Turnout Traditions in Driving Presentation & Performance
Horse of the Year Celebrating the Achievements of Horses
Winter Blanketing Tips from Top Eventing Groom Emma Ford
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Table of Contents
25 32 40
Cover photo: Horseware
25 Winter Blanketing
Tips from Top Eventing Groom Emma Ford
32 Turnout Traditions in Driving Presentation & Performance
40 Horse of the Year
Celebrating the Achievements of Horses
Departments 8 Sponsors
Take a Look at Our Partners
12 Seen and Heard
Around the Equestrian World
16 Day in the Life
Juniors’ Ring Edition
Why Didn’t I Win?
Behind the Lens with Allie Conrad
20 Inside Perspective 46 Trending
Letter Equestrian Magazine
The United State Equestrian Federation is enjoying the fall weather and getting ready for the upcoming winter months. This time of year has a certain feel and style to it, and in this edition of Equestrian Magazine, we take a look at various aspects of style in the equestrian world. With the weather getting colder, it’s important that your horse’s blanket keep him/her warm and dry. Equestrian Magazine talked to Emma Ford, Phillip Dutton Eventing head groom, about how to properly fit your horse for a blanket. Once you know these winter blanketing basics, you can confidently chose a a blanket for your horse and pick out your favorite color or trendy design. Driving is a fascinating equestrian sport to watch, steeped in tradition and decorum with a style all its own. We share the history behind the presentation involved, including the dress of the drivers and grooms. As the year comes to a close and points for the competition season are being finalized, Equestrian Magazine takes a look at the USEF Horse of the Year Awards and how to make sure your horse is eligible. Ribbons are the icing on the cake marking the achievements you and your horse have made throughout the year and are a bright reminder during the winter months. Many athletes want to know how their elite counterparts prepare for competition. Ransome Rombauer walked us through her preparations the day she won the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West. The challenging competition stresses the importance of equitation basics and a solid jumper seat position in order to become an effective jumper rider, supporting the notion that form follows function. Equestrians are always trying to get the best and most flattering photos of their horses. Photographer Allie Conrad gave us some tips on how to get stunning shots of your equine friends. Fall is a great time to practice taking picturesque shots of your horse, and you can develop your skills for the upcoming seasons. From tips on blanketing and shooting photos of your horse, to the history of the USEF Horse of the Year Awards, and attire in driving, everyone is sure to find something interesting in this edition of Equestrian Magazine.
Volume LXXIX, No.5
Published by The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Colby Connell Advertising Director Kim Russell Account Executive Crissi White Contributing Writers Sissy Wickes Contributing Editors Lee Carter Mark Coley Kathleen Landwehr Leah Oliveto Dana Rossmeier Eileen Schnettler Sissy Wickes Design & Layout Courtney Cotton Candice McCown Equestrian magazine (ISSN 1548-873X) is published seven times a year: January/February, Horse of the Year Special Edition, March/April/Spectator’s Guide, May/June, July/ August, September/October, November/December, by the United States Equestrian Federation®, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; Phone: (859) 258-2472; Fax: (859) 231-6662. (ISSN:1548-873X). NOTE: Effective Issue 1 of 2015, Equestrian magazine will be published and provided electronically and only four editions will have a limited number of printed copies. Only the Horse of the Year Special Edition will provided in the U.S. Mail. USEF is not responsible for the opinions and statements expressed in signed articles and paid advertisements. These opinions are not necessarily the opinions of USEF and its staff. While the Federation makes every effort to avoid errors, we assume no liability to anyone for mistakes or omissions. It is the policy of the Federation to report factually and accurately in Equestrian and to encourage and to publish corrections whenever warranted. Kindly direct any comments or inquiries regarding corrections to the Colby Connell email@example.com or by direct dial 859-2252024. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Equestrian, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40845627. For Canadian returns, mail to Canada Express, 7686 #21 Kimble Street Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5S1E9. (905) 672-8100. Reproduction of any article, in whole or part, by written permission only of the Editor. Equestrian: Publisher, United States Equestrian Federation®, Chief Executive Officer, Chris Welton (859) 2256912. Director of Advertising, Kim Russell (859) 225-6938. Copyright © 2014. Equestrian is the official publication of the United States Equestrian Federation, the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in the USA, and is an official publication of USEF.
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HERMÈS CAVALE, JUMPING WITH FREEDOM Both technical and athletic, the new Hermès Cavale saddle was designed for top-level show jumping with the help of our partner rider, Simon Delestre. With its wide gullet, angled foam-injected panels, and its seamless medium-deep seat, Hermès Cavale combines balance, comfort for horse and rider, and close contact riding. It offers an innovative answer to the search for the perfect feel over fences. Official USEF team supplier
2016 USEF Annual Meeting
January 13th â€“ 16th, 2016 Lexington, Kentucky
Seen & Heard
BUZZ AROUND THE RING
“I had a really successful run at Richland Park before this, and I was looking to build on that, but I was not expecting to do so well.” -Twenty-one-year-old Jacob Fletcher, the winner of the Adequan Advanced Gold Cup Final and USEF Open Horse Trial National Championship titles at the 2015 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by VTO Saddlery, after leading the competition from start to finish
- Robert Ridland on the challenging track designed by Santiago Varela (ESP) for the last round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final
PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) ERIN DESNOYERS, SHANNON BRINKMAN PHOTO, PICSOFYOU.COM, WALTENBERRY
It was a very difficult, but brilliant course. It was exactly what you would expect at the Final; it’s the highest level of sport with great countries competing here. We knew it was going to be tough when we walked it.
Top: The U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Travel Team achieved a Gold medal sweep at the South Africa Saddle Seat Invitational. Right: Andrea Fappani and Custom Spook slide to the win in the $25,000 Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship at the High Roller Reining Classic.
“Simon went beautifully. The round went pretty much exactly as I wanted it to and he tried his heart out. I couldn’t be happier with him. I’ve had him for three years and that was one of our best rounds ever.”
-Beezie Madden on her mount, Simon, after being the only competitor to go clear and win the Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI5*, presented by Wells Fargo
“The jumping course was long and challenging, but I nailed it. I wasn’t that nervous. There wasn’t time to get anxious.” -Ransome Rombauer, the winner of the 2015 Platinum Performance/ USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West, on the jumping course in Phase III of the Finals
Left: Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen won the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials on their dressage score of 33.8, leading the field of 101 starters from start to finish. Bottom: Chester Weber claimed his 12th USEF Four-in-Hand Driving National Championship at the Kentucky Classic Combined Driving Event.
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wi n n i ng doesn’t happen by
a c c i d e n t.
A rub. It’s all that separates a flawless round from “better luck next time.” But you’re not depending on luck. You’re depending on countless hours in and out of the saddle. And you didn’t come here for just a ribbon. You came for the championship ribbon. So ask yourself, does your horse have the stomach to win?
Time for a gut check. TheStomachToWin.com
When administered for 8 or 28 days, just one dose a day of ULCERGARD is proven to effectively prevent performance-robbing equine stomach ulcers in horses exposed to stressful conditions. ®ULCERGARD is a registered trademark of Merial. ©2014 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIUGD1425-D (08/14)
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.
JUNIORS’ RING EDITION
Ever wondered how athletes prepare for big competitions? Ransome Rombauer, winner of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West, took us through her day and how she prepared for Phase III of the Finals. 6:00 a.m. Woke up (a sleep-in day for me). Thank goodness I laid out my clothes the night before. I was a little sleepy, as I had trouble getting to sleep because I was so excited about Phase III (jumping). I made sure my whites were clean, jumped in the shower, got dressed, put on my lucky belt (a hand-medown from Julia Nagler) and threw on my favorite Patagonia CA Bear beanie to hide my wet hair. I was out the door (Marriott, my second home) by 7 a.m. 7:15 a.m. Swung into Starbucks to get my standard Venti Earl Grey Tea with half and half and classic oatmeal – no nuts! 7:30 a.m. Got to the show. Said my good mornings, gave Lalonde (aka Frenchie), Gaston, and Carneros love and cookies. Hopped on Frenchie to hack a little, loosen him, and stretch his legs. I was beginning to get a little nervous thinking about what’s coming up. My mom bugged me to eat a little something more and to drink my tea (now cold). I think I was more excited than nervous because, for me, I had already gotten through the tough part (Flat Phase nine-section Dressage test) of Talent Search. Phase II Gymnastics went well. I was thrilled that it was moved to the Grand Prix field and not in the small indoor ring where it was conducted last year. I was 16 Equestrian
quite anxious going into the Final in general - remembering my mishap from last year. I won the Flat Phase and went into the Gymnastics Phase last (standing first) – and blew it. I was so nervous and waited around for what seemed like forever – and I got flustered and missed the intended track (I took the scenic route!) of the Gymnastics and was given no score. I redeemed myself in the Jumping Phase the next day by placing second in that round, but still. The disappointment still lingered a year later and I couldn’t really 100% shake it. 8:30 a.m. Tucked Frenchie back in his stall. Fortunately, I was really distracted because the night before I purchased (rescued) a miniature stud out of the Kaufman Kill Pen in Texas. The poor little guy was emaciated and apparently his previous owner didn’t bother to feed him. I was excited to save another horse, and I was busy on the phone arranging quarantine and pick up. All this made me really happy and excited and lightened the anxiety load of Phase III. 9:00 a.m. Started getting dressed. Put hunt coat on. Started cleaning and polishing my boots. Still feeling euphoric about saving the mini stud; I decided to name him “Tex” after the state he came from. This warm happy feeling was a real comfort and I couldn’t stop smiling. I was pretty relaxed knowing I was standing third going into Phase III. I totally trusted Frenchie, and he was 100% dependable going over the water. Prior to the Gymnastics Phase, I had never jumped Frenchie at 1.20m. He did great; no rubs or rails so I felt confident he was up to Phase III. He and I have been out on the Grand Prix field many times before so we both felt at ease. usef.org
PHOTOS: MCCOOL PHOTOGRAPHY (1,2, & 4), HORSE & STYLE MAGAZINE (3)
Day in the Life
9:30 a.m. Went to the snack shack and got a cup of fresh watermelon, my favorite pick-me-up without the weight of a heavy second breakfast. 10:00 a.m. Back to the barn. Put on my number and headed to the Grand Prix field for the 10:15 walk. Said goodbye to my mom knowing I wouldn’t see her until it was all over. 10:15 a.m. Walked the course with my barn mates Morgan Dickerson and Savannah Jenkins (used to train with Karen Healey). She came back from Baylor just to ride in the Final. Walking with Savannah was like walking with a trainer. She was very knowledgeable and we really discussed the course and shared our thoughts, etc. She was GREAT to walk with and I felt very prepared. 11:00 a.m. Phase III started in reverse order so I had time to watch a good number of rounds before I went in third-to-last. 12:15 p.m. I got on. My primary concern was the bending line from fences two to three. I still hadn’t decided whether to do the direct six or the shaping seven. I figured I would ride what I felt. Then from fence nine to 10A it was either a very direct five or a shaping six to a really wide oxer-oxer two-stride. After my warm-up, I decided on the direct five because I didn’t want to get too coiled up to the long oxer-oxer two-stride. The warm-up was quick. Frenchie felt a little depleted so we kept the warm-up short and sweet. usef.org
12:40 p.m. I was at the gate feeling really excited and so happy to be where I was at that very moment. I made a point of not worrying about the time allowed. My priority was to have a steady pace and have a bounce to my canter and keep the rails up. 12:43 p.m. Coming out of the gate I was so relieved. I was so happy and so proud of Frenchie. 1:00 p.m. It was CRAZY! Waiting for the results and the top six for the jog. I couldn’t believe I made the top four. My goal for this final was to make the top four and ride-off. I achieved my goal, and after that, I had no expectations. From that point on, it was so much fun. I really wasn’t nervous about the rideoff. I am used to riding different horses. I was excited to ride the other horses, and I felt really confident. It felt like a horse camp play day. 2:00 p.m. I can’t remember: At this point, it was a blur. This year the top four were very consistent and competitive. We all rode really well and the results could have gone any way. I knew Savannah was going to be at least top two, and it was an honor to share the podium with her. 3:00 p.m. I won it. I can’t believe I won the Platinum Performance/ USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West! ■ Eileen Schnettler Equestrian 17
Changing the way you look at equestrian sport.
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As riders, owners, trainers, spectators, and parents, we have all scratched our heads at the conclusion of a class and thought, “I wonder what the judges did not like about that performance.” Sometimes, the results of a class or an announced score are obvious. Other times, the decision is more esoteric and inspires us to inquire about the judge’s decision. We know that it is final, and we know better than to complain. But, we hope that the information will educate us about our horses and make us more successful competitors. 20 Equestrian
WHY DIDN’T I WIN?
As with every inquiry about adjudication, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach the subject. The USEF has a very strict policy of conduct regarding contact with a judge during a competition. “No one shall approach a judge with regard to a decision unless he first obtains permission from the show committee, steward or technical delegate who shall arrange an appointment with the judge at a proper time and place. No exhibitor has the right to inspect the judge’s cards without the judge’s permission.” At Hunter/ Jumper competitions the steward will be present at meetings with judges. An exhibitor or his connections must never approach a judge directly regarding a decision at that horse show. Do not intercept him on the way to the bathroom or his car. Do not text him or call him. Go to the steward and make an appointment. This formal context ensures
civility and order. Further, it enables the judge to finish his work day, obtain the card for the class to which you are referring, and speak to you without distraction. To hear the judge’s perspective on exhibitor inquiry, we talked to hunter judge Linda Andrisani and Arabian judge John Ryan. Andrisani is a respected judge of thirty years and has handled all sorts of judging situations. When asked if inquiries offend judges, she responded, “Most judges are happy to be asked. They have a logic to their decision and have no issue with inquiry.” She advocates meeting with those involved at the end of the show day. “I like to meet at the end of the day, not during the show when I am focused on something else. I want to give them the time they deserve.” Ryan concurs with Andrisani regarding a judge’s willingness to discuss usef.org
PHOTOS (L TO R): SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY (1), SUSANJSTICKLE.COM (2 & 3), SPORTFOT (4)
a performance with the exhibitor. “I welcome anybody asking me my reasons for a placing. I hope that my comments will improve future presentation with the knowledge of why a horse placed a certain way.” Andrisani likes to involve the trainer and the exhibitor in the conversation, or, if applicable, the junior rider, parent, and trainer. She humanizes the conversation by stating, “You know my opinion of the class, so I will ask your opinion.” She asks the rider to give an account of the round in question from their perspective aboard the horse. Most of the time, Andrisani claims, “By the time people reflect on their own rounds, they have explained to themselves what happened.” She is adamant that the inquirer only discuss his/ her round, not those of other participants in the class. And, at the end of the discussion, she expects to exchange usef.org
thank-yous and hopes that the trainer and exhibitor depart with a greater understanding of the results of the day. Many exhibitors are hesitant to inquire about a score or placing, worried that the judge may be offended or hold it against them at their next judged competition. Both Andrisani and Ryan dispel this thought, explaining that positive interaction with exhibitors and trainers is mutually beneficial. It can prove to be an educational experience for the exhibitor and an opportunity for the judge to eradicate negative feelings about the placing of the class. Judges do not hold the conversation against the exhibitor at future shows. As Ryan states, “Every class is a new class. I do not bring anything personal with me.” If exhibitors have questions concerning the results of a class in which they participated, they are entitled to enlist the involvement of the steward
to speak to the judge. This meeting should be a useful tool for the rider, trainer, and/or owner to understand another perspective on the performance. Exhibitors should approach the judge with a positive outlook and respect for his/her opinions. As the USEF Sportsman’s Charter states, “Good manners of sport are fundamentally important.” Judges are working hard and doing the best job possible in that booth. Be polite, listen, and learn. ■ Sissy Wickes
Support your Team at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Visit the U.S. Equestrian Team Registry Help Our Athletes Win Medals and Stand on the Podium When you choose a symbolic gift from the Registry you will make a huge impact on the success of OUR EQUESTRIAN TEAM IN RIO
Go to USET.org/registry and make your gift today!
Photos by Rebecca Walton and Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, SusanJStickle.com
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Winter Blanketing Basics
with Tips from Top Eventing Groom Emma Ford
the temperatures continue to drop, it is time to get out the winter blankets. To keep your horse comfortable during these colder months, blankets must fit properly and be appropriate for the climate and your horse’s needs. Emma Ford, the head groom and barn manager for Phillip Dutton Eventing, offers some insights into winter blanketing that she has learned over the years.
Blanket Fit A blanket that fits properly is of the utmost importance. To find out what size your horse needs, grab a measuring tape and helper. Have your helper hold the measuring tape at the center of your horse’s chest while you run it along the widest part of your horse’s shoulder to the point of the buttock, keeping the tape as level as possible and pulling it tight. Blankets are measured in inches, and once you have determined your horse’s true size with the measuring tape, you will know what blanket size you need to get. However, just like with your own clothes, some blanket brands can run a bit small or large. Certain blanket brands, or lines of a brand, may be designed to fit a certain body type, so do some research and ask some of your barn friends what they have found so you can determine what blanket will fit your horse best. Ford agrees that there are a variety of different blanket styles. She stresses paying attention to the belly surcingles when trying a blanket on your horse. “Once you know the correct size for your horse, you should look at the usef.org
As the year gets further into autumn and
Blanket Fit Blankets Should: • lie flat along your horse’s shoulder. • allow you to slide one hand between it and your horse’s withers. • reach the bottom of your horse’s barrel and just below the elbows and stifles. • have the back edges reach the tail, with no more than two inches of skin between the edge of the blanket and the tail. Blankets Should Not: • be tight on your horse’s shoulders or withers. • show your horse’s barrel. • reach down close to your horse’s knees or hocks. • have back edges that cover your horse’s tail or do not cover the points of your horse’s buttock.
Previous: This Rambo Original with leg arches is a good example of a properly fitted blanket. It wraps around the horse’s body nicely, covers the horse’s barrel, and reaches past the horse’s elbows and stifles. Left: A heavyweight blanket, like this Rambo all-in-one heavyweight blanket, has the most polyester fill and provides the greatest amount of warmth in the winter.
positioning of the belly surcingles. Some blankets have them set very low. On horses that do not have a deep girth, these styles can sometimes be unsafe because the straps cannot be shortened enough to prevent a horse from getting a leg through the strap.” Trying a blanket on your horse will ensure that you have found the right fit. Most tack shops will accept a return on a blanket purchase if you try the blanket on your horse when he/she is clean and/or wearing a thin stable sheet. When trying a blanket on your horse, watch him/her walk and graze to determine if it fits while your horse is moving around. Not only does an improper fitting blanket look funny on your horse, it can wear out sooner or cause harm to your horse. A blanket that is too big is more likely to shift around, which could result in rubs, being stepped on, or getting caught on something. A blanket that is too tight can restrict a horse’s movement, cause rubs, and put undue stress on seams and fasteners. A blanket should smoothly follow the contours of your horse’s body without pulling, bulging, or sagging. usef.org
All straps and closures should be fastened correctly, with most belly surcingles crossing underneath your horse and allowing enough room to slide the flat of your hand between them and your horse’s belly. Hind-leg straps should loosely loop through one another but not to the point where they are drooping near your horse’s hocks. Ford offers suggestions for two common blanket fit issues. For blankets that slide back slightly, she recommends “positioning a folded towel or leg quilt between the horse and the front closures. This helps prevent a pressure point on the chest and sometimes prevents the blankets from slipping back.” This tip is best for stabled horses or those who are quiet in the field. To avoid your horse’s mane getting rubbed by a blanket that has been worn for extended periods of time, Ford explains, “I like to use blankets that have high necks, sometimes referred to as ‘wugs,’ and my blankets with full necks are all in one so there is no seam around the wither area that can cause chafing.” Equestrian 27
The climate that you live in and amount of winter coat that your horse has will determine his winter blanketing needs.
blankets. In Aiken, I have to look at the next day’s temperature. To save time and be efficient, lighter blankets are placed as the first layer so that as the day heats up, staff only has to strip off the top layer rather than keep switching blankets.” Another important factor in making winter blanketing decisions is your horse’s individual needs. The amount of winter coat that your horse has will determine the amount of added warmth he/she needs during the winter months. Horses that have a full body clip, or barely grow any winter coat, will need more protection than a horse that is unclipped or grows a winter coat similar to that of a wooly mammoth. Additionally, some horses are more comfortable in cooler temperatures than others. Ford emphasizes, “Know your horse; does he/she run hot or cold?” Senior horses often run a bit cold and do better with more added warmth. However, overblanketing can cause a horse to sweat and get chilled. Pay close attention to your horse as you assess his blanketing routine and adjust accordingly. With the right blanketing formula, your horse will be at just the right comfort level for whatever the winter months have in store. ■ Kathleen Landwehr PHOTOS: HORSEWARE
Your Horse’s Winter Wardrobe Blankets come in a variety of weights to give your horse different levels of protection during the winter months. Lightweight sheets or blankets have 0-100 grams of polyester fill and act mostly as a waterproof layer, providing little added warmth. Medium weight blankets have 150-225 grams of fill and supply extra warmth for when the temperatures begin to drop. Heavyweight blankets have 250-420 grams of fill and give the most warmth and protection in the dead of winter. Determining what blankets you need for your horse depends on the climate that your horse lives in. Horses in the northern states will need to have a full wardrobe for anything from mild to bitterly cold days, while horses in southernmost states will not need a heavyweight blanket. Ford says, “Having a good-quality lightweight, medium weight, and heavyweight blanket is suitable for areas that experience a true winter.” No matter where you live, it is important that you know each day’s forecast so you can blanket your horse accordingly. Ford agrees and stresses, “Know the temperature! Whether in Pennsylvania or South Carolina, my horses are blanketed according to the temperature.” Like most top competition programs, Ford and the Phillip Dutton Eventing team head south for the winter, but the principles are the same at both locations. “The main difference between north and south is how I layer the blankets. Obviously, in Pennsylvania during the winter, it remains cold throughout the day, and horses tend to stay in the same
Ford uses blankets with high necks, often called “wugs,” instead of standard cut blankets to prevent a horse’s mane from getting rubbed.
Winter Blanketing Guidelines Use the below chart as a guideline for what blankets to use in which temperatures. Remember that each horse is different and has his/her own individual needs.
40° - 50°
Lightweight sheet or blanket
30° - 40°
Medium weight blanket
Lightweight sheet or blanket
15° - 30°
Medium weight blanket
15° and below
Heavyweight blanket with liner
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riving is a fascinating equestrian sport to watch, steeped in tradition and decorum. Though driving carriages dates back to when it was a necessary means of transportation, the disciplines of carriage pleasure driving and combined driving began in the early 1970s. Carriage pleasure driving came about when members of the Carriage Association of America (an organization focused on the preservation and restoration of horse-drawn carriages and sleighs) wanted better guidelines and consistency in the judging of pleasure shows. The group formed the American Driving Society, which was the genesis of the present-day show ring competition of carriage pleasure driving. Similarly, combined driving became the Fédération Equestre usef.org
Misdee Wrigely Miller and her Four-in-Hand horses and grooms give a lovely example of formal turnout in the cones phase of the 2014 Live Oak International.
Internationale (FEI)’s fourth international equestrian sport in 1970 under the leadership of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with a clear set of rules to govern the new discipline. Even with the new standards for the driving disciplines, the presentation of the carriages remains practically unchanged from the past. Presentation is important for both carriage pleasure driving and combined driving. Depending on the type of carriage pleasure driving class, anywhere from 25% to 70% of the judging criteria considers the condition of harness and vehicle as well as neatness of attire. Driven dressage tests for combined driving score not only the performance of the horses, but also the quality of the presentation. The judge takes into account the appearance of the driver and the groom, as well as the
cleanliness, fitness, matching, and condition of the horses or ponies, harness, and vehicle. The overall picture and style of the driver and carriage should create a pleasing impression. The rules for competition adhere to tradition in requiring male drivers to wear a jacket, while female drivers must wear a conservative dress or suit. Additionally, a driving apron, gloves, and a hat or helmet are obligatory. Grooms must wear the same attire, with the exclusion of the driving apron. More specifically, grooms wear stable livery in all vehicles, except for formal ones, which require full livery. The dress of the drivers and grooms has to conform to the style of the carriage and harness being used. In line with these rules, it is commonplace to wear top hats with formal carriages, and a more casual hat choice with a country road cart. Equestrian 33
Clockwise from left: Steve Wilson, the 2015 USEF Pair Horse Driving National Champion, wears the conventional brown gloves to go with his brown reins. He has a shorter driving apron which perfectly matches his carriage. Leslie Berndl displays a lovely turnout at the 2013 Kentucky Classic CDE on her way to winning the USEF Single Horse Driving National Championship. She has brown gloves to match her brown reins and her driving apron pairs well with her carriage’s color and upholstery. The groom on the back of Allison Stroud’s carriage is wearing stable livery.
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Tradition comes into play with the driving apron, or lap robe, and the color of the gloves. Driving aprons were an essential part of the turnout when driving a carriage was a means of transportation. Their purpose was to keep the driver’s clothes neat and clean during the commute. Driving aprons are wrapped around the driver’s body, above the waist, on top of the jacket, and extend down to mid-calf or the top of the shoe. They are typically made of some form of wool, often coordinating with the carriage’s color or upholstery. Gloves are brown to match the reins. In the past, reins that had been dyed black left stains on horses and clothing, causing harness makers to leave the leather undyed and start the tradition of brown reins. Harnesses can be either synthetic or leather, with metal that matches the fittings on the carriage. Black harness is considered appropriate with a painted vehicle, with shaft and pole trimmings done in black. It is also considered appropriate with a natural wood vehicle with iron parts painted any color except brown. Russet (light or reddish brown) harness is considered appropriate with a natural wood vehicle with brown or black iron, a painted vehicle with natural wood panels with any color iron, or a vehicle that is painted brown with brown iron. Shaft and pole trimmings should match the harness. All of the traditions lend themselves to showcasing the horse. Like the attire and harness, horses or ponies are beautifully presented. They often have their mane and forelock braided, but never the tail as it is more likely to become caught on something while braided. However, if a breed’s turnout guidelines dictate otherwise, manes and forelocks are left unbraided. When more than one horse is being driven, it is highly desirable that the horses or ponies match in color and build. Nothing is more impressive than a pair or team of matching horses pulling a carriage. In addition to painting a lovely picture, the turnout and presentation of the driver, carriage, groom(s), harness, and horses or ponies play an important role in competition. Traditions from years ago are still visible today as evidence of the rich history of horse and carriage. ■ Kathleen Landwehr
Grooms wearing full livery on Chester Weber’s carriage at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
Like the drivers, grooms have specific attire that they must wear in the competition ring. Grooms wear either stable livery or full livery depending on the carriage they are riding in. Stable Livery consists of one of the following: - A conservative suit, white shirt, dark tie, derby, dark shoes, and leather gloves - A conservative jacket, jodhpurs or drill trousers, jodhpur or paddock boots, white shirt, stock or four-in-hand tie, leather gloves, derby or conservative cap - Hunting attire with a hunting derby or bowler Full Livery consists of a close-fitting body coat with buttons of yellow or white metal to match the furnishings of the harness used (if possible), white breeches, black boots with tan tops, white stock tie, black top hat, and brown leather gloves. The color of the coat remains the owner’s preference, but preferred colors are conservative in nature and, where possible, complementary to the color of the vehicle.
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ORSE OF THE YEAR The United States Equestrian Federation’s Horse of the
Year awards program is one of the oldest nationally recognized multi-breed award programs in the country. Celebrating the achievements of horses across the many breeds and disciplines recognized by the Federation, these awards are a great honor that horsemen strive all year to achieve. Not only are awards given for Champions and Reserve Champions, but ribbons are also distributed through sixth place in National, Regional, and Zone divisions. Throughout the competition year horses can earn points toward year-end standings. Horse of the Year standings are published and updated on the USEF website so riders, owners, and trainers can track their horses’ success. Getting started is easy; either an active annual or lifetime recording for the horse provides eligibility into the program. 40 Equestrian
Types of Horse of the Year Awards Grand Champion: Champion award. There are 24 Grand Champion awards presented each year to horses and their connections across the recognized breeds and disciplines who have accumulated the greatest number of points. National: Champion through sixth place. Many of the National Champion award recipients have the additional honor of having their names engraved on one of the beautiful trophies that are part of the Federation’s impressive collection. These awards are kept at the USEF national headquarters for visitors to admire. Regional/Zone: Champion through sixth place. Each breed and discipline defines the geographical area that com42 Equestrian
prises their local region or zone. Regional/zone champions have the opportunity to be included in the commemorative Horse of the Year issue of Equestrian Magazine with a photo of their horse competing. Silver Stirrup: The Silver Stirrup Awards program is exclusive to horses in the Performance Horse Registry. Each year, national, regional, and state awards are presented to equestrian athletes competing in dressage, dressage breeding, driving, eventing, hunters, hunter breeding, jumpers, and reining. In addition, the program recognizes leading sires, owners, and breeders. Silver Stirrup Leading Division Awards: Leading Breeders, Owners, and Sires. The leading division awards are presented nationally to recognize the success and achievement accomplished throughout the competition year. Winning Ways Checking to see if you are ranked in the top standings of your division throughout the year is easy. On USEF.org, click on the Points & Standings tab along the left side of the screen and search the various award categories for your division. Year-end award recipients will be notified after points lock on December 15 with a letter sent to the listed horse owner. What Do I Get -Grand Champions, National Champions, and Reserve National Champions are invited to attend our Horse of the Year Gala being held January 16, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. These award recipients will be presented their Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons at the evening dinner. -Horse of the Year award recipients will be mailed their ribbon(s) beginning in February to the horse owner on file. usef.org
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How to Become Eligible Horse of the Year awards are presented annually and are based on cumulative performance during the competition year running December 1 through November 30. To participate, your horse must have an active recording with the USEF. Here are some important tips to remember: -A USEF Horse recording is required to earn points toward Horse of the Year awards. -Horse’s owner, rider, and trainer must have active competing membership of the USEF. -National, Regional, and Zone honors are awarded through sixth place. -Only results from USEF-licensed competitions may be applied toward Horse of the Year awards. -Show results can be viewed by looking at your horse report by logging into your “My USEF My Way” Account. -Recording your horse when they are young pays off – lifetime recordings are cheaper when a horse is under three years old.
ISTORY OF THE HORSE OF THE YEAR Each year, one horse competing in the FEI international disciplines and one horse competing in the national breeds and disciplines is honored with -All Champions are encouraged to submit a photo for our commemorative Horse of the Year issue of Equestrian Magazine. To submit a photo, find your division on the Points & Standings page of the USEF website and follow the on-screen instructions. That’s Not Right When looking over your horse report, do you see something that does not seem right? Before getting concerned we may have the answer. Why don’t I see my competition listed on the list of shows posted? Each Recognized Competition has 10 calendar days to send in its results to the USEF office. Once received, the USEF verifies the results before they are posted in the Federation database, which results in a minor lag time between the competition date and the posting date. What does the phrase “bad points” on my horse report mean? “Bad” points are points earned that will not count towards year-end awards. Points could be “bad” because the horse was showing outside of his/her home region/zone, the horse was not recorded by the first day of the competition, the horse owner was not an active member, or one of several other reasons. If you have questions about your show results or think there may be an error, please contact the Sport Data Department at email@example.com. By the Numbers - 1,450 Champion ribbons awarded annually through the Horse of the Year program -1,050 Reserve Champion awards given out annually -1,277 National Awards presented in 2014 -1,410 different owners honored with a Horse of the Year award in 2014 - 4,900 total ribbons presented each year
the prestigious title of the USEF Horse of the Year. First awarded in 2005 as a way to acknowledge the standout performances of the top equestrians in our sport, the Horse of the Year is selected by the public with the winner announced at the Horse of the Year Gala. Presented a bronze Perpetual Trophy created by Alexa King, up to six horses or ponies are eligible to be nominated each year after being put forward by their respective affiliate organization and selected by the USEF Awards Committee. In 2014, Cortes ‘C’ was named International Horse of the Year and Elis GV was honored as National Horse of the Year.
■ Mark Coley
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BEHIND THE LENS/EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHER ALLIE CONRAD
uch like with horses, photography has always been a part of Allie Conrad’s life. She began playing around with her father’s old Minolta camera when she was seven or eight, and she has turned her obsession and hobby into a career after pursuing equine photography full-time just over a year ago. With camera phones and social media at everyone’s finger tips, sharing photos these days is easy; it’s taking good ones that can be the difficult part. Conrad shares some helpful insight into how to get the best shot of your horse and tips you will want to remember the next time you pull your camera out. Camera Phone Basics I use my camera phone dozens of times a day and am continually taking pictures. Practice is important! What is not as important is the camera phone zoom and the flash. While camera technology is improving at a ridiculous pace in the mobile phone market, zooms are still entirely digital. This means that by using the zoom on your phone you are degrading the image due to pixelization. Use a zoom sparingly, and instead, try to reposition yourself for a more effective photo. Phone flashes just cannot flatter no matter what the subject. With technology evolving, low-light images are getting better and better. Turn the flash off permanently and use it for depositing checks into your bank. To Filter or Not to Filter I am fairly conservative when it comes to “Photoshopping” or filters; however I do use an old-school technique
that I learned in the darkroom to bring out the natural curves and tones of a horse. Dodging and burning is something you can do in a post-production program such as Photoshop and Lightroom in the same manner that highfashion photographers use on human models in order to really make an image “pop.” With programs like Instagram, we are able to apply different looks to a photo we take, but the first question to ask is whether that image can stand alone without the filter. If not, try and figure out what it is that would interest you more and re-shoot. Time of Day One of the great things about photography is that you can take a beautiful picture during any time of the day. The key is to avoid harsh shadows like those created by high overhead full sunshine. Many have heard about the “Golden Hour” in photography, that sweet spot surrounding the sun going down or being low in the sky, but many times that interferes with feeding time, and you will have some grumpy subjects. A great time to take pictures of your horse is in full shade during a sunny day; the combination can yield absolutely beautiful pictures. Pay Close Attention Studying horses through a camera lens teaches you so much about their personalities; they are all so very different, but they are also so similar. Across all breeds, all ages, all types, and all disciplines, they all have an innate curiosity about their surroundings. Using that curiosity to get the best photo of them becomes very easy once you learn to look for it. They will all soften their eye when picking up a usef.org
PHOTOS: ALLIE CONRAD PHOTOGRAPHY
treat or bit of grain off of the ground. They will all flip one ear back, then the other when they are becoming bored. They will all find a person running around the outside of the barn while wearing a trash bag, something to be very, very concerned about (sometimes it takes a village to get ears forward!). Conformation Shots Conformation photos are probably the hardest pictures to take; to do it properly depends on eight parts luck and two parts talent. For the best success, get the help of one or two patient friends and a level location with uncluttered background. Bushes, trees, and fences are alright, as long as they are more than 20 feet behind where the horse is standing. Positioning works best by standing perpendicular to the horse’s loin and squatting down a little so that your camera is level with the horse’s side. Standing too far forward makes a horse appear to be short and squatty in the body, and standing too far back makes it appear long-backed. The hard part is getting your horse to stand with its front legs straight and together, neither ahead of the body or behind, and the hind legs positioned so that the near cannon bone is exactly perpendicular to the ground. The off-hind should be about five inches behind. Have your friend help try to have your horse’s neck stretched slightly out and up with a curious expression and ears up. Where to Stand Head shots yield the best results by standing the horse at a 45 degree angle from the camera and encouraging the usef.org
horse to look back over its own shoulder. The minute the outside eye becomes visible and the inside eye disappears AND the ears are up, that’s the sweet spot. When shooting, the horse or head should fill at least three-quarters of the viewfinder. Buying Your First “Real” Camera Taking the leap into a decent digital SLR camera is a natural move once you get hooked, and there is one piece of advice I wish I’d learned earlier: BUY USED. A lot of photographers are just techies looking for the next newest, fastest camera. Each time something new comes out, they drop the previous model and upgrade. While camera technology is improving at an exponential pace, camera bodies and lenses remain useful for over 300,000 actuations. And, some amazing bargains can be had for used gear that will last you a lifetime. I currently shoot with two professional bodies, both of which can be purchased for $1K or less, and wouldn’t readily trade them. If you really think you want to take up photography, money is best spent on quality lenses instead of a very fancy camera body. Tip to Remember Get down on or below eye-level. Taking a photo of a horse lying on the ground while you are standing will not have quite the impact of squatting down and taking one on their eye-level. Photos taken at eye-level tend to engage the viewer more. ■ Mark Coley
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What’s Next November/December Many people choose to contribute to their favorite philanthropies around this time of year. Equestrian Magazine will take a look at a few charities equestrians might be interested in supporting. With the holidays approaching, we’ll take a look at some of the USEF athletes’ favorite traditions. Breeding a horse is a very complex aspect of the equine industry which can take many years to understand. Equestrian Magazine will walk you through a day in the life of a successful equine breeder. Don’t forget to check out the iPad version available through the iTunes App store.
A fresh approach to classic equestrian style.