All posts by Associate Editor

Notice of Cancellation of Bluegrass Festival, KHJA, USEF Jr. Hunter Nat’l Championship – East Coast

Lexington, Ky. – August 4, 2020 – After weighing the impact of multiple positive COVID-19 cases following the Kentucky Summer Classic and the cancellation notice of USHJA’s upcoming championships, Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and US Equestrian have decided to cancel 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.

We have been notified that three additional individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Kentucky Summer Classic for a total of seven reported cases. The majority of reported cases are associated with one barn and none of the individuals have returned to the facility.

This is a decision not taken lightly and we are mindful of the negative effect this will have on exhibitors’ plans and schedules, but feel this is the only way to ensure a safe outcome for all. No fees of any kind have been charged to anyone who has entered the shows. Exhibitors do not need to take any action with regard to the show office and all entries will be canceled. We hope that moving forward our exhibitors and members will place their safety and the safety of others above all else during these trying circumstances.

If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, please follow the ten recommendations from the CDC, found here.

Information about testing for COVID-19 can be found here.

Please be reminded that if you test positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days following a competition you attended, you must notify the competition organizer and USEF.

For additional information, please contact Hugh Kincannon at hak@kentuckyhorseshows.com

For additional information on USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, please contact hunterdept@usef.org.

Join Us for the Start of the ESP Summer Series

August 4, 2020 – Wellington, FL – The 2020 ESP Summer Series kicks off next week, Wednesday, August 12, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Equestrian Village grounds. The series is set to host a variety of competition including five weeks of National “A” & Jumper 4* classes, one week of Regional “C” & Jumper 3* competition, three National Hunter Derbies, and the Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship. After much positive feedback, the Derby Field and Derby Annex will also continue to be utilized throughout August and September for both hunter and jumper classes.

The ESP show management team has been working tirelessly since the ESP Spring June Series to adapt and reinforce safety protocols to ensure the wellness of all exhibitors, spectators, and staff. Throughout the weeks of May Schooling and June competition, PBIEC had only one individual test positive on the grounds and the situation was handled within 24 hours. An exhibitor survey completed at the end of June reported that 100% of the individuals who came on-site felt comfortable with the protocols and would return. ESP Management is in constant communication with local and regional health officials as well as the United States Equestrian Federation in order to make any necessary changes as quickly as possible.

Click here to view the Prize List.

The series begins with National “A” & Jumper 4* competition on Thursday, August 13 and continues through Sunday, August 16 (schooling will take place on Wednesday, August 12). Highlights of the week include the $5,000 JTWG, Inc. 1.35m Stake on Thursday, the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m on Friday, and the $20,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix on Sunday. The $2,500 Equiline Medium and Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classics will also be held on Sunday following the Grand Prix. All highlight classes are set to take place on the Derby Field, weather permitting.

The competition continues the following week (August 20-23) with more Hunter and Jumper classes. On Thursday, the $5,000 Vita Flex/Lactanase 1.35m Stake will be held, followed by the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m on Friday. The first $2,500 National Hunter Derby presented by Score At The Top will take place Friday afternoon on the Derby Annex before the weekend wraps up with the $20,000 Resilient Fitness Grand Prix on Sunday on the Derby Field, weather permitting.

The week of August 27-30 follows a similar show schedule, with Thursday’s $5,000 Premier Equestrian 1.35m Stake, the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m, and the second $2,500 National Hunter Derby presented by Score At The Top on Friday, and a $20,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix set for Sunday, August 30 on the Derby Field.

The National “A” & Jumper 4* competition continues during the week of September 10-13. The $5,000 1.35m Stake on Thursday is followed by the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m and the final $2,500 National Hunter Derby presented by Score At The Top on Friday. Sunday will showcase the $20,000 ProElite Grand Prix on the Derby Field.

September 17-20 will feature the ESP Florida State Fall & Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship show with more National “A” & Jumper 4* competition. On Thursday, the Derby Field will be set for the $5,000 1.35m Classic, while Friday will offer the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m. Sunday competition will include the $20,000 1.45m Grand Prix on the Derby Field and the Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship in the Van Kampen Covered Arena.

The Summer series concludes with the Rita & Irish Flynn Memorial show on September 25-27 with Regional “C” & Jumper 3* competition. Friday will feature the $5,000 1.35m Classic on the Derby Field, while Saturday is set to host the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumper class on the field. The $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake 1.40m will close out the show on Sunday on the Derby Field, weather permitting.

Entries are now open online for all weeks of competition. Please note that you will not be allowed to enter until an ESP Spring/Summer back number is assigned. Visit PBIEC.com now to begin your entry form online. Stall space is very limited; please send all stabling requests directly to stabling@equestriansport.com.

Please review ALL Safety Protocols before arriving to Equestrian Village HERE. As a reminder, outside spectators and media will NOT be allowed on-site. Only those that match the following criteria will be permitted:

  • ESP Staff & Officials
  • Essential Personnel (Vets, Farriers, etc. actively treating horses on the grounds)
  • Trainers (that have exhibitors competing that day)
  • Grooms (that have clients competing that day)
  • Riders (that are competing that day)
  • One Guest per Rider (One family member or one friend of the rider)

Live streaming will be available HERE for each arena so friends and family can safely watch from home.

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

Nilforushan Equisport Events Donates to COVID-19 Relief and Helmet Safety

Photo: Captured Moment Photography.

Temecula, Calif. – Aug. 3, 2020 – The entire team at Nilforushan Equisport Events (NEE) is so appreciative of all of its exhibitors and hardworking staff that made the Temecula Valley National Summer Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, a success from June 24-28 and June 30 – July 4. It is because of the dedication that everyone showed to following the appropriate COVID-19 protocol and the collective sacrifice of the group that NEE has been able to donate money to worthy causes such as the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, in partnership with US Equestrian and the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association. Without ribbons to hand out, plus the funds raised from raffle items, NEE was able to divide a total of $10,000 between the two organizations to help pay it forward in the equestrian community thanks to its supporters.

“We all know that times are different right now due to COVID-19, and to keep everyone safe and healthy we had to make a few changes to our show operations for the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. Although we were sad not to be able to hand out ribbons to our riders, especially the children, those sacrifices by our exhibitors allowed us to conserve funds that we are excited to put back into the equestrian community. We can’t thank everyone enough for their cooperation, and we hope that this money will help to do some good in the horse show world we all know and love. It is our hope that we can continue to do more good work like this going forward,” commented Ali Nilforushan, founder of Nilforushan Equisport Events.

Thanks, in part, to the money raised from three items donated by BioXcellerator and Casa del Mar Golf Resort & Spa that were raffled off during the final weekend of the show, NEE has pledged $5,000 to the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund is specifically aimed to help support horse show workers, such as grooms, braiders, show secretaries, ring crew, and many more, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the health of the equestrian community is of paramount importance right now, safety is a part of the sport that should always be improving. With that in mind, NEE is additionally donating $5,000 to the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, which supports the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab’s research to improve helmets used by equestrians. The research will study head impact and concussion risk in an equestrian environment via lab settings and field video data on a variety of equestrian events, with significant attention to jumping, where many injuries occur. The campaign is inching closer to its $450,000 goal, which recently took a huge leap forward thanks to the generous $100,000 donation by the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

NEE encourages anyone who has the means to do so to donate to the cause. To donate to the Helmet Safety Research campaign to help Virginia Tech reach the funding goal of $450,000, click here.

NEE is happy to be able to make some contributions to the equestrian community via these donations, as well as through the Trainer Incentive Program that took place during the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. During the show, two percent (2%) of sales from a trainer’s barn were returned to the trainers who participated. NEE hopes these funds will be helpful in allowing trainers to keep working with their clients and traveling the horse show circuit with a bit less stress.

Nilforushan Equisport Events is a horse-show management company owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ali and Francie Nilforushan. Their mission is to produce world-class events that will make California a top show jumping destination, attract local residents to a number of entertainment experiences including world-class performances and film nights, as well as fine dining. Exhibitors can expect great sport, a first class VIP area and affordable showing options thanks to the inventive style of the Nilforushan management team.

For more information, please visit www.jump-nee.com.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Competition Schedule for 2021 Confirmed

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) has confirmed the Paralympic Games Competition Schedule for 2021. For Para Dressage, the competition dates have been moved forward by one day so as to mirror the 2020 daily schedule. The Para Dressage events which were due to start on Thursday 27 August 2020 and finish on Saturday 29 August 2020 will now run from Thursday 26 August 2021 to Monday 30 August 2021. There are also some minor modifications to the starting times.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic equestrian timetable for 2021 can be viewed here on the FEI’s Paralympic hub.

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and USEF Notice of Competition Cancellations

Lexington, Ky. – August 1, 2020 – We have been notified that two more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, after attending the Kentucky Summer Classic, for a total of four reported cases. US Equestrian and Kentucky Horse Shows prioritize the safety of our members, participants, support teams, staff, and their families. To mitigate the risk of spread of the virus, USEF and the competition organizer together have made the decision to cancel the Kentucky Summer Classic and to cancel the USEF Pony Finals event scheduled to start Tuesday, August 4th. These cancellations will give the competition organizer time to sanitize the venue and determine whether competition can resume later this month.

With regard to the new reports, one individual worked in Barns 9 & 10 with one of the previously reported individuals. Both of these individuals have been off competition grounds since Friday, July 31. The other newly reported individual is a braider who worked in multiple barns and has been off the grounds since early August 1.

Per the requirements of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, we are notifying all individuals who were in attendance at the competition.  Although contact tracing is primarily the responsibility of public health agencies, in accordance with CDC guidelines we are asking these individuals for the names of others at the competition that they had close contact with starting from 48 hours before their symptoms appeared so that we can inform those persons directly that they may have been exposed to the virus.

If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, please follow the ten recommendations from the CDC, found here.

Information about testing for COVID-19 can be found here.

Please be reminded that if you test positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days following a competition you attended, you must notify the competition organizer and USEF.

For additional information, please contact Hugh Kincannon at hak@kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Layover stabling will be available at the Kentucky Horse Park during the week of August 3-9 for those exhibitors whose plans have been disrupted by the cancellation of the final day of the Kentucky Summer Classic and the USEF Pony Finals. Contact Pat Duncan at 503-510-8797 for information.

Shane Sweetnam and Hunters Conlypso II Dash for the Cash in $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic

Lexington, Ky. – July 30, 2020 – It was a drizzly morning in the Rolex Stadium as 51 horse and rider pairs made their way around Bobby Murphy’s track for the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. For the first time in history, the second class of the Hagyard Challenge season tour was adjusted to a 2B format with riders remaining in the ring immediately after their first trip to perform their jump-off track to better fit the Kentucky Summer Classic’s show-and-go protocol. Unaffected by the weather or change in format, it would be Shane Sweetnam and Hunters Conlypso II who would dash for the cash Thursday morning.

Emma Brosius and Aramba Jolie Versace Are Best in USEF Large Pony Medal

Competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic continued Thursday, July 30, featuring another day of top sport at the Kentucky Horse Park. With primarily hunter competition taking place in the Claiborne ring, the USEF Large Pony Medal broke up the hunter judging at the end of the day, highlighting junior talent as they displayed skill and strength in a variety of equitation classes. Besting a competitive field was Emma Brosius and Aramba Jolie Versace, who claimed the top spot in the USEF Large Pony Medal.

For more information on Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Christopher Payne and Reign Crowned Grand Hunter Champion at Kentucky Summer Classic

Lexington, Ky. – July 29, 2020 – Professional hunters took to the Stonelea and Claiborne Rings at the Kentucky Horse Park for the second day of hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic, all contending for the Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Visse Wedell. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Green 3’3″ Hunter, Green 3’6″ Hunter, Green 3’9″ Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, High Performance Conformation Hunter, or the High Performance Working Hunter divisions, it was Christopher Payne and Reign who jumped to the top of the ranks out of the six considered divisions on a total of 46 points throughout the two days of competition in the Green 3’3″ Hunter division.

David O’Brien Packs One-Two Punch in Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 6-Year-Old Jumpers

The Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 6-Year-Old Jumper class took place in the Rolex Stadium Wednesday afternoon during day two of the Kentucky Summer Classic. These special classes give riders the opportunity to expose their up-and-coming jumper prospects to horse show life in a formal setting with course design that is educational and age-appropriate. Triumphing in the 6-Year-Old Jumper class was David O’Brien who would collect the first place prize on Olivia SCF and also bring home second place honors with Out Of The Blue SCF.

For more information on Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

IHSA Announces the Addition of Ranch Riding to the Western Lineup

Photo by Lisa Giris.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – July 29, 2020 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) leadership announced that they will add ranch riding classes to their growing Western division. Ranch riding competition includes the individual performance of an approved pattern. The patterns emulate maneuvers commonly used in ranch work, such as gait extensions and turnarounds with a more forward-moving horse. The goal is to present a smooth and competent horse-and-rider team that could face any job on a working ranch. Tack and attire are simple and workman-like. IHSA’s ranch riding classes will be offered for IHSA Western Level II members.

Ranch riding classes are the fastest-growing segment at American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and American Paint Horse Association (APHA) horse shows. For IHSA members, ranch riding will create a bridge from the horsemanship classes to reining. It will be a fun addition for upper-level riders and help educate those who aim to compete at the Open level, the IHSA’s top Western division.

An IHSA affiliate, the Youth Equestrian Development Association (YEDA), a competition and education program for Western riders from grade 4-12, added ranch riding in 2016 to their catch-ride competition format and experienced triple-digit increases in participation from middle and high school riders.

“We believe it (Ranch Riding) has helped our diamond (upper-level) division as the riders have more experience when they start to compete in diamond reining,” said Laura Smith, YEDA’s chief executive officer.

The new division will provide jobs for horses that may not be appropriate for horsemanship or reining classes. Suitable ranch riding horses are versatile and should be free-flowing and able to cover ground yet are adjustable and may have a higher head carriage.

“Ranch riding is a great addition to IHSA Western competition for several reasons,” said Peter Cashman, IHSA executive director. “It is fun and in demand. It helps educate riders that are looking to move up and it helps us give jobs to horses that may not make the cut for our other divisions but make wonderful ranch riding partners. We are excited to add Level II Ranch Riding to IHSA competition.”

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

International Pony Club Dressage Comes to Virtual Windsor

The Pony Club’s new virtual dressage competition is to be launched as part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020. The competition will take pride of place on the Sunday of the online Show, which will be live-streamed from 25-27 September 2020.

Based on The Pony Club Home International Dressage which takes place annually at Royal Windsor Horse Show, the competition has been redesigned for a virtual platform. Teams of four will represent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland in a first‐of‐its‐kind competition, with each team containing one Novice, one Intermediate, and two Open riders. Any current Pony Club member who fulfils the minimum requirements may enter a video to the Qualifying Competition, of which the highest scores in each country will form the teams. All entries to the Qualifying Competition will be judged and placed, with rosettes to 10th.

The highest placed riders from each country, in each section, will then go forward to film their Home International test. All tests will be judged by a panel of three British Dressage listed judges, one of whom will be completely independent of The Pony Club. The tests and results will be live-streamed as one programme as part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020, on Sunday 27 September.

Marcus Capel, CEO of The Pony Club, said, “It is so exciting to have the opportunity to stage our Pony Club Home International Dressage virtually this year. The competition is usually a chance for riders to compete against the backdrop of Windsor Castle so, despite the disappointments that Covid‐19 has brought to 2020, our members will be able to ride at the virtual Royal Windsor Horse Show and to compete in this challenge online.”

Royal Windsor’s Show Director, Simon Brooks‐Ward, said, “We are delighted to be able to announce that The Pony Club Home International Dressage will take place on the Sunday of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020. The Pony Club is a stepping-stone for so many talented young riders, and during these times it is adapting and overcoming to continue providing education, inspiration, and competition to young riders all over the country. I look forward to seeing the high standard of equestrianism The Pony Club always produces.”

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will run from 25-27 September 2020 with the show itself taking place as a free‐to‐view live-stream available on Facebook, YouTube, and the Virtual Windsor website across the Show Weekend.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

All Systems Go for Aaron Vale and Elusive in $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper at Kentucky Summer Classic

Lexington, Ky. – July 28, 2020 – Competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic launched Tuesday with full schedules in five rings at the Kentucky Horse Park. In the Rolex Stadium, upper-level showjumping competition got underway with the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class. Out of the 17 starters, it was Aaron Vale and Elusive who started off the week in fine form and earned the first piece of the prize money this week.

Brandon Gibson and As Promised Take Home the Blue in TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters

The Claiborne ring played host to the start of the second consecutive week of hunter competition at the Kentucky Horse Park Tuesday, July 28, marking the start of the Kentucky Summer Classic. Showcasing a collection of Thoroughbred horses that have stepped into a new career after their time on the racetrack, the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters saw a number of exhibitors compete for top placings and a solid start towards the championship tricolor to be awarded at the conclusion of the division Wednesday afternoon. Riding ribbon-worthy rounds, Brandon Gibson and As Promised claimed a blue ribbon for their over fences efforts.

For more information on Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.