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