All posts by Associate Editor

Richard Vogel Races to Win in CaptiveOne Advisors CSI4* 1.50m Classic

Richard Vogel & Cepano Baloubet. Photo © Sportfot.

Germany’s Richard Vogel closed out Week 4 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in the Van Kampen Covered Arena at Equestrian Village with a win in the CHF75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors CSI4* 1.50m Classic aboard Cepano Baloubet on Sunday.

The day gave riders a variation in venue after jumping on the grass derby field throughout the week as their quickness was then tested in an indoor environment. From a field of 32, six advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off designed by Anderson Lima (BRA).

WEF 4, presented by MARS Equestrian™, is only the second show for Vogel and Cepano Baloubet after the gelding joined his string. “Last week he did really well in the International Ring, this week he was also great on the grass and now under these circumstances he was very good in the indoor today,” said Vogel, 25, of his versatile mount.

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Sweet Victory for Conor Swail in MARS Equestrian CSI4* Grand Prix

Conor Swail & Count Me In. Photo © Sportfot.

Victory was sweet for Count Me In and Ireland’s Conor Swail in the CHF216,000 MARS Equestrian™ CSI4* Grand Prix, the featured event on the expansive grass derby field at Equestrian Village during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 4 on Saturday in Wellington, FL.

The pressure was on for Swail riding Count Me In, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) owned by Sandy Lupton & Mannon Farm. The first to crack the code on the opening round track designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), Swail was the trailblazer again in a five-horse jump-off.

“I’m lucky to have Crosby,” said Swail, currently ranked fifth in the world on the FEI rankings. “He’s a very fast horse. I was trying to give it a good go and put the other riders under enough pressure and hope that they would make mistakes. It was a tough track but fair I thought. I have an amazing horse and I hope his good form continues. This was our first time out this year and I must say I thought he felt fabulous.”

Ruyle, Langmeier Score Wins in Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2*

WEF 4 has welcomed the return of Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* competition on the derby field at Equestrian Village. The CHF37,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix Qualifier highlighted the action on Friday with a win for Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) riding Cyramo. She piloted the 2011 Zangersheide mare (Clarimo x Vigo D Arsouilles Stx) to victory from a competitive 15-horse jump-off.

Ruyle was thrilled with her mare’s massive efforts, saying, “Everything was very spread out: a gallop to two, the combination off a tight turn which we are pretty good at, and a long gallop to three and four. It rode great and she tried so hard. I’ve had her a while – since she was seven and she’s thirteen now – so we’ve had a long time to build a strong partnership.” They bumped Ireland’s Francis Derwin, riding Intuitive for owner Eve Jobs, to second.

After a third-place finish on Friday with Chadina for Rafferty Farm, Mckayla Langmeier (USA) came back on top in Saturday’s CHF10,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CIS2* 1.40m Speed. In another jump-off that mandated impressive speed from seventeen qualifiers, Langmeier and Jiselle NS, a 2014 Dutch Warmblood mare (Balou du Rouet x Voltaire) flew to the win for owner Linda Langmeier.

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An Entire Community Inspired to #BeTheChange

Photo © Wellington International.

Over $1.5 Million to Be Distributed at 14th Annual Great Charity Challenge

Wellington, Florida – February 2, 2023 – After a record year for the 2022 Great Charity Challenge sponsored by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), donors, riders, and charities are at the edge of their seats to see what this year holds. Inspired by this enthusiasm, this year’s event aims to motivate the community to #BeTheChange and empower individuals to get involved locally!

As J. K. Rowling reminds us, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided,” and the GCC is an incredible example of how unity amplifies impact. On Saturday, February 4, people from all walks of our community will come together as one at Wellington International to cheer the night away. Home of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the venue will transform into Candy World and the night will feature an exciting relay style show jumping competition with horses and riders alike decked out in their most creative candy themed costumes.

Founded by father/daughter team of Mark and Paige Bellissimo in 2009, the GCC has acted as a catalyst for charitable giving over the last 13 years, distributing a phenomenal $17.7 million to 294 local non-profit organizations. This united community effort will set out in its 14th year to help build a path to a sweeter future for our Palm Beach County neighbors in need.

Thirty-four non-profit organizations, who were randomly selected at our first annual Charity Drawing Party and leading up to the event, will meet their paired equestrian teams and sponsors as they compete for a share of the $1.5+ million purse. The winning team’s nonprofit will receive $100,000 while all pre-selected participants are guaranteed a minimum grant of $15,000. To view the full list of participating charities (listed alphabetically), CLICK HERE.

“Our community never fails us when it comes to the GCC. This year, especially, we want to extend this generosity beyond just that night and inspire more people to get involved with the amazing organizations this event highlights,” comments Kelly Arani, GCC Event and Marketing Coordinator.

To contribute to this community effort, visit https://unitedwaypbc.org/great-charity-challenge/.

Children of all ages will be back again this year for the Pet Parade and Costume Contest, generously presented by the Postage Stamp Farm Foundation. By dressing up with their favorite pet, children will represent pre-selected non-profit organizations and celebrate the power of doing good at any age! Exciting news this year: thanks to matching sponsor The Wedell Family Foundation, the 15 pre-selected non-profit organizations will share $50,000 in prize money.

Each year new and recurring donations and sponsorships from local families, foundations, businesses, equestrians, and more, ranging from $5 to $100,000, are the key to reaching our fundraising goal of more than $1 million.

Equestrian Sport Productions, the Wellington International operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, and Wellington International owner Global Equestrian Group donate the facility, staff, and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event and guarantee that 100% of the funds raised are redistributed in the community.

The GCC competition will offer free general admission and will be held Saturday evening, February 4, 2023, at 6 p.m. at Wellington International during WEF’s “Saturday Night Lights.” Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414, home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival show grounds.

For the latest event information, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

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John French and Milagro Master $25k USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt-N-Go

John French & Milagro. Photo © Sportfot.

Competition in the International Ring at Wellington International drew to a close Friday afternoon with a total of 47 top hunter combinations taking to the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Perfect Products. Over a course designed by Andy Christiansen as an efficient hunt-and-go format, the lead changed hands several times throughout the one-round challenge, but ultimately the top honors were awarded to John French and eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding Milagro.

“He stands out in the hunter derbies because he has a lot of scope; he is slow in the air so I can make the tight turns on landing easily; he is very brave, and I never have to worry he’s going to look at anything,” French gushed of the gelding.

As no stranger to the victory gallop, once French got through the first half of the course, which he expressed had a few tests for himself, he knew that Milagro’s exceptional form and athleticism would take care of the rest.

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Veterans for Mustangs Act Proposes to Make Wild Horses into Carnival Shooting Gallery

American Wild Horse Campaign volunteer stalking and shooting wild horses with high powered gas operated rifle. Photo courtesy of American Wild Horse Campaign.

YREKA, CA, US, February 3, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — A recently introduced bill titled the ‘Veterans for Mustangs Act’ allegedly seeks to employ Veterans suffering from PTSD to shoot wild horses using high powered gas operated rifles firing a heavy projectile carrying a chemical sterilization agent commonly known as ‘PZP’.

An examination of the unvarnished data about what is being cavalierly proposed in this new bill shows many compelling serious contraindications for supporting this bill.

First off, there are no published psychological studies that prove any potential mental health benefits for combat veterans suffering from PTSD by chasing wild horses around the landscape and shooting them with these powerful rifles. And in many cases where combat veterans are suffering from PTSD, ownership or use of any firearms may be contraindicated, according to information from a National Academy of Science’s report: https://cdn.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/071712bb1.pdf.

Moreover, according to a published National Institute of Health Study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308415/):

“Military veterans and individuals with Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for aggressive behavior and suicide, compared to civilians and those without PTSD. Further, compared to other psychiatric populations, veterans with PTSD have been found to possess more firearms and to more frequently engage in potentially dangerous firearm related behaviors. This is concerning as, compared to civilians, veterans are more likely to complete suicide with a firearm and access to firearms is associated with higher risk of suicide above and beyond the effect of psychiatric illness. Veterans with PTSD also demonstrate higher levels of anger, hostility, and aggression than those without PTSD, which may render firearm possession particularly problematic among this population.”

The key lobbyist behind this bill, Mr. Marty Irby, has a background that should be carefully considered in regard to his motivation in lobbying a bill that raises many questions and serious concerns, as can be read in this published article:

https://twhfacts.com/2019/08/03/the facts about marty irby executive director animal wellness action/

In fact, the experts who pioneered and helped develop and study using gas powered rifles to shoot large animals, including wild horses, with heavy chemical filled syringes, have themselves raised some of the serious concerns and published them:

“Even on a large animal struck correctly, the dart (contraceptive PZP darts) can cause hemorrhage and hematoma. Misplaced shots can break bones or even kill the animal.” (Thomas and Marburger 1964)

“Muzzle report [when a gun goes ‘bang’] can cause problems in darting either captive or free ranging animals. In captive situations, the noise can be more disturbing to animals than getting struck with a dart.”

“Disturbed animals are then more difficult to approach, or the entire group of animals may run away.” (Page 32, “Overview of Delivery Systems for the Administration of Contraceptive to Wildlife” by Terry J. Kreeger)

In fact, there is mounting scientific evidence that using PZP, also known as a ‘Genetic Poison’ by many wild horse experts and advocates, has many unintended consequences that are never mentioned by the promoters of PZP.

A leading researcher in the field of fertility control using PZP, Dr. Cassandra M. V. Nuñez, has written extensively about the ‘unintended consequences’ of using PZP, even when administered in a less draconian manner than using combat soldiers to shoot wild horses with rifles.

More about Nuñez’s research here: https://cmvnunez.weebly.com/.

Interestingly, the Bureau of Land Management, which has suffered from ongoing and widespread condemnation of their management of American wild horses, is offering millions in tax dollars as funding incentives (grants) to people and NGOs to employ the use of shooting wild horses with PZP to allegedly control populations of wild horses where they are deemed in conflict with humans and commercial enterprises.

More here: https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/607372689/costly wild horse management exposing the crutches of a failed paradigm killing american wild horses.

According to an article by Michael Ray Harris, a law professor and litigator at Vermont Law University and the Legal Advisor to the California based non-profit all-volunteer organization Wild Horse Fire Brigade:

“What is ignored by the pro-PZP community is that wild horses darted with PZP to inhibit their ability to naturally reproduce aren’t really, well, ‘wild’ anymore. Wild means ‘living in a state of nature’ as opposed to being ‘tamed or domesticated’ to be more useful to humans. Accordingly, opposition to PZP is based on an ethical belief that wild animals should be free of human manipulation.”

This press release can be viewed in full online at: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/614834024/.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Daniel Coyle and Amalia Swoop In to Claim Victory in Week 4’s $5k 1.30m Rising Star Classic

Daniel Coyle and Amalia.

Loxahatchee Groves, FL (February 3, 2023) – Daniel Coyle and the sporty, spotty bay mare Amalia were the last to go and the fastest pair in Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. The pair edged out two previous jump-offs to win the class, and with just tenths of a second separating the three.

Coyle, an internationally acclaimed show jumper representing Ireland, was contested by Abbygale Funk and Ryan Sassmannshausen over the course designed by Jaime Morillo. Sassmannshausen was an early double clear effort, galloping around the jump-off in 38.814 seconds. His round stood most of the day, until Abbygale Funk and Alastor edged them out by less than a tenth of a second, flying through the timers in 38.806 seconds. Coyle, however, would establish his dominance with the nimble Amalia, taking an amazingly tight inside turn to the final vertical to post a time of 38.039 seconds and win the class.

Coyle and Amalia have been successful up through the FEI level and the Irish rider stated that the course at The Ridge was a great warmup for the future FEI rounds they had planned during their 2023 Wellington show season. Coyle and his cousin, Jordan, have won multiple titles over the years at The Ridge.

Funk, an aspiring U25 Grand Prix rider, is new to The Ridge’s events this year, having discovered them during USEF Equitation Tuesdays in 2022. “I had two great rounds over the lovely course here at The Ridge,” said Funk. “It’s an amazing chance to show at the Grand Prix level while also still being able to develop the horses and prepare for bigger classes.”

For more, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Santiago Lambre Successful in CHF50k CSI4* Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 4

Santiago Lambre & Casey. Photo © Sportfot.

The pinnacle event of Thursday’s competition on the Equestrian Village derby field during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 4 was heavily populated with some of the sport’s best international competitors. Athletes representing eleven different nationalities lined up to contest Anderson Lima’s (BRA) first round track in the CHF50,000 CSI4* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 4.

From an original starting field consisting of 51 horse-and-rider combinations, 13 produced clean efforts to advance to the short course. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Mexico’s Santiago Lambre was at the bottom of the returning order but shot straight to the top to claim the day’s featured victory.

“This horse is quite new for me; I’ve only had her for eight months,” Lambre stated. “I jumped her on the grass two weeks ago for the first time and she did very good, so I felt she was ready for this week.”

While she is new to his string, Lambre’s brother had Casey for several years in Mexico and Lambre believes she has all the makings to become an international star.

“She originally was competing in Mexico with my brother before she got sent to me last year,” he added. “I know the mare and she just needs some miles, but she has proved that she is a fast horse and I think she is ready for the five-star next week.”

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First Hunter Derby of ‘23 and Irish Grand Prix Victory at The Ridge at Wellington Groves Week 4

Jordan Coyle and Picador (Photo by Romeo Ghete)

Loxahatchee Groves, FL (February 1, 2023) – The Ridge at Wellington Groves wrapped up its third week of competition with an Irish victory in the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, their first $1,000 2’6″ National Hunter Derby, and two extra days of classes for hunters, jumpers, and equitation riders, both recognized and unrecognized. On Friday Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and Picador fought their way to victory in The Ridge’s Week 3 $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, besting a field of 30 over a course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Second went to Week 3’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic winner, Israel’s Daniel Bluman riding Corbie V.V.Z Et, while third went to Coyle as well, this time aboard Ariso. The competition included some of the world’s top riders, including Adrienne Sternlicht, Beat Mandli, and Cian O’Connor, mixed in with freshly minted Grand Prix riders and horses over a dynamic course intended to challenge while allowing for growth and development.

Saturday’s Hunter Derby was the inaugural Derby event of the 2023 Ridge season, offering $1,000 in prize money and a course designed by Nona Garson with high options up to 2’6″. Julie Hogan riding Gigi Stetler’s Imagine That bested the three rounds, which included an optional Warm Up, first round, and handy round. Second went to Samantha Carp and Conchita 128, while Sara Kate Long and Delivered by Hand finished in third.

For more, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Urge BLM to Preserve ALL Wild Horses in McCullough Peaks HMA

“Wild Pinto Family at the Waterhole” by Carol Walker, Living Images Photography.

The McCullough Peaks wild horses are a beloved herd. Given the herd’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park, they amaze and charm both locals and visitors from around the world.

Local volunteers have worked tirelessly for more than 12 years to implement a successful PZP program to manage the population growth of the herd. The program has been a complete success with just 2% population growth each year. Sadly, the BLM now wants to remove the majority of horses from the current population of just 179 horses to the Arbitrary Management Level (AML) of just 70-140 horses.

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to remove over 100 horses and begin use of controversial fertility control such as GonaCon. BLM, of course, ignores the livestock grazing in the wild horse habitat and refuses to consider repatriating wild horses to the zeroed-out portion of the Herd Area.

Please take a minute to speak up for these magnificent horses.  Tell the BLM the following (in your own words):

  • I support the PZP program that has successfully managed the herd for the last 12 years.
  • I strongly oppose the removal of any wild horses now living in the HMA; these horses deserve to live and die wild and are valued by locals and tourists alike.
  • The successful partnership between volunteers and BLM to manage the McCullough Peaks Herd through darting has been a model for other HMAs.
  • BLM must amend planning documents to increase the Arbitrary Management Level to be in line with science. Nationally respected equine geneticist Dr. E. Gus Cothran has long stated that a breeding herd of 150-200 horses is the minimum herd size necessary to prevent inbreeding. Removing horses will jeopardize the long-term genetic health of the herd and will force related horses to inbreed.
  • Utilize BLM authority (43 C.F.R. 4710) to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing in order to accommodate the wild horses.
  • These horses must be managed to preserve natural behaviors using only safe and proven fertility control such as PZP. I oppose the BLM’s proposal to use other fertility controls such as GonaCon, IUDs, surgical sterilization, and other fertility control methods which are documented to destroy ovaries (or testes) and natural hormone production which is necessary for natural “wild” behaviors.
  • These horses are a great tourism draw. The public enjoys observing their natural wild behaviors, including seeing stallions protect their families, watching lead mares direct herd dynamics, and experiencing the entire repertoire of natural “wild” horse behaviors.

Your voice makes a difference.  Please submit your comments directly to the BLM by clicking here (and selecting the Participate Now option).

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Sharn Wordley and Mick Jagger Win $50k Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley set an unbeatable target with Mick Jagger on Sunday during the $50,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. He was the first to return during the jump-off, and with a quick and clear effort that left the remaining riders trying to chase him, he took home the winning title. The only other fault-free effort belonged to Australia’s Scott Keach and Wild Thing for second place. Keach also placed third aboard his second mount, Noble De La Chapelle.

Read more.

Comissario and Morgan Ward Cash In to Win $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix

Morgan Ward once again returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday, this time aboard Comissario after garnering the top score during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix. Turning in impressive scores of 85 and 86, the pair jumped to victory just ahead of Alexa Bayko, who claimed two of the top three spots with All of Me and MTM Dixon, respectively.

“Comissario is my solid citizen that I’ve had for a few years, and we’ve accomplished a lot of big wins,” said Ward. “He is my main man – the spoiled rotten king of the barn! I don’t ever ride him with a bridle at home. He would jump around this derby with no bridle if it were allowed. He’s the sweetest horse in the world!”

Read more.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.