Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rox and Joey are California-bound

Kristin, Rox (Ballylaffin Bracken) and Joey (Cavaldi) are heading to California on Monday to compete at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event in Temecula!

Thanks to a grant from the USEF, Rox will be able to join in on the trip to cap off his year with a run in the CIC**. Meanwhile Joey is on track for next year's Badminton CCI**** in England and Kristin is hoping to get in a solid three-star performance for him as they aim for their big goal. Both horses were checked out by the vet yesterday and are sound, healthy and ready for action. A big thanks to Samantha Lendl from PRO for coordinating the flights for all the horses from the East Coast, and to Greg Otteson from H.E. Tex Sutton who takes great care of all of the horses, getting them on and off the planes, when they fly. Stay tuned for updates from this exciting event on the West Coast!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Florida Training Camp

I can’t say enough positive things about the awesome week training in Florida with the Pa-Am Games Team! The group of riders all got along and complemented each other so well. Everyone was so supportive, the horses are amazing, and we all gained so much from the lessons; it was fun to watch everyone improve every day. It was intense but fun - I think the key is that as intense as the training was everyone was enjoying it so much that you almost didn’t feel the pressure. It was a great experience!

On top of all that I gained an incredible amount. Rox is like a different horse, every time I get on him he gets better and better! It’s really neat sitting on him and feeling the difference every day. I don’t have enough nice things to say about the whole experience. Everybody: the selectors, Mark, even David - who has been an alternate before - were so supportive.

Being an alternate is not the easiest place to be – it’s a bit tough and you have to be careful not to let it get to you. You’re putting in all the work and you have to treat each day as if you’re on the team and you’re going. That can get strenuous because you also have to balance that with knowing that you may not go, even though you have to be ready at a moment’s notice. You have to keep yourself in balance, or it could be pretty crushing. It’s a big mental game, as well as the training, that I think I’ve only been able to grow from – it was a strengthening experience. I honestly can’t wait to be there again, working with a team and going for the team.

I will admit I was pretty crushed on Friday when I didn’t get to go. I talked to the selectors and they said it really came down to the fact that they could pick one of us - a toss-up between Lynn and me - but they had to pick one and they felt the other horse had just a little more experience, having done a couple of advanced this spring. I’m glad that was the reason why, and I’m still happy with the path that I chose – I chose not to push my horse and do more, because it was better for him, so I don’t think I made any wrong decisions; it was the best path for my horse. Lynn and Donner were more than ready and very deserving of the spot on the team and I’m happy for them.

Now we’re getting ready for Galway, leaving on Monday. Joey was with me through the training camp and I was able to get some lessons with Mark, which was great. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Galway – the new course is supposed to be a lot of fun, and my goal with Joey at age 16 is to have some fun!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Galway Downs International Three-Day Event Draws Riders From Across The Globe

Edited Press Release

Kristin and Joey will be heading to the Galway Downs CCI3* International Three-Day Event, Nov. 4-6 in Temecula, California. A total of 33 horses, representing the United States and five other nations, have been entered in the CCI3*. These riders are seeking world-class competition in the sunny Southern California climate and, for many, a shot at Olympic glory.

U.S. riders are coming to the Galway Downs CCI3* from 11 states, plus California (Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Arizona and Washington).

Buck Davidson, of Ocala, Fla., has entered Ballynoe Castle RM, the horse he rode at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games and is Davidson’s No. 1 mount for the 2012 Olympics in London. But he’s also entered Park Trader and Titanium at Galway Downs, hoping to have a deep well of qualified horses for the U.S. selectors to observe next spring.

Michael Pollard, of Dalton, Ga., will be just home from Guadalajara, Mexico, as a member of the 2011 U.S. Pan Am Games team, and he plans to bring two of his Olympic hopefuls, Jude’s Law and DV8. Stephen Bradley, of Leesburg, Va., rode on the 1992 Olympic team and is bringing his 2012 Olympic candidate In The Fog. Sandra Donnelly, of Calgary, Alb., has already tasted Olympic glory, and she’s hungry for more, so she’s entered her 2008 Beijing Olympic mount Buenos Aires.

Because it’s the final CCI3* in the world during 2011, the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event has emerged as a key qualifying event for riders from around the world hoping to achieve a qualifying score for the 2012 London Olympics. That’s why Merel Blom of The Netherlands is flying her two horses—Umberto DB and Rumor Has It—halfway around the world.

Ronald Zabala of Ecaudor has entered three horses (Wise Equestrian Brer Fox, Wise Equestrian Master Hill and Che Kairo) as as a step in his Olympic bid. Zabala represented Ecuador at the 2011 Pan Am Games, and now he’s aiming for his first Olympic start.

Two U.S.-based foreign riders are also looking to establish their Olympic credentials. Nina Ligon, of Esmont, Va., is a citizen of Thailand who’s making her first Olympic bid. She trains with Olympic silver medalist Kim Severson and has entered Jazz King and Butts Leon. With his previous rider, Andreas Dibowski of Germany, Butts Leon won team gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

James Alliston of Great Britain has lived in Castro Valley, Calif., since 2009, and he’s entered Jumbo’s Jake, with whom he won the Woodside CIC3* on Oct. 7-9, and Parker, with whom he finished third at Woodside. Jumbo’s Jake and Alliston finished third in the 2010 Galway Downs CCI3*.

Before competition begins, all the horses must be accepted by the ground jury of Angela Tucker of Great Britain, Cara Whitham of Canada, and Jane Hamlin of the United States at the first horse inspection on Thursday, Nov. 3. Competition will begin with dressage on Friday, and Saturday will feature cross-country, the heart of the competition. The event’s climax will come on Sunday, with the show jumping phase.

The total prize money this year is $33,000, with a $21,000 purse in the CCI3*.

Land Rover, the Professional Riders Organization, Del Mar Eventing and Professional’s Choice are the presenting sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event.

A portion of the general admission and patron's ticket revenue at Galway Downs will benefit Operation Homefront, the official charitable partner of the Professional Riders Organization Tour and of Galway Downs.

The mission of Operation Homefront is to provide emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our nation’s service members. Since its founding in 2002, Operation Homefront has provided more than $92 million to programs that benefit military families.

General admission for the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event is $8 per day in advance, $10 at the gate. VIP tickets—which include seating in the ringside tent, lunch and a full selection of beverages—are also available for $55 per day in advance. For advance reservations, go to

For more information on the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, visit or call 951-303-0405. To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website (

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ricardo Million Video

Ricardo Million, 'Max', is a 5 yr old 17h bay gelding ISH by Ricardo Z out of a Voltaire mare. He is just starting out but shows amazing talent for jumpers, eventing or dressage AND is very sane, so he will suit a variety of riders!

On the Road to Ocala

I'm on the road to Ocala with Rox and Joey for the team training session before everyone ships out to Mexico for the on October 15th. The horses arrive today and Capt. Phillips gets in tomorrow from coaching the US team at Boekelo in the Netherlands and we'll be training with him for the next several days.

I had a great two-day stopover in Aiken to break up the drive; we got down there Thursday night and were able to do some hacking and flat work on Friday, and I had a wonderful gallop on both boys yesterday. It was perfect weather and it worked out well for both of them.

Leading up to the Pan-Ams I feel great and Rox feels great. As Alternates we are ready for anything: everything’s in order and ready to go and we’re packed and organized as if we are going, because if we end up on the team it’s going to be at a moment’s notice. It’s a weird position to be an alternate because you probably won’t go, but you have to be ready anyway.

We have a great team and I don’t want anything to happen to anybody but if it does we’re ready to help out. Rox is going the best he ever has: all this training has been great for him and he’s learning a lot every day. Joey’s tagging along so he can stay with me and stay in training and it’s been nice having him with me – even though I’m taking lessons with Mark on Rox, Joey is benefiting from that too.

The only tough thing about all this traveling is Joey doesn’t travel on a truck and trailer all that well – it’s a lot for him. I’m keeping that in mind and trying to break up the drive, which is why we stopped over in Aiken, and I keep giving him fluids. Rox is generally not a stressed-out horse and he’s handling it all really well.

Phillip has my young horse Ray and is taking him to the Young Horse Championships at Fair Hill, since I won’t be able to ride him there. We’ve been working up to it all year so I’m sorry to miss the event but glad Ray will still get to go. I’m trying to be a good owner and not text Phillip every five minutes. Ray's my baby!

The Irish horses that came over this summer are doing wonderfully, but unfortunately between my schedule and the rain, which caused both events they were entered in to be canceled, they haven’t had a chance to compete since their first schooling trial at the beginning of September. They’re in work with the girls working for me at the farm, and the owners are being patient. They’re doing well and muscled up well, they just haven’t had a chance to show it off yet! If they haven’t sold by then, I’ll take them to Aiken and get them out and showing. http://www.blogger.com

We will be home to New Jersey in time to get a couple of weeks of training in before Joey ships to the CIC3* at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. There are several riders heading out there from the East Coast and Samantha Lendl from PRO is arranging the flights, thank God, because it’s complicated with all the horses flying from different places!

I'll be updating the blog from Florida, so stay tuned for more!