Category Archives: Contributors/Press

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Carriage Hill Farms Celebrates Exponential Success throughout 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival

Meredith Gallagher and Rebel de Vizy.

Delray Beach, Fla. – April 2, 2020 – Although the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to an early close, Carriage Hill Farms (CHF) is celebrating the success and continued growth of its students, horses, and staff over the 10 weeks of competition. Based in Delray Beach, Fla., the team at Carriage Hill Farms traveled 30 minutes north each week to partake in yet another year of one of the world’s premiere winter equestrian events, earning top ribbons and learning valuable lessons along the way.

“I am so proud of the whole Carriage Hill team for having a successful WEF 2020,” said Jane Fennessy, owner and head trainer of Carriage Hill Farms. “From our trainers and riders at home, to the staff we had at the horse show every day, everyone really stepped up their game and made this an exceptional season. Lessons were learned, levels were climbed, and most importantly, fun was had by all!”

Twenty of Carriage Hill Farms’ students took to the competition ring over the ten weeks, all producing great rounds in their respective divisions to progress their knowledge and experience while also achieving their goals. In total, the students of CHF claimed over 75 top-five finishes during WEF, in addition to multiple championships in divisions ranging from the Children’s Hunters to the High Amateur Owner Jumpers.

To highlight a few, Emmanuelle Greenberg piloted her horses Iomare De L’esku, Very Good de La Bonn, Tempo Royal, and Eilan Del Maset to many quick and clear rounds in the Medium Junior Jumpers, and she showed in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search for the first time with Curacao. Annette Friend rode Casual Water in the USHJA National Hunter Derby, her first derby ever. Michelle Whitman and C’Van De Helle claimed a championship ribbon in the Adult Amateur Equitation. Erika Jakobson put in multiple double-clears for top-five finishes with USA Normande and Everton. Angela Calicchio and City Walk clinched first and second places in the Ariat National Adult Medal and Low Adult Amateur Jumpers. Riders Raine Whitman and Madison Staiano finished first and third in the SFHJA Junior Medal 14&Under and a number of other students also capped off their season with great results and even better lessons learned during their time in the ring.

“Our 2020 Season was really about growth and transitions,” shared CHF trainer Meredith Gallagher. “We had a few long-term students transitioning to college and the amateur ranks while the majority of our junior riders were moving up to new divisions and/or new horses. I believe each rider handled those transitions well and I was proud of the way they remained focused and competitive throughout all the changes that this season brought!”

CHF’s large selection of high-quality sales horses also shined bright over the course of the season. Czar Du Mesnil placed at the top of a variety of divisions, including the Low Adult Amateur Hunters, Green 3’6″ Hunters and the Adult Amateur Hunters where he was named reserve champion with Taylor St. Jacques in the irons. Rebel de Vizy continued his winning ways to place third and fourth in the High Performance Conformation Hunters with Gallagher during World Championship Hunter Rider week, and picking up the champion tricolor in the division during Week 4. Gallagher also rode Quinta, who is offered for lease, to a win in the very competitive 1.30m Jumpers. Clearano Z bested multiple fields in both the equitation and jumper rings, showing off his ability to excel at both disciplines with consistent top-three finishes. Uderzo de Rance and CHF trainer Hayley Iannotti proved to be unstoppable in the 1.30m Jumpers, crossing the finish line ahead of nearly 70 people a number of times.

“We have a wide variety of sales horses at Carriage Hill and throughout the season each one of them rose to the occasion and earned top ribbons and championships,” stated Arly Golombek, who manages the international competition and sales horses at Carriage Hill Farms. “They are all sure to make their future owners very happy as they’ve done for us this season!”

Quite possibly some of the team’s favorite memories from the season, Carriage Hill Farms participated in two of the most exciting editions of “Saturday Night Lights”: the Battle of the Sexes and the Great Charity Challenge. In the Battle of the Sexes, Iannotti was a valued member of the girls’ team as she claimed two out of three of her points against the boys team. During Week 4, Golombek, Jakobson and Greenberg rode on a team in the Great Charity Challenge to raise over $30,000 for the Step by Step Foundation.

“Having the opportunity to start the season off competing in the Battle of the Sexes was something I’ve always dreamed of. The Battle of the Sexes is such a fun class and a great way to get everybody in the spirit for circuit! I rode my horse Uderzo de Rance and he was better than I could have ever expected. It was my first time out under the lights and I’m so grateful for the experience and the opportunity that team captain Nicole Bellissimo gave me and hope to do it again in the years to come!” expressed Iannotti. “Being able to raise money as a team for the Step by Step Foundation was so special. Carriage Hill and our students have been lucky enough to participate in this event a few times now and each year it just gets better.”

Carriage Hill Farms would like to thank its entire team for their support and hard work throughout the season, as their continued success would not be possible without them. The CHF horses have now returned to their home base in Delray Beach and are enjoying some time resting and regrouping. CHF’s staff will continue to care for its horses and assist riders in working towards their goals so that when the time comes to step back into the show ring, the Carriage Hill Farms team will be ready!

Media Contact: Georgie Hammond
gh@phelpsmediagroup.com

FEI Sports Forum Online Session Content to Be Published by Mid/Late April

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the FEI has completely stripped back the FEI Sports Forum 2020 in order to address the time sensitive topics and delay the themes which can and should be discussed at a later stage.

The two sessions concerning FEI Anti-Doping Rules for human athletes and equine athletes will therefore be the only sessions to be covered (not as webinars) as part of the FEI Sports Forum 2020. The FEI will be publishing all the supporting documents and relevant deadlines for feedback by the mid/late April. Note that we have had to reconsider timelines for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions in view of the cancelled WADA symposium which should have taken place mid-March and the subsequent delivery of WADA support materials and implementation tools. Nonetheless, all the relevant materials for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions will be published here, and the community’s feedback alongside the full consultation process will be maintained.

Among the sessions on hold, Tokyo 2020 was a key theme covering practical and informative topics such as transportation, logistics, climate mitigation, and administrative matters. However, given the full 12-month delay of the Games, the FEI will be holding this session at the Sports Forum 2021 in order to ensure the timely delivery of the relevant and most up to date information around the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo (JPN). In the meantime, for all information relating to Tokyo 2020 logistics and planning, please don’t hesitate to visit our dedicated hub for all news and FAQs around the Covid-19 pandemic.

FEI media contact:

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

FEI Jumping Calendar Task Force Agrees on Resolutions at First Virtual Meeting

The Jumping Calendar Task Force, one of eight discipline-specific task forces created by the FEI to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar and propose ways of mitigating its effects, held its first meeting via teleconference on 2 April 2020.

The meeting was chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar and who will chair each of the discipline Task Forces.

The members who joined the teleconference call were the FEI Vice Presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE), Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee Stephan Ellenbruch (GER), European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED), Jumping Athletes’ Representative Pedro Veniss (BRA), and President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL). The FEI Deputy Jumping Director, FEI Calendar Administrator, and the Directors of the FEI IT, Legal, and Governance departments were also on the call.

Key topics discussed by the group during the almost three-hour meeting:

  • The deadline for National Federations to come back to the FEI with proposed alternative dates for Events looking to reschedule in 2020
  • The rules relating to date clashes and late-date/date change applications
  • Possible initiatives to help Organisers
  • The impact of the new Olympic Games dates on the FEI Calendar 2021

The conclusions and resolutions from the Jumping Calendar Task Force will now go to the FEI Board for consideration at a specially convened Board teleconference next week.

Following this, the principles agreed by the Board will be shared with the other seven Task Forces that will evaluate the impact of the virus on the FEI Calendar for Dressage, Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining. Each of these Task Forces, which will hold their meetings in the coming days, consists of the core group plus the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline.

The FEI President is to be kept fully updated on the work of each of the Task Forces and, where required, will assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Virtual Windsor 2020 Set to Recreate Royal Windsor Horse Show Magic Online

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have launched VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020, a new online hub, which is free to the equestrian community. This enterprising initiative aims to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2020 due to Covid-19.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will host exciting features, the Show’s 200 shops, virtual Showing competitions, training videos, social media feeds, and the best of online content from previous Royal Windsor Horse Shows and from the equestrian world at the moment.

The shops that would normally have a physical presence at the Show will be displayed on the hub, giving users the opportunity to access some of equestrian’s best brands, including the latest technical equipment, country and lifestyle collections, and clothing. One of the key drivers of the “Virtual RWHS Shopping Experience” are the deals some of which will be available exclusively on the platform.

Those visiting VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can also enter online equestrian competitions, including a variety of Showing classes adhering closely to the original Royal Windsor Horse Show schedule. Those wishing to compete will upload their entry in the form of a photo to put them in the running, with applicants able to enter via email or social media. A Royal Windsor Horse Show judge will then select 10 finalists, before announcing the winner. The winners of each class will then progress to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17 May 2020.

To further help fill the void, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will give users access to features from the official Royal Windsor Horse Show programme, content from the archives, guest bloggers, live Q&A sessions, and insights into Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021, which is already well into its planning stage. Giving equestrian fans a central hub to find training videos, light-hearted posts, the latest updates from top competitors, and tips from other riders, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will support trainers, coaches, physios, and riders who may be struggling during this time.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “This online platform is a way for the equestrian community to come together; it aims to support and entertain, keeping the spirit of Royal Windsor Horse Show alive during this difficult time. The platform involves everyone, from fans to riders, shops, competitors, and officials.  We wanted to find a way that we could support the shops at the show and engage with our competitors and customers and I’m genuinely excited to see what we can accomplish. Our hope is that it will go part of the way towards recreating the magic in Windsor Castle’s iconic private grounds that we all expected to see in May.”

Ben Buxton, Events Manager of Fairfax and Favor, said: “Virtual Windsor is an exciting real and online opportunity for Fairfax and Favor to have a presence at one of the leading horse shows of the year. Whilst we may not see customers (both new and existing) in person, we relish the opportunity to connect with anyone who would have seen us, and let them see our range, including the launch of our Spring Summer 2020 collection.”

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.  The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show will return next year from 12-16 May 2021.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

USEF Provides COVID-19 Facts and Resources as Pandemic Changes Equestrian Life

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting equestrians’ routines around the country as barns employ social distancing techniques and increased human biosecurity practices, and, in at least some areas to date, even close to all but essential staff by choice or by local restrictions.

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Congress, President Deliver $2 Trillion Relief Package, Address Many Horse Industry Concerns

Following a week of intense negotiations, on Friday, March 27 House lawmakers finally passed – and the President signed into law – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, teeing up approximately $2 trillion in emergency aid to American taxpayers, small business, independent contractors, and non-profits and charities. Because most equine enterprises characterize themselves as small businesses and include many non-profits such as state associations and equine rescue operations, the package addresses many challenges facing the horse industry.

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Equine Non-Profits Granted More Than $100,000 by USA Equestrian Trust – Deadline for 2020 Submissions Is April 22

USA Equestrian Trust® has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by more than a dozen non-profits. The organizations receiving funding all submitted applications as part of the Trust’s 2019 application period. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants.

The Trust is also pleased to announce it is now accepting proposals from IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations for its 2020 grants program. To submit an application, visit trusthorses.org and complete the online form. Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications for the foundation’s 2020 grants program is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 22.

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FEI Creates New Policy for Calculating World Rankings during Covid-19 Outbreak

As part of its measures aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar, the FEI has put in place a new policy for calculating the world rankings from 1 April until the Calendar returns to normal. The new policy was initially discussed with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) specifically for the Longines Jumping Rankings, but will now be used for each of the disciplines where a rolling 12-month period is used for the calculations.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the period during which ranking points remain valid in Jumping (Longines Rankings), Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage will be prolonged by one month and will continue to be prolonged for an additional month with each new ranking until the competition calendar returns to normal.

Points earned in ranking competitions at events that take place during the current Covid-19 affected period will continue to count, and the maximum number of results that count for each athlete will remain, i.e. for the Longines Jumping Rankings best 30; Dressage best eight; Eventing and Para Dressage best six.

Rankings for the other FEI disciplines – Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining – are calculated on a fixed period (calendar year or other fixed period) so they will remain untouched. The change to the Driving Rules that means the discipline rankings will be based on a rolling 12 months does not come into effect until 1 January 2021.

For Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage, the following system will apply:

– The rankings established after 29 February 2020 remain unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020)

– The rankings established after 31 March 2020 have been calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)

– The rankings established after 30 April 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 30 April 2020 (points valid for 14 months)

– The rankings established after 31 May 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2020 (points valid for 15 months)

– and so on until the competition calendar returns to normal.

A working group will recommend to the FEI Board at what point the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal worldwide. As of that date, the rankings will continue to be calculated over the extended timeframes above, guaranteeing there will always be at least 12 months of normal competitions included in the calculation of the rankings.

The new system provides a level playing field for all our athletes as ranking points can still be earned in countries where the sport is able to continue, regardless of the length of time the current situation lasts, but athletes in countries where the sport is on hold will not lose points. An athlete’s ranking points can only improve, not decrease during this period, as the relevant number of best results in each discipline still applies.

Twelve months after the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal globally, the timeframe during which ranking points remain valid will be decreased by one month with each new ranking until the standard 12-month rolling timeframe has been reached.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Update on Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Competition

The Marshall & Sterling Insurance league recognizes these are extraordinary times. Upon careful consideration and high regard for recommendations from the CDC and local and state health officials, we have decided it is in the best interest of the League and its Member Riders and Shows to suspend all Marshall & Sterling sanctioned events effective immediately through May 3, 2020. For those competitions choosing to run, there will be no accumulation of points towards Marshall & Sterling Year-End Awards or Qualifying during this time.

The health, safety, and well-being of our members and the horse community is of utmost importance to the Marshall & Sterling League. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with the appropriate government officials and health experts and will reinstate League sanctioning when the health concerns are lifted. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to follow these temporary guidelines to keep our members safe and healthy during this period.

We will post updates as needed on our website and the M&S Facebook page. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@HitsShows.com.

USET Foundation Awards Mia Farley with Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant

Mia Farley and BGS Firecracker (Photo courtesy of Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Gladstone, NJ – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has awarded the 2020 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Mia Farley, a current member of the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program.

As the recipient of the grant, Farley, who trains with the O’Connor Event Team, will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year. Note: the grant is valid for this year or next, if necessary, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is an honor [to receive this grant],” said Farley, of San Clemente, Calif. “The fact that they recognized me and what [I accomplished] last year is huge. This is a big deal for me and really special. I have talked to a couple people [about how to use it], and the most beneficial thing would be to possibly go overseas and get some experience and see how it all works.”

Farley received this select distinction following a solid 2019 competition season. In her first year competing at CCI3-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-S, and CCI4-L level events, she placed in the top 15 in eight of the 12 FEI competitions entered. Most notably, she placed second in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI4*-L with BGS Firecracker, the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare she owns with Paddy Byrne.

In their debut CCI4*-L, they finished on their dressage score of 38.30. Earlier in the year, they jumped double clear, picking up only 4.4. time penalties to place fifth in the Jersey Fresh International CCI3*-S. US Equestrian named Farley to the Emerging Athlete Eventing 18 Program in 2014. She advanced to the Emerging Athlete Eventing Athlete 25 Program in 2019. In addition, she was part of the bronze medal-winning Area VI team at the 2016 FEI North American Youth Championships.

The USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund allocates the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant annually. Pirie’s family established the fund in her memory for the purpose of providing financial assistance to an eventing athlete identified with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future. It is intended for a recipient that will benefit most from the opportunity to continue their training with top coaches and to compete against the world’s best in eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines.

Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Farley can continue to focus on her training and prepare for competitions, helping to reach her goal of representing the United States on the international stage.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Final Turf Tour of 2020 Ends with Last to Go Victory; Finale Week Cancelled

Luis Larrazabal and Caristina. Photo property of Equinium/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (March 27, 2020) – Despite the omnipresent cloud of coronavirus concerns darkening an otherwise sunny and crisp Florida spring, the last days of competition on the 2020 Turf Tour did not disappoint. Adhering to strict protocols, social distancing, and sanitization procedures recommended by both the USEF and CDC, The Ridge’s home farm on Palm Beach Point Boulevard in Wellington hosted two rings of show jumping at what would be the final chance for riders to jump for the 2020 Leading Rider Award. With a tricked-out golf cart presented by Iron Horse Transit as the prize, the Turf Tour’s Leading Rider rankings were a close race between a handful of riders determined to win and prove the resiliency and perseverance of the equestrian athlete.

The $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix was a hotly contested class, and has been all of 2020, with some riders bringing multiple horses to boost their numbers on the leaderboard. The course, set by Olympic designer Leopoldo Palacios, offered options for competitive rides and a dramatic final bending line in the jump-off: a challenging, angled gallop from the Prestige Italia oxer to the Hygain Feed vertical.

With just 20 points separating him from the pinnacle, Luis Larrazabal of Venezuela and the dapple grey mare Caristina flew around the immaculate grass Grand Prix field. As the last to go of the day, they galloped to victory with a jump off time of 31.146. His double clear effort was contested by three others: Samuel Perot and Boogie Woogie (32.220), Kristian Skovrider and Lykkehoejs Cassander (33.989), and Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh (34.955). The last week’s Grand Prix victory makes bookend wins for Larrazabal and Caristina this season, as the pair was also the first winners of the of the Grand Prix during Turf Tour 1 (January 8-10).

Brazil’s Thiago Rhavy and Salamandra Baloubina were victorious in the week’s second headline class, the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. Edging out speedy Stella Manship and her Quarto Mail by only two hundredths of a second, Rhavy came out on top in the jump-off on a time of 30.730 to Manship’s 30.919.

After following the developing plot of the coronavirus, with a heavy heart, the Turf Tour’s organizers announced that they would be cancelling the last event of the season, Finale week at Black Watch Farm. Despite all the extra protocols taken to ensure the health and safety of all their horses, riders, owners, spectators, and staff, the next Turf Tour event is planned to commence January 2021, with lots of new venue additions, sponsors, and all the atmosphere and competition that has made the Turf Tour a staple in Wellington’s show season.

“We are in uncharted waters with this virus and the impact on equestrian events and the entire industry,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-founder of the Turf Tour. “Erring on the side of caution will be our decision in such a situation, and we can’t thank our supporters and riders enough for bringing their horses to show with us. We wish everyone a safe and healthy spring, so we can all get back in the saddle again ASAP.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For more info, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Winter Equestrian Festival Celebrates 2020 Circuit Champions

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2020 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate the Circuit Champions for the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Featuring 10 weeks of world-class jumper, hunter, and equitation competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, this year’s circuit was a great success despite its early finale due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards go to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money or points won.

ESP would like to congratulate all riders, trainers, grooms, and owners on a fantastic 2020 circuit, and wish them a safe and healthy year. Circuit Champion Award winners are encouraged to pick up their prizes from the horse show office.

Click here for a full list of Circuit Champion Award Winners. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.