Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

Fourth Victory for Christopher Burton in Saumur

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

For the fourth time (after his 2012, 2016, and 2018 victories), Australia’s Christopher Burton wins CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet, after having dominated the dressage and the cross-country tests and after a course without any fault on show jumping. At the end of the Saumur competition, his horse Polystar I now fills the qualifying conditions for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Burton is ahead of two Tricolores: local Jean Lou Bigot, associated with Utrillo du Halage, and Christopher Six, on Totem de Brecey. Respectively second and third at the end of the cross-country test, France’s Nicolas Touzaint (on Absolut Gold) and Victor Levecque (on RNH MC Ustinov) downgraded to sixth and fourth place following 8 and 4 penalty points on show jumping.

Reaction of Christopher Burton, winner of the CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet 2019:
“It’s incredible. It’s a very special feeling, especially since Saumur is such an endearing site. Whatever may have happened here today, I would have kept exceptional memories of Saumur. I love coming here and when I arrived on Tuesday, I had a large smile on my lips. The horse was exceptional today: I cannot believe that I am paid to ride such an extraordinary horse (laughs). He is now qualified for Tokyo, so we have only to think about the direction we want to give to his preparation, and to go on!”

Reaction of Jean Lou Bigot, second of the CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet 2019, best French rider:
“The horse was ready; it was an important goal of his season. I was working on his fitness since the beginning of the year for this CCI 4*L. The main quality of this horse is his canter. He knows how to be fast on the cross-country test. His weakest point, which remains to improve, would be the dressage. But it progresses continuously, and I grab points on each competition. I have Utrillo in may stables since he is five, we could have stopped at a time as it was complicated between us, but Nicolas Touzaint gave me valuable advice on training. So, now, we take our time; we will not try to grill the stages.”

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci4x-l-1108/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

CCI3*L Saumur – China Is Getting Closer to Olympic Qualification

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

At the end of the CCI3*L cross country test at Verrie racecourse (France) as part of the Saumur Complet, China is leading the provisional ranking of the four Groupe G nations, 2 of which 2 will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.  In the individual provisional rankings, the Spanish rider Gonzalo Blasco Botin is leading, being one of the only two riders to complete a perfect test without any faults and within the time allowed.

China is in front of Japan, automatically qualified as the host nation, with Thailand in third place and Hong Kong in fourth. Before the last test, the show jumping, China (118.6) has a comfortable lead of 16.7 points over Thailand (153.3) and equally Thailand has a comfortable lead of 38.3 points over Hong Kong (173.6). However, there is still pressure on the Chinese as the team only has 3 riders left after the elimination of one of the 4 team members during the cross country and so cannot afford the elimination of one of its riders in the showjumping any more than Hong Kong (who only had 3 riders to start with). Only Thailand finished the cross country ‘complete’ and can still call on its 4 riders.

As a reminder, Saumur Complet and its CCI3*L is the only chance for countries in Group F (Africa and the Middle East) and Group G (Oceania and South East Asia) to qualify a team for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo.  Two teams will qualify as a result of this weekend’s competition in Saumur. Then all that will remain for the 2 teams that qualify is for the 3 riders who make up the team to gain individual qualifications.

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci3x-l-1109/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Saumur Complet / CCI 4*L / Dressage / Burton Already in the Lead; Levecque at Second Place

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

Friday 24th of May was the start of Saumur Complet’s highest level of competition: the CCI 4*L with the dressage test. After this first test, the most awaited athlete of the weekend, Christopher Burton, who was part of the Australian bronze medal winning team at the Olympic Games in Rio, is in the best position: first place of the provisional ranking with his horse Polystar. He is ahead of two French riders: Victor Levecque with RNH MC Ustinov, second at the provisional ranking and, in third place, Christopher Six with Totem de Brecey.

Christopher Burton talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« We are delighted with Polystar. His attitude is about as good as he can do at the moment and we are very proud of him. He and I were in total harmony and he didn’t make any mistake. Of course, in dressage things can always be better but Polystar was really at his best! »

Burton about Polystar I:
« He’s a wonderful story. He came to me for sale some years ago, but we couldn’t buy him. I always knew that he was a good horse and then, three years ago, Trisha (his current owner) bought him for me and the moment she owned him he started winning. »

Burton about Saumur Complet:
« This competition has always brought me luck and I come back every year with pleasure. When we needed qualification points for Polystar, I had the choice of three competitions. His owner immediately advised me to come to Saumur because the competition would suit me. »

Victor Levecque talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« This is his first outing at this level and I am very satisfied with my horse. He does dressage pretty well. Perhaps I didn’t expect such a good result, but I wasn’t expecting a disaster ever.  But we know we still have the rest to do. I am happy, the horse was as serious as usual, and I hope that it is a good omen for the rest. »

Levecque talking about the CCI 4*L cross country:
« I have already walked the course three times so I really have it in mind – the obstacles, the combinations. Once again, it is a first for me in any case in the long format. I don’t really know the capacity of my horse to do the distance. But it is a horse who has enormous qualities; we have been preparing him for this level. He will give me everything. It remains for me to be as fluid as possible and to encourage him the best I can so we get to the end. I have the chance to be trained by Maxime Livio who has a lot experiences and who has helped me greatly in preparing for this important competition. We have made a plan which is really clear in my head and I will try to stick to it the best I can. Now, all that remains is for me to modify my riding with the feelings I get. I have competing in lot of 3*L and some 4*S. In the technicality and the height of the obstacles, it is always possible to be caught out, but I’m not overwhelmed by it. Nevertheless, for the distance, that is more of an unknow quantity. The same combination is always different after 6 to 9 minutes. »

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci4x-l-1108/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

The Olympic Future of China, Thailand, and Hong Kong Will Be Set in Saumur

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

This weekend, at the international competition of eventing « Saumur Complet » during the CCI 3*L, countries from group G play their team qualifications for the next Olympic Games of Tokyo in 2020. After the first test (dressage), one of the three tests of eventing, China started well. Second after Japan, country that is automatically qualified as it is the « host-country », China get ahead of Thailand and Hong Kong. On the individual side, at the first place of the temporary ranking after dressage, we can find Alex Hua Tian… a Chinese athlete! Reaction of one of the coaches of the Chinese team, the French Pascale Boutet:

« This weekend’s challenge is huge. We have three countries, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and only two places for qualification at the next Olympic Games! In terms of sport experiences, those three countries are really young, and they all have recently decided to be active in eventing. The last 2018 World Equestrian Games had qualified Australia and New Zealand; Japan was automatically qualified; from then, the qualification process of the G group (Oceania and South-East Asia), only two places were still at stake. Those three countries have decided to take the opportunity, predicting that it might be easier to be qualified to the Olympic Games in eventing then in show jumping (explained by the fact that there are fewer countries competing in eventing than in show jumping). »

« I’ve worked with China for ten years, and everything got faster a few months ago. We had to put in place a viable project that plan to create a Chinese team training in Europe. Meanwhile, the stables had to stay in China as horses living in China cannot leave the country and the Chinese riders do not have a long-term visa. Thus, in Europe, China has three stables: in France, at my home, in Belgium, and another one in Holland with Martin Lips. The leader in this team is Alex Hua Tian, a Sino-British athlete, living in England. For the stables where I have the responsibilities, horses were bought in December; it is really recent. It is only the third competition, here in Saumur, for those combinations. In France, I train the horses, the riders train in China, and they come back in Europe a few days before each competition. Today’s results, in dressage, are encouraging; we are particularly proud! »

« If China qualifies its team for Tokyo’s Olympic Games, then we will have to qualify individually the athletes that will compose the Chinese Olympic team. Those individual qualifications are done at the CCI 4*L level; our riders do not have experience at this top level; the challenge will be higher than qualifying the team this weekend. But in the Chinese culture, we go for it; we trust coaches and horses! Yesterday (Wednesday 22th of May), we have done the course inspection; they were impressed as they do not have the experience at this level, but they will go for it! As they will do at the 4*L level, if they succeed to qualify a team. We will have then to qualify three athletes; it will be another huge challenge, as there is a big level difference between 3* and 4*. The stable based in Holland from a longer time than the one in France, has few experiences at the 4* level, but the athletes of the horses based in the French one haven’t any experiences. »

So let’s see what will happen Saturday morning, from 10 am, for the CCI 3*L cross-country test. The gap between the results after the dressage test is small. Thus, the competition between the three countries is going to be thrilling. China has only 19 points (89,2) ahead of Thailand (108,2) and 25 points from Hong Kong (114,9), meaning nothing when we know that a refusal in cross country is already 20 points!

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Award-Winning Equestrian Journalist Diana De Rosa to Visit Because of Horses Friday, May 24

Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa.

For over 35 years, veteran equestrian journalist, photographer, and public relations maven Diana De Rosa has covered equestrian sport around the world, including the past eight Olympic Games, all eight World Equestrian Games, several Pan Am Games, and FEI World Cups. Diana enjoys creating richly told stories through photography and writing and has over 1,000 published credits to her name.

Diana is the owner of Press Link, a public relations firm based in Farmingdale, New York. Her past and present clients include the Hampton Classic, National and Washington International Horse Shows, USA Equestrian Trust, Healthy Horse Boutique, Running Wild, Dream Works, the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, and Twentieth Century Fox. Diana worked with the late actor Christopher Reeve for eight years before his death in 2004.

A past president of American Horse Publications, Diana is also a longtime member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. She currently is on the executive board of the Press Club of Long Island. Diana’s work has taken her to 30 countries and has even led to a stint in front of the camera when she co-hosted the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show for local TV station WVVH. She was presented with the 2005 US Equestrian Federation Media Award for Photography in recognition of a photo of show jumper Peter Wylde and Fein Cera competing at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Diana dedicated her win to Reeve.

Diana is the co-organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival, held annually in New York City with tour stops around the United States. Notable recent tour appearances by the Festival included the 2017 World Cup in Omaha, Nebraska and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

Diana is a former riding school manager and a graduate of SUNY Albany, where she studied languages.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

Tyler Gaffalione Races to First Place Finish in 144th Preakness Stakes

Tyler Gaffalione and War Of Will. Photo By: Jim McCue/The Maryland Jockey Club.

Gilbert, AZ – May 22, 2019 – On Saturday, May 18, a field of 13 horses were led to the finish line by American Equus Chosen Rider Tyler Gaffalione during the 144th run of the Preakness Stakes. Starting at the number one post, Gaffalione piloted Gary Barber’s War Of Will, trained by Mark Cassee, through the 1 3/16 mile race at the Pimlico track in Baltimore, Maryland. Capturing the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, this victory marks Gaffalione’s first Triple Crown win as a jockey.

As the largest Preakness Stakes since 2011, a crowd of 131,256 people watched on as Gaffalione and the 6-1 third betting choice horse made their move through an opening on the rail in the final turn to take the lead and gallop to the finish line. Their impressive time of 1 minute and 54.34 seconds ultimately added to the list of Gaffalione’s 1,086 career wins.

Other American Equus jockeys, Ricardo Santana and Javier Castellano, had an outstanding showing at Pimlico. Santana guided New York Central to a win in the Maryland Sprint Stakes G3 in Saturday’s schedule, while Castellano won an unprecedented 4 races on Friday, including the Black Eyed Susan G2 Stakes on Point of Honor.

“This win marks our companies third back-to-back Preakness win since gaining our first one in 2017. With this additional title we now hold four Triple Crown wins thanks to the world-class jockeys that trust our product and brand to carry them around the track. Tyler Gaffalione is a great representation of the talent we are lucky to have represent us. The whole team at American Equus is proud of this great accomplishment,” shares David Shano, Founder and CEO of America Equus. “With Belmont only three weeks away we cannot wait to see what War Of Will can accomplish next.”

For a complete list of results in the 144th Preakness Stakes, click here.

Media Contact: Lenore Phillips
561-753-3389 | lrb@phelpsmediagroup.com

Rolex Grand Prix Returns to the Eternal City of Rome

Geneva, Switzerland, 20 May 2019 – The world’s elite show jumping riders will be welcomed to the prestigious Piazza di Siena in the Eternal City of Rome from 23-26 May to contest the Rolex Grand Prix. A marvel of landscape architecture, this famous setting will play host to four days of intense competition.

The CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, set in the stunning gardens of the Villa Borghese in the heart of the Italian capital, is widely regarded as one of the sport’s most beautiful venues. Steeped in equestrian history, this will be the 87th edition of the Rome showpiece, the first taking place at the venue 90 years ago in 1929. In 2018, the 18th century oval was re-grassed, returning it to its original splendour. Last year also heralded a new chapter in the show’s distinguished history as Rolex became the Official Timekeeper.

For more than 60 years Rolex has been a dedicated supporter of equestrianism in a privileged relationship that permeates all levels of the sport. The Swiss watch manufacturer not only partners with all four Majors – The Dutch Masters, CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, and the CHI Geneva – but with other innovative and prestigious competitions, including the CSIO Roma.

CONTENDING ROLEX TESTIMONEES
Course designer for the CSIO Roma since 2000, Uliano Vezzani is renowned for his tough Grand Prix layouts, and competitors can expect it, as always, to be meticulously planned and supremely challenging, requiring precision and boldness.

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, who has held the World No. 1 ranking for five consecutive months, will pose a strong threat to fellow Testimonee, Kent Farrington. Always a force to be reckoned with, USA’s Kent Farrington is on fine form, as displayed by his recent fifth-place finish in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. “Being able to compete in the city of Rome is a setting like no other, making both a beautiful place and a historical venue for our sport. My horses are feeling good so hopefully we can be at our best for the competition,” Farrington said.

Competing alongside his fellow Rolex Testimonees will be Great Britain’s Scott Brash. An equestrian phenomenon, Brash is the only rider to have lifted the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping trophy for winning three consecutive Grands Prix at the Major events. World No. 5 Martin Fuchs, a member of the Rolex New Guard, will also have the opportunity to showcase his burgeoning talent. Completing the roster of Rolex Testimonees will be France’s Kevin Staut, team gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam, who has won individual Olympic (Sydney 2000), World (Caen 2014) and European (Aachen 2015) titles.

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Racing to Extinction: New Management Plan Will Devastate Our Wild Herds

For the past couple of weeks, we have been in contact with the ASPCA and HSUS, the main drivers behind a new management proposal for America’s wild horses and burros. We learned of their concerns for our wild herds in response to growing impatience on the part of lawmakers. We have also listened to the comments of other wild horse advocates and all of you wild horse lovers.

We share your deep concern, especially if this plan moves forward.

In its current form, this “management” plan lacks the safeguards and oversight that would keep our wild herds safe from inappropriate, unscientific, and cruel management practices. We have tried to work with the organizations supporting this plan, asking them to add language which mandates that funds be allocated for humane, reversible fertility control and provide for meaningful accountability on the part of BLM.

Sadly, we understand that the proposal will soon be put forward to Congress as-is. This does not end our efforts. We will continue to fight for the protection of America’s wild horses and burros. We are actively working on alternative solutions to this disastrous proposal and we will see the fight through.

We want to thank you all for your support of our mission and our work, and for loving our wild herds as much as we do. Transparency is at the core of meaningful communication and that is why we’d like to explain our concerns about this proposed plan, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it seems right to you.

Our wild horses will need your voice in the coming months, and being informed is the first step in taking effective action. I have learned in my 25 years of advocacy that one passionate voice can make a difference, but an army of informed, passionate voices can create lasting change.

Thank you for standing with us and with our wild ones.

We know that we can count on you to lend your voice, as needed, to champion our wild families, who cannot speak for themselves.

We encourage you to call your representatives and senators and urge them not to support this proposal as-is.

Click here to find your elected officials.

Ginger Kathrens
Founder and Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Cody Sapergia Rides Mr Royal Hollywood to Carolina Classic Open Derby Championship

Cody Sapergia and Mr. Royal Hollywood. ©Fletch Photos.

Mill Spring, NC – May 13, 2019 – Reiners from around the country participated in the 29th annual Carolina Classic at TIEC on May 8-12, held for the second year in a row at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). In the Open Derby, Cody Sapergia topped the Level 3 and 4 leaderboards with Mr Royal Hollywood, scoring 225.5 points and $7,000 in prize money.

Abigail Grace Ehringer swept the Non-Pro Derby aboard All You Need Is Luv, claiming the championship title in Levels 1 through 4 and taking home $7,300 in prize money. Michael Hancock scored champion honors and $1,900 in prize money aboard Nics Custom Dually in the Non-Pro Derby Prime Time and Masters levels.

Securing the Open Derby Level 3 and 4 champion titles was Cody Sapergia of Smithfield, NC with a score of 225.5 aboard Mr Royal Hollywood, George and Carol Bell’s 4-year-old stallion by Hollywoodtinseltown out of Cee Miss Hollywood. Sapergia complimented his horse’s double-win performance.

“The circles he ran really well and came back to me good. The first turn was really solid, quite quick and I stopped him square, so no penalties. The second set of circles and spins were also good, but I think that what really got the points were the stops at the end because he’s a really good stopper, he’s really good with the front feet, and he has a good position and goes a long way, so I was really happy with him today,” explained Sapergia.

Sapergia was looking forward to a repeat visit to TIEC and complimented his experience at the Carolina Classic.

“I was here last year for the World Equestrian Games as the coach for the Mexican Reining Team. It was great then, and I couldn’t wait to come back this time because it’s such a unique venue. It’s really cool – really big arena, really good ground and there’s lots going on with the jumping and stuff like that, so it’s exciting,” added Sapergia.

With a score of 223.5, the Open Derby Level 2 champion honors went to Amanda F. Yarbrough and Gunners Shining Star, a 4-year-old mare by Gunners Special Nite out of Whiz Bang Spark and owned by Donald C. Burgy.

Gilad Susman earned the Open Derby Level 1 champion title with a score of 219 on Stanley Coats’ Sparklin Magnum, a 5-year-old stallion by Magnum Chic Dream out of Still Sparklin.

Click here for all results from the 2019 Carolina Classic at TIEC.

For more information and results, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Strzegom Horse Trials: The Entries Have Started

Photo: Mariusz Chmieliński.

Strzegom, Poland, 13 May: The 17th edition of Lotto Strzegom Horse Trials is on its way. The works on cross country course are in progress and first entries have been submitted.

“The weather is excellent. It’s warm and sunny so we can work on cross country course,” says Marcin Konarski, Event Director and Course Designer. “There will be a lot of changes on the course this year. As always, we try to find new solutions and challenging fences to use at the upcoming event.

“The competition on two days of cross-country test – Saturday and Sunday – will be really exciting.

“The goal is to give the routes for all classes the most educative character. Let’s hope the courses will be friendly both for riders and horses but challenging enough to give them a chance to learn and get experience,” concludes Konarski.

During Lotto Strzegom Horse Trials 2019, eight international classes will take place. Riders will be competing on all levels: from CCI Pony 2*and CCI1*-Intro and CCI3/4* S/L to the most prestigious CCIO-4* Nations Cup.

The Nations Cup Series in Eventing 2019 is also an opportunity to get Olympic Games qualification. The best team of the Series, that doesn’t have qualification already, will get a promotion to Tokyo.

Strzegom Horse Trials is not only a major international event. It’s also a chance to for novice riders and young horses to get a lot of practical knowledge. There will be national classes on CNC LL/85cm, CNC L/100cm, CNC1*/1015cm, CNC 2*/110cm levels.

First entries have been sent over at the beginning of May. The deadline for definite entries is 29th May.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl