Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

Charlotte Dujardin Returns to Olympia Horse Show to Give Medal-Winning Masterclass

Triple Olympic gold medallist, Charlotte Dujardin, will be gracing the Olympia Grand Hall once again as it is announced she will be conducting a Dressage masterclass at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

Dujardin, who retired her Olympic partner Valegro in an emotional ceremony at last year’s Show, will be treating spectators to a dynamic display on Tuesday 12 December 2017. Riding Mount St John Freestyle, part of Charlotte’s post-Valegro generation of horses making their mark on the sport, Charlotte will be demonstrating the skill and patience required to produce young horses.

Charlotte has high hopes for the eight-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Mount St John Stud, and is looking to step up to grand prix level next year with the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ as the target. The duo has already attained a number of titles together including the recent Future Elite Championship and the Summer British Dressage National Championship.

Mount St John Freestyle will be put through her paces as Dujardin showcases the training routine of a champion, providing invaluable tips and a wealth of knowledge to equestrian enthusiasts, who will be given a rare insight into her winning secrets.

Charlotte Dujardin CBE said: ‘I’m so excited to be taking Mount St John Freestyle to Olympia this December. I have so many great memories there, from breaking two World Records back in 2014, to Valegro’s retirement last year. The atmosphere in the Grand Hall is always electric, so it will be a great experience for her.’

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: ‘It is wonderful to welcome Charlotte back to Olympia this year. She has an excellent history at the Show and is a fantastic ambassador for Dressage as a sport and young riders looking to follow in her footsteps.’

Charlotte’s Masterclass will take place on the evening of Tuesday 12th December, the opening day of Olympia, the London International Horse Show and the evening of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix. The Show has a stellar line-up of equestrian greats joining Charlotte on centre-stage throughout the week, with racing legends Frankie Dettori and Sir AP McCoy switching disciplines for the Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on Friday’s ‘Race Night’.

The Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National will see the likes of Champion Jockey Jim Crowley and Aintree Grand National winner Leighton Aspell pass the baton to their children, with Alice Crowley and Lucy Aspell joining Frankie Dettori’s son, Rocco, in the starting line-up.

Seven days of top international sporting action including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Carriage Driving and Show Jumping, are expected to attract many of the world’s best horse and rider combinations. The Chilean Huasos will making their debut, and the Kennel Club Dog Agility will be joining the action, welcoming the country’s most talented dogs and their handlers.

Tickets for most performances, including Tuesday night, are still available.  Tuesday night also sees the release of tickets for the ‘Champagne Box’ offer, details of which are included on the Show’s website.  ‘Double Dressage’ tickets can also be purchased when visitors can benefit from a discount on the Tuesday night ticket if they purchase tickets for both dressage evenings.

For more information on Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and how to purchase tickets visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford, gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

British Champions Day

British Champions Day is a thoroughbred horse race meeting held at Ascot Racecourse in October each year since 2011, which acts as the end of season highlight fixture of British flat racing. It is the culmination of the British Champions Series and features the finals of the five divisions of the series, together with a valuable one-mile handicap race. It’s the richest raceday in the British calendar and the chance to see the World’s finest horses and jockeys battle it out for their slice of history.

As the culmination of the QIPCO (Qatar Investment & Projects Development Holding Company) British Champions Series, this raceday features the end-of-season championship races for Ten-furlong horses (The Champion Stakes), Milers (The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes), Sprinters (six furlongs), Long distance horses (two miles) and Fillies and Mares (one mile and four furlongs).

It was created by drawing together a number of historic races which had been features of Ascot and Newmarket’s end of season meetings for many years. These were the Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes from Ascot, and the Champion Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes from Newmarket. In the new fixture, these became the finals of each of the divisions of the British Champions Series.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes retained their names and became the finals of the Mile and Middle Distance divisions, respectively. The Diadem Stakes became the British Champions Sprint, the Jockey Club Cup became the British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the Pride Stakes became the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is open to horses aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 meters). The Champion Stakes is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older; it is run over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 meters).

For exciting non-racing horse activities, the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police are set to make a fiery return to Olympia, The London International Horse Show (12-18 December, 2017).

Over in the United States, you may want to check out the article about racing Quarter Horse Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff who romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

Coleman and Smith Earn USEF CCI3* and CCI2* Eventing National Championship Titles

Will Coleman and Tight Lines (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

O’Hanlon Claims CCI3* Victory at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Fair Hill, Md. – The show jumping phase proved influential for CCI3* competitors on Sunday at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, with Will Coleman and Tight Lines claiming the title of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Champions. Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius remained unaffected by the challenging show jumping phase to close out a start-to-finish win of the CCI2* division.

In the CCI3*, the leaderboard shuffled to put Canada’s Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High on top as the winning pair of the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event. It was a rollercoaster weekend for O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada), as she bounced from first to second and back on top again with Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding owned by John and Judy Rumble. Ultimately, the CCI3* win and a $15,000 prize were hers for the taking after she added three deliberate time penalties in Sunday’s show jumping to finish on a score of 44.0.

Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and Tight Lines were crowned The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* National Eventing Champions and second overall at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event after a faultless show jumping round left them on their dressage score (46.3) as the highest placed American pair. As the national champion, Coleman will also receive one free, round-trip flight to Europe, for one horse from The Dutta Corp.

“He was magic yesterday on the cross-country. I was thrilled with how he ran. He made it feel like it was well within his capabilities, and today he just tried his heart out,” Coleman said of The Conair Syndicate’s 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. “I think the horse’s biggest attribute is that he just gives 100% all of the time. He’s not the simplest, but he really tries. As long as you can harness that the right way, you can do some good things. We’ll just try to reproduce it now over and over again.”

A clear round catapulted Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Trakehner gelding Tsetserleg to third place in the CCI3* for The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* reserve champion title. A score of 46.1 in the dressage and 1.2 time penalties on cross-country gave them a final result of 47.3.

“He’s a newer horse for me,” Martin commented on his talented partner. “He just doesn’t wow you at home, but when you get to a competition, this horse all of the sudden grows to about 17.2, he jumps as high as you want to jump, and moves like Totilas. We saw that this weekend at Fair Hill.”

Smith’s (Murrietta, Calif.) show jumping trip proved successful on Sunday as she completed a wire-to-wire win in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding ended the weekend on his dressage score of 40.9.

“I’m thrilled. He was perfect in every phase, and I couldn’t have asked him to be better. He show jumped today like a million bucks,” Smith said proudly.

For Smith, a win like this means all the more for the horse’s owners, Pamela Duffy and Donald Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods. “The owners have a fairly small to medium breeding farm in southern California, and Pam [Duffy] is very diligent about breeding horses and what horses she acquires for the sport,” explained Smith.  “I’m just really happy for them. It’s been kind of a long road to get here, so I’m thrilled for them.”

Coleman and Off The Record moved nimbly around Sally Ike’s winding show jumping track to finish in second place in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship. The Off The Record Syndicate’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding avoided jump penalties throughout the weekend for a final result of 49.8.

“Anytime you finish a three-day event on your dressage score, I think it’s a major accomplishment,” Coleman said proudly. “This horse has done it twice this year, which I’m really proud of. There are some things we will try to improve on over the winter. He’s been consistent this year, and that’s something we can hang our hat on.”

Matthew Flynn (Reddick, Fla.) and Get Lucky, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Flynn Sporthorses, steadily climbed the leaderboard through all three phases, ending the competition in third. Only 0.4 cross-country time penalties marred their finishing result of 50.4. Get Lucky was also awarded the Best Presentation Award.

“I was really happy with him in all three phases,” said Flynn. “I was disappointed to be one second over [the time on cross-country], but such is life. For him, I’m thrilled. It’s his second two-star event and he’s been third here before, so it was nice to repeat it.”

The John H. Fritz Trophy was awarded to Sophia Click as the highest-placed Young Rider in the CCI2* division. Nina and Tim Gardner’s FE Lifestyle, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding, earned the USEF National Young Horse Championship title for six- and seven-year-old horses. The Small But Mighty Award was given to Colleen Rutledge’s (Frederick, Md.) 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Uno for being the smallest equine to complete the CCI2*.

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications

Minikus Ties for First Place as Riders Jump Nearly 7-Foot Wall in Central Park

Todd Minikus riding VDL Excel. (Photo courtesy of Sportfot)

New York, NY – Central Park is a common meeting place in New York City for tennis, baseball, basketball, and ice skating – but this past Thursday night, sports in Central Park rose to new heights. The U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance took center stage in the Wollman Rink, exposing city dwellers to a nail-biting equestrian show jumping competition.

The three winners – Todd Minikus, Kama Godek, and Emanuel Andrade – each could have jumped basketball player LeBron James with an inch to spare as they soared over the 6 foot, 9 inch wall.

The Puissance, a traditional crowd favorite, returned this week to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show for the second year in a row. Competition began with a brick wall obstacle set at 4 feet, 6 inches high. Horse and rider pairs took turns jumping the wall, which was raised after each round. The event was called to an end after the three longest-lasting pairs each cleared the 6 foot, 9 inch wall with apparent ease. Todd Minikus on VDL Excel, Kama Godek on De Grande, and Emanuel Andrade on Clouwni were all named victors.

Minikus, an internationally successful show jumper with a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medal and over 150 Grand Prix wins to his name, was left wishing they’d had a chance to jump even higher. “VDL Excel jumped the 6 foot, 9 inches very easily,” he said. “Six feet and 9 inches is a big enough jump, but I think if they had raised it again, he would have been able to do that easily enough. He seemed really brave and comfortable.”

Minikus and the eight-year-old horse, owned by Autumn View Farm, have had an impressive summer even before the Puissance. Last month, the pair claimed the reserve title in the $20,000 Jumper Derby at Equifest II in Wayne, Illinois. “He’s is a very scopey jumper. I just knew he would do well in the Puissance,” said Minikus. “He’s young, and just breaking into the upper level classes. He’s got a lot of talent.”

With Minikus in the saddle, there’s no doubt that VDL Excel is not finished with his time in the limelight. Minikus’s own highest jump cleared to date is 7 feet and 4 inches, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Wellington, Florida based rider is next taking his talented team to compete at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, where they will jump through the month of October.

To learn more about Todd Minikus and his winning record as he jumps around the world, follow him Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Contact: Amanda Minikus
amandajl16@aol.com
562-762-3762
www.toddminikus.com

Victory for Jessica Jo Tate and Cayman V at Tryon Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W

Jessica Jo Tate and Cayman V. Photo Credit ©RichardMalmgren.

Mill Spring, NC – September 17, 2017 – Competition concluded at the Tryon Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a win for Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Cayman V in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W presented by Adequan®. The pair bested competition in the George Morris Arena, earning a score of 65.294%.

Tate and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Comeback II x Damgaard’s Brunetee x Lobster), owned by Joseph Tate, ended their week of competition on a high note, finishing ahead of Alexandra Duncan (CAN) and her own Vitall, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro x Jarelle x Aram), who earned a 60.608% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W presented by Adequan®.

“This was my first CDI with Cayman V,” said Tate. “I am just starting out with him in this kind of electric environment. On Friday I just didn’t have him quick enough and didn’t have him connected enough. The connection wasn’t as good as it can be, so, I went home and watched the video. Today I felt like we definitely improved that. He just tried his heart out for me today, so I was really thrilled.”

Tate, of Landrum, SC, purchased the horse with the idea of getting back into the Grand Prix CDI competition arena.

She continued, “It’s exciting that things are moving in the right direction with Cayman because he is still a beginner out here. We love coming to Tryon because it’s so close. It’s a great place to gain experience with an international feel. The facility is beautiful and well thought out, and footing is world-class. It’s one of the best horse show facilities I’ve ever been to.”

Tate also collected a victory in the FEI Intermediaire I presented by Adequan® piloting Summersby, a 2007 Hanoverian mare (Sir Donnerhall x St. Pr. Hauptsutbuch Roxanne x Rosenthau), owned by Joseph Tate, on a score of 69.548%. Second place position went to Emily Miles (USA) and Sir Sherlock, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Shari), owned by Leslie Waterman, with a score of 64.333%.

Of Summersby, Tate commented, “Summer was tired today, but I’ve just been incredibly proud of her this weekend. She’s ten this year, and she can be pretty firey and emotional. She just showed up this week and had her game face on. I was thrilled with her consistency and her quality, as well as her complete focus on me.”

Tate will head to Dressage at Devon in two weeks to compete, and then will begin to make preparations for the winter circuit at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.

Riders made their way down centerline for their FEI Para-Freestyles, the final classes of the week in the FEI CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan®, running in conjunction with the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte.

The Grade V Para-Freestyle was won by Mary Jordan (USA) on her own Rubicon 75, a 2005 Oldenburg gelding (Royal Hit x Edelkarin x Absinthe), with a score of 70.458%. Second place was captured by Katie Jackson (USA) aboard Royal Dancer, a 2005 Westphalian gelding owned by Kai Handt, on a 70.167%.

Top honors in the Grade IV Para-Freestyle were earned by Angela Peavy (USA) piloting Royal Dark Chocolate, a 2008 Oldenberg mare, owned by Rebecca Reno, with a score of 76.458%. Second place went to Pamela Hardin (USA) and Quarterjack, a 2005 Brandenburg gelding (Quarterman x Medea II x Rohdiamant) owned by Hardin, on a score of 72.708%. The third-place position was earned by Michele Bandinu (USA) and his own Soulman 13, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Swarvoski x Lovestory vii) finishing with a score of 67.042%.

The Grade III Para-Freestyle saw a win for Riley Garrett (USA) and Piston, a 2003 Canadian Warmblood owned by Garrett, on a score of 69.778%. Second place was collected by Meghan Benge (USA) and Zoey, a 2007 Welsh mare (The Key x Kurbaums Future), on a 65.667%.

The Grade II Para-Freestyle was won by Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) aboard Niekele Fan Busenitz, a 2004 Friesian stallion (Sape 381 x Wemke H x Fetse 349), with a score of 71.389%. Sharon Buffitt (CAN) and Elektra II, a 2005 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Radjah z x Nikita x Rastar) owned by Buffitt, with a score of 67.556%. Third place was captured by Jason Surnoski (CAN) aboard Bella de la Noche, receiving a score of 61.500% to finish off a strong weekend of competition.

First place in the Grade I Para-Freestyle was awarded to Margaret McIntosh (USA), aboard her own Heros, a 2004 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Hertug x Lotus x Lucky Light), scoring 71.833%. Coming in second to McIntosh was Jody Schloss (CAN) and Lieutenant Lobin, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Farine) with a score of 71.278%. Third place was captured by Winona Hartvikson (CAN), and Ultimo, a 2007 PRE gelding (Invasor iii x Gala xxi x Teodoro), receiving a score of 70.778%.

Angela Peavy, who represented the United States at the 2017 Paralympic Games, piloted Royal Dark Chocolate to top honors, winning the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte.

Commenting on her week and her National Champion title, Peavy said, “I’ve been very pleased with Cocoa all weekend, but was exceptionally happy with her today. We’ve been developing our Freestyle at each competition. The music excites her and today she just felt right on with me. She’s used to this amazing arena now, so we can just go and show everyone what we can do.”

Peavy continued, “Every day she gets more comfortable with the venue. It has such an international feel, and I wasn’t nervous, but I was pretty excited to ride it today. You never know how it’s going to go until you have it down pat, and we’ve only had it for a month or so. When that music started, I just felt right on.”

The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve National Champion title went home with 2016 Paralympian Margaret McIntosh, aboard her own Heros, a 2004 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Hertug x Lotus x Lucky Light).

“I didn’t know what to expect here today,” said McIntosh. “I bought Heros in June and rode her for a little while in England. She was imported at the end of July and was in quarantine for three weeks. I really was not sure what to expect, but Heros improved with every test. She’s been a model of exemplary behavior. The freestyle is old. I didn’t have time to make a new one with her. It felt like putting on an old shoe and Heros just fit right into it,” she concluded.

The third-place winner of the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte was Laurietta Oakleaf piloting Niekele Fan Busenitz. “This arena and facility is amazing. We’ve had a solid week of competition and we progressed every day. He was pretty spot on. We have a couple things to work on, but I’m really happy with him,” said Oakleaf.

For a full list of results and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Oliver Townend Takes His Second Burghley Title with Ballaghmor Class

Photo: Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class. (FEI/lLibby Law)

British fill first four places while Michael Jung (GER) easily secures his second FEI Classics™ title

Oliver Townend (GBR) kept his head in a tense final jumping round at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, last leg of the FEI Classics™, to score his first CCI4* victory for eight years and head a British sweep of the top four places.

He overcame a nerve-racking moment when the 10-year-old Irish Sports Horse Ballaghmor Class crashed through the upright gate but, fortunately for him, the previous pair in the arena, Gemma Tattersall (GBR) and Arctic Soul had given him breathing space when they had a fence down.

“This is very, very special. Such a lot can go wrong with a young horse – and he’s only just learned to do flying changes – but he’s in a different class to anything else I’ve ridden recently.” — Oliver Townend (GBR), Burghley winner

Tattersall finished third, slipping one place behind Piggy French (GBR), who jumped clear on the mare Vanir Kamira to move up from fifth after cross country to the runner-up slot. It was a particularly triumphant return for French, who has taken a year off from the sport to have a baby.

“Our jumping round wasn’t that pretty, but who cares? Burghley is the toughest four-star in the world and to do well here is a dream!” — Piggy French (GBR), runner-up

Tom McEwen (GBR) riding Toledo de Kerser rose three places to fourth, a career best, with a beautifully judged clear round and Kristina Cook (GBR), one of the British gold medal team at last month’s FEI European Championships in Strzegom, moved up from 10th to seventh on Star Witness.

Richard Jeffry’s track produced seven clear rounds from the 40 finishers, two of which were with time faults.

New Zealander Tim Price was the highest-placed non-British rider, in fifth on Ringwood Sky Boy. America’s Lynn Symansky was sixth on Donner and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and the gallant 17-year-old Nereo were eighth with two rails down.

FEI Classics™

Although Michael Jung had retired across country after a rare mistake with La Biosthetique Sam, the German still secured the top prize in the FEI Classics™ following a win at Kentucky and second places at Pau and Badminton.

French rider Maxime Livio, who was not competing at Burghley, remained in second place, counting a win at Pau and a second at Kentucky, and Nicola Wilson (GBR) remained in third with a fourth place at Pau and a second at Lühmuhlen.

“It’s been a brilliant season,” summed up the FEI’s Catrin Norinder, head of the Eventing and Olympic department. “All six events have been thrilling and we’ve seen some fantastic performances from athletes and horses who have portrayed our sport in the very best light.”

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class Head a British Trio at Burghley after Cross Country

Photo: Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. (FEI/Libby Law)

Oliver Townend (GBR), very last out on the cross country at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, sixth and final leg of the FEI Classics™, produced a superb display of horsemanship on the inexperienced Ballaghmor Class to head a British one-two-three.

Townend, 31, won Badminton and Burghley in 2009 and is the British number one, but has struggled to find a consistently top horse since then. However, the Irish-bred 10-year-old by Courage galloped and jumped easily and looks a star for the future, finishing on a score of 40.6.

“Ballaghmor Class was wild as youngster – everyone’s had a go at falling off him – and he has done lots of things he shouldn’t, but then so have I!” — Oliver Townend (GBR), cross-country leader

Fellow Briton Gemma Tattersall held the lead for most of the day on the ex-racehorse Arctic Soul with one of only three rounds inside the time and she is within a rail of Townend going into the final jumping phase with 43.0 penalties.

“Arctic Soul felt strong and feisty, which was not helped by my having a cold, but we have an amazing partnership.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), second after cross-country

Izzy Taylor (GBR), whose great-aunt Anneli Drummond-Hay (GBR) won the first Burghley in 1961, is in third place on a new ride, Trevidden, by the great eventing sire Fleetwater Opposition, on 45.6.

“It was one of those rides when you’re having such a great time that you have to remind yourself to concentrate!” — Izzy Taylor (GBR), third after cross-country

A huge crowd enjoyed perfect sunshine and thrilling sport with 29 clear rounds and plenty of excitement right until the very end on Mark Phillips’s cleverly designed track.

As the Brits surged up the leaderboard – Piggy French (Vanir Kamira), Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser) and pathfinder Kristina Cook (Star Witness) are fifth, seventh and 10th – there were some unexpected mishaps for senior riders.

Dressage leader Sir Mark Todd (NZL) was up on the clock with Leonidas II when he fell off on landing over the brush at the Discovery Valley (fence 26) and third-placed Michael Jung (GER) and La Biosthetique Sam made the first mistake of their championship career with a runout at a skinny brush in the Trout Hatchery and subsequently retired.

Kristina Cook, fifth on Calvino ll, was held on course in front of the Discovery Valley and perhaps lost concentration as she had a frustrating runout and dropped to 18th place.

Andrew Nicholson (NZL) had a fall with first ride Qwanza at the new Storm Doris fence – angled logs from a tree which fell in the February storm – but is in sixth with 7.6 time penalties on his Badminton winner Nereo.

In an international line-up, Tim Price (NZL) is fourth on Ringwood Sky Boy, by the same sire as Ballaghmor Class, US athletes Lynne Symansky (Donner) and Boyd Martin (Steady Eddie) are eighth and ninth and dressage runner-up Lauren Kieffer (Veronica, USA) is 13th with 28 time penalties.

Follow all the action with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Legendary Todd and Leonidas II Take Over Dressage Lead at Burghley

Photo: Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II. (FEI/Libby Law)

Dressage day two influential as Sir Mark Todd (NZL) leads from USA’s Lauren Kieffer and Michael Jung (GER)

Nearly 40 years after the legendary Sir Mark Todd (NZL) first rode at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) he is in the lead after dressage with Leonidas II on a mark of 36.7. In a star-studded line-up, the double Olympic champion heads the USA’s Lauren Kieffer on Veronica II by just 0.3 of a penalty, with world number one and FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung now in third on La Biosthetique Sam.

The tall, lean New Zealander, 61, who last triumphed at Burghley in 1999, made an elegant picture on the German-bred 13-year-old, the bay gelding remaining obedient yet lively and light in his paces as well as beautifully supple.

“I may have won Burghley five times, but I haven’t won it this century! Finally, this horse is starting to grow up. When I got him as a six-year-old he was so impetuous, but now he knows what he’s meant to do and I’ve got every confidence in him.” — Sir Mark Todd (NZL), overnight leader going into cross country

Kieffer and the mare Veronica have a second place at Kentucky 2016 and 17th at Badminton this year under their belt, but it is their first visit to Burghley.

“Most of the American riders are sitting on thoroughbreds, so we’re pretty happy about tomorrow’s cross-country, but Burghley is something that’s in a class of its own and we have all studied it pretty carefully.” — Lauren Kieffer (USA), second after dressage

Two more senior riders, Andrew Nicholson (NZL), 55, on Nereo and Britain’s Kristina Cook, 46, on Calvino II, scored under 40 penalties and are in close contention in fourth and fifth places. Nicholson, currently fourth in the FEI Classics™, has also won Burghley five times, although never on the 17-year-old Nereo, his winning mount at Badminton this year.

Cook, a multiple winner of team medals, including at the recent FEI European Championships in Poland, is renowned for her skill as a cross-country rider but has never won a CCI4*, and her mark of 39.6 may give her the best chance yet.

“I don’t really do dressage in the 30s! So I’ll be going for it tomorrow. Calvino is only small-framed but he has the heart of a lion.” — Kristina Cook, fifth after dressage and highest-placed of the home side

Cook will be first out on the cross-country course on Star Witness, currently 40th after dressage.

Follow all the action with live results on www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Michael Jung Tops Dressage after Day One at Burghley

Photo: Michael Jung with La Biosthetique Sam FBW. (FEI/Libby Law)

GBR’s Gemma Tattersall in overnight second with Arctic Soul and Mackenna Shea (USA) third on Landioso

World number one Michael Jung (GER) has yet again set the target with a beautifully ridden dressage test on his old friend La Biosthetique Sam, now 17, to take an early lead at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, sixth and final leg of the 2016/2017 FEI Classics™.

The double Olympic champions, winners here in 2015 and current FEI Classics™ series leader, impressed the ground jury — Martin Plewa (president, GER), Katarzyna Konarski (POL) and Harry Payne (GBR) — to earn the only sub-40 mark of the day, 38.9 penalties, and lead over British national champions Gemma Tattersall and the former racehorse Arctic Soul by 4.1 penalties.

“Sam is on good form. You have to be 100% perfect in all es to win and this was not our best dressage performance, but I think the cross-country is tough enough to change the result.” — Michael Jung (GER), first-day dressage leader

Tattersall, fifth individually at the FEI European Championships in Poland recently, has worked hard at containing the sensitive thoroughbred Arctic Soul in the dressage. This represents a considerable improvement on their mark of 55.8 at Badminton when brilliant performances in the jumping phases elevated them a remarkable 60 places to eventual seventh.

“I’m chuffed to bits. Arctic Soul is very shy, so the key is getting him to feel confident, rideable and relaxed. Today he allowed me to place him so that all his movements were correct.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), second after dressage

American rider Mackenna Shea, 24, has made a great start to her first run at Burghley and is in third place on a score of 46.1 on Landioso, a 15-year-old Dutch-bred gelding that she has produced since he was four. Shea has based herself this summer with British rider Rodney Powell, but their campaign started late due to Landioso suffering from shipping fever.

“‘I didn’t realise what a big step Burghley would be after Kentucky. Just walking the course takes so long!” — Burghley first-timer Mackenna Shea (USA), third after dressage

Jung may have an unassailable lead in the FEI Classics™ — his nearest rival, Maxime Livio (FRA) is not competing — but has he left the door open in the dressage for Burghley honours?

A host of stars could challenge for the lead. These include Zara Tindall (GBR) and High Kingdom, the pair that finished third behind Jung (on fischerRocana) at Kentucky (USA) in April, and American rider Lauren Kieffer on the lovely mare Veronica.

A quartet of New Zealanders is also likely to feature at the top of the leaderboard: Badminton winners Andrew Nicholson on Nereo, five-time Burghley winner Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas ll, 2010 winner Caroline Powell with Onwards and Upwards, and Tim Price (Ringwood Sky Boy).

Nicola Wilson (GBR), currently third in the FEI Classics™, does not have a Burghley ride and looks vulnerable to being overtaken in the series by the likes of Nicholson, fourth on the leaderboard, Price, eighth, and Tindall, ninth, all three holding obvious chances to take the prize money on offer for third.

By Kate Green

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Burghley:

Carole Pendle
Press Officer
Carole.pendle@caa.com
+44 7768 462601

Donate to USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund and Help Horses Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Photo: Houston SPCA.

Sweeping across the Gulf Coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane over the past weekend, Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding has put the Houston and surrounding area equine community in a state of distress. Declared a major disaster and weather event, hundreds of horses and livestock have been affected.

Banding together as a community, emergency rescues, fellow equestrians opening up their barns for shelter and extensive veterinary care has been required over the last several days.  As the rain continues to fall, rising flood waters will make extended care for displaced large and small animals on an ongoing need.

Supporting the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding, US Equestrian is providing financial assistance through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners.

DONATE TO HELP HORSES

US Equestrian will be working with the Houston SPCA to support their rescue and rehabilitation efforts through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

Encouraging donations to help the horses affected by Hurricane Harvey, US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said, “As part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of horses, the USEF disaster relief fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. The outreach and generosity of the equestrian community to support the ongoing emergency assistance in this and future disasters allows us to provide direct financial assistance to the groups involved in the ongoing rescue efforts.”

For more information on the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund, please contact Vicki Lowell, vlowell@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department