Tag Archives: featured

JJ Torano and FPF Favor Crowned Grand Green Pony Hunter Champions at USEF Pony Finals

JJ Torano & FPF Favor.

Lexington, Ky. – August 12, 2022 – Day four of The 2022 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Honor Hill Farms, welcomed blue skies, blue ribbons, and even more smiles. The Rolex Arena invited Medium and Large Green Pony Hunters for their final day of competition and the presentation of their respective division champions. At the conclusion of each division, overall scores were tallied, and the Grand Green Pony Hunter Champion was crowned under the Kentucky sunset and accompanied by proud trainers and families.

As the day wrapped up, JJ Torano and FPF Favor not only took the tri-color for the Medium Green Pony Hunters; they also led the way in the victory gallop for the Grand Green Hunter Pony Championship. In the Large Green Pony Hunters, Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love rode away with the championship award, ultimately securing the Grand Green Pony Hunter Reserve Champion tri-color.

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Zone 3 Fist Pumps to Gold in the 2022 Pony Jumper National Championship Team Competition

The sun was shining in The Bluegrass State Friday afternoon as Pony Jumpers took to the Claiborne arena to contest the chance to step on top of the podium in the Pony Jumper Team Competition. At the conclusion of two thrilling days of competition, it was Aundrea Hillyard, Katie Smith, Savannah Smith, and Linen Owens for Zone 3 raising their gold medals high. Joining the Gold Medalists on the podium were Lucy Wendling, Mary Elizabeth Ryan, Ellie Kao, and Reagan Voxman of Zone 10 with the silver. Zone 8’s Ryder Richardson, Haley Honegger, Zahara Henderson, and Isabella Uhrig donned the bronze.

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For more information, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

USEF Pony Finals Makes Thrilling Return to Kentucky Horse Park

Finley Baras and Spring Fling.

Lexington, Ky – August 9, 2022 – Young riders were eager to enter the famed Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park Tuesday morning for the 2022 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms. The Bluegrass State welcomed bows and braids back for another year of promising young talent to showcase their dedication to the sport through three elements of hunter competition.

Day one of competition kicked off with the Small Green Pony Hunter Model and Under Saddle, and Regular Large Pony Hunter Model and Under Saddle. At the conclusion of the Regular Large Pony Division, it was Payton Flanders and Best Blonde to top the pack of 153 ponies in the under saddle, while Jole Kosloske and Chic In Time took the blue ribbon in the model. The Small Green Pony Hunters rounded out the competition day with Vivian Golden and Preston besting the field of 43 ponies to win the model, and Finley Baras and Spring Fling winning the under saddle.

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For more information, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Soring, the Scar Rule, and Self-Regulation: GT’s Equine Industry Group Examines the HPA

Tennessee Walking Horse.

West Palm Beach, FL (August 9, 2022) – The Horse Protection Act (HPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1821 et seq., passed in 1970 and amended in 1976, outlaws the practice of horse “soring,” an inhumane practice of causing pain to horse’s foot or leg to produce a more desirable gait. “Soring” is defined as the application of any chemical (e.g., mustard oil or diesel fuel), mechanical agent (e.g., overweight chains), or practice (e.g., trimming a hoof to expose the sensitive tissue) inflicted upon any limb of a horse that can cause or be expected to cause the horse to suffer physical pain or distress when moving.

The practice of soring is aimed at producing an exaggerated show gait for competition, and is primarily used in the training of Tennessee Walking Horses, racking horses, and related breeds. Although a similar gait can be obtained using selective breeding and humane training methods, soring achieves this accentuated gait with less effort, and over a shorter time frame. An individual showing a “sored” horse has an unfair competitive advantage over individuals showing horses that are not sore. Under 15 U.S.C. § 1828, Congress empowered the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of the HPA. The Secretary exercised this authority soon after HPA’s 1976 amendments and, through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), issued regulations governing inspections to detect the use of devices, equipment, and chemical substances designed to cause soring (9 C.F.R. § 11.1, et seq.). Section 11.1 permits horse industry organizations (HIOs), defined as “organized group[s] of people, having a formal structure, who are engaged in the promotion of horses through the showing, exhibiting, sale, auction, registry, or any activity which contributes to the advancement of the horse,” to hire and license private individuals known as designated qualified persons (DQPs) to perform soring inspections, enforce penalties, and administer appeals of those penalties. The regulations provide certain minimum licensing requirements, and DQPs must be either veterinarians with equine experience or “[f]arriers, horse trainers, and other knowledgeable horsemen” with relevant experience that are trained and licensed by an HIO. See § 11.7.

In two cases decided in 2016 and 2020, the HPA’s regulatory system for detecting and preventing horse soring came under scrutiny and criticism. The first case is McSwain v. Vilsack, 2016 WL 4150036 (N.D. Ga, May 25, 2016), which involved a regulation promulgated by the Secretary of the USDA in 1979 known as the “Scar Rule.” A horse is “sore” under the Scar Rule if it shows signs of previous soring. The Scar Rule sets forth criteria for an examiner to determine whether any scar tissue on the horse is a result of impermissible soring rather than normal wear and tear. In McSwain, Plaintiffs Keith and Dan McSwain sued the Secretary and the USDA, alleging that the Defendants had disqualified their prize Tennessee Walking Horse, “Honors,” on multiple occasions under an unwritten “once-scarred-always-scarred” rule, in which a prior disqualification under the Scar Rule is used as a basis to disqualify the horse in subsequent competitions. Plaintiffs claimed that application of a “once-scarred-always-scarred” rule effectively ends a horse’s career without any due process, since disqualification under the Scar Rule is not subject to challenge or review. This result, claimed Plaintiffs, can be much harsher than the penalties provided under 15 U.S.C. § 1825, which require notice and an opportunity for a hearing. In granting Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, the court held that the Plaintiffs had a constitutionally protected interest in showing Honors without unreasonable government interference, and enjoined Defendants from disqualifying Honors under the Scar Rule without providing Plaintiffs an adequate pre-deprivation process, including notice and the opportunity to be heard.

The second case scrutinizing the HPA’s regulatory system is Humane Society of the United States v. United States Department of Agriculture, 2020 WL 4286826 (D.C., July 27, 2020). In Humane Society, Plaintiffs brought an action for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging various violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in connection with a proposed, but never published, HPA regulation known as the “2017 Rule.” The 2017 Rule grew out of a 2010 report issued by the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), concluding that APHIS’ program for inspecting horses for soring was not adequate to ensure that the animals were not being abused. The report recommended that APHIS abolish the DQP program and instead provide independent, accredited veterinarians to perform inspections at sanctioned shows. In 2016, APHIS published a proposed rule that would replace the HIO-administered scheme with USDA-licensed inspectors, and prohibit certain devices, equipment, and foreign substances with no legitimate purpose other than to cause horse soring. Under the proposed rule, APHIS would train and license DQPs to inspect horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions for compliance with the HPA. On Jan. 11, 2017, the proposed rule was sent to the Office of Federal Register (OFR) for publication as a final rule.

However, on Jan. 20, 2017, President Trump’s chief of staff issued a memorandum directing all agencies to immediately withdraw any rule that had not yet been published in the Federal Register. Because the proposed rule had not yet been published, the USDA sent a letter to the OFR requesting that it be withdrawn from the public docket. The court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss all the Plaintiffs’ claims, holding that Plaintiffs lacked standing since they failed to allege any injury stemming from withdrawal of the 2017 Rule; neither the APA nor the caselaw prevented agencies from withdrawing rules prior to publication in the Federal Register.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF), the sole national governing body for equestrian sport, self regulates the welfare of horses within the 11 breeds that it recognizes, as well as horses within three unrecognized breeds that participate in USEF-licensed competition. USEF’s General Rule 839 (4)(o) addresses soring in connection with Tennessee Walking Horses, Rack Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses (breeds not recognized by USEF), and states that “[s]oring and/or the use of an action device on any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse, or Spotted Saddle Horse. . . in any class at a Federation Licensed Competition is prohibited.” The term “action device” is defined broadly and is consistent with the definition provided in the HPA. Rule General Rule 839 (4)(p) prohibits “[s]oring of any horse” and defines soring as “including but not limited to the application of caustic chemicals to a horse’s legs or hooves, in order to cause pain and/or affect a horse’s performance, and/or used as a training technique.”

Similar to the HPA’s notice and hearing provisions, USEF has a grievance procedure for athletes wishing to challenge a denial or threatened denial to participate in competition due to rule violations. While USEF’s rules do not appear to have a complementary provision to the Scar Rule, the soring prohibitions under the HPA and USEF’s regulatory scheme are intended to be complementary. USEF states on its website that it supports both the HPA and the USDA regulations designed to implement the Act’s provisions. However, one of the findings in the USDA’s 2010 OIG report discussed in Humane Society was that DQPs were reluctant to issue violations, since excluding horses from shows inconvenienced their employers, and made it less likely that they would be hired for other shows. Given the withdrawal of the 2017 Rule, detractors might criticize the HPA and USEF’s rules as allowing the horse industry to regulate itself, and as failing to prohibit certain devices, equipment, and foreign substances that have no purpose other than to cause horse soring. It remains to be seen whether the USDA will seek to resurrect some form of the 2017 Rule, and how the caselaw under the HPA will develop.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Triple Gold for Ireland and Germany; French Rider Defends Eventing Title

Mia Allegra Lohe, Tovdals Golden Future Imperial, GER. Photographer: Leszek Wójcik.

All of the medals have been decided at the 2020 FEI Pony European Championships in Strzegom. The rivalry ended in the eventing, showjumping individual final, and dressage Freestyle.

Eventing

Irish riders Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred, Josh Williamson with Ardeo Fireman, Matthew Love with Lucky for Some, and Claire O’Ryan with Carhu Melody took the lead after brilliant cross-country trials. Even three knockdowns and the added 12 penalties could not threaten their win, with the result of 104,1, and they took home the gold medal. The best one of them was Ben Connors, who was clear in the jumping trial and finished with the silver individual medal (28,9).

Team silver went to Germany, with the result of 107,6. They kept their second position through all of the trials. Team member Merle Hoffmann with Penny Lane WE finished with the bronze medal individually (31).

The French, defending their last year’s title, lost their dressage lead in the cross-country, after one of their riders had a run-out at the last combination and that knocked them down into third. They added 8 penalties to the score, but that kept them in the bronze medal position, finishing with the score of 108,9.

The best one of them was once again Mae Rinaldi aboard Boston Du Verdon. The dressage leader went over the XC clear and perfectly inside the time, and delivered yet another perfect round, to finish at 25,6. “It’s amazing. My pony was fantastic all week. Yesterday’s cross-country was long, with demanding fences and combinations, but Boston was great as always. Today we were under a lot of pressure, but my pony jumped great and I’m really happy to win the European Championships for the second time in a row!”

Dressage

Germany was unbeatable this year. Their riders took home the gold medal twice, winning both the team classification and Freestyle, and took all the spots at the podium in the individual class.

In the Freestyle, the best one of them was Mia Allegra Lohe with Tovdals Golden Future Imperial – 80,355%; the silver went to Maddy Dijkshoorn from the Netherlands with Boogie De L’Aube – 77,795%.

There was also a historic success for a Polish rider. Veronica Pawluk with D’Artagnan 187 took home the bronze medal, with the result of 77,490%.

Showjumping

Ireland took it all, both in the team and individual classifications. In the individual final, the two decisive rounds have confirmed the amazing form of the Irish, that have dominated the podium. Two riders in green jackets finished all of the 5 courses at this year’s championships on a zero-penalty score. The champion had to be determined in the jump-off. There the win belonged to James Derwin with Rincoola Babog – the same one that secured the team’s gold medal on Friday with his faultless round. Silver went to James Brennan aboard the 9-year-old MHS Glow, and bronze to Coen Williams with Saxton Freedam, who also did not make any mistakes on the jumps throughout the week, but finished the first round with three points for time.

Results: https://zawodykonne.com/zawody/6/tour/865

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Winners of the Summer Season Rolex Grands Prix

With European summertime drawing to a close, so too does the Rolex Grands Prix summer season, which begins in May and ends on the final weekend in August. Over the course of this four-month period, Rolex is the title partner of six prestigious shows’ Grands Prix, each one sitting outside of the revered Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

CSIO Jumping International de la Baule hosted the first Rolex Grand Prix of the summer season, also marking the first time Rolex has sponsored the show, a firm favourite with riders. Delighted crowds witnessed 59-year-old Canadian Beth Underhill and Dieu Merci Van T&L lift the inaugural trophy. The mare was previously ridden by Eric Lamaze, who has now retired from the sport due to health issues. Lamaze is now providing his expert knowledge to the Canadian team in his new role as Chef d’Equipe and was with Underhill at the show. Second place went to Yuri Mansur of Brazil with his gelding Vitiki, with Frenchman Pierre Marie Friant claiming third with Urdy d’Astrée.

Just a week later, the world’s best horse and rider combinations made the short journey across the English Channel to the spectacular CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which this year hosted a spectacular equestrian and musical performance to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign. Equestrian royalty gathered to contest the Rolex Grand Prix, which, in typical English style, was held under grey clouds and rainy skies. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s course caused issues throughout, with only three combinations eventually progressing to the jump-off. First to go was Belgian Gregory Wathelet with his trusted partner Nevados S who laid down a gauntlet that neither Max Kühner of Austria nor Daniel Bluman from Israel could match. Wathelet and his stallion now target the FEI World Championships, both hoping to carry forward their winning form.

Next up was CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, which is often referred to as the most picturesque show jumping event in the world. On the pristine oval arena where 49 of the world’s best partnerships competed, 13 proceeded to the jump-off. Much to his delight, Irishman Denis Lynch claimed his second Rolex Grand Prix in Roma, his first coming in 2008 with the great Lantinus. Lynch had only recently taken over the reins of his ride Brooklyn Heights, but the duo was in harmony and produced the quickest round to take the title. Germany’s Jana Wargers and her bay stallion Limbridge followed up in second place and home favourite Piergiorgio Bucci took third.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

BLM Ends Roundup in Colorado’s Piceance East Douglas HMA

©GingerKathrens.

The Bureau of Land Management has ended their Piceance East Douglas roundup 190 wild horses short of their planned removal.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of these innocent animals!

According to BLM’s website, they’ve captured 864 wild horses including 166 foals. They returned 41 stallions to the range, and we understand they are treating some mares with fertility control and holding them for release in 30 days.

Hundreds of Piceance wild horses have been spared the trauma of the chase and capture in the sweltering summer temperatures — thanks to YOU.

Thank you for NEVER giving up and for TAKING ACTION on behalf of our wild horses! Without YOU, the helicopters would still be flying.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Podium Finish for Gabriela Reutter and Maharees Rock in Tyron Summer 5 FEI CSI2*

Gabriela Reutter and Maharees Rock (Photo by Nicole Schultz)

Mill Spring, NC (July 21, 2022) – Gabriela Reutter of Lumière Horses found herself on the podium this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center. She and her Grand Prix mount, Maharees Rock (OBOS Quality x Ballysimon), put in their second top 3 FEI CSI finish of the summer during Tryon Summer 5’s $75,000 Grand Prix CSI2-star out of 50 entries. The pair has been proving their mettle at the top of the sport, once again delivering a top finish after doing the same in Traverse City’s CSI3-star in June. The 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare also known as Rocky has been with Reutter for three years, making her FEI debut and subsequent top placings under Reutter’s guidance.

Reutter’s success at Tryon also marks her first podium finish in a nighttime Grand Prix, cheered on by a stadium full of spectators. Their double clear effort and jump off time of 40.21 secured their spot on the podium for Chile, finishing third behind USA’s Caitlyn Connors (37.86) and Colombia’s Roberto Teran Tafur (38.76). Reutter and Rocky also jumped to 4th out of 44 entries in the $6,000 1.40m earlier in the week.

“It was incredibly special to finish 3rd in a CSI2-star class, and to stand on the podium under the stadium lights,” said Reutter. “The evening classes have an amazing atmosphere, and I was so pleased with Rocky’s performance. She has amazing athleticism and scope, and when we are working together and on our game, she really delivers for me.”

Reutter also campaigned three top jumper prospects during Tryon Summer 5. Lumière Horses’ Here I Am Z, who was imported by Reutter from South America in 2020 placed 2nd and 3rd in the Open 1.30m Jumpers. Known as Hero around the barn, this sporty bay gelding has been placing consistently in the 1.30m divisions with Reutter and would make an exceptional Junior mount. Reutter also jumped the gray mare Joselind L.A.T., a.k.a. Jojo, to a 3rd, 5th, and 13th finish in the 1.15m & 1.20m divisions, and took Billy Lincoln, a new import, to a double clear finish in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper to finish 10th in their first show together.

Jojo and Hero are offered for sale and available for trial this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Reutter’s passion for equestrian sport began at a young age, and has since taken her to the upper echelons of show jumping. Combining talent, horsemanship, and dedication to her dreams, she rides with the aspiration of representing Chile at the pinnacle of show jumping sport. Born in Santiago, Chile, Gaby began riding at only four years old. At 17, she moved to the United States to pursue a professional show jumping career. Since 2014, she has ridden under the guidance of Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Chris Kappler, and completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Studies at NYU.

To date, Gaby is currently the #1 female Chilean show jumper, and has multiple top finishes in international FEI classes, including her Nations Cup accomplishments, European tour, the U25 Grand Prix divisions, and victory in an FEI 4-star event. She currently campaigns her anchor show jumper, Maharees Rock (a.k.a. Rocky), and a string of sales horses. Her international equestrian CV also includes Spruce Meadows, The Hampton Classic, and several junior/young rider South American Games. She and Rocky were in the top 3 in the $30,000 Pilates Rock Grand Prix during WEF 1, and in 2018, Reutter received her certificate of capability for the Pan American Games following a top 3 finish in the FEI 3-star 1.50m Captive One Classic.

For more information on Reutter, her horses, and Lumière, visit www.LumiereHorses.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Hubside Summer Tour: Sebastien Duplant & Destiny of Euskadi Open the CSI2* Ball

© Sportfot/HUBSIDE JUMPING.

THE HUBSIDE SUMMER TOUR started in Grimaud, in the Var. A first day marked by the victory of Sébastien Duplant and Destinée d’Euskadi in the 1.40m class of the CSI 2*, presented by Celside. Earlier in the morning, Jérôme Ringot, Victor Laudet, and Sadri Fegaier, host of the competition, also won the opening rounds of the CSI2* and 1*.

Full results here.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Help Stop BLM Plan to Remove 75% of Utah’s Cedar Mountain Wild Horses

The situation facing America’s wild horses and burros is dire.

Congress is beholden to the livestock industry and is set to continue increased funding for roundups in 2023. On top of that, they’ve allocated $11 million more for fertility control. This would be a win IF the BLM weren’t using Gonacon, an injection which, based on BLM research, may permanently sterilize mares after just 2 injections.

What can we do to stop this?

There is no easy answer. One thing we cannot do is give up. Most Americans want our wild horses managed humanely on the range. Will you be one who speaks up for them now?

Silence is complicity… and Utah’s Cedar Mountain wild horses need us now. As Americans, we have a right and a duty to voice opposition when the government is wrong. Every Cloud Foundation alert, like this one, gives us an opportunity to say: we will NOT shut up; we will continue to fight for these animals that we love and their right to live wild and free.

Please take 30 seconds to add your name and stand up for them now.  Deadline for public comments: July 28, 2022.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Jacqueline Ruyle and Cyramo Z Win $75k Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival Grand Prix CSI 2*

Jacqueline Ruyle and Cyramo Z ©Natalie Suto for TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – July 2, 2022 – Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) and Cyramo Z were victorious in Saturday night’s $75,000 Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival Grand Prix CSI 2*, Ruyle’s first-ever FEI Grand Prix win. The duo stopped the jump-off timers at 42.06 seconds to earn the blue. Cinching second was Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) aboard Dior P Z, the 2011 Zangersheide gelding (Diarado x Havidoff), at 43.21 seconds. Third prize went to Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof, a 2013 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Contact VD Heffinck) with 43.83 seconds.

Ruyle and Cyramo Z bested a field of 32 entries to top the Ivan Tangle (ARG) course, alongside seven other pairs returning for the jump-off. “I walked the course tonight and I knew it was a good course for her, and she jumped around it clean! I knew I was first to go, so I just wanted to make sure I was patient and have a clear round. It wasn’t the smoothest run I’ve had, but it panned out for me.”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.