Category Archives: Contributors/Press

Blog writers, press releases and contributors

WCHR Qualification Guidelines for 2020 Capital Challenge Horse Show Announced

Cassandra Kahle and Monday Balous, winners of the 2019 $30,000 WCHR Professional Challenge. Photo by Jump Media.

Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show will welcome the country’s top hunter horses and riders for the year-end finale of the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Program, to be held on September 28 – October 4, 2020, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

Due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, adjustments have been made to the WCHR Program’s qualification requirements at Capital Challenge Horse Show and regional and national standings protocols for 2020 only.

As in the past, WCHR members – including Professionals, Developing Professionals, Amateur Owners, Adult Amateurs, Juniors, Children’s, and Pony riders – will continue to qualify for national and regional awards by earning points at member events held throughout the country. The top nationally and regionally ranked riders in each category will qualify and come together to compete in year-end challenge classes, which are held annually at Capital Challenge.

The changes made to these standings and qualification protocols for 2020 are as follows:

  • A WCHR member’s top two member events will count toward their regional and national standings. (Previously, a rider’s top four member events were counted toward these standings.)
  • A WCHR member may request one region change prior to August 31. Regional points are not retroactive, and no region change requests will be accepted once the final member event has begun in the member’s originally declared region.
  • The top 10 nationally ranked riders in each category, as well as the top 10 regionally ranked riders from each region and in each category, will be invited to compete in their respective WCHR challenge class at the 2020 Capital Challenge Horse Show. (In prior years, only the top six regionally ranked riders in each category qualified to compete at Capital Challenge.)
  • The top four to six riders competing in the Professional, Developing Professional, Amateur Owner, Adult Amateur, Junior, Children’s, and Pony divisions at the Capital Challenge Horse Show that are not already pre-qualified will additionally be accepted into their respective challenge classes.
  • Points earned at all WCHR member events are based on the WCHR increment chart and count toward the national and regional standings. This year, points earned in the WCHR challenge classes at Capital Challenge will be doubled.

The WCHR Program was founded in 1992 as a component of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), recognizing and celebrating the hunter rider. Full details, specifications, and standings can be found by visiting www.USHJA.org.

Learn more about the Capital Challenge Horse Show by visiting www.capitalchallenge.org.

Emily Randolph
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

FEI General Assembly 2020 Moves Online

The FEI General Assembly 2020, which was due to be held in Johannesburg (RSA) in November, has been cancelled and will now be held online due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements and travel restrictions.

The decision was approved by the FEI Board during its three-day videoconference meeting this week, and the Board also gave its unanimous support to allocate next year’s FEI General Assembly to Johannesburg.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority and although it is regrettable, cancelling our in-person General Assembly this year and going online was the responsible thing to do,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“We are very grateful to the National Federation of South Africa for the support and flexibility they have shown, as well as their willingness to host our General Assembly next year when the situation will hopefully have improved for everyone.

“We are lucky to live in a time where it is possible to meet virtually, even though face-to-face meetings and discussions keep us together as a community.”

With the pandemic legally defined as “force majeure” in Switzerland, the country’s Federal government has adopted ad hoc temporary measures to facilitate the organisation of General Assembly meetings for Swiss based associations like the FEI.

Under these special regulations, the FEI is permitted to hold its General Assembly electronically. Other large international gatherings, including next month’s IOC Session, will also be held online.

The FEI is currently considering a number of electronic solutions for running the General Assembly online and will communicate these to National Federations in due course

“While we are of course disappointed not to be able to hold the FEI General Assembly in South Africa this year, we appreciate the confidence that the FEI has shown to us by giving us the opportunity to host the General Assembly next year,” President of the National Federation of South Africa Adv Willem Edeling SC said.

“It will be the first time that an international equestrian gathering of this scale will be held in South Africa and we look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world to our world class meeting facilities. 2021 is the centenary of the FEI, and we feel privileged that our event will form part of the 100-year celebrations.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Lillie Keenan Captures First and Second in $24,999 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix

Lille Keenan aboard Cazaan. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 22, 2020 – The ESP June Spring Series concluded with a final day of Equitation competition on Wednesday, June 17, and four days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The feature class of the weekend was the $24,999 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix, which took place on the Derby Field Annex and saw a total of 36 exhibitors contest the track, designed by Andy Christiansen. Ultimately, it was New York, NY’s Lillie Keenan who came out on top, capturing both first and second place. Wearing the blue ribbon was Chansonette Farm LLC’s eight-year-old Cazaan who stopped the jump-off timers at just 41.674 seconds. Earlier in the class, Keenan piloted Agana Van Het Gerendal Z, also owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, to a 43.52-second finish for second place, while Hilary McNerney of Lake Forest, IL and her mount Captain Cooper secured third in 49.595 seconds. The only other pair to put in a double clear effort was Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL aboard Monica Carrera’s Lincourt Gino.

“I got Cazaan a little less than a year ago,” commented Keenan after her double win. “He is phenomenal, but we’ve never gone fast, so that’s something I’ve really tried to work on in these last three weeks. Sometimes I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I rarely really give the horses a chance to jump out of a gallop in the jump-off, I’m always trying to set them up too much. So, I really tried to use these few weeks here to push myself out of that comfort zone. Today I really asked everything of [Cazaan] and he completely delivered, so I couldn’t be happier. I’m very grateful for the ESP staff for making this happen because it’s an amazing setting for us to get a great experience with young horses and try some things.”

Originally, Keenan planned to return to her home state of New York after the winter season in Wellington, but had to change plans once the pandemic began. “We were going to go back so I could continue training with McLain Ward, but my home up there is right in New York City so it was a tumultuous time to go back there, and I’m glad we stayed. This series at PBIEC gave me the opportunity to grow in my own riding and push my younger horses. Normally these horses would never have had the opportunity to jump at this level on a grass field, so I think that’s a silver lining to all this and having these shows. I think it’s something we’ll consider for next year’s competition schedule as well.”

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

FEI Earns Top Tier Ranking in Key Global Governance Review

The FEI has welcomed its top tier classification in the Association for Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance review that was released this week.

The FEI joins the BWF (Badminton), FIFA (Football), ITF (Tennis), UCI (Cycling), and World Rugby as one of six International Federations that ASOIF said “stood out from the rest” after scoring between 170 and 187 points out of a possible 200 on a self-assessment questionnaire.

The International Federations were divided into groups based on their total score, with the top six all being placed in the A1 group, the highest classification that can be achieved. This is the third review conducted by ASOIF following similar governance audits in 2017 and 2018, and the first time that the performance of each International Federation has been made public.

“We are pleased to see these results which is testimony to the hard work we have undertaken over the years to ensure we have robust governance structures and practices in place,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“While governance is an evolving concept, the one constant is the public expectation that our organisations will be run to the highest standards. The sports community has the duty to ensure that this is done to the very best of our ability and there can be no shortcuts when working to instill and maintain best practice.

“The report’s findings are good news for us as the governing body for equestrian sport and we remain just as committed to regularly reviewing our internal procedures and to make changes when and where necessary.”

A total of 31 International Federations participated in the study which checked their governance structures against 50 measurable indicators covering five areas: Transparency, Integrity, Democracy, Development, and Control Mechanisms.

The questionnaire was slightly revised for 2019-20 to incorporate two new indicators on safeguarding and on data protection/IT security. An independent sports governance consultancy, I Trust Sport, reviewed the responses and moderated the scores through evidence-based evaluation.

The full report is available here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

FEI Tribunal Dismisses Athlete Appeals on Villeneuve-Loubet Decision

An appeal against the FEI decision to annul results from competitions held in France where Olympic and Longines Ranking points were on offer has been dismissed by the FEI Tribunal.

The appeals by Sri Lanka’s Mathilda Karlsson and Romanian athlete Andrea Herck, which were consolidated by the FEI Tribunal, resulted from the international governing body’s decision in February of this year to retrospectively remove six competitions from three FEI Jumping Events held in Villeneuve-Loubet in December 2019 and a further six competitions from three events at the same venue in January 2020.

The decision was based on the findings from an investigation launched by the FEI after concerns were raised about the integrity of these events. The investigation established that, contrary to the FEI Rules (Article 110.2.3 of the FEI General Regulations), two competitions counting for the Olympic and Longines Rankings were added at each of the three December 2019 events after the respective Definite Entries deadlines. The updated Schedules for these events were submitted by the French National Federation and were mistakenly approved by the FEI.

As a result, and in accordance with Article 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations, the FEI retrospectively removed these additional competitions, meaning that athletes who participated lost their ranking points from these competitions. The decision meant that the Olympic and Longines Rankings were updated, resulting in Mathilda Karlsson dropping from second to seventh in the Group G Olympic Rankings and Sri Lanka losing its Olympic individual quota slot.

Additionally, the FEI established that three of the six events at Villeneuve-Loubet in January 2020 also had two classes counting for Longines Rankings points added after the Definite Entries deadline, again contrary to the FEI Rules. As a result, these additional competitions were also removed retrospectively and athletes that participated lost their ranking points for these competitions. Andrea Herck’s appeal was based on the loss of Longines Ranking points following the removal of the additional competitions at Villeneuve-Loubet.

In its Final Decision, the Tribunal found that the integrity of the sport had been jeopardised and therefore ruled that “justified circumstances” existed which allowed the FEI Secretary General to make the decision to remove the competitions and annul the Olympic and Longines ranking points from these competitions.

The FEI Tribunal, which is an independent body, ruled that the FEI’s decision of 17 February 2020 to remove the competitions was “rightfully taken” and dismissed the appeals. Each party will pay their own costs in the proceedings.

“This is an important decision to ensure the integrity of the sport, and particularly the Olympic and Longines Rankings,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

The parties have 21 days from the date of notification (16 June 2020) to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The full Decision is available here.

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

Princes, Prima Donnas, and Proving Carl Wrong

(L to R) Nip Tuck, groom Alan Davies, and Carl Hester. (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

On his debut as a roving reporter, Shetland social media influencer Beachboy Jasper visits Carl Hester’s yard in Gloucestershire, England where he gets the lowdown on some of the inmates. His timing isn’t perfect because the big names have just gone hacking in the morning sunshine. But Bella the Broodmare is at home, and she’s more than pleased to show him around and spill the beans about some of the most popular personalities in the sport of Dressage….

“Don’t worry about the dogs,” says Bella, as I’m surrounded by at least a dozen of them jumping and barking with excitement. I’m not bothered because when you’re handsome, debonair, and sophisticated then being the centre of attention is all in a day’s work. But I get a bit of a fright when a flock of ferocious two-legged things come thundering towards me, led by a colossal beast with its tail-feathers fanned out and shrieking at the top of its head.

“Don’t worry about that lot either – it’s just peacocks and chickens and ducks and guinea fowl. There are so many attention-seekers around this place – it’s mad, to be honest!” Bella says with a giggle.

I compose myself as best I can while keeping a beady eye on the peacock that seems to be stalking me, and ask what life has been like over the last few months while most of us ponies and horses have had nowhere to go with competitions called off because of the people-virus? “Well Carlos Santana has been fussing about managing the finances and running the yard – all that ‘I’ve got staff and I’m responsible for so many people’ stuff y’know? But I reckon he’s enjoyed every minute of it. Anyway, he’s back teaching again this week so that’s keeping him quiet,” she explains.

It’s a lovely yard, and I peek over the door of the stable normally occupied by Valegro who, I’m told, is nearly as good a mover as myself. He’s won a few shiny things and people make a lot of fuss of him. At home he’s called Blueberry, so what is he like?

“A gentleman to his tippy-toes,” she says. “He never made a fuss about all the big wins he had, never bowed to the pressure or changed his personality; he’s always stayed humble, always helpful, and extremely happy to see everybody. He loves a good cuddle, especially from children. But boy [I knew there had to be a weak spot], does he like his grub!”

I’m admiring him even more now, sounds like my kind of chap. “Even the year he went to the Olympic Games in London (2012) and won double-gold, he couldn’t control his appetite.

“You’ve never seen anything like it; there’s nothing he doesn’t eat. He goes on and on about his diet and controlling his waistline, but he just can’t seem to stop himself!”

Bella can’t seem to stop herself either, now that she’s on a roll she wants to dish all the dirt. “Y’know, there are days when this nice lady called Tricia Gardiner comes to hack him out and the pair of them are gone for hours. Not because he’s doing any real work. No, it’s just that she’s not strong enough to hold him when he drags her into every hedgerow along the way so he can nibble the nice pickings. He comes back munching bits of twigs and sticks and branches and looking very pleased with himself every time – he’s unreal!”

Not what I was expecting to hear about the horse who has set more world records than most of us have had bran mashes, but you can tell that Bella really admires him. “Charlotte (Dujardin) rode him beautifully, and I think he was always grateful that Carl was there to help her handle the pressure at the big events. He achieved so much, and we’re all very proud of him here – Blueberry is a prince!” she insists.

However, she doesn’t feel quite the same about Mount St John Freestyle, the mare, also ridden by Charlotte, who brought home two medals from the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) 2018 in Tryon, USA and who won the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier at London Olympia (GBR) last season.

“Now there’s a bossy one,” says Bella with a bit of a growl. “She’s a right prima donna; it’s all about her; she wants everything and she wants it ‘now!’ She wants to be fed before everyone else, she wants to come in from the field when she wants to come in – not two minutes later, she only wants to go out if it’s nice and sunny because she doesn’t want to get wet or have a hair out of place even if it’s only slightly windy or rainy. She’s a bit annoying, if you ask me.…

“At least now she’s learned that she does actually have to do a day’s work. And OK, she’s good at it, but she’s been building up a bit of a fan-club and that’s just making her fancy herself even more. She’s a right one, I’m telling you!”

So I move on to ask about Nip Tuck, who I’ve heard is a bit of a character. “We call him Barney and, to be honest, he’s a head-case but a very sweet one. He’s part of the gang that go out in the field at night-time. There are 18 horses here and only eight live out at night… the ‘normal’ ones go out during the day and the daft ones at night so they can run the Grand National if they like, but at least they have their brains in their heads when it comes to working the following morning.”

It seems Bella has a big soft spot for Barney. “He’s hysterical; he’s tipped Carl off a good few times because he’s scared of his own shadow. He’s a big fellow and should be brave as a lion but instead he’s really spooky and scared of a mouse! I remember him telling me how he fell on Carl when he got a huge fright because a waiter dropped a tray as he was passing by at a show (at Aachen, Germany European Championships in 2015), but sure he’s done that here at home too. They were going out the gate at the end of the avenue one day and something scared him, and he went into reverse and knocked down the gate-pillars – mad stuff! And Carl came home from the Olympics in Rio (2016) with whiplash because he spun around during a test for no real reason at all – Barney couldn’t even explain it himself afterwards!”

But he took team silver at those Europeans in Aachen, and again at the WEG in Caen in 2014 and in Rio in 2016, so how did Barney manage to do all that if he’s such a scaredy-cat? “I think it’s because there were no big expectations of him. Carl used to say, ‘Barney will never do this, he’ll never do that, he’ll never be a championship horse, he’ll never do a Grand Prix, he’ll never get around that ring in Olympia.’ But he did all of those things because he tried really hard. He even won at Olympia which he says is the scariest arena in the world because the spectators are almost sitting on top of you. And he did it not once, but twice. In the end I reckon he did it all because he really enjoyed proving Carl wrong!” Bella says.

All this talk about working so hard is a bit exhausting. I ask the mare if it’s been boring having to #stayhome and not do very much over the last few months. “No, quite the opposite; we all had a really nice time, lots of freedom, lovely grass, sunny weather, sunbathing all day – it’s been dreamy actually,” she explains. So how is everyone feeling about getting back to work now that things are slowly starting again?

“Well we’ve got two completely different attitudes here. Charlotte is preparing like the Olympic Games might suddenly and miraculously come back to life this year even though we know they won’t be happening until next summer. She’s off to Hickstead in a few weeks for something called the Rotterdam Hickstead online challenge and she can’t wait.

“But Carl? Well he has no intention of putting himself under pressure until he absolutely has to. Charlotte doesn’t call him ‘Grandad’ for nothing you know….”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Aiken Summer Classic Wraps Up Successful Week I

After a long hiatus, the Classic Company kicked off Week I at the Aiken Summer Classic with sold-out stalls. “We are so happy to be back in the ring,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company. “We have implemented Covid-19 protocol geared to making the exhibitors’ showing experience the safest it can be,” he added. “We’ve added extensive, additional services in the office,” said Bell.

Daniel Geitner Sweeps $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix

As the first show back after the Covid-19 shutdown, Geitner made up for lost time bringing home four ribbons, including the blue with November Hill’s Vesta De Lavardin in Saturday’s $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Equisport Insurance Grand Prix, presented by EMO. “It was great to be back in the show ring,” he said. “We really missed it!”

Twenty-six entries competed over the course designed by Michel Vaillancourt and only eight of the horse and rider teams advanced to the jump off round.

“It was a nice class and a really well-designed course,” commented Geitner. “You want a third to a quarter of the class clean and Michel [Vaillancourt] hit that number. He [Vaillancourt] is so good; he’s an excellent judge of how tough and technical he can make the course,” said Geitner.

Geitner rode four of the eight jump-off qualifiers! His first ride, Cilia M, owned by November Hill, took two rails at the final combination for a combined 8 jump faults in a time of 35.580 seconds. “She was great, but she lost a shoe after the fourth jump and that kind of threw her off a bit. We all knew it would be a fast jump off and a tight turn to the final combination which gave some of us problems,” said Geitner.

Kyle Dewar of Ocala, Florida and his own Clever Van De Helle were next to tackle the course but the same combination earned him a four jump faults and he finished in 35.963 seconds.

Geitner returned to the arena, this time in the irons of his own Gigolo. The pair turned in a fault-free round in 36.662 seconds.

“He’s [Gigolo] a new mount for me and this is actually his first Grand Prix. I wanted to be quick enough but make sure I was clean and we accomplished that goal which put a little pressure on everyone after me,” he said.

Jamie Gibson of Ocala, Florida, in the irons of Lucky Horses, LLC’s Caddie R, followed in the order. The pair grabbed the same rail at the last combination for a total of four jump faults in a time of 35.521 seconds.

Hanna Toering of Waterford, Virginia and her own Balou Moon BHF followed in the order with four jump faults in a time of 37.515 seconds which would see them finish in seventh place.

Geitner returned with this third ride in the jump off, November Hill’s Vesta De Lavardin, and turned in another fault-free round in a time of 34.043, setting the new time to beat.

Geitner commented, “She’s [Vesta De Lavardin] is really fast and very experienced. I knew I could take some chances with her and the only person I needed to get pressure on at that time was Grant Seger. That’s her game going fast… she’s naturally quick and is as competitive as I am,” he said.

Grant Seger, also of Aiken, and his own Catogi followed Geitner and Vesta De Lavardin with a fault-free round, but their time of 35.327 would keep Geitner in the lead.

Geitner was last to go in the Grand Prix with Oak Ledge Farm’s Fazous. Four jump faults in a time of 34.425 seconds would earn them a fourth-place ribbon overall. “He’s [Fazous] a younger horse and I knew there were only three double cleans so I went as quick as I could, but knew that even with a rail I could still get a fourth,” Geitner commented.

The final results had Geitner awarded the blue ribbon with Vesta De Lavardin, third with Gigolo and fourth with Fazous as well as an eighth with November Hill’s Cilia M. Seger and Catogi earned second place as well as a tenth and eleventh with Hillary Drummond Sport Horses’ Idalgo and Grey Fox Crossing’s Cantucchini, respectively. Gibson finished in fifth place with Caddie R and Dewar earned a sixth place with Clever Van De Helle. Doug Payne finished in ninth with Jane Dudinsky’s Quintessence and Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama wrapped up the class in twelfth place with her own Vertigo Delorme.

For more results, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

True North Stables Returns Home to Begin Summer Show Season

Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius competing at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, MI. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.

Chicago, Illinois – When shelter-in-place orders were announced surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the True North Stables team made the decision to extend its time in Wellington, FL for the health and safety of its riders and horses. Now, as restrictions are beginning to ease, the True North team, led by trainer Caitlyn Shiels, has returned home to Illinois, and Shiels is eager to get back in the show ring.

“Staying in Florida [after the Winter Equestrian Festival] was not initially our plan, but it ended up working out well, given the circumstances,” explained Shiels. “Our horses were able to relax after a great winter season, and we were able to get to know a few new sales horses. Now, they’re all fresh and ready to get back in the ring, and we’re really excited to be back up north in Illinois!”

True North Stables will kick off its summer show season at the HITS Chicago Showplace Spring Spectacular III, to be held June 17-21, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL.

While there, True North will have several young horses available for trial; more information on the horses currently available can be obtained by emailing Shiels at inquire@truenorthstables.com.

Learn more by visiting www.TrueNorthStables.com.

Emily Randolph
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Letter from US Equestrian CEO Regarding Racism. Plus: Life as a Black Equestrian

The protests and political unrest ignited by the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis have dominated the news throughout the world and motivated hundreds of thousands – including many of our employees – to protest peacefully against racial injustice. This has been a difficult and emotional time, and we wanted to share with you the steps US Equestrian is taking to listen, learn, and do more.

Last Tuesday, US Equestrian participated in #BlackoutTuesday and issued the following statement:

We pause in solidarity and support of the black members of our community. We are committed to listening and learning from you. We hear you. We stand with you. We can and will do better. Black lives matter. #BlackoutTuesday

We are energized by the overwhelming amount of support from this community for Black equestrians and your desire for us to do more.

We believe it is important to be very clear: Black lives matter to US Equestrian. We stand firmly against racism and discrimination of any kind and are taking steps to further educate our staff and create a more inclusive and diverse community for all staff and participants.

  1. Educating ourselves is the first step. Going forward, every employee will be required to take Diversity and Inclusion training, as well as Unconscious Bias training, each year.
  2. Board approval and implementation of a US Equestrian Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement and Action Plan. Over the past several months, Ashley Swift, a dedicated member of our Communications Department, has been leading this work and her recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors at the Mid-Year Meeting. There will be opportunities for members and staff of US Equestrian to engage with and contribute to this program.
  3. Increased communication to members on US Equestrian’s commitment to do its part to fight against racism. This includes providing members with educational resources – including training on Diversity and Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias – and ways to work to end racism. We know we cannot do this alone, but we can – and will – do our part.

We understand this is an emotional and difficult time for many. Remember, US Equestrian paid fan and competing members have access 24/7 to a mental health first aid hotline at 1-800-633-3353. Please do not hesitate to reach out and take advantage of these free services.

Thank you all for your efforts to spread the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible, and for advancing our goal of increasing diversity in equestrian sport through an educated and open equestrian community.

Respectfully,
Bill Moroney
Chief Executive Officer
US Equestrian

Life as a Black Equestrian, by Camille S.

Originally Posted by The Hunt: An Equestrian Life & Style Blog

“I will admit I was nervous to sit down and write this. We live in a time where it seems like you are not only damned if you do, but damned if you don’t. Many are afraid to speak up out of fear. Uncertain if what they say will be correct, whether politically or otherwise, and how it may be perceived by others. Nonetheless here I am, to give the perspective of a young working student/exercise rider who is also biracial, black and white.”

READ MORE

Paul O’Shea Pilots Squirt Gun to Victory in $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix at ESP June I

Paul O’Shea and Squirt Gun. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 8, 2020 – The long-awaited ESP June Spring Series officially kicked off last week. It started with the ESP June Equitation Day on Wednesday, June 3, followed by four full days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The weekend culminated with the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix (plus $3,800 in add back money) on the Derby Field during which 59 competitors contested the track, and Paul O’Shea aboard Squirt Gun came out on top. O’Shea of Wellington, FL piloted Eye Candy Jumpers, LLC’s mount around the jump-off course to victory in just 44.726 seconds. “The field was fantastic. After all those rounds, the footing was still perfect,” commented O’Shea after the class. “It’s actually incredibly to get to jump out here. The horses always learn a lot out here because there’s just so much to look at. So, it’s a great opportunity.”

O’Shea and his team will continue competing in Wellington next week for the ESP June II show and then travel north: “After next week we’ll go up to Kentucky for Split Rock and then Tryon for the summer. That’s the plan at the moment. We’re certainly glad to be back competing again.”

Claiming second place was Wellington, FL’s Alberto Michan and his entry Cosa Nostra after crossing through the timers in 45.677 seconds. Emily Ward of the United Kingdom rounded out the top three once she completed the jump-off in 45.695 seconds aboard Millioninmind, owned by Stephen Barnes. The track was designed by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola and proved tough for many, as only 13 competitors made it to the second round.

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