Sunrise at Plantation- photo by Cynthia Lawler

So, you may be think that this is a little weird since I spend the majority of my time worrying about the jumper circuit and its happenings, but I’m here to have a look at how 2012 went down in eventing land.

Our eventing experts at HJU are super busy with the holiday season and such, so I volunteered to give the review post a go. Now, don’t be too concerned, I did start out my riding days in the pony club and eventing worlds, so I’m not entirely clueless. In fact, I’m still very interested in the sport and do follow the major events…let’s just say a name like Michael Jung isn’t going to be news to me (but my dog likely knows who he is, so maybe it doesn’t count?).

Anyways, forgive me if I miss a key something, but here goes nothing:

The 2012 Eventing Year in Review

In order to make my life a little easier, I’m going to go chronologically through the major competitions. This will ensure that I don’t forget one (yep, I have the schedule sitting in front of me), that would just be embarrassing!

So, what was first? Ah, yes, a little something called the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*.

William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk. – Photo by Tracy Porter

As the only 4* in North America, Rolex attracts our very best riders along with stars from across the pond. Besides being an incredibly prestigious 4* competition, 2012’s Rolex was also a chance for a lot of riders to stretch out their Olympic hopefuls legs and garner some attention from the selectors. With that said, Sinead Halpin opted to keep keep Tate’s tank topped up headed into the summer, and did not compete. Although the American riders put on an incredible show, Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, mounted on Parklane Hawk, would swoop in and steal the show.

1 William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk 45.3

2 Allison Springer and Arthur 47.0

3 Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere 51.0

Allison Springer and Arthur at Rolex 2012 – photo by Calina

Finishing second, Allison Springer and Arthur were crowned the USEF CCI4* National Champions and, in doing so, changed a lot of minds and earned a lot of respect. Besides Allison’s success, one of my favourite stories from Rolex 2012 is that of Jordan Linstedt and Tullibards Hawkwind (Jack). Finishing in 27th place on a score of 162.7, Jordan and her team couldn’t be happier.

Here is an interview with Jordan after finishing Rolex:

It isn’t possible not to love that. Such a great reminder that it is possible to be a winner without finishing in first place on the leader board – something that all competitors should keep in mind!

And, just because I love helmet cams, here is a really good one of the Rolex 2012 XC courtesy of Doug Payne on Running Order:

Usually the Badminton Horse Trials, part of the Rolex Grand Slam, follow Rolex…but mother nature had other ideas for 2012. Unthinkably, due to incredible amounts of rain, the 2012 Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials had to be cancelled. Yikes! Adding to the drama, William Fox-Pitt was in the hunt for the Grand Slam after winning Burghley in 2011, and Rolex in 2012 – to win the Grand Slam, the three events must be won in succession. Luckily, it was clarified that William could still win the Grand Slam if he wins Badminton in 2013. Phew.

The next major stop on the eventing calendar was the Luhmuhlen CCI4* in June.

Would it surprise you if I said that Michael Jung won? No? Didn’t think so. With Leopin, Michael finished on 36.80. Wow!

Here is a great summary video of Michael’s win:

1 Michael Jung and Leopin FST 36.80

2 Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish 42.00

3 Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon 43.20

In case you missed it, HJU got an interview from Colleen Rutledge upon her return from Luhmuhlen. Definitely worth a read!

Of course, with July, came the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Before I get into the games themselves, I think it is important to have a quick look back at the selections, especially for the American team (short list). As for all of the equestrian disciplines, HJU had our picks that we (we, as in our eventers, not clueless me!) thought were pretty solid. Boy were we, along with many others, surprised when the American team was named. Honestly, I don’t feel qualified to really get into it, but wow, I definitely had to pick my jaw up off the ground when I read the list.

But, moving on, where did the medals find themselves when the dust settled?

Team Results

Individual Results

Once again, Michael Jung put on quite a show. With the lovely Sam, Michael was in 11th after dressage, but took win with fabulous cross country and show jumping rounds. Along with that, the German team would go on to win with gold.

Michael Jung and Sam after Round 2. -Photo by Patricia

Check out this video of Allison Springer talking about the cross country course:

(THIS is why I don’t event anymore!)

Olympic Roundup of Cross-Country Day

Boyd and Otis at the first water

Unfortunately, things would not go as planned either the American or Canadian teams. The Canadians suffered significant carnage with only one rider finishing the games, Jessica Phoenix on Exponential. Personally, I think a lot of it was bad luck, along with our relative greenness and lack of depth compared to other teams. A lot to improve on for the future for both teams, but both teams have great leaders and tremendous raw talent that will take them the distance.

For a great summary, complete with stats, check out Cheryl’s wrap-up!

Equestrian – Team 3 day Eventing – Jumping phase Final

Following the Olympics, was the Burghley CCI4*.

1 Andrew Nicholson and Avebury 45.80

2 Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville 48.30

3 William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk 51.40

Although the incredibly talented Andrew Nicholson would top the leader board, to me, the story of the competition was the two American ladies that, after being left off of the Olympic team, set out to prove themselves…and they did.

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville (Tate) on their way to a double clear round at Burghley – photo by Calina

Allison Springer and Arthur – Burghley 2012 – photo by Calina

Although one too many rails would fall in the show jumping round, Sinead and Tate powered their way to a strong second place finish. Allison and Arthur also had a great go, finishing on 57.20 for sixth. Of course, due to his amazing performance, Tate has been nominated for the USEF International Horse of the Year.

Here is a great video from XC day:

The second to last CCI4* of the 2012 season was Pau.

1 Andrew Nicholson and Nereo 39.30

2 Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise 40.70

3 Michael Jung and Leopin FST 43.30

Hmm, starting to see some trends? How about if I add that William Fox-Pitt took fourth and fifth?

Here are Andrew’s jump rounds:


And Michael’s:

All lessons of great riding and horsemanship.

The final CCI4* of 2012 was Austallia’s 3-day event, Adelaide.

1 Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire 58.80

2 Natalie Blundell and Algebra 67.80

3 Murray Lamperd and Under the Clocks 101.50

Here is another great helmet cam video, this time from Natalie Blundell and Algebra:

Before I wrap-up, two things:

1) I want to rewind a little bit because, being Canadian, I feel that I need to show Bromont a little love!

Bromont CCI3*:

Jonathan Holling and Downtown Harrison won the Bromont CCI3* – photo by Calina

1 Jonathan Holling and Downtown Harrison 58.80

2 Boyd Martin and Trading Aces 62.80

3 Kevin Keane and Fernhill Flutter 66.60

2) At the conclusion of the 2012 season, the phenomenal Andrew Nicholson earned the $50 000 bonus as the HSBC Rankings leader. He had a stellar season!

Andrew Nicholson and Avebury – Burghley 2012 – photo by Calina

That’s all I have! Once again, my apologies if I missed anything critical or skipped through something important.

All the best in 2013,


SmartPak banner 600x100