Safety Initiatives in U.S. Eventing

Safety Initiatives in U.S. Eventing

With all of the back and forth on safety in eventing after the euthanization of Boyd Martin’s Crackerjack at Les Etoiles de Pau, Doug Payne’s Facebook post (a copy of the post by Denis Glaccum) has raised over $1500 in donations to safety research after laying out the scope of safety efforts in relation to the fatality itself.

But what is the USEA already doing to research safety in eventing before a fall occurs?

In the comments of the post, one USEA member brought up the idea of transparency – how can the association members see what the board and committees see? I brought up the idea of an annual report – which already exists – but the fact that I didn’t even know about it shows that it is not enough in of itself.

Next, Rob Burk, the CEO of the USEA, was brought into the conversation. He linked a series of useful pages – which, again, I didn’t know existed. However, the information on the pages, while explained well, was wordy even to me, a nerdy college student with way too much time on her hands. Of course, I had to be extra and make the infographic I suggested myself.

So, I’ve done the work for you! Below is a series of graphics that pull out the main points from each report in an easy-to-understand way. Obviously, by doing it this way, you lose context and other factors, so I’ve also included the links to the pages themselves in case something strikes your attention.

I believe the USEA is doing a phenomenal job increasing safety in conjunction with the other national and international associations and governing bodies. Do we have a long way to go? Yes. But it’s important to see how far we’ve come and how much we are doing. Many people believe eventers live on the edge all the time (okay, maybe we do), but we also care. We give 110% to make this sport better every, single day.

I hope you find this useful and learn something new!

If you feel inclined to donate to the USEA, there is a donate button at the bottom of Doug’s post.

If you would like to download a PDF version of this infographic, click HERE.






(The links won’t work in the picture, so I’ve copied them below.)


Other Good Links:

If you spot a mistake or would like to speak with me about this topic, email me at Thanks for reading!

The Rolex Red Carpet: Eventing Divas!

The Rolex Red Carpet: Eventing Divas!

Today was the first day of the Best Weekend All Year! I was able to live stream most of the jog, excepting a few riders (class is overrated anyways). I love seeing all the riders dressed up and the horses groomed to a perfect shine. It was a blustery day, and the riders and horses were definitely feeling the spring air. All of the girls’ hair was blowing in the wind, so there was quite a movie-like scene. Pink seemed to be a big theme this year!

**Photos were taken off of Facebook or Eventing Nation. If you would like a photo taken down, please contact me at Enjoy!

Katie Ruppel’s blue dress was so modern and sleek, and the pink collar gave it an extra sparkle. Her pink flats were colorful but practical.

Photo by Eventing Nation.

I absolutely loved Madeline Backus’s bright copper-red hair against her understated navy blue dress. Her black boots added a stylish edge.

Photo by Eventing Nation.

Will Faudree made an impression in a bright white, clean, crisp suit paired with black boots (from my days working in the boot store, I can guess these are caimen or gator boots).

Photo by Practical Horseman

Allie Sackson looked downright elegant in a periwinkle dress with a small, cream derby hat which paired perfectly with her spotless grey, Sparrow’s Nio.

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Photo by Michelle Dunn.

Phillip Dutton sported a baseball cap for about the only thing that I’d be okay with – for #TeamLeeLee, paired with a tailored suit and a pink tie.

Photo by Practical Horseman

Rachel McDonough’s dotted tea dress was stunning, and her tie-up flats added an extra element of style.

Photo by Eventing Nation.

Bobby Meyerhoff’s red coat and gray pants made a classic combination in what made me think of a not-so-subtle nod to foxhunting.

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Photo from Ryan Davis Photography

Matt Brown may be one of the only people who can pull off a plaid tie with a plaid jacket with a plaid cap but it works in shades of complementary gray.

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Photo by Michelle Dunn.
Last but not least, Jolie Wentworth was darling in a pretty spring floral dress and nude flats.
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Photo by Michelle Dunn.

Horse Mention:

Caroline Martin’s Spring Easy made such a statement I had to mention his shiny, light chestnut coat.

Photo by Eventing Nation.

Who made the biggest fashion statement to you?

People to Watch in Rolex 2017

People to Watch in Rolex 2017

If you are in the eventing world, or if you know anyone in the eventing world, it’s pretty much impossible to not know about Rolex. But, for those of you that don’t know what it is, I’ll give you a little synopsis of “The Best Weekend All Year!” aka next weekend April 26-30.

Rolex is actually the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. It is the only 4-star event in North America. The FEI recognized events, the highest levels, are ranked by stars, starting at 1* and going up to 4*. There are about six 4* events in the world (although the US is supposed to get a second 4* in the coming years).

These heights were SO HARD to find.
The best part – these fences are HUGE!

Okay, so we’ve got monster fences and the best of the best riders (this is the top event in the United States). Rolex also has demonstrations from local groups, famous riders and horse people (aka Patrick the mini horse and his handler!). Pony Clubs are always demonstrating, usually games, vaulting, and/or eventing.

My second favorite part (behind the best riding in the country) is the Sponsor Village and the Trade Fair. This is a HUGE collection of “pop-up stores” containing everything from Annie’s Equestrian (aka the best breeches ever) to Horze, one of the monster chains that sells pretty much everything to CWD and Devoucoux.

My top picks:

(Disclaimer: these pictures were taken off the riders’ Facebook pages. All rights to the original owners. If you would like a picture taken down, contact me at
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1. Maxime Livio
Maxime is a French rider who has been winning or placing in literally everything in the past two years. His riding style reminds me of William Fox-Pitt, except his legs tend to slip back, but his core and upper body are so steady. His horse, Qalao Des Mers, is a stocky yet adorable gelding.
Maxime is also on my “better not screw it up” list. In 2014, he was accused and suspended for doping Qalao at the World Equestrian Games. This doping also prevented France from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Eventing. It’ll be interesting to see how this pair does.
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2. Lauren Kieffer 
Lauren is a US rider who has consistently been in the top placings at Rolex for a couple of years now. She has three horses entered, though my personal favorite is Veronica, her veteran Rolex mount. She competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics for the US. Lauren has had a very steady year, placing in her rides and showing she is ready to make this Rolex just as good as the previous years.
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3. Will Faudree
Honestly, I just think Will is due for a really good Rolex run this year. He’s placed in the top-middle of the pack in previous years but his track record for the past two years has been amazing. I am very, very excited to see what he’ll show us this year. His horse, Pfun, is a grey Irish Sport Horse gelding, and I’m pretty sure I love him already just from his name!
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4. Michael Jung
Ze Terminator. Winning Rolex twice in a row on FischerRocana FST, this pair is sure to be in the top ten finishers (unless something unmentionable happens). Michael Jung has taken the eventing community by storm and is a household name for any eventer. Last year, he took the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, something a very, very select few have been able to do.
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5. Doug Payne
As if I could leave out my very favorite rider. Doug is an incredible rider and clinician, and I’m pretty sure I’m in love with his horse, Vandiver (Quinn!). I like watching him because he is a very technical rider, and you can learn a ridiculous amount just by watching. He also posts a ton of helmet cams, and there’s nothing like hearing and seeing a Rolex XC analysis from the rider himself. Doug has also been on a winning streak lately, so I’m excited to see what he’ll do.
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6. Caroline Martin
Caroline caught my interest when she won the Carolina International 3*. That was a huge field of really good riders, and she made it look easy. She also had a 4th place finish at the Fork 3*. More than that, her riding is great and fun to watch. Spring Easy is a beautiful 9 year old Irish Sport Horse gelding with an easy, scopey jump. I’ll be watching to see how this Rolex goes for her!
Other riders to keep an eye on:
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7. Kim Severson & Cooley Cross Border – really good 2016/2017 season so far.

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8. Clark Montgomery & Loughan Glen – they have had a fantastic season, so I’m excited to see what they show us at Rolex.

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9. Boyd Martin & Steady Eddie – hard to beat, and (to me) a classic combination.

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10. Buck Davidson & Copper Beach – this horse is newer to me, but has been having a pretty good season so far.
Who are your top picks? Let me know in the comments!