Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

Fifteen Para-Equestrian Nations Earn Team Slot for Tokyo 2020

Photo: FEI/Liz Gregg.

The identity of the 15 nations who will contest the Para Dressage Team title at this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games has been revealed. By qualifying, each country will be able to send up to four athletes to Tokyo.

Joining Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Germany, who secured their places at FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon in 2018, are the USA, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Singapore, Denmark, Belgium, Australia, and Austria. They qualified by being either in the top seven teams in the International Equestrian Federation’s world rankings (apart from those three who qualified at WEG), or the top team in either Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. As host nation, Japan will also field a full team.

Currently Russia has also qualified, but its participation in the Games is yet to be confirmed.

“Team Canada is delighted to have secured a team slot for Canada Tokyo,” Canada’s Coach and Chef d’equipe Clive Milkins said. “It is a recognition of the determination hard work, committed effort and motivation from all our grooms, athletes, and coaches involved from grass roots to international level. The hard works starts now.”

The team competition in Tokyo will be a hotly contested one. In the race for medals, USA who are currently ranked world number one, will mount a strong challenge, while Denmark has significant talent. Belgium will also be in with a shot as will a resurgent Australia and Austria. The Netherlands, currently European and World champions, will be desperate to add Paralympic gold to that pair, while the British will do everything in their power to defend the title, having won at every Paralympic Games since Para Dressage was introduced in Atlanta in 1996.

And in Tokyo, the team competition is given extra tension by changes to the format. The team medal will now be decided over two days by just three riders per country (it used to be four). Not only that, the three competing riders won’t be chosen until the Games themselves, on completion of the individual titles on the first two days of competition.

Outside of the team competitions, a host of other nations have gained slots for up to two of their top athletes, so the Games will see individual competitors coming from South Africa, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Latvia, and Brazil. There’ll also be athletes from Norway, Finland, and Mexico in the mix too. Further individual allocations will also be made as the year progresses according to the rules of the bipartite commission.

The Para Dressage competition will be held at the Tokyo 2020 Equestrian Park from Thursday 27 to Monday 31 August. Individual medals will be decided on the first two days, the team completion takes place on the Saturday and Sunday, and the whole competition rounds off with all five grades’ freestyle titles being decided on Monday.

Click here for more information on the Paralympics qualification.

Names of athletes competing will start to be announced from mid-July, on completion of nations’ individual selection processes.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Carina Nevermann Torup Teams Up with Brand New Ride for Triple Win in Week 5 of AGDF

Carina Nevermann Torup with Bordolino 8. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 9, 2020 – It was a clean sweep at small tour for the 30-year-old Danish rider Carina Nevermann Torup, who teamed up with the eight-year-old Bordeaux gelding Bordolino 8 just a week before the show. They made it three plus-70% wins from three starts when topping the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, with 73.76%. Sunday’s action wrapped up competition in week five of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

“I trained the owner, Dongseon Kim, a bit when he came over here, so I know the horse a bit from the ground, but I’d never sat on him before last Tuesday,” said Nevermann Torup, who is based in Denmark and works for Helgstrand Dressage. “It’s quite awesome that he actually won, but when you have a horse that’s well ridden, it’s quite easy to get on them. He’s an awesome horse and he gives such a nice feeling in the ring.”

This was the first time Nevermann Torup had ever ridden through this freestyle as she borrowed it from Kim.

“I just listened to the music yesterday and learned it,” said Nevermann Torup, who usually rides 8-10 horses a day and specializes in bringing advanced horses up to grand prix level. “Bordolino has so much power and I asked him for a little bit more today and he gave it to me which meant I had to make a little circle to get with the music because I ride him a little bit faster. We’re still getting to know each other so maybe in two weeks or a month it will be even better still; we’ll see.

“This show is really well organised and it was so cool to go in the ring here and to get a win on this side of the world,” she added. “Global [AGDF] is made for competition and everything has been thought about. The footing is great and everything just works.”

Bordolino may now be sold through Helgstrand, but Nevermann Torup is keen to keep training him up the levels. She brought her own horse over with her in December which she had planned to compete at AGDF, but he was quickly sold.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Top Dressage Phase in $50,000 MARS Eventing Showcase

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2020 – Setting the score to beat in the MARS Eventing Showcase, Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous showed their partnership is still strong on Saturday, February 8, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Forty combinations started the dressage phase competition, but it was Little and RF Scandalous, a 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia x Lario) owned by Jacqueline B. Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, who took the lead with 19.40 penalties.

It was a very solid test for RF Scandalous, who is back in competition form after having off in 2019.

“She was so with me from start to finish,” said Little. “She’s just a supernatural horse that way. She came back at Ocala and was very fresh in November. Today she picked up from where she left off before. Not many horses would have a break and come back better versions of themselves than before. She’s a great competitor, and she understands the sport. The fitness is a big thing for us. We’ve been pushing on this. She’s stronger, has a stronger topline.”

The riders performed the five-star B test, which will be the one used at the 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Little noted, “Getting to ride the test we’re going to see in Kentucky is a huge leg up for our riders. I got some pointers from my test that I will use in the lead-up to Kentucky to know how to train this test better. There [are] still some points on the table that we hope to pick up in Kentucky.”

Little praised the program of high performance Eventing with US Equestrian. “We’re in a national program that’s really making a big effort to support the riders in every phase,” she said. “I felt an incredible amount from that today, and I think it’s working. The scores seem to be improving. Everything really went according to plan with the way that [U.S. Performance Director for Eventing] Erik [Duvander] and I had mapped it out.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to be here and be in this environment,” continued Little of being in Wellington. “As [the MARS Eventing Showcase] works its way into people’s programs, as riders we’re going to be able to use it better and better to our advantage. I hope that it sticks because it can really be a game-changer for our program.”

For more results and information on the MARS Eventing Showcase, along with ride times, live scoring, and the live stream, please visit https://pbiec.coth.com/article/50000-mars-eventing-showcase.

Ashley Holzer Is Unstoppable on New Grand Prix Horse in AGDF Week 5

Ashley Holzer (USA) and Mango Eastwood. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2020 – Ashley Holzer (USA) made her debut on the international stage with Mango Eastwood this week, the fifth week of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. In an auspicious start to the pair’s CDI career, they led both the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm, as well as the previous day’s qualifying grand prix.

Ashley Holzer — who rode for Canada for many years, including at four Olympic Games — switched nationalities three years ago and teamed up with Mango Eastwood two years ago. The pair earned 74.128%, edging out compatriot Nick Wagman on Beverly Gepfer’s 11-year-old Johnson gelding Don John (73.064%), who also finished second in the qualifying grand prix. The top two spots were filled by the two youngest horses in the class.

Sabine Schut-Kery, who was first of the 15 combinations to go, rounded out the all-American podium riding Alice Womble’s 14-year-old San Remo stallion, Sanceo. They pulled off a much-improved performance to post 71.532% following a disappointing showing in the qualifying grand prix, where they finished 14th on 65.935%.

Holzer was delighted with Mango Eastwood’s performance, particularly as the horse was originally destined to be ridden by his owner, Diane Fellows: “We bought him from Jordi Domingo in Spain for Di to ride. Then I stole him from Di. He was a green grand prix horse and I thought he’d be a good schoolmaster for her, because at the time he was so quiet and steady. But as we started working him a bit more, and he got hotter and hotter and hotter instead of quieter and quieter so I said to Di, ‘I think I need to ride him now’. It’s been a bit of a journey getting him ready because he got quite spicy as he got fitter.”

Watch Ashley Holzer’s winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

The bouncy black gelding by Wynton made two small mistakes in the test, losing the clarity at the end of both canter half-passes, but Holzer was not concerned by the green errors.

“When I was half-passing he didn’t want to go to the judges’ stand,” she said. “I told him he had to keep going, but I was slow to react and he was a bit tired at that point. Had I gunned it a bit more forward from the beginning then maybe it would have been okay, but I wanted to be conservative because he hasn’t done all this before so I didn’t want to over-tax him. They were stupid mistakes and the horse was giving all he could give. He’s a lovely animal and I’m very lucky to have him.”

Holzer and her husband Rusty relocated from Manhattan to Wellington, Florida two years ago. “It was always a dream of mine to live here,” added the 56-year-old. “I love it here and Global is really the reason we moved down here. At the time, to be able to compete internationally with amazing judges on great footing, with atmosphere, was not so easy to find in North America and this is really a great place to show horses. If I can get Mango round here and under lights at night for the freestyle too, it’s a great, secure feeling to then take him to Europe to some bigger shows. We are so fortunate to have this facility and Wellington is an amazing horse community with so many generous professionals who can help you. I am learning more and more all the time — even though I’m no spring chicken.”

Mango’s next start is scheduled for the three-star grand prix classes in week seven (February 19-23), which also hosts five-star competition.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper Showcase Spectacular Freestyle in AGDF Week 3

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 7, 2020 – It was the second last to go who captured the imagination of judges and the crowd alike in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Helgstrand Dressage. Steffen Peters (USA) and the 18.2hh Suppenkasper showed a jaw-dropping degree of difficulty in their winning test — including a canter pirouette into piaffe into walk — to claim the winner’s cooler with a new personal best of 83.495%. Their previous best was 80.99%, awarded in California in April 2019.

In cool conditions but under clear skies, 15 combinations battled it out in week five’s showcase class under lights at the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) finished second on Lonoir (79.365%), with Denmark’s Agnete Kirk Thinggaard filling third with 77.635% on Blue Hors Zatchmo. Both the top two horses were bought through class sponsor Helgstrand Dressage, who has recently opened a new sales barn near the AGDF venue in Wellington.

Of his test on the 18.2hh son of Spielberg, Peters said: “It felt wonderful. I knew when the music started and he was still walking — usually we’re piaffing and passaging with one hind leg going to the moon — from then on I knew there was a very good chance that he would just stand still. From there he was right with the music the entire time.

“This is one of those freestyles that I’ve visualized for many days — many mornings, many nights, throughout dark times — and it worked out beautifully,” added the 55-year-old, whose result qualified him for the FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas in April. “There were a few tears that I wiped away. I kept telling Mopsie, ‘It looks like we’re going to Vegas.’ I told him that a bunch of times, but I think I was a bit more excited about it than he was. The bottom line is that it’s a huge accomplishment and something we dreamed of every single day. It’s hard to describe what that feels like when you go through a difficult time and your horse is so therapeutic.

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

Peters rode to a new soundtrack and floorplan, but the canter music is that same as he used for Ravel, on whom he won the FEI World Cup™ Final in 2009. He will remain in Wellington and contest the CDI5* in week seven (February 19-23) and the Nations Cup show in week 10 (March 10-15) before returning home to California.

He added: “There were difficult movements tonight, but the relaxation of this horse was tremendous. It is always an amazing pleasure to ride here. It was eight years ago today at the World Dressage Masters that I won in Wellington. I’ve never won the freestyle here and the experience was amazing. I was excited to go back on the long side [after the test] to shake a few hands, and that felt really good. There are only so many of us, but there were hundreds of spectators and they made it happen. We’re only a small part of it, and it felt good to give a little bit back to them.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Steffen Peters Is King of the Grand Prix with New Personal Best to Open Week 5 of AGDF

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – February 6, 2020 – It was a head-to-head between two titans in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Helgstrand Dressage. The two as-yet unbeaten USA pairings of Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper) and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Lonoir) tussled for the top spot on the opening day’s action of week five of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

It was Peters, the last to go of the 23 combinations, who stamped his authority on the class, claiming victory with a new personal best of 76.869% on Four Winds Farm’s 18.2hh gelding by Spielberg — including a high score of 79.13% from Swiss judge Hans Voser. The test was peppered with eights and nines for a wide variety of the high-quality work.

“Every show has been getting a little bit better,” said the 55-year-old California rider, who has built the giant horse’s confidence brick by brick in the early part of the AGDF 2020 season. “I was super excited because in the walk I heard the tents flapping, but ‘Mopsie’ didn’t hear it and that’s a huge step forward because that really threw him off the first week when we competed here. The Wellington arena is the plan to give him the exposure for the future.

“When a horse is this rideable, so soft in the contact, so perfect in the frame, he goes forward at any time, he comes back at any time, he goes sideways at any time so easily — so extremely rideable — it’s a feeling that you can’t give less then a 10,” he added. “I wish the judges could experience the incredible feeling that this horse can give.”

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

Despite career-high scores, Peters feels that there is still even more to come from the 12-year-old as he continues to gain in confidence in the ring: “It’s super exciting to get a 79% from one judge. Both Debbie [McDonald] and I feel that there might be an 80% in there and it doesn’t hurt to dream about and visualise that. The goal is there.”

The top 15 combinations from this class return on Friday night to contest the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Helgstrand Dressage, to music under lights and in front of packed stands.

Friday night’s freestyle will present unique challenges for the incredibly sensitive and reactive Suppenkasper, but Peters asserts that everyone will know right away how the horse is coping with the atmosphere: “The first halt will tell everything,” he explained. “If I get him to stand still right at the beginning of the arena, we’re starting with a huge extended trot, then coming to the piaffe. If those early movements work, I think most likely we’re in good shape. But it’s a huge hurdle.

“If it goes great, then that’s the ticket to the World Cup™ Final in Vegas [in April]. Some people say you can’t talk that way or you’ll jinx it, but I’ve learnt to dream more, visualize more — and why shouldn’t it happen tomorrow night? I have amazing memories from 2009 [when Peters won the Final on Ravel] and I look at the picture on my phone of me holding up that World Cup trophy every single morning. I have a certain routine from lots of coaches and I listen to people like Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, and Morgan Freeman who motivate me. I go through that routine every single morning,” concluded Peters, who was on the bronze medal-winning USA team at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Adequan US Para-Dressage Team and US Athletes Dominate in Florida

Photo by: Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – February 6, 2020 – Twenty-two horse and rider combinations competed at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival 3 CPEDI3*, January 21-24. Para-Dressage riders from Canada, Mexico, Republic of South Africa, and USA rode to top placings in the International Ring at the Global Dressage Festival in beautiful Wellington, Florida. In the Team competition, the Adequan® U.S. Para-Dressage Team, led by chef d’equipe Michel Assouline, earned the championship over Canada. The U.S. Team included Beatrice de Lavalette (Lake Worth Beach, Fla.) in Grade II riding Duna, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare she co-owns with Elizabeth de Lavalette and Nicolas de Lavalette; Rebecca Hart (Loxahatchee, Fla.), in Grade III, with El Corona Texel, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Rowan O’Riley; Marie Vonderheyden (Wellington, Fla.) in Grade I and London Swing, an 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Eleanor Brimmer and Liza MacMillan; and Roxanne Trunnell (Wellington, Fla.) in Grade I and Dolton, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint. Trunnell also earned the individual championship with her 77.738% in the FEI Grade I Team Test, 78.572% in the FEI Grade I Individual Test, and the highest score of the show, a 81.878% in the FEI Grade I Freestyle Test, resulting in an overall of 77.699%. This was Trunnell’s second consecutive championship at the Global Dressage Festival in 2020. During the January 8-11, CPEDI3* Trunnell earned multiple scores over 81%. Taking home the reserve championship was Sydney Collier and the Hanoverian All in One, owned by Going for Gold LLC. Collier, also in Grade I, averaged a score of 73.384%. The US Para-Dressage riders have an intense year ahead as they prepare for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo August 27-31.

Champion Para-Dressage athlete Roxanne Trunnell noted, “Karin Flint’s Dolton was such a superstar at the ADGF 3 CPEDI3*. I was a little worried how he would handle another CPEDI so soon after the last one, but he handled it like a champ. On the first day we started off with another solid test, but I had gotten so excited about it while going down the final centerline that I was not as strong with my aids for the final halt, resulting in the halt not being square. The second day I could feel that the back to back shows were catching up to him and I just didn’t have as much horse under me as I usually do. I had to use a lot of leg during that ride, but it was once again a wonderful test and we nailed that final halt.”

She recalled her freestyle under the lights. “I love our freestyle and I think Dolton does too, so my only concern was that he didn’t get startled by the scoreboard like he did during the first CPEDI. He didn’t even give it any attention, so I was very very pleased with, since this was only the second time he’s showed under the lights.”

During the next few months building up to the Tryon CPEDI3* in June, Trunnell and Dolton will continue to show at the Global Dressage Festival National shows while training at Helgstrand Dressage.

Reserve champion rider Sydney Collier will also be attending the National Shows in Wellington following her successful CPEDI3* with All in One, owned by Going for Gold LLC. Collier expressed, “We were in the zone more than ever at this CPEDI3*. I am so proud of Alle for going into the ring at global and owning it. He is such a special horse in that he really takes any situation in stride and loves showing. I am so lucky to have found him and have had an opportunity to get him because of Georgina (Bloomberg, owner Going for Gold LLC). I don’t even have words to explain how grateful I am for all for these opportunities in Wellington that have opened up since all of these people have joined my team.”

Collier continued, “I had so much fun at this show. Honestly anytime I get to show any horse it is a blast but even more so with Alle because he is so special. He really looks forward to going into the ring. My trainer Katie Robicheaux and I have been working to master my geometry which was something I struggled with for years due to my vision. At this show my geometry was one of my stronger points but there is further room for improvement. I was also proud of our halts since in a walk test there are three of them and they weigh heavily on the total score. Alle is a great horse and I love his walk quality. A great walk was one gait that we searched hard for in each horse until we found him. It is a beautiful walk to ride in and out of the show ring. Horses are either born with a walk or they aren’t. It’s not a gait you can fix or create.”

Collier like Roxanne Trunnell is on her way as she aims at the Tokyo Paralympics. Collier added, “As Alle and I move along this pathway to Tokyo I remain dedicated to my goal of helping the US Team win the gold medal for America. Bringing this medal back to the USA would proudly represent every person who has stood behind the three horses and riders on their way to the podium. From the farrier, veterinarians, grooms, sponsors, support staff, to our Federation, the teams that stand behind each horse and rider are the dedicated individuals who make success possible for our country at the Games.”

Following the national shows at Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, Collier will head North to prepare for the summer.

Collier acknowledged, “I would like to thank Georgina Bloomberg for giving me the opportunity to ride, my sponsors Kastel Denmark, TheraPlate, Evermore Pet Foods, Dressage Sport Boots, Romitelli Boots, Equicizer, NupaFeed, Respond systems, OnTyte, Sport Horse Saddlery, Massage Sport Boots, Stacey Bradley Designs, Mastermind Equestrian, Flex Sticks, Eco Vet, and everyone who is a part of our team.”

Trunnell, Collier, and all of the U.S. international para-dressage riders aiming at the Tokyo Paralympics are looking forward to the next few months before selection of the U.S. Team and heading down centerline in Tokyo scheduled August 2020.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Sydney Collier Earns Reserve Champion Title at AGDF CPEDI3*

Sydney Collier and All In One. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – U.S. Paralympic rider Sydney Collier and her mount All In One, owned by Going for Gold LLC, collected top placings during the CPEDI3* held at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival on January 22-26 in Wellington, FL.

Collier made her way on the podium three times, opening with a second-place score of 70.298% in the CPEDI3* Team Test Grade I, before again finishing second on a 73.631% in the CPEDI3* Individual Champ Grade I the following day. She and All In One closed out a spectacular week with a personal best score of 77.80% in their “Kung Fu Panda”-themed CPEDI3* Freestyle Grade I.

“We stepped in the ring and made every moment count. It brought the biggest smile to my face,” said Collier of her performances with All In One throughout the week. Together, they claimed reserve champion honors for the show.

“He’s the horse of a lifetime and every moment I get to spend riding him is the best time of my life,” continued Collier of All In One, or “Alle”, purchased for her in July by top U.S. show jumper Georgina Bloomberg. “I want to thank Georgina for bringing us together and cheering us on as we work towards Tokyo 2020. Also, to my trainer Katie [Robicheaux], a million thank yous for putting our heads, hearts, and hooves in the right direction.”

Bloomberg purchased All In One for Collier to help the determined rider realize a goal to be selected for the U.S. team at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Collier, 21, has represented the United States at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, where she finished seventh individually riding Western Rose. In 2014, she won the Against All Odds award from the FEI.

“On my pathway towards Tokyo, I remain dedicated to my goal of winning a team gold medal for America,” said Collier. “Bringing this medal back for the USA would proudly represent every person who has stood behind the three horses and riders on their way to the podium. From the farriers, veterinarians, grooms, sponsors, support staff, and our Federation, the teams that stand behind each horse and rider are the dedicated individuals who make success possible for our country at the games.”

“I could not be prouder to be a part of this journey, as well as be Sydney and All In One’s number-one fan,” said Bloomberg. “There’s no one who loves representing the United States more than Sydney. To see them one step closer to riding for their country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with such a fantastic performance in Wellington is very exciting.”

“Sydney, ‘Alle’, and I started working together three and half weeks ago,” said trainer Robicheaux of their new partnership heading into CPEDI competition in Wellington. “We had an instant connection! Sydney’s hard work and attention to detail is inspirational. There was a lot at stake for them at this competition and I was extremely proud of how they handled the pressure.”

Collier rides at the Grade I para-equestrian dressage level, in which the tests are performed at the walk only. She began riding as able-bodied at the age of seven, but switched to para-equestrian at age 11 after being diagnosed with the rare Wyburn Mason Syndrome. The congenital birth defect caused tumors and a massive stroke. A brain surgery also left her with limited use of the left side of her body, completely blind in her right eye, and three-quarters blind in her left eye.

Out of the tack, Collier is combining her riding career with pursuing a degree in communications online through DeVry University. She was awarded a full scholarship through the Athlete Career Education program of the United States Olympic Committee.

For more information on Sydney Collier, visit www.sydsparaquest.com.

For more information on Georgina Bloomberg, visit www.georginabloomberg.com.

New Dressage Grand Prix Special at Royal Windsor Horse Show ahead of Tokyo 2020

Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have announced that this year’s dressage competition will run a Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special format ahead of the Olympic Games this summer. The prestigious event will be the first 4* show in the UK to run the new combined format and will provide Team GBR hopefuls and international riders with a rare opportunity to perform the test in front of Olympic selectors and a large audience ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special will take place on Thursday 14 May and Friday 15 May at Royal Windsor Horse Show, respectively, and organisers expect it to attract top dressage partnerships looking to gain valuable experience in the new format ahead of the Games.

Following the Tokyo 2020 format, each athlete competing in the Grand Prix Special will be required to provide a music soundtrack to accompany their test, although the music will not be marked. Show organisers are supporting the athletes by offering the services of renowned dressage music technician, Markus Hinzke, who will help athletes in the selection of their accompanying music. Organisers believe that this offer will encourage more competitors to compete at Windsor, using it as a trial for Tokyo 2020.

The Grand Prix Special will form the medal competition for the Team Championship at the Olympic Games. Royal Windsor Horse Show will provide a special opportunity in the UK for an audience to see the Grand Prix Special test to music, and for riders to trial it in a competitive environment. Therefore, it has an important role as a stepping-stone towards Tokyo for both riders and selectors.

British Dressage star Richard Davison said: “To be able to perform the Grand Prix Special set to music this spring at Royal Windsor is really a great opportunity for all riders hoping to compete in Tokyo, especially as Team GB selectors will be attending the Show. The new format is a major change to the competition but is also an incredibly exciting development for dressage as a sport.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “We are really pleased to be hosting the new Olympic Team Medal Format (Grand Prix Special) at Royal Windsor Horse Show. With the 2020 Olympic Games coming up this summer, this is a huge year for equestrian sport and Team GBR Dressage. We hope that by hosting the new format, we will provide our athletes with an opportunity to impress team selectors. This will also be a hugely unique chance for ticket holders to see top Team GB combinations compete on home soil before they head to Tokyo.”

The Show will also be supporting Team GBR by encouraging athletes and visitors to donate to the BEF Olympic fund at point of ticket purchase and entry.

The prestigious annual Show, now in its 77th year, takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle for a five-day celebration of top-level international equestrian sport. Royal Windsor remains the only UK event to host first-class international competitions in four of the FEI disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, Carriage Driving, and Endurance, attracting some of the biggest names in equestrian sport, including Olympic, World, and European champions.

In addition to the elite sporting action, ticket holders will enjoy performances from the The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, The Household Cavalry Mounted Band, and The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, as well as fan-favourites, The Land Rover Shetland Pony Grand National and 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.

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I was watching someone work with a frightened young pony today. The pony had never been handled before and was terrified. The person was using a clicker and treats to help him get over his fear, and was teaching him how to think before he reacted out of his natural fight or flight instincts. The scared little pony learned fast and made a great deal of progress in just one day! The trainer was training the pony how to learn and helped build his desire to be with people.

Jane’s friend, Shawna Karrasch, teaches how to do this with her clicker training programs (www.On-Target-Training.com). She learned this method at Sea World in San Diego while training seals and killer whales (also known as Orcas). When Shawna got into horses, people told her clicker training wouldn’t work with her equine friends because we’re not “food oriented.” Shawna not only proved them wrong, she created a whole industry around horse clicker training! She found that we horses are actually much easier to clicker train than the wild sea creatures she was used to. Her work has made a huge difference for many people, dogs, and horses. It’s a good thing she didn’t listen to the neigh-sayers (lol), or Jane might never have learned this terrific way to communicate with her four-legged friends!

Jane made a decision long ago to always keep an open mind. While she has decades of horse experience and is viewed as an accomplished trainer and rider, it’s her continual desire to learn that’s helped her stay at the top of her game. She expects the same from me. Even though we’ve reached Grand Prix in our dressage training, there’s still a lot I can improve on and learn.

How about you? Are you still a student? What would you like to learn today? Grab a book or a DVD, and feed your mind today. It’s as important as feeding your body.

Love, Moshi

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