Category Archives: JRPR

Johnny Robb

Dressage Is Tracking Up at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of SDP Photography.

Jacksonville, FL (May 7, 2018) – With top tier arenas, an indoor coliseum like no other in the area and over 400 permanent stalls, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center provides everything a dressage rider needs to enjoy competing with their equine partner.  The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is becoming the go-to destination for dressage-focused equestrians, so it should come as no surprise that in the past month there were two dressage shows and in the upcoming month two more are on the calendar.

Host to the First Coast Classical Dressage Society’s annual shows and clinics, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, a premier Northeast Florida venue, offers a world-class showing experience to the society’s members. Lisa Beardsley, Vice President of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society, said, “We have been having shows at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center since 2014. Our first year, we held 3 shows.  Since then, we have put on 5 shows a year; all but one have been held at the equestrian center.”

The First Coast Classical Dressage Society plans to stay with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center long-term. “We have dates booked with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center through the end of 2018, and ‘requested to reserve’ show dates through 2020,” said Beardsley. During the Spring Dressage Challenge held April 21, they had thirty entries featuring a unique event called a showposium. “The show was enjoyed by all.  Our judge for the weekend, Cheryl Holekamp, “S”, from Ocala, came up on Friday to host private lessons with our members. Education spilled over into the weekend during our Showposium, with each entry riding their test and receiving immediate feedback and hands on training right afterwards.”

In addition to the Spring Dressage Challenge, the NFDA Schooling Show was held on April 21. The event ran two arenas all day with classes ranging from Western Dressage to Fourth Level test one.  Judges on hand were Charlotte Trentelman and Lisa El-Ramey.

Coming up in the month of May, South East Horse Shows will host the May Day Qualifier on May 12th, and on May 19th NFDA is hosting another Schooling Show.

For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts Groundbreaking Event

(left to right) Councilmen Greg Nelson, Councilwoman Joyce Morgan, Councilman Doyle Carter, Chair of the Board Peggy Fuller, Vice Chair of the Board Carolyn LaRose, Construction Chair for the Board Joanne Connell, Secretary of the Board Betty Griner, and Director of Parks and Recreation Darly Joseph.  (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Jacksonville, FL (May 4, 2018) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center (JEC) held an official groundbreaking ceremony on May 3rd, 2018 for its new covered arena, part of its long-term plan for progress and expansion.

“The new arena will be the largest clear-span covered arena in the southeast providing the necessary space to support a wider variety of activities and multiple events at the same time,” explained Peggy Fuller, DVM the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board of Directors Chair, addressing the attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony. The new covered arena will be 300’ x 300’ and will attach to the existing 150’ x 300’ coliseum via a covered 130’ x 80’ livestock pavilion. “Essentially we are doubling the number of covered rings we currently have available. We’re thrilled that this new building will increase our capacity to offer diverse events to all members of the community.” Fuller thanked the City of Jacksonville council members and officials, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board members and staff, World Development Group International, and the many members of the community who have supported the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, making the improvements possible.

Jacksonville City Council members Doyle Carter, Joyce Morgan, Al Ferraro, and Greg Anderson and Parks and Recreation Director Daryl Joseph joined the Jacksonville Equestrian Center executive board members in commemorating the groundbreaking event.

The celebratory evening included an introduction to therapeutic riding by H.O.P.E. Therapy Director, Becky Davenport. She highlighted the benefits hippotheraphy programs provide to individuals with a wide range of special needs. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will allow all Premiere Accredited Therapeutic Programs use of the facility. This will enable the facility to be utilized, even when not booked for events. H.O.P.E Therapeutic is currently the sole local Premiere Accredited Therapeutic Riding Program and plans to make use of the facility. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has a specially equipped carriage with a wheelchair lift and special needs mounting ramp that accommodates wheelchairs and walkers. The new covered arena will enable The Jacksonville Equestrian to host more events like the Special Olympics Area Qualifiers and Championships, which were held at the facility in 2017 and 2018 and provide an all-weather training and teaching location.

The commemorative evening also honored winners of the “Take It to the Jax” Agricultural Art Contest. Two Duval County Schools, Fort Caroline Middle School and Enterprise Learning Academy, participated in the contest. Councilman Doyle Carter and Councilwoman Joyce Morgan presented the students with their awards.  Fort Caroline Middle School 7th grader Bria McClary was a first-place winner for her piece titled The Rooster. Elian Salami was awarded second place for Horses and Isabelle Hampton was presented with third place for Orange Horses. Fourth graders from Enterprise Learning Academy were also recognized for their artistic talents. Kayle Lewis received first place for Teal Owl, Ava Linn was awarded second place for Horse and Barn, and Keira Collins received third place for Zebra & Tigers.

Attendees were treated to a celebrity barrel race that featured Jacksonville City Council Members and Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board members. Carolyn LaRose Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board of Directors Vice Chair raced to the fastest time. City Councilman Doyle Carter was second and the Center’s Board of Director’s Chair, Peggy Fuller, was third.  Local supporter and experienced barrel racer, Jodi Coxwell, announced the event and provided expert coaching to the celebrities who braved the race. The barrel horses were graciously provided by Diamond D Ranch and Michael Griffin, all of which earned “equestrian saint” status for taking care of their riders during the fun event.

The celebration was capped off with a delicious Taco Bar Dinner by Anthony’s Catering, followed by a team roping demonstrations from this week’s NTRL Rope for the Truck competitors.  To catch a recap of the some of the evenings highlights, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWezFjmE0Hw/.

For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Wraps Up Another Successful Spring Classic Series

Derek Peterson and Diamant’s Legacy. (Allison Hartwell Photography)

Jacksonville, FL (April 24, 2018) – For the third year in a row, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center wowed riders and spectators alike during the Jacksonville Spring Classic, held April 4 through April 15, 2018.

The facility, which boasts an impressive set-up including a larger-than-life indoor stadium, several outdoor rings and a derby field, attracted 500 hunter and jumper pairs from as far as Dallas, Texas.

The highly anticipated two-week series featured a myriad of hunter and jumper classes, with favorites including the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Glen Kernan Gold and Country Club, and the $35,000 Regional Grand Prix sponsored by Sidelines. Prize money totaled more than $260,000, adding to the allure of the springtime show.

The show also offered Opportunity Classes for those riders who are not USEF members and wanted to compete at a USEF-rated competition – cementing the series’ ideal environment for all types of riders, including junior, amateur and professional competitors ranging from unknown, local amateurs to household names, like Kelley Farmer.

Farmer, known by the hunter community as a derby queen, captured the coveted the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard her new partner, David Glefke’s Verdict. The impressive pair blew the competition out of the water with 20 points above the runner-up in a field of 23.

This year, many competitors were return customers, after enjoying the simultaneous comfort and excitement of previous years’ events. Derek Petersen, of Archer, Florida, for example, commented about how thrilled he was to return to the show. After taking second in last year’s grand prix, much to his pleasure, this year he took the blue in the $35,000 grand prix.

Equally happy to participate in the show, first-time Jacksonville Equestrian Center rider and winner of the $7,500 Welcome Jumper, Amanda ‘Happy’ Comly, also expressed her enjoyment.

“It’s so nice to be here with the Classic Company,” she said. “It’s a lot more personal than other shows I’ve been to — it feels like the organizers care about what I think and how I’m doing. I’m grateful to be a part of this community.”

Of course, the show is just as thrilling for spectators as it is for riders. Conveniently located near lodging and attractions, like the Jacksonville Zoo and the Riverside historic district, spectators, who enjoy free admission and parking to the series can, find lots of entertainment.

To learn more about this year’s Jacksonville Spring Classic series, go to www.classiccompany.com. For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and the myriad of equestrian events that call it home, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Barrel Racers Run for Pot of Gold at Shamrock Showdown Held at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photography by Phifer.

Jacksonville, FL (March 23, 2018) – Barrel racers chased a $62,000 pot o’ gold at the 13th annual National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Shamrock Showdown Super Show held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida March 16-18.

Competitors traveled from as far as Canada, Vermont, Tennessee and North Carolina. Racers from nearby South Carolina, Georgia and across Florida are familiar with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and never miss an opportunity to run for big cash prizes inside the state-of-the-art coliseum.

“The facility is great,” said Renee Jenkins. “We were the second show to ever be held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and we haven’t missed a year yet.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was excited to host the group for its fourth consecutive year. A total of 853 entries dashed down the alleyway over the course of the three-day event. In addition to cash prizes riders had an opportunity to win tack and one of 60 wildcards. The wildcards give the first, second and third place finishers in each division a guaranteed slot to compete at the NBHA World Championship Show held each October.

The next scheduled event is the Florida Reining Horse Association Spring Show March 23-25. The multi-day reining competition features a full slate of classes from short stirrup and youth to amateur, non-pro, novice, green and open. The second annual Spring Classic Hunter/Jumper show is set to start on April 4 and upcoming events in May include dressage and team roping.

For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Reining Horses at Jacksonville Equestrian Center Compete for over $130,000 in Prizes

Photo courtesy of Waltenberry Photography and Videography of the Horse.

Jacksonville, FL (March 9, 2018) — The Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosted the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA) Classic February 20-25. The annual competition paid out more than $130,000 in added prize monies.

The multi-day reining competition offered 75 classes across multiple divisions from short stirrup and youth to amateur, non-pro, novice, green and open. The event also included US Para Reining Grades 1-4 and World Para Reining Grades 1-4, which are for athletes with a physical disability.

“We had roughly 450 horses here,” said Karen Randall, the show secretary from Lockport, New York. “We had more exhibitors from outside of Florida than from the state of Florida.”  Riders hauled from as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and as far north as New York and Pennsylvania and points beyond. Each exhibitor had hopes of winning cash prizes, one of 35 championship buckles, a saddle or one of nearly 600 other prizes.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s facilities contribute to the event’s popularity. The facility offers more than 400 permanent stalls and a large indoor coliseum, which includes a 123,000 square foot arena with permanent seating for 3,700.  “The Equestrian Center goes above and beyond for us,” Randall said. “The facility and staff are simply fabulous to work with.” FRHA will host another event at the facility March 23-25 of this year and has already signed a contract for events in 2019.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is widely known for hosting family-friendly, exciting events all year long, which are open to the public. Events range from reining to barrel racing, dressage, dog agility competitions and more. The next event scheduled for this month is the USDAA Agility Trial on March 9-11.

After that, the facility will be open to the public for Community Schooling – All Barrels on March 13. Barrel racers can take advantage of the opportunity to ride in the Main Arena in the evening. That takes place just ahead of the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Shamrock Showdown. This high-speed barrel race will pay out an estimated $125,000 in cash prizes.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a favorite destination for equestrian competitions, recreational events, and social events for the community. The 80-acre facility, which is easily accessible from major highways in Jacksonville, Florida, also features miles of hiking and riding trails and a picnic pavilion. For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4225
timjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Endel Ots and Lucky Strike Smokin’ at Global Dressage Festival

Photo courtesy of Wilma Frentz, Custom Saddlery.

Wellington, FL (March 8, 2017) – Endel Ots and Lucky Strike enjoyed their 2018 debut at the Global Dressage Festival and proved that Ots’ slow and steady approach to the young star’s training is a formula for success.  Ots and the Hanoverian gelding Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie x His Highness) that ignited FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships arenas not once but twice as one of the few American horses ever to represent US Dressage there, posted a victorious 73.235% ride in the USEF Developing Prix St Georges and were third (68.088%) in the FEI Prix St George, launching a confident return to the show ring during week eight and the Palm Beach Dressage Derby at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.

“I had to brush the cobwebs off a little,” joked a modest Ots, who has been on a competitive hiatus while focusing on developing a string of bright stars for Everglades Dressage LLC of Wellington. “This was his first test since the Developing Young Horse Championships and we won. It was a nice, clean test and he went very nicely in front of me. I was especially happy with his solid canter pirouettes. He’s come back stronger between the last championships and now.” Lucky Strike, owned by Endel and his father, neurosurgeon Dr. Max Ots, was the 2016 USEF 6-Year-Old Division Champion.

Ots hasn’t been in a hurry and the results speak for themselves: “A young horse is going to take as long as they take. I want to create a happy relationship, where they will be with me in the tests and let them have time to develop, enjoy the show ring and make US teams.

“As Lucky Strike develops, my sponsor, Custom Saddlery has been so helpful in fitting his saddle,” Ots added. “It sounds like a little thing, but comfort is so important to horses when we are asking them to give us more.  Lucky and I are, well, ‘lucky’ to have such a great support team.  I was also happy that the Custom team from Holland was on hand to see how nicely Lucky is progressing this weekend.”

In addition to Lucky Strike, he’s casting an optimistic eye on a Developing Grand Prix mare, Rosenschon, that he hopes to start on a “little show tour” in April, and a Developing 5-Year-Old, owned by Tonya Reed, that he hopes to take to Chicago and represents a second generation of dressage horses that he has campaigned: “I competed his sire in Developing Grand Prix.”

Ots is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist and 2011 Pan American Games US Team Alternate who has finished multiple horses to Grand Prix level. In 2017, he won the Reserve Champion title in the Developing Horse Prix St George at the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships, and coached both Chase Hickok (who campaigns Sagacious HF for Hyperion Farm) to become the top-scoring American rider on the FEI Nations Cup teams for Fasterbo, Sweden and Hickstead, England, and Bebe Davis and Fiderhit OLD, winners of the Individual Gold medal at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships.

“His notable track record is proof of his dressage expertise,” Young Rider Lauren Gorton has said about Ots, who has been industriously furthering his own skills with Robert Dover, Albrecht Hinneman, Debbie McDonald and Christine Traurig.

The only thing as important as developing a young horse is developing its rider. Ots likes to quote the American captain of industry and harnesser of horsepower, Henry Ford: “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” To contact Ots, call (920) 562-5714 or email endelots@gmail.com or visit www.EndelOtsDressage.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Gets Splash of Paint during APHA Zone 9 Championship

Photo courtesy of Eric Hardesty.

Jacksonville, FL (February 26, 2018) — The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Zone 9 Championship show tallied more than five hundred entries at its annual winter show at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.  With horses coming in from as far west as Washington and as far north as New Jersey, it’s safe to say that Jacksonville was covered in paints for the weekend.

“We had people from all over the country. We had exhibitors from as far west as Washington state and as far north as New Jersey,” said Maggie Nipper, the Zone 9 Committee Chairman and Florida Paint Horse Club President. “It really was a great turnout.”  The competition was held February 16-18, 2018 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville for the fourth consecutive year.

“The facility has gone through some management changes but overall it’s a nice place to be and work out of,” she said. “We hope to continue working with the facility moving forward.”

The three-day show offered classes in a wide variety of disciplines and multiple divisions. Exhibitors had an opportunity to earn points under six judges during the weekend long event with additional select special event classes that featured double judged classes.  “We offered a full slate of English and Western classes, including Hunter Under Saddle, Western Pleasure, Trail, Halter, Ranch Riding, Showmanship, and much more,” she said.

In addition to offering good competition, the show organizers strive to provide of plenty opportunities to enjoy down time. Exhibitors were treated to complimentary breakfasts each day, a pizza party and a refreshment table, which were supported by loyal sponsors.  At the end of the show competitors walked away with smiles and lots of ribbons; some of the more notable awards were the APHA 2018 Zone 9 Florida Highpoint Horse, which went to Wicked Roses, ridden by Kayla Martin, and the APHA 2018 Zone 9 Florida Reserve Highpoint Horse, which went to Unchippable Investment, ridden by Rachael Doern.  Overall, ten highpoint and reserve highpoint titles were awarded to riders in the Youth (13-U and 18-U), Novice (Youth and Amateur), Amateur, Masters Amateur, and Open.

Official APHA affiliate clubs are assigned to one of 14 zones based on geographic location. Zone 9 is made up of affiliate clubs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Caribbean Islands. The annual Zone 9 Championship is held in February of each year. Visit http://aphazone9.weebly.com/ or email APHAZone9@gmail.com to learn more.

For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

After Hosting NTRL Finals, Jacksonville Equestrian Center Gears Up for More Crowd Pleasing Events

Photo courtesy of SDPhoto.

Jacksonville, FL (February 12, 2018) – The momentum remains strong at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center (JEC), a world-class facility that hosts a wide variety of events and leisure gatherings – from equestrian competitions to BMX biking – each year. Over the four days of January 25-28, riders attending the NTRL (National Team Roping League) National Finals got down to business at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, while competing on world-class arena footing and enjoying the many amenities the center has to offer. With over $500,000 in cash and prizes at stake, competitors from around the U.S and the league’s top contenders in the sport of team roping displayed high speed teamwork and “edge of your seat” excitement.

“This was our biggest finals yet!” exclaimed Katie Smith. “We finished the weekend with 2,559 teams, a cash payout of $425,000, and a prize line payout of $90,000. Not only was this the biggest payout yet at the finals, it’s also the largest ever East of the Mississippi.”

After hosting the NTRL Finals at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for 13 straight years, the league remains dedicated to the center. Located about 12 miles east of downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 400-plus permanent stalls and huge indoor coliseum, which includes a 123,000 square foot arena with permanent seating for 3,700, makes the center a perfect choice for NTRL competitions.

“We really love having our finals here,” Smith added. “There are plenty of stalls and RV hookups to accommodate everyone. The whole facility is top notch; the location is central and great for us. We ran a second arena outside this year that allowed us to run more teams in less time. Once that arena is covered, those advantages will become even bigger without the weather factoring in.”

Also held in January, the Pals and Paws Dog Agility Club, a group of dog agility lovers from the Jacksonville, Orange Park, and surrounding areas, came together to enjoy this wonderful canine sport. The club hosts four trials each year – open to all breeds – and has a top-notch practice field for use by members and to host weekly classes. Pals and Paws, which began in the early 1990s, will offer agility enthusiasts another chance to catch the dogs in action at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in late March. As always, spectator admission and parking are free of charge.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center also has a variety of must-see events scheduled during the month of February.  From February 13-15, Construction Career Day, designed to introduce school students to the wide range of career opportunities available to them in the construction industry in a hands-on environment.

For equine enthusiasts, The First Coast Classical Dressage show, a schooling show attended by First Coast group members but open to the general public from 8a.m.-5p.m., will take place in the Dixon Square Arena on Saturday and Sunday, February 17-18. The Florida Paint Horse Club hosts the Zone 9 Southern Classic February 16-18 from 8a.m.-8p.m., featuring horses who display their unique splashes of color and all round athleticism in a variety of classes. Next up is the Florida Reining Horse Association Florida Classic, Feb 21-25, offering Open and Non-pro Derbies as well as many super classes for rookies and green reiners, show times 8 a.m.-8p.m. daily.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center looks forward to welcoming a variety of crowd-pleasing events to its facility throughout the winter and spring months. Plans are also in place to enhance the facility with even more additions and construction projects in the future. The facility hosts a wide range of popular, family-friendly gatherings throughout the year, such as car shows, family fun days, dog agility trials, bicycling events, and equestrian competitions for every breed and riding discipline. For nature lovers, the property also features miles of hiking and riding trails as well as a picnic pavilion.

Known for its extensive amenities and ideal location only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility includes two outdoor 36,000 square foot show rings, four permanent barns, 422 stalls, 78 full hook up RV spaces, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces, and access to an Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race in Honor of Brie Ahearn

One of the many riders showing their love of Brie, wearing the BrieStrong shirt rounding the barrel. (Photo courtesy SDPhotography)

Jacksonville, FL (January 22, 2018) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center may be a destination on the map for riders from across the United States, but it still retains the small-town feel loved by the equestrian community that calls Jacksonville, Florida home. This month, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center paid tribute to a young equestrian from its own community who passed away tragically in a car accident last year. The first annual BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race was produced by No Bull Barrel Races and held on January 12-14.

Brieana (Brie) Taylor Ahearn died at the age of 18 on January 19, 2017. “She was a vibrant, smart, and beautiful lady. She has been barrel racing since she was old enough to sit on a horse, which was her true passion all throughout her life,” Ahearn’s family stated.

Ahearn was known for her fierce bravery around the barrels, strong heart, and determined mind. In addition to racing barrels, she competed in track and weightlifting. She was a senior at Baker County High School at the time of the accident.

At the BrieStrong Memorial Barrel Race, members of the Jacksonville community came together to support Ahearn’s family and celebrate her passion for horses. Show sponsor Rick Horne said, “Brie went to school and rode horses with my daughter. Some of our best friends were the first ones to reach her on the night of the accident. It’s a small town, and we all want to help.”

No Bull Barrel Races was honored to be a part of the tribute through producing another of the company’s well-known races. Winners included Ashley Davis, who raked in prize money throughout the weekend, and Jamie Hodges, who won the WBRL Futurity.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center made the perfect location for the union of a competitive barrel show and a memorial for one of Jacksonville’s own star barrel racers. The spacious facility was glad to be a part of honoring Brie Ahearn’s memory and sharing comfort and sympathy with her family and the entire local equestrian community.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will continue to host equestrian events for all disciplines throughout the rest of the year, including the Gypsy Vanner National Championship, Florida Feathered Horse Classic, Special Olympics, and Team Roping Finals, which all take place this month. To find out more about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Dressage Really IS Like Brain Surgery for GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Nancy Binter riding Arend Z pictured with Husband and Katie Riley of GK Elite Sport (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (January 17, 2018) — “Dressage is like neurosurgery,” said Dr. Nancy Ellen Binter, MD, after accepting the GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award for the opening week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 2018 at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.  A practicing neurosurgeon for more than three decades in Burlington, Vermont before opening her own consulting service, the dressage level Intermediate I competitor said, “All the preparation, intellectual ability, and athletic and technical talent are exactly the same.”

Sharing her prestigious award with her husband of 32 years, retired neuroradiologist Dr. Rakowitz, she added, “It’s all in the medical family here! I am a neurosurgeon and ride horses as my hobby, which keeps me sane. He is videographer and ‘Captain of the Sugar!’” Before moving to Florida, the couple’s dedication to one another and the sport saw them “trucking and trailering” to such renowned Northeast dressage shows as Devon, Pennsylvania with Dr. Binter’s 11-year-old Zangesheide gelding Arend Z (by Oldenburg show jumping champion Air Jordan out of a mare by the great KWPN- and Holstein-registered Dutch Warmblood, Hemmingway).  The Zangesheide is an elite Belgian breed produced by crossing only the finest of European performance sport horses.

Dr. Binter, who trains with U.S. Olympic dressage rider Michael Barisone and his wife, Dutch Grand Prix rider Vera Kessels-Barisone, credited her beautiful bay horse for their award-winning achievement at one of the largest and most acclaimed international and national dressage circuits in the world: “Arend Z has a wonderful brain, and an unbelievable engine.”

The GK Elite Sport Adult Amateur Achievement Award was presented Katie Riley on behalf of GK Horses president, Nicoletta Ghribi and GK Horses sport partner, Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold medalist, Dr. Cesar Parra. “Dr. Binter and Arend Z epitomize adult amateur achievement: dedication, commitment, joy and harmony,” said Riley during the presentation ceremony.  To follow this more, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNc6ZMpZgD4.

GK Horses operates exceptional horse and rider training facilities in Wellington and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and is proud to recognize outstanding dressage horse-and-rider combinations throughout the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 12-week series, January 11 – March 27. Learn more the GK equestrian team and horses at www.gk-horses.com.