Category Archives: Publications/Media

Olympic Superstar Valegro Stars in Exclusive Documentary on Horse & Country TV

Wellington, Fla. – Sept. 19, 2019 – Featuring the dressage superstar Valegro on the screen for fans around the world to enjoy, Valegro: Sculpting the Legend is now available on demand only on Horse & Country TV. The exclusive documentary tells the heartwarming story of the citizens of Gloucestershire, England and their inspiration to honor Valegro with a bronze sculpture.

In November of 2017, Valegro’s hometown of Newent celebrated one of the world’s most famous horses with the launch of a project that would commemorate his brilliance for years to come. A half life-size bronze statue of Valegro was to be constructed to proudly stand in the center of the Gloucestershire market town, in celebration of the gelding’s achievements representing Great Britain.

The film highlights the creation of the half life-size bronze statue, designed and commissioned by world renowned equine sculptor, Georgie Welch, who was also tasked with producing 12 limited-edition bronze miniature models. Each of the smaller sculptures, which stands around 11 inches high, will be sold and one raffled in order to raise funds for the exciting masterpiece.

In partnership with Charlotte Dujardin, Valegro, who is owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard, has accumulated three Olympic gold medals and hold multiple world records in all three divisions: the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Freestyle, and the Grand Prix Special. Great Britain’s equestrian dream team of Dujardin and Valegro closed the competitive chapter of their partnership at a retirement ceremony held at the CDI-W London Olympia Horse Show in 2016, but the excitement of their performances is still talked about around the world.

Welch takes viewers through the various processes of making the miniature bronzes before sitting down with Hester, Dujardin, and the other people involved in the project for interviews, in addition to paying a visit to Valegro himself.

“Valegro was a horse of a lifetime – he is a complete legend,” his rider, Charlotte Dujardin, stated. “This lovely documentary gives a fascinating insight into the horse that had brought so much global awareness to the sport of dressage and has a place in my heart forever, as well as for many of you.”

To mark the start of the project, Valegro, Dujardin, and his groom, Alan Davies, made an appearance to the town center, meeting some of the locals who would enjoy the iconic structure for years to come.

Don’t miss out on this exclusive behind the scenes look at the process that has gone into Valegro’s sculpture, recognizing the dressage legend’s achievements. Head on over to Horse & Country TV to subscribe and watch the event’s highlight show to see their podium finishes.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia, and in the United States on cable, satellite, and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

Horse & Country TV to Air Thrilling Highlights from Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Pippa Funnell (GBR) and MGH Grafton Street.

Lincolnshire, UK – Sept. 13, 2019 – As one of the world’s greatest 5* equestrian events, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials draws the world’s leading event riders and enormous crowds of spectators to Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire for the annual four-day event. Claiming the coveted trophy for the second time in history was Britain’s Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street, emerging victorious by a mere 0.1 of a penalty. While the live action took place from Sept. 5 to 8, Horse & Country TV (H&C TV)’s highlight show featuring Funnell’s winning ride as well as the other top performances, including exciting finishes from the American contingency, will air on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. EST.

Join H&C TV and watch the thrilling events transpire as British riders swept the competition in front of their home crowd. Never lacking excitement, the 2019 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials feature a down-to-the-wire final show jumping phase with a field of talented athletes and horses in hot pursuit of the winning title.

Sixteen years after her first win in the 2003 Burghley Horse Trials abroad Primmore’s Pride, Funnell made her return to the top, this time aboard Jonathan and Jane Clark’s MGH Grafton Street. Funnell and the 11-year-old gelding received an impressive dressage score of 22.8 to lead the standings going into the final show jumping phase. Although the pair lowered a rail at fence eight, their determination to remain in the lead was rewarded when they clinched the overall win with an impressive score of 30.8.

“It’s been such an amazing journey and hopefully it will continue, but it’s the horses that have kept me going,” said Funnell. “He’s not the best show jumper but I’ve always been convinced he had a big win in him – what an incredible two weeks with this and the Europeans.”

Hot on the heels of Funnell was Piggy French and Vanir Kamira, who won the 2019 Badminton Horse Trials in May, and Oliver Townend on Ballaghmor Class, who won the 2017 Burghley Horse Trials.

Eleven horse-and-athlete combinations represented the United States throughout the competition with Lauren Kieffer and Ariel Grald earning top 10 finishes. Don’t miss out on the exhilarating highlights of this premier equestrian event, airing on Horse & Country TV on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. EST.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia, and in the United States on cable, satellite, and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

Because of Horses Podcast Celebrates Its 100th Episode with Reiner Shawn Flarida Friday, Sept. 13

Shawn Flarida’s name is synonymous with the sport of reining. One of the most successful reiners in the world, Shawn won five World Equestrian Games gold medals, is a nine-time winner of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, and in 2017 became the first reiner to break the $6 million mark in winnings.

Shawn produces horses for Futurity, Derby, and National Reining Breeders Classic competition, as well as mounts for Non-Pros and Youth Riders. In choosing his horses, Shawn believes that the mind, body, and heart are keys to a great reining horse. He has partnered with dozens of top horses, including Wimpy’s Little Step, Wimpy’s Little Chic, KR Lil Conquistador, and Spooks Gotta Whiz, all of whom have helped him to build a comprehensive resume which includes all the sport’s top jewels.

Every horse or rider who trains at Shawn Flarida Reiners in Springfield, Ohio receives his best, no matter what their goals. He is especially dedicated to helping young riders progress within the sport, taking students from Rookie to the FEI Junior and Young Rider World Reining Championships.

Shawn credits his success to the support of his family. He knew he wanted to be a horse trainer from a young age and was mentored and encouraged by his father, Bill. Shawn turned pro right out of high school, spending two years working for older brother Mike before striking out on his own. Shawn’s wife Michele helps keep the business running smoothly, while son Sam is an up-and-coming reining competitor. His parents Betty and Bill still support Shawn at shows, and Bill continues to offer friendly advice from the sidelines.

“We can’t believe this will be our 100th Because of Horses podcast episode. It is truly a labor of love. Thank you to all our loyal listeners. We appreciate your kind words and comments and love hearing from you!” — Elise Gaston Chand, Because of Horses host

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

Old Friends Hosts Dr. Seuss Kids’ Weekend

GEORGETOWN, KY – August 30, 2019 – Old Friends, The Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, will host a children’s reading and art event highlighted by the newly published Dr. Seuss book, Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum (Penguin Random House), for two weekends in September.

The events, to be held Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 and again on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29, from 2 pm to 4 pm, will welcome children ages six to 10 for a horse-themed afternoon featuring a book reading, an arts & craft session, a visit to Old Friends’ own “Horse Museum,” and a short interactive farm tour to introduce youngsters to some of the farm’s most famous equine athletes, including two winners of the Kentucky Derby.

Participating kids will also receive a gift bag that includes a copy of the new Seuss book and other related goodies.

“This new book offers Old Friends an opportunity to have a focused children’s event, something we’ve not really had the opportunity to do,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “We hope this will not only encourage reading and creativity, but at the same time teach children about the long-term care of horses and other animals, and, of course, raise awareness of our farm and its mission.”

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum is a never-before-published Dr. Seuss book about creating and looking at art. This book is like a visit to a museum – with a horse as your guide.

While beloved children’s book author Theodor Geisel — AKA Dr. Seuss — passed away in 1991, this new book is based on a manuscript and sketches discovered in 2013. Taking inspiration from these original sketches, acclaimed illustrator Andrew Joyner has created a look that is both subtly Seussian and his own.

His whimsical illustrations are combined with “real-life” paintings by such artists as Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Jackson Pollock, among others. The book also features cameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters, among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant.

Fifty (50) seats are available for each session of the Dr. Seuss Horse Museum event at Old Friends Farm, and the cost is $35 per child. Reservations are required (no walk-ins please) and are being accepted now. To reserve, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the farm at 1841 Paynes Depot Rd, Georgetown, KY. Please note: Children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the event.

Payment is required in advance of event (cash, checks, and all major credit cards accepted). Payments can be made by phone, by mail, or in person at the farm.

Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement farm based in Georgetown, KY. The non-profit organization cares for over 200 retired and rescued horses, including breeding stallions. Among the famous residents are 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners Silver Charm and War Emblem. The farm is open to the public for tours daily by appointment.

For more information, visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

Award-Winning Equestrian Journalist Diana De Rosa to Visit Because of Horses Friday, May 24

Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa.

For over 35 years, veteran equestrian journalist, photographer, and public relations maven Diana De Rosa has covered equestrian sport around the world, including the past eight Olympic Games, all eight World Equestrian Games, several Pan Am Games, and FEI World Cups. Diana enjoys creating richly told stories through photography and writing and has over 1,000 published credits to her name.

Diana is the owner of Press Link, a public relations firm based in Farmingdale, New York. Her past and present clients include the Hampton Classic, National and Washington International Horse Shows, USA Equestrian Trust, Healthy Horse Boutique, Running Wild, Dream Works, the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, and Twentieth Century Fox. Diana worked with the late actor Christopher Reeve for eight years before his death in 2004.

A past president of American Horse Publications, Diana is also a longtime member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. She currently is on the executive board of the Press Club of Long Island. Diana’s work has taken her to 30 countries and has even led to a stint in front of the camera when she co-hosted the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show for local TV station WVVH. She was presented with the 2005 US Equestrian Federation Media Award for Photography in recognition of a photo of show jumper Peter Wylde and Fein Cera competing at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Diana dedicated her win to Reeve.

Diana is the co-organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival, held annually in New York City with tour stops around the United States. Notable recent tour appearances by the Festival included the 2017 World Cup in Omaha, Nebraska and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

Diana is a former riding school manager and a graduate of SUNY Albany, where she studied languages.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

A Desert Flight VIP Experience at Longines Masters of New York

Karen Pekarne with her seven friends. Diana De Rosa Photos.

Uniondale, NY, April 29, 2019 — As their cheers filled the air and they pumped their fists, it was clear the eight women who had won the Desert Flight VIP Experience at the world class Longines Masters of New York on Saturday night, April 27, were thrilled. The team behind the Desert Flight movie had done it again and won the hearts and souls of not only that night’s winners but those who had a chance to view the trailer on the jumbotron.

The plan was simple. Each afternoon and evening of this four-day show, April 25-28, after showing the trailer the ringmaster would come out and announce to the audience that he was about to make one group extra happy.

It began with a Desert Flight t-shirt tossed into the stands but in one of those was wrapped a unique VIP Experience. The person or persons who caught the winning t-shirt would go on a fun afternoon or evening journey. Combined with that VIP wristband was dinner in the lounge, souvenirs, and photo ops at some memorable sites around the Nassau Coliseum, before being escorted to the VIP seating area to get the perfect view of this powerful sport.

For the Saturday evening toss, the winning t-shirt was the last to explode into the stands. Suddenly a cheer was heard when a woman caught the final t-shirt and as she and her friends looked inside another screamed. She spied and grabbed the wristband and ran up and down the steps while the group of eight started jumping for joy.

In no time, Desert Flight team leader Stephen Williams, who had come up with the idea, was by their side explaining what they just won and guiding them down the stairs to kick off their evening.

The Desert Flight Experience

The years that led to this evening started with a vision and when the Desert Flight team threw their hat in the ring with those creating equine films, they did it with a purpose. Produced by Tell Studios in association with Samia Staehle’s Filter 4 Productions, the documentary is a compelling look at the horses and riders that compete in this highly demanding sport.

Executive director, Staehle, who competes herself, wanted to show the drive that it takes to be the best in the sport, and the compelling bond that is the only way to make the horse and rider team successful in competition. The goal was to create a film that would become a love letter to the sport of show jumping. It wasn’t long before Desert Flight became just that, evoking heartwarming emotions from everyone who watched or took part in it.

Since its inception, Desert Flight has been traveling the globe and has been showcased at some of the world’s most eminent equine events. In 2018, that journey took them to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC and later that year to the prestigious EQUUS Film Festival where the film won Best of Festival as well as Best Sports Documentary. Since then it’s been traveling to cities large and small enriching the hearts of many and this evening was no exception.

Meeting Some of the Desert Flight VIP Experience Winners

Among the members who will cherish the memory of this unique opportunity was this group of eight friends who decided to enjoy their first horse show together, since how often do you get a world class horse event right in your own backyard? Encouraged by their colleague, Karen Pekarne, from Little Neck, Queens, they decided to have a girls’ night out never realizing how special it would turn out.

When Karen caught the flying t-shirt that revealed the winning wristband the team of eight were over the moon ready to enjoy their magical night. When given the choice of heading to get some nourishment, their minds were focused on only one thing. What they wanted most was to watch all the world class horses from their VIP seats.

“It was a total surprise and makes a great evening even better,” commented Karen as she and her friends posed for pictures.

While rushing off to catch up to her friends before the class began, she yelled back, “I’m excited to see the performances and the beautiful horses. This is really going to be a wonderful night.”

After the night was over, Karen couldn’t contain her thrill for what she and her friends had experienced. “The competition was exciting and different from anything I’ve ever seen. I loved the way the class was run. The riders and horses were just spectacular and talented and gorgeous to watch. We also attended the after party — so fun!”

On Sunday it was a family of four that caught the elusive t-shirt and wristband. Mackenzie Wood, who lives in New Hampshire, had never seen a horse show of this caliber before. So her father surprised her with tickets to the show. She went with her parents and grandfather and was overjoyed when the VIP Experience was added into the mix.

“It was so cool to catch the t-shirt and I was super excited to get the VIP Passes,” she commented as she and her family were getting ready for the competition to start.

Thanks to Desert Flight, a fun-filled afternoon and evening really did get even better!

Just What Is Desert Flight About?

Enamored by the horses, they all wanted to know more about the Desert Flight movie and how they could see it. In fact, this documentary short film delves into the unique relationship with the horse and why those who have been bitten by the horse bug dedicate so much time and energy to their equestrian life.

It is that sense of bonding and the visceral way in which horses enrich our lives and heighten our senses that the team of writers and videographers succeeded in capturing. It shows the strong passion and love that comes with being one with your horse and the incredible connection that these horse show people share. Whether it’s a child with a backyard horse, or an Olympian competing at the highest level, that horse-human bond is very strong.

Initially, the goal was to do something modest, just a 4-5-minute piece. However, that soon changed and grew like the branches of a tree into a full 39-minute documentary.

The film features some of the top equestrians, even some Olympic gold medalists and hearing their stories will melt your soul. The beauty is that even their candid honest words will touch your core as you attempt to hide a few tears.

If you are one of the few who has not seen this film, don’t despair: you can stream it for free via the USEF Network. For those who are not yet members of US Equestrian, a free fan membership is available to anyone using the promo code “desertflight” on the federation’s website (https://www.usef.org/network). For additional information, visit www.desertflightmovie.com and follow #desertflightmovie on social media.

dderosa1@optonline.net
516-848-4867

Six-time Olympian and American Dressage Icon Robert Dover to Visit Because of Horses April 19

Listen to Elise’s conversation with Robert Dover on the Because of Horses podcast, Friday, April 19

Robert Dover’s professional and competitive accolades have left a legacy unmatched by any other American dressage rider. A dressage specialist since the age of 19, Robert’s dedication, creativity, and commitment to excellence have proven influential in raising the standard within the sport in the U.S.

Robert made his first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games at the age of 28. He went on to represent the United States at the next five consecutive Olympic Games, earning four bronze medals along the way. In addition, Robert rode on four World Equestrian Games teams. In 1987, he made history by becoming the first American to win the Aachen Grand Prix since 1960, defeating six-time German Olympic gold medalist Reiner Klimke in the process.

After retiring from the competitive arena, Robert served as the technical advisor/chef d’Équipe for The Dutta Corp/U.S. Dressage Team from 2013 through the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Under his leadership, the team earned a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and a silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. He has served on the U.S. Olympic committee Athlete Advisory Council and the U.S. Equestrian Team Dressage committee.

Robert is well-regarded as a coach to both established and up-and-coming international pairs. He played a critical role in fundraising for the high-performance competition and training program and has taught in several growth and development programs, seeking to increase the depth and skill of riders aiming for the international ring.

In 2007, Robert partnered with the Fox Reality Channel to create and promote a TV show called “The Search for America’s Next Equestrian Star: Dressage.” A field of 400 applicants was whittled down to just six who competed for the chance to become Robert’s second assistant trainer at his Romance Farm in Wellington, Florida, along with other prizes. He also is the creator, producer, and master of ceremonies for “American Equestrians Got Talent” that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for high-performance equestrian sport.

But Robert’s impact on the equestrian community extends beyond just the dressage arena. In 1996, he founded the Equestrian Aid Foundation, an organization which financially assists equestrians suffering from life-threatening illness, catastrophic accident, or injury. He remains involved as the chairman emeritus.

Through his new Robert Squared, a line of luxury vegan leather tack and equipment, he gives a portion of all the proceeds to Equestrian Aid Foundation, Brooke USA, and Danny & Ron’s Rescue.

For his overall horsemanship and dedication to the sport, in 1994 Robert was named the U.S. Olympic Male Equestrian Athlete of the Year. He was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/U.S. Dressage Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart Team Up with Filmmaker Ron Davis to Tackle Opioid Crisis

Wellington, Fla. – April 3, 2019 – Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart of River’s Edge Farm are executive producers of a new documentary with HARRY & SNOWMAN and LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE filmmaker, Ron Davis. The film, TO SERVE & PROTECT, will chronicle a paradigm shift in efforts by law enforcement through the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI) to combat the national opioid epidemic in their local communities.

“We were inspired by what PAARI is doing so we decided that this program needed national attention,” said Berkley.  Filmmaker Ron Davis had just completed LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE, about equestrians Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta. “I was eager to sign on to this project,” said Davis. “This film will be about a solution to the growing opioid epidemic.”

Berkley, Stewart, and Davis intend to raise $1 million through tax-deductible donations to produce the film. “This is a crisis that has touched everyone in some way and incarceration is not working. Treatment is the only answer,” said Stewart.

The producing team is hopeful that people will not only donate, but can interest friends, family, and organizations to contribute.

Watch the Trailer Here.

For more information on the film: SERVE & PROTECT

To make an online donation: DONATION

To contact producers: info@docutainmentfilms.com

Watch the Action of the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on NBC Sports Network

Relive the excitement of the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* hosted during the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Tune in at midnight EST on Friday, April 5 and at 6:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 9th to NBC Sports Network for a special broadcast of the event.

The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* is the premier event of the 12-week WEF season, featuring many of the world’s top horse and rider combinations competing against each other for the top prize of the circuit.

Watch live or set your DVR and check your local listings or click here to find NBC Sports Network.

To learn more about the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), please visit www.pbiec.com.

Dressage Coach and Olympian Charlotte Bredahl Appears Because of Horses Podcast Mar. 29

Charlotte Bredahl. Photo by Kathryn Burke.

DALLAS — March 27, 2019 — U.S. Olympian, dressage coach, and youth mentor Charlotte Bredahl joined Elise Gaston Chand for a conversation that airs this Friday, March 29, on the Because of Horses podcast. Originally from Denmark, Bredahl moved to California at the age of 20 with little more than a suitcase and the dream of becoming an elite equestrian. Known for her compassion, work ethic, and commitment to personal growth, Bredahl quickly rose to the Grand Prix level. She competed 42 horses over 37 years, many of whom she developed herself.

Bredahl is perhaps best known for her breathtaking performances on the quirky and sensitive Monsieur, her partner on the bronze medal winning team for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She returned to the international spotlight in 1997, riding Lugano to the silver medal in the North American Championships. Bredahl trained both horses from start to the Grand Prix level. For Bredahl, riding and training has never been about winning ribbons. She loves the process of developing horses and has turned her focus almost exclusively to coaching and training others.

In 2018, Bredahl was appointed the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Development Coach, which will allow her to help athletes to reach elite performance goals. Previously, she worked as the USEF Assistant Youth Coach and from 2009-2011, was the featured clinician for the US Dressage Federation (USDF) Adult Clinic Series, teaching riders in each of the country’s nine regions. She was presented the USDF Gold Medal of Distinction and named a USDF Honorary Instructor.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.