Category Archives: Championships

Lots of Gold for Germany and Great Britain while Sweden Tops Individual Jumping

The British Eventing team of Ellie Healy, Hattie Grace, Saffron Osborne, and Daisy Proctor. (FEI/Adam Fanthorpe)

Germany claimed all gold in Dressage while Great Britain dominated Eventing and took the Jumping team title. However, the Swedish flag also flew high on the final day of the FEI European Pony Championships 2018 at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire (GBR) when Ingemar Hammarstrom stood top of the individual Jumping podium.

Dressage

The German Dressage whitewash began in the Team event in which Moritz Treffinger (Top Queen), Jana Lang (NK Cyril), Julia Barbian (Der Kleine Konig) and Lucie-Anouk Baumgurtel (Massimiliano FH) joined forces to post the winning score of 226.286. Denmark took silver on 219.028 and The Netherlands finished close behind in bronze on a final tally of 218.715.

Treffinger was outstanding all week, taking triple gold when also topping the Individual and Kur to Music competitions with his 10-year-old mare. And Denmark’s Alexander Yde Helgstrand was also highly impressive when claiming triple silver with his 12-year-old gelding Adriano B. Jana Lang claimed Individual bronze, but it was her German team-mate Barbian who stood on the third step of the podium in the Kur.

Treffinger looks to have real star potential, judges Jacques Van Daele, Yuri Romanov, Isobel Wessels, Elke Ebert, and Maja Stukelj all placing him first for a big total of 81.875% in the Kur which he performed to David Guetta music.

Eventing

It was a story-book finish when Britain’s Saffron Osborne claimed Eventing Team and Individual gold with the extraordinary 13-year-old Little Indian Feather – a lucky pony who was given a second chance and never looked back.

In very poor condition when rescued from a pound as a two-year-old by the Hennessy family from Waterford in Ireland, the mare survived a near-fatal injury and then produced a surprise foal before beginning her Eventing career and eventually moving on across the Irish Sea. She took Team and Individual silver for Osborne at last summer’s Championships in Hungary, and this year the pair went one better when claiming double-gold.

In fifth place on a score of 28 after Dressage, they added nothing on cross-country day to move into the individual lead, and the 16-year-old daughter of trainer and former National Hunt jockey Jamie Osborne found herself with a fence in hand coming to the closing stages of yesterday’s final showjumping phase.

“I didn’t say to myself that I could have a fence down. I didn’t want to jinx anything and rode it like there was nothing in hand. I know that my pony’s a careful jumper but until you’ve gone over the finishing line you can’t be certain!” — Saffron Osborne (GBR)

Ireland’s Sophie Foyle claimed silver with Little Miss Fernhill while Osborne’s team-mate, Daisy Proctor, took bronze with Holiday Chase. And the British side that also included Hattie Grace riding Noble Superman and Ellie Healy partnering Midnight Dancer were crowned Team champions ahead of Ireland in silver and France who finished just one penalty point further adrift in bronze.

Jumping

The battle for the Jumping Team title was a thriller, with the hosts claiming gold ahead of Sweden and a fierce fight between France and Ireland for the bronze. Clare Whitaker, wife of Olympic legend John Whitaker and mother of Louise and Robert, who also compete at the very top end of the sport, was British Chef d’Equipe. “It meant a lot to win on home soil,” she said.

As other nations started to struggle during the second round the GB girls kept their cool. Shaunie Greig with Casino Royale and Claudia Moore riding Elando van de Roshoeve knew they had the gold medal in the bag after third rider Perdi Digby posted a clear with Kayleighs Star to leave them on eight faults. They had a nine-fault advantage over Sweden in silver, but the French and Irish were tied on 20 faults so all four riders from each team had to jump off once more for the bronze. And it went right to the wire, with France shaving a few precious seconds off the time to clinch it.

Although the gold was won, fourth British team member Nicole Lockhead Anderson still rode her final round with Gangham Style – yet another clear – to keep her very much in the running for the individual medals, but it was Moore who came off best for the home side on the final day. The winner was undisputed as 15-year-old Ingemar Hammarstrom and his bay gelding Ocean des As were just too good for the rest when not touching a pole all week to take the title for Sweden.

With just four faults on the board, Ireland’s Max Wachman and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam earned the silver but it took a two-way showdown with the French partnership of Romane Orhant and Quabar des Monceaux before Moore claimed the bronze with the quickest time in a third-round jump-off.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Tessa Downey Captures USEF Pony Medal Finals Championship

Photo: Tessa Downey and Hallelujah.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 12, 2018 – The 2018 USEF Pony Finals drew to a close Sunday, but not before one more champion was crowned following the capstone event of the week, the 2018 Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals. Nearly 200 young riders aboard small, medium, and large ponies took their turns around the equitation track inside the Alltech Arena, and ultimately it was Tessa Downey aboard Hallelujah who outshone the large pack to earn the coveted winning title. Downey added to an already outstanding week with her new accolade, as the 13-year-old rider also earned the tricolor just one day ago in the Medium Regular Pony Hunters.

Riding 112th in the original order of go, Downey set the bar high for those that would follow her performance with a first-rate display of equitation riding, surpassing almost the entire herd of pony riders that had already jumped the 11-fence track. Designer Jasen Shelley’s winding first round course offered exhibitors a number of chances to display their skills, with a handful of inside turn options in addition to a trot fence and a required halt following the final obstacle to conclude the test before exiting. After watching more than 190 pony-and-rider partners tackle the course, judges Jeffrey Ayers and William Ellis awarded Downey the second slot on the callback behind Alexandra Lynn Willner, who had the reins on a medium pony, to emerge as one of the early frontrunners headed into phase two thanks to her precise and quiet riding.

Whittled down to an elite 20 riders, the second portion of the 2018 Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals brought back the remaining contenders, with riders aboard small ponies trying their hands around the abridged pattern first, followed by the larges and finally the mediums in order to allow the leading pair to ride last. Of the returning crew, four duos were smalls, 11 were mediums and five were larges. Slightly shortened to nine obstacles, the second sequence of fences asked riders to halt after fence two and then immediately canter to the subsequent vertical only a few strides away. Though Downey was ranked second in the standings, she returned as the ninth out of 20, due to the larger group of medium pony riders that would ride last. As noted by Judges Ayers and Ellis, Downey improved upon first round performance to put her at the top of the scorecard with 11 left to ride, and ultimately overthrew the initial leader and leapfrogged to the top to claim the championship honors.

Adding to her impressive performance is the fact that Downey first took up the reins on Hallelujah just four days ago, and this week was her first time competing on a large pony. Based in Texas, Downey is trained by Peter Pletcher and made her fourth appearance at the USEF Pony Finals this year. Though the young rider had never made it to the winner’s circle before, Sunday’s win gives her double the reasons to celebrate after her divisional win earlier in the week.

Though third-phase testing was a possibility should the judges panel opt for it, Ellis and Ayers chose not to ask for a final work-off, citing that the creme of the crop was easily distinguishable. Of the original top five, only two entrants retained their status, with three riders moving up the ranks with their second phase performances. Advancing from sixth place, Reilly Gogul nabbed the reserve championship behind Downey, followed by Alexa Lignelli and Maddie Tosh, up from seventh, in the third and fourth positions, respectively. Alexandra Miller finished in fifth place, making the move up from 12th after the first round.

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

Star Power in Abundance at North American Youth Championships

Olivia Stephenson and Chaccana. (FEI/SELPhotography)

Team dominance and three double-gold medalists highlight rebranded youth championships

Rebranded with a new title after more than four decades as the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, the 2018 FEI North American Youth Championships brought together some of the brightest young stars in the sports of show jumping and dressage. With numerous zones and regions represented, the United States dominated the podium, but a new division proved that Canada has an incredibly strong group of youth competitors coming up through the ranks.

Children

For the first time in its 44-year history, a children’s division of show jumping was added to the Championships, showcasing riders in the 12-14 age bracket. Capitalizing on this new opportunity was Team Canada, consisting of Charlotte McLaughlin (Bronan), Stella Chernoff (Filia van de Bisschop), Eric Krawitt (Wellington), and Olivia Stephenson (Chaccana). The quartet was positively dominant on the day, finishing on a perfect score of 0 to win the inaugural USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Team Championship at the FEI North American Youth Championships. The silver medal went to the combined team of Zones 3, 4, 5 and 7 on 12 faults, while Mexico earned the bronze with a score of 20.

Both Charlotte McLaughlin, 14, and Olivia Stephenson, 12, put in double clear efforts for their team.

“This has been a goal of mine since I started riding when I was six,” said McLaughlin, Ottawa, ON. “I’m so proud to be doing this at such a young age. I never thought it would happen so soon, but I have to thank my amazing coaches and [chef d’equipe Beth Underhill] so much for this opportunity. It’s been amazing.”

The individual title came down to a three-horse jump-off, as Canadians Stephenson and McLaughlin, along with Guatemala’s Valentina Arenas Saravia, finished on perfect scores of 0 after three rounds of jumping. Ultimately, Stephenson prevailed over a final shortened track to claim the USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. McLaughlin was silver, and Arenas Saravia received the bronze medal.

Juniors

It was redemption for Charlise Casas (Rembrandt Blue), Alexandra Pielet (Helene VE), from Zone 5 in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Team Championship. Casas and Pielet, both 17, finished out of the medals when jumping for their zone in 2017. Alongside team newcomers Paige Matthies (Dirkie Z) and Emma Kurtz (Pippi), they went all the way to the top of the podium in 2018, claiming gold with 17.88 penalties. Mexico West received the silver medal, and Canada was bronze.

“Being on a team has always been a dream of mine, but to win gold on team with my three best friends is a dream come true.” — Alexandra Pielet (Zone 5)

Pielet earned a second gold medal when prevailing in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Individual Championship. After three rounds of jumping, Pielet, who hails from Highland Park, IL, finished on just 5.36 faults. Representing Zone 4, Elli Yaeger (Waliba VDL) received the silver medal (11.80), just ahead of Puerto Rico’s bronze medalist, Claudia Villamil (Quite Close vd Smis, 12.00).

The competition was close in the quest for the USDF North American Junior Dressage Team Championships. Caroline Garren (Bell Angelo) clinched the gold medal for Region 3 with a team-high score of 68.606%. Juliette Cain (Mariska), Melanie Doughty (Fascinata), and Isabelle Braden (Dali de la Ferme Rose) joined her atop the podium; they combined for a team total of 202.787, just ahead of an even closer race for silver. Region 4 (199.362) clinched that medal, while Canada Central (199.151) earned bronze.

U.S. riders claimed the top two spots on the podium in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Individual Championships. Garren was again atop the podium, riding to a score of 70.147%. Region 4’s Bianca Schmidt (Lou Heart) was silver, and Canada’s Chase Robertson (Winsome) received the bronze medal. The two riders finished with not only identical scores (70.029%), but also the same collective marks, so the collective mark from the judge at C became the necessary tiebreaker.

Garren’s individual gold was especially rewarding, considering her winning mount is the first horse she has ever owned outright and the first horse she has brought up from a young age. Her family acquired him three years ago when the bay was a 7-year-old.

“The feeling is so amazing,” she said. “It’s been a really wonderful experience growing and learning with [Bell Angelo], so to see all those years of work payoff is really exciting.”

Robertson didn’t need a tiebreaker when she rode to top honors in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Freestyle Championship. This time, her 73.775% score put her safely at the top, while Schmidt (71.905%) received the silver medal, and Garren (71.490%) rounded out the podium with the bronze.

Young Riders

A “dream team” of sorts came together for Zone 2 in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Team Championship. NAYC veterans Katherine Strauss (All In), Ailish Cunniffe (Baloucento), and Madison Goetzmann (Prestigious) joined event rookie Samantha Cohen (Carmen) to notch a runaway victory for gold, finishing more than 20 points ahead of the silver medalists from Zone 10. Mexico brought home the silver medal — their first Young Rider medal in 10 years.

All four riders have already competed against seniors at the international level, with Strauss and Goetzmann both having jumped in five-star competition Spruce Meadows (CAN) in the past year.

“I’m so excited to help add a gold medal to Zone 2’s long list of medals,” said Strauss, 19. “We’re all extremely grateful and proud to represent a team that’s historically been so successful. There are so many riders who rode for Zone 2 who we all look up to today, like McLain Ward, Georgina Bloomberg, Reed Kessler, and the list goes on. We’re really thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to gain this team experience.”

Daisy Farish (Great White) was nearly perfect in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. The 17-year-old representing the combined team of Zones 4 and 5, and her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding finished on a score of four after three rounds of jumping. Cohen earned a second medal with an individual silver (5.14), while Zone 1’s McKayla Langmeier (Durosa W) was the individual bronze medalist (6.28).

The combined Dressage Young Riders Team of Quebec and Alberta was the only group consisting of just three riders, meaning the trio would not have the luxury of having a drop score. But that did nothing to stop them, as Rakeya Moussa (Davidoff v.h. Trichelhof), Beatrice Boucher (Delfiano), and Camille Carier Bergeron (Baldacci) claimed the gold medal for Canada with a team total of 210.145. Region 4/7 finished with the silver medal and Region 1 earned bronze.

Zone 2 was kept off the podium despite team member Callie Jones (Don Philippo) delivering the day’s highest score, 71.823. But the 20-year-old only had to wait a day to get her podium moment. She won the USDF North American Young Rider Individual Championship with a score of 72.20%. Boucher, earning her second medal of the Championships, was the silver medalist, and Kayla Kadlubek (Perfect Step) of Region 1 was bronze. Anna Weniger (Don Derrick) moved up the podium to top the USDF North American Young Rider Dressage Freestyle Championship after contributing to a team bronze medal for Region 1. Her score of 74.225% catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard, just ahead of Boucher (72.800%) and Jones (72.775%).

“I have been fortunate enough to ride on some young rider teams the last few years, but winning an individual medal is way more than I ever imagined,” Weniger said.

Full results here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

The Next Generation of Superstars Emerge at Ermelo

The fabulous black stallion, Glamourdale, won the Seven-Year-Old Final for Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry at the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships 2018 in Ermelo (NED). (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

The Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses 2018 certainly didn’t disappoint as 22,000 visitors from all across the globe enjoyed five days of spectacular sport. This was the third time for the event to take place in Ermelo (NED), and a total of 180 horses from 19 studbooks lined out in the three age categories. The Westphalian stallion, Revolution, claimed the Five-Year-Old title, the Hannoverian, d’Avie, topped the Six-Year-Olds and the KWPN, Glamourdale, clinched pole position in the Seven-Year-Old division. And as the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Aat Both, pointed out, “The overall quality was formidable!”

Five-Year-Olds

Winner of the first qualifying competition, Revolution (Rocky Lee x Rouletto) earned a massive 9.62 points and posted two perfect-10 scores in the Final. Ground Jury member Maria Colliander described him as “a rockstar, a powerhouse” after he pinned the Hannoverian stallion, Destacado (Desperados x Londonderry) ridden by Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, into runner-up spot and and the Oldenburg mare, Candy OLD (Sir Donnerhall x Furst Heinrich) with Rath’s compatriot Eva Moller on board into third.

Revolution’s Danish rider, Andreas Helgstrand (41), was very proud of his rising star.

“I always say that all of our horses are for sale, but this one is special to me. What else can you wish for? He has such a nice character; it is out of this world! I previously owned the triple world champion Sezuan, but I think Revolution is even more complete!” — Andreas Helgstrand (DEN)

Seven-Year-Olds

The medals for the oldest category of horses were next to be decided, and the four that were heading the leaderboard going into the finale remained at the top, but not in the same order. Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) was in third as the day began and the powerful black stallion proved to be the show-stealer, also picking up a 10 for his fantastic canter.

Posting a mark of 87.050 for British rider Charlotte Fry (22) he was almost three percentage points clear of the KWPN stallion Governor-Str and Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen who were taking their second silver medal in 12 months, while Norway’s isabel Freese steered the Hannoverian, Fuersten-Look (Furstenball x Londonderry), into bronze. The latter was the leading pair as the day began, but a mistake in the last line of their test cost them dearly.

“I have never experienced anything like this. I can’t believe it! I am so thankful that I get to ride such a good horse!” — Charlotte Fry (GBR)

Six-Year-Olds

Last but not least to take their places on the podium was the six-year-old contingent and it was a special moment for Spanish rider Severo Jurado Lopez when he collected his fourth gold medal and his third in succession at Ermelo. That meant he also claimed his third Longines watch.

His Hannoverian chestnut d’Avie (Don Juan de Hus x Londonderry) collected 9.26 points to finish just ahead of Germany’s Laura Strobel with the Rheinlander Villeneuve (Vitalis x Dancier), while bronze went to Dutch rider Dinja van Liere with the KWPN Hermes (Easy Game x Flemmingh) who scored 8.78. “D’Avie is a superb horse with a bright future ahead!” said judge Isobel Wessels.

Full results at www.longinestiming.com.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Six-Time Gold for the Netherlands at Fontainebleau

Chiara Reyer leads team-mates Mikka Rotha, Mick Haunhorst and Charlotte Hoing on their victory gallop after Germany won Children’s Team Jumping gold at the Longines FEI European Championships 2018 for Children/Juniors/Young Riders. (FEI/Łukasz Kowalski)

France scoops all four Eventing titles during a week of sensational sport

Young Dutch athletes proved the dominant force at the Longines FEI European Championships 2018 for Children, Juniors and Young Riders which drew to a close at Le Grand Parquet in Fontainebleau, France. However, the host nation claimed all the top honours in Eventing while Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, and Belgium also grabbed gold.

Children

The Dutch gold-rush began with victory in Children’s Team Dressage where Lilli van den Hoogen (Woodstock), Lara van Nek (Fariska), Sanne van der Pols (Excellentie) and Sanne Buijs (Happy Feet) pinned their German rivals into silver medal spot by a two-point margin while France claimed the bronze. Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Monique Peutz, said she felt “20 years older!” after the team competition, but there was plenty more to come. Underpinning the supremacy of The Netherlands side, the 13-year-olds Buijs and van Nek went on to clinch individual gold and silver, and it was the second year in a row for Buijs to take double-gold. Germany’s Kenya Schwierking (Dinos Boy) lined up third for bronze.

In Children’s Team Jumping it was Germany’s Charlotte Hoing (Bajala), Mikka Roth (Caboto), Mick Haunhorst (Conquest) and Chiara Reyer (Cederic) who reigned supreme, finishing on a four-fault total ahead of Ireland in silver medal spot with eight, and Belgium in bronze on 13 faults. And there were plenty of happy Irish faces when 14-year-old Rhys Williams literally cruised to gold medal spot in the individual classification with a foot-perfect run through three tough competitions with CES Cruson.

“Rhys showed nerves of steel. It was an exceptional performance from him all week,” said Irish team manager James Kernan. Germany’s Chiara Reyer and Henry Munsberg took silver and bronze following a jump-off for the remaining medals between all five athletes tied on a four-fault tally.

Juniors

The Dutch also had it all their way in Junior Dressage, with Milou Dees (Francesco), Kimberly Pap (Vloet Victory), Thalia Rockx (Golden Dancer), and Daphne van Paperstraten (Greenpoint’s Cupido) finishing with a three-point advantage over Germany in silver while Denmark clinched bronze. Taking the lead in the individual standings, van Peperstraten paid tribute to her country’s Eventing coach who passed away suddenly at the weekend.

“We started this championship with a lot of sadness after the death of Jan van Beek, but it brought the team together and made us strong, and we did our best to honour him today.” — Daphne van Paperstraten (NED)

And she went on to pin two of the German team members, Valentina Pistner (Flamboyant) and Romy Allard (Summer Rose), into Individual silver and bronze.

In Junior Jumping it was the Belgians who came out on top ahead of Great Britain in silver and Ireland in bronze. Thibault Philippaerts (Cataleya), Thibeau Spits (Jericho Dwerse), Alexander Housen (Galoubet Fravanca), and Simon Morssinkof (Vivolta de Gree) finished on the winning score of 14.55 points. Last to go, Morssinkhof was under pressure after Spits posted a 12-fault result. But even though he left a fence on the floor there was still an eight-fault margin between the new champions and the British silver medallists who were just over two points clear of the Irish.

And the Irish once again clinched the individual title thanks to a brilliant performance from Jason Foley who turns 17 next week. Silver went to Britain’s Oliver Fletcher (Disckoboy) and Belgium’s Morssinkof took the bronze.

It was in Eventing that the French really shone. Led by 17-year-old Anouk Canteloup (Daniel del Impermeable) who added nothing to her dressage score of 25.90 to also take the individual title, Julie Simonet (SursumcOrd’Or), Chiara Autin (Urban Legend Blues), and Zazie Gardeau (Udine Jolimon Beam) stormed to Junior Team success while Great Britain claimed silver medal spot and Germany stood third on the podium.

Britain’s Heidi Coy (Royal Fury) and Germany’s Brandon Schafer-Gehrau (Fraelein Frieda) also finished on their first-phase totals to take the silver and bronze Individual medals.

Young Riders

The Germans at last got the better of their Dutch rivals when lifting the Young Riders Dressage Team trophy, but only by another narrow margin. Lisa Weischof (Don Windsor), Alexa Westendarp (Four Seasons), Paulina Holzknecht (Wells Fargo), and Semmieke Rothenberger (Geisha) posted a final scoreline of 222.529 and the Dutch were close for silver medal spot on 221.410. Bronze went to Sweden on 212.792.

But The Netherlands’ Esmee Donkers set a new record in the Individual test with her lovely 11-year-old KWPN mare Chaina when scoring 77.294, her team-mate Febe van Zwambagt (FS Las Vegas) taking silver and Germany’s Welschof claiming the bronze. And Donkers then went on to post 80.500 to add the Freestyle title ahead of German team gold medallist Holzknecht in silver and Zwambagt in bronze.

It was double-gold in Young Riders Jumping for Britain’s Harry Charles who joined Graham Babes (Boucheron), William Fletcher (Persimmon), and Amy Inglis (Wishes) to finish well clear of Team Germany in silver and Denmark in bronze. “It’s awesome to win two years in a row!” said Chef d’Equipe Tony Newbery after his team’s success, but the good times were not over yet.

Because Charles got the perfect gift on his 19th birthday last Sunday when clinching the individual title ahead of Germany’s Cedric Wold (Cho Chang J) in silver and Austria’s Felix Koller (Captain Future) in bronze.

“I knew I had a chance, but my horse was really amazing! This is his third European Championships and he won his sixth medal today.” — Harry Charles (GBR)

When it came to Eventing the formidable French recorded another double-gold thanks to a phenomenal performance from 20-year-old Victor Levecque (Phunambule des Auges) who was joined by Romain Sans (Unetoile de la Serre), Thais Meheust (Quamilha), and Victor Burtin (Early van ter Nieuwbeke). When their nearest challengers from Germany disappeared from the reckoning it was Italy that lined up in Team silver medal spot while Sweden took bronze.

Levecque, double-gold medallist at the European Pony Championships four years ago, was in a league of his own when finishing on his dressage score of 26.00 to take the Individual Young Riders Eventing title ahead of Germany’s Emma Brussau in silver and Britain’s Alex Kennedy (Lissangle Cavaletto B) in bronze.

“Victor is a machine! He is our Kylian Mbappé!” said team-mate Burtin, comparing him to the young French soccer star who was such a sensation throughout the recent FIFA World Cup.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

ASPCA Maclay Championship Regional Qualifiers Rapidly Approaching

Lexington, KY – July 3, 2017 – With the horse shows well underway, the all-important regional qualifiers for the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship is rapidly approaching.

The ASPCA Maclay National Championship, to be held this year November 4 in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, is one of the most prestigious equitation championships in history. Past winners include some of the biggest names in the equestrian sport, including William Steinkraus (1941), Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972) and Nicole Shahinian Simpson (1992). Equestrians from all around the country prepare year-round for this highly anticipated event, and the NHS has officially announced the 2018 dates and locations for each of the eight regional qualifying competitions.

Both ASPCA Maclay Regionals for Region 1 (Northeast – CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) and Region 2 (East – NJ, NY, PA) will be held at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York Saturday, September 22, 2018. For further details, 914-669-5610 or mary@mmg.management.com.

Region 3 (Southeast – AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) Sunday, September 23, 2018. Southeast Fall Classic Horse Show in Tampa, Florida. For further details, 407-619-0891 or devita124@aol.com.

Region 4 (Midwest – IL, IN, KY, MI, OH) Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. For further details, 615-838-7560 or wldwoo@aol.com.

Region 5 (Central – IA, KS, LA, MO, MN, ND, NE, OK, SD, TX, WI) Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the St. Louis Charity Horse Show in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. For further details, 314-308-1162 or stlnchorseshow@aol.com.

Region 6 (Mountain – AZ, CO, NM, UT) Sunday, September 16, 2018 at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, CO. For further details, 303-841-5550 or email mmaybank@coloradohorsepark.com.

Region 7 (Northwest – AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY) Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the The Northwest Autumn Classic in Monroe, Washington. For further details, 360-805-6711 or DIANJNSN@aol.com.

Region 8 (West – CA, HI, NV) Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Blenheim Fall Tournament in San Juan Capistrano. For details, 949-443-1841 or showpark@aol.com.

Entries for the Regional Maclay Championship classes will close, and must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern time September 1, 2018, at the NHSAA’s office.  If you wish to change your region, you must notify the NHS in writing by August 15, 2018, using the official form provided by the NHSAA that can be found at www.nhs.org.

Two California Para-Drivers Earn Their East Coast Debuts at the Southern Pines CDE

Ginny Leal, Groom Howard Leal, Navigator Leslie Berndl, Photo: Pics Of You.

Southern Pines, NC – July 1, 2018 – Para-Equestrian drivers Ginny Leal (Grass Valley, CA) and Stefanie Putnam (now based in Louisville, KY) recently participated in the Southern Pines CDE in North Carolina.  Leal had the opportunity to drive the advanced level pony “Zoobie” owned by Teressa Kandianis in the April 12-15, 2018 event in one of the first Para-Driving Intermediate classes held in the United States modeled after the FEI Para-Driving World Championship.  A previous para-driving event was held in California at Sargent’s CDE in May to prepare para-equestrian drivers for the “World’s” to be held at Kronenberg, The Netherlands, August 28 – September 2, 2018.  Team USA finalists will be announced in the near future.

Stefanie Putnam drove her own “Shadow” at the event taking the Preliminary Single Horse Championship.  Putnam has moved to Louisville, Kentucky permanently where she is working with the Frazier Institute and Research Center as the eleventh human, the first woman, in the ground-breaking Spinal Cord Injury “Victory over Paralysis” epidural stimulation implant research study. Putnam will not be applying to be considered for Team USA in 2018. Putnam explained, “My part in the Frazier study is funded for another year, and they have invested enormous time, energy, and resources in me.  We are beginning to make history that will benefit not only the Spinal Cord Injury community, but also other disabling conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, cardio vascular issues, and more. Where there was no hope, there now is hope. To be a part of such a gift to humanity is more than I could possibly ask for.”

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

IHSA Members to Compete for 2018 NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship at NRHA Derby

Danielle Paulson and Juice owned by Andrew Wolf. Photo by alcookphoto.com.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – June 26, 2018 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is an annual one-week event held in Oklahoma City, June 23 – July 1. The competition showcases the world’s best reining horses and riders and attracts thousands of spectators each year. One of the highlights of the Derby is the Collegiate Reining Championship scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, June 29, at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, featuring the top college riders from North America.

This year, four standout Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) riders are slated to compete in the Collegiate Reining Championship. The riders include Morgan Knerr, Danielle Paulson, Kendall Woellmer and Travis Fortune. The draw takes place Thursday at 1 p.m. The warm-up starts Friday at 1 p.m. with the class kicking off at 1:30 p.m.

Morgan Knerr is the IHSA 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining champion and is a freshman at the University of Findlay studying pharmacy. From Plain City, Ohio, her parents are actively involved in reining and she has grown up in the sport. Before joining the University of Findlay, Knerr rode at Autumn Rose with Ollie and Debbie Griffiths. She has held multiple positions as an NRHyA officer, including president in 2017, vice president in 2016 and secretary in 2015.

“Showing in the Collegiate catch ride is a great opportunity,” Knerr said. “I’m really excited because it will be a completely different experience. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Danielle Paulson is from Rochester, Minnesota and is a junior at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She qualified for IHSA Nationals for the first time this year and earned the 2018 IHSA Nationals AQHA Team Reining Open Reining championship and was third in 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining. Paulson has shown American Quarter Horses for 10 years, this is her first year competing in reining. She credits her coach, Janie Huot, for giving her a leg up in the sport.

“I am so excited; it’s such a blessing to compete at this huge event,” Paulson said. “(Competing in) IHSA is the only time I’ve reined in my life. I hope to ride my best on some amazing horses that they’re providing for us.”

Travis Fortune is from Booneville, Indiana and studies at Murray State University. Fortune finished second in the NRHA Open Reining at Western Semi-Finals and fourth the 2018 IHSA Nationals.

“I am really excited about competing at the Derby,” said Fortune. “For me, it’s the fact that I made it there. The first horse show that I reined at was in October for IHSA. To go to Nationals and be fourth and qualify for the Derby for the Collegiate Championship is just really awesome.”

Kendall Woellmer is a sophomore from Sedona, Arizona and attends West Texas A&M University where she is majoring in agriculture communications and minoring in English. The talented rider competes in both Western and hunter seat. Woellmer earned the 2018 IHSA Sportsmanship Award and the 2018 IHSA Versatility Rider Award at the IHSA Nationals. Along with top placings in the hunter seat divisions, Woellmer finished third in the AQHA High Point Western Rider fifth in NRHA Individual Open Reining.

“I am very honored to compete against some of the best collegiate riders in the nation,” Woellmer said.

For more information on this year’s Derby, visit www.nrhaderby.com.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Equestrian Driving Boosted with Allocation of Five Major Events

Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart.

Equestrian Driving, the sport that combines athletic horses, daredevil drivers and state-of-the-art carriages, has been given a valuable boost today with the allocation of five major events over the next three years.

The showdown for the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2019, the culmination of tough global qualifiers broadcast on more than 40 television channels in 19 countries, will take place in the elegant French city of Bordeaux following allocation by the FEI Bureau.

“Driving is an exciting, high-octane sport and the crowds just love it,” FEI Driving Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said. “Driving requires spectacular skills, the horses are clever and fast – the ultimate horsepower. This is all about precision at speed; it’s adrenaline-fueled and unbelievably electrifying.”

The FEI Bureau, the body responsible for the general direction of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), also allocated four Driving Championships at World and European level in 2020 and 2021 to venues in the French Pyrenees and the Loire Valley, Mezőhegyes – home to Hungary’s state stud farm – and to Kronenberg in The Netherlands.

Close to nature

Nine other events were allocated by the FEI Bureau, including the FEI European Endurance Championship 2019, which will take place at Great Britain’s 200-acre Euston Park venue, set in Thetford Forest – the UK’s largest lowland pine area.

2019

  • FEI Driving World Cup™ Final – Bordeaux (FRA), 7-10 February
  • FEI European Endurance Championship – Euston Park (GBR), 15-18 August
  • FEI European Championships for Ponies (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) – Strzegom (POL), 15-18 August

2020

  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children – Vilamoura (POR), 21-26 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Veterans – Fontainebleau (FRA), 24-27 September
  • FEI Dressage European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Singles – Pau (FRA), 21-26 October
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezöhegyes (HUN), 10-13 September
  • FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Madrid (ESP), 21-24 May or 4-7 June
  • FEI Endurance European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Vic (ESP), 25-27 September
  • FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors – Flyinge (SWE), 28 July – 2 August

2021

  • FEI Driving World Championship for Ponies – Kronenberg (NED), end August – mid September

Media contact:

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

Parra Again Qualifies String of Rising Superstars for USEF Developing & Young Horse Championships

Cesar Parra and Don Cesar, his Developing Prix St Georges contender. (Photo courtesy of digishots.nl)

Whitehouse Station, NJ (June 11, 2018) – Consistency is everything in dressage and since 2012, internationally celebrated rider and trainer Dr. Cesar Parra has been qualifying some of the brightest rising stars in the sport for the USEF Developing and Young Horse National Championships. This season will be no exception.

Dr. Parra and his team are in the process of qualifying five exceptional horses to represent Piaffe Performance and GK Elite Sport in the national championships this August 21-26 during the US Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. “They’re quality horses. I’m in love with all of them,” he says, referring to the extraordinary depth and breadth of talent each horse represents: Throughout the 2018 show year, all five horses – Fashion Designer OLD, GK Don Cesar, GK Sir Beckmann, Supremont, and Furstin P — have ranked nationally at or near the top of their division.

Defending their 2017 title will be Parra and Fashion Designer OLD, currently third on the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix rankings on a 70.032% average. “He won last year and is destined to be an amazing Grand Prix horse,” he says. “I love bringing young horses like him through the stages and giving them the best chance to bring the best out of them. He’s really a character. In his stall he’s a puppy dog but under saddle, his strength and dominance show through.”

Coming into the USEF Developing Horse Prix St Georges National Championship with a 70.993% are Parra and GK Don Cesar, whom he describes as a “nice, happy horse, who is always willing to please.” Parra has shaped that same willing attitude into the current leader (8.20) on the USEF Young Horse Dressage Six-Year-Old Division leaderboard, GK Sir Beckmann: “Like all the horses qualified this year, he came to us as a three-year-old and is such an effortless performer, with an undeniable talent.”

As confident as her trainer in her own caliber is Parra’s one mare among the qualifiers, Fürstin P, who is in the top three with a 8.140 in the USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-year-old division, ridden by Roberto Brasil and owned by Dr. Heather Hornor. He adds with a laugh, “She’s a prima donna. She knows she’s good and that she’s pretty, and she’s right!” But she’s also not alone. Parra has a second rising star joining her in that division, Supremont, ridden by Merita Hagren and owned in partnership with Dr. Heather Hornor, coming in with a 7.530.

“I’m very proud of all the horses, and excited and grateful to everyone who has been so supportive and nice to us throughout the season. We have consistently qualified to go to the national championships for several years now,” says the Parra, estimating that over the last decade he has trained and ridden more than a dozen horses down USEF National Championship center lines.

Referring to his own deep well of experience competing internationally that he will bring to Lamplight Equestrian Center, the Olympian, Pan American Games Team Gold medalist, Nations Cup Silver medalist, and two-time FEI World Equestrian Games™ and FEI World Cup™ Finals veteran says, “As a rider, the more experience you have of course gives you greater possibilities. Going to the US Nationals with European experience helps (Dr. Parra and GK Don Cesar were the only horse-and-rider pair to represent the United States in the 2017 Longines FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses last summer), as there will be a lot of great riders and horses at our National Championships, so you can’t take anything for granted.

“It would be very rewarding to do well at the national championships and go on to represent the United States in Europe with these horses in the future.”

Consistency, in both Dr. Parra and in the horses he trains, suggests he’ll be keeping his passport handy.

Follow Dr. Parra and all the rising dressage stars he has in training and learn more about his lessons and services at www.piaffe-performance.com and on Facebook @PiaffePerformance.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
GK Elite Sport
(410) 977-8352
www.gk-horses.com