What is excellence to you? Is it finding a specific purpose for your life? Or perhaps it’s getting over 70 percent on a dressage test? Or maybe it’s as simple as getting the right canter lead every time you ask.
We all have different ideas of excellence. And there’s nothing quite like the amazing feeling of knowing that you did your very best, and it all came together perfectly in that moment.
Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a decision. It’s hours and hours of practice, coupled with a burning desire to be the best you can be. It’s doing everything you can to learn, improve, and achieve; while not accepting less than your very best. If excellence is your goal, you must give it your all and not settle for anything less.
Anja Plönzke of Germany is atop the latest Nurnberger World Dressage Masters Rider Rankings after the first two of five CDI5* events on the 2010-11 lineup in which Nurnberger Versicherungsgruppe awards €25,000 (US$31,800) to the winner.
So far this year in the events which count toward the award, the finished 2nd in the Grand Prix and 3rd in the Grand Prix Special at Cannes, France and 3rd in the Grand Prix in mid-June and 4th in the Grand Prix Freestyle at Falsterbo, Sweden last week.
Her results accumulated 1,090.5 points, with Poland’s Michal Rapcewicz in second place on 855 points and Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands in third place with 765 points.
Saugerties, NY (July 13, 2010) – Pan Am Gold Medalist Lauren Sammis, who is back in the Grand Prix show ring with Al Guden’s Sagacious HF, spent time with young dressage riders recently when she served as a judge at Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festival at Hits-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Sammis, who worked for Gray as a working student starting in her early years, was thrilled to take part in Gray’s annual Youth Dressage Festival, an event that attracts young riders from around the world.
“I judged the 7-9 year olds and the 16-17 year olds and they were unbelievably cute and adorable,” Sammis said. “This is exactly what you want your children to be involved with because they were braiding their own horses and ponies, taking written exams and taking part in an equitation class series.”
Ocala, FL (July 12, 2010) – The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center in Ocala, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the healing, conditioning and well being of all equine athletes, is now sponsoring international dressage rider Marco Bernal. A Colombian dressage rider and owner of Marco Bernal International Dressage in Wellington, Bernal has a long and accomplished dressage career which includes representing his country in the prestigious 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup in Las Vegas.
“I became acquainted with The Sanctuary during the Palm Beach Dressage Derby when I won a jog they were sponsoring. My farriers from Rood & Riddle also recommended them,” Bernal said. “I believe The Sanctuary has the experience and the equipment that I need for my horses.”
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 10 — Anky van Grunsven gave a display of her trademark Queen of the Freestyle when she rode IPS Painted Black to victory in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Kür presented by Axel Johnson Group for her fifth WDM CDI5* title in two years of the richest lineup of competitions on the globe.
Competing in the inaugural €100,000 (US$126,400) WDM at the Falsterbo Horse Show and her first time at this summer beach resort, Anky and the 13-year-old stallion posted a score of 82.40 per cent. The freestyle that was presented by Axel Johnson Group had total prize money of €60,000 (US$75,800) with first place earning €16,000 (US$20,200).
Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber and the 10-year-old mare Wakana showed none of the spookiness from shows earlier this year and placed second on 75.90 per cent with Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Favourit awarded 75.40 per cent. They were the hometown favorites of the enthusiastic Swedish crowd that numbered 3,000 paid spectators and many hundreds more who crowded every available place around the arena in sunny weather with temperatures above 80 degrees (27C).
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 9 — Germany’s Jonny Hilberath who has been competing Amüsant internationally for just four months notched their first victory Saturday by winning the inaugural €30,000 (US$37,860) Moorland Grand Prix Special Dressage Derby presented by Agria as part of the Exquis World Dressage Masters.
Jonny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Elisabeth Max-Theurer and competed once internationally by her daughter, Victoria, almost two years ago scored 69.292 per cent despite mistakes in both the one- and two-tempi changes. The Netherlands’ Christa Laarakkers and Divoza Horseworld Ovation finished second with 67.250 per cent and hometown favorite Charlotte Haid Bondergaard on Lydianus was third on 66.292 per cent.
For Jonny and Amüsant’s first WDM, and the first time the Falsterbo Horse Show has included the prestigious CDI5* in its competition schedule the win earned them €9,500 (US$12,000) while Christa, who competed at WDM in Palm Beach earlier this year, earned €7,000 (US$8,830) and Charlotte €5,500 (US$6,940).
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 8 — Anky van Grunsven, the most successful rider in the Exquis World Dressage Masters, on Thursday rode a newly recovered IPS Painted Black to victory in the Grand Prix of the first €100,000 CDI5* competitions staged by the Falsterbo Horse Show.
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven, one of Sweden’s most popular dressage stars, gave the big crowd that turned out to support the event good cause to applaud even more enthusiastically than they did for all the riders when she and the 11-year-old Favourit turned in a performance that placed them second.
Anky and the 13-year-old stallion Painted Black was the unanimous choice by the judges for first place in the Nurnberger Versicherungsgruppe Grand Prix presented by Agria with a score of 75.234 per cent with Tinne and Favourit posting marks of 71.957 per cent. Germany’s Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d’Or, competing in their fourth WDM CDI5* event so far this year–Palm Beach in the USA, Munich, Germany and Cannes, France in addition to Falsterbo–was third on 68.723 per cent.
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 7 — The Exquis World Dressage Masters, established on both sides of the Atlantic in its second year as the world’s richest lineup of dressage shows, starts its first €100,000 (US$126,000) CDI5* at the famous Falsterbo Horse Show Thursday with riders from six nations scheduled to perform in the Grand Prix.
Anky van Grunsven, the winningest competitor in the World Dressage Masters since the inaugural test event at Cannes two years ago, on IPS Painted Black will lead a squad of three combinations from The Netherlands in seeking to add a fifth title to the two she won at Palm Beach and two at Cannes.
A strong Swedish squad of the four most likely combinations to represent the nation at this year’s World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, German Olympian Ulla Salzgeber on Wakana and Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or as well as the USA’s Catherine Haddad on her increasingly successful Winyamaro, Evi Strasser of Canada on Quantum Tyme and the top two riders from Poland are scheduled to start in the €10,000 Nürnberger Versicherungdgrupper Grand Prix presented by Agria.
Wellington, FL (July 6, 2010) – Fifteen-time New York Times bestselling mystery writer and professional Grand Prix dressage rider Tami Hoag has donated Fhilosopher, her 11-year-old Westfalian gelding by Fidermark, to take midterm tests instead of dressage tests at the University of Findlay in Ohio. Hoag describes him as a “wonderful horse with an incredible character and a lot of quality.”
While Fhilosopher will be an asset to the college, Hoag explained he has limitations that will not allow him to be a top FEI horse. Therefore, her loss will be the gain of Findlay students. In fact, instead of the judge’s bell Fhil will start his day to the school bell. Hoag said, “with Fhilosopher the students will learn what it feels like to ride a truly world class mover, and how to maintain a soft consistent contact with the bridle with a horse that sometimes like to play hide-and-seek with the bit! He will make any student who mounts him a better rider with a greater awareness for quality of gaits.”
Greek Riders Dominate, but Romania’s Alexandrescou Takes Senior Individual Gold
5 July 2010 – Greek riders claimed a colossal medal-haul at the 2010 FEI Balkan Dressage Championships in Katerini, Greece over the weekend including three sets of team gold and two individual titles. However yesterday (Sunday) it was Romania’s Sorin Alexandrescou who was crowned Senior Individual champion with a great performance from Mercur Casino as his Greek opponents had to settle for silver and bronze.
The Balkan Championships, which first took place in Istanbul, Turkey in 1968, have embraced a varying number of disciplines down the years and Dressage first featured in 1992. The region covers Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Moldovia, and, from the outset, the Championships have succeeded in promoting and improving the standard of equestrian sport in south-east Europe. This year the Jumping and Dressage disciplines have been scheduled for separate locations and from 2 to 4 July, the Pieria Riding Club in Katerini, which hosted the Balkan Jumping Championships in September 2009, opened its gates once again for the 2010 Dressage equivalent.