Meet Xavier: Young Rider Magazine’s Fall 2020 Cover Model

Photo courtesy of Bethany P Photography.

Wellington, FL (September 18, 2020) – Fall 2020 Young Rider magazine’s cover model has serious X factor: it’s even in his name. Xavier Gomez and his handsome mount shot to the spotlight this September on one of the nation’s biggest youth equestrian magazines. An avid equitation and hunter jumper rider, Xavier’s feature highlights his own mindset on riding and competing, as well as his plans to continue this X factor success into the hunter, jumper, and equitation arenas through the end of 2020 and 2021.

As a rider of Colombian and Dominican decent, Xavier breaks the mold in terms of your average equestrian, but the real individuality comes from his own passion and dedication to his horses and the sport. With the support of his father, Jose Gomez of Wellington Agricultural Services, Xavier trains daily with Kobi Rhodes of Kobi’s Place Stables in Wellington, Florida, striving for perfection in the saddle. In equitation, this perfection is a product of practice and precision, and Xavier’s hours of work are a testament to his own passion and perseverance. “I love riding, and especially jumping,” said Xavier. “But to be the best jumper I can be, I know position and effectiveness is everything. Really focusing on my equitation has been my goal and under the guidance of Kobi I’m excited to see how far I can go.”

The 16-year-old has his sights set on the 3’6″ Dover Hunt Seat Medal Final along with the Maclay Championship. Xavier also has a number of wins under his belt following shows resuming after the COVID lockdown, including winning both the ASPCA Medal and Maclay at the ESP Summer III in late August aboard Elios, an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Michael Deitrich. Elios was imported in August of 2019 and will be his main mount for his equitation campaign. In addition, Xavier is pursuing an out-of-the-saddle modeling career with the assistance of national representation.

Follow Xavier on Instagram (@xavier_.gomez).

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

2020 National Horse Show COVID-19 Protocols Released

Lexington, KY – Sept. 14, 2020 – The COVID-19 Protocols for the 2020 National Horse Show are now available for review. Scheduled to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park from October 23 – November 1, the National Horse Show is looking forward to hosting top equestrian sport in a safe environment for all competitors. This year, strict COVID-19 protocols will be enforced for all participants. The COVID-19 Protocols are based on the best practices from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

To make sure everyone is still able to be with us safely from home, The National Horse Show will be offering free live streaming coverage of the event via ShowNet and ClipMyHorse TV.

In addition to the COVID-19 protocols, the 2020 National Horse Show will not be offering any VIP seating or Rider’s Lounge. These adjustments are for the safety of our members, competition organizers, staff, parents, and all involved.

To maintain social distancing standards, the 2020 event will not exceed 25% capacity in the Alltech Arena at any time.

Please check the nhs.org website regularly for event updates. Any questions regarding the event and changes to rules and regulations may be addressed to Cindy@nhs.org.

European Youth Eventing Masters

Strzegom is starting a brand-new project in the European equestrian events calendar – European Youth Eventing Masters. The first edition will be played out during Strzegom October Festival, from the 8th until the 11th of October in Morawa.

European Youth Eventing Masters is a show for every youth age category – Ponies, Juniors, and Young Riders. The athletes will compete in CCIOP2*-L (ponies), CCIO2*-L (juniors), and CCIO3*-L (Young Riders).

The rivalry is designed similarly to Nations Cup classes – each competition will include teams of 3-4 riders.

“Our goal is to give young riders a chance to compete individually and as a team, apart from championship events. We hope that the riders will find the show interesting, because we would like to host it in Strzegom during the coming years,” explains Marcin Konarski, chair of the Organising Committee.

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

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to Still Offer Bonus for 2020 Hagyard Challenge Series

Lexington, Ky. – September 10, 2020 – Hagyard Equine Medical Institute announced it will still offer a “Leading Rider Award” as part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenges Series even with the further reduction of events as a result of COVID-19.

On August 4, 2020 Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC and US Equestrian announced the cancellation of Bluegrass Festival (Aug. 11-16), KHJA (Aug. 19-23), and USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast (Aug. 23-24) scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Bluegrass Festival and KHJA were to be part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenge Series Events. With the changes, the events comprising The Series now will be as follows:

  • Kentucky Summer Horse Show – July 23rd
  • Kentucky Summer Classic – July 30th
  • Kentucky National Horse Show/The Betsy Grand Prix – September 20th

Because the Series is being further reduced to three events from its usual seven, Hagyard announced that the “Leading Rider Award” will be reduced, proportionately, to $15,000. Hagyard had announced a similar reduction in the prize when the Series was originally reduced from seven to five events.

“We’re just rolling with the changes,” said Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator for Hagyard. “The competitors are being flexible and bringing their best to the events that are able to be held, and we believe they should be rewarded for Going the Distance. We’re just scaling the award to reflect the number of events that are ultimately included.”

In the Hagyard Challenge Series, competitors Claire McKean and Shane Sweetnam are battling closely in the standings, but several others are not far behind.

Previously, Hagyard announced that the theme for the 2020 event would be Going the Distance. “We have worked with the Kentucky Horse Park to go the extra mile this year and find ways to put on the event in spite of some challenges,” Jackson had explained. “These new changes won’t deter us.”

One other group has also been willing to “Go the Distance” this year, the Hagyard Challenge Series sponsors. In a year marked by changes an economic uncertainty, title sponsor MWI Animal Health, Audi of Lexington, Central Kentucky Ag Credit, and Hagyard Pharmacy continued to honor their commitment.

“As we’ve mentioned before, the Leading Rider Award money is tied to our sponsors,” said Jackson. “This year, it would have been easy – and very understandable – if they had dropped out. We can’t thank them enough.”

For more information regarding the Leading Rider Award, please contact:

Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
ejackston@hagyard.com
859.255.8741

Pessoa Auction Coming September 14 & 15, 2020

With over 200 victories over 40 years of participating in prestigious Grand Prix events and derbies all over the world, Nelson Pessoa is a modern show jumping living legend and a rider with a magnificent record. Since he retired a rider, he has been focusing on coaching others.

Many people are unaware of the fact that Nelson Pessoa has always had a passion for breeding, and that he is a discreet but successful breeder. By seizing opportunities when the mares he once rode or trained retired, he was able to cross their genetics with stallions boarded in his stables or the stables of his students. Just think of Galoubet, Baloubet du Rouet, Canturo, and all the others. Some truly exceptional mares helped him breed horses that clearly left their mark in the studbooks, such as Quick Star.

Nelson Pessoa is passionate, and just like with any project he has undertaken so far, he always gives 100%.

It has been four years since he gathered a group of people to get them to invest in his breeding. Nelson Pessoa is not a trader because that is something that has never really interested him. Rather he is a patient horseman who knows how to develop the career of his horses. The goal is to sell 50% of the headcount in order to secure the whole breeding, keep the horses in training for four years, bring them to their full potential, and eventually market them.

At the age of 84, Nelson Pessoa is still very eager to coach. When this project first came to life, he had decided he would retire as a breeder in 2020. The “Pessoa Auction” is therefore the culmination of his breeding work and an opportunity for buyers to start their own breeding, expand their strings, or acquire a promising young horse or even a great performer ready to get out there and win.

The offering for sale has been mainly built around a founding mare who will also be included in the brochure; we are talking about Pandora, winner in 150 events and daughter of Kannan. This lot will also include a recipient mare carrying an embryo by Untouchable.

Pandora’s eldest son, Ze Carioca, a nine-year-old approved stallion by Canturo, competed on the U.S. circuit this spring in Wellington under the saddle of Rodrigo Pessoa. His younger brother, El London King, aged six and also an approved stallion, is a sublime copy of his father London and has enjoyed a string of successes this summer. Cornetina, daughter of the sister of the two champions, Divine Sensation by Diamant de Sémilly, is a three-year-old filly who will certainly generate a lot of interest.

Also a son of Cornet Obolensky and crossed with Pandora, Cornetino is a stallion candidate for this year. Tinkabell, a 15-year-old mare who has teamed up with Rodrigo Pessoa on 160 events, will be sold with her foal of the current year by Ze Carioca. Bella Baloubette, Eleonore, Ginseng, and Jigaro are mares and geldings from six to 11 years old and ready to show. They complement the brochure with other youngsters who are still in breeding.

The sale will be held online on September 14 and 15, 2020 via the web platform www.pessoa-auction.com.

We invite you to join Nelson Pessoa and other guests on 15 September at 8:30 p.m. (CET), for an exceptional live broadcast on our website, where you will be able to experience the thrill of the last hour of the “Pessoa Auction” sale.

“During my career, I have always been interested in the breeding and genetics. I love all these horses, no exception. My desire is not to sell at all costs, but rather to sell to the right person. It would be a wonderful achievement if each of them found their match.” – Nelson Pessoa

CONTACT: www.startinggate.ca

Hampton Classic & EQUUS Foundation Present a Day Devoted to Equine Adoption

Thanks to the Hampton Classic and the sponsor of this event, our EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, this joyful, annual Hampton Classic tradition of celebrating and showcasing horses in need of their next chapter continues.

Because all horses are champions to us, and because all horses deserve safe and loving homes, we are excited to present just some wonderful equines that are waiting for their chance to go home.

The virtual format of our event this year gives us the opportunity to showcase adoptable horses from our Guardian charities both locally and across the country.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t see you in person again this year to meet adoptable horses at the beautiful Hampton Classic Horse Show,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, “our virtual equine adoption event on September 14th will showcase horses of all breeds, ages, sizes and disciplines throughout the country with one thing in common — they are all waiting for a loving forever home.”

The EQUUUS Foundation Next Chapters platform featuring adoptable equines of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities located throughout the nation will serve as the backdrop. Please save the date and join us to learn about adoptable horses and our Guardian charities that rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home America’s horses to keep them safe and loved. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter last year. Tens of thousands more abused and neglected horses are in need of rescue and re-homing each year. Even more horses are in need of transition once their sporting career is over. Most are young, healthy, and have untapped potential like Xin Xu Lin.

Meet Xin Xu Lin

Godolphin Racing had really high hopes for Xin Xu Lin when he was purchased in 2011, having been recognized as Brazil’s Horse of the Year in 2010.

Sadly, the racing career for the 2007 Thoroughbred did not work out, but misfortune turned to fortune when Xin Xu Lin was donated to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Secretariat Center, in 2013 to be retrained and re-homed.

Xin Xu Lin found his forever home in Maryland where he competes in dressage and show jumping.

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Babington, Garson, & Martinez: ARM’s First eQuest Podcast

Wellington, FL (September 4, 2020) – The end of August marked the beginning of a new collaboration of equestrian minds in the form of the first recording of Athletes Risk Management’s eQuest podcast. Featuring three highly regarded international show jumpers, eQuest debuted from the living room of Olympian Kevin Babington, and discussed topics based on program’s theme, ‘classical horsemanship in modern times.’ With the support of Athletes Risk Management and sponsor Wellington Agricultural Services, eQuest will serve as a source of roundtable discussions and unfiltered conversations about the sport, horsemanship, and how the classical principles of riding can be applied to the modern competitive arena.

The August 31 recording featured Olympians Kevin Babington and Nona Garson as the focus and hosts of the podcast as they discussed the surreal feeling of a perfect ride, whether it’s under the stadium lights at Aachen or in the training arena. Geoff Wight, President of Athletes Risk Management, served as moderator and Antonio Martinez, a Venezuelan Grand Prix rider, gave unique insights on his equestrian upbringing in South America as well as his recent back to back wins in the Welcome and Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix just a few weeks ago at ESP. Nona Garson joined the discussion by phone from her New Jersey training and show facility, the Ridge at Riverview.

From left to right: Geoff Wight of ARM, Olympian Kevin Babington, and Antonio Martinez

“The horse is the great equalizer,” said Garson. “Some days you have an amazing ride in the Grand Prix and the next you fall off the same horse; it’s a funny sport like that.” Garson and Babington also agreed that when it all comes together in what they describe as “the best two minutes of your life,” it’s a magical experience, but that years of hard work and sweat are what get you there.

Click here to watch eQuest #1 on YouTube.

Click here to listen to eQuest #1 on Podbean.

Additional episodes of eQuest are in the works and will include guests and guest hosts from around the equestrian community. Follow ARM’s social media to get updates on each new episode’s drop date, and let us know if you have any ideas for quests or sponsors.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

BLM’s Massive Roundups Underway

One of the largest roundups of the past ten years concluded last month. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported that 1,825 wild horses and burros were removed from the Shawave Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) northeast of Reno, NV.

Eleven horses and one burro were killed during the roundup. Five of these were senior horses, and three of those were killed for “missing an eye.”

Next week, BLM will start another major roundup to remove over 1,100 horses in the Diamond Complex just north of Eureka, NV. If the BLM 2020 Roundup Plan is fully implemented, 2020 will rank as the year with the highest number of wild horses and burros captured in the last 19 years.

Read the Shawave report here.

Sept. Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is holding their next meeting on September 23-24, 2020 via Zoom. Register by September 17 (first come, first served) to give public comments.

While this Board is stacked with anti-wild horse folks who support massive roundups and voted to send horses to slaughter, it’s important they hear from the American people they are supposed to represent.

You can also send an email to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov calling on the Advisory Board to protect natural wild horse behaviors and to give our wild horses and burros their fair share of AUMs (forage) on the range. For more information, or to register for public comments, click here.

Congressional Update

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet acted on FY2021 funding for the federal government. Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) is threatening to not allow Committee markup of the funding bills. Markup is the process by which committees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.

It’s looking more unlikely that the FY2021 budget will be passed by Congress before the Fiscal Year (FY) ends on September 30th. This means Congress will likely pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) which will carry over the same funding from the last budget.

We will continue to keep you informed on the status of the Wild Horse and Burro Program funding. In the meantime, please continue to make your voice heard!

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

M & R Equestrian’s Training Days Return to Jim Brandon in November

Photo by Jacquie Porcaro Photos.

September 3, 2020 — Wellington, FL’s most unique training opportunity returns to the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center as M & R Equestrian’s 24-week season kicks off Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

Founded by Olympic veterans Alberto Michan (ISR) and Juan Andrés Rodriguez (GUA), M & R Equestrian’s Training Days, held weekly from November through April, offer riders of all levels an unprecedented opportunity to school over a full course of show quality jumps, set by FEI course designers.

Every Tuesday, three arenas — two jumper rings and an arena with hunter courses — will be available and set at varying heights throughout the day to accommodate horses and riders of all ages and levels. Training Days are a great way to prepare a young horse for its first horse show experience; to create the perfect video for a sales horse; to scout young horses and sale prospects; practice horse show elements like the open water; and to enjoy a relaxing, confidence-building experience at a top quality horse show venue — at an affordable price.

“We are really looking forward to kicking off our second season of Training Days,” Michan said. “We began this journey last year, because we felt it filled a void in our industry, and the response we got was incredible. Some of the top names in our sport became regular participants. We hope even more riders — of all levels — will come take advantage of this unique opportunity in Wellington.”

Among the many exemplary amenities at Jim Brandon is its superior lighting. Training Days will expand to its two-day schedule for 12 weeks beginning January 2021, with Mondays featuring a one-of-a-kind opportunity to school under the lights.

Each entry awards a horse and rider combination two minutes and 30 seconds in the arena, allowing them to jump as many fences or courses as they’d like in that time and providing the perfect horse show dress rehearsal.

“We believe that our Training Days season is the perfect complement to the winter circuit in Wellington,” Rodriguez said. “There are virtually no opportunities to school a horse under the lights before going into the show ring for a major event like a Saturday night grand prix, but Jim Brandon affords us the ability to offer that and so much more. We are very excited to get underway with our season and build upon what we started last year.”

© 2020 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Amazing Facts about Horse Racing

Do you think you know all there is to know about the beloved sport of horse racing? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting to explore the rich history of this prestigious athletic endeavor, chances are that there are more than a few horse racing facts out there that will surprise you. One of the oldest sports in the world, horse racing is notorious for its coded ways and opaque conventions, leaving many outsiders feeling more than a little mystified. Like anything though, it just takes a little time and patience to understand and appreciate. Here are a few incredible facts about this fascinating activity.

Some horses have defied all odds

Generally speaking, horses have to be able to meet some basic criteria before they can race. Anyone familiar with sportsbet horse racing will know that in addition to passing a regular inspection, it is also necessary to confirm that the horse is completely healthy and exhibiting no symptoms of illness. Seems reasonable enough consider no one would bet on a sick horse, right? Well in 1921, one British racehorse, aptly named Humorist, proved that this wasn’t necessarily the case. Upon winning the country’s most prestigious event, The British Derby, it was discovered that the horse had tuberculosis and was thus competing with only one healthy lung to rely on. It sure didn’t stop him from winning though.

Most horses retire at 15 (halfway through their lifespan)

Just like human athletes, racehorses tend to have a “peak,” at which age they tend to perform best and most consistently. This sweet spot often comes around the 10-year mark and it is pretty unusual to see a racehorse competing past the age of 15. Although they live, on average, for around 30 years, it is unprecedented for a horse over the age of 18 to win a professional horse race.

As old as time itself

When we say one of the world’s oldest sports, we mean it! Although the first official records of horse racing date back to the time of ancient Greece, there is reason to believe that some version of this activity can be traced to as far back as 4, 500 BC. Whether or not the legacy stretches back quite that far though, we have confirmation by way of chariot racing depictions on ancient pottery and descriptions from the infamous poet Homer to know that horse racing has been around for a very long time.

Horseracing is a matter of balancing scales

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how much the average racehorse weighs? Well, in sharp contrast to the famously featherweight jockeys who ride them, you can expect the average Thoroughbred to weigh in at about 1,000 pounds. At the higher end of the weight spectrum though, this can be almost doubled to upwards of 2,000. Switching to the other extreme, the lightest jockey who has ever been recorded weighed an incredibly slight 49 pounds, which is approximately what you could expect of an average 7-year-old.

A LOT of money is bet on horse races

You were probably already aware that there is a lot of money tied up in horses racing, but the actual figures may still make your jaw drop a bit. Over the course of a regular racing season, about $100 billion is bet on horseracing. That’s a pretty staggering number when you think about it. People the world over have long taken great pleasure in better on horse races through, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that that number is only likely to continue growing.

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