Sam & Happy Pass the Trot Up

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 7:20 am.

Sam walks Burghley Cross-Country

Burghley| Well, trot up passed so it’s time for action! I had a walk around the course this morning and as I expected- it is HUGE!!! Centaur’s Leap is definitely the biggest Xc jump I’ve ever seen- see attached pic! And the rest of the course is equally big and bold- it will ride well but there’s no room for error when the jumps are that size! Gave happy a school this evening- he feels great so I’m looking forward to getting on with it now. No partying for me tonight though- early start for us being number one to go! Will let you know how we get on….Sam

Read Sam’s next post here>>

Read Sam’s previous post here<<


Sam Griffiths and HAPPY TIMES Head to Burghley

Posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 7:10 am.

Team FLAIR’S Sam Griffiths and his HAPPY TIMES are in the UK, preparing for Burghley Horse Trials, one of only six CCI **** Three Day Events held throughout the world each year. Sam hopes to post from time to time throughout the event week, so follow along…

TEAM FLAIR'S Sam Griffiths

Burghley| As always, Burghley has crept up on us without us knowing and here we are packing the lorry ready to leave first thing tomorrow morning. It’s been such a busy season with horses going in all directions at all levels, but Happy’s preparation has gone well and he is more than ready for this week. We’ve been building up his fitness over the last few weeks and I had a good preparation run at Hartpury CIC*** with him, where w e finished 10th, despite running with ‘the handbrake on’ around the cross country. Over the last week, I’ve been working hard at his schooling, using a lot of video ana lysis to help me get extra marks here and there. I find getting someone (usually my wife, Lucy!) to video me running through a test a very useful exercise, I then review it and try and see where I can improve things for the next time. We’ve got an excellent 20m by 60m grass arena set up at home so I can warm up in the sand arena and then go out and run through my test on grass. Lucy is also a very critical pair of eyes on the ground and is regularly ripping into me for my position! We were supposed to be at Highclere today but it was cancelled which was such a shame as I had planned to take Happy to this and just do the dressage and show jumping as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for Burghley. But in the end it worked out quite well as Prue Barrett, our National Coach and Rod Brown, our show jumping coach came down to the yard instead of meeting us at Highclere and I’ve just had a really productive jumping session with Rod and Happy – he’s given me some excellent tips for the weekend and both Rod and Prue will be with us all week at Burghley to keep an eye on us all! It’s been a fun build up to Burghley as we’ve had two other riders based with us – Chris Burton – who has brought over 6 horses, including Holstein Park Leilani who heads to Burghley, and then we have also had another Aussie rider, Hamish Cargill, with us for the last 6 weeks who is also heading to Burghley with his lovely horse, Sandhills Tiger. So it’s been a very exciting place with three different riders all out competing at the top events and aiming for Burghley – we’ve all been able to bounce ideas off each other and work together in a very productive way. Although having three Aussie blokes together may not be the best idea when it comes to trying to keep the pre-three day alcohol levels to a reasonable reading! And I think Lucy is probably in need of some female company – the Aussie lad sense of humour may be beginning to grate! We’ve actually been drawn first to go at Burghley, which isn’t ideal when it comes to the dressage marking as for some reason, those drawn on that Thursday morning never quite get the makrs they deserve but, hey, someone has to go first and this year, it’s me and Happy. However, if the conditions are wet, we will be getting the top of the ground on Saturday morning. Then I can get ti all done early and watch everyone else get nervous! All in all though, preparations have gone according to plan and I now can’t wait to get up there and get on with it! Read Sam’s Next post here >>


FLAIR® Master Class: The Sunken Road with Phillip Dutton

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 2:05 pm.

Our Eventing FLAIR® Master Class Private Course Walk With Phillip Dutton continues…

In this FLAIR® Master Class video — the second of a four video series featuring a private course walk with Phillip Dutton — the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Rolex Kentucky Champion, takes the viewer through the 2011 RK3DE Sunken Road Complex.

View All FLAIR® Master Class Video Course-Walk videos with Phillip Dutton:

The Waterpark:

The Sunken Road:

The Hollow:

The Head of the Lake:



Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 at 7:21 am.

Clarke Johnstone (NZL) on Orient Express seals victory in FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011. Photo: PSV J. Morel.

Clarke Johnstone (NZL) was celebrating with a large bottle of champagne, part of his spoils from Haras du Pin (FRA), where he finally sealed victory in the FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011.

“I’ve just flown five horses from New Zealand to England, so I’m not really in credit at the moment!” joked Johnstone. “But this is a very satisfying result and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Johnstone is perennially successful in FEI World Cup™ Eventing – he finished fifth overall last year – but this time the 24-year-old World team bronze medallist set an unmatchable target right from the start of the season. He scored a win and a third place in his native New Zealand, at Kihikihi, and when he also triumphed in the next event in the series, at Sydney (AUS), the dye was cast.

For good measure, Johnstone completed Haras du Pin (FRA), the seventh and final event in the 2011 series, in sixth place on Kihikihi winner Orient Express, but his overall series victory was assured even before the competition started at the French venue.

Another of the younger riders, Christopher Burton (AUS), tracked Johnstone all the way, only finishing four points shy to take second place in the series.

Burton put up a magnificent fight. Having slotted into second at Kihkihi (NZL) and second and fifth at Sydney (AUS); riding the same two horses, Newsprint and Holstein Park Leilani, he then finished second and third at Haras du Pin to close the gap. But even if he had won the series climax, he would still have been an agonising one point in arrears behind Johnstone.

At the culmination of seven fiercely contested CIC3*s in seven countries, Belarusian rider Aliaksandr Faminou has made history as the highest placed rider from Eastern Europe in the history of the FEI World Cup™ Eventing. His brilliant achievement of three placings at Minsk (BLR) proved highly profitable, leaving him third in this year’s series.

Southern hemisphere riders filled seven out of the top 10 places at Haras du Pin (FRA), site of a French national stud and one of the most attractive venues in the calendar. In a tight finish, Clayton Fredericks (AUS), twice an FEI World Cup™ Eventing champion, riding Dunges Laurent Rose, won by less than one penalty ahead of Burton on Newsprint.

Fredericks had led after Cross Country on his other horse, the German-bred mare Be My Guest, but an expensive 16 Jumping faults dropped the partnership to fourth behind Burton’s Holstein Park Leilani.

After a relatively trouble-free Cross Country phase, the Jumping proved hugely influential – there was only one clear round from the 34 riders to complete the competition.

International FEI World Cup™ Eventing

“The efforts of New Zealand and Australia to gain points in Europe this year have really  paid off, with Clarke Johnstone, Christopher Burton, Shane Rose and Clayton Fredericks all in the top six,” said Catrin Norinder, Director of Eventing & Olympic at the FEI.

Clayton FREDERICKS (AUS) riding BE MY GUEST receives his awards from. Franck Le Mestre, director of the National Stud Farm of Le Pin. Photo by PSV J.Morel/FEI

“The fact that eight nations made it into the top ten of this year’s FEI World Cup Eventing is also testament to how widely this trophy is contested globally.

“Riders from 15 countries competed on the series this year and this has really captured the imaginations of Eventing fans around the world, who have followed the series right through to its culmination in Haras du Pin.”

About the winner

Clarke Johnstone (NZL), 24, is from New Zealand’s South Island where his parents farm sheep and cattle. He started riding at the age of 12 and after graduating from Otago University, he spent three years based near Hamilton, North Island. He has now travelled to Gloucestershire, England, with five horses and the aim of competing at next year’s London Olympic Games.

He was long-listed for the 2008 Olympics with Oakley Vision, a horse he started riding when he was only 14, and made his team debut last year with Orient Express, a horse produced by 2000 Olympian Paul O’Brien (NZL), winning a team bronze medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky (USA).

He now heads to Burghley CCI4* (GBR) with Incognito and Taupo CCI3* winner Kolora Stud Secrets and to Blenheim CCI3* (GBR) with Orient Express.

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Standings (after 7 of 7 events)

1 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 118
2 Christopher Burton (AUS) 114
3 Aliaksandr Faminou (BLR) 92
4 Michael Jung (GER) 79
5 Shane Rose (AUS) 70
6 Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 77
7 Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) 68
8 Mykhailo Nastenko (RUS) 64
9 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 62
10 Peter Thomsen (GER) 56

For full standings, please click here.

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Prize-Money

1 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) €15,000
2 Chris Burton (AUS) €9,000
3 Aliaksandr Faminou (BLR) €4,000

*The total prize money for FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011 is €28,000. This year there were seven legs in the series, with each leg contributing €4,000.

Results from Haras du Pin

1 Clayton Fredericks/Dunges Laurent Rose (AUS) 43.5 + 3.2 + 4 = 50.7
2 Christopher Burton/Newsprint (AUS) 43.5 + 0 + 8 = 51.5
3 Christopher Burton/Holstein Park Leilani 50.6 + 0 + 8 = 58.6
4 Clayton Fredericks/Be My Guest (AUS) 43.3 + 0 + 16 = 59.3
5 Alix de Herce/Minx du Mane Roz (FRA) 52.6 + 3.6 + 4 = 60.2
6 Clarke Johnstone/Orient Express (NZL) 48.9 + 0 + 12 = 60.9
7 Cedric Lyard/Narcos de Soulac (FRA) 49.1 + 4 + 8 = 61.1
8 Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL) 43.7 + 10 + 8 = 61.7
9 Regis Prud Hon/Debiut (FRA) 52.2 + 5.6 + 4 = 61.8
10 Paul Tapner/Kilfinnie ll (AUS) 45.6 + 0 + 17 = 62.6
11 Eddy Sans/Kramique (FRA) 45.0 + 9.2 + 12 = 66.2

Full results on

Photo caption: Clarke Johnstone (NZL) on Orient Express seals victory in FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011. Photo: PSV J. Morel.


Duchossois donates $20K to True Prospect Fund

Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 6:23 pm.

Bob Courtemanche (Division President ACE Group Private Risk Services) hands the donation in honor of the fallen event horses to Bruce Duchossois, co-chair of the USET Foundation's Development Committee, flanked by Boyd Martin and Kirk James (COO Hub International) and Phillip and Evie Dutton. Photo By: Lauren R. Giannini.

Bruce Duchossois and ACE Private Risk Services Make $20,000 Donation to USET Foundation in Memory of Horses Lost

Gladstone, NJ – August 22 2011 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is honored to announce that USET Foundation Trustee Bruce Duchossois and ACE Private Risk Services have made a generous donation to the organization following the tragedy at Robes de bal courteTrue Prospect Farm. On May 31, fire destroyed the barn rented by international event rider Boyd Martin from Phillip Dutton of West Grove, PA. Of the 11 horses stabled in the wood and stone bank barn, six perished in the blaze.

In the aftermath of the fire, the entire eventing community rallied. Bruce Duchossois, who competes in the Amateur-Owner hunters, has owned several of Dutton’s top three-day horses, including Connaught. Dutton, who earned Olympic Team Gold in 1996 riding for Australia, became an American citizen in 2006. In 2007, he earned Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver riding for the USA. In 2008 he piloted Connaught to first place in the prestigious four-star Kentucky Rolex Three-Day Event. About five years ago Duchossois became partners with Dutton in the ownership of True Prospect Farm.

Duchossois learned that ACE Private Risk Services, the high-net worth personal lines company of global insurance carrier, the ACE Group – who settled the claim quickly and gracefully – planned to make a donation in honor of the six horses. Several of those horses
Robes de mariée were being considered to represent the USA for the 2011 Pan American Games and now would never have a chance to prove themselves. Duchossois happens to be co-chair of the USET Foundation’s Development Committee, which raises funds for the USA’s elite equestrian athletes. He was involved to the nth degree with the horses and people at True Prospect Farm and with the USET Foundation. He offered to match whatever amount ACE Private Risk Services donated to the USET Foundation.

“I think that what ACE Private Risk Services is doing is phenomenal,” said Duchossois. “Insurance – you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it – and what these ACE people have done really is above and beyond. It was a beautiful old stone barn, and the horses – well, they were priceless. To settle the way they did and then to come back and make a donation to the USET Foundation in the memory of the horses – well, it’s unheard of. It opens eyes that they are good people and that they want to give back. I was blown away.

On Tuesday, August 16th at True Prospect Farm, Bob Courtemanche, Division President of ACE Private Risk Services, and W. Kirk James, Chief Operating Officer of Hub International (the broker that matched up ACE with True Prospect), met with Duchossois, Dutton and his wife Evie, and Martin. Courtemanche presented the check for the USET Foundation to Duchossois. In a spirit of camaraderie and compassion, ACE’s donation to the USET Foundation does more than honor the six fallen event horses: it also pays tribute to the incredible bravery of the people who risked their lives to save the five.

“We protect property, but at the end of the day we protect people,” said Courtemanche. “If we can help to make a sad situation better by honoring the bravery and compassion of the people at True Prospect Farm, that’s part of our job. It’s not just property they lost in that fire. They lost horses, and they aren’t replaceable the way machines are. I’m learning about the partnership between horse and rider.”

“It’s moving. It restores my faith in the American culture, that everything’s not just about money,” said Martin. “It’s fantastic when a company goes far beyond the call of duty and sees a terrible situation and they put their hat and money out for such a wonderful donation.”

” In the wake of such tragedy ACE Private Risk Services and Bruce Duchossois have graciously recognized the loss of these talented and incredible horses with a gift to the USET Foundation that will continue to help this country’s United States Equestrian Teams on the international stage. The generous gifts exemplify the kindness and thoughtfulness of ACE and Bruce, and for which the USET Foundation is truly appreciative. We wish Boyd and Phillip the very best as they courageously move forward in achieving competitive excellence, while always remembering the incredible horses that make it possible.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at


Kiwis’ Off to World Cup Eventing Final

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 9:09 am.

Clarke Johnstone (NZL) - leader since first leg of FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011 in Kihikihi (NZL) Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI

Lausanne (SUI), 19 August 2011


Antipodean riders Clarke Johnstone (NZL) and Chris Burton (AUS) are making absolutely sure of their FEI World Cup™ Eventing bonus by traveling to the last event in the 2011 series, which is underway at Haras du Pin (FRA) today.

Both riders are now based in Britain, where they are making quite an impact on the national circuit.

They will be hard to beat in the race to secure the FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011 champion title and for Clarke Johnstone this would be a sweet victory after his brilliant wins at the first and second legs at Kihikihi (NZL) and Sydney (AUS).

A strong field of 47 riders representing 12 nations will contest this popular event, including several leading French names and Olympians such as Mark Todd (NZL) and Clayton Fredericks (AUS), so the Antipodean influence is expected to be strong.

Emily Baldwin, who scored a one-two-three on Drivetime at FEI World Cup™ Eventing’s third leg at Chatsworth (GBR), and was last year’s Le Pin winner, had signalled that she would be returning to the final leg of the 2011 series in her quest for further points. She will be missed after suffering a broken collarbone at Gatcombe.

Follow the event on

A full report on Haras du Pin and the final standings in the FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011 will be published after the event.

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Standings (after 6 of 7 events)
1 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 118
2 Chris Burton (AUS) 108
3 Aliaksandr Faminou (BLR) 96
4 Michael Jung (GER) 79
5 Shane Rose (AUS) 70
6 Yoshiaki Oiwa (JAP) 66
7 Mykhailo Nastenko (RUS) 64
8 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 62
9 Peter Thomsen (GER) 56
10 Niklas Lindback (SWE) 41

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Calendar for 2011

1 Kihikihi (NZL), 07-10 April 2011
2 Sydney (AUS), 06-08 May 2011
3 Chatsworth (GBR), 14-15 May 2011
4 Strzegom (POL), 23-26 June 2011
5 Minsk (BLR), 13-17 July 2011
6 Malmö (SWE), 05-07 August 2011
7 Le Pin au Haras (FRA), 18-21 August 2011


Changes to the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Short List for the Pan American Games

Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 at 8:33 am.

From the USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announces the following changes to the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Short List for the Pan American Games:

Alexandra Slusher with Last Call and William Coleman III with Obos O’Reilly have withdrawn from consideration for the 2011 Pan American Games.

The first ranked substitute Shannon Lilley with Ballingowan Pizzaz and second ranked substitute, Alexandra Slusher with Pierre have been added on the Short List.

In addition, Boyd Martin and Cold Harbor have been granted permission by the USEF Eventing Selectors to be excused from competing at the Mandatory Outing at Richland Park August 25-28, 2011, for logistical reasons. Martin will be preparing to represent the U.S. on the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to be held September 1-4, 2011, in the U.K., and will be unavailable to compete at Richland Park.

The complete Short List as of August 15:

Emily Beshear/34/Somerset, VA/Here’s to You/11/Thoroughbred/G/ Deep Purple Eventing
Hannah Sue Burnett/25/Ocala, FL/Harbour Pilot/8/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Jacqueline Mars
Anna Collier/35/Vancouver, WA/Upper Crust D/10/KWPN/G/ Anna Collier
Bruce Davidson Jr./35/Ocala, FL/Absolute Liberty/8/Thoroughbred/M/Sharon Will
Jonathan Holling/34/Ocala, FL/ Downtown Harrison/7/Trakehner-Thoroughbred Cross/G/ Constance Holling
Shannon Lilley/32/Gilroy, CA/Ballingowan Pizzaz/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ The Lilley Group
Boyd Martin/32/Cochranville, PA/Cold Harbor/11/Canadian Sport Horse/G/ Dana Diemer
Maxance McManamy/19/Templeton, CA/Project Runway/7/Trakehner/G/ Maxance McManamy
Michael Pollard/30/Dalton, GA/Schoensgreen Hanni/8/German Sport Horse/M/ Natalie Pollard
Kristin Schmolze/28/Califon, NJ/Ballylaffin Bracken/11/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kristin, Janet, and William Schmolze
Alexandra Slusher/24/Auburn, CA/Pierre/10/Hanoverian/G/ Sandy Campbell
Tamra Smith/36/Murietta, CA/Mar de Amor/11/Selle Francais/G/ Leigh Mesher
Lynn Symansky/28/Middleburg, VA/Donner/8/Thoroughbred/G/Lynn Symansky
Jolie Wentworth/30/Martinez, CA, /Good Knight/9/Canadian Sport Horse/ Tracy Bowman
Sharon White/37/Summit Point, WV/Rafferty’s Rules/13/AUS WB/ Adrienne Classen

Ranked Substitutes as of Aug. 15, 2011:
1. Kevin Keane/56/Kennett Square, PA/Fernhill Flutter/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kevin Keane
2. Jennifer Taxay Kelly/47/Agua Dulce, CA/Taboo/7/Thoroughbred/M/ Jennifer Taxay Kelly
3. Matt Flynn/27/Potomac, MD/Breakthrough/7/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Dr. and Mrs. A Patrick Flynn


FLAIR Announces FLAIR® Master Class Video Series

Posted on Sunday, August 14th, 2011 at 5:11 pm.

8-14-2011 FLAIR ANNOUNCES THE PREMIER OF THE FLAIR® MASTER CLASS VIDEO SERIES Flair LLC, maker of the FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strip, is excited to announce the launch of FLAIR® Master Class, a new video tutorial series featuring notables of several equestrian disciplines. FLAIR® Media plans a series of new video releases for the next several months, on the FLAIR Strips website and Facebook page. Each new FLAIR® Master Class video will also be announced by @FLAIRstrips on Twitter. The first FLAIR® Master Class video series features a Private Rolex Kentucky course walk with two-time Eventing Olympic Gold Medalist and Rolex Kentucky Champion Phillip Dutton. In this four-part series of videos, Dutton will take the viewer through four of the most difficult complexes of the 2011 RK3DE course. He explains his strategy for each complex of obstacles, providing an opportunity for the viewer to see how one of the best of the best plans to ride this difficult cross-country course. About FLAIR Nasal Strips: FLAIR® Strips provide drug-free support and protection to the respiratory system of the hard-working equine athlete. FLAIR Strips are proven to: reduce airway resistance, reduce lung stress and bleeding, reduce fatigue, and shorten post-exercise recovery time. For more information about FLAIR Strips, please visit For more information about Phillip Dutton and Phillip Dutton Eventing, please visit FLAIR® Master Class Videos Phillip Dutton Private Course-Walk Series: Phillip Dutton: The 2011 RK3DE Waterpark Phillip Dutton: The 2011 Rk3DE Sunken Road Phillip Dutton: The 2011 RK3DE The Hollow


FLAIR® Master Class – Phillip Dutton – The Waterpark

Posted on Saturday, August 13th, 2011 at 12:48 pm.

FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips proudly presents

FLAIR® Master Class

A series of instructional videos of some of the best of the best in their respective disciplines.

The first video in the  FLAIR® Master Class is series is  A Private Cross-Country Course Walk With Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Rolex Kentucky Champion, Phillip Dutton. In the first of four Dutton videos,  the international eventing star walks and coaches the viewer through four of the most difficult 2011 Rolex Kentucky cross-country efforts, taking the viewer through his strategy, beginning with The Waterpark.

Watch for more FLAIR® Master Class videos, featuring other experts in their disciplines,  to be released in the coming weeks!

FLAIR® Master Class is a series of instructional videos featuring the best of the best in their respective equestrian disciplines.

This FLAIR® Master Class video is one of four videos featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Rolex Kentucky Champion, Phillip Dutton. In this first of four private cross-country course walks, Dutton takes the viewer through his strategy for jumping the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Water Park Complex.

FLAIR® Master Class is a production of FLAIR® Media,
©Flair LLC, All rights reserved

Phillip Dutton at the RK3DE The Sunken Road

View All FLAIR® Master Class Video Course-Walk videos with Phillip Dutton:

The Waterpark:

The Sunken Road:

The Hollow:

The Head of the Lake:


FLAIR® Protects 1st, 2nd, & 4th in Sorrento Stakes

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 11:51 am.

FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips were worn by the first, second, and fourth place finishers in Friday’s Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar!

Thoroughbred Times
Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mighty Caroline Impressive in Sorrento

By Tim Nichols

John Liviakis’ homebred Mighty Caroline enjoyed a perfect trip under Joel Rosario and powered to a 1-1/4 length win in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (G#) for two-year-old fillies at Del Mar on Friday night… (Click on image below to read the PDF version of the entire Thoroughbred  Times article.)

PDF Sorrento Stakes Thoroughbred Times, August 06, 2011