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The Grand Palais Flies the Swiss Flag after the Victory of Romain Duguet

Romain Duguet. Photos credit Frédéric Chéhu.

It was an extremely tricky course that the German course designer Frank Rothenberger designed for the Grand Prix Hermès today under the glass roof of the Grand Palais. With 15 obstacles at 1.60m, the 39 riders who started had their work cut out, particularly with the last triple vertical combination, which stopped several riders from reaching the jump-off. Only 8 competitors managed to qualify, and the final victory went to the Swiss rider Romain Duguet, the delighted partner rider of Hermès.

The 2015 Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais ended in style this Sunday afternoon. In front of a full crowd, the 39 riders in this grande finale gave their utmost to overcome the difficulties of the course in Paris. It was only after the round of Edwina Tops-Alexander/Lintea Tequila, who won the Grand Prix in Doha a month ago, that the clear rounds started to come, with Christian Alhmann (GER)/Epleaser van T Heike and then the reigning Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (SWI)/Corbinian. Five other riders joined them afterwards: Philippe Rozier (FRA)/Rahotep de Toscane to a standing ovation from the public; Amy Graham (AUS)/Bella Baloubet – who had already won “Le Saut Hermès” class yesterday; the winners of the 2014 Grand Prix Hermès, Marcus Ehning (GER)/Cornado NRW; and then Romain Duguet (SWI)/Quorida de Treho, Grégory Wathelet (BEL)/Oh d’Eole and the Qatari rider Bassem Hassan Mohammed/Victoria. This year, the event was not a happy one for Maikel van der Vleuten (NL), the team world championship gold-medallist, Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), the European champion and Daniel Deusser (GER), the world number one.

8 couples in the final
With the difficult task of opening the jump-off, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) had to decide between taking risks and speed. However, a bar on the penultimate oxer sent her into 7th place. The same thing happened to Christian Ahlman (GER) who finished 8th. However, Corbinian responded to all the demands of the reigning Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (SWI), who will take part in the World Cup finals in Las Vegas in three days’ time. A double clear round saw him take charge of the class before Amy Graham (AUS) had the public of the Grand Palais on their feet. The Australian took 21 hundredths of a second off the Swiss champion’s time. The performance should have sealed the win. But that was before Romain Duguet took the Grand Palais by storm. Going tight into the bends and accelerating in the last straight, the partner rider of Hermès took a second off the time to claim the final victory in the Grand Prix Hermès. After that, Philippe Rozier (FRA), pushed on by the public, needed to go as fast as possible, but finished sixth after a penalty. Marcus Ehning (GER) and Grégory Whatelet (BEL), with a penalty each, took the 5th and 4th places respectively.

Full results:

What they said:
Anne-Sarah Panhard – President of the competition, Managing Director of Hermès France:
“I’d like to congratulate all the winners this weekend and particularly Romain Duguet (SWI) who is an ambassador of the Hermès brand. Obviously, this victory particularly means a lot to us. Thank you for giving us such a great show. A big thank you to GL events who made it possible to organise the competition. And many thanks also to the Grand Palais which provides such an amazing venue for the event and to the City of Paris that authorises us to install these facilities each year. This year, we particularly appreciated the high-quality line-up of riders, just three days before the World Cup Finals.”

Sylvie Robert, Competition Director and Director of Equestrian Events at GL events:
“First of all, we would like to thank Hermès for their confidence over the last 6 years. It is a wonderful experience working with this prestigious company. I don’t think we could find a more amazing venue in the centre of Paris, close to the Champs Elysées. This year, 25 of the top 30 riders in the world took part in the event. Congratulations to all the winners; it is unbelievable how our sport is really growing and developing.”

Duguet2Romain Duguet (SWI), 1st:
“It is really fantastic to win here today, and even more so as a Hermès partner rider. This is my first win in a five star Grand Prix, and doing it here makes it even better. However, I didn’t feel any more pressure than at another event. My mare really jumped amazingly; when she is on form, she is truly exceptional.”

Amy Graham (AUS), 2nd:
“For me, this really is an amazing competition and I would like to thank Hermès for inviting me. I had an exceptional weekend and Bella Baloubet was in great form. It was a real pleasure competing in this wonderful setting.”

Steve Guerdat (SWI), 3rd:
“I was a bit worried about taking too many risks because Corbinian is only 9 years old. He has a lot of qualities, but without the right pattern of strides he does not have enough experience to win. I preferred to hedge my bets and I am really pleased with him.”

Philippe Rozier (FRA), 6th best French rider:
“I wanted to do a clear round. Each week, Rahotep (de Toscane) keeps confirming his form. This afternoon, I tried to go faster, but it didn’t work out.”

Véronique Gauthier
Tél: +33 (0) 967 073 729 – Mob: +33 (0) 672 770 600

JPMorgan Chase Rides Off with Senators Cup in 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament

Mark Bennett, Caroline Anier, Joey Casey, Misha Rodizanko and Mason Phelps. Photos: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Cedar Crest Wins Founders Cup in Exciting Tie-Breaker

Wellington, FL – April 11, 2015 – JPMorgan Chase won the 2015 Senators Cup, defeating Gordon W. Ross-RE/MAX 5-3 in Saturday’s final of The 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Misha Rodizanko, the high-scorer for JPMorgan Chase, was named MVP.

Earlier in the day Cedar Crest clinched the 2015 Founders Cup in a penalty shootout after a tied match, taking McGladrey 9-8. Chip McKenney, who scored the winning goal, was selected as MVP.

The name of the sport is polo, but if you ask the players, the name of this game was fun. With festive tailgating going in theme-decorated booths fieldside – and the goalposts decked out in rainbow colors – The 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament was polo with panache.

“It was a great open game, and the field was fabulous,” said French pro Caroline Anier, who was instrumental in JPMorgan Chase’s win. “The weather was beautiful, the organization was great, and we were having a lot of fun. When you have a victory on top of this, it’s like a bonus.”

Gordon W. Ross-RE/MAX took an early lead, with teammates Gordon Ross and Misha Rodizanko each making a goal to close the first chukker with a one-point lead. JPMorgan Chase didn’t let that stand for long, however. The team surged in the second chukker and never looked back, maintaining a tight lead through the rest of the game.

The hottest action came in the second chukker, with Anier making two goals and teammate Tiffany Busch contributing another. A series of smooth plays by the evenly matched teams began with pro Joey Casey in the driver’s seat. He took the ball downfield full-tilt boogie in what looked like a sure run to goal, but then Anier swooped in.

She was all over the ball until Mason Phelps jumped in and broke up the play. With fine-tuned situational awareness, Phelps kept the ball under his wing just long enough for teammate Misha Rodizanko (the team’s high scorer) to get into position. Phelps passed the ball to him, and things were looking good again for Gordon W. Ross-RE/MAX.

But Anier suddenly resurfaced and rewrote the equation. On an assist from Mark Bennett, she took the ball on a breakaway, her lead increasing exponentially like Secretariat in the home stretch. Three seconds before the warning horn, she scored, ending the first half 4-2 for JPMorgan Chase.

The third chukker brought a bit of déjà vu, as Rodizanko also scored in its final seconds à la Anier. In the final period of the four-chukker match, Busch made her second goal of the day, sealing the deal for JPMorgan Chase, 5-3.

“That was probably the fastest game I’ve ever played!” said a jubilant Mark Bennett, who scored in the first chukker. “Caroline and Tiffany were wonderful. They put us where we needed to be, always calling the shots, giving good direction and great leadership. It was an awesome game. I’m happy to win, and I’m happy for JPMorgan.”

Jed Pearsall attributed the team’s victory to his teammates. “It was all them,” he said with a good-natured laugh. “I just tried to hold my own and not hold anyone back.” He added that Anier and Busch “were coaches on the field, as well as teammates. They coached us through everything, and that made it the way it should be – we were all smiling 100 percent of the time.”

Cedar Crest Takes McGladrey 9-8
Wins Founders Cup in Tiebreaker

“When you’re playing and you see all these wonderful people enjoying themselves on the sidelines, there just aren’t words for it!” said Rafik Boughadoui. “What a fun event – you come happy and you leave happy!”

Boughadoui had yet another reason to be happy: His team won the 2015 Founders Cup in the subsidiary match of the 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). He made a crucial assist on the first goal of the match, which was sent into goal by Jean-Marc Herrouin. Their teammate Sunny Hale followed up with another, ending the first chukker 2-0 for Cedar Crest. McGladrey answered both of those goals in the second, with Dwight Tran and Charlie Muldoon each scoring.

Sunny Hale, Rafik Boughadoui and Dwight Tran
Sunny Hale, Rafik Boughadoui and Dwight Tran

Muldoon, who was McGladrey’s high scorer with three goals in the game, earned the moniker “Ramrod” from announcer Gus Whitelaw. The McGladrey contingent on the sidelines adopted it, cheering, “Go, Ramrod!” every time Muldoon ran with the ball. Muldoon mania caught on like wildfire. From tailgate booths on both sides of the field, champagne glasses could be heard clinking and the chant “Rammmm-rod!” echoing when Muldoon scored.

Meanwhile, the players kept their focus. Halftime ended with a 2-2 tie. Hale scored in the third and fourth chukkers. Muldoon answered with two back-to-back goals in the final period of the four-chukker match, bringing the spectators’ cheering to a crescendo as he tied the game 4-all at the end of regulation play.

A penalty shootout went two rounds. Chip McKenney, a deadeye accurate player who was 100 percent on his penalty shots, broke the tie with the winning goal and was named MVP. The match ended 9-8 for Cedar Crest.

What did McKenney think of the game?

“Exciting, exciting!” were the first words out of his mouth. “It was neck-and-neck all the way. I thought we had it in the fourth chukker, and then in the last 30 seconds they scored a tying goal,” he said.

“I think the shootout was a fun way to end it because every time you make a shot and every time you miss a shot, it just adds to the pressure of getting the next shot. So it really builds the tension. It’s a pretty fun way to end a tied game.”

Teammate Jean-Marc Herrouin, who scored in the first chukker and made both his penalty shots in the shootout, attributed his success to Hale. “It was a real honor to play with Sunny Hale, one of the top women polo players in the world,” he said. “Just spending time on the field with her improved my game tremendously.”

Hale, in her first time playing in the tournament, described it as “a nice, flowing, running game – a good, exciting game.” Noting that her team had played together for the first time just the previous day, she said, “Today it was a lot easier to gel because we’re a little more used to each other.”

Win or lose, said Hale, she had another reason for participating in the 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament: “I’m here because I support Chip McKenney’s efforts to promote more fun in polo and having a good time with friends, and that’s exactly what this event was.”

About the Gay Polo League:

GPL is a community that shares a love for adventure, fun and the challenging sport of polo. GPL is committed to providing members with an enjoyable, supportive and competitive experience. GPL represents a wide range of ages, backgrounds and skill levels. GPL trains and competes in mainstream matches and events while sharing enthusiasm for the sport, to change perceptions about our community.

For more information about GPL, visit

Tickets are now available for The 6th Annual International Gay Polo Week at

The 6th Annual International Gay Polo Week Fast Facts:

When & Where:
Thursday, April 9:
Exclusive private VIP Party

Friday, April 10:
GPL Polotini Party, Poolside at the Mallet Grille International Polo Club Palm Beach

Saturday, April 11:
Finals of the International Gay Polo Tournament at International Polo Club Palm Beach – Isla Carroll East Field and tailgate competition.

Sunday, April 12:
Polo Brunch, Poolside at the Mallet Grille International Polo Club Palm Beach


To purchase tickets, visit

VIP Tables: $1,200 includes seating for six center field, open bar, gourmet food and tableside service throughout the matches.

Individual VIP: Tickets: $225

Tailgate Price: $375, includes tent, six tickets and one field-side parking place

VIP Parking: $25

General Admission: $25 (parking additional)

General Admission Parking: $10

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Spalding Fly Predators and Fly Control

Too Many Flies Last Summer? Don’t Put Up with That Again!

How to Use Spalding Fly Predator Products for Fly Control for Your Animals

The best way to control pest flies is to eliminate them before they ever emerge. By simply sprinkling a small bag of Spalding Fly Predators on your manure areas just as the weather turns warm you can prevent flies from ever becoming a nuisance.

Spalding recommends a simple four or five step plan that really fixes the problem, rather than just chase flies away temporarily. For most people just adding Fly Predators® is all that’s needed but if you have flies coming from neighbors, adding traps and Bye Bye Odor® to handle those “visitors” completes the program.

1. Identify the Fly

Determine what kinds of flies are bugging you and if they are coming from your animals or the neighbors. Different flies come from different places and require different strategies to eliminate. Click here for the most common pesky flies.

2. Stop Future Flies

Stop flies from reproducing by cleaning up the areas where they breed (manure/rotting organic matter) and adding Fly Predators. Many people just go after adult flies buzzing around but that’s only about 15% of the population at any time. If you don’t stop the future ones you’ll be plagued all summer.

Fly Predators kill flies before they emerge. You simply sprinkle them near all manure areas every three to four weeks during warm months. It just takes a few minutes and you’ve done your fly control for the month.

3. Make Sure You Get Real Fly Predators

Some fly bugs sold under other brand names are not the same as Fly Predators. The species are different and the difference in performance can be huge! Learn More

Spaulding Fly Traps
Spalding Fly Traps

4. Get Adult Flies

If needed, add traps to get adult flies. Most horse owners will need three different trap types as no one trap catches every fly. We offer the most effective traps, proven by USDA tests, and the best how to use info.
Learn More

5. Don’t Invite More

Spaulding Bye Bye Odor
Spalding Bye Bye Odor

Flies have a tremendous sense of smell. If you ever wondered why there are more in your barn than elsewhere, it’s likely BO – barn odor. Use Bye Bye Odor to eliminate harmful ammonia and barn odor. Let the flies find someone else’s stinky barn instead.

Spalding Labs - Bye Bye Odor

Allison Springer (USA) Leads the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event after Dressage

1st – Allison Springer and Arthur.

(USA, 25 April 2014) Allison Springer (USA) riding Arthur, today Friday 25 April 2014, is the current leader after the Dressage phase, with William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Bay My Hero in 2nd place, and Lauren Kieffer (USA) riding Veronica in 3rd place at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, in Lexington.

Results after Dressage Phase:

1. Allison Springer/Arthur (USA) 39.5
2. William Fox-Pitt/Bay My Hero (GBR) 44.0
3. Lauren Kieffer/Veronica (USA) 46.7
4=. Jan Byyny/Inmidair (USA) 49.5
4=. Phillip Dutton/Mr Medicott 49.5
4=. Michael Pollard/Mensa G (USA) 49.5
7. Will Faudree/Pawlow (USA) 49.8
8. Doug Payne/Crown Talisman (USA) 51.2
9. Marilyn Little/RF Demeter (USA) 51.3
10. William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie TSF (GBR) 51.5

Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Current Contender

Andrew Nicholson (NZL) has travelled to the Kentucky Horse Park as the new Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing ‘live contender’ and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event defending champion. This follows the news announced on 23 April 2014 that last year’s winner of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Jonathan Paget (NZL), has officially been disqualified following a “partial decision” by the sport’s governing body Tribunal. As a result of Paget’s disqualification, Andrew Nicholson and Avebury have now been promoted and are the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2013 winners.

All eyes are now on Nicholson to see if he can repeat the form he demonstrated in 2013, by winning the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which will put him one competition away from the coveted USD $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Prize. Nicholson is competing in Kentucky on his grey gelding Avebury and is currently lying in joint 11th place after the Dressage phase on a score of 51.7.

Quote from Allison Springer (USA) (link to audio of full post-event press conference below):

Q. Allison – how does it feel to be back with Arthur?

We know each other well. As a competitor he has given me most of my mileage so I have learned to be a little bit more relaxed and understanding with him and he was pretty wild when I rode him at lunchtime – I thought, uh oh, I’m in a little bit of trouble here, but you just have to do the best job you can. It’s emotional; it’s been a big year and it’s emotional to have my horse back and strong and feeling great.

2nd - William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero
2nd – William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero

Quote from William Fox-Pitt (GBR) (link to audio of full press conference below):

Q. William – Bay May Hero – what a lovely horse – thoughts on that test?

He is a cool horse; he’s such a fun horse to ride and one that’s always on your side. You go in there and that atmosphere and that crowd in there was fantastic – you need a horse that’s good and he really tried.

It was a huge relief to get a 44 (as the scores have all been so high) and delighted with how he went. There were a couple of rusty moments as he hasn’t had a big day out for a while – I’m really excited.

Quotes from Lauren Kieffer (USA) (link to audio of full press conference below):

Q. Lauren – competing in just your second Rolex – how does it feel this time?

I’ve been riding Veronica for about a year now and it’s definitely a different mind-set this time around – I came to give a shot at it and there is a lot to do tomorrow – it certainly won’t be a dressage show, but I’m happy with how it went today.

Quotes from Andrew Nicholson (NZL), currently live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing:

Q. Andrew – how did you feel the test went for you?

It wasn’t as good as he is on grass – I thought he might be a bit like this on this surface [all weather] – grass gives him a little bit more balance. I was having to ride him a bit more strongly in there to keep him looking half active. But he’s good. I know he can do better than that.

Q. So you are currently within five points of the leaders?

If they stay scoring that for the last few and if I can finish on that, then I think I can probably win!

3rd - Lauren Kieffer and Veronica
3rd – Lauren Kieffer and Veronica

Copyright Free Audio

Please click on the following links for copyright free audio of the post-event Press Conference after Dressage Day Two with the top three placed riders:

For more information on the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and full Results/Leaderboard, please visit

Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing

In 2001, Rolex created the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This trophy is awarded to the rider who manages to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials event in any consecutive order. Until now, only British rider Pippa Funnell has managed this staggering achievement, winning the title in 2003.

Revolution Sports + Entertainment

Springer Soars to Top Following Dressage at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Allison Springer and Arthur (Shannon Brinkman)

Lexington, Ky. – The second day of dressage came to a close Friday at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented Land Rover with a new set of names atop the leaderboard. Twenty-nine horse-and-rider combinations performed their test in the Rolex Stadium in front of the Ground Jury of Sandy Phillips (GBR), Gillian Rolton (AUS), and Christina Klingspor (SWE). The U.S. riders had another day of impressive performances at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Allison Springer (Upperville, Va.) rode longtime partner Arthur into the lead with a score of 39.5, 4.5 points ahead of second place. With the Arthur Syndicate LLC’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Springer had a beautiful test with great work at the trot and canter with quality flying changes.

“No, he’s not a more mellow guy but I think we know each other really well,” Springer replied of Arthur’s sometimes spooky nature. “As a competitor he has given me most of my mileage so I’ve learned to be a little bit more relaxed and understanding of what I have… I think he remembers Kentucky because he was so nice at the jog and that’s the nicest he has actually walked down that ramp and trotted around the arena… It’s very emotional to have my horse back and strong and feeling great.”

Sitting in second place are William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Bay My Hero on a score of 44.0 after a wonderful test. Fox-Pitt and Catherine Witt’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding had a very smooth test making the movements look easy.

“I was very happy with Bay My Hero today. He couldn’t have gone very much better,” Fox-Pitt said of his dressage test. “He likes to look at everything but today he really held it together well. I was very pleased with him.”

Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Veronica lie in third place with 46.7 heading into Saturday’s cross country phase after putting in a solid test on Friday. In only her second appearance at Kentucky, Kieffer moved into her respectable position with Team Rebecca, LLC’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare on the strength of good trot work and nice flying changes.

“Last time I was here in 2010 with my Young Rider horse Snooze Alarm and he was great and it was a super experience,” Kieffer said of her first experience at Kentucky’s CCI4*. Continuing about her mount this year, she said, “I have been riding Veronica for about a year now and it’s definitely a different mindset this time around. I came here to give a shot at it. There is a lot to do tomorrow. It certainly won’t be a dressage show but I’m happy with how it went today.”

Looking forward to tomorrow’s cross country day, Springer has two different rides with Arthur and stablemate Copycat Chloe, Copycat Chloe Syndicate, LLC’s 12-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare. “I think it is interesting for me looking at the course because I have two very different horses, one doing her first four-star, so what’s important about that is giving a very educational run, a confidence-building experience.”

“I think there is quite a bit to do out there. Obviously with Arthur I want to have a great day tomorrow, we all do. I think the angled hedges [16A and B] are about the most sever angle I will have jumped,” Springer said with a laugh. “I really trust Derek [di Grazia] as a course designer. I think there are tough questions but I as a rider trust him a lot and I have a lot of faith in Arthur and what we have together. I hope to give him the best ride that I can.”

Kieffer added that it was a beautiful, well done course, saying that “Derek is a genius as course designer.” She thought the course will require a rider’s constant attention, but has clear lines when presented to a horse clearly should ride quite well.

“I think it does look like a great course. What’s out there needs to be attacked and encourages forward riding and forward horses,” Fox-Pitt shared of what should be a great day of cross country. “It’s always a tough track and you never really know how the day is going to go.”

Cross country day begins tomorrow at 11:00am ET with Buck Davidson and Park Trader.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Watch the live stream on the USEF Network presented by SmartPak here:

For more information about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, visit

Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at

Arthur Is King of Dressage at Kentucky

Alison Springer (USA) and Arthur were outstanding in the Dressage, scoring the only sub-40 mark to take the overnight lead at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event (USA), third leg of the FEI Classics™. Photo: Anthony Trollope/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 25 April 2014 – Alison Springer (USA) and the evergreen chestnut gelding Arthur are in the lead after Dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, third leg of the FEI Classics™ 2013/2014.

Thirty-nine-year-old Springer and the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse Arthur are one of the most enduring partnerships in the sport. Their brilliant score of 39.5, the only sub-40 mark in the field, comes as no surprise, even though good scores have been hard to come by in this phase.

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), a former dual winner of Kentucky, in 2010 and 2012, is in second place, five penalties in arrears, with the 11-year-old Bay My Hero, on which he was fourth at Pau (FRA) in 2012.

“He’s a cool horse and fun to work with,” said Fox-Pitt. “It’s a huge relief to score 44 because the marking has been quite strict, but he’s a real trier.”

Fox-Pitt is also in equal 10th place on last year’s runner-up, Seacookie, level with his former pupil, Sinead Halpin on the 2012 Burghley runner-up Manoir de Carney.

Lauren Kieffer (USA), 26, who has not ridden at a CCI4* since finishing 29th in 2010 on Snooze Alarm, finds herself in elevated company in third place on 46.7.

Kieffer, originally from Illinois, is trained by David and Karen O’Connor, and now has the ride on the 12-year-old mare Veronica, previously trained by Karen O’Connor.

Phillip Dutton (Mr Medicott), Jan Byyny (Inmidair) and Michael Pollard (Mensa G) are tied in fourth place on 49.5.

An all-female ground jury made up of Christina Klingspor (SWE) as president, Sandy Phillips (GBR) and Gill Rolton (AUS) placed Michael Pollard (USA) and Mensa G at the top of the leaderboard on the first day of Dressage when only two riders managed to break the 50-penalty barrier.

“Mensa has won the Dressage before and is pretty consistent, but his work today was probably the best he’s done, although we lost some marks with bad changes,” said Pollard afterwards. “We’ve been working hard on shaving the rough edges off every single aspect of the test and it’s paid off.”

Looking ahead to the Cross Country, Pollard commented: “I think it may be a little stiffer this year, but I’ve got a good horse who generally goes straight and has plenty of stamina.”

New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, last year’s Kentucky winner, has come to Kentucky with the declared intention of having a crack at the Rolex Grand Slam, worth $350,000 to the rider who can win Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley consecutively.

He is perhaps not as highly placed as he would like at this stage, in 11th position on dual Burghley winner Avebury, but is still in close contention ahead of what is expected to be a challenging Cross Country day.

US riders form the largest percentage of the field and their new team trainer David O’Connor will be earmarking potential combinations for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy in August – the US last won the team title in 2002 in Jerez (ESP).

With this in mind, the general consensus is that Course Designer Derek di Grazia (USA) has increased the difficulty of his Cross Country track. “It’s a strong course,” concedes Will Faudree (USA), “but it’s beautifully built and inviting.”

The course presents the usual mix of big, bold fences and accuracy tests, most notably a different route at Kentucky’s famous Head of the Lake water complex (18/19) and a new combination at 14abc, the Land Rover at the Hollow, where a keyhole fence is followed by a difficult line to a corner and a forward distance to an oxer.

Former Olympic gold medalist Jimmy Wofford (USA) predicts that this combination will be influential. He describes the field as “relatively inexperienced and extremely talented” and says: “Some will amaze us and some we’ll feel sorry for. It’s a hard course.”

Buck Davidson (USA) and Park Trader will be first out on the Cross Country tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am (US time). Follow what is sure to be a fascinating competition with live coverage of the entire event on the FEI’s official video platform FEI TV and see live results on

Results after Dressage

1 Alison Springer/Arthur (USA) 39.5
2 William Fox-Pitt/Bay My Hero (GBR) 44.0
3 Lauren Kieffer/Veronica (USA) 46.7
4= Phillip Dutton/Mr Medicott (USA) 49.5
4= Jan Byyny/Inmidair (USA) 49.5
4= Michael Pollard/Mensa G (USA) 49.5
7 Will Faudree/Pawlow (USA) 49.8
8 Doug Payne/Crown Talisman (USA) 51.2
9 Marilyn Little/RF Demeter (USA) 51.3
10= William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie (GBR) 51.5
10= Sinead Halpin/Manoir de Carney (USA) 51.5

FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 Leaderboard (after 2 of 6 events)

1 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 15 points
2 Christopher Burton (AUS) 15
3 Maxime Livio (FRA) 124 Sonja Johnson (AUS) 12
5 Craig Barrett (AUS) 10
6 Phillip Dutton (USA) 8
7 Shane Rose (AUS) 8
8 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 6
9 Stuart Tinney (AUS) 6
10 Donatien Schauly (FRA) 5

See full standings here

FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 calendar

1 Les Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) – 23-27 October 2013
2 Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS) – 14-17 November 2013
3 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) – 23-27 April 2014
4 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) – 8-11 May 2014
5 Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL Paket (GER) – 12-15 June 2014
6 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) – 4-7 September 2014

Prize money

At the end of the FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 season, the five riders with the highest number of points collected across the six FEI Classics™ events will share a total prize fund of US$120,000 split as follows: 1st – US$40,000 (Series Champion); 2nd – US$35,000; 3rd – US$25,000; 4th – US$15,000; 5th – US$5,000.

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At Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event:

Marty Bauman
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Grania Willis
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Manager Press Relations
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Capital Challenge Horse Show Begins with Equitation Weekend Division Championships

Alison Cooney and Wittewa. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Upper Marlboro, MD – September 28, 2013 – The Capital Challenge Horse Show began today at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. This is the first day of the Capital Challenge Equitation Championship Weekend, presented by The Capital Challenge Horse Show runs through Sunday, October 6. The equitation age divisions were held today with over fences classes in the outdoor and indoor rings, joined by a flat class indoors. There were seven age division champions rewarded.

Alison Cooney of Chappaqua, NY, was the 17 Year Old Equitation champion on Wittewa. The division is sponsored by Frank Madden Show Stables. Cooney placed first and third over fences and was second on the flat. The reserve champion was Abigail Johnston on Caden, who finished second over fences and first on the flat.

Cooney has ridden Wittewa, or “Leon” as he’s known in the barn, for two years. She described the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding as “a goofball.” She continued, “He was so soft today. He was on an open stride, and he helped me out. He’s a great horse.”

After finishing fourth in last year’s North American Junior Equitation Championships and riding in her final junior year, Cooney was excited to start out with a championship. “I’m so excited. It’s such a nice way to start out,” she acknowledged. “He feels good and I feel like we’re working well together, especially indoors. You have to adjust a little bit, adjust your eye. I feel ready, and he’s perfect.”

She added, “I really like this ring. There’s enough space to get going, and I like the footing. But it’s not too big that it’s not a challenge. You get ready for indoors, and it’s good preparation.”

The 16 Year Old Equitation division, sponsored by Old Salem Farm, saw Sydney Callaway of San Diego, CA, enter for the championship presentation. She and Van Radjah, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Radjah Z, placed first and third over fences. The reserve championship went to Hannah Showell on Axtrex, who placed first over fences and third on the flat.

This is Callaway’s third time at Capital Challenge. “Last year I was reserve champion in the 15 Year Olds, so it was fun to come back and redeem myself and move up,” she said with a smile. “This was fun and it was a good course.”

After finding Van Radjah last year and transitioning him from the jumpers to the equitation, Callaway has had continued success. “I’m really excited this year because we’ve qualified for all the medal finals. He seems really in the groove and ready to go,” she said. “It’s nice being solidified. Being a west coast rider and coming to the East Coast, you don’t really know all of the judges and the competition you’re looking at, so it’s nice to know where you stand.” sponsored the 15 Year Old Equitation division, and Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, won the championship. She rode VIP Z, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hemmingway. Kelli Cruciotti and Monterrey were third in both over fences classes and won on the flat for the reserve championship.

In the few years that Colvin and VIP Z have been partnered, Colvin said that the handsome dark bay has become more accustomed to the show life. “We have a good partnership and finally understand each other,” she noted. “At first he was always fresh. Now he’s perfect. I ride him for 10 minutes and he goes in the ring.”

While some riders must find an adjustment when moving into the indoor arena, Colvin said she likes it better. “You can’t go too fast because it’s smaller and enclosed,” she laughed. “I think it’s easier.”

Of her victory, she said, “It’s great to start off with a win, but I’m not at ease for the rest of indoors! It doesn’t get any easier.”

Also sponsored by, the 13/14 Year Old Equitation division awarded the champion ribbon to 14-year-old Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY. Strauss split victories on two horses. She rode Atlantic, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to the win in both over fences classes, and then got the ride on Abigail Johnston’s Caden for victory on the flat.

Strauss explained her switch, “I’m 5’9 1/2”, and Atlantic is a very small horse. Caden is about 18 hands, so I fit him better. I showed (Caden) at a one day horse show to get some points before. The horse I was showing colicked and we also won there. He has been so great for me, and Abby has done such a great job bringing him along. I’m so grateful that she let me ride him.”

This is Strauss’ fifth year competing at Capital Challenge. She revealed, “Capital Challenge has always been my worst show all year because I’m riding every day all summer and then I go back to school and can only ride after school on one horse and on the weekends. So I always struggled here. I’m so happy that I finally pulled it together!”

She knew that coming into the indoor arena wouldn’t be a problem. “Atlantic is such a brave horse; I can trust him a thousand per cent. At Old Salem with Frank Madden and Jen Griffiths, we have a beautiful indoor there. We practiced and I felt really confident there that he’d be 100% in the indoor,” she remarked.

The reserve champion in the division was Thomas O’Mara, who rode Kaskade. They placed second over fences and second on the flat. O’Mara was also victorious in the North American Junior Flat Equitation Championship. The North American Junior Flat Equitation Championship is a fun and competitive class only found at Capital Challenge. O’Mara was the last rider to return into the lineup in first place. The reserve champion ribbon went to Melanie Selleck on Presidio.

The final junior equitation age division of the day were the 12 Year Olds, sponsored by The championship for the second year in a row went to Emma Wujek of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. She rode La Duc to first and fourth places over fences and won on the flat. The reserve champion was Daisy Farish on Santorini, who was second and third over fences and third on the flat.

While Wujek was successful here last year, she had a disadvantage coming into today’s show. After a riding accident and a broken tibia, she had two months off. Today’s classes were just her fourth day back riding. “It feels really good!” she said.

Wujek gave credit to “Duck,” an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding that she has been riding for a year. “He’s a sweetheart. He’s been off since I haven’t ridden him. He’s a really, really good boy,” she said. also sponsored the Adult Amateur Equitation division, which was split into two sections. The champion of Section A was Meredith Combs of Harvard, MA, on Cassius. They placed fifth and first over fences. The reserve champion was Nicole Lyvere on Drumline, who finished second and fifth over fences and third on the flat.

Combs has been riding Cassius, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for three and a half years. The pair competed in the junior equitation together before moving into the Adult divisions this year. “His nickname in the barn is ‘Perfect Horse.’ He’s a doll,” she effused. “If I can get it together and ride really well, he’ll do it perfectly. He’s super sweet and very forgiving. I love him.”

They plan to show in tomorrow’s North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships and the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals on Friday. “It’s really exciting to start off on the right foot and feel confident in my rides. I feel really ready for ARIAT Finals,” Combs said. “It’s my first year as an adult, and it’s meant a lot to me to get to the ARIAT Finals. Being so successful is a really great introduction to my week here at Capital Challenge.”

The Section B champion in the Adult Equitation was Conor Perrin from Orange, CA. He rode Gelato, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cavalier, to first and sixth places over fences and a win on the flat. The reserve champion was Julia Gildea on Manchester, who was first and second over fences and third on the flat.

Perrin and Gelato have been paired together for five years. They started out in the Children’s Hunters and have progressed through the 3’6” equitation in Perrin’s junior years. Now that he is an adult, Perrin is happy to have Gelato. “He’s amazing. I’m able to do him in some of the hunter classes because he’s just very versatile. I want to keep him as long as I can,” he said.

The two learned together as they moved up. “He jumped very round at that point, and I wasn’t a very good rider at that point in my career. As he became less and less green, I was able to get better and more in sync with him,” Perrin described. “When I first got him, he was hard to change leads on and jumped very round because he was a jumper. He was very young and green. He’s become a lot braver. He’s definitely made me a lot more confident. He’s the type of horse that I can always rely on. I always know he’s going to take the jump no matter what mistake I may make.”

Perrin is excited to contest the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships tomorrow afternoon.

The Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal division championship went to Brett Burlington on Sunman, while the reserve champion was Haley Davis riding Captain Jack. Burlington was second and fourth over fences and won on the flat. Davis received first, third, and fifth place ribbons.

Tomorrow’s schedule concludes the Capital Challenge Equitation Championship weekend, presented by The day starts with the North American Equitation Championships of two rounds. Following that is the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals and the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Finals.

For full results, more information, or to watch the SmartPak live webcast, please visit

About Capital Challenge
In its 20th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 28 – October 6.

Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

For more information, please visit or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

USA Win Through in Thrilling Consolation Class at Furusiyya Final

The winning USA team (from left) chef d’equipe Robert Ridland, Reed Kessler, Lucy Davis, Katie Dinan, McLain Ward and Beezie Madden with the presentation party of Abdul Rahman Al Hazza’a, President of the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation, Ingmar De Vos, FEI Secretary General, HH Prince Mansour Bin Khalid Alfarhan Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Spain, (and right) Luis Comas, President of the Real Club de Polo Foundation, and Javier Revuelta, President of the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation. (FEI/Tomas Holcbecher)

Barcelona (ESP), 28 September 2013 – US riders may have been disappointed when failing to make the cut into tomorrow’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final decider when missing the cut by a few short seconds yesterday, but they were all smiles today when clinching the honours in the Consolation Competition.  It was no walk in the park however, as they had to battle it out with the Swiss in a nerve-wracking jump-off that went right down to the wire and kept spectators on the edges of their seats.

The race against the clock was a real thriller, with the advantage changing at every turn.  “Yesterday was very frustrating and I was a little melancholy afterwards, but that’s what sport is all about, the beauty of sport; it goes back and forth, and it’s about coming back and giving a better performance,” said anchorman McLain Ward who clinched it for the US side this afternoon.

First Round

The first round track provided plenty of problems, and only eight clear rounds were recorded.  Unlike yesterday however, the mistakes were registered all around the course even though the double at eight and the triple combination at 11 proved particularly influential.

The Saudi Arabian team was already assured of third place when finishing with six faults while Austria slotted into fourth when posting a total of 12.  Elimination for Angelica Augustsson when her mare, Mic Mac du Tillard, decided to throw in the towel left the Swedish team exposed.  So when they had to count double-errors from both Jens Fredricson (Lunatic) and his brother Peder (H&M Cash In), then not even a fabulous clear from Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall Ask could rescue the situation and they lined up alongside Spain in equal-fifth place.

Qatar finished seventh with 18 faults, while Colombia and Japan shared eighth spot with 10, while the three-rider Australian team finished tenth and last on a scoreline of 30 faults.


The tussle between the Swiss and Americans unfolded as the last-line riders took their turn in the first round.  A clear from Pius Schwizer would put huge pressure on American anchor Beezie Madden as the Swiss would then be on a zero score.  But when the relatively inexperienced eight-year-old Toulago kicked out a pole in the middle of the penultimate triple combination then the best the Swiss could do was a first-round four-fault tally, leaving the door open for the USA.

Santiago Varela’s track however included a turn away from the entrance to the arena on the approach to the vertical at fence six, and many riders angled this to make up time.  As Madden turned the corner with Simon however they lost their symmetry and the 14-year-old gelding jammed on the brakes in front of the fence.  He cleared it at the second time of asking, but with two additional time faults this would have to be the drop score so the four collected by Katie Dinan and Nougat du Vallet were added to the clears recorded by McLain Ward (Rothchild) and Lucy Davis (Barron).  A jump-off was assured, but nobody could have predicted what would happen next.

Three Riders

Under the new Furusiyya Final rules, just three riders from each team would come back into the jump-off, and Beat Mandli and his handsome young stallion, Croesus, led the way for Switzerland, lowering the first of the two remaining elements of the former triple combination to return a four-fault score in 39.88 seconds.  The new rules also allow for the order of riders to be changed, so Madden was back in the ring again as American pathfinder this time, and she gave the US supporters yet another fright when Simon, turning towards exactly the same area of the arena where he had ground to a halt in the first round, suddenly hesitated, but then continued on to clear the finish line in 40.72 seconds.

Varela had all sorts of tricks up his sleeve though, and the sharp time-allowed of 41 seconds kept the pressure on all the way.  Switzerland’s Paul Estermann and Castlefield Eclipse hit the vertical second fence to add four more to the Swiss tally before the USA’s Lucy Davis raised American temperatures even higher at the same fence.  Starting out with plenty of pace, the lines of communication between horse and rider suddenly failed on the turn to the second fence.  As Davis said afterwards, “We were both a bit tense because we wanted to go well.”  Her check in front of the fence seemed to confuse the nine-year-old Barron, “and he started popping up and down!” she admitted.  The gelding suddenly found his gears again and continued on, but left the plank at the vertical on the floor along with the original first fence, now three obstacles from home.  And the lost time while they tried to regain their equilibrium early on the track added two seconds to see them register a 10-fault total, thus handing the advantage back to the Swiss.

But when Steve Guerdat’s Nasa had two fences down it was left to McLain Ward to snatch it back, and he had a fence in hand coming into the ring.  The American opted for a careful clear, picking up two time faults to clinch it.  “Obviously I knew the situation and was aware the time-allowed was tight – that’s an excellent decision (the time-allowed) because it makes it exciting to the very end.  When I jumped the Longines oxer I knew if I had one down we would still win, but I have a horse that doesn’t want to knock fences down!” he said afterwards.

Mixed Emotions

There were mixed emotions in the US camp after the prize-giving ceremony. Their victory today was bitter-sweet.  Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland said, “Obviously we are very excited to win but, to be honest, we wanted to be on that podium tomorrow.  Yesterday was an amazing competition; it couldn’t have been more than the Organising Committee, the FEI and Furusiyya could have wished – so many top teams finishing so close together.  We got the short end of the stick, but even so it was a great competition!”

His team wasn’t for giving up without a fight however.  “This morning we got up and it was a new day, a new competition and I believe we just won the largest prizemoney ever for a team competition in the history of the sport – at least for the next 24 hours anyway!” he pointed out. There was €300,000 up for grabs today, but it pales into insignificance compared to the €1,500,000 on offer in tomorrow afternoon’s historic finale.

Ridland talked about his strategy for the jump-off.  “We worked that out beforehand; I had the form filled out in three different ways; Beezie and McLain were always boxed in with one of the other two to be the middle one.  It was a tight choice, but this has always been a team effort, ever since winning the qualifier at Wellington, and Reed (Kessler, who didn’t compete in the jump-off) jumped double-clear that day.”

Madden talked about her performance with Simon. “In the first round (the stop at fence six) wasn’t expected and he (Simon) got a bit rattled but he was fine by the end of the course and good for the jump-off.”

Davis talked about her glitch in the jump-off with Barron – “I’m not sure how to explain it, and it wasn’t what I was planning or hoping for!  I certainly didn’t want to put the pressure on McLain like that. My horse and I are a little green still, but we are working things out; hopefully we will work it out and progress as time goes on.”

The new five-rider format for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final has very definitely received the seal of approval this weekend.  Robert Ridland said, “I think it’s fabulous… it makes for good strategic moves and makes it a bit like of game of chess, plus the jump-off option as well makes it team sport the way we always hoped it would be. It’s the model for the future and everyone is very excited to see what will happen tomorrow.”

Ward agreed. “The format is very exciting and I noticed people gave 110 percent for the team competition here.  In these days of huge prize-money for Grand Prix competitions that has faded, but it is at the core of the sport, and the generous prizemoney got people focused and the love of the sport won through,” he added.


FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, held a press conference at the Real Club de Polo today and expressed her delight at the success of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series and the Final.  She also talked about her memories of competing in Barcelona herself.

“It feels like coming back to my roots.  I competed here for three years with my father’s horses, so it feels like coming home!  This is an historic occasion, and it is an honour to be part of it together with the FEI, Furusiyya and Barcelona.

It’s been an incredible road for us, to take our oldest product, together as a family, and revamp and restructure it. We owe our thanks to the vision of HRH Prince Faisal and the Saudi Equestrian Fund, and their patience and belief in the product.  We have worked with all the stakeholders, committees, riders, people at the heart of the sport including the media, everyone with strong feelings about the sport, to create a truly global product that will see us through another 100 years with a lot of strength,” she said.

When asked if the Spanish city will play host to this Final in future years, she replied, “I would be happy to have the event again here in Barcelona, but the nature of the Nations Cup series is that it is truly global in its essence. I hope it travels all around the world, and the final may travel too, but I’m sure it will come back to Barcelona,” she said.

The inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final is far from over yet, however.   Tomorrow brings the eight top nations back for one more round and, possibly, another jump-off.  If the action so far is anything to go by, another afternoon of spectacular sport lies ahead.  It gets underway at 15.30 local time, so don’t miss a hoofbeat….

Watch all the action LIVE on

The inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final is taking place at Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain from 26-29 September 2013.  For all information on the Spanish fixture, go to the event website or contact Press Officer Isabel Suter at email or telephone +34 760 258 222.

Facts and Figures:

Today’s Consolation Competition was open to the 10 teams that failed to qualify for tomorrow’s second round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final.

The competition came down to a jump-off between the USA and Switzerland when both finished the first round on a four-fault total.

Three riders from each team jumped a new track against the clock and the USA came out on top despite collecting 12 more faults when Switzerland added 16 to their tally.

A total of 18 teams lined out in yesterday’s first round.

Brazil placed first in yesterday’s first round of the Final, but all teams start on a zero score tomorrow when the closing stages of the Final gets underway.

The teams in today’s Consolation Competition started in reverse order of merit based on their finishing places in yesterday’s first round.


Santiago Varela, course designer: “Congratulations to the US team; they did a great job.  Today from my perspective we had nice sport and at the end the better teams came out on top.  The jump-off and the new systems were quite complicated for the riders but it worked out well.”

When asked if things had gone the way he had expected in the jump-off, he replied, “That certainly wasn’t our strategy, but made it made it exciting for TV!  There were great riders on both teams, and we just had to make the best of it.”

McLain Ward, USA, when asked about competing alongside three lady riders – “The US has a long tradition of predominately female competitors.  Maybe we could bring a few top male riders next time so I have someone to hang out with!”

Beezie Madden, USA, talking about the first-round refusal with Simon – “I think he made a big effort at the vertical before and he was a touch behind me on the run but it was the last thing I expected.  It rattled him for sure.”

Audio Links:

McLain Ward

Lucy Davis

FEI YouTube:

For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping, check out this link.

“Furusiyya” (Arabic: فروسيه) this single Arabic word conveys so much, embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry, and equestrian knowledge in general. The term is a derivation of faris, or horseman and faras, a horse.

Longines is the Official Timekeeper of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when a timepiece was made with a horse and jockey engraved on the watch face. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1926, for the first time, the brand was involved as timekeeper for the Official International Equestrian Competition of Geneva. Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Barcelona:

Isabel Suter
Tel: +34 760 258 222


Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 133

At Revolution Sports + Entertainment:

Tim Welland
+44 7787 780 036

US Wins Consolation Round at Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final

McLain Ward & Rothchild (Beatrice Scudo)

Barcelona, Spain – With Friday’s disappointment behind them, the U.S. Nations Cup Jumping team was determined to jump well at CSIO5* Barcelona on Saturday. The day wasn’t without its ups and downs, or its thrills and disappointments, but it ended with a hard fought U.S. win in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final Consolation Round.

The U.S. team had the advantage of being the last in the order of go. McLain Ward (Brewster, New York) gave them another advantage early by delivering a clear round in the leadoff spot. He and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild made Santiago Varela’s course look easy, and gave the team a quick burst of energy. That energy helped Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, California) keep up with her veteran teammate and guide Old Oak Farm’s Barron to a clear round, one that looked equally effortless.

“I think this weekend has been incredible for me,” said Davis, after the competition was over, “the team’s been great; it’s a different experience really for me to have them.” About that first ride Saturday she said simply, “that’s what I’d hoped to do.”

Third in the order was Katie Dinan (Wellington, Florida) with Grant Road Partners LLC’s Nougat du Vallet. Though they were a little shaky early on and had a rail down at fence 2, they recovered well and finished with only four faults.

That’s about where the roller coaster ride began.

The U.S. and Switzerland were tied for first before each team’s final horse, so when Pius Schwizer had a rail down on Toulago, U.S. Anchor Beezie Madden (Casenovia, New York) had a chance to win outright with a clear round. But Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Simon had an uncharacteristic miscommunication before the vertical at fence 4 and Simon refused. It was an otherwise beautiful ride, but with the refusal and two time faults they took as a result, it ended up a six fault effort.

With the two teams tied at four, a jump off between Switzerland and the U.S. was needed to determine the winner. Because this was part of the Nations Cup Final, the format for the jump off was a little different than at a normal Nations Cup competition. Rather than a one on one matchup, each team would bring back three riders to face off, with the winner determined by the lowest combined score.

U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland chose Ward, Davis, and Madden to return against Beat Mändli, Paul Esterman, and Steve Guerdat.

Mändli led off for Switzerland and had four faults. Beezie Madden got a quick chance for redemption as she came back first for the U.S.  She produced a clear round, but had everyone on the edge of their seats as Simon hesitated at the Longines oxer, then made a valiant push to jump it clean, and finish within the time allowed.

Advantage U.S. 0-4

Paul Esterman was next for Switzerland. He was trying for a quick round, but knocked down the plank at fence 2 while doing so. Davis and Barron followed with a chance to secure things for the U.S. team, but she picked up four faults on the same plank, and six more with a rail down and two time faults for a total of ten.

Advantage SUI 4-10

With that, the favor shifted toward Switzerland and it was 2012 Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat’s chance to win for his side… but after a surprising eight faults the day came full circle. McLain Ward had a rail in hand and needed only a solid ride to ensure the U.S. win. With veteran poise he led Rothchild through a well-paced careful round. He sacrificed two time faults for safety, but ended the day as he began it, with a clear round, and led the U.S. team to well-earned victory.

“[Rothchild] has been great all year,” said McLain Ward, reacting to his jump off round, “I knew he was going to give his best, I just had to stay out of his way.”

Reflecting on the last two days, Ward recognized how exciting the new Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final has proved to be. “The new format’s phenomenal,” he said. “It’s great sport and exciting for the future of the Nations Cups.”

The final score in the jump off was U.S. 12 – Switzerland 16.

For full results, click here.

Follow the 2013 U.S. Jumping Team here.

By Andrew Minnick

We Have Liftoff! New Site Design!

Moorland’s Totilas baby from Sherry Smith’s brood.

We have liftoff! Finally got a new design done – yea! and are now one source. My associate editor had been adding articles to both the CMS (Contact Management System which ran the home page, event calendar and directory) and to the blog. The blog has all of the articles we have been posting since 2007, but the CMS has the headline, showing/events, horse care and editorial pages and these were posted to the blog, so that was double-duty for him. All of the blog posts have been moved to the new site, so nothing has been lost.

There is still work to be done and more tweaks to be made, but I really like it. This has been a huge undertaking for the size of my site (over 15,000 pages) and the old articles that were in the CMS and the old Article Archive will go away because I went from a Windows server to a Linux server and Linux doesn’t support the asp and aspx pages. But, this will be a lot easier for us to manage and a lot easier for you to navigate.

I also want to say that Horses in the South is a Proud Media Partner of the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas”. It’s their third annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event May 2-5, 2013 in Chesterfield, SC.

We have a new calendar and directory. I have to re-add many directory listings and at this point, the events have to be added by us, but that may change when I upgrade to the paid version of the plugin.

The directory has new features, too, but I’m not yet aware what they all do. I need more training by my designer. I know there will be a paid version that I believe will allow your listing to go to the top to stand out from the others and I think we can add it to the home page, but this is what I still need to work on.

The over 70 business listings that I confirmed that were active are ‘grandfathered-in’ so we will re-add these to the new site’s directory.  I copy/pasted the data from the old CMS driven site, plus I had to verify (mostly) and update to current text and contact info. So, if you don’t see your listing, please re-add it.

We are still working on the banner displays and all that it can do, too, so my current Media Guide is not valid. You will have to contact me for details until then. Check the Web Services page for updates, too. We also added Google Checkout (formerly Wallet) for payment and we still take Paypal.

Maybe now I will have more time to do my own blog posts, lol!

Teri Rehkopf