Category Archives: USEF

USEF Network and Equestrian Sport Productions Announce Live Streaming Partnership

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian and Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) are pleased to announce their partnership designating the USEF Network as the exclusive live streaming platform for ESP events for the remainder of the 2019 season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF).

Events streamed on the USEF Network will be free to watch for US Equestrian competing and fan members. Free fan member sign-up and promotional codes will be available each week, beginning with the $25,000 ProElite® National Jumper Classic on Thursday, February 28, using code 2019WEF8. To sign up for a free fan membership, please visit here.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with US Equestrian and the USEF Network for the remainder of the winter season here in Wellington for our streaming needs. We have a great working relationship with US Equestrian and it was very logical for us to work together to help bring our competition streams to a mass audience,” said Michael Stone, President of ESP. “The streams are free to view with a fan membership, which we feel is a great way to help US Equestrian build comradery and interest in our U.S. athletes and competitions.”

The following are the remaining 2019 events to be streamed by the USEF Network:

  • Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) 8 (February 27 – March 3), including the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup CSIO4*
  • WEF 9 (March 6-10)
  • WEF 10 (March 13-17)
  • WEF 11 (March 20-24)
  • WEF 12 (March 27-31), including the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*
  • AGDF 8 (March 1), including “Friday Night Stars” Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W presented by Havensafe Farm
  • AGDF 10 (March 15), including the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ USA
  • AGDF 12 (March 29)

Visit the USEF Network for a full list of live, upcoming, and on-demand content.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Live Oak International: Ten Things to Know

Allison Stroud’s four-in-hand competes at the 2018 Live Oak International. Photo: Bianca McCarty.

Live Oak International, which takes place March 7-10 in Ocala, Fla., offers world-class competition in two sports: driving and jumping. The driving event is one of the largest driving competitions in the United States, and the jumping competition, the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Ocala, is part of the prestigious North American League. But there’s a lot more to know about this unique competition. We’ve got you covered with 10 fast facts, including live stream information and how to buy tickets to attend in person.

By US Equestrian Communications

US Equestrian Launches Pilot Phase of U.S. Dressage Coaches Support Network

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) has announced the launch of a new U.S. Dressage Coaches Support Network that will gain momentum in 2019. Still in its infancy, the aim of this pilot program is to establish a group of like-minded dressage trainers to support U.S. dressage program events and initiatives. Select dressage trainers will work in concert with and support the current U.S. dressage coaching staff of Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald, Development Coach Charlotte Bredahl, Youth Coach George Williams, and Young Horse Coach Christine Traurig.

The immediate initiatives of the Coaches Support Network will seek to make U.S. dressage programs more accessible, working with the U.S. dressage coaching staff to seek out new and developing talent, provide support at competitions, offer additional training opportunities to athletes, and build comradery amongst the U.S. dressage community. Willy Arts (Hanford, Calif.), Allison Brock (Wellington, Fla.), Ashley Holzer (Wellington, Fla.), and Guenter Seidel (Cardiff, Calif.) have been identified as the first trainers to be selected to the network.

“We are very excited to be bringing on a network of trainers and coaches that already exist in our own U.S. dressage community,” said McDonald. “Bringing in dressage coaches with similar goals to our program can only help us to further reach out to and develop the pool of talent that we know exists among our athletes and horses.”

More information will follow in the coming months regarding the U.S. Dressage Coaches Support Network and other initiatives designed to continue to build depth in the dressage programs in the U.S.

For more information on the U.S. Dressage Coaches Support Network, please contact Hallye Griffin, Managing Director of Dressage at hgriffin@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Brenin: The Story behind the Roster

Photo: Jeanne@Genie Images.

When Darcie Grote receives her copy of US Equestrian magazine’s annual Horse of the Year issue in mid-April, she’ll have an extra reason to celebrate her horse’s year-end championship. Brenin — or Nickie, as he’s known around the barn — lost an eye in January 2018 to a cancer so rare that he’s the only horse ever documented as having it. But that didn’t stop him from having a successful season, and Grote says the experience has only strengthened their partnership and her respect for his stoicism and big heart.

Read more here.

© 2019 US Equestrian Federation

Annex A, Supplement to Dressage DR121 of USEF Dressage Rules, Updates Effective Feb. 1

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) requests that members review Annex A, a supplement to DR121 of the USEF Dressage Rules, for updates and changes that are in effect as of February 1, 2019. These rules can be found on the USEF website under the Dressage “Rules & Equipment” section, in the forms and publications.

Important to note are the following, in addition to the updates and changes:

  • Some previously unpermitted bits are now allowed at USEF/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) dressage competitions.
  • New in 2019, for curb bits used in a double bridle, the maximum height of the deviation is 30 mm from the lower part of the tongue side to the highest part of the deviation. The widest part of the deviation must be where the mouthpiece contacts the tongue and must have a minimum width of 30 mm.
  • All bits/equipment labeled as “Pending Review” in Annex A are not allowed in USEF/USDF competitions until determined otherwise (in Annex A).
  • Please refer to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Dressage Rules directly for permitted saddlery/equipment in FEI CDI events.

Complete USEF Dressage Rules can be found on the USEF website here. The Dressage “Rules & Equipment” section of the USEF website will be the official place for posting updates to DR121 regarding legal or illegal bits and equipment for dressage competition based upon FEI rulings and submissions for approval to the USEF Dressage Department. Additionally, competitors are reminded to periodically review Annex A for updates regarding bits and equipment throughout the competition year.

Questions related to Annex A and Dressage DR121 should be directed to Hallye Griffin, Managing Director of Dressage, at hgriffin@usef.org or Hannah Niebielski, Director of Dressage, National Programs, at hniebielski@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Verdades and Cobra Win at 2018 Horse of the Year Gala

West Palm Beach, Fla. – US Equestrian is pleased to share that Verdades, owned by Laura Graves and Curt Maes, has been voted the 2018 International Horse of the Year, and Cobra, owned by Marsha Hartford-Sapp, has been voted the 2018 National Horse of the Year.

Verdades (Florett AS x Liwilarda/Goya), a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, affectionately known as Diddy, began his journey to international success in 2014 after garnering attention from his reserve-champion finish at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. Since his launch into the spotlight with his life-long rider and trainer Graves, Verdades’s achievements and continued success are profound. In 2018, Verdades again proved why he is one of the best horses to grace the international dressage ring as he won the Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in Paris and helped the U.S. team earn a silver medal in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Germany. He and Graves then rode for silver medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018.

Since being rounded up in the mountains of Nevada at the age of six, Cobra’s trainer and owner Marsha Hartford-Sapp has been devoted to the 14-year-old mustang gelding and proceeded training him with caution and respect for his instincts, creating a deep bond. Their mutual trust has seen them through competitions in both classical and Western dressage, where Cobra’s versatility and talent for each has been apparent. As one of the founding horses of USEF Western dressage competition, Cobra was one of the first recipients of the 2015 Horse of the Year awards in that discipline and has continued to collect numerous accolades ever since.

“It wasn’t even about that moment when the Olympic medal was placed around my neck. It was about the joy. Despite hardships, heartbreaks, and massive, massive life failures, always overwhelming joy… [and] the fact that this great horse brings so much joy to so many people.” – Laura Graves on her 2018 International Horse of the Year

“Several years ago, I stood in the middle of a round pen with a horse that was six years old, rounded up by a helicopter, and never touched by human hands.” – Marsha Hartford-Sapp

© 2019 US Equestrian Federation

US Equestrian to Recognize Georgie Green and Isabela De Sousa at Pegasus Awards

Isabela De Sousa (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, Ky. –US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award to be acknowledged at the 2019 US Equestrian Annual Meeting at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. Georgie Green is the winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, while Isabela De Sousa is the 2018 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Both Green and De Sousa will be recognized at the Pegasus Awards on Thursday, January 10, 2019, along with other prestigious award winners.

Green (Morgan Mill, Texas) has been a dedicated leader for the Morgan breed. For more than 40 years, Green and her husband, John, have owned and operated Roadshow Morgans, the largest Morgan breeding operation in Texas and one of the largest amateur operations in the country. They purchased their first Morgan horse, Funquest Paddy, in 1972 and their first breeding stallion, Showcase, in 1973, which has led to more than 100 horses with the Roadshow prefix. These top-quality horses have become world and national champions, local winners, and beloved family pets. Green’s dedication to this American horse is exemplified by her work to foster interest for pedigreed livestock in younger generations.

Green joined the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Board of Directors in 1980. Five years later, she was named AMHA’s Woman of the Year, as well as the organization’s first female president. She served as AMHA president from 1985 to 1988 and again from 1993 to 1996. For nearly 30 years, Green served on its Board of Directors and chaired several committees, including the all-important Registry Committee. Outside of AMHA, Green served on the show committee for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® for many years, serving as show chair three times. She also served on the USEF Board of Directors as the Morgan breed representative and currently sits on the USEF Morgan Sport Committee.

Green was honored with the National Pedigreed Livestock Council’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award for those whose dedication to their chosen breed is exhibited through extensive altruistic endeavors. Now, Green is the recipient of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award for her undying commitment to the Morgan breed, which has elevated the sport’s excellence.

As Junior Equestrian of the Year, De Sousa (Lexington, Ky.) will be presented with the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy. At the age of 17, De Sousa is already an exemplary ambassador for equestrian sport, in particular for the Thoroughbred horse. She has been riding all her life and has been retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds for the last few years. De Sousa has found much success in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, winning the show jumping division from 2015 to 2017. She displays her maturity as a consummate horsewoman by treating the Makeover as icing on the cake versus a hard-fought goal for the Thoroughbreds she retrains. Her ultimate goal is to provide the horses with a solid foundation and start them on a second career path that they can enjoy in their new homes.

In 2018, she retrained Cozmic One, the first foal of famed racehorse Zenyatta, and finished fifth in the Makeover show jumping division. In addition to her strong placing, De Sousa used her social media influence on the de Sousa Stables Facebook page throughout Cozmic One’s retraining process to educate fans about how Thoroughbreds can be retrained after their careers on the racetrack and the positive side of racing and the Thoroughbred industry.

De Sousa also secured top results in the show ring throughout 2018, including competing in her first equitation finals in the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian and United States Dressage Federation Publish 2019 Dressage Tests

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) announced today that the co-branded 2019 USEF/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Dressage Tests are now available and published online through USDF.

Effective December 1, 2018, through November 30, 2022, the 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests are newly co-branded with the USDF as the two organizations work together to continue to proliferate and promote the sport of dressage in the United States. The 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests continue to serve as a measure of the horse and rider’s schooling and training, while each level builds upon the preceding level’s principles.

USDF’s “On the Levels” will continue to provide examples of the new Introductory through Fourth Level dressage tests.  “On the Levels” features engaging videos to help athletes understand the requirements for tests within each level, with commentary from top U.S. trainers and judges and segments geared toward improving difficult movements at each level.  Keep an eye out for the launch of this product in the coming months.

Additional test products will include a new test app containing both the USEF and USDF tests and, once produced, a test booklet, which can be purchased through the USDF online store at store.usdf.org.

Click here to view the 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests. For information on licensing the new tests, contact USDF at copyright@usdf.org.  For questions or additional information, contact Hannah Niebielski, Director of Dressage National Programs, at hniebielski@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Deaf Horse Dazzles at Western Dressage World Show

With his pure white coat with just a black “sun visor” for a marking, Smokin White Gun, known as “Danny,” has become one of the best-recognized horses at the Western Dressage World Show.

But Danny is unique for another reason: He is deaf.

Deafness can be associated with lack of skin pigmentation, says his rider, Joanne Haughan from Pennsylvania. Joanne, who is a veterinarian, explains that the cells governing a horse’s pigment and its hearing have a similar origin in the embryo and genes responsible for skin pigmentation are associated with deafness in some Paint horses.

Working with a deaf horse does pose some unusual challenges, Joanne says. “He doesn’t spook at things ordinary horses spook at,” she says. At their farm, while the other horses will flee from the lawnmower, Danny will follow it around, hoping for treats.

But he will spook at things that suddenly appear in his field of vision. He hasn’t heard them coming, so they startle him. Joanne says she has learned to be his ears, listening for anything she can hear coming that’s likely to bother him, recognizing when it’s likely to appear for him and then distracting him or keeping him turned away from it.

Where he lives at Bally Vae Farm, near Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, his handlers have all learned that he may have issues with things over his head, or with sudden contrasts between light and dark.

“It has been a learning curve for both of us,” Joanne says.

But for all that, she wouldn’t trade him for the world.

He started life as a reining horse and came to a barn where Joanne was learning reining. Having been born in England and grown up in Austria, she’d ridden a number of horses there, but as soon as she met Danny, she knew he was special.

That was three years ago.

“The minute I sat on him, I thought, ‘This is the horse for me’,” she said. She rode him for about two weeks, under the tutelage of her trainer, Lauren Annett, then bought him.

She started riding him as a reining horse, but after a while, “I think both of us were getting a little bit burned out with that.”

Joanne in particular was having a particularly hectic year. She was working full time, trying to finish work for her Ph.D. in veterinary medicine (her subject of study is analysis of the relationship between osteoarthritis and periodontal disease in horses), working full time, and trying to ride and show, as well.

She ended up moving Danny to Bally Vae Farm, which is much closer to her home, and gradually switched to Western Dressage.

“It has really done him a world of good,” she says, noting how much his gaits have improved. “But I think he chose it more than I did.” He made it clear that this was work he liked, and “he does have a great work ethic.”

But still, she laughs, “I think his dream job would be to be in a petting zoo… he’d love to stand around being petted all day and being given treats.”

By Barb McLintock
Western Dressage Association of America

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation

US Olympic Committee Announces Best of September Finalists for Team USA Awards

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of September, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Awards.TeamUSA.org through midnight Monday, Oct. 8.

A total of eight sports – including basketball, equestrian, Para-equestrian, paratriathlon, shooting, triathlon, volleyball, and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by Dick’s Sporting Goods and USG.

SEPTEMBER FINALISTS

Male Athlete of the Month

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, New York), Indoor Volleyball
Named best opposite at the FIVB World Championship, finishing as the second-leading scorer and second-leading attacker and helping lead Team USA to its first world championship medal – a bronze – in 24 years.

Mark Barr (Davis, California), Paratriathlon
Capped his undefeated season with a gold medal in the men’s PTS2 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Wrestling
Earned the gold medal in the 97 kg. division of the Pytlasinski Memorial International after pinning 2016 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Artur Aleksanyan in the semifinal in 27 seconds.

Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), Shooting
Won his fourth world championship title in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, tying the world record in qualification by shooting a perfect 125-125 targets, and tying the finals world record by missing only one target.

McLain Ward (Brewster, New York), Equestrian
Aboard Clinta, anchored the U.S. Jumping Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games, helping Team USA win the gold medal in a jump-off to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Female Athlete of the Month

Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana), Shooting
Won her first career international gold medal in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, edging six-time Olympic medalist and U.S. teammate Kim Rhode in the final, 57-56.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Florida), Equestrian
Aboard Verdades, claimed the grand prix special individual silver medal and the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first U.S. dressage combination to lead the FEI Dressage World Rankings.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Florida), Para-equestrian
Earned the bronze medal in the individual test and silver in freestyle at the FEI World Equestrian Games, marking the first-ever WEG medals won by a Team USA para-equestrian individual rider.

Allysa Seely (Glendale, Arizona), Paratriathlon
Earned the gold medal in the women’s PTS2 division at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, completing her season sweep of the ITU World Paratriathlon Series.

Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Maryland), Triathlon
Finished third at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, capturing the ITU World Triathlon Series overall silver medal.

Team of the Month

USA Women’s World Cup Team, Basketball
With just two practices with its complete, 12-member team, won its third straight world cup title – and 10th overall – at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, becoming the second women’s basketball team to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Jumping Team, Equestrian
Won a historic gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in a thrilling jump-off against Sweden – marking the first world title for the U.S. since 1986 – and secured a national team quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Team, Indoor Volleyball
Earned a historic bronze medal at the FIVB World Championship, marking the first world championship medal for the U.S. in 24 years.

SELECTION PROCESS
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male, and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via Awards.TeamUSA.org.

From the United States Olympic Committee Communications Department