Saturday, December 1, 2012

ERIN JOINS TEAM WEATHERBEETA!

Lilybridge Eventing is thrilled and humbled by our recent partnership opportunity with Weatherbeeta North America! We want to extend our deepest thanks to Gabriel Sperber, Director of Marketing, and creative guru extraordinaire!! It has been a refreshing experience working with Gabriel and we know that Weatherbeeta North America will do great things under his leadership.

Most riders are very familiar with Weatherbeeta's great line of blankets for horses and their canine companions, but did you know that Weatherbeeta is also the parent company for Bates, Wintec, Collegiate, Dublin and On Course?




Weatherbeeta produces a fabulous, durable product that is stylish (what pony doesn't like to look snazzy) and holds up to the elements.  Stay tuned for exciting news and offers through our Weatherbeeta North America partnership, and thank you from Lilybridge Eventing!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ERIN & NO BOUNDARIES FEATURED IN THE CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE!

Erin and Bucky are featured in this wonderful 4 page article in The Chronicle!!  Please take the time to read the entire article, as it gives such insight into their road to success.  Congratulations are due to Erin, Bucky and her entire support network at Lilybridge Eventing, who have had such a huge impact on her career!!!

No Boundaries Has Helped Put Eventer Erin Sylvester On The Map



No Boundaries has helped take Erin Sylvester to two four-stars and further in her career than she expected.  
Sylvester, 27, grew up in Hingham, Mass., a suburb of Boston. From an early age, she was horse crazy. Her parents put her on a horse at age 2, and by 4 she was in riding lessons. Her family lived just a few miles away from eventer Elizabeth Iorio, and the then-15-year-old agreed to teach Sylvester. “I can’t imagine how she did it and how she kept my focus. I must have been like a little bouncing ball,” Sylvester said. From there, she joined the North River Pony Club, eventually earning her C-2 rating.

After 11 years of lessons and moving up the levels, Sylvester bought her first serious event horse, Wily Wizard, who had been Iorio’s three-star horse. She took him through the intermediate level before he was retired to the lower levels in 2003. “He tried his heart out. He knew the sport so well that if I made a mistake, he’d run out or stop. Otherwise, he was a very honest horse and really allowed me to learn what I needed to do at bigger fences and combinations,” she said. While the gelding incurred some injuries over their three years together, he proved to be a valuable partner. “In retrospect, I wish I knew a little bit more when I had him. I was a bit green about dealing with conditioning and soundness. That kind of thing comes with experience I think. Soundness with horses is sort of trial and error,” Sylvester said.

Location, Location, Location
When it came time to choose a college her senior year of high school, Sylvester’s only criteria was that it was near a top trainer. While she’d never worked with him, Phillip Dutton was first on her list, so she applied and got in early to the University of Delaware, which was within commuting distance to Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pa. While she was positive she wanted to ride throughout college and become a professional, she was a bit shocked when she got to Dutton’s and realized her skills were lacking.

“I guess I was taking a chance because I didn’t know if I would get on with him as a student, and I think at times I drove him pretty crazy because at that point in his career, and still now, he spends most of his time teaching intermediate and advanced riders that have their own programs,” she said. “He sees talent and potential in them to be really great riders, and I was, for lack of a better word, a bit of a hooligan. I didn’t have any concept of counting strides in between fences or seeing a distance. I knew how to sit up and kick and hold on and get stuff done. I was lucky to be on catty horses until I got there. It was definitely a work in progress for him when he first started working with me, just having the patience to [teach me] some really basic things that I should have known before I got there and that I’d kind of gotten away with not understanding.”

PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE CHRONICLE ARTICLE HERE!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A SEASON WRAP-UP FOR A SNOWY DAY!!!

I hope you all can forgive me for neglecting the blog, as there is so much to update!  Team Lily has had an great end to the season, from an exciting Fair Hill weekend to success at the starter trials. Here's a brief summary of how we have been keeping busy ...
Abigail Wilson on Fernhill Flag at Fair Hill
Photo credit Sumner Crosby
Abigail Wilson and Fernhill Flag had a very successful completion at the Fair Hill CCI** back in October.  This pair moved up to the intermediate level in the spring, and it has been exciting to watch their progress throughout the year.  Fair Hill is considered the toughest two-star track in the country, but she and Rory made light of it.  I am looking forward to what they will accomplish in 2013!

A few of our younger riders have been flying under the radar this year, but they have had some great outings this fall.  Sarah Hughes has been competing Deb's Delight at the novice level, and they have had a few top finishes.  Sarah has just picked up Deb as a ride this summer, and she has done a great job adapting.  One of our newer jockeys, Olivia Saber, has also had some great finishes this fall on Stonewall Winters.  They wrapped up the season finishing third at her first Novice at St. Augustine!

Melissa Carson on Bo Brown
Michelle Carson Photo Credit
Our newest edition to Team Lily, Melissa Carson, had an impressive win at St. Augustine in her first novice level competition.  Bo Brown, her thoroughbred, is just four years old but seems unphased by the competitions.  The two of them have been working hard and progressing rapidly, and we are eager to see their accomplishments in the future. 

My crew of young horses had their last outing of the year at Waredaca, and are now enjoying a holiday.  I am looking forward to their competitions in Aiken! 

As our season has come to a close, I would like to thank all of our parents and supporters that made this season incredible!  I hope you all enjoyed the competitions as much as I have, and I greatly appreciate the help provided by parents at all of the events. I am thrilled that we have new faces on our team, and Im looking forward to the year ahead!

Monday, October 1, 2012

SALES & TRAINING UPDATE!

Are you looking for a new horse, or have a desire to take your own horse the to the next level?  Erin Sylvester and Lilybridge Eventing have several horses on the market and there are 3 full training board stalls open, just waiting for your horse!!  Please check out the new horse listings below & CONTACT ERIN for either sales or training information.

WILD GENIUS
"Wiley" is a 10 yr old 17.0hh TB gelding with preliminary experience. A nice mover on the flat and a good jumper, Wiley is looking for his next rider to pilot through the levels. He is a very bold and honest jumper, and will suit well to show an amateur or young rider the ropes of the eventing.

Wiley's current owner has three young kids, leaving her little time to train and compete. Lack of time for Wiley in her life is forcing sale. Wiley is currently competing well at the training level, and he is priced reasonably at $20k. His price will increase with more competition.

THE PERFECT MAN
"Bouncer" is a 12yr old, 16.1hh Selle Francais Gelding.
Bouncer is a great lower level packer with experience up through preliminary. He has been piloted around the east coast eventing scene with many different junior riders, and is a great confident jumper. He is a pleasure to work with in the barn and at shows. He is an easy keeper, quiet, and hacks on the buckle alone or in company. His rider is off to college, and he is looking for his next partner to teach the ropes of eventing.
Priced at $17k

TILBA
"Tilba" is a 10 year-old 15.1 hh DWB - Morgan cross. Tilba has formerly had a career as a Combined Driving Team horse, and she is now making the transition into the sport of Eventing.

She is a cute mover and phenomenal jumper, and has learned everything in her transition very easily. She has a great disposition and is eager to please. She is broke on the flat and has show jumped and cross-country schooled very well. She will be competing in her first event in just a few weeks time.

She will be a perfect match for a junior rider or amateur looking for a fun mare to event on. With scope to burn, the sky is the limit for her!
Priced at $17k




PUDDING'S PROOF
7 yr old, 14.hh Arab X Mare.

Pudding is a great first eventing and jumping pony for a junior or pony club rider. She is a pleasant ride and goes in a snaffle all three phases. She is currently competing beginner novice and jumping comfortably 3' at jumper shows. Easy to work with in the barn and at shows!
Pudding is priced at $4,500.



Photo credits Gayle Hughes

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun Times for Team Lily at Fair Hill!!!

Braden Speck, Resident Rodeo Cowboy!
Photo Credit Gayle Hughes
I had a blast this weekend coaching six of our younger riders at the Fair Hill Starter Trials in Elkton, MD.  Most of these riders were having their first outing since the middle of the summer, as their competition plans had to be sidelined by my prep and travel to Burghley.  

Their weekly lessons have been sporadic, and they have had few chances to cross-country school.  On Saturday, these riders proved to me their ability to keep motoring on, despite my absence during my travels to Burghley.  Everyone was riding impressively, and it was a delight for me to watch!

Kaelen Speck started off our day riding in the Novice with Regal Dancer.  Dancer is a new mount for her, and is much more horse to ride than her previous pony mount.  She is rising to the the challenge well, finishing in fifth place on her dressage score of 38.  It should take her some time to develop a partnership in the dressage with Dancer, but when they do, they might be unstoppable!

We had three riders in the Beginner Novice, and all three impressively finished on great dressage scores!  Sarah Hughes was happy to be at her first competition of the year riding Deb's Delight.  The pair looked great in the jumping phases and finished fourth on their dressage score of 38.  Cassidy Heitzenrater had a great day as well on her pony Pudding's Proof.  They jumped double clear to finish on their dressage score of 31.  The stellar beginner novice performance was rounded out by Olivia Saber and her mount, Stonewall Winters.  They made the courses look too easy as they jumped around double clear to finish third on their dressage score of 34.  I think these BN girls might be trying to show me that they are ready for a move-up!

Newcomer to LBE, Melissa Carson had her first outing on her young Thoroughbred, Bo Brown, in the Intro level at Fair Hill.  This was a first event for both of them, which was in no way apparent by their performance!  Both horse and rider looked cool and composed through all three phases of the competition, and jumped around with ease to finish on their dressage score.  Since Bo is just four years old, Melissa has been very diligent about moving slowly with him.  This diligence has paid off, as they looked like seasoned pros on Saturday!  They will be moving up the levels in no time at all ...

Our rodeo cowboy star of the day was Braden Speck on his own (naughty pony) Rosenharley Romello.  The cool breeze had Weasel feeling a bit too fresh on Saturday, and he gave Braden a really tough ride around the jump courses.  He rode him so well through all of his leaps and bucks, but Braden didn't stand a chance towards the end of the cross-country when Weasel made a quick and naughty move for home.  Braden did a spectacular job riding Weasel as well as he did, and I am sure he will look forward to coming out another day.

Team Lily will be at Plantation Field this coming weekend, and it should be a great time!  Come out for some fun and an opportunity to watch the nation's best riders compete just a few miles down the road.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Reflections on a Whirlwind Weekend at Burghley 2012

A tired and happy horse, rider, and groom upon completion of Burghley Horse Trials 2012!
I have just finished the biggest and arguably most important event of my career to date, with much to reflect upon from the events of the weekend.  Bucky has come out of the weekend safe, happy, and healthy, and I have come away with an enormous learning experience and a greater appreciation of a true international four-star track!

Our dressage test certainly did not go as planned, as I found myself in the ring trying to simply keep him from exploding rather than creating the great movements that I had been schooling at home.  He is much further along in his dressage training since Rolex, so I had expected a much better performance.  Unfortunately, he became extremely nervous once he took in the crowd,  which was very similar to his reaction at Rolex.  In retrospect I should have anticipated that behavior and planned a different warm-up routine, which I will do in the future to get him more adjusted to the large crowds.  Once we are able to keep that tension under control, I think he will be quite competitive.

The difficulty and size of the cross-country course came as no surprise to me,  as everyone knows that Burghley is meant to be one of the toughest tracks in the world.  What I did not appreciate before riding the course was the effect the terrain would have on the ride while on course.  Almost every fence was on an uphill, downhill or sharp turning approach, and this made developing a rhythm on cross-country very difficult.  This took a toll on Bucky, who felt backed off and green through some parts of the course.  Our run-out at the Rolex combination was a result of this, as he was unable to read the combination well since the distance came up so quickly.   He did not understand what was being asked of him, lacked confidence and ran out.


We had some other tough riding fences on the course, but Bucky kept pushing through and tried so hard to complete the course.  Around the ninth minute of the course, I found myself with an incredibly tired horse.  After a terrible jump and near fall on the landing at the Footbridge (Fence 22), I slowed our pace and tried to regain some strength and ride-ability.  His exhaustion was apparent when he jumped into the last water landing in a trot, but he managed to keep it together, jumping the last few combinations well and making it to the finish without another bad fence.  

I was so incredibly excited that we were able to finish such a tough course, given that there were so many tricky riding fences that rocked his confidence.  The cross-country was far more grueling than the breezy ride we had at Kentucky, but we are a better team for riding through the the challenging questions of the infamous Burghley course.  

Soon after the buzz of the cross-country wore off, we were faced with the reality of a very fatigued and sore horse on Saturday afternoon.  We quickly had him on fluids, and were icing intensively, but as the day wore on, a prominent swelling formed on the pastern of his right front leg.  He was extremely sore to palpation and showed a fair degree of lameness.  The location and degree of sensitivity in the swelling was very suggestive of a serious soft tissue injury, a harsh reality to confront following the completion of cross country.  On Saturday evening, it was looked quite certain that we would have to withdraw from show-jumping and head home to determine the seriousness of his injury.

Sunday morning brought a brighter horse with the leg looking better upon examination and palpation.  Dr. Griffin was able to scan his leg, and found significant bruising but no damage to the ligament structure.  I rode him, which seemed to help, so we decided to present at the final jog.  We were in good company with many horses looking sore and fatigued, but Bucky presented well and we passed the final jog.

He felt a bit sore and fatigued in the show-jumping warm-up, and unfortunately that was what we took into the arena.  Being just the second ride of the day, we added a few time faults being unaware of the inside turns needed to make the time.  He put in such a great effort, but was jumping very tired to have four rails down.  I am sad for Bucky that he was so uncomfortable and could not jump well, but given his state of soundness on Saturday afternoon, I am incredibly grateful and excited that we were able to complete!

The weekend was an incredible experience for me and I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to compete due to the overwhelming support from family, friends and supporters who helped us make our trip to Burghley!  It was very humbling being surrounded by so many incredible international riders,  and with every passing minute at Burghley, I learned something new.  I am looking forward to competing at Burghley in future years, and with the knowledge and education I will take away from this weekend, I can be better!

Bucky will leave shortly and will arrive home on Friday to a well deserved long break.   I think he will benefit from some easy intermediate tracks in the winter to get him thinking really positive again, as we look forward to planning our competitions next year.

Thank you to Jenn for doing an incredible job this weekend.......It was a crazy weekend and you kept right up with the pace!

Thank you to all who participated in the fundraising efforts, as you gave me such an incredible opportunity and I am forever thankful for that!

I am now looking forward to getting home to focus on all my awesome students who I have been neglecting during my lead-up to Burghley!  We have a busy fall schedule and I can't wait to get cracking this weekend at Bucks County! 

Friday, August 31, 2012

BURGHLEY UPDATE: THE COURSE AWAITS!

The fence we are all looking forward to jumping tomorrow ... 
Greetings from Burghley!  We have had an exciting two days of dressage, with the Americans kicking some serious butt! Sinead is leading the field of 87 horses on a score of 36, with Alison just behind her in second on a score of 40.  

The remainder of the US riders all scored in the 40s, which is great!  Bucky and I had an unfortunate test yesterday, as he got quite tense once he entered the main arena.

We had a chance to walk the cross-country today with the course designer himself, Mark Phillips.  He had some great insight on how certain fences should ride, as well as how we needed to factor the changing terrain into our ride.  The course looks huge and tough (as any four-star track should), but I have a plan of attack for tomorrow and and I'm excited to get out there!

I will keep the updates coming tomorrow! Go USA!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GREETINGS FROM BURGHLEY!!

Sunset Over Burghley House!
I am so excited to be sending this update, and even more excited to be here!  Competition officially kicked off this afternoon with the first horse inspection, and all seven American horses jogged well.  We will start with the first day of dressage tomorrow at 9:30, and our ride time is at 10am EST (3pm UK).  
Thanks to EN for the list of dressage ride times.

Belmont and Bucky made the final stretch of the Road to Burghley voyage yesterday, and arrived to the show grounds early yesterday evening.  They have fully recovered from the trip over to England, and they looked quite fresh when they came off the truck. They are ready for the action!

Ditch & Wall BIG!!!
The show atmosphere seems slightly more relaxed here, with the majority of the horses arriving yesterday afternoon or early this morning.  We had 88 horses present to the jogs today, which is quite a field!  The competition this weekend will be even tougher than what we saw at Rolex! We had a chance to walk around the cross country today, and at first glance it looks ... HUGE !  I am eager to get out and walk it a few more times to make a plan for Saturday.

Stay tuned for our dressage rides Thursday and Friday!  

Just A Little Preview of What's to Come!!!




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THEY'RE OFF TO BURGHLEY!!


Our UK excursion is finally here!  Belmont and Bucky hopped onto a truck this morning to JFK airport, where they will be boarding a flight tomorrow to Liege, Belgium.  The boys are looking great, and they were both very excited to load onto the truck !

After a departure Wednesday morning from JFK, Belmont and Bucky will land in Belgium late on Wednesday evening. They will then board a truck to the UK, with the plan to arrive at Catherine Burrell's Maizey Manor by Thursday afternoon.  We will spend our days leading up to Burghley at Maizey Manor, where the horses can recover for a few days while they progress back into training.

Packing for our trip was an experience in and of itself.  You cannot truly appreciate the amount of feed these competition horses consume until you need to package it for a flight!  It seemed an impossible task fitting all our equipment and belongings into a few trunks and bags, but luckily our supergrooms Kaitlin Slimak and Jenn Cain were there to make it all possible.

It seems almost surreal that Burghley is finally here.  The support we have received from the community has been so inspiring and makes this journey even more exciting.  THANK YOU to each and every friend, family member, sponsor, client, student, coach, and member of the community who has volunteered, donated, participated, and mentored us in this process.  We are so excited and grateful to have this opportunity !
Please watch us on the Burghley website www.burghley-horse.co.uk/ as  well as streaming on Burghley TV!  We will keep the updates coming!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MILLBROOK RECAP

Kaelen Speck Winning Blue on Rosenharley Romello!
Team Lily has just finished up a long weekend at the Millbrook Advanced Horse Trials in Millbrook, New York.  Though the weekend had a few bumps in the road that were not part of the plan, I was very pleased with everyone's performance and we all traveled home happy!  

Competitors for the weekend were Kaelen Speck on Rosenharley Romello, Mica Kane on The Cobbler's Son,  Wyn Maling on Stellar's Run, Andi Lawrence on Armani IV, and myself on No Boundaries and Paddy the Caddy. 

The weekend started off with the Novice and Training horses competing first, with the dressage on Thursday succeeded by the cross-country Friday and show-jumping on Saturday.  Kaelen Speck proudly brought home our blue ribbon for the weekend in the Novice on Rosenharley Romello,  moving from fifth place after the dressage to win her division on her dressage score of 25.  Her division was very competitive and the courses were tough, so I could not be more proud of she and Weasel's performance. 


Mica Kane rode The Cobbler's Son in the Open Training, having her first double clear competition weekend of the year to finish in 9th place.   Paddy the Caddy put in a solid performance to finish on his dressage score in 4th place in the Open Training. 

Andi Lawrence and Wyn Maling were our preliminary competitors for the weekend, both riding in the JYOP division.  Andi added just a few time faults to her jump rides to finish 3rd, and Wyn had a good performance for the weekend to finish 10th.  Both riders are aiming at the CIC* at Plantation Field in September, and judging by their performance on the weekend, they are looking ready to go!

My weekend with No Boundaries did not go quite to plan, but we ironed out a few issues and finished the weekend well.  He put in a great performance in the dressage with a score of 32 to sit in 7th place.  The cross-country track looked great and the footing was some of the best conditions we have had this year, so I was very excited to have a strong ride on the course.  I very unfortunately had a misunderstanding of striding at an early coffin combination on the course, which resulted in an unplanned dismount from Bucky.  This was very disappointing for me, as I did not even have a chance to ride around the course with this problem early on.  I was fortunate enough to be given permission to show-jump on Sunday, and Bucky jumped very well with a double clear round.

I am obviously coming away from the weekend a bit disappointed that I did not have the ability to ride the whole course on Saturday.  After consultation and some assistance with my cross-country riding from Phillip, I am pleased to say that we are still on track and on our plan for Burghley!  I plan to have a few more cross-country lessons in the coming weeks before my departure, and with that we should be well prepared. 

Stay tuned for updates and a recap of Fair Hill this coming weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Jersey Recap

Eliza Crosby on Woodstock Rawley
We have just wrapped up a busy weekend at the Horse Park of New Jersey with many successful rides!  We had very turbulent weather over us on Saturday, but the rain held off for a rather cool Sunday.  We had eight horses from the farm competing in levels Beginner Novice through Training. 

Saturday was rather quiet with just two competing from the farm in the Training.  Jenn Cain had her first outing on her new mount, Wild Genius, as Lucie Hughes accompanied her in the Training Rider division on Kitty's Topez.  Both riders had pleasing results in the dressage and show-jumping.  Jenn had a great ride on Wiley, as he proved to her that he is ready for some bigger fences.  Lucie's ride on Kitty was not as smooth, as Kitty reminded us that she is still a green youngster!

Sunday brought six horse and rider combinations to the Horse Park of New Jersey;  three in the novice and three in the Beginner Novice.  Eliza Crosby brought home the blue ribbon for us this weekend, winning her division adding no jump penalties to her dressage.  Annelise Aurillo finished well on her new mount in the Novice as well, while Kaelen Speck had a costly piloting mishap in the dressage that cost them disqualification from the competition.  Luckily the TD allowed for her to jump, so she was able to finish the weekend well.  Olivia Saber had a great weekend on her new mount, Stonewall Winters, finishing on her dressage score in 8th place.  Nicole Spiropoulos also had a great day on her mount, Regal Dancer, finishing on her dressage score in the Beginner Novice in 7th place.  



My ride of the weekend was aboard a lovely young horse named Campground, owned by Marnie Kelly.  This was his second competition, so I was very pleased with his great jump rides and a 4th place finish.  He looks like a promising one for the future!

Team Lily has arrived safe and sound to the Millbrook Horse Trials in New York for this weekend's competition.  Stay tuned to the results, as No Boundaries is running in the Avdanced as his last run before Burghley!  I am accompanied by riders Andi Lawrence, Mica Kane, Wyn Maling, and Kaelen Speck who will all be competing this weekend as well. I hope we will be reporting on Sunday with great results!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our First Syndication Owners!

I am so pleased to announce that we have the first No Boundaries Syndicate shareholder coming onto our team!  Jill and Henry Tallman of Marshfield, Massachusetts are the couple who purchased the beloved Doc Cowboy last fall and I am so thrilled to have their support.


Jill and Henry Tallman with Cowboy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Get Your Photos From Plantation Derby!!!


Sumner Crosby very generously spent the day out on course last week capturing all the action!
All photos taken at the July 15 Plantation Field Jump Derby are now up on a SmugMug gallery (link below) and the galleries are set up for each division.

If  you like what you see, and would like to acquire these shots, you can either get prints made, by hitting the “Buy” button in the gallery, which will charge you a nominal fee to make prints and ship from the SmugMug printing system.  Sumner is not making any money from that transaction as the cost is processed through SmugMug.  

To download images, you can mouse over the image on the right-hand panel, a menu will come up and pick the download icon (a tan folder with green arrow).  Right-clicking on the image will get you a very poor quality version of the image; you have access to the full-resolution JPG files by using this download icon.
Sumner has considerable time into taking and processing these images and has donated all of this time to Erin and Kate.   If you find photos that you like and download,  please donate directly to Erin and Kate’s fund for their trip to Burghley.  Donations can be made out to ‘The Road to Burghley’ and sent to :
The Road to Burghley
c/o Colleen O'Brien
 945 Font Road
 Glenmoore, PA 19343
If you download multiple images, please consider a gift of greater than $20; perhaps $50.00 toward fulfilling these two wonderful riders’ dreams.  Professional photographers will charge upwards of $125.00 for digital download packages.  Remember, whatever you choose to donate, all of it goes toward these two exciting event riders and their costs associated with traveling to Burghley this year.
If you have any questions or issues with the images, please don’t hesitate to email Sumner at sumcrosby@gmail.com.  

THANK YOU SUMNER!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Plantation Field Jump Derby

Elementary Course Walk
Kate and I would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to all who came to participate and volunteer at the Plantation Field Jump Derby yesterday.  We had a huge turnout and it was an overwhelming success!

We were so glad to see many of the young future stars of tomorrow out in the elementary and beginner novice, as well as so many professionals with their students and young horses in tow.  
"Team" Molly Rosin & Kendal Thomas High Five!!
The Jump Derby was a great way to school the beautiful grounds of Plantation Field, and we are very thankful to the Glaccums and Walkers for allowing us to run such an event.  We will have more photos from the event in the near future!

We hope to see many familiar faces again tonight at the Northbrook Silent Auction!!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

RIDING TO STUART HORSE TRIALS IN STYLE!!

Traveling in Style in the Theault Morpheus!
We had a big weekend traveling 7 hours to the Stuart Horse Trials with the help of our friends at Theault-America!!  The road trip went off without a hitch (pun intended) as Paddy & Bucky traveled in style and didn't feel any bumps in the road.
Rear View in the Theault Morpheus!
We also had an extremely strong showing from our students at the Stuart Horse Trials.  All the novice riders finished on their dressage scores in very competitive divisions!!
Bucky Over the Dover Fence!
Rider results:

Kaelen Speck and Rosenharley Romello finished 6th in Jr Open Novice
Eliza Crosby and Woodstock Rawley finished 7th in Open Novice
Annelise Aurillo and Luckaun Hallucination finished 9th in Open Novice

Wyn Maling and Stellars Run finished 9th in Open Prelim over a tough xc course.

Abigail Wilson jumped clear XC and SJ in her first CIC**!!

Erin was also very proud of Paddy the Caddy who brought home the blue in the Open Training division, finishing on his dressage!

No Boundaries finished 7th in CIC ** with a great dressage test, a solid and steady XC run on hard ground, but got a little wild in the SJ!  She's looking forward to ironing out the kinks  at Millbrook Advanced the weekend of August 2nd.

A big THANK YOU to Theault-America for the stylish ride, and to Sumner Crosby and Sally Speck for keeping us shaded, hydrated and fed!!!

PLANTATION FIELD JUMP DERBY SCHEDULE:
Come out to Plantation Field tomorrow for our Jump Derby Fundraiser.  Last night's rain has left the footing in great condition and courses couldn't be better!

Schedule:
Course walk for Elem-Nov 1pm
Elem begins 1:30
Beg Novice begins 2:15
Novice begins 3:15
Course walk Training/Prelim 4:30
Training begins 5pm
Prelim begins 6pm

All times are APPROXIMATE and may shift later depending on post entries.  Please come out & join the fun raising money for our trip to Burghley!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

ANNOUNCING THE NO BOUNDARIES SYNDICATION!


Dear Supporters and Friends,

No Boundaries' very successful debut at the Rolex Kentucky this spring leads me to announce that we are seeking (and have sold) syndication shares in this exciting horse as we continue to pursue our international eventing career. I am offering a small number of syndicated ownership shares in "Bucky" to friends and supporters who would then join us on our road to Burghley 2012 and the 2014 World Equestrian Games!!

Bucky is a 2001 TB/Dutch WB cross gelding who over the past three years has built an impressive event record. An 8th place finish the past spring at The Fork CIC3* set us up for a successful maiden voyage the the Rolex Kentucky 4*, where we finished 13th out of a top international field of 57 competitors! Next stop, The Burghley Horse Trials in England, August 30th - September 2nd, 2012!
Bucky's USEA Competition Record


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.

I am offering ten shares of ownership in No Boundaries at a cost of $8,000 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 is exciting and educational for all participants. Owners and students are welcomed and encouraged to spectate, help out at events and attend training sessions. Many of you have eager young riders whose eventing experience would be greatly enriched by the opportunity to witness the hard work and training necessary to campaign a horse at the FEI level.

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 emsylvester@gmail.com, or by telephone at 617-529-7205.

I'd also appreciate your continued support at our Burghley Fundraisers!

Many thanks to Mike McNally for the great photos at Rolex!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ROAD TO BURGHLEY FUNDRAISERS!



We are holding 3 Fund Raising Events to help Erin and Kate's quest to compete at the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials in England, August 30th - September 2nd, 2012.
We are seeking sponsors, donors and entries for the following events:
Kate and Belmont at Rolex 2012
1. Jump Derby at Plantation Field

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
To benefit the Plantation Field Fall CIC & The Road to Burghley
Offering Jump Derby courses from Elementary level through Preliminary
First round $60, second round $40
Class List & Entry Form to be posted shortly!

2. A Night At NorthBrook

Silent Auction
Wednesday July 18th, 2012
An evening of dinner, drinks, and commentary with Jimmy Wofford!
Ticket info to follow




Erin & No Boundaries - Rolex 2012
Photo Credit Lisa Thomas
3. Road to Burghley Schooling Jumper Show

Wednesday, July 25th
Presented by Lily Bridge Eventing
A great schooling jumper show hosted at Farideh Farm
Entry fees: $30 for first ride, $25 per additional ride, $75 per division
Start time : NOON with cross-rail division
Class List & Entry Form to be posted shortly!
To Donate Please Contact:
Erin Sylvester
emsylvester@gmail.com
617-529-7205
Kate Dickey-Hicks
Katehickseventing.com
kate@katehickseventing.com
484.354.6603

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Sales Horses!



Royal Justice
ROYAL JUSTICE - AVAILABLE
Royal Justice is a 7 yr old 16.1 hh TB gelding with mileage at the training level. "Echo" is an OTTB and began his eventing career two years ago with a young rider.

He is a nice mover, great jumper and shows potential as an upper-level prospect for the sport. He would be a great mount for a young rider looking for their next upper-level prospect!
Priced at $20k
Stonewall Winters


STONEWALL WINTERS - AVAILABLE
Stonewall Winters is a 10 yr old 16.3hh TB gelding. "Stonewall" is an American bred Thoroughbred who has never raced, and has extensive experience competing through the Preliminary level in Eventing.

He has a soft mouth and is easy to ride on the flat and over fences. He is a nice mover and a good jumper, and would suit best as an amateurs mount of a young rider looking to get experience at the lower levels.
Priced at $20k

Keep an eye on all our sales horses on the website!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Record Number at Plantation!

Plantation Field brought yet another successful outing for Team Lily this past weekend.  We had an impressive thirteen horses competing from the farm, with levels ranging from Intermediate to Beginner Novice.  This was an intense feat for a one-day competition, but with the help of Wyn Maling, Jenn Cain, and many great parents, we were able to make it a success!

Our upper level riders of the day kicked off the morning with great performances.  Abigail Wilson rode her own Fernhill Flag to an eighth place finish in the intermediate adding just a rail and a few xc time to her dressage score. Abigail is looking forward to competing in her first CIC** next weekend at Virginia Horse Trials and she is looking very ready!  
Parris - Photo Credit Gayle Hughes
Andi Lawrence rode Armani in the JYOP, and had a great ride to finish third.  This was her last run leading up to the CCI* at Virginia, so I was pleased to see her have a confident ride here.  Wyn Maling also competed in the preliminary on her own Stellar's Run, and finished the course with a few hiccups along the way.  This was a first preliminary for both horse and rider, and I am looking forward to ironing out the kinks for a smoother performance next time out!

We had three horses in the Training, and each had a great run.  I was apprehensive about the course as my last two Plantation Training rides did not go so smoothly,  but the course rode surprisingly well.  Julie Henk rode her mare Merry Sioux in the JOT to finish third.  This pair is looking better and better each time out, and I am really excited to see their progress through the year.  They are looking ready for a move-up soon!  I rode Peace Proposal and Stonewall Winters in the training as well, and both horses had great performances.  Parris jumped double clear to finish second, and Stonewall finished close behind her in sixth.  
Lucie - Photo Credit Gayle Hughes
The success continued with our Novice horses and riders, as we had four clear cross-country rides.  Phoebe Hering started out our novice rides on her own Perfect Man, and despite a little rust in the show jumping, they had a great cross-country.  Kaelen Speck and Miranda Webb cruised in the JON division, finishing fifth and sixth respectively.  Lucie Hughes had a great day to finish third in the Open Novice, and Paddy the Caddy jumped well to finish third with me on board in the NH division.

Jenn Cain and Olivia Saber were our sad soldiers of the day, looking forward to another weekend.  

Thanks Team for another great weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Check Out Our New Competition Horse Page!

Paddy The Caddy
Photo Credit Mark Lehner
We're in the process of updating the entire site, and have uploaded plenty of new pictures to our Competition Horse Page!  New photos by Mark Lehner, Cynthia Lawler and yours truly (Lisa Thomas), so go check it out.

Soon we'll have the new facility page up as well.  Cheers!  LT

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Great Start to the Season for Many!

Fair Hill International kicked off their first Starter Trials of the season Sunday in Elkton, MD.  Team Lily proudly had eight riders out to compete!  This competition was the first of the season for some of the riders, and the first horse trials ever for a few!  The Starter Trials hosted four divisions of Novice, Beginner Novice, Introductory, and Elementary, and our riders were dispersed through all the divisions.  

The day kicked off with the Novice divisions early in the morning, where we had Lucie Hughes, Eliza Crosby, and Jenn Cain riding.  These riders have all had one or two starts this season, and they were looking to have a good, confident experience out on the course.  Eliza finished fourth on her dressage score, while Lucie and Jenn added just one rail to their dressage scores to finish sixth and ninth.  

Olivia
The Beginner Novice division brought out three more of our riders; Olivia Saber, Cassidy Heitzenrater, and Nicole Spiroupolos.  For Cassidy, this was her first start of the season, while Olivia and Nicole were having their first crack at a horse trials!  Olivia impressed us all with a first place finish on her dressage score in the Junior Beginner Novice!  Nicole had a great ride but unfortunately had to pull up half way through her course due to a tack issue.  Cassidy had a great ride as well until an emergency dismount at the ditch late in the course.  Both Nicole and Cassidy are looking forward to getting back on the course soon to finish what they started!

Our last two rides of the day were Hannah Daneker and Braden Speck.  Hannah and Braden were having their first start of the season in the Introductory and Elementary divisions.  Hannah had a great dressage test on her pony, Magic Carpet Ride, and had an unfortunate parting of company in the show-jumping.  Hannah has been riding so well this spring and I cannot wait to see her iron out the kinks at the next event!  Braden was our other blue ribbon winner with Rosenharley Romello,  adding no jump faults to his dressage score.  
Braden
What pleased me the most about this weekend was how prepared our riders were despite inconsistent training over the last month.  It did not matter that their lessons have been sporadic through my traveling and competing; they went out and rode incredibly anyways.  We will have many more starter trials in the coming months, so our stars of tomorrow can get out there and get cracking!

On a side note, I am especially proud of No Boundaries, who is currently ranked 5th in the country on the USEA Overall Leaderboard!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Erin Reflects On Rolex

Photo Credit Mike McNally
Well its late Thursday night after Rolex and I am FINALLY getting a chance to sit down and put my thoughts together on the whirlwind week that was Rolex.  As anyone reading this can imagine, my week was even more incredible than I could have anticipated.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to ride at Kentucky, and even more lucky to have a phenomenal four-star horse in Bucky.

Bucky has recovered incredibly well from the competition.  As you could see at the jog and show-jumping Sunday, he was feeling very fresh and no worse for the wear on cross-country.  He is now going to enjoy some well-deserved down time with unlimited treats, grazing and grooming.  I was amazed at how easy he made the weekend for me, as if he was a seasoned four-star horse helping me through my first crack at Kentucky.  We just have to sort out those nerves in the dressage and he will be unstoppable!

My true reason for making this post is to take a moment to recognize each and every supporter that made this weekend happen for me.  The list is endless, so please do not feel left out if I miss you!  First and foremost, I owe a huge hug and thank you to my parents and my brother, Blair.  They have been my biggest fans since I first hopped on a pony when I was five,  and their support has helped me become the rider I am today.  


I also want to thank Jenny Berryman for finding me this crazy wild animal, Bucky,  just four and a half years ago.  We definitely did not know what we were getting into!  I owe a huge thanks to all of my students and clients not only for coming to support me on this amazing weekend, but more importantly for being understanding of my crazy schedule in the past four months.  You have all been so understanding of my goals and your unwavering support allowed me to do what I did this weekend.  Lastly, thank you to Lisa Thomas for keeping my blog going for the weekend!  I definitely did not have time to keep up with it!

Also, a thank-you is owed to Theault for documenting my weekend on video, they are so fun to watch!


Theault-America's Dressage Video Coverage with our favorite stars





Theault-America's XC Video Coverage with our favorite stars!!

 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rolex Wrap Up!!


THANK YOU TEAM LILY!!!

I'm just off the phone with Erin, who is already packed up & driving home with Bucky, the wonder horse, after an unbelievable first trip to Rolex.  Needless to say, her first trip to Rolex must have far exceeded her expectations, and Bucky proved to be a top contender for the future in this sport.


Josh Sylvester was kind enough to send me clips from the USEF network of her 3 phases, and it's well worth the time to revisit their action packed weekend.  Sally O'Connor did the dressage commentary, and Erin and I discussed how "dead on" she was about their dressage test.  We actually did not find it too critical, but actually quite an accurate description of their first entry into the big stage.  I personally feel that Erin did a phenomenal job holding him together under all that pressure.

Dressage Photo Album Lisa Thomas

Dressage Video Courtesy USEF

XC day was exhilarating!  After watching the pair crank around all the questions on XC with a double clear, it's so apparent what heart Bucky puts into his efforts jumping.  Every time the load speaker announced that Erin & Bucky were one of a few pairs to make it around double clear, I broke out into a grin like a little kid.  I know all of Team Lily felt the same way.
Photo Credit Cindy Lawler
Xcountry Video Courtesy USEF


Personally, I was really nervous for this pair as they entered the stadium for the final leg of the Rolex journey.  Bucky was so tense during his dressage in this ring, and stadium has (in the past) been their challenge.  I held my breath as they perfectly negotiated the entire course flawlessly, with only 1 rail down at the last fence!  Erin's form and focus was so impressive.  She said that Boyd made the comment after her round that the last fence can be the toughest, due to the temptation to throw your body in front of the horse out of pure adrenaline.  This picture says it all........because if you look closely, you can catch the timing of the rolling rail.  Personally I can't detect Erin throwing herself forward over the fence,  I think it was due to a shift in the wind :)

STADIUM PHOTOS
Photo Credits Lisa Thomas
Sunday Photos (Thank You Cindy Lawler)

Stadium Video Courtesy USEF
Photo Credit Lisa Thomas
A huge THANKS goes out to Wyn, Erin's family and all of Team Lily who have supported her in the quest for Rolex.  Needless to say, everyone at Team Lily must be so proud of Erin & anxious to see what next challenge she has on the horizon.  To see her in the victory gallop with the top riders internationally was quite a thrill, and a memory which will stick with her for a lifetime!
Photo Credit Cindy Lawler

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Congrats Erin & Bucky

I'm in a rush to catch a plane back to Pa, but wanted to put up a quick post about Erin & Bucky's spectacular performance this weekend.  There is no question that they showed the world that they have evolved into world class riders.  To think that they were making their maiden voyage to Rolex, jumped a double clear XC and  rode a beautiful stadium round under so much pressure to join the VICTORY GALLOP, is simply unbelievable!!  A heart felt congratulations to Team Lily!!

I promise to get an update from Erin tomorrow & will post all the photos.......but for now, I'm signing off from Rolex!!  LT

Double Clear XC!!!

Photo Credit Cynthia Lawler
Needless to say, the ride for Erin and Bucky here at the Rolex Ky Horse Park has been a thrilling one.  Standing in 15th after a double clear round on XC yesterday proved an enormous feat, considering that over half the field was eliminate or retired on course.  They both looked like serious professionals when they passed me at the water complex!

Many thanks go out to Cynthia Lawler for her fantastic close up shots from the head of the lake.
Other photo credits are mine!!  View Slide Show

Checking the scores this morning, they've thus far moved up 2 places to 13th after several more withdrawals prior to the horse inspection.  Fingers and toes crossed that Bucky is feeling fit & ready this morning!!

We also had some fun this weekend doing some videos of Erin for Theault-America, the company that produces beautiful horse boxes from France.  Boyd & Silva are sponsored riders for Theault-America and I work with them on their PR & marketing efforts here in the US, so we felt that Erin's perspective as a first time Rolex competitor would give us a great perspective on this great event!  We hope you enjoy the video......more to come after Rolex!!



Thursday, April 26, 2012



Greetings from Kentucky!  We have just wrapped the first day of dressage and it proved exciting for many, myself included. The first half of the 58 competitors rode the dressage today, and the remaining half will compete tomorrow.  

Bucky warmed up very well with Silva prior to entering the stadium and we had a great start to his test during his trot work.  Understandably, he was more keyed up than normal, but we staying somewhat relaxed despite the atmosphere.  Unfortunately as we approached our canter work, he took in the scenery of the Rolex arena and suddenly became very nervous.  The second half of our test was extremely tense and nervous as it became clear that Bucky and I were very green to the crowds and atmosphere in the Rolex stadium.  We finished the day with a score of 65 to carry into the cross country.  

Although I had much higher expectations for today, I was pleased with many parts of my test.  We are both not only green at the 4* level but also inexperienced with the intimidating atmosphere. I am confident the next time out will be much improved!  

Photo Credits Lisa Thomas

Now on to the fun stuff!  I had to opportunity to take all our Team on a course walk this afternoon, and the track looks great!  There are many questions on the course that we have not seen before, but all of the combinations look rideable if executed properly.  The ground is perfect and the weather should hold out well through the weekend.  I'm excited to get out there and do what we do best on Saturday!

I would like to say a special thanks to my parents and the MANY Team Lily supporters who traveled to cheer me on today and to join me in this experience.  

I would like to say a special thanks to my parents and the MANY Team Lily supporters that were there to cheer me on today.