Awesome Ahlmann Scores Again at Longines Leg in Leipzig

Christian Ahlmann with Caribis Z. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

It’s long been one of his favourite venues, and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann had his home crowd in the palm of his hand once again when scorching to victory in the eleventh leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League at Leipzig.

Just three weeks ago, the man who currently holds 17th spot in the world rankings clinched a thrilling last-to-go victory in Mechelen (BEL) with the spectacular nine-year-old Clintrexo to shoot up the series leaderboard. Here it was another grey stallion, the 12-year-old Caribis Z, that carried him into pole position when last into the seven-horse jump-off, and he now stands top of the Western European League table with just two qualifying legs left to run.

Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr (Uno de la Roque) and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca (Armitages Boy) produced the only other double-clears to finish second and third, while Ahlmann’s compatriot, Daniel Deusser, posted the quickest round against the clock with Tobago, but had to settle for fourth with an unlucky fence down.

Ahlmann’s record at Leipzig is quite something. This was his seventh win at the fixture which celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, and it was here that he steered Taloubet Z to claim the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title back in 2011. It was also here that he retired that great stallion after their final and emotional winning performance 12 months ago. It holds a very special place in his heart.

“This has always been an amazing show for me, and for my horses!” Ahlmann said as the fixture celebrated a record attendance of 74,700 spectators throughout the weekend.

German course designer, Frank Rothenberger, was determined he wouldn’t have a repeat of what happened in the last two Longines qualifiers at Leipzig Exhibition Centre. In 2018 a total of 15 went into the jump-off, and in 2017 there were 16 horse-and-rider combinations racing against the clock. However, a relentlessly testing first-round track, and a tidy time-allowed of 72 seconds, ensured there were just seven battling it out in the closing stages.

The Netherlands’ Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Beauty led the way with a fence down in 40.83 seconds, and when Germany’s Tobias Meyer tried a very tight inside turn to the third, he paid the price when Queentina slammed on the brakes. Third to go, Mathy Jr, set a strong target when breaking the beam with a clean round in 41.49 seconds.

Deusser crossed the line in 39.53 seconds but left the same fence as van Asten, the planks at fence five, on the floor and although de Luca was foot-perfect, his time of 42.19 left Mathy still out in front with just two left to go. The crowd gasped when home hero and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion Marcus Ehning kicked out the first before steaming around the rest of the track with the fearless Comme Il Faut, so Ahlmann knew exactly what he had to do, and Caribis Z made it look very easy when cruising through the finish in the winning time of 40.70 seconds to a massive roar of approval from the packed stadium.

“Caribis jumped very, very well – the course really suited him; the short distances were good for me so that was our luck today!” Ahlmann said.

“He’s always been a bit in the shadow of Taloubet and Codex, but he’s taken a huge step forward over the last season and he’s ready for big things now. He jumps really light and he’s very quick in a jump-off; he’s a very sporty horse!” he said of the stallion he knows well, because they’ve been a partnership for the last five years.

Ahlmann said he is unlikely compete at the last two Western European League qualifiers which will take place in Amsterdam (NED) next weekend and Bordeaux (FRA) two weeks later. But with a massive 72 qualifying points Christian Ahlmann can happily relax ahead of the Longines 2019 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. “I have two horses in great shape at the moment, so I’m really looking forward to the Final now!” he added.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Isabell Werth Master Class & Clinic to Take Place at AGDF on Thursday, February 7

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is excited to announce the first-ever Master Class and Clinic with dressage sensation Isabell Werth (GER), one of the most decorated equestrians in history and current leader of the FEI Dressage World Ranking List. The clinic will take place on Thursday, February 7, during week five of AGDF at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), located at 13500 South Shore Boulevard Wellington, FL 33414.

Gates will open to the public at 5:00 p.m. and the first clinic session will begin at 5:30 p.m. An autograph signing with Werth will take place prior to the start of the clinic with posters provided. Three clinic sessions are set to be featured, showcasing up to six horse and rider combinations, ranging from Young Horse through Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix levels.

Tickets are required for the event. To purchase tickets, click here or visit www.globaldressagefestival.com. General Admission tickets for the event are priced at $50/ticket, while Covered Seating ticket holders will have upgraded seating and access to a cash bar for $75/ticket. Premier VIP seating, including a buffet dinner and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for $175/ticket. Tickets will be scanned prior to entry into the venue. Ample food and beverage options will be available throughout the grounds for General Admission tickets, as well as for those purchasing Covered Seating tickets. Parking for the event will be free of charge.

Werth remains one of the most decorated equestrians of all time, amassing a tremendous ten medals in her five Olympic Games appearances (1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016), including six Gold. Currently the number one-ranked Dressage rider in the world, Werth has competed at the top levels of the sport for over four decades and has an extensive list of accomplishments, both Team and Individual, for her home nation of Germany in international competition. Most recently Werth took Team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and was the highest placed individual rider throughout the competition, earning two Gold medals.

“We are honored to host Isabell in what is sure to be a spectacular evening for our dressage community here in Wellington,” said Thomas Baur, Director of Sport for AGDF. “Isabell’s talent and ability to educate are incredibly valuable and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host a clinic opportunity like this at AGDF during our CDI 5* week.”

For riders interested in submitting interest to participate in the clinic, please send your competition history, horse details, and brief description to clinics@equestriansport.com by Wednesday, January 23. A selection committee will review applications and directly contact riders chosen to participate.

There will be a strict no videoing or streaming policy enforced for the entirety of the clinic.

For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Lauren Hough and Valinski S Victorious in $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2*

Lauren Hough and Valinski S. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 17, 2019 – Lauren Hough rode Valinski S to the win in the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2* on Thursday, January 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

A starting field of 100 entries faced off in Thursday’s featured event, the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2*, with 15 advancing to jump off over the Oscar Soberon (MEX) designed short course.

Jennifer Bauersachs and Another Love Jump to Championship in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9”

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division concluded on Thursday, January 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a victory for New Jersey native Jennifer Bauersachs aboard Another Love. The pair performed well in the previous day’s over fences and under saddle classes having placed first, third, and fifth. Returning to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the duo took another first place to secure the championship.

The reserve champion title went to Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY aboard Spectacular, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cachas x Varese) owned by SHP Barn, LLC. The duo claimed two seconds, a third, and a ninth place.

Bauersachs has piloted the 10-year-old Holsteiner mare for Debra Carey’s Meritage Stables, LLC for two years, but she only began competing her a year ago after Bauersachs came back from an injury.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito Win Opening Class during Second Week of WEF

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 16, 2019 — The second week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday, January 16, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard mount Billy Dorito. The pair went early in the lineup and held the lead all the way through in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class.

WEF continues with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition through March 31, 2019. The second week of competition at WEF is sponsored by NetJets and features the $72,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 19 at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. The week will also host a variety of other FEI-rated two-star events in jumper divisions, along with top hunter and jumper competition.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

US Equestrian Is Excited to Launch Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Michel Assouline working with Para-Dressage athlete and Coach.

Lexington, KY – January 16, 2019 – US Equestrian is excited to launch the Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program, a first of its kind for the industry. This certificate program covers the principles of para-dressage coaching including guided improvement process, coaching philosophy, and sport-specific skill acquisition.  It develops a coach’s ability to prepare athletes from grassroots education to international competitions, along a continuum of progressive certificate levels. With the goal of coach development, the program uses classroom lecture time as well as simulated lessons, where coaches are given information and feedback on their teaching, knowledge, and overall performance.  The certificate program will take 3-6 months to complete, with a fast-track program offered, and involves onsite practicums, self-study, online exams, and final assessments.

Michel Assouline, USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Head of Coach Development, is responsible for spearheading this initiative, bringing a decade of curriculum development and Paralympic coaching experience to bear. Michel will be joined by other USEF-approved faculty to approve applications, deliver on-site practicums, and perform final assessments. The 2019 dates for the Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program are listed below. The link to the full information booklet showing the application process and certification levels can be found here:  https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/para-equestrian/para-equestrian-dressage-programs-forms/usef-para-dressage-coach-certificate-program.

US Equestrian would like to thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for providing the Federal Adaptive Sport Grant which has helped to make this coach certificate program possible. This initiative has been conducted in partnership with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship with a goal of increasing awareness and coach education opportunities within Paralympic Equestrian Sports and to aid in the development of a USEF Coach database to support the competition pipeline for para-eligible athletes.

2019 Dates: Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Program Launch Announcement: January 11, 2019, USEF Annual Meeting, Wellington, FL

Fast Track Program: (candidates choose one if they are eligible)
*    Option 1: March 3-4; Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL
*    Option 2: September 7-8; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

Formal Program: (candidates attend both)
*    Onsite Practicum 1, May 15-16; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC
*    Final Practicum & Assessment, Sept 9-10; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

For more information on dates and eligibility, please contact Laureen Johnson, Director of Para-Equestrian, at USEF, 859-225-7693, lkjohnson@usef.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Because of Horses Podcast Welcomes Dressage Rider Reese Koffler-Stanfield Friday, Jan. 18

Reese Koffler-Stanfield is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze, silver, and gold medalist. Reese is a lifelong Kentucky horseperson who began competing in dressage as a child. She is one of the only USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers through Fourth Level in Region II, which encompasses five states.

Reese participated in USDF Youth programs including the Advanced Young Rider Program, culminating in numerous international medals. She has trained with world-class coaches including Conrad Schumacher, Kathy Connelly, Jessica Ransehousen, Ellen Bontje, and George Williams.

Now, Reese is the head rider, trainer, and coach at Maplecrest Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, a state-of-the-art dressage training facility. She is also a sought-after clinician.

“She’s one of the bravest people I know,” said Stacy Westfall.  “(She’s) a dressage trainer who’s willing to teach a reiner to ride dressage.”

Listen to Elise’s conversation with Reese Friday, Jan. 18.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

CPI Adds Penultimate High-Point Challenge for Multiple Event Attendees

Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jan. 15, 2018 – College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) announced the addition of a new challenge scholarship prize for riders who attend two or more competitions in 2019. The CPI Penultimate High-Point Challenge will be awarded to the cumulative high-point rider competing at the CPI Florida Horse Show Jan. 17-20 and March16-17 held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, and the CPI New Jersey Horse Show held at The Ridge Farm at Riverview in Asbury, Sept. 21-22.

The CPI Penultimate High-Point Challenge winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund. Riders in grades 8-12 are eligible and the award must be claimed within five years of graduation from high school. The award will be paid directly to the winner’s college, university, trade, or vocational school. Upon enrollment to a post-secondary educational school, a written request from the award winner must be made for payment to the designated school.

“Our new Penultimate High-Point Challenge is inspired by other great equestrian event series championship awards,” said Lindsay Martin, CPI president. “With this award, we recognize excellence in riding for those who attend more than one CPI event.”

The CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund is a 501(c)(3) created to encourage riders to educate themselves about the charitable organizations in their communities, place emphasis on horsemanship and sportsmanship and promote higher education as a foundation to future success in life.

The CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund offers several scholarship opportunities to riders in grades 8-12 who participate in a CPI Horse Show. For more information on the individual scholarships including a complete listing of the rules and regulations for each scholarship, click here.

For more information, go to collegeprepinvitational.com.

Media Contact:
EQ Media, Carrie Wirth, carrie@EQmedia.agency, (612) 209-0310

Minikus & Wylde Win at The Ridge Week 2

Todd Minikus & Lord Calador. Photo: Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (January 14, 2019) – It was a gentleman’s weekend at The Ridge where Todd Minikus and Peter Wylde topped Friday and Saturday’s headline classes: the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix and $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Both of week two’s leading gentlemen and the victorious horses’ owners took advantage of The Ridge’s spectacular venues, exceptional hospitality, and all natural jumping surfaces.

Set on the gorgeous turf field of Mida Farms, a group of 30 horse and rider pairs tested the Grand Prix course, including Olympian Laura Kraut, a number of Under 25 Grand Prix riders, and ambitious adult amateurs. Todd Minikus and Melissa M. Bilodeau’s Lord Calador set a blazingly fast jump-off time of 36.265, which despite being only the second ride of the class couldn’t be beat; the time was, however, hotly contested, with the second, third, and fourth double clears being less than a second off Minikus’ jump-off. Alexanne Thibault and Chacco Prime, Carolina Villanueva Suarez and Una Du Keske Z, and Diego Vivero and Isaura make up the top 4.

“Lord Calador is named after my first horse, Calador, and he is really just a wonderful stallion,” said owner Melissa Bilodeau. “I imported him as a young horse, and Todd wanted to get him out at this level and we thought the grass would be a great experience for him. We are thrilled to have won, and Todd always brings out the best in his horses.”

The third-place rider, Carolina Villanueva Suarez, is a high school senior who utilized the Turf Tour’s 1.40m class to get her USEF Certificate of Capability, an important asset in qualifying for Junior/Young Rider divisions. Villanueva Suarez and her mare, Una Du Keske Z, rode a very impressive double clear and applied for the certificate with The Ridge’s team after the class. She splits her winter season between high school in Manhattan and plans to one day attend law school.

Saturday featured The Ridge’s first USHJA National and International Hunter Derbies of 2019, held at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Peter Wylde and Michelle Kamine’s Dynamo were dynamite in the $15,000 USHJA International Derby, topping both rounds. “Dynamo jumped spectacularly and it was a really fun class,” said Wylde. “We will definitely be back.”

The Reserve Champion rider in the International Derby was Grace Tuton, who rode her own Lautento. “I’ve had him since he was 6, and he is just the best,” said Tuton. “He was at the top of the Derby in Colorado in the fall, and even though he barely even jumped this week you could tell he was enjoying jumping around today. It’s great to have a nice relaxed show like this to kick off our 2019 Derby season.”

The $5,000 USHJA National Derby was won by Katie Conover aboard Gabrielle Sokolow’s Small Request. The scopey gelding edged out a few high scores in the first round to top the handy and take the class. The Ridge’s second Hunter Derby Days will be held January 26 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, with the final being held March 9.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

USET Foundation Awards Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Ryan Keefe

Ryan Keefe and Flintstar. Photo: Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Gladstone, N.J. – Jan. 14, 2019 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2019 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to up-and-coming eventing rider Ryan Keefe of Sandy Spring, Maryland.

“It’s a really big honor to be chosen for the [Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant] because I know that a lot of other great riders before me have received it,” said Keefe. “It definitely feels good to have the support of the USET Foundation and other people behind the grant who believe in me.”

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Keefe, this year’s winner, has demonstrated her talent at many of the nation’s top CCI1* and CCI2* events. At just 18 years old and a freshman at the University of Kentucky, Keefe has piloted her top mount, Flintstar, to a number of impressive finishes, including winning the Virginia Horse Trials CCI1* in 2017 and finishing 11th overall at their first CCI2* at Fair Hill International in 2018.

Keefe credits much of her success to her veteran partner Flintstar, who she acquired in 2016. The 2000 Thoroughbred gelding was previously ridden by New Zealand’s Jonelle Price up through the 4* level and even contributed towards New Zealand’s team bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In July 2018, the pair competed for the first time on the Area II CICOY2* squad at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), which took place in Kalispell, Montana, in conjunction with The Event at Rebecca Farm, where they won team gold and placed fourth individually.

Most recently, Keefe was selected to the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 program by the US Equestrian (USEF) Eventing Sport Committee in December 2018. The program will host its winter training session with USEF eventing emerging athlete coach Leslie Law in Ocala, Florida from Jan. 14-17.

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Pirie’s family in her memory with the purpose of helping to provide financial assistance to an eventing rider who has been identified as an athlete with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future.

As the recipient of the grant, Keefe, who trains with her mom, Rumsey, and Sharon White of Last Frontier Eventing, will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year.

“The grant will help me a lot with our winter training in Ocala,” said Keefe. “Since [Flintstar] is getting older, I would like to get some Advanced Level experience out of him this year. He has been such a good teacher so far for me. A big thanks again to the people behind the grant for all of their support!”

Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Keefe can focus on continuing her training and preparing for competitions as she aims towards one day representing the United States on the international stage.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Beat Mändli and Simba Capture First $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix

Beat Mändli and Simba. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 13, 2019 – The first week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded competition on Sunday, January 13, with the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Beat Mändli (SUI) and Simba, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, flew to the win of the first grand prix of the season.

There were 37 entries in the Sunday afternoon grand prix, competing over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Only six found the key to a clear round and returned for a jump-off.

First in was Mändli on Simba, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC. As one of three clear rounds, they set an unbeatable time of 37.539 seconds to secure victory.

Tina Allen Secures Victory in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36+

On the final day during the opening week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival, the Hunt Limited Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36+ wrapped up competition in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Ring. Returning for the flat phase and two additional over fences classes, Tina Allen of New Canaan, CT accumulated 24 points to claim the championship title.

Already in good standing with a first place, a seventh, and eighth place, and a third in the under saddle, Allen piloted her self-owned grey gelding, Sinatra, to a win in the stake class. The victory was enough to push the pair into the lead just several points over Krysia Nelson who took home the reserve championship. Nelson finished the division on a total of 19 points aboard Cobham Park.

Allen purchased the coming seven-year-old Westphalian gelding (Last Man Standing x Lovely) two years ago and she has been bringing the young horse up through the divisions with their current division as the goal.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

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