All posts by Associate Editor

Welcoming Waters Ceremony for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to Be Held during Betsy Gala and World Cup Qualifier

Mac Cone and Ole. Winners of the 2009 $50,000 Hagyard World Cup Grand Prix, CSI2*-W Lexington, KY. Photo (c) 2009 Kenneth Kraus

Lexington, KY – August 9, 2010 – With only one month until the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) the Kentucky Horse Park is already preparing for the opening day.  On August 20, 2010, the Welcoming Waters Ceremony will take place in the new Indoor Ring. During the ceremony the nine regions being represented during WEG will present water to the First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear.  The Welcoming Waters Ceremony will be held prior to the $50,000 CSI-W Hagyard Lexington Classic World Cup Qualifier.  During the World Cup Qualifier, spectators can purchase a table at “The Betsy Gala” to watch international riders compete for the top prize.

The Welcoming Waters Ceremony will be a chance for each region to give a gift to First Lady Jane Beshear.  This offering symbolizes the equestrians from each region giving a gift to Kentucky for hosting the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  The water will mimic the Olympic flame, which burns during the length of the Olympics.  Once the World Equestrian Games has concluded the water will be transported to Normandy, France where the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games will be taking place.

Continue reading Welcoming Waters Ceremony for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to Be Held during Betsy Gala and World Cup Qualifier

European Champion Takes Over Number One Slot in Rolex Rankings

European champion Kevin Staut (FRA) has taken over the number one slot in the Rolex Rankings for the first time in his Jumping career. (Photograph: Kit Houghton/FEI)

9 August 2010 – European champion Kevin Staut has jumped up to claim the world number one slot in the latest edition of the Rolex Rankings published by the FEI today.

The 29-year-old Frenchman, who won individual gold at last year’s Alltech FEI European Jumping Championships in Windsor, has moved up from third to take over the Green and Gold armband from Olympic champion Eric Lamaze (CAN).

Lamaze, who held the world number one position last month, has now dropped down to second ahead of Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer.

Staut has been a pivotal member of the French team that last week claimed its second successive victory in the Meydan FEI Nations Cup series in Dublin. His consistent performances in the series have now been further rewarded with a first-ever world number one slot in the Rolex Rankings for the popular French star.

View the full Rolex Rankings at www.fei.org.

Media Contact:

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org

FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses 2010

Denmark's Andreas Helgstrand and Uno Donna Unique took gold in the 6 year old division of the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses at Verden, Germany. Photo: Karl-Heinz Freiler.

DANISH BREEDING AND RIDING DOMINATES

9 August 2010 – Last year’s silver medallist moved up the ranks to take gold at the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships in Verden yesterday (Sunday).  Uno Donna Unique (s.Don Schufro), ridden by Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand, was the undisputed World Champion of the 6 year old division at the German fixture in which Danish horses excelled. The new 5 year old World Champion however comes from Holland.  Astrix (s.Obelisk) helped Emmelie Scholtens to win her second consecutive title.

The points for Uno Donna Unique, awarded by Dr Wojciech Markowski, Elisabeth Max-Theurer, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Angelika Frömming were spectacular – a total of 9.46.  Equally spectacular was the way the judges had to mark down Helgstrand’s other horse, last year’s gold medallist Hönnerups Driver (s. Blue Hors Romanov). Due to ‘exaggerated movements’, ‘passage-like trot’ and problems with the contact, Driver this time only earned in 12th place with a score of 7.80.

The new World Champion Uno Donna Unique has grown stronger and more stable, showing three superb basic gaits, and the judging panel were highly impressed.

Continue reading FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses 2010

Do Something Wild This Summer — Save the Wild Horses!

Dear Humanitarian:

One of the most successful components of any grassroots campaign is the involvement of our youth and that couldn’t be truer than with our current efforts to protect America’s wild horses.  Kids, with their passion and honesty, are welcome and critical additions to spreading the word.  Anyone working on this issue has probably heard how massive letter writing campaigns by children all over the U.S. helped Wild Horse Annie get Congress to pass the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971.  Many adults fighting for wild horses today got their start at that time.  We need to reignite that passion because if we don’t act soon, the children of today might not be able to enjoy wild horses for much longer.

To help get more young people involved, AWI has turned its recent “Home on the Range?” ad into a coloring page for kids.  Our goal is to get this to as many children as possible so they can color it in and mail it to the Senators and Representative of the Congressional district where they live and to President Obama.  If kids are particularly enthusiastic they can also send copies to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and to us at the Animal Welfare Institute.

Continue reading Do Something Wild This Summer — Save the Wild Horses!

Make-A-Wish Foundation Helps Seven-Year-Old’s Dream to Show at AMHR Miniature Horse Nationals Come True

Alexis shows her minis Mandy, Pretty and Pie in Canada. (Photos courtesy of Tammy Close)

Ontario, Canada (August 9, 2010) – Alexis Close may only be seven years old, but she has big dreams when it comes to her American Miniature Horses. Alexis, who was born with a heart defect and had a heart transplant when she was only 16 months old, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for a trip to the 2010 annual American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Her doctors and the transplant team keep asking her if she wanted to go to Disney World, but she doesn’t want to do that. Her dream is to go to the Nationals with her minis,” said Tammy Close, Alexis’s mom. “We have never been to the Nationals but I can see Alexis making it a yearly adventure with a trailer full of minis.”

Continue reading Make-A-Wish Foundation Helps Seven-Year-Old’s Dream to Show at AMHR Miniature Horse Nationals Come True

The Global Champions Tour 2010, Valkenswaard, Holland

The Global Champions Tour Comes Home

The emerald grass arenas of Stal Tops, home to Global Champions Tour (GCT) President and Founder Jan Tops, welcome the series he created home this weekend coming. The world’s best riders and horses will descend on Holland hoping to win the Grand Prix of Holland presented by the VDL Groep but there is also a full supporting programme in Valkenswaard to keep everyone entertained before and after that class. Horse Festival Valkenswaard will run the second week of their CSI** concurrently and there is also the exciting Derby to watch on Sunday afternoon so there will always be some top class jumping for visitors to enjoy. And with general admission and parking completely free, over 30’000 people made the most of the experience in 2009. This year the show is hoping all of the world’s top five will be attending, although Eric Lamaze is waiting for final clearance from his doctor at the beginning of the week. But Puis Schwizer, Kevin Staut, Marcus Ehning and Rolf Goran Bengsston are confirmed at time of writing. In addition, the three top ranked ladies, Jessica Kurten, Edwina Alexander, and Penelope Leprevost, are confirmed. And of course, the home fans will be waiting cheer the return of their winning Nations Cup team from Dublin, especially double clear round hero, Eric Van Der Vleuten.

This is the first year that the GCT is proud to welcome Jaeger Le Coultre to Stal Tops in their role as official time keeper after a successful start to the collaboration between the two companies in Turin and Cannes. Please visit the GCT website at www.globalchampionstour.com for more details on Jaeger Le Coultre as well as the full show programme.

Lulu Kyriacou

GCT Press Agent

FEI Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2010, Kreuth (GER)

Laetizia Pegaz riding Kouleur du Parc (Arab) won the 2010 European individual title when finishing second behind the UAE's Ahmed Ali Al Sabri (Alizee de Majolaine) at the Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders at Kreuth, Germany last week.

TEAM FRANCE DOMINATES YET AGAIN – UAE TAKES OPEN INDIVIDUAL TITLE

The small village of Kreuth is any horse person’s dream – a complete village based entirely around equestrian sport. The venue is well established and has hosted Endurance, Eventing, Reining and Dressage International competitions, but this is the first time an FEI Championship has been hosted in Kreuth. The site, comprised of various arenas, cross country courses, a hotel and large airy barn for stabling, is nestled in the Bavarian countryside approximately two hours south of Munich (GER) on the south east edge of the Taubenbach Forest. It is a perfect venue for Endurance, with extensive vet-gate space, a flat grass trot-up area and ample parking for crew vehicles. The route is principally made up of gravel forest tracks.

Sixteen nations were entered for the FEI Open European Junior and Young Rider Championships with a total of 51 horse/rider combinations. Unfortunately three horses failed the pre-ride vetting, one horse each from Italy, Portugal and Hungary. The biggest impact of these vet-outs was for Hungary who had only brought three horses.  The loss of their third horse would mean they would no longer be able to challenge for a team position and would now only field two individual riders. The usual European nations were out in force, although some with fewer riders than normal. Teams were entered from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal. As this was an Open Championships there were some entries from further afield, namely Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and the USA, although none of these nations sent a team.

Continue reading FEI Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2010, Kreuth (GER)

Crelido and Michael Morrissey Dash to Victory in $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Morrissey and Crelido won the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Kenneth Kraus

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – An incredible crowd turned out tonight at the Kentucky Horse Park to watch the nation’s best riders compete for the top prize during the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The first round featured a long and demanding track that only five riders were able to complete without fault. The jump-off proved to be even more exciting when Michael Morrissey and Crelido beat Margie Engle aboard Indigo by just two-tenths of a second for the hard fought win.

Thirty-one riders competed over Dave Ballard’s first round course tonight in the new Indoor Ring at the Horse Park in Lexington. There were sixteen jumping efforts which included a liverpool fence, a double combination and a triple combination. The technical aspects of the course and tight time allowed proved difficult for many riders. Five riders were able to complete clear rounds, but only two riders had four-fault efforts while numerous other incurred faults from rails and time.

Continue reading Crelido and Michael Morrissey Dash to Victory in $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Murphy and Corrado Take Top Prize in Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and ASPCA Maclay at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Murphy and Corrado won the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Section B and the ASPCA Maclay at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Whitney Campbell/PMG.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – Another beautiful day greeted riders at the Kentucky Summer Classic, presently held at the Kentucky Horse Park.  It was a very victorious day for rider Michael Murphy and mount Corrado, earning two back-to-back blue ribbons during both of today’s highlight events in the equitation ring. The Covered Arena featured the competitive Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal that attracted over 50 riders. Due to such a large entry figure the class was split into two sections (A and B). After a round over fences, the top four riders in each section were invited back into the ring to ride to complete a final test.

The top four riders eligible for the first section were Lillie Keenan on Sanderson, Maggie Boylan aboard Barcelona, Laura Baginski on Say No More, and Samantha Schaefer on her mount Pioneer. The test round instructed the four riders to canter three verticals from the line and counter-canter a combination of two fences.  Next, riders had to trot the sixth fence before halting in front of the judges.  Finally, they would return to the line at a sitting trot.

Continue reading Michael Murphy and Corrado Take Top Prize in Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and ASPCA Maclay at Kentucky Summer Classic

2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Continues to Be Led by Pablo Barrios

Pablo Barrios continues to retain his lead in the 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Standings. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – The lead in the 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series is still being held by Pablo Barrios of Venezuela. He completed a one-two finish in the first $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and earned a second place ribbon in the second $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the 2010 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows.

Reed Kessler continues to move up in the standings as she retains the second place position, and now just 50 points now separate her from Barrios. Kessler won last Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The young rider finish fourth during this Thursday’s grand prix event and has also finished fourth in both of the previous events held during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows to earn points towards her current standing.

Last year’s $50,000 Leading Rider Margie Engle has now taken over the third place position after placing third with Lord Spezi and sixth aboard Indigo during this Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

Continue reading 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Continues to Be Led by Pablo Barrios