Category Archives: Uncategorized

Prize List Now Available for 2012 ESP Fall Circuit Featuring Six Weeks of Competition

Wellington, FL – September 5, 2012 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the management company of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, is pleased to announce the dates of their 2012 ESP Fall Circuit. The ESP Fall Circuit will be an introduction to the fantastic winter show season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The ESP Fall Circuit will feature six weeks of world-class competition on October 5 through November 18, 2012.

The official prize list can be found online and downloaded at under the “Competitors” tab and clicking on “Prize Lists.”

The horse shows of the 2012 ESP Fall Circuit are all USEF, NAL, and Marshall & Sterling League approved. The shows feature an early stall discount of $30 per stall (see details in prize list), new 2’6″ Children/Adult Equitation divisions, $10,000 Open Jumper Stake classes at all “A” shows and the November “C” show, $2,500 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Stake classes at all shows, and $500 Pony and Children’s/Adult Hunter Classics at all shows.

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GAO Follows Horse Slaughter Lobby down the Rabbit Hole

September 7, 2011 – Chicago (EWA) – The long awaited Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on horse welfare fell far short of the respectable reporting we have come to expect from the GAO, even raising questions as to the agency’s credibility.

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Animal Law Coalition (ALC) have issued an exhaustive analysis and executive summary, demonstrating the embarrassing and shocking lack of evidence for GAO’s findings.

The analysis concludes that the GAO report is “disturbing” as it is filled with speculation, anecdotes, hearsay and unsupported opinions. The GAO sources appear to be largely known slaughter proponents.

“The GAO’s pro-slaughter bias is clearly evident in the report’s defamatory accusation that the Cavel fire in 2002 was started by so-called anti-slaughter arsonists,” states co-author and EWA vice president, Vicki Tobin. The cause of the fire was never determined and it was Cavel’s owners who benefitted from the fire, claiming $5M when the damages were estimated at $2M.

The EWA/ALC analysis details how, instead of doing the hard work of gathering actual data, the GAO relied on chitchats with a handful of state veterinarians with a few livestock board and other state officials and on information provided by pro-slaughter organizations.

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Richard Spooner & Lady Like Prove Victorious in $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race at FTI WEF

Richard Spooner and Lady Like won the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race and the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award during the tenth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. (Photo courtesy of SportFot)

Wellington, FL (April 12, 2011) – During an exciting night under the lights in the International Arena at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Richard Spooner and Lady Like cleared the Vita Flex oxer in winning time during the final phase of the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race to take home the winning ribbon as well as the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award. The $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race featured five rounds of races with riders competing head-to-head in competition over mirror-image courses.

Spooner was thrilled with his victory and said he always enjoys competing in match races. There were 32 combinations in the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race, and Spooner won against Karina Aziz, Todd Minikus, Paul O’Shea and Jonathan McCrea.  He praised Lady Like, a 1999 Holsteiner mare, and said she was quick and careful over the five rounds which included beating out Daniela Cordero and T Cavalier in the final round.

Spooner’s $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race victory also helped him take home the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award. Spooner was pleased with both wins and thrilled to win a competition that offered such a large monetary prize. Spooner compared the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race to horse racing and said that the crowd was really behind the event.

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Old Friends along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Louisville’s Historic Seelbach Hotel to Host 3rd Annual Old Friends Benefit Saturday, February 19, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY – JANUARY 18, 2011 – The Historic Seelbach Hilton today announced that it will host the third annual “Old Friends along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail,” a progressive dinner and Bourbon-tasting that will benefit Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Central Kentucky.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, at the hotel, 500 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. Tickets are $100 per person, and the hotel is offering Bourbon Trail guests a special reduced room rate of $95 per night.

The benefit will be highlighted by live and silent auctions of exclusive equine artwork, autographed Bourbon items, racing memorabilia, fine jewelry, and more.

Old Friends, which has locations in Georgetown, KY and in Greenfield Center, NY, is devoted to providing a dignified retirement to horses whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. The farm is home to such retired champions as Eclipse winner The Wicked North, Breeders’ Cup victor Gulch, and Travers stars Will’s Way and Thunder Rumble, along with many non-black type ex-racers.

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FEI Awards – “One in 1.3 Billion Rider” Encourages Equestrian World to Send Nominations

Alex Hua Tian, Chinese Olympic Eventing rider and winner of the FEI's 2009 HSBC Rising Star Award (photo: Kit Houghton)

10 August 2010 – China’s first Olympic Eventing rider Alex Hua Tian is urging the equestrian community to make its nominations for the five-category 2010 FEI Awards.

Hua Tian, whom the Chinese media dubbed the “one in 1.3 billion” in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, won the FEI’s HSBC Rising Star Award last year. The award rewards a rider aged between 14 and 21 who demonstrates significant talent and outstanding commitment. The judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, selected Hua Tian for his riding skills and the unwavering dedication that enabled him to cope with intense press scrutiny and pressure before and during the 2008 Olympic Games.

“I was deeply moved to have been nominated by my instructors, Nicola Ward, a New Zealander who, with her Irish Husband, John, taught me in Hong Kong when I was eight years old and by Tamara Weal, who taught me in England when I was 11,” said Hua Tian. “I am sure that in every Pony Club, Riding Club or community there must be many outstanding young riders, who would be hugely inspired to have their passion and dedication encouraged by being nominated for the FEI Awards. I know I was.”

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Hollywood Star Robert Duvall Endorses 2010 FEI Awards

Robert Duvall, The Road film photocall, Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 13 September 2009 (photo: Canadian Press/Rex Features)

27 July 2010 – American actor and director Robert Duvall has given his support to the annual awards organised by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of horse sport. The FEI launched the “Oscars of the equestrian world” last year to reward outstanding dedication to horse sport in five categories. Calls for nominations for the 2010 awards opened on July 16.

Hollywood legend Duvall is best known for his roles in The Apostle, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather and Tender Mercies. His performances have earned him an Academy Award, a BAFTA, two Emmys and four Golden Globe Awards.

Commenting on the 2010 FEI Awards, Duvall said:

“The FEI Awards give you the opportunity to nominate and celebrate those individuals who, without asking for recognition, should be thanked and acknowledged for their own contribution to equestrian sport around the world. As someone with a passion for horses, I urge you to nominate anyone you feel is worthy of the awards and help them to walk the red carpet at the 2010 FEI Awards in Taiwan.”

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Madeleine Pickens & Wild Horse Coalition Call for Suspension of All Summer Round Ups!

First major wild horse roundup of summer proves deadly; critics claim Department of Interior’s public access restrictions censor truth about government wild horse program

(July 13, 2010) – Philanthropist and businesswoman Madeleine Pickens was joined today by the million-member ASPCA, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, and many other organizations expressing their outrage over the deaths of at least seven mustangs in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup conducted Saturday in the Owyhee Complex in northeastern Nevada. The wild horses died of dehydration-related causes — including brain swelling, colic and acute water intoxication – as a result of being stampeded by helicopters for up to eight miles in 90+ degree desert heat.

In a sign on letter addressed to President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Mrs. Pickens and the groups also harshly criticized the agency for cracking down on public access to observe and videotape roundup operations. The advocates released footage of a BLM representative stating publicly that public video of a prior roundup caused the agency to have “a really hard time trying to explain what’s happening.”

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EU & Canada Poised to Accomplish What US Congress Should Have Done: Ban Horse Slaughter

June 29, 2010 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – Since the 107th Congress (2001), equine welfare advocates across the country have been trying to get elected officials to pass legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses. Polls have consistently shown that the legislation has the support of 70% of Americans, but without fail the bills have been stalled, blocked with secret holds, and left off the legislative calendars. Now it appears the European Union (EU) and Canada may stop horse slaughter before Congress.

Strict new traceability requirements will go into effect July 31st, for all horses slaughtered for consumption in the EU. Additionally, the EU is poised to require Country of Origin labeling of all meat. And finally, the EU has begun investigating inhumane slaughter practices in Mexico.

Despite President Obama’s promise to not allow lobbyists to run the country and his support of a horse slaughter ban when he was in the Senate, the agricultural special interests have continually been allowed to prevent the legislation from moving forward. Public records reveal donations from special interest groups to the legislators blocking the bills.

“When it comes to stopping the slaughter of horses, clearly money talks,” commented Equine Welfare Alliance’s (EWA) John Holland.

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Opening of New $10 Million Museum Expansion

WHO:  The Kentucky Horse Park

WHAT:  Opening of new $10 million, 8,000-square-foot museum expansion, presentation of the new wing to Gov. Steven L. Beshear for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, organized tours of the galleries and cocktail reception

WHEN:  Saturday, June 12, 5-7pm

WHERE:  International Museum of the Horse, Kentucky Horse Park

WHY:  After 2 ½ years of construction, the new $10 million Al-Marah wing, which was made possible by the largest donation to the Kentucky Horse Park in its 31-year history, is ready to open to the public.  The two-story permanent expansion features art and artifacts from around the world and technologically enhanced interactive exhibits geared toward youth visitors ages 8-14.  Exhibits were designed by nationally acclaimed Hilferty & Associates.

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