Vecsés (HUN), 13 JUNE 2010 – Dutch four-in-hand driver Koos de Ronde took the victory at the international combined driving event in Vecsés, Hungary. De Ronde stayed ahead of home driver Zoltán Lázár in this FEI World Cup Qualifying competition, where the horse teams also battled in the nations competition. Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich came third, improving every event with his Lusitano team of horses.
Heat hit Hungary
The temperature in Vecsés, the home base of the sympathetic Hungarian four-in-hand driver József Dobrovitz and his family, rose to around 30 degrees Celsius throughout the weekend. The organising committee had taken the necessary precautions to ensure the welfare of the horses and shortened the A-section of the marathon to 1,2 kilometres and lowered the pace of the walk section. All competitors got fifteen minutes instead the usual ten minutes rest at the obligatory halt in the marathon before the obstacle phase. This turned out to be a wise decision and none of the competing horses had any problems at the finish of the marathon.
CANNES, France, June 12 – Isabell Werth rode Warum Nicht FRH to victory in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday night, the event providing the first victory for the German pair in more than a year and since returning to competition after a six-month break to give birth to a son.
Isabell, competing in her third straight €100,000 (US$121,000) WDM CDI5*, scored 77.950 per cent with Belgium’s Stefan van Ingelgem and Withney van’t Genthof in second place on 70.90 per cent and Poland’s Michael Rapcewicz on Randon third on 69.20 per cent.
She was smiling happily at the end of the ride on the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding on whom she won the World Cup Final in 2007, although she did not get to give her final salute until about midnight as the €60,000 (US$72,700) freestyle did not start until completion of the Global Champions Tour jumping Grand Prix in this French Riviera resort.
Allentown, NJ (June 11, 2010) – Chester Weber continued his long running winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event Championship. As the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Team Weber cruised to victory in all three phases of the Garden State event, a selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall.
“The event went really well and the entire team, both people and horses, seems to be in top form leading up to WEG,” Weber said, adding that the heat and humidity did play a factor, especially for Reno, his six-year-old leader who seemed to have a hard time with it.
Despite the weather, and footing that wasn’t ideal, Team Weber triumphed over 10 other four-in-hand teams, finishing with a score of 116.64 penalties while runner-up Josh Rector finished with a score of 140.67. Jimmy Fairclough, who has long been Weber’s top competition, went off course in the cones phase and was eliminated.
CANNES, France, June 10 – Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht led a German sweep of the top three places in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix presented by Massa Stud Thursday, but was disappointed the horse was distracted by flowers blowing in the wind.
Riding in her third WDM this year – she came third in Palm Beach in February and at Munich last month – and her first ever competition in Cannes, Isabell and her 2007 World Cup champion mount scored 71.489 per cent, a fraction ahead of Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or with 71.447 per cent and Matthias Alexander Rath on Triviant UNICEF with 70.851 per cent.
This French Riviera resort was the launching pad in 2008 for the world’s richest lineup of dressage competitions that has grown to five premier CDI5* competitions this year, each one with prize money of €100,000 (US$120,000). Falsterbo, Sweden has been added to the calendar this year and followed by the 2010 finale at Hickstead, England.
Allentown, NJ (June 8, 2010) – Cesar Parra and his Piaffe-Performance team debuted their horses in the northeast at the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s Memorial Day CDI with great success. It was the team’s first show in New Jersey after returning from the winter season in Florida and collectively they spent much of the show in the winner’s circle.
Cesar Parra dominated the small tour with Lori Washton’s KWPN gelding, Olympia. Parra and Olympia won the Prix St. Georges score of 71.789 and the Intermediaire I with a score of 71.000 percent. The seasoned pair has shown at this level just over a dozen times and has always been over 70%. They are in top form as they head for the USEF/Collecting Gaits Farm Dressage Festival of Champions August 6-15 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Parra also notes that Olympia’s consistent performances will be just what it takes to represent the US at next year’s Pan American Games.
Three times Champion jockey Ryan Moore completed a famous Investec Derby/Oaks Classic double at the weekend, breaking the track record in the process. Saturday’s stunning 7 length victory on Workforce was also the best Derby winning performance since Generous in 1991. This talented but inexperienced colt showed great acceleration on fast ground on this notoriously difficult and undulating course. Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdulla (Juddmonte Farms), Workforce (by King’s Best – USA) carried his famous green and pink silks to a third Derby victory following Quest For Fame in 1990 and Commander In Chief, 1993. Prince Khalid has extensive breeding and racing interests in America, England and Ireland. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who is based in Newmarket, is now the most successful current trainer of the Derby with five wins.
The Investec Oaks winner Snow Fairy, owned by Cristina Patino was bought for just 1,800 euros at Tattersall’s Ireland sales in 2008. Winning in determined fashion by a neck, with the rest of the fifteen runners strung out behind, this gutsy filly by Intikhab (USA) was supplemented for the Oaks at a cost of £20,000 after winning a listed race at Goodwood last month. This was trainer Ed Dunlop’s second Oaks victory after previous success with the brilliant Ouija Board six years ago.
St Gallen (SUI), 4 June 2010 – The French team, already leading the series by a considerable margin following their double of wins over the first two legs, swept to victory again today in the third leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup at St Gallen, Switzerland.
The competition came down to a two-way battle in the closing stages between the eventual winners and the crack German side that was sent out to ensure an improved position on the leaderboard. But once again the winners were in a league of their own. They established the advantage in the first round and held firm to clinch maximum points, while Germany finished second ahead of Great Britain in third and Ireland in fourth place. The home team had to settle for fifth when things did not go their way, and the Spanish slotted into sixth ahead of the USA. The Netherlands finished eighth, and this result has now dropped them down to second-last on the leaderboard, so they are in serious trouble going into their home leg in Rotterdam in two weeks time.
Lexington, KY – June 2, 2010 – On Friday, May 21, 2010, third graders from Simmons Elementary School in Woodford County, Kentucky, had a chance of a lifetime. The young children visited the spectacular Kentucky Horse Park as part of the SPEAKS program. The acronym stands for Supporting and Promoting Equine Awareness in Kentucky Schools (SPEAKS) program. The SPEAKS program is a way to take equine education to the next level. Bobby Murphy, who has been the main component of spreading the SPEAKS vision, visited Simmons Elementary School in December 2009 and found that the program can be just as effective in the classroom as it could be at the Kentucky Horse Park. Five months later he fulfilled his promise to bring the children to the Kentucky Horse Park for this wonderful opportunity.
Wellington, FL – May 28, 2010 – Dressage rider Todd Flettrich rode in a Steffen Peters clinic at Carol Cohen’s Two Swans Farm recently, continuing to stay at the top of his game in preparation for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Based in Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, Flettrich has had a fantastic season with his mount Otto, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Rambo X Rampal), owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. The pair has earned several top placings throughout the country and is qualified to compete in the Selection Trials for the Games, which will determine who rides on the Team in Lexington, KY, this fall.
Flettrich spent two winters training with Steffen Peters in California earlier in his career, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get some tips from the renowned rider during this important show season. “I think that Steffen is a super rider and trainer, and I feel that he has so much to offer to the sport,” Flettrich noted. “Steffen commented on similar things that I work on with Hubertus [Schmidt] and Oded [Shimoni], but he doesn’t see us on a regular basis, so his attention was brought right to our problems and he addressed them quickly. I rode Otto the first day in a snaffle and I rode him the next day in a double, and I thought the horse went great. Everything Steffen said was very helpful and I feel like I got so much out of working with him.”
Clinics and Demonstrations Are Part of Grounds Pass Ticket Offering
May 27, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Famed horseman John Lyons will be a featured clinician in the Equine Village during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, September 25 – October 10, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.
Widely considered to be responsible for many changes in the horse industry in the past 30 years, John Lyons has promoted both kind treatment of horses and the safety of horse and rider through hundreds of clinics, expos, symposiums, demonstrations, magazine articles, John Lyons Perfect Horse magazine, radio, and television programs.
Along with his son, Josh, Lyons has developed a certification program known throughout the world. With more than 300 professional certified trainers stationed all over the United States, and in many other countries, their training techniques have affected every horse discipline and throughout every breed.