Category Archives: Awards

FEI Awards 2016: Last Chance to Nominate, Entries Close Sunday

2014 Longines Rising Star Award winner Lambert Leclezio from Mauritius, receiving his award from Juan Carlos Capellli, Longines Vice President, Head of International Marketing. Lambert was recently crowned 2016 senior male FEI World Vaulting Champion, in Le Mans, France (FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 14 September 2016 – With nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 closing on Sunday 18 September, there are just five days left for the global equestrian community to nominate their favourites for the categories of Rising Star, Best Athlete, Against All Odds, Best Groom and the Solidarity Award.

Everyone can nominate their heroes via the online platform at www.feiawards.org.

Award winners will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN), in November, where their achievements will be celebrated by over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, representatives from the Tokyo 2020 and the FEI’s National Federations around the world.

“We’ve had a huge response to the Awards already this year showing how much equestrian has captured the imagination of fans across the globe, but keep those nominations coming in!” says FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

“Heroes, heroines, inspirational figures that never give up and make us think ‘wow’ are what the awards are here to celebrate, so get in touch and share with us who you deem should be recognised this year.”

There are five categories to vote in the FEI Awards 2016:

  • The Longines Rising Star Award is for a person aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
  • The Best Athlete Award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level.
  • The Against All Odds Award acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances.
  • The Best Groom Award is dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members who work 24/7 to ensure their horses get the best possible care and attention.
  • The FEI Solidarity Award is for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, and individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 will close on Sunday 18 September.

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI Awards 2016: Global Quest for Equestrian Heroes Begins

FEI Awards 2015 winners from left to right: Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, Hollywood actress Bo Derek, Reem Acra Best Athlete Boyd Exell (AUS), Longines Rising Star Jessica Mendoza (GBR), Against All Odds Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU), Best Groom Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA), FEI Solidarity Anne-Rose Schoen Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI) and FEI President Ingmar de Vos. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Lausanne (SUI), 21 July 2016 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2016. This officially marks the beginning of the 8 week nomination phase that will result in the winners being announced at the FEI Awards Gala Ceremony presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN) on 22 November 2016.

Launched in 2009, the FEI Awards are an annual salute to excellence, determination, resolve, courage and dedication. In order to recognise and celebrate the exceptional individuals and organisations that make the equestrian community so unique, the FEI calls upon the public every year to nominate their heroes via the online platform at www.feiawards.org.

“We are a global sport but we are also a way of life and a community with a very strong set of values,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The FEI Awards honour everyone who make our sport happen and this has been shown time and time again in the thousands of nominations we have received since the FEI Awards were launched in 2009.

“This being an Olympic/Paralympic year, I am sure the performances and the dedication of so many individuals will add to the conversations around the heroes both in and out of the arena and I really look forward to discovering more inspirational stories that make our sport so unique. I encourage everyone to go to the website and nominate their heroes so that they can be recognised and celebrated by the global community.”

FEI Awards 2016 – five hotly-contested categories

The Longines Rising Star Award is for a person aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment. Jessica Mendoza (GBR), who won this award in 2015, has recently been announced as reserve rider for the British Jumping team heading to the Rio2016 Olympic Games! Former winners of this category also competing in Rio, include China’s Alex Hua Tian, described in the Chinese press as “one in a billion” following the 2008 Olympic Games.

Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, noted: “For a number of years we have been strongly supporting young sportswomen and men active in the disciplines we are associated with, such as equestrian sports, alpine skiing and tennis. As we conceive our partnerships on a long term basis, we are keen to contribute to further to the development and outreach of the sports we are involved in. The Longines Rising Star award will be presented for the fourth time to a young talented equestrian athlete between 14 and 21 years. The recipient will succeed to the previous outstanding laureates: American rider Reed Kessler, Mauritian vaulter Lambert Leclezio and British rider Jessica Mendoza.”

The Best Athlete Award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level. It was awarded to Australia’s Boyd Exell in 2015 for his unmatched track record in the sport of Driving, including Six World Championship titles alongside numerous FEI World Cup™ titles. Previous winners of this category heading to Rio2016 seeking to add more Olympic gold medals to their collection include defending champions Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Michael Jung (GER), and Dutch jumping legend Jeroen Dubbeldam, gold medallist from Sydney 2000.

The Against All Odds Award acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances. Last year this award went to Endurance athlete Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU) who following diagnosis and treatment for Phase III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just 17 years of age was back in the saddle within days of finishing chemotherapy treatment competing at events in Uruguay, France, Brazil and Chile. Former winners of this category include USA’s Sydney Collier and Germany’s highly experienced and multi medalled Angelika Trabert, both selected to compete at the Rio2016 Paralympic Games.

The Best Groom Award is dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members who work 24/7 to ensure their horses get the best possible care and attention. Last year, Mexico’s Eddie Garcia Luna was celebrated for his dedication and commitment to Olympic rider Steffen Peters horses.

The FEI Solidarity Award – which in 2015 went to a tailor-made project in Haiti called “Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies” (Horses that heal wounds) providing therapeutic riding for over 250 children affected by the 2010 earthquake and in particular amputees.  The top athletes were then given the opportunity to train in Para-Equestrian sport. This award will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 will close at midnight on 18 September 2016.

Glamorous Gala

The winners of the awards will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN), where over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, including representatives from the Tokyo 2020 and the FEI’s National Federations around the world, will celebrate their triumphs.

Follow the FEI Awards 2016 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #feiawards

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009. Full details on past winners are available here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal Honoured with Longines Ladies Award

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (second right), pictured here with (left to right) FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders (FEGENTRI) and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines.

Lausanne (SUI), 13 June 2016 – Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was awarded the prestigious Longines Ladies Award in London’s Natural History Museum.

The Princess Royal, FEI President from 1986-1994 and now an FEI Honorary President, joined global horse sport industry leaders on the eve of Royal Ascot, Britain’s most valuable race meeting, to receive the Longines Ladies Award which celebrates women who have made major contributions to the equestrian industry.

The Princess Royal is known for her life-long love of horses, her successful equestrian career, and her hard work as President and patron of over 300 global charities and organisations, including Save the Children UK and World Horse Welfare, the FEI’s partner for over 30 years.

At the age of 21, The Princess Royal won individual gold at the FEI European Eventing championships at Burghley (GBR) in 1971 on the home-bred gelding Doublet, and four years later took team and individual silver at the  FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen (GER). The following year she became the first member of the British Royal Family to compete at an Olympic Games as part of the British Eventing team in Montreal (CAN) on the Queen’s horse Goodwill.

The Princess Royal has been President of the British Olympic Association since 1983 and became an International Olympic Committee member in 1988. She was part of London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and was a member of the London 2012 Organising Committee.

Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines, said: “We are delighted to honour Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as the recipient of this year’s Longines Ladies Award. She is a formidably talented horsewoman and deserves huge praise for her achievements and contributions in the equestrian world as both a competitor and administrator. Longines is thrilled to present her with this special award.”

The jury for the 2016 Longines Ladies Award comprised FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders (FEGENTRI).

“The Longines Ladies Award is a fitting tribute to The Princess Royal, who has inspired generations of athletes in equestrian sport and has been a role model for all our athletes aiming for the pinnacle of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“As we count down to the Rio 2016 Games, it is important that we remember how much The Princess Royal has inspired not just our female athletes but generations of women around the world.

“Countless communities globally have also benefited from The Princess Royal’s focus through her many charitable organisations. It is a real honour for our global equestrian community, together with Longines, to celebrate The Princess Royal’s tireless efforts.”

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Longines Media Contact:

Longines International Public Relations
publicrelations@longines.com
www.longines.com

Applications Available for 2016 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

Lexington, Ky. – The search is underway for 2016 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Youth Sportsman’s Award nominees. The award recognizes young equestrians who exhibit exceptional leadership potential, serve as positive role models for peers, demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport, exhibit substantial community involvement, and exemplify positive sportsmanship principles.

The overall winner of the 2016 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award will receive a $1,000 grant payable to the educational program of his/her choice and a commemorative trophy. The winner will also be nominated for the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year Award. The reserve winner will receive a $500 grant payable to the educational program of choice.

Applications are available online at usef.org or through any USEF Recognized National Affiliate Association or International Discipline Association. Required materials should be submitted directly to the applicant’s respective USEF Recognized National Affiliate Association or International Discipline Association and received by the respective office on or before September 1, 2016. Each USEF Recognized Affiliate may select a National Winner, who will be considered for the overall award.

To be considered for the 2016 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award, applicants must:

· Have a current membership in good standing with the USEF
· Have a current membership in good standing with a USEF Recognized Association or International Discipline Association
· Be 17 years of age or under, as of December 1, 2015
· Demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport
· Serve as a positive role model for peers
· Participate at any level of competition, including local, regional, or national events
· Exemplify community involvement
· Exhibit characteristics that exemplify positive sportsmanship principles

For more information regarding the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award, please contact Natalie Norwood, Director, National Breed/Discipline Affiliates, via email at nnorwood@usef.org or call (859) 225-6951.

From the USEF Communications Department

Sharn Wordley and Casper Win Equis Best Presented Horse Award at Tryon

Sharn Wordley and Casper are presented with the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award by Alex West of Equis Boutique. Photo by Meg Banks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper were honored with the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award during CSI 3* week held May 4-8 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, NC. Equis Boutique is sponsoring the “Best Presented Horse” Award at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Horse Inspection during all weeks of FEI-sanctioned competition at TIEC throughout the 2016 season.

Wordley and Casper, a ten-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Sky Group, were selected as Best Presented by the ground jury at TIEC, led by President Michael DeTemple of Brazil. Prepared for the horse inspection by Wordley’s barn manager, Charlie Miller, Casper was impeccably turned out and went on to finish second in the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome before ribboning in the $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday.

“I was really surprised to win the award, but it’s a great idea,” said Wordley in reaction to the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award. “I’ll be in Tryon for nine weeks this year, so all my horses will be braided, and I may even throw on a tuxedo if it means I can keep winning it.”

Wordley was presented with a commemorative plaque by Alex West of Equis Boutique, in recognition of the Best Presented Horse Award, as well as a set of boots from Equis Boutique partner brand Kentucky Horsewear. Already a fan Kentucky Horsewear products, Wordley was very pleased with the prize.

“I was planning to purchase a pair of [Kentucky] boots for this season anyway, so [Equis] saved me some money!” he said.

Casper has been the mount of Wordley for only one year, but he has big plans for the gelding that include the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018. The pair is well on their way after a banner winter that included many top ribbons, highlighted by second place in the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* during week nine of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

“I brought him along slowly, but he has jumped some very good classes,” said Wordley. “Now I will start to use him more. He’s smart, careful, and has figured out how to jump the big, wide, five-star oxers, so he really believes in himself. He’s the best horse I have ever sat on.”

Equis Boutique will offer the Best Presented Horse Award again at TIEC during Tryon Spring 7 and 8, taking place June 1-5 and 8-12.

Equis Boutique is a shopping experience for the discerning equestrian and offers the most convenient and luxurious choice for top equine brands to dress the horse and rider. Featured brands include Parlanti, Manfredi Equestrian, KASK Helmets, Anna Scarpati, Kingsland Equestrian, Kentucky Horsewear, and Dy’on, as well as a variety of imported specialty bits and Official FEI and Just World International merchandise.

For more information on Equis, LLC boutiques, please visit EquisBoutique.com.  Email info@equisboutique.com for questions on the stores and their products.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
Lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

USET Foundation Announces Lauren Kieffer as Pinnacle Cup Recipient

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

Wellington, Fla. – May 3, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI**** is Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, Va. Kieffer rode her mount Veronica to a second place finish overall and as the highest ranked American rider, ultimately earning her the trophy.

This is Kieffer’s second time receiving the Pinnacle Cup after being the top placed American rider at Rolex in 2014. When she received the Pinnacle Cup in 2014, she was also riding Veronica, her seasoned 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Team Rebecca.

“I think she’s quite a beast, that one,” Kieffer said of Veronica. “She’s very competitive in her own head and always has been. We’ve certainly gotten a lot more experience under both of our belts. She’s a very confident horse, and a very mentally competitive horse. She genuinely understands the game and knows what she has to deliver in all three phases. She really fights for it each day.”

Kieffer and Veronica kicked off Rolex with a 43.9 penalty score in Dressage. Her score cumulated to a 51.5 after the Cross country round, navigating the deep and muddy track to search for good ground. The pair ended with a final score of 52.5 after finishing a double clear show jumping round, with one time fault. Kieffer finished behind Germany’s Michael Jung riding FischerRocana FST, clinching the USEF CCI4* National Championship.

On receiving the Pinnacle Cup, Kieffer said, “It feels good. It feels like it validates my program and my team. The first time was a bit of a pleasant surprise, but now we kind of know that our program is working and we can deliver results consistently.”

Kieffer continued, “A big thank to Veronica’s owners, Team Rebecca, and also my other horses’ owners, Monte Carlo, Jacquelin Mars and my team. We certainly couldn’t do it without everyone in our barn and all the support staff.”

With the Rio Olympic Games right around the corner, it would appear that Kieffer and Veronica are contenders to represent the United States. Kieffer can hopefully leverage her success at Rolex as a stepping-stone toward the Olympic dream.

“We went into Rolex and knew we had to deliver and show a consistent performance and she came out of it great,” she said. “We really haven’t planned anything past this weekend. She’ll enjoy a holiday; she came out of the weekend really well, and we’ll just kind of start planning for the summer and fall in the next few weeks.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Lauren Kieffer’s Veronica Named Equis Best Presented Horse at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica jogging at the second FEI Horse Inspection of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo by Betsy Whiteman.

Lexington, KY – USA’s Lauren Kieffer and her mount Veronica claimed the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****, presented by Land Rover, in Lexington, KY, on their way to a second-place finish in front of a home crowd of 25,000 spectators.

The Ground Jury at the second FEI Horse Inspection of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, led by President Ernst Topp of Germany, evaluated the appearance of each horse and rider pair, including grooming, tack, behavior, jog attire, and interaction with the judges. They unanimously selected Kieffer and her 14-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood mare (Pacific x Ferro) owned by Team Rebecca, LLC as “Best Presented”.

“Winning this award really comes down to the whole team,” said Kieffer. “It is not a one day project – my team has spent years and put a lot of work into making sure these horses are as healthy as possible.”

Kieffer gave special recognition to her head groom, Shannon Kinsley, who has been working by her side for more than two years.

“It is great to recognize the effort she puts into keeping the horses healthy and beautiful,” continued Kieffer.

Kieffer and Veronica were one of 54 combinations to return on day three of the event and face the final show jumping phase. Combined with their dressage and cross-country efforts, Kieffer and her mare earned a final score of 52.5, placed second overall, and were the top-placed representatives from the United States.

“I am thrilled with her. We went in with a goal to finish well and sometimes you need a little luck on your side, but she was really on form,” said Kieffer.

Veronica was also second at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2014 with Kieffer in the irons after a long career together. Kieffer got the ride on the mare as a six-year-old after she was imported as a sale horse by Scott Keach and Sharn Wordley. She was sold to Team Rebecca, LLC as a mount for Karen O’Connor, but after an injury sidelined O’Connor, Kieffer took the ride over and has been partnered with the mare ever since.

“She has become a very seasoned mare with a lot of experience,” said Kieffer. “I want to keep her on form and pick away at little things, but we take it one event at a time.”

Kieffer was presented with a commemorative plaque by Cesar Hirsch, Founder of Equis Boutique, in recognition of the Best Presented Horse Award, as well as a set of Eventing Boots from Equis Boutique partner brand Kentucky Horsewear.

“The entire event was impeccably executed and is always a favorite of Equis Boutique,” said Hirsch of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. “The Best Presented Horse Award has become a favorite across show jumping and eventing over the past year, and we were honored to present it for the second consecutive year at Rolex Kentucky.

“Lauren and Veronica were – without a doubt – deserving winners,” continued Hirsch. “It was a joy to watch them at the Horse Inspection, but even more thrilling to see them in action throughout the event.”

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Lauren Kieffer Wins Land Rover ‘Best Ride of the Day’ at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY.) – April 30, 2016 – Lauren Kieffer, the top U.S. rider to complete the cross-country course closest to the optimum time without jumping penalties, won the “Land Rover Best Ride of the Day” and was presented with a 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport 24-month lease at the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover.

The optimum time of 11 minutes and 15 seconds was set for competitors to jump around the cross-country course today and Lauren Kieffer, riding Landmark’s Monte Carlo, owned by Jacqueline Mars, finishing in 11 minutes 22 seconds to win the 24-month lease. The final result came down to a three-way tie between Kieffer, Lynn Symansky riding Donner and Holly Payne Caravella riding Never Outfoxed, who all finished seven seconds above the time. Kieffer won having the best dressage score.

“I said to my friends last night that I really just wanted to win the Land Rover; I am ecstatic!” said Lauren Kieffer. “My horse, Landmark’s Monte Carlo, rode perfectly today and I couldn’t be happier.”

“In true Rolex Kentucky form, the course tested the horses and riders looking to impress the U.S. Eventing Team selectors for this year’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “Huge congratulations to Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo who thrilled the 34,552 spectators with their clear round.  Lauren Kieffer could not wait to test her Discovery Sport on the off-road test drive course!”

For the seventh year running Land Rover North America returned as presenting sponsor of the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, continuing their longstanding support of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and equestrian sports. As one of six annual Four-Star Eventing competitions around the world (alongside the Olympic Games and World Championships), the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. It is therefore an official selection event for the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team, and will be attracting the world’s best riders.

For any equestrian fans unable to attend the event, the NBC telecast of the Rolex Equestrian Championships presented by Land Rover will allow those to stream and enjoy it from home on May 8th from 1:30-3:00pm EDT.

To learn more about the 2016 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, please visit: www.RK3DE.org.

About The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover

The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover is the nation’s premier Three-Day Event and one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI), the world’s governing body of equestrian sports, has designated the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event as a ‘Four Star’ eventing competition, the highest designation, which is given only to the Olympic Games, World Championships, and six annual events around the world. “Rolex Kentucky” is the only Four Star event in the Western Hemisphere. Known as the “Best Weekend All Year,” the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, April 28 – May 1.

Contacts:

Deb Sandford
Nat’l PR Comms & Events Manager
Jaguar Land Rover
North America, LLC
949.510.0529
dsandfor@jaguarlandrover.com

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
508.698.6810
marty@classic-communications.com

Leah Oliveto
Director, Communications
United States Equestrian Federation
859 225 2053
loliveto@usef.org

2016 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix Topped by Brianne Goutal and Onira

Brianne Goutal and Onira (Photos courtesy of The Ridge at Wellington/Equinium)

Beth Underhill Named Leading Rider

Wellington, Florida (April 11, 2016) – As the final horse soared over the final oxer under the spectacular covered arena of Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, the 2016 turf Tour came to a close following 13 weeks of high caliber show jumping and hunter competition. Finale week at the Turf Tour included some of the most technical courses, exceptional amenities, and world-class competitors that have set the series apart on the Wellington show circuit.

The $24,995 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix was topped by Brianne Goutal aboard Onira, one of a group of early double clears that bested the field of riders including Olympic champions and some of the top names in international show jumping. Hardin Towell and Flip clocked in at 35.286 in the jump off to place second, and Goutal and her other ride, Barlon van Groenhove, finished third with a double clear and 36.588. Subsequent double clear efforts were achieved by Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Tic Tac, top ranked Asian show jumper Taizo Sugitani and Hyperion Stud’s Imhotep, New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley with Hickstead’s Axel and Zabel D, and Chilean Olympian Samuel Parot with Cortina 186 and Cous Cous Van Orti.

Because of the threat of inclement weather, Wednesday’s competition was rescheduled for Thursday at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The two 1.30-1.35m divisions were topped by New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Ireland’s Denis Coakley. Wordley, who finished second in the CSI 5* at WEF and only began showing on the Turf Tour later in the season, has been riding the 11-year-old gelding Hickstead’s Axel for 5 years and aimed to boost his position on the FEI rankings. “The horse is a solid competitor, and I’ve also brought some young horses to get the experience,” said Wordley. “The Turf Tour is a great opportunity for both the horses and riders and I’m a huge supporter of it. It’s also a great chance to win great prize money.”

Beth Underhill and Count Me In
Beth Underhill and Count Me In

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill, a frequent face on the Turf Tour, was also frequently in the ribbons aboard her string of horses, so much so that she topped the overall standings. Her achievements earned her the Leading Rider and Leading Lady Rider awards, which were inaugurated on the Turf Tour this year in memory of Sophie Walker and Andres Rodriquez, to equestrians lost tragically just before the start of the 2016 season. Underhill, who recently rode Count Me In to victory in the Week 10 Grand Prix at the International Polo Club was thrilled with the honor and her horses’ performance over the past three months. “It was wonderful to have the horses be so consistent throughout the circuit,” said Underhill. “And it wasn’t just one horse that stood out, but all of my horses jumped great. Count Me In really found is stride and I’m so thrilled for him and his owner Sandy Lupton. I’m expecting him to develop into a national Grand Prix horse in Canada, and I’m looking forward to build on the experience he has gained here for the winter. It’s an honor to be awarded the leading rider awards, and am looking forward to 2017.”

With the goal of developing young horses and advancing riders, the Turf Tour 13-week is a unique addition to Wellington’s growing winter circuit, offering riders top-tier competition, over $400,000 in prize money, and an unparalleled atmosphere. The ‘show when you like,’ open-ended schedule offers convenience and a more distilled competitive environment, without sacrificing the challenge and competition found at nationally recognized shows. Organized by Olympic show jumper Nona Garson, George D’Ambrosio, and Craig Bergman, the vision that inspired the tour’s conception was bringing back the old world flair to jumper classes by staging competitions on springy, natural turf surfaces away from the chaotic intensity of other show grounds.

Due to popular demand, The Ridge also hosted a final schooling show, an addition to the schedule, on April 2-3, 2016 at The Ridge at Wellington. Featuring the same prizelist and schedule as previous shows, the series featured hunters and equitation on Saturday and Jumpers on Sunday.

For more information, visit www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
holly@equinium.com
954 205 7992

Danish Nations Cup Rider Wins Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award at AGDF

Signe Kirk Kristiansen (Photo courtesy of JRPR).

Wellington, FL (April 8, 2016) – As the Adequan Global Dressage Festival drew to an end in Wellington, Florida, Danish Adult Amateur dressage rider Signe Kirk Kristiansen was honored for her accomplishments and commitment to dressage with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award. Every week during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, internationally renowned Dr. Cesar Parra, who was an Olympian for his home country of Colombia and has represented the U.S. in the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2014 World Cup Final, awarded standout Adult Amateur competitors. Parra and his Piaffe Performance Farm proudly presented Kristiansen with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award as she represented her home country of Denmark in the CDIO 3* Nations Cup presented by Stillpoint Farm during the last week of the winter show series.

Kristiansen competed her 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Roberto (Walt Disney x Rubina Langkiaergaard, by Rubinstein I) in the CDI Prix St. Georges in the Nations Cup competition. It was only the pair’s first CDI class and second season competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Kristiansen was one of the only Adult Amateur riders on the roster in the CDI Prix St. Georges, and represented Denmark with her Nations Cup teammates Mikala Gundersen, Rikke Poulsen, and Lars Petersen.

As she competed beside some of the world’s top dressage riders, Kristiansen said, “I don’t even think about being an Adult Amateur. I just enjoy it.” Piaffe Performance was happy to recognize Kristiansen’s accomplishments and efforts throughout the Nations Cup and the entire 2016 show season.

In addition to being a competitive dressage rider, Kristiansen is a qualified veterinary nurse and has owned her own horses since she was six years old. She has been a fan of the Arabian breed since she was a teenager. Kristiansen currently owns Kirk Arabians with her husband in Denmark, and stated, “I’ve trained my Arabians myself since they were three years old. One advanced to Intermediaire I this year, and the other one started in Prix St. Georges.”

Kristiansen travelled to Wellington, Florida for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival this season with three competition horses – Roberto and two of her nine-year-old purebred Arabians.

Piaffe Performance, a successful trainer of both horses and riders alike, praised Kristiansen for her work in developing her own horses. Kristiansen said, “It takes a long time to develop the horses from a young age up through the levels. I do love it because you know where you put the buttons, and you know how to use those buttons. I like to breed and develop my own horses. For me, it’s very difficult to get an educated horse – I have tried and not had a lot of success. I like breeding horses and having my own youngsters for those reasons.”

Piaffe Performance commends Adult Amateur riders like Kristiansen who work hard to accomplish their goals and to succeed in the sport of dressage. As an Official Partner and Sponsor of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Piaffe Performance proudly presented the Adult Amateur Achievement Award throughout the twelve-week show series. Piaffe Performance also sponsored the International Arena Rider Lounge and the Hospitality Tent by the National Arenas at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds to provide drinks and snacks for all levels of riders to enjoy before or after their tests.

Piaffe Performance is located in Jupiter, Florida and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Piaffe Performance specializes in selecting, training, and showing, and facilitates the sales of top dressage prospects for riders at every level. For more information on Piaffe Performance, visit www.GKHorsesatPerformanceFarms.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
www.GKHorsesatPerformanceFarms.com