Dressage Really IS Like Brain Surgery for GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Nancy Binter riding Arend Z pictured with Husband and Katie Riley of GK Elite Sport (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (January 17, 2018) — “Dressage is like neurosurgery,” said Dr. Nancy Ellen Binter, MD, after accepting the GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award for the opening week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 2018 at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.  A practicing neurosurgeon for more than three decades in Burlington, Vermont before opening her own consulting service, the dressage level Intermediate I competitor said, “All the preparation, intellectual ability, and athletic and technical talent are exactly the same.”

Sharing her prestigious award with her husband of 32 years, retired neuroradiologist Dr. Rakowitz, she added, “It’s all in the medical family here! I am a neurosurgeon and ride horses as my hobby, which keeps me sane. He is videographer and ‘Captain of the Sugar!’” Before moving to Florida, the couple’s dedication to one another and the sport saw them “trucking and trailering” to such renowned Northeast dressage shows as Devon, Pennsylvania with Dr. Binter’s 11-year-old Zangesheide gelding Arend Z (by Oldenburg show jumping champion Air Jordan out of a mare by the great KWPN- and Holstein-registered Dutch Warmblood, Hemmingway).  The Zangesheide is an elite Belgian breed produced by crossing only the finest of European performance sport horses.

Dr. Binter, who trains with U.S. Olympic dressage rider Michael Barisone and his wife, Dutch Grand Prix rider Vera Kessels-Barisone, credited her beautiful bay horse for their award-winning achievement at one of the largest and most acclaimed international and national dressage circuits in the world: “Arend Z has a wonderful brain, and an unbelievable engine.”

The GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award was presented Katie Riley on behalf of GK Horses president, Nicoletta Ghribi and GK Horses sport partner, Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold medalist, Dr. Cesar Parra. “Dr. Binter and Arend Z epitomize adult amateur achievement: dedication, commitment, joy and harmony,” said Riley during the presentation ceremony.  To follow this more, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNc6ZMpZgD4.

GK Horses operates exceptional horse and rider training facilities in Wellington and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and is proud to recognize outstanding dressage horse-and-rider combinations throughout the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 12-week series, January 11 – March 27. Learn more the GK equestrian team and horses at www.gk-horses.com.

Hollywood Gold Cup Winner Early Pioneer Euthanized

Early Pioneer at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 15, 2018 – Early Pioneer, winner of the 2000 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), was euthanized January 12th at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement sanctuary in Georgetown, KY, where he had been pensioned since 2009.

The 23-year-old son of Rahy and winner of over $1.1 million was experiencing complications of chronic laminitis and cancer was also suspected.  The results of a full necropsy are pending.

Prior to Early Pioneer’s Gold Cup win, he finished second in both the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2) and the Californian (G2) after upsetting the San Bernardino Handicap (G2) at odds of 27-1. The flashy chestnut was bred by Mr. and Mrs. John C. Mabee and raced in their colors before being claimed for $62,500 in 1998.

Typecast as a sprinter, new trainer Vladimir Cerin gave Early Pioneer a shot at two turns, and it made all the difference. He was never finer than in the 2000 Gold Cup, where he bested favorite General Challenge at odds of 24-1.

Early Pioneer raced only twice after his Gold Cup win, and was retired. However, in 2007 he was discovered racing on the unofficial fair circuit. He was bought for $1,000 by Nevada horseman Shawn Davis who later worked with Arizona’s Second Call program and equine aftercare advocate Rhonda “Cass” Dewey to permanently retire the former champ.

Given his background, Dewey thought Early Pioneer was a good candidate for Old Friends and contacted founder Michael Blowen.

“Early Pioneer was one of four Hollywood Gold Cup winners that have been retired at Old Friends, and we were so proud to have him,” said Blowen. “He was a fan favorite and a farm favorite, and I know he will be missed by all.

“Special thanks to Cass Dewey and all those who helped him and helped him find his way to Old Friends,” Blowen added.  “Caring for him has been a privilege.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for over 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Faugheen Heads to Cheltenham

Following his most recent run, Faugheen certainly has questions to answer but there is no doubting he is one of the greatest horses of recent times. Through his 15 starts he has only tasted defeat on two occasions this being his most recent run and to the ill-fated Nichols Canyon when he clearly badly needed the run. If Faugheen had not had his injury it would be likely we are talking about a three-time Champion hurdle winner to equal the likes of the Istabraq, who to many is the greatest champion hurdler in history.

Faugheen reached a peak RPR of 177 following his 2016 victory in the Irish Champion hurdle where he beat a top horse in stablemate Arctic Fire by 15 lengths with Nichols Canyon a further 13 lengths behind. When Faugheen was performing to this level would any horse have been able to defeat him? This is an unfortunate question that we will never get the answer to. With all this in question it was very unfortunate to see Faugheen be pulled up on his most recent start but no problems or answers have been found as to why this happened.

Faugheen will now head to Cheltenham looking vulnerable, but if he returns to the level he ran to on his comeback we are set for a fascinating clash between two Champion hurdle winners as Buveur D’air looks to defend his crown. The Cheltenham Festival 2018 odds on Paddy Power has the reigning champion as the clear favourite. Check this infographic out to see how Faugheen compares to the greatest Champion hurdlers throughout history.

US Equestrian Recognizes Janie Salisbury and Isabelle Parker with 2017 Vaulting Honors

Photo: Janie Salisbury (background) with Bridget Kiernan, pas de deux bronze medalists at the 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors (© Barny Thierolf).

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) is pleased to recognize Janie Salisbury as the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year and Salisbury’s coach Isabelle Parker as the 2017 USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year. Salisbury, a two-time FEI World Vaulting Champion for Juniors Pas de Deux bronze medalist, stood out among the seven applicants for her competition success and extracurricular activity.

Salisbury (Atherton, Calif.) began vaulting when she was seven years old as a member of the Woodside Vaulters out of Redwood City, Calif., and amassed several top results with Parker’s coaching and training. In addition to her FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors bronze medals in 2015 and 2017, she was the 2012 USEF/American Vaulting Association (AVA) National Vaulting Champion, 2013 Region 2 Champion, and 2015 USEF/AVA Reserve National Champion, among others.

Outside of vaulting, Salisbury has been active in her community. In high school, she led the Baking for Charity Club, where she helped organize bake sales with proceeds going to Pencils of Promise, a charity supporting children’s education in the developing world. She also volunteered for fundraising benefits and worked in the barns at the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy, a therapeutic riding facility that helps children and adults with neurophysiological, cognitive, sensory processing, and psychosocial challenges. Currently, Salisbury attends the University of Southern California where she intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in dance.

Other candidates for the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year award included Tessa Belardi (Aptos, Calif.), Audrey Kiernan (San Mateo, Calif.), Elizabeth Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.), Luke Overton (Stanwood, Wash.), Ana Schult (Longmont, Colo.), and Haley Smith (Parker, Colo.).

Parker (Redwood City, Calif.), co-founder and coach of the Woodside Vaulters, represented the U.S. in international competition for five years and earned her AVA Gold Medal in 1992. Parker has coached four National Champion A Teams and the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Rome, Italy. She is a two-time United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Trainer of the Year, the 2013 AVA Mentor of the Year, an AVA judge and Technical Committee member, an FEI steward, and a member of multiple USEF vaulting committees. She is the current Chief Financial Officer of Summit Public Schools. This is Parker’s second time receiving the USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year Award.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

2018 Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham festival 2018 is now just a few months away as anticipation continues to build for jumps racing premier fixture. The penultimate day is all about St Patrick’s Day as the Irish fans descend on Cheltenham to support the away side.  The main race on day three is the Stayers hurdle which this year looks to have a fairly open look to it. However, the underdog Sam Spinner will be looking to provide his small-time connections with success and he continues to improve on each ran. The latest Cheltenham 2018 Betfair odds has Sam at the head of the betting at 7/2.

There looks to be plenty of challengers that could include Apple’s Jade. She is likely to defend her crown in the Mares hurdle but if she took her chance would without a doubt head the betting as she continues to dominate. A key challenge as things stand looks to be Supasundae who looks a stayer to follow following a hard-fought defeat to the previously mentioned Apple’s Jade. Check out the infographic below to find out the key facts and horses in the main races come March.

Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland Race to the Win in $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge

Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2018 – Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland out-paced a field of 91 entries to win the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge on Friday, January 12, concluding the third day of competition at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Of the 91 entries in Friday’s $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge, 16 jumped the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course without fault, but speed was the name of the game, and none proved able to catch Chapot and Out of Ireland, owned by The Edge and Laura Chapot. Chapot and the 11-year-old Anglo European mare went 19th in the order, tripping the timers in 64.681 seconds and setting a time to beat that would go untouched for the remainder of the class.

Phoebe Backman and Destiny Claim Championship in Adult Amateur Hunter Younger Sec. A

The Adult Amateur Hunter Younger division finished with Phoebe Backman claiming the championship title aboard Destiny, her mount of three-and-a-half years. The pair took first and second place in Thursday’s jumping classes, and Destiny claimed second and third over fences and fourth under saddle on Friday with rider Tracey Gorin-Byrne.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Records Broken at the First 2018 Friday Night Stars at AGDF

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Paridon Magi. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2018 – The second day of action at the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) culminated in another show-stopping performance by Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (SWE) on Lövsta Stuteri’s Paridon Magi at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

The Swedish warmblood Paridon Magi had never scored over 79% before, so his winning 81.15% represented a huge new record for the 15-year-old gelding by Don Primero.

“It’s really nice to be back here again,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén, who rode to a Queen medley by Cees Slings. “I like to start the season like this – and then keep going like this; that would be nice.

“I’m extremely happy,” added the seven-time Olympian, who is enjoying her eighth consecutive winter season in Wellington. “This is the perfect place to compete, with all the different details for the horses worked out.”

Paridon Magi’s groom, Johanna Jendland, was presented with a $500 check by sponsors Adequan®, who have signed on for another three years as title sponsor.

Allyn Mann of Adequan® said: “It’s really become a family here: owners, organizers, riders, press, everyone. We look forward to another exciting season, especially as the riders look forward to the bigger picture in Tryon this year.”

Shelly Francis (USA) filled the runner-up spot on Patricia Stempel’s 14yo Hanoverian gelding Danilo, posting 77.725%. It was the first time the pair had performed under lights.

“He was a bit edgy as it was at night and he got hot, so there were little mistakes, but it was really fun and I could actually smile while riding. He keeps getting better; he’s nice and fit, a little more tuned up,” added Francis, who rode to a compilation of music put together by Marlene Whitaker.

The 20-year-old Spaniard Juan Matute Guimon filled third after a rousing performance on his father’s 12-year-old Quantico Ymas, whom he has been riding since the horse was seven. His expressive test included one-handed pirouettes that earned whistles from the appreciative crowd, and 75.275% from the judges.

“I felt like a gladiator out there! It was a challenging ride, but I earned all my points,” said Matute, who rode to music made by his mother and a floorplan designed by his father.

Earlier in the day Matute bolstered his prize-money further, topping both the FEI under-25 Grand Prix presented by Diamante Farms, as well as the FEI Young Rider Team test, sponsored by his family’s stud farm, Yeguada de Ymas.

His smooth 71.643% U25 grand prix win came aboard the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Diego Ymas, taking the horse’s tally to two wins in two days. His young rider horse Copernico Ymas – an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by San Amour x Don Gregory – scored 71.235% to win the small class convincingly.

Another rider recording back-to-back victories was America’s Jennifer Baumert. She topped the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* with 71.471% – improving on her winning Prix St. Georges score – with Elizabeth Juliano’s Handsome, a 13-year-old Hochadel x Weltmeyer Hanoverian gelding.

Canadian rider Diane Creech steered her own and Louise Leatherdale’s Robbie W to FEI Intermediate I CDI3* honors. The 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Rubin Royal x Inschallah posted 69.706%. The class, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition, was a nail-biter, with Creech finishing just 0.03% ahead of second-placed Melissa Taylor (USA) and Ansgar.

Four riders contested the amateur FEI Prix St. Georges class, sponsored by Rowan O’Riley. It was topped by Janne Rumbough on Armas Zumbel, a Spanish-bred PRE by Escarzo x Relampago II. The 15-year-old grey gelding scored 68.441% for the win. Rumbough will celebrate her 74th birthday next month.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Jordan Coyle Takes Round One Victory in $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup

Jordan Coyle and Eristov. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2018 – The 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival continued with its second day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL on Thursday. Jordan Coyle (IRL) rode Eristov, owned by Andrew Kocher, to victory in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round One.

There are two highlight events for week 1 of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Regional Medical Center. They include the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, to start the “Saturday Night Lights” series on Saturday, January 13, at 7 p.m., and the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix, the first grand prix of the season, on Sunday, January 14, at 2 p.m.

There were 36 entries in the first round of the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup and they competed over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Eleven were clear to continue to the jump-off, to which 10 returned. Coyle and Eristov were fourth in the jump-off order, and had to follow a very quick time set by Todd Minikus (USA) and Victorio 5 of 37.999 seconds.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Victory for Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén as Adequan Global Dressage Festival Kicks Off

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Paridon Magi. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2018 – The 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) opened the winter season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida with Swedish competitor Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and the 15-year-old Paridon Magi posting a new personal best of 75.87% in the FEI Grand Prix CDIW, presented by Adequan® AGDF, which hosts seven weeks of CDI competition through March 31.

“It was the best ride I’ve had on him and I was happy that he was open minded and really working with me,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén of her 2017 European Championships partner.

She first came to Wellington for the AGDF in 2011 and was so impressed that she has come back every year since.

“It’s such a super preparation for my horses and the best way to keep them in the winter,” added Vilhelmson Silfvén, who was second in this class last year. “I gain so much to have them train over here. To have the opportunity to compete again and again, as much as you like, is fantastic.”

It was seven months ago when Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor last set foot in a competition arena, but the pair was on form to win the MTICA Farm-presented FEI Grand Prix CDI3* with 72.543%, earning over 71% from all five judges. The duo, who is ranked 54th in the world, was last to go, and took over the lead from the penultimate competitor, Susan Pape (GBR) on Harmony’s Don Noblesse.

“Doktor was a bit tight to begin with, chewing and clanking his teeth, so I had trouble finding the rhythm in the early trot work, but I was pleased with him,” said the 59-year-old of her 15-year-old Oldenburg by Diamond Hit. “He’s been a bit of a project; I didn’t do the award ceremony with him because I usually put ear plugs in, but as I was last to go I didn’t have time. Some people might think I’m a chicken but I’d like to live a bit longer; he runs flat out in there.”

The pair has been together since Francis found the horse at Michael Klimke’s barn in Germany. They now progress to the grand prix special on Saturday, where Francis plans to “press for a little more”.

The FEI Prix St Georges CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition – the day’s opening class – was clinched by Heather Blitz (USA) on her own nine-year-old Danish warmblood Praestemarkens Quatero (by Quaterback x Rohdiamant). At only his second FEI show, the chestnut gelding logged 71.961%, and was the unanimous winner across the three judges.

Spain’s young talent Juan Matute Guimon stormed the under-25 CDI FEI Intermediate II class with 72.599%, winning by over 6% from first draw. Sponsor Diamante Farms presented the prize to Matute and the long-legged Don Diego Ymas, a 15-year-old black Hanoverian gelding by Don Frederico x Wolkenstein II.

Jennifer Baumert (USA) on Elizabeth Juliano’s Handsome was the only rider to crack the 70% barrier in the day’s second Prix St Georges class – the ProElite-sponsored CDI1* – finishing on 70.637%. The 13-year-old Hanoverian son of Hochadel (out of a mare by Weltmeyer) beat Lemony’s Nicket – ridden by Michael Klimke – who sold to the US for the then record price of €900,000 in Verden, Germany in 2011 – in to second place.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

ESP Holiday Series Concludes with Victory for Granato and Carlchen W

Alex Granato and Carlchen W. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – January 10, 2018 – Alex Granato of Wellington, FL rode to victory in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix aboard Page Tredennick’s Carlchen W during the final day of competition at Equestrian Sport Productions Holiday Finale on Sunday, January 7, which served as the conclusion of the ESP Holiday Series at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Granato, who picked up the ride on the gelding as a five-year-old, piloted his mount around the short track designed by Andy Christianson Jr. of Wellington, FL in a quick 39.325 seconds. Diego Vivero of Wellington, FL and Gabriela SAA’s HRB Dance finished just behind Granato, completing the jump-off in 40.056 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Reus de la Nutria rounded out the top three, riding to a jump-off time of 40.139 seconds.

Jumper Highlights:

Earlier in the week Amber Harte of Wellington, FL and Cafino were victorious in the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake Class, with a jump-off time of 36.293 seconds. Second place honors went to Emanuel Andrade and Reus de la Nutrina, after stopping timers in 36.382 seconds. Third place was awarded to Taylor Land of Alpharetta, GA piloting Liroy 30, owned by Pinetree Farms Inc., completing the short course in 36.593 seconds.

The $2,500 Low Amateur Owner Jumper Classic saw Christina Antonucci of Lake Hopatcong, NJ and her own Cupido Van’t Schuurke take top honors with a jump-off time of 37.92 seconds. Alexandra Welles of Wellington, FL and XM, took second place with a jump-off time of 38.582 seconds. Quinn Larimer of Mableton, GA and Bronson, owned by Nestledown Equine Services, LLC, finished in third place with a time of 39.576 seconds.

Victory in the $2,500 Equiline High Junior/Adult Amateur Jumper Classic went to Thaisa Erwin of Ocala, FL and Evita, owned by Hollberg Equestrian, with a jump-off time of 39.365 seconds. Second place was achieved by Helena Le Picart of New York, NY and her own Bon Vivant, with a jump-off time of 43.184 seconds. Third place was awarded to Nora Gray of Owen Sound, ON and Dior, owned by Gray, rounding out the jump-off in 42.242 seconds.

The $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic was championed by Jessica Gollel of Wellington, FL and Rosiano Farm’s Prescott 3 rose to the top of the class with a time of 36.539 seconds in the jump-off. Stephanie King of St. Augustine, FL and Co-Starr took second place with a time of 38.69 seconds. Allyson Blais of Boynton Beach, FL and Castlewood Farm Inc.’s Landanima collected third place with a time of 38.909 seconds.

The $5,000 Brazilian Court Hotel 1.35m Stake saw Leslie Howard of Darien, CT and GJ Stable’s Flo take first place with a jump-off time of 31.714 seconds. Jordan Coyle of North Salem, NY and Abigail Poss’ Droomfee HB achieved second place with a time of 32.758 seconds. Samuel Parot of Wellington, FL collected third place with Parot Sport Horses LLC’s Buga Z, after finishing with a time of 32.777 seconds around the short course.

Cassie Kime of Collierville, TN rode to victory aboard her own Tenacious D in the $1,500 Accuhorsemat Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Classic after stopping the jump-off timers in 40.22 seconds. Allyson Blais of Boynton Beach, FL and Castlewood Farm Inc.’s Landanima took second place with a time of 41.089 seconds. Olivia Minicucci of Montreal, QC and her own Arian P earned third place after a jump-off time of 41.84 seconds.

Hunter Highlights:

Julie Curtin of Woodstock, GA and Julie Curtin’s Cassico finished with the blue ribbon in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Arly Golombek of Lake Worth, FL and Pumpkin Patch Farm LLC’s Czech Mate captured second place. Third place honors were presented to Kim Barone of Watertown, MN and Cynthia Bulwicz’s Cyril.

Sophia Calamari of New Milford, PA and California Dreamin’, owned by Millennium Farm Inc., finished atop the Score at the Top Large Pony Hunter Division, ahead of Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC, who collected reserve champion with Small Wonder, owned by Elsa Batalden.

The Pilates Rocks Low Adult Hunter Division saw Laurie Stevens of Boca Raton, FL and her own Santiago rise to the top of the division. Joy Erikson of Wellington, NJ and Bode Well, owned by Melissa Burns, captured reserve champion honors in the division.

Olympia Boardman of New York, NY and Soprano, owned by Alexa Stiegler, were champions of the Palm Beach Riding Academy Short Stirrup Division, while reserve champion was awarded to Isabella Roman, riding Papillon Blue, owned by Holman Imports LLC.

The USHJA Hunter 3′ Division saw Christina Kalinski of Roxbury, CT riding Bozeman, owned by Katherine Oberkircher, take top divisional honors. Reserve champion was awarded to Mary Eufemia of Palm Harbor, FL and her own Central Park.

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

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