Monday, November 2, 2015

Virginia Horse Trials

Four more of our horses ended their seasons this past weekend at Virginia Horse Trials. The Virginia Horse Center is a great venue and proved once again to be a fun away show for horses, riders, and parents alike.

Kaelen and Mimi, CCI1* show jumping.

Kaelen and Mimi during Awards.
Huge congratulations are in order for Kaelen Speck and her mare Sweet Rebellion for their bronze medal finish in their first CCI completion! After a great dressage test put them in 3rd in the young rider CCI1*, they maintained their placing with a double clear cross country round and a good show jump round. They were also 2nd place among Junior riders. We expect great things to continue to come out of this young and very talented partnership!
Mimi on her "best behavior" at the second jog.
Not to be outshone by his sister, Braden Speck rode his pony Rosenharley Romello in the Novice Championships against professionals, adults, and juniors alike. They finished on their dressage score for 9th place out of 42 starters, and were also 3rd place among Junior riders. Well done, B and Weasel!
Braden and Weasel, on their way to a clear Novice Championship Show Jumping.
Nicole Spiropolous had an educational weekend in her first Preliminary attempt aboard Melissa Stubenberg’s Aberjoy. After a good dressage test and stadium round, Nicole unfortunately popped out of the tack on cross country and their weekend came to a premature end.
Nicole and Joy in their Prelim dressage test.
Redemption was had for Nicole when she piloted her own Henry around his first Training level completion. He had a great dressage test, a green but educational show jumping round, and a fantastic clear cross country round to finish out the weekend. Herbie’s a Training horse now!

Huge thanks to Justine Dutton for trusting me with her four riders this weekend while she rocked around the CCI3* at Galways! Congratulations to riders Tori Hain, Madi Bantivoglio, Isabella Sandstead, and Olivia Briskin on their great rides this weekend! A very fun team to coach and help.

Overall, it was another excellent weekend of eventing. Our very last show of the season is next weekend at Maryland Horse Trials Starter, and we will have many combinations competing, so stay tuned for results!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Recent Sales

Congratulations to Sharon Jones on the recent purchase of Some Kind of Wonderful from the Ciccone family!  Gabrielle has had an extremely competitive campaign at the Training level with Bo over the past year, enjoying several top finishes. He is an absolute gem to ride and work with in the barn, and we look forward to seeing him bring the same joy to the Jones family as he has brought to us! He is pictured here helping Sharon take her granddaughter for a trail ride. A perfect gentleman for the job!

Congratulations also to the Meyer Family on the recent purchase of Stonewall Winters! Stonewall has been a part of our program for the past three years, and he's been a great member of the team.  He spent years campaigning at the Novice and Training levels with his owner, Olivia Saber.  We have loved having him on the team, and are so happy that he found a new person to spoil him. Best of luck to Lauren and Stonewall in all future pursuits!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dutta Corp Fair Hill International 2015

Last weekend marked the season finale for our upper level horses at Fair Hill. I rode Jeanne and Spike Sylvester’s Mettraise in her first CCI3*, Marnie Kelly’s Campground in his first CCI2*, and Frank and Kate McEntee’s Paddy the Caddy in his second CCI2*.
Missy making short work of a tricky combination on the 3*. Photo credits to Don Truesdell.
I was so proud of Mettraise for putting in her best dressage test at the level so far, in the big atmosphere nonetheless. She skipped around cross country double clear on Saturday, and show jumped clear with just two time faults on Sunday to finish fifteenth. She was also recognized as the highest placed American Thoroughbred mare. Go Big Gurl!

Paddy out of the water and over the angled brush! Photo by Sophie Kager.

Paddy the Caddy was once again a star, and finished on his dressage score for tenth place in the two star. Paddy has grown up a lot this year, and he so enjoyed showing off his ninja moves all weekend!

Gideon on cross country. Thank you to Valerie Durbon for the awesome picture!

Campground put in an amazing performance as well. He had a respectable dressage test, followed by a double clear cross country, and just the final show jump down for twenty-fifth. Most horses cannot hack at the buckle one day and run around a two star double clear a few days later, but Gideon breaks the mold completely.

Julie and Merry Sioux off the massive drop. Photo by Sophie Kager.
Huge congratulations are in order for my student Julie Henk who completed her first CCI2* with her own Merry Sioux. It is a huge feat to even get to Fair Hill, and they just looked better and better as each phase went on.

Overall, it was a phenomenal finish to these four horses’ years. Most of our other horses have at least one event left on the schedule this fall, so we are keeping busy while our Fair Hill horses take a much-deserved break!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Congratulations to Emma Stradley & Debi Moore on Purchase of Sequoia!

Congratulations to Emma Stradley and Debi Moore on the purchase of Sequoia!  We look forward to their future success ! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lilybridge Students Shine at The Horse Park of New Jersey !

We had another great showing at the Horse Park of New Jersey where Jessica McCabe and Julie Henk bumped their mounts back up to the Intermediate level.  Jess and Ferdinand came 9th after a respectable dressage test and an unfortunate few rails on Saturday evening followed by a super cross country round on Sunday morning. Julie got the job done in dressage on Merry Sioux and then had two great jump rounds, but time faults dropped them to 12th. 

Jess and Ferdinand
Annelise Aurillo and Rasher added just 2 seconds of time faults on their solid dressage score for 11th in a large Open Training division.  Nicole Spiropolous rode Aberjoy to a very nice dressage test and stadium round, but decided to call it a day before cross country.

I am so grateful to Marnie Kelly for her unwavering support of Campground as my competition horse, but it is the icing on the cake that “Gideon” is equally as successful as Marnie’s own ride. This weekend they completed the Training in beautiful form, adding one rail and a handful of time faults for 10th.

Marnie and Campground
Cassidy Heitzenrater rode her own Go Devil Go in the Novice and had her best outing yet! She finished on her dressage score of 29.3 for 5th place. “Prada” has been quite testing as a young horse, and we are so happy to see Cassidy earning the rewards for all of her hard work and patience.

Emma Stradley added just a bit of cross country time onto her dressage score with Coloured Gem to finish 11th in a large Novice division.

Congratulations to all of my students this weekend; you all made me proud!  No downtime for us as we left for Millbrook on Wednesday morning with a mixed group of students and my own horses.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Moving on Up at Maryland Horse Trials II

We were back at Loch Moy for Maryland Horse Trials II this weekend, and everyone who competed produced great results.

On Saturday, I rode Marnie Kelly's Campground in the Intermediate. He tried very hard and showed great improvement on the flat then jumped freakishly well as per usual. With his one rail and some time on cross country he finished just outside of the placings in ninth.

Erin with Marnie Kelly's Campground

Frank McEntee's Paddy the Caddy made his return to competition in the Preliminary.  Our favorite little ninja was very happy to be back from his post-Jersey Fresh vacation.  He won the flat with an unreal 23.6 and show jumped clear, but I took my time on cross country and he ended in seventh.

Zehra Gundogan and Captivate moved back up to Preliminary and made it look easy.  They earned a 28.9 with a great dressage test, had a lovely show jumping round with just one rail, and cruised around the cross country to jump clear and add a bit of time for ninth place.
Kaelen Speck rode extremely well on an amped up Sweet Rebellion to add only time onto her dressage score for an eighth place finish.

In the afternoon Braden Speck rode Rosenharley Romello to finish on his Novice dressage score for eighth place in the Junior division. Tori Kager rode her young horse Sage Advice to a fourth place finish on her dressage score in the Open Novice.

On Sunday we were back for the Training divisions.  Jill Tallman's Bold Tiger completed his first Training level event in great form. Although he is quite green, he rose to the challenge and finished on his dressage score of 33.9 for eighth place.

Sale horse Stonewall Winters had a great day with Tori Kager in the irons.  He had no trouble finishing on his dressage score of 34.6 for fifth place.

The Girls Icing Their Legs Post Comp!
Hannah Daneker and Peace Proposal made the move up to Training level and added only cross country time onto their dressage score.  Parris was very happy to see the fences a bit higher, but she was disappointed that the dressage test did not allow her to show off her walk-to-canters.

Gabbie Ciccone and Some Kind of Wonderful were our big winners of the weekend, leading the Junior division on a 32.3 from start to finish.  Congratulations Gibba and Bo Bo!

Our horses and riders all had an excellent weekend in spite of serious heat and humidity. We will be at Jersey next weekend; fingers crossed for slightly more mild weather!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Maryland Horse Trials I at Loch Moy

We had horses competing on both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend at Maryland Horse Trials I at Loch Moy where all of my students rode extremely well!

On Saturday Julie Henk with Merry Sioux and Jess McCabe with Ferdinand competed in the Preliminary for both of their first outings since their Virginia CIC2* and CCI1* debuts.  Both pairs laid down lovely dressage tests and added only cross country time to their scores for a great start towards their Fall season. 

Owner and Supporter Jill Tallman and Bold Tiger
I rode my young OTTB Bold Tiger in his final Novice start where he was very professional, finishing on his dressage score of 32.8 for seventh place.  I am excited for him to tackle Training level with the same air off confidence next time out!  He's pictured here at the farm with owner/partner/supporter Jill Tallman, who came down for a surprise visit over my birthday.  

After an unfortunate meeting of horse teeth with skull this week, my working student Jenn Catalano was not able to compete this weekend.  I took the ride on her mare Validation in the Novice for a successful completion, and hopefully the stars will soon align for Jenn and Koffee so they can run a whole event together!

Jess McCabe also rode Cassidy Heitzenrater's mare Go Devil Go in the Novice to add just a few time faults to her dressage score.

On Sunday we returned with the Training level horses.  Gabbie Ciccone and her own Some Kind of Wonderful were our first pair to show and finished on their dressage score of 32.5. Zehra Gundogan and Captivate finished on their dressage score of 31.6 with a very speedy cross country round for seventh place……...Go Cappy Appy!  Annelise Aurillo and Rasher (pictured here) started their day off with a consistent dressage test and added only cross country time to their score. 

Annelise and Rasher

All of my students used the event to apply everything we have been working on at home and to keep building their horses' confidence, and I'm very proud of them all. We will be back next weekend for the second Maryland HT where a few pairs will be moving up!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Busy Weekend at Fair Hill Starter Trial and HPNJ

Lilybridge had an especially busy weekend, competing at back-to-back events. I spent the weekend coaching as all of my horses had a more relaxing weekend back at home.

Fair Hill:

On Saturday, we headed to Fair Hill Starter Trial in near-monsoon conditions. Cassidy Heitzenrater gave her own Go Devil Go great rides in the Novice, having one of their best dressage tests to date, a clear show jumping round and an educational cross country round. 

Jesse Connell added just two rails to her competitive dressage score aboard Tamulligan Fly for eighth place in her Novice division. Coloured Gem made his return to eventing with owner Emma Stradley. "Gem" didn't seem to have skipped a beat during his hiatus and added just one rail to his dressage score. A huge congratulation to my student Lyndsay Poole who moved her young horse Forte up to Novice and added nothing to their dressage score to WIN the division!

In the Beginner Novice, MacKenzie Verna sat second after dressage and added one rail to finish third with Your Lucky Day. Working student Jenn Catalano brought her mare Validation to do only a dressage test, and "Koffee" was very excited to be out and about. Joy Atwell made her much-anticipated eventing debut in the Beginner Novice with her young horse Ryker. They schooled us all in the jumping phases, finishing on their dressage score for third place. Emma also rode her young horse Good Prize in the Beginner Novice and he showed off his great brain with three great phases other than one baby moment at the ditch.

I was very pleased with all of these pairs' performances, but perhaps even more pleased to get home and out of the torrential downpour!

HPNJ Horse Trial:

We turned right around to head to the Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trial on Sunday.  Tori Kager rode sales horse Stonewall Winters in the Training Level and they added just a rail and a bit of time cross country. We were so excited for Zehra Gundogan and Captivate to get back out there. "Cap" was feeling uncharacteristically fresh in dressage, but put in a clear show jumping round and finished the Training cross country confidently to redeem himself. 

Stonewall Winters and Tory

Annelise Aurillo rode Rasher to a great dressage test and a clear show jumping round. Though he had a disappointing problem spot on cross country, Rasher had a constructive day and overcame down bank demons that have been following him around lately.  Aberjoy had many things on the brain and dressage was not one of them, but Nicole Spiropolous put in excellent jump rides to finish on their dressage score for 12th of 23 in their Training Level division. 

In the Novice, Braden Speck rode Rosenharley Romello to a fifth place finish on his dressage score. Hannah Daneker rode Peace Proposal to finish on her dressage score for ninth in another Novice division. Tori Kager's young horse Sage Advice also added no faults to her dressage score.

It was a long but rewarding weekend as I am always excited to see my students' hard work pay off.  Next weekend we do not have a competition scheduled and then we will be back out at the Maryland Horse Trials the following week. 

Wishing everyone a happy and relaxing Fourth of July weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Exciting New Sponsorship With KL Select & USG

For Immediate Release: Date:  June 22, 2015

KL Select
Stonington, CT 06378

KL Select & USG (United Sportsproducts Germany) are thrilled to welcome American 3-Day Event Rider, Erin Sylvester, to their team of sponsored professional riders.  

KL Select is the exclusive distributor of USG’s products in the USA since 2010, quickly climbing to the top of the US sales charts by offering a vast array of colorful & functional breeches, socks, saddle pads and matching fly veils.  KL Select also offers within the US market USG’s and Europe’s #1 rated Body Protector and Equi Air Bags.

Erin Sylvester, an established 4-Star Rider, owns & operates Lilybridge Eventing, located in Cochranville, Pennsylvania.  Lilybridge Eventing is a full-service training facility with a barn full of competition horses and developing riders of all levels who campaign at USEA sanctioned events.  

Erin and her horse, No Boundaries, received USEA’s 2014 Horse of the Year title following their string of international successes.  

Erin is currently using USG Safety Equipment, both the Flexi Body Protector and the Equi Airbag, joining the ranks of International riders like Ingrid Klimke, who only use Germany’s #1 rated Safety Equipment.  The USG Safety Equipment recently received the BETA 2015 Safety & Security Award, a top international recognition.

You can expect to see Erin sporting her USG breeches, in a variety of styles and fun colors, during her every day rides and in competition.  Erin’s horses will also be outfitted with USG Saddle Pads and matching Fly Veils.

Watching this talented young lady compete is a breath-taking experience, and it is with pleasure that USG-USA welcomes Erin to their team and    looks forward to keeping her safe and looking fabulous on her journey to the top.  Erin Sylvester’s talent clearly knows “No Boundaries”.

Learn more about Erin Sylvester and  Lilybridge Eventing

Monday, June 22, 2015

Great Meadows Recap!

No Boundaries and Mettraise attended Great Meadows CIC3* this weekend as the first lead-up event for their Fall CCIs. I am extremely proud of both horses' performances.

This was Missy's first 3* completion and only her second Advanced run, and she took it all in stride. I was pleased with her dressage test on Friday evening; while she is still quite green at the movements, she is trying very hard to maintain composure and I was disappointed that her score did not reflect her efforts. She jumped out of her skin for a clear show jumping round on Saturday and then absolutely skipped around the cross country on Sunday.  I ran her quite slowly as her confidence was my top priority this weekend.

Missy Earned A Well Deserved Nap!
Bucky only did a combined test, and he couldn't have been any more bitter about it on Sunday when he had to watch all of the other horses going back and forth from cross country.  Next time, Buckster… 

His dressage test on Friday was very relaxed and obedient and he sat 9th on a 50.8. I am hopeful that his next time out I can ask for even more from him since he is so confirmed in the flatwork now.  He put in a great effort and pulled out a clear show jumping round on Saturday.

Great Meadows proved to be an excellent event, in spite of atrocious weather on Saturday.  I look forward to my two "big kids'" next outing to replicate and improve upon their results and to let Bucky run fast and jump big! 

A big thanks to Emma Stradley for taking great care of them this weekend and to Jess McCabe and Jenn Catalano for keeping the farm running at home.  Next weekend Team Lily is going back to back at the Fair Hill Starter on Saturday and Horse Park of New Jersey on Sunday.  The majority of our riders will be competing, so check back for a full recap!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Busy Weekend for Team Lily at Plantation June HT!

It was a busy weekend for Team Lily at Plantation, with twelve horses from within the barn competing across the two days.

On Saturday, Kaelen Speck and her mare Sweet Rebellion put in another stellar performance at Preliminary, adding only time to a competitive dressage score to finish second.  In the Training, Gabbie Ciccone had a great dressage test to sit in third with her Some Kind of Wonderful.  Her two rails in stadium were unfortunate but they followed that up with a double clear cross country round to bring home third in her Training division!

Nicole Spiropolous and her new ride Aberjoy completed their first Training together in good form, save for one unlucky rail and a green moment at the ditch on cross country.  I rode my young OTTB, Bold Tiger, in his first event of the year and he impressed us with a respectable dressage (in spite of a very short warmup) and exuberant jumping rounds to finish on his dressage score for seventh in the Novice.  Finishing right behind us in eighth on his dressage score was Stonewall Winters with Tori Kager in the irons. We were also happy to see students Miranda Webb and Lyndsey Barrett have great outings and add only time to their dressage scores in the Training and Novice, respectively.

Braden and Weasel in the warm up.

On Sunday we returned for the Unrecognized competition.  Annelise Aurillo and Rasher started the day off at Training level with a great dressage test followed by a near-perfect show jumping round and an educational cross country round. Rasher is still green at this level, and Annelise persevered to get it done out there and made us all proud.

In the Novice, Braden Speck won the dressage on an amazing 25.40,  unfortunately Weasel bested his jockey with a pony move in stadium but Braden redeemed himself with a great clear cross country round!  Heather Cooper finished on her dressage score for second in the Novice with Regal Dancer, with Jesse Connell and Corduroy close behind in fourth after a strong cross country ride.

Heather Cooper on Regal Dancer
Cassidy Heitzenrater competed Go Devil Go in her first outing of the season, and Cassidy rode extremely well through some rusty, green moments to have a confidence-building day. Summer working student Jenn Catalano had her mare Validation in the Novice and put in a nice dressage test but sadly their day was cut short after disagreements in show jumping.  We were disappointed that Mackenzie Verna and Hannah Daneker were unable to compete due to unfortunate circumstances and look forward to having them back out with the team in the near future!

All in all, it was a great weekend at our favorite local event and I am proud of all of my students for their hard work thus far this season.  Team Lily was also so pleased with our eventing community pulling together for our friend Seema; the love for her over the weekend was so apparent and well represented by all the riders sporting purple gear.  She was an incredible contributor to the sport and will be greatly missed!