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Olympic and Paralympic Champions Shortlisted for FEI Awards 2021

Photo: Winners at the FEI Awards Gala 2019 presented by Longines at the Kremlin in Moscow (RUS). Copyright: FEI/Liz Gregg.

Many impressive nominees are in the race for the FEI Awards 2021 as the online public voting opens today for the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete, Longines FEI Rising Star, Cavalor FEI Best Groom, FEI Against All Odds, and FEI Solidarity Awards.

The 20 shortlisted candidates from 12 nations include Olympic and Paralympic medallists, up-and-coming young athletes, Grooms, Organising Committees, Veterinarians, National Federations, and charities.

Peder Fredericson, who helped take Sweden to its first Team Jumping Olympic gold medal in almost 100 years in Tokyo, is one of four nominees for the FEI Best Athlete Award. The other nominees in this category are Eventing’s first female Olympic champion Julia Krajewski, who won individual gold for Germany in Tokyo, and compatriot Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who took double Olympic gold in Dressage. Sir Lee Pearson, Great Britain’s ‘Godfather of Para Dressage’ and the most successful Para Dressage athlete of all time with 17 Paralympic medals, completes the list of nominees in this category.

The FEI received a diverse number of nominations for equestrian athletes, individuals, and projects this year and the winners will be announced at a highly anticipated gala dinner in Antwerp (BEL) on 17 November. This will be the first in-person celebration of the winners since the FEI Awards Gala 2019 presented by Longines at the Kremlin in Moscow (RUS).

The Longines FEI Rising Star category includes Greta Busacker (GER), who is the daughter of 2020 winner of the decade and Eventing legend Ingrid Klimke. And for the first time ever, this year’s nominees include two National Federations in the FEI Against All Odds and the FEI Solidarity categories.

The Japanese National Federation has been nominated for the support they provided to the Organising Committee of Tokyo 2020 to deliver safe and successful equestrian events, against all the odds created by the ongoing pandemic. The Hellenic Equestrian Federation nomination for the FEI Solidarity Award is in recognition of their efforts to evacuate 300 horses from areas in Greece rampaged by wildfires in August 2021.

The shortlisted nominees have been selected for their outstanding achievements on the field of play, inspirational outlook, and unparalleled dedication to equestrian and para equestrian sport.

The amazing stories of all the nominees in the five categories can be found here.

The public now has until 17 October to cast their votes for their heroes. Make sure you have your say and vote here!

The shortlisted nominees for the FEI Awards 2021 are:

Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete – paying tribute to the athlete who over the past year has demonstrated exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level.

  • Peder Fredricson (SWE), Jumping
  • Julia Krajewski (GER), Eventing
  • Jessica von Bredow Werndl (GER), Dressage
  • Sir Lee Pearson (GBR), Para Dressage

Longines FEI Rising Star – for the youth athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

  • Sam Dos Santos (NED), 15, Vaulting
  • Greta Busacker (GER), 19, Eventing
  • Jimena Carrillo Watanabe (MEX), 14, Jumping
  • Marten Luiten (NED), 20, Dressage

Cavalor FEI Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.

  • Stephanie Simpson (USA), groom for Eventing athlete Boyd Martin (USA)
  • Jorge Luiz Gonzales (ARG), groom for Jumping athlete Matias Albarracin (ARG)
  • Kathleen Van Winden (NED), groom for Para Dressage athlete Sanne Voets (NED)
  • Marie Johansson (SWE), groom for Dressage athlete Patrick Kittel (SWE)

FEI Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.

  • Beatrice de Lavalette (USA), Para Dressage
  • Laura Collett (GBR), Eventing
  • Japan Equestrian Federation
  • Dr Ruben Fausto Arismendi Garat (URU), Endurance Veterinarian

FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual, or organisation that has used skill, dedication, and energy to expand the sport.

  • Hellenic Equestrian Federation (GRE)
  • Sue Ockendon (CAN), founder of the Bromont Rising Program
  • Compton Cowboys (USA), community programme in Compton, Los Angeles
  • Equulus Charity ‘Pursuit of Dreams’ (CHN)

The winners will be decided by combining 50% of the public’s vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result. The nine expert judges for this year’s FEI Awards are:

  • Ingmar De Vos (BEL), FEI President
  • Matthieu Baumgartner (SUI), Longines Vice President of Marketing
  • Peter Bollen (BEL), Founder and chief nutritionist of Cavalor
  • Martin Atock (IRL), Managing Director of Peden Bloodstock
  • Kyra Kyrklund (FIN), six-time Dressage Olympian for Finland, six-time FEI Dressage World Cup™ finalist and winner of the 1991 FEI World Cup™ Final
  • Andrew Hoy (AUS), eight time Olympian and team silver and individual bronze medal winner for Eventing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
  • Lucy Katan (GBR), founder of British Grooms Association (BGA) and the International Grooms Association (IGA) with the support of the FEI
  • Hannia Chinchilla de Wolf (CRC), President of the Federación Ecuestre de Costa Rica and FEI Solidarity Committee member
  • Wendy Laeremans (BEL), Belgium National Federation Sport Director & Chef de Mission

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Photo by ClixPhoto.com.

Calgary, Alberta – Olympic show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony held Sunday evening, October 3, 2021.

Inducted in the ‘Team’ category, Lamaze and Hickstead are widely considered to be the best competitors of their era. Among their many feats was claiming the Olympic Championship title at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and leading Canada to the team silver medal.

Lamaze and Hickstead also earned an individual bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, where Hickstead was awarded the title of “Best Horse.” They won team silver and individual bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as several major grand prix show jumping titles including Calgary, Canada (2007 and 2011); Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Aachen, Germany (2010); La Baule, France (2011); and Rome, Italy (2011).

“I believe this is the greatest honour you can receive from your country,” said Lamaze, 53. “Hickstead was incredible, simply one of a kind. Together, we were proud to represent Canada on the world stage. It is well deserved on his part; I just went along for the ride.”

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, traditionally held each October in Toronto, ON, was held virtually for the first time. Hosted by Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, the ceremony also featured a musical performance by Jim Cuddy, best known for his work with Blue Rodeo.

In addition to being inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020/21, Lamaze received the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour. The Order of Sport was presented to Lamaze while he was competing at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB in September. It was a fitting venue for the presentation, given that a life-size bronze statue of Hickstead overlooks the Spruce Meadows Plaza.

Hickstead (Hamlet – Jomara x Ekstein) was bred in The Netherlands by Jan van Schijndel and born on March 2, 1996. Lamaze purchased the Dutch Warmblood stallion in 2004 through Stephex Stables in Belgium and owned him in partnership with John Fleischhacker’s Ashland Stables of the United States. Prior to his tragic death during competition in Italy in 2011, Hickstead had earned more than $3 million in prize money during his career with Lamaze.

Lamaze has competed in three consecutive Olympic Games – 2008 Beijing, China; 2012 London, England; and 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition to the individual gold and team silver medals won with Hickstead in Beijing, Lamaze won an individual bronze medal partnered with Fine Lady 5 at the 2016 Olympic Games. He owns and operates Torrey Pines Stable, a show jumping training and sales business with bases in Wellington, Florida and Brussels, Belgium, where he trains many students from various nationalities at the elite level. For more information, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

For more information on Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Order of Sport, visit www.sportshall.ca and www.orderofsport.ca.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | www.startinggate.ca

Household Cavalry Leads the Charge for London International Horse Show

The London International Horse Show, taking place at ExCeL London from 16-20 December 2021, will host performances from the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment as part of the spectacular schedule of equestrian action across the five-day Show.

Organisers have confirmed the attendance of the much-loved Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, made up of 28 horses and 36 personnel, adding to the diverse range of equestrian activity already planned. As the only mounted ceremonial soldiers who also serve as fighting soldiers, the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is unique globally as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The drills, which are based on movements mounted soldiers would have historically used in battle, will be carried out to music and performed in a routine that is strongly focused on precise timing and coordination.

The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry will join the roster for each performance, which also includes scintillating action from The Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

In addition to the breath-taking display acts, spectators will be treated to world-class competitive action, including FEI World Cup competitions in three disciplines: Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping. The traditional crowd favourites, The Puissance and The London International Horse Show Grand Prix, will also take their place at ExCeL London, featuring the world’s best show jumping horse and rider combinations, with the next generation of riders set to star in The Mini Stakes and The U25 British Championship.

Show Director Simon Brooks‐Ward said: “We are delighted to be welcoming The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry to The London International Horse Show 2021. They are always a firm favourite amongst the crowd, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.”

Captain William Long of The Life Guards said: “The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is thrilled to be returning to the London International Horse Show. It will be very exciting to perform at the Show’s new venue, the ExCeL, this year.  It is always a privilege to take part in the show and truly does signal the start of the festive period.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

The London International Horse Show
www.londonhorseshow.com
Niki McEwen / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Ellie Aronson and It’s Easy Time Land the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Region 3 Championship

Ellie Aronson and It’s Easy Time ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 26, 2021 – It was a busy weekend of equitation competition during the ESP Florida State Fall, which hosted the Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship as the highlight event at Equestrian Village. The class saw young riders from across the southeast region compete for the chance to compete at the finals later this year. Thanks to consistent performances over the fences and on the flat, plus a test, Ellie Aronson of Atlanta, GA and Eva Fisherman’s It’s Easy Time emerged as the victors.

“My horse was perfect! Even though this is just our second show together, I felt like everything just came together really well,” Aronson shared. She continued to elaborate on the rounds, saying, “In the first round, I just tried to stay on a nice canter. He holds himself in a really nice frame naturally, so in the flat phase I was able to just focus on myself and hold my position. Then in the test I just wanted to go out there and have fun with it.”

Forty-three riders contested the first round course, set by Andy Christiansen (ECU), in the covered ring at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Following the first round of competition, 32 riders were invited back for the flat phase, which was broken up into three groups, and ultimately just four riders were asked to return for the final test. After three technical rounds of competition, Aronson and It’s Easy Time were crowned the champions. Earning second place was Hailey Royce of Wellington, FL and Elios, owned by Michael Dietrich. Third-place honors were awarded to Schuyler Dayner of Odessa, FL and her own Gambino.

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

Hard Work, Dedication, and Perseverance at the Heart of Time to Beat Campaign

The FEI has set in motion the Time to Beat campaign which highlights the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of equestrian athletes who dedicate their lives to reaching World level sporting success.

Launched at the start of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2021-2022 season, the cross-media campaign brings together the FEI, its Top Partner Longines, and the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League to celebrate the human and equine athlete journey to the elite levels of the sport.

“The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions are full of edge-of-your-seat moments where winners can be determined by fractions of a second and it is this sporting drama which engages fans and keeps them coming back for more each season,” FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus said.

“But these moments of brilliance are the culmination of years of hard work, patience, and endless repetition. And when it comes down to that critical moment in a competition, it is the communication between the athlete and horse that is often the determining factor for a win. This horse-human connection takes years to create, and it is this journey in time that we want to celebrate through the Time to Beat campaign.”

The video, released to mark the start of the campaign, connects the in-competition performance of the human and equine athletes with powerful images of the daily dedication and perseverance that athletes need to cultivate over time to reach their sporting goals.

“The values of the Time to Beat campaign resonate strongly with Longines, as we know from first-hand experience that excellence can only come from years of commitment,” Longines Vice President Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner said.

“Perfection does take time, and with our experience in creating digital engagement campaigns with the FEI over the past year, we can now tell this story in a more authentic way and deliver a message that people from diverse backgrounds, not just equestrian, can identify with.

“The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ has inspired large numbers of fans and we believe that by adding powerful initiatives like the Time to Beat campaign, we can take equestrian sport to another level.”

The FEI’s partnership with Longines has come a long way since it became the International Federation’s Top Partner in 2012. The initial collaboration included a number of major rights packages including the Longines Jumping Rankings, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, FEI World Equestrian Games™, and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™.

Over the years, the partnership has grown to include Longines as Partner of the FEI Solidarity project on the retraining of racehorses, as well as Title Partner of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series and Presenting Partner of the FEI Awards Gala. In early 2019, Longines extended its agreement as Title Partner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League series.

The Time to Beat campaign has found strong support with the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League where Longines is the Title Partner. The first leg of the North American League for the 2021-2022 season will kick off in Langley, British Columbia (CAN) on 26 September while Oslo (NOR) will host the first leg of the Western European League on 17 October.

“The pandemic situation has brought home to the sports world that our lives can also change dramatically from one minute to the next,” said Chris Pack, President and Operations Director at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.

“While this campaign is meant to highlight the hard work that goes into the making of a sports star, it is also a celebration for our community who have worked hard to find solutions and ways to ensure that our athletes and fans have the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions to enjoy.

“The Time to Beat campaign messages of persistence, tenacity, and dedication are universal and we are looking forward to communicating these values to our local communities to bring them closer to the action and emotion that the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions have to offer.”

Time to Beat will be a three-year campaign that will see a number of activations around the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions to boost fan engagement and involvement.

“We are looking forward to working on this campaign, not just to increase the visibility of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, but also to create a meaningful conversation around the power of equestrian sport,” said Tomas Torgersen, Show Director Gothenburg Horse Show.

“Both the human and equine athlete require a strong mental connection and it is this special bond that always shines through during the Longines FEI World Cup competitions. It’s always a magical moment when an athlete gets the best out of their horse at that crucial moment of the competition. It’s in those few seconds that World champions are created and we want the world to see and experience this with us.”

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ was created in 1978 and is currently made up of 12 leagues across all continents. The top placed athlete-horse combinations from all Leagues are invited to attend the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final™ which will be held in Leipzig (GER) in April 2022.

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Luiz Francisco de Avezedo and Collin Win $25k Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix

Luiz Francisco de Avezedo and Collin. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 19, 2021 – The ESP September show reached its pinnacle on Sunday as 23 entries took to the Derby Field for a chance to win the lion’s share of the prize money in the $25,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix. The course, designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU), proved to be a difficult one to master as only three starters advanced to the jump-off, but was no match for the only double-clear contenders of the contest and the class winners, Luiz Francisco de Avezedo (BRA) and Collin, owned by Santa Cecilia Stables. The win is one of many victories earned by the Brazilian and Collin during their longtime partnership, which amazingly began by purchasing the horse before he reached the slaughterhouse.

Competition on the Derby Field kicked off Friday morning with the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Steak. Diego Vivero (ECU) and his own entry, Zambia Mystic Rose, sped their way to the top of the leaderboard after clearing the jump-off in 37.15 seconds.

Vivero found himself in the winner’s circle once again on Saturday after topping the Ford’s Garage 1.35m Stake. He and his own Flipper Lady posted double-clear rounds with a jump-off time of 35.74 seconds to take home top honors.

In Sunday morning’s $2,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline, six pairs advanced to the jump-off over the 1.30m fences, led by Catalina Peralta of Geneva, FL on Wendy Peralta’s Amore from Second Life Z. The duo won the class with a double-clear time of 38.85 seconds.

Isabel Beltran and Sazerac Secure First Derby Win in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and IMB of Jupiter LLC’s Sazerac captured the win in ESP September’s highlight hunter class, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline. The class took place on Friday at Equestrian Village and marked a special occasion for the duo as it was their first derby win together.

In the Amateur-Owner 3’3”/3’6” Hunters, sponsored by Vita Flex, Jennifer Speisman of Wellington, FL piloted her own Totality to the championship honors. The duo earned three first-place results, along with a second place and third place, to secure the highest number of points on the overall scorecard.

Stephen Lengyel of Wellington, FL rode Carolyn Teneyck’s Formal Attire to the championship tricolor in the USHJA 3’ Hunter division, presented by Perfect Products. Over the course of five classes, the pair received three second-place ribbons and two fourth-place ribbons.

The Junior 3’3”/3’6” Hunters, sponsored by #1 Education Place, saw Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA and her own Grand Remo ride away with victory in the division after earning three blue ribbons and two red ribbons.

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

Jad Dana and After Eight Jump to Victory in $25k Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix

Jad Dana (LBN) and After Eight. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 5, 2021 – The ESP Labor Day horse show concluded with a second victory from the week going to Lebanon’s Jad Dana. Dana and After Eight edged out the competition in the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix to capture the lead spot in the victory gallop. The partnership mastered two tracks designed by Oscar Soberón (USA) as the fastest of five double-clear duos.

Early in the morning on Friday, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Boheme de Fleyres, owned by Ashlee Bond Show Jumping, hit the ground running to take the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. Only the fourth in the order, Bond and Boheme de Fleyres turned in a quick fault-free time of 38.74 seconds in the immediate jump-off to solidify themselves as the frontrunners and eventual winners.

In the Perfect Products 1.35m Stake on Saturday morning, Dana and Fleur-de-Lis’ Cherie, owned by Kathleen Gannon-Ledsome, ran away with the class as the clear-cut winners. Never letting up on the gas, Dana and Fleur de Lis’ Cherie went midway through the pack and tripped their jump-off timers without faults in a blazing 39.13 seconds. No other competitors were able to come close, giving Dana and his mount the first prize by nearly four seconds.

Sunday morning saw the Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline, challenge a field of horses and riders on the Derby Field. In the end, only three-hundredths of a second separated the top two finishers, with the victory going to Caroline Drummond of Wellington, FL on her own Tsunami with a double-clear time of 40.66 seconds.

Alejandro Karolyi Makes Winning Hunter Debut with Karma AB in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

In his first hunter class ever, Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL rode Emily Cherney’s Karma AB straight to the top of the leaderboard in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline. The partnership concluded the class as the clear victors after earning back-to-back scores of 86 for a final tally of 172, which included all four high-option bonus points from both the classic and handy rounds. A decorated jumper rider, Karolyi gave the hunters a shot for the very first time on Friday, and he proved to be a solid match for Karma AB, the 10-year-old mare that is making the switch from jumpers to the hunter ring.

The combined Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter/Junior 3’3” Hunter divisions, presented by Vita Flex, saw Adrienne Marciano of Collegeville, PA and her own Cooper ride to the championship rosette. Marciano and Cooper were the standout pair in the division after capturing four first-place finishes and a single second-place result to emerge as the clear leaders.

In the Pony Hunter division, presented by Dover Saddlery, Competition Farm LLC’s Skip Day carried Chase Spranklin of Weston, FL to the championship honors. The duo earned two first-place finishes, as well as two third-place results and a fourth-place ribbon to earn enough points to capture the overall title.

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

How Do You Communicate with a Para Dressage Horse?

Laurentia Tan (SGP) (FEI/Liz Gregg)

The unique bond between a horse and human, as well as the refined communication between the two, are important factors for success in elite equestrian sports. But what does this mean exactly for Para Dressage athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games?

While able-bodied Dressage athletes use a combination of hand, leg, and weight signals to communicate with their horses, some Para Dressage athletes require the use of compensating aids to make up for the physical or sensory limitation resulting from their disabilities.

“Walking the way that I do is normal for me and so when I learned to ride, I also learnt in a way that was normal for me,” said five time Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker (GBR).

“As I have minimal feeling from my hips down, my legs just hang when I’m on a horse, and they naturally follow the movement of the horse. When you see my legs moving, that’s not me. It’s a completely involuntary movement.

“This is the reason why I have to train my horses to different aids and am reliant on my voice. I train my horses to the smallest of noises or words so they know exactly what I’m asking. It can be a simple sound so they know that I want to go more forward or a command like ‘trot’ under my voice, and they know exactly what I mean.”

While there is a broad range of movement that is standard for able-bodied Dressage athletes, Para Equestrians have to find and develop their own style of communication with their horse in order to compensate for their unique disabilities.

Where necessary, athletes are allowed to use a variety of special equipment and aids which include specially designed saddles that assist the athlete with balance and support. Also permitted are the use of elastic bands to keep feet in stirrups, whips in each hand, and adapted reins.

In the case of Laurentia Tan from Singapore, who developed cerebral palsy and profound deafness after birth, she relies on people to tell her when the music begins and ends and has a greater dependency on feeling in order to communicate with her horse.

“I can ride different horses, but I must have my own customised looped reins, which are important partly because they are customised to the way I hold them,” Tan explained.

“But the reins, which are the connection between my hands and the horse’s mouth, are like a telephone line which make my conversation with my horse soft, steady, and ‘elastic.’  This contact is different depending on the horse I ride and is absolutely essential for me to bring out their best performance.

“I am also sensitive to the feeling through my seat, which facilitates the conversation between me and my horse. I can execute a good square halt through my seat. I can feel when my horse does a perfect straight square halt under me and when to give a correction if one leg is out of place.”

As other Para Dressage athletes will attest, learning to interpret their horses’ body language is one of the keys to a successful sporting relationship. But training a horse to adapt and respond to the use of compensating aids also plays an important role in the development of the horse and athlete connection.

“Before a horse is ridden by a Para Athlete, it is first trained by an able-bodied rider with classic training aids and then retrained to adapt to the athlete’s disability,” Team USA’s Head of Para Equestrian Coach Development and High Performance Michel Assouline explained.

“The horse is trained to what the person does not have. So if an athlete does not have the full use their legs, for example, the horse will be trained to receive cues and signals with a series of taps given through a compensating aid, instead of the legs. An athlete can also learn to use their voice and seat to communicate with their horse.

“For athletes who are unable to use their legs, a tap becomes like a conductor’s baton, which signals to the horse when they should move.

“An able-bodied trainer will usually begin this process and will train the horse by not using their legs, but with the tapping. So by the time the athlete takes over, the horse is already aware of what these cues represent. On average, it takes around six months to a year for the horse to be truly confident and trustworthy.”

The FEI Para Equestrian Committee was created in April 2006 to ensure that the needs and requirements of Para Equestrians are well represented in the work of the International Federation.

“As living beings with thoughts and feelings of their own, horses are extremely sensitive to the specific needs of an athlete’s disability, and are highly perceptive to verbal and non-verbal cues,” Chair of the FEI Para Equestrian Committee Amanda Bond said.

“While horses have a natural ability to adapt, and seem to have a sixth sense for knowing what is required of them, it is the compensating aids which allow Para Equestrian athletes to effectively communicate with their horses.

“The FEI Para Dressage rules have been established to ensure that athletes have the equipment they require to compete on a level playing field, while keeping competition fair and safe. These are important principles to abide by if we are to ensure the continued growth and development of Para Equestrian sport.”

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Team GB Olympic Medallists to Parade at London International Horse Show

In a tribute to the outstanding achievements of the British equestrian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, The London International Horse Show will welcome the Team GB Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian heroes in a celebratory parade, which will take place during the afternoon performance on Friday 17 December.

Leading the way will be Individual Show Jumping gold medallist, Ben Maher, who adds a Tokyo medal to his Team gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Maher will be joined by the gold medal-winning Eventing team of Oliver Townend, Laura Collett, and Tom McEwen. After a fantastic performance across all three phases, the team secured Great Britain’s first Eventing Team title for 49 years. 30-year-old McEwen then went on to claim the Individual silver medal with a foot-perfect performance aboard Toledo De Kerser.

Despite an inexperienced team of horses heading to Tokyo for the Dressage, the British team, comprising Charlotte Dujardin, Charlotte Fry, and Carl Hester, surpassed all expectations to come away with a Team bronze medal. Dujardin, riding the stunning chestnut Gio, followed up with an Individual bronze to add to her already impressive medal tally, which now includes three golds, one silver, and two bronzes. In doing so, Dujardin rewrote history to briefly become Britain’s all-time most decorated female Olympian – a feat she now shares with Cycling’s Laura Kenny, after Kenny’s triumphs a few days later.

Joining their Olympic counterparts will be Team GB’s Paralympic stars, who will be in action in Tokyo from Thursday 26-30 August. The team includes four defending Paralympic champions, including 11-time Paralympic champion Lee Pearson, eight-time gold medallist Sophie Christiansen, five-time gold medallist Natasha Baker, and two-time gold medallist Sophie Wells.

The London International Horse Show – this year taking place at ExCeL London from 16-20 December 2021 – will provide an opportunity for the athletes to celebrate in front of a crowd, something they were unable to experience in Tokyo. For fans, it will be a chance to hail the exceptional performances put on during the Games, proving Great Britain to be at the forefront of the sport, with some of the best horses and riders in the world.

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets to be part of this exclusive Olympic celebration, can be found here.

The London International Horse Show
www.londonhorseshow.com
Niki McEwen / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Breathing Art into Pet Portraiture: Ifat Zohar Photography

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (August 4, 2021) – Somewhere at the intersection of fantasy, reminiscence, and passion lives Ifat Zohar’s portraiture. Known for her stunning work with both domestic and fantastic fauna, Zohar combines themes of old-world indulgence, elegant theatrics, and a closeness to nature to create her visual masterpieces. An award-winning photographer originally from Israel, Zohar’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including those for the biggest equestrian events of 2021, and stands out as a new breed of modern portraitist.

Zohar’s portrait studio work is inspired by the old masters’ love for storytelling, and their use of light and dark to add depth and dimension to their subjects. Ifat’s signature portraiture technique breathes art into her images of people and the animals they love.

“I was looking for a better way to tell my clients’ stories with their pets, a more artistic way to timelessly capture their relationships,” said Zohar. “During my shoot, I am not just creating beautiful portraits but also capturing the unique connection, personality, character, and emotions of each animal and their humans.”

Zohar is now based full time in The Netherlands. Her creative portraits include Fine Art, human & animal themes, commissioned work, and character portraiture. The uniqueness of her work has earned her numerous accolades and exhibitions: 2 nominations in the international Fine Art Photography Awards (2021), Finalist in the 2020 “One Eye Photography Awards”, winner of the 2019 Benelux Photo Master award competition, and the 2019 Bronze Rise International Photography Award, to name a few.

Visit www.IZIPhotoArt.com for examples of her work, or contact ifatphoto@gmail.com, WhatsApp: +31.(0)6.13.33.83.31 for more information.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com