Category Archives: Endurance Riding

UAE National Federation Suspension Lifted by FEI Bureau Following Signature of Agreement

Lausanne (SUI), 27 July 2015 – The FEI Bureau has unanimously approved the immediate reinstatement of the United Arab Emirates National Federation to full membership of the FEI following signature of a legally binding agreement between the two parties in which the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) guarantees that horse welfare will be fully respected and that FEI Rules will be stringently enforced at all Endurance events, both national and international, in the country.

The agreement has been signed by FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Secretary General Sabrina Zeender, and by EEF President HE Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri, and Mohammad Al Kamali, Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee.

The EEF was provisionally suspended by the FEI Bureau in mid-March following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in Endurance in the UAE.

Following the suspension and at the request of the FEI Bureau, the EEF proposed an extensive list of actions it would undertake to address the issues. These were integrated into a draft agreement that the EEF sent to the FEI in early June. The FEI Bureau unanimously welcomed the proposals, but informed the EEF that more areas needed to be covered before the agreement that would allow the provisional suspension to be lifted could be signed. The two parties have spent the intervening weeks reviewing and revising the terms of the agreement.

Under the key terms of the agreement, the EEF must ensure that:

  • Protocols are put in place to avoid equine fatalities;
  • Applicable rest periods are respected;
  • Horses on rest periods are blocked from entry in national events (the FEI system already blocks entries in international events);
  • Use of prohibited fluid administration and any substances prohibited under the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) in and around the Field of Play and at the Vet Gate is prevented;
  • Prohibited substitution of horses is prevented;
  • Prohibited vehicles on the Field of Play are prevented;
  • Any individual or horse suspended by the FEI is automatically blocked by the EEF IT system from competing at national events;
  • The role and authority of officials in carrying out their duties is respected at all times;
  • Training and education of Athletes, Trainers, Support Personnel, National Federation Staff Members and Stable Veterinarians is conducted prior to the start of the 2015/2016 Endurance season in October;
  • FEI rules on post mortems are adhered to and, where possible, the same procedure is applied in the event of fatalities at national competitions;
  • A national Independent Governance Advisor, approved by the FEI is appointed;
  • Conflicts of interest are avoided;
  • Distribution of prize money is in accordance with the FEI approved schedule;
  • Rules for National Endurance events in the UAE are fully compliant with the FEI Rules and Regulations.

The EEF will provide monthly written reports during the 2015/2016 season on steps taken to ensure ongoing compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations, and agrees to abide by any further recommendations put forward by the FEI. Following completion of the 2015/2016 season, the EEF will provide reports whenever requested by the FEI.

Additionally, the EEF will support a research project to evaluate the causes of injuries linked to the design of desert endurance courses. Endurance Trainers will be obliged to cooperate with this research project.

The agreement also details the new legislation that has been introduced in the UAE prohibiting the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports in the country and the sanctions that will be imposed for breaches.

“We are very pleased that, after four months of very hard work, the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated with the signature of this agreement that they are fully committed to ensuring horse welfare and complying with FEI rules at both international and national level in the country,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina said. “They are absolutely committed to making this work so that they can return to playing an active and leading role in Endurance once again and, to demonstrate that commitment, they have included the UAE’s highest sporting body, the National Olympic Committee, in the agreement.”

“We are very pleased that the FEI Bureau has unanimously agreed to lift the suspension based on the considerable actions and solutions we have put in place together,” EEF Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri said. “We will continue to work with them to ensure all their requirements are applied in endurance racing across the UAE. As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE we take our responsibility seriously. It is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes.”

Separately, the FEI had commissioned the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU) to conduct an extensive inquiry into allegations of fake events and duplicate results in the UAE. These allegations were not taken into account when the FEI Bureau imposed the suspension, and were dealt with independently, but provisions have been included in the agreement to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The EEF cooperated fully with the inquiry and the detailed report has now been received by the FEI. The report is currently being reviewed by the FEI and a file will be submitted to the FEI Tribunal for further action. Sanctions will be taken against any FEI Officials found to be involved. In addition, the FEI will annul all duplicated results and review any connected results.

At the same time, the EEF Endurance Committee conducted its own investigation into the allegations and has authorised sanctions on any Organisers and EEF staff that are found to be involved. The EEF is currently restructuring its organisational policies to ensure that similar events cannot occur again and will put rules in place for all future FEI events under which either the National Federation or the Organising Committee must provide all equipment, including the timing system.

The EEF accepts that the FEI will be entitled to impose sanctions in case of non-compliance with all the terms of the agreement. These sanctions would include, but are not limited to, the immediate reinstatement of the suspension and withdrawal of the allocation of the 2016 FEI World Endurance Championships, which are due to be held in Dubai in mid-December next year.

The agreement will remain in effect for a three-year period. During that time, the FEI and EEF will meet at least once a year for an in-depth review, in addition to the monthly written reports required under the agreement. The FEI reserves the right to extend the term of the agreement if appropriate.

Media contacts:

FEI:

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

EEF:

Nicky Stevens
nicky.stevens@falconandassociates.ae
+971 501 075 464

World Equestrian Brands Cheers on Sponsored Riders at Rebecca Farm Eventing Competition

Buck Davidson (Photo courtesy of Mike McNally)

Kalispell, MT (July 23, 2015) – World Equestrian Brands, the North American distributer of the leading brands Equilibrium, Amerigo, Vespucci, and E. A. Mattes, is happy to be attending the much-anticipated Rebecca Farm eventing competition in Kalispell, Montana this week. Robin Moore, CEO of World Equestrian Brands, is offering her popular products for sale at Gallops Saddlery’s booth and cheering on World Equestrian Brands’ sponsored riders who are competing in the CCI3*, CCI2*, and CCI1* at the event.

Show attendees can visit World Equestrian Brands at the booth of Gallops Saddlery, who World Equestrian Brands traditionally partners with at Rebecca Farm. Gallops Saddlery provides riding equipment to the eventing, hunter/jumper, dressage, and endurance disciplines within the Northwest region. “We’re happy to have maintained a long-term partnership with Gallops Saddlery,” said Moore. “We’ve set up with Gallops Saddlery at Rebecca Farm for years.” At Gallops Saddlery’s booth, Moore has World Equestrian Brands items such as saddles, bridles, girths, leg protection, saddle pads, and therapeutic equipment available for purchase.

Two of the accomplished riders that World Equestrian Brands sponsors are competing at Rebecca Farm, sporting their favorite tack from the company. World Equestrian Brands is cheering on Buck Davidson Jr. in the CCI3* division. Davidson operates out of his self-owned facility in Ocala, Florida in the winters and Riegelsville, Pennsylvania during the summer months. He has been successful coaching young riders as well as experienced professionals, and is best known for his own successes in competition. His mount at Rebecca Farm is Petite Flower, an eleven-year-old Thoroughbred mare owned by Caroline and Sherrie Martin.

In the CCI2* division, World Equestrian Brands is cheering for sponsored rider Hawley Bennett-Awad. Bennett-Awad is competing on Bodark, a 2007 Thoroughbred gelding owned by Jan and Jerry Hawthorne. Originally from Canada and currently located in Temecula, California, Bennett-Awad has represented Canada in the Olympics and also provides training services to riders of all levels. She is a strong believer in the importance of flatwork, and credits it as a secret to her success.

Bennett-Awad is also competing in the CCI1* division on High Duty, a 2009 Thoroughbred gelding also owned by the Hawthornes, as well as on Cheval de Tonnerre, a 2007 Irish Thoroughbred owned by Ina McRoy.

Of course, part of the fun of a horse show is socializing with fellow equestrians and enjoying the atmosphere of excitement. Moore is enjoying being back in Montana to show her company’s support for Rebecca Farm. “The huckleberry pie is also a big draw!” she added.

World Equestrian Brands wishes excellent rides for Davidson and Bennett-Awad, and invites everyone at Rebecca Farm to stop by Gallops Saddlery’s booth to see the World Equestrian Brands products that top eventers like Davidson and Bennett-Awad always have on hand. For more information about World Equestrian Brands and the tack and equipment it offers, visit www.worldequestrianbrands.com or call 1-888-637-8463.

Robin Moore
World Equestrian Brands
540-264-0154
rmoore@worldequestrianbrands.com
www.worldequestrianbrands.com

Super Sport at FEI North American Championships 2015

Area ll’s Skyler Decker, Camilla Grover-Dodge, Amanda Beale Clement and Morgan Booth claimed the Junior Eventing Team Championship at the FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015. Grover-Dodge also claimed the Individual Junior Eventing title. (FEI/Brant Gamma)

Kentucky (USA), 20 July 2015 – The 41st FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders came to a close yesterday after six hectic days of competition at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, USA.

This is the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, and the 2015 fixture, open to competitors from 14 to 21 years, offered medal opportunities in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing along with Endurance and Para-Dressage. A total of 222 riders were entered, and Para-Dressage joined the programme of events for the very first time.

Dressage

Region 7 made it a sensational back-to-back hat-trick of wins in the Young Rider Team Dressage competition. “It was super close, so kudos to the silver medal team for really giving us a run for it!” said gold-medallist Catherine Chamberlain who, together with Lindsey Brewin and Cassidy Gallman, was also a member of last year’s winning side. Samantha Jenny completed the Region 7 side that earned a total of 199.658 to pin Region 3 into silver medal spot by a narrow margin, while Canada’s Alberta/British Columbia team took the bronze.

And Chamberlain was back on the podium for the individual prize-giving, the 2014 Young Rider Individual champion this time having to settle for silver when posting 68.711 with her relatively inexperienced 10-year-old Avesto Van Weltevreden, while team silver medallist, Natalie Pai, took the gold. Pai steered Fritz San Tino to an individual test score of 69.132 to secure victory, and the 18-year-old from Wellington, Florida said afterwards, “I honestly just came here to have a lot of fun. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out.” Individual bronze went to Quebec team member Naima Moreira Laliberte who scored 68.447 with Laliberte, and this 18-year-old rider from Montreal then came out to win Freestyle gold on Saturday, posting 71.825 to a musical score that she put together herself. “I won’t lie. I only rode it once and qualified!” she said. Hannah Bauer from Virginia, USA took Freestyle silver with Trustful on a mark of 70.000 while bronze went to Kerrigan Gluch from Michigan who posted 69.050 with Vacquero HGF.

The Junior Dressage Team title went to Canada’s Ontario foursome of Vanessa Creech-Terauds, Yanina Woywitka, Georgia Wade and Alexandra Meghji whose total of 200.92 left them less than two marks ahead of the silver medallists from Region 7. Ontario’s anchor rider, Meghji, said, “We’re so lucky to be at this amazing championship at this amazing venue with all of these other girls from across North America who share the same passion for horses that we have. For all of us winning the gold medal today is just the icing on the cake!”

Silver medallists Veronica West, Shelby Rocereto, Brianna Relucio and Mia Slaughter finished less than a mark ahead of Region 9’s Chloe Taylor, Madison Lacy, Bronwyn Cordiak and Allison Hopkins in bronze.

The top three in the Junior Individual decider all finished within less than one percent of each other, with 15-year-old Helen Claire McNulty of Region 2 posting 70.816 with Checkmate for gold. Camille Bergeron from Team British Columbia/Quebec took the silver with 70.079 riding Delfiano and bronze went to Region 9’s Chloe Taylor with Calecto V. McNulty, who finished 11th individually and fifth in the Junior Freestyle at last year’s NAJYRC, said, “It’s pretty cool to come back here and win it!” And it was pretty cool for her again on Saturday when she took Freestyle silver while Bebe Davis from Florida clinched gold with a score of 71.825. Bergeron was back on the podium again too, this time taking bronze. New Freestyle champion, Davis, said, “This is my last year of Juniors; I’m aging out this year. I’ve been working toward this moment for a very long time.”

Jumping

Zone 4’s Brett Burlington, Louise Graves, Mackenzie McGehee and Sophie Simpson led from the outset to clinch the Junior Team Jumping title boosted by a total of five zero scores including double-clears from both Burlington and Simpson. They were already in command when carrying just the single time fault collected by Graves and Zavira at the end of round one, and when Graves’ double-error second time out was the discard they added nothing further to finish well ahead of Zones 5/9 who took silver with a final tally of 12 faults.

The silver medal team consisted of Annika Faught, Emma Wujek, Daisy Farish and Vivian Yowan and the bronze medal winning side of Mexico North included Alfonso Diaz, Carlos Hank Guerreiro, Fernanda Rodriguez de Haene and Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez whose finishing total was 20 faults. This was a back-to-back double of bronze for Mexico.

Gold medallist, Simpson, said, “I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this has been a huge dream for us. Everything was aligned for us today, and we had a great day.”

Team silver medallist, Yowan, was out in front going into the individual medal decider on a score of 3.08 and she never faltered, completing all five tracks set by Irish course designer, Alan Wade, without a single rail down with Vornado vn den Hoendrik. On Saturday she added just a single time fault to take the title ahead of Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez who showed great consistency all week. The 17-year-old rider joked, “This is good, but I think next year I’m going to do Juniors again. I want to have that gold medal around my neck. The first year I was 10th, and last year I was seventh, so I’m moving up!” he said. Bronze went to 17-year-old Sophie Simpson.

The Young Rider Team title went to Zones 3/5’s Kalvin Dobbs, Meredith Darst, Noel Fauntleroy and Jacob Pope. Carrying nine faults at the end of the first round they were trailing Zone 2, Zones 4/8 and Zone 10 who each registered an eight-fault scoreline at the halfway stage. But when Darst’s four faults with Quester de Virton was all that had to be added to their tally at the end of round two, Zones 3/5 came out on top on a final total of 13, while with eight to add Zone 2 had to settle for silver and with 12 more on their scoresheet Zones 4/8 took the bronze.

The Zone 2 silver medallists were Katherine Strauss, Sima Morgello , Kira Kerkorian and Lucy Deslauriers, while the Zones 4/8 bronze medallists were Kaely Tomeu, Brittni Raflowitz, Kelli Cruciotti and Victoria Colvin.

In the race for the Young Rider individual medals, 16-year-old Lucy Deslauriers threw down the gauntlet when collecting just a single time penalty on the final afternoon with her horse Hester, and that was good enough to pin Raflowitz into silver and Fauntleroy into bronze. It was desperately close between the two young ladies, only one-tenth of a point separating the pair at the end of the day but Raflowitz paying the price for two fences down in the final round.

Deslauriers, whose famous father Mario was only three years older than his daughter is today when claiming the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title with Aramis way back in 1984, was adding Young Rider gold to the silver medal she took last year. “I really didn’t think going into this that this would be the end result,” she said. “My horse jumped incredibly; he’s really a dream!”

Eventing

The Junior Eventing Championship came to a dramatic conclusion yesterday with Area ll taking both team and individual gold despite a last-minute hiccup. The CH-J 1* winning side of Camilla Grover-Dodge, Morgan Booth, Amanda Beale Clement and Skyler Decker had a commanding lead going into the final Jumping phase and could afford to have five fences down and still take the title until Booth’s ride, Twizzel, was withdrawn after being held for re-inspection on Sunday morning. That changed the picture completely, giving them only a one-fence advantage as the final test got underway, but they held firm to win through ahead of Area V in silver and Area Vlll in bronze.

And Grover-Dodge led the individual rankings from the outset, steering her 19-year-old veteran, Remington, into gold medal spot when finishing on her dressage score of 38.3. Individual silver went to 15-year-old Madelynn Snoozy with Udealer while Shelby Brost and Crimson took the bronze.

Heavy rain on the eve of the cross-country phase made for wet conditions, but the course rode well. Booth can look back on her tour of the track with Twizzel, who enjoyed such a tremendous career with American star Will Coleman in his earlier years, as an experience to remember despite her later disappointment. After finishing the course Booth said she felt like she had been “riding a hurricane! It was probably the best cross-country ride of my life, so I was really happy!”

Skyler Decker put the emotion of the team success into perspective. She said that, following Booth’s withdrawal on Sunday morning, “We had a moment, and then we said, ‘Okay ladies, we have to do this for Morgan. Let’s get it together and go jump some double-clear rounds!’” Both she and Grover-Dodge succeeded in doing just that, and with just one mistake from Clement their final score of 148.0 was good enough to clinch it. Area V’s silver medal winning score was 157.4, posted by Margaret Stocker, Caroline Testi, Olivia Alland and Barrett Phillips. Bronze medallists Jackie Lemastus, Emily Hagan, Mary Peabody and Hope Walden from Area Vlll posted 161.9. Grover-Dodge said, “I’m so excited. I was just so happy for everyone. Everyone worked so hard, so it’s just the best feeling.”

In the Young Riders CCIYR 2*, Area lll’s Diane Portwood and Cinerescent claimed the top step of the podium ahead of silver medallist Area lll’s Nicole Doolittle with Tops in silver and Area Vlll’s Paige Pence with Class Action in bronze. “I’m so happy with Leila (Cinerescent),” said Portwood. “I’m super happy with her cross-country, that’s both our best phase. She’s a fantastic cross-country horse.”

Para-Dressage

Yesterday’s presentation of the Para-Dressage Individual Freestyle medals marked the end of a successful debut for this discipline at these Championships. It all kicked off with Team gold going to USA’s Kate Shoemaker (Grade lll), Cambry Kaylor (Grade 1b) and Sydney Collier (Grade 1b), while Canada’s Nel Godin-Keating (Grade 1a), Sarah Cummings (Grade ll) and Madison Lawson (Grade lV) claimed the silver.

Collier is a sports personality in her own right, and winner of the FEI’s Against All Odds Award at last year’s FEI General Assembly in Azerbaijan. The 17-year-old, who has the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016 clearly in her sights, steered her trusty 12-year-old Hannoverian, Wentworth to also collect Grade 1b gold ahead of silver medallist Kaylor, but the tables were turned when it came to the Freestyle – team-mate Kaylor coming out on top with Markgard Donnewind with a strong score of 70.750 against Collier’s 66.100 in silver medal spot.

The Grade lll Individual and Freestyle gold went to another of the winning US side, Shoemaker with Pacifect M, while the 1a Championship and Freestyle gold went to Canada’s Nel Godin-Keating and Mr Itchy. And the remaining Canadians were not to be outdone either, Cummings and West Bay scooping Grade 11 Individual and Freestyle and Lawson and her horse Lawrence topping Grade lV Individual and Freestyle.

Speaking after her team’s victory, Collier said, “It’s such an honour to be here as a team, and I’m so impressed with my team-mates and incredibly happy with our horses!”

Endurance

A field of 14 competed in the Endurance Championship including one Canadian and three US teams. And the USA Southeast selection of Mallory Capps, Mary Kathryn Clark, Kelsey Russell, Annie Whelan and Katie Baldino dominated the podium when taking both team and individual gold, while USA Northeast claimed team silver.

Team medals were determined by the top three highest-placed combinations and USA Southeast finished best with a cumulative time of 19:35:15 while USA Northeast registered 20:30:41. The silver medal team consisted of Hanna Weightman, India Orino, Maria Muzzio and Hunter Green. The course designed by Emmett Ross drew plenty of compliments from the competitors and 11 of the 14 starters completed.

USA Southeast’s Kelsey Russell topped the individual podium after another great ride with My Wild Irish Gold who also helped her take the 2011 individual title. The mare is about to be retired and Russell said with emotion, “I won my first ride on her, and she took me to two world championships. It’s a bond I don’t think anyone will ever take away.” The pair’s winning time was 5:43:56, while Hanna Weightman and Syrocco Rabia took individual silver in 5:46:07 and bronze went to Hope Misner with Sweete Legacy who stopped the clock on 5:52:03.

Full results at http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2015najyrc/.

By Louise Parkes

Helen Claire McNulty and Natalie Pai Earn Dressage Gold Medals at NAJYRC

Dressage Junior Individual medalists – Chloe Taylor (Bronze), Helen Claire McNulty (Gold), and Camille Bergeron (Silver) (SusanJStickle.com)

Endurance Medals Awarded and Eventing Underway

Lexington, Ky. – Dressage riders from across the United States and Canada competed for Individual medals at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) on Friday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

In the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championship, it was Helen Claire McNulty (Region 2) who claimed the Gold medal in the Junior division. In the Young Rider division, the Gold medal went to Natalie Pai (Region 3).

Endurance riders competed in their 75-mile race on Thursday, and on Friday morning Kelsey Russell was presented with the Individual Gold medal. The Team Gold was awarded to Team USA Southeast. CH-J 1* Junior eventing competition also got underway on Friday with the dressage phase of competition.

Helen Claire McNulty Wins Individual Gold

The top three in the Junior Individual dressage competition all finished within less than one percent of each other, but at the top of the list was Helen Claire McNulty of Region 2. The 15-year-old and her mount, Checkmate, finished the day on a score of 70.816% to claim the Individual Gold medal.

“I did [the NAJYRC] last year, and I finished 11th individually and fifth in the freestyle. It’s pretty cool to come back here and win it,” McNulty said.

McNulty (Holland, Mich.) continued, “My horse and I, we have had a lot of problems. Last night I said to myself that if you want to do well, you have to start pushing a little bit more and asking a little bit more because he can give it to you. I just did that today, and it paid it off. I took some risks that maybe could have ended badly, but they didn’t.”

Camille Bergeron (15, Mascouche, Que.) of Team British Columbia/Quebec rode Delfiano to the Silver medal after earning a score of 70.079%.

“We train all year to get here. Just to be here and to win is a dream come true. It proves all of our hard work paid off,” Bergeron said.

The Bronze medal was awarded to Region 9’s Chloe Taylor (17, Wimberley, Texas) riding Calecto V.

“I’m really pleased with my test and my horse, and I really want to congratulate my teammates because I think everybody did a really, really good job today. All of the tests were beautiful,” Taylor said.

Young Rider Gold Goes to Natalie Pai

On Wednesday Natalie Pai claimed Team Silver alongside her Region 3 teammates, and after Friday’s Individual competition she will also be going home with a Gold.

Pai (18, Wellington, Fla.) and Fritz San Tino finished Friday’s Individual test with a score of 69.132% to secure their victory.

“I honestly just came here to have a lot fun,” Pai said. “I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. He was such a good boy, and I’m so happy with him.”

Fresh off the USEF Young Rider European Tour, last year’s Individual, Team, and Freestyle Gold medalist, Catherine Chamberlain, came into this year’s competition feeling the pressure of returning as the defending champion, and now, she is thrilled to be leaving with another Young Rider medal. She claimed the Individual Silver medal on Avesto Van Weltevreden with a score of 68.711%.

“I was on a different horse this year. He’s really green; he’s only 10,” Chamberlain said. “We just did our first Prix St. George test in February. It’s been quite the journey with him. He’s a very talented horse. I’ve been thrilled with how he’s really developed over the last few months, and I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s trying really hard, and he’s just such a good boy. This is my last year here; I age out. To come here and to get this result is amazing. I’m very happy.”

Finishing in third and taking home the Bronze medal was Naima Moreira Laliberte (18, Montreal, Que.) on Belafonte. The pair from the team of Quebec earned a score of 68.447%.

Double Gold for Team USA Southeast in Endurance

Team USA Southeast dominated the podium on Friday morning at the NAJYRC. The team took both Team and Individual Gold, while USA Northeast earned Team Silver.

Kelsey Russell, 19, of Williston, Fla., rode off with both the Individual Gold and the Best-Conditioned Horse Award aboard My Wild Irish Gold, a 12-year-old Anglo-Arabian mare owned by Valerie Kanavy. Her teammate, Annie Whelan (Louisa, Ky.), won the Style Award.

Team medals are determined by the top three highest-placed combinations. The USA Southeast team finished with the best cumulative time of 19:35:15, followed by USA Northeast (20:30:41).

In the individual rankings, Russell had the best time of 5:43:56 hours. The Silver medal went to Hanna Weightman (Shamong, N.J.) with Meg Sleeper’s Syrocco Rabia (5:46:07 hours), and the Bronze to Hope Misner (Webster City, Iowa) with Roxi Welling’s GDE Sweete Legacy (5:52:03).

Eleven of 14 starters completed the course designed by Emmett Ross, which drew numerous compliments from competitors.

“Emmett Ross got us out of the mud, and we’re very grateful for that,” said Whelan. Ross spent the entire day before the race rerouting the course because portions of the original route were belly-deep in water from torrential rains earlier in the week.

At the press conference after the awards, there was laughter and tears, particularly when the competitors talked about their horses (three of which are being retired after this event). Among the retirees is My Wild Irish Gold, Russell’s champion mount whom she has been riding for six years and whom will now become a broodmare. The pair previously won this event at the Horse Park in 2011.

“I won my first ride on her, and she took me to two world championships,” Russell said. “It’s a bond I don’t think anyone will ever take (away).”

The Gold medal team roster included:

Kelsey Russell with Valerie Kanavy’s My Wild Irish Gold
Katie Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) with Mary Kathryn Clark’s Questafir
Annie Whelan with Nicki Meuten’s RF Priceless
Mary Kathryn Clark (Eatonton, Ga.) with her own Kalilas Legacy
Mallory Capps (Cumming, Ga.) with Jeremy Olson’s SA Belshazzar

The Silver team members were:

Hanna Weightman with Meg Sleeper’s Syrocco Rabia
India Orino (Albany Township, Maine) with Thomas Hutchinson’s Frontier Random
Maria Muzzio (Clifton, Va.) with Natalie Muzzion’s Laconic
Hunter Green (Star Tannery, Va.) with Cheryl Van Desusen’s Spotless Summer Magic

Area II and Camilla Grover-Dodge Lead Eventing after Day One

The three-day journey to the Eventing CH-J 1* (Junior) and CCI2* (Young Rider) medal podiums started on Friday with the dressage phase of the USEA North American Junior and Young Rider Eventing Championship.

In the CH-J 1* Team competition, the team from Area II leads the way on a score of 126.6 penalties, while Area VI sits second with a score of 144.8 penalties and Ontario currently rounds out the top three on a score of 146.1 penalties.

The Area II team includes:
Camilla Grover-Dodge (16, Lancaster, Pa.) on Remington XXV (38.3 penalties)
Morgan Booth (18, Charlottesville, Va.) on Twizzel (41.8 penalties)
Amanda Beale Clement (16, Phoenixville, Pa.) on Peter Pan (46.5 penalties)
Skyler Decker (16, Mount Airy, Md.) on Inoui Van Bost (53.2 penalties)

Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV, CH-J 1* leaders (Brant Gamma Photos)
Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV, CH-J 1* leaders (Brant Gamma Photos)

This year marks Booth’s third time competing at the NAJYRC, and after learning experiences the past two years, she hopes this will be her best one yet.

“I think the third time is the charm, and I’m really happy to be back because it’s so great,” Grover-Dodge said. “It’s the best week as a junior. It’s so inspiring and who doesn’t want to come ride in the Rolex arena?”

In the CH-J 1* Individual competition, Grover-Dodge on Remington XXV leads the standings with 38.3 penalties for Area II. Booth, also of Area II, sits in second riding Twizzel with 41.8 penalties, and Makenna Rold (15, Delano, Minn.) of Area IV rounds out the top three with 44.9 penalties.

“We went in there and [Remington] put on his game face,” Grover-Dodge said. “He was so rideable for all the moments; he was great.”

Grover-Dodge continued, “He’s 19, so he always has to be in work: always walking, keeping him really fit because he’s older. I’m so lucky to be able to ride Remington, and I just want to do well on him.”

In the CCI2* Individual standings, Nicole Doolittle (Reddick, Fla.) tops the leaderboard with 47.7 penalties riding Tops. Paige Pence (Louisville, Ky.) sits in second on Class Action with 59.6 penalties. Diane Portwood (Marietta, Ga.) and Cinerescent round out the top three on 60.5 penalties.

The CCI2* will not be competing for FEI medals and the team competition is not being held this year due to insufficient international entries.

USHJA North American Junior and Young Rider Show Jumping Championship Farewell Round

Eight horses competed in the Farewell class in the Walnut Arena on Friday morning with Zone 2’s Lucy Matz (Coatesville, Pa.) and Cardella topping the field. The pair posted the quickest clear jump-off round in a time of 38.42 seconds.

Finishing just behind Matz were Zone 9’s Jennifer Gates (Medina, Wash.) and Cadence in second, while third went to Canada’s Ashlee Steffens and Braveheart de Muze.

For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.

USEF Network presented by SmartPak will live stream the entirety of Saturday’s events from the Rolex Stadium and Stonelea Ring during NAJYRC. Visit www.usefnetwork.com to tune in and to find out more.

From Phelps Media Group, Inc./USEF

2015 Adequan/FEI NAJYRC Welcomes 222 Riders

Tuesday’s dressage horse inspection (SusanJStickle.com)

Lexington, Ky. – Tuesday evening’s Opening Ceremonies marked the exciting start of the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC). The Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that 222 entries are set to compete in the championships, which run July 14-19 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Of the 76 riders set to compete in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championship, 41 will vie for medals in Young Rider competition, with 35 lining up in the Junior championship. Teams will be competing from nine regions of the United States, from Mexico, and from the Canadian territories of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia/Quebec, and British Columbia/Alberta.

In the USHJA North American Junior and Young Rider Show Jumping Championship, 27 Young Riders and 46 Juniors compose the Individual competition. A Canadian team, two Mexican teams, and nine American teams will look to secure Team medals in Junior competition, with a Canadian team and eight American teams lining up in the Young Rider Championship.

Two Canadian and nine U.S. teams are set to go in the USEA North American Junior Eventing Championship. Four individual riders will stake their claim on Young Rider excellence in the CCIYR2*.

A field of 16 riders is set to race in the North American Young Rider Endurance Championship, with one Canadian and three U.S. teams composing team competition.

New to NAJYRC this year, the North American Young Rider Para-Dressage Championship has a U.S. and a Canadian team, with 6 individuals hoping to claim top honors.

Stay connected with all the action at the 2015 NAJYRC at usefconnect.com/najyrc.

To learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, visit: www.youngriders.org.

Tune in to the USEF Network starting at 7:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 18 to see the live stream of these rising stars in the sport.

From Phelps Media Group, Inc./USEF

Heraldic and Marcia Hefker Win the Old Dominion 100

Marcia Hefker and Heraldic during the Old Dominion 100. Photo – Becky Pearman.

(Oakland, CA) June 24, 2015 – World-class endurance horse “Heraldic” made a remarkable “three-peat” in winning this year’s Old Dominion 100, widely considered to be the toughest endurance ride on the East Coast, adding to his wins in 2006 and 2010.

Heraldic’s 2015 win with new rider Marcia Hefker, in addition to his prior wins with longtime owner John Crandell III, only enhances his reputation as “a freak of nature” – as Crandell once admiringly described his now 17-year-old horse.

“Our entire company is thrilled to congratulate Heraldic again, and welcome Marcia to the family,” said The ReactorPanel Saddle Company president and CEO Carmi Weininger.

Heraldic was the inspiration and model for his namesake the Heraldic Lightweight Endurance Saddle by RP, which has become the saddle of choice for many top endurance athletes and other riders who are particular about saddle fit and function.

“Heraldic is one of those legendary athletes that changes the stats. To be able to win the Old Dominion, Tevis and AERC National Championship in a single season, as Heraldic did in 2010, is almost unimaginable. Five years later, to come back from layup and win the OD 100 yet again is staggering. We’re looking forward to seeing what this great horse will continue to accomplish,” said Weininger.

Preparation Meets Opportunity

Marcia Hefker came to endurance via barrel racing and team roping in the ranch and rodeo world of her native New Mexico. She rode her first endurance race by accident, after seeing a flyer for what she thought was just a trail ride that sounded like fun.

“I watched horses fly by me,” she remembered, “and I decided, this is the sport for me! Endurance is my golfing: pleasure, relaxation, vacation. The competition is just another great aspect of it.” Through the sport of endurance, she met great friends and mentors – among them Susan Norris, Susie Jones, Anna Wolfe – who still ride together whenever they can.

A nurse practitioner by profession, and now also a nursing home administrator, Marcia is rapidly making her mark in her chosen sport. She top-tenned and has twice completed the Tevis on her 2001 grey Arabian mare, Hindi Bint Samia, or “Cita”, among other notable achievements in the endurance world, including a 2013 ranking among the top 25 FEI (International Equestrian Federation) endurance riders.

John Crandell III on Cody with Marcia Hefker on Heraldic at the Old Dominion 100. Photo/Tom Sayvetz
John Crandell III on Cody with Marcia Hefker on Heraldic at the Old Dominion 100. Photo – Tom Sayvetz

During Marcia’s quest to qualify for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, Cita sustained an injury that put them out of contention, but Marcia stayed on at the Florida qualifier to volunteer. That’s where she was introduced by the US Chef d’Equipe to another volunteer, John Crandell.

“We talked about our horses, how we trained them, and then we didn’t talk again until this January, when John called out of the blue to ask about my plans for the year. I told him I had three younger horses in training, and he asked if I would be interested in riding Heraldic this year. How could I say anything but yes?” Marcia flew back and forth from her home in New Mexico to ride and train with John, who winters in Florida and summers in Virginia.

Marcia, Meet Heraldic

On her first trip to Florida, Marcia just got to know Heraldic, riding but not competing. On her second trip and first race with Heraldic, they won the February 2015 Far Out Forest 50-miler in the Ocala National Forest, where she met the intense competitor Heraldic becomes on course.

“Heraldic is unlike any horse I’ve ever ridden,” Marcia said. “He’s a perfect gentleman in the dressage ring and hacking on the trail, but in the race I discovered I had zero control. I sweated through three layers of clothes! We must have done more miles on the first loop than in the entire race, just circling and circling. After that, we got along great. He showed me how fast he could blow by everybody.”

The next day, she offered to ride another of John’s horses in the 25, where she finished second “without even trying” with Cody, an 11-year-old gelding John’s mother had bred but who had always been “on the back burner” and never raced. Not surprisingly, Cody has now joined Heraldic on the front burners.

A month before the Old Dominion 100, Marcia and her husband Mark Miles flew to Virginia to prepare. “I did a pre-ride of the Old Dominion trail on Heraldic, over three days, with John riding Cody. It was a great time to strategize and develop my plan for the race. Originally John was just going to crew at the OD, but Cody did so well on the pre-ride that John decided to enter him.” A good decision as it turned out: John and Cody finished second to Marcia and Heraldic on race day, and Cody won the AERC Best Condition award.

Winning the Old Dominion 100

Marcia’s plan going into the race was to go steady for the first 80 miles, where five climbs in intense heat and humidity would test competitors, and then kick into racing mode.

“In the high heat and humidity, it’s important to get off and walk the steeps, and run downhills to save your horse’s shoulders. We lucked out early in the day, which was cooler than expected, and some rain along the ridges was pleasantly cool, then as we descended, we hit pockets of humidity.

“We kept a steady pace ascending, going over the rocky areas and saving our energy. In the last 20 miles, we did exactly what we planned, and let Heraldic be Heraldic. He was amazing.

“He pulsed down rapidly at the first three vet checks, which gave us a few minutes lead time. After the fourth vet check, we had a two minute lead and we maintained that. I opened him up on what was essentially a road, into the pouring rain that cooled us off into another vet check. The rain continued to cool us off as we lengthened our lead through the last two vet checks, and we were rested by the time we finished.

“It was just his day,” she said admiringly of Heraldic. “My goal was just to complete, but he had other plans. At age 17, Heraldic is a champion who has raced hard, and that takes extra care. Months before, his nutrition, his health, and our preparations were very focused on this race, and we took nothing lightly. It was very much a group effort, including my husband Mark Miles and stepdaughter Kaitlyn; and John’s family including his son Yancy, parents John and Linda, brother Jeff, and nephew Josh. I appreciate everything they did for us as they were as focused as we were in this endeavor.”

The Heraldic Lightweight Endurance Saddle by RP

“We understand that the endurance trail heightens problems due to stress over time,” explained RP’s Weininger. “If the horse has a physical issue, the trail will reveal it. Problems with saddle fit are magnified.” With the proprietary ReactorPanel® technology, RP saddles respond to the moving horse’s body by flexing and self-adjusting with every stride. Riders report longer, freer strides, better recoveries, and even lower heart rates.

“When John first challenged us to make a lighter-weight version of the RP endurance saddle back in 2012, I knew from our first discussion that this is a man who is all about the details. He makes the supreme accomplishments – like winning and BC at the most prestigious rides in the US – look like an afterthought; all of his time and energy is focused on the day-to-day details it takes to turn out a world-class performance.”

Crandell has a lifetime of experience in the sport of endurance, and he approaches each element of training and gear selection analytically. When he began using ReactorPanel saddles in training rides in 2011, he learned first-hand how this unique saddle system helps horses comfortably carry the rider’s weight mile after mile. But he needed a lighter-weight saddle to make weight in FEI competition, and Heraldic – the saddle – was born.

That’s something Marcia appreciated. “I rode Heraldic in the saddle RP made for him and John. I enjoyed the functionality of it – it’s beautiful, lightweight, and felt like it was perfectly made for Heraldic.”

To customize Heraldic’s Heraldic especially for her, Marcia called RP for advice. “Riding in his saddle for three days as we prepared for the race, I discovered things that I never noticed before. I called RP, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. I ordered fleece fenders to protect my legs over the rigging, and then thought I’d be even more comfortable with a fleece seat cover, so I ordered that, too. Comfortable and functional – it worked out great!”

There’s a ReactorPanel Saddle System for Every Ride

RP has been saddling top trail and endurance horses since the 1990s. Its flexible panel system is tried and tested at the top levels of the sport, with RP saddles going down the trail under every level of rider for more than 20 years, from XP to LD to FEI.

RP’s proven flexible weight-bearing system ensures long hours in the saddle with equal comfort for horse and rider. For top endurance riders like John Crandell and Marcia Hefker, or for casual weekend riders, there’s an RP saddle to suit.

“RP saddles are a unique and entirely different way to comfortably put weight on the horse’s back, with a 20-year history of performing at the highest levels of sport,” explains The ReactorPanel Saddle Company CEO Carmi Weininger.

“Our saddles are popular with top endurance riders from many countries, including some of the most successful riders in the world. These riders, who could have literally any saddle, choose RP because we give their horses a winning edge in competition. Our saddles are equally popular with pleasure riders who demand a pain-free experience for their horse and themselves, even after many hours on extreme terrain.”

About The ReactorPanel Saddle Company

Since 1993, The ReactorPanel Saddle Company has produced the innovative and user-adjustable ReactorPanel Saddling System, the only saddle you cannot buy without a two-week FREE trial. RP makes this unique saddling system in models for dressage, endurance, hunter/jumper, eventing, fox hunting and pleasure riding. Based in Oakland, CA, RP’s industry-leading programs reflect the company’s commitment to providing saddles that are good for horse and rider, and in delighting customers with exemplary service, integrity and fair policies. Join the legions of RP fans by trying one yourself on the only proving ground that counts: your horse! Visit www.reactorpanel.com.

For more information, contact:

Nan Meek – Dark Horse Media Biz
650-823-1671
nanmeek@sbcglobal.net

Carmi Weininger – The ReactorPanel Saddle Company
510-698-6272
carmi@reactorpanel.com

FEI Tribunal and CAS Decisions

Lausanne (SUI), 23 June 2015 – The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision in the case involving Nasser Khalifa N.J Al Thani (QAT) and the horse Brookleigh Caspar (FEI ID AUS40748) at the 120km one-star Endurance competition at Mesaieed in Doha (QAT) on 11 April 2014, following a positive finding for Prohibited Substances.

Samples taken from the horse on 11 April 2014 returned positive for the Banned Substance Heptaminol and Controlled Medications Phenylbutazone, Meloxicam and Dexamethasone. Heptaminol is a stimulant that dilates blood vessels. Phenylbutazone and Meloxicam are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for pain relief, and Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effect.

Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field. Banned Substances should never be found in the horse.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a 27-month suspension on Al Thani, effective immediately from 18 June 2015, in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI’s General Regulations and Article 10 of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Al Thani has been fined CHF 5,000 and will contribute CHF 2,000 towards the costs of the judicial procedure. He has 30 days from the date of notification to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision on this case can be viewed here.

The FEI Tribunal has also issued its Final Decision in the case involving Gillese De Villiers (RSA) and the horse Tra Flama at the Endurance competition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, following a positive finding for a Controlled Medication Substance.

Samples taken on 28 August 2014 from the horse returned positive for the Controlled Medication substance Phenylbutazone and its metabolite Oxyphenbutazone. Phenylbutazone is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory used for the treatment of pain. Tra Flama was vetted out at the second Vet Gate on the Endurance course.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a six-month suspension on De Villiers, effective immediately from 21 June 2015, in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI’s General Regulations and Article 10 of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations.

De Villiers has also been fined CHF 500, will cover the B Sample analysis costs and contribute towards the costs of the judicial procedure. She has 30 days from the date of notification to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision on this case can be viewed here.

Separately, the CAS has upheld the FEI’s principle of strict liability in the application of the EADCMRs in an appeal lodged by HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE) against the FEI Tribunal ruling of 7 April 2014, but has reduced the period of suspension for the athlete from 27 to 18 months.

The horse Glenmorgan, which HH Sheikh Hazza rode to win the CEI3* in Al Wathba (UAE) on 11 February 2012, tested positive for Propoxyphene and its metabolite Norpropoxyphene. Propoxyphene, which is an opiate analgesic, is classified as a Banned Substance under the FEI’s EADCMRs. As the rider and therefore the Person Responsible, HH Sheikh Hazza was immediately suspended from 12 March 2012, the date on which he was notified by the FEI of the positive case. A two-month provisional suspension was imposed on the horse from the same date.

HH Sheikh Hazza conducted extensive investigations to establish the source of the Propoxyphene between mid-June 2012 and late February 2014. In its Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal imposed a 27-month suspension, taking into account a previous rule violation by Sheikh Hazza in early 2005. Sheikh Hazza lodged an appeal with the CAS against the findings on 6 May 2014.

The CAS rejected the athlete’s argument that making the rider the Person Responsible (PR) for the horse is an unnecessary and/or disproportionate interference with fundamental rights, and so unlawful and therefore outside the powers of the FEI. The CAS accepted the FEI’s argument that the PR and strict liability provisions simply mean that if the horse has a prohibited substance in its system, the athlete’s results with the horse are automatically disqualified and the athlete will be banned unless he/she can show that the substance got into the horse’s system through No Fault or Negligence of the athlete.

The CAS took into account that systems had been set up by Sheikh Hazza to avoid inadvertent doping, and therefore decided that the athlete’s fault was “not significant”. As a result, the appeal was partially upheld, with a partial amendment to the FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision. Sheikh Hazza remains disqualified from the event, but his suspension was reduced.

The full text of the CAS decision is available here.

Banned Substances & Controlled Medications

Banned Substances are substances that are completely prohibited for use in FEI horses at any time. Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field. As part of FEI Clean Sport, the live Prohibited Substances Database provides an easily accessible online platform on which Banned Substances and Controlled Medications are clearly distinguished.

The FEI’s General Regulations are here and the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations are here.

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

FEI Bureau Unanimously Agrees Next Steps on United Arab Emirates Endurance Proposals

Lausanne (SUI), 9 June 2015 – The FEI Bureau has today welcomed a series of proposals for reform of the Endurance discipline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but agreed unanimously that further information needs to be provided by the UAE National Federation before lifting of the provisional suspension can be considered. The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation in March of this year following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in Endurance.

The Bureau gave a clear mandate to FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender to work with the relevant departments in FEI Headquarters and seek additional feedback from the FEI Bureau members, before requesting more concrete details on the proposals from the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF). The proposals were contained in a 10-page document, which was sent to the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender on Friday 5 June.

The EEF proposals include:

  • Creation of an EEF Endurance Committee of Enquiry to oversee full application of the rules;
  • Involvement of the National Olympic Committee and National Anti-Doping Committee;
  • Training and education of athletes, trainers, owners and officials;
  • The possibility to ban organisers for non-compliance with the rules;
  • Ensuring EEF national rules are fully in compliance with the FEI rules and regulations;
  • Working more closely with the FEI, including welcoming FEI observers at EEF national events;
  • Full cooperation with the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit inquiry into the duplication of results at a number of events in the country.

The EEF accepts that any breach of these commitments could result in the suspension being reinstated and the withdrawal of the 2016 FEI World Endurance Championships, which were allocated to the UAE in December 2014.

The EEF also detailed the new legislation that has been introduced in the UAE prohibiting the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports in the country and the substantial fines that will be imposed for breaches.

The Bureau discussed the proposals in detail before reaching unanimous agreement that the Secretary General and FEI Headquarters should work together with the EEF to finalise the agreement between the two organisations. At that point, and only once the Bureau is completely satisfied that horse welfare will be ensured at all times, that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and rigorously enforced, and that all pending issues have been addressed, the Bureau will vote on the lifting of the suspension.

“We welcome the proposed agreement of the UAE and see it as a very positive development that they are working to come to a solution,” the FEI President Ingmar De Vos said today. “The provisional suspension can only be lifted if there is a clear commitment to respect the rules before the Bureau can consider the lifting of the suspension. It is clear that more still needs to be done and we require some further work on the details, but their proposals are a very good start to work on the process for reinstatement.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

FEI Meets with United Arab Emirates Delegation on Endurance Issues

Lausanne (SUI), 26 May 2015 – An initial meeting between the FEI and representatives of the United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee and National Federation was held at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) this afternoon to discuss the actions that need to be undertaken by the UAE National Federation before the FEI Bureau can consider lifting the suspension currently imposed on the UAE National Federation.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation in March of this year following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Today’s meeting was chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender. The FEI was also represented by Brian Sheahan, Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI Endurance Director, and Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director. The UAE delegation was made up of Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Faisal Al Ali, Assistant Secretary General, and Abdullaziz Sheikh, Head of the Endurance Department.

“This was a very constructive meeting, during which we informed the National Federation exactly what they need to do before there can be any possibility of the suspension being lifted,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “We are now writing to them to explain all the elements they need to fulfil and requesting a detailed plan on how they will deliver on this and the timelines involved. The meeting, which we hope was the first in a series, was only possible following the withdrawal of the UAE’s appeal against the suspension.”

The FEI made it clear to the UAE delegation that only the FEI Bureau can lift the suspension and confirmed that the suspension will remain in force until the Bureau has agreed that all necessary processes have been put in place by the UAE National Federation to ensure horse welfare at all times and that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and enforced.

Prior to the meeting, FEI President Ingmar De Vos had welcomed to FEI Headquarters Mohammad Al Kamali, Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee, who had accompanied the UAE National Federation representatives to Lausanne. Neither Mr De Vos nor Mr Al Kamali attended today’s meeting.

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Carl Hester Clinches Back to Back Windsor Wins

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck.

May 15 2015 – Crowds were treated to another spectacular day of competition and stunning displays at Royal Windsor Horse Show, including the first win of the week for Her Majesty The Queen who once again was present to watch her horses and ponies compete and Carl Hester rounded off the evening with another near perfect performance and a red rosette.

DRESSAGE: CARL HESTER CONTINUES HIS WINNING STREAK

It was a British one-two in the FEI Grand Prix freestyle to music at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck delighted a full house with their winning test that scored high artistic marks and a final total of 79.45% just short of a personal freestyle best for the pair. The combination, members of the British team that won silver at the World Equestrian Games last year, ably demonstrated rhythmic trot work, passage and piaffe and beautifully fluent changes of which his rider was particularly proud.

“This horse has never, in all his tests, made a mistake in his changes – all he wants to do is his best and he always tries his hardest,” said Carl who was however slightly disappointed with the final mark.

“My aim was 80% and we didn’t quite make it – perhaps the walk wasn’t quite the same as in the grand prix but no matter he was really good. Make no mistake, this arena is a major ring with a big atmosphere and it is so good for us to be able to ride here.”

Carl’s pupil Fiona Bigwood made an emotional return to the top with her young mare Atterupsgaards Orthilia. Emotional as not only was it a big welcome back for Fiona who suffered a serious fall a year ago but she also rode her freestyle to music made for her former horse Mr G who tragically died in a field accident.

“I haven’t ridden to that music for four or five years and it was all a bit emotional for me – I loved Mr G and I love Tilly also,” said Fiona. “I had no idea how she would react to the atmosphere, music and the crowd as she is quite hot but she just got on with it and has such a great attitude.”

The mare, who was found in Denmark 18 months ago, has a natural ability for piaffe and passage and was described by Carl as ‘an 80% horse’.

He said; “All Fiona has to do is to continue increasing her confidence in the ring and she’ll be in the top five in the world – that horse can make us a gold medal team again.” The British pair will both now compete at the CDI in Fritzens in Austria.

Fiona’s husband, Danish rider Anders Dahl, kept it in the family with third place on Wie Atlantico. It was also one place higher than last year for Anders and Atlantico who showed particularly impressive passage.

“He felt very fresh today,” said Anders. “And I am really happy with his attitude.”

Atlantico who has now competed at grand prix for eight years, was formerly ridden by Fiona to win British team silver in 2010 and was then subsequently ridden by Carl when Fiona was expecting before going to Anders. And he is now ridden by their daughter – albeit on the lunge.

“He is just the most kindest genuine horse there is,” said Fiona.

BrowneDRIVING: CROWN EQUERRY WINS COACHING AWARD

It was an outstanding day in the coaching marathon – a renowned favourite at Royal Windsor – which drew an unprecedented crowd round the Castle Arena anxious to witness the splendid spectacle of 16 coaches drawn by lively teams of four horses. Among them was the crown equerry, Col Toby Browne LVO, driving Her Majesty The Queen’s team of bays to an original park drag. His immaculate presentation earned him the award for the best turned out entry.

Col Toby Browne was joined by nine other teams of horses put to park drags, together with four road coach turnouts and two regimental coaches. All completed a nine mile marathon through the Home Park before coming back into the arena to delight spectators. The championship was awarded to Bill Ginns with his team of Hackneys put to an original drag by Marston, while John Brown with his magnificent team of bays put to the Tally Ho Road Coach built by Shanks in the 1890s stood reserve.

At the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix dressage arena it was the turn of the pony four-in-hands. Bram Chardon from the Netherlands, current world pony four-in-hand gold medallist and son of the famous Dutch FEI horse four-in-hand competitor Ijsbrand, has a clear lead from the rest of the field. His closest challenger is Tinne Bax who was placed fourth individually at the 2013 World Pony Championships.

SHOWJUMPING: DUKE IN WINNING FORM AT ROYAL WINDSOR

Ireland’s Billy Twomey thrilled the crowd at Royal Windsor Horse Show with a perfectly performed round on Ardcolumn Duke to take the Bahrain Pearl Stakes. With an early draw in a 17-strong jump-off, the Nottinghamshire-based rider had to put the pressure on with a strong target time.

Twomey“He’s always competitive,” said Billy, who beat France’s Adeline Hecart (Question d’Orval) into second place. “I knew if I put in a good time I’d be in with a good chance.”

The 11-year-old stallion has recently returned to competition having had some time off for semen collection. His comeback began two weeks ago at Newark and Nottinghamshire County Show.

“He’s stepped up again here and I’ll be jumping him in the Alltech Grand Prix [for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy] on Sunday,” said Billy, adding: “I’ve been coming to Royal Windsor Horse Show for years. It has great facilities and a great atmosphere.”

The Manama Speed Stake proved a happy hunting ground for Laura Renwick, well known as a dangerous rival against the clock. Riding the seven-year-old Ulievka de Breve, Britain’s leading lady rider took and held the lead from fellow countryman Robert Smith aboard Candy Boy.

The day’s remaining international class, the Land Rover Stakes, culminated in a 13 horse jump-off. The result was another victory for the home country with Danny McGlynn and Atletico Van D’Abelendreef taking first place ahead of Harry Charles, son of Olympic Gold Medallist Peter Charles, and Vivaldi du Dom.

SHOWING: WIN FOR THE QUEEN

Watched under the eagle eye of a delighted owner, Her Majesty The Queen’s successful campaigner Barber’s Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram, won the retraining of racehorses class having finished second in the ladies hunters on the first day.

Newmarket-based Simon Charlesworth landed the cob and hack titles for the second year running, the former with last year’s victor Fait Acobbli and the hack championship with the exciting novice Mountstephen Showman.

Robert Walker, of Tarporley, Cheshire, continued his winning run to score two more victories today when the cobs Randlestown Rolex and Starry Night headed their class to add to his three wins on the first day.

ENDURANCE: BAHRAIN CLINCH VICTORY

Three riders shared the honours at the third Royal Windsor Endurance 120km CEI2* competition today. First, second and third places were awarded equally to His Highness Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Murbarak Al Khalifa of Bahrain, and Raed Mahmood, also from Bahrain, when they recorded the same finish time of five hours 33 minutes and 11 seconds. In fourth position, with a time of 05:45:02, was David Yeoman of Great Britain, and fifth was Enora Boulenger of France in 06:00:10.

By the end of the day all horses were either safely back at the venue or already on their way home after a wonderful day’s sport.

Saturday Highlights

The highly anticipated CSI3* Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup kicks off the afternoon session and is set to be a thrilling class. Once again there will be a feast of equine entertainment taking place throughout Saturday with performances carrying on into the evening, including the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Musical Drive of The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact Hollie Bostock, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk, T: +44 207 592 1207.

Royal Windsor Horse Show takes place on 13-17 May 2015. Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the 72nd year of the Royal Windsor Horse Show which offers its audience astounding displays in the main Castle Arena, such as The Musical Ride from the Household Calvary and The King’s Troop Musical Drive, the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 230 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. HM The Queen has attended every year since it started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Royal Windsor Horse Show is organised by HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show www.hpower.co.uk.

Royal Windsor Horse Show’s official charity is the ABF Soldiers Charity. The show was first set up in 1943 by King George VI in order to raise funds for the war effort and has ever since continued to donate thousands of pounds to veterans and serving soldiers in need of help.