Category Archives: Equinium Sports Mktg.

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

Horse and Symphony, Opening Ceremonies, and Show Jumping Kick Off CHIO Aachen 2016

Traditionally dressed Swedish dancers and a painted Norwegian Fjord. Photos are property of Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC.

Aachen, Germany (July 13, 2016) – The king and queen of Sweden paraded into the main stadium of the CHIO Aachen Tuesday evening in grand style, accompanied by the Royal Fire Brigade of Malmo and a phalanx of mounted guards from the Swedish Royal Stables. Following a welcome to the participating nations, presented by Icelandic ponies and their riders bearing flags, Her Majesty Queen Silvia delivered the inaugural speech, officially declaring the CHIO Aachen 2016 open. With a roar of approval from the crowd the Opening Ceremony was underway, a spectacular showcase that highlighted the unique history and culture of Sweden and the equestrian roots of the CHIO Aachen.

Sweden, as the partner nation of the CHIO Aachen, presented a fabulous tribute to its equestrian, cultural, and musical traditions to a packed house at the Aachen Soers Main Stadium in a dazzling spectacle to set the mood for the week’s competition. Beginning with the middle ages, where knights from Sweden and Germany went to battle and Vikings rode again over the international show jumping field, the ceremony also included a display of midsummer songs and dances, the presentation of the Dalecarlia Horse, Wangen Trotters Quadrille, a presentation of Swedish competitors, a tribute to the storybook characters of Astrid Lindgren, and the musical stylings of both ABBA and pop sensation Mans Zelmerlow, who concluded the evening with an impressive concert framed by a spectacular sunset.

Earlier in the week, the Prize of the Sparkasse was presented to the top FEI vaulters, and a spectacular showcase of music and equestrianism took place in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. Dubbed Pferd & Sinfonie, or Horse and Symphony, the show featured equestrian exhibitions ranging from wild west rough riders, dressage quadrilles, jumping, vaulting, and breed presentations all set to the sounds of a live orchestra, playing above the arena. In addition to traditional classical pieces, the concert set horses dancing to the tunes of mainstream movies and music including ABBA, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Forrest Gump, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Superman, and The Lion King.

The Klimkes’ pas de deux
The Klimkes’ pas de deux

Tuesday’s early mix of sun and clouds persisted throughout the day and into the Opening Ceremonies, and the first show jumping contests were held in the main stadium beginning with the STAWAG Eroffnungsspringen, a 1.45m open jumper class which was topped by Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano aboard his 11-year-old gelding, Kentucky v. Neerhof Z. The pair rode to a lead of almost four seconds over Germany’s Maurice Tebbel, the former Junior European Champion. German Olympic candidates Ludger Beerbaum, Daniel Deusser, Christan Ahlmann, Marcus Ehning, and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum used the STAWAG Open Jumping class as a warm up.

Spain’s young talent led in the second class of the day, the Spakassen Youngster’s Cup. Featuring 7- and 8-year-old horses jumping 1.40m, the class served as a qualifier for the Sparkassen Youngster’s Cup Finale, to be held on Saturday, July 16. Sergio Alvarez Moya of Spain and the 8-year-old French bred mare Unicstar de l’Aumone proved unbeatable, securing the win with a lead of two seconds. The electric atmosphere and international caliber competition of the CHIO was a true test for the young horses, giving them experience towards future competition.

The CHIO Aachen continues Wednesday and Thursday:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Main Stadium:

Prize of Handwerks – 1.45m Jumping Competition at 11:30am
Prize of Europe, presented by Turkish Airlines – 1.55m Jumping competition with jump off, Qualifier for the Prize of the AachenMunchener and Rolex Grand Prix (Grand Prix of Aachen) at 1:45pm
Prize of StadteRegion Aachen – 1.50m two phase jumping competition at 5:30pm

A bridleless dressage presentation set to the music of Forrest Gump
A bridleless dressage presentation set to the music of Forrest Gump

Deutsche Bank Stadium:

Prix St. Georges at 3:30pm
Grand Prix de Dressage CDI 4* at 6pm

Driving Stadium:

Prize of Fa. Horsch, Der Entsorger FEI Dressage Test 11

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Driving Stadium:

Prize of Martello Immobilemanament FEI Dressage Test 8 at 10pm

Deutsche Bank Stadium:

Prize of Family Tesch – Grand Prix CDIO Nations Cup Qualifier at 10am

Main Stadium:

Prize of Familie Muter – Deutschland’s U25 Sprinkpokal der Stiftung Deutscher Spitzenpferdesport Jumping Competition at 12:30pm
Sparkassen Youngsters Cup 1.40m Finale Qualifier at 2pm
STAWAG Prize – 1.50m Prize of the AachenMunchener Qualifying competition at 4:30m
Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup Round 1 Team Jumping Qualifier at 6:30
Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup Round 2 Team Jumping Qualifier at 9:50

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

Interagro Lusitanos Capture Top Honors at Sao Paulo CDI-3*

Fellini Interagro (Photo courtesy of Tupa)

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (June 20, 2016) – April, May, and June have seen nothing but victory for Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil, with their team of horses and riders topping national and international classes in a variety of disciplines including working equitation, stallion licensing tests, and FEI dressage. Back to back, nearly weekly wins over the past few months are the most recent in a string of accolades won that have already made 2016 a banner year for the Brazilian-based stud farm. With the breeding season just beginning, Interagro’s living legacy for the modern Lusitano sporthorse continues to blossom in the competition arena and set the standard for the Portuguese breed on the world stage.

Baldor Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Quinata Interagro) swept the Small Tour during the Sao Paulo CDI-3, held June 2-5, 2016, exemplifying the grace, athleticism, and poise required to compete and win in the upper echelons of dressage. Ridden and trained by Pia Aragao, the victory marks the gray stallion’s second sweep of the Small Tour classes, as the pair topped Sao Paulo’s first CDI-3 in March of 2016. In addition to his athletic ability and intelligence, Aragao, who has trained the stallion since 2010, cites Baldor’s presence and attitude as one of his biggest strengths: “This horse enjoys the spotlight, and when he enters the arena his beauty and personality are hard to miss! Nothing is difficult for him and I’m really looking forward to moving him to the Grand Prix. Collection is his forte, typical of the Lusitano, and I think he will be even more successful when he can really collect for the piaffe and passage.”

The pair received a personal best score of 72.350% in their freestyle, which includes up-beat, popular music from the hit show Glee. “The degree of difficulty in our freestyle is quite high, especially a line of two-tempis on the centerline that are bookended by pirouettes,” said Aragao. “The changes have to be perfectly straight for the judges, and while we had a lot that could be improved upon, I was thrilled with his rideability and our overall performance.”

Baldor Interagro ridden by Pia Aragao (Photo courtesy of Martina Brandes)
Baldor Interagro ridden by Pia Aragao (Photo courtesy of Martina Brandes)

Interagro’s prowess in the dressage arena also extends to the FEI Young Horse divisions, where the elegant black stallion, Fellini Interagro (Nirvana Interagro x Batina Interagro), has been racking up impressive scores in the 6-Year-Old classes. Fellini, also ridden and trained by Aragao, topped both of his classes with final scores of 7.14 and 7.50 at the Brazilian Dressage Championships, held in tandem with the Sao Paulo CDI-3*. In May, the pair took top honors in the FEI Six-Year-Old division at the CAN National Dressage in Sao Paulo with scores of 8.20 and 7.18.

Following his wins in May and leading up to his recent success at the Brazilian Championships, Fellini added a few more accolades to his brief but decorated show career at the International Lusitano Show in Tatui, Sao Paulo, Brazil: he and four other Interagro stallions were approved by the ABPSL Stud Book. Two of the stallions, Caudilho Interagro and Ditador Interagro, were presented for licensing by internationally renowned Portuguese trainer and competitor Jorge Sousa, and all of the stallions and their handlers spent a week in preparation with Sousa for the International Lusitano Show. Caudilho Interagro and Gladiador Interagro topped the field with scores of 75 and 74.5, with Fellini just a hairsbreadth away with a score of 74. Ditador Interagro and Empreiteiro Interagro were also licensed with scores of 72 and 68.5. Fellini wrapped up the International Lusitano Show by winning the FEI 6-Year-Old class with a 7.52, a victory that names him the 2016 6-Year- Old Champion of the State of Sao Paulo.

Sired by one of Interagro’s most successful Grand Prix dressage competitors, Fellini inherited Nirvana Interagro’s temperament, conformation, and exceptional gaits, which give him a winning edge in the show ring. “He has no weakness in his gaits,” stated Aragao. “His uphill canter and freedom through the shoulder are what make him standout as a dressage prospect and future breeding stallion. He and Nirvana are also very similar in their personality: very intelligent, easy to work with, and true performers. They love attention, both in and out of the show ring.” With Fellini schooling 3- and 4- tempis, as well as working pirouettes, Aragao plans to continue to develop the young stallion up the levels to the FEI.

Also in May, Aragao was recognized for her success in 2015 aboard another Interagro stallion, Zepelim Interagro. The pair was awarded the prestigious Special Senior Top honors from the Premio Brasil Hipismo 2015 for their performances at the Grand Prix level.

With waves being made in the dressage arena, Interagro’s working equitation accolades also continued to grow. Following Xaveco Interagro’s clinching of the Working Equitation World Cup at the end of 2015 and a week of preparation with Jorge Sousa, the second phase of the 2016 Brazilian Working Equitation Championship saw Feitor Interagro, ridden by Alexandre Souza, dominate the Young Horse B division, while Gotico Interagro and Divisadero Interagro, both ridden by Johnny Miranda, secured reserve champion in the Young Horse A and Intermediate division. Based in the daily activities and tasks required by working horses, the discipline was created with the objective of enhancing the equestrian techniques utilized by horses and riders in various aspects of ranch and field work. Blending power, agility, and rideability, many of the traits that make Interagro’s Lusitanos successful as sporthorses also cross over to working equitation.

Interagro’s success in the national and international show ring is a testament to their breeding program, a legacy over 40 years in the making. Established by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga in 1975, Interagro’s mission 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, Interagro evolved the exceptional qualities of the Lusitano breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, giving rise to a modern Lusitano sporthorse that excels in the FEI disciplines. Today their legacy continues as their horses compete across four continents.

For more information on the Lusitano bloodlines, Interagro’s breeding program, or horses for sale, visit Interagro’s website.

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

Raw Horse Project Brings Unique Exposé on Spirit of the Equine to HH President of UAE Polo Cup

Photography credited to Sebastiano Vitale.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (May 27, 2016) – Set among the sport and spectacle of the most prestigious polo tournament in the Middle East, The Raw Horse Project’s collection of unique equestrian images brought an artistic and philosophical element to the HH President of UAE Polo Cup, held in the beginning of 2016 at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in Abu Dhabi. A perfect complement to the region’s passion for equestrian sport, The Project’s exhibition was framed by the elegant Arabic architecture of the VIP and Hospitality sections and hosted prominent visitors including celebrities, sheiks, members of the royal family, and other prestigious guests.

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, the HH President of UAE Polo Cup is held in the name of the UAE’s president and features two weeks of tournament competition culminating in the Grand Final. Known as the most exclusive and state-of-the-art polo experience in the UAE, the event also serves as a ‘must attend’ sporting and lifestyle event in the Emirate. While the qualifying matches are closed to the public, the Final welcomed all spectators to enjoy its unique combination of international polo and entertainment, including a juxtaposition of medieval falconry followed by aerial displays and choreography by military jets over the lush green fields of the historic polo club.

As a visual hymn to the relationship between horse and human, The Raw Horse depicts the sheer beauty, peace, and freedom of the equine. The images range from impressionistic to precise, and compose an optic allegory of the horse, portraying the equine as a metaphor of the ancestral human feelings of peace, nobility, fear, freedom, vivacity, sadness, and love. The limited edition fine art prints are featured in a select number of galleries from Shanghai to Los Angeles, and include a series of photographic objects and sculpture intended for collectors and private galleries. Following its debut in the Middle East, The Raw Horse Project will add Abu Dhabi to its list of local galleries, and received special interest to collaborate on projects for the Royal Family by the Prince of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

RawHorse2Equestrian culture in the UAE focuses on the Sheiks and their families, who are the primary sponsors the events and owners of the venues and horses. The strong connection to religion, nature, landscape, and animals defines the atmosphere and passion for equestrian sports in this part of the world. High levels of disposable income, advancing technology, and a true enjoyment of the sport combine with traditional values and a deep bond with the natural world to make the Middle East a rapidly expanding and international caliber destination for equestrian sport. Racing and endurance riding are the preferred and featured disciplines, due in large part to the legacy of the sport and the Arabian horses that have been selectively bred and competed in the region for millennia. But the infusion of western and Spanish breeds, as well as the disciplines in which they excel, are making their mark on the Middle East’s growing equestrian demographics.

The brainchild of Italian photographer Sebastiano Vitale, The Raw Horse Project brought the spirit of the horse to Asia in 2015, where it was featured at multiple exhibitions across China to resounding approval. Following the first two exhibitions at museums in Beijing and Shanghai, the collection was invited to participate in numerous equestrian events across the country, from Cavalia’s Asian tour and the Longines Global Champions Tour Hong Kong to Dalian Beach Polo.

The primal poetry of The Raw Horse caught the attention of Cavalia creator and co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Normand Latourelle. Vitale and his photography were selected to join the Cavalia Asian tour, based in Shanghai, and featured limited edition Raw Horse prints on display in the fantastic Cavalia show tent erected adjacent to the China Art Museum.

RawHorse3Vitale, who is based mainly out of the United States in winter and spring, also commissions a select number of private shoots for clients per year. His portfolio of work includes some of the biggest names in entertainment and equestrianism, including T.E.A.M. Israel’s equestrian team in Wellington, Florida, and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, his wife, Shirley, and their Polish bred Arabians. Vitale’s photography has been featured in numerous mainstream and equestrian magazines, and his background includes more than 15 years of experience in art, mass communication, and visual journalism, creating campaigns for FIAT, the Olympic Games, RAI, and Atlanta International Airport.

For more information on The Raw Horse or Sebastiano Vitale, visit www.therawhorse.com or contact Equinium Sports Marketing: www.equinium.com, holly@equinium.com, +1 954 205 7992.

Interagro Lusitanos Honored at Troféu Eficiência 2015

Zepelim Interagro, winner of the 2015 Troféu Eficiência, competing at the Global Dressage Festival in 2015 (Photos courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos)

Baldor Interagro and Pia Aragão Sweep Small Tour at CDI3* Sao Paulo

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (March 22, 2016) – From national rankings to CDI victory, Interagro Lusitanos built upon its already decorated history of show ring success over a banner weekend in late March of 2016. Multiple Interagro horses were honored for their performances in 2015 at the Troféu Eficiência, a regionally focused, yearly ranking that encompasses the entire state of Sao Paulo, while Brazilian and Swedish rider Pia Aragão swept the Small Tour at a the CDI3* Sao Paulo with Baldor Interagro, demonstrating their prowess in the upper echelons of international dressage.

Organized and presented by the governing equestrian federation of the state of Sao Paulo, the Troféu Eficiência ranking encompasses six equestrian disciplines and a variety of categories and levels. For the dressage ranking, which incorporates a minimum of 4 competitions, scores from horse and rider partnerships are averaged and ranked over the course of the year, with the highest being honored and recognized as exceptional through the Troféu Eficiência. Of Troféu Eficiência 2015’s 13 categories, 11 were presented to Lusitanos. Of that 11, horses bred by Interagro won two of the rankings: the Grand Prix and 5-Year-Old Division, highlighting the range and talent of the farm’s equine athletes.

Zepelim Interagro, bred and owned by Interagro Lusitanos and ridden by Pia Aragão, was in the limelight during the ceremonies with the highest combined average in the Grand Prix division. The elegant grey stallion (Quinárius Interagro x Ordenada Interagro) has also earned the top Brazilian national ranking in the Grand Prix, and will be officially presented with the award in May. The partnership of Zepelim and Aragão is well known to the Troféu Eficiência, as in 2013 Aragão and Zepelim were presented with the Sao Paulo ranking for the Small Tour, and as a young horse the talented stallion won the prize as both a 5- and 6-year-old. Aragão has also been the recipient of the Troféu Eficiência ranking many times with various horses at various levels, including Baldor Interagro, Vade Mecum Interagro, and Nirvana Interagro. Finório Interagro (Quixote Interagro x Altamira Interagro), ridden by Sara Godoy for Haras Crystal, won the FEI 5-Year-Old division, highlighting the talented young horse’s skills in dressage.

Baldor Interagro and Pia Aragão competing at the 2015 Global Dressage Festival
Baldor Interagro and Pia Aragão competing at the 2015 Global Dressage Festival

“It is always an honor to win the Troféu Eficiência, and to be recognized for your accomplishments in this art and for your knowledge of the sport,” said Aragão. “Zepelim had a great year in 2015, scoring the highest in our Grand Prix Freestyle, and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop him in 2016.” Aragão bookended the honor of receiving 2015’s Troféu Eficiência with three days of victory at the CDI3* Sao Paulo with Baldor Interagro. The pair swept the Small Tour with scores through 68% in the Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I, and Intermediaire I Freestyle. Fresh off a long summer break, Baldor stepped right back into the show arena in winning form despite only 5 Small Tour starts in 2015 and a season of breeding in Brazil. “Because he had such a long time out of the international competition arena, he was a bit fresh and lost his concentration the first day,” said Aragão. “But in general he was fantastic to ride, with the mind, athleticism, and movement to be a competitor at this high level of dressage. My goals going forward are to build on this with the end result of increasing our scores and producing more wins.”

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, to view their 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 5914.

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

Leopoldo Palacios Jugo Brings World-Class Course Designs to Turf Tour Week 11

Photo courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.

Leopoldo Palacios Jugo, one of the most respected course designers in international show jumping, will be laying the courses for Week 11’s competition on the Turf Tour, held at the International Polo Club! Don’t miss your chance to ride over his spectacular designs, and enjoy the unique and competitive atmosphere of the Turf Tour. Palacios has served as course designer for some of the most prestigious competitions in the world, including the Olympics, Pan Am Games, World Equestrian Games, and is known for his ability to present optimum technical sport conditions in combination with artistic presentation.

Palacios will design for the Turf Tour’s 1.30-1.35m, Low, Medium, and High Schooling, and Young Horse divisions on Wednesday, and the $15,000 Grand Prix, Child/Adult Jumper Classic, and Junior Amateur Owner Classic.

Don’t miss this opportunity to ride over Olympic caliber designs at the spectacular International Polo Club!

For those interested in entering the Turf Tour competition or any of the events hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, contact RidgeShows@aol.com, 908 500 0996, or view a full prize list online. Farms or individuals seeking information on sponsorship, packages for upcoming events, or with any other questions regarding the event, please call 908 500 0996.

The Ridge also hosts a USEF Rated Equitation show each Tuesday during the winter show season, and its Palm Beach Series hunter and equitation show occurs one weekend each month at the farm. For more information, visit www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.

Meadowbrook Horse Transport offers a door-to-door horse shuttle to each of the Turf Tour venues, the including the Hunter Derby. To schedule pick up, contact them at 954 415 7217.

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