bbaugh@aikenstandard.com


Brickland Eventing’s Emily Beshear was among the horsemen participating Wednesday at Lara Anderson’s and Daniel Brown’s Full Gallop Farm Horse Trials. The upper level eventer did novice on Big Bad Tattoo, but was gearing up for this weekend’s Pine Top Farm’s Horse Trials, and will go intermediate with her Thoroughbred gelding Deep Purple Eventing’s Here’s To You, a horse she did Rolex Kentucky on last year, finishing 20th, and River King, a Holsteiner gelding she has done CCI**s on.


The area’s proximity, and its convenience to a number of eventing venues are among the reasons Beshear is wintering in Aiken. Brickland Eventing is located in Somerset, Virginia.


“My husband and son are in Virginia most of the time, and they’re able to come back and forth,” said Beshear. “The other big piece is that there’s so much to do down here. The footing is great and there’s plenty of places to go out and practice with young horses. You’re just able to get a lot of consistent work in over the winter.”


Beshear and Here’s To You are among the rider/horse combinations participating in the United States Equestrian Federation’s Eventing High Performance Training Sessions. The 13-year-old, 16.1 hand, bay Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred gelding is getting ready for the season in Aiken, and the goal is for the combination to return to the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI**** in April.


The depth in Brickland Eventing’s barn is impressive, and one horse Beshear is excited about is the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding River King. Beshear put a syndicate together last fall to purchase the 16.3 hand gelding.


“He’s got all the potential in the world,” said Beshear. “He and I are still kind of forming a partnership. He’s a very different type of horse for me to ride.”


A diminutive 8-year-old gray gelding named Raise Your Glass is an off the track Thoroughbred, and the 15.3 hand horse is a jumping machine, according to Beshear.


“He’s super scopey, little, but as tough as nails, and loves running cross country,” said Beshear. “He still has a few things to learn. He’s a lot of fun and a really cool horse.”


The Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred is a horse Beshear has developed an outstanding rapport with, and the horseman recognized early that Here’s To You has a tremendous amount of potential.


“He has a ton of heart and is quite a character,” said Beshear. “He’s a horse that sleeps all day long, and if anything he’s very lazy. He knows his job, and definitely thrives in the big environment. The cool thing about him is that he keeps getting better. I’m really excited about him because he continues to improve in the dressage. He continues to listen to me more in the cross country, so he’s going a little faster. He’s held up great through all of his travels during the past two years, so we’re really excited about it.”


River King will be moving up to advanced at Pine Top. The Holsteiner gelding has done a CCI**, and Beshear and River King will be busy this year as they will be participating in a number of required competitions. They will be headed to the Bromont CCI*** this spring in Quebec, Canada.


“We’re going to have to do a lot to get there,” said Beshear. “I’m really hopeful. We’ll do the advanced in a couple of weeks. We ran him around intermediate about 10 days ago. He was fabulous.”


The opportunity to work with the new U.S. eventing Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor is something Beshear is eagerly anticipating.


“I love David,” said Beshear. “I’ve actually ridden in clinics with him since I was 12 years old. So, I’ve known him forever. He has such an amazing eye for the horses, and has such a unique way of explaining how to get the most out of the horses. Last year, he helped me a lot with Here’s To You, and being able to bring him to a new level. So, I’m excited to keep going with that, and to see what he can offer us. He has so many great ideas, and is such a wonderful horseman.”


An important part of the Brickland Eventing team is Emily’s husband Jeff Beshear, a fellow eventer, who is also a Sport Horse veterinarian.


“I can’t do it without him,” said Beshear. “It’s such a huge part of what we have now. It gives me the confidence to go do the training I need to do with the horses because I know if it’s the slightest thing that pops up, I can just ask him what he thinks, and he can take a quick look. My horses are looked at constantly. I’m completely spoiled. I don’t know what I would do without him.”


Jeff’s presence allows the Brickland Eventing team to stay ahead of and on top of things, she said.


“You’re really better off if you look at these horses before problems arise, and I think they stay longer going in the process, said Beshear.


The eventer has the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Ont., Canada, in her sights.


“We’ll see how the spring goes with Here’s To You,” said Beshear. “He’s definitely one that I’ll apply with to go to France with this fall. We went to England last fall. Our goal is to have both him and River King go to Europe this fall, with that in mind. I’ve heard a lot about the courses in France, how it takes a different type of horse. But, there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to try it and see what happens. We’re certainly looking forward to that. We’re putting another syndicate together, and getting one more horse in the string. They’re awesome athletes. It takes a long time to produce a good rapport with them. So, it’s nice to have another back up come along. It’s in the sights and that’s what we’re aiming toward.”