Category Archives: Contributors/Press

Blog writers, press releases and contributors

FEI Statement on Allegations Raised of Unauthorised Training Methods in RTL News Report

Lausanne (SUI), 12 January 2022 – The FEI is aware of the allegations made in the documentary broadcast on RTL in Germany on 11 January 2022 and is making enquiries regarding the matter. We are already in touch with the German National Federation and will continue to liaise closely with them in order to assess the appropriate course of action.

The welfare of the horse is central to everything that the FEI stands for and we strongly condemn all training methods and practices that are contrary to horse welfare. The FEI has stringent rules in place to protect horse welfare which allow action to be taken both at FEI Events and elsewhere. The FEI absolutely condemns any form of horse abuse and the training methods shown in RTL’s video footage are totally unacceptable from a horse welfare perspective and against FEI Regulations.

The FEI General Regulations (GRs) Article 142 state: No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including, but not limited to:
(vi) To “rap” a Horse.

Article 243.1 of the FEI Jumping rules states: All forms of cruel, inhumane, or abusive treatment of Horses, which include, but are not limited to, various forms of rapping, are strictly forbidden. Article 243.2.1 goes on to give a non-exhaustive description of what the FEI considers as “rapping”.

The FEI will provide an update as soon as further information is available.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Grant Seger Opens Up the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival with 1.45m Jumper Victory

Grant Seger (USA) and Dr. J. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 5, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the world’s largest and longest-running horse show circuit, is underway with competition beginning on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The 13-week circuit features top jumper, hunter, and equitation competition until April 3.

In the opening class of the 2022 WEF, the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers, Grant Seger (USA) and Dr. J, owned by Grey Fox Crossing, used their final position in the order as an advantage as they sped to the win in the two-phase format class in 35.827 seconds. This week’s International Arena course designer is Eric Hasbrouck (USA).

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Erynn Ballard Lands Double Grand Prix Wins at ESP Holiday Finale

Erynn Ballard and Nanini Van D’Abelendreef. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Jan. 2, 2022 – It was a celebratory weekend for Erynn Ballard (CAN) during the ESP Holiday Finale at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center thanks to wins in two separate grand prix classes, which closed 2021 on a high note and began 2022 even better. In one of the first classes of the new year, Ballard and Nanini Van D’Abelendreef, co-owned by Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports LLC, galloped to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix as the fastest over designer Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) courses. On New Year’s Eve, Ballard navigated Comedia De Talma, owned by Esperanza Imports LLC, to first prize in the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix.

Prior to the start of the class, Filip de Wandel (BEL) was awarded with a $1,000 check as the winner of the Assets Risk Management National Grand Prix Rider Bonus.

Additionally, two Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Awards were presented. Ballard earned the distinction for the ESP Holiday Finale week, and Catherine Tyree (USA) was honored as the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider thanks to her series of showings that earned her enough points for the top of the leaderboard.

Twenty competitors vied for the lion’s share of the prize money in the $5,000 Laura King – The Power to Win 1.35m Jumper Stake on Saturday. Eleven pairs made it into the jump-off, where Tony Cadet (FRA) and Etonemoi Del Cabalero, owned by Shore Acres Farm LLC, led the pack with a double-clear time of 37.03 seconds to win the class.

Thursday featured the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake, which saw nine pairs out of the field advance to the jump-off. Of those, seven finished the class without faults and only four seconds separated them in the standings. Leading the way, Thomas McDermott (NZL) and his own Alpha Activity earned first place in a fault-free time of 41.15 seconds.

On Sunday in the High Junior/Amateur Jumper Stake, presented by Noltrex®Vet, just two pairs advanced to the jump-off, and two more kept all the rails up but were kept out of contention by time faults. Though they incurred four faults, David Oberkircher (USA) and Southfields Farm LLC’s Vulkato were the quickest over the 1.40m fences with a time of 41.93 seconds to take the win.

Immediately following, the Gochman sisters of Mimi and Sophie dominated the $2,500 Medium Amateur/Junior Jumper Stake, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, by claiming all three podium spots. Finishing the 1.30m course in the swiftest time, Mimi Gochman (USA) piloted Dolores BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to first place in a double-clear time of 38.29 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Santi Serra and Team of Arabians amongst Equine Stars at London International Horse Show

The London International Horse Show, taking place from 16-20 December 2021 at ExCeL London, will welcome hundreds of horses for elite competitions, equestrian displays, and performances. As the only UK Show to host all three FEI World Cup Qualifiers in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Driving, the much-anticipated 2021 edition is set to provide a stellar five days of action.

Onsite rehearsals are already underway for the display acts, which will include a spectacular new routine from Spanish performer Santi Serra, alongside his dog and team of Arabian horses. His natural affinity to the animals, as he communicates with them through mind and body is evident throughout.

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Catherine Tyree and BEC Lorenzo Find Success in $214k Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*

Catherine Tyree and BEC Lorenzo. ©Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – Dec. 4, 2021 – The highly-anticipated feature event of the Holiday & Horses CSI4* and the ESP Holiday Series as a whole took place on Saturday evening in front of the biggest crowd the facility has seen since the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival was stopped in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) now open to general spectators, the 39 elite contenders in the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, gave the crowd a perfect welcome back to the horse show, enhanced thanks to the masterful course designs of Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Galloping to the top of the leaderboard as the night’s big winners, Catherine Tyree (USA) and her own BEC Lorenzo edged out the competition to conclude the evening with the coveted first prize and the lion’s share of the prize money.

Following the conclusion of the class, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award was presented to Tyree and Lorenzo, who claimed the title thanks to their victory in the grand prix, combined with an eighth-place finish in the $50,000 Premier Equestrian Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4* on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Leslie Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale, owned by Peter Howard and Laure Sudreau, topped a field of 36 exhibitors in the $5,000 CabanaCoast 1.35m Jumper Stake. The duo galloped to a double-clear jump-off time of 34.67 seconds, the quickest of a large group of ten double-clear pairs.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ben Maher amongst World’s Best Show Jumpers Heading to London International Horse Show

Great Britain’s Olympic individual champion, Ben Maher MBE, heads an illustrious list of international Show Jumping entries for the London International Horse Show 2021. The confirmed line-up will facilitate five days of world-class competition at ExCeL London from 16-20 December, adding to an already stellar schedule of competitive action and spectacular international displays.

Maher, currently ranked No. 8 in the world, will be seeking to crown an exceptional year with success at the London International, but will face stiff competition from the world’s best riders. His London 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning teammate Scott Brash MBE, also part of the GB team in Tokyo, will be hot on his heels, as the World No. 5 seeks to recapture the prestigious London International Horse Show Grand Prix title which he claimed in 2019.

Also representing Team GB in Tokyo were Harry Charles and Holly Smith, who will both head to ExCeL full of confidence following successful autumn campaigns, which included being part of the team to win the Challenge Cup at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. Their teammates that day, Emily Moffit and John Whitaker, always a crowd favourite, will also line-up in London.

Guy Williams and Laura Renwick, notorious for their speed against the clock, will be sure to have the home crowd on their feet throughout the five days of action, as will William Funnell who will be looking to recreate the form which lead him to victory at the 2019 Show. Young rider Jack Whitaker, son of multiple London International Horse Show winner Michael, is also amongst the strong British contingent taking part.

Their international counterparts will be mounting a strong challenge, led by World No. 4, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, who will be looking to repeat his 2019 success, which saw him crowned champion of the London leg of the FEI Jumping World Cup. Compatriot Steve Guerdat, the current World No. 8, will be returning to the city where he was crowned individual Olympic champion in 2012, following an excellent year, which included being part of the Swiss 2021 European Championship gold medal-winning team alongside Fuchs.

The Irish riders, Denis Lynch, Shane Breen, and Michael Duffy, will be ones to watch and will be hoping the luck of the Irish is with them in London. From Austria will be Max Kühner, who will look to go one better than his second-place finish in the FEI Jumping World Cup at the 2019 Show, with Christian Ahlmann and Marcus Ehning from Germany bringing further quality to the distinguished line-up.

Belgium will be sending a strong team, including Niels Bruynseels, Gregory Wathelet, and Pieter Devos, as will France, led by World No. 11 Kevin Staut. Compatriot Mathieu Billot, fresh from an outstanding Puissance win at CSI4* Rouen, will be looking to make it a double when he takes on the famous Puissance wall on the opening night of The London International Horse Show.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s best show jumpers to our new home at ExCeL London. The facilities at the venue are second-to-none, setting the scene for an outstanding five days of competition, and we can’t wait for it to get going.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Nayel Nassar and Igor Van De Wittemoere Win $137k Noltrex®Vet Grand Prix CSI3*

Nayel Nassar and Igor Van De Wittemoere ©Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – Nov. 21, 2021 – The ESP Pre-Charity CSI3* reached its pinnacle on Sunday as 30 riders competed for the top spot in the $137,000 Noltex®Vet Grand Prix CSI3*. Course designer Héctor Loyola (PUR) tested the entries with a technical pattern of jumps, of which only two mastered to advance to the jump-off. No strangers to the winner’s circle and recent competitors at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Evergate Stables, LLC’s Igor Van De Wittemoere finished in spectacular form as the only double-clear duo to top the class.

Competition immediately followed in the International Arena with the $25,000 Elite Horse Transport Grand Prix. The National Grand Prix attracted a field of 20 competitors, with just four pairs placing double-clear rounds. The final pair in the jump-off, Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Valentine Car, owned by Fernando Cardenas, stopped the clock at 43.99 seconds to secure their names at the top of the leaderboard.

Competing over 1.40m fences in the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Noltrex®Vet, only three partnerships advanced to the jump-off, and just a single entry was able to finish the class without any faults at all. Leading the way was Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT and Hillside Farm LLC’s Exokit Sitte thanks to a double-clear winning time of 45.05 seconds. Due to their victory on Sunday and a third-place finish in an earlier divisional class, Fath and Exotik Sitte were also awarded the overall championship honors.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

David O’Brien and El Balou OLD Finish on Top of $37k Assets Risk Management 1.50m CSI3*

David O’Brien and El Balou OLD ©Sportfot®.

Wellington, FL – Nov. 19, 2021 – A wet second day of the ESP Pre-Charity CSI3* couldn’t dampen the competition that was seen in the $37,000 Assets Risk Management 1.50m CSI3* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Course designer Héctor Loyola (PUR) set an apt challenge for the class, with six of the 23 entries advancing to the jump-off, which trimmed the number of double-clear pairs down to only three. Jumping to the top of the leaderboard by just six-hundredths of a second, David O’Brien (IRL) and Chansonette Farm LLC’s El Balou OLD wrapped the contest as the class victors, a promising win ahead of Sunday’s $137,000 NoltrexVet® Grand Prix CSI3* and a super result for O’Brien’s newly-founded stables.

Earlier in the day, the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Stake showcased the efforts of 35 horse-and-rider partnerships. Of the initial field of entries, 12 duos advanced to the jump-off to vie for the top prize, whittled down further to just five double-clear pairs by the end of the class. Midway through the jump-off, Ali Wolff (USA) and her own Footloose HX set a quick standard without faults in 41.56 seconds, which no other pairs were able to surpass, to solidify the early frontrunners as the class victors.

Kelly Soleau-Millar and Abel Crawford Dominate the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunters were in the spotlight on Friday during the ESP Pre-Charity CSI3* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Held in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw contenders compete over two rounds of riding, with one duo standing out as the clear victors. With two scores that hit the 90-point benchmark, Kelly Soleau-Millar of Wellington, FL and Millar Equine Sales’ Abel Crawford ran away with the win to clinch the lead spot in the lap of honor.

The classic round of the class concluded with Soleau-Millar and Abel Crawford in the lead with a score of 90, giving them a small safety net over the pair that was sitting in the next-best spot, Molly Sewell of Wellington, FL and MTM Farm’s Konig Der Loewen, who had earned 87 points. Back in the ring as the final challengers, Soleau-Millar and Abel Crawford needed a handy score of 84 to clinch the win, and they far surpassed that with their exemplary round, earning a base score of 90 plus four handy points to add 94 points to their initial tally.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

FEI Celebrates 100 Years with Urban Art Intervention

(Photo credit: FEI/Richard Juilliart)

To mark its 100 year milestone, the FEI has invited French graffiti artist Ludovilk Myers to transform the statue of the White Horse, located on the outer façade of the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, into a one-of-a-kind urban art intervention.

The FEI kicked off its year-long centenary celebrations in May 2021, with a video highlighting the achievements, successes and milestones of the organisation and the sport.

“We have been looking for a unique way to celebrate our centenary year and it was natural that the White Horse become the focal point,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez explained.

“Equestrian sport is unquestionably about the ‘love of the horse’ which binds together our athletes from different disciplines. But our noble friend, the horse, has also always captured the imagination of artists around the world, for their movement, grace, and beauty. And this is why we’re pleased to welcome the very talented Ludovilk Myers who, like our equine partner, is in his element when carrying out his art in the great outdoors.”

Ludovilk Myers, was born in the Seine St. Denis district of the Paris suburbs where he lives and works today. He started writing graffiti in Paris in 1998, taking his inspiration from the geek and street culture that defines the French capital.

Myers’ playful art, scattered with funny shapes and colours, stands in opposition to the darkness that we sometimes experience in our everyday world. His unique style earned him a position as ambassador for Converse Cons in 2014, and accolades for his design of the iconic Timberland Yellow Boot in 2016. His exhibitions in Paris, Zurich, Munich, and other European cities continue to gain attention.

The FEI was created in 1921 and was headquartered in Brussels, Belgium until the 1970s when it moved to Bern, Switzerland. The FEI moved its headquarters to Lausanne in 1991, but the current building, now located next to the Délices metro station in Lausanne, was officially opened in 2011.

The building, a gift from former FEI President HRH Princess Haya, was thoroughly renovated in accordance with the Swiss MINERGIE® construction standard for environmental responsibility, reducing energy consumption by 25 percent. At the time, only two percent of renovated buildings in Switzerland met the high Minergie standards.

“The city of Lausanne, which has housed the FEI’s Headquarters for 30 years now, has become an integral part of the equestrian family’s identity and character over the past decades,” Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“This is why we also wanted to involve the local Lausanne community in our celebrations. Just as street artists make their work more accessible to people by using urban settings as their canvas, sport also aspires to being universal. We hope this urban art intervention will be a unique introduction to equestrian sport, and that more people will discover the beauty of our sport as a result.

“And if you decide to ride the Lausanne metro to get to the FEI’s Headquarters, make sure you listen carefully as the train pulls into the Délices station!”

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Olympian Dani Waldman Strikes a Pose for Ifat Zohar Photography

Waldman and her Olympic partner Queensland in an image that was used in multiple magazine covers.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (October 26, 2021) – Ifat Zohar’s photography thrives at the intersection of fantasy, reminiscence, and passion; this summer that intersection was stunningly bisected by an Olympic equestrian and her journey to the upper echelons of the sport. Dani Waldman, formerly Goldstein, has been a longtime friend of Zohar; the pair met via their connections with the Israeli Equestrian Federation, and the merging of art, sport, and brilliance has yielded some breathtaking imagery. From Renaissance style equine portraits to scenes straight from a fantasy novel, Zohar and Waldman’s creative minds have combined to create some of the most striking portraits of an Olympian athlete.

Waldman has long been known on the equestrian and mainstream media circuits for both her skill in the saddle and her own trademark feathered mane. She and the 12-year-old gelding Queensland made their Olympic debut this summer in Tokyo, where she rode for Israel. Her sessions with Zohar were inspired by a parallel appreciation for animals (especially horses), fashion, and a flair for the scintillating. The resulting work has been dazzling, right down to her Olympic portraits for Team Israel.

“Ifat has the ability to capture a moment in time and turn an ordinary photograph into art,” said Waldman. “Her work is truly reminiscent of the great masters of painting! Branded imagery like Ifat’s is key to anyone’s public image — recognizability and consistency helps people identify you and creates a sense of unity for an athlete or artist. Ifat’s very unique and recognizable style sets her apart from typical photographers; she is able to capture that unique bond between animal and human by bringing out the emotions rather than just a pretty image.”

Of her many shoots with Zohar, Waldman struggles to pick a favorite image or moment: “There are so many to choose from, but I love the ‘La vie en Rose’ image perhaps the most.” Zohar’s work with Waldman has also been used in multiple publications across the United States and Europe, as well as in photography competitions. One image of Waldman with a white peacock was chosen to represent The Netherlands in a 2022 World Challenge Photography Competition by the Dutch national photographers association (DuPho), a major honor.

Known for her stunning work with both domestic and fantastic fauna, Zohar combines themes of old-world indulgence, elegant theatrics, and a closeness to nature to create her visual masterpieces. An award-winning photographer originally from Israel, Zohar’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including those for the biggest equestrian events of 2021, and stands out as a new breed of modern portraitist.

Zohar’s portrait studio work is inspired by the old masters’ love for storytelling, and their use of light and dark to add depth and dimension to their subjects. Ifat’s signature portraiture technique breathes art into her images of people and the animals they love. “I was looking for a better way to tell my clients’ stories with their pets, a more artistic way to timelessly capture their relationships,” said Zohar. “During my shoot, I am not just creating beautiful portraits but also capturing the unique connection, personality, character, and emotions of each animal and their humans.”

Originally from Israel, Zohar is now based full time in The Netherlands. Her creative portraits include Fine Art, human & animal themes, commissioned work, and character portraiture. The uniqueness of her work has earned her numerous accolades and exhibitions: 2 nominations in the international Fine Art Photography Awards (2021), Finalist in the 2020 “One Eye Photography Awards”, winner of the 2019 Benelux Photo Master award competition, and the 2019 Bronze Rise International Photography Award, to name a few.

Visit www.IZIPhotoArt.com for examples of her work, or contact ifatphoto@gmail.com, WhatsApp: +31.(0)6.13.33.83.31 for more information.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com