Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wow what a last couple of weeks!

Adromaque “Missie” wins Southern Pines 2013.
© Photo by Leslie Mintz/USEA 

Southern Pines advanced horse trials went fantastic with “Missie” and “Ernie” taking the top 2 spots in the advanced! “Missie” led from start to finish and I was very pleased with her in all 3 phases. “Ernie” was a star and posted the fasted time cross country adding just 2.8 time penalties. He was the recipient of the Antigua cup which is given to the advanced horse closest to the optimum time. “PNut” was a star in the intermediate and I am very hopeful for his future. I feel like I am in a cartoon when I ride him as he makes everything feel so small! 

The Fork was this past weekend and all in all we had a good go. “Missie”, “Andy”, and “PNut” all had to do their dressage in the 30 degree weather and pouring rain on saturday and I was very happy with all three of their test in the conditions they were in. “Ernie” was a little naughty in the dressage, but I take total blame as I tried a new warm up technique that didn't go to plan…. better there than Rolex! 

All 4 jumped super show jump rounds both “Missie” and “Andy” jumping clean and “Ernie” and “PNut” having one down each but I was happy with all. The 3 boys posted double clear rounds in the cross country and felt amazing. “Ernie” feels on form for Rolex and I am excited about the next 3 weeks! “Missie” had a fantastic round and was pure class. At the second to last combination (cheese wedge to the table) I was right on the time and set up for the skinny I saw my distance and I felt her lock on…. but she was locked onto the post of the barn with bushes beside it. I realized when I was 3 strides out that she didn't see the cheese wedge and tried to hold the line but she never saw it and literally ran into the flag. I got my canter back and re-approached and she jumped it beautifully. With the 20 penalty points I acquired I coasted home and she was super through the last combination of the double corners! It was an honest mistake and hindsight I should have spent more time to make sure she really saw what I saw…. That is why I love this sport! “Ernie” heads to Rolex in 3 weeks time… fingers crossed!

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Website, New Season!

I’m sitting here writing my first blog for the new site!  I am so excited about my new website and I am glad that you all will be able to keep up with all that is going on here at Gavilan Farm. We have had a nice but busy start to the season and I am looking forward to the year.  Ernie, Missie, Andy, and Pnut are all headed to CCI’s so their fitness is very important and we have been planning their day to day exercises accordingly. 

I'll be updating more regularly so check back and hope to see you at southern pines this weekend! 

Check out my new website: willfaudree.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nat Varcoe-Cocks' OCD Comes In Handy On Packing Day!

Natalie Varcoe-Cocks, known as “just Nat V-C,” is an eventing groom extraordinaire. She's headed to Germany and England with Will Faudree and his horses. Nat is one of the best-known eventing grooms, having worked for David Green in England, Jan Byyny, and now Faudree since last year. Faudree’s Gavilan Farm is in Hoffman, N.C., just south of Southern Pines.

Originally from Australia, Nat has lived in the United States since 2004 and not only runs Faudree’s barn, but also does the basic training on a few CANTER sales prospects, and competes at the beginner novice level with them.

Faudree is headed to the Luhmuhlen CCI**** (Germany) with Pawlow, and the CIC*** with Andromaque. After that competition, June 15-19, Faudree, Pawlow, Andromaque and two younger horses will move on to England, where they’ll be based for the summer. Pawlow’s goal for the fall is the Burghley CCI**** (England).

"I can’t believe it’s the day we leave! Will and I left for JFK airport on Monday, as we have a 10-hour drive, and although we don’t have to be there until Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., we feel it's better not to interrupt our or the horses’ sleeping patterns too much by leaving at 2 a.m., or risk any problems, i.e the token tire blow-out you get when you’re on a strict time schedule! Will and I will stay in a hotel for the night, and the ponies, although it isn't the Ritz, will stay in their own hotel for the night.

On Sunday, I had to do the inevitable: PACK!!! I seem to always leave it to the day before. Some may call it procrastinating—I like to call it efficient! In the last week I have made sure that I had all the supplies and did a Walmart run and a tack store run just to get the essentials: peppermints for Ernie (Pawlow), special baby powder for Missie (Andromaque) and her lovely scratches that seem to always crop up at the wrong time.

I like to collect everything in one area of our fabulously huge tack room (the show area). In all, it took me about four hours to gather it all together. Of course, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kicks in when I start, and everything has to be folded evenly and has to fit just so. But at about hour three, it all just fits whether it wants to or not!

In between packing, I was also setting jumps for Will and the working students, Jaz Hobart and Kaitlyn Mosing, with last-minute lessons for them and a final jump for Will. All went really well, with not a miss in sight. I always enjoy setting rails because I get to see how the young horses and students are progressing and when I'm in the warm-up arena at a show, it’s nice to know what to expect.

The tricky thing about Sunday’s packing was the fact that we’re not just going to Luhmuhlen and coming home—we head from there to the England, where we will be based for three months at Maizey Manor, Jackie Green’s property in Marlborough and my old barn. I worked there for David Green for four years. Will is flying home from Luhmuhlen to pick up another two horse, Peanut (Reisling du Bussey) and Andy (DHI Color Candy) to bring over for the summer, so I had to pack for them also.

Well, when I say pack, I mean put all the stuff I want to come over with them in one large trunk, hope that the other two trunks on order arrive, and leave it for my two fantastic girls we’re leaving at home—Jaz and Kaitlyn—to organize and pack!

After completing my packing and proudly showing it to everyone and anyone who walked near it (positive affirmation is a great thing), I knew that going home meant only more packing so off I went! By about 9:30 Sunday night, I was all packed (kind of), and my pups, Millie and Thumper, aren’t too distressed by the sight of the suitcases. Jaz will be looking after them and living in my house while I'm gone. I am so lucky to have two girls that love my dogs and that Will and I can leave behind; it's a lot of responsibility, and they take it all in their stride.

Monday is going to be a long day of show tunes and songs that “Will loves;” I can’t complain too much because half the time I sing along, and I am a terrible singer. Hopefully it will go without a hitch and without too much traffic..."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fitness and the Short-Format

By Will Faudree

image“Asleep, no one is a hypocrite” – William Hazlett

There is always a great quote that can be found to sum up any situation. William Hazlett’s quote is the first to come to my mind when I hear people talk about the lack of fitness and “time in the saddle” needed for the modern short format. Those of you who have competed in both the long and the short formats understand the lack of sleep we all get in preparing our horses for their major competitions. I have been very lucky in my short time in this fantastic sport and have had the opportunity to compete the same horse in both long and short format four-stars.

The first year that this reality really hit me was in 2005. I was just starting out in a barn on my own without the day-by-day guidance of Phillip Dutton and my aim was Badminton in May. I looked through my notes of the years before and planned my daily schedule. Badminton came and I had a very fit Antigua ready for the long format challenge. I was number 17 and despite throwing a shoe on steeplechase and the same one again on cross-country we finished the day fault-free. I remember galloping up the hill towards the Badminton house after fence 4AB (minute 1), and Antigua taking his deep breath.
imageFive months later, I was on my way to Fair Hill, a short format three-star. I did not change much about my galloping but did not go the length of my walking and trot sets. By minute 8 on the cross-country I had an exhausted horse; this was a completely foreign feeling for me… Antigua didn’t “hit the wall.” Like the true champion he was and still is, he buckled down and found another gear to carry on. I was so mad at myself while I was going around that I had abandoned what I knew worked.
It was after Fair Hill that year, while I was reflecting on why he got so tired and why he didn’t start to really take a deep breath until I was halfway around, that I would look out in the paddock and see Antigua doing his own trot sets. The value of feeling when your horse takes a deep breath teaches people how to ride around a course, long or short format. When the horse takes a deep breath, when you feel their lungs expand on your legs, it supplies oxygen that is needed for the horse/athlete to continue. By knowing your horse and understanding the course it is always good to recognize places where you as a rider can “throttle back” and allow the horse to breathe. (eg: bottom of a hill, in between fly type fences). Horses have to be taught how to take a deep breath while at speed through the gallop sets that we do at speed. 2006 came and I had the hopes of making the WEG squad but knew that if that was going to come true I was going to need a very strong and fit horse for Rolex. I went back to my notes and pulled my prep work out from the year before and mimicked my Badminton lead-up with a few changes in the galloping. I needed a gallop where I knew he was going to breathe and get the oxygen that he needed (including a bit more sprint work). I had a fit horse at Rolex and by minute 8 all we needed for the next gear was a deep breath.

Every horse is different and is going to handle fitness in their own way. Is the sport different? Yes. Does it take less fitness and horsemanship? NO. The best advice I can give is listen to you horse, tand ake note when they take a deep breath. The jumps come up quick and you can’t commit to them until you have the tools you need to answer the questions.
Above photo – Will Faudree and Antigua at the 2008 Olympic Games mandatory training session. Josh Walker photo.
Right photo – Faudree and Antigua at the 2008 final mandatory outing at The Fork. Mike McNally photo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Team USA Finishes Second At Bokelo

U.S. Effort at Boekelo CCI3*
Updated: 2010-10-18
From the USEF, by Joanie Morris
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) sent four Eventing riders to Holland for the Boekelo CCI3*this weekend and produced a second place team result behind the Germans after a hard fought competition. Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) led the U.S. effort with Ringwood Magister. The nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse set the standard with Coudray in the pair's first overseas competition. They were sixth after the dressage on a score of 46.2, added 7.6 time faults on the challenging cross country course and then jumped a beautiful clear show jumping round to maintain their sixth place position.

Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC)  was the next highest placed American, a veteran U.S. Team member, Faudree is producing a new international star in Andromaque, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare owned by Jennifer Mosing. Andromaque was contesting her first CCI3*. They made up some serious ground after the dressage with the fastest cross country round of the day on Saturday and had the very last fence down in the show jumping to move up from 51st after the dressage to 12th in the final standings.

The third score to count in the U.S. Team effort was Sinead Halpin (Gladstone, NJ) on Carriag LLC's Manior de Carneville. The 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding was contesting his second CCI3* and the pair put in a solid effort to finish 21st out of more than 100 starters. Doug Payne (Gladstone, NJ) and Stone Hill Farm's Running Order had their learning curve increased as they contested their first CCI3* together. Two refusals at the first water on the cross country course kept them out of the placings, but the eight-year-old Thoroughbred gelding showed plenty of promise for the future.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

USEF Sends Four Eventing Riders to Boekelo CCI3*

USEF Eventing Department - October 9, 2010
Lexington, KY - The following four rider/horse combinations have been selected to receive USEF grants to compete at the Boekelo CCI3*, October 14-17, 2010 in The Netherlands.


Rider Hometown Horse Breed Owner
Tiana Coudray (22) Ojai, CA Ringwood Magister Irish Sport Horse (9yo, Gelding) Tiana Coudray
Will Faudree (29) Hoffman, NC Andromaque Irish Thoroughbred (9yo, Mare) Jennifer Mosing
Sinead Halpin(29) Oldwick, NJ Manior de Carneville Selle Francais (10yr, Gelding) Carraig LLC
Doug Payne (28) Pottersville, NJ Running Order Irish Thoroughbred (8yo, Gelding) Stone Hill Farm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2010 Richland Park HT CIC Three Star

Pawlow, "Ernie," and Andromaque, "Missie," and I competed this past weekend in the CIC Three Star division. Both horses were excellent and were double clear cross country. Ernie had one rail down in stadium and finished in good position at fifth place. Missie was amazing. This was her first CIC Three Star and finished 11th in excellent company.

Cross-country day at Richland Park saw 240 riders galloping through sun soaked fields, picturesque woods, and over pristine fences. The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Division was the highlight of the day, and there were very few problems on course. Check out the photo gallery by clicking here.

It was great to have my friend and Ernie and Missie's owner, Jennifer Mosing, with us at the event. It always makes campaigning a better experience. Next stop the AEC.