All posts by Associate Editor

Jimmy Torano and Chewbacca HCC Take First Win of FEI Competition during WEF

Jimmy Torano and Chewbacca HCC © Sportfot.

The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued with the second week of the 13-week long circuit. Starting out the International Arena with a win was Jimmy Torano (USA) and Chewbacca HCC with victory in the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers.

While the first FEI ranking class takes place Thursday, January 13, FEI horses were able to compete Wednesday in the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumper Pre-FEI Horses class. Torano and Chewbacca HCC came away with the win in a time of 76.093 seconds. Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) & Andy Christiansen Jr. (ECU) are the course designers for the International Arena this week.

Just behind them was David O’Brien (IRL), who rode Chansonette Farm LLC’s EL Balou Old, a 10-year-old stallion by Eldorado VD Zeshoek x Balou Du Rouet, in 76.478 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Irish Olympian Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and the 13-year-old Rhinelander gelding Alejandro (Acorado’s ASS x Continue), owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Seabrook LLC.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

FEI Statement on Allegations Raised of Unauthorised Training Methods in RTL News Report

Lausanne (SUI), 12 January 2022 – The FEI is aware of the allegations made in the documentary broadcast on RTL in Germany on 11 January 2022 and is making enquiries regarding the matter. We are already in touch with the German National Federation and will continue to liaise closely with them in order to assess the appropriate course of action.

The welfare of the horse is central to everything that the FEI stands for and we strongly condemn all training methods and practices that are contrary to horse welfare. The FEI has stringent rules in place to protect horse welfare which allow action to be taken both at FEI Events and elsewhere. The FEI absolutely condemns any form of horse abuse and the training methods shown in RTL’s video footage are totally unacceptable from a horse welfare perspective and against FEI Regulations.

The FEI General Regulations (GRs) Article 142 state: No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including, but not limited to:
(vi) To “rap” a Horse.

Article 243.1 of the FEI Jumping rules states: All forms of cruel, inhumane, or abusive treatment of Horses, which include, but are not limited to, various forms of rapping, are strictly forbidden. Article 243.2.1 goes on to give a non-exhaustive description of what the FEI considers as “rapping”.

The FEI will provide an update as soon as further information is available.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Opening 2022 WEF Grand Prix Victory Goes to McLain Ward and Catoki

McLain Ward and Catoki © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 9, 2022 – Premiere week at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 9, with a highlight class of the week, the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix. McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki took the victory in the class.

The Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix had 32 entries that contested a course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Eight were clear to advance to the jump-off. First to return for the jump-off were Thursday’s Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup winners, Hector Florentino (DOM) and ABC Quantum Cruise, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by OBOS Quality x Cruising owned by Wyndmont. They set the time to beat at 37.677 seconds with a clear round.

Robin Schwartz Celebrates a Championship Return to WEF

Robin Schwartz and her horse Back in the Game won all three classes on Sunday to conclude the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Hunter Older (Section B) division with the championship ribbon. Sharing the winner’s circle was Nicole Harris and her horse Le Diplomate, who finished with the reserve championship honors. Schwartz, who trains with Devan Cottrell and Matt Piccolo at Arrow Hill Farms, and Harris, who trains with Jason Schnelle at Autumn Chase Farm, both hail from Tennessee.

This was Schwartz’s first time back showing at WEF in 19 years, and it has been an emotional return.

“It feels amazing to be back at WEF, and I am blessed to have such an awesome horse,” said Schwartz. “[The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring] was always my favorite ring to show in.”

Schwartz’s daughter’s developing passion for horses got her back in the saddle.

Schwartz explained, “I knew if she liked it, then I’d have to get back into this, because I love all things about this.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Women Dominate Again in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes at WEF

Abigail McArdle and Samuel Parot Jr. face off. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2022 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off on January 8 with the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center. The women’s team won for the 11th time in the 13-year history, and the class made its return after a hiatus in 2021.

The women’s team for Battle of the Sexes consisted of team captain Kelly Soleau-Millar, Hayley Iannotti, Taylor Land, Caelinn Leahy, Samantha Mackenzie, Mia Mannis, Abigail McArdle, Jacqueline Steffens, Anna Wilks, and Heather Caristo-Williams.

The men’s team, led by captain Charlie Jayne, also included David Blake, Christian Coyle, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Luis Larrazabal, Simon McCarthy, Samuel Parot Jr., Michael Tokaruk, and Hardin Towell.

WEF First Timer Richard Vogel Makes His Debut a Winning One

The CaptiveOne Advisors Championship series kicked off on Saturday as well. Germany’s young talent, Richard Vogel, and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z sped to the win in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic. In a field of 26 riders, Vogel was one of 12 who jumped clear over Eric Hasbrouck’s (USA) delicate first track.

In the jump-off, Vogel’s blistering pace could not be beat as he crossed the timers in 33.011 seconds. Right behind him was Vanessa Hood (USA) who finished the short course in 33.392 seconds with Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto. Grant Seger (USA), who won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class earlier in the week, jumped to third place with Plot Z owned by Grey Fox Crossing in 33.707 seconds.

Not only are Vogel and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z making their WEF debut this year, it is also their first time ever competing in the United States. Vogel, who is based in Germany, is delighted by what he’s seen so far at WEF.

Hayley Hewitt Holds Top Spot in THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under

Saturday in the FarmVet Ring 7 began with 25 horse and rider pairs vying for a top spot in the THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under. The course required riders to be deliberate in setting their pace, finding their line, and sticking to a plan.

Less than half of the entries had scores 80 or above and of those, only five were called back to test with only three points separating the first from the fifth spot.

After a challenging work-off which included a halt mid-line, counter canter, and trot jump, Hayley Hewitt and Harper Phipps remained unchanged in their positions securing the first and second place finishes, respectively.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laskano Takes Top Spot in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*

Jimmy Torano and Laskano © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – Hunters were the highlight on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*.

After securing the second spot in round one with a score of 182 out of 26 entries, Jimmy Torano piloted Laskano around a twisty second round with bold and precise execution to finish top of the field with a second-round score of 211 and a total of 393.

McLain Ward Notches First 2022 WEF Win

Four-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward (USA) notched his first win of the 2022 WEF circuit on Friday in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Speed Challenge on Bonnie M Z over 44 other entries. The pair sped to victory in 60.780 seconds over the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course. Finishing just off the pace in second place were Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland, owned by Chapot and The Edge, who stopped the timers in 61.304 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof were third in 65.324 seconds.

Ward and Bonnie M Z showed on Wednesday and improved to a winning performance in Friday’s 1.40m class. Ward got the ride on Bonnie M Z two weeks ago through the Holtgers family of Gut Einhaus LLC. Ward has started a new partnership with them and will train Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Gut Einhaus entered into ownership of the horse in 2018, and he has been ridden by Olympic champions Eric Lamaze of Canada and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).

“They asked me to ride the horse and see what I thought he could be,” said Ward of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Bentley Van De Heffinck x Berlin. “He’s done up to three-star grand prix. The Holtgers have owned him for a few years, and now we’re getting started with him.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise Capture First Adequan WEF Challenge Cup

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – The series of Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup classes began on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Olympian Hector Florentino (DOM) took the win in the $35,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Premiere Round with ABC Quantum Cruise, owned by Wyndmont.

In a 35-horse field, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise were one of five that advanced to the jump-off over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). First into the jump-off were Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Centriko Volo, owned by Celtic Park LLC, who had a rail for four faults in 38.289 seconds for third place. The only other double clear round for second place came from Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Cornet’s Cambridge, owned by The Berry Group LLC. They finished the jump-off in 41.001 seconds. In the final spot in the jump-off, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise brought the winning time down to 40.495 seconds with a clear round.

For Always and Scott Stewart Rise to the Top in Green Hunter 3’9”

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division came to a stylish finish Thursday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.

With an almost perfect clean sweep, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL rode Betsee Parker’s For Always to the championship title with four firsts (including a division high score of 92) and one second place ribbon.

Stewart was quite pleased with the eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Nick Skelton’s famous Olympic show jumper Arko, noting, “He felt great, jumped great, the courses rode nice, and he felt fresh again.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Grant Seger Opens Up the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival with 1.45m Jumper Victory

Grant Seger (USA) and Dr. J. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 5, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the world’s largest and longest-running horse show circuit, is underway with competition beginning on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The 13-week circuit features top jumper, hunter, and equitation competition until April 3.

In the opening class of the 2022 WEF, the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers, Grant Seger (USA) and Dr. J, owned by Grey Fox Crossing, used their final position in the order as an advantage as they sped to the win in the two-phase format class in 35.827 seconds. This week’s International Arena course designer is Eric Hasbrouck (USA).

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Two-Time Breeders’ Cup Mile Winner, Da Hoss, Dies at 30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 4, 2022) – Two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile Winner, Da Hoss, died Sunday, January 2, at the Kentucky Horse Park where he had retired after a successful five-year racing career. At the age of 30, the gelding passed away due to infirmities of old age.  Da Hoss had been living at the Kentucky Horse Park since January 2000.

“We will miss Da Hoss greatly. He was a fan favorite as he proved that spirit can triumph over adversity,” said Nicole Rivera, Interim Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “I would like to extend a special thank you to Rob Willis and the Hall of Champions staff for the great care and affection they showed Da Hoss during his time here at the park.”

Sired by Gone West, out of Jolly Saint, Da Hoss was foaled on January 18, 1992.  Wall Street Racing bought the lowest priced Gone West foal, Da Hoss, as a Keeneland September yearling for $6000 that same year.  After racing as a two-year-old for trainer Kevin Eikleberry and Wall Street Racing, an 85% interest in Da Hoss was sold to Prestonwood Farm.  He was immediately shipped to Fair Hill training center to start training with Michael Dickinson and Joan Wakefield.

Da Hoss is one of only five horses to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile twice, and the only horse to win twice in non-consecutive years.  Between the 1996 and 1998 Breeders’ Cup Races, Da Hoss was injured three times and did not race for nearly two years. His inspiring finish in the 1998 Breeder’s Cup Mile produced one of Tom Durkin’s most memorable race calls, as he exclaimed: “The greatest comeback since Lazarus!”

“He was our horse of a lifetime,” said trainer Michael Dickinson of Tapeta Farm.  “We all loved him.  He brought us so many highs, even with his problems; we knew he would never let us down. He gave his all and loved to win.  He was spoiled but deserved to be.  He loved going out in one of his grass fields with his best friend Boomer for two or three hours every day.  He knew he was special. It was comforting to know he was always well looked after by everyone at the Kentucky Horse Park where he enjoyed a wonderful retirement.”

Da Hoss shared the Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions with other Champion horses including Thoroughbreds Go for Gin, Funny Cide, and Point Given, Standardbred pacers Western Dreamer and Won the West, and Standardbred trotter Mr. Muscleman.

Like the other great Hall of Champions horses that died in retirement at the park, Da Hoss will be buried in the Memorial Walk of Champions.

To learn more, visit www.kyhorsepark.com.

Contact: Kerry Howe
kerry.howe@ky.gov
859-259-4224

Erynn Ballard Lands Double Grand Prix Wins at ESP Holiday Finale

Erynn Ballard and Nanini Van D’Abelendreef. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Jan. 2, 2022 – It was a celebratory weekend for Erynn Ballard (CAN) during the ESP Holiday Finale at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center thanks to wins in two separate grand prix classes, which closed 2021 on a high note and began 2022 even better. In one of the first classes of the new year, Ballard and Nanini Van D’Abelendreef, co-owned by Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports LLC, galloped to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix as the fastest over designer Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) courses. On New Year’s Eve, Ballard navigated Comedia De Talma, owned by Esperanza Imports LLC, to first prize in the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix.

Prior to the start of the class, Filip de Wandel (BEL) was awarded with a $1,000 check as the winner of the Assets Risk Management National Grand Prix Rider Bonus.

Additionally, two Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Awards were presented. Ballard earned the distinction for the ESP Holiday Finale week, and Catherine Tyree (USA) was honored as the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider thanks to her series of showings that earned her enough points for the top of the leaderboard.

Twenty competitors vied for the lion’s share of the prize money in the $5,000 Laura King – The Power to Win 1.35m Jumper Stake on Saturday. Eleven pairs made it into the jump-off, where Tony Cadet (FRA) and Etonemoi Del Cabalero, owned by Shore Acres Farm LLC, led the pack with a double-clear time of 37.03 seconds to win the class.

Thursday featured the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake, which saw nine pairs out of the field advance to the jump-off. Of those, seven finished the class without faults and only four seconds separated them in the standings. Leading the way, Thomas McDermott (NZL) and his own Alpha Activity earned first place in a fault-free time of 41.15 seconds.

On Sunday in the High Junior/Amateur Jumper Stake, presented by Noltrex®Vet, just two pairs advanced to the jump-off, and two more kept all the rails up but were kept out of contention by time faults. Though they incurred four faults, David Oberkircher (USA) and Southfields Farm LLC’s Vulkato were the quickest over the 1.40m fences with a time of 41.93 seconds to take the win.

Immediately following, the Gochman sisters of Mimi and Sophie dominated the $2,500 Medium Amateur/Junior Jumper Stake, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, by claiming all three podium spots. Finishing the 1.30m course in the swiftest time, Mimi Gochman (USA) piloted Dolores BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to first place in a double-clear time of 38.29 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Crowns Season with Successful Record-Breaking Event

Kim Burritt and Do You Have a Winner, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 31, 2021 – The 2021 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit culminated a successful season with another record-breaking event showcasing the nation’s top Quarter Horses and riders from all over North America. Under the show management services of An Equine Production, more than 500 exhibitors and 20,000 entries competed in the renowned horse show at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center from December 27-31.

Competitors at the five-day event enjoyed beautiful weather and ideal conditions while earning significant year-end points and phenomenal awards. High Point winners in 15 divisions received sought-after Porta Cool Coolers and Reserve High Point received a comfortable sling chair. The overall third place in each division received a backpack, useful for riders of all ages.

Kim Burritt of Murfreesboro, Tennessee was the Select High Point Award Champion with her horse Do You Have a Winner. This was her first appearance at the Gold Coast, making it memorable by walking away with the Porto Cool cooler. Competing at the Gold Coast has been on her bucket list for years, and she felt that the time was right to compete this year.

The Youth 14-18 High Point Award Champion was Alexa Black of Springfield, Ohio riding Huntin a Hot Cowgirl. The 18-year-old was third in the division last year and was very happy that it all came together at the 2021 Gold Coast. The week was especially important for Black as she is nearing the end of her competing as a Youth rider.

Rachel Trebesh of Fairhope, Alabama also walked away with a coveted award after riding No Doubt I Shine to the Senior High Point Award Champion and Amateur High Point Reserve Champion. The pair moved up in the standings during Friday’s competition to close out the show. Trebesh spoke highly of her horse, noting how much he loves his job and enjoys competing.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.