Category Archives: Equinium Sports Mktg.

Olympian Ben Maher Tops LGCT Grand Prix of London

Maher and Explosion W (Photo courtesy of Stefano Grasso)

Rome, Italy (August 16, 2019) – Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher’s show jumping prowess has been the subject of championship stories at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the 2012 London Games, and numerous international competitions around the globe. On the famed Longines Global Champion Tour (LGCT) circuit, Maher has consistently topped its destination events over the past two years, and this summer was victorious not only in his nation’s capital of London while representing the home team London Knights, but is well positioned to reclaim his 2018 LGCT Champion of Champions title for 2019.

Maher kicked off the 2019 LGCT season with a second-place finish aboard his anchor KWPN stallion, Explosion W (Chacco Blue x Untouchable), in the LGCT of Doha. Subsequent top finishes for Maher and teammates on the London Knights in Stockholm, Sweden and Casais/Estoril, Portugal further cemented their prestige in the LGCT ranks. From August 2nd to 4th, Maher truly proved his star power, winning the LGCT Grand Prix of London and skyrocketing both himself and his team to top rankings in the tour and league. In a four-horse jump-off and aboard Explosion W, Maher edged out Shane Sweetnam aboard Alejandro and Darragh Kenny aboard Classic Dream to take the win on a time of 38.98. It was double gravy for Maher, who won not only for his home team, the London Knights, but also in his nation’s capital.

Following the LGCT in London and the subsequent LGCT Valkenswaard, Maher sits perfectly poised to pounce at future destinations and be named the 2019 LGCT Champion of Champions for the second year in a row. Maher no doubt has his sights set on further victories and ultimately Tokyo 2020.

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FEI 4* Judge Evaluates Interagro’s Top Dressage Lusitanos at 2nd Ranking

Zepelim Interagro and Johnny Miranda.

Itapira, SP, Brazil (August 12, 2019) – International caliber Lusitano dressage competitors came under the watchful eye of FEI 4* Judge Claudia Mesquita during the 2nd Interagro Dressage Ranking of 2019, held on July 31. With the backdrop of Interagro’s 1,300-acre stud farm and training facility, Ms. Mesquita delivered her scores and comments to Interagro’s 3 riders and 11 horses, which represented both young horses from Interagro’s H, I, and L Generations as well as established FEI competitors and breeding stallions. Interagro’s head trainer, Martina Brandes, also oversaw the combinations’ preparations and training leading into the ranking.

Interagro’s L Generation, the youngest group currently showing and competing under saddle, included Lord Interagro and Laertes Interagro, who with riders Johnny Miranda and Alexandre Souza, took first and second in the Training Level. Leucon Interagro and Luca Interagro, coming 5-year-old L Generationals, finished first and second in the FEI 4-Year-Old Division with Souza at the reins. The fourth and final L Generation stallion, Lavagante Interagro, took Edmar to the win at First Level.

Moving up the levels and up the generations, coming 7-year-old Ímpio Interagro and Alexandre Souza conquered Third Level, demonstrating the bay gelding’s balance and impulsion. Edmar Brito and the exceptionally modern Hanibal Interagro took the win at Fourth Level. Hanibal’s elegance, height, active hindleg, and freedom of the shoulder, as well as his exceptional bloodlines, have made him one of Interagro’s top breeding stallions.

At the FEI level, a number of Interagro’s internationally successful competitors who also double as top producing breeding stallions put hoof to dressage arena. Edmar Brito rode stallions Zíngaro Interagro, Empreiteiro Interagro, and Fellini Interagro to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Small Tour (Prix St. Georges) in a showcase of Interagro’s breeding and competitive talent. Zingaro, a stunning black stallion with presence and a willing, unflappable temperament, is one of Interagro’s most important and influential studs as well as a top competitor in dressage and working equitation. Empreiteiro’s talent for collection, easy-going attitude, and enjoyment of his work has been evident during each of Interagro’s Rankings. Finally, Fellini Interagro, who debuted internationally in the Small Tour at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, represents a blending of two of the most proven and decorated dressage bloodlines in Interagro’s breeding program (Nirvana Interagro x Ofensor (MV)).

To cap off the FEI levels during the 2nd Ranking, Johnny Miranda rode Zepelim Interagro to the win in the Medium Tour / Intermediaire A. Zepelim, who competed in the Medium and Large Tour during the 2016 and 2018 Global Dressage Festival and is a highly decorated Brazilian competitor, is a Grand Prix level stallion who epitomizes all the presence, movement, temperament, and rideability that has defined Interagro’s breeding program.

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

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Amy Speck-Kern & Zenanta Debut First FEI Grand Prix at White Fences

Photo courtesy of Equinium.

Loxahatchee, FL (August 1, 2019) – The first official Grand Prix is a defining moment in any dressage horse’s career. The relatively quiet test is usually the result of buckets of tears and sweat, sleepless nights, endless training, and a significant emotional investment on the part of the rider; this was the case for Amy Speck-Kern of Excel Dressage as this July she and her bay KWPN mare Zenanta (Krack C x Ferro) hit that important milestone, debuting their Grand Prix at the White Fences Summer Fun II held at White Fences Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee, Florida. Just a few weeks later, the pair logged a qualifying score at a second Grand Prix outing during the Wellington Classic Dressage Tropics I & II held at the Global Dressage Festival Stadium.

After debuting the Prix St. Georges just two years before, the high powered Zenanta’s piaffe-passage and tempi changes were the highlight of her test, and despite a few typical mistakes for a first Grand Prix, Speck-Kern was thrilled with her performance. Under the guidance of Olympian Ali Brock, Excel Dressage’s founder has been training Zenanta since her first days under saddle. Exceptionally athletic and sensitive, Zenanta’s Grand Prix debut has been an eagerly anticipated moment for the Excel Dressage team, and is the second horse Speck-Kern has trained from young horse through the Grand Prix.

“Zenanta, or Z as we call her, has come a long way in terms of balance, trust, and strength,” said Speck-Kern. “Ali and I have really strived to build a training plan to best match her personality and play to her strengths. Reducing tension and encouraging relaxation without losing her spectacular movement has been the ultimate goal. Despite a few easily corrected errors in our first official Grand Prix, it was a very successful debut.”

Speck-Kern and Zenanta’s second Grand Prix during the Wellington Classic Dressage Tropics I & II reflected a steady improvement, with Zenanta gaining even more confidence and consistency in the more trying moments of the test. Ali Brock, who has been coaching Speck-Kern for the past year and half, was also pleased with Zenanta’s performance: “Very respectable first outing,” said Brock, 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist for the USA. “Now Zenanta needs to get mileage at this level. I think she will be very confident at the Grand Prix within the next year and I’m excited to watch their progression!”

Going into August, Zenanta gets a well-deserved break from training in the Florida heat while Speck-Kern travels to Old Salem, New York to coach working student Katie Teehan and Zinca as they compete in the 2019 Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championship presented by Gotham North. Teehan is a working student for Excel Dressage and Stal Hoog, both located in the Deer Run community of Loxahatchee.

For more information on Amy Speck-Kern, Excel Dressage, or its services, visit www.ExcelDressage.com or call 414 550 1176.

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Kevin Babington Sweeps $100,000 Great American Grand Prix at Lake Placid

Kevin Babington and Shorapur (Photo courtesy of The Book LLC)

Lake Placid, NY (July 12, 2019) – Olympian Kevin Babington took peak performance to a new level this Sunday in Lake Placid, where he achieved a rare Grand Prix hat trick. In what he described as a major highlight of his career, the Irishman finished first, second, and third on three of his horses for a clean sweep of the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix. Babington piloted Shorapur (33.212 seconds), Super Chilled (35.436 seconds), and Mark Q (38.430 seconds) to the top three spots out of 64 entries, marking his fourth Grand Prix win in Lake Placid.

“I’ve been pinching myself ever since my last round. I never would have foreseen something like this happening,” said Babington. “My horses have been in really good form and I was hoping for a couple of good rounds, but if someone had wanted to bet me that I’d be one-two-three, I never would have taken the bet. I think I had the luck of the Irish with me. Shorapur had a really hard rub at the third-to-last fence of the first round and easily could have had it down. She’s the fastest of my three horses and normally I’d prefer to have her go last; but since she was first, I decided to go for broke and it all just played out beautifully after that.”

2019 George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Champion and defending 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion Sam Walker was once again a top contender, winning two major classes on Sunday after securing the $7,500 Chevrolet Low Junior Jumper Classic on Saturday. Walker won the Kathy Scholl Equitation Classic presented by Kate Levy & Family for the second consecutive year, then topped a field of 34 horses with two fault-free rides on Gidora S in the $10,000 Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

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Turf Tour Crowns Kenny & Tynan in Final Show of 2019

Darragh Kenny and Sweet Tricia (Photo courtesy of Equinium)

Wellington, FL (April 1, 2019) – Friday at Black Watch Farm wrapped up one of the most successful seasons of Turf Tour competition yet, with more than 50 horses competing in the $18,000 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix and the Leading Open Rider driving away in a new custom golf cart courtesy of Iron Horse Transit. The day’s competition featured two arenas and full divisions, including .80m – 1.40m, Junior/Amateur Owner/Amateur, High Child/Adult, and Low Child Adult classes, in addition to the weekly Turf Tour Grand Prix and Rising Star Classic. Founded and designed by Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the Turf Tour’s vision to provide picturesque show jumping for all levels of riders was epitomized in the 2019 Finale. For those looking for one more event during the 2019 Florida season, The Ridge at Wellington will host a final Schooling Show at their home farm April 6-7.

The Finale Grand Prix was a fitting testament to the Turf Tour’s goals of preparing horses and riders for the next level of competition. Designed by Jamie Morillo of Ecuador, the 17-obstacle course featured a number of questions to test both horse and rider, including S bending lines, a triple combination, a triple bar to a skinny vertical, and tight turns to long gallops in the jump-off. The Finale’s roster included such international and Olympic stars as Martin Fuchs, Laura Kraut, Hardin Towell, Sam Walker, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Ilan Bluman, and Conor Swail, with 11 first round clears and three double clear efforts. International Irish show jumper Darragh Kenny and SHL Sweet Tricia were the ultimate victors, with an early in the class jump off time of 45.270 that couldn’t be touched. Hardin Towell and Dubai held second for the majority of the class on 46.574 seconds, but eventually relinquished the runner up spot to Jenn Serek and Wicked, whose quick jump-off resulted in a time of 45.965. Serek was also awarded the Leading Lady Rider, and was presented with a selection of equestrian skincare products from Equestria Pro Sportif.

With multiple 2019 Turf Tour victories to his name, including back to back wins in the Grand Prix and Rising Star, Willie Tynan was crowned the 2019 Turf Tour Leading Open Rider for his accumulated points. His prize: a custom golf cart outfitted with his new title and presented by Iron Horse Transit, the official horse carrier of the 2019 Turf Tour. Tynan, who had a fantastic year with his two main horses, KEC Kris Kringle and KEC City Limits, said the Iron Horse golf cart was just the icing on the cake: “It really has been a wonderful season, and this prize is just an added bonus. I couldn’t be more impressed with my horses and the effort they put in this year, and thankful to my team, Nona and George, and Iron Horse Transit for their tremendous support of our sport and offering to provide such wonderful options for riders and horses during our time in Florida.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

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Holly Johnson
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Daniel Bluman and Cartouche Top 70+ Competitors in 1.30m Class at Turf Tour Finale

Daniel Bluman and Cartouche (Photo courtesy of RG Photo)

Wellington, FL (March 28, 2019) – It was a record-breaking day on the Turf Tour. Against the beautiful backdrop of Black Watch Farm, the first day of Finale competition welcomed more than 70 horses for the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic, the highest entries ever in a single class for the circuit.

Daniel Bluman, along with Stephen Bluman, Ilan Bluman, Marky Bluman, and their group of Bluman Equestrian riders, are familiar faces at the Turf Tour. Daniel was on top once again on Wednesday, winning the heavily attended Rising Star Classic with Cartouche, jumping off in 41.202 seconds. Second went to Adam Prudent and Vasco, racing through the timers less than a second behind Bluman’s time in 41.856. Bluman took third as well aboard Gemma W with a jump off time of 41.864.

With 22 horses jumping off and a range of riders from students to Olympians enjoying the spectacular field at Black Watch, the class epitomized the vision behind The Ridge’s Rising Star Classic series: “We wanted a class where horses and riders aspiring to the Grand Prix can really get a good idea of what to expect,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-founder of The Ridge at Wellington. “Obviously riders like Daniel Bluman, Laura Kraut, etc. already know, but maybe they have horses they’d like to develop toward goals like Spruce Meadows or Aachen. Similarly, maybe an amateur rider with a seasoned Grand Prix mount can learn the ropes without breaking the bank or over-facing themselves, or show on grass for the first time. That was the inspiration behind the Rising Star Classic, and the Turf Tour as a whole. Frequent entries from international and adult amateur riders at the Turf Tour over the years speak towards the need for stepping stone horse shows like the Turf Tour. And it doesn’t hurt when we have a stunning venue like Black Watch.”

To enter online and for full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Excel Dressage and Stal Hoog Celebrate Working Student Success at First Junior CDI

Katie Teehan. John Borys Photography.

Wellington, FL (March 26, 2019) – Excel Dressage’s working student Katie Teehan has taken the term ‘excel’ to new heights: this February she and her horse, Zinca, under the guidance of Excel’s Amy Speck-Kern, tackled her first Junior CDI during the Seventh Annual Youth Dressage Festival. She was the highest placed North American Junior rider all three days, finishing third in each class and third overall in her division. She then went on to win the Junior Team Qualifier and was second in the Junior Individual test this past weekend at AGDF 11, with scores over 68%. Only with Excel Dressage and its partner training center Stal Hoog since January 10th, Teehan’s impressive performance is also underscored by hard work, one of the main tenets of Excel Dressage.

New to the Junior level, Teehan first began training with Speck-Kern only a little over a month before her first time trotting down the Junior CDI centerline. She and Zinca, a 15-year-old Dutch mare (Kennedy x Freestyle), first took their skills to White Fences. Scoring a 70.7%, the pair was named the Junior High Point Rider of the show. At the CDI, they logged scores through 67%.

“Coming to work in Wellington for both Amy Speck-Kern and Katie Hoog has been a life changing experience,” said Teehan. “Not only has this job affected my riding, but it has also changed me as an individual. They have been such a positive influence on me as both an athlete and a person: always patient and positive in my training – I have learned so much. They have given me guidance that will help me reach my goal to succeed as a professional. Amy and Katie have also let me ride wonderful horses, and both of them helped me succeed in my first CDI. This was such an amazing experience to place 3rd overall in the junior division, and was one of the most exciting and fun shows I’ve ever competed in. I was thrilled to compete with riders from all over the globe, future professionals with amazing skills.”

The 16-year-old Wisconsin native’s mount, Zinca, has been part of her family since the summer of 2018. The 14-year-old KWPN mare done Intermediaire 1, and as a pair they have competed through the Prix St. George. Her experience at Excel Dressage and Stal Hoog has helped build their partnership. “It is very inspiring to help such a talented, hardworking, and motivated young athlete,” said Speck-Kern. “She exemplifies the qualities we need in the next generation of equestrians: she’s polite, honest, demonstrates good sportsmanship, and always puts her horse first.”

For more information on Amy Speck-Kern, Excel Dressage, or its services, visit www.ExcelDressage.com or call 414 550 1176.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
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holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Tynan Continues Domination in Sidelines Turf Tour Grand Prix

Willie Tynan and Dominique. RG Photography.

James Chawke Flies to Victory in Pegasus Laser Therapy Rising Star Classic

Wellington, FL (March 25, 2019) – The 2019 Turf Tour has been dominated by one rider this year: Ireland’s Willie Tynan. For the second week in a row, Tynan jumped to victory this time aboard Shannon Hughes’ speedy mare Dominique in Friday’s $15,000 Sidelines 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix, held on the gorgeous grass fields of Black Watch Farm. With his most recent Grand Prix win, Tynan snatches the cumulative points lead in the Turf Tour’s Grand Prix, 1.30m Rising Star, and 1.20-1.25m divisions and is poised to win the prize of a custom golf cart presented by Iron Horse Transit, the official horse carrier of the 2019 Turf Tour.

Due to a rainy forecast for Wednesday, the Turf Tour’s $5,000 Pegasus Laser Therapy 1.30m Rising Star Classic and the day’s full divisions of show jumping were shifted to Wednesday, where James Chawke and Chalan flew to victory over the course designed by Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios. Second went to Ilan Bluman and F. Brightwood Lynz, while Katherine Benard and Cap Diamond D’hof Ten Bos rounded out the top three. Designed to be a platform for young horses to build their skills towards the Grand Prix, the Rising Star was sponsored this week by Pegasus Laser Therapy, which provides pain reduction, encourages healing, and helps maintain peak condition in equine athletes.

Tynan and Dominique are known for their blazingly fast jump-offs, and Friday’s Sidelines Turf Tour Grand Prix proved no variation from their modus operandi. The second to last Turf Tour Grand Prix of the year featured 33 riders, which included iconic show jumping names as Ben Maher and Tic Tac. With a final time of 36.657, Tynan and Dominique edged out this week’s Rising Star champion, Ilan Bluman and F. Brightwood Lynz, by exactly one second; the pair finished on 37.657. Third went to Tynan again, this time aboard Fancy Girl, double clear in 37.703. Tynan now stands as the cumulative points leader in the Rising Star, Grand Prix, and 1.20-1.25m divisions going into the Turf Tour Finale March 27-29 at Black Watch, where all classes are worth double points towards the Iron Horse Transit custom golf cart.

To enter online and for full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Tynan and KEC City Limits Top Out Turf Tour Grand Prix

Willie Tynan and KEC City Limits (Photo courtesy of Romeo Ghete)

Wellington, FL (March 17, 2019) – Turf Tour Week 10 goes to Ireland’s Willie Tynan: after winning Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic with KEC Kris Kringle, he went on to win Friday’s $15,000 1.40 Turf Tour Grand with KEC City Limits. Tynan certainly seemed to be channeling the luck of the Irish leading into St. Patrick’s Day. With only two weeks to go, the Turf Tour is closing out strong in 2019 with back to back weeks at Black Watch Farm, which will include double points towards season prizes (which include a custom golf cart from Iron Horse Transit) and bumped up money in the Grand Prix during Finale week.

Tynan and KEC City Limits, who are known for their quick jump-offs, certainly proved their reputation against the class of 36 Friday afternoon at Carben Farms. Whisking into the lead on 34. 732, they overtook previous leader Alison Robitalle and Ginger Pop, who finished in second. Third went to Molly Ashe-Cawley and Adamo against a roster of jumpers such as Samuel Perot, Darragh Kenny, Ilan Bluman, and Hardin Towell. “Another great day for me and my horses on the Turf Tour,” said Tynan. “Happy to have such a placement in such a big class; my horses have been jumping exceptionally this year on the Turf Tour.”

To enter online and for full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Tynan Triumphs in Third Rising Star Classic

Willie Tynan and KEC Kris Kringle (photo courtesy of Romeo Ghete)

Wellington, FL (March 14, 2019) – For the third time this year, Ireland’s Willie Tynan topped the Turf Tour’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. Kicking off the third to last week of the thirteen-week series, Wednesday’s competition at the beautiful Carben Farms saw an amazing 47 horses try their hand over the Rising Star course designed by Leopoldo Palacios.

Tynan’s third to last trip with KEC Kris Kringle proved to be unbeatable, finishing on 36.843 seconds in the jump-off. Second went to March 22’s Turf Tour Grand Prix winner Taylor St. Jaques and Qantar Des Etisses with a 38.294 and third to Illan Ferder and Fascination with 41.987 seconds. “Kris Kringle and City Limits both have been jumping fantastic this year,” said Willie Tynan of the two horses he has been campaigning on the 2019 Turf Tour. “Jumping on the grass in always a nice change and gives the horses a break from one sand arena after another. Both are very fast, and Kris Kringle proved his skill over this course.”

To enter online and for full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992