Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congrats to the Tallmans on their Purchase of Doc Cowboy!

I am feeling mixed emotions today as I have just released one our best horses to his new home with Jill and Henry Tallman.  He will now reside on a private farm in Marshfield, Massachusetts where he will be trail riding, jumping and enjoying life with Jill. 

Cowboy has been with us for the past four years since his retirement from Jonathan Sheppards Racing Stable at the age of three.  He has been a stepping stone for so many of our riders, and his cute face and sweet disposition have left an imprint on all of our hearts.  Most recently he has been the mount for Sarah Hughes, and the two of them have had great success at the beginner novice and novice levels of eventing. 

Henry and Jill have been close family friends for many years, and Jill was a close mentor to me as a junior rider in Massachusetts.  She was at my side during my early eventing career with Ross, and we traveled to many of our competitions together.  Though it is tough to let a horse like Cowboy go, it gives me comfort to see him so happy in his new home with the Tallmans!  

Congratulations to Jill and Henry, we wish you many happy years with Cowboy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Season Wrap Up!

Hello Team Lily followers, it has been a month since the last blog post, and so much has happened!   Since I last blogged following the CCI*** at Fair Hill International, Team Lily made the trek to Kentucky for the Mid-South Three Day, and attempted to join the competition at the Horse Park of New Jersey in the snow!  Abigail Wilson, Annelise Aurillo, and Julie Henk competed at Midsouth, while Andi Lawrence was the only rider able to ride at New Jersey before the weather deteriorated.  We also wrapped up the season with a few Starter Trials in November.
We departed for the Mid-South Three-Day just two days after the finish of Fair Hill International CCI***.  We were welcomed to the Blue Grass State by three days of cold, miserable rain, but fortunately the rain cleared out just in time for dressage to kick off on Friday!  Abigail Wilson was riding Fernhill Flag in the CCI*, while Annelise Aurillo and Julie Henk were riding Your Lucky Day and Regal Dancer (their respective mounts) in the Training Three-Day.  All the dressage tests were respectable, placing them well in their divisions to move up through the rest of the weekend.  

As Team Lily usually does, we posted an impressive three double-clear rounds on cross-country day!  The courses were long and tough, but the girls' training and fitness preparation paid off as they cruised around the courses without any difficulty.  Each rider moved up quite a bit in the standings and were sitting well going into show jumping on Sunday.

Sunday brought chilly temperatures but another great competition to wrap up the Mid-South Three-Day.  All three horses jogged up well in the morning and were ready for show-jumping.  The CCI* jumped first with a difficult course with many rails falling.  Abigail had a great ride and with two rails down she moved up to 13th place overall in a field of 50 starters, and an impressive 3rd place in the Young Riders division.  Annelise Aurillo had just one rail down to finish 10th in the Training Three-Day and Julie jumped clear to finish in 11th with Dancer.  The girls put in a great effort the entire weekend, and are looking very ready to move up in the spring!

Since I have been so busy with the fall three-days through the end of October, we spent the last two weekends of the fall season at the Maryland Starter Trials and the Full Moon Farm Starter Trials to get the younger kids and greener horses out and about before the end of the season.  Jenn Cain competed her young horse In Jest both weekends as well as Andi Finerosky on her new young horse Digger.  Both were very pleased with their horses and we were glad to get them going before the winter.  Kaelen Speck rode Rosenharley Romello to second place in the ON at Maryland, and Cassidy Heitzenrater finished in 9th on her dressage score in the BN.

The most enjoyable part of our last event at Full Moon Farm was coaching Braden Speck and Hannah Daneker to their first finishes at a horse trials!   These young stars have been working all year to get to this event, and I could not have been prouder watching them ride.  Braden finished 4th in his Elementary division, and Hannah finished 6th in a very difficult Baby Beginner Novice division.  As you might remember, Hannah rode to an almost-finish at Fair Hill in the summer, popping out of the tack at the second to last fence on the course.  Hannah suffered a broken arm later in the summer but that did not hold her back from powering on in her progress.  Hannah and Braden are just two of the many bright young stars Team Lily is bringing along!

We have just 58 days until the Aiken departure ( but who is counting )  . . .

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fair Hill Recap - Looking Forward to Lexington!

Look closely in the background and you will see many Team Lily supporters! 
Photo Credit: Gayle Hughes
We have just wrapped up a somewhat soggy yet successful weekend at the Fair Hill International CCI*** in Elkton, Maryland.  The weekend started off with fairly temperamental weather through the Jogs and Dressage days.  We would have brief periods of sunshine, followed by thunder, downpours and wind.  The cross-country course designed by Derek DiGrazia could not take much more water on the track, however it surprisingly dried up just in time for the 3* cross-country on Saturday.  We were lucky to have another sunny and cool day for the show-jumping on Sunday.  

I of course set out on the weekend to compete well and finish in the top ten, but the larger goal in my mind was to get my last qualification for Kentucky next spring.  I had a good run around the CCI*** at Jersey Fresh this past spring, but as many of you know I had too many rails in show-jumping for it to be a qualifying result.

The weekend started off fairly well for me and Bucky with the first jog and an early dressage test in the CCI*** division.  He jogged really well on Thursday, if anything just a bit too fresh.  He has come to understand the lead-up to these CCI competitions and he get very excited once the competition is underway!  He warmed up well for dressage, and as he had been schooling well so I had high expectations for the test.  Once we got into the arena, he was ready to perform and I unfortunately made a few mistakes!  I have never had him too engaged and balanced as I did in the ring, and I got too tight on him a few times which made our movements a bit less spectacular.  We scored a 54 which put us in the top 20 going into cross-country.  

The cross-country course was definitely the largest and toughest track I have walked around thus far in my career.  The footing was looking very wet, so there was much concern about how well the horses would run around the track and how quickly they would tire.  I was glad I had Bucky as fit as I did, as the two-star horses who rode before us were looking really fatigued by the end of the course.  

I had a foot-perfect round with the exception of one very costly fence at the Chesapeake water, the main water jump in the middle of the course.  We had a duck in the middle of the water four strides to a line of one-stride angled brushes down a hill.  I had ridden the combination exactly to plan, but I think I had more faith than I should have that Bucky would pick up on the second brush fence.  He ran down the hill past the second brush without ever seeing it.  I was able to come back around to the second brush and finish the rest of the cross-country well, but the 20 jump penalties there were costly on an otherwise perfect round.  I unfortunately needed a good reminder that Bucky and I are still green at this level, and though he is very honest to jumps I need to be harder on him about making sure he sees what he is jumping.  We sat in 23rd place following the cross-country going into Sunday's competition.  

I was really pleased once again with Bucky's performance in the show-jumping on Sunday.  He was feeling fresh but I'm sure he was masking a bit of fatigue from the Saturday's ten minute XC course.  He felt very nervous and tense going into the course, as he tends to when there is a lot of atmosphere surrounding the show-jumping arena. This usually bodes for a disastrous round where he rushes at the jumps.  He did feel a bit rushed in the arena but still maintained his shape over the fences to finish a great round with just one rail down.  He is definitely developing confidence at this level and is getting much more consistent in the way he jumps.  With that show-jumping round, we were able to finish the Fair Hill CCI*** in 20th place with a qualifying result for the Rolex CCI**** next spring!

Now that I have wrapped up my fall season on Bucky, I am looking very forward to the Midsouth Three-Day competition at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Abigail Wilson will be competing in her first CCI* with Fernhill Flag, while Annelise Aurillo and Your Lucky Day will be competing in the Training Three-Day as well as Julie Henk and Regal Dancer.  Though it looks like the weekend might start off rainy and cold, I am looking forward to coaching these girls though a very serious competition that they have been preparing for the whole year!  Stay tuned for updates on Mid-South.

I also want to say a BIG THANK-YOU to all of Team Lily who came out to support me this past weekend at Fair Hill!  Success feels even better when I have you all around to enjoy it with me.  I would not be at this level today without your support!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Plantation Field CIC

We have just wrapped up a great weekend at the Plantation Field CIC competition on our home turf of Unionville, PA.  Thanks to Katie and Cuyler Walker, Dennis Glaccum, and the help of countless others, the event was smooth and successful for riders and spectators alike.  I competed No Boundaries in the CIC***, and Abigail Wilson competed Fernhill Flag in the CIC*.  Despite minor hiccups on both mine and Abigails' parts during the weekend, we were delighted with the outcomes of both rides.  

Dressage day was beautiful and a bit chilly, which made the horses fresh for their FEI tests.  It was our first time riding in the brand-new competition arena, so many of the horses were spooky and excited.  These factors helped my test with Bucky as it made him more forward, however it made Rory a bit more difficult to ride since he was excited by the wind and atmosphere.  Abigail and I are headed to CCIs in a month's time so we have our work cut out for us to get those dressage scores down!

Cross-country day was just as beautiful as the day before, and it made for great going on the tough CIC tracks.  All of the courses have been redesigned for this year, so many of the combinations had never been seen before.  For the most part all the courses rode well, and both Abigail and I were happy with our rides.  I was very proud of how aggressively Abigail attacked the course, as it was giving many riders trouble.  She rode forward right out of the box, and it suited her horse very well.  I was very pleased with how Bucky jumped around the 3* course, despite our mishap at the bank out of the first water.  I was unable to cover the four-stride distance across the water, so we stumbled up the bank and were unable to bounce the skinny.  Though it was no disobedience on Bucky's part, it was a great reminder to me to ride every jump and every stride even when everything feels spot on.  After representing and jumping well out of the water, he jumped confidently around the rest of the track. He is feeling ready for Fair Hill!

The horses pulled up well from the cross-country and were very fresh for the show-jumping on Sunday.  Abigail had one rail down in her course but rode remarkably well.  She has been working so hard to understand the right ride for her horse over fences, and this weekend made it clear that their partnership is truly coming together.  I am excited to coach them through their first CCI* at the Kentucky Horse Park in October, they are looking very ready for it!  Bucky also had a phenomenal round in the show-jumping on Sunday.  He felt very calm and relaxed the entire round, and jumped very well.  I am excited to see all that we have been working on over the summer come together in competition. 

I would like to say a special thanks to the Crosby's for their endless volunteer efforts at Plantation Field,  and a thanks to Gayle Hughes and Sumner Crosby for the great pictures they took of the weekend.  Next weekend we are off to Middleburg Horse Trials with all of the Novice and Training horses.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maggie's Richland Update!

I have just arrived home early Monday morning from a great weekend at Richland Park.  While everyone on the East Coast was hunkered down in the fury of Hurricane Irene, competitors at Richland Park were lucky enough to enjoy perfect weather and footing out in Michigan.  The event served as the selection trials for the Pan Am Team, so the competition and pressure was intense!  I took Bucky to Richland to compete in the CIC***, and Parris went along for the ride to compete in the Training.  

The weekend started off well with the dressage.  Both horses tried hard and had good tests, despite being wound up from the twelve hour drive.  Bucky's test was lacking engagement in his trot work, so we will look to improve that in the coming weeks.  Parris tried very hard during her test and took the lead in her Training Horse division from the start.  

The cross-country courses designed by Ian Stark were forward and challenging courses for all levels.  As many of you know I have had some tough luck getting started this summer with Bucky, so I was looking to have a confident and smooth ride on him.  Parris is still green at the Training level, so I was looking to give her a good ride and have her jump around clean.  Both horses exceeded my expectations, jumping around the courses with ease.  Bucky finished the 3* course with about eight time penalties, reflected mostly in the time I took to give him good rides at the larger fences on the course.  He did not blink at any of the challenging combinations on the course, which was a great feeling to have!  Parris jumped well into both waters, which was the challenge we had at Millbrook.  Both horses recovered well from the cross-country and were ready for the show-jumping.  

I have been working with Anne Kursinski this summer to improve my show-jumping skills, and I was pleased to see the progress made at Richland this weekend.  Parris show-jumped clear with ease which was very encouraging to see.  This was the first weekend Bucky has had to show-jump after a rigorous cross-country run, which makes him harder to ride.  I was very pleased with his round, just having two rails down.  He felt nervous in the warm-up, as he usually does after a big cross-country run, and he went into the course and was trying very hard and jumping well.  My goal is to get to a point where we are jumping clean, and right now I am confident we are moving on the right track.  

The other big news of the weekend is Team Lily's newest edition, Maggie!  She is an eleven-week old puppy I adopted while at Richland, and she clearly brought me some good luck for the weekend! 

We will be changing gears and heading to the Jumper Show at Ludwigs Corner this Monday for some practice in the show-jumping ring.  Next weekend we will be headed to the Fair Hill Starter Trials and Bucks County Horse Trials.  Stay tuned!

Friday, August 12, 2011


I apologize for neglecting the Team Lily blog for the past month, however I have great news to report from Vermont!  Our girls Andi Lawrence, Eliza Crosby and Annelise Aurillo have finished competition at the GMHA Training 3-Day in second, third and fourth respectively.  We were very lucky to have beautiful, cool weather the whole week and it made for a great competition!

The girls started off the week strong with their dressage results on Tuesday.  Annelise lead the division on a score of 30 with Andi close behind in third on a 33. Eliza rounded out the top four on a 34.  The Training 3-Day is run as a long format competition, so the girls had heaps to focus on as they headed into Wednesday's competition.  All the parents had an intense day and lots to prepare for on Wednesday, as the Training 3 day is the only opportunity to experience a long format cross-country day. 
(Click Here for more info on the Training 3 Day)

We had a second great day on the endurance day of competition, with Annelise and Andi posting double-clear cross-country rides and Eliza adding just 1.6 time to her dressage score on phase D.  We had a phenomenal support crew from parents that were on top of everything in the cooling boxes.  I also want to make a special thank you to Ally Aurillo who has helped the entire week and was my right-hand girl in the boxes yesterday!  Wex, George and Leroy proved to be quite fit and recovered extremely well from the cross-country.

Show-jumping rounded out the competition today with Annelise adding eight penalties to her dressage score, while Andi and Eliza posted clear rounds.  These girls have had their eyes on this competition since the start of the season, and they have been working very hard to get here. I could not be more pleased with their efforts this week! The horses are going to have a very well deserved break now, and the girls will be looking forward to coming back for a few more competitions in the fall.  

Congrats to Annelise, Andi and Eliza on a phenomenal performance!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Well Done Hannah!!

In this crazy sport of Eventing, we often find ourselves ever focused on training, competing and anything gearing us towards our end goals. It is easy for us to lose sight of the bigger picture and what is truly important in our lives.  One student of mine, Hannah Daneker, put this all in perspective for me following a routine doctor's visit just after Christmas this year.

Hannah had been a student in my program for about six months at the time, and she was learning the ropes of the sport of Eventing on her new pony, Magic.  She had high hopes for the coming year, looking forward to competing in her first horse trials at some point in the spring, when it was discovered on an MRI December 29, 2010 that Hannah had a brain stem tumor.  She was just ten years old at the time, and it appeared the tumor had been developing for five years.  

Hannah and her family consulted many different specialists to plan their course of action.  Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were their options, and each had their risks and drawbacks.  It was decided that Hannah would undergo surgery on March 4, 2011.  The expectation of the surgery was to remove 50%-70% of the tumor, to give Hannah more time before it would develop again.  While much of the Eventing world was gearing up for the March Sporting Days Horse Trials, Hannah was in surgery to rescect as much of the tumor as possible.

The outcome of the surgery was better than any prognosis.  Doctors were able to remove over 90% of the tumor, and Hannah recovered from the surgery well.  She spent a month at home recovering, and started back at school half-days in April.  She began riding again at the end of April, and within two weeks it looked like she hadn't missed a beat.  Her follow-up MRI on June 14 showed no changes, giving her the go to continue on life as normal.  

Hannah had a monumental day this past Saturday, competing in her first event at the Fair Hill Starter Trials.  She and Magic competed in the Elementary division, and despite an emergency dismount two fences from home on the cross-country, they had a great day. The entire Lily Bridge event team are incredibly proud of Hannah's extraordinary strength and progress, as well as her commitment to her goals. 

Well done Hannah!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Continue to Help Our Friends at True Prospect Farm!

Please help us continue to raise funds for the whole crew at Boyd's and True Prospect Farm!
Through the hard work & volunteer efforts of many people and many donors, we are launching the 2nd leg of the PRO/SCES online ebay auction!!

This auction features a variety of items including some great lesson packages from Buck Davidson, Ange Bean, Stephie well as several amazing vacation homes, tack, a Point Two Air Jacket, photography, art, etc.

Please continue to spread the word & support the fundraising efforts. Everyone at Windurra USA and True Prospect Farm is so appreciative of the outpouring of support from our riding community!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thank You Lori Daneker!

Many thanks go out to Lori Daneker who organized a "Lilybridge Fundraiser" to help Ryan Caitlin and Lillian who suffered losses in the fire at True Prospect Farm.

Lori spearheaded this fundraising effort & through the enormous generosity of the friends and clients of Lilybridge Eventing, she was able to raise in excess of $3K to help our friends!  Thank you so much to all the contributors and to Lori for taking the time to make this happen!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Girls Dominate at Plantation Field!

We had a beautiful weekend at Plantation Field's June Horse Trials this past weekend,  and Team Lily brought out their best.  We had thirteen horse and rider combinations competing during the weekend, with the USEA Recognized Horse Trials competing on Saturday and the Starter Trials on Sunday.

On Saturday Abigail Wilson had a great second place finish on her preliminary mount Fernhill Flag.  The pair has been ironing out some kinks in their jumping this spring, so it was great to see her hard work pay off.  She is looking forward to competing in her first CIC* at Stuart Horse Trials in July.  The Junior Open Training division finished up with Andi Lawrence and Armani in third,  Eliza Crosby and Happy Valley in fourth, and Annelise Aurillo and Your Lucky Day in ninth.  These girls are all gearing up for the Training Three-Day at GMHA in August, and they're looking ready to go!  I had a great ride on Peace Proposal in the Novice, finishing in second on her dressage score of 33.  This young Thoroughbred mare owned by Lori Daneker gets better and better every outing she has, and I have no doubt she is a horse to watch for the future.

Sunday was a great day for my younger riders at the Starter Trials.  Congratulations are in order for Emma Stradley and her family not only for her win on Gem in the Novice, but also their recent purchase of this Thoroughbred gelding.  Emma and Gem are a great combination and they will be a pair to watch together in the coming months.  We also had six horse/pony and rider combinations in the Beginner Novice, with Ada Plumb bringing home the win on her pony Willie, Kaelen Speck and Rosenharley Romello in a close second,  Ali Corkran and Mr. Snickers finishing fourth, and Miranda Webb finishing eighth on Expresso.  Lucie and Sarah Hughes are looking forward to the Plantation Schooling Day to smooth out some small challenges they were faced with on the cross-country the day before.  Both girls are great riders with very green horses and they will undoubtedly be back out to clean up at Surefire.

On a side note, Bucky is back into work and feeling great after his short break following Jersey Fresh.  I am very excited to announce I will be working with Anne Kursinski in the coming months to sort out the challenges we have been faced with in the show-jumping.  His summer competition schedule will include Stuart Horse Trials in the Intermediate, Millbrook Horse Trials in the Advanced, and Richland Park in the CIC***.  

Our next big competition will be Surefire Horse Trials at the end of June, so stay tuned for updates!

 Photo Credits by Sumner Crosby - Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jersey Fresh XC Photo Gallery!

Compliments of Sumner Crosby, who has been quite the photographic contributor.
Thank you Sumner!!  Gallery Link

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Great Weekend at Jersey Fresh!

Bucky has arrived home safe and very sound after an exciting weekend at the Jersey Fresh CCI***.  I am so pleased with his performance throughout the weekend, and I am ecstatic that we have together completed our first CCI***!  

We started off the competition with a great dressage test on Thursday afternoon.  I have been working hard with Silva to put together the parts of the test, and I felt like it all came together in the arena.  Bucky felt very focused and worked hard through each movement of the test.  Since we are both green at this level there is still much room for improvement, but the performance we had on Thursday was a great place to start.  

I could not have asked for a better ride from Bucky on the cross-country Saturday.  The course designed by John Williams proved to be tougher than we expected when the first few horses set out.  Boyd helped me make a plan for the course, as it was most important to me to have a clean and safe ride around our first CCI***.  Bucky was focused and bold through every minute of the course, and despite a few mistakes here and there on my part he jump a very clean round.  I was so thankful to be greeted at the finish by Team Lily to help me in the cooling box!  It was great to have so many of my girls there to support me and cheer me on.  Now that they have a taste of the CCI competition scene, I am looking forward to helping them through their first training three-day in August!

As all of you can imagine I would have hoped for a better show-jumping round on Sunday.  Bucky was jumping really well in the warm-up, and I think I lost our rhythm once we got into the arena.  The course was very winding with a few tricky lines, and I felt that we had a very green ride.  Both Bucky and I are very inexperienced at this level of show-jumping, and I will look to improve our skills in the next few months.  I think some lessons with a show-jumper are in order!

Now that we have our first CCI*** successfully completed, I am excited to announce that I will be training for the next year to compete in the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** next spring!  This has been a lifetime goal of mine and it is finally coming into fruition.  I have been so thankful for all of the support and help all of my clients, students and friends have given me this spring in order to get to the Jersey CCI, and I hope you will continue on with us in our quest to Kentucky!  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jersey Fresh Kick Off!

The Jersey Fresh CCI kicked off yesterday at the Horse Park of New Jersey with a beautiful first FEI jog. All the horses looked fit and fresh as did the riders! After the jog I had a chance to walk around the CCI*** cross-country, and at first glance it looks good.

The dressage for the CIC** and CCI*** took place today at the horsepark. Bucky and I had our dressage ride later in the afternoon today, and I was really pleased with our test. Though we have much to improve on, I felt it was our best test to date. He was really consistent throughout the test, and we were able to get both of our changes! We are sitting in 9th on a score of 59.6 going into the cross-country. The course is long and a true three-star test, so I am sure the scoreboard will shift on Saturday. 

Tomorrow we will spend some time preparing for the cross-country, and I plan to walk the course a few more times. Stay tuned to the blog for updates and a virtual coursewalk!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MCTA Horse Trials

We had a great outing this weekend at Shawan Downs in Cockeysville, Maryland. The weather cooperated all weekend for a great event at MCTA Horse Trials. We had four novice horses and one preliminary horse on Saturday, and three training horses on Sunday.

Some highlights of the weekend include a first completed Novice outing for Andi Lawrence and Armani, as well as Lori Daneker's mare Peace Proposal. Both had a great day and jumped around the Novice course well. Abigail Wilson and Fernhill Flag had an unfortunate parting of company three fences from home on the cross-country, but were otherwise pleased with the weekend. On Sunday our Training girls had a great day as Eliza Crosby, Annelise Aurillo, and Phoebe Hering had third, fourth and twelfth place finishes respectively.

Thanks again to Sumner Crosby for the great photos from the weekend. We are looking forward to making the trip to Viriginia Horse Trials in two weeks for more excitement!

The Jersey Fresh CCI*** kicks off on Wednesday, so please stay tuned to the blog for updates!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Erin and Bucky are Jersey-Bound!

Bucky enjoyed his last gallop this weekend in preparation for the Jersey Fresh CCI*** (photo credit Sumner Crosby).  We are down to the final days leading up to the event and it's time to focus!  I have had my eye on this goal since last fall, and I am so excited for this coming competition.  As many of you know, this will be our first go at a CCI***, for both Bucky and I!  This will be an educational experience for both of us, and I am hoping to give Bucky a great ride all three days.  I want to thank all of my clients, students, friends and family for all the support through this journey!

We will be heading up to the Horse Park of New Jersey early Wednesday morning.  For those of you interested in coming to watch, the first FEI Jog will be starting at 2 pm on Wednesday, the CCI*** Dressage will be on Thursday afternoon, and the cross-country will be running all day Saturday.  Show Jumping will be held on Sunday following the second FEI Jog on Sunday morning.  More information on times and directions can be found at .  If you are unable to make it to spectate, please stay tuned to the blog for updates!

I also just received the videos from the check us out on XC!

ESylvester-NoBoundaries-XC-9Apr11 from CatchRide LLC on Vimeo.

281-ESylvester-No Boundaries-SJ-10Apr11 from CatchRide LLC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saint Augustine Recap!

Sunday morning we packed up the trailer with the younger riders and headed down to St. Augustine Pony Club Horse Trials at the beautiful Unicorn Farm.  For many of these kids, this was their first outing of the year.  The weather was perfect and the courses were inviting, making it a great opportunity for my riders to get into the swing of the competition season.

These girls have been working hard for the past few weeks preparing for this event, and each rider put their best effort forth on Sunday.  I was most pleased to see that all eight riders did not have one cross-country penalty to post!  All of our cross-country schooling paid off well!  Congratulations to Kaelen Speck on her second place finish, Ada Plumb on her third place finish, and Emma Stradley on her fourth place finish!  As always, many thanks go to Sumner Crosby for some great photos from the weekend.  Please enjoy the slide show!

This weekend we will be off to Shawan Downs for MCTA Horse Trials with the big kids.  Stay tuned for updates!

iPhone Gallery Link

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fair Hill Spring Horse Trials!

Fair Hill International kicked off their spring Horse Trials and CIC in Elkton, Maryland this past weekend.  Team Lily packed up the trailer to take over the Training divisions for the weekend.  We were competing in some stormy weather most of the day on Saturday, but Sunday brought sunshine and warmer temperatures!  The footing on the cross-country held up surprisingly well despite all the rain.  The going was deep in many spots, but not as slick as we all expected.

My young riders Abigail Wilson and Eliza Crosby rose to the occasion and performed spectacularly this weekend!  They both had competitive dressage tests, and with double clear jump rides they secured the first and third place positions respectively in the Junior Training division.  Abigail has been working on sorting out some kinks with Fernhill Flag on the cross-country, so it was very rewarding for her to see her hard work paying off.  This has just been the third competition for Eliza on her mount Happy Valley, so a third place finish is very exciting!

I had two young horses entered in the Training divisions this weekend, and they both had good rounds.  I rode Your Lucky Day for Annelise Aurillo in his third Training competition this weekend, and he had a very respectable fifth place finish!  I also rode Kodiak's Moment for Paul and Jane Lawrence, who finished well with a double clear cross-country in his training division. 

I will be taking the younger riders and green horses to the St. Augustine Spring Horse Trials this weekend to get most of them their first start of the season!   Stay tuned to the blog for updates!  Thanks to Sumner Crosby for our own portfolio of photos from the weekend at Fair Hill!  The pictures look great!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fork Wrap Up!!

Bucky and I have arrived home late last night after a great weekend at the Fork CIC*** in Norwood, North Carolina.  We finished up the weekend with great jump rides to place in the top 25 of the CIC***.  With this finish, we are now qualified for the Jersey Fresh CCI*** May 11th - 15th.  He is looking fresh and full of himself today, and I think very impressed with his efforts this weekend!

The cross-country on Saturday proved to be a true CIC*** test with enough problems spread throughout the course.  Bucky felt great straight out of the start box, and jumped around the course in an effortless manner.  He made my job easy!  He has taken well to every course he has run this year, and he feels like each course experience makes him more and more solid at the Advanced level.  He finished with just 2.8 time faults on Saturday, and we weren't even pushing for time!  I have allowed him to pick the pace he is comfortable sticking to, and with each run he gets a bit more competitive with his pace.  I imagine he will be competitive by the time he gets to Jersey.

I was most pleased with our ride in the show jumping ride on Sunday.  The past few show jump rides we have had this spring have been rough, and on Sunday I wanted to make sure I gave him the best ride I could to get him jumping better.  I set out to have a slower ride around the course to keep him relaxed and focused on the jumps.  We had two rails down that were a bit unlucky in my opinion, but I felt it was by far the best round he has jumped at this level.  I will look to shave a few seconds off my time in the coming courses while still keeping him relaxed and jumping well.  

We will be looking forward to competing at the Fair Hill CIC*** in two weeks and then heading to Jersey Fresh CCI*** in the beginning of May.  Now that I have all my qualifications for Jersey, I am looking forward to fine tuning my dressage and show jumping to get a bit more competitive for the CCI.  I hope you all will come to cheer us on at these more local competitions in the coming weeks!

This coming weekend we will be packing up to make the long drive to Plantation Field Horse Trials.  I have a few young horses competing, as well as a few young riders!  Stay tuned to the blog for updates and results and for now Bucky is going to take a well deserved rest!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

News From The Fork!

The Fork CIC*** kicks off this weekend in Norwood, North Carolina.  Abigail Wilson and I arrived yesterday afternoon and were welcomed by perfect weather!  Abigail and her horse Rory will be competing in the Preliminary this weekend, while Bucky and I have our debut in the CIC***.  We have just completed our dressage about an hour ago and Bucky put in a great effort to score a 56. We have lots to improve on, but his test today was a great start. Abigail will be riding her dressage later in the morning.

We took a walk around the preliminary and CIC*** courses last night and both courses looked good. The preliminary looks like a confidence building course which will be great for Abigail and Rory. It has a few tough questions with lots of open galloping in between each combination. The three-star looks nice and open, so Bucky and I should be able to get a good rhythm going early on. It has some new questions on it, one being a downhill brush to double corners late in the course. This combination sits directly in front of the main water and sponsors tent, making it tough for the horses to focus on the jumps.  I imagine this combination will demand a precise and accurate ride to get the horses onto their line.  I took some photos on my walk last night, so enjoy the virtual course walk! Stay tuned to the blog for updates throughout the weekend!

iPhone Gallery

Thursday, March 31, 2011


We have just arrived home from our eight week stay in Aiken, South Carolina.  Though we had a great start to the season down south, I am relieved to be back at home.  Despite the colder weather, the horses seem happy to be back on their home turf.  We will be looking forward to the coming events in the next few weeks being closer to home!

Team Lily (as Trevor has named us) had a successful outing at Southern Pines last weekend on our way back home.  Eliza Crosby finished in second place with Annelise Aurillo close behind in eighth in a competitive Training level division.  The Training cross-country was one of the toughest tracks I have seen for that level, and the girls rose to the occasion and rode really well on Friday afternoon.  Abigail Wilson also competed in the Preliminary, and discovered a few kinks that I am confident she will iron out before her next outing.

Bucky and I had our third start at the Advanced level at Southern Pines this past weekend, and we continued our streak with another sixth place finish!  He put in a great effort the entire weekend, and despite a minor pilot error in the show jumping, he finished out the weekend really well.  We will be spending the next week training for the Fork CIC*** coming up April 7 - 10 in Norwood, North Carolina.  

I am excited to get back to the lesson program and start working on all the students and young horses that are gearing up to compete in the coming weeks!  We have a busy spring schedule planned for competitions, and we are already off to a great start so I am confident we will keep moving in the same direction.  Stay tuned to the blog for a recap of Morven Park Horse Trials this coming weekend and for the Fork CIC*** next weekend and thanks so much to Sumner Crosby for his great photographic contributions from Southern Pines!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ready for The Big Weekend!!

Eliza, Abigail and Annelise take Bucky, Leroy, Rory, Wex and Kodi for an afternoon walk. They are ready for the big weekend!

We have just arrived this morning to the beautiful Carolina Horse Parkin Raeford, North Carolina for Southern Pines Horse Trials.  I have spent the past week with Annelise Aurillo, Abigail Wilson, and Eliza Crosby training in Aiken with me to get ready for this exciting

We competed at Pine Top Farm last weekend and worked out all the kinks to get ready for Southern Pines.  Eliza and Annelise will be competing in the Junior Training division this weekend, while Abigail will be running in the Young Riders Preliminary.  These girls have
been working very hard all season to get ready for this big event, and they are looking ready to go! We examined the courses today and they are ready with a game plan for the competition tomorrow.

I am excited to embark on another trial at the Advanced level this weekend with Bucky.  We have been working hard on the dressage and show jumping, and he is feeling great.  I walked around the cross country this afternoon and the course looks like a challenge for us!
I am also riding Andi Lawrence's Kodiak's Moment in the Training division.  The courses and competition look tough, but we are ready to go! 

Please stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend, and enjoy the virtual Advanced course walk below!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Results from Red Hills!

This past weekend I packed up the truck with Bucky and headed south to Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee.  Bucky and I were entered in the Advanced division there, and I am pleased to say we finished up our second successful start at the Advanced level!  
Live Scoring

The dressage was held on Friday afternoon, and the competition in the Advanced division was quite stiff.  Bucky put in a good effort scoring a 37, however he was fairly nervous with the level of spectators and atmosphere around the ring.  The test had some good parts to it, as well as some parts in need of improvement.  This event was the first time we saw a high level of spectator attendance and atmosphere, and I will look in the future to find a way to keep him more relaxed in that type of situation.  

I got the chance to look at the cross-country course on Thursday afternoon, and I have to say it looked tough!  The course at Red Hills has been historically difficult, as it is designed as a CIC course for each level.  The Advanced course had a few breaks from the CIC*** track, but it was still quite difficult.  When it came time to ride the course on Saturday afternoon, I set out to give Bucky a good, confident ride.  I am pleased Bucky made my ride easy!  He took to the track really well, and was not in the least bit distracted by the spectators.  The time had been impossible for any rider to make at the Advanced and CIC*** level, so I was pleased when we finished around a minute over the optimum time.  I let him gallop as fast as he wanted to in between the fences, and I took my time at the jump combinations that required tactful riding.  After a few ice sessions, he was looking well recovered on Saturday evening.  

The show jumping course on Sunday was beautifully designed and proved to be a difficult one.  There was a high level of spectator attendance and atmosphere at the ringside, and it made for a tricky ride.  Bucky was still buzzed up from his cross-country ride on Saturday, and I had some difficulty settling him in the jump warm-up.  I unfortunately was unable to relax him in the ring, and we had three rails down in our show jumping.  I was still pleased with the way he jumped the bulk of the course, and he just had rails down when he got too forward at the fences.  The next few events I will make a bigger effort to get him in a better mindset prior to the show jumping so he can focus on jumping well 100% of the course. 

With this sixth place finish in the Advanced at Red Hills, Bucky and I are now qualified to compete in the CIC*** at the Fork Horse Trials in April.  We will have one more Advanced run at Southern Pines in two weeks before that, and I will look to give him another confident ride there.  We are both still green at this level, so day by day we are working out the kinks!  Please stay tuned to the blog for updates at Southern Pines in two weeks!

Photos courtesy of Lisa Thomas

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials in Aiken just wrapped up, and we had an exciting and fairly successful weekend.  

We packed up the truck in PA with some horses and young riders that would be making their debut out of the indoor arena for their first event of the year.  Andi Lawrence, Abigail Wilson, Eliza Crosby, and Annelise Aurillo were all down for the long weekend to get some cross-country schooling in and get their first competition under their belt.  

Kate Hick's student Veronique St. Maurice has also come down to spend her spring break in Aiken.   She has a young horse in need of some cross country and jump schooling, so she will be staying with me for the week so we can get her going!

We had a cross-country schooling day at Lellie Ward's Paradise Farm on Friday, which was very successful.  All the horses and riders were jumping around like they have not missed a beat all winter.  They were looking ready to go for the weekend!

Unfortunately, the weather did not care to cooperate with us this weekend at Sporting Days.  It was raining most of the weekend, which was disappointing  for all students and parents who migrated south in hopes of warmer weather.  

Most of the riders had a great outing on the weekend; Abigail Wilson and her mount Fernhill Flag finished sixth in a competitive Junior Training division, and Eliza Crosby finished eighth in the Junior Novice on Happy Valley.  Annelise Aurillo was so excited about her new air-vest that she decided to give it a test ride on the cross-country, having an unfortunate parting of company early on in the course.  She came back with good reviews on the product! 

I had two great rides this weekend aboard Tessa and Peace Proposal.  Tessa finished eighth in her Open Novice division with two double-clear jump rounds, and Parris finished fourth in her Beginner Novice division.  Both of these horses will compete at Pine Top Farm in two weeks before they make the trip back up to Pennsylvania.

Bucky and I will be headed to Red Hills in Tallahassee, Florida this coming weekend, where I will be competing him in the Advanced division.  Red Hills has historically tough cross country courses and stiff competition, so it should be an exciting weekend!  He has been feeling great and jumping well, and I think we are ready to go!  Please stay tuned to the blog for updates!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Boundaries Syndication

Dear Supporters and Friends,

No Boundaries’ very successful debut at the Advanced Level Pine Top Horse Trials last weekend leads me to make a very exciting announcement.  I have decided to offer a small number of syndicated ownership shares in “Bucky” to friends and supporters who would then join us on our road to compete at Rolex Kentucky 2012.
Bucky is a ten year old Trakhener Thoroughbred gelding who over the past three years has built an impressive event record.  A top ten finish at the 2010 Fair Hill CCI** followed by his sixth placed first Advanced start at Pine Top boades well for our coming spring campaign.  I will plan to compete Bucky at The Fork CIC*** in April to qualify for his first CCI*** at Jersey Fresh in May.

Currently Bucky and I are qualified to represent the US Team in the Pan-American Games in October 2011.  With the completion of at least one CCI*** this year, we will also be qualified to compete at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in 2012 and in contention for the US short list for the Olympic Games in London 2012.  This will be an important and exciting year for Bucky and I, and I am thrilled to be able to offer you the opportunity to share this journey with us.
Along with the excitement of moving towards these goals comes increasing expenses.  The maintenance required to enable Bucky and I to compete at an International level while continuing to develop and manage the program at Lily Bridge eventing is vast.  Hence, I am offering ten shares of ownership in No Boundaries at a cost of $5,000 per share.  The cost of maintaining and competing Bucky would be diffused among the owners in the form of an annual fee of $2,000 that will include any and all expenses.  This fee is tax deductable through the American Horse Trials Foundation.

Partaking in a syndication such as this can be thrilling as well as educational for all participants.  Owners and students are welcome and encouraged to spectate, help out at events and attend training sessions.  Many of you have eager young riders whose own eventing experiences would be greatly enriched by the opportunity to not only witness the hard work and training necessary to campaign a horse at this level, but also to experience the excitement of competing at the FEI level through Bucky.  

In an effort to give back to the generous participants in Bucky’s syndicate, I would like to provide a monthly free private lesson to each owner.  
Embarking on this journey with Bucky is a very exciting time in my life.  Having a loyal and supportive group of owners to share this experience with will make it all the more memorable.  If you have interest in partaking in this experience with Bucky and I, we will be thrilled to have you on our team!
For interest and questions regarding this syndication please contact me by email at, or by telephone at 617-529-7205.
        Erin Sylvester

Photo credits Hoofclix Photography

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bucky's Advanced Debut at Pine Top Horse Trials

As I know many of you were watching the live scoring yesterday with bated breath, I am pleased to announce that Bucky and I had a very successful first Advanced run at Pine Top Farm yesterday.  Bucky put in a great effort, finishing sixth place in a field of twenty Advanced horses!
Both of us felt a bit green having our first try at the Advanced A test.  I have been working with Silva since december on training the half-passes and changes, and it was finally time to put them all together.  Bucky is trying very hard with the changes, but he anticipates them a bit and tends to have very expressive changes when riding them in the test.  I felt he put a good effort forth to score a 38, and there's heaps of room for improvement as our training goes on.
I was most impressed with Bucky's efforts in the showjumping yesterday.  It was a big course in a small paddock set on a hill, and the tumultuous ground makes for a tricky ride.  He felt like he was jumping out of his skin over every fence, just having one rail down that was completely rider error.  I was nervous to see how he would take to the larger fences, and to my pleasant surprise, he just keeps jumping better and better.
The cross-country course was a big, galloping advanced course and it was really well suited for his first run.  He had a dodgy moment early on in the course at the 5 AB combination.  I knew the combination would spook him, so I was ready kick on and help him through it.  He galloped around the rest of the course bold and strong and he had a blast!  I took some photos of the cross country fences below.  Enjoy the virtual coursewalk!
Please stay tuned to the blog on Monday as I will be announcing some important news about Bucky and our plans for the season!