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USEF Names Combinations for CICO3* Aachen

Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named the combinations representing the United States at CICO3* Aachen, held in Aachen, Germany, August 12-14, 2015. The U.S. has been invited to send a team of three athlete-and-horse combinations.

Per the USEF press release detailing the 2015 fall eventing grant recipients, the following combinations will compose the U.S. Team (listed in ranked order):

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Thomas Tierney and Simon Roosevelt's Fernhill Cubalawn, a 2003 Holsteiner gelding

Lauren Kieffer (Ocala, Fla.) and Team Rebecca, LLC's Veronica, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate, LLC's Donner, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding

Dutton and Kieffer have been awarded, through the USET Foundation, Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Competition Grants. Symansky has been awarded a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members. Without the support of these organizations and individuals, it would not be possible to support our athletes. The USEF is especially grateful to individuals who give generously of their time and money to support the equestrian teams.

Walsh Launches Limited Edition Lynn Symansky Inspired Line of Products

Walsh Products​ has launched a limited edition Lynn Symansky Inspired line of products, and Walsh is generously donating 40% of all sales to Donner to help tackle the costs of competing at the Burghley CCI4*. These colors are one of a kind, with havana leather, navy padding, stainless steel hardware, and the special Walsh signature stitch in navy thread. Don't miss out on your opportunity to own one of these limited edition products! 

See the products and purchase here: http://walshproducts.com/Lynn-Symansky-Inspired-Products.html

Second Place for Lynn and Donner at the Great Meadow CIC3*

Lynn and Donner finished in second place at the inaugural Land Rover Great Meadow International CIC3*. The pair scored a 42.8 in dressage to sit in fourth, jumped double clear show jumping to move into third and added only 7.6 time on cross-country (due to the wet weather) to finish the weekend in second place. 

See a full gallery of images from the event here. 

From the USEA press release:

Lynn Symansky and the Donner Syndicate LLC's Donner, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding moved up into red ribbon position. Lynn agreed with Jennie’s assessment of the course: “I expected the course to ride well, and I trust Mike’s courses,” said Lynn. “I thought it was a great run for Donner. The footing was fantastic and he felt great.”

“It was his first outing since Rolex, and it was a little bit of a tough lead up as last week I hurt my back and I actually was unable to ride and really prepare for this week how I would usually work him. I was just planning to try to get through Dressage, but my back was cooperating so I took it day-by-day and he stepped up the plate. I couldn’t be happier with him - he felt fantastic.”

USEF Announces Fall Eventing Competition Grant Recipients

Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the recipients of eventing competition grants for Aachen CICO3*, Burghley CCI4*, Blenheim CCI3*, and Boekelo CCIO3*. Grants are awarded based on the USEF grant application process.  

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been awarded, through the USET Foundation, Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Competition Grants for the Aachen CICO3* to compete as individuals. Aachen CICO3* will take place August 12-14 in Aachen, Germany:

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Thomas Tierney and Simon Roosevelt's Fernhill Cubalawn, a 2003 Holsteiner gelding
Lauren Kieffer (Ocala, Fla.) and Team Rebecca, LLC's Veronica, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare. This grant includes below mentioned CCI3* Blenheim.

Should the U.S. receive a team invitation, the following athlete-and-horse combinations would join Dutton and Kieffer. Listed in ranked order (depending on the number of invitations):

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate, LLC's Donner, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding
Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and Team Demeter, LLC's RF Demeter, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare
Colleen Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her own Covert Rights, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred Cross gelding

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been awarded the following competition grants for the Burghley CCI4*, taking place September 3-6 in Burghley, Great Britain:

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate, LLC's Donner, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. Symansky has been awarded a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant.
Colleen Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her own Covert Rights, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred Cross gelding. Rutledge has been awarded a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant, through the USET Foundation

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been awarded the following competition grants for the Blenheim CCI3*, taking place September 17-20 in Woodstock, Great Britain:

Lauren Kieffer (Ocala, Fla.) and Team Rebecca, LLC's Veronica, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. This competition is included in the aforementioned Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant, through the USET Foundation.
Will Coleman and The Four Star Eventing Group's OBOS O'Reilly, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding. Coleman has been awarded a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant.
Matt Brown and the Blossom Creek Foundation's Super Socks BCF, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding. Brown has been awarded a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant, through the USET Foundation.
Elisa Wallace and David and Jill Hopcroft's Simply Priceless, a 2001 Thoroughbred gelding. Wallace has been awarded a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant.
Emily Beshear and Deep Purple Eventing's Shame On The Moon, a 2006 Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare. Beshear has been awarded a Land Rover USEF Competition Grant.* 

*Pending number of invitations received from the Organizing Committee. 

The following athlete-and-horse combinations have been awarded Land Rover USEF Competition Grants for the Boekelo CCI3*, taking place October 8-11 in Boekelo, The Netherlands:

Buck Davidson (Ocala, Fla.) and Sherrie Martin and Carl Segal's Copper Beach, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding
Matt Brown (Petaluma, Calif.) and the Blossom Creek Foundation's BCF Belicoso, a 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding
Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and Raylyn Farms, Inc.'s RF Quarterman, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members. Without the support of these organizations and individuals, it would not be possible to provide such support to the athletes named to these grants. The USEF is especially grateful to individuals who give generously of their time and money to support the equestrian teams.

Some Ramblings On Competitiveness, Complacency And The Evolution Of A Deer

Every day I wake up, and—unless I forgot to remove eye make-up on the rare occasion it’s ever applied, or have enjoyed an evening with friends and generous pours of wine—I usually look about the same. Depending on the week I may look a little more tired or sun-kissed than the week before, but on a whole I don’t notice much difference.

But then I’ll notice a group of high schoolers heading to prom, or college kids back in town for the summer, and while I may always feel like the same Lynn I am reminded I am a different and OLDER version of myself than I was 10 or 15 years ago. I like to think of myself as “evolving” rather than getting older, but when I come across pictures from my more formative riding years, it often hits home how much I’ve changed. Luckily, I can somewhat safely say I feel like I’m evolving in a positive direction.

Similarly, it’s very easy to take for granted the little changes that happen on a daily basis with our horses because we see them and work with them every day. It’s just as easy to get overly frustrated on a bad day as it is to get complacent and take the partnership for granted on a good one. The good news is that especially with horses, the universe has a way of keeping us in check. The highs are never allowed to get too high before the lows humble us, and soon we find ourselves climbing up the ladder again, sometimes just happy to be climbing it at all.

I had the same reaction to how Donner has evolved when I recently got to see pictures of him from before I even knew him. The two of us have been together for the last seven years—essentially a common law marriage. When you’re in that type of relationship it’s easy to become complacent. If you’re not careful you may miss little bits of growth and progress unless you take a step back and look at the big picture.

This spring season was a funny one, because while he didn’t necessarily win anything and we didn’t quite best our previous fifth-place finish at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, I feel like it was our most successful season to date.

A selector or coach with a strong will to win could look at a fourth-place finish at an advanced and a CIC*** this spring, and a 12th place finish at Rolex as merely satisfactory. And in all honestly on a true international stage, it wasn’t good enough to win a medal last month. But sometimes to get a real feel for progress and success, one has to take a step back and compare their proverbial before and after pictures. This is exactly how I approached Kentucky last month.

Donner put in a really good dressage test on Friday afternoon in a notoriously electric time slot, which is a win for a horse easily affected by atmosphere. While one of the judges was less than kind, I thought the other two were on par and the quality of the work was his best tests to date.

I decided to start out more conservatively than I normally would on cross-country. Coming off our last four-star at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) in what I can safely say is the worst footing I will ever encounter, I wanted to give him a really positive ride. He went late in the going at Rolex and the footing had deteriorated quite a bit with all the rain, so I rode smart and used the course as a positive school with the future in mind rather than racing the clock.

We added a few time penalties, but even in hindsight I’d probably ride it exactly the same. He jumped a smart show-jump round on Sunday, with one annoying rail in a tight two-stride combination on a very technical track.

Our top-12 finish (and highest place off-the-track Thoroughbred again) in the biggest and most competitive

Sometimes there is a line to be drawn between being masterfully competitive and being a masterful horseman. The best in the world can be both almost every single time out, but it takes decades of practice on multiple top horses to become constantly gifted at this. international field to date didn’t win us a Rolex watch or $100,000, but it did ensure I have a consistent and competitive partner for the future. That’s definitely not something to be complacent about!

As I do not have the fortune to ride multiple horses at the four-star level and am protective of the one I do have at the moment, I accomplished everything I had hoped to. I am already excited to get his fall season started and to continue his competitive evolution process.

On a related note of shameless self promotion, I decided to syndicate Donner this spring. It was proving impossible to continue to maintain him on my own, so I’ve come up with a neat way to share his career with a group of people who really believe in him, me, and the potential of an American-bred horse consistently delivering on an international stage.

He has a great group of people behind him, and I’m looking to get a few more on board to fill the remaining 25 percent of his syndicate. It’s a really great way to become involved as an owner of a top team horse without breaking the bank. Please take a look at Donner’s syndication packet and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’d like to become part of the team, or know anyone who may be. Donner and I are really looking forward to sharing his continued evolution and success.