Category Archives: USEF

Wolff and Casall Blaze through Jump-Off to Place Third in $216,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix

Ali Wolff and Casall (Sportfot)

Wellington, Fla. – Ali Wolff made the most out of showing her mount Casall in his first week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival. They helped the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team earn a Silver medal during Friday’s Nation Cup competition and finished the week by placing third in the $216,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix presented by Lugano Diamonds on Sunday. As on Friday, the Irish had luck on their side as Shane Sweetnam and Conor Swail placed first and second, respectively. As a result of Wolff’s efforts over the week, she earned the Leading Lady Rider Award.

“I’ve had him [Casall] since he was seven, and I have been moving him up the ranks. He has a bright future ahead of him, and he has been phenomenal for me and my career,” said Wolff.

A group of 43 combinations attempted the Ken Krome-designed course. Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall, Blacklick Bend Farm’s 2005 Holsteiner gelding, made it through the first round comfortably, joining 17 combinations, including seven other Americans, in a tricky jump-off.

A troublesome turn around a palm tree leading into the Hermès oxer, fence five, caused problems for several combinations early in the jump-off. Through five combinations, Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and Toy Boy had the early lead with a time of 43.21. Wolff and Casall followed Mendoza. With caution, the pair tackled the Hermès oxer. Once past this difficult spot, they picked up the speed and crossed the finish two-tenths of a second ahead of Mendoza.

“Going early on [in the jump-off] is a little hard because I had 10 people behind me. I just had to go in knowing my speed and try and push a little faster than that. I started off with the pace I wanted and was able to finish on the same pace. Everything came up naturally. He was really good for me,” said Wolff.

Going 10th, Sweetnam and Chaqui Z jetted through the course to overtake the top spot with a time of 41.79. Four-time Olympian Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Coach, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding, moved Mendoza and Toy Boy to fourth place on a time of 43.11 seconds to sit in third place after 15 combinations. Swail and Rubens Ls La Silla knocked Madden and Coach to fourth with a time of 41.82. As the final combination to go, Olympian Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and Waterford, Laura and Meredith Mateo’s 2003 KWPN gelding, had a rail, ensuring Wolff a podium position.

Complete Results

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Announces Partnership with Upper Echelon Academy

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) is pleased to announce that Upper Echelon Academy (UEA) is now the Official Tutoring Service of US Equestrian. UEA was previously the Official Tutoring Provider of the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) and the 2016 US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, as well as a Bronze Sponsor of the Adequan®/FEI NAJYRC.

“US Equestrian is honored that Upper Echelon Academy has chosen to enhance its partnership with the organization,” said US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney. “UEA’s extensive private tutoring program was incredibly beneficial to our athletes competing in the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North and the US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm last year, so we’re very excited to have them year-round.”

Upper Echelon Academy in Wellington, Fla., has a rich history of meeting the unique demands of equestrians and elite athletes outside a typical school environment. Using the latest technology, UEA meets the educational needs of each student and works closely with schools to provide tutoring that exceeds expectations. Upper Echelon Academy has an extensive background in designing and delivering curriculum and has established a cohesive relationship with respected schools across North America.

“Upper Echelon Academy proudly supports all of our students, from the youngest lead line riders to high school and college students competing on the international level,” said Clementine Goutal, owner and founder of UEA. “The sponsorship we have with US Equestrian reflects UEA’s commitment to supporting our students in their academic and athletic endeavors.”

Visit upperechelonacademy.com for more information.

For more information about USEF Sponsorship, please contact Lauren Carlisle at lcarlisle@usef.org.

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Wins Silver Medal at $150,000 FEI Nations Cup

Catherine Tyree and Bokai (Sportfot)

Wellington, Fla. – A young Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team entered the arena full of fire as they kept up with the seasoned Irish team the entire night to earn the Silver medal in the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup™ at CSIO4* Wellington on Friday, March 3. In her Nations Cup debut, Catherine Tyree and mount Bokai gave a remarkable double-clear effort to lead the U.S. team of Georgina Bloomberg, Chloe Reid, and Ali Wolff. The U.S. ended on 13 faults behind Ireland’s Gold medal four-fault finish. Brazil earned the Bronze medal on 16 faults.

“I am thrilled with how my horse went, and I could not ask for more. He has such a great character and such a great mind that I knew once I went into the ring that everything would be okay. I jumped the first jump and it felt like every other class that I have been to so far down here [in Wellington]. I couldn’t be happier,” said Tyree.

The U.S. put in a strong first round, accumulating only five faults. Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall, Blacklick Bend Farm’s 2005 Holsteiner gelding, led off for the team with a clear jumping effort and just one time fault. Tyree (Chicago, Ill.) and Bokai, Mary Tyree’s 2006 KWPN gelding, followed with their first clear round performance. Reid (Washington, D.C.) and Codarco, Team Reid, LLC’s 2007 Irish Sport Horse stallion, and Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) and Lilli, Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s 2004 Deutsches Sportpferd mare each had four faults, allowing for one four-fault drop score. The course determined podium contenders early as the U.S. rested comfortably in third place with an 11-fault lead over Argentina and Great Britain heading into the second round. Ireland and Brazil were tied for first with zero faults.

Wolff and Casall began the second round with eight faults, dropping a rail at jump three, the Hermès oxer, and jump four, the liverpool. However, Tyree and Reid came through with back-to-back clear rounds. With Ireland and Brazil still in position to win, Bloomberg needed to go clear for a possibility of a victory. Unfortunately, the Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist snagged rails at the Hermès oxer and fence eight, the Hollow Creek vertical, for eight faults. Mimicking his performance in last month’s FEI Nations Cup at CSIO4* HITS Ocala, Olympian Cian O’Connor went double-clear to solidify the Gold medal for Ireland.

“We had a young team with great veteran stability. The two veterans [Ali and Georgina] imparted a lot of confidence. With a team, it is not just about what they do on a horse; it is how they interact with one another. Everyone meshed really well together this week,” added Ridland.

Complete Results

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Out to Take $150,000 FEI Nations Cup Win on Home Soil

Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli (RedBayStock.com)

Wellington, Fla. – Georgina Bloomberg will lead a group of rising stars when the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team takes on seven countries in the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup™ at CSIO4* Wellington Friday, March 3. Chloe Reid, Catherine Tyree, and Ali Wolff join Bloomberg as U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland looks to guide them to a strong finish in front of the home crowd. The U.S. has drawn fifth in the order and will compete in the following order:

Ali Wolff with Casall: Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall, Blacklick Bend Farm’s 2005 Holsteiner gelding, will compete at CSIO4* Wellington after serving as the reserve combination for the Silver medal-winning Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team last month at CSIO4* HITS Ocala. They are coming off a third-place finish in the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix at HITS Ocala.

Catherine Tyree with Bokai: Tyree will make her Nations Cup debut with Bokai, Mary Tyree’s 2006 KWPN gelding. She took over the ride on Bokai from The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders last summer. Since then, the young partnership earned a third-place finish in the $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* during week five of the Winter Equestrian Festival last month.

Chloe Reid with Codarco: Reid (Washington, D.C.) will compete on her second Senior Nations Cup team at CSIO4* Wellington. She will team up with Codarco, Team Reid, LLC’s 2007 Irish Sport Horse stallion. The combination recently placed sixth in the $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5*.

Georgina Bloomberg with Lilli: The 2015 Pan American Games Team Bronze-medalist combination, Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) and Lilli enter CSIO4* Wellington after three top-10 placings in 2016 FEI World Cup™ competitions. She and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s 2004 Deutsches Sportpferd mare placed eighth in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, ninth in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington presented by CP at the CP National Horse Show, and fourth in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento at the Sacramento International Horse Show.

Watch the live stream of the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Wellington on USEF Network beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 3.

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Names Hermès US Show Jumping Team for FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* Wellington

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named the following athletes to the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team for FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Wellington, March 1-5, in Wellington, Fla.:

Georgina Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.)

Chloe Reid (Washington, D.C.)

Catherine Tyree (Chicago, Ill.)

Ali Wolff (New Albany, Ohio)

Robert Ridland will serve as Chef d’Equipe.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

The USEF Agrees to Grant Farmer/Glefke Rehearing Request

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation Hearing Committee has granted a request for a rehearing in the case against Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke for the presence of GABA in the horse unexpected during competition. In November, a hearing was held in accordance with Federation rules and the Hearing Committee found these parties violated the Federation Equine Drugs & Medications rules. As a result, the Hearing Committee utilized the newly Board-approved penalty guidelines and assessed a penalty of 12-months suspension and fine of $12,000 against Kelley Farmer and a penalty of 24-months suspension and a fine of $24,000 against Larry Glefke. Farmer and Glefke petitioned USEF for a rehearing claiming they had not been properly notified of the violation and subsequent hearing.

The Federation strongly believes that the initial hearing was conducted in accordance with Federation rules and supports the penalties imposed by the Hearing Committee during that first hearing. USEF President Murray Kessler stated, “Despite the fact that a fair hearing was conducted with proper notification to the respective parties, as noted by the Hearing Committee in its ruling, given that this was the first case in which the new Board of Directors approved penalty guidelines were utilized, the extremely serious nature of the violations, and the substantial penalties imposed, the Federation did not object to a rehearing and, therefore, supports the Hearing Committee’s decision.” Kessler continued, “This case is too important in the USEF’s steadfast goal to enforce the Drugs & Medications rules intended to prevent cheating in our sport. There can be no remote shadow of doubt that all of our cases are handled in a transparent manner.”

The Hearing Committee ruled that any arguments about the scientific basis or analytical methodology underlying the Federation’s testing for GABA positives has already been conclusively determined in prior hearings and will not be a subject of the rehearing. They further ruled that the rehearing shall be concluded in time for new Findings & Decisions to be issued prior to July 1, 2017. Any suspensions levied as a result of the rehearing decision shall commence on July 1, 2017, which is the commencement date of the suspensions under the original Hearing Committee decision.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Madden and Breitling LS Win Second Place in $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS (ESI) Photography.

Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team Members Wolff and Casall Pick Up Third

Ocala, Fla. – Beezie Madden and Breitling LS led the way for the U.S. contingent with a second-place finish in the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Sunday. After guiding the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a second place finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ on Friday, she and Breitling LS earned their second consecutive double-clear. Ali Wolff and Casall, the reserve combination for the FEI Nations Cup™ team, landed in the jump-off to place third. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor stole the win by 21-hundredths of a second.

A field of 41 world-class athletes contested Marina Azevedo challenging four-star course. The spread of the triple combination and the last line comprised of the double combination, followed by a wide square oxer and a tall vertical, showed its complexity. Numerous combinations fell prey to faults in the first round until Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Breitling LS, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, entered the ring. The four-time Olympian and her determined mount traveled around the course with ease. They secured the field’s first clear round with a time of 79.45 seconds.

“He was a green seven-year-old to start with. The spring of his eight-year-old year, I broke my collarbone, and that was seven to eight weeks before we got going again. He is 11, but he’s not quite as experienced as he should be as an 11-year-old who has been with us since he was seven. I think now he is just starting to get more consistent and being able to depend on him for bigger things,” said Madden.

Madden and Breitling LS continued with the lead going in to Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall’s attempt on the course. She and the 2005 Holsteiner gelding owned by Blacklick Bend Farm guaranteed a jump-off against their teammates going clear. Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor and Seringat rounded out the jump-off. In a heart-pounding jump-off, it came down to speed. Going last, O’Connor had the advantage. Knowing the time to beat, the combination barely blazed past Madden and Breitling LS for the win.

“[Going] first is a little difficult spot, especially when there are only three. There is a little strategy. I wanted to set it fast enough that it was a little hard to catch, and they would have to pull some risks,” said Madden.

Complete Results

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 and 18 Program Training Sessions Set Up Rising Talent for Success

East Coast Eventing 25 participant Madeline Backus schools a show jumping course with P.S. Arianna (USEF Archives)

Lexington, Ky. – Participants selected for the 2017 Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 and 18 Programs prepared for the competition season during winter training sessions with US Equestrian Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law. The training sessions held at Meredyth South began January 9-12 with the Eventing 25 participants, followed by the Eventing 18 participants on January 16-19. Law then traveled to California to teach the West Coast Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 participants, January 30 – February 2, at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula.

During the training sessions, Law built on the riders’ skills and helped them develop a better understanding of training principles. Law focused on the basics and more individualized work for the combinations with dressage, gridwork and coursework for show jumping, and ride-ability for the different types of questions on the cross-country course.

“I thought we had three great sessions, and all together, I was very pleased and found it to be very rewarding,” Law said. “I always hope to give them a deeper knowledge and greater understanding. We do not necessarily focus on competitions as we would later in the year. The winter sessions are about taking the time to get a deeper understanding of training of the horse so the preparation is correct and we are not leaving gaps in the training. As you go up the levels, the gaps start to show, so we focused on the importance of the day-to-day training. There were also lots of lectures to develop a complete knowledge of horsemanship.”

The participants benefited from lectures focused on preparing their horses for competition, as well as building a well-rounded foundation for their futures in the eventing industry. During the Florida training sessions, the Eventing 25 athletes heard from top groom Max Corcoran on preparing horses for an event, fitness, and international travel, while Dr. Jill Copenhagen spoke about anatomy and nutrition. The Eventing 18 participants had similar discussions with Corcoran and Copenhagen, and also heard from Jo-Ann Wilson about equine physiology. During the California training sessions, participants learned from professional groom Shannon McCormick about grooming, preparing for an event, and grooming internationally, while Dr. Emily Sandler spoke about jogging, confirmation, and soundness.

“The Eventing 25 training session was a great way to start the new year. The program provides quality instruction both on and off the horse,” East Coast participant Savannah “Woodge” Fulton said. “Having all the riders gather in one place helps build camaraderie and team skills we will hopefully use in the future.”

West Coast Eventing 18 participant Mia Farley was also very pleased with her experience, saying, “I thought my training session experience this last week was a big learning curve for me and the horse. I took away so much information and training tips, and I’m excited to use the experience on horses at home. What I enjoyed the most about the Eventing 25/18 training session this year was being around all the professional riders. I was able to watch Leslie teach and ride horses, and being at Tucalota Creek Ranch allowed us to watch Tamie Smith and Heather Morris ride and train on their horses. It was interesting to see all the different training tips and techniques Leslie utilized for the horse-and-rider combinations. Thank you US Equestrian for this incredible opportunity; I can always look forward to being with the team!”

View a complete list of participants.

US Equestrian would like to thank the guest lecturers and facility owners, Jacqueline Mars of Meredyth South and Alan and Kay Needle of Tucalota Creek Ranch, as well as Elinor MacPhail O’Neal and Alex O’Neal of Red Tail Ridge South, Conor Rollins, and Longwood South for providing use of their facilities for stabling.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Dressage Elite and Development Programs Announced

Lexington, Ky. – The US Equestrian Dressage Sport Committee has approved requirements for the Elite Program in 2017. In addition, they finalized plans for a revamped Development Program and selected the US Equestrian Dressage Development Coach.

The newly-launched Elite Program is established to provide support and resources to athlete/horse combinations that have proven they are internationally competitive. The US Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Managing Director oversee the program with oversight provided by the Program Selectors and the Dressage Sport Committee. Combinations qualify for the program based on scores received at CDI3*/CDIO3* or above competitions in the last 12 months. View the complete criteria.

The athletes will work with Technical Advisor Robert Dover to set goals and determine schedules. Athletes will receive training grants and other support to assist them in reaching their agreed upon targets. They will also have access to educational opportunities and logistical support. Being or not being part of the program has no impact on selection for Games and Championships.

“In the last four years, our goal was to create a very strong machine that would produce an Olympic medal for our dressage team, and the next four years will be spent continuing on that momentum and increasing the number of top combinations in the United States,” Dover said.

The following athlete/horse combinations meet the criteria for Elite Program membership (listed in alphabetical order):

Allison Brock (Wellington, Fla.) with Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding

Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s Rosamunde, a 2007 Rheinlander mare

Note: Peters and owner Akiko Yamazaki agreed to give the ride on Legolas 92 to Dawn White-O’Conner. White-O’Conner is Peters’ longtime assistant trainer and she will be competing Legolas 92 this year.

The Dressage Sport Committee also finalized plans for the Development Program. Through this revamped program, athletes with perceived ability to make the podium or contribute to podium scores within the following two quadrennials will receive strategic guidance and resources. View complete information and requirements for the program. The Development Program continues to be generously supported by USET Foundation Trustee Akiko Yamazaki and the Red Husky Foundation.

Debbie McDonald was selected by the Dressage Sport Committee as the US Equestrian Development Coach, pending contract negotiations. After a short hiatus in 2016, McDonald returns with over 10 years of experience helping the Development Program grow and moving athlete/horse combinations along the dressage pipeline.

“This revitalized program is going to give more individualized support to athletes, as well as their trainers and owners. Through this program, we will not only be able to target our funding and educational resources into identified combinations, but we will be able to continue to provide educational opportunities on a broad level,” McDonald said. “I’m very excited to be working again with US Equestrian and this unique opportunity that the Development Program is going to provide to our up-and-coming athletes.”

For more information, please contact Hallye Griffin, Managing Director of Dressage, at (859) 225-6949 or hgriffin@usef.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Board of Directors Removes Recognized Affiliate Designation from American Driving Society

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announces that, effective immediately, The American Driving Society (ADS) will no longer be recognized by the USEF as the affiliate for the driving discipline. The change in recognition results from an inability to reach an agreement as to the responsibilities of the Recognized Affiliate for the driving discipline.

The USEF Board of Directors conducted a thorough review regarding the status of a draft affiliate agreement during the recent USEF Annual Meeting. This included a historical review of the work of ADS to meet its responsibilities as a USEF Recognized Affiliate and the specifics of the draft agreement. After considerable work with the ADS to reach an agreement, the USEF and the ADS remained at an impasse.

USEF CEO Bill Moroney stated, “We had hoped that over the course of the past year, the discussions would have proven to be successful and regret that we were unable to reach an agreement with the ADS that reflected its responsibilities as the Recognized Affiliate for the driving discipline.”

All responsibilities for the driving discipline under the USEF umbrella, including the fielding of championship teams, will be handled by USEF. The USEF leadership team has developed a comprehensive communication plan and will contact impacted constituencies with additional information. We welcome communication with driving competition organizers, officials, and competitors as we continue to move the sport of driving forward.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation