Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Click here to take action.

David O’Brien and La Belle SCF Capture Win in $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix

David O’Brien and La Belle SCF.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2019 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Despite high temperatures, 28 horse-and-rider pairs contested Ken Krome’s course attempting to walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money. At the end of a competitive jump-off, it was David O’Brien and La Belle SCF who walked away with the day’s top honors, in addition to winning the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.

Luminosity Shines Bright with Geoffrey Hesslink to Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was bookended by the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, on Sunday to complete a week of exciting equestrian action. In their first ever class together, Geoffrey Hesslink and Luminosity topped the scorecard following two standout rides to top the field of 40 starters and earn the lead spot in the victory gallop.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

2019 Southeast Medal Finals Adds NEW Poles Medal Final

Tampa, Fla. – August 16, 2019 – Entries are filling fast for the 2019 Southeast Medal Finals, held in just a few weeks from August 30 to September 1. This year’s exciting competition will return to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida. Classes are available for all levels and ages, and entries can be mailed in or submitted online through HorseShowsOnline.

New to this year, competition will feature a Poles Medal Final, presented by MCF Equestrian, held Sunday, September 1. The Poles Medal Final is open to qualified beginner junior and non-professional adult riders who have not shown over anything higher than cross rails. Be sure to submit your entries for this exciting addition.

The Southeast Medal Finals will offer hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for all levels and ages. USEF-rated and sanctioned by the CFHJA, this regional competition is the perfect season culmination for riders seeking an affordable and attainable horse show experience.

For questions regarding this year’s Southeast Medal Finals or to submit stall counts, call (352) 397-9315 or email semedalfinals@gmail.com.

For additional information, please visit www.southeastmedalfinals.com.

Olympian Ben Maher Tops LGCT Grand Prix of London

Maher and Explosion W (Photo courtesy of Stefano Grasso)

Rome, Italy (August 16, 2019) – Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher’s show jumping prowess has been the subject of championship stories at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the 2012 London Games, and numerous international competitions around the globe. On the famed Longines Global Champion Tour (LGCT) circuit, Maher has consistently topped its destination events over the past two years, and this summer was victorious not only in his nation’s capital of London while representing the home team London Knights, but is well positioned to reclaim his 2018 LGCT Champion of Champions title for 2019.

Maher kicked off the 2019 LGCT season with a second-place finish aboard his anchor KWPN stallion, Explosion W (Chacco Blue x Untouchable), in the LGCT of Doha. Subsequent top finishes for Maher and teammates on the London Knights in Stockholm, Sweden and Casais/Estoril, Portugal further cemented their prestige in the LGCT ranks. From August 2nd to 4th, Maher truly proved his star power, winning the LGCT Grand Prix of London and skyrocketing both himself and his team to top rankings in the tour and league. In a four-horse jump-off and aboard Explosion W, Maher edged out Shane Sweetnam aboard Alejandro and Darragh Kenny aboard Classic Dream to take the win on a time of 38.98. It was double gravy for Maher, who won not only for his home team, the London Knights, but also in his nation’s capital.

Following the LGCT in London and the subsequent LGCT Valkenswaard, Maher sits perfectly poised to pounce at future destinations and be named the 2019 LGCT Champion of Champions for the second year in a row. Maher no doubt has his sights set on further victories and ultimately Tokyo 2020.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

A Stellar Cast Chases Jumping Gold and Glory

Peder Fredricson. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

There’s a whole lot hanging in the balance as the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2019 gets underway in Rotterdam, The Netherlands next Wednesday (21 August). Not only will the best horse-and-rider combinations from all across Europe try to etch their names onto the prestigious Roll of Honour that dates all the way back to 1957. But the competition for the three Olympic qualifying spots up for grabs will also be ferocious, so it won’t all be about who stands on the top step of the podium.

Of course, when it comes to European gold, they all want it. And every two years when this event comes around then the ones they all have to beat are the Germans, because their record is just incredible. Germany has claimed the most team golds with a total of seven, and also tops the individual leaderboard with 14 victories. And with Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, Maurice Tebbel, and the lady who took the individual title at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA, Simone Blum, on call-up this time around, then the rest will have to be at the top of their game to keep them in check.

The very first FEI European Jumping Championship took place in Rotterdam, so we are returning to where it all began. Just 8 riders from 5 nations competed at that inaugural fixture in 1957, but a total of 70 athletes from 24 nations will line out in the 2019 edition, and 15 countries will be represented by teams.

The Irish are defending team champions, but few would deny that the Swedes, who finished second on their home turf in Gothenburg two years ago and who only lost out on gold at last year’s World Championships in a nail-biting jump-off against the clock, will be ones to watch this time around. They’re strong, they’re hungry, and they are on a roll, picking up a series of extraordinary wins in recent months thanks in no small part to sensational performances from Peder Fredricson, the man who brought individual European glory to his country in 2017. Fredricson spearheads an awesome Swedish side that includes Malin Baryard-Johnsson, Fredrik Jonsson, Henrik von Eckermann, and Evelina Tovek.

And the Swiss look a formidable force, Martin Fuchs and World No.1 Steve Guerdat, who took individual silver and bronze at last year’s World Championships, join Paul Estermann, Beat Mandli, and Niklaus Rutschi, and with their best horses in tow you just know they mean business.

It was a golden era for the Dutch when they swept all before them at Aachen (GER) in 2015, and Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens, who himself won team bronze in Munich in 1981, sends out Maikel van der Vleuten who was on that 2015 winning side along with Bart Bles, Marc Houtzager, Doron Kuipers, and Frank Schuttert.

The Irish won against the odds last time around when the team was reduced to just three riders in the closing stages. And Cian O’Connor, who clinched it on that memorable night before going on to take individual bronze, is joined by 2017 team-mate Shane Sweetnam, the on-fire Darragh Kenny, Paul O’Shea, and Peter Moloney.

However, the surprise package could well be the British. They’ve been in the doldrums for quite some time now but their winning performance in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Dublin last Friday was more than convincing. Chef d’Equipe, Di Lampard, has at last got a super-talented and totally committed pool of riders, and the emotional reaction from the relatively young but hardened veterans Scott Brash and Ben Maher who were on the last winning British side in Herning (DEN) six years ago said it all that day. There’s no doubt but that the British, team champions on five previous occasions, are back with a bang, and the side that will also include Amanda Derbyshire, Laura Renwick, and Holly Smith will be gunning for gold next week.

Ladies had their own Championship until 1973, and since they’ve been competing against their male counterparts, they have only twice broken the mould by taking the individual title. Alexandra Ledermann from France was the first to do it with the mighty Rochet M at Hickstead in 1999, and there has only been one other, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who topped the podium with the great Shutterfly in 2007 at Mannheim (GER). All eyes will be on the reigning World Champion, Simone Blum, to see if she can extend the short list of lady winners.

While gold is the goal for many, those three tantalising Olympic qualifying spots will also be a major focus. So far 14 nations have booked their tickets for Tokyo 2020 – Japan, USA, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia, Ukraine, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, and China. Next week, however, 10 more teams will be trying to make the cut, because Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and Spain also have their hopes and dreams, and none are prepared to give up without a serious fight.

The Jumping action gets underway on Wednesday and following two more days of competition on Thursday and Friday the team medals will be decided. Sunday’s finale is bound to be a thriller as the new Longines FEI Jumping European Champion will be crowned, and by then the road to Tokyo 2020 will be more clearly marked.

Event website here.

Full list of entries here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Victoria Colvin and El Primero Lead First Day of USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

Victoria Colvin and El Primero.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 16, 2019 – The 11th edition of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship returned to the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday morning, showcasing the best hunter horses and athletes in the country for the first of two days of competition. Offering more than $250,000 in prize money in 2019, the event has become a popular goal for challengers with exceptionally skilled horses that possess noteworthy movement and jumping style. With 76 entries tackling the classic phase of competition, horse-and-rider combinations were in top form, all fighting for a coveted spot in the top 40 to advance to Saturday evening’s championship handy round. Ultimately it was defending champion Victoria Colvin aboard El Primero who stepped up to the plate to earn the highest day one score and lead the pack.

Brian Moggre Notches Another Kentucky Win in $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix

Jumper competition took center stage Friday evening at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, where 32 exhibitors challenged the course in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix in an attempt to lead the victory gallop. As the fifth jewel of seven in the Hagyard Challenge Series, the evening class offered competitors a chance to earn a share of the day’s prize money as well as accrue points toward the season-ending $50,000 Leading Rider Award. Adding another victory to his ever-growing collection, Brian Moggre (USA) jockeyed MTM Los Angeles to the swiftest double-clear performance of the night to capture the greatest share of the prize money and extend his domination of the 2019 Hagyard Challenge Series.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Pony European Championships: Ireland Wins Team Gold in Showjumping

Sophia Rössel with Camillo We. Photo by: Mariusz Chmieliński.

The Irish team was unbeatable in the fight for team medals at the FEI European Championships for Ponies. Silver went to Great Britain and bronze to France.

It was an emotional day at Strzegom. The team medals were uncertain until the last ride. Two jump-offs had to happen to determine the bronze and gold winning teams.

Germany and France fought for the bronze. The two teams had the same score of 4 points in the jump-off, so it was the time that determined that France stood on the lowest step of the podium.

The Irish competed in the following squad: John McEntee, Niamh McEvoy, Tom Wachman, and his brother Max Wachman. They had a hard nut to crack in the jump-off, as the British were a fast opponent, and they also had their eyes set on the prize.

“Very fast jump off, the course was big, the English were very hard to beat, so it made it difficult for us,” said Tom Wachman.

“The English looked very fast, so I was just cheering for my team, hoping they will gallop fast enough and jump clear,” said Francis Derwin, who did not compete, but had helped his teammates in the first class of the championships.

The time of the Irish team, 1,72 seconds faster than Great Britain’s, decided their win.

Eventing

The eventing dressage trials ended on Friday. The current leaders, with the score of 88,4, are from team Great Britain. Second place for now belongs to France and third to Germany. 7 teams are competing overall.

German athlete Sophia Rössel with Camillo We performed the best individual test with the result of 25,4. The only Polish rider of the class, Julia Witkowska riding Chester, is currently in the 36th position.

Full results: https://zawodykonne.com/zawody/50/tour/84.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Can Dutch World Champions Make European History on Home Turf?

Team Netherlands. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhurst)

Rotterdam (NED) will host the Longines FEI European Championships for para dressage, the third to be held alongside Jumping and Dressage, from Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 August. Some 66 riders from 21 countries will compete for medals. Who will be the riders and rivalries to look out for?

Great Britain and The Netherlands are set to renew their para dressage rivalry at the competition with The Netherlands clearly determined to add the European team title to the world title it famously won at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon (USA). That was the first time in the history of the sport that Team GB lost the team competition at European, World, or Paralympic level and potentially represented a major power shift in the sport.

And with a home Europeans, the Dutch will be looking to replicate that achievement. The WEG winning team of Nicole Den Dulk (grade II), Rixt van der Horst (grade III), Sanne Voets (grade IV) , and Frank Hosmar (grade V) will enthrall the crowd, while Great Britain has chosen three new riders to join established team member, the European, World, and Paralympic champion Sophie Wells (grade V).

The team competition will also see a strong challenge from the likes of Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and Norway too. It’ll be an exciting one to watch.

66 riders from 21 countries across five grades will compete for team and individual medals.

Ones to watch in each grade

Italy’s Sara Morganti will have high hopes of winning her first European titles in Rotterdam. Currently the world number one ranked rider across all five grades, she comes to the championships as a double WEG 2018 gold medallist. Latvia’s Rihard Snikus will be her main challenger, and also in the mix is likely to be Germany’s Elke Philipp and the Nordic trio of Jens Lasse Dokkan (NOR), Anita Johnsson (SWE) and Katja Karjalainen (FIN).

Grade II will likely see the continuation of the constant tussle for medals between Austria’s Pepo Puch and The Netherlands Nicole Den Dulk. The pair is part of a quarter of riders (the other two being Great Britain’s Sir Lee Pearson and Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup) who swap places on the podium regularly. Puch comes in as a double gold medallist from the 2013 and 15 Europeans, and the individual champion from 2017. He’ll be wanting the double again this year, but Den Dulk will be gunning for her first major international title too.

Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson could spoil the party though, having had a great run up to these competition, and Germany’s Heidemarie Dresing could also feature.

Rixt van der Horst will be the home favourite for the titles in grade III. She’s a triple gold WEG gold medallist from 2018 (and double gold from 2014) and double European Champion from 2015. As competition records go that should be enough. However, Denmark’s young superstar rider Tobias Thorning Joergensen is currently ranked number one in the grade, and he’ll be vying for his first major title having come so close on his debut two years ago. Joergensen’s teammate Caroline Cecilie Nielsen will push hard for a medal too, and look out for Belgium’s side saddle rider Barbara Minneci as well. She’s been on the verge of a podium finish for a long time.

Sanne Voets became the first non-British rider to ever win three gold medals at a single championship when she took the team, individual, and freestyle medals at last year’s WEG (compatriot Rixt van der Horst achieved the same, but later that same day). Voets is the para dressage ambassador at these Championships and rides for the home team in grade IV. She comes into the championships on the back of a stellar year so far which has seen her win a number of international competitions, and rack up personal best scores. Competition will come from Belgium’s Manon Claeys, currently third in the world for the grade, and Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson. All three of them shared the medals at the last Europeans and are likely to do the same again this year too.

In grade V Great Britain’s Sophie Wells and The Netherlands Frank Hosmar resume their Europeans rivalry. Wells was the double gold winner at the 2009, 11, and 13 Europeans before Hosmar took both titles in 2015. In 2017 Hosmar took the individual gold, and Wells the freestyle. The pair have the top two positions in the grade’s global ranking, but are closely followed by Russia’s Natalia Martyanova, who returns to European competition for the first time since 2015, where she was fourth in both individual competitions. Germany’s Regine Mispelkamp will make her European Championships debut in Rotterdam, doubtless hoping to make as impressive appearance as she did at her first world’s last year, where she picked up two bronze medals.

The competition starts on Wednesday 21 August with two days of individual competition. Then comes two days of team competition, with the best riders in each grade competing for the freestyle titles on Sunday 25 August.

Longines FEI European Championships 2019 website here.

Watch all the action live on FEI.tv.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Scott Stewart and Sara Taylor Top Scorecards in USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Scott Stewart and Sandstone.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 15, 2019 – The finale of the 2019 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship took place at the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday afternoon, with champions crowned in both the 3’/3’3″ and 3’6″/3’9″ sections. After leading the first two days of riding, Scott Stewart held onto his top placings to capture the win in the 3’/3″ section with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Sandstone, while Sara Taylor and Ingrid Avera’s Noah emerged victorious over the larger fences to clinch the 2019 title for the 3’6″/3’9″ group.

Hardin Towell and Angel Twist Top the Leaderboard in Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers

Young, developing horses were the focal point of the Rolex Stadium on Thursday during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show as pairs gained valuable show experience as well as chased qualifying points towards the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour weekend championships. Many horse-and-rider partnerships were also using Thursday’s classes as one of their final opportunities in the show ring to prepare for the year-end championships in September. Proving to be the best of the day in the Classic Champions, Inc. Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers, Hardin Towell and Taboo Holding’s Angel Twist sped to victory to add a win to the horse’s growing record. In the 6-year-old section, Mattias Ekeroth and Haydee M led the pack, while David O’Brien and Octavius SCF topped the leaderboard for the 5-year-old class.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Julio Mendoza Prepares for Tokyo 2020 at Tryon Summer Dressage 5

Julio Mendoza and Rosali ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – August 15, 2019 – Tryon Summer Dressage 5 presented by Adequan® at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) was a good weekend for Columbus, NC resident Julio Mendoza (ECU) and Rosali, where they claimed FEI Grand Prix O/AA/J/Y competition on a score of 66.250%. Second place was earned by Jules Nyssen (USA) aboard Volturnus, the 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Flemming owned by Jennifer Brinkley, with a score of 62.554%.

“Rosie is an 18-hand Danish Warmblood mare owned by Aileen Daly with a heart that is unbelievable. She’s a beautiful mover, with a good brain, a good heart, and I adore her,” said Mendoza of the mare he’s only been riding for four months. “She wants to give everything to you. She is spicy and sassy in a good way, and she’s everything you need for a Grand Prix.”

Though a frequent face at TIEC, Mendoza is chasing big goals on the heels of being the first representative from Ecuador to qualify for and compete in Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) last September:

“We’re working with Rosali right now towards the Olympics [Tokyo 2020]. That’s our goal if everything goes to plan,” Mendoza continued. “I’ve been to the Pan-American Games, Bolivarian Games, and WEG, so now I’m going for the Olympics. If it doesn’t happen, great, but I’m going to give it everything. Rosie has the potential. We just started to develop a relationship, and I know that it will take time, but with respect and love everything will come together.”

Mendoza emphasized that his success at every level is rooted in the support of his “village” with the whole family behind him: “My wife is my manager, my right hand, and my everything. She manages my students, schedule, shows, and my program. Everything is run through her, and I’m so grateful to have her! And now my son is competing, too, and I’m super excited about that,” Mendoza shared. “It’s taking a village [to reach the Olympics]; I know that. My wife, my grooms, the farrier, the vet, and Rosali’s owner, Aileen. Thank God she’s letting me ride [Rosie]! Aileen is a wonderful client and an amazing friend who’s letting me ride a phenomenal horse,” Mendoza concluded.

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

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