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Interagro’s M Generation & More Debut under FEI 4* Judge Natacha Waddell

Fellini Interagro. Photo courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos.

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (October 15, 2019) – The shaded outdoor arena surrounded by a backdrop of Brazil’s tropical forests once again set the stage for Interagro’s young horses to strut their stuff. In the 2019 Interagro Dressage Rankings, a selection of young horses, aspiring FEI prospects, and seasoned Grand Prix competitors test their mettle under the watchful eye of experienced judges who bring fresh perspectives and constructive scoring to encourage development. On October 5th, FEI 4* judge Natacha Waddell evaluated a selection of Lusitanos including coming 4-year-olds from Interagro’s M Generation and one of Interagro’s newest breeding stallions in the 3rd Ranking of 2019.

Beginning with Interagro’s M Generation at Introductory and Training Level, one Interagro pair made their show debut together. One of the farm’s newest grooms, Vanderlei José, rode Mozarabe Interagro (Zingaro Interagro x Dolly Interagro) to a 67.250% at the Introductory Level (Beginners Level in Brazil). The coming 4-year-old gelding is the son of Zingaro Interagro, one of Interagro’s most promising and versatile young stallions and whose progeny has been long awaited in the show arena. Mozarabe’s uphill build, impressive stature, and exceptional temperament are a strong reflection of his sire’s abilities.

Mozarabe’s M Generation brethren also made their show debut, this time at Training Level and with Interagro’s established dressage rider Alexandre Souza in the saddle. Matutino Interagro (Profano Interagro x Abdera Interagro) stole the show, topping the class with a scoring a 72.115% in his first ever show. Mileto Interagro (Ditador Interagro x Callas Interagro) finished second with a 66.731%, while Mágico Interagro (Ditador Interagro x Cartomante Interagro) rounded out the class with a respectable 65.769%. Mágico and Mileto are the first competitive offspring and half-brothers from the stallion Ditador Interagro, a grey Lusitano by the renowned Ofensor (MV) who is noted for his exceptional movement, conformation, and talent.

“Watching the young horses and new riders progress is one of the most rewarding aspects of Interagro’s operation and Rankings,” said Head Trainer Martina Brandes. “Each pair is offered the opportunity to blossom and excel in a variety of situations, and it’s amazing to see the offspring of stallions and mares you’ve ridden and trained growing and learning.”

The L Generation stallions (coming 5-year-olds) Lord Interagro and Lavagante Interagro came out at First Level, with Johnny Miranda and Edmar Brito in the saddle. Lavagante and Brito bested Lord and Miranda with an impressive 70.781% to 67.031%. Lavagante’s progress during the Rankings is a perfect example of what Interagro’s Rankings strive to achieve: progressively increasing scores under different accredited judges. From his First Level debut at the first Ranking in April of 2019, his scores have progressed from 68+% to over 70%, including a score of 68.594% at the ABPSL’s Dressage Cup & 38th International Lusitano Show in May of 2019.

Another debutant, this time a breeding stallion, began his unofficial show career in the Ranking’s Third Level class, with Alexandre Souza at the reins. Jellicoe Interagro, a stunning, bright liver chestnut, scored a 67.179% in a test accented by his spectacular presence and elegant build. Jellicoe, while not for sale, is a promising young stallion set to begin his breeding career with the goal of infusing movement and modern type into the Interagro stock. His sire, Profano Interagro, is one of the most prolific and versatile currently standing at Interagro.

The Fourth Level and Small Tour classes during the 3rd Ranking were made up of a selection of Interagro’s top performers and international dressage competitors. Hanibal Interagro won the Fourth Level Test 1 with Edmar Brito, scoring a 65.811%. Second went to Ímpio Interagro and Alexandre Souza with a 64.459%. Incrível Interagro and Edmar Brito finished the class with a 63.649%. Moving to the Small Tour, established FEI competitor and breeding stallion Fellini Interagro won the Prix St. George on a score of 67.794% and with Edmar Brito at the reins, while Brito and Empreiteiro Interagro took second with a 63.529%. Finally, Interagro’s international Grand Prix breeding stallion, Zepelim Interagro, took Johnny Miranda to a score of 61.618% in the Medium Tour/Intermediaire A. Performing in simulation shows like the Ranking give Interagro’s day-to-day riders a feel for international competition and keep the horses fresh and accustomed to new situations.

The Waddell name is well known in Brazil, as the judge’s daughter, Sarah Waddell, is a decorated Brazilian dressage competitor. In 2018, she represented Brazil at the FEI World Equestrian Games held in Tryon, North Carolina. Securing top judges has been a key focus of the Interagro Dressage and Driving Rankings, with the goal of providing show standard critiques for the benefit of its horses and riders. Ms. Waddell commented that she “was very pleased to see Interagro’s horses and riders working so diligently and seriously. All of the riders were focused on the details of the tests, riding very well into the corners to prepare for the next movements.” She was also very impressed by how correctly trained Interagro’s younger horses were, and with the impressive results especially for the ones in their debut show, such as Matutino with over 72%.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

This Esme and Teddy the Shetland to Take Centre Stage at Olympia Live Zone

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is thrilled to announce the 2019 line-up for the hugely popular ‘Live Zone.’ Providing a unique opportunity for spectators to meet and interact with some of their favourite equestrian stars, this year’s Live Zone features online influencers as well as talks, Q&A sessions, and rider interviews.

Alongside the exclusive opportunity to meet elite equestrian athletes, the Live Zone will include guest appearances from social media sensations, including Esme Higgs, one of the world’s most popular equestrian influencers. Attending from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 December, Higgs is famous for her YouTube videos of her life with her ponies and donkeys and attracts 3.5 million viewers to her YouTube channel ‘This Esme’ each month.

Teddy the Shetland will be at Olympia on Thursday 19 December and Friday 20 December for a ‘meet and greet’ and photo opportunities. The miniature Shetland who has over 120,000 followers has become a social media superstar and has even been featured in a Dior photoshoot.

Show jumper Kate Lewis, who documents her equestrian journey under the name ‘Blob the Cob’, will be making her Olympia Live Zone debut on Thursday, 19 December. Known for her incredible bareback jumping videos, the 20-year-old from North Yorkshire has over 136,000 Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers.

This year the Live Zone will also see appearances from young eventing rider ‘Pony Nuts,’ Vic Brant, who writes the hugely popular online blog ‘Diary of a Wimpy Eventer’ and vloggers Tina Wallace and Emily Dunstan who make videos as ‘Life on the Left Rein’ and ‘EMD Eventing’. By popular demand, pony producer Megan Elphick of Elphick Event Ponies will be making her Live Zone debut with a Q&A session, answering questions about training tactics and the best confidence-building exercises for ponies.

Olympia’s Official Charity, The Tim Stockdale Foundation, will also be supporting the Urban Equestrian Academy on the Live Zone for Part II of the Olympia Riding Academy – the initiative started earlier this year with an educational trip to the Stockdale’s yard.

The complete 2019 timetable will be announced later this month and will also include top international competitors from show jumping, dressage, and driving as well as specialist equestrian experts, and other stars of the Show.

Olympia Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Olympia recognises the importance of digital bloggers and YouTube stars and we want to build unforgettable experiences for both our visitors and for those people who have such an influence on the equestrian community. The Live Zone at Olympia has been an incredibly successful initiative that brings fans and riders together. This year, it returns better than ever with an extensive list of guests.”

YouTuber ‘This Esme’ is one of the world’s largest equestrian social media stars. “Olympia is definitely one of my favorite times of year. I have been every year since I was 10 years old and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it! This year I’m really excited to be back in the Live Zone meeting my viewers and soaking up the special Olympia atmosphere.”

Taking place at Olympia Grand this December, Olympia, The London International Horse Show attracts the world’s best riders and carriage drivers. The West Kensington venue will host seven days of top-class equestrian competition between 16-22 December, thrilling visitors from around the country. Alongside three FEI World Cup legs in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Carriage Driving, 90,000 spectators will also enjoy international performances from The Household Calvary Musical Ride and Jean-Francois Pignon’s new ‘Black and White’ display.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Extends Dates and Adds Prize Money

Madison Nirenstein and No Doubt Im Trouble, 2018 Amateur Showmanship at Halter circuit champions. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – Oct. 4, 2019 – Save the date! Back for its next chapter, the popular Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will return to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds better than ever thanks to the growing popularity of the event. Due to an increase in exhibitor interest, the horse show has added an extra day of competition, with the 2019 installment beginning Friday, December 27 and concluding Tuesday, Dec. 31, and the prize money pot has increased to $50,000 shared between both the Gold Coast and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuits. Over the course of five days of competition in five rings, Quarter Horses and Paints of multiple disciplines will demonstrate their skills to celebrate the excellence and versatility of the breeds.

In 2018, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit was again named one of the top 10 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows in the country, this time successfully operating as the sixth largest AQHA show in the nation. Approved by the AQHA, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), the competition is consistently one of the highest-ranked events of its caliber, and attracts exhibitors from coast to coast. The 2018 installment saw competitors from as far away as New Hampshire, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, and Colorado.

Under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production, the 2018 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit showcased more than 11,000 total entries in 2018, up from the 2017 event. Of that incredible total, 8,450 horses represented AQHA entries, while the remainder consisted of non-AQHA exhibitors. In 2019, the show is excited to feature leveled HUS and WP to enhance its new schedule, plus new jackpots paid on circuit points. No additional entry fee is required, and each class will be paid after the Circuit and Reserve Circuit award winners are determined.

In addition to serving as the ideal setting to welcome in the new year, exhibitors can expect a number of much-anticipated improvements highlighted by some of the best all-weather footing in the country, as well as extensive and well-planned drainage systems installed in all of the outdoor rings at the Florida State Fairgrounds to ensure perfect footing regardless of the conditions. The state-of-the-art facility further offers ample riding and lunging spaces.

With five days of competition under numerous judges, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit presents exhibitors with opportunities to earn valuable year-end points and exciting prizes in the beautiful Florida weather. There is also a multitude of activities outside of the show as the Florida State Fairgrounds sits in close proximity to all of the major theme parks and provides easy access to various beach and fishing sites.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Media Contact: Elaine Wessel
(561) 753-3389 | ew@phelpsmediagroup.com

Oliver Townend Takes Over Eventing World Number One Slot

Oliver Townend. (FEI/Libby Law)

Oliver Townend (GBR) has returned to the head of the FEI Eventing World Rankings, with former girlfriend Piggy French making it a British one-two and relegating New Zealand’s Tim Price (NZL), who has held the top spot for the last four months, to third place.

This is the third time that Townend has been world number one, having featured in both 2018 and in 2009. The 37-year-old has won team gold at three editions of the FEI Eventing European Championships, at Pratoni del Vivaro 2007 (ITA), Fontainebleau 2009 (FRA), and Strzegom 2017 (POL).

2019 has been a stellar year for the hard-working Yorkshireman, who won team silver at last month’s FEI Eventing European Championship in Luhmühlen (GER) and also claimed victories at Lexington CCI5* (USA), Burnham Market CCI4* (GBR), and the Irish CCI3* in Ballindenisk.

Piggy French (GBR), this year’s Badminton winner and runner-up at Burghley, is now within 50 points of the top spot, having moved up from third to second place, with former world number one Tim Price (NZL) dropping to number three in the rankings.

Big movers in this month’s FEI World Eventing Rankings are Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE) from 35th to 13th place, Pippa Funnell (GBR) from 47th to 14th, Tomoto Kazuma (JPN) from 29th to 15th, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) from 33rd to 16th, Peter Flarup (DEN) from 91st to 22nd, and Sarah Bullimore (GBR) from 43rd to 25th.

With the final team quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on offer at the FEI Nations Cup™ fixture in Boekelo (NED) next weekend, and plenty of other Eventing action over the next month, more changes in the ranking list can be expected.

View full FEI World Eventing Rankings here.

About Oliver Townend

Townend started riding aged seven and came to prominence after making his international debut for Team GB in 2005 at the FEI European Championships Eventing in Blenheim (UK).

2009 was a sensational year for him, with CCI4* (now CCI5*) wins at Badminton (GBR) and Burghley (GBR). He reclaimed his Burghley title in 2017, and the following year he won the CCI4* in Lexington (USA).

He has also flown the flag for Great Britain at two FEI World Equestrian Games™, at Aachen 2006 (GER) and Normandy 2014 (FRA).

FEI media contacts:

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

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

Roberto Daza Claims Another $10k Lactanase 1.35m Open Stake Victory aboard Sissi Dior

Roberto Daza aboard Sissi Dior. ©Anne Gittens Photography.

Wellington, FL – October 1, 2019 – This past weekend marked the end of the ESP Summer Series and another big win for Roberto Daza of Royal Palm Beach, FL at the ESP Rita & Irish Memorial competition. Daza rode Fernanda Dib Gabriel’s Sissi Dior to victory in Sunday’s $10,000 Lactanase 1.35m Open Stake, after completing the jump-off in just 38.9 seconds. Carlo Graziani of Loxahatchee, FL took home second place after his performance aboard his entry Erato M, crossing through the timers in 42.885 seconds and with one fault added to the score. Completing the jump-off with a faster time of 38.093 seconds but with four faults total was Samuel Parot of Wellington, FL riding Parot Horses LLC’s I & H Boogy Woogy to win the third-place ribbon.

Both the fourth and fifth place positions were captured by Diego Perez Bilbao of Wellington, FL. Perez Bilbao piloted Zera 23, owned by Victoria Vargas D’Agostino, through the jump-off in 40.116 seconds and with eight faults to secure fourth place, while his own Helios finished round one in 86.678 seconds and with two faults to take home the pink ribbon. Hector Loyola was the course designer once again for Sunday’s feature class which saw a total of 19 horse-and-rider pairs contest the 1.35m track.

To view full results of the Lactanase 1.35m Open Stake, please click here.

To learn more, please visit www.pbiec.com.

2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Scholarship Recipients Named

Avery Glynn. Photo by McCool Photography.

Washington, D.C. – The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund will honor Avery Glynn, 17, of Chilmark, CA; Emma Fletcher, 17, of Buzzards Bay, MA; and Taylor Griffiths, 17, of Wellington, FL with the prestigious 2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Washington International Horse Show Equitation Scholarship. The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) runs October 22-27, 2019, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF) is returning for its third year as the title sponsor of the WIHS Equitation Finals. In 2017 LMCF developed the WIHS Equitation Scholarship to recognize the talent, dedication, and hard work of junior riders who compete throughout the year in the hopes of qualifying to participate in the WIHS Equitation Finals.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the incredible riders who have both applied for and received the WIHS Equitation Scholarship. Last year, we expanded the number of scholarship recipients and this year we will continue that growth by honoring three recipients,” said Lindsay Maxwell, founder of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “The selection committee was impressed by the caliber of applicants this year, and we are thrilled to honor these three young women at the WIHS Equitation Finals.”

Maxwell continued, “The future of our sport depends on young riders like Avery, Emma, and Taylor, who have continually displayed their dedication to our sport, animal welfare, and their local communities.”

“In the third year of the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals Scholarship program, the WIHS team is beyond impressed by the quality of the applications and the remarkable talent and commitment of these three young competitors,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “We are ever grateful for the increasing generosity and expanded commitment of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund to this special, one-of-a-kind program.”

In addition to the honors attendant to this accolade, the scholarship will cover expenses such as travel and lodging for the rider and parent, the show’s entry and application fees, equine transportation and stall fees, and special VIP hospitality access. Now in its 28th year, the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals is a rigorous three-phase competition held over two days. A panel of three judges test and evaluate the riders in hunter, jumper, and work-off rounds to determine the best of the best.

Former Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals champions include former world No. 1 ranked rider Kent Farrington and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward.

Invitations to compete in the annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals are sent to the top 40 junior riders based on points earned during the year-long qualifying period.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

For more information on event schedule and special ticket offers and discounts, visit WIHS.org/tickets.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Phenomenal Horsepower Propels London Knights to 2019 GCL Championship Victory

Ben Maher and Explosion W. Photo by GCL/Stefano Grasso.

New York, NY – The power pairings of Explosion W and Ben Maher and Clooney 51 and Martin Fuchs propelled London Knights to victory in the GCL New York and the overall 2019 Championship with drama until the final seconds.

Four flawless clear rounds were delivered by the unbeatable Knights who secured a historic second GCL title win after a rollercoaster season saw their duel with St. Tropez Pirates dominate the team series this year.

The Knights finished three points ahead of St. Tropez Pirates, with a total of 326 points this year. Madrid in Motion secured third in the Championship with 303 points, with the Shanghai Swans just hanging onto their fourth place, meaning they too will fast-track to the semi-finals at the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Playoffs.

The dramatic backdrop of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty provided one of the greatest stages for top-level show jumping as the world’s top riders and horses competed in the LGCT and GCL Finals for the first-time ever on Governors Island.

New Yorkers and visitors to the City filled the grandstands and cheered on the teams including home city team New York Empire, owned by Georgina Bloomberg who was watched by her father and former New York Mayor Michael.

Among guests were tennis ace Andre Agassi, supermodel Christy Turlington, and fashion designer Donna Karan for the first ever LGCT event in New York.

It was all about big names, big views, and big guns as the Knights fielded their top horses in their bid to seize the GCL Championship.

“For me, I’m biased but I have an incredible horse. To team up like this is a unique concept, where can you bring these kinds of horses together from different countries and compete like this. It was memorable day that’s for sure.

I’ve been to New York a couple times before to visit. It’s an incredible city. I don’t think anyone was sure what to expect. But, when we came here, like Global Champions does, they make the logistics incredibly easy for the grooms and the horses. The accommodations and how we are all looked after is five star. For the first year, I think the show is a huge success. There were big crowds here; it was well advertised and when I came out of the ring there were many people saying they enjoyed the day so hopefully this will grow.” ~ Ben Maher

City of Dreams Delivers as Maher Takes 2019 LGCT Title in New York

It was ‘game, set, and match’ after Ben Maher (GBR) wrote history aboard Explosion W in an extraordinary Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of New York, taking the LGCT Grand Prix win and the 2019 Championship title just hours after helping to secure the GCL team series crown for the London Knights.

In the city that never sleeps it would turn out to be a superlative showdown with a script that sporting dreams are made of. With spectators filling the rafters of the grandstand and positioned in every inch of space, the equestrian world watched as the knife-edge Championship reached its conclusion on Governors Island.

Devos (BEL) lead the overall ranking by just one point, but with pressure reaching fever pitch it was Ben Maher (GBR) who kept a cool head in a seven-rider jump-off to catapult himself to the title win – his second after taking the 2018 Championship.

A beaming Ben said: “I knew it would be a tough weekend – the dream was to win the team [title] and the individual. It doesn’t happen often. What a horse – he’s incredible. He understands me, I understand him, we have a great connection, and it’s a pleasure to be in the sport like this.

“It’s incredible [to win the title for a second year running]. Last year was unexpected; this year I’ve used Explosion a little less; I’ve used Concona, Madame X and F One USA, so I’m lucky to have so many great horses and great owners.”

In a touching sporting moment, Maher praised his rival Pieter Devos, who was just beaten into second place in the Championship. “[Pieter] gave a great fight; it was a push all the way to the end. I’m sure he’s going to come back strong.”

More info: www.gcglobalchampions.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Championship Decider on Knife Edge as Knights Take Pole in New York

Ben Maher of the London Knights aboard Explosion W. Photo by GCL/Stefano Grasso.

New York, NY – In a script worthy of the Broadway stage, GCL New York Round 1 saw the London Knights claim pole position – propelling themselves back into the 2019 title fight as Saturday’s Championship decider rests on a knife edge.

London Knights’ formidable combination of Martin Fuchs with Clooney 51 and Ben Maher aboard Explosion W blew away the competition in a jaw-dropping class, taking pole position and every advantage possible heading into Saturday’s showdown.

However, just one rail away after the results are the current ranking leaders St. Tropez Pirates, with Pieter Devos and Dani G. Waldman collecting just 4 faults in the complex class to put them within touching distance of a podium – and the Championship title.

In a drama-fueled day, the Shanghai Swans – who were placed second in the overall rankings so far – were eliminated from the competition after Peder Fredricson and Zacramento unexpectedly parted ways during the first round of action. Their elimination would mean the team cannot improve on their score, dropping the Swans out of contention for the title.

Martin Fuchs spoke after their round: “It helped that we have two of the best horses in the world and are in great shape, so it’s a great start. My horse Clooney is in the best shape he’s ever been now.”

Teammate and team manager Ben Maher revealed the team’s tactics: “Martin and I sat down and we had a plan this week. We have our two best horses here, and it’s the first time we’ve teamed them up together.”

But the experienced British Olympic gold medalist remained clear-headed: “One minute you can be winning, the next you can be out, and every score counts. We’ve come with one of the best teams possible this weekend to put pressure on the others, so we’ll hope to produce more clear rounds tomorrow.”

Constant van Paesschen Dazzles in LGCT New York Opener

Victory was sweet for Belgium when Constant van Paesschen and his striking 10-year-old black stallion Vendetta Treize took top call in the opening event of the inaugural Longines Global Champions Tour New York. Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (ESP) claimed the runner-up position riding F, while Abdel Saïd (EGY) rounded out the top-three podium finishes on Axel 111 Z.

With his mount’s owner and breeder, Amandine Wittouck, watching from the sidelines, van Paesschen posted a blistering clear over Uliano Vezzani’s (ITA) opening CSI5* track. Of the round, he touted: “The horse jumped very well and it’s a very nice feeling to win. I wanted to try and leave one out somewhere, but I saw that it wasn’t coming up like I wanted so I stuck to the plan. The horse really tried, and I was crossing my fingers!

“To realize [an event] at this venue is unbelievable,” continued van Paesschen of the latest breathtaking addition to the LGCT circuit on Governors Island in New York, NY. “We have been riding all year in unbelievable locations, but this one stands out.”

Panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty provided a quintessential backdrop for the first day of competition at the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York and the riders rose to the test.

More info: www.gcglobalchampions.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Wheatland Farm and Marie Vonderheyden Named as Finalists for FEI Awards 2019

Lausanne, Switzerland – The Fédération Équestre International (FEI) has released the list of finalists for the FEI Awards 2019, which includes United States Equestrian Federation/U.S. Para-Equestrian Association Para-Dressage Center of Excellence Wheatland Farm in the FEI Solidarity category and U.S. para-dressage rider Marie Vonderheyden in the FEI Against All Odds category. Public voting to help determine the winners closes Monday, October 7. Category winners will be honored at the FEI Awards Gala on November 19, hosted during the 2019 FEI General Assembly in Moscow, Russia.

Public voting will count towards 50% of the overall selection for each category. Click here to VOTE NOW.

Wheatland Farm, founded by Mark and Muriel Forrest, is one of only nine USEF/USPEA Para-Dressage Centers of Excellence and is a leading member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), providing therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities and therapeutic programs. As a Center of Excellence, Wheatland Farm is instrumental in providing educational and developmental opportunities for para-dressage athletes and coaches in the United States, offering services which include classification, trainer/coach identification, and sport opportunities, as well as programs in both human and equine sports science and medicine. Wheatland Farm has remained heavily involved with the U.S. Para-Dressage Program and serves as an important touch point between the Developing and High Performance teams and the therapeutic riding community.

“We are honored and humbled to be shortlisted for such a wonderful award. Wheatland Farm’s mission is to provide healing and hope through an excellent, world-class adaptive sport program that is inclusive of all equestrians,” said Muriel Forrest, co-founder of Wheatland Farm. “We are grateful for the support of US Equestrian, who together with the United States Para-Equestrian Association, are providing amazing support for para-equestrian sport, and we are honored to be a Center of Excellence for them in that capacity. We believe that this nomination will help to raise national and global awareness of para-equestrian sport in general and para-dressage, in particular. Thank you to the FEI for considering Wheatland Farm, and we humbly ask our friends in the equestrian community and the general public to lift up para-equestrians by voting for Wheatland Farm.”

Marie Vonderheyden, the only U.S. athlete nominated for this year’s awards, suffered a devastating riding accident in 2015, which led to medical professionals placing her in a medically induced coma for seven weeks. When she awoke, her family was informed that the regulatory part of her brain controlling personality and speech was irreparably damaged and her chances of walking again were slim. She showed tremendous perseverance throughout the recovery process, in which she re-learned how to swallow, the alphabet, colors, emotions, and balance. She reconnected with horses through therapeutic riding rehabilitation and progressed from there, ultimately learning how to ride again without assistance. She competed in her first para-dressage competition in 2019 and has intentions of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Marie’s commitment and determination to return to the saddle is truly inspiring.

“A friend of ours submitted Marie’s story. We’re just amazed and so thrilled. We’re very humbled. We have so much thanks and appreciation for the people supporting and promoting Marie,” said Cecile Vonderheyden, Marie’s mother. “This is going to help us tremendously in our quest for Marie to go further in this sport and to help her accomplish her goal of competing at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.”

About the FEI Awards
Launched in 2009, the FEI Awards have celebrated the champions of the sport both on and off the field, inspiring individuals and organizations from all over the world. The nominated categories presented at the FEI Awards Gala are the Longines FEI Rising Star, Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete, Cavalor FEI Best Groom, FEI Against All Odds, and the FEI Solidarity award.

More about the FEI Awards here: https://www.fei.org/awards/about.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Sir Anthony McCoy and Bridget Andrews to Captain the Teams at Olympia’s Star Studded ‘Race Night’

Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy OBE and Bridget Andrews have been confirmed as the team captains for the 2019 edition of the Markel Jockeys Jumping, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Returning for another electrifying year, the legendary ‘Race Night’ will thrill the audience of Olympia Grand with two star-studded teams, including the world’s top jockeys. Taking place on Friday 20 December 2019, spectators of the Show can expect nail-biting action as the teams battle it out for the Champions’ Crown.

Now in its fifth year, the Markel Jockeys Jumping, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, will see some of Britain’s world-class jockeys switch disciplines to compete in a relay show jumping competition, swapping the racetrack for the Olympia arena in front of a 7000 strong crowd. This year’s format will see an all girls’ team, captained by Bridget Andrews and including top names Bryony Frost and Hayley Turner, go head-to-head with an all boys’ team captained by 20-time champion jockey, Sir Anthony McCoy.

Bridget Andrews, who recorded her first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2018, is one of the best female jump jockeys in the UK. Joining her will be Bryony Frost, who earlier this year became the first woman to win a Grade One race over fences at the Cheltenham Festival. Hayley Turner OBE will also join the all girls’ team. Hayley is a multiple Group One-winning jockey with over 800 career wins, making her the most successful female flat jockey of all time in Britain. This year she became the first woman for 32 years to win a race at Royal Ascot.

Joining Sir Anthony McCoy will be former flat champion jockeys, Ryan Moore and Jim Crowley. Harry Skelton will also be returning in hope of defending his title in rather less dramatic circumstances, following a bridle malfunction in the 2018 event. The final line-up of remaining members will be announced at a later date.

Captain of the boys’ team, AP McCoy, said: “The atmosphere at ‘Race Night’ is electric and I love being a part of the Markel Jockeys Jumping. I’m looking forward to once again showing the girls how it’s done! In addition to all the fun, it shines a light on all the great work the Injured Jockeys Fund do in both the racing world and across the wider equestrian community.”

Juliet Redfern, Head of Equine Insurance at Markel, said: “Markel is delighted to be continuing its support of this fabulous event, which just seems to get more popular every year. The Injured Jockeys Fund is a wonderful charity, that looks after its own so well, and we couldn’t be happier to be returning to Olympia for a fifth year!”

Taking place in the iconic Olympia Grand this Christmas (16-22 December), Olympia, The London International Horse Show is a highly anticipated equestrian event which attracts the best riders and drivers from around the world. The week of equestrian action will see many of the world’s best athletes travel to the iconic Olympia venue, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Carriage Driving, and Show Jumping.

Spectators can also look forward to entertainment from The Shetland Pony Grand National, Kennel Club Dog Agility, and the festive extraordinaire: the Christmas Finale. The 2019 edition of the event will open its doors to two international displays including the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, performing its Musical Ride at this year’s Show. Made up of 28 horses and 36 mounted ceremonial service members – who also serve as fighting soldiers – the Musical Ride is unique across the globe, as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British military tradition. Horse Whisperer, Jean-François Pignon, will be debuting his ‘Black and White’ display for the first time in front of a UK audience. Adding to an already impressive line-up of displays, Pignon’s performance, which comprises six white and two black mares, is bound to be a crowd pleaser as he wows the crowds with his unique skills.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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