All posts by Associate Editor

Benjamin Ebeling Bests FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Final Day of AGDF 7

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 28, 2021 – Week seven of the 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Sunday, February 28, with a win for USA’s Benjamin Ebeling on Illuster Van De Kampert in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Hygain Feeds.

Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert, Amy Roberts Ebeling and Nuvolari Holdings, LLC’s 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Spielberg, topped the competitive class with a score of 75.170%, almost five full points ahead of the second place score.

“It’s really a testament to my coaches and the team behind me,” expressed Ebeling. “For me, it’s really important to give thanks to them. They help me so much day to day, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

The high score was also a personal best for Ebeling and the gelding, their second of the week after placing first in Friday’s FEI Grand Prix CDI3* with a 73.326%. “Today was the most comfortable that Illuster has felt in that arena,” said Ebeling. “Of course, it’s a big atmosphere for any horse, but he’s naturally a hot horse. The arena can be a bit of a challenge for him. Every time we go in there he’s settling down and for me mentally, that’s a big win.”

He continued, “Today his strength was definitely in the canter work. The first trot half-pass I was very happy with, and that last centerline is always so fun to ride too.”

The pair made their senior international Grand Prix debut at AGDF this season after competing in the Under 25 division and have notched several top placings since, with the day’s Special marking their third big tour win.

Proving that hard work pays off, the team also has several eyes on them as they are coached by Ebeling’s father, Olympian Jan Ebeling, Japanese dressage team coach Christoph Koschel, and also receive help from retired five-star judge Gary Rockwell and former USA dressage team coach Robert Dover.

Ebeling explained, “Usually I’m talking to Robert Dover the night before a test, and one thing that he’s always telling me is maintaining a good connection with power and collection. It’s something that we talk about often, and I really feel like I brought that into the arena today.”

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

Harrie Smolders and Monaco Win $73k CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* at WEF

Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 28, 2021 – Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC, hit the ground running with a blistering jump-off effort to take the title in the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* on Sunday, February 28, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to close out the seventh week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

A total of 46 combinations challenged the opening round with 11 pairs qualifying to return for the jump-off. Smolders, ranked 20th in the world, piloted Monaco, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Contender, to a double-clear effort over the 1.50m track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU). The Flying Dutchman gave credit to his nickname as he edged the competition by just over a tenth of a second, in 38.40 seconds.

“I thought I didn’t have the best start to the jump-off but my roll back to the liverpool [fence seven] was very good,” said Smolders on where he gained the edge to win. “I thought it was a very serious track. There were a lot of faults in the first round. [It was a] very good course but your horse needed to be in top shape.”

Bourns Is Best with Darquito, Topping the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*

A total of 44 competitors gave it their best shot over the handywork of Andy Christiansen (ECU) and Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2* as just eight combinations left all the fences up for a ticket to the jump-off. In the second round, Andrew Bourns (IRL) and his own Darquito proved to be the best over the shortened course, finishing double clear in a time of 38.58 seconds.

Bourns knows his 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by D’inzeo 6 x Contefino 2 quite well, having bought him with his parents Richard and Deirdre Bourns in Germany as a seven-year-old.

“My plan was to win it and I knew with the girls coming behind me, I had to really move it,” said Bourns of his winning round. “Emily Moffitt, Abigail McArdle, and a few of those other riders, I knew they weren’t going to give it to me easy. Chris Kappler helps me a lot. He’s my full-time trainer and Michael Blake, the Irish Chef d’Equipe, helped me with the jump-off as well. It takes a whole team to come together. I was so happy with my horse today.”

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

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo Maintain Momentum to Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI5*

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 27, 2021 – Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) continued on Saturday, February 27, with a second victory for the USA’s Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo, this time in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI5*, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic. Schut-Kery and Sanceo, Alice Womble’s 2006 Hanoverian stallion by San Remo, marked their highest Grand Prix Special score to date, earning a 77.468%, more than four points higher than second place finisher Lindsay Kellock (CAN).

“I feel so much joy and have happy tears,” began Schut-Kery. “It’s very emotional. Aside from those feelings, to ride the test, you are focused in there of course, but it’s also joyful. It’s an amazing feeling to have an animal like that to respond to you in there with such small aids and cues. That amazing feeling is still there for me after 30-plus years, how we can communicate with an animal like that.”

The personal best score for the pair comes after a successful win on Thursday in the Grand Prix CDI5*, and Schut-Kery noted her appreciation for the team that supports the duo and has helped them get to this point.

“During the awards,” Schut-Kery explained, “I thought, ‘My gosh, there are so many people on my team, and I want to thank the ones behind me that keep a horse at that level.’ The coaches, vets, farriers, grooms, and the owners of course. When you have such a nice ride, one that you’ve been working up to, those are the things that go through your head.”

Schut-Kery noted that though Thursday welcomed a victory, it wasn’t her favorite performance, and she was happy that she was able to stick to her plan to really ace the Grand Prix Special. She said, “How many times in your life do you have a plan and you hope you can stick to it, but it doesn’t go right? This really feels like it all went to plan today. My goal was the special. I did it a week before in the National show to prepare because we had been out of the ring since November, so today was nice. Thursday was a little disappointing on my part as a rider, so it’s nice that today it worked out so well. It’s one of those special moments, and I know that I will always have to work hard for it, but it’s a moment of joy.”

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

Bertram Allen Is Brilliant in $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*

Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 27, 2021 – The highlight class of the seventh week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*, and Bertram Allen (IRL) was brilliant with Pacino Amiro, owned by Aiden McGrory, for victory on Saturday, February 27.

Riding over a challenging course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU) that featured the open water, a triple combination, and two double combinations, five riders found the path to a clear round and advanced to the jump-off out of 40 starting entries.

The first to return for the jump-off were Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) and VDL Cartello, owned by Heathman Farm, LLC. They had one rail down to finish in fifth place in 38.47 seconds.

Immediately following, Allen and Pacino Amiro sped through the course in 35.32 seconds, a time that couldn’t be caught by the remaining three competitors.

Lauren Reid and Norway Earn the Championship Ribbon in the Adult Amateur Equitation

Equitation competition wrapped up on Saturday in FarmVet Ring 7 with the completion of the Adult Amateur Equitation division. Twenty-four riders entered the division, and in the end, Lauren Reid and her own Norway earned the tricolor ribbon to finish the day. Reid piloted Norway to two firsts and a second place finish.

Reid, of Kiawah Island, SC, and Norway started the division with a blue ribbon in the flat class and then remained near the top throughout both over fences classes. The duo has a strong partnership, which helped them successfully navigate the technical courses.

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

Phillip Dutton Sets New USEA Advanced Dressage Record

Phillip Dutton and Carlchen. Photo by Liz Crawley Photography.

Thomson, GA – February 28, 2021 – Phillip Dutton and Carlchen, owned by Caroline Moran, set a new United States Eventing Association (USEA) Advanced dressage record on Friday, February 26, with a score of 15.0 in the Advanced Test B Division at the Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials in Thomson, GA.

Dutton and Carlchen’s early lead following the dressage phase would ultimately help them clinch the win in the Advanced Test B Division on Saturday, February 27, with a final score of 34.2.

“I’m very proud of Carlchen. In dressage, you always feel that you can do things better; I know there’s still some throughness and softness that I can continue to improve, but he is obviously a huge talent,” said Dutton of the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

Dutton, who is based out of West Grove, PA, spent much of the winter in Wellington, FL and he in part credits Carlchen’s success to the horse’s winter training there.

“This winter in Wellington served him well, as I had Scott Hassler and Erik Duvander training me in dressage every week to 10 days,” said Dutton, referencing the well-respected dressage trainer and rider and U.S. Eventing High Performance Director, respectively.

“Being in the Wellington environment where you are exposed to great horsemanship and top dressage riders on a daily basis also makes you aim that much higher and expect that much more,” continued Dutton, a six-time Olympian, two-time Olympic team gold medalist, and individual bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Carlchen (Clinton x Lordanos) was purchased by Moran in the fall of 2019, but a minor injury shortly thereafter kept him out of competition through the end of that year. With cancelled events and continually changing competition and travel circumstances throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlchen did not return to competition until October 2020.

“It’s certainly exciting to have Carlchen back out competing,” said Dutton of the gelding that competed successfully through the CCI3* level with riders Stuart Tinney (AUS), Francis Whittington (GBR), and Michelle Kenny (IRL) before being imported to the U.S. in 2019.

“Caroline Moran has been, and continues to be, an extremely supportive and a wonderful owner,” continued Dutton. “She approached me about purchasing a new horse a few years back, and Carol Gee of Fernhill Sport Horses found Carlchen for us. He’s not hot, but he’s certainly a forward-thinking horse, which suits me. He’s had some good education before me, and we’re continuing to build on that education and to get to know each other at the higher performance level.”

In addition to his success with Carlchen, Dutton finished second in the Advanced Test B Division at the Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials with Sea of Clouds, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Anita Motion, Sue Haldeman, Annie Jones, Evie Dutton, Dave and Patricia Vos, and Sheikh Fahah Al-Thani. Dutton also earned the win in the Open Intermediate B division riding Quasi Cool, also owned by Moran.

Phillip Dutton Eventing will head next to the $50,000 LiftMaster Grand Prix Eventing Festival, to be held March 5-6 in Aiken, SC.

Learn more about Phillip Dutton by visiting www.PhillipDutton.com.

Royal Windsor Horse Show to Run in July 2021

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have confirmed that Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th of July this year.

“We are looking forward to running a near as normal Show at Windsor in July,” said Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward. “The start of this year has been difficult for all live events, but recent government announcements have given us the confidence to go full steam ahead with the organising of Royal Windsor, which includes planning for an audience.”

All competition will be carried out with the emphasis being on competitors’ safety and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines required at that time by the local authority, health authorities, veterinary and equestrian associations, and the government.

The schedule and a day-by-day programme will go online shortly with the Show running as close to its traditional format as possible and including International Jumping, Dressage, the Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, International Endurance, and Showing.

The Windsor Pageant, which was scheduled to take place in the evenings, will not take place. However, the Show will include many of the scheduled elements in a bumper edition of equestrian displays, acts and music within the main Show programme, which will take advantage of the long summer evenings.

Visitor tickets will be made available soon, with Royal Windsor Horse Show Club members prioritised. Should guidelines change and visitors not be allowed to attend on the dates of the Show then all purchased tickets will be refunded. Additionally, organisers have also committed to increasing the number of hours of live streaming and broadcast from the Show so that everyone can enjoy Royal Windsor online even if they are not able to attend in person.

“We are very grateful for the tremendous backing of our supporters, which has allowed us to plan with confidence,” continued Brooks-Ward. “They include Rolex, Bahrain Endurance, Hermès, Coworth Park, DAKS, Al Shira’aa, Champagne Laurent-Perrier and, in particular, our Principal Partner, Jaguar Land Rover.

“We are determined to produce one of our best events for the horse world to enjoy, with a competitive and upbeat edition of this 78-year-old horse show.”

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Deusser Delivers a Double in $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5*

Daniel Deusser and Kiana van het Herdershof. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 26, 2021 – Daniel Deusser (GER) delivered his second five-star win in two days on Friday, February 26, in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5* with Kiana van het Herdershof, owned by Stephex Stables, at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

There were 56 entries in the 1.45m speed class, jumping over a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen. There were 21 clear rounds. Starting out the class as the first to go was McLain Ward (USA) on Catoki, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Catoki x Cartello B owned by Ward, Marilla van Beuren, and Bob Russell. They sped around clear in 59.44 seconds, which would hold up for second place.

Deusser and Kiana van het Herdershof went just two trips later, putting in a blazing fast time of 59.12 seconds that would hold up through the entire class for victory.

Speedy Finish for Charlie Jayne and Amice Z in $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m Qualifier CSI2*

Ten clear rounds went for speed out of the original 73 entries in the $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m Qualifier CSI2* in the International Arena. As each horse went in the ring, the leading time kept dropping, but it was Charlie Jayne (USA) and his own Amice Z who recorded the fastest clear round in the jump-off in 35.55 seconds.

“That was probably, I’m going to have to say, the fastest jump-off I’ve ever done with him,” revealed Jayne. “This being the two-star level and him doing bigger stuff lately, I felt confident that I could test it out today. I did the leave out one to two. The winner did eight [strides] on the rollback, and I challenged him there. I thought the one place I could do [faster] is if I could gallop over to the double [combination], and he came up waiting and tried his butt off for me there. After he tried so hard there, I did eight where some people did seven, and hoped for a better rollback and it worked out. I said, ‘Let’s do this’ to the last [jump], and he answered the call beautifully. He was right there for me.”

Second place went to Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Viti de Longa, owned by Seahorse LLC. Gilbertson and the 12-year-old Selle Français mare by Contendro I x Galoubet A were close behind in 36.37 seconds.

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

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper Dance to Victory in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 26, 2021 – The USA’s Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper welcomed a victory in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, in the first “Friday Night Stars” competition of the season. Peters and Suppenkasper, Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm’s 2008 KWPN gelding by Spielberg, danced under the lights at Equestrian Village to a score of 80.995%.

“There were lots of things that were great,” began Peters. “The piaffe felt really good, great half-passes, the pirouette felt good. To me, one of the highlights of ‘Mopsie’ now, that used to be so difficult, is the collected walk. I used to have to hide that a little bit in the corner, but now I’m doing it on the diagonal because I can really show the relaxation. That might look like a boring movement, but to me it’s huge. Of course, I risked a little bit much in that one extension, so he broke: one little fumble. The rest felt great.”

Despite having no general attendance, the night still had its usual buzz of excitement, and Suppenkasper handled the atmosphere like a pro. Peters rode to a slightly different floor plan than normal, and despite some miscommunication, still pulled off the +80%.

“The floor plan was different this time,” he said. “I do the extended walk 20 meters and then another 20 meters collected walk across the diagonal. So, the half-passes are going the opposite way. I think that was slightly confusing to the judges. There was a little miscommunication before, but it was my fault. I should have been clearer about it.

“One thing you don’t want to do, you don’t want to confuse the judges. And I did,” he said with a smile.

The pair has finished competing at AGDF, and they will resume their training with the hope of making it onto the final USA Dressage shortlist. Peters concluded, “We decided to bubble wrap him from here and preserve him and head back to California next week.”

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

Kenny Rallies Back, Secures 2nd Consecutive $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Win

Darragh Kenny and GK Casper.

Wellington, FL (February 25, 2021) – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny once again delivered a winning performance during Wednesday’s The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour. Set this week on the expansive fields of Polo West, the Turf Tour has been a favorite of Kenny’s, where until last week he had a 3-for-3 winning streak in the Grand Prix. However, California’s Ashlee Bond snapped a 4th Grand Prix win from him last week at Black Watch Farm, but wasn’t fast enough on Wednesday to keep him from a 2nd $5,000 1.30m Rising Star victory. A new challenger and first time Turf Tour competitor, Dutch Olympian Harrie Smolders, also jumped to a decisive finish that foreshadows his ability to steal victory from Kenny and Bond.

A first double clear effort in the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star by Hartog-Jan and rider Vincent A. Bailleul set the time to beat at 45.679 seconds. That was eventually eclipsed by Jaqueline Colborne, who jumped Lotus Sobral da Costa to the lead in 40.890 seconds. Olympian Harrie Smolders and Calina then threw down the gauntlet, blazing around the 1.30m course in 39.363 seconds. Darragh and GK Casper followed, once again proving how quick and accurate they can be, jumping off in an impressive 38.026 seconds. Last week’s Grand Prix champion, Ashlee Bond, was intent on taking the title from Kenny once again. She had the time, 36.669, but a fateful rail at the final jump, a liverpool oxer, cost her and Contefina LVF the class. Kim Farlinger and Ibalius SMH breezed around the course in 40.555 seconds.

“It is really exciting to have some of the top riders in the sport vying for victory over our jumps at our show,” said Olympian Nona Garson, who co-founded The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour with George D’Ambrosio. “And what is really cool is while this battle of the titans plays out in ring one, we have amateurs, green horses, and juniors warming up over the same jumps and competing adjacent to them in Ring 2. This was our dream with the Turf Tour, to create a show for everyone that offers everything from FEI level Grand Prix action to a training ground for green horses and riders.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For more info, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Strzegom Is Getting Ready for the Eventing Season

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

(Strzegom, February 25) 2021 season is getting closer and closer. According to Strzegom’s calendar, it will start in April and will traditionally last until the half of October. What awaits us in the upcoming season?

“The epidemiological situation in Poland and Europe still makes many matters uncertain,” says Marcin Konarski, the president of the Organising Committee. “At the moment, the organization of sport events in Poland is possible, both at indoor and outdoor arenas. There are no restrictions connected to organizing international events and the participation of foreign athletes. That is why we are getting ready for the 2021 in accordance to our calendar and epidemiological guidelines.”

The warm-up show is Strzegom Spring Open. If all goes according to plan, this will be the first of five international shows in 2021. In the light of the current situation, the beginning of the season will be played out in compliance with sanitary restrictions and with limited audiences.

Strzegom Spring Open will host the following classes: CCI1*-Intro, CCIP2*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, and CNC 100. For many riders this will be the first 4* performance. The cross-country tracks will be designed to help athletes and horses test their form and to start the season well. A national show with CNC 90, 100, 1*, and 2* classes is scheduled for mid-May.

Strzegom Horse Trials, the flagship event, including the Nations Cup, is scheduled for the last weekend of June. Strzegom Horse Trials will host ten international classes: CCI1*-Intro, CCIP2*-L, CCI2*-S, CCIJ2*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-S, CCIY3*-S, CCI-3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCIO4*-S-NC. Along with the international classes, we will also play out a national CNC 100 class. This event will also serve as the Polish Eventing Championships for juniors and young riders.

The summer at Morawa hippodrome will see an accumulation of sport emotions. In mid-August we will host the European Championships for Ponies in three disciplines: jumping, dressage, and eventing. Strzegom Summer Tour starts a few days later, with CCI1*- INTRO, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, and CNC 100 classes. This is a show dedicated especially for those moving up a level.

Strzegom October Festival will traditionally be the end of the season. The riders will compete in CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, CCIOY3*-L, CCI2*-L, CCIOJ2*-L, CCIOP2*-L, CCI1*-Intro, and CNC 100 classes. Along with them, we will once again play out the European Youth Eventing Masters – an individual and team competition for all youth categories in CCIOP2*-L (pony), CCIO2*-L (juniors), and CCIO3*-L (young riders). This show will take place in mid-October.

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