couldn’t do it with out my many right-hand friends.  Huge thanks as always to Lou Leslie, Nancy Rodriguez, Heidi West, Aimee Witherspoon and John Meriwether.  The latter two have agreed to take over next year’s camp so the tradition can continue- yeah!   Also a big thanks to those campers who helped out with set up and tear down, setting fences and seeing that the clinicians were fed and watered.  As well as those that pitched in with 2-year-old, baby Law, wrangling and entertaining! We had a great group this year. Thank you!
I would also like to thank the Turners for all their help in allowing us to have fun on their lovely property and to Gallops for supplying the buckets to carry off the goodies donated.



By the time you are reading this, June will be long gone.  The scavenger hunt at Aspen will have been completed, Inavale HT will be complete, the mandatory outings for those headed to Kentucky will both be finished, the team will be making plans to head east and our wonderful summer camp will have been completed.  Hopefully you will have gotten to participate in any or all of these activities. 

As everyone gears up for Rebecca Farm, we are busy gearing up for Rebecca Farm, NAJYRC in Kentucky and our benefit Horse Trials, to be held at Lincoln Creek Aug 3-5, 2012.  Two years ago we moved venues to continue the growth that had maxed us out at Donida Farm.  In this third year, more changes are planned and we are well underway with designing and building, though the fields are still under water.  The fields still being under water at the beginning of June is what makes our footing so good, even by August.  Our event is quite unique in that we run all three phases on the grass, luckily the venue has some of the best footing in the area, so our horses benefit from running on grass. 

Competition starts Thursday for the event with the YEH 4 and 5yo competitions.  Please consider bringing your young horses for some exposure to the venue and the sport of eventing.  We will also offer Dressage schooling tests on Thursday for $20 a test, any event tests will be offered, but to be run in the short court.  Please note on your entry if you wish to participate, and which tests.  Tests will be judged, so you will receive feedback.  Next year we hope to add Show jump schooling rounds as well.

Saturday night brings our annual dinner auction, complete with great food, offered this year by Gina Erskine who does all of Aspen Farms volunteer food.  She also does YR camp and I know there are girls that come back to camp just for the food!  We have lots of exciting items being donated to the silent and live auctions, including a 3foot tall Ceramic one of a kind bell and other fun items.  Music will be provided by local band I for Eye, who is simply amazing!

For those of you young riders that haven’t volunteered yet please contact Jackie Markham @, she is our volunteer coordinator for 2012.  Julie Vachon is in charge of the desserts and auction, so questions about donating to those can be directed to her @  Any other questions or if you would like to sponsor, please contact Organizer Anni Grandia, (253)225-3672 or  All young riders are expected to be there, gather sponsorships and come help!

So plan on coming out to enjoy Lincoln Creek with us the first weekend of August, complete with good footing, great friends, great food, and a little friendly competition!  We looking forward to seeing everyone as we kick off our third year at the new facility.