Category Archives: Breeds

Zulu Interagro Brings Equine Chic to Allure’s December Issue

Zulu Interagro and Gigi Hadid in the December issue of Allure Magazine. (Photo courtesy of Allure/Conde Nast)

New York, NY (December 6, 2016) – Chiseled features, lustrous locks, and elegant forms are typical of any photo shoot for Allure magazine, and in the 2016 December issue an equine supermodel sported his ravishing good looks alongside 2015 Model of the Year Gigi Hadid for Allure’s feature spread. The 21-year-old Hadid posed au naturel while reclining on Zulu (who was also au naturel) in a stunning black and white image that has become the cover photo for Allure magazine’s Facebook page as of mid-November. Hadid, who is also the 2016 December issue cover girl, appears at ease on the 14-year-old Lusitano gelding, despite the lack of clothes. Zulu’s photogenic baroque appearance and laid back attitude made him the epitome of the equine supermodel.

Bred by Interagro Lusitanos of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Zulu Interagro (Profano Interagro x Trovoada Interagro) was imported to the US in 2008 as part of the Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction held in Wellington, Florida. Zulu’s owner, Athene von Hirschberg, came to the Auction looking for a versatile, compact, athletic horse and found what she was looking for in Zulu. Over the years she and Zulu have competed up to the FEI levels in dressage, working equitation, 15-mile rides, hunter paces, and eventually began his career as an equine supermodel. Zulu’s photogenic qualities were first utilized by Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci, who featured the black horse in a spread at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, posing with two models in Pucci’s flagrant designs on the polo fields. Von Hirschberg’s friendship with Cari Swanson of Cari Swanson Productions, which has provided horses for major motion pictures such as Hidalgo, Winter’s Tale, and The Horse Whisperer, served as the catalyst to launch Zulu’s modeling career into the big leagues. Swanson received the casting call for a horse of Zulu’s temperament and appearance for the major international fashion magazine, and von Hirschberg was more than happy to oblige.

“He handled the entire ordeal like a pro,” said von Hirschberg. “Obviously he was required to stand and remain calm for a long period of time, with people in various positions and bright camera flashes, but he took it all in stride and even got bored and began nibbling on his handlers. His personality and athleticism set him apart, and he really does anything I ask of him.”

In addition to competing through the Prix St. Georges level in dressage, Zulu has also been a champion competitor in working equitation, a discipline mirroring the techniques utilized by working horse and rider pairs and requiring a diverse range of talents. For Zulu’s breeder, his combination of beauty, athleticism, trainability, and an exceptional temperament are a reflection of their breeding program, which has spent over 40 years carefully developing the modern Lusitano sporthorse. Zulu’s sire, Profano Interagro, is a son of the famous Legendario do Mirante. Legendario’s sire, Novilheiro MV, made history in some of the most prestigious show jumping arenas of Europe under the guidance of Olympic Silver Medalist John Whitaker. The Lusitano stallion was an international show jumping champion and one of the most famous Lusitanos of all time, with a career that included winning the British Showjumping Championship and leading the European rankings for prize money earned. Profano’s influence in many Interagro pedigrees has yielded top performing dressage, driving, and equitation horses, including a 2016 Rio Paralympic mount in Zizifo Interagro.

Zulu Interagro in a solo shoot at Interagro Lusitanos in Sao Paulo, Brazil with famed equestrian photographer, Bob Langrish (Photo courtesy of Bob Langrish)

But despite their accomplishments in the show ring, Zulu’s ancestors probably never had a nude supermodel lounging on their backs, a unique and impressive addition to the resume of Interagro’s progeny.

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

Click here to read more about Zulu’s shoot for Allure.

Visit Allure on Facebook to see Zulu as their cover photo.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
954 205 7992

Beth Noteman Recognized at 2016 Sport Horse National Arabian Championships

Photo courtesy of Don Stine Communications & Photography.

Nampa, ID (October 20, 2016) – Premier Equestrian, a leading supplier of high-grade footing, striking dressage arenas, and revolutionized horse jumps, recently recognized Beth Noteman for her exemplary horsemanship by presenting her with the Premier Equestrian Award at the 2016 Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show held in Nampa, Idaho. Premier Equestrian presents the award at shows across the United States to honor talented equestrians who demonstrate stellar horsemanship and sportsmanship, and promote positivity in and outside of the show ring.

Noteman stood out to the show committee as a well-rounded equestrian whose attention to the sport goes beyond her scores in the show ring. A talented rider and handler who has achieved remarkable success with her Arabians, particularly her renowned stallion HSA Haleys Comet++++//, Noteman has said that she is most proud of the fact that her horses lead happy and healthy lives. She strives to make every show a positive experience for her equine partners, and her close connection with her horses is anchored in genuine enjoyment of their company and a deep respect for their individual temperaments and capabilities. In addition to the sheer amount of patience and hard work that she has put in over the years, the show committee was impressed with Noteman’s flexible attitude in understanding and working with the core personality of each of her mounts.

Noteman, who believes that adaptability and a down-to-earth attitude is essential to achieving success as an equestrian, learned the importance of recognizing a horse’s potential when she purchased Arabian stallion HSA Haleys Comet++++// (Skamper x Ok Ellazella G) as a green four-year-old in 1999. “Comet” did not fit her vision of an ideal dressage mount, but Noteman was willing to compromise based on the recommendations of her trainers – and despite the unlikely pairing between an amateur rider and a green stallion, Comet turned out to be the horse of a lifetime. While working 12-hour days in order to fund her riding as an amateur, Noteman brought Comet up the ranks to win the most National Championships of any purebred Arabian Stallion in history. Her tenacity is an inspiration to amateur equestrians, proving that with a little luck and a lot of hard work, all riders can achieve the dream of Arabian horse ownership. Over the past few years, Noteman has expanded her horse family by purchasing Comet’s son, Comets Midnite Bandit (known as “Bandit”) and Bandit’s mother, Midnites Magic Genie (known as “Magic”). She competed on this Half-Arabian, Half-Friesian mother-and-son duo at the recent 2016 AHA Sport Horse National Championships, riding Bandit in First and Second Level dressage and Magic in Fourth Level and Prix St. Georges dressage.

In honor of being dubbed a “Premier Equestrian,” Noteman was presented with a tricolor ribbon and the Premier Equestrian engraved plaque.

Premier Equestrian is proud to reward talented riders like Noteman, who bring a positive attitude to equestrian sports and demonstrate true enjoyment of their horses both inside and outside of the show ring. The company offers an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and horse jumps, visit or call 1-800-611-6109.

For more information contact:
Heidi Zorn, Premier Equestrian

Beon Alla Czar Earns the Horse of Course High Score Award

Catherine Brown and Beon Alla Czar. (Photo courtesy of Bob Tarr Photography)

Nampa, ID (October 18, 2016) — At the fourteenth annual Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, Catherine Brown and Beon Alla Czar claimed the High Score Award presented by The Horse of Course. A feature at many prominent dressage competitions throughout the United States, The Horse of Course High Score Award was given to the highest scoring horse and rider pair of the entire National Championship show.

The Horse of Course, a full-service dressage, hunter, and jumper tack shop that is popular throughout the United States, enjoys rewarding high performing pairs like Brown and Beon Alla Czar.

Beon Alla Czar, affectionately called Czar by his owner and breeder Jill Loskill, performed a beautiful Training Level test at the competition at the Ford Idaho Horse Park in Nampa, Idaho, scoring an impressive 76.023 percent. The eight-year-old Half-Arabian Czar is sired by Beon Eternety and out of Alla Petite. Loskill beamed with pride as she watched Brown and Czar compete. “I felt like I was watching the Valegro of Training Level,” said Loskill, referencing the great Olympic Champion. “My mission in life is to show what a program I have as far as breeding talented and capable horses for people to go out and enjoy.” Czar is certainly demonstrating the quality of her breeding program at Up the Hill Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Horse of Course is a frequent sponsor of premier competitions like the Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show. The Horse of Course is led by CEO Beth Haist and her husband, professional saddle fitter Marty Haist. To commemorate the accomplishments of Loskill, Brown, and Czar, The Horse of Course presented them with a beautiful tricolor ribbon, an embroidered High Score cooler, and a gift certificate for use at The Horse of Course tack shop or online store.

This summer, The Horse of Course sponsored several breed show National Championships including the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association National Championship Show and the International Friesian Show Horse Association World and Grand National Championship. The Horse of Course’s full-service mobile unit will next head south to Florida for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington for the 2017 winter competition season.

Founded over 20 years ago to connect equestrians with top-of-the-line products, The Horse of Course, Inc. is based in Claremore, Oklahoma and has two mobile units that travel to shows across the nation, serving dressage, hunter, and jumper riders. The full store in Claremore, Oklahoma offers a permanent place for riders to see all that The Horse of Course has to offer. Riders can also check out the online tack and apparel shop at

The Horse of Course is the one-stop-shop for all riders, and includes an extensive line of products for male clientele. The Horse of Course supplies popular brands such as König, Pikeur, Vespucci, Cavallo, Passier, and Sommer. The shop’s knowledgeable staff is happy to help customers find exactly what they need quickly in between classes, so riders can spend less time shopping and more time in the saddle. For more information about The Horse of Course and the company’s complete travel schedule, visit or call 1-800-494-6773.

The Horse of Course, Inc.
Beth Haist, CEO
888-49-HORSE (46773)

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center’s Lexington Movie Night

From left to right: Volunteers Carolyn, Elizabeth, and Stephanie, Carolyn Drover, Catherine Flowers, Volunteer Kristen, Sarah Matl, and Erin Anuzis – all the MMSC employees, interns, and volunteers that were working to greet and check guests in. Photo by Susanna Thomas.

Exclusive showing of Sundance and Toronto Film Festival winning film Dark Horse

Lexington, KY. October 7, 2016 — Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds located at the Kentucky Horse Park, hosted a movie night featuring the award-winning documentary, Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse Movie Night took place on Thursday, October 6th at the historic Kentucky Theater at 214 East Main Street. The money raised from ticket proceeds will benefit MMSC’s initiatives to find a second career and future homes for off the track Thoroughbreds. Each horse is taught new skill sets through their re-schooling program while embracing the breed’s physical and emotional strengths and limitations.

Dark Horse is a documentary based on a true story about Dream Alliance, a horse born and bred by a syndicate in a depressed South Wales mining village. This horse performed against all odds and conquered the world of racing.

“We wanted to switch into fall gear by inviting the Lexington community to a fun, family friendly evening that we hope will bring both Lexington community members as well as the equestrian world together,” said Director of Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, Susanna Thomas. “With the constant support of our community members, we are capable of sharing our story and mission, which is able to leave an indelible mark in our hearts and transform the lives of Thoroughbreds.”

The event had open seating; VIP tickets provided patrons with access to the complimentary wine bar.

About Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers.

Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations

Karin Hansen Wins Champion Honors at 2016 IALHA National Championships

Photo courtesy of IALHA.

South Jordan, UT (October 3, 2016) – Amateur rider and handler Karin Hansen’s generous spirit was recently rewarded by Premier Equestrian, a leading supplier of high-grade footing, striking dressage arenas, and horse jumps. At the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA) National Championship Show in South Jordan, Utah this September, Hansen excelled in the competition arena, exhibited exceptional sportsmanship, and demonstrated true horsemanship. Premier Equestrian values outstanding competitors such as Hansen and strives to recognize their exemplary character by presenting them with the Premier Equestrian Award.

At the IALHA National Championships, Hansen competed with her two Andalusian horses, Padre and CDC Corazon. One-year-old filly Corazon, affectionately called “Cora,” competed in-hand and won the National Championship Spanish Fillies, 2 Years & Under. Cora also took top honors in the Get of Sire and Produce of Dam. Padre was honored with Reserve National Champion Geldings All Ages (Amateur to Handle) and Reserve Champion Andalusian Western Pleasure (Amateur). Padre also earned National Top 5 honors in Working Equitation.

Premier Equestrian – an industry leader in manufacturing world-class footing, stylish horse jumps, and quality arenas – strives to recognize competitors whose efforts in competition match their exceptional attitude and horsemanship. Known as “Premier Equestrians,” winners of the Premier Equestrian Award are presented with a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque.

“The IALHA National Championship Show has such a positive vibe,” commented Hansen. Her bright personality was appreciated by her fellow competitors on more than one occasion during this year’s competition. For each of the classes, there are specific pieces of equipment that each horse and rider are required to wear. Hansen explained that a fellow rider forgot her required chaps, and was going to have to miss her chance to ride for a championship. Hansen stepped up and offered the chaps she was wearing. “Her class was right after mine. The minute I got out of the class, I just sat down, ripped off my chaps and put them on her. It was really cool to be able to share.” Later in the day, another rider wasn’t wearing a broach and was going to be held out of the class. Hansen noticed the conversation happening and offered the broach she was wearing, saving the day for another competitor.

Additionally, Hansen was extremely proud of her two mounts. “Not only are they beautiful horses and kind of fancy, but they are so, so smart,” said Hansen. “Padre has overcome so much. It is super fun competing on him. He was like a little show pony at the Nationals.” Hansen has been working with Cora since she was a foal. Of their work together, Hansen remarked, “It’s really fun. When Cora sees a pole on the ground, she knows she is supposed to go sidepass. I really love the intelligence that they show.”

Premier Equestrian wishes for all disciplines of riders, such as Hansen, always have an enjoyable experience with their horses, in or outside the show ring. The company is proud to offer an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and horse jumps, visit or call 1-800-611-6109.

For more information contact:
Heidi Zorn, Premier Equestrian

Arabian Breed Crowns US Open Champions to Start Central Park Horse Show

Cathy Vecsey and HL Sanction.

September 21, 2016 – New York, NY – The third annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) began on Wednesday evening, September 21, in New York City’s Wollman Rink with featured competition celebrating the Arabian breed. The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and Aljassimya Farm proudly presented the second annual Arabian U.S. Open at RCPHS, showcasing the beauty, athleticism, and diversity of the Arabian breed through a variety of classes.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 25, with five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport for Arabians, jumpers, dressage, and hunters. The $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, and Friday night ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 25, from 9-10:30 p.m. EST.

A mix of in-hand/halter and performance classes graced Wollman Rink Wednesday evening, as the Arabian horses kicked off opening night in Central Park. To start, the Arabian Mounted Native Costume class portrayed the magic and romance of the Arabian horse as ancestors of modern day light breeds. The performance division also included classes in Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am, Western Pleasure Pro/Am, and Country English Pleasure Pro/AM. Junior Mares, Junior Stallions, Senior Mares, and Senior Stallions were then presented in-hand to highlight the horses as desirable breeding stock based on their conformation and shape. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Champions were awarded for each of the classes offered.

The gold medal winner of the Mounted Native Costume class for the second year in a row was HL Sanction, owned by Hawk Haven Farms and exhibited by Cathy Vecsey. At an incredible 27 years of age, the beautiful Arabian, bred by Jayne Solberg, displayed the bloodlines of sire The Chief Justice and dam Overlook Seratifa. The silver medal was awarded to Captain Courageous PA, owned by Madison Fernandes and Krystal Duarte, and exhibited by Kayleigh Meyer.

This year, performance classes were ridden Pro/Am style, with the exception of the Mounted Native Costume class. Pro/Am allows professional horsemen and women to ride the horses the first direction of the class, while seasoned amateurs rode the second way – proving that teamwork is successful in the show ring and representing the bond and relationship between horse, professional and amateur.
In the Country English Pleasure Pro/Am class, Sally Wheeler Maier returned to the RCPHS for the second year in a row, and also rode Captain Courageous PA. Maier is a hometown New York City resident, living just blocks away from Central Park, and was excited to return for the second annual Arabian U.S. Open.

“It is thrilling to be back. It was so much fun last year and just as beautiful this year,” Maier stated. “It is a perfect setting, and we really have an exciting, showy breed. They are a loving, beautiful horse. They have such beautiful features. I think that starting out with the costume class was great with them really in their element. It was a great evening and a great showcase for the Arabian breed.”

Katie Russell flew in from California with her horse Ariya Encore to compete in the Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am class at RCPHS for the first time and had a fantastic experience.

“This is my first time here, and I feel blessed to be here,” Russell stated. “I think it is pretty amazing to be over 55 and be here competing. Most people have things that they say are their glory days, and I feel like I made a glory day today. This is something pretty amazing to do. We have such a great horse, and a great breed, that I can be out there doing something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. This is a dream come true. I went in the arena, and I looked around and thought, ‘Wow!’ We have the best breed of horses that can do so many disciplines. It was an amazing experience.”

Judge Steve Lieblang also commented on the evening’s competition. He remarked, “Being added into the RCPHS with the Arabians is absolutely amazing. It is an incredible opportunity to get some wonderful exposure. It is great for people who are not normally exposed to Arabian horses to actually see them compete. I think the horses that we had tonight were extremely high-quality, and everyone did an absolutely incredible job.”

Among the night’s wins, competition included three gold medals for handler Michael Byatt. Byatt held Quintessa Partners LLC’s Aria Quintessa in-hand to win the Junior Mare Halter class. He also led Quintessa Partners LLC’s Aria Qatars Angel to a win in the Senior Mare Halter class. Byatt then concluded the evening with a win holding Aria Impresario Holdings LLC’s Aria Impresario in the Senior Stallion halter class.

Andrew Sellman was the handler for Mulawa Arabian Stud’s Vangelis MI to win the Junior Stallion Halter class. Natalie Jones and Anna Redmond rode Wolf Springs Ranches Inc.’s C Hondo to the gold medal in the Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am class. Rob Bick and Janie Wasilewski guided J Frank and Sara R. Chisholm’s PA Kid Khan to victory in the Western Pleasure Pro/Am class, and Joel Kiesner and Alexa Cohn rode I Ask LLC’s Afires Style to a win in the Country English Pleasure Pro/Am class.

Wednesday’s competition was a beautiful display of the Arabian breed and just the start of the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Competition continues through Sunday, September 25, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport for jumpers, dressage, and hunters. For more information, visit

Full results from the Arabian U.S. Open are available at

Tickets are selling fast! To get yours, go to

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit or Facebook at and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

KWPN, Irish and Zangersheide Studbooks Claim 2016 FEI World Breeding Jumping Titles

Gerard O’Neill and the Irish Sport Horse Killossery Kaiden. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Lanaken (BEL), 18 September 2016 – The 2016 edition of the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses, staged at the Zangersheide Stud in Belgium, more than lived up to expectations, with massive entries of high-quality horses and edge-of-the-seat excitement in the competitions in all three categories.

The first title of the weekend went to the 5-year-old KWPN stallion Garant, ridden by The Netherlands’ Willem Greve, while the Irish Sport Horse gelding Killossery Kaiden topped the 6-year-old division with Gerard O’Neill on board. Then, rounding up a great weekend of sport, it was the Zangersheide Studbook’s Think Twice lll Z that claimed the 7-year-old honours with Belgium’s Thierry Goffinet in the saddle.

The trademark “Z” of Zangersheide flew high over the four-day fixture which has been a key event in every breeding season for over 20 years. Brainchild of the late Leon Melchior, it once again attracted massive crowds and this year enjoyed ideal weather conditions.


In the first 5-Year-Old qualifier a total of 111 horses jumped clear from a field of 228 starters. As course designer Luc Musette explained, “It is not possible to build the fences any bigger, and the quality of the young horses ensures you have a lot going clear!” It was a bit tougher in the second qualifier with 74 clear from 225 starters, but 20 of the 50 starters made the cut into the Final jump-off, so this was never going to be an easy one to win.

One of the sensations of the weekend was 16-year-old Irish schoolboy Michael Pender who first put the ISH mare Z Seven Canya Dance (Can Ya Makan/Cavalier Royale) into pole position with a foot-perfect run in 39.04 seconds only to overtake his own target time with his second ride Z Seven Caretina (Coltaire Z/Caretino) who broke the beam in 38.86 seconds. He looked to have gold and silver in the bag until last man in, The Netherlands’ Willem Greve, pushed him off the top step of the podium when just 0.4 seconds quicker with the KWPN stallion Garant (Warrant/Verdi TN).

“I bought the horse in May and my home rider competed him in some national shows. I think he is a real Grand Prix horse,” said the Dutch gold medallist. “The course designer did a great job; it was difficult enough, the time was short but you didn’t see any horses crashing. If you wanted to go fast in the jump off in the final that was your own decision. I never went fast before with Garant, but I knew he had the quality to try it. If you come to these Championships you need a little bit of luck to get to the finals but participating is already a super experience for the rider and the horse. I try to come here every year,” Greve said.

Pender was plenty happy with silver and bronze. “These medals are the biggest thing I’ve won until now – I’m still going to school but I definitely want to be a professional rider!” said the young Irishman who was on the Irish team at the Junior European Championships this summer. “I had a win at Dublin Horse Show and I already did some jump-offs with my horses. They are careful and they have scope so I knew I could go for it today!” he added.


The Irish had even more to celebrate when Gerard O’Neill produced the only clear in the jump-off to take the 6-year-old title with the gelding Killossery Kaiden (Lux Z/Cruising).  There were 65 clears from 264 starters in the first qualifier in which the eventual champions finished fourth behind last year’s 5-year-old bronze medallists Willem Greve and Formidable. There were 64 foot-perfect runs in the second qualifier in which a single error pinned the Irish pair into 93rd spot, but having made the cut into the final 40 they were the only ones to keep a clean sheet, O’Neill gambling on a careful round which paid dividends at the end of the day.

From County Kilkenny in Ireland, O’Neill is a regular producer of top-class horses and a successful and respected competitor on the national circuit. As he explained, amongst the horses he has produced are Zigali PS which competed successfully for 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze from Canada and who is now campaigned by Maria Ortega Perez from Spain, and the brilliant mare Castlefield Eclipse who has been the backbone of Swiss teams for many years with Paul Estermann in the saddle. “I’ve been riding this horse for about 18 months now and he did well in the HSI series for young horses at home in Ireland but I wasn’t so fast so I didn’t really expect to win!” O’Neill explained. “It’s my third time to ride here and now I have the gold medal so I’m pretty happy! This is a great show with super courses and fantastic organisation,” he added.

The silver medal went to the KWPN gelding Fernando (Zapatero VDL/Larino) ridden by The Netherlands’ Julian de Boer, whose time of 35.53 was more than 10 seconds faster than the winner’s, but who left a fence on the floor in the last round. The rider who lives in the north of Holland was riding his grandfather’s horse, and as fate would have it his success was a bit random. “Normally I would have left yesterday but I stayed for the party, and this morning I put the horses on the truck, but I delayed leaving because a rider withdrew and I was the first reserve. I got a call to ask if I wanted to ride in the final, so I took the horse off the truck again and now I have the silver medal!” he said with a smile.

Bronze medallist Thierry Goffinet from Belgium was understandably disappointed because his costly single error with the BWP gelding Kannabis van de Bucxtale was unexpected. “My horse was second at the Belgian Championships and has been jumping super at international shows. The fence I had down in the jump-off today is the first fence he has knocked down this year in competition!” he explained.


In the 7-Year-Old division there were 63 clear rounds from 189 starters in the first qualifier but just 42 in the second competition in which five horses were eliminated and 10 were retired. In the finale, just five made it through to the jump-off and the three medallists all went double-clear – Belgium’s Thierry Goffinet claiming the gold with the mare Think Twice lll Z, which is by the stallion Toulon out of the mother of Portuguese rider Luciana Diniz’s wonderful horse Winningmood.

“Think Twice is a super horse; we won the Belgian Championships in Lummen this year and finished in the Criterium for 7-Year-Olds so this is a very consistent jumping horse. She can be fast; we knew that, but I didn’t go crazy in the jump-off. I only pushed to the last fence and that was enough to take the win!” Goffinet explained.

Silver went to another mare, the BWP grey Jeleena de Muze (Tornedo FCS/Chin Chin) ridden by Stephex Stables’ star rider Lorenzo de Luca. “I’m only riding this horse since the Knokke show in July and we were first to go. We have not competed in many shows together so I didn’t know the horse so well,” said the Italian rider who was still well-pleased with his result.

Bronze went to the bay KWPN gelding Everest (Carambole/Indoctro) with Dutchman Luc Steeghs in the saddle. “The horse is owned by a Lebanese family and I am training him for the children to ride. He was bought as a 4-year-old at the Hendrix auction,” the rider explained. Talking about the courses taken on by horses and riders all week, Steeghs continued, “Medals could have been won by a lot of different horses here – little mistakes, one day going clear and the next day having one down, could make all the difference, but the standard has to be high because this, after all, is a World Championship for young horses so it has to be testing!”

Five-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Garant (William Greve) NED 0/0 38.46; SILVER – Z Seven Caretina (Michael Pender) IRL 0/0 38.86; BRONZE – Z Seven Canya Dance (Michael Pender) IRL 0/0 39.04.

Six-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Killossery Kaiden (Gerard O’Neill) IRL 0/0 47.85; SILVER – Fernando V (Julian de Boer) NED 0/4 35.53; BRONZE – Kannabis van de Bucxtale (Thierry Goffinet) BEL 0/4 40.02.

Seven-Year-Old Final: GOLD – Think Twice lll Z (Thierry Goffinet) BEL 0/0 40.06; SILVER – Jeleena de Muze (Lorenzo de Luca) ITA 0/0 40.73; BRONZE – Everest (Luc Steeghs) NED 0/0 42.12.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Lanaken:

Edith de Reys
Press Officer
+32 475 6592 81


Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Arabian Horses in the City – Taking Center Stage at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Photo provided by the Arabian Horse Association.

New York, NY – The Arabian Horse Association (AHA), Aljassmiya Farm and the Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) are proud to present the 2nd Annual Arabian U.S. Open on Wednesday evening, September 21, 2016, at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs September 21-25, 2016, at Wollman Rink in Central Park.

Arabian horses will take center stage opening night of the show. The athleticism and diversity of the breed will be shown through a variety of classes. Halter/In-Hand classes will portray these amazing horses as desirable breeding stock. Intelligence and grace will be displayed through elegant western horses, exquisite hunter horses, and mannerly country horses.

Then, travel through time, where Arabian horses roamed the desert and began their journey as ancestors of modern day light breeds. The Arabian Mounted Native Costume class will take an audience on a journey, showing the magic and romance of the Arabian horse, both of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“The U.S. Open in Central Park offers the Arabian horse community the opportunity to present our horses to the world, as the breed that deserves recognition with other equine athletes at the Olympic level and those disciplines,” says AHA President, Cynthia Richardson. “Either through the excitement of being there in person in Central Park in NYC, the most visited park in the world, or through live-streaming, this is a night that will amaze the public and create memories for our breed and those who love them. Please join us!”

Arabian horses are the oldest pure breed of any light horse. Nomadic people of the Arabian Peninsula, the Bedouin tribes, were the first to own these light, thrifty horses. As a result, Arabians developed a strong desire for human companionship that carries forward today, along with their kind and willing attitudes and athletic stamina.  Known for their finely chiseled head, dished face, long-arching neck and high tail carriage, the Arabian horse is not only athletic and kind, but also beautiful.

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, is pleased to welcome the Arabian horse Association to Central Park for their second year and looks forward to the event.

“It is wonderful to welcome the Arabians back to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show and expose the special breed to an international audience in New York City,” Bellissimo stated. “We enjoy showcasing numerous diverse disciplines of equestrian sport through this special event and look forward to another great competition this year.”

Watch these amazing horses compete and earn their gold, silver and bronze titles at an event that can’t be missed. Tickets are on sale now at

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians.

For more information, visit or Facebook at

Super-Talented Young Trio Take Longines Titles at Ermelo

Fiontini, 5-year-old champion in 2015, returned to claim the 6-year-old title at the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championships for Young Horses 2016. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Ermelo (NED), 1 August 2016 – The five-year-old Victoria’s Secret, the six-year-old Fiontini, and the seven-year-old Sezuan were the shining stars at the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses that took place at the headquarters of the Dutch Equestrian Federation in Ermelo (NED).

The event, which attracted over 20,000 spectators, is designed to highlight new and developing talent, and the progress being made by last year’s five-year-old champion, Fiontini, and the 2015 six-year-old winner Sezuan reinforced the very essence of this popular fixture.


Germany’s Beatrice Buchwald knows a thing or two about producing top-quality youngsters. The 27-year-old athlete steered DSP Belantis into silver medal spot in the six-year-old division last year and also produced the wonderful 11-year-old mare, Weihegold OLD, that will carry German star, Isabell Werth, at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which begin in just a few days’ time.

With the Rheinlander mare, Victoria’s Secret (Vitalis/Fiermark), Buchwald topped Thursday’s five-year-old qualifier with a score of 93.40 per cent, pinning the KWPN mare Guadeloupe-Beau (Bordeaux/Vivaldi), ridden by The Netherlands’ Kim van der Velden, into runner-up spot on their mark of 89.80. It was Germany’s Anne-Kathrin Pohlmeier and the Hannoverian Lordswood Dancing Diamond (Dancier/Wolkenstein ll) who slotted into third here when scoring 88.40, but this pair dropped right out of contention in Saturday’s Final.

The top-15 went into the Final, and it was the Oldenburg gelding, Quel Filou (Quarterback/Stedinger) ridden by Sascha Schulz, who presented the greatest challenge to the eventual champions. The Luxembourg rider, and the horse bred by Hinxlage Aloys and owned by Dressage Grand Ducal, posted a big 93.20 percent that included a maximum 10 for their walk.

But judges Kurt Christensen (DEN), Christoph Hess (GER), Francis Verbeek van Rooy (NED) and Isobel Wessels (GBR) awarded Buchwald and Victoria’s Secret marks of 9.5 for trot, 9.3 for walk, 8.9 for canter 9.8 for submission and a whopping 10 for perspective for the gold-medal-winning score of 95.00. The Netherlands’ van der Velden and Guadeloupe-Beau took the bronze on a mark of 91.00 percent.

Buchwald, the first winning rider of the weekend to be presented with a beautiful Longines watch, said she could hardly believe in her success. “Of course I was the favourite after winning the qualification, but that really does not make it any easier; it actually creates more pressure. However, Victoria’s Secret is not only an intelligent horse; she is also a mare with a lot of go and always wants to work. We could have easily ridden another round here!” she added. She is unsure what the future holds for this horse. “The owner purchased her when she was a foal and now lots of people are interested. Hopefully we can find a party that can support us, so we can have a great future together, because I would love to ride her again next year in the championships for six-year-olds!” she said.


The riders of both the six and seven-year-old champions are already in the air on their way to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and both of them have every reason to be feeling very pleased indeed after their results.

Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez and last year’s five-year-old winner, the Danish Warmblood Fiontini (Fassbinder/Romanov), won Friday’s six-year-old qualifier with a three-point winning margin over the chestnut KWPN stallion Five Star with The Netherlands’ Kirsten Brouwer on board. Close behind was Germany’s Ann-Christin Wienkamp with the Oldenburg stallion Sir Olli (Sir Donnerhall/Florestan) who posted a mark of 86.80.

In Sunday’s Final, however, Fiontini showed that extra sparkle that led to Olympic champion, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin, to describe the mare as “incredible” when judging her last year. With marks of 9.5 for trot, 9.8 for walk, 9.7 for canter, 8.9 for submission and the maximum 10 for perspective, Fiontini strutted to a final scoreline of 95.80 percent for gold. Brouwer’s Five Star, bred by PG Bijvelds, Erp/ASM Bijveld and owned by T Wilaras, held on to silver with a mark of 89.00 and judges Kurt Christensen (DEN), Mariano Santos Redondo (ESP), Maria Colliander (FIN) and Sharon Rhode (RSA) kept Wienkamp and Sir Olli in third again for the bronze on a mark of 87.60.

Talking about Fiontini’s winning performance, judge Maria Colliander said, “The walk was a highlight, so relaxed in a wonderful rhythm. What was interesting was how well the horse collected in the medium-walk and before the pirouettes; a 9.8. The horse has lovely clear ground cover in the trot, although at times Severo must be careful that it will not become a passage. But I must mention that the extension totally blew us away. The canter has such an active hind leg and it so well placed under the body. Wonderful propulsion with a great extension and he came back so well: a 9.7. On the submission there is still room for improvement, the natural bending could be better and the one-change was not so fluent as the mare anticipated a bit, which caused tension: 8.9. What a talent for the future; she receives a 10 for the perspective.”

Fiontini’s rider, Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez, said the Danish Warmblood mare “gives you a fantastic feeling and is always focused. I am extremely happy that she could show her qualities here, so everyone could see her talent. She deserves that!”


Wow!” was the assessment of the judges’ spokesperson Mariette Sanders-Gansewinkel after Dorothee Schneider rode Sezuan to gold in the seven-year-old category. This was the first year for horses in this age group to take part in the Championship proper, and the German rider who will compete with Showtime in Rio de Janeiro next week had every reason be pleased with the horse who has now won three FEI/WBFSH Young Dressage Horse titles in a row, an historic first in every sense.

Their march to glory began when the dark bay Danish Warmblood stallion (Blue Hors Zack/Don Schufro), who was bred by Linette Jaeger and is owned by Gestüt Peterhof, received 10s for both canter and perspective in Friday’s qualifier which he topped by a huge margin when posting 88.420 percent. Runner-up here was the grey gelding FBW Fairplay H (Furst Hohenstein/Disco Tanzer)  ridden by another German, Ines Knoll who posted 77.998 while third went to the Swedish Warmblood gelding Fiorucci HT (Florencio l/Rubinrot) with Sweden’s Jeanna Hogberg on board, who scored 77.619.

In Sunday’s Final, Sezuan stepped it up even further when scoring 89.005, earning 9.8 for both trot and walk, 9.4 for canter, 9.3 for submission and that all-important 10 for perspective. Hogberg and Fiorucci posted 80.253 for the silver medal while Knoll and FBW Fairplay just missed out on the podium when their mark of 78.544 was bettered by the 78.641 produced by yet another of the strong German contingent, Stefanie Wold with Saphira Royal who took the bronze. The latter, a dark bay Rheinlander mare (San Amour/Monteverdi), was bred by Herbert Werth and is owned by Johann Hinnemann, and her score was boosted by a 9 for submission.

Talking about the winning seven-year-old test, Mariette Sanders-Gansewinkel said, “Sezuan has a very energetic, swinging and uphill trot in which he shows a good cadence: a 9.8. The fantastic walk has a beautiful four-beat and also receives a 9.8. The canter is his best gait, with enormous power. But today he was a little tense right before the flying chances, therefore ‘just’ a 9.4. A technical piece of art, but the tension in the changes and the hind legs together in the first pirouette result in a 9.3 for the submission. And the perspective… well, that could only be a 10!” she said.

Dorothee Schneider was delighted about clinching her third world championships title in a row on the same horse. “This is something extraordinary. I want to thank the owners that I can ride him. Sezuan is a sensational horse with three excellent gaits who always wants to work with me in the test and always wants to make me happy!”


There was plenty for the event organisers to be happy about too. Project coordinator, Joris Kemperman, said, “Numerous participants showed interest in the classes for five and six-year-olds: so much that there were no spots left to hand out the wildcards. Also the championship for seven-year-olds featured a large field of competitors. Compared to last year, we were able to double the prize money to a total sum of 50,000 euro. We also had the first World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses at which Longines could award one of their magnificent watches to a dressage rider. But above all, we are extremely happy that people from all across the globe came to Ermelo to celebrate this first edition in the Netherlands!

Jan Pedersen, President of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses, said, “When it was decided to organise the World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo, I was a bit sceptical. Verden has always been a great success and has been able to develop over many years. However, I must say this is rather fantastic. The whole venue looks impeccable and it is well-organised. I received solely positive reactions from both the riders and the audience. It is obvious that the organisation invested a lot to make this a grand success. Especially the main arena looks incredible and the horses also seem to like it, they are all very calm.

“Every year I am impressed with the quality of the horses; it appears to improve each edition. Remarkable, because you would expect it to stop at a certain point. It proves that our breeding is still developing. This year we also saw absolutely fantastic horses; it is definitely more normal now to have horses scoring over 90%. Every year there are a few horses that stand out. In the five-year-old class the winning mare is truly something special, but also the 6- and 7-year-olds have phenomenal top horses. By now we have established a strong connection between successful young horses at these championships and their future in the Grand Prix. I expect to see most of them back in the Grand Prix and lots in future Olympic Games.”

Full results here

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

At Ermelo:

Charlotte Gunnink
Press Officer
+31 652 756 778


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Endel Ots Heads to The Netherlands for World Breeding Dressage Championships

Endel Ots and Lucky Strike. (Photo courtesy of Susan J Stickle)

Ermelo, The Netherlands (July 12, 2016) – After proudly representing the red, white, and blue at the 2015 FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany, Endel Ots and his exceptional Hanoverian gelding Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie x His Highness) will now return to Europe to compete in this year’s hotly contested international championship. In Ots’ World Championship debut last year, he surpassed global expectations and was the first American to have ever qualified two horses for the competition. Ots will now return to the coveted competition held in Ermelo, The Netherlands on July 28-31.

“When I finished my first ride at Verden last year, I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my future,” Ots recounts. “I never had doubt before, but the feeling of riding in a World Championship representing my country was a feeling like no other.”

Lucky Strike is one of a rare handful of U.S. horses to have ever competed at the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships, placing 11th in the 5-year-old Final, and, even more extraordinarily, qualifying to return the consecutive year in the next division.

“I am very excited about returning. I had such a wonderful experience last year. I did not know 100% what I was getting into, or even grasp the size of the event last year. I feel very happy with my horse and his progression, and am so humbled to have this opportunity,” Ots says.

Since returning from Verden last year, Ots has focused on strengthening Lucky Strike’s training with the expertise of a myriad of mentors. Ots credits Canadian Grand Prix rider Evi Strasser for her continued efforts and mentoring from the very beginning of Lucky Strike’s training. He has also had excellent guidance from U.S. Dressage Young Horse Coach Christine Traurig and the Developing Dressage Coach Debbie McDonald throughout the winter season. Ots and Lucky Strike also had the opportunity to ride with Canada’s Team trainer and German National Coach, Johann Hinnemann, in the Adequan USDF FEI Level Trainers Conference.

“The collaboration of all this top-level help has been invaluable to me,” Ots states. “Lucky qualified with the two highest scores he has ever received (an 87.600 and 87.200 in the FEI 6-Year-Olds Final and Preliminary tests at the Global Dressage Festival CDIO 3* by Stillpoint Farm). I know that was through the caliber of trainers I had standing behind me.”

Ots intends to work with Hinnemann again before the World Championships, and is focusing his training sessions on transitions and keeping Lucky Strike flexible. Ots is passionate about developing young horses, and thrilled with his Lucky Strike’s presence as a formidable contender in the international competition.

“I love working with young horses because they are a clean slate. They keep you humble and accountable for your actions. You can never blame a previous rider for anything. I love how excited they are to learn when you get them on your side, and the intimate relationships that form when bringing them up the levels.”

Ots operates his training business Endel Ots Dressage out of the Everglades Dressage facility in Wellington, Florida. For more information on the numerous accomplishments and latest news for Ots and Lucky Strike, visit

Contact: Endel Ots