Will the handsome William Fox-Pitt go for the ultimate Equestrian Hat Trick?

The Rolex Grand Slam- is up for grabs again. This time it’s up to William Fox-Pitt to win it this weekend at Badminton!


As reported last year, The Rolex Grand Slam is not impossible, but sometimes it seems so.  Only Pippa Funnel has accomplished such a feat!


The biggest 4-stars in the World are Rolex 3-Day in Lexington, KY, USA & Badminton 3-day in the UK. They will be held in late April/early May – one weekend apart.   Other big events is The Landrover Burghley Horse Trials held in the fall.  These three top events are part of The Grand Slam of Eventing.


The Grand Slam of Eventing, sponsored by Rolex, consists of three of the top CCI**** eventing competitions in the world. To win the Grand Slam, a rider must consecutively win all three events, although they are permitted to ride different horses in each competition. This is especially important, since the Badminton Horse Trials is only one week after Kentucky, and the horse would not have sufficient time to recover between the two competitions, especially since he/she would have to be flown overseas in that time.

The three events that make up the Grand Slam are:

Winners receive an extra $350,000, in addition to their winnings from each event.



Pippa Funnell at Badminton winning Badminton and the Rolex Grand Slam 

William Fox-Pitt has four horses entered in the Badminton 3-Day event.  Will that be enough to be the second rider in history to win the Grand Slam?   He had the Grand Slam in his grasp last year at Rolex, but then fell short when  Andew Nicholson won, taking Williams chances away.

Does he have this in the bag?  Can he do it?    Does he have what it takes?

 You bet ya!


Traveling to Badminton?

 What to pack for Badminton this year?


Weather Report- Weds- Sun:

The Highs of 14*C and lows of 8*C- with chances of showers from day to day.

Going to Badminton

The all important Belt- What’s trending in the Polo & Polocrosse Worlds!

The belt in Polo and Polocrosse is one of the only ways to show your individual fashion sense off while playing.  Your helmets are pretty much the same, your playing shirts are the same, you wear white jeans or breeches, and for most, boots are dark brown or black, although in Polocrosse there are cowboy boot fashion statements seen amongst the American Players.  So the belt is pretty much the one thing that you can be different with!






The picture above influences a new trend in Polo and Polocrosse player’s choice of belts to wear!  She most likely has never seen a game of either, yet the beading work that is rich in her history is spreading across the Polo and Polocrosse world with pace!


Intricate beadwork has been an art form of Maasai women for centuries.

Beadworking, done by women, has a long history among the Maasai, who articulate their identity and position in society through body ornaments and body painting. Before contact with Europeans, the beads were produced mostly from local raw materials. White beads were made from clayshellsivory, or bone. Black and blue beads were made from ironcharcoalseedsclay, orhorn. Red beads came from seedswoodsgourdsboneivorycopper, or brass. When late in the nineteenth century, great quantities of brightly colored European glass beads arrived in Southeast Africa, beadworkers replaced the older beads with the new materials and began to use more elaborate color schemes. Currently, dense, opaque glass beads with no surface decoration and a naturally smooth finish are preferred.

Polo & Polocrosse Trend Report: The New Disk Bead Belt


Polo Trends
Click above to find out where to purchase a belt!

The must have belt:  The Gaucho Influence

The traditional dress of the Gaucho, the equivalent of the American Cowboy has brought influence into fashionable belt choices.  The beautiful dress patterns are found on a variety of clothing items now.  With the influence of Polo being played in South America, the Gaucho belt is now very popular to be worn and seen all over the World!

At any given time, you will notice the Gaucho belt on most Polo and Polocrosse fields.

Gaucho Belts
Click here to see where to purchase this belt.

The Aussie Factor:  RM Williams

The Australian influence in Polocrosse is undeniable.  Originally established in Australia, the country remains the biggest playing and one of the strongest playing countries of the fantastic sport of Polocrosse.
At any given tournament, in the country of Australia, you will find the iconic RM Williams logo on the buckle of the belt that a Polocrosse player is wearing.   RM Williams belts are a must wear staple for Polocrosse in Australia and the fashion trend is starting to spread to other countries as top players bring back belts that they have purchased.
RM Williams
Click above to find where to purchase these belts.

American Belt Trends:


American Polocrosse has a western influence to it.  Even at the National Championships, a belt buckle is the top prize to win!  With that said, Bling belts and hand painted belts are popular. It is a way to show off the buckle you have won at the National level.
Bling Belts
Click above to view belts to purchase

Bling on the left, Beads on the Right!

Choose your Color, Choose your Cause: C4 Belts are trending in the USA

C4’s Mission:
To promote Individuality through quality fashion accessories that gives back. C4 stands for Choose your Color, Choose your Cause. It is C4’s goal to provide a unique shopping experience to individual thinkers who will leave looking cool on the outside, AND feeling good on the inside.
They have started an Equestrian division of the company which is spreading like wildfire in the Eventing world and has now crossed over into Polocrosse.  Even in Eventing, to wear more of your colors out on cross country- riders are using the belts as jumping neck straps(or oh shit straps!)
I even through one on when going to the beach in case the horse popped out of the water!
C4 Equestrian recently sponsored the USA Polcrosse World Cup Squad in 2013.
 The popularity of wearing your club colors or your own individual favorite colors has started to spread!
USA Polocrosse World Cup Squad training in Australia
C4 Belts Equestrian
The great things about C4 Belts Equestrian is that you purchase the buckle and belt separately, they are affordable in price, and there are infinite color combinations to choose from!   The belts also come in a one size fits all size where you can cut to fit your waist perfectly!   You can choose an equestrian cause to support when you purchase your belt as well!  And….They are made out of recycled, reused materials- So many good things from this company.

Come up with the most beautiful color combinations-

I dare you!

Celebrating the Year of the Horse – 2014 here we go!

Finally, we come upon The Year of the Horse!

2014-The Year of the Horse -is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it. Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction.



What does this translate into for The Equestrianista?



More Horsey Travel Adventures are needed! Go off the beaten path to find the best travel destinations!

Photo from Ride Kenya(Click here to visit their Facebook page)

Here at The Equestrianista there will be horsey adventures to add to your bucket list as well as added International News and trends! 

Shopping wise:


Be decisive- if you love it- go for it.  If you think about the piece- go back asap and get it, you’ll regret if if you don’t.

Know what’s trending so you can make quick decisions if you need to add that certain special piece to your collection!

 Here at the Equestrianista- more trend reports, what to look for and where  will be featured!

The Year of the Horse
Click above on image to view these items in Polyvore! 

Be efficient:

 How to organize better, What should be packed in your Ride on the Go bag, New products, and easy recipes will be available at The Equestrianista!  



Going to the Races on a budget….Tips and Ideas

The key to this all is to find pieces that go well together, you feel great in = you look great in, & that no one would ever suspect that you only spent $20 on supplies!

I was recently invited to go to the Bunbury Races, one of Western Aus leading race clubs,  to watch local races & celebrate the Melbourne Cup– the premier race in Australia!

The problem was, I just mailed back a box of dresses and other items that I didn’t expect that I needed!  Of course two weeks later, I’m invited to go to the races!  Eeeckkk!!!! The same question that most of us ask at least once a day:

What can I wear and still look great?

So basic pieces that are needed:  A dress, great shoes, horsey accessories, and a great hat or fascinator. 

Here are my suggestions when you are on a budget & time restraint, but still want to go have fun and look great!

Thankfully I kept one dress with me.  A colorful simple dress that can be dressed up.

I put on my bit belt and some good equestrian bracelets- my Spur bracelet and a leather bracelet made out of my old eventing clincher browband that JLR Leathers made for me.

Click on the picture to shop for your own spur bracelet!

Click on the picture to check out all of JLR Leather items.

Then I borrowed really great heels from a friend- they were silk tie-died with some oranges, tans, greens and yellows. Unfortunately they were ever so slightly too big, so I had to resort to simple thin black flip flops.   I had thought of putting heel stuffers in them, but decided they still wouldn’t fit right and in the grass, I might twist an ankle trying to manage!

On to something for my head!  I had a corn blue sun hat, but I thought there was just too much color with the dress.  So I went to the local florist to look for a great flower to make into a fascinator!  I found this great big off-white peony silk flower!  My friend had some peacock feathers that I added.  I took a hair clip and some super super glue and arranged the flower and feathers.

I put my hair up since it was going to be a bit windy that day.  Just simple twists on the sides coming together in an off center bun with some added bobby pins to keep my hair down.  I placed the fasciniator off center above the bun.

Of course I my ride came early, so I will admit it- I put my makeup in the car using my camera on my phone!  Glad I‘m an efficient horse girl!

My total that I spent was $20 on a big silk flower peony.  Just goes to show you, you can put an outfit together, look great and not have to spend a lot of time or money on it!

To all of you from all of my interviews of top riders that are equestrianista’s

You can never go wrong with: Good basic pieces & fun horsey accessories

You be the judge, How do I look?

So True!

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!

Click above!

Follow Lynn!


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



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….






Best in Show- Great Jackets found a Badminton’s Horse Inspections!

Looking through eventing photographer pictures of the horse inspections, the best in show was the jackets that the women eventers presented their horses in.  There was a lovely array of tweeds, big bold patterns, great structured jackets and ruffled ones!

 I must mention, whole put together outfits- Best in show were: Tiana Coudray from USA,  Louisa Milne Home from GBR and Bettina Hoy who rides for Germany.


Come take a look ideas for great jackets worn at Badminton!  All photos below were taken by Equus Pix.  You can find more information about them at the end of this post!



Great Jackets at Badminton

A great structured jacket in a pretty wine color worn by Zara Phillips(UK)

A bold floral pattern for Ruth Edge (UK) at her first horse inspection looked lovely.

A beautiful smile and a great herringbone black and white vest came  from Lucy Jackson(NZL)

Another beautiful smile came from Mary King (UK) who sported a nautical stripped fitted blazer.

My favorite were jackets worn by Laura Collett(UK)!  I just love the details on this tweed.

Bettina Hoy did all the right things and looks very well put together.  This is an outfit that you could really wear anywhere at anytime.  Classic with a twist.  It would be easy to add color if you wanted to or keep it black, grays, and whites and jazz it up with jewelry or a hat! So much you could do.


Thank you Equus Pix Photography, who specialize in eventing, for the photos. Click here to see all their great shots from Badminton. 

Equus Pix Facebook page. 



Lynn Symansky Eventing…Looking great at Rolex

Lynn Symansky received many praises on her outstanding performance competing at Rolex **** as well as her outfit choices at Rolex last week.  She kept it simple and classic while adding pops of trendy colors that everyone loved!

In this case, copying is the biggest form of flattery.  Great choices Lynn! 


Get a look like hers:



Lynn Symansky Rolex Jog-out Outfits

 Click below on the logo to read about Lynn and her strong young career in eventing and riding for team USA.

Click here to follow Lynn and her eventing career.

Walk The Badminton Cross Country Course Today!


oday you get to walk to course of one of the most famous events in the World!  Come walk the cross country course for this year’s Badminton 3-Day!



The 2013 Cross Country Course

2012 was undoubtedly the highlight for a whole generation of people involved in Eventing, with the Olympics at home in London for the first time in the 64 years since Badminton was founded in the aftermath of the 1948 Games. London – and Greenwich – was a huge success on virtually every front – a fantastic spectacle, public participation and enjoyment, brilliant organization, volunteer enthusiasm and medals won.

In 2013 we revert to normal, but basking in the glow of the Olympics, with heightened interest in both elite sport and participation in sport, which includes supporting and watching. For Badminton a post Olympic year often brings the highest class field of horses and riders of all, with no thought of ‘saving’ horses for the autumn, and riders from every nation can focus on this event & the fabulous Mitsubishi Motors Trophy as their major target for the year. This year we of course have the added excitement of a realistic attempt to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing by winning here and the points gained in the HSBC FEI Classics Series will hugely influence the outcome of that competition.




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