All posts by Associate Editor

Fuqua Wows at WEF 1

Fuqua and Cornell 22 (Photo by Elegant Equus Photography)

Pony Champion, Big Eq, Juniors, and a Newly Arrived ‘Dream Girl’

Wellington, FL (January 14, 2020) – Starting off Winter Equestrian Festival Week 1 with a bang is the goal of every rider who descends on the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center show grounds. Tri-colored ribbons in the first week set the tone for a season of success, and Kat Fuqua jumped at every opportunity to ride into the spotlight. From the Juniors to the equitation, ponies to dressage, Fuqua is primely positioned for a banner year at WEF 2020.

Bringing her skills in the pony ring back to Palm Beach, Fuqua claimed Large and Medium Pony Championships, including the highest score she’s ever received. In the Larges Fuqua rode Upside, a pony owned by Rivers Edge and trained by Scott Stewart, to victory in 3 over fences classes and a tri-color in the Large Pony Classic. Under the tutelage of her trainer, Jimmy Torano of JET Show Stables, Fuqua and Upside were awarded a 90 and an 86 for a total of 176 in the Classic. While she was once before awarded a 90 aboard her own highly decorated Large Pony Prince, repeating such an impressive score was one of the week’s highlights.

In the Mediums, Fuqua rode another Champion catch ride for Nashville’s Alexa Karet, taking her pony mare Galianna to two firsts Over Fences and first Under Saddle. Galianna is trained by Tom Wright and Mitchell Robinson.

Fuqua changed rein from Ponies to Junior Hunters and Equitation, again riding for a prestigious name in the hunter ring. Riding I Love Lucy, a mare owned by John & Stephanie Ingram and trained by Tom Wright, she finished 3rd in the 3’3″ Under 15 Juniors. With her own Cornell 22, Fuqua began her official 2020 career in the Big Equitation with top finishes under the guidance of trainer Jimmy Torano.

Fuqua and Dream Girl (Photo by Sara Hellner)

While the Ponies, Hunters, and Equitation have been Fuqua’s forte for most of her life, her roots stem from a decidedly dressage family. Her home base of Collecting Gaits Farm recently welcomed a new FEI level dressage mare to their barn, the aptly named Dream Girl. A bay mare shown through the Intermediaire I in Holland, Dream Girl arrived in Miami in the first few days of 2020. Under the guidance of dressage trainer (and Dream Girl’s scout) Jason Canton, Fuqua has already ridden the bay a few times in quarantine with the goal of competing and qualifying in the Junior/Young Rider divisions down the road.

“This was an amazing WEF 1 and I’m really excited for everything happening this year,” said Fuqua. “Riding Upside to a 90 was definitely a highlight, as that is the highest score I’ve ever received at WEF in a pony class. I also was really lucky to be able to ride Tori [Colvin’s] International Hunter Derby horse I Love Lucy in the 3’3″ Juniors to an 84 and third in the class. Dream Girl is a whole different style of riding, but one I’ve grown up around and am excited to develop a relationship with her.”

Kat Fuqua’s passion for horses is reflected not only in her highly decorated Pony Hunter, Equitation, and Junior Hunter rider results, but also in the joy and dedication she shows each time she swings into the saddle. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia and under the guidance of trainer Jimmy Torano, every aspect of Fuqua’s riding, training, and show career reflects a unique ardor for equines and horse sport. She balances her equestrian lifestyle with attendance as a full time 6th grade student at Holy Innocence Episcopal School and takes pride in developing alongside her horses. In addition to riding, Kat enjoys spending time with her school friends and her favorite subject is French.

For more information, visit www.KatFuqua.com.

Larrazabal & Kearins Start 2020 Turf Tour Week 1 Victoriously

Michael Kearins and Sligo Balou Boy.

Wellington, FL (January 13, 2020) – Starting of 2020 on the right hoof: it was a week of firsts on the Wellington Turf Tour. The first official week of competition in the winter equestrian capital welcomed riders to The Ridge’s home farm for .80m-1.40m show jumping, and laid the foundation for marking milestones. From Grand Prix debuts to half a century in horse sport, the Turf Tour’s competitors and staff set the tone for a fantastic New Year.

Gusty winds and sporadic showers interspersed with sunshine, tenets of a fine Irish summer, set the stage for Friday’s $10,000 1.40m Welcome Grand Prix, held on The Ridge’s newly upgraded and expanded 325′ x 285′ grass field. Irishman Michael Kearins was unfazed by the weather, putting in the only double clear effort aboard his own Sligo Balou Boy. Costly rails for Jordan Coyle aboard Dundaik and Stella Manship aboard Colorado put them in second and third. All of the Turf Tours subsequent weekly Grand Prix classes, excluding even higher valued Finale, boast $15,000 in prize money.

Wednesdays on the Turf Tour are headlined by the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic, a perfect early week warm up for the bigger classes held later in the week. Week one’s Rising Star was won by Venezuela’s Luis F. Larrazabal and San Francisco Stables’ Caristina, jumping off in 39.397 seconds. Second went to Sloan Coles and Pembrey Condors Diamond, owned by Spring Ledge LLC, also double clear with a jump off time of 41.834 seconds. Camille Maddrix and m & m Sporthorses’ Jack Straw rounded off the top 3, finishing the jump off in 42.636.

Both days of competition during Turf Tour Week 1 featured courses by Olympic designer Leopoldo Palacios.

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

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

Weakening of NEPA Could Threaten Existence of Wild Horses and Burros

Many of you may have seen the President’s press conference January 9th and wondered what impact, if any, watering down the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may have on the future of our wild horses and burros. It’s a valid question, and the answer is troubling.

Weakening protections for our public lands makes the land and the many species of wildlife that make their homes there more vulnerable, most especially our wild horses and burros. These American icons are the only species to be defined by the land upon which they live. If the land is less protected, so are our beloved wild herds.

Ironically (and appropriately), NEPA itself requires a public comment period on these proposed changes. We will be calling upon you soon to lend your voice in support of our wild lands and wildlife!

Click here to read our Press Release and one TCF Board Member’s take on what the proposed NEPA changes could potentially mean.

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

Super Steve Guerdat Posts Swiss Victory at Basel

Steve Guerdat with Victorio des Frotards. (FEI/Richard Juillart)

In the 90th World Cup competition of his spectacular career, three-time series champion Steve Guerdat galloped to victory with Victorio des Frotards in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier on home ground at Basel in Switzerland.

Despite a tough first-round test from ace German course designer Frank Rothenberger, this tenth leg of the league saw 15 of the 40 starters make the cut into the jump-off so it was never going to be an easy one to win. But the man who claimed individual Olympic gold in 2012 and his third World Cup title in Gothenburg (SWE) last season left the rest in his wake, with Frenchman Julien Epaillard coming closest for runner-up spot with Queeletta ahead of Belgium’s Pieter Devos and Apart in third.

This success meant a lot to Guerdat who, as 2020 began, slipped just one place from the No 1 spot he held in the world rankings throughout 2019. He was clearly delighted as he kissed his French fiancée Fanny Skalli and their French bulldog, Crapule, with equal enthusiasm when he saw the result go up on the scoreboard.

“It’s special for a whole combination of reasons – a win close to home at a show that has never been good for me before. I never won or placed in the main classes here, so I wasn’t expecting much, but on Friday we had an amazing win in the Grand Prix. I wasn’t sure about running Victorio again today, but he was really fresh, so to end up winning makes it super and he was brilliant in the jump-off!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

The St. Jakobshalle Stadium was packed to capacity as the action got underway with nine flying the home flag. Just three of them qualified for the second-round decider including Jane Richard-Philips who led the way against the clock with just a single mistake when taking a brick out of the wall, now first on the track, with her game 12-year-old Clipper du Haut du Roy.

Third to go, Ireland’s Mark McAuley and Vivaldi du Theil posted the first clear in 33.52 seconds only to be overtaken by Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher and Prinz who stopped the clock on 33.30. Kevin Staut, one of four French contenders in the closing stages, was hampered by a jink from Viking d’La Rousserie coming down to the opening wall but matched McAuley’s time. However, Guerdat, eighth to go, blew the whole class wide open when going into the lead in 31.44 seconds despite tapping a few poles along the way.

Ireland’s Denis Lynch, who officially retired the great All Star V on Thursday, produced a lovely smooth round from GC Chopin’s Bushi with which he had claimed runner-up spot in Friday’s Longines Grand Prix. But their time of 33.27 seconds was immediately bettered by Germany’s Marcus Ehning who slotted into second place with Cornado NRW when crossing the line in 32.90.

It was still far from over as French rider Julien Epaillard ousted Ehning when breaking the beam with Queeletta in 31.94 with three really strong partnerships still left to go. Great Britain’s Scott Brash, winner of the Verona (ITA) leg in November, set off with his trademark determination but his angled turn to the vertical that was third on the track this time out came up all wrong, and Hello Senator put down in front of the fence for an uncharacteristic refusal. Second-last was Pieter Devos with the super-fast Apart, but their time of 32.41 would only prove good enough for third while, last in, Belgian compatriot Niels Bruynseels and Delux van T & L left one on the floor. Guerdat had it in the bag and was really pleased with his winning ride.

“I bought Victorio with two friends last year in May/June and we took a while to get to know each other but I always believed he had something more to give. He won a lot at 2 and 3-Star level but we’ve had our ups and downs and at one stage I wondered if he would go all the way. However, he was good in Stuttgart (in November) and he really started to give me a super feeling after that over the winter, so when my best horses went for a break I asked him to step up and we got more confidence together.”

The feisty Victorio doesn’t look like the easiest ride but, being a true horseman, Guerdat is allowing the gelding the freedom to be what he is, rather than what he might like him to be.

“He used to be like this when winning in France. I thought I could make him smoother but it didn’t work out, so I realised I needed to trust him more and let him do it his way, then he’s happy!” pointed out the Swiss star who now has another string to his bow when deciding which of his top rides he will take as he chases down his fourth title at the Longines 2020 Final in a few months’ time.

“Venard (de Cerisy) would normally be my first choice but now this horse is another option,” he said.

Just four Western European League qualifiers are left to go, the next taking place in Leipzig (GER) next Sunday, 19 January.

Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/jF85cTFjp7s.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Inaugural Lövsta Future Challenge Series Kicks Off at AGDF

Pablo Gomez Molina and Ulises De Ymas with Swedish Olympic dressage rider Louise Nathhorst and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven of Lövsta.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2020 – In the inaugural Lövsta Future Challenge Intermediate II series qualifier for developing grand prix horses, it was winner Pablo Gomez Molina who took the coveted qualifying spot for the final in the Global Arena, which takes place during the 12th and final week (March 25-29) of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

The 25-year-old Spanish rider paired up with Ulises De Ymas, a 10-year-old Spanish-bred gelding. He is owned by Gomez Molina’s employers, Yeguada De Ymas, who bred the horse.

“It was only our second inter II,” said Gomez Molina, who has been riding the horse since he was four. “We tried our first one on Thursday to see if we could do the qualifier today and Ulises was really good. It was a good plan to go early in the season to secure the place in the final.

“Ulises really tries all the time and stays with you. It’s great to have the opportunity to do the Future Cup to develop a young horse like him. He’s probably not quite ready for grand prix, but a class like this helps get you to the grand prix little by little.

“He’s a really sweet horse; you can put anyone on him. But when you ask him to work, he’s right there with you and always tries to do everything. Even if he doesn’t understand, he tries to make you happy. It’s so great to have a horse like that to compete,” added Gomez Molina, who rides around 12 horses a day.

Gomez Molina has worked for Yeguada De Ymas for seven years and splits his time, spending winters in Wellington and summer in Europe, competing on both sides of the Atlantic.

Croatia’s Karen Pavicic and Danish rider Rikke Poulsen tied for first place in the Future Challenge Prix St. Georges test with both scoring 69.927%, meaning both now qualify for the final. Pavicic piloted her own eight-year-old Totilas x Donnerhall gelding Totem, while Poulsen rode her own nine-year-old Furstentanz, by Fürstenball.

Poulsen said: “I was really pleased that I showed him Thursday and Friday in the national Prix St. Georges because he can hold his breath in a test. I finally felt him more with me and relaxed so I could enjoy riding the test. Furstentanz has been a really late bloomer, but finally I feel it all coming together.

“Now that he’s pre-qualified in the big ring, if he can mentally take it, then maybe I’ll do a small tour CDI. He is a fresh horse and can be naughty, which is why I want to make sure I don’t push him too hard too fast,” added the 41-year-old who has been based in Wellington since 2008 and trains both dressage and jumping horses.

She also praised the Future Challenge developing horse classes, saying: “You can compare yourself with the other young horses and see where we are at in your training. I’m very excited that they put those classes in the schedule. It’s great to have the final to look forward to and train accordingly now that we qualified this early in the season.

Grand Prix rider Anna Marek (USA) had been knocking at the door all week in the small tour classes and she finally broke through on Sunday to top the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition.

Marek, who is 30, rode a challenging floorplan on the rangy and appropriately named Snoopy Sunday on the concluding day of the season’s opening week. The ambitious floorplan included flying changes out of counter-canter and the 11-year-old gelding, by the Sandro Hit son Sungold, was rewarded with 73.8%.

“Yesterday he was very spooky and I’m not sure why,” said the Ocala-based rider. “I was thrilled today after such a tough ride yesterday. He’s really not a spooky horse, but he’s not been in an arena like this and so yesterday I was a little surprised. There were just so many mistakes and he was so scared of the wind and the tent, so I was really excited that he was so good today.

“Karen Robinson put the freestyle together for me and we made it for Snoopy. She matched the music really well to his movements, and what I love about it is that I can hear the transitions into and out of the pirouette or the changes or the trot half-passes,” said Marek, who finished third in the previous day’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* riding Dee Clair.

“I trust Snoopy,” added Marek, who is 6ft tall. “I trained him for the owner a couple of years ago and took him to a few small horse shows, then ended up buying him. We get along really well and I love him, although he’s actually quite small. Anne [Gribbons] told me that he was too small for me and I kept telling her that I thought he was a really nice horse. She didn’t really believe me at first, but I kept showing him to her and saying, ‘I swear this is a good horse!’ And now she believes me and loves him as much as I do.”

Ariana Chia (CAN) won the two small tour CDI3* classes earlier in the week, but in this instance had to settle for second with her own ultra-consistent gelding Fiderflame. The 10-year-old by Fidertanz scored 72.85%.

In the day’s other Intermediate I class, amateur rider Amanda Lopez contested the class on her two horses, clinching the win with her own 16-year-old Quantum, who is by the jumping stallion Quite Easy. The Swedish-bred gelding posted 66.324%.

In the day’s highest-level class, the Intermediate II CDI3*, Susan Dutta (USA) showcased her and her husband Tim Dutta’s 10-year-old Hanoverian Don Design DC. A couple of niggling errors towards the end of the test subdued the score, but they finished on 69.853%, a sign of the horse’s talent. The dark bay gelding is by the stallion Der Designer (since gelded), who was sold as a five-year-old at the PSI auction in 2011 for €1.1 million.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Cian O’Connor Claims Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix at WEF

Cian O’Connor and Lassaro Delle Schiave. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – Irish Olympic bronze medalist Cian O’Connor won the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix riding Lazzaro Delle Schiave to close out opening week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Sunday, January 12, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

From a 46-horse field, 17 advanced to the jump-off of the Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix set by course designer Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Returning sixth, O’Connor and 11-year-old Italian Sporthorse gelding Lazzaro Delle Schiave gave it all they had, stopping the clock in a time of 35.956 seconds. The time would eventually take the victory by less than a half a second over runner-up Molly Ashe Cawley riding Balous Day Date, owned by Louisburg Farm, to a time of 36.455 seconds.

“We went early and I knew there were some fast ones and good ones behind me, so I took out a few strides, particularly to the last, and really used my horse’s strength there,” said O’Connor, who has settled in Wellington for the duration of the season with his three top horses. “The course was fast and a nice test for the rest of the circuit.”

Lilly Goldstein and Fenway Claim Championship in Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under

WEF hunter competition came to a close during week 1 with Lilly Goldstein and Fenway earning champion in the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under. Goldstein hails from Argyle, TX and rode her horse Fenway to two firsts, two thirds, and a sixth-place ribbon to earn the tri-color.

Fenway is owned by Goldstein, and proved himself to the judges by winning the hack and staying consistent throughout both days of the division. “The judges really liked him! He jumped very nice and was super smooth during our rounds,” Goldstein said of her horse’s performance.

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

Ride Along with Ginger and Flint as They Take a Look Back at 2019 and What’s to Come in 2020

Much has transpired for our wild horses and burros in 2019. They faced new and varied attacks, some coming from organizations we thought were friends of these magnificent animals. Through it all, you’ve stuck with us and supported our work to keep our wild mustangs and burros in the wild where they belong. No matter how many times we say it, it bears repeating: we couldn’t do that essential work without you.

But there were many bright spots in 2019 too!

We invite you to ride along with Ginger and Flint as she discusses all of it.

As ever, we thank you for all that you do to keep our wild ones wild and free.

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

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Is Changing the Prognosis for Condylar Fracture Injuries

Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic is changing the prognosis for condylar fracture injuries in race and sport horses. Advances in diagnostic imaging, surgical skillset, and the facilities necessary to quickly diagnose, treat, repair, and rehabilitate horses with condylar fractures have improved dramatically in recent years.

Most commonly seen in Thoroughbred racehorses and polo ponies, a condylar fracture was once considered a career-ending injury. Today, however, many horses fully recover and return to competing in their respective disciplines.

What is a condylar fracture?

A condylar fracture is a repetitive concussive injury that results in a fracture to the cannon bone above the fetlock due to large loads transmitted over the cannon bone during high-speed exercise. On a radiograph, a condylar fracture appears as a crack that goes laterally up the cannon from the fetlock joint and out the side of the bone, essentially breaking off a corner of the cannon bone, sometimes up to six inches long.

“A condylar fracture is a disease of speed,” said Dr. Robert Brusie, a surgeon at Palm Beach Equine Clinic who estimates that he repairs between 30 and 50 condylar fractures per year. “A fracture to the left lateral forelimb is most common in racehorses as they turn around the track on a weakened bone and increased loading.”

Condylar fractures are further categorized into incomplete and non-displaced (the bone fragment hasn’t broken away from the cannon bone and is still in its original position), or complete and displaced (the fragment has moved away from the cannon bone itself and can often be visible under the skin).

Additionally, condylar fractures can occur laterally or medially. According to fellow Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Weston Davis, most condylar fractures tend to be lateral on the outside condyle (a rounded projection on a bone, usually for articulation with another bone similar to a knuckle or joint).

“Most lateral condylar fractures are successfully repaired,” said Dr. Davis. “Medial condylar fractures tend to be more complicated configurations because they often spiral up the leg. Those require more advanced imaging and more advanced techniques to fix.”

What is the treatment?

The first step in effectively treating a condylar fracture through surgery is to accurately and quickly identify the problem. Board-certified radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski utilizes the advanced imaging services at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to accomplish exactly this.

“Stress remodeling can be detected early and easily on nuclear scintigraphy before the horse goes lame or develops a fracture,” said Dr. Puchalski. “Early diagnosis of stress remodeling allows the horse to be removed from active race training and then return to full function earlier. Early diagnosis of an actual fracture allows for repair while the fracture is small and hopefully non-displaced.”

Once the injury is identified as a condylar fracture, Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeons step in to repair the fracture and start the horse on the road to recovery. Depending on surgeon preference, condylar fracture repairs can be performed with the horse under general anesthesia, or while standing under local anesthesia. During either process, surgical leg screws are used to reconnect the fractured condyle with the cannon bone.

“For a small non-displaced fracture, we would just put in one to two screws across the fracture,” explains Dr. Davis. “The technical term is to do it in ‘lag fashion,’ such that we tighten the screws down heavily and really compress the fracture line. A lot of times the fracture line is no longer visible in x-rays after it is surgically compressed. When you get that degree of compression, the fractures heal very quickly and nicely.”

More complicated fractures, or fractures that are fully displaced, may require additional screws to align the parts of the bone. For the most severe cases of condylar fractures, a locking compression plate with screws is used to stabilize and repair the bone.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Jorge Gomez approaches a non-displaced condylar fracture while the horse is standing, which does not require general anesthesia.

“I will just sedate the horse and block above the site of the fracture,” said Dr. Gomez. “Amazingly, horses tolerate it really well. Our goal is always to have the best result for the horse, trainers, and us as veterinarians.”

According to Dr. Gomez, the recovery time required after a standing condylar fracture repair is only 90 days. This is made even easier thanks to a state-of-the-art standing surgical suite at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The four-and-a-half-foot recessed area allows doctors to perform surgeries anywhere ventral of the carpus on front legs and hocks on hind legs from a standing position. Horses can forgo general anesthesia for a mild sedative and local nerve blocks, greatly improving surgical recovery.

“A condylar fracture was once considered the death of racehorses, and as time and science progressed, it was considered career-ending,” concluded Dr. Brusie. “Currently, veterinary medical sciences are so advanced that we have had great success with condylar fracture patients returning to full work. Luckily, with today’s advanced rehabilitation services, time, and help from mother nature, many horses can come back from an injury like this.”

Competing in Wellington this season? Stop by the Palm Beach Equine Clinic annex office conveniently located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.

Steffen Peters Aces the Grand Prix Special in Week One of AGDF

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – USA Olympic team medallist Steffen Peters stamped his authority on the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by MTICA Farm, in the opening week of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Peters and Four Winds Farm’s 18.2hh gelding Suppenkasper pulled off a fault-free performance and were rewarded with 76.149% — including a high score of 78.404% from the Colombian judge at H, Cesar Torrente. This is the horse’s first visit to AGDF and he and Peters will remain in Wellington until the CDI5* show in week seven (February 19-23).

California-based 55-year-old Peters said: “That was really fun. He has endless energy; he’s a dream. If any rider would get on this horse they would say that this is the ultimate feeling.”

Peters attributed his almost 6% improvement from the Grand Prix to an altered warm-up routine for the big-framed but light-footed Spielberg x Krack C 12-year-old: “He’s such a firecracker, like he was in the grand prix. My dream is always to keep the feeling from the warm-up into the ring, and that worked out perfectly today.

“I walked him this morning and then I worked him for half an hour at lunch time, then I put him away and let him completely settle down, then I did another 20 minutes before the test. That’s what I used to do with Legolas and maybe this might be the new recipe for ‘Mopsie’.”

Peters has the World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas in mid-April and the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan in July in his crosshairs.

“Mopsie is sometimes a bit tricky in the arena, and we still have a huge hurdle to go with the freestyle, as it’s quite a different atmosphere and it’s still a bit about desensitizing, but hopefully with one more good freestyle score, we will head to Vegas,” added Peters, who picked up nines for the extended canter, pirouettes and for his riding.

“Since Tryon, where he got extremely excited, he’s been getting better and better. I’m one of those extremely lucky guys who gets to ride a horse like that and I think there’s an 80% in there; so many times we’ve been close, but I rate him as my big hero, as my best friend. He’s one of those horses that can easily make you shed happy tears.”

Of the 15 starters, it was Great Britain’s Susan Pape who was once again the bridesmaid. She rode Harmony Sporthorses’ 11-year-old Zenon stallion Harmony’s Eclectisch to second place with a shade under 70% after mistakes in the one-time changes pulled their score down. The USA’s Anna Marek filled third with the charming bay mare Dee Clair. Diane Morrison’s 12-year-old Sir Sinclair daughter scored 68.851%.

Having finished second in the week’s earlier Prix St Georges CDI1*, Swedish rider Carline Darcourt went one better, riding Bon Coeur 1389 to a 71.882% victory in the competitive Intermediate I CDI1* class.

The sporty black eight-year-old is a well-known breeding stallion in Europe, having already produced more than a dozen licensed sons. He is owned by Lövsta Stuteri who also own his sire, Benetton Dream. This is his first ever international show. The previous day’s winners, Susan Pape (GBR) and Bourani, had to settle for third place, with home rider Katie Johnson riding Paxton finishing second. All three scored over 70%.

Canada’s Ariana Chia once again topped the leaderboard at small tour, winning the Intermediate I CDI3* on Fiderflame with 69.5%. This marks their second win of the week, and Chia will be bidding to make it three out of three when she contests Sunday’s Intermediate I CDI3* freestyle class with the 10-year-old gelding by Fidertanz.

In the FEI para classes, Roxanne Trunnell (USA) held her lead in the Grade I after scoring a career-high of 83.167%. Trunnell piloted Flintwood Farm LLC’s Dolton, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I, to the overall champion award.

“It feels really good; we’re training a lot at home and it’s all coming together,” Trunnell commented, adding that it was Dolton’s first time competing under lights, resulting in a touch of tension.

Beatrice De Lavalette (USA) dominated the Grade II para division after receiving her highest score of the week. She earned 73.667% aboard Nicolas De Lavalette’s Duna, while Jason Surnoski (CAN) came a close second with 72% aboard his own Phoenix.

The Grade III para division saw Rebecca Hart top the leaderboard after scoring an impressive 72.644% on Rowan O’Riley’s Fortune 500, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

“It was really a good experience and I had a nice easy start to the season. The next qualifier is in week three, so we’re hoping to up our scores and represent really well,” concluded Hart, who has her eyes set on Tokyo 2020.

Lee Garrod of Canada improved her score again, scoring a 71.833% in the freestyle to win the Grade V para division on Question, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quaterback.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Men Make a Comeback in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes

Daniel Coyle and Black Pearl. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the crowd-favorite $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, which saw the Men’s team return to the top of the podium.

After unseating the women, who were the 2019 victors, the men’s team is picking up momentum in the Battle of the Sexes with their second win in the class in three years. The men pocketed their first-ever victory in 2018, and on Saturday night, in the second-to-last match race, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle sealed a win for his team with a final score of 29 to the women’s 23.

“The one thing that you get in these classes that you don’t always get in other classes is the crowd really enjoys it because it’s very easy for them to understand: the girl beats the guy, and that’s who wins it,” said Coyle of what he enjoys about the Battle of the Sexes.

Adrienne Sternlicht Storms to Victory in $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic

Adrienne Sternlicht is kicking off her WEF season with a bang by earning a 1.45m win earlier in the week and again leading the victory gallop in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Saturday riding Cadans Z, owned by her own Starlight Farms 1 LLC.

From a field of 31, 10 horses advanced to an Eric Hasbrouck-designed jump-off track where Sternlicht stopped the clock in an uncatchable 36.769 seconds over her trainer and two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward. He and Heavenly W, owned by Portfolio Horses LLC, stopped the clock double clear in 38.026 seconds.

“At the end of last year, McLain was riding [Cadans Z], and this is my first week back on her. She’s a great mare, has a lot of quality, and today I was able to get out of her way,” said Sternlicht of her one-year history with the 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Carosso VDL x Navarone). “She has not been the easiest horse for me to figure out. Having the experience of watching McLain ride any horse, especially one that you’ve been working with, is always incredibly educational.”

Stella Propp and Ellie Ferrigno Ride Inquisitive to Championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters

Saturday morning in the Rost Arena began with Stella Propp riding Inquisitive to the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship. Ellie Ferrigno, from Newtown, CT, had the ride for the first day of the division, earning two first places. On the second day, Propp, of New York, NY, took over and earned a fourth and fifth. Together, the two riders were able to pilot Inquisitive, owned by Aquitaine Equine, to the tri-color ribbon.

While Propp had to attend school on the first day of the Small Junior Hunter division, she was lucky enough to have Ferrigno step in.

“I have Ellie to thank for this weekend,” said Propp. “She is amazing and always there when we need her!”

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