Remembering Jackson

Last month we said goodbye to one of the most beloved stallions of the Pryor Mountains. “Action Jackson,” as he was affectionately nicknamed by TCF Board Member Linda Hanick, was a contemporary of Cloud. At one time he commanded the largest band in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. Cloud’s daughter, Firestorm, was a longtime companion of Jackson’s, and two of their offspring still live wild and free in their Pryor Mountain home.

Click here to watch Ginger’s tribute to this legendary stallion.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Charleston Summer Classic Cancelled for 2020

The Charleston Summer Classic has been the flagship show of the Classic Company for the past twenty-seven years. “It is with great sadness that I am announcing that the Charleston Summer Classic will not be running in 2020. Due to a combination of challenges, we have decided to take a break this year, a vacation from the ‘show-cation’ if you will,” commented Classic Company President, Bob Bell. “The future of this Heritage Competition will be made in September,” added Bell.

The historic silver and crystal trophies will be moved to the Aiken Summer Classic in June. “We certainly hope that our cancellation of the 2020 show will not greatly inconvenience anyone,” he said.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Delightful Dalera Gives Birthday-Girl von Bredow-Werndl Another Win in Neumünster

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB. (FEI/Stefan Lafrentz)

When Jessica von Bredow-Werndl won the third leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League with TSF Dalera BB in Stuttgart (GER) in November, she described herself as “over the moon!” But she was even more thrilled as she celebrated her 33rd birthday with a superb performance from the 13-year-old mare who pinned reigning champion Isabell Werth and Emilio into runner-up spot.

“This was a Personal Best for Dalera and me! She’s a rockstar, and the cutest horse in the world! She was amazing today – in piaffe and passage she was just breezing along, so I could breathe, relax, and enjoy myself. There was such lightness, and it felt so easy and harmonious. I didn’t have to ask her for anything; all I had to do was just lead her through the test,” said von Bredow-Werndl after posting the winning score of 89.640.

Helen Langehanenberg and the evergreen 18-year-old Damsey FRH slotted into third ahead of von Bredow-Werndl’s brother, Benjamin Werndl, who finished fourth with the exciting 11-year-old Famoso, while the first of the visitors to get into the line-up was The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen who steered Zephyr into fifth place.

It was another of the powerful German contingent, 26-year-old Sonke Rothenberger, who led the way at the halfway stage when putting 79.285 on the board. But series double-champion Cornelissen overtook him when eleventh to go of the 15 starters, with a test that oozed energy and bounce as she racked up some maximum 10s along the way for a mark of 82.150.

Then 2013 champion Langehanenberg put Germany back in charge, starting out with a 9.5 for walk and collecting consistently high marks as she moved the target-score up to 85.220 with Damsey FRH. At 18 years of age, it seems this stallion loves his competition outings as much as ever. “He still feels so fresh!” said Langehanenberg who is also targeting the final leg of the WEL series in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) next month.

However, von Bredow-Werndl’s effortless performance with Dalera would be the winning one of the day, the fluency and quiet understanding between horse and rider presenting a lovely picture that saw them pick up lots of 10s and leaving them just shy of the 90 percent mark on a score of 89.640. For the second time this season, superstar Isabell Werth had to settle for second place behind her team-mate.

In Stuttgart von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB pipped Werth and Weihegold, who have won the last three FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals. And von Bredow-Werndl did it again, this time with the mare she steered to team gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA and to team gold as well as Freestyle bronze at last summer’s FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. No wonder she has the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in her sights with this horse now.

“I won’t take her to the Final because I have Tokyo in mind, but I’ll bring Zaire to ’s-Hertogenbosch and decide if she will go to Las Vegas,” said the German rider who closely watched her brother, Benjamin Werndl, as he steered his rising star Famoso through a lovely balanced test to slot into fourth place on a mark of 85.165 when last to go.

As Benjamin pointed out afterwards, the Neumünster crowd is a bit special, and this competition was of the highest level.

“Here you are a bit scared to make a mistake, because the crowd is so knowledgeable, they will see it right away!” he joked. “Our sport is getting better and better all the time, so the competition is really tough. There are new riders coming up all the time and you think they can’t get better, but they do, so it’s really super!” he added. He shared the lead on the Western European League table with his sister, and although she has nudged ahead, his 65 points leave him more than comfortable in the race for a place at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2020 in Las Vegas in April.

Gothenburg in Sweden stages the penultimate leg of the Western European League qualifying series, with the last leg taking place in ’s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands on 14 March.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Victoria Colvin and Private Practice Win $100k WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular

Victoria Colvin and Private Practice. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 15, 2020 – Young hunter professional Victoria Colvin once again proved unbeatable as she returned to pilot her talented 2019 $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular winner, Private Practice, to the victory in the premier class of WCHR week once again during “Saturday Night Lights” at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Saturday night’s Hunter Spectacular is the highlight of WEF’s WCHR Hunter Week, which emphasizes the hunter discipline and gives junior, amateur, and professional hunter riders the chance to introduce their horses to the International Arena.

A field of 37 successful horse-and-rider combinations, consisting of winners in the junior, amateur, and professional categories throughout the week, contested the round-one course designed by Patrick Rodes. Out of the original starting line-up, the 12 pairs with the highest scores were invited to return for the second phase of the two-round classic style competition.

“Private Practice is an amazing horse,” Colvin affirmed. “He’s one of my favorite horses, and this class is a blast because we are able to ride under the lights and in the International Arena. They don’t host many hunter classes in this arena anymore so to be able to go back in this ring is a lot of fun.”

Sweden’s Petronella Andersson and New Mount Davarusa Clinch the Win in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic

In Saturday’s 1.50m class held on the picturesque Derby Field at Equestrian Village, a talented group of 43 top horse-and-rider pairs took on the challenge with only six advancing to the jump-off. The length and scope of obstacles including a triple in the middle of the course, set by Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz Harris (MEX), proved to be a big test for many.

In the jump-off, Petronella Andersson of Sweden aboard 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Davarusa (Zavall VDL x Zavarusa H) clinched the win with a fault-free round and a time of 38.44 seconds for Stephex Stables. She edged out Ireland’s Paul O’Shea on Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars, who came in second with a time of 39.52 seconds.

“On the field, if your horse doesn’t have much experience, they can be spooky and they don’t know how to react out there,” said Andersson. “However, I’m happy with my horse. She did a great job and is a new horse for me; I have only ridden her in two shows before coming here. She has a great personality, is very straightforward and careful, and has a great mind.”

Hunter Competition Soaks Up the Spotlight during Day Four of WCHR Week

Junior and amateur hunter riders once again stepped into the International Arena to compete for the top honors in their divisions during WCHR Week. Competition started with Augusta Iwasaki and Eliza Kimball’s Seaside receiving the tri-color ribbon for the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division.

Iwasaki, of Calabasas, CA, and the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding (Argentinus x Lindsay 10) won all three over-fences classes in the division to put them on top. “He is really sweet, but makes you work for it a little bit. It’s really rewarding to be able to do well with him because you have to earn his trust,” Iwasaki explained.

The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring began on Saturday morning with Kelly Tropin and Chablis earning the championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division, sponsored by Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

“I knew going into the last round that I had to win in order to be champion or reserve,” Tropin commented. “When you have really good riders, you can’t afford to make a mistake. I’ve done a Jedi mind trick on myself where I have convinced myself that I like the pressure of having to win.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Announcing the Para Dressage Virtual National Judging Program

USPEA is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 virtual Para Dressage Judging Program. To kick off the pilot program, one FEI Para 3* International Judge, Adrienne Pot, has graciously agreed to view video submissions and provide official score sheets for each test entered.

The Para Dressage Virtual judging program is the first step in tackling the huge geographical challenge in the US. It takes ongoing monitoring and regular assessment to improve performance in any sport, and we trust this great opportunity provided to you by USPEA will encourage you to pursue the sport of Para Dressage and allow you to achieve your goals, whether it be competition or just for the pure joy the horse can contribute to your well-being.

The Emerging National Virtual Judging Program is being offered to the riders as a first step into competition with an emphasis on using the Introductory Tests to work up the levels of their Classified Grade.

Eligibility

Athlete

  • All athletes, 12 years old and over, with a permanent, measurable, physical disability are welcome to enter a FEI Para Dressage Test of Choice (Introductory, Novice, Team, Individual, Freestyle) in their Classified Grade.
  • Riders must either have a National or FEI Classification riding at their grade level to participate in the program.
  • This Program is only for the Emerging Para Dressage Athlete for Classified Grade athletes wishing to compete at the National level. The National Program is to compliment the USEF Developing/Elite Program and not to replace or compete with the International Program.

Horse

Horses must be a minimum of six (6) years of age. The age is counted from the 1st January of the year of birth. Recommend horse be braided.

Dress

  1. All Athletes must be neatly and correctly dressed at all times.
  2. Protective Headgear must be worn by Athletes at all times when mounted.
  3. Black or brown boots or stout riding shoes with heels must be worn. Plain black or brown half-chaps or gaiters to the knee may be used.
  4. For On-Line Video Competitions, breeches shall be worn; jackets are optional, but recommended.
  5. Stock or tie: optional, but recommended. White, off-white, or same color as coat.
  6. Gloves: white, off-white, or same color as coat.
  7. Riding boots: black or same color as coat.
  8. Safety vests (including inflatable) are permitted.
  9. Spurs are optional. Spurs must be made of metal. The shank must be either curved or straight, pointing directly back from the center of the spur when on the Athlete’s boot. Spurs must not be offset, unless allowed as a compensating aid and noted on the FEI Classification Master List. The arm of the spur must be smooth and blunt. If rowels are used, they must be blunt, smooth, and free to rotate. Metal spurs with round hard plastic knobs (‘Impulse’ spurs) or “Dummy” spurs with no shank are allowed.

Saddlery

FEI Rules can be found here: https://inside.fei.org/fei/regulations/para_dressage.

FEI Dressage Tests

FEI Para Dressage Tests may be found here: https://inside.fei.org/fei/your-role/organisers/p-e-dressage/tests.

Gr. I, II, III must ride in 40 x 20 meter arena.

Gr. IV, V must ride in 60 x 20 meter arena.

Video Procedure

The camera must be placed at “C” (far end of ring/arena). If the zoom feature is used, the horse may be no larger than ¼ of the screen. The recording should start approximately 5 seconds before the rider enters the arena. In an indoor arena, the rider may already be in the arena, and the recording will start 5 seconds before the judging of the class begins. The recording should finish approximately 5 seconds after the class ends or after the final salute at the end of the test.

  • It is recommended that you film with your back to the sun.
  • Make sure the camera is steady and the horse in the center of the frame.
  • Use highest quality setting on camera.
  • Set the zoom before you start and do not alter it once you have started filming.
  • Ensure the light setting is correct for the time of day.
  • Stand at C either with your back to C or behind C facing A and do not move from that spot.
  • Make sure you video from the start of the test as you turn on center line and keep videoing until after the final halt so we can see some walk work as you leave the arena (1/2 dozen steps or so).
  1. Make sure that a well-lighted ring/arena is used.
  2. Riders entering the FEI Freestyle to music test must ensure that the sound on the video recording device is switched on and that the music can be clearly heard in the video.
  3. The name of the video file should include the rider’s last name, horse name, date, Grade, and test being submitted.
  4. Videos may include more than one test providing there is a five second pause between tests, and are clearly marked with the test, date, rider’s last name, and horse name.

Please Note: If athlete submits video from competition, then athlete will not receive scores from the Virtual Judging Panel. Only comments.

How to Create a YouTube Account

Go to YouTube.com and create an account. To do this, click on the “Sign Up” button at the top of the screen. Fill out all of the requested information. An e-mail will be sent to you to confirm your e-mail address. Clink the link in the e-mail to confirm.

Customize Your YouTube Profile

You can customize your profile by clicking on your username at the top of the screen. You can choose to add a photo, video logs, favorite videos, subscribers, and friends.

Fill In the Video Upload Information

To upload a video, go to the upload page by clicking on “upload” in the upper right corner of the homepage. On this page, fill out your video information, including title, description, and tags. Tags are key words used to describe your video, i.e. Gr. Test.

Upload the Video to YouTube

The next step is to upload your video onto YouTube from your computer. Click on “Upload Video” to find the video file on your computer. Next, click the browse button to search for the file you want to upload. Double click on the file and it will appear in the text box. Click on “Upload Video”.

Please be aware that posting videos on YouTube without security settings will allow outside individuals to view your video. It is highly recommended that users set the YouTube security setting to “unlisted” (meaning only those who have been provided the link can view the video).

Video Entry Process and Checklist

Entry Due Date: 25th of each month.

Once riders have a video of themselves performing a specific test, send the YouTube video link to Hope Hand, President of The United States Para-Equestrian Association, at wheeler966@aol.com along with the trainer name, trainer email, trainer phone. If no trainer, use rider info, rider name, horse name, grade, test, and detail on rider classification (non-classified, classified National, or International). When you are uploading your video, please ensure your video and entry meets the following requirements.

  • Have you previewed your video to ensure that it is clear and meets the entry requirements?
  • Is your video in one of the following file formats: avi (audio video interleave), mov (QuickTime-Apple), wmv (winder media video), or flv (flash)?
  • Is your video less than 2 GB?
  • Is your video file name properly saved (i.e. rider last name and test entered)?
  • “Unlisted” YouTube link (only those who have been provided the link can view the video).
  • Once your submission is completed, USPEA will forward the YouTube Video link to the International Judge for her review.

Cost

Each Test will cost the rider $15.00 paid through Athlete’s Venmo Account to be paid on the date Video is submitted for review. Athlete will then forward the Venmo Receipt and YouTube Video to USPEA at Wheeler966@aol.com.

Prior to submitting the test for judging, payment must be made.

Results

The results of each test submitted will be completed by the International Para Dressage judge and returned to the USPEA, who will forward the score sheets directly to the athlete and trainer, along with any comments made by Emerging Athlete Trainers.

Other Rules

  • The Judges’ decisions are final.
  • No communication or discussion will be entered into with the judges involved.
  • Videos of tests must not have been recorded at any official competition. Any video which is suspected of having been filmed during a competition will not be accepted.
  • If the quality of a video is considered too poor to be judged, the competitor will be given the opportunity to submit a further video.
  • Athletes may only submit 2 individual tests of choice and 1 Freestyle Test per month (maximum 3 tests monthly), as described above under Costs.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Can a Minor Drive a Golf Cart at a Horse Show?

By Leone Equestrian Law

Q: We are planning to rent a golf cart during an upcoming horse show in Florida. What are some things we need to keep in mind? Can my 14-year-old daughter drive the cart, even though she doesn’t have a driver’s license yet?

Answer: The first thing to know is that each state has its own rules regarding the age requirements for driving a golf cart. As a result, what may be considered an acceptable age in one place could be illegal in another. This is why it is important to always check the rules and regulations if you are considering letting a minor drive a golf cart.

In most states (including Florida), a child has to be at least 14 years of age to be able to drive a golf cart. In other places such as Texas, the driver has to be around 16 years old. Then there are states such as California and South Carolina that allow children to drive golf carts at the age of 13.

It’s also important to know what Florida defines as a golf cart versus an LSV (low-speed vehicle). According to its statute, Florida defines an LSV as a four-wheeled electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but less than 25 mph. The minute that golf cart exceeds speeds of 20 mph, it becomes an LSV and is subject to a different set of rules. In Florida, low-speed vehicles are considered motor vehicles and are required to be titled, registered, and insured with Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability coverage in order to be operated on Florida streets and highways, while golf carts in Florida are not required to be insured (although insurance, even on golf carts, is highly recommended).

Also, any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver’s license in their immediate possession. Be aware that your daughter may be able to drive the golf cart, but not an LSV — make sure you know which one you’re renting!

So, even though a golf cart driver is not required by Florida law to be a licensed driver, it is nonetheless a good idea. In addition to being of age, drivers are also required to know the rules of the road and how to safely operate such a vehicle.

Now that you know your 14-year-old daughter can legally operate a golf cart in Florida, but not an LSV, you should also be aware of liability concerns and consider if it is worth the risk if she damages property or injures someone.

Click here to read more about this topic as well as safety tips when driving a golf cart.

Visit www.equestriancounsel.com to learn more or email info@equestriancounsel.com with inquiries.

Rising Star Classic Champions at Turf Tour Week 5 & 6

Alvaro Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco.

Wellington, FL (February 13, 2020) – Turf Tour Week 5 and the first day of Week 6’s competition crowned two Rising Star Classic champions and hosted exceptional show jumping and hospitality at venues To-Kalon Farm and Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Welcoming horses and riders at all levels from the .80m to the Grand Prix, the back-to-back Wednesday shows drew competitors and spectators to enjoy Wellington’s utopian equestrian settings, rare wines, and the horse-centric show experience The Ridge Turf Tour is known for.

Napa Valley inspired To-Kalon Farm, owned by second generation vinter Jeremy Nickel, transformed its sweeping polo field into two rings of show jumping during Turf Tour Week 5. Dotted by brightly colored jumps in courses designed by Argentina’s Jaime Morillo, the exceptional grass footing at To-Kalon and other venues has become the trademark of the Turf Tour, one of the only shows in the world where all levels can experience jumping on the grass. February 5th’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic saw Ireland’s Willie Tynan and KEC City Limits best the field, galloping across the grass and through the timers to victory. Tynan, riding for Red Barn Farm out of Boston, has been one of the Turf Tour’s most decorated riders, and for his Rising Star win at To-Kalon Farm was awarded a magnum bottle of The Vineyard House’s rare Cabernet Sauvignon. Second in the To-Kalon Rising Star went to Luis Larrazabal riding for San Francisco Stables aboard Alonzo Z, and third to Kim Farlinger and Stanley Stone of Sher-Al Farm.

Kicking off Week 6, Wednesday’s $5,000 Rising Star Classic saw more than 25 horses and riders jumping over a course designed by Olympic and FEI designer Leopoldo Palacios. Jim Brandon Equestrian Center’s spacious warmups, exceptional all weather arenas, and hassle free trailer parking are a welcome change of pace for competitors on Wellington’s winter circuit. A busy day marked by warm breezes brought victory in the Rising Star for Alvaro Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco, whose exceptionally fast jump-off time was hotly contested but never beaten. A first round double clear by Richard Neil and Electra set the mark at an already fast jump-off time of 30.851 seconds. Not long after, Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco swept through the timers in 29.963. Multiple combinations powered through Palacios’s jump-off, whipping around turns and galloping down bending lines, gradually bumping Neil and Electra into 6th place but unable to match Tejada’s time. With the top 6 horses all within a second of each other’s times, the tight jump-off put Gianni Gabrielli with Chaco 34 into second on 30.035 and Tegan Elizabeth Tracy with Colorado into third on 30.362.

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Victorious Valentine’s Day for Jessica Springsteen and Volage du Val Henry

Jessica Springsteen and Volage du Val Henry. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 14, 2020 – It was a sweet victory for Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Volage du Val Henry in the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3* at “Friday Night Stars” in the Global Ring at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival) during week six of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Friday, February 14.

North American ladies dominated the podium in the pinnacle jumper event of week six with Canadian rider Rachel Cornacchia finishing the runner-up aboard Valkyrie de Talma and U.S. rider Ali Wolff rounding out the top three riding longtime mount Casall.

From a starting field of 37, nine horses advanced to the tie-breaker over tracks set by course designer Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz Harris (MEX). With only one to follow behind her, Springsteen wowed the crowd by taking over the lead by less than one-hundredth of a second in 36.04 seconds.

“I thought I would still try to go fast in case I knocked one down because she’s such a fast mare,” said Springsteen of her plan for Volage du Val Henry, an 11-year-old Selle Français mare (Quidam de Revel x Cassini I), owned by Stone Hill Farm. “I thought I had fence one down and got really distracted, but she jumped amazing. I’m really lucky to have her; she’s such a talented mare, and she really tried her heart out tonight.”

Amateur and Junior Hunter Riders Show Off in International Arena on Friday of WCHR Week

Amateur and junior hunter divisions took center stage in the International Arena on Friday to mark the third day of the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week. Riders continue to compete for a spot in the coveted $100,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)/WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, which will take place on Saturday night.

The first division to compete in the International Arena on Friday was the 3’3” Junior 15 and Under Hunters, and the class was held in a California-split format due to the high number of entries. Top honors in Section A went to Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL and Rockette, owned by Ramble On Farm.

Malnik rode the 12-year-old mare to two firsts, a second, and a ninth-place finish, and she is thankful to have the experienced mare as her partner.

The Section B championship went to Raina Swani aboard Fetching, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC. Swani, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and Fetching earned a first, second, fourth, and fifth place in the division. Swani has only been riding the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Riene I’Ve) since December when she took over the ride from her sister, Isha Swani.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Brazil Tops Ireland in WEF Challenge Cup Round 6

Yuri Mansur and Everglade Santo Antonio. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 13, 2020 – Brazil’s Yuri Mansur bested four Irish jump-off contenders to take the top spot in the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 CSI3* during week six at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Thursday, February 13.

From a starting field of 44, six horses advanced from a technical first round to the tie-breaking jump-off built by course designer Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz Harris (MEX). It was a face-off between Irish riders for the top call before Mansur and his mount Everglade Santo Antonio saved the best for last, breaking the timers in 37.03 seconds to win by fractions of a second over Darragh Kerins (IRL) riding Carlos JD Z. Kerins set the pace as the trailblazer in the jump-off with a time of 37.76 seconds.

Mansur began his partnership with Everglade Santo Antonio, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Clinton x Voltaire) in August 2019. They got to know each other in the 1.20m and 1.25m ranks before quickly stepping up to the international scene.

“I have not had him that long, and he was sent to me by an English rider to sell,” said Mansur of how he got the ride. “Straight away I realized that he is a nice horse. I never imagined he would be as good as he is, but I knew he was going to be good. He was quickly going in the right direction, and already in the indoor season [this fall] he was jumping fantastic.”

Hunter Competition Takes Center Stage on Day Two of WCHR Week

Amanda Steege and Lafitte de Muze started off the second day of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at WEF with a championship in the Antarès Sellier High Performance Hunter division.

“He knew just as much as I did that we had to win that class,” said Steege of Lafitte de Muze, who was recently named the 2019 USHJA Hunter Horse of the Year. “From the moment I got on him today, he was totally focused and on it. I don’t think he put a foot wrong in the class.”

The next division to take place in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring was the High Performance Conformation. Scott Stewart and Private Life took home the tri-color ribbon by winning three out of five classes. This was Private Life’s first show back since the National Horse Show, and he will probably not show again until the Devon Horse Show.

“Private Life is really trustworthy and always the same. He’s very simple to ride, and he’s a good jumper,” Stewart said of the nine-year-old gelding owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. “We plan to try to peak for this week, so it means a lot to be champion.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Olympic Year Adds Extra Zest as Wellington Opens Exciting New Season

Rodrigo Pessoa holds the trophy aloft as Team Ireland celebrate victory in Barcelona (ESP). (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

There’s nothing quite like an Olympic year for raising hopes and dreams, and as the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 series kicks off there are plenty of horse-and-rider combinations looking to impress over the coming weeks and months with a view to making that trip to Tokyo. Talent-spotting will be the order of the day for team managers and selectors throughout the early part of the new season, which will take in prestigious events in the Middle East and across Europe as well as North America.

Deeridge Farm in Wellington, Florida (USA) is again the venue for the show-opener of the 11-leg 5-Star series, and hosts the first of the three qualifiers in the North/Central America and Caribbean League Sunday, 16 February. The action then moves to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the single qualifier for the Middle East region later this month. Just two countries from each of these leagues will qualify for the annual Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain in October.

May is going to be hectic, beginning with round two of the America/Caribbean series, at Coapexpan in Mexico, followed by the first leg of Europe Division 1 at La Baule, France followed swiftly by the second leg at St Gallen in Switzerland a week later. And then it’s back across the pond again, this time to Langley in Canada where the last leg of the North/Central America and Caribbean series will take place as the month draws to a close.

From there the Europe Division 1 teams will continue to battle it out for a place amongst the seven nations from this series that will make the cut to the Final. They will visit Sopot (POL) and Rotterdam (NED) in June and Falsterbo (SWE), Dublin (IRL) and Hickstead (GBR) in July, finishing at the British fixture the day before the equestrian events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begin. The 10 nations competing in Europe Division 1 this season are Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Ireland won the edge-of-the-seat 2019 Final, and the celebrations were noisy because this result also gave them the hotly-contested last team qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. And although only Canada, Mexico, and USA can chase down the early-season points in Wellington, the Irish will be out in force again.

There is a super-strong field of runners, with a total of eight teams including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, and the USA going in to battle. Big names in the mix include the man who led that Irish team to victory, 1998 World Champion and 2004 Olympic champion Rodrigo Pessoa, who has now returned to the saddle to fly the Brazilian flag once again, and two of his Barcelona-winning team-members, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Paul O’Shea.

Rowan Willis, who produced a superb performance from his mare Blue Movie to finish individually 12th at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, will be on the Australian team, while the seven-strong Canadian contingent includes 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze.

Great Britain fields an all-female side that includes Amanda Derbyshire and Emily Moffitt, and Team Israel has listed brothers Daniel and Steven Bluman in its squad. The US selection is filled with super-stars including the multi-medalled Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden, but the ones they may all have to fear are last year’s winners, Team Mexico. Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane is the only member of that victorious side listed again this year, but the passion with which this country’s riders compete makes them a serious force to be reckoned with, so this opening leg looks set to be a cracker.

Check it out here.

By Louise Parkes

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Shannon Gibbons
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shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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