Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

FEI Judge Cesar Torrente Approved as USEF “S” Judge

Stephen Clarke, Christoff Hess, Lilo Fore, and Thomas Long stand alongside Cesar Torrente. (PHOTO: JRPR)

Wellington, FL (June 17, 2019) – To be successful in the world of dressage, kindness, positivity, and the welfare of the horse are of the utmost importance according to beloved International FEI Judge Cesar Torrente. These characteristics are what continue to drive Torrente in achieving his dreams and goals of working with horses – dreams he has had since he was a boy growing up in Colombia. Now, these dreams are becoming a reality, and after a recent approval by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) to become an “S” Judge, a permanent move to the USA is in Torrente’s near future.

Torrente is from Bogotá, Colombia and has become well known around the world through his blog and Facebook page where he continuously posts helpful advice, information, and guidance for all levels of dressage riders. “I come from South America where we do not always have all the trainers or the judges to give good advice,” Torrente explains “Sometimes the federations don’t have good ways to communicate what is changing in the FEI rules and what is changing regarding training methods.  So, I started using my blog so that my community around my country would learn things like what rules have changed, or to be aware that if you do this in the ring, the judges will do that.  But interestingly, what has happened is when I go to every single show in America and even in Europe, some people run into me and say, ‘You know what, you probably don’t even know me, but I’m your Facebook friend and I read a lot of your blogs – please keep on doing them!’”  His followers know that Torrente always includes “Feeling blessed” in every one of his Facebook posts, and he has been teased because of it that he must be the most blessed person in The Americas.  “I truly feel that I am,” he smiles. “I get to do what I like while being surrounded by wonderful people and wonderful horses in different places each week.” He goes on to explain that he feels it’s very important to treat everyone, horses, and humans alike, with kindness. “I think it’s very important that we care about the welfare of the horse,” Torrente continues. “I think the welfare of the horse must always be present in our minds when we are training, when we’re helping, when we’re giving recommendations, and you cannot forget that.”

Known in the dressage world as being a “rider’s judge,” Torrente approaches everything in a positive way. He knows firsthand what it’s like to work, ride, train, and show. “I started riding at the age of 12,” he describes. “International competitions were always my dream.  I’ve had good days and bad days,” he continues. “I know the feeling when you go out there and sometimes the horse doesn’t have a good day.  I know how frustrated you can feel no matter the amount of work you’ve done, and I think it’s important that the judges understand that and are a little sympathetic to the effort the riders are giving.”  Torrente goes on, “That does not mean we’re giving away marks, because that’s not correct either, but give the high marks when they come, and also give the low marks when they come, but in the end, I always try to give a little comment and a tip if I can as to how to improve the performance of horse and rider.” As a judge, Torrente has unquestionable integrity. “You have to judge mark by mark,” he says, “regardless of the horse or the person who is riding. It may be a fantastic horse who is always winning, or a horse that nobody knows, and it doesn’t matter the breed. You just have to judge what you see and that’s very important.”

Torrente feels that education and lifetime learning are vitally important aspects of his success.  “I believe continuing education is very important in every profession and that is why I have created, my own personal education program,” he describes. “Fortunately, the FEI organizes amazing courses, and every year I attend at least one of these seminars. I combine this with the fantastic seminars organized here by USEF, which I attend regularly, to the surprise of some of my American national colleagues, because it´s rather unusual that foreign FEI judges attend the national seminar. However, I believe that these seminars are a fantastic opportunity to grow as a judge, to discuss trending in judging, explore concepts and opinions, and obviously to interact with many other judges.”  He continues, “These Seminars can improve one’s skills and are very important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. I see judging as a very important profession and education must continue throughout any professional’s career.”

Torrente was the first judge to be promoted through the new FEI educational system to 4*. As a rider, he has had the honor of standing on the medal podium to receive the team gold medal two times in the Central American Games.

He also won many gold, bronze, and silver medals in Bolivarian and Central American and Caribbean Games. Torrente is also a corporate and arbitration lawyer by profession and despite traveling the globe to judge worldwide, he has maintained the precarious balance between his career and his passion for horses with apparent ease.  He has recently accepted a position in the FEI Tribunal, which decides cases on doping, horse abuse, and all disputes at the FEI level including all disciplines.

Most recently, Torrente has been approved by the USEF as an “S” judge, which is the highest rank for judges in the USA.  “I feel very honored that the USEF granted me this status and that now I am allowed to judge all national shows within the US,” he comments. In addition to that, the US government has granted Torrente an O1 Visa which only goes to persons of extraordinary ability. He also explains that he has acquired all permits to work in the US and Canada, and is downsizing his legal practice in Colombia and is now officially planning his move to the US.

Torrente feels fortunate about all the recent developments in his career as a dressage judge, and says he could not be in a better place. Many foreigners who have immigrated to this country have had a tremendous impact on the development of dressage. This including riders, trainers, and of course judges who are a key element for this sport. The country will certainly benefit from Torrente’s experience, fresh ideas, and dedication to the sport.

Cesar Torrente
cesartorrenteb@gmail.com
561-370-2852

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Jane says I’m too serious, and need to play more. She told me I should relax and enjoy life. I used to think she was crazy. I have lots of work to do, and I didn’t think I should waste time playing around. Dressage is serious business ya’ know, and I have to be PERFECT. But Jane taught me that dressage should be FUN first, and serious second.

I’ve heard Jane tell visitors that I’m very wise, like a Socrates with four legs. There is an old record that says Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected. So, I thought, perhaps I should learn to dance, too! Jane loved that idea. She cranked up the music and off we went!

To really dance well, you have to let go of the habit of looking at yourself through other people’s eyes. You have to stop that feedback loop. You have to risk looking silly. To dance you have to take a bit of the athlete in you and mix it with the artist in you. Unrestricted movement, without too much thinking, is the key. Shake, rattle, and roll, and you have a dance!

Do you like to dance? When was the last time you really let go and let your body move to the rhythm of the music? I suggest you try that today. Find a quiet room, close the door if you’re shy, and turn up the tunes. Release your mind as you release your body to move with the beat. Let go. Feel the freedom of movement. Close your eyes and really feel it.

There is nothing better for relieving stress than a good, powerful, free flowing dance. Give it a try! You can do it! Even if you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not a good dancer, you can still dance! Everyone can. You just have to be willing. You might surprise yourself how good you really are!

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Saumur Complet / CCI 4*L / Dressage / Burton Already in the Lead; Levecque at Second Place

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

Friday 24th of May was the start of Saumur Complet’s highest level of competition: the CCI 4*L with the dressage test. After this first test, the most awaited athlete of the weekend, Christopher Burton, who was part of the Australian bronze medal winning team at the Olympic Games in Rio, is in the best position: first place of the provisional ranking with his horse Polystar. He is ahead of two French riders: Victor Levecque with RNH MC Ustinov, second at the provisional ranking and, in third place, Christopher Six with Totem de Brecey.

Christopher Burton talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« We are delighted with Polystar. His attitude is about as good as he can do at the moment and we are very proud of him. He and I were in total harmony and he didn’t make any mistake. Of course, in dressage things can always be better but Polystar was really at his best! »

Burton about Polystar I:
« He’s a wonderful story. He came to me for sale some years ago, but we couldn’t buy him. I always knew that he was a good horse and then, three years ago, Trisha (his current owner) bought him for me and the moment she owned him he started winning. »

Burton about Saumur Complet:
« This competition has always brought me luck and I come back every year with pleasure. When we needed qualification points for Polystar, I had the choice of three competitions. His owner immediately advised me to come to Saumur because the competition would suit me. »

Victor Levecque talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« This is his first outing at this level and I am very satisfied with my horse. He does dressage pretty well. Perhaps I didn’t expect such a good result, but I wasn’t expecting a disaster ever.  But we know we still have the rest to do. I am happy, the horse was as serious as usual, and I hope that it is a good omen for the rest. »

Levecque talking about the CCI 4*L cross country:
« I have already walked the course three times so I really have it in mind – the obstacles, the combinations. Once again, it is a first for me in any case in the long format. I don’t really know the capacity of my horse to do the distance. But it is a horse who has enormous qualities; we have been preparing him for this level. He will give me everything. It remains for me to be as fluid as possible and to encourage him the best I can so we get to the end. I have the chance to be trained by Maxime Livio who has a lot experiences and who has helped me greatly in preparing for this important competition. We have made a plan which is really clear in my head and I will try to stick to it the best I can. Now, all that remains is for me to modify my riding with the feelings I get. I have competing in lot of 3*L and some 4*S. In the technicality and the height of the obstacles, it is always possible to be caught out, but I’m not overwhelmed by it. Nevertheless, for the distance, that is more of an unknow quantity. The same combination is always different after 6 to 9 minutes. »

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci4x-l-1108/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Gold Coast Dressage Association Finale Spotlights the Best in Dressage in Wellington

Shannon Dueck and As You Wish (photo by Joana Jodko)

Wellington, FL (April 2019) – Every ending is a new beginning, as the saying goes, which is especially true in Wellington, Florida when the winter season ends with the Gold Coast Dressage Association (GCDA) Season Finale 1 and 2 shows. These shows not only spotlight some of the best dressage riders and horses in the world, it also signals that the robust summer dressage season is officially underway in South Florida. GCDA President and Finale Show Manager, Noreen O’Sullivan, states it best: “It’s the finale of the winter season, but really, it marks the beginning of our summer season,” she says, “So, as a close-out to the end of the season, we had three show rings over the weekend with a very wide representation of rides across all levels. We had some really nice up and coming young horses, and some new horses for people, and some very cool personal bests at the shows this year.”  O’Sullivan goes on to explain that the finale actually counts as two one-day shows, with one being a young horse qualifying show for North American Youth Championships (NAYC) and also for Lamplight.  The impressive display of equine athletes and their elite riders was one that could only be found in April in Wellington, Florida, which was reflected in the scores and many awards presented during the shows. Highlights of the finale included outstanding performances and special recognition for riders Bent Jensen, Kelly Lane, Cesar Parra, Heather Bender, Shannon Dueck, and Ali Potasky.

Olympian Bent Jensen was awarded the Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award during the finale to recognize his competitive spirit, effort, and fine horsemanship that he brings to Wellington as an international rider. Jensen is originally from Denmark and has been in the US for 30 years. Starting out as a champion show jumper, Jensen made the switch to dressage, which lead to a trip to the Olympics in 1992.  Today, Jensen trains out of Blue Marlin Farm in Little Ranches. His performance on his beloved mount, Chance, during the finale demonstrated his love and commitment to the sport of dressage. Diana Zakharova is also a well-known member of the Wellington dressage community who is originally from Russia. She created the award to celebrate her fellow international riders.

Also receiving special recognition was Kelly Lane for winning the USEF Third Level-Test 1 on her horse, Rockpool, with a score of 72.838%. This class was sponsored by equine health company, Omega Alpha, and Lane was presented with a lovely prize package which included an assortment of popular Omega Alpha all-natural health products.

Another celebrated Wellington dressage rider, Dr. Cesar Parra, scored a personal best in the FEI 7-year-old division with a 76.746% riding GK Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall x Witchita). The ride was rewarded with the Semican Achievement Award.

Heather Bender also rode away with a personal best score in the FEI Grand Prix when she and the gorgeous Zairo Interago rocked a 72.500%, and Shannon Dueck was thrilled when her wishes came true with a high score of 81.200% in the FEI Young Horse on her 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, As You Wish (a.k.a. Westley).

The most jaw-dropping score awarded during the finale went to Ali Potasky for her ride on Irintha in the FEI YH Test for 6-Year-Old. The pair landed a whopping 87.4% for their performance, and once again, proved the level of excellence that can be found in this world class competition hosted by the GCDA.

The Gold Coast Dressage Association is a USDF Group Member Organization that is committed to providing educational programs, clinics, shows, and seminars aimed at promoting and upgrading classical riding, and to offer a framework in which individuals can progress with the schooling of themselves and their horses.  The 2019 GCDA show season originally kicked off with the Gold Coast Opener held on January 17-20 at The Global Dressage Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Coming up quickly is Gold Coast May Dressage, to be held on May 18-19 at the Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex.  GCDA President Noreen O’Sullivan is excited to see what this show and the rest of the year holds for all members, and she thanks all of the valuable sponsors for their support. She also wishes members and all show competitors the very best for them and their wonderful dressage horses for the rest of 2019 and beyond.  For more information about the GCDA and upcoming shows, visit www.gcdafl.org.

Contact:
Noreen O’Sullivan
nosullivan@wellingtonclassicdressage.com
(561) 714-9026

Dujardin Sublime on Day Three of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show basked in glorious late spring sunshine on its third day of world-class equestrian competition. Excited spectators arrived in anticipation ahead of the culmination of the Dressage and to witness the first of the week’s international Show Jumping classes. Results included a sensational victory for homegrown talent Holly Smith in the Manama Speed Stakes, and a supremely dominant Dressage display from Charlotte Dujardin in the CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. The day’s proceedings were also jam-packed with colourful, energetic and musical displays from The Dubai Mounted Police, The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, and The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Charlotte Dujardin made it a clean sweep at Royal Windsor Horse Show, clocking up two first places from two starts. She commandingly won the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music CDI4* on Friday, adding to her previous day’s win in the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix. All three podium finishers racked up huge new personal bests in the atmospheric Windsor arena.

Charlotte partnered her pupil Sonnar Murray Brown’s bay 12-year-old Trakehner gelding Erlentanz to an impressive winning score of 81.9% — the first time the horse has achieved over 80%. This was only Charlotte’s second show with the son of Latimer, whom she is riding while Sonnar recovers from a broken leg.

Carl Hester, who was second in the grand prix, withdrew the 15-year-old Nip Tuck ahead of the freestyle as he was found to be slightly lame. That left 10 combinations to battle it out in the shadow of the iconic Windsor Castle. Richard Davison and Bubblingh improved a place from the previous day, slotting into second with 78.31%. Last to go, Ireland’s Heike Holstein, finished third with 74.915% riding her home-bred mare Sambuca (by Samarant).

Charlotte said: “That’s my second freestyle with Erlentanz so it’s all really, really new. I wanted to test out a few things today; I wanted to go for a bit more, get more in my extensions, get him a bit braver in that arena.”

Charlotte rode to music from her double Olympic gold-winning partner Valegro — who met The Queen at Royal Windsor the previous day — which suited the bouncy Erlentanz well. Her high mark from the five judges came from Germany’s Katrina Wuest (84%), with the low of 79.625% from Finland’s Maria Colliander.

The popular home rider produced a superb test, showing clockwork passage, ground covering extensions and expressive flying changes. She received a perfect 10 for both her one-time changes and the double pirouette to the right. The only mistake in the test came when Erlentanz dropped into trot coming into the canter pirouette left. But Charlotte is the consummate professional and knows this music inside out, so was able to improvise and repeat the movement later in the test to claw back marks.

“I came in and half-halted but — and it was totally my fault — I think I was too close to the board at the top end and as I went to turn, he just backed off me and trotted,” explained Charlotte. “I did manage to do it again and kept thinking the whole way through, ‘Where am I going to put it back in, where am I going to put it in?’ I decided to do it at the end of the one-times, landed on the left and managed to fit it in, so that was a relief — at least I got it back. I’ve only ridden him for about three months so it’s just a question of getting to know him, finding the buttons and knowing how much I can push, and when I can’t.”

Charlotte is a regular at Royal Windsor, coming into the 2019 show to defend her double wins from last year aboard the young mare Mount St John Freestyle.

“This week’s been amazing,” she added. “Yesterday, I met The Queen with Valegro, and today the sun is shining and this is the most amazing arena to go into. You have the backdrop and the crowd around you. I love this show.”

Richard Davison has taken his time with the tall, powerful home-bred Bubblingh. The 13-year-old looked stronger and more balanced than ever before, with particularly notable self-carriage. Richard’s bespoke Gangsta’s paradise music is fitting for the horse, and he was on the beat, particularly in the piaffe work, which achieved a 9.5 from the judge at C, Stephen Clarke. Richard showed off Bubblingh’s straightness and power with 14 flowing one-time changes down the centre line right at the judges, into a pirouette.

Fellow British rider Louise Bell was just pushed off a podium finish by the last combination, but her 73.34% ride to Sweet Home Alabama and Justin Beiber’s Despacito was also a new personal best. Her horse, the 13-year-old Into the Blue, is no stranger to Windsor; Louise used to ride him in the showing classes before switching disciplines.

Windsor is always a valuable litmus test for riders hoping to bid for a championship place. The arena is atmospheric and selectors will have been keeping a keen eye on proceedings ahead of this year’s European Championships in Rotterdam in August.

In the show ring, this year’s prestigious Count Robert Orssich hack title headed north with lawyer Ali Talbot when her 2018 small hack winner, Young Lochinvar, put in another foot-perfect performance to triumph in the Castle Arena finale.

The seven-year-old, produced by the Stanley Grange Stud in North Yorkshire, won at Horse of the Year Show and Royal International last year and this was only his second outing of the season.

Norfolk-based Oliver Hood finally earned his first Royal Windsor cob title when Judy Byford’s lightweight victor, Master of the House, triumphed first over a strong heavyweight field and then found an extra gear in the Castle Arena.

The consistent 12-year-old chestnut won his class here last year but was pipped in the final reckoning.

“This horse has been Mr Consistent,” said Oliver, son of master showman Allister Hood. “He’s been in the championship here for the last five years, but this is the best ride on him that I’ve ever had and thoroughly deserves his reward.”

Reserve went to Cheshire with the lightweight winner Bling Cobsby, a horse originally bought by producer Vicky Smith for her partner, Alan Marnie, as a leisure ride.

Alice Homer, 17, scored a memorable win in the maxi cobs when deputising at the last minute for producer Jayne Ross to win on A Masterpiece, despite having never even sat on the horse before. This was Alice’s second victory in as many days, as she also headed the working show horses with her mother Loraine’s Miserden Savannah.

In-hand native ponies were another major feature, and the coveted supreme title, also fought out in the Castle Arena, headed to Devon with Cathy Wood and her stunning Connemara stallion, Contepomi Cashel, ahead of Sarah Noble’s home-bred Dales mare, Stuffynwood Daffodil.

Great Britain’s star Jumper, Holly Smith, scored a memorable victory against some of the world’s best riders on day three of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. 16 of the world’s top 20-ranked riders entered a beautifully sunny Castle Arena for the CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes Jumping competition, the first international Show Jumping class of the week. The competition saw 24 riders progress to the second phase, with 18 of those completing a double clear to vie for top honours.

One of the last riders into the Arena, Holly Smith and her spirited nine-year old chestnut gelding, Fruselli, produced a gutsy performance, which saw the duo complete the two-phase course in 26.11 seconds. Smith cleared the final fence with grace and ease, knocking Irish world number 25-ranked rider Bertram Allen into second place, who completed the course in 26.81 seconds. The complicated course, which included some tough tight turns, did not prove to be a problem for world number five-ranked rider Martin Fuchs and his grey gelding, Silver Shin, who finished in third place in 27.01 seconds.

After lunch, international Show Jumpers from 11 nations, including 10 of Great Britain’s leading riders, went head-to-head to compete in the CSI5* Pearl Stakes International Jumping Competition. British Jumping prodigy Harry Charles and his gelding Borsato proved to be the best of the Brits. Placed in the top six with a final time of 38.06 seconds, 20-year-old Charles was on scintillating form, as he cleared the 16 fences with conviction. But in the end, it was Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Spike Vd Withoeve who came out on top, taking the competition to another level, navigating the eight-fence jump-off to finish in an unbeatable time of 36.59 seconds.

The ten entries across the two classes in the coaching marathon – three in the road coaches and seven in the private drags – enjoyed a dry and sunny drive through the Home Park before delighting a full crowd in the Castle Arena at Royal Windsor Horse Show. Judge from USA, Bob Longstaff, found his champion in John Brown and his team of bay and grey Dutch warmbreds put to his original Shanks-built Tally Ho Road Coach. This is their sixth successive year of taking the championship. Reserve champion was the winner of the private drag section: Colonel Toby Browne CVO driving a team of Her Majesty the Queen’s greys to a Whitlock private drag. He also won the award for the best turned out coach.

It was the turn of the horse pairs to compete in the dressage phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix and their competition is considerably more closely contested than the horse fours. The first three placed competitors are separated by less than one penalty point.

Leading the field at the moment is Lars Schwitte from Germany. Together with his KWPN horses, he first competed here in 2017 when, having won the dressage, he went on to win the competition. He was again the winner of the dressage phase last year but dropped to fourth overall in the final result.

Schwitte’s good score of 44.32 is under attack from Argentina’s Baroness Amely von Buchholz, long term competitor here, who is just 0.1 penalties behind in second place. She also drives KWPN horses and is another who traditionally scores well in dressage. Last year she finished in eighth place overall.

Third place currently is occupied by first time competitor here, Sandro Koalich also from Germany and also a driver of Dutch-bred horses. He is the organiser of this year’s World Horse Pairs Championship which will take place in Drebkau in Germany in September.

Commenting at the end of this phase, Head Judge, Andrew Counsell, said: “The competition was much closer than in the horse fours with a good range of talented horses. However, a number are not yet supple resulting in tension at times and a failure to work together as a pair.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Dujardin Shines on Day Two of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day two of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show marked the start of the international competitions with the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix proving to be the star attraction. Spectators were also treated to a host of other disciplines, including top-class national Show Jumping, high quality Showing, military displays from Oman and Dubai, and fast and furious fun from the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games. Once again in attendance, Her Majesty The Queen was introduced to Olympic sensation Valegro by Dressage riders Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

Home favourite Charlotte Dujardin scored a magnificent victory with a score of 78.087% in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix on a chilly and damp Thursday evening. The golden girl of British Dressage, who is a two-time winner at Royal Windsor (2014 and 2018), entered the Castle Arena to warm applause from the knowledgeable crowd, looking resplendent aboard her relatively new ride, 12-year-old bay gelding, Erlentanz. Dujardin displayed her trademark extended trot to the delight of those watching on, while her relaxed walk and beautiful extended canter were highlights of her combination.

Dujardin and a quality field of 10 further horse and rider combinations, which included five Britons – among them Dujardin’s long-standing mentor, Carl Hester – wowed Windsor’s animated audience in the Castle Arena. With competitors building towards the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in August 2019, Royal Windsor is seen as an important place to gain some valuable confidence and experience in front of a packed crowd.

Carl Hester and his 15-year-old gelding Nip Tuck, whose stable name is Barney, were back on the circuit after a quiet couple of years. The duo, who finished second behind Dujardin with a score of 74.304%, looked relaxed and supple in the walk work, and included some impressively small pirouettes in their combination.

On her winning performance and competing at Windsor, Dujardin commented: “Erlentanz tried his heart out and I’m really pleased with my score, particularly as it was a new combination. I’ve been competing at Windsor since I was a small kid – it’s a fantastic Show for me, with some great people and fans. Seeing all the other disciplines that Windsor offers is great to see. It’s always good to watch my boss [Carl Hester] so I’ll have to be polite what I say! We bounce off each other and I’m really pleased for him. I just hope and pray tomorrow evening goes according to plan [in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music].”

Delighted with his performance, eventual third place rider with a score of 72.978%, Richard Davison, commented: “I’m really pleased with my score but I’m even more pleased with the horse’s [Bubblingh] performance. He suffers from what I’d call stage nerves, so I’m really impressed with how he dealt with everything in front of the crowd. He’s a real privilege to ride and it was one of the easiest rides I’ve ever had on him. I rode his mother in the Olympics and we ended up breeding him. He really is such a lovely horse to ride; he’s got so much power and talent. I hate to compare him to his mother, but he’s a top horse. This Show is truly magical, and it doesn’t matter about the rain, as the facilities for the horses, including the stabling and the footing in the Arena are top quality.”

Working hunters provided the highlight of the showing classes, but clear rounds proved difficult to achieve. Only two lightweights remained faultless, and no heavyweights successfully negotiated the clever course.

However, after a thrilling gallop in the Castle Arena finale, the title went to the winner of the latter class, Essex-based Justine Armstong-Small with her smart Irish-bred eight-year-old, Carlingsford King, who had made just one mistake in an otherwise stylish round. They pipped last year’s intermediate victor, Silver Lough — partnered by North Yorkshire-based riding coach William Pittendrigh — who had won the lightweights with a clear round.

Although Justine has won at Royal Windsor before, she had never lifted the overall title and her last class win was 15 years ago.

Coloured horses and ponies filled the Copper Horse Arena all afternoon, providing a huge variety of type in enormous classes. After examining more than 90 animals, judges Mathew Lawrence and Linzy Dickinson opted for Royal Windsor “specialist” Jayne Ross’s ride, KBF Crescendo, as their champion.

Retrained ridden racehorses provided absorbing competition in the morning, with the championship eventually going to Oxfordshire-based Jo Bates and the stunning grey, Grandeur — formerly a successful contender on the Flat — who pipped last year’s winners, Sofia Scott and L’Amiral David.

Lady Louise Wessex made her debut at Royal Windsor Horse Show, finishing in a very respectable third place in the Private Driving – Singles exceeding 13.2hh.

Day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off with another scintillating morning of Show Jumping action. The Castle Arena opened its gates and played host to the H&C TV Senior 1.35m Open Jumping Competition in which British rider Georgia Tame and Z SEVEN CANYA DANCE deservedly took the spoils. Twenty-third into the arena and up against Laura Renwick and Robert Whitaker, Tame and her eight-year-old chestnut mare put on a captivating performance, effortlessly cruising around the course, which she cleared fault-free in an impressive and unassailable time of 63.19 seconds.

Later in the morning, the Land Rover Stakes (Senior 1.45m Open Jumping Competition) featured some of Great Britain’s top jumpers, with Ben Maher and Will Fletcher finishing in first and second places, respectively. Testament to the complex design of the course, just 11 of the 34 riders went clear to progress to the jump-off. Dan Delsart and his 13-year-old bay gelding, Lord Quidam, soared to the top of the rankings following their first-round performance in a time of 71.77 seconds. However, his lead was short lived after a masterful ride from the highly experienced Ben Maher and his talented eight-year-old mare, Ginger Blue. The duo completed a remarkable double-clear and finished ahead of the rest of the pack with a final time of 45.98 seconds, placing him 0.7 seconds ahead of second-placed Will Fletcher and his energetic gelding, Persimmon.

Dressage in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix saw pony and horse fours do battle in this first phase of the competition. Eleven nations are represented by the 27 contenders in horse fours while the much smaller field in pony fours – just seven competitors – has representation from five nations.

World horse four champion, both indoors and out, Boyd Exell from Australia, was in the first ten to drive the test and quickly set the bar high, his team of mixed warmbloods going sweetly to record a score of 31.06. Also impressing the judges and just 5 penalties behind, is Bram Chardon, son of Holland’s most successful four-in-hand driver over the last three decades. In third place, another 5 penalties adrift, is France’s Benjamin Aillaud driving his beautiful team of black Arabian/Friesian crosses.

Bram’s father, Ijsbrand Chardon, is lying in fifth place, their combined scores putting them at the top of the Nation’s Leader Board, with USA in second place and France third.

The highest placed of the home nation is experienced driver, Wilf Bowman-Ripley, in tenth place.

In the pony fours, seven times Royal Windsor winner, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, is heading the dressage with his Welsh ponies, but challenging him closely, fewer than 2 penalties behind, is Tinne Bax from Belgium. Friendly rivals, these two took first and second here last year. Jaqueline Walter from Germany is in third place, some ten penalties adrift of these two.

Highest placed representative from Great Britain is Roger Campbell, the Welsh ponies he drives belonging to Jaqueline Walter. Roger, who is based in Germany, won the marathon section with these ponies last year.

Head judge Andrew Counsell remarked, “It was a very good day in which we saw some really lovely horses. Those with the good basics were the ones that got the good marks today. It is very encouraging to see this standard so early in the season.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

How to Watch the CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show

Action from CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place from 8-12 May 2019, is set to be broadcast with an extensive live schedule allowing viewers across the world to tune in to the best that the Show has to offer.

For those wanting to watch the Show live, Royal Windsor Horse Show offers a free live streaming service, which will be available on the Royal Windsor website, with a number of classes also streamed live on the Royal Windsor Facebook page. Enabling fans to enjoy the elite international competitions, such as the CDI4* Al’Shiraa Dressage Grand Prix, the CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, and top Show Jumping classes, including the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix, the live streaming platforms are a welcome addition to the Show.

In addition to the live streaming coverage, a highlights programme featuring the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix will be broadcast after the Show on Sky Sports, Eurosport, and Horse & Country TV.

The Horse & Country TV coverage of Royal Windsor will provide highlights of the week’s top-tier classes. An as-live programme of the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix will be aired on Wednesday 15 May at 8.00pm, with highlights shown on Saturday 18 May at 9.00pm. On the evenings of 19, 20 & 21 May, the 9.00pm primetime slot on Sky channel 184 will show highlights of the CSI5* Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, and Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett.

Furthermore, subscribers to Horse & Country TV will be able to enjoy exclusive access to the Martin Collins Enterprises Show Pony Championship, available to stream on Wednesday 22 May on the Horse & Country TV website. For further information on how to subscribe to Horse & Country TV, click here.

Highlights from the Showing classes will also be available to enjoy on the live streaming service, including the Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme In Hand Championship, and displays from the Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The Royal Cavalry of Oman, The Household Cavalry Mounted Band, the ever-popular Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National, and the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Martin and Tsetserleg Lead Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship after Dressage

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by Alex Banks for US Equestrian)

Defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class first at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lexington, Ky. – In front of a home crowd of over 11,600 spectators, Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg earned a 27.9 after their dressage test to launch them into first place in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN as the leading U.S. combination at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE). Sitting third overall, Martin sits behind a duo of riders from Great Britain, Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo in second on a score of 27.1 and LRK3DE defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class in first on a score of 24.1.

With both the LRK3DE and CCI5* national championship titles on the line, U.S. combination Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, head into cross-country sitting tied for fifth overall and second in the national championship after their Thursday dressage score of 30.9. Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, sit seventh overall and third in the national championship after finishing on a score of 31.7 after dressage.

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and his FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 mount, Tsetserleg, a 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, put in a stellar test as the third-to-last combination to finish out the dressage phase at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“I was happy with my bloke,” said Martin. “[Tsetserleg] put in a good test. Dressage is a frustrating sport because you can always look back on it and wish you did this a little bit better, or wish you did that a little bit better, but he is getting better and better. Last year, he was very green here and sort of scraped through all three phases. This year, he is a bit more seasoned and confirmed at this level. He has been working really, really well. He is a very quiet horse and relaxed. … I am really looking forward to tomorrow. It should be really fun.

“I think this is our third year together,” continued Martin. “It takes about two years to form a partnership. Last year, it was probably a little bit of a rush, getting through [LRK3DE] and then to the [WEG Tryon 2018]. It sort of felt like we were doing everything on a wish and a prayer, but it has been good just taking a bit of a moment to get to know each other well. He is a little bit of a quirky horse and we have had a bit of time now to figure each other out. … It is wonderful having a horse that tries his guts out.”

Watch Martin and Tsetserleg’s dressage test here.

Martin and Tsetserleg will be nearly the last combination to leave the start box on Saturday. However, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z will start third on cross-country, following fellow American combinations Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack and Buck Davidson and Park Trader.

“I am very, very early on. I am third to go, so it is going be an occasion [where] I don’t get to watch any,” said Halliday-Sharp. “I’ve just got to make my own plan and stick to it, which actually suits me and [Deniro Z] anyway. I know him well and I think it is a strong track. I think Derek [di Grazia] builds a cross-country course that encourages bold riding. It is a good galloping course, which I hope will suit Deniro [Z]. There is a lot to do in the later part of the course. I think that is one of the biggest challenges – [the course] is sort of busy in that last minute and a half. … It will take a fit horse. I think the challenge is there and we just have to work hard and battle through it.”

Visit the LRK3DE website for updated ride times, schedule of events, and scoring.

by US Equestrian Communications Department

Oliver Townend Delivers Master Class to Lead Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 26, 2019 – Defending champions, Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class, produced a stunning dressage test to finish top of the leaderboard with 24.1 on the second day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Townend was clearly pleased with his performance, finishing with a beaming smile across his face, whilst he waved to the enthusiastic crowd. Shaving three penalties off the previous leader, FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medallist Piggy French (GBR), the score of 24.1 is a personal best for the partnership and proved why Townend is the current World No.1.

“I have had him (Cooley Master Class) since he was a four-year-old; he knows me, and I know him very well. He loved it here last year; he thrived, his ears were pricked every step of the way, so why not bring him back to somewhere he loves.”

“The course is a proper 5*. I am a huge fan of Derek di Grazia’s courses. I think he is an exceptional Course Designer and one of the very best in the world, so I always enjoy coming here to see what challenges he sets. This course is huge, one of the toughest in the world, technical and narrow, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

USA’s Boyd Martin with the striking black gelding, Tsetserleg, finished as the highest placed US athlete with a score of 27.9 placing third. Great Britain’s Piggy French remains just ahead with a score of 27.1 on 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Quarrycrest Echo.

The cross-country course set by Derek di Grazia has been described as ‘challenging’ by those who have walked it and will certainly ask some questions to the world-class horse and rider combinations that will be navigating through it. With many experienced athletes all vying for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event title, they will be hoping to not only finish clear, but also inside the optimum time of 11 min 20 sec. The leaderboard remains close with only 8.6 penalties separating the top 10, so there will be no room for mistakes from those currently in the prime positions.

Swiss Takes Top Spot on First Day of Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 25, 2019 – Switzerland’s Felix Vogg displayed supreme skill to take the lead on the opening day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, his first time at the competition. Partnered with 11-year-old bay gelding, Colero, ninth-to-go Vogg produced a score of 28.0, the only rider of the day to go below 30.

Team USA are hot on the heels of the leader with Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z closely behind on 30.9 and crowd-favorite Buck Davidson Jr aboard Park Trader sitting in third place with 32.1.

Vogg, who has spent the past year based in the USA, commented on his result: “I am pretty happy, Colero did a good test today. We tried a new tactic of doing a much shorter warm-up, which seemed to work quite well. He doesn’t take the atmosphere too seriously and always puts in a good test and today did everything that I wanted.”

“For me the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event was the final thing to do in America before I leave, it is one of the biggest events in the world.  It’s something I have always wanted to do and it’s the first time we felt we had the horse to enter. It will be good preparation for his future too.” — Felix Vogg, Switzerland

The horse inspection saw a total of 41 progress into the opening day of the competition. Day two promises another strong line-up of horse and rider combinations, including the defending champion Oliver Townend (GBR). Vogg’s position at the top could be under threat as the competition remains wide open. US equestrian, Lauren Kieffer, will be seeking her first Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event victory with two strong rides, Vermiculus and Paramount Importance. FEI World Equestrian Games™ team gold medallist, Piggy French GBR, is a strong contender with Olympic individual bronze medallist Phillip Dutton bringing a wealth of experience to the field.