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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The Chronicle of the Horse Blog: Donner Is More Than Ready For France

Max Corcoran and Mr. Medicott spent some quality time in the river. Photo by Hannah Sue Burnett.

Greetings from France! The Pau CCI****-bound U.S. and Canadian horses are all settled in at the gorgeous Fursan Equestrian facility in Chantilly, France, for the next few days until we ship 10-plus hours to Pau on Monday.

Donner is a bit tight and wild at the moment, but he's relaxing more and more with every ride. While a flight to Europe takes a lot out of some horses, unsurprisingly it seems to have had the opposite effect on mine.

A sensitive, spooky, fit, off-the-track Thoroughbred, a plane ride, and working out of a new facility right before heading to a four-star can be a fine art to master. I definitely haven't mastered him, but I like to think I'm starting to figure him out more with every season.

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Lynn and Donner Named To World Class List and Awarded Jacqueline Mars Grant

17426179 1310439559045015 5629758036407625405 nLynn and Donner have been named to the USEF World Class List and Received the Jacqueline B. Mars Grant to compete at the Pau CCI**** in October! 

USEF Names 2013 Eventing High Performance Summer/Fall Training Lists

Lexington, KY – The USEF Eventing High Performance Committee has approved the following High Performance Summer/Fall Training Lists for the 2013 season.

World Class
Combinations that currently possess the ability to be competitive anywhere in the world. The combinations listed on the World Class List will receive Land Rover Training Grants.

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, VA) and her own Donner
Donner is a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding

Read the full press release here:


USEF Announces Eventing Competition Grants for European Competition

Lexington, KY- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) are pleased to announce eventing competition grants for European competition in the fall of 2013. All grants were awarded based on an application process.

Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grants

The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grants have been awarded to Meghan O’Donoghue and Lynn Symansky; eventing riders who have been identified and recommended by the USEF Eventing Selectors, with impressive records and potential to represent the United States in future international competition. O’Donoghue (Carbondale, IL) will compete her own 2002 Thoroughbred gelding Pirate at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3*. Symansky (Middleburg, VA) will compete her own 2003 Thoroughbred gelding Donner at the Les Estoiles De Pau CCI4*.

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.


Read the full press release here:

Rolex CCI****

Donner Picture FinalThe 2013 Rolex Kentucky CCI**** was quite the success for Lynn and Donner. The pair scored a 54.8 in dressage to sit in 19th place. A double clear cross-country round boosted them all the way up to 6th place and a double clear show jumping had them finish fifth overall. 

There was a long list of accolades that Lynn and Donner took home including:

- Fifth place overall finish
- USEF Reserve Champion
- Best Conditioned Horse
- Zeppa International Trophy for Best Turned Out
- Highest Placed OTTB Award from CANTER
- Highest Placed Lady Rider
- Only American to finish on their dressage score. 

Thanks to all of the sponsors, supporters, and fans that made this great success possible!





Watch a video of dressage on USEF Network here and show jumping here


Articles about Lynn and Donner at Rolex: