Category Archives: JRPR

Johnny Robb

Piaffe Performance Rocks the Florida Show Circuit

Cesar Parra aboard Fashion Designer OLD (Photo credit: Nuno Coelho Vicente)

Wellington, FL (March 14, 2017) – Multiple high scores and first place titles have been the norm this winter show season in Wellington, Florida for the Piaffe Performance Farm team of dressage riders. Led by founder and owner Dr. Cesar Parra, the Piaffe Performance team is known for its consistent record of excellence, and accumulating a wealth of blue ribbons at this year’s Adequan® Global Dressage Festival only further confirms that Piaffe Performance is a force to be reckoned with. Parra’s team of international riders are showing their skill in the saddle and experience under pressure, and the spectacular horses they are campaigning have demonstrated that they are on top of their game.

Parra, a 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Dressage Team Gold medalist, is racking up the blues aboard the eight-year-old Westphalian mare Belle Ami (Belissimo M x Reebook). During the first week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which began on January 11, 2017, Parra earned two scores over 70 percent, securing a first place in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges class. He and the bay mare were again unstoppable in the third week, topping the leader board with two more wins in the same division. The pair placed second in the FEI Prix St. Georges during the fifth week, and capped the seventh week with another first place in the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges, along with a high score of 74.412 percent. Belle Ami is owned by Parra, Brooke Centrella, and George Feldman.

Don Cesar, the seven-year-old chestnut Westphalian gelding (Desperados x Manhattan) owned by Parra’s wife Marcela Ortiz, is showing remarkable progress. Parra wowed the judges with multiple scores in the high 70’s in the FEI Young Horse 7-Year-Old division. He garnered three first place ribbons during competition in the fifth and seventh weeks of the series, posting a high score of 77.910 percent. He then rode away as winner of the FEI Young Horse 7-year-old final.

Parra and Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus x De Niro), a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Martin Sosnoff, executed a superior performance in his first ever FEI Intermediate II class, capturing the blue ribbon with a score of 69.211%.

Katie Riley, who joined Cesar Parra’s team in 2000, is one of the founding members of Piaffe Performance Farm. She is an accomplished Grand Prix rider and USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist. Riley and Sir Beckmann, an up-and-coming five-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding, won the FEI Young Horse Final for 5-year-olds with a 76.000 percent. Owned by Parra, Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall x St Pr Witchita) is quickly mastering skills, with a promising dressage career ahead of him.

Twenty-seven-year-old Piaffe Performance rider Roberto Brasil joined the team in 2014. Originally from Portugal, Brasil is an 11-time Azores Dressage Champion and a Portugese Cup Silver and Bronze medalist. He and Whoopie Gold, a 13-year-old chestnut Oldenburg mare (Wolkentanz II x Romancier) opened the first week of the show season by winning both of their FEI Intermediate II classes with a high score of 68.289 percent.

Not to be outdone, Merita Hagren partnered with the Dutch Warmblood Amigo to win two Fourth Level tests. Amigo (Turbo Magic x Jammy) is a grey, 12-year-old gelding owned by Parra’s student Martin Sosnoff. Hagren also rode two Fourth Level tests aboard Don Cesar during the third week of the season, earning a high score of 71.216 percent and placing third in both classes. Originally from Finland, Hagren has been with Piaffe Performance for three years. With extensive experience training various breeds, she specializes in riding young horses and training them up the levels in dressage.

Throughout the season, Piaffe Performance Farm has consistently supported not only its own riders but also successful adult amateur competitors at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Piaffe Performance is presenting the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award to honor riders who contribute to the sport of dressage through sincere sportsmanship and high-quality horsemanship. The award will be presented throughout the competition series, which concludes on March 25, 2017.

Piaffe Performance produces horses and riders that have earned numerous prestigious accolades both nationally and internationally. Now decorated by this year’s high scores, ribbons, and awards, Piaffe Performance is excited to continue its winning ways throughout the remainder of the season and then the spring and summer months. Dr. Parra and his team – with locations in Jupiter, Florida, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey – invite riders to learn more about training and lessons by following the Piaffe Performance official Facebook page or visiting www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

First Coast Classical Dressage Society Makes Jacksonville Equestrian Center Their Show Home

Photo courtesy of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society.

Jacksonville, FL (March 13, 2017) – With well-groomed outdoor rings, a 123,000 square foot indoor arena, and over 400 permanent stalls, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center offers everything an aspiring dressage rider could need to enjoy campaigning his or her equine partner. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is quickly becoming the ‘go-to’ destination for dressage-focused equestrians in the local Jacksonville, Florida community and to riders traveling to north Florida from across the United States.

Host to the First Coast Classical Dressage Society’s annual shows and clinics, the 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 for two years, since 2015. We have five two-day shows per year – 10 showing days.” The First Coast Classical Dressage Society plans to stick with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center long-term. “We have dates booked with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center through 2018, and ‘requested to reserve’ show dates through 2020,” said Beardsley. “We also hold educational lectures there at each of our shows on Saturday evenings.”

With approximately 45 members, the First Coast Classical Dressage Society has about 15 horses on average competing. The February 18-19, 2017 Winter Dressage Schooling Challenge Showposium, judged by USEF “R” Beth Barritt, included impressive test rides from Training Level through Intermediaire II at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and offered judge feedback following each ride to enhance rider education. On Saturday evening, riders attended an Ask the Judge Q&A for an opportunity to ask anything they wanted to know from a judge’s point of view.

The First Coast Classical Dressage Society’s next event at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will be the Spring Dressage Schooling Showposium on March 24-26, 2017, which includes a Classical Dressage Friday Clinic with Dee Loveless, USEF “R” judge, and Winter Schooling Challenge Show Classes on Saturday and Sunday, judged by Loveless.

Jacksonville’s first-class equestrian complex has a unique history that started with a citizens’ initiative called the Better Jacksonville Plan. After closing its base at Cecil Field, the Navy gifted 2,000 acres to the City of Jacksonville for a regional recreational park. The crown jewel of that park is the 80-acre state-of-the-art equestrian facility, which provides riders the opportunity to compete in a multi-purpose coliseum with a championship 150’ x 300’ arena and ample spectator seating. Easy trailer access from artery roadways and up-to-date footing designed to promote sound horses are just some of the benefits discerning riders enjoy when competing at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Additional features include climate-controlled restrooms with showers, RV hook up sites, night security, on-site facility managers, lighted stabling and wash areas, concessions during events, and close proximity to hotels and restaurants. Attendees can also visit the nearby 18-hole golf course, an Olympic-sized pool, and miles of hike, bike, and riding trails with direct access to the Jennings Forest of over 3,225 acres.

Competing in Jacksonville takes the uncertainty out of the show ring experience, with affirmative answers to important questions regarding footing, stabling accommodations, and security. “The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a quality facility and meets our needs for shows,” confirmed Beardsley. “For our members, high quality, safe footing for dressage horses offered in the center’s newly redone Dixon Square outdoor arena ranks high! For show management, the air conditioning and refrigerator in the show office are quite nice, as well as having onsite staff to deal with ring set up and maintenance or trouble shooting any issues, which are then fixed immediately.”

The First Coast Classical Dressage Society’s next event at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will be the Spring Dressage Schooling Showposium on March 24-26, 2017, which includes a Classical Dressage Friday Clinic with Dee Loveless, USEF “R” judge, and Winter Schooling Challenge Show Classes on Saturday and Sunday, judged by Loveless. Additional 2017 shows are slated for June, September, and November. Confirmed 2018 show dates include February 17-18, April 21-22, June 23-24, September 22-23, and the November 17-18 Championship Show. For more information, please call (902) 252-5170 or visit www.fccds.org.

New events are always welcome at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Hosting successful horse shows and prime sporting, educational, and community events is the passion of the Center’s dedicated staff. To learn more about all the facility has to offer or to request more information, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
dstegner@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

A Fabulous February for the Piaffe Performance Team

Cesar Parra presenting the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award to Michele Roark and her horse Cesar HHC. (Photo courtesy JRPR)

Wellington, FL (March 3, 2017) — February was full of exciting events for Dr. Cesar Parra and his elite team at Piaffe Performance Farms, who have been winning top scores and giving out awards at the world-class Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.

In week 7 of the competition, Dr. Parra earned two scores above 80 percent on Don Cesar, a Westphalian gelding by Desperados x Manhattan. Together, the pair won all three FEI Young Horse classes for 7-year-olds. Dr. Parra and his wife Marcela have a special affection for Don Cesar, having known the horse since he was born and owned him since he was a 3-year-old. Their goal for this stunning chestnut is to qualify for the 2017 World Young Horse Championships in Ermelo, the Netherlands later this year.

“Don Cesar has matured a lot in the last year,” says Parra. “His gaits are getting even more expressive and elastic, and he is more confident in his job. He has so much talent for collection, while keeping the suppleness and thoroughness in the back; it is amazing. He is powerful and sensitive, but always is trying to do what you want. He is a fast learner and very reliable. He always stays on your side, and he loves all the collected movements.”

Another promising Piaffe-Performance favorite is Belle Ami, an 8-year-old Westphalian mare (Belissimo M x Reebook) owned by Parra, Brooke Centrella and George Feldman. Belle Ami had an outstanding February at AGDF winning one of the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges classes with 74.411 percent and placing second in another with 73.456.

Through the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award, Parra also honors exceptional adult amateur riders who compete at the upper levels of the sport and are role models, showing particular dedication and skillful riding. In February, the award was given to two riders: Michele Roark and Helle Goodrich. Both women received a ribbon, a commemorative engraved photo frame and a medallion.

Michelle Roark, a U.S. Dressage Federation bronze medalist from Wellington and Chicago, rides her Cesar HHC, a gorgeous 10-year-old grey Lusitano gelding, at Prix St. Georges. “This horse was bred for me,” Roark remarked on Cesar HHC. “My favorite thing about him is his mind. He has the best mind. He’s the horse of a lifetime.” Roark has been riding for about 10 years and is devoted to the Lusitano breed. “My advice,” she says, “is do not quit. Come out every day, give your horse the benefit of the doubt, be kind to him and realize that each horse will teach you something.”

Helle Goodrich trains with top dressage professional Silva Martin in the winter and is riding her Fürst Rubin, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding recently imported from England. This was only their fourth show together, but the pair had an outstanding day, scoring 70 percent at Third Level. “He is fantastic to ride and very patient with me,” says Goodrich, smiling and full of emotion. “My horse just gives me joy every day!” She says her goal is to have a lot of fun and keep improving and hopefully climb the levels.

Piaffe Performance will continue to give out the award for the duration of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, which runs through April 2, 2017. Dr. Cesar Parra is an Olympian and U.S. Pan American Games Team Gold Medalist who has also represented the U.S. in the 2014 World Cup in Lyon, France.

Piaffe-Performance Farms provides full-service dressage training based on classical German methods. Dr. Parra and his team, with locations in Jupiter, Florida, and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, invite dressage riders to become part of their winning tradition. To learn more about Parra, his Piaffe Performance team, training and lessons, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.piaffe-performance.com

2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Leadline Exhibition Is Open for Entries

Photo courtesy of Infamous Productions, Inc.

Wellington, FL (February 16, 2017) — It’s free, it’s fun, and it might just be the beginning of a lifelong journey for the world’s future dressage stars. The 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Leadline Exhibition, presented by Carol Cohen Hodess, will take place at 6:00 pm on Friday, February 24, 2017. There is no entry fee for children to compete in the class, and every young rider gets a prize.

The 2017 Leadline Exhibition will take place in the Stadium at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds. Any child who can bring his or her horse or pony to the show is encouraged to enter the class. Cohen Hodess, a founding member of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and an enthusiastic sponsor of the show series, said, “The community needs to foster the future of the sport of dressage, and my hope is that the leadline class becomes a recognized division in the future.”

The children will show off their cuteness at 6:00 pm, just prior to the evening’s popular Friday Nights Stars FEI Grand Prix Freestyle event. Professional dressage riders will serve as judges for the Leadline Exhibition, and Cohen Hodess will reward every participant with exciting prizes.

Dressage families and trainers are encouraged to take this opportunity – the only Leadline Exhibition at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in 2017 – to get the little ones (children and ponies too!) spruced up and signed up. Email Cohen Hodess at carol@carolcohenliving.com to sign up for the Leadline Exhibition or for more information.

Because of Cohen Hodess’s unwavering support of her community and the sport of dressage, U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover approached Cohen Hodess last year to invite her to co-sponsor the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Leadline Exhibition. This year, Cohen Hodess is proud to carry on the new tradition.

In addition to sponsoring the Leadline Exhibition, Cohen Hodess sponsors the entire Adequan Global Dressage Festival show series and the American Equestrians Got Talent fundraiser to benefit U.S. Equestrian High Performance programs through the USET Foundation. To learn more about Cohen Hodess, visit www.carolcohenliving.com. To contact her directly, call 561-756-4844 or email her at carol@carolcohenliving.com.

Contact: Carol Cohen Hodess
561-756-4844
carol@carolcohenliving.com
carolcohenliving.com

Todd Minikus Victorious Again in $86,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Photo courtesy SocialCircuitEquine.com.

Wellington, FL (February 13, 2017) – Todd Minikus has once again topped the bill during week five of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival, claiming his fourth consecutive win of the week by placing first in the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Minikus, aboard Wyndmont’s Zephyr, clocked in the final round at a swift 35.98 seconds.

Sunday’s win was just the cherry on top of a streak of victories for Minikus so far this season at the Wellington, Florida show series. The string of high-stakes wins that Minikus has already collected include three $35,000 classes, the $50,000 National Guard Grand Prix, and the FEI $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix. Minikus and Zephyr also saw victory earlier this same week, having captured the first place title in the FEI 5* $35,000 1.45m class. As the blue ribbons continue to stack up for Minikus, the show jumping superstar is a top competitor to watch at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival.

Many of Minikus’s exceptional results so far this season have been achieved aboard Zephyr, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Landor S x Calvados), who is a newer mount for Minikus. “I have ridden so many horses in my life that there is not much that I have not seen or felt at this point,” Minikus said. “It does not take long for me to adapt to different horses really. I like that challenge of getting on new horses. When you are as old as I am, you don’t need much practice,” he joked.

Minikus’s wife and supporter, Amanda Minikus, was thrilled with this week’s results with Zephyr. “Todd started riding Zephyr in November of this past year, and this time they just nailed it. They really make a fantastic combination – every time they go out so far, they’ve been unbeatable.”

Minikus plans to continue with his impressive track record throughout the upcoming weeks of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 2, 2017 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. It is the world’s largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit, attracting top horses and riders from all over the world to Wellington annually.

Todd Minikus is a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist and FEI Nations Cup veteran with well over 100 Grand Prix wins under his belt. In addition to competing nationally and internationally, Minikus also offers sales and training services. To learn more about Todd Minikus, visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com and follow him on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus.

Contact: Amanda Minikus
amandajl16@aol.com
562-762-3762
www.toddminikus.com

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Claim Victory in the FEI $216,000 Ariat Grand Prix at WEF

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 (Photo Credit: Ann Mari Daley)

Wellington, FL (February 8, 2017) — Sunday, February 5, 2017 proved an excellent day at the office for Todd Minikus and Babalou 41, who together won the FEI $216,000 Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix to close out week four of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Held on the beautiful grass derby field at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the pair got down to business in their initial go, jumping a clear round amongst a field of 32 riders. In the final three-horse jump-off, they again made quick work of the competition by putting in another clear trip, securing the win.

“As riders we were lucky today; we had two nice Grand Prix classes that we could participate in,” Minikus said. Earlier that same afternoon, he jumped 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Valinski S in the $160,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington CSI3*-W at the Palm Beach Masters at Deeridge Farms. After making a quick venue change, he produced stellar results at the FEI $216,000 Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix. Spain’s Sergio Alvaraz-Moya claimed second place in the Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix with G&C Unicstar D’Laumone, and U.S. young rider, 21-year-old Jennifer Gates, finished third with Pumped Up Kicks.

Minikus and Babalou 41, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Balou du Rouet x Silvio I) owned by Two Swans Farm, demonstrated their combined world-class talent and experience in the Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix, clocking the win at 38.79 seconds. For their victory, Minikus was awarded the Village of Wellington Cup and Babalou 41 was presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award.

“We didn’t have a warm up class, so it was hard for a lot of the horses to come out and be right on their game,” Minikus said of the venue. “You needed a little bit of an experienced horse. The jumps were the size of a proper 4*, and maybe there wasn’t a lot of difficulty as far as riding questions, but they were proper dimensions and horses had to jump. It was difficult enough, and we had beautiful weather,” he continued. “That field is beautiful when you stand up there on the hill and look out. This was always the best polo field in maybe the world, and the footing still seems quite nice.”

The Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 2, 2017 and is held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world, with several million dollars in prize money at stake. As Minikus and his team of elite horses continue into the fifth week of competition of the season – holding numerous blue ribbons already – spectators and competitors alike will be on the lookout for what else Team Minikus has in store.

When not competing nationally and internationally, FEI Nations Cup veteran Todd Minikus offers sales and training services just minutes from the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds. Minikus is a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist with well over 100 Grand Prix wins to his credit. Follow the excitement of Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Contact: Amanda Minikus
amandajl16@aol.com
562-762-3762
www.toddminikus.com

Chester Weber Kicks Off 2017 Season with a Victory at Little Everglades CAI2*

Photo courtesy of Picsofyou.com.

Ocala, FL (February 4, 2017) – Team Weber opened the 2017 combined driving season with a victorious performance in the Little Everglades CAI2* on January 26-29 in Dade City, Florida with three new additions to his four-in-hand team.

Chester Weber, three-time World Equestrian Games Silver medalist and 13-time U.S. Four-in-Hand National Champion, did not fail to live up to his reputation as ‘Mr. Dressage’ at Little Everglades. Weber piloted his carefully selected KWPN combination of Boris W, Bastiaan, Splash, and First Edition to a winning score of 35.90 in the dressage phase, taking a firm lead over their closest contender.

Swapping Splash for Gouvernor, Weber then delivered a fast marathon phase to hold the lead (143.06) going into cones. In the cones phase, America’s only two-time Royal Windsor CAI3* winner wisely opted to keep the same foursome in harness, and finished with just 6.88 added penalties to their overall score. This resulted in a handy 50-point margin over a coast-to-coast roster of entries. Team Weber’s overall score was 149.94 to secure the win at Little Everglades.

“Our focus is now on the national championship at Live Oak International in March. We feel like we had a pretty commanding lead at this last event, so we are feeling particularly bullish going into Live Oak,” said Weber, of Ocala, Florida. The 2017 Live Oak International, held at the equestrian estate owned by the Weber family, will be held on March 9-12.

Weber was quick to credit his team and sponsors for his win at Little Everglades. “We are working with a relatively new group of horses. Gouvernor was part of our young horse program – we’ve had him since he was three. We’ve had Bastiaan, owned by Fritz Grupe, since mid-September. This was only their second show. Their last show was at Hermitage, and they have made real progress since then,” said Weber.

“Jane Clarks” Splash did a fantastic job. I was very pleased; the dressage judges all commented on the quality of the team and the movement — they were excited to see them continue to develop. That’s always a great feeling.”

Weber was particularly proud of the performance of another of his newer horses, First Edition, who had a rough introduction to his new home country after catching pneumonia while shipping to the United States in November. “First Edition, ‘Edison’, had an outstanding show in all three phases in the left lead. He is an eight-year-old that I think has big potential for the top of the international sport — evidenced by ending up with a dressage score in the mid-thirties and then having a dominating performance on marathon and cones.

It’s no surprise to combined driving enthusiasts that Weber took home first place at his first show of 2017, as he closed 2016 as the top-placed American entry at the FEI World Four-in-Hand Championships in Breda, The Netherlands. Team Weber will next continue to hone its winning form by competing at The Florida Horse Park Spring Fling CDE/DT/CT (CAC) Driving Competition in Ocala February 17-19.

After Live Oak International in March, Weber and his team will forge ahead to Europe to compete at several top sport competitions including The World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, and FEI World Championships for Four-in-Hand. Follow Team Weber’s tournament schedule on www.ChesterWeber.com and learn all about Weber’s latest results, favorite equestrian products, and his star four-in-hand team on his official social media sites on Facebook and Instagram @ChesterWeber.

For more information, contact:
Chester Weber
chester@chesterweber.com
1-352-895-1139

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar Make Brilliant Comeback in Their First FEI Grand Prix of 2017

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (February 3, 2017) – International Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Katherine Bateson-Chandler has made a powerful comeback with her primary dressage partner, Alcazar (known to Bateson-Chandler as “Lonzie”), at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The duo had much to celebrate after completing their first ride this year at the Adequan Global Dressage festival, where they achieved a personal best score of 71.88 percent in the CDI-W Grand Prix. This was their first time competing together since Alcazar underwent colic surgery in July while the two were in Aachen, Germany to compete in the 2016 World Equestrian Festival CHIO.

Tears of joy mixed with a smile for Bateson-Chandler as the pair exited the show ring together after completing their Grand Prix ride. “I was so happy with him and how enthusiastic he felt about being back at a competition,” Bateson-Chandler remarked. “This was a very special show for Lonzie and me. It is almost six months to the day since he was going into surgery for colic. I’m over the moon to have him back in the ring!”

Last July, Alcazar, a handsome, dark bay Dutch gelding owned by Jane Forbes Clark, suffered from colic after the pair completed their Grand Prix ride at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen. Alcazar underwent a successful colic surgery, and the two have been working patiently towards his recovery and rehabilitation since.

“We have tried to do his whole rehabilitation exactly by the book, and really after the first few very scary days he has rallied all the way. I actually kept feeling like I was holding him back a bit for his own good as he kept saying, ‘let me do more!’”

Bateson-Chandler’s long partnership with Alcazar (Contango x Polin, Ferro) began in 2012 when Forbes Clark bought the seven-year-old gelding (who had competed in the prestigious Pavo Cup as a young horse) for Bateson-Chandler to train to Grand Prix level.

“My biggest goal for the 2017 season is to keep Alcazar happy, fit, and healthy,” Bateson-Chandler said. “Beyond that, we would love to qualify for our National championships at Gladstone, which holds a very special place in my heart. Then we will head to Europe to compete in some carefully chosen international competitions, including – I hope – some Nations Cups. We will go back to be based at Carl Hester’s, as we have for the past eight years.”

Bateson-Chandler trains with U.S. Olympian Debbie McDonald during the winter months in Florida. In the summer, she and her horses travel to the United Kingdom to compete and train with British Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Hester.

Bateson-Chandler’s love of horses and passion for the sport of dressage began at the early age of sixteen, when she started working as a groom for Olympian (and now U.S. team coach) Robert Dover. Patience, dedication, and hard work have been distinctive hallmarks of her career, as she gained invaluable experience accompanying Dover to two World Championships and two Olympic Games, and eventually worked her way up to be his assistant trainer. Upon Dover’s retirement from competition in 2005, she took over the ride on his horses.

Bateson-Chandler’s many successes over the years include being a member of the 2016 Gold Medal Dutta Corp. U.S. Team at the FEI Nations Cup, and being part of Team USA at the 2016 CDIO3* Odense Nations Cup in Denmark. In 2010, riding Nartan, she represented the U.S at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. The team finished fourth and, individually, she and Nartan qualified for the Grand Prix Special. She is now vying for a spot on the U.S. team at the World Equestrian Games to be held in Tryon, North Carolina, in 2018.

Today, through her business KBC Dressage, Bateson-Chandler offers training and coaching services where her international experience ensures that students and horses have the competitive edge necessary for success in the dressage ring. She also offers dressage prospect selection for clients. For more information about Katherine Bateson-Chandler, visit her on Facebook and on the web at www.kbcdressage.com.

Contact: Katherine Bateson-Chandler
chandlercarlos@aol.com
908-391-9096

Minikus Wins the Blue in Back-to-Back $35,000 Classes at WEF

Todd Minikus aboard Zephyr (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (February 2, 2017) — Another week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida proved to be another week of blue ribbons for leading show jumper Todd Minikus. Minikus kicked off week three of WEF by clinching first place in the FEI $35,000 Douglas Ellian 1.45m, then continued his victory streak in the FEI Illustrated Properties $35,000 1.45m, the $200 seven-year-old Developing Jumpers, and in three hunter classes.

Minikus won the $35,000 Douglas Ellian 1.45m speed class against 46 competitors aboard 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Zephyr (by Landor S out of Tobelia), owned by Wyndmont, Inc. Minikus, the last to go in the jump-off, cleared the course to victory, crossing the timers in just 63.95 seconds. Minikus reflected, “Once I found a nice pace to number one, I just stayed on that rhythm, and Zephyr was great. We changed bridles today, and I liked the way I could slow down after pushing him. It was a nice round, and as always, if you are able to win a class here in Wellington it is always a good win because there are so many entries.”

Minikus and Zephyr went on to take first place in the FEI $35,000 1.45m class sponsored by Illustrated Properties. Of the 50 entries, only 12 went clear and returned for the jump-off. Minikus skillfully piloted Zephyr around the demanding course with an over two-second lead, clocking in at 64.36 seconds.

In addition to riding experienced jumpers, Minikus is well known for bringing young show jumpers up through the levels. This week, Minikus showed the up-and-coming Oldenburg stallion Lord Calador (Lordanos x Konstanze, Chacco-Blue) to first place in the $200 seven-year-old Developing Jumpers class.  Lord Calador is owned by Melissa Bilodeau, who discovered him in 2013 at the Winter Mixed Sales Auction in Vechta, Germany.

Minikus also demonstrated his versatility as a rider by clinching three hunter class wins with Sandrino. The duo took first place in the $850 Green Hunter 3’6” Stake, $600 Green Conformation Hunter, and the $850 Green Conformation Hunter Stakes. Sandrino is owned by Two Goals Farm and Karen Lucian.

Minikus will continue to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for the rest of the winter show season, which concluded at the end of March. The series is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world.

When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services just minutes from Wellington, Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds. Follow the excitement of Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Contact: Amanda Minikus
amandajl16@aol.com
562-762-3762
www.toddminikus.com

Devon Kane Delivers Grand Prix One-Two Punch at the 2017 Gold Coast Opener CDI

Devon Kane and Destiny (Photo courtesy of Susan J Stickle)

Wellington, FL (January 26, 2017) – After spending last winter show season focusing predominantly on training her young horses and giving clinics, Devon Kane of Diamante Farms is back to head down centerline in the CDI ring at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Kane’s first appearance in the CDI ring in Wellington, Florida this year was this past weekend in the Gold Coast Dressage Association’s Opener for the 2017 season, held at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds as part of the 12-week series. Diamante Farms was certainly not disappointed with the results.

The 2017 Gold Coast Opener CDI was particularly exciting for Kane, as she was reunited in the show ring with her longtime partner Destiny (the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding with whom she earned the title of 2014 U.S. Dressage Finals Grand Prix Champion) after over a year. Kane had spent the previous week training with her mentor, Olympic Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt, whom she routinely spends her summers training with in Germany.

Kane and Destiny brought home the blue ribbon in the CDI Grand Prix, and their closest competitor was Kane herself with another horse – Sir Galanto, who earned second place. Sir Galanto is a more recent addition to Diamante Farms’ powerful string of horses. The 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Stedinger x Die Galanto, De Niro) received top placings in the Small Tour in major shows along the eastern U.S. coast with Kane throughout 2016.

Devon Kane is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist who has trained under three Olympic athletes and earned impressive titles all before the age of 30. She won the Individual Gold and Team Bronze medals at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2007, and has been unstoppable ever since. She has gone on to represent the U.S.A. in international competition in Europe.

At her home base in Wellington, Florida, Devon Kane owns Diamante Farms alongside her mother, Terri Kane. Diamante Farms, a US Equestrian Elite Training Center, is a world-class dressage facility known for producing top-notch horses and riders. Trainers Devon Kane and Kevin Kohmann – German international rider and trainer, master bereiter, and German gold medalist – lead the charge in developing excellence at Diamante Farms. Both Kohmann and Kane can be seen in the CDI ring at this year’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival, of which Diamante Farms is a founding sponsor. Diamante Farms is also the presenting sponsor of the prestigious Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5*, which will take place on February 8-12, 2017. The event attracts top riders from across the Americas and Europe, and is the flagship show of the winter dressage series every year. Diamante Farms is also the weekly sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival U25 Division. In addition to these sponsorships, Diamante Farms actively supports the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, and the Robert Dover HorseMastership Clinic.

Diamante Farms is located just minutes from the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds and offers top-quality training, clinics, and sales to the dressage community. The lush estate boasts more than 20 courtyard-style stalls, grass paddocks, and large covered and outdoor arenas. Learn more about Diamante Farms at DiamanteFarms.com or call 561-307-2831.

Contact: Devon Kane
Diamante Farms
diamantefarms@icloud.com
561-307-2831