Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery Shine in Grand Prix CDI5* Classes at AGDF 7

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2021 – Week seven of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) began at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL on Thursday, February 28, with top placings for the USA’s Steffen Peters in the FEI Grand Prix for Freestyle CDI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, and Sabine Schut-Kery with Sanceo in the FEI Grand Prix for Special CDI5*, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Peters and the 2008 KWPN gelding by Spielberg, owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, kicked off their week on a high note, besting the FEI Grand Prix for Freestyle CDI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, with a score of 77.109%.

“After the test he felt like he had another two tests in there,” began Peters. “This is actually the right weather for him, where I can ride him a little bit and he settles down a bit more. That warm weather is what we are going to face in Tokyo, maybe even quite a bit hotter than this, and Mopsie seems to be ready for it. He’s been very consistently in the 76, 77 percentile, and that’s super exciting that I can ask for a bit more. Today he had a very clean test with a good, relaxed walk, so I’m extremely happy.”

Peters and the gelding have won every class they have competed in this season, and Peters is moving into the freestyle with hopefulness. “I think it’s always fun to support the organizers in the five-star freestyle,” he explained. “If we do well then, it’s nice to give back to our people, and help to pay the bills a little! We’re really looking forward to it. The freestyle is one of my favorite tests to ride, though sometimes it’s not Mopsie’s, but the night atmosphere is still something he needs to get used to.”

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo Top the FEI Grand Prix for Special CDI5*

In the FEI Grand Prix for Special CDI5*, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the USA’s Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo took the highest honors of the class with a 74.522%.

Schut-Kery and Alice Womble’s 2006 Hanoverian stallion by San Remo re-entered competition after a summer break in November, earning scores of over 74% in the CDIs in California before arriving in Florida in January. Those classes, along with a national class last week at AGDF, helped prepare the pair for their biggest competition in a year.

“Sanceo was really great,” noted Schut-Kery. “Any errors made today were rider errors, and I think I lost him in the zigzag. However, he felt great in the first part of the test and then recovered quite well [from those rider errors]. I have no complaints, and I feel like we are getting to the point where we can see where we want to push more, and where we need to finesse things.”

She exclaimed, “Having this five star is amazing. When I look around, a lot of the places are closed down all over the world. We are so fortunate. I think everybody agrees that we would follow any protocol, just to be able to keep going. Speaking for myself, I have a horse that’s 15 years old. It’s not like he’s eight or 10, and one year doesn’t matter. For me, it’s very special to be here and be invited to this competition, to the five star, and that there is that caliber of show. Thank you to everyone that puts this on and supports it.”

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Schedule Released for Fieldstone Spring Festival

Highlighted by two $20,000 Grand Prix events, four separate hunter derby sections, and jumper classics and derbies from 0.90m to 1.40m, the Fieldstone Spring Festival schedule offers feature classes for exhibitors of all ages and divisions.

The Fieldstone Spring Festival, consisting of two USEF nationally-rated weeks (May 12-16 and 19-23), is the opening event of the venue’s 2021 show schedule. Pre-entries close April 30, 2021, with the Official Prize List and entry forms coming soon.

Among the weekly feature classes are:

  • $7,500 Open Welcome Stake 1.30m — Thursday, May 13 and May 20
  • $1,000 0.90m Open Jumper Derby — Friday, May 14 and May 21
  • $5,000 3’3″ Open Hunter Derby — Saturday, May 15 and May 22
  • $1,500 2’9″ Open Hunter Derby — Sunday, May 16 and May 23
  • $1,500 — 2’6″ Child/Am Adult Hunter Derby — Sunday, May 16 and May 23
  • $20,000 Grand Prix 1.40m — Sunday, May 16 and May 23

An esteemed group of officials will return to Fieldstone in 2021, headed by Show Manager Tom Hern. Hern will also serve as a course designer at the Fieldstone Spring Festival alongside Diamond Bar, CA’s Mike Nielsen, setting tracks for Fieldstone’s five all-weather GGT hybrid/felt competition arenas and popular all-grass Grand Prix Field.

David Wilbur, Brian Lenihan, Susan Horn, and Jeff Nowak make up the group of hunter judges slated for the Fieldstone Spring Festival, while judges Jay Mullen, John Bahret, and Mike Nielsen will oversee jumper competition. In the office, Charlene Brown will head up operations as Show Secretary.

Visit FieldstoneShowPark.com.

© 2021 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

USOPC Names Michel Assouline as 2020 Paralympic Coach of the Year

Michel Assouline with David Botana at 2019 Tryon CPEDI3* and National Championship. Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Y. McCall.

Colorado Springs, Colorado – February 23, 2021 – United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has named Para Dressage Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline as 2020 Paralympic Coach of the Year. Michel Assouline started with the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage program in May 2017. His innovation and persistent drive to grow the sport and expand the program has impacted the whole Para Dressage community. Through the pandemic, Assouline has helped several athletes work through emotional pressures and reposition athletes’ training schedules by utilizing technology and focusing on enhanced communication. His efforts include online judging, direct coaching through PIXIO, group meetings, and one-on-one meetings, which proved effective when athletes showed performance improvement at the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championships October 23-25. In three years, Michael has built a Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program that was rolled out across the country during the latter part of 2019 and early 2020 that received high participation with 32 coaches going through the program. In March 2020, the U.S. Para Dressage Team ranked No. 1 in the world having achieved scores that would have tracked Team USA to be on the podium at Tokyo 2020. At the heart of Assouline’s success is his ability to work with each athlete and build a specialized program around them to improve their development and performance, which can be seen in Roxanne Trunnell, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world in her grade and overall across all five grades.

For more information, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Winning Wednesday for Ward in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5*

McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 24, 2021 – On the opening day of week seven at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki, owned by Marilla van Beuren, Bob Russell, and McLain Ward, took home the title in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5* held in the International Arena on Wednesday, February 24, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Wednesday’s two-phase competition featured the work of course designers Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU), with 49 combinations contesting. Ward and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Catoki x Cartello B, raced to the finish line, leaving all the jumps up in a time of 28.86 seconds.

“He’s a very fast horse,” said Ward. “He doesn’t actually have the biggest stride but his legs are moving very quick so that allows you to just do your round. You don’t have to do anything extreme; he’s just such a fast type. You’re not really pushing the envelope a lot, and that’s why he’s so consistently at the top of these classes.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Tanner Korotkin and Deauville S Top FEI Hermes U25 Welcome at WEF 6

Tanner Korotkin and Deauville S. Photo by Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Ranked among the country’s top 10 U25 riders, Tanner Korotkin stayed true to form in winning the $10,000 FEI Hermes U25 Welcome with Castlewood Farm’s Deauville S during Week 6 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

After three weeks of U25 competition, Korotkin and the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding have asserted themselves as one of the division’s top competitors. The win marked the pair’s third podium finish in four outings this season.

“Deauville and I had a very nice and smooth but obviously very quick round,” Korotkin said. “There were a lot of very fast horses that went before us, and I was thinking about the following day’s grand prix. I wanted to be fast enough to win the class, but I also wanted to keep it as smooth as possible. He jumped fantastic, and he’s such a naturally fast horse that he ended up just taking the win.”

While Korotkin and Deauville S are contesting just their first WEF as a pair, they are approaching the one-year mark of their partnership. It’s been one defined by a near-instant connection; in Deauville S, Korotkin found an experienced mount that shared his indistinguishable competitive fire. The big-bodied bay gelding is rarely not in motion, often characterized by his sideways canter upon the approach to a fence, but nowadays, Korotkin finds navigating the less conventional ride almost second nature.

“Since the first day I rode him, I absolutely loved him,” Korotkin. “The way he goes — even though he canters sideways at times, I just love his forward motion. He’s always with me, and he always wants to jump a clear round. I’d say, he’s the first horse in my career that I’ve had this strong of a partnership with.”

Confidence carries, and Korotkin heads toward the second half of the winter circuit fresh off a career-best week.  Just a day prior to his U25 win, Korotkin finished fifth with a double-clear performance aboard Sandalwood Farm’s Country Boy in the $37,000 CSI3* WEF Challenge Round 6.

“He jumped absolutely incredible,” Korotkin said of his top senior mount. “It was our first three-star back in a couple weeks, and I couldn’t have asked for a better result with him.”

Korotkin has additional three- and four-star competitions circled on his calendar for the remainder of the winter circuit, as well as the upcoming U25 Semifinal under the lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center during Week 8.

“I think the U25 series is great,” Korotkin said. “It gives you a real feel of what true FEI classes are like, and you get to compete against some very good riders without going in to compete against the best of the world, just yet. Deauville S will aim for those classes, and after WEF is over, we’ll jump back into some more ranking classes.”

© 2021 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Moreira Laliberté Returns with Top Scores in FEI Grand Prix during AGDF 6 National Show

Naima Moreira Laliberté and I Do Kiss ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2021 – National competition was abuzz at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), welcoming horses and riders to Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center from Friday February 19 through Sunday February 21 for national-level competition. On Saturday, Canada’s Naima Moreira Laliberté topped the FEI Grand Prix with KML Inc’s I Do Kiss.

Moreira Laliberté and the 2006 Swedish Warmblood stallion by French Kiss, topped the class with a score of 74.347%. It was one that the 24-year-old was happy with after a year away from competition, moving into the upcoming five-star week at AGDF.

“This was my first time in the show ring since last year,” began Moreira Laliberté. “I was grateful and happy to be back in the ring with ‘Kiss’ at Grand Prix. I was happily surprised with the score, and I think our ride went super well. He stayed with me the whole way and was very focused and was willing to give his all. He’s a big stallion; he’s a big horse to move, but when he goes in the ring, he tries his heart out and I really appreciate that side of him a lot. He’s also got huge changes and is very expressive in them. I think he also is the kind of horse that steps in the arena, and he wants to show off he’s got that presence. He’s a performer.”

Alice Tarjan (USA) topped the FEI Intermediaire II Lövsta Future Challenge with her own Harvest, a 2012 KWPN stallion by Connaisseur, to earn their invitation to the $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix Series with a 72.573%. Second place honors were awarded to Karen Pavicic (CRO) and her own 2012 Hanoverian gelding by Totilas, Totem, with 69.632%.

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

Bertram Allen and Castlefield Vegas Win $137k IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3*

Bertram Allen (IRL) and Castlefield Vegas © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 21, 2021 – Opening the final day of week six at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was Bertram Allen (IRL) and Castlefield Vegas, owned by Martin Egan, taking the top spot in the 137,000 IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3* held on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, on Sunday, February 21.

In the first round of Sunday’s grand prix, the final line on course featured a triple combination [vertical, oxer, vertical] followed by five strides down to the IDA Developments oxer, the final jump on course. This combination of jumps proved to be one of the most difficult sections of the track designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX). A starting field of 45 combinations challenged the course, with 18 qualifying to return for the jump-off.

Fresh off their victory in the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup on Friday, Allen and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cassino x Lux Z did it again, putting forth a blistering double-clear effort to stop the clock in 37.10 seconds.

Walker Welcomes a Win in $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix

It was Sam Walker (CAN) and Marbill Hill Farm’s Coralissa who jumped to the top of the leaderboard after 63 horse-and-rider combinations took to the Derby Field in the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, with nine pairs returning to the jump-off round set by designer Catsy Cruz (MEX).

Walker and the 2010 Holsteiner mare by Com Air were one of two combinations to put in two fault-free rounds, finishing the short course in 43.89 seconds. “This past year with the pandemic, I pretty much took a full year off from competition,” said Walker. “To come back out here and do so well today, to feel her still in her prime, it really means a lot to me.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Bond Breaks Kenny’s Grand Prix Win Streak

Ashlee Bond and Semilly F (Norah McCutcheon Photography/Jaqueline Porcaro Photo Group)

Wellington, FL (February 21, 2021) – Ashlee Bond’s super speedy and scopey Semilly F (a.k.a. Squishy) ended a nearly four week long winning streak by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny on Friday at Black Watch Farm. Bond broke Kenny’s 3 consecutive Turf Tour Grand Prix winning streak, while the Irish rider took second and third place in the $15,000 1.40 class. Kenny has also won the past two $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classics, and Bond is no stranger to victory on the Turf Tour herself, although this was her first win with the CDE (Copyright C x Brisa de Ibio) mare. Turf Tour 7’s competition wrapped up on Friday with nearly 53 entries in the day’s highlight Grand Prix, set on the stunning polo field at Black Watch Farm.

Brief showers punctuated brilliant sunshine and 80-degree temperatures. The spectacular footing and beautiful bougainvillea blooms were highlights of Black Watch’s spacious polo field, which was divided into two rings for the week’s competition. Bond and Semilly F put in a late in the day ride to overcome Kenny’s two top standings with Cicomein VDL and GK Casper. Semilly F raced around the course designed by Leopoldo Palacios to deliver a 33.008 jump-off time, nearly 2 seconds faster than Kenny’s time set earlier in the day. Kenny first jumped GK Casper (Canto 16 x Uleika) in the rain to a time of 37.034 seconds, only to be quickly overtaken by his Wednesday Rising Star Classic champion, Cicomein VDL (Chacco Blue x Pomein) on 35.226.

“I love how you can go to a show at a different location weekly, and compete in different arenas,” said Bond of her Turf Tour experience. “The beautiful and relaxed environment and multiple venue options is really important and beneficial to both horses and riders. It’s great for the horses’ minds, to ride with less pressure and in various locations. A training environment is not something you see often in a show, like you do in Europe, and it’s great to have such a series here in Wellington.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For more info, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze Win $50k WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular

Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze ©Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2021 – Seasoned hunter rider Amanda Steege guided Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze to top honors in the $50,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular during “Saturday Night Lights” at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Thirty-three junior, amateur, and professional hunter riders took their turns over the track designed by Andy Christiansen. The course consisted of 12 elements and was offered at 3’6”, 3’9”, and the 4’ height. After all riders completed the first course, the top 12 returned for a second classic round. Six judges split into three panels oversaw the class with panel one consisting of Mary Lisa Leffler and Chris Wynne, panel two being Rachel Kennedy and Sissy Wickes, and the final panel including Tom Brennan and Mark Jungherr.

Harley Stays Hot, Taking Top Honors in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3*

A successful week at WEF continued for Gavin Harley (IRL) and Corbawido PS, owned by Wolfstone Stables and Sales Inc, as they flew to the top of the podium in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village.

A starting field of 66 was narrowed down to 16 for the jump-off, which featured eight jumping obstacles set by Catsy Cruz (MEX). Harley and the nine-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding by Cornet’s Balou x Widolan, stuck to their plan and it paid off, finishing with a double-clear effort in 39.44 seconds.

“He’s quite inexperienced at this level,” said Harley. “It’s kind of his first proper test, and he just keeps proving to us how good he really is. I started riding him at the end of his seven-year-old year and had a great summer on him last year. We gave him a bit of a break and started back with him for the winter circuit, and it has started off well. My trainers on the ground were giving me strict instructions to stick to my numbers and my plan, and it worked out.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Allen and Castlefield Vegas Capture $37k Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 CSI3*

Bertram Allen (IRL) and Castlefield Vegas. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 19, 2021 – On the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Castlefield Vegas, owned by Martin Egan, finished in top form to take the victory in the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 CSI3* on Friday, February 19, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

A field of 86 combinations challenged the class in hopes of qualifying for Sunday’s $137,000 IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3*. Catsy Cruz (MEX) continued her duties as course designer for the week, setting the 1.50m with 16 jumping efforts, narrowing the field to 24 to qualify for the jump-off and 16 elected to return.

Last to go in the order, Allen and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cassino x Lux Z posted the fastest time of the day, leaving all the jumps in their cups in 36.09 seconds.

Amateur and Junior Hunter Riders Take the Spotlight Friday on of WCHR Week

The third day of the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week featured junior and amateur 3’3” hunter divisions in the International Arena. Junior and amateur 3’6” hunter riders began their divisions in order to compete for a spot in Saturday night’s $50,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.

The Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 and Under division came to an end in the International Arena on Friday and was held in a California split format with two riders being named champion, and three riders earning the reserve title. Rylynn Conway, of Fair Haven, NJ, and Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Perseus YC took home the champion ribbon for Section A of the division, after they earned a high score of 88 on Friday to win the stake class. Conway piloted the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Paparazzo to two firsts and a second-place finish.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

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