Monday, March 24, 2014

Carolina International CIC***

Tali in the CIC*** XC - Photo by Amy Dragoo at the Stone Henge Complex
We've returned to Aiken from the inaugural Carolina International. I want to start by recognizing the efforts by the countless volunteers, sponsors as well as my fellow members on the organizing committee especially Jane Murray and Marc Donovan. Without the efforts of these countless people, we wouldn't have the Carolina International or eventing as a sport for that matter!

As for our horses, they were excellent. I can't thank my lovely wife, crazy to say :), and Michelle for their support and help. Our horses and I would be lost without them! The results were as follows:

CIC*** - Crown Talisman aka Tali owned by Larry & Amelia Ross and Doug - 4th
CIC* - Cellar Door aka Little Leo owned by Jane Dudinsky - 2nd
CIC* - Lysander aka Big Leo owned by Kristin Michaloski and Doug - 5th
Preliminary - Cossino Rio aka Rio owned by Fred & Wendy Luce and Doug - 1st
Training - Lisnahall Imperier aka Rex owned by Virtus - 1st 
Training - de Kooning aka Willem owned by Susan Cipolla - 2nd

On our drive home I was stuck thinking that this was, across the board, my most successful weekend to date. I felt humbled by all who are currently and have supported me in the past. I am driven to do them proud. I can't wait to see what comes in the future!

We're headed to Atlanta for some jumping with Eli on Thurs, will be interesting. Check back soon for results!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The new face of Eventing

In a recent blog post on the Chronicle of the Horse I proposed a classification system which would both allow for more cost effective introductory levels as well as a top tier event which would offer world class atmosphere and competition. With the ultimate goal of growing our sport and helping all who participate in sanctioned and unsanctioned competitions.

I am dismayed that a few have interpreted my message as a power and money grab redistributing from the lower end to the high end being that this is no way my intent. Below is a response posted on Eventing Nation.

"Everyone seems to be focusing on the upper level prize money as my primary motivation for writing this piece. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I open the COTH article explaining that I’ve found it cost prohibitive to compete at the lower levels, in searching for alternatives for our horses I chose to limit my events in favor of jumper shows. This allowed me to gain much needed experience for the horses under my care at a much more reasonable cost due to add back money.

It’s only logical that more riders are choosing to go to other disciplines or unrecognized competitions which offer a welcoming competition for reasonable fees. As a judge, TD, rider and a member of the organizing committee of the Carolina International I have a unique perspective on this topic. I have spoken to multiple organizers who said that running unrecognized events costs them half as much and offers the same profit margins.  If the USEA became more flexible with their fee structure and rules, organizers would have more flexibility to price their events reasonably.  It’s crucial that we drop the barriers to entry at sanctioned events, allowing more participants at the grassroots levels. We have a great sport comprised of a great breath of people. I wrote this looking to allow more to participate at reasonable fees, as well as support our team members and owners to help our country succeed on the international stage!

One quick side note with regards to prize money, Carolina International this weekend is a great example of what we need for ‘A’ class events.  Entries cost about as much as other events and horses finishing in the top placings will be able to pay for their weekend or more. These funds were raised under the great leadership of Jane Murray at the CI not on the back of other competitors!

I want our sport to thrive and it’s not going to happen by pricing competitors, owners, riders or organizers out of the market!

Friday, March 14, 2014

DPE's Expert Advice - Performing Under Pressure

Tali's Morning Jump Session

We've just started our column on Facebook titled "DPE's Expert Advice - Performing Under Pressure".  Check the link for details. We're also looking for additional topic ideas, please write in with your ideas!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Back to Aiken following a great week at Meadow Creek in Texas!

This was the unbelievable situation Helmut Boehme and I found ourselves in on our drive back to Dallas from Meadow Creek this afternoon. Having a heads up that thunderstorms were on the horizon we decided to run XC on 1:30 min intervals today rather than the customary 2 mins. This allowed us to wrap up before the major rain hit. Or should I say what started as rain. We hopped in the car and headed north towards the DFW airport when the bottom dropped out. I've not been in a thunder and lightning rain, hail, sleet storm before, and even if I had, the magnitude of this was exceptional! We managed to arrive at the airport with what should have been hours, but was just minutes to spare. 

I'd to thank Robbie and Brad as well as the countless volunteers who kept everything running smoothly especially in today's less than ideal conditions!

I'm airborne at the moment, and planning the hectic week ahead. Jess and my wedding is just a few short weeks away. Aside from the final loose ends with the party, we need to head to Raleigh this week to find a house!

We'll also be back at PSJ late in the week for the $15k mini prix, check back for updates and results!