Category Archives: Breeds

Fellini Interagro Graces Fall Cover of Equine America

Wellington, FL (December 12, 2019) – Lusitano stallion and FEI dressage competitor Fellini Interagro was the latest face of the 2019 fall issue of Equine America, a magazine dedicated to documenting the progress of American equestrianism. Fellini, who was born, bred, and is currently standing in Brazil, was photographed during his 2018 FEI tour of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The jet black stallion’s portrait was created by the discerning eye of artist, photographer, and conservationist Ramon Casares.

Known for his chiaroscuro images of equines and rehabilitated wildlife, Casares’ image of Fellini accents his use of light, shadow, and texture to conjure an ultra-detailed, engaging image. Fellini’s Casares cover was accented by Equine America‘s story on Lusitanos in the United States; Interagro is the world’s largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano sporthorses, with over 300 exported to the US in the past 30 years.

Fellini debuted internationally in the Small Tour at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida and represents a blending of two of the most proven and decorated dressage bloodlines in Interagro’s breeding program (Nirvana Interagro x Ofensor (MV)). His return to Brazil to contribute to Interagro’s famed breeding program, and subsequently the quality of future Lusitano generations to be imported to the US, has resulted in a first crop of foals on the ground in the summer of 2018, including Oblata Interagro, a buckskin filly out of the talented Carmelita Interagro. Oblata was sold during the 2019 Interagro Yearling Auction this past summer.

Fellini’s portrait from Casares follows in a long line of rescued wildlife and sport horse portraits that have defined the photographer’s work. He has photographed animals from nearly every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom. With Casares Fine Art Photography appearing across the globe and garnering international acclaim, his images have captured the imagination of audiences at major media outlets and international art shows. Casares’ portrait style images of nature’s rarest and most common species are the artist’s true accomplishment and calling card. His trademark style is devoid of background distractions and illuminated to detail each whisker, feather, or scale. Realizing his images could generate support and awareness for injured and recuperating commonplace species, as well as those who are in danger of extinction, Casares embarked on a mission to unite his talent for photography with his passion for conservation. BROKEN was the result.

Equine America (EQ AM) is dedicated to expanding awareness of all America has to offer in horse sport. The magazine was founded in 2018 by a disabled combat veteran who medically retired from the U.S. Army after 17 years of service as a helicopter pilot and JAG attorney. The publication’s content focuses on a patriotic spirit positively infused into EQ AM’s pages.

For more information in Equine America (EQ AM), visit their website: www.eq-am.com.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Bridget Hay Flying US-Bred Flag in Dressage Ring

Bridget competing on Amy Price’s Fauna, a mare Bridget bred, foaled, and trained (©2018 by Nancy Jaffer)

Bridget Hay has a simple reason why she began breeding dressage horses at her Hunterdon County, N.J., farm.

“It started years ago because I could never afford to import horses or buy well-bred horses,” she explained. “So I make them myself and train them myself.”

She has quite an array of homebreds at the Rainbow Ridge Equestrian Center, from which she has turned in successful performances at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® in Lexington, Ky., the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions in Wayne, Ill., and Dressage at Devon in Devon, Pa.

Hay, who operates Rainbow Ridge with her mother, Barbara, is one of a growing number of U.S. dressage breeders who are enjoying success in a discipline that long has been dominated by European warmbloods. She is unusual, however, because she not only breeds and foals her horses, but she also goes on to train and show them herself.

Bridget recalled that five years ago during Dressage at Devon, a man who was watching while she warmed up her stallion, Faolan, asked, “Why are people importing horses when there are horses like this bred in this country?”

Her answer: “I don’t know why they’re not.”

But reconsidering the question this autumn, she commented, “My horses don’t start out moving the fanciest. But they have three decent gaits and the brain and temperament to be very trainable. You teach them how to move. I have to make them myself.”

And it has worked. Last year, Faolan was U.S. Dressage Federation Intermediate 2 Horse of the Year, and won the Intermediate 2 Open Finals class at the US Dressage Finals in November.

Hay takes lessons, often via video, from Olympian and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle.

Lyle competes successfully in the U.S. and Europe on a U.S.-bred horse, Duval Partners LLC’s Harmony’s Duval.

Duval was spotted by Bob McDonald in a field at Leslie Malone’s Harmony Sport Horses in Colorado. McDonald, the husband of U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald, years earlier also selected Brentina, the Hanoverian mare purchased in Germany who headlined for U.S. dressage with his wife during the late 1990s and well into the 2000s.

Lyle thinks U.S. breeders have the potential to compete with those producing horses abroad.

“The possibilities are very good. There’s no reason, structurally, when you look at our country versus Europe, that we can’t replicate what they’ve done with breeding and training programs,” she stated.

There’s an advantage in finding top prospects in America “because the Europeans aren’t always going to let the best horses go,” she pointed out. And, of course, it’s possible to save money on a U.S. purchase, because the horse doesn’t have to be flown across the ocean and no expensive trans-Atlantic shopping trips are involved.

However, Lyle noted, “Right away we’re at a bit of a disadvantage because they’re (the Europeans) scraping the cream off the top. So if we can make our own cream here and keep it in the country, that would be hugely beneficial.”

Duval, she noted, “walked into Aachen (this year) and got a 75 in the Grand Prix. There was nothing holding him back there for being U.S.-bred.”

Lyle called Hay’s efforts “inspiring,” adding, “That’s one of the reasons I make sure I carve time out to help her. I really admire people who find a way to do this.”

Lyle observed that Hay is “mainly on her own, not with a big budget, but really trying to do things the right way and trying to get help any way she can.”

Hay’s example, she commented, “could show people you don’t have to be a huge multi-million-dollar factory in order to produce and train horses up to Grand Prix.  If we had more people like that, it betters our chances. It can be intimidating otherwise for people to think there’s any place for them in a breeding program, unless they’re some big state stud or something like that, but you don’t have to be.”

During Dressage at Devon this year, USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams told a group of competitors that it’s a goal to have at least some U.S. riders on U.S.-bred horses for the team at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Williams, a former Grand Prix competitor and former president of the United States Dressage Federation, said that concept came out of a meeting among USEF dressage coaches, knowing “how important it is to use an event like this to set a goal. If we could have U.S. riders on U.S.-bred and -trained horses, that would be terrific. And certainly we’d like to be on the podium with that as well.”

There are precedents for U.S.-bred horses succeeding in key international championships. Hilda Gurney’s Thoroughbred, Keen, won team gold and individual silver at the 1975 Pan American Games, a pair of gold medals at the 1979 PAG, and was part of the 1976 Olympic bronze medal team. More recently, Paragon, from the Oak Hill Ranch in Louisiana, was ridden by Heather Blitz to team gold and individual silver medals at the 2011 Pan American Games.

“The thinking is that we want to use a major event, like having the Olympics back in this country for the first time since 1996, as a motivator to come together as a community of athletes, trainers, breeders, and owners and see what it can do for the U.S.,” Williams commented.

He believes it is realistic to think “we should be able to have at least part of the (2028) team on U.S.-bred horses.”

The prospects for future U.S. success are in the cards. A few years ago, Williams watched Lehua Custer’s horse, FJ Ramzes, at a California clinic and was impressed.

“I said, ‘This is the best horse I’ve seen in a long, long time,’” he recalled about Ramzes, who was bred by Cornell University and competed at the U.S. Nationals in 2017, when he won the Third Level Open.

Another of Custer’s promising horses, Fortunato H2O, was bred by Kendra Hansis’s Runningwater Warmbloods, located in the same New Jersey county as Hay’s operation. Hansis, an adjunct English professor at several colleges who began her breeding operation in 2001, explained, “I wanted to breed the kind of horse I could not afford to buy.”

Custer, who trains with McDonald and was Hilda Gurney’s assistant trainer for 10 years, spent the summer at Betsy Juliano’s Havensafe Farm in Middlefield, Ohio. The owner of Lyle’s 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount, Salvino, Juliano was inspired to buy a foal from Hansis and purchased the filly Starlight H2O earlier this year.

Juliano understands what American breeders have to go through to produce their prospects, and appreciates the desire to see U.S.-bred horses with U.S. riders in the Olympics and other championships.

But as she puts it, “Until you get behind these people, it’s not going to happen. I feel one of the next phases of development in my ownership career is going to be to look very seriously at the U.S. horses, and, when possible, buy them.”

by Nancy Jaffer
© 2019 United States Equestrian Federation

Costume Inspiration from US Equestrian Breed Affiliates’ National Championships

Sjaantje as a honeybee and Gail Aumiller as a beekeeper at the IFSHA World & Grand National Championship Horse Show (Avalon Photography)

With Halloween just around the corner, equestrians are brainstorming or perfecting costumes for themselves and their horses. Several of US Equestrian’s breeds have costumes classes at their national championships that allow competitors to get creative and show their individual style. Costumes ranging from whimsical creatures to native tack and attire acknowledging the breed’s heritage impress the judges and spectators at the national championships. US Equestrian spoke with three experts to hear about their creations and tips they have to help you be successful in the show ring.

Molly Rinedollar and Welsh Pony Helicon Just Notice

The Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America’s American National Show was livestreamed on USEF Network this year, and the costume class was arguably one of the most entertaining classes to watch from the show. One standout entry in the class was Helicon Just Notice, owned by Molly Rinedollar of Helicon Show Stables in Parker, Colo. The Welsh pony entered the ring dressed as a piñata with children from the barn dressed up as M&Ms who tossed candy into the crowd.

Rinedollar’s barn has worked together to create other impressive pony costumes, including the flag of Wales, which involved Helicon Just Notice masquerading as a red dragon and children from the barn dressing up as knights and peasants at the 2018 American National Show. Rinedollar’s inspiration for the flag of Wales dragon costume was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WPCSA.

“One of my [barn] moms, Sue Williams, helped me with the piñata,” Rinedollar said. “She sewed all the felt pieces on for the piñata. So we had to cut strips and sew them on, then we did the cuts up to make the layers of the piñata.”

The dragon costume for the flag of Wales was more time consuming. “Laurie Grayson, from Boulder, and her group helped with the dragon, which was a little hard because she lives over an hour away, so trying to get that together was tough,” Rinedollar explained. “We got one of those blow-up dragons that go in your yard and cut it up, sewed it, and painted it. That one took a lot of time. It had wings and the tail, so it was pretty time consuming.”

Rinedollar estimated that the piñata took two to four hours to assemble, while the dragon for the flag of Wales took at least 10 hours. The dragon costume also required several sessions to make sure the various pieces were fitting and coming together properly.

Rinedollar recommended trying costumes out before competing in them, especially if you plan on riding your horse or pony in the costume as things can shift unexpectedly. Having an easy-going pony to dress up was another tip from Rinedollar, as Helicon Just Notice was unfazed by his elaborate costumes. “He’s very tolerant and really likes it,” Rinedollar said. “He is pretty simple about the whole thing. I think he likes wearing costumes.”

Rinedollar enjoyed that the whole barn – kids and parents alike – can get involved in the costume class.  “I think it brings everybody together,” Rinedollar said. “The camaraderie of it is fun, and the kids all have a great time. They like dressing up, too.”

While the next American National Show is about 11 months away, Rinedollar and her barn are already making plans for next year’s costume. “We kind of have one that we want to do, but I don’t know how we will pull it together,” Rinedollar said with a laugh.

Gail Aumiller and Friesian Sjaantje

Gail Aumiller of Dreams Come True Farm in Carlisle, Pa. is frequent competitor at the International Friesian Show Horse Association World & Grand National Championship Horse Show, and she has partnered with her Friesian mare Sjaantje to make two carriage pleasure driving costumes come to life. Aumiller and Sjaantje teamed up as a beekeeper and honeybee in 2019, while they were a ringmaster and circus horse, respectively, along with Aumiller’s friends joining as a trick rider, a fortune teller, and a clown for a circus theme in 2016. Both years, Aumiller and Sjaantje claimed the World Champion Friesian Carriage Pleasure Driving – Costume title for their efforts.

Aumiller said she tries to come up with unique and novel costume ideas. She had seen a Friesian dressed as an eagle, and the costume’s wings that fluttered with the horse’s movements inspired Aumiller to have a winged costume for Sjaantje, thus the honeybee costume. For the circus theme, Aumiller acquired a period costume for her horse, which got her brainstorming on ways to highlight the costume. Being able to include her friends in the circus theme was highly desirable for Aumiller, too.

“It was really a lot of fun because, from an exhibitor’s standpoint, you don’t often have the opportunity to share your show ring competition with friends,” Aumiller explained. “But in a costume class like that, where you can take others and you can share it with your friends, made it very enjoyable for me.”

Aumiller spent a full year working on her costumes, from coming up with the idea to perfecting details. She handled the dressing up herself and her horse, but her cousin helped her with anything that needed to be built and added to the carriage. She did one dress rehearsal at home with two to three helpers before each of the costumes’ debuts at the IFSHA World & Grand National Championship Horse Show.

“It seems like every time I use a costume, I tweak it a little bit more. One time with the circus show, I had to use a different carriage, so I didn’t have room to put more than the trick rider and one other person in it so I had to lose the fortune teller,” Aumiller said. “And with my honeybee, the second time I used it I thought, ‘I should have a basket with honeybee products,’ so I put honey in it and beeswax candles and different things like that.”

Aumiller recommended gradually introducing a costume to a horse, so there are no surprises and you are ready to shine in the show ring. “You just have to desensitize them, like if you are putting a flowing robe on them, you just have to do it and get them used to it,” Aumiller explained. “Sometimes it takes more than one or two sessions for them to get used to it.”

Aumiller pointed out that it is important to know what the judges are looking for in any costume class you enter. “In the costume class, originality is supposed to be one of the main things that the judges are focusing on. Of course, in a period costume class it would be on authenticity. If you really want to have a chance at winning, you need to know what the criteria is that the judges are judging you on. Then, you need to focus on that and develop that.”

Aumiller has begun working on her costume for next year’s IFSHA World & Grand National Championship Horse Show, and her cousin has already created a cardboard mockup for the carriage. Sjaantje will have to wait and see what her next costume will be.

“She is a true champion,” Aumiller said of Sjaantje. “She does anything she can to please me, so I like to think that if I like it, then she is going to like it.”

Mario Contreras and His Andalusian and Lusitano Mounts

Mario Contreras of MC Horse Training LLC in Elgin, Ill. has claimed multiple titles at the International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association National Championships while displaying the native tack and attire that acknowledges the origins of the Andalusian and Lusitano horses, horses from Spain and Portugal, respectively.

When Contreras first got started showing in Andalusian/Lusitano classes highlighting the native tack and attire for the breed, he didn’t have many options until he found the right distributors, Lisa Oberman of El Sueño Español and Bill from Iberian Connection. Contreras said he now has eight to 10 outfits that range from traditional native attire to exhibition costumes.

While Contreras has a variety of outfits, each class has specific criteria that is being judged. “I have shown in the Nationals with Andalusians, the Spanish horses, and it is very important that you match the saddle, the saddle pad, the bridle, the [rider’s] shoes, the spurs, the hat, everything has to go with the Spanish outfit and a Spanish horse,” Contreras explained. “And it’s the same thing if you are riding a Portuguese horse, a Lusitano, you have got to make sure that you have everything that goes with it.”

Contreras noted that judges are taught to know the difference between Spanish and Portuguese tack and attire. “When you go into a competition, some judges are nice enough to tell you that that doesn’t go with the outfit and eventually you get more education,” Contreras said. He suggested that competitors in native tack and attire classes do their research or have an experienced individual guide their tack and attire selections.

In addition to compiling the rider’s outfits, the horses have specific tack that they wear as well. “If you see some of the bridles, the buckles that go into the bridles are actually different and sometimes it gives it away if it is Spanish or Portuguese,” Contreras said. “Also, for the doma vaquera classes (pattern work highlighting the breeds’ maneuverability and impulsion) on the presentations, the bridles have what we call a mosquero. The mosquero is actually made out of horse hair and it goes on the forehead on the browband of the bridle. You can use the same bridle, but you can use a different mosquero depending on the horse’s colors. … It is called mosquero because it kind of gets the flies away from the horse’s face. Also, when you are riding and doing doma vaquera, you want the mosquero to swing side to side and, to the judge, that will give a good sense of the horse having a good rhythm on the walk.”

Since some of the native tack pieces may seem out of the ordinary, Contreras suggested treating each horse as an individual as you introduce them to something new. “It just depends on the horse. Some horses are very sensitive, more so than others, just like people,” Contreras said. “I think the mosquero is one of the most difficult things because not all horses accept the mosquero right away, so you have got to be careful how you introduce it and, of course, doing it slowly will be the best thing to do. Sometimes just pass it by his face. What I usually do is when I see a horse who is not too comfortable with it in the beginning, I usually put a little shredded plastic bag at the end of my whip and slowly start petting him with it until the horse gets used to it. Then, eventually you put the mosquero on the browband of the bridle.”

In addition to native tack and attire and doma vaquero classes being fun, they also give a valuable recognition to the heritage of the Andalusian and Lusitano breeds. “It is important to continue the tradition, and I love that the association continues to promote and have those classes for people,” Contreras said. “Every time I go to Nationals, I think that is one of my favorite classes to dress up and really show the breed because, at the end of the day, we are promoting horses. There is nothing better than continuing to show their beginnings and the culture of how horses became what they are now.”

by Kathleen Landwehr
© 2019 United States Equestrian Federation

Selle Français Takes Studbook Title

Tim Price with the KWPN Happy Boy. (FEI/Libby Law)

The Selle Français Studbook won the overall title at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses 2019 at the Haras National at l‘Isle de Briand in Le Lion d’Angers (FRA).

The title is decided by the best three scores of each Studbook in both categories. So when Dartagnan de Beliard ridden by Thomas Carlile and Demoiselle Platine HDC partnered by fellow-countryman Nicolas Touzaint from France finished second and fourth respectively in the 6-year-old division, and then last year’s 6-year-old champion Cristal Fontaine lined up sixth for Britain’s Kitty King in the 7-year-old division, that clinched it. The combined total scores came to 93.8, but it was a narrow win over the Irish Sport Horse Studbook with their total of 95.1, while the Dutch KWPN was close behind in third with 97.7.

6-year-olds

Great Britain’s Piggy French steered her eventual champion, Cooley Lancer, into third in the opening Dressage phase with a score of 26.7. It was Norway’s Yasmin Nathalie Sanderson and the KWPN Inchello DHI who took the early lead on a mark of 26.3 ahead of Germany’s Sophie Leube and the Trekehner, Sweetwaters Ziethen, who were just fractionally behind on 26.6. And lining up in fourth, fifth, and sixth were Germany’s Kai-Steffen Meier with the Rheinlander QC Rock and Roll (27.1), Australia’s Samantha Birch with the SHBGB Faerie Magnifico (27.6), and Carlile with the French-bred Dartagnan (28.3).

A total of 42 horse-and-rider combinations from 19 countries started in Dressage and 38 completed Saturday’s cross-country phase, 23 going clear within the optimum time of 8 minutes 48 seconds.

And with all of the leading group keeping a clean sheet over Pierre Michelet’s beautifully designed course, there were only 2.0 points separating the top six going into the final Jumping phase so there was absolutely no room for error.

Mistakes by the leading two riders proved very costly, a pole down dropping Sanderson from gold medal position to bronze and 5.6 faults demoting Leube from silver to fifth place. This allowed Touzaint to climb from eighth to fourth with Demoiselle Platine HDC, and Carlile to improve from sixth to silver medal spot with the stallion Dartagnan de Beliard.

Piggy French, winner at Badminton (GBR), second at Burghley (GBR), first and third at Blenheim (GBR), and a member of Great Britain’s silver medal-winning team at the Longines FEI European Championships in Luhmuehlen (GER) has already enjoyed an incredible year, and added yet another accolade with a foot-perfect run that moved her up from bronze to gold.

Her new champion, Cooley Lancer, is registered with the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland and is a son of Coeur de Nobless M, bred by Eliano Meroni and owned by Cooley Farm.

7-year-olds

It was a very different story in the 7-year-old category in which New Zealand’s Tim Price rocketed up from 13th after Dressage to seal the title with the Dutch-bred Happy Boy when both of the jumping phases proved highly influential.

This was the biggest leap up the leaderboard in the history of these Young Horse Championships, and the soft ground conditions appeared to be very much to the liking of this black horse who has a strong showjumping pedigree.

Germany’s Josephine Schnaufer held the lead after Dressage on a score of 26.7 with the Westphalian Viktor 107 ahead of Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and the ISH Brookfield Benjamin B in second (27.2) and Australia’s Christopher Burton in third (27.4) with the Selle Français Coup de Coeur Dudevin. Another Irish Sport Horse, Miss Cooley, claimed fourth spot (27.7) at this early stage for another Briton, Oliver Townend, while The Netherlands’ Tim Lips and the KWPN Herby slotted into fifth (28.0) and Frenchman Astier Nicolas was in sixth (28.5) with the ZFDP Lumberton.

However, only 17 of the 68 starters managed to avoid cross-country time penalties as the optimum time of 9 minutes 15 seconds proved difficult for many to get. When Schnaufer collected 3.6 she plummeted from first to 10th, but McEwen, Burton, and Townend all kept a clean sheet to take over the top three medal placings going into the final day, while Nicolas leap-frogged Lips to go into fourth when the Dutchman picked up 1.6 for time.

But only seven of the 56 remaining contenders managed to jump a clear round. There were 15 within four penalty points of McEwen in gold medal position and only two managed to keep a clean sheet. America’s Liz Halliday-Sharp was one of those, partnering the ISH Cooley Moonshine with which she finished third in last year’s 6-year-old category. The pair was lying ninth after Dressage and the addition of 1.6 for time dropped them to 13th after cross-country, but the fault-free run over the coloured poles put them well in contention on their final tally of 30.5.

Price and Happy Boy, which was bred by A Rijma and is owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller, had improved from 13th after Dressage to eighth after cross-country. And this son of Indoctro made light work of the final phase so they completed on 30.1 and now it was all down to McEwen for the title. A mistake and it would be the Kiwi rider in gold and the American in silver, and that’s how it turned out when the British rider’s grey clipped a pole down the final line for four additional faults, his final tally of 31.2 however still good enough to clinch the bronze.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Interagro’s M Generation & More Debut under FEI 4* Judge Natacha Waddell

Fellini Interagro. Photo courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos.

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (October 15, 2019) – The shaded outdoor arena surrounded by a backdrop of Brazil’s tropical forests once again set the stage for Interagro’s young horses to strut their stuff. In the 2019 Interagro Dressage Rankings, a selection of young horses, aspiring FEI prospects, and seasoned Grand Prix competitors test their mettle under the watchful eye of experienced judges who bring fresh perspectives and constructive scoring to encourage development. On October 5th, FEI 4* judge Natacha Waddell evaluated a selection of Lusitanos including coming 4-year-olds from Interagro’s M Generation and one of Interagro’s newest breeding stallions in the 3rd Ranking of 2019.

Beginning with Interagro’s M Generation at Introductory and Training Level, one Interagro pair made their show debut together. One of the farm’s newest grooms, Vanderlei José, rode Mozarabe Interagro (Zingaro Interagro x Dolly Interagro) to a 67.250% at the Introductory Level (Beginners Level in Brazil). The coming 4-year-old gelding is the son of Zingaro Interagro, one of Interagro’s most promising and versatile young stallions and whose progeny has been long awaited in the show arena. Mozarabe’s uphill build, impressive stature, and exceptional temperament are a strong reflection of his sire’s abilities.

Mozarabe’s M Generation brethren also made their show debut, this time at Training Level and with Interagro’s established dressage rider Alexandre Souza in the saddle. Matutino Interagro (Profano Interagro x Abdera Interagro) stole the show, topping the class with a scoring a 72.115% in his first ever show. Mileto Interagro (Ditador Interagro x Callas Interagro) finished second with a 66.731%, while Mágico Interagro (Ditador Interagro x Cartomante Interagro) rounded out the class with a respectable 65.769%. Mágico and Mileto are the first competitive offspring and half-brothers from the stallion Ditador Interagro, a grey Lusitano by the renowned Ofensor (MV) who is noted for his exceptional movement, conformation, and talent.

“Watching the young horses and new riders progress is one of the most rewarding aspects of Interagro’s operation and Rankings,” said Head Trainer Martina Brandes. “Each pair is offered the opportunity to blossom and excel in a variety of situations, and it’s amazing to see the offspring of stallions and mares you’ve ridden and trained growing and learning.”

The L Generation stallions (coming 5-year-olds) Lord Interagro and Lavagante Interagro came out at First Level, with Johnny Miranda and Edmar Brito in the saddle. Lavagante and Brito bested Lord and Miranda with an impressive 70.781% to 67.031%. Lavagante’s progress during the Rankings is a perfect example of what Interagro’s Rankings strive to achieve: progressively increasing scores under different accredited judges. From his First Level debut at the first Ranking in April of 2019, his scores have progressed from 68+% to over 70%, including a score of 68.594% at the ABPSL’s Dressage Cup & 38th International Lusitano Show in May of 2019.

Another debutant, this time a breeding stallion, began his unofficial show career in the Ranking’s Third Level class, with Alexandre Souza at the reins. Jellicoe Interagro, a stunning, bright liver chestnut, scored a 67.179% in a test accented by his spectacular presence and elegant build. Jellicoe, while not for sale, is a promising young stallion set to begin his breeding career with the goal of infusing movement and modern type into the Interagro stock. His sire, Profano Interagro, is one of the most prolific and versatile currently standing at Interagro.

The Fourth Level and Small Tour classes during the 3rd Ranking were made up of a selection of Interagro’s top performers and international dressage competitors. Hanibal Interagro won the Fourth Level Test 1 with Edmar Brito, scoring a 65.811%. Second went to Ímpio Interagro and Alexandre Souza with a 64.459%. Incrível Interagro and Edmar Brito finished the class with a 63.649%. Moving to the Small Tour, established FEI competitor and breeding stallion Fellini Interagro won the Prix St. George on a score of 67.794% and with Edmar Brito at the reins, while Brito and Empreiteiro Interagro took second with a 63.529%. Finally, Interagro’s international Grand Prix breeding stallion, Zepelim Interagro, took Johnny Miranda to a score of 61.618% in the Medium Tour/Intermediaire A. Performing in simulation shows like the Ranking give Interagro’s day-to-day riders a feel for international competition and keep the horses fresh and accustomed to new situations.

The Waddell name is well known in Brazil, as the judge’s daughter, Sarah Waddell, is a decorated Brazilian dressage competitor. In 2018, she represented Brazil at the FEI World Equestrian Games held in Tryon, North Carolina. Securing top judges has been a key focus of the Interagro Dressage and Driving Rankings, with the goal of providing show standard critiques for the benefit of its horses and riders. Ms. Waddell commented that she “was very pleased to see Interagro’s horses and riders working so diligently and seriously. All of the riders were focused on the details of the tests, riding very well into the corners to prepare for the next movements.” She was also very impressed by how correctly trained Interagro’s younger horses were, and with the impressive results especially for the ones in their debut show, such as Matutino with over 72%.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Extends Dates and Adds Prize Money

Madison Nirenstein and No Doubt Im Trouble, 2018 Amateur Showmanship at Halter circuit champions. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – Oct. 4, 2019 – Save the date! Back for its next chapter, the popular Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will return to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds better than ever thanks to the growing popularity of the event. Due to an increase in exhibitor interest, the horse show has added an extra day of competition, with the 2019 installment beginning Friday, December 27 and concluding Tuesday, Dec. 31, and the prize money pot has increased to $50,000 shared between both the Gold Coast and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuits. Over the course of five days of competition in five rings, Quarter Horses and Paints of multiple disciplines will demonstrate their skills to celebrate the excellence and versatility of the breeds.

In 2018, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit was again named one of the top 10 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows in the country, this time successfully operating as the sixth largest AQHA show in the nation. Approved by the AQHA, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), the competition is consistently one of the highest-ranked events of its caliber, and attracts exhibitors from coast to coast. The 2018 installment saw competitors from as far away as New Hampshire, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, and Colorado.

Under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production, the 2018 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit showcased more than 11,000 total entries in 2018, up from the 2017 event. Of that incredible total, 8,450 horses represented AQHA entries, while the remainder consisted of non-AQHA exhibitors. In 2019, the show is excited to feature leveled HUS and WP to enhance its new schedule, plus new jackpots paid on circuit points. No additional entry fee is required, and each class will be paid after the Circuit and Reserve Circuit award winners are determined.

In addition to serving as the ideal setting to welcome in the new year, exhibitors can expect a number of much-anticipated improvements highlighted by some of the best all-weather footing in the country, as well as extensive and well-planned drainage systems installed in all of the outdoor rings at the Florida State Fairgrounds to ensure perfect footing regardless of the conditions. The state-of-the-art facility further offers ample riding and lunging spaces.

With five days of competition under numerous judges, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit presents exhibitors with opportunities to earn valuable year-end points and exciting prizes in the beautiful Florida weather. There is also a multitude of activities outside of the show as the Florida State Fairgrounds sits in close proximity to all of the major theme parks and provides easy access to various beach and fishing sites.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Media Contact: Elaine Wessel
(561) 753-3389 | ew@phelpsmediagroup.com

Irish Sport Horses Gallop Away with Double Gold

(L to R) silver medallist Victor Mariano Luminatti (BRA), gold medallist Seamus Hughes-Kennedy (IRL), and bronze medallist Marco Kutscher (GER). (FEI/Nanna-Riikka Nieminen)

Youth very definitely had its day as the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses 2019 at Lanaken in Belgium drew to a close.

The final day of action kicked off with gold for Jason Foley and the Irish Sport Horse Rockwell RC in the 5-Year-Old category before Germany’s Katrin Eckermann steered the Rheinlander mare Chao Lee into pole position in the 6-Year-Old division. And then Seamus Hughes-Kennedy made it an Irish double when topping the 7-Year-Olds with Cuffesgrange Cavadora.

The horses always take centre stage at this prestigious annual event that highlights future stars and brings together top sport, quality breeding, and horse sales while recognising and rewarding breeders, owners, and riders. But this year’s Irish celebration will be two-fold, because their success was achieved by stunning performances not just from the four-legged athletes, but by a young generation of riders with so much promise.

Foley only turned 18 in June, Hughes-Kennedy is just 17 years of age, and Michael Pender, who will turn 20 later this month, claimed 5-Year-Old silver with the Oldenburg stallion Chacco Bay and silver again in the 6-Year-Old class partnering the Irish Sport Horse Mare MHS Cardenta.

Five-Year-Olds

From a starting field of 243 horse-and-rider combinations, a total of 46 made the cut into the 5-Year-Old medal-decider and 11 qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock. Pender, who shot to prominence when bagging 5-Year-Old silver and bronze in 2016, looked to have snatched the gold the time around when steering Chacco Bay (Chaccato/Hoeps) through the beam in 38.15 seconds. But the stallion owned by Hilltrup Sporthorses Gmbh and bred by Alfons Brueggehagen was pipped by an extraordinary run from Foley and the Kannan mare Rockwell RC who stopped the clock in 37.72 seconds.

Foley admitted that he was struggling a bit with his steering in the jump-off, but for a very good reason. “I dislocated my shoulder three weeks ago in a fall. I didn’t actually think that I could make it here, so I hope the hospital doesn’t see this, but I thought, let’s try it, and I was lucky that it went OK!”

Owner Sean Cubbit was delighted with the result. “I bought the mare last year from Ryan Crumley, and back in January she came home to me to have a little rest. After I put Jason on her I knew they were a great match. Their first big show was in Dublin where they were an unlucky second, but today it was just perfect!” he said.

Bronze went to 26-year-old Emma Stoker and the Zangersheide mare Skylandria Z (Super Trooper de Ness/Indoctro) owned by Euro Horse BVBA.  “I’m in complete shock, to be honest!”  said the British rider whose future was unsure after her former employer recently sold all his horses to Belgium’s Axel Verlooy.

“I and my former boss bought Skylandria Z a year ago and then I thought I was going to lose her and then I got her back, and today I win world championship bronze, so I’m very happy!” said the delighted British rider.

Six-Year-Olds

There was a massive field of 265 horses in contention for the Six-Year-Old medals and 39 of those qualified for the finale, in which 16 went into the second-round jump-off. Belgium’s Jeroen Appelen set a strong target when clear in 43.54 seconds with the BWP stallion Nero de Semilly N (Diamant de Semilly) owned by Frank Goossens and bred by Ludwig Neyt, but third-last to go, Katrin Eckermann, smashed that time when scorching through the finish in 40.64 seconds with the Rheinlander Chao Lee (Comme Il Faut/Chacco Blue). And that couldn’t be bettered, despite a superb effort from the final Irish duo of Michael Pender and MHS Cardenta (Cardento 933/Diamond Serpent) who had to settle for runner-up spot.

This was a really special victory for Eckermann and her family. “We bred Chao Lee ourselves and I got her to ride last year. Immediately after we already won the Bundeschampionat as a 5-year-old, and this year we were second! She always does a fantastic job and I’m so happy to have a World Champion and to be the breeder as well. I’m really really proud for my dad because he is a really hard worker, and for me this is the best horse possible!” said the 29-year-old German rider.

Despite being beaten for the gold by just one-tenth of a second, Pender was also well-pleased with his mare which was bred by Olive Clarke and is owned by Bravo Hughes Ltd. “I am absolutely delighted with her; she jumped amazing and tried her best,” he said.

And Appelen had plenty to celebrate too because not only did his very inexperienced horse really rise to the occasion, but he claimed the bronze medal on his 29th birthday. “This was my first official show with Nero; we bought him only three months ago and only trained him a bit at home and then we did a small test in a regional 1.15m class!” he explained. “Being first to go in the jump-off is never easy but I don’t think I could have done it faster. My horse jumped amazing and I did my own round. I am really happy it worked out!” the birthday boy added.

Seven-Year-Olds

A total of 201 horses battled it out for the 7-Year-Old honours earlier in the week and 40 made it through to the medal decider which came down to an eight-way jump-off against the clock.

Belgian course designer Eugene Mathy presented them with another challenging track, and in the end only four managed to complete double-clear rounds. The Netherlands’ Mathijs van Asten produced the first of these with the feisty chestnut stallion Hotspot (Hors la Loi II / Nabab de Reve) when clearing the line in 40.71 seconds, but then Brazil’s Victor Mariano Luminatti brought Chippoline Second Life Z home in 38.70 to take the lead.

And despite a very classy clear from Marco Kutscher and the Hanoverian gelding Policeman (Perigueux / Acord II) which is owned by Brigitte Weeke-Therling and was bred by Heinz Sprenger, the Brazilian rider was still out in front when the German star crossed the line over a second slower.

But, last to go, young Irishman Seamus Hughes-Kennedy had his foot to the floor with the ISH mare Cuffesgrange Cavadora (Z Wellie 72 / Luidam) which was bred by Eamon Sheahan. And when the pair galloped through the timers in 38.58 seconds they demoted Mariano Luminatti to silver medal spot and pushed Kutscher into bronze.

“Last year Cavadaro finished fourth in the 6-Year-Old Final with Ger O’Neill in the saddle. They were clear and in the lead until the last few competitors but just missed out on a medal, so I’m very pleased we’ve earned gold today,” said the talented young Irish rider. And the future is already mapped out for this winning pair, it seems. “We’re going for European Junior Gold next year!” said the rider’s mother, Clare Hughes, who also owns the winning horse.

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

FEI 4* Judge Evaluates Interagro’s Top Dressage Lusitanos at 2nd Ranking

Zepelim Interagro and Johnny Miranda.

Itapira, SP, Brazil (August 12, 2019) – International caliber Lusitano dressage competitors came under the watchful eye of FEI 4* Judge Claudia Mesquita during the 2nd Interagro Dressage Ranking of 2019, held on July 31. With the backdrop of Interagro’s 1,300-acre stud farm and training facility, Ms. Mesquita delivered her scores and comments to Interagro’s 3 riders and 11 horses, which represented both young horses from Interagro’s H, I, and L Generations as well as established FEI competitors and breeding stallions. Interagro’s head trainer, Martina Brandes, also oversaw the combinations’ preparations and training leading into the ranking.

Interagro’s L Generation, the youngest group currently showing and competing under saddle, included Lord Interagro and Laertes Interagro, who with riders Johnny Miranda and Alexandre Souza, took first and second in the Training Level. Leucon Interagro and Luca Interagro, coming 5-year-old L Generationals, finished first and second in the FEI 4-Year-Old Division with Souza at the reins. The fourth and final L Generation stallion, Lavagante Interagro, took Edmar to the win at First Level.

Moving up the levels and up the generations, coming 7-year-old Ímpio Interagro and Alexandre Souza conquered Third Level, demonstrating the bay gelding’s balance and impulsion. Edmar Brito and the exceptionally modern Hanibal Interagro took the win at Fourth Level. Hanibal’s elegance, height, active hindleg, and freedom of the shoulder, as well as his exceptional bloodlines, have made him one of Interagro’s top breeding stallions.

At the FEI level, a number of Interagro’s internationally successful competitors who also double as top producing breeding stallions put hoof to dressage arena. Edmar Brito rode stallions Zíngaro Interagro, Empreiteiro Interagro, and Fellini Interagro to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Small Tour (Prix St. Georges) in a showcase of Interagro’s breeding and competitive talent. Zingaro, a stunning black stallion with presence and a willing, unflappable temperament, is one of Interagro’s most important and influential studs as well as a top competitor in dressage and working equitation. Empreiteiro’s talent for collection, easy-going attitude, and enjoyment of his work has been evident during each of Interagro’s Rankings. Finally, Fellini Interagro, who debuted internationally in the Small Tour at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, represents a blending of two of the most proven and decorated dressage bloodlines in Interagro’s breeding program (Nirvana Interagro x Ofensor (MV)).

To cap off the FEI levels during the 2nd Ranking, Johnny Miranda rode Zepelim Interagro to the win in the Medium Tour / Intermediaire A. Zepelim, who competed in the Medium and Large Tour during the 2016 and 2018 Global Dressage Festival and is a highly decorated Brazilian competitor, is a Grand Prix level stallion who epitomizes all the presence, movement, temperament, and rideability that has defined Interagro’s breeding program.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Fabulous Finalists and Fantastic Sport

Frederic Wandres and Zucchero OLD. (©FEI/Hippo Foto – Dirk Caremans)

The KWPN stallion Jovian claimed the 5-Year-Old title, the Oldenburg stallion Zucchero topped the 6-year-Old division, and the Hanoverian stallion d’Avie returned from his 2018 triumph to star once again as a 7-Year-Old at the Longines FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo (NED). This was the fourth time for the event to be held at the Dutch venue, and next year it will return to Verden in Germany where it was previously staged over a period of 15 years.

It has become a superb testing ground for future champions as horses compete against their peers born in the same year, firstly in a qualifier from which the top 12 qualify directly for the Final while the rest go into a small final from which the top three also make the cut.

5-Year-Olds: An historic number of 10s

Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand had a glorious weekend when taking gold and bronze in this division. In Saturday’s finale he first competed Queenparks Wendy, a mare by three-time World Breeding Chamionship winner Sezuan, and in a solid test she showed lovely relaxed walk and a canter so uphill it earned a 10 and the temporary lead in the class on a total of 9.42 points.

The sensational breeding stallion Secret, another son of Sezuan, won the qualifier for Sweden’s Jessica Lynn Thomas and was a big audience favourite. But they had to settle for silver when Helgstrand returned to squeeze past them and post the winning score of 9.66 with Jovian. “The trot had so much spring, so much suspension, front and hind matching well,” said judge Maria Schwennesen from Australia.

“We had such a strong group of 5-Year-Olds from our stable that it was hard to say which would do best! I am very happy for my two horses doing clean tests. Jovian has been the easiest horse to ride from the first day he entered our stables. I also want to compliment the jury, and especially their explanatory statement to the audience: critical yet positive; it was perfect!” — Andreas Helgstrand (DEN)

6-Year-Olds: A final with sugar-coating as Zucchero comes out on top

The test for the 6-Year-Old final demands a heightened degree of difficulty, so it sifts out the real potential stars who may well be the Grand Prix horses at the Olympic Games in 2024.

Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the Danish Warmblood, Straighthorse Ascenzione, kicked off with a score of 8.94 before The Netherlands’ Bart Veeze and the KWPN stallion Imposantos nearly scored a 10 for walk to total on 9.8. The first to challenge his lead was Helgstrand, this time partnering Zhaplin Langholt which is owned by American Grand Prix rider Charlotte Jorst. The pair was clapped down their final centreline before their mark of 9.34 went up on the leaderboard. And then the Danish rider returned to go even better with his 5-Year-Old champion from last year, Revolution. The arena was hushed as this pair showed superb rhythm and a breath-taking, ground-covering uphill canter, and the trot was rewarded with a 10 for a total final score of 9.44.

However, the spectators showed who their favourite was when they cheered Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Zucchero OLD all the way from their final corner to their final halt. “This horse excelled in the flying changes and lateral work; he was the closest to perfection! His future as a dressage horse is bright!” commented the judges after they posted the winning mark of 9.66.

“I have competed here every year, come close twice with fourth place, so this is very special! It is a very difficult test, almost a small St Georg and I knew I had to have the horse really supple and that we must trust each other. I have a strong relationship with Zucchero.” — Frederic Wandres (GER)

7-Year-Olds: D’Avie is champion once again

The 7-Year-Olds have to deliver a combination of excellent gaits and precision, with technical scores awarded by two judges along with the conventional five-score assessment of Trot, Walk, Canter, Submission, and future Perspective.

If any horse has a stellar pedigree it is Total Hope OLD, a son of Isabell Werth’s super-mare Weihegold OLD and world champion Totilas. An approved stallion ridden by Norway’s Isabel Freese who has been working for Paul Schockemohle in Germany for many years, the black stallion went into the lead on a score of 84.250.

However, the pair was overtaken by Denmark’s Jan Moller Christensen and Hesselhoj Donkey Boy who previously took a bronze as a five-year-old. Rewarded a 10 for a huge walk and another for potential, they went out in front when posting 85.02. But last year’s 6-Year-Old champion D’Avie presented a performance that made the audience burst into applause well before the end, and this son of Don Juan de Hus snatched the gold by a whisker when putting 85.107 on the board.

“Of course I felt pressure defending the title, especially when the competition comes so close!” said rider Severo Jurado Lopez, a man who has made something of a habit of great results at these championships down the years.

“My dream is to continue with the education of D’Avie and to keep riding him to the highest level, like I do with Fiontini,” explained the Spanish star, referring to the mare with which he won at each level in these Championships and who now looks set for stardom on the big stage.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Therapy Horses Magic and Moonshadow Special Guests at Hats Off Day

Therapy horses Magic and Moonshadow will be special guests on Saturday, July 27 at Hats Off Day at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. It is the only day of the year that admission to the Horse Park is free. Hats Off Day is sponsored by our wonderful friends at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and is a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky.

Moonshadow will be driving into the Kentucky Horse Park Rolex Outdoor Stadium in style… in a Mercedes convertible!

There will be fun family activities and free horse farm hats, generously provided by area horse farms and businesses, that are given to the first attendees to arrive. Hats Off Day is from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Kentucky Horse Park, but the Horse Park is free all day. At 7:30 p.m., The Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix begins. It is a premier show jumping competition held annually at the Kentucky Horse Park for the past 25 years, with a $50,000 grand prize.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com
352-226-9009