Phoenix, AZ (September 14, 2010) – The Arizona Mini Mystique, an American Miniature Horse precision driving drill team, will bring their team of small equines to the biggest equestrian event in the country when they perform at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mini Mystique will perform daily, October 3-10, as part of the WEG Showcase Entertainment in the Equine Village at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“Appearing at the World Equestrian Games is a huge honor for The Arizona Mini Mystique and we are so proud to have them representing the American Miniature Horse Registry at the biggest horse event our country has ever seen,” said Johnny Robb, Director of Marketing for the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). “The Arizona Mini Mystique have been wonderful ambassadors for the AMHR for many years. They have taken part in other big events including the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Rose Parades, the Stampede in July 2009, and the Del Mar National Horse Show.”
7 September – German drivers dominated the 2010 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles at Breda, The Netherlands. Heiner Lehrter and Josef Sauerwald took individual gold and silver respectively and they joined up with Hubert Markett to also secure team gold.
At the previous World Championship in Greven two years ago, the Germans were beaten on their home soil by the Dutch. This time around however the tables were turned as the Germans were strongest on Dutch territory. The host nation took team silver, Great Britain won the bronze and defending double gold-medallist, Jacques Poppen from The Netherlands, earned individual bronze.
It was the first time the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships took place at a regular international driving event, and this new formula turned out to be a great success. The atmosphere was wonderful and all competitors enjoyed the superb competition site at The Prinsenhoeve Estate in Breda. Every year this versatile venue hosts the only Nations Cup in Four-In-Hand Driving in The Netherlands, as well as an international driving competition for pony teams, an international eventing competition and the Dutch eventing Championships and national jumping and dressage competitions. The FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships was perfectly integrated into the Driving programme. Due of the limited number of competitors – 15 entries from 4 nations – it was decided to create one class including Grade 1 and Grade 2 drivers. Grade 2 drivers have greater functional ability than their Grade 1 counterparts.
6 September 2010 – Hungary’s Zoltan Lázar scored his first-ever international four-in-hand victory at a CAIO when winning at Breda, the Netherlands, ahead of Werner Ulrich (SWI) and the best Dutch driver at this prestigious competition, Mark Weusthof, but the Dutch team once again proved invincible, staying well ahead of Switzerland and Sweden throughout the Nations Cup competition.
Twenty-eight drivers from 10 nations started at the beautiful Prinsenhoeve Estate in Breda, an outstanding venue which boasts the only Dutch Nations Cup competition in the history of Dutch driving. Breda has also been host to a number of other equestrian events this year, such as the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships, Pony Driving Championships, international and national Eventing competitions as well as national Jumping and Dressage fixtures.
Other vehicles and equipment
Breda was the last outing for the top drivers before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The carriages and other equipment of the Dutch, German and Swiss teams have already been shipped to Kentucky and most of the drivers therefore started with borrowed vehicles and harnesses. Drivers like Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman from the Netherlands competed with different horses in Breda to save their best horses for Kentucky.
Ocala, FL (August 30, 2010) – Jamaica, Chester Weber’s award-winning combined driving horse who was rescued from a slaughterhouse in Belgium, captured the nation’s attention when he won the most prestigious horse title in the country and became the USEF Farnam Platform Horse of the Year. Now, Jamaica’s rags to riches story is being told in the book Beloved Horses in Second Careers (Infinity Publishing) which will be released in September.
Written by Sharon Miner, the book focuses on horses who started their career in one discipline and then went on to have rewarding second careers. Jamaica’s “second career” turned out to be an amazing one, as he famously became part of Weber’s record-breaking international Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team. Jamaica, now 19, was a member of seven of Weber’s National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving National Championship teams.
Caledonia, IL (August 5, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber is gearing up for the World Equestrian Games the best way he knows how: by competing in and winning the Four-In-Hand at the Iron Horse Combined Driving Event at Sherwood Farms, in Caledonia, Illinois. Despite an issue in the marathon phase, Team Weber captured the overall championship with 152.2 points followed by Josh Rector with 170.58 points.
Weber said his team’s success at Iron Horse did include some bad luck, which occurred on the marathon. “We strive for our personal best and this was an example of being dealt lemons and making lemonade,” Weber said. “In the first obstacle in the marathon, Para my left wheel horse, somehow got his left front leg over Reno’s trace. Reno is the left leader, in front of Para. Olof, one of the two navigators on the carriage, got down and quickly resolved the problem in 25 seconds. The horses were unharmed and we proceeded to win the next three hazards.”
Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), 1 August 2010 – After a nerve-wracking obstacle driving competition at the FEI World Single Driving Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, Germany took home both individual and team gold. Thorsten Zarembowicz is the new World Champion. Poland’s Bartolomiej Kwiatek took the silver and Italy’s Cristiano Cividini won the bronze medal.
World Championship course designer Christian Iseli is known for his challenging obstacle driving courses, and at Pratoni he built another selective course, sticking to his motto ‘Not easy, but Iseli!’ The course, which was underestimated by most of the drivers, consisted of many sharp turns and the tight time frame made it difficult, but nevertheless do-able.
31 July 2010 – Perfect conditions created a wonderful environment for the marathon of the FEI World Single Driving Championship in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. Undulating tracks on a green meadow and the obstacle site nicely embedded in the hilly landscape ensured great sport.
The eight obstacles built by Austria’s course designer Christian Iseli offered the competitors countless route options. Two of them included extra large water elements, built and flagged in a modern and horse friendly way.
Before the start of the World Championship, the possible hot weather conditions in the summer in Italy was much talked about, but it could not have been better today. Twenty-seven degrees Celsius was the highest temperature reached. The marathon was heavy, but fair and selective, absolutely ideal for World Championship competition.
GERMANY LEADS AT WORLD SINGLE DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PRATONI
31 July 2010 – Germany’s Thorsten Zarembowicz has set a new standard in the Single Horse Driving scene by putting down a wonderful score of 35,20 penalty points and taking the lead at the FEI World Single Driving Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. The German Team is leading the Nations Cup after the first phase of the combined driving competition.
After two days of dressage in which the best 72 Single Horse drivers in the world showed their skills, Thorsten Zarembowicz is the new man to beat in dressage. Zarembowicz bettered the score of the title defender Jan van den Broek from the Netherlands by over six penalty points. The 31-year-old manager of the driving stable of former World Champion Michael Freund drove a wonderful test with the 8-year-old Holsteiner mare Sunrise. His test thrilled both the spectators and the judges.
Caledonia, IL (July 23, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber knows the importance of safety, which is why he and his team always wear their Charles Owen helmets during the marathon at a Combined Driving event. Weber, the reigning USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, is stepping up to encourage all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign which is a spin on SUCCEED’s riders4helmets campaign.
During the upcoming Iron Horse Combined Driving Event at Sherwood Farms, in Caledonia, Illinois, Weber will join forces with Charles Owen and SUCCEED, two of his Team Weber sponsors, to auction off a Charles Owen helmet certificate during the competitors’ party silent auction. While one lucky person will go home with a new Charles Owen helmet certificate, which could save his or her life, all of the money raised for the helmet during the silent auction will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
“I believe it is essential for drivers and their team to wear helmets during the marathon, and hope that the silent auction for the Charles Owen helmet will be a step in the right direction for all drivers committing to wearing helmets,” Weber said, adding that he will present the silent auction winner with the helmet certificate.
The FEI World Single Driving Championships return to Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA) from 28 July to 1 August. Pratoni hosted the Single Horse Driving Championships very successfully in 2006 and the Italian Equestrian Federation is now welcoming the competitors on their site for the sixth edition of these Championships.
It was just 12 years ago that the first official FEI Single Championships took place at Ebbs (AUT). The next Championship was due to take place in 2000 in Gladstone (USA), but was cancelled at the last minute because of the West Nile Virus. The Championship made a return to the FEI calendar in 2002 in the picturesque village of Conty (FRA), which organises an international driving event every year. Conty will also host the 2011 FEI World Pair Driving Championships.
As one of the world’s leading single driving nations, Sweden had the honour to host the 2004 World Single Championships, followed by Pratoni in 2006 and Jarantów (POL) in 2008.