Tag Archives: Driving

Green Meadows Coaching Keeps ‘Old Times’ Alive at Royal Horse Show

McLain Ward, his wife, Lauren, and their three-year-old daughter, Lilly, joined the Wallers atop the ‘Old Times.’ Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Mary Waller of Stockbridge, MA and their ‘Old Times’ coach claimed a third consecutive victory in the historic Green Meadows Four-In-Hand Coaching Appointments Class on Friday, November 9, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

“It never gets old!” said Mary of the win on Friday night. “It’s always special. I love the Royal.”

The Green Meadows Coaching division, generously sponsored by Hugessen Consulting, Inc., is dedicated to the great tradition of the road coaches and park drags of years gone by, and the Wallers’ ‘Old Times’ coach exemplifies a fine example of that tradition.

The ‘Old Times’ coach was famously driven from London to Brighton, England in the 1880s. It has since been conserved in its entirety by the Wallers, who purchased the road coach in 2001 and had the paint stripped down to find the original color and lettering, enabling it to be put back to its exact original appearance.

That attention to detail is part of what helped the Wallers earn the win in the Coaching Appointments Class, judged on performance, presentation, and emphasis on appointments. All three factors were taken into consideration during Friday evening’s Green Meadows Four-In-Hand Coaching Appointments Class in the Coca-Cola Coliseum, while the presentation and emphasis on appointments were also judged during a special reception on Friday afternoon.

“This is a very special coach, so it’s nice to bring it here to a special show,” said Mary. “The way they do the appointments in the other ring beforehand showcases the coaches. You get to see them in a special surrounding, and it makes it that much nicer. All of our staff works so hard, so for them to see it in there after they’ve been working on it for days – and then to have us win – it’s really more for them than for us because it’s our whole team that has accomplished this!”

This year, the Wallers also had three special guests as part of their winning team for the evening’s Coaching Appointments Class. Two-time Olympic and recent World Championship team gold medalist, McLain Ward, rode on ‘Old Times’ alongside his wife, Lauren, and their three-year-old daughter, Lilly.

“We’ve known McLain forever, and he’s probably ridden with us three or four times here at The Royal,” said Mary. “Lilly was bracketed by mom and dad holding her in up there! It was really fun having them with us.”

Finishing in second behind the Wallers was the Canadian entry of Gerben Steenbeek and his park drag entry for Stonecreek Friesians of St. Marys, ON. Third place went to John P. White of Newtown, NJ driving a road coach, ‘Excelsior,’ for Shallow Brook Farm.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Exell Wins Individual Gold as Team USA’s Golden Victory Thrills Home Crowd

Australia’s Boyd Exell (FEI / Liz Gregg)

On a day when the home nation USA secured a stunning victory in the Polaris Ranger driving team competition to round off a triumphant FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG), Australian driver Boyd Exell proved he remains in a league of his own by securing a third successive individual WEG gold medal.

Despite the valiant efforts of crowd favourite Chester Weber, who showed icy composure to drive his team to gold and also grab individual silver, no one was able to rival Exell from the moment he entered the dressage arena on day one.

First in the dressage, third in the marathon stage despite driving with broken brakes, and second in the closing cones phase, Exell finished with an overall score of 154.14, almost 10 points clear of Weber. Edouard Simonet, the 29-year-old Belgian who was once a back-stepper for Exell, took the bronze medal with a final score of 174.15.

“I love training horses. It is a relief to win, I have a huge team of people who have been with me 20 years.” — Boyd Exell (Australia)

Weber, who also finished second to Exell at the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France, was overjoyed to take an unexpected team title in front of a raucous North Carolina crowd.

“I can tell you it was a surprise. I thought we came here with a chance of a medal but if you had asked me if I was going to have a bet on whether we were going to be world champions, I would have said I am not sure,” said Weber, whose USA team finished with a winning score of 353.39.

Teammate James Fairclough, who introduced Weber to the sport as a 13-year-old, already has an eye on the future after the USA beat the Netherlands, the 2010 and 2014 champions, into second and Belgium into third.

“I hope it’s going to inspire a lot of people to come forward and try the sport. It’s a great boost for us,” Fairclough said.

Basking in the glow of winning a WEG bronze medal to go with their 2017 European team bronze, the Belgium team also served notice of their intention to change driving’s established order.

“We are the future not only of Belgium driving but of international driving,” said Glenn Geerts, who like individual bronze medal winner Simonet is 29 years old, while Dries Degrieck, the third member of the team, is just 23.

In comparison, traditional powerhouses the Netherlands finished Tryon 2018 lamenting unexpectedly poor marathon performances from their often all-conquering father and son duo Ijsbrand and Bram Chardon.

The pair did come out firing on the final day, with 25-year-old Bram Chardon producing the only double clear round. But it was not enough to deliver a third successive team gold.

“We wanted to get our spot back; that spot was meant for us,” said a dejected Bram Chardon.

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

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

Brakes Off but Pressure Was On for Untouchable Aussie Boyd Exell

Boyd Exell with his carriage of horses Celviro, Checkmate, Daphne, and Zindgraaf. (FEI / Christophe Taniere)

Not even broken brakes could prevent Boyd Exell (AUS) from tightening his grip towards a third successive individual gold medal as the Polaris Ranger driving marathon test delighted the packed crowds at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG).

The Netherlands’ notorious marathon specialist Koos De Ronde won the day with his score of 117.28 points, helping him jump 10 places in the overall individual standings to sit fourth with just the cones test to come. But nothing could stop the relentless Exell from once again grabbing the headlines.

The Australian noticed early on that his braking system was compromised and yet still the 2010 and 2014 WEG Individual champion managed to get round the Richard Nicol-designed course in a score of 121.93, the third best of the day. That was enough to extend his overall lead to 7.00 points over second-placed Chester Weber.

“It caused a problem in hazard one; we came in hot because there is a big long gallop into gate A and we drifted too wide and they (the horses) looked to the left rather than being able to square up the turn – that was a bit disappointing hazard one, gate A, first mistake,” Exell said, with a wry smile.

“Hazards three, four and five are all up and down dips, so the reins were around my head one moment and then on the floor and then round my neck. But we fought. We didn’t give up; we kept fighting all the way.” — Boyd Exell (Australia)

Home favourite Weber kept up the pressure on the all-conquering Australian with a controlled display, backed up by an intricately planned strategy designed to combat the searing heat and humidity.

“We have done a lot of studying of lactate levels and heart rates to try and get the horses ready for this,” Weber explained. “When the temperatures get hotter, the heart rates get higher and lactates grow. We trained them at home (Florida, USA) with gallop sets – you can actually train them to drop their heart rate.”

Hitting his pre-planned targets all the way round, Weber brought home his carriage in 125.51, the fifth best score of the day. The 29-year-old Belgian Edouard Simonet sits just behind him in the overall standings, after adding a confident marathon drive to his solid dressage score.

A protégée of Boyd Exell’s, Simonet is a real threat to the big two with his favoured cones test to come.

“I love the game, so let’s play tomorrow,” Simonet said.

Dutchman De Ronde’s magnificent drive saved what was otherwise a disastrous day for the men in orange. Father and son Ijsbrand and Bram Chardon both made significant, uncharacteristic errors dropping the Dutch, winner of the team competition in 2010 and 2014, down to third in the standings. Team USA leads on 338.55 points, more than 15 points clear of Team Belgium.

“It was terrible. It’s a big disappointment for us both but eventually it will make you stronger and for now we have to keep the team together,” said Bram Chardon. The 25-year-old was 18th quickest on the day with his father just two places better off.

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

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

Superb Dressage Display Puts Peerless Exell in Control

Boyd Exell with his dream team of horses, Carlos, Celviro, Checkmate, and Zindgraaf. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Australian Boyd Exell produced a driving dressage masterclass at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (WEG) backed by a team of horses he rates as his “best ever” as he took a giant step towards claiming his third successive individual gold medal.

The man who has dominated driving for much of the past decade shook off the lingering effects of breaking his ankle in July, finished with a score of 31.68, putting him 3.42 points clear of the USA’s Chester Weber. For Exell it was his greatest dressage performance to date.

“In Kentucky in 2010 I did a 30 and the crazy thing is that was a beautiful test but we did not have the same power and movement of this team,” said Exell, who has seven FEI World Cup™ driving titles to his name.

“Even when the crowd cheered on the way in, which some horses don’t like, I could just feel my team power up. It was like turning a V8 engine into a V10.” — Boyd Exell (Australia)

Fierce rival Weber, who finished second to Exell at the 2014 WEG in Normandy, entered the arena with the crowd still cheering the two-time champion.

“That was sort of motivating for me, to be honest,” Weber said. “I sort of shook my head like a prize fighter and said to myself ‘c’mon’.”

It worked with a particularly fine rein-back among the highlights as Weber delighted the crowd yet further and finished with 35.10 points.

The Dutch veteran Ijsbrand Chardon, winner of the prestigious Aachen Championships this year, showed all his undoubted class and skill to grab third with a score of 41.06 in what is his weakest discipline. The five-time WEG team champion and 2002 individual gold medallist was the last of the 19 drivers to enter the arena, not that he minded.

“I was fairly relaxed, last driver is the best position. I saw Boyd’s and Chester’s points but then it was very important I made my performance,” Chardon said, before he admitted he might require some help to catch the leader.  “Boyd I need to make a big mistake – 10 points is too much. Six points to Chester is possible.”

A strong performance from Ijsbrand’s 25-year-old son Bram Chardon helped the Netherlands claim second place in the team competition. But the 2010 and 2014 WEG team champions are facing a real battle to hold onto their title.

Led by Weber and boosted by a beautifully controlled performance from dressage specialist Misdee Wrigley-Miller, who scored 42.00 and lies fourth in the individual standings, the USA will take a 10.33 point lead into Saturday’s marathon phase.

“Everyone has been telling me it is just another competition and not to worry about it,” laughed Wrigley-Miller. “But when I came into the arena it was like ‘ooomph’ – the weight of the world fell on my shoulders.”

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

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

US Para-Driving Team Successful at FEI World Single and Para Driving Championships

Tracy Bowman (in the Marathon Course). Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans, Hoefnet’s Krisztina Horvath, and Daphne White.

Kronenberg, The Netherlands – September 17, 2018 – Over six days the 2018 FEI World Driving and Para-Driving Championships for singles took place at Grandorse in Kronenberg, The Netherlands. U.S. Para-Driving Team included Driver and horse combinations Tracy Bowman and Taylormore Laurabelle in Grade 1, Bob Giles and First Lady in Grade 2, and Diane Kastama and horse Oosterwijk’s Kasper in Grade 1, with Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marcie Quist. Drivers contested the dressage, marathon, and cones courses, over the August 28 – September 2, 2018, week. The Singles and Para-driving championships were held simultaneously for the first time in the history of this equestrian sport. The top international drivers competed for the coveted title in their category: World Champion. U.S. Para-Drivers had a successful showing earning fourth in the Team competition.

“We would like to thank world class four-in-hand driver Koos De Ronde and his wife, FEI Combined Driving judge Marie De Ronde, in Zwartewaal, Netherlands for hosting the para-driving training camp at their home farm Stal De Ronde. We would also like to thank the navigators including Diane Kastama’s navigator Lila Hewitt, Tracy Bowman’s navigator Jolie Wentworth, and Bob Giles’ navigator Barbra Hewitt and everyone who so generously offered their support.  We would especially like to thank team coach Sara Schmitt, our Chef d’Equipe, Marcia Quist, Danielle d’Aamodt Single’s Chef and Thorsten Zarembowicz Singles Coach.”

Following the Championships, Para-drivers headed back to the United States where they will be cheering on the U.S. Equestrian Teams at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC and heir Dutch host and hostess Koos and Marie de Ronde who will be competing in the four-in-hand driving at the World Equestrian Games.

Results can be found on Hoefnet at: https://www.hoefnet.nl/en/kalender-uitslagen-startlijsten/wk-enkelspannen-wk-paramennen-horst/.

For more information about USA Para-Driving, please visit United States Driving for the Disabled at http://usdfd.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

“Generation Z” Athletes Aiming to Shine at FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Photo: Liz Gregg/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 17 August 2018 — Over 100 “Generation Z” athletes – born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – have been named on the nominated entry list for next month’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, the pinnacle of equestrian sport, in North Carolina (USA).

Amongst these athletes are three 10-year-old vaulters who, alongside their fellow “Gen Zs” from 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East, are bidding to represent their nation at the FEI World Equestrian Games™.

A total of 71 countries are included in the nominated entries, a massive increase on the 58 that contested the medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Kentucky 2010 when the multi-discipline event was first held outside Europe.

The full nominated entries (listed by discipline) for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, from which the final entries will be selected next month, is here: https://inside.fei.org/fei/fei-weg/2018.

The next and final stages in the Games entry process are the deadlines for definite entries: 3 September for the first week’s competition in Dressage, Eventing, Endurance and Reining, and 10 September for the second week’s events in Driving, Para-Dressage, Jumping and Vaulting.

With an anticipated 800 athletes and over 820 horses from six of the world’s seven continents scheduled to attend, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 will be one of the biggest sporting events on US soil this year, and will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Year of youth

Young equestrian athletes are really taking centre stage in 2018. Just one month after the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, 30 nations will send equestrians aged between 15-18 years to the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games held from 6 to 18 October 2018.

#BeOne

Equestrian fans, athletes and teams from across the globe are coming together to celebrate the sport as one and as part of the FEI campaign for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 – #BeOne.

To buy tickets for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, go to https://tryon2018.com/tickets/event-tickets and for more information on the Games, visit www.Tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/events/fei-world-equestrian-games-tryon.

Media contact:

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

Two California Para-Drivers Earn Their East Coast Debuts at the Southern Pines CDE

Ginny Leal, Groom Howard Leal, Navigator Leslie Berndl, Photo: Pics Of You.

Southern Pines, NC – July 1, 2018 – Para-Equestrian drivers Ginny Leal (Grass Valley, CA) and Stefanie Putnam (now based in Louisville, KY) recently participated in the Southern Pines CDE in North Carolina.  Leal had the opportunity to drive the advanced level pony “Zoobie” owned by Teressa Kandianis in the April 12-15, 2018 event in one of the first Para-Driving Intermediate classes held in the United States modeled after the FEI Para-Driving World Championship.  A previous para-driving event was held in California at Sargent’s CDE in May to prepare para-equestrian drivers for the “World’s” to be held at Kronenberg, The Netherlands, August 28 – September 2, 2018.  Team USA finalists will be announced in the near future.

Stefanie Putnam drove her own “Shadow” at the event taking the Preliminary Single Horse Championship.  Putnam has moved to Louisville, Kentucky permanently where she is working with the Frazier Institute and Research Center as the eleventh human, the first woman, in the ground-breaking Spinal Cord Injury “Victory over Paralysis” epidural stimulation implant research study. Putnam will not be applying to be considered for Team USA in 2018. Putnam explained, “My part in the Frazier study is funded for another year, and they have invested enormous time, energy, and resources in me.  We are beginning to make history that will benefit not only the Spinal Cord Injury community, but also other disabling conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, cardio vascular issues, and more. Where there was no hope, there now is hope. To be a part of such a gift to humanity is more than I could possibly ask for.”

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Equestrian Driving Boosted with Allocation of Five Major Events

Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart.

Equestrian Driving, the sport that combines athletic horses, daredevil drivers and state-of-the-art carriages, has been given a valuable boost today with the allocation of five major events over the next three years.

The showdown for the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2019, the culmination of tough global qualifiers broadcast on more than 40 television channels in 19 countries, will take place in the elegant French city of Bordeaux following allocation by the FEI Bureau.

“Driving is an exciting, high-octane sport and the crowds just love it,” FEI Driving Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said. “Driving requires spectacular skills, the horses are clever and fast – the ultimate horsepower. This is all about precision at speed; it’s adrenaline-fueled and unbelievably electrifying.”

The FEI Bureau, the body responsible for the general direction of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), also allocated four Driving Championships at World and European level in 2020 and 2021 to venues in the French Pyrenees and the Loire Valley, Mezőhegyes – home to Hungary’s state stud farm – and to Kronenberg in The Netherlands.

Close to nature

Nine other events were allocated by the FEI Bureau, including the FEI European Endurance Championship 2019, which will take place at Great Britain’s 200-acre Euston Park venue, set in Thetford Forest – the UK’s largest lowland pine area.

2019

  • FEI Driving World Cup™ Final – Bordeaux (FRA), 7-10 February
  • FEI European Endurance Championship – Euston Park (GBR), 15-18 August
  • FEI European Championships for Ponies (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) – Strzegom (POL), 15-18 August

2020

  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children – Vilamoura (POR), 21-26 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Veterans – Fontainebleau (FRA), 24-27 September
  • FEI Dressage European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Singles – Pau (FRA), 21-26 October
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezöhegyes (HUN), 10-13 September
  • FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Madrid (ESP), 21-24 May or 4-7 June
  • FEI Endurance European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Vic (ESP), 25-27 September
  • FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors – Flyinge (SWE), 28 July – 2 August

2021

  • FEI Driving World Championship for Ponies – Kronenberg (NED), end August – mid September

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Bromont International Driving: A Seventeenth Edition on the Horizon

Photo: James Fairclough.

Bromont, Quebec – June 5, 2018 – The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park is getting ready to host the seventeenth edition of the Bromont International Driving from June 28 to July 1, 2018.

Qualifying Event for the World Championships

The organizing committee is happy to count on the participation of the following officials for its 2018 edition:

Jan-Erik Palsson, president of the jury
Marie de Ronde Oudemans & Sarah Mullins, members of the jury
Richard Papens, technical delegate
Marc Johnson, course designer

The Bromont International Driving will be a qualifier for the FEI World Driving Championships for Singles, held in Kronenberg (Netherlands) August 28 to September 2, 2018.

The 17th edition of the Bromont International Driving will also be a qualifying event for the Canadian and American teams for the World Equestrian Games which will take place in Tryon, North Carolina on September 11, 2018.

The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park has hosted the event since 2001 and it is the only sanctioned driving competition in Canada. Bromont’s exceptional venue is perfect for presenting the three phases of the combined driving competitions.

Registration Is Open

Drivers are welcome! All necessary forms are available online at www.bromontdriving.org, or by contacting the show office at driving@internationalbromont.org.

Welcome to the St-Martin Bromont

The St-Martin Bromont hôtel & suites, official hotel of the event, offers a special rate to drivers and their team. Simply use the online form to make reservations at the event’s special rate. The reservation form is available at www.attelagebromont.org/en/forms.

About Bromont International Driving

The Bromont International Driving is the only FEI sanctioned driving competition in Canada and one of seven held across North America.

Bromont International Driving would like to thank its major sponsors, the Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec and the town of Bromont for their support.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

David Raposa Races to Top Honors in $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*

David Raposa and Iliona. Photo: The Book LLC.

Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2018 – Following Thursday night’s spectacular performances in the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, show jumping fans returned to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Friday afternoon to watch USA’s David Raposa and his own Iliona capture the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, sponsored by Glycogard.

Beth Bidgood and Uprising Rise to the Occasion in Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter Division

Beth Bidgood and her own Uprising started off with double blues in both over fences classes on Friday afternoon, the first day of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6″ Hunter division at the historic Devon Horse Show, proving they are in top form after having a successful winter season showing in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Misdee Wrigley Miller Conquers Coaching Championship

With the conclusion of the $35,000 Devon Speed Derby CSI4*, attention in the Dixon Oval shifted to the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship, where Misdee Wrigley Miller took home the tricolor ribbon. Miller competed with her Holland and Holland Park Drag coach that was pulled by her team of four bay Dutch Warmbloods.

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com