Category Archives: Driving

A New Status for Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017

Royal Windsor Horse Show will set new standards in 2017 as it welcomes CSI5* Show Jumping to the Private Grounds of Windsor Castle. The Show Jumping will be a highlight of the five-day event which takes place from 10-14 May and features top-class equestrian action in four equestrian disciplines and more than 120 showing classes. This year the Show incorporates some exciting new additions.

The newly upgraded CSI5* Show Jumping will be a highlight of the Windsor programme as elite international riders take to the Castle Arena to compete for a total prize fund of £520,000. At the pinnacle of the competition will be the inaugural Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday 14 May, with an unprecedented £258,000 in prize money.

Adding to the international standing of the event, the CDI4* Dressage competition has been upgraded from its previous CDI3* status when it last featured in 2015. The Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music will take centre stage during the evening performances on Thursday and Friday respectively and are set to see the top riders battle it out for the enhanced 4* prize.

One of the most important Driving events in the UK, the Land Rover CAIO4* International Driving Grand Prix, takes place from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 May. Contenders will be competing not only for the Royal Windsor Horse Show title but to qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Final. 2017 sees the welcome return of the Horse Pairs to the Grand Prix, which were last a part of the competition in 2014, and this year will be competing at CAIO3* level.

On Friday 12 May competitors will take to Windsor Great Park for the CEI2* 120km and new CEI1* 80km Endurance rides. Alongside these international rides, Royal Windsor now offers National riders the opportunity to qualify for the EGB Cup, through the introduction of a 40km National Ride. Run in accordance with FEI rules, the event will give National competitors a flavour of International competition.

Royal Windsor Horse Show plays host to some of the most important Showing classes in the UK, such as the Land Rover Mountain and Moorland Supreme Championship and the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship, which last year was won by HM The Queen’s homebred, Barber’s Shop. Organisers are delighted the Ridden Purebred Arab class will return after a prolonged absence.  Furthermore, this year will also see the introduction of the Supreme Ridden Show Champion, an opportunity for selected champions across the five days to compete to be the overall Showing Champion of Royal Windsor.

In an entirely new competition, the longstanding Oxford vs Cambridge rivalry will take to unfamiliar heights as the two universities will be battling it out in a Varsity Dressage and Show Jumping class taking place on Saturday 13, each team bidding to finish on top of their old adversaries.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Royal Windsor Horse Show is set to be better than ever in 2017. Not only will we see some of the best international Show Jumpers at Windsor this year through the elevation of the Show Jumping to 5* level, which put us alongside the best international horse shows in the world, but there are also lots of exciting new additions to the schedule.”

Away from the competitive action, spectators will be treated to entertaining displays including The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games, and The Shetland Pony Grand National.

Entry Tickets are available from just £17 and for those seeking a more exclusive experience, the Members Enclosure is also available. New for 2017 is the introduction of the Windsor Enclosure, offering an additional ticket tier, allowing pre-booked grand stand seating and access to a dedicated bistro, bar and lawn on the north-east end of the Castle Arena.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be purchased at or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: T: +44 (0)203 176 0355

Chester Weber to Be Keynote Speaker at Ocala ExCEPtional Breakfast

Photo Courtesy of KwikTurn Media.

Ocala, FL (February 13, 2017) – Three-time World Equestrian Games Silver medalist and 13-time U.S. Four-in-Hand National Champion Chester Weber will be the keynote speaker for the February 15, 2017 exCEPtional Mornings Business Briefing Breakfast at the ITW Facility at Ocala Breeders’ Sales in Ocala, Florida. The event is put on by the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP).

Weber was tapped to present at the event because of both his significant accomplishments in the sport of combined driving and his family’s multi-generational contributions to a range of equestrian sports – from racing, show jumping, and driving to hosting the Live Oak International, the largest equestrian competition to feature both jumping and driving in the U.S. The 26th Live Oak International will be held on March 9-12, 2017, on the pristine grounds of the 5,000-acre Weber family estate.

Director of Equine Engagement at the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP) Louisa Barton explained, “We wanted our keynote speaker to be someone who is a superstar in Ocala and the surrounding area, and Chester certainly is that. We felt like we could highlight Live Oak International, which is a very important event in our community hosted at the Weber family’s Live Oak Plantation. The Weber family is so rooted in the equine industry – not only in the four-in-hand, but in all aspects of the industry.

“The economic value of the equine industry in the Ocala/ Marion County is estimated at 2.6 billion a year,” Barton continued. “That’s billion with a ‘B’ – and we feel like the Weber family is a big part of the equine industry here in Ocala. Whether you are a feed store, a tack store, a restaurant, or a grocery store in Ocala, you must certainly feel the impact of the equine industry.”

When asked why he chose to take time out of his busy training and competition schedule to speak at the exCEPtional Mornings Business Briefing Breakfast, Weber said, “I want to spread awareness about Live Oak International and promote horse sports in general within the local community. This will be our 26th year hosting Live Oak, which is the largest spectator event in Marion County. Last year, we drew an audience of about 10,000.”

Weber expounded, “The local impact is tremendous – the hotels are all fully booked that week. The restaurants are all full. Live Oak International appeals to equestrians and non-horse people, as well.”

Barton said, “We really want to encourage people to come out and enjoy a day at Live Oak this year. Enjoy the rolling hills, the Spanish moss, and the lovely weather. The four-in hand obstacles are so exciting, whether you are a horse person or not!”

The exCEPtional Mornings Business Briefing Breakfast events offer CEP partners an opportunity to learn from keynote speakers like Chester Weber about topics of significance to the regional or national business scene, while also providing an opportunity to network.

For all news on Team Weber’s latest achievements, upcoming events, and new horse additions, visit Team Weber’s official Facebook, Instagram @ChesterWeber, and For information about attending Live Oak International, visit For information about the ExCEPtional Breakfast with keynote speaker Chester Weber, please call the CEP at 352-629- 8051.

For more information, contact:
Chester Weber

Arte Ecuestre: Interagro Lusitanos Showcased at Haras Godiva’s Celebration of the Horse

Mauricio Delucchi and Desordeiro Interagro (Photo courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos)

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay (February 11, 2017) – At the junction of performance and art lies Arte Ecuestre. Combining the unbounded beauty of South America’s eastern coast with an unbridled passion for the equine, this yearly celebration of the horse brings lifelong equestrians and newly discovered fanatics alike a spectacular exhibition of sport, culture, and entertainment. Presented January 12, 2017 by Zuercher Kantonalbank, Haras Godiva welcomed over 130 guests to the equestrian estate, which doubles as elite training center and stunning equestrian retreat.

The six acts of Arte Ecuestre correspond to the six disciplines presented in the performance: dressage, gaucho, driving, vaulting, jumping, and the Pas de Trois. With each act set to music and reflecting the diversity of equestrian sport, the grace and elegance of dressage to the heritage of the gaucho, the stars, of course, are the horses. For the dressage and driving acts, three Lusitano horses bred and owned by Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil epitomized the power, precision, and beauty inherent in these FEI disciplines. Trained and ridden by Mauricio Delucchi, Bailos Interagro and Desordeiro Interagro demonstrated dressage as a Freestyle and a Pas de Trois. Bailos Interagro, living up to his name, danced his way through the Grand Prix movements under the guidance of Delucchi, while Delucchi and Desordeiro, who is schooled through the Prix St. Georges, performed alongside Haras Godiva’s founder and owner Carolin Mallmann aboard Cesar Itapua and Paulina Morales with Capricho Itapua in a Pas de Trois set to the music of Strauss.

As a complement to the synchronized movements and elegance of the dressage, Argentine National Champion Carl Facht, with Josefina Frederick riding shotgun, piloted Zamorim Interagro through a thrilling demonstration of the obstacle phase of driving. Galloping through the elaborate course to the upbeat rhythm of techno, Zamorim’s agility and athleticism were highlighted by both Facht’s talented driving and the golden glow of the setting sun.

Zamorim Interagro being piloted by Argentinian driving champion Carl Facht at Arte Ecuestre (Photo courtesy of Haras Godiva)

Uruguay’s Martin Rodriguez, a veteran the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 World Equestrian Games, showcased the discipline of showjumping with the P’Compadre Concalma, while Paulina Morales guided Sopresa through the bursts of speed and tight turns of the gaucho performance, a traditional display of South American horsemanship. Luciana Bidarte, Maria Eugenia Marmol, Marina Stapff, and Sofia Rabaquino presented the teamwork, rhythm, and athleticism of gymnastics on horseback, with Josefina Estavillo as coach and lunger, to round out Arte Ecuestre’s six acts.

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson

Boyd Exell Is the Best in Bordeaux

Boyd Exell (FEI/Pierre Costabadie)

Bordeaux (FRA), 5 February 2017 – Boyd Exell (AUS) has won the eighth and last leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving in Bordeaux (FRA) after an exciting battle with his Dutch opponents Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon. This was Boyd’s third win for World Cup points of this season, which puts him in the lead of the final standings before the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final.

For the first time in years, Bordeaux played host to a Leg instead of the Final, but the seven top drivers guaranteed excitement nevertheless. International Level 4 Course Designer Jeroen Houterman (NED) had laid out a very challenging course, in which technique and speed were well combined. According to some, this was the best course of the season so far.

The top three drivers all have great memories of Bordeaux since they all have won the Final here at least once. Koos de Ronde was the first man in the arena in the Winning Round, which took place over a shortened course and in which the drivers started from scratch again. Koos drove an amazing fast and clear round which put the pressure on Ijsbrand and Boyd: “The last two shows I had the feeling that luck was not on my side, but here it all came together for me. I had a very good feeling, especially because I drove faster than IJsbrand this time. I knew it was a difficult course in which it was easy to have a knock down, but I really went for it and all went okay. I will most likely use the four horses I used today in the Final in Gothenburg as well. I definitely feel I have a chance for a podium place with this four-in-hand; they feel very good.”

Reigning World Cup Champion Ijsbrand Chardon was the next driver in the arena, where the enthusiastic spectators filled the stands. Chardon, however, made an error of judgement by taking a turn too short in the first marathon obstacle. It went well, but the longer route would have been faster: “It was more difficult than I thought. Instead of winning two to three seconds, I lost them. I wanted to force Boyd to take the same route, but it didn’t turn out like that. It was a gamble and I lost it, but that is okay.”

Boyd Exell just came back from a short holiday after Leipzig, which had obviously done him good. The reigning World Champion attacked the course and came out nearly three seconds faster than De Ronde: “I like a tougher course and this one suited me well. It gave us the chance to use our power and to show the technical skills of our team. I decided not to take any risks because the positioning in the Final does count. I am now the last driver to go into the arena in the first competition in Gothenburg later this month, which is important. My horses’ fitness is getting better and I am not afraid that they will become too fit.”

Edouard Simonet (BEL) put down an excellent performance in Bordeaux in both competitions. The talented driver drove his team of Arabo Friesian horses clear and smooth through the course and finished in fourth place. The battle for the sixth place in the Final went between Simonet and Georg von Stein (GER). The latter finished in fifth position, which qualified him for the Final. Wild Card drivers Benjamin Aillaud (FRA) and Sébastien Mourier (FRA) claimed the sixth and seventh place.

For the complete results, click here.

The 2016/2017 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to the Final in Gothenburg (SWE) on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February 2017.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Gothenburg will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, on Sunday 26 February.

For information on Gothenburg, go to or contact Press Officer Lotta Amnestal,, + 46 709 79 56 35.

For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

FEI Media Contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

At Bordeaux:

Pascal Renauldon
+33 608759407

Chester Weber Kicks Off 2017 Season with a Victory at Little Everglades CAI2*

Photo courtesy of

Ocala, FL (February 4, 2017) – Team Weber opened the 2017 combined driving season with a victorious performance in the Little Everglades CAI2* on January 26-29 in Dade City, Florida with three new additions to his four-in-hand team.

Chester Weber, three-time World Equestrian Games Silver medalist and 13-time U.S. Four-in-Hand National Champion, did not fail to live up to his reputation as ‘Mr. Dressage’ at Little Everglades. Weber piloted his carefully selected KWPN combination of Boris W, Bastiaan, Splash, and First Edition to a winning score of 35.90 in the dressage phase, taking a firm lead over their closest contender.

Swapping Splash for Gouvernor, Weber then delivered a fast marathon phase to hold the lead (143.06) going into cones. In the cones phase, America’s only two-time Royal Windsor CAI3* winner wisely opted to keep the same foursome in harness, and finished with just 6.88 added penalties to their overall score. This resulted in a handy 50-point margin over a coast-to-coast roster of entries. Team Weber’s overall score was 149.94 to secure the win at Little Everglades.

“Our focus is now on the national championship at Live Oak International in March. We feel like we had a pretty commanding lead at this last event, so we are feeling particularly bullish going into Live Oak,” said Weber, of Ocala, Florida. The 2017 Live Oak International, held at the equestrian estate owned by the Weber family, will be held on March 9-12.

Weber was quick to credit his team and sponsors for his win at Little Everglades. “We are working with a relatively new group of horses. Gouvernor was part of our young horse program – we’ve had him since he was three. We’ve had Bastiaan, owned by Fritz Grupe, since mid-September. This was only their second show. Their last show was at Hermitage, and they have made real progress since then,” said Weber.

“Jane Clarks” Splash did a fantastic job. I was very pleased; the dressage judges all commented on the quality of the team and the movement — they were excited to see them continue to develop. That’s always a great feeling.”

Weber was particularly proud of the performance of another of his newer horses, First Edition, who had a rough introduction to his new home country after catching pneumonia while shipping to the United States in November. “First Edition, ‘Edison’, had an outstanding show in all three phases in the left lead. He is an eight-year-old that I think has big potential for the top of the international sport — evidenced by ending up with a dressage score in the mid-thirties and then having a dominating performance on marathon and cones.

It’s no surprise to combined driving enthusiasts that Weber took home first place at his first show of 2017, as he closed 2016 as the top-placed American entry at the FEI World Four-in-Hand Championships in Breda, The Netherlands. Team Weber will next continue to hone its winning form by competing at The Florida Horse Park Spring Fling CDE/DT/CT (CAC) Driving Competition in Ocala February 17-19.

After Live Oak International in March, Weber and his team will forge ahead to Europe to compete at several top sport competitions including The World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, and FEI World Championships for Four-in-Hand. Follow Team Weber’s tournament schedule on and learn all about Weber’s latest results, favorite equestrian products, and his star four-in-hand team on his official social media sites on Facebook and Instagram @ChesterWeber.

For more information, contact:
Chester Weber

Interagro Lusitanos Wraps Up 2016 with Wins in Driving, Dressage, Paradressage, Working Equitation

Antonio Mariano de Souza secured the Brazilian Four-in-Hand Driving Championship with four Interagro horses: Cagliostro, Comanche, Democrito and Crispim.

Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil (January 19, 2017) – 2016 was a spectacular year for the Lusitano sport horse, as the versatile breed continues to curry favor among riders, trainers, and owners across a variety of disciplines. Through over 40 years of exceptional breeding and a dedication to evolving the modern Lusitano from the purest Portuguese bloodlines, Interagro Lusitanos has been a major catalyst for the breed’s growth and success over the past few decades. With successful Interagro progeny winning in working equitation, driving, dressage, and paradressage, the Brazilian stud and training facility continues to raise the bar as their horses compete internationally across 4 continents.

Interagro’s most recent win was earned in December, where Antonio Mariano de Souza secured the Brazilian Four-in-Hand Driving Championship with four Interagro horses: Cagliostro, Comanche, Democrito and Crispim. He was joined in the winner’s circle at the Driving Championships by Valentim Martins Brito, who secured the Pairs Reserve Championship with Comache Interagro and Crispim Interagro, and Fabio Roberto da Silva, who finished third in the pairs with Cagliostro Interagro and Democrito Interagro.

In addition to the driving phases, working equitation proved to be a major forte for Interagro and its riders in 2016. The 2016 Brazilian Working Equitation Championship/Cia de ET saw Gotico Interagro (Profano Interagro x Zibelina Interagro) and Divisadero Interagro (Tufao Interagro x Saranga (VAN)) top the national rankings in their divisions. Gotico was awarded 2016 Championship Brazilian Ranking in the Novice A Division, while Divisadero also topped the 2016 Brazilian Ranking in the Intermediate division. Escudeiro Interagro (Perdigueiro (MAC) x Athena Interagro), who was purchased at the 2013 Interagro National Auction by Mrs. Claudia Uenishi, rounded out the Interagro string of successes with Jose Faria in the saddle. In the beginning of 2016 and on a different continent, Working Equitation World Cup Champion Xaveco Interagro (Profano Interagro x Dona RC) repeated his World Cup success at the 2016 Haras Cup, the premier Working Equitation Championships in the United States. Hosted by Haras dos Cavaleiros of Magnolia, Texas, Xaveco was piloted by France’s Claire Moucadel and dominated in all three phases of the event.

Baldor Interagro and Pia Aragao (Photo courtesy of Ambar Dressage)

Interagro’s long list of Brazilian rankings extend into the dressage arena, where Baldor Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Quinata Interagro) and Fellini Interagro (Nirvana Interagro x Batina Interagro) dominated their FEI divisions. Baldor and Pia Aragao swept the Small Tour at the Sao Paulo CDI-3/Brazilian Dressage Championships with a personal best score of 72.350 in their Freestyle. Fellini, also ridden and trained by Aragao, took top honors in the CAN National Dressage in Sao Paulo in May with scores of 8.20 and 7.18 in the FEI 6-Year-Old division, and won the Brazilian 6-Year-Old Championship at the Sao Paulo CDI-3 with final scores of 7.14 and 7.50.

Perhaps the highlight of Interagro’s slew of wins in 2016 was the achievement of Zizifo Interagro, who along with rider Patricio Guglialmelli of Argentina and owner Gea Einaudi of Italy qualified for and competed in the 2016 Rio Games. Competing for Argentina in the Paradressage, Zizifo’s accomplishment in the Paralympics marks a major milestone for Interagro, who through their breeding program has actively sought to develop a horse with the athleticism and temperament to compete in the upper echelons of horse sport.

In the spring of 2016, 5 of Interagro’s stallions were approved by the ABPSL Stud Book. Caudilho Interagro and Gladiador Interagro, who were presented for revision by internationally renowned Portuguese trainer and competitor Jorge Sousa, topped the field with scores of 75 and 74.5. Fellini Interagro finished with a score of 74, while Ditador Interagro and Empreiteiro Interagro earned 72 and 68.5.

In the United States, two of Interagro’s exported stallions also were successful in their revisions, with one making history as the highest score ever received in the US. Hobbit Interagro (Bungo Interagro x Radiosa (MAC)) and Governador Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Quantia Interagro), both owned by Haras do Cavaleiros, were evaluated at the North American Lusitano Show by three judges: one from Brazil, one from France, and one from the ABPSL. Hobbit’s score of 76.5 is the highest score ever awarded to a Lusitano in the United States, following more than 200 horse revisions. Governador’s impressive score of 71 brought more acclaim for Interagro horses in North America.

Despite a lackluster Brazilian economy, the resounding success of Interagro’s 2016 Yearling Auction proved that the demand for exceptional Lusitano horses has not waned. With all but 2 fillies sold and an average price higher than 2015, the Yearling Auction also boasted a high turnout of Lusitano enthusiasts. With a number of unique and rare lineages represented in the auction barn, the average selling price of this year’s auction finished at 16,933 Brazilian reals, or approximately 5,187 US dollars. The elegant Ministro Interagro brought in 2016’s price highlight, selling for 42,000 Brazilian reals (USD 12,865).

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as versatile, athletic, and intelligent partners for their riders and successful competitors on the international stage.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at or follow them on Facebook. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst at 817 368 9447.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
954 205 7992

Boyd Exell Dominates Leipzig’s “Pop Concert”

Boyd Exell (Photo: FEI/Stefan Lafrentz)

Leipzig (GER), 22 January 2017 – It was the most exciting battle you could think of at the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg in Leipzig. In the end, Australia’s Boyd Exell won with two tenths of a second advantage in front of Swiss driver Jerome Voutaz. Third place was for Dutchman Ijsbrand Chardon. All three of them showed clear rounds in the drive off.

After seven out of eight legs, Exell and Chardon are now together on the top of the World Cup Ranking list with 27 points. Koos des Ronde following with 25 points. Because Exell had a wild card for Leipzig, second placed Voutaz, earned a full ten points and is now in fifth place with 20 points.

“Leipzig is definitely one of my favourite shows,” explained Exell and added, laughing, “even if the result was closer than I wanted it to be.”

Exell ended up third in the first round after having the fastest time but one ball down in an obstacle. So he was the first to go in the drive off.

“On that position I only had one chance: to drive clear and put some pressure on the other drivers.” It was the third win for Exell in Leipzig after the World Cup final in 2011 and 2016.

Jerome Voutaz was undeniably happy about being second behind the three time World Cup winner from Australia. “I have been second in Leipzig behind Boyd last year and I am very happy to be so close to him this year. That alone is not easy. And next year I will try again to beat him,” said Voutaz with a smile.

Conversely, Ijsbrand Chardon started with bad luck in the driving competitions of Leipzig. During the first day, he had big problems with his reins and finished up last. He then had to go first in the FEI World Cup™ Driving competition on Sunday, where he did a very fast round with one ball down, but ended up second in the first round.

“So I had to wait for about 25 minutes until the first round was over and it was my turn in the drive off. During that time I could only walk my horses and it was not easy to ‘wake them up’ again. I didn’t have such a good feeling in the drive off as in the first round, but nevertheless I am happy.”

Course designer Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf was especially pleased with the seventh leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving: “I liked the combination of technic and tempo in the course and what the drivers made out of it.  I was absolutely thrilled by the atmosphere during the drive off. It was like being at a pop concert.”

For the complete results and standings for the FEI World Cup™ Driving, click here.

For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Kim Kreling

FEI Media Contact:
Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

USEF Board of Directors Removes Recognized Affiliate Designation from American Driving Society

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announces that, effective immediately, The American Driving Society (ADS) will no longer be recognized by the USEF as the affiliate for the driving discipline. The change in recognition results from an inability to reach an agreement as to the responsibilities of the Recognized Affiliate for the driving discipline.

The USEF Board of Directors conducted a thorough review regarding the status of a draft affiliate agreement during the recent USEF Annual Meeting. This included a historical review of the work of ADS to meet its responsibilities as a USEF Recognized Affiliate and the specifics of the draft agreement. After considerable work with the ADS to reach an agreement, the USEF and the ADS remained at an impasse.

USEF CEO Bill Moroney stated, “We had hoped that over the course of the past year, the discussions would have proven to be successful and regret that we were unable to reach an agreement with the ADS that reflected its responsibilities as the Recognized Affiliate for the driving discipline.”

All responsibilities for the driving discipline under the USEF umbrella, including the fielding of championship teams, will be handled by USEF. The USEF leadership team has developed a comprehensive communication plan and will contact impacted constituencies with additional information. We welcome communication with driving competition organizers, officials, and competitors as we continue to move the sport of driving forward.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

IJsbrand Chardon Is the Master in Mechelen

IJsbrand Chardon. (FEI /Dirk Caremans)

Mechelen (BEL), 30 December 2016 – After a very close battle it was Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon who took the top honours by winning the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg in Mechelen for the first time in his career. Chardon stayed ahead of his rival, Australia’s Boyd Exell, for the second time this season. Exell finished in second place, ahead of Swiss driver Jerome Voutaz.

Five-time Mechelen-winner Koos de Ronde (NED) was a fraction of a second too slow to qualify for the winning round, in which the top three drivers started from scratch again. Glenn Geerts (BEL), who competed with a wild card, as well as Exell and De Ronde took the fifth place.

Dutch Level 4 Course Designer Jeroen Houterman had designed a challenging course with three marathon type obstacles and a bridge. Boyd Exell made a mistake twice in the third marathon obstacle, which cost him precious seconds in the first round and a knock down in the winning round: “In the first round I came in too fast and the loop in my reins was too long,” explained Exell. “This was a driver mistake. In the winning round my rein got caught at the bottom of my whip.  But I am very pleased with my horses and have to be a good sportsman, so I am happy with my second place.”

He did, however, put the pressure on Chardon, who was the last man in: “The footing was quite heavy, which made my horses a bit stronger. I did not have the great feeling I had when I won in Stuttgart, but I will keep on working on this team. My left leader horse is new in my team this season and he needs competition rhythm. I want to show that he can do it and he is on 80% compared to where he was in Stuttgart and I need him to be 100% in order to have the best feeling for the Final in Göteborg. My win here was not a gift. I like to win on my own strength,” he said. Chardon competed on 12 previous occasions in Mechelen, which has been part of the series since 2001.

Jérôme Voutaz qualified for the Winning Round by driving a very fast round in which he was three seconds faster than Chardon, but one knock down kept him from taking the lead. In the second round, which took place over a shortened course, the mechanic by profession picked up one ball again but he was nevertheless very pleased with his performance: “My horses went extremely well. I used two other horses compared to the previous events and I am very pleased with them. I also very much enjoyed driving this course. In the winning round I was determined not to make any mistakes and it was great to compete against the two best drivers in the world!”

Since Exell, De Ronde and Geerts competed with wild cards; the World Cup points went to Theo Timmerman (NED, 6th place), Georg von Stein (GER, 7th place) and Rainer Duen (GER, 8th place). Duen has completed his four World Cup events and has collected 7 points, with which he will not be qualified for the Final.

For the complete results, click here.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Leipzig will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, on Sunday, 22 January at 13.00 hrs. CET (local time in Germany, GMT+1 hour).

For information on Leipzig, go to or contact Press Officer Kirsten Maier,, +49 151 – 424 300 65.

For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

FEI Media Contact:
Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

At Mechelen:

Edith de Reys
+32 475 659 281

Vote for Para-Driver Stefanie Putnam for USEF Annual Equestrian of Honor Awards

Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans.

Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam has been named as a 2016 USEF semi-finalist for the Becky Grand Hart award.  Now there will be a vote by the general public over the next three weeks to choose a finalist who embodies the sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission of the United States Equestrian Federation.

Please cast your vote for Stefanie today! You do not need to be a member of USEF to vote.  See below for how to vote.

About Stefanie Putnam of West Lafayette, Calif.

Stefanie Putnam has been working towards accomplishing her international dreams for five years and on August 6, 2016 she did just that as the sole U.S. representative at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands. In her international debut, Stefanie achieved a remarkable individual fifth-place finish in the Grade I division, which included a third-place finish in the cones phase.

The key to her success is the magical connection she has established with her black Morgan gelding, Bethesda After Dark (“Shadow”). Paralyzed from the chest down in 2009 at the age of 24 in a non-horse-related accident, Stefanie began exploring carriage driving in 2010 as an alternative to jumping, which had been her lifeblood. In 2012, “Shadow” came into Stefanie’s life, launching her far beyond the confines of her wheelchair and opening up the adrenaline rush world of combined driving where she began to shine. Stefanie, who has minimal feeling from her chest down and drives from cuffs around her wrists, likes to say that it is as though she is driving Shadow from her heart rather than her hands.

Stefanie has thrived through her involvement with carriage driving, winning the prestigious America Driving Society’s President’s Award in 2016 and is a spokesperson for United States Driving for the Disabled.


  1. Click on
  3. In the bottom left, select a FIRST CHOICE, then a second and third. Press SUBMIT.
  4. LOG ON TO YOUR EMAIL ID. See the email titled:  “USEF Equestrian of the Year Voting Verification.”  Click on the link labeled “PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VERIFY YOUR VOTE”.
  5. You will receive a message thanking you for verifying.

Thank you for your incredible support!

For more information about the USPEA, please visit or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: or by phone: (610)356-6481.