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Parra and Van The Man Dance to the Top of FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* for United States

Dr. Cesar Parra and Van the Man during the Nations Cup CDI 3*. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL (April 18, 2013) – Dr. Cesar Parra, whose bridles have been known to sport red, white and blue brow bands, had patriotism riding high over the April 13-14 weekend during America’s only event of its kind, the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO/CDI3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm at The Stadium at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds.  On Saturday, Parra clinched the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* with a 74.375% score on Van The Man from judges Evi Eisenhardt (E), Maribel Alonso (H), Anne Gribbons (C), Linda Zang (M), and Joan Macartney (B).

The former Colombian 2004 Olympic as well as 2002 and 2006 World Equestrian Games veteran, who became an American citizen in 2008 and represented the US on the Gold medal-winning 2011 Pan American Games dressage squad, was also a member of Friday evening’s Nations Cup reserve champion Team USA 2.

On the combined strength of their Grand Prix Freestyle and Sunday’s FEI Grand Prix Special (72.208%) scores,put Parra in runner-up position in the Individual Rider Standings and top USA Individual rider. Van The Man is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Obelisk x Landjoker) acquired for Parra by sponsors Sarah and Michael Davis in 2011.

“I was very excited to take part in my first Nations Cup and to medal as a team and as an individual,” said Parra. “I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to represent my country. I’d like to thank my owners, wife, groom, and Katie Riley, my eyes on the ground, and also to the USEF for selecting me as a member of the team. This horse has improved so much. I love him.”

“I am so proud of my husband, so proud of all the Piaffe Performance riders, and all the members of our team. It has been an amazing weekend and season,” said Parra’s wife, Marcela Ortiz.

Tuny Page of Stillpoint Farm praised the Nations Cup format and its contributions:  “One crucial thing about this competition involves the opportunity to expose small tour horses to this kind of atmosphere and a patrons’ tent. That’s really important in the development of international sport. I hope that people in the world of dressage are paying attention to what’s happening here because it’s fantastic and will continue to improve.”

As stylish outside the ring as within it, Parra thanked Page and the pillars of the dressage world that made a week-long dressage event like this possible in Florida:  “Thank you so much [to Page].  She’s not only a great rider with wonderful horses, but she’s always trying to help the sport.  It means a lot to all of us to have this place and I hope we can continue to enjoy it because it’s really a pleasure to come and ride here.  We are so grateful.”

Parra reserved his best praise for last, for his four-legged partner, Van The Man.  “He was right on it, from the very first step.  He’s been, as most of my colleagues know, a ‘clown’ to say the least!  He’s humbled me more than a couple of times, so I just keep on working and today, he said ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’  It was amazing from that first step.  It’s exciting to do the best you can and have it work out.  I’m just so happy that I cannot describe it.  I’m really, really grateful.”

As the Piaffe Performance team leaves Florida for its Whitehouse Station, NJ, facility, all eyes are on the horizon line for Normandy and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

“My goal,” Parra concluded, “is to really make him my partner.  I believe in him.  I think he’s a world-class horse.  It’s just a matter of getting him to trust me, to follow me, to believe, to become a great horse.”

Follow Van The Man and Cesar Parra’s season together, and learn more about Piaffe Performance and its stellar stable of dressage prospects at www.piaffe-performance.com.

For more information contact:
Dr. Cesar Parra

Sparkling Line-Up of Jumping Super-Stars for Rolex Final

America’s Rich Fellers (centre) is pictured on the podium after victory at last season’s Rolex Final alongside Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (left) who finished in runner-up spot and Pius Schwizer (right) who slotted into third place.

Lausanne (SUI), 19 April 2013 – With just days to go to the opening of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Final at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden, there is already a sizzle of excitement. This most treasured series will end its 35th season in the place where it all began when Austria’s Hugo Simon was crowned the very first champion back in 1979 on Gladstone. And this year’s Final line-up is a spectacular one, including London 2012 individual Olympic gold medalist Steve Guerdat from Switzerland amongst a host of other stars.

A total of 39 riders from 17 countries will be chasing the crown of crowns that is the Rolex title, and they all start out on equal terms on the opening day. They have emerged from 16 qualifying leagues around the globe and represent a myriad of continents and cultures, but they all have one thing in common – their horsemanship has secured their place amongst the elite of the sport, providing them with a unique opportunity to demonstrate their talent on the greatest indoor stage on the world circuit.

Exceptionally Powerful

All eyes will be on the exceptionally powerful US squad this time around. And the biggest question will be whether the extraordinary stallion Flexible, now 17 years young, can retain the crown he claimed in style last year at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) for Rich Fellers.

Repeat wins are nothing new to this prestigious annual tournament. America’s Conrad Homfeld was the first to achieve the distinction when, following his victory with Balbuco in 1980, he secured it again five years later riding Abdullah, while the legendary Canadian, Ian Millar, quickly followed with back-to-back titles in 1988 and 1989 partnering the wonderful Big Ben.

Everything in the history of the FEI World Cup Jumping series has a vintage quality. The roll of honour reads like a “who’s who” of the sport down the years, and victory is worn like a badge of pride by each successive generation. Who wouldn’t want to have their name engraved alongside those of back-to-back double champions John Whitaker and Milton from Great Britain, or the three-time winners Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil, Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Hugo Simon who added two further titles to the one he clinched in that very first season. Pessoa holds a unique record, as his hat-trick was achieved over three consecutive years with the same super-stallion, Baloubet du Rouet.

Dominant Nations

In the early years, the series was dominated by Americans, who won seven times between 1979 and 1987. It took 25 years for Fellers to haul the trophy back to the USA, thanks in no small way to the courage and tenacity of his stallion who was written off more than once during his career but who always clawed his way back. Now that the drought has come to an end, the US squad will be loath to loosen their grip, and they are coming out next week with a formidable 11-strong crew that includes double Olympic team gold medalists McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, and their new shining star, 18-year-old Reed Kessler, who made history last year as the youngest rider ever to compete for the USA equestrian team at an Olympic Games, and is now on the crest of a wave having finished second at the Saut Hermes CSI5* in Paris last weekend.

Germany holds the record for most wins in the series, with nine in total. However, last year’s win for Fellers brought the US tally to eight, so there is plenty of pressure on the German contingent to keep their noses out in front. With Marcus Ehning, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, 2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping champion Christian Ahlmann and Hans-Dieter Dreher, the German effort won’t be lacking in experience or horse-power.

Quality Field

With Kevin Staut, Penelope Leprevost and Roger-Yves Bost lining out for France, Denis Lynch and Shane Sweetnam flying the Irish flag, and Marc Houtzager and Ludo Philippaerts competing for The Netherlands, the class of the field is in no doubt. Olympic champion, Guerdat, is accompanied by fellow-Swiss Pius Schwizer, whose impressive record over recent Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping seasons includes equal-second in 2010 and third place at the 2012 Finals, while Spain’s sole representative, Sergio Alvarez Moya, is a man to be reckoned with. He won the hotly-contested Western European League after a superb indoor season.

Latvia’s Kristaps Neretnieks, Poland’s Jaroslaw Skrzyczynski and Russia’s Anna Gromzina represent Central Europe, while the Arab League contenders are Qatar’s Ali bin Khalid Al Thani and Bassem Hassan Mohammed. Egypt’s Nayel Nasser qualified as winner of the North American series, while Santiago Medina will compete for Colombia. Raena Leung will compete for Hong Kong, and along with Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, brings the number of female contenders to 12 this year. Just four lady riders have won the FEI World Cup Jumping title, and three of those – Melanie Smith (1982), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986) and Katharine Burdsall (1987) – flew the flag for the USA. The fourth lady champion and three-time winner, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, also has a significant link with the US as she was born in Los Angeles, California.

Swedish Sweetheart

But if it is time for another lady to take the spoils, then perhaps the moment has arrived for Malin Baryard-Johnsson. The 38-year-old sweetheart of the Swedish sporting public is always highly competitive and, on home turf, will be battling harder than ever. Team silver medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, she missed out on London 2012 due to a late injury to her horse, but she has been continually placed throughout the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series and is hungrier than ever for success.

The rest of the Swedish contingent are also an impressive bunch, including the consistent Jens Fredricson, Henrik von Eckermann, who has been showing superb form with the mare Gotha, and reigning FEI European champion Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.

Sweden has never taken the FEI World Cup Jumping title. This could be the moment, and the story will unfurl as the Final gets underway next Thursday evening with the opening speed class, followed by Friday’s two-rounder and Sunday’s thrilling decider.

Don’t miss a hoofbeat – watch all the excitement on www.feitv.org:

Competition 1: Thursday, 25 April 18.25 CEST
Competition 2: Friday, 26 April 18.25 CEST
The Final: Sunday, 28 April 13.30 CEST

Facts and Figures

This is the 35th season of FEI World Cup Jumping, and the Final takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden for the 13th time.

Rolex took up title sponsorship of the FEI World Cup Jumping series in 2007.

A total of 479 riders from 50 nations have competed at the FEI World Cup Jumping Finals since the series started back in 1978.

The USA holds the record for the greatest number of competitors over the years, with 107 in total. Next in line is Germany with a relatively modest 47.

Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker holds the record for most participations at FEI World Cup Jumping Finals having competed on 22 occasions.

39 athletes from 17 countries will be in action.

Seven qualifying leagues will be represented – Western Europe, South America North, North America East, North America West, Chinese League, Central European League and Arab League. Riders from 16 leagues around the globe competed in the qualifying rounds.

Four riders have won the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping title on three occasions: Germany’s Marcus Ehning (2003, 2006, 2010), Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2005, 2008, 2009), Austria’s Hugo Simon (1979, 1996, 1997) and Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa (1998, 1999, 2000).

Only four lady riders have ever clinched the title, and three of those – Melanie Smith (1982), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986) and Katharine Burdsall (1987) flew the flag for the USA.

The fourth lady champion and three-time winner, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, competes for Germany but originally hails from Los Angeles in California, USA.

For further information on the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2012/2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden (24-28 April), check out www.gothenburghorseshow.com.

By Louise Parkes

Gothenburg Media Contacts:

At Gothenburg

Mayvor Thorin
+46 31 368 43 49

Lotta Amnestal
+46 709 795635

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
Email: grania.willis@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 78 750 61 45

Endel Ots Debuts Cutler Farm’s Verida in Prix St Georges at the Dressage National 5

Endel Ots and Verida during the Dressage National 5. (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL (April 17, 2013) – “Endel has really brought her along in such a short time. It’s great to see her reach her potential at this level,” said an ebullient Donna Cameron of Cutler Farm Dressage in Medfield, Massachussetts about the Prix St Georges debut of her mare, Verida, under former USDF Prix St Georges Horse of the Year trainer, Endel Ots, during Dressage National 5 at the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

Verida’s inaugural FEI Prix St Georges test was Tuesday morning and she won the class with a 69.868%.  Ots and Cameron were very pleased with her performance and the win “was the icing on the cake”.  Little did they know the best was yet to come.  On Wednesday the pair returned to the arena for what was now Verida’s second  FEI Prix St Georges test, and again she won the class this time with an even more impressive score of 71.974%.

“She’s a lovely horse to ride,” Ots said.  “All her changes were big, clean, and consistent.  She has a great work ethic and really enjoys her job and the show ring.” For Cameron the win is a little bitter sweet as Verida, who is by the famous dressage sire Rosseau, was purchased as an investment prospect. “She is really showing her ability at the FEI level and I may find myself having to compete against her in the future. She is proving she will be hard to beat,” laughed Cameron, who is also in pursuit of earning her USDF Silver Medal. “ I know Verida is destined to become someone’s incredible dressage partner.” Verida will stay in training with Endel Ots at Lionshare Dressage in Wellington until she is sold.

Cameron and Cutler Farm have been keeping good dressage company, recently announcing that Olympian Heather Blitz, who hosted her first New England clinic at Cutler Farm earlier in the year, will base her training services from the Medfield Massachussetts farm beginning in May. Ots who also hosted clinics at Cutler Farm will be sceduling clinics there again before the end of the year as well.

Ots’s business partner Caroline Roffman is also scheduled to do clinics this year and is an old family friend of Cameron’s.  Roffman used to keep her horses at Cutler Farm Dressage when she lived in Massachussetts.  “Endel is such a successful FEI competitor, as is Caroline,” said Cameron.  “He has trained with so many prominent names, like Lars Petersen, and Hubertus Schmidt.”  Originally from De Pere, Wisconsin, Endel Ots began riding on the family’s Ots Sunrise Farm and worked for DYB Dressage before accepting an opportunity to train with Schmidt in Germany.  He had the 2007 USDF Prix St. Georges Horse of the Year and has scored above 75% in USDF Intermediaire I and Intermediaire I Freestyles. Ots operates Lionshare Dressage with rider and trainer Caroline Roffman, and for more information about their training programs and dressage sales prospects, visit www.lionsharedressage.com.

For more information contact:
Endel Ots, 1-920-562-5714

David Marcus Wraps Up Successful Winter Season

David Marcus and Don Kontes led Team Canada 1 to a bronze medal at the CDIO3* Wellington Nations’ Cup. Photo by Sue Stickle.

Wellington, Florida – Canadian Olympian David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, wrapped up a highly successful winter season with a bronze medal performance as part of Team Canada 1 in the CDIO3* Wellington Nations’ Cup held April 11 to 14 as part of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Riding Don Kontes, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Kinzinger Miculinic, Marcus put in an exciting performance in the Grand Prix on Friday, April 12 to help lead Canada to the podium.  His teammates included Christilot Boylen riding Dio Mio, Brittany Fraser aboard All In and Evi Strasser with Action Tyme.  Team USA 1 claimed the gold while Team USA 2 took home silver in the only Nations’ Cup competition held outside of Europe.

“It has been a tremendous season for both me and my students,” said Marcus.  “The five months we’ve spent in Florida have gone by so quickly.  I couldn’t be more pleased with how successful all of the horses were this winter.”

Marcus’s bronze medal performance was the latest in the long string of successes he has enjoyed over the winter competition season.  Riding Chrevi’s Capital, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding also owned by Kinzinger Miculinic, Marcus topped the North American World Cup League after dominating the CDI-W Wellington Dressage in February.  In the Grand Prix, he topped a starting field of 13 horses with a score of 70.34%, edging out Swedish Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson for the win.  In the Grand Prix Freestyle, he performed his new musical program for just the second time in competition, earning an impressive score of 74.45% from the five-member panel of international judges to claim the top spot once again during the World Cup qualifying event.

Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital also received an invitation to the prestigious CDI5* World Dressage Masters Palm Beach in January where they were the sole Canadian representatives to advance to the Grand Prix Freestyle, placing sixth overall.

Don Kontes also proved to be a reliable partner for Marcus, with the pair winning the Grand Prix Freestyle during the CDI3* Sunshine Challenge in January on their score of 70.825% and finishing second in the Grand Prix.

“Winning the World Cup qualifier with Capital was definitely one of the high points of the winter season for me, as was competing in the World Dressage Masters for the first time,” explained Marcus.  “I was also really excited about representing Canada with Don Kontes.  I gave both horses their time to shine and I think it worked out really well for us.”

Marcus’s students also proved successful during the winter season, earning tremendous results of their own.

“All of my students did very well during the winter circuit,” said Marcus.  “Ally Dunlop made her debut at the Young Riders level and finished her season with a win at the International Horse Sports Champion Cup in March.  Maya Markowsk represented Canada for the first time as part of Team Canada 2 at the Wellington Nations’ Cup with Lumiere, finishing sixth.  Lumiere is a great horse for Canada and I am really excited for their future together.”

Marcus credits his success in part to the amazing support he receives.

“Deborah Kinzinger Miculinic, who owns my horses, Robert Dover, who has been training me all winter, and Nicholas Fyffe, who is always a big help to me, helped make all of my success so far this season possible,” said Marcus.  “I want to give them all a huge ‘thank you’ for supporting me this winter.”

With the winter competition circuit now over, Marcus will head home to Canada to give the horses a bit of a break before focusing on preparing for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.

Marcus operates David Marcus Dressage in Campbellville, ON, just west of Toronto.  For more information, please visit www.davidmarcusdressage.com.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439

Two for Two: Heidi Degele Scores 82% with Don Fredo to Round Out the Season

Heidi Degele and her mount Don Fredo competing at Welcome Back to White Fences IV. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Degele)

Wellington, FL (April 17, 2013) – Preparedness paid off for Heidi Degele, whose road to success has been one way, through hard work. With a full-time competition stable she runs located in Loxahatchee, FL, former Michigan resident Degele finds her stride training horses and students to achieve high scores while climbing the levels to the international stage.  There are two main goals Degele works towards for the 2013 USA Dressage season: one, qualifying for the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois, and two, helping her student Chloe Hatch climb the levels in the Young rider division.  Degele achieved both her goals during the first week in April 2013 at the Welcome Back White Fences III and IV competitions.

Riding Don Fredo (Don Frederico x Pik Bube I), owned by Greystone Equestrian LLC, Degele scored big in the 6-year-old test with an 82.000%, which was the high score of the show.  Degele said, “The ride was almost flawless.  I gave it my all and so did Don Fredo.  I went down the center line thinking I was going to ride perfect have not let the judges have anything to comment on and it worked.  The judges complimented and thanked me for bringing Don Fredo and only had positives to say, concluding that they see him as being a CDI horse in the future.” She trains with Lars Peterson regularly during the year and she watched him win the CDI 5* the night before the class.  She said, “Lars’ ride very much inspired me. I kept telling myself to ride like Lars.  Give it your all.”  With the goal of going to the Markel/USEF National and Developing Championships held August 21-25, 2013 in Wayne, Illinois, she said, “I think it is harder to qualify the young horse in Florida, considering our shows are earlier in the year and he’s not even technically 6 years old yet. The horses up north have an advantage given that they have more time to grow and age.  So, my goal was to get high enough scores to qualify and to pick my shows wisely.  I also showed him in a couple 3rd level tests to help prepare him for the 6-year-old test.  He is really a smart horse and learns things so quick.  He is also mentally very mature, so I am so happy for this success with him.  It’s my highest score ever.”

With Lakota, an 8-year-old American Warmblood owned by Mesa Farms LLC, Degele scored 65.58% Saturday and Sunday scored 66.69% in the FEI Developing Horse Prix St George.  Degele said, “My Goals for Lakota are to qualify for the Chicago Young Horse Championships.  I believe in this horse.  He has so much heart, more than any other horse I’ve ridden.  He loves to work.” With Both horses scoring high, Degele not only has qualified for the Illinois Championships, but by qualifying early in the year, looks forward to being competitive on the national stage for the United States of America.  Degele also rode Joanne Brooks’ 8-year-old Danish warmblood Lyric in the Third Level Open division to scores over 68%.  Lyric, who came from Canada to train with Degele for the season, made his debut at Third level with Degele who praised the horse’s work ethic and trainability.

Proud of her student Chloe Hatch who rode Slogan to a 60% in the Junior Team Test on Saturday, Degele said, “I am very proud of Chloe.  These are hard tests and hard competition.  She has been sick and Slogan actually had fractured his leg about a year and half ago.  So the fact they are competing at this level is such a huge accomplishment.”

Degele also competed the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare Ratina, who is by Rotspon and owned by Kristi Bloom.  The pair scored a 69.2% in the Third Level Test 1 Open division.  Degele stated, “This is another sales horse; I wanted her to have a current show record and in fact I ended up selling this wonderful mare 4 days after the show. I was so very proud of her.  She didn’t put a foot wrong and was happy to show off in the ring.”

With Kresjan, a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood by Lanskoy and owned by Claire Liang, Degele scored 66% in the Open Prix St George division to win the class, an impressive move since this was the horse’s first time being shown by Degele.  Degele said, “I just wanted to give this lovely horse a show record in the US.  He was successfully shown in Europe, and is a great horse, super easy and push button.  We are very proud of him.”

Degele wants to give a special thanks to Custom Saddlery for being such a great sponsor throughout the years and to help her achieve the 2013 path ahead.  With the strong scores, 2013 will prove an epic year for team Degele.

Heidi Degele
Cell: 561.294-4118
Farm / Fax: 561.753-9325
Email: HeidiDressage@aol.com

President Obama Moves to Make Horse Slaughter Illegal

With the onset of horse slaughter at the forefront of every media outlet in the past few weeks, there have been many advocates feverishly voicing their opinion against legalizing horse slaughter in the U.S.

Recently in Congress, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was introduced. The bill will prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U.S. and ban their export abroad for that purpose. This bill ensures the protection of our nation’s horses from the controversial horse slaughter industry and will also protect the public from tainted horsemeat riddled with chemicals. The SAFE Act is sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Additionally, The Obama administration has included a proposal in its 2014 budget that would effectively ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. On a technicality, the language would prevent money on horse slaughterhouse inspections. However, without proper inspections, they would not be able to operate.

Every year, more than 100,000 horses are trucked hundreds of miles to slaughter in Canada and Mexico, according to PETA. Last year, PETA investigators documented the transport of nearly three dozen horses from a “meat buyer” in Iowa to the Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, Inc. slaughterhouse in Quebec, a grueling 1,100 mile, 36 hour journey in subfreezing conditions. The horses were never given any food or water or off-loaded even once for a rest.

Last year, the Los Angeles Times wrote an editorial about certain drugs being administered to horses that could cause serious risks and health problems to humans if consumed.

“Horses that are bought here to be sold to processing plants in Mexico and Canada are acquired from random sources… they have not been tracked from birth, as cattle and pigs are,” said the Times in their editorial. “In addition, the horses have usually been treated over their lifetimes with a vast array of drugs, the most common of which is the pain reliever Phenylbutazone, a substance the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stipulates can never be administered to animals processed for food.”

Please take the time to take action below and let your elected officials know that you support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act and tell President Obama to keep the language in his 2014 budget.


Madeleine Pickens

Check out the new Mustang Monument website:

Jane Heart Jewelry Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown Win

March 20th, 2013 – Jane Heart has enhanced her licensed jewelry designs for this special 40th anniversary by incorporating iconic blue enamel onto Secretariat’s blinkers. From the famous cover of Time Magazine to his commemorative postage stamp, Secretariat’s image comes to life with these finely detailed sterling silver and enameled pieces. These sterling silver designs, enameled specifically for Secretariat’s Triple Crown Anniversary, include a large and small pendant, a charm and a brooch. Additional pieces include a sporty blue leather bracelet with charm, a denim lapis bead necklace and classic cuff links. All designs are made and enameled in the United States. Each piece is stamped with Secretariat’s name on the back and comes gift boxed with a blue pouch and a commemorative card.

Secretariat, America’s champion, fondly known as “Big Red”, became a hero and symbol of hope during the early 1970s. His legacy as the greatest racehorse of all time has endured to this day.  Winner of the coveted Triple Crown, Secretariat is the only horse ever to break all three track records of the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and Belmont Stakes in the 93 years of the Triple Crown.

A portion of all sales benefits the Secretariat Foundation started by Penny Chenery to benefit equine related charities. Jane Heart licensed Secretariat Jewelry designs are available at select stores and online at www.secretariat.com and www.janeheart.com.

The trademark SECRETARIAT is used under license. All Secretariat designs and photographs are copyright protected by Jane Heart, LLC with any and all rights to publication reserved.

For further information, contact:
Jane Heart LLC
PO Box 6399
Scottsdale, AZ  85261
Phone: 480-998-0503
Mobile 602-300-5148

Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HorseJewelry.

Jewelry for Secretariat benefits the Secretariat Foundation. Jewelry for Barbaro benefits The Fund for Laminitis Research.

Vermont Summer Festival to Host Young Jumper Championship Qualifiers

Devin Ryan and Roman Saluut won the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix during the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival. David Mullinix Photography.

East Dorset, Vermont – The next generation of grand prix horses will take center stage during the first three weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival with qualifying classes for the Young Jumper Championship series.  Running July 2 through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state with more than $750,000 in prize money.

“The Vermont Summer Festival has been hosting qualifiers for a number of years and we’re happy to have their support again this year,” said Cheryll Frank, Director of the Young Jumper Championships.  “The whole purpose of the program is to give young horses quality experiences and whenever you have events with the caliber of the Vermont Summer Festival, it provides a tremendous opportunity for our members.”

Five-year-old, six-year-old, and seven- and eight-year-old jumper classes will be held during weeks one, two and three of the Vermont Summer Festival.  These qualifiers will count towards earning a spot at the Young Jumper Championship Eastern League Finals at the Hampton Classic, August 25 to September 1, in Bridgehampton, NY.

“The Young Jumper Championships are an important tool for developing up-and-coming grand prix horses,” said John Ammerman, organizer of the Vermont Summer Festival.  “These classes provide an exciting opportunity to see some spectacular young horses at the start of their careers.  Many of the horses competing in the program have returned to Vermont and enjoyed tremendous success here.”

Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ, is just one of several regular competitors at the Vermont Summer Festival whose horses have benefitted from the Young Jumper Championship program.  Two of his top mounts, No Worries and Roman Saluut, have become regulars in Vermont’s winner’s circle after competing in the young horse classes.  Roman Saluut won the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix in 2011 and the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix in 2012, the same year No Worries claimed victory in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix.

“The Young Jumper Championships really provide a pipeline for future grand prix horses,” explained Ryan, who operates River Run Stables.  “Young horses need to be properly developed and this series provides that opportunity.  The horses compete against their peers, not seasoned show horses, and the courses are designed to build confidence and encourage clear rounds.  More needs to be done to support classes like these so that riders have the ability to bring along American-bred horses instead of importing from Europe.”

Created in 1998, the Young Jumper Championships is designed to provide an age-appropriate program for the development of young show jumping horses and to identify the most promising prospects competing in the United States.  For more information about the Young Jumper Championships, please visit www.youngjumpers.com.

For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont.  Known for its wide variety of area amenities including a large range of lodging options, restaurants to suit every taste, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.

The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix.  The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10.  The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will be held each Thursday.  The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby will also be held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.

The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).  For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail info@vt-summerfestival.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439

US Teams Finish 1-2 at Wellington Dressage Nations Cup

Kimberly Herslow and Rosmarin (SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, FL – Ten teams of international dressage riders met on Friday for a chance to win the Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm, America’s only CDIO3*. And though there was plenty of good competition, Team U.S.A. I (the U.S. was represented by two teams) was clearly the day’s best.

Total, seven horse/rider combinations earned scores of 70% or more. Three of them were on Team U.S.A. I. Leading the way were Kimberly Herslow and Kiroli Enterprises LLC’s Rosmarin. Their score of 72.079% was more than enough to win in the Prix St. Georges competition, and was the highest individual score of the day.

“It’s such a privilege to have a horse like Rosmarin,” said Herslow, “he gives me one-hundred and ten percent every time he goes into the ring and today was no exception. It was an honor to ride on this team and I’m so happy to have contributed.”

Team U.S.A. I also had contributions from Prix St. George pair Caroline Roffman and her own Her Highness O, and Grand Prix level riders Heather Blitz and Shelly Francis. Francis rode Patricia Stempel’s Doktor to a 70.213%, good for second place in the Grand Prix division, and Blitz rode her 2011 Pan American Games individual silver medalist Paragon to a 71.021%, good enough to win the Grand Prix competition.

“I’m very happy with how [Paragon] went today,” Blitz said after the competition was over, “it was one of my favorite tests, especially in the connection. He gets better in every test. He’s come a long way, but there’s still a lot left. [Today] was a great confidence builder and I’m excited to continue his training.”

Teams for the Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm were made up of three or four horses and riders, not more than two of which could be Grand Prix combinations. The top three scores from each team were counted toward the final total. For each Grand Prix score in that top three, an extra 3 percentage points were added to the final team score (this format is the proposed format for the Pan American Games, and Friday’s Nations Cup was used as a test of that format). With the two highest Grand Prix scores counting toward their final score, Team U.S.A. I finished with a total combined score of 219.313, far and away the best team score of the competition.

Not to be too overshadowed though was second place finisher Team U.S.A. II. The team of Prix St. George riders Christopher Hickey and Justin Hardin, and Grand Prix riders Susan Dutta and Cesar Parra earned a total score of 208.675. For a minute, it looked like third place team Canada I (Canada was also represented by two teams) might take the runner up position, but a clutch 69.043% from Parra and Van the Man secured a second place finish for Team U.S.A. II.

“It’s always a privilege to ride on a team,” said Parra, after securing the second place finish. “My horse had a fantastic day and I was very pleased with our test.”

Rounding out the top five were teams Europe (Lars Petersen, Mikala Munter Gundersen, Katarin Stumpf, and Kevin Kohmann) in fourth place, and Spain (Carlos Munoz, Juan Matute, Juan Matute Jr., and Paula Matute) in fifth place.

Competitors return to the ring Saturday for a chance at individual honors. The top finisher will be crowned by combining his/her scores from the Freestyle, performed Saturday, and Sunday’s test of either the FEI Intermediaire I or the FEI Grand Prix Special.

On demand video of every ride from the Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO3* is now available at USEFNetwork.com.

Links to individual scores can be found at http://www.usefnetwork.com/overlays/517.aspx.

Follow the 2013 U.S. Dressage Team here.

By Andrew Minnick

Gordon W. Ross Team Re/Max Wins GPL International Tournament Senator’s Cup

Despite a driving rainstorm, Team Re/Max’s Gina Padilla brings the ball downfield and scores her team’s first goal. Photos by Alex Pacheco.

WELLINGTON, FL – April 15, 2013 — Gordon W. Ross, playing in less than ideal weather conditions, scored the winning goal to lead Team Re/Max to a 2-1 victory over Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox in the championship final of the fourth annual Gay Polo League International Tournament Senator’s Cup Saturday at rain-soaked Grand Champions Polo Club.

A light rain turned into a thunderous, driving rainstorm late in the opening chukker making conditions challenging for both players and horses.

Despite the wet field and steady rain, Team Re/Max was able to jump out to a 2-0 lead behind goals by Gina Padilla and Ross. Dan Haynia scored for Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox before umpires called the game after one chukker.

It was the second time in tournament history Team Re/Max captured the coveted trophy and third consecutive year Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox finished runner-up.

Ross was named Tournament Most Valuable Player and Haynia was selected as Most Improved Player.

In addition to Ross, Ezequiel Ortiz Berne, Gina Padilla and pro Juan Bollini were members of the winning team.

Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox featured Dan Haynia, Jean-Marc Herrouin, Chip McKenney and 10-goal Piaget pro Miguel Astrada, who replaced Audi pro Jeff Hall in the final.

“We’re happy to walk away with the trophy,” Ross said. “We won the first year and the last two years we were in the consolations which is still fun but it’s always nice to be in the running for the championship. When you get there it’s a wonderful experience.

“That first year was electrifying because it was such a new experience for all of us,” Ross said. “But this is pretty special, too.”

Ross, based in Calgary, Alberta Canada, has also won the 2011 Mercedes AMG Cup, 2010 Canadian Open and Gilget Cup.

“All tournaments are important no matter where they are, but this one is special to win,” Ross said.

Under clear skies on Friday, Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox advanced into the final with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Wellington Coalition on the opening day of the two-day tournament. Gordon W. Ross Team Re/Max advanced with a 5-3 win over Cedar Crest Stables in the other semifinal game.

In front of a record, festive crowd of more than 3,000 spectators, both teams were competitive from the opening throw-in.

Ross has competed in all four GPL tournaments.

“The skill has moved up a level absolutely,” said Ross, rated at 0 goals. “The players have increased in their level of play which is so great. It makes it more safer for all the players.

“We are here to have an experience,” Ross said. “All the teams this year were quite well-balanced. That’s what you like to see. You don’t want to see one dominating team because that’s no fun for anybody. Our game on Friday could have gone either way.”

Ross was thrilled to play with Bollini, a former 8-goal rated player from Argentina.

Looking more like water polo, Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox pro Miguel Astrada comes in to defend Gordon Ross of Team Re/Max
Looking more like water polo, Polo Gear/Palm Beach Rox pro Miguel Astrada comes in to defend Gordon Ross of Team Re/Max

“He’s been great; we love him and we have played with him before,” Ross said. “He’s a great team leader and we enjoyed having him on our team. We strategized; we always do. It’s really important to follow your team leader.”

McKenney, GPL founder and polo player, a member of last year’s winning Gammu Mu team, supported the officials’ decision to call the game even thought it was bittersweet.

“Safety of the horses first and we wanted to make sure no one gets hurt as well,” McKinney said.

“It’s so, so bittersweet,” McKinney said. “First of all four chukkers are always better than one. We almost made it through the weather but it just didn’t cooperate the last few minutes.

“But overall it didn’t seem to dampen anybody’s spirits other than mine because I wanted to play,” McKinney said. “The exciting thing was it was two really great games on Friday and we all came in prepared to win it today. They got a better first chukker off us and they won, fair and square, one goal.”

For the second day in a row, 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso, the greatest polo player in the world, and his wife Maria were on hand to cheer on Gordon W. Ross/Team Re/Max.

Berne is a Cambiaso family friend and La Dolfina public relations man. He was a last-minute lineup addition filling in for an injured player who was unable to make the trip.

Berne, making his GPL debut, said he was thrilled to be part of the winning team although it will take a while for him to catch up to Cambiaso’s trophy case.

“This was fun and special and motivates me to play more and learn more,” Berne said.

It was also another huge step for the Gay Polo League, attracting new fans and hopefully, new members.

“Next year will be our fifth year,” McKinney said. “We had 10-goal and 7-goal professionals playing with us and Cambiaso was here watching us. That’s just extraordinary. We had players from Argentina, France and Canada playing. We really are an international event and I couldn’t be more excited. I am thrilled with it.”

The tournament was hosted by Grand Champions Polo Club and Marc and Melissa Ganzi. Melissa Ganzi, newly-elected president of the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, selected the well-matched teams and provided most of the ponies for the tournament including Best Playing Pony Baby, ridden by Christine Vermes in the consolation final.

The Gay Polo League, created in 2006, is an international organization and only known gay polo league in the world. Currently, the GPL’s established four U.S. chapters are in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Wellington.

GPL members include players from several foreign countries such as France, England, Argentina, South Africa, Canada and Australia.


WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget and Polo School at Grand Champions. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Sharon Robb for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)