McLain Ward and Sapphire Win Richest Grand Prix in Show Jumping History as Fans from around the World Watch the Pfizer Million

© ESI Photography. McLain Ward and Sapphire jump an oxer created by course designer Steve Stephens and decorated by Flora Baptiston.

Canadian Silver Medalist Jill Henselwood calls Pfizer Course “Most beautiful course in North America”

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 14, 2010) — Two-time US Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, New York and his majestic, “million-dollar” mare, Sapphire, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, won the inaugural Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

The legendary duo of Ward and Sapphire proudly added their names to the show jumping history books once more when they bested a field of 43 High-Performance riders before an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of thousands that lined all four berms surrounding the Strongid Stadium. Sunday’s line-up featured some of the best and most promising athletes and horses in the sport, including some of America’s brightest up-and-coming stars and several American and International Olympians.

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Interview with United States Para-Equestrian Trainer Kai Handt

Kai Handt at 2010 USEF Para-Equestrian Para-Dressage National Championships in Lamplight, IL © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG

Thousand Oaks, CA – September 13, 2010 – In every equestrian calendar as the summer starts to disappear many national championship competitions begin to occur.  This year included the 2010 USEF Pony Finals, the $100,000 2009-2010 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Presented by Dietrich Insurance, the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North, and each discipline’s national championship. Kai Handt owner and trainer of the North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) made his way around the country because of this year’s success.  In every discipline that Handt rides and teaches there was a NTEC rider and horse winning.  In Para-Dressage Handt led his rider Jonathan Wentz to qualify for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  I had the opportunity to speak with Handt about his experience internationally and his accomplishments in and out of the show ring are astounding.

Lindsay McCall: Thank you Kai for taking the time to speak with me today. Let’s start from the beginning.  How did your equestrian career begin?

Continue reading Interview with United States Para-Equestrian Trainer Kai Handt

Aiken Fall Festival I

Roger Rabbit and Michael Tokaruk. All photos by Shawn McMillen.

Sunday, September 12th – Aiken, SC – The first week of the third annual Aiken Fall Festival Horse Show series wrapped up today.  The show, a USEF A rated event and Jumper 3, took place September 9-12 at Highfields in Aiken, SC.  Equus Event’s Inc. and JP Godard handled the managing duties for the event.

The show started on Thursday with the professional hunter divisions kicking off in the hunter rings.  Action in the jumper ring also began with classes taking place out on the grass field.  The day ended with the $5,000 Welcome Stake at 5 pm as well as an Exhibitors Welcome Party sponsored by DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner under the tent.  Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Kendra Bullington’s Patent Pending were the first of 21 competitors to navigate the course and ended up being the best to take home the blue ribbon.  Daniel Geitner and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bostwick’s Sympa were second and Daniel also picked up third place honors on Ann Ritter’s Jumbo Jet.  Rounding out the top 4 was another local Aiken professional, Michael Tokaruk and his Roger Rabbit.

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Dressage Rider Caroline Roffman Journals Her Training and Competition Experiences at Barnby Notes

Caroline Roffman and her Hanoverian gelding, Bon Chance, won the Five-Year-Old Championship at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships in Lamplight, Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Fire and Earth Photo)

Wellington, FL (September 13, 2010) – The ups and downs of dressage rider Caroline Roffman’s riding and training life are now available for everyone to read about, as Roffman has joined an elite group of equestrians who journal online about their training experiences at Barnby Notes. Roffman is a public notebook contributor for, joining public notebook contributors and riders Stacee Collier, Maria Lithander, Geena Sturzebecher, Genay Vaughn and soon Tami Hoag.

“As we all know, riding, training, competing and dealing with horses is a roller coaster experience,” Roffman said. “It’s great to look back on Barnby Notes and have a sense of accomplishment and it’s also great to look back and see how you fixed something. I started writing for Barnby Notes before the Young Horse Championships and soon I will be adding my notes from Gladstone.”

Barnby Notes also gives dressage riders the chance to read through notes kept by Lendon Gray, Susanne Hassler, Betsy Steiner, Courtney King-Dye, Beth Baumert and Charlotte Bredahl, just to name a few. Barnby Notes believes that riders need to ride, write and reflect and that the practice of writing down ideas, such as training techniques, increases memory retention by 80 percent.

Continue reading Dressage Rider Caroline Roffman Journals Her Training and Competition Experiences at Barnby Notes

Katherine Poulin and Brilliant Too Garner GAIG/USDF Region 2 FEI Grand Prix Dressage Championship

Katherine Poulin and Brilliant Too won the FEI Grand Prix Championship at the 2010 GAIG/USDF Region 2 Dressage Championship. Photo © 2010 Lauren Fisher/PMG.

Traverse City, MI – September 12, 2010 – The sun came out for a gorgeous day in Traverse City, Michigan on Sunday as the 2010 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 2 Dressage Championships and Dressage by the Bay Fall Classic concluded their final day of competition. Ending the show with an exciting victory were Katherine Poulin and Brilliant Too who won the FEI Grand Prix Championship.

From Chagrin Falls, OH, Katherine Poulin and Brilliant Too had the highest score in today’s Grand Prix Championship, scoring a 62.766% from the judges, Sandra Hotz at ‘E’ and Gary Rockwell at ‘C’. Judy Kelly and Leonardo finished in second with their score of 62.600%, Amanda Johnson and Pip earned third place honors with a 62.234%, and Brad Cutshall rode Pointjack to a score of 61.277% to finish in fourth place.

Continue reading Katherine Poulin and Brilliant Too Garner GAIG/USDF Region 2 FEI Grand Prix Dressage Championship

Dressage Radio Episode 68 by Back on Track – Steffen Peters

Steffen Peters describes how he has chosen to prepare Ravel for the World Equestrian Games. Tune in right here.

Dressage Radio Episode 68 – Show Notes and Links:

  • Host: Chris Stafford
  • Co-host: Catherine Haddad
  • Photo Credit:
  • Guest: Steffen Peters
  • World Equestrian Games Recording Schedule at the Alltech Pavilion:
    Sept 27: Recording at 6-7 PM
    Sept 28: Recording at 6-7 PM
    Sept 29: Recording at 5:30-6:30 PM
    Oct 2: Recording at 7:30-8:30 AM
  • ______________________________

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Shawn Flarida, RC Fancy Step and STEADFAST Are Gold Winning Team Headed to WEG

Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step will represent the United States on the US Reining Team at the World Equestrian Games. (Photo courtesy of

St. Louis, MO (September 10, 2010) – Shawn Flarida, the National Reining Horse Association’s Three Million Dollar Winner, is headed to the World Equestrian Games on RC Fancy Step as part of the US Reining Team. Flarida and RC Fancy Step, owned by the Plummer Family of SDP Buffalo Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, clinched a spot on the WEG Reining Dream Team after winning a gold medal at the Battle in the Saddle in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In addition to hard work and talent, Flarida believes there is a third component to RC Fancy Step’s winning abilities — STEADFAST EQUINE, a joint health product specifically designed for horses with a high-demand lifestyle which supports total structural joint integrity. STEADFAST EQUINE is sold by Arenus, a premier provider of innovative health and nutritional products for pets and horses, featuring the ASSURE, STEADFAST, EQUILITE, ALEIRA, RELEIRA and SORE NO-MORE product families.

Continue reading Shawn Flarida, RC Fancy Step and STEADFAST Are Gold Winning Team Headed to WEG

Jumping Radio Show Episode 28 by Back on Track – Laura Kraut’s Journey to WEG

U.S. team member, Laura Kraut, reviews her preparation for the World Equestrian Games and we have our regular training and veterinary tips. Take a listen.

Jumping Radio Episode 28 – Show Notes and Links:

  • Show Host: Chris Stafford
  • Photo Credit: USEF –
  • Guest: Laura Kraut
  • Guest: Jessica Jahiel
  • World Equestrian Games Recording Schedule at the Alltech Pavilion:
    Oct 5: Recording at 5-6 PM
    Oct 7: Recording at 8-9 AM
    Oct 9: Recording at 8-9 AM
    Oct 10: Recording at 8-9 AM


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Nominations Now Open for The USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award

WESTPORT, CT – September 10, 2010 – Nominations are now open for the Second Annual USEF/The EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award.

In 2009, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the The EQUUS Foundation jointly established the Humanitarian Award to celebrate the humanitarian achievements made by a member of the equestrian community. Specifically, the goal of this humanitarian honor is to spotlight and exalt the selfless dedication one individual or a group of individuals has made, whether on a regional or national scale.

From improving the health and welfare of the horse to promoting and expanding the general public’s appreciation and respect of the diverse role of horses not just in equestrian sports but also as aides to the general public, the recipient of this award will be someone who has devoted considerable personal time to making the quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

The award will be presented at the 2011 USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner during the Federation’s Annual Meeting in January. The recipient of the Humanitarian Award will receive a $5,000 grant from The EQUUS Foundation to be awarded to the equestrian or horse-related charity of his or her choice.

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Eventing Radio Episode 96 – U.S. and British Team Profiles

Another bumper episode with British Chef d’Mission Will Connell, Kim Severson, Amy Tryon, and Karen O’Connor, plus Pippa Funnell makes her return to the British squad and her debut on the show. Tune in right here.

Eventing Radio Episode 96 – Show Notes and Links:

  • Show Host: Chris Stafford
  • Co-Host: Max Corcoran
  • Photo Credit:
  • Guest: Will Connell, Chef d’Mission, British Eventing Squad:
    • Tina Cook riding Mr & Mrs Nicholas and Valda Embiricos and Mrs Sarah Pelham’s Miner’s Frolic
    • William Fox-Pitt riding Mrs Teresa Stopford Sackville’s Cool Mountain
    • Piggy French riding Mr Wally French and Mr Michael Underwood’s Jakata
    • Pippa Funnell riding Mr & Mrs Roger Lincoln’s Redesigned
    • Mary King riding Mrs Janette Chinn and Mr & Mrs Edwin Davies’s Imperial Cavalier
    • Nicola Wilson riding Miss Rosemary Search’s Opposition Buzz
  • Guest: Pippa Funnell
  • Guest: Amy Tryon
  • Guest: Kim Severson
  • Guest: Karen O’Connor
  • News: World Equestrian Games Schedule – recording at the Alltech Pavilion Stage:
    • Sept 30: Recording 5-6 PM
    • Oct 1: Recording 4-5 PM
    • Oct 2: Recording 4:30-5:30 PM
    • Oct 3: Recording 4:30-5:30 PM


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