Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring Summary

Spring is quickly passing us by at Sudley Farm! Despite the incessant rain we are as busy as ever with lots of great news and updates to share- especially as we pack up for the big spring finale at Virginia this weekend! Before I start talking about all things Blue Clover Eventing though, I want to congratulate Michael Jung on his impressive win at Rolex. I was lucky enough to be at Rolex and watch him as he is well on his way to the eventing grand slam. Our sport is so demanding of both horse and rider and to feel good and perform well in all 3 phases is an incredible feat. To do so at the 4* level is the wildest dream of many. And then there is Michael Jung who does it consistently- three times consecutively, amongst numerous other wire-to-wire wins! What an incredible athlete, rider, trainer and horseman he is. May he be an inspiration to us all and a shining light for eventing during some tough times, especially of late.

Michael Jung's dedication and attention to detail are inspiring and I look forward to continuing to make that a priority in my own program. I am lucky to share Lorenzini as a sponsor with Michael. It's clear by Michael's success that his horses love their Lorenzini products, as do my horses. Favian has been making huge progress in developing a better connection in his Lorenzini snaffle. Kitty Smith-Garrity not only provides BCE with all things Lorenzini but also our lovely L'Apogee saddles. Favian feels fantastic and is quickly gaining strength and confidence in his Lorenzini and L'Apogee wear!
Favian showing off his Lorenzini and L'Apogee wear at the Loch Moy schooling CT!
I am so thrilled to say that Favian and I are rapidly continuing to develop a partnership. We went to the Wednesday evening Loch Moy schooling CT last week where he scored a 27 in his dressage test. He also had some absolutely beautiful SJ rounds! Fave is so athletic and eager to please, and has such a big forward stride- it has been so fun getting used to him!

We have also cross county schooled at Fair Hill and Windurra where it is was more then obvious that cross county is his favorite phase! I'm hopeful that after a successful Training level debute at Virginia we will move up to Prelim at Waredaca in June- stay posted after Virginia for the final decision! 
Schooling the FHI water complex for the first time.
Favian is happily getting used to life out of the desert! He had never been turned out on grass or had the same kind of large turn out fields we are so lucky to have at SF. To help get Favian acclimated to life in Maryland he was given super-pony, Tatanka, as his new BFF and life coach!

I could talk about Favian all day long but there are many deserving and talented horses at Sudley Farm that deserve to share the spot light with him! Dewey continues to have a great attitude, trainablity and rideability- which are such important and frequently overlooked qualities. Dewey is doing a lot of cavaletti work to build strength and understand how to work through his back. He is also working on half halts (a very important tool when riding such a fast ex-racehorse!) and leg yielding to improve suppleness and learn to move away from the leg.

Lastly, with Virginia just a couple of days away I want to wish the best of luck to all of the BCE riders, especially Cary and Alex, who are riding in FEI divisions. Cary and his 7 yo super talented horse, Game On, are tackling their first 2* season! This horse is an incredible jumper and Cary continues to give him confidence. Alex and her fantastic horse, Willie Wiggins, are a dream come true partnership. Alex and Willie had a super season at Training last year, winning the PRO Scholarship and then moving up to Prelim. With my help last fall when Alex went off to college she was able to keep rolling this season, competing their first 1* at The Fork this spring and finishing just outside the top ten.
Alex and Willie looking ready for this weekend!
Handling all of the behind the scenes craziness at Virginia this weekend will be our recently promoted barn manager, Tyler Held. Tyler demonstrates uncompromising dedication and enthusiasm for the sport and BCE program, which made me want to reward all of her hard work and feel confident entrusting her with a greater set of responsibilities. She has revolutionized the level of efficiency in the barn and spends long hours taking care of our 16 horses, giving them each personalized attention and treating each one like her own horse. Tyler's positive attitude is contagious and inspires us all. Now more than just a barn manager, she basically handles all of the BCE operations and we look forward to her being a super star in her new roll!

Tyler and Chip showing off their ever improving dressage!

We are looking for 2 additional working students to work with Tyler. Email of text me for more details.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sudley Farm's XC Course is almost open!

Hay is ready to be cut 
(if it will ever stop raining)!
If this pesky rain will ever go away our cross county course will be opened for schooling very soon after! For those of us lucky enough to know Sudley Farm it's common knowledge that our beautiful cross county course and galloping fields also doubles as our hay fields. This dual purpose functionality of much of our 130 acres at Sudley Farm is testament to the numerous partnerships that have flourished at Sudley Farm over the past several years. Sudley Farm and BCE are committed to supporting our event horses and their success at every level, and as every eventer knows, nutrition is an extremely important aspect of that success.  I feel so lucky to work out of and manage Sudley Farm for it's wonderful owner, Elizabeth Bonner.

 The water complex is highly versatile and has something
for everyone with multiple drops and a large inviting bank!

The Collinson Family Partnership manages and implements the paddock seeding and fertilizing as well as the transition from the original crop fields to a lovely alfalfa/grass mix for our hay. The Collinson's work directly with the Nutrient Management Plan Program through the University of Maryland Extension branch where they receive individualized recommendations on nutrient and fertilizing applications through soil testing. The successful results of this hard work and planning is evident in our happy healthy horses who enjoy this hay year round. 

In addition to quality hay, our horses enjoy Cavalor Feed. It's important that our horses have energy, but not be crazy, and I want to thank Cavalor North America (locally distributed by Myers Grain) for perfecting this recipe and keeping our horses healthy and happy. We feed performix and pianissimo specifically, and they have done wonders for our ulcer prone horses and hard keepers. For more information don't hesitate to contact me and check out Cavalor's website which can be accessed here: http://www.cavalor.com/int/products/category/2/feed

Anne Arundel County has long been in need of a world class cross county course for schooling purposes and it has been my pleasure to help provide this not only for my riders and clients but the local community in general. We have been lucky enough to employ the services of Morgan Roswell, an experienced internationally licensed course designer who has designed through advanced and internationally recognized levels. He is well known for his impressive work at Rocking Horse, New Jersey Horse Park and locally at Seneca Valley. Morgan is also brining back the event at Essex in time for the summer of 2017, so be sure to look for it on the Area II calendar next year! For more information on Morgan and all of his work and services his website can be accessed here: http://www.rowselldesign.com/. Morgan not only designed our course from the beginning but he routinely comes back and moves the jumps around to create different courses so there is always something different! For more information and pictures of our course country course and schooling click here: http://www.blueclovereventing.com/Facility/Facility.html 

Our course currently boasts BN- T level jumps and combinations, and with Morgan's guidance
we plan on adding technical preliminary combinations later this summer! 
Out of respect to our farmers and footing (which is our hay!) we are diligent about protecting our footing on both the lower cross county fields and the gallop terrain. The Collinson's will be cutting hay as soon as it stops raining long enough to allow them to do so and our cross county course will be open soon after. To protect the footing and our hay the course is open by appointment only!! Please email me (val@blueclovereventing.com) or call me (410-353-3813) to schedule an appointment. The XC schooling registration and liability forms can be found on the link to my website.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

BCE Welcomes West Coast All-Star, Favian!!

I want to start this post by extending gratitude to all of the amazing people who helped make this possible- I couldn't be more excited to announce that I recently purchased Favian from Tamie Smith and Heather Morris (CA). Tamie and Heather have done an outstanding job of bringing this lovely horse along. Favian is an 8 yo big 16.2 black Oldenburg, well bred by Donnerhall Furioso Rubenstien. Favian has a dazzling record to date piloted by Tamie and then Heather as they brought him along at the lower levels. Favian has loved the spotlight from the beginning, winning the 2015 Nutrena AEC Novice Horse division with Tamie.
Favian soaking up the attention of winning his novice AEC division!
Of his nine starts he has finished inside the the top three all but once (with a 6th place at Copper Meadows in TH). His last start, with Heather, was his first trip around the green squares at Galway Downs in which he finished on his impressive dressage score of 28.9. Favian demonstrates all of qualities of a 4* superstar in the making!! I was lucky enough to hear about Favian and be first in line to try him, thanks to Liza Horan who went looking for me after a depressing winter with my search on the east coast turning up nothing viable. When Liza called me to tell me this horse could be the one I immediately vetted him and then hopped on a plane to try him for myself. I knew immediately I would be bringing this one home!
Trying Favian for the first time.
Of course, I can't wait to get out there with Favian and start building my partnership with him... but there are a couple of things he will have to get used to being newly acclimated to the east coast. He's never been turned out on grass before, something Sudley Farm boasts a lot of, and he will have to get used to the sometimes oppressing humidity of Maryland in the summer. My hope for this season is to build a relationship together at Prelim and end with a 1* in the fall.
Favian showing off his XC style!
I am so excited to get back onto the international scene, this has been a long time in the making! I truly believe this is the horse that will it happen. I am so thankful for the support of my owners, clients, and staff- this wouldn't be possible without them! Another HUGE thanks to Liza, Heather and Tamie for helping to make this opportunity possible!

There are still a few syndicate shares available- contact me if you would like to know how you can get involved!
Favian and I getting aquatinted at the KY Horse Park... where I hope we come back to compete in just a few years ;)