Gladstone, NJ (August 19, 2010) – Dressage rider Lauren Sammis, who earned a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games, awarded fellow dressage rider Crystal Gaskell with a brand new Charles Owen helmet during the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Gaskell, of Cazenovia, New York, won the helmet through a Charles Owen Helmet raffle, in support of the Riders4Helmets campaign started by SUCCEED, with all the proceeds from the raffle going to the USET Foundation.
“I always ride in a helmet and I was looking for a new helmet so this works out great,” said Gaskell, adding that she was extremely excited about winning the raffle. “I have a 23-year-old Dutch horse that I ride named Figaro. He did his first grand prix with my daughter when he was 21.”
Sammis, who competed at the Dressage Festival of Champions on Sagacious HF, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Al Guden of Hyperion Farm, was pleased to award Gaskell with her new helmet. A strong supporter of all riders wearing helmets, Sammis wore a helmet during the Dressage Festival of Champions, as did competitor Sue Blinks.
Wellington, FL – August 18, 2010 – Todd Flettrich and his grand prix mount Otto were recently named to the United States Dressage Team that will compete this fall at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Following a fantastic two weekends of competition at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, Flettrich and Otto finished in second place in the grand prix championships, which were also held as the Team’s final Selection Trials.
Competing at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ, Flettrich and Otto placed third in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special on the first weekend of competition, held August 7th and 8th. The pair performed consistently, earning an overall 71.404% in the Grand Prix and a 69.917% in the Special.
On the final weekend of competition, Flettrich and Otto stepped up the competition and moved into second place in the overall standings. The duo showed in the Grand Prix on August 13th and scored a 69.787% to finish in second place and then went on to the Freestyle on August 15th to earn an impressive 75.600% for another second place finish.
Otto is a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Margaret Duprey and Cherry Knoll Farm. Flettrich and Otto have been very successful throughout the year competing in the United States, and recently had the opportunity to gain exposure on the world stage competing at CHIO Aachen in preparation for the Selection Trials.
Horses live in the moment. We really enjoy physical sensations because we are NOW. We don’t think much about the future or the past. We live in the present.
Jane and I are back in Vermont now. The air here is so different from Florida! The smell of the spring storms and the pine trees is much more like my first home in Holland. I love feeling the coolness of the snow in my foot feathers and the crispness of the air in my nostrils. I like Florida, where the grass is always green, but Vermont really feels like home.
Dressage is as mental a challenge as it is physical. Many humans are drawn to it because it exercises the precision-yearning part of the brain as much as the physical senses of the body. I’ve noticed that sometimes people get too caught up in the mental part and forget to enjoy the physical part.
Isabell Werth is writing a diary for horsesinthesouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games from 25 September – 10 October. Here is Isabell’s second entry.
Plans beyond the CHIO Aachen and towards Kentucky (WEG)…
I was back in the saddle very quickly after the birth of my son, Frederik, and I’m feeling really well. My plan is to get in the best shape possible before Kentucky, and it’s encouraging that Satchmo and I have become more and more consistent in our performances as the months have gone by.
I was really pleased with how both horses (Satchmo and Hannes) performed at the Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, and with a score of more than 75% I feel we can be quite satisfied and happy. However, we have higher expectations over the coming weeks and months, and the plan is to sort out the mistakes and concentrate on the finer details of our programme.
Between now and WEG we will go to the German Championships in Münster and following that the nominations will be announced, so I’m hoping that we can find our best form for that performance. We now know that the Dutch riders are very strong and so is Laura Bechtolsheimer, so we will be hoping to finish closer and closer to Laura and Adelinde (Cornelissen). Edward (Gal) seems to be in a league of his own but the other two riders are definitely within our reach.
16 August 2010 – Niklas Lindbäck scored a popular home win in the 10th leg of the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing at Malmö (SWE) and boosted Swedish spirits at what was an important national team trial before the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky (USA) next month.
Lindbäck, who rose from 10th after Dressage on Mr Pooh to take the top spot after Cross-Country with the second-fastest round, held on to win with a clear over the coloured poles. “I’m so very pleased with my horse and with my whole team. It’s great to win on home ground and I’m glad the crowd appreciated it. It’s been a good competition in which riders were certainly put to the test,” he said afterwards.
Two other Swedish riders finished in the top 10, Katrin Norling and her experienced Pandora Emm, third, and Malin Larsson on Piccadilly, ninth. But aside from Australian visitor Clayton Fredericks’s eighth place on Brookleigh, German riders were the main beneficiaries.
Dressage leader Simone Deitermann (GER) was second on her Badminton hero Free Easy NRW, while three of her compatriots are now making serious headway on the FEI HSBC World Cup rankings, which are still led by Michael Jung (GER).
People often tell me that their horses leg yield very well as far as going sideways is concerned, but they tend to toss their heads and show resistance to the contact. In desperation, some riders even use a tie-down to put pressure on the nose to discourage their horses from yanking at the reins.
If your horse finds it fairly easy to cross his legs and move sideways with his body, yet he’s tossing his head during leg yields, it sounds like he’s objecting to your contact with his mouth. Any effort to steady his head with methods such as tying it down or using draw reins is simply treating the symptom rather than the cause.
Leg Yield vs. Rein Yield
The first thing that occurs to me is that you might be “rein-yielding” rather than leg yielding. Often when riders begin to teach their horses to leg yield, they try to move them sideways by pulling them over with the reins. As a result, their horses feel restricted and unhappy.
I have VERY exciting news for you! I have purchased a farm in Wellington, Florida to be able to continue to give my clients and horses the best possible training facility and “home away from home” as possible. I’ve been working on this special project since last April, and it’s finally done.
I am going to be offering a special rate for the first season of operation at our new facility, as well as offering month to month full care and training for those who can not afford the full season. After talking to numerous people about their needs and budgets, I have found over the years that a lot of you would love to take the opportunity to come to Fl for training. But due to the traditional billing of seasonal stalls, it’s just not feasible.
Of course, stall priority will be given to those horses who would like a stall for the entire season. But I am determined to offer training and full care at an affordable price for those who would like only 2 or 3 months instead of the entire season. I feel that this is a service that has been overlooked in Wellington.
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.”
9 August 2010 – Last year’s silver medallist moved up the ranks to take gold at the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships in Verden yesterday (Sunday). Uno Donna Unique (s.Don Schufro), ridden by Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand, was the undisputed World Champion of the 6 year old division at the German fixture in which Danish horses excelled. The new 5 year old World Champion however comes from Holland. Astrix (s.Obelisk) helped Emmelie Scholtens to win her second consecutive title.
The points for Uno Donna Unique, awarded by Dr Wojciech Markowski, Elisabeth Max-Theurer, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Angelika Frömming were spectacular – a total of 9.46. Equally spectacular was the way the judges had to mark down Helgstrand’s other horse, last year’s gold medallist Hönnerups Driver (s. Blue Hors Romanov). Due to ‘exaggerated movements’, ‘passage-like trot’ and problems with the contact, Driver this time only earned in 12th place with a score of 7.80.
The new World Champion Uno Donna Unique has grown stronger and more stable, showing three superb basic gaits, and the judging panel were highly impressed.
West Palm Beach, FL (August 5, 2010) – The Central American and Caribbean Games may have been Farewell IV’s first time competing at a show outside of the country, but it turned out to be an award-winning gold adventure for the Westphalian stallion and his owner, trainer and rider Colombian dressage rider Marco Bernal. Farewell IV and Bernal helped their team capture the Gold Medal in Puerto Rico and two days later the duo won the Individual Gold Medal. A special gold medal was also awarded to Bernal for the top rider-horse combination in the Prix St George and Intermediaire I.
Bernal, who has returned from the Games to Wellington and his Marco Bernal International Dressage farm, remains on cloud nine following the double gold victory. “It was a beautiful feeling to have Farewell compete under difficult conditions and remain so obedient and positive,” Bernal said. “During the team competition there was a tremendous rain storm and I had already warmed Farewell up and was about to enter the ring when they stopped the show. We had to wait about a half an hour before we could compete, but Farewell was with me every step of the way and it really was an excellent trip.”