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Sponsor Blue Hors Stud Sends Horses and Support to 2013 IHSPB Winter Series

Todd Flettrich and Otto at 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby. Photo by Lauren Fisher

Wellington, FL – February 27, 2013 – Some of the world’s leading dressage horses will be competing in this year’s International Horse Sport Palm Beach (IHSPB) show circuit and that includes equine superstars from one of Europe’s leading stud farms – Denmark’s Blue Hors.

Founded in 1992, Blue Hors has become synonymous with quality in the dressage-breeding world. Created with the goal of producing top athletes to give Denmark an edge in international competition, the stud farm’s talented get are now scattered around the world representing multiple nations in international competition.

IHSPB is proud to have Blue Hors Stud as the title sponsor for the 2013 International Horse Sport (IHS) Blue Hors Invitational Series, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby Feb. 28 – March 3, and the International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI-W, March 21-24. The partnership between IHS and Blue Hors has been a good one.

“We are so pleased that Blue Hors Stud has once again chosen to be one of our sponsors,” said IHSPB Managing Partner and Sponsorship Coordinator John Flanagan. “They are experts in assessing and breeding quality horses and their contribution to the sport of dressage cannot be underestimated.”

Esben Møller, the manager of Blue Hors, has developed an eye for quality when it comes to sponsoring horse shows and buying horses. “We have clear goals and a long-term outlook,” he said. “We’ve been very pleased with all our Dutch horses. Of course, there may be a disappointment now and then, but there are so many factors which will determine whether a horse will meet expectations: it has to stay healthy, grow tall enough, and show a willing character. There’s also some luck involved.”

Blue Hors must be doing something right. In the past 21 years, their horses have risen to success in the highest ranks of international competition. This includes competing in the Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games and Dressage World Cup. Blue Hors’ athletes have won the Danish Championships multiple times and Blue Hors’ stallion Don Schufro (by Donnerhall), a member of the 2008 Danish Olympic team who earned the Bronze Medal, has been rated Germany’s No. 1 dressage sire eight times.

Blue Hors successfully enlisted two of the world’s best riders to help represent the stud’s horses on the show circuit: Edward Gal and Lars Petersen. Blue Hors turned to Gal, who hails from the Netherlands, to ride the stallion Blue Hors Romanov (by Rohdiamant). Gal was an unusual choice as the stud has always favored Danish riders, but Blue Hors manager Möller said the stud has always sought to have its horses achieve international success. They felt that Gal and Petersen had the talent to help achieve that goal.

Petersen, who rides for Denmark but is based in Florida, is one of the leaders behind IHSPB and campaigns Blue Hors’ Gredstedgards Casmir (by Continue). Petersen, who operates Legacy Farms with his partner Melissa Taylor, rode for the stud from 1992 to 2002. He competed Blue Hors’ horses internationally, before he made the permanent move to Florida. Casmir is just one of many up-and-coming equine superstars that will be competing during the 2013 Florida season at the IHSPB beautiful show grounds.

International Horse Sport Palm Beach has been a driving force in South Florida dressage for many years. Their success in ensuring Florida is the place to be during the winter show season has enticed top riders and horses from throughout the world to flock to the Sunshine State every winter. And with the help of Blue Hors Stud, the 2013 season is no exception.

The IHS Champions Park consists of 10 rings suitable for national and international competition on over 50 acres, including 15 acres of parking, 150 horse stalls for international horses and another 200 temporary stalls available for the national shows. In 2011, IHS Palm Beach made major improvements in show facilities in order to provide competitors with superior show conditions. The most important upgrade was the installation of new footing in all of the rings at the IHS Champions Park at Equestrian Estates, a facility owned by Mary Ann and Walter McPhail that is the site of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and IHS Series Shows. The upgrade in footing consisted of stripping the rings to the base and replacing the old footing with new GGT Footing, a polyester fiber mixture blended with sand, which is considered to be the premier arena footing throughout the world.

With improvements in footing, as well as the facilities for the comfort of riders, horses and spectators, IHS Palm Beach is well set to host the world’s leading dressage equines, their riders and their fans in 2013.

Upcoming IHS events include the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W from Feb. 28 – March 3, the International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI-W from March 21-24, and Dressage at Equestrian Estates CDI3* from March 28-31.

For more information about IHS shows, visit www.ihspb.com and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/International-Horse-Sport-Palm-Beach/119102038188011?ref=hl.

Palm Beach Dressage Derby Presented By Blue Hors of Denmark Fast Facts

USEF High Performance Qualifying Competition for the 2013 World Cup
Over $20,000 in Cash and Prizes
2013 USEF National Grand Prix & Intermediaire I Championship
2013 Massy Ferguson/USEF North American Junior & Young Riders’ Championship
USEF National Pony Rider Championships, USEF Developing Horse Championships
Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, USEF National Brentina Cup Championships
USEF Level 5 Competition – USDF Musical Freestyles; USEF First thru Fourth Levels; FEI PSG thru Grand Prix, including FEI Musical Freestyles, JY/YR, FEI Five & Six Year Old Tests

IHS Champions Park – Equestrian Estates
3700 Hanover Circle
Loxahatchee, FL
Directions: www.pbderby.com/directions.html

Feb. 28 – March 3

Show organizer:
Noreen O’Sullivan, Show Manager

John Flanagan
Advertising & Sponsorship Director

Mary Anne McPhail, Executive Director

Evelyn O’Sullivan, Director

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/International-Horse-Sport-Palm-Beach/119102038188011?ref=hl.

For class schedule, day sheets and riders’ report, visit www.pbderby.com/derby.html.

For results, visit www.pbderby.com/results-derby.html.

For show schedule and information: www.ihspb.com or www.pbderby.com.

Sue Weakley 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)

Announcements of Developments on EHV-1 at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

Wellington, FL – February 27, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions announces that developments have occurred at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). A horse stabled in Grand Prix Village (outside of PBIEC) has been tested for EHV-1 and tested negative for the nasal PCR swab, but positive to the blood test. That horse has not shown any neurological symptoms and there are no positive tests on horses on the PBIEC property. There are no sick horses on PBIEC property.

The previous biosecurity protocols that were enacted on February 22 have still been in place and will remain until further notice. ESP is asking all equestrians, especially those stabling off PBIEC property, to enact biosecurity protocols and be proactive and responsible for their horses, including daily temperature charts.

The horse that was tested was never on the PBIEC property and was isolated on the private property in Grand Prix Village. However, two horses from that Grand Prix Village Farm were moved into the “FEI Stabling” at PBIEC. Within FEI Stabling, those two horses had no other horses directly next to them or behind them, and those two horses couldn’t touch noses with other horses. The closest horses to the two exposed were across a 12-foot aisle.

On the evening of Tuesday, February 26, the two horses from Grand Prix Village that were in FEI Stabling were moved back to their farm in Grand Prix Village on the recommendation of the State Veterinarian and that farm in Grand Prix Village is under quarantine.

Since those two horses from Grand Prix Village were in the same barn as the horse that tested positive through blood and were then in FEI Stabling, the State of Florida Department of Agriculture has temporarily closed FEI Stabling.

Consequently, horses in FEI Stabling will be monitored closely. The FEI Stabling will be closed with no horses arriving or leaving until tests come back at approximately 4 pm tomorrow, February 28, on the two horses that were in the Grand Prix Village Farm and then FEI Stabling.

Today’s two $5,000 CSIO Welcome Stake classes have been cancelled and the prize money will be added to the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. For Thursday, February 28, the schedule will start with the G&C Farm 1.45m (class 1003), followed by the Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider, Junior, and Children’s Classic classes (106, 107, 108).

Announcements about the $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 will be released as soon as possible.

On Thursday, February 28, the $35,000 G&C Farm Puissance has been postponed indefinitely.

The WEF Sport Horse Auction at The Stadium at 7 pm will proceed as planned.

For those interested in more information on EHV-1, please visit www.equestriansport.com to read an informational report by the University of California-Davis.

For more information on Equestrian Sport Productions biosecurity protocols, please call 561-793-5867.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

It’s Weber’s World at the Little Everglades International CDE

Team Weber on course during the marathon phase of the Little Everglades CDE, where they took top honors in the FEI Horse Team class. (Photo courtesy of PicsofYou.com)

Ocala, FL (February 27, 2013) – He’s done it again.  Nine-time National Four-in-Hand Champion, Chester Weber, the Ocala, Florida horseman who, in 2008, became the first American to ever medal individually in the Four-in-Hand division of the World Driving Championships, and then repeated that with two medals World Driving Championships last year, earning him another vote of confidence recently from the USEF by being named to its 2013 Driver Training Long List. Weber rewarded that wise choice with an FEI Dressage Test 11 world record (37.87 points) in his first outing of the 2013 season, winning the FEI Horse Team class in front of judges Jambon, Turbe, and Greenall, at the Little Everglades CDE, February 21-24, in Dade City, Florida.

“It seems like a great way to start the season.  We are not resting on this performance.  We have several things to clean up before Live Oak as we prepare for Europe this summer. We would like to be competitive in Aachen, and try to win our tenth National Championship at the Kentucky Classic,” said Weber, whose 2012 winning season included the two medals from the Driving World Championships in Riesenbeck, Germany.  Weber and Team USA secured Team Bronze, and he took Individual Silver with the Dutch Warmblood horses made up of his horses and Jane Forbes Clark’s horses.

For Weber, it’s horses first, world records second: “They were great in the marathon, where our scores were competitive with some of the pairs.”  He was especially praiseworthy of the team’s seven year-old bay KWPN gelding by Talos, Boris W.  “Boris was used all three days on the left wheel and did a remarkable job.”  Boris W was named Four-in-Hand Driving Horse of the Year. “Boris being named the Four-in-Hand Horse of the Year was a great honor,” commented Weber, “and a wonderful way to cap off this remarkable season.”

Last fall, Boris helped drive Team Weber to victory in the Advanced Horse Team class at the Kentucky Classic. Weber had only recently added Boris and his other horse, Ringo, to the team after returning from the World Championships and spending last summer competing in Europe. “I was pleased with Boris and Ringo,” Weber stated, “as the intention of the trip to Kentucky was to develop them while supporting the sport on a national level.”  The decision paid off nicely.  Weber said that the horses improved greatly and their progress in the marathon training was remarkable, as evidenced by the win, as well as the Horse of the Year distinction.

Only after praising his horses did the modest record-setter add, “The test is new to the sport and has not been used at many events until now.  My score is a new record.  It was competitive. It could result in a top three finish at many international events throughout North America or Europe.”

When it comes to scores, Weber can give and receive:  He joined Marsoe LaRose of Canada and Andrew Counsell of Great Britain on the Ground Jury, under course designer Marc Johnson, for the Sunshine State CDE, a Florida Triple Crown of Driving event at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, January 31 – February 3.  “It was a ball. Judging offers a unique perspective, while giving back to the sport.”

Follow the record-setting progress of Boris W and the rest of the combined driving Weber team at www.chesterweber.com and its link to Facebook.

For more information contact:
Chester Weber

Harry & Snowman: Help the Story of the ‘$80 Champion’ Become a Documentary Film

Harry de Leyer jumps Snowman without reins. Photo by LIFE magazine

West Palm Beach, FL – February 6, 2013 – The story of Harry de Leyer and Snowman is one that will be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of those who knew the “eighty-dollar champion.”

“Man O’ War? Secretariat?
Great they were, and are. But my heart belongs to Snowman…”
–CHICAGO TRIBUNE on June 18th, 1973

De Leyer & Snowman were the Cinderella story of late 1950s and 1960s. Snowman was an old Amish plow horse that Harry rescued off a truck that was bound for the meat and glue factory for $80. In less than two years after his rescue, they were the national show jumping champions and had become national celebrities.

Now, thanks to Docutainment Films, director Ron Davis and producer Karin Offield, de Leyer and Snowman’s remarkable saga will be forever commemorated in the documentary, Harry & Snowman.

In the documentary, scheduled to be complete in late 2013, de Leyer and Snowman’s heartfelt story will unfold through the fitting combination of present-day footage of Harry and archival footage from back in the day.

Snowman007890“Harry & Snowman is not a niche movie about the world of show-jumping. It’s a movie about a wonderful human-interest story that will appeal to the masses the way that both Seabiscuit and Secretariat have in the past,” Davis said.

“Horses are fascinating creatures, beautiful and entertaining,” Offield commented. “When the story of Snowman and Harry de Leyer is told on film, the viewers will be amazed. It’s a perfect story.”

In order to create the archival aspect of the film, Docutainment Films is seeking help from the equestrian world to help locate old film footage, stills and newspaper or magazine articles from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, which will be included in the film. Please visit www.harryandsnowman.com for a complete list of what information the filmmakers are seeking and how you can help, as well as a trailer for the film.

Harry & Snowman caught the attention of Documentary Educational Resources, a 501(c)3 organization devoted to furthering the development of documentaries. The organization has stepped up to sponsor the film by allowing interested individuals to make tax-deductible donations toward its creation. Davis encourages those who love de Leyer, Snowman or the story to get involved and be a part of its development. All donors and contributors will be listed in the closing credits of the film and on the movie website.

Snowman007891Ron Davis is an award winning documentary Director and Producer who assembles Emmy and OSCAR nominated teams to develop and produce his films. His first feature documentary, PAGEANT, went on to garner 10 major film festival awards before premiering on The Sundance Channel in 2010. Davis recently completed his first HBO Documentary Film, MISS YOU CAN DO IT, which he directed and produced. The film is scheduled for release this year. Docutainment Films, based in West Palm Beach, FL, is currently in development on several feature length and short documentaries.

To support the film visit the Documentary Educational Resources website at www.der.org/donate/#harry-and-snowman. For more information regarding this Docutainment Films (www.docutainmentfilms.com) documentary or to send footage or stills for the film, please contact Ron Davis at ron@docutainmentfilms.com or 561-228-8885.

Emily Riden 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)

Jared Petersen and Titus 2:11 Earn Back-to-Back Sunday Grand Prix Victories at HITS Ocala

©ESI Photography. Jared Petersen and Titus 2:11 on are a roll at HITS Ocala and picked up their second $50,000 grand prix win in a row this weekend

OCALA, FL (February 25, 2013) – Winning was twice as sweet this week for Jared Petersen and Titus 2:11. After earning the blue in last week’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, Petersen piloted Titus 2:11 to another win yesterday in the $50,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis.

“I have to give all the glory to God. Without him none of this would be possible,” said a faithful Petersen after his victory. Petersen admits that he named his horse after a bible verse hoping that people would ask what the verse says – “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people”.

Thirty horse-and-rider combinations showed up on Sunday primed for a course designed by Canada’s Danny Foster. A series of tests and challenges narrowed the starting list down to eight for the jump-off.

“I thought it was great sport today,” said Foster. “A course starts with just a sheet of paper, but when it’s all said and done, and the end result is an exciting class that rode well, with good horses and good riders, that’s what makes this all special. I think Jared rode great and he deserved it.”

Petersen admits that Foster’s course was both tricky and technical. “I don’t think it was as big as some of the other courses we’ve jumped, but there were some lines where I couldn’t really leave strides out where I would have liked, but it rode well and worked out great,” he said.

First to return in the jump-off was Laura Linback of Mundelin, Illinois aboard Woodrun’s HH Dauphin. Linback rode conservatively and concentrated on posting a clear round. She succeeded and set the Great American Time To Beat at 50.60 seconds. In the end, Linback’s clear round secured the third-place ribbon.

Andre Thieme of Plau Am See, Germany was next to show aboard his own Quonschbob. Thieme, the winner of the 2011 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, was looking for his first victory this season and thought he might have it when he and Quonschbob shaved three seconds off the time to beat to take the lead with a clear round in 47.53 seconds.

Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania and Carigor Z were next to show and were able to catch Thieme’s time in their own 47.50 seconds. Two rails, however, came down for eight faults and sat them fifth.

Petersen, the 20-year-old rider from Archer, Florida, was next to show and proved that he and Titus 2:11 have what it takes. They rode a neat and fast jump-off to set a new time to beat at 46.78 seconds, which would go untouched for the rest of the jump-off.

“Andre was really fast,” said Petersen. “I knew if I touched the reins anywhere then I wouldn’t make it happen. I did the five [strides] where everyone else did six, and I think that’s what really made it happen.”

Four rides remained as Tricia O’Connor of Connecticut and Michael Kirby’s KT Undercover posted a clear round in 51.32 seconds to earn fourth place. Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Nebraska and Blair Cudmore’s Shea, defending champions of the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, retired from the jump-off to earn eighth place, while Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina and Paddy Ann Burns’ Calando Z and Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina and Apex Equestrian Center’s Wadisson were sixth and seventh, respectively.

Petersen and his nine-year-old Holsteiner received a year’s supply of free Strongid C 2X product for their victory, courtesy of Zoetis.

“We will put it to good use for sure,” said Jared’s father and grand prix veteran, Derek Petersen. “We’ve used Strongid in the past and it’s a great choice for deworming.”

Show jumping at HITS Ocala will enter the second half of AA-rated competition this week. The $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and the $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, both presented by Zoetis, return this week as riders from around the world continue to show at HITS Ocala with hopes of qualifying for the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix.

©ESI Photography. Katie Tyler and Seattle 6 rode to a win in the $5,000 NAL Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Medium
©ESI Photography. Katie Tyler and Seattle 6 rode to a win in the $5,000 NAL Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Medium

$5,000 NAL Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Medium

Rhode Island’s Katie Tyler and her own Seattle 6 captured the blue ribbon yesterday in the $5,000 A-O Jumper Classic Medium. The duo rode to the blue ribbon as one of 15 starters on a course designed by Danny Foster. Melissa Rudershausen and her own Ducati earned the second place red ribbon while Sherri Jameson and her own May’s News were third.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

SBS Farms Continues to Make a Splash with Multiple Championships at HITS VI Ocala Masters

Jennifer Alfano and Timber Ridge rode to the top of the leader board in the Regular Conformation Hunters during HITS VI Ocala Masters. Photo By: Shawn McMillen

Ocala, FL – February 26, 2013 – With the winter circuit halfway over, SBS Farms Inc. has only continued to shine at the HITS Ocala series. Professional rider and trainer Jennifer Alfano has been piloting various mounts to top positions and bringing home tricolor ribbons every week, and the HITS VI Ocala Masters was no different for the exceptional rider. At the end of the week, Alfano had accumulated two more championships, courtesy of famed Jersey Boy and the up-and-coming Timber Ridge.

Alfano and Jersey Boy are the team that can’t be beat. After allowing Miss Lucy, Rose Hill and Maggie May a week to take a break, Alfano was proud to maneuver Jersey Boy around the hunter courses. Jersey Boy put his best foot forward in the High Performance Hunters, riding to three blue ribbons and one second place ribbon, dominating the division and taking the victory. This was Jersey Boy’s first competition since he claimed the derby victory in Jacksonville, FL, during the first week of February. With outstanding courses, he won the first round and cruised to a second place in the handy round to clinch the title with his seemingly flawless performances.

Timber Ridge, owned by Shane George, a recent mount for Alfano, proved to be a worthy teammate, when he captured the championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters this past Thursday. With his dashing good looks, Timber Ridge claimed the blue ribbon in the model. Alfano and Timber Ridge have started to impress the judges and their high placings reflect such. Over fences, the two garnered the blue ribbon, third place, fourth place, and took the third in the handy round. They also were victorious in the under saddle with another blue ribbon.

Earlier in the day, Alfano and Call Me competed in the First Year Green Hunters. Call Me, owned by Susie Schoellkopf and SBS Farms, had consistent rounds, taking home two sixth place ribbons. The pair was also awarded a fourth place ribbon for their efforts over fences. Alfano and Call Me have only shown the past two weeks, but their relationship is continuing to blossom as they prove consistency throughout the division.

Alfano’s final mount for the week was Me Again, owned by Helen Lenahan. The two were the first to compete for the week, showing Wednesday morning. Me Again and Alfano wowed the judges with their skills and were presented with second place ribbon over fences, as well as winning the fifth place over fences.

Based out of Buffalo, NY, SBS Farms’ Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the nation’s most prestigious horse shows. SBS Farms, Inc. continues the proud tradition of the Saddle and Bridle Club as one of the top show stables in the northeast. Schoellkopf is also the Executive Director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which houses both The Buffalo Equestrian Center as well as SBS Farms. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and gothic style architecture. For more information on SBS Farms and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386

Katie Robinson Claims A-O Hunter Championship for World Champion Hunter Rider Week

Katie Robinson and Rock Steady. Photo By: Arianna Delin/PMG

East Aurora, NY and Wellington, FL – February 25, 2013 – Katie Robinson of Deeridge Farms and Rock Steady were at the top of the leader board during World Champion Hunter Rider Week at the Wellington Equestrian Festival. The pair dominated the Amateur-Owner 35 & Over Hunters, clinching the championship honors, the High Score Amateur Award, and the opportunity to compete during the WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular under the lights in the International Ring.

Robinson posted the third score in the 90s for the week in the International Ring during the Amateur-Owner 35 & Over Hunters on Friday. Aboard Rock Steady, Robinson had a brilliant handy round, with an average score of 91. Robinson and ‘Rocky’ also had a wonderful first round, earning a second place ribbon. “We have a great relationship and I know him really well,” remarked Robinson. “He loves the handy classes and I do too, so it was really fun. I love this ring; it’s a lot of fun.”

Robinson and the 13-year-old Warmblood have a great relationship and are a team to be reckoned with. “I love riding him at the farm as much as at the horse shows, so trail rides are fun.”

The Amateur-Owners concluded on Saturday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, where Robinson and Rock Steady earned the championship in the Amateur-Owner 35 & Over Hunters. In addition to their placings on Friday, a second place ribbon in the stake class and the third place in the under saddle helped them claim the tricolor award.

“Rock Steady was super; he was really great in the International and he was ready to come and play in the other ring,” said Robinson. “WCHR week really is a special week. It’s so nice to be showcased and to get out in the big ring and to feel special. It makes you feel good, and it’s so much fun.”

Later that night, Robinson and Rock Steady earned the opportunity to compete WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. They were honored with the High Score Amateur Award for their score of 91 in Friday’s handy class.

Robinson and Deeridge Farms will continue to compete throughout the 12 weeks of the 2013 Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Rebecca Walton 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)

Observation Sessions Wrap Up for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program

Sigrid Wolff and Kodaly, owned by Alex Holland (Cavallis)

Lexington, KY – Two observation sessions for the 2013 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program have taken place in Wellington, FL February 13-14 and Burbank, CA February 22-23. Between the two sessions, USEF Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler has been able to observe close to 40 young horses. The majority of riders attended the sessions with their personal trainers, allowing them to develop plans for their horses with the help of Hassler. He has seen great improvements in horse quality and an exciting number of promising combinations.

“We had terrific participation,” said Hassler. “2013 looks like a very exciting year with high quality young horses. Several of the combinations have potential to be future international competitors and I am really excited to watch them develop through our pipeline of trainers and programs.”

The goal of these observation sessions is to seek out up-and-coming talented young horses and provide guidance for riders, trainers, and owners. The Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program also includes open training sessions which are conducted in a clinic format and not only focus on the education of young horses but also on the education of those attending the training sessions as auditors. There will be three upcoming training sessions: March 2-3 at Oak Hill Ranch in Folsom, LA, April 13-14 at Rosebrook Farm in Georgetown, MA, and April 27-28 at Oak Hill Farm in Lockport, IL.

For more information on the 2013 Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program or if you are interested in auditing the training sessions, click here or contact Hallye Griffin by email at hgriffin@usef.org or by phone (859) 225-6918.

Coca-Cola Defeats Audi in Overtime to Win Ylvisaker Cup

WELLINGTON, FL – February 25, 2013 — Making its second consecutive championship final appearance, Audi lost a heartbreaking 9-8 overtime decision to Coca-Cola in the Ylvisaker Cup final Sunday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

The victory avenged Coca-Cola’s loss to Audi in last year’s semifinals knocking them out of the tournament.

The fast-paced, emotionally-charged game was physical and defensive from the opening chukker.

Grand Champions Polo Club-based Audi grabbed an early 2-1 lead in the opening chukker when Mariano Gracida followed up his own long hit towards goal with a short shot to score with 2:39 left.

Audi didn’t regain the lead until the fifth chukker at the 2:16 mark on Nico Pieres’ penalty one goal for a 7-6 lead.

The teams battled back and forth the remainder of the game. Coca-Cola team captain Gillian Johnston tied the game at 7-7 with 58 seconds and seconds later Pieres defended well against a Julio Arellano goal attempt.

At the end of the fifth chukker, Sugar Erskine scored one of his two goals to put Coca-Cola ahead, 8-7.

Audi, known for its second half heroics, came roaring back when Erskine fouled Nic Roldan. Roldan converted the 40-yard penalty shot with 5:42 left in regulation to tie the game at 8-8.

Audi and Coca-Cola had several scoring opportunities throughout the game including the sixth chukker but neither could take advantage because of outstanding defensive plays.

No goals were scored from the field in the final regulation chukker.

Audi's Nico Pieres goes after the ball before a run downfield
Audi’s Nico Pieres goes after the ball before a run downfield

Pieres stole the ball from Johnston and made a run downfield getting the ball to Ganzi, who just missed a cut shot with 1:14 left in the game. Audi had another late scoring run but came up short sending the game into overtime.

A controversial penalty called in the goal mouth after Audi tried to stop Coca-Cola on defense sent Arellano to the penalty line where he converted a 15-yard shot for the winning overtime goal.

“We knew it was going to be that kind of game,” said Erskine, who edged out Tommy Collingwood for Most Valuable Player honors and won Best Playing Pony with Leyla.

Both teams were changing out polo ponies frequently because of fatigue from the fast-paced game and hot weather.

“It was an intense game, it could have gone either way,” said Coca-Cola’s Julio Arellano, the highest rated American player at 9 goals. “Audi played very well. It was two tough teams. There were no easy goals today. Both teams missed goals.”

Said Coca-Cola coach Boone Stribling: “They are a great team. Audi played very well, not to take anything away from them. Nic Roldan is a fantastic player. It came down to the horses at the end.”

It was Audi’s second consecutive appearance in the finals. Audi lost to Crab Orchard in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup.

Roldan, who was averaging nearly eight goals per game, was held to four goals and finished the tournament with 42 goals, the most scored by any player in the 14-team tournament.

Audi team captain Marc Ganzi gets set to hit the ball despite a fractured thumb on his mallet hand
Audi team captain Marc Ganzi gets set to hit the ball despite a fractured thumb on his mallet hand

Nico Pieres added three goals and Mariano Gracida scored one.

Audi team captain Marc Ganzi turned in a gutsy performance competing with both a well-taped fractured thumb, suffered in last week’s CV Whitney tournament opener, and knee injury.

In the George Haas Cup subsidiary final, Port Mayaca defeated Faraway, 9-8 in overtime. Carlucho Arellano was named MVP after scoring five goals including the game-winner. Marianito Obregon’s Portena, a 12-year-old Chestnut mare, was Best Playing Pony.


Wednesday, February 27: Semifinals, 1 and 3 p.m.

Sunday, March 3: Les Armour Cup CV Whitney Subsidiary, 10 a.m.; CV Whitney Cup Final, 3 p.m.


Wednesday, February 27: Semifinal, Piaget vs. ERG vs. Valiente, TBA.

Thursday, February 28: Semifinal, Audi vs. Orchard Hill, 10 a.m.

Saturday, March 2: Les Armour Cup Final, 3 p.m.


Feb. 19 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

March 26 – April 21, 109th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship


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. Everyone is welcome to watch polo during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League Tournament.

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)

Talented Mother-Daughter Pair Prepares Pas de Deux for Challenge of the Americas

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2013 – The Challenge of the Americas unfailingly draws top riders from around the world, and this year’s duo from Canada is no exception. The accomplished mother-daughter pair of Evi Strasser, an Olympian dressage rider and a longtime Canadian National Team member, and Tanya Strasser-Shostak, an up-and-coming Young Rider, will perform a pas de deux at the March 9 event.

Both mother and daughter support the Challenge of the Americas in its effort to raise funds for breast cancer research. “It’s for a very good cause, for breast cancer fundraising,” Strasser said. “I want to support that and be part of it.”

“It’s such a good cause and it’s something that’s affected everybody, or someone that we’ve known,” Strasser-Shostak added.

The pair is choreographing a test that will showcase the best qualities of the two horses they choose for the event. Strasser plans to ride her Grand Prix horse, Action Tyme, while 17-year-old Strasser-Shostak has yet to decide between Dancing Tyme and the Karen Soupcoff-owned Ruby Tyme. Strasser-Shostak, who will take on the challenging task of fitting music to the test, is enjoying her involvement in all aspects of the planning and preparation.

“I’m looking forward to riding whatever horse I’m going to be riding,” she said. “I’m excited to be working on the choreography with my mom, and I’m looking forward to hopefully making the music properly, because it’s something that really interests me. I just think the whole experience is really good.”

Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Dancing Tyme at the 2013 Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge
Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Dancing Tyme at the 2013 Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge

With their extensive competitive experience, the mother-daughter duo fit right in among the renowned international riders who gather at Challenge of the Americas to support breast cancer research and put on a show for spectators. Evi Strasser has been among Canada’s top dressage competitors for the past two decades. Born in Germany, she moved to Canada in 1988 and founded Good Tyme Stables in 1994. She represented Canada at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, riding Lavinia.

In 2003, Strasser helped secure a team Silver Medal for Canada at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, where she also finished eighth individually with Quantum Tyme. She and Quantum Tyme earned the highest result for a Canadian pair at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and also competed at the 2005 and 2007 World Cup Finals. Strasser has often been selected as the alternate for Canada’s teams at such major events as the Olympics and World Equestrian Games. She continues to compete at the highest levels of the sport and collected many top results on the international circuit in 2011 and 2012.

Strasser’s influence on the dressage world extends beyond her own impressive competitive results. She specializes in training young horses up to the Grand Prix level, and several of the horses she’s worked with have gone on to make their marks on the international dressage scene. Hiscox Artemis was the most recent of a number of graduates of Strasser’s program to compete at the Olympic Games. Strasser trained Hiscox Artemis through to the World Cup before selling him, and, with rider Richard Davison, he was chosen as the British team’s individual entry for the 2012 Olympics in London. He also finished fourth in the 2012 World Cup Final.

Strasser-Shostak has already compiled an impressive record and appears poised for another successful show season in 2013. She was the youngest competitor in the Young Rider division at the 2012 FEI North American Young Rider Dressage Championships (NAYRC), where she collected a team Bronze Medal and finished eighth individually on Dancing Tyme. She also rode Dancing Tyme to several top-three finishes in the Young Rider divisions. With Ruby Tyme, she earned top placings in the Junior divisions, including several wins at CDI competitions in West Palm Beach.

Strasser and Strasser-Shostak are in South Florida for the winter competitive season, training and campaigning several of their horses. Strasser-Shostak hopes to return to NAYRC and will try to qualify for the Young Rider World Cup in Europe, while Strasser is taking her time preparing new Grand Prix mount Action Tyme for the international scene.

Strasser-Shostak is looking forward to making her Challenge of the Americas debut after watching her mother perform previously. “I think it’s pretty neat that we can do this one together,” she said. “I used to watch it when I was younger, and my mom participated a couple of years ago in it. It’s something I grew up watching and now I get to be a part of it, and it’s great.”

“Most of the time, you see older people do it and it’s good, I think, that there’s someone a bit younger also in it,” she continued, noting that breast cancer research is an important cause for her generation to support as well.

Strasser, who has ridden at The Challenge of the Americas in previous years, enjoys the event’s electric atmosphere and devotion to the cause. “It’s always amazing,” she said. “It’s always a great turnout. They always do a fantastic job organizing it and really emphasize the reason for why it’s done. Lots and lots of people are supporting it.”

“It’s always a lot of fun to do this with your daughter, and it is always a lot of excitement,” Strasser added. “We really enjoy working together and figuring out what we’re going to do with this and how we’re going to present it. (Show organizers) thought it was a good routine because it’s mother and daughter, and we’re doing this for breast cancer.”

“I think it’s just a fantastic job by all,” Strasser concluded. “I really enjoy doing it.”

For more information about the Strassers, visit their website at www.goodtymestables.com.

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, go to challengeoftheamericas.com.

To buy tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or Anglot@aol.com.

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas.

The Challenge of The Americas Fast Facts


The Challenge of The Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves, known throughout the equestrian world for its spectacular performances on horseback, returns for its 11th anniversary to continue its fight against breast cancer. This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair that highlights the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

There are few, if any, places throughout the world where an audience can delight in the performances of such a large and distinguished group of riders and their magnificent equine partners. The Challenge of The Americas’ teams of international riders compete in quadrilles to world-class music and choreography in an effort to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K.


Saturday, March 9, 2013
5:30 p.m.        Cocktails and hors d’Oeuvres
6:15 p.m.        Opening Ceremonies
6:25 p.m.        Reining Freestyles and Pas de Deux
6:45 p.m.        Quadrille Team Challenge
7:30 p.m.        Award Presentation
7:45 p.m.        The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing


Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
West Palm Beach, Florida

Back on Track Products
Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.
International Polo Club Palm Beach
Merrill Lynch, The Seley Parker Group
Purina Mills
Red Barn Feed & Supply
SSG Gloves
Steed Training
United States Dressage Federation
Wellington Classic Dressage

Ticket Information:

Mary Ross
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 433-0988
(561) 251-7945

Ticket prices:

VIP Tables of 8:
Gold Patron               $6,500 per table
Silver Patron              $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron            $2,000 per table

VIP Individual Seating:
Competition and Gala (includes dinner and dancing)       $250 per person
Competition (includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar)        $100 per person

General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

News and Information:
Phelps Media Group
Sue Weakley
(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414



The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiaries:

Play for P.I.N.K.

Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer, by creating and promoting awareness of breast cancer through sporting and lifestyle events including men’s and women’s golf tournaments, tennis, swimming, card games, equestrian events, and shopping benefits.  Our commitment is to contribute 100% of all funds raised to our beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In 2012, PFP donated $4 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $29.75 million. For more information about PFP, visit playforpink.org.

Website: playforpink.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/playforpink

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Website: www.bcrfcure.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBreastCancerResearchFoundation

Mary Adelaide Brakenridge 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)