Tag Archives: Para-Equestrian

Dutch, Brits, and Danes Start Strong in Team Title Chase

Rixt van der Horst and Findsley N.O.P. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

An intriguing day of competition saw a potential close finish to the Longines FEI Para Dressage European Championships’ team competition begin to take shape with nations in Grades I, II, and III in contention for the coveted title.

Leading the way in Grade I was Norway’s Jens-Lasse Dokkan. Fresh from his individual title win on Wednesday, Dokkan and Aladdin scored 76. 536%. “I’m really happy and satisfied with that,” he said.

Close behind him was Italy’s individual silver medallist Sara Morganti and Royal Delight, who scored 74.750%. Third highest score in the Grade went to Finland’s Katja Karjalainen on Dr Doolittle with 73.643%.

The second competition of the day saw another tussle between Grade III’s new individual European Champion, Tobias Thorning Joergensen, and The Netherlands’ triple world gold medallist Rixt van der Horst. Joergensen came out on top again with an impressive 76.382% on Jolene Hill, while van der Horst and Findsley N.O.P. scored 74.029%. Joergensen’s teammate Caroline Cecilie Nielsen and Davidoff had the third best score in the Grade, 70.088%.

Speaking after his ride, Joergensen said: “I’m feeling very happy although she was a bit more tense today. I was scared I may have done too much. I wish I had a better feeling, but I will sit down and watch the video and look at the scores the judges give and see what we can do better.”

In the final competition of the day, for the grade II riders, there was delight for Great Britain’s European Championship debutant, Georgia Wilson. Having picked up a silver medal in her grade’s individual test earlier in the week, she came out on top with a score of 74.758% riding Midnight.

In doing so she knocked Austria’s Pepo Puch into second place. Puch rode Sailor’s Blue to score 74.152%, edging out The Netherlands’ Nicole Den Dulk and Wallace N.O.P, who scored 73.364%.

Clearly enjoying every minute of her first major championships, Wilson said: “He felt very good. We practise and practise our transitions so they go nice and smoothly and I was really pleased with my free walk. And my accuracy and halts were apparently square.

“I’m finding the whole experience very different to a normal international. I get a day off between rides and have been able to enjoy the show jumping and dressage too. My medal ceremony was amazing and scary at the same time. I said to Pepo (Puch, the gold medal winner): ‘This is my first time. You have to show me what to do.’”

Germany, traditionally a strong team contender, are effectively out of the competition now. Their two riders, Elke Philipp in Grade I and Steffen Zeibig in Grade III, both failed to break the crucial 70% mark, making it now virtually impossible for the country to make the podium.

Officially, the current lead in the competition belongs to Portugal. Its three riders all competed and scored 188.591%. Austria are in second place with 145.224% with one rider left to perform, and Italy are third with 144.357%, also with one more rider to come.

The main competitors for the three medals all have two more riders to perform in Grades IV and V. They include The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Sanne Voets, Great Britain’s Sophie Wells, and Belgium’s Michele George.

Crunching the numbers suggest that The Netherlands remain the favourites for the gold, with fierce competition between Belgium, Denmark, and Great Britain for the other two medals.

Click here for full results.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Double Dutch Delights on Para Dressage Day Two

Sanne Voets with Demantur Rs2 N.O.P. (FEI / Liz Gregg)

Dutch Paralympic riders thrilled the home crowd by taking both gold medals on offer at the Longines FEI Para Dressage European Championships in Rotterdam.

Leading the charge was Paralympic and triple world gold medallist Sanne Voets in grade IV’s individual test, swiftly followed by Frank Hosmar in grade V’s competition. Both riders successfully defended their titles from the last European championships in Gothenburg in 2017.

Voets’ win came on Demantur Rs2 N.O.P., with a score of 76.659%. And in a straight replication of Gothenburg’s competition, silver went to Belgium’s Manon Claeys on San Dior with 73.805%, and the bronze to Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson with 72.902% on Zernard.

Clearly emotional after her first major international win in front of a home crowd, Voets said: “I’m European champion again. I love that. I am thrilled!

“I was really pleased with him [Demantur Rs2 N.O.P.]. I had a little hiccup in my first transition and that was my mistake. This horse knows what to do but waits for me to say ‘when’ so he was a bit confused. But I can’t blame him.

“I’ve been nervous all week. I arrived on Sunday and then had to wait three days to ride. When I woke up today, I was happy to get started.”

Claeys was delighted with her silver too, adding: “It feels really good. Sanne deserves to be number one, but I’m very happy with the test today.”

Hosmar’s gold came on his long-term partner, Alphaville N.O.P. The pair has been a team since the London 2012 Paralympic Games and scored a personal best of 75.810%. His close rival and world number one, Great Britain’s Sophie Wells, took the silver on C Fatal Attraction with 75.595%. And in a major surprise, just weeks into their riding partnership, Belgium’s Michele George stormed back to a championship podium for the first time since Rio 2016 to take the bronze on Best of 8 with 72.571%.

“I’m really delighted,” Hosmar said. “He was so nice and every step I could manage him. He was totally controlled and that’s what I like. I’m enjoying the home competition and there are many more people here from where I live including my friends and family who can come and watch.”

Wells was philosophical about her second place and said: “He was a little tense. He didn’t notice anything as we went in but then it was as if he thought, ‘oh there’s a lot of people here.’ But that’s horses, isn’t it?”

Wells also scored the first 10 of the championships but laughed: “Started to go downhill from there though.”

Outside of the medals there was better news for Great Britain’s Nicky Greenhill in grade IV. She’s her country’s first ever visually impaired rider at a major competition and is making her European debut. It’s fair to say she’s not had the easiest of starts though.

For starters, she’s here on her reserve horse, King Edward I, after her usual ride Betty Boo was left at home. Then her guide dog Sparky had some transportation issues with certain local taxis, and her husband Gary, who calls for her in the arena so she knows where she is, lost his voice. To cap it all, she was stung by a wasp and ended up taking a precautionary visit to hospital with anaphylactic shock.

However, she came a solid fourth in her grade, and was delighted with that result. Writing on her Facebook page, she said: “Wow, what a day. I think I have proven now that I can cope with most challenges that are thrown at me.”

After two days of competition, the Dutch are firmly at the head of the para dressage medal table with two golds, a silver, and a bronze. Denmark, Norway, and Austria are equal second with a gold each, while Great Britain are third with two silvers. Belgium has one silver and two bronzes.

The championships now have two days of team competition ahead. If the medals are anything to go by, that’s likely to be a tight battle between the home nation, the Brits, the Germans, the Danes, and the Belgians.

Click here for full results.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Sydney Collier and All in One Make a Winning Debut Together

Sydney Collier with All in One. Photo by susanjstickle.com.

New York, NY – August 21, 2019 – U.S. Paralympic rider Sydney Collier won all three classes in her national-level showing debut with her new horse All in One. On August 16-18, they showed at the Centerline Events at HITS on Hudson in Saugerties, NY and earned blues in two classes of Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Para Equestrian Test of Choice and also in the FEI Para Equestrian Freestyle.

“I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of ‘Alle’ and our developing partnership — his talent and heart are endlessly giving!” Collier said. “Friday at Saugerties, we showed our team test under FEI four-star judge Ulrike Nivelle of Germany and retired FEI five-star judge Cara Whitham of Canada and received a score of 74.10 percent. We studied the judges’ comments from that test and then focused on them in our warm-up for the individual championship test on Saturday. We showed our individual championship test under Kari McClain, an FEI three-star judge from the U.S., and Nivelle, and earned our best score to date of a 78.57 percent!”

On Sunday in her Freestyle test, Collier scored 79.90 percent from judges Nivelle and Cesar Torrente, an FEI four-star judge from Colombia, to win the class. “I can’t even say enough how proud I am of Alle,” said Collier. “It is our first time showing a freestyle in a competition, and freestyles are my favorite part of a show by far. He really is the best dance partner a girl could ever ask for! I can’t wait to dance with him again soon.”

Collier is aiming to be selected for the U.S. team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games with All in One. Working toward that goal, she plans to show next at the Tryon Fall Dressage CPEDI3* and US Equestrian Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships on September 12-15 in North Carolina. She intends to begin 2020 by competing in CPEDIs at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL, aiming for Paralympic team selection.

“I feel really excited by how much he and I have connected so early on in our partnership,” Collier said of All in One, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Abanos — Dauphina). “His nature is trusting and hard-working, and I can tell each time we enter the ring — whether it’s at home or at a show — that he understands and enjoys his job.”

Top U.S. show jumper Georgina Bloomberg purchased All in One in July to help support Collier’s Paralympic bid. Collier, 21, has represented the United States at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France, and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, where she finished seventh individually riding Western Rose. In 2014, she won the Against All Odds award from the FEI.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to support someone like Sydney,” said Bloomberg. “I want to see her be able to pursue her dreams. It’s nice to be able to help someone who’s working so hard and wants something so badly and deserves to get somewhere, but just has a financial roadblock preventing her from doing that.”

Collier rides at the Grade I para-equestrian dressage level, in which the tests are performed at the walk only. She began riding as able-bodied at the age of seven but switched to para-equestrian at age 11 after being diagnosed with the rare Wyburn Mason Syndrome. The congenital birth defect caused tumors and a massive stroke and subsequent brain surgery left her with limited use of the left side of her body, completely blind in her right eye, and three-quarters blind in her left eye. Collier’s hometown is Ann Arbor, MI, but she lives in Stanfordville, NY in order to train with Wes Dunham at Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, NY.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the people in my life who have made this success on the path towards Tokyo possible,” Collier said. “None of this would be possible without my sponsor, Georgina Bloomberg. As well, a big thank you to my trainer, Wes Dunham, who has invested thousands of hours into my training over the years. I don’t know where I would be without him.”

For more information on Sydney Collier, visit www.sydsparaquest.com.

Molly Sorge
molly@jumpmediallc.com

Dramatic Tie and Dazzling Dane Dominate Opening Day of Para Dressage

Tobias Thorning Joergensen riding Jolene Hill. (FEI / Liz Gregg)

The Longines FEI European Para Dressage Championships got off to the most dramatic start possible with a tie at the top of the Grade I individual competition, an exceptionally rare event in the sport.

Norway’s Jens-Lasse Dokkan (Aladdin) and Italy’s Sara Morganti (Royal Delight) both scored 75.036%, with Dokkan given the gold after the final four collective marks were tallied. Sport results don’t get any closer than that!

Dokkan has been riding at top international level for well over 20 years and competed at the first ever Paralympic equestrian competition in Atlanta (USA) in 1996. He hasn’t won at this level for 10 years but that changed. “It feels great, my first ever individual title,” he said. “I’ve only had Aladdin since October and our first competition was in March.

“This is fantastic and gives me motivation to work to hopefully take part in my seventh Paralympics in Tokyo next year.” — Jens-Lasse Dokkan (Norway)

The moment was bittersweet for Morganti. The triple world gold medallist has yet to win a European title, and a nervous start to her test on Royal Delight which scored just 5.9 clearly cost her a comfortable gold here in Rotterdam. “The horse was a little bit behind me today,” she explained. “It was difficult for me because I needed a lot of energy to bring her forward. But it’s OK. I was dreaming for a medal and coming second with the same score as first place is amazing.”

Latvia’s Rihards Snikus took a solid bronze with King of the Dance after scoring 74.821%.

There was drama in Grade III too, when Denmark’s Tobias Thorning Joergensen upset the form books by taking the individual title ahead of home favourite and triple 2018 world champion, Rixt van der Horst. Riding Jolene Hill, Joergensen scored 75.706% with van der Horst and Findsley N.O.P. one point behind with 74.706%.

A clearly delighted Joergensen said of being European champion: “It sounds amazing. I’m just so happy. It’s incredible. I knew there were a few riders who could beat me. I was nervous but I stayed at the arena and watched every single one, hoping for them not to pass me.

“I’ve only been on the scene for two years and got my horse just four months ago, so this means everything to me. She is amazing to ride and amazing every day. She is so kind she would go through fire and water for me.”

And Para Dressage’s only side-saddle rider Barbara Minneci picked up her first ever medal at a major international, taking the bronze on Stuart with a score of 70.382%. “I was not here to do a medal,” she laughed. “I was just here for the team. I’m really happy because I love my horse and I think he has a lot of potential and today showed that. And there is still more to show.”

In Grade II, Austria’s Pepo Puch affirmed his place as one of the biggest names in Para Dressage, taking the win on Sailor’s Blue with a score of 75.235%. That put him ahead of British debutant Georgia Wilson, who rode Midnight to a mark of 73.471%. The Netherlands’ Nicole den Dulk claimed bronze with Wallace N.O.P. on 73.353%.

Puch said: “I was so happy. The horse was so concentrated. He’s so great. It’s difficult for me to sit down and relax which is my problem. So like my horse, I have to train my body to be relaxed and smooth.”

And Georgia Wilson was also thrilled with her performance. “It was nerve-wracking but good,” she said. “I’m glad the first one’s out the way and I can build on things for the second test.”

Last – and somewhat surprising – word of the day though belongs to Joergensen. When asked about his plans to celebrate his first major international title he laughed: “I just want to go back to my hotel and sleep,” he said. “I’m so tired!”

Click here for the full results.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

They’re Rearing to Go in Rotterdam!

Bella Rose and German legend Isabell Werth. (FEI/Kim C Lundin)

The horses, riders, back-up teams, and supporters have been descending on the “Het Kralingse bos”, the lovely forested public park located in the village of Kralingse on the outskirts of Rotterdam in The Netherlands, in preparation for the opening of the Longines FEI European Championships 2019 for Jumping, Dressage, and Para-Dressage.

The competition action kicks off Monday 19 August, but the hijinks already started with some of the world’s greatest Dressage horses hot-to-trot and full of beans during the first veterinary inspection in which all were deemed fit to compete.

The No. 1 horse-and-rider combination of German legend Isabell Werth and her brilliant mare Bella Rose put on a show in front of the Ground Jury when Bella couldn’t contain her excitement about what’s going to happen over the coming days. And they are not the only ones anticipating a great week of sport.

A total of 70 athletes from 24 countries and teams from 15 nations will compete in both Dressage and Jumping, while 66 riders from 21 countries will battle it out for Para Dressage medals.

The Rotterdam showground has undergone a major transformation with an expanded grandstand around the main arena. A short walk through the woods takes visitors to the nearby Para Dressage ring where the veterinary inspection took place, and there is an extensive trade-stand area further along the forest pathway.

The Dressage team medals will be decided in the Grand Prix in which the first tranche of riders will compete before the Opening Ceremony takes place. On Tuesday the Grand Prix will conclude and the team medals will be awarded. The Grand Prix Special will take place on Thursday, and then Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle will bring this Championship to a close.

Beginning on Wednesday there will be five full days of Para Dressage action, highlighted by the team medals presentation on Friday and the Freestyle finales on Sunday.

The Jumping team medals will also be awarded on Friday after three consecutive days of thrilling competition, and on Sunday a new Jumping champion will be crowned at the end of the two-round individual showdown.

Once available, startlists and results can be found here.

Event website here.

Watch all the action live www.feitv.org.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Can Dutch World Champions Make European History on Home Turf?

Team Netherlands. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhurst)

Rotterdam (NED) will host the Longines FEI European Championships for para dressage, the third to be held alongside Jumping and Dressage, from Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 August. Some 66 riders from 21 countries will compete for medals. Who will be the riders and rivalries to look out for?

Great Britain and The Netherlands are set to renew their para dressage rivalry at the competition with The Netherlands clearly determined to add the European team title to the world title it famously won at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon (USA). That was the first time in the history of the sport that Team GB lost the team competition at European, World, or Paralympic level and potentially represented a major power shift in the sport.

And with a home Europeans, the Dutch will be looking to replicate that achievement. The WEG winning team of Nicole Den Dulk (grade II), Rixt van der Horst (grade III), Sanne Voets (grade IV) , and Frank Hosmar (grade V) will enthrall the crowd, while Great Britain has chosen three new riders to join established team member, the European, World, and Paralympic champion Sophie Wells (grade V).

The team competition will also see a strong challenge from the likes of Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and Norway too. It’ll be an exciting one to watch.

66 riders from 21 countries across five grades will compete for team and individual medals.

Ones to watch in each grade

Italy’s Sara Morganti will have high hopes of winning her first European titles in Rotterdam. Currently the world number one ranked rider across all five grades, she comes to the championships as a double WEG 2018 gold medallist. Latvia’s Rihard Snikus will be her main challenger, and also in the mix is likely to be Germany’s Elke Philipp and the Nordic trio of Jens Lasse Dokkan (NOR), Anita Johnsson (SWE) and Katja Karjalainen (FIN).

Grade II will likely see the continuation of the constant tussle for medals between Austria’s Pepo Puch and The Netherlands Nicole Den Dulk. The pair is part of a quarter of riders (the other two being Great Britain’s Sir Lee Pearson and Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup) who swap places on the podium regularly. Puch comes in as a double gold medallist from the 2013 and 15 Europeans, and the individual champion from 2017. He’ll be wanting the double again this year, but Den Dulk will be gunning for her first major international title too.

Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson could spoil the party though, having had a great run up to these competition, and Germany’s Heidemarie Dresing could also feature.

Rixt van der Horst will be the home favourite for the titles in grade III. She’s a triple gold WEG gold medallist from 2018 (and double gold from 2014) and double European Champion from 2015. As competition records go that should be enough. However, Denmark’s young superstar rider Tobias Thorning Joergensen is currently ranked number one in the grade, and he’ll be vying for his first major title having come so close on his debut two years ago. Joergensen’s teammate Caroline Cecilie Nielsen will push hard for a medal too, and look out for Belgium’s side saddle rider Barbara Minneci as well. She’s been on the verge of a podium finish for a long time.

Sanne Voets became the first non-British rider to ever win three gold medals at a single championship when she took the team, individual, and freestyle medals at last year’s WEG (compatriot Rixt van der Horst achieved the same, but later that same day). Voets is the para dressage ambassador at these Championships and rides for the home team in grade IV. She comes into the championships on the back of a stellar year so far which has seen her win a number of international competitions, and rack up personal best scores. Competition will come from Belgium’s Manon Claeys, currently third in the world for the grade, and Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson. All three of them shared the medals at the last Europeans and are likely to do the same again this year too.

In grade V Great Britain’s Sophie Wells and The Netherlands Frank Hosmar resume their Europeans rivalry. Wells was the double gold winner at the 2009, 11, and 13 Europeans before Hosmar took both titles in 2015. In 2017 Hosmar took the individual gold, and Wells the freestyle. The pair have the top two positions in the grade’s global ranking, but are closely followed by Russia’s Natalia Martyanova, who returns to European competition for the first time since 2015, where she was fourth in both individual competitions. Germany’s Regine Mispelkamp will make her European Championships debut in Rotterdam, doubtless hoping to make as impressive appearance as she did at her first world’s last year, where she picked up two bronze medals.

The competition starts on Wednesday 21 August with two days of individual competition. Then comes two days of team competition, with the best riders in each grade competing for the freestyle titles on Sunday 25 August.

Longines FEI European Championships 2019 website here.

Watch all the action live on FEI.tv.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Georgina Bloomberg Acquires New Horse for Paralympian Sydney Collier’s Tokyo Bid

Sydney Collier hopes to qualify for the U.S. Para Dressage team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics with All in One. Photo by susanjstickle.com.

New York, NY – July 29, 2019 – Top U.S. show jumper Georgina Bloomberg has been a sponsor of U.S. Paralympic rider Sydney Collier for a year, supporting her in her bid to qualify to represent the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. In early July, Bloomberg purchased a new horse for Collier to show with that goal in mind, the Hanoverian gelding All in One.

“I can’t say enough great things about [All in One] and how excited I am to be working with him to try and earn a spot on the team for Tokyo 2020 and try to earn the gold there,” said Collier. “We have high hopes for him. It’s like the stars aligned for him to come into my life. I’m over the moon to get into the show ring with him. Georgina was willing to help me find and purchase him, which was such a blessing. Without her, I would not have had the resources to be able to do that myself.”

Bloomberg, one of the top U.S. show jumpers, and Collier have been friends for years. “It’s a pleasure to be able to support someone like Sydney,” said Bloomberg. “I want to see her be able to pursue her dreams. It’s nice to be able to help someone who’s working so hard and wants something so badly and deserves to get somewhere, but just has a financial roadblock preventing her from doing that.”

Collier, 21, rides at the Grade I para-equestrian dressage level, in which the tests are performed at the walk only. She began riding as able-bodied at the age of seven but switched to para-equestrian at age 11 after being diagnosed with the rare Wyburn Mason Syndrome. The congenital birth defect caused tumors and a massive stroke and subsequent brain surgery left her with limited use of the left side of her body, completely blind in her right eye, and three-quarters blind in her left eye. Collier’s hometown is Ann Arbor, MI but she lives in Stanfordville, NY in order to train with Wes Dunham at Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, NY.

Collier represented the United States at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France and then went on to compete for the U.S. team at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, where she finished seventh individually riding Western Rose. In 2014, she won the Against All Odds award from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

“I love Sydney’s positive attitude,” said Bloomberg. “She doesn’t see herself as having a disability or being restricted in any way. She just loves riding and wants to pursue her dreams. She’s one of the most positive and happy people I’ve met. She’s so enthusiastic about not just the horses, but also about riding for the USA. Every time you see her, she’s in head-to-toe USA gear, and she’s one of those people who is such a great representative of the U.S. both on and off the horse.”

Collier and Dunham found All in One, or “Alle,” through Kai Handt, who saw the horse in Germany. “He sent a video and we were just mesmerized by his walk, which is what you really look for,” said Collier. “You want a walk that draws you in and makes you want to watch the entire test. They’re really like unicorns to find. Our jaws just dropped. Kai was amazing and helped us to get him over here for me to try him.”

All in One is a 10-year-old (Abanos—Dauphina) with experience to fourth level. Collier made her showing debut with him at the Fall Breed & Dressage Show at Maplewood Warmbloods II & III in Middletown, NY on July 26-28. She plans to show a few more times throughout the summer to prepare for the Tryon Fall Dressage CPEDI3* and US Equestrian Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships on September 12 through 15 in North Carolina. She aims to begin 2020 by competing in CPEDIs at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL aiming for Paralympic team selection.

“From the first ride, Alle and I just really clicked,” Collier said. “He has the uphill build that I’ve been searching for my entire riding career. The walk has its own metronome and tempo that is really helpful to my body. He tunes out things that my body unintentionally does, like with my left side not being able to work properly with my right side. This partnership has melded together really quickly and well so far. He’s been such a joy to work with. The other awesome thing is that on the ground, he’s like a big teddy bear. He leans into you and wants all of the cuddles. He’s such a sweetheart and really takes care of me in the saddle. The best part about him being such a great walk horse, is that he really enjoys the walk, which is so hard to find.”

For more information on Sydney Collier, visit www.sydsparaquest.com.

For more information on Georgina Bloomberg, visit www.georginabloomberg.com.

Para Dressage to Be Broadcast Live at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Pictured: Stinna Tange Kaastrup (DEN) and Horsebo Smarties, winners of individual Para Dressage Grade II Freestyle gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018.

Para Dressage is one of five sports that has been added to the live broadcast schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, marking the first time that equestrian fans the world over will be able to watch daily live coverage of Para Dressage at the Paralympics.

The move comes thanks to increased support from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and the demands of broadcasters, with Para Dressage joining canoe, rowing, archery, and shooting to bring the total number of sports with live coverage to a record 21 disciplines from 19 sports.

“We are thrilled to be part of the live broadcast of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and our sport will benefit greatly from this worldwide exposure,” said FEI Secretary General and President of the Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations (APSO) Sabrina Ibáñez.

“The development of Para Dressage is phenomenal, with the number of athletes growing year on year, and being included in the live coverage from Tokyo 2020 will give more parts of the world the chance to discover our amazingly talented Para athletes.”

Para Dressage features from Day 2 to Day 6 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which run from 25 August to 6 September.

“Thanks to the growing interest and investment from broadcasters around the world to screen the Paralympic Games, we have been able to significantly increase the number of sports to be broadcast live for Tokyo 2020,” said IPC Commercial, Broadcasting, and Partnerships Director Alexis Schaefer.

“Our strategy throughout has been to invest all additional revenues generated from TV rights sales back into the broadcasting plan for Tokyo 2020.  This is allowing us to broadcast live nine disciplines and seven sports more compared to Rio 2016, a huge leap forward which will benefit broadcasters and the whole Paralympic Movement.

“Without doubt Tokyo 2020 will have the best, most complete and in-depth TV coverage yet for a Paralympic Games.  In addition to more live TV coverage, we are also investing into delivering far greater short form content for broadcasters to use in the form of highlights, athlete features, and profiles.  With such comprehensive coverage in place we are very confident that viewing figures will exceed the record cumulative audience of 4.1 billion people that enjoyed the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

“OBS is pleased to deliver extensive broadcast coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and bring even more outstanding, inspirational performances and stories of the Paralympic athletes to millions of viewers around the world,” said OBS Chief Executive Officer Yiannis Exarchos.

FEI.tv will be offering live free-to-air coverage of the Para Dressage competitions at the Longines FEI European Championships in Rotterdam (NED), 19-25 August, one of multiple events where Para athletes can achieve their Minimum Eligibility Requirements for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Dedicated Para athlete profile videos will also be made available on FEI’s digital platforms.

The IPC press release can be viewed here.

Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

USET Foundation Supports Next Generation through Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester competing for the United States in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5* during the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series.

Gladstone, N.J. – July 18, 2019 – With the launch of the new Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation encourages everyone to get involved in paving the way for our U.S. equestrian teams to prepare and compete at the upcoming 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2019 Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), presented by Gotham North.

By participating in the challenge, the Foundation’s supporters and fans open the pathway to the podium for U.S. athletes, from developing to elite squads, across the nation in the eight FEI disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping, and vaulting.

The mission of the USET Foundation is to provide the necessary resources to make equestrian competitive excellence possible, now and in the future. These key funds support the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international and high performance horses and athletes in partnership with US Equestrian (USEF), which does not receive any direct or indirect government subsidy.

High performance programs train and support our top athletes and horses to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games and other top international competitions. In addition, these programs provide support for our world-class coaches, international competition for developing athletes, training grants, national training sessions, and talent search programs to identify future elite equestrian athletes.

Contributions made to the USET Foundation directly support the grants that the Foundation makes to the USEF for the high performance programs. Annually, the USET Foundation awards grants covering approximately 50% of the high performance program budget. The funding, made possible through USET Foundation donations, creates the support programs for athletes who aspire to be on the podium someday in any of the eight FEI disciplines.

Since its inception, the USET Foundation has awarded millions of dollars to support the USEF’s high performance programs and athletes along the pathway, including the likes of Kent Farrington, Philip Dutton, Laura Graves, Laura Kraut, McLain Ward, and countless others who, thanks in part to the support received from the USET Foundation, went on to represent and achieve historic results for the U.S. at the highest levels of the sport.

From the beginning, the USET Foundation’s focus has always been on providing funding for the next generation’s international success. At the NAYC, presented by Gotham North, to be held July 24-28 (eventing) in conjunction with The Event at Rebecca Farm and July 30 – Aug. 4 (dressage and show jumping) at Old Salem Farm, the USET Foundation annually presents the coveted Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award.

In 2018, the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award was given to Daisy Farish as the highest placing U.S. Young Rider in the individual show jumping final. As the recipient of this immense honor, Farish had the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final along with the other top finishers in the NAYC individual show jumping final, Samantha Cohen, Madison Goetzmann, and McKayla Langmeier, in Opglabbeek, Belgium in September 2018.

Another young talent, Lucy Deslauriers (20), has progressed up the pathway through the NAYC and U25 division to now representing the U.S. with podium finishes in Nations Cup competitions and most recently being named to the NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2019 Pan American Games.

“I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent our country at the senior level in Nations Cup competitions over the past year,” said Deslauriers. “Only with the support of the USET Foundation and the US Equestrian pathway programs have I been able to fulfill some of my show jumping dreams.”

The Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge is one that rallies support from all members of the USET Foundation community from the $10 first-time donor to the invested and dedicated trustee. From now through Aug. 11, the more people who participate by making a gift, of any amount, the closer we get to unlocking $100,000 of additional support, which will help elevate up-and-coming athletes and provide valuable opportunities on their journey to equestrian excellence.

Be a part of history and show support for Team USA during these pivotal weeks and beyond! Participate in the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge at USET.org and spread the word on social media. Current supporters of the Foundation can participate in the challenge and move the USET Foundation one donor closer by giving again now.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Support Team USA in USET Foundation’s New Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge

Graphic: Courtesy of the USET Foundation

Gladstone, N.J. – July 11, 2019 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of a transformative new initiative, the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge.

“During the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge, we invite you to get to know the USET Foundation and the countless ways that we support equestrians across the country,” said Bonnie Jenkins, USET Foundation executive director. “For some, this is our first opportunity to show how we help make representing America possible. For many others, this challenge serves as a fond reminder of the USET Foundation’s great history of support and a rally for success. We thank you and our teams thank you.”

The USET Foundation is the philanthropic partner of US Equestrian (USEF) and works to make the dreams of competing on a U.S. team possible. Join the Foundation in supporting America’s equestrian athletes of today and tomorrow. By participating in the challenge, donors open the pathway to the podium for U.S. athletes, from developing to elite squads, comprised of young and old as well as male and female athletes across the nation in the eight FEI disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-dressage, reining, show jumping, and vaulting.

For decades, equestrian athletes have represented the United States in international competition, bringing home medals that have clearly established the U.S. as among the world’s equestrian elite. Unlike other countries, U.S. equestrian teams do not receive any government subsidies. Instead, the USET Foundation provides the main source of funding, made possible through individuals whose interest in and commitment to equestrian sport motivates them to make generous charitable contributions. Since 2004, the Foundation has awarded more than $42 million in grants to support the USEF’s high performance programs and athletes along the pathway.

As our United States equestrian team athletes and horses prepare for an intense season of competition with the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2019 Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North, quickly approaching, the USET Foundation wants our athletes and teams to know that we are with them all the way.

The goal of the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge is simple: from now through Aug. 11, the more people who participate by making a gift, of any amount, the closer we get to unlocking $100,000 of additional support.

The USET Foundation board of trustees believes in the power of participation and is grateful for your support. This is why they are challenging equestrians, and equestrian supporters, across the nation to the task of unlocking the funds they have pledged for this initiative.

Every equestrian athlete starts somewhere, and every person’s support counts toward our U.S. equestrian teams’ international success.

Be a part of history and show support for Team USA during these pivotal weeks and beyond! Participate in the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge at USET.org and spread the word on social media. Current supporters of the Foundation can participate in the challenge and move the USET Foundation one donor closer by giving again now.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.