Tag Archives: NARG

National Horse Show Remains a Fixture in Top Rankings from NARG

Lexington, KY – February 20, 2015 – Once again the National Horse Show has been recognized as one of the very best horse shows in North America by NARG, the North American Riders Group. This year, finishing in the top ten in the rankings, the show is ranked as one of the three best horse shows in the United States.

Two Canadian shows, the legendary Spruce Meadows and the show at Thunderbird, once again took home the top two spots.

The North American Riders Group (NARG), representing the riders and owners in North America, is comprised of the top horsemen from the United States, Canada and Mexico and was formed with the goal of improving the sport of show jumping.

The NARG report stated, “The National Horse Show, America’s oldest indoor event, has retaken its original name, and Canadian Pacific has come on board as the title sponsor for 2015. The Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park is certainly one of the best indoor arenas devoted to horse sport, and now in its fourth year at this pristine location, The National Horse Show once again ranks high on the NARG Top 25.”

The 2015 CP National Horse Show runs October 27th through November 1st, 2015 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

“The quality of footing in the arena and the stabling, with large stalls close to the action, are both outstanding,” the report continued. “Many of the unique and high-quality jumps come from the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The new location for the Rider Lounge is excellent – easily accessible from the in-gate, yet in a place where you could see the action, with great food. Located on the other side of the arena, The Taylor Harris Club and Gracie’s are both well run and well attended.”

“As always, the National Horse Show takes this award and the NARG suggestions for improvement to heart,” said Mason Phelps, Jr., the President of the National Horse Show Association. “We’re proud to be recognized as one of the best horse shows in North America. We work very hard to make this show the best it can be.”

The NARG report went on to note, “The pending partnership with Longines, combined with the title sponsorship of Canadian Pacific, may present a unique opportunity to tackle the issues of generating an audience and creating a tradition. Another interesting aspect of the coming season is that the Breeders Cup will be running on the same weekend as the National. With huge potential to pique the interest of thousands of thoroughbred racing fans, some innovative marketing ideas should be underway,” they said.

“Absolutely,” Phelps stated. “The Breeders Cup offers unique opportunity and, at the same time, a different challenge to bring additional spectators to the National. All of us are working very hard on the promotional aspects of the show.”

Hunter Harrison, the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway and Chairman of the Board of the National Horse Show Association of America, said of the new sponsorship, “The National Horse Show, one of America’s really special equestrian events, is a great showcase for Canadian Pacific as we continue to increase our participation in the United States.”

“Lexington, the Horse Capitol of the World, and the Kentucky Horse Park, home of the Rolex Three-Day Event that brings in thousands of fans each year, should be fertile ground for community outreach. The National Horse show is one of North America’s outstanding indoor competitions. Spread the word!” the NARG report concluded.

The 2014 National Horse Show again scored an excellent 88% in the NARG rankings.

“As I said last year, the management at the National Horse Show will keep a laser focus on improvements,” Phelps said. “We have a great team in place headed by manager Hugh Kincannon and we’re looking forward to working with our new title sponsor CP and the continuing sponsorship from generous companies like Taylor Harris Insurance Services.”

With $755,000 in prize money offered, this year’s show has been designated a CSI-W 5* show by the FEI. The International Open Jumpers will compete for over a half a million dollars in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.

The world’s best international competitors return for the 2015 National Horse Show, which will take place October 27th through November 1st, 2015 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

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The Second Annual NARG Riders’ Grant — Congratulations to…

Anita Mont and Fly Light – by Alison Hartwell.

Wellington, FL – February 4, 2014 – Now in its third year, the NARG Riders’ Grant is designed to afford an emerging rider, dedicated to the sport of show jumping, an opportunity to achieve levels they would otherwise not be able to attain without a boost. The grant provides the winner with $15,000 USD for expenses within North America approved by the NARG Board.

The North American Riders Group congratulates 21-year-old Anita Mont of Wisconsin as the recipient of the 2014 NARG Riders’ Grant.

Mont’s history began like many young girls. “Even though no one in my family rode, I have always had a love for horses. As a child, I didn’t play with dolls. I preferred horses. I constantly begged my parents for riding lessons. When I was 5 years old, my mother found a coupon in the newspaper for lessons at a local stable. I was hooked at the first lesson and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to jump…”

Among her accomplishments over the years, Mont took a three-year-old pony with 30 days under saddle all the way to Pony Finals as well as tenaciously working with a difficult mare and qualifying her for Junior Hunter Finals. Now as a professional, Mont is training and campaigning a young jumper and bringing along two homebred yearlings.

Developing horses, catch riding and working with a variety of experts to hone her skills from care to training and sales to competing, Mont is ceaseless in her desire to learn. Branching out from her Wisconsin roots, she has worked with and for trainers in Minnesota, Kentucky, New Jersey and Illinois, including six months as a working student for Chris Kappler Inc. from October 2011 to April 2012.

Anita Mont and Blizzerd - by Shawn McMillen
Anita Mont and Blizzerd – by Shawn McMillen

After years of devotion to every aspect of being an equestrian, Mont’s parents were well aware that their daughter had an enduring passion and was willing to put in the work to achieve her goals. With this in mind, they purchased a 20-stall barn in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, to help her establish a breeding and training business. Mont took on a lion’s share of the responsibilities of farm management, while continuing to further her education in the saddle. When Mont decided to turn professional, her parents offered her full ownership of the training business, aptly named Dare to Dream Farm, LLC.

When asked how she would utilize the grant money, Mont explained the essence of a young professional’s path, one that indicates the pursuit of the dream. “While showing is important, I feel training is the key to success. The grant money will allow me to obtain much more valuable training than I could otherwise afford. Since coming to Florida this winter, I have already reached out to some trainers and recently started working with Anne Kursinski. I will also be able to compete at WEF more than my original tight budget would’ve allowed. There is no doubt that I will work hard to make the most of the NARG Riders’ Grant.”

NARG, and the grant recipients, are extremely grateful to the Southern-Heathcott family who make this grant possible.

About the North American Riders Group – NARG
The North American Riders Group, NARG, remains steadfast in achieving an essential goal – improving our sport so that once again show jumping in North America will rank among the greatest in the world. It takes teamwork to achieve a goal of this magnitude. Representing the riders, trainers and owners in North America, NARG takes the necessary steps to work openly with show organizers, governing bodies and associations, as collectively we all make up the team that must evolve with the times to see this come to fruition.

With your participation, NARG’s voice becomes incrementally stronger and clearer. To bring change we must be able to speak with a singular voice. Join us. Visit www.narg.org or call 561.386.4525 for more details.

Alltech National Horse Show Is Again One of NARG’s Top Ranked American Events

©2012 Shawn McMillen Photography. McLain Ward and Antares F captured last year's $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix

Lexington, KY – February 11, 2013 – The second year production of the Alltech National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park once again received a top ranking from NARG, the North American Riders Group. The show was staged at the beautiful Alltech Arena on October 31 through November 4, 2012.

The North American Riders Group (NARG), representing the riders and owners in North America, is comprised of the top horsemen from the United States, Canada and Mexico and was formed with the goal of improving the sport of show jumping. The NARG Top 25 initiative is a prime example. NARG, in their report, stated, “This effort has created a mirror in which top equestrian events can reflect on what is important to us, how to improve and whether they truly seek to be a Top 25 event. And this year is proof that those who aspire to be great are willing to look, listen and improve.”

The Alltech National Horse Show was one of those events that listened and accordingly, improved on their score from last year. “We take the NARG rankings very seriously,” said Mason Phelps, Jr., the President of the National Horse Show Association. “There were a number of items that last year’s report brought to our attention and our manager Hugh Kincannon and the entire Alltech National Horse Show team worked diligently to improve in those areas.”

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Live Oak International Top Three on NARG Specialty Event List

Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil competed in the inaugural CSI2* Live Oak International. Photo by PicsOfYou.com

Wellington, Florida – In its inaugural year, CSI2* Live Oak International in Ocala, FL, was ranked one of the top three ‘Specialty Events’ in North America by the North American Riders Group (NARG).  The second annual CSI2* Live Oak International for show jumping takes place from March 20 to 24, 2013, running concurrently with the long-standing CAI-B driving event.

While the NARG’s annual ‘Top 25’ list has become a means of recognizing the top show jumping competitions in North America, this year, a new category for specialty events was introduced.  Designed to recognize stand-alone events, usually held for a shorter period and focusing on top level competition, the ‘Specialty Event’ category was created to give special recognition to those quality events that run outside of the typical horse show formula.

Despite having only been held once, Live Oak International was ranked third on the ‘Specialty Event’ list behind the New Albany Classic and Family Day in New Albany, OH, and the American Invitational in Tampa, FL, which is now in its 40th year.

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Alltech National Horse Show Is NARG’s Top Ranked American Event for 2011

February 1, 2012 – The Alltech National Horse Show, following its debut at the Kentucky Horse Park last November, on Tuesday evening was awarded the North American Riders Group’s highest ranking for any American horse show.

The North American Riders Group (NARG), representing the riders and owners in North America, is comprised of the top horsemen from the United States, Canada and Mexico and was formed with the goal of improving the sport of show jumping. In their presentation of the NARG Top 25 Horse Shows of 2011, they stated, “The North American Riders Group remains steadfast in achieving an essential goal-improving our sport so that once again show jumping in North America will rank among the greatest in the world.”

Their report said, “After overwhelmingly positive results from our 2010 Top 25 report, NARG and a host of volunteers once again spent hundreds of hours to numerically evaluate 50 of the top horse shows in North America.”

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The Inaugural NARG Riders’ Grant Awarded to Sarah Johnstone

The inaugural NARG riders' grant was awarded to Sarah Johnstone by Beezie Madden. Photo By: Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2012 – New in 2011, the NARG Riders’ Grant is designed to afford an emerging rider, dedicated to the sport of show jumping, an opportunity to achieve levels of performance they would otherwise not be able to attain. The grant provides the winner with $15,000 USD for expenses within North America approved by the NARG Board, a new Beval Artisan saddle, products from Ariat, PR from Phelps Media and a custom web site by Spotted Toad Design.

After extensive discussion and multiple meetings, the NARG Board awarded The 2011 NARG Riders’ Grant to twenty-year-old Canadian Sarah Johnstone. A devoted young professional, Johnstone was a self-proclaimed barn rat who began working at the stable by age ten. As she continued to compete, Johnstone always worked to pay her way. Proving that hard work and a strong sense of commitment bring success, Sarah achieved an impressive list of accomplishments in the last decade. These include winning the Canadian Jump Canada Medal Finals and Canadian Equestrian Team Finals (CET) in 2006, taking 4th in her first CSI4* Grand Prix in 2010, topping the field in the FEI CSI3* Open Welcome at International Bromont last July and earning a short list position on the Canadian Show Jumping Team in 2011.

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The NARG Top 25 of 2011 – See Who’s Best in Show

Year Two: The NARG Top 25 Shows in North America Are Revealed

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2012 – Following the overwhelmingly positive response to our 2010 Top 25 report, NARG’s host of volunteers once again invested hundreds of hours to numerically evaluate 50 of the top horse shows in North America. The 2011 results are an interesting mix of events – including a couple of Canadian champions, a promising new beginning for The National Horse Show, several new discoveries and two most improved shows.

Canada claimed the top two spots this year. The highest marks once again go to Spruce Meadows, a venue that continues to exemplify our aspirations for great sport in North America. The number two title this year goes to a Canadian discovery, Thunderbird Show Park. Both venues are tremendous places to compete and show jumpers should seriously consider adding these solid examples of top tournaments to their summer schedule.

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From the North American Riders Group: Resolution of the McLain Ward/Sapphire World Cup Elimination Dispute Is Good for Our Sport!

July 5, 2010 – The North American Riders Group believes to advance the sport of show jumping, all decisions related to its future must put the sport itself above all else. This is an example of that.

McLain, the USEF and the FEI could have continued a prolonged legal battle, but the additional gains on either side would have been for personal gain or pride. Instead, a positive resolution has been forged that publicly recognizes the decision was INCORRECT and, importantly, has resulted in a revised protocol for hypersensitivity.

Details of the revised protocol will be issued before the Aachen CHIO, but from what we understand already they will require more checks and balances which should eliminate any misuse of the protocol either by mistake or abuse of power.

Everyone in show jumping should benefit from this resolution.

We applaud those involved for this resolution while we still recognize that McLain can’t get back the World Cup he lost in Geneva!

For more information, please visit www.narg.org.