French Individuals Dominate in Compiegne, but Belgium Leaves with Top Team Honours

29 May 2010 – The World Endurance Festival in Compiegne, due to celebrate its 10th anniversary in August, could not have asked for anything more when hosting the CEIO3* 160km on Friday 28 May. Rain prior to the competition provided an excellent preparation for the soft, sandy tracks generating perfect going for the 62 riders who set out on this world famous course.

Weather on the day could not have been better with a dry day and sunny skies, but a top temperature of just 19 degrees, which proved to be ideal for the horses and riders and was reflected in the competitive speeds and high completion rate of over 60%.

Combinations representing eight nations, many of whom were aiming to qualify for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this coming autumn, set off to complete the 160kms. The traditional European nations fielded the highest number of competitors, with 43 riders from France, alongside combinations from Spain, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. Taking on the Europeans were some riders from a little further afield, namely Abdullah Halim Alihan (MAS), Rafael Salvador (BRA) and Jennifer Poling (USA).

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Meydan FEI Nations Cup – Round 2 in Rome

FEI TV – Go to www.feitv.org for live coverage, event reports, highlights programmes and interviews.

FABULOUS FRENCH MAKE IT A DOUBLE IN ROME

Rome, 28 May 2010 – The French team forged further ahead on the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup leaderboard with a supremely confident second successive victory in Rome, Italy today.  In a contest that included the Italian team who were not challenging for points as they are ineligible for this year’s Meydan series, it was the British who lined up second ahead of Ireland and Spain in equal-third.  Germany finished fifth ahead of the USA in sixth while Italy claimed seventh spot, Switzerland finished eighth and the Swedish team was ninth.

Once again The Netherlands and Poland enjoyed a short afternoon as neither qualified for the second round of competition, and, in an alarming turn of events for the reigning World Champions from Holland, they are now languishing at the very bottom of the leaderboard along with the rookie Polish side and in grave danger of losing their elevated status as Meydan series contenders.

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Todd Flettrich and Otto Participate in Steffen Peters Clinic

Todd Flettrich and Otto. Photo by Ken Braddick.

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.”

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John Lyons “America’s Most Trusted Horseman” Featured in the Equine Village at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

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.

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Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center Victorious at Special Olympic State Equestrian Games

Brandon Boterf and Freckles garnered a gold medal in the Western Stock Seat Equitation, as well as a silver medal in the Working Trails at the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games. Photo Courtesy of the VTRC.

Loxahatchee, FL – May 27, 2010 – The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) recently returned from the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games, held May 21-22, where 16 of their top students had the opportunity to compete. This year’s competition was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.

VTRC took home five gold medals, nine silver medals, nine bronze medals, five fourth place ribbons, two fifth place ribbons and one sixth place ribbon. The team representing VTRC included 16 riders who participated in 19 events. The events included English and western equitation, trail ride competition, dressage, and pole bending. VTRC had numerous riders compete in the level ‘A’ classes that requires them to walk, trot, and canter unassisted. Pole Bending proved to be one of the most successful events for VTRC as all of the athletes maneuvered exceptionally well through the poles.

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Congress Moves to Restore Ban on Animal Crush Videos

Washington, DC (May 26, 2010) – Members of Congress and constitutional experts testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating a law prohibiting interstate commerce in crush videos, dog fighting videos, and other depictions of extreme animal cruelty.  (Crush videos portray scantily clad women in stilettos, or even their bare feet, literally crushing, stomping on, or impaling small, helpless animals to satisfy sadistic viewers with a bizarre sexual fetish.)

When this law was passed in 1999, at the request of prosecutors, the market for crush videos quickly dried up.  The Supreme Court took up the case of an individual challenging his conviction for selling dog fighting videos, and overturned the law on grounds that it was overbroad and violated the First Amendment.

Within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision, the crush video market reopened. Two bills, H.R. 5092 (with 306 cosponsors) and H.R. 5337, have been introduced to restore the ban in a way that will pass constitutional muster.

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Meydan FEI Nations Cup 2010 – Preview Round 2, Rome

Watch it LIVE on FEI TV – Coverage of the second leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series in Rome begins at 15.05 CEST on Friday 28th May.  Go to www.feitv.org for live coverage, event reports, highlights programmes and interviews.

FRENCH OUT IN FRONT AS MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP ARRIVES IN ROME

Rome, 26 May 2010 – The 2009 title-holders from France hold the lead as the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series moves to Rome this week where the host-country makes a guest appearance on home ground. This brings the total of competing nations to 11 for the second leg of the prestigious eight-round tournament which concludes at Dublin in early August.  And it promises to raise the competitive temperature considerably, as Italy is already making a spirited come-back to the top level of team sport through good results in the Promotional League series.  Relegated at the end of the 2009 season they are fighting their way back with real determination, and a win in Athens just over a week ago has put a shot across the bows of the opponents they will face in this Friday’s top-level contest.

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Fred Whitfield & Hunter Herrin to Compete for $10k at Battle in the Saddle Match Roping

The American Quarter Horse Journal, May 24, 2010 – A match roping between Texan Fred Whitfield and Oklahoman Hunter Herrin will be held July 9 at the inaugural Battle in the Saddle competition at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. In the Texas versus Oklahoma duel, accuracy will be the name of the game and more than state pride is on the line. The roper with the most catches will ride away with $10,000 and a pair of commemorative Battle in the Saddle spurs.

Whitfield and Herrin, both professional tie-down ropers, will rope in five rounds for a $10,000 winner-take-all purse. State Fair Park and the American Quarter Horse Association have teamed up to present Battle in the Saddle, the first-of-its-kind equestrian event. The event is owned by Oklahoma State Fair Inc. and managed by AQHA and is a premier equine competition showcasing five western disciplines. Competitors will shoot it out in five fast-paced, exciting events: ranch horse, reining, working cow horse, roping and cutting.

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Miniature Therapy Horse Proves She Is Magic When She Is Named AARP’s “Most Heroic Pet in America”

Strebors Black Magic On Demand was recently named the “Most Heroic Pet in America” by the AARP. Magic has worked with over 4,000 people. (Photos courtesy of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses)

Morton, Ill. (May 24, 2010) – Strebors Black Magic On Demand, a Miniature Horse registered with the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), is spreading a special form of magic as a therapy horse. Known to her many fans as Magic, the black mini with blue eyes was recently named the “Most Heroic Pet in America” by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).

Magic, owned by Debbie and Jorge Garcia-Bengochea of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses in High Springs, Florida, was featured in the 2010 May/June issue of AARP Magazine for her heroic efforts as a therapy mini. “I am so proud of her,” Debbie Garcia-Bengochea said. “She has worked with over 4,000 people, but the story that helped her win the ‘Most Heroic Pet’ title has to do with a woman who hadn’t talked in three years.”

Garcia-Bengochea said that in September of 2009, a reporter from the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper was taking photos of a Gentle Carousel visit at an assisted care facility. “A woman who had not spoken since she arrived at the assisted care facility three years earlier began talking to Magic. ‘Isn’t she beautiful’ were her first words and then ‘It’s a horse’,” Garcia-Bengochea said. “The activities director began to cry and told the woman she loved her.”

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FEI Launches Official YouTube Channel

25 May 2010 – The FEI has launched its first ever official video channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/feichannel as part of SportAccord’s The Sports Hub. This unique internet destination and comprehensive multi-sport platform provides a single access point for a whole range of sports and multi-sport events.

The Sports Hub includes a series of independently operated sub-channels categorised by sport and discipline, making it easy for sports enthusiasts to watch videos of their favorite sports and events.

With its fully customised look and feel, the new FEI channel offers equestrian fans around the world the chance to view constantly updated official equestrian videos.

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