Friday’s Dressage updates!!

Wow, the action really hotted up today, with lots more visitors there today to catch the second part of the Dressage.

Zara Philips took the lead today in the  CIC*** class on Lord Lauries, some 4 points ahead of Ireland’s Patricia Ryan from Bandon, Co Cork on Ballylynch Wizard, leaving Lucy Wiegersma on Shaabrak in third position followed by Oliver Townend in fourth and fifth on Pepper Anne and Jeepers Creepers. The CIC*** class do their cross country and show jumping on Sunday.

The main cross country action will take place tomorrow, Saturday, for all the other classes.

The Dunboyne Castle Pony class will be on course at 8.30 am, followed by the Tattersalls Ireland Autumn Festival of Eventing Junior class and the Rookery Park Stud CCI*.

The Irish Field CCI*** competitors tackle Ian Stark’s new cross country course at about 1.45pm followed by the Eventing Ireland Under25 class and finishing with the Rookery Park Stud CCI**.

After today’s dressage phase Louisa Lockwood and The Leopard have a narrow lead over William Fox-Pitt on Lady Voltaire in the CCI* class with Aaron Millar on Captain Hook in third. Co Down’s Suzanne Jordan is highest of the Irish in sixth place in this very competitive class on Da Capo Two.

The Under 25 class is led by New Zealander Jesse Campbell on Kaapachino with British riders filling the next 6 places with Angus Smales on Clover Hero in second place and Angus Humfrey in third. Kildare based James Clegg on Kincluny is highest of the Irish in eighth position.

Kerry based Katie Moffat leads the Junior class on Pick and Mix II ahead of GB’s David Doel on Kings Cross in second and Koyuna Sun Magic in third.

The family focussed fun of the Country Fair will be in full swing tomorrow with activities for all interests and ages, from bucking broncos and horse shoe throwing  to archery and rifle range, a Punch and Judy Show and merry-go-round as well as dog show and pony rides adding to the atmosphere.


Horse mad on social media


Badminton Horse Trials was the centre of the twittersphere for anyone with an equine interest, according to Equigeek, a company that provides top quality computer assistance to those in the equine industry.

The Badminton Horse Trials were trending!

The Equestrian world has certainly embraced the entire social media phenomenon, but doesn’t it make perfect sense? We are always, on the hoof, quite literally, and social media works extremely well from mobile devices. We are people of (relatively) few words, so often 140 characters just suits, and really, we don’t have time for messing around, and it gets right to the point.

Not only that, but our sport has been marginalised by television producers the world over, as something for the wee hours, or the red button! This more than anything, gave rise to the swell of twitter and facebook traffic last weekend.

Horse and Country TV had the following editorial policy – “Part of our editorial premise for the event was to provide a full Twitter commentary so that those unable to be there could get up to the second commentary from the event.”

The Badminton Website gave us BHT Radio, with Pammy Hutton, and Carl Hestor giving priceless commentary.

On the hashtag #BHT2011 alone, there were over 2500 tweets , about everything from the leader board to shoe choices! Facebook also played a large part, several pages providing up-dates on a regular basis.

The Irish Horse World joined in, with regular updates on twitter @TheIrishFieldHW and Facebook( and it was very much a win win situation. People got up to-date news and gossip from Badminton, as well as updates from Sponsors as to how their riders were doing, and even in some cases from riders themselves, most notably Mark Todd. @MTEventing is Mark Todd’s twitter persona, and gave us great insight into how things were going. After his first round of showjumping he tweeted “one down for Milo – hope that is my only fence of the day”

Which it was!.

Twitter followers were among the first to know the result on Monday,  as well as how Esib Power was doing, and whether Ashdale Cruise Master had injured himself in that fall.

Social media gives us an access all areas pass to places we would normally be excluded from,and it’s not just events and visitors that are taking advantage of this new audience.Sponsors and suppliers are now finding it a very effective way of reaching their target market.

They are utilising Facebook, Twitter and You tube to get their message across, and make their voices heard., with announcements of special offers and new product releases.

We are even one of the first industries to have our own Social Media Awards.

Asked what equestrian bsinesses can learn from the weekend, Liam Killen from the Equestrian Social Media Awards said,”Any equestrian business looking for social media inspiration, the ESMA finalists are worth watching. Not everyone can afford an online marketing department, but that’s why social media is so powerful – all it takes is your time. The bar has been raised by what we’ve seen over the last 2 weeks. The FEI is now getting in on the social media action with the launch of their Facebook page and Twitter account.”

Liam revealed exclusively that,

“The finals of the 2012 ESMAs will see the introduction of an expert panel. The marks of the expert panel will constitute 50% of the total, with the public vote making up the remaining 50%.

Some of the world’s top names in PR and digital marketing are onboard. Full list of experts will be announced later this year.”


It’s been a while….

Just realised that in the headlong rush to get everyone else’s sites done, that mine had suffered badly from neglect.

This is often what happens to the sites of designers, Either their own site never gets finished, or it wallows in a sadly neglected state while their clients sites are new and pristine.

So today it was long overdue for an update. Hope you enjoy the new look, and feel free to give relevant feedback…..

Snow Joke!

It’s currently 1°C here in sunny Dunsany, and to say we’re snowed in is a bit of an understatement!

There is a path beaten from the barn to the walker, but bar that all horses are cross, bored and dying to get out.

I’m patiently trawling the internet for interesting pieces, the curse of the self-employed, no snow days for me.

School is closed, kids are bored and “there’s nothing to do”, except wind each other up!

The joy of livery though is that I don’t have to be in the yard this morning. My reward for many snow filled days in yards when I was younger.

Nowadays I have two of the very best looking after my youngster, and the worst I have to worry about is getting there to ride him. Having run/worked and boarded in various yards over many years, it’s wonderful to be able to relax in the knowledge that your horse is being looked after as if you were there.

Thanks Mary-lou and Conan for a wonderful job, and peace of mind.

Totilas… The end of an Era?

One of the greatest Dressage partnerships of all time, came to a swift halt yesterday, with the exchange of several million dollars and one amazing horse.

When the news broke yesterday from Eurodressage that Totilas had been sold to Paul Schockemohle, it sent shockwaves throughout the Equestrian Community.

The first pairing ever to achieve 3 Gold medals at a World Equestrian Games in Dressage, Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas have held us spellbound and entranced as they notched up every accolade attainable. A world record Dressage score, beating Anky’s long held score, as well as scintillating performances at every appearance made him one of the most loved horses in International Competition today.

It is not yet clear whether there will be a new rider, or if Totilas will go straight to breeding, but it does leave Edward without his Olympic hope for 2012. Let us hope that this is not the last the public gets to see of this supremely talented horse and rider.

Townend puts fall behind him at Tattersalls.

Oliver Townend, made hay while the sun shone at Tattersalls World Cup International CCI*** Event.

Putting his horrific fall at the Rolex Event behind him, he pulled out all the stops and finished ahead of the field with 2 fences in hand on the fabulous Ashdale Cruise Master.

Mary King was second on Apache Sauce, while Michael Ryan was best of the Irish in 3rd Place on Ballylynch Adventure.

Meanwhile in the 2* it wasn’t a great day for the Irish, as Sam Watson had a few down to end up in 4th place having lead overnight, and the win went to New Zealand native Andrew Nicholson on Quimbo.

It was a great weekend all in all for Irish Eventing, the organisational team behind Tattersalls as usual very tight, and everything going to plan! Perhaps with this as the example we can attract more  International Talent here in future.

Tattersalls CCI***

Today at Tattersalls, was one of those days that reminded me of many years at Punchestown of old. The sky was dark and cloudy, it kinda rained, but the course was amazing, and everyone enjoying the day!

Bar a few loose dogs, and a couple of dunks in the water, the day went off without a hitch. Oliver Townend remains in pole position after the cross country in the CCI***W  and Sam Watson had a great round in the CCI** which puts him into 1st place overnight.

Michael Ryan had a bit of a swim at the water jump with Drumgurrihy Blue, after 2 previous good rounds, and there were a few riders who parted company with their mounts on the way round! The course rode well though, and there can’t be too many complaints ahead of the showjumping tomorrow.

All results are available at

iphone apps

For those of you who haven’t downloaded it yet, the FEI, have released Equitests  for the iphone. This is a great tool, with tests, diagrams, rules, news updates it has all the information any dressage rider could possibly want. You can download Equitests 1 for free, and for most of us the most useful one is Equitests 3, with junior tests as well as young horse tests available for $9.99. Try it out!