Category Archives: Driving

‘Old Times’ Traditions Preserved at Royal Horse Show

Harvey and Mary Waller and their ‘Old Times’ road coach. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, ON – Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Mary Waller of Stockbridge, MA and their ‘Old Times’ road coach claimed their fourth consecutive victory in the Green Meadows Four-In-Hand Coaching Appointments Class at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 97th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The Green Meadows Coaching division, sponsored by Hugessen Consulting, Inc., features six classes dedicated to the great tradition of the road coaches and park drags of years gone by. The Green Meadows Appointments Class is judged on the performance of the horses and the presentation of the road coach or park drag, with strong emphasis on appointments that include authentic lunch chests, stick and umbrella baskets, coachmen’s aprons, and other accoutrements.

“It’s so much a part of the elegance of The Royal and its history,” said Willa Gauthier, Chair of the Royal Horse Show, of the Green Meadows competition. “It’s something that is so historical and almost ‘other world’ that you don’t get anywhere else. I think it’s critical to the tradition of The Royal.”

The Wallers’ ‘Old Times’ coach exemplifies a fine example of those days gone by, as it was famously driven from London to Brighton, England in the 1880s. It has since been conserved in its entirety by the Wallers, who purchased the road coach in 2001 and had the paint stripped down to find the original color and lettering, enabling it to be restored to its exact original appearance.

In addition to earning victory in the appointments class on Friday, November 8, the Wallers also earned wins in the Green Meadows Four-in-Hand, held on Thursday, November 7, and the Green Meadows Four-in-Hand Suitable for Pleasure class held on Saturday evening, November 9.

The Green Meadows division is only one example of the diverse equestrian competition offerings that make the Royal Horse Show so special. The 10-day horse show features a variety of classes including the highest level of international show jumping, in-hand breeding classes, an array of driving divisions, as well as hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for a wide range of levels.

“The Royal is an event that is all encompassing,” added Gauthier. “If you don’t support divisions such as the Green Meadows and you don’t keep them coming, they are gone.”

For more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.

The Legendary Boyd Exell Comes Flying Through

Image copyright PSV.

The 2019/2020 season of the FEI Driving World Cup has begun. The very best drivers got together at Longines Equita Lyon, Concours Hippique International for this first four-horse indoor driving meeting. At the end of a drive-off reserved for the three best teams from the first round, Boyd Exell – the world number one and a true legend in the discipline – won the event with a masterful performance. The Australian combined speed and precision in this spectacular class. He won the event in a time of 142”70, with second place going to the young and promising Dutchman Bram Chardon (26) – who won the FEI World Cup Driving Final last year – in a time of 148”99. Third place went to the Hungarian József Dobrovitz in 173”14.

Leading their four horses with their guiding reins and the sound of their voices, the drivers demonstrated the full potential of their horses and the true teamwork achieved with their grooms. “We had a great day of sport. I competed for a long time against Ijsbrand Chardon. Today, it is his son Bram who has taken over. He is a great competitor and improving each year. It’s great for our discipline: it pushes everyone to get better and it will take elite driving to a new level,” said Boyd Exell, four-time world champion and seven-time FEI World Cup Final winner. The Boyd Exell/Bram Chardon duel has truly started. “This time it was Boyd’s turn to win. Next time, it’ll be mine!” said the young Dutchman, with a smile.

Benjamin Aillaud represented France at the event, with four new horses. “I have gone back to my first love by assembling a new team of Lipizzan horses. The objective is to really make a mark in indoor driving with these horses,” said the Frenchman, who was seventh in the event.

Part of the Longines Equita Lyon, Concours Hippique International for the second year in a row, four-horse indoor driving was once again a great success on the last day of the show. “We are very proud to host this discipline in Lyon. The audience is really starting to enjoy the discipline. I am really pleased that the best drivers in the world come to compete here;” said Sylvie Robert, President of GL events Equestrian Sport, before adding: “This year’s Equita Lyon attracted a record number of visitors. All the people involved contributed to making this year’s show a success.”

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Boyd Exell(s) in Lyon

Image copyright PSV.

For his first appearance at the Longines Equita Lyon, the world number 1 in the discipline confirmed his standing in the first round of the FEI Driving World Cup stage, which will decide the order for the final. This first round, a kind of dress rehearsal for Sunday, allowed the leaders to get their bearings, test their options, and allowed the horses to discover the arena, the atmosphere, the light, and so on. Combining speed and maneuverability, the leaders of the discipline had to go as quickly as possible between the posts, gates, and over a bridge, each fault adding 4 extra seconds to their initial time. Speed and precision are therefore the watchwords in this event. After the first round, the three best teams are measured in a “drive-off”, by adding the two rounds together to give the final ranking of the day. The first to start the drive-off was the Dutchman Koos de Ronde who set the pace with his carriage, crossing the finish line in 313.51 seconds. The challenge was then taken up by the Swiss Jérôme Voutaz and his four Franche-Montagne horses, the holders of the title for the Lyon stage (312.74 sec.). Their fast pace got the crowds on their feet, as they eagerly awaited to see the world’s number one, the Australian Boyd Exell, who was competing for the first time in Lyon. The master did not disappoint the public, performing a quick round with impressive fluidity, placing first in the class (297.48 sec.). “I was surprised by the warmth and enthusiasm of the audience at 9am! This is my first time in Lyon, and I must say that the organisation is brilliant. You get helped when you arrive, and the hotel is really nice. I feel good here. My horses are great. We did the first round without forcing too much and went faster for the second. They are just the best.”

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

French Team Wins CAIO 4*-H1 Trials during 5* Eventing in Pau

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

The brilliant performances of France’s three carriage drivers drove France to the top of the CAIO 4*-H1 podium at the Pau 5* horse trials. Jean-Michel Olive, leading Sinnamari, won the marathon. France pipped Germany and Netherlands to the post. The victory is a good omen for next year’s World Championship, which will also take place here in Pau, France at the Domaine de Sers.

In the individual ranking, Belgian champion Laure Philippot is first, in front of Dutch carriage driver Rudolf Pestman and French driver Fabrice Martin.

Fabrice Martin (FRA):

“This win is a wonderful team victory! Everyone contributed to France coming out on top in this competition even though the scores were very close throughout the competition! We gave everything we had in the marathon and that’s what made the difference in the end. I came third in the individual tests and the marathon meant that I lost one place, but I’m sort of discovering this discipline as I don’t have much experience in carriage driving. I’ve only been driving my horse for three months so I can’t complain and I’m really happy with my third place.”

Anika Geiger (GER):

“It was a long way to travel from Germany to Pau, but it was well worth the effort: the competition was amazing. The team comprised three young female drivers, so our second place here is entirely thanks to ‘young girl power’! In the marathon, there was a real challenge to negotiate in the two long water obstacles and that really put the horses to the test.”

Rudolf Pestman (NED):

“I was already here last year for the Pau 5* eventing competition, and I came back this year. I wanted to end the season better than it had started with my horse’s injury. I love the Pau competition, even if we have to drive 1500 kilometres to get here from home…”

Laure Philippot (BEL):

“I was first in the dressage test and managed to hold my lead with two clean sweeps in the cones competition. In the marathon, which isn’t really my strong point, I did my utmost to keep my first place, and I made it! We’ve had a great season this year and we’re going to work hard this winter to prepare for the next one. There weren’t any specific difficulties in the marathon; it was a pretty fast course apart from a mound which caused a few problems. ”

Pascal Sayous, organiser of the Pau 5-Star event:

“I’m delighted with this dress rehearsal for the carriage-driving world championships which is to take place here at the Domaine de Sers next year. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to French driver Marion Vignaud, who won here last year and has been an amazing ambassador for Pau throughout the entire year.”

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Finnish Driver Leena Kalalahti Wins the Cones Competition

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

The drivers on the starting list for the CAIO 4*-H1 at the Pau 5-star event competed in the cones competition, the second test in their triathlon. Finnish driver Leena Kalalahti with Judym in hand was the fastest of the flawless rounds, taking first position for this test and climbing from 34th to 24th in the provisional ranking.

Despite moving up ten places on the provisional leaderboard, Kalalahti’s win does not change the provisional podium after the dressage and cones. Belgian driver Laure Philippot also completed a flawless round and maintains her first place, just ahead of Fabrice Martin who clocked up a 0.57 point-penalty and Dutch driver Rudolf Pestman who came in third, having also driven a clear round.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Laure Philippot Took the Lead after Second Series of Dressage at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

The dressage test of the CAIO 4*-H1 is now over, leaving the way open for the cones competition at the Domaine de Sers, as part of the Pau 5-star eventing competition. Belgian carriage driver Laure Philippot took the lead after the second series of dressage tests. Laure won the Belgian championships in 2018 and now ranks world no. six. Here in Pau, she ranks just ahead of French driver Fabrice Martin, and Dutch driver Rudolf Pestman, on the individual provisional leaderboard of the CAIO 4*-H1.

The brilliant performance given by French team Fabrice Martin and Marion Vignaud, currently fourth in the individual competition, and winner of last year’s event, put them in the lead ahead of Germany and the Netherlands.

Result here: https://www.hoefnet.nl/wp-content/uploads/uitslagen/2019/FRA/PAU.20191023.20191027/PDF/DRESSAGE_HORSES.pdf

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Luxemburg Carriage Driver Franz Schiltz Has Taken the Lead in Provisional Ranking

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

At the end of the first day of dressage in the CCI 5* – H1 competition in Pau, Luxemburg carriage driver Franz Schiltz is has taken the lead in the provisional ranking. The 2015 world champion is one step ahead of Saskia Siebers, the current star in the discipline, world champion titleholder in team driving and vice world champion in individual driving. Third place goes to Spanish driver Ana Muñoz Fernandez.

In the provisional ranking, the best French carriage driver, Tony Ecalle, is currently in fifth place. French driver Magalie Aillaud will kick off the events in the second half of the dressage tests of the CAIO 4*-H1 competition in the Pau 5* horse trials. Eyes will be riveted on defending champion Marion Vignaud, currently ranked third in the world in this discipline, scheduled to perform her test at 11:10 AM.

You will find all the results HERE.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

This Esme and Teddy the Shetland to Take Centre Stage at Olympia Live Zone

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is thrilled to announce the 2019 line-up for the hugely popular ‘Live Zone.’ Providing a unique opportunity for spectators to meet and interact with some of their favourite equestrian stars, this year’s Live Zone features online influencers as well as talks, Q&A sessions, and rider interviews.

Alongside the exclusive opportunity to meet elite equestrian athletes, the Live Zone will include guest appearances from social media sensations, including Esme Higgs, one of the world’s most popular equestrian influencers. Attending from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 December, Higgs is famous for her YouTube videos of her life with her ponies and donkeys and attracts 3.5 million viewers to her YouTube channel ‘This Esme’ each month.

Teddy the Shetland will be at Olympia on Thursday 19 December and Friday 20 December for a ‘meet and greet’ and photo opportunities. The miniature Shetland who has over 120,000 followers has become a social media superstar and has even been featured in a Dior photoshoot.

Show jumper Kate Lewis, who documents her equestrian journey under the name ‘Blob the Cob’, will be making her Olympia Live Zone debut on Thursday, 19 December. Known for her incredible bareback jumping videos, the 20-year-old from North Yorkshire has over 136,000 Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers.

This year the Live Zone will also see appearances from young eventing rider ‘Pony Nuts,’ Vic Brant, who writes the hugely popular online blog ‘Diary of a Wimpy Eventer’ and vloggers Tina Wallace and Emily Dunstan who make videos as ‘Life on the Left Rein’ and ‘EMD Eventing’. By popular demand, pony producer Megan Elphick of Elphick Event Ponies will be making her Live Zone debut with a Q&A session, answering questions about training tactics and the best confidence-building exercises for ponies.

Olympia’s Official Charity, The Tim Stockdale Foundation, will also be supporting the Urban Equestrian Academy on the Live Zone for Part II of the Olympia Riding Academy – the initiative started earlier this year with an educational trip to the Stockdale’s yard.

The complete 2019 timetable will be announced later this month and will also include top international competitors from show jumping, dressage, and driving as well as specialist equestrian experts, and other stars of the Show.

Olympia Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Olympia recognises the importance of digital bloggers and YouTube stars and we want to build unforgettable experiences for both our visitors and for those people who have such an influence on the equestrian community. The Live Zone at Olympia has been an incredibly successful initiative that brings fans and riders together. This year, it returns better than ever with an extensive list of guests.”

YouTuber ‘This Esme’ is one of the world’s largest equestrian social media stars. “Olympia is definitely one of my favorite times of year. I have been every year since I was 10 years old and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it! This year I’m really excited to be back in the Live Zone meeting my viewers and soaking up the special Olympia atmosphere.”

Taking place at Olympia Grand this December, Olympia, The London International Horse Show attracts the world’s best riders and carriage drivers. The West Kensington venue will host seven days of top-class equestrian competition between 16-22 December, thrilling visitors from around the country. Alongside three FEI World Cup legs in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Carriage Driving, 90,000 spectators will also enjoy international performances from The Household Calvary Musical Ride and Jean-Francois Pignon’s new ‘Black and White’ display.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Olympia, The London International Horse Show Introduces New Sustainability Initiatives for 2019

In its ongoing commitment to the environment, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, has once again put sustainability as a top priority for 2019. Taking place between 16-22 December, the week-long Show has reduced its use of single-use plastic again ahead of this year’s Christmas extravaganza.

Located in the heart of West London, the prestigious Olympia London has always been at the forefront of sustainability and waste management, pioneering several initiatives within the UK event industry. The London International Horse Show has worked, and continues to work, closely with Olympia London to create a more sustainable and environmentally aware event.

In their collaborative endeavour to fight the war on plastic, Olympia London and the Show have put several initiatives in place. In 2018, the Show eliminated 83% of its single-use plastic and packaging. Olympia London and the venue’s in-house caterers, Creative Events and Levy Restaurants have been working towards eliminating single-use plastic. Since 2018, plastic straws and cutlery have been replaced with recyclable alternatives such as paper straws and wooden and bamboo cutlery. Cardboard plates and vegware drinking glasses are now used and PET bottles of soft drinks have been replaced with aluminium cans.

All catering outlets offer discounted hot drinks to those who bring their own coffee cups, and Olympia London has gone into partnership with Simply Cups – the service was launched at Olympia, The London International Horse Show in 2018. Simply Cups provide separate bins for hot drinks cups, which are fully recycled into products, such as reusable cups. Guests will be able to find Simply Cups bins in the main catering areas of the Show.

In a drive to reduce energy consumption, all of the venue’s electricity is procured from renewable sources and all of the venue lighting in the arena and Shopping Village has been replaced with LED fittings – additionally, some of the rig’s incandescent bulbs will be replaced for the 2019 Show with environmentally-friendly LED alternatives.

Every year, more than 75 tonnes of muck, hay, and straw – the equivalent weight of 200 horses – is delivered to a local farm where it is composted and used as fertiliser for crops, and this is an initiative the Show will continue in 2019.

Water stations will be available near the catering outlets on the North and South sides of the Main Arena, as well as by the Pillar Hall at the North end, and the Winter Market and APEX room on the Shopping Village Gallery Level – new stations for this year will be located by the Shop and Drop on the South Side of the Main Arena and Eighteen 86 restaurant on the North Side of the Arena.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Reducing the Show’s carbon footprint has been a significant goal for us in recent years and none more so than in 2019. As an International Show, we have a responsibility to set an example, which we are doing by continue to put new sustainability initiatives in place, and we look forward to seeing what we can achieve for many years to come.

“We encourage ticket-holders travelling from around the UK to Olympia to think about their carbon footprint by considering greener ways of travelling, specifically making the most of the excellent public transport links to the venue. We also ask guests to bring their own water bottles rather than buying plastics bottles at the Show.”

Siân Richards, Business Services & Sustainability Manager of Olympia London, said: “We are very proud of our waste management programme, which has ensured that 100% of the waste output has been diverted from landfill for well over a decade, with 98% recycled and the remaining 2% recovered as waste for energy.

“Most of the waste produced at Olympia London is sent to a local waste recycling plant, where it’s sorted and sent back into the manufacturing chain to be reused. The main exception to this is food waste, which is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where it’s converted into bio-fuel and fertiliser.

“Olympia London works closely with local food banks and charities around London to ensure that any useable food left over from the event is used to help those less fortunate.”

Olympia, The London International Horse Show will return once again for seven days of spectacular high-class competition. Attracting crowds and riders from around the world, the 2019 edition of the Christmas Show is sure to impress. Taking place at the iconic Olympia Grand, the expected 90,000 spectators will witness FEI World Cup™ action, which will begin on Monday 16 December, and will showcase the very best of Show Jumping, Dressage, and Carriage Driving. Very much living up to its name, the International Show will also host a range of exciting performances and displays throughout the week, concluding with the greatly anticipated Olympia Grand Prix on Sunday 22 December.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

USET Foundation Supports Next Generation through Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester competing for the United States in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5* during the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series.

Gladstone, N.J. – July 18, 2019 – With the launch of the new Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation encourages everyone to get involved in paving the way for our U.S. equestrian teams to prepare and compete at the upcoming 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2019 Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), presented by Gotham North.

By participating in the challenge, the Foundation’s supporters and fans open the pathway to the podium for U.S. athletes, from developing to elite squads, across the nation in the eight FEI disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping, and vaulting.

The mission of the USET Foundation is to provide the necessary resources to make equestrian competitive excellence possible, now and in the future. These key funds support the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international and high performance horses and athletes in partnership with US Equestrian (USEF), which does not receive any direct or indirect government subsidy.

High performance programs train and support our top athletes and horses to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games and other top international competitions. In addition, these programs provide support for our world-class coaches, international competition for developing athletes, training grants, national training sessions, and talent search programs to identify future elite equestrian athletes.

Contributions made to the USET Foundation directly support the grants that the Foundation makes to the USEF for the high performance programs. Annually, the USET Foundation awards grants covering approximately 50% of the high performance program budget. The funding, made possible through USET Foundation donations, creates the support programs for athletes who aspire to be on the podium someday in any of the eight FEI disciplines.

Since its inception, the USET Foundation has awarded millions of dollars to support the USEF’s high performance programs and athletes along the pathway, including the likes of Kent Farrington, Philip Dutton, Laura Graves, Laura Kraut, McLain Ward, and countless others who, thanks in part to the support received from the USET Foundation, went on to represent and achieve historic results for the U.S. at the highest levels of the sport.

From the beginning, the USET Foundation’s focus has always been on providing funding for the next generation’s international success. At the NAYC, presented by Gotham North, to be held July 24-28 (eventing) in conjunction with The Event at Rebecca Farm and July 30 – Aug. 4 (dressage and show jumping) at Old Salem Farm, the USET Foundation annually presents the coveted Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award.

In 2018, the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award was given to Daisy Farish as the highest placing U.S. Young Rider in the individual show jumping final. As the recipient of this immense honor, Farish had the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final along with the other top finishers in the NAYC individual show jumping final, Samantha Cohen, Madison Goetzmann, and McKayla Langmeier, in Opglabbeek, Belgium in September 2018.

Another young talent, Lucy Deslauriers (20), has progressed up the pathway through the NAYC and U25 division to now representing the U.S. with podium finishes in Nations Cup competitions and most recently being named to the NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2019 Pan American Games.

“I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent our country at the senior level in Nations Cup competitions over the past year,” said Deslauriers. “Only with the support of the USET Foundation and the US Equestrian pathway programs have I been able to fulfill some of my show jumping dreams.”

The Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge is one that rallies support from all members of the USET Foundation community from the $10 first-time donor to the invested and dedicated trustee. From now through Aug. 11, the more people who participate by making a gift, of any amount, the closer we get to unlocking $100,000 of additional support, which will help elevate up-and-coming athletes and provide valuable opportunities on their journey to equestrian excellence.

Be a part of history and show support for Team USA during these pivotal weeks and beyond! Participate in the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge at USET.org and spread the word on social media. Current supporters of the Foundation can participate in the challenge and move the USET Foundation one donor closer by giving again now.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.