Category Archives: Equestrian Sport Prod.

Equestrian Sport Productions

Canadian Team Takes Victory in Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO 3*

Tina Irwin and Laurencio. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2017 – Day two of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO 3* at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL brought victory and a gold medal for the Canadian team on Thursday, March 23, at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The Canadian team clinched the top of the podium with impressive performances in the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO 3* and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. This followed strong rides executed on Wednesday, when the Canadian team established an early lead.

Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio, her 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall), took the spot on the top of the leaderboard once again in the FEI Intermediaire CDIO 3 with a score of 73.237%.

Irwin commented, “I’m very lucky to have a horse like Laurencio. He’s very special. To have such amazing rideability quality-wise, and such a good temperament to go with it, it’s quite easy to ride him. He does a great job; I just sit on top and steer him. I’m pleased with our season, and I knew that he was a special horse right from the beginning. I’m happy to start to showcase that.

“I think it’s a great experience to be having these Nations Cups,” continued Irwin, who felt this competition helps prepare riders and horses for championships. “It’s huge for us to get together as a country and have these experiences.”

The second-highest score in the FEI I-1 CDIO 3* was captured by Tina’s husband, Jaimey Irwin (CAN), and Donegal V, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group. They recorded a 69.263%.

“Donegal has been doing extremely well this year,” said Irwin.” I’m very happy with his progress. He did a really good test yesterday; it was super except for his halt in the beginning, (when) he got a little excited. Today, the wind came and the tent was flapping and that got him really excited, so he wasn’t quite with me today, but he still tried. He has a lot of ability in there for the future, and I’m very happy with the way he’s going.”

Canadian team member Jill Irving rode her own Degas 12, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni), to a score of 69.588% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Said Irving of her experience with Degas 12, “We did our job, and that was the goal. I love pressure, but I focus on what I need to do in the ring and Degas was ready to step up.”

Megan Lane and her mount Caravella, a 2001 KWPN mare (Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman) rode as the anchors for Canada in the FEI Grand Prix Special and scored 70.176%.

“Having the pressure of being the anchor,” said Lane. “I try not to think about that and I just really wanted to have a good ride. I do well under pressure, so I’m privileged that I got to be in that spot. Coming out of it I was thrilled; I’m actually still shaking! I’m really happy with Caravella. I think she’s in a good spot. The piaffe passage work is always a highlight, and her canter half-passes are really nice to ride. Her changes, as you can probably see, they are a little difficult to sit because they’re so jumpy, but those are her highlights.”

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) spoke on behalf of the silver medal USA team. “For all of us, everyone that participates, a good, friendly competition pushes us all to be better and provides an opportunity to develop and move on. It’s such a great group of people that we have here in Wellington, so it’s fun in general getting to come together with your country-mates and be in that pressure situation. If you don’t get to practice those things, then you’re only getting to do them when you go to a WEG or an Olympics or a Pan Ams, and we could all use the mileage.”

Spain team member Juan Matute Guimon added, “We are all very thankful for Stillpoint Farm and the sponsors and organizers that make this possible for another year. In my case, I was very happy to also see the inauguration of the first U-25 CDIO competition. Unfortunately, today didn’t go so well for me, but overall I’m very happy with how the week is going. It’s all a positive experience. Even the bad days are better because you get to learn from your mistakes and analyze yourself. When you win and you’re always happy with your rides, you don’t always look at the little mistakes. I think the bad days are better to help you grow, as a rider, as a professional, and as an athlete.”

The FEI Nations Cup CDIO-U25, presented by Diamante Farms, also continued with individual rides in the FEI Grand Prix 16-25 CDIO-U25. Mathilde Blais Tetreault (CAN) and her own Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding by Jazz, captured the gold, scoring 68.093%.

Mathilde Blais Tetreault and Utah

“I think that I went in there today with much more confidence,” said Tetreault of her test. “I thought that I was going to win, so I tried really hard and it worked out that I did! My center trots were good, my piaffe and passage was better, so overall it was pretty good.”

Tetreault, who has only ridden Utah for four months, said it is “a great feeling” to capture the gold medal.

“I didn’t really expect this because Utah and I are such a new combination,” she said. “I’m really happy that we have progressed.”

Second place and the silver medal went to Anna Buffini (USA) and her Sundayboy, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Kennedy x Eezelma), with 68.093%.

“It’s always a blessing to come out here and be able to compete against such amazing competitors. I’m so proud of Mathilde and Molly too,” said Buffini of her fellow medal winners. “They came out here and fought their hearts out.”

“My ride today was tough,” admitted Buffini. “It was a little tricky, and I felt that I didn’t quite ride at my best. I’m still proud that Sundayboy backed me up and was able to come out with second place.”

Molly Paris (USA) and her mount Countess took the bronze and third place with 65.721%.

“Countess is awesome,” said Paris of the 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (Don x Compeed x Solos). “She comes out every day willing to give it her all and we’ve just been getting better and better. I couldn’t be happier with her.”

Judge at C, Evi Eisenhardt (GER), reflected on the rides. “I was astonished by the quality of rides we saw. These are the three riders with the highest quality of piaffe and passage. Sure, there were a few small mistakes, but the riding is at a higher level. Last year I judged the European U25 riders, and I think that this is close to them.”

Earlier in the day, Diane Creech (CAN) and Robbie W, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (Rubin Royal x Rolling Home x Inschallah) owned by Louise Leatherdale, won the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm, with 73.289%. Second place went to Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Don Crusador x Welina) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., earning a score of 71.360%. Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Harmony’s Duval, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Rosseau x Riverman) owned by Kylee Lourie, earned a score of 71.009% for third place.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

NBC Sports Network to Broadcast $380k Suncast Grand Prix CSI 5* on Sat., March 18

Photo copyright Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2017 – Equestrian Sport Productions is pleased to announce that the five-star event from the seventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, March 18, at 5-6 p.m. EST. Watch live or set your DVR – don’t miss this grand prix action!

The $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5*, which was held on February 25, features the world’s best show jumpers in one of the most anticipated events of the season at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

The broadcast is a great opportunity for fans from all over the country to watch the best equestrian sport in the United States and for sports fans of all types to become familiar with equestrian athletes from the U.S. and abroad. Use the NBC Sports Network Channel Finder to find NBC Sports Network in your area, and tune in.

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Final CPEDI 3* of the Season Concludes at AGDF

Laurietta Oakleaf and Niekele Fan Busenitz. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2017 – Week nine of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured CPEDI 1*/2*/3* Para Dressage, presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Competition concluded on Sunday at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

The Para Freestyle Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* was won by Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) and Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349) owned by Oakleaf, with a 70.833%.

Commenting on her ride, Oakleaf said, “We are improving from where we were at this point last year. We are working on stretching him more forward, and his gaits are much bigger, so we’ve got to re-do our musical freestyle to fit him better. I’m very proud of him, and I’m very proud of the direction we’re headed. We are working for a spot at the 2018 World Equestrian Games so I’m hoping we can really keep moving forward.”

Oakleaf and Niekele Fan Busenitz won all three of their classes throughout the weekend.

“He is a Friesian, and I tried to find something that would fit him,” said Oakleaf in regard to her musical freestyle. “We wanted something that represented his presence as a stallion, so I tried to find something with a good beat and something to keep him up and going with that beat.”

Second place in the Para Freestyle Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* went to Dale Dedrick (USA) and her own Bardondales Ultrasuede, a 2007 Connamera Cross gelding, with 70.056%.

Other classes of the day included the Para Freestyle Test Grade I – CPEDI 3*, which was won by Robyn Andrews (CAN) and Fancianna, a 2001 Friesian x Andalusian mare owned by Andrews, with 73.500%. Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) and Firewalker, a 2006 Westfalen gelding owned by Merle-Smith, took the winning ride in the Para Freestyle Test Grade III – CPEDI 3*, scoring 69.056%. Katie Jackson (USA) and Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Julia Handt, captured a win in the Para Freestyle Test Grade V – CPEDI 3* with a score of 74.458%.

Pamela Hardin (USA) and Quarterjack, a 2005 Brandenburg gelding (Quaterman x Medea ii x Rohdiamant) owned by Hardin, were victorious in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* with a score of 73.458%.

Placing second to Hardin in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* were Angela Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenburg mare owned by Rebecca Reno, who scored 72.375% with their “Chocolate” themed freestyle.

Peavy and “Cocoa” were also named high point horse and rider of the weekend, with an overall score of 71.798%.

“Her canter tour is my favorite,” said Peavy of her freestyle. “She’s very elastic and flowing in the canter. We have a nice serpentine and different, exciting movements. The theme was picked to go along with her name so it suits her.”

Third place in the Para Freestyle Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* was awarded to Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and London Swing, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (Londonderry x St. Pr. St. Ribanna x Rubinstein I) owned by Martina and Kai Schneider, with a 65.958%.

Competition at AGDF will resume Wednesday, March 15, with the CDI 4* and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Havensafe Farm; CDI 3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation; and CDI 1*, presented by CaptiveOne. The week also features a National Show and the 2017 Florida International Dressage Youth Championships. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Angela Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate Achieve CPEDI 3* Victory at AGDF

Angela Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 11, 2017 – Week nine of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) features CPEDI 1*/2*/3* Para Dressage, presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena.

2016 Paralympian Angela Peavy (USA) and Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenburg mare owned by Rebecca Reno, were once again victorious in the Para Team Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3*, with a score of 71.057%. The score was the second highest of the day’s competition.

Peavy has only been working with Royal Dark Chocolate, also known as “Cocoa”, for a little over a month.

“I love Cocoa,” said Peavy. “She’s very flowy and is a completely different energy level than I’m used to having, so I thought that it was a solid ride. We just need to get to know one another a little better, but she is just such a joy to ride and to be able to sit on such a quality horse makes me very happy.”

Peavy also commented on the future with her new mount. “Hopefully we make the team for the World Equestrian Games. I would also like to take her to Europe this summer, which is something we are still talking about. I’m going to show her here in the national shows in the next couple of weeks,” she said.

In regards to her time here at The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, Peavy said, “It’s so generous of everyone to sponsor these shows and for allowing us to perform in this stadium to get a more international feel so we are ready to compete at that higher level. It’s really an honor to be here.”

Placing second to Peavy in the Para Individual Test Grade IV – CPEDI 3* was Pamela Hardin (USA) and Quarterjack, a 2005 Brandenburg gelding (Quaterman x Medea ii x Rohdiamant) owned by Hardin, with a score of 67.589%. Third place was awarded to Laura Hall (CAN) and Boo Sinclair, a 2006 KWPN gelding (Sir Sinclair x Onward O’Crimson) owned by Dr. Heather Boo, with a 65.203%.

Other classes of the day included the Para Individual Test Grade I – CPEDI 3*, which awarded a win to Jody Schloss (CAN) and Lieutenant Lobin, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Farine) owned by Schloss, with a 71.250%. The Para Individual Test Grade II – CPEDI 3* was won by Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) and Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349) owned by Oakleaf, with a 70.784%. Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) and Firewalker, a 2006 Westfalen gelding owned by Merle-Smith, took the winning ride in the Para Individual Test Grade III – CPEDI 3*, scoring 64.255%. Katie Jackson (USA) and Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Kai Handt, captured a win in the Para Individual Test Grade V – CPEDI 3* with a score of 69.921%.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

NBC Sports Network to Broadcast $250,000 Gladiator Polo League

Undefeated teams Spiculus and Spartacus in February 23 Gladiator Polo game. ©David Lominska/IPC.

Program Will Air Tuesday Evening, February 28, after NHL Hockey Game at 11:00 pm.

Wellington, FL – February 28, 2017 – Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, along with its partners Palm Beach County Sports Commission, Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission, and Discover the Palm Beaches are sponsoring the Gladiator Polo League which include the title sponsorship of the NBC Sports Network Broadcast of Game 3 of the $250,000 Gladiator Polo™ League Presented by the U.S. Polo Assn. The program will air this Tuesday evening February 28th on NBC Sports Network (DirectTV 220, Dish 159), after the Colorado Avalanche vs Philadelphia Flyers hockey game.

“The Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council and our partners in tourism, the PBC Sports Commission, the PBC Film and Television Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches, are excited to support the continued expansion of the equestrian industry in the Palm Beaches,” said Glenn Jergensen, Executive Director of Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council.

“As a major economic driver during the Winter Season and the benefit of having our own ‘Super Bowl’ of Equestrian Sports annually in the County, we are proud sponsors of the newest addition, ‘Gladiator Polo,’ along with our continued support of the Winter Equestrian Festival and International Polo,” he added.

Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of International Equestrian Group (IEG) and International Polo Club, LLC, said, “We are delighted to welcome sponsors the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, the PBC Sports Commission, the PBC Film and Television Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches. The support of these Palm Beach County leaders enables us to expand our national footprint to attract more equestrian enthusiasts to Palm Beach County which can evolve to be a National Hub for the emerging Gladiator Polo Leagues from Beginners to Professionals.”

Gladiator Polo is an extreme sport derivative of arena polo created by Bellissimo, in which six mounted players (three on each team) go flat-out to score the most points by hitting a ball through the goalposts. While similar to outdoor grass polo, Gladiator Polo is played in an arena with high quality footing that enables faster play and compares more to “Hockey on Horseback”. The smaller field and stadium seating give spectators an up-close-and-personal view of the fast paced action.

NBC Sports Network will broadcast round three of the 7-game high-goal Gladiator Polo series, which took place February 23 at the “Coliseum,” otherwise known as Equestrian Village, in Wellington. The $33,500 contest pitted two undefeated powerhouse teams, Spiculus and Spartacus, against each other. All pros, the players included two of the top polo players in the world: Tommy Biddle (who holds an arena rating of 10 goals) and Sebastian Merlos (9 goals).

Team Spiculus is sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division, and Team Spartacus is sponsored by Carol A. Sollak, P.A. of Engel & Völkers.

For more information about Gladiator Polo, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Darlene Ricker
Media Relations
International Polo Club Palm Beach
dricker@internationalpoloclub.com
(310) 210-4004

Round 2 of $250,000 Gladiator Polo Rocks the Wellington “Coliseum”

©DavidLominska.

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2017 – Six of the top high-goal U.S. and international polo players battled it out in round 2 of the recently launched $250,000 Gladiator Polo™ presented by the U.S. Polo Assn. on February 26, 2017. Team Spiculus soundly defeated Team Priscus 20-9 in the event at the “Coliseum,” otherwise known as the Equestrian Village of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

“Gladiator Polo keeps getting more exciting with every match,” said Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of International Equestrian Group (IEG), who organized and hosted the series, which continues through the winter equestrian season. “Whether or not they had ever seen polo, spectators were mesmerized. With seating just feet away from the arena, you could see the expressions on the players’ faces and hear what they were saying.”

Playing in front of a roaring crowd, who were often on their feet cheering, both teams included luminaries of the sport. The Spiculus roster included Sebastian Merlos (rated at 9 goals), Pelon Escapite (7) and Juan Martin Zubia (7). Priscus had Tommy Collingwood (5), Jeff Hall (8) and Jeff Blake (7). Team Spiculus is sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division, and Team Priscus is sponsored by Bainbridge Companies.

“Gladiator Polo is something we have not seen before. Anything that brings the community out to see a horse event, whether it is dressage, hunter-jumper, grand prix jumping or polo, it’s all good,” said Don Graves, Vice President of Marshall & Sterling Insurance and Director of the Equisport Division, sponsor of Team Spiculus.

“The attendance was great, and the interest was amazing. Gladiator Polo has the potential to be a great spectator sport. This is something we want to support,” he added.

Sebastian Merlos, a member of the winning Spiculus team, called Gladiator Polo “a great idea,” adding, “I really like playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd like this, especially with two amazing teammates. The footing was fantastic, the best surface ever to play on. That’s important because arena polo is a lot different than playing on grass. It’s much harder to control the ball in the sand, and that makes it quite a challenge. But more than anything, it was a lot of fun.”

Spectators enjoyed the gladiator ambiance of the family-friendly event. Authentically attired gladiators walked around the venue, greeting people and offering photo opportunities.

There was also face painting, pony rides, and horse simulators, as well as an authentic Argentine asado. The evening was followed by an after-party open to all at the new onsite “Lions’ Den,” with music by DJ Maximus, drinks and dancing.

The next Gladiator Polo games will be February 23, March 9, March 16, March 30, and the $50,000 Gladiator Polo final on Saturday, April 8.

For more information, please see: www.gladiatorpolo.com.

Diana Porsche and Di Sandro Win FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIU25 at AGDF

Diana Porsche and Di Sandro. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 12, 2017 – Week five of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded competition on Sunday, February 12, with a win for Diana Porsche (AUT) and mount Di Sandro in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIU25, presented by Diamante Farms.

Diana Porsche and Di Sandro, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding (De Niro x Gentina x Sandro) owned by Porsche, rose to the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 16-25 CDIU25, presented by Diamante Farms, with a score of 74.875%.

“Di Sandro was really good today; I think we had a lot of highlights in today’s ride,” said Porsche. “It was a difficult freestyle and we are not used to the warm weather, but I am super happy about the points and about the results.”

Porsche and Di Sandro are currently ranked at number one on the FEI Youth Dressage World Ranking List – U25.

Of her goals, Porsche noted, “I would like to finish my season here at AGDF with good results, and I hope to qualify for the European Championships in the U25 tour for Austria. After that, we will see what the future brings!”

Coming in second to Porsche was Mathilde Blais Tetreault (CAN) and Utah, a 2001 KWPN gelding (by Jazz) owned by Tetreault, with a score of 70.850%. Third place was captured byKaitlin Blythe (USA), who rode Don Principe, a 1999 Hanoverian stallion (Donnerhall x SPS Papagena x Prince Thatch xx) owned by Maryanna Haymon, to a 68.925%.

Earlier in the day, Katriana Sadis (USA) and Zeplim, a 2004 Lusitano gelding (Ribamar x Sereia) owned by Sadis, were the champions of the FEI Young Rider Freestyle CDIY, presented by Yeguada de Ymas, earning a score of 71.875%.

“He was surprisingly hot today!” revealed Sadis. “Usually he’s a really cool dude, but luckily I had some time to get him settled in the ring and then he was right there with me for the whole test. We have a really difficult freestyle; my coach Nicholas Fyffe made it for me. We tried to make it more challenging because I don’t have the biggest moving horse, so you really have to ride to get the points.”

Sadis began competing in the main Global Arena at AGDF in 2014, where she moved up the levels from the FEI Pony to the FEI Juniors and then to FEI Young Riders classes.

Regarding her future goals with Zeplim, Sadis commented, “I think I’m going to do Young Riders again this year with him. My end goal with this horse is to get him to the U25 Grand Prix, so I’m going to continue to work towards that.”

Codi Harrison (USA) and Katholts Bossco, a 2007 Danish Warmblood gelding (Blue Hors Don Schufro x Katholts Farceur x Michellino) owned by Harrison, placed second with a 67.725%. Third place was given to Camille Carier Bergeron (CAN) and Expression, a Westfalen gelding owned by Bergeron, with a score of 67.625%.

Competition at AGDF will resume with a full schedule of classes, including CDI-W competition presented by The Axel Johnson Group, and FEI Small Tour classes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, on February 23-26. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Gladiator Polo League to Expand to Four High-Goal Teams and Seven Evening Events

Wellington, FL – February 9, 2017 – Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of the International Equestrian Group (IEG), announced today that the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) has dramatically expanded the 2017 winter Gladiator Polo™ League schedule. Bellissimo commented, “This does not displace our core interest in high-goal grass polo, but rather is a concerted effort to create a robust and critical gateway to bring more players, patrons, spectators, and sponsors into the sport of polo.”

Bellissimo added, “We will commit significant resources Gladiator Polo™ by creating both amateur and professional leagues that, over time, will provide substantial income and opportunities to both emerging and seasoned professionals and make the sport higher-profile and more accessible at all levels.  In order to create a true professional sport, you need to create personalities for athletes, spectator enthusiasm, and strong sponsor support, as well as media interest. That is the only formula for long-term success in sport.”   Next week IPC will outline its high goal grass polo initiative.

The U.S. Polo Assn. brand is the presenting sponsor of the 2017 league. David Cummings, CEO and President of USPA Global Licensing, commented, “I can’t think of a better way for a spectator to get up close and personal to the action of the game and to really see the athletic ability of both the horse and rider. Gladiator Polo is hockey on horseback.”

The next high goal arena game will feature Sebastian Merlos (9), Jeff Blake (7), Pelon Escapite (7) vs Julio Arrellano (8), Kris Kampsen (8), Juan Martin Zubia (7) and will be held on February 16th, when Team Spiculus will face Team Priscus at the “Coliseum” otherwise known as the Equestrian Village on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Pierson Road (13500 South Shore Boulevard). The winner will face Team Spartacus on February 23rd. The next four games of the Gladiator Polo™ League will be March 9th, March 16th, March 30th, and the $50,000 Gladiator Polo™ Final on Saturday evening of April 8th.

The VIP area for the initial Gladiator Polo™ event, hosted on January 26th, was sold out. By request, there are new additions to the VIP hospitality offerings: the asado menu will be expanded to include more food options. While general admission and parking remain free to the public, a limited number of reserved tables can be purchased in the VIP Pavilion. Both asado and VIP table reservations can be purchased at http://bit.ly/2lrZcDo. A featured “After Party” at the newly created “Lion’s Den” will feature DJ Maximus and will be sponsored by Pernod Ricard.

Gladiator Polo™ presented by U.S. Polo Assn. will add two new teams, Spiculus and Priscus, to join Spartacus and Crixus, as the four teams named after great Roman gladiators.

Gates for the event will open to the general public at 6:00 p.m. while competition will start immediately at 7:00 p.m.

The Tourist Development Council of the Palm Beaches, in collaboration with the Palm Beach Sports Commission, Discover the Palm Beaches, and the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission, has partnered with the Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP) to promote the Gladiator Polo™ League nationally, in an effort to make Wellington, FL the world headquarters of arena polo. The TDC entities will be the title sponsors of the NBC Sports Broadcast to air on February 28th. The national broadcast of the February 23rd game is scheduled for February 28th at 11:00 p.m. following the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche NHL hockey game.

Other details of the announcement:

– The children of the world’s top polo players will contest a 5-minute exhibition chukker at halftime of the February 16th event to showcase young polo talent, as well draw attention to the future rising stars of the sport. The players will include the children of high-profile high-goal players including Poroto Cambiaso, son of Adolfo Cambiaso, Antonio Aguirre, son of Mariano Aguirre, Kristos Magrini, son of Matias Magrini, Hope Arellano, daughter of Julio Arellano, Hunter Azzaro, son of Mike Azzaro, and Santos Merlos, son of Sebastian Merlos.

– Dan Farrell, former SVP of Corporate Sales at Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the most financially successful NASCAR venues in the nation, has been hired as the Chief Revenue Officer in support of all Wellington, Tryon, and Colorado equestrian properties under the management of the Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), and Colorado Equestrian Partners (CEP).

– More Gladiator Polo™ demonstration events are planned in other cities, starting in the spring of 2017 and will be announced shortly. A Gladiator Polo™ City League will begin in the fall of 2017.

– In addition to the Professional Division, the Gladiator Polo™ League will be developing a series of amateur arena leagues based out of Wellington, FL, Tryon, NC, and Parker, CO, that will include children, adults, colleges, as well as women’s leagues.

– The International Polo Club (IPC) is creating a “Get Into Polo” initiative to promote interest and access to the sport by utilizing the newly created IPC Polo Academy and training simulators, as well as the new World Polo Training Center (WPTC) to be launched in the fall of 2017.

– The Gladiator Polo™ League has signed a preferred provider and sponsorship agreement with Gladiator Sports (GS), based in Woodbridge, VA, a top manufacturer of polo equipment and tack. They will manufacture and provide the official game ball. Gladiator Sports does not have a corporate affiliation with the Gladiator Polo™ League.

Bellissimo concluded, “I want to thank the USPA, U.S. Polo Assn., the inaugural players, patrons, and all of the team and supporting sponsors whose commitment to this effort are greatly appreciated. With a fast-action, fan-friendly game and a successful NBC Sports Network broadcast, we are positioned to take the sport to a new level. I am confident that after a successful inaugural year, next year we will have a 12 week league with an 8-team league and prize money in excess of $500,000 that will include team owners and a player draft.”

For sponsorship and partner requests, please contact Tannis Marley at tmarley@equestriansport.com. For information on Gladiator Polo™ League, teams, and training, contact Gates Gridley at jgridley@equestriansport.com.

Media Contact:
Darlene Ricker
Media Relations/Communications
dricker@internationalpoloclub.com
(310) 210-4004

About the International Polo Club

The International Polo Club of Palm Beach is the premier polo destination in the world, hosting the largest field of high-goal teams and the most prestigious polo tournaments in the United States. Polo enthusiasts descend upon Wellington, Fla. each winter season to enjoy their love of the sport in the most prominent and well-equipped polo facility. The 2017 Palm Beach Polo season opened on Sunday, January 1, and will conclude 17 weeks later with the USPA 113th U.S. Open Polo Championships® Final on Sunday, April 23rd. Polo matches are open to the public, with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating that includes elegant grandstand viewing, field tailgating, stadium seating, field-side champagne brunch at The Pavilion, and exclusive sponsor boxes. To learn more about the International Polo Club Palm Beach, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.

Enrique Gonzalez and Chacna Top $86 Marshall & Sterling Ins. Grand Prix CSI 2* at WEF

Enrique Gonzalez and Chacna. Photos © Sportfot.

Kellogg Sadrian Makes Her Return to WEF a Winning One

Wellington, FL – January 21, 2017 – Olympian Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico was the winner in Saturday night’s $86,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* riding Chacna at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. U.S. Olympians Margie Engle and Laura Kraut rounded out the top three, with Engle aboard Indigo in second, and Kraut riding Nouvelle third.

Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) set the course for 44 horse and rider combinations Saturday night at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The track yielded eight horses for the jump-off, which featured Olympians and veteran show jumpers, alongside some top up-and-comers.

Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group’s Cocq a Doodle set things off over the short course, finishing with four faults in 40.55 seconds to eventually place seventh. Mavis Spencer (USA) jumped her first “Saturday Night Lights” grand prix riding Mike Collins’ Cornetiero, and dropped two rails in 46.43 seconds to place eighth.

Gonzalez was next to go, completing the first double clear round in 40.36 seconds for the win aboard Chacna. Kara Chad (CAN) and Torrey Pines Stable’s Gin Tonic vd Haagakkers, cleared the track in 44.13 seconds to place fourth. Laura Kraut and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle followed with the third place time of 41.35 seconds.

Beezie Madden (USA) had the time in 40.12 seconds on Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, but dropped the front rail of the final oxer to end sixth. Engle went next, racing through the timers in 41.02 seconds riding Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek, and Gladewinds’ Indigo to land the second place prize. Last to go, Daniel Coyle (IRL) knocked one rail with Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita, but clocked the fastest round of the night in 39.49 seconds to secure fifth place honors.

“The last year has been really good. She learned a lot, and she improved a lot,” Gonzalez said of the ten-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chacco-Blue x Narew XX). “Now I think she is ready to really compete at this level. She has never shown here, and she has never shown in a night class in an open place like this. I really wanted her to go tonight to be ready for the coming weeks.”

Gonzalez last competed at the Winter Equestrian Festival in 2011, and this was his first grand prix win at PBIEC.

“We are here for the whole season, so it is definitely a very nice way to start, and hopefully we can keep it up for the rest of the season,” he stated.

Following the WEF circuit, Chacna may have a trip to the FEI World Cup Finals in her future, as Gonzalez is currently leading the West Coast standings and qualified to compete in April.

For Engle, Saturday night was a great result with longtime partner Indigo, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro.

“He doesn’t know he’s any older,” Engle remarked. “He acts younger than most of my young horses. He gave it a shot (in the jump-off), and I went as fast as I could at the beginning. I may have gone a little wide to the last fence, but he is always ready to go. He is very enthusiastic, and he always wants to go forward. He is still young at heart.”

Indigo jumped the first two weeks at WEF and will now have a few weeks off. Engle said, “He doesn’t owe me anything. He probably won’t show a lot the rest of the season. It gets bigger and bigger as it goes on, and now that he’s older I pick my spots with him. He’s been a great horse for me.”

Kraut was going for the win Saturday night, but was happy with her finish aboard Nouvelle to start the circuit. This was the first week jumping since the beginning of November for the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Solitair x Contango).

Commenting on her jump-off, Kraut detailed, “I knew Enrique was fast. I went as fast as I could. I just messed up that last turn; I started to turn too early. She made a heroic effort over that jump to not knock it down, because I did everything in my power to knock it down. I think I probably lost it there.”

Beezie Madden was presented the award for Leading Lady Rider for week two, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in memory of Dale Lawler.

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series got underway with its first of ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the WEF circuit.

The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Welcome was held as a one round speed class, with 62 entries and 22 clear rounds. The win went to USA’s Lillie Keenan riding Chansonette Farm LLC’s Be Gentle through the timers in 60.84 seconds. Richard Neal (USA) and Ida Gold placed second in 62.00 seconds, and Emanuel Andrade (VEN) finished third with a time of 62.15 seconds aboard Cortina 186.

In the morning, Emily Moffitt and Poden Farms’ Don Vito won the $15,000 Engel & Völkers SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Anna Beth Athey and Samoa topped the $10,000 Sleepy P Ranch SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic for week two.

Kellogg Sadrian Makes Her Return to WEF a Winning One

On Saturday, Lee Kellogg Sadrian, of New York, NY, returned to WEF for the first time in five years to claim championship honors in the Osphos® Amateur-Owner 3’3″ 36 & Over division. Aboard her own Sochi, Kellogg Sadrian won three over fences classes with impressive scores of 90, 89, and 87, while also placing third in the final jumping class and eighth under saddle. What made Kellogg Sadrian’s success even more special though, was that this was only her third show with Sochi.

Sochi and Lee Kellogg Sadrian

Kellogg Sadrian purchased the coming eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Quirado two years ago, while living in California. John French competed Sochi in the First Year Green Working Hunters during the 2015 season and was champion of the division at the 2015 Washington International Horse Show. Unfortunately, Sochi injured himself while turned out later that fall. It was not until December of 2016 that Sochi returned to the show ring.

“He loves to show,” Kellogg Sadrian said. “He’s perfect in the ring, but he can be a little funny outside the ring. He’s sweet and kind, but when schooling his attitude is more like, ‘Why are you making me do this?’ In the ring though, he’s all business. It’s so fun because you can jump the first fence, any fence, every single fence, and he’s amazing. I’ve never had a horse that’s so amazing in the air. He’s just so much fun.

“I’m excited to be back and this is a great way to start,” Kellogg Sadrian said.

Becky Gochman, of Palm Beach, FL, and Last Man Darling earned reserve honors. The pair placed first, third, sixth, and seventh over fences, and first under saddle. Last Man Darling is an 11-year-old Mecklenburg mare that Scott Stewart and Sophie Gochman previously campaigned.

The second week of WEF ends on Sunday with the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix, both in the International Arena. The Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3″ will award championship and reserve honors in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival Brings Technology to the Forefront

Photo ©SusanJStickle.com.

New Freestyle Scoring System for Competition and Spectator Judging App Available

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2017 – The 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) kicked off its season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL last week and runs through March 25. Making its AGDF debut was the FEI’s new Degree of Difficulty (DoD) Freestyle Judging System, accompanied by a new spectator judging app.

AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur is excited to introduce these two new, innovative technologies during the circuit. “I think it’s a good step forward, to make the subjective freestyle a bit more objective,” he said. “We will continue through the season in the CDI-Ws with it, to get ready for Omaha and the FEI World Cup Final.”

The technology was first thought of with the help of FEI 5* judge Katrina Wüst of Germany and created by software developer and German national judge, Daniel Göhlen.

The FEI’s new Freestyle Scoring Suite asks riders to create and submit floor plans ahead of time with the Floorplan Creator. The Suite also has a second element, Judge Assistant, which displays the floor plans for the judges and allows them to score the freestyles.

The scoring is regulated through the FEI, and now riders compete and work to achieve high freestyle scores through challenging choreography. The software calculates the degree of difficulty executed, which will then be awarded to the over-all degree of difficulty mark that belongs to the individual freestyle.

“It can be compared to ice skating. The riders know beforehand what degree of difficulty score they might get. The degree of difficulty is highly dependent on the technical execution,” said Göhlen.

Floorplan Creator displays elements including combination, difficult transitions, particle, and “joker” (which allows the rider to repeat a particular movement if they are in need of a re-do).The software requires the judge to communicate with the scribe, asking the judge to accept or reject the degree of difficulty awarded to each movement.

To actively incorporate the audience into the world of dressage tests, Göhlen also developed the Spectator Judging app. The app allows spectators to actively participate by giving them three different live scoring options.

Göhlen noted his inspiration for the creation of the app, “I always looked at these performances and thought, ‘What would I give? What marks would I choose?’ I thought it would be fun to try it out, to try judging in that way.”

Each app user is able to give a score movement by movement, in a simplified manner, or create an overall score at the end of the ride. The spectators are then able to compare their scores directly to the scores given by the judges.

The system was launched successfully in the United States in 2016 at the International Omaha, and will be making its way back to Nebraska for the FEI World Cup Final in April.

For downloading and more information on the new Freestyle Scoring Suite and Spectator App, please visit www.fei.org and www.blackhorse88.com. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.