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.
Ocala, FL (April 12, 2010) – Rolex W, one of Chester Weber’s distinguished and award-winning equine teammates, has lent his artistic horse skills to the ReRun Thoroughbred Charity Moneigh collection. Rolex not only painted a Moneigh with his nose, but due to his name and his fame, the painting will be on display in a Lexington art gallery during the Rolex Three-Day Event.
“We are honoring Rolex W in April during the Rolex Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Mary Simons, of the ReRun Organization. “Rolex’s painting will be on display at Your Frame of Mind Galleries in the Lexington Convention Center in April. Also, his other painting will be auctioned off in our semi-annual eBay auction beginning April 25.”
Weber, the eight-time National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, lent the artistic skills of Rolex to the charity organization. Rolex helped the ReRun Thoroughbred charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.” The name Moneigh is derived from the name of the famous artist and the sound a horse makes.
Ocala, FL (April 6, 2010) – Equestrian artist Moe Hahn has captured in action the beautiful bay horses that make up eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion Chester Weber’s team. Hahn, who lives in Ocala, is a well-known artist who displays her work at the Ocala Breeders’ Feed & Supply Stores in Ocala, Florida.
“I am painting Team Weber from a photo that I took last year during the Live Oak competition. I love the ambience of Live Oak and this year was great because Chester stopped by my booth and signed the painting,” Hahn said. “I started the painting about one month ago and have a few more months before it will be finished.”
Hahn has completed a sister piece to the one she is working on now, also taken from a photo she took at Live Oak. “I have been a vendor at Live Oak for the last five years. It’s the only one I do all year,” Hahn said. “Both paintings were taken from photos I took at the Hilton’s Haven obstacle at Live Oak.”
Wellington, FL – A four-in-hand team of perfectly matched American Miniature Horses put on a dazzling show at the finale of the Dressage under the Stars competition at the Players Club & Restaurant in Wellington, proving that big things do come in small packages. The Wee Reds, owned by Linda Kern of Caribbean Dreams Miniature Horses in Loxahatchee, Florida, and boasting 10 National Championship and Reserve Championship titles, were the opening act of the finale at the star-studded event.
Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time U.S. National Four-In-Hand Champion and a judge for the evening’s Dressage under the Stars finale, drove the award-winning Wee Reds in a cones course demonstration. Weber, who has driven the talented tiny team at two Wellington Holiday horse shows, also brought the judges in by carriage, much to the delight of the crowd.
Ocala, FL (March 31, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his title as “record-breaking champion” during the Live Oak International competition, breaking his own record by winning the USEF National Four-In-Hand Championship for a record eight years in a row. Weber’s win took place at the prestigious Live Oak event in Ocala, Florida, during a weekend filled with thousands of fans, bad weather and an incident on course that required Weber to utilize his nerves of steel and vast driving experience.
Weber and his team turned in flawless dressage and cones performances, but Weber faced an incident on the marathon that he described as the longest 45 seconds of the year. “We had a very competitive marathon, winning four of the first five hazards and finishing second in number four by tenths of a second,” Weber said. “Then came the ‘Gulch,’ a signature hazard for Live Oak. We split the two lead horses on a post and it took us 45 seconds to get them going again. It was bad luck to split them on a post but good luck to get them free without needing a navigator to get down to get them free, because that costs additional penalties. The horses remained calm the entire time awaiting the direction to move, but it was the longest 45 seconds of the last year for me, and some slight confusion for them.”
Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – Each week at the Top Shelf Dressage under the Stars competition at the Player’s Club & Restaurant the dressage community is treated to world-class riders, judges and entertainment, including a recent demonstration by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Esmeralda and Kuchi, two Gypsy Vanners owned by Bill and Wendy Ricci of WR Ranch in Oxford, Florida, wowed the crowd with their beauty, color and grace.
Esmeralda, who was born in England, was one of the first Gypsy Vanners imported to the United States. Esmeralda has a long list of accomplishments to her name, including being named the Number One Tandem Driving team in 2001 with her partner Jasmine. Esmeralda and Jasmine continued their winning ways last month, winning the Pair Championship at the Florida Carriage Festival.
Esmeralda, the current centerfold in the March 2010 issue of Horse Illustrated, was driven at Dressage under the Stars by owner Bill Ricci, the current President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Heather Caudill, of Olympus Sport Horse, rode Kuchi, the first Gypsy Vanner born in America. Kuchi’s sire, The Gypsy King, was immortalized as the first Gypsy Vanner Horse Breyer model. Last year Kuchi, who currently competes at second level in dressage, followed in her sire’s hoof steps to become Breyer’s second Gypsy Vanner Horse model.
Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – World-renowned trainer and clinician Monty Roberts is returning to West Palm Beach, Florida to host a clinic March 26th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Monty Roberts is known the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” an award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, and creator of the revolutionary equine training technique, Join-Up.
Roberts has won countless awards and received worldwide press coverage. He is the author of three books on the New York Times best-seller list. He trained horses for Queen Elizabeth’s equestrian team and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.
Wellington Classic Dressage, Inc., which hosts horse shows and events for the equestrian community, organized the Monty Roberts clinic after the famed clinician was featured at the USET Holiday Fund Raiser last December held in conjunction with the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Horse Show. “It is definitely a case of back by popular demand,” said Wellington Classic Dressage Sponsorship and Events Director, John Flanagan. “When Monty was here in December, people just kept coming up and asking us when we could have him back.” So Flanagan went to work to schedule the March Monty Roberts event. “He has universal appeal across the disciplines,” Flanagan stated. “Monty’s proven training methods have helped show horses, race horses, and riding horses of all disciplines.”
West Palm Beach, FL (March 11, 2010) – Tina Konyot proved just how special her Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V was during the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI, riding away the winner of the Grand Prix Special. Konyot’s class was sponsored by Classic Equine Equipment, a nationally recognized leader in quality horse stall systems and stable accessories, and their South Florida distributors, Idlewild Furnishing.
“Tina and Calecto turned in a beautiful ride,” said Adam Busse, owner of Classic Equine, who along with John Grimes, owner of Idlewild Furnishing, presented Tina with a teak braiding stool for her win. “It is always great to see a friend win. I could not be happier for Tina and her successful ride. The Palm Beach Dressage Derby is a fantastic show, and Tina and Calecto certainly raised the performance bar.” Grimes added.
It was Calecto’s third time to compete in the Grand Prix Special, and the stallion, by Comeback II, earned a score of 71.958%. The winning score was the highest non-freestyle score to date for the 12-year-old stallion.
Konyot suffered a back injury prior to the Derby, but followed the old adage that the “show must go on” and competed, although in pain. Despite her bad back, Konyot was pleased with her stallion and gave much of the credit for the pair’s advancing success to trainer Lars Petersen.