Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

FEI President Welcomes Speedy Decision on Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Dates

The FEI President has welcomed the announcement of the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will run from 23 July to 8 August, and for the Paralympic Games from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

“While it was of course demoralising for everyone that the Games had to be postponed from their original dates in 2020, the decision was absolutely right in the current terrible global pandemic, but it is really good to have the new dates agreed so soon,” Ingmar De Vos said.

“The decision was taken in full consultation with all the International Federations, including the FEI, and we all had the opportunity to voice our opinions. Now, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, our athletes across both Games can get their training back on track with confidence, knowing exactly when they and their horses need to be at their peaks.

“We are conscious of the fact that this has been a very complex decision for the IOC to make, with multiple factors to be taken into consideration. The athletes’ health and well-being across both Games not just for equestrian sport has to be the top priority, and we have all the protocols in place to protect our athletes – both human and equine – and help them to optimise their performance in the challenging climate we can expect in Tokyo.

“Of course, there will be an impact on the international Calendar across all sports, and from an FEI perspective this includes four major European Championships, but we are already looking at ways we can minimise that impact. The remit for our discipline-specific task forces that are evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Calendar has now been expanded to cover 2021 and now we have confirmed dates for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We need to explore possible alternatives for a number of major FEI Events, notably the European Championships in Jumping, Dressage, and Para Dressage in Budapest and the European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin, France. This process will be started immediately.”

The five-discipline European Championships in Budapest (HUN), which also include Driving and Vaulting, are currently due to run from 23-30 August 2021 and the Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (FRA) from 11-15 August.

“We need to also look at deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses and will announce those as soon as possible, but we have had confirmation from both the IOC and IPC that National Olympic and Paralympic Committees which have been allocated Olympic or Paralympic quota places will retain them despite the postponement of the Games to next year.”

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
+41 78 750 61 56

2021 AGDF to Host 2020 Lövsta Future Challenge and Summit Farm Future Challenge Series Finals

Sarah Lockman and Balia were the high score of the qualifiers in the Summit Farm Prix St. Georges Future Challenge Series. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2020 – Adequan® Global Dressage Festival announces that the $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series and the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series, both slated to hold finals during the final week of the 2020 AGDF, have been postponed until the first week of the 2021 AGDF due to the cancellation of the final two weeks of the circuit because of coronavirus. After a highly successful inaugural season of 10 qualifying weeks, the horse and rider combinations have been determined for the Finals.

“While we are disappointed to have to cancel the last two weeks of AGDF and postpone these series finals, we look forward to hosting them as a kick-off to the 2021 AGDF,” said AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur. “We were thrilled to see how popular both of the series were and that so many riders, trainers, and owners appreciated the opportunity afforded for their up-and-coming horses.”

The $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series idea, originally set up by Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Louise Nathorst in its home country of Sweden as a talent development program, is for horses age eight to ten years old at the Grand Prix level. They competed in the FEI Intermediate II test.

During the 2020 AGDF, Lövsta also announced the launch of a new charitable initiative to benefit the local charity, Friends of Palm Beach. Lövsta supported the charity and its mission by donating $250 for every ride in the series throughout the circuit, ending up with a total of $8,500 given to the charity.

“For us at Lövsta, sustainability has been a strong driving force,” said owner Antonia Ax:son Johnson. “Our slogan is ‘Save the earth. It’s the only planet with horses.’ To underline our commitment, we decided to support the charitable organization Friends of Palm Beach with $250 for every entry in the Lövsta Future Challenge this season. This fine group of people clean the Palm Beach beaches from trash to support the beautiful creatures of the sea and keep our beaches clean and environmentally safe. The beauty of our ocean and the beauty of our horses align.”

Friends of Palm Beach is a 501(c)3 organization that cleans the beaches of Palm Beach regularly to remove incoming plastics, trash, and unnatural debris and to educate the community on the effects of this on our environment and marine life. They partner with other non-profit job placement programs to help end the cycle of homelessness while also helping to end the cycle of trash in our ocean.

The popularity of the $10,000 Summit Farm Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series for horses seven to nine years old was evident at the 2020 AGDF, and many of the best young small tour horses competed for a chance to qualify for the Finals.

One of the qualifiers was Pan American Games team and individual gold medalist Sarah Lockman (USA), who is also the professional rider for Summit Farm. She and Balia were multiple winners during the series and scored the highest of all the qualifiers with a 73.603% at AGDF 6.

Lockman said that the series fits perfectly with the business model and goals for Summit Farm.

“We start horses young and develop them into top international horses,” she said. “It’s meant a lot for us to support this series that is specific to seven- to nine-year-old horses. We hope to see more of this and want to provide an incentive for trainers and riders to put these top young horses out there.

“It was a great thing to offer prize money to a class outside of the CDI,” she continued. “Trainers and riders can enter a horse in this series and get notoriety. In Europe, young horses get a lot of praise and press, with financial gain by showing young horses and developing them. To support that idea in the U.S. and give that incentive and reward meant a lot to us at Summit Farm. We are very proud to be a part of this series at AGDF.”

The 2021 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival will be held on January 6 – March 28. For more information on AGDF, please visit

Anticipation Building ahead of Return of Flat Season in Britain

We were in the middle of a memorable national hunt season, with the Cheltenham festival taking place, despite the issues rising due to the coronavirus pandemic. This led to the Grand National being cancelled, and there is now a wait to when horse racing and sport will return. All eyes are now on the upcoming flat season, with punters already looking at the Royal Ascot promotions and offers to support horses in the outright markets. The big question now is: will sport have returned by the start of what is the marquee event for many in the racing calendar?

The flat season in Britain has a number of key meetings upcoming that are also under threat. All will culminate with the Breeders’ Cup in America, which comes at the end of the season, with a large number of horses heading over to contest the meeting. This is taking place over two days.

The flat season was really set to kick off in the opening weekend of May, with the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. This takes place at Newmarket racecourse, with Pinatubo the horse everyone is looking forward to seeing. He is the short priced favourite for the race, and this is little surprise, considering just how impressive he was last year. If he returns in the same form, then it is his race to lose, as he is rated clear of his opposition.  He has won all six of his racecourse starts, with his key performance coming in Ireland at the Curragh. This saw the horse produce a stunning display to clear away from a classy field and win by nine lengths. A performance which put the horse as one of the highest rated two year olds in memory and even higher than the great Frankel. If he can continue his progression, then he could be another all-time great.

There are so many other meetings that punters and racing fans on a whole will be looking forward to. These include the Oaks and Derby in the early period of June. This takes place at Epsom racecourse and is one of the most prestigious meetings in racing and one that fans looking forward to each year around the world.

This will all lead on to the previously mentioned Royal Ascot meeting, in which Pinatubo would also be expected to race. The Breeders’ Cup would then be the great finish to the season, so let’s hope the action can resume in the near future, and we see an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Old Friends Statement Regarding Death of War Emblem

War Emblem at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 24, 2020 –  Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, the nonprofit Thoroughbred Retirement Farm based in Kentucky, released the findings of the necropsy report regarding the recent passing of 2002 Kentucky Derby – Preakness winner War Emblem.

War Emblem, 21, was found deceased at Old Friends on March 11, 2020 after what was initially perceived to be a fatal paddock accident. A full medical report was, at that time, pending.

The following statement was issued by Old Friends resident veterinarian, Dr. Bryan Waldridge of Park Equine Hospital in Versailles, KY:

“After War Emblem’s sudden death, a complete necropsy was performed at the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The cause of death was ruptured small intestine. The cause of the tear in his small intestine could not be determined by anatomic or microscopic examination. No strangulation or displacement of the small intestine was present. Rupture of the small intestine without a predisposing cause is an uncommon and, unfortunately, fatal injury.”

“We were very proud to be given the opportunity to repatriate War Emblem when his stallion career came to an end, and we were lucky enough to have him with us for nearly five years,” said Blowen. “His great speed, great beauty, intelligence, and distinct personality made him one of our most popular and beloved retirees, visited by hundreds of fans weekly, even in our off season.

“Our entire staff was devastated by his unexpected passing,” Blowen added. “We’ll all miss him terribly.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322,; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775,

Royal Ascot Ante Post Betting

As you may have seen, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced (17th March) that racing will be suspended until the end of April due to the national coronavirus crisis. All ticket purchasers will be refunded for the relevant race meetings.

Royal Ascot ante post betting gives you an opportunity in advance to bet on this prestigious race with an odds on offer in the months and weeks leading up to the event.  The fan favorites and odds will be updated closer to Royal Ascot 2020 race meeting.  Ante-post betting allows you to place a bet on a horse race well in advance of the race being run.  Risks vs. rewards are that you get bigger odds betting so far in advance of the race, but if your horse fails to run in the race, you don’t get a refund.

The current favorite horses for ante-post betting are: Called to the Bar, Capri, Magic Circle, Stradivarius, Thomas Hobson, Cross Counter, Cypress Creek, Dee Ex Bee, and Flag of Honour.  The Ascot Gold Cup race has Stradivarius 3-1, Kew Gardens 5-1, and Dee Ex Bee 12-1. All are subject to change. Please check back as the race gets closer.

Using our tips and tricks for ante post betting will help you pick a winner.  Who knows if your horse will improve during his race season? The odds will get shorter nearer to the race. As the race draws closer, certain horses might not run, jockeys and trainers might be affected by the novel coronavirus, or other illness or injury.  This will affect the betting odds which may change in the months and weeks leading up to the race.

Ante post betting is popular year-around for the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National, but for ante-post betting on the Royal Ascot, you’ll have to wait until closer to the event.

The Royal Ascot meeting has 30 great races including the very best Group 1 action. The key races that feature each day are the St James’s Palace Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes on day 1; day 2 sees the Prince of Wales Stakes and Royal Hunt Cup. Day 3 which is Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day has the Royal Ascot Gold Cup, and day 4 has the Coronation Stakes. The final day has three great spectacles in the Golden Jubilee Stakes, the Wokingham Stakes, and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, “Her Majesty’s Plate”, with a purse of 100 guineas, was held on 11 August 1711. Seven horses competed. This first race comprised three separate four-mile (6437 m) heats. Handicap races started at Ascot, the first one being the Oatlands Handicap in 1791.

In 1813 Parliament passed an Act to ensure that the grounds would remain a public racecourse. A new grandstand was opened in 1839 at a cost of £10000.  A further Act of Parliament of 1913 establishing the Ascot Authority which manages the racecourse to this day. From its creation until 1945, the only racing that took place at Ascot was the Royal Meeting, a four-day event. Since that date, more fixtures have been introduced to the grounds, notably National Hunt racing in 1965. The National Hunt course was established using turf from Hurst Park Racecourse, which closed in 1962.

Royal Ascot 2020

The five-day British Royal Ascot horse racing festival, due to start on June 16, attracts over 300,000 spectators. As you may have seen, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on March 17th that racing will be suspended until the end of April due to the national coronavirus crisis.  At this stage we ask for everyone’s patience with regards to updates relating to Royal Ascot.

The shutting down of racing until the end of April by the BHA places a considerable degree of uncertainty on some of Britain’s biggest Flat meetings, for example the June jewels of Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby.  But know that you have come to the right place for the latest info in the Ascot betting guide. Go to this guide to understand the types of betting available to you, e.g., win, place bets, each-way bets, and futures. Futures bets can be place in advance of the race months, weeks, or days ahead of a race with fixed and generous odds.

Make your predictions for the finishers to get the trifecta, one of the most popular Royal Ascot bets.  Even more type of bets and tips are available, so be sure to study this guide before the race in June. As the race date gets near, there will be even more types and offers of betting. On top of that, you can watch the race online here.

The Royal Ascot race stretches over five days, with six races each day. The Ascot Racecourse located in Ascot, Berkshire, England is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 13 of Britain’s 36 annual Group 1 horse races.  The Royal Ascot is the centerpiece of Ascot’s year and it dates back to 1911 when the week of races in the third week of June became a Royal Week.

Every year Royal Ascot is attended by Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales, arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage with the Royal procession taking place at the start of each race day and the raising of the Royal Standard and the playing of the National Anthem. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also attend, as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and other Royals.

What to wear in the Royal Enclosure if the race is still on in June?  The Royal Enclosure is synonymous with sartorial elegance. This is upheld by a formal Dress Code, which guests are invited to embrace with their own individual style and thus contribute to an occasion heralded internationally as a major fashion event.

Ladies are required to wear formal daywear, including a hat with a solid base of 4 inches or more. Gentlemen are required to wear black, grey, or navy morning dress and top hat.

What will your day be like at Royal Ascot? Gates open at 10:30am with the Royal Ascot Greencoats greeting you at the gate. At 2pm each day, the Royal Procession begins with the Royal Landaus or carriages approaching down the famous Straight Mile.  It is a short but spectacular jaunt that has happened since 1825 which signals the start of the Royal Meeting event.

After the Royal Procession passes throughout the parade ring, the first race begins at 2:30.  The last of the 6 Flat races is at 5:35pm.

At 6pm, there is singing around the bandstand to the Royal Welsh Guards choir for songs old and new.  The day draws to a close at 8pm in the Royal, Queen Anne, and Windsor Enclosures, but on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Village Enclosure continues its party until 9pm.

Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit 2020 Crowns the Champs

Pictured: Chello, owned by Kara Jones.

The 2020 Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit wrapped up two weeks early with Week V.

“The Gulf Coast Winter Classic was fantastic and we, along with everyone else, are disappointed it had to end early. We stand with the USEF’s decision to cancel horse shows and put the safety of our competitors and horse show families as our top priority,” said Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company. “Our No Entry Fee Grand Prix was a huge success and we appreciate everyone who showed with us here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We hope to see everyone at the ring at our Aiken Summer Classic,” he said.

Congratulations to the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Champions!

Sportsmanship Award: Mary and Larry Antonini and Loretta Patterson

Baby Green Hunter Circuit Champion: Asterix, owned by Mary Collier Childress

Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Circuit Champion: High Regard, owned by Erica Van Dyken

Children’s Hunter 15-17 Circuit Champion: Chancellor’s Reign, owned by BAM Sporthorses

Children’s Hunter 2’6” Circuit Champion: Carasco, owned by Gabriella Deflece

Children’s Hunter Pony Circuit Champion: Cherrybrook Dark Secret, owned by Annalise Gabert

Confirmation Hunter Circuit Champion: True Enough, owned by Kelly Sims

Green Hunter 3’6” Circuit Champion: Chancellor’s Reign, owed by BAM Sporthorses

Green Hunter 3’9” Circuit Champion: MTM Amour owned by Jeanne Pitre

Green Pony Hunter Circuit Champion: Cherrybrook Blue Jersey, owned by William Grace, LLC

Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 & Under Circuit Champion: Coco owned by Olivia Hershey

Junior Hunter 3’3” 16-17 Circuit Champion: Rocketeer, owned by Riley King

Opportunity Circuit Champion: Mr. Monk, owned by IAL Equine Racing & Sales, LLC

Performance Circuit Champion: Nina, owned by BAM Sporthorses

Pony Large Hunter Circuit Champion: Marvel Comic, owned by Kaylin Sculthorpe

Pony Medium Hunter Circuit Champion: Charmer owned by Honor Hill Farm, LLC

Pony Small Hunter Circuit Champion: Captain Jack Sparrow, owned by Honor Hill Farm

Short Long Stirrup Hunter Circuit Champion: Hampton, owned by Valerie Thibaut

Sidelines Green Hunter 3’ Circuit Champion: Secrets Out, owned by DLJ Performance

Sidelines Green Hunter 3’3” Circuit Champion: High Regard, owned by Equine LLC and Erica Van Dyken

1.20 m Junior/Amateur Owner Circuit Champion: P. Diddy, owned by Donald Stewart

1.30 m Junior/Amateur Owner Circuit Champion: Cumlaude, owned by Abigail Bergin

Child Adult Jumper 1.0 m Circuit Champion: Chicobello, owned by Riley Townsley

Child Adult Jumper 1.10 m Circuit Champion: Bubka D’Armanville, owned by Katelyn North

Child Adult Jumper 1.15 m Circuit Champion: Consistency, owned by Mclain Ward

Open Jumper Circuit Champion: Rocabella, owned by Royal Crown Stables

Amateur Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 Circuit Champion: Chello, owned by Kara Jones

Adult Amateur 18-35 Circuit Champion: Cancara, owned by Pamela Hersey

Adult Amateur 36-49 Circuit Champion: Marble Arch, owned by Lindsay Stephenson

Adult Amateur 50 & Over Circuit Champion: Sunkist, owned by Holly Sims

Adult Amateur 2’6” Circuit Champion: Nina, owned by BAM Sporthorses

Amateur Owner 3’3” 18-35 Circuit Champion: Gidget, owned by Sarah Morris

Amateur Owner 3’6” 36 & Over Circuit Champion: Remington, owned by Mary Antonini
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Jessica Springsteen Clinches Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award

Jessica Springsteen aboard Volage du Val Henry. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Jessica Springsteen was named the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) that concluded on Sunday, March 15, in Wellington, FL.

The Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horsewoman Dale Lawler, was presented weekly during WEF to the high-score female rider based on performances in that week’s WEF Challenge Cup and featured grand prix events. Consistent throughout 10 weeks of competition, Springsteen claimed the weekly Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady title during week four and, riding Volage du Val Henry, won the $137,000 CSI3* Grand Prix during week six.

“I’m honored to receive the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider award this year,” said Springsteen, 28, of Colts Neck, NJ. “My horses jumped so well all season, and I couldn’t be happier with them. It’s a great way to end the circuit!

“This sport is so unique in that we compete with women and men in the same competitions,” continued Springsteen. “I think it’s really special in that way, and it’s always so nice that there is an opportunity to win the Leading Lady award every week.”

In recognition of her achievement, Springsteen will receive with a custom-built jump of her choice from Jolicoeur.

“The Leading Lady Award was always the one that I aimed to win when I was competing because it is a testament to consistent top performances,” said Jolicoeur, who began presenting the award in 2010 as a way of recognizing female accomplishments in one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete as equals. “To experience how horses have brought us all together is something special for me. It was an honor to watch Jessica and all of this year’s weekly winners find so much success this season.”

While Springsteen scored the week four title on her way to winning the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Award, other weekly winners this year included U.S. riders Lillie Keenan, Beezie Madden, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Kirsten VanderVeen; Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Alexandra Thornton; and Canada’s Vanessa Mannix.

Contact: Lindsay Brock

Grand National 2020: How to Watch

In an uncertain world, don’t miss the three days of the Grand National Festival from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th April 2020.  The iconic Grand National will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 4th at 5:15pm.  For your safety and convenience and on how to watch the “National”, watch online using this link for Grand National live streaming.  Please know that the BHA announced that all race meetings in Britain from Tuesday until at least the end of March will take place behind closed doors.

The prize fund for the Grand National is £1,000,000 which makes it the most valuable jump race in Europe. 600 million people will watch the race in over 140 countries.

Sponsored by Randox Health, the Grand National UK handicap steeplechase is over 4 miles 514 yards with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps. Enjoy a relaxed raceday experience with a mix of high-quality racing and easy-going entertainment.

The Grand National Day is the most iconic of all handicapped horseracing events in the world. 40 horses and their jockeys will present in the ultimate test in British horse racing. The Grand National course has much larger fences than normal. The Chair, Valentine’s Brook, Foinavon, Becher’s Brook, and the Canal Turn are just some of the famous fences that runners and rider need to navigate in the race.

Even after Tiger Roll’s recent second place at Cheltenham in the March 11th Glenfarclas Cross Country race, this traditional prep run moved him from 5-1 to 8-1 betting odds.  Tiger Roll is still heading the market for the big race. Even though he has been purposely trained for this race, check out the rest of the race contenders to see what value is elsewhere.

Kimberlite Candy won the McCoy Contractors Classic Chase by 10 lengths which makes him a leading Randox Health Grand National contender. He traveled well and jumped the National fences very nicely. He is sure to be a popular horse on the big day.

Magic of Light nearly spoiled the Tiger Roll party in 2019 but had to settle for second place at massive odds of 66-1. At her current 2020 rating of 16-1, she was the only mare to run in the 2019 race at odds of 125-1.  She is already on back-to-back wins this season.

Burrows Saint at 12-1 is another class runner who gave trainer Willie Mullins his first Irish Grand National win in 2019.  He also had a recent win at Punchestown which increased his outlook, but he will only be 7 years old for the 2020 Grand National, so he may still be too young.

Any Second Now won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.  He fell in the 2019 Irish National but he was running well at the time. He is rated at 12-1.

Definitely Red at 14-1 has a good overall record at the track, and with his proven ability to handle the fences, looks an interesting runner.

As for little Tiger Roll, it would be gutting if he loses his chance to make racing history.

The 172nd Grand National will go down in Aintree folklore as the one when Tiger Roll, racing’s rockstar, was admitted to one of the most exclusive clubs in sport: a two-time winner of the world’s greatest race.

He warmed up with a solid second at Cheltenham 2020 and Gordon Elliott wants decent ground for him at Aintree — if it’s on.

Tiger is owned by Gigginstown stud and boss Eddie O’Leary is appealing for common sense about the National. He wants the great race to be run behind closed doors if necessary.

As the weights for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National are set to be revealed on Tuesday afternoon, victory at Aintree on the first Saturday in April would see Tiger Roll emulate Red Rum in becoming only the second horse to win three Grand Nationals. He would become the first to win three in a row.

Owners Michael and Eddie O’Leary of Gigginstown House Stud will reconsider running the ten-year-old Tiger Roll if the rating he is allowed to run off by the BHA handicapper is not compressed to what they believe is an acceptable level. They’ve compressed the race by 8lb on average for the past ten years.

On the Thursday before the Grand National – April 2 – the final 40-runner field (plus four reserves) will be confirmed.

British Racing is in close communication with the Government about current public health matters in the UK and the advice is to continue the business of the country as usual, while adhering to the latest public health advice.

Betsy Steiner Claims Final Sash of AGDF Season on Mare Who Is ‘The Full Package’

Betsy Steiner (USA) and Swiss W ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2020 – The experienced Betsy Steiner (USA) rounded out the very final class of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) season, held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday, March 15. She and Whitney Bailey’s Swiss W won the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by The Dutta Corporation with a commanding 75.592%.

All but one of the 11 starters broke the 70% barrier and U.S. riders filled the top five slots in this class. Jami Kment and Gatino Van Hof Olympia claimed second with 73.558%, and Cesar Parra finished third with 73.175% on GK Don Cesar.

Steiner, who rode for the USA at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, has been coming to AGDF “since the beginning of time,” but this was her first CDI win of the 2020 season.

“I’m amazed, but not shocked because she’s truly a wonderful horse,” said Steiner, who is based in New Jersey and runs a training business with her daughter Jessie. “Swiss puts out so much and she loves showing. You can sit back and enjoy the ride and you see her legs coming out in front of you. She’s an amazing horse; she’s my soulmate, and dream horse.”

Steiner rode the 13-year-old by Sir Oldenburg to music by Terry Gallo. “She’s always done all my music and she’s a genius,” she said. “I told Terry that I loved the sky theme music from Outlander, so we incorporated that and added the Celtic music for the trot and a mash-up of ‘Amazing Grace’ for the pirouettes and ‘Fight Song’ for the canter. I come down the center line and start the changes as ‘Fight Song’ comes on and Swiss lights up; the music is fun for her.”

Steiner found the mare accidentally while horse shopping for a client in Munich, Germany in 2015, and told owner Whitney Bailey that she was too good to pass up.

“She’s been mine ever since,” enthused Steiner, who is 69. “She’s so intelligent and logical that she’s made me a better person and a better, more thoughtful trainer. She’s super close to grand prix now and she’s great for me at this point in my career. If I would have had her earlier on, she’s so talented I would probably have pushed and pushed her, but now I do it according to what she wants.

“I think she’s going to be my best grand prix horse. She has everything. She’s drop dead gorgeous, she has the power, she’s got beautiful rhythm, she’s got a great mind, and she wants to do the work. I’ve had some wonderful horses, but I think she might be my best so far: the full package.”

This concludes action in week 10 of the AGDF — the final week of the 2020 circuit, as weeks 11 and 12 have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The 12-week circuit returns in January 2021. For more information and results, visit