Category Archives: USEF

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

USEF Launches “Discover the Joy of Horse Sports” Campaign

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has officially launched the “Discover the Joy of Horse Sports” campaign on USequestrian.org and its social media platforms. The campaign was introduced at the USEF Annual Meeting on January 11 and celebrates the universal emotional insight that horse sports bring across all breeds, disciplines, age groups, and levels. From novice riders to international elite equestrian athletes, US Equestrian’s mission is to bring the joy of horse sports to competitors and fans alike. Truly a lifelong endeavor, equestrian is the one sport where horse and human form a special bond and compete as one.

The campaign’s appeal is highly emotional. Strategically, the campaign breaks down the barriers between the grass roots and the elite levels of the sport to make the sport more accessible. The campaign also captures the overall lifestyle, community experiences, unique bond between horses and riders, and connections developed through horse sports.

Many equestrians from all over the world contributed to the campaign, with 55 clips encompassing the 60-second launch spot. Shots from the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympic Games are married with clips from breed champions as well as backyard enthusiasts to celebrate the diverse and emotional appeal of equestrian sport. The music comes from Ellinoa, a contemporary jazz and recording artist who is also an equestrian.  Ellinoa contributed her unique take on “Ode de Joy,” mashing up the classical piece with a fresh jazz mix. This perfectly mirrors the classic elite aspects of equestrian sport married to the free and easy moments of exhilaration and joy outside of the competition ring.

The print campaign features the 29 breeds and disciplines governed by the newly rebranded US Equestrian. Digital ads will break soon. There will also be 30- and 15-second versions of the “Joy” video.  Additionally, the campaign will be featured in equestrian partner publications, affiliate partner magazines and websites, on social and digital media, at USEF competitions around the country, on RIDE TV, and select equestrian event television broadcasts.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

Mighty Nice and Catch Me Win 2016 Horse of the Year Titles

Lexington, Ky. – On a night dedicated to the horse, two special athletes were recognized for their excellence in 2016 during the USEF’s Horse of the Year Awards Gala. Mighty Nice and Catch Me reached the pinnacle of their sports and were named International and National Horse of the Year, respectively. Voting was open to the public through January and both horses, already fan favorites, were rewarded for their tremendous results throughout 2016 with support from voters.

International Horse of the Year

Mighty Nice (Ard Ohio x Sarazen/Unknown)
2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding
Owner: HnD Group

Mighty Nice, known as “Happy,” was previously owned by the late Bruce Duchossois. After he passed away, a group of Duchossois’ friends came together to support Happy and formed the HnD Group, named after his HnD Farm. In 2016, Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice earned fourth-place finishes in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4* and The Fork CIC3*. The pair’s highlight of the year was earning the eventing Individual Bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

National Horse of the Year

Catch Me (Casiro x Wonnie/Chagallo)
2007 Holsteiner gelding
Owners: David and Becky Gochman

Catch Me, or “Snoopy,” owned by David and Becky Gochman, was purchased from Lisa Cudahey, where he was trained by Cookie Beck and Crystal Knight, in 2015. That summer, he was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called botulism, which almost ended his life. After making a full recovery, Snoopy went on to end the 2015 show season with multiple champion and reserve champion wins at the major indoor championships. In 2016, he continued his winning ways with Scott Stewart aboard in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division. He also won the WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, which was a first for Stewart as well. Snoopy concluded his show season in a dominating fashion when he was Champion at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and CP National Horse Show.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

Dutton Wins USEF Equestrian of the Year Title at 2017 Pegasus Awards

Lexington, Ky. – To close out a year of milestones, Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) was awarded the Robert P. Strub Trophy as the 2016 USEF Equestrian of the Year at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner.

In 2016, Dutton began the year by receiving the prestigious Whitney Stone Cup from the USET Foundation. His competition season began with a win in the CIC3* with Fernhill Fugitive at the Red Hills International Horse Trials. Dutton then placed fourth and fifth in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4* with Mighty Nice and Fernhill Cubalawn, respectively. He partnered with Fernhill Fugitive again to win Team Gold in the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* at the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan®. With Mighty Nice, Dutton was a member of the U.S. Eventing Team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where he won an Individual Bronze medal.

Nine equestrians were recognized for their competitive achievements in 2016 and honored with the following trophies:

Becky Grand Hart Trophy – Stefanie Putnam
Norman K. Dunn Trophy – Ted Carson
C. J. “June” Cronan Trophy – Joel Kiesner
Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy – Lou Roper
Bill Robison Trophy – Gail Aumiller
Vaughan Smith Trophy – Cynthia Burkman
William C. Steinkraus Trophy – Phillip Dutton and Laura Graves
Emerson Burr Trophy – Hunt Tosh

Additionally, Lawrence “Larry” Langer, who has been part of the horse industry for 66 years, from starting lessons as a child to his induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, was honored for his devotion to equestrian sport with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit USEF Network to see the video honoring Langer at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Traband received the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2016 Junior Equestrian of the Year for her honor, courage, dedication, and sportsmanship.

The following equestrians were also honored for their service to the sport with many of the most prestigious awards bestowed annually:

USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award – Suzy Marquard of GallopNYC
Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award – Sherry Cole
Richard E. McDevitt Award of Merit – William Becker, Roger Haller, and Parry Thomas
Pegasus Medal of Honor – Fran Crumpler and Kelly Valdes
Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders Award – Mary Gaylord McClean and Spy Coast Farm
Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy – Chrystine Tauber

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

USEF Unveils Complete Rebrand, Launches New Member Benefits

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce a rebranding, launch of a new fan membership, and additional membership benefits. Effective January 11, 2017, the Federation has become US Equestrian and has adopted a refreshed identity as part of a new overall strategic plan for the organization. This includes a refreshed logo that removes the shield element and better aligns the brand with other successful national governing bodies.

Introduced by incoming President, Murray Kessler, at the Annual Meeting in Lexington, Ky., the vision of the new US Equestrian is to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. This closely coincides with the organization’s mission to provide access to and increase participation in equestrian sports at all levels by ensuring fairness, safety, and enjoyment. US Equestrian will strive to engage horse sport enthusiasts at all levels through enhanced member offerings and consistent championing of horse welfare and fair play initiatives.

The website, USEF.org is now USequestrian.org and has been completely reengineered into a user-focused and mobile-friendly site that offers many useful tools and resources. Member-only benefits on the website include horse and rider searches, standings, and competition results.

In concert with the rebrand, US Equestrian has launched the Joy of Horse Sports ad campaign. Imagery in print, digital, and video showcases the bond between horse and rider that is very much unique to equestrian sport. The essence of the ads captures the emotion that is felt and experienced by everyone who participates in horse sports and encourages people to discover and be a part of US Equestrian.

For horse sport enthusiasts who may not be currently competing, but wish to take part in all the benefits US Equestrian offers, the new $25 fan membership offers a great value and access to all non-competition based benefits.

All members can look forward to new and enhanced membership benefits, including:

US Equestrian Learning Center
With 35 education videos featuring elite athletes, trainers, and industry experts, US Equestrian’s Learning Center is a library of videos featuring lessons and insider tips on a wide range of topics, including horse care, training, safety and welfare, the 29 breeds and disciplines that US Equestrian recognizes, and more. Videos will be added on a continuing basis, providing a hub of learning for experienced competitors and fans alike.

USEF Network
The USEF Network is now a part of the greater USequestrian.org and will continue to feature live-streaming and on-demand video from a wide range of exciting equestrian events each year. US Equestrian members receive full access to over 2,000 hours of content, including commentary from the top U.S. equestrians and the latest news.

Equestrian Weekly
Coming in February, the all new Equestrian Weekly newsletter will showcase the best of US Equestrian, including original articles, membership updates, and special member-only offers.

US Equestrian Magazine
With a fresh new look, US Equestrian Magazine provides digital stories that educate and celebrate. It will be delivered quarterly to members.