Category Archives: General

General content that covers a wide range of topics.

Tryon

Tryon International Equestrian Center steps up to meet 4* demand.

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The eventing world welcomed a much-needed addition to their calendar this week: Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort will host a new CCI4*-L eventing competition to be held November 12th-15th, 2020.

The event is pending USEF and FEI approval but will feature international competition at the CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and CCI2*-L levels, including the only CCI4*-L competition on the East Coast for the entire 2020 season. The event will also mark the highest level of eventing competition hosted at the venue since the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). Although the venue hosts international eventing competitions at a lower level, annually.


Since equestrian sport was allowed to resume on June 3rd, 2020, TIEC has successfully operated Hunter, Jumper, and Dressage competitions. They have been praised by riders and visitors for implementing rigorous COVID-19 safety, sanitation, and operations policies to protect competitors and staff. The 19-page Tryon Resort COVID-19 Action Plan includes protocols like mandatory masks and social distancing for all persons on property, temperature checks at the entrance, and a thermal camera system onsite. Attendance onsite for competitions is limited to competitors and their family, barn staff, and essential personnel only and spectators are not permitted.


The three-day event will include a cross-country course designed by one of the most experienced designers in the world, Captain Mark Phillips, who is behind The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and was the Course Designer for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. The former Olympic event rider was previously Chef d’equipe of the US eventing team for 20 years.

This new fixture will take place on the premier White Oak Cross-Country Course featured at WEG and will make full use of the venue’s 1,200 permanent stalls to allow for ample distancing between competitors, alongside stringent safety protocols.


Image rights: Tryon International Equestrian Center.

“We are thrilled to be awarded the bid for a CCI4*-L this November,” said Sharon Decker president of Tryon Equestrian Properties, Carolinas Operations. “We have worked incredibly hard to keep equestrian sport safe and operational during this pandemic. So far, we have managed beautifully because of strong protocols and guest cooperation, and we don’t take this for granted. We earn the privilege to host equestrian sport every day and are honored to host this premier competition. We will continue to enforce strict protocols to keep everyone safe so we can continue enjoying this sport we all love.”

Jenni Autry, USEF Managing Director of Eventing said this: “Following the cancellation of multiple CCI4*-L competitions this year due to COVID-19, the USEF opened a bid process to add a CCI4*-L for 2020 in order to give athletes the opportunity to secure qualifying results for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. We realize what an incredibly difficult year it has been for organizers, and we are grateful to Tryon for stepping up to fill this critical void in the U.S. calendar.”


The 1,600-acre facility also features onsite lodging options, onsite dining with to-go, and online ordering. As well as outdoor seating, an onsite general and grocery store, and other amenities lending to competitor safety.

Sadly, spectators are not permitted to attend any competitions at TIEC throughout 2020 as per the facility’s existing safety policies. However free live streaming will be available for both the November CCI4*-L and Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials, a national event set to run September 11th-13th. Live streaming of highlight classes at Hunter/Jumper competition is currently available at www.Tryon.com/streaming


Competition Entry Information:

Entry information and other details will be posted on www.Tryon.com/Eventing. For questions, contact eventing@tryon.com.


COVID-19 Safety: Tryon Resort is committed to providing a safe and fun experience for all competitors and barn staff, Tryon Resort staff, and all members of the equestrian community. In conjunction with local, state, and federal recommendations and mandates, including those from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). TIEC has implemented additional guidelines and cleaning protocols, added to previously existing stringent standards, to alleviate the potential impact of COVID-19 and to ensure that the operation horse shows is smooth, efficient, and most importantly, safe for all involved.


Tryon Resort management is in close communication and collaboration with NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Emergency Preparedness Staff and with the Polk County Manager and the Directors of Health Services and Emergency Preparedness.

Click here to read the full Tryon Resort COVID-19 Action Plan.


Photo rights: Tryon International Equestrian Center.


MARS Great Meadow International 2-4*, VA, US starts today.

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The majority of 2020’s eventing season has taken a huge hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the vast amount of riders eagerly anticipating the return to some form of normality. It is, therefore, fantastic to finally see one of the first high-profile shows in North American eventing take place this year at the MARS Great Meadow international in Virginia, USA.

Following the cancellation of the USEA American Eventing Championships along with multiple other high-performance events this season, the organisers of Great Meadow international have introduced a CCI3*-L division to give competitors more opportunity to qualify for the fall season. Needless to say, the excitement leading toward this show has been building, although it will inevitably be unlike any show previously experienced.


The event organisers have taken multiple precautions in order to safely run this show and a strict safety protocol will be in effect for all participants to adhere to. Some of the measures taken will include:

  • Daily temperature checks for everyone entering the competition grounds.
  • Enforced social distancing measures throughout the showground and stabling.
  • Facemasks to be worn at all times on the premises unless mounted.
  • No access to the competition grounds for the general public, spectators, and non-essential personnel.

This ‘new normal’ for equestrians may take some getting used to, but in order for eventing to resume it is vital for shows to provide a safe environment for all participants. It is essential for these shows to run in compliance with both state and local health regulations, FEI regulations as well as the USEF COVID-19 Competition Action Plan.

Regardless of these necessary precautions, the show has seen a significant number of horse and rider combinations registering, with over 200 entries. The MARS Great Meadow International has received 75 entries in the CCI4*-S division alone, so a thrilling competition is guaranteed!


Some of this years riders to watch include:

  • Winner of the 2018 competition, Will Colman with three rides in the 4* – Tight Lines, Dondante and TKS Cooley.
  • Liz Halliday-Sharp with four rides in the 4* section – Flash Cooley, Fernhill By Night, Deniro Z, and Cooley Quicksilver.
  • Clayton Fredericks with FE Coldplay
  • Phillip Dutton with five entries including Fernhill Singapore, Luke 140, Z Sea of Clouds, and Blackfoot Mystery who he is riding for Boyd Martin.  
  • Founder and CEO of Horse Scout Group, Lucienne Elms has two rides in the 4* section, Mistralou her retrained racehorse and Diamond Duette, by Carrick Diamond Lad.

Lucienne Elms and Diamond Duette will be competing at MARS Great Meadow International this week
Lucienne Elms and Diamond Duette by Carrick Diamond Lad.

The show will kick off today (Wednesday 19th August 2020) and the full schedule can be viewed here.


Horse and Country TV will be live streaming the MARS Great Meadow International with Karen O’Connor and Sinead Halpin commentating and are sure to provide some great insights into this year’s competition. The live streaming schedule is as follows –

Friday, Aug. 21: CCI3*-L, CCI2*-S, and Preliminary cross country; CCI4*-S dressage.

Saturday, Aug. 22: Show jumping phase.

​Sunday, Aug. 23: CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S XC.

Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a spectacular event – Live Stream here.


The team at Horse Scout would like to wish the best of luck to all competitors at this year’s event.


Why top event riders choose Horse Scout to find event horses for sale

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HorseScout.com has proven to be the marketplace of choice for advertising top-class event horses for sale and is used daily by world-class, professional event riders, and amateur riders alike. Now in 2020, HorseScoutGroup.com has evolved to become the largest equestrian distribution channel in the world exceeding 10.5 million users! The Horse Scout marketplace is a globally respected business platform for all things equestrian: riders, grooms, coaches, breeders, industry professionals, and horsey enthusiasts.

HorseScout.com has a range of key features which makes the platform the obvious choice to market top quality horses, these include:

  • Automatic bloodline connections.
  • Extensive search functionality.
  • Networking tools.
  • A global equestrian marketing agency leveraging social media platforms, email campaigns, and good old fashioned word of mouth through the world’s best international agents.
  • Horse finder service allowing clients early access to horses that meet their search criteria.

A recent success story..

Event horse sold through horsescout.com

“Heartbroken to say goodbye to RHS Lady Willoughby but so excited to follow her progress in the USA. Couldn’t wish for a better home for her! Thank you to Horse Scout for matching the client!”

Laura Monkman,

Affiliated British Eventing rider, July 2020.


An equestrian marketing platform designed for riders by riders

Founder and CEO of the Horse Scout Group, Lucienne Elms is a competitive 4* event rider herself with 18 years of experience in the professional equestrian industry. This knowledge of the needs and demands for riders has enabled HorseScout.com to become the leading marketplace for equestrian business.

“I am still in contact with buyers and sellers daily myself, for some of the larger international sales, I love working with clients sourcing their perfect horse in my downtime from the other Horse Scout business demands.

Lucienne Elms

Founder and CEO of Horse Scout Group

Find out more about Lucienne –

https://www.horsescout.com/blog/general/lucienne-elms-the-equestrian-entrepreneur-so-far/


Event Horses for Sale

TOP JUNIORS AND YOUNG RIDER EVENTER

Top Juniors / Young Riders event horse for sale

Billy Alberto, 16.3hh, lightweight bay 8 year old gelding bred by The Billy Stud, sire Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve. Oozes quality.

Berty is a stunning-looking and genuine bold, careful horse. He is loving and fun on the yard as well as having all the necessary aptitudes across all three phases of eventing. He has three super paces and is established across all of them.

For more information on this horse follow the link – https://www.horsescout.com/horses-for-sale/profile/6267


EXCEPTIONAL 3* EVENT MARE

Exceptional 3* event horse for sale

This young mare is a seriously exciting prospect for the future as not only does she have the movement and a faultless jumping technique, she is as brave as they come and ready to take on the world.

Mature and wise beyond her years, La Chunga stepped up to Novice & Intermediate level effortlessly showing so much scope and boldness across country yet so naturally athletic and careful show jumping.

For more information on this horse follow the link – https://www.horsescout.com/horses-for-sale/profile/6249


ONE FOR THE TOP

Top event horse for sale

Imposant ‘Impy’ is a 17.1hh bay KWPN 7 year old gelding. He is the sweetest and kindest horse on the yard as well as being extremely talented across all three phases of eventing.

Can be viewed with current rider, Emily King at her base in North Wales. More photos and videos available on request.

For more information on this horse follow the link – https://www.horsescout.com/horses-for-sale/profile/6243


Recent Testimonials

“We use HorseScout.com to source our quality young stock from Europe”.

Waylon Roberts,

Canadian 5* Event Rider


“I have had a lot of success selling our horses through Horse Scout both in the UK and abroad, gaining access to an impressive global network. Horse Scout attracts both the amateur as well as the professional rider, with a huge database of clients it covers all aspects of connecting the equestrian community. I couldn’t recommend their services more highly.”

Jodie Amos

GB 5* Event Rider


Lucinda Fredericks testimonial

“We use HorseScout.com to advertise our top event horses for sale to attract a quality, competition minded audience.”

Lucinda Fredericks

AUS 5* Event Rider, Olympic Medallist



breeding

A Brave New World For Breeding

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An exciting collaboration has been established between Spy Coast Farm, one of USA’s largest sport horse breeders and Mares of Macha, a Belgian company selling embryos, which could help revolutionize, monetize and incentivize the sport and breeding industry. It is also hoped that this partnership paves the way to increase two-way breeding trade between the US and Europe.

The objective of the collaboration is to identify and champion top dam lines (some of which may have migrated to the US) and then make the acquisition of their frozen embryo’s more transparent and accessible to buyers all over the world.


The seeds of the partnership were sown when Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm was approached by Klaas De Coster of Mares of Macha, to buy a filly from her elite foundation mare “Werly Chin de Muze”. Klaas wished to reintroduce this highly regarded dam line back to Europe and beyond, as he saw it to be one of the best in the world.

Mares of Macha collects frozen embryos from the world’s top dam lines and then sells frozen them to buyers all over the world for preset fees. Spy Coast will help promote the initiative in the US. The emphasis is on giving everyone access to proven breeding via the best dam lines, explains Klaas: “ Our objective is simple: access to proven breeding. It was really difficult if you were a normal breeder and wanted to breed World Cup horses or Olympic horses. It was impossible to get in contact with the right people and be able to even buy the foals and embryos. We were lucky because we already had a connection and contacts within the sport. We wanted to try to make those extremely rare horses available for all the people in the room.”


Spy Coast Farm has long been a highly regarded breeding operation in the US. Now it is making its mark on Europe, which for years has been considered the epicenter of sport horse breeding. Klaas recognized and admired what Spy Coast was achieving and was keen to buy their foundation mare, Werly Chin de Muze. He explains why. “Werly Chin is out of Querly Chin, I think she is the best broodmare in the world, ever. I am a mathematician so I do the research and I look at results. No other horse has done what she has done in producing top horses and Werly is a direct daughter. She has given a number of 1m60 horses already. She is such a special mare.”

As testament to the success and reputation of Spy Coast Farm, Lisa has been regularly approached by breeders from all over the world to sell her mares but has resisted the temptation. Yet she felt it was a ‘meeting of minds’ with Klaas and after much persuasion, she agreed to sell her beloved Werly to Mares of Macha.

“By selling to Mares of Macha, I could be assured that Werly’s genetics will be dispersed to the maximum number of breeders rather than just one breeder” explains Lisa. “I was impressed by Klass who was not just a breeder, he was an entrepreneur.” Mares of Macha is not so much a traditional stud but rather a highly thought out enterprise, with the aim of making the best bloodlines available to a wider market as frozen embryos. We agree with each other’s philosophy of breeding and hope that this venture will positively impact sport horse breeding around the world.”


Written by Horse Scout CEO Lucienne Elms and Horse Scout Journalist Ellie Kelly.


WANT TO LOOK LIKE FRANCESCA CUMANI AT ROYAL ASCOT?

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ITV Racing’s Francesca Cumani & Sarah Kate Byrne are thrilled to launch their Royal Ascot 2020 raffle prize draw!  For just £10 you can buy a ticket for the raffle to be drawn on 30th June – Click Here to Enter.


The charity initiative is in support of two charities – JAMES’ PLACE (which is important to both Sarah & Francesca) and KCAT CAMPHILL CALLAN a cause close to Sarah’s heart.

With the extremely generous support of the 5 milliners Francesca wears during Royal Ascot 2020, Francesca’s 5 different looks from each of the 5 days racing will be raffled off. Sarah has donated the 5 dresses & each of the 5 milliners have agreed to donate their headpieces. Raffle draw winners will also receive a signed photograph from Francesca.

Two bonus prizes for the 6th & 7th tickets drawn have been kindly donated by jeweller Annoushka & shoe designer Emmy London, brands Francesca will be wearing each day of the meeting to compliment the clothing & millinery choices of her stylist Sarah. We are thrilled to be showcasing British brands & small businesses as well as sustainable fashion with the chosen looks.


fashion at Royal Ascot

DAY 1 PRIZE – a headpiece donated by Jess Collett Millinery & a vintage Luisa Spagnoli dress donated by Sarah Kate Byrne.

DAY 2 PRIZE – a headpiece donated by Lock & Co. Hatters & a vintage dress donated by Sarah Kate Byrne.

DAY 3 PRIZE – a headpiece donated by Laura Hanlon Designer & a vintage palazzo jumpsuit donated by Sarah Kate Byrne.

DAY 4 PRIZE – a headpiece donated by Laura O’Hanlon Millinery & a vintage Tulip skirt suit donated by Sarah Kate Byrne.

DAY 5 PRIZE – a headpiece donated by Juliette Botterill Millinery & The Cotswold Hat Club & a dress donated by Sarah Kate Byrne.

BONUS PRIZE 6 – a piece of Annoushka jewellery.

BONUS PRIZE 7 – a pair of ready-to-wear shoes from Emmy London.


fashion at Royal Ascot

Enter the raffle draw by buying tickets for £10 per ticket. You can enter as many times as you like to increase your chances of winning the dress, hat & signed photo as well as the bonus prizes!

The draw will take place on 30th June and the first 5 tickets drawn will win one of the 5 outfits (dress/hat/photo). Winners will pick their chosen outfit in line with the order in which their tickets are drawn. Outfits will be dispatched to the winners thereafter.

Ticket 6 will win the piece of Annoushka jewellery & ticket 7 will win a pair of Emmy London ready-to-wear shoes. Both of these winners will also receive a signed photograph of Francesca.


Written by Horse Scout team member Ellie Kelly.


Lucienne Elms and Mark Bellissimo Wedding

We did it

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The Horse Scout Team is delighted to announce that our CEO Lucienne Elms has married her partner Mark Bellissimo, a notable American entrepreneur and CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions. Due to the circumstances this momentous moment occurred in a private ceremony held in North Carolina, US, with just a handful of witnesses, together with the couple’s two dogs!


Lucienne, an active 4* event rider and the founder of the Horse Scout Group has described the event as “a phenomenal chapter, I have married my best friend, and a man that shares my thirst for entrepreneurship”.


The happy couple will be celebrating properly in Europe 2021, with their friends and families from around the world.


Photos by Monica Stevenson


Lifting Lockdown – the Latest Statement from the BEF

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Here at Horse Scout, we aim to keep you informed with all of the latest updates regarding the Coronavirus and its affect on equestrian sport.

We hope that by doing so, our readers can feel reassured that they are meeting the requirements and guidelines set out by the Government.

Following the statement from the Government on the 10th May, allowing persons to meet with one person outside of their household, as well as relaxing the travel to exercise restrictions, the British Equestrian Federation issued a statement on the 12th May reviewing their stance on riding. The advice still remains to not take any unnecessary risks in order to continue to ease the burden on the NHS.

The BEF have stated that instructors are able to teach on a one-to-one basis as long as social distancing and can be maintained and riders are allowed to transport their horses to a venue for training purposes.


‘Riders are now permitted to transport horses to a venue for an individual lesson or facility hire outdoors. They may meet with one other from outside their household, which may be a coach or other participant, all with the proviso that the appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices are in place. Those involved in travelling to or from a venue must all be from the same household.  Venues should conduct full risk assessments and ensure that the required public health, hygiene and social distancing measures are implemented effectively.’

The British Equestrian Federation.


Following guidance from The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the British Equestrian Federation released the following statement on the 15th May.


BEF COVID-19 update 15/05/20

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued further guidance on 13th May regarding outdoor facilities, as a follow-on from the government’s revised policy on exercise. This advice permits venues that provide outdoor sports and physical activities to reopen. At present, this applies to facilities in England, but we’re expecting an update from Wales shortly.

For the equestrian industry, this includes riding centres, training facilities and venues, cross-country courses, farm rides and the like. Those involved with the facilities should feel adequately prepared to reopen and be confident that they can do so safely for their participants and staff.

Requirements for opening include:

  • Any activity should fully align with government guidance regarding public health, social distancing and hygiene.
  • All attendees can maintain the social distancing standard of two metres
    Good hygiene practice is implemented throughout opening, including hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitiser stations, and regular cleaning.
  • Anyone involved who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.
  • Participants should be individuals, members of the same household, or two from different households with social distancing at all times. Any coaching activity must be on a one-to-one basis.
  • Organisations/venues should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and how they’re managing risk.
  • Organisations/venues should be flexible and able to quickly adapt to any changes in government guidelines.
  • Car/lorry parking should be conducted to allow adequate social distancing.
  • Booking and payment should be done online or over the phone to reduce contact.
  • Indoor areas should remain closed except for access to outdoor facilities and/or toilets.
  • Food and drink outlets should only operate on a take-away basis.

Participants should make use of facilities individually, with members of their own household or with one person from an additional household, provided that social distancing is maintained. This could be a coach, trainer or additional participant.

Horses can be transported to venues freely, but anyone involved in helping with the travelling must be from the same household only. This also applies when travelling by car. Where participants are under-18, a parent or guardian may be present for one to one training sessions for safeguarding purposes, but must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. Read more on the government’s guidance for the public on returning to outdoor sport and recreation.

British Equestrian advises any operators looking to open their premises to read the full guidance available:


GOV.UK – guidance for providers of outdoor facilities.
Sport & Recreation Alliance facilities guidance.
Sport England facilities guidance
.


It is important to stress that this is an ever changing situation and is constantly under review in line with the most recent Government guidelines.

Here at Horse Scout, we will continue to bring you any relevant updates as they happen so that you can be assured that you are adhering to the most up-to-date advice.

The Horse Scout team hope that these guidelines can be met by all, not only the equestrian community so that we can continue to safely return to some form of normality in the near future.

It is vital at this stage of the pandemic that we all do our bit to stay alert, protect the NHS and save lives.


Badminton Horse Trials

Badminton Through the Years

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Badminton Horse Trials has been a highlight in most equestrians’ calendars since its original conception in 1949, where it was proclaimed ‘the most important horse event in Great Britain’. Since then it has certainly lived up to expectations. The winners have become legends, the fences are now iconic, and lifting the trophy has been the lifelong dream of those riders that strive to qualify each year. 

Now in what would have been its 71st year, the world’s most famous horse trials have been cancelled for only the sixth time in its entire history due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Equestrians’ dreams of attending this year whether it be to compete or just to watch, eat great food, shop till they drop and soak in the atmosphere, have been shattered. Instead of moping around and sulking that we are unable to go, the team at Horse Scout have instead decided to have a look back at the shows history to bring you a few interesting facts and some of its greatest moments of the past seven decades. After all, it’s only another 365 days until the 2021 trials, so we may as well start looking forward to it! 


Age is just a number

Unlike most other sporting events, the equestrian sport holds no bias over age or sex. The pinnacle of a rider’s career could come at any time whether they are an eventing veteran or a fresh young talent, and victory at Badminton Horse Trials would arguably be a career highlight for any professional rider. The youngest competitor to win Badminton was Richard Walker, aged 18 and 247 days, when he rode Pasha to win in 1969. Whereas the oldest rider to lift the trophy is Mark Todd aged 55 in 2011. With an impressive 37 years between these two champions, there is clearly no winning formula when it comes to youth over experience.

The youngest horse to have ever won at Badminton, believe it or not, was five-year-old, Golden Willow, ridden by John Shedden. The pair rode to victory in the very first trials in 1949. Nowadays, seven is the minimum age for all competing horses. Even that seems like a remarkably short amount of time to produce something as well tuned and fearless to take on the challenge. Most horses that compete nowadays are rarely under ten years of age, which makes this even more of an incredible feat on a horse with half the experience. The horse was very quirky and hot, so much so that Shedden would tie a piece of string from the saddle to his belt in the hope that if he fell off, he might still have some control of the horse!

The oldest horse to win Badminton is ‘Nereo’, who won the event in 2017 with Andrew Nicholson at the age of 17. Previously, the oldest horse was the 16-year-old Horton Point, ridden by Mark Todd 33 years earlier in 1994. 


Size doesn’t matter

The smallest horses to win at Badminton were Our Solo (Bill Roycroft in 1960) and Our Nobby (Jane Bullen in 1968). Both stood at a meagre 15hh.

The biggest horses to take the Badminton title have been Durlas Eile (Major E.A. Boylan in 1965), Columbus (Captain Mark Phillips in 1974), Custom Made (David O’Connor in 1997) and Word Perfect II, (Chris Bartle in 1998). All were 17hh.


The Horses 

There have been countless outstanding horses that have ran in the Badminton Horse Trials over the years, from the small and mighty to the giant powerhouses. Some of which have claimed their own records. Four horses hold the joint record for the most completions of Badminton, Ballycotton with Andrew Harris from 1990-1995 and with Sarah Longshaw in 1997, Comanche with James Robinson, 2003-2006 and 2009-2011, Lenamore with Caroline Powell 2005-2011, and Over To You with Jeanette Brakewell in 1998, 1999 and 2003-2007. 

Chilli Morning took the title in 2015 with his Rider William Fox-Pitt, and he remains the only stallion in the history of Badminton Horse Trials to win the event. 



What is it worth?

The prize money for the first event in 1949 was £150 to the winner and the prize fund came to a total of about £500. Since then, the interest in the sport has grown exponentially. Along with its rise to fame thanks to some outstanding sponsorship, the prize fund for the notorious event had made a dramatic increase. A special mention should go to Mitsubishi Motors for its record breaking 28-year reign, whose final year was 2019. Last year, Piggy French took home an astonishing £100,000 for first place. In doing so, she denied Oliver Townend the win and stalled his hopes of becoming only the third person ever to win eventing’s £270,000 Rolex Grand Slam (a highly coveted prize for winning the 5* at Kentucky, Badminton and Burley within the same year).

But is it really the prize money that draws these riders to tackle the infamous cross-country course? Personally, I’m not sure there is an amount in the world that could convince me to aim any horse at the Vicarage Vee, or take the leap into the lake, but these competitors are cut from a different cloth. Winning Badminton to them is much more than a substantial pay day, it is the accomplishment of being victorious at the pinnacle of the world’s 3-Day-Event calendar. Realising the fame and glory that comes with mastering the ultimate test of stamina, power, obedience, and accuracy, and cementing their names in the history books. 


The Greats

Ian Stark – In 1988, Stark became the first, and to date, the only rider to claim both first and second prize in the same year. He won on Sir Wattie and came second on Glenburnie. Having led on both horses after the cross-country phase, he was so busy giving interviews that he missed the course walk for the show jumping and had to rely on a description given by his trainer, Dick Stillwell. ‘Typical Stark’ proclaimed the commentator, but Ian’s famous one-two remains an event record and has yet to be beaten.

Lucinda Green – The current record holder for the most wins at Badminton. Lucinda has won the horse trials on six separate occasions. She won in 1973 on Be Fair, in 1976 with Wide Awake, 1977 on George, 1979 aboard Kildare, 1983 on Regal Realm, and in 1984 riding Beagle Bay. The two riders who have come closest to her record to date is Captain Mark Phillips and Mark Todd both with four wins. With both riders now retired from sport it is uncertain who will be the rider to challenge her record, could Pippa Funnell be the one to claim the title having three wins to date and a quality string of horses in her yard? Regardless, Lucinda Green’s record is unlikely to be broken any time soon. 

Pippa Funnell – Funnell’s first win at Badminton came in 2002 aboard the legendary gelding Supreme Rock. The combination had previously landed two individual European titles in Luhmuhlen in 1999 and in Pau in 2001 and a team silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, so were clearly in great form and a favourite to win at Badminton. The same horse and rider combination claimed victory for a consecutive year (2003), the success of which, along with that of her other ride Primmore’s Pride, paved the way to Pippa becoming the first rider, and one of only two riders to have ever claimed the coveted Rolex Grand Slam for winning at Kentucky, Badminton and Burley in the same year. 

Sir Mark Todd – In 1980, Mark Todd, a then dairy farmer from New Zealand, attempted his first ever Badminton Horse Trials, to claim victory aboard Southern Comfort III. His win came as such a shock that a newspaper cartoon pictured The Duke of Edinburgh saying, ‘Mark who?’ The now seven-time Olympian, proved his worth on countless occasions since. He took his second Badminton victory in 1994 riding Horton Point, a horse that he had never ridden before due to the owner, Lynne Bevan breaking her collar bone at Bicton the weekend before. He is also well remembered for riding two-thirds of the cross-country course in 1995, on Bertie Blunt with only one stirrup. Sadly, the horse was eliminated at the final horse inspection the following day. Un-deterred, the pair came back the following year to win the Badminton title, Mark’s third victory. He retired from eventing in 2000 after taking individual bronze at the Sydney Olympics. In 2008, Todd completed arguably equestrian sport’s greatest career comeback to win the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials for the fourth time aboard NZB Land Vision. Sir Mark is now one of New Zealand’s most celebrated sportsmen and was voted rider of the 20th century by the FEI.

Andrew Nicholson – Another New Zealand rider and prodigy of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson holds the event record for most completions at Badminton since his first completion in 1984. However, victory here had always seemed to elude the six-time Olympian until 2017 on his 37th attempt. He was riding the 17-year-old Nereo, a horse that he had since a four-year-old. His victory here came only 18 months after a fall at Gatcombe where he suffered a severe neck injury that had left him nearly paralysed. 

“The feeling of winning here is different to Burghley and I think after waiting so long for it, and a few times to be so near and not make it, it’s just an unbelievable feeling.” 

Andrew Nicholson


References

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/sporting-country-pursuits/70-years-badminton-horse-trials-pig-sticking-champions-miracle-champion-took-four-decades-win-195581

https://www.badminton-horse.co.uk/history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badminton_Horse_Trials



Equestrian Relief: Horse World Unites to Support our NHS Heroes

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Horse Scout CEO Lucienne Elms and all members of the Horse Scout Agency Team  are thrilled to announce that leading Olympic riders from across the disciplines, as well as horse racing jockeys and celebrities have shown their support for a major fundraising initiative launched by the team behind Bolesworth and Liverpool International Horse Shows.

 

Equestrian Relief’ is an urgent fundraising campaign to raise money and change lives, with donations going directly to support the efforts of the wonderful work being carried out by the NHS.

 

Leading names are all showing their support including two Eventing World Champions Ros Canter and Zara Tindall, Olympic Gold Medallists Carl Hester & Scott Brash and racing legends AP McCoy and Frankie Dettori.

 

Each day two members of each team will take part in a daily challenge. The five challenges, which are; On the Gallops, Plankety Plank, Horse Drawn, Showstopper and Dark Horse will test our riders skills physically, creatively and artistically. Much more will be revealed over the coming days so make sure you join in the fun at 7pm each evening from Monday 6 April – Monday 13 April where our daily highlights will be broadcast across all the Liverpool International Horse Show channels and all info can be found at www.equestrianrelief.com

 

Nina Barbour, Bolesworth Managing Director:

“Our priority is to unite the horse world to support our health workers and our goal is to raise a sum of money that will make a real difference. All donations will go directly to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Crisis Fund – supporting NHS staff and volunteers on the front line as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.”

 

“We’ve already got some fabulous sponsors on-board – including long standing Bolesworth supporters Equerry, Equitop and Horse Scout – who have all made generous contributions to get us started.

 

The campaign will also be launching a charity auction On Monday 6 April with a host of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences up for grabs! Bid for the chance to get one on one with some of our equestrian celebrities for an exclusive Q&A session online, go behind the scenes with ITV racing, or even bid for a round of golf with AP McCoy and Oli Bell.  The paintings produced by the teams in the Horse Drawn challenge will also be included in the auction lots!

 

Zara Tindall said: “It’s a very challenging time for the equestrian community right now with so many people affected in so many ways. Being a high-risk activity, we also have a responsibility to minimise the impact on the NHS who are valiantly working to support the nation and save lives. Taking part in Equestrian Relief and knowing that donations are going directly to help NHS workers on the frontline makes it a no-brainer for me.  I am happy to be part of this campaign and look forward to seeing just how much we can raise”.

 

Frankie Dettori said: “I am super excited to announce that I will be taking part in Plankety Plank and Bake Off Easter Showstopper all in aid of Equestrian Relief. It’s going to be great fun, however we are all very competitive so I can’t wait to get started – so please make sure you support us!”

 

Scott Brash said: “All over the country we are coming together to support the phenomenal NHS staff during these very challenging times. As a strong equestrian community we must stay united in the battle against Covid19 and we are hopeful that Equestrian Relief can make a huge impact in raising funds directly to support those who are putting their own lives at risk to help others. Let the challenges commence and please make sure you support us and give what you can to this incredible cause.”
Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together said: “Every person on our team and NHS teams throughout the country, are playing a vital role in being there for others during this emergency. Please join in with the Equestrian Relief team effort by showing your appreciation, gratitude and solidarity for our NHS workers who are responding heroically to the biggest challenge the NHS has ever faced’.

 

To donate and for details of the Equestrian Relief campaign visit www.equestrianrelief.com

THE  SPONSORS

 

Equerry Horse Feed – A range of top-quality horse feeds produced using the finest ingredients, manufactured by HJ Lea Oakes

www.equerryhorsefeeds.com

 

Equitop – Manufacturers of Equitop Myoplast – a Unique amino acid supplement designed to support healthy lean muscle growth, and Equitop GLME – a unique joint supplement specifically designed to support healthy joint function in horses containing sustainably harvested Green Lipped Mussel Extract.

www.equitop-myoplast.co.uk

 

Horse Scout – The UK’s leading equestrian marketplace

www.horsescout.com

 

Horse Scout Agency – The largest equestrian distribution in the world

www.horsescoutagency.com

 

 

ABOUT THE TEAMS

 

#TeamRacing

AP McCoy – Racing legend, Champion Jump Jockey (a record 20 consecutive times) and BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010

Frankie Dettori – Racing Legend and Three-time Champion Flat Jockey

Mike Bushell – BBC Sports Presenter and star of Strictly Come Dancing

Oli Bell – ITV Racing Presenter

 

#TeamEventing

Ros Canter- Current World Champion

Zara Tindall – Former World and European Champion plus Sports Personality 2006

Oliver Townend – Current World Number One

Alex Hua Tian – First rider to represent China in Equestrian at the Olympics

Ben Hobday – Current British Open Champion

 

#TeamShowjumpingNorth

William Whitaker – international Showjumper and former Youth European Gold medallist

Geoff Billington – Two-time Olympian (Atlanta 1996 & Sydney 2000)

Ellen Whitaker – European Bronze medallist

Harry Charles – international rider on the Global Champions Tour and Son of Olympic Gold medallist Peter Charles

Anthony Condon – Irish International Showjumper

 

#TeamShowjumpingSouth

Scott Brash – Olympic Gold medallist

Shane Breen – Irish International Showjumper

Daisy Bunn – Director at Hickstead, TV Presenter and Classical Singer

Jessica Mendoza – former European youth gold medallist

Jay Halim – International Showjumper

 

#TeamDressage

Carl Hester – Olympic Gold medallist

Richard Davison – Four-time Olympian

Gareth Hughes – World Silver medallist

Toni Terry – Dressage Rider and wife of Chelsea Footballer John Terry

Sarah Higgins – International Dressage rider

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

 

Website – We’ve set up a dedicated website which is www.equestrianrelief.com

Accounts – The campaign will be run through the Liverpool International Horse Show social media accounts. Handles for these are:

Facebook: @LiverpoolInternationalHorseShow
Instagram: @liverpoolhorseshow
Twitter: @LiverpoolInt

Hashtags – #EquestrianRelief   #StayHomeSaveLives  #HorseScout

Virgin Money Giving Link:   bit.ly/EquestrianRelief2020

 

 


Lucienne Elms – British Equestrian Entrepreneur – So Far

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailHorse Scout Group is the brainchild of just one woman: 36-year-old Lucienne Elms from Hampshire, in the UK. The idea spawned from a desire to connect the horse world at a professional level, in a way that had never been done before. Like so many great entrepreneurs, Lucienne has a colourful background story, full of trials and tribulations, which  is undoubtedly  the catalyst for much of her business and sporting success.

Her professional journey with horses began in 2002 when she started as a working rider for a local 5* Event rider, alongside completing Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and English A-levels. It became her goal to reach the top of the sport of eventing, which she duly did during the years that followed. In order to fund her sporting ambitions in what is one of the most financially demanding sports of all, Lucienne set up and managed a successful international sport horse sales business, producing and selling hundreds of horses before her 25th birthday. Through this dedicated approach, she developed a network from all areas of the sports horse industry from sponsorship and industry needs to global sales pipelines. She admits to an unconventional childhood and recalls her father telling her in her teens, that the best thing he could offer was in fact nothing. “It kept me resourceful, self motivated and hungry” she smiles.

An intellectual curiosity and interest in science, prompted Lucienne to do a five-year degree in Chiropractic medicine. “I believed it would give me the autonomy I desired financially, while expanding me on a cerebral level. She became a practitioner, Dr. Chiro for several years, worked in a medical centre, ran her own private practice, alongside competing to CCI 4 star level eventing and selling at volume.

All these walks of life led to the beginnings of an idea. The often considered ‘behind the times’ equestrian industry, when it comes to the tech space and digital connectivity, Lucienne detected the gap in the market. “There was a definite demand by equestrian professionals for a means for them to expand their customer base and or revenue channels”. Horse Scouts’ first business venture was to be the platform which facilitated these connections, in a way that was not dissimilar to LinkedIn. Horse Scout Group today offers a leading international agency and equestrian services network, and investment firm, and a customizable homeware gift platform leveraging the boom in e-commerce. 2020 Horse Scout is expanding rapidly worldwide with a series of world class European and American relationships.

Lucienne continues the story:

“I had a vision that would actually keep me awake at night, so I started researching the tech world and spending time in start-up hubs like a born-again student. I was internally mapping out how the different offerings of social and digital business could leverage the multi-billion equestrian space. It was challenging to carve out enough time to put my business into action. That at all changed when I had a freak riding accident in 2012, sustained 16 fractures in my foot and ankle and was confined to a bed for 11 months due to reconstructive surgeries.

The writing was on the wall.  I became what can only be described as ‘obsessed’ with the idea of Horse Scout as a group entity, with multiple business pillars. It occupied my every thought. Looking back, I should really apologise to the friends and family who were around me because I became all consumed. As any founder knows you can only rely on yourself to make it work, and you don’t take no for an answer. I have always been motivated by negative feedback, tell me I can’t do something and I will not stop pursuing it until I can prove to the contrary. There is a fine line between tenacity and insanity!

In 2013 we secured a worldwide trademark for the brand. I took out a start-up loan with Virgin to tide me over and pay staff while rehabilitating, and planning my road map to venture capital. Rehab has been a big feature in my life, and I like to think it is a way of some other force reminding me to be grateful for every day of physical, mental health and independence. Like all riders I was back on board as soon as I could put my foot to the floor and by May 2014 I was back at an international competition. Limping, full of metal plates but grateful.

The drama didn’t stop there, in September 2018 a near fatal car crash. I punctured both lungs, broke 28 bones and woke up wondering quite what I had done to warrant the pain. As a former chiropractor I took one look at my spinal x rays and saw 16 rib fractures, and multiple transverse process breaks (the wings of the vertebral body that contains your spinal cord) and decided that my broken shoulder, arm, sternum, wrist, leg was actually a blessing, it could have been so much worse. I spent many weeks in Oaksey House Rehabilitation Centre, run by the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), an absolutely phenomenal facility. It was a dark but character-building time for me. I recall seeing others less fortunate than me in a state of paralysis. That sharpened me up every day and motivated me, despite indescribable pain. I hold the record for “Most bones broken in one person ever – IJF, Lambourne”. It might be a cheesy cliché “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but I really believe in that mantra.

The Horse Scout user base is both amateurs and professionals. I found that a high percentage of users chose to profile their horses even when they were not for sale. You might ask why? Because the Europeans have a huge thirst to understand and validate their horses whether they are pets or professional competition horses, via breeding. It is no different to the racing industry and that familiar question “how is it bred?” This will always spark interest and communication amongst the community.

A small loyal bootstrapped team and I worked with Polish developers to create software that automatically connected the horses together by their bloodline lineage. In essence we had the LinkedIn of the equestrian world, with the intention that by 2022, we would have a second layer of authentication taking the verification of this from Wikipedia status (i.e. not necessarily accurate) to certified. We had British co-founders studying Retinal ID, and other Equi-lab concepts, who knew there were safer and more efficient ways to passport and identify horses in the long run. We have mechanisms in place which will build on the social connectivity around bloodlines which I look forward to launching. This will be as soon as we reach critical mass not nationally but internationally through our new strategic partnerships.

Alongside this we started Horsescoutagency.com. An agency to support professional athletes, equestrian events organizers, and brands needing help to test, validate, and launch into the equestrian domain.  I knew before the social influencer boom had really hit that micro-marketing was going to be a win for the equestrian industry. This was owing to its insane fragmentation: dressage, show jumping, eventing, polo. Owning a network of hundreds of thousands of users who have already told us their interests, made the ability to directly target product testers and individuals as consumers, a straightforward task.

By 2018 we had integrated social software to efficiently measure product sales against our agency client’s campaigns. Naturally, this was a great step for equestrian businesses. History proved that brands were lacking ability to prove their Return on Investment (ROI), a banner around an arena was no longer well spent budget unless it was tied to both a digital and social strategy. A win-win situation for the Horse Scout advocates too, as we plumbed in a success commission against products sold. Financial autonomy for professional riders is an area I am very aggressive to pursue. I understand that as a rider attempting to maintain an international presence, you become a slave to the sport, running on an eternal hamster wheel. Unless you are fortunate enough to be from a wealthy background, making money in horses is tough.

My business road map for all athletes connected to the Horse Scout network, will release a second salary to them based on performance. I have some new commercial platforms in build, set to launch in late 2020. The intention is to ‘give back’ to industry professionals such as equestrian artists and photographers, all the way through to world ranked riders. The world has shifted to an on-demand model in the last five years, gone are the days where you want to hold stock in warehouses.  The exclusive partnerships will facilitate fulfilment to Europe and the UK on all our customers products within the week, and generate cash back to our chosen charities, athletes, and commercial counterparts.

Fundraising through 2016 -2017 was a sport in itself. I attended hundreds of meetings all over the UK and Europe, developed a thicker skin, and was used to being told ‘no’, I learnt how to pitch by the end of it. It dawned on me that the essence was to value the customer first and foremost and not the nature of the industry. Try using the words ‘horse business’ to a VC fund and see how far through your presentation you get. I knew the global market expenditure for equestrian was around £222 Billion per annum in 2017, and every other statistic to match. So, I kept my faith that one day with enough business collaboration, and industry understanding, domain knowledge, and strategic partnerships would pay dividends. I could now prove an excess of 250 million equestrians expressed equestrian interests via Facebook. Our Horse Scout customer lifetime member value looked very high when compared to the other community platforms.

I slowly raised £700k via five unique European tech investors, to support a customer scale strategy into Europe. I was also targeting the US, with a well-defined 27 million rider market. In 2017 I applied to BlackboxVC in Silicon Valley. It’s a world-renowned accelerator for proven start-ups. I was one of only two British founders selected and sponsored to go after an eight-month interview process, it changed my life.

While at BlackboxVC I met some of the best tech entrepreneurs, and mentors none of whom placed any relevance on the equestrian domain but taught me how to identify my strengths. CEO Fadi Bishara stated “all good start-ups need three things, a hacker (tech), a hustler (front runner that can convey the vision), and a hipster (the one who can package it as aesthetic”.

I am wholly an extrovert, and a workaholic. I need people to converse with, expand with and form alliances with. I want to provide more synergy to the equestrian industry and operate with the most entrepreneurial, elastic, ambitious equestrian organisations.

This diversity of relationships from true tech to sports innovation inspire me. We have to look at the grassroots and enthusiast market who are the base of the pyramid. I look forward to working with and driving new partnerships and commercial innovation into and organisations all over the world.

The Horse Scout journey is in its eighth year. Despite a challenging economic climate, my shareholders still remain, and the fragmented equestrian market still thrives. On the side-lines, I still make time to get my ‘brain fix’ competing at 4* and I will aim for 5* in 2021 despite being 45% titanium, I remain optimistic that I will not rust or damage myself again, before I get there”.

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