IF ANIMALS COULD TALK … “As the Wild Goose Flies” … Ron Hevener
It was business as usual … Political strategists were advising British Petroleum on how to save face … Republicans were debating the merits of tea … the stock exchange was crashing on Wednesday and rallying by Friday, the same as always, and nobody could decide which movies were worth watching any more.
On TV, America was dancing with the stars, England was judging everybody’s talent and immigration was the subject du jour of national debate as flocks of wild birds and hordes of colorful butterflies flew as they had always flown – free and beautiful on magnetic paths only they could sense, pulling them towards a destiny only they could imagine.
Nobody bothered asking the birds what they thought of migration. What could common birds and butterflies know about pulling up their roots and starting a life all over again some place else? They didn’t have jobs, houses, cars and passports. Butterflies were made for catching in jars, pinning under glass in scientific biology collections and wreaking their revenge by splattering themselves on windshields at high speeds. Birds? Birds were just feather-brains ….
“Did you see that!” a magnificent gander piloting the flock shouted to his followers as they flew into the night.
Lake City, FL (November 11, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber is passionate about driving and never misses an opportunity to share his passion for the sport. As the reigning eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Weber spoke recently at the CHA Conference at the Oaks of Lake City, home of the O’Connor Signature Equestrian Center in Lake City, Florida.
“While at the Oaks of Lake City Equestrian Center I had the chance to introduce the sport of combined driving to everyone attending the conference,” Weber said. “It was an intimate group, so in addition to demonstrating different aspects of combined driving, I was also able to field questions from individuals.”
Weber is fresh off his third time competing in the World Equestrian Games. Weber, along with U.S. Combined Driving teammates James Fairclough and Tucker Johnson, won the team silver medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Weber won the cones phase of the Combined Driving event with an almost record-setting time to help the U.S. Team clinch the silver medal.
Gladstone, New Jersey – November 10, 2010 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is honored to announce a $5 million endowment bequest from Ken and Arle Adams of Wellington, Florida. This gift will mark the creation of the Ken and Arle Adams International Competition and Training Grant Fund. Providing an annual grant, the fund will add supplemental funding to the three Olympic disciplines’ High Performance programs: dressage, eventing, and show jumping. These funds further augment the international competition and training plans that repeatedly generate Olympic and World Championship medal winning performances. Grants of such generous nature are what allow the United States of America to remain at the top of the international equestrian sport.
“This extraordinary gift will be the largest gift ever made to the USET Foundation, and the Foundation is so grateful to Ken and Arle for their generosity. Leaving a dynamic legacy that will forever bear their name, the Adams’ gift will be a determining factor in this country’s ability to medal consistently in international championships in the future,” remarked Jane Forbes Clark, USET Foundation President and CEO.
SAUGERTIES, NY (November 9, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the qualifying specifications for the world’s richest hunter class have been finalized and are now available on-line at HitsShows.com.
The $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final will take place the weekend of September 10-11, and will be featured alongside the second annual $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. This unprecedented Hunter Prix Final will be the culmination of more than 30 qualifying events that will take place at each of the five HITS horse show circuits starting in January 2011.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be the official qualifying class for the $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final and will be offered as a weekly event at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Florida; HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California; HITS Arizona Winter Circuit in Tucson, Arizona; HITS Culpeper Show Series in Culpeper, Virginia and HITS Saugerties Show Series in Saugerties, New York. Each Devoucoux Hunter Prix held through September 4 will count toward the 2011 HITS Hunter Prix Final Rider Rankings. In addition, HITS will host one Wild Card class at HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII, September 7-11, from which the winner, if not already qualified, will earn a spot in the Final.
One American Rider Recognized at FEI Awards Ceremony
Wellington, FL (November 8, 2010) – Although she just turned 22 years old, dressage rider Caroline Roffman has already had many memorable moments in her career. Roffman can now add winning the 2010 FEI Rising Star Award to that list, along with flying to Taipei for a dazzling awards ceremony and accepting her award from Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, FEI President.
Roffman was named the 2010 Rising Star by the International Equestrian Federation and received her award at the 2010 FEI Awards ceremony in Taipei.
“I was both honored and astounded to win the Rising Star Award,” Roffman said.
Roffman said that being able to see Taipei and experience the culture in a different part of the world was an unforgettable experience. “The most amazing part of winning the award was getting to meet Princess Haya. I also enjoyed meeting the other winners and hearing their experiences,” Roffman said, adding that she also was honored to meet USEF President David O’Connor and Frank Kemperman, the Managing Director of the Aachen Horse Show.
Buffalo, NY – November 8, 2010 – SBS Farms had a fantastic competition at the 127th National Horse Show under the direction of renowned horsewoman Susan B. Schoellkopf. SBS Farms’ rider and head trainer Jennifer Alfano rode to numerous accolades aboard her top mounts, while student Meredith Lipke showed her horses to top ribbons as well. The riders were thrilled with their week of competition in Syracuse, NY, and were elated with their conclusion of the Indoor circuit.
Alfano showed SBS Farms’ gelding Jersey Boy to the reserve championship in the Regular Working Hunter division after two days of success in the War Memorial Arena. They won the handy round and were also awarded two thirds over fences and second place in the under saddle. Alfano and Jersey Boy also participated in the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic to honor legendary horseman, Charlie Weaver and were awarded fifth place honors for their efforts.
Lexington, KY (November 9, 2010) – Early Edition, a high stepping Hackney Pony, took part in a driving demonstration at the Equine Village at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, much to the delight of the crowd who gathered around to find out more about the glamorous, eye-catching Hackney. Early Edition, owned by T. J. and Georgia Blevins of Blevins Farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is an American and Canadian National Champion Hackney Pleasure Pony.
Blevins said she was thrilled to be asked to perform a demonstration with Early Edition at the World Equestrian Games and was pleased that so many people were introduced to the breed. In addition to winning the Canadian National Champion Pleasure Pony title in 2009, the flashy Hackney, who is trained by Matt Schuckert of Debonaire Stables, also won the Championship at the Indianapolis Charity Horse Show in 2010.
Early Edition was bred by Bent Tree Farms of Virginia and started his career as a Road Pony, becoming the 2002 World Champion Four-Year-Old Road Pony Champion. Under the ownership of the late Jane Mueller, Early Edition switched to the Pleasure Pony division where in 2006 he became the World Grand Champion Pleasure Pony.
Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs’s daughter Hillary showed her wining style at the 2010 Washington International Horse Show in DC the last week. The 22 year old, who lives between Palm Beach, FL and Sussex, NJ, competed as “The Flash” aboard Marengo placing in second during always colorful and exciting $20,000 Gambler’s Choice Costume Class. Rodrigo Pessoa won the class, decked out in an authentic Formula One racing outfit, complete with helmet. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s daughter Georgina (also of Palm Beach and NYC) placed 6th, in a full nun’s habit. The 3rd place ribbon in the costume class went to Shane Sweetnam, who partnered with Dobbs to win Saturday night’s $15,000 Open Jumper Pair Relay.
Please contact the Washington International Horse show www.wihs.org.
Syracuse, NY – November 7, 2010 – Today marked the final day of competition at the 2010 Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 127th National Horse Show. The highlight event at the Oncenter Complex in Syracuse, NY, was the 2010 ASPCA Maclay National Championships. Riders worked all year to qualify for this event and after three phases of competition and it was 17-year-old Hayley Barnhill of Collierville, TN, leading the victory gallop and taking home the championship honors.
In the first round of competition, 153 riders were tested on a course designed by the judges, Scott Hofstetter and Melanie Smith Taylor in cooperation with course designer Richard Jeffery. The fences included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, a natural fan jump off of a sharp left turn and then a sharp right turn to the ASPCA fence. Riders then continued to a tall vertical on the left lead before making their way to a triple bar double combination. While some riders had difficulties during the first round, the course was very inviting overall and gave riders many opportunities to show-off their horsemanship.
Verona (ITA), 7 November 2010 – The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam broke the German stranglehold on the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series when delivering a sensational victory in Verona, Italy this afternoon. German riders dominated at the first three legs at Oslo (NOR), Helsinki (FIN) and Lyon (FRA) so far this season, but the flying Dutchman set an impossible target when second to go in today’s thrilling 10-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught despite the best efforts of the world-class field that followed him.
His winning margin was a narrow one however as Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, winner with Checkmate just a week ago in Lyon, came dangerously close to making it a back-to-back double with a superb performance from the 17 year old Shutterfly who was only fractionally slower against the clock. And Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla finished third in the star-studded line-up. Dubbeldam was crowned Olympic champion in Sydney (AUS) in 2000, Michaels-Beerbaum’s many successes include three Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping titles and, most recently, team Jumping gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, while Bengtsson took individual silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Also in the top ten today were Carsten-Otto Nagel (4th) who was a member of that German gold medal winning side last month, Ireland’s Billy Twomey (5th) who finished individually 11th in Kentucky, and the man who continues to wear the Rolex armband as No. 1 Rider in the World Rankings, Kevin Staut from France (6th). This truly was a line-up of champions.