All posts by Associate Editor

Bertram Allen Continues Winning Ways during WEF Seven

Bertram Allen and Lafayette van Overis. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 21, 2020 – Ireland’s Bertram Allen continued a successful debut season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL with a victory in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI5* riding Lafayette van Overis on Friday, February 21.

Friday’s one-round, featured event built by course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) saw 67 riders compete for the win, but none could best Allen and the foot speed of his nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Tauber van het Kapelhof), owned by Ballywalter Stables.

Stopping the clock at 63.61 seconds, Allen and Lafayette van Overis, a horse he got the ride on in August of 2019, handily won with almost two seconds to spare.

“He’s incredibly straight forward,” said Allen, who took over the ride on Lafayette van Overis from Great Britain’s Joe Clee. “I feel like he truly understands what we are trying to do out there. Ever since I got him, he has been impressing me. He wasn’t bought to be the best horse in the world or to jump 5* grand prix, but every question he’s asked he does it with ease and is very competitive.”

Schatt and Iwasaki Are Victorious in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby took place on Friday morning during week seven of the Winter Equestrian Festival. The derby was held on “Pony Island,” where Rings 11 and 12 were combined to create a larger field. The class had a junior/amateur section, as well as a professional division, and offered $10,000 in prize money to both. There were 38 junior/amateur riders and 34 professionals to complete the first round with 12 riders coming back for the handy round in each section.

Havens Schatt aboard Highlander captured the victory in the professional division, and Augusta Iwasaki rode Sambuca to the top spot in the junior/amateur section.

“Going into the handy, since he is a very big horse, I was curious to see if I could really do the inside turns,” Schatt explained. “Actually, going to the first jump, I was like ‘Am I going to turn inside or am I not?’ But when I decided to try it; he did that one so well and the others amazing.”

Taking top honors in the junior/amateur section was Augusta Iwasaki riding Sambuca.

“I thought it was a super fun course. I had a great time on both of my horses,” Iwasaki commented.

Iwasaki catch rode the 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Lambada Van Berkenbrobeck x Viola) for her friend Ava Peck. The pair got the highest handy round score in the junior/amateur section of the class.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Katherine Bateson Chandler Does the Double in Five-Star Week Seven of AGDF

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 21, 2020 – Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) made it two wins from two starts in week seven of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. Last to go on a blustery and unseasonably cold night under lights, Bateson Chandler and her faithful partner Alcazar won the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, putting 76.105% on the board.

The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos De Muñiz danced her way to a 75.115% second place riding her bouncy bay mare Aquamarijn, a 15-year-old by United. Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) improved one place from his finish in the qualifying grand prix to round out the podium aboard his father Juan Matute Sr’s Don Diego to 72.76%, despite a challenging ride in the windy conditions.

Bateson Chandler was a groom for Robert Dover for 16 years and is now aiming to catch the eye of selectors for a place on the USA team for the Tokyo Olympics with Jane Forbes Clark’s Contango gelding. She said: “Yesterday, I don’t think I’ve ever been that hot before, and today I don’t think I’ve ever come out of a test still being cold. We had the most extreme differences. I’ve ridden in very cold weather, and I’ve ridden in very hot weather, but not usually in the same show. So for the horses, it was challenging.

“I’m really happy because two or three years ago, my horse used to have a real issue with anything that moved – he’s a little bit of a spook that way. He went in there and didn’t look at anything and won the class,” added Bateson Chandler, who rode to a Tom Hunt compilation with a high degree of difficulty.

Watch Katherine Bateson Chandler’s winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

“Tonight was the first time that I’ve actually done my floorplan to my music correctly and not been behind or ahead. I do a double pirouette and then a one-and-a-half pirouette. In Olympia, I did a double and then a double, and then I was facing the wrong way, so I’ve had some issues with that.”

Bateson Chandler travels to the UK to train with Carl Hester every summer, and with his help she continues to get the best out of 15-year-old ‘Lonsie’, who has been competing at international grand prix for half a decade and survived a colic operation in the summer of 2016 while in Germany. They are now unbeaten in their last four starts.

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

What Makes a Wild Horse Wild?

By Ginger Kathrens

In 1994 I saw my first wild horses in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. A black stallion was eating snow at the base of a red butte. When he noticed my sister who had on a bright white golf jacket, he pranced toward her and snorted. His mares, yearling, and newborn foal responded to his warning, dashing from the shadows of the butte to the safety of nearby hills.

Captivated by the striking stallion named Raven and the spectacular wild horse range they call home; I began documenting their lives in the wild. On May 29, 1995 they brought their newborn colt out of the forest right in front of my camera. I named him Cloud and his life is the subject of three PBS Nature series documentaries.

The assertion that same sex herds of horses in captivity are the equivalent of wild horse families in the wild is ludicrous. A single-sex group of geldings or mares in a pasture bears no resemblance to the intricate and dynamic society of a wild horse herd.

In the wild, the horses make all the decisions, decisions that often make the difference between life and death. Where to go when a storm comes, where to find water in a drought, when to run and when to stand their ground — these are decisions shared by the band stallion and often a strong lead mare. Cloud was lucky to have Sitka for a time, a strong female who could even tell the powerful and impetuous Cloud where to go and when.

I documented Cloud from the day he was born to the time, 20 years later, when he disappeared. His body was never found, but that is not unusual. Many wild horses decide to isolate themselves at the end of their lives. And this is an important word to remember: decide.

Mustangs in captivity do not have the ability to decide much of anything. They are fed, they are restrained in pastures or dirt paddocks, and they are in a same-sex herd of all geldings (castrated males) or all mares.

The horses on my small Colorado ranch have more of a society than any same-sex herd in a BLM corral or sanctuary.  Flint is the leader of my little band which includes Cloud’s birth sisters Mahogany (Flint’s lead mare) and Smokey. The other four geldings, Sky, Sax (Cloud’s youngest brother), BJ, and Swasey, take their lead from Flint and, to a lesser extent, Mahogany. But I would never pretend that they have the social intricacies or intense behaviors of a real wild horse family.

Wild horse social structure is complex and fascinating. It is essential to their survival in the wild. In many ways wild horses are like wolves. There is a dominant male, often a powerful female, and there are subordinate members of the family, including other females. Young males are asked to leave the family by their fathers, and young females get a wandering eye around two years of age. Only bachelor stallions that are skilled fighters and have a strong desire to procreate can win and keep mares.

It is disingenuous of BLM – and others seeking to rid the range of these magnificent animals – to tell the public they can see “wild horses” in “public off-range pastures.” None of the captivating natural behaviors just described are seen among geldings or mares in a man-made, fenced environment.

What the public is seeing are human-influenced, same-sex pastured horses, who bear little resemblance to their friends and families still lucky enough to be running wild and free on our open ranges.

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

The Horse Capital Parade

For our friends in Florida, an amazing experience with horses is coming soon: the Horse Capital Parade!

Where: Downtown Square Ocala, Florida, the surrounding streets and at the Downtown Market.
March 7, 2020 at 1:00pm – 6:00pm

A vendor village will open at 1pm on the Downtown Square with a beer and wine garden, great vendors, horse breed meet-and-greets, and at 4:30pm, an incredible horse breed parade, the speedy Historic Stagecoach, and the grand finale with the Budweiser Clydesdales. Watch them harness the Clydesdales at 2pm at the Downtown Market. There are also wonderful restaurants with outdoor dining where you can watch the parade.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.Horse-Therapy.org
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses

Tynan Trounces Field in Turf Tour Week 7’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic

Willie Tynan and Ballinteskin Joe.

Wellington, FL (February 21, 2020) – Ireland’s Willie Tynan remains a force to be reckoned with on the 2020 Turf Tour, and is on the road to potentially recapture his 2019 title of Turf Tour Leading Rider. Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic was set against the emerald green grass of The Ridge at Wellington’s home farm, where the field was recently expanded and enhanced to accommodate Turf Tour competitors. Over courses designed by Eric Hasbrouck on both grass and sand, competitors jumped the brightly colored jumps at heights ranging from .80m to 1.30m during Wednesday’s show, with Friday promising the same competition with the addition of the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix. The Turf Tour’s 2020 Leading Rider based on collective points from the Rising Star, Grand Prix, and 1.20m divisions will once again be awarded a tricked-out golf cart courtesy of Iron Horse Transit.

With only three double clears in the class of 15 riders, Tynan’s 40.867 second jump off time with the always fast Freya put him squarely in the lead. A new horse for Tynan, Ballinteskin Joe, showed impressive scope and talent to also go double clear, jumping off in 43.694 for second place. Both Freya and Joe are owed by Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach from Delray Beach, Florida. Wednesday’s third and final double clear in the Rising Star went to another Irishman and Turf Tour regular, Jordan Coyle, aboard Elan Farm’s Bold Prinz. The pair’s jump off time of 47.259 settled them into third.

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Martin Fuchs Flies to Win in $137,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 7

Martin Fuchs and Stalando 2. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2020 – Swiss rider Martin Fuchs showed why he is ranked number two in the world with a win aboard Stalando 2 in Thursday’s $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Fuchs and Stalando 2 were one of 49 entries to contest Thursday’s featured class, and the duo was one of 13 combinations to jump the first-round track without fault to qualify for Spain’s Santiago Varela-designed short course.

When Fuchs entered the ring as the penultimate rider, the time to beat had been set at 40.75 seconds by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.

With his spot in the order on his side and with strides left out throughout the course aboard Stalando 2, Fuchs shot straight to the top of the leaderboard with a double-clear time of 40.69 seconds.

“I watched all the riders before me,” said Fuchs. “I planned to do a stride fewer from one to two, which I did, and then also through the double, I saw Daniel Bluman leave out a stride. I tried to do the same as he did. Everything worked out very well. To the last fence, I pulled once and it scared me a bit that I wouldn’t have the time! I’m very happy with this.”

John French Pilots Babylon to Top Honors in Pre-Green 3- and 4-Year-Old Hunters

The Rost Ring began on Thursday morning of week seven with the Pre-Green 3- and 4-Year-Old Hunter division. John French rode Babylon to the championship after winning three blue ribbons in the division.

Babylon arrived in the United States from Europe in December, and French began riding and working with the horse in January. The four-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Crumbie x Die Cera) is owned by Kent Farrington LLC. French, of San Juan Bautista, CA, has shown Babylon three times this year, and the duo has been champion every time.

“He has a great expression and is so careful up front. With all of his flash the judges are just drawn to him,” French commented. “I can just tell that one day he is going to be a famous junior or amateur-owner hunter.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Steffen Peters Is Unstoppable on Suppenkasper on Bumper Grand Prix Day at AGDF

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2020 – It was a bonanza day of grand prix level action on the second day of week seven of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. There were four classes contested at the level, two three-star classes, and two five-star.

In the five-star ranks, it was Steffen Peters (USA) who topped the FEI Grand Prix CDI5*, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, which was a qualifier for the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI5* on Saturday. The 55-year-old California-based rider rode Suppenkasper to their third highest career grand prix score, leading the field of 12 with 76.239%, just 0.63% shy of their best ever in this test, which they laid down in AGDF week five. The pair is unbeaten in their seven starts so far this year.

Both second-placed Sabine Schut-Kery (USA) and Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu posted identical scores on the board of 73.674%, so the standings were decided by the only collective mark. Schut-Kery’s rider mark on Sanceo was higher than Fraser-Beaulieu’s on All In, shoring up the final placings.

Peters, whose bond with Suppenkasper, Four Winds Farm’s 18.2hh gelding by Spielberg, is going from strength to strength, said: “He was great, even more relaxed than last time. I rode the first pirouette just a tiny bit too late and then I didn’t have enough time to prepare the change at X so it got a little crooked and it wasn’t a good score. The rest was very clean.

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

“The passage and piaffe felt better. I’m able to ride the piaffe a little bit more in place. Debbie [McDonald] and I have been working on it. That’s been so much fun. It’s amazing the work and the collaboration with Debbie here in Wellington. She deserves a huge part of that 76%.”

He elaborated on the training the pair have been doing on Suppenkasper’s piaffe, adding: “He’s so eager to go forward. The horse has so much tremendous power; there was not a single moment where I was pushing him. His desire, even in the piaffe, is to go forward. So I ride it – I do five or six steps, and then I halt. Instead of leaping forward into trotting or running into the passage, we halt or even rein-back and say, ‘Listen buddy, we stay here a little longer.’ That wasn’t possible even six months ago, so it’s a huge step ahead.”

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

Exclusive Interview with Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender Martin Fuchs

Martin Fuchs (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Geneva has always been a good show for me. I’ve never been close to winning the Rolex Grand Prix there though, so when I qualified for the jump-off, I was very excited. Clooney was in great shape and I knew the jump-off would suit us both. I kept focused and tried to go as fast as I could whilst sticking to my plan. It was then hard for me to watch the others go and I was quite sure that what I’d done wasn’t enough and one of the best riders would beat me. When Darragh Kenny, who was the last rider in the ring, had a pole down, I realized I’d won. It was an incredible moment, made even more special winning in front of my home crowd, my family, and my friends.

Looking ahead to The Dutch Masters, which has a much smaller arena, does that change your preparations at all?

Our preparation doesn’t change at all. Clooney is very good in the smaller arenas, so in a way it’s better for him. I’m excited as this will be my first time at The Dutch Masters; we will be competing at a 2-Star event with Clooney also in Holland a few weeks prior to The Dutch Masters in order to be as prepared as possible.

Clooney 51 is a superstar horse; how did your journey start and how have you grown together?

We bought Clooney through one of my best friends, when he was seven years old. In the beginning, he was a bit difficult, but he’s always been a great horse to ride. When he was eight years old, I realized that he could be a special horse, as he’d often placed in big Grands Prix. As a nine-year-old he placed second in a 5* Grand Prix in Doha. To become the team we are today, we’ve worked very hard on our dressage and his confidence. I try my best to keep him happy and give him the confidence he needs to perform, then in the ring he normally doesn’t let me down.

What do you think are the qualities he naturally has that make him so special?

Clooney is very careful and clever at the fences; he’s very aware of his surroundings and always knows where the poles are. He’s a very intelligent jumper, with his own style; he doesn’t over-jump and never runs through the fences.

Do you plan on taking Clooney to The Dutch Masters?

I will definitely be taking Clooney; we’ve been training hard and preparing, so we have a good chance to do well.

You have achieved so much already but what are your next dreams and ambitions, what do you want to achieve?

I was ecstatic to become world number one; it was obviously a huge success and a dream come true for me, especially considering I’m still quite young. The Rolex Grand Prix victory in Geneva was the best possible outcome for me, which makes me a live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam. My main goals for this year are the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping and of course the Olympics in Tokyo, which I’m incredibly excited for.

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Looking even further ahead to CHIO Aachen, again another completely different arena, does Clooney grow in an arena like Aachen? How does it affect him?

Clooney can be a little spooked in the big grass arenas, which makes things a little bit more difficult. Aachen is over the course of a whole week, which gives me the chance to get Clooney in the ring a couple of times before the Grand Prix, which will help us be more prepared. Last year he jumped really well and had clear rounds; however, during the second round I didn’t ride so well, but ultimately, I’m looking forward to bringing him back to the show.

Scott Brash won Rolex Grand Slam with Hello Sanctos; do you think Clooney could be a potential horse that could emulate their success?

I have complete faith in Clooney. I know he can win in any arena in the world, in any class. This gives me a lot of confidence, but I’ve not even dreamed about winning the Rolex Grand Slam because it’s so difficult. Anyone involved in our sport knows what Scott Brash has achieved is incredible and the odds of it happening again are so low. Of course, Clooney and I will try our best but who knows what the future holds?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I don’t think I’ve had a standout piece of advice given to me. I’ve learnt a lot of important values from a variety of people; the most important things I believe are to work hard, be dedicated, try to understand your horse, and do your best every day.

When you’re not riding and competing, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies outside of showjumping?

I’m quite laid back, so when I’m not competing, I like to go for long walks on the beach by the water, but sometimes I also go into the city. I try to relax as much as possible when I’m not training or competing. I think that’s important if you want to do well.

© 2020 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Equestrian Poland: New Season in the Stragona Equestrian Center

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

The 2020 season in Strzegom starts soon and will last from the beginning of April until half of October.

The first show is a national one, taking place at 4-5th of April. Varied and relatively easy cross-country courses will await the riders, suitable for the beginning of the season. The show will contain the following classes: CNC LL, CNC L, CNC 1*, CNC 2*.

The international season at the hippodrome in Morawa will begin with Strzegom Spring Open – the first of five big events in the Stragona Equestrian Center calendar. For many riders it will be the first show at the 4* level. As always, the cross-country tests will be designed in such a way that the athletes and horses will have the chance to test their form at the beginning of the season, but at the same time, to have a motivating experience before more difficult shows.

Strzegom Spring Open will hold classes at the following levels: CNC LL, CNC L, CIC1*, CIC2*, CIC3*, CIC4*.

Traditionally, the cross-country course is the most demanding at Strzegom Horse Trials. This year the show will take place a week later than usual – from the 2nd until the 5th of July. New fences have been designed especially for this event, and groundwork has been performed to make the trial more attractive. The riders will compete not only in the Nations Cup, but also in easier classes. Thinking about junior and young riders preparing for the European Championships, we will have classes with a separate classification for their age categories. The athletes will also compete in two national classes: CNC LL and CNC L, and nine international ones: CIC1*, CIC2*-S, CIC2*-S-J, CIC3*-S, CIC3*-S-YR, CICO4*S-Nations Cup, CCI2* – L, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L.

Fewer than ten days after Strzegom Horse Trials, Morawa will once again welcome the best European pony riders. The European Championships for Ponies in showjumping, dressage, and eventing will take place from the 14th until the 19th of July.

That’s not the end of summer in Morawa. The last weekend of August marks the beginning of Strzegom Summer Tour. The riders will compete in the following classes: CNC LL, CNC L, CIC1*, CIC2*, CIC3*, CIC4*. The difficulty level will as always allow the athletes to go up a level. The show is recommended for combinations that want to debut in a higher-level class.

As usual, the end of the season is the time for Strzegom October Festival. As well as SHT, the show will host a variety of classes: CNC LL, CNC L, CIC1*, CIC2*-S, CIC3*-S, CIC3*-S, CICO4*S, CCI2*-L, CCIO2*-L-J, CCI3*-L, CCI3*-L-YR, CCI4*-L. CCI2P-L. Team competitions for junior and young riders are a novelty this year.

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

Beezie Madden and Jiva Open CSI5* Competition at WEF

Beezie Madden and Jiva. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 19, 2020 – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden claimed victory in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5* aboard Jiva to open week seven at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Wednesday, February 19.

Madden and her lightning-fast mare bested a field of 73 over courses set by Santiago Varela (ESP). The top three in Wednesday’s feature class were all separated by less than a half of a second. Madden’s time of 46.52 seconds bumped Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and Kristen Vanderveen (USA) to a tie for second place with matching times of 46.81 seconds. Coyle piloted Centriko Volo for Celtic Park LLC, while Vanderveen rode Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, owned by her own Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC.

“It feels great,” said Madden of kicking the week off with a win. “This is the first time Jiva has come out and tried to be competitive [this season].”

Jiva has been resting since the fall show season and has not competed in the FEI ranks since the National Horse Show in November. “I’m really pleased that she stepped right up and won her first class,” continued Madden of the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Concorde x Nonstop). “She’s really a speed specialist, so this is her class. It’s fun and always good for me to go in and go fast to try to keep up with all these riders in the speed.”

Georgina Bloomberg and New Mount Balotelli 5 Find Victory

Kicking off CSI5* competition earlier in the day, Georgina Bloomberg (USA) rode a new mount to the pair’s first FEI victory together, topping the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m CSI5*. Besting 35 other contenders, Bloomberg and Balotelli 5 stopped the clock at 34.58 seconds over Sweden’s Petronella Andersson and Cassini Bay, owned by Stephex Stables. Their time of 35.85 seconds was just ahead of Catherine Tyree (USA) in third riding BEC Lorenzo in 36.69 seconds for owner Mary Tyree.

“I’m still getting to know him, so I didn’t go super fast,” said Bloomberg of her first CSI5* outing with Balotelli 5, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Balou du Rouet x Contendro I). “I still tried to do some of the inside turns so I could learn a little about him, and he’s a naturally quick horse. We are taking it slow, but he has a lot of talent.

“I’m learning to trust him a lot,” continued Bloomberg. “He is a little spooky but very honest at the jump. He’s definitely a horse for the big classes.”

Balotelli 5 joined Bloomberg’s string in the fall of 2019 after competing with amateur rider Julia Plate (GER). “She was riding with Jos Lansink, and several people had told us about the horse,” said Bloomberg. “It was the right time for us and for her to be able to sell him. We were lucky.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.