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Lynn and Donner Finish 13th at the Pau CCI4*

SD 177 2607Since the fall season is winding down we wanted to use this opportunity to update everyone after Lynn and Donner’s competition in France at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI****. Donner arrived back at Handlen Farm this past weekend so the Pau CCI**** journey is officially complete. It was an amazing experience that couldn’t have been accomplished without all of your generous support.

After dressage, Lynn and Donner were mid pack out of 76 starters heading into cross-country. Lynn and US coach David O’Connor were quite happy with the test that Donner performed, but unfortunately their score did not quite reflect the test Donner put in.  The cross-country course definitely shook up the standings, and once again Donner showed his cross-country prowess and finished his second 4* of the year with a double clear round. SD P77 0746

He ended up being the fastest of the day as well, and moved up 26 places into 12th.  The final phase, show jumping, was very tough and only seven of the 50 pairs to tackle the course managed to jump clear. Donner had two rails down but jumped a great round to finish in 13th place – pretty impressive for their first European competition. 

The final results are available here: http://www.worldsporttiming.com/contenu/documents/0001_004788.pdf

Lynn blogged about the Pau trip for The Chronicle of the Horse and all of the blogs can be read here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/blogs/Lynn%2BSymansky. The  blogs were the most-read articles on the Chronicle website each day they were published.

Eventing Nation also did quite a bit of coverage that often featured Lynn which can be seen here: http://eventingnation.com/tag/lynn-symansky

SD 177 5337Interview with Lynn following dressage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k3YHHz8RRQ

Interview with Lynn following cross-country: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_k3BoRjiBQ

Lynn and Donner’s Dressage can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvkZpRW-8Ro

Show Jumping can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKuPFvyl2aM

Donner is spending the next few weeks hacking out before getting back to work (he isn’t such a fan of vacations!). 2013 was an unforgettable year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring! Thanks again so much for all of your support – it is GREATLY appreciated!!

 

 

The Chronicle of the Horse Blog: A Good Result, But I Want A Great One


While I'm satisfied with my result from Pau, I'm not overjoyed. Photo by Libby Law Photography

A Post Three-Day Hangover: the feeling one gets when months of blood, sweat, tears, money and emotional and physical stress come to a grinding halt at the end of a three-day event, and one is left thinking “Now what?”

I think we all have one brewing after the culmination of Pau. One becomes so intensely focused on achieving a goal, and then in an instant it's over.

Donner put in a beautiful show jumping round yesterday to finish off our second four-star this year in 13th place out of 50 combinations that finished the event. While I was hoping to jump a double-clear round here just like on the cross-country, the huge, technical show jump track took its toll on the majority of the field. Unfortunately all of the U.S. contingent had at least two rails, as well as many of the world's best horses and riders. The USA finished four riders in the top 20 at an overseas four-star, which is something we should all be proud of and I feel like we're heading in the right direction.

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The Chronicle of the Horse Blog: Donner The Deer Earned His Halo


Donner and I jumped to the fastest clean round of the day and moved up to 12th place. Photo by Libby Law Photography

Well, I'd say it was an overall good day for camp America at the Pau CCI****. There were some brilliant rounds, but sadly a few heartbreakers. Hannah Sue Burnett's Harbour Pilot slipped coming around a turn at the first water, and they both ended their day early there. Kristi Nunnik and the lovely R-Star jumped the wrong option at this same water and also had a shorter trip than they would have liked. Good news is both horses and riders are absolutely fine and are just annoyed and hungrier for more!

Michael Pollard almost had a foot-perfect round on Mensa, but just narrowly missed a flag at one of the turning wedges at 20AB. He made most of the course and especially the last water—which I fought incredibly hard for—look like a simple gymnastic... except it was hanging rails to a rolltop drop into water to a right-handed corner 90 degrees to a wedge 90 degrees to another right handed corner all on a related serpentine/circle. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

The Americans have four in the top 12 going into show jumping, due to fast clear rounds from Marilyn Little and Phillip Dutton, and double clears from Clark Montgomery and myself. Phillip is in the closest striking distance to William Fox-Pitt, who is somewhat unsurprisingly, but still remarkably, is in first, second and third on all three of his mounts!

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The Chronicle of the Horse Blog: Now, We Get Serious


Donner's amazing groom Katie Thornton having a nutritious breakfast. Photo by Lynn Symansky.

Playtime is over. We’ve had so much fun over the last week and a half in Chantilly and then in Pau, but now it's time to get down to business.

We even had a chance to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, and unfortunately I also picked up an amazing bout of food poisoning or an awesome stomach virus. Luckily I survived, and many apologies to Hannah Sue Burnett, who had to suffer through the evening as my poor roomie that terrible night.

At the top of the Eiffel Tower!

All the horses jogged well at the first horse inspection today, and it was quite interesting to see the difference in turnout between countries. France is known for being fashion forward, and apparently their horses are too! If the U.S. horses took note, you may be seeing some horses wearing body glitter on the American jog strips this spring.

Glitter body paint....I'm not kidding.

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The Chronicle of the Horse Blog: Of Wine, CrossFit And The Mental Game: Four-Star Prep In France


It's been fun to spend lots of quality time with Donner as we prepare for the Pau CCI****. Photo by Lynn Symansky

Well, the event is getting closer. It's been nice to have this bit of down time in our own little world in France, working on some last-minute preparations before we head to Pau for the four-star.

We've been riding through and filming our dressage tests and then watching our rides, and setting up some jump exercises similar to what we think we may run into at Pau...minus the enormous mounds, tight galloping lanes, and atmosphere.

A quick jump school of Donner and me.
Photo by Alison Wilaby

I'm simultaneously apprehensive and excited to see how Donner handles Pau, but there's only one way to find out! I'm really thankful for this opportunity to expose him to atmosphere he's never encountered before, against a competitive field we've never seen before, on a course designer's track I've never walked around or ridden before. There's no better chance to test that out than on Pierre Michelet's CCI**** track, especially since he's designing at the [Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games] next year.

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