Category Archives: Contributors/Press

Blog writers, press releases and contributors

Equine Fatality at 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2021 – It is with deepest regret that Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management announces an equine fatality at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival. On Sunday, March 28, at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET, there was an incident in the High Junior Jumper Classic in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Lord Pizarro, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding ridden by Ansgar Holtgers Jr. and owned by Gut Einhaus LLC and Dietmar Gugler, fell while attempting a jump. The equine ambulance, veterinarians from WEF Official Veterinarian Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and EMTs were on the scene immediately. Everything was done to ensure the comfort and safety of horse and rider.

The horse’s injury was assessed on-site and determined to be irreparable. The horse was euthanized on-site to avoid any further pain and distress for the animal. Holtgers Jr. was examined by medics and was not injured.

ESP management expresses their sincere condolences to the owners, Holtgers, and everyone connected to Lord Pizarro.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Natalie Jayne and Charisma Shine in the WEF Equitation Championship

Natalie Jayne and Charisma © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2021 – Equitation riders took their turn in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, March 26, in the WEF Equitation Championship during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). After three technical rounds of competition, Natalie Jayne and Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Charisma took home the blue ribbon.

Zayna Rizvi and Jordyn Rose Freedman’s Finnick earned second place. Third place honors went to Dominic Gibbs aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, and fourth place went to Alexander Alston riding Waldo, owned by Missy Clark and North Run.

Shane Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef Are Swift in $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5*

Galloping swiftly across the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra van de Oude Heihoef, owned by The Blue Buckle Group, won the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5* on Friday.

Out of 46 entries in the class, 19 were clear over the speed course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA). Starting the class off with a bang, Olympic individual gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, a 15-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue x Come On owned by Chacco Kid Group, raced to set the leading time of 62.24 seconds, which would hold up for second place after the remaining 45 entries.

Riding early in the class as well in the fifth spot in the order, Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef shaved almost a full second off the winning time, taking it down to 61.26 seconds.

No one else was able to catch Sweetnam’s time, but Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Hungry Heart, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Baltimore 1178 x Loucaibo owned by Stone Hill Farm, came closest in 63.10 seconds for third place.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ashlee Bond Blazes to the Top in $137k Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 CSI5*

Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Donatello 141 © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2021 – An impressive group of international competitors took center stage on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village as Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Donatello 141, owned by Little Valley Farms, flew to the top of the $137,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on Thursday, March 25, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

A total of 56 combinations were represented in the starting order over a 1.55m course set by 2016 Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) featuring 16 jumping efforts. With 22 pairs qualifying to return for the jump-off, the competition was fierce as 14 elected to return and battle for top spot in the grand prix qualifying class.

First to return in the subsequent round, Chloe Reid (USA) and Souper Shuttle set the pace for the remaining competitors as she piloted the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare by Stakkato x Luise Marie, owned by Live Oak Plantation, LLC, to a clear effort in a time of 41.66 seconds. Just two horses later, the lead changed as Ireland’s Cian O’Connor (IRL) and his mount Kilkenny, owned by Ronnoco Jump Ltd, produced an even quicker clear round in 41.12 seconds.

Scott Stewart and Nottingham Secure the Green Hunter 3’6” Tricolor

The Green Hunter 3’6” division, sponsored by Equine Tack and Nutritionals, wrapped up on Thursday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. Leading the class with 38 points, Scott Stewart piloted Rivers Edge’s Nottingham to the championship.

Nottingham is a very new ride for well-known hunter professional Stewart. The coming nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Verdi was recently purchased from the European Select Auction and began his already impressive hunter career last week.

“Last week was his first time showing, and he was champion,” said Stewart. “And now he was champion again. He has just been great. He is usually so easygoing and looks through the bridle very well. You can just let go of the reins and gallop around.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Smashing Start for Harrie Smolders in $37k Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45 Jumpers CSI5*

Harrie Smolders (NED) and Une De L’Othain © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2021 – The eleventh week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) opened with Harrie Smolders (NED) and Une De L’Othain, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC, claiming victory in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45 Jumpers CSI5* on Wednesday, March 24, on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village.

Jumping a 1.45m course set by 2016 Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA), 59 entries competed over fences one through 13 in a two-phase format. The best of the day, Smolders and the 13-year-old Selle Français mare by Conterno Grande x Cento completed their fault-free round in a time of 29.70 seconds.

“This week the plan was to only do this class with her because she usually does the bigger classes,” said Smolders of his winning partner. “With that plan in mind, I thought, ‘Why don’t we give it a go today?’ She’s probably not a typical speed horse, but she went very smooth every turn and saw every distance fairly early so everything worked out according to plan. She’s good on all kinds of surfaces. She’s very scopey, very careful, and today I think it was my turn to win.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kenny Notches Second Win of WEF 10 in $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Great-Tikila J © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 21, 2021 – On the final day of the tenth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Darragh Kenny (IRL) picked up his second win of the week, riding Great-Tikila J, owned by Whiterock Farm and HKC Collection, to capture the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* as competition wrapped up on Sunday, March 21, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Of the 45 entries in the starting order, a total of 10 pairs mastered the handiwork of Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) to punch their ticket into the second round. Of those 10, Mimi Gochman (USA) was the first to put in a double-clear round aboard Gigi’s Girl BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to move into the lead.

“I went super early [in the order], so I just really wanted to have a nice round,” explained Gochman in reference to her plan for the jump-off. “I was trying to go for it a little bit, but I didn’t want to make any big mistakes or make her unconfident in me because it was my first three-star grand prix, and I really just wanted to go double clear.”

Gochman, who picked up a win earlier in the day in the Hermès U25 Series Final, guided the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Vingino x Celano across the track in a time of 41.38 seconds.

Mimi Gochman and Celina BH Best the Field in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Series Final; Vogel Wins Overall Title

In the culmination of a season-long series, it was Mimi Gochman (USA) and Celina BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, who prevailed in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Final CSI3* on Sunday afternoon in the International Arena.

Riders were faced with a technical track built by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) with 29 competitors in the starting order. A total of eight horse-and-rider combinations qualified to return for the jump-off representing four different countries: Belgium, Greece, Great Britain, and the United States.

The standard was set for the rest of the field as the first two pairs to return, Zoe Conter (BEL) and Caitlyn Connors (USA), both posted double clear efforts and jumped into a tie for the early lead in a time of 38.69 seconds. Third to return in the subsequent round, Natalie Dean (USA) and Dotcom D’Authuit, owned by Marigold Sporthorses, LLC, followed up with their own double-clear effort. Dean and the eight-year-old mare by Diamant De Semilly x Quidam De Revel solidified what would ultimately be a third-place finish in a time of 37.67 seconds.

Just two riders after that, series leader Ashley Vogel (USA) and her own Bellissimo Z, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare by Bamako de Muze x Chin Chin, found a way to shave time off the clock, with their own double-clear effort in 36.60 seconds to take over top spot.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kenny Dominates aboard Vertige De Galarzacs in $37k CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3*

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige De Galarzacs © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 20, 2021 – Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige De Galarzacs, owned by Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC, dashed to the top of podium in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* on Saturday, March 20, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in the tenth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

A total of 79 entries contested the first round of competition with just nine qualifying for the second round. First to return in the jump-off, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Ideal, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook, LLC, set the tone for the rest of the contenders, executing the 1.50m shortened course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) with ease. Sweetnam and the nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento 933 x Paskitt posted the time to catch of 36.67 seconds.

Both Kenny and Martin Fuchs (SUI) qualified two horses to return for the jump-off, and it was Fuchs who posted the second double clear round of the day with Conner 70, owned by Thomas Fuchs. The second-ranked rider in the world guided the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Connor 48 x Cosimo around the course, crossing the timers in 37.10 seconds.

Libbie Gordon and Montauk Earn the Tricolor Ribbon in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 Division

Libbie Gordon, of Statesville, NC, rode her own Montauk to the championship title in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 Division on Saturday in the Rost Arena. The pair received 23.5 points in the division with two firsts, a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth place finish.

Gordon and Montauk, trained by Ashland Farms, secured another tricolor ribbon after also receiving the championship honors during week five of WEF. Although the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding is still fairly new to the hunter discipline, he and Gordon are always a pair to watch when they enter the show ring.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Maher Masters $37k Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI3* aboard Ginger-Blue

Ben Maher (GBR) and Ginger-Blue © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2021 – Ben Maher (GBR) and Ginger-Blue, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, moved masterfully across the 1.50m course to win the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI3* on Friday, March 19, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in the tenth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) challenged the competition with a technical 1.50m track that featured 16 jumping efforts. A starting field of 93 entries was narrowed down to just nine qualifying and seven electing to return for the jump-off. Maher led the way as the first to return in the subsequent round, setting the pace aboard the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Plot Blue x Royal Bravour, with a clear effort in 39.66 seconds.

“I thought it was a big enough course for her,” said Maher of the mare’s double clear performance. “It’s tough here at WEF because the CSI3* weeks are very competitive, and the track is probably a lot bigger than a typical three-star grand prix qualifier. I think that proved it with only nine clears out of 93 horses, so it was clever course building and quite technical in the middle [of the course].

Young Talent Showcased in Developing Jumper Series Classics

Competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center kicked off Friday morning with the final competition for young five-, six-, and seven-year-old horses in the Developing Jumper Series (DJS) sponsored by Spy Coast Farm. The seven-year-old horses were the first to debut in the $20,000 DJS 7-Year-Old Classic where Alex Matz (USA) took the victory aboard the Vintage Sales entry, Jillz. Jillz was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award presented by Laura Fetterman.

Matz and Jillz navigated both the first round and jump-off track fault-free and ultimately cleared the shortened effort the fastest by clocking in at 33.63 seconds. Matz has been partnered with the seven-year-old KWPN mare (Denzel VT Meulenhof x Cartina) since she was purchased at the VDL auction in Wellington, FL last season and has big plans for the bright young horse.

The six-year-old horses in the Developing Jumper Series classic were the next to take center stage in the International Arena. The top-placing 25 entries from the series returned to contest the track but Christian Coyle (IRL) ultimately piloted C&C Willow to the winning title. He expertly rode his young Irish Sport Horse mount (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Cortynan Loughahoe Girl) through double-clear rounds with a leading time of 35.00 seconds.

Coyle has had the young mare since she was a four-year-old after seeing her at the Northern Ireland Championships.

In the series finale of the Developing Jumper Series (DJS) sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, for five-year-old Developing Jumpers, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Lovely Boy P, owned by Ariel Grange, produced a stellar double clear effort to take the blue ribbon. The new partnership is blossoming quickly as Friday’s win marked just the third time Coyle has ever ridden the five-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Campbell VDL x Arezzo VDL. The pair finished in a tie for fourth place on Wednesday in the qualifier.

With eight horse-and-rider combinations qualifying to jump-off over a shortened track in Sunday’s final, Coyle piloted the talented youngster effortlessly around the course to finish in a time of 35.17 seconds, taking the win by nearly a full second.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Negative Equine Herpes Virus Test Result for Horse Tested at AGDF

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management announces that there has been a negative test result for Equine Herpes Virus on Thursday, March 18, 2021, on the horse on the Equestrian Village showgrounds for the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.

In an abundance of caution, the “Horse A” was tested on Wednesday, March 17, for Equine Herpes Virus using a PCR test by an independent veterinarian after it had a fever. Horse A no longer has a fever and remains in isolation on the Equestrian Village show grounds while plans are made for it. Horse A’s barnmate, “Horse B,” never had a fever or other symptoms and is competing as scheduled at AGDF.

ESP again urges all horse owners to adhere strictly to biosecurity protocols and note that restrictions are still in place at PBIEC in order to maintain the health of all of the horses on property. They are as follows:

  1. Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues outside of Wellington or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues outside of Wellington within ten (10) days prior to their arrival.
  2. Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving.
  3. ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.
  4. ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds.
  5. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures:

  • Take all horses’ temperatures daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management.
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show.
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible; practice equine ‘social distancing’.
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms.
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately.
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health.
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care.

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners: Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lamaze Leads the Way in $37k Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI3* at WEF 10

Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2021 – Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, owned by the Chacco Kid Group, were back in fine form on Thursday, March 18, winning the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI3*, the feature class in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The handiwork of course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) was on display as 66 horse-and-rider combinations attempted the test consisting of 14 jumping obstacles. Lamaze, 19th to go in the starting order, answered all the questions of the 1.45m speed track to emerge victorious aboard the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Come On, crossing the timers in a speedy 58.26 seconds to take the title.

“These types of classes are good for Chacco,” explained Lamaze. “He’s naturally fast so you don’t really feel like you’re actually pushing him to be fast. It’s just his natural way of going. He’s a very quick horse, and I like these classes to set up for the grand prix with him. It’s nice to get his lungs opened up a bit and give him a nice gallop around the ring.”

Sandra Ferrell Pilots Notorious to the Green Hunter 3’ Championship

The Green Hunter 3’ division, sponsored by Hygain Feeds, came to a close in FarmVet Ring 7 on Thursday morning. Sandra Ferrell, of Wellington, FL, and Stephanie Bulger’s Notorious bested a field of 27 competitive entries to earn the top prize. Ferrell and Notorious received three firsts, a second, and a fourth place ribbon for a total of 38 points in the division.

Notorious, a coming seven-year-old Westphalian mare by Ballous Bellini, began her already successful horse show career this season with Ferrell in the irons. After purchasing Notorious in December of 2019 from Gavin Moylan, Ferrell and owner Bulger decided to take their time with the mare and not rush her into the show ring, which obviously paid off.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Horse Tested for EHV at Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management announces that a horse at Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) presented with a fever on Wednesday, March 17. In an abundance of caution, the horse was tested for Equine Herpes Virus using a PCR test by an independent veterinarian. The test results should be received on Friday, March 19, and will be released as soon as possible.

“Horse A” with the fever was removed from FEI stabling and isolated on the Equestrian Village show grounds. “Horse B,” a barn-mate of Horse A, was relocated and isolated separately on Equestrian Village show grounds as well. Horse B does not currently have a fever and is not showing any other symptoms.

Horse A was not outside of Wellington, nor has it been in contact with horses outside of Wellington.

ESP again urges all horse owners to adhere strictly to biosecurity protocols and note that restrictions are still in place at PBIEC in order to maintain the health of all of the horses on property. They are as follows:

  1. Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues outside of Wellington or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues outside of Wellington within ten (10) days prior to their arrival.
  2. Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving.
  3. ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.
  4. ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds.
  5. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures:

  • Take all horses’ temperatures daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management.
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show.
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible; practice equine ‘social distancing’.
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms.
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately.
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health.
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care.

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners: Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.