Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

American Miniature Horses Shine at Dressage under the Stars Finale

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The Wee Reds performed at the Players Club Dressage under the Stars finale in Wellington. (Photograph courtesy of Linda Kern, Caribbean Dreams Miniature Horses)

Wellington, FL – A four-in-hand team of perfectly matched American Miniature Horses put on a dazzling show at the finale of the Dressage under the Stars competition at the Players Club & Restaurant in Wellington, proving that big things do come in small packages. The Wee Reds, owned by Linda Kern of Caribbean Dreams Miniature Horses in Loxahatchee, Florida, and boasting 10 National Championship and Reserve Championship titles, were the opening act of the finale at the star-studded event.

Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time U.S. National Four-In-Hand Champion and a judge for the evening’s Dressage under the Stars finale, drove the award-winning Wee Reds in a cones course demonstration. Weber, who has driven the talented tiny team at two Wellington Holiday horse shows, also brought the judges in by carriage, much to the delight of the crowd.

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Megan Jones to Defend HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Title at Kihikihi

Kihikihi (NZL), 1 April 2010 – The action in the 2010 HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing moves ‘down under’ where a determined Megan Jones (AUS) will be travelling back to New Zealand to defend her title at the Mitavite International Horse Trials at Kihikihi this weekend (2-4 April).

Jones was one of the most successful HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing riders in 2009, winning the Sydney (AUS) leg as well, and led the standings leaderboard for most of last year. If she can replicate that form, she will have as much chance as any of winning the lion’s share of the US$180,000 on offer to the top 15 riders in the series, which comes to a climax at Schenefeld (GER) in August after 12 CIC***-W events in 10 countries across three continents.

Jones is bringing the same horse as last time, her talented little home-bred grey Kirby Hall Irish Jester, on which she won a team silver medal and finished 4th individually at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

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Let’s Dance – Classic Company to Debut Musical Freestyle Hunt Seat Equitation Championship

Olivia Hostetter and Cinzano ©Flashpoint Photography
Olivia Hostetter and Cinzano ©Flashpoint Photography

Conyers, GA — March 31, 2010 — Classic Company’s president Bob Bell announced the first ever Musical Freestyle Hunt Seat Equitation Championship will premiere at the upcoming Atlanta Summer Classics, June 16-27, in the former Olympic Grand Prix arena of the Georgia International Horse Park.

The idea came to Bell while outside a schooling ring on an off day of his show, sitting in a golf cart chatting on his phone the sound of a nearby stereo drifted over causing his attention to shift towards the horse and rider working over the fences to the beat of the music playing. “I saw the look of pure enjoyment on the rider’s face. Both horse and rider were having a great time with the music as a backdrop to their workout, so it started me on a quest to recreate that fun in our class offerings,” Bell mused.

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Chester Weber Breaks Own Record, Wins Eighth Straight USEF National Four-In-Hand Championship at Live Oak

Chester Weber broke his own record, winning the United States Four-in-Hand National Championship for an eighth time in a row at the recent Live Oak International competition. (Photo courtesy of My Elisabeth Weber)
Chester Weber broke his own record, winning the United States Four-in-Hand National Championship for an eighth time in a row at the recent Live Oak International competition. (Photo courtesy of My Elisabeth Weber)

Ocala, FL (March 31, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his title as “record-breaking champion” during the Live Oak International competition, breaking his own record by winning the USEF National Four-In-Hand Championship for a record eight years in a row. Weber’s win took place at the prestigious Live Oak event in Ocala, Florida, during a weekend filled with thousands of fans, bad weather and an incident on course that required Weber to utilize his nerves of steel and vast driving experience.

Weber and his team turned in flawless dressage and cones performances, but Weber faced an incident on the marathon that he described as the longest 45 seconds of the year. “We had a very competitive marathon, winning four of the first five hazards and finishing second in number four by tenths of a second,” Weber said. “Then came the ‘Gulch,’ a signature hazard for Live Oak. We split the two lead horses on a post and it took us 45 seconds to get them going again. It was bad luck to split them on a post but good luck to get them free without needing a navigator to get down to get them free, because that costs additional penalties. The horses remained calm the entire time awaiting the direction to move, but it was the longest 45 seconds of the last year for me, and some slight confusion for them.”

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New Online FEI Prohibited Substances Database Now Available

FEI_CleanSport-logo-200Lausanne (SUI), 29 March 2010 – The FEI is pleased to announce the launch of the online FEI Prohibited Substances Database which is now available on www.feicleansport.org. The purpose of this new database is to provide clear guidance on the substances included in the Equine Prohibited Substances List coming into effect on 5 April 2010.

Under the new Equine Anti Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations, anything prohibited in competition, no matter how the substance is classified, is called a “Prohibited Substance”. Doping substances, which have no place in equine sport, are called “Banned Substances,” while medication substances that are commonly used in equine medicine but prohibited in competition, are called “Controlled Medication Substances.”

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Sapphire and McLain Ward Repeat Huge Victory in $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* at 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival

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Rodrigo Pessoa Wins $100,000 FTI Rider Challenge


Wellington, FL – March 27, 2010 – Tonight’s $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* drew the largest crowd in the history of equestrian sport in Wellington. More than 9,000 spectators came to see who would win one of the biggest show jumping purses in North America. Sapphire, ridden by McLain Ward (USA) and owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, came home with the win and repeated their victory from last year over Laura Kraut (USA) and Cedric, owned by Happy Hill Farm, and Todd Minikus (USA) with his own Pavarotti.

Tonight’s class was also the final qualifier for the $100,000 FTI Rider Challenge, where the top four riders of the circuit were awarded with bonus checks. The top four riders were Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), who earned $50,000, Pablo Barrios (VEN) who received $25,000, McLain Ward, who took home $15,000, and Laura Kraut, who received $10,000.

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Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2009/2010 – Round 13 at ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla scorched to victory in the last qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands today.  Photo: Kit Houghton.
Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla scorched to victory in the last qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands today. Photo: Kit Houghton.

FEI TV – Re-live the excitement of today’s competition and enjoy highlights, interviews and archive footage at www.feitv.org.

BENGTSSON BAGS THE HONOURS IN THE LAST QUALIFIER AT ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH

‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) 28 March 2010 – Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson scorched to victory in the last qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands today when pipping Ireland’s Jessica Kuerten by the smallest of margins.  In a thrilling 16-horse jump-off that kept spectators rooted to their seats it was Kuerten who seemed to have set an impossibly fast target for the rest when eighth to go against the clock.  But the coolest of cool Swedes cruised home to shave one-tenth of a second off her time when last to go with his 11 year old stallion Casall la Silla.

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An International Day of Rallies for America’s Beloved Herds

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DC, LA, London, Las Vegas: March for Mustangs This Thursday!

Dear Supporters,
I just returned from the Arrowheads and after much long distance glassing with binoculars and spotting scope I was able to spot Cloud and his family with his little daughter, Jasmine; Flint and his family including young Jasper, as well as Bolder and his family with his pale buckskin filly, Jewel. All looked great from about a mile away across deep Big Coulee Canyon. I’ll be sending out more details and photos from this winter trip soon.

For now, I’d like to be the first to tell you that this Thursday, March 25th, the March for Mustangs will take place not only by the White House in Washington DC but on the Las Vegas Strip, by the Los Angeles Federal Building and in front of the US Embassy in London! In D.C. we’re honored to have award-winning actress and advocate, Wendie Malick speak to the crowd at the rally. Wendie will be joined by long time advocate and advisor on the original 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act, Hope Ryden; author RT Fitch, Filmmaker James Kleinert and many, many more! We are especially pleased to announce that country music artist Clay Canfield will be at the rally to sing his incredible song “Wild Horses” and more before we march to the BLM office with signs and banners.

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Gypsy Vanner Horses Take Part in Dressage under the Stars at the Players Club

Left to right: Dennis Thompson, Founder of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, Bo Lofvander, winner of the Breyer Gypsy Vanner Horse Model, Bill Ricci, owner of Esmeralda and Kuchi and President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, and Kuchi being ridden by Dressage under the Stars host Jenna Wyatt. (Photo courtesy of Frederic Roy)
Left to right: Dennis Thompson, Founder of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, Bo Lofvander, winner of the Breyer Gypsy Vanner Horse Model, Bill Ricci, owner of Esmeralda and Kuchi and President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, and Kuchi being ridden by Dressage under the Stars host Jenna Wyatt. (Photo courtesy of Frederic Roy)

Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – Each week at the Top Shelf Dressage under the Stars competition at the Player’s Club & Restaurant the dressage community is treated to world-class riders, judges and entertainment, including a recent demonstration by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Esmeralda and Kuchi, two Gypsy Vanners owned by Bill and Wendy Ricci of WR Ranch in Oxford, Florida, wowed the crowd with their beauty, color and grace.

Esmeralda, who was born in England, was one of the first Gypsy Vanners imported to the United States. Esmeralda has a long list of accomplishments to her name, including being named the Number One Tandem Driving team in 2001 with her partner Jasmine. Esmeralda and Jasmine continued their winning ways last month, winning the Pair Championship at the Florida Carriage Festival.

Esmeralda, the current centerfold in the March 2010 issue of Horse Illustrated, was driven at Dressage under the Stars by owner Bill Ricci, the current President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Heather Caudill, of Olympus Sport Horse, rode Kuchi, the first Gypsy Vanner born in America. Kuchi’s sire, The Gypsy King, was immortalized as the first Gypsy Vanner Horse Breyer model. Last year Kuchi, who currently competes at second level in dressage, followed in her sire’s hoof steps to become Breyer’s second Gypsy Vanner Horse model.

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