15 July 2010 – The horses for the equestrian events of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) arrived safely in Singapore at 11.50 local time this morning. After an eight-hour flight from Brisbane, Australia all the horses are reported to be in good health and have now been transported to their new home, the YOG Equestrian venue at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre.
The horses’ journey started from their training centre at Glen Haven Park, two hours north of Brisbane. Transportation of the YOG horses was arranged by International Race Horse Transport and loading of the horses onto the plane took almost two hours. The horses were accompanied on the flight by the YOG Head Veterinarian, Dr Roshni Selvam, three grooms and two riders from Glen Haven Park. Two additional grooms and two more riders from Glen Haven Park arrived on a separate flight.
Post Arrival Quarantine for the horses starts tomorrow at 9.00 and continues until 12.00 noon on 30 July. During the quarantine period the horses will still be trained and looked after by their Glen Haven Park riders and grooms. The Glen Haven Park grooms, together with local grooms, will continue to look after the horses throughout the Games.
Falsterbo (SWE), 9 July 2010 – On an afternoon of dramatically fluctuating fortunes, the host nation of Sweden sprung a big surprise as they swept to victory in the fifth leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup on their home ground at Falsterbo today. It was against all the odds, because they had previously picked up only two points in the series and seemed to be staring relegation in the face at the end of the season. But in typically stubborn style they didn’t let the pressure overwhelm them, and three first-round clears ensured they would always be in contention while it was their Olympic silver medallist, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, who clinched it for them in the end.
The Netherlands finished a strong second, also shaking off some distressingly poor results in previous legs of this super-tough Meydan FEI season, while Spain and France divided third, Ireland and the USA shared fifth place and Great Britain had to settle for seventh this time out. Switzerland finished eighth after only just managing to squeeze into the second round and, in another real turn-up for the books, the German team were sidelined at the end of round one along with the unfortunate Polish side that suffered elimination.
9 July 2010 – Michael Morrissey (USA) has been suspended for three months and issued a yellow card with retroactive disqualification for excessive use of the whip in class 101 at the Wellington CSI 2* held on 27 February 2010. Mr Morrissey has also been subjected to a fine of CHF 2,000. The suspension from FEI competition will run from 5 May to 4 August, concurrent with the three-month suspension imposed on Mr Morrissey by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
“I apologise unreservedly for this incident,” Mr Morrissey said. “I overreacted when the horse stopped and that is unforgiveable. Horse welfare has to take precedence over competitive interests and I know that I was in breach of that basic principle.”
An investigation into the role of the Ground Jury in this incident showed that Mr Morrissey should have been disqualified at the time. Letters of reprimand have been sent to all members of the Ground Jury.
The full text of the decision is available here: MORRISSEY.
8 July 2010 – Olympic Jumping champion Eric Lamaze (CAN) has returned to the number one spot in the Rolex Rankings.
The Canadian, who took individual gold and team silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong, was ranked second in the world in February and March and was third in the April and May rankings. He is now back at the top of the rankings for the first time since February 2009.
Pius Schwizer (SUI), who has been world number one in the Rolex Rankings for the past five months, has now dropped down to second, with reigning European champion Kevin Staut (FRA) moving up one place to third. Rolex FEI World Cup champion Marcus Ehning (GER), who was in second in the May rankings, is now in fourth.
The updated Rolex Rankings, which were published today by the FEI, are available here.
FRENCH STILL IN FRONT AS SERIES ARRIVES IN FALSTERBO
Falsterbo (SWE), 6 July 2010 – The defending champions from France still hold the whip hand as the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series moves to Falsterbo in Sweden this Friday. Full of flair and confidence they blazed a trail through the first-half of the season with a spectacular hat-trick of wins, and they hold an eight-point lead over Great Britain in second place going into the last four rounds of the eight-leg series.
After a superb victory from the all-girl team in Rotterdam three weeks ago the USA has improved to third with just 3.5 points separating them from the British, while Germany lies fourth, just 0.5 points further adrift. The Spanish team, newcomers to this top level of team jumping, have shown themselves more than equal to the task and in fifth place hold a single-point advantage over the Irish in sixth. But neither of these nations can afford to rest on their laurels.
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!
2 July 2010 – After a full investigation into the facts surrounding the disqualification of Sapphire (McLain Ward) at the FEI World Cup Final in Geneva, the FEI has determined that the horse was incorrectly eliminated from the second round on 16 April 2010, however, Sapphire’s disqualification from the final round of the World Cup remains in place.
McLain Ward will immediately be awarded all ranking points and prize money related to his second place finish in the second round of the FEI World Cup Final. This will not affect ranking points and prize money awarded to other riders in the competition.
As a result of this investigation, the FEI has also decided to issue mandatory guidelines to be applied by the Veterinary Commissions appointed for FEI Events in order to strengthen the hypersensitivity protocol that was applied in Geneva. These guidelines will be communicated to all National Federations prior to the CHIO in Aachen (GER).
The USEF, McLain Ward and Tim Ober have stated that they do not agree with the FEI on the question of whether Sapphire displayed a level of sensitivity that justified her disqualification from the third round of the World Cup and also disagree with the process followed however, in the best interest of the sport, they have dropped their legal case against the FEI and will not challenge this disqualification.
Hendersonville, NC — Shakira do Jacare, the brilliant 14-year-old Brazilian bred chestnut mare owned by Sarah Owen and Muny Sunk Stables, officially retired from the sport of show jumping in an emotional ceremony during the 2010 Atlanta Summer Classics.
Dubbed the “Queen of Speed” by her competitors, Shakira’s presence alone at many a grand prix was enough to rattle the nerves of most seasoned jumpers. However, this mare’s story begins with Longwood Equestrian Center’s owner and professional rider Sergio Campos. Shakira was bred by Campos at his family’s ranch in Campo Grande, Brazil. She is the offspring of his champion stallion Primo, who died tragically in a barn accident in 1997. “She [Shakira] was very tough to break; it took a lot longer than most normal horses. I remember when she was a 3-year-old she jumped out of one of the paddocks… over 6 foot tall fencing! She always showed signs of being a Champion.” Campos shared then added with a laugh, “When we imported her to the US she had an accident loading onto the airplane and got 20 stitches in her rump. She missed that plane and arrived 2 weeks later, proving both her headstrong nature and resilience.” A handy mare, known for her speed and turn-of-hoof, Shakira helped Campos lead the victory gallop in four Grand Prixs during their debut in 2005 as well as numerous mini prixs and Welcome Stakes throughout the Southeast. Over the next few years the number of wins only grew, but fate’s crossroad lay just ahead.
WESTPORT, CT – June 29, 2010 – McLain Ward, aboard Vocas, owned by Louisburg Farm, emerged victorious over a field of 27 competitors at the $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, June 26, 2010, the culminating event of the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show held in Westport, Connecticut.
Urged on by spectators and over 350 guests at The EQUUS Foundation Grand Prix Benefit Luncheon, Ward and Vocas claimed victory in an exciting jump off. Ward also placed 4th aboard Esplanade 7 owned by Louisburg Farm, and 12th aboard Miel D’Amuray owned by Gabby Slome. George N. Venizelos representing Wells Fargo Advisors was on hand to present the well-earned blue ribbon, along with Jonathan Moffly of Moffly Media, Show Co-Chairs, Alison Ashman and Catherine Herman, Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman of the Board of The EQUUS Foundation, and Lynn Coakley, President of The EQUUS Foundation.
24 June 2010 – Germany’s Michael Jung and Britain’s Oliver Townend, both winners of HSBC World Cup Eventing competitions this season, go head to head at Strzegom (POL) this weekend (June 24-27) as they both bid to take over the lead in the 2010 rankings from Australian Megan Jones, who has scored a win and a second place in the series so far.
Jung, who had an incredible season in 2009, winning Luhmühlen and a European bronze medal on La Biosthetique Sam, is already a winner at this Polish venue having scored at the HSBC World Cup Eventing Final here last year.
In contrast, Townend made an early exit at Strzegom last year; having led the Dressage phase, he suffered an unlucky fall on the flat across country when Flint Curtis lost a shoe.