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Burnett Farm Proves Hard Work Equals Success

Michael Burnett and Chagrand tackled the FEI CSI2* at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

New Horses Added to Grand Prix String

Lebanon, IN – March 22, 2020 – Burnett Farm and trainer Michael Burnett had a successful winter show season despite the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) closing two weeks early due to COVID-19. Burnett’s philosophy of you get out of the sport what you put in, proves that hard work does indeed equal success for Burnett and his clients as they collected top ribbons during the winter season.

Burnett is dedicated to the sport and continues to push himself to the next level on a daily basis so it’s no surprise that he expects the same from his students. His training program out of their barn in Lebanon, Indiana, includes showing as an indicator of where a student is at and it provides opportunity for them to move up to the next challenge. Burnett likes to keep it simple to build confidence and skill, then puts it to the test in the ring. 

Gabriella Lewis and Iron earned a championship in the High Children's Jumpers. PC Sportfot

Client Gabriella Lewis of Zionsville, Indiana, is a prime example of Burnett’s program. She started the winter at World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Ohio in the Low Children’s Jumpers with Burnett’s older jumper, Iron, and after earning top ribbons, quickly moved up to the High Children’s Jumpers. During WEF week 6, Lewis rode to the reserve championship in the division and took week 8 by storm, winning two classes and placing second in the third class to take home the championship. Iron is no stranger to the winner’s circle having won multiple 1.30m classes last year at WEF with Burnett in the tack and placed second in the International Omaha Init2winit speed class.

Lewis also shows Lex Toccino (pictured right) for Burnett in the 3’3” Junior Hunters.

During the December WEC shows, the pair rode to the championship the first week and then the reserve championship the second week. In addition, Lewis piloted the Oldenburg gelding to win the WIHS Equitation overall and won the Dover USEF Medal.  During WEF, Lewis took home a coveted blue ribbon from the Junior Hunters 3’3” in the International Ring during World Championship Hunter Rider Week.

"I go out to the barn to ride almost every single day and I take every opportunity to ride as many horses as I can when I am there," said Lewis. "I think that riding as much as possible on many different horses directly correlates to success in the ring and allows me to learn more and more from both Michael and the horses I ride. My favorite part about Michael's program is how individualized it is. He puts so much time and effort into each and every horse and rider which helps us become successful!"

Taylor Embs and Through Being Cool took home a WEF championship.

Taylor Embs and Through Being Cool were Champion in Low Children’s/Adult Training Jumpers during week 10 of WEF. Embs has been practicing hard all winter at her home stable, Sterling Shield Stables, and has really committed to the day-to-day work it takes to become a great rider.  Her first time out at WEF, Embs blazed around in the jump off to finish with a clear round and second place. 

Dreamboat and Katt Meggenhofen.  PC Sportfot

Dreamboat and Kait Meggenhofen started the winter in the USHJA Hunters 2’3 and finished off WEF moving up to the 2’6” Children’s Hunters. The thoroughbred gelding won good ribbons at both WEC and WEF. Meggenhofen is another example of Burnett's successful program, building confidence and challenging riders to achieve success.

Amateur rider Niki Martin of Indianapolis rode to a win on her Conpardie Z in the $1,500 Adult Amateur Jumper – Masters class during WEF 8. Martin and the ten-year-old chestnut mare won Adult Amateur Jumper classes both weeks in December at the WEC as well, starting off the season at the top. 

Niki Martin and Veltin.  PC Sportfot

Martin and Burnett showed Veltin, a young horse of Martin’s that has started showing lightly and competed in the .80m Training Jumpers at WEF. The young Hanovarian put in clean rounds without much difficulty, showing off its willingness and talent. 

Burnett has been working with his grand prix horse, Chagrand, moving him up the ranks as he competed in the FEI CSI2* division at WEF. The duo started the winter in Ohio placing second in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix two weeks in a row and earned the championship in the 1.30m jumpers. The pair competed in the FEI CSI2* $50,000 Rushy Marsh 1.45m Grand Prix during WEF week 5 and finished 9th out of 44 in the competitive division. 

Chagrand and Burnett won the $25,000 Brownland Grand Prix last June and placed third in the $50,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Grand Prix at Showplace Spring and third in the $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival II among other top ten placings in the grand prix rings. Burnett will continue to show him in the FEI classes once competition resumes.

Mark and Wanda Dodd purchased VDL Icely at the VDL sale  during WEF.

Burnett is pleased to congratulate Mark and Wanda Dodd of Pendleton, Indiana, on the purchase of VDL Icely and Luxus Liner S. The two horses are grand prix prospects that Burnett will be working with. Luxus Liner S is an 11-year-old (Dam Sire is Chacco Blue), already with national grand prix experience.  He will be heading to regional and national grand prix’s with Burnett in the near future.

"VDL Icely is a green 7-year-old mare.  We believe she’s a great prospect for the International divisions in the future," said Burnett. "I am very grateful to the Dodds for the opportunity to work with these great horses." 

Wanda Dodd also shows and earned ribbons in the lower jumper divisions during WEF.

Michael Burnett with the Dodd's Luxus Liner S. 

Special thanks to Alex Veleris of Third Coast Equestrian for assistance in training and riding for a few weekends during WEF and a huge thank you to Jennifer Moskal’s Invictus Farms for hosting some of the horses during the circuit. Burnett Farm's success is possible because of our entire team and the super professionals that are part of the program.

Burnett is back home in Indiana now giving the horses a well deserved rest and then will be gearing back up for when horse shows resume after the pandemic.

The Chris Kappler clinic is still scheduled for July 11-13, 2020 at Burnett Farm. Visit the website and click on Events for details and an application.

Burnett is available for lessons, training and clinics. Contact him for more information on Burnett Farm’s services and schedule at  

Burnett Farm

Michael Burnett

1585 W 800 N Main Street   

Lebanon, IN 46052

(317) 752-5240

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