Discover Dressage Joins COTA to Advance Dressage While Fighting Breast Cancer

Team members include Kerrigan Gluch, Sarah Roda, Elena Schiefele and Sophia Schults. Photo by Lily Forado.

When Challenge of the Americas (COTA) organizer Mary Ross approached Kim Van Kampen, the founder of Discover Dressage, to join in COTA’s fight against breast cancer, Van Kampen thought it was a great idea.

The March 9 Challenge of the Americas features teams of top international dressage riders competing in Grand Prix freestyle quadrilles to benefit breast cancer research, and Discover Dressage is a non-profit organization with the mission to inspire American youth to discover the sport of dressage and support healthy competition.

“When Mary talked to me about ideas for the Challenge, I told her I had a quadrille ready to go,” said Van Kampen, owner of Hampton Green Farm, known for the breeding and promotion of the PRE horse. “For USPRE week, held recently in Wellington, Florida, the girls put together a quadrille on four great geldings and had a lot of fun. I thought adding them to the exhibition line-up before the competition would be an excellent way to support the Challenge. Our all-female musical quadrille made up of talented young women will help create awareness among young people about breast cancer.”

The team of Kerrigan Gluch, Sarah Roda, Elena Schiefele and Sophia Schults will ride their own PRE horses or those owned by Hampton Green Farm. They are coached by Maria Lithander.

“It’s very different to ride as a team and it presents unique challenges, but it’s also really fun and rewarding,” Elena Schiefele said. “Since one in eight women develops breast cancer, I think breast cancer research is important not only to those whose lives will be saved, but also to their families and everyone else affected by it.”

Team member Sophia Schults agreed. “Having the opportunity to participate in such an amazing event is unreal and being able to help support such a great cause is a huge honor. The support that both the sport of dressage as well as breast cancer research gains from this event makes a huge difference and I feel very lucky to be a part of both causes.”

Rider Kerrigan Gluch said they had fun creating an entertaining routine and she’s excited to perform it for a worthy cause. “This is my first time being involved with something like the Challenge, so I am very eager to see how it goes. This sport is mostly geared towards competition, so I think it’s great to associate it with breast cancer research. I think good riding, entertaining music, great people – all for a good cause, makes for an awesome night.”

Challenge of the Americas:

Dufour Destroys the Opposition with Sensational Performance in Gothenburg

Photo: Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaard’s Cassidy. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (26) and Atterupgaard’s Cassidy brought the Swedish crowd to their feet with a spectacular performance to win the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in Gothenburg (SWE). The pair that claimed individual bronze and team silver at last summer’s Longines FEI European Championships in the same city pinned reigning series champion Germany’s Isabell Werth (48) and Swedish star Patrik Kittel (41) into second and third in the Grand Prix, and they did it again. But this time their winning margin was even more emphatic as the dynamic Danish duo earned a whopping score of 88.200.

That was put into perspective when multi-medaled Werth (Emilio) said: “There is no shame in finishing second on 85 percent!” while Kittel (Delaunay OLD) was ecstatic about his mark of 83.615 that put him in third – “an all-time personal best for me!” he said. Dufour could hardly believe what she had achieved.

“I was nervous because this was the first time for us to do this Freestyle floor-plan. Cassidy can be spooky because he’s a very sensitive horse, but today he was so calm. He was with me every moment of the way and I’ll never forget that standing ovation!” — Cathrine Dufour DEN (1st)

The Swedish spectators held their breath as the Danish partnership performed in complete harmony before exploding with excitement when the horse and rider drew to a halt. Dufour said that Denmark’s Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein has helped her really raise her game over the last few months. “Rune Willum was my trainer for 15 years and he was like my second father, but in December I started working with Nathalie, and now she is my rock!” she explained after posting her second personal-best score of the weekend.

The result has moved her up to 12th place on the Western European League leaderboard from which the top nine will qualify for the Final in Paris (FRA) in April. Dufour is hoping to make the cut even though she doesn’t intend to compete at the last qualifier in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in two weeks’ time, but Werth will definitely be at the Dutch fixture with Emilio whose confidence and character continues to grow. “Give us one more year to make his canter as good as the piaffe/passage and you will see what more we can do!” said the happy German rider who intends to defend her title at the French finale with her top ride, the Olympic and European gold-medal-winning mare Weihegold.

She’ll be the toughest nut to crack, but Dufour showed that the winds of change are blowing once again through the top ranks of international Dressage and that she and her fabulous chestnut gelding are a major force to be reckoned with.

By Louise Parkes

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Equestrian Aid Foundation Helps Farrier Get Back on Track after Serious Injury

Trevor Lent and Blue. Photo courtesy of Trevor Lent.

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 22, 2018 – Trevor Lent made his living as a farrier until the day he was kicked so badly that both his kneecap and femur shattered. After an initial unsuccessful surgery, his doctor performed a total knee replacement that left him temporarily non-weight bearing and permanently unable to return to his livelihood of shoeing horses.

Without income from his work, the once self-reliant cowboy’s life fell apart. He lost his house and his marriage. For a period of time, a truck and stock trailer served as home to Trevor, his horse and his dog.

Then, a friend told him about Equestrian Aid Foundation and how the organization helps horse people facing financial catastrophe from illness or injury. Trevor asked – and Equestrian Aid said yes.

“The Equestrian Aid Foundation was a tremendous help to me during a tumultuous time,” he said.

After several years of hard work at odd jobs and with the support of Equestrian Aid Foundation and his friends, Trevor purchased a small tract of land at the foot of the Datril Mountains in New Mexico. Slowly but steadily, he built a barn for his horse and a shop. Trevor now works repairing tack and leather goods, and he creates custom tack for pack horses and mules. Eventually, he built a small home. Today Trevor lives there with his wife Tova, whom he met on horseback.

“I like living here,” Trevor said. “It’s big country and it’s beautiful. There’s not a lot of people and the people here are survivors. They have to be.”

Trevor will never be sound again but he, too, is a survivor. Despite the devastating physical, emotional and financial aftermath of his accident, he has rebuilt his life.

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The Basics of Botulism

Basic management measures, combined with vaccination, will reduce your horse’s risk of contracting this deadly form of poisoning.

Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the deadliest biological toxin known to man. When ingested, botulinum toxin causes botulism, a fast-acting, often fatal form of food poisoning. Horses who consume feed tainted with botulinum toxin may die within hours or days unless they receive fast, appropriate treatment.

And then there’s the really bad news: The types of C. botulinum most dangerous to horses are present in the soil and in the grasses and hays that they eat. Especially if you live in or purchase forage grown in a region where C. botulinum is endemic, eliminating the bacteria from a horse’s environment is impossible.

But the news isn’t all bad. C. botulinum proliferates and produces botulinum toxin only under specific conditions, which can be prevented with basic management precautions, and vaccination of at-risk horses offers an additional layer of protection. So botulism is fairly rare in horses, and with a few basic steps to keep your horse’s food and water fresh and clean, you can greatly reduce the risk that he will ever have a problem with this disease. Here’s what you need to know.

Profile of a killer

Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobe, which means it thrives in the absence of oxygen. And, when environmental conditions aren’t right for it — when it is in a dry, oxygen-rich atmosphere, for example — it goes dormant, encasing itself in a tough, protective outer membrane called an endospore. In this form, the bacteria do little harm to a horse.

But when external conditions change in its favor — that is, in anaerobic conditions with the right amount of moisture — C. botulinum emerges from its dormant state and multiplies rapidly. As each individual bacterium matures and dies, it releases its deadly toxin.

Seven distinct types of botulinum toxin have been identified — designated by letters from type A through G — but only types A, B and C are likely to produce illness in horses in the United States. Types A and B both reside in soil, but your risk of encountering them depends largely on where you live. Type A is more common in the West, and type B is seen more frequently east of the Mississippi River, especially in Kentucky and the Mid-Atlantic States. Type C is found in animal carcasses and bird droppings, which can be anywhere. However, up to 85 percent of all cases of equine botulism are caused by type B, which means that the risks are highest for horses in the eastern United States.

Botulinum toxin can cause illness in three ways:

  • Food poisoning (botulism). Botulism is most likely to occur in horses who eat forage stored in a moist, anaerobic environment that encourages the proliferation of C. botulinum. This might occur, for example, if hay is baled while still moist or stored improperly; the wetness at the center of the bale causes spoilage and creates the ideal conditions for C. botulinum. Improperly processed haylage or silage — fermented forages normally fed to cattle — may also cause botulism in horses, as can clumps of grass clippings left by mowers. A far less common threat is feed or forage that has been contaminated by bird droppings or an animal carcass.
  • Toxicoinfectious botulism (“shaker foal” syndrome). Foals are vulnerable to this form of botulism when they ingest the endospores as they nibble on grass or other things in their environment. The bacteria may activate and form colonies in gastric ulcers or the intestines.
  • Wound botulism. Dirt and contaminants can carry endospores into a wound; if the surface heals over, an anaerobic environment may be created that allows the bacteria to gain a foothold within the surrounding tissues. This is more likely to occur with punctures and other deeper wounds.

A deadly threat

No matter how the botulinum toxin gets into the horse’s body, the effects are the same. The toxin binds to the synapses of the nerves that control the muscles, blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles. With no source of input, the muscles go flaccid, causing paralysis. Signs may appear within hours or days and often begin with the inability to swallow. A foal might have difficulty nursing.

As the toxin spreads, the effects begin to appear throughout the body, with signs such as muscle tremors, generalized weakness, a limp tail and gait issues. The severity and extent of the paralysis depends upon the amount of the toxin that a horse consumes. If he ingested only a little, he may just become less active and eat less before recovering after several days. A large dose of botulinum toxin will likely cause a horse to become recumbent. In the most serious cases, the cause of death is often suffocation, as the toxin paralyzes the muscles that facilitate breathing.

The early signs of botulism — difficulty swallowing, lack of eating, lying down, flaccid muscles — can look like other conditions, such as choke, colic or neurological disorders. Signs more specific to botulism include muscle tremors and weakness in the tongue; if you gently pull the horse’s tongue out of his mouth, he won’t be able to retract it. Even if you’re not sure it’s botulism, it’s best to call your veterinarian right away if you notice any of these signs, however subtle they might be.

If you suspect botulism, remove all food from all animals on your farm, including cattle and other livestock, as you wait for the veterinarian to arrive. Botulism often occurs in outbreaks when multiple animals are fed the same tainted forage. You’ll also want to keep the horse quiet and still to avoid exhausting his weakened muscles.

The only effective treatment for botulism is to administer an antitoxin, which must be done as soon as possible. The antitoxin works by binding with botulinum toxin that is still in circulation in the bloodstream, preventing the toxin molecules from binding with nerve cells and preventing the disease from progressing. Nothing can be done to treat neurons that have already been blocked. If treatment is delayed, the horse may be beyond help. If multiple horses have been fed from the same source, your veterinarian may suggest administering the antitoxin to all of them, in case others have ingested the toxin but are not yet showing signs of illness.

If the affected horse can be kept alive, the damaged nerves will heal within a few weeks, and he can make a full recovery. In the meantime, depending on the severity of his signs, he may require extensive supportive care, including nutrition and fluids via intubation.

Vaccinate “at risk” horses

Currently, only one vaccine against C. botulinum is approved for use in horses in the United States. The vaccine, which works against C. botulinum type B, is about 95 percent effective, and though it may not prevent all cases of botulism, it can reduce the severity of the illness and increase a horse’s chances for survival. The vaccine does not provide cross protection against C. botulinum types A or C.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) includes botulism on its list of “risk-based” vaccines, which means it is recommended for those horses most likely to come in contact with the bacteria or toxin. However, according to the AAEP, “Vaccination is warranted for all horses, as C. botulinum type B can be found in soil samples from many areas of the country and movement of horses or forage from non-endemic to endemic regions occurs frequently.”

What that means, says Amy Johnson, DVM, DACVIM, of the University of Pennsylvania, is that “it would be reasonable to vaccinate any horse for botulism, even though certain areas of the country are very low-risk. Since horses move around so much these days, it is possible that the horse would end up in an area of the country where botulism is more common. Likewise, hay and other forages can be shipped long distances, so it is possible that a horse in a low-risk geographic region could be exposed if fed hay from a high-risk geographic region.”

In Kentucky and the Mid-Atlantic States where botulin type B is most common, veterinarians may recommend the vaccine for all horses. “That is because the organism is so prevalent in the soil that sporadic botulism cases occur even in adult horses who are not fed high-risk feedstuffs, such as fermented feeds or large bale hay,” says Johnson. “Also, any horse fed high-risk feeds should be vaccinated.”

Vaccination is also recommended for pregnant mares, especially in endemic areas, to protect their foals against toxicoinfectious botulism. Foals can receive a three-dose series at four-week intervals, beginning at the age of 2 to 3 months, if the dam was vaccinated, or as early as 2 weeks of age if she was not.

Ask your veterinarian whether vaccinating against botulism might be advisable for your horse. If there’s any doubt, consider vaccinating anyway. “The vaccine is not that expensive and almost never causes adverse effects,” says Johnson.

Other preventive measures

  • Discard damp or moldy hay. If a hay bale gets moist, the anaerobic conditions at the center create ideal conditions for the growth of C. botulinum. Large round bales are especially susceptible to retaining moisture at their centers. Even if your hay is dry now, any previous dampness may have harbored bacterial growth, and the toxins left behind will still be present. The toxin itself will not detectable by color or smell, but the damp conditions that fostered the bacteria will leave hay smelling musty or moldy. Examine each flake as you peel it off the bale, and discard any hay that is moist or smells funky.
  • Protect stored hay from the elements. Periodically check for leaks in the roof and walls of your hay storage area. Stacking hay on wooden pallets will help air circulate and prevent moisture from accumulating underneath.
  • Offer hay in feeders. Hay dropped on the ground can easily become contaminated, and rain and mud will help foster the growth of bacteria. Instead, provide hay in a commercial or homemade feeder that keeps the forage dry. Especially if you live in a wetter climate, consider investing in an enclosed feeder that will keep out the rain and snow. Clean up dropped hay regularly. If your horse has a condition, such as heaves, that requires you to soak his hay, do not soak more than he can eat in one meal.
  • Avoid high-risk forages. Haylage — grass that is baled with a higher moisture content and sealed in plastic — is typically meant for cattle or sheep, which are less susceptible to botulism than horses. Some people do feed haylage to horses, especially if they need a low-dust alternative to dry hays, and haylage that has been properly processed and sealed ought to be safe, but the risk of botulism remains, even when the forage seems fresh. Definitely do not feed horses any haylage from bags that have been torn open or that look or smell spoiled. Also, don’t let your horse graze in areas where clumps of cut grass remain from a recent mowing, and warn your neighbors against tossing grass clippings over the fence as “treats” for your herd.
  • Watch out for dead animals and bird droppings. Botulism type C is fairly rare, but you do want to avoid feed or water that has been tainted by carcasses or droppings. Discard any hay or bagged feeds if you discover body parts from dead animals, and routinely check water buckets or troughs for drowning victims. (A mesh escape ramp built into the side of a large trough can help small animals who fall in to climb out safely.) Prevent birds from nesting in areas where a lot of droppings would fall onto feeders or stored hay, and do not use poultry manure as fertilizer on hayfields or pastures.

This article first appeared in the October 2017 issue of EQUUS (Volume #481).

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National Competitors Take to the Ring at AGDF 6

Devon Kane and Sir Galanto. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2018 – The 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued in week six with national competition on February 16-18. Friday’s national grand prix at AGDF 6 saw local rider Devon Kane’s big tour horse Sir Galanto return to the ring — and to winning ways — following an injury. The 13-year-old by Stedinger x De Niro topped the grand prix with 67.717%. The 2018 AGDF continues in week seven with CDI-W competition and more on February 22-25.

Kane, of Diamante Farms, said: “He had some time off over the summer and this was his second show back this year. I wanted to use the opportunity to get him more solid before stepping back into CDIs in two weeks’ time. It was a busy show with a lot going on, especially with the jumpers on the Derby field, so it was a great opportunity to test Galanto’s focus.”

She was delighted with how the stallion, which came from a small barn in Germany on Valentine’s Day three years ago, coped with the atmosphere.

“Everything felt great — we had a little miscommunication in the one-tempis, but the piaffe/passage was stronger than ever. I had his focus and attention, plus energy that I could use to my benefit. He has such softness, but you have so much power available all the time; it’s quite a fabulous feeling.”

Kevin Kohmann, who is German but also based at Diamante Farms, won Friday’s prix st georges on Melanie Pai’s 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding Fritz San Tino with a fantastic score of 74.853%.

Denmark’s Signe Kirk Kristiansen picked up two blue grand prix special ribbons on the talented Her Highness O, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare by Hohenstein x Weltmeyer. Kristiansen bought the mare from Caroline Roffman three years ago, but an injury to a hind leg shortly thereafter appeared to be career threatening.

“I’ve had her for three years, but it was two years before the first show because of the injury,” said Kristiansen. “I gave up ever riding ‘Hannah’ ever again and tried breeding her, but we didn’t succeed. Then she came sound, and now she’s happy and fit.”

Kristiansen, who is based in Palm Beach Point for the season and home in Denmark over the summer added: “We got our best score [68.51%] this week. In the past we’ve had a problem with the piaffe at X where she spooked every time, but now she’s settling really well with that. I’m so honored to ride her; I didn’t educate her myself and I feel very lucky to have a horse like her who is older and wiser. She’s energetic but feels safe, which for me is the perfect combination as I’m not so brave, but I love her energy. I am learning so much.”

Lisa Wilcox was unbeaten in two starts on the chestnut stallion Gallant Reflection HU, by Galant Du Serein x Rhodiamant. They won the intermediate II with over 71% before logging 68.375% in the developing grand prix class — an impressive feat for a horse who is only nine years old. He is owned by Horses Unlimited, who bred the licensed stallion.

“We spent a year working on his piaffe/passage after the developing prix st georges championship and I’m thrilled with his progress,” said the Olympic rider who has ridden ‘Reef’ since he was five. “The plan is to let him do the national championships this season, then graduate to CDIs at grand prix next year. Our goal long-term is Tokyo. Reef is amazing and has so much potential, I really love him. He’s incredibly smart and talks to me — he whinnies when he sees my car. He has a lot of talent and is a ton of fun.”

Betsy Steiner was a double small tour winner on Swiss W, Whitney Bailey’s 11-year-old mare by Sir Oldenburg, topping both the prix st georges and I-I classes they entered with over 71% — more than 4% clear of the chasing pack in both.

Steiner, who is based at White Fences Equestrian Center with her daughter Jessie, said: “Swiss is extraordinary. She’s the love of my life. She’s very sensitive and can be hot, but in a positive, workmanlike way that you can turn into brilliance. She’s so intelligent that she’s made me into a better rider and trainer by showing me new and better ways to do things. If there are ever mistakes in our tests, they’re mine.”

The mare’s FEI passport is yet to arrive, but once it does, Steiner plans to launch her small tour CDI career.

“We’re also working on a very exciting new I-1 freestyle for her with Terry Gallo [who also does Laura Graves’ music],” she added.

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Junior and Children’s Nation Cup Is a Success

Photo: Claudia Villamil aboard QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS.

For the first time, HITS Post Time Farm hosted a Nations Cup style event for both Junior and Children’s riders.  Mexico, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the USA were represented and classes for each were held throughout the week with the Nations Cup style event on Saturday. These talented young riders made the competition exciting to watch for both their fellow competitors and spectators.

Thursday marked the start of the Junior and Children’s Classes. In the $1,000 Welcome Classic-Junior, Claudia Villamil, riding for Puerto Rico, took home the first place award aboard QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS with a jump-off time of 30.90. In second place, Faith Davis (USA) followed with DA VINCI and a jump-off time of 38.09.  Third place went to Nicole Meyer Robredo (Mexico) aboard CHANEL with a four-fault first-round time of 64.16.

The Welcome Classic – Children’s also took place on Thursday.  Daniel Kerins, representing Ireland, came in first aboard ELWOOD with a jump-off time of 30.80. Less than one half of a second behind him was Natalie Pedley (Puerto Rico) and TRUE BLUE MATE, taking home the second place award. In third place was Francis Derwin (Ireland) and STAND BY ME with a jump-off time of 31.81, just one second behind Pedley.

On Friday, the day began in Ocala Horse Properties Stadium with the $5,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix – Junior. Carolina Villanueva Suarez (Mexico) rode to the first place finish aboard ZABEL D with no jumping faults and just two time faults in 90.60. Second place was awarded to Villamil and QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS with a four-fault score in a time of 77.04. Davis and DA VINCI came in third place with a four-fault round-one time of 81.63.

Following the Junior class was the City of Ocala Grand Prix – Children’s. Once again, Kerins came out on top, taking the first place award aboard ELWOOD with a jump-off time of 32.56. Rhys Williams (Ireland) and MALBAY DREAMER were awarded second place with a jump-off time of 34.15. Just behind him, third place went to Pedley aboard TRUE BLUE MATE with a jump-off time of 34.40.

Excitement was at an all time high on Saturday morning, as riders prepared for the Nations Cup style class, which would consist of two rounds and a possible jump-off.

The $5,000 FEI International Invitational Team Competition – Junior had two teams: the Aztecs, consisting of four riders representing Mexico and Chef D’Equipe Stanny van Paesschen, and the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of three riders, two American, and one Puerto Rican, and Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. In round one, two riders from each team went clear, leaving the Aztecs with four faults and the Stars and Stripes with twelve faults. In round two, both Luciana Gonzalez Guerra aboard CHARLOTTA and Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordilla aboard TREBON DE LA NUTRIA went clear for the Aztecs, which led them to a Gold Medal finish with a two-round total of eight faults. The Stars and Stripes were awarded the Silver Medal with a two-round score of twenty-eight faults.

The FEI International Invitational Team Competition – Children’s included three teams. The Americas, a team of three, consisted of two American riders, one Puerto Rican rider, and their Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. Eire consisted of four Irish riders and Chef D’Equipe Michael Blake. The Stars and Stripes Children’s consisted of four American riders and Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. The course was a challenge for some, but after round one, seven riders had jumped clear rounds, putting Team Americas in the lead.

In round two, all but three riders went clear, creating a three-way tie and jump-off. Natalie Pedley and TRUE BLUE MATE had an incredible jump-off time of 37.88, which gave Americas the Gold Medal. Eire was awarded the Silver Medal with Francis Derwin’s jump-off time of 39.14. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. earned an eight-fault jump-off time of 51.68, earning Team Stars and Stripes Children’s the Bronze Medal.

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Madison Goetzmann Takes Top Prize in $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix

Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — February 18, 2018 — Victory on the grass derby field on Sunday, February 18, in the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix went to 17-year-old Madison Goetzmann (USA) riding Prestigious at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

On the grass derby field on Sunday, 50 entries competed over a course designed by Ana Catalina Cruz-Harris (MEX), and ten of those were clear to advance to the jump-off. Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi set the early winning pace in 41.97 seconds with no faults, which would hold up for second place.

Next into the ring for the jump-off was Ailish Cunniffe (USA) on Baloucento 2, owned by Whipstick Farm Ltd. They finished in 42.16 seconds and placed third.

Five trips later, the winning time was lowered to 41.53 seconds when Goetzmann and her own Prestigious finished the jump-off. Three additional rounds were unable to catch Goetzmann’s time and stay clear through the course.

It was the second win in a row for Goetzmann, who also captured Saturday’s $10,000 Hermès U25 Welcome with Prestigious.

Scheriff-Muser, Karp, Danhakl, Ratigan, and Smith Capture Classic Victories

A field of 74 competitors took to the International Arena on Sunday in the $5,000 Peggy Cone WCHR Adult Hunter Classic to wrap up the much-anticipated World Championship Rider Hunter week at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival. Due to its size, the class featured a California split and pinned two different sections of winners. Tracy Scheriff-Muser, aboard Shoreline, and Samantha Karp, aboard Zentina B, prevailed.

Scheriff-Muser and her veteran mount, Shoreline, topped the field in section A with two top scores of 88 and a total of 176. Scheriff-Muser is no stranger to this particular classic and expressed her enthusiasm to finally walk out of the International Arena with the blue.

Zentina B, guided by Samantha Karp, received the highest score in the division of a 90 in the first round and came back to get an 84 in the second with a total of 174 to secure the section B win.

Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA topped the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Classic aboard her own Enough Said and also took second riding her own Quest.

After earning the Adequan Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3” division title earlier in the week, Danhakl collected scores of 90 and 84 in the classic to finish on a 174 total with Enough Said. She bested herself by four points after also piloting Quest to scores of 86 and 84 to sit on a total of 170 for second place. Brad Wolf and Libretto rounded out the top three by combining scores of 82 and 85 for an overall score of 167.

Caroline Ratigan and Trust remained unfazed after a scheduling change that moved the junior hunter competitors out of the International Arena and into the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring. The pair took two high scores of 87 in both rounds of the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Junior Hunter Classic 16-17 and emerged victorious.

With a total of 174, the duo was tough to beat. Ratigan and the 10-year-old gelding have been partnered together for three years, and the two continue to best competitors in the hunter ring. Today marked their third consecutive first-place win this week in addition to winning the division championship on Saturday in the International Arena.

Sunday’s final class of the World Champion Hunter Rider week went to one of the last entries to return for their second round in the WCHR Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 & Under Classic, Stephanie Smith and Clintano, owned by Sand Dollar Farm, LLC. The pair had a first round score of 84 and came back to earn an 85. A combined score of 169 was enough for Smith to capture the blue.

Smith, of Saddle River, NJ, and Clintano also won Friday’s section A over fences class in the International Arena with a pair of 83 scores, and the young rider expressed how she entered the competition with continued confidence, despite being moved out of the larger ring due to a scheduling change.

Victoria Colvin Cruises to $25,000 CP National Grand Prix Victory

The $25,000 CP National Grand Prix was held on the grass derby field, and it was 20-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL who sped to victory on Clochard, owned by Neil Jones Equestrian Inc.

There were 26 entries in the class, and seven in the jump-off. Colvin was the last to go, and she and Clochard, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, raced across the field to clock a time of 40.902 seconds for the win.

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Canadians Claim Clear Victory at Longines Leg in Ocala

Photo: Tiffany Foster and Brighton. (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)

Team Canada won the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America with more than a touch of class. The six-nation contest was a roller-coaster ride for most of their opponents, but double-clears from both ten-time Olympian Ian Millar (71) and Rio 2016 Olympic individual bronze medallist Eric Lamaze (49) ensured that all they had to add were single errors from team-mates Francois Lamontagne (34) and Tiffany Foster (33) for the winning total of eight faults. Brazil finished second on 16, while Ireland and USA shared third place with 24 faults in a competition filled with unpredictability.

“It sure switched around; it looked one way in the first round but then it changed like crazy in the second when the Germans got into trouble and the Brazilians came steaming out!” — Ian Millar (Team Canada)

Germany and Canada shared the lead with just four faults apiece at the halfway stage, but when Christian Heineking (NKH Caruso) was eliminated at the open water then 12-fault results from Andre Thieme (Conthendrix) and Markus Beerbaum (Cool Hand Luke) had to be added to the four collected by Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Daisy), dropping Germany right out of contention. Meanwhile, a second-round clear from Felipe Amaral (Premiere Carthoes BZ) consolidated Brazil’s eight-fault scoreline and they posed a real threat in the closing stages.

The Canadians began to look shaky when Lamontagne’s single second-round mistake with Chanel du Calvaire was followed by 16 faults from Foster and Brighton who had faulted just once first time out. But the amazing Millar, who made his Olympic debut 46 years ago, in Munich (GER) in 1972, steadied the decline with another rock-solid run from his 15-year-old gelding Dixson. And when Lamaze kept a super-cool head to back that up with Coco Bongo then it was a done deal because the Brazilians had added eight more to their tally.

As Millar, who long ago earned the revered title of “Captain Canada”, pointed out, “Eric and I are like the bookends – you just have to put someone in the middle and away we go and do our best to deliver!”

They did just that, each earning a half-share of the €50,000 bonus on offer to riders jumping double-clear this season in the process. And having bagged the maximum 100 points on offer to the three teams chasing points in the North/Central America and Caribbean League, the Canadians will be hoping to maintain their advantage over the next two legs of the series in Coapexpan (MEX) in April and on home ground in Langley (CAN) in June. The target is a coveted qualification spot for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2018 in Barcelona (ESP) in October.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Langehanenberg Steals the Limelight on Home Ground in Neumünster

Photo: Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH. (FEI/Stefan Lafrentz)

The extraordinary ups and downs of sport were highlighted once again when Helen Langehanenberg (35) and Damsey sealed a superb victory at the seventh leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League on home soil in Neumünster, Germany. At the previous round in Amsterdam (NED) three weeks ago, the 2013 FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion had to retire when her 16-year-old stallion got his tongue over the bit and their performance fell apart. However, it was perfect harmony every step of the way as their strong score of 83.800 pinned compatriots Dorothee Schneider (49) and Sammy Davis Jr into runner-up spot while Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann-Andersen (27) and Blue Hors Zack slotted into third.

“This was maybe our best result ever – Damsy felt great; he had the perfect mixture of freshness and motivation and he just performed the way every rider wants; the communication between us was really easy!” — Helen Langehanenberg GER (1st)

The atmosphere in the Neumünster arena is notoriously intense. As runner-up Schneider said, “Everything about this show is brilliant, especially the crowd who is so close that it feels like they are also riding your horse!” That didn’t stop her from posting 81.565 for second place and moving even closer to Sweden’s Patrik Kittel at the top of the Western European leaderboard. With just two qualifiers left to go, in Gothenburg (SWE) next weekend and ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) two weeks later, that’s a really good place to be, because only two German riders can join defending champion Isabell Werth at the Final in Paris (FRA) in April, and sealing one of those two spots is a battle in itself. A total of nine riders, and a maximum of three from any nation, can make the cut from the Western European series.

Spain’s Morgan Barbancon Mestre, fourth to go with Sir Donnerhall ll, caused a stir when stopped by the Ground Jury because her floorplan had been changed overnight. When this was resolved she was allowed to compete, but it was Marie Emilie Bretenoux and Quartz of Jazz from France who led the way at the halfway stage with a mark of 76.300. This, however, would be improved on again and again, Denmark’s Bachmann-Andersen presenting a lovely picture of relaxation and balance with his 14-year-old stallion that rocketed him into the lead on a big mark of 81.475 with six left to go.

Langehanenberg pushed him off his pedestal immediately, however, and Schneider then pinned him back to third, but the talented Dane has now moved into joint-fourth on the leaderboard and looks set to make a big impression at the Final. Langehanenberg winner won’t make it to Paris. “I’m expecting a baby in June, so this was our last show before that and it’s the perfect result! I hope to be back in the saddle again in July though,” Langehanenberg explained.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Louise Serio and Rock Harbor Win $100k WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular

Louise Serio and Rock Harbor. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — February 17, 2018 — Louise Serio won for the third time in the history of the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, picking up this year’s victory with Jennifer Burger’s Rock Harbor on Saturday, February 17, at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

After leading in the first round with a score of 89.50, Serio and Rock Harbor, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, returned as the final pair in the handy round. They scored 86.75 for a 176.25 total to win the class.

After winning this class the past two years, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL and Catch Me, a ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, had to overcome one mistake in the first round and a score of 83.33 to complete their three-peat. They made an amazing move up the standings from 11th to second place with the best second round score of 91 for a total of 174.33.

In her first time competing at WEF, Tracy Fenney traveled from Flower Mound, TX to finish in the top three of the Hunter Spectacular. She and MTM Outbid, an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by MTM Farm, had an 85.33 in the first round and sat seventh. A solid handy round score of 88.83 moved them up the standings to third with a 174.16 total.

Ingram, Iwasaki, Jayne, Kurtz, Seaman, and Tropen Win Saturday Hunter Championships

John Ingram continued his winning streak aboard Airport 48, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, well into WCHR week six at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Ingram and the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding were crowned champion of the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 division on Saturday, after claiming two firsts and a second over fences and a fourth in the under saddle.

Emma Kurtz entered the International Arena on Saturday afternoon to claim her championship ribbon in the Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Unfortunately, her mount, Dedication, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, was unable to accompany the young rider in the big ring for Saturday’s competition, as he was not feeling his best the night before. However, the pair still bested the division by claiming both blue ribbons over fences and a fourth place in the under saddle on Friday.

Saturday’s daytime hunter competition came to a close with Emma Kurtz aboard A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, being crowned the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division champion in the International Arena. The duo took two first place ribbons over fences and a first under saddle.

The Lugano Diamonds Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division ended in a California split on Saturday with champion ribbons going to Kelly Tropin riding Chablis, owned Libertas Farm, and Callie Seaman aboard her own Chicago.

After coming back from a spinal fusion surgery in July, Seaman started riding again in early January and has been showing for three weeks. She hails from Greenwich, CT and piloted Chicago to two seconds and a fourth over fences as well as a win under saddle.

Augusta Iwasaki, 13, of Calabasas, CA, claimed the champion tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division to qualify for the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular aboard Small Affair, owned by Lyn Pedersen.

Iwasaki and the 15-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf d’Or were first, second, and third over fences as well as sixth under saddle.

Fourteen-year-old Natalie Jayne of Elgin, OH collected two firsts and a third-place ribbon over fences as well as fifth under saddle to win the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship riding Cracker Jack, her own 11-year-old Warmblood gelding.

Fresh Partnership Claims $35,000 Hollow Creek 1.50m Classic in Week Six

A brand new partnership triumphed in a field of 27 starters in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic during week six. On the Derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival), Brazil’s Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa and Biscayo produced the fastest of only two clears in the three-strong jump-off.

The 12-year-old horse is only lightly competed, though under his previous rider, Bolivia’s Reynaldo Roberto Daza Cardozo, he contested the Bolivarian Games in 2017. Biscayo’s Wellington victory was his first ever international win.

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