Category Archives: JRPR

Johnny Robb

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

Photo courtesy of

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 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

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

Contact: Katherine Bateson-Chandler

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

Contact: Amanda Minikus

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 or call 561-307-2831.

Contact: Devon Kane
Diamante Farms

From Gypsies to Ropers, Jacksonville Equestrian Ctr. Welcomes Horses and Riders from across US

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (January 22, 2017) – It’s another busy month at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida – a top destination for equestrians and horse enthusiasts across the United States. For the sixth consecutive year, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center was proud to host nearly 100 horses and 150 riders from across the country this past weekend for the Florida Feathered Horse Classic and Feathered Horse Classic Gypsy National Championship. Now, the center is filled with agriculture professionals and equestrian facility managers for the League of Agricultural and Equine Centers Footing Academy and Symposium. Immediately afterward, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will transform again into the competition grounds for the highly anticipated National Team Roping League Finals.

For Gail Shrine, owner of the Feathered Horse Classic competition series, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center was the perfect place to host her shows. “It is a great location, with a nice facility that continues to evolve as the needs of its exhibitors grow. We can’t wait to see the horses come back here in 2018,” Shrine said.

The Florida Feathered Horse Classic and Feathered Horse Classic Gypsy National Championship event at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is part of the biggest and longest-running breed show series for Gypsy Vanners in the United States. “The Nationals drew huge crowds, and you could feel the excitement grow to a fever pitch for the Liberty class, which featured 22 individual horse performances to music,” Shrine recounted. “It was thrilling to see the class go down in Feathered Horse history as one of the most successful ever!”

Increasing the success of horse shows and events is the passion of the staff at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and new events are always welcome at the facility. Returning events, of course, are also a favorite at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The upcoming National Team Roping League Finals on January 26-29 surpasses even the Feathered Horse Classic series in the number of years the show has been held in Jacksonville – 2017 will be the twelfth year that the National Team Roping League Finals has been held at the facility.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s unique history started with a citizens’ initiative called the Better Jacksonville Plan. After the Navy closed its base at Cecil Field, it gave 2,000 acres to the City of Jacksonville for a regional recreational park. The crown jewel of that park is its 80-acre state-of-the-art equestrian center. More great events are planned as the Jacksonville Equestrian Center welcomes another year of great equestrian, family, and educational events. The League of Agricultural & Equestrian Center Footing Academy and Annual Symposium is taking place on January 20-25, followed by the National Team Roping League Finals January 26-29. Next up will be the AKC Pals & Paws Agility Trials on February 3-5, the Jacksonville RV Show on February 9-12, and the First Coast Classical Dressage Show on February 18-19. Learn more at

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
13611 Normandy Blvd,
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Todd Minikus Captures Six Wins on Five Horses in Week 1 of Winter Equestrian Festival

Photo courtesy of JRPR.

Wellington, FL (January 17, 2017) — With only one week of the Winter Equestrian Festival behind him, acclaimed show jumper Todd Minikus has already had his share of victories this season – including no less than six wins on five different horses. Most notably during week one of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Minikus captured the first place title in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup, sponsored by Ruby et Viollette. The Winter Equestrian Festival takes place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida from January 11 through April 2 of this year.

On day two of this year’s winter competition season, Minikus piloted Valinski S, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to first place in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup. Of the 52 entries in round one of the WEF Challenge Cup, only 10 advanced to the jump-off. Minikus and Valinski S completed the course in 37.99 seconds for the win. Valinski S competed this past summer in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, and is owned by Ronnie Beard and Wyndmont, Inc.

In reaction to his WEF Challenge Cup win, Minikus stated, “Valinski also won the Grand Prix last week, so that’s two classes in a row for him, which is outstanding. Wyndmont has a great team getting those horses ready for me. I just ride them here in the ring. They are doing a good job and making it easy for me, so I can’t take all the credit. I think he is going to certainly be very competitive this winter. He wants to be a true winner and he has all of the necessary things – scope, carefulness, quickness – and I think we are going to have a lot of fun.”

In addition to the Challenge Cup victory, Minikus also skillfully navigated Wyndmont’s up and coming prospect Cas, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood, to win the $6,000 1.40m class at the Winter Equestrian Festival on January 12.

As if that weren’t enough success for one week, Minikus went on to capture several more first place titles in the first week of WEF, including the $200 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper class with Amai Du Bourgeonet (owned by Wyndmont Inc.), the $2,500 1.35m class with Maharaja del Juncal (owned by Two Swans Farm), as well as the $200 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper 1.30m class and $350 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper class riding Spring Girl (owned by Todd Minikus).

The Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world. With so many blue ribbons already under his belt so early in the competition season, Minikus and his team of elite horses are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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

Contact: Amanda Minikus

Horse Trainer and Clinician Dr. Maria Katsamanis Transforms Horses with Pegasus Foundation

Photo courtesy of Maria Katsamanis.

Ringoes, NJ (December 9, 2016) – For accomplished horse trainer, clinician, and author Dr. Maria Katsamanis, working with horses has always been a matter of the heart. Over the years, Maria’s innate gift for understanding people, horses, and the complex physical and emotional interplay that goes on between them has enabled her to transform the lives of countless horses and humans alike. Now, with the official launch of The Pegasus Foundation, she is ready to enhance the life of many more.

Maria’s newest endeavor, The Pegasus Foundation, will work to provide a second chance at life for horses that otherwise would likely have ended up being sold at auction or even worse, sent to slaughter. Once enrolled in the program, horses with mental or physical issues will complete a comprehensive transformation and rehabilitation process, with the ultimate objective of facilitating an adoption with a new owner, and providing them with a fulfilling and productive life as reliable equine partners.

“The Pegasus Foundation will provide comprehensive care and an effective training program for each these horses – to restore and transform them as individuals, and to increase their adoptability,” said Katsamanis. “Our greater goal is to inspire people within the equestrian industry that through compassionate and effective training, every horse can truly have a second chance at becoming a healthy, fulfilled, and productive companion.”

Horses lucky enough to find their way to the foundation will benefit from an initial restoration process, in which optimal physical health will be achieved through recovery from injury and attaining an appropriate weight level.  After the horse has reached an ideal state of health and comfort, the transformation process begins, in which Maria’s compassionate gift and effective training approach unfailingly brings out the very best in every equine.

In addition to transforming the lives of horses and humans, funds from The Pegasus Foundation will also be allocated to produce educational seminars and workshops held throughout the year highlighting the step-by-step progress of horses enrolled in the program. Funding will also allow for the production of visual educational materials that will systematically document the changes in and progress of each horse. These materials will inspire and educate the public about compassionate and ethical training practices.

Experienced riders from all disciplines have been stunned by the transformation they saw in their horses after working with Maria. Maria’s wealth of knowledge and years of study include a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, and she continues to maintain an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers Medical School. Her expertise also includes the integration of key concepts of the molecular and noetic sciences, a robust foundational riding background in the Greek and French classics, and an expert knowledge of horse and human physiology. The Pegasus Foundation will operate out of Katsamanis’ home base, Amwell Ridge Farm in Ringoes, New Jersey, where she also offers comprehensive training and riding instruction, as well as boarding services.

In addition to The Pegasus Foundation, Maria is also a highly sought-after seminar speaker and clinician, where she shares her knowledge and experience with those seeking to develop a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with their horse, regardless of discipline. Her book, The Alchemy of Lightness, provides an in-depth study of Molecular Equitation, the fundamental mechanics that underlie all human-equine interaction. As a clinician, she often utilizes her background in biofeedback and psychophysiology to “connect” humans with their own body signals.

“The Pegasus Foundation is committed to inspiring and informing people about the power and beauty of a horse living up to its full potential. The horse’s transformation into a masterpiece, into a sound and viable companion, will inspire and instill hope in those interested in adopting a horse. It is my goal that through the Pegasus Foundation, we will have the opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of these horses, but also to educate and inspire members of the equestrian community at large.”

To learn more about Dr. Maria Katsamanis, follow her on Facebook @molecularequitation or visit

To learn more about The Pegasus Foundation, or to get involved with the Pegasus mission to help horses, visit or follow on Facebook @thepegasusfoundationnj.

Contact: Dr. Maria Katsamanis

Barrel Racers Fill the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for the 14th Annual Fiddler’s Turkey Run

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (December 8, 2016) — Horses and riders from as near as the southeast United States and as far as Canada descended on Jacksonville, Florida for the 14th Annual Fiddler’s Turkey Run, held at the end of November at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. More than 600 entries vied for over $106,000 throughout the three days of barrel racing competition.

The Fiddler’s Turkey Run has been held for the past seven years at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and has continued to grow every year. Paul Stanley, who assists Sabra O’Quinn in managing the Fiddler’s Turkey Run, said, “This is a great facility with plenty of stalls and RV hookups. We’ll be back next year!”

Many riders are already looking forward to a return trip in 2017 to the facility, which boasts a 3,500-seat 150′ x 300′ indoor arena, several outdoor arenas, and over 400 permanent stalls. Longtime Fiddler’s Turkey Run entries as well as new faces to the competition enjoyed the experience at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center this year.

“This was my first time here at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and I love it. This is a beautiful facility,” said Kaitlin Chieca of Vero Beach, Florida. “The grounds are wonderful. The people have been fantastic – this is a class act!” Chieca competed two horses at the Fiddler’s Turkey Run – her own “Jacob,” and Heidi Thompson’s “Pinkie.” She was happy with her results, especially as this was only her third show ever on Pinkie. Although for Chieca, the highlight of the weekend wasn’t the scores, but the trip around the barrels.

“The adrenaline rush when you shoot out of the alley way – there’s nothing like it,” Chieca explained. “It can be a little scary, but it’s worth it every time. There’s something about riding something this big and being in control of it – it’s just the craziest feeling. It’s awesome!”

Eleven-year-old Kaitlyn Sims of Elkton, Florida shares Chieca’s passion for barrel racing. Sims was the big winner Sunday in the Fiddler’s Turkey Run Open, turning in a blazing time of 15.08 aboard her Quarter Horse, Specta Goodtime. The pint-sized jockey has been riding since she was two years old and competes in junior rodeos as well as the barrel racing shows. Why spend so much time in the saddle? “I like being able to go fast,” Sims explained.

Sims and her mother, Jennifer Lee-Sims, are no strangers to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We love this facility because it’s close to home,” said Lee-Sims. “We try to come to all the big events that they have here.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was thrilled to once again host the Fiddler’s Turkey Run and all of its talented barrel racers. Sponsors for the Fiddler’s Turkey Run included Equine Medical Center of Ocala, Santa Fe Horse Transport, Wrangler, Formula 1 Noni, Sebelle Dymmek, Triple Crown Feed, Formula 707, 5L Performance Horses, and Seminole Equine Products.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 2016 calendar has several more exciting events planned before the end of the year, including the USDAA Pals & Pals Agility Trials on December 9-11, and Community Night Schooling on December 20. Parking and admission for spectators is free for all events.

For more about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and to find out how to host your event at this multifaceted facility, visit or call (904)-255-4254.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
13611 Normandy Blvd,
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Todd Minikus Warms Up for WEF with Stellar Performances at Holiday & Horses

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (December 6, 2016) — Todd Minikus commanded the attention of audiences this past week in the Holiday & Horses show series, held November 30 through December 4, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, who was named to the Short List for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping squad, highlighted the week with a top three placing on Babalou 41, owned by Two Swans Farm, in the $216,000 CSI 4* sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Minikus didn’t stop there, placing at the top of his classes aboard a varied group of horses throughout the week.

In addition to competing with the seasoned Babalou 41, Minikus competed Vita 24 and I Am Nala, both also owned by Two Swans Farm. Minikus also took the reins on several new rides, including Coverboy, Eldorado VDL, and VDL Excel, whom are all owned by The Coverboy Group, as well as Zephyr and Valinski S, both owned by Wyndmont Inc.

Minikus piloted Zephyr to a first place finish – ahead of 50 competitors – in a 1.40m Jumper class, and also placed in the top ten in the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix. The aptly named ‘Coverboy’ took first and second places in two different 1.40m classes. Eldorado VDL also showed his promise by placing third in a 1.35m class. Minikus commented, “I was really pleased with my horses’ performances in the show ring, and I’m really looking forward to taking these horses to their next level this season.”

The Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center begins on January 11, 2017, and is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world. Last year, Minikus started his winter competition season with back-to-back victories in consecutive Saturday Night Lights Grand Prixs. Aboard Quality Girl, owned by the Quality Group, Minikus won the opening $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI 2* and then won the $130,000 Adequan CSI 3* with Babalou 41.

Minikus keeps his Grand Prix horses at the top of their game with the support of his generous sponsors. Most recently, sponsor Schneiders Tack restocked Team Minikus on all essential barn supplies and products to keep his horses’ coats gleaming and competition ready. 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 action from Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit

Contact: Amanda Minikus

Katherine Bateson-Chandler Featured on Horses in the Morning Radio Show

Photo courtesy of JRPR.

Wellington, FL (December 1, 2016) — With the winter dressage show season fast approaching in south Florida and the World Equestrian Games scheduled to be held on the United States east coast less than two years from now, top U.S. dressage riders are filled with anticipation. Horse Radio Network’s talk show Horses in the Morning invited one of these riders, Grand Prix competitor Katherine Bateson-Chandler, to the broadcast’s “Omega Alpha Equine Monday Edition” to give the inside scoop on what it’s like to prepare for the show ring as the gaze of international dressage turns to the U.S.

An online podcast of Bateson-Chandler’s interview is now available on Horses in the Morning’s website, in which Bateson-Chandler shares her thoughts on planning for the World Equestrian Games (WEG), the upcoming Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, her bond with her superstar mount Alcazar, and the invaluable boost she gains from training with British Olympian Carl Hester.

The road to the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will offer triumphs and inevitable challenges for standout horse-and-rider pairs who hope to compete in the Tryon, North Carolina event. Bateson-Chandler is already working hard to prepare for the WEG – one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar – and spent this past summer competing in Europe and training with Carl Hester.

The radio show was quick to get right to the question on most riders’ minds – one that Bateson-Chandler was happy to answer – which was whether or not she has actually ridden Valegro while at Hester’s facility. “I have!” she said. “Carl and Charlotte Dujardin both are very open with their horses, so pretty much everybody rides everything. That’s great fun!  And Valegro truly is what he seems to be – he is the most special horse in the world, and I have been around a lot of special horses, international and otherwise. There is something about him that is so gentle. He is such an old soul.”

Despite Valegro’s allure, there is another horse that fills Bateson-Chandler’s heart. “One hundred percent I believe horses have a ‘person,’” she explained. “Alcazar is my special boy.” The Dutch-bred gelding affectionately known as “Lonzie,” owned by Jane Clark, has trained up the levels to Grand Prix with Bateson-Chandler. “When you spend every day with a horse, there is a bond you can’t describe; you have to feel it. We know each other so well. He has a lot of character and tries really hard, with enough spice that keeps every day interesting. He is back up and running after colic surgery last summer, and he feels better than ever.”

It takes years to develop the superior strength needed for international competition. Muscle development, plus the best feeding and supplement regimen, is crucial. Bateson-Chandler uses several different all-natural Omega Alpha products to keep Alcazar and her other equine partners in top shape. “Across the board, the horses like the Omega Alpha Gastra-FX. Omega Alpha’s philosophy is to create healthy horses by starting with the gut, and I totally agree. Every vet I speak to says to start with the intestines, the inside of the horse.” Bateson-Chandler’s supplement of choice for equine pain relief is Omega Alpha’s Antiflam. “Antiflam is amazing for my high performance horses working at the international level. I Iove the thought of taking inflammation out of their muscles in a completely natural way.”

As plans for the 2018 World Equestrian Games begin to form, Bateson-Chandler is first intent on the Wellington show series at hand. With her personal and professional mentor Olympian Debbie McDonald, she will choose Florida shows to compete in and will look toward next summer in Europe, as well. She will project backwards from the WEG, planning her qualifying period and where she needs to be month-by-month, season-by-season. “I always have a greater idea in mind of what I want to do, but again, you learn that things can change. If you wait until the year of the championships to plan, you are behind the eight ball. Everyone is planning now, to be honest, even towards the Tokyo Olympics. Absolutely, this is a very important season.”

To listen to her exciting interview on Horses in the Morning, go to Omega Alpha Equine Monday Edition at For more information about Katherine Bateson-Chandler, visit

Contact: Katherine Bateson-Chandler