Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

Riders from 16 Countries Compete in Virtual Windsor’s Autumn Series

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series has received over 1,200 entries, with participants competing from 16 countries around the world. The September edition of the first-of-its-kind virtual show series — which runs entirely via a live-stream composed of video competitions, photographs, and calls — will take place from 25-27 September 2020. Alongside online Showing, the Show also hosts a new-format video jumping competition, The Omega Equine Equitation Jumping, The Omega Equine Pony Club Dressage Home International, and The Riding for the Disabled Association Dressage Challenge.

ONLINE SHOWING

The 20 Online Showing classes saw a good turnout, with several well-known names making an appearance. Top showing producer Robert Walker’s seven-year-old daughter Isabella will contest Class 12, the Plaited Mini Pony, on the eight-year-old Sorells Royal Jubilee. Robert says, “Willow, as he’s known at home, has given Isabella four years of enjoyment. He has been very successful in Lead Rein [classes] picking up many wins, including the Blue Riband and Champion at Cheshire two years running.”

Young rider Liberty Taylor-Hopkins competes in the Intermediate class on the Emma-Jayne Dujardin-produced Carnsdale Kings Secret. Emma-Jayne, sister of Olympic medallist Charlotte Dujardin, is a renowned Showing Producer, who said previously that she is “very proud to be the Producer of two of the top Show Hunter Ponies in the top 10 of the [May Edition] Virtual Windsor Horse Show.” Liberty is a previous winner at the inaugural Virtual Windsor Show, where she took the Show Hack and Riding Horse title on Whalton Goodness Gracious.

Another one to watch in the Online Showing will be Fiona McIntyre, an Australian Showing Producer who was recently awarded the 2020 ‘Lady of Racing’ for her contribution to the retraining of former racehorses. Amongst her entries is Bart Cummings’ former grand stayer Precedence, who competed in four Melbourne Cups and won two Moonee Valley Cups. The online Showing classes have been particularly popular amongst Australian riders, with 135 entries across the board.

The Showing will be played out over the three days of the Show and will culminate in The Voltaire Design Supreme Championships.

THE OMEGA EQUINE EQUITATION JUMPING

Brand new for this Series is The Omega Equine Equitation Jumping, an entirely new video discipline which brings jumping competition into the mix. Riders complete a set test, which incorporates a one-stride triple of any safe height and construction along one side of a 20x40m marked out space, and are marked on their rhythm, riding and the willingness and shape of the horse. Designed to make competition accessible, and to promote excellent horsemanship at all levels, the Autumn Series will see two sections: U16s and Open.

The U16s will see a familiar name in the shape of 13-year-old Ellie Stockdale, niece of the late Tim and cousin of Joe. She rides Ostaras Umberto, a Dutch New Forest Pony who she has owned for six months, with whom she has recently been to Pony Club Camp. The Stockdale family has been great supporters of the Royal Windsor Horse Show for many years, with both Tim and Joe securing memorable victories there.

The Open section also sees young rider Gracie Tyte, better known by her social media handle @pony_nuts. Gracie, who is also an ambassador for British Eventing, blogs about her training journeys with her four horses and has a quarter of a million followers across her social media channels. She contests the class on her six-year-old mare, Myspires Another Star.

The Omega Equine Equitation Jumping has seen great support from overseas riders, with entries from as far afield as Canada, Bulgaria, New Zealand, and Finland. Six entries have also come from Thailand, including nine-year-old Punyaphat Budsaenkhom who contests the U16s aboard City NP, having previously achieved 10th in the 2019 Thailand Pony Showjumping Championship.

THE OMEGA EQUINE PONY CLUB HOME INTERNATIONAL DRESSAGE

Entries for the qualifying rounds of The Omega Equine Pony Club Virtual Dressage Home International have also closed and selection for the national teams is underway. The competition, where the winners of the qualifying rounds go on to represent their countries in the Virtual Home International, saw 89 entries from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.  Several competitors, including Tirion Budd (Wing Man) and Jazmin Vollands (Mo Chara Nua), represented their country at the inaugural event at Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019 and are competing for the 2020 Virtual Trophy; former RWHS Tetrathlete, Lauren McGlennon (OMS Lady Esquire), is also competing for a place on the team.

THE RIDING FOR THE DISABLED DRESSAGE CHALLENGE

There was a total of 43 entries for The Riding for the Disabled Dressage Challenge, supported by Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and Wyychanger. Open to all levels and grades of riders, the result is decided on the highest overall percentage, with riders performing the test most suitable to their grading. Alongside some well-established RDA and para riders, the class was also an opportunity for many new RDA riders to take part in their first competitions virtually in this COVID-19 year, including Sophie-Alice Pearman (Carnival Red), Lisa Brooks (Blue), and Alfie Brew-Lee (Maple), who are all riding in their first dressage competition at Virtual Windsor.

Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/ — the site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Amazing Facts about Horse Racing

Do you think you know all there is to know about the beloved sport of horse racing? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting to explore the rich history of this prestigious athletic endeavor, chances are that there are more than a few horse racing facts out there that will surprise you. One of the oldest sports in the world, horse racing is notorious for its coded ways and opaque conventions, leaving many outsiders feeling more than a little mystified. Like anything though, it just takes a little time and patience to understand and appreciate. Here are a few incredible facts about this fascinating activity.

Some horses have defied all odds

Generally speaking, horses have to be able to meet some basic criteria before they can race. Anyone familiar with sportsbet horse racing will know that in addition to passing a regular inspection, it is also necessary to confirm that the horse is completely healthy and exhibiting no symptoms of illness. Seems reasonable enough consider no one would bet on a sick horse, right? Well in 1921, one British racehorse, aptly named Humorist, proved that this wasn’t necessarily the case. Upon winning the country’s most prestigious event, The British Derby, it was discovered that the horse had tuberculosis and was thus competing with only one healthy lung to rely on. It sure didn’t stop him from winning though.

Most horses retire at 15 (halfway through their lifespan)

Just like human athletes, racehorses tend to have a “peak,” at which age they tend to perform best and most consistently. This sweet spot often comes around the 10-year mark and it is pretty unusual to see a racehorse competing past the age of 15. Although they live, on average, for around 30 years, it is unprecedented for a horse over the age of 18 to win a professional horse race.

As old as time itself

When we say one of the world’s oldest sports, we mean it! Although the first official records of horse racing date back to the time of ancient Greece, there is reason to believe that some version of this activity can be traced to as far back as 4, 500 BC. Whether or not the legacy stretches back quite that far though, we have confirmation by way of chariot racing depictions on ancient pottery and descriptions from the infamous poet Homer to know that horse racing has been around for a very long time.

Horseracing is a matter of balancing scales

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how much the average racehorse weighs? Well, in sharp contrast to the famously featherweight jockeys who ride them, you can expect the average Thoroughbred to weigh in at about 1,000 pounds. At the higher end of the weight spectrum though, this can be almost doubled to upwards of 2,000. Switching to the other extreme, the lightest jockey who has ever been recorded weighed an incredibly slight 49 pounds, which is approximately what you could expect of an average 7-year-old.

A LOT of money is bet on horse races

You were probably already aware that there is a lot of money tied up in horses racing, but the actual figures may still make your jaw drop a bit. Over the course of a regular racing season, about $100 billion is bet on horseracing. That’s a pretty staggering number when you think about it. People the world over have long taken great pleasure in better on horse races through, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that that number is only likely to continue growing.

Wonsick, Plante, and Harris Win Southeast Medal Finals Equitation Team Challenge

Madeline Wonsick and Anabella.

Tampa, Fla. – Aug. 29, 2020 – The 2020 Southeast Medal Finals continued Saturday, August 29 for the penultimate day of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida. While the day featured the inaugural rounds of the highly anticipated finals, the sold-out show also showcased a variety of exciting classes outside of the finals, including the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by Josh Hanoud Team – Tropic Shores Realty, and the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic, presented by Equine Healthcare International.

Five teams of junior and amateur riders took to the Stampede Covered Ring for the highlight event of the evening, the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by the Josh Hanoud Team – Tropic Shores Realty. Tasked with forming and executing a plan around an equitation course without any help from a trainer, individual entries could choose to jump at either the 2’6″ or 3′ height in hopes of garnering top scores and helping their team take home the win. The composite score from each of the team’s three or four members would total a final score, dropping the lowest score for teams with four riders. As members of Team 5, Madeline Wonsick and Anabella produced the highest score for their team with an 82 for their picture-perfect trip. Teammates Lauren Plante and Lancelot rode to a score of 79, while Danielle Harris and New Look received a score of 76. As the only team with three members and no drop score, Team 5 would ultimately claim the top prize with a composite score of 237, giving them a 2-point lead.

Team 3 would finish in second place for their total score of 235, with efforts from Chelsea Blackie, Isabella Powell, Macie Sousa, and Schuyler Dayner. Third place was awarded to Team 4, which included Mandy Desante, Emerson Myer, Madison Ramsey, and Rylee Tessmer for their total score of 229. Earlier in the day, the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic, presented by Equine Healthcare International, took place in the Stampede Covered Ring. With riders and their ponies competing over either 2′ of 2’6″ courses, each made a valiant effort towards a consistent track that exemplified handiness and correct form over fences. Susannah Morrell and Lumiere were the ultimate winners of the class, finishing on a score of 84 from the judge. Taking second place was Lilyana Sprafford and Clovermeade Windsurfer, who scored a 78 at the completion of their round. Sophia Sisco and Good Boy rounded out the top three for their score of 76.

For more information, please visit www.southeastmedalfinals.com.

Zoubair Bennani and Vishnou un Prince Crowned $5,000 UpCountry Welcome Stake Winners

Zoubair Bennani and Vishnou un Prince.

Tampa, Fla. – Aug. 28, 2020 – Hunter and jumper competition at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida resumed Friday, August 28 for the second day of the 2020 Southeast Medal Finals. Buzzing with riders of all ages and levels, the sold-out horse show produced an exciting atmosphere during the $5,000 UpCountry Welcome Stake and the $3,000 3’0 Hunter Spectacular, presented by CWD, which took center stage that afternoon. Stiff competition in both classes made for great sport, but ultimately, it was Zoubair Bennani and Vishnou un Prince who bested the field to take home the top honors in the $5,000 UpCountry Welcome Stake, while Isaac Leffkowitz and Ever So Clever wore blue in the $3,000 3’0 Hunter Spectacular, presented by CWD.

Twenty-seven athletes put their names forward for the $5,000 UpCountry Welcome Stake, all vying for the top spot and the lion’s share of money. Set in the Grand Prix Ring, the 1.25m speed course featured two combinations and bending lines that challenged riders to execute a tidy track while keeping all 11 obstacles intact. Hayley Waters and Harvest Moon were the pathfinders of the course, producing a clear effort and stopping the timers at 67.19 seconds. The speed format made for fast and furious competition as each athlete tried their best to pilot their way to a fault-free round. Soon after Water’s fierce ride, Megan Wexler jumped to the lead on a clear round time of 63.45 seconds. Four others would follow suit, clocking in with no faults, however, none were fast enough to beat Wexler.

As one of the final few partnerships to enter the ring, Bennani was cool, calm, and collected as he found the first fence aboard Leah Garlan’s feisty 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding. With an original plan to ride a smooth and confident track, Bennani was soon on his way to a victorious finish as he raced through the timers in 61.70 seconds, leaving all of the fences up and blowing Wexler’s previous leading time out of the water. The Ocala based athlete was thrilled with the unexpected result, praising Vishnou un Prince for his quick step and scope. As a relatively new partnership, Bennani has high hopes for the future with Vishnou un Prince.

Over in the Stampede Covered Ring, Leffkowitz and Ever So Clever came out on top in the $3,000 3’0 Hunter Spectacular, presented by CWD. Thirty horse-and-rider combinations contended for the top honor, but the 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding proved to be unbeatable after leading the first round on a score of 86 and maintaining his lead with an 84 in the handy round for an overall score of 170. The Fat Chance Farm owned entry jumped in perfect form, showing his scope and adjustability throughout the two rounds to reign supreme on the judge’s card. Leffkowitz gained the ride on Ever So Clever, who was previously a jumper, a year and a half ago and has been campaigning him in the Green Hunters since then.

Completing the podium for the $3,000 3’0 Hunter Spectacular, presented by CWD, was Shannon Dickinson aboard My Way, who ended on a score of 168 overall for their two seamless rounds, and Patrick Miller who rode ESH Corofino’s Legacy to a final score of 164.

In the $3,000 2’6 Hunter Spectacular, presented by CWD, it was Wexler and Despacito who earned first place for their beautiful trip. Taking second place was Kolby Pott and Val de Loir-Imoo, while Lauren Plante and Lancelot rounded out the top three.

For more information, please visit www.southeastmedalfinals.com.

What Preakness Stakes Betting Odds and Field Looks Like in the New Normal

Image Source.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of havoc in the world. The sports industry is one of the most affected industries, leading to a major setback and schedule changes since the start of this year. Some tournaments got suspended while others are coming back, following the full health protocols imposed by the government.

Although many sports faced an indefinite suspension this year, the U.S. Triple Crown Series has fortunately found a way to continue the horse racing games. However, it had a unique arrangement this year, where the Belmont Stakes launched the series, followed by the Kentucky Derby, and closed by the Preakness Stakes.

Taking the last piece of the Triple Crown Series today is the Preakness Stakes. Aside from the concluding show, it will hail a possible Triple Crown winner. While it’s still early to find out the 2020 Preakness Stakes odds, here’s what the whole Preakness Stakes field will look like in today’s new normal.

2020 Preakness Stakes Main Superstars

With the Derby trails and pre-Triple Crown races accomplished this month, fans can anticipate the best horses in the field. Earlier this year, several Derby-prep races settled in notable racecourses, which helped the horses to earn the needed points. Apart from that, other racing tournaments let the colts earn significant placements, which boost their odds.

So, in the upcoming 145th renewal of the Run For The Black-Eyed Susans, only the best all-three-year old thoroughbreds are gracing the dirt track. Hence, you should not miss watching this event, as everyone can see a head-to-head challenge. You can witness an intense showdown that will help you get up your feet and take your breath away.

Massive Betting Games

With all the major changes happening in the Triple Crown Series today, one thing that remained consistent is the betting games. Punters can still look forward to the complete betting categories they can wager to boost their bankroll. There are simple betting games and the challenging ones that let you test your betting prowess.

In the upcoming Preakness Stakes, there are already horses who sent their bid to run inevitably. Their odds and lines are already up, so you might want to review them. Remember that there is no consistent formula you can apply to pick deserving bets. However, if you know how to study each line movement and racehorse’s ability, you will be heading to form the right bets.

Limited Number of Spectators

The Belmont Stakes this year started with no spectators on the field. The Kentucky Derby will come in two weeks, which will allow fewer numbers of fans. In the Preakness Stakes, the Stronach Group has agreed to allow a limited number of audiences at the Pimlico Park. In line with this, fans are required to follow strict health protocols to contain the Coronavirus.

The Preakness Stakes tickets are already up in their website and partner merchants. Make sure to reserve your tickets as early as now as it may run out soon. If you happen to watch the live show, you must fulfill the necessary tests before entering the field. The hospitality tickets are also offered but with many health restrictions.

No InfieldFest Happening

The InfieldFest is an annual gathering happening the night after the racing game. It highlights a loud music festival, where fans can dance to the beat of the music. Not only that, but some famous Hollywood performers also grace the party. They portray a concert-vibe InfieldFest where you can feel the culture of the Preakness Stakes.

However, this year, the festival won’t happen due to social distancing rules. The only thing that will take place is the formal racing and betting games. Although InfieldFest is not happening, you can still savor the fine dining offered at Pimlico Park. Besides that, the Black-Eyed Susans cocktail is still served, which is the official cocktail drink of the Preakness Stakes.

Barn Tour Will Still Take Place

The Barn tour is a significant event to take note of in the Preakness Stakes. It happens two days before the formal racing starts, where the horses, trainers, and jockeys are making their final preparation. The official fourteen Preakness Stakes participants will also have their workouts during the Barn Tour to check if they are ready for the competition.

If you are betting for the Preakness Stakes and still torn on which horse to wager, take time to participate in the Barn Tour. It is your best venue to observe and compare all the colts. It should be your basis which entry you’re finally cheering on.

Takeaway

With heavy anticipation and thrill, the Preakness Stakes this year will not surely disappoint you as it ends the Triple Crown in a new normal edition. It might bring tighter security inside the field to contain the virus from spreading. However, the one thing that’s never going to change is the betting games and the fun it brings.

The Grand Prix of the CSI 2* at the Hubside Jumping de Grimaud for Belgian Gregory Wathelet

© Ljuba Buzzola for HUBSIDE JUMPING.

Penalized by an unfortunate point of time exceeded in the Grand Prix of the CSI 4* of the HUBSIDE JUMPING of Grimaud, the Belgian Grégory Wathelet wins in the Grand Prix of the CSI 2*, associated with Iron Man van de Panderborre. He is ahead of Scott Brash on Hello Mr President and the American Jessica Sprinsgteen on Volage du Val Henry. Best Frenchwoman, Marion Skalli, is fifth in the saddle on Rialto de Chassignol.

“To come back to yesterday’s Grand Prix, the course manager’s task was not at all easy. On paper, he had to offer a 4* course, but in fact, he had to deal with a 5* target. Already Friday evening in the big event, the first three are horses with a lot of experience, including experiences in the championship. So it is very difficult for the course manager, who despite everything did a very good job last night. Of course, the time was very short and I paid the price, but I will not give him wrong. In the end, the jump-off was of great quality, with seven clear rounds, which we riders prefer, really to a jump-off at eighteen for example. If he had set a time longer than two seconds, then there would have been fifteen additional jump-offs, which is not necessarily better. It was certainly against me yesterday, but the sport was beautiful and I was delighted with my horse.

“Today, in the 2* Grand Prix, it was different: we are not in the same range, in the same odds. But there is always this top plateau, of a much higher level than that of a traditional 2*. So again, I find the work of the course manager very good. There was no race at the jump-off, with twenty-five qualified, which would not have been very happy. I had decided to hire Iron Man van de Padenborre for his return to competition, when he is more used to CSI 5*. This Grand Prix was in a way a training. It was the first real horse show since December last year. In January he got a break, then I got a shoulder injury. We had to start over at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but the competition was canceled at the last minute. Then we received a lot of breeding requests. So much so that we meet here for its cover. He did a little competition three weeks ago, but his real recovery was this week, in 2*. No doubt that next week, he will stay on this level to resume a few kilometers, even if he jumped well today. I do not want to go too fast; we will see week after week to get him going again: I am listening to him.”

Full results here.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Kentucky Derby 2020 – In the Time of Coronavirus

The Kentucky Derby, normally the first race of the Triple Crown, will be on September 5, 2020 instead of the instead of the traditional first Saturday in May. Attendance will be less than 14% of total capacity from event record, maximum of 40% of seated capacity. There will be no General Admission this year and the infield will be closed.

Guests are encouraged to wager online. The potential the Kentucky Derby 2020 contenders sorted by the number of points earned during the Road to Kentucky Derby prep races and help with understanding the Odds for the race can be found at Kentucky Derby odds.

Churchill Downs officials announced a 62-page operations plan that will limit attendance for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby to fewer than 23,000 guests. Upon entry to the Derby, guests must have his or her temperature checked, a medical screening, are required to physically distance, and face coverings are mandated.

To reduce crowding, select Kentucky Derby Week activities have been eliminated including autograph signings, concerts in the Plaza, fashion contests, Taste of Derby, the Survivors Parade, and the Red Carpet.

Dawn at the Downs, the annual event to dine while observing morning workouts, has been moved to Monday, Aug. 31, and will be limited to guests with reserved seats; there will be no free general admission.

Reserved seating will be limited to a maximum of 40% occupancy. Also, Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets have been eliminated. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.

Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, a pocket-sized hand sanitizer, and a personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.

This plan will allow Churchill Downs to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby Week (Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 5) with a limited number of spectators. The protocols will be in effect for all five days of the Sept. 1-5 racing meet at Churchill Downs.

The overwhelming early Kentucky Derby favorite is Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who easily won the 2020 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg and ridden by Manny Franco, has won six of his seven career starts and $2,015,300. Other top Derby contenders include Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby winner Art Collector, Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A. P., and Haskell Stakes winner Authentic.

NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on Sept. 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, the Derby’s counterpart for 3-year-old fillies, will be televised Friday, Sept. 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

This will be one of the largest crowds for a sporting event in the United States since sports began shutting down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A crowd of 30,000 fans was allowed at a NASCAR race on July 15 in Bristol, Tennessee.

Per Churchill Downs: “Medical best practices and protocols — many of which we have applied in consultation with experts both inside and outside the sports industry — will be implemented, and we’ll make adjustments all the way up to Derby Day as we find ways to improve and continue to adhere to ever-evolving best practices.”

In 2020, you learn to expect the unexpected. So when the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve announced that it would run on Sept. 5 instead of the traditional first Saturday in May, the schedule of qualifying races included some new summer events that have never had Derby points attached to them before.

In 2013, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby began a system to qualify horses for the classic race by designating certain prep races with points: the higher the points value of a race, the tougher the competition. That’s because only 20 horses are able to run in the Kentucky Derby each year, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: only Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-old Thoroughbreds are eligible to run.

With more than a month left before the big race this year, it looks like the minimum qualifying points may be higher, since the horses lowest on the top 20 list already have at least 30 points to his or her credit.

The standings heading into August have Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law on top with a whopping 272 points.

  • Tiz the Law – Manny Franco 6-5. Last Race was Travers Stakes, Saratoga, 8/8, 1st by 5 1/2
  • Art Collector – Brian Hernandez, Jr. 5-1. Last Race was Ellis Park Derby, Ellis Park, 8/9, 1st by 3 1/4

With a little more than a month left until the run for the roses, there are still some prep races with qualifying points on the calendar.

Some of the jockeys have more than one ride. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this may cause some jockeys to give up some of his or her business/races due to Covid 14-day quarantine.

This unprecedented pandemic has caused tracks, most notably Del Mar and Saratoga, to institute policies whereby if a jockey leaves, he or she can’t come back before the meet ends. Both those meets end on Labor Day, two days after the Derby on Sept. 5, so riders from those locales who go to the Derby would miss out on at least the final three days of those lucrative meets.

Churchill Downs has yet to release its final protocols regarding jockeys who travel in for the Derby, the resolution of which could force riders to give up even more significant business at his or her home tracks.

An early working document from Churchill Downs regarding when jockeys needed to arrive required them to be in Kentucky by Aug. 24, which would force a rider to give up the final two weeks at Saratoga and Del Mar. That is expected to be tweaked. Still, for a jockey like Manny Franco, who rides Tiz the Law, or Mike Smith, who rides Honor A. P., it’s worth it, whatever the requirements. Perhaps not so much for others.

Activists are calling for cancellation of the 2020 Kentucky Derby, accusing the city of cracking down on demonstrations ahead of the event.  Protest groups working to find justice for Breonna Taylor want the Kentucky Derby cancelled this year. City leaders are accused of trying to make Louisville look good in front of a national audience, instead of addressing community issues like systemic racism.

International Pony Club Dressage Comes to Virtual Windsor

The Pony Club’s new virtual dressage competition is to be launched as part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020. The competition will take pride of place on the Sunday of the online Show, which will be live-streamed from 25-27 September 2020.

Based on The Pony Club Home International Dressage which takes place annually at Royal Windsor Horse Show, the competition has been redesigned for a virtual platform. Teams of four will represent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland in a first‐of‐its‐kind competition, with each team containing one Novice, one Intermediate, and two Open riders. Any current Pony Club member who fulfils the minimum requirements may enter a video to the Qualifying Competition, of which the highest scores in each country will form the teams. All entries to the Qualifying Competition will be judged and placed, with rosettes to 10th.

The highest placed riders from each country, in each section, will then go forward to film their Home International test. All tests will be judged by a panel of three British Dressage listed judges, one of whom will be completely independent of The Pony Club. The tests and results will be live-streamed as one programme as part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020, on Sunday 27 September.

Marcus Capel, CEO of The Pony Club, said, “It is so exciting to have the opportunity to stage our Pony Club Home International Dressage virtually this year. The competition is usually a chance for riders to compete against the backdrop of Windsor Castle so, despite the disappointments that Covid‐19 has brought to 2020, our members will be able to ride at the virtual Royal Windsor Horse Show and to compete in this challenge online.”

Royal Windsor’s Show Director, Simon Brooks‐Ward, said, “We are delighted to be able to announce that The Pony Club Home International Dressage will take place on the Sunday of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020. The Pony Club is a stepping-stone for so many talented young riders, and during these times it is adapting and overcoming to continue providing education, inspiration, and competition to young riders all over the country. I look forward to seeing the high standard of equestrianism The Pony Club always produces.”

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will run from 25-27 September 2020 with the show itself taking place as a free‐to‐view live-stream available on Facebook, YouTube, and the Virtual Windsor website across the Show Weekend.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Sweetnam and HDB Quality Win Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers

Lexington, Ky. – July 22, 2020 – Introduced last year to the Kentucky Horse Park, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour offers riders the opportunity to get their young horses exposure to the show ring in an educational and friendly atmosphere. Shane Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm’s HDB Quality kicked off the 2020 inaugural event with a win Wednesday afternoon, stopping the timers at a nimble 40.77 seconds in the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 7-Year-Old Jumpers.

Christopher Coberley and Mariner Start TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters Strong

Hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show kicked off Wednesday, July 22, bringing top athletes and horses to the Kentucky Horse Park for a week of exciting sport. In the Murphy Arena, Thoroughbred horses were highlighted for the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters, a division that promotes a second career for retired racehorses. Standing out from the pack, it was Christopher Coberley and Mariner who took home the blue over fences.

For more information on Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Riding for the Disabled Association Dressage – A New Virtual Windsor Discipline

The Virtual Windsor Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Dressage Challenge will take place for the first time during the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020, streamed live from 25-27 September. The class, for which competitors will film their dressage tests at home and submit them online, gives riders the opportunity to get back to competition while remaining socially distanced.

Run in accordance with RDA rules, the Virtual Windsor RDA Dressage Challenge, supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be free to enter and open to all Classified riders. Judged as one championship section, competitors will select the appropriate test for their grade from a choice of eight (Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Intellectual Disability Walk Only, Intellectual Disability Walk & Trot, and Intellectual Disability Canter) and submit a video. The tests will then be judged, with the best scores across all tests taking the top places. Judging the competition will be RDA Dressage Lead and Judge John Robinson, who is also a BD List 2A and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge.

The Virtual Windsor RDA Dressage Challenge will be broadcast as the highlight of the Virtual Windsor livestream on Friday 25 September, during which the finalists’ rounds will be played and the winners announced. The livestream, which will be available on Facebook, YouTube, and the Virtual Windsor website, is free to watch and will remain online to enjoy after the event.

Ed Bracher, Chief Executive of RDA UK, said, “I am delighted that the Virtual Windsor RDA Dressage Challenge will be part of Virtual Windsor’s Autumn Series. With so many competitions having been cancelled, this is a great chance for classified riders – whether they are part of RDA or not – to compete nationally. We are grateful to the organisers for including an RDA class and look forward to this becoming a regular fixture in the Virtual Windsor Series.”

Virtual Windsor’s Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said, “We are delighted to announce that RDA Dressage will be one of the disciplines we host as part of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series, alongside Online Showing, Equitation Jumping, and the Pony Club Home International Dressage. While 2020 has been a challenging year, with the Virtual Windsor Series we have embraced the opportunity to provide accessible, high-level competition in a format available to all. The standard of competition at the inaugural Virtual Windsor was extremely high, so we are expecting great things from the Autumn and Winter Series.”

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will run from 25-27 September 2020, with entries opening on Friday 14 August and closing on Friday 4 September, and the Show itself taking place as a free‐to-view livestream available on Facebook, YouTube, and the Virtual Windsor website across the Show Weekend.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355