All posts by Associate Editor

FEI President Supports EU in Promoting Animal Identification and Traceability

FEI President HRH Princess Haya addresses the EU Veterinary Week conference in Brussels.

14 June 2010 – FEI President HRH Princess Haya has assured the European Union of the FEI’s support in promoting and improving standards in animal identification and traceability.

Speaking to top European Veterinary officials attending the third European Veterinary Week (EVW) in Brussels today, the FEI President highlighted the need to create a clear distinction between the sport horse as an equine athlete and livestock that is part of the food chain.

Identification and traceability are hugely important to the equine industry, she noted, helping to minimise the risk of disease-spread during the cross-border transportation of competition horses and also enhancing integrity and promoting public confidence in the equestrian industry.

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FEI World Cup Driving Qualification – Vecsés

Koos de Ronde (Ned), winner of the CAIO Vecsés 2010. (c) Marie de Ronde-Oudemans.

Victory for de Ronde in Vecsés

Vecsés (HUN), 13 JUNE 2010 – Dutch four-in-hand driver Koos de Ronde took the victory at the international combined driving event in Vecsés, Hungary. De Ronde stayed ahead of home driver Zoltán Lázár in this FEI World Cup Qualifying competition, where the horse teams also battled in the nations competition. Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich came third, improving every event with his Lusitano team of horses.

Heat hit Hungary

The temperature in Vecsés, the home base of the sympathetic Hungarian four-in-hand driver József Dobrovitz and his family, rose to around 30 degrees Celsius throughout the weekend. The organising committee had taken the necessary precautions to ensure the welfare of the horses and shortened the A-section of the marathon to 1,2 kilometres and lowered the pace of the walk section. All competitors got fifteen minutes instead the usual ten minutes rest at the obligatory halt in the marathon before the obstacle phase. This turned out to be a wise decision and none of the competing horses had any problems at the finish of the marathon.

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Isabell Werth & Warum Nicht Win Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Freestyle

Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht in Cannes. © 2010 RBPresse

CANNES, France, June 12 – Isabell Werth rode Warum Nicht FRH to victory in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday night, the event providing the first victory for the German pair in more than a year and since returning to competition after a six-month break to give birth to a son.

Isabell, competing in her third straight €100,000 (US$121,000) WDM CDI5*, scored 77.950 per cent with Belgium’s Stefan van Ingelgem and Withney van’t Genthof in second place on 70.90 per cent and Poland’s Michael Rapcewicz on Randon third on 69.20 per cent.

She was smiling happily at the end of the ride on the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding on whom she won the World Cup Final in 2007, although she did not get to give her final salute until about midnight as the €60,000 (US$72,700) freestyle did not start until completion of the Global Champions Tour jumping Grand Prix in this French Riviera resort.

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Chester Weber Wins 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event in New Jersey

Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the Four-in-Hand Garden State Driving Event in Allentown. (Photo courtesy of PicsofYou.com)

Allentown, NJ (June 11, 2010) – Chester Weber continued his long running winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event Championship. As the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Team Weber cruised to victory in all three phases of the Garden State event, a selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall.

“The event went really well and the entire team, both people and horses, seems to be in top form leading up to WEG,” Weber said, adding that the heat and humidity did play a factor, especially for Reno, his six-year-old leader who seemed to have a hard time with it.

Despite the weather, and footing that wasn’t ideal, Team Weber triumphed over 10 other four-in-hand teams, finishing with a score of 116.64 penalties while runner-up Josh Rector finished with a score of 140.67. Jimmy Fairclough, who has long been Weber’s top competition, went off course in the cones phase and was eliminated.

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Grand Prix Dressage Star Sagacious Receives Papers with KWPN Crown Predicate Honors

Sagacious HF recently earned Crown Predicate honors from the KWPN (Dutch) Registry, which places him in the top 200 FEI Dressage Horses in the world. (Photo by SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL (June 11, 2010) – Al Guden’s 11-year-old Grand Prix KWPN gelding, Sagacious HF, recently earned Crown Predicate honors from the KWPN (Dutch) Registry. This special symbol on his registration papers means he is ranked in the top 200 FEI Dressage Horses in the world. Sagacious HF was actually ranked 56th in the world.

Guden’s journey with Sagacious HF started when Al purchased the 4-month-old colt in Holland in 1999. Sagacious was imported to the US in 2004. Guden put the young gelding in training with Lauren Sammis and that combination turned out to be a very successful match. In 2007, Sagacious and Sammis proved they had what it takes to be international contenders by winning the Team Gold and Individual Silver Medals at the Pan American Games in Rio. Over the next three years they made a very successful transition from the small tour to winning CDI Grand Prix classes at the nation’s most competitive shows. Al Guden, Lauren Sammis and Sagacious became on popular trio on the dressage circuit.

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Ruth Poulsen’s June Newsletter – Horses and Music and Other Great Stuff!

Freestyles from A to C

Hi everyone! I hope that the warm weather and the beginning of summer has inspired you to start implementing your new goals for you and your horse.  The beginning of a new season is a great time to set some goals and start attaining them one step at a time. I find that writing my goals down as if I have already achieved them helps me stay focused and positive about my day to day progress.  It’s easy to over look how much progress you have made in any area when you get drawn in to the day to day routine.  Be fair to yourself when you are looking at where you were 6 months ago and where you are now.  Sometimes when we have a bad ride or a bad day, our first conclusion is that we are “stuck in a rut”.  But if you look back to the challenges you were having 6 months ago, you will find that there have been positive changes!  Remember that training is relative!  What used to be good enough 6 months ago is maybe not good enough now.  So for example, if you worked 6 months ago on putting your horse in front of the driving aids, and you realize that you have to have that lesson again, it may not be because your horse slipped back in his training, it could be that you are in a new place in training and that your expectations are higher than they were 6 months ago.

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2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to Celebrate 100 Days to Go with Festival

June 11, 2010 – LEXINGTON, KY – The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with several key sponsors and partners, will celebrate 100 Days to Go until the world’s most prestigious equestrian event comes to Kentucky with a celebration in downtown Lexington on June 17.

The Fifth Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park will be transformed into a celebration and preview of things to come from September 25-October 10, 2010, when the world championships in eight equestrian sports are contested at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.

The 100 Days to Go Celebration will kick off at 11 a.m., with live music and a culinary preview of the Games, including Dippin’ Dots, Alltech Angus and Kentucky Ale.

At noon, the Games’ title sponsor, Alltech, will announce the line up for the Alltech Fortnight Festival, a sixteen-day concert series which will take place in venues around the state of Kentucky concurrent with the Games.

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Isabell Werth & Warum Nicht Win Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix in Cannes

Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht. © 2010 Ken Braddick

CANNES, France, June 10 – Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht led a German sweep of the top three places in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix presented by Massa Stud Thursday, but was disappointed the horse was distracted by flowers blowing in the wind.

Riding in her third WDM this year – she came third in Palm Beach in February and at Munich last month – and her first ever competition in Cannes, Isabell and her 2007 World Cup champion mount scored 71.489 per cent, a fraction ahead of Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or with 71.447 per cent and Matthias Alexander Rath on Triviant UNICEF with 70.851 per cent.

This French Riviera resort was the launching pad in 2008 for the world’s richest lineup of dressage competitions that has grown to five premier CDI5* competitions this year, each one with prize money of €100,000 (US$120,000). Falsterbo, Sweden has been added to the calendar this year and followed by the 2010 finale at Hickstead, England.

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Isabell Werth Tops Field for Exquis World Dressage Masters Cannes

Luiza Almeida of Brazil on her Lusitano stallion Samba on whom she competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. © Ken Braddick

CANNES, France, June 9 — Isabell Werth on her World Cup champion mount Warum Nicht top the field for the Exquis World Dressage Masters starting Thursday and that will include riders from Brazil for the first time, including Luiza Almeida who was the youngest ever dressage Olympian at the 2008 Beijing Games.

This glamorous French Riviera resort was the launching pad for WDM two years ago and is now the midway point in the lineup that this year has been enlarged to five premier competitions on both sides of the Atlantic each offering €100,000 (US$119,350) in prize money.

The Cannes CDI5* event kicks off Thursday with the €10,000 (US$11,935) Grand Prix presented by Exquis, Lusitano Sport/Elevage Massa. The €30,000 (US$35,800) Grand Prix Special presented by Moorlands and Massa Autopneu on Friday and the €60,000 ($71,600) Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Exquis World Dressage Masters and Groupe Massa on Saturday, will both be at night under lights.

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Fellers Goes Double Clear in First World Cup Class of the Season

Rich Fellers and Flexible won the opening World Cup Qualifier at Thunderbird Show Park. Photo By: Totem Photographics.

Unlucky number seven narrows the field at Thunderbird Show Park

Langley, BC (June 8, 2010) – Thunderbird Show Park welcomed international riders from four continents to the CSI2*-W Keg Steakhouse & Bar World Cup on Saturday. Twenty-six entries from Canada, the United States, Ireland and Venezuela challenged Peter Holmes course, but with a technical triple combination and 1.60m vertical at fence seven, just three advanced to the jump-off. Rich Fellers and Flexible were flawless through two rounds to finish with the only double clear of the day and a win in the season’s first World Cup class for the FEI North American League.

“Flexible loves this ring and he’s comfortable here, so I came in today feeling really good about letting him do his thing,” explained Fellers. “I had a little touch on that number seven fence in the first round, so in the jump-off I took it wide and gave it extra time to make sure that I didn’t take it out.”

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