Meet Rhianydd of Rhi Lee Jones Eventing- Part 2

 Rhianydd of Rhi Lee Jones Eventing is a contestant on the Horse and Country TV series- The Blue Chip All Star Academy!  The All Star Academy is a reality Equestrian TV series that’s best described as a combination of The Apprentice meets Big Brother meets Pony Club!

Rhianydd’s sense of style and fashion has always caught my eye, so I was super excited to be able to interview her recently!

Rhianydd on foal watch last week!  

Describe the style and culture of your discipline, what’s the core of it?

It’s interesting how varied the style culture is across different disciplines. For example, polocrosse has a very Southern Hemisphere style. It has a relaxed vibe: white jeans and cowboy boots, rope reins, big spurs. I’ve found eventing, however, less rustic and a lot more polished and pristine: Hairnets, immaculate plaits, oiled hooves and spotless white saddle pads. It’s interesting how, even though the sports have progressed massively, the style culture surrounding them is very true to their roots; polocrosse which was developed in the Australian outback and Eventing which originated from the military cavalry.



Polocrosse vs Eventing
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   Define your equestrian & everyday style:


 Simple, comfortable and classic. In terms of riding, my daily uniform consists of grey johdpurs with a checked shirt, but I love smartening up myself and my horse for an event. Out of the saddle I’m a bit of a chameleon; I’m equally happy in a pair of jeans with one of my boyfriend’s sweaters and a statement necklace, as I am in a floor length ball gown. I love dressing to the occasion.


Rhi Lee Jones Eventing- My everyday style

Rhi Lee Jones Eventing- My everyday style by equestrianista featuring a chiffon maxi skirt

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  Any Basics that horsewomen need?


I think little beats a beautifully fit hunting jacket.  A great source for finding a hunt coat is to go to : The Vintage Tack Room- They are an amazing resource.


  What are your go to pieces? Colors you enjoy?


I showjump in tweed, and wear my jacket with a navy stock. I love the combo.


Rhi Lee Jones-Eventing Style
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  What are new things you’re currently obsessed with?(items, brands, etc..)


 I am utterly addicted to Eurostar Clothing at the moment. Their johdpurs have a low hipster cut which fit beautifully and give a modern twist to a classic. They also make gorgeous lightweight jackets that are just perfect for riding in spring. I have one in turquoise which is featured in the photo and it looks amazing warming up at a competition with white johdpurs or at training with grey johdpurs.

In terms of helmets, I think One K are doing something really different at the moment while still maintaining a classic style. I love their defender helmets, particularly in the matte navy and black.


Rhi Lee Jones-Eventing Riding Style

Rhi Lee Jones-Eventing Riding Style by equestrianista on Polyvore

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Do you have a Rider on the Go tip?

Dry shampoo!! It completely saves me from dealing with hat hair when I’m running from the yard to meet friends!


 Travel- Best places horsey to travel?

I’ve been lucky to have some amazing horsey experiences while travelling. I once played polocrosse in Zimbabwe where we had to hold time during the game as a herd of elephants walked past the pitch!

One of my favourite travel memories was a horseback safari in the Chyulu Hills, Kenya. A wonderful company called Ride Kenya offers absolute luxury in the bush and I was lucky enough to go to help them work horses and assist the guests while travelling a couple of years ago. The wildlife offers such unexpected adventure. We would gallop with herds of zebra, and finish the day with a g&t in front of the fire. An absolutely unbeatable experience that I feel so privileged to have had.

To contact Ride Kenya, drop them a message on Facebook!  Click here-

Keep in touch & follow!

Photo Credit Jon Stroud

I am hugely active on social media and love to keep my followers updated on my equestrian journey. Whether it be dishing the goss about the All Star Academy, my training experiences, competition results, mucking out thoughts or cute pictures of my newborn foal, it’s all on there! You can follow me on facebook on, and instagram and twitter on @RLJEventing. The Blue Chip All Star Academy is a brand new television series which premieres on Sunday 12th June 9pm on Horse and Country TV. Horse & Country TV is available in the UK on Sky channel 253 and online via the H&C Play app

Now that you’ve gotten to know Rhianydd, one of the stars on the Blue Chip All Star Academy- a Horse and County TV Series that airs this Sunday, June 12th at 9pm UK Time- Be sure to follow her and watch!  Its going to be really really epic!


The Art of the Chase of the Hunt-a young photographer finds his niche in rich horse country

When you live in one of the most beautiful historic horsey areas in the USA, it’s hard not to be involved with horses and pick up a camera!




It all started two years ago for Alec Thayer, a typical teenager who resides in Unionville, PA.   In my opinion, Unionville, PA and the surrounding area ranks right up there as far as a more amazing famous horsemen/women found per square mile than any other place in the United States.  Eventing, Dressage and Racetrack Superstars such as Phillip Dutton, Martin Boyd, Silva Boyd, Michael W Dickinson, Lana DuPont, Bruce Davidson, Jennie Brannigan- Just to name a few off the top of my head(sorry if I missed you). I’d have to do a whole blog post as to who lives around there!

You may recall seeing some of Alec’s pictures in my interview with Equestrianista Jennie Brannigan a while ago. 

Click here to read about her style. 


 If you ever get a chance to drive down the stone wall lined country roads in that area you will understand why.


What started it all for Alec, of AP3 Photography, was taking a national outdoor leadership school program. He was assigned to take 10 pictures a day.   He enjoyed that so much that when he returned home that he took his camera and headed down the road to the Plantation Horse Trials to take some more!

After Plantation, he received many encouraging comments about his pictures that he has taken photography up as a main hobby.  With a good natural eye and a camera in hand, Alec set off for more competitions and horsey events to attend to.


What do you love so much about what you do?


Being a recreational horseback rider and a self proclaimed adrenaline junky- skiing, sailing, etc.. Alec comments that he understands the timing of the horse & rider jumping.  He really enjoys the challenge of taking pictures of a moving object and getting that perfect shot!   That is his adrenaline rush when taking pictures of horsey subjects.

When fall came, Alec started to chase Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds.  Started in the early 1900’s, the Cheshire Hunt has a rich heritage and is still a very active hunt.   This is where the real love for photography started for Alec.  For him, and many other foxhunting photographers, it’s the Chase of the Hunt that makes them come back for more!

Pictured above, it’s not just some crazy fit guy who runs 10 miles or more with the Cheshire Hounds on foot, but a very famous steeplechase jockey/  5 Guiness Book of World Record title holder /  turned race horse trainer from UK who also trained in Maryland, USA- Michael W Dickinson!



What do you love the most about taking pictures of foxhunting?

 All of it, he replied.  It’s the whole thing: capturing parts of the hunt, getting up close and achieving the ultimate goal of getting a picture of the hunted- Mr. Fox!  It’s the challenge of figuring out where to be and how to get there ahead of the hunt so you can actually get a picture of it happening!  It’s a game of getting the whole thing on camera.


Alex explains, that there are about 30-40 in car followers of the hunt.  They follow the hunt in vehicles and all end up following the guy in the hound truck!  The hound truck guy has “specialized skills, fox radar, built-in intuition, along with excellent driving skills” to know the back roads inside & out and where the hunt is probably going.  First Alec would follow in his own vehicle, but has befriended the hound truck guy and now he rides with him!

This has enabled Alec to capture the real prize- the fox!



 I asked Alec what he does in the off season.  He replied, ” There really is no off season.  There is a nice balance between Eventing and Foxhunting.”  At the moment, finishing High School and getting accepted into College is the main priority for this young photographer.  Alec hopes to get back into full swing once summer arrives.  In the meantime, when he can, he gets out to continue to shoot photos.


His photography goals are to take some lighting classes and learn about indoor studio lighting.  His ultimate dream location to shoot would be The World Equestrian Festival- CHIO Aachen this summer!



Best of luck with all your goals this year Alec!


 I just love this picture, it reminds me of an old English hunt painting!

To see more of Alec Thayer- Check out his website and follow him on Facebook!

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Follow Alec at Ab3 Photography on Facebook-

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First Look- Cassel Table Couture! Tailgating at it’s finest

I had the privilege of talking with tailgating experts Jennifer Buracker and her daughter Charlotte about tailgating essentials for the upcoming horsey event season!


 Jennifer established  Cassel Interiors, Inc . in 1998. She has designed for clients throughout the Metropolitan DC area and the Carolinas.  Jennifer understands the marriage between creating a vision and creating a home.  With an eye for detail, she designs interior and exterior spaces that speak to each client’s personal aesthetic. With her experience and expertise, she efficiently brings a project from concept to completion.  Well regarded by the designing community, Cassel Interiors, Inc. is committed to creating a beautiful home that brings joy to each and every client. 


Introducing Cassel Table Couture by Cassel Interiors, Inc.

After moving a couple years ago to the Middleburg, VA area, Jennifer’s table cloths has become a very popular item in Middleburg, since the town is filled with horsey people and horsey events almost every weekend all year long!   In Middleburg, it’s unusual to not see someone with breeches and boots in the grocery store!

There is a point to point almost every weekend throughout the summer.  


“Tailgating is such a fundamental part of an event, especially in Middleburg, VA.”  You can find Cassel Table Couture at polo events, steeplechases and the Warrenton Horse Show.

A fantastic tailgate should encompass individuality and fun!  That’s what we are all about at Cassel Table Couture.  

 Jennifer’s table cover designs are unique for several reasons:

They are custom designs that reflect the individual or business.

They are waterproof and look spectacular rain or shine.

They don’t blow off- they are specially designed to stay in place.

They are environmentally friendly as you can use them year after year.  They are made out of outdoor fabric.  All you have to do is hose them off with a little ivory soap and water and they are as good as new!  We like things that are easy to clean and take care of!

What color combos are great?


Cream and/or  Navy, both colors really pop with the green grass background.  Plaids and herringbone patterns make wonderful runners.  

What is your tailgating creating advice?  


Plaids and herringbone patters add wonderful contrast.

Use pewter or silver

Add horsey and quirky touches- like tall boots turned into a vase.

Simple is better

Make sure everything has a purpose- don’t clutter

Choose one thing and stick with it

Photo Credit: Middleburg Photo

What’s trending?


Very similar toe fashion advice: brighter colors and color blocking are very popular right now.  Stick to your basic colors such as cream or navy for the cover and add color with accessories or the table runner, which you can have a couple of.   Sky’s the limit of what you can do.  Right now fun runners are a wonderful way to add color- Try polka dots or go classic.  1 cover and  a couple of runners is all you need.

What’s trending in fashion this year at these events?

 Hats are always in, but we are noticing different hats- like a fedora

Also lady’s are not only seen in great dresses, but a well fitted trouser suite look is in!

Steeplechase Trends

What are your personal “go-to” tailgating recipes?   


Always finger foods at tailgating.

We love to make mouth watering desserts:

Kahlua Brownie is our signature dessert!

 Box of brownie mix

Add Kahlua instead of water

Ice the brownies with confectioners sugar and Kahlua icing

They don’t melt and it’s something sweet to eat!  YUM!!!


What about drinks?

Always have Champagne!

Do a signature drink – Maybe a Mint Julep for Steeplechases

Our signature go-to Drink is:

Italian Drink

2 bottles of Prosecco

Fresh lemons & Lines

1/2 cup of simple sugar

1/4 cup of Amaretto

Rim glass with sugar!

It’s refreshing and delicious- a real palate cleanser and a great summer drink.

Click this logo to check out Jennifer’s Company Website: Cassel Designs

Albert the Jack Russell will pass on a question if you have any…Click here to email

You can find Jennifer at FOXFIRE GALLERY & ANTIQUES located in Middleburg, VA.  If you are in the area, I highly recommend strolling through and saying hello!

Be sure to click on the picture to be directed to her beautiful Facebook Page!  Get updates on wonderful items in the store and what’s happening around Middleburg for Jennifer!

Travel Tips from Equestrianista designer- Rebecca Smith of Rebecca Ray Designs!


Rebecca describes Rebecca Ray Designs as a company that appeals to everyone. Throughout her life,  she has shown world class horses & dogs and it shows in her designs.   She gets all the details right!


Rebecca Ray Designs
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It only seems fitting that as the business grows, Rebecca has included family and friends that are all well-versed in the horse and dog community. From the Amish harness makers who hand-make her leather products to the sales team who ride and show world-class horses, a large team of authentic animal enthusiasts and experts work side by side to develop this beautiful product. 

Today, through the use of authentic equestrian hardware, responsibly tanned leather, traditional handwork, and the finest quality fabrics, Rebecca Ray Designs reflects the spirit of the Sporting Lifestyle: nostalgic, modern and timeless. Uniquely American. Untamed Spirit. Unharnessed American Couture. 

Travel Tips from Rebecca Smith, of Rebecca Ray Designs!

Find out: 
What does she wear traveling?  
What does she use as her carry on?
What’s in Rebecca’s purse?  

Rebecca’s travel outfit is classic, professional, and comfortable.

Rebecca's Travel Outfit
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Rebecca says she’s kind of boring when traveling with her outfit choices.  She sticks to a good pair of jeans, a button down shirt, always her bit belt, a black blazer, Donald Pliner boots, and one of her cuff bracelets.  She admits, she’s a black clothes person.  

 Rebecca’s Travel Tips- Carry on bags….

Rebecca's Carry on tips


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Rebecca chooses The Maryann bag as her go to carry on bag.  She can fit a variety of things into it.  She packs a pair of clothes and 3 cosmetic bags that carry various items.  1 bag will carry all her computer plugs, phone charger, etc… 2 bag will carry any medications or first aid items.  3 bag will carry makeup.
Rebecca's Cosmetic Pouches
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I know you’re dying to know. What is in Rebecca Smith’s purse?



Hmmmm…. , she says.  Let’s see….”, as she rummages around in her Christy bag.  ” I don’t need these anymore!”, as Rebecca refers to the Rolex 3-Day admission tickets and the Kentucky Reining Cup tickets.


What's inside Rebecca's Purse?
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Rebecca was very detailed as to what exactly is found in her bag!

– A cell phone with an orange monogrammed cell phone case
– Rebecca Ray wallet
-Bobby brown or MAC lipstick
-Icebreakers mints- Spearmint flavor
-Keys on a Rebecca Ray key fob- small brown with a gray horse head
– Ralph Lauren sunglasses
-Cosmetic bag
– Tortoise shell reading glasses
– Rebecca Ray note pads
– TUL black ink pens- She loves them!

Click below to check out her newly done website!

Follow Rebecca:

Lynn Symanky’s Basics, Travel & Rider on the Go Tips, Must Haves, etc….

Part 2:

She’s just too cute!


A smile is your best accessory!  

Any Basics that horsewomen need?

I couldn’t survive without my Barbour jacket, especially after the particularly rainy spring we had both in Aiken, South Carolina and Middleburg, Virginia this year. It got me through the cold downpours at Pine Top, Southern Pines II, and The Fork while also sporting a classy look. In addition to keeping me warm and dry, the Barbour jacket has a great fit with the classic English country look that is so popular right now. It goes great with breeches as well as jeans and a pair of Dubarry boots – another staple I can’t live without. During the summer months, chap stick, sunscreen, sunglasses, a cute floppy sun hat, and moisturizer… because leathery, wrinkly skin doesn’t go well with anything!


Lynn Symansky's Basics



Who influences your style?


As far as riding fashions go, I would be lost without my Animo clothes. Their breeches, jackets, and shirts are absolutely flawless when it comes to a flattering fit, and they are definitely on the forward edge of fashion. I get comments every day about my breeches and how flattering and stylish they are. Their show jackets are absolutely gorgeous and form fitting as well. Pretty much anything they send me is sure to be a hit. I also love the new helmet trends from Charles Owen. The new Charles Owen Ayr8 that comes in leather or suede as well as a multitude of fabric and piping colors is so fun to customize for both dressage and show jumping. I never ride without a helmet so I am thankful that my safety equipment is stylish as well! As far as non-riding fashions, I’m really influenced by English country trends because they pair effortlessly with riding clothes. It’s so easy to go straight from the barn to casual dinner by simply throwing on a quilted jacket and Dubarry boots for a classic look.


Eventing Influences

What are your go to pieces? Your top 3-5 favorites?  Colors you enjoy?

I love jackets and scarves – bold, simple colors complete any look. Even in warmer weather, you can still go with a lighter weight blazer with a gauzy scarf in the evening time. Fun colored slacks and skinny jeans with a pair of cute pair of boots or flats are also some of my favorites. With a few different color options in each of these pieces, you can have an endless possibility of outfit choices by pairing neutrals with bolder colors.

I love blues and pinks—I have both breeches and jeans in a pale mauve/magenta color and different shades of blue, and I wear them a lot. They are fun colors without being too flamboyant.


Try Colors



Do you have any Rider on the Go Tips?


Definitely buy great breeches that flatter your figure and hold up well to lots of riding. I wear breeches all day every day so try and look neat and professional while still being ready to hop on a variety of horses. I am lucky to live in a town where breeches are a common site in the grocery store and coffee shops, but with the equestrian look in style you can always feel cute in breeches when you run errands or go to a casual dinner. I always keep hand lotion, mascara and lip balm in my purse, truck and trailer, and a scarf and jacket to dress up any type of outfit.


Rider on the Go Tips


Do you have any travel tricks that you do?


I am probably best known for always being prepared for any weather. My truck, trailer, and car are stocked with jackets, boots, rain, snow, and sun gear. As far as long trips I always use the time to catch up on my phone calls, e-mails, and computer work that I don’t have time do to while riding all day. I never think of travel time as a waste as I can always find something productive to do!


What’s the next this 2013 season for you?


I am really excited for the Summer/Fall season! I plan to go to Europe this Fall to compete Donner, and have some exciting young horses coming up through the ranks. Alton Quanbeck’s Osborne 9 will hopefully be targeting a CCI** this fall as well as my young NZ horse Waitangi Notebook. Lois Mermelstein owns a fantastic athlete of a horse Zoe, and excited to do a One Star and Intermediate in the Fall.

I am also in the process of getting more people involved in the ownership and career of Donner, so STAY TUNED TO LYNN SYMANSKY EQUESTRIAN on Facebook ( and Twitter (@LynnSymanskyEq) for that developing opportunity soon!


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Equestrianista of the Week- Lynn Symansky! Getting the Horse Inspection outfit Right!



Lynn Symansky has 25 years of competitive equestrian experience, and over a decade of international experience. She has been competing at the Advanced level of eventing since she was 18-year-old. In addition to her competitive career, Lynn also has extensive teaching experience – her students range from kids learning how to ride and adult amateurs starting to compete, to young riders and adults moving through the upper levels of the sport. Lynn is a USEA ICP certified instructor and has coached eventing and show jumping teams for the USPC at regional and national championships for many years.



Lynn’s accomplishments are long and impressive- So far this year, she’s on a roll and at the top!

In 2013 Lynn and Donner won the Fork CIC3* and finished fifth place in the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. The pair were also named USEF Reserve Champions and received the Zeppa International Trophy for Best Turned Out as well as Donner being awarded Best Conditioned Horse and Highest Placed OTTB.

Lynn has aspirations to compete at the top level of the sport as a member of the Olympic and World Equestrian Games Teams, but still enjoys the day to day process of bringing young horses along as well as training the country’s future stars.



Recently Lynn has been noticed for more than just her talented riding skills and horses…


 At The Rolex **** 3-Day, this year, Lynn what the talk of the town for her trendy, functional, fashionable clothing choices for Horse Inspections on both days!

I had the privilege to catch up with Lynn between her busy schedule to find out what’s her style and how did she come up with those great outfit choices?

 Poor Lynn- It took her 5 hours to find her jog outfits!


How did you come about in putting together your outfits that were the talk of Rolex?  Was there a strategy, trends you thought about, a stylish friend you brought with you?  You said you spent 5 hours shopping…

I was very inspired by the trendy pastels that are so popular right now, and that trend was well represented on the jog strip this year. I knew it was going to be cold, so pants and jackets were definitely the way to go, and I just tried to pair great colors with neutrals- i.e. mint and tan, coral and navy, etc. Then, I just added jewelry and a great pair of classic flats to tie it all together. I actually hurt my back the morning I was going to get jog outfits, so I brought my students Leslie Mintz and Hannah Bennett with me, who are both photographers and know what photographs well. They get all the credit for helping pull the outfits together. I wasn’t able to really move much that day, so they brought a ton of outfit choices to the dressing room and I very slowly and carefully tried them on until we found something that worked. THAT’S why it took 5 hours! I could barely move that day. Luckily we found a really cute pair of snakeskin flats that worked with both of the outfits, and seemed to fit my feet. Since I was not able to run to test them out, we were hoping they stayed on for the jogs!

Do you have any advice for other competitors that are trying to put an outfit together to present their horses?

Always wear things that you can run in, and be mindful of how the outfits will read when you are photographed. I rejected a few options because I knew they wouldn’t look all that great as a two-dimensional photo. Also find something that suits your personality and complements your horse. Be sure and always do a test run to make sure any skirts/dresses stay in place, pants don’t fall down, nothing is see-through, or shoes fly off!

Lynn Symansky Rolex Jog-out Outfits

Click here to get Lynn’s Look!

What are new things you’re obsessed with?


I’m loving the pastels that are so popular right now, especially when paired with a good solid neutral. Pastel and skinny pants are my current obsession (as evidenced by my Rolex jog outfits!)

A BIG Thank you for getting me in the Top 5 at Rolex!!!!

First and foremost, my horse gets a LARGE majority of the credit. He’s just 10 this year and put in a great debut at his first four star, and I couldn’t be more proud.

My barn manager/groom Sarah Berhalter took outstanding care of Donner all year and at Kentucky, and helped keep him healthy, happy, and looking great.

My parents are always huge supporters and cheerleaders, and it was great to have both of them there. All of my clients that both came to Rolex and were cheering from afar gave me so much inspiration to perform well, as well as all of the social media love!

Dr. Bishop, Dr. Seiler, and Dr. Mark Hart were instrumental in helping me with my broken hand and ensuring I was able to ride to the best of my ability. I also owe a huge thanks to my owners as well as clients who had horses in training with me and had to patiently wait for me to get back in the tack to compete after I broke my hand as Donner became the primary focus.

Donner’s amazing vet Dr. Susan Johns and Virginia Equine Imaging, his farrier Randy Pawlak, Phillip Dutton and Linda Zang for the help leading up to Rolex, and longtime coach David O’Connor.

My SpectraVet laser was instrumental in helping to heal those bumps and bruises on both Donner and myself. Southern States, Triple Crown and Strongid for fueling my horse and keeping him healthy and looking and feeling great.

CWD for their fantastic saddles and tack and Animo and Charles Owen for keeping me looking sharp and stylish,Also big thanks to Wow! Graphic Design, ThinLine, Rebound, and RideSafe for their sponsorship.

 Click here to read more about Lynn’s Sponsors

I just piloted an amazing horse around…it was everyone else that helped to make it happen!

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Stay Tuned for Part 2- Lynn’s Basics, Must Haves, Travel & Rider on the Go Tips, and What’s next for Lynn!



Jill Henneberg’s tips for basics, what to wear, and must haves….

What are Jill’s Go to Pieces?


She always rides in a vest.  She likes Horseware.  She needs pockets, to keep a phone and lip gloss in.

Jill is always looking for a really light weight vest.

If you also are looking for a thin light weight vest- try these options that I’ve found:


Thin Riding Vests

Click on the picture to get details on items.

My personal suggestion is to check out Arista- They make a very thin vest that can be worn riding and going to work or around town. It seems to fit most body types and is very slimming.



Jill’s Basics & Go To Pieces:


Have classic pieces, Navy & Blacks are a great base. 

She sticks to neutral colors- She’s a black girl and adds pops of color with jewelry, shoes, and purses.  

Jill loves skinny jeans or leggings with a great ankle boot!  

A great ribbed, well fitted turtle neck sweater always looks great. 

Tons of colorful scarves!  


Jill Henneberg's Go To Basics
Click here for details on the clothing.
Jill’s rules of dressing and taking care of yourself:



I get my nails done- It finishes the look off. Also having my nails done makes me dress better.
I would describe my style as Classy Sexy.
I want to feel really good- like I just stepped out of a salon!  That makes you confident and it shows!
I always have some sort of make-up on.  Lipstick and mascara go a long way!
I run a business, so I dress like I run a business.  I take pride in what I do.  When you are dressed well, people take you seriously and you conduct yourself professionally.
I take care of my skin because I’m outside a lot.  I get professional facials.
 I use Dermalogica as a skin care line.
Dresses are the easiest thing for horse people- You don’t have to decide pieces to wear, you can just throw it on, and dresses are very comfortable, but you look like you tried!  
Jill's Must Haves


Jill’s Do’s & Don’ts:

When I doubt, don’t wear spandex- EVER

Do -get very thin spanks.  

Don’t wear ill fitted clothes



Jill’s Must Haves:


A MUST HAVE is a pair of good fitting jeans- You can never go wrong with them!  ***Make sure they are long enough.
Shoes make an outfit- I LOVE Boots!
Sunglasses are important- I must have 50 pairs!  I Love my aviators!  I love Michael Kors!
Sunglasses & Boots are a MUST
Click here for details.

Her best advice is to – Keep it simple!


Thank you Jill for keeping it real!  

Below is a recent picture of Jill & her magical mare, Nirvana happy in retirement at age 27!  Looking for both of you!


In a state of Nirvana…Meet Eventing Equestrianista Jill Henneberg! Part 1

There are some common characteristics of top eventers…. Fiesty, Tenacious, multi-tasker, competitive, thrill seeker.


When I think of Jill Henneberg, she has them all, which has contributed to her being a successful eventer.  I would also add hard worker and  honest in there as well.



From the Beginning…..


Growing up in New Jersey, Jill has loved horses from the very beginning.  She was always an active kid. She did soccer, ice skating, dance, etc…  By age 11, She started taking riding lessons once a week at Suddenly Farm in Medford, NJ.  Soon thereafter, she started taking lessons from Debbie Adams at Flora Lea.  Debbie Adams is a very familiar name to the eventing world.  She’s been a top competitor as well as having a fantastic eye for great event horses.

Jill started looking for a horse to buy, she never thought that a $600 3yr old, OTTB, gray mare would be her horse of a life time!  Jill worked hard at the farm to pay for lessons and rode her bike to get there.  The next year she took the 4yrear old mare, now named Nirvana II, to Snipe Hunt Farm for her first event.

As the pair grew their partnership, it wasn’t till Jill and Nirvana went to Pleasant Hollow Farms as a working student for the summer with Jane Cory, that she realized what Nirvana was capable of.  I met Jill there, she was one of the “cool teenagers”, while I was a camper during the summers at Pleasant Hollow Farms.

Those were the days!

One day, Jane took Jill and Nirvana to a cross country schooling at Bruce Davidson’s(America’s most prolific international event rider and breeder) for the day.  At that point, Jill & Nirvana had only competed novice and maybe schooled some training fences.  Bruce had the pair easily sailing over big preliminary fences!  Jill got the eventing fever and was inspired to work hard, train hard, and grow as a competitor in eventing.

In the 1990’s, international eventer, Michael Godfrey, was very involved with Area II Young Riders.  Jill started training with Michael to further her eventing career.  I also trained with Michael and looked up to Jill.  Even back then, Jill always presented herself well dressed and sharp looking.  I also remember, she had the cutest hound mutt side-kick called Casey.

Jill and Nirvana were two peas in a pod and were fearless over the cross country course.


Jill competed at Rolex and was soon setting her sights on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA!  She was a part of the USA Team for the 1996 Olympics and contributed to their Silver Medal.



I asked Jill, What do you love so much about your sport?

 I love the all around horsewoman you have to be in order to event.  The careful balance between elegant dressage combined with the need for the endurance and level of fitness for cross country and then to be able to pull back and be so careful and feel great on day three for stadium.  

I love the challenge of getting to that end stage.  


I now absolutely love producing horses and see them succeed. 

Jill resides mostly in The Plains, VA. She lives a mile from the O’Connors and is nestled in that community of eventers down around Middleburg, VA.  She spends part of her winters in FL.

She has a Jack Russell named Farfle, aka Fifi…. Farfle is used when the dog is bad, Fifi when the dog is good!  Farfle is on the right in this picture and  her other faithful companion Buster, on the left, recently passed… Everyone will miss him greatly.

I asked Jill to  describe the style and culture of your discipline, what’s the core of it like?

There isn’t much style on a daily basis, it’s a rigorous life and takes many hours of the day, but at the end of the day I still like to look like a girl as well.  

I get my nails done and try to look my best. 

I’m disappointed in instructors that don’t require students to look put together.  

Jill’s Rules:

– Shirts tucked in.

– Look sharp and neat

– Look put together on top of the horse.

-Your students will follow your example.


 Jogout advice from Jill:


Don’t tack it up & Don’t look like you are going to a night club!   Think about coordinating with your horse.  Look tasteful and professional, you are there for a job.

I think it’s great that people are paying better attention to what they wear for horse inspections!   



Stay tuned for Part 2!– Jill’s wardrobe basics, go to pieces, brands she loves, etc….






Sneak Preview: Rebecca Smith of Rebecca Ray Designs ideal Mother’s Day…

Rebecca Smith,  of Rebecca Ray Designs, interviews with The Equestrianista about what inspires her collections, travel tips and rider on the go tips!

A full interview coming soon! Stay Tuned…


Rebecca is a creative working mom who juggles it all just like everyone else.  She had a vision in mind and started an authentic American couture line of beautiful bags and accessories that are all made in the USA.  Recent growth has expanded into a sister line of great stationary called Seven Barks.


What’s Rebecca’s plans for Mother’s Day?




Rebecca and her family just moved into a 100 year old farm which hasn’t been occupied in 6 years.  As they work on things, her ideal Mother’s Day would be spent planting some shrubs and gardening and taking one of her driving Percheron horses out for a carriage ride with her husband and 9 year old, pony girl, daughter.



Full interview with Rebecca will be posted in the next coming weeks when we talk about Travel Tricks & Ride on the Go Tips!!!   Stay Tuned….




Jennie Brannigan’s Style: Part 2!!!

Who or What Influences your style?

I really look up to Silva Martin’s style and fashion sense.  



Silva Martin: A successful competitor through the levels of dressage, German-born and trained Silva Martin is also a sought-after instructor with high-caliber eventing competitors.

Look for Silva on the sidelines cheering her eventing husband on at Rolex- Boyd Martin!





What else influences your style???


 I also have a very edgy style.  I love good funky belts. I often wear a studded belt out on cross country

When I have time, I love snowboarding and riding around on my street bike.  Again, I’m a thrill seeker!

You will see hints of those clothing styles within my look.  


What are your go to pieces?

I’m a jacket and belt girl.  My two favorites are a Kingsland Vest and a jacket by Kingsland that SmartPak gave me.  I also almost always wear a belt by La Martina Polo Company, which I found in Wellington, FL.  I definitely make a point of looking through the La Martina Store down in Wellington when I’m there for the winter!


I stick to basic colors: Navy & Brown, you can’t go wrong with them as your basic color palette.

I will combine the classic with something funky.  Try incorporating something really bright and neon!   To keep things interesting, I’ll wear a thin shirt with a hot pink bra under it, just for fun.  


Allison Springer and Jennie Brannigan at the Professional Rider Organization Year End Awards held during 2012 US Eventing Association Annual Meeting and Convention in Colorado Springs, CO.



Is there anything new coming out that is on your wishlist for your wardrobe?


I’m getting a pair of Sergio Grasso custom tall boots with an American Flag detail on them!  I can’t wait to compete in them!

I’m also really excited about two pairs of Dressage breeches from Kingsland.

Last but not least, I’m totally in love with a Charles Owen helmet that has white leather piping on it!  It’s so cool looking.

Jennie's Wishlist


 Jennie gives a thumbs up on her new Sergio Grasso USA Flag Tall Boots! –

They look like they are painted on!  Look at that fit!  Just Beautiful

What is your Rider-On-The-Go Tips?

All you need is a good fitting jacket and a cute hat…


Jennie's Rider on the Go Tips

With those two things- you are good to go!


Who’s fashionable in the Eventing World In your mind?

I think Hawley Bennett has really good fashion sense.


Around the Barn:

Jennie also has an eclectic variety of music she listens to.  It’s not uncommon for her to be listening to Rap & Dubstep.  If you hear Drake or Little Wayne coming from the barn isle, it’s probably Jennie!

I just heard on the radio that Little Wayne will be in concert this summer….Wonder if she’s going???


She has two sidekicks: Buzy, a rat terrier mix and Molly a Daschund.

Photo Credit: Alec Thayer- Ab3 Photography

What to take away from Jennie’s style?

Find good classic pieces that fit you.

 Stick with neutrals for your base and then add bright colors when you can.  

Have fun with incorporating some funky touches from other interests in your life.

 Have a couple great fitting jackets that can transition you from riding to on the go and add some accessories such as a great belt and a hat.  

Do something thrilling,

Have a go-get-em attitude and always remember to smile!

Photo Credit: Diane Flowers

What’s Next for Jennie?

Jennie is training hard and building upon all of her experiences for her biggest event yet so far in her career.  In late April, She will be competing at The Rolex CCI****.  Rolex is America’s biggest and toughest events.  When you’ve gone to Rolex, you’ve made it to the top, she’s been dreaming about this moment for 10+ years.  Jennie has been focusing on every detail that goes into the dressage, cross country, and stadium.  She has also been honored by being a Rolex Featured Rider!

She will be riding her partner, Cambalda ( aka Ping) which grows to be a very successful pair.  This horse year after year proves himself, always steps up to the plate and handles it with grace.

If you have a chance to watch this horse go, his barn name does him justice.  He just “pings” over the fences!  Make sure you watch him jump- he loves it! 

Cambalda already has an impressive record:

2010 also proved to be highly successful year for Jennie & her partnership with Cambalda. The USEA named Jennie to the Top 10 Rider List and Cambalda was named to the 2010 Developing Rider List, and he rose through the ranks to top out the USEA/Smartpak Horse of The Year.  Ping continued to garner top finishes in 2011 and 2012 at the Advanced level Winning the CIC 3* at the Fork, taking second at Richland and 3rd at Jersey Fresh! Together Jennie and Ping were named to the 2013 USEF High Performance list

They are both ready for this incredible challenge.




I feel that she is a force to be reckoned with this year.  She takes her time and breaks down each dressage movement so she can achieve the best dressage score she can.   She’s strong and consistent out on cross country and her  past show jumping riding really gives her an advantage on day three!

Jennie already off to a good start for the 2013 eventing season 

To follow Jennie and her eventing career, she writes in about once a month to The Chronicle of the Horse.

Click below to learn about all of Jennie’s top accomplishments and horses.





I wish you all the best-

Go Get-em Jennie & Cambalda







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