Category Archives: Western/Reining

European Championships Head to Aachen for Two Weeks of Equestrian Competition

04 August 2015, Aachen, Germany – When Europe’s elite equestrian talent comes together to compete for champion’s title, it creates an unforgettable atmosphere, but when it takes place at the continent’s finest, most prestigious venue, it is un-missable.

For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Only the historic showground on the outskirts of this beautiful town in western Germany, with its outstanding facilities and ability to accommodate a 40,000 plus crowd, could host such a unique event.


They will face the toughest opposition in front of some of the largest crowds many of these athletes have ever seen. The Rolex Equestrian Testimonees will be striving to lead their own countries’ teams to glory.

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, who has proved time and again that he is incomparable under pressure, is determined to add a European Championship title to his tally.

“My horse is going well and it has been a good year for me so hopefully this will continue at Aachen. We will keep working hard and do the best we can possibly do,” said Guerdat.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany’s leading lady rider, who soared to victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen in 2005, knows Aachen better than any other. Having won the title of European Champion in 2007, Meredith will be well-equipped to tackle its demanding courses in the white heat of competition; “It’s a really unique place and the home of equestrian sport,” Meredith commented.

Kevin Staut, one of the most elegant horsemen on the circuit, already knows the sweetness of European Championship victory. He was crowned champion in 2009 – nothing less than a second win will suffice.

Rolex’s Dressage Testimonee, Isabell Werth, has won 11 European gold medals in addition to seven at World Championships – including in 2006 when they were held in Aachen. She will not miss a chance to add to these in Aachen, where her extraordinary record includes 10 Grand Prix victories.

“I always enjoy competing at the Europeans. I will never forget my first individual win at Donaueschingen in 1991 on Gigolo when I was a young rider. There was little pressure on me to win so I had nothing to lose. I just had to go out and do my best. It was my first win at a competition of that size and level. It was amazing,” said Isabell.


Rolex is proud to welcome the newest rider to its family of Testimonees, Bertram Allen, from Ireland. At only 19 years old, Allen has proved he has maturity beyond his years. In 2014 he became the youngest ever rider to compete in the show jumping at the World Equestrian Games in Caen where he placed in the top 10. He will be looking to make an impact as he prepares to compete in his first European Championships and will no doubt be riding the horse that has helped him to achieve so much already, his grey mare, Molly Malone V.

Bertram was one of five riders in the Young Riders Academy in 2014 sponsored by Rolex. The aim of the Young Riders Academy is to assist show jumping young talents in training and preparing their careers as future professionals in the sport. It gives rising equestrian stars the opportunity to embark on a six-month ‘tailor-made’ training programme.


Riders know that this intensely electric atmosphere will inspire them to perform at the very peak of their ability, but that it will also demand exceptional horsemanship skills to contain the excitement of their equine partners and allow them to produce their best work in such a dramatic venue.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.


2013   Roger Yves Bost (FRA), Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulios
2011   Rölf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), Ninja la Silla
2009   Kevin Staut (FRA), Kraque Boom
2007   Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Shutterfly

2013   Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), Valegro
2011   Adelinde Cornelissen (NED), Jerich Parzival
2009   Edward Gal (NED), Totilas
2007   Anky van Grunsven (NED), Salinero

2013   Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), Valegro
2011   Adelinde Cornelissen (NED), Jerich Parzival
2009   Adelinde Cornelissen (NED), Jerich Parzival
2007   Isabell Werth (GER), Satchmo

Rolex Press Room

Media Contacts:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
+41 22 302 2761

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
+44 7770 647 662

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Prepares for an Exciting Season

Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Jacksonville, FL (July 24, 2015) – Eighty acres of horse paradise in Jacksonville, Florida – complete with a giant indoor arena, outdoor show rings, and over 400 stalls – is ready to welcome all riding levels and disciplines for prime events and horse shows this fall. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has served the equestrian community for the past decade. This year has already been packed full of exciting events and competitions, and the fall line-up promises to be just as successful.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will ring in the autumn season with the Ride Lite Dressage show on September 5-6. Next up will be the Southeast Medal Finals on Thursday September 17 through Sunday September 20. The Southeast Medal Finals is the championship hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for USEF Zone 4 and ASPCA Maclay Region 3. The 3,700 seats in the indoor arena will be filled with supporters and hunter/jumper enthusiasts watching adult and young riders vie for first place. As the Jacksonville Equestrian Center spent the summer installing new top-quality footing, competing at the facility will be better than ever for the riders this fall. September will close with the First Coast Classical Dressage Challenge schooling show on September 26-27.

In October, the facility will present opportunities for young riders of all disciplines, and dog lovers too! The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair Association 4H Horse Show will take place on October 17, with prizes available for 4H participants of all riding disciplines. The following weekend, on October 23-25, a smaller four-legged breed will be showing off its talent at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The AKC Pals & Paws Agility Trial will feature AKC registered dogs crawling through tunnels, climbing A-frames, and weaving obstacles.

Already this year, visitors to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center have enjoyed such events as The National Team Roping League’s “Rope for the Truck Event,” featuring ropers showing off their teamwork and roping skills to rope steer. The winner received a brand new truck. In April, over 450 dogs competed in the 2015 CPE National Agility Event. Then horses were back on the scene in May with two back-to-back USDF Region 3 Dressage qualifier competitions.

Penny Gorton, head of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Business Development and member of the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society, explains: “While our facility is wonderful for hosting equestrian events, from show jumping and barrel racing to rodeos and equestrian expos, we are also a great community facility. It’s exciting to have a venue that can support our community and hold everything from charity events to monster truck shows to RV shows. We have an 80,000 square foot indoor concourse and vendor space, which really means the center has unlimited potential.”

Everyone is invited to be part of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center community by attending the upcoming events, or even by leaving a permanent mark on the facility with the Buy-a-Brick fundraising campaign. “It’s great to see people buying bricks in honor of their loved ones, both two and four-legged,” Gorton said. “The bricks not only become a permanent part of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, but they are an everlasting tribute as well.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is located at 13611 Normandy Blvd, in Jacksonville, Florida. The multi-faceted event center hosts equestrian, sporting, recreational, and community events. For information about attending or scheduling events, visit or call Penny Gorton at 904-573-3649.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-573-364
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

Update on Eventing and Reining Championships at the 2015 Adequan/FEI NAJYRC

Lexington, Ky. – The Organizing Committee of the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) has announced that due to insufficient international entries, both the CH-Y 2* USEA North American Young Rider Individual and Team Eventing Championship and the SmartPak North American Junior and Young Rider Team and Individual Reining Championships are unable to be held.

Following the close of Nominated Entries, the FEI requirement of at least two National Federations represented with teams was not met in order to run the Young Rider eventing and reining divisions as Continental Championships. For eventing, the Organizing Committee will hold a CCIYR2*, allowing competitors the opportunity to ride and still feel a part of the championship experience. A CRIJ and CRIYR competition was offered for reining, but due to lack of entries will not be held.

The USEA North American Junior Eventing Championship (CH-J 1*) will be run as planned.

The NAJYRC will be held July 14-19 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

For more information on the event, please visit

From the NAJYRC

German Juniors and Italian Young Riders Shine at Reining Championships in Givrins

(L to R): the silver medallists from Italy, gold medallists from Germany and bronze medallists from Belgium. (FEI/Andrea Bonaga)

Givrins (SUI), 4 July 2014 – Germany dominated the Junior category while the Italians claimed a huge haul of Young Rider medals at the FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015 which drew to a close at Givrins in Switzerland yesterday.

Staged over two days at Corinna Schumacher’s CS Ranch which lies halfway between Geneva and Lausanne, the event attracted 46 riders from nine countries. The flags of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland all flew high, and competition for a podium placing was intense from the outset.

The 2014 Championships saw a clean sweep of gold for the Italians who had produced a hat-trick of victories the previous year. And although they didn’t achieve the same level of gold-medal-winning success this time around they still secured a place in the history-books when the Young Rider Individual standings showed six Italians in a row.

Junior Team

Italy was chasing a fifth consecutive victory in the Junior Team event, but, on her home turf, it was Corinna Schumacher’s talented daughter Gina who clinched victory for Germany. There were five nations battling for the medals here, and Schumacher was last to go for her side.

Jakob Behringer and Rascal Sensation got the eventual champions off to a flying start when producing the highest score of the day, 216.0. But when Lena-Marie Maas and Stun Gun registered 209 and Shawn Wagner and Hollys Electricspark posted 203 the result was far from decided.

It all came down to the last-line riders, and Schumacher really threw down the gauntlet when steering Gunners Enterprise home for a score of 215 to move the final German tally on to 640.0. So although Italian anchorman Eric Ranieri Volpe and Exxcaliber rounded up the competition with the second-highest mark of 215.5, it just wasn’t enough when the scoreboard showed a final team total of 637.5. The Italian scores were consistently strong – both Linda Martinelli and Playgirl on the Rocks and Lisa Werdaner and Arc Pleasetogunyou posting 211 while Irene Merlotti and Snapplejack scored 208. But they had to settle for silver ahead of the impressive three-member Belgian side of Nimroid Vannietvelt (Im Smart and Wimpy), Jinke Stevens (Don John Escape BB) and Amber Heidebuchel (Wimps Lil Prize) who rounded up their total on 628.0 to take the bronze. The team from the Czech Republic finished fourth on a score of 609.0 ahead of Great Britain in fifth with 596.5.

German team coach, Nico Hoermann, said after his side’s victory, “All the riders worked hard to achieve this much coveted medal, and we look forward to the Individual competition now!”

Junior Individual

And Mr Hoermann’s confidence proved well-founded when his side added Junior Individual gold and bronze. Gina Schumacher produced a near-perfect ride with her 11-year-old paint horse stallion Gunners Enterprise whose stable-name is Digger. They were untouchable for gold when scoring 219. “My horse was great for me once again, and I am thrilled with this second gold medal!” Schumacher said afterwards. “I cannot thank my team members and coach enough, my trainer Shawna Larcombe and of course my mom and family who are my greatest supporters!”

Italy’s Eric Ranieri Volpe claimed his second Individual silver medal in a row with his flashy seven-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Exxcaliber when posting 217.5. “I cannot believe how special my horse is!” he said. “Of course when you’re out there your goal is the highest step of the podium, but I am very happy and honoured to have been part of the team yet again.”

It was Germany’s Jakob Behringer and his seven-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Rascal Sensation, who stood on the third step of the podium when scoring 215.5. “My goal was to qualify for my team for the very first time, and I have to thank my trainer Grisha Ludwig for bringing me here,” he said. Having already produced the highest score of the Team competition the previous day he had every reason to be bursting with pride. “It’s a dream come true, and I still cannot believe it!” he added.

It was an impressive result for the Germans who filled four of the top-five places when Lena Marie Maas (Mr Stun Gun) slotted into fourth ahead of Anna Voss (Mandys Little Magnum) in fifth. “I feel like I’m in heaven!” said coach Hoermann. “It’s my first time coaching the Juniors and Young Riders and I must say this is a fantastic group. My hat goes off to all of them and Gina did an amazing job, especially considering this is not the horse she was supposed to ride here.”

Young Rider Team

When it came to the Young Riders category, however, it was an Italian landslide. Big scores of 218 for Andrea Pedrotti (Wimpys Short Step BB) and 216.5 from Alessio Baldi (Icarus Jack) ensured that when Enrico Sciulli (The Gunner King) posted 212 then Sara Ambrosini’s (Figlia di Arc Think Chic) 210 was the drop-score as they already totalled a massive 646.5. In fact the final scoreboard mirrored precisely the same result as at last year’s fixture at the same venue, with Germany lining up second ahead of Austria in third. Just four nations contested the medals here, and it was The Netherlands that missed out on a podium placing.

The Italians finished a massive 14 points ahead of the German silver medallists who posted 632.5, while the Austrian’s 609 gave them a 5.5 point advantage over the Dutch.

“I am thrilled with our athletes even though in the past we have claimed both (Junior and Young Rider Team) gold medals,” said Italian coach Filippo Masi de Vargas. “The level of competition is getting better every year, and the athletes on the team of course change. Regarding the Young Riders, what can I say? We made history! I am truly proud and honoured to have such a great group of athletes!” he commented.

Andrea Pedrotti was delighted with his huge score that anchored the Italian team victory. “This has been one of the most emotional experiences ever, and I am truly happy with the way my horse went for me. I cannot thank my team, my coach and my trainer enough for getting us here!” he said.

Fabienne Kramer (Dual Tuck Tari) produced the highest German team score when posting 214.5, and the rest of her team-mates were closely bunched when Jennifer Luhmer (Peppys Lil Dreamer) earned 209.5, and both Daniel Kalk (Sheza Custom Crome) and Isabeau Riemann (Charlys Cool Running) posted 208.5. Anna Lisec and Whizable took their second team bronze medal in a row for Austria, and was joined on the third step of the podium by Eva Maria Hammerschmid (Golden Jac the Boss), Sophie Frimmel (Taris Bright Sunshine) and Lara Kaefer (Sujo Badger).

Young Rider Individual

Of the 18 who battled it out for the Young Riders Individual medals, Alessio Baldi produced the most thrilling performance with the nine-year-old Quarter Horse RS Icarus Jack to pin fellow-Italian Andrea Pedrotti into silver medal spot. Baldi’s score of 218.5 left him a full mark in front, and he said afterwards, “I was so honoured to be able to ride for my country for the very first time and am even more honoured to bring home two gold medals! I will always cherish this great experience, and of course I want to say a huge thank you to Mauro Esti for allowing me to ride his horse here,” he said.

Pedrotti was almost overwhelmed by the results he produced over the two days of competition. “Wow!” was his first reaction when adding Individual silver to his team gold medal. “After the Italian Derby last June I started riding with Pierluigi Chioldo and Marco Pettinari and I cannot but give them credit for taking me where I am today,” he said. “Being selected was a big thing for me, being able to work with my horse and achieving this result is simply incredible. I have to thank my family for always supporting me. Without them this could not have been possible,” said the grateful competitor. And bronze medallist Enrico Sciulli was thrilled with his result too. “I still can’t believe that we did this!” he said. “Riding in FEI competition is our goal every year and had it not been for Giovanni Guerra who allowed me to ride his horse this would not have been possible,” he pointed out. Three more Italians also slotted into the line-up with Riccardo Calascibetta (Ultra Shine) in fourth and Sara Ambrosini (Figlia di Arc Think Chic) and Martina Penato (Ms Twist Whiz) sharing fifth place.


The 2015 edition of these Championships was another memorable one from an Italian perspective. “Our riders performed a work of art!” said Roberto Cuoghi, head of the Italian National Federation’s (FISE) Reining Department. “They were all extremely professional, showed to the best of their ability and showed us all what team spirit is about. They cheered for everyone, have a wonderful relationship among them and are all loyal to each other. These are all elements that help our sport grow, and I cannot but be proud of them all! A thank you to the riders, the owners, our coach, our Federation, our hostess Corinna Schumacher, her staff and of course the FEI,” he added.

FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Zeender, attended the event and was greatly impressed. “These Championships were fabulous and dynamic, providing super sport. The quality of the riders was outstanding and the infrastructure at the venue is amazing. The complex here is state-of-the-art and the perfect place to stage a Reining Championship at any level. It is really exciting to see so many Young Riders and Juniors with so much promise. Their talent suggests great things for the future of this sport!” she said.

FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015

Junior Team Championship: GOLD – Germany 640.0: Rascal Sensation (Jakob Behringer) 216.0, Gunners Enterprise (Gina Schumacher) 215.0, Mr Stun Gun (Lena-Marie Maas) 209.0, Holly-s Electricspark (Shawn Wagner) 203.0; SILVER – Italy 637.5: Exxcaliber (Eric Ranieri Volpe) 215.5, Playgirl On the Rocks (Linda Rebecca Martinelli) 211.0, Arc Pleasetogunyou (Lisa Werdaner) 211.0, Snapplejack (Irene Merlotti) 208.0; BRONZE – Belgium 628.0: Im Smart and Wimpy (Nimroid Vannietvelt) 211.5, Don john Escape BB (Jinke Stevens) 210.5, Wimps Lil Prize (Amber Heidebuchel) 206.0.

Junior Individual Championship: GOLD – Gunners Enterprise (Gina Schumacher) GER 219.0; SILVER – Exxcaliber (Eric Ranieri Volpe) ITA 217.5; BRONZE – Rascal Sensation (Jakob Behringer) 215.5.

Young Rider Team Championship: GOLD – Italy 646.5: Wimpys Short Step BB (Andrea Pedrotti) 218.0, RS Icarus Jac (Alessio Baldi) 216.5, The Gunner King (Enrico Sciulli) 212.0, Figlia Di Arc Think Chic (Sara Ambrosini) 210.0; SILVER – Germany 632.5: Dual Tuck Tari (Fabienne Kramer) 214.5, Peppys Lil Dreamer (Jennifer Luhmer) 209.5, Sheza Custom Crome (Daniel Kalk) 208.5, Charly’s Cool Running (Isabeau Riemann) 208.5; BRONZE – Austria 609.0: Whizable (Anna Lisec) 212.5, Golden Jac the Boss (Eva Maria Hammerschmid) 206.5, Taris Bright Sunshine (Sophie Frimmel) 190.0, Sujo Badger (Lara Kaefer) 165.5.

Young Rider Individual Championship: GOLD – RS Icarus Jac (Alessio Baldi) ITA 218.5; SILVER – Wimpys Short Step (Andrea Pedrotti) ITA 217.5; BRONZE – The Gunner King (Enrico Sciulli) ITA 216.0.

By Louise Parkes

Marsh and Belden, Jr. Earn Top Honors at 2015 USEF Youth Reining National Championships

Emmy-Lu Marsh and Who Whiz Porter (Waltenberry)

Oklahoma City, Okla. – Rising stars in reining came to the 2015 USEF Youth Reining National Championships on Saturday, June 27 with the goal of claiming a national title. Held in conjunction with the NRHA Derby at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla., Emmy-Lu Marsh earned the USEF 14-18 Youth Reining National title and James Belden, Jr. was the USEF 13 & Under Youth Reining National Champion.

Fourteen-year-old Marsh (Tallulah, La.) was the 2014 13 & Under Champion and was still in top form a year later as she claimed the USEF 14-18 Youth Reining National Champion title. Riding her own four-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Who Whiz Porter, Marsh guided her young mount to an excellent score of 143.5 from the judging panel of Doug Milholland and Brenda Brown.

“It was amazing; I was so proud of him,” Marsh said of her ride with Who Whiz Porter. Stepping up from the 13 & Under division, she added, “It was crazy to be competing against the big kids and receive such a big score; it was great.”

The USEF 14-18 Youth Reining Reserve National Champion title went to 16-year-old Annabeth Payne (Tallahassee, Fla.) after she piloted Chexamillion, her own nine-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, to a score of 136.0.

James Belden, Jr. and TR Chic Magnet (Waltenberry)
James Belden, Jr. and TR Chic Magnet (Waltenberry)

Belden, Jr., a 13-year-old resident of Wellington, Fla., scored top honors in the USEF 13 & Under Youth Reining National Championship. He and TR Chic Magnet, his father James Belden’s 13-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, laid down a solid run, scoring 136.0, and claiming the title.

“It is a surprise and an honor to win a National Championship,” said Belden, Jr. “Pattern eight was well suited to my horse’s skill set and we had a good ride despite a small penalty for a late lead change. TR Chic Magnet’s performance in the sliding stops and rollbacks was exemplary and I was very happy with his circles and spins. I hope to continue to improve my performance with this great horse under the guidance of Dave Moore my trainer and coach.”

Twelve-year-old Bo Van Duys (Parkland, Fla.) and Wimpys Lucky Girl, her mother Holly Van Duys’ six-year-old Quarter Horse mare, received a score of 134.5 to earn the USEF 13 & Under Youth Reining Reserve National Champion title.

Find more information on the NRHA Derby.

Learn more about the USEF Youth Reining Program.

From the USEF Communications Department

FEI Sports Forum Turns Focus to Future of Para-Equestrian Dressage and Non-Olympic Sports

Ingmar De Vos, FEI President, closed the FEI Sports Forum 2015 today at the IMD in Lausanne (SUI) thanking all participants, including the International Olympic Committee, National Federations, FEI stakeholders, Organisers and athletes, and the FEI Technical Committees for all their work in preparing the proposals that were heard over the two-day session. (FEI/Germain Arias-Schreiber)

Lausanne (SUI), 28 April 2015 – The final afternoon of the two-day FEI Sports Forum focused on Para-Equestrian Dressage and non-Olympic sports, with the session being opened by Trond Asmyr, FEI Director, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage.

The decision to limit Freestyle to the top third of athletes in each Para-Equestrian grade at Games and Championships was well received by National Federations. This will be implemented for the first time at a Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. The proposal to implement a change to the drop score system for team results from 1 January 2017 was equally well received.

Key areas from the inaugural Para-Equestrian Dressage Forum in Essen (GER) last month, which was attended by para-equestrian experts and athletes from 22 countries, were also highlighted, including re-naming the grades, recruiting new and young riders, pushing for more combined Para-Equestrian Dressage and able bodied Dressage events, and the potential for an FEI World Cup™ series with sponsor support.

“Maintaining the focus on Para-Equestrian Dressage is our top priority,” explained Trond Asmyr. “A record-breaking 33 nations and 100 riders and horses competed for Para-Equestrian Dressage medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, which was a major breakthrough.

“The Paralympic Games are now the second largest multi-sport event in the world, and next year we will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Para-Equestrian Dressage in the Paralympic Movement at the Rio 2016 Games. The FEI is wholeheartedly committed to growing Para-Equestrian Dressage and creating more opportunities for our athletes to compete at the top-level.”

Proposals for Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Reining

The Technical Committees for Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining made several proposals for consideration at today’s Sports Forum specifically on Championships formats, and with spectator experience at the forefront.

The proposals, which can be referenced in full here, include:

  • Driving four-in-hand: shorter dressage test for individuals; for teams (all in one day): dressage, pas-de-deux and cones relay, or combined marathon; pure cone event for individual drivers
  • Endurance: change from one-day 160km format to a two-day 100km-per-day format, with a controlled start on the second day; maximum of four combinations per National Federation, and only highest placed three to count for team classification; countries starting with less than three combinations only eligible for individual classifications
  • Vaulting: introduce “Nations Format” team classification (composition – one Individual Female, one Individual Male and one Squad); recreating the atmosphere of Vaulting at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 by consulting with event organisers on lighting, music and spectator engagement
  • Reining: maximum number of athletes at Championships: 100; individuals in the Final to choose own music

National Federations flagged the need to safeguard horse welfare and respect rest periods, following the proposal of the two-day, 100km-per-day Endurance format. There was also support from National Federations to introduce the Nations Format in Vaulting and several of the innovations proposed for Driving were backed by delegates.

The session concluded with a Reining Round Table focusing on the revision of the competition and Championships format, pattern classification and a presentation of Para-Reining competitions (CPERIs).

FEI Athlete Committee inaugural meeting

The first FEI Athletes’ Committee meeting since the FEI Athlete Representative elections last year was also held at FEI Headquarters today.

“Athletes play a vital role in the way equestrian sport is developing and appealing to wider audiences, thanks to their experience, passion and knowledge of the sport,” said Maria Gretzer, Chair of the FEI Athlete Committee. “Our first session was a great success, and we’ll be covering athlete career management and athlete involvement in FEI Championships and Games at our next meeting.”

FEI President closes Sports Forum 2015

FEI President Ingmar De Vos brought the 2015 edition of the FEI Sports Forum to a close, thanking all participants, including the International Olympic Committee, National Federations, FEI stakeholders including athletes and Organisers, and the FEI Technical Committees for all their work in preparing the proposals.

“The Technical Committees have put forward strong and sometimes quite provocative proposals, but it’s been done deliberately to make you think,” he said. “The debate that I’ve heard here over the last two days has been very good and there’s been some real out of the box thinking, but nothing has been decided yet. The Sports Forum is a phase in a very transparent decision making process where the ideas of the Committees can be tested against the ideas of our members and our stakeholders.

“The Committees now have a very clear idea of what they have to do on some of the key areas that have been discussed, and they will finalise the proposals before they go out to the National Federations and then to the General Assembly.

“There are also several other areas that need to be further explored, and the FEI will be conducting a survey with National Federations for deeper discussion.

“We know the World Equestrian Games should be shorter and we absolutely need to control the costs and the number of athletes, so that Organising Committees can establish a realistic budget. And we know that we need to be very clear on the more detailed requirements. But one of the most important conclusions from the Forum is that there is a future for the World Equestrian Games and it’s a bright future, as long as we address the issues that have been brought to the table.

“I am confident about the place of equestrian in the Olympic programme. All International Federations need to understand they will be judged on different parameters than in the past. We are living in a more competitive world than ever before and all sports are trying to get the best out of that world. We need to take our responsibility seriously. We will continue to work very closely with the IOC and go to them with our proposals within the set deadlines.”

After thanking delegates for their valuable contributions to the decision making process, the FEI President urged everyone, including those who were unable to attend the Sports Forum, to continue the debate on the dedicated FEI online platform here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

USEF Network’s Live Broadcast of Kentucky Reining Cup Sponsored by TheraPlate Revolution

Photo taken at the Equine Spa and Rehabilitation Center at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses; photo courtesy of Kat Paschal for McCutcheon Media.

Wellington, FL (April 23, 2015) – TheraPlate Revolution is proud to sponsor the 2015 Kentucky Reining Cup’s webcast coverage that will be broadcasted live on USEF Network, presented by SmartPak. The Kentucky Reining Cup has been called the crown-jewel of FEI Reining competition. Held in conjunction with the renowned Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the prestigious Kentucky Reining Cup offers more than $100,000 in total prize money.

The TheraPlate is the Official Therapy Platform of the United States Equestrian Federation, making TheraPlate Revolution’s sponsorship of this USEF Network coverage a natural extension of their continuing support of equestrian sport. The TheraPlate is very popular among top reiners – including Tom and Mandy McCutcheon and Tim and Colleen McQuay – for to its ability to build muscle, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation.

TheraPlate Revolution loves to show its support of talented equine athletes – from offering the TheraPlate to help horses achieve and maintain ideal fitness to sponsoring events such as USEF Network’s live coverage of the Kentucky Reining Cup. The competition will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on April 24-25. It will be the fifth time that the world’s leading reiners vie for first place at the annual Kentucky Reining Cup.

TheraPlate therapy platforms are loved by those who use them because of their ability to relieve pain, promote healing, and improve horses’ fitness levels at the same time. According to Chip Kreiling, founder and owner of TheraPlate Revolution, “Theraplate platforms revolutionize the treatment and prevention of injuries using dynamic movement with zero impact.” TheraPlate Revolution offers platforms for equines, humans, dogs, and other animals.

TheraPlate Revolution also showed its support for other riding disciplines by recently sponsoring the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival and the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The company presented the TheraPlate Wellness Award during the CDIs at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to horses that demonstrated excellent fitness.

To watch the live Kentucky Reining Cup broadcast on USEF Network sponsored by TheraPlate on Friday April 24, go to For more about the next revolution in equine therapy, visit, call (800) 920-3685, or email

Contact: Chip Kreiling
TheraPlate Revolution
(800) 920-3685

Saturday Is THE Day for Equestrian Sports Fans!

Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of one of equestrian sport’s most dynamic days of competition. April 25th (or Super Saturday as it has become known) offers not only the exciting Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Cross-Country day, but also the World Championship Freestyle Reining that same evening. The two events are held together at the Kentucky Horse Park and offer one the most fulfilling days possible for fans of horse sports.

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, together with the Kentucky Reining Cup, is happy to once again offer tickets for Super Saturday at a discounted rate compared to buying separately. But don’t delay! This offer is only available for another few days.

Create one of the most memorable days for your family or group by enjoying RK3DE Cross-Country by day and the World Championship Freestyle Reining that evening – all at a nice discount when purchased together in the “Super Saturday” package.

Click Here to take advantage of this opportunity while it still lasts!

The Kentucky Reining Cup World Championship Freestyle Reining brings the best riders from all across the globe to compete for World Champion title honors and prize money. It’s a must-see event and a great way to enjoy the western side of Rolex weekend. Plus, there are a handful of celebrity riders trying their hand at Reining.

For more information about the Kentucky Reining Cup, click on:

Equestrian Events Inc.
P.O. Box 12110 | Lexington | KY | 40508

Madison Shambaugh and Terk Shine Bright at the Virginia Horse Festival

Madison Shambaugh and Terk, Winning Freestyle. Photo/Kelly Patterson.

“Mustang Maddy” and Terk win Reserve Champion at Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge

(Doswell, VA) April 1, 2015 – Madison Shambaugh and her mustang “Terk” stopped the show on Saturday evening with their freestyle performance at the Virginia Horse Festival’s Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge. Shambaugh, dressed in a flowing, white gown and masquerade mask, danced into the ring with Terk to Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, a song that expressed Shambaugh’s feeling that a wild mustang is like a diamond in the rough.

“I think mustangs in general are misunderstood. I hope when people see Terk they realize what is possible when we have the right tools to communicate with mustangs.” Their visually beautiful and technically challenging freestyle, performed with no bridle, earned the evening’s top score, 60 out of 60 points, from both judges. Prominent AQHA judge Mike Jennings told her, “We didn’t have enough points in our score system to give you what you deserve for your freestyle tonight.”

Shambaugh and Terk won the overall Reserve Champion title and Fan Favorite as well as earning the Rookie and Young Guns Award (18-21 years old) in her first time competing at this challenging event.

Bringing Out the Best

Shambaugh arrived at the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge in Doswell, Virginia feeling prepared and confident in her and Terk’s relationship and ability to compete, but she knew she’d be up against some really good trainers who had a lot more experience than she did.

Throughout the competition weekend Terk was calm, cool and collected. Shambaugh admits her half of the team needed more work than his. At 21, Shambaugh hadn’t competed in a judged discipline in ten years, and found being scored on movements and patterns much different than her experience in the timed discipline of running barrels. Their team efforts propelled them into the finals where Shambaugh could really showcase Terk’s progress and talents. “It’s about bringing out the best in your horse,” said Shambaugh.

“I’d been visualizing this for so long that I didn’t know if it would live up to my expectations, but it surpassed them,” Shambaugh said. “When we got into our rhythm, everything disappeared around us and it was just me and Terk. I was so incredibly proud of him. The feeling you get from taking a horse that has zero trust in you, to doing whatever you ask of them and giving you their whole heart and soul is the best feeling in the world.”

Mustang Maddy and Terk

Shambaugh’s journey to the Extreme Mustang Makeover began when she was a junior in high school, but she didn’t have the opportunity to compete until spring 2014. She signed up for the challenge in New Jersey, but a freak horse accident left her with a broken leg and put her competition hopes on hold. Her second go for the summer challenge in Pennsylvania ended when her mustang developed neurological issues during training and had to be returned. Third time lucky, she partnered with Terk, a 6-year-old bay gelding out of Nevada, who helped her as much as she helped him.

A week before she picked up Terk, Shambaugh’s grandpa passed away. Despite her grief, she immersed herself in the gentling process with Terk and their growing relationship helped her heal. She remembers one of the last things to make her grandpa smile was the nickname her uncle gave her – “Mustang Maddy” – which she had tooled on the chaps she wore throughout the weekend.

Training Terk was not without hiccups and frustration. “I say it’s like relationships with people: slow is fast and fast is slow,” Shambaugh said. It took about 10 to 15 hours of gentling for Terk to get to the point where he trusted her enough for her to halter and lead him. After that, the training process began to move a little more quickly. Their first ride was by the end of the first week, but there were still nights she’d come home wondering how on earth she was going to get him to do a flying lead change. Eventually, the lead changes came – on a straight line with no bridle – along with a bond that would truly touch Shambaugh to the very core.

The Greatest Prize

At the conclusion of each Extreme Mustang Makeover, the horses go up for adoption by auction. From the very beginning, Shambaugh knew she wasn’t going to be able to give up Terk. So when it came time for the auction, the majority of the crowd respectfully held off bidding. One bidder lasted a bit longer than the others, but eventually subsided.

Later that evening, Shambaugh and Terk finally had a moment alone following the freestyle and adoption, where she could shed some silent tears of happiness with her now forever teammate. A woman appeared by the stall, also crying. She said she had been the final bidder and that she had stopped because she didn’t have it in her heart to take him away from her. Shambaugh was deeply touched. From the beginning of the competition it was never about the prize money. She was willing to spend every penny she won to buy him back.

“There’s no greater prize for me than knowing I can go and look at him out the window and know he’s not going anywhere; he’s going to be with me,” she said.

New Beginnings

Shambaugh plans to continue with Terk’s training and eventually tour with him doing clinics and raising awareness of what amazing athletes and companions mustangs are. She said she was attracted to the challenge because of everything mustangs represent: something that’s so free and wild and inspiring.

“I think that the Mustang Heritage Foundation does amazing work because they not only raise awareness for mustangs but they inspire and challenge trainers to really push themselves to show the best of their abilities with these animals,” Shambaugh said. “When we learn how to communicate with these animals in a way they understand, the possibilities are limitless.”

Cavalor® is honored to have been a part of Madison and Terk’s journey. She chose to feed him Cavalor® FiberForce because when a mustang comes out of the wild their diet is mostly forage and she believes it is the closest feed to a mustang’s natural diet. The sky is the limit for these two, and Cavalor® is grateful to share the ride.

About Cavalor® Premium Feed & Supplements:

Cavalor® offers a complete line of horse feed, supplements and care products and has built an international reputation as the world leader in equine nutrition for high-performance horses. Cavalor® has helped thousands of horse owners and competitors understand this very simple but crucially important equation: Proper Nutrition and Care = Top-level Performance and Well-being. Our company’s values are: Innovation – Quality – Results. We dedicate ourselves to inventing, manufacturing and distributing the best quality and most effective equine nutrition products in the world for the health, performance and happiness of all horses, from a foal’s first steps to retirement, and for the treasured backyard horse to the top, elite performer. For more information, visit

About Madison Shambaugh Horsemanship:

Madison Shambaugh is an up and coming young horsewoman from the Midwest who gentles mustangs, starts colts, rehabilitates problem horses, and patterns barrel horses using a natural, no-force method that works off of a horse’s natural motivators and learning patterns. She also offers lessons and clinics in order to share her method, and its success, with others. For more information, visit

About the Mustang Heritage Foundation:

The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events are to increase the adoption of mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover events to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. The nonprofit organization also created the Trainer Incentive Program and youth programs to raise awareness about America’s Mustangs. For more information, visit

The Gulf Coast’s Toughest Rodeo Comes to the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Friday and Saturday Night

On Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, the Gulf Coast’s Toughest Rodeo takes place in the covered arena at the Harrison County Fairgrounds and Equestrian Center, which will close out the most successful show jumping circuit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

The gates for the rodeo open at 6pm and there will be a special Kids’ Hour from 6:15 to 7:15. Don’t miss treating your little ones to free pony rides and kids’ activities! The Gulfport Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint will be vending so bring your appetites for award winning barbeque!

The Gulf Coast’s Toughest Rodeo show starts at 7 and admission is $15 for adults, $12 for Seniors, Military and Children 12 and under are $8, and kids under 4 are free! Parking is free!

Some of the top bull riders and fastest barrel racers in the country will compete under one roof this weekend only. The Bull Riding is sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association. The Barrel Racing is sanctioned with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the Better Barrel Races.

K99 Country will be onsite at the show from 5-7 so be sure to stop by and say howdy to the radio celebrities.

Friday and Saturday nights will be nonstop excitement so be sure to bring the whole family!

Bull riding excitement Friday and Saturday night this weekend only
Bull riding excitement Friday and Saturday night this weekend only

Can’t make it to the Gulf Coast’s Toughest Rodeo? You can still catch top show jumping action this final week of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic! On Friday, the $15,000 Horseflight Open Welcome takes place in the afternoon and the $25,000 eAwardz Grand Prix kicks off at 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

Friday and Saturday nights only the Gulf Coast’s Toughest Rodeo takes place in the covered arena which will close out the most successful show jumping circuit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Don’t miss it!

Each year during February and March the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit welcomes thousands of competitors for six weeks of top show jumping competition and fun on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Gulf Coast Winter Classic hosts their award winning six week circuit at the Harrison County Fairgrounds and Equestrian Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Equestrian Center is a state of the art facility with an extraordinary grass grand prix field considered by top Olympic course designers to be the best in North America. In addition, the facility boasts well maintained, all weather footing competition rings, more than 600 permanent stalls and temporary stalls housing up to more than 1,500 horses, permanent, fully equipped RV sites, complimentary riders’ lounges, a VIP tent, covered arena, and many other features that make both horse and horseman happy.

The 2015 Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit is offering over $1,000,000 in prize money and awards, classes for all skill levels, and of course a big dose of their sweet southern hospitality. You are invited to enjoy and join in on the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s legendary exhibitor appreciation parties, Pizza Saturdays, Happy Hour Mondays and all of the amenities that the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer!

Kids get the chance to get up close to the ponies
Kids get the chance to get up close to the ponies

The area offers world class casino resorts, wonderful musical and theatrical shows, incredible dining opportunities of all types and also features delicious Gulf seafood, award winning museums, beach and boat activities along the twenty six mile long white sand beachfront, and just plain fun for the entire family.

The Gulf Coast Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. For more information on Gulf Coast Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director, at

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311 Johns Island SC 29457