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Historic Win for The Netherlands in First Leg of Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup

Saudi Arabia and Qatar qualify for series Final

The first leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series lived up to expectations today when, in a real roller-coaster of a competition, The Netherlands won through and both Saudi Arabia and Qatar qualified for the series final. There were three teams from the Middle East Region vying for the two qualifying spots on offer, but it was the host nation from the UAE that missed the cut when finishing behind Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It was a career-defining day for 19-year-old Dutchman, Frank Schuttert, who helped his side to success with one of four double-clear performances over a tough track set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios. And it was a heart-warming day for Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, as his mainly youthful team looked so full of promise as they secured their convincing victory. Schuttert was joined by 24-year-old Maikel van der Vleuten and 26-year-old Aniek Poels. Maikel’s 49-year-old father, Eric van der Vleuten, also ensured it was a Dutch family affair when adding the essential depth of experience as pathfinder.

Great Britain and Germany tussled for runner-up spot in the closing stages but had to share it in the final analysis, while France finished fourth ahead of Saudi Arabia in fifth, Qatar in sixth and the UAE in seventh place. With 35 first-round faults, Egypt didn’t make it into the second round, while Ukrainian chances, already badly hampered by the withdrawal of third-line rider Oleksandr Onischenko, were completely dashed when Ferenc Szentirmai was eliminated to leave them also on the sidelines after the first round.

12-Fence Challenge

Palacios presented them with a 12-fence challenge that began with a triple bar followed by a wall and then the Longines oxer – marking the Swiss watchmaker’s role as Official Timekeeper of the Furusiyya series – before turning to the double at fence four. From there the track increased in difficulty with every fence, the skinny vertical at five leading to the open water at six and the related vertical at fence seven. A pole over the open water seemed to take some horses by surprise, but it was the triple combination that followed another big oxer at fence eight that proved the most troublesome obstacle on the course. The gold-coloured poles fell frequently here when the distance didn’t come up comfortably, and the bright green oxer at fence 10 also proved influential as did the penultimate Furusiyya planks and the final oxer.

Halfway Stage

Germany held the lead at the halfway stage carrying just the single time penalty collected by pathfinders Jorg Naeve and Calado and discounting Holger Wulschner’s single error with Cavity G after clears from both Katrin Eckermann (Carlson) and Patrick Stuhlmeyer (Lacan 2). The Dutch were lying second with just four faults, while France was in third place carrying eight, and Great Britain and Saudi Arabia were next in line with nine faults apiece. Qatar had already collected 21 faults and the UAE 26 and these seven teams went through to the second round in which Germany’s lead was immediately undermined by an 11-fault result from Naeve.

A clear from Van der Vleuten Senior meanwhile bolstered Dutch chances, but the French fell away when having to add eight more to their tally as single errors from both Matthieu Billot (Pardoes) and Edouard Couperie (Nectar des Roches) had to be included after Frederic David (Equador van’t Roosakker) returned with 15 faults, including four for a stop at the last element of the triple combination. French anchorman, Michel Hecart, distinguished himself however with a double-clear from Quatrin de la Roque.

The Saudi Arabian team couldn’t improve their position when the four faults collected by both Kamal Bahamdan (Delphi) and Ramzy Al Duhami (Bayard van de Villa Theresia) had to be taken into account after HRH Prince Abdullah Al Saud (Davos) lowered both the vertical at fence five and the Furusiyya planks. London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games individual silver medallist, Abdullah Al Sharbatly, produced the single Saudi clear this time out with Larkhill Cruiser, but the country that claimed Olympic team bronze last summer had to settle for a minor placing today with a final total of 17 faults.

Back with a Vengeance

As the second round evolved the British fought back with a vengeance despite a second elimination for second-line rider Yasmin Pinchen, whose 10-year-old mare, Van de Vivaldi, had already lowered fence five and the second element of the triple combination before throwing in the towel at the brightly coloured oxer at 10. The mare had resolutely refused to take this fence on in the previous round also, and could not be persuaded to like it any better at her second attempt.

It was the brilliant double-clear from first-line rider Robert Smith (Voila) and a second-round clear from Joe Clee and Diablesse de Muze along with just a single time penalty for Tina Fletcher and Hello Sailor that hauled the British back into contention. Fletcher’s time-fault would prove costly however, as without it her side would have headed the Germans who were forced to add nine more faults when Katrin Eckermann’s grey, Carlson, hit both the glaring green oxer at 10 and the final fence while also picking up a time fault. Team-mate, Patrick Stuhlmeyer, produced a second copybook clear while Wulschner also left all the poles in place, but their 10-fault tally would leave them on level-pegging with their British rivals.

The Netherlands’ Aniek Poels hit the penultimate planks, but when Schuttert completed the second of his clear rounds and Maikel van der Vleuten left all the timber intact this time out, their zero second-round score, and total of four, proved plenty good enough for victory.

Thrilled with Result

Schuttert was thrilled with such an amazing result on his senior team debut. “Everything has been great for us here; we are an almost young team and we have mostly young horses so it’s perfect!” he said with a laugh afterwards. “And this is such a fantastic place here in Al Ain; everyone has been wonderful to us!”

Talking about his horse, Winchester, whose high head-carriage and feisty spirit suggests the stallion is not the easiest of rides, the tall young rider explained, “I’ve had him for two years now and he is a quality horse – he just really wants to fight for me and he’s not at all as difficult as he looks!”

Schuttert said he and his Dutch counterparts were feeling confident after a good preparation yesterday. “The horses all jumped really well so we knew they were in good form. That helps a lot when you come to a show and you know your horses are feeling strong; it gives you confidence,” he said.

And when asked if he hopes that today’s performance will lead to more appearances for the Dutch team over the coming months, he replied, “I’m still only 19, so I’m still a Young Rider and my target now is to compete at the Young Rider European Championships this summer – that’s my goal.”

Meanwhile the excitement of the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping season moves to Wellington in Florida, USA next week for the second leg of the series which takes in 22 qualifying legs leading to the Final in September 2013.

Result:

1.    Netherlands 4 faults: Wan Architect (Eric Van der Vleuten) 4/0; Baggio (Aniek Poels) 0/4; Winchester HS (Frank Schuttert) 0/0; Kisby (Maikel van der Vleuten) 4/0.
2.    Great Britain 10 faults: Voila (Robert Smith) 0/0; Van de Vivaldi (Yasmin Pinchen) Elim/Elim; Diablesse de Muze (Joe Clee) 4/0; Hello Sailor (Tina Fletcher) 0/1.
2.    Germany 10 faults: Calado 2 (Joerg Naeve) 1/11; Carlson (Katrin Eckermann) 0/9; Lacan (Patrick Stuhlmeyer) 0/0; Cavity G (Holger Wulschner) 4/0.
4.    France 16 faults: Pardoes (Matthieu Billot) 4/4; Nectar des Roches (Edouard Couperie) 4/4; Equador van’t Roosakker (Frederic David) 4/15; Quatrin de la Roque (Michel Hecart) 0/0.
5.    Saudi Arabia 17 faults: Delphi (Kamal Bahamdan) 0/4, Davos (HRH Prince Abdullah Al Saud) 8/8; Bayard van de Villa Theresia (Ramzy Al Duhami) 5/4; Larkhill Cruiser (Abdullah Al Sharbatly) 4/0.
6.    Qatar 38 faults: Eurocommerce California (Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani) 9/8; LB Casanova (Mubarak Al Rumaihi) 5/9; Rosalia la Silla (Bassem Hassan Mohammed) 8/0; Ravenna (Ali Yousef Al Rumaihi) 8/DNS.
7.    UAE, Retired in Second Round: Peanuts de Beaufour (Sheikha Latifa Bint Al Maktoum) 12/4; Valentino Balia (Sheikh Shakboot Bin AlNahyan) 4/18; Pacha du Fort (Ahmed Al Junaibi) 10/DNS; Tolita (Mohammed Ahmed Al Owais) Elim/DNS.
8.    Egypt 35 faults in first round: Der Senaat (Abdel Kader Said) Elim; Hollerith (Mohammed Mansour) 19; Goldex (Mohammed Talaat) 12; Waldo (Karim El Zoghby) 4.
9.    Ukraine, Eliminated in first round: Temple Road (Cassio Rivetti) 0; SIEC Ledgepoint (Oleg Krasyuk) 0; Coolboy RM (Oleksandr Onischenko) DNS; Coranso (Ferenc Szentirmai) Elim.

Facts and Figures:

The FEI Nations Cup Jumping series celebrates 104 years of team competition this year.
The 2013 season comprises 22 qualifiers in as many countries.
Watchmakers, Longines, are the official timekeepers for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series.
41 nations will seek a place at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final 2013 which will take place in September.
Furusiyya is the brand name for the commercial arm of the Saudi Equestrian Fund which finalised a 16 million Euro four-year sponsorship package with the FEI in November 2012.
9 nations competed in today’s opening leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2013 series.
Three teams from the Middle East region, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, were competing for the two available qualifying places for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final. Saudi Arabia and Qatar each earned a qualifying spot.
4 double-clear performances in today’s competition, from The Netherlands’ Frank Schuttert and Winchester, Great Britain’s Robert Smith and Voila, Germany’s Patrick Stuhlmeyer and Lacan 2 and from Michel Hecart and Quatrin de la Roque for France.
The six top teams, along with the host nation UAE side, qualified for today’s second round.
The next leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series will take place in Wellington, Florida, USA on Friday 1 March. For details on the US event contact Press Officer Jennifer Wood, Email jennifer@jenniferwoodmedia.com

For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series check out this link.

“Furusiyya” (Arabic: فروسيه) – this single Arabic word conveys so much, embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry, and equestrian knowledge in general. The term is a derivation of faris, or horseman and faras, a horse.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.
Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when a timepiece was made with a horse and jockey engraved on the watch face. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1926, for the first time, the brand was involved as timekeeper for the Official International Equestrian Competition of Geneva. Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horlogical products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts

At FEI

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

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

At Revolution Sports + Entertainment

Tim Welland
Email: tim@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 7787 780 036

Audi Plays Coca-Cola Sunday at IPC for Ylvisaker Cup

WELLINGTON, FL – February 20, 2013 – Audi and Coca-Cola will meet Sunday in the championship final of the Ylvisaker Cup at 3 p.m. at International Polo Club.

It is the second consecutive 20-goal tournament final for Audi. Last month Audi lost to Crab Orchard in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup final.

It is also the second consecutive year the Grand Champions Polo Club-based pro team will compete in the Ylvisaker Cup final.

Audi advanced into the final with a thrilling 17-13 rout of Lucchese in Wednesday’s semifinals. The victory avenged its lone loss (10-9) of the tournament to Lucchese on Feb. 1.

Coca-Cola, led by Julio Arellano’s 13 goals, qualified with a 16-11 victory over Lechuza Caracas in the other semifinal game.

Audi and Coca-Cola, both 4-1, survived three weeks of preliminary games of the annual tournament that featured fourteen teams.

Audi’s Nic Roldan scored a game-high 11 goals including seven on penalty shots. Roldan now has 38 goals including 24 penalty shots in five games.

Sunday’s game will pit Cardinal Newman High School graduates Roldan and Arellano against each other. It will also be Audi 19-year-old Mariano Gracida’s first 20-goal tournament championship appearance at IPC.

Audi player-patrone Marc Ganzi will get the opportunity to keep the Ylvisaker Cup under the same Grand Champions Polo Club roof. Last year previously undefeated Audi lost in the final to Melissa Ganzi’s underdog Piaget team, 13-12.

Audi, the 2009 U.S. Open, has used second-half heroics to frustrate opponents for most of the 20-goal season and Wednesday was no different. Audi outscored Lucchese, 10-5, in the second half.

“Being a second-half team seems to be the rule for us, not the exception,” Audi’s Marc Ganzi said. “It’s not a bad thing, you don’t want to be a fast starter and a weak closer.

“I think today we felt like at halftime there weren’t any adjustments to make,” Ganzi said. “We felt like we were playing extremely well from the field. We had some bad luck and we didn’t score some goals. The penalty shots kept them in the game and when we stopped fouling, we started scoring goals.”

Audi made a small adjustment for the second half moving Gracida more forward to drag Lucchese’s Kris Kampsen and Andres Weisz with him opening the field up more for Roldan and Pieres.

“All of a sudden Nico starts shooting from 80 and 90 yards out and the goals started falling and they kept falling,” Ganzi said. “I think they really ran out of answers for us.”

Audi broke open a close first half (with Lucchese leading 8-7), in the fourth and fifth chukkers, outscoring Lucchese, 6-2, and continued its domination in the sixth chukker.

“In the first half we started playing really bad,” said Audi 8-goaler Nico Pieres. “I don’t know if it’s the horses or what but we always play much better in the second half.

“I think we are a young team and we start trying to do too much, trying to do everything in the first half,” Pieres said. “Then in the second half we calm down and we play much better. I think it’s a bit of luck and more experience in the second half.”

Pieres’ second-half hot hand scored four big goals including a 90-yarder from the field. Ganzi and Gracida each added one goal.

“It’s good to be in the final,” Pieres said. “To be in the second final is very good. We were in the first one and we lost. Now we have another chance. That’s good for us. This game meant more because it was the semifinal.”

Tincho Merlos scored nine goals for Lucchese, including seven on penalty shots and was four-for-four from the penalty four line.

Audi would eventually like to be able to put six good chukkers together especially in the big games.

“Can we put six of the same chukkers together is always the challenge in polo,” Ganzi said. “But I’ll take two chukkers like today’s fourth and fifth every game. We just have to think about the little details like Mariano taking the man for Nico on that one run and me taking Kris for Roldan to score.

“Those details are so important,” Ganzi said. “The ability to be selfless and to take a man and open up space for Nic and Nico, it just changes the entire game. When those guys can run with really no pressure on them and can take the ball into goal, they are going to score. They will score. Mariano and I understand the details that it takes for us to win and that’s the important part. That’s how you win.”

Ironically, Audi will play Coca-Cola on Friday in their 26-goal season CV Whitney Cup opener at 2 p.m. For Audi it will be Ganzi, Nico Pieres, 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres and 7-goaler Jeff Hall.

Audi player-padrone Marc Ganzi on his way to scoring a goal
Audi player-padrone Marc Ganzi on his way to scoring a goal

“This 20-goal has been amazing this season; it’s not 26 but it’s more 22 or 24 for sure,” Nico Pieres said.

Piaget will open CV Whitney Cup play on Friday at 10 a.m. against Alegria. For Piaget, it will be Melissa Ganzi, 10-goalers Sapo Caset and Miguel Astrada and Juan Bollini.

The Ylvisaker Cup is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker.

Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships. He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. Ylvisaker died February 6, 2010 at age 85.

2013 SCHEDULE

AUDI YLVISAKER CUP GAME

Feb. 24, Sunday: Ylvisaker Cup final, Audi vs. Coca-Cola, 3 p.m.

AUDI/PIAGET TOURNAMENT LINEUP

Jan. 31 – Feb. 24, Ylvisaker Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, Iglehart Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

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

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

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

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Rick and Trevor Steed Performing Dueling Reined Cow Horse Exhibition at COTA

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2013 – Reined cow horse champions Rick Steed and his brother Trevor will perform a dueling reined cow horse exhibition at The Challenge of the Americas, Saturday, March 9 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center where the two will try to outdo each other with spins, stops and slides.

The Challenge of the Americas Presented by SSG Gloves 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 competing in team quadrilles to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Rick Steed has been involved in the horse industry as a trainer, mentor, showman and clinician for more than 20 years and is pleased to help The Challenge. “I believe in supporting charities and giving back to the community as No. 1,” he said. “No. 2 is in our quest to become horsemen; we exhibit the special relationship between horse and rider.”

His career diversity ranges from winning World and National championships to working with the BLM teaching adopters and wild mustangs to donating his time to 4-H clubs. Since 2006, he has won nine World and Reserve Championships in reined cow horse, a World Championship in reining freestyle and a Reserve World Championship in reining freestyle.

Trevor Steed won his first Reserve World Championship in Reined Cow Horse in 2012.

Rick Steed and Smarty
Rick Steed and Smarty

Rick Steed pioneered a program he calls “Simplifying Horsemanship” in which he teaches that there are three guideable body parts on a horse: the nose, the shoulders and the hips. “There’s nothing you can’t do on a horse, even at a high level, if you can guide those body parts,” he said.

Steed believes that in true horsemanship, the horse always comes first. He added that anyone interested in learning about Simplifying Horsemanship is welcome to come to his ranch to check it out. “The first lesson is always free,” he said.

He has also built a blueprint for reined cow horse events he calls Show By Appointment (SBA) Reined Cow Horse Company, with the goal of making horse shows fun, fair and affordable for all competitors. SBA offers exhibitors the opportunity to make an appointment to show their horses on the day of the scheduled show at a time they choose, given availability. Steed emphasized fairness in judging and a relaxed atmosphere are part of the events.

For more information about Rick Steed and Simplifying Horsemanship, log onto www.steedtraining.net.

To learn more about Show By Appointment, go to showbyappointment.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

What:

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.

When:

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

Where:

Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
West Palm Beach, Florida
www.pbcgov.com/parks/equestrian/jimbrandon/#.UP1pfqHjmFc

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

Ticket Information:

Mary Ross
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 433-0988
(561) 251-7945
Anglot@aol.com

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
skw@phelpsmediagroup.com
(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Website:
www.challengeoftheamericas.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas

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

Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Christopher Payne and Lucas Win Championship in 3 & 4-Year-Old Hunter Debut

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2013 – Lucas just joined the New Hope LLC family, but with Christopher Payne at the reins, he’s already a winning addition. Payne piloted Lucas to three blue ribbons and the 3 & 4-Year-Old Hunter division championship during week six of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Rainy weather that persisted throughout the week didn’t deter the pair as they bested the field in two out of the three over fences classes and then picked up the win in the under saddle class to clinch the division championship.

Susan Moriconi purchased the four-year-old Oldenburg gelding a little over two weeks ago with plans to continue him in the 3 & 4-Year-Old Hunters throughout the remainder of the season, and hopefully secure the circuit championship award for the division.

The championship this week added to a solid campaign for that honor. Prior to being purchased by Moriconi, Lucas had already topped the division during weeks two and three with Holly Orlando in the saddle. Payne has taken over the ride seamlessly, and the team is looking forward to the rest of WEF and beyond.

“When you’re buying a young horse you never know for sure what you’re going to get, but he’s been great right out of the box,” trainer David Belford said. “He’s very charismatic. He’s a refined young horse.”

After finishing out the circuit in the 3 & 4-Year-Old Hunters, Payne and Belford hope to move Lucas up to the Pre-Greens later this year and then on to the First Year Green Hunters division next year.

Adding to New Hope LLC and Payne’s success this week was Good Call, owned by Le Reve Farm, Inc. Payne and Good Call led the Performance Hunter 3’3″ division with two first places, including a top score of 92 in the handy class, before scratching due to torrential rain.

The team at New Hope LLC is prepared to take the reins for the World Champion Hunter Rider Week. With the new addition of Lucas, as well as their already impressive string of top hunter mounts, WEF VII is sure to be full of heavy hunter action.

Belford and Payne of New Hope LLC have trained some of the country’s top show hunters and are continuously adding numerous accolades to their already impressive record. The team has consistently earned championships at the nation’s top horse show, and their inspiring program has helped transform horses, as well as develop some of the sport’s top riders and trainers. For more information, please contact paynecl@hotmail.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Piaget Eliminated in Ylvisaker Cup Quarterfinals

WELLINGTON, FL – February 18, 2013 – Piaget saw its hopes of repeating as Ylvisaker Cup champions end in Sunday’s quarterfinals at Everglades Polo Club.

The defending champions, leading by two goals in the third and fourth chukkers and three goals in the fifth chukker, lost a heartbreaking 12-11 decision to Lucchese.

“The game could have gone either way but I felt we should have been ahead the whole game, too,” Piaget coach Joey Casey said.

Grand Champions Polo Club-based Piaget finished the tournament with a 2-2 record and is now preparing to switch gears for the 26-goal season that begins this week with the CV Whitney Cup.

Piaget, with 10-goalers Miguel Astrada and Sapo Caset, opens against Alegria on Friday at 10 a.m. at International Polo Club Palm Beach and will be among top contenders for the prestigious cup.

On Sunday, Piaget trailed 5-4 after two chukkers before Astrada took over. Piaget overtook the lead, 7-6, going into halftime on Astrada’s penalty-two goal. Astrada, scoring from all over the field on lofty 60-yarders and penalty shots.

Astrada led his team with seven goals, including four on penalty shots, and finished the Ylvisker Cup tournament among scoring leaders with 32 goals including 17 penalty shots.

Taking a pass from Juan Bollini, Piaget player-padrone Melissa Ganzi raced downfield with two big hits to score her team’s eighth goal for an 8-6 lead. After Lucchese cut the lead to one, Bollini scored on a back shot to return to a two-goal advantage, 9-7, to finish the fourth chukker.

Piaget’s momentum continued in the fifth chukker taking a 10-7 lead after Astrada took the throw-in and drove down the field for a goal. Lucchese started coming back behind Tincho Merlos, who scored two more goals before Astrada scored as time ran out to remain in the lead, 11-9.

Fouls and missed goal opportunities plagued Piaget early in the sixth chukker enabling Lucchese to find its rhythm and pressure Piaget for three unanswered goals.

Merlos’ penalty goal cut the lead to 11-10 and Andres Weisz’ shot in front of the goal tied the game at 11-11. Merlos scored the winning goal at the 3:15 mark.

Piaget had opportunities in the final two minutes of the game but couldn’t capitalize on a penalty goal opportunity or Bollini steal.

“We had a bad luck chukker,” Astrada said. “They had some fast horses and they made the difference in the last chukker. We played well, but not as well as in the other games. We were up on the scoreboard but not playing really well. They made it a very close game and didn’t allow us to run. It was a good 20-goal season anyway.”

Piaget's Joaquin Panelo grabs possession of the ball from Lucchese's Kris Kampsen while teammate Juan Bollini looks on
Piaget’s Joaquin Panelo grabs possession of the ball from Lucchese’s Kris Kampsen while teammate Juan Bollini looks on

Joaquin Panelo, Ganzi and Bollini each scored a goal. All three also played well defensively. Lucchese’s Tincho Merlos, replacing his older brother Sebastian in the lineup after being sidelined with broken ribs sustained in a polo game, scored a game-high ten goals.

“It was a really strange game,” Casey said. “We played well today. We had a couple bad breaks at the end.

“Everybody played well on the team,” Casey said. “It was just one of those days. We had a problem with our throw-ins and then we thought we got it fixed. Then at the end we didn’t.

“Bollini had a phenomenal game, he is playing incredible,” Casey said. “Joaquin played well today. Miguel was his usual 10-goal self and Melissa played very well.”

Both teams had to contend with dropping temperature and wind gusts late in the afternoon.

Melissa Ganzi will now root for husband Marc and Grand Champions Polo Club’s other pro team, Audi, which advanced into Wednesday’s Ylvisaker Cup semifinals with an impressive 14-9 victory over Villa del Lago.

Audi (3-1) will meet Lucchese, 12-11, winners over defending champion Piaget at 3 p.m. In the opening semifinal game at 1 p.m., Coca-Cola, 12-10 upset winners over Zacara, will play Lechuza Caracas, 10-7 winners over ERG.

The prestigious tournament is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker.

Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships. He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. Ylvisaker died February 6, 2010 at age 85.

YLVISAKER CUP AUDI SCHEDULE

Wednesday, February 20: Ylvisaker Semifinals, Coca-Cola vs. Lechuza Caracas, 1 p.m. and Audi vs. Lucchese, 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 24: Haas Cup final, noon; Ylvisaker Cup Final, 3 p.m.

AUDI/PIAGET TOURNAMENT LINEUP

Jan. 31 – Feb. 24, Ylvisaker Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, Iglehart Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

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

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

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

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Triompf Is Triumphant in the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix

Gulfport, Mississippi (February 18, 2013) – Twenty two horses took to the pristine grand prix field under sunny skies for the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix yesterday to close out the Gulf Coast Classic’s National Week.  A packed VIP tent and crowded bleachers watched the horse and rider teams from across the country tackle the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey.  But it was Triompf, owned by Loretta Patterson and ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, who would be welcomed to the winner’s circle.

A personal triumph, yesterday was grand prix rider Holly Shepherd’s first time back in the grand prix ring since she broke her ankle!  And Triompf did not disappoint!  “He is the most incredible horse,” said Shepherd.  “To ride this horse is better than life itself!” she added exuberantly.

Of the twenty two horse and rider teams that tackled the course, only seven would find themselves qualified for the jump off.  The jump off field had Holly Shepherd and Triompf up against Friday’s Open Welcome Class winner Devin Ryan and the Genn men, Wilhelm and Theo, who won first and second in last week’s $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix.   After a clean first round time of 102.459 seconds, Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio and Palim Palim ***, owned by Nancy Gooding of Larkspur, Colorado, were first to go in the jump off and made it clean, setting the time to beat at 48.132 seconds.   Son Theo Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, riding Paradox, owned by Thomas Bruinsma of Ada, Michigan, posted a clear first round with a time of 100.660 seconds and followed his father in the jump off.  While he posted a faster time of 44.141 seconds, the eight jump faults the pair incurred would put them in seventh place overall.

Wilhelm Genn followed his son Theo, this time riding his own Happy Z.  Although the pair finished their fault free first round in a fast 98.933 seconds, the jump off round found them with four jump faults and the fastest time of 43.123 seconds which would find them in sixth place overall.  Theo Genn was up next aboard his own Cola, and after posting a clean first round of 101.846 seconds, set the new time to beat for the jump off at 46.081 seconds.  That lead time would be temporary though as Devin Ryan, of Long Valley, New Jersey riding Barbara Rowland’s No Worries, delivered a fast, clean jump off effort in the time of 45.284 seconds, but with Shepherd on deck, his time would eventually put him in third position.  Holly Shepherd was next to go and after her first round time of 103.177 put the pedal to the metal for the jump off and went clean and fast with a time of 41.990 seconds.  But, Theo Genn still had Winchester, owned by Bridlebourne Stables, LLC, in the wings and although he posted a fast first round in 103.561 seconds, his jump off round of 43.382 seconds would not be fast enough to catch Shepherd and subsequently placed him in second overall, handing the win to Triompf. “I wasn’t sure my horse could beat the Genns’,” commented Shepherd. “They are super hard to beat and an amazing group of riders,” she added.

“I’m thrilled,” commented proud owner Loretta Patterson. “This was the first grand prix Holly and Triompf have been in this year since she hurt her ankle.  I’m heading to our home in Scottsdale this Thursday, so it was so great to watch Holly ride him to a win for us while we were here,” she said.

Patterson, from Omaha, Nebraska, owns 28 horses and said that she has half of them on Adequan.  “It’s a great product,” she said, “and we appreciate their support of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Shows!” she added.

“The footing was really good today,” said Shepherd, “The new grass is so thick and lush and when it comes apart, it reseeds itself in a couple of days.  It feels really great.   I think this is the best field in the country to ride on.  It is beautiful to look at and absolutely beautiful to ride on,” she added.

The good times continue to roll at the Gulfport Winter Classic!  Even though today is a non-show day, all adults attending the Gulf Coast Winter Classic are invited to attend a Happy Hour hosted by sponsor Island View Casino at 3300 West Beach Boulevard from 5:30 to 8:00 pm tonight! Complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres and live music in The View Bar and afterwards, stay and play or try out some of the other restaurants.

The Gulf Coast Classic in Gulfport is where the fun will be this winter, so don’t miss it!  Remember, even though Mardi Gras in neighboring New Orleans officially ended this week, the fun keeps rolling on and that festive atmosphere spills onto the show grounds. With its close proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches, class offerings, prize money, and social scene, the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Gulfport shows are a must on everyone’s show list.  The show will feature weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, the $10,000 International Hunter Derby Week V and a weekly Grand Prix, to name a few highlights.  The grand prix schedule continues next week with the $35,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on February 24, the $35,000 CWD Grand Prix on March 3, and the circuit grand finale, the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix, scheduled for March 10.

Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest:  Classic Shows are FUN!  And, this year the fun continues at the Gulfport show with complimentary exhibitor parties, breakfasts, luncheons and office snacks to make your showing experience the best ever.

Classic Company never charges a scratch or add fee for those last minute adds and scratches, so if you haven’t entered yet, go to the prize list or simply click on Equestrian Connect to fill out your entry form and stabling requests.

Equestrian Connect is Classic Company’s Official Service Provider and allows exhibitors to store their data one time, on the web, and then use that data to automatically fill out hunter/jumper entry forms across the country.  The service offers a free 45 day trial period for new members.  At the conclusion of the trial period, Equestrian Connect offers an annual subscription, or a “pay as you go” service.    The service allows exhibitors to save both time and money.  This is the one-minute online entry service that will help you get your entries in on time and you to the show!

So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a novice looking for a positive show experience, look to the Gulf Coast Classic shows in Gulfport, and let the good times roll!

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States.  For more information on Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.ClassicCompany.com or call them at 843-768-5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at classicsponsorship@gmail.com.  All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at classicshowads@yahoo.com.

Stay up to date:  Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!

See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
www.ClassicCompany.com
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

Audi Defeats Villa del Lago, 14-9, to Advance into Ylvisaker Cup Semifinals

WELLINGTON, FL – February 18, 2013 – With a balanced second-half attack, Audi mounted an impressive comeback to defeat Villa del Lago, 14-9, and advance into Wednesday’s Ylvisaker Cup semifinals at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Grand Champions Polo Club-based Audi (3-1) will meet Lucchese, 12-11, winners over defending champion Piaget at 3 p.m.

In the opening semifinal game at 1 p.m., Coca-Cola, 12-10 upset winners over Zacara, will play Lechuza Caracas, 10-7 winners over ERG.

Audi, down by four goals early in the game, came back in the second half to outscore Villa del Lago, 8-2.

“We are a second-half team, that’s all I can say,” said Nic Roldan, who scored a game-high eight goals. “We kept our cool.

“We just kept saying we can do it, we can do it, we can do it,” Roldan said. “We just stayed in there and kept fighting. The last two chukkers we felt really good. As a team we all feel so confident in each other that’s obvious.”

Roldan is fourth among Ylvisaker Cup scoring leaders behind Facundo Pieres of Zacara (35), Miguel Astrada of Piaget (32) and Polito Pieres of Lechuza Caracas (28) with 27 goals including 17 on penalty shots.

Audi, one win away from the championship finals, will get a chance to avenge its lone loss of the tournament, a 10-9 decision to Lucchese on Feb. 1.

Last year Audi made it to the finals before being knocked off by Piaget.

“Lucchese was the team nobody wanted to play,” said Audi player-padrone Marc Ganzi. “They are four good players.

“The game changed very quickly,” Ganzi said. “It changed in the fourth and by the fifth we had them.

“It was a good game. They came out and put everything up front, they put their best horses up front. We’re a second half team. We’re clicking at the right time.”

Both teams had to contend with 45-degree weather and wind gusting up to 18 miles per hour.

After a slow start and falling behind in the third chukker (7-3), Audi was relentless in the second half with its total team effort and textbook defense.

Audi's Nic Roldan battles for the ball against Villa del Lago's Agustin Obregon
Audi’s Nic Roldan battles for the ball against Villa del Lago’s Agustin Obregon

After cutting Villa del Lago’s lead to two goals (7-5) to end the first half, Audi stormed back with a quick goal from Roldan to start the fourth chukker.

“For me the game changed with about three minutes left in the third chukker; we had a change in mentality,” Ganzi said. “The idea was to put more pressure on them so we started sending the ball forward.

“Once we started putting pressure on them to hit their backhanders, they were either hitting short backhanders or missing them and we were picking up their backhanders and scoring goals. We turned the tables on them right before halftime and that served notice that we were going to come and then we came with everything in the second half. We withstood the storm.”

Audi found its momentum, started pressuring more and began to chip away with goals, outscoring Villa del Lago, 3-1, in the fourth and fifth chukkers and shutting them out in the final chukker, 2-0.

Audi’s Nico Pieres added five goals and played outstanding on both ends of the field. Magoo Laprida scored seven goals for Villa del Lago.

“We are a second half team; we played well in the last three chukkers,” Pieres said. “We started playing really well in the fourth chukker.

“In the beginning it was too cold and there was a lot of wind,” Pieres said. “The balls were hitting the horses and everything. But in the second half we played much better as a team. We tried to play more short passes.

“They are a tough team; they have four good players and we knew that,” Pieres said. “It’s good we are in the semifinals. Now that we are playing well we want to win everything. It’s good for the team and good for the horses.”

Audi's Nico Pieres keeps control of the ball against Villa del Lago's Guille Aguero
Audi’s Nico Pieres keeps control of the ball against Villa del Lago’s Guille Aguero

The hard-fought game was physical. Each team was assessed a penalty one (automatic goal).

Mariano Gracida got knocked off his pony with 2:09 remaining in the fourth chukker but was unhurt and returned to the game. Roldan got hit in his lower back with a ball with 3:27 left in the sixth chukker.

Gracida, the son of former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida, will be making his 20-goal tournament semifinal debut on Wednesday.

“It feels great to be in the semifinals,” said the 19-year-old. “This is my first time. I am really happy how we played today.

“We switched a couple of things in the second half and got our rhythm started,” Gracida said. “We started making all the plays and finishing them. In the end we just clicked and everything went well.”

Gracida was well-mounted in the second half and covered the entire field making key defensive plays and stops while paying attention to details.

“Being on a better horse than your opponent is definitely an advantage,” Gracida said.

The prestigious tournament is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker.

Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships.

He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. Ylvisaker died February 6, 2010 at age 85.

YLVISAKER CUP AUDI SCHEDULE

Wednesday, February 20: Ylvisaker Semifinals, Coca-Cola vs. Lechuza Caracas, 1 p.m. and Audi vs. Lucchese, 3 p.m.

Sunday, February 24: Haas Cup final, noon; Ylvisaker Cup Final, 3 p.m.

AUDI/PIAGET TOURNAMENT LINEUP

Jan. 31 – Feb. 24, Ylvisaker Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, Iglehart Cup

Feb. 20 – March 3, CV Whitney Cup

March 5 – March 24, USPA Piaget Gold Cup

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

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

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

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch Revving It Up for COTA

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2013 – The international quadrille team sponsored by The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch plans to give their competitors a run for their money at The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves on Saturday, March 9.

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch has been practicing an intricate quadrille for The Challenge and its 11th anniversary return as a one-of-a-kind affair highlighting 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 riding in team quadrilles to Play for P.I.N.K. to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Team International is comprised of dressage stars Todd Flettrich, Catherine Haddad-Staller, Susanne Hamilton, Nancy Later, Sharon McCusker and Cherri Reiber. The coaches for the team are Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Erin Swaney.

Josh Parker, one of the principals of The Seley Parker Group, said it’s their seventh year to sponsor the event. “The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch is extremely proud to once again support the International Team and The Challenge of the Americas,” he said. “Raising awareness and helping find a cure for such a terrible disease should be one of everyone’s top priorities.”

Susanne Hamilton
Susanne Hamilton

Susanne Hamilton, a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medalist and one of the team riders, said she went to her first Challenge of the Americas six years ago with her friend, Ingrid Lind, who lost her fight with breast cancer three years later.

“This is close to my heart,” she said. “I’d like to dedicate my ride to someone this year who’s fighting hard. She’s in Britain and she’s a Grade II para-rider who is dying from this,” she continued with a hitch in her voice. “Her name is Gwenllian Hughes. I want to dedicate this to her.”

Quadrille rider Sharon McCusker, a USEF long listed FEI Grand Prix competitor and trainer, also believes in the cause. “I’m delighted to be involved with this benefit,” she said. “Almost all of us have lost somebody who has been affected by breast cancer.”

One of the Team International coaches, Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, who creates freestyles for every level of dressage rider, said she is happy and honored to be a part of The Challenge of the Americas. “It’s impressive and shows the importance of the cause when six professionals and two choreographers take time from their schedules at least once a week to show their dedication to COTA,” she said. “As a choreographer and music editor, it’s a fun challenge to create for both riders and spectators alike.”

The other coach and choreographer, Erin Swaney, an FEI rider and trainer, said she started helping with The Challenge in response to COTA organizer Mary Ross’ request.

“I always went to The Challenge and one year Mary needed somebody to coach one of the teams and she asked me to do it,” she said. “I had watched it for years and I always thought of things that would look different and amazing for the spectators.”

She said that since she has been one of the coaches for the quadrilles, she strives to make the choreography fresh and jots down ideas for the freestyle throughout the year, paying special attention to visual excitement from every angle for the audience.

“It’s funny because every year the riders think it’s crazy and they say they can’t do it but in the end, everyone is surprised,” she laughed. “Last year the team was so cute. I gave them the pattern and they gave me THAT look, but in the end it all came together. This year it’s a whole new team and they have a really great dynamic. When we walked the pattern the first time it was hilarious but it all seems to work out in the end. I like how the whole thing unfolds and how each person comes together for the team.”

Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice
Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice

Aside from the serious theme of fundraising for breast cancer research, fun is a central theme to all the riders on the team.

“I did it once before and it was a really fun experience,” Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Todd Flettrich said. “Everybody gets together to ride and it’s for a good cause. I enjoy the sense of camaraderie when we are all for the same team. It’s great because it’s for the cause and not for yourself.”

Catherine Haddad-Staller, a two-time Grand Prix winner in the U.S. and a USDF Gold Medalist, agreed. “I think it’s a worthy cause and I am quite excited to be a part of the international team,” she said.

Cherri Reiber, an FEI trainer and competitor, added she is also involved with the quadrille to support the cause. “We’re having a ball,” she said. “It’s really been fun.”

This is Nancy Later’s first year to participate as a rider in the quadrille and she said she is helping support organizer Mary Ross in her effort to fund breast cancer research. Later is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist.

Nancy Later
Nancy Later

“I think Mary’s done a great job for years and we love going to watch and I always wanted to be part of a team so it’s very exciting,” she said. “We’re a newbie team. So far we are having a great time. We can be partners instead of competitors so it’s really fun. It’s important that we remember to thank our sponsor, Merrill Lynch, too.”

Parker from the Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch added, “This event, with all of its equestrian pageantry, is always a blast and raises considerable funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com.

For tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or by email at Anglot@aol.com.

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

The Challenge of The Americas Fast Facts

What:

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.

Sharon McCusker
Sharon McCusker

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.

When:

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

Where:

Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
West Palm Beach, Florida
www.pbcgov.com/parks/equestrian/jimbrandon/#.UP1pfqHjmFc

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

Ticket Information:

Mary Ross
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 433-0988
(561) 251-7945
Anglot@aol.com

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
skw@phelpsmediagroup.com
(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Website:
www.challengeoftheamericas.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas

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

Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Christilot Boylen Sweeps Small Tour at the Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W

Wellington, FL – February 17, 2013 – The Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W, presented by USPRE Association, at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival finished today with the last class of the Small Tour. Christilot Boylen (CAN) captured the top spot again today winning the $6,000 FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle, sponsored by Havensafe Farm.

Watch an interview with Christilot Boylen

Judges for this afternoon’s class were Jane Weatherwax (USA) at E, Victoire Mandl (AUT) at H, Jacques Van Daele (BEL) at C, Jennie Loriston-Clarke (GBR) at M, and Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) at B.

It was a great weekend for Boylen, winning all her classes that she entered. Receiving a score of 73.375% atop Dio Mio (De Niro x Charmeur), she was overjoyed at his performance this afternoon. Of the 10-year-old black Hanoverian gelding, she commented, “Today was the first time we had done our Freestyle as I just got the music two days ago! He had some trouble in the lines, but overall I am pleased.”

Up next for the six-time Olympian is competing with her young horses. “They are all very talented. I believe that the older, more experienced riders should be on the young, green horses and vice versa. That’s a mixture that works well. I can offer these horses a lot more support, because I’ve done it so often. To support them in their first attempts gives a really great foundation. If they have good experiences in the ring, they will grow on that. Otherwise, they lose their confidence and will to perform in the arena,” reflected Boylen.

A special award was given today to the high point winners in the FEI Test of Choice. The Der Dau Dream Team Award was presented to Neve Myburgh (GER) riding Caroline Roffman’s Accent Aigu Frh (Amerigo Vespucci XX x Trapper) and Janne Rumbough (USA) riding her mount Afilado (Gaucho III x BW Maravilla).

The USPRE Assocation gave special awards as well to Janne Rumbough and Rachel Chowanec.

With the Florida Dressage Classic, CDI-W presented by USPRE Association in the books, competition resumes at The Stadium on March 14-17, 2013, with the WEF Dressage Classic, CDI 3* presented by Today’s Equestrian & Fellows.

For full results and more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Final Results: $6,000 FEI Intermediaire Freestyle sponsored by Havensafe Farm

  1. Dio Mio, Christilot Boylen (CAN): E: 72.625%, H: 71.375%, C: 78.625%, M: 74.000%, B: 70.250%, Total: 73.375%
  2. Tolstoy, Nicholas Fyffe (AUS): E: 66.875%, H: 71.750%, C: 68.750%, M: 69.000%, B: 64.625%, Total: 68.200%
  3. Rigaudon Tyme, Evi Strasser (CAN): E: 66.875%, H: 70.000%, C: 66.875%, M: 68.875%, B: 66.125%, Total: 67.750%
  4. Nymphenburg’s Love, Katharina Stumpf (AUT): E: 62.625%, H: 68.125%, C: 60.125%, M: 61.625%, B: 64.375%, Total: 63.375%
  5. Ungaro, Sonia Zugel (IRL): E: 62.250%, H: 61.875%, C: 58.375%, M: 63.125%, B: 64.625%, Total: 62.050%

Jessica Parlon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring five CDIs, including a 5*, the first non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and nine U.S. national events. The Adequan GDF is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for the five international competitions making it one of the richest circuits in the world. In addition to the CDIs with national competitions, the Adequan GDF will feature six separate national shows to be held at the Stadium section of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) show grounds.  The Adequan GDF encompasses almost 60 acres of the former Palm Beach Polo Grounds. The facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.

First Founding Sponsors: Matt Varney, Chris and Rob Desino, Wellington Equestrian Realty; Janet and William Richardson Pearson, Chesapeake Dressage Institute of Annapolis, MD; Devon and Terri Kane, Diamante Farm; Joe and Gaye Scarpa, Magnolia Farm; Tuny Page and Family, Stillpoint Farm; and Kimberly and Frederic Boyer, United States P.R.E. Association

Founding Sponsors: Ashley Holzer and Diane Fellows, Today’s Equestrian; Bethany Peslar, Everglades Dressage; Betsy Juliano, Havensafe Farm; Carol and Rebecca Cohen, Two Swans Farm LLC; Janne Rumbough, MTICA Farm; Mike & Roz Collins; Suhail and PJ Rizvi, Peacock Ridge; and Tim and Susie Dutta, The Dutta Corp.

Corporate Sponsors: Brown Distributing, Champion Equine Insurance, Charles Owen, Chronicle of the Horse, Custom Saddlery, Der Dau, Dever Golf Carts, Equestrian Services International (ESI), Elite Equestrian Magazine, European Dressage Connection, Gold Coast Feed & Supply, Horse Of Course, Horseware Ireland, Interagro Lusitanos, Moet Hennessy USA, Nespresso USA, Paddock Cakes, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Pennfield, Piaffe Performance, Premier Equestrian, Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, Rolex, Sanctuary at PBIEC, Show Chic, Sidelines Magazine, World Equestrian Brands

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

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Jennifer Alfano and Rose Hill Win Big in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala V

OCALA, FL (February 18, 2013) – Jennifer Alfano got down to business at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, and won the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix this weekend. Alfano of Buffalo, New York and Sharon O’Neill’s Rose Hill rode to a sweet victory and a $2,800 winner’s check. Sweeter than usual, however, the win marked a storied return back to the competition ring for Rose Hill.

“She is only eight years old and underwent colic surgery last May,” said Alfano of the Warmblood mare that carried her to the blue. “She just started showing again and I am really excited to have her back.”

The scenery changed this week for hunter prix riders as they moved to the main hunter ring and showed over a course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida.

Alfano was second going into the final round after a score of 86, right behind Winn Alden of Bristow, Virginia aboard Barbara Sheffield’s Cameo Appearance with an 87. Alfano was tenth to return in a 12-horse second round and rode to an impressive 89, which was just enough to deliver the win. Alfano also piloted Rose Hill to a second and third-place finish in two HITS Ocala Devoucoux Hunter Prix earlier in the circuit.

Despite the chilly weather that rolled in and prompted some frisky antics from several horses during the class, Alfano admits that Rose Hill was focused and pretty unflappable throughout the day.

“She walked right into the new ring and got it done,” said Alfano of Rose Hill. “She is so easy and fun – she is the kind of horse that everyone wants in their barn.”

After an 86 in round two gave him a total score of 173, just two points below Alfano, Alden and Cameo Appearance finished second. Amanda Steege has already been in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix money several times this season and rode to third yesterday with Susan Darragh’s Zidane. They boasted an overall score of 167.5.

Another familiar face in the top five with two wins already pocketed, Shachine Belle of Farmington, Connecticut and Robin Swinderman’s INXS finished fourth with a score of 166.75. Paul Mathews of Somerset, Virginia fell just short of Belle and rounded out the top five with a 166.5 on Terry Morrison’s Carino.

With four more qualifying opportunities for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, Alfano is hopeful that Rose Hill is the horse to get her to HITS Championship Weekend this fall. “She’s a perfect horse for that class. She shows in the 3’6” Performance Division and was champion this week, so she is really getting back into form.  We definitely hope to qualify and ride in the $500,000 class in Saugerties,” she said.

$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix

Amy Zettler of Aldie, Virginia bested 52 to pilot her own Glad Rags to the top of the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix this weekend at HITS Ocala. After a second-place finish last week, Zettler is sitting near the top of the rider standings for September’s HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final.

©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler rode to the win in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix aboard Glad Rags
©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler rode to the win in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix aboard Glad Rags

Meghan Kaupp of Pittsford, New York was second aboard Serenity Farm’s Q and Lena Rae Reeb of Weston, Connecticut finished third with Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan. After a win in last year’s HITS Children Hunter Pony Final, Reeb is looking forward to a triumphant return to Saugerties, New York this year and an appearance in the HITS Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend.

Lynn Seithel of Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina rode Louse Petz’s Wellington to fourth and Marge Sidman of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts capped the top five with her own Robinlanta.

About Devoucoux
Devoucoux, makers of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to the phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be a featured event at all HITS horse shows this season as riders from around the country set out to qualify for the third-annual Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 7-8 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

About Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern
Just 100 miles outside of New York City, nestled in the Village of Saugerties, Diamond Mills is a 30-room luxury hotel featuring stellar accommodations, fine dining at The Tavern and full-service events at a state-of-the art Special Events Center. Diamond Mills is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an unsurpassed collection of over 520 luxury hotels around the world. Saugerties’ newest luxury hotel is also the proud sponsor of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson as part of the HITS Championship Weekend. For more information about Diamond Mills or the special VIP packages available to HITS-on-the-Hudson exhibitors, please visit DiamondMillsHotel.com or call 845.247.0700.

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