Morton, IL (June 21, 2010) – Small equines from all across the nation who attend the 122nd Shetland Pony Congress Show this year will not only compete for National Championship titles but will also have the chance to win one of the new USEF Shetland Member High Point Awards provided by the United States Equestrian Federation. The Shetland Pony Congress Show, August 2-6 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, will feature some of the best Shetland Ponies in the country competing in classes such as driving, halter, jumping, youth and costume classes.
“A USEF staff member will be present at the 122nd Shetland Pony Congress and award Championship and Reserve Championship ribbons to the high point winners with USEF membership in certain divisions,” said Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates. “The USEF is looking forward to honoring these members. The American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC) is a USEF recognized breed association and has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the USEF.”
Allentown, NJ (June 11, 2010) – Chester Weber continued his long running winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event Championship. As the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Team Weber cruised to victory in all three phases of the Garden State event, a selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall.
“The event went really well and the entire team, both people and horses, seems to be in top form leading up to WEG,” Weber said, adding that the heat and humidity did play a factor, especially for Reno, his six-year-old leader who seemed to have a hard time with it.
Despite the weather, and footing that wasn’t ideal, Team Weber triumphed over 10 other four-in-hand teams, finishing with a score of 116.64 penalties while runner-up Josh Rector finished with a score of 140.67. Jimmy Fairclough, who has long been Weber’s top competition, went off course in the cones phase and was eliminated.
Wellington, FL (June 11, 2010) – Al Guden’s 11-year-old Grand Prix KWPN gelding, Sagacious HF, recently earned Crown Predicate honors from the KWPN (Dutch) Registry. This special symbol on his registration papers means he is ranked in the top 200 FEI Dressage Horses in the world. Sagacious HF was actually ranked 56th in the world.
Guden’s journey with Sagacious HF started when Al purchased the 4-month-old colt in Holland in 1999. Sagacious was imported to the US in 2004. Guden put the young gelding in training with Lauren Sammis and that combination turned out to be a very successful match. In 2007, Sagacious and Sammis proved they had what it takes to be international contenders by winning the Team Gold and Individual Silver Medals at the Pan American Games in Rio. Over the next three years they made a very successful transition from the small tour to winning CDI Grand Prix classes at the nation’s most competitive shows. Al Guden, Lauren Sammis and Sagacious became on popular trio on the dressage circuit.
Allentown, NJ (June 8, 2010) – Cesar Parra and his Piaffe-Performance team debuted their horses in the northeast at the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s Memorial Day CDI with great success. It was the team’s first show in New Jersey after returning from the winter season in Florida and collectively they spent much of the show in the winner’s circle.
Cesar Parra dominated the small tour with Lori Washton’s KWPN gelding, Olympia. Parra and Olympia won the Prix St. Georges score of 71.789 and the Intermediaire I with a score of 71.000 percent. The seasoned pair has shown at this level just over a dozen times and has always been over 70%. They are in top form as they head for the USEF/Collecting Gaits Farm Dressage Festival of Champions August 6-15 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Parra also notes that Olympia’s consistent performances will be just what it takes to represent the US at next year’s Pan American Games.
Wellington, FL (June 2, 2010) – New York Times bestselling mystery writer and Grand Prix dressage rider Tami Hoag has traveled from coast to coast each year to live the winters in Florida and the summers in California. This year marks a big change for Hoag as she has decided to stay in Wellington year round.
Hoag will continue to create her thrilling and heart-stopping murder mystery New York Times Bestsellers while she trains and competes in Florida. “The stress of traveling back and forth is a lot for the horses and this is a great opportunity to settle in and make Wellington home. The best resources are available in the area including boarding, training and showing,” said Hoag.
Hoag released her latest mystery novel Deeper Than the Dead this year and it quickly became Hoag’s fifteenth New York Times bestseller. Hoag is in full swing with the sequel to Deeper Than the Dead called Secrets to the Grave. “It is already scheduled to go on sale in December of 2010, so no time to dilly-dally. My day consists of riding in the morning, the gym in the afternoon, and working in the evenings,” Hoag said.
Morton, Ill. (May 24, 2010) – Strebors Black Magic On Demand, a Miniature Horse registered with the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), is spreading a special form of magic as a therapy horse. Known to her many fans as Magic, the black mini with blue eyes was recently named the “Most Heroic Pet in America” by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).
Magic, owned by Debbie and Jorge Garcia-Bengochea of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses in High Springs, Florida, was featured in the 2010 May/June issue of AARP Magazine for her heroic efforts as a therapy mini. “I am so proud of her,” Debbie Garcia-Bengochea said. “She has worked with over 4,000 people, but the story that helped her win the ‘Most Heroic Pet’ title has to do with a woman who hadn’t talked in three years.”
Garcia-Bengochea said that in September of 2009, a reporter from the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper was taking photos of a Gentle Carousel visit at an assisted care facility. “A woman who had not spoken since she arrived at the assisted care facility three years earlier began talking to Magic. ‘Isn’t she beautiful’ were her first words and then ‘It’s a horse’,” Garcia-Bengochea said. “The activities director began to cry and told the woman she loved her.”
Ocala, FL (May 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four In Hand Champion, recently shared the secret to his success with students in an Exercise Physiology class in the Equine Studies program at Central Florida Community College (CFCC). The community college is the only two-year institution in Florida that offers an equine program, and Equine Studies is the college’s most popular Associate in Science degree program.
“Chester gave a wonderful talk to my Exercise Physiology students during their last class of the semester,” said Dr. Judy Downer, Associate Professor of Equine Studies. “Chester summarized his training and conditioning program that he is using that will lead him up to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. It was a great review of the subjects we covered all semester.”
Wellington, FL (May 10, 2010) – It was standing room only at Sho Clothes dressage boutique’s recent “Shop Talk,” thanks to an energetic crowd eager to hear six-time Olympic Dressage rider Robert Dover speak. Dover, the new coach for the Canadian Dressage team, has earned more honors than any other US Dressage rider, competing in six consecutive Olympics as well as representing the United States in four World Championships and seven World Cups.
Dover, who served as the Captain for the US Equestrian Team during all six of his Olympic experiences, charmed the audience during “Shop Talk.” The monthly get together for equestrians is presented by Sho Clothes at their Wellington boutique in association with the Gold Coast Dressage Association.
“This was our final ‘Shop Talk’ until the fall and having Robert speak was a great way to end our season. In addition to being one of the best dressage riders of our generation, Robert is a wonderful speaker and it was a treat for everyone,” said Betsy Rebar Sell, who co-owns Sho Clothes with Michele Hundt.
Ocala, FL (May 4, 2010) – Four-In-Hand Combined Driver Deb Laderoute, who will represent Canada in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, drove away with Arenus’s EQUILITE Performance & Conditioning Award during the recent Live Oak International Competition in Ocala, Florida. Laderoute and her team were awarded EQUILITE brand products from award sponsor Arenus, makers of animal health products and supplement blends including STEADFAST joint health, ASSURE digestive aid and SORE NO-MORE liniment.
“All of the teams competing at Live Oak were amazing, but our team of judges picked Deb because they thought her team was exceptional,” said Arenus representative Stacey Small, creator of the EQUILITE line of products. “It was a very exciting competition, and awarding Deb with a tote bag filled with our award-winning natural animal health and herbal blend products was just the icing on the cake.”
Ocala, FL (April 27, 2010) – Helmets are the center stage topic in equestrian safety right now, and USEF Safety Committee member Chester Weber has turned his Charles Owen helmet into a box office hit! Safety really is a movie, thanks to a camera installed on Weber’s Charles Owen helmet.
Combined Driver Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, uses his helmet camera as a training tool. “The helmet cam is a way to record the driver’s-eye view of a four-in-hand team. I use it as a training tool at home,” Weber said. “The helmet cam makes safety fun and acts as a training tool that can enhance future performances.”
When it comes to safety, Weber has always put his money where his mouth is. He and his team are long-time users of Charles Owen helmets, which provide safety and offer unparalleled comfort. “The importance of wearing helmets is in the spotlight right now, and as a driver I certainly recommend wearing helmets, especially in the marathon,” Weber said.