Category Archives: Equinium Sports Mktg.

Arte Ecuestre: Interagro Lusitanos Showcased at Haras Godiva’s Celebration of the Horse

Mauricio Delucchi and Desordeiro Interagro (Photo courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos)

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay (February 11, 2017) – At the junction of performance and art lies Arte Ecuestre. Combining the unbounded beauty of South America’s eastern coast with an unbridled passion for the equine, this yearly celebration of the horse brings lifelong equestrians and newly discovered fanatics alike a spectacular exhibition of sport, culture, and entertainment. Presented January 12, 2017 by Zuercher Kantonalbank, Haras Godiva welcomed over 130 guests to the equestrian estate, which doubles as elite training center and stunning equestrian retreat.

The six acts of Arte Ecuestre correspond to the six disciplines presented in the performance: dressage, gaucho, driving, vaulting, jumping, and the Pas de Trois. With each act set to music and reflecting the diversity of equestrian sport, the grace and elegance of dressage to the heritage of the gaucho, the stars, of course, are the horses. For the dressage and driving acts, three Lusitano horses bred and owned by Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil epitomized the power, precision, and beauty inherent in these FEI disciplines. Trained and ridden by Mauricio Delucchi, Bailos Interagro and Desordeiro Interagro demonstrated dressage as a Freestyle and a Pas de Trois. Bailos Interagro, living up to his name, danced his way through the Grand Prix movements under the guidance of Delucchi, while Delucchi and Desordeiro, who is schooled through the Prix St. Georges, performed alongside Haras Godiva’s founder and owner Carolin Mallmann aboard Cesar Itapua and Paulina Morales with Capricho Itapua in a Pas de Trois set to the music of Strauss.

As a complement to the synchronized movements and elegance of the dressage, Argentine National Champion Carl Facht, with Josefina Frederick riding shotgun, piloted Zamorim Interagro through a thrilling demonstration of the obstacle phase of driving. Galloping through the elaborate course to the upbeat rhythm of techno, Zamorim’s agility and athleticism were highlighted by both Facht’s talented driving and the golden glow of the setting sun.

Zamorim Interagro being piloted by Argentinian driving champion Carl Facht at Arte Ecuestre (Photo courtesy of Haras Godiva)

Uruguay’s Martin Rodriguez, a veteran the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 World Equestrian Games, showcased the discipline of showjumping with the P’Compadre Concalma, while Paulina Morales guided Sopresa through the bursts of speed and tight turns of the gaucho performance, a traditional display of South American horsemanship. Luciana Bidarte, Maria Eugenia Marmol, Marina Stapff, and Sofia Rabaquino presented the teamwork, rhythm, and athleticism of gymnastics on horseback, with Josefina Estavillo as coach and lunger, to round out Arte Ecuestre’s six acts.

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

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

USA, Brazil Share Top Spots in Turf Tour and Week 3 Grand Prix

Kristy Herrera and Cordaba AG Z (Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)

West Palm Beach, FL (January 26, 2017) – Sun, sand, and turf were the three key ingredients for world-class competition during Week 3 of The Ridge at Wellington’s Palm Beach Series, held January 18-22. The 13-week circuit’s home base at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach welcomed competitors to its covered and all-weather arenas as well as to the spectacular grass field at Carben Farms for five days of phenomenal show jumping.

Splendor on the Grass

Kristy McCormack Herrera piloted Cordaba AG Z to victory against a lineup of some of the sport’s top international Grand Prix competitors at Carben Farm. The $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, sponsored by Gigi Stetlar’s Broward RV, and other jumper divisions held at Carben were the first of this year’s Turf Tour classes to be held on the springy grass field of one of the event’s host farms. The main Turf Tour field began with the 1.30-1.35m Jumpers in the morning, followed by the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, presented by Broward RV, in the early afternoon. USA’s Lauren Hough, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade, USA’s Peter Leone, USA’s Debbie Stephens, and Ireland’s Daniel Coyle were just a few of the international Grand Prix competitors vying for supremacy over the technical courses laid out by Kevin Giblin. Jumper Ring 2, also on the grass, featured Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumper divisions over a scaled down version of the main arena’s fences.

Twelve double clear rounds out of 32 riders summarized the Grand Prix competition at Carben. An early fast jump off by Emanuel Andrade set the tone, and it was Herrera and Cordaba AG Z who ultimately topped the field. The pair rode a clean and careful first round clear, followed by a quick and precise jump off to finish on 41.102. Despite a number of impressive efforts to challenge their lead, as the sun began to sink behind the stunning barns and fields of Carben Farm, Herrera remained on top.

“We’ve been bringing Cordaba along at the national Grand Prix level and he’s getting to the point that I am able to really ask him to be competitive,” said Herrera. “He’s still green and learning, but he has such heart and is so game for whatever I point him at. I love the idea and atmosphere of the Turf Tour. It’s great to come to a place where my horse gets confidence and that fits into my schedule. He’s still developing at this level and riding in a class like this and on a different surface I think will make him more dynamic in future classes.”

Saturday’s Grand Prix in Jim Brandon’s Covered Arena

Switching from the wide open spaces of the Turf Tour to the feel of a European indoor, Saturday’s 1.45m Grand Prix featured a more technical course shielded from the brilliant south Florida sun by Jim Brandon Equestrian Center’s oversized covered arena. Brazilian National Champion and 2012 Olympian Jose Roberto Reynoso Fernandez Fihlo and Chacco Balou, of Santana Stables, showcased the power and speed that have made him one of Brazil’s highly decorated show jumping champions.

Jose Roberto Reynoso and Chacco Balou

An early double clear effort by Ireland’s Dennis Coakley and Sterling Un Prince determined the pace at 36.203, with a lineup of successful Grand Prix competitors including Daniel Bluman and Christine McCrea, vying for a faster jump off. Reynoso and Chacco Balou ultimately accomplished the feat, finishing on 34.538 seconds. Decorated Irish show jumper David Blake and Pine Hollow Farm’s Quantero 2 gave the Brazilian champion a run for his money with a double clear effort and a final jump off time within a second of Reynoso’s, bumping fellow Irishman Coakley into third place.

FEI Course Designer Mark McGowan on His Creations for Palm Beach Series Week 4

During Palm Beach Series Week 4, the jumper competition will be played out on a stage set by Mark McGowan. Following a career as a rider and being at the top of the course designing game at the national level in Europe, McGowan is now a FEI Level 3 designer and has brought his passion and skill for show jumping into the arenas at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Transitioning to The Ridge’s standard of multiple courses in one arena, McGowan deftly incorporates appropriate challenges for all competitors, from Young Horse Classes and Junior Amateur divisions to the 1.35 Jumpers and Grand Prix, into his designs.

“Riders in certain arenas have the choice between a Jump Off course or a Power & Speed course within the same design, and that presents an interesting challenge to provide enough differentiation between each course without moving the jumps,” said McGowan. “It’s a great opportunity for riders to practice a jump off or really fine-tune a horse at the same height without having to wait for a full course change.”

Also providing the designs for the bigger classes during Week 4, including the 1.25-1.30m divisions held every day Wednesday to Saturday and the 1.40 and 1.45m Grand Prix classes held Friday and Saturday, McGowan’s philosophy asks more questions as the jumps get higher, raising the bar figuratively and literally for competitors.

“For our 1.30m jumpers, I like to create a course that is simple, straightforward, and inviting, building on more basic skills developed at lower heights,” said McGowan. “For Friday’s 1.40m, which typically will be last year’s 1.30 horses, is a nice introduction to the Grand Prix task for the horse and rider, and then at 1.45m I begin to present more of a challenge, giving competitors options and asking them more technical questions. I also think riding and jumping on the grass is a dying art, as so many arenas are now all-weather. The Turf Tour is a great opportunity for riders to develop a horse’s balance and stamina, as well as their skill at navigating fences on an incline, which ultimately makes both horse and rider more competitive in a level arena.”

Week 3 also crowed the following Champion and Reserve Champion honors, as well as saw a number of the future generation of Grand Prix riders in its leadline and Teeny Tiny Jumper classes. A full hunter division runs alongside the Palm Beach Series each week at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.

For full results for Palm Beach Series Weeks 1-3, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com/Results.

For more information on the 2017 Palm Beach Series, including full schedules, prizelists, and entry blanks, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

Interagro Lusitanos Wraps Up 2016 with Wins in Driving, Dressage, Paradressage, Working Equitation

Antonio Mariano de Souza secured the Brazilian Four-in-Hand Driving Championship with four Interagro horses: Cagliostro, Comanche, Democrito and Crispim.

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (January 19, 2017) – 2016 was a spectacular year for the Lusitano sport horse, as the versatile breed continues to curry favor among riders, trainers, and owners across a variety of disciplines. Through over 40 years of exceptional breeding and a dedication to evolving the modern Lusitano from the purest Portuguese bloodlines, Interagro Lusitanos has been a major catalyst for the breed’s growth and success over the past few decades. With successful Interagro progeny winning in working equitation, driving, dressage, and paradressage, the Brazilian stud and training facility continues to raise the bar as their horses compete internationally across 4 continents.

Interagro’s most recent win was earned in December, where Antonio Mariano de Souza secured the Brazilian Four-in-Hand Driving Championship with four Interagro horses: Cagliostro, Comanche, Democrito and Crispim. He was joined in the winner’s circle at the Driving Championships by Valentim Martins Brito, who secured the Pairs Reserve Championship with Comache Interagro and Crispim Interagro, and Fabio Roberto da Silva, who finished third in the pairs with Cagliostro Interagro and Democrito Interagro.

In addition to the driving phases, working equitation proved to be a major forte for Interagro and its riders in 2016. The 2016 Brazilian Working Equitation Championship/Cia de ET saw Gotico Interagro (Profano Interagro x Zibelina Interagro) and Divisadero Interagro (Tufao Interagro x Saranga (VAN)) top the national rankings in their divisions. Gotico was awarded 2016 Championship Brazilian Ranking in the Novice A Division, while Divisadero also topped the 2016 Brazilian Ranking in the Intermediate division. Escudeiro Interagro (Perdigueiro (MAC) x Athena Interagro), who was purchased at the 2013 Interagro National Auction by Mrs. Claudia Uenishi, rounded out the Interagro string of successes with Jose Faria in the saddle. In the beginning of 2016 and on a different continent, Working Equitation World Cup Champion Xaveco Interagro (Profano Interagro x Dona RC) repeated his World Cup success at the 2016 Haras Cup, the premier Working Equitation Championships in the United States. Hosted by Haras dos Cavaleiros of Magnolia, Texas, Xaveco was piloted by France’s Claire Moucadel and dominated in all three phases of the event.

Baldor Interagro and Pia Aragao (Photo courtesy of Ambar Dressage)

Interagro’s long list of Brazilian rankings extend into the dressage arena, where Baldor Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Quinata Interagro) and Fellini Interagro (Nirvana Interagro x Batina Interagro) dominated their FEI divisions. Baldor and Pia Aragao swept the Small Tour at the Sao Paulo CDI-3/Brazilian Dressage Championships with a personal best score of 72.350 in their Freestyle. Fellini, also ridden and trained by Aragao, took top honors in the CAN National Dressage in Sao Paulo in May with scores of 8.20 and 7.18 in the FEI 6-Year-Old division, and won the Brazilian 6-Year-Old Championship at the Sao Paulo CDI-3 with final scores of 7.14 and 7.50.

Perhaps the highlight of Interagro’s slew of wins in 2016 was the achievement of Zizifo Interagro, who along with rider Patricio Guglialmelli of Argentina and owner Gea Einaudi of Italy qualified for and competed in the 2016 Rio Games. Competing for Argentina in the Paradressage, Zizifo’s accomplishment in the Paralympics marks a major milestone for Interagro, who through their breeding program has actively sought to develop a horse with the athleticism and temperament to compete in the upper echelons of horse sport.

In the spring of 2016, 5 of Interagro’s stallions were approved by the ABPSL Stud Book. Caudilho Interagro and Gladiador Interagro, who were presented for revision by internationally renowned Portuguese trainer and competitor Jorge Sousa, topped the field with scores of 75 and 74.5. Fellini Interagro finished with a score of 74, while Ditador Interagro and Empreiteiro Interagro earned 72 and 68.5.

In the United States, two of Interagro’s exported stallions also were successful in their revisions, with one making history as the highest score ever received in the US. Hobbit Interagro (Bungo Interagro x Radiosa (MAC)) and Governador Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Quantia Interagro), both owned by Haras do Cavaleiros, were evaluated at the North American Lusitano Show by three judges: one from Brazil, one from France, and one from the ABPSL. Hobbit’s score of 76.5 is the highest score ever awarded to a Lusitano in the United States, following more than 200 horse revisions. Governador’s impressive score of 71 brought more acclaim for Interagro horses in North America.

Despite a lackluster Brazilian economy, the resounding success of Interagro’s 2016 Yearling Auction proved that the demand for exceptional Lusitano horses has not waned. With all but 2 fillies sold and an average price higher than 2015, the Yearling Auction also boasted a high turnout of Lusitano enthusiasts. With a number of unique and rare lineages represented in the auction barn, the average selling price of this year’s auction finished at 16,933 Brazilian reals, or approximately 5,187 US dollars. The elegant Ministro Interagro brought in 2016’s price highlight, selling for 42,000 Brazilian reals (USD 12,865).

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as versatile, athletic, and intelligent partners for their riders and successful competitors on the international stage.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

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

Palm Beach Series Week 1 Excites with Hunter Derby Days and Diverse Jumper Circuit

West Palm Beach, FL (January 9, 2017) – Week 1 of The Ridge at Wellington’s 2017 Palm Beach Series wrapped up Sunday, January 8th following 5 days of hunter and jumper competition at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, crowning champions and reserve champions in a variety of divisions, from Mini Stirrup and Jumper Classics to Grand Prix and International Hunters. Envisioned as a compliment to Wellington’s booming winter equestrian season, the Palm Beach Series expanded its offerings in 2017 while still focusing on providing a world-class competition and show experience in a relaxed, utopian atmosphere.

In addition to its full divisions for hunter and jumper riders each week, the Palm Beach Series’ multifaceted offerings also include unique equestrian competitions such as the Turf Tour, USEF Equitation Tuesdays at The Ridge’s home farm, and Hunter Derby Days. Under the scrutinizing gaze of judges Scott Fitton, John McQueen, Linda Andrisani, and Diane Carney, January 6’s Hunter Derby Days competition showcased some of the sport’s top hunter riders and trainers effectively navigating the three Derby divisions over all natural obstacles in the oversized covered arena. The morning’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was topped by Kim Barone and Dolce Vita of Raven Ridge Farm, who was also awarded a woven belt from sponsor Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks. For the afternoon’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Lousie Serio and Rock Harbor came out on top following two rounds of competition with some of the hunter and jumper arena’s top names, including Peter Pletcher, Kelly Farmer, and Molly Ashe-Cawley. Serio’s exceptional performance, in addition to the top placing, earned her the EQUO Style Award, which included a chic top from the line of equestrian and leisure sportswear and a celebratory bottle of Vueve Clicquot champagne.

“He felt so made, ready, and knew his job,” said Serio of her winning mount, Rock Harbor owned by Jennifer Burger. “This was his first time out this season, and he is exceptional in the handies. His compact build allows him to make the turns with ease. The facility was fantastic, with exceptional footing and brought much needed Hunter Derbies to Florida.”

The final class of the evening was the $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby, a first for The Ridge at Wellington and the Palm Beach Series. A competitive and adorable selection of small, medium, and large hunter ponies and their riders navigated a scaled down version of the National and International Hunter Derby Course, with Kat Fuqua taking the Grand Champion honors aboard Goodhill’s Arresting Charm. Fuqua swept the Derby, also piloting Small Suggestion and Captain America to Reserve and Third place in The Ridge’s inaugural Pony Derby.

While Friday was for the Hunters, Saturday was all about the excitement and precision of the show jumper. The Palm Beach Series’ headline class is the $15,000 Grand Prix, held each week and presented during Week 1 by Dave Corbin and Jim Corbin of Illustrated Properties. Florida’s usually sunny skies opened up above Wellington, but The Ridge’s exhibitors stayed dry and in the saddle under Jim Brandon’s oversized covered arena. With top international show jumpers like Pablo Barrios and Todd Minikus testing out the course design, footing, and atmosphere of the first Palm Beach Series Grand Prix, a number of double clear rounds resulted in a tight battle for the lead. Despite a sudden and intense storm cell that swept in during his round, Luis Fernando Larrazabal and Atlodetto kept their composure and rode a double clear to finish on 36.067, taking the lead and holding it through the end of the class. Pablo Barrios rode Zara Leandra and ASD Farfala to second and third, just tenths of a second from Larrazabal’s time with a 36.357 and 36.746. During Week 2 riders will for the first time have the luxury of riding in two Grand Prix classes: Friday’s 1.40m class and Saturday’s 1.45m class with $30,000 in total prize money. Full schedules for Week 2 can be found online at www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

While the Hunter Derbies and Grand Prix were the main attractors during Week 1, the Palm Beach Series also hosts full hunter and jumper divisions each week. Teeny Tiny Jumpers, Teeny Tiny Mini Prix, Level I Jumpers, .65m-1.30m Jumpers, Low & High Child and Adult Jumpers, AO/Classics, Thoroughbred Jumper & Classics, Young Pro Jumpers, and full hunter divisions are just a few of the classes offered weekly, Wednesday through Sunday at the Palm Beach Series. New this year The Ridge is offering VIP Hospitality during competition days, with special packages that include continental breakfast and a gourmet lunch buffet in upscale VIP areas overlooking competition arenas. Concessions are also available onsite, in addition to a cash bar, courtesy of Wellington Hospitality Group. VIP packages can be purchased by visiting wellingtonhospitalitygroup.ticketleap.com or by calling 561 792 9292.

“All of The Ridge’s shows are created with the horse in mind, from our open in-gate policy to the challenging but practicable course designs,” said founder of the Ridge and US Olympic Show Jumper Nona Garson. “Especially in the debut of our 2017 Palm Beach Series, we want to make showing less of a strain on horses and humans alike. We are thrilled to be working out of Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and to welcome our competitors, sponsors, and partners, new and old, for what promises to be an exciting season of equestrian competition.”

For more information on the 2017 Palm Beach Series, including full schedules, prizelists, and entry blanks, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

Zulu Interagro Brings Equine Chic to Allure’s December Issue

Zulu Interagro and Gigi Hadid in the December issue of Allure Magazine. (Photo courtesy of Allure/Conde Nast)

New York, NY (December 6, 2016) – Chiseled features, lustrous locks, and elegant forms are typical of any photo shoot for Allure magazine, and in the 2016 December issue an equine supermodel sported his ravishing good looks alongside 2015 Model of the Year Gigi Hadid for Allure’s feature spread. The 21-year-old Hadid posed au naturel while reclining on Zulu (who was also au naturel) in a stunning black and white image that has become the cover photo for Allure magazine’s Facebook page as of mid-November. Hadid, who is also the 2016 December issue cover girl, appears at ease on the 14-year-old Lusitano gelding, despite the lack of clothes. Zulu’s photogenic baroque appearance and laid back attitude made him the epitome of the equine supermodel.

Bred by Interagro Lusitanos of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Zulu Interagro (Profano Interagro x Trovoada Interagro) was imported to the US in 2008 as part of the Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction held in Wellington, Florida. Zulu’s owner, Athene von Hirschberg, came to the Auction looking for a versatile, compact, athletic horse and found what she was looking for in Zulu. Over the years she and Zulu have competed up to the FEI levels in dressage, working equitation, 15-mile rides, hunter paces, and eventually began his career as an equine supermodel. Zulu’s photogenic qualities were first utilized by Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci, who featured the black horse in a spread at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, posing with two models in Pucci’s flagrant designs on the polo fields. Von Hirschberg’s friendship with Cari Swanson of Cari Swanson Productions, which has provided horses for major motion pictures such as Hidalgo, Winter’s Tale, and The Horse Whisperer, served as the catalyst to launch Zulu’s modeling career into the big leagues. Swanson received the casting call for a horse of Zulu’s temperament and appearance for the major international fashion magazine, and von Hirschberg was more than happy to oblige.

“He handled the entire ordeal like a pro,” said von Hirschberg. “Obviously he was required to stand and remain calm for a long period of time, with people in various positions and bright camera flashes, but he took it all in stride and even got bored and began nibbling on his handlers. His personality and athleticism set him apart, and he really does anything I ask of him.”

In addition to competing through the Prix St. Georges level in dressage, Zulu has also been a champion competitor in working equitation, a discipline mirroring the techniques utilized by working horse and rider pairs and requiring a diverse range of talents. For Zulu’s breeder, his combination of beauty, athleticism, trainability, and an exceptional temperament are a reflection of their breeding program, which has spent over 40 years carefully developing the modern Lusitano sporthorse. Zulu’s sire, Profano Interagro, is a son of the famous Legendario do Mirante. Legendario’s sire, Novilheiro MV, made history in some of the most prestigious show jumping arenas of Europe under the guidance of Olympic Silver Medalist John Whitaker. The Lusitano stallion was an international show jumping champion and one of the most famous Lusitanos of all time, with a career that included winning the British Showjumping Championship and leading the European rankings for prize money earned. Profano’s influence in many Interagro pedigrees has yielded top performing dressage, driving, and equitation horses, including a 2016 Rio Paralympic mount in Zizifo Interagro.

Zulu Interagro in a solo shoot at Interagro Lusitanos in Sao Paulo, Brazil with famed equestrian photographer, Bob Langrish (Photo courtesy of Bob Langrish)

But despite their accomplishments in the show ring, Zulu’s ancestors probably never had a nude supermodel lounging on their backs, a unique and impressive addition to the resume of Interagro’s progeny.

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

Click here to read more about Zulu’s shoot for Allure.

Visit Allure on Facebook to see Zulu as their cover photo.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
954 205 7992

Excel Dressage’s Students Excel in National Qualifiers and FEI Levels

Katie Hoog (left) and Amy Speck-Kern with Gerona (Photo courtesy of Excel Dressage)

Wellington, Florida (November 11, 2016) – As 2016 begins to wind down, Excel Dressage and its students are winding up for the national championships and setting personal records in the FEI levels. Based in Loxahatchee, Florida and led by head trainer Amy Speck-Kern, Excel Dressage celebrated a number of milestones over the summer and fall, with top finishes for its riders on a few different levels.

Speck-Kern’s 2016 Markel/USEF Young Horse Championship mount, Gerona (Tango X Odessa X Junior STV), forged a new partnership with her amateur owner, Katherine Hoog, and the pair successfully qualified for the 2016 US Dressage Finals, November 10-13. The invitation only competition recognizes the best amateur and professional riders in the country, and Hoog and the elegant 5-year-old KWPN mare will travel to the Kentucky Horse Park this week to vie for the Training Level Adult Amateur Championship. With Speck-Kern at the reins, Gerona, known around the barn as Gigi, placed among the top 15 5-year-olds in the nation this summer, after only a few months of being imported from The Netherlands. Hoog took over the ride on the mare with her sights set on the Finals, and qualified in one shot during the USDF/GAIG Region 3 Championships at the Atlanta National Fall Show in Georgia, the mare’s second National Championship qualification in less than a year. With qualifying scores in the mid-60s, the pair also won an entire Open/AA class with a 73.8% and was fourth in her Championship class out of over 50 riders with a score of 72.5%.

“I’m extremely proud of Katie’s success with Gerona, a horse she scouted and imported and now has qualified for the US Dressage Finals,” said Speck-Kern. “We experienced an almost 30 degree drop in temperature, intense wind, and a huge atmosphere at Regionals. Katie stepped up to the plate and rode like a pro, showing a great deal of poise and skill in presenting a young horse. In training at home, they took time to get to know each other, especially the timing of the aids to get Gigi moving freely forward in self-carriage. Talented young horses are wonderful to ride, but they don’t just do it by themselves. In addition to athleticism and balance, it takes a lot of feel from the rider.”

Bonnie Kretchik, another Excel Dressage student, recently debuted at the FEI level after beginning her career with Excel Dressage schooling 4th Level. With scores in the mid to upper 60s at 4th and Prix St. Georges, in their most recent show at the Wellington Classic Fall Challenge she and her 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding San Dante (Sandro Hit x Weltmeyer) scored a personal best of 66% in the Prix St. Georges, only their third show at the FEI level.

“Bonnie has come a long way in the past year,” said Speck-Kern. “When we first began working together she was just starting to show 4th Level and has made a ton of progress. They are now confident at the Prix St. Georges and are just about ready for the Intermediaire I as well. Sammy [San Dante] was not a schoolmaster and has never been competed at Prix St. Georges by a professional, so Bonnie gets a lot of credit for training him at the FEI level and developing him in to a true show partner.”

Esteban, an Excel Dressage import, also made his way to Nationals with his new owner, after being scouted and imported in November of 2015 and sold in January of 2016.

Excel Dressage was founded by Speck-Kern in 2010 and offers training, showing, and sales of top caliber dressage horses. After beginning her career with Olympic Bronze Medalist Michael Poulin and “S” Judge Sharon Poulin, Speck-Kern’s naturally quiet and effective riding style and training method drew a strong international client base of competitive amateurs. Excel Dressage imports a select number of exceptional sales and show prospects each year, and Speck-Kern is also an equestrian Ambassador for the Kids Cancer Foundation as a way to give back to the research and therapies that saved her life when she was diagnosed with Acute Myleoid Leukemia at 18. With her sights set on eventually obtaining an international judges accreditation, she was recently accepted into the USEF “r” program and competing her FEI mounts on the 2017 Wellington show circuit.

For more information on Amy or Excel Dressage, visit www.ExcelDressage.com.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
holly@equinium.com
954 205 7992

Brazilian-Bred Zizifo Interagro to Make Paralympic Debut in 2016 Rio Games

Zizifo Interagro, ridden by Patricio Guglialmelli, compete in Paradressage at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. (Photo courtesy of Scoopdyga/Pierre Costabadie)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 28, 2016) – All eyes are on Brazil as the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games make their South American debut in Rio de Janeiro, and one equine will be making the most of his home field advantage. Zizifo Interagro (Profano Interagro x Meiga (MAC)), a bay stallion born and bred at Interagro Lusitanos of Sao Paulo, Brazil has been named, along with his rider Pautricio Gugliamelli, to compete for Argentina in the Paralympic dressage competition. As one of just a few Brazilian bred horses competing in the Games, Zizifo and Guglialmelli will enjoy a large cheering section as they vie for a medal against the best Paralympic competitors in the world.

The pair aren’t strangers to international success, having represented Argentina in numerous Paralympic competitions, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Zizifo was purchased from Interagro in 2012 by Gia Einaudi, who was looking for an international caliber dressage horse with the temperament, gaits, and rideability to be successful on the world stage in paradressage. Einaudi exported Zizifo to Italy, where he was paired with Guglialmelli. It became immediately apparent that Zizifo was the perfect match, and they soon began to build an impressive resume.

In the hands of trainer Alessandro Benedetti, who also shows the horse competitively at 3rd and 4th level, Zizifo and Gugialmelli recently put in top performances at the Sommacampagna CPEDI3* in Verona, Italy. Einaudi attributes Zizifo’s exceptional success to his extraordinary character and talent, which is a reflection of over 40 years of careful breeding at Interagro. With a focus on athleticism, movement, temperament, and intelligence, Interagro has succeeded in preserving some of the purest and most sought after lineages of the Lusitano, while simultaneously developing a horse with the raw talent, versatility, and character to succeed in the FEI disciplines.

Zizifo’s Paralympic debut will stand as living proof of Interagro’s legacy, as he and Guglialmelli trot into the Olympic stadium in Rio. “It is Zizifo’s willingness to please and charisma that sets him apart,” said Einaudi. “He requires us to be very precise and correct in training and during competition, which keeps him relaxed and open-minded even in the stress of major international events. Alessandro [Benedetti] has been instrumental in the Zizifo and Patricio’s success, and despite having the demeanor and poise to compete paradressage, under Alessandro Zizifo easily switches gears to the power and elegance of upper level dressage.”

In fact, Benedetti and Zizifo recently debuted at the D1 Level in Italy, comparable to 4th Level in the United States, and won a national competition in Tuscany. Utilizing a careful balance of training in both paradressage and dressage, Einaudi team continues to build Zizifo’s strength and form for Rio. Once they reached the FEI world ranking and competed at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014, the pair began qualifying for the Paralympics. Three CPEDI competitions yielded the required scores to qualify them for the Games, and in June it was officially announced that Guglialmelli and Zizifo Interagro would compete for Argentina in Rio. With regular training under Benedetti and sessions with Olympian Morten Thompson, in addition to conditioning, a strict diet, and the care of numerous equestrian industry professionals, Zizifo is well on his way to Rio, and the journey brings him closer to his first home in Sao Paulo.

“Needless to say Zizifo means the world to us,” said Einaudi. “He has opened up a world of possibilities, and thanks to him we have achieved more than we ever thought possible in dressage and paradressage. We believe that Zizifo is a once in a lifetime horse!”

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst, at 817 368 9447.

Amy Speck-Kern Secures Invitation to Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships

Amy Speck-Kern and Gerona.

Fairburn, GA (August 5, 2016) – Displaying the rhythm and impulsion indicative of an exceptional young dressage horse and worthy of comparison to The Knack’s rock ’n’ roll classic “My Sherona,” the elegant bay KWPN mare Gerona strutted to victory in both days of showing at Chattahoochee Hills Dressage, held July 16 & 17, 2016. With Amy Speck-Kern of Excel Dressage in the saddle, Gerona (Tango x Odessa x Junior STV) was awarded a 7.900 to top the FEI 5-Year-Old test on Sunday. Combined with the pair’s past score of 7.840 for a total of 7.870, the average landed them in the top 15 on the 2016 Markel/USEF 5-Year-Old Young Horse Championship Ranking List and secured them an invitation to compete against the nation’s top young horses at Lamplight Equestrian Center.

Despite being only recently imported to the United States, Gerona has proven her mettle and poise in the dressage arena. In the mare’s debut performance on US soil, Gerona and Speck-Kern scored a 7.840, securing their first qualifying score towards the Markel/USEF Young Horse National Dressage Championships. Speck-Kern, who operates Excel Dressage out of Loxahatchee, Florida, has had less than a month’s worth of preparation following the mare’s arrival and quarantine in the States in May, and was impressed with the young horse’s composure despite long hours in the trailer and a completely new environment at qualifying shows.

“Gerona showed us once again her talent and intelligence,” said Speck-Kern. “The judges were very complimentary of her gaits, especially her trot, which they awarded an 8.6. In the short time I’ve been riding her she has truly blown us away with her composure and brilliance in the arena, and I’m thrilled to have qualified her for the Young Horse Championships!”

Gerona is owned by the Hoog family, and Katie Hoog, who has been purchasing horses from The Netherlands since 2007, scouted the Ster PROK predicated mare on a buying excursion to Holland in March of 2016. In a pressure crunch of time and travel, the decision to purchase the mare was made from only a video and quick lunging session, but that was enough to seal the deal. As a 3-year-old, Gerona won her mare testing with an 82.5%.

“Her three gaits, excellent conformation, and beauty are what originally caught our attention as a potential FEI prospect,” said Hoog. “With the added bonuses of intelligence and character she has everything she needs to be a real contender in the Young Horse divisions. Amy has done a fantastic job getting her qualified in a limited timeframe, and we are looking forward to seeing her in the arena at Lamplight.”

Excel Dressage was founded by Speck-Kern in 2010 and offers training, showing, and sales of top caliber dressage horses. After beginning her career with Olympic Bronze Medalist Michael Poulin and “S” Judge Sharon Poulin, Speck-Kern’s naturally quiet and effective riding style and training method drew a strong international client base of competitive amateurs. Excel Dressage imports a select number of exceptional sales and show prospects each year, and Speck-Kern was also recently accepted into the prestigious USEF “r” program. With her sights set on eventually obtaining international judge accreditation and international show ring success, she offers a unique training viewpoint as both a rider and judge.

For more information, including up-to-date news and horses for sale, visit Excel Dressage’s website, visit them on Facebook, or contact them directly at amy.speckkern@gmail.com, +1 414 550 1176.

©2016 Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC | Wellington, Florida USA

Germany Victorious in Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup; USA and France Tie for Second

Germany’s Christian Ahlmann on course. Photos: Equinium Sports Marketing.

In a nail-biting double round class that had the packed Main Stadium on tenterhooks, Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann, and Marcus Ehning rode four faultless rounds to keep the challengers from France and the USA at bay, ultimately securing Germany’s win in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup.

The first round saw clears from the USA and German Teams, leaving them tied for first going into the second round (of the four riders for each team, the highest faulted rider is dropped from the calculations). France finished the first round with just 4 faults, and the close race set the crowd on edge for round 2. Two clears from Christian Ahlmann and Marcus Ehning put Germany in striking position for the win, while the USA’s McLain Ward had an unusual 12 fault round that left the pressure on Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ following clear rounds from Lucy Davis and Laura Kraut.

The crowd of nearly 30,000 was silent as Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum piloted Fibonacci 17 over the course, and exploded in excitement as the pair flew over the final Mercedes-Benz vertical without fault. With Ludger Beerbaum still to go, Germany’s victory was well in hand as Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ set onto the field. A clear round from her would tie the USA and Germany for first, but an unfortunate single fault at the Deutsche Bank water jump dropped America into second, where France’s fault free second round left them tied with the USA.

Germany’s jubilation was so pronounced at having won Aachen’s Nations Cup for the first time since 2008 that they seemed to forget that their fourth member, Ludger Beerbaum, had yet to go. As he and Casello rode onto the pitch, there was flurry of movement from Aachen’s tractors and ground crew to set up for the awards; no doubt they were eager to see Germany crowned. To the amusement of the crowd the announcer kindly asked the crew to allow Beerbaum to finish, while he and Casello waited patiently for their turn. Despite the round being inconsequential for the Nations Cup standings, the decorated German rider still needed to complete the course as Aachen’s CHIO is the final qualifier for the German Olympic Team.

Results for all classes and competitions during the CHIO Aachen 2016 can be found at: http://resulting.chioaachen.de/.

Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino
Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino

Anabel Balkenhol and Juan Matute Jr. Triumphant in Friday’s Dressage Competition at the CHIO Aachen 2016

Germany once again dominated in the second leg of the CDI4, the Grand Prix Special, following an impressive performance in the Grand Prix CDI4 earlier in the week. Anabel Balkenhol and 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding Dablino FRH rode a precise and fluent test to score a 75.471 and top the class. Hubertus Schmidt and the Trakehner stallion Imperio 3, who were victorious in the Grand Prix with a 76+ percent, finished second on 74.157.

Earlier in the day, Spain’s Juan Matute Jr and Quantico Ymas took top honors in the Under-25 Grand Prix, demonstrating all of the poise and elegance required for international Grand Prix competition and finishing on 71.349. Second place went to Belgium’s Laurence Roos and Fil Rouge with 70.558, and Germany’s Florine Keinbaum and Doktor Schiwago 3 ended on 70.4558 for third.

Wesel District Top Quadrille Championships

The Deutsche Bank Stadium’s dressage arena was filled with the sounds of pop and rock and roll music Friday afternoon as the Prize of the Handwerk Quadrille Championships showcased exceptional choreography, harmony, and style of its 6 competing teams. With an overall score of 19.5, the Wesel District Team, comprised of Lisa Behr, Sina Doller, Nathalie Overmann, and Petra Wolf, claimed victory with upbeat music and intricate pattern. Their closest challenger and second place finisher was the Aachen District, finishing on a 18.3.

In the Quadrille Championships, each team consists of four horse and rider pairs who perform a medium level Freestyle routine to individual choreography and music. It is an interesting and well received aspect of the CHIO Aachen, and emphasizes the overall theme of teamwork that is prevalent throughout the CHIO.

Lamaze Does It Again in the Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalia
Press release courtesy of CHIO Aachen

What a week for Canada’s Olympic gold medallist, Eric Lamaze and his Hanoverian mare, Fine Lady. First the pair won the Turkish-Airlines Prize of Europe on Wednesday, then they rode to victory in the Prize North Rhine-Westphalia, proving their incredible speed.

In the second round of the jumping competition, the pair was almost four seconds faster than the rest of the field. However, as far as Saturday’s Rolex Grand Prix is concerned, his fellow competitors can breathe easy as Fine Lady is already on the way to Rio: Lamaze confirmed Friday that he will be riding Fine Lady at the Olympic Games. He would never have imagined that himself when he took over the mare from the German squad member, Holger Wulschner, in 2014: “We actually thought she was a good reserve horse for me for 1.50 metre speed competitions. But then I jumped her in the bigger classes now and again as well. And whatever we demanded from her, she delivered. I don’t know if one can call it scope. But she really is bold! And when she has the right ground speed, she can jump anything.”

Laura Kraut Wins the Stawag Prize for the USA
Press release courtesy of CHIO Aachen

Before the course was rebuilt for the Mercedes Benz Nations’ Cup, the STAWAG Prize, a competition against the clock, was held in the Main Stadium. Laura Kraut from the USA, the 2008 Olympic team gold medalist, reached the finish line in the fastest time, after knocking almost a second of her closest rival’s time with the Holstein-bred gelding, Confu.

She was followed by the two Irish riders, Jonathan Gordon with Fellini and Cian O’Connor with Calisto. Felix Haßmann and Cayenne of Germany finished fourth, while the team World Champion of 2010, Janne-Friederike Meyer, came fifth with Chuck and Christian Ahlmann was right behind her in sixth place with Cornado II.

©2016 Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC | Wellington, Florida USA

CHIO Aachen Wednesday Dressage Recap

Hubertus Schmidt with Imperio.

Germany’s Hubertus Schmidt and the Trekhener stallion, Imperio, proved their regality in the Deutsche Bank Stadium during the first day of dressage competition at the CHIO Aachen, demonstrating elegance and power in the first leg of the CDI-4* to score a 76.043% and top the class. Fresh off a recent injury, the pair is on the long list for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In fact, all of the top placers in the CDI-4* are striving for a place on the German Olympic team: the two-time World Cup bronze medallist, Jessica Bredow-Werndl, came second with Unee BB (74.90). Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino came third with a score of 74.486 ahead of Fabienne Lütkemeier with D’Agostino (73.814) and Jenny Lang-Nobbe with Loverboy (72.700). The competitions in Aachen will ultimately decide who will represent Germany in Rio.

Michael Eilberg and Woodlander Farouche Claim Victory in Prize of the VUV Prix St. Georges

Rain and clouds could not dampen the first dressage competition of the CHIO Aachen 2016, which proved to be a battle of superstars and rising talent. Whereas the so-called Small Tour doesn’t usually attract a lot of attention at other shows, in Aachen’s Deutsche Bank Stadium one can admire the stars of tomorrow in these competitions. Wednesday’s Prize of the VUV – Vereinigte Unternehmerverbände Aachen – was no exception.

The elegant chestnut mare Woodlander Farouche, under the guidance of Michael Eilberg, put in a beautiful test to achieve a score of 76.368 percent, proving her mettle in the FEI levels. The British Hanoverian mare (Fuerst Heinrich x Woodlander Dornroschen) was the World Champion of the Five and Six-year-old Dressage Horses at the 2011 and 2012 World Breeding Championships in Verden, and has clearly hit her stride in the Prix St. Georges.

Jessica Bredow-Werndl and Unee BB. Photo: Equinium Sports Marketing
Jessica Bredow-Werndl and Unee BB. Photo: Equinium Sports Marketing

The 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding Santiago, piloted by German 2012 Olympic Team Silver medalist Dorothee Schneider, took reserve honors with a score of 75.263. Santiago was previously the winner of the Nuremberg Burg Cup Final, similar to the German Championships of the Young Dressage Horses.

The third and fourth place finishers were also German Champions as young horses. Third place went to the seven-year-old stallion, DSP Belantis, with the five-time Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth (73.895 percent). Belantis placed second at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in 2016.

Hubertus Schmidt and Escolar rode to fourth with a final score of 73.895%. The 7-year-old stallion showed experience and maturity beyond his years in the hands of the German Olympic Team Gold Medalist, and was also crowned the German Champion title twice as a 3-year-old and 4-year-old.

Sixth and seventh place also went to Germany: Suppenkasper with the team World Champion, Helen Langehanenberg (72.921 percent) and Geraldine with Ingrid Klimke (71.553). Incidentally, the latter, who is the daughter of the most successful dressage rider of all time, Dr. Reiner Klimke, is not only competing in the dressage arena in Aachen, but also in the DHL Prize of the eventers.

World Champion Exell Heads the Field Following Prize of the Fa. Horsch, der Entsorger

As usual, the CAIO of the four-in-hand drivers, the Prize of Fa. Horsch, Der Entsorger, kicked off Wednesday with the dressage in the Driving Stadium. As with the dressage riders, accuracy, elegance and obedience are demanded of the masters of the carriages. After the first of three disciplines – the Marathon, the cross-country course of the drivers, and cones phase follow – the Australian driver, Boyd Exell, who has, among many other titles, already won the CAIO Aachen five times in the past, heads the field. Exell is namely also a many-time World Champion and World Cup winner and as the first driver ever was additionally distinguished by the FEI with the “Reem Acra Best Athlete Award” in 2015. In 2016, he is on course to claim his sixth victory at the Soers. The mode of the driving competition is similar to that of the eventing: the winner is the participant who has collected the least minus points after the final competition. After the dressage, Exell will set off on the Marathon course with 34.05 minus points.

The Dutch driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, is close at his heels on a score of 40.83 minus – a familiar situation for himself and Exell; they are more or less permanent rivals – whereby Chardon succeeded in securing the title in the World Cup Final this year after beating Exell. It is going to be exciting to see how the duel at the Soers ends this time round.

The American driver, Chester Weber, currently lies in third place, who was the first American to win in Aachen ever in 2013. His interim result is 43.33 minus points.

The best German driver after the dressage is Christoph Sandmann in seventh place (51.46).

©2016 Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC | Wellington, Florida USA