Category Archives: Breeds

Arte Ecuestre: Interagro Lusitanos Featured in Multi-Discipline Equestrian Showcase

Zamorim Interagro being piloted by Argentinian driving champion Carl Fatch at the Arte Ecuestre (Photo courtesy of Reid Buckley)

José Ignacio, Uruguay (February 20, 2016) – Against a backdrop of sweeping vistas and the Atlantic Ocean, a group of elite equines and their riders performed in a unique equestrian exhibition showcasing the beauty, diversity, and excitement of equestrian sport. The equestrian center and estate of Haras Godiva, and its owner Carolin Mallmann, have hosted the aptly named Arte Ecuestre for the past two years as an invitation only celebration of the horse through six equestrian presentations: a Gaucho exhibition, dressage exhibition, jumping exhibition, pas de deux, barrel racing, and a driving exhibition. An exceptional display of horsemanship and the athletic prowess of the equine, Arte Ecuestre acts as a catalyst to promote elite equestrian art through entertainment.

Held on January 13, 2016, Haras Godiva’s top horses and riders were selected to perform in each of the disciplines, and horses bred by Interagro Lusitanos were featured in both the dressage and driving portions of Arte Ecuestre. The dressage exhibition was presented by Mauricio Delucchi of Delucchi Dressage aboard Bailos Interagro (Noblíssimo Interagro x Dona (RC)) and Desordeiro Interagro (Perdigueiro (MAC) x Urzelina Interagro). Bailos Interagro, who is half-brother to the 2015 Working Equitation World Cup champion Xaveco Interagro, executed the Grand Prix movements under the guidance of Delucchi, while Desordeiro Interagro demonstrated Medium Level, which is equivalent to Third Level in the United States. Two other horses also performed a pas de deux, or ‘steps of two,’ a dressage freestyle featuring two horses and riders in a choreographed dance set to music. Zamorim Interagro (Quinarius Interagro x Mucuna Interagro), with Carl Fatch at the reins, performed a driving exhibition highlighting the precision, strength, and stamina required of driving horses. Fatch, who is the husband of Haras Godiva owner Carolin Mallmann, is an internationally renowned Argentinian driving champion, and Zamorim Interagro is half-brother to the successful Grand Prix dressage competitor, Zepelim Interagro.

Each of the 6 disciplines was well received by the 130 attendees, and following the exhibition, children and spectators were invited into the arena to get up close with the horses. Arte Ecuestre culminated in a cocktail hour and sunset celebration overlooking Haras Godiva’s stunning scenery. “The Arte Ecuestre is an important way for us to connect modern horse sport with the natural beauty of Uruguay and entertain our guests,” said Delucchi, who organizes the event with his wife, Paulina Morales. “The performances of Interagro’s horses are key for the exhibitions, as dressage and driving are very popular in South America and abroad. This year they were again very popular with our guests.”

Bred by Interagro Lusitanos of Itapira, Brazil, Zamorim, Bailos, and Desordeiro epitomize the qualities sought in the modern sport horse: athleticism, trainability, intelligence, and a willing temperament. 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.

For more information on Arte Ecuestre, visit Haras Godiva’s website or the Arte Ecuestre video produced by Studios Roff on Vimeo.

For more information on Interagro, the stud farm, horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit the Interagro website or follow them on social media.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
954 205 7992

Meet the Newest Budweiser Clydesdale

Budweiser is raising a glass to its newest Clydesdale horse Mac, its first foal of 2016 born Tuesday at 1:20 a.m.

To see him, Bud drinkers will have to giddy up over to the Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Missouri, home of more than 160 Clydesdale horses, a breed that originated in the mid-18th century in Scotland in Lanarkshire (aka Lanark). Its name is believed to be “inspired by” the river that runs through that area, the River Clyde, according to The Livestock Conservancy and the Clydesdale Horse Society. Historically used for pulling heavy cargo, they were brought to North America in the mid-19th century.

“The tradition of the Budweiser Clydesdales started in 1933 when they made their first-ever appearance as a gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement. “Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York. The Clydesdales made a stop in Washington D.C. in April 1933 to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Nowadays, Clydesdales are said to be primarily used for “breeding and show.” But no word on when Mac will appear in his first Super Bowl commercial.

Story by Olivia B. Waxman as published in Time

The Amazing Feathered Horses Set to Show Off at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of Gail Shrine.

Jacksonville, FL (January 13, 2016) – This weekend, gorgeous feathered horses are moving into the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The 80-acre equestrian paradise in Jacksonville, Florida will host the Gypsy Vanner National Championships and the FL Feathered Horse Classic on January 14-17. Gail Shrine, owner of the Feathered Horse Classic competition series, invites all horse lovers to come view these magnificent animals at the Gypsy Vanner National Championships and FL Feathered Horse Classic, which was founded a decade ago. The event is free to spectators.

Feathered horses, including the Gypsy Vanner breed, are noted for the “feathers” or the long hair that starts below the knees and hocks of the horses and flows around the hooves. These horses also have long, flowing manes and full tails to complete their unique look. Shrine said, “The horses at this show are the most exciting and beautiful horses anyone could ever see. With their fabulous long manes and tails and the famous feather around the hooves, the Gypsy Vanners stand out from any other breed there is. They have a genuine easy going temperament, and are known for being easy to train in all disciplines.”

With free admission and free parking, guests will be able to watch more than 125 horses from all over the United States compete in a variety of equestrian events, including halter, western pleasure, dressage, western dressage, hunter, liberty, driving, English pleasure, trail, and more.

“Everyone is welcome to the Gypsy Vanner National Championships on Thursday the 14th and FL Feathered Horse Championships on January 15-17. The best of the best are at the Jacksonville, Florida show each year!” Shrine announced. “Competitors come from all over the United States, and spectators come from all over the world. We have guests from Dubai, England, New Zealand, and Australia that attend looking for the best quality Gypsy Vanners.”

Visitors will be welcome to walk through the stabling area to see the spectacularly decorated stalls and interact with some of the owners of the horses. “These are the nicest owners one could come across,” commented Shrine. She continued, “The owners and exhibitors love to have spectators cheer them on in the ring.”

This will be the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s fifth year hosting the FL Feathered Horse Classic and the second year hosting the Gypsy Vanner National Championship. Shrine said, “The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is one of the best facilities we use during our yearly series, which is six shows throughout the United States and the National Championship. The staff at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is very easy to work with and helpful with all situations. The indoor arena is outstanding with lots of ‘WOW factor,’ and is always in top condition. We love the facility and will continue this tradition of celebrating the Champions of the Breed here each year.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a multifaceted facility on an easily accessible site off major highways in Jacksonville, Florida. Equine amenities include an enormous indoor arena, outdoor arenas, and over 400 stalls. There are also miles of riding, hiking, and biking trails accessible from the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a part of a recreational park that includes picnic pavilions, a gymnasium, and an Olympic-size indoor pool. For more information, visit or call Penny Gorton at 904-255-4227.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

WBFSH Rolex Award Ceremony 2015 in Geneva

Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin. Photos:

The world’s leading breeders gathered in the city of Geneva Saturday night to be honoured for their extraordinary breeding products. The winners of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses Rolex Breeder Rankings in dressage, show jumping and eventing received their WBFSH diplomas presented by Jan Pedersen, president of the WBFSH, and an exquisite Rolex watch presented by Laurent Delanney of Rolex.

Dutch breeders Martje and Joop Hanse won the dressage prize for the third consecutive year whilst Belgian breeder Willy Taets won the show jumping prize for the second year in a row.

Please visit the WBFSH website to read the individual portraits of the winning breeders.

Hello Sanctos and Scott Brash
Hello Sanctos and Scott Brash

The award winners are:

Martje and Joop Hanse, the Netherlands for breeding the No. 1 dressage horse Valegro by Negro/Gerswin

Willy Taets, Belgium for breeding the No. 1 show jumping horse Hello Sanctos by Quasimodo vd Molendreef/Nabab de Reve

Rolf Lück, Germany for breeding the No. 1 eventing horse Horseware Hale Bob by Ituango xx/Carismo

For further information, please contact:

Xavier Libbrecht
Tel: +33 (6) 80 14 41 83

Horseware Hale Bob and Ingrid Klimke
Horseware Hale Bob and Ingrid Klimke

Thomas Bach Jensen
Tel: +45 2033 8683

Valerie Daidah and Var Capture Vita Flex Victory Pass Award

Valerie Daidah and Var (Photo courtesy of Avalon Photography LLC)

Burbank, CA (October 14, 2015) – Valerie Daidah and Var took the 2015 International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) Friesian World & Grand National Championship Horse Show by storm, claiming nine championship titles and the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award. Daidah and Var, a 17-year-old Friesian gelding (Reitse x Seitse) imported from the Netherlands, displayed their winning talents during the national championships held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California this month.

Vita Flex, a leading producer of horse performance supplements, holds excellent performances in the show ring in high prestige. The company has presented the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award at several recent national championship breed shows to reward special combinations of horse and human who cross the fine line between good and great.

This horse and driver combination of Daidah and Var caught the eye of the judges and show committee at the IFSHA World and Grand National Championships during one of their astounding nine national championship victories. Daidah and Var earned the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award for their performance in the World Champion Friesian Carriage Pleasure Driving Working Single Masters ATD class. Along with the championship title, they received the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award neck sash and a Vita Flex prize bucket that was comprised of many of the company’s top products. This included the Lactanase® supplement, which provides ingredients that support the production of cellular energy, making this supplement extremely popular for high performance horses. The prize also included the AccuLytes™ Balanced Electrolyte Formula, which replenishes electrolytes that are often lost during long trailer rides, stressful situations, and exercise.

Vita Flex was pleased to present this prize to Daidah and Var, as they bested the competition during the Friesian World & Grand National Championship Horse Show. Some of their other winning performances in World Champion Friesian Carriage Country Pleasure Driving classes came in the divisions Reinsmanship, Amateur Driver, Concours d’ Elegance, Driven Dressage, Turnout-Single, Costume, and Multiple Hitch-Tandem.

As the champions of the Turnout-Single division, Daidah and Var won the Richard Snavely Memorial Pleasure Turnout Single Open Perpetual Trophy, which is presented in memory of Richard Snavely. Winning this trophy had sentimental significance for Daidah. “Richard was a dear friend of mine,” she explained. “Just three years ago, I lost a horse that he trained that I used to compete with.”

Daidah and Var were also honored with the Anita Mellott Memorial Driving High Point Perpetual Trophy, for accumulating the highest number of driving points during the entirety of the IFSHA World and Grand National Championships. “It was awesome. I am so proud of Var,” she reflected.

This year, Daidah and Var appeared at the championships for the first time since 2010, making what Daidah described as a “comeback” of sorts. In 2010, Var earned the prestigious titles of USEF Friesian Driving Horse of the Year, IFSHA High Point Driving Horse, and the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) Performance Driving Award.

When asked to describe her champion partner Var, Daidah explained, “He is sweet and loving and a bit of a goofball. He slaps his lips and puts his tongue out when he wants a treat.” Some of that personality certainly helped the pair earn their winning title in the costume class, where Var was a winged horse. “I had flamed leg wraps on him and flamed mane extensions. I was wearing a devil costume and I had flames on the carriage,” said Daidah, smiling with fondness for her Friesian partner.

Vita Flex provides riders, trainers, and owners with advanced supplements specifically created for equine athletes to help keep horses in peak health. Vita Flex® products include health supplements, antioxidants, electrolytes, joint supplements, performance supplements, topical ointments, vitamins, and minerals. For more information about Vita Flex and its line of superior horse products, visit or call (800) 848–2359.

Contact: Katie Stevenson
(602) 281-3872

Judith Von Duyke and Canadian Justina Win World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award

Judith Von Duyke and Canadian Justina (photo courtesy of Don Stine Equine Sports Photography)

Raleigh, NC (October 2, 2015) — World Equestrian Brands – the United States distributer of the top tack and equipment brands Equilibrium, E. A. Mattes, Vespucci, and Amerigo – travels to prestigious horse shows across the country to commend competitors for using functional tack combined with attractive, correct presentation. The company is known for giving out great prizes for competitors’ efforts. At the 2015 Sport Horse National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show, Judith Von Duyke won and was reserve in two championship classes respectively, but also the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award.

Von Duyke secured the win in the Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout class among a field of nine competitors with Canadian Justina (Canadian Love X HL Justaglitter (The Chief Justice)), a seventeen-year-old Arabian mare owned and trained by her daughter, Sarah Vas of Winfield Farm & Forge of Grafton, Ohio. Justina was broke to drive as a nine-year-old and she’s secured many national titles with Vas at the reins as well as with Winfield Farm’s assistant trainer, Stephanie Brown. Although a life-long horsewoman, Von Duyke has only been driving intermittently since April of this year. Von Duyke only had about four solid months of carriage instruction under her daughter’s tutelage when she drove through the in gate at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.

Von Duyke was happy to have remembered her training as she entered the arena. “I was most worried about making mistakes, but all of the safety instruction and hours of practice culminated in my not only doing well in my classes, but also enjoying the experience,” she said.

Although Von Duyke didn’t start riding until she was in her teens, as a child she loved to pet the milkman’s horse in front of her home. Finally, at the age of 27, she was able to own her first horse.

“Actually, it was a pony,” she laughed. “From there, I have been involved in breeding, riding, horse show announcing, competing, and enjoying the ‘ride’ as I experience the horse world with my daughter, Sarah, as she pursues her professional equestrian career.”

Von Duyke claimed the championship in the Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout class and reserve championship in the Carriage Pleasure Working class, where she was second in a field of twelve competitors. Having the best tack when competing is as important to Von Duyke as it is to World Equestrian Brands. The judges and show committee at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals noticed Von Duyke and Justina’s impeccable presentation and quality tack, and chose the pair to receive the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award. Von Duyke’s trainer and daughter agreed that a well-fitted harness and saddle is important to success.

Vas, who rides as well as drives, pointed out that Arabians are known for being difficult to fit saddles to, based on their compact rib cages, short coupling, and wide shoulders. Vas has used E. A. Mattes pads (offered by World Equestrian Brands) to help her saddles fit correctly with great results, saying that they are well crafted and easy to care for.

World Equestrian Brands is a leading U.S. distributor of world-class, high performance tack and products. Winners of the World Equestrian Brands Tack Matters Award, chosen by show officials and USEF judges for superior attention to the detail of the competitors’ tack, are presented with an item from one of the popular brands World Equestrian Brands carries – Amerigo, Vespucci, E. A. Mattes, or Equilibrium – as well as a neck ribbon.

World Equestrian Brands is happy to recognize Von Duyke’s dedication to top-quality tack. For more information about World Equestrian Brands and the products it offers to make horses and riders look and feel like champions, visit

Robin Moore
World Equestrian Brands

Urban Legend+++// Is Champion at 2015 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Urban Legend+++//, owned and competed by Amy Kerr (in carriage) (Photo courtesy of Don Stine Equine Sports Photography)

Raleigh, NC (October 2, 2015) – After a dangerous carriage driving accident, Amy Kerr of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania never expected to drive again. With her own self-trained Half-Arabian gelding, though, she once again took the reins and drove to a national championship, a reserve national championship, and seven top ten placings at the recent 2015 Sport Horse National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show held at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As Kerr’s super-fit Half-Arabian gelding Urban Legend+++// showed his talent in front of the carriage and also under saddle, his physical ability stood out to the show committee and judges. Urban Legend+++// was chosen as the winner of the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award. The award, presented by TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms (the Official Therapy Plate of the United States Equestrian Federation), perfectly highlighted a successful weekend for Kerr and her horse at the Arabian national championships.

TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms, a company based in Weatherford, Texas, offers easy-to-use products for horses, humans, and other animals. Standing on the platforms can provide benefits such as relieving pain in users, speeding healing from injuries, and – as the Peak Performance Award is named – achieving ideal fitness to enter the show ring in top form.

Urban Legend+++//, known as Bandit, is an 11-year-old Buckskin Quarab and Pinto cross sired by the cremello Quarter Horse stallion True Blue McCue and bred by Wendy Bockman. Kerr purchased Bandit’s dam, a bay Arabian mare named WA Muzel (by Muzcat), while WA Muzel was three months in foal. On July 5, 2004, Bandit’s journey began with his one-and-only owner. “He was my first baby,” said Kerr. “I’m proud to say I have done all of the training on Bandit. No one else has touched him as far as training goes, so for better or worse he is a reflection of myself.”

It is quite the reflection of a superb horse-and-rider partnership, as the pair captured the National Championship in the A/HA/AA Carriage Pleasure Driving Working class and the National Reserve Championship in A/HA/AA Carriage Pleasure Driving Drive & Ride. Bandit also earned several Top Ten placings throughout the competition.

As Kerr has been dedicated to training Bandit as her winning partner, TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms is dedicated to helping horses achieve and maintain the body condition needed for health, success, and comfort. The company is happy to congratulate Kerr and Bandit on achieving such impressive fitness.

Bandit helped his owner, who had given up driving after a carriage accident with a former horse, gain the confidence needed to win at the prestigious Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. “The memory of the accident will always be in the back of my mind,” said Kerr. Kerr wasn’t sure she even wanted to teach her horse how to drive, but eventually she took a step forward and began ground driving him. “If you would have told me when he was first born that the two of us would have come this far, I probably would have told you what a tall tale you are telling. Honestly, he’s truly my once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind, jack-of-all-trades horse. He’s always willing to try his heart out for me, lets me do just about anything to him, and puts up with my silly ideas.”

Kerr works hard to keep Bandit fit, and appreciated being recognized for her efforts with the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award. “Between my half-lease and me, Bandit gets worked about five to six days a week. It could be driving one day and jumping the next, but we try to keep his mind fresh by doing new things. I always try to finish his workout with a little trail ride around the barn pastures. Bandit is on an every-other-day turnout schedule with his stable mates, and I think letting him go out and ‘be a horse’ keeps him mentally happy,” she said.

The TheraPlate Peak Performance Award distinguishes horses like Urban Legend+++// that stand out from the crowd, exemplifying the most pristine fitness and athletic ability of their breed. TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms offers both horses and people the chance to reach their absolute best athletic ability through health and body conditioning. Each TheraPlate platform can improve circulation, bone density, and muscle mass, as well as reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.

For more about the TheraPlate therapy platforms, visit or call (800) 920-3685.

Contact: Chip Kreiling
TheraPlate Revolution

Zopatti and Uwannabeme WH Win Two National Championship Titles at AHA Sport Horse Nationals

John Zopatti and National Champion partner, Uwannabeme WH (Photo courtesy of Bob Tarr).

Pinehurst, NC (September 29, 2015) – USDF Gold Medalist John Zopatti and KWPN-Half Arabian gelding Uwannabeme WH had lofty goals for the 2015 competition season. Their hard work and clever planning culminated in two national championship titles at the 2015 AHA Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show. Zopatti and Uwannabeme WH won both the Second and Third Level Championship for Arabians, Half-Arabians, and Anglo-Arabians at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Zopatti, a four-time Gold Coast Dressage Association Trainer of the Year, began working with the talented gelding in February 2015. Over the summer, Uwannabeme WH, or “Slim” as he is affectionately called, went into full training at Zopatti’s summer base – Gavilan Farm in Hoffman, North Carolina. Slim’s owner, Loxahatchee, Florida native Johnny Robb, thought the horse would benefit from training in the same area where the Sport Horse Nationals would be held.

Robb also competed with Slim at the 2015 Sport Horse National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Show. The pair spent some time bonding in the in-hand division, where Robb and Slim earned a top-ten finish in the Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian Sport Horse Geldings In-Hand Dressage Type Amateur to Handle Championship class.

Despite the hubbub of a national championship competition, Slim set about handling his business like the champion he is. Zopatti was proud with Slim’s performance over the course of the competition, particularly in the Third Level class where the horse gave an accurate and submissive performance, scoring an impressive 75.513% to best the class of 25 horses. “The same confidence that he shows at home, he is starting to bring to the horse show now,” said Zopatti.

“This was my first year at the Arabian Nationals. It was quite a different experience going to these Sport Horse Nationals,” said Zopatti. “The prizes that they give you – the statues and the ribbons – are really cool. They laid the roses across his withers and they have these ribbons that went from his head to the ground. I have to say, it was a really great experience.”

Earlier this year, Zopatti was named National Champion in the Open Dressage Show Hack division at the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IAHLA) National Championships, which was his first breed show championship. He bested the field of sixteen riders aboard Johnny Robb’s Zerbino Interagro, a twelve-year-old Lusitano gelding. Proving himself a talented rider for dressage horses of all breeds, Zopatti is becoming accustomed to winning the roses. “This was the year of breed shows for me,” Zopatti exclaims. “I had never done one before in my life. It is quite a different experience to have all different disciplines simultaneously competing at the show.”

At the 2015 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, Slim caught the eye of spectators with his extravagant movement, causing many people to ask Robb and Zopatti about the horse’s breeding. Slim is out of a Dutch Warmblood mare and sired by the renowned Arabian stallion, Baske Afire. “We would say he was a Dutch-cross, but many people thought that meant he was a Dutch Harness horse. By the end of the horse show, I learned to say Dutch Warmblood cross,” said Zopatti.

Slim is now enjoying a well-deserved vacation in the paddock. After his rest, he will be getting back to training. “His real strength is in the FEI work,” commented Zopatti, who hopes to continue to develop the horse’s confidence and possibly begin showing the Prix St. Georges and small tour dressage in the 2016 show season in Wellington, Florida. “He is already scoring in the 70s at Fourth Level and showing real promise for all the FEI level movements,” Zopatti added.

To learn more about John Zopatti, visit or call 561-722-7555.

Contact: John Zopatti

Champions Crowned at US Open Arabians as Rolex Central Park Horse Show Begins

Sally Wheeler-Maier and Captain Courageous PA accept Silver Champion from Cynthia Richardson. Photos by Emma Maxwell.

 New York, NY – Horses returned to New York City’s Central Park for the second-annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show on Wednesday with the inaugural U.S. Open Arabians, presented by Aljassimya Farm. Showcasing the athleticism and diversity of the Arabian breed in the foreground of the Manhattan skyline, Champions in four under saddle and six halter classes were crowned.

Classes including Hunter Pleasure, Western Pleasure, and Country English Pleasure showcased the Arabian horse under saddle. Yearling Fillies, Yearling Colts, Junior Fillies 2-3 Years Old, Junior Colts 2-3 Years Old, Senior Mares and Senior Stallions were presented in hand to highlight these horses as desirable breeding stock based on their conformation and shape.

Capping the evening, Arabian fans at Wollman Rink traveled through time to when Arabian horses roamed the desert. The Arabian Mounted Native Costume class portrayed the magic and romance of the Arabian horse as ancestors of modern day light breeds.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions were awarded for each of the ten classes offered at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show where Sally Wheeler-Maier, a New York City native, was presented as Silver Champion in the Country English Pleasure class aboard her own Captain Courageous PA. Wheeler-Maier is an amateur rider who makes a living as an actress and rides part-time.

“Usually you travel all over the country to show, but I walked ten blocks from 66th and 2nd carrying my show hat and I had a lot of family and friends here cheering me on, which was an amazing feeling,” she said.

Wheeler-Maier has been showing since she was nine years old, after reading The Black Stallion and asking her dad for a black Arabian stallion. She received just that and has since been dedicated to the breed through her training at Trowbridge Arabians in Westport, CT and at shows from coast to coast, a list that now includes New York City.

“It’s like a really fantastic fancy horse camp,” said Wheeler-Maier of competing in Central Park alongside professionals.

One professional that competed in five of Wednesday’s classes and earned two Gold, one Silver and two Bronze Championships was Ted Carson. Carson hails from Minnesota, but now calls North Carolina home and competes all over the world.

“I’ve been showing horses professionally for 26 years now and this is the most amazing spot I have ever shown a horse in. To run in there with the first horse of the show was special,” he said. “I think the footing is some of the best I’ve ever seen in the world. This is probably the best setting you could ever think about and I think that everyone who put in the effort to get this done is amazing and we want to support this heavily.”

Cathy Vecsey and HL Sanction on their way to winning the Native Costume Class
Cathy Vecsey and HL Sanction on their way to winning the Native Costume Class

While exhibitors were in awe of their surroundings, they still impressed the judges, including Dr. Nasr Marei, who traveled from Egypt to be part of the U.S. Open Arabians. “It is a true honor to be here and I think it will get better and better,” he said. “The show was tremendous and organizationally it was spectacular. The quality of the horses was impressive and it’s a backdrop that is the best in the world.”

Cynthia Richardson, president of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), spearheaded the U.S. Open Arabians after watching the inaugural Rolex Central Park Horse Show on television last year. “After I saw it, I asked the USEF if I could meet with the people who are organizing the show and I came to talk about how we could make this happen and it’s been an amazing journey,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to next year and building this.”

Richardson and International Equestrian Group CEO Mark Bellissimo were proud to announce that the U.S. Open Arabians will return to headline the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and anticipate a huge response from the Arabian horse community.

“I think it adds a different dimension and twist to the show and we’re very excited about the possibilities as we move forward,” said Bellissimo. “With more time and more exposure, I think the level of the event will continue to grow and I’m looking forward to packing the stands next year. Our vision for this horse show has always been a celebration of the horse and I think expanding that appropriately to different disciplines and breeds is something we aim to do.”

Full results from the U.S. Open Arabians are available here.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show continues through Sunday, September 27, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport. In addition to Arabians, the schedule includes the inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers, Dressage, Hunters, and U25 Jumpers. All classes will be streamed live at

About Aljassimya Farm

Aljassimya Farm is committed to the Arabian horse. Not only by linking the history of this timeless horse to his future, by breeding our own elite generations; but by sharing the magic of the breed with new audiences. It is a proud moment to be part of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, bringing the Arabian Horse to the heart of New York City for the first time.

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. In its second year, Rolex Central Park Horse Show will make its triumphant return from September 23 to 27, 2015 and 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 inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers, Dressage, Hunters, U25 Jumpers, and Arabians. For more information, visit, on Facebook at, and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

Additional information can be found at and

Media Contact:
Shin-Jung Hong
Nicholas & Lence Communications
Tel: 212.938.0005

Equestrian Media Contact:
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Lindsay Brock

Arabian Horses Take NYC by Storm at Rolex Central Park Horse Show This Week

Photo Courtesy of Arabian Horse Association.

New York, NY – The world stage is set. The path has been laid out. The weather, with clear skies and enjoyable temperatures, is predicted to be perfect. The historical unveiling of the Arabian horse at New York City’s Rolex Central Park Horse Show is just days away, aligning with the arrival of Pope Francis to the ‘Big Apple’.

The transformation of the famous Central Park in Manhattan is in full swing as New York City prepares for a historic week. Arabian horses arrive in Central Park for the U.S. Open Arabians the opening night of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show on Wednesday, September 23. Beginning at 6 p.m., this unprecedented event will showcase the Arabian breed to the world.

A mix of In-Hand/Halter and Performance classes will grace Wollman Rink Wednesday evening. In-Hand/Halter classes include Yearling Fillies, Yearling Colts, Junior Fillies, Junior Colts, Senior Mares and Senior Stallions.

These Halter horses are some of the world’s most beautiful, well conformed and magical horses of the breed. Their beauty, grace and quality have been dignified through Canadian and U.S. National Championship titles. Some have earned foreign titles from around the world, including honors from the World Arabian Horse Championship at the Salon du Cheval Paris, and the All Nations Cup in Aachen. Their handlers are professionals of the breed, claiming wins from these prestigious locations as well, and skillfully presenting these horses to their winning titles.

The Arabian Performance horses invited to the event include those from the disciplines of Western Pleasure, Country English Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure and Arabian Mounted Native Costume. These horses and their multi-National Champion riders bring to the limelight the diversity and athleticism of this amazing breed. These horses have earned National, Reserve National and Top Ten honors at the Canadian National and U.S. National Championship shows.

The Sport Horse discipline of the Arabian breed will be portrayed in the Sunday, September 27 exhibition, where invited horses claim both Open and National titles from the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals and Scottsdale Signature All-Arabian Horse Show. The exhibition is free to the public.

To purchase tickets to the U.S. Open Arabians and be a part of history on Wednesday evening, visit Tickets are $150 per seat plus tax. For more information on the U.S. Open Arabians at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, visit the Arabian Horse Association or Rolex Central Park Horse Show websites.

Follow the Arabian Horse Association on Facebook, Twitter @AHAArabian and Instagram @arabianhorseassoc, using the hashtag #ArabianHorsesTakeNYC for live updates and pictures from the event.

About the Arabian Horse Association

AHA is a major equine association serving 85,600 Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse owners across North America. AHA registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses and administers approximately $3 million in annual prize money. AHA produces championship events, recognizes over 550 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities, education, and programs that promote breeding and ownership.

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